Lattes with Liv

Lattes with Liv: December 2014

Friday, December 26, 2014

Goals & Resolutions

Happy Holidays! I hope everyone is enjoying some relaxing time with their families and loved ones.

Have you started to think about your goals for 2015 yet? Well, now is the time! New Years is only 5 days away. I can't believe how fast 2014 has flown by. 

Most of my goals for 2015 will be centered around my 101 in 1001 list, but I have some ideas for some other things I'd like to do as well. 

I find it hard to just simply list out a bunch of goals and stick with them. I need deadlines and a way to know I've accomplished them! I've gotten used to writing SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant & timely). Lists with a deadline (like 101 in 1001 or 30 before 30) really help with the timely aspect. If you have trouble accomplishing your goals, think about the SMART acronym while you're writing them. 

Have lots of goals you want to accomplish? Think about splitting the year up by category. I love Carly's method of month by month, or you could do quarters. This system is most effective when you pick a theme & then write goals for each theme. 

Tend to forget about them a few months down the road? Set days throughout the year to check in on your progress (like the first Sunday of every month) and make sure your list is easily accessible - whether that means taping it to your bathroom mirror or keeping it in a note on your phone. Half the battle is keeping yourself accountable & it becomes much easier when you regularly remind yourself of your goals.

Need some inspiration? Here's some of my past new year goals: 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Gift Guide: Hostess

Someone is probably wondering what happened to all of the promised gift guides, or you didn't think about it until you opened this post. I'm going to start by apologizing - I'm sorry! Life the last three weeks has been insane (as I'm sure it's been for many of you). Between finals prep, finals and my trip to Chicago (more on that later), I've barely had time to breathe. This particular post has been pulled together since thanksgiving, I just never found the time for final edits. 

2015 is going to be my year of the blog (among other things) and I'm going to aim to post at least once a week. More on next year later (I should have more time to blog in the next two weeks- thanks vacation!) but for now, back to delayed programming. 

Holiday parties are in full swing & the last thing you want is to show up empty handed! I've bulled together some of my favorite hostess gifts to inspire you as you are out & about picking up other gifts! 

Cheers Wine Tote

Kitchen Tablet Holder

Another great option? Asking if there's any food you can bring or a nice bottle of wine! 

What's your go-to hostess gift? 


Friday, November 28, 2014

Winter Accessories

The last time I blogged, it was all about fall fashion. Well, Mother Nature decided to be mean to me this year and winter arrived overnight. It got COLD! So cold, I frantically got online to order 2 more pairs of gloves in addition to hats and headbands so I wouldn't freeze on the way to class.

In my mind, there's a few essential accessories every wardrobe needs in order to survive any sort of winter.

Carnet de Mode, J.Crew, LOFT, Smartwool, Old Navy


Gloves | The most versatile and probably most basic accessory every. Pick a pair in leather for a classic look or go with a knit pair you can text on the go in. 

Mittens | The downside to mittens? You don't get much functionality with them. The upside to mittens? They keep your hands super warm and you can layer them with gloves! 

Hat | I've never been a hat person, but this winter may turn me. Pick a beanie or a trapper hat, whatever works for you. These are the best for keeping your entire head and ears covered and warm. 

Scarf | Scarves are great all year long. I'm loving blanket scarves that I can wrap myself up in once I get to class, plus there's lots of extra fabric to wrap when I venture outside. 

Wool socks | Whether you live in a state with snow or not, you must own a pair of wool socks. They're perfect under bean boots or for just wearing around the house. Super cozy and not at all itchy, it's a win-win! 

Sunglasses | Anyone who has ever walked through snow when the sun is out knows how reflective snow can be.  It's absolutely miserable, so a good pair of sunnies is essential for the days the sun comes out. 

Ear muffs | For those who aren't into hats and want to keep their hairstyle (props if you don't have crazy dry hair during winter) ear muffs are the way to go. You can wrap them around the back of your head for a super low profile look, or just rock them. 

Headband | Headbands are the happy medium between fuzzy earmuffs and a hat. It will keep your ears warm without messing up your hair, but doesn't have lots of fuzz! 

What are your go-to winter accessories to ward of the cold?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


via 1/2/3

I stole that hashtag from J. Crew because it's so so true. I love fall. It's my absolute favorite season and it's my favorite season to dress for! The changing of seasons always makes me want to shop & I'm bound and determined to hold on to fall as long as possible.

This season I'm lusting over cute ankle boots & cozy blanket scarves (that will take me into winter too!). I know my days are numbered with boots, as soon as snow hits I live in my bean boots for approximately 5 months (thanks Michigan). If I can find a great pair of ankle boots, I'm hoping to weather proof them so I can wear them for a couple of months! Also on my wish list? All of the flannel & an army green rain jacket. 

Shop my favorite picks:

What are your favorite trends for the season?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Halloween Costume Round Up

Since I've fallen off the radar a bit with Lattes with Liv and missed all of the golden opportunities for Halloween costumes (and since I don't have a costume myself yet!) I decided I would pull together a helpful roundup of ideas. If you already have a costume and want another, or if you're as behind as I am there's lots of easy ideas for you.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Holiday Prep

There are 64 days until Christmas Eve. That's just under 10 weeks until the holidays! Now, if that doesn't freak you out - props to you. It's more than a little troublesome to me. My best strategy to avoid chaos and last minute freak outs? Planning ahead. That means, planning now.

similar scarf

Holiday shopping can be a bit of a daunting task. But starting early and breaking it up into smaller tasks makes it a lot more manageable.

Start with a list. (You all know how much I love my lists.) Having a list of everyone you need to give a gift to is the best place to start.

Then work on your budget. Everyone's budget's will be a little bit different since we're all in different financial situations. Each individual gift budget will be different too - you probably aren't going to spend the same amount on your parents & your boss!  Even though you don't know what you're going to buy each individual just yet, having an overall budget will help you stay on track to not spend outside your limits.

On a budget? Levo had a great article on 11 ways to save for the holidays in 12 weeks.

Back to your list! Start brainstorming gift options for everyone on your list. Can't think of anything? Not to worry! First off, there's always Pinterest. Second, Lattes with Liv will be bringing lots of gift guides to you in the coming weeks and months.

Have someone you're stumped on? Leave some information below in the comments & I'll work on incorporating them in the upcoming gift guides!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

101 in 1001

I've always been a fan of lists. So when I saw Mackenzie's 101 in 1001 list, I knew I had to create one of my own! I attempted (and pretty much failed) a 21st bucket list, but it taught me a lot about writing goals and determining my priorities in life before creating a list like this.

Start Date: 9/21/2014
End Date: 6/18/2017

For the sake of my brain, it's split into categories. Up first? Create & Learn:
  1. Learn adobe illustrator (7/15)
  2. Take an event planning class
  3. Have my writing published
  4. Try curling
  5. Learn to ice skate 
  6. Buy a DSLR camera (12/15)
  7. Learn how to use a DSLR camera
  8. Knit a scarf (12/15)
  9. Read a newspaper every day for a week
  10. Answer the 50 questions that will free your mind

  11. Create blog business cards & actually hand them out
  12. Buy a url for the blog
  13. Have Lattes with Liv professionally redesigned
  14. Publish {5} outfit posts on the blog
  15. Attend a blog conference
  16. Blog at least once a week for a year

    Growing Up
  17. Move into my first apartment
  18. Style a bar cart for my apartment
  19. Invest in {2} beautiful coffee table books
  20. Invest in a suit
  21. Create personal business cards (12/1/14)
  22. Get a post-grad job (12/15)
  23. Buy a stock (03/16)
  24. Reach a savings goal (9/15)
  25. Invest in a classic handbag
  26. Vote in a presidential & local election
  27. Decorate for the holidays
  28. Buy a piece of art 
  29. Make a birthday book with all my family & friends
  30. Create an address book

    Just Because
  31. Send {50} handwritten notes (42/50)
  32. Read {20} new books (3/20 - Gone Girl, Where'd You Go Bernadette?, Not That Kind of Girl)
  33. Put $10 into savings for each goal accomplished & donate $5 to charity for each unfinished goal 
  34. Complete {25} random acts of kindness 
  35. Volunteer twice a month for at least {3} months
  36. Send holiday cards
  37. Take a staycation
  38. Go skydiving or paragliding
  39. Go on a picnic
  40. Watch the sunrise on the beach 
  41. Inspire someone else to create a 101 in 1001 list

  42. Attend a horse race or polo match
  43. Watch all the movies on AFI's 100 Years, 100 Movies list 
  44. Go sailing
  45. Attend a MLB game
  46. Attend a NHL game
  47. Attend a NFL game
  48. See a musical (1/29/15 - Pippin, 9/27/15 - Cinderella)
  49. See a play
  50. Go to the Opera
  51. Attend a ballet
  52. Watch all of the best picture nominees before the Oscars air 
  53. Read {10} of the 50 classic novels from Matchbook Mag
  54. Visit {5} new museums (2/5 - Art Institute of Chicago, The Vatican)
  55. Go to a music festival
  56. Attend a film festival
  57. See a local play/production
  58. Attend a NYFW show
  59. See a TED Talk live (3/4/15 - TEDxMSU)
  60. Visit a new state (5/23/15 - Nebraska; 2/4/16 - Minnesota)
  61. Visit a new city (5/23/15 - Omaha; 2/4/16 - Minneapolis)
  62. Visit a new country 
  63. Visit a famous landmark I've never been to before (12/15 - Roman Colosseum) 
  64. See the northern lights

  65. Go wine tasting (10/11/14 - Coloma, MI)
  66. Learn {5} new recipes (04/16)
  67. Start a recipe book (12/09/14)
  68. Attend a beer festival (2/6/16)
  69. Determine my signature cocktail {and perfect making it}
  70. Determine my signature meal {and perfect making it}
  71. Find a favorite brunch spot
  72. Host a dinner party 
  73. Try {20} new restaurants (20/20)
  74. Only eat out twice during a month
  75. Tip a server 100%
  76. Visit {3} of the Bakeries You Must See Before You Die
  77. Bake a pie from scratch
  78. Attend a food festival

  79. Join an AOII alumna chapter
  80. Become a LifeLoyal AOII
  81. Attend an AOII convention

  82. Keep my nails painted for an entire month {bonus points for no chips}
  83. Exercise 2x per week for at least {3} months
  84. Establish a skin care routine (03/16)
  85. Run a 5K
  86. Become a Zumba instructor
  87. Learn how to do a blow out on myself
  88. Learn {3} new hairstyles
  89. Find my signature scent 
  90. Wake up at 6am every weekday for at least {2} weeks

  91. Graduate from MSU (12/15)
  92. Take graduation pictures {especially one with Sparty} (11/15)
  93. Attend a MSU baseball game (4/15 - MSU v. Lansing Lugnuts)
  94. Take a tour of Beaumont Tower
  95. Tour the Scandalaris Center
  96. Visit the MSU Museum
  97. See a show at Wharton (1/29/15 - Pippin)
  98. Go to Silver Bells in Lansing (11/15)
  99. Take a tour of the Capitol 
  100. Go to a planetarium show
  101. Watch the MSU Homecoming Parade (10/15)
Status: 24/101

Special thanks to all of those who inspired this list and help jump start my brain when I was out of ideas! CaitlinJuliannaTaylorJordanVaughnMollyeCarolineMikaMalloryKateRachelElizabeth & Meghan

Have I inspired you to create a list of your own? Let me know & I'll link up below!


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Coffee's Gone Cold

The last time I wrote about the coffee going cold, I had a somewhat valid excuse of being out of the country. This time life has given me a bit of a tornado! I've been struggling to catch up and LwL has fallen to the absolute bottom of my list. 

But I promise there is lots of fun things coming! Fall trends, Halloween posts and my very first 101 in 1001 list. 

Stay tuned... 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Make It Up

One of the biggest parts of going back to school for me, is figuring out what my new routine will be. In the spring, I treasured my mornings of emails and coffee, getting ready at a leisurely pace. This fall, that will be more of a challenge with lots of early classes Monday-Friday. No matter my schedule, having a quick & easy make up routine is key! It takes me about 7 minutes from start to finish.

I start with my Sephora CC Cream and L'Oreal Concealer. I highly recommend going to your local Sephora for a color match. I love my CC cream because of it's easy and lightweight application plus it has SPF to help protect my skin.

Next up is my eyes. This bit changes a little bit day by day, but I have two major looks. I either go with eyeshadow + liner + mascara or skip the shadow all together. If I'm choosing the shadow route, I always apply Too Faced's Shadow Insurance. It's essential to make sure all of my eye make up stays put. I l-o-v-e my UD Naked Basics Palette. Worth every single penny! I picked up a felt tip eyeliner pen in London (similar) and it's a great way to eyeliner challenged (like me!) to get a great liquid look! I finish off my eyes by curling my lashes and a swipe of mascara.

Simple is always a great way to go when choosing makeup. This look is all neutrals and great for everyday.

What's your makeup routine look like?

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Weekend Wear: Sorority Recruitment Edition

Three years ago, when I decided to sign up for sorority recruitment, I didn't know how much it would affect my life. I can happily say it was one of the best decisions I ever made and my sorority has made me a better person, among many other good things.

However, recruitment is kind of a scary process. To most, it doesn't make a lot of sense and can be very overwhelming. The last thing you want to be worried about is what you're wearing, even though that's probably your first concern after registering! To help ease your stress, I've put together some outfit formulas to help guide you. 

Note: I put these together based on my knowledge of formal recruitment at Michigan State. You may need to adapt based on your school & information from Panhellenic Council. Be sure to reach out to your recruitment guides if you have questions, they're there to help! 

You want to be sure that you are presenting yourself well, as you would to an interview. That being said, it doesn't matter how cute a top is if you're pulling at it all day! Make sure you're comfortable in the clothes you select. 

Round 1: Spirit Day 

chambray, necklace, earrings, capris, sandals
Spirit Day is one of the longest days, but it's also the most casual. Capris + a tee are your best bet. Pair them with some cute jewelry and sandals and you're good to go! Not a fan of capris? Skirts are also a great option.

Round 2: Philanthropy Day
top, skirt, earrings, bangle, wedges
Philanthropy day is a bit more dressy, but still fairly casual. A skirt paired with a blouse is a great option. You can dress up any outfit with wedges! Another good option is jeans with a blouse.

Round 3: Values Day 
top, skirt, earrings, bangle, flats
dress, necklace, ring, flats
I opted for two different combinations for values day. A blouse and skirt or a dress are both great options. Business casual is probably the best "dress code" to describe this round. LOFT has a ton of super cute pencil skirts right now that look great with a colored blouse. A dress is always an easy option, just pair it with a pair of flats for a pulled together look. 

Round 4: Preference Day
dress, heels, earrings
Preference is the most dressy - so a dress is pretty much non-negotiable. Pick a cute cocktail dress in a fun color or print. Word of caution: many sororities pick black, so you'll stand out more in a color! A simple pump and interesting but simple earrings round out this look.

Other Words of Wisdom:
Pick simple, but pretty jewelry. Go ahead & wear that statement necklace but stay away from noisy bangles. You don't want your jewelry to be a distraction to you or anyone else. I would also suggest no watches, you don't want to appear rude checking the time.

Make sure you can walk in your shoes! It's okay to opt for flats if you aren't as comfortable in heels.

Above all else, stay true to you and your style. You want to show off the best version of you!

Shop all of my selections for recruitment wear:

Best of luck to everyone going through recruitment this fall! Have questions about recruitment or sorority life? Leave them below!

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Monday, August 4, 2014

Inviting Interiors: Seating

I'm bringing back Inviting Interiors! Today's theme: college seating. Whether you're moving into a dorm, apartment or house (or even if you've graduated) seating a critical part of any room. I've gathered some of my favorite looks and options for those of you on a budget.

You can take inspiration from lots of places, my favorite is actual homes! Even if it's a temporary space, adding certain furniture (that's functional, too) can make it feel more like home.

Upholstered Chair | The most grown up chair on the list. For when you're feeling like you can make half an investment for a chic apartment. 

Moon Chair | I had a papasan chair as a kid & these remind me of it! The shape is perfect for curling up with a book. 

Director's Chair | The beauty of a directors chair is it's fold-ability. Buy a couple & keep them in a closet. Pull them out when you need them & they have a lot more personality than a folding chair. 

Beanbag Chair | Throwback to the 90s. A casual chair with a childhood twist. Prefer a regular bean bag?

Storage Ottoman | The perfect solution for a tiny dorm room. Storage + seating. Win win!

What's your choice for back to school seating?

P.S. It's August which means Lattes with Liv is all about Back to School! Let me know if you have any post requests! 

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Army Green

August and fall are right around the corner! What happened to summer? As sad as I am that summer is coming to an end, I'm beyond excited for fall trends. One I'm already loving? Army Green.

It might be the spartan in me, but I love this green color! It's flattering on every skin tone and can be paired with lots of other colors. Also muted enough for everyday wear. I've put together some of my favorite army green picks:

What do you think? Will you be rocking some army green in the fall?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Top 5 Reasons Why Sorority Recruitment Can Help You Get Your Post-Grad Dream Job - Guest Post

Sorority recruitment and job interviewing have a ton of similarities. It's one of the many things a sorority teaches you about life. Today, Erica is going to show you how much recruitment can help you get a dream job when you graduate! 

Sorority recruitment — while considerably more fun — is similar to applying for a job. Of course there are a variety of differences between being a sorority recruit and a job applicant, but, aside from a college internship, few experiences prepare a job candidate for an interview like sorority recruitment.
The reason that is the case is because sorority recruits are put through a battery of interviews and activities and are put in a number of real-world scenarios. Without these, it is almost impossible for sorority sisters (or hiring managers) to find out which recruits are best suited for their chapter (or company).
1) Extracurricular Activities: Sorority recruiters typically want to know what positive things a recruit did in high school, aside from study. Particular types of extracurricular activities are not as important as the fact that a recruit had interests outside academics. Not that academics are not important — it’s just that most sororities want well-rounded sisters in the house.
Extracurricular activities are proof of social aptitude and a worldly view. In many cases, extracurricular activities are just as important to sororities as a recruit's GPA.
Most real-world jobs require extensive interviews. Those interviews will invariably include questions well outside the purview of the job description. Extracurricular activities — sorority membership, for example — are a huge plus when trying to land a job. While academic performance is very important, so are outside interests.
2) Community Service: While extracurricular activities are a huge plus, few endeavors impress a sorority recruiting panel as much as community service does. Whether it is helping out at a nursing home, providing help for students who need assistance with their homework or doing community cleanup, community service can be the difference that separates good recruit from a great one.
Interviewers for post-grad jobs feel the same about community service as those conducting interviews for sororities. A job applicant that has shown to have an interest in helping others can be trusted to keep morale up at work, go the extra mile when required and do what's best for the company.
3) Teamwork: Two settings where teamwork is essential are in a sorority and in your dream job. Almost all sororities require members to work with their fellow sisters, and very few jobs permit a person to work alone on an island. While there are jobs in which a person works in a vacuum, the overwhelming majority require a person be able to work within a team.
Sorority recruitment requires potential members work together in a variety of capacities. Doing well during the recruitment process shows potential employers that an applicant understands how to be a team player.
4) Long-Term Goals: All sororities have one thing in common: they want their members to be successful long term. A large part of long-term success is having goals and working toward them. Sorority recruiters will undoubtedly ask recruits what their long-term goals are.
Being able to answer questions about long-term goals during sorority recruitment will help a graduate answer questions during the interview for her dream job. Without question, any successful company or organization wants to know what the long-term goals of potential employees are.
Not only does an interviewee’s explanation of her long-term goals help interviewers understand her in a broader light, it helps interviewers project how she might fit into their company over the long run.
5) "Why Us?" Questions: One of the most common questions for both sorority recruits and job candidates is, "Why do you want to join/work with us?" It is always a difficult question to answer, and for those who are not prepared, the question can be a major stumbling block.
However, by learning to answer the question while rushing for a sorority, a college graduate can use the same answer to land her dream job.
Big Picture

While there are any number of situations and activities in sorority life that will help you land the big job, the recruitment process is probably more helpful than any other!

Erica Wolfe is a proud Delta Phi Epsilon member and a Marketing Associate at Greek Streak – an online Greek apparel retailer providing fraternity and sorority clothing for the Greek community.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Essential Apps for International Travel

Downloading & deleting applications is essential for any pre-travel plan. It's super important if you'll be traveling internationally with your phone on airplane mode. When I was in Europe, I quickly realized there were some apps I needed, and lots I didn't. 

Delete any unwanted apps that you won't be using, especially if your phone will be your main camera source! You don't want the dreaded out of storage notification! 

Google Voice | It took most of my trip before I figured this one out. This is a good choice that gives someone an actual number to text or call and they don't need to download an app. Another good choice is What's App - just make sure you set it up before you go. 

Dictionary apps | Find a language & hit download. I needed the German, French & Italian versions of this app and they were lifesavers at restaurants. Nothing says culture shock like not being able to read a menu! 

City Maps 2 Go | Google Maps in offline mode is great, it's just missing landmarks, restaurants & things to do. That's where city maps comes in. The location feature wasn't flawless in every city I used it in, but the maps were incredibly helpful. You get 5 free maps too! 

Currency Converter | Any idea how much money you're spending? You might want to convert it before you drop any more dough abroad. 

Pinterest | The modern travel guide. I used Pinterest to do research & look at photos of cities we were visiting. There's lots of real people guides (from bloggers) that offer some great advice. 

Dropbox | What happens if your phone...(pick your worse case scenario)? Use Dropbox to auto upload your camera roll to make sure you don't loose any of your precious photos! Also a great tool to keep travel documents safe - I uploaded copies of my passport & health insurance card. 

What are your favorite travel applications?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Failing to Plan... planning to fail. Ever heard the saying? It's never to early to think about a planner for use in the fall.

No matter your organization style, I think every one has a use for a physical planner. I use iCal on my phone for tracking my daily schedule (trust me, it's necessary) but I use my planner for tracking assignments and due dates. At the beginning of every semester I take my syllabi and write all of my assignments and readings on the days their due in my planner (color coded by class, of course). This lets me see an overview of my schoolwork for the week! More on my organization system later.

If you're more of a DIY gal here's a print at home planner. Or even better, some freebie printables to assemble your planner yourself. Just head on over to your local FedEx Office for a durable binding or put it in a binder.

Prefer the digital life? You can always use a cute planner as a yearly journal! You could try out the one sentence journal that will get your creative juices running each day.

How do you use a planner?


Monday, July 7, 2014

Monday Melodies: Summer Playlist Update

As I said before, I've been adding to my summer playlist. Here are some of my favorite additions:

Story time: I saw this music video in Italy and had no idea what the name of the song was. I was so determined to find it when I got home, I actually googled in Italian to find it.

Of course no playlist is complete without a little Beyonce in the mix!

What are you listening to this summer? Anything I should add to my mix?

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Independence Day Link Roundup

To be honest, I had really good intentions about writing some super awesome posts for the 4th of July. Sometimes (aka a lot of times) my procrastination catches up with me & I spend a weekend in Tennessee.

So rather than attempting to reinvent the wheel, I figured I would compile the best fourth of july inspiration for all you other procrastinators out there! Whether you're throwing a party, attending one or just going to watch fireworks - there's an outfit and some inspiration here for you!

 Start your day off with the spirit of red, white & blue! Toast, cream cheese, jam, blueberries & bananas make for an easy patriotic breakfast.

 For a twist on the classic hotdog... make rocket dogs! They are a great addition to usual barbeque fair.

A super easy dessert option: sugar cookies, frosting and fruit. You may even be able to pull these off as good for you!

No 4th of July is complete without a classic blueberry pie! Use star cut outs on the crust for a festive flair.

These flower pots are super easy and add just the right amount of flair to any table top!

via The College Prepster
Outfit inspiration: The College Prepster, College Fashion 1 & 2, Design Darling, A Southern Style, Lauren Conrad, Atlantic-Pacific, Dean Street Society

Check out my posts from the past: Olympic Style, 2012 Patriotic Picks

What are your plans for celebrating July 4th?