Tips for Incoming Freshmen

If you are heading off to your freshman year of college this year, this post is for you. I remember before I went, I was excited but nervous, so I read posts and watched Youtube videos all about college so I would know what to expect a bit more. While everyone's college experience is different, there are some things that apply to many people. Today I am going to share my best tips for freshman year, but checkout all my other college posts here!

Be friendly 
I get it, not everyone is an extrovert. But you need to not let nerves stop you from stepping out and talking to new people. All freshmen are looking for new friends too, and I don't ever remember trying to talk to someone freshman year only to have them snub me. If you see someone's door open on your haul, pop in and say hi. Or talk to the people around you in class. Believe me, class buddies come in handy if you ever have to miss class, or if you want a study buddy for a test!

Leave your door open
My freshman year, everyone on my hall left their door open when they were in, unless they were changing or had a big test or something. But especially during the first month or two, it just encourages community SO much. Open doors make happy floors! Unfortunately this past year I did not have a great RA that encouraged this at the beginning, so all the freshmen left their doors shut and there really wasn't a good floor community because of this.

Make plans
Don't be afraid to make plans with the girl next door to go get coffee. Or ask the girl who sits next to you in class if she wants to grab lunch together in the dining hall! You honestly never know who will end up being your new best friend.

Don't judge people before you know them
This can be kind of difficult, because it can be easy to look at someone and think that they either look like someone you can be friends with, or they don't. In my freshman orientation group, there were a few girls that I thought I would click with based on what they were wearing (lol) but they ended up being very different from me. Then there was another girl in my group who was wearing skater shoes, and the fashion blogger in me shuddered and immediately thought we wouldn't be friends. But then the next day when our group was doing a service project, we ended up washing mulch together (and we still joke about this because who the heck washes mulch?! It literally stays in the dirt but whatever) and we quickly became good friends! Throughout the past few years we have gone on lots of adventures, and even ended up having a class together last semester. She even drove down to visit me this summer, which was SO fun! So going back to the point, just be sure to give everyone a chance.

Don't turn down invites
Especially during those first few weeks, it is important to say yes to lots of things. Honestly if someone asks you out once or twice and you say no, they will probably stop asking since they don't know you that well. Going along with this, try to attend freshmen events, because you will meet so many people who are in the same boat as you!

Go to the dining hall
The dining hall is such a great way to make friends, because it is basically just a big social event. Why eat alone at a small table when you could join a big table of 10 of your good friends? My freshman year almost my whole floor ate together every single night, and I got really close to many people on my floor due to that! I also know people who met a good friend just by sitting near them in the dining hall!


How To Be Trendy On A Budget

If you have been around for a while, you might remember that The Trendy Chick began as a fashion blog where I shared how to rock the latest trends without breaking the bank. Obviously over time it has evolved to share more things, such as travel, college and other lifestyle posts! But today I wanted to go back to the beginning and share a few tips on how to be trendy on a budget. 

 top // jeans (similar) // tote (similar)  // bandana // sandals // bracelet (similar)

Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try new trends. 
Have you ever seen Instagram models rocking the latest trend, but felt like you could never pull it off, or people would judge you too hard? If so, I completely understand. Even if you feel slightly awkward at first, I suggest still trying a new trend or two every season! This summer I have been all about the bandana trend, but at first I was pretty self conscious to try it because no one I knew in real life was. But I have actually grown to love the look of it, and I get so many compliments on my simple red bandana!

You don't have to buy your trendy pieces from the trendiest places.
You don't have to buy the same brand of trendy sunglasses that every gal and her mom has. Often, you can find more affordable versions at a different store and still look flawless! For example, many bloggers who have also been loving the bandana trend have been sharing bandanas that are anywhere from $10-$30. But if I am going to try a trend and maybe only wear it once or twice, I really don't want to be spending $30 on it. I found this bandana for only $0.99 at Hobby Lobby, and it is just as cute as some you will find in clothing stores.

Shop second hand stores. 
If you aren't sure if you will like a trend or not, try to find it at a thrift shop or consignment shop! If you read my latest Thrift Haul, you will know that I found a denim skirt for $7 at a consignment shop. I was really excited about this since I had been wanting to get back on the denim skirt bandwagon. But if denim skirts go back out of style soon, that is fine by me because I spent under $10 on it! (Except I am actually really loving this trend so I hope it sticks around lol.)

Always shop the clearance. 
If second hand clothes aren't your thing, you can still find cheaper pieces at stores in your own mall. I always make a point to check the clearance rack when I am browsing through stores, because sometimes you can find some gems! Just a few weeks ago, I found this pair of ripped boyfriend jeans at Old Navy on clearance for only $17! I usually have the hardest time finding jeans that fit and that I like, so I was thrilled when I found this pair for under $20. 

Don't be afraid of Forever 21. 
I know many shoppers seem to hate Forever 21, but I personally think it is great for finding trendy pieces! Sometimes you do have to dig through the racks to find what you want, but they always seem to have an abundance of trendy pieces. I also recommend them for accessory trends! From hats to chokers, they have a great selection for good prices. 

Mix cheaper pieces with more expensive pieces.
One of the oldest tricks in the book is to mix cheap and expensive pieces, but it is worth repeating. If you have one or two more expensive pieces, it usually makes your whole outfit look more expensive. I recommend spending a bit more on classic pieces that you know you will wear for years. For me, this usually looks like shoes. I love my Hunter boots, and was okay with paying more since I knew the quality was higher. I have had them for 3 years and still wear them often. 

Do you have any tips for how to stay trendy on a budget? Share in the comments below! 
xo, Scarlett


How To Prepare For Fall Semester

Whether it is your first semester of college, or your last, it can always be a little daunting preparing for a new semester. Today I wanted to share my best tips for getting ready for a great semester.

I swear by my planner. This year I got the one pictured above from TJ Maxx. It has an identical layout to Kate Spade and Rifle Paper Co. planners, which I absolutely love! It also came with stickers... so obviously that made it even better! I recommend researching different planner options to find the one that suits you best. Depending on your schedule, you might want something more basic or you might be interested in more expensive ones that offer daily pages. It is totally up to you, but get one that you love so you will be enticed to use it the whole year. 

If you moved back home for the summer, or if this is your first time going off to college, you will want to start packing weeks in advance. I recommend keeping a running list of things you need to buy on your phone, and put stuff that you need to take and won't need to use during the next few weeks in a certain spot. For me, I use a corner of an extra bedroom that we have to keep all my stuff separate! 

I recommend at least researching your book options and what books you need before you head into the semester. But don't feel like you absolutely have to buy them before the semester starts. If you find one that is really cheap, I do recommend going ahead and purchasing it, especially if you know that you will definitely need the book. I go to a smaller school, and I know that if the book is listed online, the professor will actually use it. But I have friends who go to bigger schools that don't purchase a single book until they talk to the professor about it. 

When I first went to college, I found it hard to buy supplies ahead of time since I no longer got handed a specific list of what I need for each class. But I have found over time that I am definitely a binder girl, so I make sure to get a binder for each class, and usually a few notebooks in case I have a class or two that is very note-heavy. Lots of my profs just do print-outs though, so binders are awesome! Even if you aren't sure what exactly you need yet, you do know that you will need a reliable laptop, pens, pencils, and probably highlighters. 

In addition to buying your new planner, I recommend setting it up ahead of time. Look at any syllabuses (syllabi? Who knows lol) that are already posted online and add all deadlines into your planner. You can also add in appointments and birthdays! 

I also recommend printing out your syllabus before the first day of class. Some professors print it out, but also some expect you to come to class with your own copy. This also helps when you are writing down your important deadlines! 

Before you dive into the new semester, try to set a few goals for yourself. It can be academic related, like making the Dean's List, or it can be personal, like going to the gym 2 times a week. Figure out what you want to accomplish this semester and go from there! 

This one is really important if you are new to campus, or if you go to school at a large school. As I mentioned earlier, I go to a smaller school, so I know where basically all the buildings and classrooms are. But before freshmen year, my sophomore suite mates showed me and my roomie around so we wouldn't get lost on the first day, and it was SO helpful. 

Yikes. Some of you might have a summer job and wake up early even in the summer, but try to get on a decent sleep schedule before school starts. Also take into account if you are moving to a different time zone. I spend the summer in central time zone, but lose an hour when I go to school in eastern time zone. So even though I wake up by 8 most days in the summer, when I go back to school waking up at 8 is wayyy harder since my body thinks it is only 7! 

How do you prepare for a new semester? Share in the comments below!
xo, Scarlett


Recently Reading: July 2017

This month I made it a goal to read 4 books, since I knew I would be focusing on my blog more and hanging out with friends before they go back to school at the beginning of August *sad face*. After last months reading spree, it was a little hard to cut back at first since I felt like I should be reading more! But I ended up still reading quite a few books, and there was one that I just could not get into that I wanted to share as well.

The Magnolia Story-
This one randomly popped up as a suggestion on the website that I get my Kindle books from, so I decided to borrow it on a whim! I had heard other people talk about it, but I am not hardcore Chip and Joanna fans like many people. After reading this book though, that might have changed. It was so fun to follow along on their journey and they seem like such genuine people. I love their "just go for it" attitude, and how they took risks but they almost always paid off. If you are looking for a good nonfiction book, I recommend this one!

The Widow-
This one I heard good things about, but it took me a long time to get into. Even as I got further into it, I still wasn't loving it, and I think it was because I didn't really like or connect with any of the characters. I finished it, but as far as thrillers go, I would say there are many better ones out there. Many people compared it to Gone Girl, but they are not in the same league at all.

Behind Closed Doors-
I picked up another thriller next, and this one I was much more satisfied with. It was very engaging, so much so that I had to put it down once or twice because I was feeling so anxious with the events occurring in it. I have read quite a few thrillers, and this rarely happens, so I would say this makes it a good book! I won't spoil anything, but at first I hated the ending. I thought it was way to abrupt, and I wanted to know what happened afterwards to the characters. But, the more I thought about it, the more I loved how simple and terrific it was. I highly recommend picking this one up if you are in need of a new thriller!

Emmy & Oliver-
After finishing that thriller, I needed to read a lighter read. So I got Emmy & Oliver and finished it in less than a day, mainly because I was sick and confined to my couch, but also because it was really good! The cover made this book seem like it was going to be a simple romance, but it’s actually about friendship, family, growing up and rekindling a relationship that was horribly ripped away. Overall, I loved this book and would definitely recommend it if you like YA books. 

13 Little Blue Envelopes-
I had this YA book on my to-read list for years, and overall I did like it. I enjoyed reading about Ginny's travels and it made me wish I had an aunt to send me on a journey around Europe. It was a quick read, and overall pretty good. But, there were quite a few things that were mentioned once, and then dropped quickly without being resolved. Also, she is supposed to be 17, but her parents were just mentioned once at the beginning and never again? That seemed very unrealistic to me. The characters also didn't have much depth, which made me not really relate to any. Despite this, it I did finish the book, and I will probably still read the sequel. I think the main reason I liked it was because I love traveling and I loved hearing about all the place's Ginny visited.

Where They Found Her-
I ended the month on another thriller, but I have to say this one wasn't super thrilling. I was sucked in, and I wanted to know how it ended, but it just wasn't up to the level of some thrillers. Overall, it was a great mystery though, and I loved that we got the perspective of multiple characters. I also didn't see the ending coming at all, which makes it a pretty good mystery I think! 

I had heard good things about this book, and I tried to get into it. But I just couldn't get past the first 1/4 of the book. I kept coming back to it and trying more, but the story just wasn't pulling me in. I did like that it was from the perspective of the psychopath, but besides that, I was just bored while reading.

To see previous Recently Reading posts and get more recommendations, click here! What books have you read recently? Share in the comments below, I would love to hear your recommendations!
xo, Scarlett


Balloon Show Summer 2017

If you follow me on Instagram, you might already know that I went to a balloon show a few weeks ago. Hot air balloons were a huge part of my childhood, and I still love to see them. If you are a consistent reader of The Trendy Chick, you might remember I went to this show last year, and I just chased a hot air balloon with my friend and included those pictures in a post at the beginning of July! 

I went to the evening event on Friday and on Saturday. On Friday, the winds were too high to fly, so they ended up just having a balloon glow once it got dark. On Saturday, there was a fly in, where they launched and flew into the field to try to hit a target. The winds were a bit too low this night though, so only one actually got even close to the target! Then there was another balloon glow, and we were able to walk among the balloons on Saturday while they glowed, which is such a neat experience! 

If you read my other post about seeing one flying recently, you will recognize this elephant! They only had 2 special shape balloons at this event, but they are both so cool!

Have you ever been to a hot air balloon show? Share in the comments below!
xo, Scarlett


August Bullet Journal Layout

Another month, another bullet journal layout! I am going to start sharing more bullet journal posts since every time I share about it on Twitter or Instagram (especially Instagram stories!) I get a great response. So many people seem to be into bullet journaling right now, and I could not be happier about this! It is so great to see other people coming up with their own systems, and I love seeing all the cute designs. 

For August, it was a little difficult to come up with a theme. Often during the school year when I am busy, I don't even theme my pages and keep everything pretty simple since I don't have a lot of extra time. For August I knew I wanted a theme, but there aren't really any holidays in August to theme it after, and it isn't quite fall yet so I didn't feel ready to move into fall themes. But then I got inspired from hot air balloons, and just went from there! I love how it turned out, and it is so unique to me and my needs and interests. 

For my cover page, this month I experimented with a small calendar rather than creating one that filled up most of the page. I love it because it still allows me to see the dates if I am planning something, but it isn't taking up a whole page. I never really wrote in the calendar since I have a separate agenda, so this is the perfect solution for me!

Next I added in a gratitude page. I have these in every monthly spread I do, and I have kept up the habit for over a year now! Sometimes I miss a day or two, but I always go back and fill it in within a few days! Last December I wrote a short post about why I think everything should keep a gratitude journal, so go check that out too!

Next I added my habit tracker. I track 8 habits that I want to be doing every day in mine, and I decided to make it into a hot air balloon shape this month! I usually just do a typical grid, but I think this one will look really neat once it is all filled in! I am also planning on erasing the pencil lines once I fill it in completely, but I am keep them there for now so I know where to fill in each day!

I also added my August goals to this page. August is my last month of summer, so many of my goals are to prepare me for junior year!

Lastly, I added in my spending log. I haven't done a spending log in a long time, but I want to start tracking what I spend more, and hopefully eliminating unnecessary purchases! I went along with the balloon theme by drawing in clouds and adding a balloon sticker that I had. 

That is all that I am adding in my August spread! Pretty simple, but it covers everything that I want to track. You might have also noticed that I don't have any weekly pages in my bullet journal. For my busy life as a student and a blogger, I honestly just need more room than a weekly spread would offer, and I really don't have time during the school year to create pages for every week. I find monthly pages and one-time pages are all I need in my bullet journal. It is unconventional, and I haven't seen many who don't include weekly pages either, but this is just another reason why I love how much you can customize your bullet journal. 

To read more about how to start your own bullet journal, read this post that I published last week! In it I share where I bought mine, what my favorite pens are, and the supplies I think you need to begin. 

Do you have a bullet journal? What pages do you include every month? Share in the comments below! 
xo, Scarlett


A Day In My Life As A Nanny- Summer 2017

When I asked on Twitter a few weeks ago if anyone would be interested in seeing a day in my life as a nanny, a lot of people said yes! I love reading Day In My Life posts too, since you get an extra peek into a blogger's real life! This summer I am nannying for a family with twin 3-year-old boys two days a week. They are the sweetest family ever and I feel so lucky to have found them. Today I am going to share what a typical day looks like for me when I am spending most of my day with the boys! And just a little disclaimer, I am not sharing too many pictures since I want to respect their privacy.

7:40- wake up and eat breakfast
7:50-get dressed and get ready 
8:05- finish packing any snacks or lunch 
8:10- leave my house
8:30- arrive and make sure the boys finish their breakfast
8:45- play outside- the boys love playing outside, which is great for summer! They love their bikes, playing with small tractors, or playing in their pool. 
11:00- go inside and watch an episode of Paw Patrol to cool down. Let me tell you, before this summer I had never seen Paw Patrol before. But it is such a cute little show and I find myself humming the theme song a little too often lol 
11:30- play inside with toys, read books, or do puzzles
1pm- eat lunch 
1:45-2- after lunch I put the boys down for their nap. Usually they are pretty tired by this point so it is usually pretty easy!
2-4:30- right after the boys go to sleep, I finish washing any lunch dishes and straighten up the house a bit. I also usually throw in a load of the boys laundry while they are napping! Then most days I read whatever book I am into until they wake up. Occasionally I work on blog stuff, but usually I just read because I need a break after running around with them all morning! 

featuring the rain boots that one twin always insists on wearing, even when its 95 and sunny out. 

4:30- go back outside and play 
5:30- their parents arrive back home and I head home
6:00- eat dinner
6:30- catch up on any blog emails, schedule tweets, or work on my bullet journal
7:30- go on a walk or bike ride 
8:30- watch some Youtube and write out my to-do list for the following day
9:00- shower
9:30- blog or read my book 
11:00- go to bed

Usually on days that I am nannying, I stay in at night since I am pretty tired from the day! Also my friends end up working a lot of evenings, so I usually don't have much to do anyways. Honestly nannying is one of the best summer jobs, and I am so glad that I am able to do it. If you would like a day in my life on a day that I am not nannying, I would be happy to share what I do on "off" days too, even though I am often babysitting more or working on the blog! 

Have you ever been a nanny? Share in the comments!
xo, Scarlett