What I’m Reading + Watching | Perfect Summer Reads

Three cheers for Monday!

I’m doing a bit of a happy dance over here because Monday is basically my Saturday – every place that I work is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, so I’m celebrating my day off with a new blog post (which is, um, long overdue).

Today I’m sharing a fun little roundup of what I’ve been reading and watching – these books and this TV show have been my jam this summer, and I’d highly recommend them all.

I feel like I’m constantly mindlessly scrolling through Instagram, so I’m trying to get better about using my free time with intention. Sometimes you just need to take a break from social media and actually read a book, which is something I struggle with when I’m all go go go 95% of the time.

I LOVE reading, but I always find excuses as to why I can’t get into a book. I’m either too busy, too tired, don’t have any good books worth reading, or sometimes I just don’t want to. 

This summer though, I’ve been reading quite a few books that I think are worth sharing – and I think you’ll love them too! So without further ado, here’s what I’m reading this summer!

Reading + Watching summer 2017

Hello, Sunshine – Laura Dave

I was excited to get my hands on this book because all of the bloggers have been posting about it. I mean, look at the cover art. It’s literally a blogger’s dream.

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This book tells the story of Sunshine Mackenzie, a popular Youtuber chef who was loved by her fans for her relatable life stories that she intertwined with  her recipes that were delicious and easy to make. Not to mention, she invited her fans into her pristine kitchen every Sunday, with her spotless appliances and gorgeous husband. But when a hacker releases Sunshine’s secrets, her world comes crashing down and she learns what it means to live authentically in a time when social media makes people anything but authentic.

Would I recommend this book? Sure. Was it my favorite book ever? Not quite. Am I glad I read it? Yes! It comments on something we can all relate to: remaining authentic in a time when it’s too easy to lose your authenticity.

I think we’re all guilty of making things seem just perfect for our social media accounts, right? That’s the point – you showcase the best aspects of your life. We all do it. And that’s exactly what Sunshine did, until her hacker made her reevaluate what was truly important (and that a less-than-perfect Instagram pose isn’t the end of the world). This was a good beach read, and I’m happy I got my hands on it. (Although..despite the whole “authentic” message, I still spent a good five minutes positioning this book to be juuuuuust right on my beach blanket for the Insta…authenticity is easier said than done, I guess).

The Hopefuls – Jennifer Close

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I LOVED this book. As a journalism major, I’ve become invested in politics and political journalism recently, and this story was literally everything I’ve wanted in a book. It tells the story of Beth and Matt, a newlywed couple from NYC who relocates to Washington D.C. so Matt can pursue his dream career in politics. They befriend another couple, Jimmy and Ash, who are similar to them in every way. They tackle the political world of D.C. together all while brunching and taking gorgeous weekend vacations. But, tensions eventually rise as jealousy and competition threatens their friendship. After all, the world of D.C. politics doesn’t have room for everyone to become a star.

I would recommend this book to everyone. Like Hello, Sunshine, this was a good beach book, and I couldn’t stop reading to keep up with Beth and Matt and their new lives in D.C. Gimme drama with a dash of politics and competition and I am v content. Also, I just loved Jennifer Close’s humor and style of writing – it made the story that much better!

Girls in White Dresses – Jennifer Close

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I loved Close’s writing so much that I went out and got another book of her’s: Girls in White Dresses! This was actually her debut novel, and so far I think I like it even more than The Hopefuls. This book tells the story of 20-something friends living in New York City and Chicago, and it highlights what it’s like to tackle friendship, romance, and life after college. I haven’t made too big of a dent in the book so far, but I can tell you Close’s writing is RELATABLE AF and funny and engaging. I’m telling you, if you’re a college girl (or if you’re fresh out of college) you need to read this. You won’t be disappointed.

And a bonus! What I’m watching:

The Bold Type

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I AM OBSESSED WITH THE BOLD TYPE. If I’m being 100% honest, after seeing a preview I was convinced this should would be cheesy, as if the writers were trying to be cool enough to relate their viewers.

Let me say right now: I was ALL TYPES OF WRONG.

This show is woke. It centers around three best friends living in New York City trying to find success within the magazine industry, and they hit all the right notes.

Each week, the show tackles current issues that are important to women. Think: women in the workforce who aren’t afraid to ask for what they deserve (like a higher salary), who aren’t afraid to stand up for what’s right (like equality for women of color and women of all sexual orientations), women who know what they want in a S.O. and aren’t willing to settle for less, and women who support their BFF’s instead of scheming to tear each other down. 

The Bold Type tackles the hard stuff that we’re sometimes too afraid to talk about – or sometimes just don’t talk about in general, all while making you laugh, cry, nod your heard in agreement, and clap your hands while screaming YAAAAAAASSS.

This show is no joke.

I always feel like I can conquer the world (and do it in heels) after each show, and I can’t recommend it enough. Also, one of the Executive Producers is Joanna Coles (aka former EIC of Cosmopolitan). That’s how you know this show is legit.

Force yourself to make time for The Bold Type, because you won’t regret it.

What have you been reading and watching lately? I’d love to hear! Let me know in the comments below.

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Not Your Average Beach Bag Essentials

Hey friends – I’m BACK!!

I can’t even begin to explain how busy I’ve been this summer, and it’s left me with hardly any time to blog! I spent the last week on a much needed beach vacation, and it gave me some pretty good beachy, summery themed content ideas. Today, I’m sharing my list of “not your average” beach bag essentials.

I’m sure you guys are used to the beach bag posts that roll around every summer… but most of the time, they’re all the same thing. Of course everyone knows they need to pack sunscreen, a floppy hat, something to read, and an Insta-worthy coverup. Anyone who has ever gone to the beach knows what essentials they need…and if you forget something important one day, you’ll always remember it in the future.

But these beach bag essentials aren’t always no-brainers. As you find yourself throwing all of your typical must haves in your bag, think of this list – because after doing some hard research (aka sitting on the beach and thinking about what else I wish I would’ve had in my beach bag), these are things that rarely ever made it into my bag before but are now real essentials that I don’t think I can live without if I find myself spending a day on the beach.

Beach Bag essentials

(PS – think this doesn’t apply to you if you don’t have a beach day scheduled in the near future? Think again! I highly recommend that you find a free day and treat yourself to a day in the sun – grab some friends and hit up the nearest beach/lake/pool, because you deserve some much needed R+R.) 

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Super Hydrating Moisturizer

My new favorite moisturizer is from Clinique – I grabbed the small size of the Dramatically Different Hydrating Gel, and I loved it so much that I picked it up in the larger size as well. While you should constantly be applying sunscreen to your face, it doesn’t always come in the most hydrating formula. I started alternating my SPF with my moisturizer throughout the day, and it made my skin feel so much relief from sun exposure. This little tube is small enough to through into your bag, and it gives your skin a much needed dose of moisture while you sit in the sun all day. And if you feel your skin getting burned, the thing that it needs most is moisture – so start hydrating asap!

Find it here.

SPF Lip Balm

I’m not sure if I was the only one not on this SPF lip balm board, but after my lips got burned on a day trip to the beach a few weeks ago, I’ll never hit the beach without it again. I’ve never experienced sunburn on my lips…and let me tell you, it was not a good time. My lips were dry and chapped for the next week, and my usual vaseline wasn’t doing much to help the burn itself. To avoid this altogether, prevent sunburned lips with chapstick that comes with SPF. And if you’re reading this like, Sarah, I’ve used this my entire life and I can’t believe you haven’t before, I say good for you! And if you’re like me and you haven’t used it before, save yourself and your lips and get some right now.

Find it here.

Conditioner

This was something I didn’t bring but wish I had. As much as I love lounging in the sand and soaking up the sun, I love being in the waves, too. But I don’t love getting out and having my hair feel sticky and sandy and knotted. I would throw a travel size tube of conditioner in my bag to smooth in my hair after getting out of the waves, which would make it easier to manage and not feel icky (all other curly girls out there reading this would understand 🙋🏻).

Find my favorite travel size conditioner here.

Coconut Oil

I don’t need to explain to you how popular coconut oil is right now, because if you have a social media account or use the internet, you just know. BUT, if you want to save some space in your bag, coconut oil can replace both the conditioner and the moisturizer. This double duty product will make your skin and hair moisturized, and it’ll be less for you to carry, too. 😉

Find a beach bag appropriate size here.

Baby Wipes

Like the conditioner, this is something I thought of after being on the beach. Like I said before, I love being in the waves, but I’m not too crazy about my skin feeling sticky and salty as I dry off. I love the sand, but I don’t love when sand sticks to any part of my body other than my feet. A quick fix? Baby wipes! Grab some basic baby wipes and throw them in your bag – that way when you feel sticky, a quick swipe down will have your skin feeling clean and refreshed (just don’t forget to reapply your sunscreen after!).

Find it here.

Polarized Sunglasses

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Last but not least, you gotta protect your eyes. Ever leave the beach with your eyes feeling tired and itchy and burned? It’s possible! Take the risk of getting a sunglass tan on your face and protect your eyes (just apply extra SPF to your face to avoid funky lines). The best way to go is to make sure you’re buying sunglasses that have UV protection – aka polarized lenses. These have a special coating on the lens that reduces glare and lets you see better while protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays. Your eyes are sensitive, and you should be protecting them any way you can, especially if you’re spending all day under the sun.

Find cute and protective pairs here, here and here. 

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There you have it! My not so average beach bag essentials. Do you have anything you throw in your beach bag that isn’t a typical beach must have? Let me know in the comments below! And like I said before – get yourself somewhere sunny and warm ASAP, girl. You deserve it. 😎

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My Go-To Long Lasting Summer Makeup Routine

Happy third day of summer! I’m super excited that we’re officially getting into the swing of my second favorite season (fall takes the cake), so I figured it was time for a fun lil’ seasonal makeup routine for ya.

Let me give you a rundown. I’m a fan of a natural but high coverage makeup look. I’ve got a decent amount of redness on my face, so I like to cover that ish up as much as possible (without looking cakey). I also have oily skin, so when you mix that with the inevitable sweat that comes with hot and humid summer days, I need alllll the coverage I can get.

I’ve been wearing this makeup look almost ever since I’ve been home from college, and I can confirm that this stays in place – from brunching to working to sipping on all the refreshing summer drinks, this is my go-to look because it actually works. No bs here, gals.

So without further ado, here’s my long lasting go to summer makeup look!

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Foundation | Revlon Color Stay

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This has been my favorite foundation for years – and when Revlon finally started packaging it with a pump, I couldn’t be happier! I put on two thin layers of this using my Real Techniques sponge, and it provides a solid base for the rest of my makeup. The redness in my cheeks doesn’t peek through, and it does a fairly good job of covering up any acne I do have (along with my pesky acne scars). While this is a fuller coverage foundation, I don’t think it feels too heavy or cakey – it provides the perfect amount of coverage, and it has SPF in it. Win-win, amiright??

Concealer | Tarte Shape Tape
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I talked about this life changing concealer in a previous review, and I’m still convinced Tarte put straight up magic in a tube. I use this to spot conceal and to highlight the high points of my face (chin, nose, middle of my forehand and under my eyes) and this stuff seriously makes my pores disappear. I highly recommend you set this concealer (especially under your eyes) because since it is so high coverage, there’s a good chance the sweat and oils on your face will make it crease or break up. But once you get this bad boy set in place, it won’t budge and your face will look ~flawless~ all day.

Powder | Maybelline Master Fix

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I had been wanting to try out a loose powder for some time, and I was pleasantly surprised when I picked this up from the drugstore. Once you sweep this across your face, it somehow makes your pores disappear and gives you such a gorgeous, flawless finish. And since this particular powder is translucent, you can add more as needed throughout the day and it won’t cake up or build up.

Bronzer | Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer

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Guys, I’ve raved about this before and I still think it’s the greatest thing ever. Since I’m sure you’re no stranger to the hype, I’ll keep this one short and sweet. This is literally my all time favorite bronzer, and the scent is the literal embodiment of summer. (But if you’re interested in reading my full opinion, find it here!)

Highlight | Becca Moonstone + L’oreal Lumi Rose Gold

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If you’re a regular around here, you’ll know how important highlight is to me. And since everything I’ve put on my face so far is fairly matte, I put on not one, but two highlighters. First, I swipe my L’oreal across my entire cheek and up in a “C” shape above my eye. You’ll notice that I don’t use blush – I don’t need to add any more color to my already flushed cheeks. Instead, I love that this highlight is in the rose gold shade – it adds the tiniest amount of golden pink to my cheek to makeup up for the lack of blush. Then I take my Becca highlight in Moonstone (with my Real Techniques contouring brush because the shape is literally perf for highlighting) and hit the very tops of my cheekbones where highlight typically goes. And with that, I’ve got a bangin’ highlight that has me glowing to the gods. ✨✨✨

Brows | L’oreal Brow Stylist Definer

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This brow product is seriously my favorite thing ever. I bought the Anastasia Brow Wiz and I was extremely unimpressed. I was so disappointed because this product gets so much hype, and it just didn’t work for me. I didn’t like how thick the pencil actually was – I felt like I had no control over where the product was going. It didn’t take long before I was back with my L’oreal pencil,  because this one truly is my ride or die.

Eyes | Too Faced Natural Eyes+ Revlon Color Stay + Maybelline Lash Sensational

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I keep my eyes pretty simple. I layer the three brown matte shades in the Too Faced Natural Eyes palette (going from light to dark, and keeping the darkest color concentrated in the outer corner of my eye) and I finish off by using my finger to put this cream Revlon eye shadow all over my lid. I love the sparkly finish, and the cream shadow adds some excitement to the otherwise neutral look.

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As for mascara, I’m still on the struggle bus. My all time favorite mascara is IT Cosmetic’s Superhero mascara, because that thing does wonders for my eyelashes. But as much as I love that, I also love finding affordable products, too. I’ve been back and forth with some mascaras at the drugstore, like the Maybelline Lash Sensational and L’oreal’s new Volume Paradise (I wanted this one because it looks like a dupe for the Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara). But honestly, neither of them come to close to how amazing the Superhero mascara is. I already know i’ll be making a stop by Ulta soon to pick it up, because I haven’t found anything at the drugstore that’s as good as that one.

Lips | Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink

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Okay, now THIS is what I’ve been waiting to tell you all about. I received these Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink lippes from Influenster, and I am CRAZY impressed by the results. The packaging says these give you 16 hours of wear, and I’m surprised to say that I agree! Once you put this on, it does not budge. I brunched in this, I had a full day out and about, and I had a waitressing shift in the evening – and my lipstick looked just like it did when I put in on in the morning. It literally stains your lips – and it takes a bit of effort to actually get it off. My one complaint is that this formula never dried down to be fully matte – it felt a bit sticky all day. But if you need a long lasting lippie and are willing to deal with a bit of a sticky formula, you will love this because it actually does work. I’m not kidding you – go out and try it for yourself!

*I received these products free from Influenster for the sole purpose of testing and reviewing and all opinions are my own. 

Setting Spray | L’Oreal Infallible Makeup Extender

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And to finish it all off – setting spray! This part of the makeup routine is essential if you want everything on your face to stay put. When I spray this all over my face, I know it’ll last from the time I put it on to when I’m ready to remove everything at night. When I’m laying in bed at the end of the night, sending out Snapchats before I go to bed and before I’ve taken off my makeup, I’m always surprised by how good it still looks. And while I do have some noticeable creasing from oil, I know that’s pretty unavoidable since my skin is hella oily (and humidity doesn’t help that). But if you’re trying to make your makeup last all day, this step is vital for ya!

Voila – there you have it! A makeup look that’ll stay locked in place for ya.

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Let me know your favorite way to make your makeup last during the summer – and if you’ve got any current favorite products you’re loving, drop ’em in the comments below!

 

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“Good things come to those who hustle.”

Good things come to those who hustle. 

This quote speaks to me.

This has been on my mind recently, and it can’t be more true.

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I’ve been trying to figure out the whole point of my blog – obviously I created this platform because I wanted to and because I genuinely like writing and telling stories. But as I start to delve into taking blogging seriously, it’s daunting. Sure, it’s fun to write posts and be creative. But there’s a whole other side to blogging, and it’s one that most people don’t see.

It’s hours put into social media, to make yourself accessible to readers and to grow your audience. It’s engaging with other bloggers to try and make connections and internet friends. It’s researching ways to make content that people actually want to read – and researching ways to get people to commit to reading a full post. And then there’s the comparison trap – you see other bloggers like you and you compare everything you do to them, and wonder what you can do to get to the next level.

And honestly? It’s daunting. But it’s also fun. And nothing is more rewarding than smashing a goal you have and exceeding your own expectations.

That’s where this whole “good things come to those who hustle” thing comes in. I wholeheartedly believe that passion and drive will always set you apart from other people – it’s easy to see when people care about the work they do. No matter what you like to do, whether it’s blogging or photography or athletics or academics, if you hustle hard for it, people will notice that and appreciate it.

So I’m making it my goal to focus on the hustle – and I think you should too. It’s easy to sit back and wish for something and hope that it’ll just fall into your lap. But where’s the fun in that?

To work for something, and then to actually achieve it, is the greatest feeling in the world. Good things will come to those who hustle for it.

I got a canvas with this quote on it as a gift (from the ultimate hustler/girlboss Erica over at Coming Up Roses – and I’m sure you know her by now) and it’s the perfect daily reminder. It fits in perfectly with my other pieces that I put together to create somewhat of a gallery wall in my dorm room, and it’s perfect!

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It’s a great way to remind myself that hustling hard now will pay off in the long run – and I want you to think the same thing.

Hustle hard so that you make yourself proud. That’s the most important thing, right?

Nothing feels better than accomplishing something you’ve been working for – and the more you do it, the more you’ll feel ready and prepared to tackle your next big goal. I can promise you that. 😊

What are you hustling for? Let me know in the comments below!

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Friday Faves | 6.16.17

Happy Friday! It’s been a minute since I’ve done a Friday Faves around here (more like three months..but who’s counting, amiright?). I’ve had a lot of time to find myself some new faves, and I’m so excited to share them with you! (Spoiler alert: it’s about to give you some major summer feels! ☀️)

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One piece swimsuits

Guys, I am alllll about one pieces this summer. Let me give you a background. I used to be v anti one pieces, because I felt that wearing one was admitting you didn’t look good in a two piece. I was never 100% confident in my two piece bikinis, but I wore them anyway just to prove that I could wear them, ya feel me? I’m planning on writing a more in depth piece about my favorite one pieces and why you gotta find your confidence in a swim suit, so stay tuned for that. 😉 But ANYWAY, now I don’t care what people think about my swimsuit (bc that’s a waste of my time) and one pieces are trendy again, so you best believe I got one from Aerie as soon as I got my first paycheck this summer. Not only are one pieces SO flattering, they’re just as cute as a two piece. And, when my family goes to the beach every summer, we stay at a condominium complex with an outdoor bar and grill, so I can eat my fries on the beach with NO bloating fears. BLESS.

Obnoxious pool toys

What kind of basic would I be if I didn’t give my swan floatie a shoutout?? I got this swan floatie from Aerie when I got my one piece, and I’m obsessed.

Channeling my inner Taylor Swift ☀️

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Taylor Swift would be so proud! My friend Meredith has a donut, and you can image our freak out session when we blew them up for our photoshoot. It’s the cutest pool accessory, and I’m so excited to spend my summer floating around my pool in my swan. I’m feeling like I might cave in and get myself another one, just because I’m so dang obsessed. Floating avocados, anyone?? 🥑🥑🥑

Lavender

Didja know that lavender is more than a nice scent? This essential oil has so many uses, and I might just write a post about how lavender can change your life. I use the oil at school when I’m stressed out or can’t sleep, and it truly does make me feel calmer as I smell it. But after some researching, I’ve also learned that lavender oil can help fade acne scarring (holla @ that), and you can steep it in tea for a fun twist on your plain drink.

But most exciting for me was my frozen lavender rose lemonade from my favorite local coffee shop, Four Twelve. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know how much I’m obsessed (because I’m literally there all. the. time.) I found a copy cat recipe for you here, and I’m not kidding when I say this WILL change your life. You need to make this, and you will understand why I’m so obsessed.

Pineapples

I know what you’re thinking: I’m not the first here to announce my love for pineapples. They’re one of the trendiest things this summer, so I won’t bore you with why I’m obsessed – I’m sure you can figure that one out for yourself. But my mom picked up this shirt from Target, and I already know it’s going to be my go-to comfy tee to wear this summer. Paired with denim shorts and cute sandals, it’s literally my definition of the perfect summer outfit. What is it about fruit that makes it so cute and Instagram worthy? If you have an idea, lmk in the comments below, because I am SO guilty. 🍍🙋🏻

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SheIn

SheIn is my latest shopping addiction, thanks to my friend/former boss Erica. I was hesitant to try it out, because they offer super trendy clothing for incredibly low prices, which seemed too good to be true. But I ended up giving it a try, and I was so impressed! I bought this dress below for $17…how crazy is that??

"Wishing I was brunching and shopping instead of studying for finals" – a memoir

A post shared by Sarah Hanlon (@sarahhanlon_) on

While it is scary to buy from an online retailer not based in the United States, in my experience (and after reading countless reviews online), I think SheIn is worth it. You definitely have to read the reviews of the item you want to purchase. People leave honest reviews saying whether or not the item is worth the purchase, and many post pictures as well so you can see what the product looks like in real life. While you do get what you pay for, I was so happy with my dress! I’m planning another purchase from SheIn now, because I’m cool with paying lower prices for trendier clothes since they probably won’t last me as long as a good basic piece (you can read more about that in my previous post). I’m so happy I took the leap and shopped there, because they have such cute clothes that I’m sure you’ll love, too.

Scandal

I had to throw this one in here! I’ve been watching Scandal NONSTOP since I’ve been home for summer, and it makes me want to change my major to Political Science so I can be Olivia Pope. The newest season (season six) comes to Netflix today, and even though I’m only in the middle of season five, I’m so excited to be caught up! Kerry Washington is all the goals and gives me all the boss feels, and in typical Shonda Rhimes fashion, once you start this show, you just can’t stop. If you’re in need of a good show to binge, I highly recommend this one if you haven’t seen it already.

What are you current faves? I’d love to hear! Let me know in the comments below.

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A College Girl’s Guide to Filling Your Closet on a Budget

If you’ve read even one of my posts, it probably isn’t hard for you to figure out that I have a slight shopping addiction.

I love shopping. I shop far more than I should, but I just can’t help it – I love fashion, I love new clothes, and I love blogging about it!

But as a college student, shopping is hard. So is filling your closet. I work during the summer, but I don’t have time to work during the school year. So when all of my income sources stop when September rolls around, I have to be smart about the purchases I make.

That’s what I’m talking about today: a college girl’s guide to filling your closet on a budget. I feel like my closet is always expanding, and between my limited closet space at school and my limited bank account, I need to be smart about buying – and I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about. Here some easy ways to fill your closet efficiently and without breaking the bank.

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Splurge on basics, save on trends

This is so important: don’t spend lots of money on trends..because they’re “trendy” for a reason. Trends come and go, and if you buy the cutest pieces each season, you’ll find yourself throwing them in the back of your closet when you don’t want to wear them anymore. And when you’re a college fashionista on a budget, you simply can’t afford to do that.

Look at it this way: ruffle off the shoulder tops are trendy right now. You could spend $30 on one top…or you could spend $30 on a basic but versatile top that you could get use of all year round, while your ruffle top would sit in your closet for the majority of the year.

Your basics are the glue that holds your entire wardrobe together. If you don’t invest in quality pieces, your wardrobe will fall apart.

I’d consider this lace romper I’m wearing to be “trendy” – I probably won’t be wearing it two summers from now. But I scored it for only $3…so whether I wear it once or five times or every other day this summer and then never again, it will have served me well for the price. I splurged on this necklace from J. Crew (which is sadly out of stock now), but it’s my second fave necklace to wear (besides my monogram), so it’s a worthwhile purchase on a basic item.

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Shop out of season

Story time: last December, my internship boss/lady boss role model Erica invited me on a press trip with her to Mexico. While I was home from school for winter break I began to pack…and I quickly realized I left all of my summer clothes at school. Every tank top, every sundress, every pair of shorts, every romper, all of my sandals...literally everything. My mom and I found ourselves diving into all of the clearance racks at Kohl’s and Target, searching for anything that was Mexico-worthy. To my surprise, I found so many great summery pieces that were on super sale (and some were from Lauren Conrad’s Runway collection…and y’all can just guess how happy that made me).

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And this romper? I got it in January too. If you shop out of season, you will find crazy amazing deals and you’ll fill your wardrobe in no time.

Scour the sale rack

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Remember how I said this romper was $3? I got it from a department store called Peebles  as it was closing – they had sales up to 80% and 90% off, and while I never really shopped there before, my friends and I scoured the sale racks and found gold!

Don’t be afraid to dig for what you want – if you’re out shopping, there’s no harm in throwing yourself into a sale rack, because you never know what you’ll find. The same goes for thrifting. I was never too fond of the whole idea of thrifting, but on my first time I got TWO Ralph Lauren tops for only $20. Insane, right?? When it comes to filling your closet, sales are your saving grace. Take advantage of them, because saving money while still shopping is the dream, amiright?

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Take advantage of discounts

We all know that so many stores offer discounts for signing up for their email alerts – and even though the endless emails do get annoying, the constant sale alerts come in ~clutch~. If you can deal with the constant messages from your favorite stores, this is such a good idea. (Pro tip: create a separate email account just for your shopping emails. It may be extra, but it’s a great way to separate your important emails from your shopping emails.)

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But being a college student also has shopping perks: so many stores also offer student discounts! This Her Campus article offers 36 stores that’ll give you a discount just for being a student. #Win

Find your style and buy what you love

When I was in ninth grade, I really wanted a pair of combat boots because they were “cool”. I got a pair, but I only ended up wearing them a few times. Why? They were absolutely NOT my style. Even though my style at the time was not nearly as defined as it is now, combat boots were not fitting for me. I wanted them because everyone else was wearing them – but they ended up just taking up space in my closet.

When it comes to buying clothes, buy them because you want to, not because someone else says that’s what’s trendy at the moment. The more you love the clothes you buy, the more confident you’ll be. And when it comes to being “fashionable”, having confidence in the way you dress yourself is the most important thing.

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How do you like to fill your closet on a budget? I’d love to know – let me know in the comments below!

P.S. – I was so excited to share these photos with you because one of my amazing friends Baylee took them for me! We had such a fun time shooting this post, and I’m SO impressed by the results. Check out her photography here!

P.P.S. – Clearly I’m still trying to work out my posting schedule..it’s definitely a work in process! Bear with me and I’ll have that figured out asap. 😉

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Six Ways to Increase Your Hustle This Summer

Let me start off by saying I had a big blogging FAIL this week – last Thursday I promised to have posts every Monday and Thursday…and here I am on a Tuesday, finishing up my first post of the week. WOMP.

I will say, I was feeling a bit under the weather yesterday (and since I work two jobs from Wednesday-Sunday, Monday and Tuesday are my “weekend days”) and I spent all day on the couch, binge-watching Scandal. It was glorious.

So it might be a little surprising that today I’m talking about maximizing your hustle this summer. But, hear me out – I’m a believer in the idea that you need a cheat day every once in a while if you want to achieve peak productivity mode. And as much as you want to spend every day lounging by the pool, summer is a great time to get ahead and work hard (because you’ve gotta pay for school books and your shopping addiction, amiright??). So in the spirit of doing #werk, here are six ways to increase your hustle this summer.

6 ways to increase your hustle this summer

Write it all down

Okay, you might be thinking, “Write what down?” My answer: everything. Write down your daily goals, your weekly goals, and your goals for the summer. Write down how you plan on doing it. Write down your ideas, and write down why they’ll work or what you need to tweak to make it work. Writing things down will hold you accountable for getting them done. Not only will it increase your productivity, it’ll make you feel good for doing things you might not have time to focus on when you’re in school.

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Let yourself get inspired by the small things

If you were to take a look at my room (at home and at school), you’ll see tidbits of life inspo EVERYWHERE. I’ve got all the cute mugs, Pinterest-inspired wall decor, hand-written motivational notes scattered in random places, and a laptop background that makes me want to get ish done. That’s how I get myself inspired – I have no shame in buying things that make me feel like a boss. Why? That makes me act like a boss in return. Now, there’s only so much a coffee mug can do. You have to supply the hustle yourself. But if a pencil that says “Always On Point” will make you feel more inspired to be productive, I’m all for it. (And yes, that pencil does exist, I have it myself, and I am completely obsessed and you definitely need it in your life.)

Get a job (or two)

As much as I may groan about it, working two jobs is a blessing. First of all, it gives you something to do. Laying around and doing nothing is nice for the first few days of your summer vacation…until boredom strikes, that is. As much as we may complain about having to go to work, it’s better than sitting around home doing nothing. And like I mentioned before, college isn’t cheap, and neither are the stores I like to shop at (I’m lookin’ @ you, J. Crew, Francesca’s, Kate Spade). We all need money, and having a job (or two) will give your days purpose and it’ll put money in the bank.

Working at a winery and not being able to have the wine is rough but the sunsets make up for it 🌅

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Plan, plan, plan, and then plan some more

Get inspired to hustle by envisioning what you want your future to look like. So far this summer, I’ve planned out things for the upcoming fall semester, I’ve scoped out fall internships, and I’ve even looked into summer internships for next year. I’ve got plans for my blog, and I’ve got plans for things I want to do this summer. Getting a plan in place ignites a fire in you to work to get it done – and it’ll make you excited for the fabulous things to come for you in the future.

Allow yourself a cheat day

I mentioned this earlier – a cheat day once in a while is so necessary. If you push yourself to your limit every day, you will experience burnout. And, let’s get real, no one wants to be burnt out, especially during the summer. And if you’re lucky enough to still be a student who still has their summers off, you better make the most out of it! Lady bosses who hustle need time to rejuvenate and rest up to keep the fuel to their fire going. Whether your idea of a perfect cheat day involves binge watching your favorite show, laying out on a beach, or diving into a stack of books you’ve been meaning to read, do it and enjoy every second of it. It’ll make you motivated and ready to keep hustling the next day.

Put yourself first

If it’s not going to benefit you in the long run, what’s the point of even doing it? Don’t forget that you’re allowed to take charge of your life and the things you put time and energy in to – and if you feel like it’s not benefitting you or fulfilling you, there’s absolutely no reason to do it. If I felt like blogging was a burden, I wouldn’t be putting in the effort into it every week – because that would just be a waste of my time! But, because I love it and I love the work that goes into it, I don’t mind setting aside time to make it happen. That’s my advice to you: if you don’t like something you’re doing or it doesn’t seem like a valid use of your time, don’t do it. I’m sure there are plenty of other things you could be doing instead. Always put yourself first – you’re worth it.

How are you finding ways to increase your hustle this summer? I’d love to hear – let me know in the comments below!

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