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

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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

Style, Uncategorized

A Preppy Penny: A Dressy Valentine’s Day

Alright ladies it’s time to break out the LBDs. In true “ballin’ on a budget” style, we’re using your go-to black dress for a night on the town.

If you didn’t know, I work at Banana Republic Factory Store and I love my job! The people I work with are great and the discounts are so helpful! I was working one of the markdown shifts last summer and as soon as I finished all my work I put this on hold.

One of the ways to get clothes on a budget is take advantage of factory stores! They often have the same quality clothes for much cheaper!

The best part of this outfit is that everything I’m wearing I already had (or borrowed from my mom’s closet!) But, while my grandmother taught me everyone should have a LBD I have linked some below incase you need to invest!

Here is the link for the first dress: cute off-the-shoulder This one is much similar to the one I chose to wear and it is $49 at Lulu’s.

Here is the link for the second dress: little black dress- scalloped dress I love the scalloped details on this one, it’s os fun! This one also comes from Lulu’s and is $46. Neither of these photos are mine they come from Lulu’s website!

While both of these are on the more expensive side, I like to look at thing in how many hours at Banana it’s worth and both of these dresses come in at about 4 hours, but they are dresses you can wear again and again. They’re also more expense because they’re made in the U.S.! I’m working on a post really soon about the importance of being mindful while shopping and paying attention to who made your clothes!

To all my high school/college girls: you get an extra 20% off at Lulu’s. Another huge way to save money: flash that student ID! So many retailers will give you a discount for being in school. Always be on the search for discounts, one I just learned about the other day- all restraints at the mall I work at give 10% to employees who work at the plaza. There’s a discount out there for everything you just have to find it!

Accessorizing is always a must! I went with my classic pearls and two pearl bracelets I got from Claire’s forever ago!

And if you’re from New England you’re going to need a coat!

This is the same coat I wrote about in my dressed down Valentine’s Day post. While Old Navy doesn’t have the same exact coat they have a very similar one you can find here on their website and it’s on sale for $45!

Last but not least: the shoes.

Now shoes are definitely my weakness, my first part time job was at DSW and I bought so many shoes while I was there. These shoes are anything but cheap, they’re from Lilly Pulitzer and I’m so lucky my Nana, my mom, and a $25 off coupon helped fund them. Graduation here we come!

Here is a link to the embellished Amber Lynn sandals.

Here is a link to similar, and way more affordable pair from Indigo Rd. called the Sadie Sandal. They’re on sale at DSW right now for $30! The photo below is from DSW’s website!

Well that’s all I have for you! Have a happy Valentine’s Day! I can’t wait to see what you all wore!

xox,

Marissa

Uncategorized

What I’m Reading: Stiff

The first book I finished in 2019 was Stiff: The Curious Life of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach and I have to say it was slightly disappointing. I was so excited to read this one as I’ve been lucky enough to benefit from cadavers in my anatomy lab and it didn’t live up to my expectations. This was the non-fiction book I selected for my book club and luckily they picked Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine instead, I may not have been allowed to choose another book.

Before I get into the book itself, I’ll explain what I was looking for. Retrospectively, my expectations are kind of unrealistic. I was looking for the backstory to Gail, Ruth, Richard, or Robert- the cadavers we see in class. I wanted a book that gave me the backstory of how a librarian becomes a cadaver. The story of how the charter boat captain with PAD found his way into my anatomy lab. I wanted the biography of someone who I don’t even know their real name (we only use first names to protect their identity). I wanted to learn how they were embalmed, wound up at the medical school and then transported to my school. Although I have asked my anatomy professor and she said the two bodies that are new this semester were dropped off while we were all in class his summer! So you see, my expectations were slightly unrealistic and now I’ll get into the actual book.

There were parts that really intrigued me but there were parts that I wanted to skip over completely.

Here are the topics that fascinated me:

  • The first chapter started out really strong: the use of cadavers so that surgeons can practice their skills. I found this section particularly interesting because it surrounded plastic surgery and using cadaver heads. This was particularly interesting to me because we cover the head all year. I love anatomy lab but I think I would feel very differently if we dissected this part.
  • Later in the book it talked about crucifixion experiments. I found this chapter intriguing because it talked about the physics and physiology of crucifixion. There have been multiple people that have studied the nail placement and this chapter was a quick look into the research that has been done using cadaver arms as well as the living.

The topics that were interesting but went on for too long:

  • The use of cadavers as crash test dummies. The Test Track dummies you find in Epcot are used along with cadavers to make sure your car has a high vehicle safety rating. I’m not even going to hide the fact that Test Track is the reason I was interested in this section at all. I imagined all of the impact testing that use to be featured in the queue line and replaced the dummies with cadavers.
  • This is another one that had never crossed my mind: using cadavers to analyze a crash site. The bodies at the site of a wreck can give you as much information as the black box can. The most interesting thing from this section in my opinion: bodies found in the water.

The topics that I really could have lived without:

  • Army tests in cadavers. Don’t get me wrong I think this is very important research that needs to be done but even though I read this chapter yesterday I couldn’t tell you too much about it. This is another thing I didn’t even know you could use cadavers for and although it’s an interesting concept I didn’t retain anything.
  • Cannibalism for wellness. I don’t even think I need to expand on this one.

So if you’re looking for the story of Gail, Ruth, Richard, or Robert… this isn’t the book for you. There are still six topics left to be discovered in this book and I suggest you go for the topics that interest you. I personally felt that this book took me forever to get through and I would have enjoyed it more if I read the parts that intrigued me and skipped over the extra ten pages on crash test dummies.

While this wasn’t one of my favorite reads I am glad I read it as it expanded my view of cadavers. Going into this read my only knowledge of them was being wheeled out of a freezer and peeling the skin back to pin muscles but now I can appreciate more areas of science that I didn’t know existed.

A question you may be asking is will I do it? This is a question that Roach answered in her book and I thought it would be fitting to share my point of view. Nope. Probably not. Once you donate your body to science there are a number of places you could end up. While I’ve benefitted from dissection in anatomy lab and plasticized brain tissues in my neuro lab, I wouldn’t want the Mark Sloan’s of the world practicing their Botox skills on me. And I’ve learned from this book that while I could mark off certain things I wouldn’t want to end up doing there’s no guarantee some future PT would learn about the origins and insertions of all the muscles from me and that’s the thing I would want the most. But sign me up for organ donation… in fact I just donated blood today!

Happy reading! Let me know what’s on your to be read shelf in the comments!

xox,

Marissa

College, Friday Faves, Uncategorized

My Friday Faves: Vol. XI

Here is this week’s Friday Faves! This week is all about back to school! Let me know what your campus must haves are in the comments! Feel free to click on the link above which will take you to any of the things I mentioned!

Happy Friday!

xox,

Marissa

Uncategorized, wellness

DIY Epsom Salt Scrub

I hope the New Year is still treating everyone well and you are sticking by those resolutions! If one of your resolutions was to make self care a priority I have the perfect solution for you!

I made the Epsom salt scrub as a present for my mom for Christmas and then it smelled so good I made extra for myself! This is so easy and you only need three things!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of Epsom Salt
  • 2 cups of coconut oil
  • Essential oil of your choice

Step 1:

Take a giant Ziploc bag and put the the Epsom Salt and coconut oil inside, if you aren’t a huge fan of the consistency you can always add more Epsom salt or coconut oil. I personally end up using more like 1.5 cups of Epsom salt but that definitely feels rougher.

Step 2:

Add the essential oil! I used the BluZen original scent and I love it! Next time I take it I’m definitely going to try the lavender. The amount of oil you use is totally up to you. I personally lost count because I wanted it to smell really nice and just kept shaking.

And just like the Christmas Crack, you can put it in a cute mason jar and add a little bow! Maybe not a Christmas bow now, but you can definitely find something cute at Michaels!

Happy crafting!

xox,

Marissa

Lifestyle

On the Basis of Sex

Yesterday I went to see the new Ruth Bader Ginsberg movie with my grandmother and I was so inspired to write a post immediately! In case you didn’t know the third annual Women’s March is today! Unfortunately I have to go to work later so I will not be taking to the streets of Boston or Northampton, but sending a huge shout out to all those ladies celebrating ladies out there today!

One thing this movie made me think is, “We’ve come a long way.” Ginsberg was one of nine women in her class of 500 at Harvard Law School. When the women went to the Dean’s house for dinner, they were asked to share their name and the reason they took a spot away from a man to be at Harvard. Not only did Ginsberg take her law school course, she balanced that with taking care of a child, a husband with cancer, and she went to all of Marty’s (her husband) classes to make sure he didn’t fall behind. Yet when Marty graduated he had no problem finding a job, while Ruth could not be hired as a woman anywhere. She was told, “oh we already have a woman working here” and was asked questions like “when are you having another child?”

This movie also made me think, “We have a long way to go.” Some things never change, when Ruth was practicing for her very first case, her superior told her to smile more, she was coming across as cold-hearted. But this is nothing new. Hillary Clinton was criticized for never smiling when she was on the campaign trail, and once she started smiling? People said she smiled too much. Then the judges on Dancing With The Stars had comments about Simone Biles facial expressions and how they didn’t see it as authentic. To which she replied, Smiling doesn’t win you gold medals.” Why is it when men are stone-faced it’s powerful but when a woman does it they are stone cold?

So how can you make a difference?

  • First, learn about your implicit biases! Harvard has developed a series tests called the Implicit Association Test (IAT) and you can take as many as you want to learn what biases you have! In honor of today I recommend taking the gender and science/liberal arts test.
  • Then, stay informed! Read your news app! Everyone has it on their iPhone, stay up to date on topics that are important to you. But make sure you’re getting your news from multiple places as some outlets tend to lean one way or another,
  • Lastly, stand up! In the movie Jane Ginsberg says, “It’s not a movement if everyone’s sitting down. It’s a support group.” We watched the film Sicko in one of my classes and while this quote is about healthcare, I believe it could apply to much more, “The French government is afraid of the people, but the American people are afraid of the government.” In Sicko we see that the French people will protest anything they see as unfair, so what are we waiting for!

I hope you get the chance to see On the Basis of Sex, if you liked watching Elle Woods push her way through Harvard Law, you’re going to love this movie. I loved it way more than I love Legally Blonde, because it based on a true story and a strong woman.

Happy weekend!

Marissa

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Vogue’s 73 Questions

I was challenged by my roomie Allison to complete Vogue’s 73 Questions so here it goes!

1. What’s your favourite movie?

The Great Gatsby or Fever Pitch

2. Something I cannot live without?

My family and friends

3. Fictional character I relate with?

Hermione Granger

4. A book you plan on reading?

Too many! Next on my list is The Tattooist of Auschwitz

5. A book that you read in school that positively shaped you?

The Help

6. Favourite TV show?

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

7. Favourite Cuisine?

Italian

8. iPhone or Android?

iPhone

9. Twitter or Instagram?

Instagram

10. Best Place I’ve Visited?

Disney!

11. What’s your favourite food?

Pasta

12. Least favourite food?

Seafood

13. What do you love on your pizza?

Buffalo chicken

14. Favourite drink?

Water

15. Favourite dessert?

Lava cake

16. Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?

Milk chocolate

17. Coffee or tea?

Medium iced french vanilla swirl with almond milk please

18. Favourite makeup product?

Mascara

19. Dream country to visit?

France

20. Heels or flats?

Heels

21. Favourite song?

Young and Beautiful by Lana Del Ray

22. Favourite Accessory?

Earrings

23. What’s your favourite colour?

Purple

24. If you had a tattoo, where would it be?

Somewhere it won’t be seen!

25. To be or not to be?

To be

26. Dogs or cats?

Dogs

27. Diamonds or pearls?

Pearls

28. Stairs or elevator?

Stairs

29. Pilates or yoga?

Yoga

30. What’s your favourite ice cream flavour?

Mint chocolate chip

31. What’s your favourite board game?

The Game of Life

32. Favourite season?

Fall

33. What was the movie that made you cry?

I don’t cry at movies

34. If you could have one superpower what would it be?

Invisibility

35. Do you like surprises?

No

36. Is there a desert you don’t like?

Of course not

37. It’s brunch, what do you eat?

Nutella crepes

38. What do you usually order in Starbucks?

Chai

39. Who is the last person you texted?

our Full House group chat (my roommates)

40. What’s your favourite brand?

Lilly

41. Best way to de-stress?

Reading

42. How do you like your coffee?

Medium iced french vanilla swirl with almond milk 😉

43. What colour of dress did you wear to prom?

Light blue

44. What’s your favourite flower?

Sunflowers

45. What was the last thing you ate?

A frosted cookie!

46. Do you like your handwriting?

Nah

47. Do you bake?

Yes!

48. Favourite sound?

Water

49. Favourite app?

Instagram

50. If you could raid one woman’s closet who would it be?

Sarah Vickers

51. Favourite holiday?

Christmas

52. Favourite smell?

Lavender

53. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?

My mom

54. Jogging or swimming?

Jogging

55. Any regrets?

“You can’t have a better tomorrow if you’re always thinking about yesterday”

56. Hair colour?

Blonde

57. Eye colour?

Blue

58. Scary film or happy endings?

Happy endings

59. Favourite season?

Fall

60. Three people alive or dead that you would like to have dinner with?

Emma Watson, Reese Witherspoon, and Lauren Akins

61. Hugs or kisses?

Hugs

62. First pet? 

Buddy, Billie, and Annie were all at my house before I was

63. Worst subject in school?

Pharmacology

64. Favourite thing in the world?

Ahhh too hard

65. Sweet or savoury?

Depends on the day

66. Lipstick or lip gloss?

Lipstick

67. Guilty pleasure?

Chocolate chips

68. Favourite city?

Boston

69. Shop in store or online?

In store

70. Plane or boat?

I used to be obsessed with the Titanic so plane!

71. Dream proposal?

The Happiest Place on Earth

72. Morning ritual?

Scroll through Instagram and Facebook

73. Pen or pencil?

Blue pen