College Apartment Bedroom Reveal: 2020 – 2021

I’ve been moved into my new apartment for just over a week now and I’m so glad to be back in Norman. I’m already loving my bedroom and had such a good time planning it out in the weeks before my move. If you’ve been following along since my Austin room tour last summer, some things might look familiar, but I tried to incorporate a lot of new pieces as well! If I can find the new pieces online, I’ll have them linked down below.

My bed was super important to me when planning out my space because I knew it was going to be the focal point of the room. I had a mostly white comforter before, but decided to upgrade to full white for my new room. I tried to phase out navy as one of my colors and decided to shift more to light blue instead. It was a little hard to imagine the finished product without an actual bed to put things on, but I’m super happy with the final product!

My étagère is by far my favorite part of my whole room. This room is super limited on closet space (something I’m still getting used to) and I knew I would need something extra to help hold all my accessories. This TikTok was my inspiration, but obviously I knew my space was tight so I needed to scale it down a little bit. I decided it would be the perfect place to display my handbags and my favorite pairs of shoes, along with my jewelry organizers and my Burberry perfume! If I acquire more shoes and/or bags I may start rotating them out, but for now everything I wanted to display fits perfectly.

This little wall was perfect for my minimalistic portraits! I picked up this hobby in quarantine and have been loving it ever since. (Want one of your own? Visit Kayla Creative Co.) I usually frame actual photographs of my friends and I, but wanted to take a slightly different route this year. I got the frames from Michael’s for super cheap and printed the portraits myself, and I just feel like this wall adds so much personality to the space!

As a full-time graduate student with many side hustles, I knew my desk area had to be perfect. I love that it comes with a built-in light- no lamp necessary- and is a lot bigger compared to my last apartment desk. I was able to fill the upper shelves with more accessories, decor, and office supplies.

This photo board was the last thing to arrive (it was actually delivered to my apartment several days after I moved in) and I knew I wanted to turn it into a vision board. I work at my desk every day and wanted to have this in prominent view so I could always be reminded of what I’m working towards.

SHOP my Room:

Lumbar Pillow: Lyla Ruched Throw Pillow – Stein Mart
Étagère: Aimee Narrow Etagere Bookcase – Crosley Furniture
Jewelry Organizer: Acrylic Jewelry Box – Mebbay
Photo Frame: 8×10 White Narrow Frame With Mat – Michael’s
Headband Holder: Stackable Clear Plastic Headband Holder – STORi
Sunglasses Stand: Sunglasses Display Stand – World Pride
Photo Board: 20×30 Cork Linen Bulletin Board – U Brands

It’s crazy to me that the start of the school year is almost here! So excited to take on my final year of college (!!!) as a graduate student. It may look different, but overall I’m feeling optimistic. How does school look for your university this year?

-K

Double Denim: An OOTD

I’ll be honest- when I first found out that combining denim washes was going to be a trend in 2020, I was hesitant. I wrote a blog post about easing yourself into it (using black denim and navy denim as my example) but was unsure if I would ever mix two shades of blue in my ensembles. Fast forward to July, and combining denim washes is now one of my favorite trends I’m seeing right now. Who would’ve thought? Not me!

I had been on the hunt for the perfect pair of two-tone denim jeans all summer and finally found them a few weeks ago. They’re different from anything else I have in my closet and I love how trendy (but simple) they are. When styling these, I like to try to keep my top pretty basic since I know that the jeans are the true star of the show. Paired with some trendy gold jewelry and a simple black headband, this outfit is good to go!

SHOP THE LOOK:

Headband: Black Fabric Headband – Target
Necklace: Initial Letter Pendant Necklace – Amazon
Top: Jersey Top – H&M
Jeans: Two Panel High Waisted Straight Leg Jeans – PacSun
Belt: Black Belt with Rectangle Buckle (similar)
Purse: Black Crossbody – bebe
Shoes: Disruptor Sneaker – Fila

I’ve been sharing some fancier #OOTDs with you all lately, so I hope you enjoy this more casual look. This is a pretty good representation of what I wear on a day-to-day basis when I don’t have a ton of errands to run and I’m mainly working from home.

Do you all prefer the casual or fancy looks? Let me know in the comments!

-K

Mad For Plaid: An OOTD

You ever feel like dressing up “just because”? That was me this morning. No plans, no errands to run. I just felt like putting on a cute outfit and feeling good about myself. I snagged this Urban Outfitters romper one of my first days on the job at Uptown Cheapskate, and I’ve been looking for a reason to wear it ever since. As you can see, I eventually decided I don’t always need a reason to wear my favorite clothes. Simply wanting to is reason enough.

I wanted to keep this look pretty classic, so I decided to stick to the greyscale color scheme and accessorize with simple black accessories. I’m in love with the new bag I got from JW PEI and hope to add some more styles to my collection in the future. I feel like it added just the right amount of “extra” to my outfit!

SHOP THE LOOK:

Headband: Velvet Braided Headband – SHEIN
Romper: Plaid Romper – Urban Outfitters
Belt: Black Belt with Rectangle Buckle (similar)
Purse: The Envelope Crossbody – JW PEI
Shoes: Beella Ankle Strap Sandal – Madden Girl

For those of you who have been following along for a while, you may have noticed that this romper looks familiar to the dress I wore for my blog’s first anniversary shoot. I’m in love with plaid, so even though I recognized that I already had a similar item in my closet, I caved and bought this romper anyways. Do you have any prints or patterns that you’re drawn to over and over again? Let me know in the comments so I feel less alone!

-K

All Tied Up: An OOTD

It’s getting hot in Texas, so I’m always looking for easy-breezy outfits to choose on days I need to be out and about running errands. This is one of my new favs! The silky top is super lightweight and keeps me super cool, and the shorts are stretchy and comfortable. Paired with my wedge sandals that are meant to provide a comfortable walking experience, this outfit is perfect for the days that I’m on the go!

I always struggled with wearing tie-front shirts because I felt like my bra was always showing, but recently I saw a TikTok that showed how to tie the front around your bra to completely stop that from happening. A game-changer for sure!

SHOP THE LOOK:

Headband: Puffy Black Headband – Target
Earrings: Gold Hoop Earrings – Target
Top: Cropped Tie Shirt – Target
Shorts: High Waisted Denim Shorts – Forever 21
Shoes: Gold Wedge Sandals (similar)

What’s your go-to errand running ensemble? Any other light and airy outfit ideas welcomed!

-K

Les Bottines: An OOTD

Happy (almost) Fourth of July! I have been looking for an outfit to pair my new white booties with for a long time, and today’s red, white, and blue look made them the perfect addition! I’ve never really been a booties person (I feel like they usually make my short legs look even shorter) but I loved that these came with a tall, chunky heel. The perfect stepping stone into the world of les bottines!

I purchased these boots secondhand at Uptown Frisco– can you believe that the exact style of bootie I had been wanting to get my hands on just happened to come in my size? I’ve had great luck lately; a perk of working there is that you can get your hands on the new items as soon as they come in!

SHOP THE LOOK:

Top: Merci Shirt – Modern Lux
Skirt: Button-Up Denim Skirt (similar)
Shoes: White Heeled Booties (similar)

I think my next step in styling booties will be to figure out how to pair these with jeans. I want to make sure I can continue to wear these when fall rolls around (even though right now it feels so far away!)

-K

Crocodile Rock: Styling Unconventional Animal Print

I’ve always been a sucker for traditional animal prints like leopard and cheetah, but recently I’ve been drawn to less common animal prints, as well. Snakeskin, crocodile- basically everything is fair game for my closet. While leopard is fairly classic and easy to style, I’ve found it’s a little harder to put together a look that incorporates an untraditional print.

When styling something like crocodile print, I’ve found that it works best to lean into the edginess it inherently possess. Mom jeans aren’t the move here- a fitted skirt is my go-to and what I have found works best. High-waisted shorts (not too baggy!) could be a viable option, as well. I love this light-wash skirt from Target because it provides a nice color contrast to the black shirt. My Adidas sneakers help tie some black back into the bottom of my outfit, rounding everything out.

SHOP THE LOOK:

Top: Black Stand Collar Crocodile Shirt – SHEIN
Skirt: Women’s Seamed Denim Mini Skirt – Wild Fable
Shoes: Grand Court Sneaker – Adidas

I’ve already purchased snakeskin and crocodile-print shirts- is there anything else I should consider adding to my wardrobe? I never met an animal print I didn’t love, so I’m open to any and all suggestions!

-K

Senior Photo Reveal: University of Oklahoma Class of 2020

The end of my senior year definitely didn’t go as planned. While I wasn’t able to finish out my undergraduate career at the University of Oklahoma on campus with my friends and peers, I knew I at least wanted some photos to commemorate my 4 years as an undergraduate. Since social distancing procedures were already in place by mid-March, I was unable to hire a photographer for a senior portrait shoot.

Luckily, my time blogging has given me loads of experience with iPhone photography, self-timers, and tripods! I got ready and loaded up all my gear early one morning and headed to campus. I love how they turned out, although trying to wrangle all the props with the addition of a cap/gown/stole/hood on my own was a hassle. (Also, do you realize how hard it is to take a cap-throwing picture on your own with a 10-second self timer? REALLY hard.)

I’m proud of my work on these pictures, and over the past 4 years as well. I can’t wait to experience virtual commencement and graduation with my family this weekend!

-K

What I’ve Been Doing In Quarantine

We’re a little over a month into quarantine, and it would be easy to say I’m not going crazy being stuck inside. However, I have been trying to make good use of my time, and keep a balance between work and relaxation. This was a tough balance to find at first- working from home is not my forte- but the longer I’ve gone on, the easier it’s become. Here’s how I’ve been spending my days since shelter-in-place went into effect.

1. Got an internship

More on this in an upcoming post, but I was incredibly lucky to score a social media internship position with Tart-a-licious French Desserts during this quarantine experience! Since I have extra free time now that I’m not going to physical classes or commuting to campus, an internship seemed like the perfect way to fill my time. Can’t wait to share more about my experience soon!

2. Updated my resume

With new industry experience comes a new resume. I’m particularly anal about mine (not surprising when you own a resume design business) and reformatting mine to fit my new experiences was a lot of fun. I can’t wait to use it to start lobbying for a summer internship position!

3. Found new resume clients

I’m not the only one needing a new resume right now! To help those affected by COVID-19, I’m currently offering a discount of $30/document to all new resume clients. Hopefully this is able to help those seeking employment in a troubled job market. (Interested? Email me at kaylamccullough@ou.edu)

4. Designed for Redbubble

Recently, I realized I need to start capitalizing on my graphic design skills and upload more of my work to Redbubble. If you have anything you want to see, let me know!

5. Started rewatching Gossip Girl

This one shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. I’ve been binging Gossip Girl since my sophomore year of high school (7 whole years, which is kinda crazy) and I just got back into it recently. Since I’ve seen the whole series all the way through more than 10 times, it’s the perfect show to have on in the background if I’m doing other things. Currently on season 4!

6. Played animal crossing

Wild World, not New Horizons. For some reason I just can’t give the Nintendo DS version up- I’ve had it since 5th grade and still love socializing with my villagers and taking care of my town when I have some down time. It’s a great way to decompress, as well!

7. Stayed focused on my goals

COVID-19 may have stopped normal life, but school goes on. I’m gearing up to finish my semester and graduate in a few weeks, albeit without a ceremony. However, I’m excited to officially have my bachelor’s degree and officially be a master’s student! After I finish writing this post I’m going to start working on my 2-year plan. I’m excited to see where life takes me over the next year and the year after my master’s graduation, and I want to be prepared!

-K

The Ultimate Spring Break Beach Vacation Packing List

It’s March now, which means that spring break is right around the corner. Last year, some of my girlfriends and I took a trip down to St. Augustine, Florida, where we spent a glorious 6 days relaxing on the beach, indulging in great food, and exploring the city.

When it came time to pack last year, I was kind of at a loss. What’s important? What isn’t? And as a chronic overpacker, I stuffed my carry-on-sized suitcase to the brim and hoped for the best.

While I’m not heading back to the sun and the surf this spring break (although stay tuned to see where I will be headed), I wanted to share my tips and tricks on what you need and what you don’t for the ultimate spring break beach vacation.

I’ll be detailing my top 10 items below, and attaching a full packing checklist at the bottom full of everything you’ll need. Let’s dive right in!

1. Swimsuit(s)

If you’re on a beach vacation, this should be a no-brainer. You can probably get away with just one bathing suit if you won’t be swimming every day, but if you will be, pack multiple: because believe me, putting back on a damp or sandy swimsuit is no fun.

2. Sundress

Going out to dinner, walking around town, or even just hanging around the beach house- a flowy sundress is a must! They’re super versatile and can be used for several different outings.

3. Light jacket

Hopefully your trip is sunny and warm, but if mother nature doesn’t favor you and you’re struggling to soak in those rays a light jacket will be your best friend. Beach weather can change on a dime and a light jacket will make sure you don’t get too cold.

4. Sunglasses

The ocean glare can be super bright, so always pack sunglasses to protect your eyes while you’re lounging in the sand. You really only need one pair, but they don’t take up a lot of space, so you can pack multiple if you would like!

5. Multi-purpose sandals

If you’re traveling with a big group or flying with a carry-on, luggage space is limited. Luckily, most beach clothing doesn’t take up a lot of room, but picking pairs of shoes that are super versatile can really help maximize your luggage space. Sandals that you can wear out to grab lunch or to a bar later in the night serve double duty and help you have more space in your luggage for other things!

6. Cover-up

Depending on the area you’re in, you might be privy to restaurants or bars right on the beach. Packing a cover-up ensures you’ll be able to go in and grab a drink or bite to eat during your beach day!

7. Shorts

Probably no explanation necessary, right? Pack a couple pairs of shorts and you’ll be ready for anything you have planned, from a beach day to lunch downtown.

8. Multi-purpose tops

Much like with sandals, packing tops that can go from day to night will really save you space in your luggage. Flowy tank tops and bandeaus are your best bet!

9. Scrunchies/bandanas

Down by the ocean can get pretty windy, so prepare to hold your hair back with scrunchies or bandanas! Anything that helps keep your hair out of your face will be essential.

10. Sneakers

If you’re in a beach town with things to do other than hang out in the sand, you’ll want a cute and comfy pair of sneakers to walk around in! I wore mine out to a local farmer’s market and coffee shop.

And that’s my top 10! Here’s a full list of everything you’ll need:

Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments, and have a great time on your vacation!

-K

P.S. Heading to St. Augustine or somewhere similar? Check out my recap posts from spring break 2019 to see what we did on our trip!

Seas the Day | Low Tides, Good Vibes | The Oldest City in America | How We Roll | Girls Just Wanna Have Sun

8 Things I Wish I Knew When I First Started Blogging

One year ago today I created my blog, and one year ago tomorrow I launched it. I’ve come a long way from my first few posts, taken with a makeshift tripod propped up on my bed in my bedroom. What a year it has been, and I’m thrilled that Selfies & OOTDs has continually given me a platform to create content and share what I love.

If you want a good laugh, go back to February 2019 and see what my first few posts looked like. (Yeah. Pretty amateur.) Luckily, I’ve matured in more ways than one, and I’ve learned a ton about blogging, social media marketing, and content creation in the process. Here’s 8 things I wish someone had told me when I first started blogging:

1. For the best shots, have no shame

When I first started, I took all my #OOTD shots against the door in my bedroom. Aside from the fact that I didn’t have a real tripod, I was also self-conscious about people seeing me pose and wait for the self timer to go off. When I got my tripod this summer, the game completely changed, and after a few outings of taking my pictures in public I was no longer fazed. This let me have way more creativity with my poses (and it meant you could actually see my feet!

2. Even lighting is the best lighting

I thought the wall by my window was giving me good natural light, but it really wasn’t. The best lighting I’ve found is when I’m outside, in the shade. That way no one part of my face is in the shadows and none of the lighting is too harsh. But more on that in a bit…

3. Early bird gets the worm

Remember what I said about even lighting in the shade? That’s why I take almost all my pictures in the morning, preferably before 9 a.m. This gives me optimal choices for locations in terms of where is still shady, as the sun has just barely come up over the horizon. I also like the mornings because it lets me take pictures when my makeup and hair are freshly done.

4. No one can tell how cold it was when they look at the picture

When you’re getting up early in the winter, you know what that means… It’s going to be cold outside. Luckily, no one can tell how much your toes were freezing when you took the shot as long as the end result is cute- and I find that the pictures I took on the coldest days end up being my favs.

5. Hashtags are everything

About 4 months in to my blogging journey and I had only hit 80 followers. What gives? Answer: not using the tools Instagram was handing me in order to reach a larger audience! I used to feel squeamish about hashtags, but once I started using them I never looked back. It’s never been so easy for me to find and engage with like-minded individuals!

6. Engage and be engaging!

Like I just said, the purpose of Instagram is to engage with others. You will see such a difference in what you get out of it if you give it as well! Tell that girl you like her outfit, comment on your favorite brand’s post- there’s tons of people just like you out there waiting to connect!

7. Content planning saves lives (or at least, your feed)

I’ll admit it, I fell off the wagon somewhere between September and December. School caught up to me, and suddenly I was posting less and less just because I wasn’t prepared with a plan. I implemented a content calendar for the start of 2020, and it’s already working wonders. Consistency is key, however frequently that means for you!

8. Don’t be afraid to call yourself what you are

When I first started out, I felt weird calling myself a blogger. I felt like that was just a title reserved for influencers and people with way more followers than me… but I soon realized that it’s not the number of followers you have or the number of likes you get: if you have a blog, you’re a blogger, and you shouldn’t be afraid to call yourself one. (Shout-out to my dad who always tells people I’m a blogger if we’re out doing a restaurant review in public. It’s hella validating!!)

So excited what February 2020 – February 2021 has in store for me. I hope you’ll stick around, because there’s more where that came from!

-K

P.S. Thanks to Nompton Social for letting me come in before opening and take pictures with your murals today- you’re seriously the best!