Saturday, December 1, 2012

What's Next?

As kids, we always know what we're supposed to do next. We know after 5th grade we go to 6th; after middle school, high school. Most people go straight to college after high school. You don't have to think about what path you're going to take, it's already laid out in front of you. You know that to be "successful" you have to graduate high school then go to college (or at least that's what conventional wisdom says). 

After college though, so many people stall out seemingly waiting for someone to tell them what to do next. They drift along in a retail job or waiting tables, living with their parents, mumbling about the economy and telling people "thinking about grad school!"

Don't get me wrong, I know the economy sucks and I know a lot of people live with their parents out of necessity not choice. But don't use the economy as a crutch. Don't use the fact that many more people move back in with their parents after college than ever before as a reason to do so yourself. By doing these things you're selling yourself short. You can get a job in this economy. You can get an apartment. You can support yourself financially. 

There's no clear path to success after college, as we've been conditioned to believe since kindergarten. But that's a good thing. What it means is that there are many paths to success, unlike in school when the only way to succeed is through doing what your teachers say and getting good grades. There are jobs you've never heard of out there. There are ways to do exactly what you want and get paid for it. As a grown up, you call the shots. You decide if you take a year off to travel, if you quit your job to freelance or start your own business. But first, you have to begin your life after college.

The time to start your life is now. 
You're ready. 
Let's go.

Monday, February 13, 2012

How to be More Creative

Realize Nothing is Original 
 Stop trying to come up with things from scratch, even the world's best artists have to start somewhere. Once you can get past this you'll have a much easier time creating things.

Let Yourself Be Inspired
 This is really the key to becoming more creative. People who think they're not creative just aren't letting themselves be inspired enough. If you don't know where to start, get inspired by other people's art: DeviantArt, Tumblr, Pinterest and Flikr are all good places to start. Try letting something completely random from the real world inspire you-- converse sneakers, kitchen tools, insects, taco bell commercials, etc.

Take Your Time
 Don't try to rush creativity. Wait until you really have some time (preferably alone) to really go at it.

Don't Be Afraid of Screwing Up
 I can pretty much guarantee that you won't like the first thing you create; whether it be written, sung, composed, painted, decoupaged, sketched or whatever else. But that's okay, if you're just being creative for fun, there's no reason you need to be hard on yourself. Throw it out and start again. I can guarantee that any successful artist didn't create something inspiring their first try.


Repeat & Don't Quit
 There's a reason "practice makes perfect" is such an overused phrase-- it's true! You can't expect to get better if you try something once and quit. So your first effort at drawing a Day of the Dead skull looked like a flower patch vomited on the page. If it's something that you're really interested in, you'll get better as long as you keep trying. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sunday Style Tips

See what you can mix up in what you (or your roommates!) already own // Never leave the house looking too perfect-- mess up your hair a little, untuck your shirt, anything to look just a little more natural // Make a point to make small talk with a stranger // Browse pinterest, tumblr or lookbook for outfit ideas or inspire your next purchase // Learn how to put on false eyelashes so that they look natural (and not halloween-ish) and wear them as often as possible // Put on body lotion as soon as you get out of the shower // Find your signature drink

These Boots are Made for Walking

1. DSW     2. shi    3. Famous Footwear    4. Overstock     5. Amazon     6. Zappos

Riding boots are classy, easy to style and wearable pretty much everyday between September and May. I own a lot of boots, but didn't have a pair of riding boots until recently because of the price. Most high quality riding boots are way over $100 and for a lot of people that's affordable for an investment piece like plain boots, but for me that was still way too much. All the boots listed above are under $80. In the end, I got #2, for $64 including tax (and am totally in love!).

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Easy Nail Art Tutorials

As most people have figured out by now, nail art today is much more modern than the gaudy fake talons of the past. Recently, the trend has been towards crazy colors, bold patterns and innovative designs. And although it's tempting to try out the craziest designs first, it's best to start out with something simple. Luckily there are several nail art trends that are easy for beginners.

1. Glitter Gradient 

Glitter gradient is one of the coolest new trends in nail art. It's simple, sparkly and interesting and will definitely get people to notice your nails. You can do the glitter gradient with a bare nail underneath or with a colored base coat-- either way it makes an impact. A bonus to the glitter gradient is that since there are several coats of polish on the tips of your nails, they're less likely to chip!

2. Chevron Stripes

Chevron stripes are everywhere and with a little tape and a couple colors,  you can have the same look on your nails. I've yet to try this myself, but it's definitely on my list of trends I want to try.

Tip: Whenever doing designs involving tape, make sure the base color has completely dried before you put the tape on. If you don't wait long enough, the tape will pull the color up with it and leave residue when you remove it. 

3. Diagonal Stripe

The diagonal stripe may be easiest of the three, since it only involves two colors and not much taping. It can also be the boldest, depending on the color combination you choose. I personally like this design the best because there are so many possibilities. One of my favorites (that of course I never took a picture of) was fuchsia and coral, which appears color-blocked. Of course if you're not feeling daring, you can always use colors that are close to each other for trendy yet conservative look.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


It seems there are three kinds of people when it comes to New Year's resolutions:
1. People who make vague resolutions that you can't quantify (and therefore can't fail)
2. People who hate new year's resolutions
3. People who use resolutions as a cop out blog post.
4. People who actually make realistic goals and accomplish them over the course of the year (only rumored to exist)

I am absolutely in categories 1-3 right now and hopefully (probably laughably) trying to make it into that fourth category. Here's what I've got for 2012:

1. Blog. I've been thinking of starting a blog for more than a year and have had this url for probably six months...and this is my first post. I've changed the blog design 4 or 5 times already and my astounding perfectionism/neverhappywithanythingism has held me back too long. The piece of advice that I keep coming across on how to have a successful blog is resoundingly START BLOGGING NOW, so, here we are.

2. Take more risks. Fashionably and otherwise. I love fashion and reading fashion blogs so I'm pretty caught up on trends, yet I dress fairly boringly. This is the year I start embracing trends I like and stop worrying if other people like it or not.

3. Take more photos. Because I love looking at old pictures but don't have that many from the past year. It's time to change that!

4. Keep learning. I just graduated from college and although I'm officially out in the real world, I don't by any means want to stop learning new things. In fact, the things on my "to learn" list now (java, piano, Arabic) sound much more interesting than managerial finance.

5. Have more stories to tell. Last year was incredible-- I got my first apartment, graduated from college, had two internships, met some awesome people and went to some crazy parties. This year I'm going to try to get out there even more and make 2012 my best year yet.