Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Having the Best Sorority Recruitment Experience

I will be the first to admit that I actually wasn't planning on going through sorority recruitment until right before I got to college. None of my family or close friends had been in Greek life, and all I really knew about sororities was based on a lot of negative and completely untrue stereotypes. I honestly was so clueless about the rush process, and I think that it actually ended up being the reason I had such a great experience throughout the intense week of recruitment. Since joining my sorority, I have come across so many blog posts all about rush- what to wear, what to talk about, how to act, the list goes on. I think those types of posts can be so helpful, but today I really just want to share the one tip that helped me have the most amazing experience through the entire sorority recruitment process.

You will have the best rush experience by not focusing too much on exactly what to do, what to say, and how to act. I know that I am a little biased being at a West Coast school where recruitment is less intense, but we still had over a thousand girls going through recruitment (and getting way too stressed out and intense about the whole process).  I went in with zero expectations and was lucky enough to have an incredible experience.

It really boils down to being confident in who you are. Many girls go into recruitment with an idea of exactly which house they want to end up in, and I on the other hand, was very naive. Like I said, I wasn't even planning on rushing at UCLA. I had no preconceived ideas of each houses' ranking or reputation, and I am so thankful for that! In each round, I stayed equally excited for each house, kept an open mind, and tried to see myself actually hanging out with the girls I talked to. Because I gave each house an equal shot, I feel like I ended up in the house I was truly meant to be in (go Theta!).

If you're reading this and are about to go through recruitment, my encouragement would be to prepare for rush, but don't obsess. Don't stress over exactly what to wear, exactly how to act, exactly what to pack in your rush bag, and exactly what conversation topics to bring up. If you are meant to be in that house, those things like conversation going to come naturally. The less you focus on them, the more room they will have to evolve on their own. This process of mutual selection wouldn't exist if it didn't work. Trust the process, because if you do, it will work, and you will end up in the house you are meant to be in. Have faith in that, and rank your houses based on how you feel about them, not based on your preexisting idea of what house you should end up in.  Each house is not perfect for each girl, but I really feel that if you trust the process and be yourself, you will end up where you are meant to be.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Summer in Sausalito

vest c/o // shirt // jeans // flats // sunglasses // necklace (similar) 

This post is all sunshine, smiles, and excitement! For the rest of  summer, my family rented a little floating home in Sausalito, which is the cutest little seaside town on right the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge. The dock where our little place floats between colorful home after colorful home has the most charming sense of community, and I could seriously just sit on our patio all day long reading, chatting with neighbors, or playing Yahtzee with the family (I've been obsessed lately!). Life is so sweet and slow here, and we are loving every moment. One of the many things things I love about being in the bay area is the weather. I'm definitely not complaining about going from 100+ degree weather in my hometown to the warm sunshine and breezy mid 60s in Sausalito. Being here also gives me an excuse to start wearing fall layers a little sooner than usual. I've been wearing this cozy vest by Santa Fe Apparel constantly. It's so nice for low key days on the dock and for getting more dressed up to go into the city. Being so close to SF has been so nice. Not only is it one of my favorite cities to explore, but I can't even tell you how great it is to be minutes instead of hours away when I have auditions and work. The fact that the fun, busy, lively, chaos of San Francisco is just a quick drive over the bridge makes me so happy. And knowing that it only takes 10 minutes to get back to our peaceful, perfect little floating home makes me even happier! Please never end, summer!

Shop the post below:

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Sunset on the Canal

photos by Angelika Johns 

Are we in Venice Beach or Venice, Italy? This stunning neighborhood took me back to my trip to Venice a few years ago. All it was missing was a gondola, the sound of street performers, and (of course) gelato! Even my dress felt like something I would've worn during my trip to Italy. I found this light and breezy dress at the Gap outlet, and I have a feeling I'll be wearing it all summer. I'm not going to lie, as I'm writing this blog post, I'm wearing this exact outfit again! Striped dress, dainty necklace, sandals and all! I love outfits like this because they are so simple, yet look more put together. 

PS: More looks I shot with Angelika Johns in LA here, here, and here (and even more to come in the next few posts)! She's the best! 

Monday, July 25, 2016

A Week in Cozumel

Cozumel is the little island off the coast of Playa del Carmen where my family spent the most perfect week earlier this summer! I had never been to Mexico before, so I really didn't know what to expect. From the moment we stepped off the plane, it was such a fun, relaxing time. I thought I'd share my favorite experiences from our trip and what might be helpful if you're heading to Cozumel!   
I could have left half the outfits, and packed double the amount of swimsuits, coverups, and these Castell Avarca sandals by The Avarca Store! I wore them in this post, and basically every day of the trip. I could just as easily wear my avarcas to the beach, while we went on long walks through town, or on the few occasions we got dressed up to go out to dinner. They are the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn, and since they are so well made, I know I'll be wearing them for years to come! 

Kondesa for gourmet Mexican food. This was hands down the best restaurant on the island, and we actually ended up going twice! 
Albertos for great tacos and even better salsa! Possibly the best I've ever had! 
Guidos for incredible Italian seafood dishes and gourmet churros. Who would have guessed some of the best Italian food I've ever had would be in Mexico?! 
Coconuts for a super tacky beachside atmosphere, but great fish tacos. Definitely a quintessential Cozumel experience!

With the exception of a few kitschy souvenirs, I would say Cozumel was not the place to find the perfect outfit or great shopping in general. But it was fun to bargain hunt and negotiate at the roadside stands!

Cozumel is the perfect place to do nothing. The majority of our trip was spent laying in the sun or floating on the ocean. That being said, if you feel like venturing off the beach, there is still so much to do! 
Quad tour for a unique way to see the the jungle and El Cedral, one of the oldest and most colorful parts of the island! It had poured rain the day before we went quadding, so our tour turned into mudding! We thought it made our trip even more fun.
Ek Balam for a stunning hike and the chance to experience one of the most historical sites in South America. This Mayan pyramid still (surprisingly) allows the public to climb all the way to the top. It is definitely a little sketchy, but the views of the jungle are stunning. It is so worth the ferry ride to the mainland and a long drive to get there. 
Snorkel tour for a boat ride to the coral reefs and the brightest blue water. On our trip, we saw tons of beautiful fish and even got less than ten feet away from a little shark! Equally exciting and terrifying!
San Gervasico for a walk through an ancient Mayan city. I would definitely recommend spending a few extra pesos to have a tour guide walk you through the park and explain the significance of each site. 

PS: more posts from Cozumel here and here 

Friday, July 22, 2016

Stripes + Summertime

Today's look is all about breezy, bright, and summery tones. Lately I've been loving everything olive green. I feel like it is such a feminine and flattering color.  I picked up the actual dress I'm wearing for $14 at a tiny boutique in Venice Beach. I couldn't track down the exact dress online, but I've linked a super similar and even cheaper version from Forever 21! 

Side note: This whole shoot consisted of Angelika and I illegally parking, shooting a few pictures, and then rushing to move my car before I got a ticket! She is absolutely the sweetest, and there is no one else I would rather risk a parking ticket/adventure through Venice Beach with!  I'll be sharing more looks our shoot in LA, and then even more photos from when we were able to reunite on Angelika's side of the country! I was so happy that we could meet up while I was visiting Washington DC! 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

24 Hours in Charleston

Visiting Charleston, South Carolina had been on the top of my list for years, and when I realized that Mandy and I were just a few hours away, we knew we had to make the road trip! Charlestom was the perfect city for a girls trip with Mandy, my best blogging buddy!  It was so fun to be there with someone who equally appreciated each cute and colorful building, wanted to stop and take photos on every single corner, and who was also willing to pay for all of the trendy, overpriced coffee! We had a pretty packed schedule during my week in the South (and later DC), so we only had time to go to Charleston for a quick overnight trip. I could have easily spent a whole weekend (or really the rest of my life) in Charleston, but it was absolutely possible to knock it out in 24 hours! It never took more than 10 minutes to get from one side of town to the other, so we were able see and do every single thing on our list. Here’s how we not only explored the city but how we did it in just about 24 hours!  

Eat and Drink: 
Black Tap Coffee for  your pre-Charleston caffeine fix. Fuel up for the day with an iced lavender  latte. It may be the best I've ever had! 
Leon’s Oyster Shop for a delicious, quirky, and quintessionally Southern lunch. Let me just say, I hadn’t lived until I tried hush puppies with honey butter from Leon’s.
Magnolias for one of the best dinners of your life. We were lucky to get a reservation at this famous Charleston staple. 
The Daily for a casual breakfast and coffee.  I felt like The Daily was filled with more locals and a more hip vibe. I loved the city's colorful, historical charm, but it was fun to see another side to Charleston.
Sugar Bakeshop for the most life changing vanilla blueberry cupcake.

Tradd Street for a spontaneous drive. This part of our trip was unplanned, but actually one of my favorite parts! It started storming, so we just hopped in the car and drove around. Tradd Street was my favorite neighborhood, and where I snapped this Instagram picture
Rainbow Row for a walk along the beautiful cobblestone streets. Charleston has more pink and pastel colored houses than any place I've ever visited, and they are perfectly showcased along this historic row of houses. 
Pineapple Fountain for the perfect end to a walk through Waterfront Park, which is absolutely beautiful in it's own right. The ocean views and oak tree groves surrounding the fountain make for the most peaceful afternoon.

Candy Shop Vintage for the most darling mix of new and vintage jelwery and accessories. 
Be the Change Boutique for pieces with purpose. Each item in the shop has a unique story and gives back to communities in need all around the globe. 
Candlefish for a mix of fragrant homemade candles, beautiful home goods, and (of course) ample Instagram opportunities. 
Lilly Pulizter for your fill or preppy prints and colors. Lilly's King Street location was definitely more Mandy's favorite than mine, but had to be included in our Charleston guide nonetheless! 
Charleston is the most beautiful city with the kindest people. I left feeling like it was the best city on the planet, and what do you know, literally the next day it was voted Travel and Leisure's Best City in North America! If you are headed to Charleston and are really ambitious, I've made an hour-by-hour itinerary of our exact trip. Like I said, I would have loved to spend an indefinite amount of time in Charleston, but I feel like our trip was perfect if you're on a tight timeline but still want to experience all the charm, beauty, and Southern hospitality that Charleston has to offer. 

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