Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Lilly & Shoe Philosophies

One of the best things about taking blog photos with Amy and Moira was their eye for pretty houses and specifically pretty doors. We had talked about what I had brought, but when we found this turquoise door that just so happened to match my dress, we knew it was a match made in heaven.












Here's the funny story with it: we were just driving around and were about to go up to this front door just to stand on the steps to take photos....and the woman who lived in the house parked and asked what we were doing. We explained I was just taking photos for a fashion blog and she seemed skeptical at first, but then got really excited. She told us to stay as long as we wanted and do whatever. After a few minutes, she came back out and asked how it was going and said if we wanted to use the front door, to go for it. Thus, the photos of standing behind the door. Pretty funny how people can be so gracious when they know you're not trying to take advantage of them or anything.

So yes, I know I ranted about Lilly for Target last week and about how Lilly can be unaffordable, but then here I have a post of wearing a new Lilly dress. Sure, I look like a hypocrite, but this is a good example of buying Lilly at affordable prices and I don't want to ever come across as a privileged snob. This was purchased during the huge sale in January with my Christmas money and I was super excited about it! It's not for sale anymore, but they have lots of other t-shirt style dresses. The necklace was a Christmas gift, but here's a somewhat similar style

The earrings are an old pair of my mom's, but here's a similar pair. Monogram necklace can be found here. So it's kind of sad because these rings were from C. Wonder and we all know how devastating it was when they closed. I haven't been able to find a similar pair of social media rings, but Baublebar has a really cool selection of stackable rings. I absolutely love these flats, too. They're just a normal pair of brown ballet flats, but they match my brown collection, ie, I have a pair of riding boots, a cardigan sweater, and a pullover sweater that are all the EXACT same shade of brown. These flats were a whopping $3 when the local plus size Wet Seal was going out of business. There's a real tip right there-- I mean, I wouldn't normally shop for the clothes at Wet Seal +, but I got a lot of great jewelry pieces and this pair of flats when they were closing. Here's the exact pair, but because they only have them in black, here's a different brown pair.  

A sidenote about ballet flats: y'all know I try to save money wherever possible, but ballet flats are something that no one will ever know where they're from and quality isn't too shabby. My four favorite pairs of ballet flats are from Forever 21, Wet Seal, TJ Maxx, and American Eagle. And they've lasted me a pretty long time. The nicest thing about cheaper ballet flats is that you can wear them wherever and not worry about them being Tory Burch or something. Obviously if you have a nice pair of Torys, then I love em, but in instances where I worry constantly about them being ruined, it's nice to have a pair that can go through whatever. For example, my nude flats I wore on my birthday were destroyed because so many people stepped on my feet. What did I do at the end of the night? Literally wiped it all off with a Clorox wipe because it was patent leather and didn't worry too much because I spent $15 on them. Yeah, maybe I'm tacky, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Whatever. 

So. Thank you to Lilly sales, and to the gracious lady that let us take photos in front of her adorable turquoise door, and thank you to Moira for taking the photos (all y'all better go look at her insta), and well worn ballet flats. 

Happy Hump Day!!

xoxo,
Meredith

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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Freshman year?

My friend and I were talking about my blog the other day and he asked, "Where do you see your blog going in the next few years while you're here at Richmond?"

We had talked a lot about how my blog changed as I went from high school to college and how it affected me. It really had me thinking about the purposes and priority this blog has in my life, and as I write this with only one week left to go in my freshman year, I feel like I should have some sort of conclusion. Some sort of pretty little nicely wrapped present to my friends starting college, saying "here are all of the things I learned off my checklist of things to learn in life". 

My blog was at its highest my senior year of high school because I was finishing up something that I had changed so much during. I learned a lot. I had a lot to write about. But I'm sitting here, fumbling with my keyboard, thinking about what I've actually done this year and what on earth I could absolutely have to offer at the end of my first year of college. One out of four years? Check, check. 

Yes, I've learned a lot, but does learning have to be all content? Does it have to be a list of definitions and facts and tips? No. Learning is part of a growing process, which at the very root of it, can't be explained in words because it has to be experienced to be taught. 

I explained to my friend that this blog has helped me with transitioning. I kind of imagine it as a notebook I keep it in my back pocket, pulling out to take notes in and shoving photos into between running from thing to thing. 

My life can be a mess. I am a mess. It would be inhuman to not address this, but it's easy to minimize the messiness when you're trying to prove to your family that you're doing well in school, to your friends from home that you're loving college, to your younger friends that college is really much better than high school, to the people who helped you to get to where you are. It's easy to scream "I LOVE college!" when there are so many fun and different aspects. There are times when I've felt really down and I think that speaks for just about everyone in freshman year. Times when I've broken down, doubted every single thing about myself, considered whether I was really at the right school, failed (countless times), and just felt so confused about everything. As I say this, though, I don't think it comes without saying that a lot of people feel this way and that it seems like the grass is always greener on the other side. There are good days and there are bad days in life. There are some days where I could yell of joy and skip across campus and hug everyone I encounter, and there are days where I want to sit in bed all day long and never talk to anyone ever again. And I guess that's just a taste of life, where it becomes difficult to write an organized post about the intertwined mess that life can be.

I have been so frustrated with everything school related. Calculating what I need on the final to get a particular grade in the class, worrying about whether this or that matters for final points and exact details, wondering what goes into my GPA and how this will sit with me for forever. This semester's been kind of tough, but a few days ago, it all came full circle.

I was sitting in my first year seminar, more of an interdisciplinary studies class with food at the forefront of the content, but we've been reading and writing about a multitude of topics. There are two guys in my accounting class in that class and someone was presenting their final paper, of course, about food, and one of the guys brought up a point from something we had learned in our accounting class a few weeks ago. I smirked because I knew what he was talking about and at the fact that he used an example from something from the business school to make his point and ask a question about agriculture. When I found myself thinking about my own personal life and how applicable it was to my final research paper for that class, I thought about how deeply that subject had affected me and how the actual things I was learning was what was causing me to make decisions throughout my day.

In my last journalism class of the semester, our professor kind of pulled together what we had done for months. Countless readings of every sort of news source and media outlet, being very skeptical of everything we were reading, trying to figure out what was really going on in our world. He explained at the end of class that journalism was the most human profession and how after just a semester of researching this kind of stuff, we were able to view the world differently. Textbook content was learned, yes, but our perspectives on how we absorb things that happen every single day are so applicable now.

In my economics class I found myself eager to text my dad as soon as I got out, wondering how he did his stocks and mutual funds. I wondered in my accounting class how my grandpa did this every single day. Because of my first year seminar class last semester, I find myself thinking critically about how rhetoric comes into play in my everyday life and with politics. Or because of my history class, I wonder how the things that were controversial two hundred years ago are still being debated when I watch the news. Thanks to my journalism class, I read everything and scrutinize it more strictly. It's funny how all of your classes start to intermingle and become one and you realize that you're actually growing so much as a person and as an intellectual in just one year. One year down, three more to come, and I hope they're just as great as this one and are full of similar experiences.


This was all a lot of rambling, but I guess life is just a bunch of rambling.

"Cause life is not the mountaintops, it's the walking in between." -Ben Rector

xoxo,
Meredith

Monday, April 20, 2015

Everyone needs to chill about Lilly for Target

Would I even be a "preppy blogger" if I didn't make some sort of comment about the Lilly for Target *scandal*?! The outrage! The drama! The upset, drama-ridden customers that have clothes determine their entire basis of existence! How will you ever live without a colorfully printed napkin?!

Don't hate on me for this. Y'all know that I absolutely adore Lilly as much as the next girl. It makes me happy and I'll defend the brand until I die-- call it grandma-ish or basic all you want, but Lilly clothes are happy clothes and I love the values that the company stands for. When they announced they would be doing a collaboration, everyone flipped one way or the other. I understand the people that were excited-- it's Target, for goodness gracious, we all love Target (don't you dare lie to me and tell me you don't) and discounted prices for the brand we all love so dearly? Ummm, yes please! But I do understand the disappointment with expanding such a nice designer brand to something not as upscale. I really couldn't care either way, I'm not a snob, and the good Lord knows I can't afford every Lilly shift and would love to be able to buy one from Target. But expanding it to Target is a business move, one way or the other. Keep it at expensive prices and out of places like Target so that the value of each purchase is higher? Or sell it at Target and let people buy more of it at a lower price. Your move, Lilly, not ours. We don't know your business plan and we're not deciding your missions, so who on earth are we to judge anything an entire company decides?

When they announced it in February, I was excited. I was excited to see what would happen with both the line and with the ever-loyal customers. Because we all know a girl that likes Lilly absolutely LOVES it. I looked at the lookbook and skimmed some of the blog posts about it, but honestly, I knew I wouldn't be buying anything because 1) even as inexpensive as some of their items are, I just don't really have the money to spend on much right now and 2) I wasn't getting up that early for what could be an overall disappointing morning. Sorry not sorry?

But I know a lot of you, whether you're just a Lilly lover or a close friend, were excited about it and had planned for it. Nothing wrong with that, we all love a good deal and if you love it, you love it.

But you know what's not cool? Acting like this is all you absolutely care about. That not getting your pieces determines all of your day and week. We get up for the online Lilly sales and know that the site crashes and that pieces sell out quickly. Ummmm, welcome to modern day. Sorry the Internet and every site isn't catered towards your every need. And sorry that the Target/Lilly site crashed for a little bit; there are always technical difficulties. I know there were a lot of problems with such limited items in stores- some stores had one or two racks and some had a lot more racks. Long lines, short patience, I understand the frustration. I can't even believe what I would do if I saw someone hoarding it to sell online like I've read about. But guys....... these are clothes. Be mad, be upset, but don't let this determine your whole day. I can't even believe I'm writing an entire blog post about it. I'm kind of just laughing observing from the side because this is WHY this exact demographic and audience of shoppers gets a bad rep. Lilly made their decisions to sell in Target and they made their decisions to only put a limited amount in stores for a limited time. That's THEIR decision. Yes, we're the consumers, but we're not completely the deciding factor in Lilly's business plan.

For the most part, everyone just needs to take a step back and a great big breath. They are clothes. Sure, I got on this morning and was a little upset that it was already sold out, but wasn't that expected? I shrugged and was happy that I wasn't spending any more of my money. 

I hate to be all dramatic and philosophical about it. But honestly, there are other things in life. No need to get all bent out of shape. For everyone that got stuff, CONGRATS! Take your cute pictures and post them because I'm obsessed with it all and you probably look adorable. If you didn't, no worries! Don't buy the stuff being resold online because you're just feeding into exactly what made everyone so mad. Take a breather and enjoy this picture of this cute dog wearing Lilly.

But-- let me know what y'all think about all of this!!


Lots of love,
Meredith

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PS: Cracked myself up writing this blog post title... Getting Chilly for Target? Ha ha haaaa play on words, get it, chilling for Lilly? For Target? Okay bye I hate my jokes too.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Life Lately

Spring semester is absolutely crazy. So many events, crunch time for classes, the weather changing constantly, it's all really a lot. But of course, it can all hopefully be documented in photos.

I guess the last time I posted about random life stuff was after spring break and it feels like so much has happened since then!



St. Patrick's Day was right after we got back and was fun to see all my friends again!



My best friend from home, Adam, and other good friend, Ashley, came to visit from UK on their spring break! We had a great time that weekend and it was so nice for them to be a part of my life here.


And another thank you to sweet friends for letting me borrow their clothes.




Though I had talked about how great Richmond's shopping selection was, I had never actually experienced it, so we took a trip to Short Pump, the main mall here where Vineyard Vines is. We also went to Carytown and then Pink Palm, the Lilly retailer right next to campus. So many gorgeous things!


The weather just gets nicer and nicer, and it was especially nice this day. I'm wearing my Target sneakers (just absolutely the best pair of shoes. I don't even care, I love them.), a long sleeve navy dress from Marshall's, and a necklace and jacket borrowed from friends. I have my favorite Tervis with my Southern Society Company decal (that has my monogram and Kentucky!)- be sure to use code 'SCROGGIN15' for 15% off!





I also had a nice Friday downtown, visiting the Martin Agency and at cute coffee shops while on a field trip. Sometimes days off campus are just so needed.




Beautiful days like this call for baseball and iced coffee. Such a pretty season.






I was lucky enough to get to go to a fraternity formal weekend and had an absolute blast. I learned how and painted a cooler (that wasn't the greatest) in just a few days...another blog post for that maybe later? I was sad I didn't get to go home for Easter, but at least being away was nice. An absolutely beautiful weekend at Smith Mountain Lake!

And a few in betweens-




I SWEAR BY ROCKSBOX. It's my favorite thing. It makes me so happy. For those who haven't heard me blab about it, it's basically an old school Netflix process for jewelry. You fill out your style survey and have three unique designer pieces sent to you for however long you want to keep them. When you're finished with your set, you simply send the box back and they send you a new set. For a month free, use code 'meredithxoxo'! I loved the double backed pearls so much that I ended up just buying them!


There are few things I love more than staying in on nights and relaxing.


Probably one of the absolutely coolest things I got to experience was meeting a blog reader at Richmond! Sweet Caroline was visiting UR and it was so fun getting to have lunch with her and talk about the school. 

And of course, the one thing everyone keeps bothering me about.....basketball.


March Madness began so well and I was so excited. Beaming with Kentucky pride.


While my Cats were seeded #1 in the NCAA, our Spiders were #1 in the NIT and of course we went to support them. With a sad loss, it felt okay because I still had so much faith in UK.


But sadly we lost in the Final Four and I've never felt so heartbroken? It's just one of those things, man, that gets you going. Real sadness. And now it seems like when someone I meet finds out I'm from KY, they ask me if I was upset. YES. I AM. And now so many of them are leaving. But it's okay, historic records already and a lot of hope for the future.

I hope to have my Pigroast post (that rhymes) up at some point, such a fun and traditional day at UR! 

xoxo,
Meredith

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