Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Bid Day 2017

Greek life is not for everyone. I totally understand and recognize that. It can seem over the top and pointless to some from the outside. But for me, looking back on the last 3 1/2 years of my time here at Furman, Greek life was 100% the right decision for me. 

Sunday was bid day here on Furman's campus. We have a delayed recruitment process so we don't start formal recruitment until we come back from Christmas break. I love that Furman's freshman get a full semester on our beautiful campus to learn to navigate their way around college life and get to know the girls who make up the sorority before going through the process during second semester. It gave me an entire semester to adjust to the college workload before adding the commitment of a sorority to my plate.

Having served on Tri Delt's exec board my sophomore year, I took a leap of faith and decided I wasn't going to apply again my junior year and instead go for an even higher position on Furman's Panhellenic Exec Board. After finding out I was named president I think my initial reaction was shock. How am I qualified enough to run an entire sorority community?! As my time as Panhellenic president wraps up (more on that next week!) I can say with absolute certainty that recruitment was my favorite (and not to mention hardest) part of my job.

Getting to be on the other side of the whole process was so rewarding. I was disaffiliated from my chapter starting Fall semester through Bid Day so my role during the process looked very different from my past years. This year I wasn't with my chapter and instead worked solely on the new member side. I got to work with the recruitment counselors and all the staff to help put on this production and get to talk to girls going through the process by offering them advice and guidance. I was a part of a group of recruitment counselors from all different chapters whose only goal was to help the potential new members find their greek home on campus.

It was so fulfilling to take a step back from my own chapter and focus on these freshman girls as they go through this crazy roller coaster ride called recruitment. I met so many new girls and feel so lucky I had the privilege to work with all of them.

There were many late nights in the last week but seeing those freshman girls run out of their Bid Day room to join their new sisters was a priceless moment. Their faces exuded excitement and I don't think I have ever seen so many tears of joy. They have found their home on campus and to think that I had just a small role helping them makes all the hard work 100% worth the effort. I wish they knew all the sleepovers, dance parties, friendships, and movie nights that are in their future. So many fun things ahead for them!

After all of the new members collided with their new sisters we did a big recruitment counselor reveal! I finally got to rejoin my own sisterhood and take a step back and enjoy the bid day I had spent so many days planning.  

This is (a majority) of my adorable pledge class. I think it's fair to say we're all still in shock that we're the seniors now. I couldn't have asked for a better group of girls to stand next to me during the last 3 1/2 years. 

My sweet sweet little. Although she may be a junior now I still think of Mary as a sweet innocent bow-wearing freshman. Although she's taller than me by a good few inches, she'll always be my little <3  

My sorority family! The McCrayCray fam has grown in size since my freshman year but I couldn't be more thankful for this fab group of gals.

Bid Day is one of my favorite days of the school year! I'm in disbelief that that was my last Bid Day *insert tears here*. I'm so thankful to be able to call myself a Tri Delt and so pumped for the 42 awesome new girlies we get to call our sisters! 




Monday, January 16, 2017

Personalized Kate Spade Bags!

Happy MLK day! I'm so excited because we don't have school today so I'm using this day to get caught up on so many different things, including sleep. I was pretty sick all last week and still have a bit of a cough so it will be nice to have a day off after a crazy weekend. Yesterday was Bid Day (post coming on that on Wednesday!) so you can imagine my sheer exhaustion after 3 full days of recruitment. It was a blast and I'm so excited about our 42 new deltas!

Over Christmas I discovered the magic of Kate Spade's personalized purses. If you know me, you know I'm always down for personalizing anything! I mean honestly, what southern girl doesn't love a monogram?!

If you haven't seen these new Kate Spade personalization options, let me fill you in. You're now able to completely customize your KS purse to fit you and your personal style! They would also be a great gift for anyone and could make for a really special birthday present.

I remember my first Kate Spade purse. I was (and still am!) absolutely in love with it. I took it just about everywhere I went and it was bright pink (shocker!). Today it looks very well loved but it's still one of my favorite gifts I've ever gotten. 




Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Home Bathroom Tour

We moved to the Raleigh area when I was a junior in high school from Camp Lejeune, NC where I had lived for my 8th, 9th, and 10th grade year (before that was Germany). So when we moved into this house I knew I would mostly likely only live here full time for two years before I headed off to college. 

Despite the short time I would be at home I was adamant about painting both my bedroom and bathroom. Having grown up in military housing almost all my life this was the first time I was allowed to paint my room. And let me tell you, it was a big deal to me. Over zealous, I went for a very bright teal for my bathroom. It was great for a few months but got old very quickly. 

Knowing how much I hated the teal, over the summer when I was up in NYC my parents decided to give my bathroom a little makeover and surprise me! They picked everything out and clearly know me so well because I'm obsessed with out it turned out! It makes me excited to one day have a space of my own to design. But until then it's always great coming back from school to a space that feels like me! My parents used a lot of things I already had in my room and really the paint change made the biggest difference. I wish I had before pictures because you would shocked, it looks like a whole new bathroom.

Even though I'm back at school now (classes started on Monday!) I thought I would share a fun video and pictures to see how it turned out. 

I tried to link as much as possible at the bottom. If I forget anything and you have a question, comment and I'll be sure to answer them!

Shower curtain | Prints (1 | 2) | Ginger Jars (Similar)




Monday, January 9, 2017

Bows + Camel

Today is my first day back to school and the first day of second semester classes. It's surreal that I'm starting my LAST semester of my senior year today! I still get that first day of class nerves just as I did when I was a freshman! Where will I sit? What should I wear? Will there be people in my class that I know? Will I like my professor?

While most people love the first day of classes because it usually consists of the professor just going over the syllabus it's typically one of my least favorite days. I get overwhelmed when the professor goes over every single project in 5 minutes that we're going to do throughout the entire semester and I always feel like I need to start all of them right away! However I'm determined to have a great "last first day of school" at Furman!

We've had recruitment here all weekend with the exception of Saturday due to the 4 inches of snow that arrived. I feel like I've been running around like a crazy person and didn't even really have time to think about classes approaching! The first day of classes are here and I feel like it completely snuck up on me and I'm not sure if I'm ready. 

Anyways....on a more fun note, the real reason of my post today!

One of my favorite colors to wear in the Fall and Winter is camel. It's a great neutral that feels cozy and sophisticated at the same time. Plus, it's great because it goes with black really well and I wear an absurd amount of leggings during the cold months. 

This outfit is great because it looks dressier, BUT I'm still wearing leggings! I mean come on, does it get much better with that?! I was in love with this sweater the moment I saw it and knew I had to have it. I've never had a sweater set and to be honest I was worried that it would be too much "bow". But, I actually really loved the look! The best part is is that it feels very festive to wear during the holidays but it could easily be worn all year long!




Friday, January 6, 2017


So here on Furman's campus today is officially the first day of recruitment. Eeeekk! We've been working towards this day since last spring and I can't believe it's finally here. It feels like we've been planning forever and ever and it's great to finally see all of our work come to life!

I got to campus on Tuesday and it's been NONSTOP since. We had 13 hour days on Wednesday and Thursday I've come back exhausted and it's only the beginning! But I'm excited because I think we're prepared and ready for roller coaster of ahead of us. 

I get giddy just thinking about Bid Day!

A picture I took last week on my trip to Palm Beach because we're supposed to get 8 inches of snow tonight and I'm wishing I was back in 80 degree weather.  

Okay I thought this twitter thread was so sweet/funny. 

Who shopped the Lilly sale?! 

I love this series on Southern Weddings. I love how it's real people in their real homes!

I got this bag for Christmas for my camera and I'm obsessed with it. 

Did anyone else see the Jackie movie?! I loved it and loved this article




Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Second Semester Senior

 I’m still in disbelief that I’m a second semester senior with just a few months of college left. I swear it was yesterday that my parents were helping me unpack the car into my freshman dorm room (not to mention in the pouring rain!). But in other ways that moment feels so far away. So much has happened in between and I’ve grown and changed so much as a person. Since that move in day freshman year I have completed 3 more internships (one in Paris and one in NYC!), spent a semester abroad in Italy traveling every weekend, spent a May semester on campus painting murals in downtown Greenville, written more research papers than I would have liked, met so many new friends, and conducted my own research!

Move in day freshman year! We've come a long way friends....

Senior year has been a roller coaster of emotions to say the least. The excitement of your last year is bogged down by the anticipation of the the real world just a few months away. On top of a heavy course load and being president and a member of multiple organizations you have to worry about applying to grad schools, interviewing for jobs, and experiencing so many lasts. There’s so much pressure to make senior year the best year, yet there are so many things to worry about.

But on the plus side, I’m really looking forward to this semester! I’m excited to figure out where I’ll be after May and excited to see what happens after graduation! I’m excited about my classes and think that I’m really going to enjoy them, well with the exception of French that I have been putting off lol). I’m excited to make new memories with great friends and enjoy our last semester together before everyone goes off and conquers the world!

I drove back to school yesterday and the madness has already begun. Classes luckily don't start until Monday, but as Panhellenic president this year the next few days will be filled with last minute planning before sorority recruitment starts on Friday! 

I'm in denial that I'm going to be starting my last semester of classes at Furman in less than a week. I'm truly at a loss where the last 3 1/2 years have gone. I have a good feeling about the next 4 months though and I'm going to do my best to fill it with memories!

So here’s to Spring semester. May it be filled with minimal stress (not likely but a girl can dream), late nights, and endless new memories celebrating our last few months of undergrad together. I can’t say I’ll be 100% ready to cross that stage in May in my cap and gown, but I’m thankful for all the time I’ve had at Furman and all dreams that lie ahead!!




Monday, January 2, 2017

New Years in Palm Beach

For Christmas, I got tickets to the Orange Bowl in Miami! Michigan (my team) was playing Florida State (Emory's team) so it was perfect that I got to fly down and we could spend a couple days together in the warm weather adventuring around South Florida! Emory is from West Palm Beach so it was very convenient that we could stay at his house and just drive down the day of the game. I'm so lucky that Emory grew up in West Palm and knows all the cool spots and can be a tour guide when I visit! It was only my second time there (my first time was last year over Spring Break!) so we tried to fit in as much as possible. 

I flew down on the 29th and flew back yesterday so I got to be there for New Years as well! 

The weather was so nice the whole time I was there. We walked on the beach a bit the first day and the sunset was STUNNING. I also love looking for shells and found some great pieces of sea glass too!

For Christmas everyone in Emory's family got a customized puzzle. A great gift idea if you have someone in your family who loves to puzzle! I made Emory wait to do his until I got there so I could help since I was on his! Isn't that the coolest thing?!

One of my favorite things we did one afternoon was a trip to the turtle hospital! I've always loved sea turtles and it was so interesting to walk around and read about the turtles that were being taken care of there. This is a fake turtle above butttt we did see so many adorable real ones and I was ready to adopt one of the baby ones! 

Even though Michigan lost (by a point :(((( ) the game was still one of my favorite parts of the trip. It was an exciting and intense game which made it even better. We drove down early and got to see Cole Swindell perform outside of the stadium before and then headed inside to see both FSU's and Michigan's band before the game started. We had an absolute blast and by the end I had no voice left from cheering. Don't worry, I've recovered since. 

We ended my trip with a long bike ride all over Palm Beach. Emory took me to his favorite spots so I could take in as much of the Palm Beach beauty before I left. I'm the luckiest girl that he's so patient and doesn't complain about all the frequent stops for me to take pictures :) 

Now I'm back in Raleigh preparing to go back to school tomorrow to start recruitment early. It will be a CRAZY few days finishing up the planning and executing all of recruitment, but I'm looking forward to seeing all those girls beaming with excitement when they get their bids on bid day. Until then, say prayers for me. As Panhellenic president this year I'm interested to see all the back work of the recruitment process!





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