Fall to Winter Fashion on a Budget

Hello Pretty People,

I’ve had many people ask me where I get my clothes, and I’d like to think I follow fashion fairly well. I love keeping up with trends and incorporating some of my own. Although I love clothes, it can be expensive to keep up with every trend, especially as a college student. Not everyone has a budget that allows for shopping every season. So, I’ve decided to create little guide for the girls like me!

Now, I know we always see these types of posts on “fashion for college students” and then it shows $100 leggings and $150 rain boots that you actually cannot afford. You know exactly what I mean…

Well, this is not that fashion guide. This is for the legit college girl who cannot afford fancy clothing brands just yet. We will get there one day, but we got to get the degree first. These are the ways that I stay on top of fashion without breaking the bank.

Shop Deals:

The number one way I can afford fashionable pieces is by shopping deals and sometimes shopping out of season. For example, I found these super cute grey booties at a boutique in the Spring, they were only $20 but I knew they were perfect for Fall. Now, they are one of my staples for the Fall + Winter.

I love brands, but sometimes the best way to shop is by style not brand. Stores like Zara + H&M may not scream rich girl, but you can find all the same trends as the high fashion brands at these stores.

Jeans/pants aren’t seasonal:

There is nothing better than a new pair of jeans. But, one tip I recommend is not buying jeans every season. Sure, there will be styles you will want to purchase but jeans are timeless for the most part. A light wash, a dark wash, a ripped jean and a colored jean; that’s all you need to survive. Jeans are jeans, no one will notice if they are new or old.

Jeans are one thing I will spend more money on. High quality jeans last a long time and as I said, the don’t really change too much. Unlike a shirt, jeans cross seasonal trends well. Any unique style pants are a great way to mix it up too!

Shop Styles:

I mentioned this tip in the first point, but I am mentioning it again because it’s not always about the brand name. If you like Steve Madden shoes, check out Target for similar styles. If you like J. Crew stuff, check out Old Navy. If you are looking for modern trends like Gucci or Burberry, check out Zara or H&M. I found a quilted vest, cashmere (look alike) sweater and a black + white flannel all under $50 at Old Navy. I also snagged some Steve Madden looking sneakers from Target for only $20. They are all great quality too!

Something Borrowed:

A final tip is to borrow items from a friend or family member. This is not something I do on a daily basis, but when I am attending an event or something special, I will sometimes ask a friend for an outfit. Instead of spending $50-$100 on a new dress, I’ll shop my besties closet to see if there is something that fits the occasion. If I’m going out and feel bored with my own clothes, I will sometimes ask to borrow something too! It’s an option if you are really looking for something new but do not have the money.

I will share some of these items below, along with outfit ideas. Simply click on the brand name in the parenthesis to shop for yourself.

My Fall to Winter Outfits

Black + White Flannel (Old Navy, $15), AE Ripped Jeans (Similar AE Style, $30),

Grey Wool Hat (Similar Style, $20)

Caramel V-Neck Sweater (Old Navy, $12.50), Olive Green Quilted Vest (Old Navy, $17), Same AE Jeans, Boutique Blanket Scarf (Similar Style, $17)& TOMS Wedges (Similar, $50)

Turtle Neck (Gap, $17) & same Green Vest from above

These outfits shared above are all basically using the same pieces. I wanted to show you how it easy it can be to style just a few basic pieces. This vest allows you to mix up any outfit. I wore it with three different pieces here; paired with a turtle neck, a sweater and a flannel (not pictured). You can also layer with the flannel, although it is not shown above, I could easily layer the flannel over my sweater. I also accessorized with my blanket scarf, which is another Fall/Winter wardrobe staple. This wool grey hat has also been my go-to accessory for the season. It not only covers a bad hair day, but it also protects your hair from the wind and rain (it’s been a rainy season in Michigan). Plus it’s pretty cute!

Once again, most of these tops were under $20 and they are easy to mix and match. My jeans are from last Fall, proving my point you do not need brand new jeans. My TOM wedges are about 2 years old too! These are my favorite Fall shoe, along with my pair of grey booties I mentioned earlier.


Being fashionable does not have to be expensive. You just have to be confident in your style and realize you may not be able to afford everything you want. I always say it’s not about where you get the clothes but how you style them that matters. Whether you shop at Goodwill or Prada, if you wear it proud, no one will question you.

I proudly wear my inexpensive clothing because I’m not worried about attaching my identity to a brand. I don’t need brands to define my personality or style, and neither do you. Just wear what makes you feel most beautiful and comfortable.

I planned to make a video with this post, but with the rainy weather we’ve experienced in the mitten, I had no luck. I hope you still enjoy this post and I hope it works as a guide. These are just my fashion secrets on a budget. Shh…don’t tell anyone 😉

Thank you for reading PYM.

xo, Lyss

Planning a Girls Night Out the Right Way

Hello!

My 21st birthday is coming up in October and I’m so excited. Many bars and clubs in my area do not allow people in who are under the age of 21. Therefore, I have not been able to really experience the nightlife of my city. Once I turn 21, I will be able to go out and grab a drink with friends or buy a bottle of wine, just because. And a little secret about me is that I LOVE to dance, sober or not. So, I cannot wait to have the freedom to go out dancing with my girls. In lieu of my upcoming birthday, I partnered with Grand Rapids Party Buses to create a post all about bar hopping right here in my city, Grand Rapids.

Grand Rapids Bar Hopping

Bar hopping in Grand Rapids is one of the best ways to get to know the city and simultaneously have fun with friends. However, anybody with a group of friends in this modern day and age knows the complications in setting up a get together. There’s so much to consider whether it’s school, work schedules, or prior commitments. However, we’re here with suggestions for some fantastic bars to look into adding to your bar hopping itinerary as well as an option that will make it easy to get your group of friends to commit to a night of fun.

Sidebar

For those who value cocktail diversity and creativity, you’re definitely going to love this spot! It’s a smaller venue with seating for about twenty, so it’s perfect for trying out a drink or two and heading on to your next destination. The bartenders are known to be extremely efficient and knowledgeable, so count on a five star drink whenever you decide to head here. Try the Pisco Sour!

Buffalo Traders Lounge

Located in Midtown, Buffalo Traders Lounge offers a fun retro vibe! It has a 70’s look and feel that’s really comforting. You’re sure to enjoy their sliding scale Happy Hour that runs Monday through Thursday where drinks start at a cheap five dollars and then increase in price by one dollar each hour. It’s a cool experience being quizzed by their bartenders to get a completely custom drink!

Noco Provisions

This is a new addition to the scene in Grand Rapids, and they offer reservations online. It focuses on providing comfort food and drinks in an upscale gastropub environment. The poutine fries and tuna poke are both a big hit as well as the milk pot flight if you’re staying for dessert. Those who enjoy craft beer will take delight in the selection of IPAs on draft!

Transportation

Reserving professional transportation such as a limousine or party bus in Grand Rapids is the best way to get everyone on board…literally! While the knee jerk reaction is to order an Uber or Lyft, you’ll benefit much more with the addition of Grand Rapids Party Buses. Splitting the cost among the group keeps it affordable for everyone involved, and you’ll know you’re partying to the best of your ability when surrounded with quality features. Not only is it a safe way to get everybody involved, but it also provides an unforgettable experience.

Working with GR Party Buses has me looking forward to planning my own 21st birthday extravaganza. Now that I have an idea of where to go and how to get around, I cannot wait for my birthday. You can also use these tips to plan your next girls night out. Be sure to check out what they have to offer!

Thank you for reading today!

Farm Fresh Salad Recipe

Hello Darlings,

This past Saturday I spent the morning at the local farmers market in Grand Rapids. I picked up lots of fresh + local goodies. It was such a quaint and quiet morning spent alone, I really enjoyed it.

I thought I would share what I got with you and give you my current favorite salad recipe, made from some of the things I picked up at the market.

First, I picked up a coffee from a local coffee shop that I love (Madcap Coffee for the local readers). I adore the setting and vibes of the shop, and the lattes are always perfect. Then, I headed to the massive Fulton Street farmers market. There were a bunch of farmers and vendors to look through, I was overwhelmed with my options. So, I did a walk through first before purchasing any goodies.

Here’s what I got:

  • 3 zucchini for $1
  • 2 [huge] cucumbers for $1
  • Bouquet of sunflowers for $5
  • A little succulent for $2.50
  • Bag of mixed greens for $5

All adding up to just $14.50 – Talk about a steal!

There were lots of other affordable and fresh items that I chose not to buy this time because I am about leave for a trip. If you would be interested in a full Farmers Market haul, let me know in the comments. For this time around, the salad is made up of a mix of farm fresh and grocery store bought.

My Salad Recipe

Ingredients:

  • Mixed Greens (my fave includes spinach, arugula + romaine)
  • Tuna (or chicken)
  • Half of an avocado
  • Diced cucumbers
  • Baby tomatoes
  • Shredded carrot
  • Diced onion
  • Herb + Garlic for taste (salt-free)
  • Apple cider vinegar for dressing

First, I washed the salad mix I picked up from the market. Then I chopped up all the goodies for the toppings. I added all the veggies to the top, then added tuna. Once that was done, I added seasoning (garlic + herb) and dressing (apple cider vinegar). Voila! Yummy + fresh salad to fill you tummy!

*The green shows which items were bought at the market. Though there are only two in this recipe, carrots, avocado, tomatoes, onion, fresh herbs and even chicken were available at this market. once again, I did not purchase these items this time due to an upcoming vacation.

This salad mix has been one of my go-to’s lately. It’s very filling and tasty.

After eating my salad, I re-potted the little succulent I bought and named it “Hazel”. How cute is she?!

I’m looking forward to my next trip to the market and I plan to buy lots more. Do you like visiting the local market? What’s your favorite recipe to make from it? Share below!

Thank you for reading today + I wish you a week of happiness. Smash your goals and be kind to everyone.

xo, Lyss

 

The Perfect Last Minute Gift

Hello Beautiful Souls,

Christmas is only a couple of days away and you know what that means: LAST MINUTE GIFTS. Here you are getting ready to head out to a holiday gathering, and then you remember you forgot to get the host of the party a gift. What are you going to do?! Fear not, I am here to help you kill the last minute gift game without the gift looking last minute. These gifts are also all under $25!

I will share 3 of my favorite last minute gift ideas below:

  1. The Chic & Cozy Bundle: This has actually been my go-to gift for the girls in my life. This gift consists of a pair of earrings, fuzzy socks and either a Pura Vida bracelet or lip balm. You can customize this to the person you are giving it to, but these items are super easy to find at any store.
  2. Coffee Lover: This gift set is easy and perfect for the coffee lovers in your life. Stop at your local coffee shop and pick up a gift card and a cute mug. You could also just buy the gift card; some people find this impersonal but for me, I would adore a simple gift card for coffee because I buy coffee almost everyday.
  3. The Yummy Bundle: You cannot go wrong with food. Everyone knows the holidays are a time to splurge on our diets! Create your very own bundle of food favorites. Maybe this can include a bag of coffee, holiday treats or a fancy cheese ball. I like giving food as a gift because you know the person will consume it. You don’t have that worry of wondering if they will like it.

Tip: After you pick up all these last minute gifts, the key to making them look stellar is all about how you wrap them. Invest in cute gifting boxes or simply tie the bundle with some fun ribbon.

These gifts are going to save the day and still be wonderful gifts. They are also very versatile gifts that can be customized as needed. Once again, you do not have to spend more than $25 dollars on any of these either. I have been utilizing some of these for my own gift giving, and I just spicing them up a little bit.

Thank you for reading this quick little gift guide. I will be posting another post today as well! The second one is directed toward my fellow college friends. This will probably be my final Christmas related post; therefore, I wish all my readers a wonderful holiday and safe travels. Thank you for always reading PYM.

Happy Holidays to all!

xo, Lyss

Single Girls Guide to the Holidays: Treat Yourself

Hello Pretty People,

This is the third and final post in the Single Girls Guide series, and this one is all about you. The holiday season is a time to give back to others, but it is also important to remember to take care of yourself. For a lot of my readers, you probably just finished a long semester and you could really use the “me” time to relax and reconnect. Taking some time to yourself is crucial to your mental and physical health. This post is going to share the best ways to kick back and relax this holiday break because sometimes you just gotta treat yourself!

Here are some great ways to treat yourself this holiday:

  1. Take a bath: Pick up a bath bomb from LUSH, grab your favorite face mask and some fashion magazines, and take a relaxing hot bath. This will rejuvenate you and your skin! Baths are the perfect way to spend some time alone and truly relax.
  2. Buy yourself a gift: Now that you are single you won’t have to spend that extra money on a gift for a significant other, so spend it on yourself. Buy yourself a new handbag or maybe that little party dress you have been eyeing; girl you deserve it!
  3. Get away: Take a small weekend trip to a bed and breakfast or spend the day in the city. Grab a coffee at a cute little downtown shop. Take a stroll through a park. Anything to clear your mind and refresh your inspiration. I will be taking a trip to Chicago with my mom to get out of my normal and make some memories. Being adventurous is always good for the soul.
  4. Go on a fun date: Now, this series is all about embracing the single life but it might not be a bad idea to go on a date with someone, just for funsies. This can be a long time guy friend or perhaps a new guy you’ve been crushing on. Just take a chance and enjoy the date, nothing has to be too serious.
  5. Sleep in: Girl, you need this one! Take a Saturday morning to yourself; sleep in, drink some hot tea and catch up on some Netflix. After a long semester or a long day of holiday shopping, you deserve a little splurge.
  6. Read a book: Now that you’re on break, it is the perfect time to pick up a good book and start reading. I know I can never find time to read during a busy semester, so I like to start a book over the holiday break. Nothing better than curling up with a fuzzy blanket, wearing cozy socks and drinking some coffee.

These are just a few of my favorite things to do when I want to relax and take some time to myself. Once again, the holidays are a great time to give back to others and show your appreciation, but don’t forget to show yourself a little love. Taking care of your mind, body and spirit is all so important to your overall happiness. This will also make others around you happy because you can spread your gratitude and happiness to them.

Here are my book recommendations for you:

Leave Your Mark | You are a Badass | #GirlbossHow to be Parisian Wherever You Are

Check out the last two Single Girls Guides here:

Friends | Family

Thank you so much for checking out this series on PYM, it has been so fun constructing these Single Girls Guides and I might continue the series in the new year. If you have enjoyed reading through these posts, let me know in the comments. I apologize for the late posting time, I have just returned home for the holidays and I am looking forward to spending time with family and friends. I wish all my readers Happy Holidays and safe travels to wherever you are going. Please continue to follow Pretty, Young & Motivated into the new year, and stay on the lookout for new content.

Don’t forget to check out the Holiday Outfit Guide here!

Happy Holidays, beautiful souls.

xo, Lyss