September 2014 - Prep Essentials





College & Post-Grad

College & Post-Grad
College & Post-Grad

Fall Color Watch: Maroon

Fall is finally here, and I am already loving being able to slowly work my way back into my extensive collection of fall nail polish and lighter cardigans. I know some people are clinging to #endlesssummer but I LOVE fall - everything about it! (Here are some of my favorite things about fall that I raved about last year!)

I'm already looking to transition my wardrobe to some of my favorite fall colors. Last year I was all about camel-colored things; sweaters, scarves, bags, shoes...I was obsessed. This year, though, I've been inspired by my go-to fall nail polish and I have been absolutely lusting over maroon!

I just love everything about this color for fall, I think it's so gorgeous paired up with all the orange and yellow colors of the changing leaves. I've already been creating some outfits in my head with my  (I wish) closet.

Is anyone else obsessing over this color right now? I'm definitely on the lookout for some good staple items that I can add to my wardrobe without breaking the bank!
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Nothing But A T-Shirt On

I don't know about y'all, but if there has been one style I've been craving lately, it is t-shirt dresses. I think they are so stylish and cute, not to mention so freaking comfortable! I'm having a hard time deciding between a couple staple types; striped, short-sleeved, long-sleeved, hi-lo....but even more fun than choosing which type is thinking of fun ways to style them!

These dresses have taken my campus by storm, with girls pairing them with ankle booties, vests, pendant necklaces, and more! I've been bouncing around on the internet for weeks trying to find one that will be a good for and one that will go with a lot of other pieces in my closet(s). 

Here is what I've found so far while perusing Pinterest!!

If anyone has any relatively cheap options, please send them my way because my goodness do I want one of these! Has anyone else fallen in love with this style like I have?

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Tea Time

As many of you may know by now, I don't drink caffeine. Partly because I have terrible problems with sleeping, but also because I have never found a caffeinated drink that I truly loved the taste of. (Sure, I loved soda growing up but once I took a three month break from it there was no going back!)

My favorite substitute when I am at restaurants or just want a sweet drink to start my mornings is tea. Truth be told, I'm even a fairly picky tea drinker! I'm not a fan of green tea or black tea, I love things with a lot of flavor. I do have a couple favorites for every occasion, though. With the weather starting to cool down, I've found myself reaching for one of these at least once a day, and it is definitely helping me manage my stress levels!

I love Cinnamon Apple Spice when I want a hot fall drink to snuggle up with a book and blanket. This Organic Apple Red version from Tazo is delicious, too! Just like apple cider!

My all-time favorite tea is Tazo passion tea - I honestly drink this one for any occasion, whether it is to get a little pick-me-up or to decompress if I'm not in the mood for my mint flavor.

Tazo Orange Blossom Blend is an amazing citrus flavor to wake up in the morning and drag myself to class, especially once it starts to get chillier and all I want to do is crawl back under the covers.

Tazo Refresh-Mint was one I was actually hesitant to try, but it relaxes even the worst sleepers (like myself) into a zen state, perfect after a long day of classes and meetings, or right before bed to help myself turn away from all of my pending to-do's that are looming over my head at bedtime.

What are your favorite teas? I am always looking for new flavors to try, I'd love to hear any suggestions!

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Layering Essentials

I know some people are grumbling and moaning about the sudden drop to chillier temperatures, but this is my absolute favorite time of year! Fall is my favorite season, but the weeks between fall and summer are even better! It is chilly enough to snuggle into some leggings, but still sunny enough to wear short sleeves or maybe just a couple layers. 

With my closet(s) full of cardigans, scarves, and vests, layers are my all-time favorite outfits to put together, and now is the perfect time to do it! I can layer up before class and peel anything off that my classrooms are too hot to wear! Here are some of my essential pieces for a perfect layer-ready closet:

Is anyone else excited about the temperature change or have any favorite layering pieces?

Stay warm!
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Barely Visible

Almost a year ago, I did a post about the importance of natural beauty and my minimalistic makeup routine. Most of this is because I've never really understood makeup, I've always preferred a fresh and natural look, and because I was blessed with clear skin that rarely needs much to cover up. 

However, lately I have been doing a little bit of experimenting because I've always been curious about what a difference it could make if I learned how to use just a few staple items (while still looking natural!) Luckily for me, one of my housemates and best friends Summer has perfected the natural look and agreed to try it out on me a few times. I ended up loving everything she did, and the next day we went uptown in Oxford and bought a couple of the products!

Here are my purchases!

 I have always loved Bare Minerals products, so I loved that Summer showed me how to do everything with these! I never understood the obsession over primer, but I could immediately see the difference! My skin just had a smooth glow that it didn't have before.

Next she showed me how and where to put on the concealer (yes, I seriously didn't know how) and followed up with the foundation. The brush was super inexpensive and supposedly lasts longer because of what it's made of, and it's good for the environment! 

As for my bronzer and eyeliner I kept the ones I have always used. So far I have only been doing this full makeup routine on nights out on the weekends, but it's a start! I still don't want to put on a whole face of makeup every single morning, but it is definitely a nice feeling to put in a little extra effort and feel that much better about myself before heading out to parties and bars with my housemates! 

The best part is that all of this still looks extremely natural which is the most important thing to me. I don't want to feel dependent on my makeup the way some girls are (shrieking about how they can't leave the house without putting it on). This is really just a nice bonus thing for special nights, plus it makes getting ready a little bit more fun!

My next experiment will be to see if wearing all of this makeup will mean I have to start washing my face...stay tuned!

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Make A List, Check It Twice

There are a lot of different ways I stay organized, and everyone has their own personal strategy. I really think organizational skills have to be customized and personalized, but one thing I think is definitely a universal behavior of all type-a personalities is making lists.

I make a list for absolutely everything, from small lists such as movies on Netflix I want to watch, to big lists like errands I have to run or projects I have to do for my sorority's PR Committee. At any given moment, I probably have 8-10 sticky note lists on one of my computer desktops that I can always reference back to, not to mention a massive collection on the Notes app on my phone, and random ones spread out across my desk. (I think a big part of this habit results from my forgetfulness...)

A lot of people I know like to buy pretty notepads to put all these lists in, but I think those tend to get lost or bent. I prefer to have a small notebook to keep everything in so I can have all of my lists in one place! 

This is what I have been using my glitter notebook from J.Crew for lately!

My friends are constantly asking me for lists - packing lists, grocery lists, lists of movies and shows...I have them all! Here are some of the main lists I keep however that help me stay on top of things in college:

Grocery List - This one is pretty self-explanatory, but I try to keep it separated by recipe so I can keep in mind what meals I want to be making that week and never miss an ingredient!

Daily Homework List - I do this on top of filling out my Lilly planner. It helps me stay on top of everything I need to accomplish each day, and I make it every night and check it every morning! This is a big stress-reliever for me as well, because it keeps me from feeling overwhelmed by things that loom in the future.

Weekly Errands List - These are the mandatory things I need to get done, whether it is in between classes or on a free Sunday afternoon. Anything from calling our handyman to mailing a few packages!

Optional Activities List - This is how I keep myself from sitting around doing nothing. While I love watching Netflix and lounging around, I have gaps between classes and a lot of wide open afternoons that could become seriously wasted time if I don't keep a long list of things I would like to get to, but that may not have a strict deadline. This list includes anything from scheduling a few blog posts to crafting things for around my house - really just anything to make sure I take advantage of my free time and do something useful!

How do you stay organized and mindful of everything you need to accomplish throughout the week?

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Home Is Where My Stuff Is

One of my favorite things to look at on Pinterest is apartment/home decorations. Now that I'm a senior and living in a house on campus, I am constantly updating and adding to my room to make it feel as much like home as possible. Whenever I do this, I try to keep in mind that in less than a year (cue hyperventilation) I will be moving into an apartment in the real world that I will get to decorate all by myself!

This year, although I stayed in the same house at school, I moved from the basement to the upstairs and got to re-decorate my room a little bit! A lot of it is the same (bedding, desk decorations, picture frames) but it is a completely new space and I think it is my favorite room I have ever had! It is especially important for my room at school to feel like home to me, because with my parents selling my Louisville home, Oxford is the closest thing to a "home base" that I have.

It is a little hard to capture it all in pictures, but I did my best! I am most excited about my three closets - one of which is a HUGE walk-in! I have more storage space than I know what to do with! I even got to separate a spring/summer closet and a fall/winter spoiled! One whole wall in my room is also a mirror, which I have developed a very love/hate relationship with. It is such a cool feature to the room - but my friends and I have also realized that all you do when you sit in here is stare at yourself! I guess the bright side is I will always notice if I need to hit the gym...

My dad came up and helped me paint the room a gorgeous light blue color, and now that I have been here two weeks I am finally done decorating! (With the exception of one decorating detail I'm debating about, but more on that in a later post!) 

Without further ado, here are some pictures of my new room!

Of course I kept my Gossip Girl painting!

My Two Closets

                                  Spring/Summer                                                 Fall/Winter

Here is my wall of mirrors!

My Walk-In Closet and Jewelry Storage

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