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!!!!