Monday, July 31, 2017

How to Take Back Your Monday

If you were to ask most people, I would take a wild guess and say that Monday isn't their favorite day of the week. After two days of the weekend, it can be hard to get back into the routine of everyday life and being productive.

If Mondays tend to get you down (I understand haha), these tips are perfect for helping you get back onto track and to have productive week without feeling totally overwhelmed at the same time.

image via my Instagram

Make a to-do list for the week
On Mondays, I like to make a to-do list of everything I need to do that week. Usually this includes errands I need to run, tasks for Chic in Carolina, random items that need to be accomplished (like cleaning my makeup brushes). This helps me keep track of what I actually need want to get done and helps me more productive throughout the week as I try to include these tasks in my daily to-do lists.

Get an early start on work
If you saw my daily routine for this summer, you saw that I've been waking up super early for work this summer. I've never been an early bird before but I've found that waking up earlier helps me get so much more done. Accomplishing items on your to-do list earlier in the day means there's less to do later on and you also get into the mood to get stuff done (rather than the mood to sit around and watch Netflix).

Schedule plans with a friend for later in the week
On Mondays, I always try to set up plans with friends for some point that week. Not only does that get the ball rolling (as last-minute hang outs are often harder to coordinate), it also gives you something to look forward to throughout the week (knowing you're getting brunch on Saturday makes the week go by a bit quicker haha!).

Prioritize working out
My barre studio always talks about never missing a Monday of working out and I totally agree. Sometimes you just can't swing it but working out on Monday helps to serve as a stress-reliever (as Mondays tend to be fairly busy day, for me at least) and also help you get into a good routine of working out.

Set your three most urgent tasks
After making your to-do list for the week, it's easy to become overwhelmed by everything you need to do. Set three tasks that are most important for you to finish today as you have the rest of the week to finish the rest. Once you finish your three most urgent tasks (or make progress on them), work on checking off other items off of your to-do list.

Catch up on emails
I try not to spend a lot of time checking or answering emails during the weekend so on Monday morning, I always make sure to clean out my inbox and also send out a bunch of emails. This helps me feel more "on top of it" and better prepared for the week ahead. If you're interested in tips on staying on top of your inbox, be sure to check out this blog post.

Treat yourself
After a productive day, be sure to reward yourself, whether it's to your favorite iced coffee from Starbucks, to watch your favorite show on Netflix, to have an extra scoop of ice cream with dessert, or with a hair mask for an extra luxurious shower. This may not make you more productive but it will put you in a better mood, which is always a good thing!

Set the tone for the week
I love a productive Monday as it sets the mood for the rest of the week, helping me be productive throughout the week. Obviously I'm human so this doesn't happen every Monday but it truly makes a difference when I intentionally be more productive to set the tone for the week ahead.

Update your agenda
I currently use a Day Designer agenda (which I love and will be sharing with y'all at the end of August) and always try to keep it updated throughout the week. To kickstart that, I like to sit down on Monday and add everything into my calendar from my work schedule to dinners with friends to barre class. This helps me feel more organized and ready to take on the rest of the week.

Go to bed early
I usually try to get to bed early on Sunday but it's important to get to bed early on Monday night as well. Personally, when I get to bed early on Monday, I'll wind up going to bed earlier throughout the week, which helps me get more sleep and who doesn't want that (especially if you have an early morning alarm like I do this summer!).


Any other tips on how to take your Monday back? Let me know in the comments!

Friday, July 28, 2017

My Chic Week: July 21-27

Happy Friday y'all! This week has been a busy one between working and running errands to get ready for college move-in (which is exactly three weeks away!) but I'm excited for this weekend as I will be  going to brunch with a friend and going to a few barre classes as well!


Friday was a productive day for me as I went to barre class, went to Whole Foods afterwards, and then to Home Goods and Staples. I wanted to go to Home Goods to find some decor items for my dorm room and even though the store was crazy, I managed to find a few cute pieces to bring with me to Clemson.


I also got my haircut on Friday, which was exciting as I hadn't gotten my haircut for nearly a year. It has definitely gotten longer and I was glad that I was able to keep most of the length!


After my haircut, I met up with my friend Amy of Pastel N Pink to shoot some outfits for both of our blogs. It was so fun to catch up with her for a bit and I'm excited to share the finished products of our shoot next week and the week after!

top (on sale with code FRIDAY) ⎢pearl necklacesimilar pantssimilar wedgespursewatchsimilar bracelets

Saturday morning, I went to barre class (as always haha!) but woke up a bit earlier than usual to enjoy my cup of coffee and get a few things done before leaving for class.


I babysat Saturday night so my day was fairly normal and not too exciting!

Sunday morning, I went to Church with my family before heading back home to get this week's blog posts ready to go as well as to go to another barre class.


Monday morning, I went to a Pure Barre Platform class, which is essentially a cardio complement to a traditional Pure Barre class. I love being productive on Mondays as it helps set the tone for the week and I worked in the afternoon on Monday as well. I also managed to change my class schedule on Monday and I'm so excited about how it turned.

Tuesday was a bit different as the little boy I nanny came over to my house for the day so I was able to sleep in for a bit. We had a lot of fun swimming in the pool, going to Chick-fil-a with my siblings, and then hanging out at my house.


Wednesday morning, I was up bright and early to go nanny. I nannied for a few hours before heading back home to go to barre, eat lunch, and run an errand. I nannied in the afternoon on Wednesday as well so it was a busy day!

Yesterday was an exciting day as I nannied in the morning as usual and then met my mom at the mall afterwards to cross a few items off of my to-do list for move-in next month (well really in a few weeks). Our first stop was Nordstrom as I needed to restock on a few beauty items that were included in their Anniversary Sale. I bought this Tory Burch perfume set as well as this Drybar set (which has unfortunately sold out online but check your local store!) and I'm so excited to use all of the products.

I can't go into the mall without stopping in the Lilly store (I can't help it haha!) and wound up getting a few items that will be perfect for back to school as well as sorority recruitment. I wound up buying this dress, this top, this skort, these pajama pants, and these wedges!




Right: skort

Left: top
Right: shorts

After Lilly, we went to Sephora and Dick's before getting some Chick-fil-a for lunch!


I knew I wanted to go to The Container Store to stock up on items for my dorm and it definitely did not disappoint. We left with a bunch of awesome items and it totally makes me want to organize my entire room!


I unexpectedly had the afternoon off of work so I was able to go home and work on yesterday's blog post as well as walk Kona.


I also shared a haul of everything I got at the mall on my Instagram Stories so be sure to follow me on Instagram to catch the next one! For a bit of "behind the blog", I included the mess that was my room once I finished the video haha!


On my Radar:

1. Carly's Nantucket Travel Guide is a must read- makes me want to plan a trip ASAP

2. The preppy version of the summer bucket list that went viral this month

3. I already mentioned this top in Tuesday's blog post but I can't help but mention it again as it's so cute!


5. Obsessed with Kiel James Patrick's new line of shift dresses


Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Things to Do Before School Begins to Prepare for the College Application Process

I remember that a year ago I was anxiously awaiting August 1: the day when college applications open. College applications are exciting yet daunting. I remember being stressed about getting it all done, getting into schools, choosing a school. Obviously most of those items aren't things to get stressed out about before school even starts (I promise that it will work out the way it's supposed to) but a year ago, that's what I was stressed about haha.

To hopefully help all of you high school seniors be less stressed than I was about the process (and it is a process haha), I've put together a list of tasks to get done before school even starts. Getting stuff done for college doesn't sound like the most fun summer activity (trust me, I understand!) but you'll be thankful that you made it a dent in it when you have homework when the applications are due. Obviously you don't have to do all of this before school starts but even starting one of these tasks will help you out so much!


Schedule a meeting with your college counselor
I am so blessed to have had an amazing college counselor at my high school. It truly made a difference in my college search as I had someone to go to who could answer all of my questions (and I had a lot). Before school started, I scheduled a meeting with her to talk about applications and it was so helpful.

Look through your applications and write down every. single. question you have
I was on vacation when applications opened last year but while I was at a coffee shop, I opened my laptop and looked through each application to see what they were asking. While doing this, grab a notebook and note every question or thing that you're confused about. This will make your meeting with your college counselor so much easier as you'll actually know what to ask them.

Decide what schools to apply to
At this point, you probably have a list of schools that you're interested in attending. I'm all for options but when I applied, I made a point to only apply to schools that I could see myself attending. It makes your decision so much easier as you don't have as many "maybes" to choose from. Did I tour a campus after applying and decide it wasn't for me? Yes but that's okay as it led me closer to the school for me (Clemson!!).

Only applying to schools you could see yourself attending also helps to save a bit of money as college applications (and sending your scores) are expensive. I applied to 7 schools and think that was a good number. But I have friends who applied to 4 schools and it worked for them as well as friends who applied to 12.

Another important aspect of choosing what schools to apply to is choosing between "reach", "target",  and "safety" schools. Reach are schools that you are slightly below their average GPAs/test scores but have a chance on a good day, target schools are where you fit into their average GPAs/test scores, and safety schools are where you above their average GPAs/test scores.

Talk to your parents about financials
This can be a tough discussion but it's important to talk to your parents about how you will be paying for college/will you need to fill out the FASFA/etc. If you're looking at private schools, it is definitely a good idea to talk to your parents about how much they feel comfortable paying (or how much you can pay) before getting your heart set on a school without knowing what kind of scholarship money you will receive.

Schedule college tours for schools you haven't seen yet
After deciding to apply, plan to tour a campus if you haven't already (or tour again!). Not only does this help you decide if the school is the place for you, it also serves as another form of demonstrated interest, which some schools may consider when reviewing your application.

Fill out all the "general" information on your applications
Most applications have sections for you to fill out personal information, such as your full name, address, parents's names, parents's occupation, etc., that isn't difficult but can be time consuming. Doing this early knocks one thing off of your list and gets it out of the way.

Write your essays/short answers
The last thing I wanted to do over summer break was write more essays but it truly helps to have them done (or at least started!) by the time school rolls around. If you are applying to schools via the Common App, you will have one general essay that you can send to each school but other schools will have additional essays or short answers to fill out. Coming up with a topic for each essay/short answer is also helpful as you have something to work off of.

Find an editor for your essays
Your college essays are not the time to briefly proofread your essay before turning it in. Finding a good editor for your essays who will be honest with you (so probably not your parents- sorry mom and dad!) is so important to make sure that you are turning in your best work. My English teacher/NHS advisor edited all of mine and I knew I was getting honest feedback on them. I would also recommend asking them to read your essays a few weeks before your deadline as it makes life easier for both of y'all. And maybe bring a coffee to say thank you!

Add important dates to your calendar
Each school has different deadlines to go by (early action, early decision, regular decision, priority, needs to be in by a certain date to be considered for scholarships, etc.) so I definitely recommend making note of this in your agenda or calendar so you don't forget and have your application turned in before the deadline approaches.

Schedule to re-take the SAT or the ACT
I wound up taking the SAT three times (in March and June of junior year then October of senior year) and then the ACT once (June of junior year). Both my college counselor and SAT tutor recommended to take it again (whether the SAT or ACT) my senior year as your scores tend to naturally improve. Sign up for the test now (October is a good time typically so your scores can get in if you apply early) so you don't have to worry about it later.


Anything to add? Are you an incoming high school senior this fall? Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Sparkling Sands

Throughout the year, one of my go-to staples is this white Ralph Lauren oxford top. I bought it at the outlets a few years ago (after my first visit to Clemson!) and have worn it so much ever since. I wear it in the winter with a pair of jeans, a vest, and a scarf as well as in the spring with a skirt and flats (I wore it for one of my outfits for my senior pictures last fall too!).

Unfortunately, North Carolina's super hot temperatures (it's been in the 90s all week, even before lunchtime!) during the summer months don't really allow for long sleeve tops so I knew I wanted to pack it with me for my trip to New York (which you can read about here and here).

I talked about how another pair of Lilly Pulitzer Buttercup Shorts are my go-to in the summer during a blog post last week but I love this printed pair as well as you can't beat a fun pair of Lilly shorts in the summer!







Top: Ralph Lauren Shorts: Lilly Pulitzer Sandals: Jack Rogers Watch: Kate Spade Bracelets: Lilly Pulitzer (a recent Gift with Purchase)

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Lately... (Part 5)

Every once in a while, I love to share these "lately" posts with y'all where I talk to y'all about some of the things that I have been loving in the past few weeks (read all of my "lately" posts here). I feel like I've definitely settled back into a routine after being up in New York and I have been trying to get ready for move-in day at Clemson, which has been quickly approaching!



Eating... 

Since coming home from New York, I've been trying to focus on eating healthier and so far I've been pretty successful! Let me know if y'all would want to see a "what I eat in a day" blog post!

Drinking...

Califia Farms's Mocha Cold Brew Coffee with Almond Milk. This was a random find from Whole Foods and it's so yummy! It's lower in calories than other pre-made iced coffees I've tried and it's a bit sweeter so you don't have to drink as much of it either.



Listening... 


to lots of country music! I have Sirius XM in my car so I love listening to their country station, the Highway, on my way to work or when I'm driving around town! They play current country hits as well as songs from up-and-coming country singers, which I love!

Wearing... 

this top! I will be styling it on the blog sometime in the next week or two but it is so cute! I wore it with white pants and sandals for dinner out with friends last week and I know I will get so much wear out of it as it looks cute with shorts, with white pants/jeans, and with jeans.

Loving... 

Pure Barre Platform! I've been taking Pure Barre classes since last June (read about my first class experience and then when I reached 100 classes) and love them. Pure Barre also offers a higher intensity class called Platform and I've been trying to get into the routine of going once a week. It is definitely harder than the usual class but it's good to switch things up!

Reading... 

I bought Rich People Problems for my trip to Upstate New York earlier this month (which you can read about here and here) and loved it! To be honest, I love books that are a bit dramatic and it's fun to read about characters who have so much money they couldn't possibly spend it all. I'm looking for another book to read before heading to Clemson in a few weeks so let me know if you have any suggestions!

Watching... 

Grey's Anatomy! After hearing my friends rave about for years (no joke y'all), I decided to start watching on my way to Kiawah Island last month and I'm loving it so far! I am definitely not a fan of anything too gory but really love Grey's so far (currently at the end of season two!).

Needing... 

to run a bunch of errands to get ready for college! I would say that I have a good portion of what I need but there's lots of little things I need to cross off of my list! I am hoping to get a chunk of these errands done this week and then next week as well!

Excited... 

to move into my dorm into a few weeks! My roommate and I have a few more items we need to get and I need to do some serious packing but I'm so excited to finally move into Clemson. Once I move in, sorority recruitment will start the next day so it will definitely be busy but I'm so excited for it!

Wanting... 

this Tuckernuck top (so cute!), this Lauren James dress (perfect for game day), these Lilly shorts (I think I may get these for sorority recruitment), this J. Crew Factory top, this Lilly skort, and this shirt dress



What have y'all been up to lately? Let me know in the comments!

Monday, July 24, 2017

A Favorite Lilly Top & Orange Chinos

If you've been following along for a while (if so, thank you!), you've probably seen this top before. It was one of my first Lilly pieces that I bought at full price back during my sophomore year and it's still one of my favorites. I've styled it for both winter and for summer on the blog already but I can't help but share it again ;)

The reason why this top is still a staple in my wardrobe (two and half years later!) is it truly goes with everything. It looks adorable with shorts and sandals in the summer, I wore it with a skirt and flats for school last year, and it works for winter when you add a cashmere cardigan, jeans, and riding boots.

I snagged these J. Crew chinos for a steal last month and knew I had to have them as they're Clemson orange (the orange in my closet has grown significantly since committing to Clemson). My friend Renee was super sweet and gave me a J. Crew gift card so I was able to use it to buy these shorts.












Top: Lilly Pulitzer (similar) Chino Shorts: J. Crew Sandals: Jack Rogers Purse: Tory Burch (similar) Sunglasses: Kate Spade (similar) Bracelets: Lilly Pulitzer (a Gift with Purchase) and David Yurman (similar)

While my mom and I were shooting these pictures, another lady came by and insisted on taking our pictures (and offered us some photography tips haha). I thought it would be cute to include it!


Thanks for reading and I hope y'all have a great Monday!

Friday, July 21, 2017

My Chic Week: July 14-20

Happy Friday y'all! After getting back from vacation on Saturday, this week has been getting back into the routine of things. Even though I don't have crazy plans, I'm excited for the weekend (isn't everyone?).


Friday morning, we left New York and headed to my cousins's house in Virginia. We left in the mid-morning, which gave us sometime to pack up before leaving and then say goodbye to my grandparents. Friday was our longer drive so we arrived in Virginia around dinner time.

Thought the picture on the road of Kona was too funny- she chewed a hole in her crate and she kept on sticking her head out of it!


Once we got to my cousins's, we walked the dogs and then ate dinner. It was a pretty low-key evening, which was fine after a long drive that day.


Saturday morning, we got an early start and drove from Virginia to North Carolina. The day was pretty uneventful but if you follow me on Twitter (which you definitely should!), you heard my story about the beetle. We stopped at a rest stop for our last pit stop of the trip and the rest stop had all these beetles swarming. We got into the car and three hours later (after taking a selfie to send to a friend), I noticed that there was a bettle on my shirt. I screamed, flung it off of me, and then it got back onto me and I freaked out again. Weird story of the day right there y'all!


Once I got home, I ran to the grocery store to pick up a few essentials and then spent the rest of the afternoon unpacking.


Sunday was a fairly laid back day as I was trying to get back into the swing of things after being on vacation for two weeks. I worked on a bunch of things for the blog and then crossed a few other items off of my to-do list.


I went to a barre class Sunday afternoon, which was amazing after being gone for two weeks. I definitely needed to get back into my workout routine (even if the class felt 10x harder haha!). After class, I stopped at Whole Foods to pick up a few things for the week (which I shared with y'all on my Instagram Stories, be sure to follow me to stay up to date with everything I post).




Monday morning, I woke up a bit early so I could work on a few things on the blog and get ready for the day before going to my workout class. I went to Pure Barre Platform Monday morning, which is such a hard class but an amazing workout!


After class ended, I ran an errand and then picked up a juice from a juice bar before heading home. I worked on Tuesday's blog post before heading to go nanny.


I was up bright and early on Tuesday morning to nanny and the boys I nanny and I wound up taking a long walk to their school. I stayed in the city all day on Tuesday and managed to be super productive.


I camped out in Starbucks for a few hours and got a lot done for the blog and a few tasks related to sorority recruitment, with the help of a coffee of course!


I nannied again in the afternoon, which was a pretty low key afternoon as the boys I nanny and I played inside to beat the heat! 

I wound up only working in the morning on Wednesday, which was a nice little change in my schedule (I shared my summer daily routine Tuesday here on Chic in Carolina).


Once I got home, I did some blog work and then shared a few of my recent purchases with y'all on Instagram stories, which I loved! I will definitely be doing more of those in the future so be on the lookout for that! I also went to a barre class Wednesday afternoon, which is always a good thing.



On Wednesday, I went out to dinner with a bunch of my friends, which was so much fun as we hadn't seen each other in a while. One of my friends was visiting from Brazil as she studied abroad here the first semester of senior year so it was so fun to see her!


I nannied in the morning on Thursday and once I finished, I met my mom and siblings at Costco to do a Costco run. I then hung out at the family I nanny for's house for a while, which was good as I was able to be productive!


I walked to pick the boys up from school, with a stop for Starbucks on the way back. I nannied for a few hours before heading back home for dinner! My mom and I walked the dogs and then I finished up this blog post and cleaned my room (real life y'all!).


On my Radar this Week:

1. I just made a big purchase yesterday- a new camera! We bought my dad a DSLR for his birthday last year and he has let me use it for blog pictures over the past few months. Since I'm heading to Clemson next month, I wanted to have my own camera so I could continue to share outfit pictures with y'all and also to document college life (like sorority events or studying abroad). I decided to go with the same camera my dad has, the Nikon D3400, and I'm so excited to get to use it!

2. Lilly Pulitzer just realized new arrivals and they are, as always, gorgeous! My favorites are this dress, these shortsthis dress, this skortthese shorts, this tee, this dress, and this button up

3. Love my friend Amy's post on 5 reasons why you should start a blog! If you're not a blogger and haven't read it already, I definitely recommend checking it out!

4. Curious if those detox teas you always see on Instagram actually work? This article from The Everygirl talks more about this!

5. Renee shared about her trip to New Orleans, which looks amazing


Happy Friday!