Get giveaways and the hottest HC content in your inbox!

Sign up for HC Study Break
Get HC in your inbox!

Valentina Palladino

More by Valentina Palladino

Pledging A Sorority 101: What You Need to Know


Bid Night is over. You know exactly which sorority you’ll be pledging and cannot wait to jump right into your new house and meet your soon-to-be sisters! Pledging is a very involved and sometimes overwhelming process, but by knowing exactly what you’ll be in for during the next few weeks, you’ll have a much easier time adjusting to your new Greek life. HC gives you the 411 on pledging so you’ll be prepared to take on this crazy process with grace and style!

Getting to Know Your Pledge Class

You and the other girls in your pledge class will be doing a lot together over the coming weeks while you learn the ropes of your sorority. At least once a week your pledge class will meet to learn the traditions, secrets, and rules of the sorority in a class setting. The sizes of pledge classes will vary depending on the sorority and the number of girls who rushed that semester, but regardless of whether you’re meeting 10 new girls or 100, you’ll do group activities to get to know all the other girls. “My pledge class was 72 girls so it took a lot of effort to get to know everyone,” explained Amanda Klohmann, an HC Contributing writer and 2011 University of Missouri graduate and sister of Delta Gamma. “At our school in the fall we have a huge Homecoming event. We spent almost two months putting in at least 8 hours a week prepping for Homecoming. Doing a huge project like that together really helped me get to know the girls.” Your pledge class will be your support system - you’ll all be going through the same experience together and bond with newfound sisterhood.

Getting to Know the Sorority

The Yummiest Comfort Food Recipes (That Aren't That Bad For You)


Wintertime and the holidays lead to cravings for our favorite comfort foods. There are certain foods we turn to naturally during the cold months to soothe our stomachs and warm our bellies, and there are also foods that we associate with our own personal holiday traditions. Eaters be cautioned: often those hearty foods we love to chow down on are packed with calories, fat, and sugar, creating a formula for winter weight gain.

Here are some healthy recipes for a few of your most beloved holiday comfort foods that you can make yourself over winter break without packing on extra pounds!

Glazed Ham

Ham makes a great holiday main course because it's a lean meat and naturally rich in vitamins. What usually makes this delicacy a disaster is the sugary glaze and salt that the meat is often cured with - both add unnecessarily high amounts of sugar and sodium to what could have been a healthier plate. You can keep ham on your holiday menu by adding less sugar to glazes already sweetened by jams or fruit preserves.

Good Housekeeping offers this great recipe for Glazed Ham with Apricots! They recommend you ask for shank meat (one of the leanest cuts of meat you can get), and the recipe itself provides a low-sodium, low fat version of the traditional holiday ham.

Glazed Ham with Apricots


Do You Really Need to Eat Breakfast? We Found Out.


Maybe it’s one of those days where the meal consists of eggs, bacon and toast. Or maybe you’re running late and you could only grab a half of a bagel with cream cheese. Or, maybe you didn’t have time to eat anything at all. One thing is for sure - breakfast is the most ambivalent meal in college life. Some prefer to skip breakfast all together, while some just grab something small as they walk out the door - is there really anything wrong with that? We’re putting “the most important meal of the day” under the microscope, discovering what it means in the context of a busy college schedule.
Breakfast 101
We’re all told that breakfast is a crucial part of a productive day. There are many benefits gained from eating breakfast daily, such as providing your body with the first chance to refuel after hours of “fasting,” and aiding in weight management. Breakfast boosts essential glucose levels in your body after sleeping for hours, allowing your brain and body to function better. According to Syracuse University Nutrition Science and Dietetics professor Sarah Short, “scientific research indicates that if you don't eat breakfast, by 10 a.m. your mental and physical abilities go way down.” Breakfast aids weight management by keeping your metabolism running at a healthy level. If the body is not sufficiently energized from food, metabolism slows down to conserve energy - this is where breakfast comes in to save the day.

Business Men, Vampires, and Magicians - Oh My! How to Dress for New 2011 Theme Parties


Togas are so last year, no one really cares whether you’re an angel or a devil anymore, and highlighter parties are just an excuse to write all over each other. New theme parties reflecting the hottest new trends in pop culture for the coming year are already popping up on campuses across the country. HC has some fresh ideas to help you get ready for the new parties you’ll be crashing soon!

Mad Men

“Mad Men,” the show surrounding the glamorous, tormented lives of the biggest advertising moguls and the women who love them, has taken over pop culture, inspiring early ‘60s-themed parties with an extra dash of sex appeal. Essentially, a Mad Men-themed party is a time-period party, but moderation and careful selection will be the keys to the perfect outfit for Joan, Peggy, or Betty!

Anybody can rock Joan’s bombshell look as long as you know how to work your body. Pick out a bright colored dress that accentuates your figure, and also marries business and pleasure. Think business attire with bombshell flair. Transform completely into Joan by donning a red wig and matching lipstick.

Peggy is all about subdued sex appeal. Choose a dress that’s a little more conservative and with more neutral colors (plaid works fantastic!). Tie your hair back in a ponytail and even try wearing a sweet pearl necklace and earring set!

Betty challenges you to get in touch with your inner Grace Kelly! You have a ton of options as far as costumes go - the homemaker dress, a sultry white nightgown, a fun cocktail dress - you name it! To pull the entire look together, check out this Betty Draper Hair Tutorial.

The Perfumes That Smell the Best


As classy collegiettes™, everything from clothing to shoes to hairstyles to jewelry shows off aspects of who we are. However, it’s not just about how you look - it’s also about how you smell. Sporting your favorite scent is like the icing atop the expression cake - it pulls the entire look together and completes the message you want to send to others. HC took a whiff of some of the most popular scents for every personality, mood, and occasion, and found the best ones for the holiday season to accommodate every collegiette’s™ budget. Oh, and we also tracked down a few guys to sample the fragrances and weigh in on their favorites!

Fruity Frenzy


Secret Charm from the Secret Garden Collection by Victoria’s Secret

Price: $9

Where to Buy: Victoria’s Secret stores and

Secret Charm delicately kisses the skin with the soft, sensuous aromas of honeysuckle, gala apple and stephanotis. The scent is not overpowering, but creates a calming, happy mood for the girl who wears it - and those around her! Personally, this is my favorite scent from VS’s Secret Garden Collection - and trust me, I know that collection well since I’m a VS sales associate! I always love to show new customers the entire collection, but I point out Secret Charm because of its subtle elegance and refreshing scent.

In the Middle:

Eternal Grace by philosophy

The Most Popular Celebrity Diets


The secrets behind fad diet plans of celebrities are some of the most sought after in our culture, and for good reason. Celebrities have the “best” bodies and fans who see them want to look exactly like them. However, not all secrets to celebrity sexiness are healthy. Some diet plans celebrities have been known to follow are extreme, and sometimes even dangerous. Fad diets are also notorious for providing quick results with potential backlash right after crossing the finish line. “The term ‘Fad diets’ often implies that the method or diet plan is not necessarily sound nutrition, and that, most importantly, it is temporary.  If the changes are temporary, of course, so are the results,” Certified Nutrition Specialist (C.N.S.) Susan Holmberg said. HC explored the plans of five of Hollywood’s hottest stars to see how healthy they really are.

Jennifer Aniston - The Zone Diet

How it Works
Jen has been following The Zone Diet ever since her days as Rachel Green. Popularized by the books of Barry Sears, PhD., and Bill Lawren, The Zone Diet emphasizes the a ratio of 40-30-30 - 40 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent protein, and 30 percent fat - to achieve the proper levels of bodily hormones. The diet promotes lean proteins, such as a serving of chicken breast, and what they define as “favorable” carbohydrates, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans, at every meal. It also allows some leeway for “unfavorable” carbs such as pastas, breads, fruit juices and others.

Summer Rediscovery of Vonnegut


    We all know those books and authors we read in high school and never fully appreciateed until later in life. Kurt Vonnegut was one of those authors for me. Over the summer, I decided to pick up some of his other works often shadowed by the brilliant Slaughterhouse Five. Don’t get me wrong, Slaughterhouse is a gem of literature, yet it’s one of the gems you’ll either treasure or consider completely worthless, depending on your taste.
    After reading some of Vonnegut’s other works, I quickly discovered how much I appreciated his writing and style now that I was out of high school, and not being forced to read him as a mere requirement in class. I blasted through three of his lesser-known works in a few short weeks and remain hooked today. If you feel like exploring Vonnegut, check out these titles - you won’t be sorry!