February 28, 2014

Friday Five

Well it's been a while since I've done one of these.. but here goes:
Yeah, I really need to redo this logo - cause it doesn't match my current design, but you know.. i'm lazy.

Anyways, here's my five for this week.

I GET INITIATED TONIGHT! I know, I've been in Alpha Chi for 6+ months, but due to an emergency last semester, and some internal affairs with the chapter, we had to postpone initiation, making it THE longest new member period ever. But tonight I'm so excited to get my pin, and learn what Alpha Chi means, and I can't wait to be a lifetime member. 

So a couple weeks ago, I participated in what we called #VDayBoxSwap, where I got to meet an amazing blogger and exchange a package, and it was awesome. I received a box from Rachael, and she was so cute and thoughtful. Unfortunately some of the stuff got a little crushed in shipping, but it's the thought that counts, right?! 
I got some really nice lipstick that I'm so mad got ruined, a box of chocolates that thankfully got ruined so I couldn't eat them, and some stationery (a girl after my heart..) and nail polish! Rachael was so sweet and I loved getting to know her! 

Tomorrow night, I'll be participating in Delta Tau Delta's Q-Thon: an all-night dance marathon that raises money for the kids.. in honor of our local Children's Miracle Network hospital. SO, if anyone would like to donate any money to my team's fund - we would all appreciate it. It's for the kids.. the link is here

The lovely Angie over at My So Called Chaos is hosting the "Best of Blog" awards - and I'm soooo excited to have been nominated for "Funniest Post", and to be in the finals! So I'd love if you could vote for me. I'm nominated under Funniest Blog Post for my 13 Stages of a Netflix Addiction, and you can vote here! 

Don't forget to enter my giveaway with Pink Monogram for a personalized otterbox case! I'm so excited about it, and the giveaway runs until Sunday night! 

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February 24, 2014

Giveaway of the Week: Personalized Otterbox iPad Case

This is a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions, however, are entirely my own and that of The Caro Diaries. 

You all know how much I love a monogram. I may have mentioned it once or twice, but I'm a little preppy in terms of my taste in design and clothing. Just check my Pinterest if you need proof.

So when Monica from The Pink Monogram offered to send me a personalized case for my iPad (which was much needed btw, cause I'm guilty of abusing the poor thing..), I was so excited!

What got me even more excited was when I started to personalize it, and I realized it wasn't just a regular ol' iPad case - it was an Otterbox Defender case, one of the best you can get for your dainty little iPad. I'm not lying when I say that if you have an iPad, get yourself one of these cases because I guarantee you the screen will crack before you know it. (mine was already cracked, if anyone knows how i can fix it for cheap, holla at a sista..)

BUT as if the case wasn't amazing enough, it comes with A STAND. Yes, attached to it is a piece that turns it into a stand - it can go like three different ways and it's much-needed cause my hands no longer need to hold up the iPad so I can play Flappy Bird hand cramp-free.

So of course I got mine in chevron, navy and pink - because I'm Caroline, why else?

The stand is reallllyyyy friggin convenient! 

So I encourage you to stop by The Pink Monogram - for anything you need: literally, they have everything you need from bedding to towels to clothes to accessories to technology to everything, and they have 50,000+ people backing them up.

But, just in case you want this adorable case and don't want to shell out the cash yourself.. 
I'm giving one away! 

Enter now - the giveaway is live until next Sunday, March 2nd at 11:59pm EST, so share, enter, tweet, whatever - just enter and love it as much as I do! 
Good luck! 

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February 18, 2014

Kate Spade Stationery

This is a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions, however, are entirely my own and that of The Caro Diaries. 

Oh look.. another stationery post. No surprise there. What can I say, I'm a stationery queen.. we'll go with it. 

I love Kate Spade - the shoes, the clothes, the handbags, the stationery - everything. I spoke about how much I loved the KSNY stationery in my Gift Guide for Stationery Lovers post, and I've been so excited (and so mad that I had to hide until this post went live) about my collaboration with Lifeguard Press and their Kate Spade New York collection. 

Lifeguard Press has the cutest stationery and everyday items, and when we discussed working on a post together to showcase some of the Kate Spade line (psh.. yeah, like that stuff needs help selling. it's beautiful!), I was overjoyed cause like.. a) stationery, b) kate spade, c) stationery. 

So I got the package in the mail about a week or two ago and worked on shooting the items to showcase, which was really an excuse to pick up my camera cause I haven't in God knows how long, and it was really feeling neglected. So for the sake of loving my camera, bear with me for these photos.. 

Choosing items was the hardest part, and I wanted every single thing, and I may or may not be waiting on my paycheck next week to go back and order everything - especially the notecards. and the umbrellas. and everything.  So I ended up picking out this pencil set, and these notebooks, and I'm not lying when I say holy cow I'm obsessed.

How cute are those notebooks? 

DIY mason jar craft here

These pencils have the cutest saying on them - like "spell it out" and "to whom it may concern". adorbbbbs.

and they come pre-sharpened and perfect, and i don't want to use them… #judgeme 

the striped notebook says "live it", and this one says "love it" on the front - they're honestly adorable. 

one of my fave parts of the notebooks: almost every page has a cute little saying/advice on it. they're repeated throughout the book, but it's adorable (and still small enough that it's actually still a line in the book). 
my fave: "playing dress up begins at the age of five and never really ends"

So quite frankly, the main issue is that i think it's too pretty to use - and I'm obsessed with it and really don't want to ruin it, but honestly though: how perfect are they? 

What do you think of the Kate Spade collection at Lifeguard Press

Update: looking for a tutorial to make glittered mason jars? Check out the ones from this post, and an even simpler version
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February 13, 2014

DIY Gold Glitter-Dipped Mason Jars

Wait, I just want to throw it out there that I pre-wrote this post. As of right now, it's 2 am and it's now starting to snow outside. Rumor has it that it'll be another snow day for us, so I'm crossing my fingers. Cross yours for me too! Anyways, back to the scheduled programming..

We had a couple snow days last week, and I was feeling real crafty.. Am I a sorority girl or what? (I'm actually really not crafty at all, but hey when you join a sorority, you make do.. aka I had to make a paddle for biggie!) 

I had been wanting to do something with Mason Jars for the longest while, and I took a personal day to go to town and get some shopping done. Walmart and Joanne's are my best friends when in my crafty modes, cause they're the most affordable. And I may or may not be obsessed with Joanne's. Like it's a crafter's dream.. I feel like I should never go to Hobby Lobby cause I'll be broke. Thank God there's none nearby. Small blessings.

Anyways, I spent my snow day crafting and experimenting and not gonna lie, I was pretty pleased with the results. Of course I had zero patience and didn't want to use painter's tape or anything, so I was just hoping i glittered in a straight line - I didn't. But Rome wasn't built in a day.

What You'll Need:
- a mason jar, for starters: you can get these at Walmart for fairly cheap - I think mine were $3 each.
- gold (or silver) spray paint: or really any color you'd like!
- gold (or silver) glitter: or any other color. This is your craft, go free!
- modge podge: I used the matte kind, although I don't think this makes a difference. correct me if i'm wrong.. 
- painter's tape: if you want the line to come out perfectly, and not like mine.. 

Step By Step: 
The first step is obviously spray painting the mason jars. I suggest getting some old newspaper, and doing it outdoors - even when it's negative degrees outside, cause that ish smells. You'll need to leave it for a couple hours to dry, but I left it overnight. You may even need to re-spray some parts of it, because the spray paint drips down the side (which you can see in some of the photos).

After it's dry, you can put the painters tape around to the line you'll want to start glittering. If you don't want to glitter, you can leave it as is - as you can see it looks awesome without the glitter as well. After putting the painter's tape (or just going based on what you think like I did), modge podge from the line down, all the way to the base. You're not gonna wanna glue the base cause the glitter'll be everywhere.

It's pretty self-explanatory from here on out: just glitter over the modge podge and leave it to dry. You're supposed to put modge podge over the glitter after it's completely dry to seal it, but every time I do that, glitter falls off and there are awkward blank spaces. So, maybe I'm doing it wrong - but I'm no craft queen yet, so I'm still learning.

I'm using these to put pens and pencils in on my desk, but I made one for my Big for her makeup brushes. The best part is it's so versatile: they can be vases, pencil holders, makeup brush holders, or basically anything you want. It adds a pop of color and some sparkle to any room, and definitely is one of the easiest crafts I've made.

Good luck crafting! Tweet me your crafting adventures :) Hopefully I'll be doing some more snow day crafts!

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February 12, 2014

Getting Back On Track With Your Diet

I don't ever really do health posts on the blog, but I've been thinking about this topic for a while so I figured I'd write it once and for all.

This weekend I went to Boston to visit a few friends in the city. To say I stuck to my diet would be a lie. We ate uncontrollably - not a lot, just a lot of crap. I'm the kind of person who's really dedicated when she doesn't have things to tempt me - so my dorm room has zero snacks or unhealthy food so I won't be tempted to indulge in just one block of a chocolate, cause we know it never really ends that way.

But Briana, who I stayed by, doesn't have this issue: she stocked up her apartment especially for my visit and I feel like I gained 10 pounds in three days. (Side note: thank God I didn't…) I had an amazing weekend despite the falling off track with my diet. I felt so completely unmotivated when I came home on Sunday night, and quite frankly upset that I let myself fall off the wagon like that, but I decided to write this instead. So for those days you're feeling like I did on Sunday..

{one} step on the scale: 
I normally don't recommend this, especially if you're trying to get back to where you were, but get on the scale.. once. not twice, not three times, not every five seconds like I tend to do. Hop on and check out just how much you gained - if you even gained any - sometimes we just think we put on ten pounds. But check if you gained, and work from there. 

{two} focus on how you feel:
After my really bad weekend, I realized I felt bad not because of how much I consumed, just that my body wasn't used to so many carbs or fried foods or even junk food. Instead of worrying about what I ate, I started focusing on how I felt and how my body felt, and I went straight back into health mode to beat that feeling.

{three} don't put it off:
We always do it - we break our diet on a Tuesday and assume we can't start over until Monday and then eat like crap all week. That's not true. Your diet can start any day you want. You can have a bad day - just make sure you're keeping track of it - and continue the day after. It's not that hard. 

{four} cut out temptation: 
I know, I know - it's hard to stay on track with three bags of potato chips and a party-size bag of M&Ms in your pantry. Get rid of it -  or if you don't want to be wasteful, hide it. Share it with friends, donate it, or just dump it, but if you know you're likely to fall off the wagon, then get rid of it. 

{five} allow yourself a break:
It happens to me all the time - I'll be craving a piece of chocolate, and to deny myself I'll eat three granola bars, a bag of popcorn and an apple, just so that I don't feel for that one piece of chocolate. Well guess what? I still feel for it, and chances are I'll probably indulge. If you're feeling for something - have it.. in moderation. Want a chocolate bar? Take a bite. Want ice cream? Get a one-scoop. You don't have to deny yourself something - because it won't make a difference at the end of the day. 

So seriously, stop giving yourself such a hard time and get back on track - it's not that hard. Don't wait till Monday cause whoever made up that idea that diets can only start at the beginning of the week is stupid.. Good luck, y'all.

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February 05, 2014

The 13 Stages of a Netflix/TV Show Addiction

Well no surprise here.. I have another snow day. I spent my day sleeping in, catching up on work and crafting. I'm such a college student right? #notreally.

I'm now in the comfiest clothes: yoga pants and my bid day shirt - comfort for dayyysss, and I'm about to turn on Netflix and watch another episode of Blue Mountain State. You really can't judge me. I know it's a guy's show and all but it's soooo good and my friends got me hooked. 

My roommate Jess and I are both addicted to Netflix and I curse/love the person who invented it because I've wasted so much time yet watched so many great shows on it. In September, I watched the entire series GREEK in like three weeks. Jess has watched Gossip Girl, Grey's Anatomy and now Scandal, and I really can't afford to get into another show. Side note: if they put The OC on Netflix, I promise I'll be doing nothing but Netflix 24/7. 

So I was thinking of my addiction - how did it start, how did I get here, why have I been so unproductive since discovering Netflix?! And I decided to lay it all out for you.. so headphones on, comfy pants on and pop some popcorn cause you're coming down this netflix tv show addiction with me..

1) ALL your friends are talking about this show: 

"It's amazing!" "What do you mean you haven't heard of it?!" "What do you mean you don't watch Game of Thrones?!" 
All their responses: 

2) And you're just like "Calm down.. it can't be THAT good!": 
Oh but it is.. you just don't know it yet. 

3) Then one day, you're bored and on Netflix:
And there it is - in the "Recommended for You" category. See, even Netflix knows. So you're like hey, why not..

4) You watched the first episode and quite frankly you're not that impressed:
But you're still bored and decide to watch another one anyways. 

5) Next thing you know, it's 5 hours later and you're halfway through the first season:
It always happens. Just keep clicking next. 

6) Of course you ignore every other duty because this is a full-fledged addiction: 
You pop popcorn like it's your job, you sometimes even manage to watch AT your job (when your boss isn't looking, of course..) It's real. 

7) Netflix asks if you want to watch another episode:
What kind of stupid question is that, Netflix!?! 

8) Something drastic happens and it shakes your world:
Your fave couple broke up, someone died, your fave couple died.. they're all possibilities. Whatever it is, you just can't handle it.   

9) You get to the first season's finale, and it's perfect:
Just as perfect as you imagined - except for that one part: you would change that part. 

10) You kind of get depressed, then you remember you still have two more seasons to go:
It's the best part of Netflix. No waiting. You have it right at your fingertips. #winning

11) You've realized by now how addicted you are:
But realizing it isn't gonna make you stop. You just embrace it - it's more like a "quirk" than a problem.. right?! 

12) Somehow you've made it through all the seasons: 
Let's be real - you made it through within a few weeks. But you can't bear the thought of it being over. 
Depressing would describe the feeling. 

13) You realize your life will never be the same..: 


Happy Snow Day, and Happy Netflixing! 
Is this how you feel too? Let me know below.. 
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February 03, 2014

The Best FREE Fitness Apps for your Smartphone

It's still so weird for me to be using Blogger right now.. I had to delete my Wordpress app on my phone and download Blogger and it's still just shocking me. So that'll explain my little disappearance since Wednesday. Sorry.

Today's a snow day in CT, and I'm not complaining. All of my classes got cancelled, I built my first ever snowman (#islandgirlproblems) and I had a huge snowball fight. Now I'm curled up in bed with my laptop and iPad getting homework done - crazy huh? Who knew I could be productive on snow days.

It's way too cold for me to go to the gym. I was supposed to go to my first CrossFit class tonight but the snow is making it impossible to get there so I think it's a no go. I love working out once I get into a schedule - but getting back into a schedule is the worst! I'm being really strict with myself, which I'm super proud of and through my constant dieting and exercising, I've discovered some great apps for my smartphone. Not only are they great, but they're free apps. I hate spending money on an app and using it once or twice. Apps should come with a free trial period, I seriously think so. Apple, get on that! Anyways, so these apps are all free and awesome!! That being said, I decided to share them with you..
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{one} Nike Training Club: 
I'm obsessed with this app. It has more than 100 workouts, and you can even choose specific workouts that target areas you want to improve - your butt, abs, arms, or all of it. There are even some famous athletes who share their workouts. Plus, the app has videos to show you every workout, and even tells you when to move onto the next workout. It's like a personal trainer in your pocket. For FREE.

{two} My Fitness Pal: 
This is the easiest way to keep track of your calories. It's not just a calorie counter, but it helps you keep track of what you eat, and your fitness regime. It really helps you learn where you use the most calories, and helps you change your lifestyle rather than your diet.

{three} Fooducate: 
I discovered this app this week and I'm pissed cause I went food shopping last week and wish I had it! But basically, Fooducate lets you scan items at the grocery store and it highlights the good and bad things about it. I always buy a granola bar thinking it's good for me, until one day I looked past the calorie count and at the sugar information and put it down right away. Fooducate does that for you, so you know you're making healthy choices at the grocery.

{four} Thryve:
Thryve is another food-tracking app, but this one doesn't count your calories. Instead, it focuses on how food makes you feel and the amount of food and types of food you're consuming. You'll need to be 100% honest because it then rates your meal and tells you how good/bad it was for you. It's definitely motivation to get good scores and eat healthy meals!

{five} GymPact: 
Gym Pact is a free app that lets users bet money as an incentive to go to the gym. You bet money that you'll go to the gym three times this week, then you better find your butt at the gym so you don't lose that money. You get paid between $.50 and $.75 to go to the gym per day, but if you miss your allotted gym days that week you're fined $5. Pretty steep huh? It's such a good motivation.

{six} Diet Bet: 
Diet Bet lets you put your money where your mouth is - literally. The more weight you lose, the higher the chance of you winning all the money. Plus if you lose 4% of your body weight, you split the winnings with whoever lost that much too. It's the perfect incentive: get paid to lose weight. Genius.

So, I'm off to track my food intake for the day seeing as I'm stuck here for the night. No gym or CrossFit for me. The one bad part of snow days is that everything shuts down. :(

Hope your weight loss journey is going well :)
Good luck!!
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