Friday, July 24, 2015

Call Me Esmeralda

Shirt: Target, Skirt: Similar, Shoes: Similar,

As seen by my latest two outfits, the Summer = Shelby Lee does Boho Chic. It's so easy to throw on a flowy outfit and look put together without feeling like you've entered the center of the Earth. I like this outfit in particular as it reminds me of Esmeralda from the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Though my brother thought I looked like I belonged on the prairie, I felt confident in knowing that Esmeralda rocked this look first.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Heatwaves of Color

Summer definitely brings out my inner bohemian. It's so easy to throw on a flowy dress and avoid the summer heatwaves that are bound to hit. I've been wearing this dress frequently, but the truth is it's actually a cover up! I just thought it was too cute to be limited to wearing over a bathing suit.
Simple gold accessories and colorful sandals make this look a go to for my summer style.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

July DIY Week - Preparing to Choose Your College

     So this post is a little out of the ordinary for a DIY, but I kept thinking about things I wish people had taught me, and I really wish there had been someone to walk me through the entire pre-college process.
      The first thing that you need to decide is where you want to visit. I knew that I wanted to study English
and Communications, but I wanted my English degree to be focused towards Creative Writing, which narrowed down my search quite a bit. I only toured schools in my state, and, for the most part, they were less than six hours away from where I lived. I found most of this out online, or from the college fair that I went to as a Sophomore.  If your school or a school near you is having a college fair, I highly suggest attending. I'm such a nerd, but honestly it was a lot of fun getting to talk to the school's reps and getting a good idea of what they were looking for from me before I even went to the school.
     My dad and I then went on a major road trip during my Junior Year spring break where we visited, all nine of the schools I had shown interest in. At the beginning of the week, I was enthusiastic about every school I visited, but by Thursday, it was easy to tell which schools made me feel comfortable, and which just didn't seem like a good fit. I am not kidding, when I say that I left a college tour early, because I hated the bricks on the buildings. It wasn't just that, but at the time I felt so uncomfortable, that even the bricks were driving me crazy. I took out all of the state universities, because I realized that large schools just weren't for me, and narrowed it down to four private schools that I would apply to.
     If you're not sure about touring, I will say that some schools waive the application fee if you tour their school. Every private school I visited offered this deal, and one of the two public universities did as well. It also gave me the ability to truly experience what going to school there would be like. I mean, I was able to narrow down nine schools to four.
     The next step was applying, which I got done August before my senior year. I cannot stress how important I think this is. Most schools early action deadline is in December, and regular can be anywhere from January to February, but while most of my friends were freaking out about applying to college while trying to juggle school work, I got all of mine done when I had loads of free time in the summer. And get this! All of my schools had rolling acceptance, meaning that whenever I applied, they would get a decision back to me in a month's time. I knew what schools I had been accepted to before most of my friends even applied. It took so much weight off of my shoulders, so I highly recommend this if you can do it.
     But Shelby, how do you apply?
     I'm glad you asked. All but one of my applications could be filled out on the greatest website known to high school students, Common App. The Common Application, is an online application that a lot of schools use, where you can fill out the basic questions on every application (name, birth date, family, etc. ) and send it to each school on your list. This application also adds specific questions and essay's for your school, which allows you to apply to every institution at once. It really is a life saver. I was going to apply to the University of Louisville, just for kicks and giggles, and decided not to because they didn't use the Common App. I love it that much. You can find it here:

  After I found out where I had been accepted, I knew that I needed to narrow down my four schools, to at least two, hopefully just my number one. All but one of my schools offered over night visits or class sit ins. Liberty University offered an entire weekend, where I went to a football game, sat in on a class, and got to stay in someone's dorm, called CFAW (College for a Weekend). Personally, the school was too big for me and I didn't really have a great experience with the person I was dorming with, but one of my friends goes to Liberty and she was great about showing me around and making me feel welcomed. At the end of the weekend however, I knew it wasn't the school for me. I felt anxious while I was there, and even though it was a great school and I loved spending the weekend with my mom, it just wasn't the right fit, and that's okay. Even though my dad was pretty bummed. 
     I then visited Hollins University for the third time for their Prospective Students weekend. Again, I got to sit in on a few classes, shared a dorm room with a current student, and was welcomed into the school's activities. I had a better time there, and my current student was awesome, I still follow her on Instagram. I loved the Children's Literature class I took and really felt like the school wanted me to be there. It secured Hollins in my top two schools.
    My parents and I decided to take Randolph College off of the list when we couldn't find a weekend to stay at the school, but later we got an email inviting us to that exact thing. Opps! The good new is, my parents weren't to thrilled about the school, and while I thought it was beautiful, it wasn't too hard to let go.
     Randolph-Macon College didn't give me the option to stay
in a dorm, but they did have
what is called Macon Days, where I got to take a few classes and see a little bit more of the school. I only live an hour and a half away from Randolph-Macon so this was great for me, but I can see how it would be difficult for those who lived farther away. I fell in love with Randolph-Macon on this day, and I wasn't sure then, but I think it became my number one school that day.
    I now had my top two schools, and because I wanted to be thorough I visited them both again. This is not necessary. Most of my friends only visited their top school more than once, but I honestly had no idea where I wanted to go. I was invited to scholarship days for both schools, and while I got to stay overnight at Hollins again, this time I stayed at the hotel with my mom, I only got to be at Randolph-Macon for a few hours. I visited each school, one more time after the scholarship days, just to clarify which was my number one. At this point I knew I loved Randoph-Macon but Hollins was the smarter choice financially. My cousins went with me to Accepted Students Day at Randolph-Macon and they really
made me see that I couldn't put a price on how comfortable and at home I felt at Randolph-Macon. I
knew they were right, and by the end of that day I was almost ready to make a decision. However, I owed it to Hollins to attend their Accepted Students day as well.
    They were still so nice and welcoming, but they whole time I just wanted to go home. I kept looking at my schedule, trying to see how much longer I had. It just wasn't the school for me, and while it scared me to voluntarily put myself in more debt that I needed too, I couldn't let go of the happiness that I felt when I was at RMC.
     I paid my deposit about two weeks before the deadline of May 1st, and got my brick in the mail a week later (Graduating Students get their names engraved in a brick at RMC).
     From there, I became a College Student and the tasks flew in, but that's another story. Applying to college is stressful, scary, and most other negative 's' words, but it's also thrilling and new. I'll be the first to graduate with a Bachelor's Degree in my nuclear family, and that's pretty cool.
    I think the best advice I can give is to do things sooner than you have to. I am a total procrastinator, but I made sure to get my college stuff out of the way before I was rushing to meet a deadline, and because of that I got to have fun with it. I got to visit schools four or five times, which I really needed to cement my decision, and I got to create memories with my family. I am the queen of waiting until the last minute to pick a school, so I know how tough that can be, but at the end of the day, I truly believe that you will know what school is right for you. Almost everyone I have talked to says that they just felt it when they found the right school, and the same thing happened for me.
     So don't stress if you don't know what to do or where to go. There's time for that, and the answers will come eventually. Life is full of choices, and you've made it this far. Now you're off to great places, you're off and away.

July DIY Week - Embellished Shirt

I want to start off by saying that yes, Wednesday's DIY is being posted on Thursday, but Thursday's will also be posted today so we are golden people!

Anyways, I'm really excited about this DIY, because I've been looking at shirts similar to this on J.Crew and Gap, but have never found the right one or have been able to spend the amount of money they were asking for. For this DIY, I only used things that I already had in my house, but I think that it would have been around $15 dollars had I ventured to Walmart and bought everything knew. This shirt and the necklace I used were $5 dollars each from Walmart and the fabric glue was about $3 from Michaels. 
I started off by popping all of the jewels out of my broken necklace. Honestly, it was harder than I thought, I did the same thing for the clipboard earlier in the week (why is all of my jewelry broken?) but this was much tougher, and eventually I made my dad help me and he used pliers. I make no promises on the amount of skill needed. 

 Once you have your pieces, start arranging them on your shirt. I thought I had a picture of this, but I can't find it so I guess not. The idea is to make it frame your neck, sort of like a necklace would, but you can use your own artistic vision for this.

 Then came time for the glue. My fabric glue had exact directions on how it needed to be used, so make sure you check the back of your bottle so that you get the desired results.

And this was my finished project! It was so easy, for example I could actually do it, and I think it looks really good. This is definitely a good alternative to buying one new, as it costs less and it can be personalized however you like it. So far, I can't say how well it holds up, but the glue promises great results.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

July DIY Week - Starbucks Green Tea Lemonade Dupe

 I absolutely love Starbucks Tea/Lemonade drinks, so when I discovered a way to make them at home for a fraction of the price, I knew I had to give it a try. The directions are super easy, and the ingredients are so common, that I didn't even have to go to the store to get them. They were already at my house. 
I am so excited about this DIY, and can't wait to use it throughout the rest of the summer.

  • Green Tea: 1 bag
  • Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice: 2 Lemons (about 1/4 cup)
  • Granulated Sugar: 3 Tablespoons (And a little more to taste)
  • Boiling Water: 1/2 cup
  • Cold Water: 3/4 cup
  •  Ice Cubes: However much is desired


  1. Boil 1/2 cup of water. Once boiling, add 3 tablespoons of sugar and your green tea bag to the pot.  You're going to let the tea bag steep for around 3 minutes before discarding the bag. To make sure the sugar has dissolved, stir the green tea.
  2.  Next, add your lemon juice and cold water to the green tea mixture. Stir. 
  3. Taste to make sure it is not too tart, and then add sugar to taste if desired. 
  4. Pour over ice and enjoy! 
A serving size is about half of the pot, which makes a Tall serving at Starbucks.  Before the ice, this recipe makes about 1 ½ cups of green tea lemonade.

Monday, July 6, 2015

July DIY Week: Kate Spade Inspired Clipboard

Hello everyone! July DIY week is back and I am so excited! To kick off the event, I've created a Kate Spade inspired clipboard, which is so easy but also super cute.

To start this project you're going to need a clipboard (I found this cute stripped one at Michaels), cardstock, glue (I used hot glue, but I would recommend super glue or an epoxy), and some old or broken jewelry.

 Start off by measuring off a piece of card stock to fit the clasp area (this is not necessary if your clipboard has a solid clasp), and then glue the edges down.

I started by pinning this broach in the middle of my card stock. This gave me a good idea of where to place the rest of the jewelry, and made sure that this was the focal point.

  Next, you're going to start adding the jewelry by gluing it to the card stock. You want to leave as little white space as possible, so plan ahead as much as you can to fit the little pieces together.

And this is the finished project! All together, this took me about 45 minutes and, as you can see from the directions, it was really simple. I think it's an easy way to add a lot of impact to a common item.