Books on my Shelf: A Different Kind of Read

I haven’t been reading as much as I’d like to. Or blogging nearly as much as I would like to be. But I am definitely starting to get back on track…with both of those things.

That being said, this week I finished a book I’d been reading: Once Upon a Time, There Was You by Elizabeth Berg.

I picked this book up in the bargain book section of Barnes & Noble because I thought it sounded really good. And it turns out, my gut feeling was right. It was a great read.

The great thing about this book that it was so different. Berg does a great job touching upon underlying themes that she doesn’t exactly mention, but you know they’re there. You can feel them. Things like loneliness. Letting go. Lost love. Those things that everyone can relate to on some level, big or small. That’s what it was about this book that made it worth reading.

If you’re looking for something totally out of the ordinary, I’d definitely recommend this book. It’s not at all what you would expect after reading the book jacket, but it’s still a very great story.

once upon a time

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A Guide to Dorm Packing

It’s the end of the semester and that means it’s time to pack up our dorms and move out. Ugh. Packing up my dorm has never been one of my favorite tasks. Not even close. It’s actually a super annoying one because I always have so. much. stuff.
dorm
But, there are ways to make this move more bearable, belive it or not. Just follow these steps and make your dorm move-out a lot less…stressful:
1. Start as soon as possible – if you live close enough, start your dorm move out as soon as possible. I’m lucky to be close and my mom has already come and gotten a bunch of my stuff. I sent home a lot of things I no longer need here, such as extra school supplies, extra linens, winter clothing, and winter shoes. This will make my move out a lot easier as so much of that unnecessary stuff is already home. If you are able to do this, I highly recommend it.
2. Categorize things into bins – thank goodness for those big bins during college moves. Seriously, though! I like to put everything of one category into a bin, label it, and send it home thatway. For instance, I put all my school supplies into a bin, and then, when I get home and unpack it, it’s not like I’m sorting through a mod podge of anything and everything. It just makes things a million times easier for unpacking!
3. Make a list – Make a list of everything you have in your dorm to start. Then, take that list and use it to make a list of categories, placing items into broad categories that can help you separate things to pack. This will make life easier and this way, you won’t find yourself sealing up what you think is a completed bin, only later to find yourself saying “woops! I forgot about this…”..
4. Consolidate – try to consolidate things as much as you possibly can. This is definitely difficult at times, but still possible with certain items. If you have two half full baskets of toiletries and bathroom supplies, consolidate them into one just to save precious room in the car! It doesn’t seem like much but it definitely helps.
5. Be neat – instead of just throwing stuff into bins (like I know we all want to) be as neat as possible during move out. Pack things in an organized and precise manner that will make your life easier when you get home and face the monster job of unpacking.
I totally get that this is one of the most annoying parts of the college process. It’s hot, bins and bags are heavy, and if you’re anything like me, despite your greatest efforts you’ve acquired more stuff than any one person should ever own in their entire lifetime. But follow these tips, do your best, and be organized for the smoothest move out possible.

Croakies

One of the coolest and most useful accessories, in my opinion, is croakies.

I mean, they’re so useful, especially in the summer time!

In case you are unaware of what these are – they are the little things you attach to sunglasses so that you can wear them around your neck.

I recently received the best pair of croakies ever! They from a new company called Cotton Snaps and they are so great for several reasons.

First of all, they are magnetic in the back so you don’t need to pull them over your head, and rather you can just put them on like a necklace. This is so useful especially to girls because…hello!? Our hair!

Next, they are nice and thin yet still really cute. I have a pair from Marley Lilly which first of all were delivered dirty (that’s really bad business!) and also are super thick…which I don’t think is as aesthetically pleasing as thin ones.

Another big plus is that they are American made. Enough said.

Also…they’re seer sucker. Once again…enough said.

This company has a ton of really cute options for guys or girls when it comes to this adorable and awesome accessory.

These are a staple of your summer wardrobe and a necessary accessory for any pair of sunglasses.

I can’t wait to wear mine on vacation in March and all summer long!

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Stay in a Summer State of Mind

As winter is definitely in full swing, I have so often caught myself dreaming of a warm, endless summer. I hate the cold and it has been absolutely freezing out. Also, I am so sick of wearing a coat everywhere I go! I won’t even take my dogs out without one, because if I do I end up shivering uncontrollably. Yuck.

Yup, I am definitely pining for the careless days by the pool, sun-filled days on the boat, and outfits consisting of colorful J.Crew chino shorts and Jack Rogers that summer is filled with.

Too bad we still have months left of winter.

But…there is some good news. As much as we want summer to come, we can add subtle pieces of the season to our daily lives right now instead of having to wait four long months for the summer to arrive.

Although these daily additions may not make up for the fact that it is 30 degrees outside and there is snow on the ground, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t fun. Here are my favorite ways to stay in a summer state of mind all year round:

  • Bake summer treats out of season – every once in a while, I will bake recipes that are clearly made for summertime. For instance, recently I made a pink lemonade cake for someone’s birthday, and it put me in such a summery state of mind! I think my next summery baked good I’ll make will be my banana pudding cake.
  • Adding a pop of color – any outfit can use a pop of color, no matter what season! Adding some bright color to your look isn’t only fashionable, but it’s also a great way to be think warm weather and sunshine. Add in a colored statement necklace or bright nail color for some extra flair. I love OPI’s Strawberry Margarita to keep it bright.
  • Dive into a tropical book – There are so many books on my shelf that center around summer and island life. Whenever I am feeling nostalgic for summer, it is a great time to pull one of those off the shelf and get reading. Find some of my favorite tropical reads here.
  • Break out your summery accessories – Is the winter proving to be a challenge? Break out your favorite summer accessories! From my Lilly Pulitzer sunnies to my Vineyard Vines and Francesca Joy totes, using those occasionally during the winter is the best way to be reminded of great summer memories.
  • Day dream about the sun – Like I said before, I’ve been dreaming so much of the summer, beach, warmth, and the sun. And my response to that is…so what?! I can and will day dream about it as much as I want because it makes me happy. Dream about your favorite summer days and with each passing day, get more and more excited for the season to arrive.

See…there are so many ways to keep the warm season on your mind and in your life rather than just in your heart!

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Books on My Shelf: Beachy Reads

As winter is in full swing, complete with snow, ice, and frosty air, it is definitely time to read some books that put us in a summer state of mind.

I have always been drawn to books that are set in the summer, take place in a tropical location, or are written about a beach. I am just such a summer person and it definitely shows through my book preferences.

Here are some of my favorite books that all have a summery feel:

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wiggs

au pairs

barefoot

cruising

higgins

The best part about some of these books – for instance the Susan Wiggs one, Au Pairs, and Barefoot – is that they are either part of a series or the authors have written many, many books with similar feels that you can continue to read after you fall in love with the first one.

I hope you enjoy these books as much as I do and that they take the edge off the cold!

Preppy Product: Tipsy Skipper

I first heard about Tipsy Skipper last summer, and immediately fell in love with their adorable products! The patterns are cute and the products are simple, all around a great combination.

I got one of their clutches for my birthday last year and I love it. It also came packaged so adorably! I’ve also seen their flats and they are super cute as well.

One of the coolest things about these clutches it that they are customizable. You can get them monogrammed (which I love!) and also they are a popular product for bridal parties. You can even send a sample of your bridesmaids dresses to have the colors matched perfectly. Who doesn’t love an accommodating company like that? I know I do!

I’m also dying to get one of their bags, they are such a great shape and of course I love the patterns. I think I’ll have to put that one on my Christmas list!

I love the That’s a Croc pattern and it comes in a bunch of colors. Also, I have the Captain Morgan Clutch in For Sail, which is super cute.

Also, I’m completely obsessed with the new earrings that they have! So preppy, simple, and adorable!