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Link Love Vol. 23

Happy Friday! I always love the 4th of July weekend, and this year is no exception. I'm spending this weekend in San Antonio, and I can't wait! We leave tonight, and even though the 4th isn't until Tuesday, this weekend is bound to be filled with tons of fun, festive activities.

Because reading blogs is always more fun when you're munching on macaroons!
I don't have a ton of links to share with y'all this week, but I hope you enjoy this small collection of links I've put together for y'all!

1 // Sarah shares why she prefers old-school blogging to the new SEO-centric version

2 // I've added so many things to my wishlist recently, including this romper (I NEED) and these shoes!

3 // Here's eeeeeverything you need to know about working with brands... but really all of Katherine's posts on blogging tips are extremely helpful

4 // Molly's NYC foodie recap has me wishing I could hop on a plane to New York just for the dessert

5 // This girl is the future... enough said

6 // I love going on photoshoots so I definitely found these photoshoot tips & tricks helpful!

7 // Fran's weekend recap sounds so fun... I love spontaneous weekends!

8 // 10 healthy changes that can easily been done now!

9 // Did you catch my latest outfit posts? (here & here)

10 // Cortney is featuring tons of ruffles in her latest outfit post and they're gorgeous!

11 // Doing some summer cleaning? These tips from Meg are a must-read!

Have a great 4th of July weekend!

4th of July Style Under $50

It's insane to think that the 4th of July is just a couple days away! June has gone by so fast, and I'm afraid the rest of the summer will too. Nonetheless, I'm so excited for the 4th of July! It's one of my favorite holidays, and I love dressing up in red, white, and blue to celebrate America. Today I've put together a small collection of items that would be perfect for the holiday, in case you're looking for any last-minute inspiration.

The nice thing about these items is that they're all under $50, so if you're not looking to fork over a ton of money to celebrate the 4th, I've got you covered. Happy shopping!

What are you wearing for the 4th of July? What is your favorite item on this list? Let me know by leaving a comment below!

Summer Stripes

Bright and colorful pieces will always be a staple in my wardrobe. No matter the season, there's just something about colorful clothes that puts me in a cheerful mood whenever I wear them. I especially love bright colors for my summer wardrobe, which is why this striped dress is easily one of my favorite clothing items for this season!


Striped Dress c/o // Bracelet // Necklace (homemade, similar here and hereEarrings // Shoes

When Jadelynn Brooke first released their collection of dresses, I had to admit, I wasn't so sure about them. However, after actually seeing this dress in person, I was head over heels for it! The stripes are so vivid and lively, and I think the cut of the dress is incredibly flattering and different from any other dress I have. I paired it with my go-to Kendra Scott bracelet, some simple gold earrings, a homemade choker, and my classic Jack Rogers. Fun fact: I have a pair of turquoise sandals that match this dress perfectly (similar linked here), and I was planning on wearing them with this dress, but I forgot to pack those shoes when I was on this photoshoot so I had to improvise with my Jacks! I've worn this outfit to dinner a couple times already, and I can't wait to wear it even more as the summer progresses.

Jadelynn Brooke also has four other bright and colorful dresses that are perfect for summer! The one I'm wearing in this post is by far my favorite, but you really can't go wrong with any of them. If you love this striped print and can't get enough of it, it also comes in shorts that are perfect to throw on and pair with a cute t-shirt. If you end up purchasing anything from Jadelynn Brooke, make sure to use the discount code BBHS16 for 15% off your purchase!

You can shop the products featured in this post by scrolling through the widget below. Happy shopping!

Disclaimer: Jadelynn Brooke sent me this dress, but this post is not sponsored, and as always, all opinions are my own. :)

Life Lately Vol. 23

So... it's been a bit!

This is the first volume of Life Lately I've done all summer (if you exclude the one that I wrote on the last day of school) and I have so much to share with y'all! Between shopping, cooking, and going on small adventures, I've done so many fun things this summer. If you've been watching my vlogs on my YouTube channel, you might have already seen everything I've done this summer, but I still wanted to write this post because I have so many fun pictures to share with y'all... let's get started!

Farmer's Market // Last week, my family went to our local farmer's market and got snow cones afterward! I love going to the farmer's market - it's such a fun summer activity! We picked up some fresh peaches and delicious bread, and got snow cones afterward as a way to cool down from the heat. My strawberry coconut snow cone was absolutely delicious! After that, we walked around and did a little bit of shopping, because you know me - I can't go a day without shopping.

Picnics // My family has been going on so many picnics lately! Once a week, we'll buy some muffins from Whole Foods (they have the best blueberry muffins ever!) and head to a local park for a breakfast picnic. It's not too hot in the mornings, and it's fun to play on the swings and be a little kid again (because we all know I'm five years old at heart). Our goal is to visit all of the parks in our city by the end of the summer!

National Wear Your Lilly Day // Of course, being the Lilly Pulitzer lover that I am, I celebrated the first day of summer by wearing my brightest clothes. You can check out the post that I wrote here! I also happened to be shopping that day, so I stopped by the store and fell in love with this romper. I'm currently at a crossroads with my wallet - I think I need the romper, but my wallet wholeheartedly disagrees.

Father's Day // Father's Day this year was so much fun. We went to brunch at an amazing Italian restaurant, and I had a mushroom & chicken omelet that was to die for - especially when paired with their house made salsa! We got my dad a Tigres soccer jersey (one of his favorite soccer teams!) and he was equally thrilled and surprised.

Sweet Treats // The best way to beat the summer heat is by enjoying a nice frozen dessert! A new popsicle place opened up near us a couple months ago, and I'm determined to try every flavor by the end of the summer. So far, I've tried the Coconut (my personal favorite), Strawberries & Cream (a close second), Chocolate, Vanilla Bean, and Strawberry Lemonade. Next on my list are Peanut Butter and Peaches & Cream!

Pool Days With Friends // Yesterday, I was reunited with my two best friends! We hadn't seen each other all summer, but we got together yesterday to swim and take pictures. It was so much fun catching up with them and hopefully I'll get to do it again soon.

So clearly I've gotten some good use out of my camera this summer! I hope you enjoyed this little picture overload, and I hope you've had a great summer so far!

National Wear Your Lilly Day

Happy National Wear Your Lilly day! While I don't wear as much Lilly Pulitzer as I used to, I still love any excuse to put on some of my most colorful clothes. Today, I've teamed up with a few of my blogger friends (Faith, Katie, and Madi) to show y'all a bunch of colorful outfits in honor of National Wear Your Lilly Day and the first day of summer! I decided to wear this bright, colorful tank top that I purchased last summer in Palm Beach, since it's one of my favorite Lilly pieces I own.

Lover's Coral will forever be one of my favorite Lilly Pulitzer prints! It's such a fun, happy print, and I find myself in such a cheerful mood whenever I wear this top. I paired it with these old aqua jeans I bought a couple years ago - I never wear these jeans, but they happen to match this top perfectly! I also added my go-to jewelry to finish the look off.

Since this top is older and you can't purchase it anymore, I've included a ton of my current favorites from Lilly Pulitzer in the widget below. My personal favorites? The tie-front romper, the off-the-shoulder tassel top (been on my wishlist forever!) and the cheerful Margot dress. Lilly also recently brought Lobstah Roll back in two different colorways, both of which I'm loving, and their new print, Beach and Bae, is reminiscent of the ever-so-popular You Gotta Regatta (my all time favorite!)

Make sure you check out Faith, Katie, and Madi's posts as well! They love Lilly Pulitzer as much as I do, and I know their outfits are going to be absolutely perfect.

What are you wearing for National Wear Your Lilly Day? What are your favorite Lilly Pulitzer products at the moment? Let me know by leaving a comment below!

Link Love Vol. 22

Happy Friday, friends! If I'm completely honest, it really doesn't feel like a Friday - ever since I got out of school for summer break, all the days have started to run together. I'm not complaining, though - I've been able to do so many fun activities in the time I've been out of school.

I have a soccer tournament this weekend and then my family is celebrating Father's Day on Sunday, so it should be a fun few days! I've started daily vlogging over on my YouTube channel, so make sure you go check that out to see all of my activites.

I've found a lot of fun summer blog posts to share with y'all, so keep reading to see the links I've been loving!

Clearly I've got travel on the brain, since most of these posts have something to do with travel and vacation, haha. Leave a comment letting me know where you're traveling for summer - I'd love to know!

Have a great weekend!

5 Nail Polish Shades Every Girl Must Own

For as long as I can remember, Essie has been my go-to nail polish brand. I can even remember all the way back to around fourth grade, when I would receive a new bottle in my Christmas stocking or my Easter basket and get so excited. I've never been a fan of any other brand except for Essie. Between the vivid colors, the sleek, simple packaging, and the long-lasting formula, I've been hooked on Essie for about five years now. Thus, I've had a long time to develop my collection and discover some of my favorite shades. Today, I'm sharing a bunch of my favorite nail polishes with y'all as I show you the five nail polish shades every girl must own!

Also, this post is not sponsored by Essie at all (a girl can dream, though!) I know it may seem like it's sponsored, but I promise my love for the brand is 100% authentic - just felt like I should put that disclaimer out there.

Light Pink // Almost everyone raves about Essie's Fiji, and while I've personally never tried it, I love Hi Maintenance! It's such a pretty, girly color, and looks great against all skin tones at any time of year! While it is a little light, it's perfect for events where you want a more subtle tint to your nails.

Hot Pink // Essie's Fiesta is the only nail polish bottle I've ever completely used up. It's easily my favorite polish of all time! Hot pink nail polish looks so good no matter what, and is such a happy color. I was so sad when I ran out of this color, so I'm definitely purchasing another bottle soon.

Turquoise // I can't tell you how many turquoise nail polishes I've gone through over the years. My favorites are Where's My Chauffeur, Turquoise & Caicos, and Fashion Playground. A light turquoise polish is the perfect spring hue, and brighter turquoises are great for summer!

Deep Blue // I recently used Pret-A-Surfer for the first time, and it's already become one of my favorite shades! It's a little dark for my hands, but the crisp, cool blue looks perfect on my toes for any time of year! It really stands out against white sandals.

Brown // While a brown nail polish does sound a little weird, it's the perfect shade for fall! I received Mochachino a couple years ago as a gift, and it's practically the only nail polish I wear during the fall and winter months. It goes so well with dark, neutral outfits!

A good topcoat is so important, too! Essie's Gel Setter topcoat makes my nails look like I went and got a gel manicure, but I really just did them myself! :)

So, what's next on my list to try? I've always wanted to try the classic Bikini So Teeny and the bright Peach Daiquiri (I've actually never owned a coral polish before!)

Shop all the nail polishes featured in this post by scrolling through the widget below!

I'm always looking for more nail polishes to try - let me know your favorite by leaving a comment below!

2 Years

Today marks two years since I sat down at my old black laptop to write my very first blog post. Two years... that's insane! These past two years have flown by in the blink of an eye, but I'm so thankful to have had the opportunity to document these past two years through this blog.

Peace signs in honor of two years!!
Blogging has really shaped me as a person and helped me stay true to myself while allowing to express my creativity. I wouldn't give it up for anything and I'm so glad that I made the impromptu decision to start a blog two years ago.

Two years ago, I was a completely different person than I am now. Not only have my writing and photography skills grown so much as a result of this blog, but I've grown as a person, too. Blogging has helped me develop a sense of confidence that I never had before, and it's also caused me to form an interest in business and marketing, which I never really knew I was interested in before I started blogging.

There have also been countless times when blogging is the only thing that has kept me sane. It's the perfect creative outlet for me to pour my soul into when I can't bear to complete another meaningless science worksheet or finish my math homework. It serves as a passion that is not only extremely fun, but also productive and rewarding.

Meeting Lauren Stokes at the Lauren James event
I've also gotten the privilege to work with some of the most amazing people and companies because of this blog! One of the coolest partnerships I've done is when I was invited to attend an event at Lauren James, and I've also gotten to represent Jadelynn Brooke for two semesters now! I've also met some of the sweetest girls who share the same passions as me and can really relate to what it's like to be a blogger! None of this would have been possible if I hadn't published that very first blog post two years ago.

Finally, thank you for following along! Whether you've been here since that very first blog post and were one of my 60 pageviews during that first month of blogging, or you just stumbled across Live The Prep Life yesterday, thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. I'm still a fairly small blog but I've grown more than I'd ever imagined and your support means the world to me. Thank you.

A lot can happen in two years, and I can't wait to see where I will be in the next two years! Here's to many more blog posts and exciting adventures in the years to come.


It's been a bit since my last favorites post! I decided not to do one last month because despite doing a good amount of shopping, I didn't really have that many things to share with y'all. I think I might start doing "Current Favorites" every two months or so on my YouTube channel instead of monthly favorites blog posts... let me know what you think of that idea!

Since favorites posts are still some of my favorite posts to write, I wanted to do something similar this week since I didn't do a May Favorites post. Ever since I read this blog post on Design Darling a while back, I've wanted to do one like it. It's basically "Life Lately" meets "Monthly Favorites," which are two of my most popular series! I hope y'all enjoy!

Listening... to the country music radio station. Country music and summer obviously go hand in hand, so of course I put some country music on whenever I'm in the car, cooking, or cleaning my room! I don't really have a favorite song right now, because I pretty much just listen to everything that comes on the country radio.

Loving... food. Lately, I've been making so many recipes. I made this one last night, and while it wasn't the best, I really enjoyed this one! This banana french toast bake has become one of my go-to breakfast recipes, and I'm planning on making this bean salad and these cookie bars next!

Reading... I'm in between books at the moment, but I just finished Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham and I loved it! If you didn't know, Lauren Graham plays Lorelai in Gilmore Girls, and she is every bit as hilariously witty as her character. I read this book incredibly fast, and I was literally laughing out loud at parts! I definitely recommend this if you're looking for something to help pass the time during a long road trip or flight.

Wanting... all the summer items. I'm in love with all of J Crew's summer clothes, and the latest batch of arrivals at Francesca's has me swooning (as always!).

Watching... way more Netflix and YouTube than I should. A lot of my favorite YouTubers have been posting a ton of videos since it's summer, so I have so many videos to catch up on! I'm also watching wayyy too much Grey's Anatomy - I started a few months ago, and I'm already on season twelve. It's so addictive, though!

Wearing... a t-shirt and Nike shorts. Every. Single. Day. Since school got out last week, I haven't really been dressing up for any reason. All I've done is run errands and do a little bit of shopping, so a comfy t-shirt and athletic shorts have been my go-to uniform. However, when it comes to nicer occasions, I've been reaching for this top quite a bit lately! I featured it in this blog post, and I'm still every bit head over heels for it! It's the perfect top for summer!

What are you currently loving? Let me know by leaving a comment - I love to hear from y'all!

Life Lately Vol. 22

Big smiles all around today because today is my first official day of summer! I'm so relieved that this school year is over and done with, and I can't wait to see what this summer brings. I'm looking forward to relaxing, traveling, and devoting more time to this blog. Great things are going to happen this summer... I can already feel it!

A lot of things have happened in my life during the past two weeks, so get ready for one of the most lengthy volumes of Life Lately yet!

Botanic Gardens // Last weekend, I had four days off from school due to Memorial Day weekend, so of course my family and I did some fun activities! We went to the botanical gardens one day to take pictures, and it had been drizzling all morning, but the rain stopped just in time for us to take a ton of cute pictures. I already wrote a blog post sharing the details of my outfit, so make sure you go check that out!

Shopping // Also last weekend, my two best friends and I decided to take advantage of the plethora of Memorial Day sales and go shopping! I picked up the top I talked about earlier during this trip, and my friends got some cute items too! We did a short live stream on Instagram when we got home, which was also a lot of fun.

Finals // Since I've talked about final exams and projects a bit in previous posts, I thought I would give y'all an update on how finals week went. After a lot of stress and hard work, I finished all my final projects and did really well on my exams. I definitely didn't enjoy spending a ton of time on schoolwork last weekend, but it all paid off in the end!

Speech // I was an officer for National Junior Honor Society this past year, which meant I had to give a small speech at the induction ceremony last week. The thought of giving a short speech would've terrified me a year ago (I almost didn't apply for an officer position because I knew I would have to give a speech) but I rehearsed my speech thoroughly and I was pretty proud of myself for delivering the speech! I wore a dress that I bought last year, but I've linked a similar one.

Last Day // Yesterday, my friends and I grabbed lunch after the last day of school. As glad as I am that I'm done with school, it makes me sad that I'll be going to a different school than some of my best friends next year and won't get to see them as much. However, I'm excited for what this summer holds and am ready to begin a new chapter of my life this fall!

What's been going on in your life lately? Let me know by leaving a comment down below!