Friday, October 13, 2017

Embracing The Curl

For as long as I can remember I have not liked my hair. I have very thick, very wavy/sometimes curly hair. It has a mind of its own and I've never really known what to do with it. I don't think I ever even did my hair until I got to junior high - the ages when everyone is unhappy with how they look. Everyone I knew had super long, very straight hair. Naturally, because my hair was a curly mess, I would go to town trying to get it pin straight with my hand-me-down flat iron. This trend stayed through high school. I had a short bob that did not work with my natural curl.

It wasn't until college that I started to embrace my hair more. Not because I stopped caring, but because South Carolina humidity is absolutely insane and there is little I can do to protect my hair from it. I'm always looking for products that will help me manage my hair. 

These three products have been my go-tos lately to keep my hair nice, clean, and curly.

My hair routine starts with shampooing. About a month ago, Maple Holistics reached out to me and offered to send me a bottle of their tea tree oil shampoo. I switched to natural skin care earlier this year, so I jumped at the chance to try a natural shampoo. I've been trying out the shampoo for the past few weeks and really love it. As you can see from one of my other favorite products, I use dry shampoo often between washes. This tea tree shampoo is one of the only things I've tried that really makes my hair feel clean and removes any product build up. 

I typically shower and wash my hair at night and go to bed with my hair damp. When I wake up, my hair is soo curly. I highly recommend this shampoo! Especially because it has a great price point. If you're interested, you can try product samples for free!

Can you even go through college without dry shampoo? I don't think so. Batiste has been my favorite brand for a while now. I typically switch scents every time I get a new bottle, but they all work the same in my opinion. My only problem is that because I have dark hair, some times the white powder is very hard to rub in.

This mousse is my newest product to manage my curls. On days where I do shower in the morning, I'll put a dollop of this mousse into my hair when it's damp then use the diffuser attachment for my hair dryer. The combination mimics how my hair drys naturally and I really like it.

What are some of your favorite hair products? Do you have anything that helps manage your hair, I would love to hear about it?

Friday, September 22, 2017

10 Under $30: Semi Formal Dresses

Happy Friday friends!!! I hope you have had a great week! It's been a long week for me, but I'm so excited because there are so many fun things coming up. This weekend is parent's weekend at Clemson and my parents and little brother will be here very soon! And then next week, my sorority is having our semi formal (the inspiration for this post!). 

Semi is always one of my favorite functions and I love finding a cute cocktail dress to wear for it. I always see fun dresses online, but often they're so expensive. Semi dresses aren't something I'll get a ton of wear out of, since I'm not going to wear a cocktail dress to class, so it's something I'd rather not spend very much money on. I spent some time this week rounding up a variety of dresses that would work for your semi formal or homecoming and not break the bank! 
Semi Formal Dresses Under $30

I tried to find all different styles that could appeal to anyone. Clearly I favor jewel tones and black. And I love the idea of doing something unexpected like a romper or jumpsuit for semi. Even better, all these dresses are from Forever 21 and today they have free shipping on ALL orders! So go check out these dresses (or the tons of other ones they have) and find the perfect dress for your event!

Friday, September 15, 2017

A Little Guide: Gameday

My favorite season is finally here!!! No, not fall or PSL season. I'm talking about football season. I love football, and can do a pretty decent job of following the game too, if I do say so myself. After spending my junior high and high school years cheering on the sidelines every Thursday or Friday, the start of September always means the start of football and all the great things that come with it. 

Comprehensive Guide to College Gamedays

My first football game at Clemson was my first time watching a game for a school I attend as a fan. I wasn't sure how I felt about it, considering all the fun and excitement that comes from being on the sidelines, but I quickly learned how great gamedays are as a student. However, gamedays do come with a new set of situations that you have to be prepared for, so today I'm giving you a full guide on everything you need to know about surviving college gamedays.

1 // The Outfit

Can you even tailgate if you don't have the perfect tailgate outfit? Not in my world. However, game day is not the time to bring out your favorite pieces. The perfect Lilly sundress that just happens to be in your school's colors? Leave it on the rack or in your closet. Brand new white converse? Save them for walking around campus. Any expensive jewelry? Just don't. Game days are long and hot, especially at the start of the season. You'll most likely be hopping from one tailgate to another. Wear something cool and comfortable that you don't mind getting carbonated beverages spilled on, because it will happen - even if you're not the person who spills it.

Clemson Football Gameday Outfit

I'm a sundress and old cowboy boots type of girl when it comes to tailgate attire. This Old Navy dress  (sold out in orange) that I wore last week was perfect for a hot first gameday. Some girls are the jersey, shorts, and sneakers type. Or others are really into being trendy and roll up in school themed cut up t shirts or crop tops. Honestly it's all about whatever you're comfortable in. You will be wearing this all day so don't choose something that'll be uncomfortable before 2pm. 

2 // Plan Ahead

You think you can just roll out of bed, throw on your aforementioned perfect outfit and see where the wind takes you? Oh my dear friend, no. Game day takes planning. The day before you should work out with your friends where everyone is sitting at the game and where they are going to tailgate and what they plan to do after the game. Gamedays are so much more fun when you spend them with friends, so you don't want to wake up on gameday and realize all of your friends have plans already and you don't know where to go before the game starts. Failing to plan means planning to fail, just sayin.

3 // Day Of Preparation

I'm a big fan of getting up early-ish on game days (I mean come on GET UP IT'S GAMEDAY!!!!). You don't need to be up at 6am by any means, but it helps to get an earlier start to the day. If you sleep in, you'll have to rush to get ready, won't have time for breakfast and it'll just be a rough day. So give yourself plenty of time, have your coffee and a filling breakfast, then start getting ready for the day. It's important to remember that game days are an all day affair, prepare accordingly. The eyeliner that smudges down your face two hours in, ditch it. A complicated party pony with a million bobbie pins sticking in your head, no thank you. Go for makeup and hairstyles that will stay all day. Your instas from the stadium at 8pm will thank me. 

Also, the MOST important tip: WEAR SUNSCREEN!!!! Put it on before you leave whether it's a noon game or you're starting tailgating at 2pm. Take it from someone who made the rookie mistake of not wearing sunscreen to a noon game last week, wear it. Be prepared, bring some extra with you if you can.

4 // What to Bring

These days, every stadium has some kind of clear bag policy in effect. There are a few options you can take to deal with this situation.
a. Ditch bringing a bag altogether. Wear an outfit with pockets (this is essential if you're going with out a bag), get a sticky wallet for your phone to put your student ID, cards and cash in, and put any other essentials in your pockets. You will be limited on what you can bring with you to the game, but it's okay. Just don't be the girl asking everyone to hold her stuff for her.

b. Find a cute, but tiny purse that is compliant with the "no bigger than the size of your hand" policy. I have a tiny orange crossbody that I manage to fit everything I need for game day in.

c. Go with a bigger, but clear bag policy compliant bag to hold everything for your game day needs.

If you choose b or c, I recommend making sure to have sunglasses, an external phone charger, lipstick/lipgloss, your IDs, cards, cash, a hair tie (!!!!) and any other necessity items. If you went with a bigger clear bag, you can also bring sunscreen to reapply and any spirit items you may want - like a pom pom or towel, like Texas A&Ms 12th Man towels.

5 // Tailgating

Now we get to the best part of gameday, in my opinion, Tailgating. Now, not every school is intense about tailgates as Clemson, which is unfortunate. But here in the South, we love a good tailgate and for good reason. Spending the day leading up to the game with good friends and good food just makes it that much more fun. There are two types of tailgates you will encounter: the family tailgates and the fraternity tailgates. Go to both types to get the full game day experience - this goes back to point #2 of planning ahead. Family tailgates are essential because that is where you will most likely get fed. *Free* food is really nice. No one wants to spend $20 at the stadium for a hotdog, so find a family tailgate to hang out at - yours or a friend's - and be fed. It's also really nice to talk to people who aren't college students sometimes and you may meet some cool alums. Last week at my big's parents' tailgate, we met a bunch of Clemson Theta alums! It was so much fun to hear their stories of our chapter 30 years ago.

But make sure you leave time for fraternity tailgates. The frat tailgate scene isn't everyone's thing, I highly recommend checking them out at some point in your college career. There will be a lot of people and a lot of cheap beer (if you're 21), but there's a camaraderie to it. You're surrounded by tons of people who are excited about life and football and your school. It's an energy like no other. And a great way to meet people since you already have an easy conversation starter.


Obviously, the most important part of gameday is the game. Do not be one of those people who doesn't make it to the game. At schools like Clemson, not every student gets a ticket so it's really not cool if someone who has a ticket doesn't use it when there are literally thousands of people who would love to be there. Go to the game. And when you're at the game, be engaged with it, even if you don't know anything about football. Chances are someone around you would be willing to explain what's going on if you ask. Football games are the best way to experience the spirit of the school and they're so much more fun when you get really into it. Take part in the traditions, yell with the crowd, makes friends with the people around you. It's all part of the experience. Also, stay at the game. At Clemson there tends to be a mass exodus at halftime, especially if we're winning by a lot, which happens a good bit *insert hair flip.* But this goes back to the thousands of people who wanted a ticket. You're lucky enough to have one, support your team the whole way through. The tailgates will still be there when the game is over.

Finally, make sure to tailgate and celebrate responsibly!

So I think that is absolutely everything I have to say about game day, for now. What are your ingredients for the perfect game day?

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Galveston Island Travel Guide

My family and I spent last week in Galveston, Texas. It was my first time on Galveston Island, and I really enjoyed the trip. We were only there for about three full days, but managed to fit a lot in that time. Today I'm sharing some of the highlights of our trip, including where to stay, eat, and what to do while you're there.

Galveston Island Travel Guide

|| Where To Stay ||

There are plenty of hotels along the seawall, but because of frequent hurricanes there aren't any hotels or houses on the beach. We stayed in an AirBnB and I would highly recommend going that route. Our house was only a couple blocks from the beach and it was an easy walk each day. We also had a kitchen and plenty of space for the six of us, which would not have been the case in a hotel. It was all decorated in blue, beachy decor which I appreciated, I wish I had gotten pictures.

|| Where to Eat ||

The Spot : Located along the seawall, The Spot is a fun place to grab dinner or drinks. Made up of five locations in one, there are plenty of choices for everyone. The food was really good, I would recommend trying one of their burgers and my mom loved the shrimp tacos. It's definitely a touristy place, but I enjoyed it. Their variety of bars and cocktails also made it a fun place to order my first drink as a 21 year old.

Gaido's : Another restaurant along the seawall, Gaido's is a Galveston institution. Their specialty was more upscale seafood. Our waiter was extremely knowledgable and offered lots of suggestions about the various menu items. I had soft shell crab, which wasn't my favorite because I didn't realize it came fried, but it was good. They also do non-seafood well too, my sister enjoyed their pork chop.

Black Pearl : More of a bar, the Black Pearl is a small seafood place in The Strand area of town. Embracing Galveston's Mardi Gras celebrations, Black Pearl offered cajun items in addition to seafood. I had the crab cakes and they were very good, but as a main menu item, I was disappointed that they didn't come with anything in addition to the cakes and still felt hungry after I finished my dinner. The food was good and we liked it, but it's not a must eat in my opinion.

We go together like cupcakes and frosting

Mosquito Cafe : This was by far my favorite place I ate in Galveston. My mom and I went for lunch one day and loved it. The Mosquito Cafe is located in between some of Galveston's beautiful historic homes and they specialize in lunch food, but are open for breakfast and dinner also. It was a busy lunch spot, but the staff were extremely kind and dealt with the chaos very well. My mom and I both tried one of their lunch special that day, I had the southwestern wrap and my mom had fish with fresh mango salsa, and both came with sides. After lunch, we stopped by Mosquito Cafe's sister bakery, Patty Cakes, across the street. Their lemon bombs are delicious, but very sweet.

|| What To Do ||

Go to the beach : This is obvious of course, but we enjoyed our time on the Galveston beach. We were on the east end of the island and it was relatively empty during our late morning trips.

Pleasure Pier : Galveston's Historic Pleasure Pier is a lot like any pier in any beach town, but we had fun going to it. My younger brother and I got ride all day ride pass, where as the rest of our family just did the regular walk on pass. My brother and I had a great time trying out the different rides along the pier, but be warned they're only a few steps up from your average carnival rides. My favorite was the Texas Sky Flier that went 200 feet up above the pier. I would recommend going to the pier at night when it's cooler and you can't see the ocean below you while you're going on the rides.

The Strand : The Strand is Galveston's main shopping area and it's filled with lots of touristy type shops. We spent an afternoon walking around and going into the shops. It's not a must do, in my opinion. But I would recommend stopping into La King's Confectionary for some ice cream, so good!

Tree Sculpture Tour : This is a very uniquely Galveston thing. Following Hurricane Ike in 2008, artists came to Galveston and carved beautiful sculptures out of some of the destroyed trees in the city. There's even a map you can get that tells you where to see them. Some are more visible than others, but they're really fun to see. If you're there when it's a little cooler out, you could get out and walk around the neighborhoods, but since it was pretty hot we decided to stay in the car and drive up and down the streets to see the sculptures.

House Shop : Instead of window shopping, house shop! There is no shortage of gorgeous old homes in Galveston. My mom and I loved looking at all the colorful houses and picking out our favorite ones. If you want to kill two birds with one stone, a lot of these houses are in the same area as the tree sculptures so you can check both out at the same time!

Tour Moody Mansion : The Moody Mansion was once owned by the Moody family, one of the 10 wealthiest families in America. The daughter of Mr. Moody set up a foundation to keep the house running as a museum and it is beautiful! As part of the admission to the house, you are given a small audio device and each room has a recording to listen to that explains the purpose of the room, decor, and even stories from living Moody family members. It reminded me a bit of The Biltmore in Asheville, NC (but smaller) since they were built around the same time. Through the tour we learned a lot about the history of Galveston Island and the Moody family. There is another historic home called the Bishop's Palace in Galveston, but I would recommend the Moody Mansion over it if you only have time for one.

My first trip to Galveston was really nice, we managed to fit a lot in a few days, and I would like to go back again some time. Have you been to Galveston? What did you enjoy doing there?