The Fashion and Lifestyle Musings of a 22-year-old

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Sunday, February 4, 2018

Moisturizers for Dry, Cold Winters

We are in the thick of winter here in Baltimore, and we have at least a month and a half until things start warming up around here. I've found that this winter has been exceptionally dry, and with the massive cold I caught in January, I was doing a lot more washing my hands than I even do regularly and needed to moisturize so much more! The products above are what I've been using recently with a few special mentions:

The Aquaphor spray lotion is a new find for me that makes it so much easier to moisturize your legs, arms and anywhere you don't want a goopy layer of product. I use the Neutrogena Hydro Boost gel lotion every single day and love it to pieces - I think I've gone through probably 5 or 6 tubs already. And my trusty Burt's Bees is what I use on my lips constantly to keep them smooth and not chapped, though I will use good old fashioned Vaseline at night if they are especially dry.

I am crossing my fingers a million times for the warm weather to get here sooner rather than later! Which is a little bit funny considering I'm an environmental science major and there's always tons of chatter about global warming this time of the year. But in all reality, I just love the warmth and the summer months! 
Wednesday, January 31, 2018

5 Things I'd Tell Freshman Me about Sorority Recruitment

Tomorrow is the day that formal sorority recruitment finally begins at my university! Since I am on our Panhellenic executive team (I was Vice President of Marketing for 2017!), I am currently disaffiliated from my chapter and haven't been with all of my sisters in so long. I absolutely loved going through recruitment on the sorority side of things, and had the most fun during our recruitment training and workshops leading up to recruitment when I participated during my sophomore year. But, both last year and this year I have been a Panhellenic officer and learned so much from that type of recruitment experience as well. Once Sunday comes, I'll be back to my chapter and completely transitioned out of all my sorority leadership roles during college, which is kind of crazy to think about. My sorority experience has been such a whirlwind that it's really sad to see it wind down one last time. Since I can't share any pictures or memories from my personal experience with my sorority at the moment, I wanted to talk a little bit about some of the things I wish I had known going into recruitment as a freshman.

Joining a sorority is a highly personal experience. You are looking to join a group of women who share similar values, are passionate about the same things, and love you for who you are. If someone in your life (parent, boyfriend, etc) is pushing you in one direction or another, remember that these are your four years and no one else's. Don't make a decision about a sorority based on what you think will look cool to your high school friends, and don't be pressured into joining the same organization as a family member if your heart isn't connecting to what that chapter has to offer. And, if you aren't interested in joining a sorority at all but feeling like you are being forced into it by someone you know, take a step back and reevaluate your priorities. The decision you make with sorority recruitment will impact your entire college experience and most likely extend into your later life, so be sure that you are choosing a path that aligns with your goals and needs, not what other people want you to do.

It's easy to get sucked into rumors, stereotypes and what you hear floating around campus about each organization before recruitment happens. While there is always an element of truth to certain stereotypes, I would say that 99% of the time they propagate incorrect information about your school's chapters and Greek life in general. Buying into these ideas is harmful and can leave you feeling hurt and confused during recruitment, which is already stressful enough on its own! Similarly to college admissions, you want to end up somewhere where they want you to, and so it's best to ignore what you heard and use the conversations you have with sisters at each chapter to form your own opinions about what each chapter has to offer. This is especially important to keep in mind when you are hearing these stereotypes from guys as well - most of the time the things that guys value about a sorority are not the same  things that sisters love about their organization!!

Recruitment isn't entirely up to you and the way you want the situation to work out. Just how you go into the voting room at the end of each night and select your favorite chapters, each sorority is doing the exact same thing - choosing young women they met that they think will make the best match with their organization. The two lists may not always match up and oftentimes girls are hurt during recruitment when they are cut from a chapter that they really enjoyed. It's important to keep in mind that the chapters that do invite you back the next day are thrilled about you and think you are exceptional and would make a strong addition to their organization, so think positively about those organizations that love you for who you are! Even if there is someplace you really enjoyed that didn't ask you to come back, there is another chapter out there that is dying to have you!
Secondly, there are all sorts of statistical processes, mathematics, and data analysis on the back end of recruitment that you will only know about if you are a Director of Greek Life at a university, one of the statistical specialists that work with recruitment, or a Recruitment Guide / Panhellenic representative. Sometimes there are factors that make decisions completely beyond the control of both the PNMs (potential new members) and the chapters, too. In the end, if you are making genuine connections and learning as much as you can about each group from the sisters you meet, you will end up in the right place for you!

Each chapter is unique in their own ways. No two chapters will be alike at any university, and even the same sorority at different schools can be wildly different. When you step into the room with any given sorority, ask the important questions. What activities do the sisters do together? What are the philanthropies? Is there room for leadership potential? Anything that is important to you and you want to get out of a sorority experience, ask about. This will help you gauge if the chapter you are talking with can provide you with what you need to have the best college experience. Keep in mind that certain topics are usually taboo during recruitment (things like politics, money, and partying), so if your main goal is to find out if a certain sorority goes out every weekend, find a polite and courteous way to inquire about their social engagements. The sisters are not only super excited to tell you all about their chapter, but are also well equipped and trained to answer any question you might have, so don't be shy about asking the important questions!

Number 5 can somewhat be explained by the previous 4 points, but at the same time it's the most important thing to remember. When I was going through the recruitment process as a freshmen, I wasn't very in tune with my instincts and tried to outsmart the system (basically, I didn't follow my advice, which is why I'm older and wiser now). The chapter that I ended up joining was the only group that I talked to about my blog! I didn't even realize it until after the fact, but blogging was such an important and cool thing that I was doing and I was hiding it during recruitment for whatever reason. There are lots of other little hints and instinctual things I realized afterward that made me feel like my chapter was the right place to be, but I can't go into detail now since I am still disaffiliated... Boo. The moral of the story is that sometimes, you just know when a place is supposed to be home ;)

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Let me know if you would be interested in more sorority related content as the semester goes on, particularly for juniors and seniors looking to use their sorority experience to their advantage when applying to jobs and internships!
Sunday, January 28, 2018

In the Mood for Blue

I spent a lot of time during my break browsing Pinterest, Instagram, and shopping sites to help me set the mood for 2018 and I was shocked at how much blue I saw popping up everywhere. I'm a huge navy fan for starters so I was not disappointed seeing this much blue around, but I'm so glad that brighter and more vibrant shades of blue are also being incorporated in the mix with classic navy. For a few summers, I had so much navy in my closet that I tried to swear off purchasing anything in the color, but I've come to accept that it's such a staple shade and that I love the way navy looks on me. These brighter shades of blue are super fun though so I'm really pumped to give this color a go as we move into the spring. How do you feel about this blue trend - are you ready to rock it this year or do you think this shade is a bit too bold?

In other news, tomorrow our spring classes finally start and I'm so excited that I don't have any classes on Wednesdays or Fridays this final semester! I have been spending my entire weekend doing recruitment training to gear up for formal sorority recruitment at the end of the week and I am looking forward to helping out and getting to rejoin my chapter in 7 short days! 
Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Craving Candles

I absolutely love candles! It's one of the things that I wish we could have while living in dorms and apartments, and something I totally look forward to having around more often when I'm in my own space. Maybe it's because the concept of hygge is such a big thing in Copenhagen, where I studied last year, but I love the cozy feeling of being inside with some candles and a big blanket, enjoying the company of friends. Especially at this time of year, that sounds exactly like what I need to get me through the rest of the winter months. 

I actually purchased these two candles (one, two) in Copenhagen at the end of my trip, and though I don't burn them in my apartment at school, I have them on my night table because they are so pretty! I was actually going to buy this candle instead because it says hygge on it, but I surprisingly didn't like the scent so I passed on it for the other two. 

On a separate note, I found this article from Into the Gloss the other day that talks about the perfect candles for different moods and quirky habits, and I thought that not only was it such a fun idea, but it also gave me that same cozy vibe from reading. I wanted to share it with you all since I loved the article so much, and want to hear what your favorite candles are! 
Sunday, January 21, 2018

Reader Survey!

I've given myself sort of a free pass on the month of January since I a) am on winter break still for almost the entire month and b) because I was sick for the first 2 and a half weeks of the year. This means that once school starts back up in February and I'm on a regular schedule, it will be time to really kick things back into high gear! Today I don't have a ton to say, but I'd love it if you could take some time to fill out my 2018 Reader Survey and let me know what kinds of content you want to see during this year.