Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thrift Store Finds

Clothes-shopping on a budget pro-tip: go to thrift stores. I found this adorable sweater at a GoodWill for only $4.00!! I've also found J. Crew chino shorts in the past for similar prices. Plus, it's fun to go through racks and racks of clothing, never knowing what you'll find. Another great part: it's a nice break from the mall and general shopping! Sometimes I get so bored of seeing the same things over and over if I'm at the mall too often, so it's great to have a whole new set of clothes to look through.

Have you ever had any good thrift store finds?


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

I love Thanksgiving. The colors, the food, the people! (And the subsequent shopping, of course.) So, as not to make this post too long, I wanted to share a few of my favorite holiday pictures as a little Pinspiration to get into the Thanksgiving spirit.


Sparkling sequined skirt with black sweater and gold clutch

Fire. Shoes.

Cranberry, citrus, cinnamon sticks, and rosemary stovetop potpourri

Happy Thanksgiving!


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

College Life is Weird

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of spending time with my best friend, Lauchlan, that I've known since I was 11. We met at camp, and even though she lives in Chattanooga and I in Atlanta, we've managed to maintain our friendship ever since. But this time, instead of trekking up to Chattanooga, I flew to Charlottesville, Virginia to stay with her at the University of Virginia! I find that to be utterly and totally crazy, but in the best way possible. Crazy, in the sense that we've managed to stay as close as we have over the years, and a different type of crazy, in the sense that this was also a trip to experience college life before I attend one next year. And let me tell you, college life from the perspective of  a high school senior is weird. And interesting. But mainly weird.

On the Lawn at UVA in front of the Rotunda!

First of all, I say that college life is weird because of the most obvious aspect: you live completely dependent on yourself, with no one to answer to, and with no "adults" keeping you in check. (I put adults in quotation marks since technically college students are adults, yet how can you feel grown up at 18??) The feeling of independence is much too real. You're in charge of your own life, and that's that. As simple as the idea may seem, it's odd to think that every decision you make is truly your own, affecting only your life.

We tried to hike, but it was raining, so we stopped at an overlook to take pictures with some of Lauchlan's friends!

I say that college life is interesting because of the simple spontaneity of it all. For example, on Saturday night, we ate dinner, and then went to an acapella concert, and then to an amazing dessert party that started at 10:30PM. I thought that that was a seemingly late start time, but, as it turns out, that's pretty normal for college time. Around 11:30, we were walking towards that dorms with a few of Lauchlan's friends, when we ran into some more people and proceeded to go to a restaurant until 1:30AM or so, a totally normal Saturday night. I guess the independence of college allows for spontaneity, since you decide what you want to do, and when, without many others telling you otherwise.

 Loved my outfit from Saturday. You can't go wrong with a field jacket!

Another interesting aspect: practically everyone you meet is down for a conversation. The people I met were genuinely interested in talking and making new friends, if only for the night. This was a weird thing to experience coming from a high school perspective, since everyone, in my school at least, tends to keep to their own friend groups and strays off only when necessary. I assume that this comes from the fact that college students, especially freshmen, are always trying to grow their friend base, since you more or less have to start anew.

We stopped at a random Christmas tree farm on Sunday because, well, why not?

 My stay at UVA was quite honestly completely different from anything I'd ever experienced before, mainly because of the newfound independence. I know I'm looking forward to creating my own schedule next year, and all the different parts that come with life away from home.


Monday, November 24, 2014

Black Friday Survival Guide

Black Friday is one of my favorite parts of the holiday season. Not only do you get some great prices, but when else do you get to shop from midnight until who-knows-when? Black Friday shopping was always been something my mom and I did until she decided she didn't want to stay up all night anymore. Now, my friends and I always make a good time out of it and then I meet my mom for some early morning shopping so she can get her beauty sleep. So, here are my tips and tricks for a successful Black Friday!

black friday

Hair Ties
I promise no one will be looking cute while shopping in the middle of the night. And, chances are, your hair won't be in the best condition. I always bring a few hair ties in case I need to do a quick messy bun or braid. Plus, it's nice not to have hair in your face when you're tired and speed-shopping.

This one is a biggie. There's no telling if the food court in the mall will be open or not, and shopping on an empty stomach is not the most fun thing in the world. I thought I'd be full from Thanksgiving dinner last year, but I got pretty hungry sometime between 2 and 3AM.

A Cross-Body Bag
Your hands will be filled with shopping bags, which will already make it hard to carry clothing and other items through stores. So, make it easy on yourself, and bring a bag you can sling over our shoulder without having to worry.

Wear a Big Sweater
You're not going to want to take a long time in the dressing room, so a big sweater that you can take on and off easily is the best way to go. I'll probably wear one with leggings and shoes that are easy to take on and off.

Back-Up Phone Battery
If your phone dies at 3AM, it can get pretty hectic trying to find your friends in a crowded store. Definitely bring one of these to make sure that doesn't happen.

...and now for some tips!

1. Check the newspapers for coupons and deals.

2. Bring a list of items/gifts you want to buy. (It's easy to get caught up in the shopping and end up forgetting what you wanted to get!)

3. Hit the stores that open at midnight for a while, go back to sleep, and wake up for the stores that open at 6 or 7AM so you don't tire out.

4. Double check store opening times and make a schedule of where you want to go when.

5. Organize your wallet beforehand so you can get through checkout as quickly as possible. 

What are your Black Friday tips?


Friday, November 21, 2014

An Anthropologie Holiday

I went to the mall the other day to pick out a shirt for an event, but, as we all know, it's quite impossible to walk past all the stores without going in at least a few, especially if their decorations are as enticing as Anthropologie's! I always find myself wishing my house could look like one of their stores because their layout is that good.

Anyway, on this particular trip, I was drawn toward an entire section of the store dedicated to holiday odds and ends. Let me tell you, the Anthropologie holiday collection is the cutest set of decorations, wrapping supplies, and trinkets I have ever seen. My family is addicted to anything holiday-related, so I'm huge on unique decorations and nice wrapping. So, I immediately made a list of what I needed. (Yes, this is a need.)

Next time you're in a mall, do yourself a favor and walk into Anthropologie. You won't regret it.

Where is your favorite place to shop for holiday decorations?


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wednesday Whims

wednesday whims

Dress / Sweater / Pajamas / Necklace / Necklace

I'm a sucker for cute statement necklaces. I don't like the super big ones, so the two above from BaubleBar and J. Crew are perfect. I don't know how they do it, but both always turn out the best pieces of jewelry a girl could ask for.

I've been looking for a dress like the one above for the longest time. This type of dress honestly seems like the perfect winter staple. Pair it with tights and black flats or boots and a warm grey/white/black coat, and you instantly have a perfect outfit for a wintry night out! The sweater is also from Madewell, and I couldn't help but include it because of how comfy it looks!

J. Crew
Don't tell me those pajamas aren't adorable. Because they are. I used to wear just a t-shirt and Nike shorts to bed every night, but I've recently discovered the luxury of nice pajamas. It makes falling asleep or simply lounging around that much better. Plus, why not buy actual pajamas when J. Crew makes cute ones like these?


Monday, November 17, 2014

Marely Lilly Product Review

After a not-so-great week, I was absolutely delighted to find a package from Marley Lilly sitting in my mailbox! If you haven't heard of them before, Marley Lilly is hands-down one of the cutest websites you can go to for all of your monogram needs. Anything and everything can be monogrammed, from boots to bows to jackets to jewelry to, well, anything!

First of all, how adorable is that purse? The scalloped edges are perfectly shaped, the gold buckle is an excellent touch to match the gold link chain, and even the inside is cute! This bag is perfect for pretty much any outfit. I can see myself wearing it with a dress for a night out with friends, but it's great as a casual accessory, too! The leather color matches almost anything, so it's super easy to pair it with whatever outfit you'd like. And of, course, you can't forget how cute the monogram is! (Bonus tip: the purse comes with a shorter interchangeable strap, too!)

My favorite part about the bracelet is how simple the monogram is. It doesn't stand out too much, but at the same time, it makes a statement all on its own by hanging so elegantly. I absolutely adore the little tassel as well! It really is the perfect touch. Plus, the gold chain is to die for!

Get the purse here and the bracelet here.

What have you all gotten from Marley Lilly recently?


Thank you to Marley Lilly for sponsoring this post!

Friday, November 14, 2014

What a Week

You know those weeks where even coffee doesn't cut it? Where a Pinterest pinning spree doesn't make you feel better? Where a happy text from a friend doesn't make you forget your worries? Well, that was my week. It's really been an entire string of unfortunate events. So, I thought I would share my not-so-great moments, along with the good ones that somehow managed to squeeze their way in-between all the chaos. (Such as finding this perfectly yellow leaf below!)

Monday//Every Monday, I have wind ensemble rehearsal, which means I have to leave at 6:20PM and I don't get back until around 9:45. This really takes a toll on my homework situation, so I stayed up until 3AM doing homework. Not fun.

Tuesday//I was so tired. All day. Then that night, I had a practice round for a competition we're doing in my AP Government class where part of it is answering questions about something on the spot, which I'm not very good at. I was already nervous because of how much caffeine I drank (and caffeine gives me anxiety), and I ended up totally blanking.

Wednesday//I dropped my phone in the toilet. Yeah. (Don't worry though, it still works.) It gave me so much unneeded extra stress that I cried while sitting on the kitchen floor flipping through an L.L. Bean catalog that my mother was trying to console me with. (She knows me too well.)

Thursday//Long story short, I broke my favorite necklace. And got assigned a huge paper that's due tomorrow. Woo.

And now it's Friday. (Thank goodness.)

So, to drown out the negativity a little, here are the good things that happened this week:

1. I booked plane tickets to visit my friend at the University of Virginia. (!!!)
2. The weather became delightfully cold.
3. My grade went up in AP Government.
4. The really important set of pictures for Yearbook that I've been working on this week has gone surprisingly well.
5. I got to see my old youth group leader for the first time in a year!
6. I got a Peppermint Mocha Latte at Starbucks. (It's the best.)

Moral of the story: there can be good in-between the bad.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wednesday Whims

wednesday whims


Ann Mashburn
Truth be told, I'm obsessed with fair isle sweaters. Ann Mashburn, a clothing company with some of the most gorgeous items, does this type of sweater perfectly, as seen above. It's simple, yet just festive enough. Also, if you've been around for the last few posts, you'll know that I love, love, love plaid. Ann Mashburn's plaid scarf is simply perfection. I think no explanation is needed for the skirt - the design does the talking for itself!

Apparel by PW
I am obsessed with Apparel by PW. Basically, they're a nautical and classy Boston-based company that makes the cutest bracelets, sunglass straps, and everything in-between. The needlepoint bracelets really are to die for! And, they'd go perfectly with pretty much any outfit.


Monday, November 10, 2014

Dealing With Lasts

Senior year is full to the brim with lasts. I had my last first day of high school, my last homecoming, and recently, my last high school football game. I've spent the past four falls spending my Fridays under the lights of the stadium with all of my friends. Every game produced a photo album full of memories, and I get a little nostalgic every time I look through them. Honestly, I got a little teary-eyed when our team scored the final touchdown in the last second of the game. I was so happy to be a part of the spirit-filled student section. Then, I looked around and realized this was my last time to cheer like this with those people.

To me, lasts mean change, which isn't something I'm too fond of. If you are going through a bunch of lasts, the only thing that can be next is a whole string of firsts. For me, that will be college. I'm honestly quite scared about being thrown into an entirely new environment of people and places I'm not familiar with.

But, there is something to remember here: you can't have new experiences without firsts. Quite frankly, some of my fondest memories are built on firsts. So, as much as I am afraid of college, I know I definitely would not want to stay in high school forever. 

The reality of it all is that lasts are sad. No one wants to stray from the places we're comfortable, whether that be home, high school, a certain friend group, or anything in-between. But, when I find myself looking back on all the fun times I've had throughout high school and therefore feeling sad about not being able to come back to it all next year, I remember that college, and life in general, will only add to those fun memories. The only difference will be a change in people and setting.

How do you deal with lasts?


Friday, November 7, 2014

Bean Boots and Bows

I love a good sweater. I love a good bow. Put the two together, and you've got perfection, AKA the sweater I'm wearing above. My go-to outfit has recently consisted of a sweater, leggings, and bean boots. The outfit is way too easy, but can easily look really put-together.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Wednesday Whims

wednesday whims

bow shoes / scarf Essie shimmer nail polish / Sweater Dress  / Infinity Scarf

Old Navy Dresses
I didn't realize it before, but Old Navy has the cutest dresses. They have great basic pieces that you can easily dress up or dress down with a variety of accessories, jackets, cardigans, and shoes. I recently ordered a few dresses, so expect a post on those soon!

Forever 21
What I love about Forever 21 is the sheer abundance of items. There really is something for everyone and it's always so much fun to take a good hour to go to the store and sift through all the racks of clothes. They have some great scarves this season, along with some adorable shoes!

Essie Nail Polish
Oh how I love a good holiday nail polish. Essie always has the best shimmery colors to match the holiday scene!


Monday, November 3, 2014

Keeping Up With Current Events in a Busy Schedule

Something people may not know about me is that I love to keep up with current events. It's so interesting to know what is going on around me in real time. It's all so enticing that the things you read about are really going on somewhere. But, I've found that between school, extra-curriculars, and blogging, I've had a difficult time keeping up with the times. So, here are some of the tips I've been using to make sure I'm in the know!

Alright, theSkimm is the best thing ever. I first came across it on a blog post from Shannon of Prep Avenue. Here's how it works: every weekday morning you get an email that breaks down the news and everything that's going on. It's all quite simple to understand and is written in a playful tone, too. It only takes a few minutes to read and is definitely one of my favorite ways to keep up with current events.

Morning Radio
I don't know about you, but I have a 20-30 minute drive to school every morning. So, I listen to NPR on the way, which is a news station that always has interesting and informative stories. I find that this is one of the most convenient ways to follow the news because there's not much else to do while driving...

I follow all the major newspapers (New York Times, Washington Post, etc.) on Twitter. Every time I'm scrolling through my timeline and see a link to a news story I like, I click on it and either add it to my reading list on Safari to read later, or skim through it right there.

How do you keep up with the news?