Travel in style with Vera Bradley

For the past couple years, since my college graduation, I’ve been trying very hard to travel as much as possible. Ever since I was young, all I’ve wanted to do was travel everywhere and see the world, and now that I’m working full time at a real office job, those possibilities have become fewer, but my determination to travel hasn’t abated.

Since 2013, I’ve been on about three semi-big trips a year, sometimes by road trip, sometimes by plane, and sometimes just weekend trips with my friends. I’ve been to Portland, Maine, San Francisco, Alaska, London, and I’m hoping to go somewhere this spring (New Orleans, probably!).

All that travel means I’ve become a master packer. (Seriously—I’m so good at it. Space bags, lists on lists, and all the tiny shampoos you could ever want.) So that’s why I’m excited to try these Vera Bradley products, meant to make packing even easier for me.

I’ve always liked Vera Bradley products because they’re useful, whimsical, well-made, and really pretty. So for my upcoming spring vacation, here is my travel/packing guide, with highlights from Vera Bradley. I received two products to review, and I’ve incorporated them into what I think are great tips for smart and fun packing (yes, I think packing is fun—I’m weird).
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Bohemian-Inspired Fashion for Spring

Y’all know I love a good boho look.

Spring is just around the corner, which means some of you may already be planning your warm weather wardrobes. And, if you’re into the boho chic look loved by so many celebs, like Sienna Miller and Kate Moss, then you’re in luck. This post has several suggestions for achieving the laid-back and beautiful bohemian style that’s been popping up all over the runways. From fringe to floral and everything in between, these pieces will help you look effortlessly chic all season long.

Birds of a Feather

Feather

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I tried Square Cash and this is what I think…

This month I did a lot of traveling, first with my cousin to San Francisco, and then upstate with my friends. It required a lot of planning and complicated payments, and instead of keeping track of who paid for what, it probably would have been a lot easier with an app like Square Cash.

Square Cash is sort of like PayPal, but the app is really easy to navigate and it’s basically a no-brainer to send payments to friends and receive them. I got the opportunity to try the app (which is free!) and I really liked it. I also got my sisters both to try the app and we had fun sending money between each other. With sisters, we’re constantly paying for each other and then never paying each other back. So yeah, this app is pretty cool. Now, when my sister owes me for something or other, I can just send her a payment request (and hope she still doesn’t stiff me!).

Check it out:IMG_3849

It’s really easy to navigate—basically one page from which you can send either money or a payment request. From another page you track your history, and the last page you can check all your banking and account info. Pie.

I think it’s better than PayPal for one reason: you don’t have to transfer your balance to your bank account after you receive the money; like direct deposit, it goes right to your checking. I use PayPal for everything, work included, and I hate those 3-5 business days that my PayPal balance takes to go into my checking account. I wish PayPal had a direct-deposit feature like Square Cash. It is that much easier to use.

I see myself using this app more often in the future because it makes life a teeny bit more convenient and organized!

This post is brought to you by Square Cash and Her Campus Media.signoff

All-White Summer Style & Dresses by Andrew Marc

Summer is upon us and that means stocking up on some wardrobe essentials! Since I shopped rather gratuitously during the early spring I don’t have much more buying to do but I do want to get on this all-white trend bandwagon. White or off-white is probably my favorite color to wear; it’s so versatile and looks classic and clean. Here are some of my favorite white/cream picks from clothing company Andrew Marc:

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1, 2, 3, 4

All of these dresses, despite the trendy color scheme I’m sort of imposing on them, are classic and versatile. They eschew all the normal trends of the moment, especially the boho look and the vintage prints I’m always gravitating toward. That’s what I really like about these designs: they’re classic and ultra-wearable.

One small thing I really love about Andrew Marc’s Marc New York dress collection is that each dress is named after a Greek god/dess or figure from mythology. I was really excited when I saw that! 🙂 (And yes, I’m aware of what a huge dork I am.) My favorites are the Eris and the Athena:

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Eris, Athena

You don’t want to cross either of them. 😉 I think the Eris is going to find its way into my closet one of these days! I love that color.

This post is sponsored by Andrew Marc. Written by me, all opinions are also my own.

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Beauty Review | The easy alternative to false eyelashes or extensions

This week I got the chance to try this awesome new mascara, Physicians Formula Eye Booster Lash Extension Kit. It’s a two-part mascara that lets you layer on mascara and all-natural fibers to create an instant false-eyelashes look, without having to fiddle with glue and buying packs of false eyelashes or spending hundreds of dollars on eyelash extensions. I’ve always wanted to try a product of this type, and I’m so glad I did. Check it out here:

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It’s basically a three-step process. First, apply the mascara and while it’s still wet, apply the fibers to elongate your lashes, and then re-apply the mascara to set the fibers. You can repeat these steps as many times as you want until you have the crazy falsies effect you want. It’s pretty cool.

Here are my eyes without any mascara:

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And here is the right eye with just one three-step application of the product:

File Jun 21, 11 24 20 PMThey were really long! The end result was so impressive! I hate false eyelashes and getting extensions are not worth the trouble for me, so having the option to really extend my lashes in an easy way is definitely a plus for me.

The pros of this product are: it’s much cheaper than falsies or extensions, and it washes off so the look isn’t permanent. It doesn’t clump at all which I thought was impressive considering you’re basically sticking fibers on your eyelashes. They’re just long and fluttery. Plus, the fibers are made with “cellulose, panthenol, botanical extracts, and vitamin E with natural colorants from artichoke and basil.” So, pretty natural. Physicians Formula is known for their all-natural formulas for all their cosmetics, so it’s great for people like me, who have sensitive skin and a tendency to break out on a massive scale. 

The cons of this product are: that the fibers tend to get everywhere on your face so definitely wait to do your face makeup until after your eyelashes are done; the formula is a little heavy, so that your lashes tend to fall a bit after a while; and that my lashes weren’t as full as I’d like: they’re more long than full.

Bottom line? I would definitely recommend this product! I’m really excited to keep using it and I think it’s an excellent alternative to get that striking falsie look. Get it at Walmart in the US or at Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada, the Physicians Formula website, or at any drugstore.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Physicians Formula and Her Campus Media. Written by me, all opinions are also my own.

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So let’s talk about student loans…

Reality-check topic today: the issue of student loans. You probably have them, need them, or have heard horror stories of people still paying them off in their forties and fifties. We live in a backward world in which it’s nearly impossible to sustain yourself with a job if you don’t have at least a bachelor’s degree. A bachelor’s is only the new high school diploma; most high-paying jobs now require a master’s or higher, and that’s several thousand more dollars on top of the hundreds of thousands of dollars an undergraduate education costs.

Did you know? 80% of college students say they don’t have a plan to pay off student loan debt after graduation

College is getting more and more expensive every year, and the cost of living is going up right with it. What’s the solution?

One option is, of course, getting a student loan. It’s preferable (to some) to working throughout college or relying on maintaining a scholarship. But with the ever-rising cost of education, taking out a student loan is becoming necessary for most students, even with a scholarship and a job. Student loans are messy, confusing and long, drawn-out processes that can smother you in debt the second you graduate.

Enter: College Ave Student Loans. They’re an online marketplace lender that specializes in student loans, and so they tailor their service to young people who are aware of the cost of education and are mindful of their finances. College Ave makes student loans easier to apply for, manage, and pay back. College Ave can help you find a plan that works best for you and your plans for your own future, so you don’t have to be held back by your financial situation.

Did you know? 50% of students say that the cost of college impacted their choice of college/university to attend

College Ave offers competitive rates, the most repayment options, and friendly customer service throughout the exhaustive repayment process. But now, they also offer this mobile-friendly application which can give you a credit decision in less than three minutes. You can manage your account at all times and pay quickly and easily, on the go. Before even applying for the loan, you can calculate rates using the Student Loan Rate Calculator, get money-saving tips, and basically learn the ins and outs of paying for your loan in the least time possible, saving you money in the long run. You can check out these tools on their site, and it’s actually really cool and easy to use.

For example, you can even start paying the loan off when you’re still in school. That saves a huge chunk. College Ave can potentially cover 100% of your school expenses. Knowing you can save and pay back responsibly will be a huge weight lifted from your post-graduate shoulders. 😉

BONUS: INSTAGRAM CONTEST (oh, yeah…!)

Now through June 30, you can post your college goals on Instagram with the hashtag “#collegegoals” for a chance to win a $5,000 or a $2,500 scholarship, or a $50 credit to Chegg.com (for those absurdly expensive textbooks). Repost this picture and tag @chegg, and @collegeaveloans and don’t forget to follow them too!

Check out this link for more information on this contest.

CA_logo_pms[1]Disclosure: This post is sponsored by College Ave Student Loans and Her Campus Media. Written by me, all opinions are also my own.

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