Inside My Dorm

Ah the college dorm, the dreaded small dingy confined space barely large enough to fit that twin XL bed, let alone a girl’s wardrobe.  Decorating a dorm proves to be an oddly exiting challenge that students look forward to, including myself, at the beginning of each year.  There is something strangely satisfying about figuring out how to fit everything and “hacking” the space you are given.  Thankfully, this year as a sophomore, I was able to get a single room that, while still small, gave me ample space to decorate and customize to my heart’s content.  Last year, I was cramped into a room with two other girls and, although hard, it helped me figure out how to make the most of my space.  I swear by companies like Pottery Barn (PB teen has a specific dorm brand), Bed Bath and Beyond, and Etsy to find solutions for storage that are cute and minimize the clutter because, as you probably can tell by this blog, I love clothes (and shoes and jewelry and accessories).  So how do I manage this year?  Read below to see how I transformed my space to be comfortable, personal and practical! 🙂

To stay organized, I separated by dorm into different sections based on purpose.  I have my mini fridge (and freezer!) near the entrance in the little foyer on top of a storage unit for my snacks and kitchen ware.  My kettle, cups and mugs are all on top of the fridge making what I like to call my “vertical kitchen”.  Further inside the room, I have my wardrobe across from my “little sitting area”, my bed area with storage underneath, and then my desk area where I store all of my toiletries, jewelry,  makeup, and school supplies.

My Bed:

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I tried to keep the decor neat around my bed and stuck with a constant color scheme throughout my room.  The base is all light soft pink, and then I have a lot of navy, gold (including rose gold), black and white which all come together to contrast each other.  The floral lights are from PB Teen.  The little pinup board and monogram are customized from Etsy which is the place to go for custom decor at a decent price.  The dog painting is actually my dog and she’s right below an art piece representing my state, letting me have a little piece of home on display.  I got the The Breakfast at Tiffany’s picture from Art.com which is a fabulous place to get art at a reasonable price.  I know it’s super cliché but I love Andrey Hepburn and classic movies, plus the picture goes well with my overall theme.  The rose gold dots are from Umbra, a company that specializes in sleek modern home decor all at a very cheap price.

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You can never have enough pillows, especially in college when your bed doesn’t have a headboard.  I have yet another monogram on a pillow from Etsy (I love the cursive look and the personalization of them).  Two of the other pillows are from Lily Home, another from Kate Spade (it’s a Jane Austen quote since I love classic english lit), and a fun sequined pillow that is more for my own entertainment than practicality.  My bedspread is called Whimsical Waves from PB Teen.  I made sure to have a neutral solid spread, so I could go all out with pillows and other fun patterned accessories.

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As a storage hack, I have a special rail (PB Teen) that hangs under my bed to store my vests and light jackets.  It also shields the junk that I have under my bed such as my suitcases and boxes, so nobody has to see the cluttered mess underneath.  The little ottoman is from Bed Bath and Beyond and it also stores clothes.  It doubles as both a seat and a step stole making it absolutely awesome.

My sitting area:

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My favorite part of the room is the little make shift seating area I created.  The tapestry, which takes up the majority of the wall, is from Society 6, a great site specializing in funky affordable decor specifically for young people.  Tapestries are great since they transform a space with little to no effort on your part.  I honestly couldn’t resist having a pink and purple Prada Marfa sign in my room!  The seat and lamp are both from target, while the truck is from PB Teen.  The truck was a bit of an investment, but is multi-purposeful as both stylish storage and furniture for my room.

My Desk:

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I admit that my desk is a bit cluttered, but that’s partly because it serves so many functions.  The acrylic makeup container stores all of my hair and makeup supplies, along with lotions and perfumes.  I separate that with my jewelry which I have stored with a hanger from The Container Store and a small pottery and wire earring holder.  I use my desk as a vanity, so I have a nice foldable mirror from PB Teen that takes up limited space.  I’m a total Harry Potter nerd, so yes I have all of the books lined on the shelf, and as extra decor, I have the leather-bound version of two of my favorite classic books which mount my piggy bank.  Yes, I have a Chanel inspired piggy bank, judge away.  I taped up perfume campaign ads that Sephora sent me to add a little something to the area’s wall, and because I honestly had no idea what to do with them…

My Curtains:

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Over my window, I put up a white and gold curtain that hides the ugly vent and window sill.  To make my bed look a little cozier, and honestly more bed-like because dorm beds are so basic, I draped layered curtains behind and above the bed with hooks.  The drapery creates a canopy illusion and makes the room much more colorful while serving as decor for the overall bed space.

So there, my little cozy temporary home…

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Go Good Uncle!

Meet Good Uncle, the new food delivery start-up taking select colleges on the east coast by storm.   The company is more generous than any friendly relative, as they will become your new best friend- a bff that specializes in simply bringing you food, on demand.  Good Uncle started at Syracuse by two ambitious students who were determined on elevating the college dining scene.  Just this year, they launched on 5 different college campus while being headquartered in New York City.  The idea is similar to Uber Eats, but with no delivery fee since the food is all created by Good Uncle through their Michelin starred food mastermind, Erik Battes.  They then transport it to one of their many handy delivery spots around the campuses with their super cool fancy food truck-like trucks.  Magical- right?

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Currently, Good Uncle is only at Colgate, Syracuse, Cornell, Lehigh and UMaryland, but they hope to expand in the near future (that future is very near given their popularity).  While you might not be at one of those schools, or might not even be in school, Good Uncle could come to you, and you will then, thanks to me, be in the know (ahead of the game, on the next big thing!).  Their food is simply delicious, and definitely beats most food found in college dining halls.  It ranges from very healthy options of salad and rice bowls to hangover-cure like foods such as the BBQ plater and the bacon, egg, and cheese brunch sandwich.  There’s a wide range which makes it easy for everyone to find something to suit their every desire.  Their menu changes monthly, ensuring that nobody gets tired of their extensive menu.  With that absent delivery fee, the prices are very reasonable for “to-go”-like food.  For a college student’s budget, it is cheaper than eating out at most places with dinners ranging from 7-12 dollars.

So you go to Colgate or any of the other schools that have Good Uncle?  Here is what I most recommend.

Tofu and Mushroom Bowl with the Mediterranean Fresh Fix Toppings:

Healthy and trendy, you can’t go wrong with one of Good Uncle’s bowls.  The tofu bowl is great for vegetarians and vegans since good tofu is often hard to come by in college.  It’s all on a bed of quinoa, and you have the choice of what kind of toppings/salad you want with the bowl.  I’m obsessed with the Mediterranean toppings which I get for both the tofu and the chicken bowl.  It’s the classic fixings of hummus, tzatziki, pita chips, feta, cucumber and tomato, along with a serving of arugula salad.

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Pesto Parmasan Pasta:

Good Uncle really nails the pasta thing which we will all be thankful for when winter comes around (Aka comfort food season).  The pesto pasta really hits the spot since they throw in copious amounts of sauce along with a generous serving of melted parmesan cheese.  Tasty, yes, and comforting!

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Seasonal Açai Bowl:

Ahh the food of the moment (and of instagram), Good Uncle makes it easy to keep up with the trends.  Who wouldn’t want an açai bowl delivered on demand?  It’s simple, but delicious and makes for a great addition to brunch.  The vividly purple base is topped with fruit and granola, and has shredded coconut and almonds mixed into it.  Unfortunately, the açai bowl is only available on weekends, but that might be for the best (we probably don’t need an açai bowl everyday!).

Buffalo Chicken Sandwich:

A good buffalo chicken sandwich for me is the ultimate guilty pleasure, and Good Uncle doesn’t let me down with their October special.  The chicken is topped with oozy buffalo cheddar cheese and a blue cheese dressing.  The bun is a nice soft brioche bun that is sweet enough to pair perfectly with the spicy chicken.

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Grilled Chicken Tenders:

Probably Good Uncle’s smartest creation, these chicken tenders are both extremely tasty and healthy.  Instead of being deep fried, the chicken is seasoned in a mix of flavorful herbs and grilled to perfection, ready to be eaten with a delicious dipping sauce.  The sauces are a highlight since they have a variety to choose from, each unique and amazing.  I recommend getting a couple to dunk the chicken into although the chicken is good enough on its own.

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To read and find out more about Good Uncle, visit my article for Spoon University here!

5 Of My Favorite Products To Get You Through The End Of Summer

I have never really written a post about products and cosmetics, but I figured why not?  I’m a big Sephora fan, and I’m also always on the lookout to try new things, whether it be hair products, skin products, or makeup.  The summer heat and sun get to be rough on your body (that’s not to say that winter weather isn’t), so here are 5 new beauty products that I’ve been trying this summer that I totally 100% recommend.

*I am not being promoted for any of these suggestions

  1. Buddy Scrub Coffee Body Scrub

We all love drinking our morning coffee, but did you know that coffee, and to a larger extent caffeine, has skin health benefits when used externally.  In fact, coffee is proven to help reduce cellulite and promote smoother shinier skin.  This Buddy Scrub is the perfect product to use in order to get that “summer bod”.  Just lather and scrub your body a couple times a week and you’ll have yourself smooth and healthy skin.  The scrub is totally natural, vegan, and cruelty-free with no harmful products or ingredients you can’t pronounce.  It smells amazing too!

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Buy it here through Anthropology for $18

2.  The Pocket Palette, one-use make-up kits

The Pocket Palette is a start-up company that created these mini makeup kits for on-the-go travel and disposal.  Each palette contains a single portion of BB cream or foundation, a single portion of lipstick that doubles as rouge, and a single-use mascara brush.  The palette is tiny and can easily fit inside any pocket, purse or container making them super easy to carry with you.  I have used my pocket palette for overnight trips when I don’t feel like lugging a large makeup kit around and for after events such as golf where I need to quickly cleanup and make myself look presentable before dinner.  After use, you simply throw the kit away, and the makeup is great quality and very versatile.

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Buy them here in sets of 3 or 10 ranging from $12 to $35

3.  Tarte Mermaid Glitter Gel

Glitter is having a major moment right now thanks to the growing popularity of music festivals and festival fashion.  This gel-like body glitter is just the thing to get you festival-ready for all those instagram pictures.  It isn’t an eye shadow like other glitter products.  Instead, the liquid gel dries on to the skin, keeping it in place anywhere on the body.  Not only does the glitter work great against skin, but the jar is super fun and aesthetic.

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You can find it here from Sephora for $18

4.  Too Faced Hangoverx Replenishing Face Primer

This primer doubles wonderfully as a face moisturizer since it restores and helps contain moisture in the skin.  As the name suggests, it’s ideal for hangovers, but also any activity where your skin looses moisture such as working out and sun exposure. For those long summer days outside, this works as the perfect remedy making skin supple, smooth and lively.  As a bonus, Hangoverx has no shine or oily effects which is much appreciated when it comes to a good everyday primer and “lotion”.

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Buy it here at Sephora for $34

5.  OUAI Sun of a Beach Ombré Spray

Ever tried the old trick of squeezing lemon in your hair to make it lighter?  And it kind of works? Temporarily.  Well, OUAI has come up with a product based off of the classic lemon hack, but works stronger and stays longer.  Sun of a Beach Spray lightly bleaches the hair in a healthy way that doesn’t dry the hair out.  It smells nice and has little texture.  And, it actually really works!  The spray gives you a summer sun-kissed look which we all want while still looking very natural and healthy.

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Buy it here from Sephora for $24

*Pro Tip:  As I mentioned, I swear by Sephora.com since I love their loyalty program. Living in a rural area means that I need to order most of my products online, and Sephora is amazing for that.  I pay $10 a year to get free shipping which saves a lot of money in the long run, plus I get free samples which are great for travel, loyalty points for free awards, a birthday gift, and special deals that include a lot more free samples/minis.  It’s a fabulous program especially for college students.

Spoon University- The National College Foodie Network

I would like to apologize in advance for my lack of content lately.  It’s college finals season, and I have a lot on my plate.  Believe me, I would much rather be writing fun articles for this blog right now.  Anyways, one thing that has kept me busy of late has been this club called Spoon University.  For those of you who don’t know, Spoon U is a nationwide blogging network of college students who write and publicize all things food ranging from fun recipes, restaurant reviews, random food hacks, and healthy lifestyles.  Everything is related to the college experience, and it’s a great way to get support about writing something that I’m passionate about.  So far, I’ve written 3 articles, but I’m hoping to write a lot more soon and will try to incorporate them into this blog.  I’ve learned a lot through the process about how internet publishing works, so it’s been great for this.  I would love if everyone were to check these articles out!

  1. The 10 Best Chobani Flavors Ranked by Taste– Greek yogurt is my go-to breakfast every morning since it is full of energy and taste delicious.  Read about what flavors I love the most!Screen Shot 2018-04-30 at 11.13.33 PM.png
  2. Everything You Need to Know About Post Workout Snacks– I’m a workout junkie, and because of my competitive athlete background, I know a lot about workout nutrition.  Here is what I have to say about what to eat after a workout.  Screen Shot 2018-04-30 at 11.13.08 PM.png
  3. Where to Find the Best Fried Chicken in Every State You can never go wrong with fried chicken!  Check out 50 great places to find bomb chicken everywhere across the country!Screen Shot 2018-04-30 at 11.12.37 PM.png

Honestly, whether you’re in college or not, Spoon is a great site for any foodie to check out!  You’ll learn a lot and there is so much more content and info than the typical food blog.  They have a Facebook and Instagram page too which are totally cool and worth it!  And stay tuned for more of my articles which I hope to share here soon!

April Picks- 10 Tips on Surviving (or almost surviving) Finals

This time of year is always crazy, whether it be high school, college or life.  If you are like me, you have a boatload of work piling up, finals looming, have finally some nice weather to distract you, and the stress of moving out of a room and getting everything back home.  That’s April, and it’s crazy.  However, throughout school, I’ve learned a few things here and there about managing stress, time efficiency, and optimizing performance which has helped a lot, especially now that I am in college.  In school or not, these are some tips to help anyone get through this time of year.

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Some sunny tranquil motivation to get you through finals, and to help you remember that college can be beautiful

  1. Managing what and how you eat
  • It might be cliché, but you really “are what you eat”.  I find that if I control what I’m eating and make sure I get a lot of nutrients, my mind is more alert and productive.  Also, eating well makes your body feel better all around, putting you in a better mood and thus, making you more willing to study.  I’m not saying you have to go on some sort of strict diet, it just a matter of being mindful and controlling yourself.  Stress-eating is not the answer to solving stress, but eating a little something sweet is good to reward yourself while in the thick of finals.

2.  Exercise

  • Another way to ensure that your mind is in tiptop shape for exams is to exercise.  Many people find that they don’t have the time to hit the gym while studying, but I find that doing only 30 minutes of cardio is just as beneficial for me as studying.  Not only does it trigger endorphins in the brain, but working out also provides for a great little break in the day.  I personally can barely get through a day without working out since it motivates me and keeps me going.  If you are really stressed about time, you can also watch review videos or read notes while running on the treadmill.  There are many ways to study and exercise at the same time!

3.   Take mini breaks from whatever you are doing

  • To ensure that I don’t get restless while working on something or studying, I always make a point to get up every hour or so and walk around.  I might just go to the bathroom or maybe I’ll talk to some friends, but either way, I find that I always need a little bit of a break to keep me focused and concentrated on my task.  Even now, as I write this post, I’m taking breaks every so often to keep my mind fresh!  Going off of the exercise thing above, your mind needs you to move, so walking around is a great choice and a great way to procrastinate!

4.    Find an environment that motivates you whether that be with or without other people

  • Everyone studies differently, and everyone has different ways of studying the best.  I find that I like being around people, but people who are not talking since it motivates me to study alongside everyone else.  Some people need to be alone and some people need to talk, but it’s important to find what works best for you.  I also love going to different environments such as coffee shops since it keeps my work interesting.  One place I can’t get anything done: my dorm room as I associate it and my bed with sleeping and watching tv which means that I am not as productive.  Figure out what works for you, and it will make a huge difference.

5.    Listen to energizing music while studying, preferably classical or instrumental

  • You’ve probably heard of the Mozart effect, the theory where listening to classical music makes you smarter.  While that might not be totally true, there is a lot of scientific evidence that listening to classical music helps with focus and relaxes the mind, therefore, making it perfect and beneficial for studying.  I personally cannot do any work without music, and I find that for studying and reading, I need something a little more upbeat.  I like “Epic Classical” on Spotify for this, or I’ll listen to full dramatic symphonies.  Although classical music might seem dull, it keeps studying interesting.  Over time, you learn to rely on it and appreciate it.

6.    Reward yourself for motivation (you deserve that 1 Netflix episode!)

  • This goes for what I said before about treating yourself to a little dessert during finals.  You are working super hard, and you are doing fabulous- so you deserve something to take your mind off of finals, at least for a little bit.  I find that putting an hour aside the night before a final to watch a tv episode and eat a small dessert is a great way to relax and make myself feel at ease for what is ahead.  With that being said, however, don’t get distracted and don’t reward yourself too much!

7.    Review any notes or study material right before going to bed the night before an exam or test

  • After I “reward” myself, I quickly skim through my notes right before going to bed which makes sure that the material is fresh in my mind.  A lot of people swear by this strategy, and although it could be the placebo effect, I really think it does work.  Plus, it’s easy and rather mindless to do!

8.    Drink a lot of water!!!  And try to limit excessive caffeine!

  • You’ve probably heard this one before, but drinking as much water as possible keeps the brain hydrated which, in turn, makes it able to function better.  Caffeine, on the other hand, dehydrates you, making your brain less optimal.  While caffeine can be definitely a necessity (I’m guilty, especially while studying for finals), it is best to not consume a lot.  If you cannot help yourself, drink even more water to substitute the liquid lost from the caffeine.  I rely on water to get rid of any junk food cravings while studying and to keep me concentrated (water works, it seems,  in a similar and healthier way as caffeine).  I tend to “stress drink” water instead of “stress eat” which is super effective and helpful.

9.    Put away your phone and take “phone breaks” every once and awhile

  • I might sound like a parent here, but we waste so much time on our phones; time that could be put into studying.  I’m guilty, but I’m trying much harder to limit my access since I get distracted easily by my phone.  Put it on do not disturb, turn it off, whatever, but it really does make a difference.  And, every once and awhile, reward yourself by letting yourself spend time on your phone.

10.    Most importantly, try to sleep!

  • What might be the biggest study cliché of all, but hands down the most important- sleep.  We all need it, even if we think we don’t, and we’re much better off getting a full 8-hours the night before an exam than staying up to study even more.  I’m a stickler for sleep, and I definitely feel the effects of being tired versus the effects of being well-rested.  I believe that to do well on finals, you have to get sleep to stay focused!  I know everyone’s different, but we all need it.  I often will take melatonin before a test, so I sleep well and am not kept awake by stress.

Hope that helps!  And good luck to everyone taking exams right now or later this spring!

 

12 Tips for Smarter Online Shopping

In this cyber-obsessed world that we live in, shopping has become completely associated with the internet.  Commercial malls are dying a painful death, department stores are suffering, and small businesses are loosing more and more customers as people become reliant on their screens.  What has flourished as a result, however, is online shopping.  With everyone connected to their phones and computers, buying clothing online is becoming easier and easier.  It’s easy to see why with the convenience and accessibility; every possible thing is available online right at your figure tips.

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It is truly amazing being able to shop all day long on your computer, but the kicker is how fast the prices of everything add up.  I live in a rural town which means I am constantly relying on online shopping for every need, and being a college student who enjoys splurging on clothes, it’s vital that I try to save every penny I possibly can.  Here are 12 ways to help save money while shopping online:

  1. Promo Codes are your best friend
    • One of the biggest benefits of shopping online is the existence of promo codes which are essentially online sales that don’t usually happen instore.  Brands will have them all the time, and they range from “free shipping” to “25% off entire store”.  Using them is definitely the greatest weapon when it comes to saving money online.
  2. Stay clear of buying things at full price (unless you absolutely love or need that item)
    • As a general rule, don’t buy anything at full price (including the price for shipping).  It does not take long for items to go on sale, and, unlike stores, it is much easier to find great “full price-like” clothing online.  I usually spot something that I like and then wait for it to either have a promo code discount or for it to go on sale.  For me, there is literally never a need to pay full price.
  3. Discover online retailers
    • With a changing fashion industry and the growth of online shopping, the “online retailer” has emerged as a new and very popular concept for shoppers.    Many sites focus on curating a great selection of well-known (as well as new) brands with an emphasis on style and quality.  Shopbop is a fabulous online retailer that specializes in both boutique designers and haute couture to create a trendy mid to high range priced vibe.  Net-a-Porter and Moda Operandi are both well known high-end retailers that, unlike physical stores, make buying designer couture more reasonable with generous sales.  Asos is a British brand that focuses on more fast fashion with great prices.  It is super convenient and has a wide variety of clothing.
  4. But also check out department stores online
    • Department stores have been steadily declining for years (tear), but some stores are adapting to the internet by offering an easy way to shop their stores online.  Stores like Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Ave are practically just other online retailers with great selections of trendy and classic clothing.  They too have great promotions and offer ways to save money online rather than going to the actual stores.  Both Nordstrom and Saks often offer quick free shipping and have super easy free return policies.  It’s practically like you’re trying on their clothes instore in the comfort of your own home!
  5. If you are a student, always try to see if there is a student discount
    • Some stores have great instore student discounts which serve as an incentive to travel to the closest mall, but recently companies are starting to allow student discounts online, too.  Both Topshop and Asos use an online British platform that you sign up for once and are automatically eligible for a discount.  This is perfect for us Americans who don’t have much access to these stores.  As online shopping becomes even more widespread, I imagine that more companies will start offering discounts.
  6. Sign up for Honey (literally the best thing ever)
    • Honey is a program that notifies you of any promo codes while you check out of a store.  It’s super easy and does it all for you.  What is even more amazing is that Honey will also practically pay you to shop online.  You can get 1-10% or 1-5% back on purchases with sites that Honey is connected to and then redeem that cash for various online gift cards.
    • Click here to join: joinhoney.com/ref/adofmeScreen Shot 2018-02-12 at 7.47.46 PM
  7. Become loyalty members at your favorite online stores
    • First of all, signing up to be on the email lists of stores is super helpful because you can get special deals and such, but some stores offer loyalty memberships that will offer you even more.  Sephora, for example, gives you points, free samples for every online purchase, and special free gift promotions for their members.  It’s perfect for any college student who cannot just get themselves to the nearest beauty supplier to restock on makeup, lotion, products, etc.
  8. Sign up for Shop It To Me (An AMAZING email service)
    • Shop It To Me is an email service that sends you daily emails of any items from your favorite brands that are on sale anywhere on the internet.  What is even better is that everything they show you on sale is guaranteed to be in your size since you give them all of your sizes when you sign up.  It makes bargain shopping extremely easy and accessible.  Screen Shot 2018-02-12 at 9.10.01 PM
  9. Download the app Keep
    • Keep is another great program that takes trending items from all over the internet and shows them to you in a feed.  You can then like or buy those items at the best price around.  If you like an item, Keep emails you whenever that item has gone on sale somewhere.  The app is essentially a social media platform for shopping and is literally addicting.  Screen Shot 2018-02-12 at 9.27.29 PM.png
  10. Subscribe to Cools (email publication)
    • Cools is another great fashion based email subscription that notifies you of big sales happening online, in addition to them constantly updating you on note-worthy trends.  They release emails every week or so, keeping you in the loop of everything fashion related going on online.
  11. Use Polyvore
    • Yet another great resource that can save you a lot of money online; Polyvore is a site that drawls in clothing vendors from all over the internet to show clothes categorized by the trend.  You can like a trend, and then get notified when items under that trend go on sale.  The site has a ton of other services that are amazing and very useful for online shopping, in addition to an email service that also showcases current trends from the internet every week.  Screen Shot 2018-02-12 at 7.50.12 PM
  12. “Like” items that you would buy at a lower price
    • Finally, a small but helpful trick to finding clothes at the lowest price is to simply “like” or “add to wishlist” an item that you would potentially buy if the price were to drop.  By doing this, many stores will then email you when that item is added to sale or its price is lowered.  They also notify you when that item is low in stock or when your size that they might have been out of comes back into stock.  Easy, but extremely useful!

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January Picks

January can be one of the most un-motivating and dreary times of the year.  After the high of the holiday season, it can be difficult to decompress, detox, and move-on.  Here are 8 items, ideas, and inspiration to help with the mid-winter slump.  Disclaimer, affiliate links included.

  1. Hand Lotion- AHAVA Mineral Cream
  • The current cold weather is the WORST for skin, especially hands, resulting in me desperately putting on a thick hand cream every couple of hours to prevent the dreaded cracked and burning skin.  This Dead Sea sourced AHAVA cream is a great water-based formula that moisturizes well and smells great.
  • Find it on Amazon by clicking on the image.   

2.  Body Lotion- Brazilian Bum Bum Cream

  • Again, the dry and cold weather is dreadful for skin, meaning that a good body cream is a must.  This Bum Bum cream is amazing.  It’s nourishing, makes your skin shine, and smells like a legit beach.
  • Find it on Amazon by clicking the image, or at sephora.
     3.  Resurrect your hair with a nourishing hair mask- Nelson Argan Oil Mask
  • I find that during these crazy weather months, my hair suffers.  It becomes super staticy and I tend to develop more split ends that usual.  I recently found this product that infuses moisture into hair while helping to repair damage.  It is super easy to apply and does not take up much time.  My hair has been so much better since getting this!
  • Find the hair mask on Amazon by clicking the image.

4.  See an Oscar season movie in theaters

  • So many great movies come out in December, and while many plan on seeing movies around the holidays, they are still around after New Years.  This year was espically good with movies such as “The Darkest Hour” and “I, Tonya” which are both historical biopics complete with great acting.

5.  Get intrigued and spooked by the latest season of Black Mirror

  • Black Mirror has to be one of the most intriguing shows out there right now with its complicating plotwists, unique story lines, and disturbing themes.  Each episode of the show is entirly different, meaning that each episode has completely different characters, settings and even time periods.  They explore different distrubing realities and mostly focus on the dark side of technology.  While sometimes freaky, Black Mirror is so fascinating, and the new season on Netflix does not disappoint.

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6.  Shop for early Spring Break clothing on sale online

  • Ok, so you might think that it is too early for spring shopping, but Spring Break is coming up fast, and why not treat yourself to clothing you can look forward to wearing in a couple of months.  Many online retailers are having massive sales on Resort collections right now.  Find great deals at Shopbop, MyTeresa and Net-A-Porter.

7.  Invest in some stylish and durable winter boots to get you through the rest of the winter

  • I confess to really not liking typical winter boots.  I don’t mind the look; it is just that I feel bulky wearing them.  However, I finally realized my need for them, and found a great pair of Sorrel’s from Nordstrom that are cute and not too blocky.  I love them because they are unconventional and stylish.  There are so many unique options out there that help keep winter chic!

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8.  Discover winter’s newest late coming color trends

  • Black and White:  Fresh out of Paris Haute Couture Week, the classic combo is suddenly being revitalized and it’s bolder than ever.  The look is a great way to brighten up winter while still staying with darker tones.
  • Pink:  Millenial Pink is hotter than even with the subtle shade being wore all year round.  The sweet color looks bright and refined while still making a statement.

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    Skirt: See by Cholé.  Skirt: Milly.  Shoes: Schutz.  Sweater: 3.1 Phillip Lim

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November Picks

I realize that this is a little late in the month, but I have been busy with the holidays and school lately.  Anyways, with Christmas just around the corner, it is hands down the best time of year.  The hustle and bustle, the joy, and the overall craziness is something to be thankful for as we get closer to Christmas.  I have compiled a list of my usual monthly picks, along with tips for holiday shopping and deals.

What to listen to (affiliate links included):

Blake Shelton-Texoma Shore

  • The newly crowed sexiest man of the year (thank you People) has recently released an album called Texoma Shore.  With great countries songs, Blake Shelton’s keeps the album down to earth and real, something that pop/country artists seem to sometimes lack nowadays.  The hit single “I’ll Name the Dogs” is my personal favorite since it is such a great feel good love song.


Niall Horan- Flicker

  • One Direction member turned avid golf enthusiast turned solo pop artist and country collaborator, Niall Horan has done a lot recently to make a name for himself.  Back in my middle school days, I was head over heels for Niall (being a huge directioner), so I love to see how well he is doing.  It also does not surprise me how much I love her new and first solo album, Flicker.  Slow Hands is a great catchy fun tune, This Town is nice and reminiscent of a past time, and Seeing Blind is a great collaboration with Maren Morris, one of my favorite up and coming country stars.

What to watch (affiliate links included):

Made of Honor (2008)

  • This is a little known American rom com that I stumbled across on Netflix.  It is clever, very predictable (of course), hilarious, and happens to star Patrick Dempsey (Mr. McDreamy).  While the movie isn’t award worthy, it’s a great distraction to rest your mind for awhile.   Click on the photo to rent on Amazon.

A Royal Night Out (2015)

  • Another random Netflix find that happened to be fabulous.  A Royal Night Out tells the story of a young Queen Elizabeth on VE day at the end of WW2.  For anyone eagerly anticipating the return next month of The Crown (me!) and with talks of an upcoming royal wedding, this is sure to satisfy your need of British culture.  Again, a bunch of fluff, but fun!  Click on the photo to rent on Amazon.

Fashion- How to get good deals this Christmas shopping season

Alas, Black Friday has come and gone, for better or for worse.  If you are feeling like you missed out on savings for presents and a seasonal wardrobe makeover, do not fret and be glad that you avoided the unnecessary stress associated with overhyped “bargains”.  It is probably not a secret, but I rely on online shopping to find deals with an abundance of promo codes and online services that alert me on where to find something for the cheapest price. Throughout all of December, it is pretty much guaranteed that your favorite retailers will one, restock everything, and two, offer up similar (if not better) deals to those offered on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  Here are some tips on navigating this crazy shopping time.

  1.  Avoid all malls
  • Only go to an actually store if it is a must.  Malls and shopping areas are mobbed this time of year, causing extra stress and wasting time.  Online, you will find no actual people and much better discounts.

2.   Look into getting clothes and accessories through online department stores

  • Stores such as Nordstrom and Saks are super easy to navigate online and offer great return and shipping policies, especially this time of year.  Browse the gift guides and trend alerts for easy shopping, in addition to talking advantage of their fleeting and immense sales.

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3.    Download and use Honey

  • Honey.com is this amazing program that notifies you of promo codes and discounts while shopping at stores online.  The little widget will get downloaded on to your search bar and you can use it at pretty much any store.  What is even more amazing is that by using Honey, you get reward points that you can redeem for virtual gift cards.  It rewards you for saving!

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4.     Do not delete all of those sale notification emails

  • While they are super annoying and might seem meaningless, you never know when you might need to buy something from some random site.  When you do, it is nice to be able to go back and search for the store to see if any deals are currently going on.

5.   Sign up for ShopItToMe

  • This is another great resource that can save you a ton of money online.  Shop it to Me is an online program that sends you daily alerts of sales going on for any item of  your so-called “favorite brands”.  The best part of it is that you tell them all your sizes, so the clothes that are shown on sale are going to be in your size.  You like brands, put down your sizes, and voilà, you get notified when ever something that you might like is on sale anywhere online.  Screen Shot 2017-11-28 at 9.39.58 PM.png
  • I hope to have provided some good tips on shopping this month.  Stay tuned for a more comprehensive guide to saving money while shopping online in the future.

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September Picks

Every month, as part of my rebranding, I’ve decided to share tidbits and suggestions on what’s new and out there in terms of music, style, movies, and news.  I’ll write about what I’ve been up to and what I’ve discovered, along with trends in my world and the world around me.  I hope to spread insight to tips!

What I’ve been listening to:

Since I haven’t been at college for long, and I’m still not super comfortable with my surroundings, I’ve gathered some older goodies that make me think of home and my journey in a good comforting way.

 

Things to watch:

  •  House of Z- A Vogue DocumentaryScreen Shot 2017-09-17 at 7.39.22 PM
    • As a part of a fashion week special, Vogue came out with documentary portraying the rise, fall and rebound of the young star designer Zac Posen, designer of his own atelier and top creative director at Brooks Brother’s Women.  I came across the documentary randomly, and decided to look into it. It was very well done and interesting to watch.  Highly recommend.
  • Outlander Season 3
    • The popular Starz original has returned with an anticipated 3rd season that can be watched either on Starz or Xfinity.  Based on a series of novels, the show follows a young nurse named Claire as she finds herself time traveling away from a post-WW2 England into a 18th century Scotland.  Season 2 ended with a major cliff-hanger which promises an intense return of the series.

 

College Game Day season!

  • As a college freshman, I have been stocking up on cute apparel to showcase my school spirit.  Baseball caps and beads are great go-tos while rugby shirts are making their way into must-have lists.
  • I also love my Spirit Shoes from Jack Rogers.  They have their own special collection where their iconic sandal is made in school colors making them perfect for sporting events, or when you feel the need to display school pride.  You can have them custom made, or if your like me, you can get the boater style Jacks which are waterproof, lighter and cheaper than the originals.

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    Game Day Essentials!

 

Fashion Week Franticness

  • Guess what?  It’s September, meaning that the fashion capitals of the world are being/ will be swarmed with celebrities, models, designers, and reporters; all trying to get a glimpse of what will be in style this coming year.  Being mid-way through, many trends have emerged that seem to be worthy of attention such as sequins on dresses, skirts and shirts, velvet everything, oversized blazers, and statement faux fur pieces.  I’ve compiled links to these trends below.

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Can be found at https://www.jcrew.com/p/womens_category/outerwear/puffersandvests/fauxfur-vest/H0514.  This vest is perfect for fall.

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White after labour day?  YES, why not.  I’m a stickler for tradition and rules, but when it comes to the color white,  I am all for wearing it year round.  It’s totally acceptable if you love white like me, and no one will judge you anymore.  Vogue has even denounced the old rule.  Anyways, white shoes are huge this year.  The ones here are Rebecca Minkoff loafers, and can be found on ShopBop.  Click here:  https://www.shopbop.com/edie-loafers-rebecca-minkoff/vp/v=1/1500861073.htm?folderID=13872&fm=other-shopbysize-viewall&os=false&colorId=12397

 

 

I’m obsessed with this velvet shoe trend, and I’m hoping to personally get a pair for winter because they are so cool and classy.  Here are two kinds that can be from at Saks.  The first one is from Joie and can be found here: https://www.saksfifthavenue.com/main/ProductDetail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524447072505 .  The second one is Ash, and can be found here: https://www.saksfifthavenue.com/main/ProductDetail.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374306624251&PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524447128034&R=191154032051&P_name=Ash&N=306624251+1556&bmUID=lW4UFGO

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Sequins are another unique trend that’s definitely out there.  If your daring enough, this is differently the time to go invest in a sequined piece such as this one from Topshop.  http://us.topshop.com/en/tsus/product/petite-sequin-plunge-mini-dress-6758504?bi=0&ps=20&Ntt=sequins

 

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Blazers are big right now.  And what’s even bigger, large oversized printed blazers such as ones with strips or gingham.  Have fun with this classy trend.  This one pictured is from Club Monaco and can be found on sale here: http://www.clubmonaco.com/product/index.jsp?productId=89247636

 

Tip for living the college life

 

  • Did you know that Sephora has a great shipping and awards program?  Well, if you sign up for free, you can not only get points towards free stuff when you need to order mascara last minute, but get 3 free samples of your choice in your order.  I don’t know about you, but I’ll take anything free, and samples are a great way of trying new products and such from the bubble of a college campus.  What is more, Sephora will send you perfume samples to test which are actually really enjoyable to get in the mail.

 

  • I ordered a great sleeping mask from them when I discovered a need for one week two into college (who would have thought that was an essential?).  It helps me fall asleep much better, and is super light and soft.  The silk also prevent my eyes from having marks the next morning too!  Get one here at: https://www.sephora.com/product/silk-sleepmask-P402942?skuId=1771294&icid2=products%20grid:p402942

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How to make the most out of college tours

Visiting colleges is a big deal.  As a higher schooler, it is hard to figure out where you want to spend the next 4 years of your life.  At first it can be exciting, but as the novelty wears off, the tours can become a bit of a burden.  However, after a year of touring 16 colleges in different towns, I have figured how to make the most out of them and I want to share some of my insight.  For high schoolers everywhere, college tours don’t have to be dreaded.  The key is turning them into mini vacations of sort.  By taking time to explore a given town or area, you not only get to experience new places but also get to see first hand what life is like for students at a said college.

Tips-

  1. Stay somewhere near a school.  Sometimes, especially in bigger towns, the school could only be near a small part of town.  More often than not, that area is more charming and caters more towards students and a younger crowd.  Fun shops and cool hang out restaurants inhabit these areas, making the trip more amusing.
  2. After you tour a school, I highly recommend visiting the school chapel or church.  More often than not, a school’s chapel marks the peak of beauty at a school.  You don’t have to be religious to appreciate the different types of architecture these chapels have to offer.  Take some time to marvel at the beauty.
  3. However, don’t spend too much time on the campus.  Instead, make time to explore the local area.  When going to school, you’re living in that town.  Don’t feel as though you have to spend all day on campus.  Go explore and make it fun!
  4. Try to stay, if possible, in a local inn or bed and breakfast.  Usually, these types of places are more in the part of town where you want to be.  Also, they are fun and the people there really know the area well.  I recommend asking the inn owners about local places to eat and shop.  They often know a lot about the history of the area and such, so ask them to learn more about where you are.
  5. Now, if you are in a big city, that is different.  A good way to ask for advice on what to do is to ask the college themselves as they often want to show potential prospects the best of what is around.
  6. Eat at local places.  Different regions and places have their own specialities that are always worth a try and they help you really understand the area.  Don’t just eat at chain restaurants.  Have some fun eating at cool places!
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    Oysters in Connecticut

  7. See what other activities you can do in the area.  Visit a museum or do some site seeing.  Make the most out of where you are.

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    On a trip to New York State, we ventured to Niagara for a fun experience!

  8. Lastly, have a positive attitude and enjoy it.  You only go to college once!