Friday, June 30, 2017

Fourth of July Style

Top: J.Crew Factory // Shorts: J.Crew Factory // Necklace: KJP 

The Fourth of July has always been one of my favorite holidays! I love dressing up in all my favorite shades of red, white, and blue. With the holiday quickly approaching, I thought it would be fun to share my inspiration for what to wear. I love this red gingham shirt from J.Crew Factory, plus it is on clearance! Paired with some simple white chino shorts it is the perfect casual Fourth of July outfit. But honestly this shirt will be on repeat all summer long, so this isn't the last you'll see of it. I'll be at the lake this Fourth of July, but would love to hear your plans! 

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Surviving Freshman Year

Freshman year is confusing and weird, but at the same time, it’s been one of the best years of my life. So today I thought I would give my top 8 tips for surviving freshman year! I promise it’s not as scary as it seems. 

1. Do Everything: It’s tempting to blow off the orientation events, thinking they are silly and dumb. But you should go to them because it is the perfect opportunity to meet people. Say yes to everything because hey you never know what will be fun. Plus, hey they usually have free food as well.

2. Be Open to Friendships: Sometimes friendships arise where you least expect it, a friend of a friend or a random common interest. Always be open to meeting new people. Especially in the beginning be friendly to everyone and then eventually you’ll find your group. But it may take time to find your forever friends, but remember you have 4 years. Not everyone finds a best friend in a roommate or a hall mate, sometimes you have to look outside of those groups.

3. Try New Things, But Be Careful: College is the perfect time to explore new things and to step outside your comfort zone. I have made some of the best memories when I would have normally said no. But let me do say, if that new thing may be alcohol or a frat basement tread carefully. It's not the best idea to go somewhere unknown or get a little tipsy with some people you just met. They could be awesome people, but it is just really hard to know exactly who they are before you really have a chance to get to know them. The last thing you want is to be ditched by your “friends” in a fraternity basement. 

4. Accept your Roommate Situation: Roommates aren’t perfect, but honestly most are tolerable. If you make your roommate out to be the villain, then everything they do is going to annoy you. So simply accept that your roommate is a person just like you who sometimes makes mistakes and isn’t always perfect. But it will all be okay, you will survive. And honestly don’t just go and try to switch rooms the second your roommate does something wrong, talk to them and attempt to handle it like adults. If the situation truly becomes unlivable than its okay to switch. And it’s okay we are ALL jealous of that roommate pair that coexists perfectly, ugh.

5. Don’t Forget your Academics: In college, it’s so important that academics are your number one priority. You parents are paying a lot of money for you to be there and you should want to make the most out of your experience. I’m not saying you can never miss class or slack off a bit. But do remember school is your job right now so it should always come before everything else. But do remember that college is harder than high school, and there will likely be a learning curve. So, if you struggle at first it is okay!

6. Get Involved with Something You Love: I think it is important to find your place on campus. It may be in a sorority/fraternity, Christian group, sports team, or another club, but it is so important to have a group of friends with similar values and interests to talk to and connect with. I think it places a big part in making the campus start to feel like home. For me, it was my sorority, but I understand Greek life isn’t for everyone and that other organizations can fill a similar need.

7. Stay Organized: Get a planner, a wall calendar, have a calendar on your phone because honestly there is no way you can keep up with all the things going on without one. And no one wants to be that person that has no idea when things are because they can’t just write them down. Always write down dates as soon as you get them, but also take time to review your calendar every day. I like to plan daily, so I do an overview of my planner every day. I try to do it in my room in the morning, but often I’m doing it in my first class. 

8. Have Fun: There are a lot of things going on in college, but don’t get bogged down by stress. Instead, make sure to take a little bit of time for yourself to do something fun. Maybe it’s a fun dinner with friends, maybe it’s going on a bit of an adventure, or maybe it’s simply watching Netflix in bed. Whatever it is take time to enjoy yourself because you deserve it!

But whatever you do, make the most of it. Take advantage of it because you only get one freshman year. I hope these tips were helpful for all of you heading off to school in the fall!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Sister, Sister I Love You

When people ask me what the hardest part of going away to college is, I always say leaving my family, especially my sister. And if you ask my sister what the most annoying thing I do is, she would probably say bug her about going to a college close to me. Growing up I really never had a best friend, I didn’t like using the term because I felt like it always led to someone getting hurt. So, I insisted that I didn’t have one, but the older I get the more I realize how truly wrong I was. I have always had a best friend in my sister. No matter the ever changing friend groups throughout my life, she was the one always there.

I hope my sister knows that I’m always going to be her number one fan. That I’m always going to cheer her on no matter what she does. I know high school and growing up isn’t easy and that honestly sometimes it stinks. So, I hope she knows that I’m always hear to talk to, even if I’m a few hundred miles away at school. I hope she know that she is loved and that I can’t imagine a day without seeing her smiling face (thank goodness for Snapchat).

But I also want to thank my sister for being there for me. For always taking my picture when I ask and then taking more when I don’t like how they turn out. And for also calling me basic after I post cheesy captions or silly boomerangs. I thank her for putting up with my silliness, for listening to Ed Sheeran with me, and for eating popsicles out on the porch with me. Thanks for being my little sister, though you don’t seem so little anymore.

The reality is that like any good siblings, we have our moments. We get upset with each other, but at the end of the day we realize none of the silly stuff matters. What matters is that we always have each others backs. My sister is honestly an inspiration to me. She has always known she wants to be a teacher because she wants to help others learn. She dedicates countless time to helping others become better students already and I can’t wait to see what she does throughout the course of her life.

So cheers to you, Meg! I love you! 

Monday, June 26, 2017

The Most Important College Essential: Confidence

You’ll see all the blog posts and shopping lists as you prepare to head off to college but one of the most important things to take to college isn’t on the packing list found at Bed Bath and Beyond. The one thing you cannot forget to pack is confidence. I truly believe that confidence is the key to success in college. It’s the key to academic opportunities, thriving friendships, and successful involvement. The surer you are of yourself the more likely people and opportunities will gravitate toward you.

If you are anything like me and your reading this, you may be thinking well how do I bring my confidence if I don’t really have any. And to that I say, fake it until you make it. Pretend to be confident, pretend that college doesn’t scare you out of your mind, pretend like you know everything is going to be okay. It’s going to be hard at first and you’ll probably want to crack, but at some point, in the process of faking it, you’ll become it. And before you know if you’ll be confident all on your own. There won’t be anymore pretending, just you.

But why is confidence so important? Because in college you’re on your own, people aren’t going to be there to hold you every step of the way. If you want an internship you’re going to have to find it. If you want to get involved on campus, you’re going to have to seek out the organization. You’re going to have to do things on your own that you would normally have your parents to help you with and it’s going to be okay, but starting it with a level of confidence will make all the difference. On the other hand, in college people are going to test you. Your values will be put to the test, your friendships will be challenged. You may begin to question who you are. You will have to decide just how important things are to you, then you’re going to need confidence in order to be able to stand tall to do what is right for you because often it may not be what your peers want to do and that’s okay.  

So if you could only bring one thing to college (though let’s be honest we all know we have enough stuff to fill 2 cars) I suggest you bring your confidence. Because I promise if you go into college with confidence and a smile on your face, everything will be okay. Despite how hard it gets sometimes, you will always be able to make it through.

Friday, June 23, 2017

4 Perfect College Dorm Color Schemes

Tis the season for dorm room shopping! Honestly, I think one of my favorite parts of getting ready for my freshman year was planning my dorm. It is so fun to pick out what colors and patterns you want, and what things you think you will use and what you won't. I'm the type of person that goes all out in decorating my dorm room, see my freshman dorm tour here. While I don't think it's the most important thing, it really is nice to come home to a well decorated and pretty room at the end of the day, especially if you're not living in the nicest dorm(my experience here). I recently bought new bedding for my sophomore year room, and it inspired me to share some color schemes that will keep your room looking so cute!

I hope this post inspired some of you! Two important notes: don't compromise the decor/colors you want to match your roommate and don't feel like you have to buy all your decor from somewhere like PB Teen. They do have cute stuff but so do places like Target, seek inspiration from PB Teen but then shop at other more affordable places. I would love to hear what color scheme you are going with for your dorm next year!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Prettiest Kate Spade Dress

Hi everyone! Sorry for the lack of post yesterday, and the late post today; I spent the weekend at the lake and then worked yesterday so blogging got kind of pushed to the back burner. But I'm back today with a super exciting post. As you guys may have noticed from my past blog posts(Prom, Formal, Wedding), I'm obsessed with Rent the Runway. When I was ordering my formal dress and my dress for my cousin's wedding I decided to sign up for Rent the Runway Pro. This saves you on shipping and insurance but also allows you to get a free birthday dress!! I procrastinated ordering, so I wasn't able to get a dress to come on my birthday but instead I got one for father's day weekend! I chose this super fun Kate Spade, and it's safe to say that I did not want to take it off. It was so comfortable, but also bright and different from any other dress I own. So of course I took some blog pics to share this gorgeous dress!

Happy (late) Father's Day to my amazing dad!

I kept the accessories for this outfit pretty simple because I think the dress is so bold and colorful, that I didn't want to add a lot to take away from it. A simple gold link bracelet and classic gold Palm Beach Sandals were the perfect additions. I honestly wish I could keep this dress in my coset forever, because I think it is the perfect bright and fun summer dress. I was so glad I chose to rent it this past weekend. And shout out to my dad for getting in on the blog pics and even taking a boomerang with me(check it out on my Instagram). I had a great Father's day with my dad and grandpa at the lake. I would love to hear how you all celebrated your father this past weekend!

Friday, June 16, 2017

College Tour Tips & Outfit

Happy Friday! Though my college tour days are over, this summer I have gotten to go on some tours with my little sister. I think college tours are a very important part of the college process, as they really give you a sense of what the school is like. As a result, I thought it would be a good idea to share some tips for getting the most out of your college visits, and because when I went on my first college tour I had no idea what to wear, I'm also including some outfit inspiration. 

 Tip #1: Stay off of your phone. 
Whether it's in the information session before the tour or on the actual tour itself, try and refrain from using your phone. This is simply respectful of your tour guide and presenter. Though it's definitely okay to use your phone to snap some pictures along the way!

Tip #2: Take advantage of your tour guide.
Your campus tour will be lead by a student at the school. Use this opportunity to ask about what the school is like from the student's perspective. They can give you a lot of insight into the reality of the academics and the social life at the school. Save the questions you can google for later and dig into the real stuff you can only get from someone who actually attends the school.

   Tip #3: Have time to explore on your own.
Tours are great and will show you a lot of what the school has to offer, but they can't show you everything. Take time before or after your tour to walk around and explore campus more, go into some buildings, see how far the walk from the dorms to the dining hall is, and check out where you may want to study in the library. It's really great to also explore the city the college is in to see where you would be living, eating, and shopping when not on campus. 

 Tip #4: Visit again
If you like the school when you visit the first time, visit again at a different time! Especially if you go in the summer, you should go and see what the school is like during the school year. Or if you go during the week then maybe visit some other time on the weekend. This will give you a better idea of the school environment.

Tip #5: Dress comfortable and cute
Always wear comfortable shoes and clothes for a college tour as you will be doing lots of walking. I love to wear a comfy dress as you will look cute but also be comfortable especially in the summer when its warm. Always check the weather before heading on your tour as you don't want to be caught in the rain on your tour with no umbrella or raincoat. 

Dress: J.Crew Factory // Jacket: J.Crew Factory // Necklace: Brook & York // Bracelet: J.Crew Factory // Sandals: Palm Beach Sandals

I hope you enjoyed this post! How cute is this dress from J.Crew Factory? It's the perfect summer dress because it's light weight and fun and bright. Plus I'm obsessed with my name necklace my grandma got me for my birthday it's the perfect dainty jewelry piece. Are any of you headed on college tours this summer? And if so what school? Let me know in the comments!


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

How to Stay Productive During the Summer

It's easy for summer days to pass by without really accomplishing anything. And while it's fun to hang at the pool or binge a Netflix show every once in a while it also feels good to actually accomplish something. Obviously, a job is a great way to keep you busy, but I understand that's not possible for everyone or some of you may want to be productive in your time off from work(like me). So I think, summer is the perfect time to form a new habit or to start a new project. This summer I'm trying to get into the habit of exercising by running and doing yoga. I also want to create a scrapbook for my freshman year and get caught up on my reading list! Find something you want to start putting time into and then follow these tips to help you accomplish it. 

1. Use a Planner: The best way to convince yourself to stay productive is simply to use your planner and make to-do lists of what you want to accomplish for the day. If you are like me there is something motivating about getting to cross through things on your to-do list.
2. Get in a Sleeping Habit: We all are going to have those summer days when we stay up way too late, but the majority of the time focus on going to bed at a reasonable time and also waking up at a good time. This will make sure you are well rested but also that you get going and get productive in the morning. 
3. Give Yourself Time Off: Though some of the things you may want to do may be fun for you, make sure you still give yourself lazy days watching Netflix or time to enjoy a family vacation. You don't need to be productive all the time. 
4. Do Different Things: Don't plan to spend your whole entire day doing the same thing because you'll get tired of it. Maybe spend the morning doing one thing and then switch to something else after lunch. 
5. Still be Spontaneous and Have Fun: You may plan to spend your Tuesday working on something, but if your friend invites you to do something say yes! There will be plenty of other days to be productive, you should go and have fun when you have the chance. 

I hope these tips help you guys to make the most of your summer! It's great getting to list off the things you accomplished over the summer once you get back to school. Let me know ow you plan to stay productive during the summer in the comments below!