Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Final Outfit Post of 2013

Happy New Year's Eve! I am writing this post from an amtrak train heading from Utica, NY to NYC...oh and then back on home to Washington, D.C. Because I have to head back to school tomorrow for my January term to start on the second! This also means that I am super lucky and will be spending the rest of the train ride reading about the evolution of modern China...try not to be too jealous.
I cannot believe that the year is coming to a close, like how is this possible? Of course, I will continue to write 2013 until...March? (I know I am not the only one who does that) So I was thinking with the end of the year I should do one final Fashion (not) Friday post to end the year. This is not a compilation of the year, but if you want to see some of my other posts you can always search "Fashion Friday" on the blog to find more :)

shirt: J. Crew // necklace: Francesca's 
sweater: American Eagle (old) // Necklace: j. Crew
dress: Gap // belt: Lilly Pulitzer // nail polish: Essie Midnight Cami // cup: Alice and Olivia for Starbucks
shirt: Target // necklace: The Lucky Knot // earrings: Kate Spade
sweater: J. Crew Factory // jeans: Gap // bracelet: J. Crew Factory
dress: Target // necklace: Etsy // nail polish: Essie Cashmere Bathrobe
shirt: Loft (old) // vest: TJ Maxx (old) // necklace: The Lucky Knot & my standard pearls //
bracelet: C. Wonder // nail polish: Essie To Buy or Not To Buy
Happy New Year's Eve and check in tomorrow for a post about what my resolutions for 2014 are going to be. 


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Preparing to Resolve

I am writing this post while watching the Clippers game on Christmas night and y'all will be reading it when I am crammed in a car like a sardine on my way up to Utica. I guess a blogger just has to prep some blog posts whenever she gets a chance right? On the note of the NBA, I just don't see how these short-sleeve jerseys are comfortable for the guys to wear...and they certainly aren't attractive. Anyways...
With the new year coming up around the corner, it is that time of the year where we make promises that we tend to forget about halfway through January. Why is it that we struggle so hard to make realistic resolutions each year? Well, I am no expert, but I have some ideas as to why I tend to mess them up and here are some guidelines to make a few resolutions that will actually stick this year.
Make it...
1. Realistic: It seems so simple, but it is so important. You will not suddenly have time to make it to the gym every day this year, so don't try it. Try for 3-4 times a week and if it is looking like you can go more often, then increase it!
2. Meaningful: If you aren't super committed, you won't do it. It takes 30 days to make a habit, and if you are approaching that in a nonchalant manner, it will show, and your goal won't be accomplished.
3. Okay to Mess Up: We all hiccup now and then so roll with the punches. The reason you are making this resolution is because you are trying to improve yourself and no one said it was going to be easy.
4. A Conscious Effort: Don't forget about your goals. Write it down or reflect on it at night. Do something to get yourself thinking about this goal.
5. A Reality: You can do it! As long as you are making a goal that you can both achieve and one that you care about, it will happen with a little determination. No one said it was going to be easy, but it will be worth it.

Personally, I am starting to work on my list of goals now. I think that 3 is a reasonable limit. I already have my 22 by 22 list to accomplish by October, but my goals for New Years this year are going to be a bit more substantial than cooking certain foods or buying pajamas :)

What are your goals? Any goal making tips I should add?


Friday, December 27, 2013

For A Long Winter's Nap

If you remember my 22 by 22 list, you might remember that "buying a pajama set" was one of the items to check off of my list. Well, here's an update, I now own three pajama sets, yes, three. For the last several years I have just opted for oversized shirts and sweats in lieu of actual pajamas, but now I am wishing I hadn't. Pajamas are cute and cozy and there is a style for everyone.
You may notice that I included a onesie in here. It was necessary, okay? Seriously, my owl onesie is the bees knees and I have definitely worn it when I am freezing cold and studying in my apartment...and I might have worn it while cleaning the apartment before leaving for break (whatever). And, seriously, they are pretty cheap. I got a 100% cotton flannel set a couple of weeks ago for $15 at Target...you can't beat that.
So grab some cocoa and a movie and curl up while you enjoy the rest of your winter break (or the weekend if you live in the "big kid" world)!
for a long winter's nap by sugarsnappearls (links in original set)

What is your go-to outfit when lounging at home?


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Getting Glam for New Years Eve

Well, today marks the day after another successful Christmas. I hope everyone had a wonderful, relaxing holiday with their family. I know I definitely did, and I think I should have asked for some hangers because somehow my wardrobe has yet again grown (not like I'm going to complain about that though). 
This year the holidays have flown by. I mean, I felt like Thanksgiving and Christmas were so close together and now, New Years is on the horizon. While I am sure some of you waited until the last minute on your Christmas shopping (myself included), let's not wait to get our outfits together for New Years. I love this holiday because sequins are considered festive and almost necessary. So break out the bubbly, find your New Years kiss, and let's get this party started!
new years glam by sugarsnappearls (item details through link)


Monday, December 23, 2013

christmas movies

So I have been MIA on this blog for the past week and I have a sort of good reason. Obviously with the end of finals and the semester I wanted to relax, however I am also working my summer jobs...yes jobs with an "s". What does that mean? I have no free time really, and the time I do have is spent with family.
I had all these great posts planned, but those will just have to wait for next year. In the mean time, let's talk movies. Christmas movies are the best. I haven't gotten a chance to watch some of these yet so I will have to catch up a bit after the actual holiday. Oh, and American Hustle is in theaters right now and I saw it with Momma and the boys the other day and despite it being a 10:30pm movie after a long day at work, I absolutely loved it...definitely worth seeing in theaters, in my opinion.

What are your favorite Christmas movies?


P.S. If you shop at Tyson's, come visit me at Talbots in the afternoons this week :)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Gift Guide: For Your Mistle Toes

Well, I probably should've been packing and cleaning last night, but instead some TV and a homemade dinner basically took over my evening and I have no regrets. Seriously, praise everything! Finals are over and I can head home today. Now that I am heading home for the semester, I can bake Christmas cookies and see my friends (oh, and work)...oh and then come back for January Semester in a couple of weeks, but it will be a much needed break. 
I know I have posted gift guides over the last couple of weeks, but those were primarily gifts for the select few friends who get specialized presents. I mentioned how much I love to give presents in those posts and while it's true, my college budget is not known for having a lot of wiggle room. A month or two ago I came across a post on Pinterest that inspired me (and many other bloggers by the look of my reading list) to get little gifts for a bunch of my friends.
Every girl can use a new bottle of nail polish and these tags I created add a punny, unique flair to your gift. If you have time to order them online (aka you don't need them for a gift exchange in the next couple of days), I highly reccomend using Amazon or eBay to find Essie and other name brand polishes at a lower price. So here's to cute gifts that don't break the bank. Plus, with gifts as easy as these you have time to add some homemade peppermint bark or Christmas cookies to the gift!

What budget-friendly gifts did you give this year?

I went with 2 mini bottles instead of one big one,
but either works!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Gift Guide: For the Ladies (Part Three)

Guess where I am today? The library! I know, try to hide your surprise...it's not like I've been living in here all week. Actually, one of the perks of UVA is that there are libraries all over the place so I haven't completely burned out on one, and I never had to go to the first floor of Clemons to study (it's miserable and stressful and a great place for souls to die). Tomorrow I have two exams and then I am home free...well, actually I am back to the apartment to clean like there's no tomorrow and then I get to head home on Tuesday!
Today's post is the third installment of the Sugar Snap Pearls gift guide. These are a bit more universally applicable than the others and are the perfect last-minute gifts for anyone on your list. You can find the previous posts here: guys gifts and ladies gifts part one and part two. And check back tomorrow to find out what I am giving some of my friends for Christmas!
Do you know someone who is always busy and stressed? Here are some ideas to help your friend relax over the holidays:
pampered princess by sugarsnappearls (links to items on polyvore)
Is your friend going to spend the holidays curled up on the couch in front of the fire? Here are some ideas for the friend who loaves to escape reality without leaving the house:
cozy on the couch by sugarsnappearls (links to items on polyvore)
Does your friend need her coffee to function or pull all-nighters in the library? Here are some ideas for the coffee enthusiast or dedicated student in your life:
college and coffee by sugarsnappearls (links to items on polyvore)


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Gift Guide: For the Ladies (Part Two)

It is down to two exams left for this girl...now all I need is to not go crazy in the library over the next two days. That's what Bodo's and Starbucks is for right? (hint: the answer is yes) I am so ready to be home for the holidays and hanging out with my friends and family...plus pulling a few work shifts, and knowing that is only a few days away is all the motivation I need to get through Monday afternoon.
I started a christmas gift guide on Thursday and despite my best intentions, I just couldn't get the rest done during study breaks yesterday (plus side: I think I did well on today's exam...yes, as in Saturday morning's exam). Anyways, here are two more gift sets for the women in your life, and tomorrow's post will have three more!
Need an idea for your friend who takes as many workout classes as she does college credits? Here are some gift ideas for the gym rat in your life:
sports and style by sugarsnappearls
Need a gift for the social butterfly who commands any and every cocktail hour? Here are some ideas for all those party princesses:
party princess by sugarsnappearls

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Gift Guide: For The Ladies (Part One)

Wow Christmas is close...so much closer than I realized. I already have my presents for friends ordered (come on USPS, I need my package!) and I will share those with you as soon as I get them in! I love giving presents, it's not that I don't like getting presents, but there is just so much satisfaction to be had from giving someone something that is so right for them. If you are looking for gifts for the men in your life, check this post from my brothers' birthday because I tried to cover a variety of personalities in that post.
The thing with giving presents is that some people are just so hard to shop for (hi, Momma) and you end up wandering the mall with 2 bags for yourself and nothing for the person you were shopping for...yeah, I may have had some experience with this situation. I am trying to keep the presents on these lists at a reasonable price, but admittedly some of these are more pricy than others...perfect for your sister, momma, or heck, send this to those ladies so they can get it for you!
For the dreamers looking in the windows at Tiffany's and accenting every outfit with pearls. If her signature color is pink, here are some ideas:
dress like Jackie, act like Audrey by sugarsnappearls (item links in polyvore set)

For the woman who can rock a power suit and can accomplish anything with a to-do list and some caffeine. If she is one day going to run the world, here are some ideas to help her get there:
feminine and fierce by sugarsnappearls (item links through polyvore)

How would you describe the women on your gift list this year? I will be continuing this list in a subsequent post and I always love hearing your ideas!


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Finals Fashion

I was at the library until 1:30am last night and I don't even have an exam today...what is wrong with me? The finals bug, yep, that's it. Sometimes you just have to keep working if you're in the groove and last night was one of those nights. Well, hours of sitting on a chair in the library doesn't exactly scream comfortable, in fact, depending on the chair, it can be downright painful. Finals Week isn't exactly the time to decide to make a fashion statement, but that doesn't mean you can't look cute. (Disclaimer: I wore bean boots, leggings, and a sweatshirt yesterday, so I am not saying you have to look put together.) 
today's outfit
As we all know by now, I like to come up with ways to avoid real pants as much as possible, and that mindset only becomes more a part of me during Finals Week. Here are two outfit ideas for getting through finals week. I have totally bought into the "Dress Well to Test Well" mindset in college, but honestly, I would totally wear this "library" outfit to an exam, I love the tunic!
Finals Fashion by sugarsnappearls
What is your go-to finals outfit? Good luck with exams!


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Winter Weather Shoes

I have been wide awake since 5:30am, what is this? Seriously, I went to bed early to get a good night's rest and now I think my body is rejecting the idea of getting more than 5 hours of sleep a night...if that doesn't sound like finals struggles, I don't know what does. I hope y'all are having a good start to finals, or week leading up to finals depending on your school. Yesterday was a rough start to the week for me, but a home-cooked meal and some Monday Night Football definitely helped to save the night. 
The only thing that makes this week longer is this weather we are having. I mean, that ice storm was not much fun and I believe today's forecast is calling for snow with "1in of slush accumulation"...gross. What does that mean? Break out those bean boots/duck boots!
Duck boots probably deserve their own post at some point because they are amazing. I am seriously considering asking for a Thinsulate pair for Christmas because I love my regular ones so much. These shoes are notoriously popular at UVA, and it seems like there's an unofficial rule that all students must have a pair. Of course, there are more boots that are perfect for a gross winter day and here are a few of my favorites: 
Winter Boots by sugarsnappearls
What is your go-to winter boot?


Saturday, December 7, 2013

Study Breaks

Happy Finals Season. May the odds be ever in your favor. 
Every year they come around, and every semester I end up with a mini panic attack session. Well, this year is no different. I actually just decided that I am declaring a double major in history on Wednesday (hence my absence on here) so I had a bit of added stress with class scheduling and such, but more on that at a later date. Finals are going to come whether we are ready or not, and they are going to stress us out too. It is unavoidable, but manageable. How do you manage it? Study breaks and stress management. I am all about study breaks. I don't know how much Pomodoro is going to work for me during these exams, but regardless, there will be some much needed breaks. One example is that today I am driving up to Culpeper to meet my Momma for lunch. It is an hour for each of us and we get to catch up, shop around, and it will prepare me for a long day and night in the library...ohh what a great Saturday night. Anyways, here are are a few suggestions for longer study breaks to get up from that desk you've been sitting at for hours. Keep in mind that it is still important to take a couple of small breaks, but there are times where you really just need a change of scenery on a lunch break:

Cat naps were made for days like these, plus it gives your eyes a much needed break from straining while you study.
Whether it is at home or going to get one done at a salon, this is a guaranteed break because once you commit to painting them, you are basically useless until they dry. Plus, there is just something about having nicely painted nails that makes me feel more put together.
I find this relaxing, as do some of my friends, but if this isn't something you regularly do, finals is not the time to start. I love whipping up a batch of christmas cookies or another pinterest recipe on a study break or while reading a book because it's a great break...plus your friends will appreciate the free food!
"Exercise give you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don't shoot their husbands. They just don't." Thank you Elle Woods. Seriously, exercise is a great stress reliever!
I love cleaning to relieve stress. Plus it is so nice to come home to a clean apartment after a long day in the library.
Youtube Music Videos
Be careful that this doesn't get out of hand because it is a slippery slope of time lost, but break out the One Direction videos and get your groove on girl. (note: probably best to only break out the big moves in the privacy of your home, not the library)

Read a Blog
I love reading blog posts on study breaks...it's the perfect little break from the books. Oh, and if you want to read mine during finals, my study breaks will frequently consist of writing posts so there will be new content.
Movie Night
Pop some popcorn and sit around with your sisters and watch a holiday movie. We Tivo'd and watched the Carrie Underwood version of Sound of Music the other night and it was exactly what I needed after cranking out a paper that day.
What else do you do for study breaks?


P.S. Thanks to Amber, Jane, Logan, and Meghan for helping me with this list. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Winter Beauty Essentials

Well, in typical Virginia fashion, the weather has changed again. I mean really, a high of 60 degrees today and then 34 degrees on Sunday? The changing weather means a constantly rotating wardrobe and checking the forecast every day. It also means dry skin, watery eyes, and chap lips for me. I know I am not alone in this because I have friends who are in the same boat as I am. Here are a few of my favorite beauty products to get you through the upcoming winter months:
winter beauty essentials by sugarsnappearls
Don't forget gloves can be super helpful as well and making sure that your moisturizer has SPF is crucial because, as we all know, just because it's cold, doesn't mean the UV rays can't affect you. The rule of thumb is to just keep your skin covered and moisturized and you'll be good to go! So take a personal spa day to moisturize and decompress before finals because you deserve it and your skin will thank you!


Monday, December 2, 2013

Study Snacks

Well, it's that time of the year again. The time where you spend every waking hour staring at textbooks, notes, and laptop screens...finals! You would think by my fifth time going through this, I would be prepared for them, but they always seem to sneak up and stress me out more than the semester before.
Now, I don't know about you but I am the queen of study snacking. Seriously, if I am studying for a long period of time, I have to have something to eat or drink sitting next to me. It is so easy to make these study snacks unhealthy, especially with coffee shops in the library (hello, chocolate croissant), but here are a few suggestions that are a bit healthier (or not) and you can bring with you to the library allowing you to have more money to spend on coffee or tea or whatever your study drink of choice is.

Trail Mix
Make your own trail mix with your favorite nuts, dried fruits, carb bite (i.e. Chex or pretzels), and sweet bites (i.e. M&Ms or chocolate chips). Having the protein from the nuts will keep you fueled and help you stay full. Plus this balance promises that both salty and sweet cravings will be satisfied.

I could probably dedicate an entire post to hummus...maybe I will one day. But seriously, it is filling and delicious and you can dip a variety of things in it, plus it comes in so many different flavors. I love Red Pepper Hummus and veggies for a meal or snack. Also, veggies are not that expensive...I don't know why some people think they are aka no excuse not to get them!

It is low in calories and if you drink water while eating it, popcorn is super filling. Popcorn is also a great addition to trail mix. If you don't want plain popcorn, add some cinnamon sugar or a spice to it to change the flavor.

Granola Bars
They take only a couple of minutes to eat, or you can spread it out over  a long period of time. Regardless, they can be pretty filling and are a good brain food!

Fruits and...
You can bring a yogurt, oatmeal, or nothing. Fruits are a great thing to snack on and are pretty easy to transport. As with veggies, they really aren't that expensive if you buy the fruit that is in season.

Cookie Butter
I don't care if it technically isn't healthy, but it is better for you than peanut butter. Eat it with a spoon or pretzels to cure that sweet tooth! Seriously, if you haven't tried this stuff, you need to. It is the best.

Treat yourself! I am not even going to try and pretend that I don't have a sweet tooth that gets the better of me more often than not (^see Cookie Butter). I will be taking full advantage of $5 Arches during finals and enjoying the brownies my Momma left with me. The key is to try to limit how much of them you eat...but if you slip up and eat a tray of cookies, I won't judge, we've all been there and I am sure I will be there this finals season too.

What are your favorite finals study snacks/meals? Anything that I should add to this list?


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Inspire Yourself

Who inspires you?
That is a question I asked myself the other day. Who is it that I really want to be and whose footsteps do I want to follow in? Do I dream of being a Jenna Lyons or an Erin Andrews or neither? What do I want to do? Whose career can I mirror mine after? Do I love quotes by Mother Theresa, Thomas Jefferson, or famous athletes most?
The answer? It doesn't matter. I am a fashion and lifestyle blogger with a passion for sports pursuing a degree in Foreign Affairs and currently toying with the idea of adding a history minor. My interests are all over the place and that makes me, me. I feel like it is so easy to think you have to fit a mold in this day and age, like you should have an idea of where your life is going and a narrow, but deep set of interests. I like to be connected in so many fields and I feel like I can talk to anyone because I am familiar with all these topics. 
So as finals approach and you think about internships and jobs for the summer (or the rest of your life!), get inspired by whatever and whoever you want. Be the person you want to be because at the end of the day, you have to love yourself. I may not want to write children's books, but my all-time favorite quote is from Dr. Seuss and I feel like it sums my life up pretty well:

Also, please feel free to submit blog post ideas...I would love some inspiration! Oh, and don't forget, tomorrow is Cyber Monday! if you don't actually swipe the credit card, does it really count? ;)


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Shopping

Happy Slapsgiving Thanksgiving! In the spirit of the holiday, I wanted to thank all y'all for reading this blog. I love blogging just for me, but y'all make it even better with your sweet comments...and you know, the fact that people actually read it! I hope you have a wonderful day full of food, family, and football. I am currently drinking copious amounts of coffee, watching the parade, and playing fetch with my puppy.
Oh, I am adding various items to my shopping baskets on different websites as hints for my Momma for Christmas presents. It makes me want to shop though, ahh must resist the urge! This will also be my first year participating in the Black Friday madness, but I'll be on the other end of shopping...yeah, I am working the 12am-8am shift at Talbots. If you are at Tyson's, come visit me! 
Here are a few of the online sales going on right now that are worth checking out, especially for those of you who love a good deal but are all about spending the day relaxing instead of fighting the crowds at stores...I know that's how I feel!

J. Crew Factory {50% off} 
crystal sunburst necklace (it's back...ordered. ugh)
C. Wonder {30% off tops and/or if you buy 3+ items}
fox head velvet slipper loafer

J. Crew {30% off} 
jeweled llama sweater

Macy's {huge sale + 15% off} 
kitchenaid mixer (obsessed)

Design Darling {20% Off with code: thanks}
tortoiseshell tumblers
Oh...and thanks to Yani's comment on Facebook, here are some links for guys gear because while I am sure he would rock that llama sweater, I'd rather see him shop in the men's department ;] There are more gift ideas in my post from last week too!

J. Crew {same as above}
fair isle sweater
Brooks Brothers {30% off select sweaters}
merino half-zip
Bonobos {25% off $150+; 30% off $250+}
buffalo plaid shirt
LL Bean {10% off}
anything fishing related for K&N will go over well
Also, I have been meaning to feature my friend's blog on here, but I keep forgetting so expect that post soon. In the mean time, if you want to have a healthy Thanksgiving, check out Blake's blog for some advice on that! 
Eat, drink, and be merry...but not too merry, I am still waiting for Santa to arrive at Macy's before Christmas season can begin.


update: Santa has arrived...MERRY CHRISTMAS Y'ALL!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Turkey Day Pinteresting

Thanksgiving always seems to get shafted when it comes to celebration since it is sandwiched between Halloween and Christmas. I mean come on, it is a holiday dedicated to food and football...is there anything better? This year I am mega bummed that we are not with my extended family and that I am not in charge of decorating the table with G, but sometimes things happen. I mean there is always next year and I get to catch up with old friends and play with my puppy so it isn't as if I am miserable at home. Although we may not be doing the big Turkey Day shindig that I am used to, I am still ready to celebrate this holiday with a little help from Pinterest. There are no words for how much I love getting inspired by everything on there. It really is the perfect study break, but I have to limit my time on it or I will get sucked in for hours. Oh, if you have an iPad or iPhone, download the app. I actually prefer pinning on my iPad to my laptop! 
Anyways, here are a few of my favorite Thanksgiving themed pins for the holiday. If you click on the caption it will take you to the original pin (and directions, etc). Oh, and if you are looking for outfit inspiration, check yesterday's post. Enjoy!
what a great way to kick off the morning
loving this table
he's so adorable/funny-looking
crockpot cranberry sauce
thanksgiving cocktail
love this idea
30 thanksgiving dessert recipes? you're welcome

What are your favorite recipes or traditions? Please feel free to share, I feel like getting a bit creative in the kitchen this year!


P.S. while writing this post my brothers came over to me and, after telling me I should dedicate a a post to how they are "young at heart" (read: immature), they nagged me to pay attention to them so they could show me how N had done some dumb hilarious defensive move when K went to punch him. Oh the joys of being home...but seriously, I do love being around these goofballs.