Monday, June 30, 2014

Sorority File: White Attire Part 1

I think I can speak for every young woman out there when it comes to finding and deciding what to buy and wear for sorority recruitment and beyond. It's high on the list of questions asked of those who have been through the process already. You can search YouTube, Google, and blogs for what to wear for sorority recruitment and you will find tons of ideas.

What to wear {Sorority Sugar}

Sorority Rush Style Guide {Lauren Conrad}

Your Complete Guide to Sorority Rush {Her Campus}

Sorority Recruitment Outfit Ideas! {Caitlin Bea}

Sorority Recruitment Outfits! College 101 ep. 2 {MissTiffanyMa}

You get the idea there are tons and tons of outfit ideas.

To me that's the easy part because everyone will be wearing something they feel comfortable in and fits their personal style (or they should be)! The hard part is the ceremony attire. White attire can be either a dress, skirt, pants, and/or blouse that is all white and of proper length and coverage. I struggled finding my dress. You can read all about it here. Fall recruitment and Spring recruitment may vary on what you decide to wear (pants or a dress) but for the most part it's usually a dress.

You may not be thinking about it right now, but you absolutely should! Whether or not you decide to go Greek having a perfect white dress to add to your wardrobe is always a good thing! The key things to remember are: it has to be white, it should be in good taste (not casual), & no colored trim. Finding white (not cream, neutral, off white, ivory etc.) can be tricky that's why I suggest looking now.

The Dress

Lord & Taylor BCBGENERATION Draped-Pocket Dress SALE $69.99
Guess Short-Sleeve Scalloped Lace Dress Now $62.24
Modcloth Pitching Perfectly Dress $74.99
Modcloth Gift to be Graceful Dress $54.99
Lilly Pulitzer Alden Lace Tunic Dress $178
LULUS Exclusive Net Worth White Dress $45
Hopefully this gives you some ideas of dresses that can work for ceremony attire. Good luck finding the perfect dress and stay tuned for Part 2 coming later this week.

xoxo Gwen

Sunday, June 29, 2014

2014 Summer Bucket List

Every summer comes and goes and as an adult it's hard to actually "enjoy" the summer like I used to when I was a kid. When I was a kid every summer my family would travel from South Carolina to Maryland and spend time with our grandparents, aunts/uncles, and cousins. We tended to schedule our vacation around July 4th because my granddad always threw HUGE parties for 4th of July.

Now that I am an adult I see what my parents must have gone through to make that trip every year. As for myself I am taking summer classes (the sooner I can finish school the better, right?!), working, volunteering, and trying to get my apartment straightened up (again), as well as other things I have been neglecting.  This year has been extra hard on me whether others seem to think so or not. I'm still not where I would like to be in my life and I am trying to set goals for myself and realize things don't just happen overnight. I do have to make some difficult decisions this summer as well because when Fall rolls around I definitely want to be headed in the right direction.

One thing I have never done before is to sit down and write a bucket list. It almost seems too daunting to make a list of things I want to do in my lifetime. A 2014 summer bucket list seems so much easier and not quite as daunting. So that's what I have done. I thought up a handful of things I would like to do this summer. Some are easy and some require $ and more planning, but I think it's doable. There's also those things I did not include on the list.

Without further ado here is my relatively simple 2014 Summer Bucket List....

Visit the Chrysler Museum   June 20, 2014

Go to the Norfolk Botanical Gardens  June 29, 2014

Go to as many festivals as I can  ~~Bayou Boogaloo (June 21, 2014)

Go to a Concert

Spend time with my Big

Shop the Farmer's Market

Stay involved with the LTVB  June 1, 10, 11, 12, 23, 2014

Visit the D'Art Center

Read (a lot)  ~~The Husband's Secret (by Liane Moriarty), Mockingjay (by Suzanne Collins), Eleanor & Park (by Rainbow Rowell)

Pick fresh berries  June 22 & 28, 2014

Make smores over a fire

Craft (at least 2 things)

Go to the beach!

Go swimming

Go hiking

As added inspiration to be able to cross everything off my summer bucket list I have made it my desktop background and I will update my list as I can.

What are your summer time plans?
xoxo Gwen

Friday, June 27, 2014

Storytime + Engagement Ring Mishap

I am so happy it is Friday! Seriously, beyond happy. This has been a tough week and an absolute struggle to get through. Wednesday morning I had a little bit of happiness and joy mixed in, but by afternoon my luck spun out of control and I went right back to the worst week ever. But let's talk about how it started....Monday....oh yes, Monday. I work at a preschool with a private kindergarten program. During the summer months they have a summer camp session and it began on Monday. It might as well be the first day of school, because we see so many new faces. I want to say 80-85% of the students I worked with this week were new to the school. There were lots of tears, tantrums, new names to learn, new routines to get used to, and lots and lots of running around.

That's were my story starts. I was helping in a classroom where two students were pretty much out of control sobbing, crying, was bad. The assistant teacher had one of the crying students and the teacher had the other. They were doing what they could to try to control the situation, but I could tell they needed help. One of the best things about working where I do is the staff really supports you and if they see you struggling they will step in to help. Monday I stepped in to help. I could tell the teacher was getting overwhelmed and that's the worst place for a teacher to be on the 1st day at 9 a.m. So I step in to help and the kid is absolutely screaming his head off, can't talk to him, snot running down his face, etc. We get the snot cleaned up, we decide that struggling to get his shoes back on is pointless (they were outside on the playground during this), and all he wanted was his daddy obviously (who left). Oh and the kid doesn't speak English, yeah....

When a child gets extremely out of control the best thing to try is comfort them anyway you know how. This kid was not having that. It seemed to upset him more. Ok self-soother....Plan B:  Let them do whatever they want as long as they are not hurting themselves or anyone else......Clearly the only thing this child wanted to do is go back to the classroom (the last place he saw his daddy). After trying to distract him on the playground with balls, the slide, digging in the sand, riding a bike, etc. I get to the point where I'm like fine I'm taking him back to the classroom. So I head back to the classroom and of course his dad isn't there. He hasn't stopped crying, sobbing or screaming by the way. Snot has again started running down his face. I can't find any tissues so I go in the bathroom to get toilet paper and that's when it happens......... The kid starts opening one of the classrooms doors to run out. I quickly run after him and catch him somewhere in the middle of the school. That doesn't sound so bad, right? Wrong. I didn't tell you the part where as I was getting the toilet paper, saw him running and as I was pulling my hand out my engagement ring got caught on the metal toilet paper dispenser. It doesn't sound like much and at the time I was more worried about the child that I didn't even feel what was going on with my finger. By the time I caught the kid I realized my left ring finger was throbbing and numb. Still I was more concerned about dealing with the kid at this point.

Shortly after returning to the classroom with the screaming kid the teacher, assistant and the rest of the class returned to the classroom. From there the teacher took over trying to settle the child down. It took about another hour or so but eventually we got him settled down enough that we didn't have to guard the doors and he began playing with toys off and on.

*We really had to pull together as a team to try and get through the rest of the morning with him. One minute he would be fine and the next he went right back to being hysterical. It was a challenging day for him and for us.*

Ok now back to my poor finger. Right before lunch the sad student left in afternoon carpool so I was finally able to clear my head and actually sit down. I looked down at my finger and realized it was red and severely swollen. I tried getting my engagement ring off but there was no use. I thought it's alright give it an hour and the swelling will go down. Nope. I washed my hands several times trying cold water and soap to get the ring off. Nope. I have one hour left of work and then I have to go to school myself. Once more I tried getting the ring off with soap and it did not work. I was slightly panicked at this point because I didn't want anyone to know (for some strange reason). Finally as my shift was ending I realized the swelling was getting worse. I got in my car took 3 Advil (that's all I had on me) and headed for campus. I had a project due at the beginning of class. I pulled on campus and headed straight for our campus Starbucks. I got a cup of ice for my hand finger and a grande Chai Latte. I tried getting the ring off again and again and again. Not budging. I called my fiance, I tried to Face time my fiance. No answer, ok so I started panicking. The only thing I could think to do is turn in my project and then leave and go home. So that's what I did. *My teacher completely understood when she saw my finger.* I knew I needed to get the ring off ASAP but I had already tried soap. I needed something more oily. I went into my kitchen grabbed my coconut oil Pam spray took it to the bathroom and doused my ring and finger with a heavy coat. Then I pulled, and pulled and tugged and as much as it was hurting I knew I couldn't stop. Finally I got my ring off! OMG it felt so much better. I iced it for awhile. It still hurt.
This is about 1-2 hours after I got the ring off.
Needless to say there was no way I was getting my ring back on my finger that night. So the rest of my week continues and as it does my finger is still tingling and numb (sorta like when your foot falls asleep). By Wednesday evening the swelling had started to go down and I wanted to see if I could get my ring back on, nope. But then I start looking at my ring and realize I totally bent it. I was devastated. Then as I'm looking at it I realize it's missing a diamond too! this point I just start sobbing.


missing diamond
It may be hard to see in the pictures but trust me it's bent and missing a diamond. I'm really sad about it, but hopefully they will be able to fix it up like new.

Sadly this isn't the only thing that went wrong this week, but now it's Friday and I can rejoice in the weekend!

xoxo Gwen

Monday, June 23, 2014

Summertime Essential: Sunglasses

Saturday marked the first official day of the summer season and I could not be happier. Fall and winter were rough this year. There were quite a few snow days, missed days of school, and work.

Although sunglasses are typically thought of as a summertime staple they need to be worn year around to protect your precious eyes from serious damage. There are three types of UV radiation: UVA, UVB, and UVC, however only the UVA and UVB rays can reach the Earth's surface. While sunglasses can help you protect your eyes (and add a bit of style) it is important to remember sunscreen as well, even on cloudy days.

Check out this information sheet provided by The Vision Council.

Now the fun part... shopping for the sunglasses. Make sure the ones you buy block both UVA and UVB rays! There are so many styles, colors, and price points. I noticed at my local Wal-Mart they had some cute summer styles for $5. So no excuses!

Free People Rococo Sunglasses $18.00
Marley Lilly $36.99
Target $12.99
Ray-Ban's (price varies)
I'd love you see what style of sunglasses you are sporting protecting yourself with this summer season.
Tweet me at @gb_shortcake or Instagram me @lavendermud.

xoxo Gwen

Friday, June 20, 2014

Summertime Crafting {Washi Tape}

One of my favorite things about summertime is having the time to craft, or better making the time to craft. I've been in love with the delicate Japanese masking tape (aka washi tape) forever. Now you can find it at Office Depot and Wal-Mart. We can thank Scotch brand for that. One of my favorite places to order it online is a company called Cutetape. They literally have dozens upon dozens of cute washi tape and other packaging, party, and craft supplies and ideas. Their washi tape comes in so many wonderful, cute & pretty designs.
Pretty Tulip Washi Tape Japanese Set of 3 $8.00
$4 per roll
For some simple craft ideas with washi tape check out some of these simple ideas I found on Pinterest.

Back to School/Office

DIY stationary


If you try any of these washi tape crafts I'd love to see your pictures. Just Instagram them and tag me @lavendermud or tweet your pictures to me @gb_shortcake. If I receive enough submissions I might feature them in an upcoming post.
Happy crafting!
xoxo Gwen

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Preppy Summertime Bottle Openers

I don't drink beer and I don't spend the money on bottled soda, but I cannot resist the charm of these cast iron bottle openers from C. Wonder. Perfect picnic/kitchen/BBQ/party essential if you ask me.
xoxo Gwen

Monday, June 16, 2014

Doodlers, Unite!

Next time you're "caught" doodling in class, a meeting, or the boardroom let them know you're improving your comprehension and creative thinking. If that doesn't work show them this video. Change their mind. Doodlers, unite!
xoxo Gwen

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Flag Day

Today I feature two of my favorite things: the American flag and vintage prints.
Happy Flag Day!




xoxo Gwen

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Recipe Club {Chocolate Icebox Cake}

Some of you might remember I read The Recipe Club by Andrea Israel & Nancy Garfinkel awhile back and decided that I would attempt the recipes throughout the story and blog about them. Today is the first official post of the series.

I've never made an icebox cake before, but I will attempt the first recipe in the book (page 14), Chocolate Icebox Cake.

Chocolate Icebox Cake

5 simple ingredients
Now I have to admit that my intention was to follow the recipes precisely and decide if they were successful or not, but here I am first recipe in the series changing it up. Instead of the log form mentioned in the book I went with the traditional cake layer method (as you will see in the following pictures).

I used my Magic Bullet to do the mixing.
Traditional cake layer method.
Cookies then cream mixture, then another layer of cookies and cream
Topped with mini chocolate chips
Mine chilled in the refrigerator for approximately 9 hours before I had the first piece.
Verdict....So Delicious!

 xoxo Gwen

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Orange Is the New Black

I believe I literally stumbled across Season 1 of the show when it was released. I read the plot summary and decided to give it a go. It quickly became an obsession. I watched episode after episode without realizing it was a Netflix original. I got hooked on the title sequence with "You've Got Time" by Regina Spektor.

Orange is the New Black follows Piper Chapman a 30-something woman sent to prison after being convicted of a decade old crime. Inside she meets quite a few interesting characters and her new story begins. I definitely loved the character building and the one liners. Season 1 was over quickly because once I started watching I couldn't stop myself from watching the entire season.

Last week season 2 was released and yes, I have watched the entire season already. It's just that good. I think I will go back and re-watch both seasons at some point. Heck, I might even start today. But yes, I will be one of those poor souls waiting around until 2015 for the next season.

So if you haven't binge watched this Netflix original yet and you think you'll just be able to watch one episode without watching another I challenge you to try. The first season focuses on Piper and her meeting everyone and finding her way in prison. Season 2 tells the back story of so many characters it has you falling in love with them even more than you did in season 1.
xoxo Gwen