Friday, May 31, 2019

Summer Wedding Prep with Crest 3D Whitestrips

If there’s one thing I know there will be a lot of this Summer, it’s weddings. Especially in the South, it seems as though there isn’t a single Saturday with an empty event venue. Before 2019 started, I knew that many of my Summer plans would revolve around weddings, given that some very important people in my life all chose the Summer of 2019 to tie the knot. From my childhood best friend to my college best friend and even my brother, I couldn’t be more honored that they all asked me to be a part of their special day. 


Although my dresses were picked out for me, I’ve discovered that there is still plenty of prep work to be done before participating in each of their big days. After being in my childhood best friend’s wedding two weeks ago, I quickly realized that being in a wedding means being in A LOT of photos. This has made brightening my smile a task at the top of my to-do list. 

I love coffee and cannot imagine giving it up, but know it contributes to my smile not being as white as I want it to be. Starting in college, I would hint to my parents about how I’d love to receive Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips in my Christmas stocking. I’ve always been a loyal fan of the product and I am thrilled to be partnering with Crest to share how Crest 3D Whitestrips have me feeling confident about my smile for all of this Summer’s photo-worthy events after only 14-days.

Since I’m not willing to give up coffee and don’t want to have to spend a ton of time or money brightening my smile, Crest 3D Whitestrips became the perfect solution. All I had to do was peel, apply, and reveal. And since they are only worn for 30 minutes without any messy gels or trays, I’m able to easily make whitening my teeth a part of my nighttime routine. 

I thought it would be helpful to show you a close-up of my teeth comparing them from one day before I used the product and then 14 days after. While I think that pictures speak for themselves, I notice even more of a difference in person and feel like any sort of yellow tinge or staining has disappeared after using the product! 


The box I got from Target contained 40 strips, which means I had access to 20 easy treatments that would help me remove years of tough, set-in stains from coffee. I made it a habit of putting on one upper and one lower strip before getting in the shower at night and leaving them on for 30 minutes before taking them off. Plus, the Advanced Seal Technology’s no-slip grip keeps the strips in place without slipping and sliding. 

I knew that I wanted to keep up my teeth-whitening habits even when heading out of town for Kate’s wedding, and fortunately, packing a few treatments in my toiletry kit was so easy. Even after looking through the few photographs from the wedding I can’t help but be pleased with the way my teeth look. Given that I spent the whole day smiling, I never felt the need to feel self-conscious about the color of my teeth! Crest 3D Whitestrips are the only at-home whitening guaranteed to whiten as well as professional-level whitening treatments and now that I’ve used the whole box, I don’t know why I’d use anything else!


Thursday, May 30, 2019

My Favorite Career Related Books + Job Advice From PIYS Readers

If there's one thing that I'm really good about doing in the summer, it's reading. While that sounds like a bit of a brag, I know it's typically because I have more free time and enjoy opening up a new book while sitting poolside. Even though I was in grad school the previous two summers, this will be the first one that I'll be working a 9-5 during (even though I actually work from 7-5 to get half days on Friday). While I wouldn't mind spending the entire summer traveling, I am excited to have a consistent routine during the day and add in fun summer activities to my evenings. For those of you that may be working "fun" jobs or interning but still want a way to stay engaged with the career world, there are so many books that are worth your read during your break from school.

I always get a bit embarrassed when people look at my bookshelf since it's half psychological thriller/mysteries and half self-help/inspirational. I'm not sure what this says about me, but at least I know what I like! When I was going through the process of deciding to quit teaching and search for a different job, my collection of inspirational books began to be more and more focused on careers and jobs. Because of that, I thought it could be helpful to share some of my favorite career-related self-help books with a short synopsis (from Amazon) of what you'll find between the covers. 

"Our "thirty-is-the-new-twenty" culture tells us the twentysomething years don't matter. Some say they are a second adolescence. Others call them an emerging adulthood. Dr. Meg Jay, a clinical psychologist, argues that twentysomethings have been caught in a swirl of hype and misinformation, much of which has trivialized what is actually the most defining decade of adulthood.

Drawing from a decade of work with hundreds of twentysomething clients and students, THE DEFINING DECADE weaves the latest science of the twentysomething years with behind-closed-doors stories from twentysomethings themselves. The result is a provocative read that provides the tools necessary to make the most of your twenties, and shows us how work, relationships, personality, social networks, identity, and even the brain can change more during this decade than at any other time in adulthood-if we use the time wisely."

"The first book to deal with the problems of communicating to a skeptical, media-blitzed public, Positioning describes a revolutionary approach to creating a "position" in a prospective customer's mind-one that reflects a company's own strengths and weaknesses as well as those of its competitors. Writing in their trademark witty, fast-paced style, advertising gurus Ries and Trout explain how to:
•    Make and position an industry leader so that its name and message wheedles its way into the collective subconscious of your market-and stays there 
•    Position a follower so that it can occupy a niche not claimed by the leader 
•    Avoid letting a second product ride on the coattails of an established one. 
Positioning also shows you how to:
•    Use leading ad agency techniques to capture the biggest market share and become a household name 
•    Build your strategy around your competition's weaknesses 
•    Reposition a strong competitor and create a weak spot 
•    Use your present position to its best advantage 
•    Choose the best name for your product 
•    Determine when-and why-less is more 
•    Analyze recent trends that affect your positioning. 
Ries and Trout provide many valuable case histories and penetrating analyses of some of the most phenomenal successes and failures in advertising history. Revised to reflect significant developments in the five years since its original publication, Positioning is required reading for anyone in business today."

"In THE MYTH OF THE NICE GIRL, Fran Hauser deconstructs the negative perception of "niceness" that many women struggle with in the business world. If women are nice, they are seen as weak and ineffective, but if they are tough, they are labeled a bitch.

Hauser proves that women don't have to sacrifice their values or hide their authentic personalities to be successful. Sharing a wealth of personal anecdotes and time-tested strategies, she shows women how to reclaim "nice" and sidestep regressive stereotypes about what a strong leader looks like. Her accessible advice and hard-won wisdom detail how to balance being empathetic with being decisive, how to rise above the double standards that can box you in, how to cultivate authentic confidence that projects throughout a room, and much more.

THE MYTH OF THE NICE GIRL is a refreshing dose of forward-looking feminism that will resonate with smart, professional women who know what they want and are looking for real advice to take their career to the next level without losing themselves in the process."

"The path to your life's work is difficult and risky, even scary, which is why few finish the journey. This is a book about discovering your life's work, that treasure of immeasurable worth we all long for. It's about the task you were born to do. 

As Jeff Goins explains, the search begins with passion but does not end there. Only when our interests connect with the needs of the world do we begin living for a larger purpose. Those who experience this intersection experience something exceptional and enviable. Though it is rare, such a life is attainable by anyone brave enough to try. 

Through personal experience, compelling case studies, and current research on the mysteries of motivation and talent, Jeff shows readers how to find their vocation and what to expect along the way."

"In Work It, CEO of Likeable Media and popular podcast host Carrie Kerpen shares lessons from her career and an "advisory board" of powerful women in a wide range of industries to help women everywhere make their aspirations a reality. Packed with actionable tips and stories from the likes of Sheryl Sandberg, Aliza Licht, and Reshma Saujani, this inspiring book reveals their counterintuitive secrets for success, including:

- How and when to say "no" – whether it's a dream job that just isn't the right cultural fit or a low salary proposal, as well as when to say "yes"
- How to make your career work for you and your family rather than the other way around
- How to develop your own FAB PAB (Fabulous Personal Advisory Board) – a support network of women – rather than work with a single mentor
- The importance of talking openly about money – from job offer negotiations and cash flow management, to fundraising venture capital dollars
With advice on everything from mastering social media to navigating office politics and the seemingly impossible work/life balance, Work It arms every woman with the courage and skills to achieve success and happiness on her terms."

Some of the other career-related books that I'm eager to read include:

I know not everyone is quite as into reading about these sorts of topics and instead want short, concise advice that they can apply to their lives. Back when I shared some career-related blog posts (Where To Look For Jobs + Resume and Cover Letter Tips, Ways to Make an Impression in an Interview, and How to Set Up Your LinkedIn + Networking Tips) I also took to Instagram and had my followers there share their job advice. I've compiled them below for you to read through as reassurance or motivation!

"Reach out to people who have your dream job and ask for advice."
"Don't approach an interviewer acting like you know more than they know."

"Search for people on LinkedIn who have your dream job and ask them how they got there."

"If you are still undecided on what you want to do try doing work outside of the field you may have in mind. You may discover you love it."

"Use keywords listed in the job posting on your resume and in your cover letter. Also, spellcheck and have someone proof the documents for grammatical errors."
"One of my favorite questions to ask employers is 'what is the best compliment you could receive from a client, customer, or employee.'"

"You don't need your dream job to start. Go for a job in the industry you're interested in and tell everyone what you want to do, they may be able to help you get there."

"Find a team that is a good fit! You spend SO much time at work and liking your team is crucial."
"Don't lose hope and be yourself. They will see you for you when the right fit comes."

"It's important to remember that everything happens for a reason. Stay positive!"

"Never settle. Negotiate your salary, perks, and benefits but never settle even on your first job."

"Always ask questions before, during, and after the interview."

"Show passion for the job throughout the whole process and relate to the recruiter."

"Always write a cover letter."

"Don't discount post-graduate internships if you're looking to go into PR."

I'd love to know what other job/career related content you'd like to see! 

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Father's Day Gift Guide 2019

Father’s day is June 16th so now that May is almost over, that’s the next holiday I’ll be prepping for. I don’t think I’ll be with my dad on Father’s Day this year (but I do think I’ll get to see him the following weekend)!), but that doesn’t mean that finding a good gift to give isn’t on my mind. 

I’ve said it in year’s past but will repeat it, I feel like dad’s get the short end of the stick when it comes to the gifts they receive. Typically, the gifts they end up with are relatively practical since if your dad is anything like mine, then he goes ahead and buys anything that may be on his wish list. I don’t think I’d be overly excited to receive a tie or a pair of socks, but somehow dads seem to be pretty ok with it. I did my best to find useful items your dad may actually need and pair them with more fun items that would be entertaining to give as a gift.

Two years ago I gave my dad what will likely go down as the best gift I’ve ever given him (with a backscratcher as a close second), an Xtreme Driving Xperience. That was the first experience style gift I’ve given and the memories of that day are as much as a gift to myself as they were a gift to him. We both were able to drive Xtreme Xperience’s supercars in New Orleans, and it was an absolute blast. I shared a post all about that experience which you can find here. I also included a video of our day here. Fortunately, I think just about any guy would take an IOU for driving a sports car so this would be a great gift to give and schedule for a later date. They have some deals currently for Father’s Day (30% off with code SUPERDAD) so now is a great time to chat with your siblings (since I’m sure you’d hate to upstage one another with a gift this good) about opting in on this gift. I think my dad told just about everyone he knows about our day at the race track, which felt like a gold star gift in my opinion. 

If you plan to stick to items instead of experiences, I have included several great ideas below to make your lives a bit easier. To shop a product included in the image hover your mouse over it and then click. It should take you directly to the site where the item can be purchased in a new tab. Best of luck!

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Step Into My Week 5.28

I hope that y’all had a wonderful weekend! It’s crazy to think that this was the last weekend of May. I have a feeling this summer is going to fly by if May was any indication. This past week was a very productive one which is always encouraging, and I’m hoping I can continue that trend into this week as well. 

Monday morning, I woke up early and hit the ground running. I had a post draft to finish and ended up doing that after reading and eating my breakfast in bed. Once I got to work, I caught up on emails and comments I had a bunch of returns that need to be made which freed up a lot of space at my desk (it seriously looked like I was making a pillow fort with all the pillows we had in the studio for a shoot). I finalized some copy and read a lot of my team members’ pieces before working ahead a lot of the afternoon. After work, I went to the Y to workout before rushing home and getting clean before having people over to watch the Bachelorette. I multitasked while watching and planned out Shopping Picks of the Day for the week and updating my media kit. Once the episode was over, I headed to bed and finished up a few things on my computer before reading and turning off the light.

By the time I went to bed on Tuesday night, I felt like I never slowed down during the day, which made me feel accomplished. My morning started off working through resources for the issue that we shipped on Thursday. A lot of the rest of the day was spent planning social post captions ahead of time and scheduling them into our social planning software. I also went through our previous issue and updated our travel and recipe index. After work, I went to the Y and got a workout in before meeting my friend Macy for a walk along Jemison trail. Macy and I needed a good catch up session, and it has been so nice that it is staying light out longer making it easier to meet up with friends before going home at the end of the day. I got home around 7:45 and showered and ate dinner while pre-pinning content to Pinterest. I’ve been trying to be really intentional with promoting blog content on various social media platforms since I spend so much time creating the content. Once I finally closed my computer, my brain wasn’t completely off, so I read for a while before actually falling asleep.

shop this outfit here

On Wednesday, I started working through our next issue’s resources and working on copy for our October issue. While we haven’t shipped our September issue yet, it’s wild that we are already in fall mode at the office. Christmas will be back before I know it. I continued to work ahead the rest of the afternoon and headed home after work. I decided to go on a run instead of head to the gym, which may have been a mistake given how hot it was. I came home very sweaty and showered before making dinner and heading to bible study. I was at bible study until around 9:30 before heading home and getting in bed. As per usual, I stayed up later than I planned working on blog stuff before finally going to sleep. 

Thursday morning, I got to the office early, and I wish I had a picture of my drive to the office because the sky was so blue and beautiful. I worked on a lot of copy that morning, which helped me to feel ahead, which was great. I continued to get ahead on social captions and scheduling in the afternoon and also worked on sending out our complimentary copies. After work, I went to the Y before going home to do laundry, shower, and pack for the weekend. I also finished up a few graphics for next week’s blog posts so that I wouldn’t have to worry about doing that over the weekend. 

shop this outfit here

Friday morning, I loaded my luggage in the car so that I wouldn’t have to come back to my house after work and instead could head straight to the beach. I did a bit of blog work at Starbucks and got to work early so that I’d be able to run to Trader Joe’s on my way out of town and still be on the road around noon. The drive was relatively uneventful, and I made it to the beach around 5:00 that evening. I sat on the porch with my family for a while before we eventually had dinner and rounded out the night on the porch as well.

shop this outfit here

Saturday morning I woke up thinking we would go on a boat ride but I ended up sitting on the beach reading for most of the morning instead. After a while, my mom and grandmother came out and joined me, and we drug one of the paddleboards out into the water to use as a table while we swam around. After being out there for a while, we came in for lunch and then spent most of the early afternoon napping and reading. Around 5:00, we went to the boathouse and decided to go on a boat ride before grilling out dinner.


I woke up early on Sunday so that we would be set to go on a long boat ride that morning. We explored a river that I hadn’t been to, but with all the no-wake zones, it got hot. We came back from that a little before lunch and cleaned up before sitting outside to eat. After lunch, we all took naps and read and spent most of the rest of the afternoon and night on the porch or by the grill. The people next door were shooting off fireworks which Scout did not love, but it gave us all an excuse to go to bed a little bit earlier.


On Monday morning, I got up and packed up before breakfast so that I’d be able to hit the road right after. My drive back to Birmingham was equally as uneventful as the way down although I was glad I didn’t hit any Memorial Day traffic. I got back to Birmingham around 1:00 and went with a friend to another friend’s cookout shortly after getting back. After that, I went to the store to stock up on groceries for the week and then unpacked before going on a walk with my friend. I finished with all of that around 6:00 and quickly showered and started cooking vegetables so that my roommate and I would be ready on the couch at 7:00 when the Bachelorette came on. My roommate encouraged me to live tweet my snarky thoughts during the episode which led to us stalking the hashtag for the show and laughing at all the clever ways people summed up our thoughts in less than 140 characters. After the show was over, I excitedly got in bed to finish the book I had started over the weekend and stayed up until close to 11:00 since I couldn’t put it down before knowing what happened. If you’re looking for a good book that you won’t want to put down then A Beautiful Corpse by Christi Daughtery is a good pick. I think this is technically the second book in her Harper McClain mystery series but I was able to follow it without having read The Echo Killing first. I do plan to read it soon though with how much I loved A Beautiful Corpse.

I hope that y’all are all looking forward to a short week after a fun, long weekend! 

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Saturday Shopping vol. 14

It’s an especially awesome Saturday today given that I woke up at the beach. Better yet, I get two more mornings here! My fingers are crossed that the weather stays as nice out as it has been so that I can spend plenty of time on the boat and in the sun. It has been a few weeks since I shared my last Saturday Shopping post so if you ask me this one is chock full of fun finds perfect for helping you prepare for summer. 

If you’re interested in any of these pieces, you can click directly on them in the image below to be taken to where they can be purchased!

Friday, May 24, 2019

Blogger Bloopers

Happy Friday! I hope that y’all are all gearing up for a relaxing and fun long weekend for Memorial Day. I’m heading to the beach after work today, and the weather isn’t supposed to be rainy, which is a major win. Fingers crossed for lots of time in the sun. 

As for now, I thought it would be fun to give you a taste of reality at the not so picture perfect moments of blogging. While I tend to share photos where I look put together and am smiling, there are so many outtakes that aren’t quite as pleasant. So as a way to embarrass myself and entertain you, here are some funny outtakes from photos from that past few months. I’ve linked the posts where the real photos were used above each image if you’re interested in reading the content or shopping the pieces shown. 

See this post.

Read this post.

Read this post.

Read this post.

Read this post.

Read this post. 

Read this post. 

Read this post.

See this post.

Read this post.

Read this post. 

Read this post.

Read this post.

 Read this post.

So in case you need me during blog photos, I'm probably either sleeping, talking, or rolling my eyes according to these photos. Good thing my friends who help with pictures are somehow able to snag good shots between all the outtakes! 

Thursday, May 23, 2019

College Dorm Room Essentials

It is wild to think that I graduated high school 6 years ago. I still remember how hot it was at graduation and how excited (and relieved) I was to know where I was going to school in the fall. So many of my classmates had known since September, but since I wasn’t applying to many state schools, I had to wait much longer. I also had to wait longer when it came to scheming up how I wanted my dorm room to look given that Furman didn’t give us our room or roommate assignments until the beginning of July. As a planner that took A LOT of patience. Fortunately, I ended up in a great room with an even better roommate, so maybe the patience paid off. 

Nell and I occasionally will go back through those first facebook messages we sent one another, and we usually end up cringing a bit. She was definitely playing hard to get when it came to agreeing to room with me. Eventually, she came to her senses, and I am so glad she did. During my time in the dorms (at Furman you live in dorm rooms both freshman and sophomore year), I came to realize what items were must-haves. For any of you already getting excited about shopping for the dorm room you’ll live in in the fall I thought it may be helpful to go ahead and share these items now instead of waiting closer to August. And for any family members out there, these would make great gifts to give a recent high school graduate! 

See where I lived here:

Nell, I blame and thank you for this one. When moving into our freshman dorm, Nell brought along this sound machine, and I quickly became hooked. When living on a busy hall where not everyone values shut-eye as much as you might, a sound machine that provides a bit of white noise and peace. Even though Nell and I no longer live together, a piece of our time together still is given that I have owned my own sound machine ever since.

Hear me out on this one...Is a fancy detergent really necessary? No, but little luxuries like the smell of the diva scent glamorous wash detergent gave me a taste of home even when I was 8 hours away. I never thought I’d take pride in a detergent being my signature scent, but my little figured out I was her big because the t-shirts I gave her smelled like me. Now when my friends hug me or walk into my room after I’ve done laundry, they always say I smell like me, which means I smell like this detergent. A secret of making this detergent last longer is to put a cap full in with a regular, unscented detergent. That way you get the scent from the pricier detergent but the cleanliness from a more affordable option.

As a huge fan of natural light, I’ve realized that occasionally it comes at a price. Somehow, I ended up with windows that offer great natural light but also have artificial street lights nearby that gave my room a glow even at night. I have gotten to the point where I like total darkness when I sleep, making blackout curtains a responsible choice. The ones I’ve included are from PB Teen and are a bit more expensive (but are the *best* and *cutest* blackout curtains I’ve had), so here is a more affordable option as well.

This is a bit of a cheat since I never had these in my dorm room; however, I so wish I had! In my apartment, these were the perfect way to organize some bathroom products in the tiny space that I had, meaning it could do the same thing in your dorm room! These shelves have been a cute way to display perfumes and products I reach for often without cluttering my counter space. Plus, they are available on Amazon Prime, a major win in my book.

This may not be essential for everyone, but if you’re looking to make your dorm room a bit homier, a headboard is the perfect solution! I made both of the headboards I used in college and got one from Not Just Dorms for my first post-grad apartment and am still using it in the house I’m in now. There is something about a headboard that makes a room look more complete. You’ll quickly find that your bed will serve many purposes in your dorm from sleeping to a study spot and even additional seating when friends come to hang out. A headboard is a great way to make your bed more inviting in all of those situations.

If you’re not a coffee lover yet, college has the potential to make you one. While I do have friends that deny themselves of this simple energizing pleasure were able to resist a daily cup of coffee, for those of you like me who can’t, a Keurig in your room will be a game changer. I’ve been using the same Keurig since my junior year, and it has undergone making more than one cup of coffee for my roommates and me for years. Although you may have a meal plan where you can grab a cup of coffee in your dining hall on the way to class, there are times you will be in a hurry or want need a late night cup making it convenient to have your own coffee maker in your dorm. It may just be the best roommate you ever have!

The best space saving piece of furniture I had in my dorm rooms was a desk hutch. With textbooks, notebooks, and pens and pencils alike, your desk can get crowded quickly. Instead of spreading out your stuff atop of your desk, spread up. My desk hutch was super easy to build and under $50 (which is a steal compared to many others that were available when I was on the hunt). Available in a few different colors, it’s easy to match your decor and furniture while giving you a little bit of extra room.

Removable wall hangers may seem like a no brainer but stock up ahead of time because you won’t want to pause your dorm decorating to run out to try to find these (which can be tricky in a college town). All four years in college, we were unable to hang things any other way than using non-damaging, removable wall hangers and I found that ones that had velcro on both sides ensured that what I was hanging stayed up and that I didn’t damage the wall come time to move out.

Closet space wasn’t overly abundant in college. From storing costumes for different functions to your suitcase for trips home, making the most of the space was important. Before I left for college my freshman year, I switched all the hangers in my closet to skinny huggable hangers. These hangers gave me the ability to fit more pieces of clothing horizontally in my closet and even had the ability to cascade downward. I can’t imagine how tight my closet would have felt had I chosen to use plastic ones.

My freshman and sophomore dorms had community style bathrooms meaning that nearly 40 girls were using the same space to brush their teeth, wash their face, and shower. As someone who doesn’t love getting ready with other people, I couldn’t foresee myself putting on makeup while making small talk in our hall bathroom. Instead, I purchased a small makeup mirror that sat on my desk so that I could allow that space to double as a vanity. If you’re anything like me and plan to get ready in the comfort of your own space, this is a must-have!

So I may be pushing it with the term “essential” at this point by including a personalized pillow; however, touches like this made my room feel so much more like home. Whether you go for something monogrammed or something patterned in your favorite color, these touches of your personality will provide a sense of comfort.

Dorm beds are NOT comfy. A mattress topper should high on your list of items to buy for your dorm room. In college, I always had a down feather topper, but now that I’ve switched to a Tempurpedic topper I wish I had had one of those in college too and I NEVER would’ve expected myself to like it. Your bed will be just as much of a couch as a bed in a cramped dorm room, so consider investing given that it’s serving dual purposes.

Along with a dorm room, you’ll also likely be getting a roommate. Whether or not you know them in advance, there are going to be times that one of you will be staying up later than the other. A bedside table lamp will make the lighting a bit less intense for when you may need light while your roommate is trying to sleep and is a courteous way to allow both of you to use the room simultaneously for different purposes. The same goes for in the morning if you are waking up earlier than your roommate and need to turn on a light while getting ready.

I don’t know if I’ve ever taken quite as many pictures in a period of life as I did during my freshman year. Everything feels so new, so it makes sense to document these changes with photos. While it’s fun to share them on social media and have them to scroll through on your phone, there’s something about printing out photos for your space that feels homey. Don’t forget to add some of your friends and family back at home too. I love this bulletin board that I currently use from PB Teen (more affordable option here), but a simple board from target is an easy solution for covering bland dorm walls as well. I covered my Target bulletin board with fabric that matched my room for my junior and senior year, which made my space look even more cohesive.

Remember how I mentioned that dorms can have community style bathrooms? Well, this is when a robe or shower wrap comes in especially handy. I ran into plenty of people on our hall as I was headed to the shower (don’t forget shower shoes!) and it was a bit less awkward since I wasn’t fumbling with a towel to try to cover up.

In dorm rooms, I wasn’t really the type to walk around barefoot. Something about knowing lots of other people have treaded through my space made the thought pretty unappealing. Keeping slippers in my room made it easy to keep my feet off the floor and stay comfy while wandering around.

I know I’ve already mentioned this, but the likelihood of you doing work from your bed is high. At least feel somewhat studious by having a hard surface to set your book on while highlighting or a way to prop up your paper as you work through it. I love this acrylic monogrammed one since it still looks stylish on top of being practical.

One of my secrets to non-wrinkled clothes freshman year of college was ironing them with my hair straightener. While that works, a steamer does a better job. I know it’s not going to be something you use a ton, but when you need it, you’ll be glad to have it. Plus, it’s easier to store than an iron AND an ironing board.

Maybe I should have listed this first, but Clorox wipes are necessary to have on hand from the minute you walk into your dorm room. Although the room has likely already been cleaned, it doesn’t hurt to wipe everything down before settling in. Once the move-in process is over, you’ll be glad to have these on hand for spills or quick clean up sessions as needed. While it doesn’t hurt to keep other cleaning supplies on hand, if you’re anything like me in the dorms, you’ll find that these become your go-to.

You can shop the items listed in the graphic below by clicking directly on the item you're interested in to be taken to where it can be purchased. What would you recommend for dorm rooms for anyone that may be dorm room bound?

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Beach Bag Must-Haves

It’s getting to be that time of year when my beach-bag remains packed so that it’s ready to go at a moment’s notice. Whether I’m toting it to the pool with a friend or packing it in my car for a trip to an actual beach it’s something I like to have at the ready in the summer. It’s such a bummer to get all set up to soak in the sun and hang out with friends and realize that you forgot something crucial. 

With Memorial Day Weekend mere days away and a trip to the beach on my agenda, my beach bag is officially packed with the following essentials! 

I shared a DIY for the tote above here.

Growing up near the water beach towels seemed to fill our laundry room shelf after receiving them as gifts over the years. While those towels were great, many of them had run their course, and an update was in order (my brother was still using one with Polo bears on it a few years ago…). With beach towels, my mindset is the bigger, the better and this tassel one from Serena & Lily fits that bill. I couldn’t say no to the blue and white design and stripes, but if that’s not your thing, there are plenty of other towel designs out there. 

Hair Tie
I’m a lover of ponytails pretty much all of the time but especially at the pool or on the boat. I like to keep an extra one on hand in case the one I am using breaks. A breezy boat ride and wearing my hair down do not mesh, so it’s better for me to be safe than sorry. 

While I love the sun, laying out by the pool doing nothing can get boring. If I have a book on hand, it makes it infinitely better. I find that I read so much more in the summer just to have an excuse to be outside. I’m hoping to start making a dent in my to-read list and have a few books packed in my beach bag to read this weekend. All We Ever Wanted, A Beautiful Corpse, and The Wedding Guest were my most recent library finds and I tucked a couple of magazines in my bag to enjoy as well. 

There is no denying the fact that the sun dehydrates you. To help avoid that I like to bring a reusable water bottle with me to the pool. If I’m not bringing a bottle, I’ll at least bring a Yeti (or similarly insulated) cup and hugger with me. 

I keep at least two bottles of sunscreen in my pool bag at all times considering if I don’t lather up I am bound to get burned. I like to have one that’s more gentle on my face and another (usually a spray) that is easy and quick to apply to my whole body. Right now, I have a pouch that’s overflowing with sunscreen in my bag since it’s also nice to have varied SPF options.  

Bathing suit top found here (size down a size).

Another no brainer for the pool and beach, especially when I am trying to read! My favorite sunglasses for the past few summers have been by Madewell and are reasonably priced (love lenses of this color for summer). This is especially nice given that I’ve had sunglasses fall overboard before and losing these wouldn’t be quite as much of a bummer as losing a pricier pair. Also how fun is this pair for something a little bit different?!

Headphones can be tricky when it comes to the pool. If there are a bunch of people and I am trying to be productive, I like having them on hand to drown out the noise, but I’ve always been afraid that I am going to end up with a random tan line across my stomach because of the cord. This is when having airpods or some other type of Bluetooth headphones would be handy. For the time being though I’m careful to make sure I loop them behind my head so that the cord is out of the way. 

In the summer, even when I use a lot of sunscreen, my freckles tend to pop out. I like my freckles, so it isn’t a big deal, but sometimes I want my face to have a bit more protection. Because of that, I like keeping a hat in my bag. While sunhats are cute, I usually opt for a more classic baseball hat since they are easier to store and take up less space! 

I’d love to know if you have any additional essentials that I should start bringing with me that I may have forgotten! 

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