Wednesday, May 27, 2015

What's In My Purse While Traveling Through Europe

As y'all are reading this my time in Paris is coming to an end and we are headed to London on Saturday to wrap up our trip. Packing for the trip was a bit tricky but I haven't felt like I forgot anything major (read my other packing posts here and here). One of the most crucial pieces to pack successfully is your purse since that is what you end up carrying around on a daily basis. After deciding to go on this trip I knew that I needed to find a purse large enough to hold all of my belongings (including my dslr camera), functional enough to not be a burden to carry around, and secure enough that I could make sure the contents were safe!

I ended up picking Gigi New York's Bucket Bag and couldn't be more pleased with my decision. It is so versatile with its cross body strap and is still super cute to carry around. Bucket bags have been really popular as of late and are just as practical as they are cute.  I chose the stone color (although it is available in a wide variety of colors) since it seemed like it would match all of my outfits best and I ultimately ended up leaving the shorter strap at home since I couldn't see myself using it much on this trip.

As for the contents of the actual bag, it was stuffed pretty full on a daily basis to make sure that I had anything I could possibly need for long days out and about in Paris and it never seemed too heavy since I could carry it across my body to distribute the weight. The bag has a zippered pocket, which was perfect for securing my passport as well as a smaller pocket that held gum, a notebook, a pen perfectly, and my very important metro pass well with easy access. The bag cinches close with two tassels ensuring that I didn't need to worry too much about pick pocketers although you can never be too cautious (in all honesty though I haven't run into any). 

As I mentioned earlier I had my bag stuffed full but it was easy to get to everything that I ended up putting into it. The trip I am on is through my school, Furman, and through the program we were given ipad minis on loan and were required to carry them around to work on the school component that accompanied this trip. While they are in fact mini it would have been nice to not have to worry about them although it did fit in my bag without any issues. Here is a look at what all my bag contained (minus the camera which I took the photos with).

Bag | Passport + Case | Ziplock bags (according to my mother you never know when you'll need one) | iPad Mini | Wallet (similar) | Portable Charger | Granola Bar + Peanut Butter | Gum | Wisps | Journal | Sunglasses + Case | Comb | HandSanitizer | Water Bottle  | Tide to Go

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Packing for Paris and London for 3 Weeks in May

As you probably read in my carry on post I definitely aimed to downsize when packing for my trip to Paris and London. The more room left in the suitcase the more things that can be brought back home with me! The only tricky part about that is that in both of these cities I wanted to look as though I belong there and that is especially hard when it comes to how chic some Parisians can look! I can proudly say that my suitcase weighed 40 pounds at the airport and I have enough clothes with me to mix and match outfits for more days then I will be here for.

            I had been told that when packing to go somewhere (especially Paris) for an extended period of time it is best to choose a color pallet and then add in statement pieces to be traded around. Since my closet isn't exactly comprised of that many neutrals I did the best I could to make the pieces I brought with me as versatile as possible.

Another tricky part would have to be the weather. May is a great time to come since lots of flowers are blooming and the grass is green but it can also get a bit chilly.  As much as I wanted to deny a potential chill or rain I knew that in order to be practical I would have to pack with those facts in mind.

Here are some of the pieces that made the cut and be sure to check under the photo for details about other items I brought along with me.

3 Skirts
1 black / 1 white / 1 navy

4 Pairs of Pants
1 pair of dark wash skinny jeans / 2 pairs of navy gigi pants from J.Crew / 1 pair of black gigi pants from J.Crew

5 Scarves
navy and white infinity / blue and grey one / multi colored tassel / leopard / blue and white striped

4 Cardigans
grey / black / white / dark grey thicker one

5 Piko Tops
white / blue / purple / grey / black 

8 Other Shirts
4 blouses / 4 other ones 

2 Tanks
white ruffle / navy and white strips 

3 "Fancy" Dresses
leopard shift / blue accordion style / black peplum hem

2 Casual Dresses & 2 Swing Dresses
short sleeved patterned / long sleeve patterned / black and white stripe swing dress / navy swing dress 

2 Pairs of Pajamas w/ T-shirts
1 pair of shorts / 1 pair of pants

6 Pairs of Shoes
white converse (not pictured) / leopard slip ons (not pictured)  / black ballet flats / tan ballet flats / black heels

Miscellaneous Items
dryer sheets / cotton rounds / jewelry in a pouch / dry shampoo / nail polish / woolite / pouch w/ sewing kit, wisps, flossers, q-tips etc / eye makeup remover, nail polish remover, mini hairspray

Pouches w/ underwear & socks

Makeup bag / straightner / travel containers w/ shampoo, conditioner, etc

Hope y'all enjoyed this look inside my suitcase!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Summer Workout Wear to Beat the Heat

Even if summer doesn't technically start until June 21st the moment I got home and felt temperatures in the nineties and humidity nearing a hundred I automatically classified that as summer. The great thing about going to school in South Carolina is that I actually get a taste of all four seasons where as in south Alabama it's either scorching hot or comfortably cold (I say both generously). The only bummer of coming home for summer is that I want to enjoy the beautiful scenery and area where I live by means of running but if I don't do so before 8:30 then I feel like I may sweat to death. I especially get excited to run all of my favorite routes from high school but I don't exactly want to sacrifice sleep to avoid the heat.

I have found that having (and wearing) the right workout clothes for a run or workout outside helps to give me a bit of a grace period until 10:30 and after 4:30 allowing me to run outside without facing a heat stroke. Light and airy material is my best friend as is anything that will make sure any sweat isn't too noticeable. Dark shorts may as well be your saving grace and the flowier the better with shorts and tanks. While tight running tops are more supportive I am a bigger fan of having tops that won't stick to my body making the heat feel even stickier.

So that we can all avoid any problems with working out outside during the summer months I have searched around for some great workout clothing options to beat the heat. Better yet, a lot of these won't break the bank too! And since it's summer be sure to add in plenty of bright colors! Don't forget the water bottle either, the most important accessory to avoid dehydration. Shop my favorites from the image and photos below and let me know where you like to get your athletic clothes so I have more options the next time I need clothes to continue to motivate me to stay in shape!

Monday, May 18, 2015

What's In My Carry On / European Flight Essentials

Carry ons can be tricky. How are you supposed to know what you will want on a flight days before you actually depart? These were all thoughts running through my head as I was packing up last week. Since I first headed back to Greenville for a few days that made packing especially difficult. 

I took things out and put them back in before finally zipping my tote up as I prepared to head to the airport. As someone who is a chronic over packer I tried extra hard to make sure to only bring the necessities for this trip. Taking less over means bringing more back, right? I am sure I have brought items that may be forgotten or unworn but weighing my suitcase at the airport and it being 37 pounds was a mini accomplishment that deserved a bit of recognition. 

I used my large navy Longchamp le Pliage bag as my carry on since it can be used as a purse while I'm away and if I choose not to it can be folded up and packed back in my suitcase. With nylon that is easy to clean and a zipper on the top to secure everything it is perfect to place under the seats in the plane. I am the type of person that loves organizing the contents of my bags into smaller bags which is what I did for this trip. Here are the items that made the cut for my personal carry on bag!

longchamp large le pliage in navy | kelly wynne clutch (love all of her pieces) | book | laptop + sleeve | cords | headphones | eye mask | iPad mini + case | portable phone charger | Gigi New York Bucket Bag | wallet | passport + cover | mints | gum  | tide to go | zip lock bags | socks | granola bars | mini cetaphil | hand sanitizer | mini deodorant | colgate wisps | journal | pen | highlighter | water bottle

All of these things were stowed away in one of the bags above and then stored below my seat as my "personal item." For my other carry on I took this duffle and put 2 outfits in there along with a rain jacket and my converse just for safe measures in case my luggage gets lost. I also tossed in this makeup bag stocked full of my favorite quick makeup favorites.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Step Into My Week {#19}

Happy Friday and for me the last Friday in America for a few weeks! For the next few weeks posts are scheduled to go up and my bags are packed and I am ready to embrace this adventure. This past week was a bit of a whirlwind with unpacking everything from school and repacking for this trip while enjoying a bit of family time before departing. 

Sunday was spent at the beach with my mom and grandmother (and the rest of my family) boating, beaching, eating, and paddle boarding (a new addition at our beach house). It was nice to have that taste of summer before heading back to school to do a bit of school work before heading out


Tuesday it was back to Furman with an overnight stop in Atlanta before arriving back on Wednesday. Wednesday night a big group of the girls going on the trip with us went out to dinner downtown followed by a trip to our favorite ice cream spot, Spill the beans.

Thursday was spent with lectures and then research for one of our projects in the afternoon. That night we went out as an entire group to a really good pizza place (Sidewall) and enjoyed bonding and each others company followed by another delicious ice cream cone. Today we have more lectures and even more research for another one of our presentations before departing tomorrow morning. Get ready for lots of pictures of everything French in the next few weeks!

 Au Revoir!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

20 Things I Love

Something that I haven't done in a long time is "re-introduce" myself. I love making posts for y'all but sometimes I forget that new friends have found their way over to the blog. If you're old or new around here then welcome and I hope you'll stick around!

A little bit about me, my name is Dorothy and I just finished my sophomore year at Furman University where I am studying Elementary Education. I am a Kappa Delta there where I serve as Vice President of Public Relations. I started this blog three years ago as a way to destress and feel as though I was doing something besides just school work and sports. At this point as I have left high school where Prep In Your Step began and have headed to college I have loved sharing my daily life, things I love, advice, and experiences with all of y'all. In addition to loving to blog I thought it would be fun to share 20 random little things that I love as a way to get to know me a bit better (and hopefully relate)!

Any of these little things I love apply to you to?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

How I Edit My Instagrams

Instagram is definitely my favorite form of social media whether I am running it for my blog or for my school's chapter of Kappa Delta. I love styling photos and then editing them to make them extra bright and colorful. I typically only use one app to do this and it is one that I find myself constantly recommending to people looking for a good photo editing app. VSCO cam is by far my favorite. With the ability to adjust just about everything in the picture I don't ever find myself needing any other app. 

I start by trying to make sure that I have good lighting when taking a photo. My dorm room had the best lighting due to a huge window right in front of my white bed which made for a perfect setup. Now that I am home I have had to find new places with great lighting, so far our laundry room is the winner.

Usually my photos are just straight from my iPhone 5 camera. I typically set my camera in square mode (especially if I know I want to post the photo to instagram, would hate to have to crop something out) and have the chrome filter ready to go. I'm not sure if many people tend to leave a filter on on their phone but I feel like it make colors brighter and the entire picture a bit more aesthetically pleasing. 

After taking at least 7-10 photos of the one area I choose my favorite and jump into editing it. I open up VSCO cam and go straight into custom editing. For me I try to make sure my photos are bright but I try not to make them to grainy. I start by increasing the exposure a bit and depending on the photo increase or decrease the contrast of the photo. I tend to increase the saturation and then go into temperature and decrease it by one or two notches. Highlights and shadows are two elements I only tend to adjust if the picture calls for it but other wise I leave those alone. And then I am done when it comes to VSCO cam and am ready to take the photo to instagram. Occasionally I will further enhance the pictures through instagram if I feel like they need it but that is the same sort of process.

Here is a photo I instagrammed recently in comparison with the final result after I edited it.


This is how I ended up editing it on VSCO Cam.
Exposure +2 | Contrast -1 | Saturation +3 | Highlights +5 | Shadows +3 | Temperature -2

Here are a couple of other photos I've enhanced through VSCO cam.


Exposure +2 | Contrast -4 | Saturation +3 | Highlights +2 | Shadows +6 | Temperature -1


Exposure +3 | Contrast +1 | Saturation +2 | Highlights +4 | Shadows +1 | Temperature -2

How do y'all edit your photos? Do you prefer to leave yours unedited or enhanced?

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