Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday Favorites

TGIF! Although it was only a 4 day week it sure felt a lot longer than that! Nothing super exciting happened this week, just a little bit of snow and some more cold temperatures. Nothing super exciting on my radar for the weekend besides prepping for my birthday next week & starting to get things together for my birthday get-together next weekend! 

|Spotify|
I received a Spotify premium membership for Christmas & I LOVE it! I listen to my playlists daily while I'm working or doing pretty anything! I love being able to listen to almost any song I want whenever I want.

|vineyard vines|
Although I didn't end up purchasing all three of these tops, I absolutely love them all! The colors & just this photo overall makes me so happy!

|Cheesecake|
On Monday my mom, younger brother & I had lunch at Cheesecake Factory and we got some cheesecake to-go and boy oh boy was it yummy! I ate mine while I watched the bachelor on Monday night & LOVED it! If you like chocolate & peanut butter then you would love this! See the post I wrote all about my day off here


What were your favorites this week?

xoxo,

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Dreaming of Sunshine

All this cold weather recently is really making me miss the sunshine and warmth of Spring & Summer. I miss being able to throw on a pair of chinos and a top and driving around with the windows down. I really can not wait until Spring Break! 





I know my posts this week have been short but I've been super busy and will be sure to get more content up next week!

Are you missing the sunshine as much as I am? 

xoxo,


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

How I Spent my Day Off

I hope everyone enjoyed their day off yesterday got the chance to relax or spend the day out and about like I did! Although the windchill yesterday was -14 my mom, younger brother & I ventured out to Easton, a large outdoor mall, to have lunch at Cheesecake Factory and check out vineyard vines Whale-of-a-Sale. Although it was freezing (I still can't feel my toes!) it was so much fun and definitely beats sitting at home all day!

I snapped this photo as I was getting ready! I LOVE having fresh flowers in my room and have also recently been loving listening to my current Spotify playlist as I get ready in the morning!

vineyard vines whale-of-a-sale was 50% off the already reduced prices and I couldn't resist trying on a few things in hopes of one of them fitting!

No shame mirror pic #ootd. I snagged this hunter green jacket at my local consignment store and absolutely LOVE how versatile it is! To see where everything else in my outfit is from be sure to check out my Instagram @northprepster!

This navy pullover with emerald green detailing was so cute but I did decide to pass on this piece because it's so similar to another shirt I own from vineyard vines.

If you're ever in the Columbus store be sure to check the dressing room walls for the picture of my sweet puppy Callie! & if you look a few photos up from Callie there's a picture of me holding a big whale!! Oh, this is the top I ended up purchasing! I've been wanting a good quality black & white check popover and as soon as I tried this one on I knew I needed it in my closet!

This striped top was so comfy and soft but the turtle neck just didn't quite work for me! (& I really don't need another striped shirt in my closet) I did love the gray & white together though!

After we made our purchases at vineyard vines we headed to Cheesecake Factory for lunch! Boy oh boy was it yummy! I had fresh grilled salmon with broccoli and mashed potatoes and it was delicious! And what's a trip to Cheesecake Factory without some cheesecake? My mom and I each ordered a piece to-go and were oh so content as we ate our cheesecake and watched the Bachelor!

Yet another picture of the flowers in my room & my J.Crew bags! I snagged a pair of pajama bottoms along with another pair of camp socks & the cutest pair of houndstooth socks. I can't wait to wear both pairs with my bean boots!

A very happy girl with her purchases!

Little miss Callie really likes my J.Crew purchases! :) 


How did you spend your day off?

xoxo,








Monday, January 18, 2016

Happy Monday

Happy Monday! I know this is a super short post but I wanted to get a quick little quote up to hopefully put a smile on your face this upcoming week! If you're anything like me, you have a love for stripes. I honestly think I have at least 6 striped shirts in my closet. Oops :)



Happy Monday!

xoxo,


Friday, January 15, 2016

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! We made it through another long week & thank goodness for another 3-day weekend! This week we had ridiculously low temperatures (wind chill -10 below zero!) and had our first official snow fall of the season. While the cold or the snow wasn't enough to cancel school (bummer), it was enough to make me realize that I am NOT a cold weather person. How many days until Spring? 

|Fresh Flowers|
My mom and I stopped by Trader Joes on Monday since we had the day off school & I was amazed at their flower selection! There were so many options and the prices were great, too! I'll definitely be stopping by again this upcoming week to pick up some fresh flowers to swap out for the current ones I have in my room.

|Hot Chocolate & White Marble|
The cold temps this week meant lots of hot cocoa was on the menu. Also, can we talk about white marble?! I am so obsessed with it that I went over to Lowe's and bought myself a 12x12 inch marble tile sample that I can use to take nice picture for Instagram & use it in my room for decoration! (Not sure how I'm going to decorate with it but I'll figure it out!) 

|Hunters|
I know Hunter's were a favorite of mine last week but especially since we had all this snow this past week, tall boots were a blessing when walking into school and playing with the puppy in the backyard! I will admit, the aren't the warmest boots. I've worn fuzzy socks inside them all week to keep my toes from freezing during the day! 


What are your favorites from this past week?

xoxo,


Thursday, January 14, 2016

What's on my Current Playlist

One of my Christmas gifts this past year was Spotify Premium. I had been using Spotify since the summertime but only the free membership. I am so happy to have received this gift & have already been putting it to great use by creating several playlists & listing to songs everyday whether I'm working on my golf swing or have synced my phone to my shower speaker to listen while I shower. Currently I've been listening to a playlist with lots of country songs & LOTS from Dan + Shay! Here's a peek at what I've been listening to! 


What's on your playlist currently?

xoxo,



Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Instagram Themes: What's the Hype?

On Monday I shared my Tips for Growing your Instagram Account. I was shocked at the response I got from that post, so many people commenting such positive things, complimenting me on my blog (thank you!) & the one comment that I kept seeing that caught my attention was people wanted to know what an Instagram theme is.

I guess I had always assumed that people had a general idea about the concept on an Instagram theme but reading the feedback on Monday's post I realized that the hype about Instagram themes hasn't reached everyone yet.

Instagram Themes are basically a way of organizing your feed by making all the photos look like they are part of a set.

Instagram themes can be achieved in numerous ways. Themes keep your photos looking similar because they all have the same filter applied, or they all focus on one color or perhaps focus on one brand. There is are options when it comes to creating an Instagram theme.

To give you an idea of what Insta Themes looks like here's some of my previous themes I've had:


|color|
My theme here was bright, eye catching colors. All of my photos are edited to increase saturation and I upped the brightness on all of them too.

|blue|
This was one of my favorite themes I've had in the past. I tried to have all of my photos include the color blue and to bring out that blues I would lower the temperature which gave all my photos a blue tint.

|navy & orange|
This was more of a mini-theme I had but each photo had the colors navy or orange in it. Although this was a short-lived theme it was definitely one of my most cohesive themes.


|white|
I'm a sucker for white Instagram themes. I love that they are so bright & so clean, too. Although it may seem easy, maintaining a white theme is actually harder than it looks. The whites all have to be similar and it takes a great deal of time using the whitening tool to create a bright & cohesive white theme. 

|holidays|
If you don't want to focus on colors for a theme, you can choose to focus on a season, too! I loved how my feed looked during the holidays! With it being winter now, you could focus on photos involving snow. For the spring time you could focus your theme around flowers or pastel colors.

Instagram themes don't have to be just colors or events. You can center your feed around food, or sports, your kids or your dog. The options are endless for your theme. Just try to keep them all focused around the same topic, that's really all there is to Instagram themes.


What's your favorite kind of theme?

xoxo,

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

My Staple Wardrobe Pieces

I generally like to consider myself a "preppy" person. While I don't wear shift dresses & oxfords every single day (because I love sweatpants & pullovers) I believe that I still have a preppy style. After all, I do run a blog & Instagram dedicated to my love of golf, macaroons and anything monogrammed & preppy.

If asked when I started dressing "preppy" I would probably answer with about 2 years ago. Before I got into the whole preppy style I didn't have a very defined style. I was a freshman in high school at the time & just kind of wore what was "in" at the time.

I never truly liked dressing with what was "in" and began to look all over Pinterest to see if I could find a style that I liked & knew I could wear. I stumbled across a few preppy bloggers & after reading their posts for hours on end I knew that preppy was the style that fit me best. The first day back to school after winter break & I walked into school with my riding boots, gingham oxford & pearl earrings. I was nervous to see what my friends would say but in all honesty, it didn't really phase them. I felt extremely comfortable wearing that outfit & knew that this was "my style."

Fast forward two years & I'm still wearing my little riding boots & J.Crew vests & loving every minute of it. Over the past two years I've collected quite the collection of clothes that I know use in my everyday wardrobe. I've noticed that I tend to build outfits off of the same few staple pieces in my wardrobe which is why I'm going to be sharing my staple pieces that I have in my closet.
|white jeans|
While they can be stressful (forever afraid of spilling something on them) they are so simple & can be paired with so many tops & blouses. I love to pair them with bright tank tops in the summer & colored oxfords in the spring. They are extremely versatile, the outfit combinations you have are endless! Here's a pair here!

|colored/patterned pants|
This past spring I really got into patterned Pixi Pants from Old Navy. The fun patterns & colors of the pants create an effortless look when paired with solid colored oxfords or tops. I have a few pairs but I am eager to add more to my collection this spring. Here's a pair here!

|chambray shirt|
I bought a chambray shirt on Black Friday & boy oh boy have I gotten my use out of it! It's such a simple piece that you can dress up or down! My chambray shirt is honestly probably one of my most worn pieces in my closet! Here's the one I have!

|button ups|
I wear button ups probably two times a week. I love pairing them under sweaters & vests in the winter & wear them with patterned pants & colored chino shorts in the spring! Here's my three favorites! 1 2 3

|peacoat|
I've found myself wear my peacoat a lot these past 2 months! They are super warm but look nicer then the average winter coat! Here's one similar to mine!

|simple dress|
I bought a simple gray t-shirt dress back in September & absolutely love the versatility it has! Being a single, solid color (gray) it allows me to style it with so many different necklaces or I can throw my chambray shirt over it for a cool city-chic look! Here's the one I have!

|a nice watch|
Last year around this time I purchases a simple gold watch that I now wear almost everyday! I love wearing it to school & pairing it with some fun bracelets! Here's the one similar to the one I have!

|riding boots|
My go-to shoe in the fall! I especially love wearing boot socks with them! Here's a darling pair from Tory Burch!

|pearl earrings|
I wear pearl earrings everyday & am a strong believer that they can dress up any outfit! Here's a pair!

|ballcap|
Perfect for bad hair days or simply running errands! I love ballcaps & love adding more to my collection! Here's one that I really want!


What are your staple pieces?

xoxo,


Monday, January 11, 2016

Growing Your Instagram Account

One of the most common topics I get asked about is Instagram. More specifically how to gain followers & grow your account. I'm sure you've heard this before but 9 times out of 10 you are not going to gain hundreds of followers overnight. It takes time & dedication to grow your Instagram account. It took me a year to gain 1,000 followers & 7 months to gain my first 331 followers.

I understand that it can get frustrating. I know I got frustrated at first because I was spending so much time taking & editing photos yet I wasn't getting a lot of interaction. When it comes to growing your account you need to know that it takes a lot of patience & willingness to put forth your best effort. Eventually, all your hard work will pay off & you'll be oh so happy.



|post original content|
I can't tell you how many times I've seen the same photo posted over and over and over again. While it's okay the first few times I see it, after that it just gets annoying because I've already seen it before! Posting your own content lets Instagram users see a new photo that they haven't seen before. But please, if you do share someone else's photo, please, please, please give them credit. There is nothing more frustrating than seeing that someone has shared your photo but hasn't given you credit. While it is flattering that you liked my photo enough to share it, it even more frustrating that you didn't give me the credit for my own photo. Even if you found the photo on Pinterest, please don't claim it as your own.

|post clear photos|
I've found that when I post clear & bright images I receive so many more likes & gain a good amount of followers too! Try to refrain from posting fuzzy or pixelated images because odds are if people can't tell what your trying to share, they'll just scroll right on by.

|interact with your followers|
If someone leaves a comment, respond to them! I've found that when I engage with my followers (commenting & liking their photos) they tend to do the same. If you take the time to interact with them, they're more likely to continue to follow you.

|use hashtags|
Hashtags are a great way to share your photo beyond the set number of followers you have. However, don't go overboard with the hashtags! When I use hashtags I'll typically put 1-3 relevant ones in with my caption and then if I have anymore to add that aren't exactly relevant but still apply I'll add them in the comments.

|post consistently|
I post everyday. You certainly don't have to post everyday but do try to post several times a week. By posting consistently your username is going to show up on people's feeds more consistently. 9 times out of 10 when people don't post for a few weeks they're going to lose some followers. I know that when I see that someone hasn't posted in 4 weeks I sometimes unfollow them because well, what's the point if they're not even posting.

|stick to a set "theme"|
Instagram themes are extremely "in" right now & while I do not have one currently as I am in the process of developing a new one, themes are a great way to have a nice, put-together feed.

What keeps me from following accounts?
When users ask for a "shoutout for a shoutout" "follow for a follow" and the endless other things like that. I don't really know why but whenever people ask me for those things it just pushes my buttons. While I do think you can gain followers by receiving a shoutout, I believe that you should put in the time & effort to gain followers. It might be frustrating at first if you go a few days without gaining followers but once you do it's so rewarding to know that all you dedication has paid off.

What are your tips for growing your Instagram?

xoxo,


Friday, January 8, 2016

Friday Favorites

TGIF! Today is the last day of my first semester of junior year. Kind of scary to think that I only have 3 more semesters left of high school. This week was spent getting back into the swing of things & switching from winter break mindset back to reality. I have a three-day weekend now (yippee!) due to teacher grading day on Monday and I couldn't be happier.


|Hunters|
The weather here has gotten significantly colder (still no snow) & thanks to my Hunters I able to wear super thick socks to school to keep my toes nice and warm. I am so happy I ended up deciding on the black pair because they are so versatile & go with a good majority of my outfits.
|Macaroons|
Although I haven't been able to eat macaroons for a while (thanks wisdom teeth :/) I am absolutely obsessed with this picture! With the striped shirt & the macaroons I'd say this photo describe me fairly well.

|Monogrammed Pullovers|
My younger brother gave me this monogrammed pullover for Christmas & it ranks up there as one of my favorite gifts this year! He picked out a solid white pullover (oversized just the way I like!) and for the monogram he picked a circle monogram with hot pink embroidery around the Lilly print Let's Cha Cha! It is so cozy & I just know I will be getting a ton of use of it this winter!


What are your favorites from this past week?

xoxo,











Thursday, January 7, 2016

How I Edit: iPhone vs. DSLR Photos

Instagram is my top social media platform & I love that I can constantly change how I edit my photos until I find a combination of adjustments that I like. I only use two apps: VSCOcam & Afterlight. The app I use depends on what device I took the photo on. If I took the photo on my iPhone I'll use VSCOcam. If I took the photo with my DSLR camera (Nikon D3300) I'll use Afterlight. Today I'm sharing how I edit my photos both ways so those of you who use your iPhone can see how I edit those & then those of you who use a DSLR can see how I edit those photos!


|iPhone Photos|
If I take a photo that I know I want to post to Instagram I'll edit it using VSCOcam. I love VSCOcam and use these for iPhone photos because, personally, I think it does a great job at making them look like higher quality images. Here's a step-by-step of how I edit using VSCOcam.


|DSLR Photos|
When I take photos using my DSLR camera, although they are higher quality & much clearer I still will edit them a little bit to up the brightness & make them more "eye catching." Here's a step-by-step of how I edit DSLR images using Afterlight.

What apps do you use to edit your Instagram photos?

xoxo,


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Two Years

Two years ago today I sat down & created this blog. I had not the slightest clue as to where I would end up in the blogging world & didn't know more than a thing or two about running a blog. Since then, blogging has developed into a true passion for myself & now is a part of my everyday life. I want to give a special thanks to all of my readers, and to my photographers- my mom, dad, & friends.
Over the past two years I've published 117 posts & today I'm going to go back and share with you all what my favorite posts to write & share were!


Published on June 12th, 2014 this was the post where I formally introduced myself to my readers! If I'm correct, 2 days earlier (June 10th) I created my Instagram account (@northprepster)


This was one of the first posts where I shared photos of my life. I LOVED stopping by Furman on our way down to Hilton Head & to this day it is still my dream school. 

This was the first post I had ever collaborated with another blogger. Kathleen from Let's Get Preppy & I both shared how we styled our favorite J.Crew vests & to this day I still consider Kathleen to be a good blogger buddy!

I love all of my outfit posts from vacations because I get to take blog photos in new & exciting locations! For this post I wore a Lilly dress & got to ride around on this vintage beach cruiser bike & I absolutely loved it!

I loved getting to share the silly stories behind some of my Instagram's & I got a great response from my readers on this post, too!

I mean, I'm wearing a blue shirt dress, red & white seersucker Jack Rogers & took this photos on a dock at the marina in Hilton Head. What's not to love about this post?!

Lilly Pulitzer + one of my favorite places. No surprise I loved this one.

Lilly & nautical... again.

This was my first post that I got to wear my Bean Boots in & I especially love this picture of my bean boots & Callie the Puppy.

This post was the first post where I got to show my Hunter boots that I received for Christmas! (& can we talk about how cute this blue door is?!)


Thank you to everyone who has read my blog these past two years & cheers to many, many more posts!

xoxo,