How to Dress for 3 Unexpected Winter Break Occasions December 30th, 2012
When preparing for winter break, most girls think about dressing for New Years parties, Christmas dinner, and cozy evenings by the fire. While these are all important things to think about, here, darling readers, is my top three list of the lesser-known Winter Break occasions you may be faced with before you head back to school.
Night Out with a Group… That Includes Your Ex
If you go to school far away or just don’t see your HS friends often, there’s a 90% chance that at some point over break, you’re going to be invited out for dinner or drinks with a big group to “catch up.” This should be fun, but can also be potentially awkward, as you’ll likely run into an old high-school fling (or, like one of my best friends, literally run into them- aaawkward).
My best tip in this situation is to dress simply, but elegantly- no ruffled uber-minis or cleavage-baring tops here! Your outfit should show you off, so stick with timeless, well-fitting pieces, like a great structured jacket paired with skinnies and high leather boots. I love this great black bag from Dooney & Bourke – a staple item! – but, for a more affordable option, this brown bag from ASOS looks luxe at a fraction of the price. Simple gold jewelry and a soft white scarf finish this effortlessly stylish outfit.
The Day After the Night Out
Another occasion no one talks about dressing for is the day after a late night out. When you wake up and wonder why your mouth tastes like a dead raccoon and your hair could double as a bird’s nest, you’re going to have to get out of bed and make yourself look presentable for whatever activities you have planned… and it won’t be fun.
This look mixes preppy polish with a boho silhouette. Instead of slipping on sloppy sweats or constricting jeans, pull on a gorgeous red maxi skirt, and winterize it with a striped oxford and a navy cardi. Comfy moccasins and a cross-body bag are functional, but stylish, and some eclectic rings add a touch of glamour. Add a loose beanie and sunglasses (if necessary) to disguise second-day hair and tired eyes.
Random Party Invite
At some point during the holiday season, you will be called upon to attend a random party, whether it’s a friend of your parents’ dinner party, a new years soiree, or a confusing invite from a friend to a ‘festive’ dress party. You’ll want an outfit that’s stylish, but still practical, so you can stand around answering each individual dinner guest’s question: “So how’s college?” (Kill me now.)
Channel a little Gatsby-esque glamour with a flapper-style headband and retro tights. This beautiful dress combines cutouts with rich red velvet for an effect that’s both winter-appropriate and utterly flattering. (Bonus: the dress is on sale right now, as Ashley mentioned earlier this week! ) Little black Mary Janes are comfy but cute, and gold accent nails pop on a black backdrop. A great red lip keeps your look classically elegant.
What do you think?
Have you encountered these occasions? Would you wear these outfits? Got anymore events you didn’t expect over the break? What’s your favorite break activity? Leave any thoughts, questions, suggestions or grade school crush’s initials in the comments below!
Dorm Design Inspired by Winter 2012 Color Trends December 14th, 2012
In the past, we’ve done articles drawing dorm design inspiration from the color blue, the color yellow, and spring 2012 pastels, to name a few. Keeping the latter in mind, it’s been a while since I’ve been really and truly inspired by a season’s trendy color palette.
All that changed, however, when I read Ashley’s article on the top 5 color trends for fall/winter 2012. I’ve got a penchant for rich, warming colors, and this season’s oxblood, cobalt, and olive green hues have not only made their way into my wardrobe; they’re also being featured in my room’s decor.
Want to know how you can incorporate the trendiest colors of fall & winter 2012 into your dorm or apartment without breaking the bank? Read on for tips!
1. Cobalt Blue
Bold yet elegant, cobalt has got to be one of my all-time favorite colors. It goes with nearly everything, and immediately warms up a room.
For a dramatic look, try cobalt bedding like this gorgeous set from Anthropologie. Not sure how long this trend is going to stick around? Opt for less of a commitment, like a sweet and soft rag rug or placemat set.
If all you’re looking for is a pop of this trendy color, there are plenty of options for you, like a set of cobalt wine glasses or even a printed candle.
2. Olive Green
While olive green is easy to incorporate into an everyday outfit (olive green skinnies, anyone?), it can be a challenge to use this unique hue in a dorm setting. However, green is the most restful color to the eye, and olive green pairs beautifully with a wide variety of colors, especially a pale robin’s egg blue, like the shade shown in the throw above.
For an earthier feel, blend olive green with a darker forest green, or even a warm red-orange and a golden yellow. The possibilities are endless, and you can start anywhere! A striped throw will instantly make your bed feel cozier, as will an olive green shag rug that easily transitions into spring.
For a quick burst of green, try this Andy Warhol print, or, if you’re feeling ultra confident, pick up an olive green comforter.
3. Oxblood / Dark Red
Ah, oxblood. For our third and final inspiration, this moody and refined relative of red has been on everyone’s mind all season. In The Washington Post, writer Megan Buerger quoted designer Alessandra Branca, who likened oxblood to a spice, saying,”It’s there to accentuate and give balance. It is not the main ingredient. I would never paint a gargantuan room dark red, because that would be too much of a good thing.”
Well, if you, like most of us, have neutral beige dorm room walls to work with, you’re in luck: they actually go surprisingly well with the richly dramatic oxblood. The perfect accent hue for those who love red but want to err on the side of caution, there are infinite possibilities when it comes to adding oxblood to a room.
For a hint of this trendy hue in your dorm or apartment, try this luxurious wood curl kissing ball, or add to the mysterious vibe with a tall candle. (Just make sure they’re allowed in your building before buying, ok?) Oxblood-striped hand towels are gorgeous and functional, as are pod-shaped vases for small plants. Lastly, a metal house number is a fresh way to add some interest to your wall.
What do you think?
Which of these three trendy fall & winter colors is your favorite? Will you be incorporating any of them into your dorm or apartment decor? What are your tips for mixing accent colors into a living room or bedroom? Let us know with a comment!
Busy week for winter sports features intriguing matchups December 12th, 2012
Winter sports are in full swing this week in Palm Beach County, and a couple of premier matchups — in girls basketball and boys soccer – on Monday kick off the week.
Clock is ticking on WCSSAA winter sports December 5th, 2012
Winter schedules trickling in November 27th, 2012
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St. Thomas Aquinas senior goalkeeper Julia Kantor was named to the ESPN RISE Winter All American first team. Teammate Julie Schumacher, a senior forward, was named to the third team.
Tatiana Coleman, a senior forward from West Boca High, was a second team selection
At the conclusion of each sports season–fall, winter, and spring–the Florida High School Athletic Association recognizes teams that have done well in the classroom and Broward County had a good showing in the most recent rankings.
The Cypress Bay boys basketball team finished No. 1 in the state among Class 6A programs with a team GPA of 3.319. Also finishing as academic team champions in basketball were the Westminster Academy girls (who were tops in Florida with a 3.867 team GPA) and the Posnack girls, who had a team GPA of 3.774.
For a complete list of all the academic team champions in the sports of basketball, soccer, wrestling and weightlifting, CLICK HERE.
Also, for the first time, the FHSAA will award an overall Academic Team Champion at the end of the school year and Posnack’s impressive showing during the winter season has the Rams atop the overall Class 1A standings.
Other Broward teams that could be in the mix come the end of the school year include Westminster Academy, which is No. 4 among Class 2A programs, Pine Crest which is No. 6 in Class 3A, St. Thomas Aquinas which is No. 2 in Class 5A and West Broward which is No. 6 in Class 6A.
For a look at the complete overall academic champion standings, CLICK HERE.
Four Productive Ways to Spend Winter Break December 31st, 2010
Its not often that your student gets a solid two to four weeks with no academic obligations. Here are a few ways your child can take advantage of that free time.
1. Apply for Scholarships
Scholarships are NOT just for high school seniors, so all high school and college students should take advantage of winter break to apply for private scholarships. Your child should begin by compiling a list of mainly local and regional (and a few carefully selected national) scholarships targeted to his or her characteristics (leadership, volunteering), hobbies (art, cooking, sports, music, etc.) and other unique characteristics (does he/she have a twin, a unique medical condition, a diverse ethnic background, is a family member part of a company or organization that offers a scholarship ?). Taking the time to compile your own list will usually increase your child’s chances of winning than using an online scholarship search database such as FastWeb since you will be more likely to identify more regional scholarships that have less competition.
Once students have a list–which should be organized by due date so they don’t miss a deadline–they can begin filling out applications. Oftentimes a single essay can be used for several scholarships if students make only minor edits, so be sure your student spends time reading through each application’s essay prompts before starting–it could be a big time saver.
2. Get a Jump on SAT/ACT Prep
With no homework to occupy their time, high school sophomores and junior can use some of winter break to prepare for the all important SAT or ACT test. There are dozens of inexpensive ways to get started, from iPhone apps to free online practice tests. SAT prep books can also be a great resource if your student has the discipline to consistently work through the material. Repeatedly taking practice tests has consistently proven to be one of the best ways to prepare.
Winter break is also the perfect time to take an SAT preparatory course. You may want to compare prices and courses among the national providers such as Kaplan, Sylvan and Princeton Review along with your local study centers and individual tutors.
3. Make College Visits
If local colleges similar to your student’s top choice colleges are still in session, winter break could be a great opportunity to take a look around. As I’ve mentioned before, looking at college campuses similar to far-away potential choices can give your child a sense of what that type of school (large/small, public/private, etc.) is like, without having to shell out big travel fees or spend days in a car or on a plane. If you have the time, you may want to make a quick trip to one of the schools your child has applied to. Either way, check out these five ways to make your college visits (LINK TO PFCB FOR LEAVE #3) count before you go.
4. Earn Extra Money for College
Time off from school is a great opportunity for your child to earn a few extra dollars for college costs–and a traditional job is definitely not the only option for winter break money-making. Aside from applying for scholarships, students can work for mom and dad or grandparents, house-sit for traveling neighbors, or take on a temporary job with a retailer hiring for the holiday rush. For more details and ideas about how your child can get to work, take a look at this article on 5 ways for students to earn money over winter break.
All the best,
Deborah Fox is the founder of Fox College Funding®, a nationwide company that helps families find creative ways to reduce their college costs.
Quick Fixes for Winter Break Bummers December 19th, 2010
Let’s face it–two or four full weeks with the fam can get a little rough sometimes. Sure, time flies when you’re having fun, but what about those sticky situations that make everything just a little… lame. Here’s how to deal so you can enjoy these homework-free weeks of winter break!
Bummer: Your mom has jam-packed every day with three hundred activities, and you have no time for your plans.
Fix: Have a little heart-to-heart, and explain that you’re excited to be home, and had hoped to be able to spend time with friends AND family. Ask your mom which activities are most important to her, and ask her which days you can skip out to meet your friends to catch a movie and wax nostalgic. The key is being willing to participate in the most important stuff (and have a good attitude about it–brownie points!).
Bummer: Your family’s plans are, frankly, non-existent.
Fix: Take matters into your own hands. There are all kinds of activities going on this time of year–some cool, some dorky (my hometown does an annual dry boat parade… I’m serious…)–so get your siblings out of the house and go do something. If they won’t join you, round up some high school friends to go instead.
Bummer: Mom and Dad are cracking down on the “House Rules” now that you’re home for a few weeks.
Fix: While it’s reasonable that they have some house rules that must be followed, see if you can bend or stretch the ones that are really cramping your style by talking it out (and, obviously, talk to the more lenient parent!). For example, if your ‘rents insist that you’re home by ten, explain that you’re usually out later at school, you’re careful and cautious, and you’re willing to call in a few times between ten and (insert your reasonable but later curfew here) so they know you’re safe. If they’re still being stubborn, see if they’ll up the time if you have people over instead of going out.
Bummer: You miss your significant other who’s back home, too.
Fix: First: you’ve got technology, so use it! Make a Skype date for a night or two (or more) during the week, and take advantage of email, phone calls, and text to share whatever goofiness is going on at your place.
Second, get old-school romantic and write a love letter or two. It may sound cheesy, but I submit that there is nothing as heart melting as getting a hand-written letter from someone totally crush-worthy.