Bags for class

After I wore a hole in the bottom of my large Longchamp, I’ve been on a search for a new bag for school (can you tell my mind is on school starting back!?).  I started looking seriously a couple weeks ago, and I swear I went through every single brown leather tote bag I could find on the Internet!  I needed something that would be appropriate to take to class, work and my internship – and would fit my 15-inch MacBook Pro, planner, books and notebooks!  Needless to say, this was not an easy search…I’ve looked at enough bags for one lifetime, I think.  But after nitpicking literally every single one of them, I’m going to share with you my top picks (and the one I eventually bought) and the pros and cons of each.

The Legacy Tanner Tote from Coach was my top choice for a really long time.  When I first saw it online, I actually really disliked it – then saw it in the store and fell in love.  Online, I thought it was monstrously big, and in person, I thought it was the perfect size!  I love that this bag is professional looking, but casual enough to be able to use around campus.  My only problems with this bag was the price ($500!!) and the fact that the kind of leather would show imperfections pretty easily – but the price was ultimately what made me look for other options.

The Collection Brompton Hobo from J.Crew is a little bit more laid back than the Coach bag – which is good or bad, depending on how you look at it.  I was looking for something with a little more structure, but with my laptop in it, the bag had a little more shape than it does in the picture.  I was really surprised my computer even fit in this bag!  There isn’t a ton of space for anything else after you put a computer in – but if you don’t carry much, it’s a good, more reasonably priced option ($298).  One of the things that attracted me to this bag was the fact that it had a cross-body option, as well as top handles.

The entire time I was looking, I was keeping the classic Vineyard Vines tote in the back of my mind.  I was more in the market for a leather bag, but I knew if I couldn’t find anything else, I could fall back on this bag – and with its inexpensive ($95), even if I ended up finding something I liked better, it would be a good piece to keep in my closet. My drawbacks on this one was that it was less appropriate to take to my internship and the canvas would show dirt really easily.

And finally the bag I ended up purchasing – the Crosby Shopper from Cole Haan!  It was kind of a stroke of fate that I found this bag.  I looked at Cole Haan’s website and scrolled right on by this bag.  Then yesterday, I had a couple hours to kill and ended up at the mall, bag shopping.  I found a bag I liked at Nordstrom, left to think about it and just wandered into Cole Haan and came upon this!  This bag is seriously awesome – the shade of leather is exactly what I was looking for.  And there’s so much room inside!  The salesperson opened the bag, and my jaw actually dropped.  I can fit my laptop, planner, book, sunglasses case, wallet, EVERYTHING in there, and there’s still so much space left (perfect since I swear I get more stuff over the course of every day!).  At $350, it’s reasonably priced for a bag I intend on using for at least two more years.

What bag do you use for class?



Preppy Dorm Decor

We’re into the last week in July, and once August hits we’ll be in what I like to call “the home stretch of summer”. Pretty soon everyone will be heading back to school with cars full of supplies and necessities for the year away from home.

For a lot of college students, girls especially, it’s important to make a dorm room feel as homey as possible. You want to be surrounded in comfort and familiar things while still impressing your friends and hall mates who come to visit. Also, you definitely want your dorm to be a reflection of your personal style.

When I was heading into my freshman year in 2009 (soooo long ago! 😦 and now I’m going to be a senior! Scary!), I knew that I wanted my room to be two things: pink and green, and filled with polka dots. And I have stuck to that design scheme every year since. If it ain’t broken don’t fix it, you know?

Here are a few pictures of my dorm this past year that definitely illustrate my love of polka dots and all things pink and green…and my love of Audrey Hepburn…

My space is definitely a reflection of who I am. And, if you’re reading this site, you’re probably interested in preppy style so I’m thinking you’d want your room to reflect that. So, without further ado, here’s my tips on how to prep up your space!

Keep in mind that there are seriously SO many places you can get great stuff for your dorm…when I was getting stuff my freshman year, I’m pretty sure it all came from Target, Marshalls, and T.J. Maxx! I used a lot of online retailers like and Lifeguard Press for this post, but there are so many other places you can look!

One of the things I’m going to focus on the most is bedding because it’s honestly one of the biggest parts of the room. In college, the bed multi-tasks as a couch, table, desk, and yes…even a place to sleep. It’s one of the first things people notice when they come to visit.

I am absolutely IN LOVE with this “spring fling collection” bed set from Dormify. Aside from keeping with my all-time favorite color scheme, I’ve been all about chevron lately, and how adorable is that #seriously pillow?! Love!

I also love this “southern comfort collection” bedding set from Dormify! It’s in a great color scheme that is bound to match all your other decorations, and I am seriously obsessed with that cable knit pillow! It’s really making me think of some ideas for my old sweaters….

In addition to awesome bedding, Dormify has a bunch of really great throw pillows that double as conversation starters. I really love the “call your mother”, “ski” and “keep calm” ones! Left to right: party on pillow, #typical pillow, ski pillow, call your mother pillow, #sororitygirlproblem pillow, look busy pillow.

I’m not in a sorority, but I know plenty of ladies who are. If I were a sister, I’d be all over the Lilly Pulitzer Greek collections. There are prints representing 14 different sororities, and they’re all adorable! Unfortunately, even if I had pledged, none of the sororities on my campus are recognized. But, if you’re lucky enough to have your letters Lilly-fied, Lifeguard Press has you covered with tumblers, whiteboards, and the most adorable iPhone cases!

Remember, small details can make a huge difference! A little bit of creativity can pack a whole bunch of personality.

How have you chased to decorate your room at school?

xoxo, Karoline

Pinterest projects for the new school year!

I know, I know…it’s the middle of summer and the last thing on your mind is probably going back to school.  But here’s the thing: it’s actually not that far away.  I’ll be moving to my apartment for the upcoming school year in less than 10 days, which means classes aren’t far behind.  Plus, back to school is my favorite time of the year – buying new school supplies, decorating dorm rooms, I love it all.  As I’ve been planning how I want to decorate my room this year, I have inevitably turned to Pinterest (it’s an addiction, isn’t it?).  I’ve finished a few projects and have even more than I need to find the time to try.  Be sure to click on each of the pictures to be led to the pin.

This was my first Pinterest project of the summer – painting corkboards to go above my desk.  The hardest part of the project was measuring out the stripes – I would not be able to deal if they were uneven and I’m not a math major for a reason.  But they turned out AWESOME and I can’t wait to hang them up!  You can see my Instagram photo of my final product here!

These metallic cork coasters were my second project of the summer – obviously I bought cork in bulk at A.C. Moore this month.  The coasters were very easy to make.  I traced circles on a sheet of cork with a bug mug, instead of purchasing pre-cut coasters.  After that, all you have to do is draw on them with a silver paint pen!  These coasters are going to be absolutely adorable in my apartment.

And finally, one project I’m planning for the coming weeks.  Somehow, from my time spent living in a dorm, I have ended up with way more Sterlite drawers than any one person really needs.  They’re really functional, but not always the prettiest thing.  So, attaching scrapbook paper (whether with Modge Podge or just Scotch tape!) to the inside of the drawers is a great way to make them look better!

What Pinterest crafts have you tried out this summer?!


OOTD Nautical Chic

Since I work in retail, I have to look somewhat presentable and I love mixing it up with different patterns, styles, and colors. Here is today’s outfit using ikat and anchors!



I have been working in a high end retail store this summer and while I can not nearly afford 75% of the merchandise I have been introduced to some great brands.  One of my favorite brands is the jewlery brand, Mija.  Their jewelry has character and is truly one of a kind.  I absolutely love their elephant necklace!  Here are some of my favorites:

Perfect Summer Salad

The most perfect and easiest Summer Salad is the Caprese. It has four ingredients and is most definitely a crowd pleaser for groups both big and small.  I literally could eat my weight in this salad and the best part is, if you have leftovers, you can throw it on a baguette and make it a sandwich for lunch. I have also had this salad made with goat cheese and it was SO GOOD! I have never seen this done before but I have been eating them like crazy this Summer since I saw them in a few restaurants recently. Onto the ingredients:

Ingredients (serves 4 to 6, adapted from Rachael Ray’s recipe)

  • 3 ripe tomatoes cut into 1/4 inch slices (they need to be ripe and juicy otherwise the salad is gross and flavorless. If you have a local Farmer’s Market definitely check out the tomatoes there!)
  • 1 pound fresh mozarella cut into 1/4 inch slices (also should be as fresh as possible, so so yummy!)
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil either layered in between the tomato and mozarella or sliced thinly and spread on top
  • Drizzle balsamic vinegar on top and if you want, some pesto spread is delcious as well
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Serve and enjoy!



C. Wonder Lust

The other day, I was doing what I do best (read: online shopping) when I stumbled upon C. Wonder. If you haven’t seen their website, go now and then come back to this post because it is that cute. Between the navy and green which is quickly becoming one of my favorite color combos and the giant sign screaming SALE, I was immediately drawn in. Reasons why I am obsessed with this store and you will be too: the creator is Tory Burch’s ex-husband and the merch definitely bears a resemblance with a preppier flair. However the price point is oh-so-affordable and you won’t see their stuff on every person that walks by (yet). They also have the cutest house decor! After my initial (several hour) glance at the website, I realized that they have a summer pop-up in Nantucket. Hello perfection! I have already heard amazing things about the store but I cannot wait to see it myself. Here are some of my favorite things so far.

Are you feeling the C. Wonder love as well?



Nautical Terms

Whether you enjoy tubing, waterskiing, sailing, or going for a sunset cruise, many of us will be finding ourselves on boats this summer.  I thought it would be helpful to list some nautical etiquette and terms so that you can be the perfect guest.


1. Before boarding a boat please ask for permission to come aboard

2. Either remove your shoes or make sure you are wearing non-skiff shoes (such as Sperry’s)

3. Make sure that there are enough lifejackets for all people aboard (even if you are not wearing one)

4. Upon leaving the dock, make sure that all lines and fenders are in

5. Respect the captain’s requests


1. The front of the boat is referred to as the bow and the back of the boat is the stern (the front is also known as forward and the back as aft)

2. Right is known as starboard and is marked by the color green and left is known as port and is marked by the color red

3. When coming into the harbor the red channel markers should be on your right and the green channel markers should be on your left (when leaving the harbor the green markers should be on your right and red on your left)

4.  When the boat is at the dock, it is “docked” not “parked”

5.  Boaters use nautical charts, not “maps” to help them navigate

Hopefully you all know a little more about boating and have a wonderful time on the water this summer!

Fashion Challenge: 4th of July edition!

I already posted this on my own blog, but I thought it might be a good post for The Prep Crew, too!

On Tuesday, I’m heading down to Cape Cod to spend the fourth of July and the following weekend with Matt and his family. It’s going to be a week filled with baseball, fireworks, and the beach…three of America’s favorite pastimes!

I was making a packing list of things and clothes to bring last night when I got a really interesting idea. Since it’s the Fourth of July and since I looooove wearing red, white, and blue together (it’s one of my favorite color combos), wouldn’t it be fun to pack nothing but clothes that are those colors and mix and match? So that’s the plan. I’ve got plenty of items that are either red or navy blue, and I’ve got tons of white staples to pair them with. Basically I’m trying my best to make Betsy Ross proud. It’s going to be fun.

Here are some of the pieces I’ll be playing with–

It’s going to be a fun week!

Are you planning on going all out for “Independence Week”? It’s turning into a bit of a competition between me, my mom, and my sister! Leave your outfit ideas in the comments!

xoxo, Karoline

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