Monday, January 30, 2017

On Being Panhellenic President

Well, I have officially turned over my position and passed on my gavel.

I had the honor of serving as Furman's Panhellenic president over the past year. What does this mean exactly? On Furman's campus we have 7 sororities and 6 fraternities. The Interfraternity and Panhellenic council is the governing body over all the chapters. As Panhellenic president, I presided over all the sorority chapters on campus and helped plan things such as speakers, social events, facilitated our partnership with the fraternity community, fostered sisterhood between chapters, held weekly meetings for the council, dealt with all Greek conduct issues, and planned and executed our biggest event of the semester...recruitment.  It came with a great deal of responsibility and as overwhelming as it has been the past year, I'm so thankful for the leadership opportunities it provided me. 

Our Panhellenic is the biggest organization on campus. We have over 900 girls in our community and it was a great honor to experience a position of that scale. I learned so much about my own leadership style and the most effective way to communicate with a group. I became more confident in my ability to plan and execute large scale events and more comfortable taking command of a room. I learned the value of change (we changed up a lot of things this year!) and how to work with people who have different strengths than me.

While I held leadership roles in high school, this role felt so different. A lot of events depended entirely on my organization and at times the pressure was all too real. I failed more than once or twice and learned some invaluable lessons on time management. But in the end, I learned my way. I figured out the best way for me and put 100% of my effort into everything we planned. And most importantly learned how to ask for help. Do it. 

Sometimes the best experiences are the ones you don't expect to have. Looking back a year ago, I was extremely torn in my decision whether to apply for a position on my own chapter's exec or to do something new and branch out. I am 100% sure I made the right decision and so happy with all the new people I got to meet!

Having this position also helped me realize how much I enjoy leading a group! I loved being a resource for my exec team and providing my opinion on their individual projects. Although I'm not in the real world yet, I am confident that all the skills I acquired through the year will be fully transferable to any job I may have after I leave college.

Like I mentioned on Friday, I officially turned over on Thursday. It was bittersweet as I'm going to miss certain aspects, but I realize my time is over. It's hard when you only have a year to fit in everything you want to do and I feel like now I am finally in the position where I had it all figured out. I'm so grateful for the opportunity I had, but looking forward to the future leadership roles I get to take on!

So my advice to anyone starting their college careers: take on a leadership position and prove to yourself that you can do it. You can give a presentation to 300 new freshman girls and confidently answer new parent's questions during a presentation about Greek life on Parents Weekend. You can plan  recruitment for 1, 200 girls and you can increase the number of women who go through recruitment by 50%!!

College is such a great time time to discover yourself as a leader. Take on a position you may be a little hesitant to accept! I learned from every mistake I made and better understood my role as time went on. If I can do it, you all can do it.

Prove to yourself that you can be a fabulous leader.

Leaders come in all shapes and sizes. You don't have to be the president of a big club or of your sorority. You can be a leader by setting an example for people to follow. Be a leader in your community by volunteering to tutor or by voicing your opinion.

Be the leader everyone is inspired by.




Friday, January 27, 2017

FriYAY! + What exciting thing happened this week!

This week was busier than expected (but isn't every week really?). I'm looking forward to having a chill weekend catching up on emails and homework so I can go into next week prepared! One of my roommates from last year who is a year older and graduated last May is coming to visit us this weekend so that should be exciting as well!

Although we are on week three of this semester, I finally feel like I have figured out somewhat of a routine. It always takes me a few weeks to get used to my new class schedule and work load and on top of it I was super busy with recruitment the first two weeks so it's nice to finally feel like things are slowing down. 

An exciting mile marker this week was that I officially turned over my duties of Panhellenic President! I trained the new president and had the official turnover ceremony on Thursday night. I felt a huge sigh of relief that I could turn it over to someone who I think will do a great job and not to mention gain back some of my free time! 

The best thing about the week was probably the weather! I wrote the other day on Instagram how I was longing for warmer weather and apparently God follows me on insta because my prayers were answered! It was so nice to enjoy some sun and temps in the 70s. I know it's only January but I'm ready for ya spring!

Now for for what's on my radar....because I have a lot this week. 

1. If you know me well, you know I'm obsessed with multiples. I watch all the TLC shows about multiples and dream of having twins (even though multiples don't even run in my family). I though this video about a mom of quads was so funny!

Did you hear the news?! Harvard is putting their photography class online that anyone can take for free!

I have been searching for a new carry on and I think this one may be the one. Plus it's monogrammed?! Can it get much better than that?!

This.little.girl. Oh my gosh. The cuteness is too much to handle. Watch Claire sing her heart out.

I'm ready to try this ASAP. Anyone know if it's in stores yet?!

Coolest and chicest toothbrush out there.

Add honey to your bookmarks (for free!) and it will help you find coupons for the product you want to buy. I've tried it a few times and it's super cool!

J. Crew has really been killing it lately. I'm obsessed with all their new arrivals.

I've heard great things about this podcast! Everyone is about a different famous woman in history!!

Loved this post Julia did this week! Super helpful and something I'm definitely going to bookmark. 

What's on your radar this week?




Wednesday, January 25, 2017

An Ode to the High Heel: History of the High Heel

Last semester I took a class called Clothing as Self Expression. I took it as a fun elective to offset some of my other harder classes I was taking last semester. It was a fun class and interesting to learn the evolution of garments and the characteristics of fashion that made up each period in history. Especially since I think I want to be involved in the fashion industry in some form once I start my career. I think I'm leaning towards the marketing and communication side of everything but it was still get great to gain some background on the history of clothes.

We started in the renaissance and worked our way through the years. We looked at different garments and trends in general. However one of my favorite pieces to learn the history of was the high heel! I wrote my final paper and presentation on high heels too!

Now, let me preface you. I am totally not a high heel wearer. At 5'1 you'd think I'd be all about anything that makes me taller. And then on top of being short, my boyfriend is 6'5! But in reality I'm really not much of a heel person. I much prefer cute comfortable flats :) I know you can find really comfortable heels but I guess I just haven't found any I love yet! Maybe that should be one of my 2017 goals...

Despite our rocky relationship I still enjoyed learning about the rich history behind high heels so I thought I would share with you a quick summarized version of my paper!

I'm not a huge history buff but I do enjoy learning the background of things I'm interested in! I thought it was fascinating just how long this shoe we throw on everyday has been around. Every time I slip on a heel now for a formal or function I'm going to think of Catherine De Medici wearing her heels!




Monday, January 23, 2017

Winter Blues

I always feel a tad disappointed after Christmas because winter attire seems much less fun after the holidays. I love wearing all the holiday plaids and abundance of red, but after the holidays I feel like I'm confined to a sweater every day. 

I always struggle a bit in winter. I feel so uninspired. Everything is grey and colorless and I feel confined inside with the cold weather. While it may not be 30 degrees here every day, it's definitely not warm enough to hang out outside. We've had so much rain the past few days and that really has not really helped my seasonal slump! I'm praying spring arrives early this year as I'm ready for the flowers to bloom and walks around the lake.

We have a full six weeks ahead of us until spring break (or 43 days if you're counting like me). I know it's not really that long, and it will probably fly by, but right now it just feels so far away. I know this is a time I need to enjoy since graduation is right around the corner, but it's hard when you feel like you're doing the same mundane things day after day (aka class). I think I need to start planning at least one fun thing every weekend to look forward and help get me through the week. Not only will it make spring come faster, it will help me cherish my last semester at Furman! 

Sweater (on sale!) | Vest (on sale!) | Jeans  | Watch | Purse  | Necklace

Anyone else sick of winter yet??




Friday, January 20, 2017

FriYAY! + Why I'm Headed Home This Weekend!

This week started off strong with Bid Day (aka the best day of the year!!). And to add a cherry on top it was a short week because of MLK day! All week I kept getting confused about what day it was. Starting my week on a Tuesday really threw me off. I didn't do anything super out of the ordinary or exciting this week. It mostly consisted of homework (typical), worrying about a french class I'm taking (typical), meetings (typical), and interviewing new people for panhellenic exec to take my current team's place!! We turn over next week and while some days I'm counting down until I give up the big responsibility of being panhel pres, it will definitely be bittersweet. But we'll save those feelings for next week.

This weekend I'm actually headed 4 hours back home to Raleigh! Emory (my sweet boyfriend of almost a year!!!!) recently got into a law school in the triangle area so he is touring it on Friday and I figured I may as well tag along and make a weekend at home out of it! I'm excited to see my family, lounge on the couch, watch all the shows I prerecorded, sleep in my own bed, and eat some home cooked food. Ekkkkk can't wait!

I never complain about trips home and I think the break will be perfect. We'll head back to campus Sunday to make it back in time for Monday classes. It will be a quick trip but I know I'll still appreciate getting some downtime. 

I wrote a post on Wednesday about bid day but I snapped this quick picture of my view of bid day right before we did the recruitment counselor reveal. I was worried all week about the chance of rain but I couldn't have asked for better weather! It got into the 70s by mid day and was so sunny! 

Now for what's on my radar this week...

I'm impressed by Talbots shoe selection! Love love love this pair and this pair as well (both on sale too)!! 

Okay tell me these ice castles aren't the coolest thing ever?! On my list of places to visit this year.

If you've been reading for a while you know how obsessed I am with weddings. This one was beautiful and they even had a bow tie bar!!

I think I want a pair of heeled booties to wear with skirts and dresses in the Winter. Plus I could use the height. I really like this pair....thoughts? While we're at it, I'm really obsessed with these rain boots too.

Love this look on Mackenzie! She inspires me to wear my white pants in the winter!!

Did you see this video of these identical twins reunite on GMA earlier this week?? So cute. 

Happy weekend everyone!!




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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