Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Monday, August 29, 2011

Back to School: My Morning Routine

Back to school is such a hectic time, and one of my biggest struggles with going back is getting back on a normal sleep schedule. After months of long, late summer nights, shifting back to getting up early can seem like a monumental task. One of the best ways to combat this, and really just to be more organized and efficient all year, is to create and follow a routine for your morning. For me, this really cuts down the time it takes to get ready since pretty much every step is already planned out for me, and I can go from one thing to the other without having to put too much thought into it.

Here's a glimpse into my typical morning routine:
  • 5:00- Wake Up
  • Shower
  • Throw on some cozy clothes
  • Do my makeup, with my hair wrapped in a towel
  • Catch up on blogs, email, youtube, etc. (usually while I'm doing my makeup...)
  • Blow dry and style hair
  • Eat breakfast
  • Put on my outfit for the day
  • Accessorize
  • 6:50 Collect my phone, iPod, house key, wallet, lip product for the day, etc.
  • Double check that my backpack is organized and ready for the day
  • Take my lunch out of the fridge
  • Make tea, coffee, etc., or grab a water bottle
  • 7:15 Hop in the car and drive to school!

Of course, this routine varies depending on what time I get up and if I have any additional tasks to accomplish in the morning, but this is generally what I end up doing.

The most important thing about creating a morning routine is finding a pattern that makes the most out of your time and helps you to feel calm, prepared, and ready to start your day!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Back to School: What's in my Backpack?

It's hard to believe, but my senior year of high school begins in just over two weeks! I know so many of you are also about to go back, or have just started, so I figured I'd better get my butt in gear and get started with some back to school videos. My plan is to start with this general overview of what I take to school with me, then go into specifics, so here is part 1 of my back to school series, all about
What's in my Backpack!

Correction: It's the Deluxe backpack, not the Super Deluxe. Sorry about that!

In the video, I mentioned my "How-To: Preppy Monogrammed Binder Cover" post- definitely go check that out if you're looking to spice up your binders a little bit this school year!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Rain is a Good Thing

If we're talking weather, I have one word to describe the past couple weeks: crazy! Almost every day starts out warm and sunny, and by afternoon it turns into some of the loudest, most intense thunderstorms I've ever heard. They go late into the night and, while growing up near a fire station left me with the ability to sleep through even the loudest noises, the super bright lightning is not exactly soothing.

While I actually do love thunderstorms, the recent downpours only emphasized a BIG problem for me: I have no rain boots! While I LOVE my Duck shoes, they are definitely more of a 'It's wet/ icy outside but not necessarily raining/ snowing' shoe rather than a 'It's raining cats and dogs/ snowing wildly' shoe.
Part of the reason I bought Duck shoes to begin with was because of the issue that I've had with rain boots for a super long time now:

They don't fit over my calves!

Now, I promise you all I do not have cankles! However, 12 years of dance has left me with some hefty leg muscles, and nothing seemed to want to cover them.

I searched high and low. I checked Target, Marshall's, TJ Maxx, 2 different DSWs, and several other stores quite regularly, hoping I would find something that fit my legs normally without having to buy the boots super big. But, alas, I found nothing.

I really adore Hunter wellies as they are an absolute classic, and the brand has been approved by HM, Queen Elizabeth II and HRH, The Duke of Edinburgh as the official supplier of waterproof shoes for the royal family. If that's not a sign of great quality, I don't know what is. If they're good enough for the Queen, they'd be good enough for me! 

However, I'd always assumed that I'd have the same issue and that they just wouldn't fit.

Fast forward to this week. I was perusing the Hunter website, and upon seeing the original short boot, this thought came to mind:

Maybe my problem wasn't the fit of the boot, but the height.

So, this weekend, I set out to purchase my new-found perfect boot, and I was quite successful! I went to City Sports, and was pleased to see that they fit my calves perfectly! 

The original short wellies are normally $115, but I happened to receive a coupon in the mail this week from City Sports for 20% off any item, which brought the price down to just over $90! Mom and I decided to split the price 50/50, and I couldn't be happier with my purchase! I am in love with my new wellies, and with the weather lately, I'm sure I'll get a chance to wear them very soon!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Once again this week I'm linking up with Jamie at This Kind of Love for
What I'm Loving Wednesday!

I'm loving that I got a fabulous tan at the beach last week! I am not a fake bake kind of girl, but I love having natural color to my skin!

I'm loving that there is officially less than 3 weeks until school starts! I can't wait to get the ball rolling with senior year and get back on a consistent schedule!

I'm loving that my third set of senior portrait proofs came in and they (finally) look great! I have my favorite picked out and now all we have to do is order- I definitely plan on doing a reveal post when it comes in!

I'm loving my new cartilage piercing! As I mentioned in my vacation post, I'd been thinking about doing it for a while, and decided to just go for it! I knew I wanted to have it done with a needle instead of a gun, and there were quite a few tattoo and piercing shops around, so I shopped around and got it done.
Right after I had it pierced
I'm loving Pinterest so much. Seeing everything and grouping everything into my own categories never fails to inspire me and give me great new ideas! It is definitely a great way to spark your creativity! Check out my profile or let me know if you want an invite!

What are you loving this week?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Lunchtime Love: Pita Crisps!

Back to school time is quickly approaching, and one thing that's one my mind? Lunch. I hate school food. Like, would not touch it with a 39-and-one-half foot pole hate. Therefore, I'm always looking for tasty, healthy new options to brown bag take in my tres adorable VB lunchbox to school. 

While perusing this months issue of Seventeen, I came across an idea that looked both tasty AND super do-able for school: toasted pita!

I decided to put my own spin on their idea, so here's my recipe for homemade, healthy pita crisps!

1. Cut one whole pita (I used whole wheat) in half. Put one half away.
2. Cut the other half in half, and then in half again, to make 4 triangles.
3. Since pita is inherently doubled on itself, each of the 4 traingles can be cut on their crease to make 8 single crisps.
4. Heat a small frying pan over medium-high heat. If it isn't Teflon coated, spray it lightly with olive oil.
5. Spray one side of each crisp lightly with olive oil.
6. Lightly sprinkle with salt and garlic powder.
7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 on the other side of each crisp, leaving out the garlic.
8. Place the crisps four at a time onto the hot frying pan, flipping midway through, until they are golden brown.
9. Serve with a side of salsa and lots of fresh veggies!

Here's one way I ate mine this week:

The great thing about homemade is that you can tailor this recipe to what you like- don't be afraid to mix it up and try all different seasonings and sauces for your crisps!

Happy Lunching!

Annnnd We're Back!

Hello Ladies!

I'm back from vacation and feeling great! It was wonderful to spend lazy days on the beach and spend some QT with the family... getting a fab golden glow didn't hurt either!

Here's a few pics I snapped while we were at the beach:

It was a little overcast when we first got there...

But in the next couple days the sun came out and the weather was absolutely gorgeous!

We did some of our favorite activities like go-carting, shopping, and eating at great restaurants.
One steakhouse had this taxidermied bear- I HAD to get a picture!
While we were there, I also ended up getting my ear pierced again! I'd been thinking about getting my cartilage pierced for a while, so I decided to just got for it, and I'm loving it!

Overall, we had a wonderful vacation! Definitely a great way to end out the summer!

Have a fabulous week!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tuesday Tunes

Today I'm headed off to the beach with my family! Road trips and lazy days in the sun are the perfect time to crank up some great music!

Here's some tunes that I will definitely be jamming to on my vacay! 

"Save Me, San Francisco"- Train

"Remind Me"- Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood

"Mayberry"- Rascal Flatts

"Honey Bee"- Blake Shelton

"All Over Me"- Josh Turner

Have a fabulous week!

Monday, August 8, 2011

My Fall Fashion Must-Haves!

Wow. This is my first post in over a week- so sorry ladies! It's been a hectic week, and tomorrow I'm headed off to the beach for a few days so I won't be posting much this week either (although I'm thinking of leaving a scheduled post...), but here's a little something I've been wanting to do for a while:

August is officially upon us. While some of us have over a month left and some just a few weeks, it is an undeniable fact that Summer 2011 will soon come to a close. But don't fret, because that just means my absolute favorite season is just around the corner: Autumn! There are so many things I love about Autumn- the crisp air and chilly weather, Halloween, going to a local orchard with friends, getting back into a school schedule, and, of course, getting back into all my fall clothes!

Here are a few of my fall must-haves that every lady should have in her closet:

A black turtleneck
A long sleeve, black turtleneck is the perfect combination of function and fashion. Not only will it keep you toasty warm, but it super easy to accessorize. I love to wear it with a statement necklace or bright scarf, and the black will match practically any color you choose! I have some from Target that I love, and they're a steal at only about $10 each!

Leggings are definitely a staple in my wardrobe- I probably wear them more than I wear jeans or jeggings. They keep your legs warmer and are more comfortable with jeans. They look great with tons of different types of shoes, from flats to boots to pumps. I buy mine at Modell's because I've found that athletic leggings look and fit very similiar to the ones you'd find in a clothing store, but are so much more durable.

So many people hate on leggings, but I have to say I am a believer. I actually find jeans really uncomfortable, so jeggings give me the look of wearing jeans, but I end up being much more comfortable. Don't get me wrong, some are hideous- too much legging, not enough jean, but I've found that the secret to the perfect jegging is for them to be just a little more jean than legging. I love the pair that I got from Target, and at only $20, you can't go wrong!

Little Black Flats
Black flats are like the infamous "little black dress", but for your feet. They're a super versatile, classic way to complete almost any outfit, and definitely a go-to in my wardrobe. I actually wore out my last pair after only 2 seasons because I wore them so much, but I just scooped up the ones pictured above ( Sperry Top-Sider Women's Ashby Flat) at DSW and I cannot wait to wear them!

Cardigans are a super easy way to mix up your wardrobe. Layering one over a shirt automatically adds more depth and interest to your outfit, without bulking you up. They're also a great way to extend your clothes over multiple seasons- take your favorite summer tank, throw a cardigan over it, and you're set for a crisp fall day! A black one is pretty much a staple since it will go with practically anything, but don't be afraid to mix it up with other colors- I have  pink ones, blue ones, purple ones, etc. and I've found they add an awesome pop of color over a dark top!

What are your must-haves items for Fall?