Oxford

August 26, 2015

I swear nothing beats a pair of jeans and button down.  I think I wear my Ralph Lauren oxford shirts way too often.  I own then in quite a few colors and quite a few sizes too.  Sometimes you want one that is oversized and comfy and other times you need one that is fitted and more tailored.  These are a hands down staple!  

This is an outfit I wore out to dinner the other day.  You could totally rock this look with converse to make it super casual but I bumped it up just a little bit with some stunning BaubleBar earrings and a very subtle red lip.  Also, I am obsessed with d'Orsay flats.  While these look great on, they sadly aren't the comfiest pair ever so if you have any recommendations of the perfect pair please oh please let me know!


Ralph Lauren Oxford //  JBrand Jeans // Sam & Libby Target Flats (old, similar here) // H&M Belt (old, similar here) // Michael Kors Watch // BaubleBar Necklace // BaubleBar Earrings // Tarte Lip Crayon






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How I Edit my Instagram Photos

August 21, 2015

After my recent Ingram roundup, I got quite a few questions about what app and filters I use to edit all my Instagram photos.  I find editing photos for Instagram to be just as fun as taking the photos.  It always amazes me how you can edit one photo so many different ways and make it look like multiple completely different photos.  I also find Instagram trends to be so interesting.  Like why have we gone back to all square photos?  Why did we ever stop using square photos?  Why did we stop adding frames to our photos?


I am always envious of the people who are capable of creating a perfectly curated Instagram theme.  There was a time when I tried to darken my photos like one blogger, grey them out like another, or whiten them like a different one.  There are so many different themes and trends and its important to find one that works with you and your brand.  I learned that I like to take photos of so many different things and that I don't need to stick to a single tone or color.  I can make a theme that fits my feed and my style

However, that being said I do always stick to a routine in the editing process.  I tend to use the app Afterlight and occasionally use the app VSCO Cam.  I first clarify the photo to about 50.  Next is the brightness and contrast and this is totally dependent upon how dimly lit your photo was initially.  I like my photos to be pretty bright but this is totally up to you.  And I only usually up the contrast a little bit, to maybe like 20.  I normally keep the saturation levels at 0 but sometimes will bump it up to about 10-15.  Finally, I up the shadows almost the whole way!  I will usually just stop there but sometimes (if I remember haha!) I will upload the photo to VSCO and add the C1 filter at about a level 6.

And now lastly, the caption.  This is definitely the hardest part of the entire Instagram process.  I never know if I should go serious or funny.  I am an absolute sucker for puns so that is usually my go to.  Or I am completely basic and go with the classic quote / song lyric.  

My only recommendation when taking your Instagram photos is to not feel like you need to fit in a theme.  While looking at themed accounts can definitely be so pleasing and stunning, don't feel like you have to fit in a certain one.  Make your own that fits you!  And lastly, don't feel limited by the lighting or the coloring because you can always edit it.

Book Review: The Magicians

August 19, 2015

Nothing is worse than taking a week off for vacation for it to rain every day.  And while I have yet to take a trip to the lake or the pool, I have gotten some amazing reading done cuddled up with a cup of green tea.  I just finished an amazing series that my brother recommended to me and now I want to share it all with you.

The first book in the trilogy, The Magicians, came out in 2010, the second, The Magician King, in 2012, and the third and final, The Magician's Land, in 2014.  I hadn't heard anything about the series until my brother started reading it and he lent the books to me after he had finished.  It is one of those things though where you have never heard of the word but then start hearing it everywhere.  Because now when I walk around I see this book in every window and shelf.


If I could give the briefest summary of the series I would say it is the perfect combination of Harry Potter meets Narnia.  Basically, just imagine if Harry Potter went to college and then on to Narnia.  It definitely refers to these two series, poking some fun and making jokes, but it never felt uninventive.  Unlike the other two, this series is definitely meant for adults as there are quite a few graphic scenes and intense subject areas.  I thought it would be hard to create something new because when it comes this genre it feels almost "been there, done that" but this series brought a new fresh feel.

Unlike many series (ahem Hunger Games I am looking at you!) this series only got better with each addition.  I would have to say that the first book is probably my least favorite.  That by no means makes it bad because it is still amazing, but it is a necessary means.  You have to make your way through the first book, get the gritty details and learn the basics before you can dive head first into the mysteries and magic that intertwine in the second and third books.  And don't let the character's "jerk-ish" tendencies deter you from reading the next one!  I would recommend reading the series straight through if you can.

I will leave you with the best summary I could find off Amazon for the first book only as I don't want to give anything away: Quentin Coldwater is brilliant but miserable. A high school math genius, he’s secretly fascinated with a series of children’s fantasy novels set in a magical land called Fillory, and real life is disappointing by comparison. When Quentin is unexpectedly admitted to an elite, secret college of magic, it looks like his wildest dreams may have come true. But his newfound powers lead him down a rabbit hole of hedonism and disillusionment, and ultimately to the dark secret behind the story of Fillory. The land of his childhood fantasies turns out to be much darker and more dangerous than he ever could have imagined . . .

When I finished the book everything I had questions about perfectly fell into line and it was totally resolved but I still wanted a fourth book.  I didn't want the story to be over because I had fallen so in love with the characters - the sign of a perfect series!

Mint to Be

August 12, 2015

The color mint and I have always been inseparable.  My preschool teacher told my mom it was "my color" and ever since then it has been one of my favorite colors of all time.  It might be because my mom would always dress me in mint after that but still its just so dang pretty.  Thats the one part about summertime that I love - mint is a color that can officially be worn proudly and almost every day.  This sweater from Gap has been on repeat like no ones business.  I love the way mint looks with white and I actually loved the way this minty green looked with the light blue specs on the Madewell skirt (#mintisthenewblack).

This paper bag style is one of my new favorites because it is honestly so comfortable and it has pockets (a.k.a. the best thing in the entire world!).  The skirt and top are both old but its the color combo that I love so much!  Plus the pink flowers in the background are just too perfect!






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On a completely irrelevant note, can we please chat about the PLL season 6 finale last night?!  I have so many mixed feelings about it and am so confused and have so many questions still.  I mean I guess technically the "A" reveal does make sense but I don't know if I like it.  If any one you watched it I would love to hear your thoughts.  How do you feel about the 5 year time jump?  Also, when did Emily and Spencer get into school?  Aaah still so confused! haha

The Ultimate Birthday Girl Gift Guide

August 10, 2015

With my 21st birthday coming up in mid September I have been thinking about things I want and thought it would actually make a great post.  Not only are a few of these on my list (*cough* Olivia Pope wine glasses *cough*) but I think they would make great birthday presents for any girl.  I included things ranging from fairly cheap to more expensive and items for various age ranges.  Enjoy!
FujiFilm Instax Essie Nailpolish Ban.Do Mobile Charger Kate Spade Waterbottle Reiko Kaneko Lip Tease Mug Olivia Pope Wine Glass Rifle Co Stationary Prisma Photo Frame Seersucker Pajamas Bath & Body Works Candle Frends Headphones Image Map Philosophy 'birthday Girl' Set Kate Spade Earrings


POLAROID // We have returned to the phase where physical copies of photos are much better than their digital counterparts.  We like the vintage feel of polaroids the hipster vibe.  There is just something about getting the photo instantly after taking it and getting to immediately hang it on your wall.

NAILPOLISH // This is a super simple gift and perfect for almost every girl.  Pick out a few of her favorite colors and tie them off if a cute bag and you are good to go.  You could even make a DIY "At home manicure set" for her!

ON - THE - GO CHARGER // A true necessity for a girl on the go, a student, or a travel fanatic.  I love the gold spots and this one and almost wish I owned it.  I have a travel charger and boy of boy has that things saved my life numerous times.

WATERBOTTLE // Whether they be outdoorsy, athletic, or just someone who likes to drink water (or any beverage really) on the regular a nice water bottle is always a great option.  Some of the stainless steel ones can get pretty up there but boy do they keep a beverage cold for hours on end.

MUG // For the coffee and tea lover mugs are an addiction.  I collect the "Around the world" Starbucks mugs but really all mugs are just the cutest things ever.  I freaking love the classic Anthropology initial mug too.

DIAMOND EARRINGS // Every girl should have a simple pair of diamond stud earrings because they look good on every occasion with every outfit.  Again, these can vary in price but I love the size of these Kate Spade ones.  If you can't decide on the perfect earring pair I think any form of jewelry is such a perfect birthday gift!

BODY WASH AND LOTION // This is a harder one to buy for someone as scents are very specific but I love the idea of making a spa time gift (like the manicure set above) for someone.  I think it would be so cute to add a magazine, a loofa, and even some bath salts to a basket.

STATIONARY // Once again, a staple that every girl should have.  I love sending handwritten notes to people because I think its way more personal than an email or text.  Plus, whoever you send them to can then use them as decoration (I know I do!).  Whether it be an adorable monogram or a simple floral pattern this is classic gift your bestie can use for any occasion.

WINE GLASSES // Obviously this one is for those 21+.  I love the idea of buying monogrammed or decorated ones from Etsy as well!  Depending on your friend's favorite beverage, you could opt for martini glasses or champagne flutes to celebrate her big day.  I would opt for the Olivia Pope wine glass because... uhm... well... Olivia Pope.

PICTURE FRAME // This is a gift that I usually give all my friends and have been doing ever since I was a little kid.  You basically buy a chic frame and insert a photo of you and your bestie together in it.  This way they get the gift and a reminder of an amazing memory.

PAJAMAS // Whether it be college sweats or this adorable seersucker set, pajamas are something people rarely buy for themselves because they kind of get lost behind all the other cute clothes.  But hey pajamas can be cute!  So why not buy a cute pair for your bestie with maybe even some comfy slippers or a fuzzy blanket.

CANDLE // This is another tricky one and should only be done if you know what scents your friend likes.  I just bought a nice candle for my friend's birthday because I knew how addicted she was to the color aqua as well as anything ocean scented.  She loved it!

HEADPHONES // For the techie who also loves some bling.  I've been eyeing these headphones for the longest time and really want them for when I go abroad!  While they are the most expensive item I think they would make the perfect item for a few people split.  These are something that every time she wears them she will think of you.
What is on your birthday wish list?

Pleated

August 4, 2015

Once upon a time one of my best friends, Olivia (make sure to check out her Instagram!), and I tried to start a blog of our own.   It lasted for approximately one summer before we got caught up in school and out lives took over.  Anyways, I don't want those few outfit posts to go to waste so I thought I would transfer them over here!  Obviously this means that most of the pieces are no longer being sold but they are pretty basic pieces so I found very similar ones.  I hope you enjoy :)

Photography by Mari Uchida

Skirt Lauren Conrad (old, similar here and here) || Top Lauren Conrad (old, similar here and here) || Sandals Nine West (old, similar here and here) || Necklace BaubleBar (old, similar here and here) || Watch Michael Kors || Bracelets Alex and Ani

This white pleated maxi skirt was the best find ever. I didn't know when I would wear it but I have worn it so much since I bought it. I love it with crop tops or simple v-necks tucked in. Because pants are my favorite thing to wear and I am not usually one for dresses or skirts, the idea of a maxi skirt is perfect because you get the comfort of a dress but the length of pants. This pleated one has a very casual feel but you can also dress up with a pair of heels and a leather jacket.  I am also in love with this scalloped crop top with lace edges!


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xoxo
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