Tag Archives: college

Re-Learning Self Motivation

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Hello everyone! Happy Summer! (Almost.) I’m back in London for a few weeks and I wanted to start doing something a little different on my blog. Well, not so much different as more. I wanted to start branching out on the types of things I blog about. I’ll still do traditional outfit posts, but I might started adding some other categories as well. For today, I’ll catch you up a little on what’s going on. The photo set is a little jumbled because I just wanted to post some images of my first week here. For more, you can even check out my first London vlog of the season.

Now, as you may or may not know, this May I graduated from college! Yes, yes, I got my bachelor’s degree in English and I am fully an adult now. I went back home, where I’ll be for a bit, and to be honest it doesn’t quite feel real yet. I think it will once September rolls around and for the first time ever, I’m not going back to school. That’s why changing my mindset about life and “what now?” has been a bit difficult. I’m still working on a novel and blogging and working and all those fun things, but getting into a new routine that is healthy and effective has been quite the learning process. I realized that for the first time in nearly 18 years, I’m not accountable to someone else’s deadlines. 18 YEARS?! That’s nearly my entire life. From homework and projects to essays and exams, I’ve always been on the clock for school. Now, I’m not. No one is telling me, “Katie, finish your novel or you’ll get a bad grade.” I have to finish this novel on my own and bring it out into the world and then hope. It’s not a guarantee that it’ll “pass” (aka be published). But I still have to do it. It’s still my dream and I will never give up. The problem is not letting myself say, “I’ll start tomorrow.” Waking up in the morning to sit on my laptop just doesn’t scream the same sort of urgency getting to class once did.

Organization is key. I hate clutter; it jumbles my mind as well as my surroundings. So the first thing I did upon realizing my summer-laziness cannot turn into life-laziness was clean out my bedroom. I had lugged everything from my apartment back into my childhood bedroom and it was madness. There was simply too much. So I spent a few solid days cleaning out nooks and crannies, donating clothing and books and toys and dusted places that haven’t seen the light of day in a while (I’m still not done yet and will probably continue when I’m home).

Once my physical space was organized, I started crafting a routine. Having a schedule, while seemingly daunting, is actually more calming to me than endless hours of nothing. While hard work can make a day or two like that appreciative, no one can live like that. I certainly can’t. Fortunately I already had a habit of schedule- and list-making, I just had to fine-tune it. I use this journal to plan out the days. What’s great about it is that the dates aren’t pre-marked, so if you know you have a day where you’ll be with family or having a well-earned lazy day, you don’t waste the page. I list out the things I want to do, mark what will happen when and remind myself of long-term or ongoing projects. There’s also a handy note-section that you can fill out as the day goes, to report to yourself how you handled the amount you gave yourself, if you need to adjust, or to just doodle or have space to do some extra thinking. Having everything written down (in pencil, my favorite) is really great to help make yourself accountable. You’re making a record of what you should be doing, one you can track and look back on.

Exercise is essential to my productivity. It wakes me up in the morning, makes me feel more positive and energetic and has overall healthy benefits. I do Pop Pilates with Cassey Ho (her blog is here). It’s great because it’s at home and completely free. After having free access to an amazing rec center at school, I didn’t have the heart to start paying for one. I do prefer group fitness to being alone, but I’ll take what I can get right now. Besides, I can take Cassey with me via my laptop whether I’m in Amherst, at home, or in London. My routine doesn’t have to be put on pause.

I’ve been following these principles for a few weeks now and I feel a lot better than when I was just lounging around before and after work, not doing much besides reading. Reading is still a part of my daily routine — something I completely recommend — but I only read for up to an hour (not a lot for someone like me). As little as ten minutes before bed is equally effective. Much better than having the last thing you see before sleep be a screen.

Well, I think that’s all from me for today! If you got through all of this, give the post a like! And comment to let me know what you thought, or if you have any tips for self-motivation. There will be a style post up on Wednesday. See you then! x.

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Earn Your Stripes

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Happy last Monday, everyone! This is in fact my last Monday as an undergraduate here at UMass. In less than two weeks I’ll have graduated and be out on my own with nothing but an English degree, a young adult novel that isn’t stapled and a record of my best outfits. Well, not really. I’m moving back home for a bit to work and write, but you see my point. This week I’m bringing you what I’m dubbing Senior Chic. This outfit is super comfortable and look! it even comes with a sweatshirt. Basically, it’s perfect for everyone like me, who is pretty much all set with school for now, but doesn’t want everyone to know that. I love a good pair of tailored-looking trousers and these ones are light enough to work for these flip-flopping chilly-to-warm days. These Steve Madden beauties are a college student’s version of the Gucci loafers every blogging foot has been in since last fall. I think they’re a great affordable alternative and I’m surprised at just how good they turned out. (Note that they run a little small.) They fall into the same category that the basic loafers I wore a few weeks ago do: close-toed summer shoes. And as I embark on my last two days of class, all I can think about is all the plans I have for this blog coming up — stay tuned! x

Shop:

Uniqlo sweatshirt (similar) | Zara trousers (similar) | Steve Madden loafers

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Photography by J

In Bloom

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Welcome to Fake Monday, everyone. Even though today is Tuesday, UMass decided it’s a Monday: I have Monday classes and a Monday work schedule. To really hammer the idea home, my blog post is coming to you all today as well. Even though I really appreciated sitting in the eighty degree sun while sipping my mimosa on Sunday, I do still like the middle of the range weather we have today. It’s more spring. As long as the snow is gone for the year and I won’t get simultaneously blown away and frozen to death when walking by the library, I can wait for the very hot weather. Plus, I always enjoy a good layering piece: today it’s my new silk bomber. It’s light and cropped and the puffy sleeves give it dimension.  I didn’t know what I wanted to pair it with so I popped into Primark recently in search of a striped jumpsuit. Now, usually when I go into a store with a specific item in mind, it usually doesn’t materialize and I leave disappointed and wondering if I should have been a designer, or at least learnt to sew my own clothes. But not this time! This navy and white beauty was there for me and happened to fit perfectly.

It brings me to another point I wanted to touch on: the importance of mixing high street and designer pieces. This jumpsuit from Primark was $14, but my shoes are Michael Kors and ran around $200. While I don’t remembered exactly what I paid for them, I can tell you it was more than $14. I’ve had this jumpsuit for a few days and I’ve had these shoes for four years. They balance each other out perfectly. I firmly believe that this jumpsuit absolutely does not look cheap when paired correctly. Splurging every now and then on more expensive pieces that are versatile will help spruce up a wardrobe, and instead of making everything else pale in comparison, heightens the look of other pieces. Evidence above.

Fashion moves at an incredible pace these days and the availability of high street tempts us to want everything now, now, now. But taking the time, and money, to purchase higher quality pieces — even if it’s once a year or less — will help you create a more lasting wardrobe and crafted style.

Shop:

Primark jumpsuit | H&M bomber (similar) | Michael Kors shoes

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Photography by J

Spring Fish

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Happy Monday! It’s finally a morning where it’s feeling like spring. This oversized striped shirt is the perfect pick for an airy spring day. The colors are light and bright and fit right in with the weather. They are contrasted really well with the black overalls, making the colors all the more vibrant. I like the look of an oversized shirt/top tucked into the overalls because it looks effortless, trois fois rien. The backless loafers are also a great pick for spring because they are a good shoe for being out and about in, without feeling like your poor feet will get gross and dirty or look too informal.

 

Shop:

Zara shirt | Boohoo overalls | H&M loafers 

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Photography by J

Denim On Duty

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Happy Monday, everyone! Even though it’s quite dark and gray out (where’s the good spring weather??) I decided to bring you all some florals. This embroidered denim jacket, or any denim jacket, is the perfect transition piece for spring. It packs a punch with a retro-vibe and a casual feel. The one I have here is faux-sherpa lined, which is really helping me out as we don’t seem to be capable of letting go of winter yet (it snowed three days ago). The funny thing about a denim jacket too is that, if you’re like me, it’ll force you to wear something besides blue jeans for your bottoms. I did cheat a little, and still opted for double-denim, but my jeans here are gray (shh, don’t tell).

Shop:

Topshop jacket (similar) | Topshop jeans | Zara t-shirt (similar)

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Photography by J

Pop of Color | What have I been up to?

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Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you all enjoyed waking up after staying up until midnight to see La La Land win everything (except best picture). I’ve been working on another project these last two weeks, but I’m glad to be back and posting for you all. After the insane spring weather we’ve been having, I’m really pumped for spring. That’s why I added this pop of color to my last “winter” outfit for this season. I’m really digging the wide sleeves on this sweater and the fine knit makes it super comfortable. AND I’m definitely going to carry on wearing fringe jeans into spring, they are so fun and really chic. I snagged these boots in a really great Topshop sale and I would like to thank whoever shouted “YOUR SHOES ARE LIT” from their balcony this weekend.

I mentioned earlier that I’d had another project going on and I wanted to tell you all about it! I started a youtube channel! I really wanted to start sharing more content with you all, and I needed another medium for it. This will still be my main area for fashion, but I’m going to be covering beauty, lifestyle and other things on youtube. You can find me here (and you should subscribe!).

Shop:

Forever 21 sweater | Topshop jeans | Topshop boots

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Photography by Bailey Soderberg

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas | Him & Her

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Hello, everyone! It’s a very chilly Monday here in Amherst and as I’m sipping my third coffee before noon, I’m putting together some great ideas for the beloved and dreaded Valentine’s Day. I wanted to bring you some ideas that you can get for a partner, a friend and for yourself (self-love in gift form is always a good idea, am I right?).

The first thing I thought of was, of course, flowers. They are an absolute staple in modern Valentine’s Day culture and there are so many options you can really tailor them to your recipient. I posted the ethereal boxed roses from Venus et Fleur, even though they only deliver to the New York metro area. BUT, it gives some pretty cool inspiration. As Beyonce recently made a strong case for fake flowers, you can easily set up an arrangement like this on your own, if you’re feeling brave and crafty. That way you’ll create a meaningful decoration that your partner or friend can keep for a long time! Sweet, huh? If you’re the journaling type, this book from Barnes and Noble is a great option. It contains prompts and questions to document your lurrrrv journey and you can start filling it out or leave it entirely to your partner and give yourself a pat on the back for picking it up. Either way! A really great gift for all three categories is the Instax Mini 8 camera. I posted the pink one because, duh, Valentine’s day. The camera is a great way of saying, hey I want to document our time together in small, low-res photos. Kidding. The photos are way cuter than that and the camera is an aesthetic dream. Keeping with the pale pink theme, I also saw this adorable coin purse on Asos. It is a bit pricey, so it might be a more niche gift, but I thought to include it for those who want to “splash out” as my boyfriend would say. (Look at me learning British phrases!)

Moving on to the next half of gifts or so, I’ll stick with Asos for a second. I thought this watch was absolutely gorgeous and a great gift for rose gold lovers everywhere. I also thought the marble face was quite unique and contrasted the gold nicely. The next two gifts – the mug and the striped notebook –  are from Zazzle. Zazzle is great for lots of personalized things that are a really good price. I thought these would be great for friends or family you want to give a little love shoutout to next week. The mini-backpack is from Zara and I included it because I thought a bag is a really great gift idea. Side note: last Valentine’s Day I really wanted a wallet, so there you go, everyone’s different. I think this bag is really chic and the color is beautiful. Last but not least, I thought I’d bring us full-circle to another classic: perfume! Chanel Coco Mademoiselle is a classic and a really elegant pick for Valentine’s Day. The packaging is simply beautiful, making it as much a classy desk decoration as a wearable perfume. Can’t go wrong there.

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Of course we can’t forget the gentlemen. I picked out a few things I could see myself purchasing either for a friend or for my boyfriend. I started with skin care and I know that sounds like a strange gift but getting a really nice set of skincare products isn’t really something you might buy for yourself, so I think it would make a really great gift. The one I posted here can be found at Target. The next gift was a funny one, but I really couldn’t pass up a set of socks with love pugs on them. The set of three is a great add-on or gift for a friend. While browsing Nordstrom, I stumbled upon this tie box and thought it was quite a cool gift for a man who likes to have all the right accessories when dressing up. I thought the set looked really sleek and it came with a bunch of different options. Again, I thought I’d add a watch because they really are nice gifts. This one from Asos came with a set of cufflinks, which I find really cute. The record player is a bit of a pricier gift, but it is a nice one. The vintage look of the trunk is very cool and a record player is a great gift for any music lover. Moving on to another classic, I decided to post the Elizabeth and James Nirvana Bourbon cologne. It is a more mature scent, but the heavier notes don’t last as long on the skin as the others so it works well as a light daytime scent. Another pick from Sephora’s mens department was Jack Black’s The Ultimate Shave. It looked like a really nice gift set for the man who likes the barber shop feeling every morning as well as clear and healthy skin. I thought this book Icon’s of Men’s Style was an interesting find for someone into fashion (as this is, after all, a blog for fashion). Either as a coffee table book or a semi-guidebook, it’s definitely a neat pick. The photos inside look fabulous and it contains some really great history and tips. Last but not least – chocolate! It is, of course, a Valentine’s Day must-have for anyone. I chose this box from Nordstrom because I thought it was a classy little number for any man this V-Day.

Well, that’s it for this week, everyone. I hope you enjoyed this post – I know there was a lot more writing than usual, let me know what you think in the comments! Have a great day, a lovely Valentine’s Day and don’t forget to subscribe for more updates. x

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