Friday, August 10, 2018

How to Style Sunglasses for Summer | Feat. New Styles from Warby Parker



Hello, beautiful! Haley Marie Blog is proud to present this amazing collab with Warby Parker, the stylish prescription frames company that's perfect for glasses-wearing gals. I am excited to help WP announce its latest collection for Summer 2018 with this blog post featuring the brand's newest styles of sunnies.

Sunglasses are one of those functional items that every girl needs for summer - ya know, so you can shield your eyes from those harmful UV rays - but they present a plethora of problems for the average consumer. Me personally, I have trouble finding frames that fit my petite bod (#ShortGirlProblems).

However, the biggest problem I find when shopping for sunglasses is finding a pair that stands out from the basic black. That's a problem that WP's new line happily fixes! Their sunglasses are as unique as you are as an individual, so you'll never have to blend into a boring sea of shades ever again. Plus, their styles are all available with prescription lenses, so you don't have to do the awkward layering thing in 2k18...if you wear glasses, you know what I'm talking about.

Check out my top four picks from WP's line below and how I style these unique shades for summer! And, as always, be sure to share this post on social media - and tag @haleymarieblog and @warbyparker - if you love what you see :)

Peplum x Classic Frames

As much as I rambled on about my hatred for basic black, I've got to admit that classic frames still have a special place in my heart. WP's newest black frames, however, are anything but boring! They come with a cute red, white and blue stripe detail that's perfect for soaking up those USA rays all summer long. 

Thanks to that classic color scheme, I paired these frames with a peplum tee from Tommy Hilfiger - because what better way to wear red, white and blue than the king of RWB himself? The peplum on this top is perfect for adding curves to petite frames, and masquerading any muffin top you might be concerned about.

Wear Me With...


High-Waisted Bikini x Retro Frames

Um, vintage T-Swizzle anybody? But seriously: these millennial pink cat-eye frames are the perfect throwback to a bygone era. They're perfect for adding the allure of a horizontal line to oblong faces. Coupled with their totally-kawaii take on tortoiseshell, you'll feel like the belle of the beach in these shades all summer long. 

As for this swimsuit, you have retrowear company ModCloth to thank for its adorable butterfly print and flattering figure. With its high-waisted bottoms and supportive top, this outfit is perfect for beach bumming it at any size. 

Wear Me With...



Pulitzer Prints x Lenses a la Jackie O 

You might recognize the silhouette of these latest frames from our late First Lady Jacqueline Onassis Kennedy - aka the beloved fashion saint Jackie O. These frames from WP are perfect for balancing and slimming round faces, without overwhelming petite gals. Pair them with a shift dress from our lady Lilly Pulitzer and you'll have an outfit that Jackie O herself would approve of.

This shift dress will outfit you in a classic silhouette that couldn't go better with these vintage 1950s glamour shades. And better yet: this LP print is limited edition, from the designer's collab with Gwyneth Paltrow and her lifestyle brand Goop. Pretty pinks plus lacy pom-pom trims? Gwyn, can I just say...I hope you're here to stay.

Wear Me With...


Greased Lightning x Lady in Red


Me singing to these leather pants: "You're the one that I want! You are the one I want...ooh ooh ooh, honey...." 

All jokes aside, let's stick with our theme and return to our vintage look of the day, aka a Sandra Dee-inspired ensemble featuring WP's cherry bomb frames. This shape is perfect for slim faces and adds the perfect pop of color to an all-black uniform. If you're a gal like me who struggles to incorporate color into your closet, you might consider opting for a pair of punchy frames like these! 

As for those infamous leather pants, you can feel good about this pair from Free People - because they're completely vegan. That's right, no animals were harmed in the making of this style! So, feel free to enjoy your Broadway moment guilt-free. After all...you deserve it!

Wear Me With...


Which style from Warby Parker was your fave? LMK @haleymarieblog on social media - or in the comments below!




Monday, August 6, 2018

A College Girl's Ultimate Bucket List



Hello, beautiful! I can't believe my senior year of college is already here. Just three years ago I was a starry-eyed, bushy-tailed freshman getting ready to start my first year at Boston University. Now, I'm graduating a year early with a degree in Communications Studies (minor in Political Science), planning to take a gap year to blog and teach barre3 and eventually pursue a J.D./M.S.W. so I can  help children with complicated family situations like mine. Oh, how the tables have turned...

As I enter my third and final year of college, I've been thinking a lot about the things I've already accomplished, and the things I'd still like to accomplish, during my time at BU. Namely, I've been working on a bucket list every girl should check off before she graduates from undergrad - and today, I'm here to share that bucket list with you!

To me, what's just as important as the grades you get in college are the memories you make. Even though I am graduating early to get a jump-start on my career, I would never want to feel as if I'd missed out on my final year of undergrad to get a 4.0 or cram for LSATs. Instead, I want to make sure that I live my last year at BU to the fullest, and spend as much time as possible with the most important people around me.

On that note, here is my ultimate bucket list for any college girl who wants to live her undergrad experience to the fullest, too! Keep reading to see which items I've checked off of my bucket list, and what I still plan to accomplish during my short time left at BU.




Stay Out Dancing All Night


Haley's bucket list: Incomplete! 

One thing I've been wanting to do since I came to BU was go out clubbing with some of my friends. To me, this is an amazing way to bond with your girlfriends, without pressure to dance with or hook up with guys. In Boston, there's an amazing gay club that lets in college students as young as 18. My BFF and I have been saying we were going to go for months now - but I vow to make my senior year the year that that finally happens! 


Hit the Campus Hookup Spot


Haley's bucket list: Incomplete! 

If you're not sexually active yet, more power to you - but if you are, and if getting sexy in public is one of your wildest fantasies, then you have to add this to your college bucket list. At BU, that spot is the fourth floor of our main library. I still haven't made this bucket list dream come true, but let's cross our fingers that senior year is the time I finally find a way to make it happen.


Start a New Friendship


Haley's bucket list: Complete!

College is the time to make best friends for life - and I'm happy to say that I've met so many amazing girls (and guys!) that have changed my life for the better. My BFFs Jenn, Julia, Maddi and Jakob are my rocks, and I couldn't live without their late-night advice (or momming after a long night out...Maddi knows what I'm talking about!). Now, the only thing that will make this bucket list item even better is making sure I stay in touch with them even after I'm graduated and gone. As of now, I'm pretty much the worst long-distance friend ever - but here's hoping that changes when I'm about to start missing some of my all-time favorite people next May! 


Rule Sorority Recruitment


Haley's bucket list: Complete!

While I understand sorority life isn't for everybody, my college experience would not have been the same if I had not joined Kappa Alpha Theta my spring semester of freshman year. Because of Theta, I've met about 50% of my closest friends, become deeply connected to our philanthropy (Court Appointed Special Advocates...hmm, sound anything like what I want to do with my life?) and been a mentor to my adorable and amazing little Kiana. Going into my senior year - and final recruitment with Theta - my goal for recruitment is to pref a girl who thinks Theta, so I can help carry on the Theta legacy long after I've graduated.


Make Straight As for the Semester


Haley's bucket list: Incomplete! 

As embarrassing as this is to admit, I've yet to make straight As for a semester while in college. My best semester, I got a 3.7 with two As and two Bs - but going into my senior year, I'm challenging myself to top that and shoot for a 4.0. This will help me a lot with my law school applications by bringing up my cumulative GPA after a couple of well-deserved Cs during my semester from hell (aka the semester I had strep throat for a month straight). Though it is more difficult at some schools than others to earn a 4.0 - hello, grade deflation! - nothing should stop you from aiming high and holding yourself to strict standards for your academics.


Host a Wine Night


Haley's bucket list: Incomplete! 

Ever since I moved into my apartment on campus, me and Julia have been saying we were going to host a party-slash-wine-night for all of our best friends. Now that it's my senior year - and I still haven't done this (not in the new place, anyways) - I can't wait to have all my friends over for a Pinterest-worthy wine night they'll want to plaster all over their Instagrams. Being the hostess with the mostess has been one of my best traits since high school, so what better way to show my appreciation for my BFFs during my last year at BU than with an incredible soiree? 


Plan a Trip for Spring Break


Haley's bucket list: Incomplete! 

Spring break at the beach is one of the quintessential college experiences - and what better time to live it up than your senior year of college? This year, my goal is to plan an amazing spring break trip with some of my closest friends to help us celebrate our last year together as a squad. I can't wait to spend my spring lounging in the sunshine, drinking cocktails out of coconuts and making memories with my favorite people. Next step? Start saving money for the trip now, so I'm not strapped for cash when March 2019 finally comes! Caribbean, here I come....


Pull an All-Nighter


Haley's bucket list: Complete! 

One of the times I first knew I was in love with David was when, after we first met online, we stayed up literally from 4pm to 7am talking all night long. To me, pulling an all-nighter was one of those "typical college experiences" that I thought was overrated - normally, I'm the world's biggest fan of my blanket and pillows! However, after that experience with David, I understand the appeal of pulling an all-nighter, especially if you're surrounded by people who are special to you. That late at night, you find yourself getting vulnerable and opening up to others in ways you didn't think were possible. So, what better way to solidify your bond than an all-nighter with your closest friends or significant other?


Show Your Team Spirit


Haley's bucket list: Complete! 

Because BU doesn't have a football team (long story short: we used to, but we sucked), hockey is the most hyped sport on campus. Our hockey team is pretty much treated like 1D by the professors, and freshman girls have been known to swoon for them from time-to-time (okay, pretty often). That being said, one of the experiences every BU freshman needs to have is dressing up to go to the Beanpot, an annual hockey tournament between some of the best hockey-playing schools in Boston, MA. It's held each year in the arena where the Bruins play, but the highlight? The trash talking is unreal! If you ever want to get out your frustrations by chanting at your school's rival, then a sports game is THE place to do it, hands-down.


Order Pizza with Your Roommate


Haley's bucket list: Incomplete! 

Not everyone is best friends with their college roommate - and that's okay! However, if you don't already know your roommate, I think everyone deserves the chance to start a friendship with the person they're spending a majority of their time with (at least, if you're a Netflix-in-bed kinda person like I am). Some of my best college memories have been staying in with Julia and coloring or doing face masks - but an in-room pizza party just for us totally takes the girls' night to the next level. 


Take a Date to Formal


Haley's bucket list: Incomplete! 

On the sorority scene, no social occasion is as important as winter and spring formals - basically two dances at venues reserved exclusively for members of our sorority. Last spring, I attended formal with my friend Jakob and we had a total blast. However, I've yet to bring a date who was more than platonic to this all-important sorority event! My hope for my senior year is that David will be able to fly out for at least one of my major formals, so I can finally knock this off my college bucket list before it's too late.


Spend a Day Volunteering


Haley's bucket list: Complete! 

As a member of Kappa Alpha Theta, raising money for our philanthropy is super important to me. In fact, CASA's mission to train and provide court-appointed advocates for children in the foster care system was one of the reasons I decided to attend law school in the first place. Each semester, we spend a day hosting a big philanthropy event for all the sororities and fraternities on campus. We are usually successful in raising a couple hundred dollars for CASA through this event - but most importantly, it's an amazing opportunity to spend quality time with my sisters, and help the children of CASA while we're doing it.


Start a Photo Album


Haley's bucket list: Incomplete! 

In general, I'm passionate about being present when I'm with my family, friends and loved ones. Usually that means I don't take many pictures of my friends and family. This year, I'm hoping that I'll remember to snap a couple more pics so I can put together an album to help myself remember these past three years of my life! This is also important to me so I can give my closest friends an album to remember me by when I head out of BU and into the next phase of my life - but shh, don't tell....


Walk the Stage at Graduation


Haley's bucket list: Incomplete! 

Last but not least comes the one thing every girl's got on her mind from the moment she walks through the door on her first day of class: GRADUATING! Walking the stage at graduation is going to be bittersweet. As much as I'm sad to think of what I'm leaving behind, I also know it's going to be incredibly rewarding to see all of my hard work come to fruition in the form of my degree. All in all, I can't wait to see what the future has in store for me and Haley Marie Blog, but it wouldn't bother me to wait a little bit longer before I check this final point off my ultimate college bucket list!


What bucket list items are you crossing off this fall? LMK in the comments below or @haleymarieblog on social media! 

Friday, July 20, 2018

Body Confidence at Any Height // Petite Wardrobe Staples Feat. True & Co.



Hello, beautiful! When you're petite like I am (we're talking 5'2" and below, here), shopping for clothes - and all the frilly, lacy things that go beneath them - can be stressful AF. Sleeves are too long, pants fit you in either the waist or legs (but never both!) and stores don't carry bra sizes small enough for a petite gal's erm, well, gals.

That's why I was super excited to learn about True & Co's mission to help every girl find a bra that fits. When they reached out to me to ask if I wanted to participate in their body confidence project - not for sponsorship - I was thrilled to spread the word about their fit-finding service.

I volunteered to write this post to help spread the word about True & Co and its' awesome quest to make sure girls like me with odd sizes don't have to search low and high for a well-fitting bra anymore! Because, honestly: for us shorties, what could be better than that?

As someone who's 5'2," ranges anywhere from an XS to a size 4 in clothing and wears a size 30D - yes, 30D - in bras, I know the struggle is real for those of us shopping for short legs and tiny torsos. Thankfully, after 20 years of experience as a short girl, I've picked up a couple of tricks for finding clothes that fit - and, of course, wearing them with confidence!

Here are all my tips for rocking your short bod with confidence, and my favorite clothing brands for fitting a petite frame. But first, three cheers to True & Co, without whom this post may not exist: hip, hip, hooray!


Why I Love Being Short


Like most teenage girls, it took me a long time to start feeling comfortable in my own skin and loving the body I was born with. Some days, I wished that I could be as tall as my friends, or not feel the compulsive need to wear high heels to school dances so I could be tall enough to dance with my dates. Other days, I looked at other short girls around me and wondered why they were so skinny: as a shortie with boobs and a butt, I often felt "fat" simply for having some meat on my petite bones! 

Eventually, I realized that being short was a blessing in disguise. Sure, I can't reach the top shelf without standing on a chair - but chances are, I can also reach into that weird space under the fridge or under the car seat when you inevitably lose your phone someplace small and specific. 

As a dancer, I also learned to love my short frame - because unlike other areas, like modeling or basketball, ballet dance actually values us short girls! Did you know some ballet auditions will look for girls specifically under 5'6"? I don't bring this up to encourage ballet's often unhealthy standards of beauty - we all know how Black Swan went for Natalie Portman, after all - but rather to point out how transformative it can be when you find a community that not only accepts you, but also finds your imperfections desirable. From ballet I learned that if you have an "odd" body type, you can find some community or standard of beauty somewhere where your body is anything but "odd" after all! 

And you know what else? Some of the women America considers most beautiful are way shorter than you probably think they are. Kim Kardashian may have curves galore, but in reality, she's only as tall as I am! (5'2," to be exact.) Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga may know how to belt, but they're both only 5'1" - so, as tall as my somewhat-shorter mother and grandmother before me. And funny girls Anna Kendrick and Amy Poehler? Both are only 5'2," but both are capable of bringing out the big laughs! 

There's nothing wrong with being taller than 5'2." You could be 4'9" or 6'1" and I wouldn't care - I'd still want to be your friend! But as a short girl who has sometimes gotten down on herself about her height, or felt frustrated that clothes weren't made for me, finding role models to look up to and spaces where my body type was valued completely transformed my body confidence. 

Whereas I was once terrified to stand next to my equally-short friends in a bikini, for fear of looking bigger than them, I am now proud to be a curvy 5'2" (just like Kim K!) and love to brag about finding the perfect pair of petite pants for my curves. I am also on my way to embracing my body in new ways, too: I am also a yogi, and if all goes as planned, I will become a certified barre instructor in September 2018! It's all about finding that balance between loving your body the way it is, and finding new ways to use and improve it through mindful movement. 


Where to Find the Perfect Fit


If there's anything I know to be true about being a short girl, it's that finding clothes that actually fit can be a pain and a half (to say the least!). For some reason, stores all seem to think that us petite girls all fall into one body type - one I'd liken to the 90 lb girl you knew in high school who stayed skinny despite subsisting only on french fries. 

However, like all women, short girls come in a range of shapes and sizes. You can't put us in a box, people! Thankfully, with 20 years of experience of living life at 5'2" and under, I've gathered a few shopping tricks for finding the perfect fit at any height. Here are some of my favorite stores for stocking up on petite wardrobe essentials, and my recommendations for the best products around.


Skinny jeans that won't bunch: Hollister Co.


Hollister Co. isn't just for your teenage cousin anymore, shorties: I've sworn by its jean sales ever since I discovered the range of shapes, sizes, cuts and styles they offer. No other store even comes close to offering as much variety as Hollister! Their jeans start at size 00 and run all the way up to size 15 - plus, they've got short, regular and long inseams/legs for girls of any size. 

Haley's pick: Advanced Stretch High Rise Jean Leggings ($29, On Sale)





Ankle pants that actually hit your ankles: J. Crew


Finding work pants when you're 5'2" means a major ride on the struggle bus, people! Most styles are either too long, too baggy or too tight - which is why discovering J. Crew Factory's selection of petite ankle pants at 19 was a true revelation. Because nothing screams "adulting" better than a good pair of ankle crops - am I right or amirite? (Psst...they come in sizes 00-12, too!)

Haley's pick: Petite Winnie Pant in Navy ($34.50)




Sleeves you won't need to roll up: LOFT


When you're under 5'3," sleeve lengths can be one of the trickiest things for a clothing brand to get right. A size XS might fit you in every other place...but when it comes to the sleeves, well, let's just say you could fit an entire second hand in there. That's why I was excited to discover that LOFT - one of my favorite clothing brands of all time! - offers a wide variety of tops in petite sizes. Their tops boast shorter sleeve lengths and a better fit, for petite girls ranging all the way from size XXS to size XXL. 




Mini dresses that fit mini girls: Lilly Pulitzer


Lilly Pulitzer's shift dresses may not come in explicit petite sizing, but as a girl who is 5'2" (and wears a size 2 from Lilly), I have always found her shift dresses to fit better than any others. They're tasteful and tapered, with a snug fit in the bodice and a flattering above-the-knee hemline - yes, even at 5'2"! Plus, Lilly serves gals in sizes 00-16, so you're guaranteed pretty prep at almost any shape.

Haley's pick: Mila Shift Dress in Blue Peri Pop Up Stuffed Shells ($178)






A watch that won't overwhelm little wrists: the FitBit Alta


The FitBit Alta makes the perfect watch for little wrists because it's far from big and bulky, with a slim face that's amazing for petite body types. Not to mention, it's pretty dang smart, too! Functioning as a pedometer, pager (yep, that's right - you can read incoming texts on your Alta!) and calorie-tracker all in one, the Alta proves that great things do indeed come in small packages, after all.

Haley's pick: FitBit Alta HR in Soft Pink/Rose Gold ($149.95)





Gape-free cups you'll be able to fill: True & Co


Last but not least, we get to True & Co - the form-fitting lingerie company that inspired this body confidence post in the first place! To me, feeling confident in your lingerie is less about black lace and booty, and more about the right fit. At True & Co, the focus is on finding bras and panties that fit your unique body right - not looking like a Victoria's Secret angel strutting her way down the runway. With an easy quiz to help you find the right fit, you'll be on your way to wardrobe bliss in under five minutes.


Haley's pick: True Everyday Demi Bra in Dulce ($14, On Sale!) 



What wardrobe staples do you swear by? LMK @haleymarieblog or in the comments below! 


Friday, July 13, 2018

SPONSORED: 12 Products to Help You Glow Up This Summer



Hello, beautiful! As relieved as I have been to take a break from blogging (and spend time with my handsome boyfriend), I'm excited to get back into my regular routine - and share more of my inner life with you guys here on Haley Marie Blog, of course.

Today's blog post is all about the coveted summer glow up, which, let's face it, we've all been secretly craving since June 1st. I'm a firm believer that every body is a beach body, and that we don't need an Instagram filter or makeup mask to love ourselves the way that we are - but that doesn't mean we can't prioritize taking care of our bodies inside and out, too! 

More importantly, it's important to acknowledge that what we see online - whether in the blogging, YouTube or Instagram communities - isn't always what we get in real life. To me, the glow up trend highlights an important reality of being a woman in the public eye: it takes a lot - and I mean a lot - of effort to keep up appearances! 

Lately, I've been obsessed with absorbing as many summer beauty secrets as I can on Pinterest to help me master the art of physical self-care. My adventures eventually led me to learn about some incredible products to help you get that #glowup this summer, which I'm sharing with you today on the blog. 

As I tell you the products I swear by for boosting my physical appearance, I encourage you to keep in mind that these supplements, scrubs and shampoos are part of what goes into being a beauty and lifestyle blogger. In other words, what you see on my blog and Instagram feed is not what you get when I roll out of bed at 7 AM in my favorite whale pajamas. 

My life is far from perfect. However, with a little help from the right products, you, too, can live like one of your favorite bloggers! Assuming, of course, that I'm one of your faves :) 

On that note, I can't wait to tell you all about my newfound beauty secrets for the perfect summer glow up - but before I go any further, I just want to take a brief moment to say thank you to Ritual for sending me their Women's Multivitamin to review and for inspiring today's post! Here's to the perfect daily ritual that helped me get my summer glow going on - and the ultimate women's health product that I hope you will love as much as I do.


Skin & Body


Step one to glowing up? Glowing skin, of course! This summer, show your full body and skin a little TLC - it is your largest organ, after all. Oh, and while you're soaking up those summer rays, don't forget to slather on some broad-spectrum SPF....because skin cancer isn't a good look on anyone, babe!

Ritual Essential for Women (AD)




When Ritual offered to send me their cult-favorite women's multivitamins to try, I couldn't be more excited. Not only are these vitamins totally Instagram-friendly (for all you bloggers out there!), but they're pretty much your typical multivitamin on steroids. These vitamins are free of synthetic colors, nausea-free and will leave your mouth minty fresh, meaning no more icky capsules that taste like dog food.



Ritual's Essential for Women formulation comes with nine key nutrients that are, you guessed it, essential to maintaining a healthy body and glowing skin. Their Omega-3s come from algae oil rather than fish, so you can feel good about getting your nutrients from a 100% vegan source, if you're into that kind of thing. Add on folate, boron, magnesium and more, and you've got yourself a supercharged multivitamin that's the perfect addition to your summer glow-up routine!


ClassPass Membership


As much as I love beauty products, there's only so much that scrubs, lotions and cleansers can do for your body. In the end, I'm of the opinion that there's nothing better than good old-fashioned exercise for giving you that summer glow. The key is finding an activity you love to do, and doing it often! That's what's great about ClassPass: their flexible monthly membership allows you to try out tons of classes nearby on the cheap. Click here to get a $40 credit from yours truly (aka a free week of ClassPass)! 


Foreo FoFo


The Foreo FoFo is Foreo's next-level skincare technology. Included in every fabfitfun box this summer, the FoFo hooks up to Foreo's app to conduct personalized moisture readings - that's right, this device's unique sensors can determine whether your skin is hydrated too little, too much or just right. After these readings, the app gives you a personalized skincare treatment plan that syncs to your device, so you can have the cleanest skin of your life in less that five minutes. Can you say "hello, summer glow?" 


Curology Acne Treatment


If you've ever struggled with hormonal acne, then you know how much Curology's customized acne treatments have helped me in the past. (Click here to check out my blog post all about it.) All you have to do to get a custom acne formulation from Curology? Snap a couple of pics, send them to your virtual derm and wait. Your custom formula will be on its way to your doorstep in no time, leaving you with nothing left to do but relax and get ready to thank Curology for its borderline-miraculous results.


Hair & Brows


Don't underestimate the power of hair to make a statement. Personally, I consider my hair an accessory of its own - and when I'm having a bad hair day, it's impossible for my look to stay on fleek without some serious doctoring in the salon or vanity mirror. That's why if you want to glow up, it's just as important to take care of your hair as it is to take care of the rest of your body! Oh, and don't forget your brows - after all, if your eyes are the window to the soul, then your eyebrows are pretty much the curtains to your soul. No pressure ;)


The Perfect Cut & Color


There's a lot to be said for a good haircut when it comes to styling the perfect look. I'm a big believer in investing in a quality salon experience - as in, a professional cut and color - in exchange for months upon months of great hair days. Because why waste your money on weekly blowouts when you could get a flattering haircut and air dry it? Don't just use the hashtag #WokeUpLikeThis - get a hairstyle that actually looks good when you wake up! A word of advice: salon consultations are key - and once you find a stylist you like, stick with 'em.


Love, Beauty & Planet Blooming Color Shampoo and Conditioner


Colored hair, beware! Traditional shampoos and conditioners can easily lead to brassiness and sun-bleaching if you're not careful. That's why I take care to use products specially formulated for colored hair. My latest obsession has been the Love, Beauty & Planet Blooming Color Shampoo and Conditioner for color-treated hair. The shampoo and conditioner both use coconut oil, murumuru butter and rose to keep your hair glossy and soft, and your color looking good as new. I highly recommend this product for hair that glows, especially if you're looking to extend the time you spend between salon visits.


It's a 10 Miracle Leave-In for Blondes


I can't possibly say enough about the It's a 10 original leave-in treatment - so you can imagine my glee when I discovered a special formulation especially for blondes. While I'm not blonde all-over, I like this product because it protects my highlights from sun damage and brassiness. After all, the perfect glow-up is all about that "I look amazing but I didn't even try" aesthetic - and there's no better way to ruin that than a botched dye job. Moral of the story is that you should always take care of your color-treated hair - and, of course, don't forget a spritz of It's a 10 before you leave for your next jet-set adventure.


Benefit Brow Bar


Last but not least, I'm loyal to the Benefit Brow Bar inside my local Ulta for giving me arches sharp enough to kill a man (don't worry, I kid). But seriously: the Benefit Brow Bar offers the most legit brow wax I've ever received! Before they even start slathering your skin in hot wax, they first map your brows and fill them in with a pencil so they can see where to start and stop waxing, tweezing and trimming. Then, your stylist gets to work with the speed and precision of a professional stunt driver - and soon enough, you'll have the best brows this side of the Mason-Dixon line.



Sexual & Mental Health


I firmly believe that when your body is healthy on the inside, you'll shine from the inside out. To me, mental and sexual health are both two HUGE components of what makes somebody healthy on the inside. (After all, what better way to glow up than afterglow?) The idea is simple: when you're happy and sexually satisfied, you put your best self forward. That confidence and joy you feel will leave you practically radiating from the inside out!


Sustain Natural Latex Condoms


Step one to sexual health: practice safe sex each and every time! Start by getting tested, and only having sex with partners who have tested clean, too. Then, use a barrier method - the right way - each and every time you have sex. (Side note: here's a handy guide from Planned Parenthood on practicing safe sex, whether or not you live with an STI.) Sustain's Natural Latex Condoms are a great barrier option for penetrative sex, and can also be turned into dental dams with a couple of handy snips. I love these condoms because founder Meika Hollander designed them to be fair-trade and chemical-free. For an extra-good time, pair them with Sustain's all-natural lubricant to reduce friction (and the chance of breakage) while doing the deed.


HUM Nutrition Moody Bird 


When I learned there was a vitamin that could prevent me from experiencing such bad PMS and mood swings throughout my cycle, my reaction went a little something like this:


But in all seriousness, I can't rave enough about HUM Nutrition's Moody Bird supplement. It contains all-natural Dong Quai and Chaste Berry herbs, which have been used in natural medicine for centuries to help regulate the menstrual cycle. And, what's better, you can get $10.00 off your first order with my code 14B2CC! Head on over to HUM Nutrition to shop Moody Bird ASAP

Spring Valley Cranberry Chews


Spring Valley's Cranberry Chews are pretty much Pinterest's number one obsession for women's health. Not only do the natural benefits of cranberry help protect you from UTIs (so does peeing after sex, FYI), but there's a conspiracy theory that they might even improve the taste of your lady parts during oral sex. Granted, there's no scientific evidence showing that this is true, but hey: I'm willing to try anything once for the sake of better sex.

OMG Yes Video Subscription


I've raved about OMG Yes before in my 5 Things I Wish I Learned in Sex Ed post, but I stand by what I said! For $40.00, you get lifetime access to OMG Yes's library of video tutorials and hands-on demos. The subject? How to masturbate especially for women - and, of course, how to better communicate your needs when translating the hands-on approach to a partner in the bedroom. It's a pretty price to pay for Orgasm 101, but with the orgasm gap as wide as it is, it's my firm belief that more women should know this resource is out there...and that more women should be investing in their pleasure through OMG Yes!


What glow-up essential do YOU swear by?
LMK @haleymarieblog or in the comments below!

Friday, July 6, 2018

First Apartment Wishlist + Priorities Questionnaire



Hello, beautiful! If you've been following my college journey on Haley Marie Blog for the past two years, you know my time as an undergrad at Boston University is about to come to a close in May 2019. (Yep, that's a year early, for those of you who might be wondering...cuz I'm just that good! LOL, JK - although I am seriously graduating early....)

For me, graduating means a lot of big life transitions. Not only will I be getting a grown-up job (#adulting) while studying for law school on the side, but I'm also planning a big move-in with my long-distance boyfriend in his home city of Cleveland, OH.

As an East Coast girl through-and-through, adjusting to Midwest culture while exploring an entirely new city together is going to be a huge stepping stone for me on my journey into adulthood. And as excited as I am to share this experience with David, I have to admit that I'm a little nervous to make this giant leap into the next chapter of my life.

One part of adulthood I am excited about, though? Apartment shopping! Daydreaming about our new place on Pinterest is one of my favorite ways to banish the senior scaries when I start to panic about my impending graduation....hence this wishlist detailing all the cutest home decor a girl could ever ask for.

Plus, as a reward for bearing with me as I walk you through this vivid dream of mine, I'll be sharing a helpful Apartment Priorities Questionnaire to help you and your roommate(s) or partner find your dream place in a pinch. Whether you're looking for a quiet two-bedroom in the suburbs or a quaint studio apartment in the big city, this free printable will help you narrow down your apartment search from positively overwhelming to slightly more bearable.

So, without further ado, let's give three cheers for free printables - and three cheers for decorating the perfect apartment! Let's get started, shall we?

Living Room



Ikea Holmsund Sleeper Sofa in Light White Gray ($549)


Amazon LED Word Clock ($80)


Ikea Adum Rug in Light Brown Pink ($60)


Target Darlah Medium Firwood Table ($43)


Target White Solid Cotton Woven Throw ($43)



White Barn Pink Prosecco 3-Wick Candle ($25)


Etsy Shawshank Redemption Movie Poster ($5)


Etsy Legally Blonde Movie Poster ($5)






Kitchen



Ikea Bjursta / Henriksdal Dining Set ($445)


Amazon Keurig in Turquoise ($130)


Amazon Chef's Path Airtight Storage Set ($60)


Anthropologie Kupia Handpainted Vase Set ($58)


Ikea Vardera 18-Piece Dinnerware Set ($40)


Lilly Pulitzer Low Ball Glasses in Catch the Wave ($32)


Ikea Rustik 20-Piece Flatware Set ($30)


Target White Storage Cart ($30)


Ikea Bestaende Dish Drainer ($25)


Etsy Happy Hour Sign ($22)


Amazon Stylish Steel Mug Tree Rack ($21)


Ikea Oversikt Mug ($4)




Bedroom




Ikea Dyfjord 4-Drawer Chest ($189)


Target Amherst Mid Century Modern Writing Desk ($171)


Target Winslow Tufted Back Chair in Blush Pink ($170)


Urban Outfitters Anna Desk Lamp ($74)


Amazon White Cheval Free Standing Floor Mirror ($53)


Urban Outfitters Copper Wire Wall Square Grid ($49)


Target Gray Heather Comforter Set ($48)


Amazon FurHaven Orthopedic Pet Sofa ($31)


Etsy Big Spoon Little Spoon Pillow Case Set ($28)


Target Pink Pleated Round Throw Pillow ($27)


Target Cream Faux Fur Throw Blanket ($26)


Amazon Pale Pink Supreme Sheets ($25)


Amazon Marble Ceramic Ring Dish ($12)


Target Stackable Shoe Rack ($11)


Target Deep Fabric Bin in Light Gray ($10)


Target Standard Fabric Shoe Bin in Light Gray ($10)


Poppin Blush This + That Tray ($10)


Poppin Blush Desk Accessory Tray ($10)






Bathroom


Amazon Dark Walnut Brown Bathtub Caddy ($25)


Mimihome Tropical Palm Leaf Shower Curtain ($18)


Amazon Copper Wire Storage Basket ($14)


Nate Berkuss Gold Glass Canister ($13)


Target Pearlized Soap Dispenser ($10)






Want your free Apartment Priorities Questionnaire?



Click here to download 100% FREE!


Saturday, June 30, 2018

Four Struggles of Being in an Interfaith Relationship



Hello, beautiful! One aspect of my identity that I've had to come to terms with lately is being someone in an interfaith relationship. Being in an interfaith relationship can be both beautiful and challenging in that it opens your eyes to new cultures, traditions and experiences - but there's also a learning curve as you discover the sacrifices and steps it takes to maintain a relationship with someone of a different faith.

As a Unitarian-Universalist, I identify strongly with the principles of my faith, such as the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and the commitment to a liberal religious tradition. My family, however, came from more conservative religious backgrounds, with my dad being raised a Southern Baptist and my mom raised in the Catholic faith. Though I was raised as a non-denominational Christian, I eventually found the Unitarian Church on my own and broke away from the Christian traditions of my youth. (Side note: Unitarianism has historical roots in Christianity, but I personally do not consider it ideologically Christian!)

My boyfriend David, on the other hand, comes from an Eastern European immigrant family and was raised with a strong Jewish identity, one that he hopes to preserve and pass on to his kids as he grows older. Growing up in a town where I only knew one or two Jewish kids at school, I've had a lot to learn since entering into our relationship. The huge learning curve seemed scary at first, but I've grown to admire the fact that our children will have a mixed cultural identity, and can't wait to start celebrating two sets of traditions together as a couple!

Admittedly, there have definitely been arguments, mishaps and verbal stumbles galore as we both attempt to navigate the rocky terrain of an interfaith relationship. In other words, being in an interfaith relationship is hard. As much as you don't want to admit that the other person's differing faith is a challenge, you just can't deny that things would be much easier if you both came from similar backgrounds.

But being in an interfaith relationship is one of those areas where "easier" definitely does not mean better." I actually think it's awesome that we get to celebrate two sets of holidays, raise our kids with two cultural identities and share our different backgrounds with one another as a couple! Not to mention, because we've grown through this challenge together, I know that we can overcome any relationship struggle that we put our minds to.

All that being said, I've definitely found it challenging to know where to turn to for advice or sympathy about being in an interfaith relationship. I found myself wishing that my favorite bloggers were writing about the topic, or that I knew of someone who was also in a relationship similar to mine.

That's why I decided to open up about this issue on Haley Marie Blog, and become a reputable source of information about being in an interfaith relationship! So, without rambling on any further, here is what I think are the four greatest struggles of being in an interfaith relationship, and how any strong couple can adroitly overcome them.



1. Celebrating Holidays


One of the things children of divorce hate hearing is that old exclamation, "I can't believe you get two Christmases! That's so cool." Actually, no, it's not - because when I wake up at 6 AM on Christmas morning to open presents, the last thing I want to do is have to get dressed and do it all over again in the afternoon.

However, I do happen to think that the "more the merrier" saying holds true when it comes to interfaith relationships (if not to families of divorce). For me, celebrating Jewish and Christian holidays simply means there's more to celebrate! Plus, it's an amazing opportunity to try new foods, embrace new cultures and experience a way of life that you've never been exposed to before.

If you want to get the most out of celebrating holidays as an interfaith couple, the key is to make sure you don't view your holidays as "competing" with one another for attention. For example, a couple can spare a couple minutes to light a menorah every night without threatening the importance of selecting a Christmas tree - so don't make it into a conflict or competition if it doesn't need to be!

I also recommend talking about how you're going to celebrate long before the holiday actually begins. In Judaism, for example, there are some holidays where you're expected to abstain from eating and drinking until sundown. So, early in our relationship, David and I decided on a compromise where I would participate in fasting with him, but that I wouldn't give up my water bottle or morning coffee during those holidays! We also decided that instead of Chanukah and Christmas presents, we would simply have one exchange of holiday gifts between the two of us come wintertime.

Setting simple expectations like these takes the scariness out of celebrating a new set of holidays and embracing a new culture, and prevents arguments about these subjects from getting in the way of celebrating holidays joyfully the day-of.



2. Planning the Future


David and I are opposites when it comes to what aspects of our upbringings were most important to us. Because David comes from a first-generation immigrant family, it's profoundly important to him to raise his children Jewish - but as a girl whose family has been around since the Revolutionary War, I don't have much of a culture to speak of (besides lighting sparklers on the 4th of July, that is). On the other hand, David doesn't consider himself religious, but I identify strongly with my Unitarian-Universalist faith, and want to raise my children within the Unitarian church.

Thankfully, because we are opposites in this respect, my Unitarianism and his Judaism can peacefully coexist in our future family with hardly any conflict. But that does not make these conversations easy for anyone - trust me!

Especially in the early days of a relationship, talking about the difficult subjects of religion and culture can put a damper on that whole "honeymoon" thing. However, the last thing you want to do is realize three years down the line as you're getting engaged to your S.O. that you've never had "The Talk" about your different faiths. It's much better, IMHO, to rip it off like a Band-Aid and get the conversation out of the way early, so you aren't finding out about any dealbreakers once it's already too late.



3. Dealing with Parents


In many religions-slash-cultures, parents place a lot of pressure on their children to date and marry someone from the same religion or culture as them. I quickly learned from David's parents that Judaism is no different - and I'm not going to lie: it hurt.

David may love me regardless of the religious tradition I was born in, but that doesn't make it any easier to hear that his dad disapproves of me simply because of one small, uncontrollable factor about who I am. And I know that unfortunately, this is only going to be one of the first of many times that someone in our respective families adds their two cents into our romantic equation.

Setting boundaries helps keep meddling parents at bay and fend off unnecessary negative commentary from the peanut gallery. I decided early on that I wasn't going to bring up David's culture with my conservative Catholic grandparents or Southern family until they asked - not because I am ashamed of it, or because he is ashamed of it, but because why open our relationship up to criticism before absolutely necessary? The same goes for David's family: neither of us plans to bring up my Unitarianism, or how we plan to wed/raise children/live our interfaith lives, until asked.

It might seem odd at first to avoid a topic that is so critical in so many people's lives around people who are so important in you and your S.O.'s lives, but when criticism is less than constructive, there's no benefit to lending your ear to opinionated relatives unless absolutely necessary.



4. Addressing Intolerance


But perhaps the hardest part of being in an interfaith relationship is explaining to others why your significant other's religion-slash-culture isn't a deal-breaking obstacle. Even if you and your S.O. don't have a problem with raising your children to celebrate two sets of holidays, going to two different places of worship or practicing two sets of wedding traditions, you're always going to run into people who just won't understand no matter what you say to them. 

Sometimes, these negative judgements might even make you second guess just how important your religious differences are to you. It hadn't even occurred to me that David being Jewish might be an obstacle in our relationship until his parents expressed their concerns about my lack of Jewish faith-slash-culture. When I learned what they had been saying about me, I suddenly had a whole slew of worries about our relationship that had never been a problem before. I even wondered if maybe my Unitarianism bothered David more than he had been letting on, or that their words would influence the way he felt about me or our relationship.

What helped me more than anything when it comes to being in an interfaith relationship was learning to tune out all of this noise. I had to learn to listen to David, not his parents, when he told me that our differences weren't a deal breaker. Deep down, I know he loves me regardless of how we were raised. In fact, I happen to think I am incredibly lucky that he developed such a tolerant attitude when his parents don't share it. It wasn't until I began to focus on the negative words of other important figures in our lives that I started to question whether or not my Unitarianism, or his Judaism, mattered in our relationship.

When I started to focus on the positive, rather than his family's criticisms, I realized I am actually blessed to have an S.O. who believes in us enough to put aside our religious and cultural differences. I stopped wondering if David was downplaying how much my religious-slash-cultural differences bothered him, and instead focused on how exciting it is that we get to combine our cultures and, someday, raise a child in a multicultural home.

When you think of an interfaith relationship that way, people stop asking "How hard is that?" and start saying "How cool is that?!" And if you don't find that that's the case, well...here I am to say, "How cool is that?!"

What's the greatest challenge you face as an interfaith couple? Tweet me @haleymarieblog or LMK in the comments below!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Top 5 LSAT Hacks for a 160+



Hello, beautiful! As you may have already heard, my most popular blog post of all-time here on Haley Marie Blog is still my classic "8 Tips Every Prelaw Student Needs to Know" - yet even though law school applications are becoming an even bigger, more pressing part of my life, I haven't written anything about going to law school since then.

That's why I figured a post on LSAT prep was way overdue, since the LSAT is literally all I can eat, sleep, breathe or think about from the moment I wake up until the moment I go to bed at night. (JK...except not really.) Granted, if you're not gunning to go to Harvard, there's no reason to kill yourself over the LSAT - but that doesn't mean a little bit of reasonable test anxiety isn't warranted, either!

Whether you're at the infancy stages of your LSAT progress or gearing up for the big test this summer, these tips will help you hack the LSAT. With so much conflicting advice out there, it's my goal that this post will help you filter out the unhelpful noise and get to the heart of the exam. And after that? Nothing but blue skies and 165s for the both of us!

...or, at least, let's cross our fingers for that ;)

Hack #1: Eyes on the Prize


You might remember from taking the SAT in high school that standardized tests tend to cause a big fuss among ambitious students. Well, if you happen to know other students vying for law school after graduation, I can assure you that the LSAT is no different!

With all that discussion of target scores and dream schools, it can be easy to lose sight of your personal goals and start comparing yourself to others. For example, if you just want a 160 and your best friend is gunning for a 175 to get into Harvard Law (what, like it's hard?), you could easily start to get down on yourself the more you hear her beat herself up over getting a 170 on her practice exam.

That's why I say "eyes on the prize": once you set your individual goal, stick to it, and try your darnedest not to fall prey to comparisons. As they say, comparison is the thief of joy - and once you start viewing your own goals as inferior, you're likely to find yourself stressed out, burned out and worn out long before test day.

Hack #2: Cut Out the Noise


Similarly, there's a lot of conflicting advice out there about which test prep books are the best, how you should be studying or solving questions and what scores you need to get into the law school of your dreams. But if you try to follow all of this advice at once, you're likely to get overwhelmed and just plain confused when answering practice questions.

My advice? Find what works for you and stick to it, regardless of what anyone else says! If something helps you study and you can see that it's helping you make progress on your practice questions and exams, then there's no use trying to adopt a method recommended by the "top LSAT tutors" (hint: they all say they're the "top tutors"). Instead, stick to your guns and follow a path that works well for you, and you alone!

That being said, a few tried and true resources come up time and time again among LSAT prep blogs and tutors - and when you hear something recommended to you that many times, you know there's gotta be something special there. For me, the PowerScore series, Manhattan Prep series, official LSAC practice test books and free Khan Academy LSAT tutoring were total game-changers (not to mention that they're all either LSAC-official or LSAT tutor-approved)...but if that's not what works for you, then don't listen! It really is as simple as that.

Hack #3: Request, Review, Renew


Between test center fees, the Credentials Assembly Service (CAS) and LSAT prep books, you can easily drop over $1,000 on applying to law school. So, how does one study for the LSATs without spending a fortune (or compromising their goal of a score above a 160)?

The number one most useful thing I've done so far in preparing for the LSAT was seeing if any of the books I wanted to buy were available at my local library. Requesting books from my local library has saved me both time and money in preparing efficiently and effectively for the LSAT on the cheap. 

Library resources tend to be underutilized among college students, and I highly recommend taking advantage of them whenever possible! However, if you're going to take advantage of these resources, make sure you get there early so you're first in line for your favorite LSAT books. (And in the meantime, check out the LSAC's free new prep course with Khan Academy! #notsponsored)


Hack #4: Be Your Own Drill Sargent 


Being able to answer questions correctly is all fine and well - until you start timing yourself, that is. If you crack under the pressure of being timed, find yourself running out of time or start getting exhausted by the end of a section, it's time to start drilling yourself to build up endurance for the real test.

There are a couple ways you can go about drilling yourself for the LSAT so you can build up as much endurance and stamina as possible. Namely...
  • PowerScore Workbooks. The PowerScore series of LSAT prep books is incredibly helpful - but PowerScore also makes a series of workbooks to help you drill yourself on the Reading Comprehension, Logical Reasoning and Analytical Reasoning series. 
  • Khan Academy Timed Mini Sections. When you sign up for the LSAC's LSAT prep course with Khan Academy, you start by taking a diagnostic test and creating a study plan. Then the course will automatically test you at various checkpoints by running timed mini sections to help whip your reasoning skills into shape! 
  • Full-Length Practice Exams from the LSAC. During your LSAT preparation, you should strive to take a full-length (timed!) practice exam at least once a week. The LSAC only offers one free practice exam online, and it's too old to have the comparative reading passages in its Reading Comprehension section. Instead, I would advise you to splurge for the LSAC's most recent books of ten full practice tests each, and the free LSAT Proctor app to time you along the way! 

Hack #5: Take a Breather


Last but not least, do not - I repeat: do NOT - try to study all day, every day, all week long. I put this bluntly because I want to emphasis how important it is! After all, the last thing you want to do when studying is burn out months before you even take your first exam.

So, take a break! Whether it's stepping outside for a breath of fresh air, watching an episode of Game of Thrones or calling a loved one to set up a much-needed coffee date, it's important to maintain healthy relationships with your self and others, even when cramming for this life-altering test.

Another strategy you might want to try is using a Pomodoro timer, which gives you set periods of work interspersed with short breaks every hour or so. The Focus Timer or Tide apps are great ways to time your study sessions Pomodoro-style. Simply set a timer on your favorite Pomodoro app and get down to business! Then, feel free to scroll through your favorite sites, take Buzzfeed quizzes or unwind with a YouTube video on your breaks...until it's time to rinse and repeat, that is ;)


What's your number one test-taking strategy? LMK @haleymarieblog or in the comments below!