Graduation Day Style

lilly_pulitzer_graduation_styleI’m happy to say I’ve finally chosen a dress for my big day! After a few months of searching, I decided on a gorgeous Lilly Pulitzer dress for my graduation. I went up to one of the nicer malls in the Washington, DC area yesterday in search of the perfect ensemble for the special day. I tried on two dresses and without a doubt chose the right one!

I want my graduation day to be special and Lilly says special to me. Better yet, it’s my very first Lilly dress! I’m not one of those girls who grew up wearing these expensive, bright clothing designs. My family didn’t have money to spend $80 on a little girl dress for the summer and that was ok. Now that I’m older and have my own income, I get to splurge on little things like this. It truly is a sense of accomplishment.

The rest of my graduation day outfit is a bit up in the air. How on Earth do you plan for something that’s outdoors and a month away? That’s right, you don’t. I’m just hoping the weather is nice and the humidity isn’t ridiculous. I’ll certainly be wearing a heel of some sort if it isn’t wet outside. Otherwise, my ballet flats will be making their graduation debut. I’ll be rocking the pearls around my neck to add that extra prep in my step. Here’s hoping they don’t get caught in my hair because it’ll be curled! Story of my life.

I’m still trying to figure out who will be taking my graduation pictures for me. I want to do them on my college campus in my Lilly dress and get a few shots of me holding my graduation cap or throwing it in the air. I have so many great ideas for pictures and no photographer to make it happen and understand my vision.

If you guys have any suggestions or ideas for great graduation day style, I’d love to hear them! Comment below!

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Tips for Spring Break at Disney World

magic_kingdom_castleLet me start out by saying this: I love Disney. As a seasoned guest of Walt Disney World and a former employee, I enjoy sharing my knowledge with new visitors to make their trips less stressful. I haven’t wrote much about my time in the Disney College Program, but I feel like spring breakers could benefit from my knowledge of this crazy, magical place! I interned at Disney World back in winter/spring 2013 and was there long enough to watch the huge crowds trickle in week after week to celebrate spring break. I was “stationed” in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, so most of my information is based on my knowledge of this park.

Walt Disney World Travel Tips

  1. Get to the parks early. It’s that simple. Be first in line when the parks open and run to the attraction you most want to see. After that, head over to the next biggest attraction you want to see. Within that first hour I can almost guarantee you’ll be able to hit all the major things on your list with minimal wait time.
  2. Parades are your friend. If you don’t want to see the park’s signature parade, then this is a great time to hop on rides and see a few shows. People flock to the parades and the wait time for attractions goes down, just be sure to be on the side of the park you need to be on because when a parade goes through they shut entire areas down to walking traffic.
  3. Get the pesky brochures. At the entrance of every park you will find an array of pamphlets and brochures outlining everything there is to know about the park you’re in. I suggest grabbing a map, character meet and greet guide, and a show time guide to minimize the amount of time you spend wandering around trying to find something.
  4. Understand how character meetings work. As a former character attendant (glorified body guard and time disney_character_attendant keeper), I can tell you from experience that the characters have incredibly strict schedules. I can also tell you that with certain characters especially in Hollywood Studios, they run on a 25 minute on, 5 minute off schedule. This schedule runs about 8 or more hours a day. The character has 25 minutes to meet his fans and is then given a 5 minute warning from his handler that he needs to finish up with his meet and greet. Then, the character gets a 5 minute break before returning to his line of waiting guests. Also, character will likely not be out during parade times. Why? Because most of them are in the parade!
  5. Have a schedule. Before heading to each park, make a list of what you want to see and do the most. Schedule out what time you want to arrive at the park and when you want to leave. My advice? Get to the park when it opens and stay until lunch time when everyone is getting tired. Return to your hotel and relax by the pool and take a nap. Around 4 or 5, head back into the parks to enjoy the evening festivities (fireworks every night in Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Epcot). Trust me, this saves a lot of stress and fatigue.
  6. Take advantage of the “Extra Magic Hours”. This particularly applies to the crazy college kids who are used to being up until midnight or later. Every night one park will either open an hour early or stay open 2 hours late. Find out which park is staying open late and enjoy those hours. Typically, the smaller children have fallen asleep and are headed back to the hotel and you can finally enjoy those little kid attractions you’ve been dying to get on (think Peter Pan’s Flight in Magic Kingdom).
  7. Pack for Florida weather. Florida is unpredictable in the spring. As an attendant, at any given time I had with me a water bottle, rain poncho, sunscreen, and lip balm. You never knew what was going to happen. Take a drawstring backpack with you (not the time to sport your new Kate Spade tote) and throw in some all-weather gear. You’ll thank me for this.
  8. Do not have melt downs. Do you know how many times I’ve seen people absolutely lose it over something because of stress? This is a vacation. Take everything with a grain of salt and just enjoy the day. The funny thing about Disney World is that you don’t typically walk away remembering every single ride you went on or show you saw, you only remember who you were with and the laughter you shared. If you don’t make it to see a show, who cares? Find something new to enjoy. I promise you that your vacation will not be near as wonderful if you get caught up in the details.

If you have anything to share, please feel free to comment below!

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Spring Break Essentials

The dreaded months of January and February are over and we are ready to celebrate the upcoming spring! For some college students, this means spring break in a tropical climate. As a graduating senior in May, I know all too-well how important these little breaks are. I’ve completed all of my coursework and am only waiting on the ceremony for my graduation to become official, so technically I can’t sympathize too much with currently enrolled college folk. However, I’ll try to contribute in another way! Here’s a few spring break essentials for this year…

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  • Rompers- These are so easy to wear from day to night with the right accessories! The light weight fabric makes it perfect for traveling. Find this romper here.
  • Big hat- I love to make a statement with a big sunhat. They look so classy and serve a purpose as well. This one can be found here.
  • Neutrogena sunscreen- If you’re like me, you break out from Banana Boat sun block. I’ve found that Neutrogena has a nice line of products to prevent sun damage. The area I pay close attention to with my sunscreen is my face and neck. Too many burns and you’ll be getting wrinkles!
  • Colorful wedges- Bring a pair of wedges in a bright color like these red Cole Haan ones. Pick a color (like red) that will match many different things in your travel closet.
  • Tote bag- Bring a tote bag that will carry beach and day necessities. Find one in a bold color (like this one from Kate Spade) and pair it with a neutral outfit.
  • Bikini- Don’t forget the most important part of your spring break: the swimsuit! Find great bikinis like this one at J Crew!

Enjoy some sun and sand wherever you may be going! Use that sunblock!

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Rainy Days

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Today is one of those days that I find myself in a very rainy mood. Though the sun shines outside my window, I’m a little rain cloud inside. As most of you know, my life is at a stand still right now. I’m waiting on either an acceptance or rejection from several companies I applied to work for and frankly, the wait is emotional agony. Half of me would like to believe that I’ll get the position I want and the other half snickers at the thought.

I’ll try my hardest not to dump my emotions into this post.We all have our own battles that we face. Mine just so happen to be what every college graduate is facing- the fear of unemployment. I try to think about the best possible outcome for myself but the uncertainty of it all just clouds the positivity with anxiety about what’s coming next.

People bombard me with messages to stay positive and expect the best possible outcome. I understand their sentiments and appreciate their wisdom. However, I think everyone deserves a “rainy day” sometimes. It’s awfully hard work trying to stay positive when all you want to do is lay in bed all day.

It’s kind of a lonely feeling. Unless someone else is going through the exact same thing they’ll never understand your outlook. We tend to live lifestyles that only have regard towards happy times and can’t understand seasons in life that are demoralizing.

Personally, I’m embracing these feelings and thoughts I have. Chasing them away consumes more energy than I have.

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Why Graduations are a Big Deal and Ideas on How to Celebrate

graduation_celebration_ideasYesterday, I read an article about how society makes a much bigger deal (and spends more money) on things like weddings, engagements, baby showers etc. as compared to other life events like college graduations or first jobs. While the author was a bit sarcastic in how she worded things, I generally agreed with what she had to say. All of these life events are equally important and it’s time we celebrate them equally.

The average cost of a wedding now is $20k (possibly more if people were honest). That was my college tuition for a year. It’s a heck of a lot of money to spend all in one day. The average cost for a college graduation party is $985. These numbers suggest what we tend to value more and as a soon-to-be college graduate, I definitely feel like my achievement isn’t nearly as important as other friends’ who are engaged.

Please don’t misinterpret my message. Weddings and baby showers are important events and certainly should be celebrated. However, a college graduate deserves the same treatment because frankly, in most circumstances, this achievement takes more intellect and time than the process of getting married or having a kid usually does.

I go to a small Christian school and there are two types of people that are there: the type that believes college is solely for finding a mate and the type who thinks you can do other things too. I have many fond memories of my school. Dealing with people (girls particularly) who are only after their MRS degree is not one of them. It really is the most expensive degree you can get. On the contrary, there are people such as myself who don’t mind if they meet their future spouse in college, but for them the point in going to school is to ensure they can afford a decent life afterwards.

With all of my griping you might be curious to know what ideas I have on how society can celebrate graduation in a more grandiose way. Here are a few things I thought of:

  1. Buy a new dress- People spend thousands on “saying yes to the dress” for their wedding. I don’t see a problem with spending a few hundred on something fabulous to wear at your graduation. I’m eyeing a few Lilly Pulitzer dresses myself!
  2. Host a dinner party- Whether you pay for it or your parents do, having a big, sit-down dinner that’s catered might be just the ticket for you to be able to savor the spotlight.
  3. Send out announcements- When people get engaged, they send out save-the-dates. When graduation time roles around, send out your own announcements letting friends and family know that your “big day” is right around the corner. *Special note*: Usually when you send out these announcements people automatically assume you only want money. A great way to avoid this awkward conundrum is to make a note at the bottom saying something like “In lieu of gifts, the graduate asks that a donation be made to (insert charity name here).”
  4. Have a photo session- Engaged couples get to have a special photo shoot and so should you! Hire a professional photographer or even ask a friend to spend an hour or so taking photos of you.
  5. Go on a trip- Just like a honeymoon, you have to get away from it all and relax after all the festivities (and the last 4 years) are over. Go on vacation with a few of your other graduate friends and breathe a sigh of relief that it’s over and you’ll never have to study for an exam again.
  6. Buy yourself pretty jewelry- If a bride gets a pretty ring, then so should a graduate. It doesn’t have to be lavish, but something to commemorate this time in your life is a really great idea. Plus, costume jewelry just doesn’t go over as well in an office setting. You might as well have something nice to wear with your business suits.

I hope I’ve given you a few ideas on how to celebrate your (or someone else’s) special day! Graduating from college is such an important and incredible time in life. It shows mental endurance, dedication, and skill. We should celebrate it!

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