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Ever heard of Rocksbox? Well, if you love what you see in that picture above, you're in for a treat! Rocksbox allows you to "rent" jewelry, basically, that is picked just for you by a personal stylist for a few weeks / months in hopes of trying new products and styles all while constantly refreshing your bauble collection! A major perk, if you love what you receive, you can purchase any piece for 20% off!

Rocksbox is a pay per month program, similar to Birchbox if you've tried that. If you're interested in trying this out, use code franxoxo at checkout to get your first month free!

Sign up here! (Hurry, the code expires on the 31st!)

The Hunt for the Perfect Booties

Ankle booties have been a huge trend for a while now and I'm dying to find the perfect pair. Recently I purchased this pair, but they didn't quite work on me... I think this type of shoe is really something that is different for everyone, they can't be too tall or too short or too bulky or too edgy. I've rounded up a few other pairs that I love, but please share if you have any suggestions where I can find other options!!

Happy Monday... hope everyone has a great start to their week!

A Memoir

I'm sorry if this little blog is starting to get content heavy. I write about what I'm doing, thinking, and feeling in the moment. Lately, it's all been go go go with me. Last night my great grandma passed away at the age of 97. She was a delightful woman, always poised and pulled together and her thin white hair always done up in a style I fancied as a cinnamon roll (it was hilariously cute). Of course, because she was my great grandmother, I didn't see her too often. Maybe once every other year. There is one memory I have of her that was absolutely wonderful. My mom's side of the family is pretty big (she is one of six kids and so is her mom), so for my great grandma's 95th birthday, the entire family went out to Kentucky where she lived to celebrate. That was fun. I think it was the only time we were all together, and it was amazing. A woman who can bring all of those people together is truly a remarkable one!

This reminds me, even though 97 years might seem like a long time, the time we are given may not always be enough for our friends and family, and perhaps even ourselves to enjoy. Live each day to the fullest, moment by moment, and make the most of it.

Rest in peace, GG!

France Inspiration Board // Input Needed!

As most of you may know, I'm adventuring out to Limoges, France for 13 days (!!!) and then off to Paris for 4 days in mid-April for spring break this year as the second part of my exchange program through school. I've never been to France and everyone I've talked to claims the weather is all over the place, especially this time of year. I'm basing my ideas of what to pack off of D.C. type of weather, since I visited there in the spring a few years ago and heard similar claims for the disjointed climate. However, all input is extremely helpful and any suggestions you may have I would love to hear!!

I'm planning on loading up on jackets, layering a ton, sporting lots of cute ballet flats, and toting around my necessities in a big cute tote bag like this one!

What do you recommend? Am I on the right track? Calling anyone and everyone who's ever been to France or even has any random suggestions of what I might want to bring, I am all ears. I want to start planning what I need so I can go ahead and get shopping!

Interview with J. Crew Addicts

One of my favorites accounts on twitter is J. Crew Addicts. I seriously could scroll through her feed for hours and retweet everything. I asked a few questions to Dana (the brains behind the brand) because I was so interested, so I hope you find this fun as well! Dana is gorgeous and so sweet, enjoy!


Your Twitter account is amazing. Every tweet is so relatable! Any tips for coming up with great content? I feel like Twitter is a platform I've had trouble getting the hang of. 

Thank you so much! Coming up with content has never been a problem for me. I made this account to express my love for J.Crew and many other things, so it's almost a place for me to vent. I think the key to having great content is being original and yourself, also not being afraid to share opinions that may differ from other opinions. 

How do you engage with your followers?

Engaging with my followers is one of my favorite things about my JCA account! I often ask for opinions and they ask for mine. I'm very friendly and my followers can reach me through DM, email, tumblr, and many other ways. My followers are what fuel my love for JCA and I love them all. 

What exactly is J. Crew Addicts? Just a Twitter account or is there more?

Okay, so back before this account even existed I followed an account called "J.Crew Probs" (short for J.Crew problems). The account had some funny and very relatable J.Crew tweets. I noticed the account was becoming inactive and I missed it dearly so I decided to create J.Crew Addicts! I not only have a twitter but an instagram and a tumblr for this account. Maybe one day it will evolve into a blog but for now I am content with how things are going.

What are your goals for JCA?

My main goals for JCA right now are to expand and connect. I have a twitter, instagram, and tumblr like I said but I would possibly like a blog in the future. As for the connecting part, I would love to connect with more of my followers. Also, I hope this account will open some doors for me, it already has and I am loving it.

Follow J. Crew Addicts here.... twitter // instagram // tumblr

Living in the Moment

Last night was the college meeting for juniors at my school. I love talking about college... I think it's exciting to see where everyone wants to go and setting goals to try to get into your top choices. It's cool to pick a major and decide what you're truly passionate about. But, it's also a big decision and causes a lot of stress and can even be one of those downright dreaded conversations that you have to have with your parents.

At my school, almost everyone applies to Madison. I had this idea that I was going to limit myself when it comes to applications by not applying anywhere I can't actually see myself going or that I want to go to. However, my parents are making me apply to Madison. For me, there's a pretty good chance I would get in, I'd say, and I have absolutely no desire to go there. It's a great school, filled with great people, but it's just not for me, does anyone get what I mean? I don't want to go there, I don't have anything against the school but I just don't see myself there... it's a huge school and I want to get out of Wisconsin. 

When it comes to situations like these, I hate dealing with reality. I don't want to do things my parent's way, I want to do things my way (typical, I know). I have to be patient and see what happens and trust that God will take me down whatever path I'm meant to go. It's not about the Madison thing... It's not about what college I end up at... It's about learning to live life day by day. Carpe diem, sieze the day! Make the most out of what you're given. If there's anything I've learned this year, you're not always guaranteed tomorrow, but you do need to be patient and live in the moment. The best things happen unexpectedly

We all have those moments where we imagine a situation... you imagine your future life with the cutest boy you know, you imagine what that party is going to be like, you imagine yourself in a new city in a fabulous outfit. How often is our imagination reality? How often do these imaginations turn out to be right? For me, it's literally never. I'm not realistic, and I'm not patient. I need to learn to live in the moment... to put my phone down and just live in the moment. Patience is a virtue; it doesn't come to you overnight. I hope that I can just work hard enough to achieve it eventually.


Slumber Party Collab

My PJ's - just the pants // full set
Caroline's PJ's - aren't the zebra's adorable?

Can someone please tell me what's better than a night filled with chocolate, best friends, and tons and tons of movies all while donning the cutest cozy pajamas?! Today Caroline and I are sharing a few snaps from our sleepover we had a few weeks ago. 

One of my favorite things about sleepovers is watching a good movie. Depending on my mood, I usually opt for a chick flick (really sad, tear inducing, ones, obvi), comedies, or classics. See my picks below...

sleepover collab

Chick Flicks | Titanic // A Walk to Remember // The Last Song
Do you want to cry? Probably, I mean why else would you be at a slumber party... am I right or am I right? Watch any of these and you'll cry. I can almost guarantee it.

Comedies | Let's Be Cops // Bridesmaids // She's the Man
My recommendation: pee before you begin. Watching any of these may cause you to endure uncontrollable fits of laughter ;)

Classics | Clueless // Mean Girls // The Breakfast Club // Parent Trap
Oh, simply the best. These moves are the best things since canned soup. They never get old, and I've seen each one maybe 12 times each. It's a classic for a reason.

What are your favorite sleepover movies? Make sure to check out Caroline's post today too for other fun sleepover activities!

The Power of a Good Candle

I have this new obsession with candles. I've been burning at least one in my room every night while I do homework, or even when I'm just relaxing and watching netflix in my bed. Besides the fact that they smell amazing, there are tons of other benefits to burning candles, too!

They keep you warm | Have I mentioned the sub-zero temps we've been experiencing in Wisco lately? When I'm reading something on my laptop or listening to music at my desk, my candles actually keep me so warm. My fingers tend to get really cold very easily and holding a warm candle in my hands is such a nice treat.

They Make you feel Relaxed | I'm pretty sure it's a proven fact that candles are therapeutic. My favorite scents are peony and jasmine, and both make my room smell heavenly and light. The scents are incredibly relaxing and the little flames can be so mesmerizing to watch.

They're Cute | I mean, why else would I be so keen on having random glass jars scattered on my desk if they weren't just plain cute?! My Henri Bendel mini candles are precious, but my macaron candles have got to be the perfect little decor!

Shop my favorite candles with the widget below...

What's your favorite candle? Have a great weekend!!

Black + Camel

All are similar styles today... The dress/bag/ flats are old, the coat is vintage, sorry! 
Dress // Coat // Bag // Flats (this season's version of what I'm wearing!)

I originally bought this dress back in February (almost a year ago!) for a very interesting Sophomore Fling, and I hadn't worn it since until over Christmas Break! This made the perfect look for Christmas Eve downtown at the theatre seeing A Christmas Carol. Pairing it with comfy flats and a classic coat and bag, I felt dressed up but not overdone.

As of last night, I am off to school today, even though half of MKE is shut down! Cross your fingers for me that you're reading this and I'm still tucked away in bed :)

Goals For 2015

Looking back on 2014, like I did the other day, opened my eyes to what I realize at the end of each year. I remember the memories I've made and the milestones I've reached. I remember my accomplishments and my downfalls. This year, my goal is to look back on 2015 and remember it as the year that I really turned myself around and figured things out. As I grow up and realize a little more who I am each year, I want to become the person that I want to be. I firmly believe that as individuals, we have the power to become whoever we want, and if anything is going to stand in our way it should most definitely not be ourselves.

This year I've set a few goals for myself and I am really going to try to stick to them. One of my goals is persistence and drive. Yeah, that's kind of a key one to have if you ever want to accomplish anything.

1: Body Image | This isn't something I really ever talk about on my blog because it's not something that I necessarily like to talk about. I am not 100% confident in my own body, but who is?! Like many people, there are things I like and things I don't like about my body. Obviously, I love my hair. Other than that, there isn't much else that I really like to flaunt. In fact, this year, I really want to work on this. I want to become more comfortable in my own skin and I think that's a realistic expectation!
2: Phone Usage | I am addicted to my phone. It's terrible, and I don't like it. I am always on it. I have portable chargers and everything and it would still die probably twice a day if I didn't continuously plug it in. This year I want to focus on disconnecting just a little bit. I've made a resolution to charge my phone in my kitchen every school night before bed rather than charging it next to my bed and playing on it until it's far later than what's good for me and my eyes burn.

3: Bad Habits | We all have a few bad habits that we just can't seem to crack unless we really put our minds to it. Me? I have a million. Something you might not know about me is that I am a swearer. It's kind of bad. I want to really stop swearing so much, it's not ladylike and it's not cute. It's a horrible thing to make a habit of and I really want to try to stop! Amongst that, I also want to work on little things that have a big impact. I want to bump up my kindness and awareness, and knock down my judgment.

What are your goals for the year?

How I Edit My Insta Pics

Almost exactly a year ago I wrote a post about just this same thing (read that here)! My Instagram has grown quite a bit in this last year, and I am becoming more proud of my feed everyday... or, at least each time I post. I have gotten a few requests to share how I edit my pictures, so today I'm going to let out a few of my secrets! Sometimes I feel like my pictures look a little too "over-edited" when they finally wind up on Insta, but it's all about perspective- no one else has seen the originals except me, so I just have to remember that; it can be hard to tell everything I really did to get the perfect pic!

Here is one of my averagely edited pictures. A lot of my photos start off a little yellow-ish and dark and fuzzy. I tend to take my shots without very good lighting (#badhabit) and so they aren't always as high quality as I would like. I usually take them on my square camera for the iPhone 5S so I can make sure I fit everything into my shot to avoiding having too many problems when it comes to cropping it for Insta.. I think that's just the worst.

SO, this is the original. Not too pretty, right? I took this picture on my desk with my iPhone around noon, probably with my shades open in my room but my lights were off.

Let me share what I do to get this picture insta ready!

I upload the picture to VSCOcam first. This method is basically what I do for every picture...

1 // I raise the exposure and contrast, decrease the temperature, and sharpen just a little bit.
2 // I usually use F2 as my filter on VSCO, but occasionally I'll use S3 if it's a really dark picture, and then I'll save that and reupload it to use F2. I like F2 because it makes your pictures look very "Amy Stone-esque" and brightens them and makes them cooler without overdoing it. I rarely, however, set the filter all the way to 12, which is what VSCOcam automatically does when you apply a filter. I usually keep the filters at 7 or below, and I have found that being consistent with editing really helps your feed flow.
3 // I save the picture on VSCO and then go to Snapseed where the real magic happens.

This is the picture after VSCO, before Snapseed... 

So at this point the picture is a lot more appealling, but for this one is particular it still looks a little fuzzy, right? I like to make my pictures as crisp as possible, so that's what Snapseed is great for! For pictures that don't have great coloring, especially background coloring, Snapseed is best known for it's ability to let you select just a certain area of a picture and brighten/contrast/saturate that specific area- it's amazing. However, another tool I love on Snapseed is the automatic edit. This automatically corrects the color and contrast of the image and it's amazing. 

4 // I automatically edit the image on Snapseed
5 // If there are any strangely colored areas or shadows I brighten/edit them with the selective adjust tool on Snapseed
6 // When I'm all done editing I crop/straighten the image and send it off to Instagram
7 // Usually my image is good by now, but I'll occasionally brighten it, or bump up the contrast, or lower the temp on Instagram before I share the pic. The brightness tool on Instagram is really great, in my opinion. My favorite thing about the instagram editing tools, however, is the adjusters under the rotation tool. Seriously, these are amazing and a total game-changer for aerial pictures. The vertical and horizontal adjusters just cannot be beat.

...And that's it! It seems kind of tedious, but I love how my pictures turn out and I think it's super easy once you get the hang of it! A lot of the steps can be skipped, too, if you just take your shots in natural, good, quality lighting :) Here's the final!!

What do you think?

How do you edit your pictures? Any apps you'd recommend? I'm all ears- there's always room for improvement! Follow me on Instagram here @theblondeprep!


2015 is going to be the year of travel for me. I'm spending a weekend in Pennsylvania in February, 17 days in France (Limoges and Paris) in April, 2 weeks in multiple countries in Europe in June, a few weeks scattered among New England in July, and um, apparently I'm doing a destination Christmas this year?

I love to travel. I definitely got it from my parents, who've both been to Europe and Asia more times than they can count, and have experienced just as many all-nighters on airplanes as they've experienced for other normal reasons. Exploring new cities is so fascinating... the colors, the culture, the people! It's something I absolutely love to do.

I am so fortunate that this year I will be able to visit new states, cities, countries, and continents (!!!). My grandparents take us grandchildren on a trip across Europe the summer after our 16th birthday, so my cousin and I will get to explore a couple new countries and many new cities this summer for a few weeks. I could not be more thrilled- it's such an incredible opportunity, and since my brother went a few years ago, I'm even more excited now that I've heard all of his fun stories! Not to mention, I will actually be going to Europe for the first time when I go to live with my French exchange student over spring break. 13 days at her house in Limoges followed by 4 days in Paris is a total once-in-a-lifetime experience.

I am so fortunate and I can not wait to explore this great, big world this year!

Tell me, what are you looking forward to this year?!

New Years Outfit

Coat // Top // Necklace // Pants // Heels // Bag (similar here and here)

There's nothing better than a clean slate, and a great jacket. I'm kind of obsessed with these gold buttons on this black coat and I paired it with a simply silky blouse, a statement necklace, classic skinny pants, and chunky heels. Not only do I love this outfit because it's classic, it's also refreshing, perfect for the new year. I do love my neutral colors so I especially love the little pop of color in these shoes.