Monday, November 30, 2015

{Outfit} Christmas Tree Shopping

One of my absolute favorite Christmas traditions is that each year my family heads north to chop down our Christmas tree. I absolutely love the fact that we get to pick out the tree and make a fun day out of it spending time looking amongst the tree or at the lodge that is filled with golden retrievers. I also love having a real tree because it smells so good and it's so much more authentic. This year I knew it would be pretty chilly when we went so I opted for a super thick sweater and a vest. I also wore Hunters because there has been a history of mud at this tree farm. 







Shop my outfit below:

What's your go-to winter outfit?

Xoxo

Thursday, November 26, 2015

10 Things I'm Thankful For


Happy Thanksgiving! I hope your day is full with family, food and so much love. I also hope you snag the best deals ever if you go Black Friday shopping. 

1. I am thankful for my amazing family that may drive me insane, but that I love so much
2. I am thankful to live in the United States with so many opportunities. 
3. I am thankful for my warm and cozy home home.
4. I am thankful for the friends that are always there for me. 
5. I am thankful for my parents that support me in everything I do.
6. I am thankful for my school, although I kind of hate going, but it provides me with a great education.
7. I am thankful for my dance team that is filled with such amazing girls and coaches.
8. I am thankful for this holiday that brings all of my family together under one roof. 
9. I'm thankful for YouTube because it makes me smile every day--sorry I had to put it in there. 
10. I am so thankful for this blog and all of my readers. Thank you for supporting me!

Have an amazing Thanksgiving!

Xoxo

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Winter Styles

I feel like it's too early to be posting about winter, but with the weather we've been having it seems totally fitting. I'm totally dumbfounded by the intense snow we had over the weekend and on top of that the leaves still continue to fall. It's such a weird thing to see leaves on top of snow...

Anyways, I've been in search of the perfect winter coat and have yet to find it. I have a navy toggle coat from Asos that I totally love, but I need more of a snow coat that's made out of legit "winter coat" material. I'm dying for one with a fur hood and I've found so many options, but none that are just quite right. I've also been picturing my winter style and I'm picturing black ankle booties, plenty of scarves, cowl neck sweaters, and lots of (faux) fur. Here's a what I'm envisioning.






I was channeling my inner European street stylist on this post. I'm totally loving the effortless look of neutrals and tons of warmth this winter.

What are you thinking of wearing this winter?

Xoxo

Monday, November 23, 2015

{A Guide To} Black Friday Shopping


I thought I'd get this post out early in the week so you have plenty of time to plan your Black Friday route. If you can't tell, I'm a little obsessed with Black Friday shopping. There's just something so fun about shopping in the middle of the night! My cousin Carly and I go every year, but each year we step it up a notch. Our first time was just going early to a couple of stores with her mom, but after that experience we realized we were missing out on so much in years past! This year we'll be hitting up every mall near me and snagging as much as we can! We go through the night now, leaving around 10 or 11 pm and returning at 5 the next morning. Here are my tips for survival!


+Do your research
Look ahead of time to see what sales are going on for Black Friday. Last year we didn't even check before we went so we didn't end up getting that great of deals. This year I've been doing my research and checking what some of the deals are so I know what stores I want to go to. I don't feel like Black Friday has the most amazing deals in the world, the reason I go is because I think it's so fun to shop in the middle of the night #shopaholic.

+Make a plan
You don't have to plan out every single second of your night, but plan ahead which malls you're going to and what stores you'd like to go to. Be sure to also check local mall hours to see what stores will be open and what time they'll be open. Last year Carly and I went to a mall near us only to find that only a few of the stores were even open...total bust.

+Prepare for long lines and big crowds
Black Friday is a big event and you have to be prepared for long lines at stores and large crowds of people. At one of the malls we went to last year I had never even seen a crowd so big at that mall before. It's going to be crowded so plan accordingly. 

+Caffeinate
Last year I knew I would be driving around all night so I bought a giant Red Bull to help keep me alert at night. This was a great idea and I didn't feel tired until the last few stores we went to. Starbucks and/or Dunkin Donuts will most likely be open to get your coffee fix. You're going to need the energy to be shopping all night!

+Be safe
Black Friday shopping can be dangerous though. For one people are especially desperate to get the best deals so they can be a little feisty in the stores. But also, there are plenty of drunk drivers out from Thanksgiving so if you're driving late at night/early in the morning you need to be especially aware of this. 

If all fails, there's always Cyber Monday...

Do you go Black Friday shopping?

Xoxo

Friday, November 20, 2015

TGIF

So we're supposed to get snow this weekend. Um what? 

Phew, what a long week this has been. It's been my first full week in a while and I'm especially thankful it's over. This weekend my team has our first competition on Saturday. I'm super excited, but also super nervous to see how everything goes. Aside from that, I'm spending this weekend and the majority of next week finalizing and sending in all of my college apps. My dad is only allowing me to go Black Friday shopping if all of my apps are done, so I better get those in! 

Even with the stress of applications, I'm SO excited for Thanksgiving! I kind of hate Thanksgiving food (oops), but I love spending time with my family. We host every year and this year our total comes out at 40 people. Please pray! Here are a few things I've been loving this week!

I'm so excited to announce that my holiday shop is now LIVE! I've compiled some of my favorite things that I think would make great gifts for anyone in your life. I'm so excited for you guys to see my picks and hopefully get some inspiration as to what to get your loved ones for Christmas. I also have a few gift guides coming up in the next few weeks so stay tuned!!

The wise Kate from A Lonestar State of Southern shares her tips on how to have the best day ever! She is always in such a happy mood and I'm eager to try out her tips so I can stay in a better mood on these rough and cold days. 

Okay, I know I'm getting a little bit ahead of myself with all of this Christmas talk when Thanksgiving hasn't even passed, but this is for those folks who like to plan everything super in advance. Marie Claire gives ten different party ideas that you have yet to think of...there truly can only be so many ugly sweater parties. I do a secret santa with my friends each year, but we have yet to decide on some sort of theme!

As much as Thanksgiving is about tradition, there's always room to try a little something new. Here are a few dessert recipes that look amazing and are a bit different from your classic pumpkin and apple pie options. 

Have a great weekend!

Xoxo

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Get It Done


Senior year is not what I expected whatsoever. I imagined breezing by in school, applications not taking up all of my time, and drill team being all fun and spirit. Boy was I wrong! This year has been the most stressful yet, but college is in the near future that it's motivating enough to get things done. Today I'm sharing my tips with you on how to get sh** done. I am definitely a procrastinator, but this year especially it has been crucial that I complete things in a timely fashion because deadlines are deadlines and schools are not going to care about why you "couldn't turn something in on time". Here's my advice to get things done, & fast.

+Change your space
One of my favorite places to do work is Starbuck's. I bring my backpack and laptop, buy a drink and settle down at a table where I can work undisturbed. My favorite drink choices include a strawberry acai, iced caramel macchiato or a passion tea lemonade. I find that a change of space is the best thing for me to actually focus and get everything done. I also function best when I don't have anyone to complain to about my stress, homework or whatever is irritating me at the moment. At Starbuck's I can just plug in my music, sip my drink and work. 

+Keep yourself motivated
Whenever I'm feeling swamped with applications I like to remind myself of why I'm completing these applications. As silly as it sounds I like to look up pictures, bid day videos and more of the schools I'm applying to. This makes me extra motivated to go to college because it looks like so much fun.

+SelfControl
I've talked about this app before, but I'll bring it up again because I'm obsessed with it. SelfControl is an app you can install on your computer that restricts the websites you're allowed to use for a designated amount of time. You can specify these sites using a BlackList. This BlackList is the list of websites you're not allowed to go on during the time span. Some of these for me include YouTube, Pinterest, Netflix and a few blogs I tend to read when I am getting distracted. This is the best app I've ever come across! It keeps you SO focused because you can't do anything besides your work. 

What are your tips to staying focused?

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Vineyard Vines Party Recap

I mentioned a while ago that I went to my local Vineyard Vines store for a fun opening party. I'm finally getting around to doing a recap and I'm so excited to share with you the details of the event.

The Vineyard Vines store has been open in Oakbrook for a while now, but they finally hosted their opening party just a few weeks ago. Vineyard Vines had a similar event two years ago at their Michigan Avenue pop-up store in Chicago and you can read about that event here.

When I first arrived at the event I was greeted by a giant blow up whale character at the door. By the way, I apologize for the lack of quality photos, but as soon as I arrived at the event I realized I left my SD card at home...story of my life.



I also had the pleasure of meeting up with Kathleen while at the event! Kathleen and I met up over the summer (read about that here), but it was so great to finally see her again.



The event was so well put together and the stuff was incredibly friendly. One awesome feature they had was the activity to sign old ties that they would then hang around the store. I jumped at the opportunity and found the cutest tie I could find and wrote "A Sprinkle of Kate" on it. Although, I have yet to go back to the store to see it hung up. If you're ever there be sure to look for it!


My absolute favorite part of all Vineyard Vines events has to be the adorable (& delicious) whale cookies they serve. They had some of the cutest appetizers I've ever seen (I'm talking mini mac and cheese bites, itty bitty lobster tacos and mini hamburgers). The food was super bite sized and seriously so cute! And the lobster tacos were delicious.



Another perk of Vineyard Vines events is getting to meet Shep & Ian. It's always cool to put a face to a brand and actually meet them in person. I met them at the last event, but this year they were signing posters and hats too. They are super friendly and fun to chat with. They even let the girl behind me in line pick something out for her birthday from the store!


If you're ever given the opportunity to attend any store opening I highly suggest you go. It's a super fun place to socialize, shop and have a few appetizers.

Have you ever attended a store opening?

Xoxo

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Blogger Bliss {Sailing The Sea of Style}

I stumbled upon Sloane's blog a while back and have never stopped reading. I absolutely love her writing style and her photos are so stunning. She also has amazing taste and I love seeing the way she pairs things in her outfit posts. She has an effortless style that is best describes as "70s All-American girl meets Scandinavian cool". She has the most unique pieces them and curates such incredible outfits that I am always obsessed with. 

If you haven't checked out Sloane's blog yet you've got to give it a go. Not only does she discuss style, but also her favorite places in NYC, plenty of travel posts and fantastic playlists. 





Xoxo

Monday, November 16, 2015

Thanksgiving Outfit Ideas

I cannot believe Thanksgiving is almost here. I truly think it's the weather. I'm used to November being absolutely freezing and December being even more cold than I thought possible. Yesterday I was out and about and it was 65 degrees...in November. What! Anyways, Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and I'm pretty stumped on what to wear. I've curated two different looks of ideas of what to wear for Thanksgiving depending on how formal your event is. We're hosting 40 people for Thanksgiving (an all time record for us!) and I couldn't be more excited for a day full of family, food and most importantly Black Friday shopping!




Thanksgiving Outfit #2


For some reason I've been totally obsessed with high necklines recently! I am so in love with the look on the right especially and I have a skirt super similar so I might create a look similar to that one for Thanksgiving. My family dresses up, but it's still a pretty casual event so I'm safe wearing a skirt, sweater and cute boots.

What are you thinking of wearing for Thanksgiving?

Xoxo

Friday, November 13, 2015

TGIF

This week flew by! I was only in school Monday through Wednesday, and on Thursday I took a road trip for a much needed college visit. I feel like I haven't visited enough schools even though I'm applying to eleven. I'm hoping to visit the rest of my schools pending if I get in or not. Speaking of college, I'm spending the weekend completing applications as I have deadlines this weekend and others coming up soon. It's terribly nerve-wracking to know that just one application can decide your future. Not to mention your grades and test scores, but an essay can truly make or break your admittance. So scary! I'm spending practically all of Saturday and Saturday night working on applications and hoping to finish the majority! It's crunch time!

Here are a few things I've been loving this week. 

Did you see my latest post/video? I've been so on top of things when it comes to monthly favorites and I'm totally loving filming and editing videos. I downloaded a trial of Final Cut Pro X and I'm attempting to learn the ropes to see if it's a potential Christmas present. I'm not sure if I totally need it because I'm not too into movie making, but I think it could really help improve the quality of my videos if I were to continue making them on this blog. Let me know if you'd like to see more! I was thinking night/morning routine? Comment below!

+Ladylike Laws
I dream of the day that I attend a soiree and drink champagne all night long. Until this day comes (probably once I'm out of college and have a real job) I'll stick to learning the proper etiquette for an event like this. I loved reading this post from Lauren Conrad. It's the unspoken laws of being a lady and is especially useful!

+Oil Pulling
You probably just read that and thought, "What the heck?". I promise it's not actually that weird! Oil pulling is the act of swishing oil around your mouth for around 20 minutes to extract bacteria for better oral health. I've been trying out oil pulling this past week and so far it's been super easy. It takes a little bit of getting used to and you might have to start with 5-10 minutes and work your way up to 20. The benefits are incredible though--if you do it long enough to see them! You can read more about it here!

+Thanksgiving Outfit
I am SO excited for Thanksgiving. We host every year and this year we are up to 40 people on our guest list. I'm not sure how all of these people are going to fit, but nonetheless I'm so excited to spend the day with my family. My absolute favorite part of Thanksgiving has to be Black Friday shopping though! I love going out at night with my cousin Carly and staying out all night shopping. I definitely don't get the most amazing deals, but it's just such a fun experience to be out shopping at 2 in the morning. I am totally in love with the Thanksgiving outfit above from the Summer Wind archives. I need to start thinking about what I'm going to wear! Ah!

Have an amazing weekend!

Xoxo

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Krass & Co. Holiday Sale

Merry Krassmas!

When I received an email from Krass & Co. the other day I was so excited that they announced their holiday sale! I'm a brand rep for Krass & Co. and I couldn't be more in love with the brand. This holiday season I have a code for you guys to get 15% off your entire purchase! This is the perfect time to stock up on your favorite pieces, or, if you've never tried out Krass & Co, to test out their products!

They have so many new pieces this season including yoga leggings and new shirt and t-shirt designs! These also make great gifts for guys and girls! My brother owns a pair of Krass & Co. shorts and as much as he'd like to deny that I showed him an awesome brand, he totally loves them! Krass & Co. offers so many different products for everyone on your list! Their shorts are the comfiest things ever and I'm so eager to try their new leggings because the reviews say that they're amazing

Here are a few items I've been loving recently and a few other products I think would make great gifts! Be sure to use code ASPRINKLEOFKATE for 15% off your entire purchase! PS you also get free returns on all orders and free shipping on orders over $40!



 Ski Mountain tee

Veranda RunRunner pant

How cute are the holiday themed shorts? I'm obsessed! And I'm definitely going to snag that ski shirt as soon as I can. It's so adorable and I love having comfortable long sleeved tees for winter!

Have you ever tried out Krass & Co.?

Xoxo


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

How To // Recover From A Workout


This year my dance team has really stepped it up in strength and conditioning training. Each Wednesday we dedicated 2.5 hours to all cardio, technique and conditioning. Let me just say, it's pretty much he**. As stressful and painful as it is, I've definitely noticed a huge improvement in myself as a dancer and in my overall shape. I'm not the biggest fan of working out, but when I'm forced to do it I feel so good after it's complete. These Wednesday workouts are super strenuous on my body though and I find myself going to school the next day super sore, tired and just out of sorts. These are my best tips to recovering quickly from an intense workout and what you can do to help the soreness that usually occurs from it.

+Cool down
This is one of the best things for your body after a physically demanding workout. Personally, I love stretching both before and after a workout. I always notice that if I stretch and do a bit of a cool down after a workout I am much less sore the next day. It is a huge help! It only takes a few extra minutes too! I recommend stretching out whatever muscles you were working the most during your workout which for me is my hamstrings.

+Take a rest
Although this isn't always an option I try to get extra rest after a super tough workout. Usually for me this is completing my homework earlier than normal so I can sleep a few extra hours to help my body recover from my workout. Depending on what's going on during my week this might not always be an option, but even an extra 30 minutes of sleep than you usually get will still help!

+Keep working out
What usually gets me out of sync is doing a super tough workout and then being so sore that I take a few days to reduce my soreness before working out again. Yet, what I really should do is power through the soreness and still workout (yet do a less strenuous workout). This gives your muscles another workout, but doesn't entirely overwork them.

+Eat healthy
This seems like a no brainer, but I felt that I should still mention it. You'll feel so much better after working out if you're eating right and not stuffing your face with sweets "rewarding" yourself for working out. After a workout go for something like a smoothie so you're getting the sweetness, but it's packed full of fruit!

+Yoga
Last week I was ridiculously sore from all of my competition practice. We didn't have school on Thursday, but I had a three hour competition practice. I decided to stay in and relax on Thursday night and ended up stumbling upon this yoga for soreness video on YouTube. I thought I might as well give it a try and it actually helped so much. The next day I went to practice and everyone was feeling super sore, but I didn't feel sore at all! It was incredible!

What are your tips for recovering from a rough workout?

Xoxo

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

October Favorites

I'm back with another video! These are my favorites for the month of October, sorry I'm a little late with the post! I didn't have a ton of favorites this month and I tried to keep the rambling to a minimal so the video wouldn't take up too much of your time. I hope you enjoy!


What were your October favorites?

Xoxo

Monday, November 9, 2015

On My Radar

November is in full swing. Chicago has been especially spoiled this fall with super warm weather, but I think it's officially cooling down for the season. I loved being able to wear jeans and a short sleeved shirt and not having to worry about throwing on a jacket because it was just so warm out. Now the cold weather is upon is and I think I'll be bundled up in sweaters and scarves for the rest of the season. These are a few pieces that I've been hoping to add to my closet for the winter! Fall isn't over yet, but it might as well be with the weather we've been having!

On My Radar
turtleneck // scarf // mini skirt // gloves // socks // jeans // poncho // ankle booties

The other day I was shopping in Banana Republic and ended up trying on like 5 sweaters, all that were cowl neck. None of them fit particularly well, but I'm still on the hunt for a sweater with a cowl neckline. I never was a huge fan of the look just because I thought I could never pull it off. Now I've been seeing these sweaters everywhere and I'm convinced I need one in my closet. Also, ponchos have made a comeback! But they are much more tasteful in style than the hot pink ones I had from Justice back in fourth grade (paired flawlessly with my pink gauchos!). I'm totally in love with the one featured above!

You're probably thinking, really Katelyn...black jeans? Practically every YouTuber I watch owns distressed black jeans and although the majority of them live in Los Angeles, who says I can't bring LA street style here to Chicago. Black jeans go with everything and are much dressier than leggings (which I'm often caught wearing).  I'm also totally in love with that buffalo check scarf. It's super neutral and perfect for transitioning from fall to winter.

What's been on your radar recently?

Xoxo

Friday, November 6, 2015

TGIF


Happy Friday! I have the day off school today, but get to spend three hours practicing for my dance competition coming up. I'm extremely sore and am in definite need of some relaxation, but a long and productive practice is just what my team needs to pull our dance together before the competition date shortly arrives. I'm hoping to spend this weekend being productive with college applications, homework and blogging. Next weekend I'm headed on a college visit and there won't be a ton of time to do exactly what I need to do. Deadlines are sneaking up on me and I really need to focus and finish my applications! Here are some fun things I've been loving this weekend. 

You probably already know my obsession with Miranda Sings, but she's seriously funnier than ever in her "Hello" cover. I'm so obsessed with Adele's new song, but Miranda's version may just top it. If you're in need of a little pick me up definitely check out her video.

I follow a few of my favorite bloggers on Snapchat and have been totally obsessed with what they've been up to. Add Julia on Snapchat (@galmeetsglam) to follow her adventures in beautiful and snowy Colorado! I've also been loving Carly (@collegeprepster) and following her, Garrett & Teddy's daily musings. I especially loved seeing her snaps from the recent Kate Spade party!

Ever since I took a brief break from blogging coming back has been much more difficult than ever. You'd think I'd have plenty of ideas of what to post, but November is just such a difficult month. I feel like the fall is over, but it's not Christmas time yet. I'm thinking of continuing to post about everything fall until after Thanksgiving, but afterwards expect plenty of Christmas posts to come! I can't wait for the most wonderful time of the year! If you're already feeling the Christmas spirit be sure to check out Kelly Clarkson's Christmas album.

The other day I realized that my hair has grown a lot since I last cut it. I feel like I just cut off two and a half inches, but it seems to have entirely grown back in no time at all! With the added length I'm getting so sick of spending 20 minutes straightening my hair every morning, especially because I end up throwing it in a braid or ponytail by the end of the day. This post shares how to rock messy hair and still look flawless!

Have an amazing weekend!

Xoxo

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Let's Chat: College Apps & Senior Year


Long time no chat. Senior year is much more socially and academically demanding than I expected and I'm still struggling to balance everything out. I wish I could say that blogging has still remained a priority on my list, but it truly hasn't. Currently I'm in the transition of fall to winter sports, tons of practice for my competitive dance team, spending time with friends and of course the dreaded college applications. I'd like to give you guys a little update and also share where I stand with this blog.

I've mentioned drill team so many times on my blog before, but if you're still unsure of what it is it's like the dance/poms team at my school. As much as I love being on the team and being a captain this year it's extremely time consuming. The season lasts both fall and winter, so that's six months of the school year. With two hour practices four days a week and two and a half to three hour practices additionally one to two times a week it gets to be a lot. This year has been so incredible on the team and I seriously wouldn't trade it for anything, but it's easy for me to push blogging back because I'm so committed to drill, on top of school. 

Amidst everything else I am somehow supposed to manage completing college applications on time. This is probably what I'm doing the worst at. It's easy for me to push back completing applications because some of my deadlines aren't for a little bit, but it's so easy for them to sneak up on me. Luckily the majority of my applications are on the Common App so it's simple to apply and use the same essay. I've put myself in a tough situation, applying to 11 schools just because I have no idea of where I want to go to school anymore. For so long I was dead set on going to California and this still remains a dream of mine, but I had to apply to a couple schools closer to home and a few schools in other locations across the U.S. I've submitted two applications already and was accepted to both of these schools. Although these schools aren't my top choices and aren't extremely selective in applications, it's satisfying to know that I've at least gotten in somewhere

It's safe to say that senior year has been a whirlwind of so many things, but so far it has been amazing. For some reason everything has greatly changed since junior year including my close friends, work ethic and overall priorities, but isn't change good? Junior year I peaked socially and I think senior year is just me figuring out my groove and attempting to have the greatest year with my best friends before heading off to college. 

With all of that said I'm really going to strive to be much more consistent with posting next week and the next few months. It's unacceptable (especially because I wrote about blogging in a lot of my college essays) and not something that I want to have low priority. I hope you're all having an amazing week!

How's your year going?

Xoxo