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Things to do During the Summer

Even though I work 5 days a week during the summer, I still find myself getting bored pretty quickly whenever I'm not nannying. Since I'm sure I'm not alone on that, I've come up with a list of 10 things that you can do this summer to beat the boredom!

Brunch with friends

By far one of my favorite things to do during the summer is go out for brunch with my friends! Especially since I'm getting ready to move down for college, I've been brunching with a ton of my friends recently to spend time together before I leave! Not to mention you can take some pretty fun pictures while brunching, too!

Go to the zoo, pool, or movies

If the weather is nice, consider heading to the zoo with some friends or lay out by the pool and read your favorite book or listen to your favorite songs! If the weather isn't on your side, call up some friends or family members and head to the movies!

Go shopping

Now that we're getting into Back to School season, you can start looking for some fun new pieces to wear in the upcoming school year & and you can start buying things for your college dorm room! Don't want to spend the money? Just go window shopping!

#TreatYoSelf: Get your hair done, Get a mani/pedi

If you're working this summer like I am, treat yourself at the end of the week with a hair appointment or get a mani/pedi with some of your girlfriends! There's nothing quite like a new hairstyle and freshly painted nails to put you in a good mood!

Find new local coffee shops 

Call up some coffee loving friends and head out to a coffee shop that you've never been to before! Not a coffee fan? Try out local bakeries or smoothie places. No matter where you end up, there's bond to be some fun Instagram opportunities!

Visit local nature parks/hiking trails 

While this isn't something I would personally do, a lot of my friends enjoy hiking and visiting local nature parks during the summertime. If you're not a big hiking fan like I am, simply go out for a walk around your neighborhood is good, too!

Have a photoshoot with friends 

Throw on some fun outfits, grab your cameras, hop in the car & drive around town and stop at various places and snap some fun photos! 

Cook or bake something you saw on Pinterest 

Find a yummy recipe on Pinterest and make it yourself! Try a new recipe each week and at the end of the summer, go through each recipe you made and figure out which was your favorite and add that to your recipe book!

Read a book, or two, or three 

Find a couple books that are of interest to you and read them! Whether you read by the pool or each night before bed, reading is a great way to pass the time & it gets you away from your screens for a while!

Go for a bike ride

Head out for an evening bike ride with your family every once in a while! It's good exercise and a nice and easy way to work off your dinner to make room for dessert! ;)

What are your favorite things to do during the summer?


My Favorite Photos of All Time

It's no secret that I love taking pictures (I mean, clearly, 90% of my blog is pictures) and I'm also approaching the 1,000 picture mark on Instagram (make sure you're  following along to see that milestone!) I'm sure other bloggers can relate, but sometimes you take a picture and once you see it you're just like "this is perfect" or "this is exactly what I pictured in my head" and I've definitely had a couple of those moments. Whether it's actually candid candids (not the staged candids that even I'm guilty to doing) or a photo where your hair looks just right or the lighting is perfect or whatever it may be, we all have our favorite photos. 

As an early celebration of posting 1,000 photos on Instagram, I rounded up my favorite photos that I've shared either here on Northern Prepster or over on my Instagram ( @northprepster) as a little walk down memory lane. For the photos that were featured in blog posts, I included a link to the original post below each picture in case you're curious to check it out!

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What are your favorite photos of all time?


Cold Shoulders & Bell Sleeves

Whenever I'm going out with my friends whether it be to dinner or Sunday brunch, I almost always opt for a simple and casual outfit. As much as I love getting all dressed up and wearing my pearl necklace and a fun pair of wedges, I also love throwing on my trusted jean shorts and pairing it with a fun summery top. 

This outfit is something that I would throw on to go grab some food with friends and I love how simple (& comfy!) it is. I love the cold shoulder top & the red and white stripes are too cute. My favorite part of my outfit is my sandals, these are a lace-up pair of gold Lilly Pulitzer sandals (or as my dad says, my Cleopatra sandals) I think these sandals are such a fun statement piece and can really give any outfit the wow factor that it's missing! I'll include the links to my outfit and similar items at the end of this post for you to shop for yourself!

What's your go-to casual summer outfit?


10 Tips & Tricks for Babysitting & Nannying

If you read my weekly recap posts (you can read last weeks recap HERE), then you know that I nanny 5 days a week and often times babysit on the weekends or in the evenings of weekdays after I get done nannying.

This is only my first summer nannying but I've been babysitting for almost 6 years so I think I have a pretty good grip on what kids like to do and what they don't like to do. Obviously, a lot of this depends on the age of the kid(s) and the time of day you're watching them (daytime vs. nighttime) but I have a set of go-to activities that I like to do with the kids I babysit for and the little boy I nanny for.  I had always thought about writing a post like this but didn't know if anyone would be interested but I received a comment on one of my recent posts asking for a post like this so today I'm sharing 10 of my tips & tricks on things to do with kiddos that you babysit or nanny for!

Go to a park

Let them get all their energy by letting them run around the park, play on the ground and swing on the swings. If the park has an open field, bring a soccer ball and let them pass the ball around. If there's baseball diamonds, bring baseball gloves and a couple baseballs and let them toss the ball back and forth. Another thing that I find kids really like to do when at the park is to go on a scavenger hunt, all I do for this is give them random things (something blue, something round) and walk with them around the park to collect various things. 

Go out to breakfast, lunch or dinner

If you feel comfortable taking the kid(s) out to eat, I find that they really enjoy heading out to a restaurant for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Just make sure you ask the parents what the kiddos usually order so you know what to get them in case they don't know what they get. 

Bake cookies

Kids really enjoy going through the steps to bake/cook things and are so proud of themselves when they see how things turned out! You can also use this as an incentive, if they do everything they're supposed to do, then they get to bake cookies with you. 

Color with chalk

Forget the paper and markers, sidewalk chalk is definitely the way to go in my book! You don't have to worry about them getting markers on the tables or walls and it gets them outside! Offer to trace the outline of them and then let them draw on their clothes and facial features. If you're willing to get a little bit messier, one of my favorite chalk activities is to color big circles of each color and let the kids put their hands in the chalk dust and make handprints all over the driveway and sidewalk. If you're not wanting to get the kids that messy, draw a hopscotch board or create a game of your own.

Check out the Target dollar section for inexpensive toys & crafts 

Before you head over to babysit/nanny, check out the dollar section at your local Target! I always find fun little toys or crafts that I take over to the kiddos. They always get really excited when they find out I brought them something special and I will usually only let them have whatever it is that I brought after they've cleaned up/ate dinner/bathed/etc. Again, it's a nice incentive for doing what their supposed to do and it doesn't break the bank.

Go to the zoo, pool, or movies 

If you have a car and are comfortable driving the kids (and if the parents are comfortable with you driving them) spend the day at the zoo or the pool or if the weather isn't cooperating, let the kids pick a movie that they want to see! If you're going somewhere where you're going to be outdoors in the sun, make sure you have plenty of water and sunscreen because the last thing you want is for the kiddos to get sunburnt or dehydrated! 

Go for a bike ride 

If the kid(s) know how to ride a bike, taking them on a bike ride around their neighbor is an easy way to pass the time and it gets them outside & moving (and away from any technology!) Just make sure they wear their helmets, you want to make sure you're reminding them that helmets aren't optional when riding bikes and so that in the event that they crash into something or fall over, their heads will be protected. 

Take a trip to your house 

I recently started bringing the little boy that I nanny for over to my house once a week to play with my dog, talk with my younger brother and play with some of our old toys and he LOVES it! It's a nice change of scenery for the kids, it's basically like a field trip for them! Even if you don't have any toys for them to play with, just letting them see your house and meet your family is sure to entertain them!

Catch bugs

The little boy I nanny for and I catch bugs all the time. He loves it. While I am definitely not a bug person, at all, it keeps him happy and when the kiddos are happy, I'm happy. Once you catch something, you can also look up whatever it is that you caught and teach the kiddos about it. Fun & educational, can you tell I'm going to be an elementary school teacher? ;)

Do science experiments

There are so many cool, inexpensive, & simple science experiments for kids on Pinterest! Whether it be the Mentos & Diet Coke reaction or showing the kids how colors mix with food coloring & water, science experiments are, again, a fun and educational way to occupy the kiddos for a while.

What are your favorite things to do with the kiddos you babysit or nanny for?


A Peek at My Week

This past week was a pretty low-key week in terms of how busy I was. With the 4th of July being on Tuesday, my nannying schedule was super easy this week and I didn't have a lot of other plans or appointments which left me with quite a bit of downtime. Whenever I'm super busy I always wish for more downtime but after having a week of downtime, I'm ready to get back to my busier schedule. I'm definitely one that likes to have things to do and I like to have plans made, I'm not very big into just sitting around all day because I never get anything done and I don't feel very productive and I'd much rather be crossing things off my to-do list!

S A T U R D A Y 

On Saturday I got up at my usual 7:15am and quickly got dressed in some casual athletic clothes and headed over to the coffee shop that's a few minutes from my house. One of my former classmates works at this coffee shop so I always love catching up with her briefly while they make my drink. 

After I picked up my coffee I had to drop a few things off at the post office and then headed home to tackle my to-do list for the day. 


On Sunday I woke up at 7:15am and got dressed and then spent about half an hour cleaning out my dresser drawers. My drawers were overflowing because none of my t-shirts were folded, I still had all of my winter pajamas in some drawers so I spent a little while refolding my t-shirts, getting rid of old ones that I don't wear anymore, I refolded my athletic shorts and I put all of my winter pajamas into one of the big storage boxes under my bed. I also got rid of a couple pairs of jeans and in all honestly, I didn't even know I had that many pairs of jeans.

Later that day my mom and I ran a few errands and then I spent the rest of the night blogging and watching Netflix.


On Monday I woke up at, yep, you guessed it, 7:15am because I had to nanny at 9am. Usually on Monday's I nanny from 9am-4pm but this day I only nannied until noon and then the mom of the little boy I nanny for took the rest of the day off to start off her holiday break.

I got home from nannying around 12:15pm and then had lunch before doing various odds and ends around the house.


Tuesday was the 4th of July, I shared a whole post earlier this week with a full recap of my day so if you're curious to see what the 4th of July is like in my town, click HERE to read all about that!

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On Wednesday I woke up at 7:15am and even though I didn't have to nanny that day, I still got up and got dressed like usual and headed downstairs to fix myself an iced coffee and a bowl of strawberries while I worked on some blog posts. 

Honestly, I spent my entire day either working on blog posts or watching various shows on Netflix and catching up on my YouTube subscriptions. 


T H U R S D A Y 

On Thursday I slept in until 8am and then quickly got dressed before heading out to pick up two of my friends, Lizzie & Emily, for brunch. It was a pretty rainy morning so it was a nice day to grab brunch and catch up with the two of them. Lizzie and Emily were both on the golf team with me last year so they filled me in on all their summer tournaments as well as just life in general.

After I dropped Lizzie and Emily off at their houses after brunch I headed home and responded to a few emails before heading back out into the rain for my 12:15 hair appointment. I went in knowing that I wanted to cut my hair shorter, but not too short so it will be a decent length for recruitment next month. Well, my hair is definitely shorter. Way shorter. You'll see my new length in next week's outfit posts or maybe on Instagram over the weekend but wow is it short! I like it though, I always love changing up my hairstyles and this will give me the chance to do some shorter hairstyles!

After I got home from my hair appointment, I quickly headed right back out the door to head over to nanny. I nannied from 1:30-4:30pm and once I got home I spent the rest of the night working on various odds and ends for the blog as well as doing some stuff online for USC. 


On Friday I woke up at 7:15am because I had planned on nannying since I usually nanny from 9am-4pm on Friday's but the mom of the little boy I nanny for texted me right as I was about to leave and told me that he had woken up with a really high fever and a bad cough so she was going to try to get him in with the doctor. Since I was already up & dressed, rather than getting back in my pajamas and going to bed for little while longer, I took Callie for a walk with my mom around our neighborhood. 

After we got back from our walk, I poured myself a mason jar of iced coffee and cut up some strawberries and cantaloupe and ate that while I did some planning for next week's blog posts and what I have to do next week. 

I worked on various things on my computer for the majority of the morning and then around noon I decided to head over and get myself some Chipotle for lunch and since my dad's office is in the same plaza as the Chipotle, he walked over and met me for lunch. 

While I was driving home from lunch, the skies kept getting progressively darker and the wind started picking up to the point where I could feel the wind pushing my car. By time I made it home, the sky was pitch black so I quickly headed inside. 

My family and I always watch the show Big Brother during the summer (any other BB fans?) and a couple of our family friends had told us all about the live feeds for the show so my mom and I watched that for a while on my computer. After a while it finally started to storm but it only lasted for about 15 minutes and then it was perfectly sunny again. Later that night we did get a few other pop up storms with lots of thunder and lightning but I actually like storms (I have absolutely no idea why) so I didn't mind. 

How was your past week?


Lilly in the City

I shared a snap on my Instagram story last week of a Lilly Pulitzer that my sweet best friend Katie from Chic in Carolina sent to me. Katie & I were texting each other late one night (like always) and she mentioned that she had a shift that she never wore and was thinking about getting rid of but asked if I would be interested in it. I of course said yes and within a few days I opened my front door to find a package from Katie on my front porch! Almost all my Lilly shift dresses are pink so I'm super excited to have a new color shift to add to the collection!

Last Thursday my dad and I headed downtown to shoot some videos for a project he's working on for work and I tagged along to help record the videos and after we finished up shooting his content, we ventured around downtown and shot the pictures for this post! I'm really excited to share these photos with you today, I'm so happy with how they turned out! (Thanks, Dad!) As always, I'll include links to my outfit and similar items at the end of this post in case you'd like to check anything out for yourself!

Thank you SO much Katie for the sweet shift dress!