Monday, June 29, 2015

Warby Parker Home Try On

Warby Parker Home Try-On

Ever since I failed the driver's test eye exam and could no longer deny that I needed glasses, I've been a bit disgruntled with my eyes. (Carrots are my favorite, so I believed my eyesight would be perfect!) But perhaps more annoying than having poor eyesight is shopping for glasses. They're just so expensive, and for things that might break at any time!

My first pair, and my current pair, served me well for six years--outside of the fact that now the prescription is wrong. While I could have put new lenses in my old frames, I need something new. And something cheaper.

Step in Warby Parker. I discovered this brand through the blogosphere, when reviews of their Home Try On started popping up left and right. So I put in my order and sat back to away my tester frames. It was only after I ordered my box that I realized there's a brick-and-mortar Warby Parker on Newbury Street in Boston, but I have to say that getting a box in the mail reminded me of when I used to get Ipsy and Birchbox!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Summer Cocktail Dresses + Sherry London International Giveaway

With summer coming and the heat rising, everyone wants to look cute while staying cool! Sherry London, an online fashion shop based in the UK, has a great selection of beautiful cocktail dresses, with a style to suit everyone. See some of my favorites below:
Sherry London Cocktail Dress Giveaway

There are endless ways to wear cocktail dresses. Besides the obvious (a wedding or birthday party), try dressing up and heading to a new exhibit opening at your local museum or throw a dinner party at your apartment. (If you're in need of any other variety of evening dress, check out Sherry London's selection of elegant prom gowns or stunning bridesmaid dresses--or head to their sale section!)

Sherry London Cocktail Dress Giveaway
I'm really loving this white empire waist gown from the sale section
If you like what you see, you're in luck! Sherry London is hosting an international giveaway for a chic black cocktail dress. The black will work for any type of event and the beautiful open back will keep you cool even in the middle of summer. Entries are easy: visit their Facebook page, visit their Google+, send a Tweet, refer friends, etc.
Sherry London Cocktail Dress Giveaway

Enter the Giveaway Here :)
Which of Sherry London's cocktail dresses do you like best? Where would you wear this little black dress?

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Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, but all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Peter Pilotto for Provincetown

This past weekend, my parents and I went to the Cape for a biking-relaxation mini vacation. This trip actually came just after a long-weekend getaway with my roomates to Maine--full posts on both of these amazing trips will be coming soon!

After biking just outside Provincetown, my parents and I decided to explore the town itself. Despite going to the Cape my whole life (my grandparents live there), I've actually never been to the town at the end of the penninsula! I knew I wanted to look halfway decent, despite having biked a rather hill-filled, windy trail in the morning.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Graduation In Focus--5 Things to Remember

This morning I start my post-grad internship. It's one I'm immensely excited about, but I still have that little voice in the back of my head going: "you may have an internship, but you don't have a job." It's a real struggle to enjoy the moment and take this post-graduation time to appreciate myself and figure out where I want to go (suggestions given to me by already-graduated friends who took several months to get full-time jobs).

In light of that, here are five things I want to remember during my few months at this internship. I love the idea of positivity and affirmations, and hope others find these thoughts empowering.

// Leave time to enjoy things that are just for you. Even if you're jumping straight from the graduation stage to the office, it's vital to remember that you are just as important--more so--than making money and using that degree. In fact, this becomes even more important if you don't have concrete plans (like me).  Keep applying for jobs, but don't feel guilty about going out to eat, taking an evening to catch up on TV shows, or starting into your to-read pile.

Dad made me this awesome interrobang necklace for a graduation gift--can you believe he made this?!

// You will never stop learning. I love learning, and I loved school. And while I'm sure I will eventually go on to get a master's (in what, I have no idea!), that won't be happening any time soon. In the meantime, I'm trying to get back into daily language practice on Duolingo, exploring coding through Code Academy, searching out blog how-tos, and picking a MOOC I would like to complete. On top of all that, my internship--and I imagine this will be try for any future internship or job--provides me with ample opportunities through learning thanks to the endless shelves of both our books and competitors.

// Schedules will still be your best friend. Most people benefit from schedules, even outside of work. Continuing to make daily schedules even in the "real world" ensures that chores get done, you have budgeted time for hobbies (like blogging!), and you will always have time to relax after a long day.

// Everything is one small moment in your life, no matter how big it seems at the time. This harkens back to Robin Roberts's speech about taking small steps to achieve big goals. Even a big break is in reality one small step in the larger scheme of everything you will say, see, or do, which is both heartening and frightening. But no matter how small, every move is important.

// You're in uncharted territory--everything is an adventure. Since age five, I have been a student. Throwing away that title is immensely difficult for me. It's all I know how to do, and I did it well. But that doesn't mean change is always bad. When everything is new, the possibilities are endless.

More in this series: 5 Lessons From Pub Club | It's the Little Things | Monday Meetings & Farewells | Twice on Top of the World on a Tuesday | A Big Blue Watery Road | Graduation Recap | Graduation in Focus 
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Friday, May 22, 2015

Graduation Recap--Dream Big, Take Small Steps

Just a few days ago, on Monday May 18th, I graduated college. I still have extremely mixed feelings on the subject--I am extremely sad, I'll be perfectly honest--but I would be lying if I wasn't happy and excited on the day of graduation itself.

The end of senior week saw me giving my final tours on Thursday, going to the Family Brunch in the Dining Hall with my mom and brother (brunch was always their best meal!), and hopping around to different graduation parties on Saturday and Sunday. Monday came so, so quickly.

As I woke at the ungodly hour of 6 AM to get to the 7 AM shuttle from campus to the location of commencement, I couldn't help but think of all that I've accomplished this year, let alone my four years here:

  • This final semester I wrote well over 100 pages--a 75-page thesis, an 11-page travel lit midterm, a 14-page travel lit final, a 13-page gender final, three fiction stories and a rewrite totaling 27 pages, eleven 2-page lit responses--and successfully made two e-books.
  • Directly published two student manuscripts and oversaw the publication of two others, plus two literary magazines.
  • My short story "Birthday Presents" was published in Generic.
  • My flash fiction piece "Ninety Three Pencils" was published in Stork.
  • Two of my photographs were published in Gauge Magazine.
  • Four of my photographs were published in Developed Images.
  • Accepted a post-grad internship as an editorial intern for a textbook publisher.
  • Graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Honors Program with a B.A. in Writing, Literature, & Publishing.

Our graduation was the 135th Undergraduate Commencement of Emerson College. We honored four wonderful women with honorary degrees, including our commencement speaker, Robin Roberts, who encouraged us to dream big but take small steps (read about it here or watch the speech here). (The other women were Anne Hawley, outgoing director of the wonderful Isabella Stewart Gardner, Natasha Trethewey, former US poet laureate, and Cheri Blauwet, a doctor and a Paralympic medalist and Boston Marathon winner.) And the student speaker gave a wonderful but honest account of all it means to be an Emersonian.

Graduation Recap--Dream Big, Take Small Steps | Pennies & Paper Blog

Graduation Recap--Dream Big, Take Small Steps | Pennies & Paper Blog
me and my freshman year roommate ^_^

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A Big Blue Watery Road

As I come to the end of my college years, I will be doing a "series" of blog posts about the events of my final weeks. Excuse the tearstains.

A Big Blue Watery Road - Peter Pilotto for Target Oasap Tulle | Pennies & Paper Blog

Wednesday the 13th I actually had some time in day, so I went to the Museum of Fine Arts in the morning with some friends. But, in the evening, I was on a boat (did anyone catch the reference in the post title?).

The last big senior week event I attended was a harbor cruise on the Odyssey, and at $25 it was one of the more expensive. I took some time to actually plan out my outfit, because I had been dying to wear my tulle skirt. I wanted a bit of blue for the water, so my Peter Pilotto for Target dress it was! Forgive the horrible focus and slapdash editing on these--I took them in about ten minutes before I left and couldn't get my camera to focus on me!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Twice on Top of the World on a Tuesday

As I come to the end of my college years, I will be doing a "series" of blog posts about the events of my final weeks. Excuse the tearstains.

The next senior events started the very next day, on the 12th. My morning was quite busy because I had a second interview for an internship (more on that, later!), and then I had the Honors Program dinner, followed by the "Top of the Taj" black-and-white event.

Honors had the most delicious salad (goat cheese, arugala, craisins, and walnuts), glazed carrots and string beans, bread and butter, and stuffed eggplant, not to mention dessert. But more importantly, it was great to see so many of my Honors friends. We've been through all the same classes, the same problems, and, of course, the thesis project. Most of us were going straight to the Taj event after, and so it ended up being a rather fancy dinner.

The program director announced the thesis awards, basically threw the purple cords at us to make sure we all had them for graduation, and then slowly he and our advisors left. Even with the food gone, we pushed the tables together, found some placards from a faculty meeting, and hung out talking for another forty-five minutes or so, until it was time to walk to the Taj.

Twice on Top of the World on a Tuesday - Emerson College Honors | Pennies & Paper Blog

Twice on Top of the World on a Tuesday - Emerson College Honors | Pennies & Paper Blog
eighteen of us--missing thirty two Honors kids!
The Top of the Taj is literally on the enclosed roof on the top of the uber fancy Taj Hotel. It overlooks the Public Gardens and State House but also down Boylston Street--gorgeous views! This event cost money ($20) and there was a slight snafu a few days prior: about 450 students bought tickets, over double the number from years past, and the space can only hold 200 at a time. They ended up splitting the event so instead of four hours there were two two-hour shifts. I attended the 7 PM one, which nearly all my friends went to. To make up for the error, they added in a dessert bar--which was an odd contrast to the french fries, tater tots, and mini burgers they offered as food. I stuck with the desserts and the food brought around on trays periodically--California rolls and spring rolls. (I was very excited about the macarons, and ate far too many!)

Twice on Top of the World on a Tuesday - Boston Public Gardens | Pennies & Paper Blog

Twice on Top of the World on a Tuesday - Boylston Street Boston | Pennies & Paper Blog

Twice on Top of the World on a Tuesday - macarons creme brulee key lime | Pennies & Paper Blog

Twice on Top of the World on a Tuesday - Taj Hotel Boston | Pennies & Paper Blog

Twice on Top of the World on a Tuesday - Taj Hotel Boston | Pennies & Paper Blog
senior week witch coven
best photo of the week, by Mary
The Taj did have rather expensive drinks--$10 for a glass of unknown wine--so my roommates Taina, Mary, August, and I went to the Top of the Hub for equally expensive drinks, but ones more deservedly so! After 8 PM the Top of the Hub has a minimum of $24 per person, so two drinks it was: blueberry mojito and a ginger lemondrop. Many of the other 7 o'clockers had the same idea, and so there was very much an Emerson takeover on the top of the Prudential Building :)

Twice on Top of the World on a Tuesday - Top of the Hub Boston | Pennies & Paper Blog

Three big events rounded of the Tuesday of my senior week!

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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Monday Meetings & Farewells

As I come to the end of my college years, I will be doing a "series" of blog posts about the events of my final weeks. Excuse the tearstains.

Senior week started early--apparently too early for many of us now that all homework and finals were done! On Monday May 11th at 11 AM, the senior class met in our largest theatre (also probably the most beautiful) to listen to speeches by the dean and class president before getting all the rules for the upcoming events. Show up to commencement next Monday by 8:30. Don't bring anything to commencement, but don't forget your ID, keys, phone, and snacks. Don't sneak flasks into any of the events. And above all, "wear sensible shoes" to everything! 
Monday Meetings & Farewells - Commencement Meeting | Pennies & Paper Blog
Photo from Emerson College
the "entire class," excluding those who slept in or had work. I can see me!

Friday, May 15, 2015

It's The Little Things

As I come to the end of my college years, I will be doing a "series" of blog posts about the events of my final weeks. Excuse the tearstains.

It's the Little Things | Pennies & Paper Blog

The end of college came with a lot of big events, but the smaller ones were just as important to me. They helped me recognize my own merits and accomplishments, but also appreciate how much work my classmates, coworkers, and fellow student leaders put into our projects.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

5 Lessons From Undergraduate Students for Publishing

As I come to the end of my college years, I will be doing a "series" of blog posts about the events of my final weeks. Excuse the tearstains.

On my blog, I often mention how busy I am, but I rarely discuss exactly why that is so. My college has very specific majors and focuses intensely on careers. While this is a concern at other colleges as well, I have heard of few that go to such great lengths to prepare students for the working world. One of the ways this happens is through the "co-curriculars"--our on-campus organizations.
Over the years, I've been involved in many, many clubs: writing for a lifestyle magazine, Atlas; editing for a literary magazine, then Gangsters in Concrete; playing Quidditch for my team, the J.P. Jaguars; writing entertainment news for Emertainment Monthly; doing PR and editing work while abroad for the Black Swan Literary and Cultural Magazine; managing both publishing and finances for a script anthology, Thread. But the club that stuck with me the most is Undergraduate Students for Publishing, affectionately called "Pub Club." This club does it all: holding networking events, panels, and workshops as well as publishing two student manuscripts and a genre-fiction literary magazine each semester.

5 Lessons From Undergraduate Students for Publishing | Pennies & Paper Blog
The three-pronged club logo: Undergraduate Students for Publishing, Wilde Press, and Generic

When I joined this club first semester freshman year as a regular member, I knew I wanted to be the president. Four years later, I'm finishing up my second semester as president for this wonderful club. We've done so much since I began as a publishing-illiterate freshman. At the end of my first year we added the literary magazine, Generic. My sophomore year, Wilde Press moved from publishing one book a semester to two.We then re-branded to accommodate our three branches (of events, book publishing, and literary magazine). We earned an honorable mention for one of our books from the New England Book Show. This year, the vice president and I created an official website and put a larger focus on networking and diversity within our events. We partnered with the small-but-connected graduate branch, Graduate Students for Publishing.

I just love this club, and I cannot get over the fact that I will not be a part of it any longer--but I also cannot wait to see what later presidents accomplish. Most importantly, I have learned so many invaluable lessons from this club. Here are the top five:

// Being in charge means delegating. I like to do everything myself, or at least see it all happening. But with so many events and projects, I just can't be everywhere at once--and nor should I. I got a taste of delegating last year, as the marketing director, but this year I really had to remember that each and every member is talented enough to do their job on their own. If someone was passionate about a particular task or event, I tried to assign the project to them. Other times, I would have to assign tasks based on skills or even how much free time someone had. But I also learned that it is equally important to make yourself available to provide help or extra training.