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College 101: Back To School Essentials

back 2 school
With the start of school quickly approaching, I find myself more and more drawn to the cute things every college kid needs for school. As I thought of my own “essentials” or things I couldn’t live without, I managed to come up with things that I should or wished I had for school as well.
Naturally, not everyone can afford the brand in the collage above, but anything like it will do! To start with, I put up a picture of my own backpack (which I love!) I had wanted a Vera Bradley backpack since high school and when I finally purchased it, I was estatic! The one I have is called the Campus Backpack in Portabello Road (which is the same as the laptop case print!) You can find these on the Vera Bradley website in so many cute patterns! Keep reading to find out how you can win the laptop case in the same print!
My Lilly Pulitzer agenda (pictured here in Peelin’ Out) is my absolute, number 1 must have for the school year. I use this agenda everyday and even when I have switched to another kind, I always go back to Lilly. The set up of this agenda is absolutely amazing, but you can find any agenda that will work to keep yourself organized!
I don’t know about all of you guys, but I always get super thirsty during class. Sometimes, I carry a travel coffee mug (like the Lilly one pictured above!) or a tumbler, this Kate Spade one looks huge! The tumbler I use is my monogramed one (which you can find all my monogrammed items and their etsy shops here .
Another rather obvious must have for me are notebooks! The Kate Spade ones above are definitely on my wish list, but I always go for the .89 cent ones from Target. Going along with the theme of school supplies, I added a Kindle and a book to the picture because obviously you have textbooks at school! For me personally, my english major requires a lot of fiction lit, so this especially applies.
Some essentials I keep in my back on a day to day basis are headphones for waiting between classes and chapstick. I can not stand having chapped lips, it drives me absolutely insane! I love the chapstick brand of lip balm, always have. I also keep a wallet with a phone case (Lilly shown above), a lanyard for my keys (Vera Bradley shown above) and a watch on my wrist so I don’t need my phone during class. The less distraction the better!!
As far as dressing for class goes, I usually try to be comfortable and save my dressier clothing for my non-class days. However, a few things are always with me. I usually wear my pearl earrings. They are simple, classy and can go with just about anything. I also wear my glasses often, because contacts can be a pain when getting ready to go quickly! The ones above look almost exactly like mine and are from Warby Parker. You can read my review of this company here. I also think a cute phone case is a must, so that when you’re in a public place, you know which phone is yours with your cute monogram. 🙂
Finally, my last back to school essential is a cute manicure. Whether you diy it or go into a professional, it helps me feel confident on the first day of classes!
So, now for the exciting part of this post! In honor of one of my favorite times (back to school shopping), I am hosting my first giveaway! The winner (announced on August 21st) will receive a Vera Bradley Laptop case in Portobello road as well as a few school essentials every one needs at some point or another! I am so unbelievably excited for this, however, there are a few rules.
1. you must be eighteen or older
2. must live in the United States (Sorry!)
3. Must complete at least One activity stated on the rafflecopter widget!

Disclaimer: This is not sponsored in any way and was purchased by me.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Study Abroad Questions

So, while I have been preparing for study abroad, I have found that many questions pop up. I decided that I would share these questions and ask that if you have any suggestions or answers please comment below! Later, when I come back from study abroad I will answer my opinions on these questions for all of you future study abroad participants to read and utilize!!

 

1. Should I buy a converter and a hair dryer to take?

2.  Should I take my iphone to use over wi-fi or just buy a international phone from verizon?

3. What do I do about bedding?

4. Will I have free time to hang out and explore?

5.How much money do I need?

6. How far in advance should I fly out?

7. What should I bring?

8. what should I do before I leave Europe?

9. Is a DSL camera worth it or will my digital work?

 

Let me know any comments or other questions I should answer for when I come back! 🙂

End of Summer OOTD

end of summer OOTD

As summer is coming to a close, so is the season of cotton mini skirts, simple tees and cute, comfy sandals. Enjoy your last few weeks of warm weather with a look that is classic and elegant, yet comfy and fun at the same time. I picked out a few pieces from J.Crew that I bought at their summer sale and went with an entire look! What pieces are your end of summer must wears?

Video

Inglorious Fruits and Veggies

The other day as I was wandering around the interwebs, I found this interesting new craze coming from France known as the “inglorious fruits.” A program dedicated to finding a way to keep people from throwing away fruits that are still good, but not quite as pretty. This is ingenious! Take a look at the video and let me know if you think this would work in America, what you would want to change and more ! Thanks to TwentyTwoWords.com for helping me find the original video!

 

Simply Organized: a DIY list and intro

simply organized

Since I have been going organizational crazy thing summer (as you could see from my closet tour a few months ago!), I decided that while I am on this adventure of finding the storage objects perfect for my room, I would share this adventure with you. As far as organizing goes, I AM NOT AN EXPERT. I do not claim to be, I am simply sharing my fun ways of organizing and what works for me. By all means, I am open to suggestions and love new ideas. 🙂

To start off, I made a list of what helps me organize things. To keep my life on track, I came up with a few simple solutions to keeping things in their place and life clutter free!

If you want to start off small, begin by looking at your email and working through the items in your inbox. My first organizational solution is to look through all your emails first, then respond. That way, you won’t respond to a message and notice later that another one had arrived from the same person! The second tip, going along the lines of the first is to go through and unsubscribe from newsletters you no longer read or enjoy. Make your inbox virtually organized by using the folders and tools available! I love using yahoo mail because it allows me to easily utilize folders!

For those of us who love everything written down, I suggest using a planner. I personally love the ones from Lilly Pulitzer, who released the new line about a month ago. ( an updated agenda post will be coming next month, along with a few surprises for loyal readers 🙂 Stay tuned!) This includes utilizing the planner in a functional way that works for you. I love using bright colors for each category in my life, including: school, work, Gamma Phi Beta, blog and personal stuff. Then each day of the week I can look at the things in my agenda and know what needs to  be done and by what date they should be done. To keep my room and such clean and clutter free, each day of the week is assigned a certain task. For example on Mondays, I would do laundry and Tuesdays I vacuum my room. Then you can form a pattern and keep the house clean. An easy way to keep the same weekly list is to laminate it and use dry-erase markers for an easy reusable tool!

Another thing I love to utilize is my set of hanging files. That way I keep all of my items neatly organized and set apart. If I need to quickly find that receipt for my phone bill, it is filed under “phone bill” and accessible. I find I spend less time digging and more time accomplishing goals and to-do list tasks!

In order to have motivation for all of these things, my fifth tip is to think of your work day as over when your to-do list is completely finished. That way you don’t say “I can do this tomorrow” and instead it is checked off that list! Which goes into tip number six. Make lists! I love making lists, whether it is on a night stand before bed or a small one on a sticky note in my planner, I make lists for everything and anything. For those of us who worry at night, a brainstorming journal on the night stand is a great way to make a list and get some sleep! Another quick idea to help with sleep and organizing is to avoid any visual clutter in the area around you. Keep the items on your nightstand and desk simple and easy to reach. That way you won’t feel closed in or stressed when searching for something.

My final quick tip is to take a break from organizing. This can be a daunting task and may take time. Your finished system won’t happen overnight, but when it does finally happen, you’ll be so happy you did it! Stay tuned for more “Simply Organized!”