Hey! Remember when I went to College Fashion Week? Find out more about the event!

This post is sponsored by Her Campus Media and its College Fashion Week brand partners. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Sparkle and Shine possible!

Hey babes, miss me?

Let’s be honest, I know you have.

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Source: Jezebel

Life has been so totally crazy cause I started my big girl job as an Account Coordinator for the PR firm Access Emanate in NYC! (Post coming soon to tell you all about it – don’t worry!  As well as many other posts as I get my footing as a full-time working gal and part-time blogger) Because this post isn’t about that, it’s about my incredible experience at New York College Fashion.

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So for the longest time, during my commute to and from the city, I would try to put into words how much of an amazing time I had at New York College Fashion Week with my mom. Each time, I struggled – there are no worries to describe one of the most fabulous nights of my life with fellow bloggers, fashionistas, and some amazing brands!

If many of you know me, you know I’ll probably be late to my wedding (is the phrase wedding? Or is it funeral? If it is- that’s rather depressing. Either way, I’ll probably be late to both tbh), but my always early mom came with me. This meant I had plenty of time to stop by the different booth of the fabulous sponsors (Thanks, mom!)

If you followed along on SnapChat or Instagram, you were able to see so many of the awesome sponsor booths – such as MaidenformEuropean Wax Center, Boxed Water, Hanes, and Bertha Watches. There was so much time to interact with the vendors, learn more about their products, meet other bloggers, and eat some yummy Insomnia Cookies and candy!

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And when I did not think I could be enjoying the night anymore, it was time to kick off the show – where I got to sit front row as a VIP Press AKA coolest moment in my twenty-two years of life!

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The show itself was absolutely incredible! The models were all real college girls and they absolutely nailed it  – they looked so gorgeous and so confident. I love working with Her Campus because of how much they always empower women to be proud of themselves, love themselves, and be confident. In a room full of bloggers and Influencers who took opportunities upon themselves, real-girl college models, and upcoming-and-coming fashion designers, this empowerment was an incredible force!

The girls modeled in  four different shows (Study Chic ft. My Social CanvasFestival ft. Foray CollectiveGirl’s Night Out ft. Bow & Drap, and Rush ft. Ali & Ariel and Frill Clothing), which represented the many different moments in a college girls’ life. Just another way Her Campus keeps it real with us- they get what life is like!

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And of course my favorite look that repped Alpha Delta Pi!

Completing the looks were accessories from Rebecca Minkoff, shoes from Vince Camuto, perfume from Perfumania, and the perfect blowout from DryBar. No need to be Gigi or Kendall for that sound like a dream. And let me tell you, readers, those finishing touches all made the looks absolutely perfect. Just look at the pictures – they were stunning!

Hope you don’t think the fun is over…. Because it isn’t! What does every press get at events? Swag bags!!

I was so excited to get my first ever press swag bag, and let me tell you, Her Campus sure did not disappoint! Some of my personal favorites are pictured below – including  a FitBit Flex 2, Vince Camuto perfume, a free blowout from Drybar, and this super cute Rebecca Minkoff makeup bag!

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Here’s to this press event and many more experiences, thanks to Sparkle and Shine, now that I am back on my blogging grind! Hope you’re as excited as I am because I am back, baby!

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Sami’s Holiday Gift Guide: An On Location Tour

This is a sponsored post. However, all opinions are my own. 

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Blogmas, readers!

So, it seems that all my professors have gotten together and decided that they were going to make the week BEFORE finals week when everything would be due. Of course, that would be successful if not every one of my professors decided to do that, but well, we can’t change some stuff in life, now can we?

In the meantime, I have been holiday shopping for all of the special people in my life. After last year’s successful holiday guide, I decided to bring it back this year! So if you’re looking for a craft, a new phone case, or more, last year’s gift guide has got you covered.

And for all you little elves this year, we’re kicking off with something for your favorite movie buffs or someone who loves an experience rather than an item.

On Location Tours offers just that!

My mom and I went on the New York City TV & movie tour earlier this month and had such an amazing time! For only $43 a ticket, you can travel all around NYC for 2.5 – 3 hours checking out where some of your favorite TV shows and movies have filmed. We even got to see where they were going to be filming an upcoming CBS show, how cool?!

During that time, my mom, myself, and the others on our tour bus were taken all over New York City to see the sights of where some of the best movies have filmed. Throughout the trip, our tour guide will tell us about the films that have taken place at the locations, show us clips, and tell us insider secrets about the different locations.

Check out the pictures from the trip. Do you recognize them from some of your favorite movies and TV shows? Hint, hint you should recognize some of them from Gossip Girl, Friends, Sex and the CityGhostbusters, and New Year’s Eve!

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For big fans of Seinfield, Gossip Girl (a.k.a. my current Netflix obsession), or Sex and the City, On Location Tours offers tours specifically geared to those shows. Other speciality options include Turner Classic Movies, Central Park, and the Holiday Lights & Movie sights.

Not in the NYC area? Boston and Washington D.C. also offer tours geared to their areas.

Tickets can be purchased online or at  (212) 913-9780.

Stay tuned for what will be next in my holiday guide! If you end up purchasing tickets, comment below and let me know.

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New York City Style to See “The Lion King” on Broadway { OOTD }

Hello, my sparkling readers!

It’s been quite a while, since I have done a fashion post. When going into the city recently with my family to see “The Lion King,” I felt inspired to share with you all the outfit of my choice for the NYC day!

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Jacket: Dressbarn | Top: Dressbarn | Jeggings: American Eagle | Shoes: DSW

I am absolutely in love with this jacket! It was so light and added a fashionable sense to the outfit. With the spring weather coming, it was the perfect light jacket to cover up the sleeves for when it was chilly. The versatile jacket has definitely become a staple in my closet as we continue into the warmer months. I can’t help but to think how cute it will look on summer nights.

Due to the occasion, I chose to pair the outfit with a pair of classic, black boots. If the outfit was meant for a girl’s only brunch with my sorority family (and mimosas, of course!) or a nice dinner out, I would pair the outfit with a pair of heeled sandals, such as these Michael Antonio Thorstein sandals in white. I’ve been really needing to add a new pair to my closet and these may just be the piece!

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Let your outfits sparkle and shine, have a great week, and if you can go see “The Lion King” – go see it!

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The Makeup Show NYC thanks to Seventeen Magazine!

Happy Monday, readers! My Monday Musts are going to go on hold this week because I have something much more exciting to share with you all!

As you know, I am a member of Seventeen Magazine’s “Seventeen” social club.

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Well, thanks to having that fabulous contract with Seventeen, my little diamond, Amber,  and  I got to to go as press to The Makeup Show in New York City yesterday!

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It started as a very early morning for us! Since we go to school in Connecticut, we had to take a 7:30 train from New Haven to arrive in Grand Central at 9:30. A lot of the show began at 10 a.m., we wanted to make sure we were there in time. That 5:45 a.m. alarm was a rough one- but we were able to stay awake on the train – not just because of each other’s company, but thanks to Dunkin!

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Once we got into the city, we took a taxi over to the Metropolitan Pavilion to start our day at The Makeup Show NYC!

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First, we got to check in. One of the coolest moments of my life had to be telling people I was there “as press” and getting to surpass the line and head over to the press check in. Then, I got to tell people I was there for Seventeen Magazine. It was such an amazing feeling. As an aspiring journalist, I was really seeing my dreams unfolding before my eyes.

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There was so much to see and do – we really didn’t know where to begin! There were plenty of vendors, such as Sephora and Mac Cosmetics, there. There were also some makeup brands we haven’t really hard of, but we made sure to check out each vendor that was both upstairs and downstairs.

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While going from station to station at each vendor, we were able to get some free samples, purchase some products, and even test out the different colors to see which ones we liked.

 

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Besides displaying products, a lot of vendors and local makeup schools were doing different types of movie makeup designs to show off their talents. They were super cool to look at and completely breathtaking knowing people were doing it completely with makeup!

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The Makeup Show NYC also offered plenty of different workshops on different makeup techniques. Amber, an occupational therapy major, and I, a journalism major, decided to take the time while at this once in a lifetime opportunity to check out makeup techniques we probably would never get to know.

With that being said, we learned how to do drag queen makeup…

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…and special effects movie makeup!

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It was so completely crazy. While we waited in the MAC line, we were looking around and couldn’t believe how many people there were. Check it out for yourselves –

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After about 4 hours at the Makeup Show NYC, we decided to travel around the city!

I mean, who needs finals when you can go on a big diamond/little diamond date in the beautiful NYC!

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We walked over to Times Square were we decided to adventure around!

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We ended our day by eating lunch at The Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square.

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Also, since it’s finals week and calories don’t count – we decided to splurge and get dessert.

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After hours of makeup, sisterly bonding, and causing a little havoc in the city, in true sorority girl fashion, we had to end our adventure by doing one thing – SELFIES.

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Then, it was back on the train to Connecticut. After spending almost 10 hours gallivanting around The Makeup Show, Times Square and Bryant Park, we were super exhausted. We had to head back home and back to the library for finals. Though we were exhausted, we had plenty of goodies from the day!

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Though it was a very, very long day – I am so blessed to have spent the day with my little diamond who I love so much! Thanks for coming with me, Amb!

 

And if it wasn’t for being a member of the Seventeen Social Club, Amber and I never would have gotten the chance to receive these goodies!

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Thank you so much for this opportunity, Seventeen Magazine! Remember readers, keep reaching for your dreams. You never know, one day you just may end up at The Makeup Show in New York City as press!

 

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My Monday Musts

Happy Monday, readers!

For those of you who celebrated Easter, hope you had an amazing holiday. I also hope the Easter Bunny was as good to you as he was to me – he clearly knows me very well, seeing as my basket was filled with Victoria’s Secret, Clinique, peanut butter cups, and a new pair of sneakers. Can’t wait to break them in later at the gym!

Being home for a few days for Easter allowed me to de-stress and prepare myself for the long-haul of the next three weeks of classes, tests, and ultimately – finals week.

My biggest recommendation is make your phone’s lock screen an inspirational quote that you really love to help you power through. I scoured my Pinterest‘s “Words to Live By” board until I found the perfect one. Here it is:

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To help you stay calm through your possible stressful week, take a quick break, and check out this week’s Monday Musts –

1. Cookie Dough Iced Coffee from Dunkin Donuts

I spent my Friday home in New Jersey from school getting my nails done and shopping. No day of manicures and shopping would be complete without either a Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks run. So, after hearing rave reviews about Dunkin’s newest iced coffee – Cookie Dough flavored, Julia and I decided to get it. It was DELICIOUS! I’m a recent iced coffee addict and this new flavor from Dunkin was so good. The Baskin Robins inspired flavored coffee is a MUST TRY for any iced coffee addict – so head on over to Dunkin immediately. You won’t regret it!

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2. Modern Family

Besides iced coffee, manicures, and shopping, my few days at home for Easter also included vegging out on the couch catching up on some of my favorite television shows, such as “Criminal Minds” and “The Millers.” I’ve heard a lot of positive reviews about the ABC show, especially how funny it is. I decided to watch it – and became HOOKED. Before I knew it, I was watching every episode that was on demand and am now quickly looking into other ways to catch up on all the seasons (if anyone knows – let me know – since it’s not on Netflix). I love all the characters, the family dynamic, how the show is set up, and just everything about it. I hope my future daughter is as sassy as Lilly.

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3. The Makeup Show NYC 

Being a member of the Seventeen Social Club as brought so many incredible opportunities (stay tuned for a post from one of the products they sent me this week!). One of the most recent opportunities that I am super excited about is attending The Makeup Show in NYC with my little diamond, Amber, as press. On May 4, Amber and I will be traveling into the City to hear from some of the best in the industry regarding different makeup tips and tricks for all occasions. I’ll be sharing about it on Twitter and Instagram, then doing a blog post all about it.  Words can’t express my excitement or how thankful I am for all the opportunities “Sparkle and Shine” has given me.

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Also, remember I can help YOU get famous – just go HERE.

If you change your lock screen to an inspirational quote, comment below and tell me what one it is – or even link it to the photo on your Pinterest board. I LOVE finding new quotes to pin.

Have a great week, readers! Keep sparkling!

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Breaking the Bucket List: Spend 24 hours living in New York City before I’m 20

One of my greatest goals in my life is to accomplish everything on my bucket list. I’m constantly adding different things to the list. As the years go by, it continues to grow and grow. I have already completed some of the tasks, such as joining a sorority, go to the Macy Thanksgiving Day Parade, and go to a taping of NBC’s “The Today Show.”

Whenever I complete another part of my bucket list, I am going to be blogging about it in a new segment I am introducing today called “Breaking the Bucket List.” In this first edition of “Breaking the Bucket List,” I am going to be talking about how I spent 24 hours living in New York City!

I absolutely love New York City – the busy city streets, the lights, the people, just absolutely everything about it. I have taken plenty of day trips there, but have never really lived the experience of living in the best place on Earth. I dream of one day living there, however, I know that right now is not the time. I did, though, want to spend 24 hours living in the city before the age of 20. This past weekend, I got the opportunity to do so!

My best friend, Julia, and I went to visit our other best friend, Vanessa, who attends Parson’s New School of Design in Manhattan. After our two o’clock classes on Friday, we hopped onto our school’s shuttle that took us to our local train station. There, we took a train into Grand Central Station.

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Here Julia and I are on our way to the train station. We took a train into Grand Central Station. Of course, we had to send a selfie snapchat to share the experience!

By the time we got into the city, it was around 6:30 p.m. My 24 hours of living in the city started then. We originally started walking to Vanessa’s apartment, but then decided we should take a cab so we could get there faster. It was my first ever attempt to flag down a taxi – and I did it! Once I flagged down the taxi, I felt so NYC chic. I was ready for you to  start calling me Carrie Bradshaw because I was so ready to take on New York City with my best friends.

Once we got to Vanessa’s apartment and dropped off our luggage, we were off to Union Square. Union Square is only a few blocks away from where Vanessa lives. We were all looking to start the night, so we just grabbed a quick dinner at T.G.I.Friday’s in Union Square.

Once our stomachs were full, we were ready to start the night!

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My two best friends and I! It felt so great to be back together the three of us again.

I have never experienced the night life in New York City. It was one of the parts that I was most excited to experience apart of my 24 hour New York City lifestyle. My two best friends, myself, and Vanessa’s roommate, Emma, got dressed up in our cutest tops, favorite shoes, and took on the city that never sleeps.

New York City nightlife is so different than here in Connecticut, or even back at my home in New Jersey. It was just so much more relaxed and felt so much more of a natural thing. It was one of the most fun nights of my life!

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I don’t think I have ever had a greater night. New York City nightlife is incredible. Here Julia, Vanessa, and I are with one of Vanessa’s roommates, Emma! The four of us had amazing night!

After finally heading back to Vanessa’s room and staying up girl talking just like at home until super early in the morning, we finally went to bed. We needed our beauty sleep to start our adventure tomorrow!

The next day consisted of a lot of walking and exploring the city. We didn’t want to just have our normal New York City experience, the typical one I can usually experience as a tourist. Instead, we wanted to truly get to know the city by exploring.

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Keeping up with our normal snapchat routine, here is the snapchat Julia and I sent a majority of my snapchat friends – the start of our NYC exploration!

The first step was breakfast. The last time we ate, we ate at a restaurant we could have eaten anywhere. Now, we wanted to find something unique. Vanessa knew of a great little hole-in-the-wall breakfast place called Mapi. If you didn’t know that it was there, you probably would have missed it. The store was so small that Vanessa, Julia, and I barely could fit comfortably. Any other patron had to wait outside. There were no seats inside. My best friends and I got our breakfast sandwiches – a ham, egg, and cheese for me – and headed to Union Square to eat. The sandwich was so delicious! Eating it in Union Square, on a park bench, watching all the people go by was just another part of the NYC lifestyle experience I was looking for .

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Our breakfast location for the day – Mapi!

Once we finished, Vanessa had to get back to work on a project. Before parting ways, she gave Julia and I directions and the two of us were off to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Met was about an hour and a half away from Union Square. Instead of grabbing a taxi, the two of us walked the entire way. There was no greater way to explore the city!

About halfway there, we were starting to get a little tired and a little hungry. We found a quaint little cafe, one that turns out to be apart of a mini New York City only chain, called GiGi Cafe. We went in for a little snack. I ordered an M&M brownie and a lemonade. They were both so yummy! GiGi cafe was the perfect little spot for us to grab a snack and relax before heading back on our miles long walk to The Met!

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With all the walking we were doing, I decided it would be okay to splurge and go for a brownie! It was so delicious. So worth it!

GiGi Cafe was our only stop. Though MapQuest said it was only about an hour and a half walk, we didn’t factor in our breaks our our slow pace (why we thought it was a good idea to do a leg day at the gym the day before we left for the city is beyond me!), we finally got to The Met. As a joke, so many of our friends who knew us, and our crazy antics, doubted that we would be able to make it to The Met by walking all those miles. However, we did it – and have never been prouder of an end result of an adventure!

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And we finally made it to the Metropolitan Museum of Art!

Both Julia and I have not been to the Metropolitan Museum of Art before, so we had no idea what we were about to walk into.

What we walked into was one of the most beautiful buildings I have ever seen with the most incredible pieces of art, more incredible than I could have ever imagined. It was such an amazing experience to see all of the artwork. We were surrounded by art work that had been created hundreds and thousands of years ago. It was just so powerful to think about as we explored the many different sections of the museum.

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Julia and I inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art – what a beautiful place with beautiful art!

After being in there for quite sometime, we were back on our way to Grand Central Station to head back to Quinnipiac. We set off an about an hour walk and then a two hour train ride. Around 9 o’clock last night, we were finally home.

In less than 24 hours, Julia and I had experienced more than I could have thought. We got to experience the city streets in so many different areas of the city, we got to experience the daytime and the nightlife, we got to experience what it is really like to live in New York City.

Thank you Vanessa for the incredible experience and thank you New York City for being the greatest place on Earth.