New Year's Eve Fashion


Champagne is (of course) a New Year's Eve essential.  So whatever party/club/soiree you're heading out to, coordinate your dress with the bottle of champagne you're bringing.  Amp up classic gold with a little leopard print.  Make coral glow with glittery gold.  Stay pretty with pale pinks.  Unleash your sassy side with violet and crimson---red-hat-ladies-who?  Or embrace tradition with emerald green and onyx.


Black is this NYE hue.  Hit the dance clubs in a sequin-embellished mini dress and black boots made for getting your groove on.  Look hot at the bars in dark wash skinnies, a shoulder-revealing black top, and shiny pumps.  Channel your sophisticated side at a dinner party in a classy LBD and ladylike heels.  For a chill party opt for gray skinny jeans, a cute black top, and matching flats.  For an at-home all-nighter go with comfy sweat pants, a soft henley, and your fave slippers.


Go glamorous with a girly hue this New Year's.  Get all dolled up for a lavish event in a drapey one-shoulder dress, glittery pink heels, and a matching clutch.  Get your Barbie on at the bars in curve-hugging skinnies, a sequined tank, cropped blazer, and bumble-gum pink booties.  If you're hosting a fun girls' night-in, stick to cozy gray leggings, an over-sized pink sweatshirt, and plush slippers.


Break out the blue, baby.  Grab sapphire-hued martinis with your girls in a gorgeous blue cocktail dress, silver glitter heels, and earrings reminiscent of the famed Titanic "heart of the ocean."  For a night of Kinect, slip into your trusty pair of blue-jeans, a tee, and chucks.  Or burst onto the bar scene in black sequin shorts, black leggings, a blue Monroe tee, and sexy booties. 

It's your prerogative to look red hot this NYE.  Paint the town red in a glittery crimson mini dress, plus matching tights and booties.  Keep things warm and cozy for a night at home with the fam in faded blue jeans, an uber-comfy red shirt, and coordinating boots.  Go a little Mad Men in a vintage-inspired frock and retro pumps.  You'll be the spice of the pajama party in polka-dotted flannel pants and wintry slippers.  And lastly and most classy, own the night at the fancy party in your burgundy cocktail dress and seductive heels.


If you choose to drink this NYE, do so legally & responsibly.♥


Fa la la la la!

 My siblings, doggie, and me... all decked out in red on Christmas Eve.
 Left: My dog in the new Iowa State bandana I bought her.
Right: My handsome bf and me in our Iowa State garb. :)

Hey lovelies! I'm back from my little holiday hiatus.  How was your Christmas?  Mine was wonderful, but far too short!  I spent the evening of the 23rd, entire 24th, and first half of the 25th with my family, then I spent the evening of the 25th with my boyfriend's family.  I had to be back in my college town for work on the 26th.  But hopefully (weather permitting, this is Iowa) I can go back this weekend and spend New Year's with everybody.

Get anything good for Christmas?  I got a lot of kitchen stuff (pasta cooker, new coffee maker, blender, Giada cookbook, fancy olive oil bottle) and Iowa State clothes.  My boyfriend got me a beautiful antique mirrored tray with a silver Victorian set of a brush, comb, and hand-mirror.  He knows me so well. ;)  

The best part about Christmas was spending time with my family and the bf's family---I felt like I hadn't seen them in forrrrever, even though it'd only been since Thanksgiving.  Christmas Eve night was pizza night for my family---my mom, her sisters, and my grandma all made amazing homemade pizzas.  And Christmas night at my bf's place was delish as well as fun---we played Scattergories, Imaginiff, and the Xbox Kinnect (so fun & funny!). 

Leave a comment letting me know the most delicious thing you ate, the most wonderful moment/memory, or your favorite Christmas gift to give/get.  :) 



Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, lovelies!


Ms. Taken WINNER!

I tallied up all your comments (+ additional entries due to becoming a blog, Fb, or Twitter follower).  Then I assigned a number to each entry and used a random number generator to come up with the winner.
Aaaand the winner of this sparkly bling-bling is...


She said, " I love this ring! This summer I was the Jet Setter while studying abroad and the Ms.Taken ring would have been so handy with the ever persistent touristy shop owners!  I've also been pursued by a Mr. Macho van Strango - I love jewelry so for him to be wearing more than me was huge!"

Leah, watch your inbox for an e-mail with instructions for receiving the ring. :)

Merry Christmas!



Last Minute Gift | Goodies for Christmas

(image via: here.)

I'm a firm believer that baked goods can cure all ails.  So if you're stressing out about last minute Christmas gifts for friends, family, or your bf's parents... consider putting together something yummy that they can enjoy.  Here are a few ideas:

Rollo and m&m Pretzels
Mmmm... melted caramelly-chocolaty pretzels with a cute-as-a-button m&m on top!  You could also make these with white almond bark in the middle instead of a Rollo candy.  Check out the instructions at In the Kitchen w/ Kimmy.

Cake in a Jar
Cake in a jar?  No, we're not talking the little jars of ingredients that the gift-recipient actually has to mix together and bake.  We're talking actual already-baked cake in a jar.  A cake you can eat with a spoon or freeze for later!  Mesmerized?  Check it out at Country Consultant.  

Peppermint Bark
One of the easiest sweet holiday staples.  Paula Deen's recipe is always a crowd pleaser.  Plus, you can wrap it up in cute little bags tied with bows like *D* does over at Enjoy Yourself.

Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies
These are one of my favorite cookies.  I like to eat all around the kiss and then eat the chocolaty center last.  Check out the super simple recipe and instructions at AllRecipes.

Trail Mix
For my first Christmas with the bf, his mom sent home a jar of trail mix that she'd personally mixed together.  Hers included peanuts, raisins, m&m's, and maybe a few other things.  She put 'em in a simple mason jar and tied a pretty gold ribbon around the rim.  Make your own batch of trail mix.  Nuts like peanuts, almonds, cashews, walnuts, and pecans are ideal.  Throw in raisins, craisins, or other dried fruit.  Switch it up a little with things like chex, granola, and sunflower seed kernels or soynuts.  And don't forget something sweet like m&m's. 

When giving goodies as a Christmas gift, presentation is key (besides taste, that is!).  Put your cake or trail mix in a pretty jar and tie a ribbon around it with a "to/from" tag attached.  As for cookies and candies, put them in a holiday tin or lovely box.  Your recipient's heart will be warmed by the fact that you gave them something homemade by you!  And they'll be impressed by your pretty packaging skills. ;)



3 Pieces, 5 Ways | Internship Basics


You did it!  You landed your dream job (for the time being) or a fabulous internship.  But now... what to wear?  You stare at your closet and see no professional attire.  And when you start thinking of all the clothes you need and how much it will all cost, your feelings shift from excited to overwhelmed.  But don't stress.  There are three key pieces that can be easily mixed & matched and dressed up & down  with lots of clothing you already own.


When looking for the perfect pair of trousers, concentrate on fit, comfort, and color.  When it comes to fit, choose a pair that sits right below the belly-button.  Low rise pants can cause the notorious "muffin-top" effect.  And while high-waist pants can be very fashionable, they aren't the most versatile with every outfit.  Other features to look for are straight leg and flat front (no pleats).  If you can't find the perfect fit, get them tailored.  It will cost a little money, but it's an investment in your comfort and style.  Consider length when purchasing---will you be wearing heels often?  or are you flats kinda girl?  Maybe you need two pairs of two different lengths.  #1: Be cute and comfy with a bold cardigan layered over a simple white cami.  Accessorize with a neutral scarf, pretty earrings, and a bright pair of shoes that contrast with the cardigan.  #2: Channel some boyish charm by incorporating menswear-inspired details such as black oxfords on your feet and a suit vest over a basic black blouse.  A black leather mens' watch completes the look.  #3:  Exude antique chic style by pairing lovely lace with soft knits.  Wear vintage or vintage-inspired shoes and jewelry.  #4: Gray has become a go-to neutral.  A simple gray sweater is anything but boring when worn with a sparkly bracelet and elegant heels. #5: Camel is another neutral you should zero in on this season.  It looks especially gorgeous with jewel tones, like a camel cardigan over a plum tank.  Top it all off with camel pumps.


Do not be intimidated by the pencil skirt. With enough confidence (and the right fitting skirt) any girl can pull it off.  #1: Wear it with a ruffled striped top, black watch, and cute black booties for a little edge.  #2: Channel your inner Parisian with a red-and-white striped top, red cardigan, and red flats.  #3: Focus on a frilly top by keeping your accessories simple and black.  #4: Put the spotlight on that new pair of bright colored heels you bought.  Wear a black shirt and a scarf that features a little bit of the same color as your shoes.  #5: Look sophisticated by wearing nudes and tans.  Accessorize with a pair of glitzy earrings.  Opaque black tights will make all these looks all the more classy.


Now for my favorite item on the list: the boyfriend blazer!  This isn't your typical shoulder-padded, form fitting, button-all-the-way up suit jacket.  It's a little looser, a bit trendier, and much more versatile.  #1: Gray dress shorts and one of these season's lacy tops will look pretty under the bf blazer---while ruffled booties take it to new heights.  #2: If your workplace has the occasional "casual Friday," wear your blazer over a cute tank and dark skinny (not ripped up) skinny jeans.  Cute matching flats and a floral ring make this look adorable.  #3: The blazer pairs perfectly with a gorgeous dress.  Just make sure that the neckline is high and the hemline isn't too short.  Add glamor with lovely earrings, but keep the shoes simple (such as black pumps).  #4: A basic black t-shirt and silky pleated skirt are both elegant and comfortable when worn with the bf blazer.  Wear your favorite pair of black flats to give your feet a break from heels, too.  #5: Focus on the "boyfriend" aspect of the bf blazer by selecting menswear-inspired pieces. Slim fitting cords and a pinstripe button-down shirt look oh-so handsome with vintage-inspired oxfords.  A men's watch is the ideal final detail.

For great advice and information on finding and landing internships, check out Internships.com and the Internships.com Facebook page.



Holiday Fashion Inspiration


If you're like me and ended up saving a bunch of gift-shopping 'til the very last minute (due to lack of funds or just being a plain ol' procrastinator)... you'll want to wear something comfy and cute when you hit the mall to grab those deals.  Start off with your most trusty pair of worn-in blue jeans.  Add a soft t-shirt and a cardi or jacket---it'll keep your arms warm in those air-conditioned igloo stores and can be removed if you start sweatin' as you madly dash from American Eagle to Express.  Speaking of sprinting around, be wise in shoe choice.  Flat boots or mocs are most reliable for comfort.  Keep your bag small; a cross-body one is handy and you won't have to worry about accidentally putting it down as you load your arms with goodies.  Accessorize simply---earring studs will do quite nicely.


If you have fancy holiday parties on your schedule of festivities, you'll want to look your absolute best... especially if that dreamy guy you've been crushing on shows up or you want to look extra lovely on the arm of your lucky bf.  Keep it classy with simple dresses in rich hues.  Opt for opaque or lacy black tights with rounded toe pumps.  In case your bare arms get chilly, have a trendy blazer nearby to cover up.  Slip a note to your fella letting him know that you're waiting for him under the mistletoe.  (And that he better hurry because you're the belle of the holiday ball!)


Ahhh, family time!  It can be all to easy to slip into sweatpants and call it a day.  But a pair of skinny jeans and a cute sweater are calling your name.  So slip on a comfy pair of furry or fringed booties and head to the coffee house or movie theatre with fam and friends.  Be sure to wear an appropriate scent that reminds those around you of fresh baked goods or a cozy fireplace. 


What?  A fashion guide for Christmas morning?  Aren't you supposed to just roll outta bed, go wake mom and pops, and start ripping those presents open?  Well, yea.  But if your mom is like mine (who insists on taking pictures of me and my sibs opening presents on Christmas morn, and you have a few photos from Navidads past that you hope never see the light of day) then rolling outta bed already looking cute isn't such a bad idea.  On Christmas eve, just slip into a lovely pair of floral-printed pj pants and a tank.  In the morn, you just have to throw on some slippers (and some make-up) and you're ready for those memory-making photos.



Celebrate in Style!


We made it!  It's Friday!  Finals week is a thing of the past.  And now it's time to party!  What season is more festive than the holidays?  Hitting a Christmas-themed fiesta?  Channel your inner seductive Mrs. Claus with a little red dress, lacy scarlet tights, candy-cane-striped peep-toe heels, a red satin clutch, and St. Nick's favorite hat to top it off.  Feeling more Rudolf than Vixen?  Spread some goofy Christmas spirit at an Ugly Sweater party---there are literally tons of them going on right now.  Raid family member's closets, Goodwill, and thrift stores for the tackiest sweater you can get your hands on.  No luck?  Make your own.  Pair it with a frilly mini skirt, bold tights, a hair bow, and elfish booties to complete the look.  If you prefer the bars/clubs to parties, look no further than classic silver and gold.  It's easy to pull off and the chicest of holiday looks.  (Plus, you could re-wear it NYE.)  It's simple: black leggings paired with silver and gold metallics, sequins, sparkles, glitter, etc. 




Last night I considered pulling my first all-nighter.  Everywhere I go (class, work, the mall) I hear fellow students gushing about how they "stayed up alllll night writing that paper" and "pulled the third all-nighter in one week."  I tried to stay up.  I even drank highly sugared coffee... two cups!  But the later it got, the more I found myself reading blogs instead of reviewing slides, browsing WeHeartIt.com instead of memorizing notes.  At around 1am I decided to just go to bed and hope that I felt more up to studying in the morn.

I hardly got any sleep. :/

Once I laid down in my ultra-comfy bed and turned off the light, my mind wouldn't stop.  I obsessed about the most random things: what to buy for groceries this week, what to cook for dinner the next few nights, what to wear if I go out, what to buy everyone for Christmas since I procrastinated so much.  I just couldn't fall asleep.  And the heat kept kicking on and off, which was distracting.  The last time I checked my phone, it was 3:05 in the morning.

I eventually fell asleep... for what felt like a nap.  My alarm went off at 5:30.  Why so early since I don't have an exam 'til 9:45?  Well, I wanted to catch the earliest bus, eat a really good breakfast at the dining hall, and then get in a couple hours of quiet studying at the library.  I rolled outta bed at 5:45, caught the 6:30 bus (which was five minutes late), and ate one of the most delish omelets I've ever had.  I arrived at the library at 7:20... waited ten minutes for the doors to open, and hurried up to the fourth floor to nab a quiet nook with an outlet.

Warning: this is where the disgruntled rant begins:

Did I say "quiet" studying at the library?  Ugh.  My library time has been so frustrated.  To start out, a janitor/library worker decided to talk on her cell phone for fifteen minutes, loudly so that it would carry throughout the entire open-air lobby.  Then she started vacuuming... and she's still going at it, mind you.  I finally adjusted to the not-so-terrible hum of vacuuming when a girl trumped up the stairs and plopped down at a nearby table.  No biggie.  She seemed quiet.  No raging earbuds.  No vibrating phone on the table.  Etc. 

Well, her friend just showed up.  Loudmouth friend who talks 5x louder than quiet girl.  It's really starting to piss me off.  :/  I'm sleep deprived and grumpy.  For now I'm only shooting dirty looks.  But I reeeeeally wanna yell, "Shut up!"

It's Finals Week.  Some people just don't get it.  

*sigh* Why didn't I bring my earbuds?  :/



Breaking News!

I now take a momentary study break to deliver some breaking news to you!

The Water for Elephants movie trailer is available for viewing on iTunes!!   (Watch here!)
In case you don't know, Water for Elephants is one of my favorite books.  When I was reading it (several years ago) all I could think about was how it would make thee perfect movie.  When I heard that it was being turned into one... I was seriously psyched.  I've followed the news all along---from them getting Reese Witherspoon on board, to casting Robert Pattinson, and news about what lucky elephant plays Rosie.  

When I heard Reese was on board, I nearly did cartwheels in my kitchen.  (And I don't even know how to do cartwheels!)  I do wish that she'd dyed her hair brunette because in the book, Marlena has brunette hair.  But I'll let it slide because Ms. Witherspoon is such a fabulous actress.  And as for Robert Pattinson, well... I can't say I'm on "Team Edward."  And honestly, I was a bit disgruntled when I heard he landed the role of Jacob.  Buuut... I figured with some Depression Era-clothing, a pair of suspenders, and a little sunlight... I could warm up to the idea.  And I think WFE might make me a fan of Mr. Pattinson. ;)
Anyway.  I have finals to study for.  UGH. So back I go to my bowl of easy-mac and handful of oreos.

To read my book review, click here.  You should read it so that you're "in the know" with all my WFE-related babbling that will be occurring up until, during, and after the movie release.  

(Forgive any grammatical and spelling errors in this post as I'm super-duper excited about this movie, hyped up on highly sugared coffee, and brain-fried from studying Linguistics.  Thankya!)


Hump Day!

 (image via: here.)

This isn't your ordinary Hump Day!  After today, I'm "over the hump" of Finals Week.  Well, in actuality... Thursday is my last day.  I have 2 finals tomorrow---one right after the other!  Ugh.  At least I don't have any Friday, right?
Well, in case you need a study break or a few minutes of procrastination, here are my recommendations: 

If all that classical music (for making you a more productive studier) is making your ears bleed, listen to FratMusic.com.  Seriously, it's a godsend.  There are streaming music channels and lots of playlists.  I prefer "Rage" because it has thee best selection of party/dancing music.  But you can pick "Day Drinkin'," "Dubstep," or "Chillin'" of those suit your study break better. ;)
If your eyes hurt from staring at textbooks all day, check out I Want to Be Her.  Andrea Linett (former creative director of Lucky magazine) features illustrations and photos of stylish women she meets on the street, in shops, etc. and breaks down their style.  It makes for great fashion inspiration.

And lastly, a site that gobbled up precious hours of last night's sleepy-time... I present: Damn You Auto Correct!  I don't have an iPhone, but this website makes me want one just for the sheer hilarity of embarrassing, disgusting, and WTF text/chat messages.  Consider yourselves warned though when I say that you will become addicted.  I sat in my apartment living all alone last night reading auto correct mishaps---I laughed so hard I had tears!

Okay---now to spend the rest of my day NOT procrastinating with FratMusic, I Want to Be Her, or Damn You Auto Correct... and study instead!!



Bear with me...

It's officially finals week.  So bear with me as I may or may not get around to publishing a post every day this week.  But this semester is almost over---I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.  I hope you all rocked your own finals!  And if your finals week is this week, too... good luck to ya!

One pretty awesome thing that happened this week: Lovely Undergrad passed 300 "Followers"!  I'm quite psyched and flattered.  I know that there are even more of you that subscribe via RSS readers, e-mail, and by just checking in on the site.  So thank you for your support---I definitely have the loveliest readers ever. :)

Be sure to enter the Ms. Taken Femme Fatale ring giveaway if you haven't already!



Finals Fashion


With the stress of exams, your wardrobe is probably the last thing on your mind.  If you haven't already gone to class all semester in the classic combination of fleece, sweatpants, and uggs... now's the time that you feel most tempted to throw them on.  But stop.  If only for a second.  You can be cute AND comfy.  Repeat that to yourself until you believe it.  Just because you suddenly have more studying to do doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your style.  The two "But This" get-ups above are perfect examples of style can be easy and comfortable.  Remember this basic formula: Jeans + Boots + Tee + Cardigan + Scarf.  You won't be sacrificing valuable study time because this outfit can be pulled together in five minutes.  Bonus points for throwing on an accessory such as a bold bracelet or smart pair of glasses.  So instead of slouching into the lecture hall in sweats, you'll be strutting in with confidence and style. 

Also, check out this fab post over at College Candy featuring "The 8 People You Will Meet in the Library During Finals."  You'll laugh because it's true. ;)  Good luck on your tests everyone!!



Ms. Taken Giveaway!!

"Work the room in disguise.
Who says being engaged is all that? The biggest upside is being left alone, once people spot a ring on your left hand. Whether you're trying to dodge dodgy dudes at the bar, heading to a reunion or visiting your nagging grandmother, slip on your Ms.Taken ring and act as if. It says committed, without the commitment.  

Polished to a perfect shine, this 2-carat Australian crystal is set in a simple stainless steel band. It starts as a size 7, which your jeweler can easily adjust for you. The classic, simple, elegant design pairs perfectly with any style – and no one will guess that it isn't a genuine diamond."  (Via the Ms. Taken website.)
Ms. Taken was kind enough to send me a Femme Fatale ring. I excited opened it and was pleasantly surprised by how realistic (and shiny!) the ring is.  Plus, it comes with a handy key-chain case to carry it around in and a set of witty Playaz cards featuring "unsuitable suitors."  I've shown my ring to several friends who have ooooh'ed and ahhhh'ed in response.  I haven't been able to wear my ring out yet, but I'll be getting it sized soon.  And be sure that once I have it on my finger, I'll be going out and "testing" its effects. ;)  I wonder what happens if I run into the bf while wearing it?  Haha.

Lucky for you, I have also been sent an extra Ms. Taken ring to give away to one lucky reader.  (Contest open to residents of the 48 contiguous states.)  Be sure to include your e-mail address with each entry.  Here's how to enter:

1.  Visit the Ms. Taken website and check out the "Unwanted Suitors."  Then come back and comment, letting me know which of those six unwanted suitors you've encountered the most. *Or* check out the "Who It's For" section and let me know which female profile most suits you and your reasons for wearing the ring.

2.  For an additional entry, become a "Follower" by finding the "Lovely Undergrads" box at the top of the right hand menu of the blog.  Simply click [Follow]. Leave a comment letting me know you follow.

3.  For yet another chance to win, follow Lovely Undergrad on Facebook or Twitter.  Be sure to comment and let me know!

You have until 11:59 Christmas Eve (December 24) to enter!  The winner will be selected via a random number generator and announced on Christmas Day!!  Good luck!

You can also buy the Ms. Taken Femme Fatale ring here.  (Free shipping!)


Attention Bloggers!!

I need to update my blogroll.  

If you blog about college, fashion, beauty, decorating, diy projects, and other misc. please leave a comment with your URL + the category your blog's content mostly fits under.  

Also, please let me know if you have a link to Lovely Undergrad on your blog's main page.  I'd like to return the favor by giving you some link love on the LU main page. ;)




Outwear Must-Haves | Part II

Master these classical cool aviator and bomber jackets and you'll be feeling fly in no time.  Foxy Flirt: This look is for heading out on the town.  Pick an unfussy leather bomber that can be dressed up with a sequin tank and glitzy accessories.  Opt for curve-hugging skinny jeans and cute leather booties to complete the look.  Girl-next-door:  Perfect for heading to class and other everyday activities, this ensemble calls for a furry-collared aviator.  Throw it over anything---especially your favorite fair of skinnies, a comfy tee, and boots that are made for walkin'.  Classy Lady:  Who knew a bomber could be so ladylike?  Select a jacket that falls at the hip, zips up instead of buttons, and features soft fur.  Keep things classic by wearing a slimming pair of bootcut jeans, sleek brown booties, and a cashmere top. 


The peacoat should be a wardrobe staple---it's great for all body types, is extremely versatile, and comes in a variety of styles!  Houndstooth:  Purple gives the traditional houndstooth pattern an edge with this coat.  Look trendy with a pair of gray skinny jeans, a slim-fitting black top, and bold purple booties.  Grayscale:  You can't go wrong with gray this season.  This cowl-necked peacoat doesn't even need a scarf.  Play it cool with dark wash skinnies, a graphic tee, and matching booties.  Mad-for-Plaid:  Go a little crazy for a plaid peacoat.  Wear it with faded-wash blue jeans, a comfortable shirt, and sassy black booties. 



Outerwear Must-Haves | Part I


Capes look sophisticated for nights at the opera, evenings on the plaza, and other swanky ordeals.  Wear your cape over a cute dress and keep your legs warm with tights.  Add the final touch with a pair of smart oxford heels.  Little Red Riding Cape:  A vibrant scarlet cape compliments a red and brown plaid dress and chocolatey tights and oxfords.  Winter Floral:  No need to put away the florals just yet; just warm 'em up with black tights and oxfords.  Take a cue from Mister Sherlock by choosing a khaki-hued cape.  Navy + Mustard:  A navy cape and pair of dark blue tights ground this gorgeous goldenrod dress and bold yellow oxfords. 


Military jackets are all the rage---but how can you soldier up without going too army?  Start out with a pair of great skinny jeans and knee-high boots. Select a simple blouse in a color sure to compliment your jacket.  Teal + Charcoal: A flowy turquoise top serves as a happy medium between washed-out blue denim and rich charcoal.  Navy + Camel + Purple:  Lush violet adds a little mystery to this ensemble by contrasting with the camel and complimenting the navy jacket.  Crimson + Khaki:  This buttercream blouse, tucked into a pair of high-waisted skinny jeans, will be given a pop of red-hot color with suede boots and a scarlet jacket.