4 Fun Fall Things to Do Instead of Halloween

October 31, 2017
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Halloweekend is over and this year I spent it watching Stranger Things 2 and cranking out some essays. I've tried for years to be a person who gets excited for Halloween, picks out a great costume, and goes out and has a great time - but that's just not me. So instead of going out tonight, I'm going to drink my vanilla almond milk and watch a festive movie (even though I should be studying for my econ midterm tomorrow)! If you're like me you're not down for Halloween parties or trick-or-treating, here are a few ways you can celebrate the end of October either will your gals (and ghouls) or flying (on a broomstick) solo!

District Wharf | Washington D.C.

October 28, 2017
District Wharf Washington D.C.

District Wharf is one of D.C.'s latest day trip destinations, it opened just a few weeks ago on October 12. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to make it down there on opening day/night because it's super out of the way from school and I had a lot going on at that time (p.s. no one ever tells you that midterms will take over your life). But lucky me, today I was able to take my time seeing everything that the Wharf has to offer when it wasn't too busy. There are tons of restaurants down there that look amazing (I haven't eaten at any of them yet because I'm trying to save money and I'd much rather go with my family or a group of friends), but I'm especially looking forward to Taylor Gourmet (so many vegan options!).

Book Talk: Life in Motion by Misty Copeland

October 24, 2017
Lauren reading Misty Copeland's memoir, Life In Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina

Welcome back! This book talk is a bit delayed because I wanted to finish the book before writing this post. I started Life in Motion back in August and it's taken 2 months to read, not because I wasn't completely captivated by the story, but because I started the book during one of the busiest times of the year, the week before I moved to college. Now that my life has (somewhat) settled down and I was able to get Life in Motion from the library, I sat down in front of the fireplace (in the student center at my school...not the same as the one in my bedroom at home but it'll do) and contentedly finished the last few chapters.

3 Tips for Saving Money in College

October 18, 2017

Aside from time management, which I've already shared some tips on, one of the hardest parts of college is trying to balance a budget. Being a full-time student, I don't have a job and couldn't imagine working on top of my school work and extracurriculars (shout out to all the students that do though)! Most of the money in my bank account comes from my graduation money and the babysitting that I did over the summer. Trying to find ways to make a few hundred dollars last a whole has proven to be a bit difficult, so I wanted to share some of the tips I've learned so far this year for my girls (and guys) in the same boat as me!

It's Fall Y'All

October 12, 2017
A fall inspired casual college outfit.

A fall inspired casual college outfit.

A fall inspired casual college outfit.

A fall inspired casual college outfit.

I'm back today with some fun fall fashion! I've been obsessed with this outfit (I've worn it 2x in the past 3 days) because it's so comfortable and the colors are so fall! My favorite thing about this outfit is that none of the pieces are new, I created it from things I already had in my closet but had never worn together!

I got this faux burgundy leather jacket a few years ago from Tobi.com because I wanted something edgy, but more "me" than a traditional black leather jacket. This jacket is an unexpected fall staple because it's easier to wear than you might think. You may recognize this top from my Warby Parker post this past summer. At first glance, it's definitely a spring/summer top but the jacket brings out the burgundy/wine color and makes it more appropriate for fall. I also love that this top has a delicate, flowy bottom which makes the whole outfit a bit softer. If you've been reading for a while then you probably recognize these jeans as my favorite denim from Revice. They're a great quality denim and I own several pairs so that I can wear them multiple days in a row (not kidding!) The only thing I would change about them in this outfit is the cuff, the outward cuff in this look cuts off my legs and makes me look short (which I am, but the cuff isn't doing me any favors). Finally, I have these ankle boots which are nothing to speak of tbh. I've had them for years and you can tell that they are nearing the end. I just ordered new booties, though, that I cannot wait to share with you all!

Thanks for reading! What are your favorite pieces for fall? xo, Lauren
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Soul Cycle + New Work Out Clothes

October 6, 2017
Find Your Soul - Soul Cycle Georgetown

Miss Lauren Alston in Lulu Lemon Leggings

Miss Lauren Alston in Lulu Lemon Leggings

Welcome back! As you can tell by the title, this is a fitness post! I want to start doing these a bit more often because my fitness is routine is always changing. 

A few months back, I did an updated post talking about tennis and muay thai. Now that I'm in college it's a lot harder for me to enjoy both of those activities so I've adapted. I've started going to Soul Cycle GTOWN 1-2 times a week and starting next week I'm going to start going to the campus gym 1-2 times a week. I just discovered that full-time students automatically have memberships at our on-campus gym and I'm excited to see/use the resources available to me!

Last week, the Lulu Lemon on M Street had a major sale called 'The Clearing.' I've never invested in Lulu Lemon work out clothes before and I knew this was my opportunity to get some at a discounted price, so I woke up at 5:30 am on Saturday morning and got in line for the sale. All in all, the sale wasn't as big as I thought it would be so I only got one pair of leggings. It definitely was not worth all the prep I put into it, that night one of my friends told me that she went in the afternoon and was able to get what she wanted. You live and you learn. The pants that I did get, I'm obsessed with. They're a teal green with a mesh panel down the side and they are super comfortable. My top I've had for a while and it's a tank top so I don't get too warm during the class. It's my favorite because it has pockets in the front that are the perfect size for my chapstick and inhaler!

If you ever go to Soul Cycle GTOWN, you have to go to Kate C.'s class! She is so motivating and inspiring that I leave feeling great every time (granted, I've only been twice)! I'm about to head out to a Justin Bieber vs. Bruno Mars class with Tiffany and I am so ready to jam out (I'm hoping for some old school Bruno - Just the Way You Are used to be my favorite)!

Thanks for reading. What are your favorite workouts? xx, Lauren
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Blogging 101: Blog Design

October 3, 2017

Welcome back! It's the beginning of the month, which means another Blogging 101 post! If you missed my posts from the last couple of months, I shared information on fashion photography and using Blogger. Today's topic is blog design, which is probably definitely one of my favorite parts of blogging! You can find a bunch of information about blog design including where to get free fonts and tips/tricks, on my Pinterest board, but here are the biggest, most important, and most fun things!

1. Template

Your template is basically the structure of your blog. I use Blogger and I don't love any of the templates, but if you're willing to spend a lot of time learning how to code basic widgets, you could definitely make one of them work. If you'd rather download a preexisting theme to your site, it's not hard to find cheap and even free templates online. Here are some of my favorites: Gooyaabi Templates | Sky and Stars | Blog Pixie | pipdig

2. Fonts & Colors

While I could easily go on for hours about fonts & colors, I'll try to keep it simple. With fonts and colors, less is more; the fewer fonts and colors you have on your page the more professional it will look. When choosing fonts, you typically want 2-3; a statement font for your logo/blog title, a simple serif or sans serif for your main page text, and maybe another font for other headers that might appear on your page. When choosing colors stick to 2-4, a couple of neutrals and 1 or 2 statement colors. When choosing fonts and colors, take a few minutes to up font pairing and complimentary colors online. As far as downloading fonts, here are my favorite sites: DaFont | Befonts | Font Squirrel

3. Widgets

Widgets are super important for site navigation and convenience. Sidebars are easy to navigate and add smooth lines to your site when they aren't too cluttered. Make sure most things your readers might want to find (about me, social media links, search bar) are easily located, but also make sure that your sidebar doesn't go further than the last post on your page. Key widgets to include on your site are social media icons, favorite shops, popular posts, blog archive, and Instagram.


4. Header

Sticky headers are super popular on blogs these days and a pain to figure out. If you don't know, a sticky header is when the header of your blog stays at the top of the screen at all times, even when you've scrolled down. The best advice I can give you is to look up "sticky header" and the name of your platform or to find a template you like that already has one. The reason they are so helpful is that they are essential to great site navigation. If your audience scrolls down to read a post, or get's lost exploring your site, all they have to do is click home in the top left corner no matter what. It's also helpful for people who navigate quickly; if they scroll down to read a post and decide they want to send you an email or read your about page, the link is already there.

5. Images

Every post should have an image!! This is getting a little bit more into content vs. design, but when people go to your site they're more likely to click if they see an appealing image. I'll probably do a more in-depth post on this later, but aside from photography, graphics are very important. Make sure that any and all graphics are clear and sharp, because nothing looks worse than blurry images and text (I'm being kind of dramatic, but it is very important).

Thanks for reading! I love doing these blogging 101 posts, leave a comment letting me know what you might want to see next! xx, Lauren
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