what’s in my backpack

Hello from four floors up! This week, I will be getting into more of the organizational aspect of college / study life and share what is in my backpack!

Of course, you don’t need to go out and purchase any of these items, but the following products are some of my favs for college life that I can’t imagine living without!

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Herschel backpack

First, the backpack itself. I bought this particular backpack before leaving for college. It is the Nylon Herschel Heritage backpack in navy blue. I picked it because Nylon is durable in wet weather, and I loved the inside design of the bag. Although this backpack is no longer available on Herschel’s website, I love all of their backpacks, especially their line of Heritage backpacks. They have many different colors and styles to choose from, but one of my current favorites is their Navy Canvas/ Black Leather Heritage backpack.

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Laptop grey felt case

This product is one that I often receive questions about. To protect my laptop while I am on the go, I use this grey felt case from Etsy! I was searching for a durable grey pouch for my laptop and was so excited to find this one from FeltBagWorld. It is great quality and even came with a grey felt mouse pad and cord holder / organizer. I am so happy with this purchase and highly recommend it if you are looking for a durable and stylish laptop case! (BONUS: It comes in 21 different colors!)

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Planner

To keep track of deadlines and important meetings / events, a planner is a must-have for me! I would definitely lose track of life’s important dates without my planner. I bought this one from Marshall’s during the summer before leaving for college. Unfortunately, I cannot find it anywhere online, but it is made by MOLLY & REX. Marshall’s often carries their line of notebooks and planners, as well as many other adorable and affordable desk supplies!

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Beats/ headphones

As a part of purchasing my laptop for college, I received a pair of complementary beats headphones from apple! These are great for listening to music or blocking out the background noise while studying. I chose the silver & white color combination, but they have many other color selections to choose from. Of course, the apple earbuds also do the trick, which I always carry in my backpack!

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S’well bottle

A very popular item, the S’well water bottle, also resides in my backpack throughout the school week. I have two of the 9 oz. bottles from the Stone Collection, one in the color “smokey quartz” and the other in “onyx.” I love the rough stone-like texture of the bottle and its ability to keep beverages hot or cold throughout the school day!

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Laptop charger/ iPhone charger

I discovered these two items to be essentials, especially when spending hours in the library! Nothing is worse than having your phone or laptop die during critical study time, so always make sure to have a charger with you.

 

On-the-go emergency medical bag

In case of any sudden headaches, cough attacks, or allergy issues, I always have headache pills, cough drops, eye drops, and other miscellaneous meds with me. There is nothing worse than having a minor-medical emergency while out and about, so I carry this small med bag with me, just in case. A similar mindset led to the making of the Pinch Minimergency Kit, which comes with some medical essentials all held in a compact and adorable pouch.

 

Pencil case

To hold all of my various markers, highlighters, and pencils, I invested in a pencil case. I bought this one from a small bookstore in NYC, but any craft store or office supply store has various pencil pouches to choose from. I love this grey Herschel pencil case from asos.

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That’s all for now! Let me know what your backpack essentials are in the comments below.

xoxo,

madauer

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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…

 

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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.

 

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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!

 

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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!

 

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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!

xoxo,

madauer

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how to create your own inspiration board

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As I tore away the September page in my calendar on my inspiration board, I realized I needed to share a very important part of my dorm room – my inspiration board! Inspiration boards, very similar to bulletin boards, are a staple that I believe everyone should invest in, whether it be for their work area, bedroom, or dorm room.

 

Before leaving for school, I was determined to bring my inspiration board with me for my dorm room, but it was entirely too large for our four door Element. I was so proud of my inspiration board at home, and would often post about it on my Instagram, generating many comments and questions from my followers.

 

Inspiration boards, much like the artifact prints in my last post, are interchangeable. I love being able to remove items and redecorate my board every couple of weeks, making my work space feel fresh and new.

 

In this post, I will provide some essentials to help you jumpstart your inspiration board, including INSTAX photos and DIY inspiration cards. Keep reading for your ultimate guide to creating your own unique and one-of-a-kind INSPO board!

The Board

First, the board itself. You can find a bulletin board at pretty much any craft or office supply store. I bought a standard bulletin board at Walmart and then painted the entire board white. I wanted a simplistic backdrop for all of my clippings and photos, but you can keep the board brown or paint it your favorite color!

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Calendar

To help keep track of the weeks and important dates, a calendar is a college essential. I purchased this simplistic calendar from Becket Hitch. I love the minimalistic look of it and it matches my grey, white, and black aesthetic. (#goals) I attached the calendar onto my board with command strips, another major college essential.

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INSTAX Polaroids

Inspired by an Urban Outfitters post once again, I decided to hang some INSTAX polaroids onto my INSPO board with white string and black clothespins. I actually took photos of my Artifact prints with my INSTAX mini camera, creating up close shots of my photos. If you are looking for an INSTAX camera, I would suggest checking out Michaels craft store. They almost always have online coupons that you can use in-store to purchase your polaroid camera!

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DIY INSPO Cards

Need some inspiration in your life? Create some DIY inspiration cards to hang onto your INSPO board. I created these and hung them onto my board using washi tape. All you need to make these is some card stock paper and a black felt-tip marker. I always scroll through my “inspire to be” board on Pinterest to get some ideas about what inspirational phrases I want to include on my cards. Affirmation phrases are always a great pick-me-up to look at while working and under stress.

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Photographs, Cards, & More

Lastly, I like to keep photo booth strips and some of my favorite photographs to put on my inspiration board. They remind me of the people I love and friends from home. I also hang small business cards and other miscellaneous items from craft shows and art shows on my board. I have a small box that I keep all of my INSPO board items in, making it easy for me to swap them in and out throughout the year.

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That’s it for now! If you have any questions about inspiration boards or think I missed something, let me know in the comments down below! As always, check out my social media accounts and my newly made four floors up twitter account, linked in the sidebar.

xoxo,

madauer

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how to decorate empty wall space

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Hello from four floors up! This week I will be sharing my advice and inspiration on how to decorate any empty wall space in your room. I will share my own tips and tricks and provide links to the websites I use to purchase my dorm décor, ranging from Target to Artifact Uprising! Keep reading if you are inspired to learn more…

 

Artifact Uprising Square Prints

First, let’s talk about Artifact Uprising. Artifact is a great way to turn your digital photos into real-life prints. Their standard square prints are 5 x 5” and you get 25 prints per order. After ordering these for the first time, I was absolutely in love. They are amazing quality with a clean matte finish. Artifact Uprising even makes it super easy to upload photos to print. You can sync your photos from your Instagram feed or select photos from your Photo Album on your computer.

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Displaying your Prints…

I decided to hang my prints with command strips and binder clips because I didn’t want to damage the photos with tape and risk tearing them. (Command strips are your best friend in college BTW) I love the way they look and I only display 12 at a time, enabling me to interchange them throughout the year! Also, I highly suggest following Artifact Uprising on Instagram because they usually post coupon codes that can get you 25 free prints (excluding shipping) $8 for 25 prints – yes please!

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Tassels 

Above my prints, I hung navy and white tassels from Target. My mom and I bought these when we were planning a photo booth for my brother and I’s graduation party, but they look great in a dorm room! We bought two different tassel packs – one navy and one white pack – and interchanged them on one string. I love how the length of the navy and white tassels vary from one to the next. These tassels are definitely a must have and make any space unique!

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Twinkle Lights

What’s a dorm room without twinkle lights??? My favorites are from IKEA. They are their standard Kilometer light chain with 48 bulbs. I love the glow that they give to the room and I find them so relaxing while I am studying at night! I also love that the cord is thick, allowing me to clip some of my extra Artifact prints to the chain with clothespins.

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YAY Banner

If you know me, you know that I love inspirational quotes and sayings. As I was looking on Instagram, I kept noticing posts from Urban Outfitters featuring small banners with different sayings, such as, “IT’S OK” and “YAY”. I was obsessed and knew it was a necessity for my dorm, but I was so disappointed to find out the hefty price tag. After searching relentlessly, I found an adorable AND affordable “YAY” banner on Etsy from Zana products, almost identical to the original I saw on Instagram. Shipped from South Africa, my banner came surprisingly quick and beautifully packaged! I could not be happier with my “YAY” banner! (It honestly makes me smile just looking at it as I am writing this)

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Urban Outfitters Inspired Hat Display

Once again, I was inspired by Urban Outfitters, as well as photographer and visual merchandiser, Cait Poli, via Instagram. After scrolling through my feed, I noticed Urban and Cait’s small space photos featuring simple hat displays. Using two large command strips, I hung two hats onto my wall to fill some of the empty space between my bed and desk area. If you are looking for a simple, functional, and easy way to decorate your space, consider displaying your fav baseball caps!

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Baltimore Pennant

Lastly, I gotta talk about my hometown pride! Being in Philly, it’s a necessity for me to represent Baltimore, Maryland. I purchased this simple and classic pennant from one of my favorite stores, Becket Hitch. They are my go-to for desk supplies, notebooks, planners, and one-of-a-kind finds, such as this pennant. It always reminds me of where I came from and all of the reasons why I love Baltimore.

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That’s it for now! I hope that these tips help you spruce up your space or inspire you with some dorm décor ideas. As always, be sure to stay connected by following either my personal Instagram or my new four floors up account. Both are featured in the sidebar!

xoxo,

madauer

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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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