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Anchors & Bean Boots

Happy Monday! Apologies for this post going up later than usual, I was able to finish all my homework early last night so I took the chance to go to bed early and wow was it nice! 

While the weather here in South Carolina definitely doesn't look like these photos, I know a lot of y'all are still dealing with snow and ridiculously cold temperatures so I wanted to share this outfit while it was still season appropriate. 

I shot these photos while I was home over winter break and even though it was freezing when we took these pictures, I'm still really happy with how they turned out! I've linked my outfit and similar pieces at the end of this post for your personal shopping!

What's the weather like where you live?


Updated: Daily College Routines

A couple of months ago, during the first semester, I shared what a typical day looks like for me here at USC. Being a new semester means that I have a new set of classes so I figured I would share an updated version of my daily schedules.

Obviously the times listed below are pretty flexible, aside from my class times. Sometimes I wake up earlier than the times listed or sometimes I sleep in a bit longer, it honestly depends on the day. My morning routine is pretty routine after I'm out of the bed, though. 

My schedule this semester this similar to mine last semester, the only differences are that I have an 8:30am lecture and I don't have any classes later than 1:15 (which means I'm done by 2:30!). I don't mind having Friday classes so I wasn't too upset when I could find a schedule that gave me three day weekends.

What does a typical day for you look like?


Instagram vs. Reality

A couple of years ago I shared an Instagram vs. Reality post where I shared the stories behind some of my Instagram photos. Seeing as that post was written in 2015 (click HERE to read it!) I decided it was time for an updated version of this post to go up.

My life is far from put together. Even if my Instagram feed seems to be very cohesive and aesthetically pleasing, I'm just your average college student who wear leggings and tshirts to class each day & definitely can't afford the smoothie bowls that I buy far too frequently. I went through my camera roll the other day and found ten photos that all have funny stories behind them that I wanted to share here today to prove that my feed isn't effortless and rather takes a lot of work to appear semi-put together.

Instagram: Just your average front seat picture featuring the prettiest fresh flowers and a healthy smoothie.

Reality: I paid way too much for these flowers at Whole Foods, I paid way too much for this smoothie (but it was so good) and I'm sitting in my car in the Whole Foods parking lot trying to take this photo while the guy parked next to me is staring and probably thinking "what on earth is that girl doing?"

Instagram: A very aesthetically pleasing photo of my friend and I's avocado toast & smoothies from our spontaneous smoothie run.

Reality: Once again, I paid way too much for this stuff (although, again, it was good) and I'm hovering over the table to get a better angle. I made my friend pick the table next to the window so I could have natural lighting and ordered the avocado toast solely for the reason that it looked pretty. I had never had avocado toast before so I definitely shouldn't have paid the price I paid for it but it was fantastic so I guess it was worth it?

Instagram: Editing blog posts while munching on cheese & grapes and sipping on lemonade while gazing out over a harbor in Charleston. Truly living my best life here.

Reality: I moved this table from the other side of our hotel room just so I could make it seem like my workspace overlooked the harbor. 

Instagram: Enjoying an iced coffee and found the prettiest flowers and had to snap a picture & make sure my gold Jack Rogers (HERE) are in the photo for an added pop of color.

Reality: My cup is empty, my nail polish is chipped & Katie is looking at my like I'm a complete weirdo because I'm standing in this flower patch in front of the South Carolina state house and people are staring. 

Instagram: Outfit of the day photo in front of this pink wall that Katie & I stumbled upon while exploring downtown Greenville. 

Reality: Katie & I walked up and down the streets until we found an aesthetically pleasing wall to take pictures in front of. Let it be known that this wall happened to be on a building on the side of a pretty busy road so we got a lot of weird looks from cars passing by while we had a mini photo shoot in front of this wall. This is one of my favorite pictures though so it was worth it. 

Instagram: It's finally snowing in Ohio so here's a candid of me outside.

Reality: This photo isn't candid, I'm freezing & the neighbors walking their dog are staring. The snow only lasted for about an hour and by the end of the day it all way melted. 

Instagram: Another picture in the snow but this time in my cute Christmas plaid pajamas because I'm so excited it's going to be a white Christmas.

Reality: These pajamas aren't even mine (thanks Mom!) and I'm once again freezing. The camera was barely functioning because it was so cold and I had to mess around with the flash for a while in order for the snow flakes to show up.

Instagram: Post-workout picture. Woo! So glad I'm off to a good start on my 2018 goal to workout more.

Reality: My water bottle is empty & my headphones aren't even plugged into anything. If that doesn't give you insight on how my workout went than I don't know what will.

Instagram: Sipping on artsy lattes in the cutest coffee shop. Once again, living my best life.

Reality: This latte was $4 (worth it, though) and I made my mom take this photo an absurb amount of times before we finally got one that I liked. All the tables were filled and people were waiting for some to open up so they were defintely irritated that I was having a photo shoot over here in the corner. 

Instagram: The prettiest pasteries at my new favorite local coffee shop. I'll take one of each, please!

Reality: I'm blocking the whole line to snap this photo and am akwardly leaning backwards to make sure I can include the cute menu in the back. 

What's a funny story behind some of your Instagram photos?


How I Organize my Agenda: Simplified Planner

I have a confession to make: I love reading agenda organization posts. I don't know what it is about them but after reading this type of post I'm also so much more motivated to utilize my agenda to its full potential. 

I use my agenda daily and without it I definitely wouldn't be surviving college classes. The agenda I chose for this school year is the Simplified Planner which I'm loving! I like that this planner has a monthly view and a day by day view, too. The daily pages also have a notes and a meals section. I use the notes section to write down homework assignments due that day. I typically don't write anything in the meals section except sometimes I'll write down the times that lunch and dinner are being served at the DZ house. 

My favorite pens to write in my agenda with are the Paper Mate Flair pens and I typically use these on the monthly view to write down everything I have going on that month. I like these pens because they don't bleed through the pages. For the daily views I just write everything down in pencil because I don't carry my pens around with me all the time and it's easier to just write it all down in pencil instead of color coding my daily pages. 

How do you organize your agenda?


Things You Should Do Every Morning

This might seem a bit backward but I have a more structured morning routine in college than I do at home. I don't know why this is but I have just come to develop a very punctual morning routine and being someone that likes routines, I'm glad I've been able to create my little morning routine. If you're interested in reading a post all about my morning routine in college, let me know and I would be happy to share!

I have a "list" of things that I do every morning when I wake up that not only help me start my day on a good note but they make me feel instantly productive and happy. Below I've listed five things that you should be doing every morning to start your day off on the right foot.

Make your bed

This is such a simple task and I know that everyone says to do this but it isn't until you consistently make your bed that you realize the difference it makes. When my bed is a mess, I'm a mess. I hate coming back from class to an unmade bed because my likelihood of crawling back in it are extremely high. I make my bed as soon as I wake up because I hate to have my pillows thrown all over our dorm room floor and because it makes me feel productive minutes after waking up. Not to mention having a made bed makes your room like so much more organized. 

Wash your face & apply moisturizer (with SPF!)

Not only will you be washing off all the oils and germs that sat on your face all night while you slept but washing your face is a really easy way to wake yourself up. After washing your face, pat it dry with a clean towel and apply a moisturizer (bonus points if it has SPF) to make sure your skin is ready for the day ahead.

Drink Water

At home, I always have a water bottle next to my bed and one of the first things I do after waking up is drink water. With my bed being lofted at school, I don't have anywhere to keep the water so as soon as I climb down from my bed I'll grab a water from the fridge and drink that. It's important to drink water after waking up to make sure your body gets the water it missed while you were sleeping.


Stretching in the morning helps increase the blood flow to your muscles which leads to more energy in the mornings. I usually just stretch as soon as I sit up, like what you see in the movies, and that's it but I definitely can tell a difference after stretching.

Check your calendar/agenda

After my face is washed, I'll sit down at my desk and open my agenda to see what's on my schedule for the day. I also used iCal on my computer & phone so I have notifications set up just in case I were to forget about something. After I've got my agenda open or my iCal pulled up, I'll grab a sticky note and write down my to-do list for the day and post this on the wall next to my desk so I know exactly what needs to get done that day.

What's something you do every morning?


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!


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?