dorm décor: christmas edition

Hello from four floors up!

This week I am doing something different on the blog. Instead of posting a traditional blog post with text, I will be sharing a video with you! Just in time for the Christmas season, I will be showing you my Christmas dorm décor

Click the photo below to view my video on YouTube or click here. Products featured range from twinkle lights to candles and mini Christmas trees.




I hope you enjoy my video! Since this is something different for me, please let me know what you think in the comments below. Be sure to let me know if you would like to see more videos in the future.




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counting my blessings

Happy Thanksgiving from four floors up!


I am feeling so very thankful this week for my friends, family, and especially, sleep! There’s nothing better than sleeping in on a weekday morning.


In spirit of Thanksgiving, I am going to be reflecting on some of the things that I am most thankful for in this post. I challenge you to do the same, and continue to count your blessings at the end of each and every day.


thankful and grateful journal


Family & Friends

Catching up with my family and friends was one of the things that I was most excited for and looking forward to during break. I am so thankful and grateful to be able to reconnect with friends and family and share some of my most memorable moments from college.


My Home

I love everything about my house and it is one of the things that I missed most at college. My mom’s décor and aesthetics have definitely influenced my style and vision in design! Even though I have created my own personal space in my dorm room at college, there is something about home that cannot be replicated.

thankful and grateful journal


Familiar Roads, Spaces, & Faces

Similar to my house, I missed the familiarity of my town, Catonsville, and the main roads and hangouts that I used to frequent at. I was so happy to spend a portion of my break at Atwater’s Café, a quaint and comfortable café near my house. I spent the day here with some of my closest high school friends, reflecting on the highs and lows of college life thus far. We all agreed that while we love the new experiences of college, we miss the familiar faces and spaces that we have known throughout our lives in our small town of Catonsville.

atwater's cafe

atwater's cafe soup and bread


Home Cooking

Don’t get me wrong, I love my college dining hall, but nothing compares to my mom’s cooking. This Thanksgiving I am feeling even more grateful for the meal that my mom will be preparing!

selfie with mom

laughing selfie with mom


Car Rides

After not driving for three months, the feeling of driving behind the wheel can be liberating and bring back a sense of freedom. I love driving with my friends, blasting music, and screaming the lyrics to our favorite songs.



With 8ams, this break allowed me to catch up on some much needed sleep. A good night’s sleep is vital for your health and helps you conquer the day. I know that I already feel refreshed from this break and the great sleep that I have gotten over the past few days.


Classic Movies

One of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving is the classic holiday movies that come with the season. I love curling up on the couch with some hot tea and a blanket and watching one of my favorite movies, such as White Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street, or It’s a Wonderful Life.


Of course I am thankful for many other things, but these are just some of my blessings that I wanted to share with you all. I am feeling especially grateful for one of my mom’s creations – her special granola, yogurt, blueberry, honey, & coconut bowl. I definitely missed this at college.

yogurt, granola, blueberry, honey, and coconut bowl

Let me know in the comments below what you are most thankful for today and every day.




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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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