Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday Melodies: What's Old is New Again



It's been too long since a Monday Melodies post. But today, instead of introducing a new and up-and-coming artist, I'm sharing some new songs from one of my favorites.

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John Mayer. I absolutely l-o-v-e John Mayer's music. (Disclaimer: I'm really not a huge fan of him as a person, but as a musician I think he's genius). He has recently released two singles and has a new album releasing August 20th. They have been on repeat (as has my entire John Mayer playlist!) Take a listen below:






And an old favorite of mine:


What's your favorite John Mayer song?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Patrioticism Isn't Dead

I love the US of A. I also love to wear our lovely colors of red, white and blue, all year long! I hate that people seem to think showing patriotism is only acceptable two days of the year (Memorial Day & July 4th). It's been two weeks since the 4th of July today.  It's totally okay to wear red, white and blue (together!) all year long.

Two hints so you don't feel like a walking flag: (1)Be creative in different shades of red and blue. You don't have to wear a deep blue and bright red. Try turquoise and nantucket red.  (2)Think accessories! You can find lots of fun colored accessories for a small pop of color.

I've put together three different looks of red, white & blue.

Patriotic
Shop the Look: blouse, tank, shorts (similar), necklace, sneakers

This is a great casual, headed to class in the summer or running errands look. Tuck the cami in & wear the shirt open for an effortless chic look. I paired it with sneakers to keep it versatile.



If you're working in an office this summer (or at any point in the year), try this look. It's super simple (I swear I'm going to live in pencil skirts & blouses when I gradate!). It's all about the accessories. I am in love with that elephant bangle!

Blue dress
Shop the Look: dress, flats (similar), necklace, purse, sunnies

Hello, brunch! Once again, super simple (I'm not into creating complicated outfits!) but also super chic. I kept the shoes and bag neutral to let the dress and necklace speak for themselves. Finish this look off with a loose curl and your favorite sunnies and you're ready for any Sunday!

What's your favorite way to wear USA's colors all year long?



P.S. For more inspiration try these posts on chambray or the olympics.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Little Problems

A couple of months ago, I wrote about Little Problems. I'm back again because they have some awesome new products that would make fabulous gifts for your big or little! (And who doesn't like a surprise gift?)

Koozies, buttons, decals, oh my!


Super cute, right? My personal favorites are the new hair bows! One can simply never have too many bows!

Don't forget a portion of the proceeds goes to the Wounded Warriors Project! Cute gifts & a philanthropic donation, what could be better?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Goals {progress report}

At the beginning of the year, I established a category for goals for each month. The last time I blogged about my goals was February... The first month of goals. Ooops! So here is a (very) large recap of the past couple of months.


March was all about school. Unfortunately, I can't say I did too well this this category in March. I tried, so that counts for something, right? I can say that I've done much better during the first summer term (a 4.0 and a class I loved!). This category is a work in progress, for sure. More to come as we get closer to back to school. 



Once again, can't say I did much of this during the actual month of April. Summer has a trend of being my catch up time! I'm working on two painting projects at the moment (more to come later, they're both gifts!). I also have a writing project in the works!


I don't run. I've never been a runner. However, I've started running. (It's a little weird for me, even though it's completely willingly!) Since I absolutely hate treadmill running, I'm going to need a new plan of attack for when it starts to snow. Any ideas or advice?


This really should have been July's topic... I've nailed this one on the head for July! With an editorial calendar in place (& figuring out how to follow it), I'm going to keep to blogging in the fall. There are lots of fun things brewing and I'm excited to share them with y'all.


My try something new: infographics. I am a complete infographic affectionado! Show me something in infographic form and I'm sold. It's really that easy. I've always wanted to learn how to make these pretty images but wasn't quite sure where to start. So I signed up for a class on Udemy.com!

Did you make any new year resolutions or goals? How are you doing?

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sonya

Sonya Tayeh's contemporary numbers on So You Think You Can Dance this season have been phenomenal.


To say I was blown away is a bit of an understatement.

What do you think? Do you have a favorite Sonya Tayeh routine?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Summer Uniforms

It's been hot hot hot in East Lansing. Like I just want to lay in front of a fan, drink ice water and do nothing else hot. But unfortunately for me, life goes on and I have class and work to attend. I've been living in these simple, easy outfit formulas.

Tank + shorts + head wrap  
Shop the Look: tank (similar), shorts, sandals, headwrap, sunnies

Sundress + dangling earrings + sandals
Shop the Look: dress, sandals, sunnies, earrings, crossbody
Simple fabrics in light colors with minimal accessories. 

What's your summer uniform?

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Summer Travel Essentials: Automobiles

Orlando, El Paso, Chicago. 3 trips over 2 months. Planes, trains & automobiles (quite literally). This is part 3 of a summer travel series: automobiles.

Summer is a great time for a road trip! Whether you go for 3 hours or 16, these essentials will get you through the trip.


1. playlist | Every great road trip needs an equally great playlist. 
2. car charger | No one likes a dead phone.
3. dramamine | I can get super car sick on long rides. If you buy the regular variety, it'll help you sleep too!
4. snacks | Yes, this links to a blog for moms. But there's tons of great snacks. For snack ideas think trail mix, humus, veggies, fruit, nuts, ect.
5. starbucks | No road trip is complete without some caffeine! Since it's summer, I like to stick with iced drinks like an iced coffee or iced chai latte.
6. toilet paper | You never know what kind of icky bathroom you'll come across! You might want some hand sanitizer too (just in case).
7. pillow | During a really really long ride, sometimes it's best to just sleep. Be sure to bring a couple of extra pillow cases if you won't be able to do laundry.

What's on your essentials list?



P.S. Before you go on a road trip, it never hurts to take your car to a mechanic to get it checked out! You don't want something to go wrong in the middle of no where.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Summer Travel Essentials: Trains

Orlando, El Paso, Chicago. 3 trips over 2 months. Planes, trains & automobiles (quite literally). This is part 2 of a summer travel series: trains.

During my trip to Chicago, I discovered than train travel is very different from plane travel. Yep, Chicago was my first train ride. I'm used to flying. I've been flying since I was 18 months old. But trains are a whole different ball game. Now that I've survived my first train adventure, here's some essentials to get you through! 




1. phone/iPod + charger + headphones | Most trains come equipped with outlets, so be sure to have all your chargers within reach.
2. notebookSharpie pens | Let your inner list maker out! Or, just journal. A train ride can be a great opportunity to slow down and write. (Also, how cute is this AOII May Book?! They have all the sororities)
3. water bottle | Start with a filled bottle to keep hydrated during your journey. There isn't a place to fill one up on the train.
4. hand sanitizer | Train bathrooms are gross. You'll want hand sanitizer, trust me.
5. kindle | Load it with a couple of books to get you through the trip.
6. snacks | If you'll be traveling through a meal, pack one. There isn't a great selection on the train. Also, munchies & some sugar never hurt!
7. travel pillow | Quick tip: if you are traveling alone spread out across two seats and sleep (or pretend!). No one will bother you & you won't have to sit next to a creepy old man. 
8. pashima | Our train was so cold! This could double as a blanket if you need it.

Have you ever taken a train? Where did you go?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Summer Playlist 2013

It is my belief that every awesome summer needs an equally awesome playlist. I've been making summer playlists since 2010. This summer's mix is a blend of old and new with a dash of country. It's been my go-to mix.





Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day!

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Hope your day is filled with fireworks, cook outs, laughs, family & friends!

Please remember to celebrate responsibly.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Summer Travel Essentials: Planes

Orlando, El Paso, Chicago. 3 trips over 2 months. Planes, trains & automobiles (quite literally). This is part 1 of a summer travel series: planes.

For many, Independence Day means traveling. I figured that air travel is probably the most popular, so Part 1 of the Summer Travel Essentials is focused on what to pack in your carry on.



1. iPod + battery | Stock your iPod up with some fun summer tunes, or better yet, make a summer playlist! Don't forget a spare battery so you're powered up and ready to go when you reach your destination.
2. computer + charger | I usually don't like to travel with my computer, but sometimes it's necessary. Great for watching a movie on the plane!
3. empty water bottle | Since there are so many liquid restrictions through security, I always bring an empty bottle to fill up at a water fountain. I'm loving this cute mosaic elephant!
4. headphones | So the whole plane doesn't hear your tunes or movie.
5. kindle paperwhite+ case | I absolutely LOVE my Kindle paperwhite. No need to lug 6 books, just download them and you're good to go! Own a Kindle? Check with your local public library - you may be able to borrow books for free!
6. bars | I never go anywhere without a snack in my bag. My recent favorites are Larabars. I eat one pretty much every single day.
7. notebook + Sharpie pens | For when inspiration strikes! Or just a list you need to make. I always carry a notebook & my favorite Sharpie pens (in a variety of colors). 



Bonus: I usually carry my Lo & Sons laptop tote, that is no longer sold. But the O.M.G. bag is a great alternative. I love the purple color!

Did I miss anything? What do you pack in your carry on bag? 



P.S. Check out some patriotic outfits to get you in the holiday spirit!

Monday, July 1, 2013

It's Okay to Cry


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My mom cut this strip out for me when it was first published in 2001 and it's been on my bulletin board since. It serves as a perfect reminder that obstacles will come and sometimes you'll feel like everything is working against you (or you just flat out, don't want to do something). It's okay to cry, as long as you pick up the pieces and figure out how to attack what's in front of you.

Some weeks are more full of challenges than others. If someone were to ask me to describe the last two weeks of the spring semester, that comic would describe them perfectly. The last thing I wanted to do was study for finals. But I knew I had to suck it up and study anyways or I would fail. 

That's today's reminder: it's okay to cry. Just make sure you pull yourself together and carry on afterwards.


P.S. If you need a good cry, of the happy variety try "I Knew You Were Trouble" by Taylor Swift featuring goats. According to Mother Manning, "it's an improvement!" 

P.S.S. You NEED to see Michelle's version from The Voice. It's phenomenal! 
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