Monday, February 29, 2016

OOTD: Rompers Rule

I have been loving this romper lately! I dressed it up for Valentine's Day date, but it can be easily dressed down for a casual fun weekend day. While visiting Kansas it was in the high 60's and sometimes it was 70 degrees out! Hello spring? Nope I'm back in cold Ames. But, the nice break and sun was much needed. It makes me super excited for spring break. 

To create a more casual look I paired my romper with a oversize cozy sweater. I love this sweater because it is so soft! It's like wearing a blanket, but more put together of course. By adding a sweater and a pair of tall boots it creates a more casual look. To complete the look I added a bold statement necklace and a stack of bracelets (obviously!). 

Where it's from: 
Sweater: Nordstrom 
Necklace: J Crew 
Bracelets: Alex and Ani, Armed & Readi 
Watch: Michael Kors 
Earrings: Kate Spade 
Tights: H&M 
Boots: Sam Edleman 

How do you wear your rompers? Let me know in the comments! 

Friday, February 26, 2016

Blogger Spotlight: Prep Avenue

To keep things preppy, my next blogger spotlight is on Shannon H from Prep Avenue. Shannon’s adorable colorful journey in life is documented by her equally adorable blog.

Shannon started her blog as a senior in high school after being inspired by reading other blogs.
She said, “I have always been interested in digital marketing and this was a cool way to practice my skills!”

Prep Avenue covers topics from Shannon’s preppy style, life as a college student, along with other random thoughts she wants to share with her readers.

Shannon is a college student at Furman University in Greenville, SC. Being a college student and balancing a blog can be a hard task. As a college student myself, balancing blogging with course work and extracurricular activities can be a struggle. But, it is all about finding the perfect balance. Although college bloggers like to think that you can balance everything, sometimes your blog has to suffer because of your course work.

“Prep Avenue occasionally gets put on the back burner when my school load gets rough,” Shannon said, “School is my priority right now!”

Blogging can particularly get tough while studying abroad.While I studied abroad I was able to keep up with my blog fairly well. Although I had 15 credits the work wasn’t as time consuming as back at Iowa State. Shannon recently studied abroad to Italy where she had some struggles keeping up with Prep Avenue. With a heavy course load, weekend travels, and unreliable Wi-Fi it was often hard to keep up with posts.

But, blogging while studying abroad can be a great way to remember the things you have done and seen. “I was able to get a post up about every place I went,” she said, “It’s fun because I’ll be able to look back on those posts and pictures.”

Although difficult at times maintaining a blog is especially fun while in college and while studying abroad.

By documenting your travels and college experience you will be able to look back and remember the memories and times you’ve had.

Shannon is currently a junior in college and is graduating in about a year and a half. Despite graduation coming up Shannon anticipates keeping her blog alive post-graduation.  

“After graduation, I definitely still see myself blogging I’m just not sure what I’ll be doing or where I’ll be living,” She said, “I guess we’ll just have to see!”

If you don't already follow Prep Avenue it is a must! Shannon's adorable blog and social media accounts will brighten your day. Also, be sure to check out her posts from her adventures abroad because she traveled to some amazing places! 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

OOTD: B&W Stripes

Hello warm weather! This past week I ventured off to KU and it was gorgeous outside. With 70 degree weather I can't help but want to get all dressed up! But, I know winter is not over (but I wish it was) so I created an easy cute look with a striped tee and flared skirt. While exploring we found this wall with a spray painted heart and it was the perfect OOTD backdrop. 

I love this top because it features my two favorite things: polka dots and stripes. It doesn't get much better! I paired it with a simple black skirt with a unique silhouette. Although I wear this as an everyday outfit this would be super cute if you wanted to dress up but still be comfortable. Pairing comfortable tees with more dressy pieces is a great way to reach a happy medium! 

For accessories I kept things pretty simple. I wore an all black rhinestone statement necklace along with some gold glitter stud earrings. My bracelet stack was simple with three Alex and Ani bracelets and a beaded tassel bracelet. To complete the look I added my pearl KJP bracelet. 

Where it's from: 
Shirt: J Crew 
Skirt: Topshop 
Tights: H&M 
Shoes: Dolce Vita 
Bracelets: KJP, Armed & Readi, Alex and Ani 
Watch: Michael Kors 
Earrings: Kate Spade 
Necklace: C Wonder 
Purse: Henri Bendel 

What is your favorite way to dress up a tee? Let me know in the comments! 

Monday, February 22, 2016

Easy College Meal

I am a terrible cook. So, when I suggested to cook for Valentine's day last week I was hesitant. But, I found a super easy recipe to make if your a college student living in an apartment. It's literally so easy that anyone can make it (even me)! 
What you need: Doritos individual bags, 1 pound of ground beef, 1 packet of taco seasoning, sour cream, shredded cheese, lettuce. 

  1. Cook the ground beef- First start by browning the ground beef in a pan. Break up the meat with a spatula so it can evenly cook. 
  2. Drain the fat- First prep a plate with a paper plate stacked on top. Add some paper towels on top. After you cook the meat thoroughly pour the meat onto the paper towel. Pat down the meat until all of the fat is gone. 
  3. Add taco seasoning- Once you drain the fat add the meat back into the pan. Then follow the instructions on the taco seasoning packet. 
  4. Then your all done!- Simply add your taco meat and toppings to the individual Doritos bag to create your walking taco. 

What is your easy go-to recipe? Let me know in the comments! 

Friday, February 19, 2016

Blogger Spotlight: The College Prepster

My next blogger spotlight is one my all time favorite blogger Carly Heitlinger from The College Prepster. Her fun and colorful blog can brighten anyone’s day! Not to mention her adorable style and dog Teddy are the best. 

Heitlinger started her blog after her first semester final exams. Now seven years later Heitlinger has made her blog her full time job. She said, “I was really struggling to adjust to college life and needed a creative outlet.”

The College Prepster is a life and style blog with a preppy and girly angle. Heitlinger likes to create a conversation with her audience through her posts.

She said, “If it’s something I’d share with a friend, then it’s something I’d post about. Whether that’s a great book I just read, a snack that I’m loving, a trip I just went on, or an outfit I’ve been wearing on repeat.”

While I create my blog content, I also believe that sharing personal favorites is important. This way you create a dialogue with your readers and help them get to know you as a person and blogger.When Heitlinger first created The College Prepster she didn’t have any set goals or have any set intentions with her blog.

Heitlinger said, “I had no idea what it would turn into, but I would say the main motivation was just to have a creative outlet.”

My blog Sew Cute Style serves as my escape and personal creative outlet. A blog is a great way, in my opinion, to express yourself especially in college or high school.

Heitlinger never expected to make a career out of her blog. During college Heitlinger realized that her blog could help her land a potential job. However, now The College Prepester is Heitlinger’s full time job.

 “I never, ever expected to make my blog my full time job. Even when I quit my full time job, it was to give blogging a chance,” she said, “I thought I’d be bored and want to start interviewing for something new immediately. I loved it though!”

Personally, I use Sew Cute Style as a creative outlet, but also to use potential employers. Creating a blog with good content that shows off your skills and yourself as a personal brand can be highly beneficial.

Blogging as a full time job allows for something different each day. Heitlinger on an average day responds to emails, answers questions through Tumblr, creates content for social media, writing blog posts, editing photos, and more.

Occasionally, Heitlinger will attend events at night. But, most of the time she spends her days in front of her computer. Heitlinger finds her blog rewarding in many ways. Her favorite part of being a blogger is meeting her readers. She said, “Blogging is my job now and it wouldn’t be possible without the amazing readers I have.” 

Heitlinger loves sharing her successes with her readers and her fans! As a big time blogger The College Prepster has a wealth on knowledge on the blogging phenomenon. Heitlinger’s advice to aspiring bloggers is to blog because you love it!

“It’s easy to start comparing yourself to other bloggers or think that you have to have X number of followers or partnerships with XYZ brands,” she said, “But you don’t! As long as you love what you’re doing, you’ll always be successful!”

Despite my small following and lack of sponsored posts I love my blog. Having the outlet to share my thoughts is something I will always cherish. My biggest advice to aspiring bloggers is to create a blog if it is something you are passionate about. Although you may not have a large following, you will personally find it rewarding.

Also, you never know where blogging might lead you. Some day you could be a big time blogger like The College Prepster!

I would like to thank Carly for taking the time out of her busy day to let me ask her a few questions. She is truly one of the sweetest people and she is by far my favorite blogger. She continues to inspire me and influence how I look at blogging. Be sure to follow The College Prepster, if you aren't already because you totally should! 

Who is your favorite blogger? Let me know in the comments! 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Oh Joy Target Collab!

Party HedgehogHey pillow | Hey Hey print (also available in a smaller size) 

Um hello! A new Target collaboration with oh-sew-cute stuff? I couldn't resist. But, sadly I couldn't find any of these items at my local Target. BUT I plan on possibly picking up the adorable little hedgehog figurine online. Who wouldn't want an adorable gold hedgehog with a party hat. No one. This collection is a must see. All of this colorful decor was created by Oh Joy blogger. I can't help but love the bright and cheery items in the collection. You can now shop the Oh Joy collection on Target's website and in stores.

Have you bought anything from the collection? What do you think about it? Let me know in the comments! 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Book Review: Tales from the Back Row

If one were to mix a sassy college student with a professional writer with a fashion twist you would get Amy Odell’s Tales from the Back Row. Odell’s Tales from the Back Row is a non-fiction piece on her first hand experiences of being a journalist in the online fashion blogging world. The book takes you on a journey of Odell and her learning the ins and outs of the fashion business. From interviewing with Anna Wintour for a position at Vogue to getting invited to a Victoria Secret Fashion Show Odell describes a wide range of topics that would be interesting to any fashion lover. The title of the book reveals the underlying theme that Odell is an underdog in the industry. She isn’t wearing $3,000 Chanel suits or sitting in the front row of a fashion show sipping champagne.

While each chapter progresses, Odell becomes more informed and more experienced in the fashion world. I think one of the main purposes of this book is to illustrate her journey through the business in a different and unique way. Although this book mimics the style of an autobiography Odell creates a more casual and fun dialect in the book. I couldn’t help but feel like I was reading a book written by my best friend. Her witty humor was intertwined with facts and stories that made it a fun and easy read.  This book would appeal to anyone interested in the fashion business of course, but I think it is also just a fun read on what it is actually like to work in fashion.

Since I am a fashion industry junkie my opinion may be biased, but I do think this was an awesome read. Although I found the sections well organized I did feel the book was choppy at times. Sometimes I wish it were broken up chronologically so that we could see more of a journey through her career. Despite the very strict chapter structure I thought the book was a quick and enjoyable read. Odell is a captivating writer and conveyed her message well. I think Odell wrote this book to expose what working in fashion journalism is like. To some people’s disbelief fashion journalism isn’t exactly like the famous movie The Devil Wears Prada. Just because Anna Wintour walks around wearing outfits more then my tuition bill doesn’t mean that everyone in the fashion industry lives a lavish lifestyle.  I think her message and overall tone will resonate well with readers. Even if someone isn’t a fashion professional or even interested in fashion I think Odell has create a book that is fun and entertaining for readers.

Although I wasn’t completely na├»ve to the realistic life of working in fashion journalism, the book had some amazing incites into the industry.  I found Odell to be very relatable, charismatic, and down right hilarious in this book. This book made me excited to be apart of an industry that has it flaws but is very interesting and creative. This book is a must read to feed the fashion lover in all of us.

Have you read Tales from the Back Row? Let me know in the comments! 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Valentine's Day Snapshots

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! I had a wonderful Valentine's Day Weekend with my amazing boyfriend! It's the first Valentine's Day in a long time I haven't been single (lol Galentine's Day is still great ladies). Although he had to head back to school today we spent the weekend celebrating! Here are a few snapshots from the weekend. 

I got an amazing gift from my boyfriend. There is nothing better then a little blue box and white bow. He's the best! 

Valentine's Day cards are kind of my favorite thing. I still have to send some out to my friends but I got some from Jeremy as well as some other snail mail! I miss the days of decorating my little Valentine's Day box and handing out cards to everyone in my class. Does anyone else miss that? I for sure miss the candy too! 

Date night was awesome! We hit up my favorite Ames restaurant The Cafe. We dined on fresh bread (literally the best bread money can buy), steak, and tasty desserts! After we got back we hung out and of course watched the Iowa State game. Two older couples were asked where we were going because we were so dressed up. We said to go home... I guess we looked like we had big plans!

For Valentine's Day I got Jeremy some stuff from London and a personalized KJP bracelet. We wanted to take a super cute picture, because why wouldn't we, so we snapped this picture at dinner. KJP ended up re-tweeted it so I feel kind of Twitter famous! I'm not really Twitter famous but I can pretend. 

I hope you all are having an amazing Valentine's Day! What are your plans? I want to know! Let me know in the comments! 

P.S. I can't wait to hit up Target and get candy 50% off! 

Friday, February 12, 2016

Blogger Spotlight: House of Wonderland

My next blogger spotlight is on Tessa from House of Wonderland. As a small business owner Tessa Shearer has created a quirky and colorful business through her online shop House of Wonderland
This may be the best thing ever. Pug notepad, who could want more? 
Shearer does fun illustrations that are then put on a wide variety of gifts like jewelry, accessories, and much more. All of Shearer’s products are made in the United Kingdom and from independent British suppliers.

Although her blog came long after her business, Shearer uses it as a promotional tool for new products as well as fun DIY posts.

Tessa's shop features so many adorable gifts! 

Most often Shearer blogs about her new arrivals in her shop and the background of how they were created. This gives her customers more insight into her creative process along with seeing new things in her shop.

Despite Shearer’s blog being a relatively new project she has big plans for it. Eventually she hopes to create looks around her products to show customers how they can style them.

In addition, Shearer hopes to find more new and exciting ways to promote her products through her blog. Although her blog is in the early stages Shearer has noticed a lot of traffic coming to her shop through her blog.

How adorable is this pillow? SO CUTE! 

Shearer, like some small business owners, has found that creating a blog helps them not only gain more followers, but it helps their small businesses grow. With a unique business model and connecting it through her blog, I think Shearer is destined for success! Not to mention her adorable product line would make anyone smile.

Shearer just launched her new HOW Jewellery Club Boxes through Jewellery ClubThis new addition to her site acts as a monthly subscription box. Customers can order the box and receive special goodies that represent a theme Shearer has specially created.

For more information on House of Wonderland and their products be sure to head to her blog! Do you want to be featured in my 10 week blogger spotlight series? Leave your URL in the comments!