Thursday, June 25, 2015

European Fashion Choices

One of my best friends, Colleen, was on the same trip to Europe with my brother. The both absolutely loved it and can't wait to go back. Since I know a lot of college students spend a summer studying abroad in Europe, I asked Colleen to put together some things to consider when dressing for a trip.

The Thursday morning before I left for Austria and the Czech Republic  my Google search history was filled with multiple articles titled "what to wear to Austria" and "what Europeans wear."  I had been to Europe once before when I was in 7th grade and was too young and frankly to unfashionable to care. But this time was different, I was going to Europe with a choral group, and the last thing I wanted was to stand out as an American tourist. Although packing for a vacation to another country is never easy, I've collected some tips to help you in the process! 

1) I can not say this with enough conviction, but if you own a jean jacket BRING it! If you don't, a jean jacket is a great investment that adds warmth to an outfit while still being trendy and cute. Austria and Prague were about 15 degrees cooler than at home and I was so happy that I could pair a jean jacket with any of my ensembles (they match nearly everything!)  

2) Pack a rain jacket and umbrella. It rained nearly everyday we were there. Most Europeans had more neutral colored rain jackets, but don't feel required to go out and buy a new one in a different color.

3) If you are going to do a pattern, keep it simple. A big difference between American and European fashion is that they try to conform to a crowd rather than stand out in it. Even if you are dying to wear your new Lilly Pulitzer shift dress, save it, it will be much more appreciated in America.

4) Leave the crop tops at home. You will have many other opportunities to wear them, such as music festivals. 

5) Although everyone says not to wear jeans, they are perfectly acceptable if worn the right way. Most Europeans wore a pair of dark wash jeans with a cute shirt. Jeans are comfy and keep you warm, so never be afraid to wear them. 

6) Pack a scarf. I've always loved scarves, they can spice up any outfit and keep you warm. I always am afraid that when I wear my hair up my neck will look too bare, so if you are having a bad hair day throw if up in a pony and put on a cute scarf! (Also they can be a great blanket on a bus ride!) 

While the big cities (Prague & Vienna) are a shopaholics heaven, make sure that your purchase is something unique and authentic. Avoid shopping at the big name brand stores that we have here I'm the US. Research what the area is famous for (jewelry, chocolate, clothing) and indulge in that. While in Prague, I stopped at a store called G&S famous for its traditional Czech jewelry. I bought a ring for a reasonable price that has a garnet stone in it from the eastern Czech Republic. Now every time I wear this ring I am reminded of my wonderful trip! 

All in all, do not stress too much about packing for Europe. Although your dress may help you look European your American accent will ruin it in a heartbeat! Just have fun with it, because remember you are going to Europe, and what can be more fun than that! Bon Voyage!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


I'm not super into healthy eating, but one of my favorite breakfasts/lunches is a smoothie. It's a great way to get a lot of nutrients in and is really easy on the go (I drink one in the car on my way to work!)

They opened a smoothie bar in our dining hall second semester and my friend Alyssa and I spent the entire semester getting a smoothie every day and perfecting our recipe. When I came home for the summer, my mom was shocked that I was now a connoisseur of smoothies but hey, that's what college will do!

This isn't really an exact recipe because I never make the same version twice. Also, I'm not including exact measurements because it depends on how much you want. I use a smoothie as a meal, so I like a lot, but my mom just has one with other food so hers are usually a little smaller.

Start with whatever frozen fruit you want. If you use frozen fruit, you don't have to use ice and it's a lot easier on you and your blender. I used strawberries, pineapple and blueberries in this smoothie.

One of the best tricks I learned from the ladies in the Vanderbilt dining hall is to put your fruit in the cup you want to drink the smoothie out of. That way, you end up with the perfect amount for your cup and you don't have to throw a bunch away.

I always put the strawberries on top in the cup because it means they will be on the bottom in the blender. Since they're the biggest, they're the hardest to blend.

The pineapple is delicious and adds sweetness, but it does make it a little more pulpy. If you really hate pulp, try using a banana instead.

I don't like blueberries. Honestly, I never have. I don't like them raw, I don't like them in muffins, I don't like them in pancakes. But I like them in smoothies. Blueberries are a "super fruit" so I guess they're really good for you and this is an easy way to get all those antioxidants without tasting it.

At school, they put juice in the smoothies. I love mine with apple juice because it makes it sweet. However, fruit juices have a ton of calories. Milk makes it creamier and adds calcium.

I always put a scoop of yogurt or Greek yogurt in my smoothies. With the milk, it makes it creamier, and it adds a lot of protein. I literally just use a spoon to scoop some straight into the blender, so I have no idea how much it is. 

Important: put the yogurt straight into the blender. If you put it in the cup, it doesn't really come out.

If you want to add spinach or kale, now is the time to throw that in the blender, too!

Almost ready to blend! Notice that the strawberries ended up on the bottom and the blueberries ended up on the top! If your smoothie won't blend, add a splash of water just to get more liquid in there to get it moving. 

The last thing I add before I blend is chia seeds. I obviously don't use very many because the blueberries also get kind of seedy. I wouldn't recommend chia seeds with raspberries because it's just too many seeds.

Chia seeds sound super fancy, but I literally buy mine at Target. You can pick up a package for a few dollars there and they last a long time.

I was in a hurry this morning when I grabbed my smoothie out of the fridge and forgot to take a picture of the finished product! It was delicious and a quick and fun way to start my day!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tuesday Trends: Pendant Necklace

The pendant necklace was definitely a big trend in the South. Girls in my sorority would wear it with dresses to events where we looked a little dressier and I see it all over online.

That being said, I haven't seen this trend at home at all! I think it's a fun, trendy statement necklace that you can easily wear to an internship or job. It's not too big, so if you're worried about wearing something too over-the-top in an office, this style of necklace is a great choice.

You could also easily wear it with a simple top and shorts on the weekend or with a cocktail dress if you want to look dressier.


 Kendra Scott Rayne Necklace

The Kendra Scott Rayne necklace is the most famous and expensive version of this trend. I love this color because it can provide a pop of color in the summer and transition well into the fall and winter. Also, the color is really close to the Panetone color of the year! Kendra Scott


 Francesca's Soli Pendant Necklace

If you're not 100% sure about this trend, this necklace from Francesca's is an alternative. It's a little bit smaller and comes in a lighter color. It's very feminine with the lighter gold chain and tassel and light pink color. I love the pearl above the stone! Also, it's significantly less expensive (and all necklaces are now BOGO 50% off!) Francesca's Collections


 Pendant Necklace

Etsy is my go-to website when I want to try out a new jewelry trend, and AmyOHandmade did not let me down with this one! I love that she features both vibrand colors and the black pendant. I can see that one looking fantastic on a red dress at a Christmas party or with a patterned dress in the office. The price is awesome especially since every item is hand made. AmyOHandmade

Monday, June 22, 2015

Happy Summer!

With the solstice yesterday on the 21st, summer has officially begun. Since I came home from school so early (the end of April!), I was technically on summer vacation but even the weather wasn't very summer-y. In the final weeks of the school year, it was warmer in Nashville than it has been since I've been home, so I haven't exactly been feeling the sun until now.

Working full time has also made this year feel less like summer. I didn't work nearly as much last year, so I had time to do more traditional summer activities. When I'm trapped in an office all day, it's definitely less fun than my years of swimming and hanging out with my friends.

However, just because you're working doesn't mean you can't have a fun summer! Whether this is your time off from college or you're entering the workforce, you still deserve a some excitement. Here's a list of my favorite summer activities that you can do after work, on the weekends, or on your day off!

It's super easy to feel like the season is passing you by, but even if you try to get outside and do something fun a few days a week, you'll have something to look forward to. I love having a routine, but especially with time off of school, summer is a great time to be spontaneous!

Get yourself out of the office and have a GREAT summer!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Father's Day

Happy Father's Day! Whether you're celebrating with your dad, grandpa, uncle, or someone else, have a great day!

My dad has requested two things for Father's Day: a family croquet game and that we all play in the pool together. It's the first official day of summer and the weather is absolutely beautiful, so I'm more than happy to be outside!

Growing up, we used to joke that my dad only had one lecture: the Peer Pressure Talk. Whenever my brother or I were getting ready to leave the house, he would launch into this speech about peer pressure and we would roll our eyes. We turned out ok though, so I guess it was pretty effective :)

My dad's other favorite topic is talking about his high school days in shop classes. If we got good report cards, National Honor Society, or any other academic honor, my dad loved reminiscing about his high school classes- wood shop, auto shop and metal shop.

Today's weekly inspiration is a line from my dad's Peer Pressure Talk. Even as a college student and young adult, peer pressure still exists. While it's not the pressure to smoke and do drugs (#tbt to DARE), there's definitely pressure from friends to act a certain way, get a good internship/job, etc.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Weekly Round-Up June 20, 2015

My Saturday this weekend is pretty chill. I'm super excited to be trying out a new bagel place in my hometown, but other than that, there's not a lot on my schedule. Last weekend we had a big family party, so it's kind of nice to just be hanging out this weekend. My brother comes home from his choir trip tomorrow, so it will be good to see him again and hear about all his adventures!

One:: Especially since I started this as a career blog for young professionals, I thought this article about being nice in the workplace was really interesting. There are so many things that we are told--network, create a "passion project", etc-- that you can forget to just be nice. NY Times

Two:: I'm literally the poster child for Vanderbilt! Check out on a computer to see me in the header! Vanderbilt

Three:: Love this article about Labs! My dog, Mocha, is a black lab/german shepherd/we don't know what else mix. We adopted her from a shelter almost nine years ago. Such a fun read full of adorable doggies! Town & Country

Four:: Confession: "Every Day with Rachael Ray" is my favorite magazine. I've been a subscriber for probably ten years and I'm sure I was the youngest subscriber when I started getting it in elementary school! I love this idea to make cute chocolate spoons. It's super easy so even if you're a great chef, you can make something really impressive. Every Day with Rachael Ray

Hope everyone has a great day with their dads tomorrow!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Casual Friday June 19, 2015

This summer is flying by! I feel like I just got home from school and started this internship, but it's almost July! With July comes Fourth of July, one of my favorite holidays.

My family doesn't always do a lot on the actual fourth, but the following weekend, my mom's extended family has this huge party out in the small, rural town where she grew up. They do their parade on the Sunday following the fourth so they get tons of floats and entries since there aren't any other parades that day. My great-uncle has an old house with a beautiful wrap-around porch right on the parade route, so he always hosts everyone. It's truly the quintessential American small town celebration and I love going every year.

Here are some of my favorite pieces to show your American pride. There are items across all price points and for any occasion. I'll probably be wearing a sundress and sandals this year!

Fourth of July Favorites
Last year, my two best friends and I did a 5K on the morning of the Fourth. We made these shirts out of plain t-shirts and fabric from the "scrap bin" at our craft store. It was super easy and we didn't even have to sew! (We used fabric glue)

If you're looking for a casual and cute top for a race or just hanging out, we loved them and they were so easy to make.

Have a great weekend! 

Thursday, June 18, 2015


This is one of my favorite, more casual outfits for work. It's definitely not as dressy as some of the dresses I wear, but it's still appropriate for most offices. To me, it feels really summer-y and light, which I love when it's a beautiful day out and I'm trapped inside. I usually try to go outside for lunch if it's nice out because we have a nice picnic table near my building. But, there are no windows in my office, so I often feel a little cut off from the summer. I love the light colors of this outfit and the cute flowers on the necklace.

The Breakdown

Business: Dress shirt and pants, pumps, hair is pulled back professionally

Casual: Polka dot print on the shirt, fun statement necklace

This close-up of me laughing is the only one where you can see the print on the shirt

I found this hilarious sign last summer when I was interning and had to take a picture pretending I was tough and serious

Shirt | Pants | Shoes | Necklace | Bracelets

One of the emails I got today said "Happy Pre-Friday!" and I'm thinking of today as that. There's not a ton of work on my plate today, so I'm looking forward to a less stressful day than some have been. Have a great Thursday! 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Last Minute Father's Day Gifts

This year, I decided that I wanted to get my dad a present for Father's Day that I didn't put on his credit card. That left me in a little bit of a tricky position, as I don't have a ton of my own funds to put towards a gift.

I procrastinated for a long time, but luckily Amazon Prime came through once again with free two-day shipping. Here's a collection of some of my dad's favorite things and gifts that are all Prime Eligible, so you can get your dad something nice in time for the big day.

one:: Bill Bryson's book is one of my dad's all-time favorites. It's about everything and he's always reading it. He's not a big reader normally, but he references back to this book all the time. I call it a "Dad Classic" because I don't know if anyone who isn't a dad would ever get so into it

two:: My dad definitely has a different view on iPhone cases than me. I love having a fun, brightly colored, patterned case, but he wants it to be as sleek as possible. This case is actually really cool because it has a secret compartment he can store his credit card in.

three:: Sperrys are a classic shoe for everyone and my dad loves his, but hates to replace them. They get all worn out and nasty but he never wants to buy himself a new pair. Do your dad a favor and get him a new pair of Sperrys to wear this summer.

four:: My parents are by no means tech-savvy. When our printer inevitably breaks, my dad's best suggestion is "unplug it!" However, they got an Apple TV last winter and absolutely love it. My family has had Netflix for years, but it wasn't until they got an Apple TV that my mom started using it. It does way more than just Netflix and it's the perfect tech gift that your parents might not buy themselves but will love once they have it.

Hope you and your dad have a great day on Sunday!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Black and White Dress

I think that this dress is beautiful for the office-- it has a cool texture, a great length, and is conservative on top. It transitions well from summer to winter-- I've worn it with a colored cardigan to fall and winter events

I doubt you'd ever know from looking at it, but it's actually from Target! This was one of the dresses my mom randomly bought me and sent me while I was at school, but I have to give credit where it's due because she picked a good one!

I'm wearing a variation on this look today (red necklace) in honor of the Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup! Everyone in my office is thrilled, especially since it's a company full of huge Chicago sports fans. I went with black/white/red in honor of the Hawks today #OneGoal #GoalAchieved

The Breakdown

Business: Color scheme, conservative cut

Casual: Necklace, texture

How I think I look at work...

 How I really look at work

In this close up, you can see more of the cool pattern/texture on the dress.

Dress (Similar) | Necklace (Similar) | Shoes

Have a great Tuesday! The whole city of Chicago is either celebrating today or recovering from celebrating last night. Hope you're as happy as we are!


Monday, June 15, 2015

White Dress in Summer

Now that we're well past Memorial Day and it has finally started warming up here, I'm excited to wear one of my favorite white dresses for work. I bought it at Francesca's Boutique last summer and I've gotten a lot of wear for events in the summer that are fun, but require a more formal look than your typical sundress. 

The Breakdown

Business: Classic style, shoulders covered, neutral color and accessories

Casual: White is definitely a pop of brightness in the workplace and this dress has a cool teardrop texture

I first wore this dress for my high school graduation! 

Have a great week, everyone!


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Happy Flag Day!

I think it's fair to say that most Americans probably don't remember Flag Day. However, my grandparents' wedding anniversary is June 14, so it's always been a special day for my family. 

Today's quote is from the song "You're A Grand Old Flag." I thought it was a cute lyric that I don't see too often. 

Fly your flag today and have a great Sunday and week!

Here's to the good ole US of A!


Saturday, June 13, 2015

Weekly Round Up June 13, 2015

Here are some of my favorite articles from around the Web this week! Just wanted to share some interesting content with you!

This week was pretty slow at work for me. My office is getting ready for a big move, but since I've only been there for a few weeks, I haven't accumulated nearly as much as everyone else.

One of the ways I filled by free time this week was by learning to code through Hour of Code. The idea is that by exposing kids, especially minorities and women, to just an hour of code, they will develop better skills to exist in the modern world. The program is backed by everyone from Bill Gates to Barack Obama to NBA player Chris Bosh. Throughout the program, they speak in little videos about different concepts. It's designed for kids, but the skills are truly essential with the prevalence of technology today and I think it's pretty fun. Here's a video I like about it and link to their website.
Video | Website

A lot of my friends are abroad this summer and I keep seeing all their beautiful posts on Facebook from around the world. I thought this article was a fun read about different texting/typing trends around the world.
Hillary Clinton joined Instagram! Her first post was pretty cute, and she seems to be having a fun time with it.

I love this article about women's funny online responses to a politician's critique of women in science. It's been circulating on my Facebook feed and I think it's pretty great :)

Here's to the millions of students around the world learning to code!


Friday, June 12, 2015

Casual Friday 6/12/15

My office is REALLY casual on Fridays. With that in mind, I won't be posting a business casual outfit on Fridays because I'm not wearing one!

That being said, I'll be providing you with some of my favorite casual outfits from outside the workplace. Below is one of my all time favorite looks because it's preppy but fun, which is how I view myself and my sense of style. 

I first wore this outfit on a show choir trip to California over spring break. It was beachy while still being conservative and appropriate. I love mixing th fun gingham print with the peach color of the pants. Also, the capris and light long sleeved shirt were perfect for flying from the cold weather at home to sunny Los Angeles. I wore it with Sperrys because we were doing a lot of walking and I wanted to stay comfortable. Wearing neutral shoes with the nautical vibe allowed them to go with the outfit without drawing attention. Had I worn more noticeable shoes, it would have been too much with the color and pattern. 

Shirt | Pants (Old, but similar) | Shoes

Here's to the freakin' weekend!


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Loft Sale

Loft is one of my favorite stores for professional clothes. It's not too expensive and they blend trends with classic pieces really well. My first memory of Loft is shopping in the store with my best friend trying to find something to wear for the first day of our sophomore year of high school. She picked out this really cute purple tank, but then it was dry clean only so her mom made her take it back! Keep that in mind if you don't want to pay for dry cleaning!

One of my favorite purchases from Loft is a red scalloped dress that I bought to wear for sorority formal recruitment. It was perfect for the occasion and can be worn to a ton of different events. It will have it's own post sometime :)

Right now, they're doing $25 off of dresses and skirts and an additional 40% off of clearance! Their prices are pretty reasonable to begin with, and the sale on clearance allows some really good deals.

Here are some of my favorites

Primary Image of Striped High Waist Sailor Pencil Skirt

In light of my post yesterday about how much I love pencil skirts with dress shirts, this skirt has a nautical twist that would look cute with a gray chambray button up if you work in an office that isn't too formal. If you're looking for something more neutral, there's also a navy version available here.

Primary Image of Doubleweave Pencil Skirt   Primary Image of Blossom Doubleweave Pencil Skirt

This sale has a lot of pencil skirts, from basics, like this slate gray one that would transition easily to any season, to this fun floral skirt that you could pair with a brightly colored or pastel top.

Primary Image of Pinwheel Circle Skirt

If you're not as into pencil skirts as I am, there are options for you, too! This circle skirt has a fun "pinwheel" pattern and you could easily take this skirt into fall or even winter with a pair of black tights. 

Primary Image of Eyelet Stripe Flare Dress

This dress is a beautiful color and features eyelet detailing that's really big this summer. You could definitely spice it up with a statement necklace or add a blazer or cardigan. 

Primary Image of Abstract Zebra Cap Sleeve Dress

I love that this dress is an homage to zebra print without being over the top. It's definitely a grown up, classier version of an animal print. Especially if your office is more creative or you want your outfit to be memorable, this dress will leave an impact. While I love the zebra now, I can see myself getting tired of it quickly, so consider yourself and your personal style before buying. (But besides, it's on sale!)

Primary Image of Metallic Braided Necklace

Loft's sale section has more fantastic skirts, dresses, and tops, but since I advocate for statement necklaces so often, I wanted to give an example. This necklace is trendy (braided) and will look nice with various dress colors (like the teal one above!). It's important to find a necklace for the workplace that isn't too much-- for example, this necklace doesn't have big rhinestones and sticks to a classic gold color.

Here's to loft-ing ourselves above the competition!


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

My Go-To Outfit

One of my trusty business casual outfits is really simple and can be styled a ton of different ways. I'm actually wearing this outfit today because I woke up late and needed something to throw on for work. It's easy:

Pencil Skirt and Button Down Shirt

This outfit is guaranteed to look professional and you can let your personality show through with your choices and accessories. I like to do a patterned shirt, like stripes, polka dots, floral, etc, with a solid colored skirt. Or, I'll do a solid shirt with a fun statement necklace.

The Breakdown

Business: these are two classic pieces that you can style numerous ways, it's conservative and if you want to look more professional, choose solid colored shirts or fewer accessories. Stick with dark or neutral skirts and make sure they're not too tight!

Casual: you can have fun with prints on your shirt or accessories, show off your style on top of this blank canvas!

You can buy these wardrobe staples literally anywhere: from Target to Lord & Taylor, there will be options for you to choose from.

Below are a few of my favorite styles:


If you're going to spend a lot on a button down, you want it to be worth it. Ralph Lauren is arguably the king of the Oxford Collar Button Down. I recommend it in a solid color, like white or blue, so that you can maximize your options and make the most of this wardrobe staple. 


J Crew Factory is truly a God-send. This shirt is moderately priced, and features a geometric print that is more youthful than a solid, but still understated enough that it's fine in the office. There aren't a ton of shirts in this style right now, because it's summer, but once their fall collection launches, I predict there will be a lot more options. Note: it's on sale right now!


Believe it or not, Target actually has a lot of good work options. Since this shirt is the least expensive on this list, it's also the most trendy. The floral print is fun for the summer, especially if you're trapped in an office all day, but wouldn't transition to fall or winter. With that in mind, it's a great price for a cute shirt that you'll enjoy this summer.

Whether you choose the plain solid top or a fun print, work your outfit knowing that you look professional and cute.

Here's to my go-to outfit!