5 Back to School Outfit Ideas

5 Back to School Outfit IdeasMy college classes are about to start up and I have been channeling my inner fashion guru to put together some outfits for class/school/work. Ok, so I’m not a fashion guru or even a fashion major. I’m an economics major so it’s far from anything fashion related or even remotely fun, but I figured us boring major girls can still dress cute for class. Here are some outfit inspirations, a few places I enjoy shopping at, and tips for dressing up for class.

P.S. follow my instagram for more outfits @liza__caroline (2 underscores)

Tip: I love dresses. Why? Well they’re cute and girly, but super easy to throw on for class. I don’t have to worry about matching pants/skirt/shorts and a top. I can easily throw on a dress and save some time in the morning. AKA I can sleep in an extra 5 minutes.

Outfit Inspiration 1

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This is my favorite outfit. I love the boho and girly feel of the dress. It pairs so well with some flat cognac booties or sandals. The neckline detail is such a cute touch. I especially love the ruffled  hem at the bottom.

Tip: Find dresses with a neckline detail. Neckline details are essentially built in necklaces. With this dress I don’t have to fuss with finding a necklace to match everything else because it has that neckline detail. It saves a bit of time and stress in the morning.

Dress:  Red Dress Boutique

Shoes: Forever 21

Bracelets: Alex and Ani

Outfit Inspiration 2

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I love a dress that has a vintage feel to it. This dress has a cream background with little blue birds and red flowered vines on it. It’s a square shape with a high neckline, which is an amazing shape and cut. I love pairing it with these lace up black booties that have a peep toe and cut out details.

Tip: Just like a neckline detail, I also love finding dresses with smaller patterns like this one. I feel like the pattern is very busy and the focal point so adding a necklace would be too much. Again, it saves a little bit of time and stress in the morning when I’m rushing to make it to class on time.

Dress: The Rage

Shoes: TJMaxx

Bracelets: Alex and Ani

Outfit Inspiration 3

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I love everything about this dress. The pattern, cut, and flowyness (is that a word?) of the dress give it a beachy feel. It has a shark bite cut to it so it, which I love for class because it makes the dress a bit longer. It can be difficult to pair shoes with this, but I’ve found that simple nude sandals fit well with it’s beachy feel.

Tip: Nude sandals are a must have for me. If I can’t find shoes to match an outfit I will throw on my nude sandals and run out the door. They go with everything. I have yet to find an outfit they don’t match. So always keep a pair of sandals around, preferably nude, so you can throw them on in a pinch.

Dress: Piace Boutique

Shoes: Target

Bracelets: Alex and Ani

Outfit Inspiration 4

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I love the lace detail on this dress. The neckline is lace and there is a lace piece running down the middle of the dress. This dress is so casual and perfect for those girls who may feel intimidated dressing up for class. It looks super cute with every bootie I own, but also pairs great with a nude sandal. Sometimes I will pair a simple necklace with this, but usually I’ll let the lace stand out.

Tip: I used to wear sweats or jeans and a cute top to class like almost everyone else. I was really wanting to dress up more because I love dressing up. I was intimidated at first because it’s just class so people usually won’t go far with their outfits. I found simple pieces like this dress that I could ease my way into it. They aren’t show stopper pieces that will make everyone look at you, but they can help build your confidence.

Dress: Red Dress Boutique

Shoes: Target

Bracelets: Alex and Ani

Outfit Inspiration 5

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This is one of my all time favorite dresses. It’s such a transitional piece for the seasons, which is great because I can wear it year round! The top half is a thin sweater like material with some embroider detail on the neckline (my favorite!). The bottom half is a simple white/cream material that billows out perfectly. This pairs perfectly with my cognac booties for the warmer weather and tall boots for the colder weather.

Tip: I love finding dresses that I can use in every season. Transition pieces save me money, especially on my college budget, and allow me to get my moneys worth. This dress in particular can be worn like in the picture and looks great with hose and tall boots.

Dress: Piace Boutique

Shoes: Forever 21

Bracelets: Alex and Ani

I hope these outfits and tips help you with some of your back to school outfits! What are your tips and favorite outfits for class/school/work? If you would like to see my daily outfits, or at least a few of my outfits each week, follow me on my instagram @liza__caroline.

I love you Robin Williams: my battle with depression

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At some point almost everyone will struggle with a period of depression. Others will suffer longer, maybe for life. I’m one of those others. I have a chemical imbalance. Nothing set it off, it just happened. I’ve fought my battle for 10+ years. I’ll continue to fight it.

I can remember multiple times visiting my doctor and asking when I can go off my medicine or get a lower dose. I could see her cringe and think of how to let me down, “We can’t do that, Liz. Not today. Maybe someday, but not any time soon.” I used to ask every month when I would go see her. Her answer became the same thing each time so I quit asking. That’s probably the hardest part. You know, being medicated and not being able to control it. It’s difficult knowing that in order to feel normal I need medicine (2 to be exact) and I need to take them multiple times a day on a full stomach.

I recently just started opening up about my depression. I’ll mainly just mention I have it and struggle with it, which sometimes I’m embarrassed, sometimes I cry trying to tell someone, and every time my heart is about to beat out of my chest. It’s still difficult to discuss what actually happens with it because it’s hard to explain. So I’ll usually keep that part to myself.

I remember when Robin Williams committed suicide. A year ago (if I actually post this blog post on the intended date). August 11, 2014. Everyone was shocked. How could such a lively and funny man do such a thing? How could someone who had everything going for him kill himself? It doesn’t make sense does it? To me it does. I understand.

If depression has taught me one thing it’s to put on a smile and pretend the happiness. Depression has taught me to joke. It’s easier for me to joke about something than to show how it actually makes me feel. It’s easier to make others laugh rather than to show my pain. That’s what Robin did. He wanted others to laugh. He didn’t want others to experience his pain or his depression. Robin didn’t want others to feel the way he felt.

But sometimes the depression becomes too much. Sometimes it feels like there is no way out. You’ve hit the lowest of the low. You’re drowning. You’re brain is fighting against you and at some point it seems like you have no ammunition left to fight back. The pills can quit working. The therapy can stop helping. You’re left alone. Or so it seems.

Depression doesn’t care if you’re famous. Depression doesn’t care if you’re looked up to or admired. Depression doesn’t care how successful you are. Depression doesn’t care who you are. Depression can affect anyone. So when I hear people say “well how could he have depression? He had everything” it’s difficult because it doesn’t matter how much you do or don’t have. I’ve had friends say “well you don’t look like you have depression” or “I never would have guessed you would have depression.” The thing is depression doesn’t have a stereotype. Depression doesn’t have a face. Depression is an internal battle. People can choose to hide it. People can choose to show it. But there is no stereotypical depressed person.

The stigma that comes with depression is hard. It takes a toll. It’s difficult to hear that people think you are weak. I think I’m strong though. I’ve been fighting a battle against myself for 10+ years and guess what? I’m still here. The whole “they’re psycho” stigma is particularly the most difficult stigma. I shouldn’t even have to explain how that stigma can affect and hurt a person suffering with mental illness. I know for me and I’m sure Robin and countless others fighting depression and mental illness it’s scary and intimidating to open up and even seek help because of the stigma. So forget the stigma, and be kind. You never know who is fighting a battle.

If you suffer from mental illness remember that you’re not alone.

If you have thoughts of suicide talk to someone.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:

1-800-273-8255

I love you Robin Williams

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You are beautiful

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I woke up late this morning. I showered and threw on sweats before rushing out the door. I was so embarrassed to be leaving the house with my hair still soaking wet, in clothes that weren’t cute, and wearing no makeup. I felt ugly. But the way I looked didn’t make me any less beautiful.

Beauty is not defined by your appearance. It’s so much more. Beauty is everything that makes you who you are. It’s being yourself. It’s laughing until it hurts. It’s your eyes lighting up at the little moments that make you the happiest. It’s the little quirks you have. It’s being confident in yourself. It’s embracing your imperfections. Beauty is how you make others feel about themselves. Beauty is not always seen, sometimes it’s felt.

You never truly see how beautiful you are. You do not get to see yourself that way. You see yourself in mirrors and pictures, but not in moments and feelings. You’re beautiful in moments and feelings. You’re beautiful when you’re being you.

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Learning to love and accept myself: a work in progress

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I feel pretty awkward posting about this because it can be quite the personal topic. So folks, we’re getting personal tonight.

The other morning I was walking to class and nothing seemed to be going the way I wanted. I was having a rough start to my day and was doubting myself in every aspect. I didn’t like the way my hair turned out. I didn’t like my outfit anymore. I didn’t feel prepared enough for the quiz I was about to take. I felt like an overall failure. I was on the verge of tears. I tried to hide under my umbrella and behind my hair to keep people from noticing me. Then I got a text from one of my friends, “Pretty sure I saw you this morning. You were looking captivating.” It’s the little things. My day didn’t suddenly turn around, but sometimes a little reminder that I’m doing alright can make a world of difference because sometimes I’m not the nicest to myself. We all have days where we should be nicer to ourselves.

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We’re brutal to ourselves sometimes. I rarely walk past the mirror and tell myself I look beautiful. I rarely tell myself that I’m smart, funny, kind, and doing well. I have a hard time seeing myself that way, the way others see me. I think it’s because I’m afraid people see me the way I see myself.

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I’m working on being patient with myself. I’m working on accepting my flaws so that I can embrace them. I’m working on loving myself. It’s something we should all work on more. So make a list. Make a list of all the wonderful and amazing things about yourself. I think mine would include:

  • Smart
  • Funny
  • Kind
  • Caring
  • Beautiful
  • Brave

Put the list on your mirror so you can see it when you’re getting ready. Put the list on your phone so you can look at it throughout the day. Take the list with you everywhere you go so when you begin to doubt yourself and become cruel to yourself, you can look at it. Make the list the last thing you read before you go to sleep. Go to sleep loving yourself. Wake up loving yourself.

You can’t expect people to love you when you don’t love yourself. I hate the saying “in the end all you have is yourself.” It’s not necessarily true, but it’s not necessarily false. You’re the only person that will be with you every second of the day. You’re not always going to have someone there to tell you that you are beautiful or that you’re doing great. Sometimes you have to do it yourself. Sometimes you have to be the one to show yourself love. So don’t forget to love yourself.

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What I’ve learned about life : part 1

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Since I’ve been at college it’s been quite the learning experience for me. I’ve always been very insecure about everything. Literally everything. I’ve been insecure about what I’m eating for lunch. It’s pretty ridiculous. But over the past few years I’ve learned a few things while trying to overcome my insecurities.

Let go

Let go of your expectations. Life is not something to be expected. You have no control over anything except yourself. Things are not going to go the way you want them to, and you have to accept that. Life isn’t a movie. We cannot write the script, we cannot pick the cast, we cannot yell action, and we cannot yell cut. We don’t get to piece together the best parts to create an amazing movie. If we want the good scenes, then we have to accept the bad scenes. So embrace what is being handed to you and let go of what you cannot change. Once you do, you’ll create something more beautiful than any movie.ZJevW6DqaZgTc9GDM6T5XoQmif86sXhPuZJBTIHB114

Take things with a grain of salt

I used to be very sensitive. I’m still sensitive, but I’ve learned not take things to heart so much. I used to call my best friend or parents sobbing because someone did or said something hurtful. I started to realize that I can’t let things get to me so much. You cannot let other’s perceptions of you dictate who you are as a person (Thanks Mr. Feeny). You cannot allow people’s comments and actions control you. Yes, it will always hurt when someone does or says something mean, but learning to take it with a grain of salt is so important. It’s important because their view of you does not define who you are as a person. It shows more about who they are as a person than it does you. When you take it with a grain of salt and don’t add importance to it then you are freeing yourself.

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You are not your past

You cannot live in your past and you cannot allow others to live in your past. Do not let someone hold your past against you and do not hold your past against yourself. I’m in my early 20’s and I’ve realized how important that is because I am a completely different person than I was 4 years ago and even a year ago. We’ve all made mistakes in our past and we all have (hopefully) learned from them. We cannot allow those mistakes or even the good things from our past define us. We have to let who we are today define us because that is the person everyone knows now. Who you are today is not the same person as who you were yesterday and it will not be the same person as who you are tomorrow.

These are only a few. Maybe I’ll elaborate on other lessons later.

Dear Future Daughter: A letter on dating

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There are things I knew before I started dating. There are things I wish I knew before I started dating. There are things I learned from dating.

Dear future daughter,

Dating is fun, intimidating, amazing, heartbreaking, wonderful, and scary. It’s something no one can ever prepare you for, but only give you advice. Here’s my advice sweet girl.

Have fun. The most important thing is to have fun. Don’t take it too seriously. It’s a serious thing to date and open up to someone, but don’t invest too much into it. Dating someone should be fun. You’re young. Act like it. Act like you’re 22 and be spontaneous. It should always be fun even in the hard times. When you lose the fun, then it’s time to move on.

Date whoever your little heart pleases. If they’re a good person and treat you right then date them. Don’t let anyone stop you from dating and loving who you want to date and love.

Have your own identity. Never lose your identity as a person. You’ll go places and people will know who you two are as a couple, but make sure people always know who you are as just you. Your identity is important and that’s what made this person fall for you. You should always know who you are as a person because nothing is guaranteed in life.

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Don’t compromise yourself. Never lose your values because someone doesn’t agree with them. Remember that if you don’t agree with someone’s values that is ok. You’re not going to agree on everything. Respect their opinion though. And remember they should respect yours. If they don’t, then they’re not the right person for you. Stick to your values and beliefs and what makes you happy.

You are worth so much. Do not ever let anyone tell you that you are not worth it or worthy. When they start devaluing your worth, walk away. I hate the saying you are 1 in a million because you are 1 in infinity. There is no one else like you. That makes you worth more than anything.

Don’t have expectations. When you have expectations for someone that’s when you get let down. Expectations are hard on someone and it can make a person change who they are. Don’t do that to them. Let them be. You didn’t have expectations for them when you fell for them so don’t have expectations when you’re dating them. And don’t let them set expectations for you. It goes both ways.

Be understanding. Always understand where someone is coming from. Whether it’s in a disagreement while dating them or if it’s when it’s not working out. If they’re letting you know it’s not working out the best thing you can do is be understanding. They have their reasons. It’s better to let them walk away and move on than to hold on to something that is one sided. They’re doing you a favor. They’re setting you free so you’re a step closer to finding the person you’re supposed to be with. So be understanding. Their reasons may suck, but understand them.

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Be honest. I’m leaving it there because I sure hope you know the value of being honest by now.

If it’s not working, walk away. Do not waste their time letting them love you when you don’t love them. You’re robbing them of their time and your time. It’s not fair to them and it’s not fair to you.

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Lastly, you’ll get your heartbroken. It’s not easy. It’ll never get easier. But you will learn to move on. You’ll feel numb, lost, sad, and so much more, but it won’t last forever. I wish I could tell you how long it’ll last, but that is up to you. Do not dwell on what could have been or the past. Learn from it and use all of that knowledge when you CHOOSE to date again. You choose the way you react to it. That’s the only thing you can control. But heart breaks hurt no matter how big or small. You’re allowed to cry. Just don’t cry too long because you never know when the right person is coming, you don’t want to miss them. So when your heart gets broken whether you’re 17 or 27, I’ll be there with a tub of your favorite ice cream and a shopping trip. Retail therapy is the best therapy, right?

You are precious, beautiful, enough, sweet, kind, amazing, wonderful, worthy, valuable, smart, genuine, 1 in infinity, but most importantly you are loved.

It’s OK to not be OK

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I remember a few weeks back reading an article on ESPN about Madison Holleran. While reading it there was a quote that I connected with and has since stuck with me:

“It’s ok to not be ok. It’s ok to show people you’re not ok.”

We live in a world where everyone wants to be perfect, have a perfect life, and have others believe they are living in this perfect paradise. But how is that possible? What is perfection? We all have a different idea of what being perfect is. Good grades? Lots of friends? Amazing artist? We cannot label perfection because we are all imperfect. So why do we try to make everyone believe that we truly believe our lives are perfect 24/7?

I think living in a world where people want to put on this front all the time and show people how much fun they’re having makes people believe that having a bad day or even bad days are a sign of weakness. I think it’s a sign of strength. To be able to admit that you are not ok, that you are struggling, that you need help is true strength. No one wants to be seen as weak or less of a person, but not being ok will not make you either of those things.

I think we all try to put on a false image of ourselves. I know I’m guilty of only showing people what I WANT them to see and think of me on instagram. I post on twitter the things I WANT people to read and think about me. I would never post a picture or tweet about my bad days (ok sometimes the occasional tweet with a lot of sarcasm in it). I’m guilty of thinking it makes me seem weak. I’m guilty of not wanting others to think I’m less than perfect. But aren’t we all less than perfect? Maybe I’m being a hypocrite saying we shouldn’t do all of those things, but openly saying I do them. But maybe it goes to show we are in a time when it’s not always “socially acceptable.”

I don’t like to think there is a such thing as being weak or less of a person. Who are we to say someone is weak? We will never know the full story so how can we know they are weak? Maybe they’re stronger than we are. We may never know that though because we’ve evolved into telling everyone we are ok and painting a smile on our face because it’s now embarrassing or a sign of weakness to be sad, lost, empty, hopeless, tired, exhausted, done.

It’s ok to not be ok. It’s ok to show people you’re not ok. We’re all human. We all have struggles. We all have bad days. Some have more bad days though. We shouldn’t bring them down or make them feel worse about themselves because it’s ok to not be ok. If you’re having a bad day and all you can do is make it out of bed in the morning, then good for you. Some may think that’s nothing, but when you’re not ok sometimes just getting out of bed is the first sign of strength because you made it through another day. You made it. You are strong. You are not ok, but that is ok. Show you’re not ok because I promise someone cares. Someone wants to help.

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