Spring 2019 Favorites

It's surreal to me that summer is right around the corner. Since I've been home for the summer, I thought back to a few of my favorite items I've used throughout the semester. Each item is one I use frequently and all are products I know I will continue to use throughout the summertime as well.

One of my New Year's resolutions was to drink more water, and who knew a tumbler could help me with this goal?! I received this light pink Swig Tumbler in my Christmas stocking and not a day has gone by since that I have not used it. The size is perfect for carrying around on campus, and it keeps my water cold all day. The removable straw is great for using at home or taking out for using on the go.

With Starbucks located right across the street from my sorority house, it can be easy to make a quick errand whenever I'm in the need of a caffeine kick. However, I have loved picking up this Starbucks refrigerated mocha from Target and keeping it in my fridge. It tastes just like the actual iced mocha at Starbucks, and the whole jug is equivalent to one grande. It's a cheaper alternative to one of my favorite beverages and is almost always on my Target shopping list.

I have worked on growing my earring collection this spring, and these hoops are one of my favorite new additions. The navy and pink detailing go with many of my snappy casual outfits. They are lightweight, which makes them easy to wear all day long.

Whether it is a second day hair kind of day or the Tuscaloosa heat getting to me, I find myself putting my hair up semi frequently. These Teleties were a gift from my mom and I have fully converted from traditional hair ties. They are so comfortable to wear and don't leave a crease in your hair after wearing. They make a cute bracelet, too, if I want to wear it just in case.

I included these in my summer beauty favorites post last year, but these face masks have continued to be a go-to for me. Whether it was putting one on while watching a movie or even while doing homework, the masks help keep my skin hydrated and refreshed. There are three different types that I would rotate through. The best part is that my skin feels so smooth for days to come.

I may have saved the best for last. These pink mules were a steal and I never thought I would wear them as frequently as I do. They are easy to dress up or down and add the perfect pop of color to a variety of outfits. They also come in navy and seersucker, and I am too tempted to purchase those too. Bonus: they are incredibly comfortable and easy to wear.

What have your favorite items been this spring?


Sophomore Year Room Reveal

Better late than never, but I'm thrilled to be sharing my sophomore year room today! I love reading these types of posts and seeing how others decorate a space. This year, I lived in my sorority house and shared a room with my big. I had less space than freshman year (see my freshman year room here), but used many of the same decorations for this space. I was so happy with how it turned out and am going to miss this room. From movie nights to late nights studying, this room was full of action and will truly be missed.

The room came with the bed frame and an attached bookshelf, a cabinet and a desk. I didn't love all the dark wood, but really tried to brighten up the room by adding color in just about every place I could, ha! I wanted the room to be bright and colorful, but still functional, cozy and fun.

When opening the door to the room, the focal points were our beds. I had the left side of the room and used my white bedding from freshman year with a plethora of throw pillows again. Since I did not have a traditional headboard, I loved using my Leigh Deux headboard pillow as an extra layer between myself and the bookshelf. It was crucial for being comfortable while studying, sleeping or watching movies with friends. There was a shelf behind my pillows that served as a bedside table. Here I stored my TV remotes, water and phone for charging at night. I wanted a lamp by my bed to avoid those harsh overhead lights, and since a bedside table would look a little funky, I placed my pineapple lamp on top of the bookshelf. To cover up some of the bare white walls, I added a few pictures and prints to provide some color.

banner | denny chimes print (limited edition, similar) | gold frame | chair (Home Goods find) | pillow (similar and on sale)

Behind the door sat my chair with a pillow and my TV on the cabinet. I added a limited edition Evelyn Henson print of Denny Chimes (arguably one of my favorite prints of hers ever!) and a Gamma Phi banner. This spot was so cozy and the perfect place for guests to sit and chat for hours on end (oftentimes my little Daisy – our favorite visitor!).

The big book shelf provided a lot of storage for cubbies to hold just about everything that didn't go in the closet or in the drawers under my bed. I struggled organizing the items on the top shelves, but overall liked the open storage. This was my station for hair and makeup because of the mirror on the closet door, so I added the white rolling cart. On the top of the cart sat my hair supplies, and my hot tool holder latched on to the side of the cart. The shelves below were used for storage. 

The full-length mirror on the back of the closet door was a huge plus. The pom pom garland was a Christmas decoration, but the colors went with the room and was so fun I left it up for the rest of the year. I hung my towels on the back of the closet door and kept all my bags inside.

One of my favorite spots in the room was our gallery wall. My big and I each added pictures of our friends and sorority family as well as our individual bulletin boards to showcase our personalities. I updated a few of the picture frames throughout the year with events and constantly added little mementos to my bulletin board. This was a great solution to cover up the bare wall and I loved all the color it added to the back of the room.

We used my white pom pom curtains from last year. I love the sheerness of the curtains and all the natural light they let into the room. We also stuck a Command hook on the divider of the window where we hung wreaths or decorations for each holiday. As you can see, the Easter bunny was up while I took these pictures. I absolutely love decorating and this was such an easy way to add decorations to the room.

The final area of my room was my desk. My great-grandbig handed down the desk hutch that was the perfect dimensions for the desk. I used the top shelf for jewelry (peep some of my costume jewelry, haha), water bottles and canvases from my little. The second shelf was storage for school supplies. 

To my main desk area, I added a hot pink magazine holder from my desk last year and a lamp. Because there was no overhead light in the back of the room, this lamp was almost always on in the evening. One of my New Year's resolutions was to have flowers in my room because they instantly brighten my mood and I always look forward to seeing them. Flowers were a great addition to this area to add instant color. 

Under my desk was my cream ottoman (similar) I used as my step stool last year. The desk was too short for my chair and my big had the ottoman in navy under her desk. It was the ideal size and item for the spot.

I was thrilled with how the room turned out and feel like it really fit my personality, even if my personal space was a bit smaller than last year. I am currently working on planning out my room for next year and can't wait to continue with this bright color scheme and making it a comfortable space. 

Feel free to reach out with any questions about where anything is from!


Last Minute Memorial Day 2019 Sales

Happy Memorial Day! Whether you've been basking in some R&R or out and about, I hope you're enjoying this long weekend and the start of summer. 

There is still time to shop some of this weekend's great sales, and I've pulled a few I've been eyeing this weekend. If you're looking to add some summery items to your wardrobe, there are a few hours left to shop at good prices!

25% off with code SUNSHINE25

Up to 75% off with no code needed

Extra 50% off sale styles and 40% off full price items

30% off jewelry and $5 shipping

Up to 90% off

Travel size stemless glass with $100 purchase

Up to 50% off sale styles

50% off

Happy shopping!


Freshman 15: Tips for Moving Out

Moving out at the end of the semester can be an overwhelming task. There’s much to be done and a looming deadline, and how on earth is everything going to fit in the car?! Whether you’re about to move out of your living space for the school year or maybe your done, but you wish it had gone better, thinking through the process can help make it a more streamlined experience.

I shared my tips for move in day in the fall. Now, after two years of move outs and learning a few strategies along the way to help ease the process and stress of moving out, I am sharing a few move out tips. As always, I’d love to hear any tips you have, too!

Do not cart home what you know you do not want.
Before getting in full study mode for finals, check the university website and see if there is some place to donate items. Selling items is another option. I knew my desk hutch was too big for my desk the next year so I put it on a student resale Facebook page and arranged for pick up in front of my dorm.

If your school has a food pantry, it is a great place to drop off unused pantry items and toiletries. If not, try to find someone staying on campus during the summer. They would most likely be thrilled to have your surplus items.

Be considerate.
If you are the first to leave, make sure you take everything. Pretty self-explanatory, but once your car is full, it is easy to lose any enthusiasm for dealing with the odds and ends remaining in the room. I recommend you don’t assume someone else will want it just because you don’t. Communication is key and can save your roommate from work when they close the room.

Think strategically.
If you have fragile items that need a little protection, use your sheets or towels to wrap them. It serves a purpose and gets an item home without adding bulk. I packed my laundry hamper full of clothes, and storage cubbies filled to the brim with random items. Make sure to maximize your space in the car so that everything can fit.

Be prepared that moving out is an individual event.
Unlike the scheduled event of move in, everyone moves out at their own pace. If you have a Friday final, be prepared to see people moving out early in the week. Don’t lose your motivation because others are done early.  There will be plenty of time for packing after focusing on finals.

Be aware of deadlines.
If you need to be out by 10 a.m. Saturday, be out by 9. You most likely will require a room check and could have to wait for an RA’s or building manager's availability. Plus, this gives you a little buffer should any issues arise.

Make sure summer items are accessible.
Think about where your items will be during the summer. Will it be accessible? What clothes will you want to wear when you get home? Try to think and pack based on what you will need and how frequently you’ll need it once you get home.

If you have enough space, start packing early.
Whether it’s starting to box up date party costumes or throwing away the last of the snacks, try to prep for move out by making little efforts leading up to move out. By doing small tasks here and there, it will not take up too much time and help you feel like you’re making progress bit by bit.

What are your tips for a successful and smooth move out?


Finals Tips + Tricks

Finals season has arrived. It's almost bittersweet — happy to see the end of the semester, but finals can be stressful. This round of tests was my fourth set of finals in college (that is scary in and of itself — how does time fly so fast?). So, I thought I would share a few tips that have helped me when studying for finals. I hope you find these ideas helpful. I'd love to hear any tips you have too!

Make a Plan
Preparing for finals in college is different from high school because you sometimes have days before the exams with nothing to do but study. It can be challenging to figure out how to best use this time. I've found that creating a schedule for myself to tackle the workload helps me use my time efficiently. This schedule does not need to be rigid, but mapping out how you will spend time ensures that you'll be able to cover all necessary material in a productive way. No late night cram sessions will help you better comprehend and review the material and use your time before the test efficiently. Plus, if you want to study with a group or classmate, you will be more aware of how much time you can allocate to working with others.

Have a Bedtime
This sounds silly, but it can be so easy to stay up very late studying for exams. I am not the best at maintaining a bedtime during the school year, but I do try to go to bed at a good hour during finals week. With a solid night's sleep, I will not be overtired and can study the material when I most awake. A full 8 hours of sleep can do a world of wonders.

Find a Study Spot
During finals week I spend hours at the library. I have a spot that I like on the quietest floor, and I am most productive tucked away in this nook. I recommend finding a place where you will not be distracted and can focus on studying. This looks different for everyone, but it's important to know where you can be most productive. I also like to change it up and work at Starbucks during the morning, but head to the library in the afternoon and evening. A little variety in my surroundings helps to keep me motivated.

Pack Your Backpack Well
There's nothing worse than getting to the library and realizing you don't have your textbook or computer charger. Before heading out to study, I always go through my backpack and make sure I have any materials I will need. Don't forget items like your phone charger and some snacks! If you do forget a cord or cable, check with your library they may be able to loan or rent you one, saving you precious time from returning to your dorm or apartment to retrieve it.

Work Breaks into Your Schedule
It is so important to study, but I also need a break here and there. I actually put some breaks in my schedule. I've learned you will be more focused if you occasionally allow some time for yourself. Whether that's scrolling through social media or going to grab a coffee, your brain will appreciate the break! Or if a friend asks to get an ice cream or take a walk, you will enjoy a little down time and it can help you be more productive when you return to studying. It is equally important to be careful not to take too long of a break. I like to make sure I set a time limit for myself so I don't waste an hour on Instagram, haha.

I wish you the best of luck on finals and hope that these tips are helpful! What are your keys to success during finals week?

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