New Year's Resolutions 2015

How did we get here?  The last day of 2014!  Every year seems to go by a little faster than the last and so my first New Year's Resolution is to make every moment count.

I have quite a few New Year's Resolutions for 2015 so I'm writing this post to help hold myself accountable!

1. Be Nice - not that I am normally mean or anything but I think we can all be a little nicer and more understanding of others.  I'll be trying to keep this in mind next time someone cuts me off on the highway:

2. Exercise and Eat Healthy! - How original right?  But I'm serious about it this year and I am going to do it for the WHOLE year and not just the first few months (that's my story and I'm sticking to it!).  And this includes drinking as much water as possible all the time - no more soda or coffee!  Well let's not get too crazy - not AS MUCH soda or coffee ;D

3. Don't Stress - I know there are going to be SO many changes in 2015!  Graduating, Starting a job in the real world, Getting MARRIED!, Moving into my own place.  It will be a whirlwind I am sure and I just hope that I can always remember that God has a plan for me and he will make sure everything works out the way it should.

How cute (and true) is this?

4. Believe in myself - I did a pretty good job at this in 2014 and the result was exceeding my goals on Etsy and creating a following on Instagram!  Not to mention surviving 2 semesters of engineering classes with an internship in between on top of all that.  So a huge THANK YOU to every single person who was a part of it!  Hopefully I can keep it up for 2015! 

Always believe in yourselves my friends:

I'm sure I a thousand other things I want to do and a thousand other things I should do but haven't thought of.  But at least these are a start and all live under the over arching theme of living the best life I can and enjoying every day for what it is - good or bad, happy or sad, every day is a gift and I am thankful for everything that happened in 2014 because it's all made me who I am today!

Happy New Year!!  Share your resolutions with me in the comments if you're so inclined, I'd love to hear what they are!

Don't forget to sparkle ~ Katie

All pictures are found on Pinterest.  Check out this board for sources.

Designer Jewelry for Less | Rocksbox

January 2015 update!  Now use code katiexoxo1 to get your first month FREE!  Click here! Good through the end of January.

To me accessories make an outfit.  They're the final piece to the fashion puzzle.  A tiny addition that can completely pull a look together.

One problem is that you practically need a second closet (and bank account) to handle all of it!  Well today I have a solution for you.  This post is my review of the jewelry rental service Rocksbox.

Here's how it works.  You sign up, take a style quiz, and create a wish list.  Then they send you a box of three pieces that you can wear as much as you'd like and keep for as long as you'd like.  At any time you can send them back (free shipping both ways!) and they'll send you three new pieces!

And if you find something you love, you can purchase it for 20% off - bonus!!

So at first, I will admit, I was a skeptic... I thought it was a cool idea but not really for me, I was perfectly happy with the jewelry I already own and didn't think I would be into the hassle of shipping them back often.

After getting my first box I was impressed - I loved 2 of the 3 (one was Loren Hope!!!!), the third was nice just not my style.  But I wanted to make sure and wear each of them at least once, they are designer pieces after all!  Here are a few of my outfits:

The package it comes in contains the return shipping label and is re-usable so all you have to do is slide the box back in and drop it at the post office - no standing in lines or anything.  Incredibly easy!

A few days later I got my next box in the mail.  Again 2 out of 3 I loved and I mean LOVED - we are talking Kendra Scott here!  The 3rd piece was a beautiful House of Harlow bracelet that unfortunately was too big for my tiny tiny wrists.  So I really loved 3 out of 3 but could only wear 2 of them.

Kendra Scott Rayne in Emerald Cat's Eye
House of Harlow Sunburst Bangle in White

I wore the blue Perry Street necklace on Christmas day and got many compliments from my family!

So now for the fun part - signing up!  Sign up through this link and you will automatically get $25 credit towards the purchase of one of your pieces (and so will I so it is a win-win... big time)!

I would like to thank Rocksbox for my subscription.  Please keep in mind though that this review is 110% honest and written by me!

Don't forget to Sparkle!

Last Minute DIY Ornament Gifts

Holy Cow Christmas is in 3 days!  How exciting yet nerve wracking if you aren't completely prepared. Follow this super simple tutorial for ornaments that make a great gift or the final touch on your tree!

Here is what you'll need:
- glass ornaments - this 4 pack from Michaels is already 60% off right now, making it just $2!  You can also get single ornaments at Walmart for $1 each.
-paint - I picked this gold glitter paint from Martha Stewart's line at Michaels (used a coupon for that, of course!)

These are so easy!  Just take the top off and squeeze in paint.  That's it!  Just move the paint around until it looks how you like and you are finished.

This was my original plan - to leave it kind of wavy at the top:

But then I found some red paint in my mess of a craft room and completely covered the inside of this one.  I liked how it looked so I added more to the gold as well.

Then I found more paint and experimented with the others.  The two shades of pink gave sort of a marbled effect.  And the red and green streaks looks pretty cool too!  Just have fun experimenting and giving out these great, personalized gifts.  

A very very Merry Christmas to you and yours this year!  Have a safe and blessed holiday!  XO Katie

Fashion Steals | Part 2

Fashion Steals | Part 1
Lilly Pulitzer on a Budget

Today's fashion steal is another Lilly Pulitzer deal ... aka the best kind of deal there is!  I found the site Tradesy randomly and happened to search for Lilly Pulitzer and low and behold!  My holy grail for $32.50!!!

This skirt makes me very happy if you can't tell! ;)

Leave me a comment with your holy grail Lilly print!  I love Ahoy There (this) and You Gotta Regatta.  And Get Nauti.  Ok any of the nautical prints haha

Sign up here for Tradesy to get $25 off your first purchase!  If you spend $100 or more I'll get $10 towards my next great find!

Don't forget to Sparkle!


Preppy Gift Guide - Under $10

At this time of year I am sure you have been seeing a million and one gift guides.  I don't know about you but most of the ones I see are "Everything under $100!" or maybe "$50 or less".  But either way I think that is way to much!  I can't afford to spend $50 - $100 per item!  So I decided to create my own gift guide where everything is under $10!  Now THAT is realistic.
You may be thinking oh well these are going to be cheap, crappy gifts that no one really wants.  Wrong!  This gift guide is still perfect for all the preppy ladies on your list - and hey at these prices maybe you can give gifts to a few extra people!  Hope you enjoy!
1. ELF Cosmetics On the Go Palette ($10) - This little compact isn't much bigger than your phone but it has all of the essentials to make up your face!  This would be a great little gift for your make-up loving bestie.  Really anything from ELF falls into the $10 and under category so you can't go wrong there.

2. Lilly Pulitzer Drink Koozie ($8) - Bet you didn't think you'd see Lilly on this list!  Well lucky for you even she has a gift for a girl on a budget (me) that would make any friend smile!
3. Marley Lilly Sunglass Strap ($6.99) - Another staple in any prep's wardrobe is a cute sunglass strap.  Marley Lilly can hook you up -  how cute is this "get nauti" strap?

4. Target Dollar Spot ($1 - $3) - Do not put your nose up at this one!  If you haven't browsed in the dollar spot at Target lately you are seriously missing out!  They have the best stuff year round but especially around the Holidays (RE: glitter!).  I found this great site that keeps you up to date on what goodies are currently in stock.

5. Vineyard Vines Lanyard ($5.50) - Bet you didn't think you'd see VV on this list either!!  This preppy lanyard is great for the college prep.  Perfect for keeping your keys and ID handy!

These are just some ideas that I had and I wanted to share with you that you don't have to break the bank to give an awesome gift!  Another fun option is to make a little gift basket out of items from the Dollar Tree, they actually have some cool stuff there!  Also you can always head over to Etsy to support small businesses - I know you can find some amazing things for under $10 there!
Let me know in the comments what you are giving your friends this year!

Fashion Steals | Part 1

I love clothes.  I know it is very materialistic of me to say but something about bringing home a fresh new piece makes me smile big!  Sadly clothes can be expensive and I do not like to pay full price for anything.  Really, I do not pay full price.  Ever.

So I wanted to start a series to share some of my deals with you.  Each week I will share an item and the details of where I got it and how much I paid.  Make sure you enter your email address on the right so you can follow along!

This first post is kind of a two-for-one: Lilly Pulitzer Elsa and Kate Spade Purse.

First is this gorgeous bag!  I got it a while ago, this past summer.  It is from the Kate Spade outlet and I got it when they were having a big sale - I think 50% off plus an additional 20% off.  I believe I paid $142 for it, something like that.  I bought it as a reward for myself for completing my internship!

Plus I couldn't resist the scallops!  I should have taken a picture of the inside too - the lining has little black bows on it!

Next comes my first Lilly Pulitzer Elsa top!  If you haven't heard of these they are a staple Lilly item and are 100% silk.  They retail for around $158 depending on the print.

Well I found this site called Twice and it is a company where women can buy and sell gently used clothes and handbags.  They only accept certain brands and everything has to be in great condition.

Okay finally gonna spill the beans here: I paid just $22.50 for this top!  I was so excited because I have been wanting one for so long and I finally found one at a price I was willing to pay!  The top was listed for $44.95, still a good deal when you consider the retail value, but for my first purchase they gave me 50% off everything!  I found Twice through an ad on Facebook actually and I was pleasantly surprised!

You can sign up here and get a $10 credit to use!  If you're looking to sell you can get an additional $10 by using that link as well.  I purchased a few other (great) things too, but I'm saving those to share later!  Sign up for emails so you don't miss out - hint: more Lilly deals to come!

Other outfit details:
Shoes: Steve Madden
Jeans: Forever 21
Bow necklace and bracelet: Sugar Spice and Sparkle

DIY Nautical Glitter Pendant Banner | Tutorial Tuesday

Living in a dorm room can really get you down if you don't do it right.  You've just got to make your space (small as it may be) pretty and personalized.  My dorm room has a nautical theme because, well, what better theme is there?  Check out this post for more details and nautical DIY projects.

Today I added something new to my room and I think it is my best decoration yet!  I am in love with it and it was so easy to make and I hope you love it too!

Here is what you'll need to make one:

You can of course choose any scrapbook paper you'd like, to fit your theme and color scheme (I'm a poet and I didn't know it!).  My one requirement is that at least one sheet MUST contain glitter!  :)

2 of my sheets were 8.5" by 11" and the others were 12" by 12".  So first we'll deal with the 8.5" by 11" sheets.  Fold it in half, as we used to say in kindergarten, "hamburger" style.

Unfold it and then fold "hot dog" style.  Open it back up and fold the edges into the center, basically fold each half in half.  Hopefully the next few pictures will help you understand what I mean:

Now unfold it and draw lines on the folds, then draw the pendant shape, as seen below:

If your paper has a pattern like mine, make sure that it will be in the right direction in the end.  Sadly 2 ended up with upside down anchors, but there was really no preventing that so I decided to make 4 of each pattern moving forward.

Now onto how to deal with the 12" by 12" sheets.  But first let's admire this glorious Hobby Lobby find.  A full sheet of glitter, I mean honestly, this makes me so happy!

*Look away from the shiny object* Ok so anyways... You'll want to take one of your extra flags and use it as a template.  The glitter paper is not exactly fold-able so this is the method you've gotta use.  Just line it up with the edge best you can and trace around it.  Since this paper isn't patterned, we'll be able to use all of the triangles.

Next cut them out.  Be prepared to have glitter everywhere.  Just embrace it and wait until the very end to attempt clean-up.


 Next we need to punch the holes.  I used some quick measurements to roughly mark holes on each flag, try to make them consistent but you don't have to be perfect with it.

After that step you should have a pile like this:

I'm seriously making that my phone screen, that is a pile of joy right there I tell you!  Glitter, anchors, and chevron - oh my!

I found this pretty gold string like thing at Hobby Lobby.  You never know what you're gonna find in there, am I right?  But any who, any string will work really, but shiny gold is always best if you ask me!  Lay out the order you want your pendants to be in, or go crazy and string them randomly - actually no, please don't do that, that is actually not ok with my OCD...

So after you lay them out in order just string them up!  I made it so the gold string was in the front of each pendant, if that makes sense, because I wanted to be able to see it.  If your string is less than stellar you may want to string them in such a way that it won't really be visible.  Totally up to you!

Then hang them and admire your work!  That's the best part!

If you want to see how I made those cork boards, click here! And here!

Please please PLEASE share yours with me if you make one!  Tag @sugarspiceandsparkle on Instagram!  I would love to see your results! 

Thanks for reading and let me know in the comments if you have any ideas for next week's Tutorial Tuesday.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving and take time to relax and count your blessings - I know I don't do that often enough! <3