Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Beach Week Bod and Finals

Guess where I am heading on May 11th? The Beach! I am so excited for Beach Week with my Chi O sisters and friends! A ton of people from UVA venture down to Myrtle Beach after finals for a few fun days and nights at the beach. It is the perfect way to unwind from finals, say goodbye for the summer (and to the fourth-years), and then come back and settle in for the summer. One thing that I am not super excited for is having to wear a bikini again. Let's be real, finals snacking and just generally not being on top of my workout routine is not boding well for me. Regardless, beach week is when it is, and there are a few ways to get ready in two weeks.
While my workout ethic has lacked a bit, I have been getting a workout in here and there, and finals is no excuse! I don't blame you if you're a bit skeptical, but for a super quick workout, I love the 8 Minute Abs and 8 Minute Arms workout videos on Youtube.

80s workout videos are so corny but they are effective. In fact, I discovered clips of the original "Buns Of Steel" workout video the other day on Youtube. I don't know if any of y'all have done that before but it is a great workout, complete with that fabulous aerobics attire.
To make a two week push for improving your beach week body, you also need a couple of other elements. Honestly, running is the best form of cardio that you can do. I know people don't like running, and to be honest, I used to be one of them. Then, I discovered a runner's high and I knew I was hooked...of course, if you are still skeptical, there are other ways to get your cardio in. 

As far as diet goes, try to stick with healthy snacks and meals (I say as I eat chocolate chips...). But seriously, there are so many ways to satisfy a craving without killing a diet. For example, I just discovered Dole Dippers and I am loving them.
Water is obviously incredibly important all the time and it will help to clear up your skin as well. If you throw some lemon, mint, and/or cucumber in the water, it will add some flavor and it also helps to make it a detox drink.

The bottom line is that with 2.5 weeks to the beach, you won't be in the best shape of your life, but you can tone and lose a couple of pounds before then. Plus, these are good habits to get in and exercising during finals will reduce stress (and maybe that will help curb that late-night Ben and Jerry's craving at the library)
Any other ideas for prepping for beach week?

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

It's Not Actually About the Horses's about having a great time with your friends and celebrating the end of the year! So as many of you already know, Foxfield was this weekend and I had such a great time. There was so much Lilly and Vineyard Vines and so many sundresses and bowties that I can't help but wish we could have another go at it this weekend (instead we get is that fair?)!
I went with my sorority but along the way saw friends and family and plenty of pictures.
my partner-in-crime
candid with the roomie
one half of the Monogram Fam
my sweet "roommate" from last year
cousin bonding
For those of you who are wondering, my dress was a Lilly Pulitzer from last season that I picked up in the Rue La La sale a few weeks ago. My hat is from Marley Lilly and they also sell a cross body similar to mine! If you missed that sale, but don't want to in the future, here is an invitation to join the site so you never miss an amazing designer sale!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Late April Showers

Oh wow, what a weekend I had. Foxfield was on Saturday, and if you have texted me since, I probably didn't get it seeing as I have to go pick my phone up from their office today (THANK YOU to the nice stranger who turned it in!). I had such an amazing time with my friends at the races, but a long day in the sun tuckered me out and I have been laying low since then. Oh, and studying. Foxfield comes at the perfect time because it is right before finals are upon us and instead of just meandering into the library in the evenings with Meghan and others, we are going to start having to compete for a table...
As much as I dread finals, I am looking forward to Beach Week and the summer that comes right after it. Right now though, instead of dreaming about the water in the ocean, we are about to face some water from the skies. Yeah, finals season is going to start with some rain, not that it's the worst thing in the world, but I could use a little sunshine in my life this time of year (and apparently a new umbrella...)
Dressing for rain storms in the summer is about striking that balance between heat and humidity, the need for rain boots, and still trying to look cute. Personally, I don't think a little rain should stop anyone from dressing how they want to, and dressing for rain in warmer weather just means trading your jeans or and sweater in for a sundress or shorts and a blouse. I have worn shorts with my rain boots, but normally I am more comfortable wearing a sundress, of course, that is a personal preference.

Happy Finals Season!


Friday, April 25, 2014

The Perfect Pen for Organization

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of BIC 4-Color pen. All opinions are 100% mine.

By now it is common knowledge that I love my to-do lists, color coding, and being organized in general. For me, not having enough colors to code my agenda or list can make me antsy and it really bothers me when i forget one of my pens and have to write it down in a different color. Luckily, BIC® has designed a pen to overcome that hiccup. The BIC® 4-Color™ pen is perfect for anyone who loves to stay organized in a fun and colorful way because it has 4 Inseparable Colors in 1 Pen!

I have to say, if I was one of the colors, it would have to be red. I love making sure things are just right and keeping things organized. Plus, red just pops off the page when you write an important deadline down! Each of these colors can stand for something in your day-to-day life.

For me, Red means that there is a deadline fast approaching. Green is that color I rarely get to break out for social events because everything else is keeping me so busy. Blue and black are the most used, but I love the look of a blue pen in my planner.

If you are interested in getting one of these great pens, you can order it online at Amazon or Staples. And be sure to check out more of their social media to figure out which color you are! (Facebook, Twitter)

Visit Sponsor's Site

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Kate Spade Keds DIY

A college girl's budget is hard to shop on. It means learning how to bargain hunt like a professional and what is worth spending money on. Jack Rogers? Worth it...oh and did I mention they're on sale on Last Call right now? I am talking I just spent like $65 and got two pairs of them...yeah, two. Follow this link to get the gift card and you can save extra money by entering the code "BestMom" at the living social checkout and enjoy!
Okay, back to this post...
I am definitely on a budget and that budget does not include $75 Kate Spade Keds (similar)...even if they are totally adorable and covered in polka dots.

Well, all I could do was think about them and then one day when I was in Target (my happy place), I got an idea. Why don't I just make my own Kate Spade Keds? So for less than $20...yes TWENTY...I made my own pair and I couldn't be happier! (aka I got 2 pairs of Jack Rogers and a cute pair of sneakers all for the price of the original Keds)
What Do You Need:
White Keds or flat sneakers (mine are from Target)
Gold Fabric Pen
Tissue Paper

How To:
1. Stuff the tissue or newspaper inside the shoe and try to pack it in there. It is much easier to draw on the shoe and apply pressure if there is a solid backing to it.
2. Take the laces out of your shoes so that you can color that part of the shoe too.
3. Add polka dots to the shoe.
This part is totally a personal preference thing. If you are not confident in your ability to draw a circle, trace the end of the pencil with the gold pen and then color inside that circle (this can take a while...I was trying to hold the pencil in my was a hot mess). I personally freehanded the circles and the spacing, but I totally understand if you don't want to! Also, make sure that the color paint is what you are looking for. I did these last night with one pen and when I remembered that I had a gold paint pen, I re-did them this morning and I am so happy I did!
left is the new gold, right pen was more yellow
4. Add the laces back in and rock the shoes!

Seriously, this was such an easy DIY. I think I finished them first time in an hour and for so much less than I would've paid for the original Keds.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Mountain Weekend

Monday Morning and back to the grind. I wish Easter was a holiday, I could really use the long weekend right now, but at least I got away for a couple of days. It was nice to finally be over that last week and onto happier times, not that my schedule or to-do list are relaxing much, but I just have fewer deadlines.
Going away for the weekend was the perfect amount of time to get my head ready for the week ahead, something that we could all use every once in a while. One of the things with traveling to a place like Wintergreen is that mountain air, while refreshing, is definitely on the cooler side. When going to a mountain for the weekend, layers are key because the temperature can change quickly and the day to night temperature drop is fairly steep.
We spent Saturday morning hiking, which, while strenuous, was a great way to take in the gorgeous weather.
Then because I was so tired from my week, I elected to stay in for the afternoon and paint my nails while hanging out in my pajamas. There is just something about spending a day in your pajamas that can reset your internal clock and energy level! (or am I the only one that feels that way?...)
Anyways, before you go on your next mountain excursion, remember to bring layers and stay away from bears!


Sunday, April 20, 2014

He Has Risen

Happy Easter! I hope y'all have a wonderful and restful day!


Saturday, April 19, 2014

22 by 22 is Halfway There!

Happy Easter Weekend! I hope everyone is having a great weekend, I am with my family at Wintergreen for the weekend which is just the escape from school I needed. Not only is it Easter weekend, but today is my half birthday! I don't normally care about this, but it is the halfway point on my journey to completing my 22 by 22 list and I still have a lot of stuff to check off. I am not actually halfway through my list, but I have definitely checked off a few items have plans for how to check out a few more! For those of you who aren't familiar with my 22 by 22 list, here is the original list:
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
6) Learn to Fly Fish
7) Consign Old Clothing
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
13) Hike Old Rag
14) Read Anna Karenina
15) Make Ten Pinterest/Online Recipes
16) Snail Mail Correspondence
17) Make Business Cards
18) Blog 4/times a 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 Something Off and Invest It in Something I Want for my 22nd Birthday

If you go to the 22 by 22 page, you will find how I have progressed so far, but here are some of the items I am planning to check off in the coming weeks!
2) Read 13 Books Just for Fun:
I am going to need to relax a bit this week after such a hectic week last week and this is just the way to do it! My momma brought a couple of selections to the house this weekend and I can't wait to dive into one or two of them
10) Develop A Daily Routine:
I basically have a daily routine, but I anticipate it getting pretty regular this week in preparation for finals coming up!
16) Snail Mail Correspondence:
I keep meaning to write a letter to Cat (my best friend who lives in Colorado) and I have the stationary for it...
20) Make an At-Home Face Mask:
What better way to relax this week than by trying an at-home spa day? I am totally turning to Pinterest for this one...

Do you have one of these lists? How is your progress going? Also, thanks to those of you who emailed me your Five on Friday responses!


Friday, April 18, 2014

The Friday Five: Self-Reflection

Today's Five on Friday is a bit different in light of the insane week I have had. Seriously though, I have had so much to do in such little time (part procrastination, part Relay for Life, part unavoidable deadlines) that I feel more like a zombie than a human. I wore workout clothes to class two days in a row...this might mean nothing to y'all, but that is a pretty unusual thing for me to do. Life just got so crazy and in the little pockets of free time I had, I found myself evaluating my habits and character. Admittedly, I don't know why this happened, but I am glad it did, so in honor of that, today's Five on Friday is going to be 5 areas that I can improve on in my life.
This is actually a really hard thing to publish and I feel a bit exposed doing it, but that's all part of being a blogger, right? Well here it goes, here are the five things that I think I could improve on:
1) Time Management
This is a broad term for a host of issues. Its not that I am late for class, in fact I am usually early for my 9am on Mondays and Wednesdays, but I tend to leave at the last possible second. I get stuff done, I just wait until the last possible moment and then end up arriving right on time and a bit frazzled. A lot of life could be more enjoyable if instead of waiting until I have to do something, I get it done and then have time to relax more.
2) Working Out
Okay, big shock here, pinning various workouts does not actually have a direct correlation with working out. For all the time I spend thinking about how I want to get back in shape, I could actually just go out and do it. A runner's high is a real thing and I miss those. Plus, I feel more energized and I sleep better when I regularly exercise...oh and so much less stressed!
3) Care Less
I am such a worrywart and I get embarrassed at the drop of a hat. Seriously, I hate awkward situations and have been known to make them more awkward because I get uncomfortable. More than that, I constantly worry about what others think of me and how my actions influence that. I mean, if I post a personal photo to Instagram, I shouldn't worry about the fact that the significant majority of my followers aren't looking for that, it is my Instagram after all! 
4) My Faith
I might have fallen off the Catholic wagon a bit. It's not that I don't love my faith or God, it's just that I haven't been the greatest about going to church and praying. I find myself really only praying when I am asking God for something and not just doing it because I want to develop my faith and relationship with him. It's not that I think God spites me for this, I just think that I could really improve this area of my life and that it would bring me some peace of mind.
5) Building my Brand
I love this concept from Kate White's book and I wish I took it to heart a bit more. I am a business-minded person and thinking of all my actions as something that represents my personal brand would be a great way to go forward in life. I already believe that you get out of life what you are willing to put in and I need to take that mentality and run with it.

What are five areas you need to improve on? I just think this is a good idea to take a moment for self-reflection. Take a minute to think about it and if you want to share them with me, I'd love to know (you can comment or shoot me an email at


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Live for 32

"We are strong enough to stand tearlessly, we are sad enough to cry, and we are strong enough to know that we must laugh again"
-Nicki Giovanni
miss these two (and my other friends) so much

Today marks the 7th anniversary of the shootings at Virginia Tech. There are no words to fully describe the emotions connected with this day, except to say that I believe the Hokie Nation is stronger because of it. I have been so blessed by my experiences and friendships at that wonderful school and not a day goes by that I don't miss some part of it. Today and every day, I live for 32, those 32 who had their lives taken away too soon. Please say a prayer for the Hokie nation today when you get the chance, seven years may have gone by, but it never gets easier to remember that tragic day.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Flower Power in Fashion

It was only a matter of time before my love of flowers resulted in a post dedicated to floral fashion. I realize that florals are far from original this time of year, but I still love them and love how cheery they can make an outfit look. I actually wore a floral dress from Bluetique to my formal on Saturday and got so many compliments on it (look for more about formal and other life happenings on the blog tomorrow).
monogram family takes on spring formal
Some people are less inclined to add a floral pattern to an outfit because they don't want a pattern to be unflattering or busy. In reality, florals are similar to stripes, it's not so much that they can never be flattering or cute, but you just have to figure out what works best for you!
The key to rocking a busy pattern like florals is to keep the shape flattering. I personally prefer clothing that emphasizes my waist, but that is definitely a personal preference. Honestly, fashion is a form of self-expression and if you wear what you love and feel comfortable in, you will rock it because you will be confident about the look!

Any other floral lovers out there?

Friday, April 11, 2014

Five On Friday: Relay and More

Happy Relay For Life Friday! Today is the day! We have prepped and raised money all year and today is the big event! I am so blessed to be a part of such an amazing organization and I am so proud of our accomplishments this year. Before I go any further, you should come out tonight for at least a few hours. We have tons of music, food, and other performances and all the money goes to fighting cancer! That being said, here is today's Five on Friday:
I realized that I somehow never blogged about this. I guess I was so busy doing Relay stuff in my "real" life that it slipped my mind to include anything on my blog. I Relay in honor of Grandmama, Lauren, Sandy, and Olivia. I Relay in memory of Linda, my Grandfather, and sadly, I am adding Toss Cline to my list this week as he lost his battle with cancer on Wednesday. Mr. Cline was a beloved teacher at my High School and the community will miss him dearly.
I also just relay for a world with more birthdays. Let's fight to blow out those candles every year and to have the word "cancer" be a thing of the past.

I have posted the Gilmore Girls "Which Guy" quiz before, but this just solidifies that Logan is the greatest. And if you're a Jess lover, there is a list for him too. He is pretty great, I'll give you that, but I will always choose Logan over Jess. Oh, and if you prefer Dean...who are you? no...

Did you miss the Rue La La sale the first time around? Looking for some cute desk accessories or gifts? Well RueLaLa is having a Lilly accessories sale at 3pm and I am sure they will have lots of goodies for you to swoon over!

4) How to Jump a Car

Huge shoutout to Christy for helping me jump my car on Sunday. I had never actually jumped a car before because I have AAA so keeping this little guide on hand is worthwhile. Thank you Pinterest (typical).

I love hiking and being outdoors this time of year (note: I said nothing about camping...). I love spending a day hiking, eating lunch, or, as finals season rolls around, studying outside. It is that perfect time of year for these adventures because it still isn't too hot to spend the day outside around here. Oh, and Shenandoah National Park is featured on this list...yay for my home state!
Bonus: 2048
Since this is probably the best way to describe why I've been MIA, I figure I should include it. I have since beaten both the regular and UVA edition of this game so I should probably be back to blogging full-time ;) oh and hint for this game: keep the big number in the corner!

Have a fantastic weekend!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

live in the moment

It has been a week since I last blogged! I swear I am still a blogger, it's just that this has been a crazy couple of days and it still is tame compared to my schedule for the next two weeks. Sometimes you need to just live life and enjoy it and that is exactly what I've done this past week. I had such an amazing weekend with my brothers, friends, cousin, and meeting blog friends for brunch. These are memories that I wouldn't trade for anything and I am so blessed that I got the opportunity to have these moments. It is so easy to get caught up in everything that is going on, and the real life skill is not being able to do it all, but to balance it all.

I plan to get back to blogging tomorrow, but I wanted to thank y'all for being patient as I took the week off and for sticking with me. I am in college and living life, but having this blog as an outlet has been, and will continue to be, one of the best parts of opening my computer any given day.
That being said, having a week off reminded me of how great it is to live in the moment and enjoy the little things. Whether it is studying with my grandlittles, my weekly Relay Exec meetings, or my daily library study sessions with Meghan, I am so thankful for the people in my life.


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Starbucks Lite: What To Drink This Summer

It finally feels like Spring and I am so excited for this weather. Thank God I am going home for a bit this weekend so that I can grab all my sundresses and officially transition my closet to reflect the temperature. In addition to changing my closet, I will also be transitioning my go-to Starbucks drinks. Don't get me wrong, coffee is still going to be an important part of my diet, but now I will readily ask for it to be served on ice!
Starbucks has a great lineup of iced drinks, and I even tried their Sweet Tea the other day! A lot of people worry about the calories of a Starbucks iced drink, immediately associating it with a frappuccino, but the menu has much more to offer than that, and many of these other drinks won't kill your plans for a beach body!
One quick tip before we go into their drinks: Get Light Ice! Usually they put a ton of ice in a drink and quite frankly it's largely unnecessary unless you like it watered down. Personally, I love getting light ice because when I get a drink, I really want to enjoy it...all of it! haha

Iced Coffee is always a safe go-to, plus it only has a couple of calories if you get it unsweetened. They can add milk to the drink, but if you just want a tiny bit for flavor, I would recommend just going over and adding a bit at the station on the side.
I love Iced Chai and when I have a free reward, I get a skim dirty iced chai (add a shot or two of espresso)! Again, I really recommend this drink with light ice because a watery chai is no bueno! Iced Vanilla Lattes are also a good option if you get it with nonfat milk, a tall is only 120 calories!
Their iced teas (sans the Sweet Tea) have no calories. Yeah, zip, zero, nada...oh and they're delicious. I alternate between the iced green tea and passion tea all the time in the summer. The advantage of a green tea is that there is a bit of caffeine you won't find in a passion tea. Plus, this drink is wildly customizable as a base drink. You can get it mixed with lemonade (more calories, but delicious) or blended as a frappacino. Also, if you really like the taste of either of these, getting it sans water is delicious. Usually if I do that, I don't ask for light ice, but I do love the extra kick of the stronger green tea. This is a drink to mess around with until you figure out what you like, but it is always delicious and an iced tea is very cheap (for Starbucks)
None of these sound as appealing as that Frappuccino you're craving? Well, if you still want a frappuccino, just get a tall, skinny, light one...sans whipped cream!

Also, you can get a Trienta size in iced drinks, basically a supersized Starbucks!

What is your go-to Summer Drink?