Thursday, January 29, 2015

Office Team Spirit

It's almost Super Bowl Sunday, which I am surprised isn't a national holiday yet. Whether you're watching for the game or the commercials or just showing up for the snacks, it's a good day. If your team is playing in the big showdown, you'll want to be sure to show your support!

However, you can support your team all year long, no matter the occasion. I've pulled together some office appropriate his and her looks to support your team all year long.




His: ShirtPantsShoesTie
Hers: DressHeelsRingEarringsBag

His look starts with a basic foundation of white shirt and gray pants. Adding some team color is easy with a colorful tie and these awesome blue bottomed shoes. Color is a great way to show some personality in the office without going overboard.

Her look is more subtle team colors. I paired a navy sheath dress with some fun pumps and a grey handbag. Add some color via a ring and finish the look off with simple gold bar earrings.



His: ShirtPantsShoesTieCufflinks

You can't go wrong with a blue shirt and khakis - they're basics! I couldn't decide on a single look for him here. Pair your blue with a red, white and blue dot tie that's loads of fun, or for a more subtle look choose a dark navy tie and add some red cufflinks.

For her I started with a black pencil skirt and pumps and added in this fun lacy blouse. I didn't want to get too patriotic, so I kept the blue in a small quantity with an arm party. Add some simple gold earrings and a classic black bag and you're good to go!

This post is a part of a project by Paul Frederick to dispel the belief you can't be stylish and still support your team.

How do you show team spirit at the office?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

2014: The Year I Lived Under a Pop Culture Rock

A couple of weeks ago, I was listening to NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour's recap from 2014. Then I watched the Golden Globes. I felt completely clueless! Normally, I'm pretty good at keeping up with what's going on in the world of pop culture - movies, tv shows, books, ect. But I realized pretty quickly that I missed quite a few memos from 2014!

True story: I haven't been to a movie theatre since two Thanksgivings ago. That's probably contributed to my rock.

I've been playing catch up as 2014 ended and 2015 has begun.



Reading | I read Gone Girl over the holiday and loved/hated it. If you've read it, you understand the crazy emotions you go through while reading it. If you haven't read it - I highly recommend it, with a warning of high emotional turmoil.

Watching | Sorry mom, I started a new TV show. I am completely obsessed with House of Cards. I'm still in Season 1 and I'm attempting to watch as slowly as possible, so I don't run out of episodes too quickly. Honestly, I'm failing at this completely and watching two episodes a day.

Listening | I was a little late to the bandwagon on this one, but I didn't finish too far behind everyone else. I essentially binge listened to Serial during my trip to Hawaii. I love a good crime drama and Serial was the perfect balance between drama and realism. I didn't love the end, but loved the journey.

One of the items on my 101 list is to watch all of the Best Picture Nominees before the Oscars air. Since I had only heard of the nominees that were also nominated for a Golden Globe (ooops), I will not be completing this item this year but I'm looking forward to seeing some of the nominees (American Sniper looks so good!).

What else have I missed from 2014?

Friday, January 23, 2015

When a House Becomes a Home

I had a bit of a unique off to college story. My parents moved just days before I attended orientation. We packed up our El Paso house, went to orientation and then moved into our house in metro Detroit. Then just a couple of weeks later, I moved on campus to start classes. Meaning, I never had a chance to settle in my parents new house. There was a ton of transition in the month before I started classes at Michigan State.

I lived on campus my freshman year, but joined my sorority just a few weeks into the semester. It quickly became my home. I was thrilled to move in halfway through my sophomore year, and I've lived there since.

When I went off to Michigan State three years ago, I started a process of defining and refining my sense of style and design. There's been lots of changes during my time in college, and I'm sure there will be more in the future.

When I moved in last fall, I was determined to actually move in. I was done feeling temporary in all of my spaces, and it's the first time I had a space to myself. Even though it's not permanent, it's home.



The biggest thing I did when I moved in, was create a gallery wall. I painted most of the canvases above. The largest one that sits above my head was a birthday gift from my incredibly talented little. The other art featured on the wall that I didn't paint include the twin canvas (a gift from my twin), the wine canvas (a gift from my former roommate) and the GG (a gift from my grand little).

This serves as a focal point for the room and I love how much meaning each canvas has. The gifts are all special to me and I choose other themes that mean a lot. Courage is one of my signature words and AOII has clearly played a huge role in my life. It's also nice to have a constant reminder to be happy!

It's amazing to me how much joy and comfort can come from a physical structure. But it's so much more than four walls and comfy couches. The AOII house has become a home thanks to all of the wonderful, loving, welcoming women who live in it and visit it each week for chapter meetings.

Interior design is important, but so are the people who you choose to surround yourself with each and every day.

This post is a part of a series - Starter Stories - hosted by Urban Compass. Urban Compass is a NYC-based real estate platform that helps people find houses and apartments that they can call home.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Preparing for Company Visits

My recent trip to Chicago was more business than pleasure. It was actually for a class & we spent the week visiting different PR agencies, media buying firms and sports companies. Visiting different companies in the industry you're pursing is a great way to get more knowledge of the industry and make connections. But before you head out on a tour or trip, make sure you're prepared! 



Print Business Cards
First things first. Make sure you have a business card! Chances are you'll get lots of business cards from people giving presentations, but make sure you reach out to at least one or two post presentation to introduce yourself. Having a card to give them will help you be remembered. This is also a great opportunity to ask for an informational interview or ask a question that wasn't relevant to the whole group you're with.

Write Drafts 
During and after the trip, you'll want to connect with everyone you meet on LinkedIn. Having a customized invitation is a great way to stand out and help the other person remember who you are. Keep it brief and make sure you mention when you met them. You can write a customized invitation beforehand so it's easier to send out those requests.

Doing a trip similar to mine? You may want to thank companies via twitter, or share how excited you are prior to your visit. Think about some tweets before you go, so you don't end up sending the same tweet 12 times with just a different company name. Feeling super ambitious? Write a draft for each company so all you have to do is hit send!

Thank You Notes 
Make sure you pack thank you notes! I sent out 18 thank you notes after my trip. However, I waited until after my trip to start writing them all. It took me 3 different sessions to get them all written, stamped and addressed. To save time after your trip, I suggest pre-stamping and writing your return address on at least one note per firm.

Research
If you're serious about getting a job or even just an interview from your trip, make sure you do your research. Ask who the main contact is and check out their background and position. Also do a check for any of your university alumni that work for that company. They can be great sources to reach out to for more information. By reaching out to a recruiter before your trip, you have an opportunity to schedule a conversation while you're in town.

Have you ever been on firm tours or company visits? What other tips do you have to add?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Fire-less S'mores

I had a craving for s'mores. But I lacked an important component - fire. I thought about roasting marshmallows over our gas stove and then decided that was a disaster waiting to happen.

Thankfully, pinterest came to the rescue! I remembered a pin with s'mores in a pan. The pin wasn't linked properly but I figured it wouldn't be that difficult to recreate. As my mother would say, I know just enough to not know what I'm doing.

I started by layering chocolate in the bottom of a baking dish...


Then covered all the chocolate in marshmallows...


Then I set the oven to broil mode at 500 degrees. I left it in too long (they're a little toasty). It really only needs about a minute, then turn the oven off and let it sit for 3-5 minutes so the chocolate has time to melt but you aren't continuing to brown the marshmallows. 


Tada! You have a super easy s'more dip! I didn't take an after photo, but my family pretty much devoured this entire pan.

S'mores for any time of the year, no campfire needed. I'm a fan.

Have you recreated anything from pinterest without any directions?


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Semester Prep

Syllabus week is the most glorious of them all. No real homework and lots of time to reconnect with friends. However, to ensure a successful semester your syllabus week shouldn't be all fun and games. Take just a little time to set up some systems & you'll thank yourself for them later on! 



Get Prepared
First, order those textbooks! After the first day of class you have a good idea if you'll need the book or not so now is the time to decided if you will buy or rent. I usually like to look up prices before the semester starts so I have an idea. My favorite site to compare prices is Textbook Rentals.

Don't forget to purchase any needed school supplies. Notebooks, pens, binders, printer ink - whatever works for you. Just make sure you have everything you need so you don't have to run out last minute!

Plan Ahead
Once you have a syllabus, make sure you write down all the important due dates! I use my paper planner to keep track of when things are due. Need to encourage yourself to start projects early? Write down reminders in the week or two before an assignment is actually due. Throughout the semester, I usually look at my planner two weeks at a time so nothing sneaks up on me.

I'm notorious for switching note taking systems partly through the semester. I've used pen & paper, printed slides, Pages, OneNote and Google Docs. But, I've found that it's extremely hard to review notes when they're in three different formats! Once you know how your professor is going to lecture, pick a system for taking notes and stick with it. If you do decide to switch, make sure you transition all of your previous notes to the new system.

Help Future You
After you've written down all your due dates, find the grading section of that syllabus. I like to create an excel sheet to keep track of my grades. I plug in all of the formulas at the beginning so I don't have to worry about them. Not an excel fan? Grade Tracker is a great option too. 

What's your back to school preparation routine? 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

2015

I've spent a lot of time thinking about resolutions, goals and mantras for 2015. I've reviewed past goals & my accomplishments or lack thereof. I've thought about different strategies that might be more effective. Do I pick a theme for each month? Start with just the first quarter? Pick one item off my 101 list to accomplish each month? I've thought about my life with my big picture lens. I've thought about what I want and where I want to be in the next year. It's been quite a lot for my brain. So much so, that I thought about throwing goals right out the window.

But then it hit me. My short term planning is much more effective than my long term. I prefer to see life as an adventure & when I have a long term goal with a path, I'm extremely hesitant to waiver from that path even if an awesome opportunity arises.

I've picked two mantras for 2015:
Carpe Diem
Live Simply

2015 will be the start of enjoying every single day and living more simply.

This isn't to say I won't have goals. I just need a little perspective from time to time & I think these two mantras are just the ticket!

I'll be taking time to do things that make me happy & better than I was before.

Did you set a mantra or goals for 2015?

Saturday, January 3, 2015

2014

2014 was a complete whirlwind! Looking back, I accomplished a lot, had some things to improve on, but overall had a great year. I've been reexamining 2014 and setting goals for 2015. Before I delve into my goals and plans for 2015, I wanted to recap 2014.

My Year on Instagram:


2014's Top Posts (including some throwbacks!):

Places I Traveled in 2014:
Brentwood, TN (twice)
London, England
Cologne, Germany
Luxembourg
Geneva, Switzerland
Turin, Italy
Venice, Italy
Nottingham, England
Saint-DiƩ-des-Vosges, France
Paris, France
Columbus, OH
Colma, MI
Kona, HI

What were some of your highlights from 2014?

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