Thursday, May 31, 2012

Great Gift

The other day I instagrammed (can we make that a verb?) my newest necklace. I am beyond in love with it and considering the comments, tweets, and emails I received inquiring about it... I figured I wasn't the only one!

It is honestly one of the most creative and most heartfelt pieces of jewelry! It's the "Favorite Place" necklace by Jill Massey from Sydney Buchanan. You choose a special place and the front of the necklace has the geographical coordinates and the back can have a message.

The picture shows the front and back of mine.

I chose the coordinates of Georgetown and the date that I graduated!

How awesome is that?

Other ideas:

Place of engagement
A special vacation
Your favorite city

I think this necklace would make a great gift for graduations, birthdays, special days, anniversaries, and more!

What city would you choose?


PS Using Google Earth to find the coordinates is really fun!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Organize, Please... Bathroom Drawers

I think that the bathroom is one of the most difficult places to organize. I tend to hoard old makeup (even though I never plan on using it again), free samples, random hair things I'll never wear, etc. The drawers can end up becoming "junk drawers" really quickly.

It's pretty intimidating when you know that there is a ton of junk collecting in the drawers... it seems easier to just let the drawers be than to really dig in and do a good clean out.

Since moving back from D.C., I've slowly been working on getting my bathroom in order. I worked in steps. First, I take everything out. I go through once and do the easy tosses. Broken ponytail holders, old cosmetic boxes, empty hairspray bottles, etc. Then it gets a little harder. If I haven't used something in the past month, it gets tossed. See ya!

I used to hang my hair ribbons here, but I don't wear them anymore. The holder looked quite sad and lonely without anything on it, so I ended up hanging all my necklaces up! I love the way it turned out. (You can find similar hooks at Anthropologie!)

I keep these little jars on the top of the counter. Filled with cotton squares and q-tips, they're always within reach!

The first drawer is where I keep things I need quite regularly. It makes getting ready in the morning so easy having everything I need right there. In the drawer I keep the makeup I use regularly, hair things, and hair brushes.

I use my Lilly shotglasses, to hold all my hair ties. One holds bobby pins and clips, one holds athletic holders, and the other has regular hair ties. Shotglasses are surprisingly the perfect size for little odds and ends around the bathroom that would otherwise get lost!

The second drawer is filled with makeup I wear, but not on an everyday basis, headbands, and hair spray. I never know how to organize headbands... I don't wear them that often anymore (because I wear eyeglasses), so it's not really a big deal how I end up organizing them. I keep all my "soft" headbands rolled up in that Kate Spade box. I tend to use those more, like when I am at the pool, washing my face, or combatting major frizzies.

I store all my jewelry in the last drawer! It's my favorite one!

Being able to see my favorite bangles is important. I like to know what colors I have so that I can choose the right bracelet! (Even though I'm guilty of wearing the same ones nearly every day!) I like these little baskets. (True story, I used these baskets for a project in elementary school... but they're just so great that I still use it haha.)

I keep earrings in another Kate Spade box, and just grab ones that I need as I go.

Using jam jars is fun for toothbrushes!

This middle drawer holds a bunch of random stuff. Face creams, cleanses, and lotions. Pills, extra floss, and travel sized toiletries.

I have a serious obsession with these flossers. I used another shotglass for the extras!


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

must read

Shorts + Sandals

I love shorts and sandals. I think it's my favorite part of the summer. (Or at least top ten...)

Of course, I do love my riding boots and corduroys for the fall and winter. But shorts and sandals are SO easy and, most importantly, SO colorful. I mean really, even with a plain white tee you're totally good to go with a bright pair of shorts and fun sandals.

Critter shorts, printed shorts, and chino shorts.
Espadrilles, flip flops, and flat sandals.

Shorts and sandals are perfect, whether you're at the beach or the pool or just running errands around town. Use this as your style guide for the summer staple:

Vineyard Vines | Shorts + Sandals

Lilly Pulitzer | Shorts + Sandals

J. Crew | Shorts + Sandals

What's your favorite combination?


Monday, May 28, 2012


Summertime is the perfect time to accessorize with natural materials. Straw bags and hats have been a summer staple for, well, a long time.

Maybe it's because bulletin boards are being replaced with trendy chalkboard walls and magnetic whiteboards... cork is totally making a comeback in a new way: accessories! It seems a little strange, yes? But cork is actually pretty cute, especially for shoes, handbags, and other accessories. It's not something that you'd want a million pieces in, but a few here and there in your summer wardrobe and I think you're good to go.

I pulled some of my favorite cork pieces. Tons of brands have incorporated cork in one way or another:

Top to Bottom:

What do you think of the cork trend? Is it something you'd want to incorporate into your summer wardrobe?


Sunday, May 27, 2012


I've been wanting to share this exciting piece of news for a long time! Kate Spade asked me to style a dress at my graduation for their blog. Obviously, I jumped at the opportunity! It was so much fun picking out which dress I wanted to wear and which accessories to match.

The post on Kate Spade's blog went live last week and it was such a thrill! I loved hearing your tweets and seeing your comments on the post, Instagram, and Facebook... it means so much to me!!!!!! I was so excited to share my special day with everyone. And a huge thank you to the Kate Spade team for asking me to be a part of such a fun series on the blog.

Read the rest of my interview here.


So a bit of a confession, I took most of the pictures for the blog before my actual graduation. If you've been here for more than a month, you've probably already figured out that I'm quite the planner. I'd much rather be early than late... I like lists... and I hate feeling stressed!

I wanted to make sure that my pictures for the post (and pictures to keep forever) looked amazing. Luckily, there are tons of great photographers in the D.C. area. Naturally, I didn't just find a great photographer... I found the BEST photographer!!!!

Carissa Gallo is ridiculously talented. I found her because she takes gorgeous pictures of Taza and her family (aka one of my favorite "Mom Blogs"). I contacted her and was SO excited for her to photograph me in the KSNY dress. I thought the pictures came out beyond amazing.

I wore:

As awkward as it was posing for graduation pictures on campus two weeks before actual graduation, it turned out to be great! On the day of actual graduation, all the pretty parts of campus were swarming with people and covered in tents.

These are my favorite shots! Eep! So fun!

THANK YOU Kate Spade and Carissa Gallo for making my graduation that much more memorable.


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Giveaway x Four

This is a HUGE way to kick off the summer giveaway series! Four giveaways from tons of bright companies! Ooh, I'm excited and I think you will be too!

There are four prizes which means there are four winners! Enter all of them for the best chance of winning.

First up, is a $50 giftcard to Modern Posh. The website is filled with great personalized gifts and paper products.

I love the personalized notepads. A great hostess gift, graduation gift, birthday present... or just something for your own desk!


Glitzy Things has a great selection of trendy, classic, and even monogrammed jewelry. The winner of this giveaway will win a $50 online gift certificate!

I love all the bangles, you could really collect a ton of them and make great stacks to match any kind of outfit.


Pea Pod Paper & Gifts has tons of gifts and accessories and paper products. They carry tons of my favorite brands like Lifeguard Press, Nico and Lala, and Whitney English. The winner will receive a $40 shopping spree!

The Whitney English madras sheets are adorable!


Last but not least, Three Designing Women is giving away a customized sorority stamper with two mix/match sorority designs!!!


Friday, May 25, 2012

Sock Bun

I've succumbed to the sock bun trend.

(In case you are unfamiliar with the sock bun, check out this video tutorial by Wendy's Lookbook.)

Now, I know tons of "fashion bloggers" can pull off this look for an everyday hairstyle. While I wish I were bold enough to rock a casual sock bun on a regular day, it's just not very Carly. My friend Courtney wears sock buns all the time and they always look perfect!!! The first time I met her she had this fantastic bun and I remember telling Mackenzie how jealous I was that she could pull it off. It definitely got the wheels spinning in my head about how I eventually wanted to wear one... it just had to be the perfect time and place!

Even Stephanie hopped on the trend and while we were shopping in Georgetown a few months ago. Sock buns get their name because you create a donut using and old cut up sock... but we found these hair donuts that work much better. You can get them in different colors based on your personal hair color (so you don't see it in your hair at all. We each bought one and Steph put hers in right on M St. (Quite a funny sight for anyone who happened to be around us!)

This was the first time I tried putting one in... and I liked the result! A lot... but I was still a bit apprehensive about actually wearing one outside. I really would never consider myself "trendy" or even super fashionable so I felt like I would look like I was trying to hard.

So the poor little hair donut sat in my drawer for a long time.

The night before graduation at Georgetown, the school throws a ball for the senior class and their families. I hunted high and low for the perfect dress. (Remember this post?) I went back and forth on length (short vs. long) and color... and ended up purchasing a dress online and having it overnighted. I seriously picked it up from the RHO the day before the ball... talk about cutting it short.

(Side note: Could Sporty Sister and I be anymore different???)

My dress: J. Crew
Sister's Dress: Vince Camuto 

I thought that with my tea-length dress, a slick and clean (versus a casual messy) sock bun would look more like an up-do chic hairstyle! I was super happy with how it turned out... no one could believe how quick it took to do. Sporty Sister and I got ready together and I had the bun complete in the time it took her to put makeup on one eye!

I was so excited to finally have be able to show Courtney that I was wearing a sock bun hahaha... She was the one who told me all the good tricks for making it look good!

Some more pictures from the ball:

All of the sophomore sisters! California Funk and Georgetown Boy both have sisters that are the same age as Sporty Sister... four years later and they were all finally in the same room!!!!!!! (I think I was more excited about this than anyone else.)


Has anyone else worn a sock bun before? Do you use a hair donut or a sock?


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Clutch at Your Heart

I'm not much of a handbag person. I have two Longchamps that basically get rotated every couple of days. I have a bunch of other handbags, but the Longchamps get the most love. For now at least.

I like to have a bag that's easy to carry around, but that fits a lot of stuff at the same time. It's almost a joke how prepared I am with my purse. Anything you could possibly need... I have, from earplugs to bandages to stamps to five flavors of chapstick. I've got you covered!

Lately, however, I've been wanting to carry smaller bags. And after carrying this clutch at the Jack Rogers party in NYC, I realized that clutches can be a lot of fun. Then I hit my favorite online stores for the cutest clutches I could find. Because I must weigh my options before selecting (one or two) to add to my wardrobe!

Hmm... I'm going to have a hard time deciding!

From Top to Bottom:

Which would you choose? What do you typically carry when you downsize to a smaller handbag?


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dream Closets

I'm back home in Florida for the time being. Yay? It's the best and worst thing all at once. On one hand, it's so nice because I can take a mini-break. The first night back and I slept for thirteen (!!!) hours straight. Talk about exhaustion. After weeks of staying up really late working on school stuff, I finally have a tiny break. But on the other hand, I'm back home. I feel like I took a giant step back. (And frankly, I feel completely out of the loop.) Florida feels like a completely different world.

One of the stresses of moving back home is having to move back in.

It's definitely the best motivation to try to get back out of the house ASAP. As much as I love my family, I hate not having a schedule and I hate not having my own space. After living in a single dorm room for the past nine months, I got used to having a space entirely for myself. Yes, my room is much larger than that tiny dorm room (actually my closet is even bigger than the dorm room), but it's very much not my own room anymore.

This in-between feeling is making me lust after apartments and, mostly, closets!!!

There are tons of great "dream closets" on Pinterest, but I can't find any that haven't been sourced with some sort of spam link. Errrrrr. (Why do people ruin things like that???) I have found a few great images of closets AND some great links of how to organize and create your own dream closet! Swooning!!!

This makes me want have a single color closet. How easy would that be to get dressed in the morning? Oh and I just think the closet is beautiful.

This sliding shoe organizer is so brilliant. Martha Stewart is too clever! One thing is certain... I have too many shoes! I try to donate pairs of shoes that I don't wear anymore, but I find that more and more shoes end up coming in than out. Hmmm. Funny how that happens! 

I love this one as well. I like how clean and open it is. And everything that you need for one outfit is within reach!

This custom closet is bright and cheery. As much as I'd love to have space between my hangers, it never ends up happening!

This is my closet at home from a few years ago... it definitely does not look like this now!!! Trust me. It's a disaster. Literally, I'm not sure why it's causing me so much anxiety, but it is. I'm using this to remind me of happier (read: more organized) days.


Martha Stewart offers a ton of great articles about organizing closets.

This Real Simple post has 31 Ways to Make Over Your Closet. Great advice for anyone!

(And for fun, if you're really tight on space, Real Simple shows you how to utilize closets in different ways!)

No closet? A likely problem for recent graduates living in super tiny spaces in metropolitan areas. Here's an article from Apartment Therapy to help you out!


As I was pulling images for this post, I stumbled on some great celebrity closets. Which celebrity has your dream closet???


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

black and white and red all over.

I like to stay on top of the news... but I find it so cumbersome to read an actual newspaper. In fact, I absolutely hate newspapers. They make my hands feel super dirty and they're so hard to maneuver. Am I the only one who feels like this? Also, I wish I could say that I was super grown up and sat down every morning with a cup of coffee and a newspaper (the definition of "grown up" in my opinion!)... but I tend to spend my morning straightening my hair and/or touching up my nail polish. And I prefer to read a novel while I eat breakfast.

But I still need a way to stay up to date. Especially since I won't be in a classroom setting, where current events are talked about all the time, I'm coming up with ways in which I can read the news that fits with my personal quirks (read: keeping my fingers clean) and my unpredictable morning schedule.

I've come up with a bit of a system, but it's definitely a work in progress and I'd love to hear your opinion and what works for you.

One of my professors recommended signing up for The New York Times "Today's Headlines" emails. It's free, you can sign up here. It shows up in your inbox every morning (around 4 or 5 in the morning). I "star" it in my inbox and read a couple of articles throughout the day. There's no way I could read them all, but I love being able to pick and choose and see all the headlines for the day at once!

I try (read: try) to read one or two from each section... but admittedly sometimes I get bored and don't... whoops!

My favorite part is the quotation of the day. It's great because they're normally eye-catching enough and piques my interest enough into actually clicking through and reading.

If I have my iPad handy and I'm not working on a book (I download nook books generally), I will scroll through some articles in Flipboard. It's one of my favorite apps. (You can read more about my favorite academic iPad apps here.)

Twitter is also a great resource. It's the BEST solution for anyone on the go. I follow the New York Times, CNN, and the Today Show (because they tweet fun stories). All three have various news topics and it's the easiest way to get breaking news. Also, I find that if I'm waiting in line (or awkwardly standing in an elevator), I'll be scrolling through my timeline and find a few interesting news stories to read! Bite-sized tweets let me pick and choose which ones I end up reading.

Lastly, I'm obsessed with Newsweek. It's my favorite. I like to keep it for a weekend. Usually, I break off for an hour or two to have a leisurely meal by myself. Newsweek is the perfect length and it's a great balance of entertaining and informational and historical articles.

(from my instagram @collegeprepster)

What do you do to stay on top of the news?


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