Sunday, July 31, 2011

July Books

So, I didn't read as many books this month... but I had a lot of all-day babysitting gigs, and I've been working on a lot of Sweet Lemon Magazine (yay!!!!) stuff.  Anyway- I did read some books that I thought I'd do a little re-cap of.

By the way- if you read my Harry Potter post... I've decided to read it!  I'm going to wait until I go back to school though.  I have some hard copy books that I found in my house that piqued my interest, so I'm going to read those during August (I don't want to lug heavy books back to school).  Also, I searched high and low in our house and have yet to find HP 1 or 2, ugh... buying them on the nook.

(PS this isn't the order that I read the books in... )

Carpool Diem
by Nancy Star

Okay, I found this book beyond hilarious.  It's really corny and cheesy, but if anyone has been on the sidelines of a soccer game (hello, Sporty Sister is my sister) and witnessed crazy parents (hello, Soccer Mom and Dad are my parents) then you will GET and LOVE the humor of this book.

Veronica Roth

This is the College Prepster Book Club selection for July/August!  Definitely read it!!!

Me & Emma
by Elizabeth Flock

Holy moly- sad, sad, sad, sad!  But the story is really good, even if you will cry.  Poor little girls!

Never Let Me Go
by Kazuo Ishiguro

Eh.  Interesting story, I guess.  Not a fan of the style of writing.

Paper Wings
by Marly Swick

Weird.  Barely any story.  Difficult start, boring end.

Sisterhood Everlasting
by Ann Brashares

GREAT!  If you were a fan of the Traveling Pants series (seriously though, who wasn't), you will LOVE this book!  It's really sad, and kind of slow, and depressing at the beginning.... get through that and you'll fall right back in love with the gang!

The Devil in the Junior League
by Linda Francis Lee

Surprisingly entertaining.  Wasn't sure if I'd like it, but it was a cute summer read.

The Overachievers
by Alexandra Robbins

You can read about why I loved this book so much here.

Phew!  What have you guys been reading?  What's next on your list?  What's sitting on your night stand???


PS Please pinch me... tomorrow can't possibly be August!

Saturday, July 30, 2011


I've been questions right now about back to school fashion and this post addresses a common question, but I think applies to a lot of things, not just back to school.

There's this whole notion of wanting to look nice every day for class.  (I know it's not for everyone, but I'm a believer in getting dressed and looking nice.)  A lot of girls are concerned because they tend to oversleep and don't have time to get ready in the morning.  Other girls stare at their closet some mornings and have no idea where to start.

I am right there with you!!!  I have those days too.

(Last week, I showed you how to dress up simple denim and t-shirts with statement necklaces.)

Are you a grab a sweatshirt and run out the door kind of girl?  Here's my latest trick:

Blazers may not seem like a sweatshirt substitute, but they totally can be.  Throw on any shirt with a pair of skinny jeans.  (Literally, any shirt: tank, blouse, oxford, polo, t-shirt....)  Then slip into a blazer and a pair of boots or ballet flats and you're to good to go!

I know what you're thinking, blazers are stuffy and stiff!

Butttttttttttt- these Urban Outfitters blazers are actually comfortable.  They're shaped nicely, but I think you may forget you're wearing a blazer!

(I promise they look much better on than they do on the model)

This J. Crew wool blazer is perfect for chillier days once winter arrives!

And I'm definitely stocking up on these J. Crew schoolboy blazers.  I just got the grey one and IT IS LOVE!

So, forget about that sweatshirt and stock up on blazers!


Friday, July 29, 2011


No, no... not the musical.

(Although, sidenote: Sporty Sister and I saw it at the beginning of the summer.  Amazing!!!  A little raunchy, but it's ike, really really really good.  Even if the girl sitting next to me was higher than a kite.  They let you come on stage at the end.  Hello, my dream!!!)

But seriously, I'm talking about MY hair.  It's driving me nuts and I feel like I'm totally in a pickle.

Here's the deal:  I have really curly hair naturally.  I was born with, um, no hair... but when it finally grew in, I was stuck with crazy curls.

Sorry Soccer Mom, but what were you thinking letting me get bangs!!!  And can we just take a minute to discuss how unfair it is that Sporty Sister has stick straight hair???

Moving on.

Thankfully, I was given a Chi straightening iron for Hanukah in eighth grade.  It took me a few years and more than a few bad hair days to figure the thing out, but eventually I did.

My hair has been long, straight, short, curly.. you name it.

It could be the heat (and frankly I really believe it is) but I need to overhaul my hair.  My internal dilemma, is that I don't want to do something damaging to my hair or alter it in a way that isn't "natural." I have justified the Chi because when I wash my hair it's curly again... but I'm interested (ahh) in chemically straightening my hair.


What is my problem???

That's really only dilemma number 1.  Dilemma number 2 is that I want bangs, even though I don't want bangs.  So feel free to talk me out of that ASAP.

Okay... so I need hair straightening horror stories, successes, opinions, and persuasions against bangs.




Thursday, July 28, 2011

Almond Tin

Next to my wallet and my "Omg! I wish I had a...." Kit, you'll almost always find a bag of almonds tucked in my Longchamp.  When I'm out and about, sometimes unexplained hunger hits me and I'm so famished that I could faint.

Almonds (particularly of the Cocoa Roasted variety) are the perfect snack to get me back on my feet.  Unlike granola bars, almonds don't get squished or squashed as easily.  Unlike fruit, it can sit in my bag for a few days without worrying about... whatever, I don't even want to think about fruit rotting in my handbag!

I was flipping through a magazine- can't think of the name.... and I saw an advertisement for these super cute tiny almond tins.  Apparently California Almonds were giving them away, but now they are selling them for less than $2.

I googled "favor tins" and found all sorts of really cute tins that are supposed to be for weddings.  I think the possibilities are endless!!!

Any other almond fans???


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Back to School :: Clothing

Must haves for Back to School fall...

Blazers.  Stock up on all the colors!!!  There is nothing like dressing up a casual outfit with a blazer.  They're not just for business casual anymore.  Wear a blazer over a summer dress to make it more appropriate for fall.  Wear over a tank top for a more conservative look.  Or wear it with jeans and heels for dinners with friends!


Ballet Flats.  As the weather cools down, keep your toes covered in comfortable flats.  Flats can be worn with high waisted skirts for a dressed up look, or jeans for a casual look.  Keep them tucked in your backpack to change into after a presentation or meeting!

** The Jack Rogers Girl sent me a pair after the giveaway I hosted... and let me tell you.. they are amazing!  So soft, definitely no achy "break in" period!**


Little Satchels.  They're perfect for weekends, whether you're shopping during the day or heading out to dinner at night.  Throw the essentials in and you're off.


Thick Headbands.  Perfect for bad hair days, early mornings, or studying in the library.


Tinted Lip Balm.  Much more low-key than lipstick, the tinted balm still gives you a put together look.  Toss a few in your pencil case for quick pick-me-ups before class with that cute guy.


I think this fall is about using what you have and adding only a few key accessories to make your wardrobe feel like new!

What is on your must have list?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Check your emails!!!  

Sweet Lemon Magazine writer positions and the wait list were released earlier this afternoon!

ps Alyssa Miller... if you're out there... email carly [at] thecollegeprepster [dot] com!

Back to School :: Bedding

I've been getting lots of questions via email, Tumblr, and Twitter about favorite bedding sources for back to school.  Shopping for dorm bedding, especially for freshman year, is quite exciting.  Before you figure out where you want to get your bedding from there are a few things to keep in mind.

1) Ask current students or look in online discussion boards about what kind of beds your dorm has.  I know at Georgetown some dorms are the typical dorm room Twin XL, but there is at least one dorm that only has regular twin beds.  Better to find this out now!!!

2) Realize that beds in a dorm room are more than beds.  They're couches, kitchen tables, desks, etc.  With limited space, your bed is prime seating.  White and other light colors can (and most likely will) get really dirty.

3) If you're like me, you're going to have your bedding for a long time so you should make sure it won't go out of style and you won't get sick of it.

4)  If you have a Twin XL bed, note that you can use a regular twin size comforter.  The sheets, however, must be XL.

5)  Definitely invest in a mattress topper.  Look through magazines and mailers for Bed, Bath, and Beyond coupons!

Okay, ready to shop???

Tommy Hilfiger sheets are perfect for dorm rooms.  If you decide on a plain colored comforter, you can buy a few sets of sheets and swap them out every time you wash them.  You'll always have a new look for your room!

(I have the top set... pink and green with the palm trees... Love it!)

Serena & Lily's collection of children's bedding is perfectly sophisticated.

Garnet Hill offers twin sized Lilly Pulitzer bedding that can be coordinated with your roommate!

PB Teen basic bedding can be mixed and matched... they come in all sorts of pretty colors.  (I like the green!)

Decor 2 Ur Door lets you match your bedding with your sorority.  

Where are you getting your bedding from this year?


Monday, July 25, 2011

Lights, Camera, ACTION

Just last week, I ran into a friend from high school.  We were discussing college, internships, the future, etc.  She had been following College Prep so she knew what was going on with me.  When she mentioned that her dream internship was to work for a specific television network, I asked her why she hadn't applied.

Let me just clear something up... if you don't try... you will never succeed 100% of the time.  I always hear people saying, "Oh, I really want to......"but I never hear their plan of achieving whatever want they have.

So let me ask you... what is your biggest wish, dream, want, etc?

Do you want to win the lottery?  Do you want world peace?  Do you want to travel the world?  Do you wish you could quit your job and do what you've always wanted to do?  Do you dream of living in an amazing city?  Do you want to run a marathon?

When was the last time you bought a lottery ticket?  Have you been reading political journals and advocating for peace?  Do you have a savings account that you add to every month for travel?  Are you looking every day for new job listings or networking to find an opening?  Have you asked your boss if there is an opportunity in Dream City?  What's your running schedule and training plan like?

If you haven't taken that first step yet... DO IT NOW.

Some advice?

Don't be intimidated.  Even the biggest celebrity is a just a person at the end of the day.

Network.  If you need to reach someone at the top of the pyramid, work your way up from the bottom.  Call the assistant to the intern of the assistant to the assistant of the vice president under the president.  Sweet talk, be polite, say thank you.

Be optimistic!  Someone is going to be chosen for the internship.  Why not you?

Keep the timeline in mind.  Very few things are going to happen overnight.  If you want something enough, you'll be motivated to follow through and keep up with it even if it's a frustratingly long path.

Flexibility is key.  Sometimes even the best of plans needs to be adjusted along the way.  Don't worry if things don't go exactly as planned.  If you can knock your way through a brick wall, walk around and look for the door.

All of this literally is the definition of my personal mantra, "Live your dreams."

What's your biggest dream?  How are you going to make it happen?


Sunday, July 24, 2011

United Statement

Everyone experiences a funk now and then when getting dressed in the morning.  You want to dress nicely and you want to look cute and you want to be fashionable...

But it's too hot.
Or you woke up too late.
Or you're feeling lazy.
Or your favorite dress is at the dry cleaners.
Or you're just running errands.
Or you don't want to "waste" a cute outfit.

I feel ya.  Sometimes I have the best intentions when getting dressed, but then I'm standing in my closet and... silence.  Nothing feels good or looks good.  I'd much rather pull on a pair of easy (and comfortable) shorts and a cheap t-shirt and call it a day.

Okay.  So now I'm comfortable, but no so happy.  The shorts and t-shirt look gets a little boring.

Statement necklaces.

They come in all sorts of shapes, colors, sizes, prices... you name it.  There's one for every outfit.  One for every personal style.  And one for every price point.

I recruited Sporty Sister and some friends for the pictures.  They were so into it- despite the insane heat.  The pictures are literally proof that you can look cute, and be comfortable... even in the worst of weather.

 Necklaces featured above and below are from Francesca's Collections

Necklaces featured above and below are from Baubles... etc., a boutique in South Tampa.

Are you into statement necklaces?  What do you think of dressing up the casual jeans and t-shirt look with a big necklace?


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Harry Potter

This is a noontime on a Saturday random musings of Carly post... bear with me :)

In fifth grade, my best friend and I started a book club with our closest friends.  Our first book just happened to be Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.  My mom and I read the book together and I remember it taking a really long time to get through.  (We also pronounced Hermione completely wrong throughout the entire thing.)

I didn't read any of the other books.  Well, actually, I read the first chapter of the second book probably five times but never got into it.

I've seen half of the movies... I think.  There are eight movies right (seven books, but two for the last one?)... so yea, I guess I've seen four.  Maybe five.  Little V tivoed a bunch of them in December and I would watch parts of the movies after spending all day in the library during finals.  (A girl can only study/stay focused for so long.)

Now that the saga is "over," I'm wondering if I should attempt to read the books now.  Do you think I can get into them if I'm not 14???

(Illustration by the beyond talented Jane Mount)

I have one more library book checked out and I'm sort of curious to see what all the Boy Who Lived fuss is about.


trend: red jeans

I keep seeing this trend... everywhere!!!

Stores, magazines, even people.  And when you see it on actual people, you know it's a keeper.

RED JEANS ARE IN, IN, IN.  And I couldn't be happier.  I wear jeans a lot during the fall and winter.  You know, when it's too cold for tights and a skirt.  I tend to get sick of the boring blue jeans.  Red, now there's something to get excited about.





(This is my favorite look!)

Even Seventeen got on the bandwagon... Although, I think they did a terrible job styling it.

Here's how I'd wear red jeans!

Red Jeans


Friday, July 22, 2011

Little V!

Little V came to Tampa!!!

Tampa was the last stop on her world-wide tour.... London, California, Montana, TAMPA!  After spending multiple nights outdoors- and sometimes without even a tent- Little V got to enjoy the comforts of South Tampa... aka shopping, swimming, and eating.

We did the outlets in Orlando (complete with a trip to Downtown Disney for a 4pm lunch) and the malls of Tampa.  Unfortunately, I didn't get anything, but Little V stocked up on TONS of crewcuts clothing.  We think she should start investing.

We went and saw Monte Carlo and now we are both convinced we should go to Paris and dance in a fancy hotel room to Mika.  We watched some OC seasons one and two.  And a few episodes of The Glee Project!!!

And, obviously, a visit from Little V definitely means some outfit coordination pictures!

(I rubbed some of my cat lady ways onto Little V!)

I was so happy that Little V came to visit.  I had so much fun!!!!!!!


Thursday, July 21, 2011


Wow... July is flying by!!!  The 21st already?!?

Kate Spade announced their color(s) of the month a while ago, but I'm finally getting around to posting about it.  Well, I'm sure you've already read in an email, or on their website, or Tumblr, or a tweet, or wherever.


I love that they chose Black and White!  I mean, technically they're not colors... but everything looks better in black and white.

Old photographs, new photographs, photostrips, cars, dresses, shoes.... but photographs especially.  When we upgraded our middle school yearbook from b&w pictures to color, the staff and I were so excited.  Now I'm wishing we had stuck with the black and white as the pictures look classier and timeless!!!

I love using photo editors to turn my pictures into black and white.  In fact, my new profile picture on Facebook is a b&w of my mom and me!

All-time favorite picture of baby Sporty Sister and College Prepster
(check out those jellies)

Christmas Card picture from forever ago

Loving the black and whites :)


And obviously I couldn't leave out some of my top picks from Kate Spade!


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