10 Things to Love About a Sister

Since today is Monday, I thought I’d start it with a little list of things I’m thankful for! The first thing that came to my mind (and the thing I’ll be focusing on) was my baby sister. We spent Saturday at an amusement park with my mom and 3 of my sister’s closest friends. It was a crazy day getting on rides and then going through the “Halloween Haunt” sections of the park and screaming together. Several times she was the brave one and bolted through the zombies and creepy clowns while we followed in tow. It’s times like those that I realize how thankful I am to have Rebecca. Life would be so boring without a sister and here’s why:
I love my sisterRebecca is a wonderful, vivacious, funny, gorgeous, 15 year-old girl that I love dearly and can’t image not having around. I enjoy being around her and her friends and listening to their drama, realizing that these moments are precious and fleeting. Most importantly, I love watching her grow up and become the person she was meant to be. I hate getting mushy, and so does she, but sometimes words have to be in order to get the point across.

Leave me a comment with something you love about your sibling!

witty n pretty

Treat Yo’ Self to Something Pretty

Treat Yo Self


Thank goodness it’s Friday. I’m exhausted from this week and all of it’s ups and downs. Between my never ending dream job search, packing up and cleaning my apartment, and getting ready for my next trip the Texas, I’m tired! Sometimes you just need a break or better yet, a little motivating gift!

Unfortunately for my family, boyfriend, and even myself, my love language is gifts and words of affirmation- but mostly gifts. I don’t know why this is my love language, but it is. I love to give gifts and I enjoy receiving them too!


Every once in awhile I find it necessary to treat myself to something I normally wouldn’t. Let’s start with my love of flowers! Sometimes I’ll just buy them at the grocery store, other times I’ll get them from the farmer’s market. They’re relatively inexpensive and goodness they are lovely! My favorites are hydrangeas and peonies!

Second, I love fashion magazines but I hate paying $6 for a stack of advertisements, albeit beautiful ones! Once again, I love to treat myself to it every once in awhile. I love Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar for my fashion fix. Self magazine and Better Home and Gardens are also my guilty pleasures!

Another guilty pleasure of mine is shoes. Specifically, Kate Spade shoes. Have I bought any? Nope. Will I eventually? Here’s hoping! Any kind of shoe makes a wonderful gift to myself though. Even new flip flops from Old Navy make me happy.

Moving on to every woman’s beauty favorite- new make up! I love buying new make up because it’s so crisp and clean. No marks, no funny spots, or areas of wear. It’s a beautiful thing! Eye shadow and lip stick are my favorites to buy.

Last but not least, coffee mugs! Oh my goodness, I have more coffee mugs than any one person could possibly need but every time I see a cute one, I just have to get it. For the coffee lovers, the ultimate gift to yourself is a new mug. Pure heaven.

Comment with your favorite “treat yo self” gifts! I’d love to hear from you!

witty n pretty

Homeschool Halloween: A How-To

Halloween Party Tips


I figured that title might get your attention. After all, homeschooling and Halloween don’t seem to go hand-in-hand, but sometimes they do! I asked my boyfriend what he thought of when I said ‘homeschool Halloween’ and he said “a bunch of kids dressed up as the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz.” I’m glad that’s all he could come up with!

Aside from a few stints in public and private schools, I was homeschooled most of my growing up years. My younger sister, Rebecca, is a sophomore in high school and also homeschooled. We’ve both been asked many times if we have friends or have trouble adjusting to a social setting. People are surprised to learn that yes, we have friends, and no, we don’t have problems in social settings. Rebecca in particular thrives in them, whence the reason for this blog post!

My sister is a part of a homeschool co-op in our community. Every week she gets together with her peers whom are also homeschooled and they attend classes taught by professional teachers. As a result of this activity, she has quite a few friends! Rebecca asked my mom if she could invite a few buddies over for a Halloween party this year. Not knowing what the heck to do with a bunch of hungry, energized teenagers, my mom turned to Pinterest for ideas. Here’s what she came up with:

  1. Glow Stick Cooler– Put green glow sticks under the ice in a cooler before adding drinks
  2. Milk Jug Lanters– Use old milk jugs with battery operated lights in them to line a side walk or drive way
  3. Magic Potion Punch– Mix lemon-lime soda, grape-juice, lemonade, and grape jello for a fizzy drink
  4. Harvest Hash– Trail mix combining candy corn, pretzels, M&Ms, Bugles, and assorted nuts to snack on
  5. Dancing Ghosts– Shape chicken wire into ghostly figures then spray paint with glow in the dark paint (not sure how well this one will go)
  6. Head in a Jar– Using a photo editor, blend two images together to make a flat image of a head. Print and place inside jar on a table near hungry snackers
  7. Caramel Apple Pops– Use a mellon scooper to dig out round-shaped apple pieces to dip in caramel sauce. Sprinkle with Halloween-themed sprinkles and then cool
  8. Blacklight Glow– Replace normal light bulbs in the house with black light bulbs for an eerie glow

My mom also bought orange lights to string along the fence and spider webs to hang in the doorways. The plan is to let the kids, I mean teens, hang outside around the fire pit in our backyard. Aside from decorating and a few yummies to eat, my parents are taking a step back and letting my sister and her guests do as they please. They’re at the perfect age where they don’t need silly games to keep them busy, all they do is talk and engage in shenanigans anyway.

In essence, this is ‘homeschool Halloween’. No helicopter parenting, just good food, friends, and decorations. The only difference between this party and that of a kid who may not be homeschooled, is the lack of alcohol involved. Most of the parents are very involved in their teens’ lives and choose to homeschool to keep them out of environments where they may be pressured to drink. Believe it or not, this was actually a good way to grow up.

Rebecca’s party is the night before Halloween and unfortunately, I won’t get to be there. I’ll be in Texas going to a masquerade ball with my boyfriend! Post to come on that later!

witty n pretty



Tips for Moving Home

Happy Monday morning my friends! It was a wet, dreary weekend but I still found little things to make me happy, such as a hot coffee and my dad’s homemade fried chicken. As a new day begins, one of my favorite things to do is sit outside on my balcony and sip my coffee while browsing through some of your blogs. I hope my blog offers the same kind of happiness that many of yours do!

tips for moving home

In other news of mine, I’m moving back to my mom and dad’s next week. I moved out 5 months ago after I got my first job and unfortunately, the contract on it expires in November. My roommate and I signed a lease for 5 months only because neither of us had strong job security. While I’m happy that I have a place to go and a few kitty cats waiting for my return, it’s a little difficult to go from having tons of freedom to having a tighter schedule. This isn’t the first time I’ve moved back home. Summer breaks during college and in between internships have brought me back several times.

Four Tips for Moving Home

I’ve learned several things about this process that I’d like to share with you. In a world where more and more college graduates have to move back home because they can’t find a job, I feel as though there’s a few things they (or we) should know.

  1. Have no expectations– “It’s going to be awful. My parents are going to drive me crazy. It’ll be like being a child again.” No, not necessarily. My dad used to say “expect the worst and you won’t be disappointed”. He’s absolutely right. If you have a bad attitude going into it, then you can’t expect everything to go swimmingly. In fact, don’t expect anything. Having a vision in your head (whether good or bad) about what it’s going to be like is the fastest way to be shocked when your vision wasn’t realistic.
  2. Remember it’s temporary– Living at home won’t last forever. It just won’t unless you sit in your basement all day playing video games. Looking for a job is a full time job in itself! You’re moving home because you can’t find work and the goal is to find work. What do you think you’re going to do all day? Apply for jobs so this living situation is in fact, temporary.
  3. Create a routine– You need a sense of normalcy in your life or you will go crazy. Living at home is the new ‘normal’ and the faster you embrace it, the better off you’ll be. Humans crave familiarity, so having a schedule to work off of daily will really help you be comfortable with your life. My routine will probably be somewhere along the lines of wake up, have coffee, shower, clean room, apply to jobs, get lunch, go to gym, apply to jobs, blog, dinner, and relax. Create one that works for you.
  4. Find ways to make extra cash– As a way to pay down my credit card, I started selling unwanted clothes on eBay and believe me it works. Are you going to become a millionaire? No. However, an extra $200 or even more a month really helps so you have a bit of spending money to go get dinner with friends or catch a movie.

Feel free to comment with your own tips! I really love hearing what you all have to say! ‘Like’ my Facebook page too for updates!

witty n pretty

Target Fall Collection Picks

Happy Saturday pretties! I hope you get to enjoy lovely weather today because I can’t. The rain hasn’t stopped and the wind is just getting stronger and stronger! I love a blustery day but only with the sun shining, a cup of cider in hand, and the cutest scarf I can find. Today is not that day. However, for many of us, Saturdays are made for shopping! I actually went last night when people were running around like chickens with their heads cut off trying to find milk and bread (see previous post). Be glad I did though because I’m going to tell you where all the good sales are and share a few of my favorite Target fall and Adam Lippe pieces!

First of all, I bit the bullet and bought the burgundy felt floppy hat from Old Navy I’ve been eyeing. I really didn’t want to pay $20 for a hat from here given the quality but I got it on sale for about $15 instead. The whole store is 30% off until Tuesday!

JoAnn Fabrics has 50% off really pretty pumpkins! I went in last night and the selection was great. I didn’t buy any because, well, I really don’t need any! I was tempted though believe me! Michaels is also running a similar deal on their pumpkins and general fall decor. Last but not least, Pier 1 Imports is having 25% off their pumpkin decor as well. Couldn’t you just shop all day? Happy picking!

Ok, now for the good stuff! I always go into Target and come out with way more than what I intended to and this fall will be no exception. I love the plaid they have this season! Adam Lippe designed some pieces for Target (similar to Lilly Pulitzer but without the inventory disaster).

target fall picks

Ta-da! The Target Fall Collection! Isn’t it the prettiest? I love the colors they chose for this year. They’re warm and inviting, like a fall home should be! Let’s talk about the plaid- it’s wonderful. It gives off that log cabin, rustic vibe that we all eat up this time of year. Most of us haven’t spent time in a log cabin because if we had, we’d know that the average person’s cabin is full of grandma’s quilts and dead animals hanging from the walls.

Anyway, the collection is great and I want to buy it all up, including that rolling pin I have featured. Why am I in love with a rolling pin? Honestly, I have no idea. It just goes with everything else. It’s not like I’ll ever use it, I burn place-and-bake cookies for Pete’s sake! Most of this stuff I don’t have a need for but I sure have a love for instead.

Enjoy shopping the collection this weekend! Let me know if you get anything!

witty n pretty

Rainy Days are Here Again

hurricane joaquin

Hurricane Joaquin is making it’s way up the coast line this weekend and for once in my life I’m going to be prepared! I browsed the aisles in Target today and as with any major weather event, the bread, milk, and bottled water was gone. I understand the water, but I’ll never understand why bread and milk is necessary in the case of a major storm. The power will be out, refrigerators won’t work, and your groceries (including the precious milk and bread) will probably go bad. Anyway, I digress.

I made a list of helpful things to weather the storm with this weekend and they include batteries obviously, but also rain boots and a sturdy umbrella. Not far down the list is a warm blanket, coffee, and a scarf to keep away those drafts that seem to go straight towards your neck.

Let’s talk about these Hunter rain boots for second. Aren’t they the best color ever? I love the classic red or yellow boots but this color just blends so well with the rainy weather the east coast is experiencing. The boots go for $150 at Nordstrom but can sometimes be found for $100 at 6pm.com. When you get right down to it, they’re just rubber rain boots. I’ve bought into the lie that they’ll make me happier and preppier if I just owned a pair. I’m a marketer’s dream!

I found a few cheaper alternatives that I think are equally cute. Hopefully you’ll like them too!

I’m assuming this weekend that I’ll be using my wet weather wear quite often. My family lives in the woods, losing power during simple thunderstorms is not uncommon. With winds being so strong already, the family and I might be outside trying to get our generator running all night. Wish me luck,  friends!

witty n pretty

Wearing Chambray

how to wear chambray

I love the early part of fall because you can wear an assortment of clothes! I never seem to want to put my summer clothes in boxes nor do I want to jump right into wearing jeans and heavy sweaters. A shirt that fits the inevitable summer-fall transition time (i.e. it’s 85 degrees one day and 70 the next) is the chambray shirt!

First, let me start by saying that this shirt is super comfy! Second, it’s very versatile. I like to wear it open with a tank top underneath most of the time, but I’ve also worn it buttoned-up and tucked into a really cute tartan skirt. I’m thinking of adding it to my list of staple items in a wardrobe.

jcrew shorts

The family and I went to Massachusetts a few weeks ago for a little vacation (see photos here and here). I found myself wearing my chambray shirt a few times because the during the day it got warm, whence the rolled up sleeves, and at night it got chilly. Bonus: it can be worn with anything, therefore lightening my luggage load! My dad was thankful, let me tell you!

I found my shirt at American Eagle several years ago but here’s a similar one. Happy shopping!

witty n pretty


Valentino “Rockstud” Dupe

Valentino Rockstud Dupe

Good morning lovelies! Today, I wanted to share with you a great find from DSW! The famous Valentino “Rockstud” heels are all over the blogging and fashion world for obvious reasons. Hello, they’re gorgeous! However, these beauties go for between $900 and $1200 a pair. Given mine and the average person’s budget, we would rather put that money towards normal things like paying down student loans or even the credit card. Rest assured, there is a marvelous dupe on the market of these gorgeous heels (and for much less).

You’ve Been Duped

BCBGeneration came out with a beautiful pair of “Rockstud” heels to compete with the Valentino pair. The best part is that DSW has them for about $70 and they come in several colors! The base color of the shoe is nude with gold studs but you can choose from red, pink, navy blue, black, white, and you guessed it, nude, as your accent color. Personally, I’d be going after those red ones because I have a collection of nude heels to rival Kate Middleton’s!

Knowing your budget and not exceeding it is so important for the money-conscious individual. Most of my favorite fashion bloggers have worn and promoted the Valentino version and make it seem like a “staple” in every woman’s wardrobe. It’s a great shoe but far from a staple. Remembering that these ladies are making money from doing promoted posts and getting free shoes at the same time allows me to realize that not having $1000 shoes in my closet is ok and, gasp, normal. Sure, I’d love to have them! We all would. However, until the time comes when I can safely afford them and not have to worry about paying them off, I’ll settle for the BCBG version. Frankly, I’m ok with that because I’m #blessed already.

witty n pretty

Whale Watching in Massachusetts

aldo sunglasses

A few posts ago I shared with you a few vacation photos of my trip to New England. I thought today I’d share with you a few from our whale watching trip in Gloucester, MA. Trust me, it’s one of the most unique experiences I’ve had! These creatures are mysterious, shy, but have a playful spirit. Nature truly is a beautiful thing and so was the weather we had that day. It was perfect for going out on a boat and enjoying the waves and sunshine.

whale watching massachusetts

We went on the whale watching tour with Seven Seas Whale Watch Group (check out the Groupon for a good deal!) The tour was over 4 hours long and we went out into the Atlantic to see if we could spot a few whales in their natural habitat. We got really lucky and saw over 10 Humpbacks, 8 Minke whales, and 50 dolphins! They surfaced close to our boat and exhaled through their little blow holes.

new england autumn

My sister and I had a difficult time standing while the ship was in motion. We held onto each other for dear life while my mom took this picture.

sperrys winter

I was smart that day and wore Sperry Top-Sider duck shoes. They’re lined with fleece and super cute to wear with jeans for a day outside! I found mine at Belk back in March for $29.99. Here’s some similar ones to get you going in the right direction. Unfortunately, they aren’t as cheap as the ones I bought, but as per usual, you have to wait for them to go on clearance in order to get a good deal.

vineyard vines style

The rest of my outfit I tailored to the weather I might encounter. The thing about September is that one day its 85 degrees and the next it’s 65 degrees. You never know what to expect. I chose my favorite Lucky Brand jeans in Charlie Skinny (best jeans I’ve ever bought). A Vineyard Vines half-zip pullover and a Ralph Lauren baseball hat. Preppy and practical- just how I like things.

Anyone who might be interested in going on a trip like this I recommend wearing layers! At some points in the trip it was really chilly and at others I felt like I was burning up. Luckily, layering is a fashion statement so you can still look great while sailing on the high seas.

witty n pretty

Fall Coffee Bar

Fall Coffee Bar

Good morning lovelies. It’s Monday again (will it ever just stop coming?) and I’m just not loving it like I should be. For whatever reason, some of the motivational-types in the blogging community have tried to convince the rest of us that Mondays are a gift and should be used to get as much done as possible. Are they kidding? I’m thrilled when I put makeup on and fold my laundry on Mondays.

In all seriousness though, I do get a lot done at the start of the new work week if I have a good night’s rest the evening before AND if I have my coffee in the morning. As someone who loves to decorate for every holiday and season, having a seasonal coffee bar is a little slice of paradise! In keeping with the trends, what better way to enjoy a coffee bar than on a bar cart?

Start with the basics, what color scheme do you like? I prefer gold, burnt orange, and cream. Something like orange, navy, and dark purple might be nice too. Since not all of us have bar carts sitting around much less a budget to buy one, a suitable alternative would be a nice entry way table like the ones you put your keys on when you walk in the house.

From there, add pumpkins, a bowl of apples, a tin of biscotti, or even pre-lit tree branches in a vase for a romantic look. I also think a tassel garland hanging off the side of a coffee bar or above it on the wall is really pretty! Keep the coffee maker on the top of bar cart with the little extras like cinnamon, nutmeg, or pumpkin spice. Add a candle or reed diffuser for decoration.

On the bottom of the cart put your coffee bags, mugs, stir sticks, and other coffee accessories. Depending on the size of the space your working in, less really can be more. I love to add decoration but I don’t like clutter. There’s a fine line!

In the fridge keep whipped cream, coffee creamers, milk, and syrups. To keep the cravings under control (and the coffee budget), write down any Starbucks drink recipes you like on pretty index cards and keep them at the bar. It’s really great to have around when you have company too! What better way to make guests feel welcome than a homemade pumpkin spice latte?

witty n pretty