A Few of My Favorite Things

There have been so many amazing things all over the internet. Since Tuesday Blues are among us, I figured I’d share some of my favorite things I’ve seen recently. Hey, it’ll help make your day that much easier!

FAVORITE MUSIC & VIDEOS
ONE // Shut Up And Dance With Me — Walk the Moon


I love this song, but the video is that much better. I was laughing so hard I almost woke up my roommate! 

TWO // Nothing Really Matters — Mr. Probz (AfroJack Remix)

This song alone is amazing. But I love Mr. 

THREE // How to Reach Your Goals & Stay Motivated in 2015


Honestly, I’m still in “resolution-making” mode. I recently noticed how bad some of my habits are when it comes to school, studying, or even getting work done in general. I’m terrified of failure, but at the same time I don’t go too much out of my way to prevent it. So for 2015 I’ve been really trying to work on achieving some short-term and long-term goals. Alexandrea Garza is one of my favorite YouTubers, and I really think this video is great for anyone to watch- especially if you want to get motivated & stay motivated

FAVORITE ARTICLES & STUFF FROM THE WEB


ONE // 12 Party Tips From Mr. Valentino

During a  famous Valentino dinner party with the guests being some young bloggers, he decided to share some anecdotes and words of wisdom about how to plan an unforgettable party. 

TWO // Tommy Hilfiger SS2015 Magalog

I love everything about this. The photography is incredible, and the models just seem so relatable. Plus, the clothes are so fun and classic. Definitely check it out!

THREE // How to Create Your Own Handwritten Font

I found this really neat article on one of my favorite blogs, The College Prepsterwhere Carly talked about finding a website where you can create a font out of your own handwriting! Seriously, how cool is that? I’m so looking forward to trying it in the near future. If you do, let me know what you think! 


Lately

Transitioning back into school mode is one of the hardest things for me. I’ve been ridiculously busy; between taking 6 classes, starting my internship, and training for the beginning of my spring season, I’ve had little to no time for breathing room.  This is what’s been going on in my life…

SPA DAY:


One of my best friends, Annie, and I were gifted a day at the spa from one of our friends at the incredible Nemacolin Woods Resort & Spa. It was the absolute best way to spend a Sunday, especially after such a tough week. What girl doesn’t want a day of pampering? I’m absolutely obsessed with cucumber water now because of it. We both got swedish massages and pedicures, which eventually lead to this… (this is what happens when you wear your Bean Boots to the spa, and aren’t allowed to wear closed-toed shoes for an hour after your pedicure.)

Not to mention that it was one of the coldest and snowiest days we’ve had in a while. 

How gorgeous is this place? I never wanted to leave. And if you look closely, you can see the statue on the widow’s walk on the roof (I think that’s awesome)


The spa itself (the best picture I could take while standing outside with only one shoe). I love the architecture of the entire resort, since each building has its own character. 


ALEX’S BIRTHDAY:

January also brought one of my favorite person’s birthdays! My roommate finally turned the big 2-0! 

Her entire immediate family flew up from Florida for the weekend! To celebrate, we went to Buca di Beppo which was absolutely fantastic.  The restaurant is set up with a family-style dinner, so you order large serving sizes to share with your group. Plus, who doesn’t love traditional Italian restaurants? 


I love my city. 

COLLEGE FASHIONISTA:

This semester I was so extremely lucky to get an internship working as a Style Guru for College Fashionista. This includes photographing students who are implementing different fashion trends into their wardrobes, and writing a weekly story about their fashion while sharing ideas about what would be considered the biggest trends in collegiate style. I love everything about it. If you have any interest in writing or fashion, even social media, I definitely recommend applying to be a Style Guru for your school. 

Some of my favorite posts…

Dressing Fur Comfort

“Military Chic”

“Winter Whites”

If you like what you see, create a College Fashionista profile, follow along, and don’t forget to RAD posts you think are cool! (it’s like a like on Facebook!)

Also, to see a complete list of my posts, view my profile HERE 


Follow me on my new Instagram! 

@pittsburghandpearls


WEEKEND READING

It’s the middle of a lazy weekend day. You’re “watching” another episode of the show you’ve been binge watching, and you find yourself zoning out a bit more than usual. The word boredom pops into your head. But are you really? Well, regardless, I’ve decided to start a new weekly post, called Weekend Reading comprised of my favorite articles, videos, blog posts, and other miscellaneous things that catch my fancy during the week. They’ll be posted every Saturday morning, so stay tuned! 

ONE // How To Be Pretty 


“Everyday you wake up with air in your lungs and a pulse, there is purpose for you. There is purpose for your life.”

It’s no secret that these past few weeks are some of the most stressful I’ve dealt with in the entirety of my academic career. I’ve found myself finding a lot of fault in my actions, my appearance, and criticizing myself a lot more than usual. I found this video by YouTuber HelloKaty this weekend, and I’ll tell you what. It gave me the biggest confidence boost I’d had in a long time. You are so much greater than the validation you fight for from others. Everyone is beautiful; they all shine in individual ways. You are more than your appearance. Start accepting that.

TWO // 36 Questions that Lead to Love

You’ve probably seen this everywhere. It started as a popular psychological experiment, to see whether “the intimacy between two strangers could be accelerated” through a series of deep questions. And it definitely leads to a much deeper level than your normal old small talk. Vulnerability is the key to the experiment, so if you choose to replicate it at home (with your S.O., a friend, or even as a way to reflect upon yourself) make sure that you are being completely honest with yourself about the questions and the way you choose to answer. The final task of the experiment is to stare into someone’s eyes for a few minutes, which apparently “leads to falling in love”. I’ve tried the experiment before, and it is so much fun to try. (Don’t forget to let me know about how it works for you!)

THREE // Five Rules for Pretty Winter Skin

It’s no secret that I have a love/hate relationship with winter. I love winter fashion, bringing out my Bean Boots, and curling up with some hot tea or cocoa, but cold weather makes my skin feel extra damaged. It gets extremely dry, and no matter what I’ve tried I feel like it just doesn’t help. I exfoliate and moisturize regularly, so why doesn’t it feel better? Bonus: it emphasizes the beauty of pale skin, which is pretty refreshing to hear, after growing up in a time where “paleness” was almost viewed as sickly and unattractive.

FOUR // Vying for a Seat in ‘School of Rock’

If you’re like me, this movie was one of my absolute favorites growing up, and probably still is. It was recently adapted into a Broadway musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber, which is one of the most exciting things I’ve heard all day. Check out the auditions from January 24 at the Winter Garden Theater. It’s set to start performances in November so plan ahead! If you aren’t jealous of these insanely talented kids, then there might be something wrong with you!

FIVE // How to Create Your Own Starbucks Frappucino at Home

Hi, I’m Sarah, and I’m addicted to Starbucks. My go-to order is an iced grande caramel macchiato, but I’m always up for trying new drinks. Especially if they involve caramel, whipped cream, or anything relatively sweet that doesn’t taste like coffee. One of my incredibly talented friends, Autumn, recently wrote an article for College Lifestyles, which allows students from different universities to write life and style pieces about the college experience. It’s full of DIY’s, health and fitness tips, fashion tips, and even tips on how to ace your interviews for the dreaded job search! The whole website is definitely worth stumbling around. This recipe is for a Vanilla Coffee Flavored Frap, and I can’t wait to try it myself with a few of my friends at school when I find my blender. Let me know if you try it! And be sure to check out some of Autumn’s other work! (Including one on how to deal with winter weather in Western PA!)

SIX // Dove Hair: Love Your Curls

It’s incredible how many little girls don’t love their hair, themselves, or the way they look. I have always been a huge fan of the Dove commercials, since they convey a reoccuring theme of self-love and self-acceptance. Only 4 out of 10 girls think their curly hair is beautiful. They say they don’t want it, that they’d rather have it be straight, and that it makes them sad to think about their hair. Little girls thinking so lowly of themselves sickens me. This actually made me cry. I am a huge advocate for breaking beauty standards set by past generations, so little ones can love themselves for how they are and not wanting to change how they look. It takes the childhood out of being a child when they are too fixiated on their appearances to really live like a little girl should. I love the #LoveYourCurls campaign… After watching this video, who’s with me? 

This year I will…

To be completely 100% honest, I’ve never been efficient on following through with goals, let alone resolutions. However, lately I’ve been feeling a ridiculous amount of motivation for the upcoming semester. I recently changed a few of my super bad habits that were leftover from high school (yes, it’s cliché, but you will be surprised about how different high school and college are. Word to the wise: change bad habits in high school now, and fast!) and I’m slowly working towards creating a better me. So, without further adieu, here are my (belated) goals for 2015! 


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Get into an efficient workout routine

I’ve been a student athlete for as long as I can remember; so I feel like I’ve always been in season or training for the next. However, after my season was over I just realized that too much free time can result in procrastination and too many nights binge-watching Netflix. Oh and having a workout schedule would help me manage my time better (my weakness), so it’s a win win win situation! Plus, I’m actually starting to run a bit more distance than I’m used to, and it feels amazing. I actually really like working out at school- my roommate and I always like to do it together, and it doesn’t necessarily feel like slaving away if you’re with a friend. As Elle Woods famously said, “Exercise gives you  endorphins, endorphins make you happy, and happy people just don’t shoot their husbands.” 



Wake up earlier to better utilize mornings
I love waking up early and starting to be productive early. My sleep schedule has been so messed up lately, (I’m writing this post at 3 am.) and I’ve realized that waking up between 11 and 1 is absolutely exhausting. I’m so much grumpier, I lose motivation to go to the gym too easily, and I hate the idea of losing so much time in a day. By the time that I’m ready to do anything it’s already 3pm. It’s not ideal in the slightest when you want to do so much, but it’s already too late. I love everything about mornings, except for, you know, the getting up part. I struggle with that. I focus the best with school work early, plus I love the idea of having time to spend on myself before I start my super hectic day. I’m pretty sure that the reason I’m able to work so hard so early is because having a deadline is my best friend when it comes to assignments. And plus, it encourages me to get a good night’s sleep. I’ll be healthier, happier, and my GPA will thank me for it.

Schedule, schedule, schedule

Like I said before, time management has always been a problem for me. I’m an expert procrastinator, and I’m really not too proud of that. Scheduling free time is all about prioritizing, which, yet again, is something that I struggle with. My goal for the semester is to find time to study every day, and start assignments way before the deadline. I was recently accepted as a Style Guru for the internship for College Fashionista, so to be professional I really want to focus on creating a quality article every week for my readers; they deserve it! I also want to make time for a few blog posts a week, and editing. I’m obsessed with the Heart and Arrow Designs blog planner right now by the way. 

Make room for positivity

One of the biggest things that I need to work on for 2015 is going out of my way to think positively about stressful situations. I’m by no means a negative person, but in the past few months I had found myself getting down on myself much more than I normally had. I get frustrated really easily, and then shut down. By finding ways to count my blessings and look for golden opportunities in otherwise difficult conditions, not only will it make me (and everyone around me) happier, but it’ll help me grow from mistakes.

Cut out judgement
I recently read an article on The College Prepster that dealt with judgement. It’s no lie that everyone judges everyone at some point, but it’s amazing how much you can do for yourself if you stop thinking negatively about other people. It doesn’t matter if a lady on the street is wearing a hot pink bedazzled Juicy Couture track suit from 2006, it doesn’t impact you whatsoever and she probably really likes it. In a few recent conversations with one of my best friends, she talked about how she was trying to completely stop judging others, and it has made her feel worlds better about herself. She always says, “Be kind to everyone, you don’t know what they’re dealing with. Everybody has faced a deeper problem that has made them into what they are today.” I’ve gone to a private school all my life, so I know a thing or two about judgement. I’ve been on both sides.  I’ve recently noticed that a majority of the judgements that I make are towards myself. I’m extremely self-critical which wears me down so easily. By cutting down on internal negative thoughts and questioning why everyone around me is doing what they’re doing, I really hope I can make 2015 into a positive year.

What are your goals for 2015? 

How to Style: Bean Boots

As always, I love when friends and readers send me ideas for new blog content. One of my teammates told me that she would love to know a few different ways to style an extremely popular winter trend- the classic L.L. Bean Boots. I won’t even lie to you, I’m all about this boot. They’re perfect for braving even the worst Pittsburgh winter, and still look a lot cuter than some of the other boots available (don’t worry riding boots, I’m not looking at you.) And some sizing information, they run pretty small. I usually wear about a 7 to a 7.5 in women’s, however I ordered a 7 and they’re  roomy and loose if I don’t wear a heavy sock. I’m a total klutz when it comes to winter weather and dealing with ice, I swear I’m always falling everywhere. In my opinion, most of the snow boots with traction that I’ve experienced looked really clunky. I love how the Bean Boots are also so functional; you absolutely do not sacrifice comfort, warmth or functionality for fashion. 

I decided to style my Bean Boots in my 2 favorite ways: one, being a more feminine take on classic preppy style (inspired by Sarah Vickers of Classy Girls Wear Pearls and KielJamesPatrick fame), and the other a bit more casual and laid back while staying put together. Bean Boots are so versatile, I wore them at least twice a week during school. 

Outfit #1:

Polo Solid Oxford Shirt // Polo Ralph Lauren V-Neck Sweater

  J. Crew Factory Pleated Mini (similar here) // Necklace (similar)

Tights // L.L. Bean Boots

Outfit #2:

Cowl Neck Sweater // Vest (similar) 

 Leggings // Socks (similar & on sale!) // L.L. Bean Boots

If you’re looking for something really similar, or Bean Boots are on backorder, (they always are! Word to the wise: BUY EARLY! I ordered mine over the summer on sale) then check out these Duck Boots by Sperry TopSider! I honestly really like them, plus they come in a variety of fun patterns and bright colors! I love these

What’s your favorite winter trend?