Showing posts with label Ali. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ali. Show all posts

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Why I Went Greek {Ali}

Ever since I found out what a sorority was, I wanted to join one.

My love for all things Greek started in about 2001, when I was first introduced to a character named Elle Woods.  She was smart, beautiful, sassy, and looked smashing while wearing pink.  Then in 2002, my love was confirmed when I watched the show "Sorority Life" on MTV.  Does anyone remember that show?  It completely intrigued me.  What was being in a sorority all about?  Who were these people, and more importantly-- what sorority were they in?!  It boggled my mind that the Greek letters were blurred out during the entire show, and I Googled relentlessly until I could find out which organization this show was all about.  There was so much drama, there were so many twists, and I spent so many hours glued to the screen.

But that was the movies.  That was made for TV.

As I left high school, I chose to stay in-state and attend Arizona State University.  The campus looked beautiful, there were many great shops and restaurants nearby, and Mom wasn't too far of a drive either when I wanted a home-cooked meal.  Plus they had an excellent Journalism & Communication program, so I was sold.  Even though I stayed in-state, a funny thing happened... NONE of my friends from high school chose to go to ASU.  They all either chose the rival college in Arizona, or to go out of state.  Big gulp... I was a lone ranger.  I was on my own to find a new circle of friends.  There was no question; I was going through sorority recruitment.  I signed up, and went shopping for outfits to wear to recruitment immediately.

Once Bid Day rolled around, I had lunch with my Mom by campus just before the big event.  As I sat there talking to her about my experience over the past weekend, I started crying.  I fell in love with the chapter I wanted to be in, and the connections I made meant so much to me... I cried just thinking about it.  The women in this chapter were ones that I identified with, looked up to, and were in alignment with my values.  Tears of happiness, I found my home.  And a few hours later, I found out that my wish came true.

As my first few years of college flew by, I was swept away in Greek pride.  I was so proud, that I painted our sorority name in neon pink spray paint on the wall of the spare bedroom where 3 of my sisters and I lived together.  Oh, and my car had a 3 foot wide decal on the back window too (in pink, with hearts).  I got involved.  I held positions, and they forced me to take action to improve my leadership skills... and get out of my comfort zone.  As one who liked to do things typically all on their own, I learned how to delegate and trust in my sisters to help me get the job done while I was recruitment chair.  One late night while living in the house, I bonded with a new friend in my pledge class.  We laughed, we cried, and we were inseparable from that day forward.  I was there the night she met her future husband at a fraternity house.  And, she stood beside me as my Matron of Honor at my wedding 3 months ago.

And then there was that one time I got in trouble... oh boy.  Now I could leave this story out, but I'm keeping it real... this humbling event was key to my experience.  While I thought I was having an innocent party one night, it didn't exactly play out that way when I got called in the following week.  Some of the new members were at the party, and our advisors weren't too happy with me.  I was so upset with myself, I cried for days.  But you know what?  It taught me a lesson.  I learned how to better look out for my friends, my chapter... my sisters.  How, you might ask?  Because it was up to people like me to ensure the chapter I loved stayed that way; it's the older members' responsibility to guide the new members in the right direction.  Sure, we had fun.  But sisterhood to me wasn't about a party.  Often times, it was the nights hanging out on the couch that meant the most.  Suddenly, I saw the bigger picture & a lightbulb went off... it all made sense.  Once things calmed down, I realized that my sisters cared enough about me to call me out when I was doing something wrong.  I respected them for doing that.  That's exactly what happens while you're in your early 20's; you grow up.  Now I'm not suggesting to go out there and be reckless, but it's ok to make mistakes too.  Being Greek holds you accountable, and reminds you to respect the values that made you fall in love with your chapter in the first place.  Thank goodness I had my sisters by my side to experience the growing pains together.  Those 4 years wouldn't have been close to the same without them, and I can't imagine it happening any other way.  And as I continue to grow for the rest of my life, I know that they'll be right there with me for the ride.

Today, the pride I take in being Greek has taken on a new meaning... beyond any massive sticker I could place on the back of my car window.  I can say with my whole heart that choosing to go Greek is one of the most important decisions I've made in my life.  I met my bridesmaids, it challenged me as a person (and made me a better one), and I've built a career for myself out of something that I hold so dear to my heart.  It taught me to be a better friend, a better leader, and a better woman.  I even attribute my decision of going Greek to meeting my husband; if it wasn't for the people I met in my sorority, I might not have ever met him.  After graduation, being Greek takes on a whole new meaning... when you meet another woman who is also a Greek alum, it's instant common ground (same organization as you or not, it doesn't matter).  I'm fortunate that I get to stay connected to Greek life through both The Sorority Secrets, and through my company 224 Apparel as well.  Even after I've graduated, I'm able to give back to something that has given so much to me... and it gives me true joy.  I believe in sorority women.  They are among the most powerful, influential, and caring people I know.  It's an honor to be a part of such an organization, and part of a legacy of remarkable women.  I'll be forever proud to be a Greek woman, and grateful for my decision to Go Greek.

{P.S.} no TV show can capture the magic of what it's really like.  Not even close :)


Monday, August 18, 2014

TSS Favorite Things {August}

Sakura - Shoes | Power Card | Ring

Holy moly... is September really only less than two weeks away?  It feels like it was just yesterday that we were jumping for joy for the first day of Summer!  Well we're here to kick off the week with our monthly TSS Favorite Things!  Here's some of our favorite items of the month!

TOPSHOP: Espadrilles - I've been obsessing over espadrilles lately!  There's nothing better than shoes that are cute & comfy!

J.Crew: Power Card - I'm constantly on my phone and I'm always stressing that my phone is going to die!  Luckily I have this adorable power card to charge anything with a USB power cord.

Adia Kibur: Band Ring - I really like the look of simple band rings.  These really go with anything!

J.Brand: Black Distressed Jeans - I've been looking everywhere for black skinny jeans with distressed details.  These are the perfect look!

Anastasia: Brow Pomade Eyebrows are everything.  This pomade lasts all day, and applies easily!

MAC: Perfume - My signature fragrance... the scent makes me feel happy!

Minimergency: Emergency Kit - This little pouch carries everything from a mouth refresher, a band-aid, clear nail polish, nail polish remover, deodorant, stain remover, lip balm, shemergency tape (double-sided tape), safety pin, and more! Yup... all in this little pouch that's smaller than the size of your palm!

Converse: Sneakers - You can never go wrong with the classic white Chuck Taylors! They're the perfect sneakers to dress cute & casual!

Baggu: Tote - If you've never had a Baggu tote, you're missing out.  These totes are really inexpensive and you can practically use it for everything and anything!  

Have a wonderful Monday, everyone!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

TSS Favorite Things {July}

Sakura- Hat | Lipstick | Flats

July has been a wonderful month for us and we've had so much going on!  We're currently working on some fun & exciting stuff for TSS on the back-end that we can't wait to share!  Still in this crazy month of July, we still found time to go shopping and give you our must-haves of July!

Sakura was determined to find a new lip color and found Twig by MAC!  It's a great color and goes wonderfully with MAC's lipliner called Whirl.  It has that perfect "Kylie Jenner" matte look and it's definitely a must-have color.  Ali is Miss Fashionista and you can never go wrong with black wedges!  These Halogen wedges goes perfectly with everything and you can dress it up or down!  Karen's been committed to eating healthy and let's just say, she's doing a fabulous job!  Getting a juicer can be a bit pricey, but with a great juicer like Breville, it's worth every penny!

We hope everyone had a wonderful month!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Ali Ties the Knot In Cabo

Venue: Hacienda Cocina y Cantina // Ali's Dress: Mariee Bridal // Hair & Makeup: Alan Torres @ Casa Dorada

Here comes the bride!  This past May (May 25th, to be exact) TSS Co-Founder Ali tied the knot to her hubby, Jon, in sunny Cabo San Lucas.  Ali & Jon dreamed of a wedding day on the sand with the ocean as their backdrop, and knew that Cabo was just the place to have it.  They always loved going to destination weddings for their friends' nuptials, because let's face it-- it's the perfect opportunity to take a vacation with all of your family and loved ones!  Not only was their wedding a fabulous night, but they also were able to turn the celebration into an entire weekend long fiesta.  Guests included immediate family and closest friends, for an intimate ceremony.

Ali chose a color scheme of shades of white & soft pink, accented with gold and hints of turquoise.  Guests were given locally handmade maracas (in both light pink & white) as favors... which ended up being a big hit in both pictures and on the dance floor!  Keeping close to their own personal style, Ali wore an elegant 2-piece dress, with a sparkly lace up corset top and a full skirt.  Ali loved the idea of a formal gown in the casual beach setting... not your typical beach ceremony wedding attire, which is exactly what she had in mind!  Jon opted for a more casual suit instead of a tuxedo, paired with his signature footwear of choice... white boating shoes.  Bridesmaids wore mix & match dresses from Nordstrom, each with their own personal touches for accessories.  

The wedding party walked down the aisle to live music.  A Spanish guitarist & violinist duo played to the crowd, and Jon's cousin Shae sang "A Thousand Years" by Christina Perri as the couple met at the beachside altar.  Another special touch, Ali's father in law became ordained for the occasion, and conducted the wedding ceremony.  Once the ceremony concluded, a mariachi band led the guests into cocktail hour... it was time to party!

Wedding guests dined on dishes with local flavor.  Margaritas, guacamole, and churros (YUM) were all on the menu.  The wedding cake was classic vanilla buttercream (the couple's favorite) topped with fondant, a dusting of gold shimmer, and fresh flowers on top.  Everyone danced the night away to songs ranging from Rod Stewart to Calvin Harris.  Instead of a photo booth, Ali & Jon decided to have a video booth for guests to record personal messages... check out the video highlights here!

It was a night (and weekend) that Ali & Jon will cherish forever.  To anyone considering having a destination wedding-- their advice is go for it!!  With life's busy schedules, having an opportunity to get away with your loved ones is truly a once in a lifetime experience.  

Special thanks to our fabulous wedding planner, Rachel Hansen, for turning our dream 
wedding into a reality!  And thank you to Amy Bennett Photography for capturing 
each moment so beautifully.  You both were a joy to work with!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

TSS Favorite Things {June}

Ali- Dress | Shoes | Lipgloss

Oh boy, June is coming to an end already and our summer has been absolutely crazy!  Like every month, we gather our favorite things of the month and compile them just for our readers!  This month, we have a little bit of everything from books, lip glosses, to speakers!  Check them out and share with us what your favorite things of June are!

Happy Summer!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

TSS Favorite Things {April}

Sakura- Flats | Primer | Brush

April is here and it officially is starting to feel like Spring!  This past month was a big month for us with birthdays, wedding celebrations, and lots of traveling.  We've gathered some of our favorite items of this month for you all to check out!  

Sakura's Tangle Teezer comb has been a big secret we have been wanting to share along with the super trendy initial earrings that we have been seeing on tons of celebrities!

What are some of your favorite items of April??

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Hot Pink {with The Stylist LA}

Dress: c/o The Stylist LA.  Shoes: Steve Madden.  Purse: Saint Laurent.  Sunglasses: Forever 21 (similar here).

With warm weather right around the corner, we welcome the change in season with one of our favorite hues: hot pink!  It's eye-catching, it's bold, it's a statement.  For any occasion, hot pink is always a brilliant choice.

When it comes to getting the perfect dress for that special occasion, constantly shopping for new items can be challenging.  Instead of shopping in your girlfriends' closets, our friends at The Stylist LA are the perfect solution to getting the outfit you're looking for-- both quickly & friendly on your wallet.  They offer fabulous dress rentals at a great price (like Ali's Naven dress pictured above) and it's yours for 7 days.  Simply mail it back when you're finished!  And if you're not sure which dress to choose, they will even help with styling advice to pick the best ensemble just for you.  Plus, a fun fact-- the Founder of The Stylist LA is a USC Kappa Kappa Gamma alum!

We love the beautiful dress selection from The Stylist LA.  We look forward to sharing both Karen & Sakura's favorite dress finds as well! Be sure to check them out for your next event,
special occasion, or date night!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Workspace Chic with Office Depot/See Jane Work: Ali's Picks!

For us, a creative workspace means a happy workspace.  Being in an environment that provides inspiration keeps the creative juices flowing while you're working away!  When TSS Co-Founder Ali moved in to her new office, she was excited to decorate & get organized with her finds from Office Depot & See Jane Work.  Practical items with a feminine and colorful touch?  Sign us up! 

Ali fell in love with the black and white patterned items-- from polka dots to stripes.  She picked bright white as the backdrop for her space, so these two patterns fit the color scheme perfectly!  The striped Letter Sorter & Magazine File added interest to the corner of her desk... not to mention, they're great for organization!  Both items hold papers and small notebooks with stylish ease.  Even the little Pink Notecards find a home in the Letter Sorter.  Hey, you gotta send those thank you notes!

Those highlighters pack a punch... they're smudge-proof!  We've never seen a highlighter like this one before.  Another practical item is Binder Clips, and we fell for these sweet little pink ones-- complete with a bow on top.  Binder clips have certainly never been this cute before!  The polka dot Business Notebook keeps things together with an elastic band, and is great to grab for notes on the run.  Sticky Notes are always handy, and these ones felt special in the Lavender color.  Got a quick note to save for later?  The polka dot Flip Book Notebook will do the trick.

Two of Ali's favorite items are the White Stapler and White Tape Dispenser.  She loved the clean and simple lines, and of course the chic white color it was offered in!  Both items fit right in with the decor, and make for nice looking (and useful!) desk accessories.

Binders and Padfolios are an office staple, and Ali couldn't resist the ones with the polka dot pattern.  The Padfolio is one of our top picks... clipboard on top, and a legal size notebook fits neatly inside.  It's a great item for meetings, and for jotting down notes on the go.

We're constantly making "To-Do" Lists.  Seriously, who can live without one?!  When Ali saw this pink To Do Sticky Notepad, she had to have it.  It's a lifesaver for daily tasks, complete with spots to check items off as you go.  Naturally, Ali thought that Pink Pens to match her notepad would be a nice touch!

We love how Ali's office space came together with her finds from Office Depot & See Jane Work.  Big thank you to everyone at Office Depot for helping her creative space come to life.  With these finds, we've discovered that there's no need to be bland... practical office supplies can have style too!

So, are you inspired to go shopping?  You're in luck!  Check out our Coupon for $10 off your purchase of $50 from See Jane Work.  Hurry, it's valid through the end of March!

*Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Office Depot, however, all views and opinions are solely that of The Sorority Secrets.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

TSS Favorite Things {February}

We're well into the month of love, aka February and we have some new favorite things that we wanted to share!  Sakura and Karen found a new love for their new favorite nail polish and Ali found the perfect fragrance for a big day!  We've Instagrammed some of these items, but thought we would share it so you know where to find these products- just click the links above!

Happy February, everyone! :)

Monday, February 3, 2014

TSS Co-Founder's Inverview: Ali

1. Where do you currently reside and what do you love most about it?  I live in hot but beautiful Scottsdale, Arizona.  I was born in Toronto, Canada (dual citizen over here) but have lived in AZ for most of my life!  Definitely the best part of living here is being close to my family & friends.  Everyone lives right around the corner from me!

2. Describe your closet.  Color, patterns, stripes!  And solid black or grey.  I love a pretty printed top (especially of the silk or flowy variety) and a pair of J Brand jeans.  That's my uniform.  Add in a sparkly statement necklace, or an eclectic scarf.  A well-tailored blazer and a few maxi dresses top it all off!

3. What was your favorite part about being in a sorority?  Meeting new people.  Not only did I meet lifelong girlfriends (and soon to be bridesmaids!) in my own sorority, but I met a lot of great people involved in Greek life as a whole.  Even after graduating, it's so cool to see how the Greek connection introduces you to new friends as well.  It's instant common ground.

4. What did sorority life teach you that you applied in the real world?  So many things!  The biggest lesson I learned was while I was Recruitment Chair.  I stressed so much about making every little last detail perfect, I lived/breathed/slept recruitment.  But you know what?  It all came together beautifully, and I didn't need to worry as much as I did.  My sisters helped me every step of the way.  With hard work & support from my sisters, we did it!

5. What are 5 beauty products that you can't live without?
St. Tropez bronzing mousse:  Listen, ladies.  In college, I swore by the fake bake (sorry, Mom!) and now I won't touch a tanning bed with a 10-foot pole.  I do like having a sun-kissed glow; this stuff is my tan in a bottle!  Check out my post on St. Tropez for application tips.

CND Vinylux Nail Polish:  I also did a post on this product, it's my manicure life saver!  For the girl who likes to change her polish more frequently than gel nails, but doesn't have time for constant chipping, this is my happy medium.  Try Romantique & Wildfire, my staple colors!

The Balm Bahama Mama bronzer:  I discovered this thanks to my favorite beauty blogger, Maskcara.  It's the perfect color for contouring!  (p.s. her video on HAC changed my life!)

Milani Eyebrow Pencil:  Brows are EVERYTHING.  I have naturally sparse eyebrows, so this gives me the fuller look that I love!

Mac Dollymix Blush:  I've worn this blush color for years.  Maybe it's the hot pink color, maybe it's the rosy cheeks it gives you (or maybe it's both).  It's pretty, and pink.

6. What do you love most about working on TSS?  Getting creative!  I get so inspired thinking about new perspectives, new content, and new products.  Brainstorming for the projects we work on (like the You Can Sit With Us video) excites me.  I love feeling like we can make a difference, big or small.

7. What is the best advice you were ever given?  At ASU, my professor in a design class told us a quote that stuck with me.  "Every child is an artist; the problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up" (said by Pablo Picasso).  This can be taken literally, and in a broader sense.  Never lose that sense of childlike wonder.  Never be too "grown up" to lose sight of pursuing your wildest dreams.  Embrace your mistakes; they could create a masterpiece.  I could go on for days about this quote; I truly love every interpretation behind it!

8. Who is your celebrity style crush?  Can I pick three?!  Miranda Kerr, Kate Middleton, and Blake Lively can do no wrong in my book.  When it comes to Kate, nobody can rock a Jenny Packham gown with such elegance.  With Miranda, I would do anything to play dress up in her closet.  Her street style is impeccable!  And Blake will forever be Serena Van Der Woodsen to me... one of my favorite fictional characters.

9. What are your top 3 stores to shop?  Nordstrom, especially the Savvy department, is my spot.  I love "treasure hunting" (as I like to call it) at TJ Maxx & Marshall's.  I'm also hooked on the accessories & bright colors found at J. Crew!

10.  What do you like to do on your day off?   Relax!  We love going to movies and trying out new restaurants.  And since I'm getting married this May, wedding planning is also on my agenda!

11. What else do you do for work?  A little over 3 years ago, my fiancé and I started 224 Apparel, a Greek Licensed clothing company.  I've always been entrepreneurial, and I fell in love with designing Greek apparel when I was in college.  I knew that I had to do something creative to be happy, and I dreamed of being my own boss.  I work hard everyday to follow my dream!

12.  What are your interests/passions?  I'm a total art nerd.  I have artists on both sides of my family, so art was a huge part of my growing up!  I'm beyond excited to go to Paris for the first time this summer on my honeymoon with my fiancé.  He better get ready for hours upon hours with me at the Louvre nerding out (...hint hint when you're reading this, babe!)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Vote For Ali!

Our very own TSS Co-Founder, Ali, is nominated for Most Fashionable Under 30 in her home state of Arizona!  She's honored to be nominated... and would love the support of our readers!

Voting only takes a minute, and you can vote once a day now through 11/30.  Let's help fashionista Ali take it home for a win!  CLICK HERE to get your vote on!  {psst... she's the first one on the list, under Ali Matthews}

Thanks everyone for your support, remember to vote once a day!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Throwback Thursday: The Sorority Secrets Video

We thought we would change it up a bit this Thursday and do a little Throw Back Thursday!  It has been roughly 8 months since we released our teaser video and we've gained quite the followers since we launched The Sorority Secrets at the end of January.  By doing a Throwback Thursday, we thought this would be a perfect way to show our new readers and followers who we are, our mission, and why we created The Sorority Secrets.  

If you haven't gotten to know us, the Co-Founders, then find out about each one of us here.  It's been quite the journey and it's been amazing to see how much The Sorority Secrets has grown in so little time, but we have SO MUCH MORE for you all in the pipeline.

We want to take this time to thank you all; thank you for sharing your secret, for following us, for helping us spread the news about The Sorority Secrets, and thank you for believing in us.  Our goal is to spread the positivity of sorority women and Greek life; as well as to be the go-to site for ALL women, not just sorority women to be able to share and hear other women's secrets and recommendations.... cause some secrets are meant to be shared!

We love you all and thank you!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Ali's "I Do" Diary: Bridesmaid Proposal Boxes

Craft Supplies: Michaels

Here comes the bride... and it's our very own TSS Co-Founder, Ali!  Yes that's right, Ali and her honey Jon are tying the knot in May of next year, and we will be documenting their journey along the way.  We love weddings, and Ali is beyond excited to share her tips and ideas with all of our readers.  And yes, we will be there when they share their "I do's" too!  For other brides-to-be or those dreaming of their big day, we hope that we can provide a little dose of wedded inspiration!  We are thrilled to announce Ali's "I Do" Diary column... take it away, Ali!

Ali's "I Do" Diary: June 19, 2013.
Little girls dream of planning their big day with their prince charming, and I am so lucky to have found the man of my dreams.  Now that we've set a date and started putting our plans together, I needed to do something else that was very important-- ask my best girlfriends to stand by my side!  My wedding day wouldn't be complete without the girls (and sorority sisters) that I've shared my favorite memories, laughs, and cries with too.  Because they mean so much to me, I wanted to do something special when asking them to be my bridesmaid.  So, I decided to "pop" the question!

I'm a bit of a Pinterest fanatic, so naturally I went right to Pinterest when looking for bridesmaid inspiration.  I came across a few ideas involving Ring Pops, and I knew it was the perfect way to ask my girls!  Sweet, creative, and a little silly, it described what I was going for perfectly.  I headed straight to Michaels with my color scheme (light pink) in mind, and got down to crafty business!

I used natural cardboard gift boxes, scrapbook paper, rubber stamps, stickers, pink paper shreds, gift ribbon, and of course the key ingredient- Ring Pops.  Double sided tape made for an easy (and less messy) adhesive to attach the scrapbook paper to the boxes.  Testing out the rubber stamps on some scrap paper first was helpful to get a system down just right.  Once I put the boxes together, I tied them with a bow, and voilà!  An adorable little bridesmaid proposal box was complete!  I added a personal note with each box, and sent them on their way.  Hearing each of their reactions was priceless; I'm so happy to have asked my bridesmaids to be a part of our special day in a creative way!

I can't wait to share more bits and pieces of our wedding planning with all of you!  More to come soon!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Happy Father's Day!

"A daughter may outgrow your lap, but she will never outgrow your heart"

To all of the Dads out there, we're wishing you a Happy Father's Day this weekend!  And a special thank you to our own Dads and families for all of their endless love and support.  We love you, and would be lost without you!  Have a great Father's Day everyone! 
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