Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Day Designer: The Perfect Agenda for Me

This year I decided to splurge and buy the Day Designer Planner. I have been using it for almost a month, and I am happy to say that it is the perfect planner for me. If you are not familiar with the day designer planner; it is a daily planner so each day has its own page. I always loved planning my day out by hour. I would often times do it in the calendar on my phone because I feel it keeps me on task and productive. The decision to spend $60+ on a planner is a big one at least for me. As a result, I decided that I would share how the agenda is set up and how I use it so that you guys can decide if it would work for you. The one I got is the Midyear Flagship Edition in Painterly Floral. Sadly this pattern is no longer available, but all the patterns are super cute and I love this one and this one

The Day Designer Planner is super well made with a sturdy back and front cover as well as a gold coil. I also love the gold accents on the corners of the planner. I'm confident that it will withstand normal wear and tear. 

One of the things I didn't know about when I ordered my planner is that it comes with goal planning worksheets in the beginning. These are great to help you break down the most important goals in your life and how you plan to achieve them. I think it is a really nice touch! There is also a full year calendar and several note pages in the beginning. 

Each month has a two-page monthly calendar. I love using this to write my babysitting schedule as it gives me a good overview of how much I am working. The boxes are good size, so you can write a good amount of stuff in each box. Another thing to note is that the inside of the planner is fairly plain, I like it because it is very clean looking. You could also decorate it if that is something that interests you. 

This is a blank daily page. Each day has its own page except the weekend. The main things on the page are an hour by hour from  5 AM to 9 PM and a to-do checklist. On the top, there is a quote, which I love for some daily inspiration! Underneath the quote is a today's top three checklist which allows you to prioritize the most important things of the day as well four small boxes labeled due, dinner, don't forget, and dollars. These are good for short little reminders. At the bottom, there is a notes box and a daily gratitude box for recapping your day!

 This is an example of one of my days I planned. As you can see I write a good amount of things down, and there still is plenty of room. I have never run out of room in the checklist. I usually write down my hourly plan and checklist the night before. Then in the morning I prioritize my top 3 and any other little reminders at the top. Then, at night before I go to bed I write down any notes from the day and something I am thankful for. 

This is an example of a weekend page. It is a condensed version of what is on the full page. It has a mini to-do list( 3 things) as well as the typical 5-9 hourly planner. Then, at the bottom it has a bar with each day of the upcoming week so you can write notes on things coming up for the next week. I like to use it as a blog planner. I don't find myself writing much on the weekend so I don't really mind the limited space. 

I hope this post was helpful! If you have any more questions at all about the Day Designer Planner please let me know I would be happy to answer them. Have you tried the daily planner? If so does it work for you? Let me know in the comments below!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Lake Day Essentials + My New Travel Bag

I am currently enjoying some relaxing time with my family at my grandparent's lake house. As a result, I thought it would be really fun to share my essentials for enjoying time at the lake! If you want to follow along with what I am doing at the lake then check out my Instagram @welldressedash
Everything I bring to the lake is comfortable and simple. The clothes are solid colors and perfect for lounging around by the lake, heading into town, or just hanging out with my cousins. I can mix and match them many different ways. I always bring a hat and sunglasses to keep my face and eyes protected. You can't forget lotion to keep your skin looking good while wearing shorts and swimsuits.

I got this bag for graduation from my grandma, and I have been using it constantly. It works well for weekend trips or even week long trips, plus it is super cute! I love taking it places because once I unpack it lays super flat and out of the way, unlike a typical suitcase. I know it is a bag I will have and continue to use for a long time, because of its classic nature. 

My trip to the lake is always my favorite summer vacation. Let me know where you are headed this summer in the comments below! 

Friday, June 24, 2016

Senior Pictures: What to Wear & Bring

I don’t know if everyone is like this, but getting my senior pictures done was so nerve-wracking for me. I guess it was because I didn’t know what to expect and I wanted them to turn out perfect. I know I would have loved a post with some tips for how to make your senior pictures great, so I decided why not make my own and share it!

What to Wear
My biggest tip is to wear something classic, something you will not regret wearing in a few years.   You want to wear something that isn’t showing off a lot, something you would be comfortable showing your family and friends now and for years to come. But also make sure you wear something that is you, something that matches your personality. I suggest bringing two outfits. Most photographers will allow you to bring at least two outfits.  This will allow you to have one casual and one dressy outfit. For example, for my two outfits, I wore jeans and a cute top for one and a dress for the other. When choosing what to wear make sure to think about your background. If you are taking your pictures in a field, don’t wear green or if you are taking your pictures at a barn, don’t wear brown. You don't want to blend in with your background, you want to stand out! If you do your pictures later in the year and you know where you are going to college then bring your college t-shirt. This will be a super cute photo to represent the next phase in your life.  One last tip, if you are taking a formal photo wearing the black cape, then make sure you bring a tank top or sleeveless shirt to wear under it as well as pearls if you want. 
What to Bring
Everyone wants unique senior pictures, the key is to bring some props that represent who you are! Here are a few suggestions of some things that will make your pictures just a little bit better. I really wish I had brought a younger picture of myself. I love the look of holding an old photo to show how much you have grown and changed. Another good idea is if you are involved in sports to bring something that represents the sport or your accomplishments in that sport. For example, if you play tennis, you could bring a tennis racket or a medal from a tournament you won. If not, you can always bring your letterman if you have one! If you are involved in a club you could bring something that represents that organization. For example, someone really involved in the book club may want to bring a book. Most importantly, bring your family! Take photos with your mom and dad and sister or brother, I promise you these will be some of your favorite photos that you will cherish forever. If you are a dog lover, I would definitely consider bringing your dog or whatever pet you have! I think balloons are always fun for pictures. You could do number balloons with the year you graduate or just some fun big balloons. I definitely think you should have something that says what class you are, you could simply decorate a cute poster board. Hopefully, these tips will help make your photos perfectly representative of you!
Other Notes 
If you really want your photo session to turn out good, than the key is to communicate with your photographer! They will have excellent recomendations for a location as well as photo and outfit ideas. You can not afford to not use them as a resource! Choosing a location that you love and are comfortable in will make your photo session go much more smoothly. Another key thing if you have not booked your photo session, you must book early. Many photographers will get booked up quick. This is something I definitely wished I would have heard about or considered. It is the idea of doing a split senior session. One half is in the summer/fall where you do outfits. The other would be in the spring, where you would do cap & gown pictures as well as a pictures in your college t-shirt! This allows you to have so many great pictures to document senior year and the future. 

I hope this post was helpful for some of you! If you get your senior photos done this upcoming year, please send them to me; I would love to see them. Remember these photos will be perfect memories to come for so many years ahead, but they are just photos. Have a great time, it's a unique experience that deserves to be purely enjoyed!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

What's in my Jewelry Box?

Last year I wrote a post where I shared my everyday jewelry, I'm definitely a person of habit and find myself wearing the same pieces almost daily. As a result, I thought it would be fun to share those things I wear the most on the blog today. This way you all can know the details of and why I wear the pieces I do! This is a little bit of a different post, but I hope you enjoy seeing what is in my jewelry box! 

Monogram Necklace: Love Always
I just got this monogram necklace for graduation and it has already become an essential part of my everyday jewelry. I love pairing it with a simple graphic tee or a tank top in the summer. It adds that extra touch to an outfit without being as heavy as a statement necklace. 

Ring: From my Grandma(Similar here)
This ring is one of my favorite things to wear and I just don't feel right when I'm not wearing it! My grandma gave it to me for my 16th birthday, it was hers and I have been in love with it ever since. It's simple and classic, so I can wear it every day which I love. It's the perfect everyday jewelry piece. 

Leather Watch: Daniel Wellington
Gold Watch: Kate Spade
There is nothing that I love more than a watch. I love wearing one of these two watches either by themselves or with some fun bracelets. I am almost always wearing one of these watches. The gold one makes a statement, while the leather one is more subdued and perfect for every day. 

Alex and Ani Bracelets: InitialKeyQuote
In the last year, I have fallen in love with Alex and Ani bangles. I like wearing 2 or 3 of them for a nice accent to an outfit, especially in summer. I look forward to growing my Alex and Ani collection in the future. I like having them to remember moments or important things in my life!

Quote Bracelet: Georgie Designs
My mom got this bracelet for me for my birthday and I love it so much. It is one of my favorite mantras and I love being able to wear it around on my wrist all the time! The thing that I think is really cool about this company is that you can personalize the bracelet, not only can you get whatever quote you want, you can also get charms to better represent you. I chose a pearl and an A both things I really love!

 Charm Bracelet: Gift from Grandparents(Similar)
This bracelet came from a local jewelry store when I was just born. My grandparents got it for me. I absolutely love the simple gold chain and the heart charm which has my monogram and birth date. My grandpa recently gave me the A charm to add to the bracelet, which I love! This is the only piece of jewelry that I never take off. I wear it every day no matter what I am wearing.

I hope you enjoyed taking a little peak into my jewelry box. As I'm sure you can tell I am all about simple timeless gold pieces. What are some of your everyday jewelry essentials? Share with me in the comments below!


Monday, June 20, 2016

The Best of 2016-2017 Agendas

If you know me then you know I love agendas because I love being organized and planning out my day. I have tried out almost every agenda, and I have loved them all for very different reasons. The one I bought for this year is the Day Designer, and I have been absolutely loving it because it allows you to plan out every hour of your day. I thought I would feature all of the agendas I have used and the print I would buy if I was going to buy it as well as go through a quick run through of what I like about each.
Plum Paper Planner: I loved the Plum Paper Student Agenda last year, and if I had another year of high school I totally would get it again. It is broken down by classes, so each class has their own box each day. It was perfect when my life was focused on the same classes and activities each day. I just feel like in college and beyond I will rather plan my day by hour instead of activity. 
Day Designer: I have been loving planning my day by hour. Especially during the summer it helps me to stay accountable for the things that I have to do. It has a to-do list and an hourly planner, which works really well for me.
Kate Spade & Lilly Pulitzer: Both these planners are really similar. Each day they provide you with a block of space to write in, there are no breakdowns. This was great when I did not have much going on, but as I got busier I realized I needed more space. The main difference between the two is the Lilly planner is colorful and decorated and the Kate Spade planner is more plain and classic.

I'm going to be sharing how I organize using the Day Designer sometime soon, so if you are interested in that stay tuned! If you are interested in the other planners I have used check out how I used my Kate Spade planner and my Plum Paper Planner. I haven't done a post on the Lilly Pulitzer Agenda, but Dorothy from Prep in Your Step has so check out her post if you are interested in that planner. What agenda are you going to get for this year? Let me down below!

Friday, June 17, 2016

How I Make Money

You have that new handbag or that printed Lilly dress in your online shopping cart, just one little problem you need money. It can often be difficult to find time to work a typical job while keeping up with schoolwork, extracurriculars, or just life in general. I have found that the best way for me to make money is by babysitting. I make between $7-$15 an hour babysitting based on how many kids, the nature of the job, and how many hours. My base charge is $10 an hour for 1 or 2 kids and an extra $5 for each additional kid. If I am expected to take the kids out a lot, I may charge more. If I am babysitting for 7 or more hours, I may move the rate down a couple dollars an hour. Now, I thought I would give an overview of the types of jobs I use to make money from babysitting. 

Summer Babysitting/Nannying: Now is obviously the perfect time for this! And even though for some of us it is several weeks into the summer, people are still looking for summer help. There are a lot of parents that work during the summer and need someone to watch their kids while they are not in school. This usually involves taking the kids to school, camps, or the pool, but it really can consist of whatever you are comfortable doing. The only thing is this is usually long hours, but the key is just to plan fun activities to keep the kids and you busy. I think the best thing about it is that you get to develop a unique bond with the kids. If you are not looking for something as full time there may be some people who work from home or are stay at home moms who just need someone to get their kids to a camp or out of the house for a few hours. 

Weekend Babysitting: If you don't have the time to babysit all day, all week, then weekend babysitting may work well for you. The best way to take advantage of weekend babysitting is to find someone who works on Saturday's or even Sunday's. Daycares and schools aren't open on the weekend so most people are looking for some other type of help. It is usually for long hours as well, and you can do similar activities that you would do if you were babysitting during the week. The nice thing is it is only one day. You can even do this in conjunction with weekly babysitting. The good thing is that usually you will have the night off to do things you need to do or to do things with your friends. You're able to make a good amount of money, but still have plenty of time to do what you need to do.

After school Babysitting: If you get out of high school early, then this is the perfect job for you. Elementary school usually gets out early before many parents get home from work, and while there are daycare programs many adults would rather have someone take their kids home. This is a good job for a few hours after school. It usually involves picking up the kids either from school or the bus, getting them a snack and then helping them with homework or just playing with them. I did not get out of school early so I was not able to take advantage of that though I did have another after school job. One of the families in my neighborhood needed someone to help pick their son up from lacrosse practice on Thursdays so I would help them with that. I know school is not in now, but it is never too early to start getting a job in order. 

Night time Babysitting: This is what most people think of when thinking of babysitting, helping out someone as they go out at night. This involves usually playing with the kids for a little bit before putting them to bed. It can sometimes also involve feeding the kids dinner. Basically, you become their mom for the night! The thing I like about babysitting at night during the school year is that you have time to usually work on things at night after the kids go to bed. This is great especially during school or during the summer I use it to work on my blog, just make sure you bring something to do! 

How to get babysitting jobs: The main way that I have gotten jobs is through my neighborhood Facebook page. If you don't live in a neighborhood then the best way is to reach out to friends and family to see if they know anyone. They may even be willing to post on their neighborhood page. You can even make some business cards or flyers and distribute them in mailboxes of local family neighborhoods. Once you start getting jobs, and you do a good job those people will talk to their friends and you will begin to build a network of people to babysit for. And also, try to never say no, the more you turn people down the less likely they are going to be to recommend you and to call you again. 
I'm planning on doing some more babysitting posts featuring some fun things to do while babysitting and how to be successful. Babysitting is a really great way to make money, just don't be afraid to put yourself out there! 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

My Summer Wish List

YAY, it’s a bonus post! Today I am sharing my summer wish list in collaboration with Sydney from Anchored in the South. I absolutely love her blog, and I was so excited when she reached out to me about a collaboration. Now that summer is in full swing, we thought it would be fun to share what is on our wish lists. I have had time to figure out what items I have been using and what I am lacking. As a result, I compiled a list of things that would make my summer days just a little bit brighter!
Alex and Ani: Alex and Ani's are my favorite summer accessory, they are light weight and add the perfect touch to any outfit! Plus, how perfect is the starfish for summer. I think it would be perfect to remember all the summer memories to come. 
J.Crew Factory Tank: I love this tank!! It is perfect for casual summer days, paired with some fun chino shorts.
Ashton Brye T-Shirt: I have been babysitting this summer, and I find t-shirts being my go-to top! They are perfect for trips to the pool and the park, and you can pair them with running shorts or regular shorts. Plus, this one is just too cute; I love the quote and the design!
J.Crew Factory Shorts: I desperately need a new pair of black chino shorts; I have a pair that I got around 2 years ago, but they have become faded and just need to be refreshed!
Krass & Co Athletic Shorts: I will admit I hardly ever wore running shorts during the school year, but ever since starting to babysit this summer I have been wearing them on repeat. I have one pair of Krass and Co shorts and they are definitely my favorite, so I'd love another pair! 
Target Sandals: How cute are these sandals? They are only $20 and from Target! Aren't they just way too good to be true?! Definitely a super fun pair of shoes for summer.

Thanks so much for reading and make sure to check out Sydney’s post to see what is on her wish list. And if you came from Sydney’s blog please browse some of my posts and check out my social media, if you like what you see I would really appreciate a follow!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

1 Top, 2 Different Ways

I’m super excited about this post because I am posting on She Can again today! She Can is an awesome blogger network that I am a part of that is centered around the idea of "She created a life she loves". For today’s post, I thought I would show one top, styled 2 different ways. The first will be shared right here on my blog, and the other will be on She Can’s site, so head over there after you finish reading this post. This is the casual outfit, while the one over on She Can will be more dressy. 

Top: J.Crew Factory (On SALE)
Shorts: J.Crew Factory (Similar)
Shoes: Palm Beach Sandals
Watch: Kate Spade

I absolutely love the bright blue top paired with the light gray seersucker shorts. The subtle accents from the crochet detail on the top to the gold accesories all work together to create a chic but fun look! The other look is just as fun, so make sure you check out She Can for the rest of the post! And check back tomorrow for a bonus post.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Steal Her Style: Kate Middleton

I'm very excited for today's post; it is one that I have been wanting to do ever since I saw Prep For A Day’s Audrey Hepburn style steal. After seeing her post, I decided that I wanted to do my own based on my favorite fashion icon, Kate Middleton. I picked one of my absolute favorite Kate Middleton outfits and am giving you a super affordable way to get the same look! 
It’s a super classic look with the black pants and the polka dot top, but the red blazer gives that perfect punch of color and helps make the outfit memorable. This picture doesn’t show her shoes, but I imagine her wearing some classic wedges or flats!

Top 1 // 2 // 3 // 4
Pants 1 // 2 // 3 // 4
Blazer 1 // 2 // 3 // 4
Shoes 1 // 2 // 3 // 4

Let me know if you liked this post, and if you did please let me know what other people you would like to see me recreate their style!

Friday, June 10, 2016

The Truth About Not Having a Boyfriend

Take a look at me standing at an event like high school prom amongst hundreds of girls in gorgeous dresses and try to point out what makes me different. Is it the flats I'm wearing instead of heels or is it the fact that I opted out of the winged eyeliner for my makeup, but the truth is it's not the mere physical attributes that make me different. The thing that sets me so distinctly apart is something you can't see at all. It's the fact that I have never had a boyfriend. A meaningless separation that has me constantly wondering, why I feel so different and left out. The truth about not having a boyfriend is constant feelings of partly cloudy weather. It's dark and gloomy at times and perfectly sunny at others, usually while retaining a nice steady temperature. I like to say it creates a constant life. There's no heartbreak, but there also is no deep passion. There's no sadness, but there also is no excitement. There's the occasional crush or conversation that gets your heart beating, the sunny day; as well as the unanswered text message or the ignored friend request that completely clouds your day. But neither of these make much of an impact on your life, you get over them within a day if not a few hours. With that said not having a boyfriend saves you from a lot of uncertainty, but it's not a forever plan. Everyone needs someone to love them and care about them and everyone needs someone to love and to care about. This is the main lesson I have learned; you need someone that helps you celebrate the good days and makes the bad days bearable. But yes, it takes some people longer than others and that is ok. There is not a right time for anything to happen. You may have had a boyfriend attached at your hip since you were 11, or you may have been selective, holding out for the right person to come along. There is nothing wrong with either one, it's whatever is right for you. As long as you are an affectionate and caring person, I guarantee love will find you but only when you're ready for it. 

Now I just wanted to share my personal story. Here's the reality, I just graduated high school and I have never had a boyfriend. So I have been through just about every emotion related to not having a boyfriend. I spent a lot of years not caring and a lot of years caring way too much about whether or not I had a boyfriend. There have been tears shed, but there have also been jokes cracked and smiles shared. I always think back to the holiday season, when I have to talk to my family I haven't seen in 6 months and explain the inevitable question of my relationship status. The answer has always been single, but the way I felt about it has not always been the same. I wish I could say that I went from caring too much to not caring at all, but I sadly have to say it was the opposite for me. I never really cared in middle school and my first two years of high school, I guess it was the fact that I knew that I wasn't the only one. But as the years progressed I began to feel more and more isolated. The cousins who always were asking were now sitting there with their beaus, happy and smiling while I sat there not knowing what it feels like. And I began to feel more and more self-conscious and alone. It wasn't anyone's fault, of course, it was just the growing pressure of what I was supposed to be like. The reality for me was I was never ready to have a boyfriend before because I had no idea who I truly was. But you don't need a reason to not have a boyfriend all you need is acceptance and patience. It has only been in the last 4-5 months when I truly feel that I have the capacity to love and care for someone else. I'm confident love will find me when I'm ready and until then I am happy making the most of every day I am given. 

So if there is anyone else out there who has never had a boyfriend, I just wanted to write the post to let you know you aren't alone and that you aren't weird. The pain you feel some days and the joy you feel other days is just the reality of life nothing more. One day when you're lying in bed with the man that makes you the happiest girl in the world, and you will never look back and question why you didn't have a boyfriend at 18 because in the grand scheme of life it doesn't matter. You'll be married for 40 years and dancing around your kitchen happy, dreaming about the future, not the past. Your happiness is out there whether you find it 2 days, 2 months or 2 years from now, I promise you it's there waiting for you, just be patient. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Perfect Summer Dress

Everyone needs a dress in their closet that you can just throw on for any occasion. A dress for the impromptu party, the fun dinner with friends, a walk on the beach, or a trip to the mall. I think this Everly dress is the ideal dress. The floral print makes it perfect for summer, but the style is what pushes it over the top. The flowy silhouette is casual, but also slightly dressy. It is the ultimate combination. I paired it with a gold monogram and some Alex and Ani bangles for a simple but personalized look. 

Necklace: Love Always
Bracelets: Alex and Ani

I wore this dress for my birthday dinner, check out the post here
 This post is a part of the Sweet Summer Link-Up hosted by NC Prepsters! Check out her post and all of the other linked posts. I love finding new bloggers to connect with! And if you came from that post, leave me a comment telling me your go-to summer dress.