Thrift Store Haul

Recently I have had some great luck at thrift stores near me, or near my grandparents house. I definitely go through thrifting phases, and I always seem to go more and have better luck during the summer. First I will show you what clothing items I bought, but please ignore the wrinkles since I hadn't even washed them yet when I took these pictures! 

 This top was originally from Target and only $3.99! I love this pattern, and I thought it would be perfect for styling this fall. But let's be honest, I've already worn it many times this summer. 

 This top was only $1.99 and it is Liz Claiborne. It honestly matches almost any color of pants, so I am excited to wear it more this summer! 

This top I saw when I picked up the first Target top a week earlier, but I didn't feel like actually trying stuff on that visit so I didn't get it. But when I went back a week later and it was still there, I snagged it. It was only $3.99 and originally from Target as well. It is also like a tunic almost, so it will be so cute with leggings once it cools down! 

I have seen denim shirt dresses everywhere lately, so when I saw this one I was very excited. And when I tried it on I got even more excited because it is a great length on me! I am only 5'2" so often dresses can go down past my knees (I'm looking at you, Old Navy) but this one is great! It also has pockets, which obviously makes it 10x better. It was only $1.99 and the tag says the brand is Love by Chelsey. I have never heard of that before, but as long as the dress looks cute I don't care what brand it is! 

Moving on to non-clothing items, I picked up this frame for $5. I really liked the frame, and honestly I think I might be able to salvage the print too and DIY it into something cute. But we will have to see where this goes!

Next I got this butter dish for only $0.25. It is identical to the one my mom has, which was originally my grandmas, and for that cheap I couldn't pass it up since I will need one this year!

This beauty might just be my favorite thing in this whole post. I got this brass unicorn tape dispenser for only $2! It just looks so majestic sitting on my desk, and I just love it for some reason!

Finally, I got this cat mug for $.50. I obviously love cats, and I really liked how simple this mug is. During the school year I drink at least one cup of tea every day, so I figured I would put this to good use soon! 


Quick & Easy Nashville Gift

One of my best friend's birthdays was coming up, and I was trying to find the perfect present for her. I love shopping for gifts, but I was getting a little frustrated because I couldn't find anything that really spoke to me. Then, she was officially accepted into a program in Nashville for fall semester, so immediately I decided I wanted to get her something related to Nashville since she is obsessed with Nashville. Since I live in Illinois, there is not an abundance of Nashville stuff, so I turned to Easy. I found some printables I liked, but I didn't love any. Then I was browsing Pinterest when I found this free Nashville printable that was just adorable. The idea was that she could hang it in her apartment there, or wait until she comes back and use it as a reminder of her time in Nashville.

You can find the image here. I loved that I was able to easily print it at home. Then I just went to Michaels and bought a simple black frame. It happened to already be on sale, but then I used an additional coupon on it. Pro tip: Michaels ALWAYS has coupons running. Before I get in the checkout line I quickly google it and pull one up to use. It has saved me SO much money over the years! 

She also does have other free printable for other locations or occasions on her website, so even if you don't need a Nashville stuff, I recommend hopping over to see if there is one you could use. Her website seems like a great resource if you want to build an inexpensive gallery wall! I also promise I am not being sponsored to say this or anything, I am just genuinely happy with what I found and I wanted to share it with you guys!

Have you ever been to Nashville? If so, leave some recommendations for my BFF in the comments!
xo, Scarlett


Styling Bandanas & Interrupted Photoshoots

One of summers most popular trends has been styling bandanas. People have been super creative when it comes to this, but the most popular way has been tying them around your neck. I happened to have a navy bandana already in my closet, so I decided to tackle this trend myself!

shirt: H&M (similar) | shorts: JCPenney (similar) | denim jacket: JCPenney (similar) | sandals: Birkenstock | tote: Old Navy (similar)

Then as my friend and I were shooting these pictures, we saw a hot air balloon in the distance. Now, if you know anything about me, you will know I love hot air balloons. I grew up going to balloon shows and following them around town when we saw them flying. So of course, my friend and I immediately cut the photoshoot short and sped after the balloon. There ended up being two, one of which was this elephant that we chose to follow! It was also my friend's first time chasing a balloon, so that is always fun! I think Doug was a little freaked out by how excited I got, and how I guessed it was the elephant balloon from like 10 miles away haha.

(S/O to Doug for basically all the pictures in this post haha you da best ;) 

Fun fact: the landing is probably the best part of watching balloons. Some are super smooth and uneventful, but some include hitting trees, tipping over, etc. If you want to see more about hot air balloons, checkout my post from last summer about attending a balloon show that also includes this cute elephant balloon! 

Also funny story, when we stopped to take pictures at one point, I accidentally left my bandana on the back of my car because I took it off. So RIP to this bandana, it will be the last time you see it in a post lol! Low key I was really bummed, but I guess it is just a good excuse to buy some new ones right? '

How do you feel about this bandana trend? And have you ever seen a hot air balloon in person? Let me know in the comments below! 
xo, Scarlett


Favorite Podcasts for Every Occasion

When I asked a few weeks ago on a twitter poll, this post came in pretty high on one you guys wanted to see! (Be sure you are following me on Twitter so you can vote on future posts!) But I wasn't too surprised, because I really enjoy getting new podcast recommendations too. Podcasts are great to listen to during long car rides, while you are cleaning, or basically any time! 

Crime Podcasts-

Now I know there are two types of people who listen to podcasts. People who like crime podcasts (yup, that's me) and people who hate it. If you hate it, no judgement, but just skip the first five recommendations!
Serial- Of course, most people have heard of this one, and probably even listened to it themselves. This is what got me into the world of podcasts, especially crime/mystery podcasts! I was really bummed when I didn't like the second season though, but the first season was so good! 
Criminal- I love that these episodes come out regularly, but are only about 20 minutes long. You can make your way through quite a few of them on a road trip! 
Unsolved- one of the reasons why I think I find crime podcasts fascinating is because I love a good mystery. Just beware that this one is titled Unsolved for a reason, but that also gives you more room to speculate for yourself since you never get a real solution! 
Someone Knows Something- So far, there are two seasons of this podcast, and both kept me hooked! I made my way through both reasons while driving back and forth to Michigan this year, so I recommend this one for when you are on a road trip! 
Up and Vanished- I just found this one a few weeks ago, but I instantly became obsessed. This might be my new favorite podcast just because of how intriguing it was. Also, I will not spoil it, but just know that new information does emerge throughout the course of the podcast. This obviously makes it 10 times better and I felt like I truly was following along with the journey. 

Other Podcasts- 
Sounds Good with Brandon Harvey- This is an inspirational podcast where Brandon interviews creative and inspiring individuals. I always leave with new ideas and feeling good after listening! 
The Budget Minded Traveler- When the wanderlust bug bites me, I tend to turn back to this podcast and listen to stories of other people who have traveled around the world. This one is great because you can skip episodes and listen in almost any order too, so find one that sounds interesting to you! 
Pawprint- This is one I recommend to all animal lovers out there! This podcast shares animal rescue stories, and I love hearing about all the lucky animals that have been saved. 
Mystery Show- This podcast only has 6 episodes, but I found them so interesting! The first episode is about a woman who rented a video at a store, and when she went to the store the next day it had vanished. I enjoy that there is still the mystery element to this, but it isn't anything super creepy or about deadly crimes. 
99% Invisible- This is another pretty popular podcast, but it talks about the design elements of things. It is a great one to listen to if you want to learn something new, since it focuses on the small details that most people miss.
Elise Gets Crafty- If you are creative, you will love this podcast! I find myself turning to it for inspiration whenever I am in a creative rut. The episodes are fairly short too, and I love all the different creatives that are interviewed.

I hope you found a new podcast from this post, and please share your favorite podcast in the comments below!

xo, Scarlett

*image originally from Design Love Fest


Tips For Studying Abroad In College

As many of you might remember, last January I studied abroad in Jamaica for a month. Now this isn't your typical semester abroad, since my school has a January term where you just take one class. The class I took was all about disabilities in a developing country, specifically dealing with hearing loss in Jamaica. Since I am studying to become a speech pathologist, this trip was right up my alley! For tons of pictures and more info about my trip, checkout the post I wrote right after it here!

My first tip is deciding where to go. While my school does offer semester long trips, I knew I wanted to one of the January trips since my major doesn't allow much room to spend a whole semester abroad. Initially I was looking into Greece, Italy, and Jamaica. I recommend going to info meetings for potential trips if your school does that, because I realized the Jamaica trip was the one I wanted to do after that. I decided that I wanted to go to a place that I might not visit otherwise, because Greece and Italy are both high on my travel to list! I also decided that I wanted to go at my own pace if I went to Europe, which meant these trips weren't for me. Because believe me, if I am going to Greece, you better believe I am going to be spending a few days in Santorini. Also, during the summer is a great time to research trips!

After you have picked a trip and applied, look into any potential scholarships or grants. I ended up getting a few, and it really helped offset the cost! In the end, I paid well under $1,000 for the entire trip. If you want to go back in The Trendy Chick archives to 2014, check out this post about scholarships. Get a good laugh at how bad my blog used to be (lol) but also I used those very tips to help me win scholarships to make my study abroad dream into a reality! 

I also recommend taking a journal with you. Even though I usually blog about my trips, a journal is great to write in at the end of every day so you don't forget anything. Especially for an extended trip like studying abroad, it is such a good idea to write down anything from shopping lists to places you visit to lessons you have learned. My go-to place for cute journals is TJ Maxx because they always have a great selection for an affordable price. They almost always have a few travel related journals too, so check them out before ordering one online for $20+.

Obviously every trip is different, so I am not going to turn this into a big packing list, but make sure you take some sort of camera! For me, I just took my iPhone and not my DSLR because I wasn't doing a whole lot of touristy things or sight-seeing. I also didn't want to risk it being stolen, especially when my phone takes great pictures too! If I would have studied abroad somewhere in Europe, I am fairly confident I would've taken my DSLR though. It is completely up to you what type of camera you bring, but just be sure you take lots of pictures. Bonus points if you take video and make vlogs or a recap video at the end of your trip! 

Going back to the cost... studying abroad can be expensive. Especially if you splurge the entire time you are there. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, so if you want to buy yourself something nice while you are there, by all means do it! But, be open to saving money at times too. On my trip, some friends and I literally bought a box of cereal to eat for lunch a few days while we were in Montego Bay so we didn't have to spend $15+ at a nice restaurant. But since we saved then, we definitely went out at night because... balance. Just remember it won't be very fun to come home to $3 in your bank account! 

My last tip is to pack light! Save some room to bring back souvenirs, and make sure you are not over the weight limit for your bag. The airline will charge extra if you go over, and no one wants to waste their money on that. There are so many great resources out about packing for an abroad trip, so I recommend a quick search on Pinterest! Just pack tops and bottoms that are neutral and very versatile, and don't worry if you have to be an outfit repeater ;)

Overall, I HIGHLY recommend studying abroad during college if your schedule allows you too. There are so many benefits, and honestly you don't get a chance to live in another country very often!

Are you studying abroad sometime soon? Share in the comments where you have been or where you are going!
xo, Scarlett


Recently Reading- June 2017

This past month, I ended up reading a ton of books. Between traveling and taking advantage of nap time while I nanny, I was able to make quite a dent in my goal of reading 20 books over the summer!

original image from Design Love Fest

This is the first book that I read by Jojo Moyes, but I actually really liked it! My roommate recommended it to me, and I was not disappointed. It took me a few weeks to get through, but that was just because it was a longer book and I was in the midst of moving home for summer. I love how it included modern day and the characters from 1916 as well. For some reason I love books that switch back and forth between the two, as long as the story still flows well.

"Paris, 1916. Sophie Lefèvre must keep her family safe while her adored husband, Édouard, fights at the front. When their town falls to the Germans in the midst of World War I, Sophie is forced to serve them every evening at her hotel. From the moment the new Kommandant sets eyes on Sophie’s portrait—painted by her artist husband—a dangerous obsession is born, one that will lead Sophie to make a dark and terrible decision. Almost a century later, Sophie’s portrait hangs in the home of Liv Halston, a wedding gift from her young husband before his sudden death. After a chance encounter reveals the portrait’s true worth, a battle begins over its troubled history and Liv’s world is turned upside all over again."

This is the first book I have read by Emma Straub, and honestly I didn't love it. I felt like the story didn't really go anywhere, and when I finished it I was left thinking "so what was the point of this book?" But it wasn't that bad, because I did end up finishing it. It just would not be my first recommendation. 

"Friends and former college bandmates Elizabeth and Andrew and Zoe have watched one another marry, buy real estate, and start businesses and families, all while trying to hold on to the identities of their youth. But nothing ages them like having to suddenly pass the torch (of sexuality, independence, and the ineffable alchemy of cool) to their own offspring.

Back in the band's heyday, Elizabeth put on a snarl over her Midwestern smile, Andrew let his unwashed hair grow past his chin, and Zoe was the lesbian all the straight women wanted to sleep with. Now nearing fifty, they all live within shouting distance in the same neighborhood deep in gentrified Brooklyn, and the trappings of the adult world seem to have arrived with ease. But the summer that their children reach maturity (and start sleeping together), the fabric of the adults' lives suddenly begins to unravel, and the secrets and revelations that are finally let loose—about themselves, and about the famous fourth band member who soared and fell without them—can never be reclaimed."

This is the second Agatha Christie mystery I have read, and they are really starting to grow on me. As a kid, I loved reading Nancy Drew, and since this was written around the same time as Nancy Drew books, I almost feel like these are the adult version. This also definitely reminded me of The Girl On The Train, since a murder was seen from a train in this book too! 

"Agatha Christie, the acknowledged mistress of suspense—creator of indomitable sleuth Miss Marple, meticulous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, and so many other unforgettable characters—brings her entire oeuvre of ingenious whodunits, locked room mysteries, and perplexing puzzles to Harper Paperbacks. In 4:50 From Paddington, a woman in one train witnesses a murder occurring in another passing one…and only Miss Marple believes her story."

I saw that Carly was reading this book, and it sounded really interesting! I picked it up, and read it the entire way back from Atlanta. It was really interesting to me because it seemed realistic. People are already so addicted to technology and social media, that the things this book had in it seemed like that could happen in 20 or 30 years. It also reminded me of a newer version of the book 1984. 

"When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users’ personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company’s modernity and activity. There are parties that last through the night, there are famous musicians playing on the lawn, there are athletic activities and clubs and brunches, and even an aquarium of rare fish retrieved from the Marianas Trench by the CEO. Mae can’t believe her luck, her great fortune to work for the most influential company in the world—even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public. What begins as the captivating story of one woman’s ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge."

I have been trying to read more non-fiction books too, so when I saw this one from the library I had to try it. It was a sad read since you followed Susan's deterioration, but it also inspired me to attempt to always live with joy. 

"In June 2011, Susan Spencer-Wendel learned she had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)--Lou Gehrig's disease--an irreversible condition that systematically destroys the nerves that power the muscles. She was forty-four years old, with a devoted husband and three young children, and she had only one year of health remaining.

Susan decided to live that year with joy.

She quit her job as a journalist and spent time with her family. She built an outdoor meeting space for friends in her backyard. And she took seven trips with the seven most important people in her life. As her health declined, Susan journeyed to the Yukon, Hungary, the Bahamas, and Cyprus. She took her sons to swim with dolphins, and her teenage daughter, Marina, to Kleinfeld's bridal shop in New York City to see her for the first and last time in a wedding dress.

She also wrote this book. No longer able to walk or even to lift her arms, she tapped it out letter by letter on her iPhone using only her right thumb, the last finger still working.

However, Until I Say Good-Bye is not angry or bitter. It is sad in parts--how could it not be?--but it is filled with Susan's optimism, joie de vivre, and sense of humor. It is a book about life, not death. One that, like Susan, will make everyone smile.

From the Burger King parking lot where she cried after her diagnosis to a snowy hot spring near the Arctic Circle, from a hilarious family Christmas disaster to the decrepit monastery in eastern Cyprus where she rediscovered her heritage, Until I Say Good-Bye is not only Susan Spencer-Wendel's unforgettable gift to her loved ones--a heartfelt record of their final experiences together--but an offering to all of us: a reminder that "every day is better when it is lived with joy."

I have now finished all of Liane Moriarty's books (except for Truly Madly Guilty... could not get into that one for some reason!) and I am a bit sad by the thought. I really like her writing style, and I always looked forward to picking up another book by Liane Moriarty! I just love how you know the ending, but you don't know many details or what led up to that point until you read the whole book. 

"Lyn, Cat, and Gemma Kettle, beautiful thirty-three-year-old triplets, seem to attract attention everywhere they go. Together, laughter, drama, and mayhem seem to follow them. But apart, each is dealing with her own share of ups and downs. Lyn has organized her life into one big checklist, Cat has just learned a startling secret about her marriage, and Gemma, who bolts every time a relationship hits the six-month mark, holds out hope for lasting love. In this wise, witty, and hilarious novel, we follow the Kettle sisters through their tumultuous thirty-third year as they deal with sibling rivalry and secrets, revelations and relationships, unfaithful husbands and unthinkable decisions, and the fabulous, frustrating life of forever being part of a trio."

If you need a good beach read, this is it! I recommend reading My Life Next Door First (this book will make more sense if you do), but you will still enjoy this book even if you just read it. 

"Tim Mason was The Boy Most Likely To find the liquor cabinet blindfolded, need a liver transplant, and drive his car into a house

Alice Garrett was The Girl Most Likely To . . . well, not date her little brother’s baggage-burdened best friend, for starters.

For Tim, it wouldn’t be smart to fall for Alice. For Alice, nothing could be scarier than falling for Tim. But Tim has never been known for making the smart choice, and Alice is starting to wonder if the “smart” choice is always the right one. When these two crash into each other, they crash hard."

After Kayla recommend this book on her blog, I had to get it from my library! It was a great book to see the world from the perspective of someone who has been labeled different. It can be so hard to imagine what others are going through, but this book allows you to step into Auggie's shoes and see his perspective, as well as some of his friends and families perspectives. 

"August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. WONDER, now a #1 New York Times bestseller and included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance."

This is another non-fiction book that I picked up from the library. Judy writes about how she was born after a plane crashed into her families house, which killed one of her sisters and severely burned the other. Again, this book allowed me to step into Judy's shoes and see how her life living with a severely burned sister and a family dealing with grief was. 

"Judy Mandel is the replacement child for her sister who was killed in a tragic accident. It would be years before she would understand how the event, that happened before she was born, shaped her life.

A plane crashes into a family’s home. A two-year-old girl is critically burned and a mother is forced to make an impossible choice. The death of a child leaves a hole in the family that threatens to tear it apart. 

In a great act of hope, the parents give birth to a "replacement child," born to heal wounds and provide a "salve for the burns." The child unwittingly plays her role throughout childhood, riding the deep and hidden currents of the family tragedy. 

In this powerful story of love and lies, hope and forgiveness, Judy Mandel discovers the truth that changes her life forever and forces her to confront the complex layers of her relationships with her father, mother, and sister. When she has her own child, her epiphany comes full circle."

If you made it this far, I will say that my favorites from this post were Wonder, The Circle, and The Girl You Left Behind. What has been your favorite book recently? Share in the comments!
xo, Scarlett


Summer Staycation Ideas

Besides my trip to Atlanta, I don't have any plans to travel outside of Illinois this summer. But instead of being bummed by the thought, I am using these free weekends to explore more of my town and places that are within an hour or two of where I live. By staying closer to home, you can save a lot of money (especially if you only go on day trips!) and you can discover lots of hidden gems that are located right in your backyard.

To make the most of staying in town, I recommend getting a few friends together and coming up with ideas. Is there a coffee shop in your town that you have always wanted to try? This summer is the perfect time! Maybe a zoo that is only an hour away from you? Plan a fun day trip and see what it has to offer! You would be surprised how much there is to do, even if you don't live in a big town.

Another idea to find good places to visit is to hop on Instagram. For example, if you live in Holland, Michigan, try putting that in on Instagram and search for pictures that have been tagged there. Often people will go to cool places and post their pictures with a location, so you can get fun ideas even from strangers! That is how I found out about the lavender farm I visited. I never would've known it existed except for Instagram!

Another thing to think about is if you have any big cities that you could visit for a fun day trip or even a weekend of fun! I live close enough to St. Louis, Indianapolis, and Chicago, so I have gone on short trips to those places for a day of fun!

Other fun examples:
-visiting an amusement park
-visiting a new trail near you to walk/hike
-find a drive in movie location near you
-try a new ice cream place (my friend and I just discovered a froyo place that is close to our house and is only $2. GAME CHANGER!)
-find a new farmers market and buy some fresh fruits or veggies

I promise, you can make a fun adventure out of almost any small trip as long as you are with the right people! Find some friends who will also be in town and set out and find new places!

What is your favorite thing to do in your town? Share in the comments!
xo, Scarlett

*image originally from Design Love Fest