Monday, September 15, 2014

Spicy "Cheesy" Kale Chips Recipe





Kale is all the rage! This is the perfect delicious, yet healthy snack filled with tons of flavor without gaining the extra weight! Paulding & Co. has some awesome recipes that we were happy to come across their Spicy "Cheesy" Kale Chips Recipe. It is simple to make and pretty healthy. Check out the full recipe below!

Spicy “Cheesy” Kale Chips
This recipe makes 12 oz. chips (2 one-gallon zip bags)

Ingredients 
▪ 2 ½ cups of raw cashews
▪ 1 large (Holland type) red bell pepper
▪ 2-3 red Fresno peppers
▪ 1-2 tsp lemon juice (to taste)
▪ 2 tsp mineralized sea salt
▪ 2 Tbs. nutritional yeast
▪ 3 bunches curly kale


TIP: Be sure to purchase ultra-fresh organic vegetables for this. Soak the cashews in water for 3-4 hours. Combine with the stemmed and seeded peppers, lemon, salt and yeast in a blender. Puree. Taste the mixture, and if it needs it, add more salt or lemon. Strip the stems from the kale leaves-you can do this easily by holding the end of the stem in one hand, and firmly running the other hand up the sides of it, dislodging the leaf. The tough part of the stem will come off, leaving the tenderer part intact.

In a large bowl, combine the Kale with the blended mixture, using your hands (evenly) as possible distribute the mixture. Lay the leaves onto a dehydrator racks, crowding them but not stacking them. Dehydrate at 105° F for 12-16 hours, until very crisp. Store in sealed zip bags. If you don’t get them dry enough they will soften in the bag.If you don’t have a dehydrator they can be laid out on a rack or over a pan in the oven with the temperature set as low as possible. The time to dehydrate will be greatly reduced, probably to about an hour or even less.

The chips will be a tasty snack!

For more information on Paulding & Co. recipes, please visit http://pauldingandco.com/recipes.
 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Dos and Donts of Snapchat


Snapchat is one of our favorite apps for many reasons! It's the perfect way to share with your friends and family your day-to-day without feeling like you're blowing up their newsfeed. But, like most apps, Snapchat is pretty addicting. As much as you don't want to press your finger down on your friend's latest snap, you really can't help yourself. Considering how time consuming this app is, it's important to make it worthwhile so that your friends and family are viewing quality Snaps from you. Therefore, we have created a list of Dos and Donts when it comes to Snapchat.

1) Like any storyline, have a beginning, middle, and end. In other words, if you're going to Snap about your haircut, make the story of it fun. Snap yourself with your hair before and your hair after. That's much more interesting than just a picture of your new hair.

2) If you're going to snap a photo of an object, make it quick. Making a still object go for 10-15 seconds is totally unnecessary in the Snapchat world.

3) Please, no selfies all day long. Leave that for Instagram!

4) Have fun with the filters!

5) If you're trying to grow your audience, then Snap every day.

6) Keep it clean! Once the internet gets a hold of a picture of yours, there is no telling where it can end up. Although Snapchat notifies you when someone has screenshot an image you've shared, that doesn't stop them from using it. 

7) Keep your Snaps different each day. Nobody wants to see every angle of your dog every minute of the day (haha!). If you can't hold back, then keep the repeat snaps for your BFFs.  

What are some suggestions you have when it comes to utilizing Snapchat? Share with us below! 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

5 Braid Tutorials to Try on Pinterest!

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 

Braids are so in right now.  It's an easy way to make a bad hair day into a GREAT hair day!  We're really into Pinterest (follow us here!) and we love referring to Pinterest for great hair tutorials.  We've done our research and found the best/easiest braid tutorials on Pinterest!

1. Waterfall Braid Tutorial - Oncewed.com gives you an easy 8 step hair tutorial for the perfect waterfall braid.  It's easy and casual, yet so cute!

2. Bohemian Side Braid - This beautiful bohemian side braid is perfect for music festivals!  Emily over at The Freckled Fox guest blogged at  The Wonderforest for this easy tutorial and it's definitely a must try!

3. The Four Strand Braid - Now, this isn't your typical braid- it's a four strand braid! It looks like it can be a bit complicated, but Hair Romance does such a great job with the tutorial!  It's a great hair style for a date night or a girls night out!

4. The French Braid Fish Tail -  If you haven't heard of The Beauty Department,  you're missing out!  They have some amazing beauty tutorials like this beautiful french braid fish tail!  They have easy step-by-step photos and instructions and you can make any girl look like a Disney princess with this hair style!

5. Lace Braid Up-Do - We love a good messy up-do, but what's even better is a messy up-do with a braid incorporated in it!  Check out this hair style over at The Wonderforest!

Monday, September 8, 2014

How To Get Through a Break Up


Getting through a break up is no easy feat, but you have to go THROUGH it before you can properly heal and move forward. Suppressing your feelings is a sure fire way to spiral into deep sadness or depression and life is too short to harbor your feelings and essentially self destruct. There is a healthier way to get through a break up and if you follow these tips, you will be on your way to emotional freedom and you'll be ready to tackle the next relationship just waiting for you!

  • Confide In a Trusted Friend
    • Feedback is so important while going through a break up. As much as it may seem easier to bottle up your emotions, hearing input from a trusted friend or someone who has also been in a relationship can offer more help than you think. No relationship is perfect and it's great to hear the perspective and advice from friends. They can offer a shoulder to cry on or words of wisdom.
  • Travel
    • Do NOT stay cooped up in your room to drown in your misery. Our thoughts are so powerful that you might find yourself suffocating in a confined space. Rather, take a trip away from it all. Whether it is a car ride with the windows down, a tropical vacation, or a fun trip to the happiest place on Earth, clear your mind so when you're ready to fully analyze the break up, your thoughts are not clouded.
  • Write Down Your Thoughts
    • If you want to make sense of your break up, write down everything that was shared between you and your ex that lead to the break up. Create bullet points so you can organize your thoughts. 
  • After You Write Down Your Thoughts, Throw It Away
    • Whether you throw away your thoughts physically or figuratively, it is important to move on. Don't rehash old thoughts because it will make you nuts and resurface negative emotions. The point in writing down your thoughts is to have a better understanding of where things went wrong in hopes that history does not repeat itself. 
  • Cry
    • Cry. Be human and let your body purge of the pain. Break ups can cause a lot of stress, often times not realized for a couple of days. Therefore, every second you feel like crying, allow yourself to-it's normal. The grief your body goes through after a break up is said to be in conjunction to the feeling of losing someone. Grieve; mourn the loss of the relationship and don't feel bad for doing so.
  • Smile/Laugh
    • Laughter is the best painkiller. Smiling and laughing will lift your spirits 100% of the time! Studies show that smiling and laughing improve your mood so don't hold back. 
  • Listen To Upbeat Music
    • Skip the sappy love songs and opt for upbeat tunes. Listening to music is such an easy, positive, free way to both lift your spirits and temporarily relieve pain/stress. 
  • Find a Silver Lining
    • Absolutely everything happens for a reason. Ask yourself: "What lesson can I learn from this past relationship?" There is a lesson to be learned from any relationship you embark on and you can apply those lessons to your next relationship whether it be with the same person in the future or a new person. 
Break ups are not the end of the world {though it feels like it..haha!}. Cry your tears, wipe them off, clean up your face, apply some makeup, and get out there and date. Life is too short to stay stuck on the past....learn from it and be the best individual that you can be. After all, you have to love yourself before you can love anyone else.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Why I Went Greek {Ali}


Ever since I found out what a sorority was, I wanted to join one.

My love for all things Greek started in about 2001, when I was first introduced to a character named Elle Woods.  She was smart, beautiful, sassy, and looked smashing while wearing pink.  Then in 2002, my love was confirmed when I watched the show "Sorority Life" on MTV.  Does anyone remember that show?  It completely intrigued me.  What was being in a sorority all about?  Who were these people, and more importantly-- what sorority were they in?!  It boggled my mind that the Greek letters were blurred out during the entire show, and I Googled relentlessly until I could find out which organization this show was all about.  There was so much drama, there were so many twists, and I spent so many hours glued to the screen.

But that was the movies.  That was made for TV.

As I left high school, I chose to stay in-state and attend Arizona State University.  The campus looked beautiful, there were many great shops and restaurants nearby, and Mom wasn't too far of a drive either when I wanted a home-cooked meal.  Plus they had an excellent Journalism & Communication program, so I was sold.  Even though I stayed in-state, a funny thing happened... NONE of my friends from high school chose to go to ASU.  They all either chose the rival college in Arizona, or to go out of state.  Big gulp... I was a lone ranger.  I was on my own to find a new circle of friends.  There was no question; I was going through sorority recruitment.  I signed up, and went shopping for outfits to wear to recruitment immediately.

Once Bid Day rolled around, I had lunch with my Mom by campus just before the big event.  As I sat there talking to her about my experience over the past weekend, I started crying.  I fell in love with the chapter I wanted to be in, and the connections I made meant so much to me... I cried just thinking about it.  The women in this chapter were ones that I identified with, looked up to, and were in alignment with my values.  Tears of happiness, I found my home.  And a few hours later, I found out that my wish came true.

As my first few years of college flew by, I was swept away in Greek pride.  I was so proud, that I painted our sorority name in neon pink spray paint on the wall of the spare bedroom where 3 of my sisters and I lived together.  Oh, and my car had a 3 foot wide decal on the back window too (in pink, with hearts).  I got involved.  I held positions, and they forced me to take action to improve my leadership skills... and get out of my comfort zone.  As one who liked to do things typically all on their own, I learned how to delegate and trust in my sisters to help me get the job done while I was recruitment chair.  One late night while living in the house, I bonded with a new friend in my pledge class.  We laughed, we cried, and we were inseparable from that day forward.  I was there the night she met her future husband at a fraternity house.  And, she stood beside me as my Matron of Honor at my wedding 3 months ago.

And then there was that one time I got in trouble... oh boy.  Now I could leave this story out, but I'm keeping it real... this humbling event was key to my experience.  While I thought I was having an innocent party one night, it didn't exactly play out that way when I got called in the following week.  Some of the new members were at the party, and our advisors weren't too happy with me.  I was so upset with myself, I cried for days.  But you know what?  It taught me a lesson.  I learned how to better look out for my friends, my chapter... my sisters.  How, you might ask?  Because it was up to people like me to ensure the chapter I loved stayed that way; it's the older members' responsibility to guide the new members in the right direction.  Sure, we had fun.  But sisterhood to me wasn't about a party.  Often times, it was the nights hanging out on the couch that meant the most.  Suddenly, I saw the bigger picture & a lightbulb went off... it all made sense.  Once things calmed down, I realized that my sisters cared enough about me to call me out when I was doing something wrong.  I respected them for doing that.  That's exactly what happens while you're in your early 20's; you grow up.  Now I'm not suggesting to go out there and be reckless, but it's ok to make mistakes too.  Being Greek holds you accountable, and reminds you to respect the values that made you fall in love with your chapter in the first place.  Thank goodness I had my sisters by my side to experience the growing pains together.  Those 4 years wouldn't have been close to the same without them, and I can't imagine it happening any other way.  And as I continue to grow for the rest of my life, I know that they'll be right there with me for the ride.

Today, the pride I take in being Greek has taken on a new meaning... beyond any massive sticker I could place on the back of my car window.  I can say with my whole heart that choosing to go Greek is one of the most important decisions I've made in my life.  I met my bridesmaids, it challenged me as a person (and made me a better one), and I've built a career for myself out of something that I hold so dear to my heart.  It taught me to be a better friend, a better leader, and a better woman.  I even attribute my decision of going Greek to meeting my husband; if it wasn't for the people I met in my sorority, I might not have ever met him.  After graduation, being Greek takes on a whole new meaning... when you meet another woman who is also a Greek alum, it's instant common ground (same organization as you or not, it doesn't matter).  I'm fortunate that I get to stay connected to Greek life through both The Sorority Secrets, and through my company 224 Apparel as well.  Even after I've graduated, I'm able to give back to something that has given so much to me... and it gives me true joy.  I believe in sorority women.  They are among the most powerful, influential, and caring people I know.  It's an honor to be a part of such an organization, and part of a legacy of remarkable women.  I'll be forever proud to be a Greek woman, and grateful for my decision to Go Greek.

{P.S.} no TV show can capture the magic of what it's really like.  Not even close :)

Xoxo,
Ali

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Why I Went Greek {Karen}




Yesterday, we highlighted why Co Founder, Sakura "went Greek" Today, find out why Co Founder, Karen "went Greek"!

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My story is really unique in the sense that I knew absolutely NOTHING about sororities. I of course heard about them via movies, but didn't quite understand it.

Here is a little background on me. I am Nigerian-American. I was born and raised in America, however, both of my parents are Nigerian. As my parents assimilated to the American culture, we were brought up in a predominantly Caucasian neighborhood. The majority of my friends were of that race and as I continued throughout junior high and high school I tried to diversify my circle of friends, however, I yearned for more African-American girlfriends.

As I entered into my Freshman year of college I had heard about sororities that fostered young African-American women. Eager to learn more about it, I went up to the Greek Offices. When I went up to the Greek Offices toward the Non-Panhellenic area, no one was there. However, across the way in the Panhellenic area stood a tall, black woman. She said, "Can I help you?" I then let her know I was looking to talk to her about joining a historically black sorority. The tall, black girl further introduced herself as Kiara and politely asked if there was a reason why I wanted to join the all black sorority. I gave her my spiel that I explained earlier and she then stopped me and said, "Karen, I am not in an all black sorority and I have made some amazing relationships with women who I call my sisters. We have all races in my sorority, even black women. At the end of the day, it shouldn't be about the race of girls, it should be about where you feel most comfortable ". Kiara had a great point. To be honest, I have never defined my life by race. For those who know me, I have a diverse circle and seek to learn the person BEHIND the skin shade. While I do believe that there are some things similar races can vibe on, I prefer to surround myself among all walks and colors of life. Kiara then suggested that I participate in the Panhellenic recruitment which happened to be that weekend--I had nothing to lose as the historically black sororities were not looking for new members until the next semester anyway. I figured if the recruitment that weekend didn't work out, I still had the opportunity to check out the historically black sororities. Long story short, going through recruitment that weekend was the best decision of my life. I met women who I could relate to on all levels and they helped to shape my positive college experience. From holding various roles like Recruitment Chair, Social Chair, and choreographing fun philanthropic dances, I was able to practice my leadership skills and overall have a blast in college. Above all else, without my sorority experience I would not have met Sakura and Ali to start The Sorority Secrets. For that, I am grateful.

What's your positive story on why you went Greek? Share with us below!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Why I Went Greek {Sakura}


This week we wanted to highlight each of our individual stories on why we went Greek in lieu of many of you going through recruitment right now. First up, Sakura!

6 years ago, I made the best life-changing decision I have ever made and yup, you guessed it… I went Greek.  To be honest, Greek life was a complete mystery to me.  None of my family members were ever apart of Greek life and my hometown college, University of Nevada-Reno, wasn’t very big in Greek life at the time- so I really had no idea what it was all about.  I knew that Greek life can be negatively stereotyped at times, but I knew that there was so much more to it and I had to find out for myself.

I grew up in a small town in Northern Nevada where everyone knows everyone, so when I decided to go to Arizona State University, I knew that everything was about to change.  As I made my move to Arizona knowing no one, I was a little nervous as to how I would make these next four years in Arizona my new “home”.  I was an out-of-state student with a random roommate in an apartment, because I was not “comfortable” living in the dorms (huge mistake).  All I can say is that I was eager to find new friends and fill that hole in my heart of not being with my family and my childhood friends.   

I remember the first week of my freshman year like it was yesterday- getting lost on campus, walking from class to class by myself, and eating alone at the Memorial Union.  It was awful, but little did I know that it was all a blessing in disguise.  During my first “miserable” week, I had my first encounter with what being in a sorority was all about.  The first week of school at Arizona State University is promo week for Greek life and all the sorority women are wearing matching outfits with their letters on it.  I easily recognized which girls were apart of Greek life and saw these sorority women walking from class to class together, eating lunch, and hanging out between classes.   It was everything I wanted.  I registered for recruitment that day and was looking forward to that following weekend for recruitment to start. 

Looking back, recruitment was sort of a blur- it was a whirlwind to say the least.  I remember being torn by two sororities, but I thought long-term.  I loved the women in both of these sororities, but one of them seemed like the typical “fun” sorority, while the other seemed a little more… me.   I really wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do- do I go outside of my comfort zone or do I stay in my comfort zone?

I asked myself…

Which group of women could I rely on when something bad happens?
Who will be there for me?
Who will I feel more comfortable with?

Those three questions lead me to my new home, my new friends, and my new family.  I joined the sorority that was for me and nothing else. It has been 6 years since I became a part of Greek life and I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.  I have met the smartest, most hardworking women and they have inspired me in so many different ways.  Without being apart of a sorority, I never would have met my sisters and now business partners to start The Sorority Secrets either.

The only thing I can advise to those going through recruitment is choose the house for you- not because you’re a legacy, your friends’ decision, or the reputation of the house.  Do it for you and everything else will fall into place!

xoxo,
Sakura
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