Lattes with Liv

Lattes with Liv: December 2012

Monday, December 31, 2012

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As I scrolled through my blog feed this morning, I read post after post about New Year's Eve.  They were filled with resolutions, years in review and outfit inspiration for tonight.  The end of the year brings about a time of review and for some, a fresh start.

2012 was quite the year.

I visited Disney World, again. 

I completed my freshman year at MSU.

I started The Classy Collegiate

I moved to Nashville for two months. 

I finally read for fun. (& I finished: Harry Potter books 2-6)

I hosted the first giveaway on the blog. (Thank you to all who entered & made it a success!!)

Plus so much more!

Thank you to all that have followed along with the blog and who have supported me this year, especially when I needed it most.

What did you accomplish is 2012?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Inviting Interiors: Holiday Decor

I feel that an inviting interiors post is long over due, and what better theme than holiday decor?  Here's a round up of my favorite, not seen everyday, ideas!


I love the simplicity of hanging candy canes in a window.  Paired with garland, this is a perfect, simple way to encourage a holiday spirit!

Hosting a holiday party?  May I suggest a dessert bar with candy jars?  This would also be wonderful as a centerpiece to dinner party. Or just a fun countertop decoration!

Here's another really simple decoration!  You need: jars, greenery of any kind, cranberries, a floating candle & water.  A 5 ingredient decoration!  This is much fancier than the candy canes, but not any more difficult.  I love how pretty the end result is.

It's no secret that I love desktop publishing and design.  I'm a giant sucker for subway art & typography.  Simple colors, powerful message.  You really can't go wrong.  The best part of this?  You can download them & print them to use yourself!

Lastly, even though it isn't necessarily decor, I couldn't skip over this one!  This would be a perfect platter to deliver holiday cookies on.  I love the holidays because it means lots of baking!  (It also means I'll be home & CAN bake!)  Just arrange starlight mints in a circle with a pretty design & bake to melt them together.  Plus, you don't have to worry about getting plates back or send cookies on ugly paper plates!

What's your favorite piece of holiday decor?


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Little Problems

Have you heard of @LittleProblems?  Well, you're in for a treat if you haven't!

Here is @LittleProblems in a nutshell: 

This started as project to keep the founder busy while her boyfriend was deployed and has turned into a multi-thousand follower twitter account with merchandise!  However, I think she tells the story best, so here is my Q&A with @LittleProblems:

Q: What inspired you to start @LittleProblems?
A: I started Little Problems because I couldn't find an account like it. On my personal Twitter, I try to follow accounts that a relevant to my own interests. I have a great relationship with my Big and hoped to find a Twitter account that was based on things like that so her and I could laugh about them. So when I couldn't find one, I started one. I never thought anyone would actually follow it or like it, so to see it grow and have over 8,000 people following it is amazing!

Q: When & Why did you decide to add merchandise to go along with the twitter?
A:  Shortly after I started the account in May, people began to ask me if I was going to make merchandise and I had absolutely no intentions on doing so. Honestly, it just sounded like a headache to me. My boyfriend is in the Army and in June we found out that he would be deploying in the fall. My grandbig's husband had recently deployed and she stressed how important it was for me to stay busy. So I thought maybe I could start selling merchandise and it could keep me busy while he was away. I never started with any intentions of making money, I just want to make time go by as quickly as possible until my boyfriend gets home. Because I was lucky enough to have that opportunity, I think it's extremely important to pass that good fortune along to someone else which is why we donate to the Wounded Warrior Project. I actually don't make any money from Little Problems. 

Q: What's your best advice for collegiate entrepreneurs?
A:  My best advice is to be dedicated. If you're going to start a business of any kind, for profit or not, you need to be dedicated. It's also important to be willing to accept help. I have an AMAZING group of women that make up the Little Problems team who help me more than they'll ever know. Another really important thing to remember is that there will be people who aren't so supportive. You just have to use that negative energy to drive you forward, just so later you can look back at them and tell them they were wrong.

Q: Who has been your biggest supporter through this endeavor? 
A: My biggest supporter since the beginning has been my boyfriend. When I first told him I made the account, he thought it was really cool. When I told him I was thinking about making merchandise, he said it was an amazing idea and that he wanted me to send him Little Problems merchandise while he was deployed so he could rep it. Even now, mid-deployment, every time I talk to him he asks how business is and how the team is doing. He wants me to continue Little Problems even after he gets back. The team is also SUCH a support system. Each member is constantly asking how they can help me more and anything I ask them to do gets done with 150% effort. The Little Problems team has grown into a family and support me, each other, and Little Problems to no end. Without my boyfriend and the team, Little Problems probably wouldn't exist. 

I absolutely love that the sale of merchandise goes towards charity, even better, our troops!   Little Problems offers two koozies on the website

How cute?!?!  I'm obsessed & totally want one! If you're obsessed as I am, you can buy one on the Little Problems website, or enter to win one! (They're also on sale for the holiday season!)

@LittleProblems has generously offered up a koozie to give away.  You can enter here:

Thursday, December 6, 2012

10 Signs it's Almost Finals Week

Here at MSU, we're a mere 4 days away from the dreaded finals week!  Everyone around campus starts to act a little bit strange, with the anticipation of finals week.  Here are a couple of signs I've noticed around campus that signify that it's that time of year again.

1. There are people sleeping on the bus.  Everyone is sleep deprived & some have even taken to cat naps on the bus.

2. Everyone is now a member of Club Lib.  Even if they have never visited the library before now this semester.

3. You start to notice a lot more coffee cups.  Need. Caffeine.

From my instagram

4. There is a massive influx of instagrams of coffee & energy drinks. (See #3) Also, usually from the library.

5. Wardrobes go to the extremes.  You're dressed to the nines or you're in sweatpants.

6. YouTube videos of cats appear on your Newsfeed.  Well, more videos than usual.

7. There starts to be a lot more people crying.  So much stress. People also start to reevaluate their life choices, like their majors.

8. There is also a lot of excitement!  The semester is finally over! Also, a lot of people are just thankful to have survived.

9.  Everywhere is a quiet zone.  No more noise here.

10. Everyone is generally stressed out.

What are some other signs it's finals week?

Good luck on all your finals!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Checking it Twice

I consider today to be the official beginning of the winter holiday season.  My family spent the day breaking out our holiday decorations and putting up the Christmas tree.  We even got some snow flurries!  I also took full advantage of listening to Christmas music all day long.

Happy playing Hide & Seek while we decorated today!
From my instagram

The start of the holidays means lots of planning for me. (I wouldn't want to forget Christmas like I did Thanksgiving!)  December is always a super busy month between finals, projects, gift shopping, travel not going insane from family time!  The winter break always seems to pop up from nowhere on me.  This year, I'm going to be prepared.

Here's my tips to surviving December (and the last weeks of November):

Make a List | Start with a list of everything you need to do. Yes, I mean absolutely everything.  Go through each class and write down everything you'll need to do in the final weeks of the semester.  Don't forget due dates!  Then think through all of your extra curriculars (ex: I know I have to do another bi-weekly report for AOII).  Think through general life events too.  Going on vacation?  You'll probably need a packing list.

Plan it Out | Try to give everything on your list a permanent due date.  Bonus points if you plan to have things done ahead of time!  I generally have at least two separate due dates for my holiday shopping: before finals week (for my friends at school) and before Christmas (family).  Of course, if you're mailing out gifts, you'll have a separate date for those as well.  I like to take a blank calendar and fill in everything when it's due.  (You can also do this digitally!)

Stay on Track | This is of course, the hardest step.  I like to look at a two week view of the calendar, so I know exactly what is coming up.  I also find it necessary to keep a daily/weekly to-do list. (I'm a habitual list maker, thanks mom).

Just for fun: a free printable to keep track of all your holiday gifts!

What do you do to keep organized for the holidays?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Forgotten Holiday

I remember walking into Hobby Lobby in the beginning of October and Christmas decorations were already out and for sale. I'm quite sure I exclaimed something along the lines of "But it's not even Halloween yet!" But, no worries, Hobby Lobby was aware, as there was still a Halloween section.

Photo Source

I feel like this happens every year when I walk into stores that decorate for the holidays. Christmas and winter holiday decorations come out super early, usually with or just after Halloween. But what about Thanksgiving?

I call Thanksgiving 'The Forgotten Holiday' just for this reason. (Sidenote: I'm quite sure no one would actually forget Thanksgiving... How sad would that be?!)

How great is this photo of MSU's Beaumont Tower in the winter?
Photo Source

We can be all too quick to jump to Christmas right after Halloween. (I've even caught myself singing Christmas carols already!) Just on Monday, it was the kind of day I would describe as perfectly winter.  Even though it was quite dry all day, we got our first snowfall Monday evening.  I don't really consider Thanksgiving a 'winter holiday'.  It's definitely more fall in my mind, and even though the winter solstice is not until December 21st (does this seem really late to anyone else?), winter seems to arrive mid-November.  

Photo Source

Despite all of this, Thanksgiving is a holiday that shouldn't be forgotten!  It's a time that reminds us for all that we have in our lives to be thankful for... good health, loving friends and family, a table of yummy food.  There are so many things in life to be thankful for and I've started noticing lots of little details that make my day a little better.  

My thanksgiving challenge to you is this: think of all of the things in your life (big & small) that you are thankful for.  Bonus: write it down and be amazed at all of the wonderful things in your life!  Then post it somewhere you see fairly regularly to remind you how blessed you are.

p.s. Don't forget a special note or two for people in your life you are thankful for!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Cutest Halloween card ever!

"I was working in the lab late one night 
When my eyes beheld an eerie sight 
For my monster from his slab began to rise 
And suddenly to my surprise 


From my laboratory in the castle east 
To the master bedroom where the vampires feast 
The ghouls all came from their humble abodes 
To get a jolt from my electrodes 


The zombies were having fun 
The party had just begun 
The guests included Wolf Man 
Dracula and his son 

The scene was rockin', all were digging the sounds 
Igor on chains, backed by his baying hounds 
The coffin-bangers were about to arrive 
With their vocal group, "The Crypt-Kicker Five" 


Out from his coffin, Drac's voice did ring 
Seems he was troubled by just one thing 
He opened the lid and shook his fist 
And said, "Whatever happened to my Transylvania twist?" 


Now everything's cool, Drac's a part of the band 
And my monster mash is the hit of the land 
For you, the living, this mash was meant too 
When you get to my door, tell them Boris sent you 

Then you can mash 
Then you can monster mash 
The monster mash 
And do my graveyard smash 
Then you can mash 
You'll catch on in a flash 
Then you can mash 
Then you can monster mash"

TDX surprised us with a pumpkin! 
No matter how you choose to celebrate today, I hope there is lots of candy and fun involved!

If you're in a baking mood, may I suggest eyeball cake pops?  The forks add such a great touch! These are sure to get you in a Halloween mood!

From the kieljp instagram.

To those who were affected by hurricane Sandy, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

My Mid-College Life Crisis

Okay, maybe crisis is a bit extreme.

The other day I got a text from Bumble.  She was in one of those weird moods when you know what you're complaining about makes no sense, there's no reason to complain, yet you still want to complain.  And nothing anyone says is going to make you feel any better about the matter. Ever been there?

How could I resist adding a picture of my beautiful best friend?
Fun Fact: this is one of the few pictures Bumble & I can agree on liking!

I realized as I tried to console her with logic, (very unsuccessfully, I might add) that she was probably just temporarily unhappy with life.  Which caused me to think about my own life.  Don't get me wrong, I am beyond blessed to be where I am with the friends that I have, but something just isn't right.

I was quoted in my high school yearbook saying "If I couldn't dance, my life would fall apart."

It hit me the other day that I haven't taken a dance class in over two years.  Yes, I preformed in songfest last year, but it wasn't serious, technical dance.

Songfest 2011!

I've let my life become so busy that I haven't had time to do things that I truly love.  I love to dance.  I put my entire heart and soul into it and there's really nothing that compares for me.  Dance offered me a creative outlet that I no longer have.

To say my life is falling apart would be a bit of an overstatement, but this has made me realize that sometimes we need to schedule out time to do the things we love so they don't get lost in a sea of other to-dos.

One of my goals for the semester was to read for pleasure.  I used to read all the time for fun and I lost it as I was in high school.  I just finished Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and while I was in the middle of it, I was itching to keep reading!  Yes, I know how it ends, but I still wanted to read it!  I found that I have to tell myself that I can read one chapter then I have to sleep, otherwise I'll be up into the wee hours of the morning reading.


I'm resolving to make some more goals for the rest of the semester.

Goal one: I want to spend more time blogging.  I was so good about posting every other day over the summer and being back on campus has gotten the best of me!  I promise to post at least once a week, but I will try to blog more often than that!

Goal two: I will find a way to dance.  This is definitely a more ambiguous goal, but as I move forward I will find someway of accomplishing it!  I know I will be auditioning for MTV Night for greek week, so this will help and I think I will audition for Dance Club in the spring.

But, most importantly, I resolve to start doing things that make me happy.

Have you stopped doing something you love?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday Melodies: Ben Schuller

This monday's music spotlight is on Ben Schuller.  A self-declared pop/rock artist from Mid-Michigan. I love being able to feature a Michigander!  His music speaks for itself, so I'm going to let it!

This video popped up on my newsfeed one day & it was how I discovered Ben in the first place!  A super fun & inventive play off the popular "Gangham Style".

Like what you heard?  Don't forget to check him out on Facebook & grab some free song downloads!


Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Devil's in the Details

This... stuff? Oh... ok. I see, you think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select out, oh I don't know, that lumpy blue sweater, for instance, because you're trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don't know is that that sweater is not just blue, it's not turquoise, it's not lapis, it's actually cerulean. You're also blindly unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves St. Laurent, wasn't it, who showed cerulean military jackets? And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers. Then it filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic Casual Corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and so it's sort of comical how you think that you've made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you're wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room. From a pile of stuff. 
~Miranda Priestly

My all time favorite movie is The Devil Wears Prada.  If you've never seen it, stop right here and go run to your local dvd rental store.  

Okay. Seen it? Good.

I love that this movie can appeal to all sorts of people.  My dad will even watch this with me!  It's classic growing up story, set in the ever so fabulous New York City.  The fact that fashion is a major player in the film? Well that never hurts any!  

Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) is the boss from hell.  Meryl Streep nailed this character square on the head.  She is the queen of fashion, quite literally.  Where else to get fashion inspiration than from the queen herself? 

Miranda 4

Miranda's outfits tend to focus on basics, with key accessories.  Plain, black shift dress plus long, layer necklaces and sequins that is work appropriate!  The sequins works in this situation because it is the major player in the outfit, and it is in a structured jacket. 

Miranda 3

Don't forget color!  This dark purple color is fabulous and would look good on pretty much anyone!  Darks tend to be neutral, letting you mix them with lots of things.  This outfit included a corresponding colored pump, in a slightly different shade of the same color.  Add a pop of turquoise with a ring and you are good to go!

Miranda 2

Powerhouse.  But really, Miranda Priestly is a power house and this outfit shows she's ready to get down to business.  She mixes it up with a striped skirt (I went with a heathered pattern) but keeps the rest of the outfit simple.  Working in a creative field?  Try some colored shoes to top it all off.

Miranda 1

An orange necklace and a red belt.  A combo I would probably never try had it not been for this movie.  This is again, a super simple outfit, but the accessories keep it interesting!  I would probably opt for a skinny red belt (I think a red one would overwhelm me!). Don't forget the shades!

Miranda 5

Sick of the white button down and pencil skirt combo?  Try a wrap top!  Keep it white, and add some interest with a simple necklace.  This would be a great, I'm running ten minutes late and don't know what to wear look!  

I love how simple, but yet dramatic Miranda's looks all are.  It really is all about the attitude.  

Now I want to know!  What's your favorite movie to get fashion inspiration from?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


I realize that it is almost the end of September and most people have been back in school for at least a month. This was originally meant as a back to school post, but I think it still works!

Back to school, or the beginning of fall, is a great time to make some resolutions and goals.  I love to start the year off with a list of goals I would love to accomplish.  Sometimes that list is only 1 or 2 items long and I add to it as I go.

Whether you start with a short list or a long list, setting goals is super important!  If you're intimidated by goals, start small.  Start with 1 or 2 small goals.

Make a List
It's super important to write down your goals.  When you write them down, you are committing to them!  I love the Kate Spade Short List or Long List for writing down goals!

Keep Them Visible
If you have a tendency to forget things, keep your list in a place where you will see it often!  Try a desk drawer, inside your fridge, on your mirror, or on the back of your door.  Seeing your goals every day (or close to every day) will keep you reminded of them and focused on accomplishing them.

Check Your Progress
Every two weeks or so, I like to sit down and think about the progress I've made on my goals.  Sometimes this isn't necessary with smaller goals, but it is definitely necessary with big goals.  If you are trying to accomplish something super big, break it down into smaller, more manageable goals and set a timeline for accomplishing them all.

One of my big goals (only big because I find it so hard to accomplish) is trying to read for fun!  I get so caught up with my school reading that I forget to read for fun beyond my google reader.  I'm trying to incorporate an hour of reading every week.

Is one of your goals to read as well?  Check out this Levo League Article on how to make time for reading.

What are you goals for the semester or the year?


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Packs on the Back

I love tote bags.  They are the most versatile bags ever.  However, there comes a point where an actual backpack is necessary.  I hate taking super heavy loads, including my computer, in tote bags. I'm on the hunt for a good backpack and here are some of my favorites so far!



Which do you like best?