Sunday, July 5, 2015

Alaska Video

Remember when I said that I had already posted my last Alaska post? I lied! Whoops!

I finally had time to sit down and sort through the hours of GoPro footage we had to put together a fun little video. I think I'll ultimately make a longer version for the four of us, but I decided to spare you guys and compile the best of the best from the trip for Youtube.

I wish I had been smart enough to save all of our Snapchat videos to add... I think those videos were the funniest!

Don't forget to change the settings so that the video is 1080HD for the highest quality!

The video is shot with two GoPros (one on a handmount and the other on a long selfie stick). It's not perfect, but man! It really makes me miss the trip. It was just too much fun!

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Saturday, July 4, 2015

Barrington Gifts Giveaway

Barrington Gifts is hosting this week's giveaway! I think I have a slight obsession with weekenders. I love having a stack of options to choose from and I especially love when they really match the type of trip I'm going on. (Anyone else?!)

The Belmont Cabin Bag comes in all kinds of colors and patterns. It's fun to poke around and build your perfect bag. I just ordered the navy and red striped version. You can choose from a selection of colors and patterns here, but there are also options within the different collections. For example, the sorority collection has the cutest color combinations and I simply cannot get over how amazing the nautical flag print option is.

... and did I mention the best part? They all can be monogrammed. Your initials are subtle but it perfectly ensures your bag won't be mistaken for someone else's!

Enter to win using the Rafflecopter widget below:

Good luck!
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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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