Blogger Men Tell All - March

I found this amazing link up through Allison of Because I Said So!  I am so excited about it because it makes for an easy post and I get to include my fiance, Brian, in a blog post!  Hopefully he will be a willing participant...

He said he would be happy to partake so here we go!

Do you like to cook? If yes, what’s your favorite thing to make?
B: Yes, I'll have to say salmon, garlic and herb rice and salad.

What is the last movie you saw in a theater?
B: Hmm, oh it was Into the Woods - regrettably. 

Can you name five makeup brands?
B: Yeah - Sephora, [long pause] Olay, Too Faced, [uhhh] Loreal, Neutrogena  
K: Nice! Not sure if Olay counts though...
B: Okay let me think of another one [pause...] Elf!
K: Good job! 
If you knew how often I dragged him through the makeup section you would not be surprised that he knows so many brands!

What are your biggest pet peeves?
B: When people are illogical
He's an engineer like me so this isn't too surprising.

What are your biggest goals in life right now?
B: Plan a successful wedding.
K: Good answer ;)

Thank you baby for helping me out!  Get ready for next month's questions!

Becoming Adorrable

College Tips: Living On Campus

Check out the other posts in the college tip series:

One of the biggest decisions after you decide where to go to college is where to live once you are there!  Some schools require freshmen to live on campus, so that makes it pretty easy!  Others give you the option.  Whatever the case may be for you, if you're living on campus then keep reading!

Kate Spade Bedding www.sugarspiceandsparkle,com

I feel like a campus living expert seeing as I have lived on campus for 5 YEARS!  I have lived in 4 different types of dorm rooms so I will give you a little insight into each one.

2-room suite: my first summer in college I got to live in one of the newest dorms on campus, sadly that was the shortest semester of college :/  This 2-room suite had 4 girls living in it.  There were 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom.  The interesting thing was that the sinks were in the bedrooms, so the bathroom was just a toilet and shower.  Turns out that is a pretty smart design so that you can brush you teeth or wash your face even when someone else is using the restroom!

Classic double room:  my freshman year was the classic college dorm experience.  A room that I shared with a roommate (a friend from high school!) and the bathroom down the hall.  Yep, about 30 girls shared a bathroom.  dun dun DUN!  Everyone's worst nightmare!  It actually wasn't bad at all and we surprisingly never had to wait for the bathroom or showers, plus it got cleaned every single day!

Kate Spade Dorm Room

2-room suite again:  similar to the first one I mentioned but the sinks were in the bathroom this time.  It still worked out because the toilet had its own door, although I don't think any of us girls went in when someone else was in there.

Single room suite:  this is the room I have been in for the past 3 years!  So it must not be so bad!  I have my own room, it is small, but big enough for just little ole me :) My room is attached to a bathroom that I share with 1 other girl.  Sorry in advance for the crappy panoramic... it's the only picture I have of my room and I wanted ya'll to be able to see it.  No my dorm room is not Pinterest worthy, but it is real and contains everything I need and if anyone living full time in ~100 square feet wants to show me a less cluttered room, please be my guest :)

Not pictured is the door/closet area which is where I am standing to take the picture.

So now that you have an idea of the different types of rooms (there are more styles but these are just what I have experienced) let me give you a few tips.

Tip 1. Pack Lightly.  Somehow no matter how little I try to move in with I am always cramming things into any available box, bag, or container I can find when I move out!  I tend to spend my study breaks at the mall so maybe that has something to do with it...

Tip 2.  Bring touches of home.  A rug, pretty lamp, and curtain can turn a cinderblock room into something actually cozy!  Oh and lots and lots of pillows!  Trust me your back will thank you when you end up studying in bed all day.  If you are living where you will have a private bathroom then bring rugs and a shower curtain to make the bathroom home-y too.

Tip 3.  Bathroom necessities.  This one is for those of you who will be going down the hall to shower and such.  Get a shower caddy, it will hold everything you need!  From your shampoo to your toothbrush.  You'll also need a good bathrobe - hello walking down the hall - and shower shoes.  You will need those for the hallway AND when you're in the shower!  You don't know what other people are doing in there - ha!  But really, wear your flip flops in there.  Don't forget your towel!

Tip 4.  Ikea is your friend.  You're living in a tiny space so you need to make your stuff as tiny as possible.  Ikea has so many great storage solutions you can tuck under your bed, next to your desk, and in your closet.  Speaking of closets...

Tip 5.  Multitask!  Closets are SMALL.  It is seriously sad but true.  Bring clothes that can serve multiple purposes.  Jeans, plain tees, tanks and dresses, versatile shoes.  Then load up on smaller items like jewelry and other accessories to make your outfits unique.

What about FOOD?  The most important thing!!  All of the dorms I have lived in have a kitchen in the hallway for everyone to use, first come first serve.  However for 4 of my 5 years I had the meal plan, which sounds gross when you think of typical cafeteria style food.  But my school's meal plan allowed you to use it at pretty much every place on campus like Chick fil a, Pollo Tropical, Einstein's, STARBUCKS, and more!  I would highly recommend getting the meal plan if you live on campus, at least at first.  Then you have one less thing to worry about when you're getting used to being busy with classes and being on your own for the first time.  Plus no need to take up precious dorm space with pots and pans ;)

Oh man another long one!  Hope you guys found this helpful, let me know if you have any questions!

Nautical Dorm Decor Tutorials          DIY Banner Tutorial

Click on the pictures above for tutorials!
Click here for a super simple college packing list!

Lilly Pulitzer for Target Lookbook

If you are a Lilly Pulitzer lover then I am going to make the safe assumption that you know about Lilly for Target!  Quite a while ago they announced the collaboration that will launch on April 19th.  This set the preppy world on fire!  Yesterday they released the official lookbook and so I am sure you have read many a blog post like this one... so much for originality my friends!

Hopefully you are in love with the collection enough to not care and still enjoy seeing everyone's picks :)

Here are SOME of mine! 
Lilly Pulitzer for Target Lookbook

Everything is so spectacular!  And the prices are really amazing - especially compared to regular Lilly prices.

Lilly Pulitzer for Target cups
I am 110% sure these little mugs are going to go FAST.  Everyone is in love with them and it is pretty clear why!  And at only $30 they pretty much fit everyone's budget.

Lilly for Target
This gorgeous number is just that - gorgeous!  I don't even want to tell you that it is only $26!  This is by far my favorite print in the collection.

Lilly for Target Pineapple Sandals
Gold.  Pineapples.  Shoes.  What on earth more could a girl want?!?  If I don't get these I am definitely going to cry my little eyes out.  I'm calling them Mary Poppins because they are practically perfect in every way.  These will be going for $30 as well.

Oh-kayyyy that is a #firstworldproblems post if I've ever seen one!  But, alas, I am under Lilly's spell yet again and this time it's mixed with Target so I don't know if I can handle it!  Please please please let me know what you're holding out for!

P.S. I gave up buying anything Lilly Pulitzer for Lent - I know, crazy right?  So this release being a few weeks after Easter means my bank account is ready to take a hit!  If you need to start saving pronto since seeing the lookbook, check out this post for some tips.

A Few of my Favorite Things

I watch a LOT of Youtube (see who here) and so I see a lot of monthly favorites videos.  Well I do not know that my life is exciting enough to have new favorites each and every month so instead I am going to write a favorites post whenever my little heart desires! *stomps foot* Or I guess whenever my favorites actually change :)

Favorite Song:
Dear Future Husband - Meghan, girl, I couldn't have said it better myself!

Favorite Makeup:
Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3 in 1 Foundation
This stuff will make you look FLAWLESS!  And it has SPF which is a definite plus to me!  I use shade 825 - buff beige.

Favorite Beauty:
This Freeman Beauty Charcoal and Black Sugar Scrub Face Mask.  Literal perfection!  It is kind of scary the first time because it is straight up black.  But you just put it all over your face (not eyes, obvi) and let it sit for about 5 minutes.  Then you massage it over your face which feels SO good before rinsing it off.  You can actually see a difference in your skin in the mirror when you're done!  
Best part?  A huge thing is $4 at Ulta.  Jaw dropping?  I think yes.

Favorite Blog:
I have so many!  I don't know if I can even decide!  For my first "favorite" though I have to go with the first blog that really made me want to start my own: Devon Alana.  This girl takes the most beautiful pictures, makes the cutest products, and sews amazing dresses like a boss!  Go check her out!

Yeah, she made all of that!  Amazing!!

No rompers for tall girls!  Any one else feel me out there?!  If you are over 5'9" and know of an awesome romper PLEASE let me know!  I desperately need a romper in my life.  Look at these beauties I'm missing out on *crying emoji*

Let me know how you liked this post and if I should do more!

Don't forget to Sparkle
XO ~ Katie

How to get an Internship in College

Welcome back to my college tips series!  Check out my first post here (and my third one here).  A lot of you asked me to talk about internships so I decided to dedicate an entire post to them!

How did I get my first internship?  Every semester my school has a career fair where tons and tons of companies come and are looking to hire!  I went every single semester.  
Tip 1. Put yourself out there.  I was shaking in my boots as a little freshman going to talk to these big companies with my resume full of high school accomplishments.  Every single recruiter told me I need to put college things on my resume.  They didn't seem to care that I was a freshman and didn't have a thing to put down from college yet!  But I kept going out of my comfort zone and learned to talk to recruiters more easily.  Eventually I found a company who likes to bring in younger people as interns so they can mold them a certain way.  And thus my first internship!

You should do your research to find companies that are looking for interns with your skill set.  Also make sure that they are a good fit for you, and seem like a job you would like - you want to enjoy your work as much a possible!

During my internship I took a class online so I wouldn't fall completely behind at school.  After my internship was over I knew that was what I wanted to do as a career.  I really enjoyed working and I learned so much from my internship.  The things I learned in class were obviously important but the things I learned from my internship - from technical skills to soft skills - were so so valuable.

I did another full year of school before my next internship, the company had asked me to return after my first internship.  The next few tips are from things I learned at work.

Tip 2.  Network.  Everyone and their mother will tell you that this is important to do and I am agreeing with them!  It can be scary at times to set up a meeting with someone you don't really know (or know at all) but just remember everyone started out just like you!  Everyone I ever met with was happy to chat with me and I really enjoyed hearing about their experiences.  Plus it makes doing your work that much easier because you have more contacts to help you when you need it - and you will need it!

Tip 3.  Don't think of yourself as an intern.  Well, first get a feel for your company culture before following this advice.  But if you are being assigned projects that would otherwise be assigned to a full time employee then you should be good to try this.  Don't think of yourself as an intern, think of yourself as a full time employee and your work will improve.  People will respect you more if you are taking your work as seriously as they are.

Tip 4.  Know your stuff.  This can apply for school projects too!  Anytime I had to present my work I was nervous, but when I knew every single little tiny detail about what I was talking about I had so much more confidence.  I knew I would be able to answer any question asked of me.  Make sure you know everything from the background of your project, to how you found your results and how you calculated any numbers.

After my second internship I did another full year (fall and spring) and then back for my third and final internship.  At this point I had taken tons of classes for my major and finally felt like I really knew what I was doing!  I also felt more comfortable at work because I knew more people after doing two prior internships.  I knew that this would be my last internship because I only had one more year left before graduation.  I already knew I wanted to work for the company full time so I made it my mission during my last internship to make that goal a reality. 

Tip 5. Figure out what you want and don't stop until you get there.  I was lucky enough to figure out exactly what I wanted during my sophomore year of college.  And I never stopped working towards that goal after I set it.  I knew I would have to keep my grades up - way up, take on leadership roles, and keep networking.  Plus I still wanted to have a little fun :)

I followed Tip 3 like no body's business.  I tried to only ask for help when I really needed it and reached out to so many people so I would be remembered.  At the end of the summer I did an interview with the company but knew I would have to wait a while before knowing if I got the job or not.  

Tip 6.  Don't Lie.  Ever.  This may seem obvious, and it is, but for some reason when people are at work or a part of a project team little white lies seem to flow out all the time!  Things like, "oh yeah I'm almost done with that", or "yes we double checked that number" when neither is true.  One thing I think helped me stand out at work is my absolute, 100% honesty policy.  If someone asks you a question that you don't know the answer to, let them know you don't know but will find out and get back to them.  NEVER just make something up just so you can give them an answer.  If you're asked a question you know the person will not like the answer to, still be honest!  The truth has a way of coming out and trust me it is easier to tell it now rather than later after you have already given a different answer.  This can apply throughout life, not just at work.  Sorry for a bit of a rant but that is one of my pet peeves!

I will do a college blog post to cover my senior year and full-time job search and figuring out "the real world" soon!

Don't forget to ask me questions in the comments to be answered in a future post!

Black + Gold

There are two color combinations that I can not live without: Navy and White and Black and Gold.  To me those are 'neutral' and you can build any outfit starting with either of those as a base.

Somehow every time I go shopping I end up with an arm full of black clothes with me in the dressing room!  It's just such a flattering color and I am absolutely OBSESSED!

Last time I went to the mall I purchased this dress at Bloomingdale's, it is from Aqua, my all time favorite brand!  I have SO many Aqua dresses that I need to share with you all.  You can not really tell in the pictures but this fabric has little embossed hearts all over it - so cute.

This is turning into a favorites post because my necklace is from my favorite subscription service - Rocksbox!  This Slate necklace is just so beautiful, so simple yet such a statement.

If you aren't a Rocksbox member then you NEED to sign up right now! For just $19 a month you can get as much jewelry as you want!  Every box comes with 3 pieces, worth over $200!  And hello they sometimes send Kendra Scott!!  Use code katiexoxo1 to get your first month FREE!

I love my gold boyfriend watch to go with every single outfit!  My chain bracelet matches perfectly in color and style.  If you go back up to see my shoes you can see the detail on my sandals is exactly the same as my bracelet!  What a fun coincidence that discovery was! 


Side note: I just finished writing this post, saved and closed my browser.  Then it hit me that my wedding colors are black, white, and gold!  I just can't escape it and I don't want to!

Check out some fun Spring posts!
Step into Spring Link-Up

Spring Break Beach Essentials

My Spring Break may be over but I know some of you are just gearing up to start yours!  If you're headed to the beach then this post is for you!  The beach is the absolute best place to spend spring break (or really any break you can get!) in my opinion.  So I wanted to share a few of my spring break beach essentials with you to make your spring break the best one yet!

First things first - SPF!  I think there have been enough articles in Glamour and Seventeen now preaching the importance of SPF so I am not going to lecture you on that one.  We all like to come back from spring break with a little color but you don't want to risk your health to do so!  I like to use SPF 30 or so on my upper body and a lower SPF on my legs so they can get tan.  Then I use SPF 70 on my face and wear a hat and keep my head in the shade when I lay out.  I do NOT like any rays of the sun touching my face!  I usually wear some SPF on my face every day.

Once you're lathered up you need a gorgeous bikini to slip into!  These are a few I'm swooning over:
The preppy trend for shoes is of course Jack Rogers, which I love and own several pairs of!  However I can NOT wear mine to the beach!  I do not want to subject them to sand so I usually go with some $3 Old Navy filp flops, either way find some cute pairs below!

As far as a beach cover up goes, I just wear a simple cotton dress.  No idea if it is really a cover up or not!  But it works for me!

Now of course your beach bag has to be chic!  I love my giant straw bag from Target, canvas bag from Pink, and Lilly Pulitzer tote bag.  I kind of just pick whichever one suits me that day, similar below.

My bag is usually loaded up with extra sunscreen and a HUGE towel!  I like to extra large beach towels so I can sprawl out ;)  Other fun things I usually bring are a magazine or book, mini speaker for my phone, and a BIG 'ole cup of water!  Gotta stay hydrated!

How cute is that glitter Kate Spade bottle?!

Let me know what you're doing for Spring Break and check out my other spring break posts!


Don't forget to Sparkle!
XO ~ Katie

Check out more Spring Break Essentials:

Purple Picks

Painted my nails purple yesterday which then led to me to notice all of the purple around my room!

It's kind of funny how I have been liking purple again lately because when I was little I LOVED purple!  Even my room was purple!  Purple is the color of royalty so that must explain it ;)

I promise when I made the widget below everything was purple! I don't know what happened :(  But the links will still get you where you need to be ;)

Don't forget to Sparkle!
XO ~ Katie

My College Experience + Tips

Check out the other posts in the college tip series:
How to Get an Internship
Living On Campus 

As the end of my (super) senior year is fast approaching I wanted to write a post about my college experience as well as provide a few tips and tricks for surviving!  I realized this will be a crazy long post if I include everything so I have decided to split it up into several posts.  This one will cover my time at college, on campus, in class.  Here we go!

If you aren't in college yet you may wonder what I meant by 'super' senior - it means I am in my 5th year of college!  Yes, I am ready to be done!  My degree program is a 10 semester program and I took a semester off to do an internship.  So with the AP and dual enrollment credits I came in with it all ended up working back out to 10 semesters, or 5 years. 

I started college in 2010 as a computer science and engineering major.  At first most of your classes are general education, or classes that you have to take no matter your major.  After my second semester I decided computer engineering just wasn't for me.  I decided to change my major - something I never thought I would do!  Which brings me to my first tip:

Tip 1. Don't be afraid to change your plan.  If you're like me then you have had your whole life planned out since you were 10.  Well, college is kind of a weird place - its not the real world yet but it kind of is, and in the real world things don't go as you planned all the time so of course college is there to help get you used to that.

After a lot of research I decided to switch to Industrial Engineering, something I had never heard of before.  But I liked that it seemed to be a mix of business and engineering with a lot of human interaction (unlike computer programming).  That same year (sophomore year) I got my first internship!  I was really excited to get an internship so early in my college career and also that my boyfriend (now fiance) got the same internship!  Let me know in the comments if you would like me to do some posts on relationships too.  Now look back at the first tip - again I never thought I would take a semester off of school to work!  Maybe I was just clueless, but at the time I didn't know that was something people did!  A future post will go into more detail about internships.

Let's back track a little so I can talk about the fun part of college - getting involved!  I joined a professional fraternity (it is called a fraternity but it is for boys and girls).  This was an amazing way to meet a bunch of other engineers!  I also participated in events with SWE - society of women engineers.

Tip 2. Find your niche.  There are tons of cool clubs in college but I recommend getting involved in something specific to your major.  That way you'll recognize people in your classes and have study buddies and people who can relate to your struggles!

During my sophomore year I wanted to get even more involved (how did I find the time back then??) and I had always loved to dance.  I took dance classes every year starting in pre-school so I was missing that from my life!  I found out about one company and decided to try out.  That was a MAJOR fail!  The other girls there were like professional dancers or something, I just danced for fun and never really took ballet so that was kind of embarassing...

Tip 3.  Put yourself out there.  The great thing about going to a big school (mine has over 50,000 students) is that you are unlikely to see people again, unless you are making an effort to see them.  So if you make a fool of yourself at a dance tryout or trip and fall off the bus, don't fret!  You will probably never see those people again so why not throw yourself out there and try as many things as you can.  You'll never have the chance again.

Anyways eventually I found another dance team that accepted dancers of all levels!  This was a way I met a bunch of great girls, most of whom were NOT engineers.  So practice each week became a great escape for me and a chance for girl talk!

I continued to stay involved with these organizations and attend events with others.  I found out about a mentor program during my senior year and got involved with that.  I mentored a high school student for a year which was a very rewarding experience.  I also was inducted into an engineering honor society where I am now the treasurer.

Tip 4.  Stand out.  The mentor program I joined was mostly filled with education majors who were required to do it for class.  I did it because I am passionate about helping others and sought it out on my own.  This was something that was brought up in interviews and made my resume stand out against others.  Same thing for holding a leadership position.  The key to having a stellar resume is filling it with things no one else does.

This post is somehow still super long!  I guess 5 years of college has filled me up with a lot to say!  I hope you enjoy this post and keep an eye out for more!  Feel free to ask any questions below and I will try to answer them in my next few posts!

My Workout Routine and Gym Essentials

My new year's resolution was to go to the gym regularly and get fit for my wedding this December!  So far I have to say I have been doing a pretty good job!  My fiance and I go to the gym every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Of course there have been a few skipped days but hey I never said I was perfect! :P

To add on to that I decided to do squats every single day for Lent.  So my legs are getting hit the hardest for sure.

The past couple weeks I have really started to see/feel a change in my body.  I feel stronger and everything just looks tighter.  Today I did a plank for the first time in a long time and it was no problem for me!  I used to seriously struggle to even do a 10 second plank and today I did 30 seconds without shaking or huffing and puffing!  

So here is our routine, it is a 2 week rotation:
Mon: leg day + abs
Wed: upper body
Fri: leg day + abs
Mon: upper body
Wed: leg day + abs
Fri: upper body

So since we workout 3 times a week, it takes 2 weeks to do an even number of leg days and upper body days, make sense?  And like I said above, I have also been doing squats every day (the boy is doing the same but with pushups!) following this routine, loosely:

Update! Wednesdays are now cardio + abs for me.  I decided to add in cardio because I think that helps shed the fat from around the muscle that I'm building from the other workouts.

Leg day + abs consists of the leg machines at our gym, squats and lunges, and three sets of the ab routine below.  I want to change it up with the abs though because I am getting tired of this one although I do like it, just getting bored.

Upper body days are mostly machines for back, chest, and triceps.  Then free weights for shoulders and biceps.  We also do dips - luckily there is this cool machine that gives a weight assist so I can actually do the dips!  Maybe someday I'll get up to doing them on my own.  Maybe.

For cardio I just do the elliptical (or treadmill if I have to).  I like to do a pretty steep incline and medium resistance.  Today I did 2.5 miles in half an hour, the last half mile was a cool down so that's why it took so long!  During cool down I lower the incline and resistance.

Now for the fun part of working out!  My gym essentials include mainly cute outfits.  The better you look the better you feel and being able to put on a cute outfit is great motivation to get to the gym!  I also bring along my monogrammed water bottle - gotta stay hydrated!  When I do cardio I must have headphones so I can listen to music or watch TV to pass the time.  It helps me keep going way longer than if I was just staring into space with no sound.  I also like to bring a little towel with me so I can wipe the sweat away - there is nothing worse to me than sweat dripping down your forehead - yuck!

I've linked similar items here:

Follow my exercise board on Pinterest for easy routines to try!