June 2014 - Prep Essentials





College & Post-Grad

College & Post-Grad
College & Post-Grad

Essentials: Summer In The City

Having lived in Chicago for a few weeks now, I'm starting to feel as if this tall, bright and noisy place is my home. I rarely have to check google maps anymore, I walk with confidence (and without shrieking every time a pigeon comes too close), and I have acquired a small list of my favorite hangouts, although I have a personal goal to constantly try new ones even if I find one I really love. 

With that in mind, one thing I have definitely mastered finally is packing my bag for the day! You never know when someone will want to meet up for happy hour drinks after work, or when you'll experience a freaky weather mishap (or in this morning's case, a 100 degree train on the way to work...) and it's definitely a must to have some essentials on hand to tame those unpredictable moments in this fast-paced city life. 

There have already been a few days where I'm missing just one of these items - and it is definitely noticeable...especially the headphones!

What are your summer purse essentials?

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City Life From A True Expert

Hello lovely followers! I am especially excited for today's post because I am trying something a little new...

Today's post is featuring one of my closest friends and a much more seasoned and glamorous city expert than myself, Dakota Kate Isaacs, from Diaries of Serendipity, which you simply must check out! Whether you're a college intern or living the post-grad lifestyle, Dakota knows everything there is to know about fashion, PR, and New York City in the summer - and she was one of the biggest inspirations for me to start this blog and go after many many internship opportunities in the past year. 

With that little intro, I will let Dakota take the stage and give you her comprehensive guide to living in the city in the summer (especially if you're a first-timer like me!) and how to totally rock it!

Hello city gals!

It's that time of year again--summer internship season. With your purses prepped full of back-up batteries, roll-up flats, and your minimergency kits, smooth out your skirt and press that UP on the elevator-- your dreams start now.

Reality check; dreams don't work unless you do.

Sure, the not-so-glamorous side of the fashion and beauty world (my internship spécialité) can include steaming couture gowns, fetching lattes, and spending hours in sample closets. Yes, the Devil Wears Prada is real. Yes, you will get lost over and over again. Yes, you will be expected to show up early and stay in late. And yes, this will be one of the most formative experiences of your life.

Figure out your priorities. For me it was making connections and getting myself to the “next level”. So what are yours? Do you want a job with this company? Looking for a resume builder? How about testing the waters in the sector of business? Act accordingly.

As a PR girl, fun is part of the job. Club openings, client events, and product launches are all part of the task list du jour--but being tactful and calculated is also in that description. Here are a few of my tips for making the most out of your summer internship in the city:

Say Yes to Everything

Yesterday morning I was browsing our shared calendar within the PR team and noticed a meeting regarding a topic I’m interested in. So I e-mailed the organizer and asked if I could sit in. It’s about saying “yes” to everything--even if it necessarily isn’t offered your way, go get it. Client dinner in SoHo? Yes. Extra help with an event at The Plaza? Yes. Send our 20 sample boxes to top beauty editors within 10 minutes? Yes.

While at a previous internship with the top beauty PR firm in the country, I was speaking to my supervisor who told me the reason she was hired was because the boss noticed her as the intern helping at every event. Every. Single. Event. Be that girl, say yes.

Remember Why You’re There

Remember what you're there for. Sure, you've found yourself doing a mundane task or drowning in Excel spreadsheets, but look at the bigger picture. It's incredibly easy to get caught up in the moment and lose sight of the impact this internship will have on your career, so don't let it. Write your favorite quote in your planner, keep a running list of completed assignments, and document the work you’re doing. Be strategic.

Keep A Little Black Book

The most valuable thing you'll take away from any internship is the contacts made. Now multiply that by a milli and you've got the formula for the amount of contacts you'll have access to in a big city. Check-in with them semi-annually, remember things about them and ask! Show your interest in their interests and watch your rolodex bloom. It’s sad but true that it’s not about what you know--it’s about who you know.

Fake It Till You Make It

Whether you know the city like the back of your hand, or are clenching your iPhone map for dear life-- walk with a purpose. I’m not saying to boast about being a Photoshop wizard if you find choosing a Instagram filter daunting, but figure things out. Ask for help when needed, aka when you’ve exhausted (and Googled) every other option.

Now: shoulders back, head high, and replay that favorite pump-up song in your head as the elevator doors open.

"I never dreamed about success. I worked for it." -Estee Lauder


Dakota Kate

Home Away From Home

I am finally and officially moved into my new apartment and my official home for the rest of the summer! Considering we are only living here for a little over two months, I didn't exactly bring anything to decorate with...but we got so lucky! Our apartment is adorable, and really feels like home at the end of a long day at work. 

Plus, the girls we are subletting from decorated it really well (especially for such a small space), and it has inspired several hours of designing my dream apartment on Pinterest for that time in the startlingly not-so-far-off future when I actually move to the city and live here full time! cue minor panic attack...

So in love with this picture in our living room...definitely contemplating asking the former tenants if I can buy it off of them! This is by far my favorite feature of our new home

These pillows are perfect and so adorable - they are reversible! You just flip them over so you can have them all matching, or mix it up like in this picture - and they go perfectly with the rug! 

Look out for a post in the near future about my dream apartment design - I think it will definitely be one of my favorite projects that I ever take on!

How do you decorate your place to make it your own?

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Life Lately

Whew - Where to even begin?! This past month has been an absolute whirlwind. Some days when I wake up I hardly even know what day, week or month it is! I have been all over the place and am finally getting situated in my new home (and all-time favorite city ever - CHICAGO!

I traveled to Pittsburgh, Louisville, Chicago, Vegas, and then back to Chicago to start my summer internship and begin the incredible adventure of this summer! Unfortunately I failed to document half of these excursions very well...and don't have too many pictures, but I did my best! After going straight to Pittsburgh after finals, I drove home to Louisville and finally got to spend some quality time with my best friends. 

Then I drove my entire life (packed "neatly" into my little sedan) up to Chicago before I jetted off to VEGAS with my best friends from high school to celebrate all of us turning 21 in the past two months! It was a total blur, and way too much fun! Plenty of mishaps, starting with nearly missing my flight in the morning, and ending with leaving all of my earrings in my hotel room when I checked out (don't worry, they're mailing them to me!) 

Here are some highlights:

We went to a delicious Mexican restaurant the first night and got complimentary birthday tequila shots, which needless to say did not go down as smoothly as the birthday cake we got afterwards! 

To the right is a picture of the entire group, which is also our spring break crew from high school! Plans are already in the works for a trip to wine country next summer - I am so fortunate to still be so close to all of my lifelong friends from Louisville!

And here I am with my two favorite triplets in the whole world - we have known each other literally since birth, and it was so special to be able to celebrate 21 years of friendship with both of these two girls!

And now, I have FINALLY arrived in Chicago! I have been so mesmerized by the lights, bustle and excitement of everything, I have hardly taken any pictures, but I promise there will be plenty in the very near future! It is a mission of mine this weekend when I finally move into my Lincoln Park apartment with my roommate!

In the meantime, this is the view I have been enjoying from my brother's apartment in River North which he has been so generous to share with me until I can move into my own place. By far the most incredible view I have ever seen in person in this city - I am staring at it as I write this! A glass of wine, Netflix and this view are all I need to look forward to during the work day at my incredible new internship. 

So as you can see, I have been a little bit all over the place, but I am finally getting back into the groove of things and am hoping to catch up on all of my blogging this week, so stay tuned!

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Have You Met My Best Friend?

I am a total Daddy's girl. Not in the annoying, spoiled way that it tends to be stereotyped - I just happen to be best friends with my Dad. We text almost every day, constantly send each other funny emails and pictures, and we even snapchat! (Yes, I taught him how to snapchat!)

My dad has always been there for me no matter what, and I can't imagine anyone in the world that deserves a special day dedicated to them more than him. Even though I am growing up, moving into the city and graduating next year, I know that my dad will always think of me as the little girl sitting in the front seat of his Pontiac dancing to Jack Johnson's Taylor or Elton John's Walking in Memphis. 

There is no way to express how much my dad means to me, but I am so fortunate to have such an incredible role model and best friend in my life. I attribute every single good personality trait and behavior to him. Thanks for always being the Dad I needed you to be, you're my hero.

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Krass & Co. Limited Edition!

With summer in full swing, I have been busting out my favorite Krass & Co. shorts every chance I get! I practically live in them while I run errands in Chicago - more on that coming up very soon (and it is definitely the reason I have been so M.I.A., sorry about that!!)

But I am beyond thrilled because Krass & Co. just released a bunch of new short patterns, and some really incredible limited edition items! My favorites are definitely the collaboration shorts with Sarahbelle93x - they are so adorable! I can't decide which ones I want more, so I may just cave and use my discount to buy both!

But there are also a ton of other incredible new additions so be sure to head over to the website and check them out! And don't forget, you can always use the code 


for a 15% discount! Happy shopping and enjoy the summer weather!

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Happy Birthday PrepEssentials!

I can't believe I am finally able to write these words, but this marks PrepEssentials'....

I am honestly speechless. I have learned so much, and I am still learning every single day. I know some people say they have a love/hate relationship with their blog, but that has never once been the case for prep essentials. I never feel like this is a job - it is a genuine passion of mine that I am thrilled to have discovered just one year ago. 

When I look back on my reasons for starting this blog, and look at where I am in my personal life today, I realize that this project couldn't have come at a more perfect time. But what I enjoy so much more now is that I don't feel like I need my blog - I just feel like I want it, and crave to write on it as often as possible. 

Now that I am living in the city I spend most of my commute dreaming up blog posts and searching for inspiration in the most obscure places, and I think I have some really incredible post ideas lined up in the coming weeks so stay tuned for that! In celebration of such a momentous occasion, I will also be doing a giveaway this week so definitely be sure not to miss it! (hint: it's gold, shiny, and accessorizes well with everything!)

I could easily write a massive laundry list of everything I have learned, everything that has changed, and everything that I am looking forward to with this blog, but more than anything I just want to say how grateful I am to have grown as much as I have with this blog and right alongside all of my incredible followers. You are what makes writing this worthwhile! So enjoy your reward, and participate in the giveaway this week!


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Display of Vanity

Everyone has their own ways they like to stay organized, and god knows Pinterest can give you thousands of ideas. I personally have been using the same way to organize my jewelry since high school, adding to my storage dishes as my jewelry collection has grown over the years (don't even get me started on how my jewelry addiction somehow snuck up on me at some point during my Junior year of high school)

I like to think of my vanity as a means of personal expression - one of my favorite ways to decorate my room and make myself feel more at home. I fell in love with these little dishes from Anthropologie a few years ago while shopping in Naples, and just this Christmas I added a matching bowl to hold my excessive bracelet collection (so many possibilities for bracelet stacks...)

My earring display was a random little wooden case I found at Michael's and painted one rainy summer afternoon during high school. It could probably stand to be updated or just flat out replaced, but it gets the job done and I've grown somewhat attached to it. 

Lastly, my necklaces, which truthfully need a makeover more than any other part. Ever since statement necklaces became the item to own in the past year and a half or so, my necklace stand has become beyond over-crowded. I'm envisioning a replacement project in my near future...

And to top off my vanity display I adorn the far corner with my extensive perfume collection I have acquired over many birthdays and holidays. I love having all of my getting-ready items out in the open. For some reason it makes getting ready every evening feel a little bit more glamorous!

How do you display/store your jewelry?

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