July 2014 - Prep Essentials





College & Post-Grad

College & Post-Grad
College & Post-Grad

August Lilly Pulitzer Calendar!

August is back already and that means it is time to get my life in order! I tend to get a little bit lazier in the summer on some of my daily/weekly/monthly routines - I definitely need a structured lifestyle to make sure I stay on top of things! But with all of the back-to-school shopping, errands, packing, moving, and upcoming fun events with friends back at Miami, priority number one is to get back to my calendars and planners!

Here is this month's Lilly Putlitzer-inspired Calendar Template that you can download and print to fill out however you'd like! I love to put mine up on my bulletin board as an extra visual reminder of all of the big events I have coming up...plus it's just so cute!

I am still not ready to let go of summer all the way just yet, so I kept this month's calendar in the summertime spirit with some lobsters!

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Tory Burch for Fitbit Collection

Ah, when two worlds collide - style and function, I think that is where I find my happy place! I have been considering purchasing a Fitbit for a long time, but never could bite the bullet. While the insight it would give me about my horrendous sleeping habits, among other things, I was never confident that I would wear it all of the time.

(For those of you who don't know...Fitbits are awesome bracelets that will track steps, calories, distance, how many hours of sleep you get, can vibrate to wake you when you aren't in deep sleep so it is less of a struggle...to name a few!)

My biggest concern is that my favorite jewelry pieces are my bracelets. Not a single day goes by that I don't wear at least a few on my left wrist, and, please don't take offense here, but Fitbit bracelets are really just not stylish. 

I would hate to spend so much money on an item that would end up tossed aside in my jewelry bowl for months gathering dust. 

Enter, the fabulous Tory Burch. This collection is to-die-for, and honestly even if they weren't Fitbit bracelets with a great purpose, I would probably want to buy these pieces! The Tory Burch for Fitbit Collection is cute, stylish, and the perfect solution to anyone like me that wants to try such a cool product without having to make any sacrifices to the style gods!

I am definitely coveting the pendant the most, but the brass bracelet is a close second! Which Fitbit are you dying to own?!

P.S. Has anyone tried Fitbit that has either a recommendation or some words of advice before buying? I'd love to hear it!
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What's Up, Doc?

Volunteering used to be something that was a really big part of my life in high school. Admittedly, in college this hasn't been the case. I'm a little ashamed to admit that, but it is on my senior year bucket list to get back into it!

Today really inspired me to want to get involved again, because my company had all of the interns go out to the Greater Chicago Food Depository! I wasn't sure what exactly to expect, but it was such a fun and different experience (not to mention a nice little break from an afternoon in my cubicle...)

It was a different volunteering experience than I'm used to, mostly because I typically go for experiences where I get to visibly see the difference I'm making and physically interact with the people whose lives I am helping - it helps me get the full experience and really take something away from it all, not to mention it is usually a very humbling activity. 

Today, however, I got to physically see (and feel) the difference I was making, because we lifted and packaged over 22,000 pounds of carrots in just a few short hours! We actually ran out of carrots and they had to move us over to corn, and we more than doubled the goal the depository set for us! (This definitely appealed to my competitive nature!) 

I've been debating my afternoon workout because my arms are a little sore, but all in all it was incredible to know that we could help so many people. The Greater Chicago Food Depository helps people who are 'food insecure' - essentially, those that don't know where or when they will get their next meal. 1 in 6 people in the county it serves are considered food insecure, and the depository sends supplies to food pantries, shelters and soup kitchens all over the Chicago area.

If you are in or near Chicago, I seriously recommend volunteering there for an afternoon! It only takes about three hours, and you make such a huge difference! Already the food we packaged today is being ordered and will be picked up bright and early tomorrow morning to help those who are struggling, which is such an exciting feeling to know how immediate our efforts are making a difference. 

How have you made a difference this summer?

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Summer Closet Essentials

While this post is a bit delayed, being in the middle of summer, I've been brainstorming for it for a while. Some of these have been absolute musts this summer for brunches, shopping around Lincoln Park, or catching up with friends at the beach, while others have been cute little additions to complete an outfit.

Chicago is known for its incredible summers -and this one has been no exception, although there have definitely been some typical Midwest out-of-nowhere rains and chills. I've never experience a summer location where there are more activities or exciting (and usually free!) things to do, whether its the beach, a street fair, or a stroll through one of the many beautiful parks.

These are my definite must-haves for the perfectly preppy summer closet - I hope you agree!

Anything I'm missing on my list? I'd love to hear other suggestions!

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Under the Wire

If you've been following me since the beginning, you'll know that my favorite place to spend summer days is at my friends lake house on Nolin Lake. All of my favorite summer memories are there, and I am so grateful that I get to continue to make more memories every year!

This past weekend I got to take a break from the hustle and bustle of city life and spend a sunny weekend at the lake with my best friends! It was just what the doctor ordered - although I am loving Chicago, it was definitely time to get out of town for a few days.

If you recall last year, I did a post about weekend trip essentials and what I pack in my bag for a lake weekend - you can find it here!

In preparation (and excitement) for the weekend, I couldn't help but do a little window browser shopping and scope out a few new swimsuits I am totally coveting!

If you can't tell...I'm seriously loving the underwire look right now! I recently discovered it is the most flattering style for my body type - and I am definitely ready to update my closet with some of these looks! (Especially that scallop one...too adorable!)

What are your favorite bikini styles to splash into summer with this year?

Hope everyone had as good of a weekend as I did!

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Love Yourself

Certain events in my life lately have brought my attention to something I have a regrettable tendency to forget from time to time...the importance of taking care of yourself.

Not in the sense that you take your vitamins and brush your teeth - I mean really and truly taking care of yourself. Doing something at least once a day that is purely and truly only for you. So often, we get caught up in all of the trials and tribulations of day to day life, and rarely take a moment for ourselves. 

Even when we are spending time alone we are texting our friends about their problems, worrying about things in both the near and far future (that are likely out of our own control), or idly distracting ourselves with internet and shows and little chores. Confidence, in my opinion, is the worst thing a person can lose, one of the easiest things to lose, and one of the hardest things to get back.

I have always been one of those people that likes to keep my phone on loud and with me at all times so that anytime someone needs to reach me for advice, or help, or just to say hello - I'm right there. While this is not a quality I dislike about myself, sometimes it means a never-ending stream of problems. Even when my own life is sorted out, I feel stressed because I'm trying to solve everyone else's problems too! I don't mind helping - I love being there for the people I care about, but sometimes I just need to take a step back, and breathe

So with my move to the city and a few bumpy crises shared amongst friends, I have been reminded of the importance of taking time out to do something special for yourself. Sometimes for me this means painting my nails (which comes with forcing myself to put down my phone, the number one culprit in preventing me from these moments), walking the long way home to enjoy the scenery and finish whatever song I'm enjoying on my iPod, or trying something new that I have always wanted to do (this month: kickboxing!)

Even when life, other people, or your surroundings are making you doubt yourself or what you are capable of and worth, realize that the only thing you need to feel confident is yourself.


Do yourself a favor, and become your own best friend this week. Your inner self will thank you, and your outer self will show it.

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Back to Basics: What I Learned In My First Year Blogging

I still can't believe just a few weeks ago marked the one year anniversary of starting my cute little blog! I never imagined what this project (which was meant to be a distraction from a difficult time) has grown into, but I also can't imagine my life without it now! 

There are plenty of things I absolutely love about the fact that I started a blog, but one thing I remember more than anything was the night that I started, I stayed up until almost 5 a.m. totally inspired, pouring through pinterest and google looking for advice on starting a blog. By dawn I was exhausted, a little brain-dead, but starting to feel like a bit of an expert. HA! That's cute...

In all seriousness though, I was beyond appreciative of what other bloggers had done for me in helping me to start this little creation of mine, and I feel that I owe it to all of the other future bloggers out there to do the same (to the best of my ability!)

1. The first thing you should do is find 10-25 blogs with similar concepts to what you want your blog to be. Spend time with those blogs - read them, absorb them, explore them, and comment on them. Really get to know the blogger, not just the content. It will give you a feel for how to focus the direction of your blog, but it will also help you establish how you will be bringing something new to the table. Just remember, while inspiration is by far one of the main tenets of blogging, outright copying is not the sincerest form of flattery. 

2. Determine your points of inspiration. For me, hours on Pinterest, a couple monthly magazine subscriptions, and above all, people watching are an endless supply of inspiration for me. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly a small detail like the a woman's shoes can transform itself into an inspired post on a trending color, or a fashion post centered around a purchase I have been considering. 

3. Don't set your sights too high - I began my blog with the intention of blogging three times a week: Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. For the most part, I keep to this schedule, although as time goes on and my blog starts to feel more like a habit than an exciting new passion, I find myself having a harder time getting inspired and staying on schedule. Start small, with something you know you can manage even during your busiest of times, and after 6 months or so you can re-evaluate as to what you can manage. In my opinion, it is much better to be consistent than frequent. (Something I still struggle with on a weekly basis!)

4. Reach out!! Blogging is not one of those, "If you write it, they will come" scenarios. You will get lost in a sea of millions of bloggers if you are too afraid to have a voice. Ashamed as I am to admit it, when I first started my blog I was worried how people would react, whether they might think it was lame or arrogant that I thought people would care what I have to say. I was so wrong - I have never gotten anything but incredible reactions to the idea that I have a blog. People are always so excited to immediately check it out, and some have even been inspired to start their own. I love knowing that I could have such an impact, and that I have been able to share such an incredible gift.

5. After a while, you will stop proofreading so much...don't.  It is an awful habit of comfort, and although I am guilty from time to time, I always cringe when I see obvious typos in other people's blogs.

6. Decide before you write your first post how much of yourself you want in this blog. How many personal details are you willing to divulge? Personally, I try to refrain from ever venting about my personal life or dating life - those things are too personal for such a public forum for my opinion. At most, I make vague allusions to a recent occurrence, and then share what I learned from the experience overall. It is important to set boundaries for yourself, otherwise in times of emotion and desperation you may find yourself sharing more than you actually would have liked.

7. ALWAYS try to learn something new! My favorite thing to do each month is to go spend a few hours on Pinterest and look for a new blogging trick or writing tip to learn. There are so many little things that can make such a significant impact on improving your blog when they add up, and the amount that I have learned about graphic design, web design, and writing have been by far one of my favorite parts of blogging! (Not to mention it is amazing to mention in interviews!)

I'm by no means an expert, but I wouldn't trade any minute of time I have spent pouring into this little blog into the wee hours of the night with a glass of wine and a chick flick, venting and relaxing and distracting myself from everyday problems. If you are considering starting a blog, I wholeheartedly promise you it is not a decision you will ever regret!!

Please feel free to comment or email me with any questions or advice, I would love to help you get started!!

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Krass & Co. Neon Collection!

I know I've been posting about Krass & Co. a lot lately, but it is just such an amazing brand! I can't stop ordering their shorts - they have officially surpassed my Norts collection and I am thrilled! Pierson Krass has done it again with the newly released Neon Collection!! 

I love bright colors when I work out - it gives me that extra little bit of excitement and motivation I need to drag my feet out the door.

How cute are these?! They have absolutely climbed to the top of my wish list - preppy classics with a punch of color! Which pair is your favorite?

And don't forget, you can always use the discount code


for a discount on any items on the website!

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