Sincere Compliments

In my 19 years of experience, I've noticed that people can sometimes have a hard time with the subject of compliments, both receiving and giving.

Maybe I'm just super vain (lets hope that's not it), but I, like most breathing humans, love getting compliments. In fact, I'd venture to say that most people do, but people don't give enough of them.

How often do you find yourself thinking highly of a friend, or bragging about your awesome friend, but never actually telling this friend what you think?

Why does it seem so much easier to spread gossip and bad energy around when we could be spreading good energy and positive vibes instead?

I've decided that from now on, whenever I catch myself talking someone up, I'm going to make it a point to tell that person. I think others deserve to know when you're thinking of them positively.

We did an activity at one of our sorority retreats this summer where everyone taped a piece of paper on her back and went around writing anonymous compliments. This was definitely a top-ten Phi Mu moment for me. Of course, being the hoarder that I am, I saved my sheet for the dark days.

With that being said, maybe you could make it your goal for the week to give at least one sincere compliment a day? Let's start spreading the good vibes :)

What's your favorite compliment to receive? 

Bid Day 2014: Welcome to Wonderland!

Waking up this morning, slowly but without needing the snooze button (although still rushing around to make it to church on time), I finally felt relaxed after an exhausting two weeks.

Being off of social media for the week meant that all the sorority girls here at Nicholls State blew up Facebook and Instagram with pictures from Bid Day yesterday (myself included). Of course, I had to share some of my favorite pictures from the day on the blog, as well!

It was such an amazing day, full of excitement, smiles, and loads of confetti! (See the video at the end of this post for an idea of just how much confetti)

How adorable are my sisters?!?

I thought the theme of Wonderland was so fitting, especially since we're all a bit mad here ;)

Check out this amazing video our advisor KT put together! 

Recruitment Week

My life has been revolving around sorority recruitment for the last month, and the week is finally here! (I blogged about it last month, too!). I'm so looking forward to my first time as an active member of Phi Mu, and especially meeting the new girls! It feels like I was just in their shoes, anxious and excited like I hope they are, too!

I love words so much, but putting into words how amazing this sisterhood has been to me? It's proving to be pretty challenging. 

Most of my pledge class on our bid day last year! 

I'm risking major cliches with this post, but the girls in Phi Mu are so much more than friends; they're my sisters

There aren't enough pictures I could post that would ever show all that Phi Mu really is. My sisters are, without a doubt, the most genuine, classy, kind-hearted, loving ladies. They know me better than I know myself sometimes, and love me even though I'm sure that's not so easy some days.

I'm praying that all of the girls going through recruitment this week (or in the near future) have a great experience (I made so many friends before I even received my bid).

My biggest piece of advice for all Potential New Members? Listen to your heart. You'll meet a lot of girls and hear so many facts about each sorority. You'll be asked your hometown, hobbies and major a thousand times, and there will probably be a few awkward moments.  But most importantly, you'll find a group of girls that makes you feel like you belong. Phi Mu felt like home to me, and I hope you find your own home, too.

Recruitment here at Nicholls means a social media-free week for all sorority gals and new members. I'll be back, happy as a clam, on Saturday after bid day! 

Bloom in the Busyness

I moved into my apartment last weekend and have spent most of my hours since then running back and forth between newspaper workshop, recruitment practice, and babysitting. There just don't seem to be enough hours in the day, and I've found myself bursting into tears quite often (both out of happiness and exhaustion!). 

I feel like this flower right now. Stuck between some looming deadlines and buried under work; I'm trying my best to bloom despite the busyness. 

I know I've got my sunshine (energy to keep me going), soil and roots to keep me strong (my amazing friends and sorority sisters), and rain to keep me filled and focused (snacks and water bottles that have filled my Longchamp because I can't find time for meals anymore). 

Things will be fairly quiet around here until the first day of school and recruitment blow over. Hopefully I'll take my own advice to bloom so that people stop telling me I look tired (or stressed or exasperated or at my tipping point. Yep, four different people think I look rough this week… )

How do you deal with stress? 

Apartment Sneak Peek

Hey, y'all! So this week has been OMGsostressful (and it's only Tuesday *insert exasperated emoji*). 

I wish I had more hours in the day; between newspaper workshop, sorority recruitment preparations, and getting ready for school, I couldn't find time to eat until 9pm yesterday! 

I moved into my apartment on Sunday, and it's nowhere near decorated or done, but here are just a few pictures. I'll be sure to post a few more when I finish moving in. 

At least it's clean and comfortable for now. Just wait for later in the semester for fun recipes from our kitchen! (My roommate christened our kitchen last night with some amazing chocolate muffins. Could be the next recipe post :) 

High School Movies

Isn't it strange how some movies and music can make you feel nostalgic about things that may not have even actually happened to you? (I'm looking at you, Lana Del Rey...)

I may not have grown up in the eighties… I've never smoked a cigarette or gotten drunk… Never had a first kiss, let alone a first love... Buuuutttt that's okay. Whenever I feel like I need a good dose of "coming-of-age", I pop up some popcorn and turn on one of these little pieces of cinematic art. 

The graphic says "High School Movies," but I'm just throwing it out there: my high school experience was nothing like any of these movies.

I'd love to pick the brain of someone who had an Oscar-worthy senior year (or at least has some memories that could hold a flame to these movies).

Who knows? Maybe you're reading this and thinking, "I'm going to make my senior year movie-worthy!". I'd say, "Good for you and good luck!"

Good luck to all the kiddos who started school today! 

Say Cheese!

I follow a handful of really awesome fashion bloggers, and I was recently inspired to do an "Outfit of the Day" type of post.

Unfortunately, my little Nikon d40x didn't come with a professional photographer to help me out. I've had it for a few years, but decided to take an afternoon to get to know my camera a little better (as in playing in the backyard with my tripod and all of the camera settings). Here are some of my favorite shots from the day:

Outfit details:
skirt: Forever 21 (old)
shoes: Jack Rogers
watch: Kate Spade
pearl bracelet: vintage
gold baskets bracelet: Nantucket gift shop 
toes: Essie's Bikini So Teeny

I'm actually really proud that I took these all by myself. I've got a lot to learn, but I really liked dappling in photography! 

P.S. I almost titled this post "When Plants Attack".  I was stung by a plant (or more likely an insect on the plant) when I made the mistake of kneeling on it. There may have been tears, ice, and ice cream following this photo shoot. 

DIY Monogram Memory Box

I've always been envious of anyone with the patience to put together a scrapbook. It takes time, planning, and an artistic eye, not to mention a loaded pocketbook for all the fancy albums, paper, and stickers (does anyone under the age of 75 actually say "pocketbook"?).

I've got at least four unfinished scrapbooks that have piled up over the last ten years or so. I start out with the best intentions, but my attention span always sabotages me! 

I was browsing Pinterest a few weeks ago when I spied this pin

Of course these "keepsake kits" appealed to the scrapbooker-with-abandonment-issues in me! Leave it to Martha to market such a simple idea. I got to Michaels that same day and picked up a wooden box to attempt. (side note: never shop at Michaels without using a coupon. They're always available!!)

I knew I wanted to go with a simple white box and gold lettering, but couldn't think of what to label it. I wanted to save fun memories like ticket stubs and photo strips throughout the semester. Then it hit me! My monogram! That way I could use it for whatever! 

It was pretty simple, too! First, I painted the whole thing white using regular acrylic paint. 

For the monogram, I printed out the individual letters (after downloading this font) from a word document. I cut around them, and then taped them to the box. I traced over them with a sharpie pen, pressing hard enough for the ink to go through the paper. After I had an outline of the letters, I painted them with gold acrylic paint and a steady hand. It took a few coats, but I was really pleased with the outcome! 

If you decide to paint your own, post them and be sure to tag me (@sydneylandry)! 

Weekend Recap

This weekend was definitely the busiest (and arguably most fun) I've had all summer. Filled to the brim with friends, sisters, laughs, and the inevitable handful of yawns, I have this strange feeling that this was a small taste of what's coming in the next few months. I have to say, I'm totally not dreading it!

My weekend started early on Friday night with the start of our Phi Mu recruitment retreat! 

How fun are our yard signs??

After getting all of our songs thoroughly stuck in my head and Friday's session was through, some of us got together for a game night (though, now that I think about it, we never got around to playing the board game). 

That late night got chased away by an early morning and a full day of recruitment practice! I was reminded exactly why I joined Phi Mu and can't wait to share that with the new members at our upcoming recruitment parties! Also, I can sing the songs with all the right words, now ;)

Of course we always manage to have some goofy fun in the midst of the productivity. 

And since we had such a productive day, most of the chapter decided to go out downtown later that night! 

Now, I can almost always find a better way to spend an evening than barhopping, and I have never actually had a great time when we go DT, but Saturday night was the closest I've ever been to a "great night." Of course it started out in crisis: "What will I wear?" "My hair is a mess!" "None of my shorts fit!" "I look terrible!" etc. going through my mind. 

Sipping Diet Cokes because we were both designated drivers… 

I managed to put aside the negative voices in my head (with the help of my amazing future-roomie/sister) and by the time I got there, I was feeling close to confident. I can't lie and say I didn't even feel awkward in the bars like I usually do with small groups, but at least I had large groups of sisters to talk to/ be awkward with. 

Sunday morning crept up four short hours after my head hit the pillow. I woke up early this morning for a special mass. One of my friends from Blessings On The Bayou is a seminarian in our diocese (aka he's studying to be a priest); he's going back to the seminary (aka priest school) soon. He had been assigned to a church in Baton Rouge for the summer and this morning was his last mass; I just had to make the hour-long drive to say goodbye! 

Seriously, I don't know if this guy can actually be serious.

After a bittersweet reunion and a tasty lunch, I drove back home. I managed to catch up with some out-of-town family for a good forty-five minutes before jetting off again. Another hour-long drive later (this time in the opposite direction), and I was surprising my big sis for a beauty pageant! 

I think I brought her a bit of extra luck (not that she needed it!) because she was crowned Miss St. Charles Parish Festival! #proudlittle

And then my eyes were getting heavy so I knew I had to get back home quickly. Thank goodness for $1 diet cokes at the McDonald's drive-thru! Caffeine can be spectacular sometimes. 

The rain on my window is making it almost impossible for me to stay awake…I'll catch up with y'all laterrrr…..zzzzz