Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sharing my Internship Interview Experience

So I tried to keep this under wraps originally, as I am (unfortunately) superstitious. But, I had an interview on Friday in downtown Atlanta!

Here's the short version of my day Friday:
*I came home Thursday night to ensure a full night's rest. No crankiness allowed!

*I woke up nice and slow, but I forgot to eat before I left, which was not a good idea because then I did get cranky. Fail! Later, however, I discovered it was a great idea, because my stomach didn't start knotting while I was waiting.

*I wore a classic grey pinstripe skirt suit with a bright blouse, comfortable shoes and hose. I did not bring a coat and I definitely should have! I also brought a designer bag that matched my suit and my father lent me his fancy leather portfolio to match.

*I took the MARTA - a public transit subway. It gave me a lot of time to think, relax and prepare, as well as keeping me from stressing out about where I was going!

*I arrived at the interview a few minutes early - always a good plan! But I didn't actually get to interview until about 30 minutes after my time! Luckily, the company had a TV in the lobby, so I got to watch sitcoms while I waited!

*I got called in to interview. I tried my hardest to be polite and normal, but later admitted to the interviewer that I was trying really hard. I was so nervous about making a better impression that I sort of lost myself. I was lucky to open up as the interview continued.

*I brought extra resumes and an air check, which my interviewer was happy to have.

*As I left, my interviewer said, "Great interview" and shook my hand. Even if I didn't get the internship, I felt accomplished. How often does one get complimented when they are one in hundreds!?

*I finally had a bite to eat. I had some delicious spaghetti, prepared by a Italian man with a thick accent. He was very nice and made me smile! It tasted better afterwards anyway.

*Hopped back on the MARTA and headed home. What a day! By the time I was off the track and in the car, four hours of my day were spent downtown.

What can you take from this? 
*Dress comfortably. But don't get too crazy - even though I wished I had been in brighter colors, I think I made a better impression in my classic suit.

*Bring everything you can with you. An aircheck, resume, writing sample, anything - just in case. They may not ask for it, but wouldn't you rather be prepared!? (I have to thank my dad for that one- he made sure I had everything before I left!)

*Be yourself. Yes, impressions are good. But don't overdo it - I accidentally convinced my interviewer that I preferred one radio station over the other, when it was actually the opposite! It took me so off-guard that it threw my whole train of thought off.

*Be careful not to over-focus. I totally forgot my favorite artist(s), all because I was trying to prepare myself for harder questions!

*Speaking of.... I was not expecting to be asked conversational questions! Don't forget, you're a person.

Have you ever interviewed for something? Have any more tips? Share with me in the comments below!

Stay true to yourself,

Monday, January 28, 2013

Lilly Pulitzer Spring Line!

The Spring Line is up for viewing! Most things won't ship until March, but what do you think?

I wish there were more patterned dresses, similar to the original shift. It's their signature piece, and while there was a few I wish there were a little more!

I did like these few pieces though... and I am looking for a graduation dress!

I must have the gingham one!! Love the peplum.

Keyhole neckline or bateau!?

I'm a sucker for jacquard.

Luckily, the fun blazers and jackets redeemed the lack of patterned shifts.

Did Lilly read my blog? This is how I want to dress for work!

The capris and tops are pretty cute too... Oh, a trip to Lilly at Phipps couldn't hurt, could it?

Bye, paycheck. It was nice knowing you.

What do you think? Will you be buying from the spring line? Share with me in the comments below!

Stay true to yourself,

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thesis Update: Topics

Drumroll, please.... I've picked the topic for my senior thesis!

I've decided to discuss the pendulum effect of privacy on the internet. How private are the things we post, really? This is sort of my main focus, including a brief history of social networks and privacy laws.

Do you have a big project or paper this semester? What are you writing about? Share with me in the comments below!

Stay true to yourself,

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Plan Positive: Organizing your planner

I recently purchased a new planner recently. I liked my old planner, but it was a little too small and I didn't realize that I would have so much stuff to put in it! So I transitioned into something roomier.

Did you have any doubt that it would be Lilly?

I've developed this system to organize my planners. It involves stickies, highlighters and book marks.

First, I have a highlighting key
Green - Class or Assignments
Blue - Work or Meetings
Orange - Extracurricular Activities
Pink - Phi Mu or Greek Events
Yellow - Fun things

Busy as a bee!

Then, I add stickies for busy days.

 I turn sticky notes into daily to do lists!

I use the larger calendar in the front of each month for special events, weekend long plans and birthdays.
Sometimes I like this view because it makes me feel less busy

Finally, I use two bookmarks. A paperclip in between the large calendar and the week I'm currently on. The second bookmark holds the previous months in place. In theory, I could get one large binder clip and ditch the other bookmark (but first I need to find some pretty ones! Any suggestions?)

Pretty sure I found this clip on the floor of my room. 
It doesn't have to be fancy! But I'd like to find a nicer one.

Do you have a system for your planner? Or do you stay organized a different way? Share with me in the comments below!

Stay true to yourself,

Monday, January 21, 2013

From fluff to full: a how to guide for curls

I've recently re-embraced my curly hair.

It took some time. First, I had to stop flat ironing my hair every day. The heat was destroying any and all curl pattern. Later, I had to ditch the blow dryer and just let it dry naturally.

Letting my hair do its own thing was tough. It was cute, but it was a bit of a fuzzball.

I decided no styling for one day... it was a bit of a mess.

So when I went to my hair dresser recently, I asked her to cut my hair and diffuse it so the curls would look, well, good.

I ended up with a gorgeous, fluffy, full set of bouncy curls. How did my thin, fuzzy turn into this!?

I was so excited I took a picture the second I got in the car!

Needless to say, I loved it. So I went out and bought a new dryer with a diffuser to get my salon bouncy curls at home!

How To: Diffused Curls

Step 1: Wash or wet your hair
I prefer to wash everyday, but curls are prone to dryness, so consider co-washing or just rinsing your hair.

Step 2: Throw in the towel 
To cut down on frizz, I've started using an old white tee shirt to remove drippiness but cut down on frizz.

Step 3: Get dressed
At least put your shirt on. Trust me on this one- you won't want to have to re-fluff after pulling your favorite tee over your head!

Step 4: Style prep
Apply whatever products you typically use. I use a leave-in conditioner, a frizz fighter, a curl mousse and a little bit of heat protector.

Wheee! Wet Hair!

Step 5: Diffuse
Step your blowdryer to medium or low heat and low pressure. Swing your head to the side and gently "scrunch" your hair into the diffuser. Repeat until dry on both sides. Blow dry your hair until it is mostly dry, then let the last of the moisture dissipate on its own.

I tried drying in sections, but I found that it did work as well as I'd hoped! Still looked good though!

A slightly weird picture of the bangs and back of my hair!

It's gotten a lot bigger, which makes it feel out-of-control sometimes, but I like being able to leave the house without damp or wet hair. I also like that I'm able to control the curl in my bangs, which are in the process of growing out.

Do you embrace your natural texture? Enhance it, like I do? Or do you do something totally different? Share with me in the comments below!

Stay true to yourself,

Thursday, January 17, 2013

What I wore: Rainy January Day!

What I wore: Rainy January Day!

Slim pants

Kitten heels

Lilly pulitzer

Rain, rain, go away!

It's raining here is Georgia today. In fact, it's been raining all week!

At Brenau, the campus used to have a trolley run through the streets. The tracks have since been paved over, but the streets are really high up and the gutters are really low, meaning there are always puddles to jump in!

I purchased a pair of pink rain boots when I came to Brenau, but last summer they sprang a leak. I was so sad! They went with everything! (I can't even find a picture of them! I have one somewhere....)

I purchased a new pair eventually due to a surprise storm during work - I was wearing a favorite pair of leather flats and refused to ruin them!

Today, I bought a new pair of boots. The second pair I had were outrageously patterned and was too much for my typical, already patterned outfits. So instead, I looked for another solid color.

This time, I picked a shorter pair in a berry color. The selection at my local Target was a little picked over (it is the rainy season!) but I found what I was looking for.

I was kind of looking for these guys - not solid, but how cute are the critter whales!?

I've always liked Hunter rain boots, but I can't justify purchasing $135 worth of rubber! Yes, they're cute, but it only rains once in a while down here, and after college, I'm not sure how much I'll wear rain boots! But since I'm not getting the expensive pair, maybe I'll get the Critter Whales too!

Do you own rain boots? What kind? Share with me in the comments below!

Stay true to yourself,

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Desk for Success

I have a thing with desks. I love them, but my desks always look totally crazy.

I like having a specific workspace, but no matter how hard I try it always turns into a crazy mess! I have a love/hate relationship with desk drawers: I love shoving random stuff in them, but I hate not being able to find anything!

I had to come up with a solution... but so far, the only one that works is not using my desk drawers.

And with all of my papers slowly stacking up on the corner of my desk, underneath textbooks and clipboards, I realized it was time for a change.

The 'Desk for Success' Scavenger Hunt

Before... not so bad, but needs improvement!

Find: Things of Sentiment
Yes, I know the little notes your sorority sisters slipped under your door are sweet, but if it just says "Love, Jane" reconsider keeping it. Does it bring you lots of smiles? Consider taping it to the wall or put it on your memory board. Is it a gift tag and you use the gift every day? Toss the tag.

Secondly, is it on your desk because you were sitting there last when you looked it? Probably. Find a new home for your sentimental notes!

Find: Receipts
Remember why you kept your receipt. For online shopping slips, I keep them in case I need to make a return and because I paid with my card. For regular receipts, I keep everything except cash receipts.

I started storing receipts in a little accordion folder to keep them from going everywhere. After a year, I toss the receipts.

Find: Homework and Assignments
These are a challenge, but not with file folders. I simply stuff them into a manila folder with the class labeled on them and forget about it... until I need it. Then, all I have to do is open my desk drawer and rifle through the stack of folders. (Hint: Leave current assignments in a neat stack or paper tray)

A good use for a desk drawer!

Find: Chargers, cables and jump drives, not in use
I got Pinterest-y with this one. I had a fantastic Voluspa candle that smelled like peaches, so it was easy to burn down. I didn't want to throw away the black and gold tin (which just so happens to be my school colors) so I froze it and scraped out the remaining wax.

It looks like a fancy candle... but it's secretly my junky cables and chargers!

Then, I rolled up my cords and squashed them into the jar. Ta Da! A fairly attractive tech keeper. I plan on doing this again with all of my Voluspa candles and the pretty tins they come in!

Find: Cables and electrical cords, in use
This one is tough. Cables are unattractive 99% of the time. I usually just stuff the cables behind my desk and hope for best.

I was given a picture frame early this year and it's just the right size to cover up my surge protector.

Much more pleasing to the eye and still totally functional!

Find: Trash, snacks and bottles.
Sipping fresh juice out of your new Lilly tumbler? Great, but it's still sitting on your desk. Awkward... go wash that sucker and put it with the rest of your dishes.

Got a water bottle from your last work out? Is it empty? Drain it or drink it, then recycle the bottle. Trash from an earlier snack? You know what to do.

Did you find everything? 

Can you find the little whales that surprised me while cleaning? 
Can you also spot the two drinks I haven't finished?

What does your desk look like? Do you have your own organization system? Share with me in the comments below!

Stay true to yourself,

Friday, January 11, 2013

Build Your Own Salad, er, Resume.

I really love build-your-own salads. I can get the things I like and skip out on the things I dislike, leaving me with the perfect taste sensation.

Shouldn't your resume be like a build your own salad? Things employers like, minus their dislikes and leaving a metaphorical good taste in their mouth?

Obviously, you can't win them all. So how can you build a resume that's meaty but not over-bulked?

The Lettuce: Work Experience
Obviously, a resume needs to include work experience and education. Even if the job is meaningless, like your first job at a really lame mall store with a goofy uniform.

This is important because it shows that you've taken the initiative. You've had a job - even if it was totally unrelated to your field - which already puts you ahead of someone who hasn't had any work experience.

The Veggies: Education
Like your favorite veggies, education is also an important base. It adds more freshness to your Resume Salad. Like work experience, it shows your initiative, but also shows that you have learned important skills for your potential job and that you can and are interested in learning.

The Premium Toppings: Related Skills and Experience
Skills and related experience is like bacon or grilled tofu. It's a bit harder to come by and is a little extra to get, but it's worth every forkful. Related skills and experience help showcase your abilities and support your competency for the job.

The Cheese: Recognition
Lightly sprinkled, awards and honors are a great way to showcase your success. But be careful, too much and you come across... cheesy. Be sure to include recognition that is valid and not just goofy, as well as easily recognized as an important award.

Finally, the Dressing: Your Profile.
Some people like a lot of dressing, some people like theirs on the side. Your profile is really up to you - after all, it's a brief showcase of yourself. Think of it this way: If the recruiter or hiring manager only read your profile, what would you want them to know about you?

It's important to make sure your Resume Salad is balanced, just like your diet. Still having doubts? Ask your campus career counselor, your mom, or favorite professor to look it over.

Do you have a resume? How did you format it? Share with me in the commets below!

Stay true to yourself,

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Sharing is hard.

I was able to share toys as a kid, but I was always worried that I'd have to share everything and would be left with nothing to play with. It's better to give and be kind, but we often forget to teach kids when to draw the line when they are uncomfortable.

I have a hard time sharing clothes. I have a penchant for the expensive and I have a fairly small frame. It's difficult for me to share because I worry about the "safety" of my things- tears, spills, stains, etc.

They aren't even safe in my own hands! 
(Luckily, Amazon was able to fix this fumble of mine!)

I'm very aware that I have a coveted closet. It's become a joke in the house - a new girl will see me and say to another sister, "Oh that's so cute! Do you think she'll let me borrow that?" and the answer would be a resounding "Nooooooo!"

I'm trying to branch out and share with my sorority sisters my last semester of school. I couldn't count on both hands how many times they've brought me my favorite snacks or ran errands for me!

But this becomes complicated. There are a handful of people I know I could trust to treat my things the way I'd like and who would return them when I'd like. But there are some I'm not so sure about.

So that's the complication: How do you share with some people, but not others? How do you draw the line?

Here are a few factors I consider when deciding whether or not to lend.

Rules: Make sure your friend knows your "rules" associated with borrowing. Set a give back date and let her know if you'd like it cleaned or not when she returns it. Personally, I prefer to do my own laundry, as I know if the garment should be dried in the dryer, hung up, dry cleaned, etc.

Size:  If you don't think it'll fit your friend, be honest (but not harsh!) and say, "You're welcome to try it on, but it runs pretty snug," or, "I had to alter that to fit, so it may not work for you." If they truly aren't your size, this is the easiest way out. If they are your size, I don't recommend this as a way out of lending.

Style: If the item isn't really the other person's style, ask why they want to borrow it. Say, "I didn't think you were into [brand]! What do you like about it?" Maybe they just want to see if they feel comfortable before they buy one themselves. In this case, I would let her borrow. If she really likes it, take her shopping to try and find one for herself, or make a note of her upcoming birthday.

Budget: Every year, my school hosts a May Day, which acts as an alumnae reunion. Last year, one of my close friends was on court and had to purchase the matching dress. Obviously, she didn't want to go to the alumnae brunch in it, God forbid she spilled! And since she had already purchased a $100 dress, she didn't really have room to buy a whole extra dress for a 2 hour brunch. I let her borrow- she knew how I felt about borrowing and treated my dress with respect.

Trust: If you don't know the girl very well, be honest. For example, if a newer sister asked to borrow something, I would say, "I'm sorry, but I typically don't lend out my clothes," or, "I don't feel like I know you well enough to be comfortable with that." In this case, I would only let her borrow a dress if it was for a house event and she changed in my room before and after the event.

Notice a theme? What it all boils down to is trust. Can I trust this person to respect my things? Can I trust this person to respect me and return it? It's a lot like sharing feelings - can I trust this person to keep a secret?

Do you have problems sharing? Why or why not? Let me know in the comments below!

Stay true to yourself,

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Back in the swing of things

It's back to school for students all over, as spring semester began on Monday!

It's the last semester of my senior year - I'm so nervous! It's the wrap up of all four years and even though the classes aren't that hard, it feels so much more challenging because it's near the end!

I have to write my senior thesis this semester. So far, all I know is a vague topic: how social media changes journalism. I've got some whittling down to do - it's a bit too broad!

Writing my thesis means I'll have to be super organized and focused. I know I'll need to be even more organized than I already am and I'll need to budget my time exceptionally well. I'm best with tight deadlines (hence why I enjoy journalism!) so hopefully the long process of thesis won't lose my interest.

Are you tackling any big projects this semester? How are you planning on staying organized? Share with me (and give me some ideas!) in the comments below!

Stay true to yourself,

Monday, January 7, 2013

Quick Confession: Southern is a state of mind

When I first moved to Georgia I was about 7 years old. I had to say goodbye to my yellow room and snowy white winters and was transplanted into the humid, sticky, Atlanta summer of '98.

At first and for a long while, I just hated Georgia. I wondered what all of my friends were doing without me - at the time there was no Facebook and area codes were new. Moving is hard and I didn't make friends easily. I was too mad to branch out.

I stayed mad for a long time. It actually wasn't until I came to Brenau for the first time that I really appreciated the south.

My mother had always wanted to live in Georgia. She had a dream as a child, traveling through the state, of southern romance, Gone With the Wind and clear skies.

Of course, Atlanta has changed since then. But my mother's childhood dream remained. Despite the lack of plantation gowns, she was finally in Georgia.

It turns out, what I needed was a place to plant roots. Sure, I could have escaped back up to Wisconsin when college applications came about. But instead, I stayed. I tried something new.

That's when I discovered Brenau. It was a teeny women's college, tucked away in a small town, where everybody knows your name.

Brenau showed me that there was southern hospitality, if you knew where to look and if you chose to accept it. I found a place that celebrated both it's history and it's progression forward. I found a place where I felt comfortable, where I fit in... where I belonged.

In short, it just felt right.

Now, I love Georgia! It's one of the best places to be- the once-annoying, sticky summers are now balmy and leisurely. The short, snowless winters are now blips of cold in endless sunshine, just long enough to wear boots and coats without getting sick of them.

Perspective counts for a lot. Southern really is a state of mind - as is anything. The question is whether or not you fight it or embrace it.

I think this was from the first time Mother and I went to Nutcracker at the FOX (~1999)
 Needless to say, it's a favorite childhood photo!

Have you ever had to change your perspective on something and ultimately changed your life? How? Share with me in the comments below!

Stay true to yourself (and look for the good in things!),

SALE ALERT: Lilly Pulitzer on Rue La La!

If you are unfamiliar with Rue La La, it's a website dedicated to speciality boutique sales featuring tons of designers - men, women, children, home, you name it!

But there's a catch - the boutiques are only open for 2 days and are first come, first serve! It's also invite-only.

I peeked through the boutique, but didn't see anything I needed (trying to stay true to the resolution!)

Did you snag a deal from the Rue La La sale? Share with me in the comments below!

Stay true to yourself,

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Belle on a Budget!

Hey y'all!

Every college student is on a budget, whether we like it or not. But being on a budget doesn't have to trample your style!

Whether you're paying your way through or are slowly getting cutoff from Mom and Dad, a budget is always a good plan. It takes money to make money - and if you blew each and every paycheck without saving anything, you'd learn very quickly after college ended how much of a disaster that is!

So how can we outfit ourselves, our rooms, our beaus and our dogs on such a budget?

First, if you don't mind gently used, try thrifting. I really don't like to share or borrow clothes, but my expensive taste is slowly turning that stinginess off (although it is good to draw limits, especially for sanitary reasons!)

I don't really like to shop at thrift stores, but I have been known to stalk Re-Lilly into the wee hours and to routinely check eBay. Often times, you can find brand new pieces that just didn't lay right, or well-treated pieces worn once or twice for special occasions. You can even resell pieces that you haven't worn or no longer want! It's a win-win.

If that still doesn't float your boat, or if you are turned off about buying from strangers, be sure to check your local discount department stores. Places like TJ Maxx, Ross, Marshall's, Stein Mart and HomeGoods all get chunks of merchandise to resell.

After working retail, I've learned that a lot of these lots of clothes are redistributed due to silly things, like mislabeled or missing tags. Which means a never-worn, never-stocked item is available for half the price!

Of course, the merchandise varies by store and not every store has great merchandise. If you can, try to drive around to different locations - you'll get a completely different stock!

If you really can't stand buying discount or gently used items, consider adapting your budget. If you really want a certain top, try cutting out your morning Starbucks and brew a cup at home. Or, decide to eat-in for a week and put what you would have spent away for your must-have.

Where do you like to shop? Do you shop resale? Know any great bargain sites? Share in the comments below!

Stay true to yourself,

Friday, January 4, 2013

Baby it's cold outside!

It's getting to be the chilly months in Atlanta! While our Decembers feel like most autumns, our really cold months are January and February.

Luckily, this means a short winter! However, it's hard to dress cute when the wind is blowing and it's raining sideways!

These are my go-to pieces for brisk weather! I've found pieces for this collection all over- Old NavyMarley Lilly, TJMaxx, Lilly Pulitzer and more! You can find all of these pieces at a department store, from Target to Bloomies!

Brisk Weather Essentials

What are your favorite pieces for the brisk and blustery winter?

New Year's Cheer Part 2

I woke up to a wonderful surprise from work today... payroll! And it was a lot more than I was expecting - it actually filled in all of the money I spent on random little things this past week.

Which meant, after putting a little slice over in savings, I could treat myself to a little more New Year's Cheer....

I thought the Jumbo Planner might help keep me busy after graduation.
(And, buying them "late" means getting them on sale for a steal!)

A little Phi Mu love for my future office!

Did you snag any good sales from NYC? Did you go back for seconds, like I did? Share with me in the comments below!

Stay true to yourself,

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Lilly Pulitzer New Year Cheer Sale!

Hey Y'all!

Everyone loves a good sale... and what a better way to ring in a new year with a sale! Lilly Pulitzer rarely goes on sale, but when she does, it's BIG!

I got a new top - the Raleigh Top in Kissy Kiss. It'll be cute with jeans, or with trousers and a blazer for the office! I wanted to get the Fancy Fest pattern as well, but they sold out so fast! I figured one was enough for now!

How cute is this with a blazer!?

Did you snag any great deals at the sale?

Quick Confession: Labeled like a can of preserves

Confession: I feel awkward labeling myself as a "Southern Prep."

I mean, Lord knows I fit the definition. Lilly Pulitzer, pearls, bows and headbands, sandals, dressing for the heat and never-ending summers are a staple in my life. But labeling yourself is always a little awkward.

For starters, not everyone is going to view you the way you do. To some, I wouldn't be a real southerner because I was born up north, or because I didn't have a cotillion. To others, I'm not a real prep because I'm not from New England!

I don't really think it's important, but everyone likes to find a group they belong to. It's nice to find someone with a similar background!

Do you think you fit into a "label"? Or do you prefer to go label-free?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year, New Me... Just Like Every Year!

Happy New Year! I hope everyone's 2013 is prosperous and joyful.

I always try to set some resolutions, but like most people, I give up on most. I usually get at least one through successfully, though! Drinking more water and wearing more skirts are the two most memorable resolutions I've made and stuck to.

This year, I'm only setting two-ish. First, save a chunk of each of my paychecks. I'm trying to build up a good savings so I have things to work with after graduation.

Second, only purchase clothing of high quality and stop buying frivolous pieces. This resolution goes in hand with a closet clean-out I've started!

As for the -ish, I always put fitness on my list, because I am a total weenie with noodle arms. But I reset the resolution regularly throughout the year! Sometimes I just get so busy and that not only frustrates me but dampens my progress!

Do you set resolutions? What are your goals for the year?