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Fun Spring Work Style

23 Mar

It is the perfect spring day outside of the walls of my office. I woke up to lots of birds chirping (which, at 7:30 in the morning, isn’t as whimsical and cute as it sounds) and the sun shining, so I knew I had to dress to match.

It’s Friday which is usually a pretty acceptable excuse for me to wear jeans and sneakers, but I just couldn’t resist putting together a really cute, fun work outfit. Of course most of the clothes I’m wearing are from last year so here is a general idea of what I’m wearing today:

Button-Front Pencil Skirt, Old Navy, on sale! $25
I don’t own this skirt, but by the end of the day I might. How amazing is this? As it is still a Friday and I work in a creative, less-confining career, I was looking for more of a dress-down skirt, something I could wear that was work appropriate, comfortable and still a little bit more casual. Obviously this isn’t a skirt you would wear in court, but I sit at a desk all day writing about Southern New Jersey happenings. I’m looking for creative, cute comfort! It’s not too short, it’s not too long and boring and it has really cute tortoise shell buttons going down the middle. Kind of a vintagey vibe, that just so happens to be on sale! Time to grab the credit card!

Croft and Barrow Pleated Blouse, Kohl’s, on sale! $19.99
I found a shirt very similar to this in the exact same color on a Target clearance rack back in September, but it has since been retired from the Merona line.  I realize this shirt is on sale, and I do love a good sale find, but I’m still not one to spend $20 on a tank top. I mean, come on people, it’s a tank top. Still, Kohl’s is a big seller for frugal fashion fans like me, mainly because they dish out so many coupons and have so many sales that you can’t keep your head straight. Lauren Conrad’s line is pretty damn near perfect, too. Plus, it’s a fantastic color for the spring and summer, and I think that although it is sleeveless it is still work appropriate, since the shoulder seam extends almost into a capped sleeve. Tip: Tuck your shirt in! It looks 200 percent classier if you do. I like a nice, tucked in shirt, more than I like most of the people I talk to on a daily basis.

Mossimo Peony Pumps, Target, $24.99
Last night was a magical night for me. Something I’ve dreamed of for what seemed like forever…

My nude heels arrived in the mail.

I know, I know I posted about these shoes before. But they are better than anything I could have wanted.

The heel is much taller than expected, which is great because I have been looking for a taller kitten heel for what seems like forever. It was love at first sight. Usually when I’m at work I like taking my shoes off behind my desk but not today! I love them too much. Look at me, getting all emotional.

Merona Essentials Cardigan Sweater, Target, $22.99
I love this cardigan. I wish it was more acceptable to wear every single day, since I do wear a cardigan pretty much every day anyway. But for some odd reason, people find it gross when you wear the same clothes multiple days in a row… thanks a lot, Obamacare.

In all seriousness though this is a great cardigan and Target is the ideal place to find sweaters. They never stop selling three quarter length and full sleeve cardigans all year and you can almost guarantee that they will be on sale every week. When they are on super-duper sale (as low as $7 per sweater, holla!) I go nuts, buying Target out of pretty much every color available. They are great to pair (fyi: I just spelled pair wrong three times before I finally got it right) with a white shirt and any color pants or skirt when you’re feeling unoriginal.

Brooch the Subject nail polish, Essie, $8
I’m probably going to have to run out soon and buy more of this nude nail polish, because I wear it almost every day. There’s something about neutral painted nails that just screams classy and wonderful to me, which is odd considering this time last year I was pretty much addicted to wearing black and dark blue polishes. I guess we all have to grow up, huh?

My nails aren’t quite long enough to do a really nice, neutral manicure (click here for the tutorial), but they will be soon! Hey, it’s the spring time, you don’t need crazy nail colors. Let your clothes do the talking for you.

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Inspiring Monday Quote

27 Feb

image

I keep this on my tower at work because it’s my favorite Ben Franklin quote ever. This is the reason I draw suns on everything! It’s my mini way to stay inspired on gross Mondays when it’s beautiful out and I’m stuck inside.

Your Daily Dose of Cuteness

20 Feb

Coming back to work after an amazingly relaxing, food-filled and stress-free weekend with my boyfriend is like being stuck in the most boring nightmare in the world. I am seriously suffering from the back-to-work blues.

Yeah, cuteness is necessary.

Effortless, Comfy Work Style.

16 Feb

I’m not going to lie, I feel good today. I was a big fan of the outfit I pulled together this morning, and that good feeling only exploded into a great feeling when I walked into the break room at lunch and was greeted with a flood of “WOOOOOOOWS!!” by the fabulous sales ladies in my office. So I’m passing my totally easy, super comfortable and, of course, crazy affordable outfit onto you!

Charmeuse Tab Sleeve Dress
$34.94 at Old Navy (on sale for $19)
I know, I know I’m a walking advert for Old Navy, but this is without a doubt the best buy I have made in a very long time. While shopping for a Valentine’s Day outfit I stumbled on this $19 sale dress (that’s right, head into the store and you might just find it on sale!). I figured I’d buy it in case my planned outfit didn’t work out and then return it next week if I wasn’t crazy about it. Oh, boy. This is the most flattering and comfortable dress I own, and it still looks professional. Plus I have gotten so many compliments on the color alone.

Kylie wedge pump in black
$26.99 at Payless
I’m a very cheap, sale-oriented shopper, so spending full price on a pair of shoes is kind of painful to me, even if it is only $26.99. But I am in love with these shoes! I wear them at least twice a week because they’re comfortable and they go with almost everything. They’re my go-to wedges for when I feel like wearing a pair of skinny jeans, and they have never failed me!

Minicci open weave gray tights  
$5.99 at Payless
I have had these tights sitting in my drawer for a month or so, because tights and I don’t really get along. I usually get them up to about my knee before they catch on my fingernail or toe nail, get a hole and run up my entire leg, leaving me tight-less and late for work. Somehow over the course of a full work day I have yet to make a single rip in these guys! And they are crazy comfortable, not stuffy and confining like usual tights. Plus they add a little pattern to an otherwise patternless look!

Hats Off to YOU, Black Friday Cashiers

24 Nov

I have been working in some form of a retail job since I was 14-years-old. In fact, this season marks the first holiday in eight years in which I will not be working an hourly rate, wearing a name tag or dealing with extreme-coupon-ing moms.

The (legally insane) crowd outside of Toys R Us on Thanksgiving night (wrapped around the building into the parking lot)... circa 2009

In my near-decade of retail experience, I have somehow managed to continuously get out of the Black Friday rush. Whether it be through school or some other stupid excuse ( I once had my Dad call up my job at the AMC theatres on Thanksgiving to yell at my boss about worker abuse… true story) I have gotten very, very lucky. Honestly, I have spent all day thinking about how I managed to fool almost 8 different companies- yes I jumped around jobs that often. I even had an over-drawn conversation with a Target cashier tonight, questioning how any job could let me get away with this for so long.

That same Target cashier, a lovely middle-aged woman with a name tag that read “Donna,” told me that this was her first year in retail, as she had spent the last 20 years in education. She laughed it off, as if getting fired from a life-long career was funny, but in our eye contact we both felt the pain in this realization.

The bottom line is that the world sucks right now. In the last four years I have watched people change, crumble into  sadder version of the person they once were. It seems like no one has anything anymore. Four years ago, when I stood looking towards my future, I saw so much potential and opportunity. When I first heard the word “recession” a few years back I brushed it off as an interesting story I could tell my kids (father: Brad Pitt… hey, this is my fantasy) from my Victorian mansion’s wrap-around porch one day. Now I spend my free time with my calculator open, re-figuring out how long it will take to fix my car, my computer, my future. Life isn’t fair.

What is even less fair is that these giant companies are taking their cashiers and forcing them into overnight employment on a holiday that should be reserved for family and rest. These megastores have ignored their hard working employees in exchange for Rock and Roll Elmos and UGGs. These employees don’t see the benefits, and they still have to work their butts off at a very mentally and physically trying job. You think your job is hard? Try spending 8 hours on your feet getting yelled at by soccer moms because a product adversided as $2.50 is ringing up as $2.52- and no I’m not being dramatic. That has actually happened to me.

These retail employees deserve trophies for working on Black Friday and Thanksgiving night. No, they deserve an additional bonus. Who wants a trophy anyway? They spend hours dealing with the craziest of the crazies, the ultimate shoppers looking for the ultimate sale willing to take down anyone that crosses their path. In the process the cashiers get hassled, talked down to and deprived of the social relaxation that should come with any national holiday designed for families. Yet they are still placed on the bottom rung of the business totem pole, treated like lower-class and second rate citizens. I would like these crazy people that wait in line for 24 hours for a video game to spend an hour working the job of a cashier: maybe then they will decide to spend Thanksgiving at home with their families, where they belong.

Listen, this was my life. I feel somewhat guilty not being there on the frontline this year, ready to take the hit and help my fellow warriors. And I will tell you honestly- because a Target commercial does a good job at hiding it- a retail position can be the complete and total definition of dehumanizing. When I worked for Whole Foods, I stood there every day wearing an apron, with my “New Team Member” button stuck to my chest, trying to push away the fact that I was just another road block for these customers. Then I saw my old internship boss. He turned the corner, in his dress shirt and tie, with a lunch that I could sell him, but never afford myself, and in that minute I have never felt so ashamed.  I  was humiliated. I wanted to rip my apron off, burn my name tag and scream “I’M MORE THAN THIS!” But a retail job often prevents you from doing that, because in a retail job you are just another barrier to break to get to the parking lot.

So this Friday, if you feel the desperate need to be out at unbelievable times in the morning, do me this favor: thank your cashier. Genuinely thank the college kid who left Thanksgiving festivities early to get some sleep before the early start, the parent who’s down on their luck trying to get some holiday cash for their kids, the graduate that just can’t get a break. Please remember that these are people, with lives to live and stories to tell and hearts to hurt, and every time you snap at them or ignore them for a more-important phone call you are making the conscious choice to make the world a slightly dimmer place. If you feel your ego getting the best of you, just stop, look at your cashier, and say thank you like you mean it.

We live in a world now where there is no shortage of need. Because of that we all have to be able to care just a little bit more for each other, and reach out in ways that we thought were once insignificant. This Black Friday, I am making an effort to be remembered, not as a pain but as a person that sincerely helped make someone else’s day just a little bit better.

What will you do?

Catching up on life

5 Oct

If I was going to say ‘sorry I haven’t been posting lately, I’ve been super busy’ that would be a terrible lie.

Because super busy doesn’t even explain how insane my life in the last week has been.

In case you all were wondering, yes I am still with my job and yes, I did get my terrible, horrible, hideous haircut fixed. Getting into the swing of things at the magazine has been much crazier than I imagined it would be. I’m there at least nine hours a day, and I always wish I had the energy to work for another nine more.

When I interned at the magazine I didn’t stress if a project didn’t get finished or if I missed a part of an assignment, because I knew that when 5 p.m. rolled around I was out of there until the next time I was due back. In the mean time someone else could pick up my mistakes. In the big-girl-world that isn’t how life flies, and my biggest stress is constantly worrying about getting everything done and doing it well. I can’t mess this up.

I think my unexpected pile of stress led to my nasty cold over the weekend. My cold couldn’t have come at a worse time: it was the first weekend that I wouldn’t have to show up at a job, it was the start of the MLB playoffs and, most importantly, it was my Nanny’s 92nd birthday party.

I love my grandmother. She is one of the most important people in my life, and we have always had a very special bond that I haven’t shared with anyone else. She gives me faith in moments of my life when I didn’t think faith would come to me.

Monday was my Nanny’s official birthday, so I had planned to call her, then visit her during the week and then write a post about how special she is to me here. Unfortunately plans changed when my Nanny fell of a step in her home and broke her hip. At the age of 92 any injury is serious, especially one that would require such a serious surgery. Needless to say I felt beyond crushed, guilty and all-around miserable. I couldn’t even be there for her birthday, which, after her fall, my family was viewing as her last. I had let her down.

My Nanny grew up orphaned during the Great Depression. She has survived cancer, heart disease, a stroke. She’s lost her husband and one of her sons, and yet she still stands as the strongest person I have ever experienced. She is a fighter, and she proved that once again to our entire family as she fought through her surgery Tuesday morning. While she is in pain she is recovering, and should start to heal soon.

It has been a stressful crazy and pretty much overwhelming week. I’m pretty much ready for it to be over. I’m ready to become more adjusted to a real work schedule and full work responsibilities and I’m really ready for the Phillies to stop stinking and finish this series. All I can do is hope for an easier next week, right?

 

It’s Business Time!

24 Sep

One week ago I was behind a counter ringing up over-priced produce. And today?

Ladies and gentlemen, you are looking at the new editorial assistant at South Jersey Magazine.

There’s my acceptance letter and everything (I have to apologize for my appearance. If we’re being honest I really did nothing to improve my awkwardness before taking this picture. I just put a cardigan on so it looked like i wasn’t wearing pajamas. Which I am.)

I have a job!! I am seriously completely floored right now. Back in 2010 I interned at the magazine and had a seriously amazing time. It was a great place, a totally interesting magazine and I really did well there. Well, the other day I was sitting around being my poor self AKA window shopping at the mall when I got a call from my old Editor-In-Chief with a job offer! Of course I answered with a perfect response…

“Uh….Uhhh… OH MY GOD OKAY!!!! OH MY GOD… What!?” Literally. Growing up is a process…

Here I was, prepared for the next few months of steady unemployment and substitute teaching and a job opportunity that I would only dream about just sneaks out of nowhere. I’m seriously blown away. I feel like one of the luckiest people on earth right about now: first I got this job, then I found my favorite pair of pajama shorts, then I realized that I actually have a career and cried a little. I’ve been in a state of shock and surprise and smiles pretty much all day long.

Growing up may be a process but I guess it begins on Wednesday for me. I just can’t wait to wear a work outfit and fancy shoes every day. I’m a grown up now!!!