Gal Meets Glam

Julia of Gal Meets Glam is the queen of dresses. That’s why when she came out with her own dress line, I knew I'd love them. They’re all very elegant and a bit more "grown-up" than I’m used to wearing, however, I'll take the opportunity to mix up my style any day! Not only do I admire the dresses' design, I’m super impressed with Julia’s capability to keep up with her blog while being the CEO of her own company. Major boss moment.

I ordered my favorite of the collection, the Esme dress. The breezy, summery feel is perfect and it could take you from a picnic to a wedding depending on how you accessorize. Plus, the tea length is so classic. Below, you'll see a more casual look with leather slides and a more formal look with suede heels -- the dress is truly versatile!

Shop my favorites of the GMG collection below-- they're perfect for things like sorority events, summer parties, weddings, or a fancy brunch! My top three favorites besides the Esme are the Isabella, the Rio Stripe, and the Daisy

Let me know in the comments -- do you have a favorite GMG dress?

Stay Sunny,

Photos by Rachel Issler

Five Things I've Learned in Five Years of Blogging

Five years ago today,  as an eager thirteen-year-old, I sat down at my home computer and started A Sunny State of Mind. I had a lot to say and needed somewhere to say it. I wanted a creative outlet and a place to be me. I chose blogging as my outlet because the blogging industry is face-paced, ever changing, and dominated by self-starting women who are passionate and bold enough to share their ideas with the world. I knew I needed to be part of that!

In many ways, A Sunny State of Mind still serves the same purpose of being a creative outlet and means of personal expression. However, a lot has changed within the past five years, including how I view blogging, myself, and the world around me. I've learned so much more than I ever thought possible through this little corner of the Internet, and so today I want to share five things I have been taught throughout my five years of blogging.

1. Never hide your passions
Starting my blog was so exciting. I would run up to our home office the morning after posting, checking to see how many views I got overnight. One time I reached 14, and I was ecstatic. This excitement for my blog shifted into embarrassment once I reached high school. I only talked to my close friends and family about it, and I was always mortified if someone from school came across my blog's Instagram. The weird part was, I was proud of the content I was creating-- but that didn't matter to me if I was at risk of being judged by my peers. Hiding my blog continued through the rest of freshman year, but one day sophomore year I thought "I'm proud of this, I'm passionate about this, why shouldn't I want people to see it?" Putting my passion for blogging out into the open was so freeing. Sure, I got some rude comments from people, but more often than not my classmates and teachers thought what I was doing was really cool. They supported me and still do! So, I beg you, let your passions shine. Life is much too precious to waste time doubting who you are and what you do. You are so worthy of the confidence and freedom that comes with fully being yourself in every aspect of life!

2. Ask for help when you need it.
Early on in my blogging career, I spent way too many nights frustrated, sitting at my computer, trying to figure out the technicalities of website building, graphic design, and photography. I realized that if I wanted to be successful, I couldn't do this on my own. When I opened my mind to asking for help, I found there were so many talented, smart women willing to support me. I got help with coding my website, taking photos, designing graphics, and editing my posts from my friends. And guess what-- asking for help didn't make me weak. In fact, I felt even stronger that I was able to better fulfill my blog's mission. I constantly get affirmations, advice, and recommendations from my readers, too, and I feel so lucky to have such a supportive community!

3. Authenticity and transparency are so necessary and so appreciated.
I know you've heard it before, but social media (especially in the blogging world) is a highlight reel. However, regardless of how many times we are reminded of this, it's easy to forget when we're scrolling through Instagram and see perfectly filtered snapshots of people's lives. Often times this can create a trap of comparing your own messy, full, and unfiltered life to the version of others' lives on social media. This only leads to anxiety and feelings of being less worthy, happy and successful than others. I try to be authentic on social media and share some less than glamorous moments on my Instagram stories in hopes of shattering the comparisons that haunt our minds after checking social media.

4. You are too interesting, vibrant, and creative to be put into one category.
Every guide for establishing your blog will tell you to "find a niche." And man, have I struggled in vain to fit into a niche. In the past, I overthought my blog strategy and posts to the point where I wasn't having any fun. Eventually, I realized that I had nothing to lose by just writing about what I wanted to write about, being honest about my experiences, and sharing vibrant and fun content that I pour my whole heart into. On my blog you'll find everything from a guide to better sleep, to my prom photos, to the best things to buy for your dorm room. I don't fit under one category, and I wouldn't have it any other way. This lesson extends outside of the blogging world as well. You truly do yourself a disservice by trying to fall under a narrow category. You are complex and you are allowed to love many things!


5. Take your opportunities and run with them.

Blogging has truly opened so many doors for me. Career-wise, it has helped me with internships, professional networking, and even the chance to give a TEDx Talk. However, through my blog I've also made friendships, met like-minded individuals, connected to my readers on a personal level, and have gained confidence. All of these opportunies would have been forgone had I not had an open mind to new experiences, vulnerability, and hard work. Whether you blog or not, if you see even the slightest chance at self-betterment, a new relationship, or a career-building experience-- sprint in its direction. I've really learned that "fortune favors the prepared mind" (a quote from Louis Pasteur) when it comes to having new opportunities come your way!

Blogging has taught me a lot, and I can't wait to see what else is in store as I continue to try my best to inspire women (and men!) to live their most vibrant, sunny, and authenic lives through fashion and healthy living. Thank YOU for following along!

Let me know in the comments: what has blogging taught you?

Stay Sunny,

Dorm Inspiration + What I've Bought

I could tell my roommate, Abby, and I would get along when the first thing we did after signing our housing contract was create a joint Pinterest board called "Meg and Abby's Dorm Board." We're both creative and visually oriented (she's a graphic design major with great style), so we knew from the get-go that our dorm needed to show our personalities well while being practical and home-y. Pictures of dream rooms have been sent back-and-forth on the reg and we've slowly been compiling items to take to school next year. I wanted to share a peek at our design inspiration and color palette today, plus what we've already purchased!
We noticed that a common theme among the spaces on our Pinterest board: their natural color schemes with pops of color and minimalistic, but not barren, decor. We loved white bedding with different, fun, throw pillows and plan to implement that in the fall! Plus, we both are huge coffee gals (Abby works at a coffee shop!) so we are excited to create this little coffee cart in our room. 

Instead of being aggressively match-y, we decided on a group of colors to work with in the dorm. We want lots of whites and grays, plus accents of light pink, periwinkle, and gold. Isn't that cute!?

So far, we've bought a few things at a time that we really love instead of trying to get the shopping done in one (stressful) swoop. Here are some of the things we've gotten so far... click on the "+" to shop, or scroll for links if you are on mobile view!

1. Circle Shelf: These will go over each of our beds and will hold frames, books, plants, etc. I love them because they'll keep the dorm design symmetrical but we can each style them in our own way. The back has two holes for hanging so we will use Command Hooks!
2. Triangle Pillow (on sale!): I love how this pillow will add some texture to my bed. Plus, it ships vacuum-sealed so it'll be flat and save space in the car for move-in.
3. Keurig: This was a graduation gift from my aunt and uncle and I already know it's going to be used heavily next year.
4. Rug: I searched for a cute rug for forever, and let me tell you: this is one of the best ones out there.  A lot of rugs I looked at had reviews that said they shed or show dirt easily, and this is not the case with this rug! We got it in a 5x7 which should work for a typical dorm room. I love how it's print will add a fun touch to the room, but it's not so busy that it will completely take over the design.
5. Gold Desk Organizer: HOW FUN is this!? It holds a surprisingly large amount of supplies so I can have some extra storage that doubles as decor.
6. Prints (1) (2): I actually already had these hanging in my room, but I will definitely be taking them with me to hang at school. They are so feminine and fun.

I can't wait to finish up shopping and share the final product with you all!

College girls: Let me know in the comments -- what were some essentials you bought for your dorm? I need help!

Stay Sunny,