Dorm Decorating 101

Dorm decoration is easily the topic I get asked about most. I think personalizing your dorm and making it a space that you feel comfortable and happy in is crucial. Your dorm is essentially the closest thing you have to a home when you are away at college so you want to make it as warm and cozy as possible.

Getting started and choosing the direction you want to go with your decoration is the hardest part. Personally, there are three different methods that make sense to me for choosing a direction and I'm going to use these different methods to structure this post.

1. Simple bedding with colorful accessories: Starting out with basic, white bedding makes playing with fun, colorful and printed decorations easy! In terms of accessories, have fun with throw pillows, throw blankets and rugs. This design concept works really well with a gallery wall too. Below, I've linked products that I think are perfect for this type of room.

2. Color Scheme: When I was buying decor for my dorm last year, this is the method I used. You can really do any colors you want, but I chose one neutral color (navy) and one bright color (coral). I incorporated a lot of gold in there as well. You can start with bedding that incorporates one of the colors, both/all of the colors or one of the colors plus white. You can choose one of these options for sheets, throw pillows and other accent pieces too. For my dorm, I did a white bedspread with navy embroidery, white sheets with a coral print, then a white and navy throw pillow, a white throw pillow and a gold throw pillow. A lot of my wall decor and desk accessories were gold. I also added some pink flowers (I couldn't find coral ones) in a vase on my dresser. Below, I linked the bedspread I used last year (which comes with a lot of different options for the embroidery color as well as some white and gold accessories because they can go with any color scheme. 

3. Decorate around one piece: If there is one specific type of bedding or a piece of decor that you know you 100% want in your room, get whatever it is and base all your other decorating decisions around matching with that one item. The easiest thing to do this with is bedding. If you want a cool printed comforter/duvet cover, tie the colors in it into pieces of decor in your room like a throw rug, wall decorations, a lamp, etc.! Below, I've linked some really cute printed bedding options!

I thought I would also share some photos of how I decorated my dorm last year. I really wish I had taken more photos of it but here are a few that I have to show you. 

I also have some tips for helping you save money decorating your dorm!

- Check out the home section of TJ Maxx and Marshalls when looking for decorations. I can't say I've seen the best bedding there but I've definitely seen cute throw pillows, desk supplies/decorations and wall art there for a very reasonable price! The picture frame/print and the mirror in the photo above are both from TJ Maxx. 

- DIY things! You can honestly find a million cheap and easy DIY room decorations on the internet that can save you a ton of money. I was inspired to make the hanging photo collage in my dorm room when I saw cute little gold sparkle clothes hangers in TJ Maxx for $3. 

- Go on Pinterest for all kinds of inspiration. It really helps to get the creative juices flowing in your mind for dorm decorating ideas and you can also find the link to really cute products through it! Pinterest is also a great way to find cute DIYs for your dorm.

- Go on Etsy to find affordable decorations. This is the best place to find cheap wall prints, flower vases, desk decorations, etc. It is much more affordable than going to big, brand name stores to find the same stuff. 

Coffee Shops & Floral Dresses

Dress: Umgee (purchased at local boutique) | Bralette: Urban Outfitters | Bag: c/o Gigi New York | Shoes: Steve Madden | Bracelet: c\o Kiel James Patrick | Watch: Daniel Wellington

During this past year of college, I've developed an obsession with coffee. It used to be something I just drank for an extra boost of energy but now it is part of my daily routine. I look forward to both the taste and good feeling it brings. To enhance the euphoric coffee drinking experience even more, I love to dress up and go to cute coffee shops with friends. My best friend and I discovered this adorable one in sweet home Atlanta, Revelator Coffee and enjoyed sipping on our coffee and chatting there.  

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks

The most coveted sale of the year is finally here! Since most of y'all probably aren't card holders, I decided to wait till the day before the sale opens up to the public (July 22) to make this post so the items will still be heavily in stock. I also tried to only include items that were available in most sizes so hopefully y'all won't have a problem with your size being sold out. Happy shopping! 

American Eagle Back to School Campaign

OUTFIT 1: Dress: c/o American Eagle | Chambray Shirt: Old Navy | Bralette: c/o Aerie | Booties: Madewell | Sunglasses: Express | Watch: Kate Spade

I love wearing dresses to class because they are so comfortable. They take no effort to wear (you just throw them on over your head and it's as comfortable as wearing a nightgown) but you still look cute and put together. When you're sitting down in class all day, dresses are the most comfortable thing to wear (in my opinion) because they don't restrict your legs and they are so light and airy that you don't get sweaty and hot. This one from American Eagle is so soft and casual that it's makes the perfect, effortless piece to wear to school. If your school is strict on dress code, just throw on a denim shirt like I did here to cover your shoulders! 

OUTFIT 2: Tank: c/o American Eagle | Sweater: c/o American Eagle | Jeans: c/o American Eagle | Bralette: c/o Aerie | Shoes: Soludos | Watch: Kate Spade

Finding the perfect balance between cute, comfort and dress code appropriate can be really tough. This outfit is the perfect example of how that combination is doable. I've never really been one to wear jeans because I find them to be so stiff, tight and uncomfortable. Because of this, I struggled a lot in high school because I always wanted to wear leggings because of the comfort factor but they were against the dress code. With American Eagle's jeggings, though, I don't have to compromise. They are so stretchy and thin, they feel like leggings! Another piece of clothing that can lead to discomfort during class is a bra. Lets get real, there is almost no reason to wear real bras these days because bralettes exist. American Eagle's line, Aerie, is the perfect place to shop for bralettes because the combination of styles and colors is endless. This high neck one stood out to me because I thought it was so unique. It also adds more coverage to a summer top that is more on the skimpy side and makes it more school appropriate! I also added this cute, slouchy sweater to the mix to make the outfit even more dress code appropriate. 

Down below are some other great back to school pieces from American Eagle:
This post was sponsored by American Eagle and ShopStyle.

Style Guide: Visiting NYC

Hi Friends! I thought I would put together a little post on what to wear when going on a trip to NYC since I get so many questions on Tumblr asking. What I would advise wearing as a tourist in the city is pretty different from what I would advise wearing as a resident so keep in mind that these are specifically recommendations for what to wear when walking around in NYC for miles all day in the brutal summer heat. I guess this post could also apply to NYC residents but my point is it's not geared towards demonstrating the typical chic, city street style. If y'all enjoy this post and request it, I can most definitely make a winter edition of this post. 

Below are four outfit ideas for inspiration and some general tips on dressing for the city. 
1. Romper: Misa | Sunhat: Hinge | Sandals: Steve Madden
2. Top: Madewell | Skirt: River Island | Sneakers: Stan Smiths
3. Dress: Forever 21 | Necklace: Design Darling | Espadrilles: Soludos
4. Top: Shoptiques | Shorts: J Brand | Sandals: Hinge

SHOES: Please don't purchase any of these specific shoes that I've linked thinking that they will be comfortable to walk around in for a long time. I don't own any of these shoes in particular (except the white sneakers and Steve Madden Sandals which actually are super comfortable to walk around in), I just own shoes in similar styles that are comfortable. The shoes in the photo collage mostly just serve as inspiration. To be on the safe side, I recommend wearing only sneakers or shoes that you already own that you know for a fact will be comfortable to walk around in for a long time. Save your cute shoes for when you're doing something in the city that you know won't require much walking! Other shoes that I think would be great for walking around are black Nike sneakers. I've seen a lot of tourists pair these with cute outfits and pull them off well! I've also heard of people wearing Birkenstocks to go site seeing so it seems like they would be comfortable to walk around in but don't hold me to that!

HEAT: Summer in NYC is HOT HOT HOT. All of the concrete traps heat, making the city even hotter. Wear flowy, loose items that aren't skin tight. This will help your body be able to breath and not get AS drenched in sweat. In my outfit collage, I tried to demonstrate outfits that covered as little of the body as possible. The less you wear, the cooler you will be! If you have one or are willing to get one, bringing a small hand-held fan is a good idea. Just a warning: the Subways are the absolute worst. They are underground and have no air conditioning system so they get deathly hot (especially when there are a million people crammed in like sardines and all the body heat is added). 

- Crossbody Bag: I think a crossbody bag (preferably a larger one that can hold a lot) is essential to have as a tourist. For one, it's nice to be able to have your hands free when walking around. Another reason is that it's the best way to protect yourself from being robbed or pickpocketed. There are thieves who will run up behind you, yank your bag out of your hands then run off. When you're wearing your bag across your body, it is essentially impossible to do this. And if this wasn't already obvious, never put your wallet, phone or anything valuable in your back pocket. 
 - Something to save you from the terrible odors: There is so much disgusting stuff in the streets of the city and when it's all baking in the hot sun, the stench is intensified even more. Sometimes it is literally unbearable and will make you gag. It is helpful to have something sweet-smelling on hand for when you come across the overwhelming smells. I don't personally do this (although I may when I come back to the city at the end of the summer) but a good solution is to carry around a small bottle of essential oils in your purse to dab on your wrists. You can purchase essential oils at your local grocery store. My favorite scents personally are peppermint, eucalyptus and lavender. 

Photo Creds: cover photo courtesy of Emily Byrski Photography

Hues of Blue

Top: Ann Taylor | Shorts: Jcrew | Shoes: Soludos | Bag: c/o Gigi New York | Necklace: Kendra Scott | Watch: Kate Spade | Bow Bracelet: Kate Spade (linked similar)

Something I really appreciate in clothing is versatility. I feel much more confident about a purchase when i know the clothing I bought is versatile, something that can easily be dressed up or dressed down. The versatility (along with the heavily discounted price) is what convinced me to purchase this top from Ann Taylor. With an internship coming up next fall, I've realized that I need to purchase more internship appropriate clothing since the majority of my wardrobe is purely casual. Purchasing this top has showed me that I can have the best of both worlds with the professional clothes I will buy in the future. I can easily pair this top with a skirt and heels for an internship but I could just as easily put it with shorts and some cute shoes like I have done here. Another focal point of this outfit is this adorable cross body bag from Gigi New York. I have many large cross body bags meant for everyday use, but have been needing more small cross bodies for when I want to pack a lighter load. I love the trendy tassel on this bag and the neutral color that makes it easy to pair with basically any outfit! 

How I Curl My Hair

Doing something a little bit different today... sharing a video with y'all! I get so many questions on Tumblr asking how I curl my hair so I decided to make a video sharing the process. I hope that some of you find this video and let me know what you think!


Tassel Trimmed

Dress: c/o Caroline Dawn | Shoes: Jack Rogers | Necklace: Kendra Scott | Watch: Kate Spade

Last week was my coveted annual beach vacation with my family to Perdido Key (which is a small beach right next to Orange Beach, Alabama) and I had an absolute blast! I thoroughly enjoy the time I get to spend with my relatives, we have so much fun and we often laugh until we cry when we are together. One of my favorite parts of going on our beach vacation is going out to eat. After spending the day sweaty, covered in greasy sunscreen and with sand covering every inch of your body, taking a shower, putting makeup on and getting dressed up nice to go eat delicious food just feels SO good. Wearing this fun dress from Caroline Dawn one night when we went out to eat just enhanced that good feeling even more. I'm not usually one to wear bright colors, but I always take the opportunity to embrace the summery and tropical vibe they give when I am at the beach. Check out the other fun pieces from Caroline Dawn's Summer Collection here

Side note: This dress runs extremely large so order at least one size down!