Friday, August 29, 2014

A New Friday Post Series: Step Into My Week

One of the hardest parts of being a blogger for me is wondering what y'all are most interested in seeing. Unless I hear feedback I am kind of in the dark about what y'all are dying to read about. Blogging can be kind of lonely in that aspect. 

I know some of y'all really enjoy college updates from me so I decided this would be the perfect combination of photos and updates from me as well as occasional favorites I am dying to share! This is a combination of photos from school as well as things I've discovered in the past week!

Of course, me being me, I couldn't have a series going out without a fun name. Considering I am a lover of puns I labored over coming up with something punny for y'all. I am not completely head over heals (not even trying and that was a pun) with the name but it'll do for now!

Without further adieu… welcome to my very first of hopefully many Fridays
Step Into My Week!

*I'm not sure I mentioned this or not but I got my haircut even shorter so yes, it is freshly cut in these photos*

This week has been a whirlwind in a good way! Saturday I drove up to Furman following Nell and her mom on our eight hour trek. We stopped for lunch at Chickfila and hen Sunday I spent the whole day unloading, unpacking, and organizing my dorm room for the semester. It almost felt as though I hadn't left school however, everything seems to have changed (most importantly we are no longer the youngest)! It is tiny but it is coming together quite nicely and don't you worry, I will have a whole post about my dorm room and decorations for y'all soonish! I am living on the Kappa Delta hall so it has been such a blast being able to roam from room to room and have friends all around!

Move in was such a process and I felt like I was moving all of my stuff from my bed to the futon and back again so I am very relieved to have it somewhat situated now!  Here is a teaser of it for y'all...

That night I was able to see a few of the girls I work with at camp that are now freshmen at Furman and I took them, along with their roommates to cookout, a crowd favorite here at Furman! It was so fun to see the hand get to know their roommates and I won't complain about a milkshake either!

Monday was spent going to check my mail box and picking up my books. School doesn't seem quite so real until your books are lying on your desk. Speaking of desks, I had ordered a desk hutch to better organize my space and I built that on Monday as well. I had a meeting to go to that afternoon and then some friends and I checked out the newly renovated dining hall and went to a carnival put on by Furman. It was such a nice night and I forgot how fun carnival rides can be. It has been so fun seeing friends and catching up with them about how their summer was but it is strange to have so many new faces on campus.

The carnival man had me sit by myself on the other side of the swings to "even out the weight" not sure what that was all about but my friends found it highly entertaining.

The girl in the picture above is my roommate for this year! Her name is Karina and she is super great!

After the carnival Nell, Caroline, and I (you probably remember them from last year and this post) showered and watched a movie and painted our nails before we went to bed since it was a school night…

Tuesday was the first day of classes and I only had one class so that was nice. That night I ended up sleeping on Nell and Caroline's floor because I accidentally got locked out of my room, so that was a bit of an adventure. Wednesday I had my long day of classes and I am optimistically hoping that my course load will be manageable!

For my human development class we have to raise virtual children and mine ended up being a girl. The whole thing is kind of like a mixture of webkinz and the sims but seems pretty fun so far!

Thursday was spent at class and the library and then that night a fraternity on campus hosted a party at the local baseball teams stadium and it was such a cool venue. My friends and I only stayed for a few minutes and then went to cookout!

I have had some requests for outfit posts however, right now I don't really have the time to do those so I did try to compromise by showing y'all these photos of what I've worn to class the past few days..

I am so excited for an extended weekend with no major plans!

Also, I can not stop listening to this song! I am so excited for Taylor Swift's new album!

Happy Friday y'all and get excited for a post all about labor day sales coming your way soon!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Fancy Frocks + Lots of Places to Shop for Them! {Dresses Perfect for Homecoming, Weddings, Formals, & even Recruitment}

I am probably not the best source for finding the perfect dress for your high school homecoming considering my school never had a formal homecoming dance. We always had a theme and dressed for it! I have however attended plenty of other events that call for formal-ish frocks and making this post allowed me the perfect excuse to survey some of my favorite sites for cocktail style dresses to share with y'all for any big events you may have coming up!

I tend to lean more towards the classic side so if you are incredibly trendier then these dresses may not be your absolute favorite! I have found however, that by leaning towards more classic style dresses that the dresses I purchased as earlier as my freshman year of high school still look fresh and fun as I continue to transition into my sophomore year of college! 

I think that the dresses below could be perfect for Homecoming, Weddings, Recruitment, Formals, and even Business Parties allowing you to enter into events depending on your age as your dresses provide a timeless look! I have tried to include an array of different looks at various prices with hopes that you will find one that suites your taste.
bottom left | bottom right

If you're looking to save yourself some space in your closet as well as keep your wallet full I highly recommend that you look into renting a dress from Rent The Runway. They have loads of fabulous options that allow you guilt free browsing!

Some of my favorite places to shop for dresses:

| Modcloth (often forgotten with loads of dresses for great prices) | Nordstrom | Bloomingdales | Lilly Pulitzer | ASOS | J.Crew | Rent The Runway | Anthropologie |

Now I am only wishing that there were enough formal events for me to attend in order to wear them all!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Boots Made For Walking

Now that I am back in the Carolinas and the air is a bit more crisp and a lot less humid I can't stop thinking about fall! The weather has been so pleasant these past few days which leads me to start thinking of my fall attire and more importantly riding boots! 

I just had to get my trusty riding boots resoled because I wear them so frequently in the fall and winter and besides a worn down sole they look brand new! If you are looking to invest in one wardrobe staple for the fall it should be a fair of brown/cognac riding boots, you won't regret it!

Below are some of my favorite brown and black riding boots that are on my radar for fall.
bottom left (the pair I own, they are the best) | bottom middle | bottom right 

Some equally as great black boot options...

Do you find yourself reaching for riding boots all fall and winter too?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Class Must Haves

Today is my first day of classes of sophomore year. I am so excited to have gotten all moved in and settled back with my friends at Furman but I still can't believe we aren't freshmen any more. Fortunately my summer was slightly more extended than some considering my only class on Tuesday and Thursday starts at 11:30. I don't know what to do with myself in the morning with so much extra time!

I figured that a backpack essential or class must have post fit right in for my first day of school!
Check out my favorite things to carry with me below!

Lilly Agenda | BIC Atlantis Pens | Backpack
Minimergency Kit | Pencil Pouch | Highlighters
Le Pens | Macbook
Gum | Water Bottle | Headphones
Calculator (only because I have math this semester) | Granola Bars | Binders + Notebooks

These are all things that you can typically find me carrying in my backpack along with chargers for any electronics! I hope that those of you already back in school are having a great beginning of the school year!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Pink & Navy

A timeless and well loved color combination that I find to be in style no matter the season! I have always been drawn to this combo and can't help but think of it as a classic combo although I am sure others would disagree! What's not to love? Pink as a bright making a statement while when paired with navy it is a bit subdued. I am a fan!

Find my favorites of this combo below!

navy sweater | pink watch | navy cross body (definitely on my wish list) | pink hunters

Shop my favorites below or click above!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Big/Little Gift Ideas + Great Places to Purchase Sorority Gear!

For many girls at large universities Recruitment has come and gone! Between the excitement of bid day and a new pledge class to celebrate with I can assure that the sophomore pledge class is gearing up for the next most exciting part…Big / Little Week!

The entire new member process was an absolute blast however, the excitement of coming back to my for room after a long day of classes and discovering an exciting goodie with a clue outside my door left by my big was such a blast and the clues left me sleuthing to try to discover my bigs identity prior to the reveal!

Personally, I have already begun thinking of how to spoil my little and I am excited to share some of my favorite sites with you! One of my favorite gifts during big/little week was t-shirts! This semester I will be purchasing an extra shirt from each event to give my little! This is a great way to spread out the cost so that you aren't stuck spending lots the week before reveal!

I am a bit biased and that is clearly evident below by using solely Kappa Delta stuff in this image! Whoops! Even if you aren't a KD these will give you great ideas no matter which organization you are a member of!

My favorite places to shop online! Crafting and DIY is also recommended!

Etsy (just search your sorority! My favorite is LettersByAlex)

Where are your favorite places to shop for Greek gear?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Agenda Organization Must Haves

It comes as no surprise that I love paper goods and organization! I hope to have another agenda organization post up for y'all soon but here is mine from last year for reference! Each year I have a few must haves that I rely on while organizing my agenda! For the past 4 years I have become dependent on my Lilly Pulitzer large agenda! Is it weird that I save them year after year? I like seeing what I've accomplished! This year I was completely stuck when it came to choosing the print that would grace the presence of my agenda for an ENTIRE year. After weighing in my options and deciding and then re-thinking my decision I am pleased with my Large Lilly Lovers Agenda!

I realized that I have had blue agendas for the past 2 years so it was time for something different! My school supplies for the year are also a variety of blues so the pink hue this agenda provides will be a fun  pop! And who doesn't adore peonies (my brother…reading over my shoulder).

So behold… My Agenda Organization Necessities!

Clearly, you're going to need some sort of agenda. I have my Lilly agenda and I am also using a Kate Spade planner for blogging, I am partial to my Lilly agendas color and creativity on every page!

I swear by Le Pen! These are the best pens for just about everything! Color coordinating my assignments is one of my favorite parts of my agenda organization. Le Pen is great because with the 18 color  pack you are sure to adore all of the choices and better yet, they don't bleed! I've had the same set for over a year now and they are still going strong!

Post-It Notes are my favorite way to make to-do lists. On super busy weeks you can guarantee a to-do list for every day. The lined ones keep things neat however you can write more on the unlined ones so it is whatever strikes your fancy. See other uses for post it notes here and here!

Highlighters are the best way to mark your achievement. I always cross off completed assignments with highlighters to document what I have left to do. I also find that crossing things off is a great way to motivate me to complete other assignments.

Paper clips are my way to mark the page I'm on. And why not choose super cute ones like these offered from Kate Spade.

Call me a child but I adore stickers and have been using Lilly's academic and greek stickers to add a bit more fun to my daily assignments. Call me crazy but stickers can make the fact that you have to write a paper a bit better.

What are your agenda necessities?

Also I would love to hear of ANY and ALL post ideas or content you would like to see! I am trying to preplan some posts before I head back to school and really want to know what y'all are interested in!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

How To Be A GREAT Roommate

The things I was most excited about as I headed off to college last fall was that I got to decorate my dorm room and have a roommate! I really lucked out and adored both aspects however, I know that some people may not be as fortunate in the realm of roommates. My roommate, Nell, and I ended up being two peas in a pod and best friends!

A little background for you…

Furman is really adamant about completing a survey that will determine who you will room with based on the responses you've given. This survey worked out beautifully for some of my friends and could've been better for others. One of my aunts put Nell and I in touch seeing as she was friends with Nell's family and knew we were both heading to Furman.

I reached out to Nell on Facebook since we didn't live too far away from each other and it would be nice to know another person before we headed off 8 hours away. Those initial messages were so formal and are quite entertaining to re-read now that we are best friends!

After messaging back and forth for a little while we decided to get lunch together with our moms in tow to fill in any awkward silences that could potentially occur. the lunch was fun and we had tons in common and got along great! We then hinted at and eventually decided to request each other as roommates and the rest is history!

We only got into one fight during our time as roommates and that was even a fake fight. Basically, I wanted her to ride home with me at Christmas and instead she insisted on following me so that she would have her car at home.

Like I said earlier, not everyone is lucky however, here are some tips on how to make living with your roommate easier and more amicable!

1. Communicate Expectations at the Beginning | By starting out by clearly stating the expectations you each have, those expectations are more likely to be a reality. This beginning communication is crucial as you begin living together. If you're really particular about certain things, let your roommate know of that! communication is key for having a great experience!

2. Lock the Door | This should go without saying. I do not understand my friends who don't lock their dorm room doors! How terrible would you feel if you left the door unlocked and your laptop and great grandmothers pearl necklace were taken. Now picture if that same thing happened to your roommate and it was your fault. Locking your door takes about 15 seconds and is an easy way to prevent conflict. A fun bonding event could be you and your roommate shopping for cute key rings to keep your key on!

3. Give Your Roommate Alone Time In The Room | This is something that I think everyone should be conscious of and I personally had to focus on during second semester of this past year. It is unlikely that your roommate and you will have identical schedules so by just going to class you are already likely providing your roommate some time alone in the room. In college you are surrounded by people nearly all the time so a little alone time in your own space is nice! Go to the library or the gym to allow  them some alone time.

4. Respect Your Roommates Things | This is something you and your roommate can talk about when you communicate your expectations, as suggested in tip #1. I would recommend that you always ask before borrowing even if y'all decide that your stuff is my stuff and my stuff is your stuff.

5. Make A Roommate Agreement | Furman does this at the beginning of the year for all freshmen and that may be why so many roommate relationships are a success. This is a survey of sorts that we did with our RA that covered questions ranging from: How do you feel about room visitors? / What do you think of your roommate borrowing your things? These questions provided great insight into your roommates lifestyle.

6. Be Courteous of their Schedule | Your roommate goes to bed early and you need to stay up late and study? Turn off the overhead light and allow her to sleep and flip on your desk light so that you can still see to study! Today is your roommates sleep in day and you have class at 8:30? Try to turn your alarm off after the first couple rings and be quiet as you head out the door!

7. Be Clean and Cleanup After Yourself | Nothing is more annoying than coming back from a rough day of class to dishes in the sink and clothes strewn about because someone had a presentation today. You wouldn't want to do this to your roommate and hopefully your roommate won't do that to you! Your room doesn't have to be as immaculate as a museum but try to keep things organized and your stuff on your side of the room. Take turns taking out the trash and vacuuming the room!

8. Deal With Problems As They Arise | Don't let emotions and conflict build up between you and your roommate. If you deal with problems as they arise corrections can be made instead of you just assuming your roommate will pick up on your passive aggressive hints. Don't blow up on your roommate, everything after that will just be uncomfortable.

9. Be Intentional With Your Relationship | You're going to the dining hall to grab some coffee, ask if your roommate wants some or wants to come. Going to the grocery store, see if your roommate needs anything! Just by offering you are allowing your roommate to see that you want to get along and you are finding ways to grow closer. 

10. Offer Help | See that your roommate is struggling with something? Offer assistance! It won't go unnoticed and it's likely that help will be offered to you in return.

I hope these tips help you to forge a positive relationship with you roommate!

Sadly, Nell and I will not be living together this year since we pledged different sororities and are living on our respective sorority halls. No worries though, they are only one floor apart so we will still be together frequently! We do hope to live together Junior and Senior year though! This year I am rooming with a super sweet girl who is a Kappa Delta with me. Her name is Karina and I am so excited to get to know her better and live with her!

Any other tips you think should be included?

(The illustrations in these images came from Go checkout her beautiful artwork!)

Friday, August 15, 2014

Back To School Wardrobe Necessities

I know, I know! You didn't want to hear it Wednesday when I said it and you don't want to hear it now… Back to School. It is inevitable so there is no skirting the issue! The best parts of going back to school in my mind include school supply and clothes shopping! Maybe I am crazy but those two things make the first couple of weeks bearable and dare I say enjoyable, aside from seeing my friends of course (I promise I don't hate school, I just am not ready for the work and assignments that are bound to ensue)!

While I was confined to uniforms in high school, which I really did adore, now that I am in college I realize how essentials stocking up on some trusty basics can be! I never knew how much work people had to put into getting dressed each day. There were times that I would try to remember if I wore an outfit on MWF so that it could be repeated later on during a Tuesday or Thursday class! It is incredibly unlikely that someone has enough clothes to wear something new each day and that is why basics are so essential!

Check out my essentials for back to school below! 

loafers (another favorite) | I recently got a pair of camel colored loafers from C.Wonder and I am so excited to wear them. The perfect fall and school staple and these will definitely not go out of style!

flats | Stock up on the basic colors navy, black, and camel and then check out all the other colors that would be ideal for fall!

shirtdress | So easy to throw on and look put together when you accidentally pressed snooze 4 times, no one has to know with this essential! (other favorites include 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |)

white blouse | Can easily make an outfit! Who remembers a white blouse which allows you to dress it up or down and accessorize it  in a plethora of different ways creating plenty of outfits from a simple piece!

button downs | I am a button down feign! Wear them now and layer later with vests and jackets! J.Crew is the place to go for quality button downs! I love this one too!

jeans | It is amazing what a couple of good pair of jeans will do! I am so picky when it comes to jeans… a dark wash, skinny leg, and soft material are my criteria and these are my new obsession (and an unknown and relatively inexpensive brand).

knit/ cotton t-shirts | Whether it is a v-neck or scoop you crave these are perfect now to pair with your favorite chinos and are even better for layering later! Stock up now!

Shop all of my favorites and essentials from this post below! 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

American Made Dorm

By now I am sure y'all are aware of my love of dorm (or any room for that matter) decorating and monograms! While I am keeping majority of my dorm room the same for this upcoming year I am changing things slightly by accessorizing with various new pillows to add a new twist on the design! 

I gave y'all a bit of a preview on instagram (follow me @prepinyourstep) of my favorite new addition and I can't wait to get it all set up in my dorm. Although I still have a few more weeks before moving in (mixed feelings about that) I am enjoying envisioning how my room will look all put together! One way I do that is by scrolling through American Made Dorm's site! 

This is the perfect place to go if you find yourself craving something more for the dorm room you thought that you had already completed. It's amazing what the addition of a pillow can do!

The pillow above is one of American Made Dorm's wonderful creations! The monogramming on this pillow is AMAZING and I adore the diamond block design. Whether you are looking for diamond, script, or even circle fonts, American Made Dorm offers all of these styles on their pillows and headboards which match their bedding perfectly!


If you are looking to redecorate any room then definitely check out this site as well as their sister site for  children's bedding!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Back To School Tips

The inevitable has happened. Summer has come to an end and it is back to school time! I'm ready to be back at Furman however, I am not as excited about going back to class (hello science and math this semester, blah). There are quite a few things I adore about heading back to school though. Fresh binders, pretty pens, new clothes, and the opportunity to organize everything in sight, one of my obsessions!

As my freckles fade and I pull autumn hues to the front of my closet is necessary to have back to school on my mind!

While this post is definitely geared towards college and high school students some of the tips can definitely be true across the board! I hope you find them useful and inspiring you to make the grade while maintaining your sanity!

Use A Planner 
My holy grail of back to school supplies! Stay on task and ahead by writing down assignments and tests! Here are some of my tips for agenda organization from last year and be on the lookout for another agenda organization post soon!

Tackle Your Big Tasks First
I have found that I am far more productive when I first begin my assignments than I am towards the end. That is why I find it important to tackle your biggest task first. You have more energy and are more motivated meaning the assignment will turn out better since it is completed first. I also find that if I am doing assignments during the day then having coffee as an accomplice also helps me out!

Don't Overcommit Yourself
When it comes to school sponsored clubs and sporting groups you can become absolutely swamped! I recommend committing to one or two things that you can fully commit to allowing you to get more out of it! You will have plenty of other things going on that you will thank me later for not overcommitting!

Get Enough Sleep
Funny that I am telling you this…There are definitely nights where I miss out on some of my much needed rest in order to complete an assignment however, that is not a habit! I really do try to get enough sleep during the school year and going to bed at a reasonable hour will have you thanking yourself come your 8:00!

Get Organized
I am an organizing feign. Keep your notebooks, planner, and spiral notebooks neat in order to allow for an efficient usage of study time. I'll be sharing how I organize my supplies with you soon!

Keep Your Technology Charged
I know in high school and even now in college that keeping my technology charged is a must! I also religiously bring my chargers with me just about everywhere in case I hit the dreaded 20% notification.

Track Your Grades
Most high schools have a system for grade tracking however in college you only find out your grades when you ask the professor about them and sometimes they don't even know! I have found it incredibly helpful to write down what grade I received on different projects in order to keep track of how I am doing so that I know going into exams!

Get Ahead | Don't Procrastinate
Cliche, I know but it really does alleviate stress when you get things accomplished in a timely matter! Schedule yourself to complete tasks with plenty of time before they are due!

Lay Out Your Outfit The Night Before
I was lucky enough to wear uniforms in high school so I didn't have to worry about outfits in high school however, I have found it incredibly helpful in college to go ahead and lay out the outfit I plan to wear the night before! Checking the weather to see whether it will be raining or cold is also helpful to save you some time in the morning!

Take A Break
I have been known to just attempt to power through all of my assignments in order to have them completed. I have learned though that my assignments are of much better quality when I take breaks during the time I spend doing homework! Check here to see lots of ideas for ideal study breaks!

Stay Positive
I know it isn;t uncommon to become completely overwhelmed by school work and sometimes you may even have a break down but try to stay positive! You will feel a lot better once you are finished if you were positive during the process!

I hope these tips help you to have a great start of your school year!
Best of Luck!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Beach Trip Photo Recap

This past weekend (and part of the week before) my best friends from school and I reunited at the beach! Caroline, Nell, and I had been planning this trip to Watercolor since early April and it seems crazy that it finally happened! We had an absolute blast soaking up the sun, movie watching, and eating to our hearts content.

We had great weather while we were there and each of us left a few shades tanner!

They don't call it Watercolor for nothing… the clarity of the water is to die for!

As a party favor for the trip I made my friends and I personalized tubes. They were perfect for lounging around in the water!

When we finally got dressed up and put on makeup (a rarity in the summer) we figured photos were necessary and the porch of Caroline's house was perfect for our mini shoot!


 While I am sad that I am not still at the beach I can't complain too much since we will all be together again in less than two weeks!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Bean Boots

You may be questioning why I have a post all about Bean Boots in August. Seems crazy, I know however, this fall staple sells out quickly so you should get yours quick! I wear bean boots probably 2 times a week in the fall and even more frequently in the winter, especially on snowy and icy days!

I actually have two pairs and both of them are hand me downs (these things hold up forever, if your foot is finished growing then you are more than likely good with this pair forever). My aunt gave me her 8'' lace up tan/brown bean boots (pictured below) from when she was in college and they still work like a charm! I definitely recommend getting the 8'' boots since they are super versatile and are tall enough to wear cozy socks with. As long as your foot stays the same size then these boots will be yours for the long haul.

8'' Navy | 8'' Tan | 8'' Felt | not pictured 6'' Tan

And if you need a bit of winter outfit inspiration for bean boots then look no further! Although I am showing winter inspiration that does not mean that my bean boots weren't well loved in the fall because they most definitely were!

If you are extra cold natured or live in the North then go ahead and get the 8'' with Thinsulate to keep your toes extra warm!

What is your favorite way to wear Bean Boots and how one have you been wearing yours?

Friday, August 8, 2014

Gallery Wall Inspiration

Although this year I will still be living in the dorms I can't help but look forward to decorating an apartment! Gallery Walls have been on  my mind lately and I adore the way they add a pop of color and personality to a room! While this year my room is TINY and wall space is limited I am hoping to hang up a few of my favorite pieces by my desk to enjoy. 

When it comes to apartment life I imagine expanding my prints even further. Evelyn Henson, a fabulous Furman grad, has me lusting over all of her pieces and prints! I have a Furman Map print from her that I adore but her girly options are perfect! She has an eye for design and sells journals and trays with her beautiful paintings as well!

Pinterest is to blame for my love of gallery walls! Below are a few of my favorites! If you want to see more of my pins you can follow me here!

Where is your favorite place to buy prints?

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