Time-Block to Stay Focused and Get More Done

It’s no secret that this generation has a problem staying focused on one thing. With social media and texting, how can you not be constantly distracted? Whenever we are slightly bored or unstimulated, we turn to our phones for some mindless entertainment. This prevents us from not only enjoying where we are but from completing important tasks.

Time-blocking is a technique that can be used to ensure your most important tasks get completed. It helps create a distraction-free environment where you can intensely focus for a certain period of time.

time-blocking

You can use apps like Forest to set a timer on your phone and track your progress. This app even has a graphic of a tree that you can watch grow as long as you stay focused.

planting_en_phone

Obviously never click that “Give Up” button! It will take practice but you need to stick with it. It will become easier and easier as you do it and, more importantly, you’ll become addicted to the results.

How do you stay focused on your tasks? Do you use time-blocking techniques?

Dear 20-Something Girl (7)

Want to receive a weekly newsletter covering what I’m wearing, wellness tips, interesting articles, great reads, and cool events in DC and NYC delivered directly to your inbox? Sign up for my Dear 20-Something Girl newsletter.

What I Wore From Rent the Runway (December and January)

These are the first few months I’ve had to rent true winter clothing- coats, sweaters, you name it. Rent the Runway definitely makes winter more exciting now that I’m not wearing the same black, heavy-duty coat every day.

If you’ve never heard of Rent the Runway, it is a subscription service where you can choose from hundreds of designer pieces to rent each month. I have the unlimited subscription which allows me to continually trade out any four pieces I want throughout the month. Its allowed me to have the vast designer wardrobe I’ve always wanted without the vast expense on my bank account.

For Work…

This was by-far one of my favorite dresses I rented; not only this month, but probably ever. I’m obsessed with Tibi and never disappointed with what I rent from the brand. The material on this dress was thick and stretchy, making it super comfortable. This is the perfect work dress and I will definitely be renting it again for networking events. I rented a size 4 which fit perfectly.

satin blouse

This is the Greylin Yuna Striped Wrap Top in size small. It matched my Something Navy heels perfectly. This is a good basic work top that you can wear everyday.

gingham skirt

Skirts may or may not be the best choice in the winter… but that clearly didn’t stop me! This is the DELFI Collective Gingham Reese Skirt in size small. It isn’t my typical style but I enjoyed wearing it for work one day.

enamel earrings

I only wore these Ettika Red Resin Teardrop Earrings once, but they matched this skirt so perfectly, I had to rent them. They did look a little cheap so I probably wouldn’t rent them again.

striped top

This C/MEO Collective Underline Knit Top in size small was another favorite from these months. C/MEO Collective is another brand that never fails me. The fabric is always such good quality, something that is very important to me as a sewer. This top is thick and stretchy, and I’m obsessed with the puffy shoulders.

IMG_1781

cheetah dress

This Rachel Roy Collection Blanchette Leopard Dress in a size 2 was, yet again, another favorite. I love the style of the dress- flutter sleeves and a tiered ruffle skirt. This is a great way to take the cheetah print trend straight to the office.

For Date Night…

salar bag

How gorgeous is the color of this Salar Pink Kio Bag!? I still can’t get over it. This is by far one of my favorite colors. I also love the strap on this bag- a mix of different silver chains and one covered in a pink coating. I’m now in love with this brand and all of their bags.

For Exploring the City…

Marc Jacobs bag

You’ve probably seen the Marc Jacobs Black Snapshot Crossbody all over Instagram. It’s a basic bag with a fun, colorful strap. I loved how it brightened up any all-black look.

neon puffer

This is the Sancuary Just Chill Cropped Puffa Jacket in size small. The coat wasn’t super warm but it was a fun, trendy coat to rent for the weekend. I really liked how it looked with my navy leggings.

striped top

Here’s another way I wore the C/MEO Collective Underline Knit Top in size small!

marc jacobs bag

Another way I wore the Marc Jacobs Black Snapshot Crossbody.

purple sweater

This color reminds me of Barney, but I love it (you’re hearing from a huge Barney fan right now). The Fifth Label Fervour Knit Sweater in size small is comfy, and a great way to add some color to your wardrobe. I love how it pairs with the Marc Jacobs bag.

Want to see more of what Rent the Runway has to offer? Check out the pieces I wore in November.  Already sold on the idea of an unlimited designer wardrobe? You can get $30 off your first order by signing up here.

Dear 20-Something Girl (7)

Want to receive a weekly newsletter covering what I’m wearing, wellness tips, interesting articles, great reads, and cool events in DC and NYC delivered directly to your inbox? Sign up for my Dear 20-Something Girl newsletter.

Finance Books Every Female Millennial Needs to Read

Finance. It’s a topic many young women do not like to discuss. It either makes them uncomfortable or they just simply aren’t educated enough to converse about it. However, it is something so important to our success and well-being in life. It is a topic we all need to start talking about. In “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” Kiyosaki mentions that poor people are still poor because they refuse to talk about money. Talking about money opens us up to new ideas on how to make, manage, and grow wealth.

I have recently become fascinated by personal finance because of my friend Miki. She has opened me up to so many new ideas and books on the topic. It is so important to have friends who are open about these kinds of things and eager to share all of their knowledge. These are the kinds of friends that will help you grow and prosper. But more on this topic in another post.

I have 4 personal finance books for you that each serve a different purpose but are all so eye-opening and educational. Once you read them you will not be able to stop. Each book opens up a realm of new thoughts and ideas that will help change your outlook on money.

1. A book to change your money mindset


You are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero

This book is for anyone who views money as dirty or thinks they are undeserving of it. It is for those who grew up with a poor understanding of all the things money can do for us. If you think being rich is a bad thing and makes you an evil person, read this book. It will quickly change your negative thoughts about money into positive ones. Each chapter asks you different questions and fits your answers into a mantra that you can repeat to yourself every day. If you have a negative view about money then you will never be able to prosper financially. Before educating yourself on making your situation better, you have to change how you view your situation.

2. A book to change your viewpoint on wealth and how to grow it 


  1. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki

    Are you a firm believer that working hard will make you money? Do you think moving up the corporate ladder is the key to your success? This book will explain to you exactly why this is the wrong way to think. If you want to build wealth you need to escape from what Kiyosaki calls the “rat race”. He discusses the difference between assets and liabilities and how you need to ensure that your assets are being invested in order to pay for your liabilities. Kiyosaki gave me a whole new thinking process of where my income should be going, opening my mind to the idea of real estate and stock investments. I even enrolled myself in a real estate investment course on Udemy!

  2. 3. A book to introduce you to finance for women and why it’s important

The Financial Diet: A Total Beginner’s Guide to Getting Good with Money by Chelsea Fagan

This book is perfect for women that love cute graphics and want to make finance fun. It gives you a basic overview on the different aspects of your finances that you should reconsider and review in order to improve your financial situation. It doesn’t use big words or fancy terms that you won’t understand. The book even interviews successful females about how changing their finances have helped them succeed or how they reshaped the way they viewed money. I loved it because it was an easy read with beautiful pictures that made everything simple to understand.

4. A book that gives you actionable steps to improve your financial situation

I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi

Last, but certainly not least, is the book that is the most actionable and will lead to the biggest change in your financial well-being. If you were to only read one book off this list, this would be the one. Each chapter discusses a different topic and represents a different week in a 6-week plan to improve your financial situation. Sethi makes it easy for everyone to put what they read into action by assigning a chapter a week and ending it with actual steps you can complete. If you listen to everything he tells you to do, you will be in the best financial shape of your life. The topics range from student loans to credit cards to IRAs to budgeting.

Don’t just read this blog post and think about all the ways you could use these books to improve your finances. Click one of the links and purchase AT LEAST one of these on Amazon. It only takes one click!

These books will truly help set you in the right direction for your future. If you care about affording that house 5 years down the line, sending your kids to college, or (if you’re like me) buying that Chanel handbag you’ve always lusted over, then read these books. The younger you are the easier it is to set yourself up for a successful financial future. Why wait 10 years from now and stress yourself out trying to fix all of the mistakes you made in your 20s when it could all be smooth sailing from here?

Want to receive a weekly newsletter covering productivity hacks, wellness tips, interesting articles, great reads, and cool events in DC and NYC delivered directly to your inbox? Sign up for my Dear 20-Something Girl newsletter.

For more educational books be sure to follow Trenditure on LinkedIn and Twitter and join my Millennial Women Set for Success Facebook group for ways to grow your career and side hustle.

5 Podcasts Every Millennial Female Needs to Listen to

Podcasts are my favorite way to start the morning. It is the first thing I do when I wake up. I find one in my library that interests me the most on that day and hit play. I listen to it as I wash my face, do my makeup, and get dressed for the day. I love listening to them first thing in the morning because it allows me to start my day off by learning something new. Shouldn’t we all start a new day with learning?

Podcasts ground me a lot more than music does. Music has the tendency to get me in the mood of whatever song I am listening to. And, I don’t know about you but starting my day on a roller coaster of emotions isn’t effective in creating a clear, positive mindset for the work ahead of me.

Please keep in mind that I love to learn about health and wellness and the best ways to take care of my body, so a lot of these podcasts are focused on just that. Each one of these is informative in its own unique way. Here they are.

  1. The Skinny Confidential Him & Her

skinny confidential him and her

There is something about Lauren Everetts and Michael Bostick that is real and magnetic. I love listening to their conversations with each other and the guests that they have on the show. They interview all different kinds of guests from entrepreneurs to media personalities to doctors. I can always expect to learn something new through their podcast since they ask the most unique questions. A few of my favorite episodes are #163: Dr. Steven Gundry- Are Vegetables Bad?, #160: Ed Mylett- Peak Performance, #144: Shannon Dellimore- Founder of GLAMGLOW, #143: Paul Fishman- How to Self Love, and #129: Rachel Hollis- Prioritizing Time & Maximizing Results.

2. Mind Pump: Raw Fitness Truth

Mind Pump podcast

This one may be surprising to many people since it is a podcast primarily aimed at males who lift weights and body build. However, the three men that run this podcast are not only highly educated in strength-building, but also economics and politics. I like to hear them discuss different current events in the first hour of the podcast before answering fitness questions for the remaining time. They are all libertarians, giving listeners a very unique and real perspective that isn’t left or right-winged.

3. Ed Mylett Show

Ed Mylett podcast

I actually discovered Ed Mylett from the Skinny Confidential podcast and had to subscribe to his podcast after hearing him talk on success and relationships. He is an extremely successful entrepreneur who brings inspiring guests onto his show and also talks about his own success. He gives real, actionable advice for every entrepreneur which is why I enjoy his podcast so much. If you want to become a marketing guru listen to episode “How to Market Like a Genius with Billy Gene” and take lots of notes!

4. The goop Podcast

goop podcast

The goop Podcast focuses on interviewing different celebrities, doctors, and female entrepreneurs. Everyone that they interview somehow connects to overall wellness or female empowerment. I particularly enjoy listening to the psychologists and therapists that come onto the show to talk about different meditation and mental-wellness tips. I recommend “Why ‘Doing it All’ is a Con”, “Gweynth x Chrissy”, and “What ‘Problem’ Kids Are Trying to Teach Us”.

5. The mindbodygreen Podcast

mindbodygreen podcast

Again, this is another wellness podcast which interviews doctors and entrepreneurs in the wellness space. I like listening to a few different wellness podcasts, even though the guests often overlap, because each interviewer asks different questions and offers a different point of view in response. Some of my favorite episodes include “Daily Harvest Founder Rachel Drori”, “Dr. Frank Lipman On The Mitochondria”, and “Max Lugavere on Brain Fog”. However, my absolute favorite episode is “Bulletproof Founder Dave Asprey About Why He Thinks Kale is Bad For You”. Asprey has such a unique view of health and the entire episode kept me so intrigued. His thoughts on health are unlike anyone else’s.

You may be wondering, why do I need to listen to these podcasts as a female millennial? I am a true believer that success and wellness are intertwined. You can’t succeed if you are mentally or physically unwell. Taking care of our body and mind is necessary in order to accomplish goals and move forward in life. As skeptical as you may be, you cannot run a business, succeed in work, or form meaningful relationships if you aren’t properly taking care of yourself.

I hope these podcasts help lead you towards success in some way, whether they spark a business idea, encourage you to make healthier choices, or motivate you to overcome obstacles life throws your way. Let me know what you think and be sure to leave me a comment sharing your favorite podcasts!

Dear 20-Something Girl (7)

Want to receive a weekly newsletter covering productivity hacks, wellness tips, interesting articles, great reads, and cool events in DC and NYC delivered directly to your inbox? Sign up for my Dear 20-Something Girl newsletter.

Affording a Designer Bag Right Out of College

So I did a thing. To some people it might not seem like a big deal, but to me it represents all that I’ve worked for the past 22 years of my life.

 

I bought a bag that I’ve been lusting over for months. As someone who has grown up admiring the large fashion houses and the beautiful creations that come from them, buying my very own piece from one of these designers has always been a dream of mine. Models in magazines wearing these designer items were more than just images or cliches to me. They represented something to strive towards. Not because I was a superficial little girl wanting to show off a designer logo but because of the impact these designers have had on the fashion industry and what it means to be able to afford such an item.

Harrod's Gucci

Of course not everyone regards a designer bag in the same way. Some people see it as any other bag with a big name and high price tag. Some people see the person wearing it and automatically jump to conclusions about their life and how they got that bag. Other people think it’s a ridiculous financial decision. I’m not going to argue with any of these opinions because they are mere opinions, and in some contexts, they are probably 100% valid.

Gucci Sylvie

However, to me, my bag will remind me everyday of the long hours of studying I put myself through in high school and college. And not only the countless hours repeating math equations or figuring out lines of code, but the countless resumes and cover letters I’ve written, hundreds of internships I applied to, and the extracurricular activities I participated in those 8 years. You don’t earn nice things by sitting on your butt, cheating off the person next to you, or going out to bars and getting wasted on weekends (unless you’re racking up credit card debt or have rich parents, but that’s another story). You earn them by waking up at 6am to catch a train into the city, working a full 9-5 day, running to a networking session right after, studying on the train home, tutoring for 2 hours as soon as you walk in your door, and THEN heading off to a meeting for one of your clubs. Yes, this is what most of my weekdays in college looked like. However, it’s also not just making the most out of your weekdays but also sacrificing your weekends to work on your own business or attend a weekend-long hackathon in order to broaden your coding skills.

So at the end of the day, why not treat yourself to something you truly earned? When you make sacrifices you deserve to reward yourself for them. I’m excited to tote around my bag knowing that I bought it with my hard-earned money. Unfortunately, lots of people do judge others for making expensive purchases like this. Everyone has different priorities with their money and it’s not anyone’s place to judge them for it. Sure, it is not a smart decision to purchase an expensive item with a credit card or sacrifice your retirement savings, but you never know the sacrifices someone makes in order to afford a luxury. They could be someone who put in blood, sweat, and tears to earn that money, just like me.

Gucci Sylvie

I wanted to write this blog post to show my readers what hard work can earn. Whether you’ve always wanted to buy a designer bag like myself, or maybe a dream European vacation, you can make it possible by sacrificing some things in the present in order to make for a more enjoyable future. I recently read “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos” by Jordan B. Peterson and rule number seven discusses how the successful sacrifice in order to succeed in the future. He says, “the successful among us delay gratification. The successful among us bargain with the future”. I could not agree with this more. In order to be successful we must give up certain things in the present, like choosing to study for an exam rather than go out to the bars, in order to thrive later on. While having a designer bag does not mean success, it certainly is a byproduct of it. I will continue to give up certain things in my life in order to create a successful future for myself. While sometimes it doesn’t always work out, you never know unless you actually try.

Let me know what business, financial, or fashion advice you would like to hear me write more about. Be sure to follow me on Instagram for frequent updates!

Dear 20-Something Girl (7)

Want to receive a weekly newsletter covering productivity hacks, wellness tips, interesting articles, great reads, and cool events in DC and NYC delivered directly to your inbox? Sign up for my Dear 20-Something Girl newsletter.

5 Things “Switch” Taught Me About Setting New Year’s Resolutions

I recently read a book called “Switch- How to change things when change is hard” by Chip & Dan Heath. The book discusses various businesses cases and change situations, drawing out the important steps that were taken to make that change successful. While reading this it really had me thinking a lot about my New Year’s Resolutions and how to actually turn them into habits.

Every year myself and many others set new goals, hoping to adapt habits that we haven’t been the best at achieving in the past. What can we do to finally make these new habits stick? Reading this book gave me a lot of insight on to why certain change efforts do not work and how I can finally make them work.

This New Year I am making it my goal to become a morning person. Maybe not enjoy the mornings so much, but to not dread them. I want to workout in the mornings before work and set a solid routine so that I can set myself up for the best day ahead. I’ve tried to make this happen for the last few months now but it just hasn’t happened. I feel like I’ve tried everything- from making my boyfriend call to wake me up to motivating myself with a good cup of coffee. Unfortunately, nothing has worked. I am going to adapt the things I’ve learned in “Switch” to create a successful habit and I hope you will to.

What I’ve Learned:

1. Find a way to achieve your habit in a way that influences not just your thoughts, but your emotions.

Throughout the book the authors discuss the concepts of “the elephant” and “the rider”, or our emotions and our rationality. The rider can rationalize all he or she wants but will not be able to move the elephant if he or she doesn’t really want to. It’s important for us to follow the pattern SEE-FEEL-CHANGE if we want to be successful. So before trying to change a habit, make sure you really understand WHY you want to change what you are currently doing. What is this helping you achieve? How will this impact you?

For me, I think about all the free time I lose after work from having to head to the gym, complete my workout, and shower. I feel unproductive and like I have no time for myself after a long, hard day of work. I’m appealing to this feeling of unfulfillment and lack by changing the time I wake up in the morning.

2. Shrink the change.

According to Chip and Dan, “People find it more motivating to be partly finished with a longer journey than to be at the starting gate of a shorter one” (127). By taking small baby steps to making a change and succeeding at these steps, we are growing confidence in ourselves and proving to ourselves that we really can make this change. The authors call this a “miracle scale”; we are focusing our attention on small, attainable milestones rather than the far final destination.

I plan to start small by waking up 5 minutes earlier one week, then 10 minutes earlier, then 15 minutes, and so on. If I can wake up a little bit earlier each week then I will gain confidence that I can achieve the end goal and this end goal won’t seem as drastic. After I achieve the habit of waking up early, I will add small workouts into my routine. I will start with a 5 minute workout one week, then a 10 minute one, and so on. After all, big changes come from many small changes.

3. Tweak your environment to make change easier.

Changing different parts of your environment can help make your change efforts a lot easier. We often get stuck in certain routines or ways of doing things because we associate them with specific environments. Make it a little easier to create a habit by setting yourself up for success. Change your environment in small ways in order to make this new habit easier to adapt.

I will be laying out my gym clothes every night before bed in order to make getting up and working out in the morning a little bit easier. Or maybe for you changing your environment means joining a gym that’s only a short walk away rather than a 15 minute drive. If you make your goal to eat 20% less sugar in a day than you normally do, don’t keep high sugar foods in the house. Think about all the way you can change your surroundings to make change a little bit easier.

4. Create action triggers and checklists.

Action triggers motivate us to do the things we know we need to do. They help us determine when to act on what we want to change. They help us do things that we may be putting off or avoiding. For example, if you make an action trigger to go to the gym right after you get out of work, you’re not leaving any room for you to NOT go to the gym since you leave work everyday (or let’s hope). I’m going to make it my goal to workout right when I wake up since I wake up everyday. I will know waking up means it’s time to go workout.

In addition to action triggers it is important to create checklists. According to Chip and Dan, “Checklists educate people about what’s best, showing them the ironclad right way to do something… Checklists can help people avoid blind spots in a complex environment” (221). By creating a checklist of everything you need to do to accomplish your goal, you are getting rid of any possibility of forgetting what you have to do to make that goal successful. It could be as simple as writing a list telling yourself to set up your clothes for the morning, fill your water bottle with cold water, and preparing a post-workout smoothie. Checking things off your list will also be like small little accomplishments!

5. Make your goals clear, precise, and specific.

The more ambiguous our goals are, the more room there is for us to stray from our original goal. If we don’t include ways to measure our goals, we often don’t end up achieving what we originally intended. An example they used in the book was a goal many people set for the new year; “I want to eat healthy and workout more”. While this is great, it includes nothing you can measure. While you may start out strong, it will get to the point when you begin to justify eating ice cream because you ate broccoli earlier in the week. Or you eat McDonald’s for dinner because you ate a salad for lunch. You are justifying your decisions because they technically are “healthier” than what you were doing before, even though they aren’t actually healthy decisions. I encourage you to make goals like “Eat lunches and dinners consisting of 30% veggies, 50% protein, and 20% grains” or “Walk at least 30 minutes each day”. These are goals that you can confidently say you accomplished or not, without room for ambiguity.

I highly encourage everyone to read “Switch” by Chip and Dan Heath. It is a book that gives great insight in making change on a personal, organizational, or world-wide level. It is not only extremely inspiring to hear so many stories of successful change, but it is extremely educational in a practical way. Let me know what your New Year’s Resolutions are in the comments below. Follow me on Instagram to see everything I’m up to on my holiday break!

Dear 20-Something Girl (7)

Want to receive a weekly newsletter covering productivity hacks, wellness tips, interesting articles, great reads, and cool events in DC and NYC delivered directly to your inbox? Sign up for my Dear 20-Something Girl newsletter.

Holiday Sale Items You NEED to Buy

I am a huge sucker for a good sale. Truth is, I rarely buy anything for full price. For most items, they tend to be discounted at some point, so why not wait until then?

I’ve looked at all the best sales and pulled some of my favorite items from them for you to shop for with your holiday money. Here they are!

I love Aritzia but they always have 2 major sales a year where literally all items are somewhat discounted. I always wait until these sales to splurge on the pieces I’ve wanted all season long. Since Aritzia sells basic, minimal pieces, even the sale items will still be in style.

Babaton KARL JUMPSUIT

Aritzia jumpsuit

I LIVE in my basic black jumpsuit from Aritzia. It’s polished enough to easily throw on for work, but can also be worn on a night out when paired with some fun accessories. It’s a staple in my wardrobe.

Adidas Primeknit Sneakers

Adidas sneakers

Everyone needs a cool pair of sneakers for heading to yoga or just running errands around the city. I recently found these ones at Barney’s and am obsessed. They’re so cool and make any athleisure look instantly trendy.

Marc Fisher Chelsea Boot

Marc Fisher boot

If you follow me on Instagram then you’ve definitely seen me wear these boots. They are my staple shoe any time of the year. They’re great quality and last me through the winters and summers. Better yet they’re nearly half off!

Alo Yoga Teddy Coat

Alo Yoga Teddy Coat

If you have yet to give into the Teddy coat trend then now is the time! I swear they’re just as warm as they look, not to mention the most fashionable way to protect yourself from the cold. Saks has free shipping and 10% off your first purchase.

Varley High Waist Leggings

Varley leggings

If if you’ve never tried on a pair of high waist workout leggings, you just haven’t lived. They are seriously such a game changer in the world of comfort. Varley is one of my favorite workout brands- high quality, high comfort, high style. If you’re trying to workout more in the New Year, these will definitely make that a little bit easier.

Embellished Blanket Scarf

Blanket scarf

It’s safe to say that I wouldn’t survive winter without my blanket scarves. I depend on them to cover and shield my face from the freezing wind. This black one is a staple and 40% off until December 26th with the code “WRAPITUP”.

Hue Low Cut Socks

Low cut socks

These are a best kept secret if you’re a huge sneaker wearer like myself. They keep your shoes from getting stinky without the ugly look of socks sticking out. Get them 20% with code “JOY” until January 1st.

Cashmere TurtleneckCashmere turtleneck

Turtlenecks are essential for keeping warm in the winter. I love them for layering underneath pieces or to wear by themselves with other basics. This cashmere one is on great discount for the holidays! You even get an extra 15% off your purchase.

Henri Bendel Coin Purse

Henri Bendel coin purse

This past week I lost my wallet, so I’ve been working on replacing my cards and IDs; but I also need to replace the wallet itself. I’ll be buying the same one I had before but this updated version. It’s the perfect size for all of my cards and a little bit of cash. And it’s on sale!

Let me know what awesome deals these holiday sales bring you! Be sure to follow me on Instagram for all of my looks styling these items.

 

What I Wore From Rent the Runway (November)

Another month, another new wardrobe provided by Rent the Runway! If you’ve never heard of Rent the Runway, it is a subscription service where you can choose from hundreds of designer pieces to rent each month. I have the unlimited subscription which allows me to continually trade out any four pieces I want throughout the month. Its allowed me to have the vast designer wardrobe I’ve always wanted without the vast expense on my bank account.

For Work…

tuxedo jumpsuit

The Reagan Tuxedo Jumpsuit by Greylin has to be one of my favorite jumpsuits of all-time. It’s so sophisticated and stylish yet perfect for a corporate job. Unfortunately, working in tech things are pretty casual so I only had the chance to wear this jumpsuit once on a day where I was feeling super fancy. I am normally a size 4 and wore this in the size SR, which fit perfectly.

ruffle blouse

This is the Ivory Margo Top by Tularosa in a size small. It was honestly nothing special, so I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it. However, I was able to wear it to work one day with some jeans.

For Date Night…

I rented the Robyn Parker Dress by Parker for a fancy night out on the town with my boyfriend. I wore it with tall brown riding boots and absolutely loved how it looked. The dress seems a bit sheer at first but it surprisingly covers everything. Unfortunately, I was having such a great time at dinner that I forgot to take a picture in it! I wore a size medium which was just right for me. Highly recommend!

For Exploring the City…

western jacket

western jacket

This Koshova Jacket by Rebecca Minkoff was one of my favorite rentals of the month. I loved the dark blue indigo color, which I wasn’t expecting since it looked black online. I absolutely loved the corduroy fabric and western-inspired hardware, two major trends this season. I wore a size medium which worked out perfectly.

tibi sweater

Another one of my favorite rentals! I mean how beautiful is this bright kelly green color? This is the Green Rib Pullover by Tibi in a size medium. I loved how it was a little cropped and still showed some skin when wearing high-waisted bottoms. Tibi is quickly becoming one of my favorite brands; I fall in love with the quality and cut of each piece!

floral blouse

floral blouse

This is the Ditsi Print Smocked Blouse by Nicholas in a size 4. This is the perfect floral blouse for any girly girl out there. The fabric-covered buttons really add a special touch.

furla bag

This dark green bag paired with the kelly green sweater was a knockout combo. I loved the monochromatic greens! If you want a structured, lady-like bag, this one is for you. I’m a sucker for any bag with a top handle. This one is the Teal Metropolis Small Top Handle Bag by Furla.

free people tie blouse

I rented this tie-front blouse by Free People for casual wear while I was home for Thanksgiving. I wore it out on Thanksgiving Eve and also to the mall. It was cute but nothing crazy special. If you need a cropped black basic, it is a good staple to pair with more elaborate pieces. I wore this in an xs which fit just right.

gold metallic jacket

gold metallic jacket

I think it’s pretty clear that I’m saving the best for last! I may or may not still have this jacket hanging up in my closet… I didn’t expect to love this jacket as much as I do but it is truly a show-stopper. I get compliments on it wherever I go and seriously feel like the biggest diva. I am a sucker for anything metallic so this Metallic Foil Faux Jacket by Avec Les Filles is perfect for me. I’m considering buying it in order to make it a permanent piece in my collection. What do you think?

Want to see more of what Rent the Runway has to offer? Check out the pieces I wore in October.  Already sold on the idea of an unlimited designer wardrobe? You can get $30 off your first order by signing up here.

Dear 20-Something Girl (7).png

Want to receive a weekly newsletter covering what I’m wearing, wellness tips, interesting articles, great reads, and cool events in DC and NYC delivered directly to your inbox? Sign up for my Dear 20-Something Girl newsletter.

What I Wore from Rent the Runway (October)

If you’ve been wondering how fashion bloggers afford so many new, on-trend, designer pieces, I’m gonna tell you a little secret. Or better yet, give away the secret of all fashion bloggers. We all rent our clothes and accessories from Rent the Runway!

I just recently signed up for an unlimited subscription with Rent the Runway now that I’m earning an adult income. Lets be real, what college student can afford spending $180 a month on rented pieces!? However, as an adult, this is pretty affordable for an unlimited wardrobe filled with pieces for work, date nights, exploring the city, and special occasions.

I figured I should show each piece I rent in a month and share my review of it, how I styled it, and where I wore it. So here it is!

For Work…

Rent the Runway skirt

Here I am wearing a Faux Suede Flare Skirt by Slate & Willow. I ordered a size 4, my typical size, and it fit like a glove. The color was a beautiful rich brown and the length was just perfect on my 5 foot 7 frame. This is perfect with a black top and black accessories, emphasizing the chestnut color. It is the perfect piece if you have a corporate job and want to look professional but still in touch with the fall trends.

Processed with VSCO with a1 preset

Here I am wearing the Plaid Crop Flare Trousers by Derek Lam. I ordered a size 4 and they fit me to perfection. It amazes me that the pants I find on Rent the Runway fit me better than any of my own pants! You can’t quite see it in the picture, but the bottom of the pants are a bit darker in color than the top, making for a fun detail. Although these pants say flare, I wouldn’t call them that. They fit a bit looser around your calf but don’t necessarily flare in a dramatic way. As you can see in this photo, not only are they great for work, but you can dress them up for a night out.

Processed with VSCO with a1 preset

Here I am wearing the Unending Wrap Top by C/MEO Collective in a size medium, a size up from my normal size. This was one of my favorite pieces I rented this month because of the statement that it makes. The polka dots are super on trend and the puffy sleeves create some drama. I was able to wear it with some black slacks to work and even make it more casual for a day hanging around the city.

For Date Night…

denim dress- rent the runway

Here I am wearing the Denim Sammy Dress by AMUR in a size 4. This was another one of my favorite pieces I rented this month. I got tons of compliments on this dress because of the unique sleeves and ruffles. I wore this to a concert and it’s surprisingly super comfy. The denim was soft and stretchy, not stiff, which I often fear with denim.

rent the runway sweater

Here I am wearing the Maxwell Sweater by Parker in a size medium. Go a size up! I loved how simple yet flattering the slight v-neck and poofy sleeves were. I wore this to a Washington Capitals game, making me the most stylish fan at the game. I just HAD to rent this for the occasion since the colors matched perfectly!

For Exploring the City…

Processed with VSCO with a1 preset

Here is that same top by C/MEO Collective. This is the more laid-back look I created using the top. When paired with some sporty pants, sneakers and denim it becomes casual and fun.

Rent the Runway denim

Here I am wearing the Selena Mid Rise Crop Jeans by J Brand. While I did try these on in the New York City Rent the Runway store, I was surprised to find they fit me perfectly. I ordered my normal size, a 27, and they fit just right! I have such a hard time finding jeans that fit me so this was nothing short of a miracle. I kept these jeans for a good 3 weeks, integrating them into my everyday wardrobe.

Rent the Runway sweater

Here I am wearing the Multi Colorblock Sweater by Jil Sander. I sized down to an xs and it fit just right; but if you want an oversized fit order your normal size. This is one of those sweaters that is so ugly it’s cute. I loved the different colors weaved throughout it. It was super warm and the perfect crop for wearing with low-rise jeans. Definitely a good staple for everyday wear!

plaid- rent the runway

Here I am wearing the Plaid Dexter Top by Peterson. I ordered a medium, a size up from my typical size, and I’m happy I did. The waist wasn’t too tight and restricting, a complaint many people had. The flowy sleeves were super fun for a fall day at the pumpkin patch. I like to think this shirt was my version of a fall flannel.

plaid bomber- rent the runway

Here I am wearing a Checked Bomber Jacket by J.O.A. in a size small. I loved the style and pattern of this jacket, perfect for pairing with any basic pieces in your wardrobe. However, I did find this jacket to be very itchy and often uncomfortable. However, it may be fine to wear with long-sleeve tops or turtlenecks where it isn’t touching too much of your skin.

For Special Occasions…

sequin dress- rent the runway

Last but not least is the dress I wore for my Halloween costume. An alien, very original, right? This is the Sequin Sestina Dress by Nanette Lepore in a size 4. I loved the shape of the dress- bell sleeves and an overall loose fit. Sequin dresses are often itchy but this one wasn’t at all! I would highly recommend renting it for New Year’s Eve.

Sold on Rent the Runway? For the fall season you can subscribe to the the Update plan (4 pieces each month) for $69 each month or the Unlimited plan for $99 each month. Sign up here and let me know what you think!

Also be sure to follow me on my Instagram for more outfits featuring my Rent the Runway pieces.

Land A Job You Love Right Out of College.

I’ve been wanting to write about career-related topics for awhile now, but have never made the jump. My career is something that is extremely important to me and drives many of my life choices. I love attending events, networking, and reading more about business and entrepreneurship. I’ve learned a lot in the past few years of college, and even from when I was a teenager and had multiple businesses. So why not share this knowledge I’ve gained?

In this post I want to discuss the proper and improper ways of landing your first job out of college. Or landing a job even if you didn’t attend college! The idea of graduating and moving right into a job can be daunting, and for most people it doesn’t even work out that way. Many people are trying to scrap together interviews months after graduating, hoping some employer will hire them. I’m gonna give you some advice on how to avoid that rat race because I don’t think anyone wants to graduate not knowing where they’re going to be, what they’re going to be doing, or, most importantly, how they are going to be surviving with minimal or no income.

I want to start off by saying something so important. YOU MAKE YOUR OWN OPPORTUNITIES. This is the biggest lesson I have learned throughout college and the beginning of my career. You can’t just wait for people to come to you and hand you what you want. There are few people that are lucky enough to be recruited into companies, but for the most part you need to seek these companies out. By seeking companies out I don’t mean simply hitting “submit” at the end of a job application and attaching your resume. This is the biggest mistake people make when trying to get hired. When you simply submit your resume on LinkedIn or a job-hunting site, your resume is getting lost in hundreds or thousands of applications. Nothing you do can or will stand out. You’re leaving it up to an algorithm to parse through key words on your resume and possibly spit it back to HR, IF you’re lucky. So if you want to have a job when you graduate, DO NOT depend on applying for jobs in this manner. Just don’t do it.

The key to anything in your career is simple. It’s networking. It’s who you know and how you know them. After all, we are all humans and looking to form genuine relationships. For this reason, someone is more likely to hire you when they have a personal relationship with you and can put a face to a name. Your face and personality is more likely to be remembered than some random words squeezed onto a piece of paper. People want to hire people that they like and want to surround themselves with in a work environment. You really can’t pick up on this through words written in Times New Roman font. So even if you submit a resume to a job posting and have everything that employer needs, that employer is more likely to hire someone they’ve met before and know they vibe with rather than someone they only know through a piece of paper.

Auriens Hackathon London

Hopefully you understand what I mean by the importance of forming personal relationships. For this reason, when finding your first job, rather than putting all of your effort into applying to jobs online, go out and make your presence known. Attend local events in the area, job fairs, and even happy hours. I find all of the events that I attend on Eventbrite or Facebook. On Eventbrite you can filter through events by your city, keywords, and the range of dates. Sign up for events you are interested in attending, even if you don’t end up going. You are often added to the email list of the company hosting that event, a way to receive exclusive opportunities that could lead to a job. However, you should make an effort to attend most of these events in order to meet new people and grow your connections. You never know who you will talk to and what they could be looking for. When meeting new people at these events be sure to always follow up with a LinkedIn request and personal message. After forming this important connection, you will automatically come to their mind when they are recommending people for a position or hiring someone new.

So now you may be wondering, well, what if I HATE networking and talking to new people? I hate to tell you, but if you want to be successful in life then this is just something you need to get over. If you hate networking and avoid it at all cost, you are holding yourself back from growing in your career. This could mean never getting hired for a position that you love or never moving up in the company you currently work for. Believe it or not, going into college I also hated networking and introducing myself to new people. I would get so nervous that I’d make myself sick, but I stilled forced myself to do it because I KNEW I had to. 5 years later and it is much less daunting and has given me so many great opportunities (80% of them if we are being honest). Once you keep pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone, it will feel normal and become second nature to you. I used to shake and stutter at these events because my nerves would overcome me. But never the less, I persisted in my networking endeavors and look where I am now!

With all great things in life, you need to work hard and push yourself past your points of comfort in order to achieve your goals. Do you think the woman who is CEO of her dream company stays inside, scared to go to industry events? Of course not! She is out pitching her business to investors, meeting top talent all over her city, and sharing her ideas with complete strangers.

Do you think the student who landed his or her perfect internship at a huge technology company earned it by watching Netflix every night? No! These successes take hard work and determination, and often cannot be achieved without putting yourself out there, talking to new people, and learning new skills.

So now for those of you looking for a job, specifically those still in college, start the hunt NOW. So many students wait until the last two months of school to start looking for jobs. This is a terrible move. Programs specifically designed for new graduates are already filled way before this point. The fall before graduation is the most critical time to be accepted into these programs. These post-grad programs are your best shot at landing a more-than-ideal first job. They are designed to slowly transition you into the company culture and expect for you to not yet be accustomed to the 9-5 life, leaving lots of room for you to learn from your mistakes. Not only this, but most programs are a guaranteed two years with many opportunities to network, grow your skills, and gain amazing experiences. Prioritize these programs when applying for jobs! 

Throughout college I had many different internships, ranging from internships in marketing to fashion to information technology. I landed my second internship at a social media company from my cousin’s girlfriend. Networking! I landed my third internship by attending an event hosted by my school’s Career Center and introducing myself to the speakers. Networking! I landed my fourth internship by attending my school’s career fair and introducing myself to the company’s recruiters and then following up by connecting with them on LinkedIn. Networking! See a pattern?

Lastly, I earned my current job as a software engineer in Capital One’s Developer Academy by attending a Women in Tech Demo Days sponsored by Capital One. I signed up for this hackathon on Eventbrite, paying the $10 required fee to participate, and showed up to the event for a few hours. I distinctly remember almost not attending this event because my cousin was also in the city that day and I wanted to meet up with her. However, I still went because I knew it would help me transition to a job in technology after college. Little did I know I would meet a recruiter form Capital One and she would introduce me to CODA, a program designed to train post-graduates with an interest in tech (but no coding background required) to become software engineers for the company. Shortly after meeting her I began the interviewing process and eventually was offered the job. If I had never attended this event and met this recruiter, I would not have the amazing job I do today. I am being paid a full-time salary to learn to code! Does it get any better than that!?

Capital One Developer Academy (CODA)

Not only did I not even know about this program before attending this event, but if I did, my resume would’ve just been sitting in Capital One’s system with thousands of other applicants. If I had not formed this personal relationship with this recruiter, I would’ve been surpassed for the position along with everyone else who simply submitted their resume through LinkedIn. Now I have an engineering job for the next two and a half years with an amazing company, being paid to learn and grow in my technology skills.

If you’ve taken anything away from this post, I hope it’s the importance of networking and forming personal relationships with people. You never know who you can meet until you put yourself out there. Nobody gets anywhere by closing themselves off from all of the endless opportunities available in the world. So go on Eventbrite, find some events that interest you, and take the initiative to go! You never know the opportunities that could come from simply showing up.

Dear 20-Something Girl (7)

Want to receive a weekly newsletter covering productivity hacks, wellness tips, interesting articles, great reads, and cool events in DC and NYC delivered directly to your inbox? Sign up for my Dear 20-Something Girl newsletter.