15 things that happened in 2015 (Instagram Roundup)

1. Winter was awfully cold this year...
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2. ...So I escaped to Disney World for Spring Break.
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3. & continued our trip to Orange Beach, Alabama
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4. I went to Senior Prom!
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5. And graduated high school!
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6. The Saint Louis Zoo introduced Kali the Polar Bear
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7. I celebrated the Fourth of July
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8. And I went to the Zoo (several more times)
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9. I moved into my dorm!
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10. I joined Gamma Phi Beta
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11. I went to my first college football game
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12. I got the perfect big (& family) for me.
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13. I fell in love with everything about my sorority.
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14. I finished a semester of college.
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15. I came home from school for Christmas & New Years.
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Blanket Scarf


My favorite cold weather accessories are most-definitely scarves! You can add so much color and warmth to outfit with one piece. I especially love blanket scarves, because they're so big and can be worn in different ways. I like to wrap mine around my neck so that the ends are both hanging at the front, and the majority of the scarf is still at the front. I purchased this particular scarf at Old Navy last year on Black Friday, but you can find them at any store this time of year. The weather is still strangely spring-like in the Midwest, so I'll be waiting patiently, with my scarves ready, for it to finally drop consistently below 50 degrees! I know we aren't going to get a white Christmas this year, but I can still hope for some more wintry weather!


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What I Learned in my First Semester of College


Four short months ago, I moved into my dorm room. I participated in all the welcome weekend activities and went to my first college lectures. As time passed, I got more involved. I went through formal recruitment, and joined a sorority (more about that here). I also joined another campus organization and went to almost all of my classes. I've now finished my first semester at Missouri State University. I didn't expect this semester to go by as quickly as it did. As my great-grandbig has told me several times, college is a time for learning. I quickly realized that a lot of this learning happens outside of classrooms or lecture halls. So here's a few things I learned as I completed my first semester of college:

1. Money is so much more real now. In high school, it was easy to ask your parents for money. Now, you're spending more than you imagined on food. The things you thought you needed aren't as necessary as toilet paper and soap. There's also way less time to work while taking classes.

2. You don't have to go out every night. It's okay to spend a weekend in your dorm or in the library. While they say your GPA does not define you, it sure is important. Although it seems that your social life is a top priority, you are at college to learn. Time management is super important, and it's a daily struggle. It helps to spend some extra time during the week on homework if you know you have a busy weekend coming up.

3. The first friends you make won't necessarily be the ones that last all semester. I don't know what I would do without my group of friends, but it took me a while to meet them. I've never known girls that would drop whatever they are doing for ice cream and venting, then make me laugh until my sides hurt. They constantly blow up my phone, but I would never complain about it. It's sounds cliche but you truly will meet your lifelong best friends in college.

4. Free is your new favorite word. Food? T-Shirts? Cups? Stress balls? Pens? Yes please. Take everything that is offered to you. 

5. Go to sporting events. Refer back to the previous point. You are far more likely to score free things at football, soccer, volleyball or basketball games. Also, supporting your school's sport teams is important. Nobody wants to play and look up to empty stands. Some of my favorite memories involve tailgates and football games.

6. Roommates don't have to be best friends. I spent more time with my friends that don't live on my floor. It's also really nice to have other dorms and rooms you can go to when you need to get out of your room. I'm lucky to have several options to escape to when I need it.

7. Your schedule will completely change. Showering is not optional, but the time you find to do so will feel completely random. On Tuesday, it might be in between classes because you just can't get out of bed any earlier for your 8am class.

8. You will change. I am not the same person that I was in high school. In one semester, I've experienced (good and bad) things I never imagined would happen to people I know. I can't wait to see where this journey will take me in seven more semesters.  



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Holiday Plaid


It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas... everywhere you go! Although the temperature has been unusually high for December, I'm still finding ways to get into the holiday spirit. I love how festive Historic Main Street is in Saint Charles every year. Without a giant decorated tree, wreaths, big red bows, it wouldn't feel as much like Christmas. All we need now is some colder weather and hopefully some snow! I scored this plaid shirt on Black Friday from H&M, and the colors are perfect for the holiday season. 


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FALLing in Love with my Campus






It's finally starting to feel like fall here at Missouri State. The leaves have all changed colors. I was actually lucky enough to have taken these pictures before we had a day and night of intense wind and most of the leaves fell. On my way to class, I get to hear the leaves crunch under my feet. I didn't know it was possible, but the campus is even more gorgeous in the fall. 

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and I only have two weeks of classes, including finals, after break. My first semester of college is almost over and I'm kind of in disbelief. I only have three and a half more years before I have to actually be an adult. If there are any college-related blog posts you guys want to see, let me know by leaving a comment!


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Chambray






In June, I showed you all this shirt in a summery outfit with crochet shorts I mentioned that one of my favorite things about the shirt was that I could wear it in any season. So, here is the fall version. I paired it with black jeans because they feel a little more dressed up than leggings and, of course, my fergalicious riding boots. I'm so excited that its' time to actually wear boots and jeans. We had a few colder days in October, but the weather is finally consistently feeling like fall. 


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Why Joining a Sorority is the Best Decision I Ever Made


I briefly mentioned on previous blog posts that I had made the decision to go through Formal Panhellenic Recruitment here are Missouri State. After four long, tiring, and difficult days, I found my home at Gamma Phi Beta. I rushed to the house with active members, including my Pi Chi, on Bid Day and met my amazing crescent sister. On that day, I also met my perfect big, although I didn't know it at the time. During the new member education period, I learned so much about Gamma Phi's values and history. The sorority began to mean even more to me. Sister dates and Big/Little hangouts led up to Big/Little Reveal, where I found out that my big was exactly the girl I had hoped for! Originally, I was unsure if I truly wanted to be apart of a sorority, but I can honestly say that there is no part of the decision to rush that I regret. So, I've compiled a list of reasons why joining a sorority is the best decision I've ever made.

1. Sisterhood
It seems obvious, but without joining Gamma Phi Beta, I would not have met many of the girls I now proudly call my best friends. I never have to eat alone, and if I am having a bad day there are so many girls I can text that will instantly cheer me up. I have been able to be completely open and honest with these girls, and they reciprocate that. The Fall '15 class has become incredibly close in just a few months, because everyone makes an effort to get to know people on a deeper level than 'where are you from?' and 'what's your major?' Although it has only been a short time, being apart of this sisterhood has become one of the most important things in my life. 

2. Philanthropy
Gamma Phi Beta's national philanthropy is Girls on the Run. This organization prepares girls to run a 5k, while teaching them life lessons. I've been able to make bracelets, write letters, and even watch the girls begin their run on the day of their 5k all in one semester. I've also been involved with street clean-ups and volunteered at local organizations with my sisters.

3. Role Models
Seeing the achievements of older girls in my chapter has inspired me in ways I never imagined they would. The president of our university's Panhellenic Association is a member of my chapter. I am inspired daily by her and other older members of my chapter. Hearing my great grand big speak about what Gamma Phi means to her, during initiation week, made me so proud to be a part of this organization. 

4. Campus Involvement
Homecoming Week would not have been the same without being in a Greek Organization. The events would not have meant as much to me, and I probably would not have gone to as many of them. I've also had opportunities to attend events like New Member Day, where I learned more about what it means to a sorority women, and get to know new members of other chapters. 

5. Academic Support 
We have mandatory studying hours to make sure we are spending enough time on homework. I've also had older girls use their own time to help me study for tests. It is clear to me that my chapter values learning, it is one of our four core values after all. Members of my class have made an effort to form study groups and we have a group chats for different majors for even more support. 

Today also happens to be Founders Day for Gamma Phi Beta. I am so happy to be celebrating this for the first time ever with my chapter. Being in a sorority has truly meant more to me than I can put into words. If you are starting college next year, I highly recommend that you look into rushing. It's not too late if you are already in college! There are several members of my Fall '15 class that are not freshman, and they are just as welcomed and involved as anyone else!

If you have any questions about Greek Life, feel free to ask me by leaving a comment! I would be happy to answer them to the best of my ability.


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Getting Crafty








On bid day, my crescent sister (who is like a temporary mentor that helps you through the new member process) told me that when you join a sorority the crafting Gods open up the clouds and say "let this girl have crafting abilities." I laughed, but she was right. Honestly, in the last couple months I have spent more time and money on canvases and paint than I have in the rest of my life. I've spent so much time looking through Pinterest for ideas. I always liked doing pinterest-y things but I never had the motivation to finish anything and stuff would just sit in my room half-finished until it found its way to my closet. Now, I can make stuff for other people and I really want to.

So these are a few canvases I've painted recently. I gave the first one to my big right after reveal. I made the "It's Fall Y'all" and the striped one for my dorm. Then, I painted the blue one for my grandbig and gave it to her for initiation. The rest I made for my big and gave them to her for initiation. Side note - I promise I finished the cheetah print, I didn't realize the two spots in the middle weren't finished when I took the photo!

I started tracing the words for my quotes because I'm just not coordinated enough and I could never get words centered. I find fonts on dafont.com and type it out on powerpoint. Then I print it out and stand at my window coloring in the letters on the back of the paper. I tape the paper to the canvas and then shade over the words and it pushes the pencil through so the words are there lightly. I just paint over that after. Nothing is perfect but it works a lot better for me than free handing. I also use modge podge to coat the canvas when I'm done. This just stops the paint from chipping and gives it a smooth finish. It's totally not necessary but it makes me feel better.

If you are looking for more crafting inspiration, I have a whole board on Pinterest, so be sure to follow that!


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Homecoming Recap





Homecoming was just a couple weeks ago, followed by Initiation week! This meant almost no sleep and being super busy every day. College homecoming is so much more intense than it is in high school. So far, homecoming has been one of the best things about being in a sorority. Our theme was Hercules, which I loved. All week, you get to be super involved in campus events and work with your sisters towards one goal. I got to bond with girls in my class and talk to older girls that I had never really had a conversation with. Whether we were painting banners, participating in field day, or pomping until sunrise, it was a great experience. And, we ended up with a pretty awesome float, if you ask me. It can be an extremely stressful week, but you're going to make some of your best college memories during Homecoming.

Tell me about your HC experience in the comments!


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It's Fall Y'all!







Oops, it's been almost a month since my last blog post. I definitely underestimated how much time college would take up. Between classes, sorority, and other organizations, most of my free time is at night. That would be great for writing blog posts, but not so much for taking photos. Thankfully, I was able to go out with my friend Sarah on a Saturday morning and shoot a couple outfits. Hopefully, this will let me get back to regular posting!

The weather in Missouri is so crazy right now. We had a few days in the 50s and 60s but then it goes back up to 80 degrees! All I want is consistent fall weather! I'm headed home this weekend which means I can bring down the rest of my fall and winter wardrobe. Here's to hoping that the weather allows me to wear more scarves and boots though! This outfit is something I would wear to some of my sorority meetings (when we have to dress up). My favorite thing about fall fashion is the layers so I love throwing on a scarf or a jacket to transition an outfit.


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Thanks to Sarah for taking these photos!