Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Comfy Chic






Tunic Cynthia Steffee originally from TJ Maxx (similar); 
Leggings Target; Boots Delias
Watch Target; Hair Tie Boutiqued (similar); 
Necklace & Bracelet gifted
On my nails: Essie Lilacism

Inspired by #StyleMeAugust day 15  

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Mia

Last week, Mia Michaels made her return to So You Think You Can Dance!  To say I was excited for this is a bit of an understatement.  Mia is my favorite choreographer & I can't wait to see what dance genius she will come up with next.  In honor of her return, I thought I would share some of my favorite Mia routines!

Enjoy!








Thursday, August 16, 2012

Coolers By Design


Custom painted coolers are a great personalized gift!  They can be made for numerous occasions, horse races, sorority or fraternity formal, bachelorette parties, birthdays, pretty much anything you can think of!  However, they can be very time consuming to make yourself with so many different steps involved.  That's where Coolers By Design comes in!


Natalie & her team create customized coolers for any occasion.  You pick the size & design and in 4 weeks you can have a custom cooler on your doorstep!  You can choose from a variety of sizes including (but not limited to!) personal jugs, 9qt, 16qt, 28qt, 32qt and 42qt.

Coolers By Design also offers a wide variety of customized products including corn hole sets, stools, tumblers, and picture frames.  This is just a tiny sampling of all the products Coolers By Design has to offer!  Check out the website for more details.


Natalie is the founder & owner of Coolers By Design.  She gave me the inside scoop on Coolers By Design!


Q: What inspired you to start Coolers by Design?
A: I began painting in middle school and it quickly became my main passion.  Once I entered college all of my sorority sisters started coming to me for canvases and small handmade goodies for little baskets, burthday gifts, etc.  Word spread fast & other members of different chapters were asking me to do the same.  Then, my main priority was the canvases and such.  I was good friends with a bunch of fraternity men and one of them gave me a "tip" that one of their brothers wanted a cooler for his 21st then asked if I would be able to do it - obviously I did.  I pulled an all nighter on my first cooler and loved every second of it.  From there I began to see that girls just didn't have the time to spend on coolers so I offered to do it for them.

Q: Any advice for collegiate entrepreneurs?
A: If you have an idea just go for it.  At that age you have nothing to lose. Just don't try to compete with my shop :)

Q: What types of events do you make coolers for?
A:  Most of our coolers can be found at fraternity formals or bachelorette weekends.  Although there are many other events our coolers have made apperances - we do have celebrity clients so if you look closely during certain concerts you can find our work.  Due to contract agreements we are not allowed to disclose much info about these coolers.

Q: What is your favorite product (other than a cooler) to make?
A: Stools!  All the way.  They are so much fun and are such a personalized item - yet they are totally different from anything anybody will have.

Q: What is @LittleProblems?
A: @LittleProblems is a very popular Twitter account.  We have teamed up to create products for her followers to enjoy!  Every sorority girl can relate to her tweets, but using anything without any author's content can be devastating to the author.  We just simply wanted to give the women the chance to show their love for their Big/Little and show that we support them.
The line of products currently includes stadium cups, tanks, koozies and there is even a contest going on for 5 sororities to win sorority specific tanks.

Q: Anything else you'd like to add?
A: Owning my own business has been a dream of mine since I was little.  Now that I finally have one up and running I am just so thankful for everyone that has helped build us up! This has opened so many doors for me and I have made connections I will never forget.  The team and I love all of our customers and will do everything in our power to make their vision possible.




I've always wanted to paint a cooler, but I'm not sure I have the time or the art skills required!  I love what Coolers By Design is all about!  Thanks Natalie for your cooperation!

Have you ever painted a cooler?  Or are going to order one from Coolers By Design? I would love to see it!  Tweet me a picture @classycollegiat!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Alarm Clocks

For many, myself included, back to school means back to using dreaded alarm clocks again!  I absolutely HATE my alarm.  Yes, hate is probably a pretty extreme word to use, but I severely dislike my alarm.  I'm the girl who will sacrifice putting on makeup before I leave my dorm for an extra 10 minutes of sleep.  I have a very streamlined process for those mornings when I didn't quite get enough sleep the night before.

However, this summer this has (mostly) changed.  I actually wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go for the day as opposed to my usual groggy, hating the world self. (I am so not a morning person!).  My secret?  Sleepyti.me.  Best. Site. Ever.

The site features a super streamlined design (making it super easy to use on a smartphone!).  You can plug in what time you want to wake up & it will tell you what time you should head to bed; or you can tell it you're going to sleep now & it will tell you when to set your alarm.  I find the second feature most useful.  I use it just before I'm going to sleep and pick the time that will get me up before I need to be to set my alarm.

Using the average length of a sleep cycle, sleepyti.me selects wake up times in between sleep cycles.  This ensures you wake up feeling refreshed, instead of groggy.

Now that you have the perfect time to wake up, you'll need a super awesome alarm to go with!  Here are some of my favorites (other than my trusty iPhone, of course):




Do you have any tricks for getting up early (or just in the nick of time)?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Triple B

Recently, Mother Manning & I have been shopping for recruitment outfits for the fall.  One of our outfits includes a white blouse.  Our VP of recruitment included the words 'button down' in her email to describe the shirt she wanted.

This sparked some conversation between mom & I.  The differences between a button down, button up & blouse.




To me, there was no difference between a button up and a button down (I now realize that yes, there is indeed a difference!).  I would have considered a button down to be the pink or blue shirt above.  I consider the purple top to be the only blouse in the arrangement.

Mother Manning on the other hand, see the pink top as a button down (the collar buttons down), the blue as a button up or blouse and the purple as a blouse.

I think the best classifications are a combination between our two difference definitions.  Here's what I came up with:
Pink: button down
Purple: blouse
Blue: button up or blouse (I would say buttoned blouse)

How would you classify these shirts?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Crushing On...


Kate Spade Book Clutches!

Ever since these book clutches were introduced, I've wanted one!  They are the epitome of smart & fashionable.  They would look beyond chic at your next dinner party.



However, the $325 price tag will keep me wishing for now.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Guest Post: Bumble’s Bumbletastic Summer… including that time she met Chris Colfer. {part 3}

This is part 3 of 3 of Bumble's guest post. Find part 1 and part 2 here and here.


Another amazing friend from school met me at the Dulles Airport, and together we went to Union Station and hopped on a bus. Not just any bus, though. A bus to NEW YORK CITY!


Our main reason/motivation for going was Chris Colfer’s ‘The Land of Stories’ book signing that was happening at the Union Square Barnes and Noble on July 18th (I got back from Oxford July 16th). My friend has family in Queens who were generous enough to let us stay in their house for the four days we were in NY. We ended up not really doing anything major except for the book signing, but we wandered around a lot and spent a half hour taking jumping pictures in Central Park. In other words, WORTH IT.

Now, more on the book signing. When I heard that Chris would be in NYC two days after I landed in Dulles, I decided it was too perfect. I got two of my friends on board, and my parents agreed to let me go! Chris Colfer is such a fantastic role model, and such a sweetheart. Basically what happened, is we are CRAZY and stayed overnight in New York City. Like, in the city. Sitting outside of the Barnes and Noble. All night (Only 450 people would be allowed in for the signing. We were not NOT going to be within that number. Turns out, I was #87). I felt totally safe – there were a lot of other people already waiting for the signing, including a fair number of parents. Honestly. Anyway, we stayed there all night, talking with other fans and playing cards. It was super fun. My other friend joined us in the morning, and it was fantastic to see her – it had been about a year since we had last been together. After we got our wristbands guaranteeing us our spots in the group, we decided that we felt disgusting and needed to shower. We returned at 2pm, as required, to get our seats in the Barnes and Noble! And then it was just five hours of listening to cray cray fans sing loudly to Glee songs and dance. I saw Green Sweatshirt Kid! If you follow the TLOS book tour, you’ll know him. It was a lot of fun, but I was also overwhelmed. I took a few minutes to zone out to some of my own Glee music, and when I looked back up, the weather had taken a nasty turn. Turns out we were in the middle of a tornado. Cool. But, it all ended well. The tornado passed, Chris arrived and was perfect and precious and gorgeous and absolutely sweet. He said he had my shirt…. ‘or at least the pattern’ … Okay, Chris. You do what you want (my shirt was a navy and grey striped tank with a lace bow on the left shoulder). Either way, it totally made my life and I felt super special. Shut up, I don’t care. He signed my book, I died from pure excitement, and then we walked out in a daze! We spent the next day at Central Park, and then hopped back on the bus to go back to Dulles, and then I was on my way home to El Paso for the first time in about four weeks!

So, there’s the (abridged) story of Vegas, SLAP Week, Oxford Study Abroad, and meeting the amazing Chris Colfer. Overall, BEST SUMMER EVER. I wish I could have also gotten to spend a week upstate New York with my extended family, but you can only do so much in one summer :)
Bumble out!

A special thanks to Bumble for sharing her awesome summer!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Guest Post: Bumble’s Bumbletastic Summer… including that time she met Chris Colfer. {part 2}

This is part 2 of 3 of Bumble's summer!  Here's part 1 if you missed it.


After SLAP, I had a day and a half to recover before a friend drove me up to Dulles Airport. From there, I boarded a plane with 18 other CNU students and two CNU professors, and we flew to Heathrow Airport.
Yeah, that’s in London.
I went to London.
It was awesome.

Okay, let me explain how this came to be. Early last semester, I was invited to apply to a Scholarship program that would, if I were accepted, give me the opportunity to Study Abroad at the University of Oxford (also just known as Oxford University) in England for two weeks. Well, long story short, I was accepted! The course title of our Study Abroad was ‘The Good Society’. The purpose was to investigate problems in today’s society, and to decide on such an issue that I was passionate about. I would then do extensive research in the amazing libraries of Oxford University on that topic, and write a comprehensive research paper on why it is a problem, what is currently being done about the issue, and what I propose should be done. In essence, I am to propose an action plan to help our society become more like the ‘good society’. In addition to our personal research, we had two other essays – one on socio-economics and the other on climate change and necessary government action.
However, this trip wasn’t only about the research. In addition to two days spent in London, we spent a lot of time wandering around Oxford, exploring and taking hundreds of pictures (I think my picture count is in the eight hundreds from these two weeks alone…). We toured the beautiful libraries (including the Bodleian Library, which is the second largest library in the UK. It is so special that one has to be sworn in as a Reader to have access to the books. We were. Oh yeah.), the giant churches, and ate a lot of things that we would later regret as we stepped on the scale – can you say chips and cheese? But, as we decided to use as our motto for the trip, #YOLO. As the days went on, we got more creative with that saying – we first came up with #YLOO - you live only once. We figured it was more scholarly. Then, #YOILO - you’re only in London once, and #YOAOO - you’re only at Oxford once. With each utterance of the phrases, we hated ourselves more. But, #YLOO.



Some other experiences that I had in the UK are due to the fact that you’re legal to drink at age 18. In other words, we were all legal (the trip was mostly college juniors and seniors, I was the baby as a rising sophomore.). We went to a lot of different pubs, and I really enjoyed the atmosphere. I liked it a lot more than I would imagine liking a bar. I didn’t have more than one drink each time we went out, and even then I only had a drink about half of the time we went out. That stuff is expensive, man! I quickly realized that Malibu and Coke is probably my favorite drink, but Mojitos are also delicious. I just had a good time sitting and talking with everyone, even if I didn’t have a drink. A couple of times, our professors went with us or joined up with us at some of the more common pubs – our two favorites were The King’s Arms and Chequers. How many of you can say that you’ve had drinks with your professors? Not many, I’m guessing. On paper, it sounds like it would be awkward and weird, but it wasn’t at all. “Papa Redekop and Uncle Q” were the best, and they really made the trip what it was. I had the ABSOLUTE BEST time. But, all good things must come to an end. When our two weeks of being nerds in a foreign country ended, we flew back to Dulles together and bid each other adieu. The people on my trip were FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC, and I made some really great new friends that I look forward to pestering next semester. However, my summer traveling wasn’t done yet!

Stay tuned for part 3!


Friday, August 3, 2012

Guest Post: Bumble’s Bumbletastic Summer… including that time she met Chris Colfer. {part 1}

So Bumble has had a pretty amazing summer & she also likes to write a lot!  So here is part one of her 'bumbletastic' (her word, not mine!) summer! 



So, this summer was quite a busy couple of months for me! It started with a four-day trip to Las Vegas with my beloved family. Last time we were there, Mom and I saw Cher at Caesar’s Palace. This time, we were fortunate enough to see Celine Dion! It was fantastic and I had such a great time - Celine is unbelievable. The things she can do with her voice – incredible. And her dancing is the best – she is not afraid be herself. Granted, if I was a multi-millionaire, I wouldn’t be either. Heck, I’m not afraid to be myself now, and I only have like $800 in my savings after this summer’s adventures haha. Anyway. I always have a great time on family vacations, and this trip to Vegas was no exception. After Vegas, I had a few days to re-pack, and then the summer really got started.


The first leg of my four-week long trip took me from Texas back to Newport News, VA. I had applied to be an Orientation leader for my University’s Leadership program, and was lucky enough to be selected. I spent Monday and half of Tuesday in training, and then my cofac (co-facilitator, there were two of us per team of about 14 incoming freshmen!) and I got our kids! We call them our SLAP babies… SLAP stand for Student Leadership Adventure Program. It’s the second half of college orientation for Christopher Newport University, but only students who have been accepted to our President’s Leadership Program attend this half of orientation.


The goal of the week is to make the incoming freshmen feel more comfortable and excited about coming to CNU. In addition to making them do ridiculous things like endless name games and icebreaker activities (I think ‘Ride that Pony’ is my favorite… Google it. You won’t regret it.), we also work on teambuilding and begin to introduce them to the concept of leadership and what it means to our University. It was such an inspirational week for me; being put in charge of these kids allowed me to step up and further explore my own leadership style, and I bonded so much with the other facilitators and pro-staff. Such great people; I learned so much from them. From taking accidental naps in our University’s arts building to completely decking ourselves out in spirit wear, from making fools of ourselves in mostly-choreographed talent show dancing to playful marriage proposals, from two a.m. pizza runs and laughing till we cried, I really can’t put into words how great of an experience this was in enough of a way to make anyone who wasn’t there understand. But obviously I tried. So you’re welcome.


Stay tuned for parts 2 & 3!!


Thursday, August 2, 2012

August

{Photo Source}

Today was my last full day in Tennessee.  Tomorrow I'm headed to Atlanta and then back to the mitten at the end of the week.  I'm so thankful for my time in the south this summer.  I've had an amazing experience!

July has just flown by, I will be back on campus before I know it!  If you've been following the blog or my instagram (@classycollegiate), you know I've been doing the Style Me July challenge.  I started off strong and faded a bit at the end, but here are some of my favorite outfits for the month!

Patriotic | Summer Feet
Belt it Up | Sunglasses
Mixing Patterns | Channeling Audrey

But we have now reached August!  I'll be doing #StyleMeAugust off & on (not sure how much I'll actually be getting dressed up while I'm at home!) and you should join me!


If you participate in #StyleMeAugust, I would love to see you outfits! Tag me @classycollegiate & I may even spotlight some of my favorites on the blog!

While you're off styling yourself pretty, don't forget to take in the last days of summer!  The last month of summer before we return calls for some celebration.  Enter obscure holidays, courtesy of theultimateholidaysite.com.



A celebration for every day of August! Except the 7th... Any ideas for a new holiday?

What are you looking forward to in August?

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