Making a List: Up North Essentials

Have you been searching the internet for weeks to find the perfect outfits for your summer get away? Have you been ordering the cutest clothing to fit into the sandy, relaxed lifestyle that the locals seem to embody so well? I know I have! To begin my summer must have list for my up north vacation get-away, I listed the essentials. As in the things that I would actually die without.

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– camelbak waterbottle (check out my monogram post from two weeks ago to find this EXACT water bottle!)

– My meds for asthma

– sunscreen to protect from cancer!

-toiletries such as deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste (and tooth brush!), hair brush, face cleanser, body wash, etc.

– pillow and sleeping items such as a sleeping bag

Then I began to list the things that are not items that I would die without, but ones that i would be pretty miserable without.


– books, books, books! I am a book-o-holic (almost as much as I am a shopaholic! ūüėČ ) and I can finish one in a day when I put my mind to it, so being up north without wi-fi means… BRING LOTS OF BOOKS! Or my Kindle.. ūüôā

-My Glasses/Extra Contacts

– Movies/cards for nightly entertainment

-notebook: for ideas, thoughts, and worries.

– beach towel and swim suit

– and of course, my puppy!


Finally, I began to think of outfit ideas for when I’m not in my suit on the beach:

beachy essentials

Seafolly swimwear

Jack Rogers leather flat

Fendi glasses

Cap hat

Pink beach towel



– comfy tanks and tees

– shorts

-pretty sandals and flip flops

-sun glasses

– beach bag


I even made a polyvore image for it! So what are your beachy essentials? let me know in the poll below!




A Preppy Girl’s Guide

A Preppy Girl's Guide

Victoria s Secret vintage tee


Michael Kors watch

Kate Spade tech accessory

Vineyard vines hat

Lilly Pulitzer home decor

Southern Proper

Talking with Veronica

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This last Wednesday, I went to something that I was very excited about. At a local bookstore, on her #four tour, Veronica Roth spoke about various things including, but not limited to, how to create a dystopian world, genetics, character she loves and writer’s anxiety. With her witty comments, personable nature and fun topics, Veronica managed to capture the entire audience, all 500 of us! Along¬†with getting to listen and ask questions of her, attendees received two signed books: Four by Veronica Roth and Starglass by Phoebe North. I am so excited to read these and I cannot wait to do a review of them.¬†photo 1

For those of you who do not know Veronica Roth, she wrote the now ever popular Divergent series. A dystopian trilogy about a young girl named Tris and the choices she must make that will determine the future of the entire society. The first one in the series was recently made into a movie with Shaliene Woodley and it was a pretty good adaptation to film in my perspective!

Back to the author talk with Veronica, she brought up some important aspects of writing as a woman, writing with anxiety and creating a dystopian world in novels. We find today that many of the moral inflictions that once existed, have changed. If you take a lead male character, do you usually find them to be labelled as strong? Whereas Veronica¬†points out that a lead woman character (much like Tris) is labelled as strong and courageous. Now, this isn’t to say that every male or female character is or is not labelled this way, it just seems to be a common concept.

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Phoebe and Veronica (both YA Dystopian writers!) spoke of building the world of the novels and how many factors come into play. These factors include (but again, are not limited to) genetic diversity, population control, and messages including within this. I find this might be my weakness when it comes to writing this type of fiction is knowing exactly how to make up a world that is my own but makes sense and goes along with some sci-fy tropes. Then again, Veronica and Phoebe did say that it is okay to not have a plan and for both of them each planning session while writing is different. I have not found my own system yet, but I am young and will hopefully find it soon! You never know when your big break is around the corner.

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Overall, I loved the discussion and how Veronica spoke of writers with anxiety and how anxiety is viewed as a “mental illness” and the stipulation that comes along with that term. Much like myself, she said to be a fellow anxiety sufferer and I know that this inspired me in so many ways, to be able to identify myself with someone I look up to. It is quite an amazing feeling. One of the great things I identified with Phoebe was the fact that we both started our careers with blogs. I can’t imagine my life when I am 30 (like Phoebe) but I hope it is even half as successful as she is!

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My final thoughts overall from the talk was one quote that stood out, which I wrote large in my notes. Veronica and Phoebe were answering questions about character development. Veronica was talking about Tobias and the ups and downs he has within the trilogy, when she said that there “is something great about writing a character who flourishes in adversity.” This struck a chord with me and I would love to know your thoughts on this! Please comment below letting my know your thoughts on writing, divergent or anything else you’d love to read!

Simply Michelle Favorites….


As long as it is summer, I am free to watch as many movies as I want¬†without that guilty I should be studying feeling.¬†What movies should I watch, however, is the big question of my day. There are so many movies out there for each genre, mood, occasion, you name the kind and there is probably a movie out there for it. The current movie feeling I have is for summer (because it is July… obviously…) So to concur with this feeling, I have compiled a list of movies that I absolutely adore watching during the summer. So grab some popcorn and tell me your must watch list!


A bump in the road

It seems that ever since the fourth, I have been on a journey destined for writer’s block. Even my weekly articles for the Odyssey are hard to write this week. My daily routine consists of waking up, showering, eating, working, reading and more working. It is simply hard to believe that July is almost halfway over and soon I will finally be on the sandy beaches of one of the Great Lakes. I suppose my next best bet is to come up with things to write about. This is all making me wish it was august to that I could use my Lilly planner finally. It isn’t even the fact that the planner is Lilly Pulitzer, but the colors and way it is set up makes me feel so organized and relaxed. It is so cool, it even has a calendar in the front for me to plan out blog postings! (Don’t worry, I will be doing an updated planner post) Besides that, there is not too much to be doing except laying around and reading. Hopefully, I will be able to think of something more exciting for Wednesday! Please continue to send in the things you want to hear from me most!

Too Prep to Function

Is there such a thing as too prep to function?




For a day out shopping, I couldn’t resist wearing my JCrew button-up and pearly necklace from target. To pair with it, I used my new Kate Spade Saturday Bag that I bought off of Vinted, an app where you can sell (or buy!) items from others!! I felt unbelievably fabulous wearing this outfit and being able to shop in it. I managed to buy some other pieces from J.Crew that because of the July 4th sale, I recieved 50% off each item!


Can you say YES YES YES! I also went all out with my makeup because usually during the day I can’t because of swimming with kids.

For my eyes I used Clinique’s buttered toast shadow duo, with Calvin Klein mascara and the new pushup liner from Benefit! (Love this product, btw!) My Cheeks has benefit’s dandelion blush and my lips are Nar’s Niagara shade lipstick. To prep and prime my face, I used MAC’s prep and prime powder that is a soft and fine white powder, it feels AMAZING on. To fill in my brows I used my Ultra brow pencil in brunette and to finish it off, Urban Decay’s De-slick spray is my new favorite.



You could say it was a good day. ūüôā



Graze Box #2!

I received my second Graze box in the mail last week and I took more pictures! I am so excited for this post to go live because of the photos I managed to not delete. ūüôā¬†

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I was so excited to have received four new snacks from Graze. The box look is the same as my first one, including the layout of the pamphlet.Which includes my code for your first and fifth box free! Click here to try it out today! 


The first snack I tried this week was the apple and cinnamon flapjack, which was fantastic! There was an equal mix of both flavors in such a filling snack. I really did not think I would enjoy the flapjack items but in fact I LOVE them! One of my favorite aspects of the box. The next item is the Toffee Apple, which is Granny Smith Apple Slices dried with lemon juice to dip in toffee. At first I was not expecting the apple slices to be soft, so I looked it up on the website, and indeed the apple slices are soft! Then as I kept eating, I got used to it and liked it! Not a favorite, but definitely tasty. Finally the last two are Cracking Black Pepper Cashews, which I am not a huge pepper fan, but it was alright and gave me some energy, and then Herby Bread Basket, which I love! It includes some of my favorite flavors from last weeks box!! Let me know your favorite Graze snack below and tell me if you try it out!

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People Watching as a Lesson

There are some people in this world who base their happiness on simply purchasing an item from Lilly Pulitzer whenever they can. Others, try to claim they have true happiness, but really are twisted inside and then there are people who truly are happy. What defines happiness? Lately I have been seeing examples of extreme negativity and rudeness from people who are strangers to one another. It makes me long for the innocence of youth ( much like William Blake’s poem collections of Innocence and Experience) and not knowing the bad¬†in the world.

In the recent weeks, it has just been amazing the amount of people who don’t seem to care or more accurately notice that their actions affect others. I had a woman come in the other day who was mad at me for asking her how her day was going. While I was able to blow off her bad mood and not focus on it, my other customers did notice and I could feel the air in my shop changing. Watching people interacting with others, you can see so much. A co-worker decided that she was going to be grouchy instead of teaching someone to do something that is simple.

I suppose what I am going for, is that you can learn so much from others. I’ve learned patience is key and you never know what is going on in someone else’s life. Even if they treat me with disrespect, I have to respect them and not take any anger out on them. Maybe the karma will add up for me someday, maybe it won’t. The important part is that I show kindness to people, even if they do not show kindness to me, maybe it could change their day or even philosophy of life.