Organize for 2016

One of my favorite things to do in the beginning of a new year is organize. I hate the feeling of being unorganized, so I always do these simple tasks to make my life a little more simple.

C L E A N  O U T  Y O U R  W A L L E T
My wallet is full of receipts that I just always seem to forget to throw out. It's usually receipts from clothes I buy (oops) that I keep just in case I want to return them ... but then I forget to throw them out when I decide to keep them. Go through your wallet and throw out any old receipts and expired coupons.

S O R T  T H R O U G H  Y O U R  D E S K
I've mentioned before that I totally hoard office supplies. I have too many pens, notebooks, and paper to even count! I like to go through all of my pens and highlighters and test them to see which ones don't work anymore. I also think about which notebooks and notepads I don't really need and then give them to my mom for her to use. Having a clean, organized desk is definitely a way to make you feel motivated and ready to work!

C R E A T E  T O - D O  L I S T S
I have gotten into the habit of creating weekly to-do lists, which is probably my favorite way to organize. It's such a great way to see which tasks need to be completed each week. I seriously would be so lost without this notebook; it practically has my life in it!

I N V E S T  I N  A  P L A N N E R
My Lilly Pulitzer agenda is a lifesaver. I use it to keep track of assignment due dates, plans with friends, shifts at work, appointments, and so much more. I have to admit that I do use my to-do list notebook more than my planner, but my planner still helps out a tremendous amount.

Looking to get organized? These items can help you!

How do you organize for 2016?

How To Kill It In Spring Semester

I feel as if I'm the only person who isn't looking forward to going back to school -- I wish break could last longer, but today is my last day. However, this month-long break has left me feeling super refreshed + ready to kill it this semester with these tips + tricks.

+ wake up early
Although sleeping in is really nice and 8 AMs are always dreaded, wake up early even when you don't have an early class. I've found that waking up early has actually motivated me to get more work done; if I spend more time sleeping or laying in bed, I find it that much harder to actually get myself to do things.

+ make a new to-do list each morning
I make a weekly to-do list outlining assignments I need to do and exams I need to study for. However, I started to also make daily to-do lists near the end of fall semester. Having a daily to-do list allows you to see just how much you need to get done in one day. Crossing off completed tasks brings a huge feeling of relief, and you'll be able to gauge your time when you know what you need to do. This Kate Spade notebook is perfect for jotting down your tasks!

+ utilize free time
Whenever you have free time, use it to do schoolwork. This could involve studying flash cards, taking notes, reading an article, and more. Although 30 minutes in between classes may not seem like a significant amount of time, you would be surprised by how many flash cards you could study in that time. Using a spare 15 or 30 minutes here or there definitely adds up in the long run. And doing homework in your free time during the week could potentially leave you extra time on weekends to go out or relax.

+ plan ahead
One thing that worked really well for me during fall semester was planning ahead. As I mentioned before, I made weekly to-do lists. However, I would have to-do lists for the next three or four weeks at a time. This would allow me to get an idea of when I would have really busy weeks, and then I used those to-do lists to get ahead on work so that I wasn't slammed all at once. Lilly Pulitzer agendas are perfect for planning ahead!

+ find your study habits
Did you develop study habits that worked really well for you last semester? Carry those over into spring semester. Did your study habits not work out too well for you last semester? Search through Pinterest for efficient study tips. Find whatever works best for you and stick with it; this will guarantee you academic success.

How do you plan on making this next semester successful?

Favorite Blogging Resources

After planning out my blogging goals for 2016, I have become obsessed with finding helpful resources to keep the blogging motivation flowing. I plan on printing out my favorite ones to keep in a folder because I prefer to have physical copies of everything, but for now, I've selected some to share with all of you!

Feeling inspired to blog as well? Jot down your ideas + posts in these notebooks + planners!

Winter Beauty Necessities

Even though I know I should be taking excellent care of my skin year-round, I probably take the best care of it in the winter (oops!). My skin gets dry easily, so I always focus on making sure I use the best products to keep it smooth and refreshed.

+ Foot scrub for dry, cracked feet.
+ Face masks for dry skin.
+ Body lotion for dry skin when walking outside.
+ Chapstick for cracked lips.
+ Water for keeping skin nourished.

What do you use to take care of your skin in the winter?

Life Update (Continued)

For those of you who saw last Sunday's post and my tweets, you'll know that my beautiful mom has recently been diagnosed with brain cancer. She had her surgery on Monday morning, and we were so thrilled with the outcome. My mom was in the operating room for about ten hours, but the majority of the tumor was successfully removed! The rest will be taken care of with chemo and radiation, which will start within the next couple of weeks.

I would just like to thank you all for your prayers + support. All of the tweets, comments, and messages seriously meant so much to me; it was definitely a good reminder of why I love to blog! I mentioned in my last post that I may be taking a blogging break. I have decided that I may not be taking a break necessarily, but I don't think I will have seven posts go up each week like I was hoping to. Posts will go up randomly until I feel as if it's okay to get back into a normal blogging schedule.

I hope you've all had a great week! XO

Life Update

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not too personal on the blog. There are some things that I feel are relevant to share, and there are some that I feel don't need to be shared. But I feel this is important to share with all of you.

Unfortunately, my mom hasn't been feeling well for the past couple of weeks. We all thought it was fatigue because she was completely wiped out; she was picking up extra shifts at the hospital she works at, planning two Christmas parties, and endless Christmas shopping. The only problems she had were her fatigue and speech -- she knew what she wanted to say, but it always came out as something completely different. This got worse on New Year's Day. We had her do nothing but relax the next three days, but nothing changed. She went to the doctors on Tuesday, and she was told it was a neurological problem and that she would need to get an MRI. She got the MRI, and it was discovered that my mom has a brain tumor. My mom has been in a hospital in Boston since Wednesday night, and she will be having surgery tomorrow morning. Chemo and radiation will be happening in the next couple of weeks.

Taking all of this news in was devastating -- as it would be for anyone else. It has been extremely difficult to adjust, but things have gotten better. My older sister actually had cancer almost ten years ago when she was just 15 -- so if one Mason can beat cancer, so can another! It has definitely helped that all of our family and friends have been so loving and supporting.

It was one of my absolute goals to blog more, but I'm realizing now that it's best if I take a little blogging break for a while. My mom's health is my most important priority, and I want to help out in whatever way I can.

Many thanks to all of you for being so understanding. XO

Blogging Goals

Unfortunately, I put blogging on the back burner for my first semester of college. I was hoping to post consistently, but I totally underestimated how busy I would be with studying, working, and having a social life. Now that I have adjusted to college life, I'm determined to get a steady schedule created so I have time for everything important to me.

I shared that I would like to post consistently for 2016, I have created a list of blogging goals that I would like to accomplish by the end of the year and a survey for all of my readers to fill out about Lilly & Lemons. Here's to a year full of girl power + productivity!

U P D A T E  "A B O U T  M E"  P A G E
I updated my "about me" page before I started college, but I would like to update it again. I've seen some really creative layouts, and I would like to come up with my own. I would also like to get a new headshot for the page.

M A K E  A  N E W S L E T T E R
I've been dying to make a newsletter for my blog, but I've been struggling with what I would like the newsletter to have. I don't want it to have my daily posts because people can just go to my blog for that. If there is something you would like to see on my newsletter, feel free to let me know!

I'm happiest when I'm posting every day of the week. To be honest, it has been really hard to even post every once in a while during school. And while on break, I've definitely been uninspired and have hit writer's block. My goal is to come up with fresh post ideas and get back to posting seven days a week.

U T I L I Z E  M Y  B L O G G I N G  P L A N N E R
During the summer, I made a blogging planner that really helped me to come up with great content and jot down points that I wanted to include in each post. When I took a "blogging break," I stopped using my planner. The planner is what motivated me to keep blogging, so I want to get back to using that to keep my thoughts flowing and organized.

 L E A R N  G R A P H I C  D E S I G N  +  C O D I N G
I have always been interested in graphic design and would love to be able to learn how to do it myself! It's especially helpful that I'm a blogger, along with coding, and it would be beneficial to have when I'm a social media manager. I plan on learning through Codecademy, and I would like to purchase Photoshop and learn that through YouTube. If you know of any free helpful graphic design/coding courses, feel free to let me know!

P A R T I C I P A T E  I N  T W E E T  C H A T S  A G A I N
I participated in tons of tweet chats over the summer simply because I had a lot of free time. I loved how helpful they were because I met tons of fabulous ladies and learned a lot of beneficial things about social media and blogging. I had to stop participating in them once I got into the first semester because they all take place at night, and I was simply too tired. I'm hoping to start participating in them again so I can keep learning!

F I N D  F R E E  C O U R S E S  +  R E S O U R C E S
I'm always looking to further my knowledge about social media and blogging, and I especially love when the resources I find are free! I'm a huge fan of Helene's free webinars, but the only problem is that it's hard for me to actually watch the webinar live. I usually have to watch the replay, which is unfortunate because there is usually a tweet chat going on about the webinar while it's live. When I sign up for free webinars, I'm going to make sure to set aside time to watch them live so I can chat with other people watching it.

G E T  M O R E  S P O N S O R E D  P O S T S
I'm thankful for every opportunity I get to work with companies. I blog simply because I love it, but getting paid to blog is a plus because I could really use the extra money on the side. I'm going to keep my eyes open for any opportunity to earn some extra cash!

P O S T  I N  F A C E B O O K  G R O U P S
I'm a part of tons of blogging Facebook groups that I also put to the side. I love being a part of these groups because I not only get to advertise my blog posts but also get to find other blogs. Tons of helpful information is always posted that I get to use for myself. I want to post in these groups more in order to reach a bigger audience for my blog.

I may have gone a little overboard with my goals, but I'm super excited to start working on them. I can't wait to see what 2016 will bring for Lilly & Lemons!

What are your blogging goals?

Why I Didn't Shop the #AfterPartySale

Anybody who knows me knows how much I love Lilly Pulitzer ... hence the blog name! And I can never pass up a good sale, especially when it comes to Lilly, which is why I totally took advantage of the summer #AfterPartySale.

I was instantly excited when I saw that the winter #AfterPartySale started on my birthday, but after some thought, I decided not to shop it this year. I shopped it last year and honestly was not too thrilled with my purchases. I'm definitely an impulse buyer, which is what happened last year. I bought a dress, tunic, and two shirts that I absolutely loved when I saw them on the website. However, when the items came in, I didn't like how they looked on me at all ... so I didn't wear any of them. I had to sell them through Poshmark and ended up losing money.

I pretty much only wear Lilly in the summer but I'm not a huge fan of Lilly in the winter; I tend to stick to J. Crew. Their winter pieces don't seem to look too good on me, and I debated on buying some shorts and dresses for summer instead, but then realized it's too far away. I'm also hoping to save more money this year, and I knew that if I shopped the sale, my money would be gone in an instant. Oops.

I thought I would regret not shopping the sale, but honestly, I don't feel too left out! I feel much happier knowing that I'm not broke and that I have money for shopping when I go to NYC this weekend.

Did you shop the #AfterPartySale?

19 Things I Hope For 19

I can't believe I'm finally 19! An official adult. It's exciting yet scary at the same time; I'm torn between wanting to grow up and wanting to stay young forever. I'm excited for the upcoming year and have a list of goals I would like to achieve.

+ I want to continue to be genuinely happy.
+ I want to read 50 books.
+ I want to buy a major item for myself.
+ I want to continue to drink more water.
+ I want to step up my blogging game by posting consistently, finding more sponsor opportunities, and growing my social media followers.
+ I want to work out more.
+ I want to pick up more hours at work.
+ I want to learn how to use my new camera.
+ I want to learn how to use Photoshop.
+ I want to finish watching a show on Netflix.
+ I want to join a club at school.
+ I want to choose healthy meal options.
+ I want to take a course that will help with blogging or social media.
+ I want to meet up with other bloggers.
+ I want to find other helpful ways to study for my exams.
+ I want to grow my winter wardrobe.
+ I want to write more snail mail.
+ I want to keep my life organized.
+ I want to say yes to every opportunity that is given to me.

What do you hope for this upcoming year?

18 Things I Learned While 18

It's so weird to think that today is my last day being 18 when I remember my 15th birthday as if it was just yesterday. I've learned a lot of things in the past year that I thought were important enough to share. 18, thank you for being a good year to me!

o n e
Grades aren't everything. Getting all As is a rewarding feeling, but constantly stressing out and losing out on time spent with friends due to schoolwork isn't worth it.

t w o
Treasure the time you have with the people you love. College sneaks up quickly, and suddenly your best friends are no longer there to hang out whenever; spend time with them when you can. I also had to put my dog down a year ago today

t h r e e
Sometimes the unexpected choices end up being the best choices. I always said I would never go to the college I now attend just because of how close it is. Little did I know I would actually want to be close to home -- and now I love the decision I made.

f o u r
Working while in college is hard -- but worth it. I work four mornings each week and go to school. It can be super tiring, and there are definitely days where I really don't want to get out of bed for work, but it's always worth it in the end.

f i v e
Love is one of the best things to experience. I've had the same boyfriend for over four years now, and I'm grateful for every day I spend with him.

s i x
Taking care of yourself is important. To be honest, I've let my body get out of shape due to senior year being so hectic. I'm getting back on track, and choosing to be healthy feels good.

s e v e n
Change is a good thing. For a while, I debated on whether or not I should completely rebrand my blog. I finally took the jump in June and could not be more thrilled with the outcome!

e i g h t
Having a couple of really good friends is better than having a lot of okay friends. I only have a select few friends, which I always thought was a bad thing because so many people seemed to have so many friends. I'm actually so content having a few best friends that I can always rely on no matter what.

n i n e
Setting aside time for yourself is okay. In my free time, I love to read and blog. Doing things for yourself in order to relax is always a good idea.

t e n
Always be grateful. Not to be negative, but any bad thing can happen at any time in life. Always be thankful for what you have because it could be gone in the blink of an eye.

e l e v e n
Whenever you get the opportunity for something awesome, always say yes. Sometimes things only come by once, so if you're able to agree to it, do it. No time for regrets!

t w e l v e
Don't be afraid to put yourself out there. This past year, I got back into participating in tweet chats and talking with some awesome ladies. It was super eye-opening and made me motivated to grow my blog and start planning my super business. Grow your network because those contacts will come in handy at some point in life!

t h i r t e e n
Drink more water. I've gotten into the habit of cutting back on soda and drinking more water. I've noticed that I've felt more energized, and I want to keep that going.

f o u r t e e n
Don't sweat the small things. I've realized that in the bigger picture, the small things really don't matter. Don't waste energy worrying over things that will be irrelevant in a year.

f i f t e e n
Find something that interests you and pursue it. I really focused on managing social media and blogging this year because they are two things that I love. Find something that you love and focus on that because it will bring you nothing but happiness.

s i x t e e n
Life is short; buy the shoes. I've done my fair share of shopping this past year due to having more hours at work ... and I've come to the conclusion that a girl can never have too many clothes! #SorryNotSorry

s e v e n t e e n
Choosing the healthier meal instead of the tasty meal is hard but worth it. This year I really focused on my health and learned how important it is to eat healthy. Although you might really want that cheeseburger while out to dinner, you'll be thanking yourself later when you choose the salad.

e i g h t e e n
Do what makes you happy. This is probably my most important lesson. 18 has been the best year for me so far because I only did things that would make me happy -- which is one of the most important things in life.

What have you learned this year?


What's a better way to start off the new year than by creating goals? I'm thrilled to be linking up with some fabulous ladies for the #NewYearNewGirl link-up in order to share our goals and establish methods for completing them.

B L O G  M O R E
It was one of my goals to post consistently throughout my first semester of college, but unfortunately, I had to put blogging on the back burner when I realized I needed to focus on working four days a week and studying instead. Now that I'm off of school for a month, I'm really getting back into the swing of blogging. In order to stay motivated, I'm going to utilize my blogging planner and set aside time each week to write posts.

R E A D  M O R E
I was hoping to read at least two books per month, but that was put on the back burner as well. I've definitely been reading like crazy since break started, so I would like to continue that. In order to read more, I'm going to set aside time each night to read.

F I N D  M O R E  B L O G  O P P O R T U N I T I E S
I've been starting to do more sponsored posts, which is awesome. I would love to be involved in more blog opportunities and make more money on the side. To accomplish this, I will use more affiliate links and apply for influencer programs.

I N V E S T  I N  M O R E  C L O T H E S
Fact: a fashion blogger can never have enough clothes. I've been meaning to buy more clothes for the winter since I've worn a uniform the past four years, but I've had to put so much money aside for Christmas that I didn't have enough money left over for myself. I'm going to save aside money to use for shopping good sales.

What are your goals for 2016?