Friday, January 31, 2014

Week 1

I'm officially done with my first week of school! This semester is going to busy but I'm really excited. So far I enjoy all of my classes and my professors seem great.

I've got a lot on my plate this semester; I'm taking 6 classes (instead of the usual 5), working in the admissions office as a Pride Guide giving tours to prospective students, working as a French tutor, freelancing for The College Tourist, and keeping up with all my extra activities.

We are in the process of recruiting for Zeta Phi Eta, my pre-professional communications fraternity, and we have a lot of events this semester! My dance team has two showcases this semester as well as competitions so practice is going to be weekly. I'm also the news desk anchor for Hofstra Today which starts up next week.

I'm starting to get together a list of post ideas so I can keep up with the blog more regularly. I'm planning a post on organization (one of my many skills) so that should be up sometime this weekend!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Austin Roadtrip

School starts tomorrow, but while I have some free time I can finally blog about my trip to Austin a couple weeks ago!

As much as I love having over a month off from school for winter break, it's not so fun when most of your friends head back to school two weeks earlier. However, I was still able to see some of my friends when I decided to roadtrip down to Austin! The drive from Dallas to Austin is only about four hours, and thankfully my grandparents live just outside of Austin, giving us a place to stay!

I headed down with two of my best friends from high school, Allie and Jessi. They were still home, as Allie goes to San Diego and was still on break, while Jessi is a missionary in Peru (isn't that so cool?!).

Me, Jessi, and Allie on the way down!

A lot of our friends from high school go to UT Austin (we just call it UT), so it was great to be able to see them and the city at the same time! For this post, I wanted to put together a list of cool places in Austin; where to shop, eat, etc!

Love that I'm still friends with these girls!
The Food

Austin is known for its food. You can literally get anything you want and more, whether its a quick stop at a food truck or a fancier restaurant downtown. On our first day we had lunch at Hopdoddy, a burger place that reminded me of Shake Shack but with bigger burgers and more gourmet style fries. 

We then stopped for a quick afternoon coffee at Jo's down the street, where we happened to see a completely naked man, save for a tiny jockstrap, walking barefoot with his bike down the street! Even for someone who lives in New York, it was strange. We actually ended up seeing him twice!

For dinner, we hit up a must-visit spot in Austin, popular with UT students- Torchy's tacos. I cannot explain how much I love tacos, and Torchy's hit the spot. It's fairly inexpensive and has every kind of taco imaginable. A little tip from all my Austin friends- order The Democrat, regardless of political affiliation.

Another popular spot for UT kids is Kerbey Lane, a breakfast-type restaurant famous for its pancakes. I was lucky the pumpkin pancakes were still in season, and they did not disappoint. 

For dinner we met up with three other friends, two of whom were in our big high school group of friends, as well as my friend Max who I have known since before I could talk! We went to Trudy's, a Tex Mex place that I would definitely recommend. But then again, I'll always recommend Mexican food.

For our last lunch in Austin, we headed to Home Slice. I love the name, and I love the food even more. It's New York style pizza, and as someone who has experienced real NY pizza, I can say that Home Slice definitely holds its own.

There are so many restaurants in Austin that I couldn't try them all in a year, let alone three days, but these definitely go on my list of places to go!

Things to See and Do

I love Austin. I would live there in a heartbeat, even though I love New York. The weather is perfect (it's January and we were wearing t-shirts!), and the city has a cool, small town vibe while also being a huge city, as well as our state capital. 

Even if you're not into history or politics, or you're from out of state, a trip to the capital is a must when you're in Austin. I went the summer after my junior year for Girls State, a week long summer camp where 500 girls gather to create their own government and run it for a week, ending in a trip to the capital. I know, it sounds dorky, but I loved it!

Me in the Senate chamber, where I had a session as a Senator at Girl's State!

Creepin' at the capital (and all over Austin) in honor of one of our favorite SNL skits.

After visiting the capital, head over to South Congress, a fun little street lined with restaurants, vintage stores, quirky shops and cool little hotels. When I visit Austin with my family I make sure to always hit up Congress. We walked up and down, perusing fun antique shops full of weird finds, and had a little too much fun

I wanted to buy this hat!

If you're into a more serious shopping experience, head 45 minutes outside of Austin to San Marcos, where there is a GIANT outlet mall with every store you could possibly imagine.

Probably my favorite part of Austin was Castle Hill, an abandoned construction site that is legally designated as a graffiti site in the city. You can hike up to the top of the hill and see the entire Austin skyline. I loved seeing all of the street art and getting a ton of great pictures.

Shoutout to Allie for driving us down to Austin and all over the city!

I'll try to post more often now that I'll be back at school, so keep reading and make sure to hit the Follow button! 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Free Lance

This semester, I am freelancing for The College Tourist, the student blogging website that I interned with in the fall! For my first article, I put together the ultimate packing list for Coachella. Check it out!

Photo via Caroline Olson.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Pattern Mixing

I'm very (very) slowly embracing pattern mixing. I'm normally very matchy-matchy so putting polka dots and gingham together was a big step for me! 

Sweater, Old Navy. Button up, Ross. Skirt, Forever 21. Belt, Ross. Shoes, Gianni Bini. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Bargain Hunting

I am headed to Austin tomorrow with a couple of my friends, so I might update the blog every day. However, look forward to posts when I get back! For now, I wanted to share a few of my latest bargain finds. I am nothing if not a bargain shopper- much of my wardrobe consists of designer or high-end brands scored for much, much less. My mother taught me well! While at one of my favorite stores, the Dillard's clearance center, I picked up 3 Lilly Pulitzer dresses- one for $27 that originally cost $198, and two for $13 each that were originally over $100. I couldn't believe my luck!

I also picked up a Lilly skirt at a consignment store for $16, I'll share that and a few other bargain finds later this week. For now, here's a peek at my new Lilly dresses. I can't wait for summer so that I can wear all of these! I hope to bust out at least one for my spring break trip to LA.

I am in love with this dress- its the first one I spotted, and I was so excited to see it in my size! This one originally cost $198! You can't quite tell from seeing it on the hanger, but it has a very ladylike, 1950s feel with a fitted waist and flared skirt with a thin petticoat underneath. 

I love little details in Lilly items, like how 'Lilly' is embroidered all along the inside hem of this dress!

My favorite part of the dress is probably the back- I'm in love with the scalloped lace detailing and big gold buttons.

This dress is simple and fun at the same time. I could wear it as a cover-up over my bathing suit or with sandals for a comfy everyday summer look.

It seems shapeless and huge on the hanger (it's actually a small), but this dress fits like a glove. The lightweight, loose shift-style makes it perfect for hot Texas summers when I don't want fabric clinging to my body. The bright seashell print will be perfect for summer! This dress and the pink one were both part of the 'Flourescent' collection.

As it warms up and I have a chance to finally wear these dresses, I'll post different ways to style all of them. Until then, thanks for reading!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

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Back in the Swing

I spent all four years of high school doing speech and debate, also known as Forensics, and I loved it. For those who will argue that forensics is CSI-type stuff, here's a few definitions:
fo·ren·sics  (f-rnsks, -zks)
n. (used with a sing. verb)
1. The art or study of formal debate; argumentation.
2. The use of science and technology to investigate and establish facts in criminal or civil courts of law.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
forensics (fəˈrɛnsɪks)
1. (Education) (functioning as singular or plural) the art or study of formal debating
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003
the art and study of argumentation and formal debate. — forensic, adj.
See also: Argumentation
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
As you can see, Forensics is speech and debate. I don't do forensics in college (although Hofstra is getting a team together for next year!), and I miss it. I don't miss getting up at 5 am on a Saturday and spending 16 hours at a random high school in the DFW area, wearing a suit and heels and performing all day. But I love competing and spending time with my awesome team.
Luckily, I finally got the opportunity to judge a tournament. It's very weird being on the other side of the table, but I enjoyed judging! I got to judge my  favorite event, Original Oratory- you write your own ten minute speech (rather than performing a published piece) on any topic. My junior year I wrote about satire in The Colbert Report and The Daily Show and how it affects our opinions on politics and current events. My senior year I wrote about the lack of originality in our lives. Both years I qualified for and competed at state and national tournaments. 
Anyway, I wanted to share my outfit from my day of judging! 

Top, Ross. Jeans, Target. Boots, Ross. Jewelry, see below. Bag, vintage Coach- I see this purse on blogs and Pinterest all the time! I had no idea until recently that it was such a coveted bag! It's my mom's from the 80s, my dad gave it to her as a gift when they were dating!

A note about my hair; I used bobby pins to pin curl my hair to achieve my look today. I use hot rollers in the morning if I don't do my hair the night before, but if I'm proactive I put my damp hair into sponge rollers or pin curls. I'm hoping to do a video tutorial soon!

Jewels: Bracelet, J. Crew Factory (I just ordered one for my mom as well since she loved mine so much!). Earrings, Forever 21. Necklaces, both Betsey Johnson (I couldn't find exact links since the flower one was a gift and I bought the peacock a while back at TJ Maxx).

BTW, if you'd like to learn more about forensics, here are links to the Texas Forensic Association and the National Forensics League- yes, I was in the NFL. Just not that NFL.

Tuesday Brunch

I am still close with all of my friends from high school- that's because I chose to only make friends with people who I knew I would want to stay in touch with. A lot of people that I know end up completely abandoning their old friends by sophomore year, if not sooner. But we're entering our fourth semester of college and we still get together every break.

Earlier this week, one of my friends invited us all over for brunch, so of course I jumped at an opportunity to dress up.

A peek into my office at home- it's sort of a media room/study room/personal hang out room that I use more than my bedroom!

I'm obsessed with the monogram trend! My mom had this vest from Ross (it was only $14.99!) monogrammed, along with a red Tommy Hilfiger vest (also from Ross, $29.99) monogrammed in navy.

My friend Erin- I've known her since third grade!

Shirt, Ross. Vest, Ross. Skirt, Ann Taylor Loft (vintage). Pearl necklace, vintage. France necklace, Urban Outfitters.

"Casual" Dinner

I have never been one to adhere to the word "casual." So when headed to dinner with a few friends, I tend to go all out- my excuse for a hat and fur was that it was cold!

Sweater, Ross. Leggings, Target. Boots, Target. Hat, Target. Bag, Betsey Johnson. Phone case, Tory Burch (from Amazon). 

Tips and Tricks: Interviews

I wanted to write about something we all have to deal with, no matter what our majors or careers are- interviews. I don't think anybody loves interviews, they're a necessary part of getting a job. And one of the most important parts of interviewing is how you dress.

The days of wearing a business suit to work every day for every job are long gone, as new, modern offices pop up and the workplace becomes more casual. At my internship at The Daily Beast last summer, I could get away with wearing jeans!

But for interviews, where first impressions play a huge role in getting a job, dressing to impress is vital. Even if the person asking questions is wearing jeans and a t-shirt, you don't want to do the same. The old saying, "Dress for the job you want, not the job you have," doesn't apply to interviews.

Black is usually best. You don't need to pull out a suit (though it's safe), but at least have a blazer with trousers or an appropriate length skirt. For your shirt, a button-up blouse, with absolutely NO cleavage showing, will usually do best, or a modest cami with your jacket buttoned.

For shoes, make sure they aren't something you would wear to a club. One to four inches is pretty much the range you should stay in, but the lower the heel the safer you are. Flats are acceptable for more casual jobs, such as interviewing for a retail job or a more casual internship.

A recent trend I've noticed for interviews is riding boots. While I'm not a fan of riding boots with jeans for interviews, though that is one of my favorite looks for every day, here is an example of how to style riding boots for an interview and still look professional. This is my look for my Pride Guide interview at school (I got the job, by the way!).

Blazer, Forever 21. Sweater, Michael Kors (vintage). Skirt, H&M. Tights, Betsey Johnson. Knee high socks, Target. Boots, Target. Necklace, Tiffany & Co.

As you can see, I went with a fabric skirt instead of a pencil skirt, but it's still long enough to be work appropriate. The all-black look on the bottom keeps everything professional but still cute. It was freezing out, so I opted for a light sweater instead of a button up, with the blazer thrown over for an added touch.

Jewelry should be kept simple and to a minimum. Pearls or small pendants like this one are best, and studs are always safe. 

For makeup, be simple. For hair, I usually curl mine with hot rollers. Straight hair or large ballerina buns- not too high!- are fine as well.

There is no exact outfit to wear for an interview. If you're desperate, skirt suits are always safe! I hope you've enjoyed my first post! Look out for more, and follow me on Bloglovin!