Feel-Good/Motivational Playlist

Monday, June 29, 2015

I don't know how all of you have been doing lately, but I know personally that I could use a little pick-me-up. That's not to say that I've been in a sad mood, but instead that I have had nothing around me that has pushed me in any sort of way. Basically, I haven't been inspired or motivated to do anything or complete the tasks I set out for myself at the beginning of the summer - because who wants to do anything except sit around and sleep? I decided it's time I got up and back in motion, and I created this feel-good, motivational type playlist if I ever need a boost to get in that I-can-do-anything mood again. Here is my playlist...

(Feel free to save this playlist to your computer, phone, or whatever you're viewing this post from for future reference!)

What songs really get you up and motivated? I hope some of the ones I chose motivate and inspire you as well!

Links I Loved: June 2015

Friday, June 26, 2015

Ever since I left high school and began my summer, I have been on a Pinterest craze. I don't know how I managed to get so addicted all of a sudden (I've had a Pinterest account for years now), but I'm not fighting it - who would? Anyway, the variety in topics of pins I run into inspired me to create this new segment on my blog that is similar to Monthly Reading; instead of books, I will be mentioning links I discovered over the past month that were worth sharing with all of you! Without further ado, here are the top links I loved this past sunny month of June...

(All pictures taken from their given links below)
1. I don't normally like going out and getting my nails done, but this design is actually appealing enough to persuade me.

2. This cake made me stop breathing for a few seconds - yes, it looks that good.

3. I think I've finally found the perfect tote for college to replace a backpack.

4. How cute is this dorm-warming gift for my roommate?!

5. Carly (The College Prepster) wrote a book? I NEED it.

6. These annual races open early registration next week, and I'm ready to fight for a spot.

7. The Lilly Pulitzer bedding I have been wanting for my dorm has been sold out the entire month so far... the sadness is real.

8. Disney Parks foods you can make from home!

9. Can't wait to participate in one of the top Homecoming traditions in the nation in college.

What special web pages managed to catch your eye this month? Provide a link (or two, or three...) in the comments below!

How To Make Use of Your Graduation Tassels

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Almost a month ago, I walked across the stage at my high school Graduation to claim my hard-earned diploma with the biggest smile that you had probably ever seen on a person's face. At the end of the ceremony, I moved my tassel from right to left, symbolizing my new status of high school graduate. That tassel I wore has been on my cap ever since, which was tossed on a chair in my bedroom after that special night... I've been pretty lazy since I graduated if I'm being completely honest. I decided it was probably time I finally did something with all of my Graduation memorabilia. Choosing what to do with my cap, gown, and tassel already on the cap was easy; all of that stuff will be going in a shadow box. However, I face a rather odd problem - I received three tassels this year, leaving me with the tough situation of trying to figure out what to do with the other two. My club-specific tassel will most likely be hung up on the wall next to the plaques I have from various positions I served in the organization, so the only tassel I have left to decide what to do with now is my normal (non-honors) tassel. Here are some cute ideas that I found for what you can do with those leftover tassels you have too...

(Check out more of my photos here!)
1. Hang it in your car.
A very common idea that is never bad to go with - unless your car has some specific color/pattern theme. Then this may not be the idea for you if your tassel's color/colors doesn't/don't blend well.

2. Create an ornament with it.
I have seen this specific DIY project everywhere and I absolutely love it because it is so easy to put together. All it takes is your tassel and a glass ball ornament to make this classic piece that could even turn into a nice little family tradition.

3. Scrapbook it.
I'm not much of a scrapbook person myself, but there are tons of people out there who I know are really into that sort of crafting! Putting together a scrapbook can be so much fun and it allows for a ton of creativity, letting you really reflect your personal style into all the pages. Plus, a scrapbook is an enjoyable way to take a stroll down memory lane every once in awhile.

4. Create a bookmark.
I think tassels would make the most adorable bookmarks, whether they're hole-punched to a decorated slip of paper or just stuck right in the book. This idea is definitely at the top of my list for the last tassel I have left, probably because of how simple it is and how much I read now.

5. Frame it.
Stores such as Michael's and Hobby Lobby sell specialty frames that are made with spots next to your diploma or a picture of you to hang your tassel. There are so many different styles of these frames, from the basic wooden kinds to the cutesy chalkboard ones. You're bound to find something you like going with this method, and if you end up deciding to frame your tassel with your cap and gown, you can always go for a shadow box like I am!

What did you do with your tassel(s) after Graduation(s)? Let us all know in the comments below, especially if you did something that isn't on this list! What you did with yours may inspire someone else.

P.S. - Last Wednesday, I guest blogged on Julianna's blog Sass del Sur. Click here to check out the post! Also, check out my new Featured page here to see my current blog accomplishments, future collaborations, and get discounts for brands that I rep for such as Krass & Co.!


Monday, June 22, 2015

Hello everyone! I'm extremely sorry for taking a week off posting, my life was extremely hectic last week with preparing for and attending college orientation (which actually went way better than I expected it to!). I'll have a post up about my experience and tips for future students soon, but for now back to the one at hand...

Yesterday was National Wear Your Lilly Day in honor of the official first day of summer. I spotted so many of my favorite bloggers on social media sporting their Lilly pieces in the summer sun (and with their fathers - hope everyone also had a great Father's Day!). I had an outfit all planned out and ready to wear for a day out with my family to celebrate my amazing father, but due to unfortunate circumstances my father had to work and our family's original plans did not happen. However, my family was still able to celebrate my father at home and I was able to also still celebrate Lilly - without actually wearing it.

I received my beautiful new Large Lilly Agenda this past week in the pattern Lilly's Lagoon, and I absolutely LOVE it. I decided to make good use of my old one and create this wooden letter covered in the different monthly patterns; I have seen this DIY project everywhere and just had to finally do it for myself! It was a little difficult deciding the placement of the pieces since I made my letter a bit more collage-like than the ones I had previously seen on websites such as Pinterest, but it was smooth sailing after since all it took was the patterned paper and some Mod Podge. I can't wait to add some color to my dorm room by putting this on my wall this fall!

Since I was in such a crafty mood after finishing my letter, I also got to work on creating some Lilly-patterned paintings for my friends and my dorm room as well. I started with this University of Florida pattern that I will be giving to one of my closest friends; I personally think it came out really well! I have a few more minor touch-ups to make, but I'm really proud of the painting overall. My boyfriend has actually already offered to pay me to make him one too haha. I'm looking into making a Lilly-inspired UCF one next!

I have actually always wanted to start my own Etsy business, and I think creating paintings like this could work out really well... Let me know in the comments below what patterns you would like to see me paint (already existing ones or customed ideas) and if you would buy from my shop if I opened one! Hope everyone had a great start to the summer yesterday and continues to have a fantastic #SummerinLilly, stay tuned to this blog and it's Instagram for many more Lilly crafts to come!

Book Review: Her Campus Guide to College Life

Monday, June 15, 2015

Her Campus is a community for college women. Their mission is to inspire collegiettes through articles written by other college women that provide advice, tips, and lessons in everything from relationships to stress. Recently, a book was released by the founders and a few authors of HC known as The Her Campus Guide to College Life: How to Manage Relationships, Stay Safe and Healthy, Handle Stress, and Have the Best Years of Your Life! I posted that I would be reading this book as a part of my May Monthly Reading in order to prepare for college in the upcoming months.

(Check out more of my photos here!)
This book was honestly one of the best books I have ever read in my entire life and was so hard to put down. Not only is it just a well-written guide for college women, both incoming and current, but it also has a dash of humor and a sprinkle of fun that makes even the most awkward topics feel comfortable. While I was reading, I wrote down what I believe are the most important tips for me to know that I never even considered - and the list is LONG. The long list just guarantees I received some valuable tips and tricks from this guide, and you can too. I believe the advice I received from this book will be very beneficial to me not just in college, but even through life as well. I could not feel more prepared for college than I feel at this moment now, and many of my nerves that I had prior to reading this book have officially been shaken. Something that once looked so scary to me now seems like almost a walk in the park and a wonderful new adventure that I can't wait to go through! I highly recommend this book for all collegiettes; whether you're just starting off as a little freshman or getting ready to make your way out as a graduating senior, you'll definitely find something valuable that you can take from this guide.

Have you checked out the Her Campus Guide yet? Let me know in the comments below what you thought of it if you have! If you want to get a copy for yourself, click here to find locations you can buy it near you. I'm so excited to take on Orientation later this week now and truly begin my college experience!

P.S. This week, I created a guest blogger post for Julianna over at Sass del Sur. Be sure to check out the post that will be up on her blog this Wednesday!

My Summer 2015 Wishlist

Friday, June 12, 2015

How can anyone not love summer? No school, time for fun in the sun... Happiness is just in the air and everywhere! A new season brings on new collections, trends and styles, and my wishlist just keeps growing and growing every day it seems. Here are the types of items that I'm currently obsessing over and going to be working on getting this summer...

1. Seersucker Dresses
I love anything with a seersucker print really, but I'm dying for a dress specifically! I'm not too picky when it comes to the color, but I think I would prefer blue if it came down to it. Finding a quality seersucker dress for a cheap price is definitely a bit of a struggle, but if you keep searching hard enough you're bound to discover one eventually, like how I did at a cute local boutique!
2. Aviator Sunglasses
I used to dislike wearing hats and sunglasses so much, but after awhile I realized how essential they actually are and how stylish they can be. Aviators are one of this summer's biggest trends, and believe it or not, it IS possible to find a nice pair for under $15. Yep, you read me right. Will they be as great of a quality as other brands that price their sunglasses for over $150? No, obviously not. But that doesn't mean they still don't do the job right while making you look incredible. I know that I can trust H&M, and they have a great selection for decent prices! (click here to see.)
3. Red Right Return Items
A classic Lilly Pulitzer pattern, I think this print would be perfect to wear on the 4th of July! I'm most likely going to get the v-neck top and pair it with some nice white shorts - basic, casual and comfortable to move around in, and still super spirited!
4. Rompers
I just find rompers to be so trendy and easy to dress either up or down. I personally like neutral colored rompers such as black, white and navy better than colorful, patterned ones. Chambray anything is always a nice choice in my book too. This may be because I like pairing plains with bold statement necklaces; using a nice necklace to dress up a romper definitely will add to an already-cute look!
5. Alex and Ani Seaside Collection Bangles
Most of you probably already knew of my love for Alex and Ani bangles from reading this post awhile back - a girl can just never have enough! The new styles added to the Seaside collection have me officially head-over-heels for the brand. I think this Sand Dollar bangle is definitely my favorite, it just looks so realistic and perfect! If you're an ocean lover or you have a nautical kind of style, you'll adore this collection.

What's on your wishlist this summer? Let me know in the comments below. Hopefully I'll be able to check off most of this list before the end!

My Rockin' Universal Vacation

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

As previously mentioned in my last vacation post, my older brother is home for a few days on vacation from work. Since he had never gotten the opportunity to see the Harry Potter areas of the Universal parks before leaving for his first term in the Air Force, my parents wanted to make sure he was able to finally do so. My whole family ended up taking a little staycation at Universal Studios, complete with park-hopper tickets and a night at the Hard Rock Hotel. I was never a huge fan of the Universal parks as a child, but I was surprisingly pretty excited to go anyway.

Our room had a nice pool-side view where we were able to see a large majority of the hotel. As hotel guests, we were able to get free music and even rent different types of guitars (very random, but I guess cool haha). On our first day at the parks, we spent a lot of our time in Universal Studios. Express passes for the rides were included with our hotel stay, so we managed to get on every ride in less than 10 minutes! Later that night, we all went over to Citywalk for a delicious pizza dinner then went back to the park for a stroll through Diagon Alley before sitting down to watch the Cinematic Spectacular water and fireworks show (which was definitely spectacular, if I might add).

On our second day we spent most of our time at the other park, Islands of Adventure. We were able to get through all the attractions pretty fast again (cheers once more for those Express passes) and I got absolutely SOAKED on all the water rides - no wonder they need a People Dryer at Universal in comparison to Disney! I had such a fun time these past few days with my family and I enjoyed myself a lot more than I did when I went as a child for sure. Let me know in the comments below if you've ever been to a Universal park and if so what your favorite ride was - mine was definitely the Escape from Gringotts at Universal Studios!

P.S. - I'm one of Krass & Co.'s newest Brand Reps! Make sure you follow and keep up with my blog (and also my new blog Instagram!) for a few outfit posts and even special discounts so you can more easily score yourself a pair of their stylish shorts (click here to check out their website). I have additionally been partnering with some companies for posts also, so stay tuned to see which ones!

Monthly Reading: June 2015

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Another month means another book! This month, I'm going to tackle two highly popular books that are both very different from each other - they aren't even close to being in the same category. I have no problem with this at all though, I like to believe that variety is a great thing in everything you do. One book is a biography that has only been out for about a month that is by a very successful social media superstar, whereas the other is a bestselling fiction novel that was released back in 2013 that still manages to grasp the attention of teens and young adults today.

1. Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job. Kill It in Your Career. Rock Social Media. by Aliza Licht
This book has some killer reviews already, and it has only been out for just a short period of time. As the DKNY PR GIRL on Twitter and a global fashion communications executive, Aliza Licht has learned a thing or two about how to be the most efficient and prosperous worker you can be. Aliza Licht's rise to stardom took a lot of time and effort like any great successful woman's would, and in this book she gives valuable advice while teaching important lessons that she has learned through events that happened in her life. Reviews state that this book is a perfect read for anyone trying to improve upon career-related skills and expand their presence in the media world, so it only makes sense that a student like myself who plans to take on a business-specific major gives this a read.

2. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Since its release, Fangirl has capitivated readers of this era - especially the fangirls who can relate to its original yet realistic story line. Although I have only ever been at about a 5 for any music group or artist on the scale from 1 to Fangirl (and thus can't relate much to a fangirl's life), I have a feeling I'm going to really enjoy this bestselling novel and still manage to find some similarities between the main character and myself as the story moves forward.

Let me know in the comments below what books you plan on reading this month, or if you have any opinions on the ones I'm going to be. Can't wait to sink my toes in the sand while enjoying these entertaining reads!

Disney Trip Essentials

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

These past few days, I spent some time in the All-Star Music Resort at Walt Disney World so my brother could get the full Disney experience he never really got in his younger years. We traveled around to the different parks and had tons of family fun! However, I noticed that despite being a two-year annual passholder and having the prior experience of staying in a Walt Disney World Resort (click here to read about the first time), I still found myself forgetting some very valuable items that would have definitely benefited me during my days at the parks. So, I compiled a list of what I believe are the top items you should always be sure to have when taking a trip to any Disney park - or any amusement park really. And I figured that there's no better time to post something like this than the beginning of summer!

To start off (and this probably goes without saying), be sure to wear comfortable clothing and footwear that you could spend all day in if you had to. Also, obviously don't forget your cash, credit/debit card(s), and park ticket(s)!

1. Bag
You don't really need to bring a huge bag such as a backpack to an amusement park unless you're packing extra clothes for your family to take with you. I recommend a nice cross-body bag, something that's big enough to hold all of your stuff but also small enough to where it won't be a hassle to carry around with you.

2. Water Bottle(s) and Snacks
I know some amusement parks don't allow you to bring in outside food and beverages, but Disney does! So be sure to save yourself a bit of money and bring a water bottle that you can refill at the park's fountains and pack a few little snacks in Ziploc bags.

3. Sunglasses
A majority of the time, the sun is out here in the Sunshine State. Don't forget to pack a pair of sunglasses for your trip! If you do, I know Disney sells some nice ones at the parks ranging from $15 to $25 - not a terrible price, but also not worth forgetting yours for!

4. Portable Charger
The lines for attractions can be long at amusement parks and you can tell yourself that you won't be on your phone much of the day, but sometimes you may not go through with that promise. Always bring a portable mobile charger with you just in case you're in a situation where your phone is about to die and you know you're going to be needing it later.

5. Hair Ties
It's always hot here in Florida, and that's no exception during the summertime. Never underestimate the power of hair ties - even if you believe your hair looks terrible when it's up, trust me when I say that is something you're not going to care about when you're dying in the heat and your hair and neck is all sweaty and yucky!

6. Hat
Some people like hats whereas others don't. If you don't plan on wearing any special Mickey ears while you're at Disney, it's probably best to still take one with you. I used to hate hats until I realized the value of them while I was out at Disney for many sunny days on end and my sunglasses weren't helping me shield the sun's rays enough.

7. Sunscreen
I have never had the problem of getting sunburned at an amusement park, and I've spent 22 hours at Disney before (click here to read all about it). But everyone has their own skin type that reacts to the sun in different ways compared to someone else. Bring some sunscreen just in case if you're not sure what to expect, it's never bad to have a small bottle with you!

8. Hand Sanitizer
There are germs anywhere you go, but a place like Disney? There's going to be TONS. Leave a little container of it in your bag, you never know when you're going to feel like you need a good sanitizing (and more than likely, you're going to feel this way a lot).

Let me know if there's something you would add to this list in the comments below. Wishing you all many trips to fun places like Disney this summer! And P.S. - I made an Instagram account for my blog! Be sure to follow when you get the chance at @asouthernsunshine to stay updated on posts (and enter giveaways in the future, too!).

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