Thursday, February 27, 2014

How to: Dress for a Modern + Casual Job Interview

I recently had a lady email me asking for some advice on what to wear to a job interview. This was different than a normal job interview because the environment was casual AND modern. She expressed her desire to look current/modern in her interview attire as well as embrace the casual nature of the job and workplace itself.

But, this is still a job interview. So, no jeans. :) [She didn't say that...I interjected it.]

So, I came up with a few options for her that (I thought) were modern and casual, yet still were appropriate for a job interview. All of the options below would work with nude heels or flats. I used navy pants in my outfits because the emailer mentioned she had a pair of navy pants she wanted to wear.

Outfit 1 incorporates the basic interview formula (slacks + blazer + shell) but updates the colors, fits and fabrics a bit. I suggested a patterned (love the stripes!!) blazer in a cotton or ponte fabric with a little stretch. It's a bit more updated and casual fit than the traditional blazer. A pop of color in a drapey (not tucked in) shell and a statement necklace (of course) makes this look work.

Outfit 2 uses the basic white button down and slacks but softens the overall look with a colorful cardigan (think soft lines over hard edges of a traditional blazer) and a statement necklace or colorful accessory.

Outfit 3 is the most casual. This one incorporates a shawl cardigan (doesn't have buttons or a zipper) over a printed shell. The key with this outfit is looking completely put together and matching colors or shades of colors will help to do that.

Have you ever had a casual interview? To be honest, I've never had an interview where I didn't wear a suit or at least a blazer before!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: The Music

Ah music.

Music is a huge part of my life. I was born into a musical family and worked in the music field for a good part of my adult life. I'm one of "those" people that has an emotional connection with music.

So, it's not hard to imagine that picking the music for the ceremony was quite a big deal. I'm very pleased with our selections. Ultimately, we decided on a few songs and will do an iPod mix of some fave songs before the ceremony.

We will have a special song for the seating of the mothers/grandparents, the groom's processional, bridesmaid's entrance, bride's processional, unity candle and an exit song. The groomsmen/groom are walking in separately from the bridesmaids...hence the separate songs.

Even though I'm getting married in a church, we are allowed to use non-religious songs in wedding ceremonies. (heck, we even use them during church services sometimes!) With that, I've opted to use instrumental (without vocals or singing) versions of some favorite songs for most of the wedding.

Given my ecclectic taste in music, there are no "traditional" wedding songs in my wedding. However, we did opt to have the song that will be sung during the unity candle lighting be a live perfomance. Some friends of our are going to play guitar and cello and sing a verse and chorus of the song. This one's not a secret. :) It's called "Our God" and it's by Chris Tomlin. We really loved the words of this song and though it not about a wedding at all, it is a great anthem of the faith M and I share.

For the seating of the mothers/grandparents, I chose an instrumental version of "Wonderful Tonight" by Eric Clapton. I grew up listening to Ol' Slowhand and he remains one of my favorite musicians of all time. The instrumental version of the song is done with a string quartet so the wailing guitar parts are a little more wedding appropriate. :) (Update: I decided to have a different song for the grandparents, so I chose this song "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" since it was a sweet hymn. Seating of the Parents was this version of "Wonderful Tonight".)

For my bridal processional, I will be walking down the aisle to a song that has a lot of significance for me personally...but is also just a beautiful arrangement of the original. (string quartet arrangement) I originally always wanted to walk down the aisle to Pearl Jam's cover of "Love Reign O'er Me" or Selah's "Draw Me Lord", however, I've wanted those songs for so long that I honestly kind of got tired of them. (Update: Here's the song I walked down the aisle to. It was a string version of this original called "Dare You to Move" by Switchfoot.)

Update: The groomsmen, upon the request of my husband, walked down the aisle to this song. Yes, you read that right. We also timed a lighting cue to be flickering white and black lights. Hey...we go all out! And keeping with the rock song - turned string quartet theme, my bridesmaids walked down to this string version of Sweet Child O'Mine.

Update: For the recessional...well, we went back and forth about this for quite a while. I really wanted "I Found You" by the Alabama Shakes OR "When the Saints Go Marching In" (because I'm a Saints fan!!) but we ultimately decided on a medley of 2 songs that went together well. We technically walked out to "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" by Stevie Wonder followed by "You Are the Best Thing" by Ray LaMontagne.

I want people to "experience" the music of my ceremony instead of having it just be something nice to listen to. Music can help to cultivate an emotion or a feeling so well, so I hope that the music I've chosen will do just that.

For those of you who are married, how did you go about choosing your music?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Favorite Things: Registry

I know, I know, it's Tuesday and not Wednesday and here I am posting about my wedding. But I can't help's on the brain as of late. :D

So, M and I registered at Target, Macy's and Bed Bath and Beyond for our upcoming nuptuals and even though I love everything I registered for (duh! because I registered for them!!) there are a couple of items that I really, really, REALLY hope to get. I hope that doesn't come off sounding selfish or greedy...because it's not meant to be. These are just the things I was beyond excited to put on our list.

Um, duh. I can't wait to make all sorts of things in my Magic Bullet. Salsas, soups, shakes, smoothies, dips, spreads...yes!
These seersucker cocktail napkins from Kim Seybert are seriously adorable. They were one of the first things I registered for at Macy's.

I have no idea why I'm so excited about a serving tray, but I really am. I think because it's navy and lucite and I'm a sucker for anything lucite.

This navy seersucker comforter is my current obsession. I mean, it's navy AND seersucker. Plus, it's so comfy and soft!

Though I don't normally gravitate towards red, there was something about this shower curtain that jumped out at me. Ever since I saw it in the store I can't wait to get it! :)
Stay tuned for a (n actual) Wedding Wednesday post tomorrow. Happy Tuesday!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Things I Refuse

I read Helene's blog post this am and loved it so much that I decided to do it for my blog. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?

Things I Refuse...

//Rock this look. Ever.
Sorry, but the Native American headband-slash-messy hair-slash-fishtail braid makes me throw up a little in my mouth.
Neon Headband Tie Dye Yarn Hair Band Boho Style por RaydiantApparel

//Go whitewater rafting again.
Never. I fell out once and drifted downstream for awhile until someone could fish me out. No way, no thanks.

I don't get it. Maybe that's why I refuse to do it. But it's so hyped up and masculine and adrenaline junky weird, that I can say with much intestinal fortitude that I refuse.

//Wear Uggs.
Uggs are some really ug(g)ly boots. Even if I like that awkward club-foot look, I wouldn't wear them considering the animal cruelty charges against them (they use sheepskin instead of just the wool). That makes them even uglier to me!

//Wear anything with fringe.
No thank you.
Best part is I already have everything to make this outfit, including my favorite fringe boots!
//Eat seafood.
I know it's weird, but I just can't get down with it. I can tolerate tuna from a pouch but that's it. No fish, no shrimp, no crab...nothing that swims!
//Pollute desserts with the addition of nuts.
Why?!?!?! Just no.
//To rock a nude lip.
Those are for people with tans.
//Have a bird for a pet.
They just creep me out, for real.

What do you refuse to do?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Statement Necklaces for under $50

I get asked by lots of people where I find my statement necklaces.

The short answer is: "online".  I do often find good deals in some brick and mortar stores, but probably 85% of my statement necklaces were purchased online.


Well, I'd much rather purchase online than drive to a store that may or may not have what I'm looking for. It takes just a few moments to type in "navy blue statement necklace" into my browser before I've got tons of possibilities in front of me. Plus, many times, you can score great deals on clearance or flash sales that just aren't usually the situation in most stores. (Which is also why I tend to clothes shop online as well. Clearance stock is much deeper when it's coming from a warehouse or headquarters as opposed to being limited to one store's clearance stock.)

Some of my favorite places online to shop for statement necklaces are Amazon, Ebay and a few flash sale websites like GroopDealz and Sassy Steals. However, Forever 21 has really bumped up their assortment "game" and produced some awesome jewelry at their normal inexpensive prices. Below are a few awesome statement necklaces (and their online sources) that I wouldn't mind adding to my collection. :) And the best part is that all of them are under $50...and most are under $40!!
"statement necklaces under $50" by aprilanne147 on Polyvore

 Would you buy a statement necklace online? Have you ever and had success? I'm always looking for more suggestions! :)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Updates and Randoms

This post doesn't really have one particular theme...but more of a hodge-podge of updates. Ready??

The Rings!
M and I finally got our rings. This past weekend. My wedding band is a very simple pave diamond band. You can see it below my engagement ring in the first picture. It's a bit crooked in the photo, but you get the idea.
M's ring (modeled on my thumb) is tungsten carbide. He wanted to use that material since it is the most durable and scratch-resistant. I really like the simplicity of his ring. :)
The Bridal Shower!
My bridal shower is March 1st. I'm really excited about it! I elected to have a "one and done" shower for all of my friends and family so that I didn't have a bunch of them spread out. This one will be in the afternoon and based on what I've heard about it so far, it's going to be a lot of fun. And the best bridal shower games. YAY!!!!! Below is a part of the cute invitation!
The Honeymoon!
We are in the home stretch here for our honeymoon preparation. We are going to Jamaica!! I am beyond excited and can't wait. I've never been outside of the U.S. before and didn't even have a passport so this is a whole new experience. (Don't worry...the passport has been procured.)
I'm knee-deep in making list upon list upon list for packing. I may or may not have a spreadsheet that has pages for each category (clothing, accessories, toiletries, etc.). :D
Take me away!
That's really all I have for today. I'm sure I'll be updating more next week since we have a few big things happening next weekend. (Bridal shower and moving!!) 52 days!!!

Wedding Wednesday

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

OOTD: Furry Vest

I just don't know about this fur vest. I love the look of it layered in various pins on Pinterest, but have yet to be able to pull it off. I snagged this vest on sale at Target a month or so ago and have worn it only once. I think next time I wear it, I might try with a plain black tee underneath and a little dressier look overall. Maybe a pencil skirt and tights? IDK. I also think the vest might be a little long. Thoughts?

Finally, when I wore this I had a psuedo allergic reaction/allergy flare up and was sneezy and stuff. Am I allergic to this vest? I'm a little scared to find out.

Also, I fully realize that I do not have the type of body that can pull off a vest. However, I think they are super-cute and, let's be honest, I've already found a man so, now I can just not care. Okay?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Thursday, February 13, 2014

OOTD: Snow Day

I've been snowed in now since Tuesday. I had the great opportunity to sled today. I took some outfit shots on Tuesday and I hiked a local greenway that was covered in snow yesterday. Oh, and I worked too. Duh. :)

I secretly kind of love being snowed in. Don't tell everyone. I just love being forced to stay in and relax. Chill. Eat. Do some things I need to do. I know most people are complaining at being stuck indoors and all of that, but I love it. Now, I do have power and I stocked up on some snowssentials before the storm hit.

We've had between 6-7 inches here since Tuesday. We probably won't be able to dig and venture out until the weekend. Maybe... :)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: The Checklist (Update)

Happy Wednesday!

For all of my fellow Southeasterners, happy snow day! It's just started falling again here and is covering the ground quickly. Thank the LORD I have a job that allows me to work from home in situations like this. I don't even want to chance the roads.

Today, I wanted to update you on a few things I've completed and now have in progress with my wedding. An updated checklist is below...

As you can see, I've completed a few things I had in process on my last checklist post, and I have a few new things in process. Most of what I have in process revolves around the reception. I went to Sam's with my mom over the weekend and priced out the candy for the candy buffet and cookies/salty snacks for the other tables and it came in to around $256!! Which is amazing! A HUGE relief knowing about how much it's going to cost and that it's under budget. I still have to price the drinks (they had the miniature water bottles but not those cute little mini sodas I want) but I don't think that will be more than maybe $150 at the most! Did I tell y'all I'm having miniature water bottles and sodas in these cute little galvanized pails at my reception? I love miniature things...bottles, cakes, I'm very excited to use the little 8oz water bottles and soda cans. I only have to price out the sodas (because they didn't have them at Sam's) and then purchase everything. But it's all coming together and that's really a big stress relief.

Also, I decided to borrow cake stands, platters and other serving ware (vases, bowls, jars for the candy buffet) from friends for my candy buffet, milk and cookies bar and "man" table. I think I'll be able to borrow everything I need without having to rent/purchase anything...which is also a big relief.

It's so amazing when you finally start to see things coming together. I'm really excited to have a unique, whimsical and fun ceremony and reception. It's my hope that this entire experience is very "us" and unique. I love the idea of surprising people with different ceremony and reception elements.

Also, I will leave you all with this. I saw this pin the other day and I've been thinking about it ever since.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Science of it All

I love salty and sweet together. But I can't be alone in my thinking given the popularity of anything and everything "salted caramel". I've always loved salty and sweet tastes together. Below are some of my favorites...

Sea salt caramels
Oreo Cookie Popcorn Recipe

Listen, do not knock it until you've tried a bolana sandwich. Trust me. :)

But, did you know there's an actual science behind sweet and salty tastes and how they work together? It's not just randomly pairing items together (though based on my particular tastes you may think so), but there's a science to it.

A study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that certain sugar receptors that were thought only to exist in the gut were spotted on sweet taste cells on the tongue. Researchers, led by Dr. Robert Margolskee, of the Monell Chemical Sense Center, found the SGLT1 receptor — which transports sugars into cells only when sodium is present — on sweet taste cells on the tongues of mice. This could explain why sweetness is accentuated by salt — the receptors are activated when salt accompanies sugar. source

An intestinal glucose sensor also found to be located in the sweet-sensitive taste cells may provide an explanation for another mystery of sweet taste: why just a pinch of table salt tastes sweet or salt added to baked goods enhances sweet taste. Known as SGLT1, this sensor is a transporter that moves glucose into the sweet taste cell when sodium is present, thus triggering the cell to register sweetness. source

So a sprinkle of salt actually makes sweet tastes a little sweeter? Yes! Count me in!

I do realize that this particular blog post is a bit of a departure from my normal posts, but I thought it was interesting in light of the resurgence of salted things in our world. Remember when salt was bad?? HAHA.

I'll return tomorrow with a Wedding Wednesday post. But until then, enjoy salt and your sweets too!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Friday, February 7, 2014

Friday Funnies

Holy Moly we are at the end of another week. Can you believe it? This has been a strange week for me overall. Just weird. Slightly emotional, stressful and mostly odd. This week I finished book 2 and 3 of The Hunger Games trilogy (better late than never, right y'all??) and I LOVED it so much! However, I think the overall apocalyptic desperation of the book sort of left me feeling...weird. Am I the only one that is emotionally affected with books like this? Anywho, to usher in the weekend the right way, I thought we could all use a bit of humor around here. Here are some funny things I've seen lately...

Every. Book. (unless it sucks)
Love you with my butt
Schnauzer or donkey? Schnonkey. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Things I Love Thursday

Hello friends.

I've got a slightly unique version of Things I Love Thursday for you. I wanted to share some of my favorite fashion deals/finds of late. I got lots of gift cards for my birthday last month and, in typical fashion, I made pretty good use of them by hitting lots of sales and using additional coupons.

Also, a few of my staple fashion stores are currently having really good deals. So, why not share them with my blog friends?!

New York & Company
Currently, NY&CO is having their semi-annual pant event. This means buy one pair and get one free! I love NY&CO's pants for their awesome fit and high quality. My personal favorite is the 7th Avenue pant in the pull-on wide leg style. These are so ridiculously comfortable and are like wearing yoga pants to work! They have these in black, charcoal gray, navy and gray dot pattern. I got a pair of black ones and the gray dot pattern for $50. (for both!)

NY&CO is also having their Winter Warm Up Sale on lots of other items like sweaters, tops, dresses and basics.

Of course, my number one favorite store has all sorts of deals going on. Since I've got my honeymoon on the brain lately, I added one or two items to my current swimwear wardrobe and I've found my number one most favorite swim top ever. Ready for it?

I'm totally in love with it. They have the polka dots in navy (shown above), red and black. They also have the top in solid colors. I really love it and it fits SO well. I kind of want to get another one! Oh, and they have the suit in a one-piece as well.
Old Navy
Hands-down my absolute favorite cardigans are the crew neck cardigans from Old Navy. And they are currently on sale! These are a great quality of cardigan (as someone who wears them almost daily) and are worth the full-price for sure. But when they go on sale, I always try to get a couple or replace some of my older ones. And if you use the coupon code JUSTFORYOU, you can get an additional 20% off in store or online.
Of course, my deals/finds of late would be at my "big three" (Target, Old Navy and New York & Company). But that makes sense because I shop there the most.
Have you had any great fashion deals or finds lately?