2015 in Review

2015 has definitely been a good year, but I'm also pretty excited for 2016 to start! I love looking back on my accomplishments through the past year to keep me motivated throughout the following year. These are my favorite moments of 2015:

+ I chose the best college EVER and received a generous scholarship.
+ I made a big decision to change my hair up and get ombré ... and totally fell in love with it.
+ I graduated in the top ten of my high school class.
+ My family got a puppy.
+ I completely rebranded my blog to make the change from Private School Prepster to Lilly & Lemons.
+ I have received more blog sponsorships.
+ I survived my first semester of college.

Cheers to 2015, and hello to 2016!

What are your best moments of this past year?

New Year's Eve Dresses

I wish I could say I was going to some fancy party for New Year's Eve, but in reality I'll just be lounging on the couch reading a book at my boyfriend's house. But honestly, I'm content with that! However, I still can't help obsessing over the perfect outfits for NYE. Check out my favorites below!

Which dress are you planning on wearing for NYE?

Post-Christmas Sales

One of my favorite times to shop is right after Christmas because so many stores have crazy deals that are ridiculously hard to pass up. Unfortunately, I have yet to take advantage of these sales, but I'm planning on doing some online shopping soon!

+ 25% off all sale items from Kate Spade with code THRILL
+ 30% off all sale items from Tory Burch with code MERRY
+ 40% off all sale items from Vineyard Vines with code WOAS2015
+ 50% off items from Nordstrom's half yearly sale
+ 50% off all sale items from Banana Republic automatically applied at checkout
+ 40% off all sale items from J. Crew with code SHOPNOW
+ 30% off all sale items from Madewell with code YOUWIN

Which sales are you planning on shopping?

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, ladies! I went to my boyfriend's grandparents' house last night to celebrate with his family. I'll be heading to church this morning with my family, and then my family will be coming over to celebrate. I hope your day is full of family, friends, food, and fun! XO

Last-Minute Gifts

I'm usually pretty good about buying everyone's presents early on in the month, but I really fell behind this year due to how quickly Thanksgiving, the end of the semester, and finals seemed to come. I was running around the mall like a madwoman on Sunday night trying to buy presents ... And going shopping on the last Sunday before Christmas probably wasn't the best idea considering there was people EVERYWHERE and it took me half an hour just to find a parking spot. Yeah.

Luckily, I was able to buy the presents I needed, except for my boyfriend's little sister. If you're in the same boat as I am with still needing to buy some presents, I've thrown together a last-minute gift guide!

Which gifts do you still need to buy?


With Christmas quickly approaching, we're all reminded of how busy this season really is. It seems like we're constantly trying to find time to shop for presents, bake goodies, and spend time with friends and family. We don't have the time to invest in some time-consuming teeth whitening -- which is why the Crest 3D White Whitestrips 1-Hour Express Teeth Whitening Kit is the way to go!

For just a limited time, you can buy one kit and get one for free at walmart.com! The packs are exclusively sold through Walmart, so if you don't have time to run to the store, you can easily buy one online while doing online shopping for all of your other presents, too.

My favorite part about the white strips is the special technology they have where you can eat, drink, and talk all while having them on! The other brands of whites strips I've tried in the past were terrible because the strips barely stayed on my teeth -- but these ones stay right on straight.

Make the holidays better and your pictures Insta-worthy with these fabulous white strips!

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Acorn Influence, Walmart, and Crest.

Marley Lilly Seersucker Vest

After what seemed like endless months of temperatures rarely dropping below fifty degrees, the cold weather has finally approached Massachusetts. Although I'm not a fan of super cold weather, I do like a little chill so I have the chance to break out one of my vests -- with my most favorite one being the Marley Lilly Seersucker Vest.

Marley Lilly Seersucker Vest c/o | Marley Lilly Statement Necklace Set c/o | J. Crew Factory Peasant Top (similar) | J. Crew Factory Jeans (similar) | Steve Madden Synicle Riding Boot (similar) | Marley Lilly Monogrammed Ball Bracelet c/o

Navy + white is definitely my favorite color combination and I love anything having to do with seersucker, so I have been soaking up every opportunity I've had to rock this vest.

Did you happen to receive this fabulous statement necklace set on Cyber Monday? I'm obsessed with the combination of jewels + pearls!

My favorite part of the vest is how the seersucker continues around the backside of it and on the inside of the zipper; it adds just the perfect touch!

I'm obsessed with the monogrammed ball bracelet, too. I'm not a huge fan of bracelets, but I can't help but love this one. The perfect little something to add to an outfit!

How do you style vests?

Black Friday Sales

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and here's to an even better day full of shopping! I can never pass up a shopping opportunity, especially when incredible sales are going on. Check out my favorite sales happening below!

+ 30% off regular items + 40% off sale items with code HOLIDAY at J. Crew
+ 50% off everything + free shipping with code SHOPGIFTS at J. Crew Factory
+ 30% off your purchase with code EARLYBIRD at Old Navy
+ 25% off your purchase with code CALMDOWN at Madewell

And for my favorite ... receive this fabulous free blanket scarf from Marley Lilly with a purchase of $100 or more!

Which sales are you planning on shopping today?

Happy Thanksgiving + Life Updates

Happy Thanksgiving, ladies! I've finally made it back to the blog to put up a post, and I thought it would be best to mix a Thanksgiving post with a "life updates" post because I've been thankful + grateful for everything in my life lately.

School has been crazy. I feel as if my assignments, homework, and studying are never-ending. Last week was especially stressful because all of my professors were trying to cram tons of assignments and exams in before Thanksgiving break. And I know that the next few weeks will be just as hectic because two weeks from Monday, final exams begin -- eek!

I was hoping to use all of Thanksgiving break to relax and write blog posts, but honestly, I can see that won't happen. I'm currently planning out next week to see which assignments are due, and it turns out I have way more things to do than I originally thought -- oops! But that's okay because I would rather use all of this free time right now to get stuff done than save it for later and end up being super stressed.

I made my schedule for spring semester in the beginning of November and it is awesome. I only had three objectives in mind when it came to planning my schedule: schedule classes around the days I work (needed a class at 1 PM or later on Mondays and Fridays), not get the same Spanish professor I have now, and not have classes on Fridays. And, luckily, I was able to get a schedule that fits all three of those requests -- and I'm especially excited to have no classes on Fridays!

I still work Friday-Monday. There are days that I really dread waking up at 3:30 AM for work, believe me, but afterwards I feel grateful that I have a job that can easily work around my school schedule and that I have spending money so I don't feel like the typical "broke college student."

I just want to thank all of you for continuing to be patient with me and waiting for new posts to come up -- I'm grateful for all of you! I may not be able to start posting every day with the end of the semester and finals quickly coming up, but I promise that exciting things will be happening soon and I can't wait to come back to my little blog again!

Have a happy Thanksgiving and enjoy those Black Friday deals. XO

Friday Favorites

What an exhausting week this has been! Lots of things to do (with even more things coming up) and all I can say is thank God for coffee. I don't have any classes on Monday due to Columbus Day and my school canceled all classes on Tuesday too, which is even better!

+ the best tips for studying for your midterms

+ how to take charge of your money

+ free photo packs for creatives

+ five things you must do this fall

+ how to make the most of your mornings

+ eight websites every female entrepreneur should know

+ time management tips for college students

+ how to plan your college search

What are your plans for this weekend?

Tips For Studying at the Library

I was so happy when I finally figured out my weekly routine because I realized that I actually have so much time for the library, which I never thought I did before. However, the library is only helpful for studying if you use your time wisely -- which is why I've found the best methods.

u s e  s p a r e  t i m e
As mentioned on here before, I work Friday-Monday mornings. That means that I have Tuesday-Thursday off from work. My first class on Tuesday and Thursday isn't until 11:30, and my first class on Wednesday isn't until 10. It would be nice to sleep in and not get to school until the time of my first class since I wake up at 3:30 Friday-Monday, but I've realized that being successful in college is all about sacrifice. Instead, I wake up at 6 on my days off, get to the library by 7:30, and do homework for about three or four hours, depending on what day it is. Always being the first one in the library on those days and having to get up way earlier than I need to is kind of a bummer, but I end up leaving the library feeling accomplished and stress-free.

p l a n
I use a to-do list notebook to plan out each week. Every Sunday night, I write down every assignment I need to do for every class for the upcoming week. As I complete an assignment, I cross it off. Planning ahead gives me an idea of what I need to get done, guarantees I don't forget about an assignment, and saves me so much time because I'm not scrambling around to find my syllabi to see what I need to do.

f i n d  t h e  b e s t  m e t h o d
Find the best study method for you. Do you prefer to study alone or with friends? Personally, I need to be by myself and be in a quiet area in order to be super productive. If I'm with friends, I won't stop talking. If there's noise around me, I can't focus. My library has three floors that range by volume level: 1st floor is "noisy" and allows cell phone use and talking, 2nd floor is "quiet" and doesn't allow cell phone use but does allow whispering, and 3rd floor is "silent" and doesn't allow cell phone use or talking. I always go to the second floor. However, if you're the type of person who gets motivated by your friends, go for it!

r e w a r d  y o u r s e l f
When you get through a lot of assignments and studying, reward yourself! The reward could be something silly, like watching an episode on Netflix, going on social media for 15 minutes, or reading a chapter of a book. I like to reward myself with a chicken caesar salad from the cafe in the library (they are TO DIE FOR!), Reese's, or coffee. Just make sure your reward doesn't distract you!

These methods have worked so well for me this past month of school. It allows me to get ahead on assignments for the following week, and I usually don't have homework to do at night or over the weekend, unless it's studying. Getting homework done now allows you to have time for the things you want to do later!

What are your tips for getting things done at the library?

Why I Love Commuting

What most of you probably don't know is that I commute to school. When telling people where I go to school and the fact that I live at home, most of them had the same reaction: "Why would you want to commute? You don't get the full college experience." But I can happily say that I love commuting to school and I do fulfill my idea of the "college experience."

h a ve  l i t t l e  l u x u r i e s
Living at home, I still get to have the "little luxuries" that most of us take for granted -- using a clean shower, having home-cooked meals, sleeping in your own bed, having central air, and more. My twin sister attends school in Connecticut and came home last weekend to celebrate my mom's birthday; she loves her school and living away, but she was beyond happy to have all of those things for a weekend that she once took for granted. After a long day at school, I so look forward to being able to shower, throw on comfy clothes, and lay in bed.

w o r k
I get to work at my job still! As much as I complain about my job, it's actually a great feeling to not be the stereotypical "broke college student." I can still afford my daily coffee at Dunks and more. I do want to get better about budgeting my money, but at least I don't have to be so strict with how I budget.

b e  o n  m y  o w n  t i m e
I can be extremely flexible with my time since I have my car. If I want to get at the library at 7:30 AM, I can. If I want to stay at school to use the library, I can do that too. Or if I'm having a bad day and just want to skip class and binge watch Netflix (may or may not have done that last Friday...), I can do that too.

I think people think that commuters don't get the "full college experience." If I want to go to a party during the weekend, I can still do that while being a commuter. I can still join clubs. I can still make friends -- and I do have friends who live on campus. I still do everything that every other college student does, but I just do it on my own time and in my own way.

What do you love the most about college?


I love that us female millennials are known as being go-getters -- creating goals for ourselves + pushing ourselves to complete them. The total definition of a #girlBOSS.

I love to set goals for myself and find ways to make my dreams become a reality. And I was even more excited when I found that Jacky, who I met through #nectarchat, is the same way.

Remember that exciting collaboration I was talking about a couple of days ago? Well, this is it! Jacky and I are so excited to bring you #makeyourmonth -- a monthly linkup for gals to share their goals + how they plan on completing them.

The first linkup will be on Sunday, November 1st -- feel free to join in + spread the love for others to hear about! We want to inspire as many women as possible to bring out the #girlBOSS in each and every one of us.

Hope to see you join in! XO

Rainy Day Essentials

The weather here has been rainy and cloudy for about the past week -- but I can't exactly say I'm complaining because I live for this type of weather. Being a college student, I've realized the importance of having the right rain gear this past week that has prevented me from getting absolutely drenched while walking to class.

R A I N  J A C K E T

R A I N  B O O T S


What do you consider your rainy day essentials?

#wearefireandlight Campaign

Do you have a passion that creates a fire in you? Do you dream of changing the world and making  big things happen? Do you believe in girl power?

This amazing movement was created by Ashley Beaudin, a creative entrepreneur who helps women make their business + movement ideas a reality. #wearefireandlight all started with the question, "What is your fire?"

Hundreds of women and I encourage you to participate in this campaign from October 19th-October 21st, which will be taking over social media. Tell the world what your fire is and what won't stop you. Encourage others to join in.

This is all about a sense of community, collaboration, and creativity. One spark starts a fire.

Life Update

Hi ladies! So I have totally been slacking on keeping up with the blog -- my apologies considering it was one of my goals to continue posting daily!

Adjusting to college has definitely been an adventure, but I'm loving school. It took me a couple of weeks, but I've finally got my perfectly weekly routine down. For those of you who are interested...

work from 4:30 AM-11 AM // class from 1 PM-2:15 PM // library from 2:15 PM-3:45 PM // class from 4 PM-5:15 PM

library from 7:30 AM-11:15 AM // classes from 11:30 AM-3:45 PM

library from 7:30 AM-9:45 AM // class from 10 AM-11:15 AM // library from 11:15 AM-12:45 PM // classes from 1 PM-5:15 PM

library from 7:30 AM-11:15 AM // classes from 11:30 AM-3:45 PM

work from 4:30 AM-11 AM // library from 12 PM-2:15 PM // class from 2:30 PM-3:45 PM

I spend a lot of time in the library, especially on the mornings of my days off of work. It would be nice to sleep in on those days, but I always get a huge feeling of accomplishment after spending so much time in the library and getting things done. The library opens at 7:30, and I'm always the first one there; plus, I choose to study and do homework on the second floor where no one really goes, so I basically have a whole floor to myself.

This schedule allows me to get a ridiculous amount of work done. I just use my extra time wisely, and because I spend so much time in the library during the day, I rarely have to do homework at night and I usually am able to get Monday's homework done before the weekend. Having my nights free of homework is amazing because then I have time to relax and read without spending hours studying and doing homework like I did in high school!

I apologize again for being MIA -- I promise there will be exciting content to come! Plus I have an amazing collab coming up soon that you won't want to miss out on. Stay tuned, ladies. XO

Uses For A Lilly Pouch

I bought this pouch from the Lilly Pulitzer #AfterPartySale and it was definitely one of my favorite purchases! The pouch is actually rather large, and I've found so many different ways to use it. A large pouch is a great investment, and the possibilities of what you can do with it are endless.

p e n c i l  c a s e
The pouch is big enough to fit almost any office supplies you may need -- sticky notes, pens, highlighters, notecards, etc. It makes keeping all of the necessities in one place that much easier!

s n a c k  s t a s h
If you like to carry snacks around with you, this pouch is great for that. It can fit a bag of chips, granola bars, nuts, candy, gum, etc. I actually currently use my pouch as a combination of the first two -- it holds my school supplies, but it also holds a couple of power bars for when I'm feeling hungry between classes!

p u r s e
Going out somewhere that you need to bring your money and phone but don't need a huge purse to do that? Use this! I went down the Cape a lot this summer, and I was able to fit money, my phone, a couple snacks, and chapstick into this pouch.

t o i l e t r i e s  h o l d e r
Staying overnight somewhere? Use this pouch to organize your toiletries. It can easily fit makeup, deodorant, a toothbrush, hair elastics, and more.

How would you use a large pouch?

Favorite Planners

Being the type-A and office supplies lover that I am, I can't help but fall in love with multiple planners. I'm a firm believer in the fact that you can never be too organized in your life -- which is why I have a personal planner and blog planner.

Urban Girl has the cutest planners to choose from, and I love that there are so many different options. Check out my personal favorites!

one // two // three // four // five

Which one is your favorite?

Friday Favorites

Hey gals! This week has been super hectic -- between still trying to adjust to college life and working every day this week except for Wednesday, I'm beyond ready for the weekend. Hope you all had a fabulous week and here's to an even better weekend! XO

+ college life vs. adult life

+ how to prepare for a job interview

+ Today & To Do giveaway

+ five twenty-something social media influencers to follow

+ the life behind a kind-of non-traditional college student

+ entrepreneur series sign up

+ how to tackle the school year like a straight-A student

+ everything you need to build a better to-do list & get sh*t done

Tory Burch York Buckle Tote

For about a year, I've been wanting a more "mature" bag. I love my navy Longchamp and use it all the time, but I don't feel as if it is the best bag to use for fancier occasions. It's perfect for when I'm lugging a couple of notebooks and my laptop to the library, but definitely not for when I have a special occasion to go to.

I've been dreaming of a Tory Burch bag or Louis Vuitton bag (really dreaming of that one), but it has been really hard for me to save aside large amounts of money like that when I have car insurance, school books, and other things to buy. I've been obsessed with camel-colored bags (one of the trends for fall this year!), and I couldn't help but desperately want one -- which even caused me to look at Tory's website multiple times. #SorryNotSorry

About two weeks ago, I took my boyfriend's two sisters shopping at one of the more upscale malls in Massachusetts for their 15th and 12th birthdays. The mall has a Tory Burch signature store, and I instantly had to go in there to see in person the York Buckle Tote in Luggage that I have been eyeing for weeks. And I fell in love with it all over again. I literally stood in the store for twenty minutes, staring at the bag, trying to decide if I should buy it or not. I finally came to the conclusion that I should wait on buying the bag -- with college starting in just a week from that time, I thought that it would be better to save my money at the time for what I really needed.

As I was walking around the mall, I could not stop thinking about the bag. It was ridiculous! All I could think about was the multiple outfits I could wear with it + the multiple occasions I could wear it to. And then I decided that yes, I need to get that bag!

As I was walking back to the store, I got a text back from my boyfriend after telling him how much I loved the bag -- which he knew previously from me constantly looking at the site. His response? "Buy the bag and I'll pay you back for it as your anniversary present." (Our four year anniversary is later this month -- crazy, I know!) So can we just establish the fact that I have the best boyfriend EVER???

I couldn't decide if I wanted the large York Buckle Tote or the small York Buckle tote, but I ended up getting the small one. I loved both sizes, but the reason why I wanted a new bag in the first place is because sometimes my Longchamp is just too big. My new bag is the perfect size!

I'm beyond thankful for Tyler and my new bag! It can actually fit a decent amount -- I brought it to school on Friday because I only had one class, and I was able to fit my laptop, notebook, folder, book, water bottle, and a couple of snacks. So excited to use this bag more once fall comes around!

What bag have you been lusting over recently?

How To Create Your Own Business Cards

One of the most important things that bloggers should always have with them is business cards. You never know when you're going to run into someone who would need your blogging info -- a brand, another blogger, etc. Verbally saying your information can be helpful but time-consuming, and handing over a card with all of your important information is ten times easier.

A lot of bloggers get theirs professionally done by their blog designers. I almost did that, but I decided to try to make my own in order to save myself a decent amount of money. And honestly? I'm thrilled with how my cards came out! The process to designing and printing your own business cards is beyond easy.

b u y  b l a n k  b u s i n e s s  c a r d s
Head to your local office supplies store and pick up a package of blank business cards. I prefer to use Avery blank white business cards because Avery has a website where you can actually design and print your business cards from there. The blank business cards are no more than $5 for 100 cards!

d e s i g n  t h e  c a r d s
Go to Avery's website, create an account, find the right template according to the number listed on your business cards package, and start designing! You can either design directly on the template or design on a program and upload it as a picture. I prefer to design my business cards in Paintbrush and then upload them because it is much easier. Share your contact information that you think would be most important -- your email address, phone number, and two or three of your most popular social media channels.

p r i n t
Now it's time to print the cards! You can either pay a little extra for Avery to print your cards for you, or you can print them yourself. I choose to print them myself because it's super easy to do with my printer, and I have my business cards immediately. This method is perfect for me because I am very last-minute at printing business cards about 15 minutes before I need to leave for a blog event!

How do you create your blog's business cards?

YES, White After Labor Day

I'm always hearing that gals "shouldn't wear white before Memorial Day Weekend or after Labor Day." But I think that yes, you SHOULD wear white after labor day! In Massachusetts, it's going to continue to have temperatures in the 90s through the week after Labor Day. So break out the white shorts, ladies!

And once it starts to cool down, I'm still going to wear my white pants from Old Navy to go with the tunic I got from the Lilly Pulitzer #AfterPartySale because I love that outfit and it's just too hot to wear right now. I'll admit that in the winter I don't always like the look of white pants -- but only in certain situations. If you can totally rock the white pants look in the cold weather, do it, girl! If you've got it, flaunt it.

I'm basically just rambling about how I hate society shames girls for wearing white before or after its "specified date." If you can pull it off and like how you look, do it! Don't let the "traditional way" prevent you from wearing what you love.

Anybody else with me on this?!

Labor Day Sales

I love Labor Day because a lot of my favorite stores have amazing deals! It's the perfect time to stock up on summer clothes + accessories for next year or prepare for the fall. Check out these fabulous sales taking place this weekend!

Friday Favorites

I've had a lovely first week of college classes as an official college freshman! I'm lucky to go to a school with such a beautiful and small campus -- it makes finding my buildings and classes so much easier. I (luckily) haven't been given that much homework, but I've been working away at night to create some fabulous blog content for when I do get slammed. Here's my favorite links from the past week + here's to an amazing three-day weekend! XO

+ why the guy who is "imperfect on paper" is actually perfect for you

How To Get the Most Out of Tweet Chats

Participating in tweet chats is always fun and helpful, but in order to get the most out of your tweet chat experience, there is a series of steps to follow all the way from before the tweet chat starts to after the tweet chat ends.

M A K E  N O T E  O F  D A T E  +  T I M E
Whenever you find out about a tweet chat, write the date, time, and hashtag in your planner! I always record them in my blogging planner. Most tweet chats occur on the same day and time each week so you may not need to always write those ones down, but some tweet chats happen every two weeks, once a month, or one time only. I personally write down every single tweet chat I want to participate in, even if they are weekly, in case I forget about them due to having a busy week. It also helps me from getting them mixed up since I participate in at least three each week!

I N T E R A C T  W I T H  O T H E R S
The most important thing to do in a tweet chat is interact! Introduce yourself once the tweet chat starts and say your name, blog/business, and where you're from. Contribute to the conversation as much as you can -- whether it be saying hello to someone else, asking a question, or answering the questions that are asked. Don't forget to use the tweet chat hashtag or else your tweets won't be seen! If you really connect with someone or like the insight they have to say in the chat, follow them. Chances are they will follow you back!

F A V O R I T E  I M P O R T A N T  I N F O R M A T I O N
If you see a tweet that you find really helpful and you want to make note of it, favorite it! Retweeting may be helpful, but if you tweet a lot (like me!), scrolling through your tweets to find what you need may take forever. Favoriting allows you to easily look back after the chat to use that information.

U S E  A  N O T E B O O K
This one goes along with favoriting tweets, but if you prefer to write important information down instead of favoriting, do so in a notebook. I favorite the tweets because the majority of times I'm participating in tweet chats are when I'm on my phone in bed (#SorryNotSorry), so I don't really have a notebook handy. But I do like to go through the tweets I favorited the next day and write down what I learned in my business notebook! Do whatever works for you.

C O N N E C T  A F T E R
If you find that you really connected with someone in the chat and really liked what they had to say, send them an email after the chat! Do it the same day of the chat or the day after -- sending an email later than that can cause you or the person to forget what exactly was discussed in the chat. Sending a follow-up email afterwards allows you to network and build connections with like-minded people that could later turn into friendships, partnerships, and more. I've been reaching out to tons of people I've "met" through tweet chats with similar goals and careers as me for advice -- and it has really paid off! Say who you are, mention how nice it was connecting with them in the chat, and ask them about their life/career. Doing so does wonders!

C R E A T E  S P R E A D S H E E T  O F  C O N N E C T I O N S
After sending the emails out, keep track of who you reach out to! I use a Google spreadsheet where I record the name of the person, their website, their email, their career, their Twitter handle, and any notes (such as what tweet chat you "met" them in). This will help you later on when you're looking for a graphic designer, social media manager, or digital content strategist -- you can use the people you know! It will not only help you but other people as well -- if a friend needs a reference, you can easily provide them with one.

How do you get the most out of tweet chats?

Books I've Read This Summer

I can't believe I read sixteen books this summer! I love reading, so I was so happy I got to read that much in just three months. I'm hoping to continue reading throughout the school year. Check out the books I read to add to your "to-read" list!

+ Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

+ Sometimes It Happens by Lauren Barnholdt

+ Paper Towns by John Green

+ The Queen of Everything by Deb Caletti

+ The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott

+ Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

+ Summer in the City by Elizabeth Chandler

+ The Key to the Golden Firebird by Maureen Johnson

+ The Au Pairs by Melissa de la Cruz

+ The Bridesmaid by Hailey Abbott

+ Fly on the Wall: How One Girl Saw Everything by E. Lockhart

+ The Boyfriend List: 15 Guys, 11 Shrink Appointments, 4 Ceramic Frogs and Me, Ruby Oliver by E. Lockhart

+ The Boy Book: A Study of Habits and Behaviors, Plus Techniques for Taming Them by E. Lockhart

+ The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder

+ If We Kiss by Rachel Vail

+ Skinny-Dipping by Melissa de la Cruz

What books did you read this summer?

Want to see what books I read during this year? Follow me on Goodreads!

Freshman Year Goals

It's so weird to think that today is my freshman year of college when it seems like I was just entering high school yesterday! It's going to be a huge change, so I'm very nervous and very excited at the same time -- but I know that whatever happens, I'll be okay.

I like to come up with goals to accomplish each school year, and this year's goals were definitely different to come up with.

b a l a n c e  e v e r y t h i n g
I totally have a ton of things to balance this upcoming year -- social life, homework, work, blogging, + sleep. But I'm determined to balance it all! I don't want to focus on school and work so much that I'm losing out on having fun, blogging, and sleeping. But I also don't want to focus on going out, blogging, and sleeping so much that I end up with poor grades and almost no money. It'll be a lot of trial and error to come up with a consistent schedule that works for me, but I'm determined to make it all work.

d o  n o t  s t r e s s
I haven't stressed much about school since my sophomore year of high school. But since I am going to be in a completely different school environment, I'm worried that I will start to stress over the huge change. My goal is to just take deep breaths and RELAX! Whatever happens, happens. Don't get worked up over the little things if you're trying your best.

 j o i n  a  c l u b
One of the things that has me looking forward to college is all of the club options. I would love to join my school's marketing association and any other club involving business. And if it involves social media, that's even better! Clubs look great on resumes, and they're an easy way to gain experience in your major.

s t a r t  f r e e l a n c i n g
After connecting with so many fabulous bloggers + entrepreneurs in tweet chats, I've been inspired to start freelancing. I really want to get into social media consulting + social media management. I know that I need to get into my school routine and do a lot of research before this can even happen, but I'm so excited! I can't wait to get started towards my dream career.

c o n t i n u e  r e a d i n g
I love how much I get to read in the summer, and it definitely makes me realize how much I miss out on when I can't read during the school year. College schedules are so much more flexible and open than high school schedules, so I'm hoping to get in more reading time and read every day. Whether I have to get up half an hour earlier than usual to read in the morning or not go on social media half an hour before bedtime to read at night, then I will make those commitments!

g e t  g o o d  g r a d e s
This one is obvious, but I really want to get good grades! I'm taking all core classes, besides Business 101, so I should (hopefully!) have a fairly easy semester. I can't wait to look through my school Pinterest board for study tips because I have been pinning them like crazy lately!

h a v e  f r e e  S u n d a y s
I'm a firm believer in the fact that a Sunday well spent brings a week of content. Sundays are really important for regrouping from the busy week that just passed and preparing for the new week that's about to happen. I would really love to have "free" Sundays. I work each Sunday morning from 5 AM-11 AM, but my goal is to have absolutely nothing to do after work. I will use whatever free time I have during the week and bust my butt to do homework just so I can have a whole day to relax -- preferably to read, blog, watch Netflix, and enjoy the upcoming football Sundays!

What are your goals for this upcoming school year?

Summer Reflection

I can't believe today is finally my last day of summer. It literally feels like yesterday that it was just May and I was graduating from high school -- but now it's almost September, and here I am, starting college tomorrow! I had both a relaxed and productive summer, and I'm excited to share the things I have accomplished these past couple of months.

e n h a n c e d  t h e  b l o g  +  s o c i a l  m e d i a
A lot of changes definitely happened to the blog and my social media this summer. I rebranded from Private School Prepster to Lilly & Lemons, I participated in more tweet chats, I set up a blogging planner that works for me, I created my own media kit, and I found a blogging schedule that makes my life a whole lot easier. I really put a lot of time and effort into both my blog and social media -- I spent more time connecting with other bloggers + entrepreneurs, and I got back into posting consistently. I even helped one of my good friends, Jess, create her own blog! I'm thrilled with how smooth everything has been and I can't wait to continue on this blogging grind throughout the school year!

w o r k e d  l i k e  c r a z y
I worked a lot this summer, which I was actually really happy with. I worked between 4-6 days per week, averaging anywhere between 25-35 hours. Getting up at 3:30 each of those days was a killer, but working at a coffee shop does have its perks! I earned more money, saved more money, and had more money to do fun activities. I'm happy to know that I'll continue working throughout the school year.

i m p r o v e d  h e a l t h
My health improved this summer, which is a goal I've had for a while now. I've gone to the gym more, drank more water, and made healthier eating choices. I've noticed that I've cut a significant amount of soda out of my diet and replaced it with more water instead. And instead of snacking on chips when I'm hungry, I'll have a protein bar or a yogurt. It took a lot of determination, but once I created a habit, I was golden!

r e a d  m o r e
I absolutely love to read because it's so relaxing and it's such a stress reliever. I always get so disappointed that I rarely have the time to read during the school year, so I was thrilled that I had a ton of time to read as much as I wanted. I read a ton of books that I never would have gotten to read earlier on in the year!

What did you accomplish this summer?

Bloggers + Entrepreneurs You Should Be Following

Participating in multiple tweet chats lately has allowed me to meet and connect with a ton of fabulous creative entrepreneurs + bloggers. Their jobs and businesses have made me realize that I would love to do something like that as a side job one day -- help other creative bloggers + entrepreneurs with starting up, branding, social media, and more.

Not only are these ladies so cool, but they are so inspiring and helpful! I have spent hours looking through their blogs reading up on blogging and business tips and tricks. Their insight, knowledge, and experience is incredible. I hope you find as much help from them as I do!

Who are your favorite creative bloggers + entrepreneurs?

Easy College Snacks

After finally receiving my schedule and realizing that I only have a solid 15 minutes in between each class, I knew that I needed to come up with ideas of easy snacks to keep with me when I get hungry. I know that a lot of professors don't care if you eat or drink in class, but I don't want to be that girl that is loudly opening a wrapper and distracting the rest of the class. So I had to discover snacks that I could easily munch on while walking to and from class.

p r o t e i n  b a r s
I have been obsessed with protein bars this summer! They're so healthy and so easy to travel with. I always have a couple in my bag in case I get hungry while out, which really prevents me from stopping to buy unhealthy snacks. Protein bars are also really filling; I can have one for breakfast and be full for the next couple of hours, preventing that embarrassing loud stomach growling from happening. I don't like to buy boxes of certain kinds because I like to switch up the flavors that I eat, so buying them singly is the best! They can easily fit in the pouch of any purse or backpack.

N a k e d  s m o o t h i e s
I love Naked smoothies. These are definitely filling, and I especially love them after a workout or first thing in the morning. I only bring these with me if I plan on drinking them within a decent amount of time; they're supposed to stay cold, and they really don't taste very well when warm. Highly recommended for when you just don't feel like making your own smoothie!

c r a c k e r s
I've always been obsessed with peanut butter, and peanut butter crackers are my weakness. I either buy the peanut butter crackers that are already made, or I buy crackers and peanut butter separately and make my own. It would probably be easier to have the ones already made for college, but they are definitely handy!

n u t s
All throughout high school, one of the snacks in my lunch was a 100-calorie pack of almonds. I love almonds, and they are perfect for a quick snack when you're feeling hungry. They're not that filling, so be sure to keep a couple of packs or other snacks around!

What are quick and convenient snacks you like to eat?

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, gals! Hope you've had a great week. I can't believe this is my last weekend of summer before I start college on Tuesday -- eek! Enjoy my weekly roundup of favorite links. Have a fabulous weekend! XO

Perks of Working At A Coffee Shop

As some of you may know, I have a part-time job at a coffee shop. This is my first "real" job (babysitting being the first), and I've worked here for over two years now. I'll admit that there are definitely some drawbacks to this job -- dealing with annoying customers, occasionally working with lazy people, and only getting minimum wage.

But honestly, I love my job! It's a fairly easy job and definitely something that can give me pocket money until I graduate from college. Although it may not seem ideal, there are definitely some perks to working at a coffee shop.

e a r l y  h o u r s
I worked a lot this past summer, but I have a more set schedule once the school year starts. I'll be working Friday-Monday from 4:15 AM-11 AM. And yes, I will be getting up at 3:30 each morning to get to work on time! I honestly consider going to work super early in the morning to be a perk; I'm out by 11 AM which means I have the rest of the day to do whatever. If I work the afternoon shift (11-4), my whole day is gone. If I work the night shift (4-8), I have to end any plans during the day early so I can go to work and I can't have plans at night. I've always been a morning person, so the early shift just works for me!

t i p s
I'm lucky to work at a coffee shop that accepts tips. On weekday mornings I easily earn anywhere between $30-$40 in tips -- which is crazy because I work with three other people! My tip money is my spending money while my paychecks go in the bank for car insurance. Although I only make minimum wage, I technically make more because of tips.

f r e e  c o f f e e
Yes, I'm a coffee addict, and yes, I get coffee for free at my job! So many people ask me why I'm not sick of coffee yet since I'm always around it -- I guess that's how I know I'm a true coffee addict #SorryNotSorry. It's usually so busy in the morning that I don't have time to drink a whole coffee, but I'll pour myself a cup once I open so I can wake up a little bit. I sometimes like to bring myself an iced coffee home to drink while I'm reading or blogging. And my mom totally loves that I can bring her an iced coffee, too! I also get to have almost any food for free -- so my dad always appreciates the fact that I always bring him home blueberry muffins.

j o b  r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s
This job teaches basic responsibilities. I've learned to wake up and get to a place on time. I've learned how to count the drawers and set it to $100. I've learned a lot of memorization skills (there are so many different types of coffees, sandwiches, etc. to know how to make!). I've learned how to clean and keep things neat. And most importantly, I've learned social skills. Besides the regular customers, I'm constantly dealing with people I don't even know -- which means I constantly have to be friendly and helpful. Being forced to be social will definitely help when I go to networking events and need to talk to employers!

What are the perks of your current job?

Advice For High School Seniors

I start college in less than a week (eek!), but it literally seems like I just graduated from high school yesterday. Senior year was probably the best year of high school for me -- I barely stressed, I did so many fun things with friends, I did well academically, and I was genuinely happy.

The thing with senior year is it just doesn't automatically become the best year ever, unlike what HSM 3: Senior Year (yes, I am guilty of loving that movie) makes it seem like. You have to make your year the way you want it, and you have to focus on a little bit of everything.

d o  n o t  s a y  n o
One thing that I really focused on during senior year was not saying no to plans. I had the best friends and I realized that I would definitely miss them in college, so I wanted to make the most of the time I had left with them. I found a way to get around each excuse I was making with them so I could end up going out with them! Too much homework? Do it before you leave and after you get home, no matter how late you have to stay up. Too tired? Go to bed early the next night. Have to work? See if you can switch around your schedule with someone else. Don't say no to a simple opportunity because they'll end up adding up in the long run.

a t t e n d  e v e n t s
Any event that your school has that you're interested in, go! Sports games, dances, fundraisers, etc. are the best things to attend. I attended some hockey games and basketball games because our teams were really good and everyone went, so it made watching the game fun! And I went to every football game because Tyler was on the team. Homecoming and prom are crucial too -- who doesn't love the chance to buy a gorgeous dress?! Attend whatever you would like and bring your friends, too -- you'll be surprised at how much fun you end up having.

s h o w  s c h o o l  s p i r i t
I didn't really show school spirit until senior year and it made me realize how much I missed out on. My high school was really big into celebrating Halloween; every year it's a huge tradition to come to school on Halloween dressed up in a costume, and the best costumes get noticed! Some of my friends and I decided to dress up as tourists this past year and it was awesome. We went the whole nine yards with old Polaroid cameras, Hawaiian shirts, fanny packs, socks and salads, etc. and we ended up winning as one of the best costumes! Attend in spirit week and go all out. It'll be even more fun if you get your friends to go crazy, too!

d o  n o t  s t r e s s
My senior year was definitely my less stressful year of high school, which is weird because it's supposed to be the most stressful due to the endless amount of college stuff and making sure your grades stay good. I didn't worry about my grades that much, and it made my year so much better. My grades weren't perfect and my grades weren't bad -- they were just good. But I was okay with them not being perfect because I still graduated as eighth in the class -- something that was a huge accomplishment for me! Accept things for how they are and don't sweat the small stuff.

d o  n o t  p r o c r a s t i n a t e
Don't procrastinate on anything related to college. Write your college essay as soon as you decide on a prompt, apply to schools during any free time, and fill out any scholarships/financial aid forms as soon as you find out about them. You may seem like you have a while before any of those are due, so you'll put them off. But then you'll get so caught up in senior year that deadlines will come and you'll realize you didn't get anything done -- and then the stress will come. Get everything done as soon as you can and then you'll be able to enjoy your time later!

What advice would you have for high school seniors?

Favorite Tweet Chats

I used to participate in tweet chats all the time during my sophomore year of high school when I didn't have a job and was really motivated with my blog. Unfortunately, I fell out of participating in them the following two years due to losing motivation to blog, getting a job, and not having much free time.

I liked the tweet chats that I participated in, but I always felt out-of-place and harder to connect with others due to my age. I was only 16 while almost everyone who also participated in them was significantly older than me -- usually in their 40s and 50s! I wanted to find tweet chats that had people closer to my age, but I never found the time to research.

Becoming more active on my blog and social media this past summer has fortunately allowed me to find more tweet chats that I genuinely love. I'm connecting with young millennials, learning new things about blogging + business, and having a great time! I've found myself penciling these tweet chats in my blogging planner so I don't forget to attend. If you follow me on Twitter, you may see that I encourage my followers to attend the chats while I'm in them -- I hope you all will join me!

M O N D A Y S -- #creativecoffeehour @ 9 PM EST
By the time Monday night comes around, I am dead due to working Friday-Monday from 4:15 AM-11 AM. But I always find the energy later on thanks to #creativecoffeehour! This chat is run by the lovely Callie Gisler, a social media manager and digital strategist. #creativecoffeehour focuses on uniting other creatives to discuss blogging, branding, and business. Follow Callie on Twitter to learn more!

T U E S D A Y S -- #createlounge @ 8 PM EST
#createlounge is run by the wonderful Kayla Hollatz, a digital strategist who also works in social media + media relations at a PR agency. This chat focuses on working with other creative bloggers and entrepreneurs to talk about blogging, branding, business, social media, and more. Follow Kayla on Twitter to learn more!

T H U R S D A Y S -- #ellechat @ 8 PM EST
#ellechat is run by the fabulous Lauren Hooker, a graphic designer and blogger. This chat focuses on chatting about business, blogging, and design with other bloggers and entrepreneurs. Follow Lauren on Twitter to learn more!

What are your favorite tweet chats to participate in?