Sunday, April 28, 2013

10 Days

10 Days

That's how many days I have left of high school.
I. Can't. Even. Believe. It.

This year has flown. There is no other way to describe it. It seems that every passing year moves along at a faster and faster pace.

I am facing these last 10 days with mixed emotions.

There will be laughs
There will be smiles
There will be tears

I am so ready to move on to the next phase of my life: college. I will be attending the University of Missouri in the fall to study journalism. I am so excited for all of the independence, new experiences, and new relationships that await me. I have already found a roommate and we have begun to plan our decor! I can't wait to take engaging classes with lively and diverse professors, and enrich my life by furthering my education and exposing myself to new experiences.


I am so happy to say that I have really enjoyed my time in high school, but it is definitely not going to be the peak of my life. I formed so many great friendships, took a variety of classes with engaging and insightful teachers, and was presented with many opportunities and experiences that I will never forget. I worked hard and had fun. I am proud of my high school career, and can't wait to carry the successes I have had in high school into college with me.

I am so lucky to have been able to attend a small high school that was like a family. I can't imagine what the last four years would have been like if I hadn't attended Central Catholic. Central has instilled in me the values, faith, smarts, and leadership skills that I need to carry into the future. I have been so lucky to have found a group of friends who share the same values as me and encourage me to make healthy decisions and engage in smart behavior. All of this would have been more difficult at a larger school.

I have been going to school with a majority of the people in my class since Kindergarten. It is so bizarre to think that after graduation day, I may never see some of these people ever again. Our class is a family  and I like to think we all get along pretty well. Sure, everyone has their own friend groups and interests, but when it comes down to it, we definitely have each other's backs.

Walking out of school on May 10th is going to be a unique feeling. We will all be saying goodbye. Goodbye to each other, goodbye to routine, goodbye to familiarity. I'm sure there will be tears shed. Central Catholic has been such a big part of all of our lives. It's hard to say goodbye to something you love and have such fond memories of.

However, May 10th will also be a day of saying hello. Hello to new beginnings, hello to opportunity, hello to new experiences. Yes, there is no "next year" as we have thought about every year of school since Kindergarten. However, there is "the rest of your life." How gratifying is it to know you have your whole life ahead of you? So exciting!

Everyone views these last 10 days as something different

"10 Days until my life is over."
"10 Days until freedom."
"10 Days until crazy summer partying."

I really hope that no one thinks that the next ten days bring the end of their life and happiness. High school is a quick stop on the journey of life. Yes, it's fun, and yes, it may seem like the end all be all. However, life holds many more experiences, joys, and relationships that are deeper and more meaningful than what can be found in high school.

I sincerely hope that most everyone in my class will view the next ten days as something like this:

"10 days until the beginning of the rest of my life."

For many, this can be daunting. Leaving the comforts of your home, friends, school, and family can be scary. The next phase is going to be difficult. Settling in to a new place (for most) is challenging both physically and emotionally. Don't let fear overcome you. Seize every opportunity, live every moment. There will never be another time in your life like it.

So, 10 Days.

I am going to make the next ten days count. The last ten days of riding to school with my sisters, the last ten days of putting on my school uniform in the morning, the last ten days of my mom waking me up for school, the last ten days of eating lunch in the cafeteria with my friends.

Yes, I'm excited, sad, scared, happy, and just about every emotion in between.

10 more days with the best senior class I could ask for definitely yields these kinds of emotions.

It's going to be hard to leave. Central has been such a unique experience.

However, I am confident and ready to move on to the next chapter of life, and welcome it with open arms.

10 more days of high school

10 more days until the beginning of the rest of my life

Stay Stylish, Stay Classy, Be Creative.


Sunday, April 21, 2013

April Showers

The weather here in the Midwest during the past week has been absolutely dreary!
It rained almost every day this week, and the temperatures hardly made it above 45. Yesterday, there were snow flurries! 
So. Crazy.

Getting out of bed each day has already been a struggle (hello, senioritis!), but the dreary and cold weather has made it even harder. 

It's been hard to decide what to wear these days. I've been hesitant to move my corduroys and thick sweaters to the back of my closet, because the weather has been FREEZING for the middle of April.

Basically, over the past week, I've been living in my trenchcoat, a light scarf, and rainboots. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to highlight some must have rain gear to survive these April Showers!

Essential #1: Footwear

Every woman should have at least one pair of rain-appropriate footwear in her closet. Whether its wellington boots, bean boots, or Sporto clogs, these are essential for surviving the wet spring and saving your other beloved footwear from water and mud damage.

I took this picture yesterday, when the sun finally decided to shine. It's proof that April Showers do bring May Flowers! Pictured are my Coach Wellies from a few seasons ago, and my sister's Ralph Lauren boots from a few seasons ago as well.

For wet and rainy days, I personally prefer wellies. They keep your feet dry, and keep your pant hems from becoming a muddy mess. When paired with socks, they are also relatively warm. I received the Coach wellies pictured above for Christmas a few years ago, and wear them frequently. I love the fun design as it adds pizazz and personality to my boring school uniform. 

Here are some of my top picks for Wellington boots

Although I do not have a pair of hunters myself, many of my classmates have them and love them. They are definitely a classic, and when purchased in a neutral color like black or navy, will keep your feet dry for many years to come. I plan on purchasing a pair at some point during college. They can also be worn as snow boots if you buy the fleece liner socks. Perfect!

If you are looking for a more affordable pair of rainboots, Target has you covered! Their website has tons of fun styles to choose from. I think this is a great option if you want to buy a fun, brighter, less neutral pair of rainboots. The price is just right, and you won't feel guilty if you tire of them after a season or two. However, they also have great neutral options. I don't know about you, but this whale pair is calling my name!

I most definitely do not have a pair of Burberry wellies; however, they are definitely on my dream wishlist. I love the shorter height of this pair. The classic check pattern matches a variety of outfits and colors. 

I also love these rainboots from Joules, Ralph Lauren, Sperry Topsider, and Coach.


Another  option for wet weather footwear are duck boots, moccasins, or flats. Here are my recommendations: 

~Bean Boots~
I have the six-inch pair in brown. These have served me well on damp and chilly days. They are best worn with smart wool socks!

~Sporto Moccasins~
I don't own a pair of these myself, but I have considered adding them to my wardrobe. I have occasionally seen them at TJ Maxx. Easy to slip on, these moccasins are perfect for light rain or damp days. Cute with skinny jeans!

~Ballet Flats~
What's that you say? You just can't ditch your cute little ballet flats in favor of rain boots to keep your feet dry? No worries! Rainwear manufacturer Chooka has come out with these adorable little flats that are made of waterproof rubber. Adorable!

Essential #2: Outerwear

It's a no brainer that waterproof outerwear is an essential in every woman's wardrobe. (Unless you live in an absolutely arid climate where it never rains.)
The most obvious choice for many when it comes to a rain jacket is a classic trench coat. This is a great choice, but there are other options as well.

Here are my picks for waterproof outerwear:

The Trench
I bought this trench coat from GAP right around the time I graduated from eighth grade. It has served me well over the past few years, and I have been living in it during the past week. I plan to add a classic khaki version to my wardrobe soon.

Khaki is as classic as it gets for a trench. I love the buckles on the sleeves on this one from Gap.

~Calvin Klein~
I love the bright hue of this Calvin Klein trench

~Ellen Tracy~

This version by Ellen Tracy is a bit shorter than traditional trenches, but just as functional. You can't go wrong with basic black. 

I also love these trenches by Tommy Hilfiger, Boden, Zara, and Target.

The North Face RDT Rain Jacket
I received one of these rain jackets for my birthday freshman year. It has been one of the best ever investments clothing wise. This jacket has accompanied me on so many vacations, from kayaking in Alaska to hiking in Hawaii, this jacket is extremely versatile. It is the perfect light jacket but with the added plus of being waterproof. It's easy to pack and easy to wash. I have this style in white, and I wear it constantly. 

My sisters and I found our North Face jackets came in handy on our trip abroad to Europe in 2011. Here we are pictured near Buckingham Palace on a particularly wet day in London.

What type of rain gear do you currently have in your wardrobe? What is your preferred type of footwear to wear in the rain? Let me know in the comments!

Stay Stlyish, Stay Classy, Be Creative


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Recent Outfits

I try to take a picture of what I am wearing each day. (That is, if it is not sweatpants and a sweatshirt (guilty!) or a boring school uniform combination.) I usually use the Pose app to post the photos to my Tumblr, but I have been bad about it recently. I thought I'd share some of my recent outfits with you all in one place. Read on!

J.Crew Polo (Thrifted)
J.Crew Chino Shorts
Mom's belt

My sister, Hannah:
Lilly Pulitzer Sweater (similar here)
Old Navy Shorts
Old Navy flip flops

My sister Natalie:
J.Crew Shorts (love these, but unfortunately, not on J.Crew's website any longer.)
Target sandals
Vintage Coach satchel

My brother and I in Palm Beach
I'm wearing a Lilly Pulitzer Sweater and shorts, both from several seasons ago.

My Birthday!
Gap patterned pants
H&M denim shirt
Old Navy sandals 
F21 necklace

Gap Outlet dress
Loft blazer
Jack Rogers Navajos in Platinum

Vintage Lilly Pulitzer dress
Lilly Pulitzer sweater
Steve Madden sandals
Ralph Lauren pearls

Juno Beach
Ralph Lauren polo shirt (TJ Maxx)
J.Crew shorts (old)
A. Gianetti sandals
Target sunglasses

I tried to include links to all items that are still available. If you have any questions on where to find items or similar items, please leave a comment!

P.S.- extra 30% final sale on! Go now!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Prom Recap

As I mentioned in last week's post, our school's prom was this past weekend. I seriously had so much fun, and I couldn't have asked for a better to way to kick off my final weeks of high school.

First things first! The dress reveal! I gave a sneak peek in a previous post, but here is a picture of the entire dress:

The dress is by Lauren Ralph Lauren and I got it at Bloomingdale's. I paired it with a silver necklace and bracelet, both from The Limited. I also wore silver earrings. I wore silver strappy heels from Payless and carried a black velvet clutch with silver embellishment.

I LOVED this dress. It is probably my favorite dress out of all of the ones I have worn during high school. My favorite part is how the dress comes up at the bottom and makes the shoes visible. This allowed the dress to move really beautifully when I walked (not to mention it made walking easier and I didn't worry about tripping!)

I normally don't wear purple. I own almost no purple clothing. However, when my mom and I saw this dress on the mannequin at Bloomie's we just knew it was the one. LOVE!

For flowers, I went with white lilies, some bear grass, and Bells of Ireland. I also added a few silver sparkly embellishments, and finished it off with a big violet satin ribbon. At our school, it is tradition to do corsages for Homecoming, and carries for Prom. 

A somewhat poor close-up photo of my flowers

My date Jake is the nicest guy. We just went as friends and had such a good time. We jammed to "Thrift Shop" in his red Mustang convertible with the roof open all night long. Seriously, so fun! If you follow me on Instagram you probably saw a picture of the way he asked me. If you haven't, check it out here. So clever!

As far as dinner went, my sisters and I hosted our group at our house for pictures and dinner. Somehow we ALWAYS end up having the largest dinner/picture groups in the grade (ie: 32 people!), so it makes it really difficult to make reservations at a restaurant without having to split up. It was our senior year so we all wanted to be together. We also find it more relaxing to eat at someone's house than have to go out to eat and feel rushed.

We kept dinner simple, and my mom made pasta, bread, and salad, and we had a multitude of desserts. We had a lot of fun setting up the tables and picking out spring table decor. (Everything was disposable, so clean up was such a breeze!)

My table setting 

Lots of springy pastels!

Gerber daisies floating in water as centerpieces

The weather on Saturday wasn't ideal, but we made do. It was so so windy! We had planned on doing pictures outside, but the wind kept messing up everybody's hair. We didn't really have a good spot to take lots of pictures inside the house, so most of us were brave enough to venture outside to the deck. We actually managed to get some pretty decent pictures, despite the weather, and the fact that there were 32 of us! The group photo was a struggle!

Here are some of my favorite shots: 

My two sisters and I and our dates 

 All of the girls. Everyone's dresses were so gorgeous!

My Dad and I after Grand March

Trying to get a group shot: the struggle! But I love how candid this photo is!

Queen and King! Two of the most deserving people won. Timmy has been one of my best friends since kindergarten, one of the nicest people you will ever meet. So proud of him!

I am OBSESSED with this picture! All of our faces totally describe us, and it is such a good symbol of the past four years: we aren't afraid to be ourselves!

Since I go to a very small school, all of the prom attendees participate in Grand March. For those of you unfamiliar with the idea, it is when each couple walks across the stage in front of the audience as an MC announces who is escorting who. It is a HUGE deal at Central. Alumni who don't even have any kids going to prom come back to watch. It is more or less like a prom dress fashion show. There are always so many little girls who attend and who "ooh" and "ahh" at the pretty dresses. Adorable!

Each year the junior class officers pick a theme for prom and decorate the stage accordingly for Grand March. This year's theme was "Bon Voyage." The stage was so cute, modeled after the deck of a cruise ship, complete with "captains" opening the doors when each couple walked out. Awesome!

Jake and I walking out the "cruise ship doors" during Grand March.

Our school holds the dance at an indoor pavilion at a local park. The music played was pretty good and we all stayed until the very last song: "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey. Our group all got a little emotional. This was the LAST SONG of our LAST DANCE as a class ever. It's crazy to think about. 

After the dance, the parents host an After Prom event back at the school. It was carnival themed, featuring a bags tournament, inflatable obstacle course, a green screen, plenty of food, and a hypnotist. So fun!

After Prom ended at 4:00, but our night didn't end there. Our group made it to IHOP to enjoy some pancakes and waffles. 

Jake dropped me at my house at 5:00 and I hopped into bed and slept until 11:00. Perfect!

Prom was a kickoff to the final weeks of high school and life as we know it. It was definitely bittersweet. I have had so so so much fun with all my friends and classmates over the past four years. So many memories have been made, and so many friendships strengthened. Prom 2013 was the perfect ending to a wonderful four years.

On to the last weeks of high school.

Have you had prom yet? Does your school do Grand March? What about After Prom? Let me know all about your prom experiences in the comments.

Stay Stylish, Stay Classy, Be Creative


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Prom Season

It's that time of year again. Your favorite magazines are filled with dress ads and style features, and everyone is abuzz about who is asking who. That's right, it's officially prom season!

My school's prom is relatively early compared to all of the other high schools in town. Ours is this Saturday. I had a dress (and a date!) all figured out before spring break, and I couldn't be more excited for my senior prom!

I had originally bought a navy one-shouldered BCBG gown last fall on sale, but then I took a trip to Bloomingdale's in early March with my mom and sisters. Upon entering the dress department, I saw the most perfect dress on a mannequin and just knew I had to try it on. I fell in love with it immediately and knew it was the one. After a few alterations, and visiting raiding my mom's jewelry box, my prom ensemble is planned and ready to go. 

    What does the gown look like you may ask?

           Well, I'm keeping that a secret until this weekend, but for now, here's a tiny preview: 

I'm wearing silver jewelry and shoes. Tune in early next week to get pictures, a recap, and outfit details!
Did I mention I'm super picky when it comes to shopping for formal dresses? In this day in age, I think it is so hard to find cute and classy (ie: non-trashy) prom dresses. Our school does long dresses for prom, but the administration has gotten increasingly strict about cutouts and slits. This adds yet another element of difficulty in the prom dress search.

I have a few requirements I abide by when searching for dresses:

1. No prints (usually) - I been to several stores where animal print dresses or floral dresses adorn the racks. As a general rule, animal print almost always looks tacky. Floral prints, when done in an appropriate color scheme can work out. My friend Maggie, bought this dress and the soft color palette and similar color tones really work and make for an elegant look. Another example of pattern done right would be this Lilly Pulitzer dress worn by the College Prepster at her senior prom. (She lived in Florida, so it was easy to pull off!) Anything such as this dress, though, should probably be avoided.
Prints are less timeless than solids. In my opinion, you want to look back at pictures in twenty years, and still LOVE your dress. Prints go out of style faster. In addition, you will be saving money by not buying a printed dress. Many of the printed dresses sold by popular prom retailers are very expensive. A timeless solid dress could be worn for other occasions such as college formals, whereas a printed dress could probably not be worn again.

2. Minimal "bling"/sparkle- Personally, I don't really like sparkle on a dress. I prefer to add sparkle with accessories and jewelry. However, like I said, I am very picky. Sparkles and bling can easily be overdone on a prom dress, but it can also be done classily. Embellishment on the bodice or shoulder is always fun, but I would definitely stay away from all sequin gowns. I think that overdosing on bling definitely detracts from the most important feature: YOU!

Here's some dresses I've pulled that do sparkle the right way:

This dress is simple, and I love the soft color. The embellishment at the waist adds some sparkle, but it isn't distracting.

This navy number from JS boutique is a great dress for those who struggle with strapless (Me!) The embellishment is in such a cute little diamond shape. I'm such a sucker for navy.

AVOID a dress like this at all costs. The sequins AND the pattern make for a major distraction. Plus, it's almost guaranteed that you'll be tired of this dress by the time your college formal rolls around.

3. Don't Bare it All- As I mentioned earlier, my school has become very strict about dress length and how much skin can show in a dress. The rules for cutouts are pretty reasonable. A back cutout cannot come around to the front, and may not go below your belly button if you were to trace a line around to your back. Also, no plunging necklines. I think these are reasonable rules that every girl should follow when shopping for a dress. No one really wants to see a dress that plunges so far down your back we can see your crack. Cutouts around to the front leave little to the imagination, as do revealing necklines. Slits are normally ok, as long as they aren't incredibly high. Use your judgment and keep it classy!

WAY too much skin! 

Have fun shopping for a dress and make sure it's "you!" Get alterations if needed to avoid having to pull your dress up all night! Spend time shopping for the right undergarments before the big day so you are all set and ready to go, and most importantly, comfortable!

Here's some of my picks for prom dresses:

J.Crew's wedding line is PERFECT for classic and timeless prom dresses. They offer several silhouettes and several colors. They tend to be a bit more expensive, but you will definitely be able to wear them again, and could even shorten them to make them more casual for future events. I love the color of this blue dress! Add some gold jewelry and heels and you have a sophisticated and elegant look.

I love the lace detailing on this green strapless gown

Another green dress, I know. but I love the less structured feel of this Lauren Ralph Lauren gown. The brooch on the shoulder is a fun touch.

And in case you haven't seen enough green dresses, here is my prom dress from junior year:

Have you had your prom yet? If not, do you have a dress? What are your personal requirements when dress shopping? Comment away!

Have fun at prom, I'll do a recap post of mine next week.

Stay Stylish, Stay Classy, Be Creative.


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Spring Break 2013

~I have been absent from the blogging world for a while. Between finalizing college decisions, planning graduation parties, and finishing the school year out, it's been pretty crazy. But, I'm back, and I am going to try to stay on top of things here on Stylish.Classy.Creative.~

Our school's spring break was last week. I was SO ready for a break! My family and I vacationed in Jupiter Island, FL. It's a quaint little area in South Florida on the Atlantic side. It is about 30 minutes north of Palm Beach. We stayed in a condo belonging to family friends, and also spent time with dear friends who are currently spending their winter in Jupiter. It was such a relaxing week, and I was so grateful to escape the cold and bleak weather of Illinois.

A typical day in Jupiter consisted of us waking up later (around 9:00), going for a walk on the beach or on the trail, doing a little bit of shopping, lying by the pool or at the beach, eating lunch at the condo, and going out to eat a later dinner. It was honestly SO relaxed, and after a hectic last couple of months it was just what we all needed!

My mom and my sister Hannah walking the trail one morning 

My little bro and I keeping cool in the pool 
(I'm wearing a J.Crew swimsuit from Spring '12, similar here)

From my Instagram : Delicious Sanibel Steamer clams at Guanabanas (I was in seafood heaven!)

We took a break from the pool to take a lovely hike at Jonathan Dickinson State Park

One of the nights that we were there, we drove down to Palm Beach to visit with some of our friends who were renting a house there. I was so excited to visit the birthplace of the Lilly Pulitzer brand. Although we didn't have time to stroll along the iconic Worth Avenue, simply being in Palm Beach was enough! (And you can bet my mom and I both wore our Lilly in Palm Beach. Outfit pictures to come!)

Speaking of Lilly Pulitzer, I embarked into Lilly Pultizer heaven last Tuesday. My mom and my sisters and I drove to The Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens. What a beautiful mall! I had tons of fun window shopping at Vineyard Vines, Brooks Brothers, J.Crew, and the like, but the best part of the shopping trip was the Lilly Pulitzer Shop at Bloomingdale's. So bright and colorful, naturally, and they had just received the latest shipment of spring dresses. The salesgirl was so sweet, and she even took a picture of my sisters and I in our favorite Lilly looks for their Facebook page. Such a fun morning! I will be sharing my favorite spring Lilly pieces in an upcoming post.


Later in the week, we drove to Orlando. My little brother wanted to go to Universal Studios and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. We drove up on a Wednesday night and stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel. Wednesday was also my mom's birthday, so we celebrated with a dinner at the Palm Restaurant. Delicious!

After my mom's birthday dinner

On Thursday morning we woke up at 6 AM in order to get to the park early and beat the crowds! It was crazy riding the water taxi to the park in the moonlight, not to mention it was only about 40 degrees and I was in shorts! Waking up early was worth it through, because we made it to Harry Potter just in time to beat the crowds. There was absolutely no line for the quidditch ride in the castle, and the Hippogriff ride wasn't crowded either. Both were really cool rides and lots of fun! Seeing the reconstructed Hogsmeade in the moonlight was actually pretty awesome! We rode the HP rides, got a butter beer and had our picture taken in front of the Hogwarts Express all before 7:30 AM. Impressive.

We did a few other rides in the Islands of Adventures, but by noon we were tired of the crowds. We headed back south to Jupiter and warmer weather, but not before stopping at the outlet mall first. Seriously such an awesome outlet mall. If shopping is your thing and you are in Orlando, you must go!

I so enjoyed the time my family and I spent in Jupiter. It is probably the last Spring Break all six of us will go on together due to varying college spring breaks. From enjoying delicious seafood, laying by the pool, taking leisurely walks, and soaking in the sunshine, it was a great time. It was so hard to return to school yesterday. The senioritis has officially kicked in full force!

Have you had your spring break yet? Did you travel anywhere fun? If not, what did you do at home? Has anyone else traveled to Jupiter? Please let me know in the comments :)

Stay Stylish, Stay Classy, Be Creative