Saturday, May 31, 2014

Summer Wish List

Friday, May 30, 2014

As the start of a new season commences, I get the shopping bug. Okay, I have the shopping bug 24/7, but the unwavering desire for new things kicks up an extra ten notches between each transitional season. Needless to say, I've been itching to shop for new summer goodies and have shopping carts queued on numerous websites to relieve some of the constant "I need this"  and "I want that". This might hold me off from shopping for a few more paychecks, but I don't know if I can last longer than that.

Without further ado, here is my summer wish list!

I am a complete sucker for Kate Spade handbags. In all honesty, Kate Spade anything is my kryponite and every few paychecks, I find myself either on the website or in the outlet picking out something new for myself. It's a horrible habit, I know, but I swear nothing puts a smile on my face like a nice handbag. I like the rounded shape of this one and the bow pattern is absolutely adorable. I love bags that have a removable cross body handle so that when I need to use it for a dressier occasion, I pop the handle off and carry it around the crook of my elbow. Boom, totally de-casualized it.

This shirt looks like the most comfortable shirt ever to wear during the summer. It's linen, so it's breathable for the hot and humid days. It's striped, the only pattern other than polka dots that I truly need. And it's J. Crew. What more could you want in a shirt?

I'm usually a Target sandal kind of girl because I'm cheap and I wear them so often that they just get destroyed after a summer or two anyways. I fell in love with these sandals from Free People, and I don't think I will be able to get through the whole summer without purchasing a pair. They look to me like they could be easily dressed up or down, depending on your outfit and the color you choose. I preferred the light brown to the other colors, making perfect casual wear for the summer.

KJP bracelets have been on my radar for so long that it confuses me why I haven't purchased one yet. The new Atlantic Pearl collection has my heart and it's going to take everything in my not to put my debit card to work this weekend. 

I love my YSL lipstick in Fuchsia in Rage so much that getting another one isn't even an option at this point, it's a must. I'm not particularly fond of coral colors on myself, so that knocked out a lot of the summery shades for me, until I stumbled upon this color. It's just light enough that it won't overpower my face, but will make me look like I put forth a little effort on the days where I don't want to pound on makeup just to have it bake off in the hot sun. Plus, look at that packaging!!! I'd kill for another one of these.


I've seen mixed reviews about this perfume, but after reading this line from Amarixe's review of it, I'm completely sold:
"The very first thing I smelled in this is sunblock: old school, Coppertone sunblock."
I love the smell of sunscreen, and I'm not sure if that's weird or not. It just reminds me of summer and has a nice scent to it. I'm going to be smelling this perfume as soon as I get to a Sephora or Bobbi Brown counter. If I don't feel like dishing out the $70 for the perfume, I might just settle on the lotion, which Amarixe also enjoyed.

You really should have seen this coming. I saw this shirt on tumblr last summer and went on the hunt (literally, on the website thehunt.com) to find this shirt. I finally did and to be honest, I'm not sure why I haven't ordered it yet. It's sort of a muscle tee AKA my favorite shirts to wear babysitting because they're comfortable, easy to play outside in, but still look cute. AND IT MENTIONS HARRY STYLES. How is this not in my closet yet?

What's on your summer wish list?

"We Turn Skeletons Into Goddesses"

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Last summer it was the thigh-gap, and this summer some rude human being from 4chan trolled the forums with a new impossible #thinspo goal aimed at women's bodies: the bikini bridge. If you were just as uninformed as I was, a bikini bridge is the gap between your stomach and your bathing suit when you're lying down tanning. Whether this was a sick joke or not, it's horrible how fast this idea that a girl needed this "bikini bridge" spread. I've seen pictures with the text "summer isn't summer without a bikini bridge" and "when he sneaks a peek at your bikini bridge #justgirlythings" written over a very tan and thin girl tanning in various places.

Scrolling through the endless Pinterest pages with pictures of these bikini bridges and thigh-gaps makes me upset. I've struggled enough trying to get past the thigh-gap "trend" from last year and now this sick joke-turned "trend" pops up and I feel like I have another thing on my plate. The truth of the matter is, I don't need a thigh-gap or a bikini bridge or a flat stomach. If I can look into the mirror and am truly happy with what I'm seeing, then why should I change it for somebody else? For the rest of the world? Think about that.

The thinspiration pages on Pinterest and Tumblr are even more sickening. Look at your own discretion.  They're filled with triggering images of seemingly impossibly thin girls and quotes that make your stomach churn from just reading them. God bless those two sites for attaching a warning when you search for 'thinspo' or 'thinspiration', explaining how eating disorders are mental disorders, not life choices, and that they can be serious and life-theatening if not treated. They also attach the number to the National Eating Disorder Hotline and the website for it as well.

I've spent my fair share of time reading through countless forums and informational pages on eating disorders, specifically anorexia. For about two years, I compiled this information for a story that I was writing and for that amount of time, I grew especially sensitive to EDs and their triggers. I find it extremely disheartening (and occasionally triggering) when people make comments about their weight and how unhappy they are with it. They may just be making observations, but at some point in people's lives, those observations can turn into an obsession for themselves, or the person they might inadvertently be triggering.

Over the course of the past year, many people on my Twitter feed have made comments about eating disorders and I got legitimately angry about each an every one. I believe one was along the lines of:
"I don't care if its [sic] wrong of me to say this or not, but I respect the f**k out of people with eating disorders. I could never not eat."
I can't believe I actually have to say this, but it is NOT OKAY TO SAY ANYTHING OF THIS SORT. EVER. Glamorizing eating disorders is disgusting. People don't choose to one day have an eating disorder and get rid of it a few weeks later. An ED is a serious issue involving one's mental health and shouldn't be taken so lightly as to make a joke about it on social media.

If you can stomach this video (I barely could), I recommend watching this Dr. Oz special on the 56-pound woman. Warning: extremely triggering. I definitely had to pause this video quite a few times and had my crying breaks. This is what you are making jokes about and are striving for. And that is so sad. In addition to this video, I found a post that has some heartbreaking quotes that also explain, through words, what having an eating disorder is like.

Girls, especially young ones, are extremely impressionable. Starting a joke aimed at the bodies of women is incredibly hurtful and has already spread more insecurities like wildfire. Nobody wants to be told that they're not beautiful because they don't have the body that is widely desired. On the other hand, nobody has the right to declare one body type that has to be universally loved and adored. I've said this before, and I'm going to say this again: I don't care if you're tall and skinny, tall and heavy, short and skinny, short and heavy, or anything in between. I don't care, you should't care, and neither should anybody else in this world. What matters on the inside is what truly matters, and it makes me so sad to think that this is being forgotten more and more as the days pass.

** If you or anybody you know is suffering from an eating disorder, nationaleatingdisorders.org has the resources you need to receive information, treatment referrals, and more. **

Finding a Designer You Trust

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I was watching a Sarah Belle video the other day and she was hauling a few Lilly Pulitzer dresses. From what I can tell, she owns a lot of Lilly dresses, which is enviable of course. She went on to further explain why she had so many Lilly dresses aside from the fact that they're adorable and very fashionable.  She said that the dresses feel like they were made for her and her shape. They fit her so well, so why not buy them in multitudes? If a pair of pants fits you perfectly, why not buy them in every color?

It made me think to two specific clothing items that I have multiples of: American Eagle high-rise jeggings and J. Crew 3" chino shorts. I have 4 pairs of my AE jeggings, two of which are the same color, and 6 pairs of chino shorts in different colors. Why do I have so many of each? Because they fit me well! I like the way I look in these pants and shorts, so why not get them in every available color? If I know that something fits me, I'm going to buy it until it stops fitting me.

Some people buy Jack Rogers in every color because they're staples in their wardrobe. Celebrities have their favorite designer, though it might be less about fit and more about who wants to dress them. I digress, it's perfectly normal to have that one store or one designer that just gets your body type. Whether its the fit, comfort level, how flattering it is, whatever it may be, sometimes we just find those places that we want to fill our wardrobe with.

Finding a designer that you trust makes shopping all that more easier. People may say you're falling into  a fashion rut, but sometimes it's okay to have a comfort zone in fashion. Even if you trust said designer, it doesn't mean you can't experiment with other things. Sure, J. Crew chino shorts are my favorite, but would that stop me from stepping out and buying shorts from another store, or just trying a different pair of shorts from J. Crew? No.

It all comes down to balance. Wearing your favorite dress in a different color every day of the week isn't a sin. There are endless ways to accessorize each one to make it feel like a completely different dress!

What's your go-to store or designer?

Good Reads

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


1. Body Love I constantly struggle with this, so Carly's post really hit home for me. I'm a repeat offender of feeling insecure about my body about twenty times a day (not exaggerating). But when I think about it, I'm still ten times happier with myself than I was years ago. I believe that is progress being made!

2. Trend Spotting: Flamingo Prints I've been shopping quite a few times since being home and I cannot escape the darn flamingo print. I'm falling in love with it! For cheaper options, the Banana Republic Outlet near my house had multiple clothing items with varying flamingo patterns. I might have to go back and get myself a little somethin' somethin'.

3. Chocolate Peanut Butter Mug Cake  For me, desserts in a mug are my savior. I have a major sweet tooth and these quick desserts are my kryptonite. I tried this last week and was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was and how absolutely delicious. I couldn't finish my whole cake, but I shared it with my brother and mom and they liked it too!

4. It's Okay To…Vol. 2 Always be unapologetic in everything you do! You shouldn't have to feel sorry about doing something that you love (unless you love murdering people…you should really feel horrible about that…)

5. Chill This line knocks it out of the park for me:
"But we have to be careful not to project our own dreams of success on the people around us." 
6. 20 Things I Should Have Known At 20 A little bit old, but still a good read.

7. The Best Eyebrows of All Time I. Love. Eyebrows. This post is what I imagine heaven would look like.

8. Swimsuits on Swimsuits Yep, it's that time of year again: swimsuit season. Find out what my picks are this season.

9. Navy & White Navy, white, and kelly green was my dorm theme last year and I've always been partial to the combo. I am now pining after those Rachel Zoe sandals!

10. Saint Laurent Loves Marianne Faithfull Pretty much a how-to on dressing like a Parisian icon.

11. The Most Glamorous Audrey Hepburn Quotes My personal favorite?
"Paris is always a good idea."


Have you read anything interesting lately?

Swimsuits on Swimsuits

Monday, May 26, 2014

When I was younger, I probably liked swimming a lot more than I do now. I used to love going to the local beach to build sandcastles with my brother and friends. We used to dig until the natural water would rise to make the most epic moats and "lakes" for our little castles. French fries and ice cream from the snack bar were a must and I really didn't care what my swimsuits looked like because 1. I was young and 2. It was covered in sand anyways.

As I grew up, swimsuit shopping become more of a chore than anything else. I didn't really like swimming (see: I'm really awful at swimming) all that much and I realized how truly revolting the local beach was, despite its amazing french fries. My body started filling out in the general tummy and thigh areas, but nowhere else. I got embarrassed looking at myself in the mirror and would have preferred to wear an extra large garbage bag that covered every visible inch of my body.

Now, I don't really know where I stand. The only time I swim is if I'm babysitting my cousins. Any other time I'm seen in a bathing suit is sprawled out on a towel trying to tan my otherwise pale skin. Bathing suits, to me, are just a summer fashion that I feel necessary to succumb to every summer, but don't really need to because they serve no real purpose for me.

Regardless of the unimportance of new bathing suits for myself, I still pine after certain ones because they're too darn cute! I can't help it! I tell myself that I'll get real use out of them, when in reality I'll just put them on to look fashionable even while half naked on the beach.

On tumblr a few years back, I saw a bathing suit top that, structure wise, looked identical to this. I pined after that suit for quite some time but never found a shape that compared. That is, until now. Plus, this is my dream dress print in bathing suit form. It was meant to be!

I love the springy floral pattern (florals for spring? groundbreaking) on this bathing suit. I usually try to avoid string bikini bottoms like the plague (irrational fear of someone pulling them so they fall off), but these ones are too cute to ignore.

There's something so cute about having little fish on a bathing suit. Plus, I'm a sucker for anything navy blue and/or with a funky pattern. This swimsuit has both.

Top and bottoms from Victoria's Secret

One of my favorite things to do with bathing suits is mix and match tops and bottoms. I usually have two or three solid pairs of bottoms that I can pair with various tops. I normally never buy bathing suits in pairs because, to me, that's boring. Unless it absolutely has to be paired, it's cheaper to buy pretty tops that match your simple bottoms. The fun geo print on the top and the hot pink bottoms screams summer to me. 

Where's your favorite store to buy swimsuits?


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Top: J. Crew
Bottoms: Gap
Sandals: Target
Glasses: Kate Spade 'Blakely' frames
Necklace: Gift from friend

Why yes, those are neon lilac pants. Thank you for asking! I got this pair, as well as a pair of neon coral ones, from the Gap outlet last year and fell in love with them. They're the most comfortable khakis that I've ever owned. In fact, I used to despise the feel of khaki pants when I was younger, so much so that my mother used to threaten to send me away to an orphanage where they only wore khaki pants and ate oatmeal for every meal. Needless to say, I think that got me to behave a little better.

I owned less than 3 t-shirts before my trip to Chicago in February, and since them have slowly been adding to my collection. This tee from J. Crew is my newest addition to my closet and based on it's comfort level, it will most certainly be well loved.

10 Things Every College Girl Should Have

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Despite only having a year of college under my belt, I think I've gotten the hang of it quite a bit. I'm no expert, as I said before, but based on my first year experience, I think I am able to compile a list of "must haves" for a college girl. Of course, you need your books and other school supplies, and if you're living in the dorms then that's a complete other story. I digress, there are ten things that a girl in college will need at some point during the year.

  1. A wristlet. It's important to get one with room for your cell phone and absolute necessities. (x)
  2. A cute, but practical, winter jacket (depending on climate). You're going to have to walk outside at some point in the winter time, so you might as well be warm and stylish.  (x)
  3. Chocolate. A bar of chocolate can heal all wounds, whether they be stress or boy related. I like keeping a bag of Dove chocolate squares underneath my desk for when I need a pick me up (or three…)
  4. Best friend's number memorized. You never know when you're going to be in a situation where you need to reach them and you don't have your phone. Even if you do have your phone, it's nice to just be able to type in their number for a quick vent session.
  5. Comfortable lounge clothes. While I'm known to lounge in my dad's old t-shirts, it's nice to have some cuter clothes to relax in. And if you dorm, like me, having pajamas/lounge clothes that aren't worn out are helpful for fire drills. (x)
  6. A pair of ballet flats. These are the easiest things to dress up or dress down. They look good with a pair of jeans and with your favorite shift dress. Plus, your feet won't kill after teetering on heels for one too many hours. (x)
  7. An agenda. This is one must-have school supply that I had to include. Your life becomes ten times easier when you have one set place to write down all of your assignments and important dates to remember. (x)
  8. Thermal mug or tumbler cup. A cute and easy way to bring drinks on the go. Especially for those 8 AM classes that you need coffee to get through.  (x) (x)
  9. A "go-to" outfit.  It's always helpful to have one "go to" outfit that you can put on if you're in rush in the morning. Mine is a white tee, chambray top, jeans, gold flats, and a statement scarf. Swap out the shoes depending on weather and I'm out of the door!
  10. Confidence. You need to be confident in yourself and what you do in college. You can't let other people knock you around, no matter what the voice inside of your head is telling you. Just remember that nobody works as hard as you work.

(Faux) Leather and Lace (OOTD)

Friday, May 23, 2014

Yesterday, I was (un)lucky enough to attend the annual Republican dinner for my county. I was asked by my uncle/employer to go in place of my mother who cannot attend these functions based on her job. I can't say no considering his paychecks support my shopping addiction, so I agreed and assumed I would have to shake a few hands and guzzle down a diet coke before escaping out the back door. I did shake a lot of hands of strangers, but I sipped my soda like a lady and ended up staying about an hour longer than intended. Regardless of the level of excitement that I wasn't quite reaching for said dinner, I did enjoy getting to dress up for the occasion!

I've worn this dress on countless occasions, each varying in level of dressiness. I've worn it to a summer wedding, I wore if for an honor society induction in high school, and just casually for senior dress code. I bought this dress in ninth grade and am still just as in love with it, if not more. I used to be weary of it because I thought it was too long (it's not). I appreciate its length and high neckline now, as I think it's a nice dress to wear for more professional occasions, like a political event such as the dinner yesterday.

Dress: Urban Outfitters (old)
Shoes: JcPenney (old)
Earrings (not shown): J. Crew
Lipstick (shown below): YSL 'Fuchsia In Rage'

Clearly I was really excited to attend this dinner. In my defense, I really have no business being at a political event. However, I did end up enjoying myself as much as I possibly could in a room full of men and women who weren't even within a 15 year age range of me. You win some, you lose some. I do appreciate the event, though, because it gave me an excuse to dress up.

Lazy Day Breakfast

Thursday, May 22, 2014

I typically work four days a week, with the occasional fifth day if it's a busy week with a lot of extra work. That being said, four days a week I usually have breakfast on the go. The two days I babysit, I'll have an apple on my drive to the house and will make myself something there. The two days that I'm in the office, I'll grab a Poptart and some fruit to eat at the office. However, on that one day off, I take advantage of sleeping in and normally get up around 10:30. Usually by then I'm pretty hungry and am excited to be able to eat real breakfast food as opposed to a warm Poptart on my morning commute.

The one thing that I LOVE making on lazy days where I don't really have anything to do (or if I do, it's later in the evening) is smoothies. These are the easiest things in the world to make and they're delicious, filling, and healthy. Nothing makes me feel better in the morning than a fresh smoothie.

I like to make mine with strawberries and banana. If I have any other berries in the fridge or freezer, I'll throw those in for good measure as well. To make the smoothie thinner, I'll use Mots for Tots apple juice because it's less sour than orange juice and has 40% less sugar than regular apple juice. Okay, and it's amazing and I like to just drink it on its own as well. Then I blend it all up and voila! 

Another breakfast favorite of mine is eggs. I like them scrambled, fried, sunny side up, every which way you can think of. I don't eat enough protein my diet, but on the days that I eat eggs for breakfast, I feel like I eat enough to supply myself with protein for weeks. Seriously, I love eggs.

Sometimes we have bagels in our house and those are always a nice treat for breakfast. I missed bagels from home because I swear the bagels in New York are like ten times better than bagels anywhere else. And the bagels in NYC are infinitely better than the bagels at home. It sounds like I'm having a romantic love affair with bagels, but I promise that I'm not. 

What's your favorite thing to eat for breakfast on a lazy day?

Things I'm Loving

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

1. Being home

As you should know, I finished my first year of college on May 9th and have been home ever since. It's definitely weird not being in my dorm or Cleveland anymore, but I love being home as well. I love seeing my family again, my friends, my dog, and just knowing that if something goes wrong, I don't have to communicate from over 200 miles away to fix it. Did I mention the food? I've been eating like a king with all of the family parties that have been going on lately, and I love it. Too bad it hasn't been nice enough to run. Grrrrrr.

2. The Mindy Project

I, very recently, did a post all about The Mindy Project, so it should come as no surprise that the show has been one of my recent favorites. I just finished up with the second season and will have to (im)patiently wait for Season 3 to debut. I really love Mindy's character on the show and despite her binge-drinking and notable flaws, she is quite empowering and I really love her character. And come on, who wouldn't want to look at Chris Messina's face for an extended amount of time?

3. Old Navy Crepe Tops

I saw Mackenzie Horan feature one of these shirts in an outfit of the day post and I fell in love. Upon first sight, I didn't even know it was from Old Navy and assumed it was a J. Crew top. WRONG. I bought this shirt for $18 and went back the other day and got the navy print for $13. These shirts are so breezy and airy and can be dressed up or dressed down. I wore mine with white jeans for a dressier look and paired them with my dark wash jeans for a more casual and school appropriate outfit.

4. YSL lipstick in Fuchsia in Rage

This lipstick changed my life. It is so smooth and pigmented. Pulling this lipstick out in public to reapply has been my absolute favorite thing ever. The gold casing is so chic and gorgeous that I can't help but want to show the world. This product was definitely a treat for myself, but I'm extremely pleased with my purchase.

  5. Gregory Alan Isakov

I think his song "Big Black Car" is relatively popular based on its appearance in a McDonald's commercial a couple of years back, but the song in itself is really beautiful. I've been listening to his albums on Spotify and I'm in love. I'm a sucker for acoustic music and he just does it so well.
Must listens: "Big Black Car", "The Stable Song" and "Morning Lady"

6. Reading 

I tried to read at school and while I did finish quite a few books over the course of two semesters, it wasn't nearly as many as I read during high school or over the summer, which was discouraging. I really enjoy reading, and though I read blogs and stories online and magazines throughout the course of the semesters, nothing beats a great paperback. Since being home, I've visited my favorite library and picked up three interesting books: The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, and Like Water For Chocolate by Laura Esquivel.

The only one that I have finished was The Sea of Tranquility and let me just say, that book is very hard to put down. Once you start reading, you rarely want to set the book down to do anything. I usually read with music, so I had my laptop set up with an Eddie Vedder ukulele album on my desk and then sat on the other side of my room on my bed. When the album was over, I didn't want to put the book down for those few seconds it would have taken to put my music back on and just kept reading in silence. 

What have you been loving recently? 

Fuchsia In Rage

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

I'm all about those "treat yourself" moments in life. Those little rewards that you give yourself after you believe that you've completed something incredible or just because you recognize that you deserve the finer things sometimes. My "treat yourself" moments happen more often than not and at this point should have probably lost all meaning. Alas, they have not!

My friend and I went to the mall on Friday and I tried to behave myself. It is very hard to stay calm and collected in a mall that has J. Crew, Anthropologie, and a real Sephora. I was very attached to a dress in J. Crew that I will (im)patiently wait for at the factory store. Anthropologie made me almost cry and shake my head for about ten minutes at the price tags. I almost bought a monogrammed mug because they never have the letter F when I go in, but I told myself that I didn't need a mug, let alone one that was $8. Apparently, I've become stingy when it comes to dish ware.

Then it happened: Sephora. I was ogling the Hourglass section and on the other side of the display case was where my dreams and nightmares collided. I gazed upon the golden tubes of YSL products and probably began salivating at the mouth. The employees definitely should have been worried about the well-being of the products in the general vicinity of my mouth at that point. I had wanted a YSL lipstick for so long, but the Sephora inside of my JcPenney has a very limited selection that definitely doesn't include YSL. I resorted to looking at pictures online and hoping that one day I would just go for it and place an order online. I never did, yet the pining for the Rouge Volupté Shine never subsided. 

If I couldn't justify purchasing an $8 mug, I don't know how in the hell I told myself that buying a $35 lipstick was any better. But there I was, swatching the colors on the back of my hand, completely loving life. They all applied so smoothly that I considered buying all four until I realized that 1. I would hate myself the second I got to the car and 2. I literally would have had no money for dinner left. The color I chose was my absolute favorite and I've been wearing it so often.

My shade is number 19, Fuchsia in Rage. The color in the tube is very deceiving because it looks like a very intimidating and unwearable purple. In reality, it applies to, not surprisingly, fuchsia. It's a gorgeous spring and summer color, and doesn't feel heavy on my lips at all. My lips have been chapped to the extreme as of late and I was worried about this lipstick looking back with flaky lips. Nope! I have no problems applying this over a light layer of balm. You can't even tell that my lips are chapped. I believe in miracles…

This wasn't the most justifiable purchases, though I did attribute it to working hard all semester and not getting any lower than an A-. Sometimes you just need to buy yourself something nice to remind yourself that you deserve the best. And if somebody else won't buy it for you, then buy it yourself! 

Good Reads

Monday, May 19, 2014


1. 100 Tips for Life I especially like numbers 5, 46, 62, 66, 68, 83, 96 and 97.

2. 21 Problems All Sarcastic People Will Understand  My first year RA told me upon first meeting me that my sense of humor was an acquired taste, so I completely understand #1…and the 20 following it.

3. The "Frozen" Obsession and the Song "Let It Go" This line just about sums it up: "Another 99 cent piece of my dignity gone. Whatever. Let it go."

4. My Event With Cosmopolitan + Bebe! I love Carly Cristman's style and the way that she writes her posts. They sound like she's having a casual conversation with you and I love that. She's funny and zany and, obviously, has seriously incredible style.

5. Glimpse of Myself  Carly completely nails this idea of becoming better versions of ourselves. 

6. A Breakfast Revolution I absolutely love breakfast and this post gave me some new ideas to have some healthier options. 

7. What To Wear To A Baseball Game I always struggle when it comes to picking out outfits for baseball games. I want to show pride for my team and I want to look cute and I want to be comfortable. Krista does a fantastic job incorporating all three criterion. 

Personal Style Evolution

Sunday, May 18, 2014

When I was a small child, my mom used to make sure that I was always well dressed. If she had two outfits that she wanted me to wear that day, she was known to purposely spill my food on me so she had to make outfit changes (which is totally something that I would do now). Somewhere around the middle of elementary school, I started dressing very casually, as did everyone. T-shirts, jeans, and sweatshirts from Old Navy and Target became the norm. I followed trends (see: ponchos and gauzy, peasant skirts) and never really looked "cute", but nobody really did.

(Eighth grade)

Come middle school, I don't even know what I was doing with my closet. I really wanted to fit in in middle school. I wore whatever everybody else was, which at the time meant I had drawers containing a lot of Hollister, Abercrombie, and "retro" Aeropostale while it was still awful (it still is, but it used to be really bad). I made sure my hair was pin-straight and that my bangs were pinned back into the highest quiff allowable with hairspray and bobby pins. Eighth grade was around the time that I got a little lost with my style, or lack thereof. I stopped caring about fitting in, which meant that I had to find something else to channel my inspiration for how to act and clothing. I started wearing band tees and shirts from Urban Outfitters. It was the year I got my god awful bangs and my first, and only, pair of Ugg boots. 

(Freshmen year)

(Summer between freshmen and sophomore year)
(Fall of junior year)

(Winter of junior year)

The beginning of high school was rough. Luckily, I wore a uniform my entire school career, sans senior year. My personal style relied on dress down days, which seemed to add pressure on me. Why I cared so much about what other people thought about my clothes never really became clear to me, and still isn't. Regardless, I sort of dressed safely. Plain tees, skinny jeans, flats, and if it was cold, a sweatshirt from Pink. This identity crisis of sorts carried on until my junior year. This was the year of no bangs, riding boots, and me finally finding my niche in fashion and beauty. I started my blog in the summer of 2012 and started reading more fashion magazines in an attempt to become more knowledgeable. I started taking chances with bold lipstick and tried accessorizing my uniform. I bought clothes that fit me better and that I was sure nobody else in my school would have or wear. 

Fall of senior year

Winter of senior year

Spring of senior year

Senior year was the time of my life fashion wise. I stressed a lot almost every morning trying to pick out an outfit, but it was all worth it to me. We had dress code senior year, which meant that we had to look business casual every day. For some girls at my school, this meant wearing leggings and long sweaters and hoping to God that they didn't get caught for breaking dress code. For me, this was heaven. I loved dresses and skirts and high heels (even though I'm hopeless walking in them). I strived to look my best every day, typically refusing to wear pants unless it was my neon khakis or mustard corduroys, both from the Gap. I hammered out nice outfits every day because I wanted myself to shine through. Fashion is like art for your body, just like makeup is art for your face. I finally found something that I thought that I was good at, and I took it and ran with it.

Being voted best dressed my senior year for superlatives meant more than my classmates ever knew, and will probably ever know unless they happen to stumble upon this. It sky rocketed me to a whole new level. If other people my age liked how I dressed, I must have been doing something right.

Fall of 2013
Fall of 2013
Spring Break 2014
As of now, my fashion taste doesn't match my wallet. While I'd love to don J. Crew head to toe, that's not fiscally possible. I opt for a lot of sweaters and riding boots during the fall and winter, using statements scarves to switch it up or puffer vests. In summer, I like chino shorts and chambray tops or comfortable sundresses. Nothing beats dressing up for parties or holidays. For Easter, I wore my favorite dress I've ever purchased, excluding my BCBG prom dress that I scored for $69 ($300 lower than retail price---#DealOfTheCentury). I have a different fashion taste than how I dress, but I don't have the money to back my fashion taste, or the body, which doesn't bother me as often as it used to. 

Tips for the Summer Before College

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The summer before college can seem like a stressful time. There's a lot of pressure to see everyone, prep yourself for a different, more collegiate lifestyle, and try to pack in exciting event after exciting event before you're college bound! And as overwhelming as those few months between high school graduation and college might seem, there are definitely some ways to feel like you're doing everything you need to before fall semester without feeling too exhausted.


1. Hang out with your friends as much as you possibly can. 

It doesn't matter if you're going away and they're staying home and vice-versa, or if you're both going to school locally. College bites a huge chunk of your time out of your four years (or more). You're going to have less time to hang out like you did in high school and you'll probably have to resort to a lot of texting to catch up until long weekends or breaks.

2. Work

Working the summer before college, and even longer before that, will allow you to have spending freedom at school. It's always nice to be able to buy yourself some food outside of the dining hall or go to a concert with a friend. Plus, working will alleviate some of the debt that is becoming almost inevitable from loans these days.

3. Do something memorable. 

Go on a road trip with you best friends. Go sky-diving. Cut your hair. Have the going away party of your lifetime. Do something that you can hold on to on those inevitable nights in college when you're going to feel overwhelmed or lonely or a (horrible) simultaneous combination of both.

4. Do your research. 

If you're going away to school, look around for restaurants and places to hang out in the area. Figure out where you can use college discounts. Sometimes colleges have discounts through them. For example, I believe with my CSU ID, I can get discounts at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Your university will have more information about these discounts, you just have to dig a little.

5. Don't be afraid

At least, not too afraid. Being paralyzed with fear about college isn't necessary. It's not as big and scary and people make it seem. Sure, it's different. You're on your own and sometimes it feels like professors don't care about you as much as your teachers in high school did. Look at it this way, in high school, you might have had 25 students in a class. I had a lecture with over 200 people in it my first semester. There's no way my professor could have given each and every one of us his undivided attention. He couldn't personally remind us to do our homework or to come to class. That doesn't mean he didn't care about our success, it was just impossible to vocalize it personally. College is a new experience that seems like a big scary wave in your otherwise calm ocean. All you have to do is plug your nose and get through it.

To me, there's nothing worse than wasting your summer away. There's a difference between relaxing and avoiding reality. You have to be conscious that everything is going to change at the end of summer, but don't let that keep you from having the time of your life. Time is of the essence, enjoy it!

Francesca's Focus: The Mindy Project

Friday, May 16, 2014

As far as my list of favorite people in the entire world goes, it looks like this:

1. My mom
2. Mindy Kaling
3. The first person to make salsa

On my flight from Buffalo to Atlanta before my transatlantic flight to Spain, I read Mindy Kaling's book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? )And Other Concerns) in its entirety. The only thing I regret about this speedy reading session is that I couldn't enjoy it for my eight hour flight. I settled for watching the first 3 episodes of The Mindy Project on the plane (it was the only three they featured on the provided televisions). I remember thinking that it was hilarious and that I would probably enjoy it very much. By the time I got back home, I had forgotten all about enjoying it so much, probably attributing it to the fact that I was half asleep when viewing and was so upset about being back in the United States.

Kelly Kapoor was always one of my favorites on The Office. I thought her character was a little nutty in the best way possible, and I loved seeing her in episodes. Mindy Kaling is a hilariously brilliant writer and I absolutely adore her wit. I could gush about her for hours, but I'm going to spare you all and step down from my soapbox.

In the TV show, Mindy Kaling plays Mindy Lahiri, a talented gynecologist who struggles to find love. She works in a practice with Dr. Danny Castellano (#DroolWorthy) and Dr. Jeremy Reed, who never seem to take her seriously until she saves the day. In addition to a quirky receptionist, Betsy, there is a, for lack of better words, bizarre male nurse Morgan who has a knack for making things awkward and finding stray animals.

The show just finished its second season, though I haven't quite gotten there yet! I'm about 10 episodes away from finishing season 2 and I don't know what I'm going to do when I finish it. Season 3 cannot come soon enough, my friends. Despite Mindy's materialism and somewhat self-centeredness (hey, we all do it!), she is actually a sweet and caring young woman who deserves all of the love in the world. Mindy Lahiri (and the real-life Mindy Kaling) is a perfect example of being a successful career woman who is also extremely fabulous is almost every sense and can quote the hell out of Tom Hanks. romantic comedies.

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