Closet Staples for Every Professional Woman

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.

Loafers/Chic Flats // Lately I’ve been obsessed with loafers and pointed-toe flats such as these Sam Endelman Loafers and these pointed-toe ballet flats from Target. Bonus points if you have them in fun colors!

Here are a couple ways to style these classic pieces:

Professional Staples 1
Professional Staples 2

Professional Staples 2 by kerogus featuring a j crew jacket

What are some of your favorite staples for the office?
-K.

 

25 Bucket List Destinations

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.

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Photo provided by Jessah of ReadyJessSet

 

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)!

  1. Dublin, Ireland
  2. Edinburgh, Scotland
  3. London, England
  4. Paris, France
  5. Boston, Massachusetts
  6. Savannah, Georgia
  7. Charleston, South Carolina
  8. Santorini, Greece
  9. Casablanca, Morocco
  10. Bali, Indonesia
  11. St. Lucia
  12. Salem, Massachusetts
  13. Nashville, Tennessee
  14. Maui, Hawaii
  15. Nantucket, Massachusetts (okay so maybe I just want to see all of MA!)
  16. Newport, Rhode Island
  17. Positano, Italy
  18. Prague, Czech Republic
  19. Vienna, Austria
  20. Athens, Greece
  21. Madrid, Spain
  22. Berlin, Germany
  23. Zurich, Switzlerland
  24. Porto, Portugal
  25. Budapest, Hungary

Launching soon: ReadyJesSet a travel and lifestyle blog to fuel your wanderlust! Learn more about Jessah and her travels on Facebook and Instagram.

What is your must-see destination?

-K.

October Playlist

October Playlist

Mi Gente // J Belvin, Willy, Beyonce

Thriller (Steve Aoki Midnight Mix) // Michael Jackson, Steve Aoki

Bodak Yellow // Cardi B

…Ready For It // Taylor Swift

Meant To Be // Bebe Rexha, Florida Georgia Line

One Man Army // Sleeping With Sirens

All My Love (feat. Conor Maynard) // Cash Cash, Conor Maynard, Shaun Frank

Too Much To Ask // Niall Horan

The Last of the Real Ones // Fall Out Boy

Havana // Camila Cabello, Young Thug

 

50 Ways to Practice Self Care

50 Ways to Practice Self Care

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:

  1. Take a bubble bath
  2. Read a book
  3. Treat yourself to a mani/pedi
  4. Yoga
  5. Meditation
  6. Turn on some of your favorite music and have a solo dance party (or with your friends if you so choose)
  7. Light one of your favorite scented candles
  8. Unplug for at least an hour
  9. Go for a walk or run
  10. Do a hair or face mask (or both!)
  11. Splurge on that item you’ve been eye-ing to help amp up your wardrobe
  12. Ask for help from friends and family
  13. Write out your thoughts and feelings
  14. Focus your energy into a workout
  15. Clean and organize
  16. Watch one of your favorite movies
  17. Have a glass of wine
  18. Cuddle with your pet or a loved one
  19. Laugh – put on one of your favorite comedy movies or tv shows
  20. Stop comparing yourself to others
  21. Keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water
  22. Forgive yourself
  23. Remove toxic people from your life
  24. Go on an adventure to a place you’ve always wanted to visit
  25. Stop making excuses
  26. Search for the positives in every situation, regardless of how hard that may be
  27. Take an online (or in-person, if you prefer) class to expand your knowledge on a topic
  28. Allow yourself to feel whatever it is you may be feeling, even cry if you need to
  29. Pray if it fits your beliefs
  30. Take a nap
  31. Indulge in a sweet treat
  32. Plan a girls’ night out with your best friends
  33. Eat healthy
  34. Get creative and try your hand at a Pinterest craft
  35. Have a night in with your SO
  36. Check an item off of your to do list that you’ve been avoiding
  37. Try something new be it an activity, recipe or restaurant
  38. Practice gratitude
  39. Bring the outdoors indoors and buy yourself some flowers or a house plant
  40. Get a massage
  41. Watch the sunset
  42. Recite positive affirmations to yourself
  43. Change up your look with a new hairdo or applying your makeup differently
  44. Play a relaxation Pandora station
  45. Cook a meal featuring your favorite comfort foods
  46. Be mindful
  47. Call a loved one you haven’t spoken to in a while
  48. Stop feeling guilty for taking some time for yourself
  49. Switch things up by creating a new routine
  50. 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!

-K.

Fall Bucket List

Fall Bucket List

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!

1. Pick up some fall closet staples.png

What are some of your fall activities you are looking forward to?

-K.

3 Fall TV Shows Worth Watching

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.

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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?

-K.

Fall Fashion Trend Watch

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?

-K.

Back to School Tips from a {Former} Type-A Student

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!

-K

Follow Friday

Hello and Happy {FINALLY} Friday!

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)!

Bri Car

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!

-K.

101 Goals Update 2.0

101 Goals Update 2.0

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:

  1. Graduate college – completed April 29, 2016!
  2. Swim with dolphins
  3. Get published
  4. Visit all 50 states – Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Louisiana, New York, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Texas, Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, bonus: DC
  5. Travel to Europe multiple times – first trip to Italy completed April 2017!
  6. Go sailing
  7. Be spontaneous for a whole day 
  8. Rescue a dog from the shelter
  9. Buy a puppy
  10. Get married to the man of my dreams (he knows who he is;))
  11. Have children
  12. Start our own family traditions
  13. Own a boat
  14. Be a role model
  15. Take up yoga regularly
  16. Eat more vegetables – try to have them with every meal!
  17. Try a new food/drink every week – I’ve actually been very good with this one
  18. Own a house
  19. Be generally successful in all of my endeavors
  20. Become an exceptionally strong writer
  21. Learn not to get frustrated over mistakes – still working on this, but I’m getting better!
  22. Live a happy life
  23. Own a pair Louboutins
  24. Make six figures before I die
  25. Finish reading the Outlander series – I’m nearly finished with book 5!
  26. Write for a magazine
  27. Have a fun career
  28. Get a tattoo– BIG maybe
  29. Make at least one person happy every day for the rest of my life
  30. Make a difference in someone’s life
  31. Host a holiday meal for my family
  32. Cuddle a pygmy goat
  33. Make a second job out of blogging
  34. Donate a copious amount of money to charity
  35. 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
  36. 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
  37. Take my mom on the vacation of her dreams
  38. Buy my dad a boat – Dad just purchased his own boat so this is no longer a thing!
  39. Be in Times Square for the ball drop
  40. Go on a wine tasting tour–  completed at the Biltmore!
  41. 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
  42. Sleep under the stars
  43. Take a cooking class
  44. Read the Bible in it’s entirety
  45. See Les Miserables on Broadway
  46. Go to Disneyworld and ride every single ride
  47. Make diamond boards for my littles  – Became an alumna
  48. Take the train to Chicago
  49. Speak French fluently
  50. Win the lottery
  51. Have excellent credit
  52. Pay back my student loans by the time I’m 40 – I will if I continue on my current path!
  53. Watch the sunset in Hawaii
  54. Honeymoon in Paris
  55. Start an IRA  – Shoutout to my full-time job!
  56. Perfect my ice skating skills
  57. Maintain a budget
  58. Road trip to Alpha Delta Pi’s Executive Office
  59. Learn to sew
  60. Make my future husband breakfast in bed
  61. Learn to drive a manual
  62. Visit Nantucket
  63. Obtain my CPL
  64. Have my own business cards
  65. Volunteer at least once a week
  66. Purchase a new laptop – bought my first Mac in June 2017!
  67. Get an international phone plan– lame goal, but necessary for my long distance relationship – We’re making it work with different messenger apps!
  68. Give up caffeine for a month – gave up pop for Lent last year, now only if I could give up coffee
  69. Meditate regularly
  70. Stop biting/peeling my nails
  71. Purge my bedroom at my parents’ house before I move back in – Done!
  72. Leave a lasting impact on my sorority; I want to be remembered – Became an alumna
  73. Have a date night at least twice a month (girls’ night when Ryan is away)
  74. Strive to learn at least one new thing a day
  75. Keep a journal of something I learn every day
  76. Buy coffee for a stranger
  77. Send flowers to a friend
  78. Answer the 50 questions that will free your mind – Completed on my blog in two separate posts (first and second)
  79. Write a freelance article
  80. Get a massage – Treated myself post-graduation
  81. Drink only water for a month
  82. Explore New England/the east coast in it’s entirety
  83. Perfect my handwriting
  84. Attend a conference (nothing that has to do with my sorority) – Women in Automotive Conference last year for work!
  85. Actually bake cookies instead of just eating the cookie dough – Made them and sent to Ryan May 2017
  86. Try Tropical Smoothie – Done and I’m obsessed!!
  87. Get head-shots taken
  88. Go on a spontaneous trip
  89. Attend New York Fashion Week
  90. Attend the Kentucky Derby
  91. No fast food for a month
  92. Become a morning person
  93. Strengthen my Instagram game
  94. Get a professional blowout
  95. Read for 30 minutes every night – So far, so good!
  96. Upgrade my iPhone – Done this past Christmas
  97. Throw diamonds with Luke Bryan
  98. Go on a road trip with Ryan  – Done May 2015
  99. Make a blog friend
  100. See 10 classic movies – Half way there! Gone with the Wind, Wizard of Oz, Schindler’s List, Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs, Jaws, Westside Story,
  101. Buy a monogrammed stationary

 

Looks like I’m doing pretty good so far! A lot of these are long-term so I’m still working hard on them every day. What are some of your goals? Share a link to your own lists below!

-K.