College Diaries: How to survive recruitment, from a sorority alum

Friday, August 11, 2017

It's almost that time of year..... sorority recruitment. That means singing songs, wearing matching outfits, and talking about yourself are back in style. Well, only in college. 

Sorority recruitment, rush, whatever you wish to call it is when women go through the recruitment process to join a sorority. At Iowa State recruitment in the fall is known as Primary Recruitment. But, every school calls it something different, and treats the process differently. As a sorority alum, I'm going to give you my tips and tricks on how to survive sorority recruitment. 

*NOTE: EVERY school is different and treats the recruitment process different. These are my tips and tricks based on my experience alone. Everyone's experience is different and I believe there is a chapter out there for everyone! So, take this with a grain of salt and try and put it into persepctive for your specific school and Greek system. 

  1. Be yourself | Don't be anyone BUT yourself! If you aren't yourself I guarantee you WILL end up in the wrong chapter. Acting like something your not just to get into the "cool" or "popular" house is a big no no. Number one, appearances can be deceiving. Just because it may seem like the cool sorority to be in, doesn't mean it's right for you. Number two, you want to end up in a chapter with girls like you! If you act like someone or something your not you will end up in a chapter like whoever you're acting like. So, do yourself a favor and just be yourself! The right chapter will accept you even if you are a major goofball (I am a major goofball and found a chapter that accepted me so no worries, goofballs unite). 
  2. You don't have to agree with your friends | Luckily when I went through recruitment I only had two good friends who were going through the process as well. But, if your going to the same school with all of your BFFs and you listen to all of the chapters they like it can be overwhelming. My philosophy, that worked out well, was to keep my opinions to myself and to just go with my gut. If you start picking chapters your friends like, just because they like them, you may end up not finding the best chapter for you. Be selfish and think about yourself! Think about what chapters you liked during each round and make your selections based on your opinions, not on what your friends are picking. Trust me, even if you and your friends end up in different chapters you can all still be friends. It's actually really fun to have friends in different chapters! So don't sweat it if you don't 100% agree with your friends and like all the same chapters. 
  3. Act natural | This goes along with being yourself, but act like you would act on any other day. Just because it is recruitment you shouldn't act or talk any differently! 
  4. Don't be nervous! | This leads me to.... don't be nervous! Trust me the girls on the other side are just as nervous if not MORE nervous then you! They are worried about keeping the conversation going, asking good questions, and getting to know you. So, no worries, keep calm and carry on because recruitment should be fun on nerve racking. 

WHAT TO WEAR: Every school has different outfit requirements for each day. But, my overarching advice is to wear what you normally wear. If you want to buy new outfits for recruitment, go for it! I certainly did (no shame). However, don't feel like you need to go buy all new preppy clothes or clothes you've seen girls from your high school wear to sorority parties just to join a sorority. Every girl in every sorority has their own personal style that is unique to them. I wear Lilly Pulitzer all the time, but not every girl in my house did. So, don't stress to much about your outfits! Wear what makes you comfortable! Because if you aren't comfortable in what your wearing, it's gonna be hard to focus on anything else. If you're looking for specific outfit ideas or you have questions please feel free to leave them in the comments below! I also have a post from bag in the day on what I wore to recruitment and my outfit ideas from back then! 

Throughout my college years I've done a TON of sorority recruitment posts. Here are some throwbacks to old posts.... 

What are your tips and tricks for sorority recruitment? Leave them in the comments! 

New York City Snapshots

Friday, August 4, 2017

Welcome to New York! Just kidding, I'm long gone from my trip to New York City with work, but I wanted to take some time to share my trip and some fun things I was able to do while in the city. First things first, I went to New York for a tradeshow for my job as Brand Manager at Barbour. Check out my last post for more details on my new job! So, although I was working for my entire time in the city I was still able to meet up with a good friend from my study abroad, head to the met, shop on 7th Ave and a few other fun things. 

One night I had a good chunk of time off so I headed out on my own to explore. Major tip: Don't be afraid to explore by yourself! Whether your studying abroad or just in a new city and your friends don't want to go or can't go, head off on your own. WARNING: I don't suggest doing this late at night or anything that might be dangerous. But, NYC, in particular, always had people outside. Especially in the areas I was in, which were pretty touristy. So, I never felt unsafe even being out by myself. 

My main adventure I wanted to accomplish was to go to the Met Commes Des Garcon exhibit (a post on that to come), and visit a few major Gossip Girl spots. I hit the Met Steps (naturally), the fountain near the Plaza, Bergdorfs, and the Henri Bendel flagship store. I even found some super nice girls to snap my picture on the met steps (see above). 

The Henri Bendel flagship was on my major to-do list. Luckily, they were having there HUGE summer sale while I was there. I ended up picking up a mini jetsetter bag and two bracelets. I love my large jetsetter bag, but I was hoping to get a smaller one soon. There was a great tan color on sale so I knew I had to snatch it. I even got it monogrammed in the store! 

I also found the Victoria's Secret exhibit on the top floor of there 7th Avenue store. It has a TON of the Victoria's Secret fashion show looks on display. I'm not a big VS fan, but I love there fashion shows. It was amazing to see all of the gem work and garments up close. And man are they sparkly! 

I was able to pick up a few fun things to eat along the way. Unfortunately most of my suggestions were for places way far south compared to Midtown (which was where I was staying). I didn't feel like taking the treck all the way down there for just a short dinner. So I opted to find places closer to where I was instead. But, I got to go to Milk, which I knew is a very popular dessert place in the city. I also got to treat myself to my favorite cupcakes from Baked by Melissa. Not to forget, while we were driving to a work dinner we saw the premiere red carpet for Dunkirk! No Harry Style's sightings sadly, but it was still cool! 

My hotel was super close to Radio City Music Hall along with Rockefeller center. I took a visit there to stop at the J. Crew and have dinner. 


That was a quick re-cap of my visit to NYC! I was so happy to have been able to not only have some time to explore the city on my own, but also a great week of work while in the city. 
What are your favorite spots in NYC? Let me know in the comments below! 

Post Grad Girl: LIFE UPDATE!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Hello all, long time no chat. If you haven't been keeping up with my adventures on Instagram (which you totally should) I got A FULLTIME JOB! Yup, I'm officially a "big girl" and go to work everyday and I'm making a living. I never formally announced my job on my blog, but after a month of working I'm excited to share to all of you that I am a Brand Manager at Barbour. 

If you don't know what Barbour is you need to know! Barbour is a brand based in the UK but has been growing in popularity in the U.S. for quite some time. They are most well known for their waxed coated cotton jackets, but they are also a lifestyle brand. Their jackets are known for being super classic, and even preppy. It is the perfect jacket to transition you from college to a real job or to just have a really nice quality piece. They can be purchased at Nordstrom, select Macy's locations, independent stores and boutiques, as well as at Barbour stores!

So, as one may predict I have been super busy with my new job. Between traveling to New Hampshire, Minnesota, and New York I have been all over the place. But, I've been loving it so far. However, it has put my blog on hold a bit, but now that I have figured out my schedule and gotten into the groove of having a "real world job" I am ready to hop back into blogging. With that being said things are going to be a little different around here. First, I am starting a new series called Post Grad Girl! In these posts I will touch on topics all about transitioning out of college into the "real world". Everything from work outfit ideas, to how to find a job, to just life post college! 

Also, I'm planning on changing my posting schedule a little bit. When I was in school I had a lot more time to create posts, take photos, etc. for my blog. So, to keep to a more manageable schedule I'm going to be posting 1-2 times per week. This way I can keep up with posts and not compromise on quality for my readers. 

There is a super quick life update! Be on the lookout for more posts to come on the blog very soon! 

Dose of Disney: Disney Tees

Monday, July 3, 2017

If you couldn't already tell, I'm obsessed with Disney. *no shame* Over the past few months I have discovered a TON of small shops and Etsy store owners who sell Disney apparel, accessories, and pretty much anything you can think of. Today, I wanted to share some of my favorite small and large brands and companies to get Disney themed t-shirts from..... 
  1. Jambo Joe | Jambo Joe is a pretty new t-shirt shop that just opened by the adorable @shopjambojoe on Instagram. His shirts (the one pictured above) are way to cute for words! I've gotten a few shirts from him and I am obsessed. His are super subtle and are perfect for the parks or for everyday wear. That's what I love about his shirts! Click here to shop his shop.
  2. Pretty Little Monograms | Pretty Little Monograms is your monogram Disney headquarters. From Minnie Monograms to a ton of different characters she has it all! I've ordered a good amount of things from her shop and I love everything! She gets a lot of commissioned art work from Adam Grason (who I'm a huge fan of) for her apparel as well. If you love Lilly, Disney, and monogrammed anything she is your girl. Click here to shop this shop. 
  3. Main Street Press | Main Street press is another great small shop. This husband wife duo has some super cute designs, including a Tale as Old as Time tee that I purchase. The specific tee even when kind of internet viral which is super cool! I've also picked up some other small things from her shop. They hand screen print all of the tees which is also super unique. Click here to shop this shop. 
  4. Lost Bros Trading Co. | The coolest guys you will ever meet, the Lost Bros Trading Co. has great shirts for both guys and girls. I love their Life is Bubbles design and I have a few other things from there shop. Super unique designs with a little bit of an edge! Click here to shop this shop. 
  5. Box Lunch | This big brand is a more approachable version of Hot Topic, in my opinion. They carry a TON of pop culture gifts, clothing, and more. My favorite items they carry are obviously all of their Disney tees and merchandise. I've gotten some SUPER cute tees, patches, keychains, and more from Box Lunch. Also, they carry Danielle Nicole bags and they usually go on sale (just saying). If you've seen my Toy Story alien pocket tee or my Be Our Guest pocket tee they are both from Box Lunch! Click her to shop Box Lunch. 
  6. Jadelynn Brooke | Surprise, surprise, Jadelynn Brooke is on this list. I love JLB's tees and their new Disney designs are no exception! If you haven't checked out their new magical collection you need too! Super fun bright colors, designs, and phrases make Jadelynn Brooke's Disney inspired tees perfect for the parks or for day to day wear. Click here to shop Jadelynn Brooke. 
These are just a few of many Disney tee shops I have purchased from! These are just a few that I have made repeat purchases from there shop. If you ever need a t-shirt suggestion for an upcoming Disney trip feel free to message me and I'll direct you to a shop that fits your style best! I've loved discovering the Disney community and Disney small shop world recently. It's given me the chance to get some super cute stuff! 

What is your favorite Disney small, or large, shop? Let me know in the comments! 

Snapshots: Disney x Coach Outlet

Friday, June 16, 2017

The Disney x Coach Outlet collection as EXPLODED in the Disney Instagram community. I had originally shopped the original collection online at Coach's website and picked up a small red crossbody bag and a little Mickey hang tag. Luckily I had picked up the bag at a discount as it was on sale on their website when they were trying to clear out the collection. But, when I saw they had created another collection, at outlet prices, I knew I had to stop by my Coach Outlet store. 

So, my mom and I headed to the outlet mall to shop the collection when I learned Coach was doing 50% off your entire purchase, which included the Mickey collection. When we first walked into the store they had a huge Disney section. It took up most of the front half of the store. There were a ton of different shapes and sizes of bags being offered in the collection. I saw the same shape of my original Coach x Disney bag offered as well, but with the new Mickey logos. 

Basically, the main difference between the bags from the original collection and the outlet collection was the Mickey's on the bags. These Mickey's were honestly kind of more fun the original ones showcased on the bags. Most bags were offered in either a yellow, red, brown, black, or white leather. They all had different Mickey's on them, except the white and black shared the same Mickey. 

Some pieces were more edgy then the original pieces. Patch accents, studs, and bandanas were just some of the additional embellishments I noticed. Also, the collection had a more bad boy edge to it. For example, Mickey riding a motorcycle or a skate board versus him just standing or posing. They were super fun touches that made the collection just a little different, but still classic Mickey. 

Around the outside of the Coach store were fun little sidewalk decals showing off the collection. Props to Coach because I think it caught a lot of people's attention who may not have known about the collection. 

Shopping at the store wasn't as hectic as I expected. My Coach store used to be super small, but they recently upgraded to a larger location. So, it is much more organized, spacious, and upscale. There were a few people going crazy over the collection, but most people were purchasing one or two Disney x Coach items. My mom and I both got two pieces (we literally bought the exact same thing), but it seemed most people were just picking up 1-2 items per person. 

As for what I picked up, I selected this brown saddle bag shape with this ADORABLE Mickey! He was by far my favorite Mickey offered in this collection. Also, I love the classic brown leather and this shape. This is Coach's signature shape so I found this combination of the Mickey, color, and style was the most classic and neutral. I wanted something I could carry around day-to-day not just at the parks. Since I purchased it I've carried it around quite a bit! It's a great small crossbody bag, but it has a lot of useful pockets and features. My favorite part is there is a small pocket on the outside where you can slide your phone in and out of for easy access. 

I also picked up a little zipped wristlet wallet thing.... I'm not 100% sure what to call it. But, It is great to throw into smaller bags as a wallet, or to use as a mini wristlet if you just need some credit cards and very small essentials. It doesn't fit a phone, so it is more like a wallet, but it is super cute! I opted for the red shade with Mickey riding a motorcycle for something different and fun compared to my neutral purse. 

Supposedly the collection is only going to be available until early June. SO, if you really want to get your hands on something go now!! Call ahead to make sure they still have items in store! 

I hope you enjoyed this look into the collection! Did you shop the Disney x Coach Outlet collection? Let me know what you picked up in the comments below! 
This is NOT sponsored by Coach! I just wanted to share the collection and my thoughts on the collection! 

Snapshots: Hello Kitty Cafe Chicago!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Did anyone else have a childhood obsession with Hello Kitty? Just me......? I hope not because I was so excited to get to go to the Hello Kitty traveling cafe in their Chicago location. Luckily, the location was only 30 min away from me at the mall I normally shop at, Oakbrook. I missed the cafe last year, so when I saw they were coming again I knew I had to go! 

In case you have zero idea what I am talking about, the Hello Kitty Cafe is a traveling little food truck that has adorable hello kitty treats and some merchandise for purchase. Keep up with where they are at on the Hello Kitty Cafe Facebook page! The cafe is small but if you are a Hello Kitty fan it is a can't miss opportunity. I loved seeing the adorable little pink van with all of its adorable decorations! 

Tip: If you get there early you can take a ton of pictures of the van without anyone around! 

We arrived at the truck early Saturday morning to get in line. We waited about 1 1/2 and it really wasn't too bad. They actually opened the truck about 10 min early which was super nice. The line moved decently quickly, but there were some people taking extra time to take photos and what not at the window. 

I picked up my treats, then picked up my mug at a separate tent where the merchandise was organized. Then I took some pictures in front of the van with my treats and was on my way. The process was pretty simple for, no drama or issues. Based on the reviews I was reading I was prepared for the worst, but I had a very great experience at the Hello Kitty Cafe! 

Tip: Pay cash if possible! You can avoid juggling your goodies and signing the iPad at the truck window. 

I purchased the cookie set, macaron set, a bow water bottle, and a ceramic mug. These were all items I planned on purchasing! With a $25 food purchase (not including mugs or t-shirts) you got a fun little re-usable tote bag, which I couldn't resist. With the mug I got a free little sticker and a button as well. I read some reviews that people were pissed they little merchandise, but I was happy with my cute little mug. 

Tip: Wear something pink or Hello Kitty theme for super cute photos with the truck!

What I wore: 
Top: J Crew 
Jeans: American Eagle 
Shoes: Jack Rogers 
Purse: Louis Vuitton Speedy 25 
Earrings: J Crew

Planning on attending a Hello Kitty Cafe event in your city? Here are a few of my tips to survive the experience, and to get all of the items you want..... 
  1. Get there EARLY! I was reading some reviews of last years cafe and it said there were lines like crazy, so we showed up around 8:30 for a 10am start for the cafe. The line at the Chicago location was not bad at all when we arrived at 8:30, I'd say about 20-30 people in front of us. I felt confident that I would get the items I wanted, and would just get items in general! Some reviews said that people waited in line and didn't get anything! So, I may have overacted with getting there so early, but I'd rather be safe then sorry. 
  2. Know what you want to purchase! The line would have moved sooooo much faster if people were prepared with what they wanted to get. There is a small sign they set out with the options (there weren't too many to be honest) of treats and merchandise for purchase. Take a peek at it when you arrive so you are prepared once you get up there! 
  3. Don't RE-SELL! I read so many terrible reviews that people bought 5+ of each item to just re-sell them on eBay. Don't be that person! Let everyone have their chance to get a treat. So many reviews said they waited in line with their kids and didn't get anything for their daughters, that is so sad! If you really want to re-sell items, at least wait until those who are there to get their treats purchase what they want before you purchase mass quantities. 
  4. Understand it might sell out...... Luckily I didn't experience this, but the truck is bound to sell out at some point. It is a tiny van not a semi-truck filled with goodies. They can only carry so much. So, just try and get there early to ensure you get all the items on your wishlist! 
  5. There is always next time. It appears that this tour is going to be happening every year. The truck came to Chicago last year and this year so I predict they will keep doing tours if they are successful! At the end of the day it is just treats, so just remember there will be more opportunities in the future to go to a Hello Kitty Cafe!

We hung around the mall a while after we finished at the cafe and the line was always busy, but was never out of control. It looked like it was moving quickly, and there was still merchandise to be purchased. I cannot speak for later hours (the cafe was open until 8pm), but from 10-Noon ish the line seemed very manageable! Luckily, most of the people in line were people who knew of the event. Most people weren't just walking around the mall and hopping in line. 

As for the prices of the items at the cafe most treats were $12-15 each and the bow water bottle was $3. My mug was around $13 then the t-shirt I believe was $27. So, decently reasonable prices for what you get. I recommend getting the cookies because they were individually wrapped, so you could save some for later! 

Hopefully this post helped you if you are looking to attend a Hello Kitty Cafe tour location! Have you visited a Hello Kitty Cafe? Let me know your experience in the comments! 

How I use my Erin Condren Life Planner!

Monday, June 12, 2017

    I recently received the new Erin Condren 2018 Life Planner to help me stay organized. Expect a full review coming soon! But, today I'm sharing with you how I use my Erin Condren planner. During one year I usually use multiple planners, all for different reasons. As for my Erin Condren, I use this planner to decorate and more of a memory keeper then to strictly stay organized. 

    When I say "decorate my planner" I mean through stickers. In case you didn't know, there is a whole world of planner stickers on Etsy and a ton of Youtubers who do videos on planner decorating. If you were a kid who loved stickers and sticker books this is the grown-up version of that obsession! There are a ton of Etsy shops and small business owners who create hand drawn stickers and decor for your planner. In the spread above I used all Erin Condren stickers! I received this sheet as a free gift with my purchase because I sign up for their emails. But, you can also purchase stickers books from Erin Condren's website that you can use as well. In addition, stores like Hobby Lobby and Michaels sell their own planner stickers. So there are many ways to decorate your planner. 

    Or, you can keep things simple! If using sticky notes and colored pens work better for you, do that. The great thing about Erin Condren planners are that they are totally customizable and you can do what is best for YOU. That is what planning is all about. I'm influenced by some planner influencers, but I have my own unique style of planning and how I like things. So, create your own style and find out what you like in your planner. Whether that is with stickers, sticky notes, fun pens, highlighters, or printing little photos to include! Whatever you choose to do just make sure it fits for your life. 

    Hopefully this post gives you a better idea on how I use my Erin Condren Life Planner! If you have any questions about planning leave them in the comments below, I'd love to help! 
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