February 2017 - Prep Essentials





College & Post-Grad

College & Post-Grad
College & Post-Grad

The Best Sunglasses (of Every Style) this Spring!

It takes me the longest time to find a pair of sunglasses that I truly love + that fit my seemingly awkwardly shaped head and face. Something about my head just holds sunglasses and hats in the strangest way, so I have to be pretty picky!

Thankfully, I recently scooped up a few pairs that have been the perfect fit, and earning me plenty of compliments. My favorite pair ever is definitely these Madewell sunnies because they work with every occasion, and I never feel out of place in them. I also got this adorable case to store them in!

That being said, of course it's fun to play around with new styles like aviators, mirrored sunnies, and the fun colorful ones that are becoming more trendy these days. To avoid never-ending searches like mine, I've rounded up all of my favorites in the various shapes and styles so you can find the perfect pair to rock all spring & summer long!

I've pulled from a few of my all-time favorite sunglasses brands and retailers to come up with my favorites for each shape and style.

With that, I'm off to go put my sunglasses to good use by the ocean with my cousins. Hope you're all having great weather where you are, too!

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My 24th Birthday Wish

This Friday will be my 24th birthday, and I'm actually very excited. I know as people get older, they start to dread birthdays and getting another year older, but 24 to me feels fitting. I don't always feel as if I'm the age I'm turning, but this year it just feels right. 

Granted, I can't help but laugh when I look back on what I imagined my life would be when I was 24 if you had asked me five or six years ago. I definitely had some skewed ideas of how quickly we "grow up" after graduating college...but I'm getting there! 

Reflecting on how differently my life has turned out, which things I've accomplished and which things I haven't, and the way I envision my future now compared to in the past has really had me thinking about what I genuinely expect from myself in this next year. 

So, I thought I would make a list of the things that I "wish" for myself in my 24th year, and I think it will be really fun to look back on this list and see how things actually turned out! (Of course, I also have a wish list of gifts in mind, too...)

Here is what I wish for myself in the year that I am 24:

(Birthday wishes on my 23rd, spent with my Stepdad in Chicago!)

On Travel...I already have a few plans in the works for this year (including the one I'm currently on in Puerto Rico!) but I definitely want travel to be a big part of this next year. I hope that in this next year I can travel to at least one place I've never been, and to travel out of the country at least once. I'm not going to set strict guidelines for this portion - I just want to make sure that I'm always experiencing new things and places, both with friends and with Dalton. Some of the places topping my list currently include: Charleston, Seattle, Belize, Ibiza, Tulum Mexico, Jackson Hole, & Martha's Vineyard/Nantucket area. (To name a few!!)

On New Skills & Hobbies... I think I've done a really good job of staying busy beyond my full-time job. Blogging and going to pure barre definitely keep me busy, but I have other hobbies and interests that I hope to spend more time cultivating. I want to keep reading as much as possible, and I'd love to really grow my cooking abilities even more this year. Maybe finally taking a cooking class is in the works?! I think the older I get in my 20s, the more I find myself wanting to spend my weekends doing things other than going out to bars.

On Relationships...This category, of course, is the hardest to predict. You never know what will happen with significant others or even close friendships, but I think for now that my vision of this will remain consistent with what I've thought it would in the last couple of years. Dalton is planning on moving to Chicago in the next few months (finally!) and I anticipate that being nothing but a good thing. For my friendships and family, I hope that I continue to give them the attention and effort that they deserve...with more emphasis on seeing family more often. My siblings and parents are scattered all over, but that can just be an added component to my goal of traveling more!

On Self...I hope that in this next year, if there is one thing I can truly master for myself, that I fully learn to not be so hard on myself over the little things. Sometimes, I really thrive at letting things go that I can't control, and other times I find myself beating myself up over the smallest of things for no reason at all. I think being a little easier and more forgiving on myself would be a huge part of growing up in this next year, and would only improve every other aspect of my life.

I don't have any particularly out of reach goals for myself in this next year...but I think that just means that so far, I feel like I'm on the right track! (Or at the very least, I'm doing the best that I can!) I can't wait to see what this year brings, where I will go, and the people that will be by my side. Cheers to another year!

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Essentials of the Week!

This week it was a little bit hard to keep everything to myself about what I was up to...because I've been planning on surprising my dad for his 60th birthday! I arrived in Naples late last night to surprise him and he had absolutely no idea!

It's a little bit rare that I get to see them when they're all the way down in Florida, so being able to be here for his birthday is extra special. 

I'm so excited to spend the weekend with the family and dogs before I head off to Puerto Rico on Sunday morning for sun & surf with my amazing cousins! Things are definitely looking up lately, and I couldn't be more excited! I have a feeling 24 is going to be a good year (and my birthday isn't even for another week!)

Here are my essentials from this week...

1. Miami University Video - It's no secret that I absolutely loved my time at Miami, but by far one of the things I miss most is walking around the gorgeous campus all year long. This video went viral among my Facebook friends last week, and I loved being able to see how much of campus is the same, and all of the new changes they've made too!

2. The Cutest Beach Tote - Of course I have the beach and sand on my mind, and I've had my eye on this adorable beach tote all week! I love the cute colors and tassels. It would be perfect for trips or for heading down to the Chicago lakeshore!

3. 20 Amazing Meal Prep Ideas - I'm always looking for new ideas for meal prep on Sundays when I'm getting lunches ready to go for work. It makes it so much easier to save money, stay healthy, and save time during the week when all I want to do is crash at the end of the day! These healthy options are great, I'm trying one when I get back from my travels!

4. My New Favorite Heels - These were on my wish list for over a year and a half...seriously. I had a friend continually post them online, would search high and low on the internet for them, and never came out successful. Two weeks ago, I finally found them, and I couldn't believe how cheap they are! I can't wait to break these out all spring and summer. 

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20 Spring Shoe Picks!

By far the biggest space where my closet and wardrobe is lacking is shoes. I blame this mainly on my (slightly irrational) fear of heels until my senior year of college, but I've been slowly adding more and more to my collection since graduating. That being said, I'm still constantly finding gaps in my closet of a certain shoe type that I find myself needing for an event. 

This spring & summer, I'm planning on focusing most of my shopping efforts on gathering some cute and comfortable sandals and wedges to get around that I'll be able to dress up or dress down. For now, I'm mostly still just browsing...but I've definitely got a pretty solid wish list of my top picks!

One | Two | Three | Four | Five

Six | Seven | Eight | Nine | Ten

You can also shop all of these styles below! I just recently purchased these and I am so in love...but I think the next on my list will be either this pair or this pair because they're so unique and adorable (and affordable!)

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Instagram Roundup!

In case you haven't been following along, I've been really trying to increase the blog's social media presence on Instagram (follow me, I'd love to follow back!) and I've been loving the way that the style photos have been turning out. 

I wanted to increase the outfit posts and style photos that were included on this blog, but struggled for a pretty long time because I couldn't afford or justify paying for a photographer, and didn't have a friend I could ask to dedicate that amount of time and effort. 

Thankfully, I connected with my now-friend Caitlin from Sophisticaition (her blog is so adorable!) and we've been exploring Chicago and navigating taking photos for each other. There has definitely been a learning curve, but we've had a blast and have definitely both come a long way from our first (slightly awkward) attempt at a shoot together. 

It's been a blast getting to know her, trying out new poses and outfits, and making my first real blogging friend! For those that haven't seen the posts, you can explore my feed using this link, or the widget to the right side and bottom of this page! 

I've rounded up some of my favorite and most popular posts lately, too. If there are types of looks you'd love to see more of, comment below or directly on Instagram and I'll do my best! You can shop all of the looks you see below using the shop tab at the top of this page, or by clicking on the link below each image!

That's it for now, but there will be many more amazing shots to come after I return from my travels to Puerto Rico this week, so I definitely recommend following along!

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The Perfect Leather Jacket for Spring!

Does anyone else feel like it takes years at a time to find a leather jacket that they love (that also doesn't have a $400+ price tag??) I'm constantly seeing them on friends and bloggers and marveling at how they all say they found it at Forever 21, H&M or Express. I have been truly envious of some friends' shopping abilities - and finally, after years of hunting, I found the elusive brown (faux) leather jacket I had been searching for!

A friend posted it on Instagram, and I searched through every Express within walking distance until I tracked one down, and it was on major sale! (Now if only I could find a great style black leather jacket instead of always having to ask my roommate for hers!

jacket (brown color currently sold out, but other colors are here, here, here, and here!) | booties | jeans | white linen top | sunglasses | necklace | watch

As if I needed a better reason to love it, the jacket also matches my adorable new Sam Edelman booties perfectly! I've been pairing both of these with all of my favorite neutrals and my tortoise sunglasses to tie together the whole look.

Can you tell I'm loving the caramel brown color lately?! I've even got my new balayage to match it! (For those asking - I get my hair done at Salon V in Lincoln Park, and I absolutely love it!) 

I've definitely been trying to simplify my wardrobe lately, and have been sticking to a few key statement pieces that tie my looks together like my new Coordinates necklace (with the coordinates to my college house & the first place Dalton and I met - the cutest anniversary gift from him!)

Simple gold details, light layers, and a great jacket are all I need to get me through Spring in Chicago!

You can shop this entire look (along with some other faux leather jackets I've been loving) below! Where have you found your best leather jacket finds?! I'm still looking for a great black one, and would LOVE a recommendation!

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My Packing List for Puerto Rico!

I can't believe I am leaving this week for my birthday trip to Puerto Rico...this trip totally snuck up on me! I booked it somewhat on a whim in early January when I realized that I wanted to do something fun and special for my birthday. 

My cousin Julia lives in Puerto Rico with her boyfriend (how can I sign up for that lifestyle??) and they just closed on a house, so it was perfect timing! My other cousin Hilary will also be visiting at the same time, and it is so rare for me to have quality time with them, so this trip will definitely be one for the books. 

The last time I visited her in Puerto Rico, the whole week was pretty much one nonstop adventure. Cliff diving, learning to surf, snorkeling and hiking - with a few margaritas and beach naps in between, of course! In all of my excitement, I picked up a few early birthday gifts for myself to bring with me. 

One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven | Eight | Nine | Ten | Eleven

I'm leaving on Sunday, but I'm planning (hoping) to be able to schedule all of my posts ahead of time so you won't be missing any content while I'm gone! You can also follow along while I'm there on Instagram and Twitter!

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Essentials of the Week!

This week was so much fun and incredibly tiring - but I don't have any time to slow down! I spent Tuesday-Thursday back in Oxford visiting my old campus for some recruiting events with my company, and it was so much fun to see all of my friends again! 

I knew I had been missing them, but I didn't realize quite how much until I was seated at a huge table for ten at my favorite sushi place surrounded by all of them. Long distance friendships are no fun!

I have a jam-packed weekend ahead, and next Sunday I leave for Puerto Rico so I'm planning on cramming in a lot of visits to Pure Barre this week! 

Here are my essentials from this week:

I'm planning on posting a Wrigley & Rufus update very soon, but I couldn't help sharing this photo of Wrigley after bath time yesterday! The look of betrayal he's giving my dad is priceless. Now if he could just stop growing!!

1. Finding Love in Unexpected (& Sometimes Unpleasant) Places: I'm definitely not a huge fan of relying on the train all the time in the city (although it is insanely convenient). I loved these short collections of stories about people finding love on the New York Subway - such a sweet story to tell!

2. Can't Stop Listening - Selena Gomez is one of the very few celebrities who I would totally fangirl over if I saw her in person. I adore her, and Kygo always makes songs that I seem to play on repeat, so when I heard that they were releasing a song together yesterday I couldn't wait! Needless to say, it has not disappointed me. 

3. The #1 Item on My Wish List Right Now - I can't get over this tie-sleeve top from Madewell. That gorgeous blue color is so perfect for spring! I've been mentally planning ways to style it, just in case someone feels inclined to pick it up for my upcoming birthday *fingers crossed!*

4. One of My Favorite Books is Becoming a Movie! - I read the book Everything Everything last year, and I absolutely loved it. It's different than what I normally read, but was recommended by a friend. I'm so excited to see the movie - but you should absolutely read the book first! Here are some more of my recent book recommendations

5. Having Your Cake & Eating It Too - I've been trying to stay on the healthier side of things for a while, and for the most part I've been really proud of myself. That being said, sometimes you just can't resist that Sunday morning Chipotle, or whatever your vice may be. This list of the healthiest options at most popular chain restaurants is golden.

I'm off to enjoy a long and relaxing weekend of reading and catching up on sleep (visiting campus really takes it out of me!) I hope you all have fabulous weekends and sunny weather! (There's a rumor it's going to be 65 in Chicago on Saturday...oh, how I hope!

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A Little Life Update!

Happy Thursday, friends!

I was chatting with one of my good friends Caroline recently, and she helps me out whenever I get stuck in a rut with trying to come up with new and exciting things for the blog, and she pointed out that I really haven't done any more "personal" updates on here recently. Do you guys like the personal & lifestyle updates? I'm never sure!

I truthfully didn't feel like there was much to share - but when I sat down and started to think about it, I guess 2017 has been a bit on the crazier side! I thought that I'd be taking a break from traveling for a while, but it seems as if I've been living out of my suitcase lately. Things with with work, dating, and travel have just been non-stop!

With that being said, here are a few bits and pieces from the beginning of 2017, as well as some exciting things coming up on my calendar!

1. Travel - Like I said, I've certainly been racking up the frequent flyer miles lately. Dalton is in busy season for his accounting firm, so our trips have been pretty one-sided with me heading out to Pittsburgh every few weeks. I don't mind though - Chicago can get dreary, and it's nice to go to a cozy home and relax with the dogs! Other places I've been touching down in have included Washington, D.C. for a work trip, Oxford, OH on my old campus at Miami University for the last couple of days to see friends and attend some work events, and next week I'm heading to Puerto Rico to visit my cousin for my first *real* vacation since graduating (but more on that in a second!)

2. Dalton & Dating - I try to avoid getting too in-depth on this topic in terms of the blog (partly because it's too personal, and partly because I've always been acutely aware that not all things are permanent, and breakups are hard enough without splashing them into a public forum). That being said, things are going great despite the 450 miles between us, and we're finally closing in on the timeline of him moving to Chicago, hopefully sometime this summer! To say I'm counting down the days is an understatement. 

3. Puerto Rico Birthday Trip - I'm beyond excited for my upcoming trip, so I thought it deserved its own little bullet point! My fabulous and amazing cousin Julia just closed on a house in Aguadilla, a little section of Puerto Rico about 2 hours west of San Juan. I visited Julia there for my senior spring break, and realized it was the perfect plan for my 24th birthday coming up! Flights there are pretty affordable, and my parents were sweet enough to cover that portion as a birthday gift. Last time I was there, I learned how to surf, went cliff diving, snorkeled in the reefs, and explored a waterfall near a hidden cave! The adventures that are awaiting us are endless...she's even going to make me a little pineapple coconut cake! Bring on the margaritas...I leave in 9 days!

4. Healthier Habits - I always try to stay on the healthier side, and am luckily not too tempted by things like sweets as I have gotten older (pizza on the other hand...oh boy). I've really been motivated to take it to the next level though, and have been trying to make sure I fit in at least 5 days of Pure Barre per week (unless I'm so sore that I can barely make it up my apartment stairs!) Between that and doing meal prep every Sunday for my lunches at work, I've really seen a difference not only in my appearance but also with my mood, energy levels, sleeping habits, and even my skin! Everything just seems a little bit brighter, clearer, and smoother. Puerto Rico has been a big motivator, so I'm hoping I'll be able to keep it up when I return.

5. Watching & Reading - My love for Netflix is of course still going strong, but I've been trying to get more creative with what I'm watching lately. I have to be in the mood for a documentary, but I shared this list of pretty interesting ones recently and I'm still working my way through it. I've been blowing through books faster than ever, and here are some of my favorites that I couldn't put down in these last couple of months. I'm planning on downloading a couple more for Puerto Rico, but I know I'll be spending a lot more time surfing, swimming and cliff diving than I will laying on the sand! 

That's really all I can think of for now, but life has definitely been treating me well so far in 2017. I can't wait to see what other adventures are around the corner - I imagine warmer weather can only mean ever better and brighter things!

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Free College Resources You Should Be Taking Advantage Of

Now that I've been out of school for almost two years (still pretending that's not true), I've really come to appreciate and realize all of the things that my amazing campus had to offer - at no additional cost. I totally took for granted all of the advice, support, and amazing experiences I had right at my fingertips that I never bothered to look into! 

Once you graduate, you really start to realize how many things have additional costs and charges. Suddenly, if you want to try out a new hobby or skill, or receive some career advice, you have access to it...it just might cost you upwards of $100/hour. 

To help others avoid taking these free offerings for granted like I did at times, I thought I'd pull together a list of all of the different free resources and advantages there are on almost all college campuses!

1. Trying Out New Skills - I can definitely understand not wanting to add additional unnecessary courses to an already packed class schedule, and sometimes it may simply not be feasible. It's still worth exploring options though - you'd be surprised what courses count for certain credits. I had friends try horseback riding, painting, and after I graduated (of course) I found out there was even a blogging course! There are so many fun hobbies to try, and they'll never be free again. Now is the time!

2. Technology Access - Not only do colleges come with their own little "Genius Bar" there to help answer and solve all of your technology issues, but I learned that they can also teach you a lot of incredibly helpful skills! I signed up for a free hour-long lesson a few weeks in a row to learn some software like Adobe Creative Suites and Photoshop, and I even ended up purchasing it with a massive student discount I wasn't aware that I had. 

3. Finding the Right Fitness Plan for You - This one can vary a little more than the others, but most colleges have group fitness classes and sometimes even trainers at your disposal. One part of post-grad that was really tough for me was finding a new workout regimen that worked for me (and I finally found it, you can read about it here!) I wish I had tried out yoga, pilates, barre, kickboxing, and everything in between while they were free and right down the street at the rec center.

4. Tutoring & Writing Help - This one I totally utilized many times, and man oh man did it save my GPA. There is no shame in needing some extra help in a course, and personally I found that office hours didn't give me the help that I needed. Most campuses have free tutors you can sign up for, and meet with weekly to go over homework questions that are troubling you, help you study and do practice questions for a quiz, and show you where you're going wrong! There are also usually writing centers that will go over any paper, writing assignment, or even a resume for you.

5. Study Abroad/Grant Opportunities - Okay, obviously the majority of the time, studying abroad is not free and actually very costly, but hear me out! For those who have dreamed of studying abroad but don't have the funds, hope is not lost. Look into whether or not your school has a TA position or a grant opportunity to apply for that will send you abroad at the school's cost. I've had friends student teach and apply for scholarships to take a short 3-week course over Christmas break at no cost to them, and I never knew that was even possible!

6. ALL of the discounts - I'm sure you've seen lists floating around the internet about all of the various types of student discounts you can receive in retail stores, movie theaters, and even restaurants! Still, this extends way beyond what people are normally aware of. Free access to Microsoft Office, discounts on other computer software and tools, technology accessories, and even fitness center discounts in other cities like Chicago! (I used mine at the DePaul rec center while I was a summer intern, and it was a game changer). My method - just ask! Every time I swiped my card, I asked the cashier if they offer any sort of discounts. 

7. Career Advice & Support - I only set foot into the career services center on my campus one single time, and looking back on that, I can't stop laughing at how absurd it is! They have people there willing to look over resumes and cover letters, help you learn how to market yourself for the jobs you're seeking, and will even go above and beyond to help you find the right job or internship for you! They offer mock interview practice, and so many other ways to set you up for success. DO NOT waste this!

So get out there and take advantage of the "free" things your campus has to offer - and I say free in quotes because we all know college isn't free. So whether it's your parents, your scholarship, or your loans footing the bill, it's still money that shouldn't go to waste. 

Have any of you ever discovered something on campus you weren't originally aware of?!

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Blush Pink for Spring!

Happy Valentine's Day lovelies! No matter how you're celebrating today, or who you're celebrating it with, I hope you're all having a wonderful and candy-filled day (why not indulge in the extra sweets when it's essentially demanded by society?!)

It might not be quite spring weather, but this holiday always has me thinking of flowers, brighter colors and warmer times ahead! We decided to venture over to the Lincoln Park Conservatory this weekend for some Saturday strolling and it was beautiful.

 (Of course, if we had done a little more research, we would have realized that we missed the Spring flower show by a day, but that's just an incentive to go back very soon!)

It was much more humid and warm in there than I expected, so the room housing all of the fresh blooms was a welcome break from the hot air. It's safe to say that the tropical vibes had me getting excited for my birthday trip to Puerto Rico next week! 

This blush pink shift dress is so perfect for spring (and for Valentine's Day!) I actually completely forgot that I picked up these brown leather heels during an end of summer sale last year, and now I'm realizing how much I love them paired with this dress. 

I love the way the Louis Vuitton clutch ties the whole outfit together - it's the perfect bag to help make the outfit pop! 

How great would this dress be for a summer/spring wedding? My newsfeed has been so filled with engagement announcements lately (so happy for all of my friends!), I'm sure I will get plenty of use out of this look as the weather heats up. 

I didn't want to overdo it with jewelry, because this look seemed best more understated. My simple favorite gold watch and blush pink druzy stone earrings were just the right touch.

If I weren't stuck spending Valentine's Day 450 miles away from Dalton, I'd definitely be reaching for this look again for a dinner date tonight, but instead I'm keeping things simple and getting a nice dinner out with my friend Emily. 

You can shop this look along with some similar blush pink dresses below! PS - it also comes in plum and black! I'm loving the plum color.

What are your Valentine's Day plans?! Do you prefer to keep it low key, or make a nice romantic gesture?

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New Favorite Apps!

I briefly mentioned this after my New Year's festivities, but my little iPhone 5s didn't manage to survive the evening's festivites, and I had to bite the bullet and upgrade to a 6s. (Some people might be wondering why I didn't choose a 7, or why I'm pretending like I got the short end of the stick with this upgrade, but I'm not particularly a fan of the larger screen sizes). 

Nevertheless, I've grown accustomed to my new phone - and the best part? My storage space got a major upgrade (over 150 addition GB of space, to be precise!) No more irritating storage notification popping up reminding me to delete the thousands of photos I have stored (if you share this problem, I've written about the best ways to de-clutter your digital life here!)

I got a little bit download-happy while I was setting my new phone up, and I found some amazing new apps - still trying to figure out how I accomplished anything without them! 

Make some room in your phone, because I definitely recommend downloading some of these asap!

1. Unum - This one might be most useful for bloggers (or anyone who invests a lot of time in their social media). It helps you plan, schedule, write captions, and view the overall aesthetic of your Instagram feed to help you stay on top of things. It has become such a huge help for me! If you don't already, follow me on Instagram!

2. Hutch - This one is brand new, and I originally discovered it with this article about the two 20-somethings who have brought a whole new digital life to interior decorating. I love scrolling on Pinterest planning future ways I'd love to decorate my apartment/home, but this app is incredible! You can send in pictures of a room, choose a style/theme, and decorators will come back with suggestions and links directly to products to make your vision come true!

3.  Thinking Talents - I'm not sure about the long-term need of this app on your phone, but it was an incredible resource for me recently when I was re-evaluating my career goals and thinking about what I wanted to do with my future. It helps pinpoint your best strengths and weaknesses, and determine what areas you would thrive in (in terms of both success and overall happiness!)

4. Google Calendar - This one isn't exactly new, but I'm still astonished by how many people I know that aren't using it. I personally have never liked the layout or design of iCal on my phone. It doesn't lay things out the way I like them. Google calendar is perfect for gmail users, and it even syncs up to travel information and other confirmed plans in your email account, automatically adding it to your calendar!

5. Airbrush - People are always asking me what photo editing apps and tools I use. It definitely depends on the situation, but this is one of my all-time favorites. I'm also a big fan of VSCO and Camera+! This is always the final touch that I use to catch little details I might have missed (aka my chronic dark circles under my eyes...oops!)

What are some of your must-have apps? Now that I don't have that pesky little storage notification, I'd love to find some more game-changing apps to make life a little bit easier!

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Essentials of the Week!

This week really flew by in the best possible way. Nothing exciting happened, but I'm really hitting my stride with my routine and it feels great to be getting back on trip. I'm trying to spend the majority of my down time taking care of myself and giving myself time to relax, exercise, and make some nice dinners!

I can't believe February is already in full swing - I know it's a short month, but time is really flying by! I'm already looking forward to moving past the weekend, but only because I'm heading back to Miami to do some career fair events for my company and see all of my favorite people in the world! 

Counting down the hours...

Here are my essentials of the week!

1. I Choose You - My dad sent me this song a few weeks back because he loved it, but earlier this week I decided to look up the music video. What an adorable idea! I don't want to spoil anything, but I thought this was the perfect video for this week, given that Valentine's Day is practically here! Such a pretty love song. 

2. Kristin Ess for Target - I've been anticipating the release of the new Kristin Ess haircare line with Target ever since I found out about it a little over a month ago. I didn't realize at first who Kristin Ess was...until I looked her up on Pinterest and realized she's styled pretty much every single one of my favorite celebrities + hairstyles. Best part? It's so affordable! I haven't been able to find it in stock yet, but I'm on the hunt! Try your luck online - I've heard that's your best bet!

3. Thirteen Reasons Why - Earlier this week, I shared some of my favorite recent book recommendations, but I had to share this one because I read it in the fall and the movie is about to be released! I loved this book, and always encourage reading before seeing the movie. Definitely a great weekend read!(Plus, Selena Gomez is in it, and I lowkey wish I was her!)

4. The Cutest (Affordable + Casual) Valentine's Dress - We don't typically make a big fuss over Valentine's Day (a low key dinner and some pretty flowers are all it takes to make me smile!) so I've never really hunted out a pretty pink dress. Then I stumbled upon this cozy and casual dress that's still so feminine and pretty! The perfect solution for a low-key night of romance. 

5. On Setting Boundaries - I think this really applies in all stages of life. Whether you're in college, post-grad, or even living with a significant other, setting boundaries in your living situation is so important (but it seems to be more awkward as you get older). This article had some great solutions for dodging the awkwardness or passive aggressive issues!

What are your plans for the weekend? I'd love to hear how any of you are planning on spending Valentine's Day (whether it's with your besties, a night in for yourself, or with your loved one!) I'll be spending it in Oxford with my favorite girls...oh, the joys of long-distance! ;)

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