Friday, September 30, 2011

belonging.

Super dense post.....

Have you been on a roller coaster?  For the longest time, I was too terrified to even try the thrill ride.  After lots of convincing, my friend finally got me to try one of the smaller coasters in a local theme park.  The wait in line was the worst.  The anticipation was horrible!  At the end of the line I was annoyed by the length; I just wanted to get it over with.  As we neared the front, panic really began to set in.  Getting on the ride was a blur, one minute my feet are firmly on the ground, and the next they're dangling in mid air while a foam contraption locks me into the seat.

I screamed.  But only during that initial climb.  And then I was to so captivated by the feeling of riding the ride that I didn't utter one sound.

Right now, I've got this feeling like I've just been standing in line for a roller coaster, but now I'm in the cart.  The line was super long, and quite boring at the beginning.  Of course, the closer I got to the front of the line, the more tension and anxiety I began to feel.

Now I'm in the cart.  Sitting, naturally, in the front row.  The little attendant guy has given that awkward thumbs up to the people in control, and they've just pulled the lever.

The past couple of weeks has been the most eye opening ones for me in a really, really, really long time.  I've met incredible people.  All of whom I had some sort of mutual friend, without even knowing!  I feel like things are finally in motion.

I'm making that steep climb up that roller coaster.  Every day, I feel like I get one more suspenseful "click" up the climb.  The feeling is so intense that I can literally hear a clicking echo in my head!!!

I can only imagine what this ride is going to be like.



I'm writing this not only because I'm really excited, but also because I feel like I'm really on the right track.  It feels... right.  Maybe you haven't had the feeling for something being right, but you probably have felt something is really wrong.  (That sinking feeling in your stomach, for example, when you realize you definitely took a wrong turn while driving.)  It's just like that, however instead of feeling bad.  It feels perfect.

I've often questioned my choice to do business as an undergraduate.  If you remember, I did terribly my first semester (accounting......).  I never really felt encouraged, or for that matter supported by the administration in  the business school.

Finally, finally, I get it.

I'm TAing for my favorite class right now and it is a lot of work, but also extremely inspiring.  I really can't get enough of it.  Mostly, I feel like I'm surrounded people who "get me."  A lot of people don't, and I frequently feel like I generally don't belong anywhere.  I don't like drinking, or going out.  I like to work.  Doing College Prep and working on Sweet Lemon is FUN for me.  I can sit down and "work" (It doesn't even feel like work to me!) for hours and not even bat an eye.

Every time I meet another speaker for the class, and even some of the students, I realize that there are a lot more people like me than I realize.  For that two and a half hour lecture, I have an overwhelming sense of belonging.

I'd really rather take that class fifteen times a week and skip my other classes.  (Confession:  I spend a lot of my other classes incorporating whatever is being taught into how I can better run TCP or Sweet Lemon... that's sort of like studying right?)

I hope this even makes sense.  It's really hard to describe what I feel, what I'm going through, how the people around me are inspiring me, how I feel so supported... It's been a challenge to find a way to put it into words.

Has anyone else experienced this?  Do you want to, but haven't quite gotten there yet?

xoxo

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Live Writer

So remember how my old Macbook hit the dust?  Two reasons why I didn’t panic.  The first was that all my old information was totally and completely backed up.  The second was that I’ve been using my Sony Vaio as my primary laptop this semester.

 

It has turned out to be the most perfect size for bringing to class.  I had a netbook last year, but it was too small.  11 inches permits a large enough keyboard so it’s comfortable to type, and a large enough screen so it’s comfortable to view.

 

But my favorite part is more about the software program: Windows Live Writer.  Seriously, blog posts are so much easier to write, draft, and publish with the program. 

 

Live Writer

 

(Unlike Macs, Windows doesn’t have a shortcut to screenshot… There’s a tool called Clipper, but it’s a bit of a hassle to open it up every time I want to clip something.)

 

See?  You can draft a post exactly as it would appear on your blog.  It gives you a much clearer idea of what the final post will look like.

 

Using the Blogger platform and interface limits what you can do.  For example, I always get annoyed when I can’t resize my pictures to the exact size I want.  Does that bother anyone else?  Small, Medium, and Large just doesn’t do it for me!!!

 

All the usual function of Blogger is available, but you can also download cool plug-ins like a Polaroid Picture application.

 

 

Lots of fun!

 

Does anyone else use Windows Live Writer?

 

xoxo

 

PS I did receive the Sony Vaio to use and test for the year, but all of my reviews are completely unbiased!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Unabashedly Prep

The story of how I met Fred (the @FECastleberry himself) from Unabashedly Prep is quite unbelievable.  In fact, I actually didn't believe it!

Little V's boyfriend is working on an insanely awesome project (don't worry, I'll totally fill you in when I'm allowed to) and he was in DC doing a shoot for it.  He called me to find out how to use the university's new wireless network.  Randomly, I blurted out saying that he just absolutely HAD to connect with "this guy who's great at photography; he has a blog and his name Fred."

Literally, Jack handed the phone over to Fred.  And I think the first thing I said was something along the lines of, "Yea right.... Jack, this isn't funny."  Way to blow the first impression.

It was so weird.

Long story short, he's AWESOME.  First as a photographer, and even more so as a person.  Love him!


I was so excited to see my "Dress Code" picture up on Unabashedly Prep this morning!

xoxo

Francesca Joy

I'm sure you guys have heard about Francesca Joy already (and if you haven't... you're in for a treat!)

The Palm Beach based brand is just so cool.  With custom painted totes, and now fabric, Francesca Joy is perfect for preps of all ages and locations.




You can get custom painted maps on your tote.  I love the Newport tote bag!!!


So OLD (aka none of the new "modern") Lilly, right?  Oh, I'm in love!

I heard that Elise (from Francesca Joy) was going to have a table set up in Sherman Pickey, which is right up the road from Georgetown University.  I, of course, popped into the store to meet Elise and see everything in person.  LOVE!


I tried on the silk dress.  It is beyond fantastic.  The fabric is so smooth and the lining is impeccable.  My favorite part was the neckline!


Elise and me!

Have you heard of Francesca Joy before?  Are you as big of a fan as I am?

xoxo

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

snack time

Lifeguard Press sent me a Lilly Pulitzer reusable snack bag at the end of the summer.  I knew I would use it, but I didn't realize how awesome it really is.

Skipping on the plastic sandwich bag is a little way to reduce the amount of plastic we use on a daily basis. I'm trying to be better when it comes to being green.  This is an easy change, that can be cute and functional at the same time.

My classes go straight through the day, so I never have time to sit down and eat lunch.  (I love being able to have a nice, long breakfast to get my head ready for the day!)  I try to grab a bagel with peanut butter to eat in between two of my afternoon classes.  The sandwich bag is the perfect size and it's surprisingly easy to clean!

My Lilly one is great!  There are also other (preppy) options to take a look at as well.


Pink Elephants via Etsy


Polka Dots via Etsy


Social Pink Circle via Itzy Ritzy


Whale Watching Pink via Itzy Ritzy


Sunny Jungle via PB Green

Anyone else use these reusable bags?  Where are yours from?

xoxo

Monday, September 26, 2011

Protect and Defend

I recently experienced the terrifying event that every college student dreads.

My Macbook was rendered useless.  It had issues last year, but mainly easy-to-solve ones like old batteries and loud whirring.  This time, it was d-o-n-e.  Thankfully, the situation wasn't as debilitating as it could have been.  Why?  Because I've been backing up my laptop religiously.

Are you protecting your laptop properly?

There is an easy, and painless, way to make sure you get the longest life possible from your computer while at school.  And, there is an easy, and painless, way to make sure you don't lose all of your files if something does happen to your laptop.


Step 1: Back it up.


That tiny black rectangle houses all of the information on my Macbook.  I did not lose one file!  Everything is safe and I've restored everything to my new laptop.  Phew.

I use a Western Digital "My Passport" portable harddrive and Time Machine.  The harddrive is super small; I carry it with me to and from class, the library, etc.  Spend time researching harddrives to make sure you get the best one for the size and type of data you need to back up.

Step 2: Protect it.

On a daily basis, you should make sure you're taking care of your laptop.  Don't leave it on a table with drinks (or messy friends with drinks).  This is hardest for me when I'm in the library consuming coffee like it's my job, but the more I drink, the shakier I get.  Coffee cup away from electronics!

Find a case that fits your personality.  You're much more likely to use a cute case, than an industrial boring one.  Once you find one (or three in my case... no pun intended), USE IT!  Don't throw laptops into backpacks without having the proper protection.  The right case will prevent scratches, and add cushion for less-than-graceful backpack placements.

Check out my cute laptop sleeve picks:


1) Kate Spade2) Kate Spade, this one has a great pocket!
3) Fossil4) Vera Bradley5) InCase6) Orla Kiely 

What are your laptop protection tips?

xoxo

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Alexa Chung + Madewell

Having a Madewell just down the road from me is quite a blessing (and a curse as far as my wallet is concerned).  During move-in, Soccer Mom and I popped in to pick up my (new favorite) leopard belt.  The manager was super super super nice, and, naturally, Soccer Mom blurted out that I had a blog.

She informed me about a few Madewell events.  One of the events was an in-store visit by Alexa Chung!!!  I had seen a few previews on various fashion blogs and magazines, so I was super excited.

Last night, I popped into the store to meet and greet!

1) I love the entire line.  It's pretty and feminine and soft.
2) Alexa was extremely friendly.  I felt bad because there was this huge line and she was kind of just stuck standing there.  Regardless, she was so nice to everyone that went to meet her.
3) There was a whole British theme going on which was so great.


Can I just say... she is beyond gorgeous.  Flawless really.  I don't even really want to post the picture of pale short me standing next to her!!!


I'm wearing the Alexa Chung for Madewell Dolores Dress, which is apparently sold out everywhere... and selling on eBay.  I like it too much to ever think about reselling it!!!  I threw on a J. Crew Jackie cardigan, belted with the leopard, and slipped into comfortable J. Crew ballet flats

Alexa is wearing the Alexa Chung for Madewell Bunny Dress.


I loved the photobooth!


Pimm's... Henley Flashback!




I had tons of fun!

Have you checked out any of the Alexa Chung for Madewell collection?  What do you think?

xoxo

Saturday, September 24, 2011

kikki.K

I have Carlee from Deliciously Organized to thank for this new new new addiction.

kikki.K is pretty much like my version of nirvana.  All sorts of organized.

Wow.

How did I not know about this sooner?  Carlee, thank you!




A book for goals!  It does not get any better.


want.need.

Unfortunately, they're in Australia.  I think this calls for a trip down under.  Yes???

xoxo

PS If anyone has seen similar products in the US, let me know!!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy Birthday Soccer Dad!




love you!

(number 1 TCP Inc investor so far haha)

xoxo

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Something I'm learning...

... with TCP Inc in full swing, I'm actually having to follow accounting practices.

Which means, I have to actually use what I learned about basic accounting in class... or re-learn what I forgot.

cinemagraphs

I can't get over the beauty of these things.  I honestly don't know why, but I could stare at a good one for hours.  It's fantastic.  Pure brilliance.

Cinemagraphs came about after two photographers (Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck) mixed videography components into photographs.  The result is awesome.

Photobucket

The key is subtlety.
(via)

I love it too much!

xoxo

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Specifics

Lots of requests for where specific aspects of the outfits from the Today.com shoot were from.  Definitely worthy of its own post on College Prep.  Not to mention, I just love the pictures!



Loafers: Eastland
Jeans: Joe’s
Top: Hype, $120



Blazer: Zara
Boots: Bernardo
Bag: H&M
Sunglasses: Ray-Ban



Blazer: Urban Outfitters
Necklace: J. Crew
Tank: J. Crew
Skirt: J. Crew
Socks: J. Crew
Boots: Hunter



Dress: American Retro
Blazer: Theory
Shoes: Melissa



Blazer: Gap
Bag: Nordstrom BP
Flats: Steve Madden



Eyeglasses: Ray-Ban
Scarf: Macy’s
Tunic: Old Navy
Legging: Target
Boots: Target



Sweater: Claudie Pierlot
Clutch: Target



Eyeglasses: Ray-Ban
Polo: Lacoste
Bracelets: Kate Spade

Phew!  Lots to look at!  You should have seen the Ladies Lounge while the girls were getting ready.  SO MANY OPTIONS!

xoxo

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Trail Blazing


My blazer collection has grown significantly since the summer.  I really can't tell you how amazing I believe blazers to be.  I can't think of any outfit that they can't improve!!!

I have various blazers from different places, but lately J. Crew has been knocking it out of the park.  (Is anyone else's bank accounts veryyyy mad right now?)

The School Boy Blazer is fantastic.  All colors, all weights.  Fantastic.


I got this blazer for my birthday.  Let me tell you... I LOVE IT!!!  It's going to be perfect for fall and winter!  Eep!


(I'm such a sucker for elbow patches!)


Loving the camel and grey as well.  The wool is so perfect for chilly D.C. weather.


Who else is stocking up on J. Crew schoolboy blazers?

xoxo

Monday, September 19, 2011

In the Closet

Closets are like the scariest thing when you think about dorm rooms.  You're never sure what you're going to get... and how you're going to fit it all in there.

I divide all my clothes into "Phases."  Currently, I only have Phase 1 & 2 with me at school.  Basically, these phases will get me through October.  Just barely into "chillier" weather.  Phase 3 & 4 are mild and heavy winter clothing and necessary shoes.

I also try (I really really really do try) to not bring that much stuff.  It's one thing to have it all up here, and it's another to try to coordinate getting it out.  Especially, when I have zero clue on when/where I'm moving after I graduate.


Shoe organizers are pretty much required.  Belts, hats, and scarves fit well in the mesh pockets too.


Having two bars is a-ma-zing.  Can you tell... I even have a bit of room!!!

What are your organization tips for small closet spaces?

xoxo

Sunday, September 18, 2011

PREP TALK :: New and Improved

Prep Talk is new and improved ladies and gentlemen!  (Do gentlemen besides Soccer Dad even read this???)

The collaboration began this summer, and we're finally ready to roll out the brand spanking new design.  Nico and Lala are truly graphic geniuses.  I mean, seriously, they're brilliant.  They gave me tons of options to choose from and basically could read my mind.  It's exactly what I had in mind.  I love them!!!


That's the new header!
(I think Nico, Lala, and myself were all surprised I didn't pick the pink and green versions.)

Be sure to check out the issue tonight (sign up here).  It's releasing at 7pm so check those inboxes!

Oh, and guess what.  The newness doesn't end with just the design.  The Prep Squad has undergone some moving and shaking.

Want to meet the new Prep Squad?


Tariro of Peppermint + Ivy.  You may remember that Tariro won the Polyvore and vineyard vines tote contest this summer.  I was so impressed with her knack for putting together super cute outfits.  She's a great addition to Prep Talk.  (Also, her outfit for tonight matches the new design... and she didn't even know!)


Little Miss from How I Met Your Father is taking over the relationship advice!  (Definitely not my personal forte!!!)  I've been reading HIMYF for a long long long time, so I'm even more excited to have LM on board with us!


Emily from Stylish.Classy.Creative is curating some really great recipes for Prep Talk readers.  The recipe tonight looks really good... so good, in fact, that I'm desperately hunting around campus for someone to bake it for me!

And, last but not least...


Lauren from LittleLG.com.  She is the newest new member of the Prep Squad!  Lauren is totally, totally, totally an expert in all things beauty products.  Again, not my forte.  I can't wait to read about (and buy!) all the products she suggests!

Thank you again NICO AND LALA.  The design is so amazing and so Prep Talk!

xoxo

PS Have you been on Nico and Lala's website recently?  It's new too!

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