Wednesday, July 24, 2013

You Are a Badass, by Jen Sincero book review!


I'm not a self help book person. Call me biased, but I always thought that whatever some random person was trying to convey through words in a paperback were just that-words. But, the title "You Are a Badass" and the bright yellow color scheme just...called to me.

This is written by Jen Sincero who has written a number of other books & self help material, but I loved the approach she took in this book. To me it wasn't self help, it was motivational-the kind of thing that light's a fire under your ass and really tells you to stop, smell the roses for two seconds, and then pick back up as a new you.

Sincero also annotates many of her topics with anecdotes from her own life, be they personal experiences or her travels to India which really make it easy to connect to & believe what she says. "Love yourself" is something she puts at the end of the list of what you (the reader) are supposed to do at then end of each chapter-something that I like. Because if we don't love ourselves, then what is life worth living?

The main reason I finally caved & grabbed this book was because I've been a sufferer of OCD for most of my life-and not the "I'm a neat freak" OCD, but the "my brain acts like a broken record" OCD. While Sincero never even mentioned the disorder in her book, a lot of what she said meant something to me and has inspired me to go out and live the life I want to live and not just sit around in my comfort zone or let my subconscious make all the decisions for me.

Bottom line, even if you think you don't need "help", still pick this book up. At the least, you'll get a good laugh at parts.

What I thought: 4.25/5
What Goodreads thought: 3.95/5
Would I recommend it? Yes!

I'd love to know what you thought-is this something you might pick up? Let me know in the comments!

Check it out on Amazon! (affiliate links included)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

DIY Mondrian inspired dry erase board-from Modcloth!


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So I was cruising Modcloth's apartment section (we all know how many cute things they have!) and I stumbled on this message board that as a graphic design major, thrilled me to no end! However, it's $14.99 (insert sad broke college student face). Amazon also has one for $10, , but I decided to go even cheaper & make my own!

Here's what you'll need:
Small dry erase board-$1 (I bought mine at the dollar general)
Sharpies in blue, red, and yellow-$0 (If you don't have them lying around, they're less than a dollar each)
Ruler-$0 (still have mine from my elementary days!)

Total time: <30 mins


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1. Gather your materials. It's a lot less time to do the project if you hunt down the Sharpies before!

2. Using your ruler, create guidelines for the solid black lines. It doesn't have to be perfect, and I used the Modcloth one as a guide. Best part is, if you make a mistake draw over it with the dry erase marker and it will erase!

3. Once you have all the lines, color in the solid blocks of color. I recommend doing this first because the colored Sharpies will easily mix with the black and create a nasty muddy color.
*Also, make sure none of your Sharpies are slightly dry. My blue one was and it was a nightmare to color in with!

4. Very carefully color in the solid black lines, being sure to let sections sit for a few seconds and dry before moving on.

Overall, it was very simple! Here are some pros & cons I found from this project:

Pros: saving money//easy to make//no artistic talent needed

Cons: can't draw over the permanent marker with dry erase marker, or it will erase the whole design

What do you think? I'd love to know-are you going to try it? Let me know in the comments!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

How to style denim or chambray shirts!

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I recently participated in the Sears Style Twitter party, where we chatted all about fall fashion (and I won a $100 Sears gift card for which I am SO thankful!) and one of the topics was denim, and I noticed how a lot of people said they weren't sure how to wear denim shirts.

I'm sure we all remember Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake's memorable denim ensembles in the early 2000's (if you don't, click here at your own risk!) so it's understandable that no one ever wants to repeat that. I have a favorite denim shirt in my wardrobe that I wear way too often-it's such a staple piece! I thought I'd share a little post on my favorite ways to style my polka dot chambray shirt that I got on clearance from Kohls for just $10.80! It's still available online here if you want to buy it!

Without further ado, here's my favorite pieces to wear with a denim shirt on top!



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Circle skirts, white shorts, and colored denim (I swear those jeans are pinker in real life!) are the easiest and most stylish ways I've found so far to wear denim shirts.

I always get compliments when I wear full circle skirts with it-the combo just looks so fresh & girly!

I'd love to know-what's your favorite way to wear a denim shirt? Let me know in the comments below!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

EW's Top 100: My take on No. 33, "The Graduate"

Welcome to "EW's Top 100", my mission to conquer the lists of top 100 movies/books/music albums that Entertainment Weekly released in July 2013. To see the full list, click here. Today, I'll be featuring #33, The Graduate.


If you haven't seen The Graduate, here's a quick rundown of cast & plot (no spoilers):

-It stars Dustin Hoffman as Benjamin Braddock, Anne Bancroft as Mrs. Robinson, and Katharine Ross as Elaine Robinson (the main characters).
-The soundtrack is one of my all-time favorites, done by Simon and Garfunkel. It also opens with my favorite song of theirs, The Sound of Silence.
-Basically, it's about Hoffman, who's just graduated from college and has no idea what to do with his future, so he begins an affair with a family friend, Mrs. Robinson while also growing closer with her daughter, Elaine.

What I really loved about this movie was how realistic it was-Dustin Hoffman was just as awkward and confused as I thought he would be, and Anne Bancroft was just as alluring and corrupting as she should be.

One of my favorite scenes was when Benjamin celebrates his 21st birthday by wearing a scuba diving suit in the deep end of his backyard swimming pool and all you hear is his Darth Vader-esque breathing. It's a very striking moment where you really feel the inner turmoil that Dustin Hoffman's character is going through, wondering what his future is going to be.

The film was also wonderfully directed by Mike Nichols-it had some really beautiful scenes of Dustin Hoffman floating in the pool, and it was overall cut really well. Pretty good drama if you're a fan of 60's films!

Here's what I thought overall: 8.5/10
What it's rated on IMDB: 8.1/10

Click here to buy The Graduate from Amazon.com (It's available for free streaming on Amazon Prime!)

Affiliate links included

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Check out this Zara Office City Bag dupe from Target!

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I've had my eye on the Zara Office City bag for ages, but have never come close to forking over $90 on a bag. So, I have come across this amazing dupe on Target.com for a fraction of the price!

I stumbled on this bag on Target.com, and it says it's sold in stores, but it's actually on price cut for just $27.99 right now! So after tax & shipping I paid $34.97 total-not bad for a dupe.

I did a little more researching before I bought it, and if you'd like to see another review with more photos, check out this review from The Glamorous Gleam-she's what convinced me to cave & buy the bag!

Overall, I'm really happy with the bag. It comes with three compartments total: the first has space for pens & little stuff, the second is an open compartment that can be enlarged by unbuttoning the sides, and the third is specially padded for electronics. My 15.6 inch laptop doesn't fit in the padded electronics compartment, but it does fit in the center when I unbutton it. I'd say if you had a laptop that was 15 inches or less, it would fit in that compartment.

I'm definitely glad I made this purchase because the bag doesn't look cheap or like a knockoff-it's the perfect accessory I need for meetings & events.

Click here to buy the Merona Large Structured Tote Handbag online!

Let me know if you have any questions or comments on the bag-I'd love to hear what you think in the comments!

Monday, July 8, 2013

On my playlist ft. Feist & Gary Jules!

Welcome to "On my playlist", basically where I showcase two songs I've been enjoying at the moment (aka they've played on my Pandora & I really liked them). I have a pretty...eclectic taste in music so there'll be a good mix of genres.

This week, I've been loving "My Moon My Man" by Feist and "Mad World" by Gary Jules.


Affiliate links included.

"My Moon My Man" is one of my all-time favorites; I love the guitar and the rhythm is literally perfect.

"Mad World" is a very mellow song that has a really pretty piano melody (I can actually play this on the piano) so it's definitely not something I'd recommend if you're sad! It's still a really beautiful song, almost haunting in a way.

So what do you think? Have you listened to either of these songs? I'd love to know your thoughts on them in the comments!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

How to shop for a dorm room on a budget!

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Dorm room shopping can get out of hand-and out of your wallet-quickly if you don't keep a tight handle on what you need & how much it is. For the coming school year, I've set myself a strict budget of $200 & I'll show you how I do it & where I shop to get maximum savings!

First step-make a budget
I use Excel to map out a budget-I write a list of everything I need, and what the approximate price is going to be. Then I add it up at the bottom using AutoSum so when I actually buy things, I can enter their price and the sum will change to accommodate it.

Second step-do some price comparisons
Yes, that comforter from Target may be really cute, but you may be able to find something similar for a cheaper price at another store. For example, the trashcan with a lid that I was going to buy for my bathroom would have been $11.97 at Walmart, but I waited to go to Five Below where I found a smaller one for $5.

Third step-shop clearance aisles
You never know what kind of a good deal you'll find in the clearance pile! I've picked up many a notebook or pack of pens on clearance for less than a dollar.

Fourth step-use coupons
No, I don't mean clip them out (unless you need food & cleaning supplies) because you won't find coupons in the Sunday paper for the general merchandise you need in a dorm room. Instead, here's my number one saving tip-sign up for store emails/coupon programs. These are my most used:

-Bed Bath & Beyond-if you sign up for emails, they'll give you a 20% off one item coupon! Total score if you need to buy a fan, ottoman, chair, etc.
-Meijer-if you sign up for mPerks, they occasionally have coupons for 15% off a general merchandise product. A little goes a long way if you have to buy a microwave!
-Ulta-they'll often have coupons for "$3.50 off a $10 purchase" or $20% off an item" on their homepage, which you can use to stock up on shampoo, makeup remover, cotton balls, etc.
-Target-once the dorm room stock hits the shelves, Target has online coupons that they'll often use to post savings on lamps, comforter sets, etc.

Fifth step-stick to your budget
It's really easy to justify an extra $5 poster, but when you do that three or four times, your balance adds up. Print out your budget & take it with you to remind you to only buy things you've allotted for!

Here's a list of the stores that I mainly shop at for good deals:
Five Below
Dollar General
Walmart (online there's fantastic deals on appliances)
Amazon (do bulk orders of $25 or over so you can get free shipping!)

So what do you think? What are your tips for budget shopping? Share them in the comments!

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