Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Last First Day

Today is the last first day.

(I also said this my senior year of high school... and I'm sure I'll say this the first day of spring semester.)

But, really.  This is IT.

I've been trying to wrap my brain around the whole Real World right around the corner situation all summer long, and have yet to really come to terms with it.  Anyone who has had the pleasure (ha) to know me for more than a year or so knows that I have a lot of issues with how our education system works and is run.  Here I am, my whole life I've been "a student."  I have one more year of studentship.

I feel like I'm ready.

Whether I like it or not though, I still have to get through one more (tough) year.

Soccer Mom and Dad helped me so much moving in (who knew moving in during a hurricane would actually be a blessing.... tons of parking, cooler weather, not a lot of other movers).  They did get "stranded" in D.C. for an extra day because of flight cancelations, but it was really fun to get 24 more hours with them.

Soccer Mom bought me this Dogeared necklace, and I love it so much.  I've been looking for a replacement one all summer and couldn't find one that "fit" me.  Stumbling across this on M St. was totally like a sign.

This year I'm taking five classes and I am a TA for another.

Who's started school already?  How'd your first days go?


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

New CP Desktop Wallpaper and iPhone!

This song has been stuck in my head for weeks!!!  I thought this line would be really cute for a desktop wallpaper (and for iPhone, too) so I whipped one up.  This is scheduled super in advance because I should be settling in and moving into Georgetown right now.

Sorry it's a super short post, but I'll be back in full gear soon!!!

Instructions for Downloading:

Right click on the image.
Select "Open in new tab" (or window)
Right click the image again.
You can either save the image to your computer and then set it as a background. On macs, you should be able to right click and "save as desktop background."

Also, here's a version for your iPhones!

Are you a fan of Band Perry too???  I love them!


Monday, August 29, 2011

Subway Art : Sporty Sister Edition

Sporty Sister moved into an apartment (she's a sophomore at UF) and I was enlisted to make her a subway art sign.

If you remember, I made one with the family rules last summer.  I used Lil Blue Boo's tutorial again.  Ashley does a great job describing the actual steps, so check her blog out if you want to do this as well.  I'd like to add an additional necessary thing for making it: PATIENCE.

Oh boy, does it require patience.  I thought it would be easier the second time around, but honestly, it was just as time consuming.  I'll walk you through the process:

We spent a few minutes (or days) brainstorming what SS wanted it to say!  This was a surprisingly challenging step.  Once you figure it out, I used Photoshop to type all the lines and then change the size of the lines to fill up the whole width.  I saved it as a PDF and brought it to Kinkos to have it blown up.

(Lil Blue Boo uses wood, but the canvas is much simpler for non-handy people like myself.)

This is actually me... honestly not posed, SS took it while I drew the lines to make sure I placed the letters straight.

Sticky adhesive spray is used to mount the paper to the contact paper.  Let dry!!!

Space them out on the canvas again, and then use a pencil to make marks for every letter so you know where they go.  I make little lines to line the bottom of the letters up later.

Here's the annoying part.  Cut out every letter.  Phew.  I suggest watching episodes of Mad Men while accomplishing this.  The insides are the hardest part!

Peel the back of the contact paper off and start sticking the letter to the canvas.

Wait three days for it to stop raining, give up, and take to the garage to spray paint.

Peel the letters off and....

There you have it!!!

I love that SS chose the periwinkle instead of black.  So pretty.  My favorite line is "PLAY BIG" because it is actually big.

The total cost of this is like $40 (canvas, spray paint, contact paper, adhesive spray, and kinkos print).

Has anyone else attempted the project?  What do you think of this one?


Sunday, August 28, 2011

College Prepster Approved School Supplies

Remember back in elementary school when we'd have an extremely long and detailed list of what we needed for the year?  And then in middle school, it got pretty boring.  And by high school, we were given a list of supplies we needed every day for a week (which meant trips to the office store every day)?  Oh, those were (not) the days.

College gives you much more freedom when it comes to what you need to get.  Instead of teachers mandating certain types of binders (1.5" only, clear pockets, NO plastic covering, must be navy, 7 dividers, page protectors for XYZ, blah blah blah) and "acceptable" pens, we get to choose what works for US.


My list of necessary school supplies are as follows:

Pilot Precise V5 pens

Papermate Sharpwriter mechanical pencils

Lilly Pulitzer Large notebooks

Perfect pencil pouch

Don't forget to pick out your favorite backpack or tote!

What are your essentials?


Saturday, August 27, 2011

B2S Giveaway :: May Books

It was love at first sight.  When May Books sent me my first notebook, I was drooling over the pretty little thing.  The whole concept of May Books is quite genius and fits right into the mantra of any true college prepster.

Everyone needs one of these.  The best part?  Cute covers aside, the insides are customizable.  Lines, blank, graphing, and agendas!  Hello, need one in every pattern and every style please.

Want to get a head start on your May Books collection?  Definitely enter this giveaway.  I can't think of a better way to kick off the first month of school than a new (stinkin' cute) notebook.

(love mine!)


Required: "Like" May Books on Facebook AND comment on the wall with your favorite pattern Make sure you're following College Prep using Google Friend Connect as well.

Additional entries

1 entry: Post about this giveaway on your blog!  Please include the URL in your comment.

1 entry: Tweet about this giveaway.  (Please include @collegeprepster, @maybooks, and a URL to this blog post in your tweet.)

Please comment ONCE and let me know which entries were completed.  
Note: Anonymous comments will not count.  Please login using the Google Friend Connect account that is following College Prep.

This giveaway ends Friday September 2 at noon.

Good luck!!


Friday, August 26, 2011

Knock Knock... Who's there?

The winner of the Knock Knock Information Central Mousepad is...

Sarah from Shorelines & Sunshine!

Please email me to claim :)  carly [at] thecollegeprepster [dot] com


PS Another giveaway starts tomorrow!

The Dog Days are Over

Today is officially the last day of my last summer as a student.  Crazy.  It's been really long (thank goodness) and super amazing.

I can't even begin to describe how many great things have happened.  Let's see though...

One AMAZING trip to Auburn to visit Bebe!

(Best road trip partner ever, Melly... Also, she's the best road trip nurse after taking me to the hospital!)

One spray tan... Really miss it.

A relaxing family vacation at the beach.

Two visits from friends: Little V and Helen!!!
(Sadly, no pictures with Helen, but lots of memories of HP world!)

First ever Bucs game!


Heading back to Georgetown in the morning.

Well summer, it's been real.


PS Thanks {AV} for the amazing Georgetown pennant!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

How to Wear: Desert Boots

Okay, I've been getting a TON of questions on how to wear desert boots.  I think they're extremely versatile shoes (unless it's raining or snowing....) and perfect for school.  A little edgy, but still totally classic.

The problem is that it's really hard to describe how to wear the boots!  The questions have been sitting in my Tumblr inbox for weeks now and I finally decided I needed to suck it up and figure out a way to answer.  Polyvore sets don't really capture how cute desert boots can really look!

I'm also sharing a super top-secret photograph with you guys EARLY so you can see an idea of how to style it.  I can't share any of the other photographs from this shoot yet, but trust me they're all amazing.  This is one of the looks from the shoot and I think it is a really great style.


The first step is picking out a pair.  I first bought mine when I started seeing the boots in crewcuts catalogs.  At the time, there weren't many women's options.

Bernardo Suede Desert Boot in Camel (These are the boots from the picture!)

Now, you can choose from a variety of colors, materials, and height.

Some more desert boot inspiration:

Anyone else have desert boots in their closet?  How do you wear them?


PS Here's how I've worn them before:

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

First Day Outfits

There's nothing worse than the combination of knowing school is about to start and knowing summer is about to end.  The one thing that always gets me through it, however, is picking out an FDO.

FDOs are a big deal in my book.  You can see some more FDO ideas from last year and read a really embarrassing story in this post.

So I put together three different looks for that first day back in the classroom.  Each of the outfits are great for different reasons, yet they are all really easy and simple to wear.  (That is to say, they take the same amount of energy to put on as Nike running shorts..... no excuses ladies!)


From left to right:

The first FDO is definitely the easiest and most comfortable.  If you were out, um, celebrating the end of summer the night before, no worries.  Wearing a simple and easy dress already looks put together with little extra effort.  And the loafers?  Perfect preppy touch.

Get the look:



The second FDO is a little more dressy and might possibly be too warm for many hotter climates.  But here's the thing: I think classrooms are ALWAYS freezing.  Something about making our brains work a little better (anyone watch that Law & Order SVU episode???).  It's so so so tempting to grab a big sweatshirt, I know.  A blazer (or even a cardigan) will give you warmth during Econ 101 and a more tailored, structured look.

Get the look:

Finally, the third FDO is perfect for squeezing in the last few days worth of white pants before Labor Day.  That is, of course, if you follow the old rule... I think more and more it's being ignored, which I don't mind at all (#longlivewhitejeans).  The chambray shirt is loose and comfortable.  Roll up the sleeves and make a great stack with jewelry filled with summer memories.  (Boat shoes are great for long walks- er, runs- across campus to get to class on time.)

Get the look:

What's your FDO?


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Harry Potter

Thank you so much to everyone who encouraged me to read the Harry Potter books.  I've finished the first, second, and third and have loved the stories so far.  I can't really remember the movies, so I feel like the plot of each book is new!

My friend, and housemate, Helen from Georgetown was training in Orlando for her job.  Her plane back to DC was overbooked (as always, Delta) so we seized the opportunity to get together!!!  I drove over Saturday morning and picked her up from her hotel.  We decided to go to Islands of Adventure because we were dying to go see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.




We bought our tickets ($90.... gulp) and made a quick pitstop to buy shorts.  (Helen's suitcase was en route to D.C. and she was wearing PANTS... big NO-NO in Florida heat!)  We made a bee-line through the park to the Harry Potter section.  I don't even think words can describe how incredible it was.  Very, very well done.

Our favorite part was definitely the "Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey."  The ride was SO COOL.  But the best part was the queue.  No, seriously.  You walk through the park and it is like you are in Hogwarts.  So realistic (minus an annoying hologram of Harry, Ron, and Hermione).

Here are my tips if you're planning on going to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

  1. Don't bother trying not to look like a tourist.  There's a lot of standing and waiting and sweating, so wear shorts and sneakers and a t-shirt.  You'll already be better dressed and more put together than 99% of the other visitors.
  2. Be prepared to spend money.  It's a theme park, it's a rip-off, and it's expensive.  Oh well.
  3. Take pictures.... as you can tell by the post, I have none.
  4. Be mindful of timing of the rides if you're storing things in a locker.  The first 55 minutes are free!
  5. You can walk through the castle without riding the ride.  Spend as much time as you want listening to (and watching) the portraits lining the halls!
  6. Don't stop at the first butterbeer station you see.  Keep walking through the street and there are more stations with shorter lines.  Everyone's so eager when they find that first one so the line is ridiculous.  Also, get the frozen one if it's super hot!
  7. Pay attention to what line you're getting in.  Helen and I got stuck in the front row line on accident for a roller coaster and our wait time easily tripled.
  8. Try to go on rides during "lunch time" as the lines are much shorter.
  9. Last, but not least, REMEMBER WHERE YOU PARK....  Not that Helen and I completely forgot and spent an hour roaming the parking garage trying to find my car or anything....
It's really amazing.  They did such a wonderful job with the whole exhibit.  After the Hogwarts tour ride, Helen and I decided we could have left without seeing anything else and still would have gotten our money's worth.

It's also really strange because I don't really consider myself a HP geek or anything, but I was ready to buy a cloak and enroll in Hogwarts!!!!  (And by every single Hogwarts t-shirt in the gift shop.)

Has anyone else been?  What did you guys think?


Monday, August 22, 2011


For some, it's time to start preparing for school.  For other's, summer is completely over and you're back into the swing of things.  Whether your days are numbered or the dog days are truly over, it's time to start finding the perfect watch.  

I read this article a while ago that was trying to teach parents how to seem younger.  One of the tips was for adults to ditch their watch.  Um, sorry... but I'm going to have to disagree with them on that one!  Watches are definitely becoming more and more popular with our generation.  In fact, some fashion bloggers have been doubling up on timepieces.

I will admit, sometimes I forget that I'm wearing a watch and will find myself checking the time on my phone instead.  The watch is definitely an accessory.  However, watches serve a useful purpose when you're in class.

I am one of those students who actually turns her phone off during class and most of my classes ban laptop use.  There is usually a clock in the classroom, but it's always on the back wall.  It's so awkward when you turn around to look at the clock and the professor catches you.  Not to mention the rudeness factor.

When in class, cell phones really should be turned off (not just on silent or vibrate).  Wearing a watch to class has at least two benefits: a discreet way of knowing how many more minutes are left in class and creating a perfect stack.  Michael Kors makes great watches that are very popular among college girls, but Anne Klein watches are very similar and more affordable.

Do you wear Michael Kors watches?  Are you a fan of the Anne Klein styles and prices?


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