Oh gosh. How can it already be almost the end of the semester? I am telling you — it seems like I just started college yesterday. And here I am, four years later, about to graduate in just 3 and a half short weeks. While that makes me super excited (hello, no more school!) I am also sad because the next few weeks here will be a lot of “lasts” in a place where I had so many “firsts”. I met my husband here, met some of my closest friends, adopted my sweet kitty, pulled many an all-nighter and discovered that I am not immune to “college kid syndrome”. Here are 8 tips for college seniors and late night studiers to get you through the next few weeks (no matter what semester you are in/also these work for my #girlbosses who are working tirelessly to reach their goals).
This post is sponsored by Rohto Eye Drops. All opinions are honest and my own.
Don’t let dry, red eyes show the world just how late you stayed up last night.
If you are like me, you know that staying up late (or sometimes all night) is just part of the job when it comes to being a student. But don’t let your tired eyes show just how little sleep you got. Dry eyes can be annoying and distract you from being the best student you can possibly be. That’s where Rohto Eye Drops come in.
It’s totally okay to feel like a zombie, but looking professional is important. Stay on top of looking and feeling your best with Rohto.
Don’t stop being organized.
This one is huge. I know that it is the end of the semester and you would so much rather be playing and applying for jobs and graduate school and million and one other things. But don’t get swept up and mess up your last semester. Continue taking notes, studying your tail off and finish on a high. I promise you can do it.
Spend time with your friends.
For a lot of us, this is the last time we will all be in one place (insert ugly cry here). Take time to get up early and go to breakfast with your friend, bring them a cookie from your favorite dessert shop after they’ve had a particularly rough test, or have a girls day complete with mani/pedis and facials (save money and do it at home). Life is better when you have good friends to keep you grounded. Don’t forget about them during this stressful time.
Create a career plan.
I know. I know this one is scary. BUT. I think it is important. If you don’t already have a job or internship lined up, now is the time to get cracking. Funny enough, it isn’t easy to get a job once you graduate. I always thought if I had a degree (in biochemistry, none the less) I would find it super easy to find a job in the real world. Unemployment rates for recent college graduates has doubled in the last 10 years, so I would make sure you start applying early and get those letters of recommendation going.
Realize that it’s ok if you don’t have it figured out.
^^This picture is of me, posing, not having it all figured out quite yet.^^ I know this seems totally opposite of what I just said, but remember: it is OKAY not to know what you want to do, even after you just spent thousands of dollars on a degree. Some people get to the end of their degrees and realize that this is not AT ALL what they wanted to do with their life. Education is never wasted. Find something you are good at, and figure out how to make money doing it. My goal is to have a job I LOVE doing, so it never feels like real work.
Take all the pictures.
I always feel like I never have enough pictures with my husband or my friends. I made a goal to take a million pictures this semester and I am getting close. If I didn’t take pictures, I would miss out of remembering memories like this one canoeing with my best friends this summer. I look goofy and silly in the back but we had so much fun. I love love love pictures.
In my closet, I have a memory box that I started my freshman year of college and I pulled it out the other day to look at the last four years. I’ve saved every movie stub, haunted house ticket, hospital bracelets, and cruise passes. My husband and I laughed looking back and I cried a little bit for the end of an era of life for me. Moral of the story: take pictures so you are able to look back on an amazing time in your life.
Organize your finances.
I realized that my husband and I needed to decide how much money to spend on a place to live, what our new budget would be, what new expenses we are about to incur, and tons of other financial things we need to look at. We are lucky right now to pay an embarrassingly low amount of money for rent because we live right outside of campus and being a church school, it doesn’t cost nearly as much as everywhere else in the country. We are about to get slapped in the face with reality, so we need to get ready for it.
Don’t burn yourself out.
I know you need to study and do well, but don’t forget to take part in some self-care. Being a college student (in my case, a married college student) means you have a ton of stress put on you. It seems like everyone and their mother wants to know what we are doing next, where we are going and what our five-year plan is. Breathe, take a bubble bath, pour yourself a glass of sparkling cider, and remember that you are more than just a framed degree on a wall. You are going to do AMAZING things. And if you can take a getaway weekend trip to Vegas….do it.
I hope my college ladies enjoyed these 8 tips for college seniors, and if you aren’t in college, I hope you found something useful in it, too. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’re doing as long as you are leaving wherever you are better than you left it. I like to think I made people’s lives a little bit brighter during my time here at school. I am ready for the next adventure.
Don’t forget to pick up your Rohto Eye Drops to keep yourself looking awake and alert (even if you spent 8 hours cramming last night). They’ve got you covered for dry eyes, redness and itch relief.
What started as an app that we all used to run filters over our pictures until they were almost indistinguishable and would then post to Facebook has become everyone’s favorite social channel… Instagram. It serves as a photo album where we can save our favorite images and moments for safekeepeing and sharing and allows us to connect with friends and draw inspiration from strangers all over the world.
Since we all know and love Instagram, today I’m sharing my five favorite apps for editing my Instagram photos – I use nearly all (if not all) of these for each photo that I post – they’re my tried and true, ride or die apps
The magic of Snapseed is the “selective” feature, which allows you to adjust brightness, contrast, and saturation for specific areas of your photo. This feature is especially useful for photos with mixed light or where you really want to amp up certain colors for added effect. I also really like the “vibrance” feature which really makes images pop.
2. A Color Story
The best app for filters for anyone who loves color and whimsy. VSCO has always been too “moody” for me so it was like the heaven’s opened up when I heard about A Color Story. Similar to VSCO, this app includes a few free filters and then there are additional “packs” available for purchase and all filters are adjustable. My favorite packs are Blush, Airy, and Candy Minimal.
I get asked a lot how I add the white borders to my Instagram pictures and this is the app I use to do so. It’s actually quite simple: once you’ve chosen your image, click on the icon of the square with a circle cutout on the far right, then click the same icon on the far left, then click the outlined square second from the left. Use the sliding scale to adjust the border to your preference (I set mine at 15). That’s it! This app also has some really great free filters.
This cloud app provides me easy access to my saved images from my computer. After editing photos in Lightroom on my computer, I always save to my Flickr account. It’s super simple to then download to my phone and apply any filters to post to Instagram in high-res and bonus, it acts as a backup just in case anything were to happen to my computer!
The absolute best app for previewing your Instagram feed. If you are someone who obsesses over their feed looking cohesive or keeping to a “theme”, this app will be your best friend. It allows you to play around by moving photos to different positions within the grid so that you can determine the best order for posting. It even allows you to save your captions, schedule posts, and even offers analytics! Did I mention it is free?! Love this one.
Now tell me: what is your favorite Instagram editing app?!
Happy Monday, Friends! We're back home from a fabulous time in Williamsburg, VA. The drive home yesterday was so long that we didn't get back until pretty late, so we're getting things started a little later today than usual. But today is my birthday, and I'm so excited to share this special Q&A post! Thanks so much to those of you who sent in questions. I hope y'all enjoy 😊
Why did you start blogging?
I have always had a love for fashion for as long as I can remember. I actually started my blog after I grew my Instagram account, which is opposite from the way it usually goes. I began sharing my outfits and cute purchases on my Instagram, which is when I began to gain a following. I had always wanted to start a blog, and after several people who followed my Instagram suggested that I do so and a boost of extra encouragement from Jaclyn, I started this blog. It has grown into so much more than a hobby and has brought me more opportunities, than I could ever imagine. Not to mention, it has allowed me to meet some pretty amazing people and create some special friendships along the way. It has always been and remains a creative outlet for me, which is one of the main reasons I began blogging. It started out as A Preppy State of Mind, but I re-launched it as Something Delightful in the summer of 2015. And this leads me to the next question...
What made you decide to change your blog name?
When I started this blog and gave it the name "A Preppy State of Mind", I never really asked myself if it was a name I could grow with. One of my biggest pieces of advice for someone looking to start a blog is to choose a name that you can not only grow with but can also cover all areas of life and everything you want to blog about. Once I became a mama, I knew that I wanted to incorporate so much more into my blog. My daughter is my life, and I wanted to be able to include her in my blog. My faith also plays a huge part in my life, and I knew that I wanted to incorporate more of that into my blog as well. Psalm 37:4 has always been one of my favorite verses, which is how the word "Delightful" became part of my blog name. I also became important for me to bring out the fact that everyone is different and has their own story, which makes us each unique. But in the craziness of life, there is always something delightful....something unique that sets you apart from everyone else. So while my life may be quite crazy at times, it is also pure bliss being a mama and treasuring so much that the Lord has blessed me with. I always like to say that you will be sure to find "Something Delightful" on this blog :)
What is your advice for someone wanting to start a blog?
I get this question very often and know that it would be great to do a whole post on this. First off, I'd say to start by deciding what you want to blog about whether it is fashion, travel, food, motherhood, faith, all of the above. Then, pick out a blog name that will not only cover everything you blog about but that you can also grow with. When choosing a name, think about what is important to you, what inspires you, and what is unique to you. Make your blog name so...you! My other biggest piece of advice would be to remain consistent. Decide how many days a week you want to post on your blog and what days, if possible (I know that's not always as easy to do, especially as a mama). But I truly believe that consistency is key. And lastly I'd say to enjoy it! Make sure you start it for the right reasons and always think back to those reasons if you start to feel defeated. Don't compare yourself to others...it's such a dangerous trap to fall in. And remember that you are uniquely you and bring something special to the table. It's always important to be honest as well. I know that I love to see more "behind the scenes" stuff than just pretty pictures, which is why I always try include what is going on in my life at the time. This also brings me to my next question...
How do you balance everything?
Okay this is definitely a tricky question because there is simply no science to this. Let me just say that it takes a whole lot of prayer and determination. I always remember that I am a mama and God blessed me with a precious little girl to raise and care for. Being a single mom isn't always easy, but there is always so much beauty in it. I start every day out with prayer and ask the Lord for wisdom for the day. I have gotten into a routine to where I wake up super early, way before Madeline does, to work on school or my blog. I work on assignments, posts, emails, etc. before she wakes up. I like to give her my 100%, if possible, throughout the day, so I try to only work on things while she's sleeping. Being a full time student and doing it all from home can be quite the challenge. And then running my blog is quite time consuming as well. I really should do a whole post on this and how I schedule everything out throughout the week. But let me just say that a lot of determination plays into everything. I am determined to get out of bed early every morning and get busy. I love my blog and want to continue it for as long as I can. I want my degree in HIA and am driven to work on my assignments, watch lectures, study for tests, etc. And more than anything, I want to succeed for Madeline. I want to be the example for her and provide for her. I want to show her to never give up. SO even though I may be sleep deprived (sleep is usually what I cut out of my schedule, unfortunately), I am determined to get busy every day. And with a lot of help from the Lord, I manage to figure it all out somehow :)
What do you love to do most with Madeline?
This one is pretty difficult to answer, because there is so much I enjoy doing with her. She has the cutest little personality and quite a bit of sass, which plays into everything we do. I love reading to her. She absolutely loves to be outside playing, which we do a lot of. She loves animals. And she lovessss to dance! It is the cutest thing. A song will come on the radio and you can see her dancing while strapped into her car seat haha. She loves to play ball, especially basketball. But at the same time she's such a girly girl and loves anything that I have. For instance, if I have boots on, she wants to put her boots on. It is the cutest thing! She is starting to say (or at least attempt) everything that I say now, which is so cute! It seems like she's saying a new word every day. So I could go on and on with this question. But being Madeline's mama is my favorite part of life and there's so much that I enjoy doing with her.
How do you get your waves with short hair?
I also get this question a ton! I need to get a hair tutorial together but haven't had the opportunity to do it yet. But I have found that is is best to fix my short hair when it's wet and not to let it air dry. I spray this Bumble & Bumble Surf Foam Spray (seriously the best for short hair!) and dry it with a hair dryer (this is the one I use). Then I let that set while I do my makeup. Next, I spray a little heat protectant over my hair and use this curling wand to curl it. It is a little pricey but seriously worth every penny! It comes with three different extensions, but I use the one inch straight barrel to get the waves on my short hair. After I curl it in sections, I let is set for about thirty minutes (or at least ten if I'm pressed for time) and gently separate the curls. Then I finish it off with this spray and this spray (I alternate the two since one it pricey). It takes some practice, but I promise I will get a video up with a tutorial before long.
If you could only shop at one store the rest of your life, where would it be?
Hands down Nordstrom. First of all, the customer service is awesome. I also love that there is such a wide price range to shop. I always try to stick to under $100 items, and that is so easy to do at Nordstrom. Also, I love that they price match. Lastly, they carry so many brands...even J.Crew, so I can get pretty much everything I need from there if I could only shop there for the rest of my life. They have everything I need, stuff for Madeline, beauty products, etc.
What is something unique about yourself?
Hmm, I'm not too sure about this one. I have a really random phobia. I'm deathly afraid of birds! For as long as I can remember, I have had a fear of birds and I don't know why or what started it. But I about have a heart attack if one gets close to me. I can hardly even look at pictures of them!
What camera do you use to take your pictures?
I'm currently using a Nikon D5100 body with a 100mm lens. I really don't know much about cameras at all. My Mama is a rockstar and my biggest supporter as she takes all of my blog photos! She has really figured it all out :) However, I am about to invest in a new camera body and a few new lenses! So, if y'all have any recommendations, please share!! I'm looking into a Nikon D7100, but would love to hear if any of you recommend something different. I do want to stay with a Nikon, though.
How do you stay on a healthy routine?
This one is also tricky to answer as, once again, there is no science to it. I would say to start by finding something to motivate yourself with. This started for me when I invested in a Fitbit. I was able to track my steps and compete with friends in weekly races which was so much fun! Then in no time, the baby weight started falling off! I was really motivated at this point and just kept going. Now I love to eat healthy (however, sweet are my weakness!), have completely cut out fast food (with the exception of Chick-Fil-A as I feel that you can pick healthy options there), and enjoy walking! Walking is such a stress relief for me, and Madeline loves to be outside, so we grab the stroller and head out for some fresh air.
Well, there you have it! If you made it to the end of this text-heavy post then congrats! I hope y'all enjoyed this post and thanks so much for stopping by.
Can you believe that this time next week our bellies will be full from delicious Thanksgiving meals and people will be out shopping Black Friday deals at stores all across the country?!? I am so ready for next weeks festivities and I am already mentally preparing for the Black Friday craziness! Today I wanted to share a few tips for Black Friday shopping with you all! Black Friday can be a bit overwhelming, so having a game plan for the day is key!
It is very easy to get overwhelmed and go a bit overboard when you’re out shopping (I may or may not know this from experience haha) Over the years I’ve really gotten a routine down for shopping Black Friday sales. So here’s what I do to prepare for Black Friday…
1. PLAN IT OUT | Now days most stores share a preview of their Black Friday deals online or in ads before Friday. This gives you time to scope out the deals, find the best doorbuster, and see which stores are offering the best price on items you want.
2. COMFORT IS KEY | Be sure to wear comfortable clothes and layers when you’re out shopping on Black Friday. While it may be chilly outside, the stores are typically pretty warm. Dressing in layers will keep you comfortable while outside and inside. Whenever I’m shopping on Black Friday I like to wear yoga pants, comfy tennis shoes, and a t-shirt and jacket.
3. MAKE A LIST | It’s really important to make a list before heading out that way you know exactly who you’re shopping for & what you’re buying. If there are things that you are wanting be sure to add those to the list too… this prevents unnecessary buying (aka buyer’s remorse!)
4. BRING A FRIEND (OR TWO!) | Whenever I’m shopping I like to have a friend or two with me to help me decide on purchases. We all have that friend that’s an enabler… which can be good or bad! Having someone else there that’s reasonable and realistic about purchases can be SUPER helpful too! It’s great because you each can act as the other person’s aid and ask the important questions like “will you wear/use this more than 5 times?” and “is this something you would buy at full price or only because it’s on sale today?”
5. MAKE A BUDGET…AND STICK TO IT | This is perhaps the most important tip for shopping on Black Friday. It’s so easy to think you “need” certain things because they’re on sale and get sidetracked from the items you actually came to buy. Figure out how much you want to spend on each person on you list and stick with it! You’ll feel better about keeping everything “even” for all parties involved and it’ll be nice to still have extra cash.
6. DO YOUR RESEARCH | Are the Black Friday deals really worth shopping? Are their Cyber Monday deals going to be better? Do they offer the same sales online as they do in stores? Doing a bit of research will help prevent stress on Black Friday.
7. DON’T STRESS | While Black Friday is a very large shopping holiday, it’s really just the “kickoff” of holiday shopping. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, there are still plenty more shopping days to find that perfect gift for the perfect someone.
At the end of the day, remember Black Friday is just a shopping holiday. If you don’t have anything you need, spend that time with family! Be sure to check out Life With Emily on Black Friday for the latest deals that are available in store AND on the web. I’ll have the best deals from the best stores online that are offering Black Friday deals and Cyber Monday deals early!
I hope y’all have a great weekend! Nick and I have date night tonight at one of our favorite spots. It’s a tradition I look forward to every week! The rest of the weekend we’re relaxing and finishing up our Thanksgiving menu shopping.
The calendar says October but the weekend weather was giving off some pretty serious summer vibes. 80 degrees in late October? I’ll take it! Though shooting fall outfit photos in 80 degrees did make me feel a bit silly. You look at these photos and (hopefully) think “Hey, that’s a cute fall outfit!” when in reality, I was getting a bit glisten-y under the layers. Ah, the magic of blogging…
These Winnie pants may be my favorite pants of all time. I reach for them more often than jeans and I love how comfy yet figure-flattering they are (Read: I ate a lot of tater tots this weekend), they are perfect with a blouse for work or a tee on the weekend. I first discovered the magic of Winnie pants back in college when leggings started becoming a thing again. I wasn’t big on leggings because I was terrified of the mishaps that could ensue in leggings…See-through moments, exposed underwear, the list goes on. Enter the black Winnie pant. I loved that they had the appearance of leggings but much thicker, alleviating my nightmare of the world seeing my underwear as I walk around obliviously. This navy blue pair may even be better than the black pair. It’s too close to call.
Paired with a long-sleeve striped tee and a blanket scarf-turned-shawl is the best combo for those sunny fall days where there’s just a hint of a chill in the air. And who doesn’t love a good pattern-mixing? C’mon, ‘fess up! I decided I couldn’t just stop at one plaid. Nope, we needed ALL OF THE PLAID. This Marley Lilly monogrammed plaid clutch is actually listed as a cosmetic bag but when I saw it, I knew it was meant to be mine and meant to be a clutch. Dare to dream.