Being A Prep For A Week: 11/22/15 -- 11/28/15

I've never been more thankful for a three day break.
My week was pretty exciting academically because I became the first sophomore to ever be inducted into my school's math honors society (perks of having my last name). Going Black Friday shopping was just as relaxing as ever--I've found that window shopping on Google Chrome is never quite as crowded.
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Now, on to some of my favorite links from the past week:
The best Black Friday deals from Kate Spade and Anthropologie
My ideal coffee table book:  The Dogist
A beautifully designed website by Jess from Bows and Sequins (I'm envious)
A list of the best education quotes for your perusal

And since Thanksgiving's over, you know what everyone's saying:  "It's the most wonderful time of the year!"

How was your week?


Gift Guide: The Quote Lover

Being "the blogger who has a quote for every situation,"  I'm thrilled that social media has driven the general consumer to appreciate witty sayings and phrases--especially those that are plastered on everyday items.  It's harder to shop for quote lovers, but never fear, I've searched the Internet for the wittiest gifts around (and some are under ten dollars)!

Shop the post (and other witty gifts):

What other gifts do you think are perfect for quote lovers?


Easy Cranberry Relish

Happy Thanksgiving!  To celebrate this much-needed holiday, I'm going to share one of the simplest (and most delicious) Thanksgiving recipes ever created.  It's always promptly devoured by my family, and this relish is one leftover that you won't dread eating.
Prep For A Day
Food processor with a chop blade
2 medium oranges
4 cups of fresh cranberries 
2 cups of sugar
1/2 cup of pecans, halved or chopped

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1.  Remove the orange portion of the peels of both oranges with a pairing knife and put the peels in the food processor.
2.  Peel the white part off of the oranges and discard.
3.  Use the knife to cut the remaining orange slices out of the fruit and put these in the food processor.

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4.  Put the cranberries and pecans in the food processor.
5.  Pour the sugar over the top.
6.  Turn the food processor on low and let it process for a couple of minutes until everything is coarsely chopped and mixed together uniformly.
7.  Pour the relish into a large container and cover.  Let it chill in the refrigerator for several hours. Make sure to stir it before serving.

This tasty side also freezes well, but if prepared well, you won't have enough left to save!  It's zesty and sweet, and it happens to be my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner (besides the pie)!

How was your Thanksgiving?


Being A Prep For A Week: 11/15/15 -- 11/21/15

November's flying by, and I must admit, it's a little disconcerting.
I've been a horrible blogger lately, only because my schedule has been extremely bogged down (think "missing three days of honors classes in the span of a week" bogged down).  With holidays coming up, I'm hoping that will change.  
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Now, on to some of my favorite links from the past week:
In light of the Paris tragedies, a beautiful perspective on the matter from a favorite blogger of mine
Gorgeous calligraphy menus that would be perfect for Thanksgiving
Old Navy's new "Pop Preppy" Collection--look out for the plaid!
A quick anecdote about the creation of the Kate Spade desk set

In a world that's lacking bravery, I think we should all remember that we "can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore."

How was your week?


Dog Show Days

An annual tradition in my household is having an outing to the dog show.  We're all self-proclaimed dog lovers, so stepping inside an arena that's full of the creatures is like waltzing into paradise.  To me, the dog show is also a symbol that fall has decided to make its presence known--and that winter isn't far behind.  First and foremost, I just look forward to being surrounded by welsh corgis.
Since I knew we were going to be walking on a dirt floor in a chilly environment, I opted for a simple long-sleeve and my most durable pair of rain boots.  I should've reconsidered my split-second decision to wear black leggings (dog fur and black don't cooperate), but for the sake of comfort, it was worth it.

How was your weekend?
Shop the post:


Photo Editing Secrets

Exposure, contrast, warmth, definition.  What do these words have in common?  They all deal with that special art that's becoming very prevalent in the age of technology: photography.
Whether you want to pursue photography as a profession, take photos for a blog or website, or just like taking pictures of things, it's important to know some basic photo editing skills because--sadly--most pictures are not perfect quality when you initially take them.  I'm no photography master, but I've picked up a few easy tips from blogging.  No matter what photo editing system you use, remember to ask yourself four quick questions as you're editing:
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Light Or Dark?
The single most important factor of photo editing is the exposure, or bright light, that you'd like to add to your photo.  Keep in mind that a bit of exposure is almost always a necessity for photos to achieve that nice, professional look.  Decide whether you want to crank it up for a sun-drenched snap or leave it lower to allow for more color contrast.

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Warm Or Cool?
After you've tuned the exposure in your picture, fixing the temperature will be much easier.  If the photo's color scheme consists of a myriad of bright hues, a warmer temperature will probably look best;  if the colors are soft neutrals and blues, chances are that a cooler temperature is the right choice.

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Fade Or Sharpen?
Although these tools can add the finishing touches to any picture, be wary of over-using them. Gradually sharpening a snap can make it look much higher quality, and fading a picture gives it that trendy theme that Instagram and Tumblr are dying for.

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Over-edited Or Under-edited?
Once you've edited your picture to your satisfaction, step back and look at the finished product.  Does it look too edited?  Are the colors distorted and oddly tinted?  If so, turn down the exposure and temperature for a quick fix.  On the other hand, does the picture look too plain and shadowy?  Adding more exposure and getting rid of some contrast will help.

If a picture can speak one thousand words, think how many a wonderfully edited picture can express!

What are your photo editing secrets?


Being A Prep For A Week: 11/1/15 -- 11/7/15

Is anyone else puzzled about how time suddenly picked up its pace and moved us to November?  I understand completely.
Over in my spectrum of the world, there was an abundance of Fiber One Bars being eaten and tests being taken, along with blog posts being written.  And, in case you didn't see on Instagram, Toby and I channeled our inner Halloween spirits.
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Now, on to some of my favorite links from the past week:
@kenthecorgi has only fueled my obsession with corgis--I'm thinking Toby needs one of these Instagram accounts...
Festive holiday photos from Pink Peonies (get ready to be inspired)
An ugly Christmas sweater that I'm dying to wear

With Veteran's Day and Thanksgiving right around the corner, I couldn't resist sharing this quote:  "As we express our gratitude...we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."

How was your week?


Patagonia Weather

The weather's getting crisp, leaves are falling, boots are stomping, and jackets are being pulled out of closets.  There's always been something appealing about breaking out my jackets in the mornings and being able to see my breath in the frosty air (well, until February rolls around, and then I'm quite ready for spring to come again).
I received my first Patagonia pullover as a Christmas gift last year, and I was so happy to have jumped on the bandwagon.  Patagonias are pretty pricey, but the quality of the jackets and pullovers makes up for it.  I'm almost positive that I wore my pullover at least fifty times last winter--that's saying something!


If you want something that can easily be slipped on or off, I'd recommend checking out the pullovers (so many different colors!) and vests;  if you want a cold weather jacket, look into the fleece jackets, which are much warmer than you'd expect them to be.
What do you think of the Patagonia line?