©2017 Live The Prep Life. Powered by Blogger.

Q&A Vol. 1

I've been wanting to do a Q&A for a while now. I think it's so important that y'all know the girl behind the blog, so for this week's post, I asked y'all on Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat (add me at livethepreplife) to send me questions that you wanted me to answer. Make sure you're following me on all of those platforms so you can ask questions when I do my next Q&A!

Where is your favorite place to write blog posts? I love to write blog posts at my desk or in my beanbag! I also write blog posts at school if I have any free time. (I'm actually writing this post at school right now)

How many Lauren James shirts do you have? I have 8 (including things like beachcombers and tank tops) but my mom and my sister have a few that I like to borrow, too! Lauren James is one of my favorite brands and I love their t-shirts!

What are your favorite types of blog posts to write? I love writing outfit posts, monthly favorites, and travel posts.

What is your favorite Lilly Pulitzer pattern? Right now, it's Psychedelic Sunshine. My favorite patterns of all time are Lobstah Roll, Red Right Return, You Gotta Regatta, and She She Shells!

What's your favorite thing about fall? I love literally everything about fall. The fashion, the food, the weather... it's all so hard to pick! I'm going to go with Pumpkin Spice desserts, though - muffins, lattes, bread, cake, you name it and if it's pumpkin spice flavored, I'll eat it.

Do you have any room organization tips? Room organization is something I struggle with, but it really helps to pick up my room as I go along so things never get too messy.

What's your favorite thing to do in your free time? Right now, I spend a lot of free time watching Netflix because a few of my friends got me hooked on Gilmore Girls and I'm obsessed, but I also love to play soccer and take care of my bunny.

Where do you want to go with your blog? At the beginning of the year, I wrote a post on my blogging goals for 2016. I've completed most of the goals on my list, but I have yet to buy a custom domain name. I also want to write two or three posts per week - I did that over the summer, and I really enjoyed writing a lot of posts. I really want to continue to grow my blog and expand my audience.

What inspired you to start your blog? I saw a pin on Pinterest about how to get free preppy stickers (check out my post here) so I clicked on it and I fell in love with the blog! It inspired me to start Live The Prep Life, because I knew I would have down time over the summer and I wanted to do something fun and creative. I'd never thought about starting a blog before, but I was instantly drawn to the idea.

What are your favorite school subjects and why? I love English because I love to read and write. I'm also doing yearbook this year, which is so much fun because I get to take pictures and help put the yearbook together.

What is your favorite preppy brand? Hands down Lilly Pulitzer. I have a small addiction :)

What are your goals for your Instagram account? One of my biggest goals photography wise is to invest in a DSLR camera. They're expensive, but I've gotten to use a few of those cameras in yearbook and I love taking pictures with them. I really want to grow my Instagram account and work with more brands and bloggers through Instagram. I also want to do some sort of photo challenge at some point!

What are your favorite places to travel to/wish to travel to for each season? I like to go to the beach in summer (read my Palm Beach recap here) and the mountains in the winter (read my Beaver Creek recap here). I also love to take weekend trips down to Waco (I'm a huge Fixer Upper Fan and I love going to Magnolia Market.) I really want to travel to Hawaii, Seaside, and New York, and I'd love to go back to Lake Tahoe at some point!

If you could only wear one outfit for the rest of your life, what would it be? This is honestly such a hard question... probably a striped top, my Kendra Scott necklace, jeans, and riding boots. I feel like it could be worn in so many different situations and climates. Either that or my Lilly Pulitzer Marlowe dress!

Who are your two best friends in biology? This is a question from one of my friends in biology... shoutout to Eleanor and Ryleigh for helping me survive my toughest class!

What's your go-to outfit/go-to pieces? For a casual outfit, a t-shirt or cozy sweater with jeans, boots, and my Kendra Scott Elisa necklace. For a dressier outfit, a Lilly Pulitzer dress and my Jack Rogers.

What are your favorite items to travel with and why? I can't travel anywhere without a good book, earbuds, and my laptop. For clothes, I always bring a few t-shirts, because they're comfortable, a nice dress to go to dinner, and a few clothing items that I can wear more than one way. I also make sure to bring comfortable shoes if I'm going to be walking around a lot.

Thanks for all of the questions!

5 Fall Essentials Every Girl Must Have

The first day of fall is officially today, and while the Texas temperatures are still reflecting summer, I couldn't be more excited for fall! I love fall fashion, pumpkin spiced everything, cool weather, beautiful scenery, and basically everything that is associated with autumn. Today, I'm sharing five items that I'm loving for fall. All of these items will be on repeat throughout the season... if it ever cools down.

Blanket Scarves // The Etsy shop Dress and Charm recently sent me two gorgeous blanket scarves, and I'm in love with them! They are so soft, and they're incredibly cozy. The scarves are huge, but that's what's so great about them! They definitely keep you warm, so while I can't wear them that much yet, I'm beyond excited to wear these scarves with boots and sweaters throughout the fall and winter months. Make sure you check out Dress and Charm here. Did I mention that the blanket scarves come in tons of different colors? I have the Red & Tan as well as the Garnet & Pink (not pictured in this post)!

Patagonia Pullover // I got this pullover for my birthday, and it's literally the softest, warmest thing ever. I love the cream color, and I think it will look so cute when thrown on over a comfy t-shirt like these Jadelynn Brooke ones (use the code BBHS16 for a discount there!). I had been debating about whether I wanted one  of these pullovers or not for a while now, but when I saw this in person, it was love at first sight. I know I'll definitely get my use out of this pullover!

Riding Boots // I got these boots for my birthday as well (they're sold out so I've linked a similar pair), and I'm so excited to start styling them! They're actually the first pair of riding boots I've ever owned, and I love how they look with sweaters and flannels - riding boots look good with pretty much anything. 

Vests // I got this vest at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale this summer, and it's perfect for days when it's chilly but not too cold. I love pink, of course, and I'm always looking for ways to incorporate the color into my fall wardrobe! I think it will look great with jeans and a t-shirt, but it will be cute if I dress it up with a sweater as well.

Sweaters // No fall wardrobe is complete without sweaters. I'm going shopping soon for a few new sweaters (I have my eye on this one and this one) but I love this sweater that I bought last year at Francesca's! Sweaters are such a staple for fall - they look amazing with all of the items listed above, but they also are great on their own. Sweaters are so soft and cozy, and I can't get enough of them!

I'm so excited for fall clothes - fall is my favorite season fashion wise, and I've been loving all of the fall trends lately.

What are your fall essentials? Let me know by leaving a comment!

Favorite Preppy & Girly Books

A little known fact about me is that I love to read. I've been reading since I was two, and I'm always in the middle of a book. I haven't been reading that much lately, because I've been busy with school and blogging and such, but I always love to curl up with a good book or just read a chapter or two before I go to bed.

Today, I'm partnering up with Ryleigh from Pages In Perspective, and we're both sharing some of our favorite preppy/girly books. Ryleigh is one of my good friends in real life, and she has an amazing blog! Make sure you check it out here!

L.A. Candy // I read this book at the beginning of last year and loved it! It's about two best friends in L.A. who become a part of a new reality TV show, but they discover that fame isn't all it's cracked up to be. This book was so well-written, and it's written by Lauren Conrad, which makes it a must read. There are other books in the series, which I haven't read yet, but they're on my to-read list.

We Were Liars // I love mysteries, so naturally, I loved this book. It was a bit confusing, and the plot is really hard to explain (especially since I don't want to share spoilers!) but this was a great summer read. It's set on an island in the northeast, and I loved reading this book because I really want to go to the northeast!

Since You've Been Gone // Similar to L.A. Candy, this is a book about two best friends. These girls are complete opposites; Emily is shy, and Sloane outgoing. Sloane mysteriously disappears, leaving behind a list of daring tasks that Emily must complete. These tasks are out of Emily's comfort zone, but she embarks on this journey in hopes to bring her friend back.

The Selection // This whole series is one of my favorite series ever. It's very similar to the bachelor - a prince hosts a selection where 35 girls come to his castle, and one by one, they get eliminated until there is only one girl left. I love this series, and I really want it to become a movie!

Saint Anything // Sarah Dessen is basically the queen of romance novels. All of her books are so good, but this one is my favorite. It's about a girl whose life has dramatically changed, from her brother being arrested to switching schools. She then meets a family who owns a pizza place, and the rest is history... you'll have to read the book to find out more! It's extremely well-written and flows nicely, and I want to read more Sarah Dessen books in the future!

To All The Boys I've Loved Before // This is a romance novel, but a unique one at that. Laura Jean has written a love letter to every boy she's ever liked, but she's always kept them hidden, until they accidentally get mailed. Now, she has to deal with the aftermath of her sent letters. I loved reading this book, and I loved the sequel, too!

Don't forget to go check out Ryleigh's post! This picture of us is from my birthday recap, which you can read here.

What have you been reading lately? What are your favorite books?

Birthday Recap // Lilly Pulitzer Inspired Birthday

My 14th birthday was last Friday, and it's safe to say it's the best birthday I've had yet!

For my outfit, I wore my newest Lilly Pulitzer dress from the After Party Sale. It arrived just before my birthday, and I love it! It's perfect for fall, because it's long sleeved, but it's also very bright and summery! It's not available in this print, but you can see it in other prints here.

My friends and I also took a few pictures to celebrate!

picture via My Southern Sweet Tooth
My friend Ashley, who blogs over at My Southern Sweet Tooth, baked me a chocolate pecan pie for my birthday! It was delicious, and was so sweet of her! Thanks again, Ashley!

For dinner, I had food from my favorite restaurant, Zoe's Kitchen. They have the best food in the world, and I love their spinach roll-ups. I know most people go out to a fancy place on their birthday, but I liked eating at home. I also had Nothing Bundt Cakes for dessert! I forgot to take any pictures of the food (shocker, I know) so you'll just have to take my word for it that they were delicious!

Yesterday, I had my birthday party, which was Lilly Pulitzer inspired. I had a lot of fun spending time with my friends!

To decorate, we added pops of Lilly Pulitzer everywhere, such as 5x5 prints in frames, Lilly boxes, and a juice stand! The juice bar was my favorite part of the decor - can we just take a second to talk about how cute that sign is?!

We decorated Lilly Pulitzer frames, using prints from old magazines. It's such a fun craft to do, and the picture frames turned out so cute! I can't wait to show y'all a picture of mine, as soon as I put a photo in the frame.

Here's a couple pictures of my friends and me!

The lighting is really bad in this picture, but I wanted to share it because I wanted to show y'all how I hung my new Jadelynn Brooke flag up! You can use my code BBHS16 for a discount on all your Jadelynn Brooke purchases.

We also decorated dress-shaped cookies. I'm no cookie designer, but mine turned out cute and I'm pretty proud of it! (Mine is the one on the right)

My birthday cake was from Whole Foods, and it was the best birthday cake I've ever had. It was a chocolate chip cookie flavored cake, and it tasted amazing. I love the color of it, too!

As I said earlier, this has been my best birthday yet. Thank y'all so much for all of the sweet birthday wishes!!

How I Edit My Instagram Pictures

Lately, I've been trying to really improve my Instagram. My feed is kind of a mess right now (follow me here) but I'm trying to start a fall theme. However, I've been focusing on improving upon the quality of my Instagram pictures. Right before I took my trip to Palm Beach, I switched up the apps I use to edit my pictures, and I noticed an improvement in quality almost immediately. Clearly, some of my y'all did too; I've had numerous requests to do a blog post on how I edit my pictures, and several questions on what apps I use to edit my pictures. Today, I thought I'd fulfill those requests by showing y'all my photo editing process!

First, I take the picture, obviously. (This picture was one of the pictures featured in my Back To School Outfit Ideas post - read it here.) After that, I open it up in VSCO Cam, my favorite editing app by far. I first apply a filter. This varies from photo to photo, but for my Instagram, I always use a filter from the C Series. I used C1 for the longest time, but I recently purchased the entire pack, which gives me more variety. I rarely use the C2 filter, but I love the way C3 looks on a picture with a lot of skin tones in it.

After applying the filter, I begin to actually edit the picture. I'm not one of those people that does the exact same thing to every picture (the exact same exposure level, contrast, saturation, etc. every time). I edit my pictures very similarly, but since each picture varies somewhat based on the colors of the photo, the lighting in which the photo was taken, and the actual content of the photo, I put different levels of exposure, contrast, and saturation on each picture.

I will usually up the exposure one or two, and up the contrast one or two as well. This adds a bright, crisp feel to the pictures, which I love.

Since I like colorful pictures, I always up the saturation. For this picture, I only upped it one, but I usually put the saturation on two or three. Finally, I tone the temperature down a little bit to balance the saturation.

Lastly, when I'm in the Instagram app, I will make sure the picture is perfectly straight, and I will often up the brightness and the saturation the slightest bit. After that, I post it on Instagram, and voila! My editing process is complete.

Here's the process again, but this time with a photo that was taken in darker light, and has different colors to it.

I know I said I usually turn the temperature down, and I almost always do, but for this picture I thought it looked better with warmer tones.

I recently downloaded the app Face Tune, which I use occasionally if I want to even out the tones in a picture or whiten up a wall. I don't use it a ton, and I rarely use it to edit actual faces, but it's a good app to have and it definitely comes in handy now and then. I didn't use it in either one of these pictures, but I still wanted to tell y'all about the app because it's a great app.

While this may seem like a lot to do for each photo, trust me: it's really not that time-consuming; it takes me about three minutes to edit a picture. Editing pictures is a lot of fun, and I'm really excited to work on my fall theme! I'm not sure if I should keep my bright and colorful theme going, or if I should switch it up with some fall colors and such. Let me know by leaving a comment!

How do you edit your Instagram pictures? What are your favorite editing apps? Let me know in the comments!

Lauren James Southlake Grand Opening

Last night, I got to go to the grand opening of the Lauren James store in Southlake, Texas! Lauren James was kind enough to send me a dress for the event, and I am in love with it! I picked out the rose Landry Dress, and I love it. It's different from any other dress I own, and I can't wait to wear it more.

The Lauren James store is absolutely gorgeous! I love their dressing rooms, especially, and just the overall white and pink look of the store. It's so cute and classy, and it couldn't have turned out better! I also got to see the Preptec collection that was just released last night, and everything in the collection is perfect for fall and winter. I love the Linden Sherpa Pullover and the Blakely Vest in particular. I also enjoyed looking at their new t-shirts for Fall 2016! I think that these are the best designs they've come out with yet, and I found myself wanting them all.

My mom got to attend the event too, which was a lot of fun. She's a huge fan of Lauren James as well, and I loved shopping with her. The store had the cutest cupcakes and cookies, and the Lauren James Jeep was parked outside. I even got a picture with Lauren herself!

Everyone at the grand opening was so sweet, and I feel so blessed to have had this amazing opportunity. The store officially opens today, so if you're in the area, make sure you go stop by! 

Have you ever been to a Lauren James store? What is your favorite piece from their winter collection? Let me know by leaving a comment!