30 May 2014

The Lilly Holy Grail

There are a few Lilly items that are just so rare but so perfect. Top of my list? The collector Barbie and the Monopoly game. I've been searching online and just realized to look at Ebay! While the Monopoly game is still nowhere to be found, the Barbie has surfaced on Ebay and I'm dying. 

I have no place for it now, but someday when I have a big closet, it'd be the greatest little display to have by all of my Lillys. Am I crazy for wanting to put it on my wish list for my birthday/ Christmas?! I don't care- it's there and will remain there. I was always a "doll" girl growing up. I loved my American Girl Dolls and had probably 100 barbies. I'm sure there are still those awful little shoes laying around somewhere in this house... Anyways I think this is a beautiful merger of my childhood and the young woman/ Lilly lover that I am now. Maybe it's simply a justification for myself, but I'm going with it!

If anyone loves me oh so much and is looking for a heartfelt gift, this is it! 
*hint* I know you're reading this, mom ;) *hint*
Seriously, not a bargain but it'd be treasured. 

28 May 2014

Summer Clear Skin Routine

My skin has been horrible lately.

I don't know about y'all, but I've never really had bad skin. I have pretty normal skin and have never had to do anything more than washing makeup off at the end of the day to keep pimples away (hey... that rhymed). That was, until the last month of school when my face decided to go berzerk, probably due to the stress of finals and prepping my summer plans. Regardless, breaking out all over caused me even more stress which led to more breakouts.

I figured it'd all clear up after finals. Summer would eliminate a huge amount of stress, and I'd be all set to go... until I decided to use a new lotion on my face which caused even more breakouts. Cue more stress and a repeat in the vicious cycle. I'm midway through week 3 of summer, and my face is just now starting to clear up. I'm back to my normal skincare routine, but this whole ordeal has definitely introduced me to a few new skincare favorites that are 100% going to be implemented into my permanent routine.

If you're struggling with crazy breakouts, or just looking to freshen up your skincare routine I have a few products that I am crazy about. Some are old, and some are new but it's all worked wonders for me lately. I want to preface this with one thing: I use the basic Clinique face wash once or twice daily, which I use in the morning before I apply makeup and at night to strip everything away. Whenever I shower, I use St. Ives Green Tea Scrub to get rid of any dead skin (this also works wonders on "backne" or shoulder pimples that I get from sunscreen and sweat in the summer). Normally I wouldn't use much else on my skin, since I was always told that over-washing strips the skin and can be just as bad as not washing at all. Anyways, here's what I've added lately:

 Clinique Clarifying Lotion
This is essentially a "toner" which I use after washing my face. It pulls out anything that may still be in my skin while also shrinking my pores. Not something super new to me, but it's become a regular addition to my routine and really, really works. I feel so refreshed after using this. 

Tea Tree Oil
This was purchased out of pure desperation. My face had reached an all time low in forms of quality, and I was at my breaking point. I did some research and heard about tea tree oil. I also saw that it is available at drugstores for around $10 so it was definitely worth the try. I credit the clearing of my skin to this magical potion. I don't know what's in it, but I saw a difference in redness within 24 hours and less than a week later, my face is almost completely blemish free.. which I haven't seen in over a month! It does dry out my skin a little bit, so I'm only using it in the evenings now. But for bad breakouts, this stuff a couple times a day can work miracles! 

Lotions really depend on what works for your particular skin type. I found this Yves Rocher "Hydra Vegetal" lotion almost two years ago in Paris and haven't used anything since! Especially with the drying quality of the tea tree oil, this has been instrumental in fixing my face :) Because it's so humid, I try not to use this a lot... only at night after the oil has soaked in or after showers. If needed, I may spot-treat any dry spots before applying makeup, but I don't really use any moisturizer in the morning. 

Cleansing Towelettes
I've never been a believer in makeup removing wipes or that sort of thing, but these have changed the game. The key is to use them in addition to other skin care products, not as a substitute. I don't even use these with my regular routine, but instead I use them after the gym or being out in the sun. They're cool and refreshing, and keep my face clear of sweat and sunscreen (after I'm out of the sun). I'm not sure how necessary they are, but it's got to be better than leaving all that stuff to be held in my pores!

Like I said, I don't have an extensive skin care regimen at all! I just make sure to keep my pores free and clear as often as possible, and I'm hoping that the new products continue to work and keep everything clean. If you're struggling with clear skin, I'm definitely not an expert to consult, but I'm happy to help! Additionally, if you have any products that you swear by, please let me know! I'm always looking to learn more :)

21 May 2014

When the College Kids Come Home...

There is nothing, nothing more bittersweet than being home for summer break. I can walk around barefoot, I have my own room and bathroom and no shower shoes! I can call mom when something is going wrong, and she'll probably be able to fix it. The fridge is always usually stocked with good food, and there's plenty of room to just live and be. At the same time, it's back to high school drama, there isn't always something going on, and it's back to living with the house rules an lots of conversation that normally wouldn't happen at school. I've only been home two weeks now, but trust me on this one. So, this post is for both college kids and parents and how to handle living together... again. Because it is so different once you've lived apart.

1. Relationships
College relationships, both friendly and romantic, are just different. I like to blame it on social media, but it's a lot more wishy-washy. We aren't going to know the life story of every person we claim to be "friends" with, because that title could just be that we talk in class, mutually follow each other on social media, or hang out at the same places on the weekend. As a general rule, unless a person is brought up on a regular basis, they probably aren't what a parent would consider a "friend" (I know this only because my mom has told me many times that the definition of friend is much different now) and so they're going to ask questions to gauge the level of relationship. Parents: don't. We'll talk about it if it's something that matters to us. I'm saving you the frustration/fight that will inevitably occur from this disconnect.

2. Curfew
There is no curfew in college. Food is delivered at all hours, which means we can be awake at all hours. Coming home to a curfew is a lot like giving a high school senior a 10 pm lights- out time. *disclaimer: I have never really had a curfew or bed time, so this is just observations after talking to friends* It's such an easy way to build trust on both ends and, as long as the kid has given you no reason to believe that they're doing anything wrong, there's really no reason to have a curfew. At school, we managed to get to class on 4 hours of sleep and we're still alive. If there's a reason to go to sleep early one night, a reminder of said early morning will suffice. I had good time-management before college, but I now have good time management while functioning on caffeine and carbs alone. Probably not healthy, but it gets the job done. Parents: trust your kids. They will appreciate it.

3. Sleeping
All I have to say is this: we have been surviving on unhealthy amounts of sleep and caffeine for the past 8 months (see #2). Sleeping on a normal (read: Queen) sized bed is like heaven. We are not lazy if we stay in our beds until noon or later, we are simply enjoying the luxury of home. Parents: don't call us lazy unless you want an angry kid.

4. Jobs/ Internships/ Anything to be Successful
I saved the best for last! I like to think that most college students are pretty driven and want to be successful... it's an awful expensive 4 years of socialization if not. So, it's safe to say that getting job experience and building a resume is constantly in the back of our minds. It is for me, at least. I feel so selfish sometimes, but every opportunity I am given is evaluated on a "can this be worked into my resume" basis. I can only speak for myself, but I know how competitive the job markets are right now. I know that I need to be getting experience and great contacts. I know these things. I also know that my parents have my best interests at heart and just want to help me to be as prepared and competitive as possible. But I do enough of my worrying and trying to get everything to work in my favor, so hearing about it all the time from my parents can get so frustrating and it makes me feel so worthless. I've thought it over in my head, I've taken the rejection letters and the lost opportunities hard enough so a constant reminder that a certain job would be "great for my resume, etc" is heartbreaking to hear. From one fully driven, stressed daughter to parents of similar girls/ students: I am asking you to please stop. I love talking about the things that I'm working on and how they'll be great resume builders. I don't mind talking about the internships and jobs I'm looking at working towards. I hate being reminded of how great something would be if I've already mentally worked through the chances of me getting the job, etc and realizing that I'm just not ready/qualified at this point. It is heartbreaking.

Being home is wonderful. I love my family, my dog, and being able to see both old and new friends. I love summer, cookouts by the pool, and concerts. Being home is definitely different now that I've been away- both bitter and sweet- and I am working on making the most of it. It's been hard to adjust to helping around the house again, especially when cleaning the dorm room took about 2 minutes (one pro to living in a closet). I've found that the most important things is to just communicate. About everything. Otherwise our conversations become intense questioning sessions. I'm still learning how to do this gracefully and with a good attitude and there's a good chance I won't have it mastered by the end of this summer. It's no secret that the parent-child dynamic changes and some things matter more than others. For me, these are what really get on my nerves... for now. But I can't complain because I'm sure I get on my parents' nerves too.

20 May 2014

Life After Freshman Year

I am one week into summer break... and things are already so different.

Part of it has to do with the fact that I changed and grew so much this past year. I used to be so more uptight about life in general, which really compromised the amount of fun I could have on a given night. I used to be more judgmental and more "rigid" in my thinking. College has definitely opened my mind and heart to the world in a way that has allowed me to reconnect with friends as well as make new ones & that's exactly what I mean by "Life" after freshman year.

Firstly, summer is so weird. It's a balancing act between keeping high school relationships a priority while making sure the college relationships are made too. So far, I've had lunch with friends from high school, seen friends from college, and been in a mixed group which was so fun because we got to see the kinds of friends each other made in college (it's weird!). 

As for my lack of uptight-ness, let's just say that I used to be pretty strict with myself. I rarely stayed up past midnight ad would freak out about how much sleep I was getting. I kept myself on a schedule and didn't waver from that. Oh, how things have changed! While I still like to be on time, I don't worry so much about a few minutes here or there (that's life!) and I definitely don't have a strict sleeping schedule anymore. Thanks to college, I know that I can function on 4 hours of sleep- and a lot of caffeine- for days in a row. I no longer compromise fun for sleep... because I can sleep when I'm dead

If this week or two is any indication, this summer is going to be a wild one. Between two jobs, volunteering, and having a social life it's almost like I'm back at school....... without the homework :) Every minute of these three and a half months is going to be full, so get ready for a crazy Sarah!

19 May 2014

J. Crew Factory Favorites

There's always something so exciting about starting something new. 
Whether it's the first day of school/ classes, a new sport, or a new job, it's always exciting and fun. Even though I know that there will be days that I dread going, for the time being it's an exciting new experience. Yesterday was my first day working for J. Crew Factory at the outlet mall, and it was just as expected! 

I've worked retail before, so I know the basics of customer service. I had to learn the specifics of the brand and, importantly, the folding and organization procedures. I'm just so excited to get away from food (not to worry, I'm still working at CFA too!) and work for a company that fits who I am!  One of the most exciting aspects of working here is that I get to choose my outfits. It sounds silly, but Hollister had specific looks that we could choose from, and CFA obviously has uniforms. I've never worked somewhere that allows me to show up having styled myself, and that's exciting... and daunting! 

Of course this got me thinking about the outfits that I could wear, and how my time here will help me develop my personal style. Knowing that I'll be wearing more J. Crew- and that I have a pretty great discount- certainly didn't help my love of shopping! After spending hours looking at the recent new arrivals, I've thrown together a couple pieces that will be in my closet soon enough that are both work and play appropriate! 

all available at J. Crew Factory

A few of these items are already in my closet- the chambray, the sweater, and a similar skirt. I love this dress, and I don't currently have anything with that type of neckline.... I've been looking for some white jeans, and I think these have ended my search! When it comes to accessories, the new jewels are stunning. I don't currently have any of these pieces, but I will! I don't have any of the earrings here, but between J. Crew and the recent Kendra Scott popularity, I'm sure I'll be experimenting with statement earrings this summer. The shoes and hat will be in my closet soon. I've been loving wedges and have had my eye on these for months now. The hat is something that's been on my mind... I love hats and I love the way these hats look on other people. I'm not sure I can pull it off, but my discount and upcoming sales make it almost sill not to have just in case I feel like being a little risky! 

I'm really excited about this new job (as of now) and I know I'll be posting lots of #ootd posts now that I have a reason to look cute on a regular basis! I'll be posting to
 instagram: purdue_prep 
tumblr: purdueprep
twitter: @PurduePrep

Follow along and let me know what looks you love & which ones... not so much :)

16 May 2014

Words to Live By

I've always loved words.

Whether in books or songs or quotes, I am certainly a lexophile. I think my "Beautiful Words" board is the most active on my Pinterest- I'm amazed at the impact words and letters can make. Isn't it crazy... 26 symbols, pieced together in different ways, have the ability to make or break any given day or moment.

Lately, I've been digging into my Bible. It's full of words that really are meaningful and educational. In my reading, I came across my new favorite verse: Ephesians 4:29. When I read it, it was exactly what I wanted and needed to hear. Not that I was struggling with gossip or using kind words, but because it was a revelation of sorts.

I thought for a long time about how powerful words are to myself. My mood is strongly affected by the words that I hear from both myself and others. I'm not the only person who operates like that; from a young age we were told that "sticks and stones may break our bones but words will never hurt us", which is the biggest lie since words are a form of communication that, when selected, may be remembered and dwelled on. This verse puts it all perfectly. If others' words can make or break me, then my words have the ability to make or break my peers, and my goal should be to lift them up. I should strive to make sure those I care about- and everyone else, for that matter- know that they are great and beautiful and important to me.

This summer will be a lot of catching up and telling stories about college. I'm going to work to make sure that I am speaking in ways that build myself and others up, rather than the opposite. It's all about making my words count.

15 May 2014

Purdue Prep PSA

up to 40% off...

here's what I'm loving!

Tunics are #1 for me
this spring/ summer

I've been lusting over this top for months

I was seriously looking at these yesterday...
and now they're $75 less!

This Bag! 
I hope there's one like it this fall/winter
that I can put on my wish list

Since I'm still not working (but will be very soon!) I'm in absolutely no position to spend any money, let alone the money needed to buy any of these items. I'll just live vicariously through anyone else who makes purchases! 

Let me know what you get- it's seriously all beautiful! 

14 May 2014

the Anti-Schedule

I have officially been on summer break for 4 days, and I am definitely not used to it. Saturday was my last final of freshman year, and I cam home that night with the weirdest feeling- after constantly having assignments running through my head, I had nothing. Nothing had to be done; nothing was due to anyone except myself.

I'm calling this my anti-schedule. I'm not back on the schedule at work yet, and many of my friends are still finishing up finals. My family is at work and my sister is at school. I'm free to do whatever I like, which has consisted of a lot of sleeping, reading and working out- no complaints here! I've made my fair share of trips to Chick-Fil-A (the worst part of Purdue is the lack of CFA on campus) as well as just driving around purely for the joy of driving.

I talked earlier about how I've had some mental goals for this summer, and they don't all revolve around fitness. I've always been an avid reader, and all this free time has given me so many chances to read, read, read. Magazines, blog posts, and books have all been included in this reading material. I purchased books throughout the year that I decided to save for the summer... and I now have 5 books just waiting to be shown some love (chances are I won't get through all of them, but I sure am going to try).

Beyond that, I'm planning to go back to work next week as well as try to get some volunteering at Riley Children's Hospital, which I've worked with before through fundraisers but never as a volunteer at the hospital. I know my "summers" are running out. I'll be interning and working real jobs in the upcoming years, so I'm trying to be productive but also have fun- and I'm not too worried about it.

This summer has so much in store: concerts, vacations, and trying new things. It's going to be a ride and I'm going to do my best to keep y'all updated on life as well as everything else that I'm loving this summer. I hope finals/ the end of the year is treating everyone well! Summer is quickly approaching :)

12 May 2014


I go into every summer with a huge list of things I want to accomplish: golf, road trips, amusement parks, etc. 
More often than not I end up leaving a lot of my goals for "next summer" in order to be lazy in the then and now. Yes, I have a mental idea of some things I'd like to do this summer, starting with getting really healthy. 

I want to be more active in general. Do more. See more. Live. Today is officially my first day of summer, and I'm starting with yoga- something that has always been equally intriguing and terrifying. I've never been flexible or patient, but today starts the journey to both. I've found some beginner videos that work the muscles used for running, so it's killing two birds with one stone (I'm really serious about running at least a half-marathon before I turn 21). 

I still want to learn to golf, and I've recently had this urge to play tennis- a huge joke if you knew the fits I used to throw when my parents made me go to tennis camp. But hey, getting older has made me curious and I'm trying to use what's left of my summers to soak up every opportunity I have! There will be more to come with regards to my summer plans, as well as what direction the blog is going to take in the next few months.

So, I leave you with a few questions:
have you tried yoga?
what's your biggest "goal" for this summer?

06 May 2014

Are Finals Fair?

It's finals time. That means late nights, study groups, and... prescription drugs are abundant on college campuses. It wasn't until this past weekend that I really started to think about just how crazy (and unfair) the Adderall trade can be. It hadn't been a big deal, because I know that I'm perfectly capable of performing on my exams without drugs. It was always a "those who need it to focus or learn, go ahead" type of mentality.

... Until I realized just how many people use these drugs in school. All the sudden it wasn't about whether or not I can learn on my own, but if I can compete with the scores of students who spend hours glued to their books and set the curve. The use by others may be a disadvantage to my score, and that's where I started to think more about whether or not this is fair at all?

Okay, obviously it isn't fair. But should it be necessary? Is it the expectations of the professors or the social atmosphere that is requiring students to resort to Adderall? In other words, it all depends on why students are using the drugs. If the material being tested is just too hard and in too high of quantity to be learned, then that's one thing. I find that hard to believe, though, as my parents, cousins, and aunts and uncles all survived finals on their own merit. It can be deduced that it comes down to the social aspect, which I can't deny is tempting.

To be able to "fly by" the semester, then pop some pills a week before to learn the course and ace the exam is tempting. Especially in the general education classes that really don't matter... it sounds nice. It makes getting involved and being social more manageable throughout the semester, something that I think we all need. 

I'm torn on this issue. If you're wondering, no I haven't ever taken Adderall and I don't plan to. But I can't deny that it's an interesting issue. I've had friends use it, and they've been pleased with how their grades have turned out. I know I'd feel dishonest, but I feel disadvantaged without. 

What are your thoughts? 

05 May 2014

Summer in Lilly

Pre- Post: I am back from my brief hiatus! These past two weeks have been ridiculous. I've been studying to prepare for finals and have hardly had time to do anything for myself besides sleep and eat. This week is finals week, but I'm going to make myself take some time each day to blog and be creative. It'll be a great break from all the science I'll be cramming :)


So I don't know about y'all but this summer collection from Lilly is a little bit hit-or-miss. I think the spring collection was just too pretty to be followed, so I'll give it the benefit of the doubt. Regardless, I still have my favorites (Lobstah Roll everything... you think I'm kidding but I'm not) and I want to hilight a few of them. 

so glad I waited to get
a bikini until this summer! 

It's crazy that I don't have a million and two things that I love, but I also know that this isn't the last of the summer collection. I saw a preview of what's to come and .... there's a dress named Sarah that's a bit of a tunic style- definitely at the top of my wish list. I currently don't have a job, so my shopping is going to have to wait, but I see a trip to Lilly in the future :)