Dorm Room Decorating Tips

Hello, World.

One of things I miss most about college is decorating a dorm room. While I absolutely love my house in Virginia and wouldn’t change how I decorated my room, I treated dorm rooms like blank slates. I loved that you could change a few simple details and feel like you had a whole new room. So, today I am here with my best advice for making a home in your dorm room! There are many things that can transform the often small space that is a dorm room into a cozy home that you will enjoy returning to at the end of a long study day.

Making your dorm room

Photo by Priscilla du Preez via Unsplash 

One || Less is more. I think the only thing that didn’t work for me in a dorm room was the space…obviously. On-campus housing typically offers pretty tight quarters, unless you live in an apartment style room (and even still there are space issues). The best thing you can do to feel at home without feeling claustrophobic is maximizing space. How do you do this? Well, you pick what you are willing to sacrifice space for, and then save space everywhere else. Saving space means maximizing space. In order to maximize space, you should try to figure out ways to create dual-functionality. I used to have desk in my room that was a desk for most of the day, and a makeup /get ready table in the morning and evening. However, I fought clutter by storing my “get ready” materials (hair brushes, curling irons, blow dryer, makeup, etc.) under my bed or in my bottom desk drawer.

Two || Make it your own with the largest items. If you’re unsure how to bring your personality out or make yourself more comfortable, I advocate choosing pieces that speak to you and that will be clearly displayed. For example, spend a little extra time finding bedding that resembles your personality. If you are happy and cheerful, pick a vibrant duvet that you won’t get sick of in a few months. Or, if you are more simple and understated, a classic white eyelet may be a better choice. I think there a a few spaces you can bring your personality out: the bed and the desk. Let’s be honest, the bed and the desk are basically most of the dorm room. You may have other spaces, but the bed and the desk are the main areas. Create a collage or gallery wall above your bed (while conforming to all wall hanging rules). Add a vase of flowers to your bookshelf!

Three || Shop the sale. A lot of popular stores have back to school specials, and I definitely recommend taking advantage of the sales. PB Teen always has great bedding bundles. While the price may seem a little steep, they are built to last you four years, so it’s well worth it! Follow the stores you like who sell dorm furnishings or accessories, and try to track when they offer sales! Another pro tip: many places discount their items after peak move-in season, so if there is something you like, but don’t need immediately, wait and by the middle of September, it’ll probably be on sale.

Four || Consult your roommate. There may be decoration ideas that you think are brilliant, but your roommate may think are not brilliant. For example, I wanted to buy a rug for my dorm room my sophomore year. I thought it’d be a chic, grown-up addition to the room. I asked my roommate, however, before I made a purchase. I knew there was a possibility that my rug would go into her space, and I didn’t know if she’d be okay with a rug. She gave me the green light, so I ordered a rug. However, we quickly learned part of the reason it was so cheap is because it shed… everywhere. I ended up removing the rug at Christmas because we were both sick of our stuff being covered in tan colors shavings (it was one of those neutral  knot rugs). The point here is make sure your roommate is okay with your design choices, especially when they may affect her space!

I plan to do a “get dorm room ready with me” post soon where I will style a few dorm rooms. In the meantime, what are your favorite places to shop? If you’re beginning college, what kind of decorations are you hoping to do?

Truly,
Callie leigh

Changing Dreams

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Hello, World.

Have you ever had a moment where you were lying in bed or commuting or drinking coffee while reading the New York Times on a rainy Saturday morning and you suddenly felt wrong. What I mean by wrong is you suddenly felt like you chose the wrong path, or you might be in the process of choosing the wrong path? I had this moment my sophomore year of college. My original plan for my life was to be an author. I wanted to write great novels about family dynamics or coming of age stories. Then somewhere along the line, I decided I would be on the other side of things: I was going to be a literary agent, editor, or some other bookish role that went into the process of helping others get their work into the world. Then one day, while chomping on popcorn and drinking tea, I looked at my roommate (who also happened to be my best friend), and said, “what if I went to law school?”

Now, this moment wasn’t the kind of Elle Woods moment you may think. I didn’t wake up and decide I was going to law school one day. My decision to change my career’s trajectory came somewhat slowly. Looking back, law has always been a contributing instrument in the background of my life. I used to have files of research I’d done on things I was interested in, which included a rather embarrassing stint with the Founding Fathers, many of whom were lawyers. I went to Girls State in high school, where me and five hundred other CA representatives had to draft bills, and figure out how laws became laws and what the implications of certain laws are for given groups. I also served on Academic Honor Council in college, where I worked on cases of academic dishonesty. I got a serious rush every time I saw AHC emails come in. I felt an even more intense rush when I picked up a case packet to review. I went through each document with a fine-toothed comb, trying to come up with good questions to ask at the hearing.

Somewhere between my Founding Fathers obsession and my Academic Honor Council service, I decided being a literary agent wasn’t necessarily what I wanted to do. That’s when I started researching other careers, and I discovered Intellectual Property law. This area of law deals with copyright (protection provided by law to authors of “original works of authorship.” This includes literary, dramatic, musical, artistic and certain other creative works.* Think novels or blogs -insert wink face) and trademark (“any word, name, symbol, or design, or any combination thereof, used in commerce to identify and distinguish the goods of one manufacturer or seller from those of another and to indicate the source of the goods.”* Think Nike’s swoosh). I felt giddy because this seemed like it could blend my love of the law and working with people to protect innovation with literature, music, and the creation of brands. That’s when I knew my four-year plan was changing.

As you know from my 1L in review, I almost had a life-altering change again once I got to law school. However, the hurricane of stress is now past, and I’ve reassembled myself so I will be sticking with my dream of being an attorney. But the change to my “dream” (for me it was a career dream, but dreams, as we know, come through many facets) was subtle. I didn’t feel it happening all at once until a change was basically having a staring contest with me over popcorn. Change can be seen as negative. I mean, how many times do we hear “she’s changed” or “he just changed” about people in the context of lost romances or friendships? Change in such a context isn’t interpreted positively. The person changed and that was wrong because it led to the demise of something. So, I wanted to share some thoughts on changed dreams.

One || It is ok to change your dreams. I thought about placing this last, but I feel like it’s important to get this out there upfront. Change is ok. Change is allowed. Change should be encouraged. If you know something isn’t right or is no longer making you happy, even if it is something you referred to as your “dream,” do not be afraid to wake up and let it go. The best dreams are those that aren’t clearly outlined, but rather left an impression. Have you ever woken up, knowing you were having a vivid dream, but once your eyes flutter open you realize you can’t recall a single detail but have this wholesome, happy feeling in your gut? Those are the dreams you should chase. If you feel like it’s Groundhog day, and you’re in a rut that’s sucking your life away, it’s okay to make a change. This doesn’t mean going from ballet dancer to top chef, but maybe it means going from ballet dancer to hip-hop dancer. It’s ok to change completely or tweak just enough to get you excited again!

Two || Go with life not against it. Sometimes life just happens. When you think about it, natural disasters and life are basically the same. Life can be gorgeous, and going well for so long, but suddenly, WOOSH, a big huge storm comes in. There’s a reason “when it rains it pours” is a cliche for life. You can plan out every year of your life, but sometimes there’s no chance to prevent change. Dreams can be forced to change because of circumstances outside your control. Don’t fight change when it seems like every “sign” is pointing in a different direction. You’ll tire and burn out faster if you constantly swim against the current than shifting course and letting the current take you [apologies for all the nature metaphors].

Three || Trust your gut. I think the hardest decisions I ever made were those when my head said one thing and my gut said another. Knowing what to do when you are having an internal Cold War can be challenging, and often leads to inaction because we’re too scared to go one way or the other, convinced whatever decision we make will be the wrong one. This may seem similar to my second point, but this is more personal. In my second point, life is against you. In this, you’re against you. When you know something is wrong, listen. I have this thing where if I know something is wrong, but it’s breaking my heart to acknowledge that fact, I have difficulty letting go. I also feel like when everything’s going right I’m just as doubtful! I guess I’m just an overly analytical person, but may you are too! 

Four || Consult the opinions you value most. I think we all have people in our life we go to for advice. Under the umbrella category of “I trust your advice,” we have the “on” category. As in, I trust my dad’s advice on financial decisions, I trust my mom’s advice on my personal life, and I trust my sister’s advice on fashion and beauty (note: I trust them all on a lot more than the listed items). When I am making a big life change, I want to hear what the people who mean a lot to me and who know me well think about the decision. Do they think I’m making the wrong choice? Do they think there’s a better alternative? It’s all up in the air, and if I really need advice, I have a short list of people I consult. However, I find I usually only consult people if I am unsure I want to trust my gut!

I could add more tips, but I think the four that I shared are my best. Changing your dreams is hard. However, dreams are essentially glamorized goals, and people tend to be less scared to change their goals than they are their dreams. If you’re unsure you’ve decided the right path, it’s okay to redirect. If you’ve seen the movie Something Borrowed, there is a part when Dex (the attractive male attorney) asks his dad if there was ever a time when the dad went really far down a path, so far it seemed impossible to turn around and change course, even when he really wanted to. The dad, given the circumstances, brushes this off, telling Dex to stay the course. However, I think this question is so important. We only have one life to live, and it’s very important we live it well. We cannot be afraid to redirect. This doesn’t mean running away when things are hard, or flip flopping all the time, but if you’ve gotten into something and realize it’s not what you feel you’re meant to do, it’s okay to alter your course to feel more at peace.

Truly,
Callie leigh

Stylish Academic’s Guide to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

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Hello, World.

I have no doubt that you’re scrolling through a lot of blogs that are all posting about the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. However, I’m not here to reiterate to your some diatribe about the sale. This is the quick and dirty version, most appreciated by busy law students interning this summer who have five minutes during their lunch break to see what the sale offers. This post is also for college students who need to cultivate a slightly more grown-up, young professional wardrobe. And finally, if you’re a recent grad who wants to portray yourself as stylish, academic, and hardworking, this post is for you! This sale is the best opportunity to get amazing products at “steal” prices. After the sale, prices go up (way up!), so you want to snag quality pieces that’ll last a lifetime NOW. Note that the current sale is only open to Nordstrom credit card holders, but soon the sale will be open to the public. Don’t feel like you need to get a credit card to shop the sale early, they often restock items that sell out during early access in time for the unrestricted sale! 

I am sharing my favorite pieces from the sale. The pieces I’m sharing aren’t necessarily causal, but the pieces I’ve curated are most appropriate for women who are feminine and academic and/or professional. AS stands for the “after sale price” and DS stands for “during sale.” Alright, here come great savings in three…two…one…

Dresses 1Chelsea 28 Velvet Dress AS $139; DS: $92 | Maggy London Dress AS: $108; DS: $71 | Eliza J Ponte Fit & Flare AS: 138; DS: $92| Eliza J Ruffle Dress AS: $148; DS: $98Dress 3Vince Camuto Body-Con Dress AS: 148; DS: $99 | Caslon Ruffle Split Neck Dress AS: $89; DS: $60 |Eliza J Cold Shoulder Dress AS: $138; DS: $91 | Halogen Button Back Ruffle Dress AS: 99; DS: $66Dress 2

Maggy London Catalina Dress AS: $138; DS: $92 | Halogen Flounce Back Shift Dress AS: $99.00; DS: $65 | Halogen Fit & Flare Dress AS: $99; DS: $66 | BP. Wide Leg Jumpsuit AS: $65; DS: $43Pants

Caslon Patch Denim AS: $79; $49 (giving off major Aria Montgomery vibes from Pretty Little Liars) | J. Crew for Nordstrom Medium Denim AS: $115; DS: $75| Halogen Taylor Ankle Black pant AS: $79, DS: $46 | KUT from the Kloth Dark denim AS: $89; DS: $59tops

J. Crew Ruffle Top AS: $69 ; DS: $51 | Vince Camuto Striped Top AS: $99; DS: $65 |  Vince Camuto Black Bell Sleeves AS: $69; DS: $45 | Chelsea28 Bell Sleeve Top AS: $89 ; DS: $59| Hinge Off-the-shoulder velvet top AS: $69; DS: $45 Cardigans outerwear

Kenneth Cole Double Face Coat AS: $198 ; DS: $129| Halogen Long Cardigan AS: $79 ; DS: $49| BP Carmel Knit Cardigan AS: $49 ; DS: $31jackets updated

Barbour Millfire Hooded Quilted Jacket AS: $249 ; DS: $165 | Guess Double-Breasted Coat (NOTE: this comes in pink and is the coat Lorelai wore in the Gilmore Girls revival!!!) AS: $240 ; DS: $140 | Pink Halogen No-Closure Blazer AS: $119; DS: $74 | BOSS Kabira Tweed Jacket AS: $495; DS: $329Misc

Robin Piccone Cameron Plunge One-Piece AS: $158; DS: $104 | Halogen Plaid Mini AS: $69; DS: $45 | Gallery Quilted Vest AS: $118 ; DS: $79 | CeCe Ponte Faux Wrap Pencil Skirt AS: $69 ; DS: $45heels

Sam Edelman Tia Genuine Calf Half Pump AS: $140; DS: $89 | Ted Baker Savei Pointy Toe Pump AS: $229; DS: $150 |   Louise et Cie Jianna Stacked Pump AS: $119; DS: $79 | Sam Edelman Tia Ankle Velvet Pump AS: $119; DS: $79shoes

Stuart Weitzman Bootie AS: $575; DS: $349 | Lucky Brand Kaiya Pointy Toe Bootie AS: $138; DS: $89 |Kristin Cavallari “Capri” Mule AS: $119; DS: $79 |  Tory Burch Janey Pump AS: $258; DS: $164

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Rebecca Minkoff Top Handle Satchel AS: $295; DS: $196 |  Madewell Paint Stripe Transport Tote AS: $198; DS: $129 | Cathy’s Concepts Monogram Tote AS: $65; DS: $42
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Cathy’s Concepts Monogram Passport Case & Luggage Tag AS: $73 ; DS: $48 | Skinny Dip Makeup Brush Set AS: $65; DS: $35 | bkr water bottle setAS: $75 value for $50 | Tory Burch Fragrance Set AS: $195; DS: $130

What are your favorite pieces?

Truly,

Callie leigh

Farmer’s Market

Hello, World.

Law school has changed the way I see the world. I bet that seems like a weird opener to a post entitled “Farmer’s Market” and has the word “weekend” in it. But here’s the thing: law school can be very consuming. Not in a bad way, it’s just if you’re working hard, every aspect of your life is suddenly subject to law school related things. Week days? Studying in a cafe. Weeknights? Studying at my desk before getting a large mug of tea and watching Netflix in bed by candlelight. Weekends? Well, sometimes I have time to go out at night or shop a bit in the morning, but mostly it’s studying, doing household tasks (like the laundry I ignored all week), or hitting the gym. So, this summer my motto is “yes.” Simple right? What I mean by this is I’m saying yes. Yes to weekend trips to the farmers market, yes to re-discovering my hometown’s downtown, and yes to pretty much everything I’m invited to (within reason).

Even though I’m from Chico, I never really did the whole farmer’s market thing. I was always too tired, had other plans, or whatever other excuse works for taking my hometown’s best features for granted. So, this year, I’ve been trying to go to farmer’s market on Saturday mornings. Getting fresh flowers, fresh produce, and an iced chai latte makes Saturday morning a little sweeter. I also love the quality time with my family. So, I wanted to share a few snaps from my weekend at farmer’s market!

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Does your town have a farmer’s market?

Truly,

Callie leigh

1L in Review

Hello, World.

At the end of my first semester of law school, I did an update about how law school was going, but I never did a second-semester update! So, today I wanted to share with you a review of my 1L year in its entirety. But before I share with you the year, I want to share a little before the year even started. My best college friends and I took a trip to Lake Tahoe before we all went our separate ways (I moved to Virginia, one moved to Boston, and the other went to the East Bay to attend Santa Clara Law). While on the trip, my friend, Evelyn, who you may remember from my law school spotlight series, asked me if I was nervous. Of course, she meant for law school because all we had heard about it from SMC alums and other law students we knew was that law school was hard. We’d seen The Paper Chase, and we’d heard the stories of classmates who suddenly drop out because they have mental breakdowns. Of course, despite all of this, we still had a little doubt. We’d been successful thus far, how could law school be different? Well, it was different.

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As I outlined in December ‘16, 1L fall semester was rough. I struggled a lot. There’s really no other way to put it. I am not someone who falls apart or doesn’t know how to study. However, I think I let too many voices dictate how I worked. I tried to listen to too much advice, and I lost my self-confidence and drive. I worked as hard as I could, but I was having health issues from all the stress and I was extremely homesick. The word “transfer” was popping into my head on almost a daily basis. I called my sister and my mom crying almost daily. It was a little embarrassing, especially because I am the one who always has it together. The things that kept me going? My family’s confidence in me, my group chat with my two best college friends [mentioned above] and having supportive roommates, who despite not knowing me very long, tried their best to accommodate my horrible mood swings, constant illnesses, and random crying. Now, not everyone struggles with law school the way I did. Some people totally flourish. However, I was not one of them. I think the combination of various factors [the already listed homesickness, sickness, and debilitating self-doubt] really killed my first semester. I’m not making excuses for anything, I’m just trying to be honest that I was very sure law school was right for me in August ‘16 and very unsure it was for me in December.

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Then came Christmas break. I finally got to hug my parents and see my sister and brother-in-law, and all the stress and unhappiness melted away. That sounds cheesy, and maybe it was, but I was happy. For the first time in months. I spent three wonderful weeks at home, and by the end, I felt sort of ready for another semester. When I landed in Virginia, I entered a new mentality: I’ve been successful, I know myself, and I’m going to trust myself. You could say I entered the second semester with the mentality Elle Woods has after Warner tells her she isn’t smart enough.

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Right after Christmas, I started heavily applying for summer jobs, and I got one fairly early in the process, doing what I wanted to do for my first summer in law school, and it was in my hometown [what what?!]. That was a confidence boost because someone, an employer[!], saw something in me, and felt I could do legal work. I also started studying the way I always had and even more. I worked from 7 or 8 am to 8 or 9 pm every day. I also studied on weekends [Friday afternoons became my most productive time, just as they had been in college while I waited for my friends to get off work]. I started working out, which became a huge stress reliever. I felt less homesick, and I found my footing in Williamsburg. For the first time, the little Colonial hamlet felt like home. The semester flew by, and I wasn’t as stressed while it passed, I was feeling confident in the subject matter, and for the first time I felt like I was going to make it.

Now, the second semester had a few hiccups. I still had trouble finding my niche of friends. I had a horrific cold call in my constitutional law class. However, with each week, I started figuring it out. I took better notes for Con law, and I started saying no to things I didn’t want to do and saying yes to the things I did. There may have been a night where I was crying into my roommate’s shoulder, eating birthday cake from the pan. But that was the only night I just flat out cried and it was because of the dumbest thing, so that’s definitely an improvement!

I studied so hard and tried to ignore when self-doubt inevitably crept in. I stopped talking to people who made me feel less than, and I enjoyed study dates with people who complemented my study habits. Then grades came and they were higher, and I was so happy. I also made a law journal [more to come later]! After trying for three different law school organizations/leadership positions and being denied, finally getting to be part of something made me feel like myself again. That may sound odd, but I just wasn’t used to not having some sort of involvement. In college, I was so involved, that not having anything other than membership in clubs felt so foreign. I think that’s maybe the biggest adjustment in law school: learning to feel like you’re sleepwalking through someone else’s life. By this, I simply mean, if you aren’t one of the people who immediately adjusts to law school, you may feel disconnected or like you chose the wrong path. However, if you stick with it and trust yourself, you’ll succeed. 

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I felt so distant from who I was in May 2016 that I was struggling to be me. But somewhere in January, I decided to listen to myself, and only take on good while pushing out bad. It was a game changer mentality to have. By June, I had so much more confidence and felt like I can definitely do law school. So, while 1L was sort of terrible for half of it and pretty good for the rest of it, I am excited for 2L. I feel much more equipped to handle law school, and I have a better outlook on how to balance social and academic responsibilities.

Truly,

Callie leigh

Fourth of July Festivities

Hello, World.

Happy belated Fourth of July! I hope you had a relaxing holiday. Fourth of July is one of my favorite summer days/holidays. I grew up going to a family cabin on a tiny lake, and the people there go very very America during the Fourth. The holiday isn’t a single day. It’s a whole weekend. One nice thing about this is everyone, even those who have to work the holiday, get to celebrate. There is pancake breakfast, a dance, sand castle contests, a bonfire, etc. It’s an event. Typically, we go to our cabin at a new lake, and we spend the day relaxing on the beach while family friends make hot dogs. Then we go watch fireworks after dinner. This year, however, we didn’t make it to the cabin. My dad was worried about working and we don’t have air conditioning in our cabin, which worried my sister because Piper (my niece) can’t get too hot!

So, this year we stayed home. While this may seem like a downer, it was actually super relaxing! We all dressed in our red, white, and blue and hung out by the pool. We swam and my dad smoked a few racks of ribs. My sister and I each made a dessert [she made berry crumble and I made a s’mores bake].

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All in all, it was a great holiday. I’m absolutely loving being home this summer, and I feel so blessed to be near my amazing family!

How’d you spend your holiday?

Truly,
Callie leigh

What I’m Reading

Hello, World.

Summer is going so quickly (insert very panicked, on-the-verge-of–hyperventilating face). One of my goals for this summer was to get in a decent amount of “for pleasure” reading. While in law school, I read constantly. All the time. But, I read dense case-law related material, which is I also enjoy, but sometimes it’s nice to just get back into reading a book for fun, falling into someone else’s story or life and getting swept up in it. So, I wanted to share what I’ve read so far. The second book took me a little too long. I partly blame it on my mindless Netflix sessions and also on the lack of desire to read after work. However, on Thursday, I decided I was going to finish it before the weekend was over. And I did! You’ll probably notice both books have to do with Paris. Well, I’ve always wanted to go, and I think lately my wanderlust is getting the best of me. I inadvertently, perhaps subconsciously bought four (that’s right, more to come) books that have to do with Paris in some way. Now… let’s get to my reviews of the first two books.

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The first book I read this summer I picked up in Williamsburg before I flew home. My original plan was to read on my flights home. However, I quickly realized that was an ambitious plan. After finals and the joint journal competition (more on that to come), I was a wee bit tired and did not have the brain power to read a new book. So, instead, I watched movies and chatted with the woman sitting next to me, who is getting her Ph.D. in Florida, but was flying to CA to help her fiancé move to Switzerland (so so fascinating).

Lunch In Paris is the memoir of Elizabeth Bard’s swift and romantic love affair with a Frenchman. It’s the American girl goes abroad and doesn’t come home because she finds love kind of book. I loved it. I was very selective about what book I read first because I was so looking forward to reading something non-legal. I read the excerpt on Amazon and knew immediately I loved Bard’s style. It was conversational but intoxicating. It was to the point but romanticized. I am not typically a non-fiction guru, but I ate up the story of finding yourself someone new and trying to make the most of it even if it feels like an off balance tap dance for the first stretch.

While at some points I felt like Bard came off a bit condescending or superior… the minute I felt this, she was self-aware and vulnerable, speaking her truth of being a size 10, food-loving American in petite, food-savoring France. I laughed frequently but also related quite strongly to the feeling Bard shares of feeling like she has to ground herself in something in order to establish herself in her new home. For Bard, it is the French markets that lend her refuge. Bard also pays homage to said markets by including recipes at the close of each chapter, recipes rooted discoveries of new produce, new flavor mixtures, and new twists on old, American favorites.

I would give this book four out of five stars simply because it lagged in areas. However, I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys travel (it is the romance-based version of Under the Tuscan Sun or Eat, Pray, Love) or who feels or has felt uncertain in a new place. My final thought is this: I admired how Bard illustrated the relationship between herself and her lover. The areas of life they inherently understood about each other, the areas where cultural difference caused friction, and the areas where cultural difference caused growth. I enjoyed Bard’s exploration into preconceived notions and how they are dealt with while balancing the serious topics with light-hearted trip-ups on both [her and her lover] their parts. 9B1CD9EF-1B2B-441B-8EBC-286C1673BDAE.jpg

To be blunt, I bought this book for two main reasons: I loved the cover and the author went to William and Mary. A bit vain, I know. However, I’ll See You in Paris by Michelle Gable took me about three weeks. It’s a bit long and a bit slow, to be honest. Upfront, I want to say if you are someone who prefers gripping, quick-reads, this may not be the book for you. While the last 50 or so pages made me glad I stuck it out and finished the story, I wanted to stop about 200 pages in. I sort of guessed where the story was headed around page 60, and then had to get through 250 pages-ish of the groundwork for the story to get to its final pathway to the end. I guessed all but one plot twist that came at the end. That’s not typically a good thing while reading. I like to be kept guessing, and I certainly don’t want to guess what’s going to happen well before the writer fully lays the foundation.

However, it was rooted in historical tales, so I understand Gable wanting to give the reader a very thorough outline of the story. The other aspect to this novel I struggled with a bit was that it switched between 1973 and 2001. So, while Annie (one of the protagonists) was hearing the 1973 story in 2001, the reader was taken back to 1973 and hearing a more fleshed out version through the eyes of the participants. The problem with this was I often cared way more about the story occurring in 2001 and didn’t really want to know every detail of the 1973 story. Obviously, when stories track each other in this manner, they are meant to intercept, and they do, which made all the switches in time worth the reading. Still, I think the tale could be a little more abbreviated. It just lagged a bit too much in the middle that I was having trouble keeping it all straight and wanting to continue.

My opinion may be making you think this book sucked and isn’t worth picking up. I don’t want that opinion to come across because I did enjoy the ending enough that it made up for the lag. So, if you pick up this book, just know that when it gets slow, you just have to power through and you should enjoy the ending as I did. Recommending books can be difficult because people have different tastes! This book got so many reviews that said “I couldn’t put it down!!” whereas I felt like I couldn’t pick it back up at times. I will also say do not expect a journey through Paris. Paris is very much part of the story and important to the underlying story, but not until much later than expected. A majority of the novel takes place in Banbury, England, and the States.

Interestingly, once I finished the novel, I looked at Gable’s other two novels. I wanted to read more of her. So, though I struggled with aspects of the story and the length, I enjoyed Gable’s writing enough that I wanted more of it in my library.

What are you currently reading?

Truly,
Callie leigh

Fourth of July Outfits

Hello, World.

Fourth of July is coming soon! I feel like this holiday always sneaks up on me. I totally forget about it, and I in March I’ll think “this fourth of July I’ll remember to get an outfit for our celebration.” Then we’re at the end of June, and I have once again forgotten to get something. So, I’m here to share some easy Fourth of July outfits that could be replicated with things already in your closet! To get you in the spirit, here is a gif from Legally Blonde: Red, White and Blonde:
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First up we have an off the shoulder red dress, which I think is perfect for the Fourth, but would also be perfect for any other summer day, so you’d be able to re-wear it to dinner or to the park! The pale blue sunglasses are a festive touch, which can also be re-worn. A navy cross-body and white converse are ideal for running around a parade or other local festivities.
d5e5a81b9fc6144fad3dc71cbd6a4fc7For most people, the Fourth is spent on or very near a beach! So, I wanted to share three of my favorite swimsuits for this year. I love the old fashioned blue two piece, I think you really cant go wrong with it. I also think the old fashioned suits are so flattering (I mean, Marilyn Monroe wore this style, so obviously it works). I think swimsuits are great on their own, but sunglasses can add a little extra to an otherwise simple look.

swim 1, sunglass 1 | swim 2, sunglass 2 | top, bottoms, sunglass 3Screen Shot 2017-06-19 at 9.55.48 PMI love the off-the-should look, as you probably guessed by now. This cute gingham top with the bow detailing is perfect for backyard BBQs are dinner before fireworks, especially if you’re experiencing the heat wave on the west coast! I love the look of white ripped shorts, and I think they balance the preppy feel of the top! I am obsessed with slide sandals… It’s a little embarrassing, but I think they are just so chic, and I definitely love the red. I could also see the shoes worn with black skinny jeans and  black for dinner out in the fall. Screen Shot 2017-06-20 at 7.50.38 PM

What are you wearing this Fourth of July and how are you celebrating?

Truly,

Callie leigh

A Father’s Day Style Upgrade with Bonobos

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Hello, World.

Happy Father’s Day! I don’t know about you, but my dad is one of the hardest people to shop for, so finding the perfect Father’s Day gift is getting more difficult with every passing year. This year, my dad mentioned wanting some new clothes (finally) because he’s worn the same pieces for years. One of his favorite tees looks like a dog chewed the neckline because its so worn! My dad used to live in the Bay Area of California, and he always talks about how he took his style much more seriously when he lived there. A common line when reminiscing about those years is “I dressed much better then.” A common outfit? A polo, 501 jeans, or Sperry topsiders. Then he switched over to khakis, an oxford, and those ever faithful Sperry topsiders.

His style over the years really hasn’t changed much! He still wears the same basics, but he jokes that he has multiple wardrobes for various needs. He farms rice, so he has his more farm-appropriate outfits. However, my dad is also a CPA (certified public accountant), so he also wears more sophisticated outfits during certain times of the year. So, in light of my dad wanting some new clothes, I thought it would be fun to put together some outfits for any time of the year. All the pieces shown here (with the exception of the Sperry topsiders are from Bonobos.com, an awesome menswear site that offers clothing for every man that actually fits correctly. The secret to their fit is the curved waistband that conforms to a man’s natural waistline. So, you can easily say goodbye to poor fitting clothing that is either too tight or too boxy! They also offer free shipping both ways so shopping for the men in your life has never been easier. You can get the experience of shopping in a store from the comfort of your home (or college housing or office is your a busy student or working gal)!

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Above are my two “summer” or warm weather looks for my dad. I personally think he has a strong sense of style, even if he is a bit picky about what he’ll wear. The outfit on the left is a slightly upgraded version of what he wears now to slightly nicer functions in the summertime. However, I would add a bit more color to his wardrobe. My dad tends to wear a LOT of blues, but I am a fan of green, so I think this green button down is subtle but would add dimension to his wardrobe. I also wanted to honor the clothes of his favorite person fashion period, so I added khakis shorts that have a younger fit. I finished this look with two-tone leather and suede Sperrys, which add a nice touch to this otherwise basic outfit.

The second outfit is what I would call my dad’s “uniform,” but it’s upgraded because the the fit of the shorts is fresh and a bit shorter than his normal short, but not too short. I also think the grey polo is such a classic polo it can be dressed up or down. My dad wears the same belt today that he wore 20 years ago. I think the dark Bonobos belt has a subtle detailing that gives it a little something extra. So, even when my dad is at his most casual, there’s still a pop of style. I also finished this outfit with traditional brown leather Sperrys, which is true to my dad. Screen Shot 2017-06-17 at 10.35.10 AM

As I mentioned, the thing I would do to tweak my dad’s style is add more color. So, knowing he may give me an “are you crazy?” look when I recommend the above button downs, I still think they would look good on him. To the left is a dressed up casual look. A darker wash jean, cuffed with a pink checked button down is something I could see my dad wearing around our town to dinner or happy hour. I would also use the same belt from his uniform look.

To the right is the outfit my dad would wear to slightly more formal events. Nothing we do is ever really formal, and if it is he’d wear a suit. I think this look, however, is perfect for the events he attends regularly. The orange gingham shirt is a pattern he’d wear, but the color adds a pop that is currently missing from his wardrobe. I think a lighter belt would compliment this outfit and add a nice detail. I also wanted to honor my dad’s love of khaki once again, and think he can pull off khaki well, so went with the Jetsetter pant.

I really like the mission of Bonobos, and would love to add a few of their pieces to my dad’s wardrobe! Beside their online store, they also have 30 locations in the US, and they offer personalized shopping experiences where you can enjoy a cold one while trying on their styles! I would recommend you checking them out, and keep them in mind for next Father’s Day or Christmas!

What’s your dad’s style like?

Truly,

Callie leigh

 

Summer Beauty Favorites

Hello, World.

When summer comes, I prefer to go lighter on my makeup, but I still like full coverage. I think a big part of summer is taking care of your skin, and making sure you’re protected while still being able to enjoy the warmer weather!

My mom bought this Korres Body Wash in the White Grape [grown in Santorini, Greece] scent, and it. is. delicious. Honestly, it smells SO fresh and clean. As soon as I smelled it, I ordered a bottle for myself. The Korres brand of shower gel is so hydrating. I’ve also never had any problems with the product irritating my skin!

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I don’t change my makeup very frequently. Usually, once I find a product I like, I stick with it until I don’t like it anymore or want a change. Recently, I felt like I needed a new moisturizer. I like my skin to feel hydrated, but NOT greasy. I really dislike moisturizers that leave a filmy feel to your skin. So, I recently switched to Clinique moisture surge. It’s AMAZING. I also went through a bit of a “I don’t like any of the mascaras I’m trying. What is wrong?” phase recently. Then I was watching Carly of the College Prepster go through her summer make up routine, and she mentioned Too Faced’s Better Than Sex mascara. My mom had recently ordered it, and didn’t like it, so offered me the tube to try. I love it! My eyelashes look fuller and more prominent, which I like. IMG_2625.JPG

Urban Decay’s Naked concealer is probably my favorite. I used it a while ago, then decided to change. But I went back to it because it’s so weightless and easy. It also covers my dark circles really well, but I don’t [think] it makes me look cake-y.

In terms of concealer, I am obsessed with IT Cosmetics CC cream with SPF 50. It’s light, provides full coverage, but isn’t too much! I highly recommend this product if you’re in search of a great foundation.

I also love Urban Decay’s sin eye primer. It’s provides a bit of shimmer, so sometimes it’s all I wear on my eyes. Other times I just put a little color in my crease. Too Faced’s chocolate sample from Sephora is a great palette. I use it sometimes for my eyes if I want to wear a bit more color. I also love the bronzer. I usually don’t wear much bronzer, but I like this one because it’s not too dark on my skin, but will add dimension.

Finally, I love the smell of Lavender. I have some spray I put on my pillows, and I usually buy candles that have lavender in them. It’s one of my favorite smells. So, this Bath & Body lotion that is Lavender and Sandalwood is perfect for summer. It smells fresh, but has woody, more earthy undertones that are perfect for summer!

What beauty products are you loving?

Truly,

Callie leigh