Best Places to Find Winter Essentials

I don't know about everywhere else, but here in Massachusetts one day it was sunny and 65 and then suddenly I woke up last week and it was snowing. We've been lucky up here to be putting winter off to December this year, but now that it's here I doubt it's going away any time soon. 

Growing up I absolutely hated wearing a gloves, a hat, and most of all, a jacket. But as I've matured I've learned to love these warm oasis' of winter! 

Best Places for Accessories {gloves, hats & scarves} 

| She Inside

I just discovered this website and I'm OBSESSED. Seriously obsessed. Everything is so inexpensive and cozy looking. They have giant scarvesoversized sweaters, and MERMAID TAIL BLANKETS. *insert heart eye emoji here* But seriously, they have a ton of great, affordable, seasonal accessories and apparel.

| Old Navy

Old Navy is my favorite place to grab adorable scarves. I wear some type of scarf everyday in the winter. I love this plaid one, and green one, and this one is only $10!

| TJMaxx

Obviously TJMaxx/Marshalls is the best place for everything, but I especially love going there for gloves. Oddly specific, but their gloves are always so unique and adorable! How cute are these bow gloves?!

Best Places for Jackets and Coats

| Nordstrom Rack

Designer coats at off-brand prices? Yes please! Every style, color and price range is always available. My favorites right now are this navy Tommy Hilfiger with faux fur trim and this grey DKNY wool trench, both under $100! 

| J.Crew

No, I'm not promoting them but just because I work there now (so pumped btw), J.Crew's classic quilted vests/jackets and field jackets are the best for under bigger coats up here in freezing New England, or as your jacket if you live basically anywhere else. 

| L.L. Bean

If you're looking for a coat that lasts (or, anything really) L.L. Bean is your only choice. They're the only store I can think of with a literal life-time warranty that actually does what it says it will do. Their traditional puffy coats, new bomber jackets, and [of course] Bean Boots are necessities for winter.  


As much as I don't love the cold, I'm starting to love dressing for the winter! What're your favorite places to stock up for the chilly season?

xoxo

AME

Gift Guide for the Girlboss

We all have that Girlboss in our life; the girl that has the perfectly organized planner, always has her sh*t together, and pretty much has her entire future planned out. Girlbosses are not the hardest to shop for (they pretty much love all stationary, mugs, and gift cards to every coffee shop) but if you're looking to get something that she'll get some extra use out of, look no further!  

Preparing for Finals

Finals are creeping up on us. This is the most stressful/happy time of the year. Everyone is excited for winter break and the holidays, and at the same time everyone is so done with the current semester and just wants to leave. 

My freshman year I was so done and tired and I felt like I had had a cold for 3 months that I barely  prepared for finals. I studied, but I didn't prepare, and I didn't do well. I didn't know how. Preparing physically and mentally for finals helps make studying for finals so much less stressful!

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Preparing for Finals

| Gather Supplies | 

The first thing I do (usually over Thanksgiving Break) is gather school supplies and 'other' supplies. I don't buy all new school supplies, just anything I've run out of or things I'll know I need: black pens, #2 pencils, extra 5x7 flashcards, etc. 

The 'other' supplies I gather are things I'll need for my apartment (or dorm for the last two years). This mostly consists of snacks, but this year I got toilet paper and some extra groceries. The snacks I'm LOVING right now are these peanut Odwalla bars, and Trader Joes fruit leathers! 

| Create a Fitness Schedule | 

I don't work out. I'm the first to admit it. I never go to the gym, the last time I actively worked out was when I did Kayla Instines' Beach Body Guide last spring. But every finals week I always pick up some type of little routine. Now that I work at the gym its easy to hop on the treadmill after work, but I've been pressured into taking advantage of the early morning yoga classes offered for free at my campus rec center which I'll be starting this week! 

Regardless of if you have a fitness routine or not, look into what group fitness classes might be offered at your campus' gym. They're usually free and incorporating fitness into your finals week schedule can help raise your endorphins and lower stress. 

| Time Block | 

At my university (like most) we get one day off, Reading Day, before finals start. This means that most of your studying is going to have to be done during a normal day of classes. My favorite way to prepare for finals is to "organize" my time with time blocking. 

The basis of time blocking is looking at the open blocks of time you have in your schedule and planning to do specific work during those blocks of time.

For example: on Tuesday I get out of my first class at 11:15 and my next class doesn't start until 2:30, so I have 3 hours and 15 minutes of time. I know it'll take me time to get from my first class to the library and from the library to my next class so I start time blocking for 2 hrs and 45 min. If I know I want to make flashcards for my Management class I'll block 30 min for Management, then another 30 minute block for my Accounting class, a 15 minute block for grabbing a snack, etc. until I've filled up the the 2 hours and 45 minutes. 

I never block more than 30 minutes for one subject when I'm studying (studying meaning not doing a timed assignment) because I've noticed that I start to get restless and lose interest when I do the same thing for long periods of time. Breaking my studying up into 30 minute blocks for each of my subjects helps me dedicate time to each of my classes while keeping me focused. 

| Clean Your Space | 

You know that feeling when you walk into your room and everything is where its supposed to be, and you can find everything you need and you don't trip over anything? It rarely happens in college. But that feeling is amazing and necessary during finals week for survival. 

Rather than say your procrastinating studying by cleaning, say your preparing for your finals by cleaning! Do a deep clean of your space the Sunday before finals start and your mental state will be very happy come Reading Day. 

| Start Packing Early | 

Whether it's the finals before winter break and your just going home for the month, or your going abroad, or its summer break and you have to completely move out of your dorm, you're going to have to do some kind of packing. 

Pack your non-essentials first then as you get closer pack the rest. As for me I know that at school I pretty much only wear leggings and oversized sweatshirts, so I'm packing all my sweaters and button downs that I'll need for work this week. I'm also decluttering any clothes I know I can donate and packing any binders or textbooks I'm not selling so I can store them at home. 


Finals week is stressful, but the key is to not get so caught up in the week that you forget to prepare. Getting yourself mentally ready and your space physically ready will help dramatically decrease your stress level, making finals seem just like any other week! 

Good luck!

xoxo

AME

Gift Guide for Guys

Happy December lovelies! to kick off my favorite month of the year I'm bringing your gift guide for arguably the hardest person to shop for: the guy in your life. Whether that guy be your boyfriend, dad, brother or anyone else, any of these neutral items are the perfect touch to their holiday gifts! (and they're all under $100!)

Skin Care Essentials with Clarisonic

Before I got to college I never really took care of my skin. Honestly it drove my parents crazy how little I cared about washing my face or even taking my makeup off. But as soon as I got to college it was like my skin changed. 

I HAD to start taking care of my skin religiously or I would break out. The amount of stress and lack of sleep I experience on a weekly basis means that If I didn't have a skin care routine, I would be seriously acne prone. 

Up until last month I had been taking my makeup off with a make-up wipe, using a daily cleanser, 2x a week acne scrub, weekly face mask, and daily night cream and morning moisturizer. I thought this had been an effective routine, until I started using my Clarisonic. 

Oh my gosh the first day I used my Clarisonic I could not believe how much crap was still on my face!! In order to get the best results, you're supposed to take your makeup off before you use the Clarisonic. So I used a makeup remover wipe and some eye makeup remover. Then I started using the Clarisonic and realized that even though I may have thought my face was pretty clean, or my makeup was removed, it was definitely not. My skin had never felt so clean or smooth than that day! It felt like I had just gotten a facial. 

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My new routine is remove makeup, apply cleaner to Clarisonic and use for 2 minutes, night cream and morning moistierizer, and weekly face mask. I also have fallen in love with the Clarisonic brand cleanser and clay masks! I like to use the Clarisonic every other day, and on the days I don't use it I still use the cleanser to help take off all my makeup. 

The difference in my skin is actually incredible. I've had one facial in my life, and when I use the Clarisonic Clay Mask then take it off with the spin head brush my skin feels identical to when I had that facial. 

A Clarisonic is definitely a splurge item, but it definitely makes a huge difference! If you're interested in getting one (or you want to add it to your holiday wish list *wink wink parents*) HerCampus and Clarisonic are offering 15% off using the code HERCAMPUS now through October 31!

Have you used a Clarisonic? How do you like it / Which brush head do you have? Obviously I'm obsessed! 

xoxo

AME

This post is brought to you by Clarisonic and Her Campus Media