Monday Mix No. 17

Happy Monday! I hope your week is off to a great start. This week's Monday Mix is truly a mix of everything. While it's still 90 degrees here in Tuscaloosa and most of the suggestions are for now, I wanted to include a couple fall finds. I love summer, but I'm looking forward to the weather cooling down a little bit.


This pink swimsuit is on major sale! I love the bright color and think the ricrac detailing is so pretty.


Clearly I was in a vacation state of mind with a few of these picks, haha! These Pina Colada earrings are just darling and would be so fun for a tropical getaway. They appear lightweight too, which is always a major plus.


Does anyone else's hand get cold holding a can of seltzer? I love this slim coozie and the palm leaf print. It comes in many prints and colors so you can find the one that's perfect for you too.


I've been wearing lots of blue recently, and this $18 top is a great staple for summer. I like that the straps are adjustable, and the color is such a great shade of blue.


While looking through the Nordstrom sale these Zella leggings caught my eye; they are my tried and true go-to leggings. They are great quality and high waisted — a win-win situation! They're currently $20 off in the sale so snag them while you can.


I've become a big fan of mules in recent years, and this print is perfect for fall. I love that they would jazz up an all black outfit and could easily be dressed up or down.


Have a great rest of your week!


Junior Year Room Reveal

Better late than never! What better day to share my junior year room than the first week of senior year? 

I’m currently living in a fun apartment with some of my best friends, but I have to say I miss my junior year room a bit. I lived in my sorority house and was lucky to have a room all to myself, so it truly felt like my own little suite! This was such a fun place to live. Between getting ready for date parties to pizza parties to binging High School Musical: The Musical: The Series all in one night, it feels like I always had people over and it was the place to be. 


With no roommate but two twin size beds, my mom and I pushed them together to make what I liked to call a megabed. It measured similarly to a king and made more sense to layout my room this way. I added a king size mattress topper and used king sheets so I never felt like I was sleeping on two mattresses. This size also made the perfect spot for sleepovers with friends or visitors like my great grandbig and mom. Never thought my college experience would include sleeping in a king-size bed, but it was such a blast.


Because I had a twin-size bed my freshman and sophomore year, my freshman year headboard did not work with this bed (you can read my DIY headboard tutorial here!). My mom and I constructed a new headboard to fit the size using an insulation board that we had cut into three panels and carved the rounded corners prior to arriving and then assembled it in the room. We used foam padding to make it comfortable to lean against and a king size duvet cover for the fabric. The duvet cover came with pillow covers too, which provided an added bonus to help decorate, and I also brought the twin-size duvet cover for the end of my bed and reused my duvet from the past two years for that.


I reused most of the items from my freshman and sophomore year like the lamps, picture frames, desk hutch and other various décor. I added this white hanging light from IKEA (similar). There was very little floor space on the left side of the bed, so a hanging light worked perfectly for adding extra illumination in that area. I also added a valence above my window using leftover materials from my headboard. 

Because the room was designed and furnished for two people, I had two desks, two cabinets and two closets. I made the two desks into an “L” shape to better utilize the corner, and it served as a workstation for both school and beauty! I kept hair and makeup supplies in the pink box and my hot tools on the side desk. The desk had a drawer that I used for all my school supplies. The desks are not the prettiest color and are a dark wood which didn’t really fit the vibe of my room. I got thin wooden panels from Home Depot that I spray painted white and stapled white duck cloth the sides. To hide the staples, I added a pom pom ribbon. The whole project did not cost very much and made the room much more cohesive.


I positioned the two cabinet furniture pieces across from my bed with my TV on top. I added these two plastic trays in the open areas that held my snacks. Inside each cabinet I placed a three-drawer storage unit that held things like food, cleaning supplies, spare Target bags, etc. 

I reused my white rolling cart next to the cabinets to hold items like cups, mugs, vases and my reusable shopping bags, which I used often to carry small loads of laundry.

Another addition to the room was this pink rug. I was hesitant about the idea at first but quickly fell in love with it. It covered so much floor space and made the room feel much homier. The addition of white string lights also added a cozy feel to the room. As you entered the room there were closets on either side of the door and as you stepped beyond the entry, the ceiling raised up about a foot higher. This little space where the ceiling was elevated provided the perfect location for swoops of string lights that cast a soft light on my bed area. I also added another set of lights on my window. I know it sounds a little weird to put them on the window, but I’d plug them in at night with the sheer curtains closed, and it was so pretty!

This room was a bit different than my freshman and sophomore year rooms, but I absolutely loved how it turned out. Luckily my room this year looks super similar (aside from the megabed), and living with other people is so much fun. While I miss my little suite, I am so thankful for all the amazing memories that I had in this room. 


Tips for Virtual Recruitment

The University of Alabama completed its first ever virtual recruitment on Saturday! I was a little skeptical of how well recruitment would work virtually, but truly could not have been more impressed with how smoothly it went. I worked as a Judicial Board, so I was disaffiliated from my sorority and monitored another house to make sure parties started and ended on time, took attendance and adhered to other recruitment guidelines. In doing so, I could see the potential new member perspective of the virtual recruitment and see what was working/not working.


I wanted to share a few tips with you if you are a potential new member going through virtual recruitment at another school. This is all from my personal experience and I certainly recommend listening to what your school’s Panhellenic association suggests because each school can be a little different. I hope this post helps! 


Consider how your top/dress will look on Zoom

You’ve likely been planning your outfits all summer, which is one of the most fun parts of recruitment prep! If you still have some decisions to make, consider how the top of your outfit will look on Zoom. Sometimes strapless or low-cut dresses may look much more revealing or risqué on Zoom than they would in person. I recommend putting on each outfit, opening Zoom on your computer and making sure you feel comfortable and confident in your look. You will have so much to think about the mornings of parties, and you wouldn’t want to rethink an outfit minutes before a party just because Zoom makes it look different.


Pay close attention to instructions

As obvious as it may seem, I recommend really paying attention to instructions on how the week will work and don’t be afraid to ask your Rho Chi any questions before or during recruitment. You will want to clearly understand your responsibility in the process. Are you expected to check in prior to a party start time, are you responsible for refreshing your screen between parties, who do you contact if you are having technical difficulties, etc. You will want to keep your Rho Chi’s contact information quickly accessible so you can troubleshoot immediately if there is a problem.


Sit at your desk

The recruitment days are long and trust me when I say the actives in the houses want to lay down just as much as you do! No matter how long the day may feel, I recommend staying out of your bed. It’s so easy to sink into the comfort of your pillows and relax, but this won’t come off well during a recruitment party. To avoid any temptation, try to sit at your desk. Put an extra pillow on your desk chair and get up and stretch between parties. The actives will like that you are being attentive to the party and appear like you want to be there.


Remove distractions

Fun fact: during in-person recruitment, the potential new members do not walk into the party with anything! All bags, phones, note pads, etc. are left outside, and this is strictly enforced. While it may be easy to want to check your phone or quickly respond to a text, I highly recommend putting your phone on Do Not Disturb and across the room. It will make it harder to see the screen light up during a party and less tempting to check who’s texting. While you likely mean no harm, the parties are not very long, and you don’t want to miss any important information or miss out on a conversation that could help in your decision. I also recommend putting your computer on Do Not Disturb if you have that option!


Take notes between parties

On a similar note, hold off on taking notes about the house until after the party ends. You will likely have more than enough time between each party to write down any and all notes. I know it can be easy to take notes during the party, but you want to stay attentive during the party. Don’t forget that actives can’t see what you are doing off camera, and they may assume you’re texting or uninterested. Better safe than sorry! Many details like financial breakdowns are probably on your Panhellenic’s website, so don’t worry about remembering every single detail from a presentation.


Know that it’s weird for everyone

Awkward pauses, accidentally interrupting one another, weird transitions… we all feel it! Zoom is still something that everyone is getting used to, so don’t stress too much about these things. I promise the actives feel it just as much as you do. This goes for technical difficulties too. These are variables that are unpredictable and not anyone’s fault, so don’t feel like it’s your fault if something goes wrong. Alabama’s Panhellenic worked to accommodate potential new members who faced technical difficulties, and it is likely yours will too. To quote HSM, “We’re all in this together!”


My roommates who were recruiting from the house also shared a suggestion with me. They recommend you wear headphones. They all wore headphones in the house, and said it made it 1000 times easier to hear and understand when the potential new member wore headphones too. 


Whether you’re doing a hybrid version of recruitment or completely online, I hope these tips help and that recruitment goes well! I’m confident you will do great! 😊


Monday Mix No. 16


The Monday Mix is back! This mix includes a few items I’ve loved this summer and others I have been eyeing lately. Every item is under $30 and is super versatile.


This green scalloped tank would be perfect for any dressier occasions coming up. The color is great for transitioning to the fall, and the scalloped detailing adds a nice feminine touch.


Lisi Lerch is having a sale for all their summer styles! These pretty floral studs are 50% off making them $14 — such a great price for such pretty earrings that would go well with so many different looks.


I’ve become a big fan of sneakers this summer and was super excited to come across this $15 pair. I love the navy and scallop details that make this pair a bit more preppy. I’ve had other shoes from this brand and they held up really well. 


These bamboo-inspired hoops are elegant and pretty! I wear my gold hoops all the time, and this pair is really affordable and a little different than the traditional hoop. 


If there was one style on constant rotation in my closet this summer, it was loose, comfy dresses. I snagged this hot pink dress at Target in July and know it will be on repeat in the August heat here in Tuscaloosa. It also comes in white and black too!


Who else has hopped on the headband trend?! I used to wear headbands every day as a little girl and could not be happier that they are making a comeback. I purchased this pink one in the spring and find myself wearing it all the time. 


I hope you see something you like and have a great week!


Preparing for school in the new normal

I saw an Instagram post Thursday that said August 13 marked five months since March 13 — the day it felt like the country shut down. That Friday, I flew from Birmingham to Chicago with a large suitcase full of clothes for about two weeks and a heart full of optimism that I would return in less than a month. Fast forward five months later, and I’ve returned to Tuscaloosa under a new normal and with a little anxiety about what this semester will bring.


While it does feel good to be back on campus and surrounded by my friends, I feel a bit overwhelmed in terms of starting a new school year. Between hybrid classes, a unique fall schedule, navigating more campus buildings to be in larger classrooms and a series of other changes to my day-to-day routine, I’ve tried to use this week before classes start to prepare for this new normal. 


Set up for the new normal

My room looks different this year, and it’s not just because I’m in a new location. I’ve made adjustments to my room in an effort to make life a little easier for this new set up.  


I picked up this Container Store acrylic monitor riser for my desk to put my laptop on during Zoom meetings. This extra height gives me more desktop space to take notes or have other items out while I am in online class or meetings. When I’m not on Zoom, I can use this as extra surface space to put items like sticky notes. 


Another change is my mask hangers. I added some additional Command hooks to the wall next to my door to hold my keys, masks and anything else I may need while hustling out the door. I also got a Careful Key to add to my key ring to avoid touching surfaces like elevator buttons and door handles. Giving my masks a designated spot like my shoes or keys helps me to keep track of them and remember to grab one on my way out the door.


Make sure your room is ready to go on the first day

Sometimes syllabus week feels like a breeze, other times it feels like there are just not enough hours in the day! I am pretty good about putting things away after I use them, but sometimes in the rush of things my room can get a bit messy. I have made an effort this week to stay on top of laundry, not let my trash overflow and put things away that I procrastinated moving in. Having a fully operational room that I can easily locate things in will be really helpful in the chaos of the first few weeks and helps me feel like I am starting the new school year on the right foot!


Organizing your calendar and inbox

I don’t know about you, but my schedule seems a bit more haphazard now that some classes and meetings are in person while others are not. I have used a physical planner for years, but with Zoom links and codes, I’ve been leaning more heavily on Google Calendar for my daily schedule and using a physical planner for a to do list. I can still make my Google Calendar color coded which is super helpful, and it’s much easier to change things last minute when they aren’t written in pen.


I’ve also worked to color code my calendar colors with labels in my inbox. Between teachers emailing, organization-related emails and everything in between, labeling my emails as they come in has really helped me locate emails later.


Keep your backpack stocked

In previous semesters, I almost always kept an extra snack in my backpack in case I missed lunch or got a little hungry during the day. I will certainly continue to do that, and this semester I will be adding a face mask and hand sanitizer specially for my backpack. Having this on hand will be helpful and part of the new normal. 


What are you doing to prepare for this new school year?


Masks for Class

It’s hard to believe that this new school year will be starting so soon! While it feels like just yesterday I was leaving campus for what I thought would be spring break, I’m excited to be back even if things look a bit different this time around.


One of the biggest changes will be wearing masks around campus and in my in-person classes. I’d love to add a few more bright designs to my collection, so I’d love to hear where you’ve found cute masks too. I wanted to share a few pretty ones I have come across recently in case you’re looking to add to your collection. I love adding this extra accessory to my outfit and an extra pop of color. I think each of these masks are super fun and would work well paired with anything from sundresses to t-shirts and tennis skirts.


Where have you shopped for masks? I’m always looking to add to my collection, so let me know where you’ve found cute ones too!


striped mask set | Lilly mask set | green mask | seersucker mask | floral mask | gingham masks

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