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Carnation Ball 2017

This past Friday, I attended my final Chi Omega formal of my college career… That’s just as weird to type as it is to comprehend! As hard as it is to believe, senior year is really starting to come to a close.

Carnation Ball was absolutely incredible and I can honestly say that it was one of the very best formal experiences I’ve had during my time at Loyola. Being surrounded by some of my very best friends, all dressed up and dancing the night away to our favorite songs, made Friday truly the perfect evening.

 

What I Wore

Solace London Dress (Rented from Rent The Runway Chicago)  –  Hair & Makeup ℅ Gold Plaited  –  Topshop Heels ℅ (similar style here)  –  Kendra Scott Earrings & Ring  –  Monica Vinader Bracelet ℅  –  Bite Beauty Lip Crayon in “Glacé”

 

For old time’s sake (and because he’s a super fun dance partner) I brought one of my best buds, Connor, as my date! We’ve gone to quite a few formals and semi formals together over the years, but this was by far one of my favorite events and outfits.
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My Greek Life Experience – A Senior’s Perspective

Spring recruitment at Loyola University Chicago is this weekend and I’m still having trouble processing that it will be my last. My last recruitment weekend, my last open house round, my last philanthropy round, my last pref round and, of course, my last bid day. Three and a half years ago, I chose to “Go Greek” and join Chi Omega at Loyola University Chicago and it has been one of the most positive and impactful choices that I’ve made as a part of my college career.

 

 

My freshman year was the last time that we did formal fall recruitment before switching to spring recruitment. I’ll never forget the feeling of running to the quad in the center of campus and being embraced by my new sisters, so many of whom were still “strangers” at that point, but would end up becoming some of the best friends and strongest connections that I’d find during college. It’s crazy to look back at it all now (and I’ll admit that it’s cheesy sounding) but when you’ve found where you belong, you just know.

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Semi Was a Joy – My Final Chi Omega Semiformal

This post is bittersweet for me, because today I’m sharing what I wore to my last Chi Omega semiformal, ever!

 

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What I Wore

H&M Dress (similar styles here, here & here)  –  BCBG Paris Heels (similar style)  –  Kendra Scott “Anastasia” Necklace and Naomi Ring  –  Kate Spade Earrings  –  Bite Beauty Matte Crème Lip Crayon in “Glacé”

 

Senior year has been filled with lasts, but this was one that was incredibly special…

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Chi Omega Spring Formal ’16

My sorority, Chi Omega, recently held our spring formal and I brought my friend Margot as my date! The DJ was fantastic, the food was great and my birthday was at midnight. Needless to say, it was a busy weekend!

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What We Wore

Megan: Lush Dress (Similar)  –  BCBGeneration Heels (Similar)  –  Kendra Scott Necklace, Cuff and Earrings  –  Vintage Signet Ring  Margot: Express Dress  –  Kendra Scott Necklace  –  Heels (Similar)

 

Margot and I first met during our freshman year of college. She lived right above me in our dorm, Mertz, and we actually weren’t friends at all at first! As freshman year went on, we got much closer and became the friends we are today. Throughout our friendship, her sassiness has definitely rubbed off on me and I like to think that my preppy esthetic has rubbed off on her a bit.

I can always count on Margot for a sassy or goofy comment whenever I’m feeling down and she’s always up for grabbing food with me. What’s not to like?!

She also let me drag her (as a non-Greek) to my sorority formal, so there’s that.

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ΧΩ Recruitment ’16 Recap – Welcome to My House

Last weekend, Panhellenic Recruitment took place at Loyola University Chicago and my chapter gained 65 amazing new members!

One of my favorite things about recruitment is getting to spend quality time with my sisters and having the chance to spend time with girls who I don’t usually hang out with. I’ve found that I come out of the experience with closer friends each time and it is truly such a blessing and an amazing experience to boot!

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Today I’m sharing some photos and a few quick snippets from each round of recruitment with all of you. Enjoy!

Open House

I got to talk to so many absolutely amazing ladies during Open House! It was a packed evening, but certainly a fun one!

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I got to paint our letters for recruitment this year and I’m so happy with how they turned out! We went with a Rifle Paper Co.-esque theme and I can honestly say that it’s one of my favorite craft projects I’ve ever worked on!

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Philanthropy Round

During Philanthropy Round we got to share our philanthropy, Make-a-Wish, with all of the PNMs (potential new members). I am a huge fan of our philanthropy, so this is always one of my favorite days.

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Preference Round

The final day! We had Pref Round in the morning and Bid Night in the evening.

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Bid Night – Chi Omega & Co.

I absolutely LOVED our theme this year! You may have heard about girls recruiting having a rush crush or two….. but I had 65 this year. 😉 All of our new members are truly amazing and I’m so excited to get to know each of them better as time goes on.

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Panhel lovin’ with one of my favorite ASA girlies, Andreya, and my sister Tori.

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Our perfect new members!!! Welcome to Chi Omega, cuties!

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That’s my recruitment recap. Hope you enjoyed getting a peek at my busy and exciting weekend!

Gatsby? What Gatsby? – Chi Omega Semi ’15

Last weekend my sorority held our annual semi-formal and the theme was modeled after one of my all-time favorite books and movies…

The Great Gatsby

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What I Wore

AKIRA Black Label Sequin Dress (sold out, but here are some similar options 1 & 2)  –  Kendra Scott Phara Necklace,  Sophee Earrings  –  Bite VIB Rouge Lipstick  –  BCBG Paris Nude Heels

I got to borrow this gorgeous AKIRA Black Label dress from a friend, so I went all out with my outfit for the evening. I added a bold red lip and a collection of curls, created with my favorite curling wand and hairspray, to complete the look. I must say, the final product was definitely a bit different than the style that I typically go for, but I absolutely loved how the whole look ended up coming together!

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 One of my best friends, Connor, came as my date for the evening.

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photography by Madeline Karas

How SWEET it is to Grant Wishes!

Do you know that warm feeling you get in your chest and cheeks when you can’t stop smiling because you’re just so happy?! After this weekend, it’s quite a familiar feeling.

On Sunday, my chapter of Chi Omega held our 5th annual dodgeball fundraiser for the Make-a-Wish Foundation! (I talked a bit about Make-a-Wish, our event, and our fundraising efforts in this recent post.) The event was Candy Land themed and a traditional bracket-style dodgeball tournament. Our initial goal was to raise $20,000 by the end of the event. In other words, a total of four wishes would be granted for children who are suffering from life threatening illnesses. However, we ended up raising over $20,000 before the event even rolled around!

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Flash forward to the day of dodgeball: Walking into Halas, our on-campus rec center, that morning and knowing that we’d already reached our goal of granting four wishes was such an amazing feeling! However, we were all starting to get pumped up about the potential of possibly granting five wishes by the end of the event that day. While the last few games were being played, our treasurer went off to count all the money and then came back with the final numbers for when it was time to reveal the check. We were all absolutely elated when we saw the number in front of us…

$29,329.85
THAT’S ALMOST 6 WISHES!

 

UPDATE: AS OF 11/15/2015 WE HAVE RAISED OVER $30,000, therefore granting SIX WISHES!!!!

Hats off to our incredibly fabulous philanthropy chair, Christine (pictured below.) She did such a remarkable job setting up dodgeball this year and making it the successful event that it was!
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Another HUGE thank you goes out to all of our absolutely amazing donors! Thank you SO MUCH for your generosity! We couldn’t have surpassed our goal or granted any of these wishes without your help! THANK YOU!
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{With the winners and the check!}

Oh how sweet it is to grant 6 wishes for Make-a-Wish!

Tangled – Halloween ’15

I hope everyone had an absolutely fantastic Halloween and Halloweekend! This year, I went as Rapunzel from Tangled and it was a simple, but incredibly fun costume! (It helps when a major part of your costume is already growing out of your head.)
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I borrowed the dress from a friend, got a Pascal stuffed animal and pinned it onto my shoulder, braided my hair, and used bobby pins with scrapbooking flowers attached to them. Then I threw on some jewelry to complete the look (necklaceearringsbracelet) and a pair of black tights and booties since it was so chilly this weekend!

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On Thursday, my sorority had a Halloween mixer with Sigma Chi. There were lots of great costumes, but some of my favorites were definitely the pineapple costume that my friend Anna wore (shown below) and the grape costume that one of my sisters put together.
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Gotta love Disney!
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I had a great Halloween weekend this year and I hope all of you did as well! 
What did you dress up as? 

Pumpkins & Cable Knit

Happy Halloweek!

My chapter recently visited Bengston’s pumpkin patch on a weekend for our sisterhood retreat! It was loads of fun and we all consumed a ridiculous number of apple cider donuts. Everyone was bundled up in flannels, cozy sweaters, puffy vests, scarves and boots since it was one of the first chillier days and we were going to be spending the day outside.

~ What I Wore ~
J.Crew Sweater (similar) and Jeans  –  L.L. Bean 6″ Boots and Puffer Vest (this vest from J.Crew Factory is another great alternative)  –  Smartwool Socks  –  Personalized from Me to You Monogram Necklace (here’s another similar one that I love!)  –  Kate Spade Seaport Studs  –  Kendra Scott Eloise Necklace and Mariam Ring Set  –  Vintage Signet Ring (similar)  –  J.Crew Factory Sunglasses

There were pumpkins absolutely everywhere, both big and small, and I ended up picking up a few small white pumpkins for decorating my dresser!

Not only did they have pumpkins all over, they also had camel rides, hay rides, apple cider, food trucks, funnel cakes, pig races, smaller rides, and the big slides that you go down on potato sacks. It was a packed day and an incredibly successful sisterhood retreat, not to mention a great way to kick off the Halloween season!

Fiona and I had to take our classic Greek Twin photo of course!

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What are your fall and Halloween plans for the week?

Ganging Up for Good with Secret & Teen Vogue

One of my favorite things about being a Teen Vogue Ambassador is having the opportunity to be a voice for some of the amazing brands and campaigns that Teen Vogue Works with. Many of you have probably already heard of the Mean Stinks Campaign by Secret. If you have, then you already know how awesome its efforts are! But let me tell you a little bit more…
Secret decided to bring a focus to the problem of girl-on-girl bullying, because as they’ve pointed out, it’s different. In this day and age, social media has made bullying even easier to accomplish anonymously, from behind screens, and quite often, girls are some of the big culprits of cyber bullying. As Secret says on their site, “girls have become pretty sneaky, using screen shots, Snapchats, anonymous messaging, group chats, sub-tweeting, re-posting and even ignoring and excluding.” Girl-on-girl bullying shouldn’t be considered the norm or even be close to acceptable. No bullying should be!
Secret has set out on a mission to bring an end to girl-on-girl bullying and their “gang of good” has already created over 2 million acts of nice as a part of the campaign! I’m very happy to team up with them as well to give even more of a voice to this issue and show my support for their efforts!
I have personally experienced girl-on-girl bullying myself on multiple occasions, especially back when I was in grade school. Because of my own experiences, I know that bullying is something that can really tear you down, make you feel bad about yourself, and cause a severe drop in confidence. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could put an end to this epidemic of girl-on-girl bullying and promote just being nice? (Being nice is so much easier than all that effort that goes into being mean and sneaky.)
There’s a publicly held opinion with Greek life, and sororities specifically, that it’s all rude, catty, and that hazing runs rampant in all chapters. This is most definitely not the case whatsoever. Hazing is considered a form of bullying and it’s punishable and considered a crime in lots of places. My experience with Greek life has been nothing but positive, so I decided to incorporate breaking that stereotype into my participation in the Mean Stinks campaign as a Teen Vogue Ambassador.
I asked some sisters from my chapter of Chi Omega to take part in the #ChainOfNice with me and take the Mean Stinks promise by sharing how they’ll spread the chain of nice and help to bring an end to girl-on-girl bullying. Check out their promises below!
Mollie: “Include everyone!”
Elle and Mary Margaret: “Kill people with kindness”
Christine and Allison: “Make everyone feel cared for”
Tori: “Leave people feeling happier than when I found them!”
Paige: “Make people laugh more”
Anna: “Make a difference in someone else’s life”
We want you to join all of us along with Secret and Teen Vogue in spreading the #ChainOfNice! Print out one of the pledge sheets here and tell us what you’re going to do to keep the chain going and bring awareness and an end to girl-on-girl bullying!
A big thank you to the awesome ladies who helped me out with this post!
Mean Stinks!