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Life Lately Vol. 12

I haven't done a Life Lately post since the beginning of December, so I'm glad to be writing another one to share with y'all today! The last two weeks have been filled with fun activities while on winter break, and I have some exciting pictures to share with y'all.

Cookie Decorating // A couple weeks ago, I had my friends Sarah and Ashley over to decorate cookies and celebrate the end of finals/the beginning of winter break. We had a lot of fun, even if we aren't the best cookie decorators in the world. We also livestreamed the entire cookie baking process on Instagram, so thank you to everyone who watched even if we were really weird and boring!

Christmas // My Christmas this year was the best one yet, so I thought I'd share some pictures from it! I really enjoyed getting to spend time with my family and celebrate the birth of Jesus.

Photography // If you saw my post on what I received for Christmas, you'll know that I received a DSLR camera! Forgive me for talking about it a ton, but I'm really excited about it. I have been taking tons of pictures lately, and I hope you'll notice a change in my blog & Instagram pictures as I learn how to use my camera more and get better at editing pictures. Since it's winter break, I've had a ton of time to look up videos and I've become somewhat familiar with the camera, but I'm still learning! :)

I'm headed back to school on Tuesday, and I'm not exactly thrilled, but I'm ready to see my friends again and I'm all prepared for a great second semester!

I hope you enjoyed seeing this peek into my Christmas break, and I hope your Christmas break was fantastic!

What I Got For Christmas 2016

As sad as I am to say this, the Christmas season is finally over. This Christmas was by far the best one yet, which is why I'm so sad that the month of December is coming to an end. I had a lot of fun celebrating Christmas during the past month, and I'm sad that I'm writing my last Christmas blog post of the year.

I wasn't planning to do a post on what I got for Christmas, because I feel that posts like this are better to do on a YouTube channel, but a lot of y'all requested this post. When I asked you on Twitter and Instagram Live what format I should do it in, y'all said to write a blog post on it, so I decided to share the gifts I received with y'all.

Please note that I am not trying to brag in any way. I am beyond thankful for everything I received, as well as the people who gave me these amazing gifts. I am simply writing this post because it was highly requested. I know that presents are not the true meaning of Christmas, and that it's so much more important to focus on the birth of Jesus, but I always enjoy seeing what other people got for Christmas.

First of all, in my stocking I found a few little beauty goodies. I received some makeup remover, nail polish remover (as featured in my August Favorites), my favorite conditioner, a headband, EOS, lip balm, and some much-needed hair ties.

My ears are very sensitive to earrings, meaning I can't wear certain earrings such as my Kendra Scott and Kate Spade earrings for a prolonged period of time. While I have James Avery earrings that are sterling silver, meaning I can wear them frequently, because they don't hurt my ears, I don't have a pair of good quality gold earrings that I can wear all the time. I received these seashell earrings from Ross Simons, and I am so excited to wear them!

My sisters got me this adorable Vineyard Vines stuffed whale, and it looks so cute next to my Lilly Pulitzer pillow from My Pink and Green Garden that I featured in this post. I had been dropping hints about this whale ever since Vineyard Vines released it, and I was thrilled to find it wrapped up in a Vineyard Vines box under the Christmas tree. My mom said that our local Vineyard Vines store only got three of these whales in stock, so I feel very fortunate to own one!

While we're on the topic of Vineyard Vines, I received this gorgeous shep shirt from my grandparents! It was one of the two items on my Christmas Wishlist, and I'm so glad to finally own one of these iconic pullovers. I have so many plans on how to style this, and y'all will probably see it featured in a blog post soon.

My grandparents also bought me these cute turquoise sheets from Pottery Barn Teen. PBTeen's pool blue color is the main color in my room, and these sheets will match perfectly with my bedding. They are a nice change from my boring white sheets, and I'm so excited to switch things up with these sheets.

My grandparents also bought me this incredibly soft Vera Bradley robe, which is perfect for the winter months. I'm so excited to wear this with some cozy pajamas and fuzzy socks.

Last, but not least, my grandparents bought me a cute book filled with quotes, and some Christmas-themed stationery for Thank You Notes. My great-aunt and great-uncle also bought me this really cute notebook, and I'm excited to write ideas for future blog posts in it. Lastly, my step-grandmother gave me this fun Vera Bradley coloring book, which I'm excited to use.

I also received three pairs of fuzzy socks from various people (because I have a slight obsession) and I'm so excited to wear them!

My biggest gift this year was my new camera! I've been wanting one for a while now, and I am beyond excited to use this! All of the pictures in this blog post were taken on my Canon EOS Rebel T5, and I can't wait to shoot some outfit posts and tons of other blog posts with it. My mom and stepdad got this for me, and I am beyond thankful for it.

My two sisters and I also received some joint gifts such as a soccer goal and Wii games, but I forgot to take pictures of them and I'm at my dad's house now so I can't take pictures of the joint gifts. I've enjoyed using them, though!

Now, I'm going to show y'all what I got at my dad's house! We did Christmas morning a couple days after Christmas, which is why this post didn't go up until now.

My dad and I were at Sam's Club a few weeks ago, and I saw the cutest, softest Disney pillows. He got me a Dory pillow, because I'm five years old at heart, and it is the coziest thing ever. I'm obsessed with it! I'm pretty sure they're meant for little kids... but I fell in love with it, and Finding Nemo is one of my favorite Pixar movies, so I'm happy with it. :)

I also got this pretty Ivory Ella t-shirt. I love the fun design on the elephant, and it's over sized so I'm excited to wear it with leggings and Nikes.

I pinned these plaid monogrammed gloves on Pinterest a while back, and my stepmom noticed so she got me these gorgeous gloves from Marley Lilly! It's pretty warm in Texas right now, so unfortunately I can't wear them yet, but I'm looking forward to styling them once the weather turns cool again.

My dad went to India over the summer, and he brought back a couple Christmas gifts for my sister and me. We each got a stack of these really cool bracelets, as well as this gorgeous marble chess set! These gifts were so cool and unique, and I'm excited about them.

I also got an Echo Dot! We have one in the kitchen that we all share, but now I have one that I can keep in my room. I love Alexa so much, and I've already started using this.

My sister and I also got these fun charger wraps to put on our iPhone chargers. They're so cute and funny!

I also received these adorable monogrammed seersucker pajama shorts. I've wanted a pair like this for a while now, and I'm glad I have some. I love the little ruffle at the bottom, too!

 My sister and I each got some monogrammed soap for our bathroom. Not only is it the cutest thing ever, but they also smell amazing.

I also got even more fuzzy socks - because you can never have too many, am I right?!

My step-cousins got me this Lilly Pulitzer tumbler and matching sunglasses straps in one of my favorite prints, Lover's Coral. I love Lilly tumblers, and I've never owned their sunglasses straps, so I can't wait to use those when summer comes around.

My dad also got me two sports books - a running one and a soccer one, since those are my favorite sports. I haven't started reading them yet, but I'm looking forward to reading them.

We also received some big items like a soccer tennis net and a Playstation, but I didn't take any pictures of them because they've already been set up.

I'm sorry if this post was really long and disorganized. It's not that easy to do a "haul" type blog post, because you have to photograph every item and that takes up a lot of space, but I still wanted to write this post nonetheless!

I hope that each and every one of you had an amazing Christmas filled with family and festivities! Merry belated Christmas to all of you!

A Pre-Christmas Brunch

On Wednesday, my family and I went on a shopping excursion in Dallas. We had so much fun, and I took some fun pictures to share with y'all. Enjoy!

We went to get brunch at one of our favorite cafes, and I got a vegetable omelette, which was delicious. We also went shopping in a couple of cute, quirky boutiques, and I got a pillow with flamingos on it that will look so cute in my room. (See my blog post on room decor here!) We also bought some gourmet chocolate at one of our favorite chocolate shops. I love going on fun day trips like this during breaks from school, and I'm glad I have two weeks off so I can go more exciting places. 

I know that I typically have a Life Lately or a Link Love post up on Friday, but I decided to share these festive pictures with y'all instead! A new Life Lately post will be up next week, so tune back in then!

Psst... if you follow me on Snapchat (livethepreplife) you might have already seen some of these pictures! Make sure you add me so you don't miss out on any more adventures.

5 Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas Under $50 For Preppy Girls

We all have that one person in our life whose Christmas gift we keep forgetting to buy until the last minute. Sometimes people can be hard to pick out gifts for, so we keep procrastinating until the very last second when it comes to buying a present for them. If any of y'all are facing this struggle right now, you've come to the right place, because I've put together five of my go-to gift ideas for preppy girls.

At this point in the holiday season, you can't buy a lot of items online since it's so close to Christmas and they won't ship in time. However, these five items are gifts that can be found fairly easily, no matter where you live or what stores you have near you.

Cute Tumbler // There are so many preppy tumblers out there that would make a perfect gift! My personal favorites are the Lilly Pulitzer ones (I have three) and the Kate Spade ones (I don't have any but I love them). They are so cute, and you can find them in tons of different prints and patterns. I give these as gifts sometimes, and I usually fill it with Hershey's kisses or another small candy to add the perfect touch.

Bath and Body Works Candles // Everyone loves candles, especially when they are from Bath & Body Works. They have the best candles; they all smell amazing and they are the perfect addition to any desktop or countertop. I've raved about them in so many blog posts, so y'all probably get the point by now, but I still had to include them in this gift guide because they are the perfect gift. If you don't have a Bath & Body Works near you, I also love Volcano Candles and Tyler Candles.

Lily & Laura Bracelets // These beaded bracelets have been my latest obsession. I have three, and I wear them all the time. They can be worn with a t-shirt, or dressed up with a cute top. You can buy these at a lot of stores and local boutiques - I know Altar'd State has some, but I usually buy mine from The Impeccable Pig because they have a large selection. I'm not sure if they're the same price everywhere, but they're $10 each at The Impeccable Pig, so two or three bracelets make such a nice gift. I love how each bracelet is unique, and the bracelets come in so many pretty colors and patterns.

T-Shirts // Preppy t-shirts are great because there are so many brands and styles to choose from. Some of my personal favorites are Vineyard Vines, Lauren James, and Jadelynn Brooke. While it's too late to buy any of these online, you can try looking in any local boutiques near you. (If you live in Texas, check out a Tyler's store, because they have tons of amazing brands!) You might have luck at a department store like Dillard's or Nordstrom, too. All three brands have incredibly soft, comfortable t-shirts, and they're all under $50! In the above picture, I'm wearing a Jadelynn Brooke Christmas t-shirt. Even though you can't order them online in time for Christmas, I'd highly recommend looking around in local stores because they are my favorite t-shirt brand ever.

Makeup Palettes // I'm not a huge makeup person, so I don't spend money on makeup ever. This means that I'm always happy to receive some new makeup as a gift. It's greatly appreciated because I do sometimes run out of my favorite concealer or use up my go-to eye shadow pallet, but I never want to spend my own money on buying new makeup. There are so many great makeup gifts to choose from. I love the brand Tarte, and their makeup sets make great gifts, like this eye shadow palette or this contour palette. You could also put together a cute bundle of drugstore makeup that you picked up at Target or CVS if you don't have a place like Sephora or Ulta near you.

If all else fails, you can always purchase a gift card! While gift cards may seem a little impersonal, they're actually great because they're convenient to purchase at the last minute and they allow the girl receiving the gift card to have the freedom of buying whatever she wants.

Psst... for more great gift ideas, check out The Holiday Shop page on my blog here!

I hope y'all found this post helpful - good luck with gift shopping, and I hope you all have an amazing week filled with fun holiday spirit! Merry Christmas!

Link Love Vol. 11

Happy Friday! I have three midterms today, but I get out early for Christmas break after I finish my tests. I'm so excited to spend a couple weeks off from school and enjoy the Christmas spirit with my friends and family. Thankfully, midterms flew by fairly quickly, and I found myself spending a lot study breaks scrolling through blog posts. I don't have a ton of links to share this time around, since I've been watching a lot of Vlogmas videos instead of reading blog posts, but I've still rounded up some of my favorite links from the past two weeks!

Christmas Outfit // Brooke Butler // Live The Prep Life

Also - I did my first live stream on Instagram on Wednesday, and it was a lot of fun getting to talk with y'all and answer some of your questions. I did another one yesterday, and it was even more popular than the first! I'm probably going to be doing a few more live streams over Christmas break, so make sure you're following me on Instagram @Livethepreplife so you can be part of my next live stream.

I hope y'all did well on your midterms and I hope you have a great Christmas break! I'm sending lots of love and holiday cheer your way!

4 Essentials To Help You Survive Midterms

Midterms are hard. They're stressful, nerve-wracking, and they're not exactly a great addition to the Christmas season. However, if you have the right essentials and are prepared, midterms aren't that bad after all. Today I've put together four must-haves for exam week so you do your best and aren't so stressed!

4 Essentials To Help You Survive Midterms // Patagonia // Live The Prep Life
Patagonia // I am always cold in school. You can ask any one of my friends, and they'll tell you that I am constantly freezing, no matter what. The only way that I'm not cold is if I put on my Patagonia pullover. I got it for my birthday, and I don't know what I would do without it. It's so thick and cozy, so it keeps me warm. Since I want to be comfortable while taking tests, I always wear my Patagonia over a t-shirt and pair it with some leggings or jeans.

4 Essentials To Help You Survive Midterms // Water Bottle // Live The Prep Life
Water Bottle // Hydration is so important, especially when taking tests. I usually bring two water bottles to school, so I'm never thirsty or dehydrated. I have found that using cute water bottles helps me drink more water, so I always bring this Swell bottle and this Jadelynn Brooke water bottle (featured in my August Favorites).

UGG Boots // These furry shoes are the most comfortable shoes I own, especially when paired with fuzzy socks. I will definitely be wearing these all through finals week, because comfort is key when dressing for test-taking. I have two pairs - a gray one and a black one - and they're both incredibly cozy.

4 Essentials To Help You Survive Midterms // Pancakes // Live The Prep Life
A Good Breakfast // You know those Snickers commercials where they say, "You're not you if you're hungry?" That's basically me in a nutshell. I can't concentrate if I'm hungry and focusing on food. While I have a granola bar or cereal for breakfast on most days, if I have a big test I make sure to have a filling breakfast. I'll either have oatmeal topped with bananas and almonds, or I'll have some pancakes. I love this Birch Benders pancake mix because it tastes amazing, is semi-healthy, and is fairly easy to make. 

Good luck to everyone taking midterms this week! I hope these essentials help make tests a little more bearable, and I hope all of your studying pays off!

Life Lately Vol. 11

Life has been crazy lately - crazy busy, crazy fun, just crazy in general. This kind of crazy always comes in December, and I honestly love it. There's so much to do this month between Christmas and midterms, and while I'm less than thrilled about studying for my exams, the Christmas spirit throughout the month makes everything bearable!

Wrapping Presents // I've been wrapping presents almost every day after school! I love giving gifts, especially for Christmas. I'm not the best gift wrapper, but I still have fun wrapping gifts and putting under the tree. (Psst... you can buy the Vineyard Vines pajamas pictured in the picture here!)

Vlogmas // I think I've mentioned this in earlier posts, but I'm doing Vlogmas on my Snapchat this year! If you don't know what Vlogmas is, it's basically where you vlog every day for the month of December. I've really enjoyed showing y'all what I've been doing every day, so make sure you add me on Snapchat at livethepreplife so you can see more sneak peeks in my life.

Yearbook // If you've been reading this blog for a while, then you'll know that I am on my school's yearbook staff this year! I've had a lot of fun recently making holiday posters and taking pictures at holiday events. I'm almost finished with a couple of my pages, and I've really enjoyed designing them! My friend Peyton and I made this Christmas-themed poster to promote the yearbook, and I'm really proud of how it turned out. 

Jadelynn Brooke Giveaway // I've teamed up with a few other girls to give away a $100 gift card to Jadelynn Brooke! If you're interested in winning, make sure you are following me on Instagram @livethepreplife so you can enter! (If you don't win, you can always use my code BBHS16 for 15% off your purchase at Jadelynn Brooke!)

I hope you had a great week, and I'm wishing you good luck if you have midterms next week like me!