One Bag - Two Ways

One Bag - Two Ways

I'm a strong believer that a handbag can make or break an outfit. I have a large green one from Francescas that I adore. It's been with me since March and I cannot give more praise to it. 

Many times I go straight from work to school, or vice versa, and it's large enough for me to hold all of my necessities and sometimes even clothes I may need! 

I found this handbag and fell in love with it! If it were a little less expensive I would most definitley buy it, however I'm on a tight college budget! 

What are you loving lately? Do you have a favorite handbag? 

Somewhat of a Splurge!

So I did it! I finally bought myself a Lilly Pulitzer large agenda! I'm so much in love with their patterns and sometimes whimsical themes. I've been holding out on buying one last year because I wasn't really in love with any of the patterns but when I saw You Gotta Regatta I fell in love!

I've never really actually spent this much on a planner, or notebook, or anything but I knew I had to have this. Since I haven't really bought something for myself (that I really use for school/organizing my crazy life) I thought why not splurge this once and see if I really love it! 

Have you bought yourself anything recently? 

Disney World: Food Edition

I spent 6 full days in Disney World a week or so ago, and let me just tell was SO much fun! My friends and I pretty much ate our ways through Disney. 

Now, we were on the Dining Plan so all of our food was paid for before we got there. We were on the Basic Dining Plan, and because we know a castmember (what they call their workers) we got it for $30 instead of $50. We could eat at any restaurant that took our dining plan and we took full advantage of this!

Being on the dining plan we were on we were allotted one table service meal (which includes an entree, dessert and non-alcoholic beverage), one quick service meal (entree, dessert and non-alcoholic beverage) and one snack per day!

The only pictures (from my phone) we could get from Sci Fi Diner -- Apple Crumble & Elliot

Monday: Sci-Fi Diner 
Tuesday: Yak and Yeti 
Wednesday: Tutto Italia 
Thursday: Chefs Des France
Friday: Akershus 
Saturday: 1900 Park Fare 

From Chefs Des France -- Lobster Bisque, beef in mushrooms and pearl onions & different types of ice cream (pear, peach and coconut!)
Y'all I cannot even explain how delicious all of the food we ate was! I wish I would have taken pictures of everything but being in Disney, I was so exhausted/hungry by the time we ate that 8 times out of 10 we  scarfed down everything we could.

We drank so much coke & sprite it was not even funny. Sadly enough, there was no Dr. Pepper but no worries, I drank my fair share when I got home!

Success is Always an Option

Warning: The following pictures are all instagrams from my finals week! They contain copious amounts of sugar and sleep depravation! 

I to get my eyes checked out for FOUR hours...I'm not even kidding. Then I had to go to the bank. 

This past semester I worked two jobs (totaling at 30-35 hours a week), took 19 hours (six classes, one being a language class), actively participated in my sorority (I was on two committees) and still managed to spend time with friends. 

I decided to paint my toe nails as I was writing my study guide out...only to spill nailpolish remover all over my study guide
People told me I wasn't going to do well. They told me I was going to stress myself out and stretch myself thin. They told me that I needed to take a break. 

So much time was spent at my desk, studying Italian, revising English Essays and reading about 19th/20th century history.

I would like to point out that none of these people were in my family. My mom, dad, brother, sister and boyfriend were the most supportive people in the world. 

A dinner one night consisted of pizza, and dips. Only to watch Ariel, read ethnographies and consume large amounts of coke and coffee.

These people prided me in my accomplishments and loved me when I was so stressed I was going to cry. They have always told me that I can do whatever I want and as long as I was sure I could handle any situation I put myself into than they would support me on that. 

I would like to point out to everyone who didn't believe in me, that I did it. I made the Dean's List.

Now, I'm not saying that it was an easy task. I worked by butt off and you know what, I could have had a 4.0 but I didn't work as hard as I should have in the beginning of the semester. 

A few of the moveis I watched (Road to El Dorado and Beauty and the Beast) while studying Chemistry & History.

This brings me to my point: you can do anything you set your mind to. Do not let anyone tell you that you cannot do something. If someone does tell you that you cannot do something than try even harder to prove (if you know you can do it) that you can. 

Friends napping during study sessions, proof before I destroyed my study guide, a cup from a friend (because that day was really awful) and so many snacks!

What I've Been Loving: lace

What I've Been Loving: lace

I've always loved lace but recently all lace dresses have been catching my eye more so than other dresses. I know that white and black lace dresses are more traditional, but it's the more whimsical colors that I'm in love with. 

While I don't own any of these dresses, if I could only pick one I would have to say that the blue one is my favorite. I love how you could easily make it more casual and then with a different belt and pair of shoes it can become a more sophisticated dress!

Do you own any lace dresses? Or are you not really feeling all lace?

Settling In

Airplanes - By: Local Natives

Coming back from a vacation is always hard. You have to adjust back to a "normal" schedule and then make sure that everything you missed when you left for vacation. 

Well, for this vacation, we left the day after exams finished, on mothers day after we had all finished visiting with our families. Needless to say we left on a crazy day/after a crazy week so settling back in is a little difficult. 

Yesterday I got the last amount of my actual things (read: not furniture) from our rental house and moved it back into my dads house. The last thing I need to do is grab my furniture and clean the house and then we're done! My room at my dads is CRAZY right now. It's so messy because I'm trying to figure out a place for everything. 

Then instead of going back to school/crazyness of exams I am going back to work (working 45ish hours a week -- until summer school). Then I go to summer school for a month. 

I cannot wait to get back into the swing of things and just hang out for a fullish three months - until Rush for my sorority goes into effect! 

What are your plans for the summer months? 

What I've Been Reading

Yesterday, while making the almost 12 hour drive home from disney, I finished reading two books that I started over this past semester.

The first one I finally finished reading was The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest. This is the third book in the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo trilogy. I cannot even begin to express how much I loved this book. I was a really big fan of the first two, even though the first one got off to a very slow start. Like the others, this book is a slow paced one. Not slow paced in the action, but a slow paced reading book. It throws so much information at you that sometimes I had to stop and google Swedish history to grasp a full understanding of the back stories they give you. 

The next book that I read was Crossed by Ally Condie. This is the second book of the trilogy that she is writing/wrote (the first book is called Matched). The book takes place in a Utopian society that focuses on three main characters. However you only see the story mainly from two, Ky & Cassia. This book took me maybe two/three hours of uninterrupted sitting in a car time to finish. It's a book that is more marketed toward teenagers. Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Especially since it was a nice break from The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets Nest

Do you read books just for fun? What have been some books you've recently enjoyed?

Exam Week: Revisited

This past week was my final exams week! I'm happy to say that I think it went really well. But let's just take a look at all of the things I've discovered this past week:

The Little Mermaid could totally be studied as an ethnographic field case study, riggggghtt? 
1. When in doubt, drink more caffiene. Thus includes: coffee, dr. pepper and tea
one night, I drank so much I started shaking...needless to say I quickly cut out caffeine after that

2. Stress eating = out of control. the amount of almonds and mac and cheese I've inhaled is ungodly
but no, not together

3. watching movies such as the little mermaid, the road to eldarado, atlantis, beauty and the beast will help productivity

4. when in need of a break, do a load of laundry. It's soothing

5. Rain, is not in fact,  your best friend. It makes you really sleepy, really quickly.

6. When you absolutley need sleep, it.

Bolt and American History totally go together. Right? 
Hopefully, I'm having a blast on my vacation right now, and can't even think about exams! 

Colors of the Week: Mint & Coral

Colors of the Week: Mint & Coral

With summer comes bright colors. I cannot get enough of the color combinations that I've been seeing around the blogosphere and in real life right now!
White shoes are some of my favorites, when they're new, because they look so clean and crisp! Until I fall into a puddle or walk through the grass or something. 

I've shown my love for mint here before! And maybe you've heard about my love of all things elephants, but when I saw this necklace I absolutely died. I cannot express how much I love it! 

 What colors are you loving this week or this season? 

What I'm Listening To: Jeff Buckley

This is possibly one of my favorite versions of this song, if not my favorite version. This is such a hauntingly beautiful rendition of this song, I cannot explain how much I love it.

This week, I'm in Disney! Which is really exciting. But I also spent the last week taking final exams. This was one of the most stressful exam periods for me. I got to the point where i just gave up (my two saturday exams) so I hope that I still did really well!

I literally walked out my final final exam and couldn't be happier!

What do you have on repeat this week? 

A Collection of TED

TED talks that is! If you haven't heard of a Ted talk please go here ASAP! 

I can, and have, spent hours upon hours just listening to different people speak about all different things. Yes, I know that's very broad but it's true. 

I've compiled two of the recent talks I've listened to below, ones that are worth listening to that is, and think you should check them out as well!

TEDxTeen - Tavi Gevison - Figuring it Out
I wish at some point in my high school career, preferably Freshman year, there would have been something like this that I would have known about.

JK Rowling - The Fringe Benefits of Failure 
Part 1:

Part 2:

Have you listened to a TED talk before? Which ones are your favorite?

En Route!

I don't know about you, but I'm a huge fan of road trips! It just so happens that Elliot, Alexa, Kiki and I are driving to Disney World! So we've compiled a play list, figured out driving scheudles and even where we have to stop for snacks and breakfast! 

We're leaving/left Sunday (May 13th!) at around 6-7pm so we shoulddd get there just in time for check in and buying tickets and everything else to open! We'll stop at an iHop or something along the way and we'll split the driving shifts into three hour breaks.

Elliot got the first shift, I got the second, Kiki got the third and Alexa got the last one (since she worked at Disney for six months, we figure she can at least nagavagate our way into Orlando!). 

I could not be more excited for this trip! It came at the perfect/worst time but I could not be more thrilled to take such an amazing trip with some of my best friends! 

I've got some posts scheduled for while I'm gone and will totally update you when I get back! 

If you want to follow along with my trip, you can follow me on 
Twitter - @MariaLarsen13 
Instagram - MariaLarsen13

Birchbox: Zoya Blogger Collection

So I did it! After about four minutes of going back and fourth between buying this or not, I did it! I bought the Zoya Blogger Nail Polish Collection! 

I am so excited to try out all of these colors! I just recently got into brighter colors with Color Club's Lava Lamp. You may not think this is a big deal, but it is! I'm really used to wearing nude/skin tone polishes so this is a HUGE step outside my comfort zone. 

When I saw this collection I knew I wanted it because 1. It's Zoya. I love Zoya. and 2. It was designed by fellow bloggers! Three bloggers were chosen to get creative by creating a mood board to capture their favorite spring/summer colors. It was then voted on by Birchbox's Facebook fans. 

Kate was created by The Small Things and is a grapefruit color! Caroline is a tangerine color created by Eleventh Gorgeous. And lastly, but certainly not least, Capitol Hill Style created a  pink color with little bits of glitter called Belle! 

What really caught my eye about these nail polishes is that they are a jelly formula which can be layered to make a more vibrant look. I've never tried a jelly color, so we shall see if I like it or not. I'm kind of obsessed with the colors though, so hopefully I'll love the way it applies! 

Do you like Zoya nail polish? What are your favorite colors to wear? 

BirchBox: April Edition

So I got my April Birchbox on April 10th, or so....well I've been a little backed up so I'm just now getting to my review, but let me just tell you, I was NOT disappointed.  

The main reason I got Birchbox was to be able to try different products that I normally wouldn't spend time (and a lot of money) on products that I may/may not use.

This was my first Birchbox, and I was not disappointed. Although this past month was the "Earth Day" Birchbox, I didn't get anything really earthy themed - besides 'natural' products.  

So the things I received: 
1.  K√©rastase Elixir Ultime - I loved this. It made my hair really smooth and really shiny. I would probably buy this again in a different size, quite honeslty. It's kind of expensive, but I feel like it would be worth it! 

2.  Showstoppers® Designer Fashion Tape in Nude/Black - for me, this is ESSENTIAL. I go through massive amounts of double-sided tape when it comes to Rush to make sure my dresses are falling the exact way I want them to. This is definitely something I would buy a lot of!

3. Juicy Couture - Viva La Juicy - 3.4 oz - I liked the smell, but it's really not me. It smelt alright on me, but it's not something that I would really buy for myself and use.

4. Color Club Neon Nail Polish (in Lava Lamp) - While I love this color, I don't love the way that it goes on. I, surprisingly, really liked the way that it turned out when it came out.

5. Jurlique Herbal Recovery Night Cream - I liked this, but I probably wouldn't buy this for myself. It was a really good night cream but since I already have my routine down, I don't feel like this would be really useful for me!

Finals Week: Must Haves

So I don't know about you but my next two weeks are going to be INSANE! I have a long list of things to do for finals week [plus I'll be working] so I've scheduled some posts that have to deal with finals week and getting through them (whether you're in high school, undergrad, or grad school or maybe you have a deadline for your job soon). 

First things first, you're going to need comfy clothes (but this should really need a no brainer). If you're anything like me, you'll be up until all hours of the night writing and revising or studying so you have to stay comfortable. 

Next, you need snacks and not junk food snacks, but snacks that are actually good for you and will help your brain stay awake. Plus, you don't want to get food out of the vending machine, not only is it bad for you but they'll also clean out your wallet faster than you know! Things like bananas, apples, almonds, straberries, granola bars, avocados, broccoli, carrots, pineapple slices and peppermints can help keep you awake, and they're good for you.

Get a water bottle, not a disposable one, but a nice one you can refill (you could even use the same one you bring to the gym if you have one). I know I love drinking coffee and tea every now and then (but really, tea a lot more so), but I know that water is the best thing for my body. 

 Keep all your notes in one place & be organized. Once you get your schedule for the week (we usually get ours the first week of classes), you can write it all down in your planner (or an online calendar) so you can then go ahead and make a study plan. Don't wait until the last minute. I take a lot of notes on my computer so I use Evernote, it's really simple and easy (plus it's free) to keep track of all my notes; plus they have an app for my iPhone. 

Lastly but certainly not least, please remember to back up your files! You should be doing this all throughout the semester, just incase, but certainly do it when finals comes around. 

Don't freak out! You'll do great. Take a few breaks and remember to breathe and you'll be just fine!

How to Have a Happy Finals Week

I'm still taking my finals and hopefully doing well, so I've decided to share my ways to have a good, happy finals week [I know, who would have thought you could have a happy finals week]. Start by getting all of the papers that you were assigned out of the way. Papers are awful, especially if you put them off until the last minute. Get them out the way so you can focus on the harder tests you have (like short answer, multiple choice and essay exams). 

Then take a few breaks. It's so important to take breaks every now and again because you need to give your brain a second to think and put everything into perspective. Go for a quick jog or give yourself 20 minutes or the internet between studying subjects. 

Keep focused. A lot of hard work goes a long way! Once you have your goals and you dedicate yourself to them you won't regret it. Don't let final grades slip at the end because you're getting lazy. 

Outline everything you need to do, whether it be to re-type a study guide or to make one of your own. Study guides and outlines help you a lot more than you think! 

Don't pull an all nighter, you need to sleep! Some people think that if they can stay up all night, they'll be fine and do perfectly well on the exams. Wrong. You will be SO much more awake the next day if you just take time out of your schedule and sleep!

Once you have everything done, reward yourself. Whether it be to go out with friends or stay inside and just nap, you deserve it after finals week.

Color(s) of the Week!

Sleepy, Sleep, Sleepy

Can I just tell you how much I love sleeping? 

I have to talk to my boyfriend on Skype, because his phone literally hates me. It won't get my text messages or phone calls until a few days after I sent them...I'm not even kidding. 

Needless to say our schedules are so busy we don't always have the earliest skype date times.

One minute I'm all like 'yeah babe I'm listening, I'm awake' 

And two seconds later I'm sleeping (oops)

Needless to say we take lots of pictures of each other sleeping funnily. 

A [Not So] Long Distance Relationship

Warning: This is going to be a LONG post with LOTS of pictures !
L: July 2010; First picture we have after starting to date
2. August 2010; A best friends birthday -- forever silly pictures
Most people who know me, know that I'm in a (not so) long distance relationship. 

Now, I say a not so long distance because it's really not that long. Elliot lives an hour and a half away, but that's besides the point. 

We will have been dating for two years this coming July and for the entire time, he's been in a different city than me. 

L - Sept 2010; Yes, my hair is fire engine red (I loved it); America party for a friends birthday
R: October 2010; My first sorority formal
When we first started dating, it was the most difficult thing in the world. In the first few months, we learned a lot not only about ourselves but about the other person as well. 

L: November 2010; A college football game!
R: December 2010; First Christmas with my family!
My first semester I was in architecture, working about 80 hours a week on projects and school work and sorority things, just trying to get by. He was trying to fit in to the New Orleans lifestyle and living on his own, without anyone really close to him. Needless to say things were rocky. We saw each other once or twice a month, sometimes for a few hours, sometimes for a day. 

The next semester I dropped architecture (something I think about all the time -- but I'm glad I changed) and he came down two or three times a month. We were able to see each other a little bit more, but still not a lot. 

L: March 2011; My first theta formal.
R: May 2011; Just relaxing
He came home for Christmas and Summer. We had long conversations and spent as much time with each other while we could, after I worked 40 hours a week, of course! 

L: June 2011; Bonnaroo - we hadn't showered in three days, and didn't care.
R: June 2011: One of my best friends weddings where I was a bridesmaid and she was gorgeous
The beginning of this year, he started coming down almost every weekend, but I got a second job. So I work on the weekends. We saw each other every now and then, but still not as much as either of us would have liked. 

L: September 2011: A prom themed party -- "How It Should Have Been"
L: October 2011: Theta Grub!
This semester has been the best one so far. He comes down every weekend to work in his parents restaurant, and we see each other for at least six or seven hours. Since he stays in town, even if it's only for two hours, I get to see him Friday night and Saturday night and most of Sunday. 

Before this relationship, I would take other relationships for granted, whether it be friendships, family relationships or an actual relationship.

L: October 2011: Our trip to Disney World to visit our best friend -- it was his first time there
R: December 2011: A family event!
Somethings I've learned from this, that I wish I would have been told earlier: 
1. It's going to be hard at first, but y'all will be fine. 

2. Skype will be your best friend, especially when cell phone service doesn't work. 

3. Seeing him for two hours a weekend is a blessing and a curse. 

4. You're going to have to give, a lot, but it's worth it. He's worth it. 

5. The time you spend with him, during the summer and Christmas will be your most cherished memories. Realize this, and don't ever forget the little things. 

L: February 2012: An Arrested Development Themed Party
R: March 2012: Theta Formal
He recently transferred to my school, so he'll be moving in with two of our best friends and in the same city as me for a long time for the first time since we started dating. 

I couldn't be happier

This One Time...

I let one of my good friends cut my hair. 

Now, I've been known to let my friends dye my hair before, but never cut. Cutting is one of those things that can either go well or horribly wrong. I'm happy to report that this time it went very well! 

Now my hair is two inches shorter and it looks SO much healthier. 

Have you ever let a friend cut your hair? Would you?

New Glasses!

Y'all I absolutely hate going to any doctor, but the eye doctor especially. First off, whenever I go, they're always like "ARE YOU SURE YOU CAN READ THIS" because they know I'm really blind. 

Then after they like to comment on how blind I am. THANKS, I didn't already know that.... And when I got my glasses prescription, they were all like, IS THIS REALLY YOUR PRESCRIPTION? Yes, yes it is. I'm well aware I have awful vision and it's like I'm 80 years old and I have really dry eyes. 

So finally, after five years of having the same glasses (and prescription) I went back. And I got new glasses and contact prescription! It's weird being able to see everything in great detail again, especially things that are far away (I'm SO nearsighted). 

I'm not sure if I like these glasses yet, but they're big enough for me to see out of, so that works for me!

Do y'all wear contacts/glasses? Or hate going to the eye doctor as much as I do? 

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