Travel Necessities

Due to a lay over of a total of eight hours, I am updating you with my list of everything in my bag that is necessary to survive for a month abroad.

Stay tuned for a post over what to include on your carry on!

Main Suitcase Essentials:

Hair:

(1) Curling Iron – You’ll thank yourself for this one. Just clamp in the middle of a two piece section, then twist the clamp with your thumb away from your face, and you have a nice curl that will hold for the day. The nice part about this curling iron is that you control the heat settings, and it takes no time to heat up or cool down!

(2) A small bottle of purifying shampoo – this works very similar to a clarifying shampoo, and after one use product build up removes itself from your scalp. I use this once a week to fight back all of the hair spray! *Tip: Mix in a tiny amount of baking soda to really help with build up and give you better volume!

(3) A small bottle of purple shampoo – this can be used once every week or every other week. This is for the blondes who tend to pick up a brassy tone and give you a nice golden blonde tone. I use the conditioner with every use on just my ends. To use the shampoo, I put it in my hair at the beginning of the shower and then rinse it out at the end so that it gives the shampoo time to do its work!

(4) Wide Tooth Comb – to help with all of the tangles after showering/swimming.

(5) Shower Cap – Simply put, for when you’re too lazy to wash your hair!

(6) Dry Shampoo – For the days that you skip your wash (it helps your hair smell like you’ve had a fresh wash, no worries)

(7) Hair Brush – I use this for styling while blow drying and basically everything else!

(8) Moroccan Oil – to help combat the summer heat and fight against dry ends. I use this once a day either before styling it, or before I go to bed, then I put it in a messy bun to avoid breakouts.

(9) Your Everyday Shampoo – this really helps with color treated hair and renews the strength!

(10) Hairspray – this doesn’t weigh down your hair too much but gives you a great hold on all styles!

(11) Heat Protectant – You can put this in your hair while it’s still wet, then you’re good to go with every heat tool you use on it!

(12) Leave In – this is also to be put in damp hair. This is good for detangling, damaged hair, and anything else you can think of.

(13) Travel Size Hair Dryer – This will save MUCH more room than the normal sized hair dryer.

(14) Lastly but not least, a little kit containing classic ponytails, no-crease hair ties, bobby pins, and hair clips.

The Girl Basics:

(1) Lint Roller – for the uh ohs on your black clothing.

(2) Tampons – because lady cycles are VERY unpredictable.

(3) Deoderant – and an extra one for your purse in case of an emergency!

(4) Lotion – especially because Europe has a dry climate currently.

(5) Nail Polish Remover – to help clean up the sometimes messy nails.

(6) Nail Kit – I love this one because it is tiny but has every little tool that you could possibly need. Also, the little scissors are very beneficial.

(7) Vaseline – you can use this for cracked lips or dry heels before bedtime.

(8) Facial Sunscreen – to keep away the wrinkles 😉

(9) Make-up Remover – I’m a strong believer in these. I just recently started using this brand and I love them!

(10) Toothpaste – just stating the obvious!

(11) Facial Night Cream – just to give you some nice moisture and keep your face from drying out.

First aid kit:

Everyone knows their preferences, but this is what I keep in mine:

(1) Cough drops – just for sore throats.

(2) AZO tablets – in case of an urgent UTI.

(3) Mucinex – to combat coughs, colds, a runny nose, or a sore thoat.

(4) Bandaids – everyone kind you can think of, including blister bandaids!

(5) Off- bug spray!

Happy Packing!!

XOXO,

Rachel

Best Lessons Learned as a College Freshman

Tonight as I began to pack my bags, I continued to organize my belongings as I questioned exactly what I was doing. This small little room was becoming emptier and emptier. A whole two semesters completed, and I’m never to put my makeup on here, make phone calls to loved ones, cry over a test grade or sleep. How did the time get away from me? Didn’t I just move in yesterday?

I took a little time to reflect on some of the best lessons I learned this year, so I decided to share them with you. (Seniors in high school, get ready for the happiest time)

(1) College is one big fat huge open door. Yes, you are on your own. Yes, you get to make your own decisions. You now are at an age where you decide who stays in your life and who doesn’t. So let go of those people that don’t make you happy because now you have a fresh slate of people and get to start over. Now with making your own decisions, don’t get too ahead of yourself. Prayer goes a long way, and God really does have your best interest at heart. It took me a whole two semesters to learn this because college is not at all what I expected it to be.

(2) This is a time your relationships with loved ones will be tested. Trust me, it’s worth it. Distance helps you grow closer to the ones you treasure most when you put forth a little effort. A phone call once a way goes a long way!

(3) Yes, the “freshman 15” is real. There are so many factors behind why and everyone is different so it just depends. I checked in with the scale before leaving for school and came back to Christmas break with a difference I was quite shocked to see. Those numbers don’t define you. Just remember to take care of yourself. Bad habits are easy to pick up and can also be broken, so don’t let this shock you! College brings so many substantial changes that you shouldn’t be mad at yourself when something goes slightly wrong. You’re learning how to balance everything on your own and you’ve got three (or four) more years to fix it.

(4) Journal EVERYTHING. I mean it!! You’re in a new environment, so take the time to enjoy it and write about what the present moment is teaching you. If you started a new volunteer project, write about that too so you can add it to your resume and talk about it in a possible job interview.

(5) Don’t forget to exercise. Don’t over do it either. 2-3 times a week is perfectly attainable and not too much of a pain. It’s a way to get your mind off of things and also take care of yourself. You deserve it!

(6) You parents sent you to school to study… not to party, find the person you are going to marry, or completely become sidetrack with a wrong priority. You are in control of your life now so you determine where you will lead with your actions. Sure there are so many more attractive people in college and so many more social events, but don’t let your priorities slip from you.

(7) Push yourself to get involved in something you’ve never done before. I started volunteering in elementary schools at least five hours a week this year because children are something that bring so much joy to my life. Pick something you love, find it in your community, and make it a set goal to do so many hours a week. Doing art with kids was mine, and man was it a good feeling for the little ones to say “I’ll miss you, see you next year Miss Rachel!” It is SO important to give back to your community, even if you are in a new town.

(8) Pack your dorm with healthy snacks. And for sure ALWAYS keep snacks in your dorm!! That way when you pull an all nighter and are hungry at 2 am, you won’t feel as guilty for munching on grapes and granola bars.

(9) God has you where you are for a reason. This is something I really struggled with, and when I decided to get my attitude in the right place, I realized I couldn’t be happier with where I ended up. Although you don’t always know the exact reason of why you are where you are, you have to trust that God has you there to impact the lives of others. It’s not all about what you can get out of it, sometimes it is the people you will help along the way.

(10) Study habits are always something that can be improved. Talking to your professor can and will be the scariest thing at times, but they really are there to help you. Don’t let one semester’s GPA completely tear you down. You have 7 (or more) semesters to boost that GPA back up!

Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed!

Pi Phi Love,

Rachel

Back in Action

Two of the most horrifying words to hear? Swimsuit shopping. The thought of this makes everyone cringe as we tell ourselves we will just eat one more Girl Scout cookie, then the next thing we know we’re opening the next box. I have to be in a swimsuit next week?

Good news for you, I LOVED seeing how many cute one-piece swimsuits college girls were sporting over spring break. After all, modest is still hottest.

On another note, I was trying on swimsuits in Target when this little black one happened to just be hanging there, so I decided to give it a try. Needless to say, it went home with me.

IMG_2473IMG_2451Shop the details here: Black One Piece

Spring Break Awaits Us

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty excited about spring break. Every corner I turn, there seems to be something there haunting me that reminds me that it is so close, but so far away. Here I’ve added my three favorite things that should help you out with feeling like spring is really here (even if the weather doesn’t permit it).

  1. The first thing is a little something to help you cheat without causing sun damage. I use this every night in the shower and it takes very little time (only three minutes!!!) After you wash and rinse, apply this evenly and you only need a thin layer. You can really make this bottle last a long time if you use it sparingly! You will notice some natural glow by your second time! In-Shower Tanning Lotion
  2. This is my favorite lip color! Something about it makes your eyes pop, and I can honestly say it lasts awhile and gives you a good amount of moisture! My favorite shade is called “sorbet” Pink Lips
  3. I love this top and I think it would make for the most precious beach pictures! It would be so cute with some khaki shorts or even a skirt. Beach Top

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Blackbird Sweater

IMG_0020This shoot was seriously so much because I absolutely loved this blue wall!

Okay on to the real deal: This sweater is so lightweight and girly in all of the best ways. It’s short waisted so more power to pairing it with the best ever high waisted jeans and a good round toe bootie, or even tucked into a fun skirt with some over the knee boots. Caution: this sweater will make you feel like your floating on air! 😉

Find it here: Black Bird Sweater

The Target Survival Guide

It’s true, you can’t just run into Target for one thing without completely getting distracted by all the cuteness along the way.

Here I’ve added my personal survival guide from Target that includes everything you could ever need and prevents you (maybe) from getting too overwhelmed by all of the goodies. With all of these items in your tool box (or closet), you’re sure to always be prepared at the apartment, dorm or home, or wherever when you’re on the go!

  1. For the “uh-ohs” on that favorite winter white sweater of yours – let me just tell you, this little gel pen has saved me from all of my never-to-fail coffee spills, and it’s so easy just to use a gel pen without doing all of the work!: Stain Remover
  2. For all of the times to be thankful when sweet friends and family don’t forget you on the special days – I have these and personally love the extra little gold flare: Thank You Letters
  3. For writing down the extra thoughts, prayers requests and praises – I keep this beside my bed and journal at least a sentence every night or a Bible verse from my devotional: Journal for Extra Thoughts
  4. For the times your dentist said “almost done” because you still have some plaque you forgot to floss away: Mint Floss
  5. For the times you hate to feel that the cold weather has finally taken effect on your nose (or that chick flick that just made you cry and you don’t want to admit it): Go Wherever You Go Tissues
  6. For the times you realize you can’t send that package until you cut and tape: Scissors & Tape
  7. For the morning you wanted to cry while drinking your coffee that is almost as black as your soul (your morning soul that is): Sweet Creamer
  8. For the times you hate yourself because you can’t just seem to make your coffee taste as good as it is at home: K-cup of Happiness
  9. For clean teeth and the well-being of saving your teeth from… Just save it, you know what I mean. Organic 😉 toothpaste
  10. For the sake of telling yourself you’re going to get your life together this year (I have the gold polka dot version of this – I love how it barely takes up any room): 2016 Day Planner
  11. For telling yourself you will actually pay attention in meetings and lectures (these are pretty to look at and magically make your hand writing 10x better): 3 Subject Spiral & Magic Pens
  12. For making your clothes smell a little sweeter: Sweet Smelly Beads
  13. For really just staying on top of your never ending laundry (I haven’t bought new detergent since I started school in August): Heavy Duty Detergent
  14. For not wanting to lose the softness of your towels (or demolishing your skin or hair with the towels that now feel like a cat scratch mat): Softener
  15. For the beauty of the natural cold wind giving you chapped lips (I use this every night before sleep – HUGE life saver. P.S., this one gives you a nice little hint of pigment): mini vaseline
  16. For the times the mini vaseline is too heavy: pixi lip butter
  17. For the nights you can’t make it out of bed but still have make-up on: make-up remover wipes
  18. For the days you don’t want lipstick on but need a little life in your lips (Love this x a million): lip gloss
  19. For the days your shoes stink and you have too much static in your favorite dress: bounce sheets
  20. For your extra dusty desk and your crumby counter-tops… Oh, and of course your dirty mirrors! (these wipes get all of the work done- I also use these to clean my lap top and phone): Pledge Multi Surface wipes
  21. For your ashy elbows and legs (sorry I said it – this lotion works miracles for all of you sensitive to your razors): Lotion
  22. For the sick season: Bye Germs!!
  23. For the blisters that are too much to handle with your favorite shoes: blister band aids
  24. For storing whatever need be (I currently have three under my bed and love the color): storage
  25. For keeping your leftovers as long as you can: Food Storage

Classic Stripes with a Pop of Color

I’m currently loving this fun mock turtle neck! Good news is, more color options are available and it’s on sale! You can’t go wrong with classic stripes. Find it here:  Striped Mock Turtleneck

Also, this bag is on sale! It is no longer available in red, but there’s a fun green to add a pop of color to any outfit. Find it here: wellesley small rachelle

Photo: Riley Madlock

-Striped turtleneck from Victoria Secret -Kate Spade bag -Hudson jeans -Seychelle boots
-Striped turtleneck from Victoria Secret
-Kate Spade bag
-Hudson jeans
-Seychelle boots

The Sassy Duo

If you’re starting to become tired of your everyday winter blacks and browns, this leopard with detail fringe is sure to add some hope for making the colder days a little less dull. These boots would be precious with a pair of black tights and a LBD, or your everyday look with rolled skinnies and a cute blouse. Trust me, these boots are sure to be comfy while adding a little height and a little extra sass! And the purse is the perfect bonus! (P.S. — the booties are half off!) Shop details here: lepoard booties | Fringe Leopard Purse

Also, be sure to check out other cute patterns of this bag! Shop here: —> Pattern Clutches

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