Tuesday, May 31, 2016

DIY Personalized Pool Tube

I am so excited for this post because it may just be the easiest do it yourself ever. I've done some other easy DIYs in the past ( tassel cross body +  pom pom beach tote) but this one takes the cake for being the easiest. We are talking two supplies (well three if you count your hand) under 15 minutes and ta-da you have the perfect personalized summer pool tube. 

Fun pool floats seem to be all the trend as of late and if I had a pool you can bet I'd have one (ok, probably more than one) floating around constantly. But for those of us without a pool spending that much money on something we have to tote to the beach for a couple of cute pictures and hours of enjoyment only to deflate when retreating home they aren't exactly practical. Have all of the fun (and equally as cute pictures) by following this DIY and have no fear of matching anyone else since each pool tube is personalized! 

The first time I did this was the summer before my sophomore year of college when two of my friends (Nell and Caroline) and I went to Watercolor for the week. I thought we needed something fun to float about on so I picked up each of us a tube (at Publix of all places) and decided to write our names on it. While we struggled to blow them up and transport them to the beach (think 3 girls on their bikes maneuvering down the sidewalk with pool tubes on their waste while still trying to manage to pedal and that's what we looked like) but we had hours of fun relaxing in the water on them. We even took one of my favorite photos ever with these tubes that gets a spot on my desk every year without hesitation (seen above). 

I thought now would be the perfect time to share this easy do it yourself with y'all as you prepare for any beach and pool days to come this summer! There is so much room for creativity when it comes to how you choose to execute your pool tubes and they are the perfect party prize for you and your friends! 



All you need for this do it yourself is a  plain pool tube (size of your choice) and a  sharpie. I would recommend one sharpie with a  regular sized tip and then a  jumbo one to go back over the writing to make it bold! 



It is just as easy as it looks. Take your pen to paper or in this case sharpie to pool tube and before you know it you'll be finished completing your own personalized pool tube. I would recommend that you first practice writing out what you plan to put on the tube in case you want to see how your handwriting may look. For this post I chose to write out the name of my post but I would recommend writing out your name or your friends name on the tubes. I only went over my writing once (and not with a thick sharpies) so if you want the writing to be more subtle feel free to do that but if you'd like it to be bold I'd recommend re-tracing your writing a couple of times! 

I decided to mix a bold block print with some cursive but that is completely up to your discretion! 


And there you have it my super easy but equally as fun do it yourself! I'd love for y'all to try it out and let me know how it goes!



What I'm Wearing:

And if you are in the market for any obnoxiously large and fun pool floats these are a few of my favorites! 

Photos were taken by my friend Nell.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Memorial Day Sales: Where to Shop + What to Buy

Hello three day weekend! Bring on the sunshine and start of summertime and another important S word … sales. Not a bad trio if you ask me. With summer festivities heating up retailers are going all out to encourage you to shop this weekend and let me tell you, they've drawn my attention! If you are in the market for new pieces to outfit your summer wardrobe this is the weekend to snag them.

I've attempted to make it easy for y'all since sometimes checking all of these websites for the best pieces can be time consuming so instead I've included my favorites from some of the sales. That isn't to say however, that the rest of the items on sale aren't worth checking out for yourself!

extra 20% off with code HISUMMER

extra 40% off with code BRTAKE40

take an extra 20% off select sale and clearance with the code BROWNBAG

30% off sale and clearance with code WARMER

15% off your purchase with code 9492

20% off site wide with code ALLTHETHINGS

30% off your purchase with code WEEKEND

50% off everything no code needed

Free gifts with purchase

60% off summer faves and all summer styles  + 40% off new arrivals 

The half-yearly sale is still going on with items up to 40% off

Extra 50% off select styles no code needed

50% off no code needed

Save 20% with code HEREWEGO

Biggest sale of the season with lots of new markdowns

20% off with code MEMORIALDAY20

30% off selected styles

20% off entire purchase with code HELLOSUMMER

Happy Shopping! Be sure to check back all weekend long as I continue to update this post with other great pieces on sale and which pieces I'd be most likely to purchase! Where are you shopping first?

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Tassels, Stripes, & Coverups Under $20

With memorial day weekend a matter of hours away I am ready to be beach bound for a day spent exclusively by the water. If you're beach bound you'll obviously need your bathing suit, a lot of sunscreen, a beach bag, etc I can't help but lately I can't help but love adding my coverup to that list.

I feel like in recent years coverups have become so much cuter. I used to just throw on a pair of nike shorts and an oversized t-shirt but after seeing so many cute coverups offered I have since nixed the t-shirt and gravitated straight to the tassels. 



This coverup that I am wearing is available in a different color combination this year for under $15! I purchased this one last year and have been impressed by the quality and durability of it not to forget how cute and compliment worthy it is! The material is breathable which is definitely a plus it comes to hot and humid summer days. I've included this coverup and other cute options for you to shop below to stock up before your pool and beach days ahead! 

Also, Nordstrom is hosting their half-yearly sale so after perusing for your perfect new coverup head to their site to decide what may need to be added to your cart there as well! Here are some pieces that are on sale that you'll be wearing all summer long! 

Photos shot by Nell

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

What The Blogging Process Looks Like For Me

The blogging process is so different for everyone. Personally, my blogging process can differ day to day. Having been at home for about 3 weeks waiting for my summer job to begin I've been fortunate enough to spend a lot of time working solely to better my blog and the content I create for y'all! At school I either don't have time or it seems to be very limited that I can spend blogging so I have to be more strategic when it comes to creating post.

I feel like a lot of people don't fully understand all of the different aspects that accompany being a blogger or how much time it takes to create a post unless they are a blogger themselves. From emails, to photos, to brainstorming post ideas there is always something to do allowing me plenty of creativity, one of the reasons I love blogging so much. As posts differ so does my strategy to create them so know that this is a general overview and not necessarily entirely consistent. 

Coming Up With Content

With a goal to post every week day that is 5 posts a week which makes for a lot of posts each month and even more each year. Since getting into blogging I've kept a running list of potential post topics either in a note on my phone or in a notebook. I like to keep a separate list of ideas for my blog post ideas and my video topics. Lately I've been storing my ideas in this notebook which is always looking to be filled with additional post topics if y'all have requests!

After looking at my list of posts I go into my Google Editorial Calendar and add in posts on each week day. The great thing about doing this online is that there is a lot of flexibility to move things about as needed. I like being able to see what posts I need to begin working on at a given time so that I can plan ahead as needed.

Creating Posts

I am so much more productive when it comes to writing the content of each post when I do it in the morning. Knowing this, I try to set aside time each weekday morning to write. Depending on the subject of my post the amount of time it takes for me to write the body of my text differs. I typically like to start one task before moving on to the next so I usually sit down and whip out a post all at once instead of jumping from post draft to post draft.

I write my posts directly in blogger instead of writing them somewhere else and then copying them into blogger. If I am working on a lengthier post then occasionally I'll write them in word but I much prefer writing directly in blogger. 

Taking Photos & Creating Graphics

Taking photos with my camera has become a more recent thing for the blog. I love my DSLR camera so I am excited to have the opportunity to use it more. Taking photos is dependent on when the natural light seems to work in my favor so that's a toss up but I love using brighter backgrounds (often outside) with a 50mm lens.

As for creating graphics I have a post all about that here! I download fonts and install them on my computer to use for graphics (find a lot of the ones I use on this pinterest board). Creating graphics can take a while and being a bit of a perfectionist doesn't exactly help that. 

Responding to Email

I like to focus more heavily on emails once at the beginning of the week and once at the end of the week. I star emails that I need to respond to as they come in since I often check my gmail account on my phone but definitely don't want to respond them on that device. Ideally I answer emails within a day or two but during the school year that definitely isn't the case. I have a post all about how to manage your email inbox here.

Social Media

Social Media occurs periodically for me throughout the day. On a good day I'll instagram more than once but that depends on if I have anything worth posting. I like to edit my instagrams in VSCO before posting them but usually brighten them a bit, increase the saturation, and decrease the warmth! Twitter is sporadic but Pinterest has become a nightly routine.

I hope this gives y'all a bit of insight as to how I go about creating content and would love to know of any specific post topics y'all are interested in!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Must Watch TV Shows On Netflix

I feel like Netflix is every college students guilty pleasure. Coming back to your room after a long day of class and studying is well rewarded with watching a few episodes of your favorite TV show. Even at home I fin myself watching Netflix more frequently than watching our actual TVs but that could be because I don't really know the channels. With summer here for most college students and on the horizon for most high schoolers I am sure many of us will be spending some of our free time this summer watching shows and movies on Netflix. 

One of the saddest parts about watching a show is when it finishes and you feel like you have nothing else to watch. To avoid that disappointment I am sharing some of my Netflix show favorites as well as which shows are on my to-watch list and I would love for y'all to add to that list as I frequently use TV shows as background noise while I am working on blog content. 

So what are your favorites or recommendations for me? I'd love to know what y'all are watching! 

Monday, May 23, 2016

How To Feel More Energized

With many of you finishing up your school year and starting summer you probably feel a bit drained having used a lot of your energy to study for exams and finish the school year strong. Even those of you who may have been out of school for a week or so can start to feel the laziness that summer can bring. While that is a nice change of pace you don't want to waste your summer away doing nothing. In both cases, a little energy can do wonders for your attitude and productivity during the day. When you're feeling a bit sluggish here are a few of my tips on how to feel more energized and ready to take on the tasks ahead.


Stretch Right When You Wake Up
Right when I wake up is definitely not when I feel most energized even if I've gotten plenty of sleep the night before. Stretching right when you wake up will help you to move around a bit and slowly get your body ready for the day. Not to forget to mention how good it feels to take some time to stretch in the morning!

One of the coffee shops I go to when I am home has "It's 6 am somewhere" written on its wall and although it doesn't have to be 6 am for you to drink coffee I thought this was clever. Coffee is definitely my vice when I am aiming to feel more energized and specifically iced coffee gets me going. I think I need this coffee mug with my attitude towards coffee! 

Get Some Sun
Getting outside in the sun with some fresh air is especially effective for me when I've been studying in the library for a while. If you feel like you're lagging halfway through the day go outside for a walk or take a call from outside. The quick change in scenery and chance to be outside definitely help me to feel more re-energized.

Drinking water throughout the day and staying hydrated is a great way to help keep you awake and energized throughout the day. If I haven't had enough water my head will start to hurt causing me to be less focused which isn't ideal. Carry a cute water bottle with you all day to help encourage hydration!

Eat A Filing Breakfast 
I get NOTHING accomplished when I am hungry. Eating a filling breakfast, one with a bit of protein, is the best way for me to remained focused for most of the day. I also like to keep snacks with me so that I can eat a little something every 3 or 4 hours to avoid ever getting hangry. You can always find me with some of these granola bars (ps ordering these from amazon is so much cheaper than buying them at the store).

Working out is a great way to make sure you have a bit of energy throughout the day. While there are benefits of working out right when you wake up sometimes I like to save my workout until the afternoon when I am starting to feel especially tired. Working out helps me to feel more energized and focus better after the fact.

Chew Gum
When I am feeling tired and need something mindless to help keep me going chewing gum is my go to. I find this especially helpful on long car drives when interstate driving becomes a little too same old same old. Chewing gum is also a great thing to do while studying to keep you awake and help you focus on what you're doing. This is my favorite gum at the moment.

Set A Bedtime And Stick To It
The best way to feel more energized is to get enough sleep. I definitely struggle with this one at school but setting a bedtime is a good way to make sure that you are winding down at a reasonable time in the evening. Think about when you typically need to wake up in the morning and try to count back at least 8 hours and make that your designated time to go to bed during the week.

I hope your Monday is filled with a lot of energy so that you don't have to use these tips but if that isn't the case then I hope these work for you! Leave me any additional ideas to feel more energized below as I am sure other readers will appreciate them too! 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Friday Favorites

Since being home in addition to having free time I have had some time to try out some different products and treat myself to a few things I love. What better way to share the love than to inform y'all about these great products! I do this with hopes that y'all will let me know something you've been absolutely loving this week as well! 

Starbucks Iced Vanilla Latte
Y'all…This stuff is amazing. Junior year I consumed an unreal amount of coffee but it wasn't until the end of the year that I discovered my new favorite at Starbucks, an iced coffee with vanilla and this product is the perfect at home way to enjoy something similar. I think I've already gone through 3 or 4 containers of this stuff since being home so weaning off coffee hasn't been a thing just yet but I'll let you know if I start to kick the caffeine!

A New Blogging Notebook
Although the work I do is visible online I still like to keep lists and brainstorm on paper. I ordered this one right before the summer began and have been filling it with all things blogging, which is also something that's a favorite! I have loved being able to be back creating new content for y'all! I missed it so much this past semester when I had to back off a bit but stay tuned all summer long because you'll be seeing a lot of me.

Paul Mitchell Marula Oil - Rare Oil Treatment
This product was sent to me at the end of April and it has become something I use daily. It smells amazing and makes my hair feel so soft. You put a drop or two into your palms and rub it into the ends of your hair when it is still wet. Having gotten my hair cut a bit shorter I've been trying to be better about deep conditioning the ends since they are what seem to start to look straggly first. I will definitely be repurchasing this when I run out, it is that good.

Fresh Flowers
Since leaving for college I don't think there has been a time that I've come home and there haven't been fresh flowers awaiting my arrival (thanks mom and dad)! Fresh flowers are my favorite way to add a bit of color and life to my bedroom and right now there are so many pretty flowers in season. Whether you're grabbing them from Publix or your local farmers market they can easily brighten a space or someones day!

A Fun New Phone Case
This is a bit embarrassing but I was so sad to part with my past case. Fortunately my new case made the switch very bearable and it's like a party in my pocket. What is not to love about pink and orange pinatas? Nothing in my opinion and the good thing is that this case is much more protective than my last one which left me with a nice diagonal crack across my phone (womp).

So I want to know, what are some of your favorite things lately? Anything I need to test out, let me know!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Early Summer Wish List

Since Memorial Day is the "unofficial start of the summer season" and retailers seem to be releasing all things perfect for the heat wave that is bound to accompany this new season I can't help but add a few items to my cart. Adding items to my cart is my online way of window shopping as they usually stay there and are later deleted when I go to buy something that is typically more practical. Currently, there are so many online stores where I have my cart full of items that seem to have popped right off my Pinterest page and I thought it would be fun to share some of those finds with you in case you're looking to purchase a few new and fun pieces before the season begins! 

I am loving all things embroidered, off the shoulder, cognac, or with tassels and this wish list definitely epitomizes that. As the summer precedes it will be fun to see how those trends are played up in other pieces but for now these definitely make my eyes twinkle! 

I want to know what is at the top of your wish list! Let me know below!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Room Re-Do Gallery Wall Inspiration

One of my favorite parts of my apartment this past year was the gallery wall I created on the wall across from my bed. With a pretty specific color scheme for most of my bedroom I decided that a gallery wall would be the perfect way to pull in some color and express a bit of personality. As I begin to re-do my room here at home I knew that a gallery wall would be essential here as well. While I am not positive whether it will go above my desk or in another area of the room I have had a blast searching for some art for my room and thought it would be fun to share it with y'all.

Here is what I am working with thus far…

I'd love to know some of y'alls favorite places to purchase some prints so that I can peruse those as well! 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

My Workout Essentials

Since coming home for summer I've been doing my best to get back into the routine of working out daily. This past semester I was pretty good about that having found a workout class I love that simultaneously gets me off campus away from my phone and constant unread emails in my inbox (I know other sorority presidents can attest to that). Unfortunately, there isn't a barre3 in my hometown so I've been alternating between running and Pure Barre classes to fill that void. At school I'd often rush back to my apartment after spending some time in the library in order to be dressed and ready to head to barre3 in time for the afternoon class. Because I am used to getting ready to workout in a hurry I have since established some of my workout essentials and thought it could be fun to share them with y'all. Although these essentials are for running or barre classes I am sure that they would also prove to be useful for other workouts as well and these leggings are sure to comfort you during just about any activity (even if that includes lounging).

Fun Workout Leggings
Although when I am running at home it is far too hot for workout leggings whenever I go to indoor workout classes I love throwing on a pair of colorful or printed leggings to make the idea of exercise seem even more inviting. All for Color, one of my favorite lifestyle brands as of late, recently launched the cutest Activewear line that includes perfectly colorful and printed pieces that are equally as comfortable. The fabric isn't too thick which is especially ideal and the breathability also allows it to make sure that sweat doesn't stick.


Loose White Tank
While I am all for a colorful top tried and true basics are the easiest choice in a hurry. I don't think that you can own enough white tanks and I definitely prefer looks flowy ones as opposed to tighter options when it comes to summer workouts. This one is from Gap and Lululemon recently released a super similar one. The open back makes it breezy and the white color will match just about everything whether you're wearing nike shorts or excessively colorful leggings.


Running Shoes
Obviously a good pair of workout shoes are essential! I am guilty of finding a style I love (if you've never been fitted for a good pair it's a game changer) and buying it year after year. That's what I've done with this pair, I even think that I've had this same color combination for two years in a row.

Braided Ponytail
A bit of a strange essential, I know but a braided ponytail is my signature in the summer. When I was a camp counselor my campers would ask me to do their hair the same way and tell other counselors that they want the same as Dorothy when referring to this hair style. This hairstyle is guaranteed to keep my hair out of my face all day and provides a bit of variety from just a normal ponytail.

Properly hydrating definitely makes a workout a bit more bearable. I have LOVED my s'well bottle especially since it keeps water cold for an extended period of time. I have the smaller size since that was all that was offered in the print I have at the time but if you're looking for a larger size Nordstrom has a great selection.

Phone + Headphones
I use my phone to play music while I workout usually jumping around from Spotify playlists. I know a lot of people don't like the headphones that come with iPhones but those happen to be my favorites!

This isn't necessarily an essential for everyone but since receiving my fitbit for Christmas I have loved using it to track my activity. If you've considered getting one or want an accountability buddy as the summer begins I can't recommend them enough!

So there you have it, my workout essentials! I'd love to know what your workout essentials are and if any of ours overlap! 

Also, All for Color has offered Prep In Your Step readers a 20% discount with free shipping on orders over $50 with the code PREPINSTEP. Shop away! 

Blog Design by Get Polished