Wednesday, January 17, 2018

How I Met My Best Friend

I'm sure most of you are familiar with my best friend, Katie. Katie runs the blog Chic in Carolina and is mentioned frequently here on the blog and on my social media sites. I occasionally get questions about how Katie & I met, seeing as I'm from Ohio and she's from North Carolina. The story behind how Katie & I met is actually kind of funny so I figured I would share it here on the blog.

Rewind back to 2016. Katie and I had been following each other on Instagram for a while and one day Katie reached out to me about potentially collaborating on a blog post. Without hesitation or second thought, I agreed and we launched our collab "10 Things I Can't Travel Without" (read my post HERE, read Katie's post HERE).

A couple days after our collab went live, I left Ohio to drive down to Florida for Spring Break.  I posted a photo on my twitter account of myself standing next to the Welcome to North Carolina sign and Katie replied to that tweet & we had a short convo as seen in the screenshot of our twitter thread below.

After learning that Katie lived in the Charlotte area, I sent her a quick email as I drove through Charlotte just saying hi. Looking back, I don't know why I did this because it's honestly a little bit creepy. Katie & I have searched our email inboxes up and down but neither of us can find this email anymore.

After talking a bit more via email (this was prior to having one another's phone numbers) we learned that the place I was staying in Florida was only an hour from Katie's grandparents house where she would be staying the same time I was in Florida. 

We decided that we had to meet up because meeting in the middle of a one hour difference would be a lot easier than meeting in the middle of a six hour difference between Ohio and North Carolina. 

By this point we had finally exchanged phone numbers, and contemplated meeting in St. Augustine but decided to meet at a shopping complex in Jacksonville which was about in the middle of our destinations.

When we both told our moms that we were going to meet one another, our moms were slightly worried about meeting someone we'd met online and the whole internet safety ordeal. After assuring my parents that Katie was in fact a real person they agreed and my dad drove me up to Jacksonville a couple days later.

March 25, 2016

In true Riley & Katie fashion, we met up outside of a Starbucks and my dad actaully got the whole thing on film. I was slightly embarassed that he recorded the video, after all, I had literally just met Katie, but looking back, Katie & I actually like that we captured the moment we met.

We then proceeded to shop but neither of us bought anything. In Nordstrom, I was floored when Katie knew all the names and styles of the Lilly dresses (she still does this). We then took blog photos by what we now refer to as the "Artsy Palm Trees" and asked the valet girl to take the first picture of us together (the first photo in this post!). Fun fact: I never actually shared the photos that we took, oops, but you can read Katie's post HERE. We then had lunch at California pizza kitchen and talked for a long time and then Katie's mom picked her up. The next day, Katie texted me a picture of her Lilly Pulitzer Callahan chino shorts (that I was wearing the day we met) because she didn't want us to stop talking to each other.

Fast forward to present day & Katie and I are best friends and text each other all the time, have a 100 day snap streak (after I had to create Katie's account for her because she didn't have one), have visited each other at our schools and taken weekend road trips together.

This sounds so cliche but Katie is the Serena to my Blair (for real though, we dressed up as them for one of my sorority functions!) and she's my person and I'm extremely grateful that blogging lead me to meet her.

Thanks for being my person, K!


Monday, January 15, 2018

Coffee Shops

It's no secret that I love coffee. Heck, I even have a story section specifically for my Instagram's about coffee. As much as I like making coffee at home & appreciate how inexpensive it is, I also love to try out new or local coffee shops. While this does tend to be a bit more expensive, the drinks & food are always delicious and the photo opportunities are endless at aesthetically pleasing coffee shops.

I had been dying to check out a local cafe & coffee shop here in Columbus called Fox in the Snow Cafe. My parents had been several times before and always send me the most aesthetically pleasing photos of their coffees and pastries so I made sure that I paid a visit to this place before winter break ended.

Up until recently, there was only one Fox in the Snow location but now there's two which makes the original location much less crowded. But even with two locations, this place gets packed shortly after opening. I was determined to get a seat inside so I woke up at 6:45am and got ready and then my mom and I headed over after dropping Ryan off at school. I know I sound absolutely insane for waking up at 6:45am just to go to a coffee shop but there was a strong winter storm supposed to hit later in the day and we didn't want to be out on all the ice.

As expected, we snapped some photos that I'm excited to be sharing with y'all today! Coffee shops are my aesthetic (how many times will I say that word in this post?) and I think it's so fun to put on a fun outfit and just sip on my latte and people watch. I'll include links to my outfit & similar items at the end of this post!

Do you prefer coffee shops or making your coffee at home?


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Shopping Sunday: Shades of Blue

With the weather being so cold here in Ohio I haven't been venturing out as much as normal which means I'm home with my computer which leads to one of two things: Netflix or online shopping.

I typically watch an episode or two of Netflix before going to bed but last night I found myself online shopping instead. It's no secret that I love the color blue so I gathered up ten items in various shades of blue that I'm loving. Everything will be linked below & everything is also under $100!

Happy Sunday!


Thursday, January 11, 2018

Spontaneous Road Trips

If you're reading this post via my email subscription service & the photos seem oddly formatted, click on the title of this post to read it on my website, the formatting won't be all funky there! So sorry, working to fix this ASAP!


One of my goals for 2018 was to explore & travel more so when I was asked if I wanted to tag along with my dad on one of his speaking trips, without any hesitation, I said yes. 

My dad travels around the country and speaks to companies primarily about real estate but most of his presentations can be related to things beyond real estate. Last weekend I was laying in bed watching Grey's Anatomy (I am addicted, please send help) and my dad came in and asked if I would want to travel with him up to Toledo, Ohio for two days while he spoke. I said yes and late Monday afternoon we hit the road to drive up to Toledo. 

Toledo is only two and half hours north of Columbus so we arrived around 7:30pm. We grabbed dinner at a restaurant near our hotel and stayed up pretty late watching the National Championship game (Roll Tide!). We were up early on Tuesday as his presentation this day ran from 9am to 3pm. I sat in the back of the class and took some pictures of my dad and recorded some snippets of his presentation as we are currently in the process of "rebranding" his social media accounts to focus more around his speaking. 

We wrapped up the class a bit early so we headed to downtown Toledo to explore a bit and take some pictures for my Instagram and blog. Neither my dad or I have ever been to Toledo so we walked around the river and then we found a street in the heart of downtown to take some pictures. 

Once it started to get dark and we lost all our natural lighting for photos, we grabbed dinner at a local restaurant and then headed back to the hotel for the night. I showered and changed into pajamas while my dad ran to a grocery store to grab some cookies and an iced coffee because I was going through withdrawal since I didn't have any that morning. I spent the rest of the night editing photos, catching up on my social feeds and watching a couple episodes of Grey's before going to bed. 

Wednesday morning we got to sleep in which was so nice since our class didn't start until 1pm. I finally started getting ready around 10am and around 11:30am we checked out of our hotel and stopped by Starbucks to pick up some iced coffees before heading over to set up for the class. I sat the back corner since this class was a lot bigger and worked on blog posts until class was over and it was time to head home. 

Have you traveled anywhere recently?


Thursday, January 4, 2018

January Playlist

One thing that I'm hoping to be consistent with this year is sharing my monthly playlists with you. As I've mentioned it before but my taste in music is all over the place. It ranges from country music to pop music and a little bit of everything in between. I've linked my playlist below so if you're on the search for some new music, definitely check it out!

What's on your current playlist?


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Decluttering your Life in 2018

At the beginning of every year I always try to get my life in order and have all my stuff together. While I can honestly say that my life is not in order very often, I'm constantly trying to stay organized and keep clutter out of my life. From my email inbox to my makeup drawer, limiting clutter and keeping things organized is something I'm working on day by day. I have a few things that I do regularly that have helped me to keep the clutter in my life to a minimum so today I want to share those tips with you. 

Unsubscribe from Unwanted Emails

I noticed recently that I received so many emails from stores and companies that I don't even remember subscribing to and most of them immediately got deleted because I wasn't interested in them. I stumbled upon this app called Unroll.Me which is super helpful in helping me organize my inbox. Once you download the app, you'll log in with your email address and whenever you get new emails, they'll appear in the app. Once you have emails in the app, you'll have the option to unsubscribe or keep the message. I've unsubscribed from over 200 email subscriptions and my inbox is no longer filled with things that aren't important to me so I'm much less likely to miss something important.

Clean up your Social Feeds

When I say clean up your social feeds, I don't necessarily mean deleting your old tweets or photos (unless you want to do that) but I'm talking about cleaning up your following list. If you don't know someone you're following or aren't interested in the content they're sharing, simply unfollow them.

I did this on both my personal social media accounts and on my blog account and now that I've unfollowed all the content I don't particularly care to see in my feed, I'm seeing more of what I like in my feeds. You can also mute people on Twitter if you don't want to unfollow them but don't care to see their tweets in your timeline. The same goes for Instagram. If you don't want to see someones Instagram stories but you like the photos they post, you can mute their story simply by holding down on it and selecting the mute option.

Throw Away old Makeup 

I was SHOCKED at the amount of old makeup I had when I cleaned out my makeup drawer before leaving for college. If you can't remember the last time you used a product, you can probably toss it. I'm really working on having a very minimal makeup collection and having only the products I know I need & use. 

Not only does this make it easier to find the products I'm looking for in the morning but it also makes packing for trips easier because you won't have to decide which products to leave or take with you. I included an image below with the standard "lifetimes" of common makeup products. 

Clean your Makeup Brushes Consistently

Playing off of the tip above, it's so important to clean your makeup brushes consistently! I try my best to clean mine every Sunday evening so that they're ready for the week ahead but even I sometimes forget to do this. So much excess product and bacteria get caught up in your brushes so a big part of having clear and healthy skin is making sure you're applying your makeup with clean brushes.

Here's how I clean my brushes: I pour some baby shampoo into a bowl of warm water and swirl it around and then I'll let my brushes soak for 5-10 minutes. Then I take this fun brush cleaning tool (HERE) and rub my brushes on here to get all of the excess makeup out. I'm floored by the amount of makeup that comes out of my brushes. Then I'll shape the brushes so they dry in their normal shape and lay them to dry on a towel overnight.

Throw out Things you Don't Need

This tip is something I'm still working on myself but simply throwing out things like old receipts, product boxes, shoe boxes, and anything else that you just don't need in your life. This tip can go back to throwing out old makeup, too. If you can't think of the last time you used it, toss it. It's as simple as that. 

What tips do you have to declutter your life this year?


Tuesday, January 2, 2018

2018 Reader Survey

I'm getting ready to celebrate 4 years of blogging on Saturday and while I think I have a good grasp on what kind of content you all enjoy the most, I put together this short reader survey to allow y'all to give me your feedback on Northern Prepster! Click HERE to be directed to take the survey!

I really appreciate you taking the time to fill out this survey because it's going to help me make Northern Prepster even better & share more content that YOU want to see!

Happy Tuesday!


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