THE PRETTIEST SWIMSUITS, ALL UNDER $20!

we're in full-on summer now, people! if you haven't found a cute suit yet, there's still time! i rounded up some of my favorite pieces, all under $20! i repeat --- UNDER TWENTY DOLLARS! i'm the kind of person that likes to buy a new bathing suit every summer, + i usually get the shopping bug around spring break time :), so having a selection of bathing suits that are guaranteed to not break the bank is a lifesaver. and with my upcoming move to california [more on that later!!!], cute but inexpensive suits are a must! just fyi, i own the pink + navy bikini + the striped one-piece + i LOVE them! i hope this little round up helps you find a cute suit that looks good on you + your wallet :) happy summer!

post + images by molly garvin

PACK IT UP, BABY | MY ESSENTIAL PACKING TIPS + TRICKS

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while i was in colorado a few weeks ago, one of my friends told me that i was the best packer she'd ever seen + that i should do a post on how i pack my suitcases! now, i will say that i am an OCD-level organizational freak [i couldn't find nicer terms to say that in, but i'm talking about myself so it's fine there's no hard feelings]. so, here we are --- i'm sharing my essential tips + tricks on how to easily, efficiently, + neatly pack your bags. 

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TIP #1 - INVEST IN A GOOD SUITCASE

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big + spacious, always! unless i'm going on an over-night trip, i use this thrifted suitcase every time! i'm an overpacker + i'm #notashamed, + it's so nice to have lots of room! also, having a suitcase that holds up to the pressures of travel is a given --- find one that works for you!

TIP #2 - PURPOSEFULLY FOLD YOUR CLOTHING

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whether it's rolling, double-folding [above], or another technique, fold your clothes with purpose! it's a time saver, space saver, + [my personal favorite] allows you to see each piece in your suitcase, a.k.a. no more searching for that one shirt you just HAVE to wear :)

TIP #3 - PACKING HATS? PLACE THEM UPSIDE DOWN

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hats are a BIG space-waster, + a simple fix is to pack them upside down! i always place pieces under the brim + inside of it, + it saves so much room! perfect for a severe over-packer like me. 

TIP #4 - GROUP SIMILAR CLOTHING PIECES TOGETHER

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this is a tip that kinda goes hand in hand with the folding one. when you organize your luggage by type, it's much easier to know where everything is + see it right when you open your suitcase!

TIP #5 - FIND UNIQUE ITEMS TO TRANSPORT JEWELRY IN [STRAWS, EYEGLASS CASES, ETC]

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most necklaces fit right into a plain old drinking straw, + it keeps them separate, contained, + most of all NOT tangled. i also place my earrings + rings into a spare glasses case! you can also wear as much jewelry as possible on the flight if these techniques don't end up working for you!

BONUS - FIND A STRONG + SPACIOUS CARRY-ON

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i've been using this backpack since the spring + LOVE it! it has so many pockets + organizers that you can use to rearrange the interior to fit your travel needs! also, it has spaces for your camera + computer, which come with me on almost every trip! love love love it. 

so, there you have it! i hope your suitcases thank you + that your future packing endeavors are stress-free from this day forth. i'm happy i could share a little bit of my OCD-ness with you guys! let me know if any of these tips helped you out, or if you have some tips of your own :) happy packing + happy traveling!

post + images by molly garvin

TURNING LEMONS INTO LEMONADE + TIPS ON HOW TO BETTER DOCUMENT YOUR FOOD!

okay, so.... if you follow me on instagram, then you probably saw that i was asked to attend one of macy's asian pacific american heritage month + share a little bit about how i use IG + stories to document food! i was super excited to participate, + got started preparing my presentation, printed business cards, example photos, things to display on the table, etc! duuuuude, i was so pumped. but, when i got to macy's, the ladies in charge had no. idea. what i was talking about. long story short, there was a corporate miscommunication with the big guys in NYC + the people running the show here in chicago. i was crushed, to say the least. but, i was in the city --- i decided to pick myself up, make lemonade out of these really sour lemons that were tossed my way, + did a little bit of retail therapy. =) also, i decided i'm going to share 2 of my tips with you guys. okay, here we go! 

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one of my biggest talking points was to always photograph in natural light. some light setups can make food look really good, but they can be really expensive. taking a picture of your donuts near a window will bring out the colors of your rainbow sprinkles. =) all of my most liked photos of food on instagram were taken in natural light. 

i also made a little list of my favorite editing tools that really help enhance my photos. vsco + pictapgo are my favorite apps to use on my phone, and i love lightroom with ABM + vsco presets. they add just a little extra color, enhancement, + depth to the photos, as well as allow you to create a cohesive brand + feed!

some of my other tips included posting at specific times, uploading pre-edited photos to instagram stories, and more! 

i am pretty disappointed that it didn't workout in the end, but i'm happy i got the opportunity to prepare for this event + to share some of my tips with you guys. thanks for being so supportive + for following along. i'm thankful for you guys! also, let's remember to make an effort to turn all our sour lemons into lemonade. happy food photographing!