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This Year's Top 10 Blog Posts

my top nine Instagram posts from the year --  you can figure out yours here!

Happy last Friday of 2017! Come Monday we will (obviously) be starting off a New Year and I could not be more excited and ready for a fresh start. I have a lot on my plate this weekend in terms of planning content and setting goals, but I am so excited to get back to a routine. I am especially ready to put all of those Christmas cookies behind me so I can get my butt back into shape!! In the meantime, here are the top 10 most popular blog posts from this year...

Highlights of 2017

Today's post is a little happier than yesterday's! I always want to be honest and open with you guys, and I am so lucky I get to show you both the fun and the not-so-fun parts of my life and you're always so kind about everything. I am really so grateful for your love!! Today I am sharing the top moments from each month of 2017, because I have been doing my yearly recaps in a similar format for a couple of years now and I just love how it lets me reflect on the year and kind of organize my memories in a way.

A Grain of Salt for 2017

When I started to think about how I wanted to recap this year in a blog post I looked through past reflections to get some inspiration. Reading through last year's post on the year was really wild. I had the craziest year from graduating high school, to starting college, to hating where I was at and completely not knowing what was in store for me this year. I set a major goal for myself to try to whatever it would take to make myself the happiest as possible, and I have to admit, that may have been a little too ambitious.

Our Christmas Decorations

Reporting live from Dallas! I wanted to pop in and share some of my favorite holiday decorations around my house at home to inspire myself as I help my dad decorate here in Texas before Christmas tomorrow. My mom truly did a beautiful job of decorating (as she always does) and I just needed to share the festivity with you all!

The Pink Coat EVERYONE Needs

I usually do "This Week's Top 10" on Fridays, but because I haven't posted in a week I wanted to share a more "exciting" post today as we head into Christmas weekend! How did that happen?! Just a week ago I was freaking out about finals and now I'm freaking out about how I'm going to pack for Dallas, head to my best friend's birthday party tonight, shop for last-minute gifts, and make it to the airport all before 9 AM tomorrow.

This Week's Top 10: Holiday Prep + Stocking Stuffers

1. In just over a week I'm flying to Dallas for Christmas! It's crazy to believe I'm only four days away from a month-long winter break, and I couldn't be more excited to head home and hang out with my family and home friends for a few weeks.

2. On my Insta stories on Wednesday night I shared this scalloped cape and these over the knee boots, both of which I plan to pack for my trip to New York the first week in January (both are under $60!).

3. My family is doing a Secret Santa sort of thing to stuff each other's stockings for Christmas. I found a namer draw-er online and it generated everyone's Secret Santa for us! We were allowed to set a budget and create a little wishlist of stocking stuffers, too. On mine I included Moroccan oil, these cute earmuffs, and this coffee table book, because #options.

My Christmas Playlist + New Favorite Headphones

Tracking Pixel

I'm excited to be partnering with Motorola today to share some of my favorite holiday songs on my Christmas playlist! Every year when Thanksgiving passes I immediately break out my Christmas music, and it never fails to instantly put me in the holiday spirit. I have quickly fallen in love with the Christmas Classical Piano playlist on Spotify, which could not be more perfect for studying during finals around the holidays, but I'll never grow tired of my classic holiday playlist when I’m just hanging out or blogging, especially. My new favorite way to enjoy Christmas music: my Motorola Pulse Escape headphones.

Gift Guide: My List (+ Big Gift Reveal)

I've decided to lump in my own Christmas list into my mix of gift guides this year because I thought it would be fun to share some gift ideas that I personally have my eyes on! Although I would love everything on this list, that's unrealistic! I am asking for something really, really big this year anyways, so anything else would just be above and beyond. In no way at all am I actually expecting to receive all the things on this list (or any of them, really), even though I'd love to find them under the tree. Keeping reading to find out what the big gift I'm asking for is...

This Week's Top 10

1. Happy Friday! I'm so excited that in two weeks I will officially be on winter break for a month! I couldn't get my last exam moved as I'd hoped, so I'm unfortunately here until the 21st... The countdown starts now.

2. It was a fun week on the blog! I shared a ton of exciting content, including:

3. Has anyone tried this face mask? It has great reviews but I'd love to hear if any of you have tried it or have any other face mask recommendations?

Complete Winter Sorority Recruitment Outfit Guide

This post has been a highly requested one this fall. I went through winter sorority recruitment last year and I have been getting so many questions about what to wear during the rounds. Recruitment is different at every school, but for the most part it's always a weather-related disaster when it comes to planning outfits. Southern schools typically recruit in the fall when it's way too hot outside, and midwest/east coast schools recruit in the winter when it's snowing and freezing cold. Who thought that was a good idea? Between standing outside houses in freezing temperatures and sitting in a stuffy house or classroom, there is definitely an art to layering for winter recruitment. Here are my tips, suggestions, and ideas (warning! this post is a long one!):

Gift Guide: Under $25

I'm back today with another gift guide! I wanted to put this one up last week but I found so many gift ideas under $25 that I could finish the whole post in time. For the same reason I also wanted to keep it simple today and share just one gift guide instead of 3. If you enjoy the gift ideas I've found here, you can shop more ideas under $25 on the page under the "shop" tab above, or by clicking here to head straight there! For now, more about the gifts above... I think they're all so fun and would make amazing presents without spending too much money. I also like the idea of using them as stocking stuffers or even combining a few for an extra exciting gift!

Holiday Dresses & Shoes

I'm starting to think about what I want to wear for Christmas and New Year's this year, and I love all twelve of the party dresses/jumpsuits I've rounded up today! Most are under $200, but my favorite is this velvet jumpsuit that's even under $100. However, I always find the most fun part of holiday attire to be all the shoes... velvet, pom-poms, bows, ribbons... it's like wearing a present on your feet!

This Week's Top 10: Winter Bucket List

How is it already December?! The weather here has been super mild, in the 50s everyday, so it's hard to believe we're expecting snow, or rather, Christmastime anytime soon. To attempt to get in the holiday spirit despite the warmer weather and my later exam schedule this year (I'm at school until the 21st!), I thought it would be fun to create a winter bucket list that hopefully you can all use too! I realistically won't be able to do all of this during this month because I'll mostly be at school and then I'm heading straight to Dallas for Christmas, but throughout winter break I'm hoping to cross off a few of these items from the list.

Loving Lately // Life Update

Tomorrow I'm sharing a more fun version of my typical Top 10 post, so today I wanted to pop in and share a handful of things that I have been loving this week. After an exam on Tuesday evening and a relaxing day yesterday, I have it in me again to put together a blog post and I'm excited to give you guys a little update on what I've been into lately.

Cyber Monday Sales Not to Miss

Happy Monday! Cyber Monday is one of the best Mondays of the year, in my opinion. I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving and a fun weekend afterwards. We drove back to Milwaukee on Saturday from St. Louis where we had Thanksgiving at my grandparent's house, and then I returned to school last night. Although I do have an exam tomorrow (might delay my weekly Tuesday gift guides...), I wanted to pop on and take a little study break to share some of my favorite sales going on right now. A lot are extended from Black Friday, but I was surprised at how many were upgraded 10-20% for today only. I plan to share my purchases later in the week or next week, but for now I'm still be hitting up the deals down below...

My Favorite Black Friday Sales

I'd be lying if I didn't admit that one of my favorite things about spending Thanksgiving in St. Louis every other year is the shopping we do on Black Friday. St. Louis has amazing shopping and three really big malls, which I consider a luxury coming from Wisconsin where we only got a Nordstrom as our first "high end" department store this year (not kidding). As usual, there are some amazing sales going on this weekend (you're probably just shocked to hear that ;) so below I'm sharing the ones I especially hope to be shopping!


our Turkey at thanksgiving last year

Happy Thanksgiving! Today is one of my favorite holidays, no surprise there, not only because of the amazing food but the without-fail gratefulness that radiates around the holiday and makes me feel extra blessed for all of the little (and big!) things in our lives. It also always turns out to be a big event when I look back on the year or remember where I was at that time the year before. 

Gift Guides for Dad, Boyfriend, and Brother

I apologize that this post is going up a little later than usual! I originally had planned to come home for Thanksgiving this afternoon, but spontaneously decided to head home last night instead to celebrate my best friend's birthday. Suffice it to say I didn't get it together in time to have this post scheduled for this morning, but I have finished it up now and I'm excited to share three gift guides for the guys! Specifically, one each for dads, boyfriends, and brothers. Personally, I love shopping for guys, and all of the gifts you'll find below are items that I have either given in the past, plan to give this year, or know that my dad/boyfriend/brother loves and uses it already.

This Week's Top 10

1. THANKSGIVING IS SIX DAYS AWAY!!! I am so excited I can hardly stand it. Pictured above is the delicious salad I made for Thanksgiving last year; I can't recommend it enough (soo good). If you need any ideas of what to wear, check out my Thanksgiving Outfit Guide with casual options, dressy options, and options in between!

2. Mango, one of my favorite online retailers, is having 30% off all of their sweaters this weekend. I shared my favorites in this blog post yesterday. I ordered this one and this one, but I especially love this one and this one too. All are under $100 with free shipping and returns!

3. I shared three more gift guides this week: perfect ideas for your mom, girlfriend, or friend who has everything! AKA: the three hardest girls to shop for :)

The Best Sweater Sale

Happy Thursday afternoon babes!! I just finished up an exam and was pleasantly surprised to see one of my favorite online retailers having 30% off all of their sweaters right now. I just had to share the sale, because I love shopping online at Mango. They have an incredible selection of sweaters (almost all under $100!!) and free shipping in addition to the 30% off. For those of you who haven't shopped at Mango before, it's a lot like Zara when it comes to style, but with a much better online experience and in my opinion, much better quality too!! I just placed an order for a couple of Mango sweaters, and I have rounded up other options I love below:

Gift Guides for the 3 Hardest Girls to Shop for

Welcome to round two of my gift guides for the season! I am excited to share three more gift guides today that I think might be really helpful for holiday shopping this year: the gifts for the girls who are the hardest to shop for. Whether it be that your best friend already has everything she could want, or you don't even know where to start with your mom, or you're a guy who just has no idea what to get your girlfriend, I've got you covered. Quality, thoughtful gifts don't have to be impossible to find! In fact, I love the pieces I've rounded up below, and I think you might too...

College Fitness Update

image via jess's post on how to stay fit during the fall and holiday season!

A reader requested I share an updated workout routine, but I want this two be more of a discussion today than just me ranting on about what I like to do at the gym. What are your favorite workouts and how do you stay motivated to get in a good sweat? I'm chatting about my typical health and fitness schedule but I would love some inspiration from hearing yours!

This Week's Top 10

1. Happy Friday! Not much is going on here this weekend. The Iowa vs Wisconsin football game is tomorrow, but I'm feeling so unprepared for a game day in 30 degree weather!! Last weekend I ended up spontaneously heading down to Chicago and I had just the best time (as always).

2. I am so excited that I kicked off some holiday posts this week. In case you missed it, I shared gift guidea for the traveler, the adventurer, and the hostess, as well as a Thanksgiving Outfit Guide. What was your favorite? Not holiday related, but I also shared links to shop my Insta Stories in this blog post too.

3. My holiday shop is finally liveI am dying to smell this scent!! The bottle is gorgeous and the notes of tuberose and jasmine are right up my ally. I need to get myself into a Nordstrom over Thanksgiving break so I can see if it's worthy of going on my Christmas list :)

Thanksgiving Outfit Guide

I can hardly believe Thanksgiving is two weeks away. I feel like I say that every year, but the holidays are just so anticipated all year long that when they finally arrive it's like a dream come true! Thanksgiving is, of course, one of my favorite holidays. I'm excited to spend it with my mom's side of the family at my grandparent's house in St. Louis this year. Our Thanksgiving celebrations in St. Louis are always super casual, but I love wearing something cute and festive for the holiday. Below I am sharing casual, semi-dressy, and dressy outfits to indulge you in the ultimate Thanksgiving Outfit Guide (warning: lots of velvet, denim, and leather down below!)

Shop My Insta Stories

I have been getting a lot of Instagram DM's recently asking for links to items I share on my Insta Stories. I love getting messages, comments, and questions, so I'm always looking for ways to actually be helpful and useful in my responses! I used to be able to use the swipe up feature on Insta stories to easily link to products, but it no longer works for me. My easy solution: I am rounding up the products from recent shoppable posts all in one place... keep scrolling!

3 Holiday Kick-off Gift Guides

Hello, hello! Today I am so excited to kick off a weekly gift guide series to take us into the holiday season. I know it's early, but I got excited (I may or may not have stayed up way too late doing this last night...). After spontaneously venturing down to Chicago this past weekend, I came back to school feeling refreshed and inspired, albeit a little exhausted. Nonetheless, here we are already in the second week of November, and I'd be lying if I said I haven't started to think about revamping my holiday playlist and ogling over holiday gift ideas. Too soon? Sorry about it ;)

This Week's Top 10

1. Happy Friday! For the first time in over a month between visitors, midterms, and heading home/to Chicago last weekend, I have nothing on my calendar. It's not even a game day! Both of my roommates are leaving though, and I'm not sure how I feel about being all alone for a weekend...

2. Thank you to everyone who was so kind about my experience with withdrawing from my sorority. In case you missed the post, you can read what happened here.

Winter Coat Lust List

lol, I wish ^

It's kind of funny how long the weather managed to stay warm here this fall, and then the day it turned November first it was automatically 30 degrees. That is the Wisconsin I'm used to, but I can't exactly say it has me excited. Maybe winter took a while to get here, but it always seems to drag out until the last possible minute. Heading to classes yesterday in a Patagonia jacket reminded me that I definitely forgot to bring my actual winter coat to school and it has me scouring to purchase a new one. Ugh, why is coat shopping so tantalizing?!

Why I'm No Longer in a Sorority

On Insta Stories on Monday I was surprised to discover how many people wanted to see more lifestyle posts and just how many of you are interested in college content! I used to share so many more posts that were on the personal side, but I put them on the back-burner for the past few months. Today I really want to talk about something that I know a lot of you are interested in, being in a sorority. Even if you are opposed to Greek Life, sororities, or just generally uninterested in college content, I am sharing some valuable lessons I learned in the process of letting go of Alpha Phi.

You, Me, Oui!

Happy Halloween! Are you guys doing anything fun tonight? I saw this beret at Anthropologie this weekend and I had to have it. Ironically, it matches with the French-girl costume I was planning to wear tonight, and with the cold weather we are expecting it might just really come in handy to keep me warm! In fact, doesn't this whole outfit look kind of French? We shot in front of one of the most beautiful buildings on campus and I thought the backdrop was perfectly fitting with its European/Parisian architectural vibes...

This Week's Top 10

1. I can't believe we actually made it to Friday afternoon. This week has felt like one of the longest, with a new stressor seeming to pop up every day. Having two midterms on Tuesday meant my entire weekend was basically spent in the library (with the exception of going out to tailgate for game day on Saturday for literally only two hours) and then a paper on Wednesday and another exam just a two hours ago really had me exhausted. Not to mention there were plenty of non-academic complications that just had to occur this week, but suffice it to say that I am quite excited to head home for the weekend this afternoon. 

2. This is the first time I'm heading home since being at school this year, and I am really impressed with my ability to hold out until now. Last year, despite my school being two plane rides away (and this year being just over an hour drive), I was desperate to go home all of the time and went home for the first time mid-October. I guess it's different this year not only because I like my school more, but because a lot of my favorite people have visited me already. Nonetheless, I think this is a true expression of how much more I am loving life at college this year. (Shameless plug to watch my transfer experience vlog ;)

3. This is the first week that it's been seriously cold out (in the 30's today), so my Barbour jacket has been my best friend for the last few days.

This Week's Top 10

1. For once I'm actually not that excited about making it to the end of the week... this weekend is forecasting a lot of time in library for me! I can't say I'm feeling good yet about the two midterms I'll be taking on Tuesday, so let's hope I get some serious studying done to prepare!

2. Last weekend was, like, the greatest weekend of my life. My best friend Lauren was visiting all weekend, my roommate's best friend (and another great friend of mine) was also visiting, and my mom came up on Saturday to throw all of us and all of our school friends a huge tailgate/party in the apartment. We had the best time all weekend, but I'm glad I'm taking it easy this weekend to recover :) Next weekend though... it should be another good one!! Jack is visiting for Halloween weekend and I think we might venture down to Chicago one night to do Fright Fest at Six Flags!

3. Speaking of getting in the Halloween spirit, did you see these 7 creative costume ideas I came up with? They are perfect for any girl who wants to look extra stylish in her ensemble!

Steal Her Style

When fall rolls around every season all I want to do is layer up in sweaters and look cozy and chic as much as the next girl. However, that's a little tricky when we are bouncing between 70 degree temps in the afternoon and 40s when heading out the door in the morning. Like, what's a girl really to do besides throw in the towel and opt for a less stressful outfit when the weather's all over the place? Cue the look above: let's start there. I want to steal her style!

Fall Wardrobe Essentials

I am so excited to share a curated list of what I believe should be a part of every girl's fall wardrobe staples! From a casual fur vest to a velvet skirt and suede booties, I have included a few of my favorite pieces for the season in this graphic, and I hope you will share with me your fall staples, too. 

Cozy Sweater for Class

The weather finally feels like the Octobers I know and love in Wisconsin. I wore almost this exact outfit to class yesterday and felt actually a little bit chilly in just a sweater! My ideal temperature for fall weather is mid-50s and I am so pleased to say we have finally, finally reached that point!! I love just putting on a comfy, cozy, soft sweater with leggings for class so I can look cute but still feel like I can jump right back in bed when I get home. Oh, and trust me, I do that a lot. 

Weekend Recap

Happy Monday! Thanks to everyone who voted in my poll on Insta stories last night- weekend recap won for today's post! Don't worry, an outfit will be coming soon. I had the best weekend showing Caroline around my new school and getting to see her, so I'm glad you all wanted me to recap the fun! Little visits with friends, no matter how short, really make college feel more like home. Caroline, my roommate Elizabeth, and I all had so much fun dining, shopping, and exploring downtown Madison. Here's what we were up to:

This Week's Top 10: Under $100 Finds

Happy Friday! This weekend in particular is one that I have been looking forward to since the last came to a close. Caroline visiting, a game day and the farmer's market tomorrow, rooftop yoga and brunch on Sunday... I finally have a bunch of things to do!!! Haha, but actually. In case you missed it, yesterday on the blog I shared what's new in my life as of late. So, I want to mix up This Week's Top 10 from what's happening in my life and sharing random things and instead share a round up of ten pieces I discovered this week all under $100!


last night's insta @franacciardo

Today I wanted to share a fun little post to update you all on my life at college and what I have been up to, listening to, wearing, reading, doing, etc! I wanted to touch on some aspects of my life that are often neglected on the blog, so I had a ton of fun pulling together these little life updates to share: