Saturday, June 30, 2012

You Are Always Wearing Your Letters



If you are a member of a sorority or fraternity, you understand how important this statement is.  It comes from a blog post written by T.J. Sullivan (which you can find here). Now, I believe this post is phrased exactly right, I could never find something to change about it.

If you wish to join an organization, not necessarily a greek one, you must remember that no matter what you do, no matter where you go, you represent that organization.  It doesn't matter if you are wearing your t-shirt, pin, ring, whatever distinguishes you as a member of the group, you always represent that.

My high school's motto represented this, though I don't think I fully understood until I joined my fraternity.  It reads:

Remember who you are
no matter where you go
you represent yourself
your family
your friends
your neighborhood
your city
your country
and Franklin High School

But I feel the underlying message in both of these is, quite simply, be true to yourself and your values.  I firmly believe that having good values and always sticking to them will carry you through life.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Some Exciting News

Today the blog will be getting a brand new name!  From here on out the blog will no longer be Sweet Tea & Sisters, instead it will be The Classy Collegiate!  I'm very excited about this announcement because it also means some social media updates.

Follow me & be social!  You can now follow The Classy Collegiate...

On Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheClassyCollegiate

On Twitter at @classycollegiat (yes, twitter wouldn't let me at e. I was sad.)

On Instagram at @classycollegiate


What do you think of the new logo??



Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Monday, June 25, 2012

Leadership Institute 2012 #AOIILI2012

Image Courtesy of AOII Website
The past three days I have been in Franklin, TN for the bi-annual Leadership Institute.  I was honored to be chosen to go on behalf of BG & it was an amazing weekend!  We all learned so much and have lots and lots of ideas to bring back to the mitten for the fall.  Here's a recap of the event:

Friday

New Lilly Pulitzer letters!


Friday morning I woke up and drove to the airport to greet sisters as they arrived in Nashville.  Haley arrived just before I was leaving, so she stuck around and came with me to the hotel.  We decided to take a pit stop at a bakery/cafe called Puffy Muffin in Brentwood.  Let me just say... Best. Idea. Ever.  If you ever have the opportunity to stop by there, you absolutely must try a mocha crinkle.  They are a wonderful mix between a cookie and a brownie. So good!

New AOII Foundation Logo
The weekend started at 5pm with dinner and our first keynote speaker, David Coleman (also referred to as The Dating Doctor).  His presentation, titled Why be Ordinary When You Can Be Remarkable, was phenomenal!  He is one of the best speakers I've heard.  I laughed, I cried, it made me think, but most importantly, it inspired me.  One of the most fabulous parts of these types of conferences is how inspired you are when you leave.

Beta Gammas at LI
After David, we went into network celebrations and met lots of other AOIIs in our network (Michigan, Illinois, Indiana & part of Canada) area.  Then we attended a series of sessions titled AOII in 900 seconds.  For those of you who don't know, 900 seconds is exactly 15 minutes (and yes, ever session was timed!).  These were a great opportunity to get advice and questions answered from AOII volunteers and HQ staff.  

After the end of the conference activities, we drove around Nashville.  We went downtown to see all of the lights & happenings and took a midnight trip down to AOII HQ!  After some fun photos, we headed back to the hotel.

Saturday

Photo Credit
Saturday morning our first event was the second key note speaker, Stacey Nadeau.  Stacey is one of the women featured in the Dove real women advertisements.  Her session focused on positive body image and was really inspiring.  I could not imagine having my photo on a billboard in Times Square, never mind one in my underwear!  This was really important, especially since women can be so hard on themselves, especially about things they cannot fix.

After Stacey, we attended three breakout sessions on a variety of topics including design tips, hot topics with the Executive Director, Stella's trunk (if you're not an AOII, Stella was one of our founders), time management, and chapter education.  I was able to attend the hot topics with the Executive Director, Troy.  Let me just say, even though I work in the same building as Troy this summer, I was star stuck.  She is an amazing woman, an amazing AOII & I'm so glad I was able to hear her presentation.

Peg!
Speaking of amazing women, I was also able to meet Peg Crawford at LI, one of our Past International Presidents.  If you have ever met her, or just been to an event where she was in attendance, you will agree that she is quite possibly the most adorable old lady you will ever meet!  She has a heart of gold and truly cares for AOII and her sisters.

Sunday

Wearing our letters on Sunday morning
Sunday morning we woke up for breakfast and our final 'Power Session', a panel of AOIIs from all different walks of life talking about what, where, when, how, who and, most importantly, WHY AOII.  It was wonderful to hear from alumnae that continue to return to events like this why AOII is so important to them.  Everyone has a why AOII (or any other Greek organization!) story or two.

When the program finished, we took another trip out to HQ for a tour and some more pictures!




This weekend was truly amazing.  I'm so glad I got to share it with some Beta Gammas & I'm looking forward to even more great adventures at Chicago 2013 for our international convention!


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Sweet Tea Playlist: #1 [Summer]

I love music.  I love to share music and I love to receive music.  I also love to see what other people listen to.  You can learn a lot about a person from their iTunes library!  I always create a summer playlist.  They always include a mix of slow jams, party jams, old jams and maybe even some off the beaten path jams.  Here's my (condensed) summer playlist for 2012.



Listen to it on Spotify: Sweet Tea Summer Playlist

** Payphone is explicit!!  I couldn't find a clean version!

What's on your summer playlist?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Life & Times of an Empty Kitchen and a Lazy Cook

My messy kitchen
Remember a couple of posts ago when I mentioned that I don't have a microwave in my apartment?  And this is my first time living by myself with a full kitchen?  Lets just say there are some things I have discovered that go along with those two statements in the past couple of weeks.

If you don't have a microwave you cannot buy popcorn or frozen lean cuisine meals and expect to be able to cook them.  In an incredibly smart moment on my part, I bought two frozen lean cuisine meals in case I was feeling lazy and didn't want to actually cook dinner.  I thought I was being super proactive!  Well, I got them home and into my freezer for two days before I realized that, hey guess what, lean cuisine meals are cooked via microwave. A microwave that I don't have.  Ooops.  I also almost bought popcorn while at Target.  I realized that I couldn't do that before I actually bought it though!

When you have a full kitchen, it doesn't mean that it is fully stocked with essentials like it would be at home.  I know this sounds like a "duh Olivia, what did you expect?" statement, but sometimes these things slip my mind.  At the same trip to Target, I was going through the seasonal section and they had picnic items out.  They had a shelf of baking mixes!  Pink lemonade cookies and stars and stripes funfetti mix!  I got really excited and wanted to make patriotic cup cakes.  Well, I was really excited until I realized that I have no vegetable oil or a cupcake tray.  But I still really wanted to bake (I don't really have anything better to do anyways). So I looked at the box for pink lemonade cookies and all they require is some butter.  I can do that! "I'll just pick some up the next time I'm at the grocery store and I can bring cookies to our room at LI!"  So yes, any BG sisters that are reading this and coming to LI, you're getting cookies! (As long as I don't burn them!)

This is just a couple of moments I've had over the past couple of weeks.  These moments have prompted me to make a list of kitchen essentials for any new living space!

Food:

  • Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Ketchup (& Mustard)
  • Soy Sauce
  • Butter
  • Milk
  • Sugar
  • Soup (easiest meal on the planet)
  • Mac & Cheese (second easiest meal ever)
  • Italian Seasoning (this is a great to go on everything spice)
  • Salad Dressing, of the oil variety (you can use this for a marinade too!)
  • Honey
  • I got these cuties from Target!
  • Granola Bars
Pots, Pans & Other Accessories:
  • Sauce Pan
  • Fry Pan
  • Baking Dish
  • Silver wear organizer (I currently keep my silver wear in a cup... I'm longing for a proper organizer!)
  • Cutting board
  • Cookie Tray
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Paper towels
  • Rubber gloves & a sponge
  • Ice cube tray
  • Pitcher (for making sweet tea, of course!)
  • Pretty binder clips (use these instead of chip clips)

If you want to bake in your new kitchen, don't forget:
  • Baking soda
  • Flour
  • Baking powder
  • Cake Pan
  • Muffin Tray
  • Mixing bowl

Anything I forgot?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Afro Circus Polka Dot... What?

The other day, I was texting Bumble and she mentioned that she almost downloaded afro circus polka dot to be her ringtone.  I was confused.  I thought she was speaking gibberish.  I told her I didn't know what on earth she was talking about.  Her response? "OMG GOOGLE IT. It is the most annoying but extremely entertaining thing ever"  Okay, I'm intrigued.  Here's what I found:

Da da da da da da da circus, da da da da da da da da afro, circus afro, circus afro, polka dot polka dot polka dot afro!

The award for most obnixiously catchy song ever goes to...

Bumble then proceeded to tell me about the ten minute challenge.  Never heard of it?  Oh, well let me enlighten you!  If you can make it through ten minutes of this lovely song on repeat "without being willing to sell your soul to the devil" you win a prize! Just kidding, no prize, just ten minutes of your life spent listening to this lovely song.  Now, me being the bored girl in her apartment on Sunday night though, heck why not, I'll see how long I last.

Here's my thoughts while completing the ten minute challenge:
- I want to learn this dance
- I wonder if I could sing this while doing the dance... I have the words down
- that is one talented zebra, being able to moonwalk
- I really need to get out of my apartment, this is insane
- I feel like the lion
- I really want to know that the lion's reaction to this is
- The writer that created this is horrifically genius
- at least this is distracting me from this awful soup I'm eating
- how did the zebra get himself completely blue and then white?
- I survived! Anyone who willingly want to sit through that for an hour, might just be insane.

Feeling crazy?  Here's the 10 minute challenge if you want to attempt yourself, and if you're feeling extra adventurous (or just extremely bored) there's also a 60 minute challenge... How long will you survive?




Completed either challenge?  I want to hear your thoughts!  What do you think of the challenge and the song?  Leave a comment!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

feeling patriotic

Photo Source
Fourth of July is a mere 17 days away!  That means you better start your preparations, if you haven't already.  Unfortunately, this year I will be traveling on the actual 4th, but I get to head back to the mitten, so it's okay!

Here are my favorites to get prepped for Independence Day 2012.

First, you'll need some patriotic clothing.  Stars, stripes, and red, white & blue! I love this pocket from The Frat Collection.  It would look great paired with a white or navy shirt!  It's even more patriotic if you donate to the Wounded Warrior Project.
Buy it here!

Not a t-shirt kind of person?  Try these patriotic Toms!  With the One-for-One program, you're still giving to charity.
Buy them here!

Next, you'll need some cute decorations for your patriotic fest!  I love these quirky rubber ducks, they're so unexpected!
Buy them here!

Don't forget to fill your home with patriotic scents too!  Yankee candle has introduced a new "Americana Collection" with scents including: God Bless America, Let Freedom Ring, and Stars & Stripes.
Buy it here!

Not hosting a party?  Well, you still need some patriotic drink wear!  I love love love my Tervis tumblr.  What's better than a cold drink on a hot July day?  I love the firework vibe of this one, but if you're feeling more traditional, they also have an American flag one!
Buy it here!

And last, but certainly not least, for just a touch of patriotic spirit, nothing quite does the trick like a hair bow!!  I found these two on Etsy, but I can't choose which one I like better!  What do you think?
Photo Source: Etsy

Photo Source: Etsy
Have a fabulous Independence Day!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Double Bubble, Toil & Trouble

I've been on my own in Tennessee for just over a week and it's flown by!  I've kept busy since my last summer post.  Here's what I've been up to, according to my iPhone:

I'm happy to call Vandy my home for the summer.  Here's a picture of their fabulous stadium!

 Outfit of the day!  As I was headed to work.  

 An entire loaf of bread's worth of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  I felt a bit like a soccer mom when I did this...  But I put them in the freezer & they are perfect for lunch!

 I know how to make a giant mess in my tiny kitchen... I've been 'cooking' for myself.  Lots of leftovers!  

 Adding some Vineyard Vines love to my car!  I love their koozies.  

 I found the closest Hobby Lobby before I even opened a P.O. Box!  It was necessary for graduation presents for this weekend! 

Another Outfit of the day!

As for my post title... I've been learning to survive minus a microwave.  Typically, when you move to college, you learn how to eat a lot of things out of a microwave: ramen, mac & cheese, eggs, you get the picture.  In my apartment here in TN, I have a stove & an oven, but no microwave!  The double boiler has become my BFF, seriously.  It's amazing, it just takes a tad bit (try at least 3x) longer than a microwave would!

But i'm so happy to be in Nashville & even happier to be working at AOII HQ!  I've been working on lots of different projects and I have already learned so much.  I've been sorting through some old chapter files to be digitized and I've been finding lots of new ideas to bring back to BG.  Everyone at HQ has been working on stuff for the upcoming Leadership Institute (17 days!) and I will be at the airport greeting all my sisters when they arrive on Friday!  Lots and lots of preparations have been put into LI & I'm sure it's going to be a super fabulous event!!

Today, however, I was sorting through some old information, personals and pictures of our Past International Presidents.  Let me just say, I was in complete awe.  These women have all done such wonderful things for AOII and helped shape the organization to where it is today.  I walk by their pictures everyday at HQ but today I found them especially inspiring.  Today inspired me to really strive to be the best I can be, to help BG become the best it can be, to help AOII be the best it can be.  I just hope that I am able to bring at least some of this inspiration back to my sisters.

As for the rest of the week - on Thursday I am headed back out west, to grand old El Paso!  I'm so excited to go back for graduation, even though I know it will be a little bit weird.  I am looking forward to seeing lots of familiar faces and seeing Franklin again.

Now... I'm off to go pack!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Jay Loftus


My most recent music love, singer-songwriter Jay Loftus.  If you haven't heard of him, you should really check out his stuff.  He reminds me a bit of Matt Nathanson (sidenote: if you haven't hear of him, you really need to look him up! Love!).  He writes songs about love, but comes up with fabulous new ways of portraying it and new contexts for his songs.

Check out his video for 'Velvet Arms':


So creative!  I love the use of 'pop' words. Check out his facebook page for some free song downloads!

For some more music, check out 'Mona Lisa (When She's Sad)':


And, the lyric video for the opening lyrics, 'Dangerous Girl':


What do you think?

Friday, June 1, 2012

Anchors Away!

Anchors are always a popular theme in spring and summer fashions.  They always evoke memories and wishes for the beach.  Here are some of my favorite anchor themed items!

J. Crew
 I saw this in the J. Crew store the other day & fell in love! All sequins, this would be show stopping to wear to a summer bonfire.

Kiel James Patrick
 A classic rope bracelet with an anchor twist!  I love the clasp on this, almost as much as I love the square knot bracelet.
Top Shop
 This is a great summer shirt.  Very classic and simple anchor, but it still makes a big statement!  Pair this with some colorful denim and some wedges for summer.

Debenhams
 As much as I love navy, sometimes you need to add a pop of color to your look! I love the alternate stripe of this tote. It would be a perfect beach bag or just an everyday bag.

J. Crew
To always carry an anchor, try a phone case! I love the playfulness of this one from J. Crew. It's neutral and will go with any outfit!

Etsy
 I love hand painted toms! I have a pair for MSU and I get compliments on them all the time! A pair of toms and some acrylic paint and you can create almost anything.  I love the wave detailing on the side of these, it fits perfectly into the anchor & nautical theme.

Vineyard Vines
 This seersucker stripe paired with a bright red anchor is a great match!  This is probably a bit big to carry in your purse everyday, but it would be great for storing makeup or nail polish!

Etsy
 What is better than personalized wall art? Anchors and a monogram? I'm in love!  I would love to be able to put this on my wall. It would be perfect in a Cape Cod cottage!



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