Category Archives: Miscellaneous

On the Road

Many of my colleagues travel a lot (I’m relatively new to my job and will hopefully be jet setting soon!), all over the world throughout the year. This requires a lot of careful planning. With many tight travel regulations (ahem, 3 oz. liquids), it pushes us all to be organized, thoughtful globetrotters.

While I haven’t traveled much for my job, I have traveled since before I can even remember. I’ve been fortunate enough to have taken all sorts of trips, everything from the short drive to Toronto from my home town, to 24 hours+ trips to Africa. There are a number of items and tips that I have:

1. First of all, make yourself comfortable. I usually have an eye mask, blanket and neck pillow (the ones airplanes give out aren’t nearly as soft and comfy as I’d like), and cozy socks since planes are usually chilly.

Cute sleep mask $22

Socks $5

Blanket (this has foot pockets!) $19.99 (on sale!)

2. Make sure that if you’re not checking a bag, all your liquids are the proper size. Many of the go-to places for toiletries have special sections on websites and in stores with mini sizes of your favorite products. Sephora has a whole section including products you wouldn’t think would need to be small (ie. mascara).

Bliss Starter Series: Fabulous $36

3. Even if you’re traveling for work, you’ll want to make sure that you document your trip. Take some time – even if it’s just an hour or 2 – to document what you see. We sometimes forget to take in what’s around us, especially when we’re on business trips and not in the true travel mindset. While I’m not advocating blowing off your work duties, I bet most of us could squeeze in some sightseeing.

Muji sketchbook $3.95

Tivoli Audio – Songbook global radio $199.99

Canon PowerShot $169

4. Traveling doesn’t have to mean sacrificing style either. So many great pieces are comfy, cute and perfect for long hours in a car or on a plane. I love leggings, slip on shoes (so easy for going through airport security!), and a wrap (to again combat that problem of chilly planes).

American Apparel Leggings (they come in SO many colors!) $28

Love Quotes scarf (also so many color choices) $88

TOMS ballet flats $74

Do you have any great travel tips?

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Print Love

{Dress: Zachary’s Smile for Anthropologie, Shoes: Corso Como, Sunnies: Theory, Clutch: vintage Coach, Bracelets: Etsy/Tai/Dogeared/handmade from Africa, Cocktail ring: vintage (my grandma’s)}

I am a big fan of prints, especially for dresses. I’ve had this cute little number for a few years now and it never fails to disappoint. Comfortable (with pockets!), classic (a very flattering shape) and fun (the African print fabric makes me nostalgic for Cape Town). I like to pair it with fun accessories – great for work or going out!

Real Girl Style

Look: Work Denim

Since denim seems to be a big trend that has stuck, I wanted to find a way to incorporate the look into a work appropriate outfit. I paired black pants, a silk shell tank, with a ruffle grey denim jacket – a bit different from the traditional one, giving it a more professional feel.

{Jacket: LAmade, Pants: Banana Republic, Shell: Vince}

{Shoes: DV by Dolce Vita}

Feed Your Brain

If I could do one thing all summer, it would probably be sit outside in the sunshine (preferably on the beach!) and just read book after book. Reading has always been a great love of mine, even during busy stressful times in my life when I had plenty to read already (like graduate school). I still try to read a little bit each night before I go to sleep, as it always helps me unwind. I’ve had a Kindle for about a year now and love it, especially for commuting and traveling! I will always have a special place in my heart for physical books (you should see our bookshelves…) too.

Here are a few of the books I’ve slated for the coming months ahead:

The Beginner’s Goodbye – Anne Tyler is one of my all-time favorite writers. Her characters are varied, complex, but seem completely real. They’re usually the stories of average people facing common struggles. This one looks like it won’t disappoint.

A Natural Woman: A Memoir – I have vivid memories of singing along to “Really Rosie” with my parents in our old Woody station wagon as a kid. As I got older, I moved on to loving Carole King’s classic songs and somewhat imperfect voice. I’m psyched to read this autobiography. If it’s written even half as well as her song lyrics, it’ll be a great book!

All There Is: Love Stories from StoryCorps – One of my favorite short segments on NPR, I love hearing from the real lives of people who enter the StoryCorps booths, especially the sweet love stories. The producer compiled a book of love-themed stories that will be one I’m sure I’ll go back to many times.

Mockingjay – Yes, I too have succumbed to the world of the Hunger Games. I NEVER liked books like this at all but after all the hype, I figured I’d see what all the excitement was about (and my fiance read the first one and really liked it). I breezed through the second book in about a day and now am anxious to see what happens in the final chapter.

What are you excited to read?

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Words of wisdom

It’s been a particularly tough week for me at work (deadlines, difficult colleagues, etc. – you know what I mean, we’ve all been there!). Fortunately, things are getting back to normal.

One of the simplest ways that I try to manage my stress level and keep a positive attitude is to go back to inspiration. As cheesy as it may sound, a good quote can make me smile and give me perspective. Thanks to Pinterest, there seems to be an endless amount of inspiration. Here are a few of my favorites.

Where do you find inspiration? Have a great weekend!

Real Girl Style

One of the topics we want to focus on with this blog is what we’ll call “real girl style.” We don’t work in fashion, but love it and we want to share with you our styles!

One of the ways that we’ll share with you is pics like the ones below: quick ones, taken with a phone, before leaving for work. Doesn’t get more real than that! No extra time putting on make-up, doing styling, etc. Yep, I’m sitting here, typing this, keeping my eye on the clock to make sure that I end up at my desk in time! There will be days when we can spend more time putting together looks and offering a bit more about how to creatively demonstrate your style (and taking better quality pics), but we also want to keep this as true to reality as possible!

Look: Rule Breaker

I like to call this look a “Rule Breaker” look, in homage to the outdated (in my opinion) rule of not wearing white until after Memorial Day.

{Blazer: J. Crew, Pants: Anthropologie, Tee shirt: Gap (Red)}

{Shoes: Corso Como}

Tell us about your style!

SmartyPig

I’ve recently been introduced to the amazing savings account website called SmartyPig. Not only does it have a higher interest rate compared to most of the big banks, but it lets you break up your savings into different goals. As a young person living in a big city, I cherish every possible extra dollar I can, but sometimes I feel bad saving just for the sake of saving. Being able to assign a goal to my money helps me focus on an end result. Whether it be a tropical vacation, a pair of new killer (but pricey) heels, or a starting off point for a future adventure (such as new business venture or grad school), you have the ability to choose how you want to save.  They also have a reloadable cash rewards card that you can get which gives you 1% cash back on every purchase where MasterCard is accepted. You can put money on it from one of your goal accounts or from another funding source. This is a great way to make sure you never go over your budget!

Check it out here!

~ H

Now and Later – Spend and Save

One of the challenges with fashion trends is where to spend your hard earned cash. Certain trends come and go with seasons while others hang around for years. So when should you spend a lot on a trendy item? One of the ways that I make this decision is in thinking about how well and item will a) go with the rest of my wardrobe b) how many seasons can I wear it (living in DC means we get the full range of seasons and temperatures) and c) can this still be stylish once the so-called “trend” has passed?

One recent example of this is brightly colored pants. This season bright colored, skinny (sometimes cropped and cuffed) pants are everywhere. But will you really want to rock those coral capris again in summer 2013? My advice is to refer to the 3 points I listed above. It might be worth your while to purchase one slightly nicer pair that will last you years to come but if you feel drawn to collecting all colors of the rainbow, I would refrain or get a few cheaper pairs. Case in point: I splurged an bought myself a pair of saturated purple Minnie’s from J. Crew. I love everything purple and know that I’ll continue to wear these. Also, J. Crew’s clothes are well made and since they carry petites (yay!), I can find an almost custom fit. So, this is where I decided to lay down a little more cash. I also thought it would be fun to have another bright pair but didn’t want to spend as much, so I looked to Boden, armed with a discount code, and ordered a coral-ish hued pair.

What are you spending and splurging on this season?

~ Ruth

Cabin Fever Remedies

(Image from Pinterest)

The weather is probably starting to feel a lot like summer for most of you – I know it definitely is for me! It does not make sitting at a cubicle for 8 hours any easier knowing I don’t need to wear a winter coat on my lunch breaks anymore. To make the office life more enjoyable, I’ve selected a few of those little essentials that help me make it through the days.

Water – staying hydrated keeps me awake and helps my skin look fresh!
Foot Petal shoe inserts – these assortments keep pumps from sliding off my feet so I can wear all those cute new spring shoes! (Can be found  here)
Bright colored office supplies – helps me stay more organized (and makes filing kind of fun!) My favorites are from the Container Store.
Healthy snacks – I like to keep trail mix or granola bars at my desk for when I feel my motivation dragging due to hunger
Plans for after work – I found that if I have something to look forward to after work (i.e. happy hours, dinner dates, shopping trips), it raises my overall mood during the work day
My mom – try to find someone you can call on a break when you’re having a rough day and just need some cheering up – talking to my mom for even 10 minutes always helps me!

What things help you make it through your days stuck inside?

~ Hannah