Friday, May 30, 2014

Put Your $$$ Where The Miracles Are

I'm so jazzed about volunteering in New Orleans tomorrow at the 31st Annual Children's Hospital's Telethon! 



Children's is a not-for-profit hospital in New Orleans, and fundraisers like this telethon are what ensure that no child is turned away because of a family's inability to pay. It's a Children's Miracle Network Hospital, which happens to be Phi Mu's national philanthropy. 

I was lucky enough to volunteer at a telethon at Children's last fall, where we helped raise over $32,000! It was so great! 


Our philanthropy is one of my favorite parts of Phi Mu, and I know my sisters love it as much as I do. 


If you're in the New Orleans/South Louisiana area and tune in to WDSU tomorrow afternoon, you may see some of my sisters on TV. Who knows, I might even answer when you call to donate! 

But the beautiful thing about this digital age and internet? You don't even need to be from around here to donate! 

After all, it's all for the children! 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Stella & Dot

I'm usually a "less is more" kind of gal when it comes to jewelry. I always have pearl earrings in, but am not adventurous enough to buy statement necklaces, rarely wear more than three bracelets, and will sometimes put on a ring as an afterthought. 

My friend Brooke Curole recently became a stylist for Stella & Dot, a fabulous jewelry and accessory company! When she told me about it, I told her I'd check it out while thinking, "Um, yeah… Sorry, I doubt I'll actually want to buy anything."

But I kept an open mind and browsed her online trunk show… And fell in love with some adorable pieces! 


All of the Stella & Dot jewelry is exclusively designed in New York City, hypoallergenic, lead and nickel safe, and artisan crafted and hand finished! Plus, if you don't like your piece (not likely), easy free 90-day returns! 

I noticed as I was making this collage that my tastes tend to lean toward the simpler pieces; surprise, surprise. 

arrow bangle // eden studs // eden ring (on sale!) // nancy studs // turquoise drops // gold drops // letter charm // eden bangle


Brooke's trunk show ends on June 6th, so contact her if you'd like to open your own! She can tailor a shopping experience just for you! 

If you have any questions, you can email me, as always, at toodlebelleblog(at)gmail(dot)com

Happy Shopping! 

P.S. Keep up with Stella and Dot on Instagram, Pinterest,  Facebook, and Twitter!  

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Summer Reading List

One thing I don't miss about high school: summer reading lists. 

Now my alma mater never assigned terrible books, and even though I love reading, something about being forced to read put a bad taste in my mouth (Can you believe I hated The Great Gatsby summer before sophomore year, but now it's one of my favorites?). 

But now that I'm not forced to read The Grapes of Wrath or Jane Eyre (also a great book I hated the first time around), I can read whatever I want! Yay college

Here are some I'm planning to read soon! You can follow me on Goodreads to track my progress or get more ideas for your own summer reading!


I also plan to re-read the Harry Potter series because I'm taking a Harry Potter literature class in the fall (again, "Yay college!").

What do you plan to read this summer? 


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Massachusetts Photo Recap!

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know that had an amazing Memorial Day weekend in Cape Cod and on Nantucket Island! We lucked out and avoided some dreary weather (but did get hit with a surprise cool-front!). 

I'll admit, I was a little sad about being back in Louisiana, but I'm working on being thankful and appreciative and that goes for my little hometown, too. Thibodaux can be beautiful… 

But Massachusetts was absolutely gorgeous! These are some of my favorite pictures from the trip :)

Nautical outfits with Mom at the Hingham Shipyard Marina. We stopped near Quincy to eat lunch at Walburgers. Apparently, there's a reality TV show that her friend watched and since it was on the way to the cape, we had to stop for lunch. The food didn't disappoint. 

Next stop, Cape Cod. We hit some serious traffic, but finally made it to our hotel. We stayed at The Hyannis Resort and Conference Center. It was really nice, and only a quick car ride away from the beach! 

This is at Kalmus Park beach; it's got a lovely view of the harbor. Since it was late in the afternoon and still early in the season, it was completely deserted. 


So much fun! 

#LoveMyJacks

It was Figawi Race Weekend, so we saw all the sailboats on the ferry from Hyannis to Nantucket! 

If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say, "Where the Figawi?", I'd be able to take another trip to Nantucket next weekend! 
The whole island is absolutely delightful. 

The Lilly Jeep! If only my dad would let me wrap my jeep like this...

We attended mass at St. Mary's (Our Lady of the Isle). It was beautiful. 

Check out the serious cobble stone street. And I thought New Orleans was hard to walk through...

Mom snapped this as we were heading back to the ferry. Wishing we could have had another day on the island! 

I cannot wait to go back because this trip seemed to fly by.

I'll definitely experience another Figawi weekend again, hopefully with friends after we turn twenty-one so we can fully appreciate the experience: Mimosas on the ferry (the girls seated next to me seemed to be having a ball), Dark & Stormies, and all the fun at Cisco Brewery ;)  

To see a few more pictures from my trip, check out my Instagram!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Inside My Carry-on Bag

Cape Cod and Nantucket are only one sleep away! (Well, technically two since the first night of the trip will be spent in Boston. One sleep until adventure!)

That means packing, second-guessing, unpacking, repacking, and over-packing until tomorrow afternoon.

"Inside My Bag" posts are some of my favorites to read (#NosyRosy) and write so I thought this trip would be another great opportunity for one.





































Unplanned color coordination :)
Longchamp 
I love my large navy Longchamp Le Pilage tote! I bought it in the fall and it's quickly become my favorite everyday bag. I can fit so much in here and don't have to worry about it falling apart; it's made to last. From school to the gym to work to travel, this bag is definitely an investment piece. Currently trying to talk myself out of buying a black one, too…

Book or Kindle & Journal
I'm still torn between my love of paper and my love of digital convenience. I picked up The Boys in the Boat from the library, but have a few extras on my Kindle (not pictured) just incase I finish it too quickly (Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and The Last Tycoon by Fitzgerald).

I've already written about how much I love journaling, especially when I'm traveling!

Phone & Charger
Does anyone else feel like their phone's constantly drained? My iPhone 4 is overdue for an upgrade but I'm trying to hold out for the iPhone 6 (Fall 2014, fingers crossed) with hopes that battery life will be improved. For now, I use this portable charger from J.Crew (Mine's been discontinued, but this one is similar).

Eyeglasses & Sunnies
My glasses are Warby Parker (Ainsworth in Walnut Tortoise) and my sunnies are Raybans (Retro-Cat in Black)

Wallet
This is an older Coach wallet, probably from Marshalls. (similar & similar)

Red Vines
My favorite summer-travel-snack! Doesn't everybody have one?

Essentials Clutch
I found this adorable little clutch in the France gift shop at Epcot in Disney World. It makes the perfect just-incase bag!

It's actually a lot bigger than it looks!

It's filled with:
gum (only for the plane ride - I hate smacking)
mints
headphones
an extra hairband
nail polish for touch-ups
a pillbox (with Ibuprofen and Midol)
chapstick (EOS is the best!)
contact case & solution


I can't wait until tomorrow! I'll be back next week to share all about my trip.

What are some of your travel necessities? 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Destination: Cape Cod

I'm so excited to be hopping on a plane and jetting off to the sunny (fingers crossed!) seashore of Massachusetts at the end of this week (only three sleeps away)!


That's right, I'll be in "Preppy-Kid Mecca" for the Memorial Day weekend. I cannot wait!  

We're flying in to Boston on Thursday afternoon, spending the night there, driving to Hyannis in the morning, and then spending the weekend there. We're also planning a day-trip to Nantucket island for Saturday! 

I'm still trying to figure out how to pack (forecasts in the 50s and 60s, a bit chilly for this Louisiana girl), and planning out our activities! 

If anyone's got tips for how to dress, must-see shops or restaurants, or any other useful information, I'd really appreciate it! 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Summer Bucket List

In case you missed it, it's officially summer vacation!

I was so worried about being bored, that I lined up two jobs (one babysitting, one at the school newspaper). I'm all about making the most of this summer!

I put together this list of fun things I'd like to before school starts up again in the fall. Maybe you'll get some ideas for your summer adventures, too!


1. Dip my toes in the ocean. 
2. Ride around in the Jeep with the top down. 
3. Go for a bike ride. 
4. Build a sandcastle. 
5. Bake a cake.
6. Paint a picture.  
7. Read a book (or twenty). 
8. Eat an ice cream cone. 
9. Fishing. 
10. Swimming. 
11. Start a garden.
12. Do a puzzle.
13. Light fireworks with friends.
14. S'mores.
15. Barbecue.
16. Binge watch a TV show
17. Wear sunscreen every day.
18. Mini golf.
19. Bowling.
20. Make homemade ice cream.
21. Play in a rainstorm.
22. Golfing.
23. Watch a sunrise.
24. Visit friends.
25. Wash the Jeep.
26. Macarons (baking and eating!)
27. Library trips.
28. Shopping trips.
29. Journaling.
30. Try something new.


What's on your Summer Bucket List?


P.S. If you love bucket lists, check out my 20 Before 20

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Reflections on Freshman Year

It's official. I'm completely finished with freshman year. Pretty soon, life in Scholars Hall will only be a memory.

Wasn't I just moving in and decorating my dorm room? Why do I have to pack everything up again?

How did that happen so quickly?

I feel like if freshman year were a picture, I probably blinked at the moment it was snapped, but not because I wasn't ready or wasn't in the moment -- only because it was a picture like this.


Full of laughter. Full of love. Full of life. 

No need for a do-over or another take, though I wish the photo shoot would last for a little longer.

As I was taking my final exam this afternoon, I started thinking about some of the lessons I had learned in my short time here at Nicholls. I even included some in my paper about F. Scott Fitzgerald (No, I can't exactly remember how they went along with the topic. Finals week gives me amnesia).

Here it is: the nuggets of advice I feel that I have authority to give all of you (whether you're going to college soon, you're there now, or you've been long gone from the halls of your alma mater). This is life advice for everyone!


  • Be open minded. 

Don't be afraid to try things outside of your comfort zone.
It's super cliche, I know, but only because it's true!
Join a club, (or a sorority!), talk to strangers, make new friends, and don't be scared to eat alone every once in a while.
I'm still working on this one, but you really have no idea how open minded I've become over the span of one school year.

Also, I feel like this goes along with being open minded: don't let yourself judge others! Destructive thoughts destroy our lives. 


  • Draw your lines. Don't be afraid to re-draw them. They're going to change and that's okay. 

Earlier in the semester I felt like I was losing my way.
I had become so different from the person I was a year ago. But the thing was…
I didn't not like it.
This had me so confused, so I went and talked to my favorite priest in the whole world and he gave me this solid advice.
I had told him that "my life was in a downward spiral and I didn't recognize myself anymore" (what can I say, I've got a thing for dramatics).
He told me that in college, it's okay to let yourself make a few bad choices to learn why they're bad for you.
He told me that I had to draw my own lines. I could try to base mine on the lines that the church draws, but ultimately, they were my lines. And it's okay if they change, a little or a lot, throughout the course of my life.
College is a time for learning and growth. It's okay to try new things, but only if we understand the consequences of pushing the boundaries of our lines or even pushing past them. Sometimes the results aren't pretty, but that's okay, too.


  • Love yourself and your life. 

I love the person I'm becoming -- the person that I am.
High school-Sydney loved very little about herself, but college-Sydney finds a reason to smile every day.
I've found that keeping a positive attitude can be hard sometimes, but it's worth it. No, I'm not happy all the time, but whenever I'm feeling down, I try to build myself back up.

Always look for the good: silver linings in the clouds, the green in the grass, the blue in the sky, the way the sun paints the earth in shades of light. I love the e e cummings quote that says, "The earth laughs in flowers."
We live in an absolutely beautiful place, and it's hard to be sad when you think about it that way.
One of my best friends taught me how to see nature this way and it's, without a doubt, helped me in some of my darkest times.



So here's to a summer of happiness, of laughter, and of life. One of adventure and of new experiences. A summer of relaxation and rest, but also of fun. One to remember.


With love, from one of the newest sophomores on campus! 


Monday, May 5, 2014

Pep-talks to Myself

It's Monday.

Finals are upon us.

I'm sitting in my post-formal disaster-area of a dorm room on a sheet-less bed, and all I can think about is the novel I'd be reading if I didn't have a headache from Hades.

I'll probably be sending an SOS out soon.

Right about now, I'm needing a pep-talk (and maybe an iced latte).

Naturally, I turned to Google because all of my friends are at the library being productive or something like that.

Here's what I found.


One // A Pep Talk from Kid President to You



My favorite line: We've got work to do. We can cry about it, or we can dance about it. 


Two // Ryan Gossling "Hey Girl" Memes


Thanks, Ryan. Love you. 
Images from here and here.



Shout out to Odeya Pinkus for writing such a fun article. I've never met you. I probably never will, but you put a smile on my face today, Odeya. Thank you. 

Picking my favorite line was tough, but these two gems made me chuckle. 

"On the topic of being prepared, there are things that you need to know as you embark on this journey. Know that you will see more pictures of textbooks on Instagram than you ever needed to. Know that just because someone tweeted about Starbucks coffee, it doesn’t mean that he or she is any more awake than you are."

“If you can dream it, you can do it,” Walt Disney famously said before jumping into his icy time capsule. (But don’t worry, he’ll be back.) Listen to the man whose company eventually kickstarted Britney Spears’ career. She can do it, and so can you.



I feel better already, don't you? 
Now to procrastinate a little more by cleaning my room, working out, more blogging, and then maybe I'll put a dent in this Fitzgerald novel! 
Wish me luck!


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Memory Lane: Prom Edition

Last weekend, my Instagram feed was filled with high schoolers on their way to prom.

Lots of awesome up-dos, stellar makeup, pretty flowers, some beautiful and classy dresses (and some not-so-classy, yikes!)

My junior prom was definitely the better memory of my two prom experiences. 

I went with my best friend, who matched his bow tie to my dress perfectly. We went out to dinner at a fancy restaurant with friends, and then we danced the night away. 

I can't even remember how the prom-posal went (More than likely, he didn't even ask… I think we just assumed we were going together after 5+ other dances) and I don't remember the after party, either, but the dance was so much fun. 


Senior year wasn't as happy of a memory. 

My best friend (and date from almost all the other dances) was in Ohio with the the rest of the indoor percussion for a competition. I went to prom with a group of girls instead, but I was so ready to graduate, that I didn't even really want to be at the dance. 

I had gotten my dress altered at the last minute and wasn't happy about the fit, and I really didn't care for my hairstyle, either. But at least I looked happy in the pictures. 


I'm hoping to have a better experience in this white dress on Saturday for my sorority's formal. My dress fits better, I have beauty-guru sisters to help with my hair and makeup, and I just know it's going to be a great time!