Other Musings

Fantasizing over this J Crew Maxi Skirt

As you may have picked up on by now, I’m really digging these maxi-length skirts and dresses. They are fashionable, stylish, yet somehow effortless. They also offer endless possibilities! Throw one with a plain tshirt, a button up or a really great cropped jacket and you are ready to go! I personally love the color on the Jcrew version below. Check it out here.

This version is $118, but you can find some cheaper versions at Gap, Ann Taylor Loft and Forever 21. Since this is likely a passing trend, you don’t want to spend a fortune. However, I know I will find myself in one of these once a week for the duration of the spring, summer and fall, so I just might have to splurge!


Fantasizing over this J Crew Maxi Skirt

Fantasizing over this J Crew Maxi Skirt by kerrychannon featuring v neck t shirts

White button down shirt
$65 – coggles.com

James Perse t shirt
$129 – mytheresa.com

Madewell t shirt
$90 – madewell.com

Calypso St Barth v neck t shirt
$65 – calypsostbarth.com

Bebe cropped jacket
$98 – bebe.com

J crew
$118 – jcrew.com

Kelsi Dagger black ballet flat
$76 – heels.com

Amanda Pearl snake chain necklace
$225 – maxandchloe.com

Monsoon flower brooch
£8 – monsoon.co.uk

Rhodes Acid Washed Frame
$42 – artgalleryframes.com


Monday Motivation…

Monday’s always tend to present a bit of a challenge. This Monday is particularly difficult. I’ve just had the most incredible, fun-filled weekend with my closest friends and my twin who made a special trip to the District to visit. Incredible and fun-filled also tends to lead to exhausting, coupled with the fact that I drove my brother to the airport at 5 am this morning and some Spring Nor’Easter is trying to drown the DC-Metro area, and I am not really warming up to this Monday.

Now, I’m not going to complain. I am just going to find some sources of motivation to work hard for the money. Case in point:

What more could a girl want on a dreary day than a beautiful teal leather Kate Spade purse? Talk about a pick me up!

This “Leslie” purse from the Cobble Hill collection will set you back a smooth $348 and comes in my obvious favorite, teal, orange and black. There is a larger version of the “Leslie” but it doesn’t come in teal. There are a few others in the Cobble Hill collection that come in bright spring colors, too.

Check them out here if you want some motivation of your own!


Holy Hiatus!

As you know, I took a little extended vacation from the blogosphere throughout the past month. This was largely self-imposed, as I have had several changes of the personal kind brewing. In the past month, I’ve ended a job and started a career, spent some much needed time with family and been spending an inordinate amount of time with the newest furry addition to our family (notice, I said FURRY; furry = puppy, not child).

The self-imposed part of my blogging break was to give myself some time and space to enjoy the exciting transitions and not feel the burning need to write about them immediately. That, and of course the fact that I have been busier than usual, as staring a new job doesn’t usually afford you the time to type away during the workday. At least not for the first few weeks.

I’m happy to say I’m back. And no, this won’t be a post simply dedicated to letting the world wide web know I am back to blogging.

In this past month, I’ve had the opportunity to see – and feel – how impactful change is in life. People are instinctively afraid of change. The fear of the unknown is a much more intimidating adversary than routine, no matter how dreadful, miserable or painful. It is much easier to accept what we know than it is to try to do predict what we don’t.

However, by shifting perspective, it is evident that change is our most valuable asset. Our generation tends to get caught up in circumstance. We focus on what we don’t have, what we wish we could have and how unfair it is that we don’t have it. Not only is this depressing, but it renders us powerless over our own lives. We forget that we have the ability to change what we don’t like – and that can be our circumstance or our attitude. Change is an active decision to empower ourselves.

All this philosophical mumbo-jumbo is spouting from my own recent experience, which is why I feel the need to share it here. During the past year and a half of my life, my personal life has been in the best place possible while my professional life has been pretty dismal. After a year in the most stressful, least rewarding job I could have ever dreamed, I began to see the true toll it had taken on me. I had changed in a bad way. I was negative, cynical, stressed, worn out and, worst of all, lacked any real confidence in myself. I decided to make a change. Fast forward to earlier this month, the first day of my new job, and I am happier than I’ve ever been – and would have never dreamed I’d have been had I not decided to face the unknown.

My point is simply this: we are in charge of our own happiness and we should constantly challenge ourselves to make the necessary changes to achieve happiness in our lives. All it takes is a little change in perspective, which I’ve been fortunate enough to find in the past few months.



Surreptitiously Job Searching?

Whether happily employed, miserably employed or anxiously trying to just be employed, happily or not, it is always best to be prepared. Staying current on the latest job search tools, advice and tips is essential to making sure you are ready to take the next step in your career. Or, perhaps, stay put after comparing a current gig to what else is out there!

Professionals in their mid-twenties are facing tough decisions related to their careers. It is a transitional time; some have been at companies for more than five years while others (such as myself) have bounced around between 2-3 positions in 5 years. After five years or so in the workforce, it seems normal to question whether our role is setting us up for the brightest future possible; whether we are learning everything we can from our responsibilities; whether we are challenged enough in our current position; whether our true potential is being reached; whether we are being paid accordingly for our skills. The queries are endless and always slowly eating away at our thoughts, but we aren’t job seekers – call us job questioners.

We’re questioning, so we aren’t sure whether or not it is time to make a leap into a new career. In order to make a qualified decision, we have to educate ourselves. But how can a job “questioner” get a better idea of what is out there without outing themselves to their colleagues or bosses?

Enter JobPoacher, a unique site that let’s you enter in your information, making it public to recruiters, but anonymous to anyone viewing it. Crazy, right? The site asks the user for his/her current title, salary and location; then asks for the user’s desired title, compensation, location and email address. Using a craigslist-like function, the email address is made anonymous and all information is posted for recruiters! Voila – now your info is out there for the world to see, but nobody will know it’s you! Consider yourself an informed job questioner!

Why not turn the job search process around and make people come after you? You know you’re worth it!


A Few of My Favorite DC Venues

I have been planning (and attending) events for a while here in the District and without a doubt have a few favorite venues. As I mentioned, there are several defining criteria for a venue. With regards to size, here are two of my absolute favorite DC venues for very, very large events (more than 500):

The Mellon Auditorium

This hidden gem is located off of Constitution Avenue features romantic, classical architecture complete with marble and columns. The auditorium is colossal and the building can seem intimidating from the outside, but the detailed structure and open floor plan provide a beautiful blank canvas. The building was constructed in 1934, so there are some issues that are familiar to older venues (most events will require additional power voltage, all A/V will have to be outsourced; the third floor balcony seating is not usable and in pretty shabby condition) but despite all of that the venue is a perfect choice for a large-scale event, social event.

The National Building Museum

This is my absolute favorite large-scale venue in DC. Just walking into the building takes your breath away! This is another traditional event space – after all, this is DC – featuring marble and columns. The architectural designs make the space feel less expansive than the Mellon Auditorium, but it still is an extremely large space. The neutral but warm color palate is favorable for all color schemes and the location is great for Metro-ers and city dwellers. There are a few smaller scale event spaces within the venue, but the Great Hall is by far the most impressive selection. To do it right at this venue, you will need more lighting and decorations than some other venues, but if you have the budget for a large event and venue – don’t miss seeing this option!

*Photos courtesy of Event Emissary – http://www.eventemissary.com and the National Building Museum – http://www.nbm.org.


Party Planning Superbowl Style

What a game, right? Talk about the longest minute of your life – I wonder what Tom Brady is thinking right now. At least he has Gisele to wipe away his tears! Can’t win them all, my man!

At our respective places of viewing, I’m sure we all noticed the Superbowl spreads. Football is synonymous with many things; beer, wings, burgers, nachos, insert any fried food here. When throwing a superbowl party, guests expect great football, great friends and, of course, great food!

I was fortunate enough to attend a party this evening that did not disappoint. The menu consisted of hoagies, finger foods, chips, salsa, taco dip, buffalo chicken dip and, my personal favorite, some old school dirt. The dessert kind, not the garden kind. Want some more yummy superbowl party suggestions? You’re in luck – I’ve posted some ideas below that will leave your guests – and your bank account – full and happy! Check them out!

Chips and queso are always a hit! Check out this recipe from Food.com.
Buffalo Chicken Wings courtesy of Food Network's Alton Brown
Meatballs and bbq sauce? Why not?


A good old fashioned hoagie can feed tons! You can be creative with your fixins' so guests can make custom sandwiches
A Superbowl isn't complete without chili. Do double duty with this menu item and throw it over some tortilla chips, add cheese and some fixins, bake for 10 minutes and you've got yourself some nachos!
Beer is always a must, but surprise guests with a signature drink!

Just a few ideas courtesy of Food Network, Food.com and Martha Stewart. Add in some storebought items like salsa, assorted chips, hummus, and a veggie platter and you are no longer in danger of throwing a boring bash!


Secrets, Secrets Are No Fun…

Well, maybe they are after all! The latest web creation out of my alma mater, University of Maryland, allows students to post their deepest, darkest secrets for all the world to see. Why the HECK would you do that? Because it is all ANONYMOUS thanks to TerpSecret, brought to you by University of Maryland sophomore, Sarah Tincher.

We all have secrets we carry with us. Some are harmless…”Of course I didn’t finish that entire bottle of wine all by myself…,” and some are so scandalous or controversial that they weigh on us. But, by nature, we aren’t allowed to share them. Sometimes we break down and tell someone, but then are faced with the pending judgement of our secret.

To avoid that judgement, post your secret(s) on TerpSecret – “Pour your heart out. Or just talk shit. Whatever works.” Creator Sarah writes on her site that she is “trying to bring together the UMD community, and give everyone a private, judgment-free place to vent.” She is responsible with her site, too. Offering an entire page on the blog encouraging posters to get help if they are struggling with depression, anxiety, thoughts of suicide or any related issue. She even offers suggestions on places to get help.

I personally think any forum in which people can share their thoughts, feelings and emotions without the backlash of potential judgement or unwelcome opinions is refreshing. We are living in a world where we share everything from what we ate for breakfast to our daily exercise routines. We overshare the trivial things and tend to gloss over the serious stuff for fear of facing criticism. Encouraging each other to share the stuff that really matters, whether anonymously or not, allows us to connect with one another on another level.

So, go ahead! Share your secret!


Changing Your Rules for Happiness

I came across a really interesting read on Inc.com on “How to Be Happy at Work.” I think the majority of my friends are in the throws of their quarter life crisis, questioning the career they’ve chosen, the people they are dating (or not dating), whether they should go back to school or make a big move, how much money they should be saving…the decisions to question are endless. We are all placing some kind of pressure on ourselves to have “figured it out,” whatever the “it” might be.

Lately, I’ve often found myself so caught up in focusing on the fact that I am not where I think I should be professionally that I forget to stop and consider what it is I really want. This article challenges you to consider your “rules” for happiness and unhappiness. Once you take the time to truly think about factors that impact your happiness, you may realize that you are being unrealistic. Create a new set of parameters to define your happiness – or misery – and you just might surprise yourself!

It is always a good idea to think!

Of course, these “rules” apply outside of the workplace, too. Take a comprehensive look at your life; what makes you happy currently and what gets you down? Why? It is important to stop and contemplate every once in awhile. After all, if you don’t examine where you’ve been and how you got to where you are today, how can you ever know the way forward?


Some Monday Inspiration

The passing of Etta James was a sad day for the world of music. There was something so honest and vulnerable about her voice that makes you feel every single note. It’s quite a contrast from the typical auto-tuned 20-something female singer we are accustomed to today. But, leave it to Christina Aguilera to show the world that this generation still has some talent! Watch her tribute of “At Last” at Etta James’ funeral:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aviEAI_NgYc%5D

A quick little Friday treat

I always search for some unique, fun recipes to try out since I know I’ll have more time on my hands than I do during the week. I came across this recipe which I think I will have to try, particularly on the heels of National Peanut Butter Day!

Check out the recipe here.


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