January Faves

It's almost February, but if you live in Alabama, you won't be able to tell. Not one snowflake. On that note, there is a 90 percent chance of flurries tomorrow night.  I may or may not be praying that school is delayed on Monday...
January has never been one of my favorite months.  It's always so blah. New semester at school, new ways to stress out about things, new ways to forget things, etc.  Plus, I'm not the best at keeping new year's resolutions. This January wasn't much different.  I had endless projects and tests, and this weather is infuriating.  If it's going to be cold outside, it needs to snow, am I right?
I may not have an exceptional list of favorites for this month, but I've been trying to get inspiration from the people and places around me. So, without further ado...

January Faves

1. Tassels:  I know these were SUPER popular last year, and they'll probably come back this summer.  However, I think this trend can be super cute for the cooler months, too.  I love this gold pendant and this fun bracelet.  Oh, and can we sit down and have a long conversation about the tassel top?

2. Long Necklaces:  I've always favored simple outfits that had a touch of jewelry or a hint of color.  I think long necklaces are a fun way to add that "touch."  My personal favorites are this classic Kendra Scott and this intriguing chain.

3. Stripes:  I feel as though I need more stripes in my life.  If I ever want to throw on a huge cardigan and call it an outfit, I'm always wishing I had a striped shirt like this one to go underneath.  Show your stripes, yes?

4. Chambray:  Is there such a day that can be complete without chambray? I've worn my chambray button-down at least four times this month.  It's not as if anyone's noticed...

Any favorites from this month that you'd like to share?

Shop the post:

The Liebster Award

I still consider myself to be a newbie at this blogger/ Instagram thing, but I believe in my short time of being involved in this "business," I've learned a few things.
First and foremost, though, I've learned that blogging is a community effort. Without bloggers interacting with other bloggers, we wouldn't have blogger friends or blogger meetups or blogger photoshoots.  And you've got to admit, those are pretty cool things to watch and read about.  Or even be a part of.
That is why I'm thrilled to announce that I've been nominated by Caroline Grace Prep for the Liebster Award, which is a sort of questionnaire (with super amazing questions).  It's also a fantastic way to spread the word about newer blogs, and even for you readers to get the answers to those burning questions that I just know you've been thinking about for months (I crack myself up).
I'll have my nominations and questions towards the end of this post!  Please enjoy!
Liebster Award -- Prep For A Day
1. Who or what introduced you to the preppy style?
One day I stumbled across a Sarah Belle video on YouTube, and that was when I first started learning about the preppy style.  Then I got a Pinterest account and, well, you can probably guess what happened from there...
2. Manicure or pedicure?
If I have a choice, neither.  I know, I'm probably one of the sole girls that hates having her nails done. Because I do pageants, though, I need to have them done every once in a while.  I've found that having a pedicure is a little more enjoyable.
3. What is your most worn item in your closet?
Tough one, but I'm going to go with this really baggy sweatshirt that I got in Hawaii.  It's like wearing a semi-stylish paper bag.
4. What kind of phone case do you have?
My favorite phone case is a Vineyard Vines inspired case from Etsy.
5. What is your favorite store?
J Crew Factory, J Crew Factory, and... J Crew Factory!
6. Lip gloss or lipstick?
Since I tend to have a more natural makeup look, I prefer lip gloss (as long as it isn't the sticky kind).
7. What is your favorite thing to do to relax after a long day?
Especially on Friday afternoons, I love jamming out to Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, and The Phantom of the Opera soundtrack.  That is, if I'm not jamming out to the Wicked soundtrack.
8. What is your favorite show on Netflix?
Cupcake Wars-- it's my favorite things in show.  Cupcakes and competition!
9. Do you prefer Lilly Pulitzer or Kate Spade?
Although I love both, I feel like my style drifts towards Kate Spade more.  Lilly is beautiful, but for someone like me who wears gray and navy most of the time, it isn't very practical.  Plus, I love quotes and witty sayings, and Kate Spade has some of the wittiest.
10. What made you decide to start a blog?
I had been following other bloggers for a long time, and I loved the idea of being able to give others advice and being able to possibly share experiences with readers. Honestly, I was a little afraid to put myself out here, and I didn't know if people would really want to read about my life.  One day I worked up enough nerve, and I started designing a blog template.  You know how it goes from there!
11. What is your favorite thing about blogging?
Like I mentioned above, it's great to be able to share advice with other people, and I love writing.  I'd like to think that someone might read my blog and get inspiration, or maybe even start their own blog.  I'd like to think that, in my own little way, I'm helping people, one post at a time.

I nominate the following blogs for the Liebster Award:

Here are your questions:
1. What is your favorite quote?
2. Do you have a favorite subject in school?  If so, what is it?
3. Describe your style in one word.
4. What is your favorite type of shoe to wear during the winter?
5. What is your favorite type of shoe to wear during the summer?
6. What is one accessory that you wear almost every single day?
7. What is your favorite movie of all time?
8. Who is your style inspiration?
9. If you could go to any destination in the world for a week, where would you go and why?
10. Why did you start blogging?

Thanks so much for reading!  I can't wait to see the responses!


Everyday Makeup Routine

I didn't start wearing makeup until about 8th grade.  My only prior experience with makeup had been putting on lip gloss and watching my mom put on mascara.  Even now, I don't put on a lot of makeup everyday. If I put on a LOT of makeup, I feel like I'm wearing pageant makeup.  If I'm wearing pageant makeup, I feel as though I should probably just go ahead and put on a pageant dress and heels as well.  Not very practical for school.
I know I'm not a beauty guru (although most of my techniques have been learned by watching beauty gurus on YouTube) when it comes to everyday makeup, but I hope you can learn something from my makeup routine!

Prep For A Day Everyday Makeup

1. Moisturizing/ Priming:  The first thing I do every morning is put on a good amount of moisturizer to keep my face hydrated.  Plus, I learned the hard way that foundation and a peeling face do not work well together.  Next, I apply this color correcting primer all over my eyelids and under my eyes.  Tip:  If you want to reduce the risk of making your dark circles worse, use your ring finger whenever applying makeup under your eyes.  This finger uses the least amount of pressure.

2. Concealing/ Foundation:  Truthfully, this is my least favorite thing to do in the morning.  Unfortunately, it's the most necessary.  Instead of using concealer first, I apply my favorite liquid foundation almost all over my face, sort of like a pre-concealer. Then I go back over the worst blemishes and my dark circles with my handy concealer.

3. Eyeshadow:  I absolutely love using my new Naked Basics palette in the morning because the eyeshadow is such good quality.  I typically use the color "Venus" as a highlighter under my brows and in the inner corners of my eyes.  Then I apply "W.O.S"(a light peach) all over my lids and use either "Faint"(a dark brown) or "Crave"(a charcoal gray) to contour my eyes.

4. Eyeliner/ Mascara:  I will be completely honest and confess that I am terrible at applying eyeliner compared to most people.  Don't even get me started on liquid liner. However, I've found that a good eyeliner pencil is easiest for me to use.  I usually start from the outer corner of my eye instead of the inner because the line is less likely to smudge that way.  After that fiasco, I curl my lashes and apply only a few coats of mascara.

5. Highlighting/ Blush:  If I don't take this step seriously, I will look like a vampire who applied too much powder.  Before the blush, I sweep some of the highlighter from my Coastal Scents palette across the high places on my face (cheekbones, forehead, etc.).  Then I combine the bronzer and the darker pink together and sweep that across my cheeks very lightly.  Lastly, I apply a final coat of blush to suggest that I am, in fact, living.

6. Lip balm/ Lip gloss:  Because my lips are highly pigmented, all I really need is a bit of lip balm and some lip gloss to finish everything off.

Looking back over this post, it seems like I use a pound of makeup every morning!
Any makeup tips from your routine you'd like to share?

Shop the post:

My Newest Obsession: Sonoma Life + Style Ankle Boots

This fall was the rise of the ankle boot.  At first I wasn't a fan because I'd only seen them styled with bohemian-type outfits, and that really isn't my style.  As fall got nearer and nearer, though, my Pinterest feed was full of cute outfits that featured ankle boots.
I started loving the ankle boot trend as much as I loved the white converse trend, and I really wanted a pair, but I had some problems:
a) the boots were WAY too expensive
b) the boots were less expensive but really unfashionable
c) the heels were sky high (this was especially a problem because I wanted to be able to wear them to school)
d) the boots were in the wrong color and /or size (I have a small foot, which is a blessing and a curse)
I was doing some after-Christmas shopping, and I happened to browse the Kohl's website.  Lo and behold, I finally found my ankle boots!  Better late than never, right?
Ankle Boot Obsession -- Prep For A Day

I absolutely love these boots!  From the detailing on the side to the heel height to the color, they're absolutely perfect!  I was also pleasantly surprised by how great the quality is;  I had thought it would be a little less considering the price.
I've already started breaking the boots in, and they're very comfortable.  I have so many different outfits that I can pair with them, and it's all I can do to keep from wearing them every single day!
Ankle Boot Obsession -- Prep For A Day
Cardigan -- Necklace (old) -- Boots

Of course, I'm currently checking in with Pinterest to find more style inspiration. These are some of my favorites:
Ankle Boot Obsession -- Prep For A Day
Ankle Boot Obsession -- Prep For A Day
Ankle Boot Obsession -- Prep For A Day
Ankle Boot Obsession -- Prep For A Day
Ankle Boot Obsession -- Prep For A Day

At least I'll have A+ ankles...

Shop the post:


Now that school's started back, I'm starting to get back into my old habits.  You know, like actually thinking about something other than what I'm eating for my next meal and what Netflix show I should watch next.  My brain likes analytical thinking, so I think it's happy to be back to more challenging cases.

Ever since about third grade, I have been the epitome of a nerd.  Or maybe that's when I realized I was a nerd.  I took pride in my nerdom (is that a word?).  In my line of thinking, if I was good at something, by George I was going to show it off!

Then middle school started, and as we all know, everything changed.  I started feeling isolated.  I was still proud of my grades, but I felt like I was automatically labeled as "smart girl" to everyone.  It's not a bad label, but it's still a label.

I'm still labeled that way today, and I probably will be throughout high school. Somehow, it's gone beyond the "smart girl" label to the "perfectionist" label.  It's almost laughable, being teased because of perfection.

I am a perfectionist, so the label isn't far-fetched, but it's still odd to think that other people have a perfect (and very incorrect) image of me.  I'm glad that if I have to be labeled, it's to be described as "too perfect", but it still doesn't feel great.  I know it's terrible to be teased and bullied for imperfections, but I think it's almost as bad to appear as a "robot."  Yes, I have been called that. Apparently perfection is only achieved by being as boring and unfeeling as possible.
I wish I could prove to these people that I am human, and I have feelings.  I exist just like any other human on the planet.  I cry, and I laugh, and I even smile.

I know sometimes we think being perfect would be amazing, but it is our imperfections that make us human.  We may not like them all, but they make us unique.  Do you know how boring a book based in a utopian society would be? There would essentially be no plot, because everything would be perfect!  The imperfections in the society are what makes the book interesting.

Labels, whether they target imperfections or perfection, are hurtful.  Their only purpose is to isolate a person or certain group of people.  Who knows why we label people? Maybe we feel threatened by them because they are different, or maybe we are jealous. Maybe it's just second nature to label a person as soon as they walk into the room.

Whatever the reason, labels will probably never go away.  People will always be people. They will always be imperfect, and they will always want to label others. Sometimes, they will even want to label themselves.  There will always be class divisions, ruling classes, and popular kids.  Labels, labels, and more labels.

Think about how many times you label people in one day.  It's a lot, right!?  Even if you know the person, you might still give them a label.

Let's try to cut down on labeling.  What if everyone cut down at least half of their "labeling" per day? At least one person could feel less isolated, and maybe they could even make a new friend if everyone around them was more open-minded.

Mostly, let's stop labeling ourselves.  Everyone has days where their self-confidence flies out the window, and some more than others.  If we can't block other people out, at least we can try and block ourselves out.

Yes, we have imperfections, but they make us who we are.  They give us a personality, and they give us a distinct appearance.  They make us living, breathing things, rather than marble statues in a museum.

Yes, I am a nerd.  Yes, I am an "overachiever" and a "perfectionist."  These qualities make me that much smarter.  I also am very short, have a really odd laugh, and am very quiet, among numerous other "imperfections."  But these things make me human.  I am not a robot, nor am I perfect.  I am just a girl with big dreams who also happens to bite her nails.  I'm pretty sure that there are much worse things to be.
Labels -- Prep For A Day


Beautiful Places

It's raining outside.  Correction:  it's pouring outside.  Usually I'm fond of rain, but since it is January and all, I was really hoping for snow.  On top of that, I'm feeling a little under the weather and the rain isn't helping.
I've decided to take a spur-of-the-moment vacation, and I'm leaving in about ten minutes.  Pinterest, here I come!
1.  Italy
Destination:  Anywhere in Italy -- Prep For A Day
I really wouldn't care where I visited, as long as it was within this country.  Since I'm Italian, this place has always topped my bucket list.  There's no way to go wrong in Italy: great food, great shopping, great views, great, great, great!  (Also, it's my lifelong dream to relive the same experiences that occur in "Roman Holiday"!)
2.  Palace of Versailles, France
 Destination:  Palace of Versailles -- Prep For A Day
Call me crazy, but I've always loved the story of Marie Antoinette (minus the guillotine). She was such a dazzling queen, and this palace completely embodies the grandeur of the time period she lived in.  Some may think it's a bit gaudy and I agree, but if I got the chance to visit, I wouldn't turn it down!
3.  Opera Garnier, Paris, France
Destination:  Opera Garnier -- Prep For A Day
Paris is always a good idea, right?  Whatever the reason, I'm completely fascinated with this building.  You can only understand if you've watched or read "Phantom of the Opera."  If you haven't, here's the perfect reason to go get started on it right now!
4.  Thirsk, Yorkshire, England
Destination:  Thirsk, Yorkshire -- Prep For A Day
I think the English countryside is absolutely beautiful, but this little town is special to me because it was the home of the famed veterinarian James Herriot (Alf Wight), the author of All Creatures Great and Small.  It is also the basis for the fictional town of Darrowby, in which most of the action in the book takes place.  I am working my way through the series, so it would be an honor to be able to visit the real place.
5.  Ka'anapali Beach, Maui, Hawaii
Destination:  Ka’anapali Beach -- Prep For A Day
I've been to this place once in my life, and I'd give anything to be able to go back again. Everything looks like it should be on a postcard!  The water is so blue, and a trade wind is constantly blowing...in a word, it's paradise.
6.  Waldorf Astoria Hotel, New York City, New York
Destination:  Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, NYC -- Prep For A Day
To me, the Waldorf seems like the place you go when you are at the top of the world. It's a place you go when you reach complete happiness and contentment. Until then, my room will be reserved.  Top floor is preferred but not required.
7.  St. Regis Hotel, Kauai, Hawaii
Destination:  St. Regis Hotel, Princeville -- Prep For A Day
In case you're questioning whether that picture is real or not, I can tell you the truth. It's real, and I know because I've eaten at that very restaurant, at that table in the back.  That is one of the most magical places I've ever been to, and the hotel itself is stunning.  I felt like Eliza Doolittle turned princess as soon as I walked in the lobby...
8.  Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Destination:  Martha's Vineyard -- Prep For A Day
Talk about New England charm.  This place is full of it!  And not just because of that delightful Vineyard Vines store that I've been dying to visit...
9.  Machu Picchu, Peru
Destination:  Machu Picchu -- Prep For A Day
Seriously, how cool is this place?  And how on earth was it built?  I'm not sure that I'd be able to answer these questions if I visited, but hey, I might come close!
10.  Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Destination:  Yellowstone National Park -- Prep For A Day
Nature at its finest.  Plus, I have a thing for gigantic waterfalls.

What are some of your favorite places to visit (or dream about visiting)?