Friday, July 3, 2015

Pinodesk Illustrations

I have to share this amazing artwork! Anna, the artist behind Pinodesk, painted this from a photo in this outfit post. She tagged me on Instagram and I was floored. How incredibly talented is she?! I really think she captured the whole thing perfectly, especially my yellow dress! I feel so honored!

I also wanted to mention that she has an Etsy shop where she sells her prints. She even does custom work like couples, fashion portraits, and groups.

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On My Radar

Is it just me or do weeks with holidays at the end move very slowly?! I've been watching the clock, just so excited to be traveling home to Florida. Can't wait for swimming and relaxing! I have a semi-crazy day tomorrow and then we're off first thing in the morning. Lots of packing and prepping to do in the meantime– kind of think I just want to fill my suitcase with bathing suits and call it a day.

Here's how to write with sparklers!

On my radar:

ONE // World Record Zoom

I honestly don't even know if I can believe this video; it seems too crazy!!! Nikon Coolpix P900 has the best zoom. It's funny because my first digital camera, back in 2002 I think, was a 3 megapixel Coolpix. My, my how times have changed!

TWO // Birthday Card Between Brothers

I was cracking up when I read this. Brothers have been exchanging the same birthday card for 40 years! I think it is so fun how it starts off as joke and then turns into a real tradition!

THREE // Ralph Lauren Bathing Suit

Has anyone else been struggling in the bathing suit department? Luckily I have some great ones from year past, but I wanted at least one new suit for the summer! I finally found this adorable bikini from Ralph Lauren! It is fun and bright and fits really well. Not too skimpy and not too matronly!

FOUR // Teen Paid for College With Etsy

I love stories like this one! LeiLei Secor paid for college by setting up an Etsy shop. This article is great and shares some of the ways LeiLei found success. Her shop is really cute. The love ring and the wave (!!!) ring are my favorites.

FIVE // Christian Louboutin Nude Collection

How great is this news?! Christian Louboutin's Nude Collection is expanding to include all shades of nude!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!
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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Liberty Floral Pop-In Shop

Nordstrom has a Liberty London pop-in shop going on right now. I've always been a fan of the Liberty florals. The pop-in has so many fun things; I kind of want them all. Now I'm in the mood to put on a pot a tea and find a little garden to sit in. (Or, you know, fly to London and experience the real deal.)

What's your favorite? I'm so in love with the tent.
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The other day, I had a rushed morning. I checked email, chugged my lemon water, hurried in the shower, dropped Teddy off at the groomers, and ran to a meeting. Honestly, it wasn't anything out of the ordinary for me, but it didn't allow much time to think. It was just go.

The meeting was going really well and as I was sharing a bit of the background of The College Prepster, I realized just how much I had changed over the years. To be completely honest, I do not recognize myself. If I were to go back and tell my 15-almost-16 year old self where I would be in ten years, I don't think my younger self would have believed me. Nope!!!

Growing up, I always dealt with anxiety. I had great friends, but I never would do something that I didn't feel 100% comfortable doing. I never went to the movies on Friday nights in middle school. I didn't go to any parties. I went to homecomings and proms, but didn't dance. Even little things like telling a waiter what I wanted to order was hard! The list goes on and on.

This was the first week of college, I was very excited to be starting a new chapter, but I had no idea how much personal struggling I was about to go through that semester!

I never would have believed that I was going to meetings with strangers basically every day. I would have never believed that I was voluntarily throwing myself down a mountain on skis or sinking in a pool learning how to scuba dive. I wouldn't have believed that I was in a great relationship. I would never believe that my formerly terrified of dogs self would end up with a dog of her own.

As excited as I am to know how far I've come and knowing that there's still room to grow, it does make me sometimes look back and wonder if my life would have been different had I been this "new" me from the very beginning.

But then I remember that the new me has been me all along and that everything I've gone through, overcome, faced is all part of the journey. It's all part of my story. The good, the bad, the ugly. 

And actually, it's mostly the bad and ugly that really forced me to grow and change. (Yes, I know this is cliche!!! It just is so true, I can't not say it.) That time I fainted before my college interview? That time I failed my first ever college exam? That time I dropped out of a class and squeaked by another with a D? That time I found myself on the floor of the bathroom crying at work? That time I had to decide between my job and my passion?

Those moments led me to where I am today, in a powerful, the-dots-all-connect way

So instead of feeling sad about thinking what I might have missed growing up because of my anxiety, I just own my story and know it's just as much a part of who I am as having green eyes is. It's just me.

I don't think about all these changes frequently, but sometimes it hits me. Like when I'm sitting across from a near stranger, completely comfortable, talking openly about my life and my business and thinking to myself, "Wow, I can do this. I am doing this."

This is not to say that I don't still have things to work on. I've been having the worst time trying to fall asleep every night lately. There are times when I feel sick to my stomach and frozen with fear and self-doubt. But I get through it. Somehow, someway, I get through whatever it is.

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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Two NYC Restaurants

I often am overwhelmed by the number of restaurants in NYC. As hard as I try to visit new places, I know I fall into the rut of visiting my favorite tried and true places over and over again or simply ordering in because there's seemingly always another day for a restaurant adventure.

This week, I've gone to two new restaurants though, and I just had to share. It's reminded me that I really do need to take better advantage of living in a city full of great restaurants!

Amy and I met up downtown for Mexican food at Rosie's. If you're in town and the weather is nice enough to eat outdoors, you must stop by here for dinner. The chips and salsa were so good, the tacos were amazing, but the platanos really stole the show. We finished off dinner with churros too, because churros are always a good idea.

I got also got a cucumber and cilantro agua fresca (pictured). So refreshing for a summer night!!!

The second restaurant is Joe's Shanghai. Garrett and I became friends with our scuba instructor and not only is he a great guy, he knows all the great restaurants. For passing the test, we decided to celebrate by going to one of his favorite NYC spots: Joe's Shanghai. Oh. My. God. How could I have lived here for three years without going here?! It's kind of a crazy restaurant (very lively, communal tables), but so worth the experience! The soup dumplings are so good and the General Tso's chicken is amazing too! (Garrett's obsessed with the cold noodles.) We've already been back for a second visit!

Don't forget, I have a running list of my favorite NYC spots here!
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Yellow Bow Back Dress

I think I hit the jackpot with this dress! Not only does it come in four adorable colors, it has an incredible fit with perfect bow placement. Did I mention that it's only $52?!

I think it's the perfect dress to wear to a day outing with flats, date night with cute wedges, or to a somewhat casual wedding with strappy sandals.

A little bit of an a side comment here, but because the dress has these bows, an up-do was a must. With the heat and humidity NYC has been experiencing lately, I was certainly not complaining. I tend to wear braids and pony-tails often, but buns are tricky. When I'm super casual (read: not taking outfit photos), I might have my hair up in a messy bun... They're pretty bad though. I'm not the girl who can whip up a thick, perfect bun in a snap.

That said, I think I mastered the bun. Or at least I've come up with some tricks that help.

– Dirty hair "holds" better in the bun. I took it even one step further and took a shower the night before and got my hair wet but didn't wash. My hair wasn't clean so it didn't poof as much but getting it wet helped reset my locks so they didn't look greasy. I woke up with fluffy, dirty, mildly wild hair– perfect for taming into a bun.

– I used one of these ponytail holders (swear by these for stay-in-place-ponytails) to secure a ponytail at the crown of my head. And then I twisted and rolled for a typical pony and secured with these little bands.

– I get so much frizz from the humidity. Add in my typical flyaways from having nutso hair when it's not straightened and it's a recipe for Miss Frizzle hair. I sprayed my head all over with this hairspray and then pat (not brush) the untamed hair down. 

– Bam! Bunhead!

Bow Back Dress* // Striped Monogrammed Clutch // Espadrilles (on sale, under $100!) // Earrings // Monogrammed Necklace // Similar Bracelet

*Runs small. I'm wearing an XS, but I don't have a centimeter to spare in there! You do have to wear a bra because the material isn't that thick, but the strap in the back goes right over your bra strap– so perfect.

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