Wednesday, August 31, 2016

How to Be More Positive

With school back in session it is easy to get into a slump when it comes to your general attitude. The early morning alarms to wake up for class and the adjustment that comes with staying up later to do homework and prepare for the day to come while also doing your laundry, cooking meals, and surviving solo if you're a college can sometimes be overwhelming. I find that when I am overwhelmed I am most likely to find myself being more negative. I think one of my mom's favorite quotes would have to be "positive people live longer" since she tells my brother and that all the time. While that may be the case venting to my parents is a weekly occurrence and instead of a new outlook I am usually looking for some sympathy. That just goes to show that although I may come across as more positive in posts and videos we all have those moments where it feels like being negative is a lot easier than being positive. 

* via

In order to combat that attitude I've come up with my best tips of what works for me when I am looking to change my mindset! I've even included a graphic included at the end so that you can print these tips out and put them in a place as a reminder that your outlook can make an impact on your attitude. 

Listen to fun, exciting music.
While Mondays usually don't fall into the category of people's favorite day of the week I happen to look forward to getting ready on Monday mornings because I know I'll have a new "Discover Weekly" playlist waiting for me on Spotify. Because I like listening to music while getting ready or doing just about anything sometimes this is the perfect encouragement to be a bit more excited about the day to come instead of dreading getting out of bed. Having some music you love ready whenever you need it is a great way to boost your mood and energy when you're feeling particularly negative.

Set goals.
When I am productive I am always a lot more positive. The satisfaction of crossing things off of my to-do list and getting assignments accomplished relieves stress and in turn makes me more positive and fun to be around. Setting goals whether they be hourly, daily, weekly, etc helps me to keep deadlines in check while also providing myself with the satisfaction and positivity that comes with completing those things. 

Surround yourself with positive people.
It is so easy to start venting when someone else is doing it. The same is true for being excited and having a good attitude when you're around others with that outlook. While I am certainly not saying to cut ties with someone who is complaining about their day I think it is important to make sure that you are also spending time with people who are looking for the positive even when negative situations present themselves.

Use self affirmation.
I am all for being confident in who you are. If you know you did a great job on something why doubt yourself. Knowing what you are capable of and reminding yourself of that is bound to make you more positive. One of my favorite videos of someone doing that can be found here and one of the best compliments I've received was from a friend who said that I reminded her of the little girl in the video. Sometimes all it takes is standing in front of a mirror and telling yourself that you can do it. 

Forget about perfections and stop sweating the small stuff.
As a perfectionist this can be particularly challenging but I've found that when I take this mindset I am a lot more positive about what I've done and not quite so nit picky. Sweating the small stuff is bound to stress you out and guide you toward negativity so try not to focus on it!

I feel like working out is on every list of this nature that I make so why make this one any bit different? Working out really does change my mood and my attitude towards the rest of the day. Even on days when I feel overwhelmed and like I don't have time to work out I know that by finding time in my schedule to do it I am setting myself up for more success and positivity. Thank you Endorphins! 

Stop comparing yourself to others.
Taking on the mindset of everyone being able to be successful is the best thing you can do for your attitude. If you compare your accomplishments to someone else's you are likely to start to feel like everything is a competition and when you're not in the lead your attitude is going to be the thing to suffer. Be proud of what you've done and be proud of what other people have done but keep these things separate so that your attitude reflects the positivity you have towards your own accomplishments. 

Find a few people to vent to and stick to only venting to them.
This is crucial. Parents, roommates, friends, whoever these people may be it is likely that they know you best. They know that you aren't trying to feel like the world is against you but sometimes it feels better when you can verbalize your frustrations and concerns. By doing this to a select group of people you are able to get the sympathy you may need and move on to continue being positive to everyone else around you. 

Encourage and compliment others.
Compliments can easily turn someone's day around and are bound to make you feel good about yourself. By pointing out the effort other people have made you are going to come across as a much happier and positive person and the more you do this the more likely this is going to be true of your attitude. 

Switch your mindset. Focus on what you have not what you don't have. 
I am so guilty of "wanting" things that I may not need without fully appreciating all that I have. I have found that the sooner you switch your mindset to that of appreciation the sooner your overall attitude will reflect that. Being grateful to be given the opportunity to go to a school that challenges you to work hard and think is a better way to look at a class you may be struggling in than automatically resorting to negativity and wishing you had taken something else. 

Here are those tips in a more consolidated form for you!

I'd love to hear y'alls tips for how you may stay positive! Leave them below so that I can check them out. 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Step Into My Week

Welcome Back!! What a busy past few weeks it has been. I am thrilled to get back into the routine of updating y'all on my adventures and what has been going on in my life with my weekly Step Into My Week posts. If you're new around here or may have discovered me this weekend and realized that last semester posting was inconsistent (oops) but Step Into My Week posts give me the opportunity to share life updates and photos with y'all as well as anything I love or want to share. These posts definitely show more behind the scenes and personal updates which allows me to be more transparent with y'all. Typically these posts will go live on Friday and you can go through past Step Into My Week posts by clicking the label at the bottom of the post if you want to read them kind of as a weekly diary entry. 

Since this is my first Step Into My Week of Senior (wait, what?) year this is actually going to include the past couple of weeks since I've officially been back at school for three weeks with only one week of classes under my belt. I had to come back to school early in order to help set up the classroom that I am student teaching in and to start school with the students which happened to occur a week before Furman started. If you didn't know, I am an elementary education major and for senior year my field placement is at a school about 40 minutes away in a fourth grade classroom. So far I have adored it and my cooperating teacher and I get along wonderfully which makes showing up a couple of times each week really fun! 

Moving in (see my move in vlog here) was pretty quiet since it was pretty much just athletes and education majors on campus but fortunately two of my roommates are also ed majors and a lot of my friends are as well. During that first week we all spent a lot of time at the schools, in meetings, and working on this huge project we had due that is worth 20% of our grade in two of our classes for next semester. That has since been turned in which is a huge relief and has allowed me to really enjoy being back on campus. 

pillow // marquee sign

The first weekend back was exciting since I went to my first "real" concert ever in Atlanta with two of my best friends. We had purchased our tickets to see the Dixie Chicks way back in November so having it finally come time to see them was beyond exciting. We ended up staying two nights in Atlanta and had a great time together. I went with one of my best friends from home, Kate, and my freshman (and this year) roommate, Nell. We ended up going to ikea on Sunday to shop for our apartment and the concert was that night and incredible. If the Dixie Chicks are performing near you and you like there music I would highly recommend that you go.

romper // purse

I had to be back at my school Monday morning at 7:15 so I woke up super early that morning (4:15 to be exact) and came back to Greenville to make some last minute changes to the classroom to prepare for the first day of school on Tuesday! Much to our parents amusement, we took first day of student teaching photos at 6:00 right before we left! 


The first week student teaching was absolutely exhausting but in the best way. We would come back each afternoon, go to another meeting, workout, make dinner, shower, and be in our pajamas working on our projects by 7:30. That weekend was pretty laid back as well since we were all hustling to finish up our assignments before our friends arrived back on Sunday ready to move in. Monday night was fun as a fraternity on campus always hosts a big party off campus before the first day of school and my little, who is going abroad this semester, came back and I got to catch up with her there and the day after. It is always such a fun way to see everyone you haven't seen all summer and meet some of the new students. 

dress // hoops

Tuesday was Furman's first day of class although I was student teach then so it didn't feel quite the same since I wasn't on campus until later in the afternoon. On Wednesday it was so nice to finally be on campus and feel like a student again and that day ended with a fun block party for our apartment building complete with a jumpy thing that you could velcro yourself to. I felt like Amanda Bynes in Big Fat Liar! 


This weekend has been pretty laid back with plenty of apartment projects and errands being run. I hope y'all have had a good week and are looking forward to Step Into My Weeks in the weeks to come!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

First Week Confidence Boosters

Class for me officially started on Tuesday although it really didn't feel like the first day of class that day since I spent my morning student teaching before going to class at 2:30. Although I am a senior in college I still get a bit anxious before the first day of class even though this certainly isn't my first rodeo (I had to explain to my fourth graders that technically I'm in 16th grade). This year I was definitely more anxious excited than anything else. I was thrilled to be on campus, see friends, and have a big project turned in to start really enjoying the start of my senior year at Furman.

In case any of you are finishing up your first week or are about to start school for the semester I thought it could be fun to share some of my "wisdom" for how to boost your confidence during the first week in order to hopefully keep you feeling confident for the entire semester to come.

I've created 13 (lucky, right?) easy things you can do to boost your confidence and am so excited to share them with y'all! 

Pick out your outfit & shower the night before.
Boy have I had to get used to this. With student teaching I have to be up at 5:30 to get ready and drive 40 minutes to be at the school by 7:15. Getting dressed in the morning is already enough of a challenge but add in early mornings and the need for a professional ensemble and we have ourselves a doozy. Taking the time at night to figure out what you are going to wear will save you some valuable time in the morning as will showering. This is especially useful when you accidentally press snooze one too many times and are running late.

Be positive.
Attitude can change just about anything so having a positive outlook on the first few days will definitely make them more bearable. I know that waking up early for school isn't always ideal but going to school with a better attitude and a sense of excitement will have an impact on your mood for the rest of the day. 

Say hello to people (even if your don't really know them) and compliment others.
There is nothing more scary than starting fresh at a new place where you don't necessarily know anyone. While that may not be the case for you, knowing that other people are going through this will remind you that a simple hello or compliment, even to a stranger can completely change the start of their experience. Not only will you help to make them feel more confident but by being nice and friendly you will likely begin to feel more confident as well.

Anyone else always hear that it takes more muscles to frown? While you may be pondering how to count that as a workout those are some muscles I am not necessarily looking to tone. Smiling is the easiest way to make you look approachable, friendly, and comfortable where you are. Take in your surroundings and at least give the illusion that you are enjoying being where you are. 

Sit up straight.
I definitely do not have the best posture and would rather be comfortable than just about anything else which a lot of times causes me to slouch or sit in a more relaxed fashion. I find however, that when I focus on my posture and sit up straight in class I feel more prepared and confident with what is happening since I am more alert. I am by no means saying that you should walk around like a statue but taking a second to adjust something as simple as the way you are sitting can have a surprisingly big impact on the way you look and act.

Get a good breakfast (and don't forget the coffee).
I adore breakfast foods so this isn't usually an issue for me in the slightest but I know for a lot of people breakfast just may not be their thing. Making sure that you're getting enough to eat in the morning can influence the rest of your day. I am never very fun to be around or confident when I am hungry since my mind is preoccupied with when and what I am going to eat next so by ensuring that you have at least had something you will be better able to have an attitude that portrays how you actually are instead of how you are when you're hungry.

Head to school with a friend.
This tip is especially relevant for the first day when you may not be quite as sure as where to go and you don't want to roam the parking lot or hallways alone. Heading to school with a friend on the first day or two can definitely calm some nerves and create a little bit more excitement and overall confidence when it comes to how you approach reality. 

Be organized.
Scrambling to find books or notebooks for class is a sure fire way for me to feel less confident about a class and my schedule. Starting the semester organized instantly boosts my confidence when it comes to all things school related. Go ahead and have your backpack packed with any supplies you'll need and the notebooks you plan to use to help set yourself up for success.

Whiten your teeth.
One of the fastest ways for me to boost my confidence when it comes to my appearance is to whiten my teeth. Although it is such a small change it can be noticeable and really affect your attitude. I find that when I am confident about my teeth I smile more which makes me more approachable and overall happier. 

Don't compare yourself to others.
I'm sure you've all heard the saying that comparison is the thief of joy and that can be so true when it comes to confidence as well. Just because someone else looks great, is succeeding, or seems to have everything together doesn't mean that you should feel lesser. By avoiding comparison you'll be able to be more confident with your accomplishments and be able to celebrate in their achievements without jealousy! 

Listen to your favorite song on the way.
Music has a huge impact on my mood. I love creating a new playlist to listen to before a seemingly boring event just so that I wake up excited for it. My taste in music is always pretty random but by putting together some of my favorite songs from various playlists I am a lot more energized and enthusiastic about the day which helps contribute to my confidence.

Reward yourself.
Taking time to appreciate the accomplishment of completing your first week of school is well deserved. Whether it be spending time watching a movie, indulging in an exciting sweet treat, or purchasing a little something to help continue to motivate you I like to celebrate accomplishments big and small! 

Working out always makes me feel better about myself energy wise and can also contribute to one's perception of their appearance. While you definitely shouldn't put your worth in that exercising helps me to feel confident and productive when it comes to getting things done!

I'd love to hear any tips you may have for boosting your confidence in the first few weeks of school and hope that any of you that have already started class are feeling great about the semester ahead!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Tailgate Tassels

With school now in session there is one really big thing most college students are looking forward season. Even if you're not that into the sport going to tailgates with friends really can't be beat! Dressing up, wandering from tent to tent, and enjoying the game are part of what makes falls on campus so much fun. Having spent about a week student teaching I am realizing just how easy it is to spot one of my school dresses from more tailgate typical attire in my closet and while I am to build my professional wardrobe I can't help but fall in love with some of the styles that I wouldn't wear in the classroom but would put on in a heartbeat come game day. 

The funny thing about Furman is that we never really wear our school color (purple) to football games. For the most part you will see every color but purple when peering around the mall. You are also more than likely to notice a lot of cowboy boots, sorority pins, and boys in bow ties under tents with designated fraternity letters but that can't just be at Furman. To make the most of pieces in my closet I decided to reach for a dress that would be perfect for a tailgate and wear it on a particularly hot summer day. With off the shoulder silhouettes and tassels epitomizing summer style I found that these dresses that I typically designated for tailgates deserved more wear time regardless of the occasion.

In my mind, royal blue is a universally flattering color that pops with any hair color and skin tone. I love that it is classic while still being a bit bold and better than any of that for me was the fact that this particular blue dress has pockets. That can't just be a selling point for me, right? It is completely twirl worthy and looks just as cute with boots as it does with sandals, a major win in my book. 




dress (similar) // sandals // bag // bracelets ( 1 & 2 ) // necklace

Paired with neutral accessories I felt like this dress was perfectly appropriate for running errands, grabbing a meal with friends, and even those tailgates we are all looking forward to in the weeks to come! 

I hope y'all are having a wonderful Wednesday so far! 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Day Of Shopping Tips for Lilly Pulitzer's After Party Sale!

It's here, it's here! It's a pink and green lovers Christmas as the Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale starts this morning at 8AM EST. Hopefully you have a big cup of coffee in your hand and your pajamas still on to shop since patience will definitely be needed as you wait in Lilly's virtual line to enter the closest thing to the pink and green palace that the internet can offer.

Since you may be waiting I thought it could be helpful to provide some day of shopping tips for y'all in order to capitalize on your success after making your way through the line! And here is a quick trip down memory lane featuring some of my favorite Lilly from over the years! 




First, if the website does crash (which is quite possible) there is no need to send strongly worded tweets to the  Lilly Pulitzer team on Twitter and Facebook, they want us to be able to shop and it is already nice enough that they give us the opportunity to shop  Lilly for discounted prices!

Items in your cart are not reserved so try to shop fast and checkout if you have a piece in your cart that you can't live without! 

If the sale isn't working for you online try shopping through the   Lilly Pulitzer app. Occasionally it will be faster than the computer however I definitely prefer perusing through the site. 

If you end up snagging anything let me know! I am nosy and curious and would love to share the thrill of the sale with you!

Now for the giveaway reminder. As you're waiting in line be sure to head over to  this blog post to enter for a chance to win these fun prizes! 

Best of luck shopping! Hopefully I'll be back over her sharing some of my favorite finds from the sale with y'all but in the meantime be sure to enter the giveaway and let me know what you're most hoping to snag from the sale! 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Lilly Workout Wear + GIVEAWAY

After the announcement of Lilly's After Party Sale which I talked about in yesterdays post I figured there was no better time to share one of my more recent favorite pieces from Lilly (and if you pair attention to yesterday's post you probably saw the giveaway for them too). I love Lilly pieces (did you see my freshman dorm room?) but as I am starting to work towards a wardrobe of professional pieces that can be worn frequently without anyone noticing I've realized that some of my favorite Lilly pieces don't necessarily fit that bill. That doesn't mean I am going to stop purchasing those pieces but it did mean that I was absolutely ecstatic when Lilly released workout shorts. I wear at least one pair of workout shorts a day and couldn't care less about repeating them so purchasing Lilly workout shorts was a guilt free way to add more patterns to my workout wear. 

I am a huge fan of nike and lululemon workout shorts so I was very impressed when I could run and exercise comfortably in the athletic shorts Lilly Pulitzer created. Not only can you comfortably workout in these but you'll look cute doing it! The only thing that is a little different about these is they don't have built in shorts liners so if that is a make or break it for you then that is something to keep in mind. I don't really have much of a preference of that and have worn these for a variety of workouts without ever feeling like they are riding up or uncomfortable. 

Since the shorts can definitely hold their own I decided to pair mine with a short sleeve athletic top and a fun, equally bright sports bra although I'd definitely have to trade this tee for a tank if I were to workout since it has been far too hot lately for anything else. This is definitely an outfit that you wouldn't feel guilty staying in all day after working out! 




To help you prepare for the sale be sure to look at yesterday's post for some tips and be sure to check back tomorrow for some day of shopping advice to help make the shopping as smooth and successful as possible. Enter to win your own pair of these workout shorts and other fun Lilly items here

And since we are talking about Lilly here are some of my favorite of their new arrivals

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale Announcement + Giveaway

On your mark, get set, get ready to shop! The Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale is coming to a computer screen and store near you on Monday morning! The After Party Sale starts August 22nd and runs until August 23rd. It typically begins at 8 AM EST although I have yet to see Lilly's Headquarters confirm that just yet (don't worry though I will be keeping you informed when I do). If you're new to these Lilly Pulitzer sales then you may be curious as to what all of the hype is about. Well, online Lilly Pulitzer doesn't typically put things on sale aside from their 2 big sales of the year when the deals are unreal and the internet is prone to crashing! Lilly Pulitzer prepares by removing loads of items from previous collections and re-listing them the morning of the sale at incredibly discounted prices.

You may notice that it is a rarity for  Lilly Pulitzer pieces to go on sale through their site and that is because they reserve their sale inventory for two sales each year, this one and one at the beginning of the year! Since there are so few sales these are insanely popular and the more you know in advance, the better! 

For the sale to go more seamlessly here are my best tips for shopping the sale, let's hope the sale loads well and that you are able to get all of the pieces you have your eyes on! 

Create an Account & Log In Before the Sale Starts
Creating an account will make your shopping experience so much easier! By already having your addresses and cards in the system you are more likely to get the pieces you really want with less stress. You can go ahead and  create your account now and be sure to log in before the sale begins so that you don't have to worry about that  since time is of the essence once the sale begins!

Check Out Often
Something you definitely need to keep in mind while shopping is that items in your cart are not reserved. If you desperately won't one of the pieces in your cart then go ahead and check out since shipping is free. Items can disappear from your cart as quickly as they are adding which can be frustrating so hopefully you'll have luck with the checkout process. Traditionally with the sale checking out is the slowest part of the process.

Open Lots of Tabs on your Browser but ONLY After The Morning Chaos Has Stopped
Lilly puts everyone in a virtual line as the sale begins and if you refresh tabs/ open multiple in the morning then your line number will be replaced with the highest number. However, after the line dies down my browser looks a bit like this so that I can compare different items.

Shop From Multiple Devices
Similar to having multiple tabs open shopping from multiple devices (computer, iPad / tablet, phone) semi-gurantees that you'll be able to look at different pages all at once hopefully letting you get more of the items you love!

Continue to Shop During the Entirety of the Sale
With so many great products on sale it is hard to really notice everything and some products are bound to be overlooked. Some of the best deals can be found on the last day of the sale so keep checking in.

Have Favorites in Mind & Know your Size
Elsa's, dresses, and Murfee scarves are always my favorite Lilly pieces so those will be the first things I check out. By knowing what size you are in items and having set pieces in mind then you are more likely to obey my next tip…

Use a Bit of Self Control
It can be super tempting to snatch up everything with deals like this but remember to have some self control. Only buy pieces you know you'll wear in your size in prints you like. Otherwise they will sit in your closet unused and Lilly is too much of the life of the party to do that.

Be Polite
 I can't think of anything more discouraging for the Lilly team to see than negative Facebook posts and tweets about the sale. It is a privilege that they host this and while it can sometimes be frustrating for the site to crash there is no excuse for being rude! I always make a point to thank the team through social media for their hardwork to make up for the rude comments they receive!

Plus remember that shipping is free and all purchases are final sale!

To prepare for the excitement I am bringing y'all a fun giveaway that is perfect as we all prepare to go back to school! Entering is incredibly easy and these  Lilly items would be just the encouragement you need to stay fit and hydrated with all of your athletic endeavors this school year. I love providing y'all with giveaways of this nature and as always, I email the winners directly to ensure that they can claim their prize! 

What's included in the giveaway… 

How to enter the giveaway…
(ends August 24th)

1. Go to  Lilly Pulitzer's  site and choose your current favorite print from THIS season (prints page  here).
2. Follow me on instagram @prepinyourstep.
3. Leave a comment on THIS BLOG POST letting me know your favorite Lilly print, instagram name, and email address so that I can directly contact the winner and be sure that you've properly entered.

I wish you could all win and wish you the best of luck when entering! 

Check out Lilly Pulitzer's sale tips  here!
Be sure to check back tomorrow for a look at these workout shorts in action and again on Monday morning for some day of sale shopping tips! 

Just remember this sale only runs until the 23rd so go ahead and prepare toshop.
See you tomorrow and during the sale! 

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