Friday, July 29, 2016

My Chic Week: July 22-28

And just like that it's Friday again! It's been a fun yet busy week here in New York with even more fun on the horizon for the next week! This weekend is set to be full of more tubing and lake days especially since my uncle is coming into town today. Be sure that you're following me on Instagram and Twitter to stay up to date all of my adventures!


Friday was our big travel day up to New York. It takes 13 to 14 hours to drive from Charlotte to our lake house in Upstate New York so we left home at 4:30 AM. It was definitely a very long day and I watched a ton of Gossip Girl episodes to pass some time haha. But the long drive was worth it when we arrived at our lake house at dinnertime!


Saturday was our first full day at the lake and our family friends from New Jersey arrived that day! Once they arrived, we pretty much immediately headed out on the boat and tubed and hung out at the beach all afternoon!

Sunday morning was pretty easy as I slept in, ate some breakfast, managed to be the only one at the house (my whole family left and I didn't even realize it haha!), and then got ready to go out to lunch. We went to a favorite restaurant in the town nearby and then grabbed ice cream afterwards!




We then went out for an afternoon at the lake and then came home for dinner with our neighbors.



Monday, I slept in again and unfortunately, it was pretty rainy that day. So, we stayed inside and watched some movies. I also took the yucky weather as an excuse to bake and wound up making these delicious cupcakes (be sure to follow my baking board on Pinterest). The rain did clear out later in the afternoon so we were able to go to the beach again!


Our family friends left Tuesday morning so we decided to just hang out at the house all day to relax after such a fun and busy weekend. My parents and I did run out to do a few errands, which was interesting to say the least (lots of good people watching). That night, we did go to one of my favorite restaurants in Upstate New York where I finished my dinner off with an amazing waffle (for dessert!).






Can y'all guess how I started off my day? Sleeping in again...duh! After breakfast, my mom and I took my dog for a long walk. We spent all afternoon on the lake tubing and at the beach, the quintessential day here!

The weather was supposed to be pretty iffy on Thursday afternoon so we decided to go out on the lake after breakfast. We didn't get a ton of time but something's better than nothing! We came back in to eat lunch and then just relaxed at home for the afternoon. My family and I did make a little trip to my favorite ice cream place here for some soft serve in the middle of the afternoon though ;). One of my grandmother's specialities is fondue so she treated us to that for dinner that night!


On my Radar:

1. My friend Annaliese of Southern Belle in Training shared her bedroom tour and I love it!

2. Lilly Pulitzer has new arrivals and, as always, they're gorgeous!

3. Dorothy of Prep in your Step has always been one of my favorite bloggers and she has been killing it with amazing content lately!

4. KJP and Sarah just got a puppy and it's the cutest (and it has an Instagram too!)

5. Obsessed with this!

Be sure to check out my latest posts:

Tips for Starting the College Application Process Fansea by the Sea Hawaii Travel Guide (The Big Island) How To: Survive Long Flights/ Road Trips

Happy Friday and I hope y'all have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

How To: Survive Long Flights/Road Trips

July has definitely been a month of travel for me. Between my trip to Hawaii and my current trip to Upstate New York, I've been away for the majority of the month. Although I love traveling and exploring new places, I don't always love actually getting there. Both Hawaii and New York are long trips (Hawaii was a 10 hour flight and New York is a 13 hour drive) so lately I have gotten a lot of experience on how to survive these long trips so I thought I would share with y'all!


Go through your camera roll
When I have nothing to do, one of my favorite things to do is to scroll through all the pictures on my camera roll. If you need to, delete pictures or organize them!

Listen to music
Duh! Kill some time, listen to some tunes, and look at the window if there's some fun scenery!

Catch up on social media
Sometimes, I definitely get behind on social media as there can definitely can be a lot to go through. Take some time and catch up on your Instagram feed, schedule some Tumblr posts, or pin (a ton!) on Pinterest! While you're at it, be sure to follow my Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr!

Download a movie you've been dying to see
I don't know about y'all but during the school year, I definitely do not see as many movies as I would love to! A road trip/flight is the perfect time to finally watch them and also kills a hour or two!

Text a friend
Great way to catch up as well as to kill some of the trip! Definitely doesn't apply to airplanes as you have to put your phone in airplane mode so you can't text or call anyone!

Read a book
Similar to movies, I don't usually read a ton for fun during the school year as I have so many books to read for school. Reading more is one of my 101 in 1001 goals and is a great way to relax during your trip and your vacation!

Nap
I'm not a big napper on road trips or flights but it's definitely a great way to get some of the trip out of the way without getting bored, haha!


What tips would you add? Have you been on any fun summer trips? Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Hawaii Travel Guide- The Big Island

If your've been staying update on the blog lately, you know that my family and I took a trip to the Big Island of Hawaii in the beginning of July. Our trip was awesome and I recapped our trip on a daily basis (see all of my Hawaii posts here) but I decided to put together a travel guide for y'all in case you're planning a trip or just to inspire some wanderlust (check out my NYC travel guide here).


Where We Stayed

My parents have traveled to the islands of Hawaii almost every year for the past ten years for a work function so they've visited several different resorts and islands. This made planning a breeze as we went to their all time favorite resort: the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel located near Kona on the Big Island (Hawaii).

Overall, I loved the hotel- our rooms were amazing, the pool was big, it had a beach, had lots of activities to do, has a nice spa/fitness center, has a few restaurant options, and has a shopping center near by that has a grocery store, more restaurants, and some cute shops!

To Eat

Hawaiian Style Cafe- This is a total dive style of a place but is so good! My dad is actually obsessed with their speciality dish, the Loco Moco, and we visited twice during our trip for both breakfast and lunch at both their Kona and Hilo locations. I definitely prefer their breakfast and their pancakes can't be beat as they're gigantic!

Tommy Bahama- Located in the Mauna Lani Shops, Tommy Bahama is a restaurant that has the same beachy, coastal feel of the Tommy Bahama stores. I was positively surprised by Tommy Bahama as my meal was amazing and they had awesome desserts too!

Luau at the Fairmont Orchid- One of the nights we were there we attended a luau at a neighboring hotel, the Fairmont Orchid. It was such a cool experience with amazing food so I would definitely recommend!

The Canoehouse- This restaurant is actually a part of the Mauna Lani and is gorgeous! A large portion of the seating is outside with amazing ocean/beach views. It's a bit more on the fancy side and has a lot of seafood options as well as some steak. The desserts are really good too- my parents had the Baked Hawaii, which was so good!

To Do/See

The Volcano- The Big Island was formed from a volcano and now you can actually visit the larger volcano on the island that's a national park. It's super easy to access as there's multiple attractions that you can drive to! Not to mention, how many times in your life can you see a volcano in real life?

Dolphin Discoveries- My siblings and I all were dying to swim with some dolphins while we were in Hawaii so that was very high on our priority list while planning our trip. We were able to snorkel alongside the dolphins, which was so cool and was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me!

Akaka Falls- Our hotel recommended visiting Akaka Falls and it was amazing! I love waterfalls and it was cool to walk through the lush jungle paths. Akaka Falls is just outside of Hilo and is definitely worth the visit!

Black Sand Beach- Colorful sand beaches are always a go-to on guides for various destinations but the Black Sand Beach was the first one I've gone to and was so cool! It takes around two hours from Kona to get to and is more of a "see" destination than a "do" but it's a must see in my book nonetheless!

Pearl Harbor- Although Pearl Harbor and Honolulu are located on Oahu, it's only a hour flight away and is a great day trip. My parents had visited before and wanted us to see it, especially since we were relatively close. Especially after taking AP United States History or any history class, it's surreal to see the place where a huge part of American history took place!

Have you ever been to Hawaii? What island did you visit? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Fansea by the Sea

Today, I'm back with the final post from my Hawaii trip. Although I'm sad that this marks the "end" of my trip, I'm so excited to share with y'all even more new and exciting content here on Chic in Carolina. Be sure to check out all of my Hawaii posts here!

I wore this outfit on the final day of our trip and wore some parts of it for the flight back to Charlotte (I did wear workout leggings instead of chino shorts and sneakers instead of sandals on the flight though!). This top has been a favorite of mine lately and is so comfortable! I also love that it's so versatile.

One of the best things about our hotel was the paths that led all around the resort by the water. Before breakfast on our last morning, I dragged (not really but you get the idea haha) my brother to take outfit pictures as I didn't want to pass up the opportunity to take pictures there!








Top- Lilly Pulitzer Shorts- J. Crew Sandals- Tory Burch Necklace- Kendra Scott Watch- Kate Spade Bracelets- David Yurman (similar linked) Sunglasses- Kate Spade Purse- Tory Burch (same bag, different color linked)

Thanks for reading!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Tips for Starting the College Search Process

It's almost to the start of a new school year (trust me, I'm not going to talk about that very long) meaning that most high schoolers are a year closer to applying to college. Even if you're not applying for college this year (like I am, eek!), there's still a lot you can do to get ready and begin the massive process of the college search. Please not that I am not a college counselor so I'm only adding some tips and tricks that I have learned myself!


Tour as many Colleges as possible
I've found that the absolute BEST way to see if you truly like a school is to visit it in person! I've loved schools online or from reading about them but found that when I visited them they're weren't the best option for me. Also, definitely book an official tour through the university as that counts as demonstrated interest for when you apply!

And write thank you notes to the admission officer after you tour a school
If there's a chance you're going to apply to a school, send your local admissions officer a thank you after your tour as soon as possible. Again more demonstrated interest!

Clean up your social media
First of all, turn your account on to private! I've heard that colleges do check your social media pages so you definitely want to keep your pages clean of any cuss words, references/pictures of alcohol or drugs, or just anything you don't want your future college to be seeing!

Make yourself "known" to admissions officers
A little bit of visualization for y'all- sometime soon your college application will be in a fairly large pile in the admissions office of a college. The admissions officer will open your application and read your name. You definitely want them to read your name and be like "ooh I remember her" not to just be another application. So this is why sending thank you notes, meeting with your admissions officer if they're in your area, or talking to them in person at a college fair is so important! You definitely want to work on the little things that can send your application "over the edge" in the early part of your search to make the admissions process smoother.

Be open
Your perfect school may not even be a school you heard of before high school. Before touring a college, put away any stereotypes of a college or what you've heard about it from a friend so you can truly tour it with an open mind. Honestly, I've loved schools I thought I would only tour to tour but also had lukewarm feelings about schools I thought could be "the school".

Meet with your college counselor
Your college counselor is an amazing resource during your search process. Be sure to meet with him/her to discuss what you like in a college, your test scores, your major, schools that could possibly  be a good fit, what a "target" school would be for you, etc. I've found that my college counselor is an awesome person to talk to that isn't biased because honestly, I love my parents but parents can't tell you that Yale is a reach school, not a target like your counselor can.

Talk to your parents about your budget
There's no doubt about it: college is expensive. But with so many different ways to pay for college, it's important to sit down with your parents and discuss what their expectations for budget are and what they're willing to pay. This may be helpful for coming up with realistic, on target schools as a school that's 20,000 dollars over your budget may be a bit unrealistic. Also, keep in mind scholarship/financial aid opportunities that may arise at some schools too!

Stay focused on school
Junior year is stressful but keep your head in the game. To make yourself competitive for applications, school has to be your top priority. Even though there's so much to distract you (hello Netflix!) and you have a lot going on, don't move schoolwork to the bottom of your priority list as school is ultimately what's pretty important for applications!

Don't compare
There will be points in your junior year that it seems like all anyone talks about is college. It's totally okay to talk about what colleges you've toured but be careful of comparing yourselves with your friends/classmates. Just because that girl in your math class toured Duke doesn't mean you need to tour Duke. Or when SAT scores are released, try not to let what other people you know get to you as everyone will have different aspects in their college applications (remember that episode of Hannah Montana where Lilly got into a college because she had more activities even though Miley had a higher GPA?) and you never know what a specific college will value more.

Be considerate of where others are in the admissions process
Just as it's important not to compare your grades or schools to your friends/classmates, it's also important to be mindful of your friends/classmates's college choices. When discussing college (which happens quite frequently), make sure not to make any negative judgments (ex. "wow that school's so easy to get into" or "I heard that _____ is super expensive/cheap/a party school/lame/etc.") as you never know at least fully that person's situation or where they're at as maybe their GPA is higher/lower than yours or they want a lower priced school or will get a scholarship or whatever. I would definitely recommend doing your best to just stay supportive!

Challenge yourself
Junior year is the perfect time to challenge yourself in your classes whether that's taking an AP course  or simply improving your grades!


What tips would you add? Let me know in the comments!

Friday, July 22, 2016

My Chic Week: July 15-21

Happy Friday y'all! Today officially starts my second vacation of the summer- my family and I are making the 14 hour trek north to Upstate New York. My family owns a lake house there that has been in the family for years and it's always a highlight of our summer to visit. Be sure to follow me on Instagram and Twitter as I'm hoping to share lots of pictures from my trip with y'all!


I worked in the morning on Friday so that part of my day was fairly routine. After nannying, I headed to Southpark Mall as my mom asked me to make a return for her and I, of course, couldn't resist stopping into some of favorite stores. Lilly recently sent out an invitation to me to view the product book for their Resort collection so I obviously had to stop in to view that and I may or may not have walked out with another Elsa top haha!

Lilly's dressing rooms are always gorgeous at every store and I love when I get to go to a new one. This time, I was in the Charlotte themed dressing room and it was gorgeous!




My OOTD: Lilly Pulitzer Bailey Top ⎢Lilly shorts (last season, found on sale in Hawaii) ⎢Jack Rogers


dress (on sale in stores!, same dress different print linked) ⎢ silk dress

ruffle top (on sale in stores! different color available online)

After Lilly, I popped into Kate Spade to peek at their new arrivals and then went into Vineyard Vines as their Whale of a Sale was going on. I haven't been buying a ton at Vineyard Vines lately but I found this darling top that was under $30 during Whale of a Sale!



I pass by Trader Joe's on the way home from the mall so I stopped by to pick up a few things for my mom. They had so many peonies in front of the store and I, unlike many other bloggers, never can seem to find peonies in my local grocery stores so I was super excited to find some. I, of course, bought some ;)


Saturday morning, I slept in before going to a Pure Barre class. My dad had some of his team over for dinner and to swim in the pool (there was a lot of little kids!) Saturday night so I helped my mom get ready and also made these yummy Key Lime Pie Bars that I found on Pinterest (be sure to follow me here). The party wound up to be super fun as a bunch of the kiddos that I babysit came, which is always a good time! Not to mention, there was a plethora of dessert which always works for me ;)

Sunday was pretty laid back as I worked on some blog stuff and some college application stuff in the morning/early afternoon. Our family friends from Chicago were in town this week so I caught up with them for a while before I had to go in and get ready to go to a meeting for the service committee I'm the Vice President of. Our meeting was basically just starting to plan for the upcoming school year and thankfully wasn't too long!

On Monday, I worked in the afternoon so I was able to sleep in and get some blog stuff done before heading off to my typical noon Pure Barre class! After Pure Barre, I ran home to eat lunch and then went to a dentist appointment. After my appointment, I headed straight to pick up the boy I nanny from his preschool. He had swim lessons that night so we went there and then I headed back to my house. Monday is Bachelorette night so I ate dinner, showered, then watched that!

I nannied in the morning on Tuesday and went to Pure Barre that day as well. My afternoons have been equal parts blogging and prepping for college applications this week, so it's been fairly productive over here!


I worked mornings on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, which is nice because I can finish working and go to Pure Barre before lunchtime! I spent the afternoon working on blog stuff again as I had quite a few posts to work on before leaving today. After dinner though, I met up with a friend at a local coffee shop as I'm lending her my Pre Calc book for the year and we decided to use that as a reason to catch up and get coffee! It's always so nice to just catch up with friends, especially since it's been a while!




Yesterday was our last day at home before leaving for our trip to New York today (I'll be en route as y'all read this) and so naturally it was very busy! I nannied in the morning and the boy I nanny and I decided to stop at Duck Donuts on the way to his preschool, which is always amazing. We both ate one there and I brought a few home for my family. After nannying, I went to Pure Barre, ate lunch, and packed all afternoon. We had a very early wakeup call this morning so I made sure to go to bed early on Thursday night!


On my Radar:

1. The Nordstrom Anniversary opens to the public today to be sure to get your shopping in and to check out my favorites that I shared in yesterday's post!

2. I absolutely love Kate's vlog of her recent trip to Paris!

3. My Vineyard Vines top that I wore in this Instagram post is now on sale for under $100

4. Apparently this is the week of me loving videos and sharing them with y'all as I also love Carly's Day in My Life video. Carly also just re-did her blog and it is gorgeous!

5. Usually I share a blog post or two that I love but this week, but I've read so many great ones this week so y'all should definitely follow me on Bloglovin to see what posts I'm saving!

Have you checked out my posts from this week yet?


Happy Friday y'all!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks

The past week or so has been very exciting in the blogging world as the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale opens to the public tomorrow! It has been early access for the past week for cardholders but everyone gets a chance to shop tomorrow. I don't think I will purchasing anything this year but I did want to share with y'all my favorites of the sale!


Are you shopping the #NSale? Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Hawaii Days 7 + 8

Today is my last recap of my amazing trip to Hawaii (be sure to check out the recap of Days 1 & 2, Days 3 & 4, Day 5, and Day 6), which is definitely bittersweet. I have been loving sharing everything we did with y'all along with a ton of pictures but I'm also excited to share some new content with y'all!

Day 8 (Friday) was our travel day as we flew back home so we simply enjoyed the resort and the beach on Thursday to fully soak in our last day in Hawaii. My dad, brother, and I ate breakfast at the restaurant at the resort while my mom and sister had to run out to run an errand. After breakfast, we went to gym where I remembered how much I hate the treadmill (thank goodness for Pure Barre haha!).

We met my mom and sister up in the hotel room for lunch of all the leftovers we managed to accumulate over the week before heading to the pool and just hanging out for the rest of the afternoon.


We opted to spend a bit more time at the pool so we had dinner once again at the pool bar! After dinner, my siblings and I did swim in the pool a bit more before heading back to our hotel room.


We had a 3 PM flight so we were thankfully able to sleep in and then enjoy breakfast at the restaurant (again haha!). I had the pancakes with bacon and an iced coffee, my dream meal haha!


After breakfast, we headed back up to our rooms to finish up packing and to get ready to go. We did head to the nearby shops to walk around (and kill some time!) where I managed to find some Lilly items in one of the boutiques. Even in Hawaii, I managed to #findthelilly and actually managed to get a pair of Callahan shorts in Blue Heaven (one of my favorite prints of last summer that I styled here) for half off.

After doing a bit of shopping, we headed back to the hotel to grab our bags and then we were off to the airport.

One last look at the gorgeous hotel lobby
The hotel entrance had these koi ponds that I thought were so fun!

Our first flight was to Los Angeles and thankfully went rather smoothly. It was so cool to see Hawaii (and our hotel!) from the air before jetting off to the "mainland". Our plane was awesome on this flight and our seats had personal screens that you could watch movies on (I watched The Great Gatsby and The Intern) without eating all of your battery!



We landed in L.A. around midnight local time although I had no clue what time it "was" as we passed through so many time zones!


The flight back to Charlotte was a bit more rocky as they boarded part of our plane and then had to stop boarding to reload supplies on the plane. Once boarding restarted (we were in the plane sitting for a hour at this point), a few passengers ask to get off the plane, which held up boarding for even longer. Soon enough, however, we were in the air and I attempted (key word attempted) to get some sleep before landing back home in a few hours. 

To catch up on all of my Hawaii posts, click here and thanks for reading!