formal season only means one thing…

A cute, creative and crafty cooler.

Southern sororities are known for many things, such as wearing sunglasses and sun hats to football games, always wearing their pearl earrings and necklaces and displaying nothing but southern charm.  But one thing that really stands out with southern sororities among the rest, are their infamous coolers for formals, away weekends or events.

There is nothing northern sorority girls like more than trying to bring southern traditions to their own school.  Which is why this formal season, I took it upon myself to be the first to make a cooler, not for a fraternity’s formal, but for our own.  Typically, the date makes the cooler for the fraternity formal they get invited too.  However, my date is not in a fraternity so we would only be attending a sorority formal this year. 

This was my first cooler and I had no idea where to even begin.  That is where the fabulous world of social media comes into play!  I searched on Pinterest for “frat coolers” and found so many amazing coolers that inspired me even more.  Then, I went on Facebook and joined a group called “The Cooler Connection”, it is open to the Facebook public.  On the group page there are files, photos, FAQ’s, and every piece of information you could ever need when it comes to making a formal cooler.

The most important aspect of making a cooler is to personalize it to the specific persons interests.  Whether it is their favorite clothing brand, sports teams, beer, etc. you want to make sure you personalize it to show them that you put a lot of effort into creating your masterpiece.  Below are some pictures of my first cooler I made for my date for my last sorority formal.  It took me about a week, on and off, but I could not be happier with the way it came out!

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If you have other traditions that you do for formals, away weekend or events, I’d love to know!  Please feel free to share with me how you get creative!

 

-Kylee

Mexico! Bahamas! Spring Break! OH MY!

Spring Break is upon us, and for Penn State students it starts this weekend.  Whether you’re joining your sorority sisters or fraternity brothers in Puerto Vallarta, soaking up the sun with you friends in the Bahamas, or enjoying the beautiful beaches of American in Panama City, there are some tips that each and everyone of you should be aware of.

When it comes to social media and social gatherings, the two don’t typically cross paths so easily.  Based on the content you post during your event or trip, you’re either helping or hurting your social media portfolio.  And what college student actually wants to hurt their portfolio?!  During social gatherings, whether it is a gala, an award show or a cocktail party, you may have more confident in your posts because there will most likely be an official hashtag and you can engage with the others in the same position as you.  When it comes to spring break and social media, I can assure you that there won’t be an official hashtag for how many margaritas you drank that day.

I came across this article about the Do’s and Don’ts of social media during and after your spring break trip, and I think it’s extremely important each student reads over it before setting sail.

To me, spring break is almost the same as the saying “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”.  Future employers and probably most of your followers or friends don’t care to see how you spent five days being drunk out of your mind on the beach with a bunch of random people from other universities.  If you’re gong to resort to social media in the next upcoming weeks, make sure it is tasteful, appropriate, and helps enhance your social media portfolio, not hurt it.

multiple lenses of MBFW- NYC edition

One might think that if you’re not in New York City this week, you’re missing out on one of the most eventful weeks of the year.  The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.  But that is wrong.  Thanks to two of my favorite social media platforms, Twitter and Instagram, you can basically attend any show you want right from your bed, desk or office.

For the purpose of this post, I will focus my favorite designer, Tory Burch, as a prime example on how fans around the world can gain insider information to all of their favorite designers catwalks, and more.  The Tory Burch brand did an excellent job of sharing their show this week by using Twitter and Instagram and an official hashtag.  First things first, the Tory Burch website invites all guests to watch their show live. There is no doubt that the next best thing to the actual show is a live streaming of it.

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Next, the Tory Burch Twitter invites followers and fans to stay connected during the week and show by using their official hashtag: #toryfall14.  This hashtag was used both on Twitter and Instagram which is a great way to keep fans interacting on multiple social media platforms.  The Tory Burch team utilized Twitter well during the entire show.  Everything they tweeted had to do with something happening live, something about their products, their instagram or the show.  Each tweet went full circle and it was very easy to follow along with.

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Lastly, the Tory Burch Instagram account is what really made me feel like I wasn’t only at the show but apart of the show.

social media bootcamp

This past Tuesday my COMM 497 class and I held a Social Media Bootcamp for organization leaders at Penn State.  We broke up into teams and focused on a social media platform that is beneficial to organizations.  My partner and I chose to present and research Instagram.

One thing that I really focused on during the presentation was the content that should be posted on Instagram.  I put together the following list of content suggestions depending on the type of organization:

  • žEach Organization: —birthdays, THON, members being involved on campus, Penn State Pride, social media contest
  • žSpecialty Clubs (ex. cooking club):—recipes, food, aprons, kitchen products, tips & tricks (info graph)
  • žTHON Organizations: —canning, THONvelope inspiration, countdown ,THON child(ren)
  • žClub Sports: new gear, game, player of the week, field view
  • žSororities/Fraternities: —philanthropy, members attending events, achievements, new apparel, founder’s day

During the presentation, I related different content to the organizations that were represented in each session.  The audience nodded in agreement and had an understanding of where I was getting with the purpose of each post.  The challenge with Instagram is not having something to post.  If there are no events, meetings, or games, organizations get lost and are unsure of what to post.  That is why we suggest they post a quote, or a picture of their members in apparel, or a picture of Penn State.  Something that will keep the followers engaged and help  the organization stay on their radar.

I referenced the Instagram account @asu_theta a lot.  It is by far one of he best run Instagram accounts I have come across and I recommend clubs and organizations follow it for inspiration.

 

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We had a great turn out at the event and ended it with an information session.  Each one of the students from the class paired up with a different organization and went over their specific accounts.  We offered advice and suggestions on how their organization can best utilize different social media platforms.

Thank you for a great event COMM497, I am so happy to be a part of such a great class!

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xo,

Kylee

 

how to prepare for Thanksgiving dinner

No, I don’t mean food.  I mean manners and conversation.  Thanksgiving is right around the corner, but so is seeing your family, including aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents whom you haven’t seen all year, or maybe even in five years.  With that said, there is an appropriate conversation for the table, and a conversation that should never leave your college dorm room.  For tips on how to properly wine & dine check out my other blog post.

Family dinners are one of the most exciting and anticipated events in my family.  Maybe it’s because I come from a big Italian family and everyone can’t wait to find out what you’ve been up to over the past year.  From what it sounds like, most of my friends experience the same when they meet up with their families.Image

My siblings and I on Thanksgiving in 2009

Your parents may or may not have experienced college, and if they didn’t go to Penn State, they didn’t experience it the way most of you are.  That is why it’s so important to be on your best behavior this holiday season, starting with conversation at the dinner table.  Here is a guide to appropriate conversations depending on who your audience is.

Acceptable Conversation Topics:

  • Friends
  • Updates on the clubs you’re involved in
  • Plans for the following semester
  • Grades (long lost family members love talking about grades)
  • Boyfriend/Girlfriend?
  • Funny college moment…(once again, only if you are comfortable talking about that with your parents) *immediate family only*

Unacceptable Conversation Topics that should NEVER leave your college dorm:

  • What you and your crush have been up to lately
  • Story about you or your friend falling asleep in a bush or on a lawn
  • Story about being driven home in a police car
  • Failing exams
  • Drama between you and your friends
  • The cat fight you witnessed at a frat party one night
  • How often you bathe

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These conversation topics are extremely important to remember with the holiday season approaching.  Some stories are perfectly acceptable to talk about with your immediate family, however, if they’re okay with it, your other family members might not be.

It is important that you never put anyone in a situation that makes them feel uncomfortable while they are trying to enjoy their holiday meal.  As entertaining as you and your best friend falling asleep in a random lawn and getting driven home by cops is, it is sure to make your grandma or conservative aunt uncomfortable.  The only exception to talk about the list that should never leave your college dorm, is if you have that one cousin, uncle or aunt who you know would love to hear your story, just make sure you keep the conversation between you two.

Family members follow you on social media and see your pictures on FacebookInstagram, and your drunk tweets on Twitter.  Try to refrain from any conversation about those posts, and if a family member happens to bring them up, just casually respond and quickly change the subject.  That way you’re not being rude, but you’re not stuck talking about your crazy long keg stand.

With these guidelines, I have faith in each and every one of you to be able to have a mature holiday dinner, no matter what family members you share it with.  Best of luck to you all, and please comment with any suggestions you may have!

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

xx Kylee

events & hashtags

Hello dolls!  I was lucky enough to interview Rent The Runway’s social media intern, Raychel Shipley, for my very first podcast!  I’ve always been fascinated with event hash tags and decided to focus the conversation on using hash tags for … Continue reading

fashion, fans & football

Depending on what region of the United States you live in, football games and fashion either go hand-in-hand or fashion is so far out of the question that you can’t begin to think how it can relate to football.

Many southern schools have a standard of class that many girls and boys follow when attending their university’s weekly football game.  Whether it be a sundress, sun hat, pearls, polos or khakis, it is a distinct look.  This Pinterest page provides a great example of southern inspiration for football games.

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Here is an example from one of my FaceBook friends and her sorority at a Tennessee football game.

Southern football style is more well-known among different parts of the country, but what about Big 10 schools that thrive off of their football programs such as Penn State?  One wouldn’t wear a plain jane “Penn State Football” t-shirt to the event without adding more accessories.

Schools such as Penn State, Nebraska, Ohio State and Michigan are known for their enthusiastic fans, especially their attire.  Being a Penn State student, it’s easy to tell what is and isn’t appropriate for a game.  Most of the outfits you see students and fans in are borderline obnoxious, but then again nothing can be too crazy for an amazing football atmosphere.  This article posted by Bleacher Report provides a great summary on how to properly dress for a Penn State game.  Be sure to include the following in your outfit when attending a Penn State football game:

  • Wear blue and white everything
  • Make sure your shirt/clothing says something about Penn State
  •  Accessorize with beads, hats, socks and hair bows
  • Most importantly a face sticker, tattoo or paint

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Although fashion is a key point when attending a sporting event, the most important accessory is good sportsmanship.  Wherever you are going, make sure you are familiar with the schools culture, language and attitude towards their opposing team.  Never make rude comments or inappropriate slurs, always wish the opposing fans good luck and when you’re team wins, tell them good game.

Before going to ANY event its essential to check different Instagram and Twitter accounts to see what students attending are posting about.  You’ll be able to see what they wear, what they do before the game, their attitude towards the game, and the type of language used at their school!

As much as I’d love to be apart of a southern football atmosphere and wear sundresses, boots and bows to a game, I can’t imagine being anywhere but Beaver Stadium every Saturday with 110,00 of my closest friends.

Good luck and happy football season!

WE ARE!

-Kylee

wine & dine

Wine and food is always a great combination…except when there is no wine and you’re with strangers.

One of the most nerve-racking events to attend is a scholarship recognition dinner.  Of course it’s an honor to be a recipient of an incredibly generous donation, however, many people are unaware of what that entails.

At first, you may not know anyone else who is attending.  Which leads to a fear of awkwardly standing out and walking around aimlessly avoiding conversations.  After an hour or so of a reception, you head to your assigned dinner table with more unfamiliar faces.

Your table will look something like the picture below, with an assortment of silverware, plates and drinks.

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For people who don’t normally attend events with a dinner setting like this, it’s important to act like you do.  Don’t make yourself look like you’re trying to be something you’re not, but don’t sit there and stare at your place setting, because that will be obvious to other guests.  The best advice I can give you is to be confident in what you’re doing.

Lets pray that your parents taught you how to be polite at the dinner table – meaning you know how to chew your food, properly hold your silverware and cut your food.  Before you dig into anything, make sure you place our napkin on your lap.  If this is the first time you’re hearing all of this then I suggest you go to an etiquette class because you will come across these table settings more frequently i.e: reunions, weddings, graduations, etc.

Along with being the most confident guest at the table, you need to understand the use of the utensils in front of you.  It’s this simple: from the outside in.

Plated dinners like the one above come in courses usually starting with a salad, soup or fruit.  If you have a salad, take the farthest fork on the left to eat it with. Don’t save your salad fork, that’s why there’s another one right next to it.  The server will clear your plate and used fork and you will have a clean area to eat your next course.  If you have soup, take the soup soon all the way on the right and eat with that.  It’s that simple.

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Your setting should then look like the picture above if you used your utensils properly.

All that is left is making small conversation with the other guests at your table.  Be friendly, outgoing and talk about a common interest.  One of my favorite things to do is ask the person sitting next to me if they were/are involved in greek life.  It’s a great conversation starter and you’d be surprised how many fraternity and sorority alumni are around you everyday.

Emily Post, a fantastic etiquette website, has a list of  Top Ten Table Manners, check it out!

 

xoxo

 

mimosas, floppy hats and preppy clothes..need I say more?

Being a student at Penn State is one of the most exciting things.  Especially in the fall with multiple events such as: football tailgates, homecoming, Halloween parties and more.  With so much excitement packed into one semester it’s difficult to … Continue reading