Halloweekend

10.29.2011

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{Kristin (senior Memorial Kappa) and I at Owloween}
Trick-or-treating may be strictly reserved for kids under the age of 12, but if anybody gets into Halloween it's college students. So much so that we extend it over a five day period, as celebrations began last Thursday night and continued until last night. So while the days of Dots, stale Tootsie Rolls, sorting through candy and making a secret stash in your pillow case are over, the Halloween spirit is still alive and well. Here's a look at how I spent this past weekend.

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In honor of our shared symbol, the owl, Kappa and Chi-O unite every year for a Halloween party cleverly called Owloween. Here's me as Kate Middleton, Jenna the biker babe, Julie the fairy, and Kate as Strawberry Shortcake before heading downtown to kick off the weekend.

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My date was a fellow Houstonian and now a Fiji at Texas--Charlie. He, of course, was Prince William to coordinate with my Kate costume. I must say, however, that he has a striking resemblance to Harry.

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Cami and her date went as the SNL cheerleaders.

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I wasn't the only one who looked to recent pop culture for a costume idea. Caroline, otherwise known as C. Wall, also went as Miss Middleton. I was jealous of her natural brunette hair color to complete her costume.

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Willa and I inside Puckerhead's--the venue for the evening's festivities

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Me with my favorite Chi Omega girls--Kelly and Maggie

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I finished the night at Fiji at their Halloween party. Merl was a cat, getting the first wear out of her fur vest!

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{kate, me, julie, peyton, elizabeth}
Here is most of our room for next year spending a Friday night downtown at Taverna--a delicious Italian restaurant.

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It was parent's weekend, and even though my parents couldn't make it up, Kate's family kindly adopted me for the weekend.

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Here are P and Eli with their cute moms. We all decided on a mother daughter trip to New Orleans at some point in the next four years, and I can barely wait! I spent Saturday at our annual fall fundraiser--Kappa Cookout celebrating our football victory and becoming that much closer to reaching our goal of building a school in Uganda for Building Tomorrow! (Check out our fundraising page here.) I attended yet another party that night sans costume out of sheer laziness. Needless to say, by the time real Halloween came around, my spirit was running low, so I spent last night detoxing with Merly Whirly.

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Good thing I had these cuties to cover for me!

Spring It On

10.27.2011

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{several pieces from Matthew Williamson's Spring 2012 Ready to Wear collection, all photos courtesy of nymag.com}
When my fetish for fashion comes up among new friends, oftentimes the question of who my favorite designer is arises. Truth is, there isn't one. I have a hard time picking favorites in any category, whether it be a song, book, or movie. I will say, however, that I like to avoid the mainstream. Though Pride and Prejudice will always hold a special place in my heart, I'd never admit to it being my favorite, fearing that it's too much of a typical girlie-girl copout.

This got me to thinking that I really don't know much outside the mainstream fashion designer realm. While watching the Oscars or perusing through department stores, the same names appear: Burberry, Balenciaga, and so on and so forth. So, I did some investigating and found several designers that just might be the Chanels and Diors of our future. And just a warning, these designs are from the New York Fashion Week's Spring Ready to Wear lines, so if the premature Christmas decor rubs you the wrong way, I suggest you read no further.

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Jason Wu is Michelle Obama's main man when it comes to her first lady attire. This middle dress is what caught my attention, and apparently many other girls too as it is going viral on Pinterest. His success in combining structure with elegance makes his designs so versatile. He "takes traditional clothing codes and twists them," without being too flashy. He recognizes this fine line and knows just the right amount to push things--one of his innate gifts as a designer that will take him far. And lastly, his attention to neck detail with pieces that have darling little collars or deep-Vs highlight his open attitude to a range of designs.

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Matthew Williamson nailed it in the color department. If you can successfully combine burnt orange and coral, you've done something right in my book. His ability to use Japanese inspired prints paired with youthful American lines should also be praised. I'd put those turquoise pants and loose blouses in my closet any day.

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Honor is a true newcomer, making its burst on the scene in late 2009, so they deserve a grand round of applause for their line that is the epitome of feminine fluidity. I could see this entire line coming straight out of Blair Waldorf's closet, which is probably why I'm so drawn to it. Polka dots, intricate lace and the collars signify the major way in which ladylike elegance is making its comeback. Her styling is flawless with the adorable loafers and over-the-knee tights that make it seem possible for a lady to be mature while channeling her inner little girl.

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There's no question that Paul Gurung had a penchant for purple while designing this line. I'll admit his stuff may be a little loud for my taste, but there are certain elements that prove noteworthy. His construction makes me rethink old qualifications I use to be a stickler on. I've always sworn against handkerchief hems, but his is actually--dare I say it--pretty! I also love the bleeding colors on his prints. His patent leather and metallic accents teamed with the flowy skirts appeal to the hard and soft side of every girl.

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Peter Som is gettin' all patriotic on us, but it actually works. He incorporates solids, stripes, florals, and houndstooth, without getting too cluttered. Okay, and can we take a moment to point out how breathtaking that cerulean gown is? A tad bit awkward that the middle girl is the only one sporting shades, but we'll ignore that since he pulls off looks that are "cute" rather than "cutesy."

So these may not be total unknowns, but to the general public, these names would not be easily identified. I think it's time they get the recognition they deserve, and I'm sure BOD will soar them to stardom overnight. Y'all can thank me later (in the form of entire collections being sent my way!). Have a fashionable Friday and wonderful Halloween weekend!

Kall Me a Kappa Key

10.24.2011

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Inspiration week, the week leading up to initiation, is Christmas in Greek life.

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On Sunday night, I was feeling under the weather, but was cheered up when I came to find my room decked out in ribbons and bows, candy sprinkled all over my bed, and a note from my mystery big sis. And don't mistake the red and white striped tee for Waldo; it's most def the stripes of the American flag as you'll see here...

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at big sis reveal! Kat and I went to high school together and our entire Kappa family is made of Memorial Mustangs. The rest of the week consisted of dinners and other gatherings all leading up to the big initiation night/day.

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The week concluded with a brunch for our parents to attend to celebrate our transition from pledges to active members.

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Since baby Quinn is only weeks away from her long awaited arrival, Lindsay couldn't make it to initiation. Instead, she sent this gorgeous flower arrangements to congratulate me on becoming a real Kappa key! Now when I get home we can relish in all our secret sharing...

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Just in case I forget what sorority I'm in, I have a few things to remind me! Before our arrival, Hardin emphasized to avoid bringing a lot of T-shirts from home because we would be inundated with Greek gear all first semester. Kat did just that and loaded my bed with fanny packs, crosses, my darling paddle, treats, and an assortment of tshirts to commemorate the occasion.

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So after a long celebratory week, I was happy for a return to normalcy. Merl returned from Vanderbilt after a lovely visit and Kelsey also spent her weekend at initiation affairs. It didn't take long for us to revert back to our silly antics, especially with the help of our little cockroach friend. Turns out three major bugaphobics live in 2A, but Kelsey conquered her fear and exterminated the little guy with the help of her DG paddle. The whole trauma involved lots of 3am shrieking, hairspray, and a mess of a room by the end. Nevertheless, yet another fond (kind of) memory was made in 2A.

Confessions of a Bookworm

10.21.2011

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As Kelsey and I sat on my bed Thursday night, both mesmerized by our Macbooks, she could sense I was in blog mode. I told her, "this is gonna be a deep one," to which she laughed. But it is! Since I've been here, I blog mostly about my weekend affairs or sorority soire├ęs. Rarely do I discuss the major purpose of my being here--furthering my education. So, we're going to fix that problem. Starting right now.

In World Lit, we just finished reading Saint Augustine's Confessions, and I was completely taken by the language. This book, a landmark in Christian literature, is his "tell-all" conversion story. His mind-blowing faith is bound to inspire you in some fashion, even if your own religious background does not resemble his in the slightest.

Almost every page is sprinkled with beautiful insight, but I managed to narrow down my favorites to a select few quotes that struck a chord with me for one reason or another.

contradiction.
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"deeply hidden yet most intimately present, perfection of both beauty and strength, stable and incomprehensible, immutable and yet changing all things"

harmony.
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"The life which we live in this world has its attractiveness because of a certain measure in its beauty and its harmony with all these inferior objects that are beautiful."

friendship...of which there are many
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"Human friendship is a nest of love and gentleness because of the unity it brings about between many souls."

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"That is what we love in friends. We love to the point that the human conscience feels guilty if we do not love the person who is loving us, and if that love is not returned--without demanding any physical response other than the marks of affectionate good will."

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"in the company of my friends: to make conversation, to share a joke, to perform mutual acts of kindness, to read together well-written books, to share in trifling and in serious matters, to disagree though without animosity--just as a person debated with himself--and in the very rarity of disagreement to find the salt of normal harmony, to teach each other something or to learn from one another, to long with impatience for those absent, to welcome them with gladness on their arrival."

agony.
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"Tears and agonies, therefore, are objects of love."

misery vs. mercy.
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"Only, when he himself suffers, it is called misery; when he feels compassion for others, it is called mercy."

wisdom.
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"love and seek and pursue and hold fast and strongly embrace wisdom itself, wherever found."

time.
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"Time is not inert. It does not roll on through our senses without affecting us. Its passing has remarkable effects on the mind."

pure & simple.
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"Gasping under their weight I could not breathe the pure and simple breeze of your truth."

triumph.
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"The greater the danger in the battle, the greater the joy in the triumph."

love.
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"Let us love, let us run."

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"I am in love with loving."

Our second formal essay is due tomorrow, but I've found that writing a paper becomes less of a pain and more of a pleasure when the text is inundated with such brilliance. Though it may be most commonly labeled as a love story between Augustine and God, Confessions is just as much an ode to language, beauty and intellect. For that reason, I'm certain anyone can find the beauty in this book. So, consider this one of BOD's first formal book reviews; as you may have guessed, Confessions comes highly recommended.

Monochromatic Memories

10.20.2011

I intended to do this post months ago, but I suppose packing got ahold of my time. But better late than never, right? I remembered this post plan yesterday as I was rearranging a few things in my dorm.

If there's one thing that people comment on in my area of the room (other than the awkward gap I had between my bed and the wall which now ceases to exist...thank goodness!) it's the photo display above my bed. With a photo collection as extensive as mine, I knew I'd have to concoct some creative way of displaying all my high school memories, and eventually all the college ones to come. So in lieu of the typical bulletin board, I got a little crafty and with the help of my mom, created this pin board that never fails to lift my spirits after a long day. So here's my little DIY post for it:

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The first step was selecting a bright color to spray paint the cardboard insert which came from a large frame. This bright blue seemed to be the perfect backdrop for my black and white memories.

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Next order of business was arranging the photos, which you got a little preview of in this post.

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Before inserting the freshly painted backdrop, we attached wire onto the tacks on the interior of the frame, creating a line for the pictures to hang on.

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The biggest trick was finding something to attach the pictures to the wire. After a failed trip to The Container Store and Target, we found these darling miniature white clothes pins.

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Voila! Here she is in all her crafty glory.