Thursday, May 25, 2017

J.Crew Factory New Arrivals

This past Monday I worked roll-out at J.Crew Factory, which basically means I came in at 9 PM and stayed until 1 AM, unloading, unpacking, and getting all of the new clothes out on the floor. It was definitely tiring, but it was so fun to see all of the new arrivals. Subsequently, I was really excited for this collection of products and once I woke up the next day I was so excited to put a favorites post together. I'm loving the bright pink and green, it's so preppy and summery! Also, I've been living in the boardwalk shorts this summer; they are so comfy and can be transitioned from lounging around the house to going out. This newest round of products compiled a lot of my favorite things: fun colors, bold patterns, and classic silhouettes. And as a result, I think I will forever be obsessed with J.Crew Factory. 


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Why Working in College Works

As some of you may know I worked at the Ronald McDonald House of Winston-Salem my freshman year. It was one of the most rewarding and one of my favorite parts of my time at school. I learned a lot of valuable skills while still having fun every time I came into work. That's why I would 100% recommend getting a job while in college. 

For me, the difference between working in high school and working in college is that in college you have so much more free time. You are not stuck in school from 8-4 every day. In college, you probably have 2 or 3 classes a day. I love having classes in the morning so I always scheduled my classes so that I would have the afternoons free. I would then work from 12-4, leaving myself plenty of time at night to do homework/study. I would do this 2-3 times a week depending on their need and my schedule. I usually worked on average 8-12 hours a week. This gave me some spending money to allow me to do fun things while in college.

My job was through work study at my school. The benefit of this is that your employer has to be respectful of your class schedule, exams, and other academic needs. It's a job set up knowing school comes first. It also has the added bonus that it is usually on campus, perfect for students without a car. My work study was actually off campus but it is one of the few exceptions. The downside is that it usually pays minimum wage, but in my opinion the fact that they are understanding that school comes first makes it worth it. All in all, I definitely recommend getting a job through work study if possible. 

If you are unable to get a job through work study, there is always the option to work retail or at a restaurant nearby. This would give you, even more, flexibility as you'll probably be able to work evenings and weekends which is wasn't able to do with my work study job. It also likely pays more. Though you may have more trouble balancing it with school as your employer may need you to work more hours than you would in a work study job.

But most importantly a job gives you valuable working experience, which will serve you well upon graduation. It serves as a great resume booster when trying to get a summer job or applying for different positions. And it also taught me how to make better use of my time. I learned how to plan ahead and be efficient to make sure that I get everything done. Yes it was a bit of a balancing act at times but I wouldn't trade my experience at my job for anything, and fingers crossed that I'll be back there next year!


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Flamingo Fever

One thing you all probably do not know about me but my friends and family know all too well is that I love flamingos. I've always liked to say that if I was an animal, I would be a flamingo. For some reason, I've just always had a love for them. And this summer it seems like flamingos have been everywhere. As a result, I thought it would be fun to share with you all some of the cutest flamingo stuff out right now!

I think the bright flamingo pink is so fun! You'll definitely catch me rocking flamingo stuff all summer long. Do you have an animal you are obsessed with? Do you love flamingos as much as I do? Let me know!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Denver Travel Guide

Happy Monday! I recently visited Denver, Colorado and I thought it would be fun to share some of my travel recommendations. When we were planning our trip, I had trouble figuring out what to do, so I figured this post could be a good resource for any of you who may be traveling to Denver!

To Eat
Mici- I went here for lunch and I absolutely loved the pasta. It's a great place to grab lunch or carry out. It's casual and absolutely delicious. 
Rock Bottom Brewery- Probably some of the most delicious french fries I had eaten in a while, plus the chicken tenders were so good. It's a cool restaurant and the food definitely does not disappoint. 
Grimaldi's Pizzeria- I'm not a huge pizza fan, so I wasn't particularly excited about this restaurant. But the pizza was tasty and I ended up really enjoying it. If you are in the mood for pizza this is the place to go. 
Bruegger's Bagels- Delicious bagels that are cooked fresh right there in house. It's a really nice place to grab a bite to eat in the morning, the restaurant itself is really nice with lots of seating.
The Sink- So this restaurant isn't in Denver, but if you venture outside to Boulder than this is definitely where you should go eat. It was the perfect burger and fries. Plus the restaurant is just really unique and cool and has some very cool facts about it. Probably my favorite place we ate!

Mount Evans- Probably the prettiest views we saw while in Colorado were driving up Mount Evans. It's just a scenic road up a mountain but the views are absolutely incredible. You'll want to keep pulling over and taking pictures because it is that breathtaking. 
16th Street Mall- For those days when you are not feeling as adventurous, it's fun to stroll down the 16th Street Mall. There are lots of restaurants and shopping. I spent a lot of time here just browsing the shops or grabbing a bite to eat. 
Union Station- There isn't really much to do at Union Station but it is definitely a cool place to stop by and take some photos. I heard there are some yummy restaurants though I didn't go to any of them. 
Downtown Aquarium- I really like aquariums, so I was excited to check out the aquarium in Denver. It was really nice and I had a good time walking around and seeing all the fish and animals. It was a nice indoor activity since it was rainy one day. 
The University of Denver- Ever since I first started going on college tours, I fell in love with exploring different college campuses. So even though I am no longer trying to decide where I want to go, whenever we travel we always check out the local college. It was fun to walk around and see the campus which was gorgeous. 
Denver Botanical Gardens- I didn't have a chance to visit the botanical gardens, but I heard that they were really nice and if I come back it would definitely be on the top of my list to see. 
US Mint- My dad and I tried to visit the US Mint, but unfortunately we didn't get there early enough and all the tickets were sold out. I think it would be such a cool experience. But you definitely have to get there first thing in the morning to get tickets. 

Day Trips
Boulder- Boulder is a super cool city centered around the University of Colorado at Boulder.  If you visit this city, I would definitely recommend walking around the school, but also checking out Pearl Street in the downtown area. You can also explore the more natural side at Chautauqua Park, which has some gorgeous views. 
Vail- I would say the road trip to Vail was one of the best parts. The views were unbelievable with the  Rocky Mountains on both sides of the road. But it was also really cool to explore the downtown Vail area and the Betty Ford Alpine Garden. It was a good break in nature away from the hustle and bustle of Denver life. 

If you have ever been to Denver, definitely leave your recommendations below! I'm sure they could help some people out. Happy traveling!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Summer Plans and Goals

There's something magical about coming home for the summer after being away at college. It's a chance to set goals and make plans without the disruption of schoolwork. As a result, I thought it would be fun to share my summer plans as well as share some goals I have for the summer in order to hold myself accountable. 

So as you may have seen on my Instagram, this summer I will be working at J.Crew Factory, I'm so excited as this is my favorite store, and I can't wait to share my passion for the brand with customers. This is my main commitment for the summer, but I will also be trying to babysit as much as possible. But I still do not expect that these two things will occupy all my time, so in order to make the most of my free time, I have set some goals for what I would like to accomplish.

Goal #1: Run a 5K
If I'm being honest, I'm a very unhealthy eater and I never exercise. This summer I really would like to change this. I plan to use the C25K app to help them accomplish the goal. My plan is that by the end of June I would be able to run a 5K. I'm hoping running the 5K will simply be a starting point for doing exercise. 

Goal #2: Refocus on my Blog
I try to do this every summer because during the school year my blog fades from being my #1 priority. My main goal is to be posting 5 times a week and being active on social media daily. But I also just want to try and create really great content. So make sure and keep up with the blog this summer because it's going to be better than ever!

Goal #3: Fall in Love with Myself
During the school year, I lost a lot of the focus on things for myself. So this summer I want to take the time to just simply do the things that make me happy. To take the time to do a face mask after a long day or to finally read a book I've been dying to read. I want to teach myself that it's okay to put yourself first sometimes. 

Goal #4: Save More, Spend Less
This is a big one, in college I realized I was spending a lot more money than I needed to be. I would go to Panera and spend $9 on mac and cheese just because I wanted to or go shopping a buy a new romper I didn't really need because I had a long week of school and thought I deserved it. The problem isn't really buying the romper or the mac and cheese but just how frequently I did it. I'm not saying I'm not going to buy things because I work at my favorite clothing store, but try to eliminate impulse purchases that I really don't need. So this summer I'm going to try and spend less so I can save more. 

Make sure to keep up with the blog to see how I do on keeping up my goals. Goal #1 is definitely going to be the hardest for me as it's hard to motivate myself to get up and running! Let me know if you have anything you want to accomplish this summer in the comments. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Freshman Year Reflection

My freshman year of college has come and gone, and I’m settling in for a fun summer at home. But I wanted to take some time to reflect on my year and all the lessons that I have learned as well as all the amazing things that have happened. I’m writing this post mostly as a personal reflection, but I hope you all will read along. 

    Academically Wake Forest challenged me like nothing I had ever encountered before. I was forced to completely rethink how I study. I spent long hours in the library trying to keep up and learn how to get all the work done. It was definitely a learning curve. Though I am by no means doing poorly, I wasn’t and still am not getting the grades that I desire. I know there is still a lot of work ahead of me academically and I think as I finally start taking classes that fit my interests things will begin to fall into place. 

    Going along with that I decided that I no longer want to be a political science major. This was probably one of the most reassuring decisions I made despite my academic struggles at Wake. After taking political science classes I realized it is simply not where my passion lies. I was scared when I had this realization as I felt that I had failed, that I wasn’t good enough. But I just had to think about following what I care about it. There is no sense in spending 3 more years pursuing something I’m not passionate about. I’m looking forward to exploring some communications classes next year, as currently, that’s my intended major. 

    So, all and all, academically I’m still putting the pieces together and trying to discover exactly what I am passionate about and how to find success in an academically rigorous school like Wake Forest. 

    My freshman year led me to some of the best most supportive people I could ever imagine. I have an incredible best friend that I know I can count on for anything. She’s always been there for me, through the struggles and the smiles. And a whole bunch of other close friends that I know I can rely on. I feel so much more confident just knowing that I have these loving and supportive people always in my corner.

    But I also learned some hard lessons about what it takes to maintain a healthy friendship. My best friend and I struggled, I was used by a “friend”, and I spent nights alone that I would have much rather spent with friends. I learned that in order for friendships to work for me, I have to have time to myself. I’m an introverted person, and I found sometimes I was over socializing myself and just needed to say no and go watch some Netflix. And most importantly friendship is a two-way street and if you ever find yourself putting in all the effort then that is not a healthy relationship. Don’t put time and effort into anyone who wouldn’t do the same for you.

    This year, I discovered what it means to be there for people. How sometimes you have to sacrifice to help a friend. When a friend’s boyfriend breaks up with her, you need to go over to her room and help make her feel better even if you were already in bed. When a friend needs a listening ear you better pick up that phone. Because when you’re the one hurting from a broken heart, you’re going to want her to do the same for you. 

    Welp this is something that I would rather not have had to write about in this post but hey such is life sometimes. I had my heartbroken twice, and while it was painful it taught me so much. I knew the first guy wanted a girlfriend so badly, but in his eyes, I still wasn't good enough. It killed my self-esteem, but it taught me that sometimes what you think is right isn’t actually what is right for you.  The second heartbreak was 100x more difficult because I really fell for the second guy and he fooled me into thinking he liked me too. Well, I guess that’s when I learned the next most important lesson that college and life is more than boys. And that your life is about you and making the most out of everyday, and simply having faith that everything else will begin to fall into place in due time. 

But even though these guys hurt me, still so many of my favorite memories were spent with them and my freshman year wouldn't be the year that it was without them. They are genuinely great guys and I wish them nothing but happiness. They taught me so much about myself but also about how to deal with the pain of a broken heart. 

    While at school I never really felt homesick. I missed my parents and my sister, but I never yearned to be home. I actually more often times cried when I had to leave school. I created a second home at school and fell more and more in love with Wake every single day. And as a result, I actually developed a much greater appreciation for my hometown when I went to school. When I came home for breaks I was excited to explore my hometown and to go back and spend time with my family. I fell in love with a place that I had once previously been so ready to leave, and for that, I will be forever thankful. 

    My first semester, I struggled because I joined clubs but I never really felt like I was fitting in. I had a great time and did a lot of fun activities, but I was never fully content. Once, I joined my sorority I finally felt like I had found my place on campus. I had a group of people that love and supported me, and I always had opportunities to do fun new things. Sorority rush was one of the most difficult things that I went through this year but ultimately it was the most rewarding. 

    I have absolutely loved being a member of Kappa Alpha Theta. I love the ritual and tradition that connect me to people all over the country and from the past. I love the sisterhood that has introduced me to some of the kindest people and brought me, great friends. I love the academic support that I get from my sisters and that I am encouraged by every week with study hours. I love the opportunities for leadership that have arisen just within my first semester of being a member. But overall I love the support and encouragement that I receive from my sisters no matter what. 

In conclusion, this year was the best year of my life. I learned a lot and I had a lot of fun doing it. I wouldn’t trade anything for the memories that I made and I can’t wait to head back in August. Here’s to what is shaping up to be the best 4 years of my life. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Travel Outfits: Florida to Colorado

Happy Monday! If you follow me on Instagram(@welldressedash) it’s probably no secret that I’ve been traveling a lot lately. I went from school in North Carolina to home in Georgia to my cousin's wedding in Florida to vacation in Colorado. It was a whirlwind, but I had an amazing time getting to travel! I’m planning on having a whole post up on things to do in Colorado, but I thought until then it would be fun to just share some of the outfits I wore along the way!

 Rehearsal Dinner Outfit:
Dress: Lilly Pulitzer (Similar)
Bracelet: J.Crew Factory

Wedding Outfit:
Shoes: Macy’s
Bracelet: J.Crew Factory

Exploring Vail Outfit: 

Top: Aerie
Shoes: Tory Burch
Bracelets: Alex and Ani

A Day in Downtown Denver Outfit:
Jacket: J.Crew Factory
Pants: Levi’s
Shoes: Tory Burch
Purse: Old Navy
Necklace: KJP
Watch: Kate Spade

I've enjoyed the past almost two weeks of adventures, but I'm looking forward to having some time to relax at home and getting settled into my summer job. Make sure you are following along with my blog and Instagram for all my fun summer adventures!