Sunday, July 31, 2016

Packing for College: 8 Items You Can't Forget

With fall semester right around the corner, I thought I'd share my personal list of must-have items for college, especially if it's your freshman year! Last fall, I went into freshman year with no idea what to expect - I wish I would have had a list like this because I ended up having to buy most of it as I figured everything out throughout the year! 


Trust me, you're going to want this. Between your laptop, phone, TV, fridge, microwave, etc., you're not going to have enough plugs to go around, especially if you have a roommate! There are some pretty cool ones out there that even have USB ports so you don't even need your charging block!

I'm not the first to say it, but dorm rooms are tiny. You're going to want to save as much space as you can by using plastic drawers like these under a desk or in a closet or baskets/bins like these under a futon or to organize drawers.

If you're bringing a TV, you'll want one of these. You can connect your laptop to your TV, which lets you watch Netflix and movies on the screen instead of on your laptop!

Speaking from experience, it's not easy or fun doing dishes in a dorm, especially when you have community-style bathrooms. Stock up on the paper goods and you'll be set!

You really only need one good dress or shirt/skirt/pants combination, but it'll come in handy for sure. I had an interview that required "business-casual" dress for a position in a club and I was thankful that I had packed a dress that fit the occasion!

Think prom or homecoming, but more sophisticated. Chances are, you'll go to a function at least once in the year that requires this kind of attire, especially if you're in a sorority!

Walking to class in the rain is never fun. Enough said.

For some reason, college is full of themed-events. Once again, if you're in a sorority, you'll have tons of socials/date nights that call for crazy outfits! You can generally find everything you need at a thrift store. A good starting point of things to bring: a Hawaiian shirt, a sports jersey, something camo, America-themed clothing, and neon 80s attire.

If you have any questions about college/what to pack, feel free to reach out!

xx
Caitlin


Friday, July 29, 2016

Sunset Over Cape Cod

A favorite spot to see the sunset in Cape Cod is from the boardwalk over the marshes at Bass Hole. The light is always perfect and it's always gorgeous, especially on a clear evening. The only downside? The marsh attracts little bugs that fly all around the area - pro tip: bring bug spray.




Whenever we go to Cape Cod, we stay with our cousins and it's a tradition to go to Bass Hole at least once. My sister and one of our cousins bring things to go crabbing with - they throw a line baited with some sort of meat off the side of the boardwalk and wait for the crabs to bite. Then they pull up the line! It's hilarious because most of the time, the crab falls off the line when it's halfway up to the boardwalk.




As for this Longchamp backpack, it's one of my favorite things I own! A friend from my study abroad in Paris had one and I loved it so much that I bought when while I was still in Europe - Longchamp is surprisingly less expensive there and I was able to buy the backpack from a Longchamp specialty store, which was fun in itself!




 I mentioned it in my Fourth of July recap post, but there really isn't much like sunset over Cape Cod. It's always beautiful, no matter where you are and it's one of my favorite things to do while on the Cape.




xx
Caitlin



Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Nantucket

The first six weeks of my summer were spent studying abroad in Paris. When I finally arrived home, I was back in Atlanta for a relaxing two days - then, I was off again! This time, we were heading to my grandpa's house and then to Cape Cod to visit our cousins. On our second day on the Cape, my mom and I took a day trip to Nantucket. The whole island is beautiful - the hydrangeas were the color of cotton candy and the homes were something out of a storybook.













xx
Caitlin














Friday, July 22, 2016

Paris: Recap Video

As Paris was my home for six weeks, I miss it more and more every day! I'm glad I took so many photos because I scroll through them at least once a day reminiscing on my time there. While I was in Europe, I took short video clips everywhere I went and compiled them all into a video montage, which is embedded below. Let me know what you think!


xx
Caitlin

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Favorite Photos from Paris

As I (finally) wrap up my posts about my six weeks in Paris with various trips on the side, I thought I'd share some of my favorite photos that captured a few of my favorite moments. The trip was quite the experience and I learned immensely about myself and the world, but more on that later. I'm still so grateful for the opportunity and it feels unreal that it ever even happened. While I'm happy to be home, I miss the streets of Paris and the ability to be a train ride away from places like London, Switzerland, and Italy. Here's to making it back there someday.

1. Our last night in Paris


2. The Eiffel Tower from the Arc de Triomphe


3. Laduree Macarons


4. The Streets of Paris


5. The Louvre


6. Flowers on the Street


7. Le Bon Marche


8. Streets of Montmartre 


9. Palais Royal


10. Mona Lisa


11. More of Montmartre


12. Luxembourg Gardens


13. The Eiffel Tower 


xx
Caitlin









Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Swiss Alps

After almost five weeks in Paris, I was starting to want an escape from the city. While Paris is wonderful and stunning in its own unique way, there was something about the rain and crowds of the city that was getting to me. Luckily, my last weekend of travel was devoted to hiking in the Swiss Alps in a little town called Grindelwald, Switzerland.

The trip began as a near-disaster when my friend and I found our first of three trains that day to be delayed, meaning we might miss our second train. Upon arrival to the second train station, we ran like obnoxious tourists through the station and somehow made it on the second, which was also late. The same happened with the third train and we were finally in Grindelwald.


After finding our way to the youth hostel in the rain through a completely dark path in what seemed like the middle of the woods, we got inside and set our alarms for the next day.

As it was dark when we arrived in Switzerland, we were stunned the next morning when we woke up to find ourselves surrounded by tall, snow-covered mountains. It was insane and made us that much more excited for the day.


After breakfast, we traversed into town and took a gondola up to the top of a mountain to do some hiking. As the gondola progressed farther up the mountain, snow (in June!) started to fall and we were a little worried about what we were getting ourselves into. We bought hats at the top of the mountain and it was all fine from there!




We managed to do a hike and a half and then, on a completely spontaneous decision, decided to go paragliding - the views were stunning and I felt like I was floating in the air. It wasn't as scary as I anticipated even though I was 8,000 feet above the ground!



That evening, we decided to go on another hike before dinner - bad idea. Long story short, we got lost, stepped in a lot of cow manure, and had to hitchhike a ride with cow farmers back to our youth hostel.

The next day was much less stressful - we hiked around different faces of the mountains and only almost got lost once! The big thrill of the day was having to pass by cows that were three feet from us. Otherwise, the views were brilliant as always. It really was hard to wrap my head around the fact that I was hiking in the Swiss Alps, which is something I never thought I would get the chance to do.


The entire trip was full of stunning views and I really do hope to return one day!

xx
Caitlin

Friday, July 15, 2016

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale: Staples

It's that time of the year again: the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!! While this is probably the millionth blog post you've seen about the sale, I'm attempting to mix it up by putting together a list of some of the staple pieces you can find in the sale. The items really are wonderful because it's not your average sale - you can find things from Tory Burch boots to Barbour jackets to Kendra Scott jewelry! It really does have everything!












What are your favorite finds in the sale??

xx
Caitlin






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Sunday, July 10, 2016

Palace of Versailles

By far, the Palace of Versailles was one of my favorite parts of my six weeks in Paris. The stunning palace is just a 45-minute train ride outside of Paris. It belonged to King Louis the Fourteenth and has a huge role in history - the Treaty of Versailles was signed in its halls. Aside from its amazing history, the architecture is incredible. Practically everything is covered in gold and every room holds something new and amazing to look at, whether its a painted ceiling, a marble floor, or intricate decorations and art. 




I was so excited that we had sun because it had been raining non-stop for about three weeks! The dress I wore is sold out now, but this one is pretty similar. And these sandals are surprisingly comfortable!






I only wish we had spent more time exploring the gardens around the palace because they are unlike anything I've ever seen. If you've ever been to the gardens at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, it's like that, but times a million. The shrubs are perfectly cut and form the cutest mazes. The entire vicinity of the gardens contains numerous mini gardens. You could easily spend a whole day in them - plus, there's a lake where you can rent rowboats!




If you ever travel to Paris, put this on your list of things to do. You won't regret it.

xx
Caitlin