Tuesday, April 29, 2014

My Favorite Pinterest Boards


So I saw this post over at and I just had to jump on the bandwagon. I'm a total Pinterest freak. It's my number 1 form of procrastination but I could honestly scroll through pages for hours. I love looking at it for fashion inspiration, crafting ideas, dream homes and (shameless) wedding ideas. I follow a lot of people but I do have my favorites.

I compiled a list of my favorite pinners and added links below. Just click on the image and it will take you over to their page!


                                     
                                

Bri Emery from designlovefest.com always has great pins coming up on my home page. She always has a lot of great DIY projects. 


Catie Veilleaux is definitely my favorite style pinner. She has a similar preppy style to me and I love looking at her page to find daily looks if I can't decide on what to wear in the morning. Another thing that is great is that she divides her fashion inspiration into separate seasons and pieces so it's super easy to navigate!


I also love all of the pins from Cathleen over at Classy Cathleen {check out her blog here!}. I love reading all of her pins on blogging. As a new blogger it's great to see all of the tips and daily post inspiration!


Karen Hofstetter has a lot of design pins on her page. I love looking at the typography section and she also has a great board full of patterns. I use a lot of them to tile as computer backgrounds!


Dallas Shaw is another one of my favorite pinners. She has my favorite beauty posts. She always has a lot of bright lip colors and easy hairstyles. 


If yore looking for some new people to follow head on over to Pinterest and look these girls up! While you're at it, pop on over to my account {here}

Hope you like what you see!
Emily


On that Finals Grind

     Finals Grinding


The dreaded finals week is finally here. Everyone is buzzing around the library organizing study groups, compiling review sheets and whirring away on laptops. During this week I wake up at 7:00 in the morning. Jump in the shower, get dressed and grab a granola bar before I trek over to the library. I work away until 2:00 at night and then head back to my room where I quickly collapse into my bed. Although finals weeks are hands-down the roughest weeks at school, I've gotten my routine down to a science and after 4 semesters (yikes!) I've learned how to survive.

After a few of these dreadful weeks, I've learned what I need to wear to be productive, the things I need to bring to keep myself focused and in general, sane! Seeing as I'm in the library round the clock I pack everything I need for the day. These days definitely call for backpacks. I usually bring textbooks and binders for 3 classes, if not all of them as well as some of my other essentials including my computer, iPad, agenda and chargers.

To class I like to dress up a little bit in a skirt or a dress but with finals, that goes out the window. It's really all about being comfortable. I've discovered a weird habit about myself that is: whenever I'm really focused on studying I'll pull my legs up in the chair and sit on one of my legs. Not very ladylike in a skirt. I'm pretty sure this stemmed from catholic school uniforms with nike shorts underneath. Anyways, when I know I'm going to be in the library for hours (studying hard enough to sit criss-crossed) I'll wear shorts or leggings. The library always has unpredictable temperatures so I usually am wearing a short sleeved t-shirt and have a hoodie or pullover with me at all times. I also like to kick my shoes off when I'm studying so I'll wear Sperrys or Chacos so that I can easily slide them off... and then back on to grab a coffee!

Apart from the clothes, I always make sure I have my reading glasses with me. Hours of staring at a bright computer screen can really give me a headache! Hair ties are a must. It's the worst when you're trying to study and your hair keeps falling in your face. Remember how the Violet in A Series of Unfortunate Events would always tie her hair back when she was about to invent something? You don't' have to use a red ribbon, but hair ties, headbands and bobby pins are life savers. My last few finals go-tos include the little miscellaneous items that save me from taking trips back to my room. I always bring a water bottle to study. I talked about it in an earlier post {here} but somehow drinking water occasionally provides enough of a split second study break to keep me on track for a while. If it works, I'm not questioning it! I also bring a tube of SoftLips chapstick and a pair of headphones. I always, always do work with headphones in. {here}They really keep me on track and allow me to tune out a lot of the distractions around me!

Everyone has little methods to keeping sane during this hectic week. What are some of your essentials for finals week library studying?

Emily

    
     

Monday, April 28, 2014

Burn Baby Burn


Well my dermatologist is actually going to kill me for saying this (and my 40-year-old self for that matter) but I love that first sunburn of the season. I don't know why? Maybe it's the fact that it means summer is coming, maybe it reminds me of my childhood on the tennis courts or maybe it's because I know deep down it will turn into a tan in a few days, I'm not entirely sure. I promise I'm not a masochist, I just love that feeling!

I finally got my first burn of the year this past weekend. First off, the fact that I had enough time to lay outside and get burned is a good thing. And second, goodbye ghostly legs! Hallelujah! Anyways, after the novelty of finally having that first burn sets in (literally), now you have to deal with it. We've all had those bad burns, the kind of burns where your skin peels for weeks, showers during those days feel like you're in the pokey from Matilda and sleep is, well, impossible.

I always keep Aloe Vera in my nightstand at home but seeing as I'm currently at school and I never assumed I'd be getting a tan in April, aloe hasn't been on my grocery list. So while I was laying in my bed, regretting that 4 SPF, I looked up some ways to combat the achey feelings of a bright red stomach. I'm not typically the kind of person to look for home remedies as opposed to buying the Target brand-name solution but I figured I would search Pinterest anyways. Here are some of the things I came across:

1. Earl Grey Tea Compress
2. Egg Yolks
3. Lavender Oil
4. Onions?

Okay, not really sure what I think about the onion but I'd be up to try any of the others. Pause. I'd try any of the others minus the egg yolk. An egg allergy and yolk all over my body might make for an interesting story but I'm not willing to risk it. So Earl Grey Tea makes it to the top of the charts for me! Fortunately by the time I woke up on Sunday the burn had faded (woot!) but next time I will definitely be up to try it. I always keep a box of Earl Grey tea in my room so I already have the supplies ready to go! Here's how it works:

Simply make three bags of tea and let it cool to a lukewarm temperature. Once it has cooled, use a soft rag to dip into the tea and dab the rag onto the sunburn. Apparently the key is to let the tea absorb into your skin instead of wiping it off. The tea is supposed to have instantly cooling effects and be able to get rid of a burn overnight?! 

Sounds to good to be true but desperate times… Although I didn't have aloe around, I saw another great idea on Pinterest! Freeze aloe vera! Honestly, how did I never think of this? So brilliant. It's instant relief when you get in from outside, you could place it on your skin while you're falling asleep and then the aloe's effects would take it from there. Genius, just genius.


So fingers crossed that this was the first and final burn of the season, but realistically I'm definitely prepared to face a summer of pool days and lake weekends. Have you ever tried any of these solutions?

Emily

Saturday, April 26, 2014

My picks from the JCrew new arrivals!

      J.Crew New Arrivals April




















J.Crew just recently put out their May items and I'm lusting after so many of them! I've been using my Study Abroad trip as an excuse to get some new clothes and that excuse is probably going to go for some of these pieces, especially the tops!

Lately I've been sizing up in my tops to get that looser breathable aspect. Each of the tops in my picture below    match that quality. The striped muscle tee is definitely a favorite and it even comes in a gold and white stripe! The Sea bag tote would be a great option for a pool bag. Talk about a Mary Poppins bag! The giant size could fit everything. The shorts would also be another great addition to my collection of JCrew chinos. They're the perfect length of shorts and I've had some pairs for years and the color hasn't faded and they've all held up in the wash. A+ in my book!

I'm definitely digging the new arrivals. Which ones are your favorite?
Emily


                    
                             

Friday, April 25, 2014

Friday Finds! Ben Rector does it all!


Ben Rector is one of my favorite artists. If I'm listening to a cd in my car there's a 99% chance that it's one of his. Pk introduced me to his first album and I've been hooked ever since. If you've never heard of him you should definitely look him up. He's been gaining a lot of popularity recently and his tours are getting bigger and bigger. All of his songs are pretty upbeat, and generally make-you-feel-good kinds of songs. If you take the time to really listen to the lyrics you'll be hooked too.

Although this video isn't new, it's one of my favorites. He took a classic song and made it his own. Quite literally, Ben does it all. In the video he plays every part of the music and it's pretty incredible to watch.

Enjoy the video and have a happy Friday!
Emily

Thursday, April 24, 2014

No Internet?! Say what?!



Sorry for my hiatus! The internet has been down at school since 8 AM this morning. Can you say hectic?! Especially on the last day of classes! People haven't been able to finish papers, projects and tests that were due today. Everyone has been frantically buzzing around the library and stress levels are definitely hitting an all-time high. It's crazy how dependent school is on the internet. It's also amazing, the transformation that education has had with the opportunities unlocked from internet access. Can you imagine writing a paper without JStor or LexisNexis? And Google…. I can't imagine.

Anyways I am back finally! Normal posts will be up and running tomorrow! Thank God tomorrow is Friday!

Emily

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Shut it down!


I've gotten into a terrible habit. I'll come back to my room after finishing up my day, put everything way and clean up a bit. I'll go through my nighttime ritual of brushing my teeth, washing my face and crawl into bed. Then what do I do? Pull my laptop onto my lap.

It's so unnecessary. I'll finish up little pieces of homework, answer emails, get on Facebook, look at clothes, play 2048 and other useless things before hitting the hay. I end up draining away minutes and even hours of sleep that I could be getting! Not to mention, this terrible habit has lead to difficulties falling asleep without my computer!

My bed needs to be for sleeping only! No emails, no shopping, no web browsing whatsoever! Separating my relaxation from my work environment is something that I've been trying to do during this finals time and this is a place that I needed to start a long time ago! I need to just shut everything down and shut my eyes.

Anyone else have this terrible habit?
Emily

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Treat Yourself Tuesday



I'm definitely a firm believer in "treat yourself Tuesday". Mondays are especially rough; meetings homework, finishing work left over from the weekend and preparing for the rest of the week. They end up being a complete whirlwind and by the time the work is all done it's time to go to bed. Really, if weeks were to start on Tuesdays I'd be alright with that!

Pick yourself up with a treat. I'm usually pretty good about eating healthy, especially while I'm at school and there are so many options but I let Tuesdays slide a bit. Blue bell ice-cream after lunch? Always. Maybe it's a short Netflix break in the middle of the day or a latte in the morning but I always need to settle down after the Monday rush and get into a steady groove for the rest of the week. There's nothing wrong with taking a little break when you need it. So treat yourself, you deserve it.

Emily

Monday, April 21, 2014

A New Easter Tradition: Cascarones!


The whole family was here for Easter weekend this year and by whole family I mean the whole family. Cousins and aunts and babies from all corners of the country were able to come together and it was such a great time. Seeing as yesterday was Easter my family had the traditional Easter Egg hunt however this year's had a slight twist. Our side of the family from Texas introduced us to the tradition of Cascarones! Instead of simply hiding eggs with candy inside, you hide eggs with confetti inside and what's the best part? You smash them over each other's heads! 

I definitely wasn't sold on it when I was hearing the explanation but once we started the hunt it was on! The eggs have been hollowed out and cleaned so their brittle shells make it super easy to break them open with your hands, or on the head of your brother!

Basically the rules are as follows: 
  • You'll hide the eggs in the normal fashion. We ended up just placing most of them amongst the grass in the yard which turned out to be convenient once we all started running around.
  • As you find eggs you try to smash them onto the head of other people and have the confetti fall out! Smashing the eggs soon turned into chucking them and eggs were flying all over the yard!
Pretty simple aye?!

We hid 25 dozen eggs around the yard and after five minutes the egg-hauling war was through. While this seems like a lot they're super cheap and fairly easy to make. I went ahead and provided the steps below! Although Easter has now passed the eggs would be great for a birthday party and I definitely want to do this with some of my friends at school!

Without further ado, the steps!


1. First you're going to take a couple dozen eggs (or however many you'd like) and them out. To do this simply take a knife, fork or needle to break apart a quarter sized opening on the top. Don't worry about it being too big, it will be covered later on. Drain the yolk and wash out the inside of the egg. 

2. After your hollowed out eggs have gotten the time to dry, dye them! We always used simple food coloring to dye our eggs. The longer they sit, the more saturated the color will be. The saturation later looks great in photographs of your big event!


3. Fill your eggs with confetti! You can buy confetti at a party store or use a hole punch with construction paper! Spoons or funnels are easy ways to scoop plenty of confetti into your hollowed out hole.

4. Now cover your hole with a similar colored piece of masking tape. It's also optional to wait to dye your eggs after you've filled them and the masking tape will match your egg a little better. 

Wait for them to dry and then voila! You've got your eggs! Beware, I'm still shaking confetti out of my clothes hours after the game ended but I've definitely fallen in love with this tradition and I know I'll be carrying this one on.


Does your family have any Easter traditions that they repeated yesterday?
Emily

Saturday, April 19, 2014

A Day at the Races

One of my favorite things about coming home in spring is that it's horse racing season. The Keeneland spring meet only runs for three weeks and I'm so happy that I've gotten to come home to catch it for the past two years. Keeneland is definitely something that reminds me of home and I couldn't imagine growing up without it. I have fond memories of Easter brunches here, Saturdays spent with the family learning how to bet and leaving school early on Fridays during the spring to head out to the track with my friends.

Even without seats there is nothing better than getting dressed up and heading out to the track. It's always good to catch up with people I haven't seen in a while and the thrill of the horses crossing the finish never gets old. The quote of the day was, "You win some, but you lose more" and it proved to be pretty true. I came home with a lot of useless betting tickets but all-in-all it was a great day.

{PK and I in between races}

{Watching the horses leaving the paddock}

{Understanding the racing program is definitely an acquired skill!}

{Enjoyed spending the day with the little brother!}

If you are ever in town visiting, Keeneland is a must-see. There's nothing like the Kentucky tradition of sun dresses, mint juleps and thoroughbred racing. If you have a little extra time a hidden gem is the Keeneland track kitchen. It's a tiny restaurant at the back of the grounds that serves one of the best breakfasts in Lexington. While the food is delicious, the best part is being surrounded by the jockeys and trainers. You'll have to get there around sunrise to catch them but the stories they tell are amazing!

$20 dollars poorer,
Emily

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Finds: My boyfriend is going viral?!

So this Friday Find is definitely my favorite so far! This video has been flying around TFM, TSM {here} and all over my Facebook Newsfeed! The video shows a group of fraternity boys dancing in Greek Spring Sing at Western Kentucky University and it's totally going viral! These boys did it right and did I mention my boyfriend is in it? It makes me laugh every time I watch it!


Many schools have similar events like Spring Sing. It's basically where all of the Greek organizations come together in a competition. They perform either skits, dances or songs and it's so much fun to watch! There are a wide range of how elaborate these performances are and let me tell you, these boys are the best I've ever seen. Needless to say, they won this year. Not only did they get the trophy for the competition but the video has over 20,000 views on Youtube! Talk about crazy! I'm definitely having to keep Pk's ego in check!

Take a minute to watch these boys "Bring Sexy Back". They're dancing to Justin Timberlake is not only impressive but also hilarious!

Happy Friday!
Emily

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Easter Dresses!

Easter is my absolute favorite. I love everything about it. I love the gorgeous spring weather, I love all the family that comes into town, I love elaborate brunches, pictures in the tulips and most of all, I love Easter dresses. Ever since I was a little girl, my mom and I would always go shopping to pick out the perfect Easter dress. It's one of my favorite spring traditions. From Lilly, to seersucker to coral tiered dresses I've had it all.

There are a few things that I always keep in mind when searching for the perfect Easter dress. For this day I tend to look for more modest fitting sun dresses. I lean towards more floral-esque dresses. That's definitely a term I just coined but what does that mean? Any sense of floral qualities whether this is in the actual print, or just in the overall color of the dress. It also includes any type of cut or detailing!

  Easter Dresses

This year when I was looking for that perfect dress I headed over to Shopbop.com to see what I could find and boy they had so many options! I narrowed it down to my top five and I'm in love with every one of them. I think the BB Dakota Shirley dress is the winner for me but you can be the judge!

Which one is your favorite?
Emily


          

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Phew!


I. Am. Exhausted. Absolutely exhausted. I feel like I've been burning the candle at both ends and it's really starting to hit me. Everything is piling up. My days have consistently been spent answering  constant emails, running from end of the year meetings and receptions to cramming for exams and papers. I got out of an exam at 11:30 tonight! I mean seriously?! My bed time is slowly getting pushed back further and further and it's definitely hitting me. I had been great about getting to bed at a reasonable time, waking up early enough to get ready at a relaxing pace and grab a bite to eat in the cafeteria before my first class but boy has that changed! Now I wake up in the morning with enough time to jump in the shower and throw enough concealer on the dark circles under my eyes that keep growing. Ahh the cycle is spiraling!

With only a week left of classes before exams it's not going to get any calmer. Honestly, it's going to get even more hectic! In the midst of this tornado of work that's about to come through it's going to be super important to take some chill pills, naps, Netflix, short walks in the park and occasional Ben and Jerry's breaks. Anything to keep you grounded and sane during finals is a gift from above! During this time I'm, quite literally, scheduling in my time to sleep. I'm so bad about getting to my room and trying to finish up a billion little things before I get in bed. I'm putting a stop to that right now. My room during finals is going to be a place of refuge. That means naps, movies and a general space to breathe. The library can house all my stress these next few weeks! It's important for me to really separate my procrastination and relaxation from my focus and concentration or well, this happens! I'm so terrible about forgetting about me when I'm off trying to get everything else crossed off my to-do list! I need sleep! These black under eye circles are so not attractive and that groggy feeling in the morning is already growing old. Rest is definitely on my agenda even if there are so many other things on there as well. Building up some stamina going into finals week is only going to benefit me in the long run even if I cut nightly study breaks a little short. 

So here I am, starting to schedule my sleep and I couldn't be more shameless.
Emily


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Rain, Rain, Go Away

The whole saying "April showers bring May flowers" is proving to be true this year. I swear it's actually rained every other day! I've been keeping my rain jacket on me at all times in order to combat those random pop up showers and I think I've worn my Hunters for a solid week now! I put together some of my rainy day essentials that I always keep with me on those dreary drizzly days. Here they are!

Rainy Day Essentials

1. A good umbrella.
Maybe this is obvious but a good umbrella is key! I always keep one in my backpack in case of sudden inclement weather and I'm stuck without a jacket! Believe me, it's saved me so many times! I always keep a brightly patterned 'brella to spice up the gloomy damp days. While the "cute factor" is definitely important, it is even more important to find one that is sturdy. There's nothing worse than fighting an umbrella from flipping inside out when it's only slightly windy outside! My current umbrella from J.Crew is definitely up to my standards. So many cute patterns to choose from and it successfully protects me when I'm walking to class in windy and rainy days.

2. Rain Boots
Whether they're Hunters or those trusty pair of galoshes you've had since high school make sure you have a well fitting pair of boots to get you through. I recommend a half size bigger in your rain boots so you can squeeze some thick wool socks in them, my feet always tend to freeze when it's raining! With rain boots I'm all about colors. I truly think that rain boots go with anything, even if they are contrasting patterns or colors, rain boots are such a staple that you can still pull it off!

3. Rain Jacket
I first came to college with this adorable Steve Madden trench rain jacket. It really was so cute, it was bright orange with large black buttons down the front but it lacked a hood. Needless to say when the first storm came through Memphis I was in my car headed to the nearest store to buy myself a more realistic rain coat. I came out with the Marmot and it has probably been one of my best purchases in college yet. Investing in a quality rain coat is well worth the money. Not only is it going to last you for years but a coat with some technology is a good buy. The Marmot has wind breaking qualities, perfect for those brisk storms, but it also has great ventilation with hidden zippers for those muggy humid rains. I chose a neutral black for my rain jacket but I know the next one I buy will be this citrus colored one. That jacket could truly bring a sunny side to a rainy day.

4. Hair Life Savers!
Rainy days and my hair are not friends. I have naturally wavy hair so as soon as there is any hint of humidity in the air, BOOM, it blows up. I'm pretty sure I actually gain a few inches onto my height because of the sheer frizz! I have two ways to combat the nasty effects of rain on my perfectly straightened do! I carry Bumble and Bumble invisible oil with me throughout the day. After my hair has gone through a trek in the rain I just run a dime sized drop through my hair to smooth out the frizz and voila! Perfect again! On the days that nothing is really working, hair ties are the go-to. I'm all about the no-break elastics for keeping your hair strong and sleek!

5. Backpack
A backpack is a personal choice of mine during the rain while I'm at school. I usually carry around a Longchamp le Pliage tote for my books however after one particular experience I'm solely sticking to a closed bag on rainy days. I suffered a soaked laptop and dripping notes after coming out of class to a surprised sudden downpour. By the time I got back to my room across campus my poor Longchamp was soaked and so were all of my belongings inside. A backpack keeps your goodies nice and safe (and dry!) on the inside with enough padding to keep water from getting in. I have a simple LandsEnd backpack from the 8th grade that has stuck with me all this time. I've learned my lesson with Longchamp's and rain and I'm now packing my things up on my back until the sun comes back out!

What are your rainy day essentials?
Emily