Fall Fantasy

8.31.2011

I'll be the first to tell you that I'm jaded by all this weather talk. Whether it concerns the heat, the lack of rain, or the unseemly amount of sweat your body is producing, it's getting tiresome. The constant reminder from all this conversation does not ease the blazing temperatures, but the fact remains that it consumes our thoughts because it is just that overwhelming. I spent the better part of my summer in Houston in the comfort of an air-conditioned office or my home. But here, I spend a significant amount of time outdoors whether it be walking from sorority house to sorority house for rush or now from class to class. Needless to say, I have never been so anxious for the turn of the seasons: for cozy sweaters, for my Starbucks order not to be on the rocks, and to reacquaint myself with my jeans. I am no fool, though; I realize this fantasy of chilly mornings and breezes is far off, so these clothing fantasies are going to tide me over for now. My hope is that they serve a similar purpose for you.

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I used to think oversized cardigans were only meant for wearing in the comfort of your own home. These days, I think it's a more sophisticated (and more comfortable) take on leggings and a t-shirt.

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I'm head over heels for this color combination of navy blue and rich coffee bean brown, especially with these contrasting textures.

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For footwear, I'm fixated on loafers for fall. A nice alternative to the classic flat and/or riding boot. J. Crew, of course, has a splendid collection to choose from.

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Mollie purchased a mint blazer from TopShop in New York and it instantly makes her mature beyond her years. Pastels are normally reserved for springtime, but I'd like to think the transition period from summer to fall is an appropriate time to get one last wear out of that pink bag, straw flats, and anything that's a shade of mint.

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Polka dots are all the rage, and I am all for it. I love these oversized blouses and the unconventional pairings with denim and army-colored jeans or the leopard print bag. It adds funk to an otherwise purely feminine vibe.

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It's time to pop your collars, ladies. As a button-down connoisseur, you know I can't stow them away until spring. Instead, I'm looking forward to layering them with cozy and colorful knits.

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I'm a sucker for a long coat, but something excites me about the idea of a shorter length coat. Same elegance just without all the extra baggage you may not need in a mild Texas winter.

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Contrastly, I would love to see the long length trend with maxis to carry through the fall.

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And when pants just won't do, I can't wait to wear frilly patterned skirts with subtle tights like the ivory ones seen on this model.

The summer months have been swell, but I think it is time to bid adieu to the sweltering sun and welcome back the things that have suddenly become strangers in my life like hoodies, hot cocoa, and hand mittens.

Sounds of Home

8.30.2011

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Research has indicated that of the five senses, smell is the most powerful memory trigger. I can attest to the truth of this: the smell of freshly baked Tiff's Treats delivered to Hardin evokes a rush of memories of my mom baking sweets late in the evening. But, when I'm really needing a fix of home to cure a case of homesick heartache, I turn to my music. Shutting out all the other noise and putting on my favorite music reminds me of the comfort of home every time without fail. To commemorate this, here's what I've been listening to lately, with my five favorites bolded as per usual.

Hear Me Out -Frou Frou
You and I -Lady Gaga
You Make Me Feel... -Cobra Starship feat. Sabi
Lollipop Dreams -My Sick Uncle
Cheers (Drink To That) -Rihanna
Pro Nails (Tempr remix) -Kid Sister feat. Kanye West
Call of the Wild -Florrie
Stereo Hearts -Gym Class Heroes feat. Adam Levine
Giving Up On Love -Slow Club
Bounce -Calvin Harris feat. Kelis
Sunrise -The Cataracs & Dev
Club Love -The Cataracs
Turnt 4 Da Weekend -The Cataracs
Dreams Like Oceans -Meg & Dia


Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones
Domino -Jessie J

Repeat -David Guetta feat. Jessie J

Us (Me and Mrs. Officer) -My Sick Uncle

Summer Nights -Florrie

Headlines -Drake

It's comforting to know that little pieces of home, like my music, are always with me. The many high school friends I have here with me and the pictures that illustrate all my favorite memories make Austin seem more like home as well. And of course, the fact that all of my loved ones are a text, email, or skype date away makes for a huge difference when dealing with separation anxiety!

Work & Play

8.28.2011

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I wish I could say that I've made a seamless transition into adulthood, but that's just not the case. I'm willing to admit that the accommodations here at Hardin aren't exactly those of independent living with our full service meal plan, weekly laundry service, and regular housekeeping. Nevertheless, I am gaining daily life lessons on how to live a balanced adult life. And the first juggling act--one that I would guess all college students deal with--is balancing work and play.

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In my former years of education, the school district always provided us with a handy dandy planner. The sad truth is I never put that thing to use and always relied solely on my memory as my aid to organizing my life. Though this probably wasn't the wisest of choices, it really wasn't all that difficult when life at home was fairly routine: school from 8-3 Monday through Friday and then weekends were spent socializing. Moreover, everyone around you was pretty much on the same clock, taking the same tests, and attending the same birthday dinner that weekend.

Here, though, we're taking different amounts of hours, we go to class in buildings football fields apart (literally), and our sororities and other extra curriculars have entirely different agendas.

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So, with my first official college weekend under my belt, here's how I spent my weekend before the onset of school stress seriously kicks in:

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Friday night I went to the SAE pledge line with some fellow KKG sistas.

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And Saturday was another pledge line but for Kappa Sig -- another popular choice for Memorial boys this year. But a dinner with new girlfriends came first.

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{left to right: Maggie, Elizabeth, Kelly, Julianne and Taylor}
We went to Mandola's Italian Market in the Triangle. I have been several times with family when visiting Erin, and it never seems to disappoint so it seemed like a safe (and close) bet.

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We're still on sorority highs. Kelly and Maggie are Chi Os together, seen here displaying their owl pride!

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{roommates Elizabeth and Kelly}
From what I've heard through the grapevine, everyone is getting along famously with their roommates. No traumatic stories yet. I know I'm already besties with mine!

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But it's nice to have lots of familiar faces surrounding me who know even the weirdest facets of my personality.

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Kappa Sig had a pledge line on Saturday and I was one of my high school friend Chase's five dates.

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Though the pictures on Facebook of the rowdy pep rallies and the red and white blurs in the crowd at the football games are making me a bit nostalgic for my days at MHS (we beat Stratford 14-0 by the way!), I still have more than just a few fellow stangs nearby!

Oh and about that balancing act. I'll post on that whole school thing soon; I haven't gotten a good enough feel for my classes for a thorough report just yet, but I did write my first college paper tonight! Here's to another great week!

Keeping Up with the Kappas

8.26.2011

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The amount of words that would have to be written to cover the past week and a half would be enough to form a medium-length novel. My blogging habits have been terrible, I'll admit, but don't make that any indication of what the next four years will be like. Never have I ever been so busy, struggling to find time for sleep, meals, and even breathing. In any event, I guess you could say there have been two highlights ever since my move to the Texas capital: becoming a Kappa key and starting school. And since my mind needs a break from textbooks, The Odyssey and syllabi (yes, already), I'm going to make my formal return to BOD with the Cliffsnotes version of the path that led me to be a KKG!

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Hardin House saw more tears than should be allowed over the course of the five days of rush (which by the way seemed more like five weeks). Awkward eating schedules, lack of sleep, heat exhaustion, pangs of homesickness, confusion, and mixed emotions led to meltdown after meltdown in this all girl dormitory. But, we had each other (old friends and new) to lean on and for the occasional pep talk since we were all experiencing similar emotions.

a brief daily recap:
day one) We visited all thirteen houses receiving fancy-shmancy water at each house as we sported the oh-so-stylin' ensemble of khakis, a pink Panhellenic tee and tennies. We looked so ridic walking throughout the campus like little clones.
day two/three) We learned about each sorority's philanthropy organizations through skits, dances, and the like. Oh, and we drank lots of lemonades and fruity drinks. Upgrading from the H20!
day four) Usually remarked as the best event of rush, skit night is when each house reveals their humor and personality to help each girl determine whether or not they would feel at home with the group.
And day five was pref night where it was time to whip out the LBDs. We walked along the drag and ran from house to house in our stilettos. Okay, I wore stilettos because I'm dumb; most girls were smart enough to avoid 5+ inch heels. But, all was worth it in the end when we got to celebrate with our new sisters!

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{new sisters Lexi and Clara celebrate becoming Chi Omegas together}
We all simultaneously opened our bid cards in an auditorium, and as the envelopes broke loose so did shrieks and smiles as we all searched for our nearest sister to celebrate with.

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One of my favorite new friends from Westlake here in Austin, Martha Lauren, proudly holding our bid cards.

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Once I made my way to the Kappa house, Kat greeted me with a hug and a bag of KKG goodies. She was a year older than me at Memorial and I can barely wait to be sisters!

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And two of my favorite senior Kappas: Kristin (left) is my good friend Chase's sister and Ellie (right) is my cousin, though both feel like family. They have always been so hospitable to me when I came up to Austin and have made me feel so much better during this hectic college transition.

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And a new older friend Riley whom I adore!

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Cami was in my rush group and I couldn't be happier that we ended up in the same pledge class.

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Two of my fellow Mem Highers that became Kappas with me--Nicole on the left and Courtney on the right.

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Another senior who goes back four years with me as one of my favorite Young Life leaders and Memorial cheerleaders. Kaitlyn is also our pledge trainer so our class will be lucky enough to see lots of her!

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It's funny to find all the odd connections you have with the people the end up in your pledge class. Some almost roommates, some childhood friends, and in this case, Caroline and I were in the same SAT prep course junior year.

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Patricia and I met at orientation and were in the same rush group and are now sissies.

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So, here we are: the UT Kappa Kappa Gamma pledge class of 2011. Or is it 2015? Regardless, we couldn't be more excited and I look forward to sharing all of our good times on BOD. Love you all!

I Have Arrived!

8.19.2011

I wish I had the time and the energy to do a full-fledged dorm room post, but that's just not the case. With this little window of free time I do have, however, I'll share this one quick photo of my end of the room:

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It's not much, but I hope it frees you from a tiny bit of curiosity. Once I establish a routine here, I can set aside some blog time. Oh, and yes, I'm loving it here already!

Impeccable Timing

8.15.2011

Timing really is everything, and college has come with impeccable timing. Houston and I have had a lovely eighteen years together, but a change of pace is certainly in order. When I drive down Echo Lane, MHS doesn't feel like home anymore when I see the new football team practically melt in the sun and the faces just aren't all that familiar anymore. And the Memorial bubble is becoming emptier every day as friends leave one by one heading in each and every direction for the next stage of their lives. And I'm next in line.

As a tribute to my past two years spent blogging, I thought it was only appropriate that my final post from my Houston hub be a little bit of all my favorite things to blog about...good eats, music and fashion.

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These brownies made of ooey gooey deliciousness (Barefoot knows best when it comes to brownies) will be making the trip to Austin as a treat for Erin, Jason and Sam who are lending a hand in the move-in process.

A new favorite song to make the road trip pass a little quicker.

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And my new cozy denim tee. After an extensive search for the perfect style, cut, and wash, it's not much of a surprise that J. Crew fit all of my qualifications.

As for BOD, the timing is also perfect. I find myself with not much else to say here. But I have no doubts that the onset of my college days will quickly change that. That's a recent FAQ I get: "will you continue to blog in college?" But of course! This is when all the fun begins anyway, right? So here's to the end of one era and the start of another. Hook 'em!