Lifestyle

My Secret to Giving Really Cool Gifts

A few months ago my friend Blake created IGiveCoolGifts, and it’s been voted the best gift guide on Internet.* I love this site because I genuinely think a fun or thoughtful (bonus points for both!) gift goes a long way.

If this is your first time hearing about IGiveCoolGifts, I suggest you sit down, buckle up, and get ready to fall into a black hole exploring the site. Do you like Netflix? Check out the binge watcher section. Do you eat food? You’re gonna want to explore the foodie section then. Do you have a mom? Mother’s day is coming up (May 13th!) and – don’t worry – there’s a gift guide for that.

I love this site because it’s so easy. Blake’s already curated some of the coolest items the web has to offer to give as a present. Or, maybe just buy for yourself – I won’t tell. 🙂

Here are some of the items that caught my eye:

My Favorite Finds

Wine Stopper With Date Marker | Travel Mug Iced Coffee Maker | Geometric Desktop Planter Vase | Matching Human/Dog Hawaiian Shirts | The Chambong | Anywhere Travel Guide

Just For Fun

Wine Bottle Flasks & Cups | Dog Selfie Stick | Drinko Drinking Game | Sushi Making Kit | Sriracha2Go Keychain Bottle Pack |Hipster Reagan Print 

Notable Mentions:

Adidas Yoga Mat by Stella McCartney | Good Vibes Earrings | Guzzle BuddyFloral Hanging Cosmetic Bag | Donut Popsocket | Frozen Healthy Dessert Maker

Shop all my favorites here

 

*electorate consisting of me and everyone I know.

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Fashion

The CUTEST Swimsuits For Under $50

Finally the weather is starting to warm up (hallelujah!) and I can’t help but think about summertime and the ocean. Increasingly, I’m finding myself wandering over to the swimsuit section. Every year, almost without fail, I have the same reaction:

$250 for a bathing suit? You have got to be kidding me!

Are they getting more expensive over the years or do I just suffer from some sort of seasonal pricing amnesia? Don’t get me wrong, I will splurge every now and then, but I can’t help but ask myself: “Why I am paying the same price as a dress for less fabric?” In terms of cost per square inch of coverage, the ratio of a bathing suit is outrageous. (Side note – can we talk about how it’s a straight up crime that most of the time we have to pay for the top AND bottom of a bikini set? Someone needs to be held accountable for this.)

So I decided to search the internet for cutest, most affordable swimsuits for under $50. Here’s what I found:

Bikinis 

One-Piece Swimsuits

If you have any suggestions or additions to this list, please let me know if the comments below!

Beauty

Pick of the Week: Too Faced’s Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer

POTW - toofaced

This week’s Pick Of The Week is my hands down favorite bronzer of all time: Too Faced’s Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer. I stumbled upon this product years ago (probably around 10 years ago!) when I was desperately looking for a matte bronzer that didn’t have any orange tint or shimmer. It sounds like a simple ask, but it is oddly quite difficult to find. When I finally found the matte chocolate soleil I think I jumped for joy.

Since then, I’ve dabbled with a few other bronzers when I’ve run out and had to buy something quickly, but the others have never compared. I always come back to this one. It blends well and because it is made with real cocoa powder (what!) it smells just like chocolate. After all these years, I’m so happy it’s still on the market and I’m even more happy that it just so happens to be cruelty free!

It’s available at Sephora and retails for $30.00.

What is your favorite bronzer or Too Faced product? Tell me in the comments below!

Beauty

Pick of the Week: Tarte’s Rainforest of the Sea 4-in-1 setting mist

POTW - Tarte

For this week’s Pick Of The Week, I’m going with Tarte’s Rainforest of the Sea 4-in-1 setting mist. I’m a big fan of the Tarte brand because: it has an insanely adorable mermaid theme (seriously, just look at the website!) and, of course, none of their products are ever tested on animals.

But don’t worry, to be the POTW it’s got to be more than pretty and cruelty-free. This setting mist is the holy grail of makeup. I’m in love with it because it works as a primer, makeup setting spray, hydrating mist, AND skin refresher all in one. In the winter, it keeps my skin moisturized when the air gets dry; and in the summer, it helps my makeup stay on during those hot humid days. (Side note: I usually don’t like multipurpose products. Items like 2-1 shampoo & conditioner confuse and annoy me …how can it be as good as a product solely dedicated to shampooing and a product solely dedicated to conditioning, you know? I don’t trust it.) That said, this setting mist is changing. my. views. Plus it’s vegan, hypoallergenic, and dermatologist tested, which I’m all about.

It’s $25 but it’s worth it. It’s available online and at Sephora.

Do you use this product too? If not, what setting mist would you recommend?

 

 

Fashion, Lifestyle

The weird way I organize my closet & why it works

My Closet Organization (1)

I’ve always struggled with finding the right system to organize my closet. Sorting by category, occasion, color, you name it – I’ve probably tried it. And what I found was, despite the pros, none of these approaches matched up with how I got dressed.

Almost inevitably, trying to find something to wear meant clothes all over the floor, while I went through various options.

Frustrated by this, I started thinking about what wasn’t working and why:

  • Sorting by category (e.g. dresses, sweaters, tops) led to cocktail dresses organized with work dresses organized with casual day dresses; short sleeved sweaters organized with long sleeved sweaters; long sleeved shirts organized with blouses organized with tank tops.
  • Sorting by occasion was messy because there was too much crossover – where is the line between a cocktail dress and a work dress? Yes there is a definitely a difference, but where the gravel met the road too many pieces fell in between. And the same was true for tops and pants. While some items are clearly one occasion and one occasion only, the majority of my clothes are versatile enough that they could be worn for many occasions.
  • Sorting by color was visually very satisfying, but ultimately gave me a false sense of order. I liked it because there is something nice about seeing everything in my closest grouped by color and it was relatively easy to “restock” my closet after laundry day, but I found that the color of my clothing is never that important to me when I am deciding what to wear.

So I decided to organize my closet by my arms.

I know it sounds weird, but I found sleeve length is a major factor for me when I approach getting dressed. Long sleeve? Short sleeve? Strapless? Do I want to show my arms? Hide them? These are the real questions going through my mind when I’m deciding what to wear – not what color my dress is. If it is a very cold day, long sleeve it is. If it is a very hot day, I usually like to wear off-the-shoulder, spaghetti string or sleeveless. If it’s a work day, usually short sleeve or long sleeve.

This is how it works in action:

  • All items that relate to my arms (dresses, rompers, jumpers, tops, jackets, and cover ups) are hanging
  • I have these items organized into have two major buckets: “full outfits” and “half outfits.”
    • “Full outfits” are dresses, jumpers, and rompers – basically whatever is a one and done deal when getting dressed
    • Half outfits are tops, jackets, and cover-ups or anything that needs one or more items to make a full outfit
  • All “full outfits” are grouped together and all “half outfits” are grouped together. My closet is a small walk-in, so I have full outfits hanging on the left, half outfits on the right.
  • Then, I group by sleeve style: strapless, spaghetti string/halter, sleeveless (thick, non-spaghetti), short sleeve, off-the-shoulder short, off-the-shoulder long, long sleeve.
  • Length of the item does not matter. Meaning, there is no difference between a fancy spaghetti string maxi dress and a casual spaghetti string romper, for example. Similarly, there is no difference between a short sleeve crop top and a short sleeve tunic.
  • Finally, I organize these by color: white, pink, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, grey, and black.
  • Folded, I have my bottoms (pants, shorts, and skirts) on the shelf above my “half outfits.”

Organizing my closet by how I approached getting dressed has exceeded my expectations. While there are some issues, so far it has worked out the best out of all the methods I’ve tried.

How do you organize your closet? Is there a method that works for you?

Beauty

Pick of the Week: Kat Von D

POTW - Kat Von D Tattoo Liner (1)

I’d like to start a weekly series where I highlight my favorite beauty and/or fashion items called Pick Of The Week (POTW). Ever since I started getting the blogging bug again, I’ve been throwing around ideas in my head about what I’d like to feature on a regular basis and this POTW topic was top of the list.

The very first POTW was easy to decide. For anyone who knows me, knows eyeliner is one of my makeup basics. To the horror of many of my friends, I’d actually chose eyeliner over mascara (…weird, right?). So I cannot tell you how happy I was when I first tried this Kat Von D eyeliner. If you’ve never heard of Kat Von D, she is a badass vegan b-a-b-e, who does. not. mess around when it comes to her eye game. It’s hands down the best I’ve come across. And others agree – it won a 2017 Allure readers’ choice award. IMO it’s worth the $20s.

You can buy it here.

 

Lifestyle

5 Tips for Succeeding in Entry-Level PR

Since graduating college in 2013, I’ve worked in public relations and public affairs, which I guess makes me a seasoned entry-level professional, if there is such a thing. When it comes to PR/PA, I won’t pretend to know everything. I’ve still got a lot to learn. But I do know a thing or two about what it takes to do well as an entry-level professional. Here are my 5 take aways:

  1. Learn to love what you do

That’s right, it’s not love what you do. It’s learn to love what you do and it’s an important distinction. Truth is, as an entry-level employee, you aren’t calling the shots. Accounts are assigned. Projects can be time-intensive and tedious. When you’ve earned your stripes, you’ll have more autonomy over what you work on. But trust me on this one: a little enthusiasm goes a long way. Learn to love what you do and people will notice.

  1. Be yourself

In this business, personality is key and it is better to have one than not. Of course, you must be professional at all times, but always remember that being professional does not mean having to be dull. Personality is refreshing. This is a very face-to-face, team-oriented business, and you want to pass the “2am pizza test.” If you’re wondering what the 2am pizza test is, it can be summed up with this question: When you’re working overnight with your team on a project, who do you want to be eating pizza with at 2am? Make sure the answer is you. And the best way to do that? Be yourself.

  1. Speak up

I promise you, you’re on the team for a reason. When you have something of value to say (or ask), go for it.

  1. Take ownership

No matter how big or small a project may seem, take ownership of it. Whether it’s collating papers and compiling briefing binders or it’s conducting and analyzing in-depth policy research, give it your all. Ultimately, both are a reflection of you. So approach each project as if your name is tied to it… because it is.

  1. Go home

If one thing is true about this business, it’s that there’s always more to do. But if one thing is true about life, it’s that there’s always tomorrow. I know first hand how hard it can be to step away, even for a few hours, when you are passionate about your work, but go home. Seriously. It may be tough, but making time for yourself is imperative. You owe it to your teams, your clients, and most importantly to yourself to be on your A game.

I hope my trial-by-fire learnings help those currently in or about to enter the field (I’m looking at you, new grads!). Let me know your thoughts about what it takes to succeed as an entry-level professional!