Monday, August 21, 2017

College Living Series: The Truth About College Nightlife

For many of us we've already settled into our on or near campus homes and the semester has already started (or it's going to very soon) so I figured it was time to start talking about more in depth about some of the new things you will experience while at college, starting with college nightlife. I will start off by saying that yes, I am often very composed on all of my platforms and try to share the best sides and/or parts of myself with you all, but I am also a 20 something year old college student who often doesn't mind spending the night at a get together with my gals. I would also like to say that I was never a partier in high school and not because I had an issue with it, but just because I didn't really have any desire to. I went into college with the same mentality and I actually didn't even attend my first "frat party until the second semester of my Freshman year. Personally, I absolutely love the college nightlife and I think it's a great way to meet new people and have some fun once all your work is done. But the reality is that I've had both great experiences and not too great ones with college nightlife, so I'm here to share everything about it with you guys.

  • Yes, many frat parties do have lists and they treat them like some type of holy text. I didn't even know this was a thing until my Sophomore year because honestly, a guest list, for a frat party? Really? Basically, you have to be on the list, know someone that is in the frat, or look like a model who just stepped off the runway. Yes, it sounds shallow, because it is. Also know, that your guy or any guy friends that might be tagging along most likely will not get in because fraternities make sure their guy to girl ratio is like 1 to 5.

  • Please don't wear your favorite or new shoes out. If there's one thing you will take away from your first night out, it will be that you really regret wearing your brand spankin' new white converse or your favorite nude wedges to that party because now they look like you dragged them from the back of your car for 50 miles. This sounds silly, but I actually have a designated pair of converse and black booties that I wear whenever I go out. 

  • Don't go to a party alone. I feel like this point is pretty self explanatory and for obvious reasons but for those who are still curious I will let you know, that a bar, club, or frat party is not somewhere where you want to be alone. I don't want to scare you guys into not experiencing college nightlife, but just like with anything else, there are precautions you should take. My main reason for stressing this point is that because during these times everyone around you is more than likely intoxicated which means their judgement is hindered and they often act out, and now add  that with you being intoxicated as well. If something were to happen, whether it just be your phone dying, you're feeling sick, or another individual is making you feel uncomfortable, it's important to have a buddy that you can turn around to and say "hey, I think we should step outside for a little bit or leave".

  • Do not take a drink from a random. I know I know I know, you've probably heard this a thousand times, but it's not just something silly your parents say. If you're going to get a drink you need to make it yourself, get a trusted friend to make it for you, or buy it on your own. Also, watch your drink like a hawk. If I'm ever out and I have a cup I make sure I casually have my hand placed over the top of it and I always keep my drink in front of me so that I can see it. 

  • Keep it comfortable. My favorite part about going out is definitely the getting dressed up and taking photos with my girls, if were being totally honest here. Generally I keep it simple with black jeans, a black top, and comfortable shoes likes wedges or converse. You may feel absolutely fabulous at 9pm but by the time 12am rolls around and your legs are sticky from mixed drinks and your exposed toes have been stepped on one too many times you're going to be wishing you had worn that trusted pair of black skinnies and comfortable sneakers.

  • No one cares if you are or aren't drinking. The thing I was definitely most concerned about when I started participating in the college night life was whether or not I'd be like a black sheep and stand out because drinking wasn't really my thing and then end up being pressured to actually do it. Honestly though, no one really cares. Everyone is so preoccupied with themselves and all they care about is whether or not they have a good time so there's a 90% chance no one will even mention the fact that you don't have a cup in your hand. 

  • Have a game plan. I always make sure that I have a plan set out before I leave with my girlfriends. We decide which routes we're taking, where we're going, and how we'll all be getting back home. Make sure at least one person has Uber or Lyft so that if it starts pouring or someone ends up having a little too much fun, you all can drive back to where you need to be and not drag each other across campus. 

  • Make sure your phone is fully charged. I don't take my phone off the charger before I go out until we are walking out of the door. You don't want to be caught at a party with a bunch of unfamiliar faces and have your phone die on you. I make sure that I turn off any of the apps I don't need so they don't drain my battery and I also turn on lower power mode as soon as I take it off the charger so that it doesn't die as quickly. 

For those of you that have already moved into your second home at your new campus, I hope you've had a wonderful experience so far! You're going to love college and have some absolutely amazing experiences!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Late Summer Florals

If you follow me on social media you'll know that earlier this week I had a girls trip with my mom and for the first half of our little getaway we ventured to the west of Virginia to spend some time at Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyard. I had purchased this Kate Spade dress you can find here a couple of weeks before our trip but immediately knew this would be the perfect thing to wear for our little getaway. Before I finally took the plunge and bought the dress, I had had it in my cart online since April and I'm so glad I finally got it. I absolutely love the colors used in it and although I tend to stick with stripes and gingham there's just something about this dress that I can't get over- maybe it's the minimal eyelet detailing or fun floral pattern, but whatever it may be, I love it. I usually keep my jewelry very minimal and stick to my basics but I felt like I had the perfect opportunity to wear these sequin drop earrings you can find here and I loved how they really accentuated the dress, it was definitely a match made in heaven. I also opted for one of my favorite sun hats from J.Crew that you can find here seeing as the weather was supposed to be bright and warm all day and this gorgeous rose gold watch that you can find here.

Dress Hat Earrings Watch |

I hope you all have had a wonderful month of August so far and that you have an equally as wonderful weekend! Cheers to having a hot, laughter filled, adventurous summer and seeing what this fall holds!

Monday, August 14, 2017

College Living Series: Having a Smooth Move in Day

The fall semester for college students is inching closer and closer and before we all know it (and before we're all ready, am I right) we'll be packing up our piles of notecards and pens and heading back to campus! Although my freshman move in day was years ago I remember it so well and have such a great memories from it because of the fact that my move in day went so smoothly (thank goodness). I will be completely honest in saying that move in day is probably going to be chaos regardless because you and 1,000+ other freshmen are going to be moving in as well, but there are definitely ways you can avoid creating more chaos on move in day. So in this post I'm going to share with you guys the things I did that helped make my move in day smooth as well as other things that I wish I would've done, but didn't. I'm also going to be sharing some (low quality) photos of my Freshman year move in day as well- oh that Lilly bedding and quote door!

Organize. The best thing you can do to prevent creating extra chaos is having everything you're moving into your new space organized and neat. Put all your clothes in one storage box, all the hangers in a trash bag, school stuff in your backpack, etc. Keeping your things organized when you're moving makes it so that you can take less trips between the car and your dorm and you are able to unpack swiftly and quickly.

Eat breakfast. No one wants to unpack when they're hangry, believe me, I know. Chances are you'll be setting up your new space for 2-3 hours, you'll also want to get familiar with your new roommates and account for any mishaps that might happen. Eat breakfast so that you're nourished and able to function, low blood sugar is no fun, especially when you're running around like a mad man and surrounded by 5+ other people in the same space who are acting just as overwhelmed as you are.

Contact your roommate beforehand. Whether you chat about coordinating your dorm decor or if you want to both move in at different times to avoid having tons of people in your room, go ahead and get in contact with your future roommate. This is also a great time to bring up things like whether or not you need a microwave, mini fridge, or who is going to get the toilet paper first. Get to know your future roomie and work out any kinks that might come up on move in day.

Make a list. Make a check list of all the things you need to bring with you and BEFORE you leave that day, make sure you have everything checked off. This helps to avoid having to make trips back home or to your local Target to get the things you forgot.

If you won't need it right then, don't bring it. Yes those 3 pairs of riding boots, winter coat, and huge wall poster are super cute, but they're just going to make carrying everything to your dorm and unpacking that much harder. When I moved in to my dorm I brought exactly what I needed and then if I found that I had extra room for something else or I think I might end up needing and/or wanting something I didn't bring with me, I could just get my mom to send it to me at a later day.

Snag a moving cart or bring your own. Dragging an over-piled moving cart through the halls is way better than making 7+ trips back to the car to get your other things. Be smart about how you pile everything onto the cart and make sure the fragile stuff is at the top, but also be efficient in the way you pack things so that you can go ahead and get your stuff to your room. The less trips, the better.

Get to campus before your recommended move in time. Many colleges will give Freshmen certain times to move in depending on what floor or dorm hall they're in. I was hoping I would be one of the first to move in but I ended up getting a time later in the day. Even though I was given a time in the later afternoon, we left so that we could get there about an hour early which was the perfect amount of time to account for traffic, finding a parking spot, and dragging everything out onto the car and hunting for a moving cart.

Extra help doesn't hurt. If your family wants to help you move in, let them. My mom and brother knew I had a specific layout in mind so they didn't mess with anything when it came to how I set up my room, but they didn't hesitate to help me unpack my bedding, clothes, and bathroom necessities. I had 3 people helping me and I think that that was the perfect amount, anymore people in that small dorm room and it probably would've bursted!

Bring a screwdriver and a pair of scissors. This seems pretty self explanatory but I know on my move in day there where tons of people on my floor who forgot these two things and because of that they had to spend time asking other people and searching for them. This holds things up for you and ultimately holds things up for the person who you borrowed from because they might've needed those things at the time as well.

Unpackage everything. I know it might seem like a good idea to leave everything in it's original packaging but it honestly just makes for a huge mess once you're actually moving in. There's already going to be so much going on in the space so you definitely don't need to have boxes flying everywhere and having to constantly make trips to take out the trash.

Make your bed last. Your bed is the perfect place to lay everything while your unpacking and great way to keep everything off the floor so that you can move freely. I know it might seem like instinct to make your bed first but it's a lot easier to do it last and it avoids getting your bedding dirty or destroyed if you choose to do it last.

Command hooks are your BFF. In most dorms you can't actually hang things on the wall with nails since the space isn't actually yours, so opt for using command hooks. I used mine for literally everything and I still do today as well. Jewelry, canvases, photos, belts, hair appliances, you name it, it can go on a command hook.

Bring snacks. You should definitely still make sure you eat breakfast on this crazy day, but also bring snacks so that you won't have to stop unpacking to eat something. Crackers, snack bags of chips, and fruit snacks are all easy options to bring on move in day.

Enjoy the day. I know how easy it is to get wrapped up and overwhelmed by all the chaos going on around you, but just remember this is supposed to be a fun and exciting day. It's okay if moving in takes you a little longer than everyone else or if you have to take a little break to collect yourself, because really you aren't missing out on anything. If you find yourself or those helping you starting to get frustrated or overwhelmed with everything going on, take a couple minutes to just relax and decide what needs to get done next!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Sidewalk Stripes

It has been so incredibly hot and humid here in Richmond these past couple of weeks so I've basically been living in my HIHO linen shirt dresses. They are the perfect pieces to wear when it's just unbearably hot outside and they are also super easy to dress up and down. Today I wore this navy stripe shirt dress with my favorite neutral flats, a few gold accessories, and my go to Kate Spade crossbody bag.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, I'll be heading out of town for a short girls trip with my mom this coming Sunday so I'm really looking forward to having a mini vacation! Also, don't forget to use the code "PREPPY20" to get 20% off your next purchase at HIHO!

Monday, August 7, 2017

College Living Series: Top 5 Things You Need For College

Here at VCU our semester starts in two weeks which means almost everyone is running around getting all the final things in order before the new fall semester starts. I try to make sure I always have everything I need for the new semester at least a month in advance so that I'm not giving myself another thing to stress about once the semester has already started, but for those of you who are new to this whole college life, don't worry because I've got it covered! I know that I shared with y'all all my college necessities here but today I wanted to make sure I shared with you all the top five most important things you will need at college! These are things that I either realized I definitely couldn't live without while at college, forgot to get before I was there, or knew from the start that I would need.

A backpack. Whether it's a slim backpack, a three compartment Jansport, or a Madeline and Company backpack which you can find here, you need to make sure you have one. Not only can you carry your books but with a backpack you also have space to keep your laptop, chargers, clicker, and even a few snacks. In college backpacks are no longer used to just hold school work, but they literally contain your whole life. It's also a lot easier to organize your things in them as opposed to just an oversized tote bag that often doesn't have spacious compartments.

A raincoat. I don't think I ever even owned a raincoat until I got to college but once you have to start trekking across campus in the pouring rain on a 60 degree day you're really going to be glad you have one. I carry my raincoat in my backpack so that I'm never caught by surprise if it's raining when I get out of class. I use this one from Carolina Dandy that you can find here and I absolutely love the stripes and monogram as well as how thin the lining is so that I don't get hot when I'm walking what seems like 5 miles to classes.

An agenda. I've had an agenda for every school year since my 8th grade year but now that I'm in college I have a new found appreciation for those extremely organized spiraled books. I write everything in my planner that you can also find here. From my homework, to readings, to exams, to my schedule for that day, to what I want to eat for dinner that night. My life basically resides in my planner. They also help to keep things in perspective and help you avoid forgetting anything that might be due or coming up like a mid-term exam.

An umbrella. Keep yourself and your precious cargo like your laptop and textbooks dry with an umbrella. I generally carry both an umbrella and raincoat because I can't keep my backpack covered with just a raincoat. I use an umbrella from Lilly Pulitzer that you can find here and I absolutely love the size of it as well as the fun prints that it comes in.

A notebook. I absolutely love my notebook that you can find here because I use it all the time to write down endless lists and even miscellaneous things. I generally look for smaller notebooks so that I can fit them in my purse, backpack, and so that it will even be comfortable to just carry at my side. This one from Ashley Brooke Designs is both cute as well as the perfect size.

I hope you all are getting excited for your first semester at college or the new semester if you are already an upperclassmen! Also, don't forget to use the code "RICHMONDPREP" when shopping at Madeline & Company to receive 15% off your order and "ASHLEY15" to get 15% off your order at Carolina Dandy.

*This post was sponsored by Madeline & Company, The Day Designer, Ashley Brooke Designs, and Carolina Dandy*