Friday, August 31, 2012

August Favorites


Hope everyone that is in school or college is having a great first couple weeks (or week, like me)! I know mine has been super busy with classes and sorority stuff, but that's just how it goes sometimes!

So I thought that I'd take a break and share some of my August favorites right now!

I just want to mention that this is by no means a "fall favorites." It just so happens though, that a lot of the items are fall related, mostly because I love fall. And I got a lot of it for back to school.



Candy Corn Pocketbac

 
So I kinda bought this stuff from Bath and Body Works on a whim. See, I had a coupon for a free signature body care item of my choosing if I spent $10. So since I was already spending like $5 on some handsoap I needed for school, I decided to stock up on some of the cute fall and Halloween pocketbacs. Candy Corn is the first one I’ve tried and so far I’m in love! It smells maybe a tad more caramel than you’d expect, but it’s so yummy smelling! I definitely recommend it!

 

Skunk Scentportable

 
He might seem a tad random, but this skunk Scentportable holder is one of my favorite things I bought from the back to school shopping trip to Bath and Body Works. See, it’s kind of a running joke with my family since we have two skunks that have been pretty much calling our backyard their home all summer. So, when I went to college, I wanted something to remember them. Plus, I think it’s super adorable! It’s currently living on my sunvisor in my car, and I absolutely adore it!

 

Leaves

 
Even though I showed the candles, I picked up the scents in Wallflower and Scentportable form. Right now, leaves resides in my car, and it seriously makes me so happy. It’s this refreshing, but cozy, cinnamon apple smell (not what I expected, but that’s good!). Every time I drive someone in my car, they always comment on how good it smells. And I have to agree. After just having it two days in my car, I went right out and brought another to stock up!

 

Pumpkin Cupcake

 
When I smelled this in Bath and Body Works earlier in August, I instantly fell in love with this cozy sweet fall scent. It’s like, spending time in the most amazing bakery ever. I love the pumpkin, I love the sweetness, and it instantly makes me want to wear sweaters and drink hot chocolate! Like leaves, I have gotten so many exclamations of how great my room smells with it! This is something I also stocked up on after trying it out!

 

Baby Lips Tinted Moisturizer in Cherry Me

 
I held out for the longest time with this. But I finally gave in and bought it…and fell in love. It feels awesome on my lips, which is sort of rare because I hate the feeling of lipgloss or anything on my lips. I like the little pop of color too. Perfect for a busy college girl’s morning!

 

Philosophy’s I Love Candy Corn Cleanser

 
This was one of my most anticipated back to college purchases! And it’s so worth it! As you’ve noticed already, fall smells are my weakness. Actually, fall ANYTHING is my weakness. And this Candy Corn scent is perfect. It’s sweet, has lots of caramel in it, and makes me want Halloween! The smell just engulfs the room when I shower and has a really good staying power on my skin. Definitely a great purchase! Plus, I love how Philosophy’s cleansers leave my skin soft, smooth, and most importantly: itch free!

 

 
Lilly Pulitzer’s Soft Cover Agenda in Multi Floral Punch

 
Yep, with the start of school, it’s finally time for me to use this adorable planner! And I honestly, couldn’t ask for more! I love the lines and spaces to write. The illustrations and pictures and quotes just brighten my day! It’s so pretty and cute! Definitely my favorite school supply that I bought. I must say, I think I’m now a true convert from Vera Bradley Agendas to Lilly Pulitzer.

So what were some of your August favorites? Let me know!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Quick and Natural College Makeup!

Hey! Sorry for the lack of writing this past week! My sorority's work week kept me busy from 9-7 (at the earliest) every single night since last Sunday! I'm super excited to have that out of the way, but schools does start today, so I'm just jumping into that!

So a lot of girls think that when attending class, natural makeup, or none at all, are the ways to go. It's definitely up to personal preference. I know that I kinda like to go all out if I'm gonna do it. However, there is one exception to that, and that is when I see my boyfriend. See, he hates makeup. Especially if it's on me. I love it that he thinks I'm beautiful in my natural state. And I'm glad that he loves the real me. Only problem is: I love makeup and like wearing it!

For the times that I'm hanging out with him, or days where I don't want to do a full look, I've made this routine that is the perfect balance between the completely makeup free look he likes, and the made up look I favor.
1. Tinted Moisturizer/BB Cream/Very Lightweight Foundation
When it comes to choosing face products, I liked it keep it light and as natural as possible! I hate the feeling of stuff on my face, so I always lean toward things like BB Cream or Tinted Moisturizer. These aim just at evening my skintone, but still helps me look natural (I have a chicken pox scar next to my eye, and usually products like these won't touch that. I don't mind though because I love the scar!). Currently I'm using Tarte's Smooth Operator tinted moisturizer (which has SPF 20, perfect for walking to class) and am really liking it (full review soon!).
 
2. Pressed Powder/Setting Powder
As you probably already know, my MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural is one of my favorite products I use. It feel amazing on my skin, giving it an airbrushed quality after I put the tinted moisturizer on. It's light and I hardly feel it. Plus it keeps my face oil down. I haven't looked into the world of drugstore powders, so if you have any suggestions, comment! I'd absolutely love to know some good ones!
 
3. Blush
There is nothing like a nice natural blush to make you look awake and ready to go! I personally favor NARS Orgasm because of it's peachy glow (it does have small little golden glitters in it!) and how easily it's applied.
 
4. MAC Paint Pot in Painterly
When I'm meeting up with my boyfriend, he absolutely hates any eye makeup. So basically, I stick to things that he can't see, just ones that I can. And sometimes, my eyes look like they desperately need some shadow. When that's the case, I use my Paint Pot (which is usually my eyeshadow base) lightly across my lids. It's a quick, easy way to open up your eyes, to reduce red and puffiness, and any other little bumps or veins. Just be sure to either choose a color that's your skin color, or accept the fact it won't be completely natural.
 
5. Eyelash Curler
I love mascara. I love big lashes. I love my eyelashes touching my brow bone. Only problem: my boyfriend hates it. Which is sad. But through time, I've learned a way to naturally define my lashes without coats of mascara. And that is simply just curling them! I know. It's really innovative, right? But I've found that my eyes, once again, just pop so much more once they are curled. Now I've been blessed with better than average lashes, so this works for me. However, I can't emphasis enough how naturally pretty this is! I use my MAC Lash Curler, but of course Revlon makes an amazing drugstore one!
 
6. Lip Balm
If you need more color on your face, go for a tinted lip balm! However, I keep it even more natural by just going with a couple swipes of just plain chaptstick. Lipstick and gloss are definitely not happening on most days for me, which is good because my boyfriend finds it weird haha. I prefer either the tinted Baby Lips from Maybelline or just my yummy and smooth Eos (the little egg shaped guys...definitely love the lemon!).
 


Friday, August 17, 2012

High Five for Friday!


It's Friday again, so that means it's time for the High Five for Friday!


 
1. Tomorrow is move-in day at the sorority house! I'm a little nervous, excited, and can't believe that I'm about to start my junior year of college! Ahhh, when did I get so old!!

2. My trip to Sephora I took yesterday! I don't see how anyone could ever not like that place. I think I spent over an hour in there, messing around with all the makeup. After all that testing and playing, I picked up two things that I've been eyeing for quite some time: Philosophy's I Love Candy Corn 3-1 Cleanser and Tarte's Smooth Operator tinted moisturizer. I'm in love with the smell of the Candy Corn! If you haven't already noticed, fall scents are my weakness, and this is one of them (although it had some serious competition with the Cozy Cabin gift set, that Pumpkin Spice Late scent is AMAZING!).

{Isn’t the packaging of the Candy Corn adorable?! I can’t get over it!}

3. Fast shipping! I was so worried that the new (and super affordable) cute bedding I bought last Saturday wouldn't arrive in time before I moved. However, it came only five days after I ordered it! From Canada! Isn't that damask cute, though?! I can't wait to see it on my bed! (this bedding shows that there's been a slight change of plans in the decor of my room this fall, so stay tuned haha).

4. This dottie bin from Hobby Lobby. How adorable is this? And I got it for like $12.50, half off! This is either going to store textbooks or snacks in my room.  


5. Some new school clothes! This has been collectively building, but of all the things I've bought, this lace dress has been my favorite! I needed a black dress for sorority recruitment, and when I spotted this one, I fell in love! And because it was only $25 (for an ALL lace dress!!), I actually bought a white one too, for sorority rituals as well! This just in...it's currently, at the time of right now, on sale for $20!! Click your way over to Target, because that is a deal!

 
Hope you have a great weekend! Wish me luck for moving in tomorrow! And for all of next week, which is my sorority’s work week!



Tuesday, August 14, 2012

My MAC Favorites


Hey everyone!

If you've checked out my daily makeup post, you probably already noticed that most of my daily makeup comes from MAC. It's my favorite makeup brand (although I don't exclusively use only MAC, because I think that's just ridiculous when there are other great products and brands out there), and I can safely say that most of their products I've purchased have blown me away. So this post is to show you what 5 products are my absolute favorites!



Satin Taupe is, without a doubt, my favorite eyeshadow in my entire collection. It's raved about all over Youtube and blogs, but I can't stress enough how pretty this color is. It can be more natural, it can be used quite dramatically. It has tremendous staying power, great pigmentation (all of my MAC shadows do too!), and blends beautifully. ($15)


Like most others, I use this flesh colored paint pot as an eyeshadow primer. I absolutely love it. In my opinion, it works much better than Urban Decay's Primer Potion. It helps my shadow stay all day, even in the hottest, sweatiest conditions (like last week when I went to the Obama Rally). I also love that when using it, the fact that is it flesh colored helps my eyeshadow look even more pigmented. Drugstore makeup looks like a $100 when it's over Painterly. I think it also helps blending shadow, which definitely makes it better than Primer Potion. This is going to be a product I repurchase over and over. ($18.50)


I held off from buying this brush so long mostly because of the price. At $23, it might seem a little steep, but I must say that I think it's entirely worth it. Out of the three brushes I have purchased from MAC, this one is my favorite, and one that I know I couldn't live without. It fits great in my crease, it lays color perfectly, it helps my look not look messy. It has washed well (I wash my brushes weekly), and it's only shed one or two hairs total in the 2+ months I've used it. ($23)


This was the very first MAC product I fell deeply in love with. The formula is creamy, but smudgeproof. The black is so pigmented. I love the fact that it doesn't require sharpening. It stays all day and even requires a tad bit of elbow work to remove at night. You can get a precise, thin line or a thicker line easily. This is the only high-end liner I've used, so I can't speak of Urban Decay or others, but I can tell you that I'm so sold on this product, that I'm never switching. ($15)


When I first started my makeup collection, I honestly had ever heard about any face product other than the Studio Fix powder foundation from MAC. But with some quick research, I found that this is one of MAC's most famous face products, and I can clearly understand why. I've used this powder as both a setting powder and a quick, natural foundation. It works great both ways. It's great for my semi-oily skin. It hasn't broke me out, it makes my skin look airbrushed and glowing. It feels great and matches my skin perfectly (thanks to my MAC counter in Dillards, with the makeup artist testing a couple out on me).  ($29)

While these are my five most favorite products from MAC, I must say that none of the things I've purchased from there have disappointed me. I'm not one of those people that only buy MAC products just because of the name or their "supposed" title as number one makeup brand. I buy their stuff because it works, I get great service both in the store and at the counter, and compared to other high-end brands, I find them actually less expensive (brands like NARS, Smashbox, Dior, Urban Decay, Tarte, and sometimes Too Faced are usually more...just do some comparison shopping).

So what are you're favorite MAC products? Any suggestions for my next investments? I was thinking about some tinted lipglass...




Sunday, August 12, 2012

College Make Up Must-Haves

Wondering what make up to wear to college classes? Well, it's all personal preference really. If you like makeup and being all prettied up, then you'll probably wear it on a daily basis. If you only really wear it on special days, well, you'll probably not wear it as often. However, I decided to list some of the make up that I think is essential to every college girl, not just ones that love makeup.


BB Cream: I think this is the perfect daily, go-to face product for the college girl! Why? First, it has SPF (depending on brand, it can be as high as 35!), moisturizer, priming capabilities, the ability to reduce redness, and even skintone. Pretty good for just one product. Plus, there are BB Creams in every budget!

Pressed Powder: Not only is it great to set your BB Cream, it's also a great touch-up for when you feel your skin is looking dull. It sops up any oilness, and can add an airbrushed look. My favorite is MAC's Mineralize Skinfinish Natural.

Favorite Eyeshadow Palette: Even if you don't wear eyeshadow everyday, I think it's really important to have a good eyeshadow palette that can work for class or night. If you can, look for a palette that offers you the most looks. My favorite is the original Naked palette by Urban Decay. First, it comes with a brush, Primer Potion, and 12 pigmented colors that work for a ton of different looks. I love that you can go from a very natural look, to a very dramatic one with just a few different colors and techniques. Plus, if you are needing inspiration, there are a ton of great tutorials on Youtube using it! Other favorites come from Wet N' Wild's "Walking on Eggshells" and Covergirl's "Shimmering Sands."

Natural Pink/Peachy Blush: I think this is a great touch for those early morning where you look paler snow. Either providing a sheer wash of color, or a bold blending, blush can make any college girl go from dragging to alert and pretty in seconds! Of course my go-to is NARS Orgasm, but I also love NARS Deep Throat, and Tarte's Dollface. A great budget friendly alternative is ELF too!

Versatile Masara: My favorite must is mascara. Whether you have short or long lashes, just a couple swipes of a good mascara can really open up your eyes and make you looks instantly put together. My favorite go-to for definition, length, and volume is Tarte's Lights, Camera, Lashes! Some great drugstore alternatives is L'Oreal Voluminous Millions, Maybelline's Colossal Volum' Express mascara, and Maybelline's Falsies.

Tinted Lip Balm: I'm definitely not a lipstick sorta girl, and lipgloss is usually much too sticky for an everyday look, so I tend to stick to good old tinted lip balm. Why? It has SPF, shine, color, and of course because it makes your lips soft! I love Burt's Bees, but there are tons of others!



Friday, August 10, 2012

High Five for Friday!

Hey everyone!

Hope this week has been fantastic! For me it's been pretty good! Here are my top five highlights this week!



1. Yesterday I braved crowds of thousands to see President Obama talk. It was a great experience and definitely energizing, even if I did only see just his head twice.

2. A great trip to Santa Fe last Saturday. It was a ton of fun walking around and getting to be a tourist. Plus, the restaurant we ate at was amazing!


3. I'm so excited about my Vera Bradley large duffel! That was a great deal and it's going to be so useful on weekends this school year.


{It isn't always snowy there...trust me}
4. I have just one week until I move in to my sorority house. This one is kinda bittersweet. The summer has gone by so fast, despite how long it's been (I got out on April 30th). Unlike the previous two years, the level excitement to go back isn't really there, and I'm not so sure why.

5. I get two days of seeing my boyfriend! It's been two weeks since we last saw each other, so we are long overdue. Plus, tomorrow is our 11 month (hey, it's about eleven times longer than my longest relationship haha), so that should be fun to celebrate!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Handling Being Homesick

So today I'm going to talk about a more serious issue that often arises for college freshman, as well as older college students...and that's being homesick.

I'd be absolutely lying if I said I've never been homesick in my two years of college so far. I'd also being lying if I said that getting over being homesick is easy. Because it's not.

My freshman year was without a doubt, the hardest. See, unlike a lot of my peers, I love my family. I want to be around them. I miss home. I miss my dog and guinea pigs. Previously, I hadn't even slept over at a friend's house before. So as you can imagine, transitioning to not seeing my parents every day was tough. On top of it, I was battling stress from school, my roommates fighting, and being diagnosed with anxiety. It was not fun. In fact, all I wanted was to go home.

I don't have all the answers for how to ward homesickness away, that's for sure. But I will say that my sophomore year was better because I knew myself better. I know what are triggers for me to feel this way. For instance, despite my shyness and being an introvert, I need people around. When my roommate and boyfriend went home for the weekend, I had to stay on top of my emotions. If I'm watching a movie, it definitely can't be sad. That I can think about home, but I can't obsess about how much I miss my pets. Things like that.

Here are some things that helped me:


-Call home. Hearing your parents’ voices can definitely help. It can make you feel more connected despite the distance. Only problem: at some point you need to learn how to deal with this feeling on your own, so try not to call them several times a day.

-Have pictures of loved ones and pets around!

-During downtime, find a hobby that occupies your mind. Things like crafting, reading, cleaning, or blogging. Honestly, without Scrubs on Netflix, my freshman year, I think I wouldn’t have made it.

-Become involved! Definitely joining a sorority helped me a lot. I’m busy at least two to three nights a week. Downtime was my greatest enemy.

-Visit people on your floor/friends in other buildings.

-Go home! I’ve found that going home every other weekend is the perfect amount of visitation time for me.

-Decorate your dorm room into a comforting space. My anxiety made it hard to get out of bed on some days. So I made my bedding as comfy and cute as possible.

-Use technology! Skype old friends!

-Don’t use shopping/eating/partying to make you feel better. This only creates BIGGER issues.

-Find a good supportive, group of friends. For me, it was my boyfriend and my sorority sisters. My boyfriend can tell when I’m feeling anxious just from looking at me. Even from reading texts that I think are perfectly normal. Find people that are positive, happy, fun, and kind.

-Focus on school. Find a favorite study spot.

-Try to be as busy as possible. Go to the campus rec center, walk around campus, or visit the library.

-Talk to your RA or Dorm Director. If it gets really bad, don't be afraid to ask for resources like your campus mental health services. They are there for you and so helpful.

-If all else fails, four things that always help me: calling my boyfriend, sleeping, taking a shower, and hot chocolate.


Today...

I'll be standing in almost 100 degree weather, most likely for several hours, with several thousand others for this...


{In case you're wondering...I actually don't go to CC, I'm just a lifelong fan of the college and their hockey team}

I got my ticket (after standing in line for several hours) a few days ago. It should be fun. And hot.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

How to Dress Your Dorm Desk

Hey everyone!

An important aspect to every dorm room, without a doubt, is your study space. It's where you are going to write papers (hopefully not all night), do homework, read, make projects, Facebook stalk old high school friends, and procrastinate for hours on Pinterest. Or paint your nails if you are like me. It's a place that also can serve as your eating station as well.

So, clearly, it's a space that needs to be versatile and organized. First, let's take a look back at my first two dorm rooms.


My freshman year, my desk served my main computer space, my study area, and my nightstand. So, as you can see, I have my yellow lamp, three dottie pencil cups, and my printer. I dressed this space mostly to serve as my study center. The key to it being a successful place to study, was keeping the accessories and stuff around it to a minimum. My ribbon board held important pieces of paper (like the code for my universal remote for my TV haha), which was also a great utility piece above my desk. By not covering the entire desk surface, it allowed me to spread out my important papers and assignments as I worked, a must especially for big projects and papers. The lamp is something that also helped me a lot. It not only gave me good light to read, but if I were stuck working as my roommate went to be, I could work in our bedroom without disrupting her.



This is my desk at the beginning of my sophomore year. As you can probably instantly tell, this desk has a lot in common with the desk above: like the memo board, the lamp, my laptop, and printer. But some new additions included the crate (which held my textbooks, such a good idea when you are short on space!), my sorority pin box, earring holder, and some fall smelling lotion. This desk space was definitely a busy one. Since my sophomore dorm was not suite style, this was home to everything!

Later in the year, I moved my above bed shelf over it...(sorry for the super blurry picture and the massive amounts of stuff on my desk)


So see how I placed this shelf over it? I actually liked this set up better mostly because it felt more built in, plus having my DVDs, lotion, and books in those bins above my desk made it more organized and easier to get to. As you can see from this picture, the dorm room desk has to serve not only as a study space, but it also serves at my eating space (Girl Scout cookies, Pringles, and Dr. Pepper) and I have my nailpolish there too.
 


Some desk ideas:
-A cup/mug/holder for your pens and pencils.
-Easy access to your laptop and printer
-Lamp (I prefer the yellow drum shade lamp over the red desk lamp)
-Memo board/bulletin board
-A houseplant, fake flowers (on my printer above is my fake orchid and to the left of my laptop is flowers I got for Valentine's Day)

Inside your desk, try to organize them in ways that make sense. For instance, for the longest time I stored my food and snacks in my desk. However, that doesn't really make sense. So I moved them out and place my textbooks in the drawers, and moved my snacks into one of the red crates. In the middle desk drawer, I always put EVERYTHING I own in there. So think about investing in one of those little jewery comparment/holder things.

Find a system that works for you, if you really like doing your makeup at your desk, have a mirror on hand, or a drawer dedicated to some of your makeup. If you are like me and paint your nails or eat at your desk, put food or nail polish in a drawer too.

Some people prefer studying on their beds, so then change accordingly.

Just remember to have fun and to try out new accessories. I love having my desk space me a clean, organized, and fun area because studying isn't always that fun.

What are your desk must haves?




Sororities and Money...

 
So I know you've probably already seen the tips for recruitment and outfits that I suggested, but I decided I needed to back up a little bit, and talk about some things you need to think about before taking the leap. Going through recruitment is a serious decision, one that will impact you in a lot of ways, and joining a sorority is just as serious.

The first area I'll discuss is...

 Finances (cue the lightning strikes, thunder, and scary music)

 I don't want to be a Debbie Downer, but sororities do cost money. And at many of schools, they cost a lot of money. I'm not trying to scare you, but it's something that the sororities will undoubtedly talk to you about during recruitment, after recruitment, and even after the new member period. The exact number differs greatly from school to school, sorority to sorority. For instance, at my school, the new member dues (a one time sum you pay up front when you first start), range anywhere from $500-$1000. And for regular dues (the amounts you will pay once initiated, every semester) also range from $350 to $950. See, the range is huge. The sorority that is $950 has larger Parlor fees (it basically is the cost for you to come over and spend time in the house), mostly because they pay for a maid service. When considering costs in dues, consider these things (great question to ask during recruitment by the way):
Is the sorority all inclusive?

Meaning, is formal included in the dues, required shirts, activities, socials, etc. As often as sororities say this (that they are all inclusive, I mean), watch out. They usually aren't. Be prepared to drop at least another $100 or so on stuff that isn't included in dues.


Are there discounts?

My sorority offers discounts for things such as paying early, living in the actual sorority house, and paying with a check instead of debit/credit card. These discounts can either come straight away, can cover the costs of shirts not covered by dues, or a pin upgrade.

 Do they have a pay plan?
Unfortunately, it just sometimes hard to drop $500 or more just at one time, so see if you're sorority can offer you a month to month way to pay off your bill. This is helpful especially for those that want to pay their own sorority dues.


Are you paying for it? Or your parents?
My parents pay my sorority dues. Say what you want, but that's how it is. If you are going to work, you need to first, make sure you have job, and second, make sure it will be enough to cover dues plus all your other sorority expenses.


Can you/do you want to live in the sorority house?

Most houses require you to live in the house at least one year. Can you afford to live in the house? I know for me personally, it's the cheapest option. That's because the rent is only $2,100 a semester. They serve you dinner five nights a week, they do all the grocery shopping, and utilities and all that jazz are included. Plus, the member dues are discounted by $200. So yes, I'm actually saving money. Every sorority is different, though, so be sure to ask them during recruitment/new member period about living in requirements and the costs.


 If things get rough, how can they help?
Once again, if you find yourself, for whatever reason, unable to pay dues, find out what they can try to do to help. My sorority offers girls the chance to go on "status" meaning that they aren't truly active in the sorority, but they remain in. Others might be able to work with financial aid of some sort. But be sure you talk to the treasurer about this. They have all the answers.


Not only are sororities a time commitment, but they are also a huge financial commitment. But here is the thing: it's not paying for your friends. You are paying for experiences. Don't let anyone discourage you about going Greek with that stupid saying. Any club you join will require you to spend some sort of money, and this is no different. However, at most sororities, the cost includes fantastic things like life-time subscriptions to their magazines, your pin, formal, sisterhoods, socials, mixers, Mom's Day, Dad's Day, and other cool stuff like that. To me that's not paying for your friends. That's paying to have make the most out of your college experience.



Tuesday, August 7, 2012

What a Deal!

A little while back my mom and I were shopping at one of my favorite little local stores in downtown. It's one of my favorites mostly because they have the best supply of Vera Bradley items in our city (we actually don't have a real Vera Bradley store in my city. The nearest one is about an hour away).

So I honestly wasn't looking to buy anything. I just pretty much wanted to stare and drool and think about how excited I am to use all my VB school supplies I bought about a month ago.

But then I saw the sale bins. I always like looking at the sale stuff and laughing at how expensive all the stuff is. Except...something about these sale bins were different. That's because they included prints that are definitely not the clearance, soon-to-be discontinued prints (you know it, Deco Daisy, Safari Sunset, etc). Yes. Prints that are the current, regular prints were on sale. Like Island Blooms, Happy Snails, Rosy Posies, Ellie Blue, and Mocha Rouge. They were selling the small and large duffles, 17 inch laptop sleeve, lunch boxes, the Vera, and other popular styles.

However, my eye went instantly to the large duffel. See, back in my freshman year a friend of mine toted hers in Paprika around whenever she went home for the weekends. That was when I fell in love. Problem? It's $85 and I could never justify spending that much on a weekend bag basically. But it never helped that I noticed tons of girls at my college with the duffels, toting them so easily on their way home for weekends.


The price at the store? It was $59.99, so I think 30 percent off the original price. Which is less than the actual clearance on the website, with the discontinued prints! Okay, only like $4, but still. And my eye was definitely liking one they had in Island Blooms, which is regularly $85.

But, I decided to wait. I thought maybe it's an entire Vera Bradley thing, but nope. It was just this store. So a few days later we went back, and thankfully, they still had it.

{Sorry for the picture...When it's empty, it's impossible to make look good}

And now it's all mine! I love it. I think it's gonna be great for going home on weekends, and even storing things in my dorm room (I can picture out of season clothes in it or shoes). I guess it was just meant to be!

College Backpack Essentials!


Hey everyone!

I thought that I'd share some of my backpack (or bag if you roll that way) essentials for the the college girl. With all the excitment and hype over dorm room decorating, a lot of times, the academic portion of college is overlooked. We all know that college is based around going to class, reading books, and taking tests, but it's easy to not even think about the things that make up your backpack.

Of course, the contents of your bag usually depend on what classes you're taking, if your classes are spread out or back to back, and other factors, but this is a list of some things that I know I always carry, and things that I consider to be absolutely lifesavers.

First of all, you need a backpack or a bag! Now in high school I solely used totes for school. I liked that they were girly and cute and could be changed out so easily. However, in college, I prefer backpacks because they make walking (especially up hills) so much easier, plus you can carry more in them.

Some of my favorite backpacks and bags:

First, there's no surprise that my backpack of choice for college is the Vera Bradley laptop backpack. Mine is in Happy Snails (my all time favorite pattern, even though I don't think I've ever blogged about it), and I actually have another in Symphony in Hue from my freshman year.  Out of all the backpacks I've ever used, this is my absolute favorite!

{Looking at Happy Snails just makes me...happy!}
Why? First of all, I love the large front pocket. It's where I keep my little odds and ends. The middle pocket is perfect for your class essentials, and it even has a side entry spot for your laptop! Yes, they are pretty steep at $109, but they are definitely made well.

Other great options that I love:

{Aeropostale}
Isn't this backpack absolutely adorable? I love the floral pattern, the leather details, the cute shape, and the price ($35). The problem I see, is that if you have classes that require heavy textbooks, I don't know if this backpack can withstand all that abuse.
{Aeropostale...again!}

Another great, inexpensive option! Once again the navy and the floral are absolutely perfect together. I love the cute little tassel/ribbons on the zippers too. Playing this backpack in person, I noticed it has fantastic storage. It has one large zippered area, a medium sized oned, and two small. Perfect for being organized.  

If you're a tote bag kinda girl, you can't pass up the Vera....

{The Vera in Poppy Fields...did I mention this is my second favorite print?}
Moving on, some things that I think are essential for your backpack:

-Notebooks
-Folders
-Pencil Bag/Case for organized storage
-Pencils and Pens (I like to have a set of pens in more than like 4 colors, because color coding notes is always great)
-Highlighters
-Calculator
-Hand Sanitzer
-Lotion
-Gum/Mints
-Wallet/Wristlet
-Class Schedule (with room numbers! Super important the first few days!)
-Agenda
-Laptop (I don't bring my laptop to class, but it's all in preference)




Monday, August 6, 2012

Back to School...Bath and Body Works Style!

Hey everyone! The days are counting down until I go back! Only 13 days! That's less than two weeks!!

Anyway, I'm steadily buying more necessities for going back to college! Now, I think I'm probably in a small number here, but Bath and Body Works is always one of the places that I must go for my college shopping. I'm sure you're probably thinking that I am insane. Why is that one of my must-have back to school places?

First, I love their wallflowers. And if you have been in very many dorms, you know that they are kinda smelly. Even if you don't have rotten food, lots of trash, and dirty clothes everywhere. So in my book, they are a complete must-have. I like their wallflowers (essentially plug-ins) because they are have the best selection of scents, in my opinion. From the ones I picked up (ahhh I can't wait to show you them!) to their Christmas, they are the very best. Plus, from my two years of experience, they last the longest, are the strongest, and they are the cutest (the bulbs are often coverd in little prints...so like snowflakes for Christmas time, leaves for fall, etc. And the plug in portion comes plain, like a flower, or in special season themed shapes like pumpkins, ladybugs, or Christmas trees).


So for my back to college collection, I picked up a plain white plug-in (they do have all sorts of shapes and colors. They also have ones with nightlights, which work fantastic for bathrooms or vanity areas!) along with three bulbs for $20. Of course, I was so excited and happy to see that they were getting in their fall scents, which are without a doubt, my favorites! I had such a hard time deciding, but I opted for Leaves, Marshmallow Fireside, and Pumpkin Cupcake (seriously, go out and smell this! It's amazing!).


Since I just couldn't resist all those amazing fall scents, I also picked up some for my car!


I love their scentportables! Not only do they have adorable little holders, but once again, those scents are just my favorite! Currently I have a ladybug in my car, but I decided to switch it up with this cute little skunk holder. Isn't he cute? I also picked up three of the refills in Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin, Leaves, and Marshmallow Fireside. I can't wait for my car to smell like fall! Of course Bath and Body Works had a deal on these too: it was buy 3 and get 1 free.

I also stocked up on a few other college must-haves: a loofa, mini lotion, and a Pocket Bac




I personally love loofas for showering, and I know they harbor all sorts of germs and things, but I used the one I bought before school last summer, all year. By far, Bath and Body Works has my favorite ones. The Pocket Bac I got is in Pink Daisy (I mostly got it because I liked the ladybug) and the mini lotion in Country Chic (my favorite year-round scent!) are staples for my backpack!

I know that this school year I don't want to visit the health center as often (five times last year! Compared to zero my freshman year!), so having the Pocket Bac is perfect after being in class.

So I know that wasn't your sterotypical college shopping trip, but I tell you, these things are a must! Or at least are fun to have!



So...do you love the fall scents as much as I do? What are some of your shower must-haves for college?

Thanks for reading!


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Movin' In Tips!




So with college move-in days quickly approaching, I thought I'd share some tips with everyone about the most anticipated day for all college students: move in day!

{From PB Teen...how can they make even moving in cute?!}

It can be scary, fun, exciting, nerve-wrecking, sad, happy, and probably another million things! Having moved myself in twice before, and my brother four times before that, I feel like I have tons of experience with this day!


1. Try to stay calm and relaxed! Yes, moving in and getting used to your new home can be tremendously scary and stressful, but just take deep breaths and try to be flexible! In all six of the move in days I've seen, something always seems to go wrong. No matter what you do, something will. My brother's sophomore year, his name was the only one (out of four) that wasn't on the door! That freaked him out, he swore he was going to be homeless! That was until his RA told him that she just ran out of supplies. So just remember that everything will fall into place!


2. Pack in an organized fashion! This is huge! When you pack your boxes/plastic containers, try to use logic when placing things together. Put all of your desk, supplies, school things (as in academic stuff like books) in the same place. Repeat that with your shower and vanity supplies, and also with your clothing. That makes unpacking extremely easy, and will help keep your dorm more organized too!
{While this picture might seem crazy, the bin is holding all my jeans/bottoms}

3. Arrive early! I know! You probably want to sleep in! But if you have a long drive to your college (mine is 2 1/2 hours), you definitely want to leave even earlier. Why? Oh boy, there are a lot of reasons. First, mid to late August is hot! The earlier you get there, the more likely you will not have your flip flops melt into the pavement (happened to me my brother's freshman year). Plus, it's a lot less miserable! Second, parking. I have two cars come up to move me in. My parents, and mine. So figure that most of the other students are doing the same. In parking lots that already are too small for the number of students, this will just be crazy. You might have to park miles away. Which is not fun. Third, I like to see the room before my roommate shows up. I like having first choice for bed (I always like by the window haha). Not all dorms are created equal, let me tell you. Fourth, it gives you more time to settle in before the night activities happen. I know at my school we always had floor meetings at around 5 to 6 where we met everyone. Then we'd have dinner with our floor, go to an ice cream social, and then movie night on the hill. You don't want to miss all that fun, trust me.


4. Do the majority of your college shopping before you get there. This is important. I know we don't want to load up our cars to capacity, but waiting to buy all your things in your college town is not always the way to go. Why? Because every store in your city, is going to be like Christmas Eve/Black Friday. There will be mayhem. The odds of getting what you like/want, are extremely slim too. Take the Command 3M strips that all dorms require you to use for your walls. My entire college town sells out. Target, Walmart, and every other store sells out of these important things. So buy them at home. Same with notebooks, folders, and other school supplies. I know it seems impossible, but both Walmarts and Target in my college town sell completely out of these necessities. My roommate this past year made that mistake, so she wound up with wide ruled notebooks with puppies and kittens on them (I personally would like the puppies, but she wasn't as fond of them).
{The only things I left to buy was some posters from Hobby Lobby}

5. Before leaving home, check yourself for these things: your phone, charger, laptop (my brother did forget this one year), student ID, wallet/money, and important numbers like your social security number and your student number. You'll need them.

{Cute gift idea: give your roommate a Vera Bradley Zip ID
case for only $12. A college must for easy access to your ID!}

6. This is completely optional. But my freshman year, one of my roommates (and now a very dear friend), brought us all little move in day gifts. She gave us Starbucks grande size tumblers and mini hand lotions from Bath and Body Works, along with a little note. I seriously died when I saw that from the niceness of it all. So last year I copied her. I bought my roommate a water bottle with the school's logo on it, and some candy. I think this is such a good idea, and you definitely don't have to spend a ton of money. Even just a note is a great way to reach out to your roommate that first day.
(Some ideas I like: something representing your college, little school supplies, handwritten card, yummy little foods, a cute coffee mug with hot chocolate or tea, hand sanitizer, a lanyard, cute pens and pencils, a journal, or my favorite: the Vera Bradley Zip ID case shown above!).


So there you go! Do you have any advice to add to this list? Any concerns or worries about going to college?


Thanks for reading!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Lights, Camera, Lashes! Review

Hey everyone!

If you read my last Friday Night Five, you know that one of my favorite things of late, is Tarte's Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara.

{For more information, see Sephora!}


A few weeks ago (or maybe more?) I cashed in my Sephora Beauty Insider Points (whatever it's called) for the small sample of this. Well, at that time I was so into my L'Oreal Voluminous Millions, that I had no desire to try out a new mascara. So it got lost in the shuffle understandably.

Well, last week I decided to finally give it a try. Let's just say, I wasn't expecting to be impressed. However, it has completely rocked my mascara world. And still is, actually.


I Love:

-That this mascara has great staypower! It's not even waterproof, but it doesn't smudge, flake, wear off. However, it's super easy to take off at night!

-Fantastic lash definition!

-Hasn't clumped once!

-Kind of a dry formula, which I am a huge fan of!

-Buildable! Can be as natural or as dramatic as you want! In fact, I think that it gives a dramatic look that isn't spidery, creepy, or just gross looking like the Falsie's I reviewed.

-Cruelty Free! (I love this!)

-Makes my lashes actually soft! Not crunchy, crispy, or wet!

-Defines, adds length, and volume. So, it does everything!

-Is formulated without stuff like: Parabens, Synthetic Fragrances and Dyes, Sulfates, and other things (that I have no clue what they are, but sound yucky haha)

-Has an average looking brush, but it works wonders!

Basically, it's perfect! And I urge you all (that have the extra $19) to try it out. Because, it's absolutely amazing, and so worth that kinda steep pricetag. And the thing that I love most about it, is that it is cruelty free.

Oh, and in case you are wondering, I did buy it in the full size today at Ulta, so now I'll have beautiful lashes for even longer!

Hope you all have a great day! What's your current mascara love? Do you think that high-end mascaras are worth it? Are you a drugstore sorta girl?

Friday High Five

So sorry that this is coming Friday night!


1.) Tomorrow I take my first trip out of the state of Colorado. Yes, I know. I'm almost 21 and I've never left the state. Kinda sad. But tomorrow I'm going down to Santa Fe to help my brother move back to Colorado, so it should be fun! I can't wait.

2.) Today marks the first day of the Parade of Homes. I love interior design (as you all should know) and architecture, so it's always a highlight of my summer for me!

3.) Since August officially started on Wednesday, it also marks the time when my family deems it "back to school shopping time." Already I've picked up some fun stuff that I can't wait to use (and can't wait to blog about here in the coming days. I love picking out stuff, even as simple as shampoo for back to college. It's a total fresh start that I absolutely love.

4.) Tarte's Lights Camera Lashes! A few weeks ago I cashed in my Sephora Beauty Insider Points (or whatever it's called) for a sample size of this mascara. Well, I forgot about it. However, earlier this week, I tried it out, and I fell in love. I've used it every day since, and I can say with certainty, that it's my new mascara love. I'll have a full review of it coming soon too!

 Funny moment today at Ulta as I was buying my full size edition. This lady walks up (she was just a fellow customer too) and tells me how Tarte is the BEST makeup brand. She then shows my mom and me every product that she owns, uses, and loves. But I'm glad that she has found stuff that works and I definitely want to try out more of their products!

5.) Having my bangs trimmed! Seriously, I didn't realize just how long my bangs had been.

Hope you all had a great Friday and a fantastic weekend!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Sorority Recruitment Fashion Inspiration

Hey!

So the last post I talked all about some sorority recruitment do's and don'ts, so I was thinking today I would touch a little bit more on recruitment fashion. Now, first I must say that every college is completely different. That is entirely true. Many competitive schools in the south dress up every day, and I'm sure the clothing choices down there are much different the choices at my non-competitive college in Colorado.

However, I thought I'd share some outfits that reminded me a lot of what most of the girls wore last year when I went through recruitment. Just to let you know, at my college the first three days (Getting to Know You, House Tours, and Philathrophy/Chapter Emphasis Day) are all casual. My school's site describes attire to be "casual...nice top, jeans, and flip-flops." The fourth day of recruitment is Preference Tea, where dress is "nice attire...dresses, skirt and blouse, or pants outfit." And Bid Day is supposed to be the dressiest of all (though in my personal opinion Pref should be more dressy...save your best for that night!).

For the more casual days, these are some outfits I found (via Pinterest because I am incapable of understanding how the heck Polyvore works haha).

{Source}

I like the above outfit because it is simple, classy, and so pretty. I doubt it would be cold enough here to wear longsleeves, but I like the idea. One thing to take note, I wouldn't wear distressed jeans, since they don't always scream classy.
{Source}
One thing that I love about this outfit is the pop of color! The sororites are going to see hundreds of girls, so try to have a statement piece in your outfit everyday! (Btw...I'm not too sure about that headband...)

{Source}
Basically, Lauren Conrad always looks amazing. And this outfit is so darn cute! I know in the descriptions my school listed jeans as acceptable, my the days are so hot, the wearing a skirt is not a bad idea. Just remember, on Philanthropy Day you are probably going to partake in a craft project, so sitting on the floor is possible! (Although looking back on it, I sat on the floor everyday during the first three days, so make sure your skirt is long enough to sit on the floor without showing anything!)

{Source}
So I love this. I'd wear it every day of my life if I could. Just remember, try to stay away from distressing...


As for the more dressy nights, I remember being told that sundresses are the way to go. Remember, usually sororities dress all in one color this night. My school dresses all in black, so try at all costs to avoid the color black. I've heard some colleges dress in white, so just in case, don't wear that either (however, your Rho Chis will probably warn you, so don't worry).

{Source}
I know what you're thinking...this is not a sundress. However, I like it because it's a fun, fashionable outfit, but it's also somber enough for Pref Tea. At my school, it's an incredibly touching night, that usually involves lots of tears and hugs.

{Source}
I love this floral dress! It's super cute!


Let me just say, anything from Spool 72 is perfect. They have absolutely perfect sundresses. 
{Source}
Finally, I love this dress! The color is so beautiful (gem tones can be so flattering!).

I hope these outfits help you in your search for the perfect recruitment wardrobe. Just always keep in mind these things:

-Wear things that make you feel good! Even if it is trendy, if it doesn't feel good or look good on you, skip it.
-Remember: You are dressing to impress girls. Not guys. So don't go showing off everything or dress like your going clubbing.
-Recruitment is more about classy pieces then trendy-ness.
 -Keep in mind weather. Check the forecasts. Bring an umbrella just in case. If it's hot, skip the sweater. If it's chilly, don't wear just a tank top.

So there you have it!

Thanks for reading!!