Monday, March 30, 2015

Evelyn Henson Spring and Summer Prints

If you've been around the blog for a while then you are probably well aware of my adoration for Evelyn Henson and her whimsical prints. I've been a long time fan and have been slowly adding more of her work to my collection. I am hoping to hang the ones I have up in my apartment next year to create a gallery wall of sort. Recently Evelyn released her new Spring and Summer prints and I guarantee you they do not disappoint. I already snatched up this one and love the cute saying she included at the bottom. 

    The spring and summer prints are exactly what you want to use to brighten up your home. Colorful, festive, and the perfect decorative piece to add to your collection. I already have so many favorites from this collection with this being the next print I want to add. I have also found that these make excellent gifts. If you see one that reminds you of a specific friend then definitely snatch it up and save it for their birthday or other special occasion. These would also be adorable hostess gifts!

Here are some of my favorites from her Spring and Summer collection that have me ready for warmer weather, summery clothing, and a colorful state of mind. 


Here are a few of the Evelyn Henson pieces I have and adore!
(these are taken from my instagram, @prepinyourstep)




Also, if you haven't checked out Evelyn's blog "Behind the Palette" and her oh so colorful Pinterest page you definitely should! Which of her prints are your favorites?

Friday, March 27, 2015

Step Into My Week (2015 #11 & #12)

Long time no Step Into My Week! Somehow these always get pushed to the back burner as Thursday nights are usually spent staying up too late preparing for tests. A lot has happened since the last update so prepare yourself for lots of pictures!

At the end of spring break before heading back to school I decided to make cookies for my little who was initiated right after Spring Break. Since it may as well be a rule at our house that I can't bake anything without saving some for our family I decided to make our cookies into emoji cookies. They turned out so cute and were super tasty as well.


Like I mentioned, initiation occurred on Monday and Wednesday with Wednesday being the final installation. After the ceremony on Wednesday we have dinner as a chapter and present our littles with a basket full of goodies and their jersey. In return they give their big a paddle. I loved the paddle Martha Ann made for me and hopefully she loved everything in her basket. I was so glad to have started gathering things so early otherwise it would have been stressful and not as much fun. Here are some pictures from the basket reveal. 






The week after initiation was filled with school work as was this past week. I think teachers are just starting to realize all that they need to fit in before the end of the term and are racing around to get it done.

If I think of any other fun events to add I definitely will but for now be sure to check out this weeks posts, there are a lot of good ones you won't want to miss!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Easter Basket Ideas

Easter is next weekend and that means that I will be home bound next week, which is always a cause for celebration! Furman gets Good Friday and the following Monday off which is pretty generous so I will be heading home Thursday (if not a bit earlier). My family is heading to our beach house for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday so this will also give me an extra night of sleep in my own bed before boating and beaching. I am extra excited because it looks like my grandparents and aunt, uncle, and cousin will also be there making Easter a true family affair. 

As for Easter, it usually depends on where we are as to how the morning goes. I admittedly still like it when a few Easter eggs are hidden even though the youngest person there will be 17. Regardless, we still do Easter baskets which is always something to look forward to. And since that Easter egg comment made me sound like a child you should all be pleased to know that I've used the same Easter basket every year since I was little, I guess you could say I like tradition. Easter baskets can be tricky since once you get older the smaller trinkets and goodies you received would be put somewhere and forgotten about. I honestly enjoy receiving candy as much as anything else but I do remember a few years when I got a bigger item for Easter which was more unexpected. One year in high school I got a pair of Lilly shorts I had been wanting and last year I considered my trip to the Biltmore and Asheville (part of a Christmas present from my grandmother) to be an Easter gift. Both were so memorable so if you're completely stumped something unexpected is always fun. Below I have included loads of cute and fun gifts that any girl would love to receive at a variety of price points and all of these would probably arrive in time to be placed in an Easter basket!


While some of these would definitely leave the recipient speechless I think that as long as the gift is something that can be used and is preferably colorful since it is in fact spring then you can't go wrong!

Personally I would love to continue to grow my Evelyn Henson print obsession by adding the "Be an Adventurer" illustration to my collection (hint, hint mom and dad). I also adore those fun sleep shorts and you really can't go wrong with something monogrammed. In the spring and summer I always wear sleep shorts to bed so this would also be super practical. Also, fun fact, my little's mom owns that monogramming store, The Horseshoe Crab, and sells the cutest monogrammed goodies that would be perfect for presents or to keep for yourself. And she has a super fast turn around time if you're in a pinch!

What are your plans for Easter? Did any of these items just make it to your spring wish list?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Long Prom and Spring Formal Dresses

Hooray for prom season. If you haven't already checked out my picks of short dresses that could be perfect for prom, spring formals, weddings, and the works then be sure to check out that post here. Since most schools do things differently I wanted to be sure I included both long and short dresses for those having trouble shopping. Personally, my high school always wore long dresses to prom and I totally understand the trouble that comes with finding a prom dress you love that more importantly fits.

My junior year my mom insisted that we go shopping for my dress and that I don't order one online. Well, that was a mistake we didn't make again senior year. I was pretty particular when it came to what I wanted (read no sequins, glitter, slits, or cut outs) and dress stores are few and far between where I live. I ended up buying a bridesmaid dress in a size 10 (far too large but it would've taken 8 weeks for another size to come in) and then we essentially had to get it altered and remade to fit my size 0/2 body. Because of all these alterations my dress ended up being far too expensive and I was free to order a dress online, in the proper size, the following year. Now it isn't uncommon to need to get dresses altered to some extent, typically in regard to their length so don't be afraid to have that done!

Now looking back and having multiple sorority formals under my belt and thinking I would rewear my prom dresses I wish I had known about Rent the Runway. I have yet to rewear my prom dresses and while it is great to have them around "just in case" most people pay too much to have them sitting in their closet all this time waiting for an opportunity to rewear them to arise. I'm sure most of you have heard of Rent the Runway before but if not you basically pay an extremely discounted price to rent one of their many designer dresses to wear for your event. So many of my friends swear by Rent the Runway for every sorority function we have and they are always the ones with the coolest dresses. You keep the dress for 4 or 8 days depending on which time frame you choose and then you ship it back. I specifically recommend this if you are planning to wear a long dress since short dresses are easier to wear more frequently. 

Below I am including options from all over the internet of long dresses and I've also included some awesome finds from Rent the Runway in case that sounds appealing to you!



And if I were headed to prom in a long dress this year I'd be wearing this one! It's a spring event so why not wear bright colors! I would discourage getting a black or dark dress since those can be worn to plenty of other occasions so for this event be bold and go colorful!

My favorite places to shop for long dresses includes (click the link to be taken directly to their dress pages): Nordstrom // Bloomingdales (incredible selection) // Asos // Shopbop // J.Crew (my senior prom dress was from there) //

Looking at all of the dresses these various sites have can be overwhelming so my best advice is to narrow your search to cocktail for short dresses and evening for long dresses!




Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tips for Getting Ready Quicker in the Morning

Energy in the morning is sometimes so hard to come by. What could be better than a few extra minutes of sleep after the first time your alarm goes off? While it isn't ideal to hit snooze over and over again sometimes you just can't help it and you fall behind schedule. Those days are the ones when you'll be most thankful to know how to get ready quicker in the morning.



While morning routines vary for most people the major goals and tasks to be accomplished remain the same. So how do you speed those up? I've got you covered with some quick tips below that will have you looking your best while being on time!

And if you're looking to really change things up I have a post all about Becoming a Morning Person if you're interested.

1. Prepare the night before.
Lay out your clothes and pack your bags the night before so that if you are left scrambling the next morning those are already taken care of. Packing your bag will ensure that nothing gets left behind and already picking out an outfit will ensure that you don't stand in your closet complaining that you don't have anything to wear when in reality you don't have the time to envision.

2. Multitask.
Eat breakfast while putting on your makeup if you're in a big hurry!

3. Streamline your Makeup Routine.
Speaking of makeup, have a quick fool proof routine that you can resort to without sacrificing an effort. I usually do the same thing for make up every morning and it doesn't tend to take more than 5 or 6 minutes so be sure you know what you can eliminate when you're in a hurry.

4. Shower the Night Before.
If you're in a real time crunch before heading out the door in the morning chances are the time you allotted for your morning shower may get sacrificed. Don't sacrifice cleanliness and instead shower the night before. If it is imperative that you skip the shower be sure to use a bit of dry shampoo to liven up your hair. 

5. Do your Hair the Night Before.
Sleeping on a hair style can make it look more natural and allow you quite a bit of extra shut eye. If this means blow drying it after you shower then spend that couple of extra minutes at night instead of attempting damage control the following morning because you slept on it sopping wet. Also knowing how to perfect a ponytail can be a real game changer when you're running behind.

6. Avoid Checking your Phone.
This may be the biggest time waster in the morning. I promise those instagrams you missed will still be there when you check later on but avoid social media stalking at all costs when you're in a hurry.

7. Check your Schedule the Night Before.
Being prepared for the day to come the night before is such a satisfying feeling and will help you feel relatively relaxed when you're rushing around to get out the door. You won't miss anything because you were able to check it before you felt frenzied!

What are your best tips, share them below!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Short Spring Prom and Formal Dresses

Since spring has officially sprung all that seems two things tend to overtake high schoolers minds… spring break and prom. The later of which is especially fun to dress for. I have received quite a few emails in the previous weeks asking for me to scavenge the internet and round up some of my favorite picks for prom dresses, the perfect procrastination method if you ask me. Lucky for y'all I found so many great picks that would be perfect for prom and countless other spring events such as formals, easter, weddings, and just about anything else. 

Different schools do prom differently and at my school we wore long dresses however many of the requests I have been receiving are for short dresses. Now looking back and having multiple sorority formals under my belt and thinking I would rewear my prom dresses I wish I had known about Rent the Runway. I have yet to rewear my prom dresses and while it is great to have them around "just in case" most people pay too much to have them sitting in their closet all this time waiting for an opportunity to rewear them to arise. I'm sure most of you have heard of Rent the Runway before but if not you basically pay an extremely discounted price to rent one of their many designer dresses to wear for your event. So many of my friends swear by Rent the Runway for every sorority function we have and they are always the ones with the coolest dresses. You keep the dress for 4 or 8 days depending on which time frame you choose and then you ship it back. I specifically recommend this if you are planning to wear a long dress since short dresses are easier to wear more frequently. 



And since short dresses are easier to wear I fully support you splurging a bit (but don't tell your parents I said that). Mixing up jewelry and shoes can completely change the look of an outfit and believe me if you're not rewiring it one of your friends will. I can guarantee that first hand considering how many formals and functions some of my dresses have made it to. If I were going to prom and wearing a short dress I would hands down be wearing this dress and dressing it up with a fun necklace like this one (please someone wear this combo so I can live vicariously through you).

I have gathered dresses from all over the internet and compiled them below, it's as easy as clicking on the dress you love and being able to instantly shop away! And if you can't tell from my picks, I highly encourage going bright and bold, why wear blank to a spring formal?

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |
7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12

Shop these dresses and many more below and be sure to let me know what dress you'll be wearing for any fancy events you have coming up in the near future!


Monday, March 16, 2015

Fun Flowy Skirts

With my trip to Paris and London finally feeling as though it isn't ages away I've begun envisioning packing my bags and jet setting. I usually hate packing but for whatever reason I am actually looking forward to packing for this trip although that attitude may change when it becomes closer to the time. I know I will undoubtably struggle during the process (I am a chronic over packer) but the types of clothes to take to wear in Paris and London will hopefully make the whole process seem more glamorous. Since I'll be away for three weeks I know that my packing will have to be incredibly practical (sometimes I struggle with that) and minimalistic. Taking key pieces that can be worn in many different ways to create a variety of outfits will be key but I won't want that to stop me from taking chic and girly clothes that look put together. While I am assuming I'll be wearing lots on pants just because they are the most versatile I will also need to bring some skirts or dresses to wear to the shows and ballets we will be attending.

Over spring break I was looking around online and found some fun and flawy skirt options that would make an outfit look entirely put together during the day and transition well to night. After looking at quite a few different retailers options I noticed that I wasn't the only one loving peplum bottom or fun shaped skirts as they can be found on loads of my favorite shopping sites. 

Here are a few of the ones I would love to pack into my suitcase.



Friday, March 13, 2015

Step Into My Week {2015 #9 & #10}

So sorry for the lack of posting last week, with midterms and being sick for a week and a half sleep, school, and getting over being sick were the my main focus. Unfortunately, my spring break is wrapping up and I'll be heading back to school on Sunday. Next week is full of lots of exciting events like initiation and formal so my recap for next week should be exciting. 

The drive home was long because of traffic (in every state) but I came home to fresh flowers and a home cooked meal which was extra inviting.

 


Nothing better than a break spent by the bay!



A few of my friends from Furman (including my little) were at the beach nearby and came to spend the day hanging out with me in my hometown. Unfortunately the weather was a bit gross but we made the most of it!


There has been lots of basketball watching here lately and our loyalty clearly lies with the Tar Heels. 



The weather has been in the 70s which has me ready for permanent sunshine and warm weather!


Happy Weekend!!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Spring Break Swimwear

College is great and all but I would be lying if I said that everyone wasn't counting down the days until Spring Break. While this break came at a perfect time for me (I spent all of last week and half of this week sick) the weather isn't exactly the warmest it could be. Why university academic calendars insist on placing Spring Break at the beginning of March was not run by me first! I've spent the break relaxing since it has been especially rainy but most people will be soaking in some much warmer weather and hitting the beach in which case some fabulous swimwear is essential. 

Although I am slightly bummed that I won't be coming back tan (even when I do get tan most people comment about how my face freckles really stand out anyway) perusing through some swimwear options has me so ready to spend time on the beach this summer. As I've been imagining boating and beaching my days away I have found some amazing swim suit options from all over the internet. If you're one of the lucky ones who will be spending your break in warmer weather by the water then be sure to check out some of these great swimwear finds. I've been absolutely blown away by some of the cute new suits I've seen and there are also loads that won't break the bank!

My swimwear trick, buy basic bottoms in colors that can match anything from an inexpensive place like Target and then you'll have a bit more money to spend on cool tops. If you're not a fan of the mix and match suit style then your could get some fun solids or add the bottoms to your cart too!

My favorite places to shop for swimwear:

And I am loving this very Lilly Pulitzer-esque romper cover up!


Aside from the ones above, here are some other suits that I found and thought were super cute. If any of them is exactly what you're looking for then you can shop the suit directly by clicking on it!


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

LUNA Bars: Snack On The Go

If you've been following along my blog for a while now then you probably are aware of my love of granola bars. When I did my What's In My Backpack post and video I am pretty positive I had upwards of eight granola bars in there. While that seems a bit ridiculous they are my favorite quick snack to grab on the go without sacrificing nutrition and more importantly flavor. 

While there are lots of good granola bars on the market my absolute favorites are from LUNA Bar
And, big news my favorite snack bar is now gluten which means virtually everyone can enjoy delicious LUNA bars. To celebrate LUNA has also added a new delicious favor that they sent me to try out. Chocolate Cupcake is the new flavor and it tastes just like dessert. Somehow they were able to get the unique flavor of a cupcake that you can enjoy and snack on on the go. 



While the Chocolate Cupcake flavor is delicious my all time favorite will always be the Chocolate Peppermint Stick. I probably have at least six in a week if not more! They are the perfect thing to eat between classes and are packed with lots of protein and fiber making them guilt free. This thought aligns perfectly with LUNA's philosophy: Say no to guilt, deprivation, and dieting and yes to intuitive nutrition, pleasure, quality ingredients and, of course, chocolate. How could any one complain about that statement?

Along with the new flavor LUNA sent me loads of mini bars in chocolate peppermint stick and lemon zest that I shared with my sorority sisters during midterm week. We all agreed that these were the perfect study snack and the mini bars were especially perfect for taste testing.
If you haven't tried LUNA bars before then definitely go pick some up, they will surely have a flavor that fits your mood. And be sure to try out the new chocolate cupcake bar and my personal favorite, chocolate peppermint stick or if you're looking for something a bit more refreshing instead of sweet grab the lemon zest bar!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Spring and Summer Sandals

Since it's my spring break I can't help but be in the mindset that winter is a thing of the past. While I unfortunately know that cooler temperatures may still be coming I am soaking in the sunlight and temperatures while they last. For whatever reason when packing to come home for break I completely ignored the fact that the weather could be warm and threw in a pair of shorts as an after thought. I am so glad I snagged those since yesterday the temperature nearly reached 80 degrees. Unfortunately, sandals were not something that I thought to grab. In the spring and summer I am almost always in jack rogers or a fun pair of sandals but this trip I don't have either.

This of course left me browsing through some of my favorite online sites looking at all of the new sandals that have come out for the upcoming seasons. There are so many cute ones and I love that most have backs as well. 

Here are a few of my personal favorites that I discovered while browsing!





Monday, March 9, 2015

Wanderlust

Now that spring break is here (woohoo) and a much needed break I have finally had a bit of downtime to relax and take a breath. In the midst of that breath I realized that my upcoming trip to Paris and London is only about two months away! I mean I should probably start packing now! Kidding, but it now feels like it is not to premature to start getting excited.

I've never been out of the country so this is a first. I am going for a month with a program through Furman and I am more than willing to fast forward through the next months and hop on that plane. For now, Pinterest and photos will have to do. My new favorite site to scroll through is Paris in Four Months. That's where a few of the photos below are from as well as my pinterest boards.



So did we decide it's too early to start packing?



Monday, March 2, 2015

Big // Little Week + Reveal {Meet my Little and See what Gifts I Gave}

As I hinted at in Friday's Step Into My Week this past week was big // little week for my sorority. Big // Little week is done differently at every school and even differs depending on sororities so this is just how Furman Kappa Delta does it. If you're new to my blog then here is the bit of background info you're probably looking for: I am a sophomore at Furman University in Greenville, SC. I am a Kappa Delta and and currently serve as Vice President of Public Relations. Since I am a sophomore that means I got a little and was giving the gifts.



For those of you who may be completely confused by what a big and a little is then here is a quick synopsis. All sororities (that I know of at least) pair an older member with a new member. This is considered your big sister or little sister. We tend to shorten that into your big or little. Sophomores get a freshman little who is added to their sorority family. Here are the lineage terms in regards to me being a big and from my age perspective (sounds ridiculous I know but it's so fun) Grandbig (senior, Jenny), Big (junior, Caroline), Me (sophomore), Little (freshman, Martha Ann). So I am both a big and a little. Hopefully that made I tiny bit of sense but if not then just enjoy the pictures and gift ideas!



So, the way you are matched with your little is by mutual selection. They (the freshman new members) rank the top four people they would want to be their big and we (the sophomores) rank our top four options of who we would like as our little. It sounds bad that we are ranking people but it is to ensure that everyone is happily matched up.



My little's name is Martha Ann and I got to know her pretty well first semester and we've grown super close this semester. We matched one and one so I knew that I would need to try to trick her in order to ensure that reveal would be a surprise so I was naughty and a bit mean. I texted her on Sunday after receiving the email saying that she would be my little and I dramatically told her that I wasn't her big. I told her I had kind of bad news and that I had thought that we for sure would have been matched but we didn't and I wanted her to hear it from me first. I emphasized that this wouldn't have to change our relationship at all and that we would still remain just as close. I encouraged her by saying that her big was great and that I would be helping her out during the week to ensure that she would get awesome gifts. I then told her that I was upset and thought it was only fair to let her know this in advance so that she wouldn't be disappointed. The combination of that semi convincing text and her semi gullible and trusting personality had her totally fooled. Of course then I felt terrible for lying to her but since my gifts screamed me I knew that I needed to put her in that state of limbo so that reveal would at least be semi surprising.

  
The way we do big little gifts is different than some sororities. Our little's get most of their gifts right after initiation at a dinner and event that we call "basket ceremony." I have been preparing for big little week all first semester and saved a lot of things to passed down to my little. During the week we give them little assortments of prizes from Sunday until Thursday along with clues revealing our identity (except most of those are lies too). This week is not supposed to be all about lying so do not take that the wrong way!

From the gift pictures you will probably be able to tell that I love themes. I tried to make the gifts seem purposeful and cohesive.

Day One:


I gifted: KD letters | Teddy Bear Kappa Delta Ornament | Kappa Delta Lilly Cup | Kappa Delta Notepads | Candy | Kappa Delta Tshirt

Day Two:


I gifted: Kappa Delta Block Frame | Kappa Delta Jar with favorite Candy | Two KD Tshirts | KD Magnets and DooDads | Green Patterned Scarf

Day Three: We have an all pink function called Flock so that is why I did an all pink day.


I gifted: Inflatable Flamingo | Pink Lei | Pink Boa | 2 KD Tshirts from Flock | Flamingo Ear Boppers | He's Just Not That Into You Movie | Pink Smart Water Dring | Not pictured: Pink and Gold Tassel Garland above her door

Day Four: One of our fundraising events is called Shamrock and our color is green so that's where this theme came from.


I gifted: Shamrock Garland | Shamrock Boxers | Plain Green Scarf | Shamrock Ear Boppers | Shamrock Sunglasses | Shamrock Socks | Green EOS Lip Balm | I Shamrock KD Shirt | Shamrock 5k Long Sleeve Shirt | KD Travel Mug | KD Picture Frame

Day Five: I forgot to take a picture of this one!
I gifted: Shamrock Pajama Pants | Nautilus Shell Necklace | Big / Little Reveal Shirt | Puppy Chow | 2 Essie Nail Polishes | KD Lilly Print Picture Frame 

Thursday was the day of the reveal. We had a snow day that day and reveal wasn't until 7:00 so the day seemed like forever. All the new members met in front of the bellower wearing the big / little reveal shirts we gave them and more importantly, a fake license plate. The license plate idea didn't apply as well this year since we were on the soccer field instead of in the parking lot as we traditionally do. The idea behind our big little usually is that every member of a family was inside of a car with that fake license plate attached and they would pop out once you got there but none of us have patience for that and we had to be on the field since it had lights! Instead, the families had signs, flowers, and goodies waiting for you once you discovered who your big was! The new members ran from the bell tower to the field and are instructed to find their matching license plate. Typically they are to wear something that matches their big but I couldn't find anything fun for Martha Ann to wear so I had her bring a balloon that I delivered to her and we also had balloons with us. She finally spotted me and I think she was pretty surprised and relieved! 


  

Afterwards we went to dinner as a family to a place called Brick Street which is so yummy and has the best dessert. Martha Ann and I split chocolate peanut butter cake and sweet potato cake after our meal. Then once we were back on campus we hung out on our sorority hall (where I live) with other big / little pairs. I drove she and a few of her friends back to their dorm and hung out with them their for a little while before we decided to go to cookout. It was such a fun night and week and I am so excited to have Martha Ann as my little!


  

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