Email theblondeprep@gmail.com with questions, comments, or concerns. Powered by Blogger.

The Best Dorm/Apartment purchases I Made in College...

It's crazy to me that I'm not heading back to school in a couple of weeks! Although I can't move at the end of this month as planned, I am still looking forward to the day I finally get to decorate my apartment. However, until I am able to sign a lease, I have no idea how much stuff I'll actually need for my new space, or the vibe I'll want to go for! So, today I thought it would be kind of fun to share the best purchases I made for my dorm and apartments in college for anyone heading back to school this season!

Nordstrom Sale Faves: Clothing, Beauty + Home

I haven't done a post dedicated to the Nordstrom Sale since 2016, but since I am actually planning to shop it this year, I wanted to share my faves from the preview. You guys know I love a sale moment, and I was surprised by how many things I genuinely loved in this year's sale. If you don't care about the sale then just ignore this -- I get it, that's been me for the last few years, too!

This Week's Top 10

1. This weekend I'm heading to St. Louis to visit my grandparents. I haven't seen them since March and I'm looking forward to spending time with them! I am going alone and they've been completely quarantined, so I think we are both excited to switch things up and hang out!

2. Kendall Jenner’s house tour with Architectural Digest (pictured above) is absolutely fabulous.

3. My reusable face masks arrived this week and I loooove them. They are so comfortable and cute, and the best deal I've seen -- 2 for $12! It looks like they've just added some new color combos too.

My Favorite SPF Products for Face


I posted on IG stories last week asking if you'd like me to review some of my go-to face products with SPF, and I was shocked at how many of you said yes! I know for me, SPF has been extra important lately, but I sort of thought I was late to the game and everyone else had already figured out their favorite products... guess not, lol! I am so excited to share these with you. They are summer game-changers for me!

Rosé Picnic: 9 Rosé Reviews + Recommendations


A week ago today, a few of my high school girlfriends and I decided to have a little picnic in the park and try a few different bottles of rosé! I've written a mini-review of each of them below, along with reviews of a handful of other rosés I've tried this summer! I have no expertise in wine reviews, so please take all of these with a grain of salt... haha. I simply based my thoughts on how much I enjoyed each bottle.

August Moodboard (Desktop Wallpaper)


August is such a bittersweet month for me every year. I love it because it's my birthday month and I love the weather and the vibes... as the mood board depicts, August makes me think of champagne (it's my birthday month!), sunsets and the beach, crisp white outfits, iced coffee, and time outside. But it's also the last month of summer and I usually have things looming over my head as it goes on... 

July Favorites

fran acciardo july favorites natural blonde green dress

July was a good month. I celebrated the Fourth of July in the Hamptons, celebrated my boyfriend's birthday in Madison, moved out of my college apartment officially, and went up to EJ's lakehouse this past weekend. I also ran 60 miles, which was my most yet of any month in 2020! Here were my favorite things from July:

This Week's Top 10 {Favorite Things}

Omg! The last day of July!!! This week I am switching up the format of the top 10! Instead of 10 random links to things, I'm going to share my 10 favorite things I loved... Let me know if you prefer this format or the usual! Maybe I'll start switching off? This one was fun but also feels a little self-centered and not as well-rounded... so we'll see!

H&M Try On Haul


You guys... yesterday was my first shopping experience since Covid, and not only did I feel completely safe wearing my mask and social distancing in-store, but I found some fabulous things at H&M! Confession: I have the worst success rate when it comes to online shopping. I was heading into the store to return four of the five things I'd ordered online and was pleasantly surprised that my H&M had been recently renovated, looking fabulous, feeling really clean, and was full of amazing stuff. So excited to share them with you!


Current Staples



I posted this outfit on IG yesterday and I wanted to share the details on here! I realized that many of these pieces have become a part of my summer uniform just because they are so versatile, cute, and comfortable!

In My Cart Under $100


I feel like I haven't shopped in forever. I bought a few things for my trip (Rhode Island recap here + Hamptons recap here), but (somehow!) that was already over a month ago. Even though I'm at home not doing much, I have been getting drinks outside with friends, which obviously, that calls for a cute outfit! I also hate not having something cute to wear for Instagram photos, as dumb as that sounds. It's August next week, so what better excuse than my birthday month for sprucing up my wardrobe?! 

Below I've rounded up some cute things I'm loving right now, most under $100, everything under $150!

Recent Wellness Obsessions


I am currently going through a bit of an unintentional wellness phase where I feel a really strong urge to take extra care of my mind and body. I haven't been doing anything crazy, but I've just been incorporating a few extra things into my day-to-day that make me feel less stressed, and more "well." Although I'm not doing much this summer (besides blogging), I think it's understandable that many of us are more on edge/stressed out than we otherwise would be, given the state of our world. So, today I'm sharing a few things I've been loving lately related to wellness to hopefully inspire your own self-care habits!

This Week's Top 10


1. I officially moved out of my apartment yesterday, and despite being a lot of work (we lived on the fourth floor of a walkup!) it wasn't too bad because my mom is a genius and got a U-Haul to make everything easier *praise emoji* In case you missed the details on my IG story, I'm living at home for the foreseeable future until it's safe for me to move to NYC for my job (which I am so grateful is still on the table and starting mid-September as planned). you can see my senior year room tour in this post

2. Taylor Swift's new album Folklore came out at midnight! Have you listened yet? I am listening right now and already love it.

3. I just discovered the Starfish Project, which is a jewelry company with an incredible mission. From their website: "100% of your purchase is invested in our social mission to help trafficked and exploited women experience freedom, establish independence, and develop careers." I love this necklace and this cute bracelet. I will definitely order soon to support the girls and this inspiring company!

Current Fave Foods/Snacks


I go through phases where I get really excited about the things I'm eating, and then phases where I don't really care. I think because I'm coming back from three weeks of lobster rolls, dinners out, and delicious meals from breakfast to dessert, I'm in a phase where I really want to eat delicious things. In a way, I guess I'm just trying to keep the streak alive while being a bit healthier and eating at home again. Today I'm sharing the foods, drinks, and snacks I've been obsessed with lately!

Cute (Non-Medical) Face Masks

this is part of the two-pack I ordered! many more color pairs available, too

Wow-- I don't think I've ever gotten as many DM's from an Insta story as I did this weekend when I was posting about cute/stylish face masks! We all have to (or at least should) wear a mask these days, so why not make it cute and fun?! I ordered this two-pack of masks and it's kind of crazy how much more excited I am to wear a mask now. I found a ton of stylish (non-medical) masks when shopping for mine that I wanted to share. I can't believe it took me so long to finally pick out a fun reusable mask!

Summer Makeup Routine (Another IGTV!)


Hi! I got carried away with filming when I was out in the Hamptons, and I recorded another IGTV of my summer makeup routine. (ICYMI, I shared my everyday jewelry in my first IGTV here + blog post with the details here!)

If you remember this blog post from May, I was trying to establish a natural makeup routine for myself, and I am very happy with what I came up with (which I'm sharing in the video!) The products I ordered at the beginning of the summer have all quickly become favorites of mine, and I'm so excited for you to see how I use them and like them. I am obsessed with them and really can't recommend them enough!

This Week's Top 10


1. To say I'm freaking out (in a bad way) would be an understatement. This week, Wisconsin was added to NY's list of states on the travel advisory, which means my trip to NYC in three weeks to look for an apartment has to be canceled. Unsure at the moment what this means in terms of my timeline for moving to the city...

2. That said, being safe and healthy as a country is far more important than my individual inconvenience, so I understand that this has to be done and there's nothing I can do. I'm sure everything will work out, and of course, I'd much rather stay home and avoid the risk of infecting others than frivolously travel during this time! 

3. On that note: I'm continuing to wear my mask everywhere I go, but I think it's time I finally commit to a reusable, fun mask. Here are 5 Black-Owned shops with the cutest face masks! Do you have a cute mask?? If so, where from?

My Senior Year of College Room Tour



Ah, leave it to me to wait until I'm moving out of my apartment to finally share some photos of my room! I can't believe college is actually over and my next move is to NYC into a "real" adult apartment. Better late than never, though, right? I'm excited to share my full senior year of college room tour with you guys today!

My Clean, Green, Light Pesto Recipe


About a month ago I made homemade pesto for the first time and really haven't stopped thinking about it since. The other day my boyfriend and I made homemade pizza and used storebought pesto, and I immediately regretted not having remade my homemade pesto. I mean, there's just nothing better. This recipe is simple, a little lighter than "regular" pesto, and made with purely clean ingredients! It is loosely based off of Kenzie Burke's pesto recipe.

Hamptons Photos, What we did + What we ate



Hi! I'm back today with part two of my recap of my recent trip out East with my family. If you missed yesterday's post where I shared my Rhode Island/week one recap, you can find it here! This edition of the recap is going to be a little less structured... we spent about 10 days at our family house in the Hamptons, and the majority of time was just spent hanging by the pool. That said, the days kind of blurred together and I don't feel it makes sense to describe the day-by-day like I did in yesterday's post. However, I'm excited to share lots of photos and general highlights of our time!

Rhode Island Recap


I've been trying to think about how I want to recap my trip on here... some of my favorite blog posts to write are travel recaps where I share the photos I took and the things I did while traveling, but that doesn't feel very appropriate right now. As I mentioned in this personal blog post a couple of weeks ago, this wasn't really a "vacation" just for fun. There was a lot of intention that went into it, and everything we did was really about spending quality time together as a family. However, I did take some cute photos along the way, and I feel like there is nothing wrong with sharing those along with the highlights of how we filled our days.

This Week's Top 10

photo via pinterest

1. I am back from my trip and looking forward to recapping it on here in the coming days, along with posting regularly again. I am the worst about planning out content in advance, so I apologize there hasn't been much going on around here in the last few weeks! Hopefully, you enjoyed the daily IG posts from the trip in lieu of blog posts!

2. The entire Shein situation where they tried selling a swastika necklace on their site is disgusting... I haven't supported them in a while but definitely will not be from here on out.

3. I popped into Target yesterday and was blown away by how many great things they have right now... 
I picked up these shorts (super flattering) +
I picked up this candle (so inexpensive and smells so clean!) +
they had so many cute, inexpensive straw hats!

A New Way to Shop


This post is sponsored by Added Influence and contains affiliate links, which means if you use them to make a purchase, I will make a small commission.

When it comes to beach/pool cover-ups, I always have a hard time finding things that both suit my style and are functional for what I need them! Like, why are coverup dresses so hard to find? I often stick to an oversized men's button-down, but sometimes I want to switch it up. I was so excited when I found these fun beach pants on Added Influence. (They have since sold out but you can find similar ones here, here, and a coverup dress here!)

This Week's Top 10


1. Happy Fourth of July weekend! I am so grateful to be in the Hamptons with my family and really looking forward to a relaxing weekend by the pool (crossing my fingers that it stops raining for the next few days!)

2. Just because normal content has resumed doesn't mean that the BLM movement is any less important! I found this article on sustaining allyship so informative and educational.

3. These Fourth of July cocktails look amazing.... red, white, and buzzed am I right? Lol

June Favorites


Wow... I can't believe it's July. In fact, it didn't even really register in my mind until last night when I looked at my phone and was like... wait what? it's July 1? So, here's everything I loved last month...

My Everyday Jewelry (First IGTV!)


Hi! I just posted my first ever IGTV, and I'm very excited about finally having all of my everyday jewelry deets in one spot! I've been wearing the same everyday jewelry pieces for quite some time, but never discussed them in full and shared all of the details. So, today is finally the day!

A Personal Update on My Trip


Hiiiii! I've been a little quiet over here for the last couple of weeks as I have been with my family on the East Coast. I have been posting on Instagram stories, but haven't had much time to sit down and write blog posts. So, I wanted to give you all a little update on my trip! Obviously, we are still in the middle of a pandemic, and I have not been very clear about the details of this trip. I want to be transparent and clear the air on a few things. 

Fourth of July Inspiration


I'm so excited to spend the Fourth of July in the Hamptons this year! While I've already packed my suitcase, I had fun rounding up a few pretty red, white, and blue pieces to curate this round-up. I love the Fourth of July because my entire wardrobe is essentially white and blue, so getting dressed for the day is a fun way for me to wear my favorite pieces in my wardrobe!

This Week's Top 10

photo via @golden_essential

1. THIS BEAUTY PRODUCT IS MAGIC!! Seriously, I got it a couple of weeks ago and I don't think I've ever had this kind of feeling about a product before. It's a glowy tinted moisturizer that changes your face from eh to omgg ahhhh.... immediately. It's so incredible. I let Celia try it when she was in Madison with me last week and she was also hooked immediately. I think this is the only place it's in stock right now, and although I haven't shopped this website before, they have free shipping!

2. I am so excited for my trip! I leave Sunday morning, and here's what I'm packing.

3. A fellow UW-Madison alumni reached out to me to share her company, The Safest Space, which is an online mental health studio for college students and post-grads. The goal for The Safest Space is to offer students and post-grads ways to heal their nervous systems (aka their stress response) and create powerful self-care tools during their time in college that will serve them throughout their lives. The membership seems incredible, and if you are interested in trying it out, she is giving away a free month right now with code LOVEYOURBODY (you have to sign up first with your email)!

What I'm Packing for Rhode Island + The Hamptons



I leave Sunday morning for a two-week trip to see my extended family, and I am so excited to be back in Boston, Rhode Island, and the Hamptons for a little bit. I am so looking forward to seeing my dad and all of my family on his side, and I'm kind of excited about what I'm packing too, so I thought I'd share a peak into my suitcase!

Father's Day Gift Ideas


If you guys are close friends or followers of mine, you probably know that my dad and I are best friends. We just have so much fun together, and I am especially excited about Father's Day this year because it's the first year we are celebrating the special day together in probably like six or seven years!

My Go-To Green Smoothie


I've been making the same green smoothie every morning for the past week for breakfast, and I thought I'd share it today! Living alone, I love that I can make a smoothie every morning without worrying about bothering anyone when I turn on the blender at 8 AM. In the summer I love making smoothies because they are so cold and refreshing, and just a delicious way to get in some extra nutrients.

At-Home Self-Care


Yesterday morning I was having... a morning. I woke up not feeling 100% great, and struggled for a couple of hours to get into my daily routine. Last week was an intense one in our country with good reason, but it left me kind of on edge and consistently feeling like I wasn't doing "enough." As much as that feeling trickles in here and there just scrolling on Instagram every day, it was more present yesterday and I just felt defeated. So, I actively tried to change that, and I wanted to share some of the things that I did.

This Week's Top 10: BLM


1. This Week's Top 10 is dedicated to people of color and the Black Lives Matter movement. There simply is nothing more prevalent right now than learning how we can all educate and inform ourselves on how to be better, do better, and most importantly, support and stand with the black community.

2. I shared on my Instagram feed my favorite gals of color who I love following. Some are new-to-me accounts, others I've been following for a while, but nonetheless, all of these creators have fabulous feeds that are definitely worth checking out. I'd love to hear any of your favorite black content creators to follow! All about diversifying my feed.

3. I listened to this week's episode of Gals on the Go podcast (one of my faves) featuring Chloe Coriolan, who shared her experience as a woman of color and had a great conversation about covert/overt racism, microaggressions, and more. Highly recommend!

May Favorites

please note this post was scheduled in advance, over a week ago, before the protests in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. I am in full support of BLM and an ally to people of color. 


May went by so fast. I feel like I was anticipating my graduation weekend for months, and all of a sudden we are already three weeks past it and onto June! Like, what?! Obviously, graduating from college was the highlight of the month. But, starting to come out of quarantine has been great, too!! Things are slowly reopening and we are seeing signs of light at the end of this tunnel! Here's what I loved during May:

7 Black-Owned Businesses To Support

dress from lemlem

from Glamour: "As people across the country demand justice for the death of George Floyd, there are numerous ways you can take action in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Apart from donating to organizations like the George Floyd Memorial Fund, the Minnesota Freedom Fund, and Campaign Zero (find a list of resources here), you can also show support for black creators by putting money into black-owned businesses."

Books I Want to Read by Black Female Authors


I drafted my blog post that went up this morning. Not bringing attention to the racism pandemic happening in our country (and the world, for that matter) was highly insensitive. Although I have posted on my Instagram story that I am choosing to post "regular" content, I want it to be very clear that in doing so, I am not lacking empathy for the situation or disregarding it at all. Instead, I am choosing to support offline, by living a positive life and spreading love to those around me, on and off of social media.

This Week's Top 10


1. The other day I listened to this podcast episode about crazy wedding horror stories... omg. It was so entertaining. I was walking my dog while listening to it and literally laughing walking down the street. 

2. On the blog this week (ICYMI) I shared my homemade frosémy favorite activities for my brain, and another small space decor post!

3. PSA! So many pairs of my fave Veja sneaks are on sale and available in multiple sizes and styles here!!!

My Favorite Activities for my Brain


Now that it's officially summer in quarantine, I've been trying to think of ways to stimulate my brain and incorporate activities into my daily routine that aren't just online shopping or Instagram scrolling. I'm not the kind of person who can binge Netflix all day, but I am pretty addicted to my phone. So, I like to do a few things every day that are actually good for my brain. Today I am going to share some of my favorite activities that are a little bit more on this productive side!

Small Space Decor: More Apartment Ideas


New quarantine activity alert! I've become addicted to watching YouTube videos of people apartment hunting in Manhattan and "shopping around" on Street Easy for apartments. It's not only entertaining, but it helps me get an idea of what I'm getting myself into when I move. I haven't heard any updates on my job (yet), so I am still planning on signing a lease in NYC around the first of September... of course, that could change at any moment, but that's the plan for now. Because this is my first job and apartment, I know I won't be living anywhere fancy, but I'm getting so excited about the impending move!

Homemade Frosé



This weekend turned out to be gorgeous. The forecast initially said it was going to rain nonstop, but to our surprise, it was sunny and in the 70s all weekend long! Yesterday my mom and I went for a long afternoon walk in the sun and decided we wanted to come home and make frosé to enjoy out on our porch. So... that is just what we did! Making the frosé was pretty simple, and it turned out absolutely delicious!

Memorial Day Sales I'm Shopping


I am finally in the mood to shop again, now that the end of quarantine is around the corner and the weather is starting to warm up! Fortunately, it's Memorial Day weekend, which means there are a ton of great sales going on right now. Below I am sharing all of my favorites, and I plan to shop a few of them...

This Week's Top 10

image via dawn.tan -- i love her IG!

1. I've been listening to my OG summer playlist this week and it's giving me the good vibes that I didn't realize I needed. Also been listening to this running playlist of mine which carried me through my eight-mile run yesterday!

2. Speaking of music: this is my new favorite Instagram account to follow. I also followed her on Spotify, and I've been listening to this playlist all week, too! It's so good! If you like my playlists, I feel like you'd love hers!

3.  I love seeing the "fruit snack challenge" videos on Instagram, and I especially liked this one. I just think it's so entertaining... like whether it's babies, dogs, or people clearly making fun of it, I find it incredibly enjoyable. It is definitely my favorite quarantine challenge so far... haha.

Currently Loving Under $100


OMG. I have found so many cute things online this week!!! I thought about just sharing them tomorrow in my weekly Top 10, but I don't like filling up my Friday posts with too many shoppable links... and I couldn't narrow down my favorites finds!

Serena & Lily For Less

photo via Gray Malin X Serena and Lily for the Colony Hotel

As someone who loves well-decorated, aesthetically pleasing interiors, of course, I love Serena and Lily! I mean, who doesn't?! All of the bright white pieces, rattan accessories, and notes of blue are exactly my aesthetic, and I could swoon over their website for hours on end (which, I do, quite often...). However, graduating college and heading into my first post-grad job has me shopping at quite a smaller price point, so I thought it would be fun to share similar pieces of those that I love at a fraction of the price!

My Quarantine Meltdown


I really try to keep things light and positive around here, but I have to admit, I finally had a mini-meltdown last week. I hinted at this in my caption of this photo on Instagram, and I got quite a few DM's about it, so I thought I would just explain it all here.

This Week's Top 10

manicure goals... photo from pinterest!

1. This week I picnic'd with my BFF from high school and wore my new blue eyeliner! I am obsessed. More details on my new makeup purchases and makeup thoughts in this blog post I shared on Wednesday

2. Also on the blog this week: recreating outfits from Pinterest, a little graduation recap, and four things I'm passionate about!

3. My friend Natalie shared an interview with Heather from Sweet Shady Lane, on her website here! Heather's home is stunning.

Recreating Outfits from Pinterest + Instagram


So.... they kind of lifted the stay-at-home policy in Wisconsin last night. A few weeks ago when I was in Madison I saw a lot of protestors around the capital and figured it would be a matter of time until the rules for sheltering at home were loosened at least a little bit. Although things won't be going back to complete normalcy any time soon, this gives us a bit of home that we are coming out of quarantine sooner rather than later! I thought it might help me (and hopefully, you!) get inspired to head back out into the world by recreating some cute outfits I've seen on Pinterest and Instagram lately. After all, it's been like two months of leggings and sweatpants, and I've kind of forgotten what real clothes are like.