August 31, 2015

New and Improved Cristina on Campus

Thanks to everyone who took my Cristina on Campus survey! It's still open if you haven't gotten a chance to give me your input on your favorite types of posts, when you like to see them, etc.

Cristina on Campus 2015-2016 survey

I thought I'd let you know a little a bit about what I found out through the survey, and how I plan on using that information for this blog. I won't go through all the questions, just the ones that directly effect the blog. I couldn't decide if I wanted to share the results or not, but you guys are my internet family. Though this is a huge part of my life/my main hobby, I do it to help and build a connection with you as well.

**Speaking of that, there's a suggestion box at the end of this post. If you think of anything you'd like to read, let me know. Fashion, health, lifestyle, you name it! 

Favorite types of posts to read 

The top pick was Lifestyle/DIY.  I absolutely love sharing posts like these because I think they are the most personal and I get to put a lot of my voice into them. Posts that fall into this category will definitely be on the blog each week, but if you have any specific requests, let me know!

This doesn't mean these are the only types of posts I'll do. I have a love for fashion, so you'll see some of that sometimes (hello fall style!) and health and fitness is also a huge part of my life that I love to share. 

I feel that a blogger I follow should post

There was a bit of a tie with the answer choices here, so in order to accommodate most preferences, I plan to post on Mondays and Thursdays every week and sometimes Saturday. By "sometimes", I mean there will be a post that Saturday if there is a collaboration or promotion I need to fulfill, something that can be helpful right then, or if I have so many ideas that I just need to get one out!

When do you have the most convenient time to read Cristina on Campus?
I asked this question so that I knew the best time of day to make my posts go live. Because most of you selected the evening and night answers, my posts will go live at 4pm CST. This way, you can read it right then if you have time, or you can read it after dinner and study timewhen you're chilling.

I like to hear about posts by...
I'll tell you now, Instagram won. However, I am a social media addict, so I will always post my blog links on several different platforms. This helps me to reach out to a broader audience, and that's exactly what I strive for since I love connecting with you all. I just wanted to make sure no one absolutely hated getting notified about blogs in one of the forms. I don't want any resemblance to spam mail :)

So again, you all are awesome for helping me out. I blog because I genuinely love it and there's nothing I'd rather do, but I also want my blog to be helpful. I want it to be your favorite place to come for tips, motivation, and anything bright and fun. Thanks for being a part of this.
Create your own user feedback survey



August 29, 2015

How To Explore Your College Town

Everyone posts Instagram pictures a couple months leading up to the start of school with a caption saying "can't wait to be in *insert college town name here*. You go along with it right? Maybe you even try to sound like a local and call your town a cutesy nickname or you start a countdown on your phone. Ok, that's all fun and cool, but could you tell me where the grocery store is? The best place for tacos? Free parking?

It's ok, I didn't know either.

It's important to explore your college town because it's where you will probably spend a lot of your down time. Whenever you need to relieve some stress, chances are you'll want to get off campus and grab a treat with friends or do some fun activity. One of my favorite places that I've discovered whilst being away at college is the farmer's market here in town. I love going on Saturday mornings to get fresh flowers (and pet the dogs from the animal shelter). I went last weekend (and today which you saw if you follow me on Instagram), so I'm throwing in some pictures and outfit details because #bloggerprobs.

outfit details: 
dress - Forever 21 (similar)
crossbody - Toryburch (newer style here)
rainboots - Joules rainboots (if you're a Hunter fan, these are for you)

Ok enough chit-chat...
3 easy steps to getting to know your college town:

Get lost
If you have a car, a bike, two legs, or a buss pass, get lost. Drive down a road whenever you question "I wonder what's down here". Bike a little bit further to see what lies ahead. You never know what you might find.

Ask anyone you meet for recommendations
I got this idea from my boyfriend, Cameron. The first week or so, Cam would ask waiters at restaurants, "What's cool to do around here?" On most occasions, waiters are locals or they've at least been in town a year or so and can tell you some fun things to do or see. After that, I started asking my RA's whenever I saw them in the hallway. I'll never forget it was my RA that told me the best thrift shops and spots to hike! So don't be afraid to ask people, it's very helpful.

Use google
I found myself sitting around thinking "I wonder if they have a *insert store or restaurant name here*". I remember the night that my parents left, I felt like I needed to keep busy in order to avoid any panic attacks of being so far away from home. I had recently gotten into taking barre classes, so I googled to see if there were any studios in my area. I found one that I LOVE now, and I go almost every weekend during the school year. Another example would be just last night I was craving my favorite black bean burger from Smashburger and Cam found one in a town about 25 minutes away -worth the drive!

Actually go 
This may sound like a no-brainer, but often times when someone suggests a cool restaurant, we reply with, "oh, that sounds good!" and never end up going. If your RA tells you a great place to go thrift shopping, make plans with your friends to go later that day or very soon. I know some situations feel awkward because you may not even know how to get to the place, but put in the effort and you'll get so much back. I love being a sophomore this year mainly because I know a great cafe if I'm in need of a cup of coffee or the best deal on Mexican food. Just get out and explore!

I hope your first week of classes went well. (If you start next week, good luck!) 



August 26, 2015

Why I'm Here (Going to College Away From Home)

Getting personal on the blog today because I feel this is an important post to share. I'll apologize now for the fact that my blog is currently so heavily saturated with college-themed posts. I am inspired by what's around me and what's going on in my life, and since I'm currently sitting at my college desk and all the to-do lists scattered around me say "order books" and "print syllabi", this is the current happening.

So, if you know me, you know that I can be the most anxious thing on the planet sometimes. I was that girl that woke your parents up at sleepovers asking to go home because I missed my mom...until 7th grade. I was (am) a cryer. I've gone to camp twice in my life and both times I came home early because I was so anxious about being away from home that I worried myself sick. I still don't do sleepovers and I will never, ever go to sleep-away camp again. That's just me. 

So it shocked the world when I decided to go to college 9 hours away in Arkansas. It even shocked me a little bit. 

Up until September of my senior year, I was planning to stay in Texas for college. I couldn't bear the thought of being more than 4 hours away. One day, I realized I simply didn't want to go to any of the schools in Texas. Don't get me wrong, we have great schools, but none of them were right for me and what I wanted to do. I knew I would be hurting myself by giving up what I really wanted to do just to feel comfortable. I knew what I wanted to study since I was in 6th grade and the schools that were perfect for that were all out of state.

I cried at the realization as I sat on my couch avoiding homework after a long day at school. I texted my best friend because she's the best at cheering me up, and she invited me to visit the University of Arkansas with her the next Friday.

We watched a whole season of Gossip Girl in the backseat of her mom's Seqouia and then we looked out the window and saw the mountains. Mountains. I didn't know these existed! Is our car going to go up these? Whoa. 

Touring the campus, I got the "when you know, you know" feeling. I knew I wanted to see Old Main as I walked to class, I wanted to make that heinous noise and do that weird arm movement where you "call the hogs" at sports games. (YouTube it if you don't know what I'm talking about.) I knew I wanted to be there.

So, if you didn't already know, my boyfriend goes here, too. I get asked a lot if we planned to go to the same college and the answer is no. Cameron is a year older than me, so he actually had already started college classes as a finance major (he has now switched to supply-chain management) by the time I was visiting colleges. The fun fact is that Cameron's dad actually went to the University of Arkansas, so he had always known about it and just hadn't ever visited. In his pursuit for the perfect place for him, he visited the university about two months after I did. I hadn't told him any of my thoughts on the place which was hard because I was practically glowing when I came back from my trip. We made our college decisions separately, but it's a great blessing that we both fell in love with the UofA and get to be here together.

A typical conversation about me going to the UofA would start off like "Wow! That's so far away, good for you!" and the next sentence would be "Oh, well you have Cameron, you'll be fine".

Don't ever tell an anxiety-ridden teenage girl that she'll be fine.

I was so proud of myself for making the decision to face my biggest fear of separation anxiety, but something about those words hurt my feelings. If you've said them to me, I'm not mad at you. I totally understand where you're coming from.

Yes, it is easier having Cam here (and my other best friend, Becca, who I saw the university with). In fact, some days I question whether I could be here without them. Cam and I have been together for almost five years and he's honestly my best friend. He loved me during my too-much eyeliner and Miss Me jeans phase and that just creates a special bond. (Ha, ha). And Becca and I have been best friends since we were in preschool. I still get homesick even though they're here. I still get stressed about tests. I still wish sometimes that I could be home with my family. 

So why am I here? I just pushed myself. I knew if I didn't leave for college, I would never leave and I would never grow. This isn't true for everyone; I'm not saying you should go to college far, far away. Personally, for me, this was my version of skydiving. Do something you're afraid of because it's a once in a lifetime chance.

I wrote this not only to share how I got here, but to encourage those who read it to have some "skydiving" moments, especially in college. Keg stands and all nighters don't count, although those can be perceived as impressive. Just do something to push yourself in a positive way. Try out for a club sports team if you've previously been hesitant about sports. Join a club if you're really shy. Sign up to lead something if you usually are behind-the-scenes. Whatever it is, just give it a try. You could end up loving the decision you made, and it could end up having a great and lasting effect on who you are as a person.

I hope you all have a great second half of the week! And college readers, you girls are rockstars and I hope you have an amazing school year.



August 24, 2015

How To: Get Ready Fast!

Wanna hear a sad story? I have a 7:30am class this year. RT if you cried.

It was either that or be in class until late afternoon, and since I tend to drive home Fridays for breaks, I need to be done with classes by noon. Sooooo... Today I got up at 6 for my first day of school.

Ok, just a little note: I like getting up early. (I go to bed early so it's not hard for me #grandma). So far, I've always scheduled my classes before noon. I get up at 6 and from then until 6:30 I work on blog stuff which, depending on the day, is either emails or putting finishing touches on a post. I only have a little bit of time, so whatever is a priority gets done in that window and the rest I do later on after class and homework are done. (Blogging even makes for a good, creative study break!) 

So I get ready (makeup, hair, breakfast) from 6:30-7. I feel like that's a lot to pack into 30 minutes, so I thought I'd share my secrets. Nothing is impossible, ladies! I hope this helps you out for your school year...

I do most of my getting ready the night before to really make good use of my time. So here's what I'll prep the night before:

Overnight oats 
I just started doing this and it's such a time saver! I got the idea from my roommate, Cole, who has her own blog with some fun recipes. Another healthy option if you're not a fan of oatmeal: cut up fruit for a smoothie and freeze it so all you have to do is hit blend.

Pick out outfit 
I'm super indecisive, so if I leave this for the morning, I could potentially miss all three of my classes. I lay things out the night before, so it takes 5 seconds in the morning.

Shower/do hair 
I normally shower at night or after the gym in the late afternoon. I'll let it air dry and then either leave it be or curl it with my favorite curling iron. 

Pack backpack
I mentioned on the Twitter chat that I participate in called #BloggerBlab (more info here!) that I have one notebook for my Monday/Wednesday/Friday classes and one for Tuesday/Thursday. I'll pack whichever one I need for the next day and throw in my agenda, something to write with, stuff for the gym, and my books.

Pack snacks 
When I have a break between classes, I usually need a snack. My favorite ones to pack are Quaker rice cake snacks and greek yogurt!

With that all done, here's all I have to do the morning of...

Heat up oats 
This takes 40 seconds and then maybe 5 minutes to eat. 10/10 recommend! 

Touch up hair 
If I curled it, I add a little wave where it's needed, usually only takes 5 minutes.

I do a very simple look. Concealer where it's needed, set it with some powder, and add mascara and eyeliner. Lately, I've been filling my brows in with blank from my Bobbi Brown palette. Takes 12 min - can you tell I timed it? Ha, ha :)

Hydrate and caffeinate 
I drink a big cup of water first thing when I wake up (usually as I do my makeup) and then I have some coffee with my breakfast. If you need to take your caffeine to go, I recommend this tumbler

Give the 30 min plan a try! Whether your a high schooler, in college, or simply looking for a simplified routine, it's great to cut down the time it takes you to get ready for the day!

Follow my first day of school on snapchat: cristina_m24 



August 22, 2015

10 Things To Know For The First Day of College

It's almost here, ya'll.

The night before my first day of college classes I wasn't really nervous, I just felt kind of lost. Lost in the sense that I had no idea where the business building was, but also lost like I had no idea what I was going to be learning or what I was going to be expected to be able to do.

School starts on Monday for me, so I thought I'd share 10 things that can help you that first day (especially if you're about to be a freshman). Maybe just knowing these 10 things will make that first day so much more enjoyable for you because I know getting up and going to class isn't the greatest thing ever. I'm here to help!

It's not weird to ask people where a building is or how to get to it.
On my campus, there are actually tables set up with some students sitting there that just direct you to where you need to go. I had three classes my first day all spread out across campus, so I definitely asked for directions - no shame!

People *do* get to class early in college
I thought maybe that wasn't the "cool" thing. Granted, I'm a nerd, so I did get there about 10-15 minutes early. However, I was surprised that the class was already half-way full by then. So especially for your first day, get there early.

At the end of class, walk up to your professor and introduce yourself.
Another thing that I thought was nerdy and uncool, but no! There was a line of kids at the front of the class after we were dismissed. So here's what you do: shake hands, make eye contact, tell them your first and last name and that you're excited to take their class.

Teachers *will* have cell phone/electronic policies
It's true that some teachers don't care and won't mind if you have your phone on your desk, but some will make it clear that they have a no-tolerance policy with cell phones. One of my professors my first semester didn't even allow laptops for note taking. The first day, make sure you place your cell phone out of sight and on silent just in case the teacher isn't a tech-lover.

It's not weird to introduce yourself to the people sitting next to you
In fact, DO IT. I think I've said this before on the blog, but getting to know the people in your class is crucial to succeeding. If you miss a day, who are you going to ask for notes? Little things like that make a huge difference. When it's an appropriate time to converse, just say, "Hey I'm Cristina, what's your name?" Except don't say "Cristina", say your name. Unless your name is Cristina, then that's pretty cool.

Everyone has their own style
Don't stress about what to wear on the first day. Wear what YOU want to wear. Finally, NO DRESS CODES! If you want to rock a tank top, go for it! I was never allowed to wear Nike shorts to school, so I love getting to go to class in those. Point is, some people come to class like they just got done with a photoshoot for Glamour and some come to class in their pajamas. Best thing is, no one really cares what everyone else is wearing. Just do you!

If the first class scares the living daylights out of you, you can drop if necessary (but always keep in mind, it's just the first day and things can get easier)
The last day to drop is usually a few days after the first class. Check online or call the appropriate number to see when the last day is to drop and keep that in mind. It usually says on the syllabus that the instructor gives out. Nothing is really set in stone that first day, so don't panic. I went to my first economics class and almost had a meltdown - my professor wasn't the best and the way the class was laid out just wasn't for me. I went back to my dorm, switched into another class, and ended up making an A. You can too!

Speaking of that, print out your syllabus before the actual class
Most professors will already have it available online for you at least the night before. Print it out and bring it to class. Not only does that show that you are prepared, but you aren't going into the lecture hall blind and scared out of your mind. You know what the class is like, the lesson plan, and any important dates.

Yes, the first week is syllabus week but it's very important that you actually go to class
The biggest myth is that you don't need to show up the first day. From experience, I can tell you that some professors jump right into notes and maybe even give a quiz over them at the next class! Even if the professor does just read of the syllabus the whole class, it's important to be there and learn about the course. Professors also notice who's there, and that could help you grade-wise in the end.

Don't freak out. Whatever you do, don't freak out.
The first day or few days can be overwhelming. There's either a lot of info thrown at you at once or the professor doesn't even know how to work the projector. Some classes seem hard right then but they end up being great, so don't ever jump to conclusions. Email your professor any questions you might have had during the first lecture about the course and just take a deep breath! Remember, new experiences should be fun, not stressful.

I hope you found this post helpful and that your first day of school is easy breezy.

Before you go...
If you have 3 minutes, I could use your help! In an attempt to make Cristina on Campus the best it can possibly be for my readers, I have created a little 7-question survey for you to take. I want this blog to be your favorite place to come for college, lifestyle, and fashion tips! Click the link to visit the survey!

Cristina on Campus Survey 2015-2016

Thanks in advance and good luck on your first day of school!



August 19, 2015

Life Update ft. My New Home

Cristina is back on campus! Well, two minutes from campus to be exact.

Monday evening my dad, sister, and I arrived in Fayetteville after a nine hour drive from H-Town. (Sounds awful, but with Lizzie McGuire throwbacks and some coffee, it's bearable.)

To fill in any new readers, I go to the University of Arkansas (what's up sophomore year?!). I lived in a dorm last year and while that was good and fun, I have moved into a town home this year with two of my friends Megan and Cole. My boyfriend, Cameron, is just a few town houses away with our other two friends Cameron (yup, there's 2) and Zach.

Dorm life was great for the first year. I met Megan because she lived around the corner from my Cam. Later on in the year, we met Cole and just couldn't deny that we would be a great trio for living off campus. So here we are!

So here's what my life looks like and what Cristina on Campus will look like for the next few months:

Back in my natural habitat
So, I'm in love with my new room. All my life I wanted white bedroom furniture. I don't know what it was or who I saw have it when I was little, but I always felt like it was the furniture of a princess. It's just so elegant looking and it goes great with Tiffany blue, so I'm pretty pumped to have this new creative space. It's kind of nerdy but typing this at my crisp, white desk is a real pinch-me moment.

I can finally call Fayetteville, Arkansas my home. Last year, I was so nervous and scared about my first year away at college that I put myself in this awkward box. I wasn't comfortable enough to call that little dorm my home because frankly, dorms don't feel like home. Once I really allowed myself to look around and appreciate what was around me here, I finally felt like "ok, this is my home". I had to realize, like the quote says, that sometimes "a home isn't four walls. It's two eyes and a heartbeat". I have met amazing people here and I've even gotten to bring some from home with me, and that makes all the difference. So, if you're just going off to college, don't rush that "home" feeling. I'm still settling in.

So once again I will be a sophomore and I am taking 15 hours this semester. I'm a little nervous (because I'm a born worry-wart) because I just can't gauge at this point how hard my classes are going to be and what my professors will be like. This is the point where I have to stop myself - there's really no use worrying over something that hasn't happened yet. I have a "10 Things To Know Before The First Day of College" post going up this Saturday, and I'll address some helpful tips there.

Semester goals
-Keep my room and closet clean! It sounds lame, but things got a little messy last year (I blame it on the small space). I work so much better in an organized environment.
-Meet more people in my major. It's really nice to have friends like these because you are likely to be in the same classes and study buddies are always great to have. I'd like to be able to swap notes with something (literally).
-Get back to going to my favorite workout classes. If you haven't tried Turbokick, you need to.
-Do one fun thing each weekend. You're probably thinking, "well, duh!". I'm a workaholic and sometimes I don't schedule a break for myself to take a walk or go to the movies. For my sanity and social skills, I need to make sure I schedule some time to forget about school for a minute. With football season around the corner, I think I'll be set for a bit!
-Learn how to ride the bus. I mean I know how to sit on a seat, but I need to figure out where the bus stop even is :)

Blog goals
-Collab with and meet more bloggers! Soooo if you're a blogger in the United States reading this, send me an email! Especially Arkansas, Dallas, Houston, and anywhere on the east coast because I'm dying to go :)
-Set an efficient blog schedule. I'll be sending out a survey soon, so I can hear back from you on how I can make Cristina on Campus the best it can be. Part of that is when and how often I'll be posting. Stay tuned!
-Take more outfit photos. I have a camera. I have a cute city. I have no excuses. Let's do this.
**There are many more blog goals, but if I shared them all there would be no surprises!

Ok, as promised - a few pictures! I can do a full room/home tour soon if ya'll would like to see one! (Just leave me a comment down below or on my Instagram.) Also, click through the photos at the end to shop the room decor and we can be twins!

acrylic monogrammed pencil cup is from Mackenzie Horan's shop, Design Darling

had to display my Tiffany box!

bed, sheets, and Duvet are from Ikea (still need to hang some pictures and I'd love another throw pillow!)

Recognize my nail polish organizer from my "Goodbye Boring School Supplies" post?

desk is from Ikea as well/sticky notes and organizers from Target

Some more inspo for you....

Happy move-in!



August 14, 2015

The #1 DIY For Your Room

Canvas quotes are fun and lantern lights are pretty sweet, but this DIY is practically a necessity. No matter what your age, favorite hobby, or color scheme is, this craft is unique to you and can even help you to succeed throughout your school year.

I started creating "inspiration collages" in middle school. In my Tiger Beat magazine, I lusted after Miley Cyrus' wavy locks and Joe Jonas' killer smile. So, after indulging in the latest teen celebrity gossip, I would cut up my magazine and make collages on my door or above my desk. I loved the way it brought decoration to my room as well as some inspiration anytime I saw it. 

I've grown up to be a college sophomore who loves a pink aesthetic and Carrie Bradshaw memes. I still stand by the importance of an inspiration board. It's a craft that costs less than $5, so naturally I'm all for it. If you like to scroll through Tumblr or Pinterest, why not have some of those pictures on display? Here's how you can make your own:

Determine a color scheme
You want your collage to be aesthetically pleasing. I decided that a bright mixture of pinks would look best with my room since I'm putting this collage at my desk. 

Treat yourself to a magazine or two
Don't just pick any magazine. If you like to draw your inspiration from fashion, get something like People StyleWatch or Glamour (like me!). Also, flip through the issue before buying it to see that you can find pictures in your determined color scheme.

Make a cup of tea
Umm, it just helps to get the creative juices flowing!
(P.S. Finally found the Friends "Central Perk" mug)

(check out my Quotes board on Pinterest)

Search for images on the web or print out some Instagram photos
I found some cute quotes I wanted to include from Pinterest and then I couldn't leave out some family pictures!

Determine what surface you'll put your inspiration collage on
I have a bulletin board up at school that I'm going to be pinning these to. If you're in the market for one, mine's from Walmart. You could also do something like a folder or a binder. This is your inspiration board, so it's up to you!

Secure your inspirations
When I used to make these on notebooks and folders, I used packaging tape to get them buckled down. Now it's 2015 and there's this thing called Modge Podge you may wanna check out ;) For my bulletin board, I'm using some clear push pins.

Wa-la! An inspiration board just for you! Maybe it's pictures of pizza or maybe it's snapshots from Fashion Week - whatever it is, work it.

Shop some of my top picks for decor to match your new DIY!



P.S. Enter my agenda giveaway with Seashells + Sparkles by scrolling down to the bottom of my last post! 

August 11, 2015 Agenda GIVEAWAY (closed)

If there's any back to school essential I feel particularly passionate about it is the agenda. Whether you are starting a new grade, going off to college, or beginning a new job, I cannot stress enough how important and beneficial it is to have something to write everything down in. You may consider yourself not the agenda-type, but what I have to show you today is a real game changer.

I have had an agenda every year since I wore a bow to match my skort. I have used the ever-popular Lilly Pulitzer planner and the cute and classy Kate Spade one as well, but I have a new favorite.

The agenda is fun, organized, roomy, and inexpensive - all things I look for in a planner. As much as I live by these babies, I don't like to spend $50+ on them. I have the small size which was $20 (10% off of that if you're a first time shopper on their website!) and my wallet and I are very happy.

So, why this agenda over the other popular brands? Let's talk pros and cons real fast before we get into the good stuff. And I mean GOOD. STUFF. You may have seen the title about the giveaway, so keep reading, peeps!

-it's better looking than I am, swear it has better contour
-the small size isn't too small
-the spaces for the weekly planning are nice and big, so my homework, meetings, and blog to-dos fit perfectly
-there's a list of holidays inside including holidays like National Thrift Shop Day and National Kick Butt Day (ok, so cool)
-once again, love the price!
-colorful pages announcing the month
-cute ribbon for holding your spot
-a flowchart to help me decide if I need to wash my hair or use my favorite dry shampoo.

-the weekly planning pages aren't lined
-no address book (do people still use these?)
-it doesn't last forever (starts July of 2015, ends December of 2016)

Are you loving this so far?
Check out some other must-haves from Shop Bando by clicking the links below!

'Back Me Up' charger
Sunnies canvas tote
taking this bag to the farmer's market!
cutest phone case EVER
must have for next summer

Alright, you've made it to the GIVEAWAY!

So, my best blog friend Rachel from Seashells + Sparkles and I adore this agenda SO much that we got one for you!
And since has the cutest desk supplies ever, we are throwing in this adorable sticky note set and some fun pens by Yoobi from Target. (Learn how Yoobi helps a child in need here!)

Become the lucky winner by entering the giveaway below! All you need to do to enter is right here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway Winner will be chosen next Tuesday at 8pm (August 18th) - crossing our fingers for you! Visit Rachel's blog to see her thoughts about the agenda.

We will be announcing the winner on our Twitter and Instagram, so make sure you use the giveaway widget below to follow us (and for your entry into the giveaway).

Good luck!


Cristina and Rachel

P.S. This post has been contributed to the Bloggers Back To School linkup hosted by Classy Cathleen and Empire Styles. Visit their blogs to read more posts on back to school fashion and organization!

August 8, 2015

Beat the Back-To-School Stress

Last night I had a weird nightmare. It was the day before school started, and I woke up to see that I was still at my parent's house. I had forgotten to drive back up to Fayetteville, Arkansas. All my friends were waiting for me there and sending me "where are you?" texts. I had been bustling around so much getting things for my town house and tying up loose ends that I forgot to go back to school

How did it end? Oh, in the dream I knew the president and he let me borrow his helicopter, so everything worked out ok.

 Maybe the stress doesn't get that intense for you, but still. I tweeted the other day that I had a massive to-do list before heading back to school and a few people shared my pain.

So can we stop the stress? After all, this is an exciting and fun time. Especially if it's your first time to go off to college! Though this will be my second, I'm pumped and giddy for new opportunities. So, amidst all the much needed and appreciated back to school essentials and freshman advice posts, I wanted to provide you with some tips for how to relax and enjoy this time.

1. When packing (or to get motivated to do so) play a movie or TV show on Netflix
-My dear friend texted me the other day that she needed to pack for the move, but she had been just sitting staring at her boxes for a good while. (Girl, we've all been there!) My advice to her - and now to you - is to put on a great chick flick that's at least an hour and fifteen minutes long and pack for the duration of the movie. Not only are you giving yourself a time window to get some damage done, but you're keeping yourself entertained while doing so!

2. Take shopping breaks for a coffee or a treat
-I can feel overwhelmed and anxious on a day where I'm spending 5+ hours walking up and down office supplies aisles and the confusing mess that is IKEA. In between stores, I like to treat myself to a drink at Starbucks (iced green tea lemonade please) or a nice lunch to get at least 30 minutes to chill. Always give yourself a chance to refuel.

3. Do something for yourself before AND after running your errands
-Sandwich your to-do list into a day that begins and ends with you relaxing or relieving your stress in whatever way you like best.I like to go to the gym in the morning to get a great workout in plus the added endorphins. Then, at night, I have some tea and watch some YouTube videos to unwind. (I usually have a BarkThin or two as well).

4. Get plenty of rest
-Not only is it a good idea to get back on a good sleep schedule, it's also beneficial for you to have more energy throughout the day for packing, shopping, or some last minute errands.

5. Bring a friend!
-I love to have a shopping buddy for moral support/a good time while getting all my things for back-to-school. Someone to chit chat and take funny snapchats with will really make your day feel less like a chore. I love to shop with my boyfriend, Cameron. Been hitting up Target several times a week since 2010. 

6. Place lunch dates as a priority over shopping for your shower caddy
-What I mean is, it's way more important that you have dinner with grandma/your BFF/your bae/your sister than getting through your to do list for that day. Buy school supplies or have dinner with your family? There's a school supplies store somewhere close when you get to campus; your family won't be.

7. Breathe in, breathe out
Whether you take this literally or not is up to you. Take moments to breathe. Physically breath. But also unplug, close your eyes, listen to music, watch the sunset, watch the sunrise, build a puzzle, take a walk, sip some tea....breathe.

 There is no need to stress over something as wonderful as new experiences.



August 5, 2015

What To Wear On Your Next Trip: Bloggers Take Boston Edition

Hello from Boston!

Our trip is going great! We have gone on three tours, seen one Blue Man Group show, had delicious flatbread pizza twice, and seen numerous historical sights. (Thanks to everyone who gave me suggestions on food and things to see on Twitter & Instagram!) 

One of the best parts about being here is getting to meet up with Rachel from Seashells + Sparkles! (cue the "awwwws"). I have many blogging/instagram friends, but I have never gotten to meet any in person before - let alone sit down and have dinner with them!

For reference, the fashion/lifestyle blogging community is quite large. If you follow one blogger on Instagram, another three pop up on the "suggested" feature. You could sit all day and repeat this process until you're following enough bloggers to fill the seats at Fenway Park. So, yes, through my year or so of blogging, I have been virtually introduced to many fashion lovers and dorm room girls with designer taste. Rachel is one of them, and she's awesome!

Ok so on with the post. Rachel and I decided to collab and bring to you our perfect sightseeing outfits. Rachel lives in this area, so she's a pro at knowing just what tours to do and where you can find great historical landmarks. She also knows how to dress the part! As for me, I have learned to walk the walk these past couple of days. (Literally - SO much walking!)

First things first, you want to be comfortable. Comfortable shoes *and* weather-appropriate clothing.

Secondly, we can understand that you want to be comfortable but also Instagram-worthy at the same time. I definitely didn't want to stand outside Quincy Market Place in my sweatpants for a photo-op.

(apologies for the slightly-blurred photos - my camera's auto focus is out of whack! But how cool is the fact that we took pictures in one of Boston's victory gardens? There's only a few left!)

I recommend an outfit like mine or Rachel's as you sight-see and make memories. While our outfits are pretty different from each other's, they both carry all the necessary qualifications: comfy, stylish, and weather-friendly.

I'm wearing a Brandy-style dress I actually found on Boohoo a while back, and there are still a few colors and sizes left here. Dresses may not be your thing, but personally I love a breezy dress when it's warm out. The material of this one isn't heavy at all and I like the simplicity of the look. I added this chambray shirt I got from Forever 21 (similar linked here) around the waist for a trendy look, but I also can wear it as a jacket if it's a little chilly in any museums or restaurants.

Rachel is wearing the cutest top from JCrew and a pair of JCrew skinny jeans. Rachel says, "a loose, but chic top is ideal for sightseeing because it allows for maximum movement and the extra treats you want to eat along the way! If it's cooler out, I definitely suggest wearing a great pair of cropped jeans. I love this pair because they have a boyfriend look but are perfectly fitted!" 

I know both of us don't have sensible shoes on, but we were just going to dinner so we didn't need them to be super supportive. However, I'm gonna send you to Rachel's Instagram - scroll down a bit for a picture of her adorable Reeboks. Highly recommend! 

Getting to talk "blog" with Rachel was so much fun. We even swapped stories about school and family and stuff like that. Getting to hang out with Rach made me realize two things: 1) Rachel is AWESOME (big sis I never had/I wish I had her closet) and 2) I want to meet with more bloggers! Send me an email, tweet me, send me an owl - doesn't matter to me! I love traveling around the U.S. too, so if you'd ever like to collab, let me know! 

Have a great rest of your week, and be sure to visit Rachel's blog and socials :)



P.S. Any back to school post requests?!

August 1, 2015

Never Overpack Again

Tomorrow I am leaving for a father-daughter trip to Boston. We are looking forward to seeing some historical sights, eating along the harbor, and I'm pumped to get to collaborate with Rachel from Seashells and Sparkles while I'm there!

In the spirit of summer travel, today's post will be on packing tips.

It doesn't take me long at all to pack because of the way I do it, and my arm never feels like it's going to fall off while navigating around the airport. Also, once at my destination, I can find everything easily and efficiently. Ready to see how you can, too?

Write or type out a rough itinerary, so you can plan your outfits accordingly
-In my notebook, I write down what activities I'm doing that day and what the weather will be, so I know just what to wear

Lay out everything on your bed or floor first before putting it in your suitcase
-Once I decide what outfits I'm bringing, I arrange them on my floor *by day*. I also section off my pajamas, workout gear, and undergarments from my actual outfits.

Use plastic baggies
-Little things like accessories for my outfits I put in plastic baggies, so they have their space amongst my suitcase.

Use travel-sizes
-I got these cute little shampoos from Target and I think the small version of my face wash is from Walgreens. Having a cosmetic bag is also nice to put everything in. I also go through my makeup and make sure I'm not going to bring 10 lip colors - just pick one or two to save room!

Bring pieces that can be worn again
-My shorts and jeans go with a lot and can be worn a few times before they need to be washed, so I definitely pack those instead of several pairs of everything. I just got these jeans at the buy one/get one 50% sale at American Eagle.

Place your clothes "backwards" in your suitcase
-By this I mean put the clothes you will wear the first day on the top and the clothes you will wear the last day on the bottom. As you wear something and it's dirty (or you don't want to wear it again) either rotate it to go on the bottom of your suitcase or put it into a grocery bag as a makeshift hamper. 

Carry on-essentials

I use my camera bag as my carry-on bag. It has tons of space even with my camera in there, so this is no problem for me, but you could use any roomy bag you'd like.

-I love my baby lips because it is medicated for my chapped lips, but it looks like I'm wearing a cute lipstick.
-The Evian spray mist is my life saver! It really refreshes your skin after sitting on an airplane for a couple of hours, so it's a must-have. 
-I'm reading the sisterhood of the traveling pants, I've never actually read it but I bought it a while back.
-This little eos hand lotion is my favorite. Sometimes I just like to smell good or I have dry hands, and this is the perfect size for my carry-on.
-Of course I've got to have my headphones, and these stay in my ears better than Apple ones! 

Have a great rest of your weekend! If anyone has any must-sees in Boston, comment down below or talk to me on Twitter! (@cristina96x)