Thursday, December 31, 2015

10 Days of Turtlenecks (Day One)


As I may have previously gushed, turtlenecks are the greatest article of clothing ever, and now I'm here to share with you ten days of turtleneck fashion. 


This particular outfit is more of a party look for a holiday party. The cape is the Ticket to Ferry Ride Cape from Modcloth for $59.99 but is currently unavailable. It's a great weight of fabric, and once you figure out the right way to button it, it's a great piece to just throw on as you're going out the door. I still haven't mastered how to put a purse on my shoulder without it looking odd, so I'm probably going to stick with a clutch while wearing this piece.

I don't remember where I got the fascinator from, but I believe it was an accessory being sold around Halloween time. If you're looking for a similar (and probably better quality) fascinator, you may want to try the Sweetest Spread Fascinator in Black from Modcloth. My affiliate link for this product can be found here, and as a heads up, I may be compensated for any purchases from Modcloth made after clicking the link. (So if you really love me, using my affiliate links is a great way to show that.)

The skirt is from Forever 21 and is one of my favorite wardrobe staples. I wasn't able to find the exact skirt that I have, but I was able to find two with the same fluted silhouette and they can be found here and here. The skirt was a little tight and short, so I recommend sizing up if you're in between sizes generally.


And for the featured piece of clothing in the article, I'm wearing a fuchsia turtleneck sweater under my cape. It looks a little baggy in some of the pictures, but that's because I haven't had time to shrink this turtleneck in the drier. I got this turtleneck for Christmas from Target when it was on sale for around $10. They're currently on clearance for $13, so I highly recommend you jump on this deal which can be found here. After seeing this deal, I'm tempted to buy like 5 more turtlenecks...


I got these boots for Christmas from an Amazon lightning deal and they ended up being around $20. The back panel is an elastic, so they stretch to fit your calves, however, I would not recommend them for someone with a larger calf because they only stretch so much. They have two zippers per boot, a gold one on the outside and a black one on the inside, but only the black zipper is functional, which kind of annoys me. My last pair of riding boots had double zippers like this, and I really wish they just had one zipper that worked instead of one for decoration and one that works.

Stayed tuned for my next day of turtlenecks! I haven't quite decided if I want to do them all in a row, or every other day, so you'll just have to wait and see.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas Recap (Part Two)

This is the second part of a super long recap of my Christmas festivities. This one, features Mocha in various costumes, which you can see below. I know, very important stuff that you definitely need in your life... She's just such a tolerant dog, and my siblings constantly send me photos of her dressed up that it's really hard not to share them. (If you couldn't already tell, I'm a little bit obsessed with my dog.)




Some of my friends from the dorm floor also decorated our communal bathroom. They were super awesome and bought some real toilet paper for all of us instead of the terrible stuff the school supplies. Girls from all the other floors in our building would use our bathroom just because we had the nice toilet paper, so it got used up a lot faster than they anticipated, but it was nice while it lasted.





I also attended the Concordia College Christmas Concert which is a really big deal. My roommate was singing in it, so I wanted to go see her perform, even though there were about 600 people in the concert and it was hard to make out faces. I got a photo of the really pretty mural that they use as a background, but wasn't able to get one of all of the people singing because I turned my phone off during the performance. It was also a pretty sweet outfit day, so please enjoy a terrible mirror selfie of the dress that my mom thinks looks like a Christmas tree skirt.

Our dorm floor also did a White Elephant/Secret Santa gift exchange, but no one was really sure which it was because our RA gave us names to get gifts for (like a Secret Santa) but she kept calling it a white elephant. The girl whose name I got, really liked elephants, so I thought that I would tie the Secret Santa and White Elephant concepts together and painted a children's plastic elephant from the dollar section of Target white with gold tusks. She really seemed to enjoy it and I had a lot of fun painting it, because I had never painted on a plastic elephant before.

And what Christmas wouldn't be complete without my Aunt Rita's cookies? She makes the most beautifully decorated cookies that it's so hard to eat them because they're like little works of art. But, at the same time, they taste amazing, so it's really hard not to eat them. I have so many pictures of the cookies that she's done over the years, that I'm going to have to share some photos in another post with you all. Since the new Star Wars movie came out, she made some adorable Star Wars themed cookies along with her traditional Christmas ones.

To wrap things up, here's a photo of my friend/sorority sister and I at the fraternity social that I forgot to include in my last post. You can see how great my ugly sweater really is in this picture.

I hope everyone had a great holiday season and continues to do so into the new year!

Christmas Recap

So Christmas has come to a close and we're in that stretch of dead time before the new year. It was a pretty good one this year, so here's a recap of the festivities. As always, the holidays are pretty hectic, in addition to their overlap with finals week, so I think I handled the stress pretty well. There's so much that went on this month that I may even need to break it into two parts.

My a couple of my cousins and I got some pretty awesome matching sweatshirts that we wore to the family Christmas party. Yes, I am wearing a hat that says "Tom Raper RVs", but only ironically because my brother was cleaning the neighbor's attic for them and they said he could take whatever he wanted, and this is what he gave to me.

This photo isn't from Christmas, but it's from Thanksgiving, when my grandmother gave us our annual Christmas snow globes. She normally gives the girls Santa figurines and the boys nutcrackers, but she wasn't able to find Santa figurines that she liked. It might seem strange that we do Christmas gifts at Thanksgiving, but it's so that we can put them out before Christmas.


My sorority got our Christmas card photo taken by the wonderful MSchlief Photography. I'm on the far right in the second row back. Morgan, who took the pictures for us, always does a beautiful job!

And my roommate, Amie, and I also got a Christmas card picture taken by the girl who lives next door. We ordered our cards through Costco and they turned out wonderfully. I had a great time decorating the envelopes and mailing them out to friends and family. It was strange that my family didn't have a Christmas card of our own, yet my roommate and I did. My brother took a photo of Mocha that we thought about using for our family Christmas card, but didn't get around to. I'll include that below my Christmas card picture because it's just so adorable.



My group won the gingerbread house contest at a social we went to. I'm pretty sure the reason we won was because our house was the only one that didn't fall down. We also had some pretty sweet ugly sweaters. I bought mine in the men's section of Walmart last minute because I didn't think that I would need to bring an ugly sweater up to college with me.

Here's another picture from when we volunteered at the local YWCA and helped sort their donations to the residents for Christmas gifts.




This post will be continued in a second part which can be found here.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

An Open Letter To McDonald's Holiday Pies

Dear Holiday Pies,

It's that time of year again when you grace the warmers of McDonald's. Your crunchy yet soft shells covered in rainbow sprinkles and sugar contrast the warm, custard filling that you contain. Oh, how I love you...


I'm not going to lie, I have a countdown on my phone for when holiday pies come back. (They generally arrive after Thanksgiving is over.) And once Thanksgiving hits, I tend to check every few days, just to double check that I'm not missing out on any precious holiday pie time.

When I'm in Minnesota, and even in North Dakota, I can find you at every McDonald's I visit, but back home, they are nowhere to be found. You're as elusive as the McRib, but I don't think there is as much of a cult following. (And holiday pies definitely have more appeal.) My dad says I probably wouldn't enjoy holiday pies as much if they were around all year, but he's wrong.


Please come back,
Also, in case you were feeling crafty and wanted to make me some holiday pies, here's a DIY recipe for them from Spark Recipes...

Friday, December 18, 2015

Stock Photos, Stock Photos Galore!

I  used to think that all stock photos were terrible quality photos of women laughing into salads, but man was I wrong. Today, I'd like to share with you guys out there some of the amazing stock photo sites that I've found. While I don't normally use stock photos in my posts, I do have a very extensive file on my laptop for whenever I need fifty different photos of coffee, etc..

Here are my top 5 favorite stock photo websites (In no particular order). They all have slightly different crediting policies, so make sure to do your part and look into what you need to do in order to use this abundance of free imagery!


  1. Fancy Crave (http://fancycrave.com/
  2. Unsplash (https://unsplash.com/
  3. Pexels (https://www.pexels.com/)
  4. Designers Pics (http://www.designerspics.com/)
  5. Lime Lane Photography (http://limelanephotography.com.au/stock-photos/

I hope all of you enjoyed this compilation! Stock photos can come in super helpful sometimes, especially when you have a broken phone camera...

Thursday, December 17, 2015

5 Beauty Products I Can't Live Without




  1. Maybelline Line Stiletto Liquid Eyeliner in Blackest Black: This is my go-to eyeliner. It makes a perfect cat-eye and dries much quicker than other liquid eyeliners I've tried. Other eyeliners tend to smudge onto the crease of my eyelid, but this one stays in place all day, so it's a great purchase if you're searching for a new liquid eyeliner.
  2.  Pond's Cold Cream Cucumber Cleanser: I use this every night before I go to sleep. This cleanser removes all of your make-up and moisturizes too. It's really easy to apply with a cotton ball, and you can see all of the dirt that comes out of your pores. The cucumber cleanser has a great scent to it, but the original cold cream isn't terrible. 
  3. Mary Kay Lash Love Mascara: I've never been much of a mascara person, but this one is the one mascara that I choose to keep around. It doesn't smudge very much and is easy to apply, even to the lower lashes. The shape of the wand allows you to get close enough to the bottom of the lash so that you don't end up with half-mascara-ed lashes. (I don't know if anyone else has this problem, but I definitely do.)
  4. Mary Kay At Play Baked Eyeshadow Trio in Neapolitan: This is such a great color combination! You can use a single color, or all three for a more complicated look. This eyeshadow is heavily pigmented and applies nicely with a shimmer finish.
  5.  Jordana Modern Matte Lipstick in Divine: This lipstick is inexpensive, made in the US and stays on wonderfully! You wouldn't believe that this stick of lipstick was only three dollars because it looks like a twenty dollar stick. It also creates a nice matte color that lasts all day.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Current Crafts: A Self-Motivational List

I'm in the middle of several projects right now (and always), so I thought that making a list with all their varying states of progress would help me organize/get motivated to finish some of them. (I'm going to be adding pictures to this list once I am able to take some!)

  1. Flamingo Mittens- I saw the pattern on Pinterest a while ago and when my craft culture professor announced that we would be doing two-color knitting, this was the one project that I really wanted to do. Flamingos are my sorority's mascot, so I thought that these would be adorable for when we do outdoor events in the Winter. (They would have come in super handy for when we went bell-ringing for the Salvation Army.)
  2. Squirrel Mittens- Since I was worried about taking my knitting needles on the plane ride home for Thanksgiving break, I started a new pair of mittens when I got home. The pattern says to knit with a thin yarn on size 1 needles, but I opted for a medium weight yarn on size 3 needles and adjusted the pattern. The pattern that I created is for about a women's medium/large mitten because I'm knitting them for my mom for Christmas. The pattern I based my mittens off of is the Squirrelly Swedish Mittens pattern by Elli Stubenrauch from Elliphantom Knits. This pattern is available for free on Ravelry and I've attached the patterning for my adjustment below.
  3. Floral Monogram Wall Art- I've been meaning to post a tutorial on this one for a while, but I can't do that when the project isn't finished yet. I created this craft from thrift store materials and acrylic paint, so it's really cool to see the transformation. I did an up-cycle project earlier on this blog (See DIY Try: Upcycled Monogramed Glass Jars) and it got some pretty positive feedback, so I decided to try another.
  4. Custom Dog Portrait For My Coworker- I started this one over the summer, but still haven't finished it.
  5. Upcycled Coffee Table Tray- This is another thrift shop up-cycle (see #3) that I'm working on. The green paint that was originally on the tray is a complete pain to take off, so that's been deterring me a little bit. I'm also still deciding how I want to paint it. My mom said she found a really cool coffee table tray at Home Goods that I should look at when I get home, so I might just buy one instead of waiting forever on the one that I've been making forever with no progress.
  6. Striped Scarf- I found some really cute yarn at Walmart and wanted to make something simple with it. Since it was so soft, I decided to make a scarf. I alternated between the colorful yarn and a white glittery yarn, but the yarns were two different thicknesses, so there is a little bit of variation in width between the sections. However, I don't think this will be noticeable when worn. 
  7. Various Drawings- Because what's the point of being an art student if you finish everything you start?
  8. My Secret Sister Gift for my Sorority Gift Exchange
  9. A Bicycle Patterned Dress- I started making a dress towards the end of Summer break but never finished it. Since I don't have my sewing machine up here at college with me, I'm going to have to wait until Christmas break to go a n finish it. By the time I actually get it done, let's hope it still fits...

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

My Christmas List


Today marks the beginning of December and that means that Christmas is getting ever closer, and I can bet that you're all making your Christmas lists! Even if you don't celebrate Christmas, the winter holiday season is an exciting one and I hope that the holiday of your choice is amazing and filled with family and friends (and maybe even some presents).

I've decided to share with you guys my Christmas list this year in case you felt the need to get me a gift...


  1. Turtleneck Sweaters- I have an unhealthy addiction to turtleneck sweaters. They go great with statement necklaces and scarves, plus they're super comfy. Target was having a sale on all of their sweaters the other day and their turtlenecks went from $18 to $10, so I obviously called my mom and was like "Target. Turtlenecks. Sale. Need.", I'm hoping she understood that message and that there will be a pile of new turtlenecks under the tree this year. I have a bunch of turtlenecks already, but they tend to pill when they go through the laundry as much as mine do and they also shrink up slightly. Plus I just wanted new colors besides all the neutrals I currently have. A black turtleneck is the most underrated piece of clothing. You can't even begin to comprehend how much I love turtlenecks. These sweaters can be found here if you're interested in purchasing some for yourself. Sadly the price went back up again, so you'll have to pay $18, but it's well worth it. 
  2. A Nice DSLR Camera- Because I want to fill my blog with pretty pictures that aren't taken on an iPhone camera. Nothing against you Apple, but the camera just isn't cutting it. (And if you think back to a couple months ago when I ranted about my iPhone camera, you'll understand how much a nice camera would mean to me.) However, DSLR cameras are kind of pricey, so I'm probably going to jump on Black Friday like a lion who hasn't eaten in weeks.
  3. This Adorable Shirt From Modcloth- It's both a pug and a Frida Kahlo reference, what more could you need? You can purchase it here (this is not my affiliate link because this item hasn't been released on the affiliate platform yet for a unique URL).
  4. Washi Tape and Stickers For My Planner 
  5. Terry's Milk Chocolate Oranges- I recently found out that I could eat these again with my allergies because they aren't made in a peanut-facility anymore. These chocolate oranges were my childhood; one of my neighbors used to give them to us on Halloween and they were my all-time favorite candy.
  6. Typewriter Shopper's Tote- I've been needing another re-usable grocery bag so that I can carry my groceries back from the store without the plastic bag ripping along the way. This bag is cute, inexpensive and did I mention cute? They can be found here at Forever 21 for $1.90. 
  7. Black Riding Boots- It seems like I go through a pair of riding boots every year. Somehow they all manage to get destroyed. This year, I'm hoping for a more durable pair that is also super adorable. Currently I have a pair of Steve Madden black riding boots with a quilted back, and I love them. But the material on the toes and heels has torn apart after all of the wear and tear I put them through. Some of the quilting has torn too and is beginning to have fibers sticking out. It's hard to find a pair of riding boots that I like because I'm really specific about the shoes that I wear.
  8. Vera Bradley Brush and Pencil Case in Cheery Blossoms- I love my Vera Bradley pencil bag and it's done great over the last 4 years, but between the highlighter that broke inside of it and the corners that have begun to fray away, I think it's time for a new pencil bag. Amazon is selling this one with Vera Bradley as the merchant for $21.90. I don't think that this print is available on their main website right now and it appears to be cheaper on Amazon, so this would be the place to buy it from.
  9. An External DVD Drive For My Mac- The latest version of the Macbook doesn't have a disc drive which makes it impossible for me to watch all these DVDs that I have laying around. My super awesome parents bought me an external disc drive earlier in the school year, but it didn't work with the computer, so I had to return it. I'm hoping to find a quality disc drive that works with my computer. Either that, or I'll have to burn all of my DVD to my desktop computer at home and move the files over to my laptop. I don't know about you guys, but I'm a really big fan of actually putting a DVD into a player instead of just opening a file,so I really hope this works out.
  10. This New Phone Case- My cell phone currently has a case, but the sides have broken off after I took it off to switch to my new phone. I'm worried that with the case missing chunks of the sides, the screen won't be as protected if it falls. I don't drop my phone a lot, so this cheap case from Amazon will probably do just fine just to protect it from getting all scratched up in the pocket of my backpack. The case can be found here in color 03. 
  11. This Book of Medium Level New York Times Crosswords- I've recently become addicted to crossword puzzles, specifically the New York Times ones. This book has 150 puzzles, so it will last me a while. It can be bought on Amazon here for less than $10. I like to do a puzzle before bed each night or work on one that I had previously begun because I find crossword puzzles very stress relieving (that's college for you...). 
So that's a brief overview of some of the things I'm hoping for this year. What are you guys asking for present-wise for Christmas? Tell me below in the comments!

I'm sorry for the gaps of time between my last couple of posts and I know I promised twelve posts last month but only delivered six. This month I'm going to set a little more of a feasible goal and aim for ten posts. If you have any ideas for some of those ten posts or are interested in guest writing for my blog, feel free to contact me!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Product Review: Lilly Pulitzer Agendas 2015-16


Today, my lovely readers, I'm going to do a product review on something that I carry with me everywhere- my Lilly Pulitzer agenda! I'm going to be very direct; I was in no way compensated for this post, all views expressed are my own on this product which I purchased on my own. And just as a heads up, this is going to be a very photo oriented post because my phone camera is working! The period when my phone camera destabilized was a very dark period for me, and now that it's back in full color, you guys get to see lots of pretty pictures!

I begin this post with some commentary that's specific to certain pages/my own personal use of the planner. After this, you'll find my overall commentary on the product. (I recently learned how to use subheadings that aren't just making certain pieces of text larger and changing the color so that they look like headings but aren't, so get excited for that!)

Some Page Specific Commentary:

If you're as scatterbrained as I am, a good planner is a must. My planner may look super hectic because of all the stickers, but I always have enough room for all of my events for the day. You'll notice in the picture below that I really like to use the medium tip Flair pens for my planner. These pens are amazing and don't bleed through the pages like you would expect a felt tip pen to.


Sometimes I like to add washi tape along the edges of the page for a decorative touch. The pages already have a Lilly Pulitzer print along the top edge and sometimes an illustration, but other than that, they're a blank canvas.


At the beginning of the planner and also at the beginning of the months, there's a full calendar layout spread. I generally use these pages to mark when major assignments are due and family events. The boxes are a little small for my liking, but I don't see any other way that they could design the page to make the calendar bigger without changing the size of the planner.




The planner comes with an adorable page of stickers in the Lilly Pulitzer style. As you can see, I really like stickers, so these are a nice addition to the pages. If you don't want to clutter your planner pages with as many stickers, these ones are super great because they don't look like add-ons the page because of the similar style. In this picture you also get a really good idea of what the tabs look like that separate the different sections of the planner. The tabs are glossy as opposed to the matte paper used on all of the pages, keeping them in good condition while they're sticking out from the side of the book. (The tabs do not extend past the edge of the cover, but are in line with it, putting them at high risk of injury if they weren't protected like they are.)


The planner also has a spread of pages for 'Days to Celebrate'. This is where I like to keep track of friend's and family's birthdays. It has all the months written out and gives lines underneath for you to write in your important occasions. The planner also has a separate page for national holidays, so you don't need to remember all of those.


There's a bunch of pages for phone numbers and addresses. I found these pages not very useful because I already have this information in my phone. Since the stickers make the planner so much thicker than it usually is, I removed some of these pages to make extra room in the spiral binding. In addition to removing some of these pages, I also removed the full calendar layout at the beginning of the planner since each month also has a calendar layout before it.


The notes section of the planner comes in really handy for when I need to jot something down, but don't have any other paper. I often use this section to make lists such as grocery lists, but also to write down important details of assignments that I don't have room for in the general week layout. In my last Lilly Pulitzer planner, I actually ended up using all of my notes pages, so I think they're a really great addition to a planner.


You can see below the difference in size between the medium (top) and the large (bottom) planners. Lilly Pulitzer also stocks a jumbo sized planner which I personally have not used before, but am curious about trying out. The only thing is that the jumbo planner only comes in a select couple of patterns.

The planner patterns that I have are the Wild Confetti (large) and the Lilly's Lagoon (medium). The large planner is 6 3/4 by 8 7/8 inches and the medium planner is not being sold anymore, so I can't find the specific sizing.


Overall Commentary:

I really like this planner a bunch! I have both the large and the medium planners because I was given one as a gift after I had bought my own. I prefer to use the large sized planner just because of how much extra space I have to write down daily plans. I find the calendar spread layout on the medium planner just too ridiculously tiny to use because you can't fit that many words in a box. I tend to use my large planner for my school and social stuff, while my medium planner is more for blog stuff. (Update: after checking online, I can no longer find the spiral bound medium planner, just the large and jumbo sizes.) 

The planner has an elastic band that keeps it shut, although I've seen people use this to mark what page they're on. I generally just put a little post-it on the top of the week that I'm at and then use the elastic to keep the whole thing closed so that the pages don't get all wrinkled up in my backpack. The elastic is really durable and I've never had an issue with it, which is a feat considering how much my planner goes through.

The spiral binding is also really nice because it allows the planner to sit flat when you open it up to a page. The only issues I have with the binding is that sometimes the pages don't move on it the way that they should, so they get stuck. The binding is also fit expecting that the planner will not gain in size, this is not the case when you are adding stickers or other decorative elements to the pages. If you're looking for a planner that can take a lot of extras, the Erin Condren planner is meant for that kind of use. In order to get my planner to fit all this extra stuff, I needed to remove some pages from it that I wasn't going to use.

The features of this planner are great! The entire beginning of the planner is sectioned off into things such as 'Notes' or 'Travel Planner' or my personal favorite, 'Days to Celebrate'. The tabs on the edges of the pages make the planner easy to maneuver through and quickly find what you're looking for.

The Bottom Line:

I would totally recommend this planner to someone looking for a good week-long planner. If you're looking for more of a day-specific planner that outlines the day in an hour by hour fashion, this may not be the planner for you, you would probably want either the Day Planner or the Erin Condren planner. (The Erin Condren planner being the most expensive planner of the bunch.)