Wednesday, May 24, 2017

On Accepting Change.

Have you ever had something happen and you think to yourself, “my entire life is about to change?”
 If we’re lucky (or, in some cases, unlucky), we have a lot of those moments – big moments that don’t feel all that monumental at the time, but looking back, they changed the course of our own little worlds.

For me, it was three weeks after I quit my job in sales and started serving again. On my first day of training, the head server brought me back to the “dish pit” and started explaining to me where the dirty silverware, plates, and cups go. The restaurant world was a place I was so sure I would never revisit. As I stepped into the stuffy, humid dish pit, I took in the stacks of messy appetizer plates and soaking forks, the seemingly endless rows of glass racks and garbage can full of uneaten leftovers. Even though I was making a big life change (and serving tables as a profession is nothing to be ashamed of whatsoever), I felt a bit deflated. But I thought to myself, “well, this is a change, but this is my life now.”
 I walked into my first post-bacc class about five months after quitting my job. It was 90+ degrees outside, I was rocking a 101 degree fever, and the air conditioning in my lecture hall was shot. I was wearing a backpack for the first time in years, and felt more like Franklin the Turtle than a returning student. I started learning about the International Phonetic Alphabet and the human ear. When my first exam rolled around, I turned down fun social plans to study. More than two years after taking my last exam, it’s safe to say the adjustment was a real struggle. But I thought to myself, “well, this is a change, but this is my life now.”
 Starting graduate school last fall, I had no idea what I was getting into. Short of my observation hours at a local elementary school and volunteering at the general hospital, I didn’t know the first thing about becoming an SLP. For the first time in my life, I was scared to make new friends. I’d found my clique of girls during my post-bacc, girls that were just starting their senior year of undergrad while I moved on to grad school a year ahead. For some reason, I didn't think I was going to fit in with my cohort. But I thought to myself, "well, this is a change, but this is my life now, and we're all in this together."

Yesterday, I submitted my applications for externships. In the coming weeks, I'll be contacted for interviews. In just a few months, I'll be removed from the comfort of my school's clinic, my core group of girlfriends, my routine of class-then-clinic-then-class-then-clinic. I'll be on my way to practicing on my own, and that is a scary thought...scary enough to get me worked up about the future, where I'm headed, and where I'll end up. It's easy for me to get caught up in worrying about the next move; sometimes, fear of the unknown is borderline paralyzing. But it's just a change, and I'll adjust, just like I always do.

Monday, May 15, 2017

3 Outfit Staples for Every College Grad | Graduating with JORD.

May is the official month of all things graduation, and somehow we're flying right past it! For those of you about to dip your toes into the professional working world, chances are you're trying to figure out your next step. For a lot of you, that probably means hopping on the job hunt and going out on about a daunting process!

In undergrad, I never really dressed up for classes. Denim shorts, a v-neck, and sandals was my go-to uniform. So when I landed my first professional job interview, it's safe to say that I didn't have a clue what to wear...and even if I did, I wouldn't be able to find it in my closet.

Think you might be in the same position? Read on for three must-have wardrobe staples for every college grad:

A professional suit. 

When I was scheduled for my first “big girl” job interview with the company’s president, my mom rushed me to Express to try on suits. Man or woman, every working professional should have at least one matching business suit for job interviews, big conferences, and any time you need to look sharp as a tack. And for my ladies out there – your suit doesn’t have to be boring! When my mom first told me I needed a suit, I immediately envisioned pinstripes and stuffiness…no thanks! Explore what’s out there, and experiment with different colors, textures, and cuts. You can stick with a typical pantsuit, or find one with a matching pencil skirt (my personal favorite!).

A solid pair of shoes (or three!). 

Whether you’re in the business of sales and networking or spending most of your work day in a cubicle, a pair of comfortable yet fashionable work shoes is an absolute must. When I worked in sales, I attended multiple networking events in a day, and needed to look put together even when I felt like a hot mess. The solution? A go-to pair of classic nude heels to get me from Point A to Point B (while still looking fab!) and a trustworthy pair of fun flats to dress up an outfit on the days where I wasn’t feeling a heel, but still wanted to pull off a trendy look.

A classic time piece. 

(Isn't it such a cool watch?!)

Imagine your new job's president asks you the time. A simple question, yes? You want to look on top of your game, so which option do you choose?

A) Fumbling through your tote bag in search for your iPhone
B) Taking a two-second glance at your left wrist.

Easy enough, but it's safe to say that a classic watch will never go out of style. So when JORDWood Watches asked if I’d like to collaborate, I knew that I absolutely had to share these unique watches with all of my soon-to-be college graduate readers!

This neutral zebra-wood champagne piece is sure to add the perfect touch of personality to any work outfit, with enough versatility to transition into weekend wear! I'm absolutely in love with the champagne colored face, because it goes with everything I own. Plus, unlike metal watches, it feels light and airy on my wrist. In fact, I sized up on my links just a tad so I can wear mine a bit more like a bracelet.

Whether you're searching for the perfect gift for a recent graduate, or simply shopping for a cool watch for yourself, a one-of-a-kind JORD watch is sure to turn heads.

Need one for yourself? I have you covered, friend. I’ve teamed up with JORD to give away $100 toward your own unique watch! Even better? Every person who enters will receive a gift code worth $25 after the contest ends…it’s a win/win situation!  

Head on over here and enter to win!

Love my watch? Check its details here!

For all my gentlemen readers (or if you're getting a jump start on Father's Day gifting!), be sure to check out JORD's selection of men's watches.
For more watches like mine (it comes in navy, too!), take a look at JORD's selection of women's watches.

If you win the contest, which watch would you choose? I love the versatility of the champagne face, but I'm going crazy for this Purpleheart & Plum FRANKIE series!

*This post was sponsored by JORD Wood Watches, but all opinions are (as always) my own.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Date Night Outfit Ideas for Summer.

Temperatures are certainly warming up around here, aren’t they? Or is that just in Florida? Apologies to my northern readers, but it has been a solid 86+ degrees the last couple of days and it feels like we skipped spring and hopped right into hot & humid summer time.

When it’s this toasty outside, I feel like the phrase “less is more” applies to literally everything. Less makeup, less clothing, less fuss. But when I scroll through Pinterest for summer date night outfit ideas, I see thick, stifling materials. While they make for a super cute picture, it makes me sweat just thinking about stuffing myself into a pair of tight jeans or polyester skirt in the midst of the summer heat. Bleh.

During my weeklong summer vacation, I’ve taken advantage of my extra free time by going on date nights with my girlfriends, and of course, Ryan. I’ve been all about loose and flowy materials that move with me and keep me from having to peel my clothing off later. I thought I'd share a few looks with you guys, especially after all the compliments I've gotten on these shorts! I'm just as obsessed with them as you are, my friends.

*Note: this post contains some affiliate links.

I received these Bailey Tulip Shorts from Tobi, and I love how versatile they are - I can easily dress them up with sparkly flats and a clutch for going out to dinner, or throw on a pair of sandals and an easy white tank for day at the farmer's market. And can we talk about the adorable detailing?! Loooove.

This white tank in particular I got on super sale at Target for only $6...such a steal! I don't think they have the sale going on anymore, but it's only $8 at full price. I have the same tank in navy and coral and I wear them all the time. The black tank top is from Express and it's actually open in the back, making this outfit even breezier.

Shorts, Tobi | Black tank (similar), Express | White tank, Target | Flats, TJMaxx | Purse (similar), Kate Spade

For me, nothing says "summer time and the living is easy" like a maxi dress, and this one (also from Tobi!) in particular is my new favorite...insert heart eye emojis here. I usually stick to solid colored clothing, but I'm loving this pretty navy print. If you want a more fitted feel, this can easily be cinched at the waist with a cute rope belt. I decided to pair mine with a long necklace. I wore this dress out to lunch with my mom the other day and got so many compliments on it. The exciting news? It's on sale for $11! It comes in lavender (also on sale!) and red. Similar to my outfits above, my Kate Spade (outlet, duh!) cross-body is the perfect match. Super light on my shoulder, unlike my usual tote bag. 

Check out more adorable (and affordable!) clothing from Tobi here!

Dress, TOBI | Purse (similar), Kate Spade | Necklace (similar), Lucky Brand

What are your favorite summertime date night outfits?

*Items were provided by Tobi, but all opinions are my own.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Right now, I'm in the Midst of...

Planning vacations. Despite my two summer classes plus specialty clinic starting up next week, I’m making as much time for travel as I possibly can this summer. I’ll be visiting my sister in Bulgaria at the end of July, with hopes to take a road trip down to camp on a Grecian beach for a couple of days. COLOR ME STOKED, GUYS. Ryan wasn’t able to book the trip with me because of work, so we plan on taking a little 3 day vacation at some point this summer. Right now we’re between Palm Beach and Key West. I’m in serious need of some travel!

Buying all the things. With graduation season happening this month, the restaurant I work at has been slammed, and I’ve been taking advantage by picking up all the shifts I can. The result? I already have all my bills paid for this month, I’ve put a decent amount into my savings, and it’s finally time to “splurge” on all the things I haven’t let myself buy all semester. New sandals, bikinis, wardrobe additions…stuff I usually say no to, I’m letting myself say yes (within reason, of course).

Relaxing. As in wearing all the comfy clothes all the time, allowing myself to indulge in some Netflix binge sessions, and taking a bit of extra time before “starting the day” every morning. I'm making extra time to lay by the pool, to get brunch with friends, and to get lost in a book or two.  I have a feeling that next semester is going to royally kick me in the butt, so I have zero problems with letting myself be lazy this week.

What are you in the midst of this week? 

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