One-Year Work Anniversary Celebrations

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I recently celebrated my one-year work anniversary. I decided to celebrate in two ways.

First, I treated myself to something lovely. This oh-so-perfect Kate Spade bag. I’ve been wanting a Kate Spade bag for years, so when they just happened to have a flash sale the week of my anniversary, I thought it must be fate. I love it. So classic, so beautiful. When it came in the mail, I squealed and continue to be so impressed with the quality.

Kate Spade Magnolia Park Laurel

Kate Spade Magnolia Park Laurel

Second, I took my parents out to dinner. They are the two most incredible people. I’m so ridiculously blessed that they are my parents. Through all my health struggles in the last few years, they have been right there beside me the whole way. They are so loving and so supportive. I couldn’t have done the last year without them. Also, I had a blast spoiling them.

We went to Nostrana, an EPIC restaurant we had heard about from a friend and fellow food snob and it far exceeded our expectations. Dad and I had pizza, which sounds simple, but OMG, when done right, it’s out of this world. First, they served bread with olive oil that made me feel like I’ve never tasted olive oil before that moment. (Obviously, we bought some to take home and have since done extensive research on olive varieties and which olive oils are the best in the world.) My pizza was cooked in a wood-fired oven and the dough, oh the dough. Just thinking about it gets me giddy. It was an outstanding meal and I can’t wait until I can go back.

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Yes, this is a picture of me cutting my pizza with scissors. The pizzas were served with scissors and our server explained that when the owner was in Italy, she went to a restaurant that served pizza like this and she loved the idea so much, she implemented it in her own restaurant. Quite the experience!

I’m a big believer in treating yourself. Especially when it comes to professional accomplishments.

This last year has been a bit of a whirlwind, but I’ve learned so much, been stretched further than I thought I could withstand and still succeeded. Each day I find myself loving my job more and more and for that I couldn’t be more grateful.

Take Care of Yourself

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When I say in my bio that I am a “recovering work-a-holic,” that’s the complete truth.

It wasn’t something that I always struggled with.

I was raised by an American and a Dane. Growing up I didn’t even think about what it meant to balance things. My mom always created a structure within our family schedule that ensured we were never stretched too thin. Mom would put a cap on weekly activities and she always set Sundays aside as “family only” days. To be honest, I thought that whole idea was crazy and groaned every time my mom wouldn’t allow me to have a friend over on Sundays.

Once I got to college, I was thrown into managing my time and my schedule on my own. Moment of honesty, it all hit the fan. I moved into a house with 45 girls and with our brother house included, we were a community of well over 75 people. There were activities and distractions galore. Then combine that with attending a PAC-12 school and being the big sports fan that I am, I dove into being a Duck fan. No surprise my grades suffered fall term of freshman year.

The further I got into college, the more my schedule became jammed. On top of classes, I worked as an intern for a PR agency all four years. With a crazy schedule, came stress. I managed my stress with exercise. It should come as no surprise that I was totally one of those people who had their homework propped up on the ledge of the exercise machine. I barely slept and somehow I managed.

Then after graduation, when I entered the workforce, it only continued.

A season of chronic illness brought my life to a complete halt. Now, after that long season, I’ve learned the importance of what’s truly important in life. It’s easy to take your health for granted. Especially when you’re young.

Now that I’m back to work, I’ve noticed those old habits creeping back in. Thankfully I have a wonderful family who helps keep me in check. I still find exercise to be a wonderful way to de-stress at the end of a crazy day.

When prAna offered to send me some pieces from their fall line, I was thrilled and picked out two pieces that will be great for rock climbing, running and other exercises. (Side note: I went to their store here in Portland and it is so cool! The design makes you feel like you’re having an adventure experience.)

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Olympia Knicker c/o, Meadow Top c/o

I love the design on this top because it’s super airy and keeps you cool while you’re working out. The pants were also super comfy and fit well.

Staying fit is important and although finding time for exercise can be difficult, it’s important. Even if it’s a neighborhood walk after dinner, do it. Walk during your workday. Get out there an move! It’s good for your heart, mind and soul.

It will make you a more productive professional. I promise.

Disclaimer: The items pictured were provided by prAna. That being said, I would never share any products unless I totally loved them. Rest assured.  

Pink Me Up

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Finding the right go-to nail polish can be a struggle and a significant trail and error process. Allow me to save you some time and money. Regardless of where you profession, all of these polishes are work-appropriate and are suitable for your style all year round. #guaranteed

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(From left to right: Ballerina Pink by Estee Lauder, Bubble Bath by OPI, Sugar Daddy, Ballet Slippers, Fiji and Good to Go by Essie)

In this list, I’ve included my favorite top coat, Good to Go by Essie. Finish with this and not only will it add shine, it will help your polish to stay chip-free for up to five days.

Now, a word about chips. Don’t have them.

For real.

A true lady keeps up on her personal maintenance. When your polish starts to chip, take it off. If you find yourself with constant chips, you have three options: start washing your dishes with gloves, invest in a better top coat, or stop wearing nail polish all together. Lastly, always keep your nails trimmed and filed. Wearing nail polish is a commitment and it takes time. So be mindful of who you are and who you represent at all times. Even down to your nails.

It’s the little things.

Just In Time For Sweats and Hot Chocolate

Oh, wait. It’s still in the 80s here in Portland.

Whatever. With football season and pumpkin spice lattes, I’m beginning to feel the excitement of fall approaching.

With fall, comes the return of some of my favorite shows. Now judge away, I like television. I legitimately don’t care what you think. It’s one of the joys of being an adult.

Both New Girl AND The Mindy Project start this week! Happy dance!!

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Photo from One Fine Day

Photo from One Fine Day

Tune in Thursday nights on FOX.

Fall Fashion Finds

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Fall is just around the corner and while it’s still quite warm here in Portland, I have to admit that I bought a sweater last week and I am already looking forward to wearing it.

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There are a lot of great new looks for fall. I’m halfway through THE September Issue and I’m noticing lots of trends, predominantly animal elements, including fur, snakeskin, leather and big, cozy wool knit sweaters. I’m also seeing that we’re back to borrowing inspiration from the boys (with a little bedazzling of course) as well as the classic combo of black and white.

The reason you’ll only see one look from J.Crew is because as far as I’m concerned, they totally missed the mark this season. When I went through the catalog I was so disappointed. The main themes were “dressing like the boys” and “everyday casual.” Problem is that while this can be done elegantly, they didn’t. It’s sloppy. They had page after page of sweats. You all aren’t helping me out here. I don’t wear sweats to work and I never wear them on the weekends. There’s a lot to love about this season’s new looks. Just so many come from J.Crew this year. Sad face.

Here are a handful of looks that I hope will inspire my 9-to-5 wardrobe this fall.

August Reading List

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Happy Wednesday, dear readers. Hang in there. It’s almost Friday. Here are some articles that have recently caught my eye.

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Get Ready for Generation Z
One of my co-workers shared this with me last week and I must be honest, after reading it, I felt overwhelmed. These kids, born after 1995 and are now 18 or under are literally wired from the crib. So far, they seem to have more of an entrepreneurial drive and care about environmental issue more than any other demographic. Because I work in marketing at a university, it’s my job to understand these kids and to market an education to them. After reading this, I know I’ve got quite the task ahead of me.

What to Wear to Work
The problem with common sense is that it really isn’t so common. What people are wearing to work these days convinces me of one of two things: they live alone without a mirror, or they genuinely have no idea what is or is not appropriate to wear in a professional setting. (To be clear, I’m not just basing this off of what I see where I currently work, but also conferences, workshops and professional association meetings I’ve attended over the years.) This guide from Real Simple is just that-a simple guide to what is and what is not suitable for work. My personal rule: When in doubt, overdress. What’s the worst thing that could happen? You gain a reputation for being the person who always looks put together? Yes please.

Why Are There So Many Women in Public Relations?
I often thought about this in college. Once I advanced from my journalism classes into my PR classes, I noticed at least 70 percent of my classes were made up of women. I suppose at the time I fell into the trap of stereotyping and reasoning that “women are naturally better multitaskers, organizers and communicators.” This article from The Atlantic gives insight into this area with both anecdotes and data. Fun fact: Megan Laney, who is quoted in this story, was one of my college roommates and is a fellow UO journalism and PR grad.

Downton Abbey Cast Responds to ‘Water Bottle-Gate’ Photo Fail
Situation: Official photos of the Downton Abbey Cast were released this week as teasers for next season’s launch. One glitch, the show is set in the early 20th century and someone from the crew left their water bottle on the mantle behind Lady Edith. Opps! The cast responded this week with a creative comeback. What started at a #facepalm situation, turned into a cute and cheeky full-cast photo. Well played PR department, well played.

Money: Don’t be stupid with it

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Sounds like an easy enough assignment, right? The reality is that for many of us, we don’t control our money, our money controls us.

Last fall, I went through Financial Peace University and graduated. It’s genuinely one of the best things I’ve done for myself as an adult. I used to freak out over money, like sweat and say, “I just don’t want to talk about it.” My dad tried to sit down with me and help me create a budget, but just looking at all those numbers in excel and it overwhelmed me and made the anxiety worse. In the end, I didn’t do anything with my money. I had credit card debt that was growing and every month when my paycheck would be deposited into my checking, I’d just spend it until there was no more. The worst part was the guilt. I knew I was behaving childish, but I felt overwhelmed at the thought of where to begin.

My parents had an intervention. No, really. They sat me down and told me that I was welcome to live at home as long as I wanted under one condition: I had to go through Financial Peace University and “learn to manage my money like an adult.”

Gulp.

It was not at all what I expected. It was detailed and it was practical.

I made the decision to hand my credit card over to my parents where I asked them to “hide it somewhere in the house where I’d never find it.”

After ten weeks, I graduated and I can honestly say, I have peace about my finances. I’ve paid off my credit card debt and I’m saving like a boss. I pay cash for everything. I even have an emergency savings account!

My guilt has been replaced by not only peace but pride. I am so proud of how I’ve grown and am excited for where my life will take me and all the doors that will open for me because I am being so responsible with my finances.

Now, don’t make the mistake of thinking I’ve got it all together. I don’t. I even occasionally slip up and get an email with an overdraft notification on my checking account. The important thing is to get back up and move on. Don’t let those mistakes hold you back.

Now several months in, I’m discovering new things I love about FPU. One of which is Rachel Cruze, Dave Ramsey’s (FPU founder) daughter. She does some great video blogs and also occasionally breaks down things that are specific for us ladies out there.

Take a look at a recent video blog of hers:

I love this idea of different categories of stores. I felt inspired, so I decided to share mine here!

Three affordable stores that I shop at:

  • Target
  • Old Navy
  • H&M

Three expensive stores that I shop at:

  • Rue La La
  • (Need an invite? Click here.)

  • Nordstrom and Nordstrom RACK
  • JCrew

Her rule of always buying on sale is a must. I do this even at Old Navy. Once you start paying cash for everything you’ll feel so proud of yourself and you won’t even want to go back!

Check out Rachel’s YouTube channel for more great tips. To find where you can take a Financial Peace class in your neighborhood, click here.

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