What's in my Bag?

Long time, no see!

It's been a while since I've last posted, but that's because I was busy finishing my first year of college!

Finals, projects and papers consumed most of my life up until yesterday, but now I'm finally done.  Since it's summer, I have plenty of time to sit and write--and today I'm writing about the necesities.

So what's in my bag? Typically there are way too many things, but I've finally cleaned it out since I got a new one.

These are the necessities. I always have them with me regardless of how many receipts I throw in, change I accumulate, or bags I switch between.

iPhone 5S with gold case

What are your necessities?

xo Marina

Spring Shoes

I will admit that I may have a little bit of a shoe obsession.

I'll probably admit this multiple times, actually.

Taking me through the shoe section of a store is a terrible idea because I'm constantly finding reasons to need a new pair.  They're all just so cute and essential to putting together outfits! What is an awesome dress if you don't have a great pair of eye-catching shoes to go with it?  Because of my spring dress post the other day, I've been inspired to pick some of my favorite shoes for spring/summer (Florida still is and always will be confused).

one // two // three // four

I can think of so many cute options for these shoes.  I just want them all! I love toms, they're my go-to for comfy shoes; my entire shoe collection is basically Steve Madden, so including him was a given; I'm a sucker for Vans and I saw these metallic ones in gold at J Crew; and I've been looking for a pair of booties like these since forever, and I had mentioned them on my April wish list

Which shoe style do you like best?

xo Marina

Mother's Day Giveaway! {CLOSED}

Mother's Day is coming soon, which means it's time to think of what cute gifts you can get that will say "Mom, I think you're great."

But have no fear, I have good news! I'm happy to announce that I am co-hosting a giveaway (for the first time ever!) with a few other wonderful bloggers to bring you four great gifts that will be just what you need.

The package includes:  
An anchor tote from White Apple Designs
Home Sweet Home print from DickensInk
A Mother's Day card from MOGLEA
sampler set from Conscious Cakes


Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter. Giveaway ends Tuesday (4/29) night at midnight.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

xo Marina

Spring-Ready Dresses

I'm cursed with experiencing the confused seasons of Florida, but it's supposed to be spring-time and I'm going with it.

This means it's time to break out the dresses and/or go buy some!

If you're like me, it's time to go buy some.

I tend to not buy dresses too often since I rarely ever wear them.  Two habits that I'm trying to break.  Dresses are cute and should be worn!

Two of my favorites for spring of course come from Free People and Urban Outfitters.

I'm a big fan of the open-back shift dresses and I'm planning on picking up a few before summer.  I like how casual they are--because my main reason for not wearing dresses is that I usually feel overdressed. (I come from a town of Mossy Oak, t-shirts, and neon orange when I'm not away at school--they've recently built a Bass Pro and it gives me nightmares).

For a less casual look, I also like these three dresses from Zara.

Yes, I know the middle one is orange (maybe I'm subconsciously succumbing to the whole orange thing). I personally don't think I would ever wear it; but I like the style, so you never know.  

I like the first dress for a dinner out one night and the last one as another everyday option.

What's your favorite dress style for spring?

xo Marina

Bullstock 2014 (I love my job)

When people tell you to get involved in college, they are absolutely telling you the truth.  It's probably in the top five of most important pieces of advice anyone can give you.  Joining the Activities Committee was literally the first thing I did during my first semester, and it was one of my best decisions.  Not only have I met great people (who will sadly all graduate before me), but it's also allowed me to be a part of the great events on campus--like Bullstock, which was basically Christmas.

Unless you happen to go to my college (go bulls!) you probably have no clue as to what Bullstock is.

So here's a quick run-down.

Towards the end of the semester, the Center for Student Involvement puts on an event everyday for USF Week.  Free stuff, free food, games, and a good distraction from finals. 

Rocky, Capital One Mascot of the Year, was almost as excited about Bullstock as I was. 

The entire week leads up to Bullstock, a concert that is free to attend and always has some pretty great bands.

Since I volunteer for CSI (I start officially working for them this summer--yay!), I was able to work Bullstock.

We set up barricades, helped work merch tables, interacted with students, and tried not to die from heat exhaustion.  Oh yeah--and we got to meet the bands. No big deal.

The bands this year: Karmin, The Neighbourhood, and Panic! at the Disco.

Let me tell you, I have been unreasonably excited for Bullstock since the moment the announcement was made and Brendon Urie's face (the singer from Panic!) was plastered across the screen they played the promo on.

I made a post about the event earlier with an outfit inspired by Amy from Karmin, but I didn't have any other blog worthy pictures on my phone to make a full recap post.

But now I do!

They finally posted pictures from the event, and believe me, I plastered them across all social networking within minutes.

Karmin--Amy is like a life-sized Barbie, and her and Nick are adorable together. They even match! They're already engaged, hurry up and get married! They were the sweetest people I have ever met. Plus they were excited about our not-so-goofy, goofy picture request. 

Panic! at the Disco--These were the people that I wanted to meet. I absolutely love them, and I would be completely lying if I said I was calm and rational while having a completely normal, everyday conversation with their manager prior to taking this picture.  (Of course I acted professional, but on the inside there was a lot of dancing and jumping going on).

Brendon Urie's voice is amazing and he can do backflips, while singing, which is always impressive (he's the one on the left, next to me). Some people also took selfies with them, and let me tell you, the guys' faces are priceless and I am kicking myself for not thinking of it myself.  Struggles of being the first group to meet them.

We watched Karmin's set from the front of the barricades.  I'm pretty sure the little flat area's purpose was just to keep the barricades standing, but they made convenient seats.  (I promise they were just talking during this, that's why we look so unenthused).

On a side-note, this is Raquel Cabrera. She's actually a student at USF and sings in her own band.  She's incredibly talented and they won the Battle of the Bands, so they were able to open for Karmin. You can check out her band here! I promise they're good!

And finally, my incredible team.  They've all truly made such a positive impact on my first year at USF and I can't wait to work alongside them next year in the office.  

On my Instagram you can also see my priceless video of Panic! covering AC/DC and my picture with them. Can you tell I love them? Okay, just making sure.

I'm really excited to be sharing this post with all of you! It's a little more personal than usual, and gives you a look into my life a little.  I'd love to get to know you all, too!

xo Marina

**all USF Week photos are from the USF Campus Activities Board Facebook page

True Life: I'm Addicted to TV Shows (and Netflix)

When I was still in high school, I danced every day of the week.  This meant I had little time to sit and watch TV.  Normally I would watch whatever show was on during that tiny little window between school and practice or I would watch something on demand.

That changed when I started college.

Netflix and I? Yeah, we're BFFs now.

I have basically spent every moment of my free time watching Netflix or streaming live shows on my laptop.  (I can't see my tiny TV from my bed).  I actually spend more time than I should (like when I have a paper to write) watching Netflix.

It's become a serious problem.

But the shows are just so good!

And since I think they're pretty much the greatest TV shows to watch when you have nothing better to do (or you feel like procrastinating) I have a list for you guys that includes both Netflix and shows I actually watch on TV.

Okay, so I know it's all repeats because "Friends" ended in 2004, but this was my first favorite legit TV show.  I used to watch it with my mom when it came on.  Even though I was ten and didn't know half the story, I was so sad when it ended! Now I watch it almost every night when it comes on Nick at Nite. The most important thing to get out of this is that Chandler Bing and I are the same person. No joke.

I'm currently on season 5 of "How I Met Your Mother." I've watched the show before, but I decided to start from the beginning on Netflix in honor of it ending.  HOWEVER, I have NOT seen the last season because of the whole not-able-to-see-tv-from-bed thing. (I know what happens, though). I've learned so many life lessons from this show, I love Neil Patrick Harris, and it keeps me sane while taking breaks from homework.

I know what you're thinking and I can already feel the judgement, but I'm not offended because I had a similar reaction when MTV announced that they were starting a show about a teen-turned-werewolf three years ago. But I was wrong--so very wrong.  As long as you get past the name (and maybe the cheesy-ness of the first season) it hooks you in and you can't get out. Also, I applaud MTV for having an entire cast of extremely attractive people. You win.  This last season, though--ouch. It was rough, I'm still getting over it, and I'm slightly traumatized from the upped horror factor.  Lesson of the day: don't judge a show by it's name and seemingly weird storyline. 

I will admit that I turned this off after the first five minutes, but one day I was feeling super stressed and angst ridden from the "Teen Wolf" season finale that I gave it a second chance.  It's hilarious! Zooey Deschanel is adorable. I finished the entire two seasons on Netflix in a week and I was so upset when I realized that's all they had! It actually made me laugh out loud multiple times.  My roommate was probably judging me, but whatever. 

This one is totally random and I don't even know how I became interested in it. Occasionally I will watch "Criminal Minds" when it's on TV. I think crime shows are super interesting but they freak me out to no end. I can only watch so many in a row and if they involve someone being attacked in their car or their house I am done--done. I cannot. I won't function normally for a week. I don't do scary well. I've literally only watched (by force!) three scary movies my entire life (and they were the kind that don't actually scare anyone). So why do I watch this? I honestly don't know.  I just think their job is super awesome and I love the fact that Reid is a quirky genius. (Plus, Jeff Davis of "Teen Wolf" also created "Criminal Minds," so I understand how "Teen Wolf" has gotten so twisted.  "Criminal Minds" is very, very twisted.)

"Gossip Girl" is my latest Netflix addiction.  I'm only halfway through season one.  It's one of those shows that deep-down you know is terrible, but you still can't stop watching it. It's like the teenage version of a soap opera--I think that explains it enough.  

Let me know if you watch any of these shows so we can fangirl together!

And I'd love to know what your favorite TV shows are, especially if they are on Netflix! I need some recommendations.

xo Marina

MTV Movie Awards 2014

With any award show, we're always focused on what the celebrities are wearing on the red carpet.  I've started watching the actual award shows less and less, but I will always be interested in the fashion choices.

My favorite thing about MTV's award shows is that the clothing choices are less formal.  Don't get me wrong, I can look at ridiculously expensive gowns all day long because they're gorgeous; but I like to see more casual looks as well because I can get inspiration from them.  

I don't know about you, but I'm not going anywhere anytime soon where I'll be needing something like Lupita Nyong'o's Oscars dress.

Sadly, however, I wasn't impressed by many of the outfits last night. So I chose my favorites from both the guys and girls.

For the girls:

For the guys:

What did you think of the fashion styles at this year's MTV Movie Awards?

xo Marina

Outfit Inspiration: Karmin

Every year my college puts on a free concert during the end of the semester.  This year, we had Karmin, The Neighbourhood, and Panic! at the Disco.  I was working the event so I was able to meet the bands, and watch them from backstage and the pit between the stage and barricades. Needless to say, it was one of the best nights of my life.

More to come on that later, though. I don't have all of the pictures yet!

This post is about Karmin! Amy and Nick were both so sweet and had an amazing set.  They had so much energy while they were on stage!

From meeting them I've learned that Amy is even more pretty in person (she's like a giant Barbie) and that I love her style. She's so perfect!

I put together an outfit inspired by hers because I loved it and she looked awesome!

Amy and Nick are adorable together. What do you guys think about Karmin and Amy's style?

(Check out my video of Panic! on Instagram because it's beautiful! And of course I conveniently posted it when Instagram broke down...)

xo Marina

Dealing with Stress

This post comes with perfect timing as spring semester is coming to a close for every college student (including me).

Stress can come from a lot of things and it can also cause a lot of problems.  When I was younger, I used to get extremely painful stomach aches almost every single day because of stress.  It still happens to me on occasion, but I've gotten a little better at managing it.

Now I can tell that I'm getting stressed when I'm not able to concentrate.  Reading my assignments (let alone my textbooks) becomes really difficult, I get headaches, and I start getting really unmotivated to do anything. When this happens, I've learned that no matter how much work I have to do, I need to take a break.

Part of my problem is that I tend to be a perfectionist.  Surprisingly, that's not always a good thing.  It leads to a lot of anxiety even with the simplest things.  The advice that helped me, believe it or not, was given to me in elementary school.  I was the girl who always did her homework, always got an A, and never did anything wrong.  That was until one day in fifth grade when I completely forgot my homework.

I remember this so clearly, because I was pretty traumatized for the first two minutes when I realized I had nothing to turn in.  I was going to get a zero! That just did not happen to me.  Then, because I was on the verge of crying (I now know how ridiculous this was), my teacher came over to talk to me.  He told me "You aren't always going to be able to get everything done, and that's okay."

That was it.  But really, that was all I needed.  I immediately stopped crying and his advice has stuck with me until this day. Granted I still had a few freak outs and it took a little while to permanently sink it; but accepting it has made getting through high school, getting my AA degree at the same time, and surviving my first year away at college so much easier.

So to finish off this post, I have some stress relieving suggestions for when you just have to drop everthing and take a break.

1. Paint your nails, but do a good job with it.
Either give yourself a salon worthy manicure and pedicure at home or go out and get one.  It's significantly distracting because it takes concentration to make sure your nails look perfect. (Or it's relaxing because someone else is doing it for you).

2. Workout.
This varies for everyone.  Some people like to run, go to the gym, play sports, or do yoga.  Personally, when I'm really stressed, yoga is my go-to.  I normally practice vinyasa, but when I'm both mentally and physically exhausted I'll practice yin yoga.

3. Have a healthy snack.
I really like to make smoothies, soup, or oatmeal when I want a healthy snack.  But you know, sometimes you want those cookies, and that's also okay.  My personal fav's: banana strawberry smoothies and chocolate chip cookies.

4. Retail therapy.  
Sometimes, you really just need to go shopping. As terrible as it may sound, spending some money and getting new things can make you feel a lot better than stressing over that paper.  I mean, that's how I got my Jack's! Do I wish I still had that money? Kind of, but look how cute they are! (Plus, I wear them all the time now).

5. Binge on Netflix.
I'm definitely guilty of watching Netflix when I have important things to do.  This semester, though, I've learned how to use it to my advantage.  Typically I'll work on an assignment for as long as a can (I have to at least make it to 15 minutes) and then I'll watch about one to three episodes of a TV show depending on how long they are and how much work I have left. Also, coffee or tea is a must.

6. Take a nap.
This is a last resort for me.  I try to avoid it because once I wake up I just want to go back to sleep.  Sometimes it really is necessary, though.  Especially if you're so stressed that you've made yourself sick (totally me right now).

So if you're finishing up the semester, or working on something else stressful, I wish you luck and I hope I could help a little!

xo Marina

April Wish List

New month, new wish list!

Sorry I've been M.I.A. these past few days.  It was my mom's birthday weekend and I'm kinda-sorta-sick again. (It actually probably never went away--I've forgotten that sleep is something I need on a daily basis). 

Anyway, here's this month's wish list.  I also want to promise that I'm going to actually try to purchase more than one thing this time so I can tell you guys about them later on.

1. Sugar Lip Treatment: I constantly have dry lips.  They came back full force after getting sick over spring break and since then I've been out of the habit of using my trusty carmex.  My hope with this is that it'll work better than carmex, I'll save myself from that awful cherry flavor, and since it's cute maybe I'll remember to use it.

2. Kiehl's Ultimate Strength Hand Salve: I'm pretty sure this was recommended by Lily Pebbles. (Not sure how long ago because I did some YouTube stalking the other day and went back pretty far). I always pick at my cuticles because the skin around my nails is ridiculously dry and literally nothing works for me.  Nothing.  This will just be another attempt at me trying stop my hands from looking like they belong to a five-year-old with terrible bad habits and zero attention span.

3. Sperry Top-Sider Ainslie Boot: First of all, I was not aware that Sperry strayed far from boat shoes and flip flops. (I don't know if I should be admitting that online or not).  Let me rephrase that--I didn't know Sperry made shoes in different styles that I actually like. (I look really bad in boat shoes, okay).  But I love these boots.  They're actually the kind I've been trying to find for the longest time.

4. OPI "Kiss on the Chic": Not that I need anymore nail polish, but I purchased quite a few dark colors this winter.  It only seems fit to buy some summery ones.  Plus, I actually don't have a color like this in my massive collection.  (I'm extremely guilty of purchasing colors that are very similar to ones I already own--it's very bad).

Let me know if you have any wish list items this month!

xo Marina