Dorm Envy: Back to School Essentials for the Incoming Freshman

It’s finally that exciting time of the year – or painful for some – where the kiddos are in the classroom, morning traffic spikes and parents say goodbye to their soon-to-be adults as they head to college. For many, this is the first time they’ll be at a home away from home and need a way to make things feel familiar again.

Moving into a dorm can be a drag, but these essentials will help ease the transition from your super-sized bedroom to a space in a small room tucked away on campus.



A bed to your doorstep.

Reality check: The worst part about dorms isn’t always the lack of space; it’s the paper-thin mattresses you’re supposed to sleep in for the next year. Put a new, comfiest of comfy mattress on your list and be sure to get it delivered straight to your door for bonus alleviation. Eve Mattresses are simple one-size-fits-all memory foam beds that are guaranteed to give you that better night’s sleep so you can ace your tests the next morning. You can even customize the mattress cover to suit your style or add a message of inspiration to help you feel ready for the day. Besides, visiting a store for your mattress is so 2013 and you want to make a good first impression from day one.



Silky smooth sheets for that mattress.

Your fortress isn’t complete without a set of sheets to top it all off. Bedface sheets are just as smart as you are, using their facetech™ cotton to create a perfect combination of quality, breathability, durability and softness. These sheets are made of 100 percent long-staple cotton, meant to get softer and cozier with each wash. You can design a custom set of colors to cheer your sports teams on and know that you’ll have sheets to last you through your college years.



Turn things on and off from the palm of your hands.

Nothing has more “cool factor” right now than smart products. Take a step toward a connected dorm with the iDevices Switch, a connected plug to help you control and monitor electronics around the room, straight from the palm of your hands. Use it on lamps, TVs, coffee pots, string lights, fans, humidifiers and more. There’s nothing worse than climbing to the top of the bunk and realizing you left the lights on, and this is your solution.



Add a little bass, and lights.

Working your way to becoming your dorm building’s social elite? Stock up on an 808 Audio HEX Light for your very own pop-up party. This portable Bluetooth speaker packs big sound in a small package, built with bright lights to set the party’s mood. You can set the colors to stay steady, flicker around or bump to the beat. Its wiring will give your space a room-filling 360-degree sound so you’ll feel like you’re in a dream home – and not your tiny space.



Survive without your parents’ cable subscription.

If you’re not already a cord-cutter, I’ve got some news: most dorms don’t give you a free cable box. That means you can a) live without your favorite shows b) live with endless fomo because you’ll stream them later or c) jump on board and get yourself a sleek antenna. RCA’s Skybar is a discrete partner for your television that’s perfect for any space. With three mounting options, you can pop it on top, below or behind your television and set it up to get your favorite local channels for free. You’ll definitely make a friend or two after being one of the few to be able to host the next Bachelor Nation party.



Grow your own garden.

One thing you’ll certainly miss is a home cooked meal and the smell of fresh ingredients from your mom’s kitchen. The best way to hack this is by growing your own garden in your new home away from home with a Click & Grow Smart Herb Garden. This indoor gadget helps you grow your own nutritious herbs, fruits and flowers even if you don’t have a green thumb or exposure to sun. Their smart soil uses NASA technology to make sure plants thrive with zero effort – let’s be real; you’re too busy to grow real plants.



Don’t forget a snack for later!

It’s not a surprise that after spending days buried in books and nights exploring your new home, you’re going to crash throughout the day. If you’re notorious for all-nighters, it’s especially important that you stock up on healthy treats to help you stay fueled throughout the day. Keep your dorm packed with grab and go goodies like nutrition-filled LUNA Bars. Flavors like their new Berry Greek Yogurt are the perfect combination of protein, essential nutrients, creamy goodness and a spark of berry fruits. The power of protein keeps you full and feeling good about your decision, and the delicious taste is still diet-friendly at an impressive 200 gluten-free calories.

5 Misconceptions of Buying Eyewear Online

We live in an era where consumers can buy anything at the click of a finger. Even items that once required touching, testing, feeling or tasting such as mattresses, fresh produce, and cars have found a market online. If shopping for essentials is now as easy as a tap of a button, why is it that only 4% of consumers buy glasses online? It’s possible that we feel more comfortable seeing ourselves with a product that becomes an essential part of our lives; or we seek the validation of a white coat professional as we make the buying decision.


Whatever it may be, there are multiple companies offering quality, affordable glasses online and it’s time to bust the myths surrounding these purchases. Here are the top five misconceptions about buying eyewear over the Internet:

Myth #1: Not able to see what the glasses will look like on me.

Reality: Virtual Mirrors, like this one, make it possible for consumers to upload a photo of themselves to test out different models. This gives shoppers a chance to pick the best frames for their face without having to leave the home. Even better, you won’t be embarrassed to try the risky pair you always wanted to see without the pressure of strangers surrounding you.

Myth #2: I won’t get my money back if I’m not happy with the product.

Reality: Quite the contrary! Most online sites such as offer free returns and exchanges on products. Many web-based stores are carefully dedicated to customer service and making the process as seamless and comfortable as possible, and that service extends to the time after you receive a pair. The same cannot be said of stores and optometrists with customized prescriptions.

Myth #3: It will take longer to receive my glasses in the mail vs. purchasing in-store.

Reality: By cutting the middle man, online retailers are able to process orders immediately. Time between placing an order and receiving product is typically 10 days compared to 14 at a brick and mortar. And the bonus is you don’t have to spend time traveling back and forth between the optometrist’s office every time there’s an adjustment to be made.

Myth #4: I’m afraid to get my prescription wrong.

Reality: Prescription errors are actually more common in stores because they have to send out the selected frames to various vendors to get customized. Meanwhile, many of the digital shops produce the lenses in-house, minimizing the risk of error. Many of these lenses undergo multiple stages of production and quality-control inspections. But in the event that someone does get your prescription wrong, remind yourself of Myth #2.

Myth #5: I need to test the glasses to see if they will fit properly.

Reality: Glass fitting is actually a service offered to compensate for the hundreds of dollars spent. The vast majority of glasses are flexible and anyone can easily bend them to fix the height of the temples to fit. When a lot of these are measured by millimeters, it’s likely that being a couple of points off won’t make a huge difference.

There you have it! The savings, convenience and endless selections alone are worth it. If you are among the 96% who either hadn’t considered buying glasses online or were too concerned with the risks, give online retailers a chance and I bet you’ll never see the same again.

Tori Praver: Mommy, Model & Millennial Entrepreneur

See also: Why Tori is a total badass.

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July in Miami brings a wave of more than just sporadic rainfall and high summer temperatures. This month is also home to Miami Swim Week: the week-long event full of bikinis, bloggers, buyers and babes who want to get their hands on next season’s swimwear trends. 

For Tori Praver, former Sports Illustrated fan favorite and designer extraordinaire, this not her first time showing at Miami Swim Week. Inspired by travels through Greece and European cliffside beaches, this week Tori Praver Swimwear showcased their 2017 Resort Collection, appropriately titled, “Royal Castaway.” In between endless work days, long flights and creative excursions, Praver also wears the hat of mother to two beautiful children. Asking yourself “how does she do it?” Me too, so I took a peak behind the curtains this week. 

The Business:

Tori Praver became infamously known for her modeling appearances in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue – three years running, multiple Cosmopolitan covers, and becoming the youngest face of Guess at age 17. When you see her, you’re instantly taken back by her nearly flawless 5’11” figure and Pacific Coast glow. Nowadays she’s often modeling her own line and recently showed off her baby bump with the Current/Elliott x Hatch maternity collaboration.



Growing up in Hawaii, she says starting her swimwear line was something that always sat on her list of lifelong dreams. In her early 20s, she decided to launch Tori Praver Swimwear and soon filled the racks of major retailers, boutiques and online shops like Shopbop. Changing to and from bikinis as a model, it was a natural transition and one that was filled with industry street-cred. She acknowledges part of her success to her mother who, together with Tori, learned the business end of fashion and worked to build a team that would handle everything from design, sketching, samples, invoices, and millions of to-dos more.

Her advice for young millennials looking to start their own business: “Keep striving and don’t give up. Age has nothing to do with your ability.”

The Fashion:

Her brand offers a versatile collection of light prints, mix-and-match staples, signature ruching techniques and flattering details that are perfect for a casual beach bum or waves aficionada.

Taking cue from Greek architecture, tiles and stunning white ocean rocks, Tori Praver Swimwear’s Resort collection features a sophisticated yet youthful color palette of light colored earth tones – mauve, patina and latte – infused with a perfect balance of black and white. Stunning pops of limoncello and chili pepper are perfectly placed, resulting in a truly magical color explosion. 



Evoking the feeling of a whimsical European vacation, her assortment this year incorporates hand-sewn floral embroidery, in addition to her signature ruching, while a unique eyelet fabric is used to create patterns reminiscent of color blocking. Ever evolving, the line also introduces a new range of coverage for bottoms this season, and compliments the dreamy aesthetic of the Resort Collection with ready-to-wear pieces inclusive of beach ready rompers, overalls, maxis and breezy separates. 

The Parenting:

In between pre-show madness and runway rehearsals, Tori takes a break for mommy-duties. In this moment it becomes evident that she’s being stretched in a million different directions. Coincidentally, her daughter Ryan runs up to her looking for the hug of all hugs as Tori explains her biggest advice to her first-born: Have courage and be kind.

“Being a mom and a businesswoman is a day-to-day challenge,” she says. “But, I know I’m making them proud and setting an example, so it’s all worth it.”

Inspired by Tori Praver’s daughter is the swimwear line’s extension called the ‘Keiki’. The Keiki collection offers a full range of swimwear for girls, mimicking the same signature style and substance from the women’s line to make mother-daughter matching a breeze.

Balancing being in front of and behind the camera, in the design studio and her kids’ bedroom, and prepping to send off creations on a runway is incredibly exhausting. But Tori Praver is another superwoman who found a way to manage it all – and still look great doing it.

For more information visit

I Can See Clearly Now

Spring is near, everybody cheer! This means a little less layers, some mints, pastels, patterns and tons of trends to watch out for.



One of the newest trends, and most interesting: the comeback of see-through accessories and shoe accents.

The Spring 2013 runways were filled with sheer fabric, cutouts, and oh… crystal clear heels…

The interesting thing about this trend is its constant attempt to become a trend throughout the years. These plastic accents sneak into designer’s collections and department stores, and quickly fade out. This year, however, I’m confident they’re here to stay.


Well, this time around our plastic “frenemy” is capitalizing from the already world-sweeping trends and mainstream designers. Instead of taking an extreme avant garde approach, some designs are sticking to more sleek and classic looks fit for any fashionista/o looking for a little edge.

(1) Take this lovely crystal-clear clutch for example. (2) This classic stiletto, a “must have” for the fashionista working woman, is seen with the magnificent clear, plastic accent on these suede Chanel treasures. (3) We all know what a huge hit the Jeffrey Campbell Lita shoes have been in the past two years. CLEARLY we have a new superstar on the rise.

(4) Neon is coming back for the summer, you say? That’s exactly why I ordered a pair of “wannabe” Louboutins from 2B. (5) If you still think I’m crazy for even thinking PVC or Lucite heels are on the rise, check this sweet “strappy sandal” find at Urban Outfitters and a spin on Steve Madden’s wooden wedges.

The question: how the heck do I pull these off? I’d like to say “simplicity is key” in this case. Some argue that plastic accents make an outfit “tacky” when worn with too many patterns and too bright colors. (6) I can already picture a neat ankle-jean, fun shirt, and blazer combination, for the casual days at the office, and these Givenchy shoes (a knock-off version for myself, duh).

(7) Still stuck on your fall/winter collection? I’m sure you’ll make great use of these Margiela booties, too. (8 & 9) Oh. I’m not done. Are you feeling risky on a “dancing night out?” Check out these finds on the runway and, the now popular,

That’s all I’ve got for now. Do me a favor and fetch yourself a new extraordinary accessory or risky pair of clear-infused shoes.

What’s your take on the trend? Drop a comment below.

Note: I found some of the items mentioned for sale, others were taken from runway shows online and Harper’s Bazaar.