Monday, July 31, 2017

Kate Spade Earring Giveaway

We have a giveaway! I started this blog to practice graphic design, and it looks like a couple of you have come along for the ride! I want to thank anyone and everyone who even just glaces at one of these post. 

This is a little inside tip, but I spend about two hour on each of my post. I pour my heart and soul into this blog. (Lame, but true). I would be here if I had zero people following along (More Taylor Swift type content right?! ((That is a joke)) ) and I would be here if a million people follow along. It is honestly my greatest creative outlet. 

Before things get too dramatic, I do want to thank all the awesome readers, and a big thanks with a giveaway! I love these Kate Spade earrings and I know you will too! We can even match! You can enter the giveaway HERE

Giveaway Information:
1. Follow me on Instagram
2. Go like my Brand New Facebook Page (I pinky promise will only post once a week or for big highlights)
3. Leave a comment on preferably my front page of blog post, tell me what you like about it so I can continue to post things you guys want!
4.Follow me on the Twitter
5. Follow me on Pinterest
6. Tag a friend in my insta post who would like to join the gang!
7.Take a visit to the Facebook page!

Can not wait to get everyone's feedback, and good luck!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Easy Breezy Productivity

I could have picked a better title, but it just fit. I love this outfit for a good summer evening. (Also no shame I wear this to work with a button down). I have total summer vibes from these pants. The leaf patter was huge this past season, and I could not help but jump on that wagon. 

When I think of summer vibes, I think of my past summer vacations. With that I just want those hazy lazy summer days. It has been extremely hard to stay focused and productive. I just want to hang out by the pool looking at Instagram through my sunglasses, walk around town browsing through the farmers market watching the kiddos and puppers, or sipping on fruity drinks with loved ones watching the sun set.  
What I do not want to do is pretty much anything but that. Which leads to the problem of not getting anything done what so ever. Which I have tricked myself into being productive and these are the tips I have been using to keep myself on track!

1. Give yourself a total day off. From sun rise to bedtime (lets be real none of us go to bed that early) This can be once a week. This sounds almost counterproductive, but it gets it out of your system. Also by allowing this, you can be totally present, or you have to promise yourself that you  will be. 

2. Going off the first tip, you have to have a day of total production. That can be a couple of hours after work, but there has to be a day where you can get everything done that you need to. 

3. If production is down, try switching around your schedule. I had issues with not feeling like I could fit everything in. I noticed that my shower after my workout and getting ready was taking up so much time. I took a baby step to switching 2 workouts a week to the mornings, and it took so much off my plate. 

4. Set timers for yourself for things you do not want to do. If I do not want to do something that I have been putting off for a while, I set a timer for say 20 minutes and tell myself I only have to do it for that long. 9/10 I get invested in the project and just finish it out. The initial start for me is the hardest part. If I end up dreading the task I can walk away from it 20 minutes later. It is like playing mind games with your own mind (that was a joke)

5. Prioritize. Write your ever so long todo list, star the three most important. If you are like me, I will never finish my todo list, but at least I am getting the needs done.

I hope everyone has a fantastic productive week! Would love to hear your thoughts on how to be productive as possible, and still enjoy your summer days?

Friday, July 28, 2017

On Comparison

This past week I have been pretty frustrated, not at any one situation, but more at myself. For having feelings that I almost never have. 

I was straight up throwing myself a pitty party, and I am not usually one to-do this. I am usually the biggest cheerleader for everyone. I know that if the circle you are in is being elevated it goes in flows and you can always learn something from anyone. I'm not upset, I'm happy for them and I want to know their tips and tricks on how they got there! It usually never gets to me. 

I honestly do not know where it came from. Not even two weeks ago I was thinking, "Wow, I think I have this figured out." I had a game plan for growth in personal and career aspects of my life. My blog was slowly growing, which was never something I was expecting. I wanted the blog to practice writing and graphic design. The fact that there is any growth, was an added bonus. Not to mention, everything I have been learning from this blog! I have been ecstatic what has happened this past year, and down the road I also have a couple of great things that are coming up. I have no reason to be upset what so ever. Life is good, I just took a vacation, I have a big trip coming up, family, career, and personal life is for lack of a better work, exciting! 

Then that little bug of comparison snuck up. I saws someone who started a blog pretty much the same time that I did, seamlessly blow up over night. Then I turn the corner and a friend of a friend started a new company and the first person she signed was my favorite fashion blogger! 

Which is amazing for them, and I could not be happier for them! BUT, and I hate myself for saying this, I just thought why not me?  Why wasn't this amazing success just handed to me? I went down this rabbit hole of being bitter and self indulgent in self pitty. 

As I am going down this rabbit hole, I had to stop myself. I was wishing to have this handed to me. I realized I did not want to have to work for this, I did not want to come up with a strategy, I wanted this quick fix. I wanted the overnight success. When I came to this realization, it stopped. It stopped because I knew that was lazy. 

With comparison, you have no idea where people are in their journey. Everyone is different and everyone has vastly different strengths. This comparison had no help on my journey, took my happiness and success away, and distracted me from my overall goal.

Comparison is almost never fair, but it is easy for us to boil ourselves down to a number. It is temping to make ourselves stay on track if we can just focus on metrics and data. The thing is as humans we are so much more than that. When we compare, we forget all the other factors that go into a business, a goal, a life. I think the main thing I took away from this is to focus on  your own strengths and your plan and not worry about other people's journeys (still be supportive) because you have no idea where they are in theirs!   

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Pop Of Pink

I feel like the Victoria Beckham line for Target, in some areas, did really well and others not so much. I kind of lucked out, I was able to get this dress on super clearance. However, if you missed it, it is still on poshmark!
Anyways, I feel that the title is a little deceiving. This dress is not so much a "Pop" of pink, but more of an in your face pink. I am a huge fan of the drop waist dress. I feel that it is a good spin on the classic shift dress. Plus this dress is so comfortable because the material is so thick. 

I paired this dress with a simple monogram necklace and from floral pointed flats. I thought the patterned pink and navy flats would be a little much, but they ended up turning out well! I think it is because the dress is so solid and simplistic it meshed. 


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Career Highlight: Women in the Military

*Note* Everything in this post is the opinion of the individual. In no way is this the opinion of the the military. All opinions are our own.  

This is hands down my favorite post I have ever had. It is a little different than normal, but it is a career highlight. If you did not know, I am an officer in the Army Reserves. I work 1 weekend a month with the Military and a couple of weeks in the summer. My job is in Human Resources. I wear the uniform and I essentially work in an office.

As a student I was in the ROTC program at Michigan State University, and that is where I met all of these amazing ladies. They do everything from Nursing, to part time in logistics, and even combat arms. They could basically run the whole country;) Anyways, this is a little career highlight of what it means to be a women in the military, as well as what the day to day looks like!
Can you state your name, and a little about yourself?
Christina: I'm Christina. Friends call me Christy, Chip. I'm originally from Plymouth, IN and I went to school at Michigan State University in East Lansing. I'm a nurse at William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, TX. 

Emily: My name is Emily Fitton. I am in the Army National Guard.

Janelle: Janelle. From Southwest Michigan, youngest of 3 (brother and a sister). Grew up dancing, running cross country, marching band, cheerleading, shooting. Went to Michigan State for my BA in Finance and participated in ROTC. Graduated and commissioned May 2016 and started active duty in July 2016.
Can you tell us a little about how you ended up in a military career? 
Christina: I had two options in HS: find a way to pay for college or don't go. I had always been interested in the military. My grandfather graduated from the Naval Academy as a fighter pilot during the Korean War, so he had sparked that interest in me. An ROTC scholarship seemed like the best option - assist with paying for school while being able to live a (somewhat) normal college life.

Emily: My brother first sparked my interest in the military when he was applying for a slot in the United States Military Academy at West Point. He was so excited when he was appointed and I was so intrigued by why he wanted to join the military. When he told me his reasons, I started to think about how legitimate they were and why I never even thought about joining. I knew that I wanted to go to college and have the "college experience" that everyone talked about and even a civilian career. A military career never even crossed my mind, but that was because I didn't do enough research about the multitude of different ways to serve. I had no idea that you could go to college and join the ROTC program to become an Officer at the same time. After I started figuring out that being in the military could fit perfectly into the plan that I wanted for my life, I actually began considering it and getting advice from those who were actually serving. After some time, I realized I wanted to serve because of pride for my country, and as a way to gain leadership experience and protect our rights and freedoms as Americans.

Janelle: My dad had talked to me in high school about how he thought I would be good in the military. I originally wanted to go to West Point but did not get accepted, so I joined ROTC at Michigan State University.
Did you always know you wanted a career in the military?
Emily: I didn't realize that I wanted a career in the military until about my freshman year of college. It was something that had been at the back of my mind for a while, but I did not really consider it until I learned about the ROTC program and how practical it could actually be.

Janelle: No, I didn't really think much of it until my dad had mentioned it. Once I started ROTC I loved it. 
What is your roll in the military? Are you full time? What do you do if you are not full time?
Christina: I'm an active duty military nurse. I care for active duty Soldiers, their families, and veterans.  Surprisingly, a large veteran population in El Paso - retirees like to settle down here in the desert because it reminds them of their deployments???? (Editor Note: that was a joke)

Emily: Right now I am in the National Guard, which is more of a part time assignment. For my full time career, I am in a sales and event coordinator position.

Janelle: I'm an active duty Armor Officer in the 1st Cavalry Division, currently a platoon leader.

What was your feeling being in the first graduating class of women for armor BOLC?
Janelle: I don't think it is as big of a deal as some people make it but I understand it is a part of history. I was lucky to have been in the right place at the right time.

How would you describe the culture of the military?
Christina: It is hard for me to say. A lot of what I am exposed to is simply at the hospital -- I don't get line unit exposure often. But for a military nurse, the culture is different. You are expected to be a Soldier and nurse. It's a lot of hats to wear at times. There are lot of requirements expected out of you.

Emily: The military definitely likes to stick with traditions. "If it's not broke, don't fix it" is the best way I can describe the culture. Something that I am also realizing though is that the military also becomes your family. You have a special bond with the people you meet and the people you serve with. Not everyone can handle this can of lifestyle, and having people that understand this lifestyle and where you come from really helps build unforgettable friendships.

Janelle: Succeed no matter what. No matter the obstacle or struggle you are expected to overcome it. It teaches you to become resilient and dismiss excuses. 
What do you think it means to be a women in the military?
Emily: I think that being a woman in the military is something that I take for granted a lot. There was a time where we were not able to serve or were not recognized for serving, and now you see women taking over amazing leadership roles all over the country. I am so proud to be a part of this group of women that wants to go beyond the norm and fight for something that they truly believe in, which is the love for their country and the people in it.

Janelle: My experience is different than most because I work with so few females on a daily basis. I do think people subconsciously treat women differently and it has taught me to approach situations differently. I have become very close with the females I do work with and often ask them for advice or share experiences to learn from. 

How many women are there?
Emily: Right now I am in training, and there are eight females in a class of 35 people.

Janelle:I graduated BOLC with 13 other women. There were approximately 22 of us in the first ABOLC and IBOLC classes combined. There are probably around 30 Armor qualified women in the Army now (approximate guess). 

(editor note: this is the most asked question I get.)
What is a typical day in the life like?
Christina: A typical day for me at work: wake up at 0500, do my daily morning routine, arrive at work no later than 0645, receive report from the off-going shift, and patient care until 0700! Come home, eat dinner, face plant into bed, and do it all over again the next day.

Janelle: Garrison (on post in the office):Go to the office at 0600 for a sync meeting, PT from 0630 to 0730. Start work at 0900. Mondays we are in the motor pool conducting maintenance on our vehicles. The other days of the week we conduct classes over doctrine, train at simulators, counsel and develop soldiers, and plan future training. Usually get out of work around 5 or 6pm. 
Field: changes constantly. Working during the day and night, maintenance every day, shooting gunnery and running missions. 

What does your career path look like? 
Christina: I am going to complete my service obligation (4 years) but I am not going to make this a career. I think I will stay in for about 6-8. Allow the Army to move me one more time. Hopefully pay for grad school. I want to become a Nurse Practitioner or a Physician's Assistant eventually.

Emily:As of now my commitment is five more years in the military. I will continue to have a full time civilian career and a role in the National Guard for that time. After my commitment is up, I will decide if I want to continue serving or become a veteran. It's hard to know what my life will look like in five years and what my goals will be.

Janelle: I have a four year commitment to the Army which ends in 2020. I always liked to call the Army my 4 year delay plan (only partially a joke). After the Army I'll probably look for a corporate job in the hospitality industry. I'd also like to get my MBA eventually. 

Do you think there are any issues that have come up that are unique to you?
Janelle: I have very high expectations for myself and others and it has always been difficult for me to accept things being less than the standard or what the Army stands for. Learning to not let these things personally bother me is challenging because I care so much about my job and the soldiers I work with, I believe they deserve the best. 
What has been the hardest part in this career path?
Emily: The hardest part in this career path is proving that you are worthy of being in it. You will always come across people that will want to tear you down and tell you that you are not good enough or cannot succeed, and you just need to prove them wrong.

Janelle: Realizing that my time isn't my own. I don't come from a military family so I'm not used to missing family events and not being able to be around for big moments. 
What is the best thing that has come out of your military career?
Emily: My respect for veterans, especially those who have served overseas. It's not easy and you see some things that will change you for the rest of your life. To leave your family to fight for what you believe is right is not a task that just anyone can do. My respect for these people has grown considerably since I have been in the military.

Janelle: I've learned a lot about myself and have changed immensely from my beginnings at ROTC. I have learned how to be a leader, how important personal discipline is, and how to work through shitty situations.  
What is your overall job review?
Christina: I complain about my job a lot. But in all honesty, I do love to hate it. I have been able to move from school and create a new life for myself. I pay my own bills, rent my own apartment, bought my first car, started new friendships -- all on my own.  No assistance. El Paso isn't ideal but this new life is completely my own, and in our generation, not too many people can say that.  

Janelle: Right now my unit is really busy so we've been go go go! I've learned a lot in such a short amount of time but I also look forward to having some downtime to get to develop more of a routine and learn more about my area. 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Top Summer Accessories

I love accessories. I am not one to splurge or to go overly trendy with my clothing, but I do love a good statement piece of accessories. I love how accessories can really turn an outfit around, or even dress up a white tshirt to make it go from drab to fab. Which a tshirt, white jeans, sandals, and a statement necklace is my favorite summer outfit right now. 

These are a handful of my favorite summer accessories. I am loving the statement earrings. Which I always wear pearl earrings,  but this is such a fun casual mix. Also the wrap around shoes are a little excessive, but I think they are just so fun!

Straw Bag// Bold Earrings// Scallop Shoes// Drop Down Earrings// Kendra Earrings//  Kendra Bracelet// Gingham Shoes// Sunglasses// Tote Bag//  

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Stick with People who pull the magic out of you not the madness

This. Is. My. Favorite. Outfit. Post. Ever. This dress is kind of over the top, but in the words of Mindy Kaling "I like to make everything a thing." Anyways, I love love love this dress so much. It is so fun. This is so great for a girls evening, or brunch with the parents. Or if you happen to hang out at some pretty chic barns, great for that too!

This is a funny story. In highschool more than anything I wanted to have this killer boho style. Basically, I wanted to be a photoshoot from show me your mumuHowever, that is nawwwt  me. As much as I love a carefree look. I am not a care free person. I think my inner me will always be straight lines, tailored, and classic. Not to say that a boho look is not great (because seriously if you can pull it off full time, you are a goddess.) 
This was my one attempt, and seriously it has been my favorite look to date. Sure, you might get a 70s joke, but that is only because it is so noticeable. So grab spotify, turn on Abba and lets do this simplistic summer look. 


Saturday, July 15, 2017

July Podcast: The Goal Digger

I have switched gear from news to creative entrepreneur podcast. I am addicted. I seriously get so excited to hop into the car for work to just soak up everything I can learn. It is crazy how much technology can change the business make up. I would not even doubt that they would have some type of social media class in the next decade or so in colleges. Or social media will disappear complacently, and a whole industry will disappear. We will just have to stay tuned I guess. 
Anyways, Jenna Kutcher is a goddess. She is so incredibly fantastic at telling stories. I want to soak up every little tid bit of knowledge she drops. Not only that, but she has some personal stories that hit home, make you laugh, or bawl your eyes out. Which this one had me crying before 8am on my way to work.

Some other ones that were more on brand were this and this. Check it out for some true inspiration!


Monday, July 10, 2017

Work Outfit

Hey, What is up, Hello, my blogger friends. Happy Monday, I hope everyone starts off on the right foot and are able to recover from the weekend. So as you may know, I am in the Post-Grad stage of my life. I will throw it out there, I am 22 years old. So I am still in the young stage, but I need to balance having a corporate job. Which, honestly sometimes I forget how old I am, and I want to say I am 47. 

That being said, I do not have an issue with dressing too young, I am an old soul. What I have issues with, is not dressing too old. I always love the magazine Real Simple they are really good at styling for 20s-30s-40s. So I try really hard to dress my age and have that balance of being professional and youthful. 

This is why I love this outfit. Honestly this shirt is one of my very favorites. I can add this to almost anything  and it makes it look modern and professional. I do have to say though, I was in a conference room the other day and a whole row of women were wearing almost the exact same shirt. (Which means we are all really trendy, right?!)

Also this skirt is to-die-for I have yet to wear this to a friend outing and I have no clue why. However it is great for work. I also love the gold detailing. I am also a way bigger fan of navy than I am for black. I feel that navy looks so crisp. Also a side not, my photographer said to me while wearing this outfit, "I'm going to make you look like a lawyer who just won their case" So there you have it, great outfit for work!


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Mid Year Review

Can you believe that it is already half way through 2017? Seriously this year went by fast. 2017 from start to now had been going going going. Honestly my 22nd year as a whole has been pretty crazy from day one.

I was really lucky that for 2017 I had such amazing friends to spend New Years with. 2016 was such a crazy, loving, and emotionally exhausting year. The fact that I had amazing friends to pick me up by my boot straps and kick you into high gear. (I'm hard on myself, and its good to have people that will not let you self indulge in your defeats) 

I went public with my blog this year! I started telling people that this was a thing I consistently did. (for the past three year) I am still working on growing it, but I am loving every single moment of it. Not only have I made it public, but I started doing blog photos! And there are still come more surprises up my sleeve for the rest of the year. 

Being in post grad life I have kept up with travel this year. Not nearly the same as last year, I will never travel that much ever again. Vancouver was one of my favorites this year, and I even have a couple more trips planned for the rest of the year. (Looks like you will have to stay tuned!)

As for Des Moines living, I am soo surprised with how much I love it here. It is kind of weird how things work out. I bought a pillow with New York on it when I first moved here. (It is super cute, trendy, and preppy)  It is a little reminder that sometimes dreams do not work out, so something just as great can fill its place. Never in a million year would  I have thought I would be where I am today, and that is one part scary and one part amazing. It kind of goes to show your plan is not always the best plan. 

I know this is kind of vague, but as I said in January. I am weirdly happy. Post grad was the move. I love that quote that says, "Some years ask questions, and other years answer them" I do not know what the rest of 2017 will be, but the first part was pretty stellar. 

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Hair Essentials and How to go lighter from home

Lets take a little trip down memory lane. My First internship ever I found myself at the end of the summer early to a meetings. With one of my fellow interns there, I noticed that my hair was out of control. It was a humid day, so I threw my hair up into a pony tail and said to my coworker, "Wow, I am having a bad hair day".

And as blunt as can be he replied, "Bad hair day? More like bad hair summer". Which was kind of shocking to hear, but I also realized I had no clue how to do my hair. 

That was when I realized that I should probably try to do something other than straighten it when it is semi damp. So here are all the fool proof tips I have that even the laziest of people can achieve! 

Also a little bonus as well, I have some tips on getting your hair to go lighter from home. You will never have to step into a salon ever again! (Note: results will never be as good as the salon, but one can wish)  

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