Friday Finds 8/18/2017

I've been doing a lot more shopping this week (both online and in stores) so I've got plenty of things I have purchased and added to my wishlist to share with you! J. Crew just released a ton of great new arrivals and I've been seeing so many great things for Fall in stores. All of a sudden last week I felt so ready for Fall and Thanksgiving, so bring on the cool weather! 
I move back into school next week so I'm trying to sort out all the clothes I want to bring (definitely have to limit myself). ICYMI, I did a post with Lucy sharing our tips for college freshmen! Give it a read if you're starting college this year (or even if you're going back as a sophomore, junior or senior)!

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5 Things to do Your First Semester as a College Freshman

I know for most students at Elon, Fall semester is a bit more manageable than Spring semester, which seems to not want to give your schedule a break. Because you might have a bit more time on your hands Fall semester, it's important to capitalize on that time and do things that will help you in the future. I'm collaborating with Lucy from Daily Dose of Prep to put together a list of things we did our  first semester of college that we found extremely beneficial, which I hope will be of help to any of you starting college this year! Be sure to check out Lucy's tips on her blog, she posts nearly every day so she has plenty of content I know y'all will love!

Create a Resume With an Advisor
One thing I am so glad I did early on is develop a relationship with the career advising staff at school and create and refine my resume. I didn't have the greatest looking resume going into college (just a random unorganized list), so it was so helpful to have an advisor look at it and help transform it into something that represented my skills and accomplishments better. Doing this early on was really beneficial for me because come second semester, applications for officer positions in clubs and summer jobs/internships are released, you will already have your resume ready to go! Going along with this I would highly recommend getting started making a digital resume on LinkedIn and connecting with people you know (I honestly think updating my LinkedIn and connecting with people is so fun).

Test Out Different Organizations
I can guarantee you're going to end up signing up for more organizations than you have time for at the org fair. You don't want to miss out on any awesome organizations or waste your time committing to ones you aren't passionate about so I recommend tagging along with a friend to their club meetings and attending interest meetings for numerous organizations to see what they're all about. It may seem overwhelming at first, but your freshman year is the time to determine what organizations reflect your interests and which ones are a good use of your time (and which ones aren't).

Interview Practice
Having never done an interview before, doing a mock interview with a career advisor boosted my confidence going into an interview for an on campus position. If you don't have mock interviews available at your school, consider doing an informational interview by grabbing coffee with a business professional. Because you aren't actually being interviewed for a job, it is less stressful and you can practice talking in a more professional setting and learn from people in the industry. I had one of these this summer and it was so interesting to chat with someone in the field I am interested in and see if that is somewhere I can picture myself after graduation. Both of these helped me prepare for interviews and feel more confident talking about different aspects of my resume and experiences.

Start Building Credit
Before I left for college I got a credit card specifically for college students so I could start building credit. College students are clearly on a budget, so keep your expenses low and at a rate you know you can pay off in time. I limited mine to gas and grocery store costs and made sure I paid my bills on time. This not only builds credit so you can lease an apartment or buy a car in the future, but it makes the idea of paying bills and handling money a little less daunting in the future.

Read the Newspaper
For my communications class we were required to read the newspaper every day. I was already in the habit of watching the evening news most nights so I had a general idea of what was going on in the world, but I found that reading the newspaper (not the whole thing, just the first page of each section!) made me so much more aware of current events. Having this basic understanding of world news not only helped me in my com classes but in most all of my classes because I was able to relate what we were learning to what is going on in the world. Most digital newspapers (like NYT and WSJ) offer student discounts to access articles on their sites, so take advantage of them!

Be sure to read Lucy's blog post sharing her tips for college freshmen!
Are you are getting ready to start your freshman year of college?
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Friday Finds 8/11/2017

A few finds from online shopping this week:
My favorite? This Hydro Flask water bottle that holds a ton and keeps my water cool.
The Bachelorette ended this Monday and I bet some of y'all are already experiencing withdrawals... luckily I stumbled across the premiere of Jimmy Kimmel's Baby Bachelor in Paradise and thought it was too funny (they also have the Baby Bachelor and Baby Bachelorette)! Hopefully these will keep you entertained until Bachelor in Paradise premieres in a few weeks.

I also just ordered an Elon print from Madeline & Company! I was so excited to see that Elon was one of the schools featured and had to get my hands on a print to hang in my dorm room. 
(Major throwback to when I met Madeline 2 years ago!)

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Heels for High-Heel-Haters

I would definitely identify myself as a high-heel-hater.
I'm someone who has avoided wearing high heels at all costs since the first time I tried to wear heels. They were always falling off or too tight or too tall and at 5' 8" I didn't feel like I needed to go through all that pain for the extra height. When I got the notification that I would have to wear heels each day of sorority recruitment I already dreaded it. I decided to start the hunt for a reasonably comfortable pair of heels that I could make it through the week in and stumbled across the perfect pair at Target.
These are the most comfortable heels I've ever worn! They're only 2.5" tall so you get a little bit of a boost at a comfortable height. The best part? They're under $30. I've already had the chance to wear them multiple times and they immediately dress up an outfit without putting you through the pain associated with high heels.
They also have a taller version (still under $30!) that reminds me of these Steve Madden ones if you're more comfortable in heels!

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4 Tips I Picked Up My Freshman Year of College

The school year is quickly approaching and I'm sure a lot of y'all are like me and want to try out new techniques each semester to improve my productivity and success in school. I've rounded up a couple tips and tricks that I incorporated into my regular study system that I hope will help y'all out!

Photo by Cathleen Slagle 

Google Docs Add-ons
I'm sure a lot of y'all use Google Docs for your schoolwork like I do and I recently found something that totally changes the game when it comes to essay-writing. I don't know if I'm just late to the game on discovering the Add-ons section of Google Docs but it has some great features. Just click the button labeled 'Add-ons' next to 'Help' on the menu and you can add in all sorts of apps including Easy Bib. By adding the Easy Bib app, you can make all of your citations directly within your document and it will even create your works cited page for you. Added bonus: it will cite APA for free unlike on the website!

Listen To Pink Noise While Studying
When I need to focus in the library I found that pink noise works best for me to block out any distractions. I didn't even know pink noise was a thing until I read an article about it in the paper. It's different from white noise and sounds kind of like a combination of rain and TV static. I like that it's just one constant noise so I can hear it but it doesn't distract me while trying to concentrate on studying.
This is my favorite one to listen to!

Awake Bars > Coffee
If you're not much of a coffee drinker but need that extra caffeine to get you through finals week, caffeinated chocolate is the way to go! A friend mentioned Awake Bars to me and they are a game changer. It's a caffeinated bar of chocolate with 100 mg of caffeine making it the equivalent of a cup of coffee. It just tastes like a completely normal chocolate bar (I prefer the caramel flavor) and is what helped me survive finals week. They sell them on my campus and in some Targets! (Disclaimer: This is not sponsored by Awake I just love them a lot :)

Use the Pomodoro Technique 
I often find myself getting sidetracked in the library or being unproductive multitasking. It's 2017 and it's hard to part with your phone or social media for a few hours while you work in the library. I started using pomodoro timers to make my time studying more productive. With this system, you work for 25 minutes and then take a break for 5 or 10 minutes. I usually put my phone away for those 25 minutes and then use the break to check social media or respond to text messages. I use the website Tomato Timer and the app Focus Keeper.

Good luck on this next semester!
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Friday Finds 8/4/17

As I'm gearing up to head back to college I've been shopping around online to stock up on the basics. One of my favorite finds has been GapBody pajamas. I love the shirt design that says 'Nap' on it and not only is it cute, it's so so soft. I've been pairing them with the poplin shorts which are so much lighter than the running shorts I typically wear to sleep. Everything at Gap is 40% off with the code FFSALE! 
I have to rave about these Ferragamo loafers that are on major sale. I got them at the beginning of the summer from the Shopbop sale after I wore a hole through my go-to loafers and decided it was time for an upgrade. They are on sale now for more than 50% off and I can't recommend them enough. They are classy and neutral and go with everything, but are still really unique, and the soft leather makes them unbelievably comfortable! 
I'm also interested in checking out Ali Webb's book after hearing her interview on the NPR podcast 'How I Built This' about how she created Drybar. I love Drybar products (sadly don't have a salon location near me) and would love to see all of Ali's tips and tricks. 

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Recent Reads No. 2

This summer I told myself I wanted to read more books since my 'to read' list on my phone seems to be never-ending. I've made a good dent in my list and wanted to share with y'all what I've been reading lately!

Women Who Work by Ivanka Trump
This is hands down my favorite book I've read recently. I didn't know much about Ivanka so it was interesting reading about her experiences working in real estate, then for the Trump Organization and then moving on to create her own business. The book is a compilation of her life experiences and advice as well as wise words from people she admires and has taken advice from (there is a lot of information in this book). Now I keep checking the Ivanka Trump HQ website for more info and advice each week!

18 Holes With Bing by Nathaniel Crosby
After my parents both read this book they said it had to be my next read. Before reading this book the only thing I associated Bing Crosby with was Christmas music, so I'm glad I have a better idea of who he was. It was really interesting because so many people described him as a golfer who sang for a living because golf was his true passion. Highly recommend this read for those who play golf!

The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines
This was a really quick and fun read. I wasn't sure if it would be a waste of a read since I've seen all of Fixer Upper and wondered what else would I need to know about them? It ended up being a really cute story about how Chip and Jo met and how they started flipping houses. It made me like the show even more!

The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman
Even though this is a nonfiction book, it reads like a fiction book because it is based off the diary of Antonina Żabiński. The book is always better than the movie, so I skipped seeing the movie and opted to read the book. It's a different kind of World War II book because it doesn't focus so much on the fighting but rather how it impacted this specific community and how citizens dealt with and survived the war. 

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand 
This one is actually on my to read list that's piling up on my nightstand right now. I saw half of the movie in history class a few years ago and really liked it so I figured it would be good to read the book (the book is always better, right?).

The Swamp by Eric Bolling
Eric was my favorite host on The Five so I knew I had to pick this up when it was released at the end of June. It pretty much just exposed all kinds of past political scandals and why things need to change in Washington. Really interesting and I love his sarcastic sense of humor. 

Read my last Recent Reads post here.

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What I Ate + Did In NOLA

To describe my recent trip to New Orleans, I did a lot of eating and a lot of walking. 
Here's a list of restaurants I ate at and things I did while on my trip:


This was one of my favorite restaurants we ate at on our trip. Shrimp & grits is one of my two favorite meals and Emeril's version at NOLA was up there on the list of my all time favorite! (I think the most crucial piece of information about this restaurant is that they put bacon on pretty much everything)!

Red Dog Diner
This diner on Magazine street was one of the places we stopped for brunch during the week. One of my favorite things about New Orleans was that you can get breakfast food most anywhere at any time of day. I got the candied pecan waffle with bacon and hash browns and my parents both got eggs benedict. All our food was awesome and the décor in the restaurant was really cool.

Mr. B's Bistro
If you need a break from seafood and cajun food, this is the place to go in the French Quarter. The truffle butter filet mignon was awesome.

This was a little spot located inside our hotel, The Roosevelt. They had the best rocky road ice cream and made-to-order beignets with chocolate sauce!

Cafe Du Monde
I was afraid this beignet spot wouldn't live up to the hype but Cafe Du Monde had my favorite beignets! We went kind of early so there was no wait which was awesome! The beignets had a pound of powdered sugar on them (just how I like it) and the frozen cafe au lait was perfect to start off the day.

We stopped in this restaurant in Jackson Square to take a break from the heat and grab a snack. I just got french fries but my parents split a shrimp po' boy, which was the best one they said they had on the trip! The decor in the restaurant is really nice and the spot is perfect for listening to music and people watching.

Acme Oyster House
This place always had a long line outside and the concierge at our hotel recommended it to us so we had to try it out. The char grilled oysters were so so good but we weren't really impressed with our entrees. I would just stop in for appetizers and get the oysters, but skip dinner here.

Bourbon House
This restaurant on Bourbon Street is decorated so nice and a sort of oasis from the craziness of Bourbon Street. The barbecue shrimp and grits was so so good, but, sadly, our entrees weren't anything special.

Cafe Beignet
This was the first spot we went to grab a snack after arriving in NOLA. Some say the beignets here are better than at Cafe Du Monde, but I liked the ones at Cafe Du Monde better! The walls were a banana leaf print, though, if you're interested in taking a trendy Instagram picture :)

We stopped in here for appetizers to take a break from walking around and split a really good flatbread! This is another one of Emeril's restaurants and definitely a spot we would have gone back to for dinner if we had more time.


Jackson Square
Jackson Square was one of my favorite spots in the French Quarter. It's right on the water and is where the St. Louis Cathedral is located. The inside of the cathedral is beautiful and it's so fun to walk around and listen to all the musicians and people watch. There are also some great restaurants in this area!

Garden District Architecture Tour
My family and I ended up doing a tour of the Garden District on the Fourth of July, so we were the only ones on the tour which was nice. We went through a cemetery which was more interesting than I expected it to be, but it was nice having a tour guide tell us about the history that I wouldn't have known if we explored on our own. We went on to look at all kinds of historic houses and the homes of celebrities like Sandra Bullock and the Manning family.

Preservation Hall
This is one of the three spots in New Orleans you can listen to jazz music if you're under 21 years old. It was a really fun show and such a cool experience. The venue is very small and has limited seating (and no air conditioning) so it may be worth the extra money for a seat if you don't want to stand for the whole show.

Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World
A few friends recommended this spot to me before going on my trip and it didn't disappoint! The tour includes a brief history of Mardi Gras and then a look around the studios where they create and store the floats. The process they use to make the floats was so interesting and the artists at the warehouse even make props for Disney and the Chick-fil-a cows that go on billboards!

French Quarter Carriage Tour
It's easy to head to Bourbon Street and Jackson Square every time you hit the French Quarter, so taking a carriage ride not only provided some shade but brought us to some new parts of the French Quarter we probably wouldn't have ventured to.

National World War II Museum
This museum is so nice and has so much information. My family and I ended up spending over four hours here and we didn't get to see everything before the museum closed. It's definitely somewhere to to stop while in New Orleans (and the perfect place to escape the heat if you're visiting during the summer).

Have any of you been to New Orleans? What were your favorite things there?
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Ruffled Romper

I love the idea of a romper since you can throw it on and it's already a whole outfit and that it's a little less dressy than a dress. I was on the hunt for a good romper for the summer when I came across this one at Target from the J by J.O.A. collection. I somehow bought it for $25 at Target but it's not listed on the Target website in the J by J.O.A. section. I did some looking around and found the exact same one for $90 at Macy's but I would check your Target to see if they have it in stores because you can't beat that price for such a high quality looking piece! If you can't find the same one, they still have some super cute pieces from the collection that are way cheaper than regular J.O.A. pieces. 
Red, white, and blue is pretty much the color scheme of my life, so I paired it with my red and white Jack Rogers and blue and white gingham bucket bag. 

Shop some of my favorite J by J.O.A. pieces from Target below:

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Sunday Brunch on the Lake

Happy Father's Day, Dad!

For Father's Day today my family and I went out for brunch on the lake after church. It was so nice out (and we went before it was 90 degrees out) and I wore my favorite off the shoulder top with white jeans. I couldn't resist using the new tote bag I got for my birthday, it's the perfect size and I love how it's pretty neutral but still interesting with the monogram and subtle pattern. 
We've spent the rest of the day watching the U.S. Open and it has just been the perfect Sunday!

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Making Pars in Palm Leaves

Now that I'm home for the summer I've had more time to go out on the golf course with my family. I'm actually interning with The First Tee of Greater Charlotte this summer, so I'm having a very golf centered summer. I'm really enjoying it and in addition to two summer classes it's been keeping me pretty busy (in a good way)!
I popped into Vineyard Vines a week or so ago and was so impressed with all of the new golf apparel! Their golf skirts are the absolute perfect golf skirts in my opinion. They are a structured fit but still breathable and are a nice clean cut look. They also have huge pockets in both the front and back which is so handy because it was such a pain when I used to wear tennis skirts to golf and I wouldn't have anywhere to put my tees, ball marker, etc. 
I picked up some basics ( a classic one and a scalloped one) and just had to have this palm printed skirt. Banana leaves are so trendy right now and the color combo is perfect for the golf course! Since it's such a statement, I kept the rest of the outfit pretty neutral.

They had so much cute golf and tennis apparel when I went in the store recently. 
Shop my favorites below:
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Draper James at Nordstrom

A few weeks ago I took a trip to the mall and was so surprised and excited to see that Nordstrom now carries Draper James. It's one of my absolute favorite brands (I've styled a DJ dress in this blog post) and being able to see the products in person before buying them without having to take a trip to Nashville is so great. I couldn't walk away empty handed, so I got this fun Howdy shirt. I told myself I needed to stop buying striped shirts but I just couldn't resist! 

Shop some of my favorite Draper James items that are available at Nordstrom:

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Freshman Dorm Room | Elon University

It's crazy to think it's been three weeks since I moved out of my freshman year dorm room (this post is long overdue). While I love having a bigger bed and plenty of room back at home, I miss living just a few minutes from so many of my friends!

I know the summer before heading off to college I spent so much time on Pinterest looking at other peoples' dorm rooms for inspiration. Because I didn't know much about the neighborhood on campus I was going to live in, I looked everywhere online to see what they looked like and even looked up the blueprints since there weren't any photos of students' Danieley dorms. So, I wanted to make sure I posted these photos for incoming Elon students to see what the dorm looks like so they can prepare for move in!
(I would have taken photos of our kitchen/common room but they never stayed clean for very long...)
I hope this is either informational and inspirational for college students prepping for their first dorm!

My first year at Elon I lived in a Danieley flat. This was actually my last choice for housing so I was pretty bummed out when I saw my rooming assignment. While it's a little out of the way compared to the other neighborhoods on campus, it did have it's upsides with a kitchen, common room and free laundry. My room came with a bed, desk and wardrobe. Unlike other neighborhoods, Danieley has wardrobes instead of a closet and dresser duo. I was a little worried about having enough room, but I was able to fit all the clothing I brought + more! As for the bed I lofted it halfway for plenty of storage and kept my shoes, printer and laundry underneath there. One of the best investments I made was in a long bed skirt to hide all of this underneath my bed and make everything look nice and clean! I also opted for a Queen sized comforter rather than a twin sized because it hangs over the side of the bed to hide what's underneath and it's more cozy to me! One thing that made my bed even more cozy was a gel mattress topper. I was really worried about having an uncomfortable bed and a good mattress topper made all the difference. I had this one and will be using it again next year!

In the wardrobe I would highly recommend getting some type of drawer system because that space ended up being where I just threw all of my t-shirts into a pile. 

gold lamp //  patriotic mug // mason jars // mirror // magazine holder // bulletin board (similar)

(everyone talks about command hooks but I probably used 3 packs of these to hang things on the wall) 

A space that can easily be wasted in a dorm is behind the door. In addition to having towel racks on the back of the door itself, my roommate and I added command hooks on the wall behind the door for coats and hats. It got to be a pain hanging up my winter jacket every time I came home and it ended up in the dreaded "pile" that accumulated on my chair too often. Hanging it up kept it out of the way and easy to access. 

striped bins // portable speaker // comforter // sweatshirt blanket (similar)

There ended up being no good place to clip this little fan so I did some DIYing and taped it to the top of my wardrobe (the verdict: don't get the clip fan). 
On top of my wardrobe ended up being a great place for storage. I had two bins for towels and miscellaneous items and had cords and other stuff in shoeboxes. 

magazine holder // mirror // bulletin board (similar) // mason jars 

gold lamp // bulletin board (similar) // mason jars // mirror

My desk doubled as a vanity for me. I used the two of the three drawers to store beauty products because I never did homework at my desk (more of a library gal).

customizable banners here, here, & here // gingham sheets // comforter // blanket (similar) // twinkle lights

I didn't want to put too much on the walls so I opted for just hanging up these simple banners to show some school pride.

gold lamp //  patriotic mug // mason jars // mirror // magazine holder // bulletin board (similar)

Looking forward to decorating my apartment in just a few short months!

If you have any questions at all please comment or shoot me an email!
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