Saturday, August 30, 2014

Five Ways To Stop Procrastinating

I am a huge procrastinator. Unless I have the proper mindset to get work done, it's really easy to put things off. With the school year just having started, I've found it pretty hard to adjust from the summer schedule when you can pretty much procrastinate a day away without it being any trouble. Now, I have school for 7ish hours a day with 7 hours out of school if I want to get to sleep by 11. Which doesn't usually happen.

Anyway, here are my best tips to avoid procrastination. Hope they help!

picture via
1. Clean Up
If my desk is a mess, I simply can't do anything. I have to have a clean work space to get anything done! You'd be surprised how much an organized desk can do for your motivation. My advice: set a 5 minute timer on your phone and clean up/organize as much as you can. The time goes by quickly, promise! Or, if you don't have 5 minutes, simply lay everything on your desk in a basket to be looked through later.

2. Make a To-Do List
If you have a physical list of what needs to be done, it's a lot easier to feel as though you need to get started ASAP. It's also quite fun to check things off! I personally love to make my checklists on sticky notes or index cards.

3. Put Breaks on Your To-Do List
It's super easy to feel like you deserve a break after doing some work. And you do! But, it's also super easy to take much too long of a break and stray far away from your work and waste more time than you thought you would. So, I put specific breaks on my to-do list. For example: watch 15 minutes of Netflix, edit photos for yearbook, eat a snack, check Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and email.

4. Go Somewhere Else
I find that if I'm away from my house, I can concentrate a lot easier. Sometimes I like to go to Starbucks but if I feel too lazy to drive, I sit outside in a hammock or at a table in my backyard. It really helps to not have distractions from your house!

5. Break It Up
No one is making you do all 40 of your math problems in one sitting, so why should you? Do 10 problems, then write part of your English paper, then do 10 more, do your science homework, finish the paper, and finish the problems! I get really impatient if I stick with one subject for too long, so this method works!

What are your tips to avoid procrastination?


Friday, August 29, 2014

Not Ready To Grow Up (Yet)

Today was picture day at my school and as a member of the Yearbook staff, we are required to more or less run the process and do pretty much everything except take the pictures. This is how it works: we (the staff) sit at a table outside the auditorium with signs saying where people should go based on last name to get their photo card to hand to the photographer, etc.

Everything was going smoothly even though our Yearbook adviser wasn't at school that day. Then, a few junior boys decided they all wanted to wear turtlenecks and granny glasses in their pictures. Fine, their pictures, their money, their choice. It seemed harmless, yet it created a large fiasco resulting in the boys having to retake their pictures on make-up day and an assistant principal yelling at us (the staff) for the situation.

This was extremely emotionally exhausting for all of us and we'll now have to deal with an angry yearbook supervisor tomorrow. That isn't the problem though. The problem here lies with stereotypes in society. The first being that kids can't handle situations: Instead of asking us, the staff, to ask the boys to not wear turtle necks and handling what was going on, the photographers went straight to the administration. The second creates a double standard: We, high school seniors, should be expected to take responsibility and make smarter decisions since we're so close to being adults.

Before I go further, take a look at this quote:

Don't rush and expect them to grow up too fast. Let them enjoy being a carefree child as long as possible

To me, this says "Let kids (even high schoolers) stay kids as long as possible; don't force them to grow up too quickly." Going back to my story, the administrators and photographers weren't letting us be little in any way at all. They were expecting us to make the right decisions in a situation that we saw as harmless, even a little humorous. We're only 17; we can't be expected to know what the right decision is, much less make the same decision a 40 year old would make.

I know I'll be in college in a year, but let me still be young while I have the chance. Let us be little.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Spots and Sparkles

I absolutely fell in love with this top when I saw it! I was in the LOFT in Times Square and I don't normally like to buy things for full price but I just had to have it. Same goes for the necklace! The moment I saw it, I knew I needed it in my life, but it was sold out at the time! I got on the waiting list for it on BaubleBar and finally was able to get it.

Sleeveless tops like these are my favorite type of shirts because they require so little effort yet they look so classy and put-together. Plus, they don't break dress code at my school so I don't have to worry about wearing a cardigan to cover my shoulders! This top is definitely one of my go-tos when I have no idea what to wear.

What are your "go-tos" in your closet?


Monday, August 25, 2014

Fall Color Inspiration

I love fall. It's not too hot, not too cold, and always filled with a nice breeze and chilly mornings. Fall is when you can still get away with only a chambray shirt and leave a jacket at home and not freeze your butt off. Fall is perfect.

I do find, however, that it's super easy to slip into a routine of leggings and long-sleeved t-shirts during fall and even if you stray away and put on a pair of jeans (gasp!) it's still much to easy to only stick to neutrals. Neutrals are never a bad thing, but the color palette of fall is way too good to not take advantage of! So, here's some color inspiration for fall:


Fall is definitely a great time to bring out the plaid and flannel shirts that have been sitting in the back of your closet since winter! My favorite fall plaid combination is orange, brown, and yellow with a hint of blue.//via
Vermont during peak foliage season.Im Going To Be Going To Vermont In October   To Take Beautiful   Fall Scenery.Donna Spinner

Look to the trees for inspiration! There are so many great shades of oranges and reds and yellows that could be statement pieces in outfits!//via

The Autumn Palette | 10 Color Palettes (and HEX Codes) Perfect for the Autumn/Fall Season.  For more color ideas, follow us at

I adore this color palette. Crimson reds and dark purples are crucial fall colors. They go with the scenery of fall so nicely!//via

♂ Dark background Food styling photography still life - Spices

Another great place to look for fall color inspiration? Your spice rack! You'd be surprised, but so many spices are the perfect muted fall colors.//via

Pumpkin and Indian corn still life Photograph. My childhood in a photo

Definitely take a peek at your local pumpkin patch for the best fall colors. Indian corn has every fall color imaginable!//via

Where do you look to for fall color inspiration?

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Why I Can't Wait For Fall

Fall is arguably the best season. It's not too hot, not too cold, and you get to wear the cutest clothes. I personally love fall; it's the perfect transition from summer to winter and everything is just great. The changing leaves, pumpkin patch trips, not to mention pumpkin spice lattes! Check out these pictures below to see what I mean:

Me last fall!
A picture I took last fall!
cute sign...and it included the best part of fall: FOOTBALL!!!! Go Vols!!!!
Football Season is the best.
fall leaves....Find this on a romantic hike with hubby this fall, take the pic, then have a picnic!

Starbucks is a must!

End a perfect evening with friends and family by enjoying s'mores around an open fire. All you need to make this summer-camp treat are bamboo sticks, graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows.
Fall isn't fall without a good bonfire!//via

Fall Outfit With Long Boots and Tartan
It's not fall without an outfit like this!//via

What are your favorite parts about fall? Comment below!


Friday, August 22, 2014

Instagram vs. Reality: What Was Really Happening?

I've been seeing posts like these all over and thought it was about time that I do my own! They are absolutely hilarious, yet so true! I hate that we use social media to only display the best aspects of ourselves; it's as if we're pretending we live our lives behind a permanent Instagram filter! So, here we go:

What it looks like//Oh, hi! I'm just casually taking this picture on a beautiful Cape Cod morning. Plus, this is exactly what I was looking at. I didn't edit this or put a filter on it at all! Pardon me while I head to a quaint coffee shop now...

What was really happening//It was really windy. And cold. And I got chased by a seagull and almost fell off of the jetty we were on. Plus, my stomach was killing me because I ate one too many donuts that morning. Oh, and I put so many filters on this picture that I think I lost count.

What it looks like//Just another early morning donut run at the beach! We drove down to the cutest little bakery to get these all while dressed up in our best brunch attire. I just had to snap a quick pic before we dug in!

What was really happening//It was raining so hard outside that I thought a hurricane was going to strike. My friends and I were actually wearing skirts and cute tops, but we ended up getting soaked while trying to get these. Plus, I wouldn't let anyone eat these until I had the perfect picture, which took about 50 tries.

What it looks like//Don't mind me, just planning a casual trip to New York! I'm quite excited to spend afternoons gallivanting around the Upper East Side. Oh how silly, my bracelet happened to fall onto my map! Let me take a picture real quick. Okay, back to planning!

What was really happening//I set up this picture in twenty. different. ways. I probably took a variation of this like 100 times and it took forever to choose the right one. I'm still not too happy with how it turned out but whatever!

What it looks like//How splendid! Macarons from Laduree in the city, just what I needed! They stack so perfectly, I must have a picture before I take the first bite! Alright, done! Now to taste...

What was really happening//I spent pretty much 30 minutes trying to get a decent picture of my macarons and then another 10 or so editing it. All I wanted to do was try one, but of course I had to have the perfect picture.

Check out my other Instagram pics: @caitlinmarie17


Monday, August 18, 2014

Anchors Away!

J. Crew is fabulous. That's all I really have to say. The shorts and belt speak for themselves! I really do love  a good pair of patterned shorts; remember this post? Anyway, I've never been much of a belt person, but I fell in love with this anchor one! It's actually Crew Cuts, to be honest. Since I'm basically the size of a 12 year old, I can still fit into kids sizes!


Saturday, August 16, 2014

College Essay Tips

College Essays.


Through the various college tours I went on, and through talking to friends who have already gone through the admissions process, I've accumulated a bit of info about writing a college essay. I'm not an expert at all, so I'm simply going to give you guys more or less some of the direct quotes from people that I found to be the most helpful.

"Be passionate. The admissions officers want to know what you're passionate about and why. If you spent your entire summer learning about something you're passionate about, put that somewhere in your essay. If you scoured libraries for books on what you're interested in, put it in there. They want to see passion." - a friend

"Use your own voice. I can tell an 18-year-old high school senior's writing voice from a 40-year-old lawyer's voice." - an admissions officer

"To start the writing process, fill in this: 'I am a ______ person.' and go from there." - an admissions officer

"Be self aware. We want to see that you can take that deeper step in your writing and show us who you are through self awareness." - an admissions officer

"Write often. You never know when you'll come across an essay you really like. Plus, you can generally use extra essays you write for supplements." - a friend

"Tell a story. Admissions doesn't want to be bored with a simple essay. Also try to find a deeper meaning by using a metaphor that relates to your story." - a friend

"Don't write a 'McEssay.' By that I mean don't write a generic five-paragraph essay with an intro, body paragraphs and a conclusion. Find your voice and just write." - an admissions officer

What are your college essay tips?


Thursday, August 14, 2014

New (School) Year Resolutions

I honestly don't understand New Years resolutions. Why wait until a new year to change something about your life? I believe that if you're going to make a change, start right away. I should probably follow that advice myself sometimes, but don't put off something that could make your life better. Anyway, I'm about to start my senior year of high school, and there are some resolutions, per say, that I'd like to work on this year that I definitely shouldn't wait to start until January. A new school year is a great fresh start in the year and therefore should come with some resolutions!

picture via
focus more on photography//I love photography. My dream is to hop on a plane with nothing but a backpack and a camera and just capture the world in photographs. I loved going to New York because there were so many opportunities for great pictures, especially of the people! (see some of pictures here!) I really want to learn more about photography and dive deeper into the subject this year.

commit more to blogging//I have definitely been a lazy blogger in the past. I really do enjoy blogging as an outlet and I love writing, so it's a great way to work on that, too. This summer I've tried to make blogging more of a permanent hobby rather than a here-and-there kind of thing and I plan to continue that through the school year.

be more confident//Everyone could probably use a little more confidence in their lives! To be more specific with this one, I want to raise my hand and participate more in class. I always find myself wanting to say something but not having the confidence to say it. I'm going to try really hard to push myself to do this.

spend time with my sister//Don't get me wrong, I see my sister all the time. But we don't necessarily "hang out." As I'm off to college in about a year, I want to spend a ton of time with her and get to know her even better before I have to leave.

save money//I've always been good at saving, but recently I've been splurging where I shouldn't be. I want to bring financial focus back into my life with more saving and more babysitting! :)

decision making//I am horrible at making decisions. Just ask my friends: if we're deciding where to go to eat, my answer is always "I don't know" or "I don't care." I really want to work on this, especially since I have to decide where I'll be going to college...

What are your school year resolutions?


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Back To School Essentials

 I hate to say it, but it's that time of year again. Going back to school is upon us and the only way to face the misery is to shop. Well, for school supplies, that is. I personally love shopping for school supplies and getting everything organized for the school year. There's something so great about having fresh binders, fresh notebooks, etc. There are some things, however, that I can't live without. Here they are:

1. Lilly Pulitzer Agenda
This is definitely the most important. Any agenda at all for that matter is necessary in order for me to keep my life together and make sure I don't forget anything. The plus side about Lilly agendas? They're adorable and colorful and make dreary schoolwork all that much better.

2. Water Bottle
I tend to forget to drink water at home while doing homework and during the day at school. If I have a water bottle with me constantly, it's easy to just mindlessly drink water. Plus, a hydrated brain is a smarter brain! (At least that's what everyone says.)

3. Pencils
No brainer!

4. Washi Tape
Colorful washi tape is the reason I can withstand note-taking. I always label the top of my notes with washi tape by writing the subject on the tape. It really makes my notes pop and actually look fun, believe it or not.

5. Lilly Pulitzer Highlighters
Highlighters, like pencils, are a no-brainer. But Lilly Pulitzer highlighters? Yes, please!

6. Post-it Notes
All of my to-do lists are made on post-it notes. The fact that they stick almost anywhere and are colorful makes them that much better. I literally go through stacks of these during the school year!

7. Staedtler Pens
I LOVE felt tip pens. They make the world amazing. The Staedtler brand pens are my favorites, but Sharpie pens come in a close second.

8. Nail Polish
With all the chaos through the school year, having my nails painted makes me feel like I have at least something together in my life. Plus, you're going to be looking at your nails all throughout the school year as they type away on a keyboard, so why not have them look cute?

9. iPad/Tablet/Laptop
Some type of device to do work on is a must. I love having an iPad mini because I can bring it practically anywhere in my purse and write papers and do homework on it. I got a keyboard to go with it, too, so it's like having a mini laptop! I also have my laptop, but I treat that more like a desktop computer, though.

What are your back to school essentials?


Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Fab Girl Bloggers Community

If you're a blogger and you haven't heard about it yet, you should definitely check out The Fab Girl Blogger community. I've recently joined and let me tell you, it's a wonderful group of girls. The whole reason it was founded is because there isn't a solid community for teenage girl bloggers, even though the large base is there.


Here are some quick facts:

1. To join, you must be a girl blogger between the ages of 13 and 22.

2. As a member, you can submit posts to be posted on The Fab Girls blog.

3. Bloggers connected with brands can share info so other bloggers can have the opportunity to connect, too.

4. Members can create events and meet-ups to get to know fellow bloggers.

5. You can join by filling out a quick application here.

Let me know if you join!


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Styling Chinos

On my trip to New York (read about it here!) I came across the most amazing deal ever: J. Crew chino shorts for 15 dollars! I promptly bought 5 pairs and started coming up with a bunch of ways to style them. The best part? They're extremely comfortable, super well-made, and so, so cute. What's really great about them is that you can dress them down or dress them up super easily. This is the outfit I wore the other day for a breakfast date with my boyfriend and then dinner with my two best friends!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

5 Things To Do On College Tours

{read about what to bring on college tours here}

After touring a few colleges, it started to become clear as to what is important to do on each one. With the limited amount of time I had at each one since we were heading to a new college each day, it was important to fit in the right stuff and not waste time on other things. So hopefully you all can learn from my mistakes! I've compiled a list of the five most important things I think should be done when visiting a college.

one//talk to your tour guide

Throughout the duration of your actual campus tour, there is no resource more valuable than your tour guide. Most colleges generally go through a highly selective process to pick the best people as tour guides and these people are also highly trained in all things about the college. They will pretty much have an answer for everything, whether it's about student life or academics. Plus, you can generally pick which tour guide you guide you go with after they introduce themselves, so pick one that has a similar major to one you're interested in!

two//talk to an admissions officer

At the end of most tours, you generally have the option to stick around and either talk to your tour guide more or speak with an admissions officer. Definitely, definitely, definitely talk to an admissions officer. If you have any question at all about admissions, the school, what the school is looking for etc., they'll be more than happy to answer it. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by the whole admissions process until I talked to a wonderful officer at the University of Virginia. He really gave me some great advice!

three//wander the campus

This is something I really wish I had done more of at some of the schools I visited. It's really important to get a feel for what the campus is like, especially since it would potentially be your home for four or more years. Definitely take some time either before or after the tour to get to know the campus more. Even a campus tour sometimes goes so quickly that it's hard to judge if you enjoy a campus or mot.

four//take notes and pictures

If you're taking multiple tours within a few days, the tours can run together in your head easily, so you'll definitely want some notes and pictures to look back on to jolt your memory.

five//explore the town

This is definitely one of the more important parts of a college visit. Can you see yourself living there? For me, this was a make-or-break kind of thing because I had a hard time picturing myself in schools that were smack dab in the middle of a city whereas I enjoyed schools that were in smaller, but still big-ish, towns. I was set on going to college in the city, but going to the actual school changed my opinion.

Do you guys have any tips to add?


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Why You Should Use Vitamin E Oil

The other day in Sephora, I asked a saleslady to help me find an eye shadow that would look good on me because I know absolutely nothing about makeup. Seriously. Upon trying out a color on my eyelid, she informed me that the skin around my eyes was quite dry. Her advice: grab some Vitamin E Oil and dab it around my eyes every night before bed. So that's what I did!

Throughout the time I've been using Vitamin E Oil, I've noticed some other benefits and different ways to use it. Here they are:

Reduces Dark Circles
My mom realized this one, actually. One morning she told me that I barely had any trace of dark circles under my eyes, which really surprised me because I generally have really, really bad bags under my eyes every day. I looked in the mirror and lo and behold, they were gone!

This one's obvious, but it's so, so true. Vitamin E Oil is practically better than lotion! I rub a small amount of it on my face, too because I have dry skin. I also put some on my upper arms because I've always had little bumps all over them and the oil practically took them away!

And here are my tips on using the oil:

Use Sparingly
I cannot repeat this enough- you barely need any of it because it definitely goes a long way! A tiny, tiny drop will cover your eyelid, under your eye and both corners of your eye. You can always use more if you feel like you're wearing the oil too thin, though.

Wash Your Face
I always wash my face before putting on the oil because I don't want to trap dirt or anything else under the oil all night. I also wash my face first thing in the morning.

I swear, Vitamin E Oil is some magical stuff. If you're still on the edge, I'll let you know that it smells sweet, sort of like lemons. It also doesn't feel sticky and if it gets in your eye it doesn't hurt at all. Plus, it absorbs into your skin like a lotion, so it doesn't just sit there all night. Just make sure to wash your hands after putting it on and try not to touch your face too much.

You can buy Vitamin E Oil here or at your local drugstore.

Have you tried any alternative moisturizers?