Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Letter to My 18-Year-Old Self

Stephanie Rita Photography

As I begin to navigate the next chapter of my life, there are a flood of emotions. They are familiar and bring me to a similar time in my life. A time when everything was changing and I wasn't sure if I was prepared.

I was 18, entering my freshman year of college and I was nervous. As I look back at that young, naive girl, I want to hug her. I want to tell her that the next four years will be amazing, difficult, crazy, fun and totally worth it. I want to tell her that she will make it out alive and that every positive or negative experience will change her for the better. So today I am going to write to her. And to you.

Dear 18-year-old me,

You made it this far and that means something. The past 18 years of your life have seemed hard, but in reality they were a piece of cake compared to what's coming. I'm not saying this to scare you. I'm saying it to excite you! All those lessons you've learned from your parents, coaches and teachers, well - they are about to be put to good use. 

Now, let's start with the good stuff. This college - well it's perfect for you. It will be the place where you get your fake ID taken away, it will be where you fall in love for the first time, and it will be where you find some of the best friends you'll ever make. It will give you a new found freedom and a damn good time.

It will cause a whole lot of tears (mostly from laughing) and even more hangovers. 

On another note, this new life, it's not one to take lightly. It's easy for me to sit here and tell you to get your homework done before 6 p.m. and not to kiss the boy on the baseball team, but that would be stupid. You need to live and learn. 

So here's some advice:

It's okay to be scared. You're going to feel a whole range of emotions - happy, sad, content, petrified. You'll be completely out of your comfort zone. Recognize that you're one among many.   

Everything in moderation. I mean everything. Sure you've gotten drunk before. But, you're in a new school, with new friends and no rules. Don't be the freshman that everyone is talking about the first weekend. 

Oh - and that goes for food, too. Barbecue chicken pizza sounds amazing at 2 a.m., but every night for a week? No. Don't do it. 

In college there's a preconceived notion that life is one big party. That's not the case. This is where you'll figure out what you want to do with your life. So pay attention! 

I won't lie to you: you're going to spend more money on beer, at O'Brien's, than on textbooks or food. You're going to skip your 11 a.m. class because you went to bed at 5. And you're going to (poorly) sing No Scrubs, with your new besties, while the crowd boo's you off the karaoke stage. 

It's not to say college is one big joy ride either. You'll fail a class, go through your first break up, suffer a bad knee injury and lose a best friend. None of these things will be easy, but they'll make you strong. 

You're going to get some crazy opportunities. You'll find yourself on top of the Eiffel Tower and on a lacrosse field in San Antonio, Texas. You'll run weddings in a mansion and write your first article for publication. 

You'll write a thesis and pass a math course. You'll attempt to learn Italian. You'll apply and get into graduate school. You will get caught in a downpour, on the way to class, before a big presentation. You'll want to cry. Don't. Smile, because there's nothing you can do about it.

Oh - I almost forgot. You'll die your hair dark brown. Your friends will tell you they love it, your parents will tell you they hate it. In the long run, guess who's right?  

Despite all of this, a year from now, you'll look back and you'll see how much you've changed. You won't be naive or sad, you'll be begging your parents to let you stay.

It's funny how life flows in circles. Six years later and I feel like a freshman all over again. Ready to take on the world with a fresh perspective and the knowledge that I will learn the ropes sooner or later. 

All you can do is take it one day at a time.

So buckle up, it's about to be one hell of a ride. 

With love,

Kelsey 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

August


August was awesome!

I think I took my own advice to heart and really enjoyed this month. So much so that I am having some severe heart palpitations as I enter September (anyone else?). I traveled, tried some new things and took a ton of photos! What more could you want out of such an amazing month? 


A rainy Saturday at the movies. Have you seen Begin Again? You need to! I finally started the #liketkit program on Instagram! And don't worry I wrote all about it HERE. Sign up today so that you can shop products and clothes in my Insta's straight to your email inbox. Marisa's birthday brunch at Sam's! Have you ever been? Obsessed! My family vacation to Newport (swoon). If you haven't read my Newport recap and travel guide yet, you can find it HERE! I even got to visit my alma mater - Salve! A trip to the farmer's market before spin class. A day trip to Cape Cod for work. A bittersweet goodbye to my younger sister, Shannon. She's going to be a senior in college! A Sunday afternoon hike. Some amazing shoots with my talented photographer. Have you followed her yet? She has a great BLOG and Instagram account. | A few trips to NYC! Not pictured: my friends bachelorette bus to Boston! 

It's easy to say that this has been one of my favorite months of 2014. I can't begin to imagine what September has in store for me, but I am guessing a lot! Time to put your seat belts on and start another year of crazy fun. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Stars & Stripes














There is a time of year when the seasons click. It's not something you can necessarily see, but feel. The air is a little bit cooler and you fall asleep a little easier.

Just as Memorial Day started summer, Labor Day tends to close it. As a little girl I dreaded this weekend. I would spend my last three days in the pool, shriveled and pruned. I refused to leave. No one was going to take those last moments away from me. 

While I've outgrown my affinity to swim up until 8 p.m. Monday night, I do still like to take in that last sunset with family and friends. Luckily I found the perfect dress to wear! It's comfortable and extremely well made. You can pair it with wedges for a cocktail party or with sandals for the beach! It's the quintessential red, white and blue ensemble you've been looking for!


Photography 
Stephanie Rita | Stephanie Rita Photography

Monday, August 25, 2014

Leather Love

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Buying bags can be tricky. I don't know about you, but when it comes to buying a new bag I don't like outrageous labels or shiny emblems. I prefer to go the classic route. That way it's hard for people to guess how much I spent on it. And most of the time it looks a hell of lot more expensive than it really is. Today's product round up is a smattering of leather bags I am currently craving. With a smooth leather finish, you can do no wrong!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Link Love


Happy Friday!

I don't want to be a major buzzkill, but your weekends are numbered. The reason I want to remind you of this is because I want you to get out there! Start living! Before you know it you will be lighting fires and breaking out your cashmere. And although I am at a point where I am kind of excited for fall, summer is still here! So we must enjoy it. If it's 4:45 p.m. and you really need a drink, don't wait. Just don't wait. Get out there and enjoy this beautiful day!

After you click through these links, of course...




This sounds amazing.

How to: brand yourself in fashion.

Fall TV Guide: Where We Left Off.
*Personally I can't wait until Chicago Fire comes back!

Obsessing over this new website I found: The Workher.


I don't usually love Tumblr - but this, I LOVE!

What business casual REALLY means. 


A reminder to just breathe

Reminder: pay it forward, people. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

On The Fly

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Book: Currently Reading Notebook Pens Water Earphones iPhone KIND bar Lipstick Flats Hair Clip + Elastics Travel Wallet Sunnies Weekender

I've had some wonderful opportunities to travel this summer. I'm not talking about long distance trips with tons of planning. I've been on some overnights and weekend trips, to some wonderful city and sea-side destinations. At this point I pride myself on packing on the fly. I consult my go-to list of items and off I go! There are a few staple items that I never travel without (including Pilly, my childhood pillow). Because there are just a few weekends left before the September grind, I thought I would share some of my exciting travel finds, in hopes that I will inspire you to  find a spare moment for a stay-cation or road trip.

What do you travel with?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Transition Smansition

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I'm not ready to talk about fall yet. Yes, I've noticed the chilly August breeze and the earlier sunsets, but I think we have a few more weekends to soak in before calling it quits on summer. In New England we experience everything - snow, rain, hail, humidity, sunshine. You name it, we feel it. As I've mentioned, September can be a super awkward month for your wardrobe. You don't want to be rocking Easter egg yellow, but you aren't ready for jewel tones quite yet. I call it the transition period. I love to wear earth tones and neutrals during this time. There are a few items I have in constant rotation - neutral flats, cozy sweaters, dark greens and blush colored accessories. 

How about you? what are your go-to transition items?