Thursday, December 10, 2015


It's been a while since I've posted on here, but given some recent events I figured it was as good a time as any to put some of my thoughts into words. 

I learned yesterday that a boy I was friends with my first year of high school was killed in a car accident. Upon first hearing the news, I was shocked; it's always shocking when someone young dies. I was also shocked by how I reacted. Here I was, sitting in my dorm room, thousands of miles away from where the accident took place, crying hard about the death of a boy I hadn't talked to in years; Austin left my high school after our freshman year, and I didn't do a good job of keeping in touch. Amidst the shock and sadness, I remembered this quote, well part of it, by Maya Angelou.

I was, and still am, so upset and troubled by Austin's death because of the way he made me feel. I was new to SMH my freshman year, and knew no one. A lot of kids had been going to school there since they were in elementary school or younger, and shy, fourteen year old me had a hard time finding people to be friends with. Now five years later, I couldn't tell you how I first met Austin or how we came to be friends, just that we did. He was one of my first friends in high school and I will never be able to thank him for being so nice to me. There aren't many people out there with as kind of hearts as Austin, and even though we may not have stayed friends throughout the years, I will never forget the boy that always had a smile on his face, who helped me survive physics honors, who was the only person I danced with at my first winter formal, and who was genuinely one of the nicest people I will ever have the privilege of knowing. 

Rest easy Austin. My thoughts and prayers are with you, your family and friends.

Love Always,


Friday, August 28, 2015

The Liebster Award!

Emma, the sweet girl behind Seacoast to the South, found my blog last week and nominated me for the Liebster Award! For anyone who doesn't know (like me a few days ago), the Liebster Award was designed as a way for bloggers to support other bloggers and welcome new people into the blogging community. I'm so honored that Emma liked my blog enough to nominate me!

The award sort of works like a chain email, and it starts with me answering 11 questions that Emma asked in her post (read it here).

1. What motivated you to start a blog?
I've wanted to start a blog for a long time. (I actually first created A Little Ashley in 2010!) Over the past year I've really started to follow blogs, and constantly found myself toying with the idea of creating one of my own. This summer - with plenty of free time, advice from my favorite bloggers, and encouragement from my boyfriend and best friend - I decided to go out on a limb and try blogging. I love blogs, but (before I started blogging) I didn't think there were many, or any, that realistically portrayed what it's like to be a college girl, so that's what I want to do!

2. When did you first start blogging?
I put up my first post on May 18, 2015!

3. What do you blog about?
I guess I would "brand" A Little Ashley as a college lifestyle blog. However, I pretty much write about whatever interests or inspires me. Since I am a college girl in a sorority, a lot of my posts relate to those things.

4. What is your favorite thing about blogging?
I have always loved to write, but most of the time I was limited to writing for classes about specified topics. With blogging I can write about whatever I want and share it with whoever stumbles across my blog. It's also really cool to meet sweet people with awesome blogs, like Emma!

5. What are some of your favorite hobbies?
I've always loved to read (I wish I got more time to read at school). I like to paint and do other crafty things. Also I like to make wayyy too many lists and obsess over my planner.

6. What is/was your favorite subject in school?
English has always been my favorite subject in school, which explains my love of reading and writing. I was blessed with amazing English teachers in high school who really taught me how to express myself well through words, and I will be forever grateful to them.

7. What is your favorite quote?
AHH this is a hard one. I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to quotes. But I think I would have to go with something my grandfather would always say:

"Life is dessert first."

Not only does it remind me of my wonderful grandfather, but it's a reminder to enjoy the little things in life, and who doesn't like dessert?

8. Where are you the happiest?
I wouldn't say there is a physical place where I'm the happiest. I'm happiest when I'm with the people who I love and who love me; my family, my boyfriend and my friends.

9. What is your biggest inspiration?
I'm guessing this is relating to my blog, so in that sense, I'm inspired to write based off of the experiences and interactions I have had as a college student. In a more general sense, I'm inspired by my parents and their unceasing love and dedication to me and my siblings. I'm so grateful for everything they've done for me.

10. If you could talk to anybody in the world, who would it be?
J.K. Rowling, the author of Harry Potter. I'm a huge Harry Potter fan and I would love to know about her experiences writing the most well known book series of our time.

11. What is your favorite flower?
Tie between yellow roses and bluebonnets...can you tell I'm from Texas?

Now I list off eleven random facts about myself:
1. I'm the third of four siblings.
2. I've always wanted to go to Italy.
3. I have an unhealthy obsession with Cookout's peanut butter fudge milkshakes.
4. I'm the executive assistant, or secretary, for my sorority.
5. I'm extremely organized at school, but a mess at home.
6. I've read Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban six or more times.
7. I don't have a good explanation for why I chose to attend Clemson.
8. I've never broken a bone.
9. I modeled in a magazine when I was in the fourth grade.
10. I don't have a southern/Texas accent except when I'm really tired or on the phone.
11. I was captain of my high school cheer team for two years.

Now I know I'm supposed to nominate 5-11 other new bloggers, but I don't really know of that many. Hopefully I can add in others later on but for now I just have one blog that I'm going to nominate!

I nominate Gabby and Hannah from The Swirl! I think it would be super fun if they both responded to the questions.

So here are my questions for them!
1. Who are some of your favorite bloggers?
2. How do you plan to keep up with blogging and school?
3. What made you want to start a blog?
4. What is one piece of advice you would give to college freshmen?
5. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
6. Besides blogging, what are some of your favorite free time activities?
7. Which social media is your favorite, and why?
8. What's your go to Starbucks drink?
9. How did you pick the name for your blog?
10. If you were a shoe, what shoe would you be?
11. What makes you happy?

I know these questions are all over the place, but I wanted to ask things most people normally wouldn't.

Who are some of your favorite new bloggers?

Sunday, August 9, 2015

What to Expect on Move In Day!

The day all college freshmen are looking forward to is quickly approaching...move in day! I know some places might have moved in already (crazy!!!!), but the majority haven't yet so this is my advice. Move in day is hectic and fun and exhausting, but it's your first real day on your college campus as a student, so get excited!!!

Here's what you need to know, as well as some tips and advice!

1. Be prepared for a long day.
I think my scheduled move in time (that pretty much no one else actually listened to) was 9am. So that's what time my parents and I rolled up to my dorm. I don't think we were completely done setting up, including running out to Target and other places to get things, until around 11pm. (It didn't take everyone that long, but my parents were leaving the next day so we really only had the one day to make sure everything was good to go). So get plenty of sleep the night before, eat a big breakfast and get ready to take on the day!

2. Make a good first impression.
You will meet tons of people on move in day, so make sure to smile and be friendly. Also be conscious of what you're wearing. This is the first time you're meeting your new friends, don't look like a slob. You also don't need to be in a dress and wedges to carry boxes up and down four flights of stairs. Be comfortable and cute! I wore a cute t shirt, jean shorts and keds with my hair up and a little makeup, cute yet functional. 

3. Be the (wo)man with a plan!!
Have a general idea of where you want things to go in your dorm and remember how you packed things. You don't want to spend 30 minutes trying to find pillow cases because you forgot where they are. It also helps to pack similar things together. Also know going in if you're going to loft your bed, if there are items you'll still need to buy and other things like that. Having a plan for the day and for how you want things arranged will make everything go smoother.

4. Let your parents help.
They're sending their baby off to college and they want to make sure that you're safe and happy before they leave you. Ask your dad to help loft your bed or hang up something on the wall. Ask your mom if she could help you unpack your clothes. They want to help so let them, they'll appreciate it and it's less you have to do.

5. Keep your door open and say hi to neighbors.
This one is pretty self explanatory. Keeping your door open is more inviting so people might poke their heads in to see how you're decorating or you can wave to them as they pass in the hall. These girls (or guys) are going to be the people you live next to all year so it's best to be friendly with them, even if they're not your best friends. 

6. Don't have unrealistic expectations.
This is so so important to realize so that you don't end up upset on move in day, your dorm will most likely not look like the Pottery Barn dorm catalog or the pictures you see on Pinterest. I really liked how my dorm turned out but it definitely wasn't what I envisioned. My roommate and I decided on a color scheme, which I was a little bit more strict to sticking to when I bought things. Our stuff didn't match perfectly, but that's okay. We each had our own space that we liked, so that's all that mattered. Just feel comfortable in your room and everything will be okay! Besides all you really need your dorm for is sleeping!

Best of luck to everyone who is moving in soon!

Monday, August 3, 2015

July Top 10!

Welcome to my first monthly favorites post! July was a really busy, but very fun month between my boyfriend visiting, my favorite holiday, my birthday and a bunch of other stuff. So I thought I would share my top 10 favorite things of the month! I can't believe it's August already. I go back to Clemson next week! 

1. My favorite event/experience of the month would have to be my boyfriend, Mike, coming to visit me and my family for the Fourth of July (my favorite holiday)! We had such a good time and it was great to see him after two months of only talking over text and FaceTime. I wrote a whole post about his trip, feel free to read it here.

2. My beauty favorite of the month would have to be my Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3 in 1 foundation. Phew that's a long name. But seriously this is a great foundation. I used it during high school, but stopped when I bought the wrong color when they were out of my shade (there is a HUGE difference between ivory and classic ivory). Anyway, I finally picked up the right color this month and it manages to last all day in the Texas heat, which is awesome! Look for more info about it tomorrow ;).

3. My favorite purchase of the month was my Kendra Scott Elisa necklace in silver with an iridescent drusy stone. I've probably worn it just about every day since I bought it. The stone picks up different colors and is so sparkly. I love it! And it looks so cute paired with my silver monogram necklace since they're different lengths.

4. My favorite song of the month is probably All Night by Dustin Lynch. I have been listening to Spotify's Summer of Country playlist non stop and I always start singing and dancing around my room when it comes on.

5. My favorite YouTube channel during July has been Aspyn + Parker's vlogs. Aspyn Ovard is a youtube beauty guru, but this channel is her and her boyfriend's everyday lives. They're so cute and it's just kind of fun to see all the cool stuff they do. 

6. My favorite blog of the month is Seeking the South. Emma actually found me on Twitter because of the link I shared to my post a couple weeks ago about what being in a sorority means to me (read it here). She's a Theta too! Her blog is really clean, and well done. It's all about her college life and experiences as she moved from Kansas to Texas to go to TCU. Her blog is a realistic look at college life; I feel like a lot of blogger's glamorize everything or feature expensive things that normal college girls can't afford. Definitely check out some of Emma's posts!

7. The show that I was a little too obsessed with this month (or maybe just the last week...) is Unreal. If you're a Bachelor/Bachelorette fan, like me, you'll probably like this show. The writer of the show used to be a producer on The Bachelor, so this show is about what you don't see on camera. It definitely makes you question the "reality" of The Bachelor and Bachelorette, but it's really interesting. Be warned though, it's definitely on the (really) inappropriate side, so it's not for everyone. 

8. There were quite a few movies I saw during July that I loved. For my birthday my family and I went to the local drive in, which was so much fun, that has double features on each of its screens, so we saw Minions and Inside Out. Inside Out is extraordinarily well done, I think the whole concept is amazing and creative. I would not be surprised if this one the Oscar for best animated movie next year. My other favorite would have to be the newest Disney Channel movie, Descendants. I heard about this movie a while back and when I found out that it came out this past Friday, I made sure to record it. The movie is all about the children of Disney's fairytale couples, and villains. When Belle and the Beast's son is about to be crowned king, he makes the decision to allow the children of exiled villains to rejoin the kingdom and go to their boarding school. The concept is so cute and I loved some of the songs (Did I Mention and the new version of Be Our Guest were my favorites). This is probably the best movie Disney Channel has had since High School Musical.

9. My random favorite for this month has been painting. I've been painting a lot lately in anticipation of getting my sorority little sister(s) this fall! I can't wait to share all the things I've been making because I'm so pleased with how they're turning out. I'm sure I'll do a post showing all the gifts I'll give during big little week after I have my little or littles.

10. I decided that, assuming this will become a regular thing, I want to finish off my favorites with my favorite things I'm looking forward to for the next month! A lot will be happening in August with the start of school so there is a ton I'm excited about. I cannot wait to be back in South Carolina (1 more week!!!!) and spend time with all my friends, and especially my sweet boyfriend. Also August means recruitment! And I cannot wait to welcome the newest group of girls to the Delta Phi chapter and share with them my amazing sorority!

Happy August y'all!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Recruitment Ready: Preference Round!

This is the final installment in my Getting Recruitment Ready series! I know it took me forever to get through it, but the end is here. 

Preference round is by far the most formal round of recruitment. When you're picking out what to wear, think business wear or for a cocktail party. Classy and sophisticated. I know a lot of people will gravitate to the classic LBD, but I would advise against that for preference round. Sororities tend to have their sisters wear black or white for pref so wear a color to make sure you stand out from the crowd. This is the last chance to really make the sororities remember you. When I was getting ready for recruitment, I picked out two dresses from J. Crew Factory for preference (our preference was over two days, something to keep in mind when shopping), and personally I think J. Crew does business attire better than just about anywhere. Also try to pick out something you will wear again. I ended up wearing one of the dresses I got for preference for my semi formal and for my family's Christmas Eve celebration. 

If your dress is more basic, dress them up with fun, sparkly statement necklaces. I've probably said that for every round, but I think statement necklaces can be the perfect addition to any outfit. Comfortable pumps are a necessity for long rounds and these Madden Girl ones are great (they're the ones I got for recruitment and have worn a ton since). Also keep in mind (for every other round too) that these are long days and it's going to be hot. Pick something where you don't have to worry about possible undergarment mishaps. You don't want to be constantly making sure your dress isn't falling down when you're trying to talk to sisters.

Moving on from outfits, preference is the most serious and longest round. At Clemson, I think we were there for 45 minutes to an hour, maybe more. I know your head will be swimming with the big decision you will be making that night, but try to focus on the sister you are talking to and her sorority. Preference round can also get pretty emotional, and don't be afraid of that! One of my friends cried during the preference round for her now sorority. That's not uncommon. If one sorority really strikes a chord with you, it might just be the right one!

I wish every one the best of luck with all of recruitment and finding your sisters for a lifetime. I might have a couple more recruitment related things coming too!

Check out my post for the first, second and third rounds of recruitment too!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Recruitment Ready: Round 3

This is the third installment of my Getting Recruitment Ready. Here is what you need to know for the third round of recruitment!

For me, the third round started off the hardest. After second round, a lot of the sororities make some major cuts, and you could end up getting cut from a house you really liked. If that is the case, don't let it get you down. I know it's really hard not to, but go into the day excited for the houses that are still interested in your amazing self!!!

At most schools, the third round is sisterhood/skit round. The girls will put on a little skit to tell you more about their chapter and the fun things they do, like formals, mixers, sisterhood events and all that good stuff. The skits are lighthearted and put things more at ease. Plus they give you something to talk about with the sisters. This is a great opportunity to ask whoever you're talking with what some of their favorite events and experiences have been. Remember to have fun, smile and be interested in the skit!

Now here are some outfit ideas for what to wear for sisterhood round. Third round is when things start to get more dressed up. Think what you would wear to church or a casual, summer wedding. So a nice dress (that's appropriate for day time) and some wedges, tend to be the way to go.

I hope this gives you some ideas on what to wear and expect for third round! 

Happy Recruitment!

Monday, July 20, 2015

summer shopping haul

 The other day I went shopping with my sweet friend Chandler, and I might have gone a little crazy, but for good reason. I went to a private high school and even a year after graduating, my wardrobe is still greatly lacking. Also I found great sales and discounts everywhere so they were really hard to pass up. While a lot of what I got is more summery, I think most of the pieces will transition well into fall, especially since fall in South Carolina is still pretty warm. Here is what I bought!

Sperry Audrey Boat Shoe // these aren't the exact ones I got from Nordstrom Rack, mine are lighter with dark brown trim, but I love the style and I know these will be great for wearing with just about everything at school. 

Navy Striped Dress // Old Navy was rocking it this weekend all the clothes I got (except for the romper) are from there. I love this navy and white striped dress. It's simple, practical and oh so cute.

Kendra Scott Elisa Necklace // This was my little birthday present to myself. The picture does not do it justice, the iridescent drusy stone catches the light and reflects colors so beautifully. It's already part of my daily jewelry rotation. The Kendra Scott birthday discount (50% off one item during the month of your birthday!!!) also made it extremely reasonable.

Blue Oversized Tee // This shirt is so soft and comfortable, it feels like pajamas. It can go with just about everything, and with layering it'll be perfect for fall.

Floral Pineapple Romper // This adorable romper is from Aeropostale. Now I know what you're thinking, wasn't that place popular in 6th grade? Well yes. But I stumbled back upon Aeropostale this week when I found an Aeropostale gift card (probably from 6th grade). This romper was too precious to pass up. They also had a ton of other great stuff... another post on that may be coming soon.

Tank Tops // I decided to pick up some basics because Old Navy is the best for that. I got one in white, navy stripes and pink, because neutrals are necessary.

Madras Button Down // I have a major thing for button downs, I definitely have way too many. This one is super lightweight, but could easily work for any season when paired with the right things. 

Green Skirt // The greatest thing about this skirt is the pockets. Who doesn't love pockets? The olive green can go with anything and will be perfect for the fall. Paired with a simple top it'll be an adorable outfit for class. With a blouse or button down, it would be professional enough for sorority chapter meetings. 

Blue Shorts // The loose patterned short trend has been super popular this summer and this girl has definitely been on board. These almost seem like pajamas, but you can go out in public in them. These are more of a summer only item but they were so cute, I couldn't resist.

Patterned Skirt // I'm always looking for cute and comfortable skirts for school. I prefer skirts and dresses to pants (who actually likes wearing pants?). This is going to pair so well with some of my stitched sorority letter shirts, which we wear every Tuesday at Clemson, or with a normal top for any day of the week. 

What fun fashion items have you found this summer?

Friday, July 17, 2015

Getting Recruitment Ready: Round 2!

So it took me way longer to do the second part of my recruitment series than I intended, mainly because I forgot how hard it is to find what to wear for the second round of recruitment, but alas I finally found some things I think would work, so here are my tips, advice and what to expect for the second round of recruitment!

At Clemson, and most places I think, the second round of recruitment is when you learn all about the philanthropies of the chapters you were invited back to after first round. In my opinion, this is when you really learn the heart of the chapter and get to see how active they are outside of the little bubble of your university.

For those of you who might not know, each national sorority has a different charitable organization (or several) that it supports. For example, Tri Delta supports St. Jude's Children's Hospital, which is a hospital that does research and treats childhood cancer at no cost to the families; Theta supports CASA or Court Appointed Special Advocates, which is an organization that helps children who are in the foster care system; Kappa Delta supports Girl Scouts and a few others. You can find out more about sororities philanthropies from looking at the national website or the website for the chapter at your school. A lot of chapters also support local charitable organizations that are similar to their national philanthropy. 

When visiting each chapter, they'll tell you about which organizations they work with and the events they hold in order to raise money for it. You can really tell when sisters are passionate about the work that their sorority does in order to help people. For me, philanthropy day majorly changed my mind about a few chapters.

Talking about philanthropies with sisters is great way to get into deeper conversations with them. It also opens up for them to ask you about any service work you have done through your high school or on your own. Service is a key aspect of the Greek community and each organization requires its members to log service hours, but most people do it because its just nice to help people. 

Now for what to wear for round 2. This was the round that I had the hardest time finding something to wear. It's slightly more dressed up than the first day, but still casual. If I remember correctly you can still wear nice shorts and a top, or opt for something a little dressier like a sundress or skirt. I wore dress because it was just easier in my opinion. Here are some of the dresses I found that I think would work for second round. 

Similarly to round 1, during second round, the sisters are meeting lots of people so you want to make your self stand out. Opt for a fun pattern or a bright color. You could also mix it up and go non traditional by wearing a romper. Comfort and coolness are key because of the long days and high temperatures of August. When looking for what to wear think about what you would wear for going out to dinner with friends, casual but still nice and classy. You'll also want to make sure you're wearing comfortable shoes again like flats or sandals. You don't want to start wearing heels for round 2 since it's still pretty casual (and the long day would kill your feet). 

Remember to find something that shows off your style and you are comfortable in! You don't need to try to be anyone but yourself. 

My next recruitment post about Round 3 should be coming next week!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Perfect Planners

Lately I have been absolutely obsessed by planners. Not necessarily using them, my summer doesn't have enough events or routine to be using one right not, but during the school year, my planner might as well be another hand. Between assignments, sorority events, group projects and whatever else is going on, I would be lost without my planner. I've used one for years, but more recently been entranced by the variety of planners. 

In high school I used generic sort of planners that my mom got at Target or Office Depot. I used them some, but not all the time. For college, as a way to motivate myself to use my planner more, I bought a Lilly Pulitzer Large Agenda in Peelin' Out. Of course, my monogram was added to the cover. I still love that agenda and since it runs through December, I'm considering using it for first semester, however I am looking at other options, these are some of the best (and popular) ones I've found.

Emily Ley Simplified Planner ~ If I was picking from all of these (not thinking about cost), the Simplified Planner would be my first choice. I'm a major to do list maker, and I love that each day has a to do list column next to the daily schedule column. It has a section for notes and daily motivation. It is designed for the working mom so there's even a spot to plan dinner. I would probably use that for something else. I really like the clean, simple interior. It makes it easier to focus on what you need to get done. The down side is the cost. $58 is a hefty price for a planner.

Day Designer ~ The Day Designer is a close second to the Emily Ley (I just love the golden pineapples on the simplified planner). The two are very similar with sections for daily schedule, to dos and dinner. However, the day designer has daily inspirational messages and a place to write down daily gratitudes, or the good parts of each day, which I think is a sweet touch and a reminder to find the good in every day. Once again, this one comes with an expensive price tag, $59. 

Erin Condren Life Planner ~ The Erin Condren planners have a major cult following, but I have to say I'm not a fan. While they are completely customizable from the cover to the layout, neither layout is right for what I'm looking for. The horizontal layout would be my choice but the boxes aren't lined and don't provide much space. Like I said, I'm a to do list girl and that doesn't really work in this one. I will say the Life Planners are probably better suited for people with big kid jobs, not students. I could find something better suited for what I need for much cheaper.

Kate Spade Agenda ~ I love both of the Kate Spade planners I put on here. The gold polka dot is classic, and the quote on the other is a nice little pick me up. This is probably my top contender, if I'm going to get a new one for the fall. The pages have the clean look I prefer. The binding is also covered so the coils won't get messed up like traditional planners. It's more expensive than some but far cheaper than the others I've mentioned at $36. It just might be a birthday present to myself.

Lilly Pulitzer Agendas ~ Everybody and their cousin has a Lilly agenda and that's just fine. I had one for my first year of college, and it worked out really well. I got the large agenda in Peelin' Out, and while I loved it, there were times I wished it had a little more space for each day. My favorite pattern of all the Lilly Pulitzer agendas this year is Red Right Return (bottom middle) but it only comes in the jumbo size, which is a little bigger than a regular piece of paper. Even though I want more space, I think in the scheme of how I organize my backpack and things I need something smaller like the large agenda in Lilly's Lagoon. These agendas are so much fun and each month has a different print that goes with it. In my experience they also hold together nicely. It's understandable why they're such a favorite. agenda ~ A new planner I hadn't heard of before is from a cute little online boutique called This agenda has a similar style to the Lilly Pulitzer ones and is equally fun and colorful (maybe even more so!). The pages are bright and whimsical, they even include suggestions for unique weekend activities below the boxes for the days. One downside for me though is that boxes for the days aren't lined, I guess that's just something I'm used to that I like and helps me stay organized. But if that's not an important feature to you, then go for it! The agenda is also reasonably priced at $28 (same as the Lilly large) which is always appreciated!

Of course, there are a million other types of agendas and planners out there, and definitely some that come at a much better price. However, I like to spend a little bit more money on mine because I know how much I use it and how important it is that my planner holds up for the whole year. What are your favorite planners? Or do you not use one at all? Let me know!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

My Texas

So I'm just about the most inconsistent person when it comes to blogging, but I'm working on it. And I have a good reason for why I have put anything up in a couple weeks (sort of). 

So on July 1, my sweet boyfriend flew to Texas to stay for a week. We packed as much as we possibly could into those seven days - there is no shortage of fun things to do in central Texas, especially when you're showing it to someone who isn't familiar with the places. Here is a little recap of Mike's trip and all that we did, with plenty of pictures.

~ July 1 ~

Mike flew into Austin (after a little delay) around 9pm. My mom, dad, sister, younger brother and I were all there to pick him up. It was so great to see him. We were both so excited - it had been exactly 2 months since we had seen each other, in person. We took him for a late dinner at the Hula Hut, a fun Austin restaurant right on the lake that we've been going to for years. We turned in early because the next day would be a long one.

~ July 2 ~

Being the Ausinite that I am, I wanted to show Mike my hometown (even though I haven't lived there in 15 years...shh). We started the day at the beautiful Texas capitol. They have tours about every 15 minutes so we took one. Although we did wish we had waited for a different guide, ours was very difficult to understand. 

I absolutely love the Capitol building - it's just so beautiful, and there are so many little details you notice after years of visiting (and getting the yearly capitol Christmas ornament). I loved sharing these easily unnoticed things with Mike.

After the capitol, we ate lunch at Magnolia Cafe on South Congress - known for it's eclectic vibe and delicious food. We explored South Congress shops, including the coolest candy store, an amazing, color-coded antique shop, and a huge boot store. 

Of course, while on South Congress we had to stop by this sweet piece of graffiti and take a picture.
We spent the heat of the day at Deep Eddy, a spring fed pool. The water was so cold but it was the perfect place to escape the hot afternoon. 
We had planned to watch the bats fly out of from under the South Congress bridge - a unique Austin experience I hadn't seen before - but I got tired, and hangry, so we came back early and met my parents and sister for dinner. I wish we had stayed to see the bats but it was still a really great day.

~ July 3 ~

After meeting my grandmother in San Antonio for lunch, Mike and I headed downtown to see Texas' most visited landmark, the Alamo. 

It was SO HOT waiting in line, but we mad the best of it by snapping silly pictures of each other.

I hadn't been to the Alamo since a 4th grade field trip so it was fun to go and see it again with Mike.

We then headed to the San Antonio riverwalk - just a few blocks away - and took a barge tour down the river. It was so fun and a really neat way to see downtown San Antonio - plus our guide was funny and really knew his stuff!

We spent the evening at a street fair my town has every year on July 3rd. And more importantly, Mike got to meet my sweet friend Sara and her boyfriend.

~ July 4 ~

I've said it before, the Fourth of July is my favorite holiday, and it was even better this year. Mike joined my family in all of our usual holiday activities. 

 We went to the parade downtown, and barely avoided becoming very sunburned. 

How cute is this robot - made out of air conditioning ducts that our friends had at their business (where we watch the parade every year)?
After the parade we went to the house of family friends who host a party each year, for lunch and swimming.

We finished off the day a little sunburned, and a lot tired, at a party some relatives throw. They live on a hill and have the best view of fireworks from the city park below.

~ July 5 ~

Sunday was really relaxed. We went to church in the morning. That afternoon we met some friends for swimming and dinner at a lake club (also the place where I'm working this summer) that my family belongs to. 

~ July 6 ~

I used Mike visiting as an excuse to go to Six Flags Fiesta Texas, because I hadn't been in years and we both love roller coasters. The day was perfect and we hardly had to wait in any lines! I don't know if it was luck or because it was the day after a holiday weekend, the park was pretty empty, especially when we got there after it first opened. We made a loop around the park first, and were able to ride all of the big, popular rides. We only really had to wait in line for the new batman ride. We both agreed it was overrated. 

We cooled off at the waterpark after lunch, then headed back out into the main park to ride some more rides we skipped that morning. 

This was the only picture I took in the park, when Mike was being silly. I wish I had taken more, we were just too busy having fun and that's perfectly fine with me.
We stayed for the laser light show at the very end of the day. Gotta say, when I was a kid it was so much better, and Six Flags should definitely switch back to the old version. It was a great day regardless.

For dinner we went a little out of the way to go to In-N-Out burger, because Mike wanted to share a little California with me. I now understand why everyone makes a big deal of it, it was SO GOOD! And cheap, always a plus.

~ July 7 ~
Worn out from going and going the past few days, we relaxed a lot of this day. I made some delicious chocolate chip belgian waffles for breakfast that tasted more like dessert. Mike, my younger brother, and I went to a movie in the afternoon. We saw Max, which is such a sweet movie about a military dog, set in Lufkin, a tiny east Texas town, of all places. I definitely recommend it.

That night, Mike and I went to dinner with my mom - after we had to run around my neighborhood in search of my dogs, who might as well be certified escape artists with the number of times they've gotten out. We went to the touristy town on Gruene, which isn't too far from my house. We had dinner at the Gristmill, one of my favorite restaurants with delicious food. Then Mike and I went dancing at the Historic Gruene Hall, which was one of Sara and my favorite high school hangouts.

~ July 8 ~

With Mike leaving that day, we spent a lot of the day just hanging out and enjoying our time together.  We met one of my lifelong friends Krystal for lunch (she had to give her approval haha). Then we spent the rest of the afternoon getting Mike all packed up and baking cookies for him to take with him on the plane.

I'm so glad we got to spend a week together, and that I got to show Mike all of my favorite Texas places. It was without a doubt the best week of my summer and now we're counting down the days until we're back at Clemson. We have just under a month!!!!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Country Concert Cutie

Tomorrow night, my best friend Sara (check out her blog) and I are going to a concert for one of our favorite Texas country bands, Josh Abbott Band. Yes, there is a difference between Texas country and mainstream country, in my opinion. So I thought I would create a little outfit inspiration, mainly because I don't know what to wear yet! 

So without further adieu, here are some of my picks that would be perfect for a country concert, or just the summer in general!

chambray dress / cream kimono / halter dress / white kimono / romper / boots (these are my favorite! so comfy and go with everything) / red dress

Honestly, you could put anything with cowboy boots and it would look cute (that may be my Texas talking). For concerts, especially in the summer, I prefer dresses, because there isn't as much fabric directly on your skin. Go with a pattern so you don't have to accessorize much. But for something more plain, I think paring it with a light lacy kimono would be adorable. I wouldn't recommend wearing something strapless, but this romper is just too cute. And of course don't forget your boots!!!

Also, I thought it would be fun to include a list of my favorite songs from the band we're seeing.
In no particular order, these are my favorite Josh Abbott songs (but really all of them are good!)

1. Hangin' Around
2. My Texas (feat. Pat Green)
3. I'll Sing About Mine
4. She's Like Texas
5. Good Night for Dancing
6. Road Trippin (a favorite for both Sara and I)
7. Matagorda Bay
8. Taste

After tomorrow night we may have some new favorites!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

4th of July Outfit Ideas

I don't know about you, but the Fourth of July is my favorite holiday! Between the all important meaning of the holiday, fun celebrations and warm summer weather, what's not to love? I'm extra excited this year because my boyfriend is coming to Texas to celebrate the holiday with my family. 

One of my favorite parts about the holiday is picking out festive outfits for the day. Yes, I did mean that to be plural. My Fourth of July is usually broken up into three parts: our town's parade in the morning, followed by lunch and swimming with a bunch of families, then a party at our relative's house that night. I came up with some outfit ideas based on how I spend the Fourth, but they could easily fit in with however you will be spending the day!

Stay cool in the sun with a simple tank, with flag detail, and shorts. I thought it was best to keep the accessories simple, stud earrings and a red bandana tied up as a head band for a fun touch. Red sneakers are cute and functional. And what Fourth of July look is complete without red nail polish and red lips?

I think this flag inspired bandeau bikini is adorable! Paired with a coordinating towel, and cute accessories, it's perfect for a Fourth of July spent by the pool or on the beach. Don't forget to stay hydrated with this star designed mason jar. 

Finish off the day with fun fireworks, both in the sky and on your dress! The ring keeps the fireworks theme going. Red earrings and wedges are another fiery touch. The ivory bag adds some neutral back into the look. Once again red lips and nail polish are a must. Can you tell I like red?

I hope you have a wonderful Fourth of July! God Bless the U.S.A.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Recruitment Ready!

I wanted to start a series about recruitment early in the summer because I think it's easier and less stressful to start getting prepared now, as opposed to in late summer when you're rushing around trying to pack and collect dorm things. I thought it would be too much to go into tips for all of recruitment in one post so I'm going to break it up into a series for advice for each day of recruitment.

When it  comes to joining a sorority, there's a lot to think about. It can be overwhelming; the perfect outfit, hair, makeup, resume... the list goes on. However, it's important to remember that the whole point of recruitment is finding your new sisters

That being said, the first round of recruitment is all about first impressions, your first impression of each chapter and their impression of you. So you want to put your best foot forward, and the best way to do that is make them remember you. The sisters will be meeting lots of girls so you want to make sure there is something distinctive about you. That does not mean wear crazy colored eyeshadow or wild clothing - unless that's your thing. However, a more toned down way to do that is with your clothes and accessories. 

At Clemson, for first round we were given t shirts to wear and then could choose any bottoms to go with it. This is pretty common for recruitment just about everywhere now. I wore fun colored shorts and statement necklaces with my t shirt to make it fit my style. Find something that fits your personality, maybe fun printed pants or a cute skirt. The most important thing to remember for the first round of recruitment is that it will be a LONG day. Comfort is key. You don't want to be stuck in shorts with a too tight waistband and sandals that are giving you blisters. Make sure your clothes fit well and are easy to move in, day one is lots of walking. Also, keep in mind that you're not dressing to impress boys at a party, you're trying to present a polished version of yourself - super short and tight clothing can be saved for going out. As for shoes, if they're new break them in ahead of time so you're feet aren't killing you at the end of the day. It's also fun to try some statement jewelry to make yourself stand out. Try a funky pendant or colorful earrings.

Here are some ideas for what to wear for first round. All of these options are reasonably priced. Old Navy is a great place for cute, inexpensive bottoms. Charming Charlie is awesome for finding fun jewelry. Despite what a lot of people think, you don't have to wear all designer clothes to be in a sorority.

As for the other aspects of your appearance, once again, remember that it will be a long day. If your hair doesn't usually hold a curl, don't try to force it during recruitment. You won't get a chance during the day to do touchups. Find a style that you like that will hold up. Same idea for your makeup look. This is not the time to experiment. If you're considering changing up how you do your makeup, start testing it out now so you know what works and what doesn't. It's never a bad idea to keep it simple. Also, make sure to bring things like powder, q tips, lipstick and mascara in your bag to fix any mishaps throughout the day. 

Now for the most important thing: meeting the sisters of each chapter. You need to get prepared to answer the same basic questions all day: your major, what dorm do you live in, why you want to join a sorority, what brought you to this school... the list goes on. It will get old during the day, but remember that they're just trying to get to know you and possibly spark a deeper conversation. Don't be afraid to open up - not share all your deepest thoughts and feelings, that can be saved for late night talks with your big - but when asked about your major, feel free to explain why it interests you or what you plan to do in the future. 

A lot will be going on and the day will move insanely fast. Keep a notebook with you - if you're not given a recruitment notebook by your recruitment counselor - to write down thoughts and impressions from each chapter as soon as you leave the party. It will do wonders when you're trying to make your decisions that night. 

Other tips: 
Sometimes round one is over two days, have ideas for different options for your outfit. If you have time, wash your t shirt between days, it will help you feel refreshed for the second day, and it won't be wrinkled or sweaty. 

Your smile is your best accessory. Show the sisters that you're interested and excited to be there.

Have some questions in mind in case the conversation lags. Maybe ask what's been their favorite part of joining a sorority.

MOST IMPORTANTLY: Keep an open mind. You might be a triple legacy for a certain house, and fall in love with another. That's okay. Be open to joining any chapter. (Also don't look at things like greek rank or yik yak, rely on your own opinions - only you know what is best for you).

Check back for ideas for the rest of recruitment!

Friday, May 29, 2015

A Few of My Favorite Things

These are a few of my favorite things:

Book: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban 

I'm the biggest Harry Potter nerd, and while a lot of people won't pick a favorite, the third book of the series is by far my favorite. (But I also recommend reading the whole series!)

Perfume: Ralph Lauren Big Pony #3

I would consider this my signature scent. It has a fruity, floral smell that just makes me really happy. I have both the Eau du Toilette and the rollerball and am very quickly running out of both.

Nail Polish: Essie Buy Me A Cameo

This is the best neutral nail polish. The color is a beautiful rose gold. It's classic and goes with everything. I do recommend a few coats and a top coat to keep it from chipping.

Eye Shadow: Urban Decay Naked Palette

I don't care what any one else says, the original Naked palette is the best. It's a little pricy, but oh so worth it. I've used it nearly everyday for the past two years and have barely hit pan. The colors are great and extremely versatile - you can use them for everyday looks or daring smokey eyes and everything in between. 

Coffee: HEB Cafe Ole Texas Pecan Coffee

For those of you not from Texas, I'm sorry. HEB is the grocery store of choice here in South Texas, and this is the best coffee from their store brand. My mom actually sends it to me in care packages, because nothing else even comes close. So worth it.

Travel Mug: Tervis Kappa Alpha Theta 16oz Tumbler

This was a Christmas gift from my best friend Sara (read her blog here). I used it, and another one I have of the same size, every single day for coffee in the morning. It perfectly fits the largest cup on the standard Keuring, it's great.

Pressed Powder: Maybelline Fit Me! Matte + Poreless Powder

I have 105 Translucent and 110 Porcelain, both are great - be careful with the translucent though, because it can appear extremely white in flash photos if you use too much. It keeps your face matte and foundation in place all day long. I swirl my brush around in the powder and pat all over my face. I love it so much I want to test out the matching Fit Me! foundation.

Shoes: Birkenstock Gizeh Sandals in Mocha

These are hands down the best shoes I've ever had. Yes, they're expensive, but I can guarantee you will get your money's worth. I've had them for about four years now and have worn them to death. Some people (i.e. my boyfriend) hate them - I don't care. I have lots of feet problems, and these sandals are wonderfully supportive. You will not be disappointed. 

CD: Underdog by Aaron Watson

This has been my favorite album for quite a few months now. All of Aaron Watson's albums are great, but I especially like this one. It has a great mix of songs - my personal favorites are That Look and Getaway Truck. If you haven't heard of Aaron Watson, look him up. You won't be disappointed.

Check out some of my favorites, maybe they'll become your favorites too!