Sisters at OU

The tedious cooler, the overwhelming expenses, and the pressure of finding a date! The weekend the University of Texas plays Oklahoma University is anticipated since the beginning of the school year. This two day extravaganza consisting of a 5 hour bus ride, football game, state fair, and night on the town has many UT gIrls in a frenzy!

Although it is a right of passage to go through OU Weekend at least once during your collegiate career as a longhorn, THERE IS ANOTHER OPTION!
How does spending a fun weekend with your closest girlfriends sound? Replace the sketchy hotel with a real home. Trade in that uncomfortable bus ride for a road trip full of laughs and the freedom to stop at Buccees as many times as you want. And let’s not talk about the hours spent channeling your inner Michelangelo to produce the perfect masterpiece of an OU cooler only to have your date set it on his balcony and never use it again. Instead, you can buy a Styrofoam cooler and save time and money!
Spending OU Weekend with your sisters has countless benefits! Road tripping is an amazing way to create a stronger bond between you and your friends! Besides the open road and farm land scenery, conversation is all you have during that car ride! This is a time when you really get to know the quirks and the random thoughts that run through your girl friends heads. And I can’t forget the road trip jams! Singing (screaming) along to Top 2000s hits will create a bond not even Britney Spears can break!
If you are lucky, like me, someone in your party will graciously offer their home and parent’s Mickey Mouse Chocolate Chip pancakes for the weekend! You will save money by avoiding the cost of a hotel room and you know that the sheets of the guest bedroom are void of bed bugs and questionable stains. 
Also, if you don’t have a ticket, it’s okay! Have a watch party at your guests house with snacks and hold hands in prayer as you watch the Longhorns against the Sooners! Then after the game, make your way to the State Fair! What’s the best part about going without dates to OU. NONE of your sisters will judge you for the questionable and delightfully unhealthy choices you are about to make. Feel free to order one of everything on the menu double fried! 
Ultimately, having a date shouldn’t stop you from going to OU Weekend! Grab some sisters and make your own adventure!
It’s Almost the weekend and OU STILL SUCKS!


BEST-OF-THE-BEST tips & products for sorority/fraternity cooler painting!!

☀ Best Coolers:

Anything that’s super flat and doesn’t have a lot of texture to it. Also, make sure to think about handles and wheels when you’re picking one out because they do get in the way of painting.

☀ Best Sandpaper:

 • Heavy grit to get the finish off, fine grit to smooth.

 • A detail power sander is less than $30 dollars at Home depot, or $35 at Target. It makes it SUPER easy to get the cooler smooth and ready to prime. Highly recommended, and you can go in on it with some sisters.

☀ Best Primers & Tips:

• Krylon indoor/outdoor white primer - (for normal sized coolers you will need at least two cans)

• Krylon Fusion for plastics in white works the best, and you don’t have to sand.

• Bulls Eye Water-Base Primer and Sealer by Zinsser - Apply 2-3 coats. Dries Fast and Flat. Can be purchased at most home improvement stores.

• Adhesion Primer from any auto supply store. It should be near the bondo and is made specifically to make paint adhere to plastic and metal.

• Use spackle to flatten out raised “Igloo” and “Coleman” logos - that way they don’t get in the way of your design. Or - If it’s a small area you can buy clear nail polish and pour it in to the creases and let it dry. 

• Try Bondo. You can get it at Auto Zone/Walmart and the cans are about $12. It may not look like much, but dries in 20 minutes flat. And it sands as smooth as glass. The trick is to put a small drop of the hardener to mix it and to be pretty quick about applying it. Do it in coats so it looks the best. 

• Before you spray primer, cover wheels and handles and whatever else you don’t want primed and painted with blue painters tape or plastic wrap. Leave it on during the whole project so when you remove it when you’re done they will be crisp and clean!

• Sometimes the primer will not bond. To avoid this, first wash the cooler with a non-residue cleaner (dish soap works fine). This will remove any dust or what else may be on the cooler that may prevent the paint from adhering.

• If you’re at Michael’s and they’re out of all Krylon primers and fusion, get Gesso. You have to sand it really well and do a light coat, but it works in a pinch. 

☀ Best Paints & Tips:

• Anything acrylic that you can buy at Michael’s or Hobby Lobby.

• Paint pens will become your best friend (DECO brand is AMAZING!). They are perfect for small details. 

• The sharpie oil based ones work the best. The fine tipped ones can pull your base coats off.

• Glitter paint can be really fun. Martha Stewart makes glitter paint in an array of colors

• Sharpies work for fine print areas, but be careful because they are permanent.

• If you take a squeeze-glue bottle cap off and put it on an acryllic paint bottle, you can use it for more deatailed painting

{trick}: If you accidentally mark your cooler with a sharpie and need to get it off, trace over the mark with a Dry Erase marker, then wipe it with a paper towel. The Sharpie will come right off. Or ~ just dab some nail polish remover on a q tip and it removes it in seconds!

☀ Best Sealers & Tips:

• Minwax (the spray on works well too).

• Outdoor Mod Podge Paint On (Green Label) 

• Minwax WaterBased Polycrylic (Clear Semi Gloss)

• Mod Podge Spray Sealer

• Mod Podge Paint-On Sealer - messy to work with but it’s one of the best.

• Triple Thick Brush-On Glaze - used after the Mod Podge Spray Sealer.

• For sealing: do a couple coats of Outdoor Mod Podge (2 is usually fine) and then coat the cooler with 3 layers of Minwax Polycrylic. Allow for ample drying time in between layers and at least 24 hours before rough handling for your last coat of Polycrylic to set in. Finish your cooler at least a day before you go on your trip or give it to your date.  

{tip}: Be careful of the lid and how it opens on your cooler if you’re using the gluey Mod Podge. It gets really really sticky and if you open the lid, the Mod Podge will potentially stick together, pulling off into clumps!

{tip}: Make sure you are using a BRAND-NEW BRUSH. The Mod Podge will pull every little particle of paint you didn’t clean off onto the cooler. If you reuse brushes make sure they are 100% clean.

{tip}: Make sure you Mod Podge before you use the Minwax, or a lot of your colors will bleed, even if they have been dry for days.

{tip}: Can’t recommend Triple Thick enough! Where Mod Podge can stick and pull - Triple Thick dries to a rock hard finish that is really thick and really shiny! The important things to remember are Mod Podge first, and leave enough time for drying-it takes a really long time! Also make sure to dry flat because even if it looks fine, you will come back in an hour, and find that it has dripped. If you have to have it dry vertically, use a hair dryer to speed up drying time. 

{tip}: When using Triple Thick, be sure and Mod Podge everything first or else the glaze will make all of your paint smear.

☀ Design TIps & Tricks:

• If you’re looking for a lot of fonts, try It has a wide variety.

• Trace your designs onto tissue paper, then place on your cooler and outline them with sharpie. Just enough ink bleeds through that you have something to go by, but not enough that it will show through the paint.

• Print out a design on computer paper, scratch the back with pencil (like you would color a coloring book when you were little) and then trace the design onto the cooler by penciling over the lines of the design. (The lead that you scratched on the back transfers onto the cooler where you trace the design. Then paint away.) Be careful though to only trace exactly where you want the lead to be and watch out so your hands don’t press too hard and transfer the lead also. 

• Another way to trace with pencil is to print your image out, flip it over so the image is facing down, and then trace it on the back of the paper as perfectly as possible (if you put it on your laptop screen it helps a bunch). Then place the paper with the pencil side facing down on your cooler and color over the image with a ball point pen, make sure to press firmly so enough of the lead transfers). 

• Print out the picture or script and Mod Podge it onto the cooler. Then just paint over the exact picture! It will still look hand painted but will be very accurate. 

• Best way to Mod Podge an image if you want to paint over it: put Mod Podge on the back of the image AND on the cooler where the image will go. It’s much easier to smooth out the creases and bubbles and leaves a perfectly flat surface every time!

• For more TRACING tips, please link here: “Top 7 Sorority Canvas & Craft Lettering Techniques.”

☀ Painting Products & Tips:

• Use Frog Tape for delicate surfaces (it’s yellow). It costs a little bit more, but it’s WAYYY worth it, super clean lines and it doesn’t peel off the paint or primer.

• Use the blue painters tape along your edges for super clean lines over a painted area (regular scotch tape will pull the paint off when you remove it). If it’s over a clean cooler area, then scotch will do just fine.

{tip}: If you use painters tape it will sometimes still peel primer off. To prevent this, heat the tape with a blowdryer before peeling off of cooler!

• Use an exacto knife to scrape exact lines onto your cooler and to also scrape off paint where you don’t want it to go.

• For borders, use a thick ribbon and Mod Podge it. Use a wide solid ribbon in the color of your choice, then add skinny metallic ribbon down the middle of each wide ribbon border. This can incorporated college or fraternity colors. It also covers up a lot of mess-ups at the corners.

• Paper images can be Mod Podged onto a cooler (without painting over them). Just make sure to give the paper 2 coats of Mod Podge and several coats of sealer. 

{tip}: Many coolers come completely apart. The wheels will pop out of the groove (they are on an axel) and the lids/handles often times unscrew so you can remove them too.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •


Prep the cooler:

  1. Fill in the grooves or a raised logo with spackle. Let dry for 12 hours.
  2. Sand the surfaces with a course grit sandpaper (60-80), including spackled areas. 
  3. Sand again with a fine grit sandpaper (110-120) to get rid of most of the scratches. Sand until very smooth.
  4. To remove sanding dust, wash with mild soap and rinse well. Allow to dry.
  5. Prime all surfaces of the cooler with plastic primer. Krylon fusion can be used, or Valspar Plastic Primer.
  6. Mod Podge.. (optional step.)

Paint the cooler:

  1. Do at least 2 layers of a base color paint. Mod Podge in between each layer. Try using a foam brush for applying Mod Podge. 
  2. Paint 1 side of the cooler at a time. 
  3. Paint whatever designs you have planned, and Mod Podge over each layer of paint. Make sure your paint is completely dry before you Mod Podge. Mod Podge can pull the paint color with it across the cooler. 

Seal the cooler:

  1. Mod Podge 1-2 more layers on top of your ‘final’ painted cooler.
  2. Once that’s dry, spray a few layers of Krylon Sealer over everything. Pay attention to what kind of finish your spray is. The gloss is very shiny, so you may choose to use matte.
  3. Allow for 1-2 days of drying and setting before putting the cooler to use.

 THANK YOU the cooler connection Facebook group for the ultimate in cooler painting advice! {edited and enhanced by sorority sugar}.

 THANK YOU sorority sugar — xoxo SororitySource.  For cooler design ideas, check out our pinterest:


UT Panhellenic Sorority Spotlight: Zeta Tau Alpha

Check out the UT Zeta’s websites: &


Fast facts:

  Founded Oct. 15, 1898, at the Virginia State Female Normal School (now Longwood University) in Farmville, Va

  Symbols: crown

  Colors: turquoise blue & steel grey

  Flower: white violet

  Philanthropy: THINK PINK!,  Susan G Komen Race for the Cure,

  Motto: Seek the Noblest

  Notable Zetas: Erin Andrews (Host of “Fox College Football”), Tanya Snyder (founding partner of ZTA and the National Football League’s Think Pink! campaign), Brigadier General Margaret A. Brewer, U.S.M.C. (First Woman General of the United States Marine Corps), Geralyn Lucas (author of “Why I Wore Lipstick to My Masectomy)


Connect with the Texas Zetas on twitter:

and Facebook:


Valuable Advice from a TSM writer

Recruitment is stressful, and a little bit of advice goes a long way.

1. Just because your mom/best friend/sister/favorite teacher was in a certain sorority (either at that school or at a different school) and had an amazing time, it doesn’t mean you will automatically have an awesome time there, too.
Sororities change reputations, attitudes, and personalities all the time as they cycle in and out new pledge classes. Twenty years ago, that sorority may have been perfect for your mom. Four years ago, it may have been perfect for your sister. But this year, recruitment is about YOU. Forget what everyone else says. Go to the parties, meet the girls, and decide at the end of each day which girls you genuinely clicked with, were impressed by, and actually would want to hang out with every day.

2. There is no such thing as “tiers” or “popular” in college.
You graduated high school, so leave the high school drama and shit behind you. You are coming into this huge new place, full of people you don’t know. You’re probably a little scared and desperate to make the “right” choice, but at a school with 50,000–or even just 5,000–people, there is no possible way for any sorority to be full of solely “popular” girls who everyone likes. It is actually impossible for anyone to have hundreds of legitimate friends. That being said, join the sorority you actually like with the girls you actually like. Whichever group you join, if you decide based on the people rather than reputation or rumors, you will make a ton of new friends who you actually get along with. If you join a “top” house just because you’re scared to be in a “bottom” house, you will end up regretting it when you feel like an outsider–you’ll end up finding most of your friends in other houses anyway. Save yourself the confusion and choose the group you click with the first time.

3. DON’T spend the rest of this summer trying to starve yourself, work out a ton, tan as much as you can, or change yourself in any way.
A lot of people will tell you that you need to be yourself, but your best self. I call bullshit on those old, uppity grannies. If you value looking exactly perfect like a tan, blonde Barbie, you would already look like that. However, if you don’t look like that, it’s probably because it’s not your biggest priority and you shouldn’t be striving to fit into a house that values different things than you do. Whichever house you fit in with the best, those girls will love you just the way you are now. DO look put together during recruitment–don’t be a slob just because you’re being naturally you. You have to put in at least a little effort.

4. Pack snacks and water with you.
It’s hot as hell and you’re going to sweat. If you don’t rehydrate and refuel, you WILL pass out–more than 20 girls passed out last year at my school during recruitment. Don’t let that be you!

5. The girls inside are more nervous than you are.
This isn’t a myth. They really are. Most of the girls who will talk to you inside the house will be sophomores with no experience in trying to convince people their house is the greatest. Also, their recruitment chair is more than likely putting a lot of pressure on them to convince you to join, so their nerves are pretty high. That said, go in smiling, kind, and calm. Take a deep breath before you walk into the house to help you take it all in without getting overwhelmed. It’s scary at first, but if you just act like yourself and be super open and kind, you won’t be nervous after the first house.

6. If you meet the recruitment chair or president, that means the chapter REALLY likes you and wants you.
The top dogs make a point to meet each of their top picks during recruitment.

7. Have a good profile picture since like, yesterday.
The girls have already started creeping on you, and at least one of them has seen your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, even if you think they don’t know who you are. They do. Also, it’s better to have everything private than public, even if it’s totally clean. A little mystery is good for us creepers. It’s alluring. Use it to your advantage.

8. DON’T practice what you’re going to say during parties.
Don’t try to strategize or anything. The sorority girls already know your résumé and if you parrot it to them, they will think you’re an awkward weirdo and they might even cut you that day. Be humble, tell them about the cool trip you took this summer, talk about that movie you both just saw last week, whatever. Just don’t try to convince them you’re the shit or they will–I repeat, WILL–think you are a weirdo and cut you. Just let the conversation flow naturally. It’s their job to drive the conversation, not yours. Don’t feel pressured to come up with things to say.

9. If you want to join XYZ house, tell them you want to be there.
If you’re a legacy for TriGamma but you want to be an Alpha Beta Xi, tell Alpha Beta Xi that you cut TriGamma and you absolutely want to be at Alpha Beta Xi on Bid Day and that you love hanging out with them so much. But then actually cut TriGamma. Don’t be that girl who leads on every house and ends up joining her legacy house anyway. That girl sucks.

10. Don’t ask boys which house you should join or which one is the best.
They will tell you either the slutty ones or the ones that drink a lot. I don’t know how much I can emphasize this, but go to the parties. Have normal conversations. Be your actual self. Join the house where you will be the most comfortable!


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What’s in My Tote!

University of Texas Open House has concluded!  Good job ladies!!  You’ve all probably realized the tips and tricks that keep you looking fabulous as you trek through the heat and the humidity to visit each house, but maybe you’ll find one here you hadn’t thought of yourself!

  1. Deodorant — really any kind will do, but it’s necessary.  This week is all about personal presence and showing off the best you you can be!  (That means you’ve got to smell good, too)
  2. Compact Mirror — you’ll be reapplying lip gloss and combing your hair before parties.  
  3. Maybelline Concealer stick — great for those annoying blemishes and dark circles!  
  4. Revlon ColorStay Pressed Powder — use to minimize shine (because you will be sweating)
  5. Sugar Rose Lip Treatment with SPF — use under your lip gloss to keep your lips healthy and protected!
  6. Covergirl Outlast All-Day Lip ColorStep 1: Apply an even layer of the All-Day Colorcoat, then wait until it dries completely (about a minute or so). Step 2:  Apply the moisturizing top coat for added moisture and shine. Reapply the top coat whenever you like to keep lips soft and moist.
  7. A comb or hair brush.  Why? This one really doesn’t need too much explaining.
  8. Nail Clippers — just in case!  Better to be overprepared, right?

Welcome additions that we didn’t take pictures of (oops!)

  • Blotting Papers  A generic drugstore brand will work just as well as any fancy scented ones.
  • As the days go on, you my want to consider packing a pair flip flops to slip on before sprinting to your next party
  • A Map of Guide (probably provided by your recruitment counselors)
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UT Panhellenic Sorority Spotlight: Kappa Delta

To view the Texas Kappa Delta Promotion video, click here!

The recently renovated KD house is one of the best located near the UT Campus — right across from late-night food and a Starbucks and a two-minute walk from campus.  As a chapter Kappa Delta ranked with the highest GPA of all fourteen sororities at the University of Texas for Fall 2013, as ranked by Panhellenic.  The Sigma Epsilon chapter raised $45,000 for the Austin Center for Child Protection & Prevent Child Abuse America this year through their philanthropy activities like the Shamrock Golf Tournament and KD Quesadillas during Roundup Weekend.


Fast facts:

  Founded in 1897 in Farmville, VA

  Symbols: nautilus shell, dagger, teddy bear, katydid

  Colors: olive green & pearl white

  Philanthropies: Girls Scouts of the USA, Prevent Child Abuse America, Children’s Hospital of Richmond, Orthopaedic Research Awards

  Notable KDs: Leigh Ann Tuohy (The Blind Side), Georgia O’Keeffe, Ali Landry (Miss USA 1996), Bonnie Jeane Dunbar (former astronaut), Patricia Polito Miller (co-founder of Vera Bradley designs), Sarah Belle (youtube blogger), Mallorie Mach (winner of the 2014 Hyperion Award


Looking for more information or some of these inspiring ladies’ stories?  Check out these links!