Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Tips To Organizing Your Agenda

I use my agenda religiously while at school. I honestly think it helps me stay sane. When I was in elementary school, we were required to use the school’s provided planner to copy down our homework from the board. WE would usually get our planner about one or two weeks into school and I would get SO excited to see what they looked like every year. I know, I was nerdy from the beginning. 13 years later, I like to think I have mastered the art of using a planner. So I’m here to share my insight with you!

1. Use your planner! You can’t expect to stay on top of all your classes, assignments, meetings, holidays, application due dates and everything else happening in your little world if you don’t have one place to look. A planner will make it 10X easier to stay on top of these tasks!

2. Color code, color code, color code- I like to color code by class. In the beginning of the semester, I decide which color is going to represent each class (ex. French-pink, Environmental Science- green, Public Speaking- blue…). I make a little key on a sticky note and stick in on the inside of my planner so I can refer back to it in the beginning of the semester until I have it memorized! I assign a different color to each class and then I usually use black for extracurricular/ meetings so that way they pop out.

3. Use a paper clip to mark the week- I always use a paper clip or a binder clip to mark where I am in my planner so I can quickly turn to the page. I clip the paper clip so I can quickly flip to the exact page I’m on as well as the monthly overview.

4. Use the monthly overview- Here, I write down events far in advance, vacations, days off of school/ class, midterm/ exam dates, application due dates, as well as monthly goals which I write in the corner or somewhere on the page so I’m reminded daily what I need to be focusing on that month.

5. Spilt your day into two- I literally draw a line down the center of my day, however if you don’t want to do that you can draw a little box on that day. On one half of the day I write down all the homework I find out that day that needs to be done, on the other side I have written down what’s DUE that day. So when I find out the date something is due I immediately go to the day it’s due and write it on half of the page. This allows you to glance ahead at the next few days and look and see what due date’s are coming up while looking at the homework you got assigned that day. The second I get the syllabus I go through and write down all the important due dates of all the assignments, that way it will be in my planner weeks before it’s due.

6. Use the notes section- In the notes section I have a small section for each class. When I get the syllabus I make sure that I write down all of the professors emails/ contact info as well as their office hours so I always have that essential information available. At the beginning of the semester, you get assigned so many user names and passwords. While I wouldn’t necessarily write down my passwords in my notes section, just in case you were to ever lose your planner, but I would write down all your usernames if they change from website to website.

7. Post-it notes are your best friends- Everyday after classes and when I sit down and to start my homework or even throughout the day, I form a to-do list of things I hope to get done that day. I try to make it realistic, and list the things that need to be done at the top. I am someone who lives to cross things off of my to-do lists so this really helps me. After the day end,s I can either throw away the note or leave it there to finish the things I didn't get to the next day!

8. Make it habit- Sometimes it takes effort to pull out your planner during class and write something down that you “know” you’ll remember. But ALWAYS write it down even if you think you’ll remember because mistakes happen, and we’re all human and you might forget!

9. Bring it with you- It does absolutely no good if you buy a planner and it sits in your dorm room in a drawer in your desk! I made sure I constantly had my planner in my backpack that way when anything came up I could quickly pull it out. This was also super helpful when it came to meeting with professors. Often times I would get emails from them asking what time I could meet with them and I was able to quickly look at my schedule because I had my planner with me.

10. Write in encouragement- Before I started school last year I went through my planner and jotted down some of my favorite inspirational quotes on random days. They always seemed to land on the perfect day and just added a just another way I could incorporate all the quotes that I love! Another tip I would suggest is writing in goals. The more you see your goals written down serves as encouragement to achieve them.  

Written by Shannon of Prep Avenue

Monday, September 15, 2014

A Healthier Approach to Tailgate Food

One of my favorite things about football season, aside from the actual games of course, is the tailgate food. Typically I pile my plate with as many munchies as I can, not even coming close to thinking about how many calories I'm taking in or fat grams I'm consuming. Since I'm on this real health kick lately, and so far it's working out pretty well, I decided to bring in a friend who knows her stuff when it comes to living Healthfully Ever After. Blogger and registered dietitian nutritionist, Carlene Thomas RDN, LD, is guest posting today on First Impressions. Carlene shares some of her healthier game day recipes, that don't compromise on taste, but leave you feeling better about those tailgate must haves on game day.

Tailgating is the culinary and social peak of fall in many areas. In the South they bring out the team color game day dresses and corn-hole. In the Midwest the brews are chilling with fresh sausages. But wherever you're living, what could be better than ahealthy tailgating recipe for a dip and a cocktail to kick off the season?

When Kristyn asked me to guest post on this topic, it was the perfect fit. SO many of my clients come to me unsure of how to 'survive' party and tailgate season. In fact, the Calorie Control Council estimates that the average football fan consumes an average of 1,200 calories and 50 grams of fat from game day snacks alone, with an average weight gain of 10 pounds per football season. That's insane. And USDA reports people actually eat more on Super Bowl Sunday than any other day of the year. Thanksgiving included.

So let's take a look at some of those typical tailgate foods:
* Philly Cheesesteak: 1200 calories
* Wisconsin Beer Brats: 516 calories
* Chicken Wings: 220 calories (in 3 wings WITHOUT DIP!)
* Pigs in a Blanket: 410 calories ( for 5 pieces)

Yikes. While these numbers may surprise you, I never tell clients they 'can't' eat this kind of food. The only thing that does is lead to guilt, cravings and just more stupid rules. The bottom line is celebration food is all about quality and moderation. Does it really taste good? How much are you eating? What does the rest of the day look like nutrition wise? And of course, are there better options that would make you just as happy?

Today I'm sharing two easy swaps you can take to tailgating. The first is a lighter cocktail. By creating a spritzer with seltzer/club soda, you're keeping the carbonation you're used to with soda mixers, but for zero calories! The dip is a play on buffalo chicken dip. Because a typical dip like that contains ranch dressing, cream cheese, sour cream and a few types of shredded cheese, it got a major make over in a smart, high protein, low fat way. 

Apple Cider Spritzer

for each drink:
  • Add 1 shot of bourbon or whiskey
  • 4 ounces of apple cider
  • 4 ounces of seltzer water/club soda

Stir to combine or pre-mix a big batch of cider and liquor, and top with bubbles on site!

High Protein Buffalo "Chicken" Dip
  • 20 ounces soft tofu 
  • 1/2 hot sauce
  • 2 T ranch dressing powder
  • 3/4 C extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded 
Drain tofu and break into crumbles with a fork. If you want your dip super smooth, throw it in a blender with the hot sauce, or swap soft tofu for 'silken' tofu. Mix in the hot sauce and ranch dressing powder. Divide the cheese in half and mix half into the tofu and top tofu in a baking dish with the remainder of the cheese. Bake at 375 F for 15 minutes until bubbling. Finish in the broiler to get the top layer extra melty.


Carlene Thomas RDN, LD is a registered dietitian nutritionist in Northern Virginia. Her business, Healthfully Ever After LLC focuses on wedding wellness: helping brides be happier and healthier before and beyond saying "I do." She also spends her time in the communications world, food styling and testing recipes. Carlene is a frequent social media user and her blog of the same name (Healthfully Ever After) provides healthy recipes for readers. She has been featured in Southern Weddings, The Knot, Washingtonian, Virginia Bride, Buzz Feed Food, Style Me Pretty, Glitter Guide and more.

Keep up with Carlene via TwitterInstagram and Facebook!

Written by Kristyn of First Impressions

Friday, September 12, 2014

Fashion Friday: Easy Fall Style

Distressed Denim // White Silk Top (this is one is almost identical to the one I'm wearing, and $20 cheaper) // T + J Designs Necklace // Tory Burch Tote (this is the same tote in the square shape! Per usual, it's cheaper than the one shown!) // Leopard Flats (similar)

I love easy.  That's the best way to describe this fall outfit.  Soft denim + pop of color + pop of animal print = fall fashion perfection.  I love that this outfit is really just a top and jeans with a few extra pieces to make it look chic.  You could throw this together in 5 minutes and look like you tried! ;)  My favorite parts of this outfit are the jeans and shoes.  I swear to you these jeans are so comfortable.  I honestly feel like I'm wearing sweatpants...but I look way more put together!  

Then there are the shoes.  I used to be very against animal print.  It just wasn't my style.  However, I've been trying to broaden my horizons and experimenting with tiny pops of animal print!  My mom got me these for Christmas last year, and although I was hesitant before, I'm in love with them now!  They are basically a neutral, so adding them to any outfit gives it a little something extra.  I'm excited for it to get cool enough that I can wear closed toed shoes all day!

Written by Robin of Living Colorfully

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Weekly (Gym) Workout Routine "Fit" For a College Girl

Lately I have had an increased number of emails based solely upon fitness and what I do to stay in shape. After responding to the emails I figured this would be perfect for a post idea! While I am definitely working to become more fit and have been frequenting the gym a decent bit since the end of summer I am hoping my efforts pay off in order to get back into a daily gym schedule upon returning back to school!

I find working out easier when I have a daily schedule. 

Above are some of my gym necessities! Fortunately, this photo was taken right before I got new running shoes! The ones shown above are the Brooks Ghost 6 (so comfortable and great if you have high arches like me) and I recently snagged the Brooks Ghost 7 (an updated version of what I previously had, I have it in silver/mulberry).

For me, exercising is a great and productive way to take a study break! I tend to either take a run around the lake or head to the gym!

If you don't have a gym to go to I have some great at home workouts on my get fit pinterest board!
I also adore watching youtube video workouts! My favorite is blogilates!

Behold, my week of college workouts!

Call me crazy, but I prefer to do squat workouts in my dorm room as opposed to in the gym!
Sometimes, I mix up which days I do each exercise but this is a great way to hit everything in the week! I am also a huge fan of intervals and increased resistance or incline to get more accomplished in a shorter amount of time!

What are some of your favorite workouts?

Written by Dorothy from Prep In Your Step

Monday, September 8, 2014


Hey y'all! I have a ton of grad parties to be going to this year (all my babies are graduating *cue the tears) so that could be expensive. However, depending on how well I know the person I can cut the price slightly by making the gift. These ideas also work well for other occasions such as showers or birthdays. 

1) Painted Wine/Beer Glass

Before anyone starts berating me on giving a wine or beer glass to a graduate, remember that grad gifts can be to COLLEGE graduates too. Even so, a wine or beer glass is a thoughtful way to memorialize a friendship and give an individualized gift to the person. Make it a Lilly Pulitzer print. Make it a sports team. Add a monogram. Add a college logo. And regardless of the intent, the graduate doesn't have to drink alcohol out of it.

(Lilly Pulitzer)


Here is an Intructables "How-To":

2) Elastic Hair Ties

In stores and boutiques, these hair ties (*obviously for girls!) are astronomical. Seriously. Who in their right mind pays $12 for 5 hair ties. Thats ridiculous!! Instead, at any craft store, like JoAnn Fabrics, you can buy elastic for about $2. That elastic will make you about 7-8 nicely sized hair ties. Depending on the store, elastic comes in all colors and widths. Or, you can buy all kinds of colorful elastics on Etsy.

3) Needlepoint Key Fob

They work for both guys and girls and are super popular in college for keeping track of room keys, car keys, or all-access keys. For guys, I recommend their favorite team or sport or their future school. For girls, something patterned and cute, maybe their future school, whatever they like. You can buy "step-by-step" templetes on Etsy (link below) and save a bundle.

(Smathers and Branson)

Written by Savannah of That Peachy Belle

Friday, September 5, 2014

FF: Summer to Fall Wardrobe Transition

It is starting to become that time for your summer to fall wardrobe transition. If you all spent some time shopping this weekend I am sure you saw that fall trends are quickly creeping onto the hangers. As much as I love everything summer offers, the thought of fall fashion really excites me. Deeper, richer colors, boots and layers are just a few of the things that I gravitate towards. While this outfit still is summer friendly, I picked up this swingpane tank from Anthropologie, since it will be the perfect piece to take into fall. Easily toss on a leather or moto jacket and you are ready to go. I love the shape and how bottom flows and hangs loose. I kept things easy by pairing classic white denim (while I still can), heels and a bright lip for a night out.

anthropologie swing pane tank, black and white outfit inspiration, styles, swingpane tank,

anthropologie swing pane tank, black and white outfit inspiration, styles, swingpane tank,

anthropologie swing pane tank, black and white outfit inspiration, styles, swingpane tank,

anthropologie swing pane tank, black and white outfit inspiration, styles, swingpane tank,

anthropologie swing pane tank, black and white outfit inspiration, styles, swingpane tank,

anthropologie swing pane tank, black and white outfit inspiration, styles, swingpane tank,

anthropologie swing pane tank, black and white outfit inspiration, styles, swingpane tank,

anthropologie swing pane tank, black and white outfit inspiration, styles, swingpane tank,

Top: Anthropologie // Bottoms: J.Crew // Bag: Calvin Klein // Heels: Marc Fisher, old (similar here + here) // Sunnies:Karen Walker // Lipstick: NARS "Heat Wave"

Written by Kendall of Styled Snapshots

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A Day of Healthy Meals

As I've mentioned multiple times, I've developed a healthier lifestyle. My mom buys some junk food and some healthy food, but I always ended up eating the junk food because she always bought the healthy food that I didn't like. And every single time she went to the grocery store, I was always busy so I was unable to go with her to pick out the food I wanted. So now she gives me some money and I go grocery shopping myself!

Going grocery shopping yourself truly helps because you're able to look at all of the healthy options and pick the ones that appeal to you. This is a major reason why I've been able to eat so many healthy foods. Since I've been picking out my own food, I have been searching through Pinterest lately to find some easy, fun, and delicious recipes for healthy meals.

breakfast // avocado toast with egg
I love toast, eggs, and avocado, so this meal sounds absolutely delicious to me! I've never thought of avocado as a breakfast food before, but recently I've been seeing more and more breakfast recipes involving avocado. All you have to do is toast wheat bread, spread on fresh avocado, and place two sunny side eggs on top. Sprinkle some pepper for flavoring if you'd like! This breakfast looks super filling, so I'll probably make just one half.

This recipe sounds so easy. Basically, all you have to do is grill chicken in whatever marinade you'd like and cook your favorite vegetables. Throw them in a bowl to mix them all up, and there you go! You have a yummy grilled chicken veggie bowl.

dinner // chicken salad
Chicken salad is so good yet so bad. When I found this clean eating chicken salad recipe, I freaked! I can't wait to make this for dinner. This recipe can also be used for lunch!

All of these meals can have a side of fresh fruits or vegetables. Wash them down with some delicious lemon water as well!

What do you like to eat for healthy meals?

Written by Ashley of Private School Prepster