It’s beginning to feel a lot like Winter

It has finally started getting cold here! Last week, it was in the 70s and I was wearing shorts to class. Today, I felt as if I would never get warm! Here are some of the things that I like to put on to keep cozy.

I have this North Face coat in gray (because gray matches everything) and it keeps me ridiculously warm. I’m the biggest wimp when it comes to cold weather, and I’m completely warm in this coat. The only thing I would do differently if I were to buy a coat again would be to get one that is long. I thought those were kind of outrageous, but I would definitely appreciate my sweaters being covered and the cold air not slipping up my coat.

Old Navy Waffle-Knit Sweater Scarf

Old Navy Waffle-Knit Sweater Scarf

I just received this scarf in a Secret Santa gift exchange that I did with a few of my friends, and I have not taken it off since I got it. It is so soft and warm! Plus, it’s really long so I can wrap it around my neck twice or wrap it and then tie the end.

Warm Socks

Warm Socks

I would die without socks to keep my feet warm. The only time I don’t wear socks is when I’m in the shower or sometimes when I go to bed. I like these socks in particular because they are tall and can be worn with tall boots. These are kind of plain because that’s the style I like.

But they also have fun styles like these chevron socks.

But they also have fun styles like these chevron socks.

Stay warm!

Music for the Brain

During finals week, I always find it really hard to find the perfect playlist. Sometimes I like acoustic music, sometimes I like classical piano, and sometimes I really like mellow rap (weird right?). I’ve found a few playlists that are good for my brain at certain times.

Finals Season

This is what I am currently listening to. I got to this playlist by exploring “study+chill” on 8tracks. I found a few good playlists, but this one has been my favorite so far. There’s a lot of words, so if you’re looking for something with fewer words to distract you from reading or writing, this playlist isn’t for you.

FratMusic Daydreamer

This is another great chill study playlist. If you follow the link, there’s quite a few more study playlists that you can also check out. Some of them have fewer words to distract than this one. This was actually my favorite playlist to listen to this summer. I would just let it play all day and take a shower and study for my online class to it. It’s a happy sound which is sometimes all you need during finals week.

Beethoven Radio

This station is for the person really looking to study hard. It is all instrumental and mostly classical piano. The reason I love Pandora stations to study to is because you can choose what you do and don’t like. With a playlist, you have to deal with what they chose for you. With my Beethoven radio station, I decided I liked piano more than something with strings. If a song with string instruments comes on, I give it the thumbs down, and my station learns from that. I don’t know how well this link will work because it works for me, but it’s also my station. If it’s not working for you, just create a free Pandora account and search your favorite artist!

These are a Few of my Favorite Things…

So I got the idea for this blog from my favorite, College Prepster, who did a favorite things holiday gift exchange with her friends that I mentioned in an earlier post. You always hear about sorority girls dressing a certain way or liking certain things so I thought I’d post a few of my favorite things that I’ve obtained since being in college and being in a sorority.

Sperry Rainboots

Sperry Rainboots

I LOVE my Sperry rainboots! They are nice to have in the Midwest because they work in all sorts of weather. I can wear them in rain or snow, and they keep me nice and dry! I love to wear my rainboots because then I can splash in puddles as a “grown up”.

Leggings

Leggings

I wear leggings every day that I can. I know it might be looked down upon to wear leggings as pants, but I really do not care much. They are comfy and I can wear them with anything. I normally wear them with boots and a longer shirt.

Lilly Pulitzer croakies...or anything Lilly really.

Lilly Pulitzer croakies…or anything Lilly really.

My Lilly croakies were a staple for me this summer. I spent some time on my friends’ boats and I didn’t want to lose my favorite sunglasses by accident! It’s nice to not have to put my glasses on my head or to have to worry about them getting lost or scratched. Lilly Pulitzer has a ton of super cute prints, but her dresses can get pretty pricey.

Monograms

Monograms

I’m obsessed with anything monogram. You could put my monogram on a bracelet, t-shirt or bag and I’d wear all of them at the same time. My friends are all obsessed too! I have crafted a bunch of coozies with monograms on them, and they’ve been a hit!

Norts

Norts

“Norts” stands for Nike shorts and they are a college staple. They’re great to work out in because they have built in underwear, but you can also wear them on an everyday basis. They come in tons of fun colors, so you can match them to your shoes too!

Riding Boots

Riding Boots

I got these riding boots last year for Christmas. They are the perfect style, and they weren’t $300. They’re Etienne Aigner and my mom bought them at Macy’s. The brown isn’t too dark, so I can still wear them with black skinny pants. Riding boots are a closet staple because you can use them to dress up any outfit! I’ll wear mine with leggings and a long shirt, and I can go out for the night and still be comfortable.

Sperry Topsiders

Sperry Topsiders

I would not have made it through my college career without my pair of Sperries. I give campus tours and I’ve worn mine during almost every tour so they’re getting pretty worn down. That almost gives them more character and makes them more comfortable! They are known to give people blisters, but I’ve never gotten any from mine. Be warned: don’t wear socks with your Sperries! It’s a major faux pas.

These are a few of my favorite things. If you like any of what you see and need to know where you can find your own, leave a comment and I can help you out!

Whatever the Letter, Greeks do it Better

Greek unity is a great part of joining a Greek organization. Being Greek, you can bond with people from any organization on a different level. We all have our own specific values, but the general foundation for all Greek organizations is the same. You know the kinds of traditions and rituals your organization has and can bond with others about the secrecy of them.

My friend in another sorority and I on bid day.

My friend in another sorority and I on bid day.

Of course, I have a commitment and partiality to my sorority; that’s why I chose it over another. However, I do have friends in other sororities and can understand why they chose that one and fit in there more than they would the sorority I’m in. Making friends in other sororities can increase the diversity of friends that you have and the connections that you make in college.

Some of the BEST friends I’ve made are from fraternities. In high school, I never thought I would even think about joining a sorority. I always hung out with guys and didn’t really get along with girls. The guys I’ve met in fraternities have become my friends and supporters and some have even been my boyfriend.

Being Greek can also help you connect with friends from high school that you might have lost touch with otherwise. I can talk to a lot of friends about being Greek and the types of experiences we are having when we don’t even go to the same school.

Our friend Liz is the one making the different hand sign. She's a KKG at U of I...

Our friend Liz is the one making the different hand sign. She’s a KKG at U of I…

...and he is a Sigma Chi at U of I.

…and Tom is a Sigma Chi at U of I.

This weekend, I had a gift exchange with some of my friends in another sorority. My roommate and I (who are in the same sorority) had a gift exchange/girls night with each other. We all made snacks, drank wine and brought a secret gift for the exchange. We based our gift exchange on College Prepster’s Favorite Things. I gave a gift of wine glasses, chocolate and a  bottle of “snap happy” Essie nail polish.

My Alpha Phi friends I had an exchange with and I this summer.

My Alpha Phi friends I had the exchange with and I this summer. We made the mistake of not taking a picture last night!

Pink Hair for Hope

pink_hair

My chapter puts on an event every year called Pink Hair for Hope. This event raises money for the American Breast Cancer Society by putting pink strands in people’s hair. You pay $10 for the strand and the money is a straight donation! The salon that did it donated their time to put the strands in for us.

Me with my pink hair.

Me with my pink hair.

This is one of our biggest events of the year! People from all over come to get strands in their hair. It used to be just girls in my sorority that got the strands, and then we opened it up for girls in other sororities. Now, anyone can come to get a strand! Even guys come and will get a little strand put in their hair.

Last year, we raised over $4000 for the cause! This year, we are hoping that we raised even more, but all the numbers aren’t in yet. This is an important cause for us and we definitely have all of our hearts into this fundraiser for such a horrible disease.

Philanthropy

Sororities aren’t just about having fun and meeting girls who can be your best friends. We also do a lot of important things and raise money for important philanthropies. My sorority has two main organizations we give money and time to.

HFH

Habitat for Humanity is our national service project. Habitat builds affordable shelter for people all over the world. I have never participated in a build, but there is a local chapter of Habitat near SIUE. This chapter holds fundraisers so they have money for the builds, and I have helped out with some of those! The people who are in charge of the chapter are inspirational, and the fundraisers they have are always very fun!

Pine Mountain Settlement School

Our national philanthropy is Pine Mountain Settlement School. Pine Mountain provides environmental education for students in local schools. We have looked at visiting the school in the future, and I would love the opportunity to do that! We have sent them pencil packs for their students and other school supplies, as well as money for them to provide the education and upkeep the aging school.

Locally, we work with various service projects. We adopted a highway that goes into our school and we all give $15 to an individual philanthropy of their choice. Some girls give dresses to the Cinderella Project, others give money to Relay for Life. Each sister also does five hours of community service on their own. We had a group volunteer with the Special Olympics and others volunteer at events on campus! As a chapter, we donate a $5000 scholarship to our national sorority every year.

We also hold an event on campus called Pink Hair for Hope that I will post about later. With such a big organized group of ladies, it would be silly not to do something great with that woman power!

Paddles aren’t just for boats anymore…

Another great tradition of sororities is paddle crafting. Now, the tradition wasn’t always a great one, so to speak. Paddles were originally used as a form of hazing where an older member would use the paddle on the bottom of another member. Things like this DO NOT happen anymore. Now we just craft paddles and give them to our sisters and friends as gifts!

love crafting paddles. Every time there is an opportunity to craft, exchange or obtain a paddle, you know I am there. I have a ton of paddles hanging on my wall currently.

The paddle wall in my apartment.

The paddle wall in my apartment.

We do paddle exchanges in my sorority. If you want to exchange a paddle with someone, you sign up for it, and one girl secretly tells everyone the person they are supposed to make a paddle for. This is a great way to get to know some sisters better than you would normally!

You can craft a paddle with literally anything. I have paddles that have my name on them, a Harry Potter paddle, a paddle crafted with melted crayons, and tons more. You can paint a paddle with normal paint or spray paint it. Sometimes, I use scrapbook paper and mod podge to create a background for a paddle. Glitter is a necessity when crafting paddles.