Long Live All the Mountains We Moved: Looking Back on Freshman Year

I'm honestly surprised it took me this long to title a post with Taylor Swift lyrics (this time gracing you with the beautiful anthem, "Long Live"). Today, I move out of my dorm and head back home for the summer. I can't believe that freshman year has already come to an end; it seems like I moved in just a few weeks ago!

This year has been filled with long nights, great friends, and many firsts (from my first concert to my first use of footnotes to my first late-night Cookout run). I wanted to share some photos from over the course of the year to celebrate what a great nine months it's been.

Move-in Day in August
My First Concert: I saw Taylor Swift for my birthday
My cousin, Taylor, got married in October and Hannah and I were in the wedding party
My hallmates and I as Disney Princesses for Halloween

My cousin's baby/my godchild, Brooklyn, was baptized in December.

I somehow survived the crazy amount of snow we got this year, despite multiple
power outages. We made the best of it!

I joined an intramural sports team...okay, so it was laser tag. But we clearly took it very
seriously, dressing in all black and doing Black Widow-esque makeup.

My hall took a trip to Colonial Williamsburg and Busch Gardens, which
was an adventure to say the least.

My girls and I participated in the Honors Program Olympics. We may not have
done well in the competitions, but we came in second for team spirit
thanks to our tutus and "I Don't Sweat, I Sparkle" tanks! 
My best friend, Alex, came to visit me for the weekend after he got out of school
and even agreed to go with us to Stephanie and Stefanie's "Tacky Prom"
themed APO formal. Our dresses are Stephanie's mom's...from the 80's!
I can't believe that I'll be spending three months away from school and all of my friends; I definitely haven't grasped yet that this year is over! I can't wait to be back in the fall for lots more adventures. 

Friday Internet Finds

This Thursday to Tuesday is Finals Week at my university and I'm currently dying under the stress of two papers, two presentations, and a cumulative biology exam (this history/strategic-communications major and science do not mix well). So wish me luck and enjoy your weekend for me since I'll be stuck inside studying and giving presentations!

1. I absolutely adore Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere (hers was the first fashion blog that I read regularly). She collaborated with Club Monaco to create six beautiful pieces that are all classics, but with a fun twist. While they're too expensive for my university-student budget, I'll definitely be dreaming about them. 

2. I could not be more excited for my trip to NYC next weekend! And I'm especially excited because my favorite restaurant, Eataly, just opened a Nutella bar. I think you'll know where to find me. 

3. It is a truth universally acknowledged that a Friday Internet Finds post must include a Buzzfeed quiz...and I'm in love with this "Which Celebrity Wedding Should You Have?" one. I got Kate and William's royal wedding! #youcantellprinceharrywheretofindme 

4. Have you guys been keeping up with the recent street style shots of Taylor Swift? Her style is absolutely flawless (and so is her hair; it's making me want to cut mine!). InStyle put together a slideshow of some of her best looks. 

5. When I found this HelloGiggles post called "Five Ways 'When Harry Met Sally' Ruined My Life," I freaked out a little bit. It's my favorite movie, so I totally relate to all five. 

Carly's Five Favorite Things about Blogging

When I did my email interview with Carly of The College Prepster for the article I posted on Monday, I also asked her what her five favorite things about blogging are. Here's what she said! 
  1. Meeting people!
  2. Being able to share my experiences with other girls
  3. Working with some of my favorite brands and companies
  4. Getting to attend events that I only dreamed of!
  5. Finding a way to make this my career!
I'm so grateful to Carly for giving me the opportunity to write the article and giving me great advice on blogging! 

Meet Carly Heitlinger of The College Prepster

I'm so excited that I finally get to share this with you! I had to write a feature story for my Media Writing class and I chose to write about Carly Heitlinger because she's one of my favorite bloggers. I was so happy when she said yes! 
Not many can claim the profession of full-time blogger, but Carly Heitlinger of The College Prepster can. In between Instagramming photos of her toy poodle and exploring New York City, Carly writes posts and makes cute graphics for her blog. Her posts cover everything from fashion to lifestyle advice to frequent giveaways. In addition, she does collaborations with brands, like her recent work with Teen Vogue and Sperry Top-Sider.
A native of Tampa, Florida, Carly started her blog in December 2008 when she was a freshman in college. She attended Georgetown University, where she majored in marketing.
In a recent email interview, she said, “It was great to be able to take what I was learning in the classroom and apply it to my blog and vice versa.” Carly cultivated a preppy aesthetic that appeals to many college girls across the country.

            After her graduation in 2012, she moved to New York City and began work at the Levo League, a start-up company run entirely by women. Its purpose is to provide resources to women to help further their careers, such as mentors, career networks, and job boards to find openings.
Of her time at Levo League, Carly says, “I wore tons of different hats and learned so much throughout that year. It wasn’t without its challenges, but it was a great ‘first job’ experience.”
            This past September, Carly made the difficult decision to quit her job to pursue blogging full-time. She was feeling overwhelmed by working full-time and running her blog and decided to take the chance to see if it worked for her.
“The switch was hard because I didn’t think I would like it,” Carly recounts. “I thought I’d get bored, but it’s been nice to only have to focus on it...and then have a ‘life’ at night and on the weekends instead of working around the clock like I did at college and when I had another job.”
Seven months later, she is happy with her decision and is supporting herself financially with her blogging and brand collaborations.  
            Without a desk job, her days are much less structured. “Every day is different,” she says. “I might have meetings or phone calls or a photo shoot. You just never know!” The ability to work from home allowed her to get her toy poodle—Theodore Fitzpatrick, otherwise known as Teddy—who even has his own Instagram account. Carly has blogged very candidly on the joys and difficulties of owning a dog.
“It’s nice to get an honest perspective about owning a dog, especially in New York City,” says Stefanie Miller, a reader of The College Prepster. “Most people constantly flaunt their adorable pet, but Carly actually discusses how much of a responsibility and a challenge it is.”
Carly's dog, Teddy

            Carly runs a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr for The College Prepster. With a Twitter that boasts 24,500 followers and an Instagram that has nearly 65,000 followers, social media is clearly an important part of promoting Carly’s brand.
“I think it’s great because readers can pick and choose which platforms they like the most,” Carly says. Her social media represent both her blog and her personally.
            Carly has partnered with brands like Kate Spade, Sole Society and Jack Rogers. She says that she loves the end results of the collaborations though there is a lot of behind-the-scenes work that goes into them. Though working with a brand can be fun, there are also “brainstorming, negotiations, contracts, execution, etc.” to deal with, she says.
            Most recently, Teen Vogue featured a collaboration between Carly and Sperry Top-Sider. Carly and her friend, Mackenzie Horan of Design Darling, went to Westport, Conn. and Newport, R.I. to take photos with new Sperry Top-Sider products. The photos of Carly and Mackenzie wearing cute New England preppy pieces are on Teen Vogue’s website.
            This preppy aesthetic is popular with Carly’s audience. Katie of Katie Kitty Cat is a frequent reader of The College Prepster. “Carly’s blog embodies a sense of sophistication and practicality that makes her blog relatable and enjoyable to read,” she says. “Whether it’s a post about fashion, films, or life advice, you can always take something useful away from her posts.”

            As for tips for aspiring bloggers? Carly stresses that starting with the right intentions is crucial. Her blog shows that blogging is enjoyable and rewarding, but also hard work, as Carly is very open about the amount of time and thought that go into writing posts. “Beyond that, coming up with original content and being authentic in your blog is the best thing you can do!” Carly says.

Find Carly at www.thecollegeprepster.com or follow her on Twitter or Instagram

All images used with permission of Carly Heitlinger. 

Internet Find Friday

I only have one Friday of my freshman year of university left after this one...so strange! I can't believe this year is about to end.

1. Have you heard the news that J. Crew may be opening a brand called J. Crew Mercantile that would be a more budget-friendly line? I need this in my life!

2. Which was your favorite look from the Met Ball? My favorites were Hailee Steinfeld, Karlie Kloss, Emma Stone and (of course!) Taylor Swift.

3. My favorite Buzzfeed quiz I took this week was "Which Amazing Woman from History Should You Get Drunk With?" I got Jane Austen, which seems fitting. #drunktextingdarcy #oops

4. I didn't think I could be any more excited to see "Miss Saigon" in London in July. Then, they recently released promotional photos from previews.

5. I'm kind of embarrassed to admit that I don't own all of these Spring Fashion Essentials. Shopping list? Check.

6. Two of the things I love most in life are Oscar Wilde and fashion. So this slideshow of "15 Pieces of Style Advice from Oscar Wilde"? Well, there's a reason my motto is, "You can never be overdressed or overeducated." #themangivesgoodadvice

7. My blogger friend Katie recently wrote a post about her H&M purchases that were caused by my Internet Find Friday post that mentioned the H&M online sale (#onlineshoppingaddictionfacilitator). Katie's blog is adorable and super down-to-earth. You should totally check it out!

Meet MaryClaire

MaryClaire is a hall-mate and classmate of mine whose style I always admire. She strikes the perfect balance between looking put together and being comfortable! As soon as she walked into class in this outfit, I asked her if she would be willing to be featured on my blog. 

You've seen all those Pinterest recipes that claim to be college-friendly? Check out MaryClaire's blog to see her test out some of those recipes. 

Name: MaryClaire
Year: Freshman
Major: Strategic Communications 
Minor: Psychology 
Homestate: South Carolina 
Outfit: Shirt: Gap, Skirt: Gap, Shoes: 
Steve Madden, Bracelets: Threads of Hope 
& Lily and Laura

What are your favorite stores? 
"I really love Gap for basic staple pieces that can go with anything. I'm obsessed with J.Crew chinos in the summer because they always fit the same way and come in a ton of different colors. I also really like Anthropologie because they tend to have more fun, eclectic pieces."

Who are your favorite designers? 
"I'm a big fan of Diane von Furstenberg. I like how she incorporates patterns and color into her designs, and hopefully one day I will be able to afford one of her flawless wrap dresses."

Where do you find your fashion inspiration? 
"I think I get fashion inspiration from a mix of a lot of things. I love looking at fashion blogs and seeing how different bloggers express their individual styles. I'm also sometimes inspired by random pieces I find. Like, I love going to Goodwill and finding something great for $5 and then figuring out how to create an outfit around it."

What are some of your favorite trends? 
"I'm a big fan of being comfortable, so I'm really excited to start wearing fun skirts and dresses now that it's getting warmer out. I also like boyfriend style button-ups and shirt dresses because they can be really flattering but also really comfortable." 

Internet Find Friday

Happy Friday everyone! I'm super excited because my best friend is coming to visit me at school this weekend. I hope you all have a great weekend too!

1. Buzzfeed has a quiz called "Which Fashion Decade Do You Belong In?" I got 1940's: not what I was expecting, but I can see it!

2. I've been meaning to start watching New Girl and this Thought Catalog article about "5 Things Jess Day Taught Me" has convinced me!

3. Are you as obsessed with Kate Middleton as I am? Elle recently did an article cataloging all her outfits from her and Will's Australia-New Zealand Tour.

4. The White House released a PSA on sexual assault, with many well-known men (from Daniel Craig to Barack Obama). I love that they took the approach of telling men not to rape, instead of teaching women to not get raped.

5. I was so happy when I took this "Which Iconic Disney Outfit Fits Your Personality?" quiz and got Belle's yellow dress!

Just Around the Corner

Summer is just around the corner! I have one more week of classes before exams, but it's finally starting to sink in because all of my friends are coming home from their schools.

I've got some great things planned for this summer, such as going to the University of Sussex for a month to take a class with my friend Stefanie. We're also spending a week in London! I can't wait to go back because London is one of my favorite places.
With one of the iconic Harrods bears
And the week after I get back, I'm going to Disney World with my family! It feels like it's been so long since I've been there.
Hannah and I goofing around in Epcot
I'm trying to get some plans in place for this summer -- other than packing! I wanted to share some of the posts I'm hoping to do.

Ten Polka Dot Dresses Photo-Shoot
I'm going to teach myself to use my mom's camera and tripod this summer. Part of this will be photographing me wearing all ten of my polka dot dresses (though obviously not at the same time!). It only seems fitting that I actually feature all ten of my dresses on my blog that's called "Ten Polka Dot Dresses"...

Packing for a Month Abroad 
I wish that I could find more posts about how to pack for going abroad. While I've found a few blogs that address packing for a semester abroad (Chic Street Style has a great post!), I've never found one that addresses spending a summer abroad. Since I have to do the packing anyways...I may as well make a post about it to help other girls out.

Disney Days
One thing that I love about going to Disney is seeing my sister wear her princess costumes and princess-inspired outfits. It makes me so sad that I can't join in on the fun! I've heard about "Disney-bounding," where you dress like a modern incarnation of a Disney character and I would love to try it this summer. And, of course, I would feature it on the blog!

What do you guys have planned for the summer?
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