December 31, 2016

2016 Recap

Happy New Year's Eve everyone! 2016 has been a great year overall but I am beyond excited for 2017 as there are so many new adventures to come. Over the past 365 days I survived the struggles of junior year, got my first job, turned eighteen, started my senior year and made my way out of the college application process. After a fun day of skiing, I decided to gather up a few photos from my year and do a brief recap of each season. Tomorrow I will evaluate how my 2016 goals went and have a new set for 2017. Cheers!

WINTER
Snow day adventures

Trip to Vail with my two best friends from camp

College tours begin

SPRING
Golf season- annual car wash fundraiser

Class of 2016 graduation 

Spring break: Seaside, Florida 

Junior prom

SUMMER
Zac Brown Band concert at Fenway

Camp friends visit the Cape

Summer sunset on Cape Cod 

Boat ride & fireworks off the Vineyard

FALL
First day of senior year

Hike at Franconia State Park, New Hampshire to see foliage 

Last homecoming

Trip to NYC with my mom 

Accepted to Elon University #elon2021

xoxo,
Catherine

Preppy by the Sea

December 30, 2016

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! This week I have been enjoying pure relaxation, something that I have not really had in an extremely long time. The beginning of the week was spent with my family celebrating Christmas and then we headed up to Vermont to go skiing for the rest of vacation. Needless to say, I have eaten a ton of delicious food, spent ample amount of time in my pajamas, and have had a bunch of great days on the slopes! 

One: Christmas
I do not think there is any day of the year more magical than Christmas. We had the perfect morning lounging around the Christmas tree opening presents, drinking coffee, and eating cinnamon buns. How adorable is this wrapping paper that my mom picked up from target!?

Two: Montreal
On Wednesday, my mom, my friend, her mom, and I all drove up to Montreal for the day. I have been to Quebec and Vancouver, so it was really fun to visit a different Canadian city and compare it to previous trips. We went to the Jean-Talon market for a quick bite to eat after our drive and then headed over to the old part of the city. Old Montreal is extremely quaint and looks very European- all of the French adds additional character. The Notre-Dame Basilica is stunning and the little shops and restaurants lining the cobblestone streets are perfect. We ended our day with lots of fondue at Chez Suzette before driving back to Vermont.  

Three: Skiing
We have been in Vermont skiing since the day after Christmas and it has been a blast! We are up every weekend in the winter, however this break is always my favorite as all of my mom's college friends and their kids are here and it makes every day so much fun. Yesterday there was a huge snow storm so I am looking forward to some fun adventures in the woods tomorrow! 

xoxo,
Catherine

Preppy by the Sea

December 28, 2016

My College Application Experince


2016 has been quite the whirlwind thanks to this little thing called the college application process. Since freshman year I have been hearing about the dreaded college process from kids older than me or from my parents friends with kids that have been through it. As the oldest child in my family, I was essentially the guinea pig and I thought I would share a little bit about my experience for those of you who will be in the same shoes in the future. Everyones college search and application process is extremely different, so this is just my story. I'm just going to start out and say that I was a little bit crazy when it came to finding the right college for me. Everything worked out exactly how I hoped, however I would recommend being a little more open minded than yours truly.

Unlike most people, I had my colleges extremely narrowed down before I even began to go on tours, let alone apply. Since the beginning of high school,  I have known that I wanted to go to college in the South. I liked the idea of having nicer weather, different culture, and doing something different for four years as I will likely come back to the North after college. This geographical restriction narrowed down the schools I would look at fairly quickly. During February of my junior year, my mom and I flew into Charlotte, NC to officially start my college touring process. We went to five schools, Clemson University, Furman University, the University of Georgia, Wake Forest University, and Elon University. After a crazy weekend of touring, I realized that UGA was way too big for me, Furman was way too small, and for some reason I could not explain Wake Forest just was not the right fit. I know what you're thinking...Catherine you are actually insane you just eliminated 3/5 schools you looked! Yes I did. Did everyone tell me I was crazy? Yes. Was I? Yes. Would I recommend this for anyone starting the college process? No. Did everything workout for me in the end? Yes.

After that trip I pretty much knew that I wanted to go to Elon University (though I could see myself being happy at Clemson as well) and from there on out I did everything possible to get myself accepted. Elon was between a safety and a target for me, however the college process is honestly a total crapshoot and I have seen people get rejected and deferred from their safeties... you never know how it is going to play out. This past summer I spent a ton of time working on my Elon application so that by the time I went back to school it would be ready to be submitted. In September, my dad and I flew down to visit the campus for a second time and in addition to the tour and info session, I attended a business communications class. If you are applying to a school that offers this, I would highly recommend doing it. By sitting in on a class, you are able to meet a professor, see how a typical class at the school is taught (small, lecture, etc.), and see if you are interested in the material covered in courses related to your intended major. Although it was mildly intimidating, the girls in the class were extremely nice and welcoming and a few of them were also from Massachusetts which was nice! After my second visit to campus I officially decided to apply Early Decision to Elon.

After I applied to Elon, the regional representative came to my high school. Every day there are representatives from different colleges in our guidance department that hold hour long info sessions and provide you with a change to ask questions and talk one on one with someone from the admissions department. If your school does this I highly recommend attending the sessions for any schools you want to apply to as it demonstrates interest and allows to meet with one of the people who will be reading your application.

I applied to Elon at the end of September and got my acceptance on November 30th. The months in between my submission and hearing back were extremely stressful, however if you really know where you want to go to college I could not recommend early decision enough. I applied to four colleges (Elon, Clemson, Tulane, and Furman), however I got into a Elon before hearing back from my other schools. Because ED is binding, I was required to withdraw my applications, and thus I will never know if I was accepted to the other schools I applied to. Having everything figured out in December is the biggest weight lifted off your shoulders and allows the rest of your senior year to be pretty stress free.

Overall, I had a fairly easy college application process. My approach was mildly concerning, especially when all of my friends were applying to 10+ schools, however it all worked out. For all of you that will being going though the process next year or sometime in the near future I can't stress enough the importance of actually touring schools if you can, and establishing a relationship with the representative from your area. Colleges are becoming so competitive and if you do everything in your power to let them know you are interested, then at least you will have that to fall back on if something does not go as planned. Good luck to everyone in the class of 2017 who hears back in April and to those of you just starting the process, it's an exciting time!

xoxo,
Catherine

Preppy by the Sea 

December 24, 2016

Black Velvet Dress








Merry Christmas Eve everyone! I am so happy to finally be on break and have a full week ahead filled with lots of holiday festivities and relaxation. This year I have been into the velvet trend for the holidays.  When I saw this dress at Urban Outfitters I knew it would be perfect for Christmas Eve paired with black tights and gold jewelry. I always have a difficult time finding a cute dress with long sleeves and this one is absolutely perfect, the material is cozy for winter but the cut is also extremely flattering! I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and I will be back on Monday with a new post! 

xoxo,
Catherine

Preppy by the Sea

December 20, 2016

Gift Guide: Under $50


I'm back today with another gift guide! It seems to be the general consensus that if you order things online by today or tomorrow they should arrive by Christmas eve, so make sure to get your final online orders in ASAP.  If you do end up finding yourself in a jam, Amazon prime will be there for a few days longer :) A lot of the gifts listed today would be great "use it now" gifts on Christmas, because who doesn't want to cozy up in slippers and a big cardigan after opening presents?! Also, the Kate Spade glasses and champagne gummy bears would be a great gift for the hostess to get the festivities started! Happy shopping!

xoxo,
Catherine

Preppy by the Sea 

December 19, 2016

Gift Guide: Under $25


Can you believe there is less than a week until Christmas!? If you are anything like me chances are you still have some shopping to do in the next couple of days. Holiday shopping can add up quickly so today I have a gift guide to keep you on a budget. These items would be great stocking stuffers, yankee swap gifts, or a little something for the hostess. Everything is under $25, but a lot of the items  listed are on sale so you can get them for even less! 

xoxo,
Catherine

Preppy by the Sea

December 15, 2016

NYC Photo Recap










One of the greatest things about being a senior and going early decision is that by the time December rolls around majority of your stress is gone. Yes, I still have half of the year left before graduation and I need to keep my grades up and do well on exams, but I know where I am going to college and do not need to be as uptight about everything. So, in the true senior spirit I skipped school on Tuesday to go down to New York City with my mom. My dad is in New York almost every week for business, so we hopped on the train monday night with him and stayed at his hotel for the night. Going to the city at Christmas time has been on my bucket list for quite sometime now (crossed it off my 101 in 1001!) and I was so excited I could squeeze in a quick trip during this crazy time of year! 

On Tuesday morning my mom and I started the day off with breakfast at Dean and Deluca. We don't have them in Boston, so it is always a must when I am in NYC or DC! Then we went to Bryant Park where they have the cutest little Christmas market set up with shops, lots of food, and a skating rink. When I was little we went to the top of the rock and the pictures were so pretty so we decided kind of spur of the moment to do it again. Although it's an extremely touristy thing to do, the views are so worth it! It was so nice to be there on a Tuesday morning because the city wasn't overly crowded with people there to see all of the festive decorations. After lunch we did a little bit of Christmas shopping on 5th avenue. How adorable is the Cartier store!? This trip was definitely a whirlwind 24 hours but I am so glad that I got to have a nice night in the city with my parents and a fun day exploring with my mom! have you been to New York recently? 

xoxo,
Catherine

Preppy by the Sea

December 09, 2016

Friday Favorites

What a week. This has seriously been one of the longest weeks all year, I thought it was Thursday on Monday which pretty much sums it all up. We still have two more full weeks until we are on break, so it is definitely going to be a grind to get to Christmas. In someways December always seems to fly by as it is always such a crazy month, but it can also be a never ending stretch of weeks leading up to break. I am excited to have the weekend to relax, and next week my mom and I are going down to NYC for a quick trip to meet up with my dad who will be there on business. Needless to say I am beyond excited to see the city all decorated for Christmas!

One: Christmas Tree
We got our Christmas tree last weekend which officially has me in the Christmas mood. The house always feels so festive and cozy once all the lights and ornaments are on the tree. We typically get our tree on the later side, so it is really nice to have up a bit earlier in the month to start the festivities! 

Two: Skiing
Tonight my family is headed up to Vermont to kickstart the ski season! I am honestly in disbelief that it is already ski season and that it will be my last winter going up to Vermont with my family every weekend. I am so excited to get back on the slopes and enjoy the beautiful green mountains. 

Three: Clementines 
Oh my gosh the clementines have been to die for recently, I kid you not when I say I have not had a bad one all week! I have been sick for the past few weeks and am just starting to come out the other side, so having the extra vitamin C is always an added bonus :) 

xoxo,
Catherine

Preppy by the Sea

December 08, 2016

My Christmas List


I love seeing what other people want for Christmas and you guys have seemed to like mine in the past, so I'm back with my 2016 Christmas List! Just a quick disclaimer, I am not expecting to get everything on this this list and do not want this to come of in the wrong way. This year there have not been a ton of things that I am dying to have so most of these items are practical things that I either ran out of or could see myself using all the time. What is on your Christmas list this year?

New Makeup // I would not conducer myself a big makeup person in any way, so I typically end up asking for a replacement of my favorite products each year for Christmas. Makeup is not something that I really like to spend my own money on, so it's always nice to have some of the necessities gifted to me. 

Lauren Graham's New Book // I just found out about Lauren Graham's new book, Talking as Fast as I Can and am really hoping that it ends up under the tree this year! In addition to binge watching Gilmore Girls over break, I would love to cozy up by the fire and crack open this book. 

Christmas Pajamas // Every year my sister and I get new pajamas on Christmas Eve after going to church. I am loving all of the plaid pj's from Gap's collaboration with Pendleton! 

Starbucks Gift Card // I go to Starbucks all the time for my caffeine fix and it is always nice to have a gift card to #treatyoself 

Spinning Shoes // Over the past two years, spinning has become one of my favorite workouts. I always wear my sneakers to the classes, however everyone says that spinning shoes are a game changer and make the workout so much better, so I think these would be a great gift! 

Tory Burch Riding Boots // I actually know that I am getting these for Christmas and am beyond excited! I have had my eyes on these boots for years and my current riding boots are very old and need to be replaced. There is absolutely no way I would have ever paid $500 for them, so on Cyber Monday when they were $300 off (crazy, right!?) I knew it was a sign that I should get them. These are boots that I know I will have for many years to come and I am so grateful that my parents got them for me.  

New Ray-bans // I purchased ray-bans the summer going into my freshman year and have had them ever since. I love my current pair, however they are not polarized which is very noticeable when driving or at the beach. These are definitely not at the top of my list, but just something I would like to buy myself before next summer. 

College Apparel // Now that I officially know where I will be attending college in the fall, I would love to stock up on some Elon apparel this Christmas! 

xoxo,
Catherine

Preppy by the Sea

December 06, 2016

Christmas Playlist


It's officially that time of year when all I listen to is Christmas music! I added one of the Christmas stations to my presets in my car and have started to make my own playlist on Spotify. My Dad has a CD with all of our favorite Christmas songs on it that we have used forever on Christmas morning or while decorating the tree by the fire, however I wanted a playlist that I could have on my phone or laptop at all times. Frank Sinatra, Mariah Carey, and Michael BublĂ© have my favorite Christmas albums so this just an assortment of a few of my favorites. There are a ton of great pre-made Christmas playlists on Spotify as well that are great to have on loop in the background if you are having a Christmas party. What is your all time favorite Christmas song, I am always looking to add more to my playlist? 

xoxo,
Catherine

Preppy by the Sea 


December 05, 2016

Gift Guide: For Him


I don't think that I am the only one that thinks guys are impossible to shop for, so I'm hoping today's gift guide is helpful! These products range from under $30 to a little over $300 and would be perfect for almost any guy, regardless of age. You can never go wrong with nice patagonia items or a cozy pair of slippers, but I have also included some fun newer things like a yeti tumbler to keep his coffee hot or cold all day, cornhole to play at the beach or a tailgate, or a membership to the dollar shave club to keep him all set in the razor department for a year!  What are you planning on getting the guys in your life this year?

xoxo,
Catherine

Preppy by the Sea

December 02, 2016

Friday Favorites

What a week. This has probably been the most eventful week of my life, I turned eighteen, got into college, and am now gearing up for the Christmas season! I don't know about everyone else but I am in complete disbelief that it is already December and the holidays will be here before we know it. Tonight I am hosting a cookie swap with a bunch of my friends and then am celebrating Julianna and my friend Kate's birthdays on Saturday night!

One: College
On Thursday night I was accepted to Elon University in North Carolina! I did not really discuss the details of my college application process on the blog as I wanted to keep it private before I knew where I would be attending school in the fall of 2017. I was extremely picky throughout the process, in fact I only applied to four schools, all of which were in the South. Going to school somewhere other than New England has been my plan pretty much since starting high school and I am so excited for a change of scenery (and weather). I fell in love with Elon the first time I visited it and decided to apply early decision, which I could not recommend more if you really know what you want. The suburban setting, medium size, strong tradition, and amazing study abroad programs all made it a perfect fit and I am beyond excited to start a new adventure there in the fall! 

Two: My Birthday 
This past Sunday was my 18th birthday and I had so much fun celebrating with my friends and family! On Saturday night my closest friends and I all went out to dinner and then came back to my house to indulge in some coffee oreo ice cream cake. On my actual birthday I went out to dinner with my parents and sister at one of my all time favorite restraunts which was a great way to end the Thanksgiving break. 

Three: Shopping
I did a little bit of shopping on my birthday and then on Cyber Monday as the deals were so good all weekend. Now that it is officially December it is time for me to start my Christmas shopping for my family! Look out for more gift guides next week. 

xoxo,
Catherine

Preppy by the Sea

December 01, 2016

Gift Guide: For Her


It's officially December which means that it is gift guide season on the blog! I am planning on having at least one new gift guide each week leading up to Christmas in hopes to make your holiday shopping a little bit easier. This week I am focusing on gifts for all the ladies in your life. Just to make your wallet a little happier, everything I have listed is under $200 and starts as low as $20. I've broken the guide into gifts for different types of people, however I think that most of these products would be a win for any girl, regardless of age, interests, or style. Look for a guide for men next week! 

xoxo,
Catherine

Preppy by the Sea