Travel essentials/hacks

This post has a ton of my tips on international travel, airports, study abroad, etc. and this post has a huge packing timeline that I follow when I’m going on trips!

I would say my top travel hacks are:

  1. Have a folder or large wallet that you can store your passport, boarding pass, and any paperwork in
  2. Always carry a pen. If you’re traveling out of the country you’ll need to fill out one of those little papers that says what you’re bringing back into the country
  3. Buy mini versions of your favorite makeup products or use some creative storing hacks: use a pill container/contacts container to store different foundations, concealers, etc. Get a mini brush set. If you’re going somewhere for an extended period don’t bring full size items like shampoo/conditioner, lotion, razor, etc…just buy it when you get there.
  4. Always bring a scarf and socks on the plane…it gets cold and the scarf can double up as a blanket or pillow
  5. Get a universal power adapter for international travel
  6. Wear your heaviest items on the plane…they’ll never tell you that you can’t carry a huge coat and hat, but in reality youre just saving suitcase space
  7. Rolling your clothes saves space but only for items that aren’t super thick
  8. Take a photo of your luggage before checking it. If your bag is ever lost this will speed up the process
  9. Get a small translation guide for whatever country you’re visiting…you know just terms like hello, thank you, how are you, do you have… Personally I think it is so disrespectful to travel to another country and just assume they can understand you and not even put an effort into speaking their language. At least ask if they speak english first…when I was in Paris the first thing I asked to everyone I was speaking with was “parlez vous anglais” before proceeding to talk in english
  10. Carry an empty water bottle with you through security and fill it up once you’re through

I’m sure there is more but I can’t think of any right now…If anyone has suggestions feel free to add them!
Hope this helped:)

Professional wardrobes for people with short torsos [Tumblr post]

Question: Hello Shelby!! You give such amazing advice to ppl! You know so much of stuff it’s amazing 😀 I was just wondering if you have any styling tips (for work clothing) for people who aren’t too tall and have short torsos? o.O I want to tuck in my shirts but always can’t cause it makes me look stumpy but leaving them out makes me look sloppy =/ Would be grateful for any advice! xo

Answer: Aww thank you!!

I suggest finding tops that accentuate your waist to give the illusion of a taller torso. Also adding a belt at your hips will give a slimming effect. I think wearing skirts that aren’t extremely long will help; a shorter skirt will show your legs more giving the illusion that you’re slightly taller. Throwing a cardigan or blazer over your outfit will give it a more defined look, but also hide some of the bulging top sticking out of a skirt (I hate this when the top is looser and the bottoms are tighter). Flowy tops with form fitting pants looks great too! A flowy skirt will hide some of the bulging blouse; there is more room for the blouse to lay underneath! Also wearing heels always helps, if you’re comfortable with them! Lastly, tops that are more form fitting will be easier to tuck in and won’t look as sloppy. Here are some examples:

My number one tip, however, would be to check out Mackenzie’s (@pinkandgreenlivingthedream) work outfits! She is slightly shorter than me and has the cutest work clothes I’ve ever seen and she pairs them in ways you wouldn’t have thought of!! I linked some below but if you go to her OOTD page there is tons more cute outfits! She also probably has more tips!

Hope this helped:)
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Difference between business casual and business professional [Tumblr post]

I’m assuming you are asking for girls clothing, because guys would just wear a shirt and pants for casual (and a tie depending on the situation), and a shirt, tie, and jacket for professional.

Business Casual:

-Dress pants, khaki pants, black pants, anything that isn’t jeans

-Skirt that is an appropriate length (doesn’t have to be a pencil skirt, just make sure it isn’t too short)

-Could even possibly wear a casual dress in a neutral color (just depends what you are dressing for)

-Button up or blouse that does not have a super low neckline. You can also add a cardigan on top of it

-Closed toe shoes; flats (preferred), or 1-2 inch heels in a neutral color

-Minimal jewelry, well groomed, put together

-Don’t have to be dressed in completely neutral colors; for casual you can wear brighter colors on your top or cardigan (not like neon…but blue, red, green, patterns…)

Business Professional:

-Dress pants or pencil skirt that hits your knees (must not ride up and show your thigh when you sit down)

-Button up shirt or high neck blouse with optional blazer

-Depending on the rules of attire at the interview/job/meeting you could wear a business dress; form fitting, reaches the knees or below, high neckline, covered shoulders

-Closed toed, 1-2 inch heels, neutral color (black or nude)

-Very minimal jewelry; perhaps a watch and a pearl necklace

-Neutral colors: navy, tan, grey, black, white (important)

-And of course, well groomed (clean makeup, brushed/styled hair, clean nails)

-You can wear muted accents of color such as red or blue, but I don’t recommend it for an interview or business meeting. At least until you know the style and regulations of where you are. I recommend searching Pinterest for outfit ideas!!
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Interview outfit tips: Business Professional vs Business Casual [Tumblr post]

I wouldn’t buy any new clothes specifically for your job until you know the dress code/have seen how other employees dress. Every job is different and defines professional and casual differently. Now, it is good to have 2-3 business professional outfits, and 2-3 business casual outfits for interviews or just in case, so you can’t go wrong with that. But don’t go out and spend hundreds on a new wardrobe for your new job before your first day.  For work, my dad dresses casual and wears dress pants with a shirt everyday (without a tie). My mom dresses casual for work and wears jeans with nice tops. I also dress casual for work and wear athletic clothes/athleisure. However, here are some good guidelines to follow if you don’t know where to start.

Typically, worldwide, business casual and professional are very generic and similar (my mind is blanking on the correct word for this, but you know what I mean…it’s generally pretty similar and standard wherever you go). I would ask about the dress code at the interview (not flat out, but if the conversation goes in that direction), but if your job has a business casual dress code, and you show up on the first day in nice pants with a blouse, and everyone else is in jeans and blouses, you won’t look that out of place. It’s better to be overdressed than underdressed, especially if you want to make a good first impression.

Also, let me know if you need some interview tips/questions to ask afterwards/what employers are typically looking for.

Business casual: 

  • Dress pants or khaki pants; they can hit at the ankle or all the way down
  • Skirt that hits just above the knee
  • Casual blouse
  • Sweater, or jacket
  • Flats or 1-2 inch heels
  • No open toed shoes
  • For this you may wear brighter colors. Not neon or hot pink/bright yellow, but shades of blue, green, red, pastels, or muted-bright colors
  • May wear a casual dress that is more flowy
  • May wear boots or booties; not at the job interview! But when you actually get the job and know the dress code. Nowadays most jobs have a casual dress code, or at least ‘casual Friday’s’

Business Professional:

  • Neutral colors only
  • Full length dress pants; not cropped
  • Blouse; white or light blue is preferred; make sure it’s buttoned all the way up
  • Knee length skirt with tights or panty hose
  • 1-2 inch heels
  • Blazer or suit jacket
  • Can wear form fitting dress that reaches the knee

Business casual outfits:

1

2

3

4

5

Business professional outfits: 

1

2

3

4

5

Personally, at all of my business casual interviews I  wore a blouse and skirt with flats/heels. It’s nice to be a bit dressed up to make a good first impression. However, I’ve had a few interviews at daycares and university office jobs where I wore jeans, flats, and a very nice blouse. It honestly depends where you’re interviewing/working at. For graduate school interviews I’ll show up in a full suit with a briefcase (that’s what girls wore when I helped interview the clinical doctoral applicants this year)!
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Tips for building a professional wardrobe in college [Tumblr Post]

Yes!

1. Stock up on basics; button ups, skirts, nice pants (anything from white/black jeans to business pants), and basic flats/heels. I don’t recommend spending an insane amount of money on these items because there are so many stores from Target to J.Crew that have these items for reasonable prices! I get all of my button ups and skirts that are about knee length at J.Crew because they always have great items on their sale rack and they take a student discount!

2. Splurge on items that will last you forever; blazer/blazer and skirt set, dress pants/blazer and pants set, etc. These items will last a very long time in your closet and go with so many different basics! I’m not saying go out an spend $5,000 on a Chanel tweed jacket with matching skirt; stores that specialize in business attire will work just fine! My favorites are J.Crew, Banana Republic, and Ann Taylor.

3. For shoes, I recommend a nude pair of flats, a black pair of flats, a nude pair of heels, and a black pair of heels. Then from there you can add more fun pieces. You can find these styles of shoes basically anywhere! My favorite brand of affordable classic heels are Madden Girl, my favorite brand of flats are Tory Burch, and my favorite brand of high end heels are Valentino, Prada, and Louboutin!

Just build your wardrobe little by little starting with basics that you can wear on an everyday basis, but that you can also dress up for a business casual or professional look. I highly recommend J.Crew, if that is your style and in your price range! You can find everything from button ups, skirts, blazers, dress pants and more there. There are always great sales and I always find great items on the sale racks! Tip: J.Crew pixie pants are amazing because they are leggings, but look like nice black pants on. Those pants are an example of something you could buy that you could wear on a daily basis as leggings, but also dress up for a professional look!

After you have all the basics, you can start to splurge on more expensive items that will last forever! For example, if you have your eyes on a pair of Louboutins, a pair of Madden Girl black leather heels will work just fine for now, then save up for the more expensive shoes and replace your basic ones later on! This works with all basic items!

When in doubt, search on Pinterest for Business Casual and Business Professional outfits! I have a whole board on my Pinterest dedicated to Post-College fashion, and there are so many fashionable examples!

Hope this helped:)
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Socks and clothes for winter in London [Tumblr post]

Ah yay! My favorite places on earth! If you need recs of things to do/see just let me know!!

I totally feel the same way about the Hunter socks! I have a pair and never wear them (unless I’m going out in the snow) because they’re so thick and unfitted.

I just wear tall, thick, or fluffy socks with my Hunters!

Try these:

  • J.Crew camp sock (thick and great quality; sold out online but they always have them in stores…you could even just get the mens ones because they’re basically the same thing. Best. Socks. Ever. I swear!! Perfect for Hunters and Bean Boots!)
  • Target (inexpensive, thinner, and still great quality)
  • Fluffy socks (always a good bet; plus you can find them anywhere…these are what I usually wear with all my Hunters!)
  • I would even recommend getting a few pairs of guys socks…they’re always taller and thicker! I love these ones from Nike! They are tight around your calf and don’t slide down your leg. Plus if you wear them under boots nobody will be able to tell they are guys. They are also great for stuffing jeans into because they’re so fitted!

Hope this helped:)
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Suggestions of things to do in London? Places to stay, eat, see?

Hi, of course!!

-I recommend staying in the Dorset Square Hotel, in Dorset
Square. It is a beautiful upscale boutique hotel with amazing service

-Also, The Pelham Hotel is very nice!

-The London Eye

-The Parliament Building/Big Ben

-Piccadilly Circus

-Trafalgar Square

-Abbey Road (Beatles)

-Kensington

-Queens Tennis Club in West Kensington

-Wembley Stadium

-Farmers Market: My favorites are Camden Market, Portobello
Road, and Columbia Market

-The Shard

-Thames River and Tower Bridge

-Harrods; AMAZING and an insanely good ice cream parlour on
the second floor!!

-Go shopping on Bond Street/New Bond Street

-Go on the Tube and in a taxi

-Natural History Museum (better than the British Museum)

-Hyde Park

-Notting Hill; go to the bookstore

-Oxford

-Vintage shopping in Shoreridge

-Liberty store

-Muriel’s Kitchen has amazing chocolate croissants (Old Compton
Street)

-Westminster Abbey

-Go to Tescos, M&S, or Waitrose (just grocery markets,
but I love them, Waitrose has the best brand chocolate, M&S has great to-go
food, and Tescos has a great wine selection)

-Go to a Cath Kidston store; seriously cute things! I bought
an adorable teapot from there

-Get fish and chips; there’s no particular best place to get
it, everywhere has them

-St. James Park

-Buckingham Palace

-Regents Park (always has shows/plays/music)

-Lunch at Borough Market

-Covent Garden

-Have tea; the BEST place for tea is Brown’s Hotel; they
have an amazing afternoon champagne tea. Don’t listen to anyone who says the
Ritz Carlton is the best for tea. I have talked to so many locals and everyone
thinks the new guy who bought it has made the hotel too modern/trendy and taken
away the classic sophisticated feel

-There is a sushi conveyer belt at St. Pancras Station; it’s
not the best sushi I’ve ever had, but it’s sooo addicting! If you happen to be
catching a train there, make sure you go! Also check out Sketch! It’s a really cool restaurant

-See a show! My favorite theatre is the Duke of York theatre
on Saint Martin’s

-Somerset House (ice skating there if you’re visiting in the
winter)

-See a ballet or opera at the Royal Opera House

There are so many things to do! If anyone has any
suggestions, feel free to add them to this post!

I’ll reblog my other post about packing/outfits/style for you to check out!
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What do you think everyone needs to know? [Life Tips]

Here are a few things that I have found useful knowing. I’m glad I have learned these things over the years. Obviously this list isn’t for everyone and I’m not saying every single person needs to know how to do every single thing on this list (cooking and budgeting would probably be priority). However, I think if your goal is to become a very well-rounded, experienced, knowledgeable person, it may be of some use to know how to do these things.

My old roommate asked me this same question once and I said “cook, do laundry, iron, sew (very basic), and budget”. She stared at me after realizing she didn’t know how to do any of it and said “oh well I’ll just hire people for all of that”. Sure that’s all good and well, whatever floats your boat but I truly believe that each person should be a self sufficient, functioning, mature human being (at least by the time you graduate college)

Of course I don’t expect everyone to cook a 5 course meal, iron a collared shirt properly, or sew a quilt. Also I realize this list is mostly for girls. I do believe both girls and guys need to be fully functioning mature self-sufficient people, however when’s the last time you saw a guy sew? Doesn’t mean he shouldn’t know how to do it…just guys don’t typically think “hmm there’s a hole in this shirt, let me sew it up”…it usually just ends up in the trash

Before graduating high school:

  1. How to make your own lunch. Stop having your mom make and pack it for you. Along the same lines, if your mom wakes you up every morning…get an alarm clock
  2. Please know proper grammar. College professors won’t find it cute that you don’t know the difference between your and you’re, or there, their, and they’re
  3. How to cook a few basic meals so when you go to college you don’t starve (my old roommate once asked me if you cook pasta directly in the jar the sauce comes in, or if you cook it first somewhere else, then put the sauce on top…she was 19…don’t be this person)
  4. How to handle yourself on social media. Don’t be that girl barely wearing any clothes, posting pictures of you drinking underage on social media. Colleges, graduate schools, and jobs will look at your social media and I promise you don’t look cool drinking alcohol at 19.
  5. Know your manners. This is something that should be taught from such a young age, but so many people forget it. Please be polite, respectful, and kind to others especially those in the restaurant or commercial industry or authority figures. Also, learn to put your phone down once in awhile. Especially during dinner or when you’re hanging out with friends. What’s on your phone will still be there when you pick it up again, but we only get so many meaningful interactions to talk, listen, or learn with people we care about.
  6. How to sew and iron. Your grandma isn’t always going to be there for you; especially when you go to college (I’m not talking about hardcore on a sewing machine, but know how to sew up a hole or fix a button). My middle school required a home economics class and I’m so glad it did.
  7. Know how to do your own laundry, clean, and make your bed
  8. Have some work experience. At least 1-2 years whether it’s babysitting, an internship, volunteering, or an official paid job
  9. Learn how to manage money. Save some, and learn how to budget so when/if you go to college you’re not broke
  10. Know how to do a basic car check (oil, tire pressure, know what the service lights mean, know what to do incase of an emergency or flat tire) (AAA is key)
  11. Know how to use basic tools…dad won’t be with you in your apartment when you need to fix something. I’ll admit I’m still working on these last two…luckily I have a boyfriend that does them for me but I think if you’re a girl living on your own or with roommates they are necessary to know.

Before graduating college:

  1. How to write a killer resume, CV, and cover letter
  2. How to manage your time and try not to procrastinate. It’s really important to have some healthy habits, workout regularly, and make time for yourself
  3. Know how to dress for an interview and the differences between business casual and business professional (let me know if you need to know the difference).
  4. Know how to walk in heels. Wear flats or 1-2 inches for job interviews and save everything else for Friday night. But don’t be that girl stumbling around because her heels are too tall. Likewise, don’t be that girl who complains about how bad her feet hurt because that’s just annoying. Don’t wear the shoes if you can’t walk in them for at least an hour, I dont care how cute they are.
  5. Know how to dress for your body type and your age. Crop tops are cute and fun freshman year, but after that it’s time to get a more mature wardrobe. My personal rule for going out is you can accentuate one part of your body, but only one, or else it’s too much (obviously there are some exceptions…short shorts and a crop top isn’t one of them). Again this is just my personal rule…I’m not here to tell girls how to dress. If a crop top and short shorts make you feel cute and confident then go for it girl! Who am I to make fashion rules?
  6.  Likewise, have clothes that fit you properly, a basic everyday wardrobe (let me know if you need tips for a basic wardrobe and I can type that up). Also, have a few business outfits for interviews and professional jobs, as well as a go to black dress and a go to pair of jeans
  7. How to prepare for an interview; have a list of questions to ask at the end, and always bring a notepad and pen with you
  8. How to handle yourself during a night out. Once you graduate college it isn’t 5 drinks at a bar every other night…you have commitments and responsibilities. Learn how to have 1 drink or say no to going out. You can’t show up to your job late and hungover
  9. Know how to be prepared. If I am carrying my large handbag, at all times I will have: bandaids, gel blister pads, girl things, hair ties, hand sanitizer, a lighter, a pen, a notepad, a snack, a Tide stick, tylenol, a water bottle, chapstick, a portable charger, ear phones, and more…

Before getting married:

  1. Have a good red, a good white, and a good champagne that you can always rely on
  2. Learn how to think about someone else. I feel like in college people are very self centered and unless you’re in a long term mature relationship you probably don’t understand this but…when you’re with another person you have to take into account their ideas, opinions, and feelings. It’s not all about you and your happiness isn’t the only thing that matters now. You have to communicate, compromise, and understand.
  3. Know how to make a few basic cocktails…just because
  4. I would say learn how to host a dinner party but that sounds very housewife-y and I know a lot of people are against that term…but if you plan on regularly having friends over for dinner or parties…learn to multitask while cooking and have a go to menu or dessert recipe
  5. Be financially independent (this isn’t for everyone, but a priority for me. I want to be able to support myself if I ever had to alone, and not rely on my husband)

Before having a baby:

  1. The post nursing/pre-med in me feels obligated to say CPR and basic infant/child first aid
  2. Basic prenatal care, importance of prenatal vitamins, risk factors/things not to do during pregnancy (obviously no alcohol, limited caffeine, no raw fish, no lunch meats, no soft cheeses, etc.). You have to go to regular prenatal checkups and your doctor will tell you all this but…just an FYI.
  3. Have some experience with kids whether it’s working at a daycare or babysitting your sisters kids. Babies are a lot of work and you really need experience. Take a pregnancy class if you’re very inexperienced. I’ve been working with babies/kids for 10 years and it’s great experience and has taught me so much for when I decide to have my own someday
  4. Know basic childcare…you know…basic things to keep a baby safe and alive
    1. Put babies to sleep on their backs with no blankets or toys in the crib. Know the risk factors for SIDS and how to prevent it
    2. Babies stay in a rear facing car seat until they’re 2 years old or at the highest weight and height the car seat allows
    3. Don’t begin to feed your baby solid foods until 6-8 months (foods like yogurt and baby oatmeal may start as early as 4 months)
    4. When you begin to feed a baby solid foods, you always start with vegetables. If you introduce fruits first, babies will be accustomed to the sweetness and probably won’t adapt well to veggies

Hope this was helpful. Sorry it was long. Also I didn’t mean for it to sound housewife-y with the cleaning and cooking and sewing. I think girls and guys equally need a basic understanding of most of these things and these are the things I’m just really glad I’ve learned over the years!
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Things to look out for when purchasing good-quality clothing [Video]

A great video on the things to look out for when purchasing good-quality clothing (seams, stitching, threads, button-holes, fabric etc)
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Travel post – UK

2/2: Ahh this sounds so fun, I’m so excited for you!! I definitely recommend the train! The trains going out of King’s Cross can be pretty inexpensive (anywhere from 60-80 pounds), and they’re still really fast! I definitely recommend that for traveling around London, Cambridge, Bath, Oxford, Somerset, etc. If you’re in London make sure you get an all day tube pass for zones 1-5…I swear its like 12 pounds per person and so nice for when the walking gets tiring.

Trains are such an easy, simple trip and you can still bring your luggage aboard. Also if you get the trains off peak (after 7 pm) they are sooo much cheaper (20-30 pounds) (trains most expensive between 3-7 because of work hours).

Also, Saint Pancras for international travel is really efficient as well. You can go anywhere from Paris to Scotland for not very expensive (To paris it was like 40-50 pounds)…I definitely recommend that! It’s right across the street from Kings Cross. It is pretty busy so you might have to get tickets a week or so in advance, but again it’s a very comfortable ride and you can easily bring luggage on! For Scotland, flights may be a cheaper and quicker option because the train ride is about 5 hours. Also, you’ll have to fly to Dublin, no train goes straight there unless you get a ferry.

I definitely don’t recommend taking a plain if you’re going anywhere within the U.K because the train system is so great (my boyfriend agrees…he’s British haha). The trains are so much quicker and cheaper, you can avoid security/checking in/checking luggage/etc.

I recommend checking out AirBnb….There can be some really nice, affordable ones, especially around Oxford and Cambridge because of Uni students renting out their apartments for the summer holiday. (p.s there’s this tiny coffee shop in an alley across from Kings College thats really good). Also, Cambridge has a great mall with (Grand Arcade) with Lush, Cath Kidston, Jo Malone, and more. Also, Cambridge has some really nice markets all the time! I’ve also heard of there being some really nice ones in London because the hotels there can be quite pricey!

If you have any more questions let me know!! Especially if you need ideas of what to do in Oxford, Somerset, Bath, etc….I’ll have my boyfriend answer with his favorite non-touristy things to do! haha
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