Wednesday, January 22, 2020

My Favorite Products of 2019

Happy 2020!! This post is a little late, but better now than never :) I always love the start of a new year, much less a whole new decade! One of my favorite parts of ending the year is looking back and reflecting on what I did, where I went and the fun things I acquired. After thinking back on 2019, I realized there were a ton of different products I used and loved, so I thought it would be a fun post to create to share.

I keep my little jar of this next to my bed and put it on absolutely religiously every morning and night. It seems pricey for a lip product but it lasted me almost an entire year! It's worth every penny in my opinion. 

This was a recent purchase but I have to say, I am reeeally loving Lidstar. I have the "Slip" color and it adds a subtle but pretty little glittery touch to your makeup. I don't use this every day but for going out or dinner with friends, I always make sure to put a little on!  

I literally hunted a pair of these down for weeks last winter and wore them every single day I was abroad. I swear every girl and her mother has a pair but I honestly understand why - they're the perfect every day sneaker and look great with everything. 

I used to really not care about what I wore to the gym - I would throw on a sorority tee and shorts and call it a day. But now for some reason I feel like I have a much better workout if I'm wearing a really legit outfit (just me?!). I've been loving my short and long sleeve Lululemon tees and would wear them for every workout if I could! I think getting them in basic colors (I have gray and black) is a smart investment so you can wear them with pretty much anything. 

+ Silver Birkenstocks
Ok I swore I would never get a pair of Birkenstocks, but after trying on a pair of these more rubbery ones I totally understand the hype. They are so nice to have to throw on and run errands or after a workout or something. Plus they're less expensive than normal ones which is an added bonus!

+ Mini hoop earrings
I used to solely wear my pearl studs every day, but after watching Maggie MacDonald wear these little hoops, I knew they would be a fun alternative! I bought them in January of this year and still wear them every single day. 

My roommates and I are absolutely obsessed with Yasso bars!! We have at least 2 boxes in the freezer at all times and are always trying new flavors. I'm not typically one to count calories but they're under 100 calories and taste just like ice cream! Highly recommend the seasonal Peppermint one if you're able to find it (they're only at select grocery stores but we found them at Target!). 

+ Everything but the bagel seasoning
I should honestly be a brand ambassador for EBTBS (or Trader Joe's in general). I think I went through 3 bottles of it just this summer alone (oops). My favorite thing ever is avocado toast with a fried egg and then topping it with this seasoning! I'm pretty sure I ate this for breakfast at least 1/3 of my mornings throughout 2019. 

+ Starbucks Blonde vanilla latte
I still am not at the point where I can drink straight black coffee, so I've become a huge latte girl this year. The Blonde vanilla latte at Starbucks has become my favorite and then I'll customize it to my liking that day (ex. adding a pump of pumpkin in fall or peppermint around the holidays!). It's also amazing with a little bit of cinnamon too! 

+ MZ Wallace Metro backpack
This was one of my bigger purchases of 2019 because I literally couldn't stop thinking about it for months, but finally bit the bullet near the end of my internship last summer. I would never typically spend this much money on a backpack, but I knew I would use it for years to come while traveling or even for work. I could not love this backpack (or the brand!) more and highly recommend making the investment! I got it in black so it would be super versatile but the camo and gray are gorgeous too.

After my friends made fun of me all semester long for being the only one without a reusable water bottle, I snagged this one in white and omg has it changed my life. I feel like its a less expensive version of the hydroflask with a similar look, right?! Clearly my roomies know me pretty well :)

Would you consider any of these your favorite products of the past year too?

Monday, January 20, 2020

How I've Perfected My Morning Routine

With only one (!!!) semester left of college, I've decided that it's time to really develop a morning routine that gets me excited to wake up each day. I'll never have as much time to myself in the mornings as I do this semester, so I'm determined to make the most of it before I start my full time job in fall! 
I watch so many youtube videos about morning and night routines - for some reason, something about them really intrigues me. I think it's so fascinating to see how successful, productive people start and end their day. After doing lots of research, I've come up with a few new things to implement into my own morning at school: 

+ Wake up an hour before you need to 
This is something I started last semester on my busy class days (Tuesdays/Thursdays) and I've continued it this new semester as well. There's something so nice about having an entire hour to dedicate to yourself: from making coffee to watching youtube or listening to a podcast, I absolutely love my little time in the morning to refresh my mind. The key is to jump out of bed a few minutes after your alarm goes off so that you don't fall back asleep! 

+ Look forward to your breakfast
I've been making smoothies every morning and I seriously look forward to it every night when I'm going to sleep. If you have more time, avocado toast and an egg is so yummy too! Making something quick and healthy is the perfect way to wake your body up for the day. 

+ Read or listen to something motivational
This year, I've really been making an effort to listen to more podcasts because they are so much more beneficial for my mindset than music is (at least in my opinion). If I'm cleaning my room or walking across campus, I love listening to Gals on the Go, Happy Hour or Retail Gets Real. I'll also go on Pinterest for a few minutes and look at quotes or other sorts of inspiration for the day. 

+ Catch up on the news 
Something I really need to get better about is staying up to date on current events. Being at school, I feel like I'm trapped in such a bubble that is so distant from the outside world (just me??). We don't have cable at our house so I never watch the news and just feel very out of touch with things going on in the rest of the world. I've decided that the morning would be the best time to read a few articles whether it be about politics, pop culture or even things pertaining to the retail industry. 

Are you as obsessed with your daily routines as I am? 

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

2019 Holiday Gift Guide for Her

Happy holiday season!! I can't believe Thanksgiving came and went so quickly and that pretty soon I'll be back home for Christmas. I don't know about you, but these last 2 weeks of the semester usually fly by. It's both a blessing and a curse - it's always nice when finals go by pretty quickly, but then I'm never ready to say goodbye to my friends for a month! Either way, it's exciting that it's my last semester of first semester finals (walking home in the cold after studying late for exams will definitely not be missed). 

To boost your finals morale and give you a little help with your holiday shopping, I thought I'd put together a holiday gift guide! I've seen so many cute things all over the place and love seeing guides with different price points for every girl in your life. Below I have one $25 and under (perfect for your friends), $75 and under and finally $200 and under! I had so much fun putting this together and hope you find a thing or two to scoop up for the holidays :)

Happy shopping!

$25 and under

$75 and under

$200 and under

Happy shopping!

Sunday, November 17, 2019

My Sunday Routine

Now that I am a senior in college, I feel like I've really found the value in a good Sunday routine. There's always been things I like to do on Sundays to feel more prepared for my week, but now I literally look forward to waking up on Sunday morning and getting things done. There's something so satisfying about having all of your ducks in a row for the upcoming week! Below are a few things I make sure to do every Sunday to feel organized and relaxed for Monday morning. 

+ wake up and workout
One of the best ways to start the day in my opinion is to roll out of bed and to get in a good sweat sesh. I've recently become someone who loves to workout in the morning because you get it over with right away and it sets up the rest of your day in a productive way! I never like to do anything too crazy on Sunday mornings but heading to the gym with a friend or two to get in some steps is a great way to get your day started. I've also been going in the sauna for 15 minutes at the end - I've heard that there are great health benefits and so far I love it! 

+ grocery shop and meal prep
I'm weird and kind of don't hate grocery shopping (just me?), so heading to the grocery store is kind of therapeutic to me. I don't always meal prep, but I do like to try to plan out what I'll be eating throughout the week so that I can buy accordingly. It always feels so good to have this taken care of going into the new week.

+ deep clean my room
If my room is a disaster, I always feel like a mess (a bit dramatic, but true!). Sundays are my favorite time to get everything in order (laundry, put things away, etc.) I also looove taking a few anti-bacterial wipes and wiping down my desk, dresser and bedside table. It's insane how much dust accumulates over the week - quickly doing this will instantly give your room a little facelift!

+ light a candle and plug in my salt lamp
Ok I always used to think that those Himalyan salt lamps were kind of odd, but after hearing so many people (including my own roomies) rave about them, I decided to give one a try. I got this one and so far I love it! It was only $12 and it adds the perfect little accent to my dresser. Before bed I'll turn off all the lights and plug this in and it creates the prettiest pink glow.

+ peruse Pinterest
I've recently become more into Pinterest than usual - whether it be for motivational quotes, style inspiration or recipe ideas, Pinterest is my favorite way to find a little inspo for the new week. Follow me if you don't already!

+ plan out my week
Whether it's in my planner or on this notepad (I've used it for years and love it!), something I like to do is write out what I have going on for the week. It really helps me sleep well Sunday night if I know what is coming up in the next few days.

Do you do anything specific on Sundays to prep for the new week?

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Cozy Things I'm Loving

It seems like someone snapped their fingers overnight and all of a sudden the weather here at IU has shifted from mild to absolutely freezing! A few days ago I was walking around campus in a light hoodie and leggings, and now it's time to break out my warmest coat and winter hat! While I'm not thrilled that it's super cold outside suddenly, it does give me more of an excuse to do a little cozy clothes shopping :) I've been randomly finding pieces that have been putting me in the fall/winter mindset and I thought I'd share with you!

Any cozy essentials you've been dying to buy?

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Sneak Peek at My College House with H&M

The back to school season is officially here and I could not be more thrilled for my (last!) year of college. It is so crazy senior year is finally happening and that my best friends and I moved into the house we signed 2 years ago. This was our first time fully decorating a space all by ourselves and we are so excited to make it feel like home. While it is still coming together, I wanted to give you a little sneak peek with some of my  favorite new pieces from H&M. I always go to H&M for back to school shopping (I think they have some of the best basic pieces at great prices), so when I found out they have a whole line for home as well, I was so excited to add some pieces to my bedroom here at school. I already had big ticket items like my bedding and headboard, so I got a few cute decor items that really added a chic feel to my (rather tiny) room. 

As you can tell, I'm going with a white, pink and gold color scheme with hints of fur, leopard, tassels and bows. H&M had a bunch of fun little things that are perfect for this year, but that I know I could use in the future too! 

Doesn't the pretty blush color just add the perfect pop of color to our neutral bathroom?!

It's slowly coming together but I think I've made some good progress!! I'll definitely be showing more photos in the near future once everything is perfect. 

Have you bought anything from H&M's home line before? Definitely go check it out because I had no idea how much they have for such great prices (aka ideal for college students!). 

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Abroad Photo Diary: Amalfi Coast

Today I'm back with a looong overdue recap of my last study abroad trip: the Amalfi Coast! I had been dreaming about visiting Positano, Capri and Sorrento my entire life and I knew I couldn't come back to the U.S. without seeing the southern coast of Italy (especially since it was only a 4 hour train ride away from Florence!). We totally lucked out with gorgeous weather which made our time there even more incredible. Although we were only there for 3 days, it was one of the most memorable weekends of my entire life. My friend Addison studied in Sorrento for a month last summer so it was super nice having an Amalfi expert with us to show us all of the fun spots! I recommend checking out Airbnbs there if you plan to go because we found a very centrally located one in Sorrento that was super affordable and somehow really nice too! 

The iconic Positano photo location... it was even more gorgeous in real life and I'm already dreaming about going back! 

We chartered a boat to Capri using an app called Click and Boat (basically the Airbnb for boats) and had the best day relaxing on the water! 

My favorite view I've ever seen

Every corner of Positano was so picture perfect

We celebrated our friend's 21st so of course some champagne was necessary :) 

Things to do:

+ Beach in Positano
You can rent a beach chair for the day or just lay out in the sand like we did! There's cute cafes to get drinks and snacks as well as pretty little shops all around the beach - the perfect set up for a beach day. 

+ Boat to Capri
Whether you charter a smaller boat or take a larger cruise, boating to Capri was one of my favorite memories of my entire semester. Seeing the coast from the water is so gorgeous and such a fun all-day event. 

+ Walk and Explore
Honestly just wandering around into cute shops and restaurants is the best part of the Amalfi Coast. Whether you're in Sorrento or Positano, there are beautiful stores full of Limoncello, home decor, clothing, etc. that are so fun to explore (preferably with gelato in hand!). 

Restaurant Recommendations:

+ il Leone Rosso
Delicious Italian food with a huge variety on their menu. We went twice and loooved the ravioli. Also super affordable if you're on a college budget like us!! A quick walk from the center of Sorrento. 

Have you been to the Amalfi Coast before? 
I hope you've enjoyed these Abroad Photo Diaries! I've loved recapping each trip and hope you've found them helpful and/or enjoyable if you are planning a trip too! 
Keep your eyes peeled for a Florence Guide in the next few days as well as a reflection on my abroad experience. I absolutely loved my time in Italy this semester and want to be a resource for anyone interested in studying abroad too! 


Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Summer Wishlist

Happy Tuesday! I am officially home from Italy and have a few days at home before I pack up and move to Pittsburgh for my internship for the summer. It's crazy unpacking everything from the semester and packing up again for the summer, so as you can imagine I need to do a bit of shopping to prep for the summer months! I've been keeping a list of pieces I love for the warmer months and wanted to share them with you for some summer style inspiration. Lately I've been obsessed with denim shorts, fun little cropped tops (the green one with ties is absolute perfection), easy dresses and platform shoes (sandals, sneakers, etc!). I'm trying to find pieces that could work for my internship (ex. easy dresses and cute tops) but also look cute for the weekends as well. Luckily the company I'm working for (American Eagle Outfitters!) has a casual corporate dress code so doing a little shopping will be easy and fun! 

casual sweatshirt set / easy white ruffle dressthe perfect distressed jean shorts / the most perfect black short sleeve top / cutest green tie tube top / fun platform sandals / white ruffled set

Some of my favorite places to look for fun summer pieces have been American Eagle, Aerie, Zara, Princess Polly and Aritzia. I've been trying to pay a little more attention to buying better quality clothes that will last longer than one season, and I think all of these places definitely sell nicer quality products!

What's on your summer wishlist?