it's a such a good gap year


SHOP THIS LOOK

The Gap store is going crazy in the sale department. Gap is saving me major $$ right now. Over the weekend, they had a 'scratch off' table where I was lucky enough to score a great card. I got a card that said "ANY shorts for $10". I flipped out! I tried on tons of shorts that were $50 and found the cutest denim pair. I got these $49 shorts for an amazing low price of $10. They are light-wash and great for summer looks! The entire store is going on sale in one way or another. Most items are 30, 40, up to 60% off! I picked out some of my faves for you to shop. Even though online items are pricier the in-store prices seem to be cheaper! Racer back tanks for $10? Seersucker lounge shorts for $13? Tie-dye v-neck for $14? Wide-stripe scarf for $15? Shop the many fabulous options!


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self-reflection sunday: tips for first time college students


I'm going to start a new series on the blog entitled "Self-Reflection Sunday", where I can dole out some friendly advice about life, college, relationships, and fashion. Today's introductory post is about college! If you didn't already know, I will be a senior (time flies....!) in the Fall and I wanted to write some advice for incoming Freshman about the 'college lifestyle'. Here's a quick background on my lifestyle though-- I prefer a Netflix night-in over a house party most of the time (I am a Grandma). But I am not a total hermit all the time so I hope this information can help you out!

College is seriously an eye-opening experience. In my opinion, not one specific thing in particular can prepare you for it. Growing up I lived with my parents and Grandma. My Grandma was an amazing lady who out of the goodness of her heart wanted to be in control of the laundry, cooking, and other household duties in addition to raising my sister and I while my parents worked. Because of this I never really learned how to do laundry, cook anything, or clean properly. I was ill-prepared when I realized I had to take care of myself for the first time ever. This takes me to my first tip...

1. Learn how to load a washing machine similar to the ones on your campus! Usually you can call and ask what types of machines they have and can Google how they work beforehand. This will be very important when you need to wash your clothes after a few days. Or, if you don't like that option you can ask your RA (resident's assistant, who will be in charge of your floor/building) for help.

2. Try to learn how to cook some easy meals! I also did not have a meal plan for any of my years at school because I did not want to eat the same food every day and it was pricey, so I suggest learning how to make simple meals will help you out! I can (now!) cook chicken, pasta, mac & cheese, turkey sandwiches, sweet potatoes, sides of spinach, and soups. If you want me to make a list of my daily meals while at school I can definitely do that in the future! Learning to cook took time and I failed miserably sometimes (I burned so much bread) but I am so thankful for my roommates for teaching me how to cook! Try cooking with your friends and you will pick up some tricks and tips from them for sure. Or, attend a free cooking class if your school offers some!

3. Download the apps. Most universities have their own apps for your cell phones to help you get around. I use an app called TransLoc that shows where all the campus buses are located and what time each of them will arrive. Your school may also have a Blackboard app where it connects all your school info (classes, schedules, building locations) that can come in handy! Pay attention to where your classes are located and find them on the maps BEFORE classes begin so you are prepared!

4. Talk to someone on the first day! I know, it sounds so scary! I am thinking right now and about 4-5 of my wonderful college friends were made on that very first day of classes. Think about it this way: everyone is afraid. everyone wants to make new friends. basically everyone will be open to talking to you if you try! And if it turn into anything at least you made an honest effort!

5. Buy in bulk! If you or one of your friends has a Sam's Club or Costco card, try to schedule a good time to make a run over to one of these stores. You can buy in bulk and save a ton of money in the long run! Also, going with your friends is a good bonding experience. Any you may be able to share food/other items with them!

6. Get informed and educated! Reading up on previous college students experiences can often help ease the nervousness you may be feeling. One really helpful book that I liked was the Her Campus Guide to College. Right now it is only $12, too. It covers a lot of topics--relationships, healthy eating, fiances, classes, and how to deal with it all in safe way.

7. Talk to someone if you feel super stressed out! Something that affected my life early on in my college career was my anxiety. I had no clue what anxiety was all about until I went to the counseling center at my school. Luckily the services they provide are included in your tuition and I was able to talk to someone about my stresses, emotions, and life in general. I highly, highly recommend doing this if at any point things get tough and you want someone with a professional perspective to talk to. Your mental health is such an important part of your life and it can affect you in many ways so remember to take care of your mind, body, and soul.

8. Call your parents! It is not lame to call your Mom or Dad every day. Spoiler: when you look around and other kids are on the phone, they are most likely talking to their parents! Catching up with the people you love back home keeps you aware of why you are at school. You want to make your family proud and letting them know what's going on can tighten the bonds you share. They also may worry so it's important to fill them in on a regular basis. Make a calling time that works for both your schedules is key!

9. Try not to sleep-in too much! When I was a Freshman, I had a class twice a week that started at 2:00 pm. What did I do? Sleep until 1:30 of course! I wasted my entire morning sleeping-in instead of catching up on homework assignments, cooking meals, or hanging out with friends. I regret this so much because it threw off my routine and made me unmotivated to work hard because after my classes ended I would be hungry and working on assignments late into the early morning. I recommend sticking to a sleep schedule so your body can wake up easier. Also it is shown to make you eat healthier and life a better life if you go to sleep and wake up at the same times every day!

10. It's okay to not be okay 100% of the time. Did I lie to my friends and tell them "Life is sooo good! Everything is great! I just love it here!" for the first few months into school? Definitely. Guilty. Although I loved the freedom, nonexistent curfew, ability to eat whatever I wanted, and football games--I found myself desperately wanting to go home. I wanted to be back where everything felt right. Where I knew what back roads to take to avoid traffic. Where my Grandma would make my favorite meal as soon as I walked into the house. Those things were gone. I'm here to tell you that it is perfectly okay to not be okay. Change is so tough and I don't know how some people can handle moving hours/states/countries away from their families and be able to get their life together quickly! I truly wish I could have been that strong when I started college...but here I am now. A senior. Do I know what the future holds? Nope. But somehow I know that I have come along way (I mean I can cook somehow!? My Grandma is proud) and that although nothing is certain, I have the ability to make each day better than the last.

To all summer students (like my little grown-up Maddie!) good luck in school! Focus on your studies, but try to branch out of your comfort zone once in a while. It may be frightening at first but it could turn into the greatest of memories. Want more advice!? Let me know in the comments what you think I should cover next. Thanks for reading this looooooooong post, I hope it was worth it.

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more issues than vogue




When Fierce Expression reached out to me I was so happy to style one of the cutest tops they sell for a seriously low price of $15! The "More Issues Than Vogue" tank top is hilarious for fashion lovers and fits so well into my wardrobe. The light pink shade is summer appropriate and paired with my scalloped Lilly Pulitzer shorts it is a nice daytime look. The shop has some amazing deals, like a 2 for $30 selection and a 2 for $50 area for shoppers. The pieces range in price from $10-54 and you must check out their clearance section! Have a great weekend friends!
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SHOP THE POST

what i'm loving: june 24th 2015

what im loving wed


It's finally the middle of the week! Here are some things I am loving right now...

1. Friends--I finally caved and started watching the first season during finals week (which at first seemed like a huge mistake, until I made great grades and owe my scholastic achievements to a pint of Talenti and Marcel the monkey) and I haven't stopped since! I can't get enough of the Ross/Rachel relationship and Chandler's dry humor makes me laugh out loud (ask my sister who's in the next room at 2 a.m.). I am now on Season 4 and the show keeps getting better and better. 

2. Aloe Vera Juice--I was told this juice can help in many ways, (not just with sunburns, like I said in my home remedies post!) because it can help with skin issues! It can help brighten your complexion and help you heal internally. It can help balance your immune system, keep your heart healthy, and aids in digestion. I've been drinking this stuff nonstop for the past few weeks! I buy the brand with the pulp in it and it is a great afternoon drink. 

3. Flash Tattoos--I first bought these last summer, before they really took off and basically every girl around my college was wearing one on the first day back to school in August! I think they are the easiest way to wear a fun accessory on your body. In this post last September I am wearing one on my arm! I own the Sophia tattoo set!

4. LUSH Face Mask Cosmetic Warrior--I already love the Mask of Magnaminty mask, but I wanted to try this one out when I stopped by the Lush store last weekend. This mask was recommended to me by the lovely staff because it helps draw out dirt and oil from your skin without irritating it. Although it has an insanely overpowering garlic smell, I can bear with it and let it sink into my skin for 10 minutes. Try it if you need a new mask for breakouts!
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orange is the new black



American Eagle Tank Top {$24.99} //
LOFT Shorts{$15 option}// Stone +Tassel Necklace

A simple and appropriate outfit for the hot summer heat is here! Some bright orange pops of color and my favorite super soft American Eagle tank is today's outfit of choice. The long tassel necklace I am wearing is from a local boutique, but some options include this Kendra Scott Necklace or this blue Agate Neiman Marcus find.  The LOFT shorts I have on are from Plato's Closet, but these $15 orange shorts are perfect!
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yellow and gray



Top {$5 option, $14 option, // Gray Mini Skirt {$12.95} // Brown Felt Hat {$28}

Good Monday morning readers! The look I am showing you today has some color--which is a nice change from all the black and white outfits I've been putting together! I nbought this tank top from Plato's Closet for only $1 {love this $5.99 Charlotte Russe one!}, my H&M skirt was $7, and my felt hat is old and I do not recall how much I spent on it unfortunately. This is a cute outfit for shopping, going out for lunch, and I wore it to see Jurassic World on Saturday! I like the pattern on this top and the tie-front style. Some more options can be found below! Have a great week :)
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summertime looks 2015

beach look


Today is the first day of Summer! I put together a few looks for the summertime that I absolutely love. They feature super cute Kendra Scott earrings, some pom pom shorties, and stripes--all the stripes! I also love Supergoop! sunscreen because it is a great product for my skin type! I talked about one version of the product that is not only an SPF 50 sunblock but mattifies your skin and can be applied over your makeup. A full review can be found here. Don't forget to apply sunscreen every 2 hours or else you could end up with a bad sunburn, in which case I listed some home remedies to help soothe your pain! I recently purchased some white Ked slip-ons that are great for walking around this time of year. Some more outfit looks can be found below! Click for details.


summer casual

denim + summer casual

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blue and white cut-out dress





Happy Saturday friends! Today I have plans to see Jurassic World (for the second time!) with my Mom because it was just.that.good! The other night I went out for dinner to celebrate my one of my dearest friends on the completion of her undergraduate classes at an adorable French restaurant, Cassis. The dress I am wearing is a gorgeous blue and white maxi high-lo dress from a Boutique in Tallahassee. It was on sale for $15 from $44! I have some great options below, but the exact dress can be purchased online, too. My gold Alex & Ani bracelets (the 'Best Friends' one and 'A' initial one are two I am wearing!) and rose gold Michael Kors watch are my accessories of choice. 
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lace & denim




White Tank Top {$8 Forever 21 find} // Cotton On Denim Boyfriend Shorts {$22, $25 //
Alex & Ani Bracelets

I may still be obsessed with the loose look of the boyfriend denim short trend! These I bought in the beginning of the summer from Cotton On for $15. These options are also fantastic compared to the boyfriend jean shorts I've seen for over $100--these light-wash pair are $25, or these distressed ones for $22! I've been wearing mine so much because they just make an outfit go from your run-of-the-mill "jean cut-offs & a top" to slouchy & effortless. The delicate lace top combines feminine texture with the ease of throwing on these boyfriend shorts. My slightly red lip color is from a product I love but have yet to talk much about on the blog--my Nivea Lip A Kiss of Cherry. The result is a light red tint that feels buttery smooth! It adds just the right amount of color.

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<< SHOP SIMILAR ITEMS >>

$1 denim vest







Forever 21 Denim Vest {$25 MANGO option} // H&M Shorts {$24} //
Aeropostale Striped Tank Top {sold out, $8 option} // Vera Bradley Clutch Wallet 

I was packing up my apartment this past weekend, but I still managed to find time to shop! On Saturday while visiting my local Plato's Closet I discovered that they were having a $1 sale. Bins and bins of clothes for only $1! I absolutely recommend shopping in stores like Plato's because they sell clothes that are in style and super, super affordable! I am going to post some more items that I found (and of course similar styles for you to shop!) Inside a bin I found this chic denim vest (originally from Forever 21! and I totally love this one) for only $1. I freaked out because I was just in a boutique where similar vests were going for up to $45. I can not wait to keep styling it...for this post, I am wearing my favorite striped Aero tank (check out this cute $8 striped top!) and H&M shorts. A bright clutch adds some color into this daytime look. Have a great day everyone!

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quick sunburn remedies


So you stayed outside a little too long and bam! your skin is bright red, itchy, hot, and uncomfortable. Ever been there? I sure have! As someone with super pale skin I frequently burn with even the slightest sun exposure. Even car rides, how annoying is that! And so have plenty of my friends...one of them came over to my house to this past weekend and she was suffering from sun blisters and redness on her face. I quickly thought of some ideas to ease to pain and wanted to dedicate a post to helping those who find themselves in need of remedies.

1. Cucumber Gel Mask

This product softens skin on contact, takes the redness away, and gives a nice cooling sensation. I used the Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask in order to give my friend instant hydration because her face had some dry patches. She loved this product because it helped give her quick relief! Cucumbers have natural antioxidant properties and

2. Mix Moisturizer {$9} and Grapeseed Oil w/ Vitamin E {only $4.29}

Using a leightweight and oil-free moisturizer, I mixed in some grapeseed oil and applied this to her face after the mask was on for 10 minutes. Grapeseed oil has benefits for treating sunburns, too! It is a helpful to minimize the effects of sunburns when applied to the skin. It also mixes so well with a moisturizer to create a combination of healing ingredients to really combat the aftermath of sun damage. Vitamin E also decreases inflammation.
3. Drink Water and Use an Ice Pack
Go old-fashioned: stay hydrated and drink tons of water! Applying an ice pack to the parts of your body that hurt will also ease your pain quickly.

4. Take a bath!
You have a few options here: take a milk bath, oatmeal bath, or a bath with apple cider vinegar to help promote the healing process.

Hope all these options help you during the summer! Remember to always carry sunscreen and re-applying is the key to staying away from future sunburns!
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monday makeup favorites {june 15th 2015}

monday makeup favorites june 15th 2015



I have been wearing this foundation for the past few weeks, as recommended by my facialist. She told me to try this foundation because it would give me the coverage I wanted but without the "cakey" look that most foundations can create. This was an investment for me, but it was so worth it! The foundation itself was $27 and I bought the pump for $10. The MAC girl also told me that this foundation should last me 5-6 months. I was color matched and I wear NW13, which is a light pale.

This kit is seriously the best $3 I've spent in some time! It not only comes with a setting gel, but with a great small tweezer! I think the shade is a universal brown, but if you use it sparingly along your eyebrow you can achieve your perfect color. The setting gel is great to lock in the pigments and I love carrying it in my tote while on the go. 

This is one of my favorite go-to mascaras. I actually got this mascara as a part of my point rewards at Sephora. It was 100 points and I had enough to get it for free! I absolutely love this product because it lengthens and coats my lashes really nicely. 

Here is my beautiful red-headed sister posing in my blog for the first time! She is wearing the Aveda Lip Color in Sheer Moonflower. It was her monthly favorite and I think she pulls this color off so well! I am probably going to make a series dedicated to redheads and have my sis model some looks that enhance the gorgeous red tones.



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tie-dye top and levi's





Levi's Cuffed Shorts {SALE $26 from $38} //

Happy Weekend! Today's look is a two piece superrr casual outfit. That can basically describe my entire summer #ootds...I just hate feeling uncomfortable in the 90 degree heat! Also, is it bad that I've worn this top two days in a row already? I sure hope not! I just love this tie-dye print. And the top is so soft because its rayon and spandex! I found this while browsing in the Macy's clearance section last week...and boy was I happy when it was only $7! The long sleeves may shout save me for the fall season but the top is surprisingly comfortable paired with some denim shorts, like the Levi's I found, too. At $26, these are going to be worn all summer long! These similar $17 Levi's are also a great pick. They simply are the best light wash denim shorts I've come across. 
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