Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Ashley Brooke Designs Sale

I just had to share that Ashley Brooke Designs is having a back to school! Use "backtoschool15" for 15% off your order.

I can't think of a better time or place to get cute things for before school starts. Even if you're like me and just use "back to school" as an excuse to spruce up my desk. The notepads are adorable for to-do lists, the mugs are great for mornings with 8am classes, and you're even covered at the gym.

Shop my favorite picks below:

Don't forget to use "backtoschool15"for the discount!

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Life Updates

Bah! One of the hardest parts about blogging in 2015 is figuring out what goes where. Is a photo pretty enough for Instagram? Is my phone dead and I can't live-Snapchat something (add me: CollegePrepster)? Did I neglect Twitter for the day? Do I have enough content for an entire blog post? 

I really do try my best to post the various snaps and whatnot everywhere, but sometimes things don't quite make it onto social media. So I'm just going to take a stroll back to the pre-Instagram blogging days and share a few things that have been going on:

I'm so honored to be in the August issue of Teen Vogue. This is my second year on the Teen Vogue "InstaList." I always have so much fun working with Teen Vogue and it's definitely definitely a pinch me moment.

I've been reading up a storm lately. I typically read one book at a time, but for some reason I've been reading a handful at once. A little bit of everything. Here's what I've recently read slash reading currently:

– Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford (more on this when it launches next month!)
– Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape
– Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York
– Stolen Innocence: My Story of Growing Up in a Polygamous Sect, Becoming a Teenage Bride, and Breaking Free of Warren Jeffs
The Ice Twins

It's been so hot here in NYC. Even though I grew up in Florida, the heat in NYC is different and intense. Instead of hopping from air conditioned house to air conditioned car to air conditioned building and back again, we're outside schlepping between hot apartments to sweltering subway platforms. Slurpees are especially irresistible on hot days. It's a bad habit, but I can't stop!

Garrett surprised me with a pair of Stubbs and Wootton slippers that I had been eyeing! Best surprise! I have hardly taken them off!

I've been having great luck with Drybar lately! Instead of doing curls, I've been asking for a straight blowout with volume and I swear it lasts twice as long and looks a lot better throughout the day. Then I can do my own curls on day 2! See below for a selfie I sent my mom hehe!

I got my hair done on Saturday morning because I was speaking on a panel for Her Campus's summer conference. I had such a great time and loved getting to meet a ton of readers. Panels can be hit or miss and this one was definitely a hit! It's especially nice to have an overflowing room with super engaged, motivated, and passionate young women. I left on a little bit of a Cloud Nine high from everyone's enthusastic energy!

I have an outfit post coming up, but here's a sneak peek of what I wore:

The other night, Gar and I were craving ice cream. Off to Emack and Bolio's we went. I love the way their cones look, but on a super hot night, a banana boat (aka a three scoop banana split) is the only way to go!

I just had the best facial from Heyday... It's like Drybar for facials. I think this is going to be a very, very dangerous habit. Super easy to make an appointment and at 30 minutes, it's the perfect length for a quick (and necessary) facial. I felt relaxed and moisturized as I walked out!

Don't forget you can find me on Snapchat (collegeprepster), Instagram, and Twitter for even more updates!

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Monday, July 27, 2015

So You Want to Travel?

Maxie is probably one of the most adventurous travelers I know. I feel like there are people who travel all the time in crazy ways (backpacking or on someone else's dime), but Maxie's travels are totally attainable. She has the best let's-make-it-happen attitude when it comes to travel and she's sharing them here!

So You Want to Travel?
Guest post by Maxie McCoy

Who isn’t hit with a travel bug this time of year? Friends are on cool family vacations. Classmates are rocking study abroad trips. And colleagues are on a rotating schedule of visiting far flung places.

It’s no surprise that you’re likely struck with the head in the clouds, heart on an airplane, soul wants to get out feeling of wanderlust. 

I’m with you. In this year alone I’ve lived in Bali for a few months, seen the beauties of New Zealand, spent my summer on a rotation of most major US cities, and am already planning my return to the other side of the world. 

Travel, if it’s up your alley, is one of the great gifts of this human experience. Whether it’s seeing the pillars of other cultures firsthand, or being brought to tears when you find yourself standing above an epic rainbow - there’s nothing like travel to expand your soul.

The thing I’ve heard over and over and over again since the day I stepped back on home soil was “I want to travel like you! How do I do that??” If you’ve ever caught yourself wondering how you can get your booty on the road instead of your couch, here’s a few things to think about:

Build Up Your Travel Tolerance
Before I lived in Bali for the first half of this year, I had done a great deal of international travel alone. From India, to Hong Kong and through much of Western Europe, I wasn’t a travel newbie. But when I went to HK and London, I was. And everyone starts somewhere. So before you jump into the idea traveling through the Southern Pacific or going on the Great American Roadtrip, know how you fare on the road, either on your own or with your travel buddies.

If your ultimate goal is to travel whenever and wherever you want, it sounds like flexibility might be an important value in your life. The US workforce is definitely going in the direction of self-employed business owners, creatives and consultants. Think about the work you can do from anywhere. Maybe that means monetizing your blog, or doing skilled design work from the comfort of your laptop. There are so many options! And if you’re not yet working think about what future opportunities could afford you the option to be anywhere.

Know the Landscape
I love going where the wind takes me. However, before you go on a trip there are a bunch of very practical things you need to do before heading out besides looking at the weather. Do you know about the travel warnings? Have you made copies of IDs and passports? Are you stocked with the right meds just in case. What’s the attitude towards your gender, culture, or race? Know what you need to know. Here’s about 10 things I personally screwed up so you don’t have to!

Just Do It
Knowing where you want to travel ends up being as much of a gut feeling as knowing who you love. Something will just tell you. Something will call you to go there. When I had a vacation I needed to take and had no idea of where to go, India came knocking on my door. I tried to ignore. But then everywhere I turned there were signs pointing me. So I did it and it’s hands down the most life-changing trip of my 20s. When you get a feeling to go somewhere, decide then. Book it. And go. You can figure out the rest later.

Have a $$ Cushion

One of the biggest factors keeping people from traveling is the obvious: money. Over the years I’ve created a few workaround to the crazy expense of traveling. First, the “Parent” advice which is just to set money aside. You’ll never miss it if you do a little bit every week. And it’ll add up. Second, fly with one airline and align your credit card to be the same. The points will add up so much quicker than you realize. I booked about $10k worth of flights on points this year alone - aka free flights. Lastly, go where your friends or family friends are. Stay at their places. You’ll be surprised how happy people are to open up the opportunity for you to see someplace new and awesome. And it’ll help the budget big time.

When you decide to travel, near or far, have the time of your life, follow these tips when you get there, and know that you always come back a little different than left. 

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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Scallops and Sailboats

Because I work from home, my everyday outfits are pretty lackluster. If I don't have meetings and I'm going to yoga at night, there's a high chance that I'll be in yoga clothes all day. And I'm not going to lie, there are days when I opt for sweatshirts and leggings over anything else.

But then are days when I have meetings and have to actually look somewhat presentable. It rarely makes sense to get super dressed up, business casual at most... Yet, I generally just wear something comfortable and put together so I can go from desk to meeting and back to my desk again.

This Lilly tee and skort combination is one of my recent faves. Last week was a meeting-crazy week and I gladly pulled out the colorful print for a particularly busy day. 

I like to keep things simple in terms of jewelry and I finally got my charm bracelet back from the jeweler. I haven't taken it off! It jingles and jangles in the best way– it's definitely an eye catcher, too.

Also a note on this t-shirt... It might be the best t-shirt I've acquired this summer. It's cut like a blouse so it works for dinners with girlfriends (just add white jeans and wedges) and is comfortable enough to wear all day. It's a little bit pricey for a simple tee, but definitely one you can get a lot of use from for years to come. 

Tee (c/o) // Scalloped Skort // Espadrilles (c/o) // Handbag (c/o) // Monogrammed Necklace // Charm Bracelet (a few charms c/o)

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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Lilly for Target Weekender Giveaway

So I've been going through my closets trying to do one last sweep before I have to start to pack for our move. Let's just say, I have accumulated a lot of things in the past three years and despite frequent closet clean outs, it's still a bit out of control. Last weekend, I went through a bag that contained other bags (whoops... felt a bit like Mary Poppins pulling all kinds of totes out...) and realized that I had a beautiful Lilly for Target weekender bag.

It's really so cute! I have the similar tote and it's such a fun, bright oh-so-Lilly print. I've never used it (still has tags) and I want to make sure it goes to a great home!!! 

All you have to do to enter to win is to leave a comment on this post with what your perfect weekend getaway destination would be! (Make sure that the account you're signed in with is linked to your preferred email... or be sure to include an email address in the comment too so I can contact you if you win!)

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