Monday, June 30, 2014

Beach Bag Must Haves {Packing the Perfect Beach Bag}

In the summer I love nothing more than being a beach bum! While I adore my time at camp I always head home looking forward to and lusting after my time on the beach and by the water! This year I am lucky enough to leave camp and head straight to the beach to soak up some sun and spend time with my family. Between the ample time I have spent at the beach, the pool, and on the boat I've gotten packing the perfect beach tote down to a science!
(Check out last years version of this post here)

Nothing is worse than realizing that you've forgotten something super important once you get all the way to the beach and then you are stuck either without the item or purchasing an overpriced version of the same thing at beach side shops! I am making it super easy for you though with an extended list of anything you may need while lounging about. 

For starters you are going to need an awesome beach bag or tote (check out tons of versatile options that can go seamlessly from the sand to the shops a little less obviously in my post here!) and a few of your favorite swim suits (tons of great & affordable options here!).

bright and extra large tote // huge beach towel (how adorable is the one above!?)  // coverup // flip flops (on super sale) // hat // water bottle / sunnies // fun beach read // sunscreen // chapstick // small bag for inside your tote (it's a game changer, try it next time you are at the beach for your smaller items) // phone + cute case // headphones //

Fill your tote bag with all the necessities!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Comfortable and Casual

There is something about seeing people wearing dresses where I automatically think that they look so put together. And they usually do but until I  put a dress on myself I forget how effortless that can be! A dress gives you an easy choice when getting dressed in the morning because you don't have to worry about two separate pieces matching. When I am running errands or getting lunch with friends I never think to stray from my typical chinos and a top but I think a dress is equally as suitable!

Especially when it is Lilly! All of my light weight cotton dresses are comfortable but Lilly just takes the cake! Cute print and comfort beyond belief, you will hear no complaints from me!

dress (old, lots similar here) // monogram necklace // bracelets (DY classic, DY pearl, cutout monogram) // ray bans //

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Blog Q & A {If you're nosey this is a must read}

Confession, I originally thought that having y'all ask me questions and me answering them would be easy peezy! Boy was I wrong but that may have been my own fault by encouraging y'all to ask oodles of questions and oodles of questions were asked. Over 75 comments on this instagram post and here I am realizing that the post I originally had planned would have been a walk through the park!

Being the nosey person I am I ADORE reading these sorts of posts so I hope you enjoy learning a bit more about me courtesy of these random questions asked by my instagram followers! Also shootout to my funny friends for scattering in a few funny questions within the mix (@prepinyourstep on instagram to see those).


When / Will you be putting up another youtube video?
This question is asked so frequently and I am not sure how to approach this. Youtube for me is a supplement to blogging but my blog will forever come first. With that being said, it is hard enough sometimes to keep up with my blog with my crazy schedule so youtube video filming and posting hasn't exactly been on my radar or my top priority! If my wifi at home was faster I may be more likely to post but uploading videos takes SO long and when I am at home the upload usually fails which is incredibly frustrating. So there you have it, two reasons why I have not been uploading videos. That is not to say that once I get back to school I won't get back into it but this summer I wouldn't hold your breath on seeing videos so hopefully my written posts will suffice!

What colleges did you apply to and what influenced your final decisions?
Ahh, such an exciting time. I actually have a whole weeks worth of posts dedicated to the decision time here!

What is your most recent purchase?
I am pre-posting so things will be going up while I am away so this is the most recent thing I've purchased as I am typing this and it's this adorable bathing suit top!

What are your favorite Lilly items?
 They change with the release of new products but here are some of them!

What is your best advice for someone starting a blog?
I did a post a month or two ago with my best advice for beginner bloggers! I think it would have been really helpful to know this when I started so I hope you enjoy!

Places in American and the world you want to visit?
Oh goodness, this could go on and on! I really want to travel and I have done some travel but sadly my passport has never been stamped! London, Paris, Italy you name it I would go there!

What encouraged you to start blogging?
I was looking for a creative outlet during a stressful workload junior year of high school. I really wanted to be productive while being creative and blogging was the perfect way to do that. Now, I can't imagine not blogging!

What is your favorite thing about blogging and what has been the most rewarding experience?
I love interacting with readers and making posts. I love it when I get super excited for a post to go up and hear what y'all think of the post! The most rewarding experience so far has been reaping the benefits of blogging in regards to my visit to the Lilly Pulitzer showroom over spring break. I would not have had that opportunity if I weren't a blogger!

What's your favorite brand?
I adore Lilly Pulitzer but J.Crew Factory is my go to! Nordstrom also rocks although it isn't a singular brand!

What's a trend you dislike?
This may be really unpopular but I am not a fan of Jack Rogers with nike shorts and a t-shirt. I think that looks kind of funny but to each is own!

Favorite foods to make and eat?
I like baking more than just cooking! Brownies, cookies, cupcakes haha no complaints with any of those!

What do you eat on a normal day?
I am not consistent enough to have a normal day food consumption list! I do love my cereal in the morning and hummus is always a welcome addition!

How do you balance school and all of the fun preppy social media and clothes and stuff?
It takes a lot of time management and prioritizing! I'm glad you think I am balancing it because behind the scenes it doesn't always look that way!

What are some things you are hoping to cross off your bucket list this sumer?
Hmm…I wish I had a summer bucket list but beach going would probably be one of them!

How do you stay motivated to blog?
I get motivated by reading other blogs and scrolling through my instagram feed and usually that leaves me motivated and inspired a great combination when blogging!

What were some factors in deciding on rushing for a sorority?
I knew that I wanted greek life to be a part of my college experience! It wasn't uncommon in my family, my grandparents were involved in greek life as were my mom and my dad and their stories always seemed like a lot of fun so I decided to join!

What's the best advice you can give someone going into college?
Don't put off fun ideas until later in the year because you will run out of time! Study a lot but know when to take time to do something fun. You aren't going to look back on the hours you spent in the library with an IV of coffee but you will look back fondly on those spontaneous times with friends!

Where is your favorite place to shop?
Can online be the answer to this? I know that doesn't really count but scrolling through pinterest is where I find tons of fun clothing pieces!

What do you want to name your future children?
I'm not entirely sure but I like the idea of using family names!

Where do you get your monogram stickers?
Etsy! Just search monogram decals!

What are some preppy staples?
Chino shorts, oxfords, jack rogers!

Favorite pair of Jack Rogers and how long did it take to break them in?
I adore my platinum pair and I never remember Jacks being too torturous to break in!

Favorite part of college?
Living with/ near my best friends!

Did you enjoy high school?

Favorite and most used apps?
Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, VSCOcam

Favorite part of being a camp counselor?
I love working with kids so that is a definite perk! I also love that I am able to impact campers and play at camp with them!

How did you choose which camp to work at?
I work at the camp I went to! 9 years going strong!

Who are some of your favorite instagrammers?
I have a super fun post coming up about that!

Favorite handbag you own?
I have a super great Tory Burch tan cross body bag that is so practical and I adore that I would have to consider my favorite!

How I stay motivated with a long to-do list?
I try to reward myself along the way and I don't like having tasks linger which causes me to speed along the process!

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
Hopefully married with kids teaching school somewhere! Maybe still blogging, who knows!

Did you ever think you would become this successful?
Honestly no! And thanks for thinking that I am successful, my visual success is dependent on all of y'all  but I think I would probably still be blogging if only 10 people read because I genuinely enjoy it!

How do you keep coming up with genuine post ideas?
I write them down as I think of them and I get inspired by pinterest!

How was your high school experience?
It was good! Mine was not filled with crazy drama or any of the dramatics that TV shows try to make it out to seem but I enjoyed my four years!

What was the most memorable thing that happened to you in high school?
I can't necessarily think of a single most memorable thing that happened because lots of awesome things happened in high school (like the creation of my blog)!

What program do you use to create graphics for your blog?
I use powerpoint!

Favorite book of the moment?
I still can't get over how great The Fault In Our Stars was and I read that over Christmas!

Where would you want to visit for your honeymoon?
Depends on the season but I think somewhere tropical could be fun! I also think a European excursion could be great!

Do you diet or work out?
Yes to work out nope to diet! 

How do you stay in shape in college?
I am glad y'all think I'm in shape haha! I go to the gym and just try to remain active.

Do you ever miss out on experiencing a big school for college?
I don't think so! I am excited to go visit some friends at Alabama and Ole Miss this upcoming school year but I think a weekend of big school living will be more than enough to suffice and I assume that I'll gladly return to my small school lifestyle!

How do you handle an overwhelming amount of questions?
Somehow I did but I'm honestly not sure how!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Happy National Wear Your Lilly Day! {You Gotta Regatta}

It's the Summer Solstice! Which for all of us Lilly lovers means National Wear Your Lilly day! Not that you need any excuse to wear Lilly it sure is fun to have an excuse to purchase some Lilly! Obviously, I had to put on my absolute favorite Lilly dress for the occasion and I can't help but love the comfort and cuteness this dress provides!

(ignore the fact that the bay looks a bit gross, we have had A LOT of rain which makes it look a bit icky)

Treat yourself to some Lilly today!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Must Do / Eat / See in NYC as a First Timer

Although this past time in New York was not my first I was able to accomplish a lot of super fun tourist activities! It was so fun to have free reign of the city with my friends for spring break and if you want to see our daily itinerary (I slaved over this) along with pictures check out the posts here ( day one | day two | day three | day four )

We had an absolute blast and I have been receiving some requests to share some of my tips and must dos / sees for first timers!

If you need an excuse to take a last minute excursion then go to the Smart Girls Summit! I am so jealous that I can't attend but I know it will be a blast!

to see…
The Statue of Liberty
Broadway Shows ( I adored Cinderella and Matilda)
Empire State Building or Top of The Rock
The Plaza (hello Eloise, rawther exciting!) + Market downstairs in the Plaza

must eat…
Laduree (I am macaron obsessed b/c of NYC)
Magnolia Bakery
Ellen's Star Dust Diner
Rosie O'Gradys

Anywhere in NYC is good to shop!
But especially-
Upper East Side
Flat Iron
Madison, Park, and Fifth of course!

* you will get a lot more out of your trip if you plan out your days in advance
*figure out the subway before getting down there and use it instead of taxis #somuchcheaper
*have a map, who cares if you look like a tourist  if it gets you to where you need to go
*make reservations for restaurants

Add any tips or must do / see / or eat below!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Perfect Summer Totes

I wish that my purse collection was as plentiful as my tote bag collection. Seriously though, I have so many beach bag style totes! I fully blame the fact that I live so close to the beach and everyone has the mentality that you can't ever have too many beach totes! 

Below I have put together many of my most favorite totes and bags for summer that can translate seamlessly between the beach and the town! While having beach totes is great they aren't exactly discreet to be used as traditional bags when you don't have sand surrounding you! 

bottom left (under $40 and reversible) // bottom middle // bottom right

What are your favorite summer totes?

Friday, June 13, 2014

What I've Learned From Camp

Camp has been my home away from home for years now. I honestly can't imagine a summer where camp is not in my agenda complete with a countdown. As a camper for six years and now into my third year as a counselor I have learned a lot from my summers of fun! My age-out (last year I could be a camper) year we were all asked to write a quick 30 minute blurb about what camp means to us. Here is what mine says, (I took my camps name out of it so many of the camps in it were replaced with it's specific name).

"As I complete my final year as a camper here I realize how much camp really means to me. As upset as I am to finish my career I am reminded of the amazing experiences and friendships that my summers here at camp have brought about. I met 3 of my very best friends here at camp and have been influenced by campers, counselors, and Christ during my time here. Here I have learned confidence, responsibility, and compassion that I may not have found elsewhere. I hope that camp impacts each and every one of you in the same positive way it has impacted me. Take advantage of your years here at camp and cherish each moment because it really is over before you know it."

Camp has allowed me to branch out and step out of my shell. I have gained skills necessary in life such as working with others, making friends, and becoming a team player. Many of my fondest memories were made at camp. Through my experiences at camp I have become independent and confident and each summer am given a chance to step away from the real world and fully immerse myself into the "camp bubble" that I know and love.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Typical Days Camp Attire

Woohoo today is the first opening day at camp of the summer and I could not be one bit more excited. First session is great because we are all bursting at the seams with excitement to meet our campers and begin the best part about summer! This is my third year on staff and ninth at camp and I honestly can't imagine a summer where camp is not involved. You could say I am a seasoned pro when it comes to dressing the part as a camp counselor! #comfortiskey

At camp, my outfits aren't very creative or stylish for that matter. If you checked out my camp must have post from May 28th you can probably tell that my must haves translate directly to my daily attire!

Below you can see a whole days worth of outfits, including a night out (when I actually chose to dress nice) for y'all to see the evolution of a day at camp!

Wake Up: top // pj bottoms // slippers
Morning: tennis shoes // shorts // tshirt
Afternoon: chacos // tank
Night Out: dress // wedges // bag // watch

Hooray for camp starting!

Friday, June 6, 2014

My Must Have Products

Over and over again y'all have requested me to share my favorite products for this and that so here I am summing up all of my must have products as of late right here right now! I thought it would be easiest to go through my daily routine along with the products I use so that I can clarify what I use each for (although it's probably pretty self explanatory).

(by the way, I tend to shower at night)

Before I shower I usually turn some music on on my phone by using pandora. Before I actually get in the shower I do my very best to get all of my eye makeup off by using Neutrogena's Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover. I usually use 2 cotton round for this, one to actually get the makeup of with and the other clean one to wipe under and around my eyes after using the product (although it says it is oil free I find it to be a kind of greasy product and that's why I like to use it before I shower).

I am not a leisurely showered and would prefer to get in, get clean, and get out! I tend to start by shampooing and conditioning my hair. I have been loving Pantene's Repair and Protect shampoo and conditioner. After I have put the conditioner in my hair I don't rinse it out until I've finished everything else. Next I usually wash my face. I use Murad's Clarifying Cleanser when I wash my face and I use all of the items from this line for my facial cleanser (I am not sure it is the best face wash for clearing up my skin but it was worth a try and I like the way it feels and smells). After that, I use body wash by first putting it on a loofah (makes a world of difference in tiny showers at school). I don't wash the body wash off my legs and instead use it as a shave gel for when I shave my legs.

post shower
After I shower and get dried off I focus on my face. I start by putting on Murad's Clarifying Toner and then follow up with Murad's Blemish Spot Treatment. Next, I use Neutrogena's Oil-Free lotion and then if I feel like it sometimes I put lotion on my legs and body.

Of course my favorite go-to product is the one I left out of the image! I am on my second bottle and absolutely adore Pantene's Overnight Repair Miracle Serum! I put two pumps into my hand and apply it to the lower third of my hair before I blow it dry! This stuff smells amazing and leaves my hair super soft!

The makeup I chose to include in this image and post is what I use as my regular makeup routine. I start by putting lotion on my face and then I curl my eye lashes and put on mascara. If I want my eye lashes to look super full and long I combine a couple of mascaras but my favorite is Benefit's They're Real. I always do my mascara first which isn't really the norm. Also, I don't wear eye shadow very often so that's why I chose not to include it. Next I use my Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer and just rub it in with my fingers. (I really want to try out Bare Mineral's new liquid foundation!) Then, I apply a little bit of bare minerals powder foundation for a bit more coverage! (I like using bare minerals brushes and eco tools brushes and I don't really stray from those). If I decide to use a bit of bronzer I like Pixi's Beauty Bronzer and I apply a little bit under my cheek bones. For blush, I like to double team with Nars' Orgasm blush to give my cheeks a little bit of a glow and then on top of that I use Bobbi Brown's Desert Rose blush for a bit more color.

And then I am all done with my "beauty routine."

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Lilly Pulitzer 2014-2015 Agendas {Pre-Order Now} + Organization Tips

If there is one thing that I can't function without it would have to be my large Lilly Pulitzer agenda. For the past three years I have become entirely too dependent on that little thing for organizing my school work, activities, and blog posts! Honestly, none of my prescheduling while I am away at camp would have happened if it weren't for having it all listed out in my planner! I would probably cry if I lost it which is mildly embarrassing but all too true!

Each summer I get super excited to see which patterns Lilly will release for their agendas for the year! I tend to gravitate towards the exceptionally cheerful and bright colors! I was so excited to see such playful and fun patterns on this years set of agendas!

This year they seem to have been released pretty early and you can go ahead and pre-order one! Music to my ears! It isn't too uncommon for the agendas to sell out so go ahead and snatch one up

Usually I have the hardest time choosing which pattern will grace the cover of my agenda all year long but right when I saw that jamming for jellies was an option my decision was made!

Which agenda will you be using? 
Also, if you want to see how I organize my agenda check out my post all about it here!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Color Waves for Nails and Sails

After posting this photo to instagram a few weeks back (follow me on insta @prepinyourstep) everyone was dying for me to post the colors on my blog!

So to make this less like a list I decided to number the polishes. These are some of my favorite summer polishes that I own! 



What are your favorite summer nail polish colors?
I want to add Marshmallow to my collection next!

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