finding new study spaces

Hello from four floors up…


This week I will be focusing on how to find some new study spaces on campus. Whether you are in search of alone time or a quiet space to study, I will be sharing some of my fav places to go on campus when I am looking for alone time…


finding new study spaces with library backdrop



Conveniently located across campus, Starbucks is one of my favorite places to go. Whether I am in need of some alone time to simply hangout or study, Starbucks has the perfect aesthetics for a relaxing space. With my Strawberry Acai Refresher in hand, I am able to accomplish anything.

starbucks acai refresher and backpack


The library – Find your niche!

I know what you’re thinking, “who wants to go to the library? how boring…” BUT I am here to prove you wrong.

Before coming to Saint Joe’s I never went to the local community library near my house or even the library in my school. However, with late night study sessions and research papers, the library is one of my favorite go-to study spaces.

My advice – get familiar with your library. Go and explore all the various rooms and niches your library has to offer. I bet you will find your favorite space or corner where you get “in the zone” and accomplish anything and everything you set your mind to. For me, I love sitting in a particular area of the library with floor to ceiling windows that overlook Barbelin, one of the prettiest buildings on campus. When I am here, I feel most at home and focused.

view from library overlooking Barbelin

library view of Barbelin


Go Outdoors

This next one will also require a bit of exploration. Some people work best outdoors when they are in touch with nature. If you are one of these people, I suggest exploring the various areas of your school’s campus. Ask yourself, “where do I feel most relaxed & in tune with nature?”

outdoors landscape with bench and trees

Barbelin courtyard

Since it is cooler here in Philly now, I don’t think I will be working outside anytime soon, but once it gets warmer again, there are several places on campus that I am looking forward to spending time at, such as the quaint Villiger garden or the steps outside the library.

bench in villiger garden

steps outside Barbelin


Academic Building Café Spaces

This next space might depend on your school. Here at SJU, we have a small café space in one of our academic buildings with an Einstein Bagels attached. I love working here after my 9:05 morning class with a smoothie and bagel. Try exploring some of your academic buildings to see what small spaces are available for studying.



If your residence hall has quiet study lounges, take advantage of them! I love working in our end-lounge during the day. With huge windows overlooking campus, the bright and inviting lighting of the end-lounge keeps me awake and focused during my most tedious work.

end lounge in Villiger


That’s it for now on study spaces. If you find that you need music while you work, check out my Spotify playlists for some quiet and relaxing background music for studying. Some of my favorite playlists are “feel good” and “bedtime,” featuring amazing artists like Jack Johnson and Colbie Caillat. I promise that “bedtime” will not make you fall asleep while studying!


For more study tips and lifestyle college advice, check out some of my fav newly discovered bloggers – livingnsunshine & the classic brunette.




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spotlight app review: Over

Hello! This week I will be doing something different here on four floors up – A Spotlight App Review! I will be sharing one of my favorite apps with you – “Over.” Keep reading if you are interested in learning more about this great app available for purchase in the App Store.




What is Over?

Essentially, “Over” is a design app in which you can add text, graphics, and clip art to your photos. It is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch products.



Some Interesting Tid-Bits…

  • There are 10,000+ graphics, fonts, & images available for use in “Over”


  • You can create fun and unique posts for any celebration with birthday and holiday graphics


  • Check into “Over” every day to collect free artwork and graphics


How Do I Use Over?

“Over” is definitely one of my favorite apps on my iPhone. I use it countless times every week, from creating birthday posts for friends to cover photos for my blog posts.


If you ever wondered how I create my blog graphics, “Over” is the answer! These are some of my favorite creations that I have made with “Over”…





If you decide to download “Over,” check out this awesome step-by-step “Over” walkthrough. I have had the app for a few years and still found myself amazed to learn more from this tutorial. “Over” also has several other tutorials on Vimeo, such as, “How to make a Transparent PNG in ‘Over.’”


Also, I wanted to make it clear that I do not have the PRO version of “Over.” I have not felt the need to purchase the PRO version ($7.99 per month), although I do buy new artwork and font packages within “Over’s” Store from time to time. You can find the Store by clicking the upper right icon on the home screen in “Over.”



My Favorite Things About Over…

Fonts, fonts, fonts

One of my favorite things about “Over” is the app’s broad font selection. Some of my favorites are Nexa, Hello Beautiful, Lulo, Sheepman, & Papercute.



Simple Design & Interface

I think I love creating graphics within “Over” so much because of the app’s simple and clean design. Over’s sleek interface makes it possible to create your own graphics within minutes!


Cute & One of a Kind Graphics

The graphics that “Over” offers are adorable and unique for any occasion. I know I mentioned this before, but always check into the “Over” store to see what graphic packages are available for free! I snagged this adorable free graphic for Father’s Day and created this collage for my dad.



The Gallery

Once you download “Over,” you will notice that the app saves all of your previous creations in your own personal gallery. So, if you ever want to go back and revisit one of your creations, feel free to do so!



Photo Selection

Suppose you feel as though you don’t have any photos to create designs in “Over.” No problem. When creating a new project, “Over” provides the option to use some of their professional photos under the, “Unsplash” tab.



If “Over” sounds like the app for you, download it from the app store! It is my go-to for creating countless designs and unique creations in a few simple and easy steps. If you are interested in learning more, check them out in the app store or read some of the awesome reviews they have gotten, such as the review they received from companies such as Brit & Co.


Join the “Over” movement and start creating today! Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions, comments, or concerns about “Over” – I am always here to help.




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my top 10 college essentials

Hello from four floors up!

Since I have been at college for a little over 2 months, I am going to be sharing 10 of my favorite essentials. I can’t imagine college life without these products, so keep reading to learn more…




A weekender bag

When you want to head back home for the weekend or visit a friend at college, a weekender/ duffle bag comes in handy! I bought my grey weekender bag from Brandy Melville & it is by the brand John Galt USA. It is not available online, but you can find a similar style here from Herschel.



Artificial plants & succulents

To brighten up any space, I suggest investing in some artificial succulents. Don’t get me wrong, I love real plants, but in order to avoid dying succulents, I invested in artificial ones. I purchased mine from Marshall’s and Target, but any local home décor store usually offers a large selection!




To maintain a constant supply of fresh, filtered water, I advise purchasing a Brita. This Amalfi Water Pitcher fits perfectly in our micro-fridge and has a 5 cup capacity.



Sticking with the water theme, this next product is a common college necessity – the s’well water bottle. Featured in my “what’s in my backpack” post, more information about my s’well selection can be found here.




To jam out with friends or play some relaxing background music, I love my Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth speaker. It produces an amazing sound and connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth. Bose offers many other speakers with a range of prices if this particular version doesn’t match your budget.



Room spray

Since most residence halls don’t allow candles, I found room spray to be a dorm essential. I purchased this Aura Cacia Peppermint Room & Body Mist from Whole Foods. However, it is also available at a range of online sites, such as Amazon. I love its subtle and refreshing peppermint scent.



Rain jacket

My most used college essential would definitely have to be my rain jacket. It doesn’t rain much in Philly, but I have loved layering my Target Rain Anorak – Merona jacket. I purchased it in the color “Orion Gray” – the perfect mix of gray and navy.


Portable charger

Nothing is worse than your phone dying when you are out and about, so I suggest investing in a portable iPhone charger. I bought mine from Marshall’s but you can find one like it here from Target.


Milk makeup cooling water

I cannot say enough great things about this product. I have an 8am everyday and cannot imagine my mornings without this Cooling Water stick from Urban Outfitters. This “ultra-refreshing cooling water stick” leaves your skin feeling cool and refreshed. I especially love using it on my eyelids and under eyes, as it helps me wake up in the morning.




Slip-on vans

Take a visit to any campus and you will see most students rockin’ some slip-ons. I purchased my Braided Suede Slip-On Vans in the color Wild Dove. Their braided texture and sleek design make them great shoes for walking the campus. They are extremely comfortable and I love them!




That’s it for now…I hope you enjoyed my top 10 college essentials at the moment.

Let me know in the comments below what some of your essentials are that you can’t imagine living without.



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DIY beaded bracelets

Feeling crafty? This post will share some of my favorite ways to get crafty at college. Keep reading to learn more about DIY beaded bracelets…




To read about INSPO cards, one of my favorite DIY projects, check out my last post – how to create your own inspiration board. For now, I will be focusing on how to create beautiful beaded bracelets in some simple & easy steps!


First, head over to your local craft store. I usually go to Michael’s craft store, as they always have awesome sales and coupons available to use in-store. Once there, head over to the bracelet making and bead aisles. At Michael’s, there is one aisle solely dedicated to their various beads, which are organized by color. I usually choose some simple dark blue, black, or white beads along with tiny elephants to create my bracelets.


Then, pick out the bracelet string. I always choose the Stretch Magic Bead & Jewelry Cord 0.7mm, as there is no clasp needed to make your bracelet! Simply follow the instructions on the back of the package, which require you to stretch out your string before tying the knot to allow it to work its magic!


Now, it’s time to create your bracelet! Using the beads you purchased and the stretchy cord, design your bracelet. First, cut your desired amount of string for your bracelet. Then, I suggest placing a small clothespin at the end of your cord to prevent the beads from falling off while you create your bracelet.




Generally, I use 24 beads per bracelet, as I find that it is the perfect size for my wrist – not too big but not too tight. I suggest experimenting with different bead amounts until you find one you like, but start off with around 24 beads and work from there. Of course, it also depends on the size of the individual bead, so you will need to take that into account when deciding how many beads to add.


Once you have added your beads and are ready to tie the knot, be sure to stretch your string, as this allows the cord to “work its magic,” and remain strong throughout its wear. Without the stretch, the cord is more likely to come undone while you are wearing it. Who wants their bracelet to unravel and beads to fly everywhere? Not me, that’s for sure.


With your newly designed one-of-a-kind DIY bracelet, be sure to snap a pic and share it with your friends and family! These bracelets make thoughtful and unique gifts for friends, whatever the occasion may be!


cover-bracelets               bracelets


If you decide to continue creating bracelets and want to pursue it as a hobby, consider purchasing a bead organizer. This bead organizer from Michael’s craft store allows me to sort my beads into small compartments for easy storage. It is also a huge timesaver and helps me to easily find beads when I am in a time-crunch to create a bracelet. Overall, it is a great buy and a must-have for bracelet-making enthusiasts, like me!




I hope you enjoyed this post about simple DIY bracelet making. Let me know how you get crafty in college in the comments down below.

For more DIY Inspiration, check out Jessica Slaughter’s DIY Posts. Be sure to follow my DIY ideas board on Pinterest for more tips and inspiration!



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hello from four floors up (literally!)

Hello!  My name is Madison Auer and I am a student at Saint Joseph’s University in Philly.  Originally from Catonsville, Maryland, I have been having a blast exploring the city of Philadelphia.  I am studying Communications and I love photography and design.  My passions include typography, hand lettering, organizing, making bracelets, and all things grey.  Oh and Pinterest…cannot forget about Pinterest considering I spend at least half of my day pinning.

You may be wondering why my blog is titled, “four floors up” but I am here to explain why.  Currently, I am writing to you from the 4th floor in my dorm room – #4thfloorsquad !  We have a beautiful view of the campus, as well as City ave, featuring a constant stream of traffic ALL DAY LONG…

I cannot wait to share my vision with all of you.  Four floors up will feature dorm inspiration and serve as your go to college guide.  Posts will range from dorm essentials to stress relievers (shout out to reliable face masks and tea).  I hope four floors up translates my own experiences thus far into college and provides you with advice and inspiration for college life and dorm living.  Even if you aren’t in college, my dorm décor and design inspiration can easily be applied to small spaces.

I was especially inspired to create this blog after the many questions I would receive through my Instagram and VSCO posts.  I hope that this blog becomes an open and inviting place for amazing and inspirational content.  Please keep in mind that my blog will be a bit of a work in progress for the first few weeks, considering this is my first time experimenting with the art of blogging and WordPress.

I am beyond excited to continue exploring and navigating through WordPress and I am especially stoked to discover more widgets…(obsessed already, really)

Please check out my other social media platforms featured in the sidebar & leave a comment below.  I would love to connect and chat with all of you!

For more about who I am, visit my About page.

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