Pottery Barn Teen Dorm Roundup

As a senior and soon-to-be college freshman, I’ve already started planning for my dorm room. I’ll be living in a suite, but my current task is focused on the smaller room I’ll share with one of my closest friends. I’ve been a fan of Pottery Barn Teen for forever and it was my first place to look!

bedding peyton

I got the Peyton Duvet for my bed.

ikat

My roommate got the Ikat Medallion for hers.

lattice

These lattice pillow covers are adorable! The grey or the pink would be my pick to complement the navy.

greek

I’m going to be rushing for a sorority at my college, so one of these monogrammed Greek letter pillows in the pink or turquoise polka dot would be perfect to represent my letters.

throw

Once it gets cold–and it definitely can get freezing in Kansas–a blanket will be my first choice to keep me warm at night. And let’s face it, the throw in pool blue will most likely be accompanying my shoulders when I’m in the dorm no matter what time of day. Can you see a color scheme forming yet? 😉

rolling cart

Because the dorms are small, I’m going to have to store things up on top of each other. This rolling cart in the mini dot pool would be great for storing shoes, out-of-season jackets, and other items that just need to be kept out of clutter.

monogram decal

This monogram decal in navy would be great to personalize the dorm just a little bit more and make it feel more like a home.

Pottery Barn Teen has a great selection of items for any dorm. This was not sponsored by them, but I clearly love their products! Stay tuned for what’s next to come in this series: desk and study supplies from PB Teen.

Thanks for reading!

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Charming Charlie Purse

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dress (similar) // purse // scarf (on sale in black!)

I was on the hunt for a structured, small and versatile crossbody purse for a while…until I found this purse, that is. The navy and white is a perfect combination. I was originally looking for a wristlet, but since I have to carry around my wallet, phone, and Epi-pens (for my allergies) everywhere I go, this crossbody was the perfect solution. It being small forces me to not pack a billion things into my purse, like I usually would with a larger bag. I love the striped pattern on the inside too! It’s back in stock on their website and in stores now!

I got this phone case off Etsy and I love the monogram on it. Turquoise and coral is one of my favorite color combinations, so it’s practically perfect. My keychain is one of my favorite things ever, partly because it reminds me of the trips to Harry Potter World with my mom and my nana, and partly because I’ve always loved Harry Potter. I wanted to show off my rings and watch too because no matter what the outfit, I’ll probably be wearing them. The watch goes with everything in my opinion, because it’s every color of the rainbow, and the rings have a special story behind them. The gold ring was given to my mom on her sixteenth birthday. The silver ring was in a small bowl that my granddad keeps on his kitchen table of random things he picks up on his walks. I have no idea what it used to be or what gemstone it is, but it fits perfectly.

What’s your favorite accessory to wear?

navy monogram

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Charming Charlie Purse

IMG_4285 IMG_4292 IMG_4300 IMG_4305 IMG_4306 IMG_4309 IMG_4313

IMG_4316

dress (similar) // purse // scarf (on sale in black!)

I was on the hunt for a structured, small and versatile crossbody purse for a while…until I found this purse, that is. The navy and white is a perfect combination. I was originally looking for a wristlet, but since I have to carry around my wallet, phone, and Epi-pens (for my allergies) everywhere I go, this crossbody was the perfect solution. It being small forces me to not pack a billion things into my purse, like I usually would with a larger bag. I love the striped pattern on the inside too! It’s back in stock on their website and in stores now!

I got this phone case off Etsy and I love the monogram on it. Turquoise and coral is one of my favorite color combinations, so it’s practically perfect. My keychain is one of my favorite things ever, partly because it reminds me of the trips to Harry Potter World with my mom and my nana, and partly because I’ve always loved Harry Potter. I wanted to show off my rings and watch too because no matter what the outfit, I’ll probably be wearing them. The watch goes with everything in my opinion, because it’s every color of the rainbow, and the rings have a special story behind them. The gold ring was given to my mom on her sixteenth birthday. The silver ring was in a small bowl that my granddad keeps on his kitchen table of random things he picks up on his walks. I have no idea what it used to be or what gemstone it is, but it fits perfectly.

What’s your favorite accessory to wear?

navy monogram

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Old Navy Quilted Jacket

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jacket (sold out, but similar) // scarf (sold out)

I love this jacket. Old Navy is always my go-to for…well…everything. This lightweight jacket has spurred my new love for navy. I’ve never been a big fan of black in the first place, and I think navy is such a classic color to match with everything. (Except black, but that’s not my issue!)

I took these photos with my new Canon T5i that I bought after Christmas. I love it already! The flipout screen is perfect for taking my own blog pictures. I bought this remote from Amazon and it works perfectly. One of my favorite things about the new camera is the autofocus–it only took about twenty shots total in a span of fifteen minutes to get the shots I wanted for both this post and my post on pattern mixing.

Thanks for reading!

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Inside the Insta with Prep Avenue

prep avenue header

While I was researching people to interview for this series, Shannon from Prep Avenue was one of the first people I thought of! Her Instagram is always so bright and colorful. She’s one of those bloggers that has created a ‘look’ for herself and the pops of color and pink is always what comes to mind when I think of her. (Plus, she’s adorable. Come on.)

What do you take your photos with?

Honestly it depends where I am and what I’m taking a picture of! If I have my camera with me then I’ll probably take the picture with my camera (I have a Canon Rebel T3i); however, if I’m just out and about then I just use my iPhone!

I love how bright and colorful your photos are! How do you edit them?

Thanks! Most of the time I just use Photoshop on my computer and enhance the brightness.

What’s your favorite thing about Instagram as a blogger?

My favorite thing about Instagram as a blogger is probably the inspiration it provides. I randomly stumble upon a Instagram account that I become obsessed with and I love to see others perspectives on life! I also love seeing what people are doing on a day to day basis. It’s a great way to stay connected with so many people through fun pictures!

prep avenue insta pic 1

What do you center your photos around?

Honestly, nothing too specific! I try to stick to bright colors, pinks, yellows, oranges, and of course lots of navy.

What three words would you use to describe your style on Instagram?

Ooo that’s a hard one! Probably bright, whimsical, and preppy!

Who are three people on Instagram that you admire?

I’m obsessed with Notes_from_Monroe, Mackenzie Horan, and ParisInFourMonths.

prep avenue insta pic 2

Where do you find your inspiration to take photos?

Everywhere! I find a lot of inspiration from other Instagram accounts, Pinterest, and just life in general! Going to new cities and exploring new places also always brings me a ton of inspiration! And the moment I walk into a Kate Spade store, I always feel overly inspired with their bright and bold colors.

How long do you usually take to set up a photo?

This also depends on where I am. But probably no longer than 5-10 minutes! Sometimes it’s frustrating because I can’t find the right lighting but once I do it’s a super fast process!

                prep avenue insta pic 3 Would you say you stick to a certain color scheme for your photos?

I try too. Although sometimes I take a picture that doesn’t exactly fit into the color scheme but it’s just way too cute not to post! My most popular colors are definitely navy and hot pink though.

Square crop or full size, and why?

Square crop all the way! The worst feeling in the world is when you take an amazing photo and then you crop it down into a square and you can’t fit it all! It’s so much easier if you just start out with square crop.

Thanks for reading! Go follow Shannon on her Instagram and read her blog!

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Stripes and Dots

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shirt (similar) // sweater (sold out) // necklace // boots

I made the (awful) decision of taking these pictures at 4:45 pm, when it was 25 degrees outside, without a coat for half the photos. Since it’s freezing not only outside but in my school, I have to layer up, so I went with the classic sweater+button-up combination. This necklace (18″) is the perfect accessory to the whole ensemble. I got it for Christmas and it’s been in a constant rotation with my outfits since.

I got this sweater and the button-down during Old Navy’s winter clearance sale. My local store is beginning to put out their spring collection, so I scored the shirt for only $8 and my mom picked up the same sweater for both me and her 😉 We’re about the same size in tops now and with me going off to college next year, I have to keep telling myself I can’t borrow things from her as much!

Yesterday I heard back from someone I am very excited to interview on the blog! I also heard back today from Shannon from Prep Avenue, whose interview will be up very soon. Stay tuned!

navy monogram

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Stripes and Dots

IMG_4053 IMG_4049IMG_4045

IMG_4055

shirt (similar) // sweater (sold out) // necklace // boots

I made the (awful) decision of taking these pictures at 4:45 pm, when it was 25 degrees outside, without a coat for half the photos. Since it’s freezing not only outside but in my school, I have to layer up, so I went with the classic sweater+button-up combination. This necklace (18″) is the perfect accessory to the whole ensemble. I got it for Christmas and it’s been in a constant rotation with my outfits since.

I got this sweater and the button-down during Old Navy’s winter clearance sale. My local store is beginning to put out their spring collection, so I scored the shirt for only $8 and my mom picked up the same sweater for both me and her 😉 We’re about the same size in tops now and with me going off to college next year, I have to keep telling myself I can’t borrow things from her as much!

Yesterday I heard back from someone I am very excited to interview on the blog! I also heard back today from Shannon from Prep Avenue, whose interview will be up very soon. Stay tuned!

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Photography from A-Z

When I first started using my Mom’s DSLR as a freshman in high school, I was ridiculously overwhelmed. How was I supposed to know how to work anything? Now, as a senior, I’ve become much more acquainted with the manual setting on my camera and I can successfully navigate around the controls. I took several photography classes to learn, but the internet is a great place to start too! I’ve rounded up some of the best tutorials online to learn everything about stepping into manual.

the a-z's of photography

A- Aperture (a guide about f/stop)

B- Bokeh (how to get a soft background)

C- Canon (the seven best entry-level Canons)

D- Diffuser (a DIY flash diffuser)

E- Editing (editing for beginners)

F- F/Stop (free download of a chart explaining f-stop)

G- GIMP (free photo editing program similar to Photoshop)

H- Headshot (tips on taking the perfect headshot)

I- iPhone (10 iPhone tips and tricks)

J- Jargon (explaining the language of photography)

K- Kelvin (understanding how white balance and temperature works)

L- Lenses (upgrading after you’ve gotten used to your kit lens)

M- Metering (intro to metering and focus)

N- Noise (avoiding the grain in pictures)

O- Outdoor Lighting (tips on improvement)

P- Panning (how to pan in pictures)

Q- Quotes (50 quotes about photography)

R- Reflector (DIY reflector tutorial)

S- Shutter Speed (intro to shutter speed)

T- Tilt Shift (creating tilt-shift photos in post processing)

U- UV Filters (what to know about ultraviolet filters)

V- Vibrance (the difference between vibrance and saturation)

W- Website (the best websites to learn from)

X- eXposure (how to nail exposure)

Y- You (photography projects that you can do)

Z- Zoom (a guide to what the mm means on your lens)

Thanks for reading!

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Inside the Insta with Stripes and Peonies

I’m so excited to kick off the new year with a new series on my blog! Inside the Insta will highlight some of my favorite Instagrammers and take a look into their style and how they make their photos look so perfect.

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First off in this series is Gracey, a fantastic blogger in high school. She blogs over at Stripes and Peonies and I highly recommend you check out her blog. Her Instagram feed is filled with lots of bright whites, pinks, and blues. To get a insider’s look into her process of choosing her photos, just read on!

What do you take your photos with?

A large majority are taken with my iphone 5s, but I occasionally use my DSLR for outfit or travel instagrams.

How do you edit your photos?

I use VSCO cam, Snapseed, and the Photoshop Express app. Sometimes I use all 3 apps and sometimes I only use one. Usually my routine is: raise exposure and contrast, make it cooler, sharpen, and add my favorite filter.

What’s your favorite thing about Instagram?

I love that its a platform for me to share things I love and find beautiful and also it’s vastness. I can get lost in Instagram finding new photographers and accounts and I always leave with some inspiration.

gracey insta pic 3

What do you center your photos around?

I don’t have a specific theme…but, I do tend to photograph many flowers (usually peonies) and coffee.

What three words would you use to describe your style on Instagram?

Youthful, bright, and simple.

Who are three people on Instagram that you admire?

Some of my favorite accounts are @amy_stone @aguynamedpatrick @rubenhughes @besspearson @anyeske

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Where do you find your inspiration to take photos?

I feel I am most inspired when I travel. Being in a new surrounding is the best because there are so many things to explore and photograph. I swear the moment I touch down in a new city, my number of daily instagrams goes from about 2 to 5.

How long do you usually take to set up a photo?

It really depends on what it is. If it’s like this one, it can be anywhere from 5-10 minutes. First I have to find the right light and then I have to take a bunch of photographs. I move things around, adjust the light, and try different angles before getting my desired shot.

gracey insta pic

Would you say you stick to a certain color scheme for your photos?

I try to, but not religiously. The color scheme also changes. If you scroll through my feed you will find a group of pink images, then move on to blue, then to neutral images. It really depends on my mood at the moment.

Square crop or full size, and why?
Square crop always! My phone is always set in that mode to ensure I can get everything in the frame. I would hate it to have a wonderful picture but then have to crop it into a square and loose some important elements.

Thanks for reading!

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Adobe Camera Raw Editing Tutorial

edit, don't fret it: before and after details of editing photos!

As a senior, I’ve been having my mom take photos of me at every opportunity. Instead of shelling out hundreds of dollars for one senior photoshoot that’ll represent me in only one season, we’ve been taking several afternoons to take pictures in different locations, with other people, new props, etc. While I can’t take the photos myself (thanks, Mom!), I’m the one who edits them.

edit, don't fret it: before and after details of editing photos!

We went to Grinter Farms in Lawrence, KS (my future college town!) this summer to take photos with the gorgeous sunflower field and I’m just now getting around to edit these. This field is incredible and I definitely recommend stopping by if you’re in Kansas in summer!

Original Photo

I’m starting with this photograph. The highlights are kind of blown out by the backlighting of the sun and the photo is cooler-toned overall. Not super summery.

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I took this photo into Camera Raw in Adobe Bridge–always my first step–and turned up the exposure. While a full stop (+1.15) might seem like a lot, it was definitely necessary. The original photo washed out the details and value, so I then turned up the contrast. There’s a huge difference with the clarity of my eyes in the original photo and the edited photo. To make the photo less blue-hued, I turned the temperature up to give it a warmer, summery feel. I didn’t want to mess with the tint with fear of making my skin look too green or purple-ish.

No matter what photo I edit, portrait or landscape or still life, I always bump up the highlights and take down the shadows. I do the same thing with the whites and the blacks. This always gives me great contrast without looking too grainy. I was going to mess with the clarity, but it made my skin tone look weird. I only turned the vibrance and saturation up a tiny bit with fear of making the sunflowers look too fake and like a middle schooler edited it with a rainbow filter.

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After making my primary edits in Camera Raw, I opened up the photograph in Photoshop. I used the Spot Healing tool on a few blemishes I wanted to remove on a new layer. Then, I used A Beautiful Mess’s Fresh Action, Celeste, to bump up the contrast even more. It was too much at 100% though, so I turned it down to 30%.

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Here’s my final photo! While it seems like this took a ton of time, it only took me about 3 minutes tops. If you have any questions just comment, I’d love to help!

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