Holiday Gift Guide #1: For Him

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Barbour Jacket / Airpod Bluetooth Headphones / Daniel Wellington Watch Gift Set / Allbirds / Ugg Slippers / Lulu Lemon ABC Pant / Birddog Shorts / Patagonia Vest

Shopping for your man can be difficult especially if you have been together for a few years – you run out of ideas and don’t want to be repetitive! I always look to friends and family for ideas, and I have never done a gift guide “for him” so I thought I’d do one this year for all of my girls out there that need gift ideas! The items I included in this gift guide are all things that the men in my family love / my boyfriend loves and are really “in” right now! They all are a little on the pricier side but they are all great quality and are great if you are looking to buy one big gift.

xoxo,

Blank 4 x 2 in-2

A day in Chicago + my new favorite closet staple

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Dress / Wedges / Necklace

Yesterday I spent the day in Chicago at the Merchandise Mart with a co-worker returning some fabric samples and picking up some tile samples. This was surprisingly only my third or fourth time in the Mart and I forgot how stunning the showrooms are. I could spend all day there! After the Mart, we went to The Hampton Social and it was my first time there – seriously so cute! I have seen a ton of photos taken there so of course, we had to go!

I mainly wanted to do this blog post because I finally got my hands on this dress that I have been eyeing FOREVER! It is so flattering and I have seen it on so many people styled so many different ways. It is a little on the pricier side but I am so glad I finally got it. It is so comfortable and so easy to dress up or down! I love that you can wear it now but you are also able to style it in the Winter, Spring, and Fall! It is the perfect little black dress, and I will definitely be getting it in other colors!

xoxo,

Blank 4 x 2 in-2

Getting reorganized and back on track for the new year + Lauren James Planner giveaway!

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Kate Spade Planner / MacBook Case / Stickers / Pens / Desktop Wallpaper

One of the hardest things for me, and probably a lot of other college students who have a month long winter break as well, is getting back on track and adjusting to another routine. During my winter breaks I am so beyond lazy, and it can be hard to motivate myself to get anything done. This is the last week of my break so I’m really trying to reorganize and get things ready for the second semester of my senior year to start. Even though I may not be the most motivated right now, I still remain super organized. As second semester is upon us, I figured I’d share some tips that will motivate you for a fresh start to the new year!

Invest in a nice planner 

Every year I get a new planner, for years I purchased these Lilly Pulitzer ones, but this year I decided to change it up and get a Kate Spade one. Another brand that makes super cute planners is Erin Condren – what I like about these is that you can personalize them! I also am a brand representative for Lauren James – and they have super cute timeless planners as well! My entire life is in my planner. I write every little thing down; to-do lists, class schedules, work schedules, and things I know I may forget. For some reason I’ve never been one to make lists and schedule things on my phone – I always forget about them. Plus, it makes you feel so much more accomplished physically crossing things off of a list. So, if you haven’t already, invest in a nice planner – it makes it more exciting to organize your thoughts and schedules!

Get some cute & colorful pens for labeling your schedule/notes

I know this may sound silly – but organizing my notes for classes and in my planner by color make it less boring to write everything down. I recently purchased these Papermate Flair Pens (my friends also have them and love them) – they’re so cheap too! They write like a thin-tipped marker, BUT they don’t bleed. These pens can make the most boring class notes cute and colorful 🙂

Make lists and set realistic goals 

One of the problems that I have is setting too big of to-do lists, which tends to get overwhelming and I end up multi tasking. So what I’ve learned to do is make smaller lists that I know I can get done efficiently and in the time that I have. There may be big goals overall that you want to accomplish – but if there are steps or things you need to do to get there, writing those down helps you focus on one thing at a time. That’s something that I’m really trying to focus on this semester.

De-Clutter your dorm/space

This is something that has really helped me in being productive and more relaxed when I’m stressed or overwhelmed. Whether I’m doing school work, internship work, blogging or etc. This may just be me being OCD – but I am an organization freak. When deep cleaning my dorm/bedroom I de-clutter by getting rid of things I don’t use, especially at the beginning of the school year or at the start of a new semester.

Get back into a routine

This is one of the hardest things for me after a month long winter break. If I don’t go back to work immediately, I remain in a slump and have a hard time readjusting to being back at school with classes and  work. What I have found is that jumping right in immediately helps me adjust more quickly and feel more motivated. The busier I am, the better I feel. I feel more productive and by the end of the day I fall asleep much easier. It’s always the Spring semester for me where I get motivated to work out – although sometimes that doesn’t last long with my schedule, if that’s something that clears your mind I definitely recommend starting your work out schedule back up!

GIVEAWAY!

I figured this giveaway was fitting for this post! I am giving away a Lauren James timeless 12 month planner, and a Lauren James sticky note set! These are both two things that help me get organized!

In order to enter…

Follow me on Instagram (@alexx_bishop)

Follow Lauren James on Instagram

Like & tag a friend on my Instagram photo about the giveaway

Winner will be announced on Wednesday! 🙂 

xoxo,

Blank 4 x 2 in-2

Save or splurge: Beauty products

SPLURGE: SKINCARE

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On a college budget I’ve learned what I should save money on, and what I should  splurge on. I’ve learned that you should always invest in your skin. Until a few weeks ago I still hadn’t found any skin care products that were friendly to my wallet that worked for me and did everything my skin needed without breaking me out. I recently attended a Caudalie workshop at the Equinox gym I work at. They gave us these free products and I was super excited to try them – not expecting them to work, I was really impressed when I woke up the next morning and my skin felt hydrated and moisturized (but not too oily.) I have sensitive/oily skin so I’ve never been able to moisturize without breaking out – but my skin reacted really well to all of these products!

In the shower, I cleanse with the Mario Bedescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser – this is so gentle!

After I remove my eye make up with Neutrogena Oil Free Makeup Remover I use a cotton round to apply the Caudalie Micellar Cleansing Water – and then I apply the Vine(Activ) Glow Activating Anti-Wrinkle Serum – this is super pricey, and I only use a tiny amount, a little goes a long way! I then apply the Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet.

Of course none of this is cheap – but it has been a game changer for my skin. If you were to buy only one of these products – I would definitely invest in the Mario Bedescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser!!

SAVE: DRUGSTORE MAKE UP

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Face – Originally I found myself always splurging on foundation and concealer, but on a college budget, paying for a $40 foundation was just too much, and I knew I could probably find a drugstore foundation that was equally as great. I use Covergirl Ready Set Gorgeous Foundation that is only $9, it’s super lightweight and I only use a little bit and blend it with a beauty blender. I’ve realized that less is more with foundation. My favorite powder that I have used for YEARS now is the Rimmel London Stay Matte Long Lasting Pressed Powder, which is only $6!  Because I have oily skin, this keeps my skin looking matte and less shiny. Something I do still splurge on is concealer – I figure I should splurge on either foundation and get a cheaper concealer, or a higher end concealer with a cheaper foundation. So, I settled for investing in a thick concealer that could work if I just want to wear concealer and powder. My new favorite concealer is the Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer – it’s very thick so a little goes a long way. It’s a life saver for under eye circles, and comparatively $26 is not bad for high end concealer. For contouring, I use the Lorac Pro Contour Palette, this is pricey, but I’ve found that it’s lasted me SO long. For a setting spray, I use NYX Matte Finish Makeup Setting Spray – this is a life saver especially in the summertime.

Eyes – More recently I’ve started buying single colors of eye shadow from Walgreens or Target when I run out of my favorites in the Naked palettes, I don’t want to purchase an entire o palette to only use a few colors. I use the individual L’Oreal Paris Infallible Shadows as a base, and apply a little bit of Revlon Colorstay Creme Eyeshadow to brighten my eyes. For mascara I use Maybelline’s Lash Sensation,  this has been my favorite for years now. I have never been one to splurge on mascara.

SPLURGE: HAIR

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Along with skincare, I believe it’s also important to splurge on hair products. Ever since Emily Gemma shared that her favorite shampoo was the Caviar Anti-Aging Shampoo, I of course had to invest in it, it is by far my favorite shampoo I have ever tried. It immediately makes my hair shiner and softer after one wash. I recently realized that after getting highlights and balayage that my hair was extremely damaged, the Aveda Damage Remedy Daily Hair Repair is another game changer. I put it especially on the ends of my hair where my hair seems to be the most damaged.

OR SAVE..

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Although it’s good to splurge on really nice hair products, on a college budget it’s not realistic to consistently purchase them, recently I’ve become obsessed with a more budget friendly option, the Tresemme Expert Selection Botanique Damage Recovery Shampoo – not only does it smell SO GOOD but it makes my hair extremely soft. The conditioner is also a must have.

Overall, there are obviously cheaper alternatives to everything, but I think investing in your skincare products and hair products is extremely important for healthier skin and healthier hair.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dorm Decor

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Wall Butterflies / Picture / Blue Floral Bulb Lights / Anthology Pillows

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  Throw Pillows / Chair / Blanket

 

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Lamp / Lamp Shade / Hourglass / Jewelry Dish

 

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Etsy Prints / Make Up Brush Holder / Lauren Conrad “Style” / Emily Post’s Etiquette / Weddings in Color

 

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Etsy Prints / Shelves

I’m just a few days away from being finished with my Junior year of college! Everyone is starting to move out of their dorms and finals are coming to an end. I was planning on taking down some things in my room when I realized how much I loved how it was decorated! Sometimes it can be difficult to make your dorm feel “homey” and comfortable, but throughout the years I have definitely learned how to do that. This is by far my favorite layout I’ve had compared to previous set ups in other dorms. You learn to take advantage of the space you have – even if it’s not a lot 🙂 Especially if you are an incoming Freshman, it’s good to learn that you can still make your room super cute without spending a lot! My favorite go-to place for just about everything is Target – And I didn’t realize this until I came to college. Target is literally a god sent. Almost everything in my dorm is from Target. I’m really big on the little details. I love stacking books to make a cute arrangement along with picture frames and cute little trinkets – every detail counts!

My end of the summer wish list

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  1. Cream White Side Slit Crewneck Red Plaid Sweater  – How ADORABLE would this be with leggings and Tory Burch riding boots?! On sale for $42.50 for 9 more hours!
  2. ‘Tyra’ Lilac Lace Sleeveless Shift Dress – One of my favorite bloggers Caitlin wore this and I’ve had my eye on it since! Also on sale 🙂
  3. Bonnie Classic Cardigan – As you can tell, i’m definitely craving fall weather..How cozy does this cardigan look?!
  4. Love Always Monogram Necklace
  5. David Yurman Cable Classic Bracelet with Gold 
  6. Kendra Scott Elisa Pendant – Maroon Jade  – I already have an Elisa Pendant in Iridescent Drusy but I want to buy another stone so I can wear them together!
  7. Bare Minerals Well Rested CC Eye Primer
  8. IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Anti – Aging Concealer
  9. INGLOT AMC Pure Pigment Eye Shadow
  10. Artis Fluent Oval 8 Brush

Lately I’ve come across some of the cutest boutiques and new brands that I am just OBSESSED with. I’ve seen a lot of my favorite fashion bloggers wearing these brands and trying out these products, so of course they’re on my wish list as of right now 🙂 I go back to school on the 23rd of this month, so I am just craving some new dresses for formals, clothes and shoes for fall, and new beauty products to try – but I’m trying to get better on my spending, hence why it is called a “wish list!” I recently watched Emily Gemma’s Make Up Routine Video and wanted to try some new make up products!