Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Years Resolution 2016: Small Acts of Kindness


During the holiday madness I braved the mall quite a few times, as most people inevitably do. There are few things worse than trying to find a parking spot right before Christmas. Besides it being absurdly crowded, people can also be super aggressive; it's like the Christmas spirit goes out the window when people are driving, am I right?

On this particular day, I drove into the mall's parking lot, got my little ticket, and was about to go on the hunt for a spot when I saw there was a parking attendant standing across from the ticket booth. He smiled and waved at me as I drove past even though I didn't know him (it's not like I'm a regular that he recognized). It was something so small that he probably thought was insignificant, but it really brightened my day. To the point where once I found a spot (after about 15 minutes), I sat in my car and quickly jotted down this encounter.

Later that day I found myself still thinking about the attendant and how often times people are afraid of being interpreted as weird so they hold back from these small acts of kindness. I decided that this year my new years resolution would be to follow in his footsteps.

Wave at a stranger.
Smile at someone.
Say "thank you" more.
Voice compliments more often.
Hold the door for someone.

These simple and easy things may mean more to someone than you know. 

Thank you to the kind soul that day who inspired this post.

With love,

Esra

Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Final Countdown (Sort Of)

Less than 3 weeks until I'm boarding a plane and traveling across the pond to the land of tea and crumpets to finish off my junior year of college (okay so maybe it's not the final countdown considering I still have some time to go, but after months of filling out forms and applications, I can't believe it's almost here!).

I've already spent the majority of my downtime reading different articles about London, and here's what I've gotten from them so far:

  • the whole "it rains a lot" thing should be taken very seriously (and should be prepared for)
  • a tell-tale sign you're American is when you look the wrong way when crossing the street (this is going to take some real adjusting)
  • don't ask for chips and be surprised when you get fries (chips = fries and crisps = chips)
  • tea time is all the time 
  • Nando's is all the rage
  • rickshaws aren't the best idea

What will I be doing for 4 months?
I'll be taking three classes and also interning (where is still TBD). I'm most excited for "London Architecture and Urbanism" — apparently we go on a bunch of field trips, which is always great, and I love that I'll actually be seeing and experiencing London as part of that class instead of just reading about it in a book. 

What will I be up to for the rest of break?
Practicing my British accent.
Kidding. 
Realistically I'll be reading even more articles (because I'm too exited!!), and trying to figure out how to pack my life into 1-2 suitcases. More on that to come!

I couldn't be more thankful for this opportunity to study and work abroad. I'm a strong believer in the idea that immersing yourself in other cultures helps you grow as a person. It's so easy to assume the whole world is like your hometown, but that couldn't be further from the truth. This world has so many beautifully different customs and traditions, and I can't wait to experience England's.

With love,

Esra 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Low-Fat Gingerbread Christmas Tree Cookies


Some of you may already know my love for Skinnytaste -- Gina is an absolute food genius. I've been craving gingerbread cookies recently, and found a recipe she posted for gingerbread Christmas tree cookies (aka perfect if you don't have fun cookie cutters because you can just use a knife). 

My mom and I gave it a go, and here's how we did + my thoughts on the recipe:



These came out better than I could have hoped. They're just the right amount of spiciness, AND they're still soft and light! I was partially expecting them to be hard and crunchy like most gingerbread cookies I've had before, but then again I've never made homemade ones before (are homemade ones normally softer?). Essentially, these are perfect tea cookies.

Now I will say this, I do prefer milder levels of sweetness, so if you're looking for super sugary cookies, these probably won't be your first choice. The sweetness definitely comes from the icing, so you can put as much or as little as you'd like. Without icing, they're hardly sweet at all. 

Speaking of icing, I used Gina's icing recipe as well and had some issues getting the consistency right, but it still tasted great! If you're feeling lazy then you could totally use store bought icing (or another icing recipe). 

All in all, these were a success in my book, and I can see myself making them again in the future. 

Tip: be patient and wait for the cookies to cool before icing them. I'm always too excited and then the icing just melts off and doesn't look as pretty.

Also, here are the ingredients for those of you who want to try it out: 


Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup dark molasses
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves


For the Icing:

  • 1 1/2 tbsp egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 5 to 6 drops green food coloring
  • colored sprinkles

Full details, nutrition facts, and instructions for the recipe can be found on Skinnytaste.com, which I linked above. 

With love,

Esra

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Dear Roommates



Dear Roommates,

*all of whom are not pictured*

Thank you for being you. 

Thank you for being there to cheer me up on all the days I've come home feeling defeated, sick, or fed up with society. You've all been there to complain with me even if what I'm complaining about is irrational.

Thank you for making me laugh until I cry (and fall out of my chair).

Thank you for LITERALLY scooping me out of bed and refusing to let me mope around on particularly dramatic days. 

Thank you for supporting my impromptu dance sessions or "concerts" (me pretending I can sing) in the common room (and thank you for only snapchatting said dance sessions and concerts to our other roommates).

Thank you for letting me drag you to the dining hall at all hours of the day/night because I'm forever hungry and you've accepted that (and thank you for using your meal swipes on me when I run out...).

Thank you for never hesitating to offer me your clothes for work events, formals, and basically anything else that would require me to wear a dress.

Thank you for supporting my love of ABC Family even though its the fuzziest channel we get (especially 25 Days of Christmas).

Thank you for keeping our common-room-box-of-snacks full of chocolate.

Thank you for letting me play the same playlist of songs 358206543 times until you can easily recognize all of them. 

Thank you for making going abroad next semester so incredibly bittersweet.

Much love in 607,

Esra

Friday, December 11, 2015

The Most Underrated Hand Cream



Dry hands are hard to escape this time of year. Hand cream is one of those things we all tend to overlook buying, but desperately need at some point or another.

Unfortunately, not all hand creams are created equal, and the "good" ones tend to be overpriced.

CUE Neutrogena Hand Cream!

It's only $5 at your local drugstore, and I don't understand how this isn't more well known because it is hands down (no pun intended), the BEST hand cream I've ever used.

It heals even the most painfully dry, cracked, pealing, gross (great visual, I know) hands. It has a thicker consistency that needs to be rubbed in, but afterwards there's no slimy residue like some creams can have.

Thank you for being one of my winter staples, Neutrogena.

With love,

Esra

Friday, December 4, 2015

Book Recommendations

Grab your blanket, a nice cup of tea, and one of these fantastic books.

I know what you're thinking: Esra, why would we want to do readings over break?!

Reading may be the last thing on your mind considering the never-ending scholarly articles, textbook chapters, etc. that you have assigned for your classes, BUT that shouldn't scare you away from the amazing books out there. I'm personally a huge book nerd (as we've perviously established on my blog) and even still I barely read anything non-school related during the semester because honestly there isn't enough time. While you're relaxing at home over winter break, enjoying doing absolutely nothing, consider checking out these books.

If you liked The Hunger Games...

Try: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
If you've read my previous book posts, you know I'm a huge fan of futuristic/dystopian/utopian novels. This is the first book in the trilogy and I think it's one of the most unique in its genre (you know how some books seem super similar to others in terms of plot, character, etc?). It follows a girl named Juliette who can't touch anyone  the last time she did, the Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why her touch is fatal, but she has now intrigued the higher-ups as a potential weapon.

If you like romance novels...

Try: Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover
This isn't your average romance novel, which is why I think I liked it so much. One of the main characters is a deaf musician and it talks a lot about how he taught himself to play guitar. It's a beautiful story that makes you feel for all the characters.

If you need some life inspiration...

My mom recommended this book to me, and it's applicable to absolutely everyone. It takes life lessons, if you will, and breaks them down to you in a really understandable way through mini stories. It's one of those books that you can read multiple times and take away something new each time.

Happy reading everyone!

With love,

Esra

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Best Brush for Tangled Hair

If your spirit animal is basically Anne Hathaway in Princess Diaries when she breaks a brush, this post is for you.


I feel like I can comfortably say most people struggle at one point or another with knots. I remember hearing about two brushes in particular for years: The Wet Brush and Tangle Teezer

Both look ordinary, and totally warrant the original reaction of "how could they be exponentially better than any other brush out there?"

Earlier in 2015, my mom and I decided to test them out because she normally has a really hard time with knots post shower. Since then, the Wet Brush is the only thing she'll use and here's why:

Wet Brush

  • Pros:
    • Combs through knots in WET hair without yanking/hurting
    • Combs through knots in DRY hair without yanking/hurting
    • Easy to find (sold online and in stores)
    • Worked for my mom's naturally thin hair 
    • Worked for my naturally very thick hair
    • Detangles easily even when you don't use conditioner
  • Cons:
    • N/A (seriously)

Tangle Teezer

  • Pros:
    • Easy to find (sold online and in stores)
    • Super compact
  • Cons:
    • DID NOT comb through knots in WET hair without yanking/hurting (hurt just as much as any other normal brush)
    • DID NOT comb through knots in DRY hair without yanking/hurting (same as above)
    • DID NOT work well for my mom's naturally thin hair
    • DID NOT work well for my naturally very thick hair (only seemed to brush through the very top layer of my hair and the rest was still left tangled and unbrushed)

In the time my mom has been exclusively using the Wet Brush many people have borrowed or used it (on group vacations, etc) and they've been amazed at how well it works. We've yet to come across a hair type where it's been problematic. It's especially been a winner amongst younger girls who hate brushing their hair more than anything because it hurts (used to be the bane of my 6-year-old self's existence).

The Tangle Teezer didn't work out for either of us even though we have different hair types, but a ton of people still love it so I'd say it's worth giving it a shot because it may work for you!

With love,

Esra

Friday, October 23, 2015

A Letter To All People Pleasers

Disclaimer: I wrote this post a while ago and kept playing with it because I really wanted my point to come across clearly. I know it's different from my normal content on this blog, but I hope you'll appreciate it anyway. 


If you're anything like me, you never understood the concept that not everyone is going to like you (you as a general, not specifically me). I always thought well if you're a nice person and you're respectful (insert other positive characteristics here) then why wouldn't someone like you? Which leads me to people pleasing.

No one wants to be disliked, it's not a pleasant feeling. So us people pleasers try to blend into the social environments we're in, we make sure we're very politically correct, and ultimately we don't rock the boat. It took me until recently to realize that you can try to please as much as you like, but it still won't be enough for some people. Because the FACT of the matter is: you could be the most perfect person in the world and STILL not everyone is going to like you. Further more, it's okay that not everyone will like you. You don't need everyone to like you!

Unfortunately I learned this the hard way, and although I wouldn't wish it upon anyone, it was one of the most eye opening experiences of my life. I learned to care less about other's perceptions of me and let go and just be myself. Because at that point, if you don't like me when I'm really trying to please you, what do I have to lose by being 100% my weird, enthusiastic, awkward self? I learned to love my personality and who I am. I took on a "take it or leave it" attitude. I am who I am and if you don't like me then that is absolutely okay. It is truly in the toughest situations where you learn to say screw it, I love myself and that's all that matters.

So to my fellow people pleasers, be polite, be kind, but also yourself. Don't hold back from sharing your opinions just because it might not match up with someone else's. Don't let other's perspectives of you influence your own perspective of yourself. The people you want in your life will love you unconditionally.

With love,

Esra

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Making An Inspiration Notebook

You can craft, be creative, and get inspired all at the same time.

Go ahead and pick yourself up a notebook of choice. I decided to go for this one from Michael's.


Look through Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, and any magazines you have around.

Cut out/print anything and everything that speaks to you. A "theme" isn't necessary. It doesn't have to be cohesive; that's the beauty of it.


Put it all together and write little notes next to them if you want.

Reach for it in times when you're lacking motivation or inspiration.

Wishing you the best 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

4 Tips On How To Pack For An Extended Trip


The prospect of under-packing, overpacking, or forgetting necessities can easily give you pre-travel jitters (especially in the case of long trips). As I'm packing for an extended trip myself, I have all things travel on the brain. These packing tips should help lessen your burden and have you focusing on the upcoming adventure rather than "did I miss anything?!"

1. Pick clothing items based on outfits

This has been incredibly helpful for me. Normally, I pick random pieces of clothing out of my closet that I like and stick them all in my suitcase. I make sure I have enough of each item, and then I'm good to go! Right? Wrong. Often times I end up getting to my destination with such a mismatched suitcase. I'll have more than enough to wear, but nothing seems to go together. 

This time around, I packed my clothes based on outfits. For example, I first took out all the shorts I wanted to bring with me. Then, for each pair of shorts, I chose tops that went nicely with them. I also took pictures of the combinations I picked out so that I could look back on them once I reached my destination. They can give you inspiration when you feel like you have nothing to wear!

2. Consider what can be bought at your destination

Is it necessary to bring full sized bottles/containers of everything, or can you purchase them once you arrive? I bring the products I know I don't want to substitute such as my face wash and moisturizer. Pretty much everything else, I don't mind buying on the other side. This will vary from person to person, but in most cases you aren't bound to every single product you use. This will save a decent amount of space in your suitcase!

3. Make a list

This is pretty basic, but writing everything out helps you stay organized. I totally understand being lazy, but packing with a list is drastically easier than without; it forces you to think about what you need. If you have no clue where to begin, there are tons of packing lists online you can use. 
You can also check out my ultimate packing list!

4. Cross things off your list after you've packed them

There's a difference between setting something aside to pack and actually packing it. Check items off once they've made it into your suitcase to avoid carelessly forgetting something. 

Wishing you the best 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Delicatessen, Soho


Mac and cheese should be it's own food group. Such a simple concept, but easily one of my favorite things to eat. I've tried ridiculous amounts of mac and cheese, and my top two (from restaurants) are California Pizza Kitchen's (technically it's on the kids menu, but anyone can order it!) and Panera's. Delicatessen's mac and cheese has added itself to my list.

I came across Delicatessen when reading Emily's (Ahem, It's Emme) NYC restaurant guide and she had a mouth watering picture of the four cheese mac and cheese she had. She said it was her favorite restaurant on her trip to NYC and the best mac and cheese she's ever had.

Naturally, I immediately sent my best friend a message saying that we had to go into the city to try it out. I was surprised I had never heard of it before considering I'm from NY. I was also surprised that my best friend hadn't either considering she goes to school in the city.

Nevertheless I'm thankful Emily found this gem of a restaurant in Soho because it definitely lived up to my expectations.


What's your favorite "comfort" food?

Wishing you the best 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

How To Conquer A Long Flight


There's nothing quite like traveling, and there's also nothing quite like a seemingly never-ending flight.

Most people seem indifferent when it comes to flying. For some, it can even be a stressful experience. And then there are the odd balls like myself who quite enjoy it.

Regardless of which category you fall into, there are some tips and tricks to make your long haul flight more comfortable.

1. Pick a good seat (if possible)

This is completely up to personal preference. For example, on long flights I prefer the window seat because I can sleep leaning against the window. However, I only prefer the window seat if I'm sitting next to family or friends. This is because I hate having to bother strangers if I have to go to the bathroom, stretch my legs, etc. If I'm not traveling with people I know, then I prefer the aisle seat because I can get up without bothering anyone and I don't mind if others ask me to move so they can get up as well.
I haven't met anyone who particularly loves the middle seat, but if you do then by all means!
Wherever you're most comfortable.

2. Dress in comfortable layers

Even on summertime flights I like to bring either a cardigan, small blanket, or both on long flights. In my experience planes tend to be on the colder side so it's nice to be able to bundle up. If you get too warm, then shed a few layers and you're good to go. 

3. Keep medicine on hand

Having Benadryl, Motrin, etc. with you can not only prove to be useful, but it can also keep your mind at ease if you're feeling anxious. Meaning, knowing you're prepared may calm any nerves you have. If you do run into a situation on the flight where you get a headache, or aren't feeling 100% then you can take some medicine and try to rest. There's nothing worse than feeling sick on a long flight.

4. Bring two types of headphones with you

If you're the type of person who likes to listen to music on flights, then this tip is for you. Noise canceling and over-the-head headphones are great for flights, but not great if you're planning on falling asleep with them on. When you're ready to nap, just switch to earbuds. Also, sometimes having one style of headphones on for too long can irritate you so it's nice to switch it up.

5. SOCKS.

Again, even in the summer I ALWAYS bring socks for the plane. You won't regret it, I promise.

6. Bring your own snacks

As much as I love flying, I hate airplane food. Like a lot. Even if you don't mind airplane food, you could easily be asleep when the hosts and hostesses come around, and then when you wake up you're left hungry. Bringing snacks with you will keep your stomach from growling (and helps if the airplane food is less than appetizing). 

7. Refresh (take off makeup, brush teeth, etc).

If you went to the airport with makeup on, use a face wipe to take it off once you're on the plane, and apply a generous amount of moisturizer. Not only will your skin thank you, but it helps prevent that gross feeling that comes with hours of recycled air. Face mists are also nice for this! Brushing your teeth after meals, or whenever you feel you need it, can also make you feel refreshed and more comfortable.

Happy flying!

Wishing you the best 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Bikini Body Anxiety


The season of the bikini body is fast approaching. The pressure put on women and teens to look essentially flawless in a bathing suit is ridiculous.

We all fall victim to it even if we know better. Our rational side knows that we should love our bodies and not pick apart the areas we're insecure about. But, with the media constantly posting articles like "top celebrity bikini bodies" and such, it's hard to always be rational.

There are the moments of clarity where you remember they're models, they have personal trainers, etc., but then comes the onslaught on bikini and beach posts on Instagram and various social media. This time, they are friends, people from your hometown, not celebrities or models. You find yourself comparing your body to theirs and wishing you had her legs or her stomach. The previous moment of clarity is dead because what excuse can you make for these normal girls and their seemingly perfect bodies?

Everyone is insecure about something even if you couldn't imagine they ever would be. Those girls, in your moment of weakness, that you aspire to look like have insecurities too. We are our own worst critics and we expect ourselves to be perfect, look perfect, act perfect, but that's absurd.

"Bikini season" isn't a 3-4 month long period of comparison and body shaming. It's a time to enjoy yourself in the warmth of the sun, love your body, and be healthy. Most importantly, it is never okay to pick apart another girl's body to make yourself feel better about yours.

Don't let body anxiety get the best of you, it's not worth it.

Wishing you the best 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Finals Study Break Playlist


I believe that study breaks are just as important as time spent studying, so I've made a finals study break playlist since it's that time of year for most of us.

Grab a snack, turn on some music, and dance around to relieve some stress!

Wishing you the best 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

When You're Halfway Done With College


As a blogger, you often run into situations where you feel inspired at far from ideal times.

Example: as I sit in my second to last social psychology lecture, I have the strongest urge to write a post, and when I'm in this mood it just has to be done.

Fun Side Story: This class is actually one of my favorites because social interactions are so interesting to me. I also have one of the coolest professors ever.
For example, as I sit typing this my professor just said: "I want this semester to be over." *raises hand* "How many of you want this semester to be over?!"
She's basically perfect and hysterical, and I apologize for only half paying attention today.

With that extremely long introduction aside, study period for finals start on May 1st and it hit me that I'm halfway through my college career. I can't express how unreal that is to me.

I am halfway done, and this is what I've learned:

1. College is wonderful, but don't think you're alone if you have a rocky transition. 

Everyone tells you how college will be the best 4 years of your life. What they fail to mention is that it is still a transition. You're often moving to a new place without the comfort of your hometown best friends. It's both scary and exciting to start fresh. You will meet people and make friends that become as close as your friends from home; sometimes it just takes time to find your people, but they're there so don't be discouraged. Social media can be very deceiving on this topic as well. You'll see constant pictures of people from high school with their new friends from college, but in reality they're still trying to find their niche too.
My Advice: Get involved and join clubs! I found my home in greek life, but you can as easily find yours within theater groups, sports teams, etc.

2. Finding a method of studying that works best for you is crucial.

Let's be honest, it wasn't always necessary to study for tests in high school. If you payed attention in class and did your homework, the amount of time you had to put into test prep was minimal. It was a shock to the system for me as a freshman in college. I realized that I had never mastered the art of studying before, and I was desperate to figure out something that worked. Especially when you have three tests a semester, you have to make them count. What ended up working for me was taking hand written notes in class (as opposed to on your laptop) prior to test prep, reading through class powerpoints as a basis for my studying, and then focusing in on concepts I don't understand. It sounds simple, but flashcards and study guides did not work for me. Everyone has different preferences!
My Advice: Test out different methods and study spaces. Once you find something that works well for you, studying is so much easier.

3. It is MORE THAN OKAY to change your major. 

It's not expected that you have your life figured out by 18. Yes, there are some people who go into college knowing exactly what they want to do, but that's definitely not the majority. Most colleges account for this and it is the reasoning behind freshman/sophomore requirements or gen eds. Being required to take a variety of classes allows you to get a sense for what area you're most passionate about.
My Advice: Don't panic if you realize your original major isn't working out. You academic advisors will make the transition as smooth as possible for you. Switching your major is normal!

4. College is more than your GPA.

Yes, grades are important, but they're not everything. My mom (a very wise woman) always reminds me to experience everything college has to offer, meet people, do new things, make connections, and most importantly make memories. You want to be able to look back at your four years and remember how much of an adventure it was.
My Advice: Find a balance. You are still ultimately going to college for an education, so do your work and study hard. BUT, maybe during free moments, opt for something other than watching Netflix (which I am so guilty of -- my roommates will vouch for me).

I could probably go on for quite some time on this topic, but I'll spare y'all from reading an essay! Essentially, make the most of your experience because as a rising junior I can really see how fast it goes by.Be adventurous, find yourself, don't be afraid to make mistakes, and realize how lucky you are. 

Wishing you the best 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Sundays Are For Brunch

If there was ever an excuse to brunch, it's for my beautiful big's 21st birthday. But to be honest, who needs an excuse to brunch? 

Stephanie's has been a favorite amongst my friends and I (and pretty much the rest of Boston) since we tried it. It's the place we always get together as a big group, and for the last few months it had been closed for renovation, but PSA: after what felt like forever, it's back! 


And just in time to celebrate this gem's birthday.

The renovations were well worth the wait. As soon as we walked through the doors, we all had wide eyes. The dark furniture (possibly mahogany -- Hunger Games anyone?) and burgundy table cloths were replaced with shades of white, soft grays, and a pop of orange. We were lead to the second floor (featuring a skylight) where a long table was set up for the 12 of us.


Of course, the big decision for most was between eggs benedict or french toast. Mind you, not just any french toast -- frittered french toast: "creamy blend of marscapone cheese and raspberry jam between battered french toast and pan fried"


Basically, the best french toast I've ever had. But as a savory girl, I opted for my tried and true eggs benedict. 


Plus, I knew my friends would be willing to share (:


It never disappoints.


With full tummies and happy hearts, we headed back to campus to finish all the chores, assignments, and studying that Sundays give us time to catch up on.


And with the flowers finally beginning to bloom (or in this case planted), it was a lovely walk down Newbury and Boylston.

Happy 21st birthday, Victoria! This one's for you.

Wishing you the best 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Sorority Life


What is a sorority?
(Two definitions that friends and I have come up with)
1. A group of college women that share the same values and support common philanthropies. A sorority is a sisterhood that not only lasts all four years of college, but for a lifetime.
2. A women's club with a focus on personal and academic development as well as giving back to the community.

Sororities are absolutely NOT like how they are portrayed in the movies.

R E C R U I T M E N T :
How it all starts
Sorority recruitment, sometimes called "rush", is the process of meeting all the sororities offered on your college campus. At the end of recruitment, you are given a bid, or invitation to join a specific sorority.

Each college or university conducts recruitment differently, but the general process is the same:

  • On the first day, you meet with all of the sororities on campus. These meet and greet sessions are called "parties."
  • As the days go on (the number of days varies depending on your school and how many sororities are on your campus), you narrow down the number of sororities with the idea of getting down to one. The sorority sisters do the same in that they narrow down the number of girls to get to down to the ones that would fit best in their specific chapter. This is known as a mutual selection process.
  • Also as the days go on, the "parties" get longer since the number of sororities you are visiting decreases. This gives you a chance to get to know the sisters in each sorority better.
  • The last day of recruitment, known as bid day, is where you get a bid to a sorority. You can only get a bid to one sorority and you can choose to accept that invitation or not.


S O R O R I T Y  L I F E :
Once you're in a sorority 
What does being in a sorority involve?

  • Each sorority has a philanthropy (or philanthropies) that they support through events, fundraising, spreading awareness, etc. As a Kappa Delta, our philanthropies are Prevent Child Abuse America and Girl Scouts of the USA.
  • Sisterhood! One of the biggest parts. Being in a sorority gives you support system of girls that will be there for you in the bad times and the good. For most people, they find the people they will be friends with for a lifetime.
  • Leadership positions are always available. This aspect is so valuable because it gives you experience that you can apply to professional areas of your life.
  • Sisterhood is for a lifetime, which is awesome not only because that special bond doesn't end after college, but because you have a ton of networking connections! Sisters are always willing to help each other get internships, jobs, connect them to people they know in specific fields, etc.
  • And of course, I can't forget about big little! Each new member gets a big sister that acts as a mentor, role model, and in most cases a best friend. This is also done in a mutual selection type process where the new girls submit who they would like as a big and the older girls do the same for who they would like to take as a little. Girls get matched up based on these submissions.
  • Then comes big little week where you leave hints and presents for your little up until reveal where the littles find out who their bigs are!


S T E R E O T Y P E S  &  M I S C O N C E P T I O N S :

  • It is against National Panhellenic Conference (the organization that oversees all Panhellenic sororities) to haze. Hazing is completely unacceptable and against everything that a sorority stands for (such as raising you up to be the best possible version of yourself).
  • You are not paying for friends. Yes sororities have dues, or annual fees to be in the sorority, but that money goes towards events and other things that allow the chapter to run.


This was just a round up of some of the basics that I hope will help those of you who were interested or a little confused on what sorority life is all about!

If you have any other specific questions, I'd be more than happy to answer them for you!

Wishing you the best 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Perfect Jeans


Everyone's body type is different and therefore there isn't just one "perfect" pair of jeans. For me though, these are it: Topshop Leigh Jeans.

THEY ARE FABULOUS.

I have four pairs and they're the only jeans I wear.

They're extremely comfortable and make wearing jeans (instead of leggings) a bearable decision. The material is fantastic, but another part of the comfort factor is the rise: they're a nice mid-rise. No muffin tops, or awkward pants pulling up, but they're also comfortable to sit down in (you know how some high waisted jeans are awful when you sit down?).

But honestly if you try on the Leigh jeans and they don't work for you, then I highly recommend any of the Topshop jeans. I've heard awesome things about all the styles so one of them is bound to be your holy grail jeans.

Wishing you the best 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Big Little Reveal 2015

Coming from a small family and being the only girl amongst the "kids" (kids table forever, am I right?), my sorority family is something I truly value. Having a group of girls that love you for who you are and accept everything about you is such a blessing. I am so lucky to have the two most wonderful littles in all the land. After a whirlwind of a big little week, I was so ready to officially welcome them into the fam at reveal. 

Me and my twin Cassidy eagerly awaiting the littles to come! 
Clarification: she's my sorority twin aka we have the same big, but I love her as if she was my biological twin.
*The littles are coming, the littles are coming!*

Little 1 Jordann coming in for the hug. 
For reveal this year all the littles came into the room which was filled with balloons. Each balloon had one new member's name on it. Once they found the ballon with their name, they had to pop it and inside was the name of their big. 

Little 2 Arzu running into both of our arms. 
You can see some of the balloons on the ground behind her!

Group hug! Jordann is buried in there too. 
I was actually SHAKING with excitement. I kept saying things like: "Oh my god I can't handle this, I'm going to pee in my pants I'm so excited" (don't worry, I didn't). And essentially different variations of that sentence. So much love in this picture.

My perfect KD fam. 
I'm littler than both my littles and I don't mind. I love them dearly!

After reveal, we went to my "aunt's" (KD aunt, so my big's twin. I know, lots of twins in my family) apartment where we had pizza, hung out, and had the ultimate girls night. 

Our little KD family grows more and more each year.

If any of you guys would like a breakdown on big/little week or anything sorority related, please let me know! I'd love to tell you about my experience.

Wishing you the best 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

My First Spin Class


Before I get into my spin experience, let me start by saying this:
I'm the type of person who prefers zumba or dance classes as workouts.
I get bored just using machines and I give myself shin splints every time I run (I wish this wasn't the case because I've always wanted to do the color run, mud run, etc). One of my friends is obsessed with cycling/spinning and when I heard her talking about it I didn't know why I hadn't tried it before. It's upbeat and is done as a class -- aka right up my alley. 

I found out that your first class at Flywheel (the spin studio my friend goes to) is free so there really wasn't a reason for me to not go.

T O  S U M  I T  U P . . .
I have never sweat that much in my life. During the class my thought process was: "this is awful", "I hope I don't pass out/throw up." But to be real, that was just me being a baby and not wanting to "feel the burn." Honestly, I think you have to build up to actually enjoying the burn. After the class was over, I felt so energized and awake, which I was not expecting AT ALL. I had never left a workout, dance, or zumba class feeling like that before. You just feel good and you know that you gave that workout all you had. 

One of the best workout experiences of my life, and I can't wait to go back. 

B E G I N N E R  T I P S :
1. Bring a water bottle that either has a straw, or a squeeze top. You're not going to have the time or energy to open up a water bottle with a cap. 
2. Take two towels with you into the spin room. Trust me, you'll need it.
3. Wear clothes you can breathe in; you're not going to want to feel constricted in anyway.
4. A headband keeps flyaway hair off of your face and sweat out of your eyes

Wishing you the best 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

When You Have 5 Snow Days in 3 Weeks

Second semester started January 20th. Since then (three weeks as of February 10), we've had five snow days in the city of Boston. All my friends in the Northeast, you understand the struggle of the past three weeks.

@internetryan tweets:
"BREAKING: Massachusetts is cancelled."

In honor of having nothing to do, but stay inside (because there's literally 4 feet of snow piled up), here are some pictures from the last 5 snow days. 


The calm before the storm. 
Notice there's already a decent amount of snow on the ground...yeah that's nothing. 



SO MANY INCHES OF SNOW just on the windowsill. 


We made a "cozy corner" in our dorm and watched Friends. 
I guess you can say we're cute roommates.


Around 5pm, when I was getting a bit of cabin fever from being inside all day, it was time to venture into the storm. It was also still snowing, as it had been for the past 24 hours. 


Stocking up for the next round of snow. The forecast said 20 inches and I took it seriously. Sometimes trekking to the dining hall just isn't worth your nose feeling like it's going to fall off.


Yes, a lovely cup of coffee on snow day four. It's become quite a routine.
On snow days: wake up late, make coffee, scroll through social media, and hibernate. 


Apparently my cabin fever always comes around 5pm because on snow day 4 we took a stroll over to UBurger (my first UBurger experience by the way and the hot dogs were awesome). 

As my friend Clara put it: "Welcome to Boston where it snows 24/7!"

Wishing you the best