Week in My Life: Cape Cod Vacation

May 31, 2017

If you read my Summer Road Trip Essentials post, you'd know that I spent last week in the Cape with my best friend. My Instagram feed has been filled with pictures from the trip, and there's still many more to come. (p.s. you should totally follow me #shamelessselfpromo)
Even though we didn't have the best weather, it was still lots of fun. I've rounded up my favorite pictures from the trip to share with you. Enjoy!

We got to the Cape late Monday evening. When we got there, we had to turn the water on for the house we were staying at. That was quite the ordeal, let me tell you. Several phone calls, two FaceTimes and one Instagram live later, we finally figured it out (shout out to everyone who helped us!)

We tried going to the beach our first day there, but it was so windy and cold we couldn't stay more than an hour. We definitely had some fun taking pictures while we were there.

After dinner that night, we went back to the beach and got some awesome pictures. The sun set was so gorgeous that night. While we were standing there, we saw a bunch of seals pretty close to shore!

Since it was a pretty rainy week, we didn't get to spend a lot of time on the beach, but we did get to see some very picturesque lighthouses. I think New England has some of the only coasts that are just as pretty on rainy days as sunny days.

There were a few places we went to eat that I wish I could bring back with me. There is a restaurant in Orleans, with a location in Eastham as well, called Hole in One. They serve breakfast and lunch, and make their own doughnuts. It was so good we ate here every day! Their fairway eggs benedict is amazing, their doughnuts are to die for and their mocha iced latte changed the way I'll make my coffee forever. (They used chocolate milk!)

There was a small lunch place called The Knack in Orleans we went to that had some of the best fried chicken I've ever had, and really good fries too. It reminded me a lot of a place near home. Our "sandwiches" were so big you couldn't even close the bun!

There was a coffee shop we went to for ice cream one night called Sparrow. Weird combination, I know, but both were amazing. Not only did they sell great coffee, hot chocolate (which they're known for) and ice cream they had such a cool aesthetic. They had a gift store across the street that sold the cutest stickers, so naturally I had to pick up a few to decorate my iPad and my school supplies next semester.

We spent our last two days in Martha's Vineyard. The first day we were there it rained the whole time.
I obviously had to visit one of the Vineyard Vines while I was there. And naturally I had to buy a shirt and some stickers. It's like a rule right?
We got chocolate (and ice cream the next day) from this really good candy shop called Ben and Bill's, but be warned, they only take cash. I had the best sea salt caramels there, and the triple chocolate ice cream was so creamy it was to die for.
We had dinner the first night at the Lookout Tavern and I got sweet potato fires and lobster bisque and while it was probably the simplest meal I got on vacation, it was one of the best.
The next night we went to the Cape Cod Chowder Company and I got a lobster mac and cheese that was absolutely delicious, I had to make sure I took the leftovers with me.

Overall it was a great trip. I kept saying, if there was a Target on the Cape, I would move there. Someone should start a petition to get one.
The Cape and Martha's Vineyard are two of my favorite places, I hope I get many more chances to return.

Where do you want to vacation to next?

How to Rock a DIY Grad Party

May 24, 2017

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Today I wanted to share my tips for an awesome grad party that won't break the bank.

I graduated high school last June and like most, we threw a graduation party. We didn't want to spend a ton of money on it, but we also knew we couldn't have it at our house. My family alone wouldn't even fit in our back yard. We knew we'd have to rent a space, which meant a little decorating. Add in the cost of catering and things start to add up. Because of this, we decided to DIY a lot of the decorations and activities (no sumo suits at this party), rented out a pavilion at a near by state park at a great price, and got lucky enough to have a friend cater the party for an awesome price.
Unfortunately, I don't have many pictures of the set up of the party.

Photo Booth
I thought having a photo booth at my grad party would be the coolest idea. Hiring a professional to do this was way out of our budget, so I had to get a little creative.
We got a big roll of vinyl in my school colors from Party City. We used it to cover the picnic tables, and used the leftovers for the back drop. We picked up a few props from Party City as well, but you can easily print some out and glue them to popsicle sticks to save even more.
There are a few different options you can use for the actual photographing. We used a polaroid camera, but you can also use a phone, iPad or a camera on a timer and a tri pod or designate someone to take the pictures. It all really depends on how much you trust your friends with your electronics (I'm only half joking)

Do not underestimate the Target dollar section!!! All of my decorations came from here. I wanted to go with my school colors (maroon and white) with some gold and Target was perfect for that. During graduation season they have tons of grad themed nick-nacks, or you could go with a different theme. My friend had a super cute luau themed party.
 Another cheap way to personalize the space is pictures. We printed out some of my favorite pictures from high school and hung them with clothes pins (gold and glittery of course) on string we had attacked to the pavilion posts. It was super cute and my friends loved trying to find themselves.

If you have a pool, definitely use it! If you're not that fortunate, there are tons of other things you can still do.
I played volleyball at every grad party I went to. Pick up a cheap net (or even a badminton net) and a ball and you're all set.
Corn hole, ladder ball and bocce are all great games that you or someone you know probably already has. Don't be afraid to ask people to borrow things!
Pinterest is a great resource to find inspiration specific to the type of party and space you're working with.

I highly recommend ordering your invitations online. You can get a lot at a pretty low price and they're totally customizable. I used Vista Print and only spent $15 on 70 invitations, enveloped included! Make sure when you're counting the number you need, you factor in how many houses your sending them to rather than the number of people. I still have a ton of extra invitations sitting somewhere in my house because we forgot to do that and ordered more than we needed. Luckily they were super cheap so it wasn't a huge waste. Sites like that usually have a minimum of 20-30, so if you're having a small party this might not be the best option.
You can also order matching Thank You cards!

Let me know any other money saving tips you have for grad parties, or any type of party!

Summer Road Trip Essentials

May 21, 2017

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I leave Monday for a 4 day trip to Cape Cod with my best friend. I'm super excited to get away for vacation. Keep an eye out for lots of new Instagram photos and some fun vacation post the next few weeks.
We are packing up my car and driving 4 hours to the house we are renting on the Cape. Now while I'll be driving the whole time, I can still share my road trip essentials with you.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to brig water with you. A lot of people drink less in an effort to minimize the number of bathroom stops, but that is so unhealthy. Not only that, but you'll probably end up getting to your destination with a pounding headache.
Healthy Snacks
It's really important to stock up on health snacks to avoid eating fast food on the road. If that milkshake or those fries are really calling your name, it's okay to treat yourself. If you fill up on healthier stuff first, you'll be less likely to fill your body with junk.

An Awesome Playlist
Whether you're jamming with your headphones on, or with the whole car, a good playlist can set the mood for the start of the trip. In the summer I like listening to a lot of country music, so I usually opt for a playlist that's heavy on the country. It really helps create beach vibes before you're even there (if you're lucky enough to be going to the beach).
You can check mine out here

Cute Sunglasses
A pair of stylish sunnies is pretty much a requirement for a road trip. No one wants to be squinting into the sun for hours. Not only is it bad for your eyes, but you can say hello to unnecessary wrinkles too. They don't have to be expensive, as long as they do the job! 

This one varies from person to person. Personally I would bring a book or magazine, but I know a lot of people get sick when they read in the car. You can pre-download a movie or something on Netflix to your phone or iPad, play some games, electronic or not (think MadLibs or the sign game) or bring a hobby with you. I know a lot of people like to make friendship blankets of even knit in the car. If the trip was long enough I would probably bring my laptop and write a few blog posts offline.

Let me know what your road trip essentials are. Are you going anywhere fun this summer?

What I Learned My Freshman Year of College

May 17, 2017

Friday was the last day of my first year of college and I can't believe how quickly it went by! It had it's ups and downs, but it taught me a lot about like and about my self.

I think the first and the biggest lesson anyone learns in college is independence. Most people leave home when they go off to college and either live on their own or in a dorm. You no longer have parents around to remind you to do certain things, or even take care of you when you're sick.

Even if you aren't living away from home your first year of college, you still have to learn to be pretty independent. You have to buy your own textbooks, create your own schedule and manage your free time between classes (hopefully to study and do work).

It's okay to drift from your high school friends. You're both busy, it's okay. You're going to meet a bunch of new people when you go off to school and it's easy to feel like your friend is being replaced or vice versa. I think the key to having a mature friendship is accepting the fact that you both have separate lives. That way, when you are together you have so much more to share with them.

Save that money from your summer job! You'll likely be pretty busy with school during the semester. That means you'll have to cut back on hours or stop working entirely. You're going to want to have money to go out with friends or some much needed iced coffee when you're studying. Put away as much of your summer money as possible.

I like to put my pay check right into my savings account and only transfer enough money so there is an even number in my savings. Once that's done I don't touch it.
Another way to save some money is put away all the $5 bills you come across. You can use them to save up for a special event or to treat yourself at the end of the semester.

Do you have any other lessons you've learned in your first year of college? Let me know in the comments below!

Coffee Date no. 3

May 7, 2017

I have been so crazy busy lately. I wanted to give you guys a life update and fill you in on what I've been doing lately. I really like the idea of doing a Coffee Date post like this every month. What do you guys think?

Funny story alert!
This past weekend, I took a trip with some people from school to the Museum of Science in Boston. One of my friends and I wanted to take a walk outside and see what else was around. As we were walking, we passed a garbage can. The next thing I know, there is a squirrel flying at me! It jumped out of the garbage can, latched onto my arm, then ran up a tree. All of this took place right outside the window of the museum café, so hundreds of people probably saw it! I wish I could watch back the security tape.
Fear not, we called my doctor after it happened and everything is okay. It only left some shallow scratches on my arm.

I have one more week of school left and then I'm done! I can't wait to work on some really awesome posts for you guys this summer, but first I have to get through finals. If I'm not posting as much, I promise I'll be back soon!

Now onto the things I've been really loving lately.

When I went shopping a few weeks ago, I got the Urban Decay De-Slick Setting Spray for half price. I've only used it a few time since I got it, because truth be told I've only done a full face of makeup a handful of times since then. However, the few times I have used it my makeup has lasted forever. 12 hours after I've applied it, it still looks like I put it on a half hour ago! The setting spray in combination with the Becca Ultimate Coverage Complexion Crème, a buildable 24 hour foundation, have been a life changing combination. Go to Sephora right not and try both of them out!

Lately I have been really loving two shows on Netflix.
First up is The West Wing. It's a show written by former White House speechwriters and it's actually very accurate. Granted all the events wouldn't happen all in one Presidency, they do all happen they way the would in real like. My AP Government and Politics teacher, who is also a former Senate staffer, showed clips of this show a lot last year to help us understand certain concepts and we all got hooked! I have to admit, I started to think the events in the show were actually happening!
Next up is Bones. If you like crime shows I definitely recommend this one. Unfortunately the first 6 seasons are on Netflix, but for the most part you don't need to know the whole background to get into the show. You might be a little confused by the first few episodes on there but stick with it and it gets good!

I have been doing (or trying to) the Tone it Up Bikini Series. I really like how it's set up and how fun they try and make it! It's an 8 week program, and while it's already started, it's not too late to sign up. I'm not as concerned with losing weight as I am becoming healthier overall. I plan on posting a lot more fitness and health related things, especially on my Instagram story, so make sure you're following me @cuteandclassyblog

Daily vlogs are some of my favorite videos to watch on YouTube. Lately Brooke Miccio and Tori Sterling have been posting a ton lately, especially health vlogs. These girls are two of my favorite on YouTube and I just love watching their vlogs. They're not only entertaining, but also really inspiring! I feel like I could be best friends with these girls. If only they were reading this, sigh.

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