Friday, February 28, 2014

The Friday Five

Guess what? Next weekend is Spring Break and that means that I am Florida bound for the beach and, most importantly, baseball. I am so excited for this trip, I know I've gone the past two years, but this year K&N are coming too and we are going to have a great time. Anyways, I was trying to think of a nice way to recap the week and it got me thinking about the 5 on Friday that so many people seem to do and I decided to try it out for myself, so here are 5 of my favorite things from this week.

1) Corey Smith Concert- tonight at the Jefferson Theater
I am so excited to finally see Corey Smith in concert. I have been a big fan of his for a while now, but never got around to seeing him perform live. My brothers and their best friend cancelled on coming last minute (still bitter...) but I am still so looking forward to going to this with my friends. Oh, and Clayton Anderson, his opening act, is coming to my sorority house after brunch for a meet-and-greet and serenade, so that's pretty cool.

I love Buzzfeed quizzes. Seriously, there is nothing like analyzing my life by what I choose as my favorite rom-com, alcoholic beverage and color, plus they're the best study breaks. This quiz I took yesterday is great because cheese is my favorite and I got Gouda which had a pretty great description. Please tell me that someone other than my friends and I take every single one of these...

transformed this pic
This app has taken off like wildfire. I have been playing around with it for the last week and a half or so and I love it. The pic above is actually the background on my iPhone right now, I love the bright colors and I love that the original was actually a photo I took! I'll do a post on photo editing apps at some point, but for now, this one is definitely worth downloading!

I love a good Pinterest quote binge, and this one made me chuckle. Be happy and positive, but be realistic too.

he's back for one last season!
The boys are back and I am dying to get down to Tampa. I actually already did some research (shocker) on how the prospects did in the first couple of days and how they looked, etc. and sent it all in a sassy, opinionated email to my dad and brothers. It is really interesting to see how teams shape up with offseason roster changes and injuries, and this year is no different, especially for my Yankees. Get prepared for some blog posts about prepping for my trip to warmer weather!

Is there anything you saw this week that you absolutely loved?


Venus Trapped in Mars

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

From America with Love

This Alex and Ani craze reminds me of those rubber Livestrong-esque bracelets that characterized part of my wardrobe in late elementary school. Do you remember this trend? Seriously, I had to have had like 20 of these bracelets that I would pile on my wrists before school every day because it was just the thing to do.
Fortunately, these Alex and Ani bracelets are chic and will not cause your wrists to sweat and never see the light of day like the piles of rubber bracelets. Honestly, I thought Alex and Ani had some cute products and I liked their designs, but I never thought about actually investing in any of their pieces. I don't really like charms and I prefer for my bracelets to be tighter on my wrists when I am going to class, but now I hooked on these bracelets.
The simple designs of Alex and Ani products allow you to express yourself in a subtle way. Think of it like a grown up charm bracelet, but instead of adding charms, you can add bangles to your chic arm party. Personally, I started with one of their really simple "Sacred Stud" bangles, but I am already coveting some other pieces. It's not about whether or not I believe that a bracelet will give me good luck, but it's nice to look down at my bracelet and think "Strength. Motivation. Knowledge." because sometimes that is just the reminder I need.
So, here is what I would get if I were to make a "charm stack" of these bracelets. Of course, there are tons of other options, so y'all should stop by your local store or check out their website to find bracelets that speak to you!
the first one I bought, the symbol is
"path of life"
Chi Omega
Claddagh Charm: it matches my ring!
October's Birthstone: the Opal
would it be complete without including my favorite team?
lost something? say a little prayer
buy this and some of the proceeds go to fight cancer,
plus this is a great life motto.
These have no meaning, I just think they make a great stack addition
Do you have any Alex and Ani? What is your favorite bracelet?


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Struggles with Stress

"Worry is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but doesn't get you anywhere."
Thank you, Pinterest, for that quote. That was actually one of the first quotes that I ever pinned and I still remember thinking about how accurate it was and how much it pertained to my life. I am such a worrywart. I stress out easily and then lose sleep and nothing good comes of it because I am too tired and stressed to produce at my full capacity. I am trying to really work towards embracing stress management tactics because I know that I am as guilty of this rocking chair life as anyone else.
Worrying is pointless, stress can be crippling, and life still goes on. Somehow out of all the messes that I have gotten myself into one way or another, a quote that a wise man once recited to me rings through:
"Some of the worst things in my life never even happened"
-Mark Twain
This is a quote I tell myself daily now. We are capable of spending so much time worrying that we forget about the here and now. I am not saying that stress will ever disappear, and sometimes a crunch deadline is just the motivation I need, but I am saying that we can manage it. For example, I am pulling late nights in the library this week preparing for next week's exams so that I can enjoy my brothers' visit to UVA this weekend. I am managing my stress, sure it will still come around, but there is no sense in hoping on my rocking chair of worry for what the week will bring
1) Plan Ahead: Take your syllabus or important work email and put all the deadlines in your agenda, google calendar, etc. Make sure that you know what's coming up so that you're prepared for the weeks ahead and that you don't get caught off-guard and have to scramble to get all the work done.
2) Make a List: No this isn't the same as number 1. Making a list means that you should make a to-do list of everything you need to do to prepare for an exam, work presentation, etc. If you have a checklist, you can benchmark your progress and feel more productive as you ensure you get everything done and having a plan means that, while it may be overwhelming at first, it is doable.
3) Relax: Do not spend so many hours in the library that you go cross-eyed if you can help it. Read a book, watch Netflix, or just do something that will let you decompress from the stress and pressure of work or school. 
4) Release Endorphins: Let's take a page from Elle Woods on this one. Exercise is such a great tension relief and it is also a nice study break. Take a break for a run or to go to the gym and come back feeling reinvigorated and ready to take on the rest of the day's studying.
5) Sleep: There are several studies that show if you are sleep deprived, you may as well be drunk. Well, that doesn't sound particularly conducive to effective work or exam taking. Get some rest, you will be far more productive in a few hours of alert studying than that crappy prep we have all done at 4 in the just doesn't work!
6) Eat Well: Start your day with a balanced breakfast. Get some brain food, jumpstart your metabolism, and take on the day. No one wants to be hungry and stressed...especially if you're a stress eater (totally guilty of this one).

Essentially, the key to stress management is staying on top of your game. Falling behind is when stress really tends to seep in. There is no point in worrying about something that we cannot change, but it will probably happen all the same. Just try to manage this stress and make it a mild motivator rather than a crippling burden.

How do you manage your stress?

Monday, February 24, 2014

Monogrammed Shirts for the Monogram Fam

On Saturday, the Monogram Fam got two new members! Welcome to the family, Eliza and Savannah. I feel a bit old now that I'm a grandbig, but I love how my family has grown.
last pic with the twins being the littlests!
the stack is bigger!
all of us together
I actually named my family here the Monogram Fam last year (at Virginia Tech it was the Blackout Fam) because I love monograms and gave my littles several monogrammed items throughout the week, so it just makes sense. Plus, it's an excuse to buy monogrammed goods, like...
they look much more neon in this pic than they actually are
these fabulous monogrammed shirts from Alicia Beam on Etsy. Seriously, these shirts are so cute and the shop owner was so helpful. The thing with getting the newest members of the family is that the turn around is pretty quick. I ordered these shirts on Sunday night and they were at my door on Thursday for no extra charge. She was so professional and helpful and now my family has adorable matching shirts that fit our family name.
Welcome to the monogram fam, littlests! We love you both and are so excited to have you!


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Digital Magazines

There is nothing better than having a good start to your day. A good breakfast or a lazy morning in bed is just what the doctor orders on a Sunday to unwind before the crazy week ahead. Recently, I decided to subscribe to a couple of magazines via Amazon because I was tired of spending $4.00 an issue at the grocery store when I wanted to read it. When I purchased Vogue and Glamour, I also got the iPad digital version of the magazine. I was hesitant to do this because there is just something that I really love about reading print editions of magazines and books, even though I do have some on my iPad. However, I am so glad that I elected to download the digital version of this magazine, too!
Digital magazines are becoming really popular, in fact Carly Heitlinger of The College Prepster helped to start Sweet Lemon Magazine a couple years ago, an exclusively digital magazine, and Net-A-Porter recently launched a digital magazine as well. Though I thought this was a cool concept, I didn't realize how many benefits there would be for magazines that I already read in print. The digital version of these magazine has offered more interaction and insight to the issue than ever before. There are great iPad exclusives including behind-the-scenes videos and more photos than are in the print edition, the magazine really comes to life on my iPad. Plus, you can instantly read what you want by just tapping on the various links on different pages.
Personally, I still like to flip through the whole thing because I love looking at ads for designer items that I can only afford in my dreams. Nothing can ever trump flipping through a magazine and hanging up the pictures on my wall. Did anyone else do this when they were younger? Like I had both sides of my closet doors covered in different fashion shots and ads from magazines that I would carefully tear out whenever I was done reading it.
And you know what, I can still do that because I get the print edition too. Although, now that I am older and there is really nowhere in my room that I want to hang up a bunch of magazine pages, I am thinking of making an inspiration folder to put these pages in.

What are your favorite magazines? Does anyone else get magazines delivered to their iPad, too?


Friday, February 21, 2014

I Was Stuck in Colder Weather

Sorry I have been MIA. I don't have a good excuse, but I promise to try to be better. I really need to just get my ducks in a row and I have been floundering a bit these past few weeks. Maybe I will blame it on the cold weather getting me down, it's hard wearing a parka every day ;)
Here is an Instagram roundup of some of my outfits from the past few weeks though. I cannot believe this weather right now, but I am definitely not complaining. I love not wearing my, I really love not having to lug that around every day. Enjoy this Fashion Friday and don't forget to tune into the USA v. Canada hockey game at noon...time to get redemption for the women's team's heartbreaking overtime loss yesterday! Oh, and today's outfit comes courtesy of my brother, Kyle, thanks for the Rowdy Gentleman shirt!
shirt: J. Crew // necklace: Loft (old) // earrings: Kate Spade
all J. Crew: cardigan // shirt // bracelet (old)
shirt: J. Crew // earrings: Kate Spade
shirt: Lilly Pulitzer // necklace: Purple Peridot
shirt: J. Crew // pants: C. Wonder // shoes: C. Wonder //
necklace: Loft (old)
shirt: not sure // vest: momma // necklace: The Lucky Knot //
bracelet: Laila Rowe (old)
shirt: Old Navy // sweatshirt: Old Navy // vest: J. Crew //
necklace: Purple Peridot
jacket: J. Crew // shirt: H&M // jeans: Gap // boots: Etienne Aigner

Of course today is Friday and that means it is Fan Friday with Venus Trapped in Mars. And this could not be more perfect because today is a rematch of the gold-medal game from 2010. For some people (myself included), that is still a sore spot and makes this game even that much more important. Tune in at noon today to watch the game and cheer for the United States. You don't know anything about hockey? That's okay, just cheer for the red, white, and blue! And, I realize not everyone is from America, but I have to show some American Pride today.
If you want to know more about the game, here are some links to get you up to speed:
What does this game mean to the US team?
Game Preview
Top 5 USA v Canada games of all time
Yesterday's Overtime Loss for the US Women's Team


Venus Trapped in Mars

Monday, February 17, 2014

Kate and Kendra

I've been MIA, sorry y'all. Honestly the snow days combined with my love of Netflix and the need to do homework kind of trumped everything this week. Oh, and Olympic Hockey, that trumped, to the point where I will skip a class to watch the game on Wednesday if I need to #dedication #america (sorry not sorry for those hashtags).
Back to slightly more feminine topics though, like, earrings. I used to exclusively wear my pearl studs and necklace. And when I say exclusively, I mean constantly, as well. Even now, I am known to include a simple strand of pearls in an outfit that looks more appropriate for a gym. However, this year, I have really started to branch out with my jewelry as a way to express myself and change up outfits. I love statement necklaces, and I am learning to like statement earrings as well. There are so many places you can seek out earrings that fit this description, but I chose to just highlight a couple of designers whose earrings I always love!
Kate Spade makes some great earrings that fit into this category. I absolutely love my two pairs of them and look forward to gradually growing my collection. The price isn't that bad, especially if you get them on sale. For example, I just got a pair on clearance for $19 with free shipping, you can't beat a deal like that!
Kendra Scott is also an amazing jewelry designer, with her simple statement pieces that utilize colored stones for a more earthy and relaxed look. Personally, I don't own any of her earrings, but I have so many friends who do and I really want to get my hands on a pair. Her earrings are less preppy, but no less cute!
Though they aren't featured here, J. Crew also has some cute ones available and they're very reasonably priced if you look at J. Crew Factory. I realize both of these other designers are not incredibly cheap, but they are good products and they use quality metal. Plus, sometimes it is worth investing in something you really like, or worth hoping for a sale!

Do you have any go-to statement earrings?


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Channel Your Inner Beyonce

It's that time of year again. You know, that night where all your non-single friends are getting all dolled up for a hot date and you're on your couch with a pint of ice cream watching Titanic? Well, this year, take back the Hallmark holiday! It's a Friday night and we should treat it as such. Still not sure? Well, I don't know about y'all but a little inspiration from Queen B is all I need to get myself going. Beyonce would not want us feeling sorry for ourselves, now would she?
So just as a reminder to all you single ladies out there...
She wants us to be fierce,

independent women! (oh hey, Destiny's Child)
yes, this is technically the "Survivor" video, but you get the idea...
because you know what, we are...
and we don't need some guy to take up all of our time 
we're far too fabulous for that
and we don't settle for less than the best
So get out there and get your flirt on!
Queen B would want you to do it
Still not convinced? Okay, stay in, but don't get all sad and cry. Unless you look as good as she does when she cries, but let's be real, most of us are more like Kim when it comes to crying...
ugh, she's even fabulous when she cries
What are your Valentine's Day plans? And, seriously, why is she so great?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Lookin' Fine, Valentine

First of all, I am sorry the title is punny and rhymes...I couldn't resist. Do you have a hot date for Valentine's Day? Good for you. Are you single for the big day? Well then, plan an evening of wine and chocolate fondue and a rom-com, at least that's what my friends and I are doing. Oh, and there's a party for a friend turning 21 at honestly, I could care less that I'm single for this Hallmark Holiday (that I have mixed feelings about anyways). Regardless of what your relationship status is, here are some outfit ideas to encompass whatever your holiday plans are, from a night on the couch to a fabulous meal at that restaurant downtown everyone wants to go to.

Casual Night In
Take the night off to enjoy yourself. Grab a blanket, chick flick, and some snacks and enjoy your night! You can even make a girls night out of this. Seriously, I'm talking face masks and Spice Girls sing alongs like you're in the sixth grade again.

Casual Date or Casual with Friends
Here is a more low-key outfit that encompasses any plans you might have for the day/night. There are some touches of red, but nothing overwhelming. Also, totally picked this sweater because of the "lobster" and my FRIENDS obsession. Sorry not sorry. Don't know what I'm talking about? Check it out.

Date Night
Oh la la, is your boy taking you out? Well then, break out the dress and pumps. I love this red dress and you can never go wrong with a statement pearl necklace. Have fun on your hot date. Oh, and if you think he's proposing, don't eat that cake too fast ;) #DontSwallowYourRing

Night Out On the Town
Do you have other plans for the evening? Well then, you are free to wear whatever you want. Here is an outfit that incorporates a touch of red to acknowledge the holiday, but nobody wants to be single around another single person obsessing over the day. Keep it understated and have a great time! I realize this might be more conservative than what most of y'all will wear out, but this is me who is making the set and totally reflects what I'm planning on wearing that night. Put on a sparkly shirt and some heels to dress this look up, but please stay warm...there is nothing hot about being a shivering mess waiting in line to get into the bar.

What are you planning to wear for Valentine's Day?


Monday, February 10, 2014

Sweet and Simple Flats

Who doesn't love Target? I mean, I could (and sometimes do) spend hours perusing the place. Over the weekend, I was in the store and they had just put out a lot of their early spring line and I scored some great flats for walking around grounds.
One of the best things about my school can also be a total pain in the butt. I go to a historic university, where the Lawn we walk on every day is a world heritage site. It is beautiful and elegant and sometimes I can't believe how lucky I am to attend UVA. So how can that be a pain? Oh, well, it's the little things like having your basketball game moved from 7pm to 9pm because President Obama is bringing the French President to visit Monticello and the visit will mess up traffic patterns. Personally, my biggest woe is that the brick sidewalks do a number on my shoes. Honestly, just walking as much as I do can mess with my shoes, but the sidewalks don't help, and they don't discriminate between a $40 and $20 pair of flats. 
Luckily, I found the Madeline flat at Target and I am so excited to share my find with y'all. They're so cute and simple, perfect for any outfit needs at school. And the best part? They come in navy!
I have been searching for a pair of navy flats for a while...
sorry for the excitement
They're super cute and comparable to the J. Crew Classic Leather Ballet Flat, but for a fraction of the price. I have them in navy and coral and can't wait to use them as we transition to some point. Also, I know I can't be the only one who is getting increasingly tired of pulling out the same beaten up pair of riding boots day after day.
how cute is the gold?

What is your go-to school shoe?


P.S.I originally titled this post "Simple and Sweet" instead of "Sweet and Simple," if y'all were wondering why I need coffee to function, that is a prime example right there. Happy Monday...