Showing posts with label Vanity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vanity. Show all posts

Monday, March 10, 2014

Lessons Learned from Mardi Gras

Ah, Mardi Gras. The one time of the year where it's socially acceptable to wear an obnoxious amount of plastic beads, break your diets with local foods such as beignets or po-boys, or stay up to the early hours of the morning as enormous, elaborate floats pass by with riders adorned in theatrical costumes.  I am no rookie to the Mardi Gras scene thanks to an amazing roommate who opened my eyes to the traditions of her hometown last year. Having survived my first go around, it was of no surprise that I was ready to jump back on the horse when the time rolled around again. Whether this year's Mardi Gras is your first time to the 504 or you're a seasoned NOLA veteran, here are a couple of lessons you should learn after your time in the Big Easy. 

1. It's pronounced Mardi "Graw" even though it's spelt like Mardi "Graws"
I'll admit, I still struggle with this one even though I have experienced the craziness that is Mardi Gras. Learn how to properly pronounce the way Mardi Gras is said if you want to avoid the "Oh you're a tourist" look from local residents as well as be corrected every single time you accidentally emphasize that deceiving “s”. 

2. Pace Yourself
Remember: Mardi Gras is a marathon...NOT a sprint. A typical Mardi Gras rookie will go all out the first night and be so tired that they can't enjoy the rest of their time. Yes, I am speaking from experience. The energy of Mardi Gras may push you to go above and beyond on your first night but trust me when I say the same things you want to do your first night will be there the second and third night. Have fun but remember you have to wake up to do it all over again the next day. 

3. The Jump & Snatch 
When it comes to parades, having unique, one of a kind beads thrown at you is basically a given. Each parade has their own set of beads that they throw so catching said beads becomes somewhat of a bragging tool when you proudly display them on you. Enter the jump and snatch. When a float is throwing beads, your best chance of getting them is jumping into the air at the time of release and snatching whatever your hand catches first. This method of bead collecting works...90 percent of the time anyway. 

4. The Bourbon Street Buddy System 
Oh Bourbon Street. From your flashing lights to your packed streets, no Mardi Gras trip is complete without visiting Bourbon Street at least once. It's one of the most well known destinations for Mardi Gras and also the most crowded. With that in mind, say hello to your savior: the buddy system. While it may seem obvious that staying with your group is imperative, you would be surprised how easily it is to be next to your BFF one second and in a flash be holding hands with a complete stranger. The buddy system is simple: stick to the sidewalks when moving from place to place and in the event you find yourselves caught in the tidal wave that is Bourbon Street, latch on to one another and make your way to the closest, least crowded spot to regroup. 

There are countless lessons that one can learn from Mardi Gras as each experience is unique to the individual, however these four lessons are imperative to learn should you have any chance at conquering the Big Easy. Take it from a seasoned Attendee-these lessons will only enhance your time in the 504. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Ultimate Ultra Guide

When you hear the word “Miami" you probably think of South Beach, tanning and a popping nightlife. While Miami may be all of that, there is a unique factor that happens every March, which makes going to school in Miami that much better. Ultra Music Festival, or Ultra as it is commonly known, is one of the worlds largest electronic dance concerts that takes place every year in Miami. People from all over the world travel to the sunshine state to experience the culture and raw energy that literally transports you to another world. Before coming to school here, I had absolutely no idea what Ultra was. Now, as a junior, I can proudly say that this year will be my third time attending with each time topping the last. No matter if this is your first Ultra or you've been going since you were in high school, here is your ultimate guide to all things UMF. 

1. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Ultra is no joke. Think of that one night you literally danced away and multiply that by three. Add in the humid Miami weather plus a crowd of 100,000 and what do you have? A recipe for dehydration. It is so imperative that you keep hydrated throughout the entire day-spend the five or ten dollars in water or invest in a camelback to share with your friends-all of it goes a long way. While Ultra has made efforts to keep their attendees hydrated with free water stations being implemented, sometimes you just can't (or won't) wait. While spending even more money on water seems costly, your body will be thanking you later. 

2. Pick a Meet Up Location 
Despite your best efforts to stay with your group of friends, getting separated from them is bound to happen. Make a plan at the beginning of each day to meet up at a unique spot should any one of you ever get lost. While the obvious solution might be to simply text and ask where everyone is, cell phone reception isn't your friend during Ultra and chances are you'll be too busy dancing to Krewella's newest hit to be checking your phone. 

3.  Go in With a Game Plan
Over 100 DJs showcase their talents during UMF. While it is unlikely that you will get to see them all, you can increase your chances of jamming to your favorite artists if you go into Ultra with a game plan of what you want to do. Every year, Ultra releases the set times of every artist and what stage they're going to be performing on via their app. My advice? Download this app the week of and plan your time at Ultra around the information it will provide you with. That way you aren't totally overwhelmed when you get there and you aren't missing your favorite DJ! 

4. Bring Back the Fanny Pack
I know. It's so old school. But the Fanny Pack will actually save your life at Ultra should you make the decision (and you totally should) to invest in going. Not only does it hold all of the essentials (water, keys, tickets, and phone) but you also don't even realize that it's there! There is nothing more annoying than having to hold a backpack or purse and constantly having to make sure it's untouched. A fanny pack gives you the security of knowing all of your things are safe because it is literally hanging right in front of you. The best part is it rests on your hips so you are free to fist pump all Ultra long. 

5. Pictures aren't really worth 1000 words
The best piece of advice I can offer is this: don't experience Ultra from behind your cell phone. The urge to take a million and one videos and pictures is going to be there and I'm not saying you shouldn't take any but the culture that is Ultra demands to be felt. You miss out on the beauty of everything if you're constantly trying to capture it on your phone. Take in your surroundings and dance to the amazing beats that artists prepare especially for this event. Worry about videos and pictures later because chances are someone in your group will be furiously snapping away. 

If you ever get the chance to attend Ultra Music Festival, prepare yourself for an incredible weekend filled with fun, laughs, and lots and lots of dancing. Each year Ultra changes little by little so that no two Ultra's are alike. The DJ's performing may change, but this guide is forever. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Three Ideas to Spice up Your Galentine’s Day!

We all know that it’s coming. In only one day, the holiday that screams pink, red, and hearts galore will be arriving. If you’re not like me, then you probably have your significant other’s gift ordered and ready to go and he, being the good boyfriend or hubby that he is, booked your dinner reservations weeks in advanced. But if you ARE like me and find yourself single this Valentine’s Day then put down that copy of the Notebook you were planning on watching and pick up your cutest pair of heels! 

Galentine’s Day inspired by the show Parks & Recreation, is the single gal’s solution to the one day that where the importance of having someone is overly emphasized. It celebrates you and your best group of girlfriends and is the one day to show the world not only how amazing you all are but how fabulous you can look on the arms of no one! I’ve put together a list of three ideas that will make THIS Galentine’s day the best one you and your girlfriends will experience yet!

Sleepovers 2.0
Just because we’re the 20 something year old generation, doesn’t mean we’re too old for a good old fashion sleepover! Have everyone rendezvous at someone’s house for a night of gossip, great food, and of course-your favorite chick flick or rom com (romantic comedy). My personal favorite? John Tucker Must Die because nothing says happy Galentine’s day more than a group of four women banding together for one common cause-the take down of a pretty face with a not so pretty reputation.

Oversized glasses, wedges, and brunch? Oh My!
Whether you’re going the morning of Valentine’s day or dragging everyone out of their beds the next day, an all-girls brunch at your favorite local restaurant could be an ideal time to get all your girls together, dress like your favorite Sex & The City character, and catch up on lost times. Granted, the restaurant might be decked out in the theme that you’re trying to avoid but after you and your friends settle in- I can almost guarantee you’ll be transported and will instantly forget about why you guys went there in the first place.

C…C..C..Cosmic Bowling!
As childish as it sounds, a night of cosmic bowling at your local bowling alley has its perks. Flashing neon lights, bumping music, a pair of shoes that barely fit and of course all of your best friends could make for an unforgettable night that will take you into the wee hours of the morning. If you’re looking for a night of dancing without the painful heels and can take a liking to aiming a ball at five pins-I seriously recommend that you consider trying this! You never know, you and your girlfriends could end up starting a little bowling league of your own!

No one likes to be single on Valentine’s Day. But it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. While everyone else is celebrating their love for their significant other, take the time to go out and celebrate the love you have for your best friends. Spending it with the people who understand you best can turn any Valentine’s Day into the one incredible Galentine’s Day.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Four #MCM’s You Should Consider


Man Crush Monday. The one day a week where the female population takes to Instagram showing off the men whom have caught their eye. Whether it’s your long term boyfriend, some model you stumbled upon on Tumblr, or a well-known celebrity-these are the four #MCM’s you definitely should consider the next time Monday rolls around and you are debating whose picture should grace your Instagram news feed.

4. Kenny Vaccaro
Kicking off the countdown is NFL Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro. A born and raised Texas southern gentleman, this 22 year old University of Texas at Austin alumni was drafted first round by the Saints in 2013. Although he is a newbie to the professional football world, it didn’t take long for this cutie to make a name for himself…and make an impression on the ladies.

3. David “Dave” Franco
Ringing in at number four is David Franco, aka Dave Franco who recently starred in the hit film Now You See Me. And yes, you read his last name correct. Dave is the younger brother of accomplished (and also equally attractive) actor James Franco. Call it his alluring smirk, his charming laugh or those amazing eyes-any feature is more than enough to make him Man Crush Monday material.

2. Mark Wahlberg
Oh Marky Mark. This Boston native actor has been on the scene for quite some time now, starring in movies such as Ted or Lone Survivor. At the age of 42, he for years has captured the hearts and affection of women all over the world. Although he is older, we can’t help but melt every single time he opens his mouth and that to die for Boston accent comes through. Plus have you seen his old Calvin Klein ad?! Definitely something worth hash tagging #MCM

1. Aubrey Drake Graham
It’s of no surprise that Aubrey Drake Graham, more commonly referred to as Drake, wraps up our countdown locking in the number one spot. Starting out his career on the hit show Degrassi, Drake made a name for himself on the hip hop scene when he began with rapper Lil Wayne. His smooth, sultry lyrics coupled with that million dollar smile make him more than worthy for all Man Crush Mondays to come.

It goes without saying that there are millions of beautiful candidates out there that could easily earn the title of being your Man Crush Monday. But, it is definitely worth considering these four handsome men the next time it’s Monday and you find yourself browsing for a new face to add to your Instagram page. 

Who is your Man Crush Monday? Let us know below!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Spring Recruitment Tips

As winter break begins to come to a close and those of us in the Northeast prepare to trade in our fur coats and Uggs for flip flops and bikinis-a record number of girls are heading back early to take part in the amazing process that is Spring Sorority Recruitment. Unlike most schools, spring rush at the University of Miami is our pride and joy as most sororities are not allowed to recruit during the fall semester. I can remember it like it was yesterday-anxiously texting my best friend pictures of possible outfits, reading hours on end about the different reputations of the sororities at the University, and nervously biting my nails as everyone in my Rho Gamma group waited outside our first party. This spring will mark the two year anniversary since my freshman recruiting days and now that I am on the other side of things, I’d like to offer a few spring recruitment tips that I wish someone would have told me. 

As silly as this tip may sound, I couldn’t even begin to tell you the number of times I would start breathing frantically before, during, and after each recruitment party I attended. As hard as it may seem, relaxation is the key. If you go into recruitment psyching yourself out, chances are you will miss out on the opportunity to truly connect with the sorority women who have worked tirelessly to ensure that this spring recruitment is one of the best. Before entering a party, close your eyes and slowly begin to countdown from five while picturing yourself as a tight roll of paper that is slowly beginning to unwind. By the time you reach zero, you should feel calm and collected. Plus, believe it or not-the ladies on the other side of that door are just as nervous as you are! So walk into that sorority suite with confidence and in turn, you will project confidence and ease everyone’s nerves-including your own!

Although it is not explicitly stated in the dress code they give you prior to recruitment, most girls choose to wear their best pair of heels during the different days of recruitment. While those cute Jessica Simpson’s look amazing on and compliment your outfit, your feet will secretly be dying inside by the time you reach your third party. Standing up for six hours at a time does begin to take a toll-at least it did for me. After a while you start focusing on the pain shooting up the arch of your foot and begin concentrating more and more on walking then at the conversation at hand. Enter my lifesaver: Dr. Scholls for Her! This amazing brand offers a high heel insole that, when put in each heel, offer a whole new world of comfort. What is even better is that you can purchase this product at your local CVS or Walgreens! If you haven’t been introduced to the wonderfulness that is this product-I definitely recommend it; your feet will thank you later! 

By definition, a Rho Gamma is a sorority woman who has chosen to disaffiliate herself during recruitment so that she can help facilitate the recruiting process, answer any questions you might have and ultimately aid you in the decision of choosing what sorority is best for you.  During recruitment, my Rho Gamma was like a goddess-she was on call 24/7 in the event we wanted approval for outfits and was so easy going and understanding that talking to her was like talking to a childhood friend. While not all Rho Gamma’s will be like the one I was fortunate to be paired with-they are all there willing, ready, and able to help should you let them. A Rho Gamma has to apply and be interviewed before being chosen so rest assured that you are in great hands as seen by Panhellenic Council. While it may seem strange to open up to a complete stranger about what you’re feeling about certain sororities-your Rho Gamma is there to listen to you and, if you allow her, guide you to the right sorority! 

While the urge to be as prepared as you can for recruitment should and will be there, venturing onto sorority ranking sites such as is not the way to quench your curious mind. While it may be nice to see what other people are saying about the different sororities you are interested in, you have to keep in mind that most posts are outdated, can be written by the sorority women themselves, and cannot even begin to accurately sum up the heart and soul of every chapter. If you truly are interested in a sorority and want to know more, try visiting their official website, Instagram, Twitter, or  their Facebook page. Each forum is an excellent way to gauge just what that particular sorority is all about! 

You’ve chosen the most perfect outfits, you’ve done your (correct!) research, and you’ve watched any and all movies that have to do with sorority recruitment. Whatever the case may be, the one and perhaps most important tip I can leave you with is to have fun! The way recruitment at Miami and many other schools are set up is a system that both benefits you and the sororities. It is designed so that in the end, you do end up where you truly belong. If you have faith in the system like I did, then I can guarantee the rest of your time in college will be spent with the best group of women-whatever letters they may wear! So have fun, laugh a little, and use everything the Panhellenic Council and this article have given you. You only go through recruitment once-make it the best it can possibly be! 

See you ladies all on Bid Day! 

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