Life

  • Halloweekend Episode 1 : TV/Movie Character Costumes

    Riverdale

    If you’re looking for couples costumes, trendy costumes or something that generally fits your overall style – Riverdale is your best bet. These costumes can range from classy to sassy to flashy.

    Veronica Lodge : Simple black dress, pearl necklace, black heels, dark eye makeup, curled hair.

    Betty Cooper : Sweater, jeans, flats/booties/sneakers, soft makeup, pony tail.

    Cheryl Blossom : Red dress, choker, red lipstick, curled hair.

    Jughead Jones : Black tee, black jeans, flannel for waist, jean jacket, beanie.

    Archie Andrews : White tee, jeans, letterman jacket.

    Gossip Girl

    With the reboot recently announced a few months ago, this is a perfect throwback costume to reminisce our old favorite characters and celebrate the new ones to come.

    Blair Waldorf : White dress top, black skirt, high socks, flats, headband

    Chuck Bass : Full suit, dress shoes.

    Dan Humphrey : Kackis, dress shirt/casual polo, jacket over the top.

    Clueless

    Currently there is a major throwback to 90’s clothing. This is the perfect way to incorporate trendy clothing with a costume.

    Cher : Plaid Dress or Skirt/Blazer Set (Check Forever 21 and Target)

    Mean Girls

    This movie is basically a classic, and is perfect if you want a group costume for you and your new college besties! There are two ways you can use this movie for costumes.

    Talent Show Costume : Need a group of 4 for this one. Y’all all know the costume. To simplify it : red dress, knee high black boots, black ribbon for belt, black gloves.

    On Wednesdays We Wear Pink : Need a group of 3 (or 4) for this one. Decorate yourself a burn book and mix-match different color pinks with whites.

    With Love, Marin

  • Takeaways from a Month in College

    Hey, pretty girl!

    After a month of living at UST, I think it’s safe to say that I’ve begun to settle into college life. While some expectations I had for college were true, others were completely and totally inaccurate.

    Dorm Life

    First of all, don’t even try to schedule a bedtime. It won’t happen. Literally never. However, you will not regret the 4 hours of sleep because it was probably for a good reason. The dorms are socializing central, leaving you meeting so many new people. I was terrified of communal bathrooms coming in, but truly they are a lot better than you think AND you meet new people at the same time. Roommates are awesome (just be respectful to each other) and turn the space into your own mini home.

    Schoolwork

    There is a lot of reading and outside of classwork. College isn’t harder than high school, it’s just more. DO NOT procrastinate (I say as I write this blog post while procrastinating my two papers)! But seriously, don’t. You’ll regret it. Professors are also there to help you, so participate by raising your hand and get them to know you! You will thank yourself later.

    Meeting New People

    I was terrified of meeting new people in college. I was worried I would not be able to make any friends, or I had forgotten how to make friends. However, a month into college I have a well-established friend group with people who support me! While it’s not always that easy to make friends, it pushes you out of your comfort zone and helps you grow as a person. If your school offers small dorm communities with people of similar interests, I 100% recommend it. The Aquinas Scholars Honors Living Learning Community was the best decision I ever made!

    With Love, Marin

  • Tips to Creating a Dorm Room that Feels Like Home

    Hey, pretty girl!

    Up next in the college blog series – dorm rooms. Some of us prior to college cannot wait to live in a new space with new people! Others of us (aka me prior to college) was worried about sharing a space with another person, not having enough room in the closet and feeling like I wasn’t “at home.”

    After week one, room 546 (that’s me) was labeled the room that had everything. And we did have everything : aloe, drying racks, vacuum, snacks, etc. But, over the last few weeks, I’ve also been able to figure out what has truly made my dorm room feel a little bit more like home.

    I used the same bedding and color scheme I had at home.

    I decorated my wall with photos and signs to make the room less empty.

    I put marble contact paper on the doors to cover up the boring wood color.

    Now, these three things may seem super simple, but they make a huge difference. If you’re worried about being “home-sick,” start here with these things. Things that gently reminds you of home are the best things to bring with you.

    With Love, Marin

  • 10 Things to Keep in Mind with College Welcome Week

    Hey, pretty girl!

    When it comes to college welcome week, we all have a lot of misconceptions. What I’ve learned the last week…

    1. Move-in is a disaster if you don’t organize.

    2. It will take you a couple times to figure out how to lock and unlock your door.

    3. You will make friends. Let me repeat that – YOU WILL MAKE FRIENDS.

    4. Communal bathrooms kind of feel like public restrooms, except you have to give obligatory good-morning’s and good-night’s.

    5. If you really are all about the parties, you’ll be able to find them. But if you want to chill in your dorm and watch a movie with friends, you’ll be able to do that too.

    6. Naps are a necessity.

    7. Desserts in the dining hall are good. Eat them… just not every meal.

    8. Getting into a routine is more difficult than it looks.

    9. Go to the events. They’re fun if you make them fun.

    10. After it’s all over, you desperately don’t want classes to start.

    With Love, Marin

  • Desk Organization

    Hey, pretty girl!

    A week ago I started stocking up on all my school supplies! I don’t know about y’all, but organization and starting out with brand new notebooks is the BEST feeling! And desk organization is one of the easiest ways to help start off the year right.

    I purchased all my organizers at Target and plan to set up my dorm desk like my setup below! Keeping your desk organized and clean is a surefire way to stay focused and on-task. A messy desk space leads to distractions and loss of focus.

    Example Setup

    Binder

    Tape dispenser

    Stapler

    Planner

    Pen/Pencil Holder

    Wall Organizer

    Magnet/Whiteboard

    Magazine File Holder

    Laptop Stand

    With Love, Marin

  • Motivation for your Monday : Episode 2

    Hey, pretty girl!

    For this episode of Motivation for your Monday, I want to focus on the idea of self worth and acceptance of yourself while single.

    First things first, you are not defined by your relationship status. You are not defined by how many people hit on you. You are not defined by how many boyfriends you’ve had. My point? you are not defined by ANOTHER PERSON.

    Our society teaches us that we need another person to “complete us.” But the truth is, you’re not a half waiting to become whole. You have always been a whole. Another person will never truly make you feel complete; only true acceptance of yourself can make you feel that way.

    I understand it isn’t that simple. We won’t just wake up one day and feel complete. And it’s not easy to see the best in ourselves, especially when we are constantly comparing our lives to those around us. Acceptance and forgiving others for their flaws is easy to do, so why is it so hard to do for ourselves?

    Well, it could be because we know ourselves better than anyone in the world does. We expect so much for ourselves and hold a level of perfection that is simply unattainable.

    “I want to get married by 25.” “I need kids before age 30.” “I cannot be alone for the holiday season.”

    It never hurts to have a plan, but in the same respect, our lives aren’t supposed to follow a plan. If everything followed our plan, life would be pretty boring. Imagine it like this – you follow a very strict diet and never spontaneously deviate from it – boring, right? Same idea. Let life be like that chocolate bar you ate for lunch.

    Back to the point….. I told myself that if I started a blog, I’d always be honest. And honestly, I wish I would follow my own advice. The truth is, no matter how pretty someone’s Instagram page is, they have insecurities too. My insecurity stems from difficulty accepting myself while single.

    I’m about to get really vulnerable y’all so hold onto your hats. I am insecure about the relationships I’ve had with men. Or rather, the lack of them. It can be self defeating to feel like you’re never the girl a guy wants to date. I constantly have felt that because I am not afraid to be myself, I scare every boy away from me. And that, my friends, is my insecurity. I can tell myself over and over again that “men do not determine my happiness,” but I struggle to believe it. I feel like I’m constantly waiting for someone to sweep me off my feet and be my Hallmark movie ending instead of being okay on my own.

    And I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. I’m not the only one who is constantly searching for the person who’s supposed to jump into my life and change everything – waiting for my “other half.” But I’ve made a mindset change tonight. I’m not going to wait around and you shouldn’t either.

    Say it with me : I’m okay on my own. I’m strong. I’m confident. I’m smart. I’m beautiful. I KNOW my self worth and I won’t let another person’s opinion take that from me. Anyone who passes on me is NOT worth my time (subtweet).

    I challenge you to find your self worth. Find the place where you thrive best and give it everything you have. Your future partner will admire your passion, not be intimidated by your self acceptance.

    Remember : The only person who deserves you, is the person who thinks they don’t. Never settle for less.

    Now, to the girl who is lost when it comes to love : blare Born to Fly by Sara Evans a couple times. I promise it’ll hit you on a whole different level.

    And to whoever my person is : I’m a whole. You will never complete me. You will simply be an addition. You’re not going to be afraid to chase me. You won’t be afraid of my confidence, intelligence and self love. You will be deserving of me. And I will be deserving of you. And when I meet you, I’ll know.

    With Love, Marin

  • Motivation for your Monday Morning

    Hey, pretty girl!

    Happy Monday! Jk … Monday mornings are rough … which is why I’m writing this on a Friday night! (Because we all need a little Friday night energy on a Monday morning).

    Monday motivation will be a once a month series of blog posts, given they have a positive response. These posts will include motivational quotes, a checklist for the day and explanations on how I get myself motivated.

    You just have to walk into the room and be fearless. Never let people think for a minute that you couldn’t totally take them down.

    Stevie Nicks

    5 Things to Keep in Mind

    • Get out of bed
    • Workout
    • Complete 30-40% of your to-do list for the week
    • Eat only healthy foods
    • Go to sleep at a reasonable hour

    Not going to lie, it’s been very difficult to find motivation lately. In high school, it’s easier to focus on tasks because you don’t live with your best friends! In college, it seems like there are a million things better to do than complete your to-do list. The key is giving yourself breaks and not overworking yourself. Start small – working for an hour at a time and then taking a break.

    I used to take things on a week-to-week basis. I.e. : “If I can keep my grades all at A’s by the end of this week, then I’ll be fine.” I’ve learned in college that this behavior is not really living. Living is when you enjoy the moment you’re in and take advantage of all the opportunities you are given.

    Go be a boss queen this Monday.

    With Love, Marin

  • “Even the Homecoming Queen Cries.”

    Hey, pretty girl!

    I’ve always loved Kelsea Ballerini’s music. She has a relatable personality, beautiful voice and songs filled with emotion. However, when I heard her recent song, Homecoming Queen, I was left without words.

    Not only is this a gorgeous song, but the lyrics spoke to me in such a deep way. Kelsea reveals a very important and vulnerable message. This message is one that is so important for all of us, and one that I couldn’t hold back from writing about.

    We all know the girl who appears so outwardly perfect and put together. We never seem to ask her how she’s doing or if she’s okay… we “people assume (she’s) always alright.” The most perfectly appearing people can be the most broken and fragile people in our lives, trained “how to act tough.”

    Our jealousness of those who seemingly have a perfect life, allows us to assume that they have no problems. We never feel sorry for them, we feel sorry for ourselves. However, we know our problems and battles. We don’t know everyone else’s.

    Now, if you’re on the opposite end, it can be tough to let people see your broken side. All of us hide behind something. I hide behind my clothing – feeling put together to keep my perfect appearance. Yet, you can’t hide forever. You need to advocate for yourself and speak up when you’re not okay.

    So, let’s do as Kelsea Ballerini says and “let them all in on the lie…”

    The CEO cries. Miss America cries. The valedictorian cries. The Instagram Influencer cries. I cry. You cry.

    “Even the homecoming queen cries.”

    Be Kind. Be Supportive. Be You.

    With Love, Marin

  • Homecoming Overalls

    Hey, pretty girl!

    One of the most fun parts of senior year is Homecoming! It’s your last “causal” school dance, last big football game and one of your last chances to go crazy with school spirit.

    Last year, the Eagan Football Team had the opportunity to play the homecoming game at the Minnesota Vikings Training Facility. Upon hearing this, I knew I had to go all out. Not only was it my final homecoming game as an Eagan High School student, it was at a very nice field location (perfect for picture taking!!)

    I’ll be honest, these overalls took me approximately two weeks of work to make. Making homemade stencils for logos and lettering that I liked was probably what took the longer. And, if you want multiple colors and layers of paint, it takes a while to let things dry.

    Things you’ll need:

    • Overalls (I bought mine big so they’d fit comfortably – paint makes them feel tighter)
    • DecoArt Dazzing Metallic/Acrylic Paint
    • Tack (for handmade stencils)
    • Printer (for handmade stencils)
    • Stencils (if you opt to purchase them)
    • Painter’s Tape
    • Variety of Painting Brush Sizes
    • Cups for Paint
    • Sparkles (if you want to give the paint more of a glittery look)
    • Jewels (I bought mine from Michael’s)
    • E6000 Glue (for placing jewels)

    From here, most of the decisions are up to you. Things that I did to my overalls was…

    1. Make Hand-Made stencils by using printer paper and a tack. I then taped down the letters/shapes to paint.
    2. To get the striped effect, I used painter’s tape to make sure I got clean lines.
    3. I put jewels on every button to help make my overalls stand out a little bit more, because the buttons were a bit bland to begin with.

    The biggest thing to note is that you should NOT WASH YOUR OVERALLS after designing them. It will wreck them. Otherwise, the decisions are up to you.

    With Love, Marin

  • “The Night Before, Life Goes On.”

    Hey, pretty girl!

    When Trace Adkins’ “You’re Gonna Miss This” comes on your radio 5 times in the last three months, it’s the world telling you a little something. Y2Kountry, thank you for helping me realize my current state of sadness that high school is really over – just like that. 

    I am writing this blog post for anyone who’s struggling to move on to the next big step in their life. Especially those of you moving into college really soon…like me…tomorrow (ahh). 

    High school is only four years long. Each class, day, and week passes slowly, but each year goes by so fast. I felt like I wished those four years away. I wanted to grow up, go to college, and move on. And once I walked across the stage, all I wanted was to relive the four years all over again. Yet, what we all need to realize is that those will not be the “best years of our lives.” There will be so many more great, and better, years. 

    It can be a scary concept to grasp. People we’ve known for thirteen years could suddenly turn into people we will never see again after graduation. Some of us are naturally ready to move on. But, if you’re like me, you’ll spend too many late nights breaking into tears over the idea of it. 

    It’s taken time, but what I’ve come to terms with is that you cannot start a new chapter without ending the last one. High school may be over, but there are so many more chapters to be written in my life. Instead of being sad over what has happened, I decided to be grateful for the many memories and stories I will be able to cherish for my entire life. 

    But, when your friends leave for college, cry. When you get dropped off at college, cry. When you miss high school three years down the road, cry. But make those tears about the happy moments you’ve shared, not what you’re losing. 

    For those of you still in high school…

    • Be yourself
    • Have fun as often as you can
    • Study like crazy
    • Go after what you want
    • Slow down, it goes fast

    Songs to get you in the feels for move-in day

    • Trace Adkins – “You’re Gonna Miss This”
    • Carrie Underwood – “The Night Before (Life Goes On)
    • Hailey Whitters – “The Days”
    • Carrie Underwood – “Don’t Forget to Remember Me”
    • Kenny Chesney – “Don’t Blink”

    With Love, Marin

  • St. Paul Travel Guide

    Hey, pretty girl!

    Welcome to St. Paul!! My new city!! While I haven’t had a second to do all the touristy things that St. Paul has to offer since starting college… here’s my bucket list (also including some things that I’ve done since I’ve grown up close by)!

    #9 – @seniorsbysarahchacos

    1. Black Coffee and Waffle Bar

    2. Minnehaha Regional Park

    3. Exploring Grand Avenue

    4. Saint Paul Farmer’s Market

    5. Wabasha Street Caves

    6. Como Park Conservatory

    7. Hi-Lo Diner

    8. Fitzgerald Theater / Ordway Center for Performing Arts

    9. St. Paul Cathedral

    10. Izzy’s Ice Cream Shop

    With Love, Marin

  • Madden’s Travel Guide

    Hey, pretty girl!

    I don’t know if it’s just a Minne-girl thang but there is nothing I love more than trips to the lake. Due to a legal convention, I’ve had the joy of lake life for a few days every August. Three years ago, the convention was moved to Madden’s Resort on Gull Lake – and let me tell y’all – I get more excited for these trips than large vacations!

    Our Room

    This is the upstairs area where I stayed with my sister @photosbyjannajo

    Steamboat Bay Sunrise Villa

    • 2 Queen Beds on the main level
    • 2 Twin Beds on the upper/loft level (the best view of the sunrise)
    • 2 Bathrooms (1 on each level)
    • Kitchenette
    • Balcony w/Lake Views

    On-Resort : Things to Do

    • Waterskiing
    • Paddle-boarding
    • Swimming (Lake/Pool)
    • Fishing (Boat Rentals Available!)
    • Outdoor Waterpark
    • Visit the Tennis/Croquet Club
    • Golf
    • Do a Photoshoot (explore the resort to find a gorgeous flower patch)

    Around Town : Things to Do

    • Shopping at Westgate Mall & Fun Sisters Boutique
    • Horseback Riding w/Outback Stables
    • Zip-lining at Mount Ski Gull
    • Cuyuna Mountain Biking
    • Northland Kart Kountry Family Fun Park

    On-Resort : Where to Eat

    Quick Service:

    • Parfecto Pizza
    • Madden Bros’ Market (strawberry-banana smoothie is SO good)
    • Chrissy’s Ice Cream Parlor

    Classic Dining:

    • Fairways
    • The Lobby Cafe

    Fancy Dining:

    • Mission Point
    • The Classic Grill

    Around Town : Where to Eat

    • Grizzly’s Wood-Fired Grill
    • Ernie’s on Gull
    • El Tequila Mexican Restaurant (tacos are THE best food ever created)
    • The Boulder Tap House
    • Rafferty’s Pizza

    With Love, Marin

  • Nashville Travel Guide: In 10’s

    Hey, pretty girl!

    When you step off the plane and into Nashville International Airport, you immediately know you’re in music city. With Nashville becoming a booming metropolis for all music, tech and bridal parties – Nashville is the place to visit right now!

    @photosbyjannajo

    Where to Stay:

    When my family was in Nashville for spring break, we opted to stay in an Airbnb. With bigger groups (aka over 4 people) it can be hard to find a hotel room. While I wished we stayed closer to the inner-city, this was a quieter area and was only an uber ride away to many top visiting locations!

    1) This specific Airbnb that we stayed in had the cutest Nashville decor and made you feel right at home. Other great extras things included board games, record player and lighted mirrors.

    2) Hilton Nashville Downtown

    3) Airbnb Nashville Cottage

    4) Sheraton Music City Hotel

    5) Airbnb Contemporary Apartment

    6) Gaylord Opryland Hotel & Convention Center

    7) Airbnb Townhome with Outdoor Space

    8) Dream Nashville Hotel

    9) Airbnb Apartment on Broadway

    10) Onmi Nashville Hotel

    What to Do:

    1) Grand Ole Opry Tour & Show

    2) Madame Tussauds

    3) Tour of the Ryman Auditorium

    4) Nashville Zoo (you can pet Kangaroos!!)

    5) Explore the Opryland Hotel (this is where I purchased my cowgirl boots)

    6) Johnny Cash Museum

    7) Belle Meade Plantation Tour

    8) Shopping in the Gulch (this is where the angel-wing mural is wink wink)

    9) Country Music Hall of Fame

    10) The Parthenon

    Where to Eat:

    1) Milk & Honey (grab morning coffee before shopping in the Gulch)

    2) Corner Bakery Cafe

    3) Aquarium Restaurant

    4) Hard Rock Cafe

    5) Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse (a lil on the pricey side but so worth it)

    6) Corner Pub Downtown

    7) Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery

    8) Sam’s Place (if you go anywhere on this list, GO HERE AND ORDER THE HAND-BREADED CHICKEN STRIPS – you will thank me later)

    9) Savannah’s Candy Kitchen

    10) Goo-Goo Shop

    With Love, Marin