My Top 5 Favorite Summer Trends:

Every summer, the worlds of fashion and beauty come together to brand the go-to look of the summer. To me, at least, every summer seems to have its own distinct look and vibe. For summer of 2012 was full of pastels while summer of 2016 was all about bright patterns and glowing skin. I never am one to follow a trend to the tee; I like to wear and do what works best for me (I’ll never let go of my pastels).

Anyways, here are 5 standout trends that I have found to be super complementary and popular this summer, so far.

 

1. Simple one piece bathing suits

I used to envy anyone who could pull off a one piece. After one failed dressing room attempt I trashed the idea altogether. This summer, however, I decided to give it another try and bought a simple black one piece bathing suit from Pacsun (on sale!). I opted for a simple black, but there are so many different playful styles and patterns on display this season, so go crazy!

Get a similar look  here

2. Dainty Straw Purses 

After taking note from many of the fashion blogs I follow, as well as seeing others on the street, I’ve seen many people with the cutest little straw bags, not your typical tote. More like a mini cross body basket, if that even makes sense. I have yet to take part in this trend, but hopefully I can soon. Straw bags are perfect for all times of the day. Pair it with a light off-the-shoulder dress during the day and carry that look into the night with some simple wedge sandals.

Get the look here

 

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3. Unexpected Pops of Color 

You can literally do this with anything: shoes, purses, belts, makeup, or jewelry. Make it your own. My style usually consists of primarily monochromatic tones and I like to throw in a pop of color whether it be a pair on neon purple heels, or a bright beaded bracelet.

Playful shoes 

Beaded belt

Bracelets here and here

4. Beach Scents 

This has been one of my favorite tricks for a few years now. Since then, multiple brands have come out with their own take on the classic sun-kissed, beach bum fragrance. I personally cannot get enough of such beach perfumes, even during the rest of the year. Smelling these perfumes instantly brings me back to the beach. Who does’t love that?

Rollerballs here and here

Beach oil

5. Sunset Eyes

I’ve rarely worn makeup this summer, mostly because I tend to stay in bed until the last possible second before I have to get up and go to work. I also rarely experiment with eye shadow because it usually ends up looking all smudgy and muddled. But, I want to change my ways and this summer I’ve seen a lot of uncommon colors being used as eyeshadow. Mostly warm tones– oranges, reds, deep pinks— very sunset-like. Colors like those seem unexpected to me, but I love the way people have styled them.

The most beautiful, universal, perfect palette here

 

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Enjoy!

x Kaitlin

(images are not my own)

Manhattan Beach:

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This post, has been way way WAY overdue, like April overdue. Despite that, however, I want to share some pictures from my excursion to Manhattan Beach for an APhi photoshoot back in April. The pictures came out super cute and what better backdrop could there be. This post is also a testament to how much I miss the beach, LA sun, and the ocean.

For this shoot, I curled my already-wavy post braid hair, and threw on a little bit of bronzy makeup. I also broke out my favorite oversized sunglasses paired with some lacy shorts and a breezy white tank top from Brandy Melville.

Enjoy the Week!

xKaitlin

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My First Year at USC: Reflection

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Flower gardens during second semester finals:

It’s truly hard to believe just how fast my first year at USC flew by (and this summer, so far). It feels like just yesterday we were transporting bins of pillows, blankets, and overstuffed Target bags up to my 7th floor dorm room. My first week at USC was filled with sunny days, new friendships, and awkward university-organized social gatherings but I wouldn’t change it for the world. And, my first year at USC, was one of the most valuable and prolific learning environments I have ever found myself in and I can’t wait to see what these next three years hold in store. In the meantime, here are five standout lessons I have learned after my first year of college.

1. You will find yourself with random free time slots during your day. 

This idea doesn’t seem that enthralling, but I found that I would have random pockets of time during my days, whether it was in between classes or 30 minute breaks before weekly club meetings. Definitely not like the 3 minute passing period in high school. What I would say is, depending on the time of day, make as much of this coveted free time as possible. Whether it be grabbing a quick dinner with friends before night classes or events, replying to emails or catching up on homework planning, working on short assignments, or, for me, writing blog posts before lecture whilst eating an açaí bowl. I never said I wasn’t THE most basic person ever.

2. You’ll probably change your mind about what you like, multiple times. 

When I first got to USC I knew that I was probably going to change my original major. So I spent first semester taking different prerequisite courses and I ended up getting admitted to the Marshall School of Business as a Business Administration major for the second semester. I also fulfilled my high school goal to become proficient in French and added on a French minor to my course load. With that being said, however, you will also find a lot about what you don’t like, which can be equally lucrative. I realized that maybe straight computer programming wasn’t for me (after panic filled weeks leading up to assignment deadlines) and I recently opted for a mathematical finance minor instead. Most importantly, realize that what you do, where you work, and what you will choose to pursue may not reflect what you study, which is perfectly okay. Just remember you are never restricted to your original plan. I personally don’t agree with declaring a major before you arrive at college, but changing programs is usually manageable. I recommend looking through your schools course catalogs, knowing perquisites, and speaking to academic advisors (your best resource) to either aid your transition or specialize within your major/minor.

3. Get involved around campus, meaningfully. 

A lot of what I will say here echoes a lot of advice I got from upperclassman, but the most important thing to do when getting involved or attending your school’s involvement fair is to be mindful and efficient when selecting the organizations you want to apply to or join. Almost every freshman testifies about receiving weekly emails from multiple organizations they never became involved with, which is true for me too. Remember that being a member of 3 or 4 organizations and having important leadership roles in them is much more valuable than being a general member of 8. Clubs and student organizations are great ways to meet other students, working professionals, alumni, and gain valuable hands-on experience outside the classroom. I regret not becoming as involved first semester with different clubs as second semester I joined a few. One of which was extremely meaningful to me, USC’s Marshall Women’s Leadership Board. There we get to meet with Women CEOs and industry professionals and talk about their experiences. Figuring out what interests you may happen through trial and error, so always looks for value in what may seem like meaningless experiences.

4. Failure can be a big motivator. 

Something that I always revert back to in my mind is my high school chemistry teacher talking about how 30s and 40s in classes like organic chemistry were some of the highest grades in the class. Grades are relative, to rigor and effort, and are evidently deceitful. I was used to getting 90s or higher on most of my high school assignments and I was aware that it probably wouldn’t be the case when I got to college (that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try). Trying to balance living in a new environment, getting involved, and staying on top of schoolwork is a difficult load to manage, for everyone. It takes time before you can become a more efficient studier, meaning all-nighters are definitely not always profitable. You’ll learn what helps you make the most of your time and thus successful and thats normal. I definitely know what it’s like to have that 4.0 dream lurking over your head during each assignment or exam. Story time: First semester, I received the lowest test grade I had ever gotten on a MIDTERM, no less, and I was pretty devastated. I ended up, however, translating that fear into more prolific energy as I motivated myself to attend office hours weekly, do as many practice problems as I could find, and just work on what I  didn’t understand. I ended up passing above my expectations (and to my surprise, albeit), and still was accepted into the Marshall School. Bottom line: don’t learn for the grades, learn for the sake of learning and that passion will be reflected in your transcript in time.

5. Always be open-minded. 

I kind of realize by now that all of my advice seems really cliche, so I’m sorry, but they’re all true so listen up! This idea is true not only in school, but in how you live. But at college, I recognized the importance of keeping an open mind in all types of situations, socially, joining clubs, major transitions, and even career trajectories. There are so many different resources to utilize and different avenues to pursue wherever you end up. Don’t ignore possible opportunities because they don’t seem to align with your goals. Diversification is important and makes you a more well-rounded person. Such opportunities can lead you to discover new pathways and interests you didn’t know you had. Don’t forget to experience college while you’re lucky enough to be there. Make use of your time and enjoy the journey.

What I still need to learn: 

  1. Managing anxiety and stress more effectively
  2. Find more time for myself and to exercise more regularly
  3. Find out exactly what I want to do with my life (aka never-ending journey)
  4. Speak and network with more people
  5. Gain more leadership roles in organizations over time

 

Enjoy the weekend,

x Kaitlin

Met Gala 2017: Told through Memes

Instead of adding to the plethora of the traditional best dressed lists, articles, and summaries that follow the Met Gala each year, I thought it would be fun to document some of my favorite memes (sourced from Twitter) from the night. I found some of these more interesting than some of the looks I saw tonight (excluding Rih of course) and some even made me laugh out loud (and no, I am not procrastinating studying right now).

Just a disclaimer, none of these tweets are mine and they were not written by me. I’m not this funny, on Twitter :).

Have a wonderful week!

Kaitlin x

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Alexander Wang will now forever be known as “Alex Wang”

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Thoughts on Losing Passion in College

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Seen in Santa Monica

I was in a club meeting the other day and there we got a chance to talk to different upperclassmen and compare our college experiences thus far. While in conversation, the question was asked, “What are you most passionate about?” Immediately what seemed like a million thoughts rushed into my head, ultimately trying to figure out what I was surely most passionate about.

The answer of one girl in my group, a senior, truly struck me though. She felt like throughout her time in college a lot of what she was passionate about prior had succumbed to the tradeoff we often make between academics and leisure. I started to think to myself after that and I found  I had also forgone many of my passions I once was defined by prior to coming to USC– track, reading, etc.

Now, as a busy student I definitely am guilty of abstaining from fun activities and adventures in order to focus on studying and finishing assignments. I find that most of the time I only plan my days around what homework I have to finish and the next exam I have to study for instead of allocating time to relax and refocus on what I feel is most important. In high school, I oftentimes made time for myself either to paint, read, write, explore, and just get lost in my passions. Now I find I can’t even keep up with current events or who’s putting out new music etc. And while school is important, I don’t think it should consume us.

Nowadays we are all so focused grades and living up to preset standards. And now this may be pretty cliche, but that shouldn’t always have to be the case. To be honest in high school I hated this concept and rarely did I ever focus on where my so-called “stats” stood in relation to everyone else because it does’t matter. At all. Since then I’ve learned that I would enjoy life more if I set my own standards. That concept is kind of what I had in mind when I initially came up with the idea and why I started writing on DOTS. It more than just merely an escape or a diary, I have now realized that it has served as a way for me to both maintain, communicate, and expand my passions, amongst the stress of college. I wanted this blog to become that for me and hopefully others as well. Namely a safe haven for my interests and maybe a potentially growing opportunity for me to pursue in the future.

I tend to dream big (again with the cliches), and that means I dream big in terms of my blog. I dream crazy visions of this becoming my own business one day, still with the same intended purpose, bringing light to stressful times. And I hope that won’t ever change, in fact I promise  it won’t. I don’t want to measure my success with DOTS in terms of numbers, sure stats and likes on posts are exciting, but to me DOTS will always be the idea I came up with in a salad shop and that I talked up with my closest friends over the summer and what is now, I like to call my humble empire.

What started as a discussion on passion turned into me seemingly solidifying my intentions and dreams for this blog and hopefully a friendly reminder to take a break from the rigor we constantly immerse ourselves in order to appreciate why we do what we do. Do what what you do with passion or don’t do it at all.

Have a wonderful week,

x Kaitlin

My Favorite Hair Salon in LA

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Yesterday’s Haircut

It may sound silly to say, but it is very important to find a trustworthy and reliable hair salon, something which I lacked upon moving to LA. Eventually, after sifting through piles of Yelp reviews I stumbled upon my new favorite place, The Hair Parlor on 8th.

I first went to the Hair Parlor on 8th back in September to get a much-needed hair cut, and since then I find that I am reluctant to go anywhere else. Apart from the amazing results, I really just feel in love with the whole art deco-esque atmosphere there. It’s the sweetest little place just blocks away from Los Angeles’s Miracle Mile and Museum Row.

Most importantly, however, what ultimately made me want to keep coming back was my first and now reoccurring stylist, Amanda. It turns out we both had moved to LA from New York on the same exact day back in August and it was really comforting to have met her especially when I first moved out here. What struck me the most was that a few days after my first visit, I received a postcard in the mail from her thanking me for coming in and celebrating our East Coast Bond. That gesture alone was so incredibly sweet and meaningful to me.

If you’re in need of a salon or just want to venture somewhere new, I highly recommend the Hair Parlor on 8th.

Have a wonderful Sunday,

x Kaitlin

Favorite Places: Colorado

This weekend I was lucky enough to visit family in Aspen and ski for a a few days. By far, Colorado is one of my all-time favorite states to travel to. It’s exquisitely beautiful and majestic, while also feeling quaint.

One you visit, you’ll instantly fall in love. It all starts when you see it for the fist time. There’s this feeling that you get while you’re riding the ski lift. When you look back behind you and there you are instantly awestruck by the vastness of the Rocky Mountains and the untapped beauty that is humbly sitting before your eyes. This may seem like exaggerated praise, but the feelings are very much real. There’s truly nothing like this view, or at least out of anything I’ve witnessed.

We spent most of our time in Snowmass, which is much larger and more diverse than Aspen Mountain I would say, but they’re both incredible. The weather was warm enough to ski down with an unzipped jacket and the conditions were perfect. I definitely want to escape to Snowmass in the near future to continue to explore the different peaks and trails that this mountain has to offer.

If you go anywhere in Colorado, to ski that is, head over to my OG favorite, Beaver Creek Mountain (in the Vail area), or continue onto Snowmass/Aspen. Either will not disappoint. Just don’t forget the sunscreen!

Have a wonderful week loves,

Kaitlin x

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Brunch of Champions

Brunch is probably my favorite meal… you get to sleep in, the food choices are unique and delicious, and it’s the perfect way to spend a Saturday or Sunday morning. Eventually I would like to compile both my favorite brunch spots in New York and LA. I seriously have passion for trying new places and giving people recommendations. My goal seems as though I would like to become walking Zagat book.

Anyways, this past Sunday I went for my first brunch since coming to USC (exactly three months to this day), which should be considered a crime in LA… right?

We decided to try out Zinc in the arts district of DTLA and it was incredible. There was not an item on the menu that didn’t sound delicious, which is why I will be returning back here often. It was just wonderful and I highly recommend!

Also, I am super excited to be retiring back for to NY in almost 6 days!

Happy (early) Thanksgiving loves,

x Kaitlinimg_6449img_6454img_6453

Thursday at Jon Bellion

This past Thursday I went back to the Wiltern to see Jon Bellion along with two of my roommates. And when I say this concert was absolutely mind-blowing, I am not exaggerating because it was  beautiful and full of passion and soul. Just incredible.

This show was a part of his Human Condition Tour and he performed multiple songs from that album, including some of my favorites like “All time Low,” “80’s Films,” “Maybe IDK,” and “Guillotine” with Travis Mendes, along with several others. And the best part of the show was that each song was performed with just sheer passion for music and life, which sounds super cliche, but there’s really no other way to describe it.

Bellion is also a fellow Long Island native, so seeing him succeed and perform with such talent makes me even more proud to be from Long Island. He represents us well. Oh and I forgot to mention, he literally brought out Logic during his encore set. LOGIC. The crowd obviously went crazy (myself included). Meanwhile THE Ansel Elgort was clearly enjoying the show standing behind us in the sound booth. My only question at that point was “what is my life?”

I don’t have a wide selection of pictures, which just goes to show you how much I enjoyed this show. I highly recommend to anyone to go out and see his show. Not only to witness great music, but also to appreciate his pure talent and passion for what he does.

HAVE A GREAT WEEK (STAY WOKE)

x Kaitlin

P.S. It’s time to make history… I don’t want to get too political, but go out and make a difference… VOTE! img_6284img_6315img_6320img_6331