Friday, May 27, 2016

Work Week Outfits

This post contains affiliate links, and I will earn a small commission if you shop through them.

Monday:
Plaid Shirt: Old Navy
Top: Old Navy
Shorts: Wal-Mart (similar)
Shoes: Target

Tuesday
Jacket: JC Penney (similar)
Top: Old Navy
Shorts: Wal-Mart (similar)
Shoes: Converse

Wednesday
Chambray Shirt: Old Navy
Shorts: Old Navy
Shoes: TJ Maxx (similar)
Necklace: Local boutique (similar)

Thursday
Top: Target
Shorts: Wal-Mart (similar)
Shoes: Target

Friday
Romper: Gap
Shoes: Target
Necklace: Local boutique (similar)

This week it finally started feeling like summer!! Also don't mind the holes in my navy shorts. That's from some acid I got on them last year so I wear them in the lab when I'm going to be doing a lot of benchwork. #lifeofachemist

This weekend I'm going to visit a friend in East Lansing, MI. I've never been there so I'm super excited! Plus I haven't seen this friend in soooo long so it'll be so nice to catch up!

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One more thing: Have y'all heard of Cents of Style? I hadn't until recently, but oh my word they have some adorable things!! I mean, how cute is that pineapple shirt below?


I love it! I actually ordered one in grey yesterday. Click here to go to their website and check them out. Plus, if you use the code TROPICS today you'll get 50% off your purchase + FREE shipping! Tropical details are perfect to stock up on since summer is almost here. Also if you order today, you get a free sheet of metallic tattoos - perfect for spicing up your arms on vacation!


Whether you're spending the weekend at home or traveling, I hope y'all have a great Memorial Day weekend!

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Personalized Gifts For Dad

This post contains affiliate links, and I will earn a small commission if you shop through them.

Father's Day is coming up soon (June 19 to be exact) and if you're anything like me you still haven't gotten your dad anything. My mom is so easy to buy for because it's like buying for myself. But my step-dad has some expensive hobbies that I just can't afford on my tiny budget. Then I came across Swoozie's gifts for him. Oh my. They have so many great gift ideas for your dad! Plus a lot of them can be personalized. I've rounded up some of my favorite gifts for dads below. (Just click on the pictures below to go straight to the website.)

Dawson Toiletry Bag
Personalized toiletries bag
I know women usually have flowery bags, but men use them too! Why not get dad a nice one with his initials on it? That way he'll always know which one is his. (I'm contemplating getting this for my step-dad)

Personalized Money Clip - Metro Wallet
Personalized money clip
Men always have their wallet with them, usually in their back pocket. This money clip is slim so it'll fit easily into any pair of pants!

Monogram Shaving Set
Monogram shaving set
If he's not in a hurry, my step-dad uses his shaving set like this. It definitely gives him a closer shave. If he needed another set, I would totally get him this one!

Personalized Take a Seat Anywhere Chair
Personalized stadium chair
A lot of families spend lots of time at the ball park or stadium so why not get dad an awesome chair like one? It's got his name on it so no one takes his seat plus a drink holder.

Personalized Large Mouth Cooler Bag
Personalized cooler bag
This also comes in handy when traveling to games or going camping. Everyone needs a good cooler, so why not get dad a soft side one with his initials?

Personalized Gold Rimmed Double Old Fashioned Set
Personalized Double Old Fashioned Glass Set
No one will take his drink ever again with these personalized glasses. You can change the personalization style too if this isn't quite what your dad would like!

These are just some of my favorite gift ideas. Make sure you order them early enough if you want them personalized though! Click here to check out the rest of Swoozie's gifts for him and anyone else on your list!

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Monday, May 23, 2016

8 Ways To Stay Fit In Grad School


Shoes: Asics | Top: Wal-Mart | Shorts: Nike | Fitbit: Charge HR

In college it seemed so much easier to keep a workout schedule. I always lived close to the rec center or a workout facility and I had so much more free time! Now in grad school I work from 8-5, usually later every day. When I get home I have other obligations that come with being an adult living on your own. Plus, my days can be really exhausting if I'm going from the third floor to the basement and back up to the third floor, running between the labs, and basically just doing my job. It's no wonder I get home and want to go straight to bed!

But that's no excuse for never being active. Everyone always says that if you're truly committed, you will make the time to workout. Of course there are those weeks where I'm running samples from 8 am until 11 pm (that actually happened one week and it was awful and I swore I would never do it again) or where I'm just plain busy so working out just doesn't happen like I want it to. But over the course of my three years in grad school, I've found a few ways to stay active and stay fit even while working 50-80 hour weeks!

1. Use the buddy system!!! I'm really competitive when I workout so having someone else there who I'm trying to beat (it's silly I know) makes it easier. I hate looking like a slacker so if they're going to the gym, I'm going to the gym. Plus talking to someone while you workout makes time go by so much faster!

2. Get a Fitbit. I bit the bullet back in January when I used some Christmas money to finally join the Fitbit world (have you noticed I wear it every single day?). You can set it to alert you when you haven't walked a certain number of steps in an hour. Plus, having a goal you're trying to reach (steps taken, stairs climbed, calories burned) can really motivate you to move around.

3. Take a walk at lunch. Working from early morning to late at night? Take a walk on your lunch break. Even if you inhale your food at your desk, get outside for 20 minutes and walk. Or take laps up and down the halls in your building. I can't tell you the number of times I've around every floor in my building just to move around.

4. Invest in a fitness pass. Many schools count grad students has half-faculty (the other half is student...duh). Miami is really great at this: this summer they've given grad students a discount on fitness classes (nearly 30% off!). Once you invest money into your workout, you're more likely to keep up with it. As a poor grad student, I want to make sure all of my money gets used well and isn't wasted, so if I buy a fitness pass for the summer, you can bet I'll be in those fitness classes.

5. Set realistic goals. If you spend all day in lab, don't expect to get home and run 10 miles. Unless you're a seasoned marathoner, that probably won't happen (but I'm jealous if you can do that and please let me know you're secret). On the days you're working late, either take a walk at lunch or after dinner or do some workouts on Youtube at home. Save the long runs and grueling workouts for days that are a little lighter in the lab.

6. Play sports. I love summer because a group of grad students play sand volleyball twice a week. It's a great way to get moving and burn off some energy. Plus, it's the perfect time to bond with your fellow grad students! Other sports you can try are soccer, kickball, slow-pitch softball, or tag football. Many schools also have intramurals in the spring and fall that you can be part of too.

7. Don't be afraid to change your routine. If your school is anything like Miami, the rec center is packed in the evenings between 4 and 8. That was when I always worked out in college. But now I've had to change my routine and get to the gym by 6:30 in the morning (ugh). It isn't my favorite and I can be a grouch if I'm especially tired, but it's nice getting my workout done for the day and avoiding the mad rush of undergrads.

8. Buy new workout clothes. It's so true that when you buy something new, it's all you want to use. The same thing happens with workout clothes. If you buy a cute and comfy tank top and some great shorts, you're likely going to want an excuse to wear them. What better place than at the gym?

However you want to do it, staying active in grad school is so important!! It's time for you to re-focus and re-energize. Grad school is so demanding physically, mentally, and emotionally. But in the words of Elle Woods "Exercising gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don't shoot their husbands - they just don't."

What are you favorite ways to stay active in school (or your busy life)?

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Friday, May 20, 2016

Work Week Outfits

Monday
Sweatshirt: Old Navy
Shoes: Target

Tuesday
Top: Target
Shoes: TJ Maxx (similar)
Bracelet: Pura Vida

Wednesday
Jacket: JC Penney (similar)
Top: Old Navy
Shoes: Target

Thursday
Shoes: DSW

Friday
Top: Old Navy
Jeans: Old Navy
Shoes: Target

This week was steam shutdown week on campus which means there's no air control in the labs. Which also means it's freezing in our building! Hence the long sleeves almost every day. Then Friday (aka today) I'm presenting a poster at a regional ACS meeting (also the reason why this post went live so late in the day).

Tomorrow is Oxford's Wine Festival and I'm really hoping we have nice weather. It's currently a little chilly and overcast. What are everyone else's plans for the weekend?

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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Wal-Mart Maxi Dress

This post contains affiliate links, and I will earn a small commission if you shop through them.

Earrings from Premier Jewelry
Y'all know I love a good bargain. So when I found this dress at Wal-Mart I knew I had to have it! I don't remember exactly how much it was, but I know it was under 20 bucks! My favorite part about it is how flowy it is. These pictures just don't do it justice. 

Here are a couple times I've worn this dress. Once was at a friend's wedding last May and the other was in Florida last summer. Of course I've worn it other times but I just don't have pictures of those!


Below are some similar maxi dresses at bargain prices from SheIn, but don't be afraid to check out Wal-Mart for maxi dresses!

White Sleeveless Florals Chiffon Maxi Dress Multicolor Vintage Print Split Maxi Dress Multicolor Spaghetti Strap Hippies Boho Bohemian Chevron Print Maxi Dress Metal Halter Neck Open Back Slit Long Dress Scoop Neck Striped Maxi Dress White Sleeveless V Cut Dress 

Photography by Whitney Craig

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Monday, May 16, 2016

10 Ways To Use Coconut Oil

via
Have you seen this floating around the internet? It definitely makes me laugh, but there's so much truth to it! Well, it probably won't make get you great credit but it has so many other great uses! My friend Taf was one of the first people to introduce me to the wonderful uses of coconut oil and it's by far one of my favorite products to use because it's just sooooo versatile. Below are my ten favorite ways to use coconut oil.



1. Dandruff control. The water where I live is so hard and it wrecks my scalp! I have flaky skin year round, mostly on top of my head. Once or twice a week I put some coconut oil on my scalp about 30-60 minutes before showering. Just grab some from the jar, rub it between your hands to melt it (chunky solid coconut oil doesn't really work well!) and start massaging it into your scalp where it's flaky. After it's sat for a while, wash and condition like usual. For me it works immediately and better than dandruff shampoo!

2. Frizz control/Dry end healing. Not only is this stuff great for your scalp, but let it soak into your ends and you'll end up with super soft hair that (for me at least) doesn't tangle as easily and is super resistant to frizz!

3. Dry skin healing. Basically this stuff is great for moisturizing! Haha. But seriously, I put this on my elbows and it works better than any lotion I've ever used. This is super important since I use tanning mousse. The last thing I need is super orange elbows because they're dry when I apply the mousse!

4. Base for lip scrubs. I mix coconut oil with sugar and honey and it's an amazing lip scrub! I filled a mini mason jar and it sits on my bathroom counter to use whenever my lips need a good scrubbing. 

5. Cuticle oil. Now I'm a huge fan of buying cuticle oil, but that stuff gets so expensive! Coconut oil is a great substitute for the stuff at the store. Plus, rub a little more on your hands for super soft skin.

6. Redness reducer. When I get a zit (I know so gross) it always gets super red around it even if I don't touch it. Once I had a great idea to put some coconut oil on some blemishes one night and when I woke up, the redness was hardly visible! 

7. Shaving cream. My underarms are incredibly sensitive and I suffer from folliculitis (aka lots of inflammed hair follicles). I try to use good razors and shaving cream, but remember how I said coconut oil helps with redness? I started using it in place of my usual shaving cream and it's made a huge difference in how my underarms look (just in time for tank top season too!).

8. Replacement for vegetable oil. Okay so right now my coconut oil is in my bathroom. But when I first bought this jar, it was in my kitchen. I used it in place of olive or veggie oil to make my veggies. You can't take the coconut (well I couldn't), but it's supposed to be healthier and good for weight loss so I was down for it!

9. Sunburn relief. I still love my Solarcaine, but I got a little burnt recently (when it actually warm outside) and decided to try coconut oil instead. I was super happy when it soothed the aching of the burn but also when it kept my skin from looking gross from peeling. I'll definitely keep this around this summer (don't worry I still wear sunscreen!!).

10. Makeup remover. I don't do this often, but a couple times last summer I wore waterproof mascara. My makeup remover doesn't work on waterproof products, so I used some coconut oil and a cotton ball and the mascara came right off! My skin was super oily so I had to wash it after, but hey I didn't have to buy a whole thing of waterproof makeup remover that I would only use a few times.

I love this stuff! It has so many different uses. I've read a few places that it can even help control hairballs in cats, but I'm going to check with my vet before I start feeding it to Bug. I already know she likes it though because whenever it's in my hair she licks my head! But for now I'll stick to using it on myself. Also, in case you're wondering, I use Spectrum Coconut Oil (found at Kroger). It's not super expensive but it's still really great!

What are your favorite ways to use coconut oil?

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Friday, May 13, 2016

Work Week Outfits

Monday I was in sweats for most of the day. Once I put on real clothes I forgot to snap a picture. Fail.

Tuesday
Cardigan: Target
Top: JC Penney
Shoes: TJ Maxx (similar)

Wednesday
Jacket: JC Penney (similar)
Top: Old Navy
Shoes: TJ Maxx (similar)
Necklace: Local boutique (similar)

Thursday
Top: Old Navy
Shoes: Target


Friday
Top: Wal-Mart (similar)
Shoes: Converse

It's finally Friday!! Praise the Lord!!!! I'm looking forward to taking the afternoon off to decorate cookies for a sweet girl's birthday party tomorrow. I looked at the weather though and it's going to be chilly tomorrow! I'm not complaining because I love cold weather. But that probably means my weekend will be spent mostly inside. What are your plans for the weekend?

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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Three Ways to Style Ripped Jeans

Ripped jeans used to be huge when I was in high school. I remember my mom refusing to buy ripped jeans because I could just rip a pair I already had. But it wasn't the same!! Now that ripped jeans are coming back, I had to buy a pair. Once I bought them, I freaked out because what goes with ripped jeans? I always associated a concert tee and Converse with them, but you can totally dress them up!
Here's my three favorite ways to style my ripped jeans:

1. Ripped jeans dress up really well! Especially when they're a darker wash like these. I paired them with a dark top and wedges to help dress them up. I love cuffing them with these wedges because it gives a little more of an edgy feel.
Top: Cato (similar)
Jeans: American Eagle
Shoes: TJ Maxx (similar)
Purse: Kate Spade
2. I've worn this outfit many times to work - it's one of my favorites! I think the ripped jeans give it more of a casual/laid back look as opposed to wearing this outfit with non-ripped jeans. If I could wear this outfit every day I probably would!
Jacket: JC Penney (similar)
Top: Old Navy
Jeans: American Eagle
Necklaces: Local boutique (similar, similar)
3. If you've been following along recently, you probably saw this top and scarf on last week's Work Week Outfits. I wore it with non-ripped jeans, but how cute does it look with ripped jeans?? It's the perfect amount of sweet and edgy. I know you can't see it in this picture, but my flats are super pointed and have little studs on the back - they pair so well with these jeans! The pink scarf just makes it a little more girly.
Top: Goody's (similar)
Jeans: American Eagle
Scarf: Charming Charlie
Shoes: From a friend (similar)
[Photography by Whitney Craig]

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Monday, May 9, 2016

May Birchbox: Unboxed


Another month of Birchbox samples! This month's samples were all about products that will withstand the heat and keep your skin looking fresh all day long. Plus, there's some serious SPF packed into one of these samples! I really like all of these samples plus, how cute is the box??


1. Kiehl's Since 1851 Creme de Corps ($29.50) // This hand lotion is really great. It isn't super greasy and it soaks in quickly. It smells kind of like orange/tropical fruit/flowers. Yes all of those things. But it smells good! I'm not sure I would pay almost $30 for it (the full size is 8.4 oz while the sample is only 1 oz), but I'll use this whole sample for sure.

2. Obliphica Professional Seaberry Hair Serum (Fine to Medium) ($38) // First impression: this stuff smells amazing. Kind of a lot like the amika line. I used this stuff once I had finished styling my hair to keep it from getting frizzy (so much rain this weekend!) and it worked so well! My ends were super soft and my hair didn't get frizzy. (It fell flat yesterday but that's not because of the serum.) Next I want to use it on wet hair before I dry it just to make sure I really do like it. I'm not sure if it's worth nearly $40, but maybe the more I use it the more I might be convinced!

3. Laura Geller New York Spackle Treatment Even Tone Makeup Primer ($32) // I really wanted to like this stuff because I love primer! But it didn't feel like it did anything to help my skin or my makeup stay put. I wasn't wowed so I'll definitely be sticking to my Smashbox Primer.

4. Supergoop! Defense Refresh Setting Mist SPF 50 ($28) // I'm not a big fan of Supergoop! products. They usually make my skin feel really oily. But this stuff is very different. It's a makeup setting mist that has SPF in it. Once summer comes I try to up my SPF on my face but I hate how greasy it feels! This stuff gives you SPF coverage without feeling greasy. I would honestly consider buying the full size once I run out of the sample - it's that good!

5. Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner ($16) // I received the Eyeko Fat Liquid Eyeliner back in December and I still use it and haven't ran out. I love this brand! I've been wanting to try the skinny liner since I loved the fat liner so much. And it did not disappoint! I'll definitely use this whole sample and I'll probably buy the skinny liner when I run out rather than the fat liner. 

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