Thursday, August 29, 2013

Thirsty Thursday: Cup O' Joe

I am a coffee addict. There is no denying it. I need my coffee in the morning, I accept my weakness and move on. Some of you say it's unhealthy...clearly this is because you haven't seen me try to function without the stuff. Sure, I try to wean myself off it a bit around finals (caffeine increases stress), but the rest of the year is all about starting the morning off with a cup of joe. 
In college, I tend to take my coffee on the go with me (sometimes it's my second cup, but who's counting). I have collected quite a few mugs over the years, though my go-to is definitely my 2013 Spring Training Tervis (or my Margaritaville one for the double-dose days). I try to avoid getting a cup at Starbucks if I can, especially for regular coffee. Plus, if you use your cup, you get a discount! So save the environment a bit and grab one of these chic mugs to tote your beverage around in.

These things rock. They're perfect for hot or cold beverages, come in several sizes and all sorts of patterns. I have both a regular and large Tervis and I alternate depending on what I'm drinking. Oh, and you can also get these monogrammed...double win!

I mean, I had to include Lilly. It's cute and functional. Basically it takes all of my self-restraint not to buy one of these cute mugs. 

You need one of these. No, I'm serious. Magnolia Lane mugs don't mess around with size, it's like drinking a fishbowl of coffee. I have a Virginia Tech one at home (I went there freshman year, don't judge) and it is my favorite mug hands down. Also, Magnolia Lane creates so many other adorable ceramic goodies, perfect for any hostess or birthday gift!

I love the happy and colorful mugs from Pier 1. My big gave me one of these giraffe mugs in one of my baskets during big sis week and it's my favorite at school. I sometimes race drinking my coffee down so the giraffe doesn't drown...yeah, I'm five, it's whatever.
Back to a travel mug here with a super tightly sealed mug. Seriously, these things are amazing. I had one in High School that could easily keep my coffee hot for half the day as I sipped on it throughout the morning (you know, before I was a true addict).

What's your favorite coffee mug? Are there any other awesome travel mugs I missed?


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Plan Away

Well it's the first day of class! I had so many back-to-school posts planned for last week and I am so sorry I didn't get to them. I had a whole plan, and then got super my Momma had to come pick me up and take me home from college sick. But, I am much better now and so excited for the first day of class! Since I didn't get to it last week, I know I have a lot of back-to-school prep left to do and I am sure some of y'all are in the same boat! 
I finally got around to ordering my planners and books (bank account hates me so much right now) and I wanted to share my thoughts on planners with you!
Normally, I just grab my favorite Lilly planner at the mall and go from there, but I actually wanted to try something a bit different and see if it benefits me this year. I am juggling way more this semester than in the past and I definitely had some reservations about trying to cram it all in that format. Since I spent so much time analyzing planners (actually though, it's sort of embarrassing) I am going to share some of my favorite systems with y'all.
Duh, the iconic planner. You can't go wrong with the colorful pages and stickers that almost make you excited to write down that 20 page term paper...almost. There is plenty of room to write in this planner and the extra section dedicated to the months in the front is a nice long term flip through. Also, this year the new tabs are more durable and there's a new horoscope section!
Well, this is my planner for the year. Sara Pinto planners are perfect for getting down to business. It has a cute and simple front cover design and no-fuss organization inside. Plus, the selling point to the organization freak in me was the to-do list section for each day!
Okay these are new, and I am obsessed. I desperately wanted the polka dotted one, but I actually am getting 2 planners (yeah, I know, I'll explain later) and the price was just a bit more than I really wanted to pay for that...especially with the cost of textbooks. Also, love the quote at the beginning of each section. It's very similar to the Lilly one in that sense, basically as cute as a Lilly but with plain pages.

I have never seen one of these in person, but I have heard rumors. This might actually be on my christmas list. This is the queen of all planners. I mean, it's called the "life planner" for a reason. You can plan school, social activities, work, basically everything in here. 

Not to be a total grandma, but I cannot do online planning. I just struggle to remember it if I don't physically write it down. I am going to try to use my iPhone as a backup this year but we'll see. However, if you're tech savvy or always leaving your planner, this is for you. You can reference it anywhere and sync it with all devices. The calendar app on my Macbook, iPad, and iPhone is probably the calendar I'd use, but the idea of a digital calendar is great for on the go and it's free!
So I mentioned 2 planners...I am also getting a jumbo Lilly planner to leave at home. That way I can juggle social, school, extracurriculars, blogging, and maybe work. I just like the idea of having one for school and one for life in general for this semester.

What are you planning with this semester?


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Desk Obsessed

Okay, I am obsessed with my new desk! Seriously, it is amazing what some knobs and a few coats of paint can accomplish. While I am not ready to do an apartment or room tour yet (so much decorating left...but it's already the most amazing apartment ever), I do want to share this desk and vertical file shelf. 
So I got this old desk from my Momma's boyfriend because its the perfect size for me. I don't study at my desk a ton because I am better off getting serious studying done at the library, but it's really nice to have the option. 
This was a super simple project, but it did take a bit longer than anticipated because of work schedules, paint drying, stenciling, and a couple of design overhauls. In the end, I love this and it has totally won the prize for "Favorite Room Decoration." 
To paint this I used Behr paint, furniture primer, a Martha Stewart Stencil, and Anthropologie knobs.  
Not only did I paint the desk, but when my momma and I came across these filing units in TJ Maxx, we knew they were perfect for my room. I love having a place to store important papers or documents that's easy to sift through. This was a really, really simple task. All I did was prime it, paint it, and then paint the brackets and put them back on. 
Now these project may seem like a lot of navy in my room, but my room is MASSIVE and has white walls. I need all the color I can get! And I know I am not giving away my room yet...but here is a hint for those of you who've actually read this whole post:
Oh, and I can't wait to show you my closets...yeah, plural...

Have you ever up-cycled furniture before? 


Monday, August 19, 2013

Nothing Is Impossible

"Nothing is impossible. The word itself says 'I'm Possible'."
-Audrey Hepburn
Well I am back in Charlottesville and taking the day to (attempt to) shop the Lilly Sale and get some housekeeping done. Blogging will back in full effect tomorrow. For now, I leave you with one of my favorite motivational quotes as I look at my growing to-do list for the week!
OOOH, I cannot wait to show y'all the apartment...seriously, I'm in love with it!


Friday, August 16, 2013

Fashion Friday: Work Horse Summer

It is finally Friday, and not just any Friday...LAST DAY OF WORK FRIDAY! Yes, today is the last of my double shift days...the dog days of summer are over and I am off to Charlottesville on Sunday. Seriously, I am beyond excited to be done with work and have made the money I did. It is so nice to know that I can afford food and books! Of course, thanks to the J. Crew Factory Sale and the screwup with that, my bank account looks less attractive, but moving on...
I decided this summer to take a break from Fashion Friday because there was a lot of re-wearing of outfits. Since I am done, and since I really did love some of the outfits I shared on Instagram, I decided to compile some of my favorites.
First Day of Work
love this dress and the starfish accessories. Starfish are such a perfect addition to any summer wardrobe and I have even been known to take them out in the winter. 
dress: Lilly Pulitzer // bracelet: Fornash // shoes: Steve Madden // nail polish: Essie

Navy Pants
These pants were basically my savior this summer. They're super comfortable and well within any dress code. I wish I had another pair like this...maybe next summer!
cardigan: Ann Taylor Loft // pants: H&M // shoes: Target // earrings: J. Crew Factory

Minty Fresh
I got this cardigan over spring break and am seriously debating a fall color in it. Does anyone have the fall ones? Seriously, these rock and I loved popping this color with the super neutral white.
cardigan: J. Crew // pants: Talbots // shoes: Jack Rogers // necklace: Fornash // nail polish: Essie "Geranium"

I love gingham, stripes, and polka dots. This summer, working in an office, solidified that because they're totally acceptable prints for the office! Also, these flats? J. Crew Factory, give me all of them...please
top: J. Crew // pants: H&M // shoes: J. Crew // bracelet: C. Wonder

Canadian Tuxedo
This is as close as I get to a Canadian Tuxedo. I loved this outfit and these shoes are just to die for. I got them on sale at C. Wonder and wish I'd bought all the pairs they have!
top: Old Navy // pants: Talbots // shoes: C. Wonder // bag: Lesportsac // bracelet: C. Wonder

What were your favorite summer outfits?


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Note to Self: Kate Spade Does it Again

I admit, I used to not see the purpose behind an iPad. I mean, come on, it's basically a giant phone that people try to pass off as a laptop, right? Wrong.
Since getting my iPad for Christmas, I have learned just how awesome they can be. Seriously, I would be lost without this gadget. It acts as a notepad for class, book, game host, and so much more...oh and it's totally travel sized. I actually have a keyboard for my iPad so that I can just take that to class instead of my Macbook Pro. Some days there are just too many things to carry for too long to want to deal with a full-fledged laptop. While my keyboard is totally awesome, I was lacking a certain stability element.
I needed a case. Basically, I got my heart set on a Kate Spade one that said "Eat Cake for Breakfast," but knew it was totally out of the question to spend that kind of money on a case. So I waited...and I waited. I didn't know what I wanted, but I did know that the dinky sleeve I had it in was tempting fate.
Finally, I came across a Kate Spade sale at the outlets and snagged a portfolio. This is the perfect case because it doesn't require snapping in like the Lilly Pulitzer one, but it is still cute and protective. I love that it totally blends in with my school supplies as well. 
Also, I have the Kate Spade gold polka dot case for my laptop seems lonely. Maybe I should get a sleeve so it feels better ;) Seriously, I just love her stuff...all of it!

What is your favorite tech case?


Monday, August 12, 2013

What's In my Bag and Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to Marian for winning the Lesportsac Suitcase!
Use it in good health, doll! Thank you to everyone who entered. I realize the rafflecopter was a bit messed up, luckily I got the entries exported to Excel and was able to add any emailed entries that way, as well as all the Instagram entries! In case anyone was worried about whether or not this was valid, not only did she win my excel/random number generator version, but she won according to Rafflecopter too!
I love getting to share awesome stuff with y'all, so on that note...if you don't already follow me on Instagram, do it. When I get to 1500 followers, I will be doing another giveaway, this time of one of my favorite things!
On the note of Lesportsac, I am absolutely enamored with my signature tote they sent me. I have people asking me all the time where I got it and they're shocked to know it's Lesportsac (also, disappointed they can't get one yet). It is the perfect tote for school and work. Seriously, I have been hauling it from place to place this summer, job to job. As I have mentioned before, I work 70 hours a yeah, I carry quite a bit of stuff. The bag is absolutely big enough to carry it all. An even bigger perk is that it is super cute and the material is practical for cleaning purposes. There are just enough pockets for convenience, but it is still open enough so that things don't disappear!
Okay, so here is my list of "Work Bag Goodies"

Wallet: Obviously this is a necessity. I have a zip-around Michael Kors that I love because when I just want to run into a store without my tote, I can put my phone in this. Of course, I have been and still am totally swooning over the Kate Spade wallets...just love all the colors!

Lunch and Snacks: Pack a lunch and snacks. It is so easy to walk down to the vending machine and get cheetos, but that hurts your wallet and figure. When you sit at a desk all day, you need to be more concious of what you eat, simple as that. I bring healthy food to munch on while working and make sure there is some good protein and carbs to keep me energized. 

Tervis or Camelbak: Hydrate people! Seriously, it is so important and it keeps your skin clear and body healthy. I bring my Tervis because I can fill it with coffee, juice, or water and keep refilling it. I also love my Camelbak though because I always seem to drink 10x the amount of water I otherwise do. There is just something addicting about that bottle!

Paper and Pen: As I have mentioned before, I am a straight OCD lady when it comes to to-do lists. I love making them and crossing items off. When I don't have this with me, I get so lost and confused!

Agenda: I keep a really tiny one in my work bag because basically all I write in it are my hours. I know it is important to keep track of your schedule, and like with a to-do list, tangibly writing it seems to make me remember it more!

Chargers: Having a phone or tablet die is the worst. Designate a charger and pair of headphones for this bag so that you never leave them behind ensuring a less painful 8 hour shift.

iPad: I love writing blog posts and lists in the notes section. It is so handy to have this since it acts as an eReader, game host, and notepad all in one.

Gum or Candy: Just bring a couple little things to pop in throughout the day in case you get a bad taste in your mouth or need a quick sugar jolt at 2:15.

Makeup Bag: This keeps deodorant, an extra necklace, perfume, and a face lotion for me. Since I work 2 jobs, I like washing my face and cleaning up a bit in between jobs. 

What is in your work bag? Any secrets or good ideas you've learned this summer?


Friday, August 9, 2013

Apartment Style: Hall of Mirrors

Welcome to Apartment Style Part 2! Last night I took a trip to IKEA with my Momma and stocked up on some more apartment essentials. Tomorrow we are C-ville bound to build my walk-in closet...too excited!!!
While my room is big and has a lot of natural light, I know that most rooms aren't. Last year my dorm room came equipt with one dim light and a pathetic excuse for a window. At night the cinderblock walls and dim lighting made it look more like a cell than a dorm room and that is just no fun to come home to. Well, have no fear because there is a great way to combat that...with mirrors. On that note, click on this link to have a little JT serenade while you enjoy this post ;)
okay, not this extreme...
Mirrors reflect a ton of light and give a small space the illusion of being bigger. There are so many different ways to incorporate mirrors into your apartment, all you have to do is search a little. Obviously a full-length mirror is ideal to pick out outfits every day, but there are also cute mirrors that add a little bit of fun to a space and contribute to the open and bright atmosphere you're looking for. 
who needs a headboard when you can do this? makes the bed bright and happy and gives it some personality!

If you have room to do this, do it. Seriously I love these big mirrors. I think they look great hanging or just propped up. They add a great amount of light and with an interesting frame they become a great focal point of the room.
This mirror has great character and is a good size to still be useful. I saw this yesterday and if I didn't already have a couple little mirrors from Target, this would definitely be on my list. 
Well this totally adorable. What a cute take on a gallery wall. While my gallery wall isn't going to look like this, this makes me want to throw one or two into my gallery scheme.


Sunday, August 4, 2013

And They Call The Thing Rodeo

On Saturday, I crossed something off the bucket list. I went to a rodeo...finally. I should probably mention that since discovering the PBR (not the beer...Professional Bull Riding) circuit a few years ago, I've been hooked. Seriously, the adrenaline rush of a bull ride makes any other sport look like child's play. And of course, now that I've been to one, all I want to do is go to more. Oh, before I go any further, enter my giveaway. Seriously, it's awesome, and I may be throwing in an extra present for whoever wins ;)
We went to the J bar W Ranch in Union Bridge, MD to see this round of "Battle of the Beast" and of course we saw some great bull riding, but we also saw several other standard rodeo events that were exciting as well. The night kicked off with the first round (each rider got 2 bulls) of bull riding,many let me tell you these were some pissed off bulls, rivaling some I've seen in PBR events on TV. Also, I would really like to be a professional Bull-Namer, seriously "Wicked Pickle" trumps an OPI color name any day. 
After all the riders got their attempt at an 8-second ride, the Barrel Racers came on. These cowgirls can ride! They had some of the prettiest horses I've ever seen and crazy skills. At this point, my brothers and I decided to get some food...
Yeah, I didn't earn the nickname "grace" for nothing. As we are walking down the bleachers, I lose my footing in a spectacular wipeout. Oh, did I mention that I was wearing a dress and Jack Rogers (hey, I was excited and wanted to dress sue me), because I was and therefore my primary concern wasn't my safety, but what shred of dignity I may have left. So I bit it big time, and, as my momma put it "not everybody turned, but almost everybody," and then gathered myself as quickly as I could and boot-scooted away answering the chorus of "oh my gosh are you okay?" with a thumbs up. Why didn't my brothers help me? Oh, they'd deserted the scene as fast as humanly possible...thanks, jerks ;) 
Bull Hockey!
Now, how could they possibly trump bull riding? With bull hockey of course! Yeah, that's right 4 guys volunteered to go into the ring (2 on each team) and try to get the puck through their goal as many times as they could in 90 seconds. Oh, did I mention the "puck" is a BULL?!?! Yeah, it was insane and way too entertaining and of course now K&N want to do it too. 
Then the bull riding resumed, and we continued to enjoy ourselves and this spectacle. As the night began winding down and we were totally exhausted from a day of shopping and rodeo-watching, the winner of the 50/50 raffle was announced...and I WON! Yep, I won $403...I consider it payment for total humiliation. The cause they were raising money for was a woman's breast cancer treatment so I have committed to donating $100 of it to Relay For Life this year. 
Overall, I had the time of my life and want to go back as soon as possible (August 17?). As much as I have enjoyed becoming a fan of PBR events, nothing trumps seeing it first hand. Plus, you can't really appreciate the visual of a bull literally being pulled off all 4 feet and dragged through the air as its dragged to the holding pen on a TV. 
Any other rodeo fans out there? 


Friday, August 2, 2013

Lesportsac Giveaway!

Is there any better feeling than finishing the work week and knowing it's Friday? Probably not, unless you get the chance to win something on top of that! Well, how about I help make this a great Friday and give you the chance to win a brand new Lesportsac rolling suitcase? Yes, we have teamed up to give one away and the giveaway will run from today through 12am next Friday, and the winner will be announced then.
Recently my cousin, and fellow chi omega, who is interning with Lesportsac in New York City (lucky duck!) sent me a couple of bags to try out. Guess what? I am in love. Seriously, I may never put my new signature tote down. They are such well made bags and their new prints are fun and sophisticated. I am so excited to test out my weekender and purse as well!
I know that at school I always want to be able to leave for the weekend to visit my friends, cousins, and now my brothers, at their schools. The problem had always been finding a bag that stored well in my dorm room, but was also practical for the amount of stuff I take on a typical weekend excursion. Lesportsac sent me the perfect weekender in their Lacey Lana print that I am planning on getting a lot of use out of this upcoming year.
Of course, I can't just keep all this great stuff to myself, so Lesportsac and I have teamed up to give you a 22" rolling suitcase in Aberdeen Stripe, one of their fall prints that has yet to be released! This suitcase is a great size and the nylon is so easy to clean. Plus, the soft exterior means there is plenty of room to cram all of your travel needs in it, with extra storage in the 3 exterior pockets! There is even a pouch that snaps into the bag which is perfect for toiletries you don't want to spill onto anything else. This perfect bag retails for $275, but one of you lucky readers is going to get it absolutely free! 
a Rafflecopter giveawayAlso, my Instagram followers can gain extra entries by following the directions on this post! Feel free to post it up to once a day to maximize your chance of winning!

good luck!


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Back-to-School Best Dressed

"I like my money right where I can see it, hanging in my closet." -Carrie (SATC)
If any of you feel this way, or are just in the business of back to school shopping, keep reading. Right now is the prime time to stock up on all those back-to-school necessities because it seems like everyone is having a sale! I have already hit up the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and J. Crew Factory, but I know there are more and I wanted to share them with y'all so you can stock up without going broke!
J. Crew Factory Sale: 40% Off the Entire Website/Store
end date: August 4th
I got a couple of items that I had been needing to add or replace in my wardrobe at a great discount. I also got the ponte pant, which I will definitely be reviewing at a later date for y'all...I think they may be the best things ever!
end date: Never!
Okay, any other H&M fans out there? Recently the giant H&M closed at Tyson's (my mall) and I was so sad because that was where I went for affordable basics and comfy sweaters. Now, I don't have to worry anymore because you can finally online shop in the US! This is big, people, really big.
Rue La La: Lilly Pulitzer and Jack Rogers
end date: opens today at 11am
If you aren't a member yet, this is me inviting you! Seriously, just join, it's free and you get access to sales like need to have one of these invitations though. They will have LILLY PULITZER and JACK ROGERS today at 11. Stock up for next year if nothing else. You know you won't regret it.
C. Wonder: 50% Off Markdowns
end date: none posted
All markdowns are 50% off! I have scored a couple key accessories, a pair of driving moccasins, and a great, tailored button down. Their store is so happy and bright, I just love going there and the prices are such a steal in this sale, my shoes only cost $25...and retailed for $100!
end date: August 4th
If you haven't hit this up really should! They have so much! If you want to see my favorites, check out this post from a while ago.

Are there any sales that I missed and should add to this list? Have a great time shopping ladies!