Styled by Kate!

Hello everyone!  Here at Bibliophilia today, I’m doing my first ever collaboration with one of my high school friends, Kate, who runs my favorite blog: Kate’s Internet Cafe – definitely go follow her if you haven’t already!

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Kate and I graduated together, and while I go off to Miami, Kate is going to study audio engineering at Belmont.  She really loves fashion, beauty, and of course, music, and hopes to have a job in the media some day.

We decided that it would be kind of fun to dress each other in our own unique styles and then photograph the results!  One of the things we have in common is our belief in championing all women, and exploring our own personal styles.

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For Kate, I decided to put her in something more colorful, since, like me, she mostly wears lots of neutrals that are loose fitting.  I had her try on this multi-colored jacket that is brighter than most of the clothes in either of our wardrobes.  Then, I paired it with one of Kate’s black shift dresses that is a tighter fit on her, and some simple black heels to accent it.  Her shoes were from DSW, and the shift dress was from Urban Outfitters.

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Overall, this was a really fun experiment and I loved letting such a stylish friend put me in something that was out of my comfort zone because of how easy-going and loose fitting it was, but that I ended up loving (you’ll have to visit Kate’s blog to see what I looked like)!

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A huge thanks to Kate for doing this quick collaboration with me before heading off to college, and to our best friend Addy, who was nice enough to have lunch with us and unknowingly become the photographer for this post.

As always, don’t forget to follow Kate’s blog (click the link above), and follow me, here at Bibliophilia to get emails about new posts!

 

 

 

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To see how Kate dressed me, head on over to her blog, Kate’s Internet Cafe to see her post! 

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College Countdown: Holistic Life = Happy Life

With my college move literally a few days away, I’ve decided to share a few of my thoughts about the importance of taking care of myself holistically.  For a long time, I only devoted myself to more ‘intellectual’ pursuits; meaning I worked hard in school, read all the time, and that was the extent of which I took care of myself.  In short, in the equation ‘mind, body, soul’, I was caught up in the ‘mind’ category only.

But what started as a decision to lose weight soon became the understanding that I can’t completely be my best self unless I also take care of my body.  Now, I’m not perfect; I certainly have my fair share of cheat days and I don’t always eat what I should (I’m a work in progress when it comes to trying new foods- especially when they are green, leafy, and look like they could be growing in my back yard), BUT I’ve come to appreciate the efforts that I do make to monitor what and how much goes in my body.

And that’s why, while transitioning to school, I’ve made a series of small goals and challenges for myself, to try and give myself a head start to becoming the best version of me.  While I can honestly say I’m the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been, in all facets of my life, I know that it’s all about getting better and better.

I try little tips and tricks every day that seem to help me, which I’ll share here:

  1. Meditating; a few quick minutes every morning and evening can completely bring the focus inward and change my whole outlook for the day.
  2. Read more, Netflix less; I’ll admit, this is an incredibly tall order.  I often throw this practice out of the window in favor of watching another episode of the Office or of Gilmore Girls, but what’s important for me to realize is I always feel my best when I’ve read right before bed the night before.  Reading has always been a soothing activity and gives me the chance to prepare myself for the next day.
  3. Finding exercise that I like; I HATE exercising.  A lot of people talk about the mid-exercise glow, but I have never found it.  So, I’ve been looking for more creative ways of burning calories.  My two favorites are Zumba, which mom and I have been doing every Wednesday, and swimming laps in the pool (regardless of my horrible form and technique).  I try not to pay attention to how I look while doing it, or get embarrassed about how I look while dancing in public (it’s not great to say the least…), because as long as I’m being active and having fun, that’s all that counts.

Those are just a few of my lifestyle goals that I try to stick by in order to live a better life.  If you have any other tips for how to live a more holistic life, please pass them along in the comments below!

Summer Look Book 2017

I’m the first person to admit that this post is really out of the ordinary for this blog, but I’ve been trying hard to improve and work on my style.  So, what better way to show off some of my favorite summer looks than on my blog?

I’m going to be showing 5 of my go-to styles below.  If you like anything you see, comment below for information on sizing and where I got them!  Also, I’d like to give a shout out to my mom for supplying and creating all the jewelry seen in these pictures!

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Screen Shot 2017-08-04 at 3.11.08 PMI love this outfit because it looks put together but it’s really easy and comfy.  I really like the detail of the shoulder cut outs and the embroidery on the shorts (which is a trend I’m obsessed with!).  I don’t normally wear a necklace with this look because of how high up the shirt goes, but, by pairing it with some cute earrings and some easy sandals, you’re ready to go out the door!

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IMG_2745I’m a sucker for rompers of any type, so I’ve included four of my summer favorites here- they are both easy to dress up and down depending on what you like; either add sandals or heels to get the look you want!  Due to the lower necklines of these pieces, I like to find a nice necklace to compliment the cut, but I’m careful not to draw too much attention away from the patterns on the fabrics.

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This outfit is really comfortable and chic.  It goes with a variety of different shoes and the top underneath is interchangeable.  I love overalls because they provide such a relaxed look and even though they are long, they’re loose and light, which makes it easy to stay cool on those hot summer days.

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Screen Shot 2017-08-05 at 2.45.04 PMThis easy look is for a night out with friends.  As I’m sure many of you know, I love wearing black on black, so I paired the simple top and pants with red velvet shoes to really make the ensemble pop. I love this tank top because while it certainly isn’t fancy, it’s flattering, and doesn’t look out of place when I wear it with heels.

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Screen Shot 2017-08-04 at 1.54.01 PMI’ve included this look because I’m a firm believer that you can still look good while working out (or, in my case, trying not to die at the gym).  This look makes me feel slim and confident and is paired with my favorite Nike tennis shoes and a black bandana, that is both good to keep my hair out of my face and accessorize my outfit.

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So there you have it!  These are some of my favorite summer looks!  Remember, for more information on sizing and where I bought them, comment below or send me a message on any of my social media!  Otherwise, I’d love to see what summer outfits make you feel your most beautiful and confident self.  Leave pictures of your ensembles in a comment below!

College Countdown: What I’ve Learned So Far

The lessons I’ve learned throughout the application and pre-college process have been many to say the least.  But one of the things I think is important (and often undiscussed) is that of decorating your dorm room.

Maybe this is something unexpected (or completely expected of a superficial teenage girl), but hear me out.  We college freshmen are entering a life that is totally unknown to us; filled with challenges in every form.  From going to new classes, to having to make all new friends, to cooking for ourselves, to  cleaning up after ourselves, and to holding ourselves accountable (maybe for the first time), college is a scary place.  And, what I’ve learned from the really fun experience of dorm room shopping, is that in a world of unknown variables and unlimited uncertainties (how about that alliteration), your dorm room ought to be the one place you feel at home and comfortable.

Your dorm room is where you can bring the best parts of your home with you, and feel at peace in your own energy- every space filled with your tastes, comforts, and decorations that project YOU.

I, like many others I’m sure, went into it with the tendency of choosing decorations and supplies to impress others (I found myself picking things out because I imagined that’s what people would find most modern, whether or not it was my favorite), but what I realized along the way, is that the necessary collegiate journey of self discovery begins with your home away from home, and that every pillow, blanket, and even the silverware you pick out, are the starting points for that change.

Aside from our first houses and first apartments, this underrated but also essential home is our first chance to identify our individuality and create a environment that supports and promotes it.

So, when you do go dorm room shopping, I’d just like to say, you aren’t superficial or silly for wanting things ‘just so’, or for picking a color scheme- these steps are incredibly important in giving you a SECURE and COMFORTABLE haven to rest your head at night, while you discover more about the person you want be, and the person you will endeavor to grow into over four years.

 

 

To see my dorm room reveal in a couple weeks, follow Bibliophilia to get updates on new blog posts!

Adventures in the Mediterranean

Almost 24 hours and three time changes later, my dad, grandparents, and I are finally home!  While travel days aren’t my favorite- and make for incredibly long periods of time without sleep- I had such a great time exploring Spain, Corsica, Sardinia, France, and Italy.

We took the metro to see the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, we spent a day on a catamaran off the coast of Palma de Mallorca, walked up a steep hill to see a castle in Cannes, explored several old cathedrals in Ajaccio, Corsica, and walked around the ancient ruins of Nora in Sardinia.

After last week, now more than ever I am convinced that I will someday call one of these places home.  For those of you who don’t know, it has been a dream of mine for several years now to emigrate to London after college to begin my career, and, while I’m sure the picturesque panoramas we were seeing while off the cruise ship were tainted with a certain level of ‘disneyfication’, I cannot wait to hopefully call one of these places home and to take part of their cultures and blend them with my own.

And, while maybe not directly related, our experiences off the beaten path reminded me even more of the collegiate journey I’m about to embark upon.  Traveling for me, always seems to be accompanied by an almost spiritual feeling; I’m reminded even more of the person I want to be just by the life-changing experiences I’ve already been able to take part in.

I never would have pictured myself navigating the Barcelona metro, for example, and taking chances in totally different places, almost all on my own.  And, it’s in this way that I draw parallels with the next four years to come at Miami of Ohio; my own sense of self will continue to be warped, molded, and challenged as I continue grow in a setting that will force me to be more independent than I’ve ever been before…and even though this is daunting, I’ve never felt more ready.

While I may not have all the answers to this existential understanding and reflection that I’ve been experiencing ever since graduation last May, I feel more prepared than ever to go headfirst into the unknown, try new things, and work toward my best, most accepting, most tolerant, most easy going self, just as I feel I’ve been able to do during my week in Europe, both through doing my best to participate in new cultures and totally immerse myself in them.  And I’m so thankful of trips like these to continually remind me of the life that I want and the ‘I’ that must go along with it.

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Generation Stereotype?

A school assignment translated from its original French.

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Picture taken from the article Manager la Generation Y. written by Phillipe Mazuel.

“Back when I was a kid, everything was different!” 

As millennials we hear that exclamation a lot every time we visit our grandparents, still nostalgic for the olden days.  Without a doubt, everyone thinks their generation is better than today’s youth, but, it seems that the disparity between today’s millennials and our elders is more profound than we’d care to admit.

A study, created in May of 2016 for both adults and students illustrates the common stereotypes affecting our generation.  When asking the opinions of both adults and millennials, I gathered a variety of responses, though with surprisingly similar trends across generations.  The results are clear: the problem of technology and young peoples’ constant connectivity is one of the biggest sources of conflict between groups.  But, the millennials aren’t as oblivious as one would think; 30% of those surveyed under 27 years of age admitted that our use of technology for anything and everything is a problem.

“Millennials don’t understand the value of money; their parents gave them everything on a silver platter.” 

We are consistently accused of being a lazy generation, with absolutely no work ethic, who rely on our parents to fund our spending habits, but, when a staggering percentage of our ranks isn’t even old enough to legally apply for a job (93% of those surveyed were under 18), there’s simply no way for us to avoid this stereotype.  In a time when education has a much higher value than manual or physical labor, it’s not shocking that 86% of the surveyed adults aren’t impressed with our work ethic.  One reason for this negative view could be because of newer and more prominent technologies, that allow new members of the work force to complete tasks much more efficiently than those working before us.  In short, it takes us a lot less time to do the same amount of work as before.

“Millennials won’t take advice from or listen to the opinions of their elders.” 

In the same questionnaire, when asking adults to describe young people from the millennial generation, the most frequent response was linked to the lack of respect they seemed to have toward their parents, grandparents, and elders.  However, what I find so ironic is that all generations agree that our generation is one of the most tolerant in history, which both groups would, for the most part, categorize as a positive characteristic.  When we see daily reports relating the struggles of marginalized groups to normalize and promote equal rights for every single being, we can’t argue that there’s at least one aspect of society that IS better today than before, despite those that would critique us.  And, as for the lack of respect that we are typically chastised for, wouldn’t the increased value we hold on human life as a whole seem to contradict the belief that we hold a decreased value for the very people that raised us?

“Young people are so emotionally delicate, and publish their every thought online.” 

I can’t really confirm or deny whether we are a generation with more crybabies than before.  I certainly know my fair share of millennials on both ends of that statement.  Nor can I condemn our online activity- it would certainly seem hypocritical for me to do so as I’m publishing this blog online…But is it really such a bad thing to have formed opinions that we’ve thought about enough to share with an audience ready to listen, and at times, to debate?  Despite the 76% of surveyed individuals who agree that most of the time, young people forget to live in the ‘real world’, I choose to think of us as an analytical generation, who are deep thinkers, even if we are sometimes too honest online for the liking of certain people.  There is no doubt that we make sure that our voices are heard, especially when we are dissatisfied with the world we are living in and, what choice do we have?  When the majority of society would condemn our communal ‘sensitivity’, we don’t have any choice but to broadcast our opinions and messages on a digital platform that is less likely to reject our thoughts.

So, why is there such a discord between generations? 

We could easily imagine that this tension is merely a secondary effect that accompanies any transition between age groups; young people, before considered as ‘leaders of tomorrow,’ are now becoming the leaders of today, which makes the ‘leaders of yesterday’ uncomfortable- and rightly so!

We could also blame our living environment for causing this perpetual conflict, as global developments (technology, cities, lifestyles, etc.) continue to rise.  And, as the world continues to become a stranger and stranger place, at a faster and faster pace, it’s only natural that many in our society experience something similar to culture shock, as societal norms become more alien.  It has often been said that over a mere 40 years, liberals become conservatives without ever changing their beliefs, a statement that rings true, now more than ever, for many in our society.

That being said… this vehement conflict between the dominant social groups does seem to be cyclical; probably existing between every young generation and their parents.  But, if that is the case, wouldn’t you think our elders would be more understanding?  They should be able to remember our situation that is, theoretically, so similar to their own when they were our age.  And, if they do understand the pressure that accompanies our duty to improve our world yet our obligation to keep things traditional for those that raised us, why do they so often feel such pessimism toward us?

Still, I can’t help but wonder if there is something more complex that drives these stereotypes.

Maybe we will never know exactly why 34% of those surveyed have a negative opinion of our generation.  Though, I would be remiss not to mention that it does seem to be those most apt to criticize that did raise this generation as a whole and, if they weren’t happy with our world’s trajectory, they did have about 18 years to forge society’s collective children in a different way.

Like many of my friends, I am proud to be of my generation.  Though many would accuse us of being idealists, I’ll wear that label with pride because to want to do good and make our world a better place, at least for this millennial, will never be something to be ashamed of.

 

For more information on the survey that I conducted, feel free to contact me on Facebook of WordPress.com.

VegFest, ft. Mary Ellen Leppert

I’ve seen the light! I’ve had an epiphany!  I’ve changed my ways!

Today, with the help of the Vegetable Pro, Mary Ellen Leppert, I had a dinner entirely composed of vegetables!  Ever since Thanksgiving (and the 4lbs I gained thanks to Southern Hospitality and a great trip to Boston where I indulged in every food I saw, no matter how unhealthy), I’ve endeavored to eat healthy and workout daily.

Though I’ve been really rewarded (losing 11lbs!) by counting my nutrient intake and indeed, working out in some way, every day, I can safely say that today is the healthiest of healthy days!

On the menu:

Spaghetti Squash

Cauliflower Garlic Bread

Lemon and Garlic Shrimp with Noodles (zucchini noodles)

and Eggplant Parmesan

Never in my life have enjoyed (yes, actually enjoyed) so many vegetables in one sitting!  I would highly recommend these recipes- especially the Spaghetti Squash, for anyone who enjoys Italian food but hates the price you pay for carbs as much as I do!

I’d like to say a huge thank you to Mary, who experimented in the kitchen with me and encouraged my being open (if not a little timidly) minded.

For anyone wanting the recipe to any of these dishes, feel free to message me or comment on this post for the link!  Please feel free to share any healthy or lite recipes- I’m always looking for new ideas!