Monday, August 25, 2014

Dorm 101 : Roommate Tips

I've had both really good and really...subpar roommates.  So I feel like I am qualified to write this post in hopes that you will only have a really good roommate experience!  Although I don't have a roommate this year, I have hall mates that I am sharing the bathroom with, so I will even be applying some of these tips to my own life.

I know most of these tips seem pretty simple, and even maybe dumb, but I've witnessed roommate situations go the wrong way because people weren't being genuinely courteous.

I know not everyone is as much of a neat freak as I am, but when you're living with another person, cleaning up after yourself is necessary.  You are probably sharing an extremely small room with another person, and when you add two people's worth of stuff, even the slightest mess will be a disaster.  Be considerate of your roommate's things and space, and keep your side of the room tidy.

Shortly after arriving at school, Sweet Briar's RA's encourage (more like require) their residents to fill out a roommate contract that helps to set ground rules for the year.  These contracts involve things such as quiet hours, sharing, bringing guys back to the room, and anything else that could cause student's to have a fight.  Even if your RA doesn't require you to fill out a contract, I think it is so important to talk with your roommate so you are both on the same page as far as what the other person wants.

And finally, use common sense!  If you are about to do something that you wouldn't want your roommate to do to you...don't do it!  It's as simple as that!

What are some of your best roommate tips?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Back To College

I can hardly believe I'm typing this post.  I have officially moved into my senior dorm room.  It hasn't quite sunk in yet that this is my last year at Sweet Briar...and my last year in a dorm room...and my last year living in Central Virginia.

I don't quite know what will happen after graduation, although I have some ideas of what I'd like to happen (more on that in another post), who knows!  But as for this year, I'm going to enjoy living in a beautiful single dorm room with the best view of the Blue Ridge Mountains and make the best of my last year here!

The view from my window of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The last few days have been a whirlwind between driving down to Virginia, moving in and unpacking (dorm room tour to come later in the week!), and being thrown right into Student Government Training, Judicial Training (and this year I'm the one doing the training!), and First Year Orientation.  I'm not anxious for classes to start, but I'm ready for the set schedule and routine that comes with classes.  Luckily, that won't come for another week and a half, leaving plenty of time to catch up with friends and settle into my new room before I'm tossed into a schedule of academically vigorous classes like Walking for Fitness and Tennis (I really am taking these classes, but I joke about them being tough!)


Friday, August 15, 2014

Dorm 101 : Miscellaneous Necessities

I know, I know, you've already been shopping for tons of can I possibly tell you that there are a few more things you should pick up?

Keurig® K10 MINI / A Set of Dishes / Tervis Tumbler / North Face Backpack

If you drink a lot of coffee (or tea, cider, hot chocolate, etc.) (and you're allowed to have this in your dorm room), I would really suggest a Kuerig!  Although it's an investment, over your time in college, it will definitely save you money.  Instead of going to Starbucks or a cafe every time you want a drink, you just have to put a k-cup into your Kuerig! If you go this route, be sure to bring a travel thermal mug so you can take your drink with you!

I know people say that there is no need for you to have real dishes in your dorm room and that paper plates will suffice.  Well..I disagree.  If you have left overs from a restaurant, or a hankering for some mac and can't reheat that on a paper plate.  Plan on having cheese and crackers for a snack?  Well cutting up a block of cheese on a paper plate sounds like a terrible idea.  I'm not saying you need a service for 16...but a single plate, bowl, and set of silverware is extremely useful.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again...some kind of reusable cup or water bottle!  This will also save you money, if you fill it up in the dining hall!  I love my Tervis and my Lifefactory bottle...but find something that works for you, slap a monogram decal on it, and use it!

No matter how dorky you think a backpack looks...I would suggest bringing one to school anyway.  You never know how heavy your textbooks will really be until you're lugging them to class in a tote bag and you feel like your shoulder is about to dislocate.  On days when I have classes back to back (which I don't actually have this semester!) and one of them has a heavy text book, I would always use my North Face Borealis backpack.  It definitely saved me from having anymore back pain than I was already having!

What are some of your random college necessities?


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Dorm 101 : Shower Necessities

College is the first time that many people have to share a bathroom..especially with an entire hall.  Unless you've been to sleep away camp or boarding school, you've probably never even thought about sharing a bathroom with 15+ girls.  And I'm not going to lie to's gross.

Even though Sweet Briar has housekeepers that clean our bathrooms during the week, they can get a little nasty.

I'd like to think these shower necessities are just common sense...but judging by what I've seen people use and what I've seen incoming freshman bring on move in day, I'd like to help you out before you have any issues!

1) You need a towel wrap or a robe.  If your bathroom is not connected to your dorm room, you will be walking down the hall to access the you really want to do that in a little towel?  You never know if someone's parents are visiting.  That would be embarrassing.  Plus!  You can find cute towel wraps or robes...and they can be monogrammed!

2) You need a shower caddy.  You can use a caddy like I pictured above, or then sell fabric types that I've used in the past.  Just find someone that will hold all of your shower products!  You cannot carry your shampoo, conditioner, body wash, face cleanser, loofah, razor, shaving cream, etc, etc in your arms.  I am not doubting your physical strength...I'm just being realistic.

3) This one, hopefully, is a no brainer.  You need towels.  I recommend at least two sets so you don't have to constantly do laundry.  There are so many cute towels out there...and you don't have to spend a lot!  Check out TJ Maxx or Marshalls.  I recommend the Ralph Lauren towels...they have an amazing color selection, they wash well, and they're reasonably priced!


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Dorm 101 : Desk Organization

Even if you plan on doing most of your studying in the library, I think it's important to have your desk organized for a few reasons.  Firstly, you need somewhere to store all of your supplies for quick and easy access.  Secondly, when it's -10 degrees out and snowing, you might not want to go to the library anymore...and you might want to study at your desk.  But if you don't have a desk lamp...or will really be in a bind.

Some of my favorite school supplies come from The Container Store.  If your desk has drawers or a hutch, utilize this space for your supplies and keep the actual desk top open to work.  I recommend pencil cups, desk organizers, and magazine caddies for organization.  I like the sleek look of acrylic organizers, and you can spice them up with a vinyl monogram decal, if you'd like!  Mine acrylic supplies are monogrammed with gold block decals that I purchased from etsy.

You can use magazine files for more than magazines!  I use them to store my folders and file for MWF classes and another for TR classes.  This makes it easy for me to grab my books for classes, and additionally, it keeps them store upright...taking up less space!

Additionally, a good desk lamp and a power trip (or two!) are necessities.  Make sure you get a surge protector power strip for your computer, and a few other power strips to use throughout your room.  Dorm rooms do not have a lot of outlets, and you have to share, so bring your own!


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Dorm 101 : Bedding

Your bed is one of the most important places in your dorm room.  It becomes your couch, your desk, your chair...oh, and your bed.

Totally Trellis Comforter / Peyton Duvet Cover

I would recommend getting a dark colored comforter/duvet because you will spend so much time in your bed.  Whether it be watching a movie on your laptop, reading for class, or spending time with your friends, you will most likely be on your bed in your dorm room way more than you ever were at home.  A dark colored comforter is a good choice in case you spill on it or it gets stained.  Add pops of color with pillow shams, throw pillows, or a throw at the end of your bed!

I personally recommend having at least one extra pair of sheets.  I have two extras because I have hand-me-downs from my sister, but two sets should be sufficient.  This way you don't have to do laundry all the time, and if you spill in your bed, you can easily change your sheets and wash the dirty pair when you have more time.

Even more important than a comforter, is the things you choose for under your sheets.  Most schools require that you have a waterproof mattress protector (and you'll want one even if you're not required), but I also recommend some kind of mattress topper.  I have a pillow topper, and it's great!  Some of my friends have memory foam toppers...and I never want to get off of their beds.  Go to the store and try some out...see what you like best!


Monday, August 11, 2014

Dorm 101: Dorm Essentials feat. Brita®

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Brita. All opinions are 100% mine.

As much as I hate to admit it, summer is coming to a close.  And that means one thing, it's time to go back to school.  I can hardly believe that I'll be a senior in college, but hey, I've got to embrace it!  One thing is for sure, three years of college dorm life have given me enough experience to be able to remind y'all of some things not to forget while packing and back to school shopping!

One thing that I just couldn't live without in my dorm room, is my Brita® pitcher!  I try to avoid soda and other sugary beverages when I'm not in the dining hall (and I even try to avoid them then, too!) so it's important to have cold water in my fridge.  I'm really picky about the taste of water, so the Brita® is perfect and convenient!  Plus, it is available at of my favorite stores for back to school shopping.

Not only does it keep you from drinking soda and other sugary beverages, it allows you to have the cleanest, great-tasting water available right at your finger tips.  Additionally, be using a refillable water bottle and your Brita pitcher, you're saving the environment!  I have completely stopped using disposable water bottles over the past few years, which has not only saved our Earth, but also my wallet!

Not in your dorm room enough to refill your bottle?  Don't fear!  Brita also offers water bottles with filters!  I have two of these bottles, and they're great for those days that are filled with class, meetings, work, and work straight through until 9pm.  I don't have to worry about finding a place to refill my bottle with great tasting water, because I have my own filter right in my bottle!
Some of my other dorm essentials include a great resusable water bottle, lysol wipes and swiffer dusters, push pins, and shower shoes!

What are some of your "must haves" for the dorm room?

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Dorm 101: Storage

In my three years of college, I've moved in and out of four dorm rooms (and in less than a week, we'll add my fifth and final dorm room).  If there is one thing I can emphasize enough, you will never have too many bins and shelves for storage.  Dorm rooms have limited closet and dresser space, so you have to be creative and use all available storage options.

dorm storage

Some of my favorite storage bins from from Lilly Pulitzer (Lifeguard Press) and Scout.  They are study bins made out of some kind of vinyl material, so you can easily wipe them out with a Lysol wipe if they get dirty or something spills inside.

The most important piece of advice I would give, is to categorize your items.  For example, I just one Lilly bin for all of my dishes and snacks.  By keeping like items together, you are more likely to use them because you can easily find them.

I'm like every other college girl.... I have about 4 times as many clothes as my dorm room has storage for.  If you are allowed to have bed risers (check your dorm regulations first!) I highly recommend using them!  By lifting your bed even six inches off the ground, you will be able to slide bins or drawer sets under your bed for additional clothing storage.  I use a Scout under bed tote (I couldn't find it on their website, but their lidded trunk would work just as well!) to hold extra towels and sheets.  Additionally, I use another under the bed container to hold sweaters, scarves, and vests in the summer and shorts and sandals in the winter.

I highly recommend an over-the-door hook rack because it is the perfect place to hang your wet towels to allow them to fully dry (no mold, please!) and a jacket or two.

It's all about figuring out what works best for you and for the items you brought to school.  However, after four dorm rooms and three years of practice, I can definitely say that these are my "must-have" storage/organization items.

Just remember, when everything has a place, it's easier to clean up and it's easier to find things!


Friday, August 8, 2014

What She Wore: Summer Uniform

If you see me on a summer day when I'm just out running errands and bopping around town my mom and/or sister, chances are I'll be wearing a variation of this uniform.  To me, the easiest outfit to wear (and still look put together) includes a pair of chinos shorts, a simple kind of t-shirt (preferably striped), and a pair of sandals.

Shirt : J. Crew Factory / Shorts : G.H. Bass / Sandals : Jack Rogers / Sunnies : Ray Ban New Wayfarer / Bangle : C. Wonder / Watch: Fossil / Purse : Kate Spade 

Plus, it doesn't hurt that I found this adorable (and navy!!!) bag on a super sale at the outlets yesterday.  I love that it can be worn cross body, or held by the small straps.  It's super versatile, and surprisingly you can fit a lot inside!  I love that it zips closed and is big enough to hold a book or my nook.  It would have been perfect for my summer in the that just means I'll have to visit NYC again soon!

Unfortunately, summer is coming to an end, so I'm savoring these fun days out with my mom (and the end of another summer with my typical summer uniform).


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Links I'm Loving

Since I've had more time to spend surfing the internet lately, I've been coming across some interesting, fun, and informative articles, recipes, and links.  I don't know if this will become a daily Friday thing, but I thought we could see how this week's post goes over...

The most beautiful and inspiration work a four foot wide space.

How to maintain your beauty and fashion on this summer's most humid days.

How going to summer camp as a kid can teach life long lessons.

Can't make it to NYC?  Try this at-home recipe for Serendipity's frozen hot chocolate.

It's possible to tone every inch of your body without any equipment.

How online technology can improve the ability to track and detect virus outbreaks.

Have you found any interesting links this week?  Please share!


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

5 Tips To Savor Summer

I have bad news.  That news is that summer is ending.  I know, I know.  It's terrible.  Trust me, I'm clinging on to the last few days of summer just as much as you are.  I head back to Sweet Briar on August 16th, so I'm savoring these last two weeks of freedom.

But don't worry, I'm here to provide you with some tips for savoring the end of summer, because trust me, you'll regret it if you don't!

I know that once I get back to school, I'll be going nonstop for the first two weeks until classes start.  I have training for Student Government Exec Board and I will be helping with orientation for the first years.  In preparation for that craziness, I'm using these two weeks to recharge my battery with lots of sleep, relaxing, and lounging around.

Additionally, I'm hoping to schedule a few weeks worth of blog posts so I won't have to worry about that while I'm moving into my new room. (p.s., if there are any posts y'all would like to see, feel free to let me know in the comments!  Any ideas are greatly appreciated!)

How are you spending your last few weeks of summer?

Monday, August 4, 2014

Everyday Makeup Routine

I'm not a huge makeup person.  I like getting dressed up, and on special occasions, I like to spiff up the makeup a little bit.  But for everyday wear, I like to keep things minimal, quick, and easy.

I find liquid foundation a pain in the butt.  It's messy, it can look bad if you don't blend it in well enough, and it's hard to find the perfect shade.  However, I've found a new makeup routine that provides coverage while still looking natural, takes less than five minutes, and keeps my face looking matte all day!

every day makeup

Insert Maybelline Fit Me Concealer and L'oreal True Match Poweder.

I went with the Maybelline concealer because it is from the same line as the foundation I use, so I knew which color matched my skin tone.  However, I think any concealer with a doe foot (sponge) applicator, would do the trick.  It's easy to apply on any blemishes and under the eyes.  I follow up with a light coat of powder over my whole face using a big powder brush (mine is from ecotools).  Then, I "pat" the powder into my oily areas (forehead, nose, and chin) to keep them looking matte all day.

Add a quick coat of mascara (I'm loving "The Rocket" right now, but I switch it up almost every time I buy a new mascara!) and some blush if I'm feeling washed out.

Less than five minutes and I'm ready to head out the door!

What is your daily makeup routine like?