My favorite recent Amazon purchases

Amazon has taken over in terms of online shopping, but I don’t have to tell you that. Along with Amazon brands, bigger and more-well known brands are also selling items on the site. Everything from Levi’s denim to Aquaphor to Gatorade is being sold by the brand’s on Amazon, and most of them offering Prime 2-day shipping!

While I love that brands I know are available on Prime, it’s also fun to explore brands you didn’t know before or even Amazon-specific brands. There’s so many products that I never would have heard of, or would have taken a long time to get if it weren’t for Amazon Prime. I also think Prime is perfect when you are in a pinch and need something last minute (aka me, all the time).

Linked below are some of my recent favorites:

Satin pillowcases

These satin pillowcases look expensive (even thought they aren’t) are good for skin, and help prevent hair breakage!

Mini Humidifier

I ordered this mini (pink!!) humidifier to put on my bedside table since I’ve been getting so dry lately. I love it so far, it doesn’t take up a lot of room and it works well.

Small Storage Bins

These storage bins would be perfect for on top of a dresser or in a bathroom cabinet. I decided on pink, because I wanted to add some color to my white walls/dressers.

Levi’s Denim Shorts

Before my trip to New Orleans, I needed a pair of jean shorts in a time crunch. This is when I turned to Amazon and found that Levi’s sells shorts on Prime, so I got this adorable pair!

Animal Print Skirt

One of my absolute favorite items, I got this skirt late last summer and couldn’t wear it enough.

Foldable Cube Storage Bins

These cube storage bins have saved the organization of my room and closet, were cost effective, and look expensive.

Aquaphor 3-Pack

My most recent discovery is that Aquaphor is amazing for your lips and other dry areas! I have used it in the past, and always keep a tube in my bag, but I’ve been using it more lately since I have been extra dry.

Formal Dress

In another pinch for time (seems like a theme in my life), I ordered this dress in green for my work holiday party back in December. It was at a nightclub, so I figured I would go a bit dressy and wear this with the same heels I bought for last year’s party. Inexpensive, but looked chic and I got a lot of compliments on it!

Pearl Headbands

ALLLLLL the rage, especially in NYC. I see people wearing these headbands every day, and I’m still not sick of them. This pack of 6 is great because of the many color options, I’ve worn every single color and love them all!

Pompom Bedskirt

ADORABLE and really adds something to a bed. I have a simple metal bed frame, and the box spring from Casper, so my bed needed a little extra something to make it look put together. I found this perfect and wallet-friendly pompom bedskirt that I have told everyone I know about. My mom even bought 2 for our house in Martha’s Vineyard because they are so cute.

Milk Frother

My manager at work laughed at me when I bought a milk frother on Amazon Prime day last year, and he said I would never use it. I literally use it ALL THE TIME. It also came with a stainless steel cup. Maybe I was just trying to prove him wrong, but I honestly love it! It also helps me feel good about not spending my money on coffee on the weekends, because I can make a nice cup with my Keurig. It’s even really helpful for when I mix Vital Proteins Collagen into any drinks!

Sectioned Laundry Basket

Another item that I can’t stop talking about. I’m really into separating out my laundry, and this is the best basket! It also has handles and pocket on the side to hold essentials (perfect for my laundry card and detergent!)

Weighted Blanket

I got this weighted blanket last year in January and it has become a staple in my bedding. I keep it at the end of my bed and I use it pretty much every night while I’m watching Netflix, it’s SO relaxing.

How to throw a Galentine’s Day Party!

Hi Friends!

Last year, I planned my first ever Galentine’s Day Party and it was a complete success! I decided to go all out and order some fun decorations, fun food and some party favors that made perfect for our signature cocktails!

Here’s how I went about throwing my party:

Pick a date

This year my friends and I are having it on Wednesday, February 12th, because I will be headed off to Florida on the 13th for a half-marathon (more to come on that)! The 13th is technically the designated day for Galentine’s Day, but I think any day in February works to get together with friends and have fun drinks and heart shaped food! 🙂

Guest list

For Galentine’s Day, I just had my closest gal pals from college that live in NYC and my roommates. I wanted to get us some fun little gifts, so I kept my guest list relatively small.

Pick a location

I decided to have it at my apartment so I could decorate and make everything I wanted to make, while also staying on a budget.

Decorate

THIS was probably the best part of planning the party (next to creating my signature drink in my fun glasses), and I decided to go all out for it! I already have an on-theme light up sign in my apartment, so I decided to get a glitter wall to play off the light that we already had. I got this glitter wallpaper type thing on Amazon in pink and gold. I layered them to give it a subtle pink look, and I honestly never took it down after that. It lives in my apartment now.

Other options I love and am using for this year are: these heart garlands, these hanging paper hearts, twinkle lights, heart light, and this adorable pom-pom heart mirror!

Party favors

I wanted to get something fun and cute, however not too pricey for my friends and I to have for the party. After looking up some inspiration from my friend, Danielle (who plans a killer Galentine’s Day party every year), I decided on these personalized champagne flutes from Etsy! They were $5 each, came relatively quickly, and my friends LOVED them.

Food and drinks

This is your chance to really play around with fun on-theme foods, or just making your favorites. Last year, we bought pizza dough and other pizza fixings from Trader Joe’s, and made our own heart shaped pizzas. Unfortunately, we forgot to take photos because making then heart shaped pizzas was quite the event, and we were all ready to eat.

I did make a fun signature drink in the flutes that I got for us. It consisted of Trader Joe’s fancy pink lemonade, raspberry lime seltzer, mint, raspberries and lime juice! Plus vodka of course. This year I’m thinking of maybe doing a grapefruit mule, or something else fun and pink!

Supplies

Straws

From Amazon, I also picked up these Valentine’s Day themed paper straws, which came in a such a large pack that we literally still a few left for this year’s party haha.

Plates

In addition, heart plates from Amazon, came in handy from last year, and here’s a heart shaped option on Prime for this year is linked here.

Napkins

The CUTEST napkins from Amazon for Valentine’s Day are by far these ones. I’m ordering these just to have as fun cocktail napkins because they are fun and I love hearts.

 

 

Back to school: The ultimate list of dorm essentials + the one item not to forget on move-in day!

Back to school shopping used to be one of my favorite parts of a new school year, as I’m sure it was for many people. A particularly fun year was before my freshman year of college. The items on your back-to-school shopping list were more than just clothes, notebooks and new pens, but also bedding, kitchen items, and even some furniture. While this list seems exciting, it can also be overwhelming with the amount of choices in stores like Target, Walmart, and Bed Bath and Beyond.

As a college student who lived in 4 separate forms of housing, as well as a 2 year NYC apartment veteran, I have learned through trial and error what the best products are and where to buy them.

My advice here is to not be to concerned about matching everything your roommate has, as that seems unnecessary to me. You should pick what you want it to look like and maybe it can compliment your roommate’s vision.

My other tip is that not everything needs to be totally instagram-worthy. Definitely get cute items if you like them, but I don’t think spending outrageous amounts of money on dorm items is the best choice, as they can tend to get ruined or just worn out after a few years! I personally splurged on my bedding and kept everything else simple.

Without further ado, here are my dorm essential picks!

Bedding Essentials

Cute and functional duvet and shams

Lilly Pulitzer for PB Teen Duvet and Shams in Orchid Border and Elephant Bazaar

My bedding that I used all 4 years of college was from the Lilly Pulitzer for Garnet Hill Collection, which I loved! Unfortunately, that’s no longer available, but Pottery Barn came out with a new collection last year which has a whole bunch of awesome bedding and furniture. My sister actually has the Elephant Bazaar in her dorm currently, and we have the Orchid Border with the Bolster Pom Pom Pillows in the twin bedroom in my house on Martha’s Vineyard!

A duvet insert

Naturally, a duvet means you need a duvet insert. I had a microfiber one as opposed to down, because its less expensive, but also just in case of spills or who knows what. Down is not the easiest to dry or clean.

A comfy mattress topper

This is the same mattress topper that I had, which seems expensive but I knew I would have a twin XL bed for at least 3 years. It was also SO comfortable, I had the best bed and my friends would even come over to sit on my bed!

The ultimate mattress protector

The same exact mattress protector I had, which protects from everything you could possibly think of. I truly don’t think another one is worth the money!

Neutral sheets and pillowcases

I kept it very simple with a jersey cotton sheet set! The set won’t break the bank, are easy to throw in the wash, and are super comfortable. I still have these type of sheets at my apartment!

A body pillow

My roommate and I both had our beds against the walls, which obviously meant each of us had a cement block wall next to our beds. We both had body pillows to help us from not touching the often cold, cinder block wall. I had a fun, furry one which made my bed extra cozy and Morgan had a monogrammed body pillow!

A cozy blanket

My boyfriend and I are all about the cozy blankets! He got me this one from Walmart before I moved into my new apartment, and it was the perfect gift to match my bedding! In college, I had a similar white one that I folded at the end of my bed.

Headboard pillow

I didn’t have a headboard at first in my dorm, until I found a piece that goes on like a headboard that someone left in the hall after de-bunking their bed. I got lucky there, but I wished I had a cushier head board instead of the ugly brown wooden one. This pillow headboard would have covered the ugly brown one, I wish I knew about these sooner! Here is another pillow headboard from BB&B!

Bath and Laundry

Towels and washcloths

Having a few extra clean towels is always a good idea, so I’ve linked these towels from Target, which are plain but useful. I picked up these ones as hand towels for my current apartment when we moved in because there is a Target right near us! Here are some options from Walmart and Bed Bath and Beyond as well.

A simple shower caddy

Nothing screams college dorm more than a shower caddy, right? I had this exact same one from Bed Bath and Beyond my freshman year, and you really don’t need anything fancier than this. They now even have phone pockets?! This has me cracking up, but I guess it is smart just in case someone accidentally locks you out of the room when you are in the shower! Here are some other shower caddy options from Amazon, Target and Walmart. I have recommended all mesh versions, because you don’t want to have something else to clean, and these don’t retain water, so theres no mold involved!

A sturdy hamper

I got a hamper on a HomeGoods run with my mom before college, and I still have it to this day! While it held up pretty well, it has really started to breakdown recently. I love it so much I just keep it to put my dirty jeans in. I replaced that with a hamper that has separate sections for whites, darks, and colors, which I’m a big fan of since I am a laundry sorting stickler. However, in a dorm you probably want something a little smaller, so here are some options from Bed Bath and Beyond, Amazon, Target and Walmart.

Storage and other items

Bedside table

This cart from Target is cute for using as surface space, as well as storage. It’s always great to have spaces to put things so they are not in the way in such a small space! Sterilite drawers also are great for extra storage and some surface space near your bed.

Extra drawers

If you are anything like me, you’ll probably need more than the 3 drawers that the school gives you in your dorm furniture. I got some easily movable Sterilite plastic drawers  that I actually packed some of my clothes in for the move. It made it easy to move limited items but it was pretty heavy! Here are Target and BB&B options as well.

Lamp

Absolutely necessary in my opinion! The lighting in dorms is typically very institutional. In other words, it’s not very good. I loved doing work in bed, so a lamp was great to either turn on with the lights off or just for some extra lighting! I still have this classic, plain Target lamp. Similar options from Bed Bath and Beyond, as well as Walmart.

Over-the-door hooks

These will come in handy on both the door too the room, as well as on the closet doors! I found the more hooks, the better. Here are options from Target (with a basket on top!), Walmart and BB&B (also has a towel bar — perfect!).

Under bed bins

Bins under your bed are a great way to store extra clothes, as well as baskets for snacks, cleaning supplies, or bags!

Trunk

I just think that a trunk is a quintessential going off to college item! I had a green trunk that my mom bought for me years ago from Bed Bath and Beyond, and I brought it to college with me. My sister ended up getting one too, just because its so cute! It also doubles as storage, so although it took up a lot of room in my little dorm room, I made space! While they are on the expensive side, I have linked a few different options from Target, Walmart, Bed Bath and Beyond, Pottery Barn, and Amazon.

Decorations

Fairy lights

Soft fairy lights add another nice form of lighting, as well as decoration to a dorm room or apartment. These photo clip lights are also perfect for polaroids! *buys for apartment*

Cork boards & letter boards

As you can see from my freshman year dorm photos, cork boards were the move (I had these tile ones). Letter boards came into the game later, and they are so cute!

Frames

Cute frames can also make your dorm feel more home-y, whether they are for family/friend photos or even fun prints (like my favorites from Evelyn Henson!). Frames from Target, Walmart and Amazon linked here! My wall frames pictured here are the ones linked from Amazon, which were inexpensive and look great on a white wall.

Acrylic organizers

Perfect to keep on that institutional desk that you can’t get rid of! I loved having these to just hold my little things and get them out of the way, all in one place. They look put together and they can be for more than just makeup/beauty items. I just picked up a new one from Target, and had this one in college, plus here is another one of my favorites!

Essential Oil Diffuser

This is the perfect item to help you destress when you are in your dorm room. You can get relaxing essential oils and mix them together to create great scents! Also great because you can’t have candles in dorm rooms. (I did and I always forgot to hide them and would have to get my room inspected lol) Linked from BB&B, Walmart, Target and Amazon!

Hanging aids

Command hooks, strips and Scotch mounting putty and mounting tape are king in a temporary space. The best way to hang up photos, lights and hooks are command brand! That way when you leave the room you wont get charged for damages. These command clips are also great for hanging lights on the wall!

The one item not to forget for move-in day

A great pair of scissors

Honestly, my friend’s mom got me this exact pair of Scotch scissors right before I moved in and thank god she did! These were being used throughout the entire move in and I kept them in my desk drawers, so they were easily accessible. They got a ton of use, and I feel like they are a very forgotten tool, especially on move-in day when you need them the most! DON’T FORGET THESE!

 

Game of Thrones Premiere & Cheese Board Debut

Who watched the GOT season 8 premiere Sunday night?! I was so excited for it, and the episode didn’t disappoint. I watched the season 7 finale right before, and I forgot just how action packed it was. Watching that made me so pumped for season 8. I can’t wait to find out who ends up on the iron throne, but I’m sad that some of my favorite characters could face death! ):

Anyway, I had a few friends over for the premiere, so naturally as an entertainer and someone who just purchased a new cheese board, I had to make up a cheese plate for the watch party.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I picked up this marble cheese board with a golden pineapple detail about a week ago. The board came in the mail and I immediately felt the need to buy a bunch of cheese and invite people over, then I realized that the GOT premiere was the perfect time to break out both!

I picked up most of the items from good ole Trader Joe’s (there is one right around the corner from my office, and it’s never too packed, truly a blessing). I got some Cotswolds cheese, double cream gouda, herbed goat cheese, and Dubliner cheddar. For fun other cheese plate items, I used truffle marcona almonds, bread and butter pickles, pita crisps, cornbread crackers (all from Trader Joe’s), shelled pistachios, and some cucumber and orange pepper cut up.

It was all very delicious and extremely filling! I would definitely recommend getting and making a cheese plate for entertaining, as it was the highlight of the night (other than the episode, obviously).

Happy eating! xx

Taking my Bar Cart to the Next Level!

Bar carts are so fun and versatile. They are a great place to store things in a small apartment, and they also can be dressed up for fun!

This One Kings Lane bar cart was a recommendation from Amy of amybelievesinpink, which my mom bought last year on sale. She decided it was not what she wanted for our house in Martha’s Vineyard, so she decided to give it to me for my new apartment! While this bar cart is certainly different, and more of a statement piece, I actually love it in our apartment. It really adds something to our very neutral look, and is the perfect size to hold all of our alcohol and fun cups!

I have been wanted to upgrade my bar cart in some way, adding something fun to it that would go with the summery feeling this cart already gives from the turquoise color and the bamboo material.

I finally found the perfect items to do so! The first item is this marble cheese board with a gold pineapple detail. This marble cheese board can serve as just a tray that we keep on the bar cart, or exactly what it’s meant for when we have guests over. The second item that will really spruce up the bar cart are these gold pineapple marble coasters! These will really help preserve our table and bar cart from rings and liquid stains, while also feeling cute and summery.

I have had my eye on these items for a while, and the coasters are 20% off right now. The cheese board is also on sale, however today you can get one Williams-Sonoma item 20% off with free shipping on your order by using the code “SPRING” at checkout! I already placed my order and I am so excited to use these.

Quick Super Bowl appetizer: The best buffalo chicken dip recipe

I was born on Super Bowl Sunday 24 years ago! As a Super Bowl baby, I am always amped up for the day (especially when the Patriots are playing).

As a self-proclaimed foodie, I love all the fun recipes that come with the day, as many of them are foods you would never eat otherwise. Many of them are ridiculous, over-the-top foods that also require a lot of prep and cook time. This buffalo chicken dip is a quick, simple recipe that is equal parts easy and delicious!

Truth be told, I usually slightly follow Frank’s Red Hot Recipe for temperature and measurements, but I tend to add my own flair too it.

The Recipe:

2 cups of shredded, cooked chicken. I use the meat of 1 rotisserie chicken, I usually cut the breasts with a knife and measure it out to 2 cups.

8 oz of cream cheese. I usually use low fat cream cheese, and I let it soften up a bit first.

1/2 cup of Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce. This is KEY. The regular hot sauce also works, however I love to use the buffalo wing sauce from Frank’s, it’s the best.

1/2 cup ranch dressing. I repeat, ranch, not bleu cheese.

1/2 cup of your preferred shredded cheese. Frank’s calls for bleu cheese crumbles, but I personally prefer shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses. I mix 1/2 cup in with the cream cheese, buffalo sauce, ranch, chicken mixture, as well as some for melting on top.

Scallions (for garnish).

Pre-heat oven to 350° F, place mixture in a shallow baking dish of choice. Bake for 20 mins. Serve with pretzel/pita/tortilla, bread, veggies, or really whatever you prefer!

Frank’s recipe recommends to mix up the dip after it is warmed, however I think it is best with the meaty cheese top and fresh scallion garnish!

Happy Super Bowl and GO PATS!!

Tips for the first semester of college

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If you’re reading this, chances are you have yet to head off to college. Whether it be in 2 weeks or 2 years, it’s good to know that going to college is awesome, but tough. It’s tough to leave behind your home, family, friends and everything that is familiar to you. While adjusting is easier for some people than others, social media has definitely played a role in the adjustment to college life. Many people feel like they should be having the time of their life from the minute they get on campus, and often try to portray that on social media, even if that’s not exactly the truth.

The truth is that EVERYONE has a hard time at first, no matter how much fun it looks like their having, or how many friends it seems like they have made. I had such a hard time adjusting, and I’m the first to admit it. I thought I hated school at first, but then I realized that I was making friends and having a good time. Suddenly, I didn’t hate it anymore, and I regret every second I was miserable because that’s time I could’ve been enjoying myself at my favorite place in the world.

Getting used to college life is difficult at first, so here are some tips to make it easier!

Be open to any and all friends

College is an excellent opportunity to make some new and awesome friends. There are so many new people to meet, so go out and meet them! Everyone is in the same boat when they get to school, and usually everyone is open to making friends with whoever they meet. Even if you don’t become best friends with the first people you meet, it’s great to have people to say hi too around a campus.

Walk around/off-campus

Walking around is a great way to get to know the place you’re living and studying at for the next 4 years. Explore all the buildings and facilities, so you’ll have some knowledge when a class is in an obscure building or that they actually have racquets for the raquetball courts. Checking out your local surroundings is helpful too. The coffee shop downtown could be a great place to study during finals when the library is packed.

Take every opportunity

If someone invites you to eat lunch with them in the dining hall, do it. If someone asks you to play on an intramural team even though you aren’t athletic, show up. If someone invites you to go to a speaker on campus, go. Something as simple as a walk around campus can help you learn something new.

Keep yourself busy

The first couple of months are the hardest, and sitting around in your room is not going to make you feel any better. Someone told me to keep myself busy in the beginning and I totally wrote it off. To this day, this is my main piece of advice. If you are busy, you totally forget about being sad or missing home! Hang with friends, make plans, study at the library, grab a coffee, go to the dining hall, hit the gym. These are all things you can do to keep yourself busy that will take your mind off of things.

Surround yourself with other people

A bit different than being open to new friends, although still encouraging social interaction. You can’t be sad when you are talking to new people and learning new things about them, as well as sharing information about yourself! This could be your next door neighbor, your RA, a professor at office hours, or even people in the lounge in your dorm.

Be yourself

There’s no need to change who you are to please other people. You’ll meet the people who like you for who you are. It might take a bit of time, but those people are out there. If you are always unapologetically yourself, you’ll find your people.

Have a great time, don’t forget about school work

Going out with your friends on a Thursday night is perfectly fine. Just make sure you don’t have a test on Friday morning or homework you haven’t done for an 8am class. Believe it or not SOME (not all) jobs do ask for your GPA after college and grad schools want to see your transcripts. I’m all for going out, partying and having a fun time, although getting recognized for your academic achievements also feels great!

While a lot of these tips have common themes, such as being social and keeping yourself busy, they all will make a huge difference. You can make it through the hardest part of college with ease, as long as you put yourself out there even a little bit. Good luck and go kill it!

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