Friday, July 31, 2015

Last Minute Nordstrom Sale Favorites

The best sale for fall pieces is almost over! The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale ends on August 3rd so if you want to stock up on fall pieces before the season begins then you better hurry before this window of opportunity is closed! I adore the pieces I snagged but before I show you those pieces I just had to share some other pieces that caught my eye! Grab what you like from this post or my original sale post here before things go back to full price (yikes).

Anyone else wishing they were magic and could make all of these pieces appear in their closet? Well I decided to remain relatively practical and this was my favorite purchase! The softest and cutest product ever! What have you purchased or are going back in to get?

Thursday, July 30, 2015

DIY Pom Pom Tote

This idea has been floating around in my head ever since I first saw  Eliza Gran's precious pom pom totes! Although I wish I could support her original idea I just couldn't see myself forking over nearly $100 for a tote when I envisioned that it was something I could make myself. Another great part about making this myself was that I was able to personalize it to exactly the specifications I envisioned from the thread gradient to the spacing on the tote!

I am ecstatic with the outcome and am so pleased to finally share it with you! 

What you'll need:

A wicker or straw tote. The one I purchased actually came with two and was still significantly cheaper than the original design you can purchase. I would recommend checking World Market and TJMAX (and similar places) if you're too excited to get started and can't wait for the mail to arrive to begin this project!
Here are some other online options that could work for the job: 1  | 2  | 3  |

Embroidery floss. I opted to work with five colors and it is essential to purchase the thicker packaged thread so that your pom poms are fluffy. I have seen these totes with loads of different colored pom poms so choosing your favorite colors would work just as well. I purchased mine from hobby lobby so that I could see the colors in person. You could also use colored yarn for thicker pom poms and I recently discovered this cool large pom pom maker if you aren't committed to doing them by hand! 

Scissors. Be sure that they are relatively sharp so that trimming the pom poms is a bit easier.

Safety Pin or Crochet Needle. You'll need something sharp to poke the thread through the tote to tie it off. I found that a tiny crochet needle was the perfect tool for the job. 

The only real DIY of this is creating the fun pom poms. These pom poms are easy to make and I can't help but smile looking at the finished product. It only takes a few steps and once you get the hang of it you'll be able to whip these out in no time. 

1. Take end of string and place your thumb on it to hold it in place.
2. Begin wrapping around your four fingers and wrap throughout the entirety of your fingers in order to make the pom pom thick.
3. Once you've wrapped nearly all of it cut and set aside about 12 inches of the thread to use for step 4.
4. Take 12 inches of thread and tightly tie string in middle of wrapped thread.
5. Take thread off of your fingers and tightly tie string around thread a few more times.
6. Slide scissors through looped side of soon to be pom pom.
7. Cut all loops on one side.
8. Repeat step seven on other side and begin to fluff pom pom. 

Repeat all of these steps until you've finished all of your colors. 

And TA DA! You have your pom poms completed. Next, line up your pom poms and take your safety pin or crochet needle to the end of the extra string and stick it through the basket. Do the same for the other side of the string on each pom pom and then triple knot it so that it remains secure. I chose to put my pom poms super close together so that the gradient was extra noticeable but you of course can personalize this in any way you'd like. And there you have it, your new favorite tote! 

I am planning on using mine until the summers end as a beach tote and then transitioning it to a blanket bag in my apartment this school year. If you are even considering making one then let me be the one to convince you that this will be your favorite summer craft you will have ever done! 

If you do decide to create one then tag me on twitter or instagram so I can see the color scheme you chose for your pom poms! Here are some photos of my bag in use, I adore it as a beach bag and for decoration in my apartment! 


Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

PB Dorm Room Redo

I am absolutely thrilled to finally be sharing this post with y'all! I have been waiting for the day that the redo photos go live on PB Teen's Blog and today is it. So, if you want to see more photos then you must head over to their site and see the post! Also, another fun announcement before diving into the redo is necessary. I will be taking over the @pbdorm instagram tomorrow so if you don't follow it already then definitely check it out tomorrow as I post loads of fun photos from my daily life and these posts. And if you're curious as to why I was given this opportunity then be sure to see this post before you begin! 

Since it isn't quite time to move back to school I decided to re-decorate the room I stay in at my grandparent's beach house. The room is so bright and calming and it was a great blank slate to work with. The room was completely transformed with just a few colorful pieces and I love the way it turned out. Adding pieces here and there was the perfect reminder that you don't necessarily have to start from scratch to create a new look for a space! 

We will start with the area that ended up being an after thought but may just be my favorite part of the space. This artist chair has been in this corner for as long as I can remember and dressing it up with a new pillow added a fun pop to the otherwise monotone corner. With small side tables this is the perfect place to lay out an outfit for the next day or in my case, store my beach bag so it's ready as soon as the words boat ride come out of someone's mouth. 

I love that the turquoise throw pillow perfectly compliments the view of the water and would also make this the perfect reading nook on a stormy afternoon. 

sandals | pillow | hat

Next up, the bed. I am a pillow hoarder and can comfortably sleep with anywhere from eight to ten on my bed at one time. Call me ridiculous but I love lining the perimeter of my bed with them building a pseudo nest to sleep in. It only took a few throw pillows, a comforter, and a matching sham to give this room a more youthful look without compromising sophistication. The best part about this comforter is that it's reversible with grey being the background color on the opposite side. If you're living in a dorm room this would be the perfect way to coordinate with your roommate without making it too matchy matchy. Y'all could even add different colored pillows based on your taste! 

Since a desk isn't necessary at the beach (vacation > work) I used my task lamp for a bit of extra lighting on a dresser to serve as a vanity area. This lamp is amazing because it has usb ports on the back making it so easy to charge up your technology to be ready to go by the time I am ready for the day. 

I wish I had taken before pictures to accurately show the transformation but I was too eager to get to decorating to slow myself down to take those photos. While it took a bit to get everything to look just the way I liked I think it was completely worth it in the end since I now have a summer space that I look forward to retreating to after soaking in the sun.

If you want to see a fun video of the transformation then feel free to watch that here and as I mentioned earlier go check out more pictures on PB Teen's blog

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Sorority Recruitment Advice: The DOs and DON'Ts

For all of you girls heading to school soon (need packing tips? read this post) in order to gear up for sorority recruitment I know you're probably starting to get a little anxious. You've already done the hard part by getting into the college you're attending but if you are anything like I was you've anticipated sorority recruitment for quite some time now. Personally, I always knew I wanted to join greek life at whichever university I chose to attend and I can affirm you that yes, it is as fun as the pictures make it out to be. From getting to work with some incredible philanthropies, making friends from all over the country, have the opportunity to gain leadership positions, and have a blast doing it all getting involve in greek life has been such a rewarding experience. 

Those of you with first semester probably feel as though this process is the only thing you can possibly worry about let alone the fact that you will be starting college classes just as soon. Well, I am here with some advice for the process that will hopefully calm your nerves and help lead you to discover which sorority house you most want to call home. 

Instead of going into detail about each one by writing out the tips I thought that it could be fun to share this advice by way of two videos. These tips are relatively self explanatory however, if you would like more insight about what I mean by each one then feel free to watch these videos to clarify! 

The DOs:

The DON'Ts:

I really hope these tips helped calm the nerves of any of y'all headed off to begin recruitment in a few short weeks and that your experience during the process is just as much fun and exciting as mine was. I would love to know what sororities those of you going through recruitment end up joining! Welcome to the greek community!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Complete College Packing Checklist

I am kind of sad to be posting this since it means that before we know it school will be back in session. For many of my friends who go to large state schools (specifically in the SEC) this is their last week of summer. They will soon be back on the road to begin preparing for the semester and for many, recruitment (that's a happy hint at tomorrow's post). While I still have a bit of time left before heading back my to do list will soon be filled with things that relate to gearing back up for college life. 

While I am completely excited to finalize some apartment projects and decor packing up is always a task that tends to be quite the undertaking. Having two years under my belt at school I am starting to get it down to a science but as an over packer by nature it can be so difficult to narrow things down come time to actually leave. I can guarantee you that I am adding odds and ends to my packing pile until the very end. 

To make life a bit easier for myself and all of you college bound cuties I have compiled my packing list to help us all out. While technically all of this is optional to bring I have tried to signify some of the things I brought that aren't necessary but helped make my room feel like home. 
bag (comes in loads of cute colors and patterns)

Think of it as your own personal packing list for all of the things you could possibly need and want to make your college dorm feel more like home! Take into account that these are my personal recommendations and that your list may vary to fit your personal needs. Regardless, I hope this helps you to remember some things that might be easily forgotten! 

I have tried to make this as complete as possible however if you see that something is missing then feel free to comment below what I have forgotten so that I can add it to the list! I also HIGHLY suggest that you communicate with your roommate in order to split up some of the higher priced dorm necessities! By communicating in advance you will hopefully not show up with an overlap of essentials and may even be able to coordinate your bedding if you'd like! Also, it is helpful to check out your universities housing page to find out what all is included in your room. For instance, Furman University provides a micro fridge in the dorm rooms and therefore it was not necessary for my roommate or myself to bring one!

As for clothing (which I didn't include since that will vary based on your closet) I do recommend transitioning your wardrobe from season to season so that you only have the clothes for the current climate in your dorm room at one time! 

Judging by the length of that list I need to go ahead and get started if I am going to be ready to move in on August 23rd. I will be sure to keep y'all updated with items I may have forgotten on this list and if you have any suggestions comment them below so that I can add them as well. Be on the look out for tons of fun posts going live this week as well as lots of DIYs, apartment shopping updates, and back to school content very soon! 

Happy Monday! 

Friday, July 24, 2015

By Choice Summer Reading

This summer one of the things I was most excited about was having time to read for pleasure. In summers past I have been working at camp and it was a rarity for me to stay up any later than my campers lights out to read for pleasure. We are talking asleep by 9:30 to wake up early and begin another eventful day at camp. Well, this summer since I've been home I had this idea that I was going to get through a whole slew of books on my "to read" note on my phone and while I have read some I haven't gotten through nearly as many as I would have wished. Between nannying and devoting tons of times towards blogging allowing myself down time to dive into a good book was kind of pushed onto the back burner. I hate that I've done that to myself especially since pleasure reading is nearly impossible come the start of school. 

I have discovered however, that light reads that I can pick up and put down without feeling like I've missed parts of the story are the books I am most likely to pick up during the summer time. While not quite all of the books I've read this summer adhere to that light and fresh summer read category the majority of them do and have been fun to add to my bookshelf. Since I am always on the lookout for new book suggestions and seem to constantly be hounding begging y'all for suggestions (since my list isn't already long enough) I thought it could be fun for me to share the books I've read and have left on my list for this summer. Think of this as my own version of Summer Reading but definitely done by choice (a great perk of college). 

Go ahead, add any of these to your beach or pool bag but before you do so leave your book recommendations below! 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Room With a CLEAR View

Tracking Pixel Tracking Pixel
Sometimes home revamp or organization budgets can be especially challenging to stick to. If you're like me, you have a vision in your head of how you want the final product to appear and are not willing to settle for anything less than perfect. Oftentimes that mindset causes your budget to be completely overlooked as you strive to take a project that began as a spruce up into creating an entire new design for a space. Fortunately, I have partnered with Visa Clear Prepaid to share some ways to make budgeting and brainstorming a room upgrade just a bit easier.

By choosing a Kaiku® Visa® Prepaid Card, you are able to set a budget and stick to it. There is no reason to have a card with confusing fees to add to the challenge of staying within budget when sprucing up your space.  Cards that use the Visa Clear Prepaid seal are required to clearly communicate their monthly fee plan so that you'll know when you pay a fee and when you won't. Cards meeting the Visa Clear Prepaid standards provide you with transparency and protection, resulting in more time to do the things you love, which for me is decorating.

Decorating and interior design have always been something that I've enjoyed so I am thrilled to be able to begin planning and budgeting for my apartment decor for the coming school year and I know my parents are thrilled that I've included the word budget in that statement. With the whole summer to begin gathering pieces for my new space and even make some of my own I am able to spread out the cost and have a monthly spending amount in mind thanks to my Kaiku® Visa® Prepaid Card. Since the furniture is provided I am able to focus on my bedroom decor and achieving the look in my head without breaking the bank.

With lots of pieces in mind and a continual lust list of what I should budget for next I am coming to realize the importance of prioritizing purchases. For a bedroom I find that investing in nice bedding is more important than having brand new desk accessories (no matter how pretty an acrylic tape dispenser is) so by saving in one area I am able to spend a bit more in another. If you are putting a new design twist on an already furniture filled area I think pillows are a great way to transform a space and they are usually relatively inexpensive as well. I gathered inspiration before beginning my project and found that to be great encouragement along the way.

As I began shopping I loaded my Kaiku® Visa® Prepaid Card to set my budget before I purchased anything. To see how easy it is to load the Kaiku® Card see this post. Having a prepaid card made it easier to shop within my allotted budget and not be tempted to go over my set amounts as I may have been using a regular credit card and knowing that the funds were available to me. This encouraged me to save and make on my own when possible so that I could purchase the pieces I really wanted along the way. By keeping track of what I had purchased and their cost I was unexpectedly able to buy some of the bedroom accessories that I originally hadn't prioritized.

Whether you are reorganizing your pantry or office space or taking on a larger project as I am the Kaiku® Visa® Prepaid Card and its understandable fees and ease of use minimized the stress of redecorating and organizing allowing the process to be more fun making the outcome more enjoyable.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Visa Clear Prepaid and Kaiku®. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Prep In Your Step possible.

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