Weekly Wishes #11

Welcome to Weekly Wishesa personal goal setting community started by The Nectar Collective where you can share your upcoming dreams and connect with other goal-setters. Join us and add a link to your own goal-oriented blog post! It’s a great way to make new friends from around the world and gain some motivation to achieve your weekly aspirations.

My weekend at home went by way too fast. 

Between Thanksgiving with my family, spending time with my boyfriend, and So You Think You Can Dance, everything was just a blur. 

I also realized that I really miss dancing and I need to find a studio in Tampa ASAP. (I'm also going to secretly become a professional dancer and my degree will just be an expensive consolation prize--what?).

My Favorite Thanksgiving Desserts (& The Problem with Black Friday)

I love Thanksgiving. It's one of my favorite holidays, it always has been.

I'm actually a big of holidays in general. Oh--and food.

But Thanksgiving is tomorrow, I'm headed home tonight, and I'm super excited! It's been a while since I've seen everyone.

And the weather is supposed to actually be nice and cool/cold. Talk about perfect timing.

I haven't decided yet, but I kind of want to make something to bring to dinner tomorrow. I only like to make desserts and I was looking through Pinterest, so I obviously found a few things I wanted to try. (That's an understatement).

But here are my favorites:

Easy Mini Pumpkin Cinnamon Roles

Weekly Wishes #10

Welcome to Weekly Wishesa personal goal setting community started by The Nectar Collective where you can share your upcoming dreams and connect with other goal-setters. Join us and add a link to your own goal-oriented blog post! It’s a great way to make new friends from around the world and gain some motivation to achieve your weekly aspirations.

Mockingjay was ah-maz-ing. Yes? Yes. 

This weekend consisted of movies, way too much homework, all-you-can-eat sushi, and a spontaneous trip to Ybor for roommate bonding. (You already know if you follow me on Instagram).

Plus, my 5 Seconds of Summer babies won New Artist of the Year last night and my roommate and I screamed at the TV. (Bless).

How was your weekend?

Are You Ready For Mockingjay?

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 is out guys.

Are you going to see it? Because I am (fo' free).

The Hunger Games is the first book series-turned-movies that I've read and fallen in love with. I missed the Harry Potter train--I'm sorry.  I can also confidently claim that it's the best book-to-movie translation there is.

(So I might be slightly scared to see it because my expectations are so high).

My favorite part is the very end of the trailer (and it so happens to be the video cover photo).

Also this movie is going to disrupt my whole Team Gale/Team Peeta thing. I'm already conflicted, and now there's going to be more Gale and Peeta is not with them and--ugh.

While the third book wasn't entirely my favorite (if you read it, I think you'll agree--but I don't want to spoil anything so I'll shut up), I'm still super excited for this movie. I mean look:

Must Have Apps

Between my iPad and my phone, I have way too many apps to keep track of. Apps for school, blogging, work, life...

My iPad is mainly just for apps because I have so many that they take up like 90% of my storage space. (The struggle).

I'm actually really picky when it comes to keeping and using apps, though. I have really high standards to be honest. (Not sorry?)

So I promise these are actually good.

Weekly Wishes #9

Welcome to Weekly Wishesa personal goal setting community started by The Nectar Collective where you can share your upcoming dreams and connect with other goal-setters. Join us and add a link to your own goal-oriented blog post! It’s a great way to make new friends from around the world and gain some motivation to achieve your weekly aspirations.

I went to Disney over the weekend with my boyfriend to celebrate our anniversary! It was really nice, even though I ended up freezing by the end of the night.  I also figured out the I'm in love with the new Dot Collection travel cups at Starbucks. (I have a problem when it comes to hoarding anything I can put coffee in). The new (and beautiful) Starbucks in Downtown Disney was finally open and they had all the cups on display. 

Then I went with my roommates to an Adopt-A-Thon in a park and basically played with puppies all day. It killed me a little bit not to leave with one.

How was your weekend?

5 Steps to Becoming a Morning Person

Before getting to this post, I have important information for anyone that lives in Tampa--GO TO OXFORD EXCHANGE.

If you haven't been there, you're missing out (I know I was!); and if you have been there, why didn't you tell me about it?! It's perfect, everything is perfect, life is perfect.

Basically, it looks like this (which I posted on Instagram):

Beautiful, right?! The perfect place to read and write while drinking their moderately priced coffee and feeling like a fancy hipster (which may be an oxymoron).

Weekly Wishes #8

Welcome to Weekly Wishesa personal goal setting community started by The Nectar Collective where you can share your upcoming dreams and connect with other goal-setters. Join us and add a link to your own goal-oriented blog post! It’s a great way to make new friends from around the world and gain some motivation to achieve your weekly aspirations.

Last week was long and exhausting. It was just one of those weeks where you're just not having it.My yoga cleanse was kind of cool, I'd definitely do it again but I'd like to be able to pick my own start date. (It wasn't really a good time for me).

It was just me and one of my roommates alone in the apartment this weekend so it involved us buying all the junk food in Target on Thursday, eating it all through Friday while binge watching Criminal Minds, going to an event on campus that was awful, buying a Christmas tree after ditching, realizing this all was a terrible decision on Saturday, buying only healthy groceries and making chili while continuing to binge watch Criminal Minds.

It's safe to say that they should probably never leave us alone together.

How was your weekend?

Starting the Whole30

I mentioned on Monday that I was starting the Whole30 (or Whole7, in my case) and I wanted to write a little bit more about it.

It all starts with the book It Starts With Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig. I'm reading it for my Yoga class and it's actually pretty interesting.

image source

It's an anti-inflamatory diet that allows you to still eat real food (and most of the things you've already been eating). The "plan" consists of meat, eggs, vegetables, fruit, and many other natural and unprocessed foods.

Basically, the only rules are what you can't eat--prepare yourself:

8 Movies to Watch With Your Roommates

Basically, I ended up with great roommates.

In August, I moved in with my friend from high school and two randoms--and we all get along really well. We're overly sarcastic and make fun of each other all the time, but what're friendships without that?

This results in us starting a random movie marathons on a Tuesday night knowing that half of us have morning classes and/or an exam the next day.

1. Bridesmaids

Because we probably all quoted this movie as a way of bonding the first week in our apartment. The whole food poisoning scene kills me, though.

2. 21 Jump Street (& 22 Jump Street)

Channing & baby Franco. Find me someone who doesn't think these movies are funny. You can't do it, I won't believe you. I don't even like stupid-funny movies, and I like these.

3. The Best of Me

Roomie date to the movies. (FYI you'll cry though and maybe even yell in the theater). I will admit that it was a good movie though...

Weekly Wishes #7

Welcome to Weekly Wishesa personal goal setting community started by The Nectar Collective where you can share your upcoming dreams and connect with other goal-setters. Join us and add a link to your own goal-oriented blog post! It’s a great way to make new friends from around the world and gain some motivation to achieve your weekly aspirations.

Well, hey! Today is day one of my yoga cleanse, which means I'll being doing yoga for seven days and following a specific diet (it's kind of like the Paleo diet I think? Maybe it is the Paleo diet just with a different name? I honestly don't know?). I'll let you know how it goes.

I actually celebrated Halloween on Friday, unlike my post said. I was a minion and there were no heart attacks, but I am glad it's over. My boyfriend came to visit, too! So there was a lot of breakfast and restaurant meals (I had Chipotle for the first time in forever).

October Favorites

Happy Halloween!

While everyone is out trick-or-treating or going to parties tonight, I will be celebrating my own little personal triumph that I've made it through another October without losing my sanity.

Halloween freaks me out. I'm a self-proclaimed scaredy cat and this BuzzFeed article is literally my life. (This might not be 100% true because I was honestly too traumatized by the stupid AHS clown to keep reading).

Scary things are NOT my thing.

This was also painfully reinforced while I stupidly agreed to help out with a haunted hay ride last weekend.

Thank god for allergic reactions because one got me out of the creepy woods 2 hours early with only a cut on my finger and a make up reaction on my neck instead of me having a heart attack.


October also means my birthday (it's all very ironic, I had halloween themed birthday parties forever) so I have a lot of favorites this month.

Get ready:

T-Swift & 1989

Okay so I'm normally not a super huge Taylor Swift fan (don't hate me) but if you saw my post on Twitter, then you know I've been converted.

1989 is fantastic. It makes me want to sing, dance, and have a bonfire with all of my friends. (So if anyone can provide a beach and bonfire for me, I would appreciate it).

My favorite song is definitely Blank Space. I heard it on the radio the day the album dropped and let me tell you, that was the best traffic filled drive back to my apartment.

Weekly Wishes #6

Welcome to Weekly Wishes, a personal goal setting community started by The Nectar Collective where you can share your upcoming dreams and connect with other goal-setters. Join us and add a link to your own goal-oriented blog post! It’s a great way to make new friends from around the world and gain some motivation to achieve your weekly aspirations.

It's Monday again! That whole "get excited for Monday's" thing I talked about last week is actually going pretty well! Apparently optimism actually works, who knew...

I went to an herbalism workshop this weekend, so there's that.

It was actually pretty cool, though. I learned a lot and I'm probably going to end up trying some of it. I have to make my way to Whole Foods one day this week (and a reasonably priced grocery store so I'll actually have food in my apartment).

Being Healthy

Being healthy is something that is always in the back of my mind--except sometimes it's like way, way back there.

(We had fresh cookies delivered to the apartment tonight #noregrets).

I definitely have a huge sweet tooth and a little problem called a subscription to Netflix, but I do my best (kind of) to stay motivated. This was all a lot easier when I wasn't in college and danced four days a week.

But it's time to get back on track and remind myself that being healthy makes me feel better and can be fun, too.

Everyday Make Up

I've never written a post about my make up routine before, but I've bought a few new things and use them every day so I decided, why not!

I use everything in the picture; but I also apply moisturizer first, curl my eyelashes, and a bit of bronzer. 

Here are links to all the products:

Weekly Wishes #5

Welcome to Weekly Wishes, a personal goal setting community started by The Nectar Collective where you can share your upcoming dreams and connect with other goal-setters. Join us and add a link to your own goal-oriented blog post! It’s a great way to make new friends from around the world and gain some motivation to achieve your weekly aspirations.

It's Monday! I'm starting this new thing where I actually get excited for Monday's (I'll let you know how it goes). I spent the weekend at home for my birthday. It was a little too short, but definitely a well deserved break. I made sure I had no homework to work on while I was there, and I think I only turned on my laptop twice (once was to set up my new fitbit!). 

How was your weekend?!

Links to Look at

This post was planned for Friday, but today's post wasn't ready, SO here's this one.

This is something that I plan on posting every Friday! It will be a list of five of my favorite links from the past week. (Expect a lot of things from BuzzFeed because, well...it's BuzzFeed).

PSA--it's also my birthday and I realize now that I didn't make a cliché birthday post like "20 Things I Learned blah blah blah by 20" (hey, 20!).

Figuring It All Out

Apparently you're supposed to figure it all out in college. Career-wise, that is. That's the whole idea of choosing a major--or at least that's what we're all told.

While I typically just laugh on the inside when this topic comes up, and have absolutely no idea what I really want to do after graduation, I think I've finally figured it all out.

Or at least I've figured it out a little bit.

The complete madness that was last week put everything in perspective for me.

While it had nothing to do with my classes or my major, it had everything to do with being in college.

Fall Favorites

Fall is probably my favorite season.

The weather gets cooler, my favorite clothes can be worn, widows are opened, and the leaves change.

Well, except for in Florida. (I just pretend I live somewhere else).

My birthday also happens in the fall! So I guess that (kind of) makes up for all the other "fall" things Florida misses out on. 
The best thing about fall means it's time for comfy sweaters, hot coffee, dark nail polish, flannel with stripes, and boots. It's also time for everything pumpkin, but since Starbucks and I are in a love-hate relationship right now, I'm not getting pumpkin spiced lattes any time soon.

Now I just need the temperature to actually drop and everything will be perfect. (Or someone could buy me a plain ticket up north--I'll accept either).

What is your favorite part about fall?

Weekly Wishes #4

Oh, hello! Am I actually blogging right now?

The better questions is probably if I'm going to keep blogging after posting this.

The start (and current state) of this semester was a little rough and hectic (and emotional)--and then I got sick.

I also happen to still be sick.

Going to class is a daily struggle and I think I only made it to a total of three last week. (That was also thanks to a nap in my car instead of driving back to my apartment).

After binge watching all four/five (I don't even know) seasons of "Awkward," I think I'm ready to start blogging again. I want to be ready to start blogging again. (I also really want to not be sick anymore--that'd be cool, too).

Even though I would like to get back to blogging with something interesting and original, I'm jumping back in with Weekly Wishes #4. (I mean, why not start off by making it my goal to actually keep posting?)

Because "last week's goals" happened forever ago, I'm just going to skip the recap (because they all went super bad anyway!) and start fresh.

Weekly Wishes #3

Happy Labor Day (is that a thing?) and happy birthday Dad (who doesn't read my blog)!

I spent my entire Sunday making my way through nine sorority chapters. That's right, I'm going through recruitment and I love it!

I desperately needed a nap, so naturally laid in bed and put my Amazon Prime account to good use (hello season one of "Awkward").

Anyway, since I have my days scheduled down to the hour this week, I might not be able to post anything else.  I'm going to try really hard, though! I promise! (I hate missing posts, guys. I feel bad about it). *Hint* I even made it one of my weekly wishes.

Last week I set some goals that I really really needed to stick to, and I did! So I'm pretty proud of myself. I plan on doing that exact same thing this week, and you should too! Going back every Monday and being able to check of that I did everything makes me feel like more of a go-getter and less like a procrastinator (I'm trying super hard, I even make to-do lists now).

Last week's wishes:

1. Register for recruitment. Check!

2. Make some progress at work.  Done, and done. If nothing else, the most important aspect of my event will be there. (Just kidding, I won't let it come to that).

3. Write for 5 minutes a day. Okay, it didn't happen everyday--but it did happen. It may be illegible, but who cares.

This week's wishes:

1. Work on assignments ahead of time. I have a to-do list with all this week's homework mapped out and it's like a horror movie, but about college.

2. Personal recruitment related goals. Vague and annoying, I know. I don't want to post about them, and I think that's frowned upon anyway, so I'm not gonna.

3. Workout at least twice. My schedule got really hectic, really quickly, and I haven't seen the gym in a while. I miss it. I'll probably be going at midnight, but at least I'll workout. I'm going back to the keys in less than two weeks so it is not the time to be lazy.

4. Write at least one other post this week. I might also be doing that at midnight (or 2 a.m.). Dedication, man.

The Nectar Collective

What are your goals for this week? Click the Weekly Wishes button above to join our goal-setting selves!

Essential "No Makeup" Make Up

It's the third day into fall semester and I'm already overwhelmed. At the rate my classes are going, I'll be speaking Spanish and writing news reports like a pro in no time. (I'm crossing my fingers for both of those).  I'll also probably be even more into yoga than I was before.

Cause, you know, I'm taking yoga as one of my classes. It's awesome.

The "no make up" look has been really popular and I know I was doing it for a good two weeks straight over the summer. Because of that, I think I've perfected my method of creating the look. So my essentials are ready to share with you all because I know that, come two weeks from now, we will all be wearing this look to class because--college.

Weekly Wishes #2

I'm currently watching Pirates of the Caribbean in my new apartment because it's Sunday and nothing is on TV. I plan on spending all day enjoying my last day off since classes start on Monday (or by time you read this, today).

Last week I participated in my first ever Weekly Wishes link-up! While I didn't completely accomplish everything, I think I did a pretty good job.

The Do's and Don'ts of Hashtags

I don't usually write negative posts. (Actually this is my first one). But after witnessing the number of incredibly annoying uses of hashtags that I have, it's time for this post to be written.

The do's and don'ts of hashtags. (Not that I claim to know anything about hashtags).

hashtag etiquette

Top 10 College Survival Tips

In honor of move in day (well, my move in day), I've put together some of my top ten tips for going to (or back to) college.  I must say, I give pretty great advice that is only tiny bit generic--but at least there are gifs involved!

So while I'm busy moving my ungodly amount of belongings into my first ever apartment, you can read my top ten tips alongside slightly relevant TV/movie gifs.

Whether it's your first year (it's okay, everyone was a freshman once) or your last year. There's still a few things that you should always keep in mind.

Weekly Wishes #1

Typically everyone talks about their bad habits, but one thing I've recently started focusing on is creating good habits.  Don't they sound so much more fun? 

The Nectar Collective

To kick off my good habits, I'm participating in the ever-so-talented Melyssa's (The Nectar Collective) Weekly Wishes Link-Up for the first time ever!

Juice Week: Fat Flush Juice

We're kicking off Williams-Sonoma's Juice Week with some crazy juice blends!

When it comes to wild and crazy juice blends, pretty much anything that involves kale fits the description.

What is kale anyway? What does it even taste like whole?

To make this even more of an interesting blend, it has a few pinches of cayenne pepper. (It has metabolism boosting properties in it's ridiculously spicy little self.)

fat flush juice

I had never tried this juice before, so I was pretty excited. Plus, my ancient juicer is a pain, so anything that inspires me to dig it out of the pantry must be pretty awesome.

July Favorites

It's August already! The second half of summer went by way too fast. I leave to go back to school in about two weeks. It's probably time to go shopping for everything I need for my apartment...

july favorites collage

Time to Stop Worrying

I started my on-campus job last week as one of the program directors for the events we have at my school.  I was really anxious about starting because I'm not the best at communicating with people--especially if it involves any sort of professionalism (how do you even go about contacting a carnival company for rides?!). I was ridiculously anxious about writing these emails asking for quotes and brainstorming ideas to pitch about one particular event where it's my job to completely change it.

Dreading all of this made me realize one important thing, though--stop worrying.

Worrying will get you nowhere! It's literally my job to do these things, so I can't not do them (I'd get fired, duh); so I may as well suck it up and get it done.  The worst that can happen is that I need to come up with another idea and head to trusty Google for another carnival company.

Like every good realization in life, this one applies to so much more than just my job.

Workouts for the Non-Workout Savvy

This summer has turned me into a complete workout-freak. I schedule my days around when I go to the gym, I pass up sleeping in, and when I don't work out I'm like "I miss the gym!"

I had danced all my life up until college, so I've always been an active person. (Emphasis on the fact that I did not say "athletic"). 

I went from dancing 5 days a week to naps and dining hall food--let's just say the freshman fifteen is real.

workouts post image
original image

In my attempt to get back in shape I've realized that I love the gym. Which is a great thing to realize! But let's face it, I don't really know what I'm doing. That is the sole purpose behind this post. 

Here are my three recommendations for people who want to start working out but don't know what to do!

June Favorites

It's been a week since my last blog post, and I sadly have to say this might become a new thing.  I'm going to try to keep to my Monday, Wednesday, Friday posting schedule, but my summer class starts on today and my job on campus starts in a few weeks so I'm not sure how my workload will be.

Since it's the last day of June, I figured it was the perfect day to post my monthly favorites!

favorite products from june

Favorite Skincare Duo

Posts about skincare can get a bit fuzzy. I can tell you what works and doesn't work just as well as the next person, but it still all comes down to your skin type and what works for you personally.

I have pretty normal skin, though (not too many breakouts, comfortable cheeks, slightly problematic T-zone), so my advice would be useful to most people.  (The advice from the people at the product counter is useful, too--no matter how much research I do, I still typically end up in front of them with a face that says "help me.")

I just recently decided to take a break from my Clinique 3-Step Skin Care system since I ran out of the cleanser.  My forehead was being oily and stubborn, so I figured it was time to try something else anyway.  

Easy Cold-Brewed Coffee

It's hot, like, it's so ridiculously hot you don't even want to go outside.  It's almost "officially" summer (as if we had any other season in Florida) and the days of kind-of-bearable weather are over.  It's okay, though, because I have a solution.

Iced coffee!

iced coffee
image source
Not that this is breaking news, but get excited because we're not talking about plain hot coffee poured over ice here (cause let's admit it--that's gross).

I discovered cold-brewed coffee a little while ago, and after reading about how much better it is (less acidic, tastes better than hot coffee over ice, etc.) I've wanted to try some.  Specifically, I've been wanting to try the already made cold-brewed coffee concentrate thats sold in bottles--but I can't find it anywhere.

Yet another reason why my hometown needs a Whole Food's. (Please, I'm begging you.)

Since it's summer, and iced coffee is a necessity, I sucked it up and made my own cold-brewed coffee. It's so easy, it doesn't require instructions--but I'm going to tell you how to make it anyway.

Fresh Juice

Most of the time, I try to focus on being healthy.  By most of the time, I mean when I have access to a fully functioning kitchen (dorm life was a rough time).

Basically, this means one of my meals consists of a smoothie.

I have a love/hate relationship with them because they're super filling.  I guess that's normally a good thing, but sometimes I'd rather have a lighter option.

Cue the juice!

juice and macbook

Why you should see "The Fault In Our Stars"

Fair warning that I'm still a mess from seeing the movie last night. 

the fault in our stars movie poster

First, the book.

I've been wanting to read this book since before I even knew they were making the movie.  I never got to it, but I finally read it the night before seeing the movie.

It was well worth the tears constantly streaming down my face.

Now, the movie. (P.S. there may be spoilers below!)

If you've read the book--go see it now! If you haven't read it, then I want to tell you to read the book first (obvious choice) but then it kind of ruins the movie because you know what's going to happen, so I leave it up to you.

Honestly, I thought the movie was great.  It stayed pretty true to the book, and that probably was because John Green (the author) was so involved in making the movie.

There are some things that made the movie different, but it was a good different.  The main thing for me was that (spoiler--maybe, not really?) Augustus Waters, who Ansel Elgort played perfectly, really made the movie.  The book seemed to be more about Hazel, while the movie kind of revolved around the impact Augustus made.

Basically, the book was about Hazel and the movie was about Gus.

Buzzfeed's 14 Reasons You Shouldn't see "The Fault In Our Stars"  is on point.  I would say number 10 is pretty accurate (I also cried like a baby at that part of the movie). But, like it says at the end of this article, those are really 14 reasons why you should go see the movie.  It's just THAT good.

xo Marina

Father's Day Gift Guide

Father's Day may actually be the occasion that gives me the most shopping anxiety.  I never know what to get my dad.  He never wants anything--which is kind of handy in a pinch, but leaves me with no ideas.  Mostly everything I think of ends up being something he would never, ever use.

Here are some gift ideas I've found at different price points that would be good for Father's Day.  Even my dad would use some of them, so you definitely can't go wrong!
gift guide

Cologne // Travel Mug // Watch // Phone Case // Ray Ban Clubmaster (my favorite!) // 

I might get the travel cup and the cologne for my dad, those are my safe suggestions. It's so difficult to shop for guys in general.

What are you getting for your dad? I need more ideas!

xo Marina

"I'll just have water, please"

Maybe it's because I've been going to the gym.  Maybe it's because I'm trying to be healthy.

Maybe it's because I've finally accepted the fact that I literally cannot live without drinking water (duh).

Regardless of the reason, I've been opting for water a lot more than usual.

original image source

I know, I know, another "be healthy" post.  I just sort of had an epiphany last week that made me realize that the gym might make me look better, but it won't make me feel better; and no one wants to feel sick all the time.

Easy Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding

When I'm trying to find recipes, there are always two major things I look for: it has to be healthy and easy to make.

Let's be honest, I can't cook--like, at all (I can make oatmeal, if that counts); so when I find something that I don't even have to cook, it's the best thing ever.

I've been wanting to try chia seed pudding for a long time, and I finally made some yesterday.  It's really simple, and you can find tons of recipes on Pinterest (which is where I got mine from).

recipe and image source
Ingredients (there are only four!):
1/4 cup of chia seeds
1 cup almond milk (I used Almond Breeze Original)
1 tablespoon honey
1 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract (I would use less next time, though. It gave it that chemically-y vanilla flavor)

May Favorites: Beauty Edition

I've decided to switch things up a bit and post my monthly favorites instead of a wish list.

At the end of each month, I'll post about my favorite new (sometimes old) products and let you know where to pick them up!  The upside: I've actually used these products and know they're good (I'm not just saying "hey, this looks cool and I wanna buy it!").

For my first monthly favorites series, I'm sticking to a single theme--beauty products. They're really the only thing I've purchased recently and I feel like they're the most fitting for the subject.  It's so hard to find beauty products and I rarely ever purchase them without reading reviews first.  So here are my favorites for May!

The Florida Keys

Believe it or not, I had never been to the Keys until this past weekend.  I only live four hours away (I thought it was six--who knew!) but my family has never ventured further south than we already are.

I have been missing out on so much!

If I want to go on vacation, but stay in Florida, the Keys is where I'm going. The water is beautiful! It's the kind you actually want to swim in because its as clear, if not clearer, than a pool.

There is so much to see and such a big area to cover! We stayed in Key Largo (which is the first key) and then drove to Key West (the last key).  It's about a two hour drive, not including traffic, but I wanted to make sure I saw a little bit of everything.

My top five things to do all involve the water, basically.  The ocean is definitely a favorite of mine.  For entertainment purposes, I also have some (slightly random) pictures.

ONE: Snorkeling

Snorkeling is possibly my favorite! I was a little terrified at first, but it ended up being so much fun.  Sitting on a boat, driving out into the open ocean, and hearing that the great white shark (hey, Katherine) is nearby, had me worried--but once we were at the reef and the water cleared up, all of my nerves were gone and I was ready for two hours with the fish.

Equipped for Summer

Now that I'm finally home for summer, I'm planning to spend as much time as possible at the beach.  

Honestly, if I could live there, I would.

My biggest summer essential is always the perfect pair of loose-fitting cut-off shorts.  Whether it's to wear them over my bathing suit, or just on a day spent beachside, I'm looking for the perfect pair every year.  (Especially because you could always use more than one!)

The Levi's 501 cutoffs are definitely the perfect summer shorts.  

The vintage fit and soft cotton make them perfect for hot beach days and that's exactly what I plan to use them for.  They also match with practically everything.

I'm all about having versatile pieces in my wardrobe, so having shorts that I can style multiple ways is a must.  I can dress them down with a baggy tank over my bathing suit, or I could dress them up for a day out with a loose boho style top.

Baggy t-shirt (Anthropologie) // Cardigan (UO) // Levi's 501 Shorts // Sandals (Steve Madden)

You can go to my Pinterest board that is dedicated to the Levi's 501 shorts to check out what styles and images get me inspired for summer by the beach.

Visit Marina Mendez's profile on Pinterest.

You can find the Levi's 501 shorts here where you can shop for your own pair to be sure you are #Equipped!

How do you get equipped for summer?