College, Style

A Very Lilly Graduation Weekend

Hey hey hey! It’s my first post as a college graduate! I wanted to share what I wore for some last minute ideas for anyone heading to a graduation in June.

Up first is Baccalaureate. At our school Baccalaureate is a senior run program and it’s a chance for students in our class to reflect on their experience at school. At first I didn’t even think I needed to pick out an outfit for Baccalaureate because I was going to be dancing in it.

Oh hey look it’s Allison from peoniesandpilates

As much as I loved the purple costumes, it didn’t look quite right hanging out of the bottom of our robes so I picked another purple dress.

All Lilly everything

I was actually about to put on a black dress and then I realized I had the unique opportunity of getting my grad cap to match my dress.

A grad cap decorating post is coming soon!

While my dress isn’t available on the Lilly website anymore, I have linked a similar style here. The Mila shift is a little more form fitting than the dress I wore but it has the bows on the side!

Embellished Amber Lynn Sandal

On to graduation!

For graduation I wore the same white Lilly I wore when I graduated high school. In high school our robes were white so we pretty much had to go with a white dress but I thought it was just such a perfect dress that I had to wear it again.

The only problem? I’ve only worn it a handful of times since then but it actually started to yellow a little bit. The only thing I could think of to fix it was OxiClean, I kept hearing Billy Mays telling me it was the only way to whiten my dress and he was right! After two washes it was back to white!

The Lilly shoes made another appearance

I have linked two different white Lillys here. The first is the Aliza Midi dress, and it has very similar lace. The Maya Shift dress is also lace and it has the nicest neckline.

Let me know what you are wearing to graduation in the comments!

xox,

Marissa

Lifestyle

An Easter Playlist

Hey friends!

It’s definitely been a while since I hopped on the blog! I have been up editing a paper and the idea popped in my head to share some of my favorite Catholic songs as it is officially Easter!

This is a post that means so much to me because I have heard most of these songs since I was a freshman in high school just starting my journey of learning more about how my faith can help others. Every summer starting right after the 8th grade I participated in a week long service trip with my youth group. This was definitely an experience that shaped me and I am lucky enough to be able to come back every year and help other students have that same experience.

1: Do Something by Matthew West

To me, this song sums up everything that being a Catholic means. I don’t even think I could put it into better words than were written, “If not us then who?” There’s no better time to “Do Something” than right now!

It even made an appearance at the Women’s March…

2: Oceans by Hillsong UNITED

Another song I’ve been listening to for years. While I think this version is absolutely beautiful, one year we had a number of people in our group sing this while someone else played the guitar and I always get flashbacks to that night. Such a peaceful memory.

3: When We Pray by Tauren Wells

This is a pretty new song to me, I only discovered Tauren Wells last winter. Kate from Lonestar Southern shared a story and Hills & Valleys was playing and I thought it was so catchy! So I did the only logical thing and started playing him nonstop on Spotify. It was immediately added to my “If Not Me” playlist and the rest is history. 

4: Who Am I by Casting Crowns

This song will forever hold a special place in my heart. It has so many special memories for me. From our summer retreat to playing after our church’s Living Stations of the Cross to my first ever solo. When it came time for our teachers to pick solos one year, my teacher and someone else’s didn’t communicate and we had the same song. All I remember is her bringing out the waterworks so she could keep that song (as much as I like to think I didn’t come from a Dance Moms studio… we had our moments) and so my teacher then gave me the opportunity to pick my own song. A few nights later we were at Stations rehearsal and that song played and something just clicked. So after rehearsal I went home figured out that I could adjust the speed of one or two parts and everything fell into place.

And that’s my round up! This is definitely a little different than my usual posts but I hope you guys like it! If you need any other songs let me know I’d be more than happy to share. Please leave your favorite songs in the comments!

xox,

Marissa

Uncategorized, What I'm Reading

What I’m Reading: The Woman in Cabin 10

This book was a Christmas present and I have to say it is my favorite book I’ve read this year. While it started out slow, I’m not exactly sure why I thought it was slow because there was a home invasion but I wasn’t really feeling it. But then I got to Lo’s time on the boat and wow I could not put it down!

Maybe it’s my unhealthy obsession with the Titanic and tragedies at sea (a story for another time) but I was hook line and sinker for this book. I would describe this book as a psycho-thriller, I was on edge the whole time and just as I thought I figured it out, there was a plot twist to hide the truth yet again.

I will say I had some serious Shutter Island vibes going on here. But I was completely wrong, there’s so much going on here and that’s the least of Lo’s worries.

If you’re looking for something to keep you on the edge of your seat that isn’t scary (I’m not good with horror movies) this is it!

Let me know what you’re reading in the comments!

xox,

Marissa

College, Uncategorized, wellness

The Twenty Four Hour Rule

When I was younger my grandmothers used to watch me after school. One time when I was sick my Nana told me the 24 hour rule. The rule is that you’re only allowed to sit on the couch doing nothing for one day. Then you have to get up and carry on.

So why am I sharing this? I’ve started to apply this to when things aren’t going so well too. If you do bad on a test you deserve your 24 hour mourning period but at that point there is nothing you can do. You can’t go back and change how you studied, what you studied, or the answers you filled in. So why dwell on it?

Say you don’t get the work study job you really wanted? There’s more out there! I promise there is going to be something else out there. From my personal experience I have found that every time something has not worked out for me in the way I wanted I end up getting something even better in the long run.

I’ve definitely mentioned it before but it is so important to keep a positive state of mind going into anything. If you go into your next job interview with the feeling of not being good enough it’s going to show in your body language. If you’re constantly thinking you’re not going to be good enough, your interviewer is going to see you in the same light.

So give yourself 24 hours, your feelings are valid but don’t let yourself dwell on it! You can still be in your feelings after 24 hours you just can’t let your negative thoughts consume you!


Photo from: http://spiritualcleansing.org/it-does-not-do-to-dwell-on-dreams-and-forget-to-live/

Let me know how you shake off any bad juju in the comments!

xox,

Marissa

College, Uncategorized

Heels and a Blind Date

Before I went back to school I took a solo trip to Boston so I just wanted to let you guys know what I was up to!

So I took the commuter rail in and got off at the Jersey Street stop.

Then I headed to the Museum of Fine Arts. My main goal of the day was to get Lilly Pulitzer shoes for my graduation but I love exploring museums so that was my first stop.

My view on the way to the museum.

The MFA was amazing! They had so many interesting exhibits but my favorite was all of the Egyptian stuff. I started and ended my day in two different Egyptian sections. Looking back on it, I probably should have grabbed a map but I had so much fun just wandering around.

The most amazing thing about the way they set up the museum is how immersive it is. The ancient worlds sections looked like you were in an Egyptian tomb, you were able to step in a replica at one point, and they also had a reconstructed old New England house!

This is the third building in Boston I’ve been in that connects new and old wings with glass.

I also was able to stop by the Ansel Adams exhibit which was so amazing! I discovered one artist who takes pictures in reflections but I am completely blanking on their name!

After spending four hours wandering the hallways I still had so many different sections to explore but I set my sights on my new shoes.

Next stop: Newbury Street

If you haven’t been to Newbury Street you are missing out. It’s a bunch of stores that I hope one day I can afford all on one street! My first stop was to pick up these shoes that I cannot wait to show you!

Next I went to Trident Books on the complete other side of Newbury Street to pick up a book from their “Blind Date” with a Book section. This is a really interesting concept where they cover the books and draw pictures on the cover so that you have no idea what you are getting yourself into.

At this point in the day I was craving some pizza. Leaving Newbury Street behind me I headed to Eataly, and ate at their Pasta&Pizza restaurant. It was such a good margherita pizza! And I couldn’t go to Eataly without getting dessert so I got this amazing trio dessert!

After that it was time to catch the train and head home! I hope you enjoyed reading about another day in Boston, there’s so much to do there that every day is a new adventure!

xox,

Marissa

Uncategorized, What I'm Reading

What I’m Reading: Autumn

Welcome to What I’m Reading Valentine’s Day edition! You might be thinking “The book was called Autumn but it’s February” and well get to that!

Over break I went into Boston and while I was on Newbury Street I stopped by Trident Books. It’s right next to Pure Barre and I don’t know how I never stopped there before!

They have this cute bookshelf at the front of the store called Blind Date with a Book! Ta-da! So I’m writing today to tell you all about my blind date. How this works is that all of the books on this shelf are covered in paper bags and have pictures drawn on them so you have no idea what’s underneath.

The shelf was filled with so many books and I was so torn on what to pick until I saw this:

If you haven’t picked up on it yet I’m a huge fall fan so this was just calling my name!

I took the commuter rail in to the city and on the way home I finished the book I was reading at the time and so I was left with a decision: open the book now and risk tearing the paper or wait until I could show my mom (she’s also a huge fan of Trident Books). Still having 30 minutes left on the train I opened the book. Very. Carefully.

The cover was absolutely stunning. I fell in love with the book almost immediately.

So now onto the real deal…

Autumn by Ali Smith is the first in a series of 4 seasonal novels. Summer has not been released yet which is fitting as it seems summer is years away at this point.

At first glance, I had no idea what I had gotten myself into. Smith’s writing can be overwhelming until you get used to it. She alternates between the story and another narrative that took me awhile to pick up but I’m so glad I did.

If you like linear plots, this is one you should put aside (unless you want to challenge yourself and expand your bookshelf of course). Smith switches between past, present, and everything in between. This book covered everything from intergenerational friendships, a pop-artist, feminism, and Brexit.

The wise people of Goodreads have put my feelings into words and I will share that with you know: I’m not exactly sure what I’ve read. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed what I read, I’m just not exactly sure I picked up on all of the references she included. I think Smith is a brilliant writer and I will definitely be picking up the other two, and eventually a third, but I don’t think there’s anyway I could have possibly picked up all of the things Smith addressed.

While I was able to understand the relationship between Elizabeth and Mr. Gluck, and I fell in love with it, the Pauline Body part was just too much for me. If there had been less Body I think I would have enjoyed it more but it tied together Elisabeth’s childhood to finding her thesis. It’s just that it kept going on and on and on.

That being said, I am very excited to pick up the next few books in her series. Something I find extremely interesting about this series is that it’s called a “series quartet” in that they’re stand-alone books that relate to each other as seasons do.

Let me know what you’re reading in the comments!

xox,

Marissa

Style

A Preppy Penny: A Casual Valentine’s Day

Happy Monday!

Strolling in with my best Valentine’s Day ideas!

If you’re going for more of a casual look, this is for you! One of the best things ways to save money when building your wardrobe is to have some go-tos that you can add statement pieces to, to make it different every time you wear it.

The big statement piece here is the pink coat! Mine (technically it’s my mom’s!) is from Old Navy and while they don’t have the same exact one right now, they still have a very nice pink one!

Find the pink coat here on Old Navy’s website and it’s on sale for $45! This photo is not mine, it belongs to Old Navy!

So what else, you can’t go really go out without anything underneath!

I wore simple dark wash jeans and I paired it with a gray sweater.

I’m going to skip over the jeans, I’m sure you all have jeans at home (dark wash isn’t necessary!). I’m going to skip over the sweater as well because I’m sure you can find this in your closet as well! I would suggest going with a neutral like gray, black, or cream!

You’re also going to need a statement necklace! I’m wearing my favorite one from J. Crew Factory.

The layered circle necklace from J. Crew Factory. It’s on sale for $20 right now! Photo belongs to J. Crew Factory!

The last must have is a simple black purse. I worked at DSW the summer before I went away to college and it’s such a great place to get purses! Kelly & Katie is one of my favorite brands for shoes and purses!

The Kelly & Katie Artemisio Crossbody is on sale for $30! The photo belongs to DSW.

And the last thing: just break out your favorite boots! Whether their higher or ankle booties, they tie this look together!

Stay stylish!

xox,

Marissa

Friday Faves

My Friday Faves: Vol. XII

As I mentioned in today’s post, if you watched my instagram stories in the past month you know my new obsession with Dry Bar. I wanted to take today’s post and give you a rundown of my three favorite things and something I’m looking forward to trying!

If you want any of the links, download the PDF and click on any of the pictures and you’ll be taken right to the website.

Happy Friday!

Marissa

College Cooking, Uncategorized

Kung Pao Quinoa

I wanted to start sharing easy recipes on my blog because as a college girl on a budget cooking can be hard! Living in an apartment on campus is so much fun, you have your own space with your friends but it comes with a huge responsibility: you have to feed yourself. While you can chose to get a meal plan, you end up saving so much money by making your own food! When I go grocery shopping I tend to stick to a budget of $20 a week. This makes me get a smaller amount of food that I tend to actually use rather than forget about.


I typically do my grocery shopping at Walmart because I find better prices there than at Stop&Shop and Big Y. The day I picked up the ingredients for this that was all I ended up getting and it only cost me $11! The recipe above makes about three servings and I’m only 3/4 of the way through the quinoa box!

This is such a great recipe because you can make the quinoa so many different ways, switch out the vegetables or the type of sauce you’re using and it’s a different meal entirely!

Step 1:

I would recommend to follow the directions on your box of quinoa to cook it but generally, if you are cooking 1 cup of quinoa you should boil 2 cups of water.

Step 2:

While the water is heating up start chopping your vegetables. I used 1 bell pepper and a handful of snow peas.

Step 3:

The quinoa should take anywhere from 15-20 minutes to cook based on the type you get but once you have about 5 minutes left you can start sautéing the vegetables. I put a little bit of olive oil on the bottom of my pan and then I put the kung pao sauce in and dumped all of the vegetables in. You can keep frying them on medium heat until it looks like they’ve been grilled.

Step 4:

You can now take a little but of quinoa in a bowl and mix some vegetables in. If you want to add a little more kung pao sauce to the quinoa itself you can do that now as well.

Step 5:

Enjoy! You should have about two more servings of quinoa left for later!

Here’s the type of quinoa I use and a little bit of a progress picture. The sauce I bought way Kung Pao Stir Fry Sauce from Panda Express!

Huge pro tip: only fry the amount of vegetables you need! Take it from me, reheating the vegetables in the microwave is not your friend. They get super mushy and it’s like you never grilled them at all!

I’m looking forward to experimenting more with different quinoa recipes and I can’t wait to share my findings! If you have any great recipes let me know in the comments!

xox,

Marissa