Monday, August 20, 2018

Charleston Recap

A couple of weekends ago my mom and I ventured to Charleston. Since the beginning of Southern Charm, the Bravo series just recently ending its 5th season, I have longed to visit the Holy City. The trip was a nice mom-daughter get away before I headed back to school this past week and a great way to continue my 21st birthday celebration. This recap is long overdue and probably will not do the trip justice.

Upon arrival on Thursday, we had dinner at The Charleston Grill. It was fabulous! My mom and I decided to just order a bunch of smaller plates instead of splurging on large ones that we would probably not finish. We told the waiters that we here in Charleston to celebrate my birthday and they surprised us with glasses of dessert wine and this variety plate of sweets at the end of our meal. I thought it was so nice of them! 

(Isn't my mom so FAB!?)

Friday was spent exploring the city with lots of shopping!  I got lots of transitional pieces for the fall that I cannot wait to wear while we were out and about! I really enjoyed going to the market. We went on Thursday, but it was very overwhelming to say the least. But we went back on Friday and I found some souvenirs. I really want to get a hand weaved straw basket one day! We had lunch at Poogan's Porch surrounded by three different bachelorette parties. (They were e v e r y w h e r e!!!)

On Saturday, my mom and I went to Middleton Place, a well-known Charleston Plantation. I had read a lot of mixed reviews on visiting plantations when planning our vacay, but I had never seen one before and they were advertised quite a bit around the town. After some brief research Thursday night, we found that Middleton Place had the best reviews overall, not to mention they had a dining option! The food was great! It has been very rainy in Charleston according to the locals, which made for a very peaceful day on the plantation. The rain held off thankfully once we were there! The house in the picture above is actually one of the side houses of the property. The main house was burned  during the Civil War and ultimately collapsed during an earthquake in the 1880s and along with the other side house. The house that remains has been remodeled and restored on the inside to resemble what the main house would have looked like during its peak. Members of the Middleton Family donated many of their possessions to the property for tourists to see.

I thoroughly enjoyed our trip and was much needed if I do say so myself! I cannot wait to go back one day!


Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Mini Back to School Haul!!!

Hey y'all!!!! Today makes it officially ONE WEEK until I move back to Chapel Hill for the school, even though I've gone at least once a week since I moved back in early July. I am ready to establish an everyday routine tbh. 

Since my junior year of high school, I used an LL Bean Deluxe book bag. Honestly it's still in good condition, but it kind of feels grimy even though I have washed it (I mean four years of using backpack... think of all of the places its been...) so I wanted to change it up for senior year and be a little more sanitary. I really did not want to splurge though. 

I tried using a North Face backpack last year which ended up being EXTREMELY heavy without anything in it. (I don't remember the style but I know it wasn't the typical Jester or Recon that most people use). I switched back to my trusty LL Bean by the end of my first week. It was great since I lived so far from campus, I could really load up on everything I needed for the day since I would be out of my apartment from 8-6 most days.

This year I am using the Kanken backpack.  I had a gift card to Great Outdoor Provisions since Christmas and decided that after nearly a year later that I should put it to use. I also signed up for their emails and got 10% off my purchase. I definitely got this backpack at a great price. I have been eyeing these for years, but knew they would be too small for all I would need especially during my high school career. This year I am living a BLOCK from campus. Literally will be a 10 minute walk to most of my classes like how insane is that!? I know I will definitely not have to load up everything each day and I am not working on campus so there are not many "What-Ifs". 

The backpack is a lot smaller than what I am used to, but I think it will prevent me from overpacking. Also, one of my MUST-HAVES on backpacks especially as a college student are side compartments to hold water bottles. That was a make-it or break-it deal when I was shopping around.

This year I decided instead of having an individual notebook for every single class that I instead use two 3-subject notebooks. I either have two classes a day or three classes a day so this works perfectly. This should keep my load a little lighter as well. I used a 2-subject notebook this summer for my 2 classes and it honestly just felt more efficient. 

Also, the Kanken has a laptop sleeve (!!!) which I was not expecting or even looking for really but this will be perfect! I know my MacBook Air will fit perfectly because it is so slim. My Lenovo should fit as well, but it is just a little more bulky compared to my Mac. 

My boyfriend gave me Emily Ley's Simplified Planner Daily Edition in the Minted Pineapple print for my birthday. I have ALWAYS loved Emily Ley, but could not let myself spend $60 on a planner. I really didn't know what to ask for this year and I saw this was the last print she had in stock, I had to ask for it. I couldn't deprive myself from Emily's genius any longer!

Last year, I didn't use up that many pens or pencils, but I cannot resist purchasing new ones for the school year. I purchased the Pilot Frixion pens. They are so cool because they erase with a rubbery-plastic end - an eraser that doesn't wear away! I bought this three pack of fancy mechanical pencils called Clearpoint that I have seen people use for ages. I think I used one of my sister's recently and found that they wrote really well! 

Side note: Has anyone else felt like Target's school supply section is super empty this year?? Every time I go, there are a lot of empty shelves. I just can't believe people are buying that much supplies so early. 
In addition to this, I found these supplies at Target. Initially in the school supply section. I had the Frixion pens in red, black, and blue. In the back of my mind I knew I would never use the red, but I wanted the Frixion pens. Secondly, there was a two pack of the same pencils for like a $1.50 more which I thought was ridiculous, but it's the price you pay for quality products but I knew other places had them for a little cheaper. I decided to look in the office supplies section just to double check. I actually found this ALL BLACK set of Frixion pens for $1 cheaper and this THREE set of Clear Point pencils for $1.50 cheaper. 

In short, if you want some of the less basic type of school supplies make sure you aren't getting scammed!!!! I was really proud of myself for finding these bargains. 

What school supplies are you using this year?


Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Dealing with Comparison

For me, my summer's are usually spent traveling to places across the United States whether it be Florida or somewhere out west. I honestly felt like I was extremely cultured compared to people in my small hometown (and I probably still am), but my mindset has completely changed this summer. So many people I have met at college have gone abroad and for some this isn't their first time in the last year! People are not only going to Europe, but to Jerusalem, Australia, and parts of Asia...places I can never imagine going.  I catch myself thinking I will never be able to spend a semester away like that...

This summer I have one vacation planned which I leave for TOMORROW (!!!!) and I am so excited to be headed to Charleston and to be somewhere new. This is rare that I do not really go anywhere until the end of the summer, but this is partially due to me being in summer school. 

But with social media, I feel like my weekend trip does not equate to the dozens of girls who have studied abroad or who have gone to exotic places with their families. I know social media is just a highlight reel of everyone's trips because strangely enough, many people say upon returning from their abroad trips that their time was actually very lonely. And I just sit there like ???? You were on the trip of a lifetime.... (Disclaimer: I am not trying to put down people who went abroad, I have been abroad before for a few days and it was amazing!)

I honestly do not handle jealousy or FOMO very well. I feel like I haven't done enough with what I've been given and this summer I really found myself thinking like this. Inevitably, I have unfollowed the people that I don't really interact with, but are constantly going places this summer. For me, this is a way of me making strides to compare less and enjoy what I've been given more (no matter how harsh people may think I'm being towards others).  I just have to remember that I cannot always sit and be down on myself about my current situation and to instead relish in my slow, easy summer before the school year kicks in because honestly after the school year I had, I really did need time to get myself together mentally more than a trip thousands of miles away. I know that my trip with my mom will be more meaningful to us given the season of life we are in at this very point in time.

For those of you who have spent their summer at home and/or close to home, have you felt like this?


Friday, July 27, 2018

Reading Lately + Future Read

Good morning!

Today, I am going to be talking about books that I have read so far this summer! Last summer, my job was babysitting a few days a week and my friends were living in their college towns for the summer giving me a lot of free time. It was really nice looking back since I was making a huge move to Chapel Hill that August. It allowed me to be stress free (although I found a way to be stressed about my move)... Anyways, with my free time I picked up reading. Honestly, I had not read a book for pleasure since elementary school. That is kind of embarrassing to admit to say the least. 

During my time last summer, I found reading to be soooo relaxing. I didn't have reports to write on these books or Accelerated Reader goals I had to meet. I was reading at my own pace. Reading became my own personal escape. I read probably 8 books last summer which was phenomenal. 

So far this summer, I have read 5 books, but the summer isn't over yet! I was in summer school the first part of the summer, so I had a slightly later start. So far, I have read "Modern Lovers", "Crazy Rich Asians" (series) by Kevin Kwan, and I read Emily Giffin's latest "All We Ever Wanted" (in three days). Giffin's book was very fast-paced and enjoyable. 

I'll be honest, I started Modern Lovers in November... I did not have a lot of free time during the school year and when I did, reading was the last thing I wanted to do since I had so much for class. Once school ended before summer school, I began to really read the book. Honestly, it was one of the worst books I have read. There seemed to be a lot of hype behind this author given her other book "The Vacationers" which I have not read. 

I have raved about this so much to everyone I have talked to, but I loveeee Crazy Rich Asians. I read all three books within a month. The last one only took me a week to read. I have to say the last one might have been my favorite. They are just so light and funny. There's a few plot twists which kept me on my toes! I can't wait for the movie come August 15th (a Wednesday!!!!!)

Next on my list, is "The Identicals" by Elin Hilderbrand. The book came out last summer, but I believe only hardback was available and since I was just getting into reading I didn't want to full on splurge. But this summer, I HAD to get my hands on it. My mom is currently reading it and I am waiting to steal it back from her! (I was the one who bought it hehe) Even when I made the purchase at Barnes and Noble, the cashier said it was a great book which makes me even more excited to get to it!

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Our 3 Year Dating Anniversary

On Tuesday, Matthew and I celebrated 3 years of dating. Technically, our actual anniversary is Saturday, but Tuesday worked better with our schedules. We went to Charlotte (one of our favorite cities) and spent the day there!

Upon arrival, we immediately went to Shake Shack... Matthew had not been there since we went to New York for Thanksgiving 2 years ago! It was sooooo good per usual.
Afterwards, we went to SouthPark and Swoozies. Surprisingly, I did not find anything at the mall... (shocking, right!?) Then at Swoozies, Matthew bought me this hat as an anniversary gift. I have been wanting an aviate hat for a few months now and what a fun way to remember our trip to Charlotte!

Matthew had never been to my aunt's house that's about an hour away from Charlotte, so we decided to stop by there. It was such a beautiful day there and we got to explore their land on the gator!

We ended the night with dinner at Bonefish which was really good and different because I don't eat seafood that much, but I really enjoyed it.

Here's to many more years together!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Birthday Party Inspiration

Good morning!

My birthday is coming up in just a little over a week (July 21st to be exact). I really haven't had a party since I turned 19. That year, I asked for a surprise party and ended up with two! 

Now that I am finally away from home and have an apartment, I thought it would be fun (and nerve racking) to have my hometown and Chapel Hill worlds collide. Also, Pinterest has so many cute party decoration ideas that it was hard to resist to not plan something for my day!

I really think I'm going for a cactus/pineapple/gold theme. I have found some pieces at Target (hellooooo dollar section) and have searched Amazon and Pinterest as well. 

PARTY IN A CUP! Love this so much! $12 | Urban Outfitters Disco Cactus Sipper Cup

I found this cup at Urban Outfitters for $8 the other week with my mom. Everyone on their 21st has their special cup and I felt like this one really fit my theme!

CHEERS! Gold Mylar Balloons
These cheers balloons were in a pack at Target for like $5. I know you can find them almost anywhere for fairly cheap, so make sure you don't completely over pay!

Lastly, everyone seems to have a wall for photo ops which is one of the last decorations I am still trying to narrow my vision on. 

500 Likes, 19 Comments - Louisa@littlebigcompany (@littlebigcompany) on Instagram: “Streamer backdrop love by @florenceknows_____ ”

I really like this option, of course I wouldn't have the "one" balloons, but the "CHEERS" banner would be a good replacement! This could be done very easily on a budget as well!

Garden party 1st birthday for Zoe | Lynette Boyle Photography |  100 Layer Cakelet

I really like the pom poms from this backdrop as well and I found a party set on Amazon that had some similar. 

Side note: Amazon has some great party sets with balloons, streamers and tassel banners that end up being like 36 pieces all for $20 or less! I am tempted to order one myself, but there are so many options that I cannot commit just yet! If I go with one of them I will post about their quality and if it was worth it!

Do you have any party supply suggestions!?


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

My Recent Purchases

Good morning, friends!

In preparation for my trip to Charleston and just wanting to vamp up my wardrobe for the summer, I am sharing some things I have purchased recently.

Bevello is my go to store. They have GREAT brands all of which are of great quality. I can always count on them having clothes that are in my "vision" of the perfect outfit. Since I am on the shorter side, I have really struggled trying to find a jumpsuit that won't swallow me whole. (I did find one at bevello, but I prefer the one I am sharing with you!) I have been loving this trend of the capri jumpsuits because they would fit me better. I found this one and it is perfect! The material is sooo soft and light aka perfect for Charleston! I will also be able to wear it on game days in August and September! (Go heels!) 
I have also been eyeing these trendy tortoise earrings as well through bevello's instagram for WEEKS. I love the twist on this classic print and I finally got them! I can't wait to pair them with my everyday outfits!

Next, I decided to update some parts of my make up routine at Sephora. I have seen so many recommendations for IT Cosmetics' CC cream "Your Skin but Better". I honestly do not have a make up "holy grail". My mom is constantly trying out new products and she's always switching up products. She's always giving me products that she's tried, but didn't care for so I would give them a try. I guess I get my desire to switch up my routine from her. I had been using Laura Mercier's Tinted Moisturizer. I have liked it, but I feel like my make up looks more oily. I have normal skin so I can definitely notice this difference. (Note: When I looked up the tinted moisturizer on Sephora's website to link it for you, I noticed that there is an oil free option... maybe I will give that a go next time)
Lastly, I had seen lots of recommendations for NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer Mini. I'm not a huge concealer girl, but I know I need to start adapting it into my everyday makeup routine. I love NARS products. They are all just really pretty to look at in the store lol. I have only used the Orgasm Blush Stick from NARS so I am excited to try a new NARS product!

What are your most recent summer purchases?