Posted by & filed under On Fashion, On Life.

 

For the freshmen who’ve traveled from near and far to attend college in the beautiful and historic American Northeast, welcome.

You’ll be regretting it as soon as late October hits.

Hopefully you won’t be in a state of full-blown regret over your choice of higher education, but you just might regret your shopping decisions if they don’t include heavy knits, chunky accessories, and down feathers.

Let me explain.

Last winter went a little something like this:

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On a scale of 1-10…blizzard.

On this day circa December 2013, a blizzard hit the University of Pennsylvania in the hometown of good ol’ Ben Franklin: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I’m a PA girl born and raised, so a little blizzard wasn’t to shake me in Philly. Or so I thought. I, along with all of my more southernly or wordly collegiate counterparts, trudged through this storm in a cartoon-like fashion. There were tears when looking out the window, there were cheers when professors bailed on class, and there were cries of anguish as Ivy League kids unsuccessfully attempted to skate down Locust Walk in rubber wellies (not one of the more brilliant ideas).

The RA in me says that I should get a little PSA-ish and give you the scoop on how to survive winter when you go to college in Northeast USA. For all you Canadian folks…well, you’re just outta luck on this one, because I have no clue how to prep for a season with MOOSES (is that even right?).

Here’s what you should stock up on now, before shelves look like this:

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Photo c/o wired.com

 

1. A ski mask. They may not be the most socially acceptable accessory when chillin’ (pun intended) around a college campus, but I’m thoroughly convinced that masks are the only possible remedy to winters that are so bad they get nicknames. But, for other more politically correct face-saving options, scarves can work wonders.

2. Thick socks and legwarmers. Guys, you too on this one. I’m the first person to hate cold feet, and mine tend to get an extra shade of icy when the temperature plummets below 30. Use thick socks like they’re going out of style. Which is actually possible, because they best thick socks I’ve ever come across for wintertime outdoors are from my mom’s 80’s closet. Going along with an older trend, I just bought a few more legwarmers, too, in neutral knits – perfect for topping off boots. Stylish and functional? Can I get an a-men?

3. Fuzzy slipper socks and booties. Because your piggies need extra time to warm up, and doing it in your dorm means heating up as you chill out.

4. A ridiculously warm and chunky beanie, like this one, from Yellow Spot Designs. Because apparently some of the best things in fall are warm…and chunky. My wardrobe is chockfull of neutrals, but I love pops of color – especially when it comes to coats. Jordyn handmade my grey crocheted beanie, and I love how it looks with my coral trenchcoat for fall. My purple winter coat will approve, too, I’m sure.

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In all of its chunky glory. AND, get 10% off ANYTHING in Jordan’s shop with the code ROSES10. Isn’t she the best?

 

5. Cleated boots. I don’t even have these, but I sure as heck wish I did. So do all of the kids who end up skating to class. Apparently strap-on cleats do exist, too, like giant rubber bands with metal spikes. Because that sounds safe.

6. Warm gloves or mittens. I don’t know about you, but when there are icicles hanging and I risk being shishkabobbed by one upon exiting my apartment, the last thing I’m concerned about is being technologically savvy. Leave the thin texting gloves for late fall and invest in a pair of good, thick gloves. You’ll be able to text better after, anyways, when you’re fingers aren’t as cold as those aforementioned icicles. And buy a spare pair. Because if you’re anything like me, you’ll find mismatched gloves missing their other halves in no time.

7. Snow shoes. I don’t own a pair, and I’m convinced that that’s why there’s a 100% chance that I fall at least once every icy season. Someone make this a college trend, please.

8. Make sure your dorm is winter-friendly. An abundance of fuzzy socks, squishy blankets, and stashes of hot chocolate with rainbow marshmallows and your favorite coffees and teas to warm you up from the inside out.

And when all else fails, just wrap your blankie around your head and you’ll be fine, ok?

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Not sure if I was going for the nun look or just being a very-prepared-for-cold preschooler.

 

Even in the worst of it, though, the Northeast is beyond beautiful when the weather is rough. At least, from the comfort of your couch, looking out the window, sitting next to candles and/or a fireplace with cheery music playing in the background…you get the (snow)drift.

Jordan from Yellow Spot Designs agrees with me – the best survival gear is chunky. She wants to give one of you a jumpstart on your winter preparation, so she’s giving away a fabulous beanie from her shop! (AND that 10% discount we talked about earlier…yeah, use that! ROSES10, for the win.)

Note: Open to US residents only. All entries will be verified. Open until midnight, 10/9.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are you convinced you need a YSD beanie yet?

Are you convinced you need a YSD beanie yet?

What’re your best tips for surviving winter in the Northeast as a college student? Any must-have products or tricks?

See you soon to rehash the best of the web this month. Because this month is almost over, and that’s terrifying but awesome because CHRISTMAS IS COMING. That is all.

Have a beautiful day, and remember to smile.

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Posted by & filed under On Love.

Monday marked 2 years of officially dating Boyfriend. You may not know that much about me yet, but two years says a lot. I’m not one to stick around with anything that I’m not 100% invested in, because I’m all about crafting the most fulfilling life. But life crafting…that’s another story.

In my past dating life, when things got murky and ended, I would always try to identify key takeaways, for better or for worse, that would ultimately help me in finding my “person.” Being self-aware is oh-so-important when you’re dating, especially when you’re searching for something more serious. And I love lists, so I’m totally unopposed (and highly recommend) the whole pro-con things if/when you’re on the fence about a particular potential beau. But that’s another story, too.

In honor of my fabulous Boyf and our September-22nd big day, I’m going to gush a little about 22 of my favorite things so far in our love. They’re all about him, because I just love him. And they’re all boiled down into the number 22.

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  1. He just gets me. I’m guilty of holding in feelings sometimes and letting it shine via my all too-hard-to-control facial expressions. But he knows when to persist in asking me what’s up, and when to just give me some space and let me cool off.
  2. He makes me laugh. That’s a must for me, because a life filled with laughter is a full and happy life.
  3. He can cook. Ok, here I just got ridiculously lucky. He’s in a lineage of family chefs…what can I say? He’s a total 10.
  4. He cooks WITH me. Because date nights in the kitchen actually are the very best.
  5. He challenges me. In every way.
  6. He’s unafraid of the truth. We have a policy of total honesty with one another for all of the important stuff. We know that if we ask the other for an opinion on anything from an outfit to how to handle a situation, we expect honesty. Because we want to help each other always improve and live in alignment with our best selves.
  7. He watches The Bachelor with me. And sometimes Say Yes to the Dress. And chick flicks. He’ll even bring wine and chocolate.
  8. He sings with me. We can sit at the piano and jam out to Coldplay or the Beatles, or we can sing throwback karaoke together for fun over drinks and junk food. It’s about letting loooooose.
  9. He shares his faith and fears with me. We play 100% confidant for the other, always. Judgment free.
  10. He goes to church with me.
  11. He’ll debate me. This is the guy with whom I had a full debate on – of all things –  my views on abortion on our second date. Our SECOND DATE!
  12. He compromises with me, and me with him. Compromise is arguably one of the hardest lessons in a relationship, especially when big things are at stake. It was (and probably will continue to be) one of our biggest challenges as a couple. But what’s love and life without a little challenge now and again?
  13. He’s on the same page as me for all the big stuff in life. i.e. religious, political and social views, kids, life paths, dessert for dinner. It may not be 100% necessary for some, but it sure helps.
  14. His life balance complements mine. He loves sleeping in and having lazy days. I’m more prone to getting up early and working on my blog or upcoming consulting biz. But it’s a great balance- while he catches up on zzzzz’s, I have time to write and send out emails and play with the kitten.
  15. He always has my back.
  16. He’ll take my hair out of the drain when I forget.
  17. He encourages me to always reach higher to hit my full potential.
  18. There’s never a dull moment. But there are quiet moments of self reflection or peaceful relaxation, and they round us out.
  19. He’s the most interesting person I’ve ever met. From his work to his ideas and thoughts about life, he genuinely fascinates me.
  20. He always thinks of my best interest, too. Not because he feels obligated to, but because he genuinely cares.
  21. He’ll always give me the first bite and hands me the spoon and pint. Which,as we all know, is true love.
  22. He is and always will be my best friend.

Now step back, replace “me” with “you” in each of the things above, and think about your own relationship or what you’re hoping to find in a suitable guy.

What are the cornerstones of your own relationship? What things are must-haves for you when you’re searching for a great love? And, would you be interested in a post on our love story?

I’ve seen some bloggers do it before, but I’ve never really considered my own thoughts on love story posts. But, if you want me to get more personal on here, ask and you shall receive. Or, just follow me on Instagram.

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In other news, Scandal premieres tomorrow, AND How to Get Away with Murder, and all I know is that you can bet on finding me on the couch with my law homework in one hand and a glass of Merlot in the other. And maybe my iPad to do some online shopping at The Limited. And you know exactly why.

In more other news, Boyfriend will be back on the blog soon. With his take on…something really really funny. Get excited, kids; there may or may not be a pink car involved.

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Posted by & filed under On Life.

*Today’s post is a collaboration with one of my favorite chicas on the planet, Taylor. We hope you thoroughly enjoy hanging out with us.

19 things every blogger knows

 

When people think of “bloggers,” they usually think of glam girls wearing pearls and chunky knits, Instagramming their perfect lattes while filing their freshly-manicured nails. When people usually think of “Taylor and Erica,” they (should) think of us as a hot mess on the loose, with glitter everywhere and a total lack of hand-eye-foot coordination. Yes, that’s us.

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I have a feeling we’re not the only ones. Behind every blogger is a messy desk, ten unfinished “to do” lists, and way too much caffeine. Blogging is not always as glamorous as it seems. There are 19 things every blogger knows to be true:

 

1. Instagram is a lie. It might look like you all have your you-know-what together, all wrapped up in a metaphorical bow of fresh flowers and designer sunglasses and strolls to get iced lattes and more fresh flowers. But you don’t. The flowers are fake. And that’s ok.

2. If you don’t wake up and do yoga before getting aforementioned iced lattes and fresh flowers, you’re not fetch. (You’re just a normal human being on an average Tuesday morning. No shame there, folks.).

3. You know the difference between Passionfruit and that tropical purple and yellow fruit thing otherwise known as a passionfruit.

4. Anytime anything interesting happens, your family/friends/significant other look at you and ask, “Are you going to blog about that?” Of course you are.

5. Blogging has made you love statistics. You salivate over things like “conversion rate” and “acquisition.” Why couldn’t Stats class be this interesting?

6. When you enter a new relationship, you struggle with when is the right time to have the “Can I blog about you?” talk. This is almost more important to you than the “Are we serious?” talk.

7. Sometimes you get all excited and post something so insightful and deep and change-the-world-esque. Most people won’t actually find it so deep and insightful and change-the-world-esque. Disappointment may ensue, but don’t worry, there’s ice cream for that.

8. When you get said ice cream, you’ll Instagram it obviously, with at least ten hashtags for good measure.

9. Bigger bloggers’ lives are probably a thousand times more unorganized and crazy than they let on. Don’t let them fool you with their fancy web design and mega-following.

10. You also totally set up shop to create those “look how organized and peony-filled my desk is” Insta shots. It’s like building a still-life in art class. #busted

11. You know you can’t physically ride a “follow train.”

12.  Posh coffee shops only happen ⅕ of the time.The other 80% of our time is blogging on a mobile device at a random bus stop or train station as you live your real life and procrastinate on your online one. Or you’re in purple fuzzy slipper-socks. Sometimes you’re not even wearing a bra. #realtalk (Or is that just us? Awk.)

13. When you’re posting, you’re in pajamas. Or just your underwear.

14. You know the difference between “roflcopter” and “rafflecopter.”

15. Every series of moments has a “I should blog about this” moment somewhere in there. And you always find it.

16. You sometimes work tirelessly to come up with these ridiculously creative posts that are bound for virality and reposts on Thought Catalog and Buzzfeed. But, as noted in the classic romcom He’s Just Not That Into You, virality is “an exception, not the rule.”

17. Your mom takes your fashion pictures.

18. To bee an “official blogger,” you need a floppy hat. You just do. And you need at least ten pictures of you wearing it, preferably in a field of blossoming flowers in rural ‘Murica.

19. You end up writing an absurd amount of to-do lists which you never finish. These are usually written in ten different colors of pen, and contain at least one vanilla latte stain.

 

For those of you whose lives look just like what you post on Instagram, you go, Glen Coco. For the rest of you – the ones who stay up too late catching up on life and laundry while eating B&J’s from the pint and indulging in late night caffeine – we get you. Even if your blog is as big as Gretchen Weiner’s secret-filled hair, it’s ok; we all know the truth.

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Shout out to Tay for being awesome; be sure to grab a tea and check out her newly re-branded site. And just in case you wondering, yes, we were actually sitting in a coffee shop and wearing bras while writing together. 

What do you find to be universal truths in blog world? Do you like seeing collaborations on Coming Up Roses? 

Be sure to check out this post about how CVS is like Target, minus the addictive houseware and apparel sections, and this post in case you feel like winning $75 and walking down memory lane with me.

Have a happy weekend!

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