Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Easy Halloween Costumes

With Halloween a couple of days away, I guess I should figure out what I am going to wear. If you're a college freshman this year and you have never been out on Halloween (especially at UVA) get ready. Everyone and their mother gets dressed up to get messed up and it is a crazy weekend. Also, don't wear something you care about. Frat sludge (you know, the gunk on the floor) is gross, it is cold, and there's a good chance something will get spilled on you, plus, we're all broke and don't want to spend money on three different  costumes, right? Well, last year for one of my costumes I decided to channel my inner Slutty Pumpkin for one of the evenings and it turned out to be the easiest DIY costume, ever!
Here are all the things you could possibly need for a last minute costume that will cost you $5 or less, so you can have fun, look good, and still have money to buy a drink at the bar after you abandon that fraternity party...

1) Charlie Brown: Thanks to Meghan for the inspiration for this one. Just take a sharpie and draw a chevron line on a yellow shirt...wow that was easy.
2) Skeleton: Cut holes in the shirt that will leave strips of fabric to look like ribs and make sure you leave enough fabric at the center for a "backbone." Then, if you want, just apply some face paint...totally understandable if you're good just leaving it as a skeleton costume without face paint...who knows what that'll look like by the end of the night
3) Pumpkin: Cut a jack-o-lantern face in the orange shirt, wear a black cami, and add a green bow for your "stem" on top! Bonus points if you write "Slutty Pumpkin #HIMYM" on the back :P

If you want a slightly more official looking costume, I also recommend the Toddlers in Tiaras route, I did that last year and all you need is a tutu, tiara, and a sash...oh, and a binky if you want to be really official. Also, Duck Dynasty is an easy one for both ladies and gents, just make a fake beard with some felt and wear camo! You can also check out my DIY board on Pinterest for more inspiration!

What are you being for Halloween?


p.s. I am now a Lucky Mag Blog Contributer and this is one of my first posts to get published! Go check it out here and it can link you to my profile. Looking at this is a great way to discover other blogs to (but please keep reading mine!)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Monogram Monday: Let Them Eat Cake!

To start this post off on a totally unrelated note to this post, I am wearing plaid and cable knit today and absolutely loving it. Seriously, nothing screams cold weather like this combo to me, now if only my fireplace actually worked (it's okay, the heater and a scented wax melt can make up for that, right?
Anyways, I turned 21 last Saturday and I had the best birthday! I got to go out the night before with one of my best friends here at UVA and my roommate and paint the town red...sorry, not regaling y;all with those crazy stories ;P
But Saturday I rang my birthday in with a pretty classy celebration at the International Gold Cup. 
Gold Cup is a horse race event that happens twice a year and is a bit much less of a hot mess than Foxfields in the Spring. I love the fall event because everyone breaks out their tweeds, furs, and boots and in the deep, rich fall colors...it's just perfect. We had the greatest time and I thought I'd share a few of my favorite photos, including a very special monogrammed item...
Nate and I
my wonderful Momma
love these ladies!
go Chi O
the toast!

and, of course, the monogrammed...


Sunday, October 27, 2013

See the Good

Sometimes we need to just call our mommas or best friends and vent, but I really like this quote and I thought I'd share this bit of wisdom. So, this is my goal for the week. I know I will still need to vent and unwind, but I want to try to embody this as much as possible. 
Also, once this crazy weekend is over, I will be back to blogging in full swing starting with a special Monogram Monday birthday recap!

Enjoy this video puts a smile on my face every time.These kids are my heroes!


Monday, October 21, 2013

The Essentials: Kitchen Edition

This is probably strange, but I love grocery shopping. I think it's that I feel so accomplished after I do it...you know, because without it, I'd starve. Well I was grocery shopping the other day and I realized that:
A) it is much different to grocery shop for an apartment than for a dorm (much less Easy Mac)
B) there are a few essentials that I always have at my disposal. 

Fruit and Veggies
Everyone thinks fresh produce is expensive but it really isn't. If you buy it, eat it and you won't have to spend money on more unhealthy snacks. Bell peppers are a personal favorite because you can chop them up and throw them in a salad, bring them as a snack, or sauté them to accompany your main course. I also love bananas, apples, berries, spinach, and carrots. 

Keurig. Duh.

It's cheap and it freezes well. I get the value packs and then just cook up one or two for the week and reheat them. I would absolutely fail as a vegetarian so this is a must for me.

Kroger brand whole wheat pasta is $0.99. You can't beat that and a box is good for a couple of meals. Just grab some olive oil and seasonings or red sauce and you have a quick and easy meal. I also get the bulk pack of frozen meatballs to heat up and toss in with the pasta...perfect and cheap!

Sandwich Supplies
I love sandwich thins because they're perfect for a regular sandwich or a breakfast sandwich. I get the vacuum-sealed deli meat at Harris Teeter because it's a great selection at a great cost.

Ice Cream
How do I avoid exhibit self-control with ice cream? I buy the individual serving cups when they're on sale. I love the Skinny Cow Carmel Cone ice cream (which apparently Kroger doesn't have...). These are sometimes put on sale for 10/$10 so stay on the lookout. And don't worry, the cashier's judgmental face when you buy 7 single servings doesn't seem to matter when you get all that goodness ;P

Snack Foods
If I am running out the door to a meeting or classes, I often don't have time to prep something. I usually grab a trail mix and an apple for lunch and that easily gets me through to dinner. My friend at tech had a great idea to prep snack baggies ahead of time for the week so it's cheaper and just as healthy!

Instant Meals
Sometimes it is just a easy mac kinda night. There's no shame in being too tired to cook. I have easy mac, soup, and tuna at my disposal for nights when cooking just isn't happening.

It was really hard for me to pare down this list, and honestly there are quite a few other things I rely on, but what are your kitchen essentials?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

22 by 22

HI! I'm 21 today!!!! I really wanted to do something for my 21st that would be meaningful to me and so I decided that I would take a page from Mackenzie Horan and do a list. Now mine is not quite as intense as her 101 in 1001, but I thought a 22 by 22 would be a good idea. Anyways, I am posting it here and later this week I will add a tab to the blog so that y'all can keep up with my progress.
turning 21 with some of my favorite ladies at Gold Cup

1. Get in Shape
2. Read 13 books just for fun
3. Feel like I've made a difference in my community
4. Manage money and balance my budget for the rest of the year
5. Hold a conversation in Spanish with a Native speaker
5. Learn to fly fish
7. Consign some old clothing (use money made towards #22)
8. Figure out my favorite "big girl" drink
9. Get a pajama set 
10. Develop a daily routine
11. Host a dinner party
12. Spend a Day Downtown (in DC)
13. Hike Old Rag (traumatic experience last time I did this when I was 12...)
14. Read Anna Karenina (it will happen one of these days)
15. Make 10 pinterest recipie dishes
16. Snail Mail Coorespondence
17. Make business cards
18. Blog 4 times/week
19. Raise $1000 for Relay for Life
20. Make an at-home face mask
21.Visit a friend at a different college
22. Put $10 in savings every time I check one off and then invest in something I love for my 22nd Birthday 

Do any of you have a list?


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Cat Lady Confessions...

...no, I am not a cat lady. I am 100% a dog person, let's just get that straight before we dive into this post.
However, recently I have been spending my evenings like a quintessential Cat Lady/Spinster. I love BBC Miniseries'. There, I said it. It is my total Netflix guilty pleasure. They're fabulous for the classic book lover like me. They take a book and, because it's over several episodes, actually tend to really embody the spirit of the novel.
My favorite BBC miniseries of all time actually doubles as one of my favorite cinematic events to watch. Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy might just be the greatest thing ever (see old post about my love for Darcy). Unfortunately it is not available on Netflix, but it is totally worth the investment if you ever get the chance.
Colin Firth as Darcy over everything
Don't worry, though, there are plenty of good options on Netflix just waiting for other classics nerds to have a relaxing night in, settling down for a couple of hours to watch one of these. Also, I have heard that a glass of wine and a homemade dinner is the best accompaniment for this ;)

North and South
Based on the novel by Elizabeth Gaskell
I am not kidding. I am absolutely in love with this one. I wish I had read the book before I watched it because I just don't see how it could even compare...yeah, that's how good this was. There is definitely a certain Pride and Prejudice element here with their relationship, however the circumstances of the plot are quite different and the characters are amazing. The dynamic of this is far different than the gentry that are so often covered in Austen novels, adding a really refreshing labor element.

The Forsyte Saga
Based on the novels by John Galsworthy
Ohhhh, this series. This is a fabulous miniseries that will actually take a few weeks to watch. The character development is absolutely spectacular and you end up gaining a really personal attachment to some of them. All the women in my family have our various preferences for favorites because it really is that well developed! Watch this...just do it. It's shorter than a real TV series, but you can't watch it all in one sitting.

The Buccaneers
Based on the novel by Edith Wharton
A great story about four American women coming out in London society. Well worth the watch and seeing where the different women end up and how their values have shaped them and their lives.

Pride and Prejudice
Based on the novel by Jane Austen
I know, I know, I told you to watch Colin Firth. But if you just want one for now, this one is pretty good. I thought the actor was a bit stern, but overall very nicely played Darcy...a role I find has been historically hard to cast. Also, the actor who portrays Mr. Collins is absolutely great in this movie...just the sort of repulsive, yet harmless character I always imagined.

What is your Netflix guilty pleasure?


Friday, October 11, 2013

Fall Getaways

I am almost Blacksburg-bound people! I am so excited to spend a couple of days with amazing friends and my brothers and of course Hokie Football. Weekend getaways are the best, but I always struggle to pack for them. What if the weather changes? What if we go (insert activity here) and I don't have (crucial item)? There are endless struggles with packing and I certainly get my overpacking gene from my Momma. I'm not kidding the woman brought a full suitcase for Parents Formal last weekend.
My trip this weekend is less than 48 hours, but the list I am giving would be perfect for a Friday afternoon-Sunday evening trip. Also, I tried to include as many suggestions as I could from J. Crew Factory because again, it is 50% off today...yeah, crazy amazing. You would be hard pressed to find this quality at this price elsewhere. Enjoy!

The Packing List:
Good Overnight Bag: I absolutely love the Carry-On bag Lesportsac gave me. If anyone is looking for the perfect weekender, this is it! (Lesportsac)
Sweater: it might get chilly (especially in Blacksburg) (JCF sweater)
Button-Ups: regular and Chambray...they go with everything (JCF Camp Shirt)
Riding boots/Duck boots: Change this up based on the weather and what you're doing, but I can say that I have never regretted bringing my Duck Boots anywhere
Ponte Pants: I may never wear real pants again (JCF Gigi Pant)
Jeans or Cords: Real pants are always a good idea too
Skirt: It's the perfect item to dress up or down. Bring one in a neutral color and mix and match it with other items you bring for the perfect outfit for any activity (JCF accordion pleat mini)
Field Jacket: I am loving my new J. Crew coat, it is perfect for this weather and so cute. (JCF Field Jacket)
Vest: Puffer vests are one of my favorite things about fall that I left off of my list. I wear mine all the time, also, Eddie Bauer has them on sale sometimes for amazing prices so keep an eye out! (Eddie Bauer Vest)
Necklace and/or Scarf: Bring a fun piece of jewelry with you. Just one that can add a little flare to your outfits, shockingly enough my tortoise flower necklace is my neutral travel go-to ;) (JCF necklace)
Flats: This should go without saying. A neutral flat will get you far in life. (Steve Madden)
Comfy Stuff: Relax, wear something comfortable, I know you'll want to on the drive back!
Toiletries: self-explanatory...I hope
Game Day Attire: I will be rocking some serious Orange and Maroon tomorrow

What are your weekend getaway essentials this fall?


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Just Another Priceless Work of Art in His Gallery

Please tell me some of you got that reference? Hypothetical High Five for throwback music. I mean what's better than a little Mario Vasquez singing about how amazing you are? Turning 21 at an Aaron Carter concert? Oh yeah, that'll do it ;P Spoiler: That's what I'll be doing in a couple of weeks, anyways....
I love gallery walls. I kept seeing them on Pinterest and knew that I had to do one once I got my own apartment. Of course, once I got here I had a dozen things to do and decorating just couldn't be a priority (aside from my desk). There were some minor setbacks, like realizing I didn't bring a screwdriver to school, but as of this morning I can say that my gallery wall is officially complete.
Living on a tight budget in college made decorating a gallery wall a challenge. I would fall head over heels in love with a print and then realize it just wasn't where I wanted to spend $25 (J. Crew Factory being 50% off today is more my cup of tea) and it was getting discouraging. Then I decided to search for free printables on Pinterest and now I can proudly say that the only things I purchased for the wall were frames, a clock, and the wooden symbols. I decorated my wall just how I wanted to, but for a fraction of the cost. Of course, finding prints was the easy part, planning the wall is a whole different story:

How to Decorate a Gallery Wall 101
1) Pick a vision.
I realize this seems like a big step, but do you want crisp white lines? Do you want an antique vibe? You need to know what your end goal is (to an extent) before starting. I actually changed mine a bit, but it was definitely helpful to have a starting point.
2) Get frames.
I highly recommend BigLots. I got 3 of my big frames there for $7 a piece. Since I have so many big, white walls, I wanted frames that weren't totally flat. I like the dimension a simple border can provide. Also, color doesn't matter because you can always paint them. I still might paint some of mine.

3) Make a layout.
This is really important to do before you go on a crazy journey picking out prints. You want to have an idea of what size, color, and images to put where. I knew that I didn't want all text on one side of my wall and images on the other, etc. Plus this is a great time to incorporate any other accents you want to put on the wall. I got the cheap wood symbols from Michael's and just glitter painted them (see here). 

4) Pick out the prints.
This will take a while and it should. I basically did this in all the free time I had on a Thursday a few weeks ago. If you are saving by finding free printables, definitely block out more time. It will take longer to find the free ones, but on the plus side you get to instantly print them instead of waiting.

5) Scramble.
My idea for my wall kind of evolved through the print selection process and the placement of prints changed as I added more. Find a balance that works for you, after all, you're the one who has to live with it.

6) Hang them up.
Ideally do this with a hammer and nails, but as I have proven, thumbtacks get the job done too.
7) Enjoy.
There is such a sense of pride in seeing something you took the time to decorate (hello, mantle) and this is one of those things.

Do any of y'all have a gallery wall?


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Little Things

Fall has finally come to Charlottesville.
I got to break out a wool skirt and riding boots today and it is making my Wednesday a heck of a lot better. (For those of you who don't already know, my Wednesdays are basically non-stop from 9am-10pm so little things become really awesome). My excitement over this skirt got me thinking about what truly makes me happy. I think I skip over how amazing so many aspects of my life are on a day to day basis. I didn't really appreciate my free time yesterday, or the fact that reading a card from my Momma made me laugh. Sometimes it takes a lot of stress and exhaustion (aka Wednesday) to make you really appreciate the little things. Now, I am not going to pretend that I suddenly will appreciate everything thrown my way, but I am going to try to tune in more to the little things that make me happy, even on a good day.
Today it is that I got a Pumpkin Spice Latte (not iced!), wore a wool skirt, and I get to have coffee with a friend. Friday it will be the fact that I will be Blacksburg bound to visit so many people I love and care about and the time I have to myself in the car on my way to down...but seriously, I am a pretty amazing car singer if I do say so myself ;)
In the grand scheme of things, these things aren't important, but at the time, they'll put a smile on my face and I certainly can't complain about that. 
Oh! So as I was writing this I forgot to include the most important part about this wool skirt. Happy Woman Crush Wednesday because Jess from New Girl is awesome and Zooey Deschanel wore this skirt to a New Girl premiere. Hypothetical High Five! (yes, I know I am mixing my TV shows here...whatever)
admittedly hers was probably from when this was an expensive skirt in J. Crew Collection not factory, but whatever

Well time for me to get back to my Wednesday and classes, hope you are enjoying the little things in your day!


Sunday, October 6, 2013

PFormal and more!

Well this weekend was so much fun, but so busy. Seriously, this coffee is the only thing keeping me functioning right now. Since it was such a crazy weekend, I thought a picture post would be better than me telling you all about it. Enjoy!

Friday Night
Chi Omega Parents Formal at Farmington Country Club
L: Momma, Dad and I; R: best friends make the best dates. K-Soms & I
L: littles!; R: my best friend, my momma

I had to work a 5k...
and then Momma and I drove up to watch Kyle and Nate play in a club lacrosse tourney. It was so hot and I am pretty sure I melted. (I also got a sweet sock tan line...see above picture) Oh, and then I decided to go out with my friends when I got back to C-ville, hence the total exhaustion right now.
Sunday (today)
We had a mixer with Sigma Pi at King Family Vineyard to watch a polo match. I was so tired after the weekend, but I am glad my friend convinced me to come because it was an awesome end to the weekend.
stomping the divots...a polo tradition

And now I am sitting in the library attempting to get work done but procrastinating quite a bit...oh well, totally worth it for such an amazing weekend!