Blog

Happy Queen Bee Day!

Today is my best friend’s birthday so I decided to dedicate a blog post to her and our friendship. As most of you know by now, Hailey and I met through our dogs’ Instagram pages. We both had crazy GSP puppies and desperately needed a play date. Cotton and Bendel instantly fell in love with each other, and Hailey and I found out that we have more things in common than we’d like to admit. Thus began the start of our squad and our amazing friendship. I’m so happy Hailey and Bendel came into my life. We have been there for each other every step of every day and most importantly, we got through the puppy stage together! Without her I’m not sure what I would have done!

What really makes me proud to be Hailey’s friend is that she is the most caring, focused, and driven person who always goes above and beyond and exceeds expectations at pretty much everything. Hailey is such an amazing person and friend in so many ways. I truly value her being in my life, always having my back, and keeping me on track. Best of all, she shares a love for food (especially BBQ) and always makes sure that I eat. We literally talk all day every day and call each other whenever there is even the slightest inconvenience in our lives. We support each others’ shopping problem even when we know we shouldn’t be buying things. She also shares a love for all things preppy and macarons.

I am so blessed to have such an amazing best friend! And I wish nothing more than the happiest and most amazing birthday a girl could ever have for Hailey! Cheers to 24! Check out our pics below!

Cheers!

Kelly

Blog

College 101: Shopping & Eating Healthy

College students encounter many responsibilities, expectations, and challenges on a daily basis. All of this can make It quite difficult for college students to practice and maintain healthy choices. However, making conscious efforts to practice healthy habits will help to ward off the dreaded “Freshman Fifteen” and have an overall happy and healthy well-being.  In this post I will share basic tips for college students on how to practice shopping and eating healthy.

Shopping Healthy:

In college, your budget may be a bit small for grocery shopping. However, if you nourish your body with good foods, then you won’t have to spend as much money in the long run on junk foods which just make you even more hungry or sluggish. When you’re shopping, try to shop healthy. Make it easy for yourself to eat right by purchasing healthy food options. It’s okay to splurge on a few of your favorite unhealthy snacks but try to limit it to just one or a few.

If you haven’t seen the documentaries Fed Up and Food, Inc. I HIGHLY recommend checking those out. I think you can watch them on Netflix, but you may be able to find them for free online. The reason I suggest watching these is because they really go in-depth about consumer trends in the US and how they have had an effect on our health. The biggest takeaway from these is to become conscious of how much sugar is in your food. Sugar is pretty much a drug and it is hidden in so many foods. The way that sugar works is that it tricks your brain into thinking that it is full, but then a little while later you’re hungry again. So, just because on the package it says, “low fat” or “organic”, it still may not be good for you because it is loaded with sugar. So next time you’re shopping check out how much sugar is on the label—it will probably shock you! There are some cereals that have more sugar in one serving than a can of soda! Just being aware of what goes into your body and its effects can influence the way that we shop.

Eating Healthy:

When we are at home with our family, we are quite spoiled by the good food that is prepared. In college we don’t really have that luxury which makes it hard to resist eating out and eating unhealthily. Eating out is a budget buster AND a belly buster. Having a healthy diet can help to boost your immune system, maintain a healthy weight, and improve your overall health. So, here are a few tips for eating healthy:

  • Learn proper portion size: Remember that moderation is key for anything in your life. This is especially true for food. It is quite easy to mindlessly eat while studying or binge-watching Netflix. So, try to become more aware of and track how much you are eating. You can eat too much of even the healthiest of foods. Just keep in mind that moderation, variety, and balance are essential to staying healthy! Which leads me to my next tip…
  • Snacking: Snacking throughout the day can be a great way to monitor and keep your appetite in check throughout the day. It can always stop you from mindlessly eating or eating for comfort. I tend to eat several small meals throughout the day (essentially, I just graze and snack all day). It is important to not skip meals throughout the day so that you can keep your energy and attention.
  • Meal/snack prep: To make things even simpler for yourself, after you go shopping go ahead and portion out your snacks and meals. Fill snack-size Ziploc bags with carrots or nuts so that you can just grab them on the way out. Having things already prepared will make you more likely to eat your healthy choices and avoid eating out.
  • Make an eating schedule: This may sound tedious, but it can be quite helpful. Typically, my daily diet goes like this: Glass of water, breakfast, (sometimes a mid-morning snack), light lunch (usually a salad), a smoothie around mid-afternoon, dinner, then a glass of water. This isn’t to say that I strictly follow this every day, but it helps me to have a routine and keep track of what I have consumed.
  • Learn to cook: Equip yourself with simple, cheap, and healthy recipes that you can cook yourself. Learning how to cook can be quite fun but more importantly, it’s great for your health and budget. On Pinterest you can find tons of quick and simple healthy recipes that will help you to stay track.
  • Invest in a blender: I have mentioned before that every day I drink a smoothie. This usually takes the place of a snack, but it is packed with a lot of veggies, nuts, and fruits. Making a smoothie everyday can be quite fun, but it is also quite nutritious. I used to buy fresh fruit prep my smoothies ahead of time, but that became very time-consuming. Now, I just buy frozen fruit and mix it in with a banana, juice or milk, spinach, and chia seeds.

Staying on top of your eating habits is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It will help you to have more energy and focus on your schoolwork. It is totally okay to indulge every now and then by eating out with friends or snacking on ice cream. The most important thing is to just try and be more aware of what you are eating and how much. Being mindful will help you to make better decisions!

Cheers!

Kelly

Academia, Blog, Style

College Gameday Outfits

In the South, college football is considered a religion. So, you better believe that game days are an event that you dress up for. Not all colleges have a big football program or even consider it to be a big deal. For instance, my sister went to a private school in upstate New York and her friends thought it was odd when she asked, “What are you wearing to the game?” But, for most schools that have a football program that the whole school gets excited for, gamedays are the days to dress to impress.

I grew up as an SEC fan which meant you wore your LBD, sundresses, or anything semi-formal to the game. Sometimes you could get away with wearing a jersey, as long as you dressed it up cute. Keep in mind that not all schools have the same “football culture”… My first football season at Florida State was a bit of a shock to me. I went in thinking that girls dress up for the game by wearing classy dresses or cute outfits…but I was wrong. Most girls were wearing bralettes, crop tops, and high-waisted booty shorts to tailgate in (and most weren’t even in school colors!). While these are trendy and can be cute, it definitely is not my style, nor would I feel comfortable wearing so little! So you can imagine the looks that I got when I wasn’t wearing the same.

I knew I had to re-strategize my gameday outfits, but didn’t want to compromise my own style and comfort. My rule of thumb when putting together an outfit is feature one body part. Whether it’s your legs, stomach, booty, or cleavage, just show off one! Leave people wondering about the rest and have them focus on the best! Putting all of your “goods” on display (in my personal opinion) is not the best way to present yourself. For my gameday outfits I usually will find a super cute dress or will pair a crop top with high-waisted pants. I usually shop the local boutiques for my outfits. Usually boutiques will carry your team’s colors! I also do a lot of my gameday shopping online at Impressions, Lulus, or Mint Julep. Don’t forget to accessorize with jewelry and wear comfortable shoes! Below are some pics of my past gameday outfits. I hope you enjoy!

Cheers!

Kelly

Academia, Blog

College 101: Declaring a Major

Going to college is such a rewarding experience in so many aspects of your life. However, the main purpose of going to college is to gain the knowledge necessary to prepare you for your future career. Thus, declaring your major is an important part of the college experience. The thought and task of choosing your major can be overwhelming. But, fear not! College is the arena and time to discover who you are, what you enjoy doing, what you’re good at, and what you want to be. In this post, I will tell you about my own experience with changing majors and will offer some thoughts on the process and when to declare your major. Please keep in mind to not change your major several times like I did! I will discuss the cons of doing so!

First off, let’s address what exactly IS a major?  A college major is a subject area that a student specializes in. There are a group of college courses that should be taken in sequence during their associates or undergraduate studies. Most curriculum require core classes that all students take, with specialized courses tailored to your major that will be taken later on in your college career.

From Graphic Design to Child & Family Sciences

Now, let me tell you about my exploration of majors… When I first started college, I KNEW that I wanted to be a graphic designer. I loved drawing, painting, and designing, so I was absolutely CERTAIN that this was what I wanted to do the rest of my life. As I started going through classes, I realized how time-consuming and expensive It was to be an art student. I should have looked up careers before declaring to be an art major. Instead, I did this post-hoc and learned that snagging a career as a graphic designer isn’t the easiest and most fruitful. I told myself, “You can always do your art as a hobby, but maybe not as a career.” So, instead of seeking advice from an academic advisor, I decided to switch majors on my own to marketing (my second semester of my freshman year). My thought was, “If I can’t design the ads, I can totally sell It!” HA! Looking back I see all of my mistakes by not seeking help and not really looking into what was required course-wise for making this switch. I learned VERY quickly that I was not cut out to be a business major. There are just some things that you think you would be good at, but once you get into It you realize that It’s just not for you. All of the math and economy jargon went COMPLETELY over my head, so I went back to the drawing board…

This time, I was a bit wiser and sought help from an academic advisor when I wanted to change my major. After chatting a bit, I expressed an interest in sports medicine and possibly being an athletic trainer (complete 180 from graphic design). I really enjoyed some of the classes I had taken, so I figured that I would give It a shot. For most athletic training programs, It is best to decide that you want to do that VERY early on in your college career. There are several other majors like this, too. The reason why is because of the course progression—meaning that the sequence of courses must be taken at certain times and you have to have a certain grade to move on. Everything is a prerequisite for all other courses, and some courses are only offered in Fall or Spring. Basically, you have to pass everything and get It all right! This can be very stressful! On top of that, you also have to do some “clinical” work and observe or practice in the field.

I was an athletic training major for more than a year, but I really didn’t feel like It was right for me and I was super stressed over course progression. So I went back to my academic advisor in distress around my Junior year and asked what I could do at that point. This meeting is really what changed the trajectory of my college and life career and I wish I could go back and hug her. She suggested that based on the courses I had already taken and rather than starting all over again, that I should consider Child and Family Development. It had the same core curriculum as athletic training and some of the courses I took overlapped. Once I declared my major, I fell in LOVE with this major. I met some of my best mentors in that department who encouraged me to go to graduate school. Since then, I have a bachelor’s in Child and Family Development, a masters in Child and Family Sciences, and I am now finishing my Ph.D. In Human Development and Family Sciences.

Disadvantages of Waiting to Declare Your Major

Again, I DO NOT recommend changing your major as many times as I did or changing It so late in the game. Some majors require a rigorous application process in which admission into the program isn’t guaranteed. Students (and mostly their parents) want to graduate college in 4 years. This can be accomplished by choosing a major and sticking with It, rather than switching over several times or waiting too late. If you wait too late to change your major, there may be a semester or two worth of courses that you have to take to catch up on the core requirements for that major. It is not imperative to declare your major during your first semester of college. It is better to wait and explore your options and interests so you can avoid getting behind on classes. It is best practice to have declared your major by your sophomore/junior year.

Benefits of Waiting to Declare Your Major

Studies have reported that about 80% of students change their major at some point in college, and 25% of students change their major after their freshman year. This is the time of your life to explore your interests. A lot of core classes are the same, so I recommend taking an intro class in the field that you are interested in to see if that’s something that you want to stick with. A great thing about college classes is the diversity of instructors teaching the classes and the students in those. A lot of amazing professors teach core and intro classes, so if you have a class that you really enjoy the instructor do not hesitate to reach out and start a conversation with them. Ask them about the field, their job, etc. You would be surprised how helpful small conversations can be! Explore your options and talk frankly with your academic advisor to determine the major best suited for you. Keep in mind that you can always choose to minor in a subject, too! Whatever you choose, and whether or not you stick with it, choose something that interests you to motivate you to keep going and to make the grades. Furthermore, when you do choose or consider which major to choose, think of why you are choosing. Is it because it’s what your parents want? Is this something you have always wanted to do? Just think of the reasons behind your decisions before making one.

From Fashion to Law

I can’t emphasize enough that college and this time of your life is meant for you to explore the world and learn about yourself enough by now. Sometimes late in your college career you may realize that you want to pursue a different field or attend graduate school in a similar/related field. But, you may be so far along in your major that you may as well just graduate rather than setting yourself back in courses and having to pay more money. In those cases, just know your chosen major does not define who you are or your career path. Life is about using the opportunities that have been presented to you and making the best of them. My husband was a fashion major in college. When he met me, my roommate was in law school and after hanging around us and starting to calculate what his next move in life was going to be, he decided that he had the potential and opportunity to go to law school. We always get funny looks when we tell people that he was a fashion major in college and is now in law school. Most students we have met in law school were business, criminal justice majors, etc. Regardless of his undergraduate major, I can proudly say that my husband is in the top of his class in law school.

While this post is a bit on the anecdotal side, I do hope you found this post helpful and informative! I would love to hear your experiences with declaring and changing majors in college!

Cheers!

Kelly

Academia, Blog

College 101: Roommates

Unless you shared a room with a sibling, college will be the first time that you encounter the experience of having a roommate. For many freshman, your roommates will be randomly selected unless you specifically requested to be paired with someone. Typically after the first year, many friendships and relationships have been made so a lot of students request to live in the same dorm with or look into getting an apartment with their new college BFFs. Regardless if your roommate is a new face or someone that is your best friend, you never truly get to know someone until you live with them. You will learn a lot about their personal habits for hygiene, eating, responsibility, organization, etc. There are several things you can practice to have peace and harmony in your home with your roommates.

Respect

Having and showing respect for yourself and your roommates is probably the most important thing to practice. We all come from different backgrounds, families, places, and all have different life experiences—these are the things that make us who we are! Respect your roommate’s space, belongings, their schedule, and their beliefs. Remember that your roommate may not feel comfortable doing all the things that you are comfortable with. The Golden Rule applies here—do unto others as you would have them do unto you. So, don’t gossip about each other and never make fun of or belittle each other. A few other things to keep in mind: Be sure to clean up after yourself; respect quiet time; never wake a sleeping roommate (unless they ask!); don’t use their stuff without their permission; maintain and respect privacy; be reasonable about visits from friends; and be reasonable about inviting over “special” friends you intend to be intimate with.

Communication

It is so important to communicate effectively with your roommate. Talk about any issues or concerns instead of hoping that they will go away on their own. Do NOT be passive aggressive if something is bothering you (like leaving Post-It notes everywhere). Be sure to trade numbers so you can chat throughout the week. To help with communication, set up a roommate calendar (whether on a big wall calendar or through an app on your phone) so you know when each other has important dates, tests, projects, etc. so they can quietly work or study. I have heard of some roommates developing a contract, stating specifically what is and is not accepted and who has what responsibilities in the home.

Along with this, perhaps set aside a day each week that you both get together to tidy up the dorm/apartment, do laundry together, or even cook/eat out. This will give you time to do things together and catch up on each others’ lives. Remember, your roommate may not be your best friend, but It will make It easier for you if you communicate with each other to live harmoniously.

Cleaning

Through all of my years in college and graduate school, and talking to other people, It seems that cleaning/cleanliness is the main issue that cause conflict between roommates. Remember, we are all unique people with different experiences which means we don’t all have the same idea of what “clean” is. The best rule of thumb is to clean as you go, and to not let little things pile up and get out of control. It is understandable that we get very busy and stressed sometimes and, as a result, we tend to get a little messy. Staying on top of cleaning is important to not let things get out of control! This is especially important for those who live in a small dorm room. Remember that your dorm is not only your living space but your work space as well. Keep It tidy and organized so that you can do your best in school!

Handling Conflict

No matter how hard you try, conflicts may still arise. In that case, consider the importance of effective communication. First, focus on the problem, not the person. When resolving conflicts, be sure that you are addressing the conflict instead of your roommate. When you attack your roommate this will cause further conflict. Next, validate your roommate’s position. Let them know that you understand where they are coming from and offer empathy. Put yourself in their shoes to better understand their point of view. Also, give positive feedback! We all like positive feedback and compromise when possible. Compromises are great, but be sure to stand your ground in a mature way. Finally, once the conflict is resolved, keep It to yourself. Avoid the temptation to rehash all of the details with your friends. Remember, this isn’t high school anymore and college students are expected to manage conflict in a mature way! Sometimes you just have to pull up your boot straps and move forward!

I would love to hear your experiences (good and bad!) with your roommates!

Cheers!

Kelly

Academia, Blog

College 101: Using File Storage for Class Organization

We live in the digital age where everything we want or need is at our fingertips. Most professors allow students to bring their laptops to take notes during class, so making sure that all of our work is saved in a location that is secure and can be accessed from anywhere is super important! When I was an undergrad, I used to either save all of my files to a jump drive or I would email the file to myself. The issue with a jump drive is that you HAVE to keep up with it! In this post I am going to talk about the benefits of having a file storage service and tips on how I organize my folders.

Now there are three main file storage services: Dropbox, Google Drive, and One Drive. I have only used Dropbox, but if you want to compare these check out this article which does an awesome job comparing these.

Late into my undergrad I was introduced to Dropbox and ever since my whole life lives in my Dropbox folder. Essentially, Dropbox keeps all of your files in one place, and it’s synced across all of your devices. The absolute best part about having this service is that even if you don’t have your laptop with you, you can sign into your account from any computer. You can download the app to your phone and access your files from there, too! Also, you get more storage if you refer it to someone and they sign up using your email! You can also share folders with other people if you are working on a project together.

How to Manage Your Files

The most important tip of using a file storage service is USING it and making sure that you store/save all of your files under the folder. When you decide which service that you want (let’s say you choose Dropbox), you’ll want to download the application to your computer. Once it is downloaded, you can start making folders for different subjects and start your filing system. As you can see below, I have several folders with different topics, but for the purpose of school I will show you how I have managed the files for my own courses.

Screen Shot 2018-08-03 at 6.56.21 PM

So, I have a broad folder labeled FSU (Florida State University), and within that folder I have organized it by each semester. I used to have all of my courses in just one folder, but managing it this way has helped me to keep everything even more organized, neat, and clean.

Screen Shot 2018-08-03 at 6.59.30 PM

Under each semester, I have labeled folders for each class that I took during that semester.

Screen Shot 2018-08-03 at 7.03.11 PM

Then, in each class, I organize the folder by weekly topics, papers, projects, etc. You can never have enough folders to help you stay organized!

Screen Shot 2018-08-03 at 7.09.08 PM

I feel that having specified folders helps me to easily locate what I am looking for. So, let’s say that you’re working on a paper for PSY 1101 this semester. You would create a folder for that project under that course for said semester and would store all of the related files, articles, rubrics, etc. in that folder as well. You can also create a folder for your lectures (whether it be on a weekly basis or by chapter/topic).

Screen Shot 2018-08-03 at 7.09.16 PM

Again, the only way to get the most out of using a file storage service is getting in the practice of making sure that you save your files in the correct place! I honestly would be a wreck if I did not have Dropbox and I highly recommend looking into a file storage service if you don’t have one already. I hope you found the method to my madness helpful for helping you to manage your own courses!

Cheers!

Kelly

Blog

Prep on Point

PoP Site

Today’s post will be a little different than most. Today I will tell you about the small dog accessory business that my best friend Hailey and I started and the adventure that came with it. More than a year ago, we started a business called Prep on Point, and now our lives have been given great opportunities so we have decided to close the shop. While we are sad that this fun chapter is over, we are so grateful for the amazing support from our customers and also grateful for the extra time we will have now to dedicate towards other ventures! We have discounted all items to 50% off for our closeout sale! So grab some bows and bow ties for your pup or give them as a gift while supplies last!

Now for the story…it seems that both of our dogs, Cotton (mine) & Bendel (Hailey’s), have had such a big impact on our lives in so many ways, and the start of mine and Hailey’s relationship is no different. In desperation to deal with insanely energetic German Shorthaired Pointer puppies, we set up a play date through Instagram and not only did we become best friends, but Cotton and Bendel became inseparable. We loved to make accessories for them (bows, bow ties, bandanas, costumes, etc.) and then everyone started asking where we got them from. We found that a lot of dog accessory companies were very high priced, so we decided to give it a shot and start our own company with “preppy” in mind. We handpicked all of our fabric to best represent a classy, preppy style, perfect for all occasions. The best part is that we have a style for both girls and boys!

After Hailey graduated and moved back home in summer 2017, we had to run the business apart. I would run the website and make all of the bows and ship them to Hailey, and she was in charge of putting everything together, making the bow ties, and shipping everything out. It became very stressful at times, but we persevered through it all because we wanted to make our customers happy. We are so blessed that we have amazing customers, friends, and family who have supported us through all of this. So go grab some bows or bow ties for your preppy pup before they run out!

Cheers!

Kelly