Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tots Toes

If only I had small feet... Why, Ralph, Why must you make these only go up to a size 5! We women would like to sport these as well!
You can find these beauties here. Someone with small feet or better yet, small children please get these! They are just too cute to pass up! Have a fabulous day!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Words of Wisdom From an Almost College Graduate

I have had several requests via Tumblr and to do a post on what I've learned throughout my years in high school and college. Being that I am entering my senior year of college, I am no expert but I have learned a few words of wisdom worth sharing with high school and college-aged women--some a little silly, but most very valuable.

The absolute number one thing I have learned is that your family is your family for a reason. They are the ones that will be there for you no matter what. Through thick and thin, sickness and health, rich or poor, happy or sad--they will always be there for you and that is something to be truly treasured and valued. Cherish the time you spend with your family, take pictures with your family and never be embarrassed of your family.

The second thing is that your parents are always right. I said it. It's out there. They're right. You may think they're dead wrong, but you'll find in the long run that they are always right. It may take days, weeks, months, and even years to figure out that they are right, but they always are. You might not like what they are telling you, you might not want to hear what they are saying, but they are right. Something as simple as you're mom telling you that she thinks you should change your outfit to something as serious as your mom telling you that you shouldn't be with a certain guy or you're dad telling you that spending your money on that ____ (fill in the blank) is not worth it .

You know that saying... "Nothing good happens after 2am"?Well, it just might be true. When the bars are closed, when the party is over, when everyone goes home, it is time for you to go home as well.

When you get a feeling of envy because someone has more than you do (money, material possessions, better looking, etc.), try to put your life into perspective. Someone out there will always have more than you, but there are many who have a lot less. Count your blessings and remember all of the wonderful things in life that make you feel blessed.

Smoking will kill you. There is absolutely no reason to start smoking. It is gross. It makes your breath smell, makes you cough, ruins your lungs, turns your teeth yellow and empties your wallet. Take it from someone who lost their grandfather from smoking. Back in our grandparents day, they weren't lucky enough to know that smoking was bad for them. At this day in age we are very lucky that science has proven that cigarettes will cause you health problems. If you truly love your friends and family and want to live a long and healthy life, then you will not take up smoking. The same goes for drugs and alcohol abuse. Drugs are illegal for a reason and alcohol should only be drunk in moderation. Never, ever, drive under the influence of anything.  period.

Don't gossip. You are better than that and above that. If you dislike someone, keep it to yourself and always be polite and considerate of others' feelings.  Use your manners. If you must-- kill them with kindness. 

Separate your true friends from your acquaintances. All "friends" are not to be trusted. It takes a true, loyal, considerate friend to confide in. Realize that a very true, good hearted friend will only want to see you happy. They will never gossip about you, they will never judge you and they will love you for who you are. A good friend will never create  any drama in your life. They will never make you choose them over another friend or a guy or your family. They will be there for you in the happy moments to celebrate but they will also always be there in the rough moments to get you through them. If you have a friend/friends like this, cherish them and don't ever let them go. Make sure you give them the same respect and care.

Vote. Because not everyone everywhere has that option.

Do your best in everything that you do and look your best doing it. Maybe you're not good at math, but that still doesn't mean you should blow off studying for that test because you think you will fail it. If you  love to dance and have stage fright, get on stage and smile, because if you look your best, people will be less likely to notice your flaws.

Don't swear or use inappropriate/crass language. It's not flattering and not lady-like. Teens and young adults are known for swearing and inappropriate language and I can't say that I've never said something I wish I hadn't. Work on expressing your feelings in a way that doesn't make you sound like you are a slob. Speaking in an inappropriate manner is not cool and won't make you more popular.

Even if you aren't religious, don't believe in God, don't go to church, etc. Pray. Even if you don't believe in it, it will help you sort your thoughts and get you through life. Having faith in something/anything will help you to live a richer life.

Whenever you get yourself in a situation where it is appropriate to tip someone for their services, if you get adequate or good service, tip well because those people rely on those tips to support themselves.

Always forgive. Even if it takes you a while, always forgive everyone and anyone because holding a grudge and not forgiving is only hurting you in the long run. 

If a guy truly loves you, he'll do anything to keep you around.

Always be polite, use your manners, say please and thank you, write thank you notes, be hospitable, be welcoming and be outgoing. However, never let someone walk all over you, take advantage of you, or coerce you to do something you don't want to. Have a voice when necessary and stick up for yourself.

Go to class, take notes, study because it will get you where you need to be in life, and someday, when you don't get to go to class anymore, you will actually miss it.

If you don't already nap, before you go to college, learn to nap. Learn to take quick naps, long naps, and learn to nap anywhere and everywhere.

 Overdress rather than under-dress. Keeping your appearance and being well put-together shows that you have self respect and love for your body. 

Travel. Whenever you get the chance, go and see the world--even if it's only to the next town over. 

If possible experience luxury. Wear perfume, wear diamond earrings.Order the filet mignon and lobster. Keep warm in a cashmere sweater. Keep your belongings in a leather handbag. Fly first class. Have a spa day. But never over extend yourself or your budget to experience luxury. If you can't afford those things then splurge one day on your favorite coffee or dessert. Save for months or even years to take the trip you've always dreamed of. Luxury can be something as simple as ordering take out for your favorite meal instead of cooking.

This isn't my quote, but I have had it saved for a long time and it couldn't be more true: "Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are." 

While we're on the subject of quotes, I think Mother Theresa said it best...
People are often unreasonable and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people will accuse you of ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you.
Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough.
Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God.
It never was between you and them anyway.
-Mother Teresa

What are your words of wisdom and important lessons that you have learned in your life? Have a fabulous day!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Last of the Firsts

Today is my last first day of college. I feel so weird saying that. My last year of college begins... I just hope this year doesn't go as fast as the past three!
 This picture was taken exactly three years ago to this day! It is me and my roomie and bff from freshman and sophomore year! We took this right before our first class of our college careers! Today I'll be taking my last first picture :(. Definitely bittersweet. Good luck to all who are starting their first days at school, at their job, or taking their minnies back to school! Have a great day!

Friday, August 26, 2011

So You Want to Go Greek

*I'm re-posting this from it's original post date of January 2. I thought I would re-post it for anyone that is thinking about rushing this fall! Enjoy!*

I started this blog about a year and a half ago, and I have received so many questions about sororities in general. Usually when they are specific, they deal with the rushing/recruitment aspect. Well, I have finally decided to do a post on rushing a sorority.
Rushing is not for everyone. However, for me personally, it was one of the greatest decisions I have ever made. I am not going to persuade you to rush, but if you know you want to, here are some tips! This post is based on spring rush but, I will do another post based on fall rush when the time comes.
For starters, regardless of the seasons, you should bring a tote to wherever you meet to start the rounds. The tote should be packed with anything and everything you could possibly need. At my school, rush is a 6 day period and lasts many hours at a time so you want to make sure you are well prepared. Plus, arriving prepared will help you to feel more at ease!
Above are a lot of things that I would highly suggest that you have.
  • Prepare for the weather-- Bring a rain jacket and umbrella, just in case. If it's going to be freezing, bring gloves, hat, scarf, and jacket. You do not want to be miserable. 
  • Bring snacks-- But don't bring anything that is too messy, too heavy or too smelly. Granola bars and pretzels are perfect along with fruit such as apples or bananas. These are healthy and easily transportable-- they won't make a mess and they are sure to leave you satisfied but not slow you down. Do not skip meals-- you would think this would be a no brainer but there have been many girls who have passed out during recruitment.
  • Bring bobby pins, hair spray, make-up, etc. Anything that you would need to touch your hair or make-up up. 
  • Water, coffee, tea, diet coke, etc. Whatever you drink, bring it. Talking a lot will potentially make your throat sore, your mouth dry, and ultimately dehydrate you. If you are drinking something like coffee, have mints on hand so you never have smelly breath! DO NOT chew gum. If you must, do so in between rounds. It is no fun chatting with someone who is loudly chewing their gum and most definitely not lady-like.
After your bag is all packed and ready to go, deciding what to wear is next. Every school does rush slightly different and some schools do it completely different. At my school, there is no dress code at all. Girls are not even given a direction on what to wear so it is up to you. I did fall rush and wore skirts and dresses for every round, and then preference round (also referred to as "pref")I wore a cocktail dress and heels. I know at some schools, they all have to wear the same recruitment shirt that is given to them and jeans because they don't want biased judgments based on what they are wearing. If that is the case at your school, dress up the shirt as much as possible, wear your nicest jeans, your best flats, and spend more time on your hair and makeup. However, if you can wear whatever you like, I would suggest to always overdress.When in doubt, wear a dress.
This is if you know rush is going to be casual and it is appropriate to wear jeans. I will always suggest that you go with a dress or skirt, but if you are told to wear pants, then these are all great options.

These are some skirt ideas. It's hard to incorporate color into a dressy winter wardrobe so these are just a few ideas that can add color. A few tips:
  • Do not wear anything that is too low cut, too short, or too revealing in anyway. Dress conservatively/classy and lady-like. If you are even questioning if your skirt or dress is too short, add tights or just don't wear it.
  • Don't change your style just for rush. Don't wear something that you wouldn't normally wear. If it's not your style or personality, then don't wear it. Rush is about being yourself and finding where you fit in, it is not about trying to make yourself fit into a place that you won't. 
  • You want to look nice, presentable, and classy, but be sure to be comfortable. If you are not a person that wears heels regularly, or doesn't do well in heels, then the best idea is to skip the heels and wear cute flats. 

These are ideas if you know that you need to be dressed up. At my school, these looks would be perfect for pref round. In my opinion, you can never go wrong with a little black dress. No matter the weather, season, or occasion, a little black dress is the classic way to go. However, if you want to punch it up with some color, then more power to you. As for jewelry, keep it simple. Don't go too trendy. Stick to your good jewelry and leave the costume jewelry at home.

A side note: If you are rushing as a sophomore or you school only offers rush starting your sophomore year, a few tips:
  • By now you have heard all of the stereotypes of each sorority. You have formed your opinions based on what you have seen and the people you have talked to around campus. You may even have a bunch of friends all in one sorority. Throw all of this out of the window. You need to get yourself in an unbiased mindset. Just because you know three girls in one sorority doesn't mean that that is where you need to be. Also, just because one sorority has a "bad" reputation, give it a chance, you never know, it might turn out to be your favorite house!
  • Don't judge a book by its' cover. If one sorority house is nicer or prettier or better than another, this is all just aesthetics. Chances are, they rented all of the furniture and had a housekeeping service come and completely clean the house from top to bottom. The house will not always look so pristine, therefore it is very impractical to judge a sorority on the aesthetics.
  • As far as sororities wanting freshman over sophomores-- This is mostly a myth. I can't speak for every sorority in the entire world, but sophomores are just as good as freshman--However, in the end, if it was between an amazing freshman and an amazing sophomore, and there was only one spot left, I am willing to bet the freshman would get the spot over the sophomore and the reason is because the freshman will have more opportunity for leadership over the years. 
  • A side note to freshman and incoming freshman: If you are sure you are rushing, but can't decide to rush fall, spring, or fall of your sophomore year, I will always recommend to rush fall of your freshmen year. It's best to get as much time out of your sorority as you can!
As far as conversation goes, when speaking to a sister, don't be afraid to ask questions. I was very concerned that I was not going to have time for my school work so I asked, and each house gave me different answers. In the end, I was very glad I asked. To speak from the other side, I love when girls ask me questions that they have, it shows that they have interest and really want to be where they are. Another thing to avoid: No talk of alcohol or fraternities/fraternity men or partying in general. It's tacky, and unbecoming. You should most definitely not be joining a sorority because of the parties and the frat boys.  

One last thing to consider: A sorority is a financial commitment. Each semester you are required to pay your dues in full. Some sororities have payment plans where you can pay a set amount each month but some do not and you are required to pay dues in full, up front. If you are paying your dues yourself, make sure you find out what each sorority's dues are and make sure you set aside enough to cover your dues.  If you are blessed enough to have your parents paying your dues, make sure they are aware of the cost and make sure they are on board with your decisions. As for how much a sorority costs, I can't really give a number because each school is different but if I had to guess, the most inexpensive dues would be around $400 a semester, but dues can go well up into multiple thousands. 

I hope this helps anyone that is thinking about rushing a sorority! Remember not to let yourself get stressed out, it should be a fun and exciting process. Just be yourself and everything will go smoothly! Have a fabulous day!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

True Wind: The Regatta Tote and Discount Code

I wanted to let you all know about a discount code that True Wind is offering now through September 9. The Regatta Tote is 50% off when you enter "HALFTOTE" at checkout.
 There are two sizes available: large and small. The tote is also monogrammable! I think this would be the perfect tote to travel with and the smaller size would be perfect for toting around books and your computer around campus.
It comes in many colors such as the above, royal with yellow stripes. I think this might be my favorite color combination! I know that True Wind never offers discounts, so get this deal while you can! Remember to enter "HALFTOTE" at checkout!
Have a fabulous day!

Makeup That I love

When I ran out of mascara a few weeks ago, I stocked up on my usual Covergirl Lash Blast (orange tube). However, I saw that Maybeline Pulse Perfection was on special so I decided to give it a try. I now have a new favorite mascara! I think it was around $10 full price and it is now my go-to mascara. I have several on standy-by for when my first tube runs out. I love the applicator, love the consistency and color, and I love the pulsating wand. It distributes the perfect amount of product onto my eyes without giving me the clump look. Even better, it makes my lashes look SO long! This is a product that I definitely recommend!
The next product that I have recently switched to is the Sephora mineral powder. I'm not sure if it's still available but it's on clearance for $3 (no, that is not a typo!). I bought 15 of them when I found out. It is a great mineral powder. I have blogged previously about what make-up I use and for powder, I usually use GloMinerals but this is just as good! To give you a price comparison, BareMinerals is around $20, GloMinerals is around $40 and Sephora's is originally priced at $18 and now marked down to $3! If they are still available in your Sephora, I would suggest to stock up!

I rarely wear eye-shadow but when I do, I wear all of the above shades. I like ones with shimmer for the night and dark browns and blacks to blend for nighttime wear. Then, I love bright colors that give my eyes an "I got plenty of sleep" look for the day-time. All of these colors are functional which is really hard to find in a palette... but the best part is you'll never guess where I got them...drum roll... Forever21 for $6. Yes ladies and gentlemen, that's $1 an eyeshadow! They really are great eye shadows. I am not an eye shadow aficionado but they are easily the prettiest and nicest shadows I've used and I have Sephora brand, Lancome, Lorac, etc.

So those are my picks! What are your latest make-up pics! Have a fabulous day!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Fall Essentials Part 8: The Party Dress and The Statement Coat

Everyone needs a dress that they wouldn't normally wear.Something out of the ordinary, out of their typical style. The dress above is my go to dress for just that. This dress is Tulle and I am in love. It is most definitely not preppy and it's a bit more revealing than I'm used to but that's what makes it fun and daring for me. This is perfect for any college gal's budget because all of Tulle's products are not too pricey at all and the quality is MUCH better than Forever21. This dress is called the Bustier Dress because the top of the dress is stitched to look like a bustier. It is currently on sale for $31.80 which is a steal. Plus, you don't want to spend a lot of money on trendier items that will go out of style in a season or two.
Here is a closer-up version of the top half of the dress so you can see the bustier detailing. The dress is fully lined and hits a little above my knee. The straps are thin and adjustable. I would say that their sizes fit on the smaller side. I ordered up and while I think I could have gone with the small, I ordered medium and it is plenty comfortable. Plus I like to size up when I am getting a more revealing piece of clothing so that it doesn't look overly revealing (tip: do this for those skimpy Halloween costumes. I order two sizes up to ensure that I don't  look like I'm wearing anything skimpy).
The back of the dress sports an exposed zipper-- another trendier aspect of this dress. This dress will be great for more casual date parties and for when I want to look out of the ordinary from what I usually wear. 
 Here is another fun party dress that I absolutely love. In fact this could double as a party dress and a day dress. Wear this dress with heels out at night and it's perfect for a party but add a turtleneck, tights, and flats and your ready for the day.
I decided to do two items in one post because I got both of these items from Tulle. I can't seem to find this exact coat on the website but it was on sale as well. Tulle is another great website to get statement coats from. I love this coat because it reminds me of something Betty Draper from Mad Men would wear or Samantha from Bewitched would wear. The coat has an intricate design on it but from far away, the design just gives the coat texture. This jacket would be perfect paired with denim, colored denim, skirts, and dresses. Dress casually but throw this coat on and your outfit is instantly kicked up a notch.
The quality of this coat is impeccable and not something that you would expect from a website with such inexpensive prices. I cannot wait to debut this jacket when the days start to get chilly. This will be perfect from late October all the way through March.
Here is another great option for a statement coat. It's a classic double breasted jacket but with a twist. The jacket is a lot more fitted than a traditional double breasted coat and the ruffles add an updated, girly touch. Not to mention the sangria color will add a punch to any outfit.

Do you have a statement jacket? Do you have a fun party dress that is a little out of your style comfort zone? Have you ever shopped Tulle before? Have a fabulous day!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Fall Essentials Part 7: The Duck Boot

Another Bean product added to the fall essentials list. This time, it's the L.L. Bean boot. These are a classic boot that will get you through fall rains, winter snow, and those pesky April showers. They are rugged but have a touch of sophistication about them. I love love love that they're unisex too! It's funny to see guys and girls wearing the exact same footwear on campus. I lost my Bean mocs too! They are a little more feminine and better for fall and spring because they aren't too hot!

 Another great option for rain is the Hunter rain boot. I'm not a rain boot kind of girl. I tried to get into them freshman year and it just never worked for me. These are really popular on many college campuses. Something that I love about them is that there are so many fun liners that you can add to them. I still definitely only stick to my Bean boots and never diverge. But whatever works for you-- most importantly is that your feet stay warm and dry! Which do you prefer? The Bean boot or the Hunter wellie?
Have a fabulous day!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Fall Essentials Part 6: The Tervis Tumbler and Camelbak

I love my Tervis Tumblers. I really do think they are an essential part of college. Carry this reusable tumbler wherever you go. It's eco-friendly and keeps your drinks hot or cold without any condensation. You can also change the lids. They have a to-go lid and a lit with a straw. I love that they are personalized and they even have a bunch of different logos for different schools! I seriously use my Tervis every single day while I am at school. I fill it with hot coffee in the morning, diet coke or iced tea in the afternoon and then hot tea or coffee at night.

This photo is from the Tervis website. It shows all of the different shapes and sizes options. I am a HUGE coffee drinker. I like it black and I usually drink it out of my 16 oz. but I think I'm going to be drinking it out of my 24 oz. starting this winter-- in my mind, you can never have enough coffee!

Next is the Camelbak water bottle. I also use this daily. I had one that lasted me all throughout my freshman and sophomore year and now I have two that I alternate between. I keep one filled up and in the fridge and one on the go... that way I'll always have a full, cold water bottle on hand! They have a newer one called the Groove where it actually filters the water in your bottle as you drink it. Might just have to invest in one! They also have neoprene sleeves available so that the condensation doesn't get all over the place!
What do you drink your beverages out of on the go at school? Have a fabulous day!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Fall Essentials Part 5: Things to Keep You Warm

Yes, I do realize it's only late August, but really you start to need a sweatshirt in early October and in some places even in September. However, you don't always have to reach for your sweatshirt when Jack Frost comes knocking. Pashminas are fabulous for keeping warm. I love a pashmina with a cocktail dress and then when you're done using it around your shoulders, it can double as a scarf!
This is the only picture I can find from recently but a pashmina was perfect for a spring night when I first got home from school!
Here's another shot from last summer! I have many in all different colors and prints! They also make great gifts and are a fun thing to have monogrammed! Do you love pashminas? Have a fabulous day!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Fall Essentials Part 4: The Cocktail Dress

Everyone has their go-to cocktail dress when they want to feel "sexy", but do you have a go-to cocktail appropriate dress that you could wear to absolutely any function that requires "cocktail attire"? (Meaning not too low-cut or revealing or not seasonal). Well, the Meg dress by the Annie Griffin Collection is the perfect dress for just that.
This dress is perfect because the sleeves are 3/4 length making it seasonally appropriate for spring, summer, winter, and fall! It's also great because the fabric is perfect for any season as well. There are no gaudy embellishments added, but just a very cute but subtle bow accent on the pocket.
Who doesn't love a good bow?! The bow adds some "fun" to the dress without being too overwhelming.
The sleeves at the shoulder and towards the end of the sleeve are gathered together to create a fun and updated silhouette which is perfect for any young woman. The rest of the Meg dress has an A-line cut which is classic and flattering for most body shapes.
The dress is fully lined making it great quality that will last a long time. You could wear this to work by day and go right out at night without even changing. This is the best part of the dress: versatility. Just add some fun jewelry or heels and you're ready for a night out. Or wear it to church during the colder months with tights and flats and a strand of pearls.
Another great part about the Annie Griffin Collection? They have many dresses with classic silhouettes and colors to choose from. There's a dress for everyone, making it the 4th Fall Essential in my Fall Essentials Collection. I can't wait to feature the Meg dress in an OOTD when I get back to school. I can already envision this being worn to date functions, networking events, presentations, and out with friends! Have you shopped Annie Griffin? What is your favorite style? Have a fabulous day!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Fall Essentials Part 3: The Gameday Dress

If you're school is not into gameday dresses then disregard this post. Or, be unique and stand out (and very well dressed) and wear a gameday dress anyway!
I just got my gameday dress from Designs by Kara Kihm-- Kara is from Richmond, VA and has just recently started her Etsy site and I LOVE everything that she creates herself! There are 8 styles available including the Fair, Annapolis, Brooke, Amanda, Lily, McCarrick, Elizabeth Anne, and Erin. I got my gameday dress in the Erin cut and absolutely love it.
This is one of the pictures from the website. I love the color combinations in this picture! The dresses fit so perfectly as well! Kara can make any dress custom but order 2-4 weeks in advance to allow time for it to be made so you get your dress on time!
This is the front of my dress. I love the ruffle neckline and the crisp white top. The sizes run pretty true to size. I got a size four and usually wear between a 2 and 4 and the 4 fits just right. The dress is nipped right in the waist to give you a great figure and the skirt is straight making you look long and lean. The entire dress is lined and overall the dress is wonderfully made--you can tell by the seams and stitching that this dress is extremely well made.
I love the bow detail on the back waist of the dress. It adds the perfect girly touch and fun to the back. I also love that the ruffles go all the way around the collar. The back has darting in it below and above the waist to assure a great fit and clean silhouette.

Here is a close-up of the top half of the dress. The front is also darted near the bust giving the dress a great, comfortable fit. The neckline is v-neck but you can tell from the pictures on their website and from my picture above that the neckline is still conservative and not too revealing.
Designs by Kara Kihm is perfect for any woman looking for the perfect and unique gameday dress that no one else will have!
If you're not in need of a gameday dress, DBKK also has other gorgeous offerings. Think horse races, tea parties, baby showers, weddings, and any other event where a pretty dress is a must! I am obsessed with the above dresses-- The Amanda and the Lily. How perfect are both of them? I cannot wait to do an OOTD post featuring my gameday dress so you can all see how perfect it is on!!

Are you ready to do gameday in style? Don't you just love all of Kara Kihm's beautiful creations?! Have a fabulous day!

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