Summer Bucket List

Summer is here (finally) and I am already so busy! I am planning blog posts, photoshoots, trips with friends, working at Lilly Pulitzer and waitressing. Even though I am filling my calendar pretty quickly, I can’t stop thinking about the goals that I have for these next four months. Even though, school is out it doesn’t mean that the hard work stops here.

I have big plans for the blog to start. My main goal, and it has been all year, is to reach 20,000 followers on Instagram by the end of the summer. I hit 10K just before my one year blogging anniversary which was completely insane and I want to repeat the milestone again this summer. I also want to completely redesign the blog using wordpress.org. It’s a little difficult to make a blog exactly how you want it when there are so many JAVAscript and HTML restrictions on the hosting site. With a new blog look comes a new blog logo. The tennis rackets are so cute but are a little boring. I already have my sister working on making me a new logo as you are reading this. Stickers in the new logo will hopefully be available this summer. We are currently sold out of the Daily Dose of Prep current logo sticker!

This summer, I am also working two jobs. I’m looking forward to being busy and making money. I will be living in an apartment this fall and need to have enough money to pay for groceries and electrical and gas for my car and all of the other “adult” things that life will be throwing my way in just a few months. I want to stick to a plan of saving 75% of my money in the bank and not touching it. I obviously will be spending money because I’m a Lilly Pulitzer and J.Crew addict but I also want to be a little more frugal than I was last year.

Finally, I want to travel this summer. I already spent the first week of summer in Chicago, which you can read all about here, but I also want to go to the beach, and visit my sister in Austin in August. Hopefully, I will make it down to my friend’s summer house in Georgia too this summer, but that’s all work permitting. Lastly, I really want to go to Washington D.C. this summer. I have lived in Virginia my whole life and I’m extremely embarrassed to admit that I have never been to D.C.! I already have plans in the works to visit Georgetown and Old Town Alexandria with my friend Emily this summer but I think my family will explore the heart of D.C. together later this July. I already have two beach trips planned were I will be evening out my horrible tan from Foxfield and taking plenty of pictures as well.

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What are your goals for summer? Let me know in the comments below!

Stay Preppy,

Lucy

 

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Chicago Recap

My time in Chicago has come to an end and I’m a little sad. We had a truly great time in Chicago, these past three days have been absolutely perfect. Literally, there is nothing to complain about. I’m serious — the weather told us it was going to be overcast all three days and 32 degrees the final day. Although it was super windy, the sky was clear all day. In fact, we didn’t see a cloud in the sky the entire weekend.

On Thursday morning we left Richmond at 6am and drove for hours. We pulled into Chicago around 7pm. We checked into the hotel, changed and walked to Millennium Park to see the Bean. It’s just one of those things that you have to see when you travel to Chicago. After that we were starving and went to Harry Carry’s for dinner. We were so exhausted that after dinner we just headed back to the hotel and went straight to bed.

The following morning, my sister, Leslie, joined us right before we caught a cab to Wrigleyville. We spent a few hours at Sport Corner before heading into the game. After going 0-2 for nine straight innings, the Yankees pulled through at the top of the ninth winning 3-2 over the Cubs. We celebrated the victory at Sluggers, dancing, having drinks and sharing a good time together. For dinner we walked to Capital Grille. I love Capital Grille, the parmesan truffle fries are the best fries I have ever had.

Saturday, the baseball game was a evening game so we started the morning with breakfast and immediately after, set out along the Michigan Mile and shopped the entirety of it. I purchased one top from Forever21 and the Vineyard Vines Chicago shirt. This was the first time I have bought clothing since February! We returned to the hotel, dropped our bags down and changed for the baseball game. Yesterday was by fat the coldest day. When the sun set, the weather was calling for 38 degrees — in May. I ended up wearing two pairs of pants, two pairs of socks, two shirts, a sweatshirt, my Bean Boots, a baseball jersey, and my puffy jacket and I was still a little chilly but still the night was gorgeous. Seriously, not a cloud in the sky. The Yankees crushed the Cubs 11-6 scoring 5 in the top of the first.

It was tough picking a team to root for because I have been a Yankees fan my entire life but I really love the Cubs! My sister and dad were both rooting for the Yankees though so I chose the the Yankees as well for the weekend. It was such a nice weekend to spend with my dad and sister. I feel like I have been working for the past 8 months at college and it was nice to go on a trip and not think about homework or papers I would have to catch up on. We really did have a great time and pictures from the weekend are below! Enjoy!

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Stay Preppy,

Lucy

 

Answering YOUR Questions About Social Media, Blogging, & Sponsors

I love answering your questions. Being able to interact with readers whenever I can is super important to me and is one of the most exciting things about blogging. When it comes to emails and private messages, most are concerning social media, partnerships, and blogging in general. Last week, I wanted to open the floor to those who had questions so I could answer them for you today. I send out a Google form last week and last night I picked out some of my favorite questions and really thought out these answers. I hope you all enjoy and that they are helpful to you whether you are wondering about social media platforms or just how to get your foot in the door of the partnership world. If you have any further questions, please feel free to email me!

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Image: Lilly Pulitzer

Q: Could you please explain the way a blog works. Do readers subscribe or get notifications when a new post is up? Or do they just check back daily?

A: I write a post each day, or at least I try to! Because this blog is public, anyone can stop by! I do have the option on the sidebar to the right where every single time I publish a blog post, it will be sent directly to your email but I also have a lot of loyal readers who swing by everyday to read. I know there are a few of you out there who read DDoP with their morning coffee each day! You can keep up with me through BlogLovin’ as well! Click here to follow along!

Q: Do you reach out to companies for partnerships or do they approach you?

A: A little bit of both. When I first started out, nobody knew who I was and I needed to really put myself out there. I would email a few companies here and there and I would get denied most often but sometimes, companies would take a chance on me. As I gained following through social media platforms, larger companies began to work with me then. As you get your name out there over time, the roles will be reversed and companies will approach you more than you approach companies. It is always important to have a way to communicate readily available for companies. Make sure that you have an email or a business contact in your social media biographies as well as a contact me page on your website.

Q: How did you come to advertise both yourself and your Instagram to gain followers?

A: I started Instagram with the intention of sharing my love for fashion and that was it. There was no ulterior motive to get “famous” or seek monetary opportunity out of it. I think that is an extremely important thing to notice. If you are in the blogging world and you don’t have the passion for it, you won’t go anywhere. When it comes to advertising for yourself, the key is to create captivating content that makes people coming back for more all while showing a little bit of your personality so readers can know you better. There are four key points that each blogger/Youtuber/influencer should follow in my opinion: communication, quality, consistency, and originality. You need to communicate with your audience through live streams, replying to comments and liking their photos back. You must have high quality pictures and posts; investing an a DSLR camera really took me to the next level. You need to be consistent, meaning that you need to keep at it. Post constantly, always be trying to best yourself and create better content than the day before. Finally, make sure you are original. Nobody wants a knockoff of someone else. Don’t be afraid to show your style, personality, and creativity!

Q: How do you continue to make such cute outfits without wearing the same thing 2 times?! Do company’s send you things or…?

A: I love reinventing looks. See, you think that I don’t wear things twice but I wear a lot of things over again, just in different ways! I take a lot of my outfit inspiration from Pinterest and Instagram. I buy a lot of basics and versatile items so I can style them with a lot of different things. I pretty much buy all of my clothing on my own. Every now and then a company will send something my way but mainly things on my Instagram are just found on sale somewhere. Never feel like you have to pay a thousand bucks to look like a thousand bucks!

Q: How do you get more followers on your social accounts?

A: Social media can be a tricky thing and honestly, I’m still trying to master how best to use it. To help gain social media following I would do giveaways, collaborate with other bloggers, and focus on creating high quality content. Using hashtags and tagging people aren’t a bad idea either when trying to get your name out there. Remember though, a solid social media presence doesn’t come overnight. You have to just keep at it and work hard! If you do that, I promise it will eventually pay off!

Q: What do you recommend doing for sponsorships and brand deals if you are a smaller blogger?

A: Everybody needs to start somewhere. My first partnership was with a small vinyl monogram company. I then moved onto a company that would send me stickers, and then another that would send me promo items like koozies and pencils. It’s okay to start from the bottom and work your way up. I do recommend taking a leap of faith every now and then and reach out to a larger company. After all, the worst they can say is no. I’m not saying to rep a sticker company for a month and then hit up Lilly Pulitzer or Vineyard Vines but I think trying to perfect a craft at a small level and climb the ladder is important. If you are a small blogger I would first iron out the details of establishing a schedule, taking pictures, and growing followers and then work on sponsorships. Work on the fundamentals and then add things in. I would email a few people though and just put yourself out there, be sincere and kind, and really show them what you have to offer. Include your engagement rate (followers to likes and comments) and all of your stats!

Stay Preppy,

Lucy

My Favorite & Least Favorite Things About College

Whenever I go on Instagram and have a live story, people always ask me what my favorite and least favorite thing about college is. At first, I thought it was a silly question, like I’m just carrying on with daily life like always. But then after thinking more about it, I realized that college is a completely different atmosphere. Especially at JMU where it’s a campus in the middle of nowhere, it’s an entire different world. College can be a scary and extremely intimidating thing, even more so when you don’t know too much about living at college.

Today, I want to share my top 5 favorite and least favorite things about college and explain a little bit about why. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below or shoot me an email!!

5 Favorite Things About College 

  1. Freedom — after the sadness of leaving home and your family subsides, the freedom of college starts to kick in and it’s an amazing feeling. You can study when you want, eat whenever you want, and honestly live life exactly as you want to. I mean you could go to parties on a Thursday night and literally nobody would care! It’s amazing. The point is, that you decided exactly what you want and how you want to do things. It’s important to be able to recognize this which is why freedom is so amazing.
  2. So many people — when going to college with 5,000 to even 20,000 people, you realize how unique everybody is. You will meet so many great people it college and there is surely a group for you. With the amount of people at school, you will find your group of friends and your home.
  3. Setting your own schedule — At college you set your own schedule. Yes, there will most likely be a list of certain subjects that you will have to take. At JMU, these are called general education courses. I have to take a science, a math, and an arts class to name a few but I am allowed to choose from any subject of math or any subject of science if I want. It’s just nice to take classes that you are actually interested in.
  4. Dorm Living — Everyone should get the experience to live in a dorm room. It’s a life changing experience. It’s not easy to live with a stranger for 8 months out of the year but it’s a real eye opener to other people around you. First, if you end up living on a great hall or in a great suite (like I did), it will feel like a year long sleepover. Dorm living will teach you things like respect, kindness, and compassion. Seriously y’all, my roommate, Jess, is the best! She really was a fantastic person to live with and just a great person all around. Living in a dorm is a great experience though and everybody should appreciate their time in a dorm room!
  5. Feeling like an adult — Towards the end of last summer, I was dying to get out of the house. I was super sad to leave my family and friends and I was also very afraid but I felt like it was just time to leave. I felt very ready and prepared to take on the real world (well, sort of the real world). Everything was on me in college. From setting a schedule, making and getting food, doing laundry, solving my problems… everything was my responsibility. It was nice to be treated like an adult from professors and from those around me. It gave me the boost of confidence and a little reassurance that I can handle life after school.

5 Least Favorite Things About College

  1. Lack of Privacy — When you’re a freshman in college the idea of privacy is stripped away from you. Sharing a dorm room with another person takes privacy away from you but sharing a bathroom with your hall also takes that option away from you as well. There were a few days where I just needed a good cry or needed to scream and I couldn’t really because there was no place for me to go and do that. My roommate was awesome and one time I walked in just totally a wreck and she knew I just needed a second alone and left which was so courteous and nice of her. The only place I could go to have a moment alone was my car and most freshman don’t have that.
  2. The food — The food at JMU is actually really good but after a while it gets old and it’s sometimes tough to make your own food and it’s not really feasible to be buying food. Also, during the winter I hated walking to go and get food. I know it sounds SO lazy but when you aren’t used to putting on Bean Boots and a puffy coat to get dinner from the kitchen you can see how it’s sometimes a little annoying. My dorm wasn’t too close to many food places either so it was a walk sometimes.
  3. Being away from my family — I was really homesick my first three months of college. Sometimes I just needed a hug from my mom or a funny joke from my dad to get me though the day and it wasn’t there for me when I got home from class. Calling home is always helpful but nothing beats being home. But there’s no way around it, you just have to suck it up and deal with it. It was nice being close enough to go home when I wanted to though.
  4. Tenured professors — I saw a big difference between tenured professors and professors that were not tenured. The work ethic between most was very different. I had a truly awful calculus professor last semester who was tenured and could barely hear, speak, and see but because he was tenured there was really nothing I could do about it. Again, it’s one of those things that you can’t control and just have to deal with. One of those life lessons that teaches you how to be patient and adopt hard work.
  5. Crowded library — Loved going to the library in the beginning of the year but once work stared picking up in the classroom more and more people came and it was tough to sometimes get a table. Throughout the year, I began to discover a few secret little studying spots which ended up being amazing but the crowded library (especially the last two weeks of the semester) was never one of my favorite things.

Stay Preppy,

Lucy

Goodbye Freshman Year

Today I take my very last final and pack up and move out of my freshman dorm room. It’s so crazy how I’m already a fourth of the way through college and that the year is coming to a close. Sophomore year, here I come! Although I did have a really hard time adjusting to college itself, I had a blast at JMU. I experienced so many great things and met so many outstanding people and without them, my year wouldn’t have been half as great as it was.

Freshman year is a hard adjustment for anyone and I was no exception. I started off living in a completely different dorm than I do now, for starters. I moved out of the Village in November and into a Bluestone dorm. It couldn’t have been a better decision. Not only did I live with a fantastic roommate but I also lived on a floor full of the most energetic, unique, and charismatic girls you could ever meet. They were all so welcoming when I moved in late last semester and it’ll be so strange not seeing them everyday!

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I also started off the year in a completely opposite field of study than what I am in now. In the fall I was studying math and education, and as much as I still love and respect both of those fields of study so much, I decided that communications and public relations was much more fitting. Next semester, I will start on my comm journey by taking a few intro courses and then I will apply to my major in the winter. I’m hoping these classes will start me off on a journey towards my dream job, being a director of PR for a big fashion brand. I hope to one day live in a big city like Chicago or New York (at least for a few years).

In September, I also joined Alpha Delta Pi. I was really nervous about joining a sorority and honestly, I almost didn’t. I didn’t know if I would find the perfect one for me or if it would all be worth it. I’m so happy to decided to go through with recruitment because it not only took me out of my comfort zone but also introduced me to 230 wonderful ladies! This year ADPi raised money for Ronald McDonald House by selling pizza, playing baseball, and flag football. We also had fun parties such as christmas cocktail, formal, Mallard Ball, Black Diamond Ball, and re-live New Year’s. To a few of those, I did debut the glitter pants that I love so much!We attended philanthropy events for the Panhellenic community as well.  We went to the apple orchard, the pumpkin patch, the Charlottesville Ronald McDonald House and Massanutten together too. I met my best friends through this sisterhood and leaving them for 4 months is just about the saddest thing I can think of.

Throughout the year, blogging really was taken to the next level. I *tried to* blog everyday and for the most part succeeded minus and handful of days here and there when school got too crazy. I worked with so many companies this year — Scout by Bungalow, ASOS, KJP, Leigh Deux, Carolina Dandy, Suave, Panera Bread, and Lauren James to name a few. I reformatted the blog this past January and am looking forward to expanding my coding and CSS knowledge this summer. I have so many great photo ideas and am planning to take pictures one to two times a week this summer to bring everyone a lot of content. Throughout the year I also shared a lot of InstaLives. Everyone seemed to really enjoy them so I will most definitely continue to go live this summer.

As for next year, I will be returning to James Madison University in the fall and am honestly super excited to come back. I came to JMU with a clouded mindset with the intention of transferring. I have decided to come back in 4 months. I debated on living in the sorority house next year but am partial to a little privacy so decided against it. I will be living in an apartment with one of my ADPi sisters and two of her friends. Don’t worry, I already have a Pinterest board started full of apartment ideas! I’m looking forward to expanding my circle of friends this fall by joining a few clubs and maybe the entrepreneur fraternity (I’m not quite sure about that one yet). I have already decided to attend more football games in the fall and am challenging myself to try to expand my comfort zone a little further than I did this year.

This summer I am going to really do things for me and take the next few months to be a little selfish. I will be working at Lilly Pulitzer again this summer, I return to the store on Tuesday! I picked up a second job waitressing at a restaurant in Richmond as well to help me save for utilities and groceries for my apartment. I am ready for a good long break to help me recollect my thoughts, write lots of blog posts, take tons of pictures, and ride a few waves at the beach. Trust me though, this summer is going to be a great one both on Daily Dose of Prep and in my personal life. I can’t wait to share these fun upcoming months with everyone! Thank you all for your emails, messages, comments, and likes throughout the school year — seriously your support means everything to me! Here’s to a great summer!

Stay Preppy,

Lucy

Off to the Races with Lauren James

I spent yesterday at the Foxfield Races in Charlottesville, Virginia. Foxfield is a horse race that occurs at the end of each April. Nearly 100,000 people attend and companies such as Country Club Prep, Vineyard Vines, and Lauren James sponsor the event. This year Lauren James, being the amazing company that they are, sent me to Foxfield with tickets and a dress so I could share the Foxfield experience with all of you. While there, I met up with some old friends, talked to a few companies I had previously worked with, interacted with some readers, and caught a pretty nasty sunburn (see Twitter @dailydoseprep).

All in all, it was a fabulous day. With the sun high in the sky and 94 degrees blazing down on everyone, we still managed to have a great day. Lauren James let me pick out a dress from their website and I couldn’t help but think of seersucker when I think of a derby. I ended up choosing the Emerson dress in mint green seersucker. Not only is this dress the cutest thing I have ever seen, but it also has deep pockets perfect for keeping my phone and ID.

I seriously cannot get over how extremely generous the Lauren James team was. I mean they really treated me with such kindness and I couldn’t be anymore grateful for them. The fact that I get to spend my weekends collaborating with such outstanding companies is crazy to me. I started this blog as a risk, something to take me out of my comfort zone but also to help ease my mind during a stressful time during my junior year of high school. I’m still kind of amazed Daily Dose of Prep has turned out to be so influential to people.  I’m eternally blessed to be able to call this a job and all of this wouldn’t be possible without the continual support of readers, followers, companies, family, and friends. Thank y’all for supporting Daily Dose of Prep enough for me to do such memorable things like yesterday!  Enjoy the photos and please visit Lauren James’ website here to shop and follow them here on Instagram!

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Shop the Post

| Emerson Dress | J.Crew Clubmasters | Gold Sandals | KJP pearl necklace |

Use the code DDOPKJP for 15% off KJP.com

Stay Preppy,

Lucy

Thank you, Lauren James, for sponsoring this post! 

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

May is just around the corner which means that Mother’s Day is on it’s way as well. Our moms are so incredibly deserving so we should spoil them with some fun goodies to show our appreciation. Below I’ve rounded up some goodies you can purchase for your mom, aunt, godmother, grandmother or anyone who has been a mother-figure to you. The items range from all different prices, so there’s sure to be something within your price range! There are gifts below for everyone. From the chef, to the entertainer, the fashionista, the gardner, and the coffee lover.

P.S. When shopping, don’t forget the flowers and the card!

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| Longchamp purse |Kate Spade recipe book | mom mug | KitchenAid stand mixer | hand cream set | J.Crew top | Kate Spade tea towels | S’well Bottle | Hunter wellies | Lilly Pulitzer straw tote |

Stay Preppy,

Lucy