Monday, December 5, 2016

Christmas & Birthday Wish List

Never in my life have I had as much trouble coming up with a wish list for Christmas as I have this year. With multiple reminders from my parents and a few hours scrolling through pinterest and any saved browsers on my computer I finally compiled a wish list of items I'd like and that would be practical for me. I like to think I am easy to shop for however I've been told differently over the years. If you don't know, my birthday is the day after Christmas so this year I'm especially thankful of this closeness of holidays because I can't think of what it would be like having to come up with another list specifically for that at a different time of the year (although I am sure I'd manage). 

I feel like I have officially gotten older too after this years process of putting a list together. Originally all I had on it was oven mitts and a vacuum and I quickly had to talk myself out of practicality because those Christmases and Birthdays will be coming soon enough (and we already have a vacuum at home that I can bring back to school!). Last year, I was more excited to watch my family unwrap the presents I purchased for them than I was to open my own so I have learned that giving really is equally as fun as receiving but since I know it would be sad to not unwrap anything here is my "official" list for the occasions. 

Keep in mind, this is a wish list meaning these are ideas of items that I see as being useful for me. You'll see that a lot of them are blog related as I attempt to continue to make Prep In Your Step everything I envision it to be. A camera specifically for on the go purposes and video content (the quality of this camera for that purpose looks amazing) would make it so that I have more to share with y'all while a replacement tripod would make it so that the textbooks I've been stacking my camera on could go back to being devoted to my studies. The oven mitt still made the cut but in the cutest set I could find and a versatile, small cross body bag is something that my closet has been lacking. Unfortunately I've discovered that the older you get the more expensive some of your wish list items can become and that seems to be the trend this year although hopefully in the next week I'll be able to brainstorm some smaller items to add to this list and will share those with you if that's the case. 

Surprises are also always fun and it wouldn't be my Christmas list the past three years if I didn't hint at the fact that I'd love a puppy so those are out on the table now as well! I've also asked for this ring the past two years and still love it for everyday wear but that doesn't help with the more affordable options, oops!

I'd love to know what has made it to the top of your wish list! and hopefully if you're like me this gives you ideas for your Christmas list. I'm definitely still looking for ideas of smaller items so definitely leave those below as well although you can never go wrong with coffee gift cards, anything from Tuckernuck, or school supplies! 

(See what I received last year in this post).

Thursday, December 1, 2016

What To Wear To Class In The Winter

Something crazy has been happening the past couple days in South Carolina, we've FINALLY gotten some rain. This has been quite the rarity in so many areas as of late and with the wildfires occurring in the mountains I know everyone is thankful. 

While I love cold weather cooler temperatures and rain aren't exactly fun especially when it comes to staying warm. One of the best pieces of clothing I've gotten in college has been my  Barbour jacket since it is especially perfect for cold and wet days. I received it for Christmas freshman year and while it was certainly an investment gift if I had a dollar for every time I've worn it I could have a second one. From mid-fall until mid-spring it barely ever finds time back in my closet since I am constantly wearing it. 

One of the things that makes it so great for this range of seasons and temperatures is the pieces you can purchase and attach to the  jacket depending on the weather. When I was in London after my sophomore year I decided to purchase the  fleece vest that zips inside of the jacket. I thought my jacket was warm before but this has been a real game changer and doesn't make the jacket bulky. The fact that it zips in is also convenient since you don't feel like you have to fidget to get everything on correctly and instead it's ready to go when you want to grab it. I find that in the fall and spring I don't necessarily need it so I tend to unzip it and hang it in my closet until a cold snap hits. 

Last year for Christmas, I decided to ask for the  detachable hood so that I could also utilize the coat as a rain jacket. This was another one of my better ideas! The hood lays flat when you're not wearing it so I find that leaving it on is super convenient. Most rain jackets don't really fit the bill of also keeping you warm so knowing that I won't have to sacrifice warmth just to avoid being wet has made me that much appreciative of the versatility of this addition. 



barbour jacket // detachable jacket hood // barbour vest insert (looks equally as cute worn on its own) //  sweater (similar) // scarf (similar) // jeans // boots // bag // necklace // bracelets ( 1 & 2 )

In all, this is a pretty typical colder weather outfit for me to wear to class or out and about. I love that  Barbour jackets are classic looking while also slightly sporty. White sweaters are an absolute staple in my closet and whenever I can't decide what to wear I tend to gravitate towards that, jeans, tan riding boots, and my Barbour if it's cold. Sometimes I'll change it up by adding a scarf but even if I don't people don't necessarily recognized that you wore the same combination earlier that week because it is so classic. 

I know as Christmas approaches and you're considering what to add to your list something of this price point or practicality doesn't always come to mind which is exactly why I wanted to share this post with you. Knowing how much I've worn and will continue to wear mine will hopefully help any of y'all considering adding this to your list. The attachable accessories make it that much more timeless and are also great gifts to give someone who may already have this coat. Freshman year I spent a long time deciding which style, color, and size I wanted. I knew these coats last a long time (my grandfather and dad both have ones they've had for years) and I wanted to make sure that I was investing in one I'd be happy with for a while to come. I ultimately ended up deciding on the  Beadnell style jacket because it was slightly more feminine than the Bedale. I tried on a few different sizes and found that the US 4 fit me great but the US 6 wasn't that much bigger and would give me some room to grow and layer underneath so that is what I ultimately settled on. My jacket is Sage although I have lots of friends who own an Olive color and it is pretty similar just slightly darker. With how much wear mine has gotten it could definitely use a fresh coat of wax while I'll probably have to do this summer since I can't imagine not being able to reach for this jacket in the coming months. 

Places to purchase Barbour:
Tuckernuck (they even have a full Ladies Barbour Guide if you're interested in additional styles) // Nordstrom // Bloomingdales // St. Bernard Sport 

I hope that this helps any of y'all who may be interested in adding a timeless piece to your closet for Christmas while also giving you a better look at what I typically wear to class! 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Monogrammed Gifts to Give

Happy Hump Day! Wanna know something crazy? This is my last Wednesday of class this semester. We finish up with classes next Tuesday, have Wednesday as a study day, and exams start that Thursday lasting through the following Wednesday. How does December begin tomorrow and where has this semester gone? 

As you linger with those thoughts I am excited to bring you the first of my Gift Guides for this holiday season (although this Cyber Monday sale post highlights gifts for different recipients in different price ranges). I always have an internal battle when it comes to gift guides because I rarely get feedback on what exactly would work best for y'all or what you're looking for in this sort of post. Before Thanksgiving I made Nell sit down with me and go over what sort of images she liked best as I really have no idea what you want to see in this regard. These posts are always a lot of work in the most fun way. After looking at countless sites and figuring out how I want to present the items they are finally ready to post right as I find an item that I just *have* to include forcing me to rearrange everything. I really hope this helps y'all to check some of those tricky people to buy prizes for off your list while also inspiring a few extra additions to your list if you're struggling with that as well (still a work in progress Mom and Dad...). I'll be posting a number of gift guides in the coming weeks and am trying to make it easy for y'all by labeling all of them with the word "gift" so you can click that in the sidebar and see all of them in one place. 

Gift giving is one of my favorite things. Last Christmas my parents kept talking about the fact that I had "turned the corner" and was more enthusiastic about watching other people unwrap what I had picked out for them than I was to unwrap my own gifts. I always end up putting more pressure on myself than intended to get someone something they will love, use, and be surprised to receive but in the end it is so worthwhile and I really do get so much joy from watching people unwrap what I've picked out. If you want to see what I gave to family members last year I made a post about that here and fully intend to do the same this year (although not until after Christmas since I would be devastated to spoil the surprise). 

So after that long winded introduction to a relatively self explanatory post here is my first official gift guide of the season! Since I've always been drawn towards all things personal, classic, and preppy why not start with a southern girl's staple: Monograms. These are also the gifts that will be the first to have a deadline for being received before the holiday begins so you may as well snatch them up in plenty of time to ensure your recipient can open the gift come Christmas instead of an IOU for the prize.

I'll have a gift all about gifts for guys (not that I have much experience with that) but think that guys can appreciate personalization just as much as girls. Plus, if you find a monogrammed gift for a guy chances are it is something classic that he will be able to use for years. That's a win in my book! 

Lastly, if y'all have any specific requests for the set up of these guides or any particular recipients you're struggling to shop for please let me know below as I'd LOVE to help you out in that regard! And if you're feeling especially helpful feel free to answer these logistical questions below:

1. Do you like blurbs about why I've picked the items in the image?
2. Would it be helpful to number the items or are the descriptions below sufficient?
3. If it's a lower price item would it be helpful for me to indicate that? 
4. Do you like being able to scroll through the items in a widget beneath the image?
5. Who are you having the most trouble shopping for this year?

Whew! Talk about a lot of personalization including that survey! So appreciative of y'all reading this and would love to hear your opinion! 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Wardrobe Basics With A Classic Cape

Nothing beats the addition of one new item in your closet to make basics look that much more put together. I hope that is how y'all felt shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday! While I didn't get much I am very excited about the few things I did get to add some spunk to my closet. In a similar way, finally being able to wear an item purchased off-season does that same thing for me. I purchased this cape during Nordstrom's amazing Anniversary Sale this summer and finally had the chance to take the tags off last week, talk about an exciting day! 

Capes are such a fun concept but not always the most practical as it can be a pain to make sure that they are positioned properly on your shoulders and not awkwardly tucked under themselves. Fortunately, this cape is a little different since it serves as the perfect weight outerwear and has buttons on the sleeves to keep everything in place. The light brown color with grey/navy interior makes a statement on its own even when paired with something as simple as a white t-shirt. Add in your favorite brown riding boots and a worn in pair of jeans it's an equally as comfortable outfit as it seems "chic."

cape // shirt // jeans // riding boots (still on sale!) // bracelets ( 1 & 2 ) // necklace

Sadly, when Nell and I were shooting this look the sun was getting to the point where all of the pictures turned out a bit weird which explains the lack of images however this cape was just too fun to neglect sharing it at all. I am excited to have hit Tuesday as my big project for one of my classes is due and while there is still a lot to be accomplished this week and before the last day of class a week from today having that turned in is a huge weight off of my shoulders. 

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