Transitioning into corporate America from college life is no easy feat, especially in the wardrobe department. Luckily for me, I had my sorority Sundays and numerous internships to help me build my professional wardrobe and keep me on the right track to know what is and is not professional. However, my current workplace has everything from casual jeans to full business attire depending on what team you’re on, so it took me a bit to get in the groove of what is and is not acceptable.
I’ve found that having a business capsule wardrobe helps make my outfit planning for work a lot easier. Here are a few primary closet staples every boss babe needs in her wardrobe!
Classic White Oxford // Ralph Lauren never fails in the Oxford department. An Oxford can be paired with most everything, and is perfect for layering in the cooler months.
Feminine Blouse // While an Oxford is extremely versatile, a feminine blouse can make an outfit. Add a little extra embroidery like this Zara high-collar blouse, and you’ll instantly make a statement.
Blazer // I love love love a good blazer! I believe that a well-tailored blazer can instantly dress up any outfit. My personal favorite is the J. Crew Factory Schoolboy Blazer in Navy, as seen on Instagram.
Pencil Skirt // Pretty sure it goes without saying, but every boss babe has AT LEAST one power pencil skirt in their closet. J. Crew Factory has a ton of pencil skirts in varying colors and great for all seasons. Some of my favorite pencil skirts also come from New York and Company; they have everything from a classic black pencil skirt to a fun, flirty patterned skirt.
Sensible Pumps // I used to be that horrible person that buys shoes because they’re cute without really thinking about their comfort level. Don’t be that person! I promise your work conferences are so much more enjoyable when your feet aren’t killing you. Some of the most comfortable (and fashionable) pumps were nearly identical to these black leather pumps from Nine West.
Ever since I was little, I dreamt of seeing the world. I always knew that there was so much more than my little hometown, but it always seemed to be one of those places that was like a black hole – once people were here, they never left. Luckily, my parents have blessed my brothers and I with some amazing family vacations since a young age. Although, we were travelling in the US – with the occassional trip across the border to Canada – I was so fascinated to see how different parts of the country lived. It’s amazing to see the beauty in every single state.
If you’ve been following my blog, you know that this past April, I traveled out of the country for the first time. Let me tell you, I have been bitten by the wanderlust bug! I’m already planning some trips for the next year, and I cannot wait to share them with you, but, for now, here are 25 destinations I need to see in my lifetime (in no particular order)!
Charleston, South Carolina
Nantucket, Massachusetts (okay so maybe I just want to see all of MA!)
Newport, Rhode Island
Prague, Czech Republic
Launching soon: ReadyJesSet a travel and lifestyle blog to fuel your wanderlust! Learn more about Jessah and her travels on Facebook and Instagram.
Self love is a huge buzzword lately. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I recently shared a post stating that I have always struggled with it. Once I reflected a bit on my post and thoughts about the topic, I really started to think about what things I currently do and what I could do to aid with my practice. I consulted some of my closest friends on ways that they cope with the bad days, and practice self care. Creating self love takes time, but practicing everyday helps to improve it little by little.
Here are 50 ways that my friends and I practice self care:
Take a bubble bath
Read a book
Treat yourself to a mani/pedi
Turn on some of your favorite music and have a solo dance party (or with your friends if you so choose)
Light one of your favorite scented candles
Unplug for at least an hour
Go for a walk or run
Do a hair or face mask (or both!)
Splurge on that item you’ve been eye-ing to help amp up your wardrobe
Ask for help from friends and family
Write out your thoughts and feelings
Focus your energy into a workout
Clean and organize
Watch one of your favorite movies
Have a glass of wine
Cuddle with your pet or a loved one
Laugh – put on one of your favorite comedy movies or tv shows
Stop comparing yourself to others
Keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water
Remove toxic people from your life
Go on an adventure to a place you’ve always wanted to visit
Stop making excuses
Search for the positives in every situation, regardless of how hard that may be
Take an online (or in-person, if you prefer) class to expand your knowledge on a topic
Allow yourself to feel whatever it is you may be feeling, even cry if you need to
Pray if it fits your beliefs
Take a nap
Indulge in a sweet treat
Plan a girls’ night out with your best friends
Get creative and try your hand at a Pinterest craft
Have a night in with your SO
Check an item off of your to do list that you’ve been avoiding
Try something new be it an activity, recipe or restaurant
Bring the outdoors indoors and buy yourself some flowers or a house plant
Get a massage
Watch the sunset
Recite positive affirmations to yourself
Change up your look with a new hairdo or applying your makeup differently
Play a relaxation Pandora station
Cook a meal featuring your favorite comfort foods
Call a loved one you haven’t spoken to in a while
Stop feeling guilty for taking some time for yourself
Switch things up by creating a new routine
Remember that you’re doing the best you can, and focus on your progress
Do you have some self care tips that didn’t make the list? Leave a comment below!
As I have mentioned numerous times throughout my blog, I LOVE FALL! There’s something about fall in Michigan that makes it feel magical: the changing leaves, brisk weather, comfy flannel, and cider and donuts, of course!
Because there are so many fun fall activities in Michigan, I narrowed my favorites down to the top 12 must-do’s this year!
What are some of your fall activities you are looking forward to?
Fall is my absolute favorite time of year in Michigan: hot cider, cozy sweaters, and some of my favorite tv shows are back on air! I really don’t watch too much tv as I don’t really have time for it, but there are a select few *cough* GoT *cough* that I always make sure to pencil into my schedule. Here are three of my favorites you won’t want to miss this fall.
American Horror Story: Cult // I got into the American Horror Story franchise my sophomore year of college when my friends that lived on my floor invited me to watch the season premier of Coven (season 3), and I’ve been hooked ever since. While the last few seasons have been hit-or-miss, this season promises a good scare. Set in Detroit during the 2016 election, there is still not much known about the season as a whole. Season 7 of AHS kicks off TONIGHT at 10PM.
Outlander // My love for Outlander began after I watched the first episode from the first season, and spawned from there. The series follows Claire Beauchamp as she journeys to Scotland with her husband following World War II where she mysteriously falls back in time to the 18th century and falls in love with a Scotsman Jamie Fraser. Today I’m working on the fifth book in the incredible series by Diana Gabaldon. The third season of Outlander begins Sunday, September 10th.
Fuller House // Growing up, I LOVED watching Full House, so you can imagine my excitement for the spinoff following the Tanner clan today. If you don’t know already, Fuller House focuses on DJ and her children following the death of her husband. Part 1 of the third season comes to Netflix Friday, September 22 – aka Full House’s 30th anniversary!
What are shows you are looking forward to this fall?
This season, we’re seeing fashion come full-circle drawing inspiration from the past and putting a contemporary twist on the classics.
Statement Sleeves // The trend that took over the summer is now invading shopping racks this fall. Featuring everything from ruffles to bell sleeves, styles can range from eccentric to sophisticated – perfect for work or play.
Power Red // This color is EVERYWHERE this fall. Inspired by female empowerment, this trend is bound to make a statement. Gigi Hadid rocked the tonal red look at Max Mara’s runway show.
Suiting // Continuing on the theme of empowered women, the broad shouldered pantsuit as seen at Alexander Wang and Victoria Beckham runway shows is back and chic-er than ever.
Vintage-Inspired Fur // If you were looking for an occasion to bust out your grandma’s mink scarf from circa 1953, you are in luck – fur is making a comeback this fall! Mark Jacobs, Michael Kors and Céline have all donned fur coats and accessories on the runway this season. Looks like it’s time to update your winter coat collection!
Corduroy // As seen at shows such as Mark Jacobs and Prada, it’s now socially acceptable to incorporate this 70s staple into your daily look again.
Fishnets // The previous trend of fishnets under destroyed denim is long gone, and being replaced by a more feminine approach to the stockings. Recently they’ve been seen paired with skirts, dresses, and schoolboy blazers.
What are some trends you are looking forward to seeing this fall?
Summer is quickly drawing to a close which means students are gearing up to head back to school. As strange as it seems, once upon a time, back to school season was my favorite! My parents still joke to this day that if I could be a professional student, I would – which isn't necessarily wrong. In honor of my former favorite season, I thought I would share some helpful tips that helped me conquer the school year, and I hope they help you out as well!
Buy an agenda and keep up on it// I cannot tell you how many times my agenda saved my ass throughout college. When you get your syllabi at the beginning of the semester, take the time to fill out when each assignment is due and test dates. You can even color code your classes if you're feeling ambitious. This also helps for extra-curricular activities such as Greek life and sports. Some of my favorite agendas throughout the years include Lilly Pulitzer, Erin Condren, and Day Designer.
If you're new to campus or if the buildings you have classes in are foreign to you, check out your daily class route// Once upon a time, an ill-prepared freshman Kourtney got lost on her way to class and had to walk in embarrassingly late on the first day. Don't let yourself be that Kourtney! A day or two before classes start, take a stroll around campus and make yourself familiar with the daily route you'll be taking to class.
Take advantage of free amenities on campus// Let's face it, being a college student can be pricey. If your schedule allows, take the time to attend the various back-to-school fairs occurring on campus. You'll be able to snag some free goodies including t-shirts, food and school supplies. At my alma mater, we even had local businesses bring coupons with discounts for students. Other free amenities include the cafeteria if you live on campus (I always took an extra piece or two of fresh fruit to snack on during the day), the gym on most campuses, and the library – these will be your best friends during your time at university.
Don't neglect your physical health// College is stressful; You'll be driven to eat a lot of foods that are not the best for you, and your physical health may take a backseat when times get tough. Make an effort to be active at least three days a week. Whether you're going to the gym or taking an extra long route to class if timing allows, every little bit helps keep off the freshmen 15.
Learn to take proper notes// There are several blog posts and YouTube videos such as this one to help you learn how to take effective notes. You may need to try several different varieties before you find the one that fits you, but once you find the one that works, stick to it!
Your professors will offer office hours, utilize them// Whether or not you're struggling in a class, it's always a good idea to build a relationship with your professors. This is one thing I regret the most from college – I did not use office hours enough. If your professors see you putting in the work and effort, they'll go the extra mile to help you succeed.
What are some of your back to school tips? Best of luck to all returning students!
I’m not going to lie to you — this has been one of the absolute longest weeks ever, but it’s finally time for the weekend and I’m so excited to share with you some of my favorite blogger friends to follow! These ladies inspire me with every post, and I hope you love them just as much as I do. I’m sharing their Instagrams on my Insta stories today as well, so be sure to give them and myself a follow to stay up-to-date on our blogs (& lives)!
I know you’ve seen me talk about this lady before in several of my previous posts! On her blog, Bri highlights everything from her favorite haunts in Detroit to music to her own personal experiences in her As Told By Bri series, and so much more. Being one of my personal friends, she pushes me as both an individual and blogger in ways that I never thought possible – never in a million years did I ever think I’d hold not one, but two successful side hustles. Stop in to Bri Car here!
Lauren State of Mind
A friend and fellow blogger that I admire so much is Miss Lauren – or LJ, as I like to call her – the beautiful brains behind Lauren State of Mind. Of course, I love to read up on all of my friends’ and fellow bloggers’ adventures, but one of my absolute favorite things about LJ’s blog is her One Word series. This is easily one of the most well-written, and thought provoking series that I have ever read. Her raw depiction of her encounters in everyday life put into a simple, singular word will make you reflect on your own life and daily practices.
ReadyJesset **coming soon**
A blog that has yet to be launched, but I’m anticipating due to discussion to be incredible is another blogger friend of mine, Jessah’s, travel blog ReadyJesset. On her blog, you will find tips for traveling to countries such as France, Cuba, and Belgium. Additionally, Jessah will be sharing her experiences of traveling solo, as well as those of her friends! Be on the lookout for her blog!
Comment your favorite blogs below, including your own — I’d love to read them!
It’s amazing what can happen in only a year! Exactly a year ago today I posted my first goals update (you can view this here) a little over a year after creating my original list of 101 goals (original post here) for one of my internships. A year later, so much has changed: I’ve been at my full-time job for a year now, Ryan and I are over halfway through beating long distance, and the thought of grad school has become very, very real.
Here is where I’m at so far:
Graduate college – completed April 29, 2016!
Swim with dolphins
Visit all 50 states – Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Louisiana, New York, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Texas, Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, bonus: DC
Travel to Europe multiple times – first trip to Italy completed April 2017!
Be spontaneous for a whole day
Rescue a dog from the shelter
Buy a puppy
Get married to the man of my dreams (he knows who he is;))
Start our own family traditions
Own a boat
Be a role model
Take up yoga regularly
Eat more vegetables – try to have them with every meal!
Try a new food/drink every week – I’ve actually been very good with this one
Own a house
Be generally successful in all of my endeavors
Become an exceptionally strong writer
Learn not to get frustrated over mistakes – still working on this, but I’m getting better!
Live a happy life
Own a pair Louboutins
Make six figures before I die
Finish reading the Outlander series – I’m nearly finished with book 5!
Write for a magazine
Have a fun career
Get a tattoo– BIG maybe
Make at least one person happy every day for the rest of my life
Make a difference in someone’s life
Host a holiday meal for my family
Cuddle a pygmy goat
Make a second job out of blogging
Donate a copious amount of money to charity
Complete at least five Pinterest projects I’ve pinned by the end of the year – Didn’t get it done by the end of the year
Read at least half of BBC’s Top 100 Book List – Pride & Prejudice, HP & the Goblet of Fire, Winnie the Pooh, The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe, Catcher in the Rye, HP & the Sorceror’s Stone, HP & the Chamber of Secrets, HP & the Prisoner of Azkaban, The Hobbit, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Anne of Green Gables, The Great Gatsby, The Count of Monte Cristo, A Christmas Carol, Of Mice and Men, The BFG, Black Beauty, Artemis Fowl, A Tale of Two Cities, Holes, The Princess Diaries
Take my mom on the vacation of her dreams
Buy my dad a boat – Dad just purchased his own boat so this is no longer a thing!
Be in Times Square for the ball drop
Go on a wine tasting tour–completed at the Biltmore!
Spend an entire day without touching my phone or laptop – I’m discovering that this is more and more difficult especially being in my field of work
Sleep under the stars
Take a cooking class
Read the Bible in it’s entirety
See Les Miserables on Broadway
Go to Disneyworld and ride every single ride
Make diamond boards for my littles – Became an alumna
Take the train to Chicago
Speak French fluently
Win the lottery
Have excellent credit
Pay back my student loans by the time I’m 40 – I will if I continue on my current path!
Watch the sunset in Hawaii
Honeymoon in Paris
Start an IRA – Shoutout to my full-time job!
Perfect my ice skating skills
Maintain a budget
Road trip to Alpha Delta Pi’s Executive Office
Learn to sew
Make my future husband breakfast in bed
Learn to drive a manual
Obtain my CPL
Have my own business cards
Volunteer at least once a week
Purchase a new laptop – bought my first Mac in June 2017!
Get an international phone plan– lame goal, but necessary for my long distance relationship – We’re making it work with different messenger apps!
Give up caffeine for a month – gave up pop for Lent last year, now only if I could give up coffee
Stop biting/peeling my nails
Purge my bedroom at my parents’ house before I move back in – Done!
Leave a lasting impact on my sorority; I want to be remembered – Became an alumna
Have a date night at least twice a month (girls’ night when Ryan is away)