Friday, September 22, 2017

My Chic Week: September 15-21

Who else is so excited that it's Friday? Even though I only had one test this week, it still was just a crazy and hectic week with everything. It was definitely "one of those weeks" if you know what I mean haha! Thankfully, it's the weekend and I have an exciting few weeks coming up with big/little reveal next week and my first Theta semi-formal!

I had a test in one of my classes Friday morning but thankfully that was the hardest part of my day. I grabbed lunch with a few girls in my math class and then had my education class.

One of my sweet hall mates and I hung out Friday afternoon as usual and wound up ordering Tigers to Go (pretty much Uber Eats for Clemson) for dinner. We didn't read all of the menu though and our sandwiches came with a lot more stuff on them than expected so we wound up going to the dining hall for dinner instead and then watching a movie.

Clemson had an away game last weekend so I went out to brunch with Ashley of A Little Ashley, who is actually one of my sorority sisters! It was so fun to have brunch as we briefly met on Bid Day but we were able to talk all about recruitment as she was a Pi Chi (recruitment counselor) this year and then about blogging of course!

After brunch, I worked on homework for a bit before a few of my hall mates and I had dinner at Moe's. We wound up watching the game in my hallmates's room, which was so much fun!

Sunday morning, I slept in before going to Church and then a meeting for Theta. Our meetings take up most of Saturday afternoon as we have our new member meeting and then chapter so after I had dinner with one of the girls in my pledge class. I always like to call home on Sunday afternoons so I did that before finishing up some homework and getting to bed early.

Monday morning was fairly routine with classes and spending time in the library and then I did my laundry and worked on some homework in the afternoon. My sorority has a Bible Study at one of the coffee shops in Clemson so that was fun and a great way to get to know other people in my sorority.

My dress for semi-formal came on Monday and to say I'm obsessed is an understatement

Tuesday was a fairly normal day too but my sociology class ended early since we had a test Thursday, which was unexpected but nice. I actually wound up catching up with Riley over the phone, which is always a great way to make your day!

Wednesday was my craziest day this week as I had my usual classes and then my lab for my Biology class started. I also was studying every chance I could in between haha!

What we did for part of my lab: #JustElementaryEdThings

Thankfully, we had our first Theta mixer that night so it was a great way to have fun after a crazy day! Our theme was Dream Jobs or "What you would be without your degree" so I was a baker after finding a hat and apron at the Dollar Store haha!

I had a test on Thursday so most of my day was spent studying for that in between classes. I had my first class at 11 and one of the girls in my class invited me out to lunch, which was a great little study break. I then spent some more time in the library and then took my test, which hopefully went well.

I had a meeting for one of the organizations I'm looking to get involved and then a PAL date for Theta before getting some homework done.

On my Radar:

1.  FAMILY WEEKEND! My family comes into town this afternoon and I am so excited! I haven't seen them since move-in over a month ago so I'm excited for them to visit so I can show them more of Tiger Town and for their first Clemson football game in Death Valley!

2. Vineyard Vines just redesigned their Shep Shirts so I think I may need to test one out!

3. Obsessed with how Cara styled this outfit

4. I found this article about 50 Royal Baby Traditions so interesting

5. Loved reading about Dorothy's Sunday Routine

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Organization Tips for the New School Year

Even though we're about a month into school, I still feel like we're at the start of the new school year. Most of my classes are starting to have their first tests, making college feel a bit more "real" than before.

I have always loved organization and I always feel like the new school year is the perfect time to get it together and get organized. I've always been pretty organized (my friends in high school said I was the "organized one") so I figured I would share some of my go-to tips to help your school year get off on an organized note (even if school started a month ago like mine haha!)

image via my Instagram

Use an Agenda
My agenda is definitely my holy grail when it comes to being organized. It sounds a bit dramatic but I don't know if I could survive without it. It keeps track of everything and anything: tests that are coming up, meetings, my to-do list, the list goes on and on. I will be sharing a bit more about my agenda on the blog soon but I use the Day Designer and love it!

Find your "system"
Whether it's a binder for every class or a notebook with a folder, finding what works best for you is so helpful in making sure you stick with it. I've found that binders work best for me so I like to have a binder for each one of my classes and then add my notes and everything else into it!

Add all of your key dates at the start of the semester
Usually professors will include all the dates of assignments and tests in your syllabus, which is great as you know when everything will be at the start of the semester. One thing I did that I found really helpful was to put all of these dates into my agenda and calendar (I use both!) so that way I can see what is coming up and not forget about anything.

Keep your downloads folder clean
I believe this only applies to anyone who has a Mac computer or laptop but I know my downloads folder fills up quickly and simply becomes messy. I try to stay on top of this by putting the item into a folder on my desktop that works or by putting it into the trash can (and then clearing the trash to free up space on my computer)

Never go to bed with a messy space
This makes me sound somewhat crazy but I hate going to bed with a messy room as the mess tends to pile up and I never want to clean it up (haha). Making sure the mess is put away makes sure that the mess doesn't get bigger and who doesn't love to wake up to a clean room?

Make a big to-do list for each day
Each morning (usually in the library after my first class of the day), I like to make a big list of everything I want to accomplish in the day from homework to doing my laundry to various items for the blog. This helps me manage my time better as I know what I want/need to get done. Obviously, you can't always do everything, so letting some items go over to the next day's list is totally okay!

Find time to tidy up your notes/binders/notebooks each day
I know sometimes I'll receive a handout during class that needs to be hole punched or need to restock a binder with loose leaf for the next day. Tidying your binders/notebooks/folders/etc. every day helps you be prepared for class the next day and makes sure everything you need is in one place (rather than your test being crumpled up at the bottom of your backpack or whatever it may be).

Be aware of what is in your backpack
I know backpacks tend to pile up with messes and become disaster zones before you even know it. Stay on top of this by tidying at the end of each day to make sure that it doesn't become overwhelming and full of clutter.

Keep your inbox at 0
My email inbox can get crazy quick and keeping it at zero emails helps me keep it under control. This helps me respond to emails somewhat more quickly and I love how much cleaner my inbox feels without a million and one emails in it.

What are your go-to organization tips? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

College Tour Essentials

Tour groups are in full swing here at Clemson, something I've noticed walking to class or around campus. It feels like just yesterday that I was touring colleges and trying to figure out where to go yet also like that I have been a Clemson student forever.

Anyways, I figured I would share some of the items that I found while I was touring colleges. My high school did college tours for us each spring so I had a lot of experience touring school (I wound up touring like 25 before making my decision). I know fall is a time where you start thinking of doing various college tours as seniors are applying to various colleges and juniors feel like college is a lot closer in their future.

Comfortable Shoes- At most schools, you'll do a lot of walking (just prepping y'all for college haha) and comfortable shoes make this so much easier. After all, you don't want to remember a school from blisters from your shoes or how uncomfortable it was walking around campus.

A Pen- Whether you want to jot down some notes or fill out an information card for the admissions office, it's super helpful to keep a pen in your bag. Definitely something small but so helpful!

A Tote Bag- I've always loved bigger bags as I'm Type A and they give me room to bring everything I could possibly need with me but they are especially helpful for college tours as you can fit all the items you need for the day as well as any items the college may give you. I know Clemson gives you a folder with a few flyers so it's nice to be able to put that into your bag and not have to carry it around the whole tour.

A Water Bottle- Like I said earlier, you're probably going to be doing a lot of walking so you'll want to bring a water bottle for your tour (especially if it's still hot out). Plus, a lot of schools have water bottle fillers to use throughout campus.

Sunglasses- Definitely not something you need, but something that will help your tour go a lot more smoothly. I usually don't leave the house without my sunglasses but I definitely recommend bringing them along on a college tour.

Something to take Notes with- Whether this is your phone, your agenda, or a notebook, you'll want to take notes during or after your tour. At a lot of schools, you'll go to an information session before your tour and it's helpful to write down a few key points (GPA/SAT/ACT requirements, deadlines for admissions, acceptance rate, etc.). I would also write down any questions and email those to your admissions counselor later.

After your tour, I recommend writing notes on what you liked or didn't liked about your tour or the campus. I found this really helpful early on in the early search process as it helped me decide what I wanted (and didn't want) in my future college.

An Outfit with Layers- Right now in South Carolina, it will be chilly in the morning but roasting in the afternoon. Layers are so important as you'll be able to adjust your outfit to what the weather is like throughout the day. My go-to was a dress with a cardigan and sandals or jeans and a top with a cardigan (like in the picture above, which was taken January of my junior year).

An Umbrella- As much as we would all love every college tour to be perfectly sunny, it does rain so it's helpful to be prepared for that. I usually keep an umbrella in my car so if you're heading out on a college tour, throw one into your car just in case!

If you're looking for more blog posts related to the college application process, be sure to read the following posts: College Tours: The Questions to Ask (one of my most popular blog posts to this day!) ⎢Tips for Starting the College Search Process ⎢The Big Announcement! ⎢My College Application Experience ⎢Things to Do Before School Begins to Prepare for the College Application Process

What are some of your college tour essentials? Let me know in the comments!

Monday, September 18, 2017

10 Things You Don't Know About Me

Every once and a while, I love sharing a "getting to know me" type of a blog post. Maybe it's just me being nosey and loving this kind of a post on other blogs but I think they're so fun.

In the first few weeks of college, I've been asked to share a fun fact so many times whether in the first week of classes or in Welcome Week activities. While these aren't exactly fun facts, they are still kind of fun things you probably don't know about me, even if you've been reading the blog for a while.

1. My dog and I share the same birthday.
We were both born on April 14 and it's so fun but random!

2. I've always wanted to be a teacher.
I'm currently majoring in Elementary Education here at Clemson and would love to teach in an elementary school after graduation. I've wanted to be a teacher since elementary school (I actually wanted to be a teacher by day/fashion designer by night?) but decided it was the perfect fit for me in high school.

3. I was obsessed with every TLC show regarding weddings when I was younger.
Say Yes to the Dress, Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta, Four Weddings, I seriously watched them all. I love weddings and still love to pin wedding related everything over on my Pinterest.

4. My mom and I have the same monogram
We both have the monogram kMa and actually have the same middle name (Alyssa). I love sharing this with my mom and would love to share my monogram with my daughter someday.

5. I am seriously the world's slowest Netflix-er.
My friends from high school love to make fun of me for this one but I take like 3x the time of a normal person to watch a show. It took me a year to watch Gossip Girl and like a year and a half to watch One Tree Hill. I'm currently watching Grey's and I'm only on season 3- I sometimes just forget to watch!

6. I can't do a cartwheel
I did gymnastics for like a year in elementary school (good thing that didn't work out as I'm 5'7...) and figured it out then but have since lost the ability to do a cartwheel.

7. Or snap
Fun fact: we had to snap in our Kindergarten "graduation" ceremony for one of our songs and I couldn't figure it. I wound up faking it and have been faking it ever since (especially an issue being in a sorority)

8. I am a weirdly picky eater.
I'm pretty particular about what I will eat as I don't like a lot of food on top of each other. Like I don't like fruit on top of my pancakes or anything on my hamburger (except honey mustard!). I like my food to be simple as weird as that sounds and always make sure to clarify that whenever I eat out!

9. I'm the oldest of three siblings. And the oldest of the grandchildren on both sides of my family.
I have a younger brother and a younger sister and then six younger cousins. So I've always been the oldest! 

10. My favorite place is Kiawah Island, South Carolina.
I say all the time that I would love to get married and own a second home there as it is seriously the most gorgeous and dreamy place ever!

Do we share any of these fun facts? Let me know in the comments!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Weekend Reading

Happy Saturday y'all! I have this surprise weekend blog post going up for y'all as I had two My Chic Week posts go up this week- I wanted to keep y'all updated on what Ive been up to but didn't want yesterday's MCW to be a million years long. I decided to share my On my Radar section of my MCW posts in a Weekend Reading so hopefully that works for y'all.

As for this weekend, I'm grabbing brunch at one of Clemson's favorite spots that I haven't been to yet and have sorority meetings tomorrow. And probably doing some homework at some point too! If you have any fun plans, I would love to hear so let me know in the comments!

1. Did you hear the news? Kate and Will are expecting Baby #3! My roomie and I had a poll going on the white board on whether it's going to a boy or a girl and boy won (although I think it will be a girl!).

2. I think that I definitely need to try Grace's Summer Beauty Reset soon!

3. This outfit looks so chic on Kate

4. I have my first Theta semi-formal in less than two weeks so I ordered this dress from Tuckernuck and I'm so excited for it to arrive

5. Samantha's dorm room is gorgeous and absolutely looks like something outside of a magazine

6. My friend Annaliese (who has the coolest job as a radio personality) shared a post all about why you hear certain songs on the radio, which I think is so interesting! My family actually talked about this when Annaliese visited our lake house in New York over the summer so it was fun to read in a blog post

7. Is it weird how much I love Caitlin's pantry! Organization goals there y'all

8. J. Crew has been killing it with their sweaters so far this season! My favorites are this ruffle cashmere sweater, this lavender sweater with drawstring sleeves, this cashmere v-neck, and this sweater with striped detailing

9. I love the Everygirl for articles all about wellness and this one about 20 easy things you can to improve your life is definitely a good one!

10. Since I just participated in sorority recruitment here at Clemson, I thought this article on Town & Country about sorority rush consultants was so interesting

What do y'all have planned for the weekend? Let me know in the comments!

Friday, September 15, 2017

My Chic Week: September 8-14

Happy Friday! This week was felt super long and short at the same time (which totally makes sense...) as we had two days off because of the hurricane. Thankfully, Clemson wasn't impacted as much as other areas of the country (praying for those it did affect!).

Fridays are usually a busy day for me as I have class from 9 to 2:15 (with breaks in between). After class ended, I wound up hanging out with a bunch of the girls on my hall and then my roomie and I went out to dinner in downtown Clemson for a low-key Friday night.

Saturday was another home football game but the game wasn't till 7 PM so I was able to sleep in and get breakfast with my roomie before tailgating and going to the game.

The National Championship Trophy and I!

We played Auburn and it was such a fun game. I wound up sitting next to one of my sorority sisters (who was in my Pi Chi group too!) and then one of the girls on my hall!

Sunday morning, I went to Church with my roommate and a friend and then we went to Publix afterwards. We have our new member meetings and then chapter for Theta on Sundays so that took up a good chunk of my afternoon.

After chapter, I went to dinner with a friend and then sat on the porch of my residence hall to call my family, which is always a good part of my day!

They let us know Sunday night that we weren't going to have class on Monday so a bunch of the girls on my floor hung out in my next-door neighbor's dorm, which was so much fun.

This was the sunset from my friend's room on Sunday- I mean how gorgeous is that?

We didn't have class on Monday for the hurricane so I was able to sleep in super late, which I will never complain about. I cleaned my room, did some homework, and then did some work for the blog as well- nothing too crazy.

I got up earlier than usual on Tuesday to do my laundry and then they emailed us saying class was canceled again. Two of the girls on my hall and I went to Walmart to get costumes for a few sorority functions we have coming up as well as other random items. We then went to the mail room only to realize they weren't open for packages due to campus being closed so we grabbed lunch before heading back to our dorms.

I had a math test on Wednesday so I spent some time studying for that Tuesday afternoon.

Wednesday was getting back into the swing of things after a 4-day weekend. My lab was canceled for Wednesday afternoon, which was nice as my classes for the day ended at 12:15. I did have a math test  but thankfully that's done haha!

After my math class, I grabbed lunch with a few girls in my math class and then went to get my mail and then wound up getting some work done in the Starbucks on campus.

Thursday morning got off to a productive start as I was able to accomplish a few errands around campus before my first class of the day. After class, I grabbed a quick lunch at the dining hall before getting my mail. I dropped my mail off at my room and then went to the library before my second class of the day.

After class on Thursday, I had a PAL date for Theta (basically hanging out with an older girl in Theta who potentially could be my big!) at Moe's, which was a lot of fun. I had a test in my World Religions test today so I then spent a good chunk of time studying in the library for that before showering and getting some sleep.

I also decided to do a Weekend Reading post tomorrow instead of an On my Radar as I had two MCW posts go up this week so be sure to check the blog again tomorrow!

This Week on the Blog:

Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

How I Got Back Into Shape This Summer

A while ago, I shared a poll on Twitter asking y'all if you would be interested in a blog post sharing how I got back into shape over the summer and the response was an overwhelmingly yes.

For a bit of background, I've always been fairly in shape and eat somewhat healthy. Of course, I'm human and don't eat perfectly all of the time but I would say my diet is balanced. But senior year, I wound up gaining a bit of weight and my clothes weren't fitting me the way I wanted them to. Definitely do not take this post as how to loose weight or anything like that as it's more important to have a well-balanced diet and lifestyle and focus on health.

So as I said I was working out regularly (I would go to around 4 barre classes a week at home) and eating fairly healthy so I was confused on how my clothes weren't fitting if I was "doing everything right". It took me really being honest with myself to realize what changes I need to make.

  • Snacking- Snacks don't seem like a lot but they really add up. As embarrassing as this sounds, I would eat a snack when I got home from school, eat a few crackers while I was running out the door to go to work, and then eat another snack with the kids I nanny.
  • Stressing Out Too Much/Getting too little Sleep- I'm pretty Type A so I've always been one to stress out about school. Combine that stress with a lot of homework and not enough sleep, it wasn't the best combination.
  • Sweets- I've always had such a sweet tooth. Dessert has always been my favorite but I definitely would overdo it. I don't need a treat every night after dinner, which was not something I kept in mind senior year.
I honestly sat down over the summer and made a checklist of healthy habits that I wanted to include in my day-to-day life. I've honestly relaxed a bit in these since coming to Clemson but writing this post for y'all reminded me how much better I feel when I prioritize these habits so I am going to re-emphasize these going forward.

  • 10,000 Fitbit steps every single day- This was more to ensure I was up and moving every single day. I've been a Fitbit fan for a few years now as they make it so easy to keep track of all of your stats.
  • At least 7 hours of sleep- Sleep is easy to overlook as you often think of health as food and fitness but sleep is so important. I had to wake up at 5:30 every morning for work over the summer so I made sure that I was in bed by 9:30 every night to get my 7 hours in (I know that's 8 hours- but it always takes me forever to fall asleep!). Now that I'm in college, I don't have to wake up quite as early but it's still so important to get a good amount of sleep each night.
  • No Sweets- I was fairly strict over the summer with this and it helped me so much. I tried to focus on no sweets at home but if I went out to dinner with friends, having something sweet after was totally fine. Now that I'm at school, I'm going to try to do one "sweet" a day (the ice cream in the dining hall is a killer).
  • No Snacking- This totally stunk the first few days but it definitely helped with the mindless eating and is such a good habit to get into as well.
  • Workout at least 4 times a week- My Pure Barre studio has a cardio class called Empower so I would do that once a week and regular class three times a week at the least. I found that this was a great way to be active and see results but my routine has switched up a bit since coming to Clemson.
  • 100 fl. oz. of water a day- I haven't had soda since my freshman year of high school so I pretty much drink water, coffee, sweet tea, and La Croix (haha!). Getting enough water is so important and even though they recommend half your body weight, I found 100 fluid ounces was a good amount for me (which is definitely way more than half my body weight haha!).

Thanks for reading!