Thursday, September 22, 2016

College Apartment Coffee Cart Styling

With the word apartment in this post I hope I am not teasing you too much when it comes to an overall reveal of my apartment living spaces but being the caffeine obsessed college student I am I couldn't help but set up my own little coffee station to sustain all of my coffee consumption needs. Think of this as your first look into my apartment which you'll be seeing a whole lot of next week (hope that makes you as excited as me)! 

Since our apartment kitchens don't have dishwashers much of the counter space is taken up by dish drying racks and our microwave making the available counter space prime real-estate. To avoid adding one more thing to that area last year I decided to purchase a small cart from ikea to hold our Keurig and coffee mugs. Not only does this fill up some floor space in the awkward area between the kitchen island and living room but it also has become a functional space that adds a little extra interest to the room. This year the area has become that much cuter just by adding brighter mugs with the cutest whimsical and clever designs.


 

If you've seen some of my other room tours or the gallery wall I've had in my room then you probably know that I adore all things Evelyn Hensen! As a Furman alumnae with so much talent who may even love color more than I do it is so easy to celebrate her successes through the addition of new prints and products of hers year after year. After acquiring so many of her precious and preppy prints I decided that in addition to getting a few of her new designs (released yesterday) on paper her mugs would be the perfect addition to our coffee cart and I couldn't have been more right! With a lot of white from the walls, keurig, and cart the pop of color these mugs give make the space a place where friends stop to look at just what each one says. Although I have loved all of her pieces this years fall and winter collection may just be my favorite and will surely have you filling your cart fast. 


 

Since a coffee cart is more than just the mugs on it I thought it would be fun to breakdown what other essentials we keep close at hand to easily grab coffee (or tea) on the go or prepare a more leisurely cup to enjoy on our couches. 

Keurig || An essential for any coffee cart or college student! We have a white Keurig 250 2.0 in our apartment and it is the perfect size for multiple girls looking to grab a cup on the way out the door. The water reservoir is large enough to make a few cups and the machines overall size is small enough to not take up too much space in a small dorm room either. I was particularly drawn to this model because of the colors offered and was so tempted to get a turquoise blue version but didn't want it to be too matchy with our coffee table (although that would've been ironic now that I think about it) or impractical in the future. 

K Cups || You may not be able to tell from the photos but this cart actually has a draw that slides out that is the perfect size to fit 50+ K-cups. While that sounds excessive I should probably keep to myself how many times we re-filed it last year... It is so satisfying to open it up and see all of the options and extra convenient that the k-cups don't have to take up space on a shelf or in our pantry! My personal favorite K Cups are Donut Shop and any of Starbucks varieties. I could go for another cup just thinking about them. 

Travel Mugs | Since I've always expressed my love of the mugs we have on display I thought I should also note that paper travel mugs have also been a hit and are easily accessible on our stand. I found ours at Target and love how cute they are and that after enjoying my coffee in class I can get rid of the mug and not have to think about keeping up with it all day as I would have to when using a regular travel mug. 


  


So far I am loving waking up with the choice of which fun mug to use and am in awe of all of the wonderful designs Evelyn offers. Little side story, I originally found Evelyn due to her drawings depicting various landmarks in different cities and the fact that she has started to put those illustrations has really allowed that to come full circle. What a perfect gift to give to a friend new in the area or moving elsewhere! 

 


 

I hope y'all enjoyed this look at our coffee cart and maybe found come inspiration from it. Even if you'd rather use it as a bar cart, this gives you an idea of how to make the space it takes up functional and festive as an extra interest piece in your own apartment!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

College Agenda Organization: My Day Designer

I've missed y'all the past couple of days! This week started out a lot busier than I had anticipated but here we are half way through and I am still making it! I'd say we may be doing even better than just making it because I am sharing a post I get requests for year after year and the creation of it this year has by far been my favorite. I've become oddly obsessed with photography and lightroom lately so hopefully the images make it seem as though that obsession hasn't gone without at least semi tangible results! 


If you've been following along for a while then I am nearly positive you know my intense love of organization, paper goods, and most importantly my planner. I seriously geek out over these things (talking about you school supplies...) and LOVE seeing how other people organize theirs so I am happy to share the method behind my madness with each of you with hopes of helping you to better manage your busy schedule in a way that makes sense to you. It wouldn't be right to start this post out with anything aside from an ode to my planner since I'm not sure I would've made it through junior year of college let alone my 8:30 this morning without it. If coffee and my Day Designer were in an argument over which is more vital to my daily functioning I think my Day Designer would still win and that's saying something about my coffee-dependent self.  I started using my Day Designer last January and am fully convinced that I'll never have to hunt for a perfect planner ever again because this one does it for me. I talk about it so much that I have essentially forced friends into getting it so that I'll finally stop raving about it to them but now our discussions are about how obsessed we both are. Since I consider us friends I will treat y'all the same way.

Reasons why the Day Designer is totally worth the price:
1. It's aesthetically pleasing yet simplistic making the pages very functional.
2. You have a page for each day of the week complete with time slots, a to-do list, and a place for additional notes. 
3. It's perfect for college students or adults because you are able to fill it to fit your needs. 
4. The lining is light blue and never fails to make me smile when I open it. 
5. I never run out of space to write down even the busiest days.
6. The monthly calendar boxes are plenty roomy and look so pretty all color coordinated. 
7. It's sturdy and still looks great after carrying it essentially everywhere and shoving it in my backpack multiple times each day. 
8. There is a whole section at the beginning of it just for goal setting.
9. You get endless satisfaction from checking off something on your to-do list.
10. It definitely keeps me sane and is a whole lot cheaper than a therapist would cost after constantly being overwhelmed trying to think about what you may have going on next. 

Cons:
1. Ha, very funny...





I honestly can't recommend it enough and love taking a bit of time each morning to completely plan out what I have going on during a given day while also writing down the tasks I need to accomplish. For those of you concerned by the amount of space it may take up since there is a page per day I would say do not worry about that considering mine slides perfectly into the front pocket of my backpack without sacrificing any other space.






I have always been a huge fan of color coordinating my agendas and I knew that I wanted to do that with my Day Designer as well. I swear by  Le Pens and have used the same ones for about 3 years now (worth the investment!) and the best part is that in addition to writing really smoothly they don't bleed through the pages! At the start of each semester I take a post-it note and assign each class and activity a different color pen! For reference: Pink - Kappa Delta // Orange - Digital Illustration // Royal Blue - Events/ Social // Green - Student Teaching // Light Blue - MTH 302  // Turquoise - EDU 332 // Purple - COM 111 // Red - Blog Tasks. I use this color coating both on the daily pages and on the calendar overview. After a week or two I automatically start associating each color with its class and don't even have to reference the post-it note. 


 

The daily pages are set up in a really user friendly way with lines to fill in what you are doing during specific times of the day from 5 am to 9 pm on the left hand side and check boxes for your ever growing to do list on the right side of the page. Above those are a place to write down your top three things to do on a given day, what you have due, dinner plans, and a don't forget section. While I don't always utilize each of those boxes it is nice to have them on especially busy days! Also at the top of each page is a quote and as silly as it sounds I love flipping the page to see which quote will be next! 

When filling out the hourly lines I like to write in generally what I'll be doing at that given time whether it be class, the library, laundry, meetings, or even the errands I need to run. If I have a test or big assignment due in a given class I also include that in the hourly section just as an extra reminder! The to-do list section is definitely what I utilize best as I write down just about everything I need to accomplish. In my opinion with organizing an agenda there is nothing more satisfying than crossing off something on your to-do list! 

 


 



For the weekends the agenda is organized so that both weekend days are on the same page which is useful since I usually have less going on on Saturday and Sunday than I do during the rest of the week! I don't typically actually use the hour times on these pages and instead write down generally what I need to get done over the weekend. My favorite part of the weekend pages are the overview boxes at the bottom of the page to fill in what all I have going on the following week. This is a great way for me to get an idea of how hectic my next week will be before the weekend is over so that I can prepare accordingly! I keep this part color coordinated as well and try my best to include meetings, assignments, and tests as well as any other exciting events for the week to come. 

The Day Designer is released a few times each year when you can go ahead and pre-purchase yours for the academic school year or yearly and the yearly release for the planners you can start using in January of 2017 just recently were released. Since I'd be heartbroken if they were to sell out before I ordered my preferred cover design I thought I'd share that little fact with y'all (and they really do sell out). Here are the covers offered for Jan 2017 - December 2017.

Can y'all guess which one I am ordering? I'd love to hear your planner organization methods and if you're as methodical about the process as I am! Happy Hump Day! 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Step Into My Week

If you're reading this that means we made it through another week. Once Monday was over I was already craving the weekend and was pleasantly surprised with how fast the rest of the week went by. It's always hard to start your week on empty but that's kind of how I felt after the most fun weekend away.

This past weekend I went to my first friend wedding which was a blast but also weird to think about. The couple graduated in May and it is so weird to think about people just a year above me getting married. I can guarantee you that won't be me anytime soon but we had the best time celebrating them all weekend long. The wedding was in Birmingham so the friends and I who were going loaded up in the car around lunch time on Friday and started to make the drive. It definitely took longer than it should have (thanks Atlanta traffic) but fortunately we didn't have anything going on until 9:00 that night. To kick off the celebration there was a party for the couple and all the Furman attendees at the cutest restaurant across from our hotel. It was so fun seeing friends I haven't seen since May that have graduated and ventured into the "real world" and catch up with all the friends still in school with me as well. After the party we were all still wide awake and wanting to hangout so we went to a bar in Birmingham called Moes. Everyone stayed out super late but it really was so much fun. 


Since the wedding wasn't until 6:00 on Saturday we took our time waking up and eventually made our way to breakfast near the hotel at a restaurant called Demetris. It's a favorite of the bride's family and so they treated us to a filling meal that morning which was so generous. Then it was off to explore Mountain Brook, get coffee, see Samford's campus and eventually make or way back to the hotel to get ready to head to a friend's house before the ceremony. 

 



The wedding ceremony and reception were beautiful and the weekend definitely falls high on my list of most fun weekends of college. It was weird to have gone to such a small school but still meet people that I hadn't known who had graduated just a year above me. Situations like that remind me that just because Furman is small I really don't know everyone even though it feels that way sometimes! 

The rest of this week was pretty normal aside from a roommate's 22nd birthday celebration and our first philanthropy event of the semester. Next week should start to feel more routine but with my first big project due, a paper, and a big test I am hoping to spend some time this weekend preparing for those so I don't feel too stressed. 

Since my roommates and I have to get up early for student teaching we decided to surprise Caroline with a decorated living room and kitchen as well as a cinnamon roll cake in order to start the celebrations! It was a really sweet way to start her day before also enjoying a dinner downtown with her family.

 

I have been trying to brainstorm post ideas for the coming weeks and while I have some really fun ones coming y'alls way soon here is a little sneak peek at what I have planned. Any requests are always welcome as well though!

 

Lastly, like I mentioned, we had our first philanthropy event this week, last night to be exact. Kappa Delta Quesadillas is an event we started last year and decided to do this year as well. It is always so much fun and proves us with a great opportunity to involve the Furman community in an event that financially supports and also informs them about our local philanthropy, the Julie Valentine Center. While it felt like a long event since I stayed from set up through clean up it was really successful and went off without a hitch! 



I hope y'all enjoyed this look at my week and if you have any sort of post request please let me know as I love producing posts that I'm sure y'all will enjoy. Happy Friday and happy weekend! 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Effortless Style with Madewell

This post was created in collaboration with Madewell, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Prep In Your Step possible. 

Now that September is in full swing I am ready for the weather to cool down a bit. This whole dressing of crisper weather in the morning but having an outfit versatile enough that won't leave you sweating while carrying your backpack across campus in the afternoon has been a challenge. Dresses have become my go to but I am actually ready for jeans. There is something about the fall when you can throw on jeans and a casual top and have everyone fooled that you put in a ton of effort when in reality you snoozed one too many times. 

Madewell has recently become my go to for all things effortlessly stylish. After purchasing their transport tote this summer and using it non-stop I have been checking out their site more and more frequently only to discover pieces that are simple while still remaining eye-catching. While their clothes can air on the more expensive side of the spectrum I know the the pieces I purchase from the brand are sure to last a while especially if they are jeans or leather. Knowing that college students adore the looks they create and items they make Madewell has had a great promotion running in store offering college students an additional 5% off their year-round student discount. That means college students are able to snag these timeless pieces at 20% off by showing their college ID. Recently I've been tempted to get another college ID just to make sure that I can keep getting these great discounts and playing it off as if I were still a college student even post grad. 

For this outfit I went for the classics. A white top, the perfect colored jeans, and cognac accessories. Outfits like this can easily be reworn countless times without anyone really thinking twice about the fact that you've worn this identical outfit twice in the last month due to the fact that most of the pieces are closet basics. I love the peplum flare on this blouse and the subtle unfinished details found in the hem of these high waisted jeans. Paired with jewelry basics, tan sandals, and an even larger version of my go-to tote, the east-west transport tote I would wear this to class, dinner, or even the farmers market downtown without ever thinking twice about whether my outfit fit the occasion. 

 



 


 



 



top (on sale) // jeans (c/o) // tote (c/o) // shoes // necklace // earrings // bracelets (1 & 2)

Madewell's student discount event ends in store today however you are able to take advantage of 15% off their pieces all year long both online and in store! If you need me in the next few hours I'll be scouring their site for all the basic sweaters and comfy jeans I can find! 

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