3 Back-to-School Hacks That Will Keep You Healthy and Energized

It’s that time of the year again—back to school has begun! With the start of the semester comes new classes and new routines. Getting back into the swing of things can be tough, but these three hacks will make getting back to school a breeze. These back to school hacks are all about keeping you healthy and energized, all while saving you money. What more could you ask for?

PHOTO: Amber Sudra

1—Cold brew on-the-go 

Caffeine is necessary for college, specifically coffee. If you are in college and don’t drink coffee, what are you doing? Seriously, get on board! Brewing coffee and trying to get out the door before 8 a.m. can be tough, and normally results in a stop by Starbucks on the way to class. However, if you plan ahead, you will avoid spending $3 a day at your local Starbucks and save money by prepping your coffee at home. Simply brew a full pot of coffee and let it sit out until it is room temperature. Pour the coffee into a pitcher and place into the fridge. Once chilled, this coffee is now cold brew that you can enjoy whenever you need your coffee fix. I love pouring this in a to-go cup when I’m racing out the door and need a pick-me-up.


PHOTO: Kelly Rogowski

2—Free workout classes

When life gets busy, it’s often hard to always get that workout in. However, working out gives us energy and boosts our overall mood, so it is essential to squeeze in while at school. Getting in a workout rut is easy to do if you do the same thing every day. Trying different types of workout classes is a great way to mix it up and try new things. Plus, you can bring all your friends with you and make it an outing. Almost all workout class studios offer a free week trial or at least a free class. Take advantage of this and try out all the studios’ free options. You are guaranteed to not get bored if you have a variety to try out. Some of my favorites are yoga sculpt, kickboxing, and pure barre.

PHOTO: Rachel Zuckerberg


3—Backpack snacks

I know what you’re thinking. Backpack snacks? But trust me, this is a lifesaver! With a full day of classes, it’s tough to find time to run home for a snack or sit down for a meal in the middle of a busy day. Just taking a few minutes in the morning to throw a few snacks in your bag will save you from making a vending machine purchase when you’re hangry. You will save money and have healthier options if you have something packed. Some of my favorite snacks to pack are mixed nuts, RX Bars, and carrots with hummus.


Which hacks are you trying this semester? Comment below with your tips!

4 Easy Ways to Balance School and Your Social Life

After two full years of college, I have gained a tiny bit of college gal wisdom. One of the hardest things about college is balancing your time. We are in college to get an education, so school should always have priority. But at the same time, college is supposed to be the best time of our lives, right? How are we supposed to meet our lifelong friends if we’re studying all the time? How are we supposed to get a degree if we’re out socializing all the time? Finding the balance between school and your social life can be hard, but I have a few tips to help make it a little bit easier.

PHOTO: Valerie Cammack

1—Get a planner

This one seems obvious, but learning to use a planner every day will help you stay more organized and more relaxed. I recommend looking at the syllabus for each of your classes and writing in all of your upcoming due dates for the entire semester. This seems a little excessive, but if you have all your important school dates written down, you can plan your social events a lot easier and you won’t have anything surprise you and cause you to bail on any plans. Say hello to a planner and goodbye to cancelled plans!

2—Eat at home most nights

I love to eat out, but I recommend eating at home because it saves you money that can be used for things like birthday gifts, travel, or shopping with your friends. Eat at home when you can, and save that money for social events! When you eat at home, you can also work on homework or study while you’re cooking and eating, giving you even more free time to socialize!

3—Meet up with friends when you have a break

Even if you only have a 30-minute break between classes once a week, ask a friend or two to meet you for coffee. Standing in the Starbucks line for 15 minutes doesn’t seem like a lot, but it’s a quick, easy way to catch up with your pals when you have a busy schedule. Incorporating your friends into your daily activities can give your brain a break from school and help you stay connected with everyone.

PHOTO: Maddy Haller

4—Plan a weekly dinner date

My friends and I plan a weekly family dinner on Sunday nights and everyone brings a dish or ingredients to someone’s house, we bring out our cutest wine glasses, and we eat together. It only takes about two hours and is a great way to start the week and catch up after the weekend. If you just dedicate one night a week to dinner with friends, you will have a refreshing social evening every single week, and eventually it will start to become routine.

How do you balance your social life with school? Let me know in the comments below!

What Happened When I Became a Tourist in My Own Town

The summertime is full of expectations of traveling and exploring near and far, yet sometimes that’s not possible. You can’t always leave the city that you’re in, unfortunately. It’s very easy to assume you’ve seen everything there is as a local in your hometown—at least all of the good stuff. With the gathering of some friends, a camera, and dedicating myself to thinking like a city tourist, my adventure did not disappoint.

After stepping into a café with zero expectations, I discovered unique, bold pieces of artwork. While enjoying a refreshing cup of cold brew and way too many croissants, the art functioned as a conversational piece with friends. Fellow coffee consumers worked in the quiet atmosphere that’s unique to cafés, motivating me to do the same. Because living in the city requires sharing a lot of public spaces, perhaps it won’t be so bad to share.

With more exploring to do, I stumbled upon a thrift shop, something which Richmond city never seems to run out of. I was immediately entranced by all of the records on sale that cost only $1! Its small size is used to the fullest to display a variety of garments, books, music, household supplies, and even bikes. These shops are key to learning more about classics because they always have a variety of genres. Furthermore, they play an important role in supporting local artists by showcasing their works and selling affordable pieces.

Finally, as the heat began taking its toll, I worked my way back home. I didn’t expect to uncover the best hidden gem, Stoplight Gelato Caféto end the most adventurous day. With ranging flavors from Thai curry to strawberry basil—in addition to my personal favorite, ash—they truly made the decision process both delicious and difficult. Supporting small businesses in my city is one of my favorite pastimes, one that I thoroughly encourage. How else could we enjoy delicious sorbet and gelato?

Have you tried being a tourist in your hometown and checking out some local businesses? Let me know in the comments below!

5 Steps for Last Minute Transitioning from Summer to School Mode

Our lives are completely composed of college for eight months of the year. We section ourselves off from the real world by living on campus, surrounding ourselves with students, and paying for overpriced textbooks. However, as soon as summer rolls around, we take advantage of the opportunity to disregard student duties. As much of a relief as this may be, the four months of blatant neglect only makes transitioning back to student life that much harder.

Each summer we vow to keep up with reading and stay somewhat current with our academic lives. No matter if you spend summer in the sun or an office, it is oh so easy to lose your school persona. Here are the five simple steps to transitioning back.

1—Buy an agenda (and use it!) You either swear by your agenda or you haven’t bought one yet. One of my favorite annual purchases is my agenda. With so many different varieties and styles, it’s easier than ever to make an organized life look good.

2—Bunker down. It sounds simple, but it is easy to get restless after a non-stop summer. So, pack your Longchamp with headphones, chargers, and a pact to bunker down and crank some work out.

3—Find a buddy. It’s an age-old mystery how two hours at Starbucks can go from productive to a waste. Although spending hours finding the perfect social dress may fall under back to school efforts, it probably isn’t exactly what you had in mind going in. This is why having a second person to keep you on track is perfect.

4—Dress the part. The age-old saying may be “dress well, test well” but I find “dress well, transition-back-to-school well” to hold just as much truth. Nothing puts me back into scholar modes like classic pieces such as a good pair of frames and a trusty button-down.

5—Coffee, coffee, coffee. Remember those three cups you would drink before your Monday 8 a.m.? As long as you’re bunkered down with promises of productivity, you might as well build back this tolerance and treat yourself to an iced coffee. It’s a win-win in any book.

There’s a reason we put off a back to school transition for so long. However, by following these simple steps, the transition may become that much less traumatic. How do you cope with back to school trauma? Tell us on social media by tagging @Cfashionista. 

The Places You Must See in Brooklyn, According To Your Instagram Feed

There’s no denying that New York City is the fashion capital of the U.S.; so naturally, for those of us who dream of working in the industry, it’s the end-all, be-all place to end up post-grad. What no one tells you is how absolutely impossible it is for anyone to live there on an entry-level salary. Not only is rent shockingly pricey, but so is everything else. Basically, every after-work activity that us 20-somethings enjoy doing is outside of our price range. So where do us normal people live and hang out when you work in NYC but don’t have a six figure salary – or a salary at all (shout out to all the unpaid interns out there)? Help us, we’re poor.

Living in Brooklyn is moving its way up the where-to-live totem pole for Millennials and Gen-Zers stationed in New York. Greenpoint, Williamsburg, and Fort Greene have all the cute photo-op spots, coffee shops, and under-the-radar vintage boutiques that the city has, all at a fraction of the price. While I’m aware that the occasional trip to Manhattan is a must, there’s plenty to keep you busy on the other side of the East River. Below, I’m spotlighting the best and brightest of Brooklyn, NYC It-Girls approved. 


Not into sifting through racks and racks of junk just to find one or two good finds at Goodwill or Unique? The Break offers a highly-curated collection of vintage pieces ranging from 50s dresses to 90s band tees, all at a reasonable price. Check out their Instagram for updates on sales and special events.

Where: 82 Dobbins St. in Greenpoint, Brooklyn


This massive restaurant-bar-outdoor escape is located a short walk from the Brooklyn Bridge and can satisfy every single one of your cravings whether you need a Sunday brunch spot, a quick coffee-croissant combo, or an after-work cocktail. Make sure to check out Freehold’s website to stay in the know on their daily deals.

Where: 45 S. 3rd St. in Williamsburg, Brooklyn


If you’re in need of a new brunch spot, you’ve found the right place. Sit out back in the outdoor patio or inside to enjoy the staff’s impressive music selection. Need another reason to check out Blessings Café? They host a Record Night every Wednesday from 8-10pm.

Where: 663 Flatbush Ave. in Prospect Park, Brooklyn


For those of you who crave the knowledge that you found something first—whether it be a trend, a designer, or even a new store (!!), Swords-Smith is for you. Founders Briana Swords and R Smith moved into Williamsburg long before it was the “it” place to live and wanted to create a space that held onto the Brooklyn they know and love. The inventory is ever-changing, but expect to see a range of designer rags from Samuji to MM6 Maison Margiela. Can’t make it to the store, check out their online website.

Where: 98 S 4th St. in Williamsburg, Brooklyn


Greenpoint has its fair share of vintage shops, but Mirth is at the front of the herd. Whether you’re looking for a fitted vintage suit for the office or the perfect pair of vintage jeans, I guarantee that Mirth should be one of your first stops. Coming from Manhattan? Take the ferry – the view is to die for.

Where: 606 Manhattan Ave. in Greenpoint, Brooklyn


After buying way too much (in the best way) vintage from The Break, head around the corner to Dobbin St. Vintage Co-Op for even more. While the store also has vintage clothing, the real finds here are furniture. Say you’re looking to recreate Don and Megan Draper’s mod apartment or live in a Wes Anderson flick, Dobbin St. has something, somewhere that you’ll fall in love with.

Where: 37 Norman Ave. in Greenpoint, Brooklyn


Not really an IMAX person? Check out Syndicated for a rather unique movie theatre experience. Whether your parents cut you off their HBO account and you need a place to watch Game of Thrones on Sunday or just want to see your favorite old-school flick somewhere other than your couch, Syndicated is the place to go. Keep up with their Instagram for what’s on the agenda.

Where: 40 Bogart St. in Bushwick, Brooklyn


Be “in the know” and go to Carthage Must Be Destroyed, which despite its rather intense nomenclature, is actually very pink and very aesthetically pleasing. If you’re looking for a place to go on a Saturday for a morning yoga class and post-sweat brunch, this is the place for you. Just downstairs is an equally lovely yoga studio, Like a Prayer Yoga. Basically, this is the place to be.

Where: 222 Bogart St. in Bushwick, Brooklyn

Any other must-sees in Brooklyn? Let us know in the comments below!

How to Start Your Week by Having the Perfect Sunday

We all know about the “Sunday scaries,” that feeling of complete laziness and panic about the week ahead. Well, it’s time to turn those Sunday blues into one of the most productive days of the week. No matter what your schedule looks like, it is important to jump start your week with the ultimate day and set the intention for the rest of the week. Here are a couple of ideas to kick start your week the right way.

1—Wake up with intention. The first and hardest step to having the perfect Sunday is getting up at a decent time. Although it may sound tempting to sleep until noon, don’t! Set your alarm for 8 a.m. with the intention of being productive all day. Allowing yourself to sleep until noon may set you in a slump for the rest of the day.

2—Drink your morning coffee/tea with a view. Coffee is basically human fuel. Morning coffee and fresh air make a great combination. Use this time to reflect on your day and what you want to accomplish. Always be sure to give yourself time to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea while wearing your trendy pajamas.  

3—Brunch with the girls. Nothing says “I wish I was from the Upper East Side but am stuck in the middle of Illinois” more than joining your friends at a cute coffee shop for brunch. Although most people are generally busy, designate time to spend with your friends in a different atmosphere. Who doesn’t love sipping on a chai tea latte while updating each other on the latest gossip?

4—Make time for a workout. Allowing yourself time for a Sunday workout is ideal. Instead of laying on the couch all day, get up and move. No matter what type of workout interests you, be sure to treat your body to a healthy sweat session. Some of my favorite workouts are biking, yoga, running, and hiking.

5—Pamper yourself. Always make sure you are treating yourself, no matter what. Unwind by making time for a mani/pedi, face mask, or a bubble bath while reading your favorite book. Be sure to add some luxury to your Sunday by treating yourself.

6—Get organized. You are important, and your schedule is important. Nothing screams #GirlBoss like having the ultimate planner. Use Sundays to organize your thoughts and goals for the week. This also helps to get a better feel of how calm or crazy your week is going to be. Set aside some time at the end of the day to get your ducks in a row for the week. You’ll be surprised at how much smoother the rest of the week will go.

Sundays set the tone for the rest of the week. No matter what your schedule may look like, try to designate Sundays for yourself.

What are some of your favorite things to do on Sundays? What is your pampering routine? Let me know in the comments below!

How to Arrange a Little Study Getaway

To most university and college students, summer may sound like a four month holiday at first glance. However, in reality, it could be another hectic semester to many of us, where you would be juggling with work, internships, and summer courses, except you could wear your off-shoulder dress you have been longing to dig out of your closet over the winter semester. With a few chapters of notes to go through, sometimes you would be inclined to think that taking a short study break during the day is a distraction that prevents you from finishing your school work efficiently.

I’m sure many of you have proven yourselves wrong when you found out that not only did you not complete your checklist as expected, but also found yourself feeling sluggish at the end of the day, displeased with how little you have accomplished—then becoming unmotivated for tomorrow. That’s the part where you have to convince yourself that taking a short study break is necessary to rejuvenate your mind, boost your productivity, and give you new inspiration. Come on Fashionistas, you can’t live without inspiration! There are a plethora of ways for you to go about taking study breaks, depending on which hours your brain functions the best at, your schedule, and your personal preferences. I personally would like to arrange a little study getaway. Here’s how I do it:

1—Work on your homework or study in a new environment.

Switching to a new study location actually makes it easier for your brain to recall study materials. Your brain learns to associate visual and auditory cues from the new environment to the pieces of information you’re studying. I visited a salon-café that has really catchy décor and a quiet study environment. The walls were lined with artificial grass rugs accented with colorful paintings, which instantly delivered a sense of tranquility. Remember to select a location with a couple of plugs handy, or else you won’t be able to charge your appliances!

2—Bring your friend. You should find a friend who you know will help you make the most out of your time.

I am blessed to have a few friends who study similar subjects as I do. Having a study companion not only helps you to learn new information but also provides mental support during difficult times. This Fashionista here, Beverly, has been my study companion for the past three years. I’m really liking the white top she was wearing with the slightly see-through chiffon across her shoulder—and, she’s a fashion designer herself.

3—Light caffeine.

For those who can’t tolerate high loads of caffeine, a cup of latte with a small amount of caffeine can actually go a long way. It’s more than an energy shot too, as having an afternoon tea with some tasty bites replenishes some of the fuel that your body needs. This café here offers custom-printed latte art. I picked a picture of a dandelion with a cheerful message. That’s another fun way to lighten up your brain.

How do you counteract a study strain? Better yet, a creative one? I’d love to hear about them! Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to tag @Cfashionista.

Things Will Be Fine (With Coffee)

For many Americans, coffee is an essential part of our morning routines. It gives us that much-needed boost to get through Mondays, and well, really any day that ends in ‘y.’ With coffee shops on every corner, it is no wonder that coffee has graduated from a beverage to a lifestyle. Here at Dinosaur Coffee, their slogan is simple: “Things will be fine.” For this Fashionista, they are absolutely right. Hand her a cup of steaming Joe and she is good to go!

Coffee is not only a great way to begin your mornings, but also a way to re-energize after a long day of classes. The life of a college student is bustling, to say the least, from seemingly endless lectures to balancing jobs, studying, and coursework! Without coffee, many of us would just barely be getting by. Lectures, exams, and homework assignments are not the ideal image of summer vacation, but this is a reality for students like this Fashionista trying to get ahead. After a long morning of lectures, especially on a Friday, this Fashionista heads to a local coffee shop to relax, unwind, and recharge. One delicious cardamom cinnamon latte later, and she is happy as can be.

There is something about coffee shops that make college students gravitate toward them. Perhaps it is the calming atmosphere with its warm ambiance, cozy décor, pleasant aroma, and soft music. You do not have to be a coffee drinker to love coffee shops or even coffee itself. The drink has a little bit of something to offer each of us whether it be its sweet smell, radiant warmth, or rich flavor. Let’s be real though, who doesn’t enjoy a good frappé? Coffee is the center of both student life and life in general for the aforementioned reasons and much more. A college campus without a coffee shop on the site seems incomplete and quite frankly unimaginable. Additionally, there is a huge social aspect associated with coffee. We go out to coffee to congregate with our friends, family, and co-workers as well as to study, read, and write. After all, there is no more iconic duo than a cup of coffee and a good book after a long day at school or work.

For all you coffee fanatics out there hoping to take your appreciation to the next level, check out these coffee scrubs! If you enjoyed this article, make sure to show me a whole latte love by giving it a RAD and commenting below what coffee means to you.

How to Make the Most of Your Summer

Summer might feel like forever, but it’s really only a few short months. Here are some tips on how to make the most of your fun in the sun this season.

1—Find new summer adventures. Say yes to a new adventure. Working your entire summer break can be a lot—on top of a busy school semester—but a quick weekend or day adventure can help with that. Find a place you have never been, take a walk with friends, and explore. Finding a beautiful place to hike around your hometown is awesome.  However, a road trip with your best friends to somewhere a little farther can be the perfect getaway you need. Adventure is found anywhere, from exploring a state or national park to venturing out to beautiful scenery. Pack up your backpack, and go explore what the world has to offer!

2—Do a mini photo shoot with friends. Go out on a beautiful day and do a photo shoot with friends. Find a colorful wall, a cute park, or an artsy downtown area and get some Instagram-worthy pics. Whether it’s with an iPhone or Polaroid camera, pictures are the best kind of memories. Experimenting with lighting and angles for pictures is always fun, especially with your friends. You may even find a cool new spot you’ve never seen right in your hometown.

3—Find cute local boutiques and coffee shops. Finding local coffee shops helps support local business.  Also, these local shops are usually hidden gems that many people don’t know about. Go venture out and find those places in your hometown.

Summer vacation is much needed after a long semester of 8 a.m. classes and endless nights in the library. Although you may have to spend days working or on other responsibilities, it’s all about making the most of your summer vacation. So take advantage of any sunny days. Get outside, go explore, and find adventures.

Find what makes you happy and use it to make the most of your summer: Let’s hear your big summer plans in the comments below. Or show us on social media, and be sure to tag @CFashionista!

Successful Interns Fuel Their Days at These Coffee Shops

If you are anything like me your world revolves around one thing: coffee. Starting off the day without a cup in your hand leads to what might be thought of as the worst (and most exhausting) day ever. The perfect cup of coffee is both indulgent and, frankly, necessary. Especially as interns, our veins are practically pumping with caffeine.

So before you take your third coffee break of the day at your run-of-the-mill chain coffee shop, think again. If you are interning in a major city, take advantage of finding a local shop that knows a thing or two about brewing a great cup of coffee.

These five coffee spots will keep you wide awake until the next cup while keeping your Instagram on point. So whether you live, intern, or are simply visiting, check out the coffee hot spots interns swear by.

Florida: Buddy Brew

“Buddy brew is my favorite place! Not only does their coffee wake me up and have an outstanding taste, but the atmosphere of the shop is so inviting and comfortable to hangout in.” @avayvay

Dallas: Sipstir

“In Dallas there is a place called Sipstir that is soooo good!! It’s such a great coffee shop because the coffee is really good! I love coffee shops that serve caramel as an option and this shop does!” @ashtonguevara

New York City: Ralph’s

“Ralph’s. NYC hands down has the best coffee spots. There are plenty of cute cafes and aesthetically pleasing Insta-worthy spots; you can’t go wrong.” @hellogabrielle

Iowa: Brewhemia

“Brewhemia has super delicious unique drink creations such as ‘The bohemian’ which has cold pressed brew, milk, and vanilla!” @taylor.marie.s

Michigan: Astro Coffee

“If a coffee crawl was a thing Astro Coffee would be at the top of the list. It’s delicious drink options and overall aesthetic makes it #1 in my book.” @thatchiclex

If these coffee shops haven’t convinced you to step away from Starbucks, I don’t know what will. Do you have a favorite coffee shop-if so, what is it?