Friday, January 27, 2017

5 reasons I'm most thankful for my sorority

In the fall of 2009 I was initiated into Kappa Alpha Theta. Today we celebrate 147 years of sisterhood. I think it's impossible for our founders (shout out to Bettie, Bettie, Hannah, and Alice!) to have realized at the time what they were creating in founding the first greek letter organization for woman. I know Greek Life isn't for everyone, but for me it was everything. I honestly would not be the woman I am today had I not joined my house. In honor of our Founders Day I wanted to share the 5 reasons I'm most thankful for my sorority

1. My freshman year I got lost in the library late one night doing research for a term paper, after that I was terrified to go back except for a stop at the Starbucks. But my sophomore year I had to help monitor our study hours in the library and forced to go back. I'm so glad I did because I overcame my fear and discovered a truly great study spot. I wouldn't have gotten through exams my junior year had it not been for the study rooms in the library.

2. I lived in my sorority house for three years, and those were probably the best three years of my life. I cannot even explain how fun it was to live with a houseful of my sisters, and to do it three times with three different sets of girls was beyond a blessing. There was always someone there to do whatever you wanted from morning workouts at the gym to late night Taco Bell runs. Plus that's probably the only time in my I'll have a maid and kitchen staff whipping up three meals a day.

3. I held three different offices in my sorority : Jr. Panhellenic delegate, Chief Marketing Officer, and President. The leadership skills I acquired while fulfilling these roles are too numerous to name. I will forever be thankful that my sisters believed in me enough to trust me with these important rolls, especially when I didn't believe in myself.

4. One thing we liked to say was "it's not four years, it's for life," and meeting alumni was such a great example of that. Theta is not huge in Mississippi, when I pledged I only knew one family friend who was an alumni sister. But one thing I loved, and what really sparked my initial interest, was how huge of an alumni base we have across the country. One of my favorite things was to see who would wonder into our tailgates on football weekends. It was always fun to have alumni both from our chapter and whoever we were playing, but it was even more fun when active sisters from other chapters would stop in and say hello!

5. Being in a sorority had it's obvious on campus perks like fun t-shirts and parties, but there were so many off campus perks too. The summer before my senior year I got to attend our national convention in Arizona and meet sisters from all over. It was a great bonding experience with the other leaders from my chapter and so fun to meet alumni who were representing their alumni chapters, including the mother of one of our house boys! I also got to visit Washington DC and lobby on Capitol Hill because of Theta. It was so eye opening to see another part of the political process in person and something very few people will ever have the chance to do. Another cool experience was I got to contribute to our Fraternity Blog after a blog post I wrote about hazing went viral. It went viral in part because of so many Thetas across the globe sharing it.

Were you in a sorority? What was your favorite part?

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Out West Wednesday : Winter Driving Essentials

Last winter I didn't have a car; I rode the bus everywhere. Only being able to get around on a set schedule wasn't ideal, but not driving did have its perks. One major perk being I didn't have to learn to drive in the snow. Growing up in the South driving in snow was never something we touched on in drivers ed classes. But this winter, thanks to a promotion at work that came with a coveted parking spot, I have my car again. I am by no means a winter driving expert, but I have picked up these few essential tips.

1. The most important lesson I've learned about driving in the winter is "the break is not your friend." When you're sliding it's an automatic reaction to slam on the break, but breaks just don't work that way in the winter. Pumping your breaks work, but nothing works as well as just taking it slow and remembering you're not in a race. It's easy to add more speed, but slowing down isn't as easy.

2. The second most important lesson I've learned is to always give yourself lots of space. Because you can't just slam on your breaks it's essential to make sure you have room to slide and not hit the next car. This is especially true on round-a-bouts.

3. I drive I70 daily, one of America's most dangerous roads. Luckily I haven't gotten stuck when it closes, but that's a very real fear of mine. I always make sure to never let my tank get below a quarter full and keep a blanket, some Gatorades, and pretzels just incase it closes and I have to spend time in my car waiting for it to reopen. I live less than 10 miles from work, but have to go through a pretty sketch section of curves that are just begging for someone to crash.

4. When I bought my car back in May the most important features I wanted were heated seats and remote start. Every morning I'm so thankful I stuck to my guns and insisted I get those bells and whistles. The remote start saves me having to scrape ice off my windshield daily. I start it from the comfort of my house wait about 15 minutes and go out to a toasty warm car and melted windshield that my wipers can easily handle.

What tips do you have for driving in the winter?

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Monday, January 16, 2017

favorite people to follow on snapchat

Last week I shared some of my favorite Instagram accounts, so I thought this week I'd share some of my favorite snapchat accounts. While I still consider Instagram my favorite form of social media I really think Snapchat is going to continue to develop and have a huge impact. You know Snapchat is on to something because Instagram keeps trying to imitate it. But I stand firm on the belief that the butterfly filter is the worst thing to happen to social media ever. Honestly a lot of people annoy me on snapchat and I'll just skip their stories totally, but never these ladies.

@brightonkeller - Brighton is probably my favorite person to follow on snapchat. She doesn't overuse annoying filters which is a huge one for me. I always feel like she's talking to me and not at me which I love

@cblied - Kathleen is one of those people who thinks she's funny and actually is. She's not above using the filters that make you look ridiculous, not just the ones that make you look flawless. Plus she's a fellow Mississippi girl living out west

@summerwind41490 - Sydney always shares the best songs that she's loving. I also love that her snaps are short and to the point. She never drags on and on holding entire conversations over 15 different snaps

@hill_goodfellow - yes I obviously had to include myself. I snap mostly snowy scenery and whatever I'm cooking

Who's your favorite to follow on snapchat? Leave me your name so I can follow along too!

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Friday, January 13, 2017

five questions for you

Remember when everyone in Blog Land did Friday Five and you just basically posted a list of 5 random things? I sometimes miss those early easy days of blogging, so I'm bringing it back this week. Today's Friday Five is five questions I have for you.

Because what says Friday more than cinnamon rolls!?

1. What's a good winter neutral nail polish? I haven't been keeping my nails painted and I think it's because I haven't found a color I love. All the colors I usually wear (white and pink) seem too much like warm weather colors. What's your current favorite shade?

2. What's a good overnight face moisturizer? Winter in the mountains is not playing around when it comes to drying out your skin. I always lather lotion on my legs and arms before bed but lately I've been thinking I want something on my face too. I have a great day moisturizer I use, but that has an SPF that I'd feel silly putting on before bed.

3. What are you watching on Netflix? I need a new good show to watch. I'm currently rewatching Gilmore Girls but I only have a few more episodes to go until I've finished the series again. My smart tv makes it so easy to watch Netflix in bed and I like to fall asleep while watching something.

4. What's your favorite easy recipe? I've really been enjoying cooking more meals but I've realized I've almost reached my limit on easy I know how to make by heart dishes. While I'm super excited to try some fun recipes from my new cookbook, I need some more easy, minimal ingredient meals I can throw together after working all day.

5. What's your current favorite song? I need some new tunes to make a new playlist to listen to while I'm writing posts or doing housework. All Christmas season I only listened to the Christmas station in the car so I miss out on all the new music from the middle of November until now. What's new that you're loving? Or old and loving again?

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Monday, January 9, 2017

Favorite Instagram Accounts

I am a huge fan of Instagram. I'd even go so far as to say it's my favorite form of social media, and I firmly believe the iPhone update that included the square shape as a way to take photos was the best thing to ever happen. While I love posting and thinking of witty captions and the best hashtags to use I actually love looking at others' photos more. I love accounts for lots of different reasons. Some inspire me with new creative ideas, some let me pretend I live a life much more exotic and exciting than I do, and some just make me feel happy. Today I wanted to share a few of my favorite accounts with you.

@celebsonsandwiches - This is exactly what it sounds like, a twitter account totally of drawings of celebrities on sandwiches.

@katethewasp - Okay in all honestly kate the wasp is one of my favorite everythings. Kate if you're reading this let's grab cake pops and wine next time you're in Beaver Creek

@buzzfeedtasty - Because there's nothing than a food account mixed in with all those perfectly curated blogger feeds.

@chrissyteigen - Chrissy is that celebrity that even though she's totally famous you feel like she's one of your closet girlfriends. Her husband is hot. Her baby is adorable. And her body is banging.

And last but not least : @salsatheblog (obviously had to include my own!)

Who are some of your favorite Instagram accounts

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Friday, January 6, 2017

Theme for January : Planning makes Perfect

Since I opted out of doing a word of the year for 2017 I decided to instead pick a theme each month. It's kinda the same idea of having a word, but allows a little more freedom within that. Each month I'll pick a new theme depending on what I think I most want to achieve that month.

I've decided my theme for January is "planning makes perfect." I want to really strive to use my agenda all month to plan everything. Plan my blog posts, plan my meals, plan my house chores, plan my workouts, and plan my errands. Planning everything out ahead of time will help me stay more accountable to doing everything I want. Just because something isn't planned doesn't mean I can't do it, but I think having the must dos planned out will allow time for more spontaneous fun want to dos!

What are your tips to planning ahead? Do you use an agenda or use another way?
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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

10 things I want to do in 2017

I'm not big on New Year's resolutions, and have totally steered clear of them the past few years opting  instead for a "word of the year." But this year I decided to switch things up and go back to the tradition of having a resolution. I finished my big 50 in 500 list back in July and have wanted to make another one, but honestly couldn't come up with 50 things to put on it. So this is my solution; 10 things I want to do in 2017.

1. Save $1000
2. Join a club/organization/networking group
3. Find a workout routine I can stick with
4. Start writing professionally again
5. Ski a green run
6. Get 1000 Instagram followers
7. Blog consistently
8. Visit a new city
9. Cook more meals
10. Read 6 books

I'm most excited about number nine. If you remember, one of the things I most wanted this year for Christmas was Cravings, the cook book from Chrissy Teigen. Well my sister reads here and gave it to me; I was so excited when I opened it I almost cried. I can't wait to cook my way through it. This year I want to find some signature dishes that I can make. I'm tired of dinner at home being Lean Cuisines or frozen veggies thrown into garlic butter pasta.

What do you want to do in 2017?

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