September 10, 2014

B+F Guide: The Perfect Autumn Road Trip Playlist

The Broke + Fabulous Guide to Adventure is a new blog series dedicated to showcasing travel possibilities for twenty-somethings with an empty wallet and a thirst for adventure. 

Yep, I used the 'A' word - it's autumn, folks, face it. And what's better than a good old fashioned fall road trip? Maybe over to New England to see the autumn foliage and have some tasty apple cider? Now that's what I'm talking about. 

And at the heart of every great road trip is a great playlist. So, here are my picks for that perfect Autumn drive - they'll put you in mind of oversized sweaters, cool October air, that crisp apple orchard smell, and waning sunlight on the interstate, whether you're heading upstate to Boston or just down the street to the supermarket.

>> 20 Years of Snow, Regina Spektor
>> Saturday, Fall Out Boy
>> Brother Sparrow, Agnes Obel
>> Big Black Car, Gregory Alan Isakov
>> Sophie, Bear's Den
>> Song for the Rich, Tristan Prettyman
>> Where Happiness Lives, Magnet
>> Nicest Thing, Kate Nash
>> Snowship, Benjamin Francis Leftwich
>> The Girl, City and Colour
>> The Reckless and the Brave, All Time Low
>> Chasing the Sun, Sara Bareilles
>> Pretty Little Head, Eliza Rickman
>> Despite What You've Been Told, Two Gallants
>> Be Okay, Oh Honey
>> Stubborn Love, The Lumineers
>> With a Little Help from My Friends, The Beatles

Listen to it on Spotify here!

What are your must have road trip songs?


September 8, 2014

21 Ways to Love Yourself

Life is hard. That's a fact that everyone can accept. But let me tell you, life gets a lot harder when you don't take care of yourself. There's really not much to it. And everyone takes care of themselves in different ways. So, today I thought I'd share some things that help make life easier, if only for a bit.

1. Eat breakfast. Every day. No exceptions.

2. Understand that sometimes, just getting out of bed is enough.

3. Wake up early to watch the sunrise sometimes.

4. Get enough sleep. Whatever it is that can't possibly wait until tomorrow, actually probably can.

5. Write something down every day, even if it's just what you had for breakfast. Strive to fill a page. Then a book. Fill volumes with what you have to say; it's important.

6. Enjoy the small things: a baby's laughter, sunshine on your skin, a warm mug of tea on a rainy day.

7. Travel often enough to understand that what you're running from can't be pinned down geographically.

8. Read a book you loved as a child and understand all the ways you've changed and grown over the years. Let the familiar words fill a void you didn't even know you had.

9. Chat with people around you. You never know who you might meet in a coffee shop.

10. Dance in your underwear once in a while.

11. Do what you want. Dye your hair. Get something pierced. Things are not usually as permanent as they seem.

12. If you need a day off, take it. The consequences will not be as catastrophic as they may seem. Take some time, lay in bed, and forget everything that is causing you stress. It will be there tomorrow, and you can deal with it then.

13. Re-connect with old friends, even if it's just to remind yourself why you lost touch in the first place.

14. Go an entire day without plugging into your headphones every chance you get. Listen to the conversations around you on the city bus, in line at Starbucks, waiting for your classes. Human interaction is a wonderful thing sometimes; you don't always have to tune it out.

15. Challenge yourself to leave the house without looking in the mirror, and know that you look fantastic no matter what.

16. Sing at the top of your lungs in a traffic jam, and forget to care whether or not the other drivers can hear you.

17. Spend a day helping those who need you.

18. Cook a gourmet meal just for yourself.

19. Wear lipstick that's too dark.

20. Buy the shoes you've been eyeing for weeks, and learn to live off ramen until your next paycheck. You won't regret either.

21. Most of all, make every second count, even the quiet ones, because you will never be as young as you are this second, but this is as old as you've ever been. Understand the difference, and learn to appreciate both. The only constant in life is the passage of time, but it's what you do in between that really matters.


September 3, 2014

August Instagrams + September Goals

August has been quite the month for me, what with moving into my first apartment, going back to school for my third year of college, and also watching 5 full seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in like 10 days (listen, I'm really proud of that). 

Let's relive the journey, shall we?

1// I couldn't resist wishing a Happy Belated Birthday to the Boy Who Lived, and to the woman who created him.

2// I found this beautiful vinyl of Frank Sinatra's Christmas album at an antique store a couple weeks ago. I just love the dreamy cover art, and I can't wait until December (okay, November) when I can listen to it non-stop while drinking peppermint hot chocolate.

3// I caught a gorgeous sunset through my window a couple days after I moved into my apartment.

4// My roommate has an adorable tea infuser. It's a mani-TEA. Get it?? Hilarity.

5// We went to the farmer's market up here before classes started and got some fresh blueberries and peaches, among other things.

6// Yesterday, on the drive home from a very lovely and completely impromptu road trip to Lansing.

I'm so excited for September because it means it's nearly fall! While the weather may not be cooperating, it's just around the corner. It's no secret that autumn is my absolute favorite time of the year - sweaters and boots and rainy days and pumpkin flavored everything and Halloween and LOTS of flannel.

Here are some things I hope to accomplish this September:

>> Get the hang of things for the new school year. This first week of school really hit me hard, and I'm hoping it won't take long to get used to the new schedule and responsibilities.

>> Get some details nailed down for my super secret project - I can't tell you much, but I know that I can't wait to share it with you guys!

>> Get back on a schedule for blogging. The busy schedule of the new school year really took me by surprise and led to a less than stellar week of blogging. I'm hoping to get myself back to writing things regularly and keeping on task.

>>  Set a budget and stick to it. Mm, budgeting is not a strong suit of mine. Like, at all. I'm really terrible with money. I've got the basic concept down, I'm not stupid, and I've never done anything like spend my rent money on shoes or anything - I always have a basic idea of how much I have and need. But I do know that I tend to buy little things, like muffins at Starbucks or $10 things on sales racks that I think, "Oh, that's hardly anything, it won't hurt." But they add up quickly. So, I'm really going to try to work on that.

What did you get up to in August? And what are you most looking forward to in September?


September 1, 2014

Back to School Essentials + Giveaway

Well, it's that time of year again - if you haven't already headed back to school or college, then you almost certainly will be this week. And you might be asking yourself - what are some necessities for this new school year?

Well, lucky for you, I've got you covered on that front. Here are some of my essential products and programs to make the 2014-2015 school year excellent!

I've been completely obsessed with the Bath and Body Works Aromatherapy line - their stress relief lotion is my absolute favorite. It smells like eucalyptus and spearmint and has a completely calming effect whenever I put it on. Even when I'm super stressed, I immediately feel tranquil whenever I smell it.

I also love the Sleep lotion, which is lavender vanilla - it's so relaxing at the end of a long day when you're trying to detox and get some rest.

Both planners and caffeine are completely necessary items for school success - I got this adorable agenda from Walmart, of all places, and it's perfect for me. It's the right size so that it's not unnecessarily weighing me down, but it's big enough so that all my activities fit perfectly. Plus it's so pretty!

 One app that I will swear by no matter what is Evernote. It's so perfect for jotting down ideas or even organizing them and keeping things separate for classes. I admit, I usually have to write things down with pen and paper, but in a pinch, I love typing out random things that pop into my head. I also keep a checklist of blog ideas so that I can see what I've done and what I'd still like to write about. And the best part is, if you download the mobile app and the computer version, it keeps them synced perfectly with cloud technology. You can get the computer program here.

Another necessity is a good playlist, whether it be for studying, waking you up in the morning, or getting the party going. Right now I'm loving the endless curated playlists that Spotify is featuring. My favorite so far include "Your Favorite Coffee Shop" and "Wake Up Happy" but there's a million and one available for free on Spotify!

So now, I have some even better news for you - you can enter to win some of my favorite back to school essentials below!

Up for grabs is:

>> 1 Bobble water bottle, that filters your water as you drink
>> 1 pink medium sized notebook from Poppin
>> 1 6-pack of blue ink gel pens from Poppin
>> 3 Bath and Body Works Aromatherapy lotion miniatures in Energy, Stress Relief, and Sleep
>> 1 Starbucks gift card for $15

I'd like to extend a huge thank you to my sponsors, Alex of Undergraduate Style, Adriana of Alaska Renee, Chelsea of Olive & Ivy, and Tiffany of Endless Bliss! This wouldn't be possible without them, so please go check them out!

*The giveaway will run until 11:59 pm next Monday, September 8th. Giveaway is open to residents of the United States only, sorry for the inconvenience. Entries will be checked, so please play fairly! You can enter below, no purchase necessary, etc.

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August 28, 2014

College Apartment Essentials with Brita

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Brita for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Note: Compensation was provided through IZEA for this post, but as always, all opinions and content are my own. Brita ® filters are available at Target

As everyone knows, it's the time of the year to start  back to school shopping. And for college kids like me with dorms or apartments, back to school shopping is a whole different ball game.

Having just moved into my first apartment (!!!) I thought I'd share with you some of the products I'm loving for my apartment this school year!

1. Brita ® Space Saver System - $20

I'm not used to city water supply, and it doesn't always make for the best drinking water. My Brita ® filters it all out perfectly to give my healthy, tasty drinking water. With both a yoga and a ballet class on my plate this semester, I need to do a lot better job staying hydrated than I usually do. Plus, I have a cleaner conscience since a Brita ® pitcher cuts down on waste from bottled water. Plus I love the adorable colors they come in!

2. Shower Curtain - $10 

You've got to have a shower curtain, and this one is so cute! It's vinyl, so it's super easy to clean (and yes, you really should clean it). Sometimes it's hard to make your bathroom feel personalized, and getting a unique and quirky shower curtain is a great step in the right direction.

3. Plate Set - $15

A girl's gotta eat sometime, right? And just because you're on a paper plate budget doesn't mean you have to show it! These bright and colorful plates are perfect for late night snacks and even entertaining, and they won't break the bank!

4. Floral Chair - $120

Furniture is beyond essential in a new apartment - and you really don't want to be sitting on sagging futons and sad beanbag chairs, do you? Just because it's your first college apartment (or dorm!) doesn't mean that your furniture has to be a bunch of trash. This chair is gorgeous, and will be sure to last you a few apartments without costing an arm and a leg. Plus, it comes in tons of styles - this was just my favorite!

5. Throw Pillow - $18

Your bed is definitely valuable real estate when it comes to making your new apartment home - make it cozier by adding a bunch of throw pillows. I love the bold colors and simple pattern of this one, and it looks super comfy as well!

Thanks so much to Brita® for sponsoring this great back to school check list!

Visit Sponsor's Site