Meet Downtown Tampa's newest shopping concept that combines just about every girl's two favorite things: Shopping & Champagne. Come step inside this quaint little space to see the hottest new boutique styles and experience the sparkling tastes of the Bubbly Barchique.Read More
I wrote this post for those of us who've had every good intention to start 2018 off on the right foot. Yet for each of our own personal reasons, we just seem to be struggling through life's curve-balls and challenges. So my blog post this week starts with a simple realization, then follows with some call-to-actions. And by the end, I hope you've found a new way to look at these challenges in your life that you might not have thought of before.
First, Realize This: It's Your Round 1.
When we face a challenge, we usually consider it a challenge because, well, we’ve never BEEN through it before. We’re not sure what to do.
If this was our Round 2, we’d be working through it with a little more ease, right? This is an important concept for us to realize at the start of any hardship. So let's cut ourselves some slack and accept that this is tough, and we therefore may not be our best selves right now.
Next, Grieve. Hard.
Don’t try to one-up your hardship at the very beginning. If your situation hurts in any sort of way, allow yourself to feel it. Do what you need to do to truly feel the pain and grieve yourself through it. This is a good thing.
Why? Because you VALUE that part of your life. Life and all its happenings actually MEAN something to you.
But When Is It Time For Me To “Get Over it” and “Move On?”
I personally believe you should never “get over” the loss of a loved one, a pet, a relationship, a job, or anything else personal that made up a huge part of your life. Rather, you can learn to live with their memory in a new way. Or, if you’re simply upset about something at work, school, home, or wherever, then remember what I said above. At then end of the day we should let these difficult times develop us, not destroy us.
If you find yourself in a continuous pattern of sulk where you feel like it’s destroying you or parts of your life, try this. Zoom out and look at your situation from above. Like a bird watching over you.
Really try to understand the entire picture at hand, and how this current hardship plays into your potential 80+ years of life on this earth. This will allow you to visualize from the entire perspective of your past, present, and future. Not just from the perspective as you see things right now.
Find your highs. Your happy moments. Your accomplishments. Grab ahold of them to help you walk forward each day.
Find your lows. What you perceive as weaknesses. And while you’re zoomed out on your life at a bird’s eye view, the important thing to notice is this. These are NOT in fact low points of your life, they’re LEARNING points.
Because as each hour and day passes, you’re actually gaining something. You’re gaining experience, strength, and a deeper appreciation for the things that mean so much to you.
So take your challenges into the New Year as a person of strength. Because as each day passes, you continue to learn how to live through them. So that at the end of the day, we let the hardships we face develop us, not destroy us.
Make it a great 2018,
An Invisible Illness is not something that can be
It's not a broken bone, a limp, or a scar.
Nobody can see it. Nobody knows it's there.
An invisible illness could be depression, addiction, or anxiety; basically anything internal that only you know about. These are not one-and-done illnesses like a cold or a broken arm. They’re usually chronic. And they’re usually consuming.
As a current fighter of an invisible illness, I want to talk about the impacts it can have on your career. And based on my experience, I can share what almost broke me and what saved me.
I Was Failing at Work
I had stabbing pains, massive blood loss, vertigo, 10 pounds lost, and a fainting episode. You would never know it if you saw me because I don’t have a scar on the outside of my body to prove it to you.
What people did see, though, was that I started to miss deadlines; again, and again. I’d disappear from work for hours because I was either sick to my stomach, or having another dizzy spell. “You should go on Short-Term Disability,” my boss eventually advised. I declined at first, but after a month of not producing any work and letting my team down, I agreed it was the right thing to do.
Except, my insurance provider didn’t acknowledge my situation as a diagnosed condition with a specified start and end date. My doctors’ offices were too busy to ever provide the documentation that was requested of them. After all, I was young, a non-smoker, and therefore considered healthy and low-risk. And as a result, I was declined FMLA and Short-Term Disability.
I suffered every day from severe abdominal pains and embarrassing symptoms which I had to shamefully admit to my managers in order to explain why I was late to work. I was literally one day away from throwing my hands up and quitting because I was so embarrassed. Any good judgment I had left was just about gone.
Here is What Saved Me
It’s one thing to bottle up your pain and show up to a job you love. It’s debilitating to try and do the same for a job that you’re not truly passionate about.
So one day, I got very real with myself to try and understand what would truly make me happy. I loved helping people and I loved giving career advice. I should be a recruiter, I thought.
So I mustered up every last ounce of energy I had and interviewed for a recruiting position at my company. It took almost two months of follow-ups, but I ultimately got the job.
The physical symptoms from my condition were still there, but I no longer had the time to sit and wallow in pain because I was now on the phone talking to people every day.
Fast-paced interaction and quick wins are what worked for me.
The nature of my prior Accounting life was spent analyzing financial data for extended periods of time with hardly any human interaction at all. Because it was just my computer and I, I’d lose focus easily and find myself consumed in thoughts of illness and pain. I was mentally making it worse for myself.
But this sudden shift to a fast-paced, interactive role changed things, because I no longer had the time or space for debilitating thoughts in my head.
Looking Back and Lessons Learned
As I look back on my experience, there are five major pieces of advice I have for anyone working through an invisible illness:
1. Hold your doctor accountable.
As you saw above, this was exhausting for me. And in the end, it didn’t even work out. Your doctor needs to know how to feel your pain, or fully understand the impacts your condition has on your life in order to be of any help to you.
2. Seek help quickly at work.
Do not try to “stick it out” as long as you can. If you know your performance is less than 100%, other people can see that too. Find a safe environment and someone you can trust. Swallow your pride and ask for help.
3. Do a serious inventory of what makes you happy.
Make a list of things that really make you smile and laugh. Start doing these things more often. If it’s certain people, start hanging around them more often. When you spend more time with the people and things that make you happy, you will be distracted from your illness, and you will in turn become a mentally stronger and happier person.
4. A job change could mean everything.
Taking on a new position that you’re passionate about could instantly relieve the mental part of your illness. If you can’t change jobs, add variation to your normal work routine. This sudden shift from your historical norms will require extra focus from your brain, distracting your thoughts away from pain.
5. Try to do work that involves quick wins.
Quick wins will inspire you to turn work around that much faster, which will leave you feeling successful that much more frequently.
I hope this can be helpful to you. I’ll be going to greater depths on this topic on the blog so please follow along if you’d like. And I wish everyone a Happy New Year!
What is up y'all! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are enjoying the kickoff to the holidays! This year I flew out to California to spend Thanksgiving with my boyfriend and his family. I took the entire week off from work, UNPLUGGED, and thought what better way to kick off the week than with two days in wine country? So I landed in LA Monday morning and hit the road immediately to travel the PCH up to Paso Robles.
Why Paso? Two reasons - 1) I LOVE Justin wine and 2) I LOVE Ancient Peaks wine. If these two gems came from Paso, then I was excited to see what else this wine country had to offer.
Paso Robles: The Itinerary
While planning this out, I was warned not to make the mistake of getting "slammered," which is the act of scheduling way too many winery visits in one day. Whether that actually happened is debatable, but I like to make the most of my days so here's how it went down:
Monday afternoon: Ancient Peaks winery
Ancient Peaks sits at the bottom end of Paso Robles. Since we arrived into the area late Monday afternoon, we thought this would be our winery choice for the day before driving into the heart of Paso and checking into our hotel.
Ancient Peaks' tasting room is more of a storefront experience, versus sitting on sprawling vineyards. But, I absolutely LOVED the interior of it, and our wine server was so awesome and knowledgeable. They have a really cute outdoor area with little cask fountains and couches that look out to the streets of the quaint little town of Santa Margarita.
The wine I went there for is the Oyster Ridge Cabernet, which is the final wine on their tasting menu. Clearly I have good taste. The wine that shockingly blew me away was their Chardonnay. I'm NOT a Chard fan, but I was shocked at how light and airy theirs was. The flight included 5 wines (1 white and 4 reds) for $15. Overall good value and I recommend stopping in.
Hotel: Holiday Inn Paso Robles
I researched a ton of different hotel options, but ended up using IHG points to stay for free at the Holiday Inn Express because it's located in the dead center of Paso. We were 150% satisfied with the accommodations. So after getting a much needed long night's sleep, we arrived to Justin the next day, bright and early.
Tuesday Winery #1: Justin
Justin sits way back there in the valley so have patience on your drive. I highly recommend making this your first stop of the day given its distance, then you can work your way back in to town.
The inside of Justin has an open air, contemporary vibe to it. We took a walk around and found our favorite Justin bottles staring back at us behind thick glass cases. Justin enthusiasts, carry a napkin to catch your drool. The Eighty-One and Isosceles never looked so good.
They also have a restaurant on site that overlooks the vineyard. We opted not to eat so early, so we instead found a spot outside overlooking their vineyards.
Justin's tasting is 5 wines for $20. The pours were average 1 oz as you can see below, and their wines are all SO damn good that even if we got stiffed some, it didn't matter. In my opinion, their wines are standout in quality.
The views were really nice, and it just so happened that sitting next to us were Mia Hamm and Nomar Garciaparra! This is me finally realizing why the couple looked so familiar. No we did not do a group pic lol. But Justin did have the most adorable fall setup at the entrance of their winery so Derek and I posed for that.
Tuesday Winery #2: Daou
Ok. Now you want to talk about views? Daou's views are absolutely breathtaking. And their outdoor seating area has couches, blankets, fire pits, and spans multiple levels into the vineyard. Everything about this place is beautiful and you'll want to spend the entire day here...
...If you're the richest man in the world that is. It is EXPENSIVE, with the wine tastings coming in at a measly $40 per person. What?? Yes, $40 for 5 tiny pours. Now it'd be one thing if the pours were generous, but they were by far the tiniest pours I have EVER seen in my life. Like, so tiny I couldn't even tell you what the wine tasted like.
I was pretty upset about this, but when I turned my eyes away from the 4 drops of a "tasting" in my glass and looked out at the 360 degree vistas, I felt better.
We also ordered a $40 cheese and charcuterie plate (as if we had a choice lol), though it was pretty substantial, and really good I might add.
And then the bill came.
HERE IS THE SECRET TO NOT GOING BROKE AT DAOU: Do NOT do the wine tastings. Rather, you can order their best bottle for $65 and share it. That's an entire bottle for you and your company to spend the day there soaking in the views, for a TOTAL of $65.
Here's where it gets even better. If you do the wine tastings, you're confined to their upper deck, so the server can keep watch on your status and tend to you better. If you pass on the tastings and order either full glasses or a bottle, you can sit yourself wherever you'd like on the grounds. And as I mentioned above, they have some STUNNING seating areas. Trust me, this is 100% the way to go.
Tuesday Winery #3: Alta Colina
Talk about some awesome estate wines. It was really cool getting to meet this family, including the friendliest German Shepard pup I have ever seen - Honey! Their wine tasting was $15 for 5 wines. And it is here I finally bought a bottle to take home, in which they waived our tasting fee.
This was one of those fun wineries where at this point you're loosened up and just shooting the sh-t with the owners. Or, if you're like me, you're on the ground giving belly rubs to the family dog. (recall from my Instastories lol).
There isn't a view from the tasting room's bar, per say, but that's because the tasting room sits at the base of their vineyards, so the views expand backwards and upwards. Regardless, it was one of my favorites spots we visited.
Tuesday Winery #4: Bodega de Edgar
This tasting room actually sits on the 2nd floor of another winery and distillery called Villicana Winery & ReFind Distillery. So as not to cause confusion when you pull up, look for this staircase on the left side of the building.
I love Riojas which is what I was hoping to get from this winery, however they didn't have any on their tasting flight. Major bummer. We ordered the tasting regardless, which I think was $10, and yeah I'll say the wines were good. I'll also remind you this was our 4th winery soooo.....recall that term "slammered" above.
Now what I will say is the story of Edgar, the founder, is REALLY cool. So if anything, I'd recommend reading the backstory to this winery. And of course if you love Spanish reds, then swing on by for sure.
Tuesday Winery #5 (barely) : Eberle
I mean, can I get a round of applause that we even made it to a 5th winery in one day on our own two feet??
So Eberle is the winery with the totally awesome cave tours. However, we showed up 10 minutes before closing time so the tours were done for the day. I wasn't really impressed with Eberle's wine quality, however the tastings were FREE so the wine bar was packed with people. And for as packed as they were, the service was still really good.
We grabbed two full glasses of wine (for free!) and walked outside to check out the views. Did we really need two glasses of wine at this point? Absolutely not. But the glasses served their purpose, allowing me to get the pretty cool shots you see here.
Six Wineries in 1.5 Days....That's a wrap!
Whew! We did good. We had great weather, great wine, and great company. Overall verdict - I would go back to Paso Robles in a heartbeat! For now, I'm taking a teeny tiny break from wine lol. Hope you all enjoyed this post, and comment below if you've been and want to share your experiences, have questions, or just want to say hi!
Keep doing it for kicks! - Kristin
This was SUCH a fun concept to come up with because a) who doesn't love buying an awesome pair of shoes, and b) who doesn't love justifying them with SEVEN different outfits??
Let me introduce you to the shoe, so appropriately named the Huntington Middie. It's casual, it's clean, and quite frankly it turns heads. Which is why I call it my game-changer shoe. But, GET THIS. As is the mission of everything Suits & Sneaks, I've taken this shoe and dressed it up for you to wear to WORK, to HAPPY HOUR, and yes, to simply #KEEPITCASUAL on the weekends.
So let's dive into this amazingly comfortable pair of sneaks (which include plush insoles btw!), styled SEVEN different ways for each day of your week. Here we go!
When All You Want Is Comfort.
When you wake up late, still feeling full and groggy from the weekend, and for the love of God just want to feel comfortable for the next 8 hours of your day....This is the outfit for you.
Offset Casual With a Dose of Glam
For the Perfect Polished Casual Look.
Offset the casualness and comfort of these pants and sneaks with a tan blazer. And, bedazzle yourself in pearls. You've heard me say this a million times: Offsetting is the way to go for that refined, polished casual look.
You made it through Monday looking good, and if your coworkers had some sort of decency, they saved those important meetings for Tuesday. Here's where you dress up your look with the easiest, most professional color out there - Black.
BUT, don't be boring and wear black shoes. That doesn't interest anyone.
Instead, look like you've got style sense by changing up the shoe color with your black pants and blazer. Sit down status-quo dressers. Game-Changer just walked into the room.
Halfway through the week and starting to tire out? Simply take it down a notch with a warm, comfy sweater and this soft, muted pink scarf. Next, offset the comfort on top with some dark fitted jeans or even a pencil skirt on bottom!
Work + Happy Hour
A popular happy hour day, they say. You definitely don't want to dress like a boring professional cause you're likely to hit up the bar scene after work. You also don't want to walk into the office LOOKING like you're hitting up the bar scene after work. #AMIRIGHT?
Why Limit Happiness to One Hour
When You Feel This Good.
Here's a happy medium that's fun, but smart enough for the office. And if jean jackets are more so meant for Friday, just switch this jacket out for a cute fitted blazer! Hello Polished Casual.
Jean Jacket Approved.
Ahhh, the day where the jean jacket IS allowed. Grab those comfy pants from Monday and just swap out the top! Here you could go with a neutral shirt, or get a little ballsy with a graphic tee under your jacket or blazer. Just don't forget the accessories with this look.
They Will Polish You Off.
While your threads are totes casual, you want to offset them with some accessories, like the bandanna scarf I've done here. Or how about fun jewelry like a wooden watch?? No matter how casual you go, accessories and jackets will always polish you off.
Sleep In Like A Boss.
I absolutely LOVE these Middies with shorts. And here's where I stress how dang COMFORTABLE these shoes are. I never even got blisters from wearing them brand new! Take it from the girl with the foot injury that put her in sneaks in the first place. These shoes are SO EASY to wear while you're running around.
You Could Walk Miles In These Kicks.
The long cardigan takes the look up a notch. It also covers the top half of your thighs if you're feeling a little subconscious about them. Like in this case, I would've preferred tanner legs lol. Florida girl problems.
Brunching + Shopping
A day meant for rest that's quite often supplemented with shopping or brunching. Pair your Middies with a soft, floral shirt. Top it off with a neutral, fitted blazer, and bam! You're ready to walk in the door of any occasion.
She Rushed Out the Door and STILL Looked Styled.
My favorite part about this look are the sneakers and the blazer. Because the combo simply screams: This girl quickly ran out the door and STILL managed to look styled! Can we say #GOALS??
Shop The Look:
Get the Sneaks: Seavees Huntington Middies
Speaking of occasion, today was a special day! I mean WOW. What a post! You just got SEVEN different outfit ideas! And all laid out for you with just ONE pair of sneaks!!!
I hope you all enjoyed browsing through the pictures and outfit inspiration to pair up with your new Middies! Click the signup or subscribe button and I'll send you an easy-access style card with all the deets!
And allow me to give mad props to my photographer Nick Pecori who took all of the beautiful pictures you see in this post. Comment below with what you think!
Ah, the dreaded cover letter. I’m not going to use this post to defend or debate one. But what I AM going to tell you is that if you spent the time writing one, it could very easily get overlooked. EVEN if the company required it. Why is that?
Take note of this very important detail:
When you apply through a jobsite and are asked to upload your resume and cover letter, are you uploading two separate files, or one file that includes both documents?
Here’s what happens in the company’s recruiting system when you upload two separate files. First, you and 100 other people applied to this job, meaning there could very easily be 200 files for the recruiter to open and read through. Chances are the recruiter is going to go straight to the resume since that’s been the standard way to represent oneself.
Then, the recruiter may or may not also open, read, and save your cover letter to their files. And even if they do, your cover letter might not get submitted to the hiring manager with the resume. Inadvertently, due to the sheer volume of files.
If you wrote a kickass cover letter straight from your heart, then make sure you do this one simple thing:
Save your cover letter and resume into ONE pdf file and title it, “[your name] Resume & Cover Letter”. In that order. Then, in the pdf file, make page 1 your cover letter and page 2 your resume.
Ok, but that’s flip-flopped, you say. Yes. Intentionally.
First, the recruiter’s eyes will automatically be drawn to the filename's first word, “Resume.” That’s what they really want to see. Then, upon opening the file, the recruiter’s eyes will go to page one, which happens to be your cover letter. This will force them to at least take a glance through your letter while they scroll through to page two, your resume.
What if the company requires two separate file uploads on the application site? Still, do the above. Merge both cover letter and resume into one file like I advised above, then upload into the "Resume" upload box. Then upload your cover letter into the "Cover Letter" upload box, if this is required. So your cover letter is in theory uploaded twice? Big deal. Doing this will guarantee that both documents you worked so hard on will make their way through the recruiter’s review AND the hiring team's review, no matter what.
Give it a try, you’ve got nothing to lose!
WHAT. IS. UP. Y'ALLLL! I am coming at you HOT in this blog post. Why?? Because I feel ENERGIZED. I feel HAPPY. I feel FULFILLED. I feel SUCCESSFUL. And I'm seriously so stoked about the decision I recently made that I REALLY want to share it with you in hopes it can be of help to you in your own life.
Ok so, what happened?
Well, after 10 years of working in corporate audit, I decided to make a massive career shift into corporate recruiting. How nutso is that?? I'm going from being an auditor to, like, almost a sales person. Total opposites right??
What was I thinking?
For starters, I was TOTALLY thinking. In fact, I was thinking a LOT. Probably too much. For months and months, I had dissected and analyzed my options, my resume, my LinkedIn job prospects. Every. Which. Way. Till. Tuesday.
I thought so much I couldn't think anymore. I took personality quizzes. I listened to podcasts. I got other people's opinions. But yikes, I invested 10 years of my life into being a CPA, so I was terrified that I'd be throwing it all away! What would recruiters think of me if I suddenly left my career progression for something totally different? Would they still contact me? Would I still look competitive in case I needed to default back to accounting one day?
Then a voice inside my head shouted...
Stop focusing on your contingency plan and for God's sake, just do what you were put on this earth to do!
Uhhh, yup. Makes sense, voice. I'm pretty sure I wasn't put on this earth to be an auditor forever. Ok, I'm positive of that. But I have bills to pay, and medical insurance is everything! So how do I get from where I'm at, to where I'm supposed to be? This next question was the start to how I answered it all...
A colleague recently asked me, what's the one thing you dream of doing in your career?
My response was, "I want to get in front of 1,000 people and Steve Jobs the shit out of a stage." Ok, whoa. Would you believe that for the first 80% of my life I was incredibly shy?? Like, hide in the bathrooms during lunch, shy. And now I want to Steve Jobs the shit out of a stage?? Pshh, yeah. Why?? Cause I so badly LOVE making a positive influence on people. Especially when it comes to finding fulfillment in their careers.
So let's connect the dots...
First, a disclaimer. It took WAY longer for me to figure this all out than the five minutes it's taking you to read this post. I'm going to spare you from all that noise, and just cut to the chase to give you this piece of advice: Don't let the KNOWN of your COMFORT ZONE distract you from where you're trying to be. Yes, I just originated that quote. And it's true. So where do you start?
Identify your dream job, or a dream milestone, then start to work backwards.
If you start where you're at now, you will stress yourself out trying to get from your known "present" to something you haven't even experienced yet. Simply said, if you want to live your dream life, then you better start focusing on your dream job! But don't panic. That's why I put this Roadmap exercise together for you. This is the last thing I did that finally cleared the skies for me. So grab paper, a pencil, an adult beverage if you so wish, and get to it! And don't forget to comment below to let me know how it goes!
I’ve never officially coined myself as such, but it was the two words that came to my mind when I thought about the history of my style. I did an Urban Dictionary check just to be sure (total sarcasm people, but for kicks, see below):
"Guy’s girl: That girl who can just chill and be one of the guys. She’s into sports, beer, action flicks, and doesn’t give a damn what others think. However, unlike the tomboy, she has her gang of girl mates who she shops with and does girly stuff." (Source: Urbandictionary.com)
So yeah, I guess you could say this describes me. And anyone who’s known me throughout my life would probably agree: A guy’s girl.
The guys of my youth:
Maybe it’s cause I was the first-born and my dad and I were (still are) super close. My dad helped me out with everything, from homework to coaching me in softball for years, to perfecting my volleyball serves, to somehow getting the message across when my skirts were too short.
My cousin Brian lived next door to me on one side, and on the other side of my house were two boys also my age, Keith and Craig. So we all grew up together, playing mostly non-girly games. You could probably label me as a tomboy in my youth. I definitely rocked the backwards hat for longer than I’d like to admit. But that’s what my inner circle wore. Don’t get me wrong though, I still had what seemed like the largest Barbie collection in the world. And yes, I thought Ken was hot AF. But sitting right next to the Barbie bin was a bin of Legos, and right next to the Legos, a bin of cars. I really was into just about everything.
Anyways I guess with all of that, I just took a liking to chillin’ with the boys. I think cause it was just that, chill. I showed up to hang out and play games as I felt best myself. I never really worried about having to win guys over with my appearance because they all liked hanging out with me for my personality. I think? (c’mon, we were like 8 years old).
Once I hit the teenage years, my parents might argue I was anything BUT chill, but whatever that’s called hormones. And yes, I still crushed on the cute guys in school. So at this point my parents (poor dad) had their hands full because I basically always had a boyfriend. I couldn’t help it, I just liked hanging out with the guys! I liked what they talked about. They talked about ACTUAL STUFF, rather than gossiped about each other. Actual stuff was way more interesting to me. And I’m not stereotyping girls NOW, I’m merely telling you what I actually experienced BACK THEN. 20+ years ago.
I joined a sorority in college. Three months of that was all I could take. I made some amazing friends through it, who were very much guy’s girls like myself. And basically, we just enjoyed hanging out at the frat houses drinking beer and playing games with the guys. That didn’t sit well with the more senior sorority girls as you could imagine. Things started to suck, people were mean, and I asked myself, why would I want to spend my free time in such mental state? So I quit, and then I could hang out with my frat guy friends as much as I wanted. Bye Felicia.
The last two years in college I lived with my two best girl friends, on a floor of otherwise guys. The guys were our “bros”, and we, although girls, were their “bros”. Again, one giant group of friends that just enjoyed watching football and drinking beer together. We wore some makeup. I’d say we were attractive. But we just enjoyed hanging with the guys. Nothing more. We still call each other “Bro” to this day by the way.
So my style today has been what it always has been, 100% me and however I’m feeling at the time. I’ve never condoned wearing something outside of my comfort zone solely to solicit a response from someone else. Though sometimes you just have to do it in the working world (i.e. wear a suit to an interview, please). But such is the premise of Suits & Sneaks. I prefer to feel myself and wear what I’ve got. I can polish things off where needed, but otherwise I’m using my confidence in dressing as the real me, to make wearing jeans, sneaks, and a hat look cute.
If the whole “polish off your look” part leaves you feeling a little clueless, well that’s what I’m here for, so holler at me anytime. And definitely subscribe and follow me on Instagram. I give lots of examples on how to effortlessly spruce up your sweats, ripped jeans and then some. But more than anything, let your confidence come from within. Be proud of who you are now, where you came from, and the direction you want to take. A light on the inside can almost always be seen on the outside.
Here's a teeny tiny teaser clip on how I styled a white blazer with jeans and pink sneakers! Be sure to subscribe to my Suits & Sneaks YouTube Channel where I'll be pumping out tons more Suits & Sneaks outfit ideas! Enjoy!
I’ve heard it many times, “There is nothing greater than being a mom.” While I’m not one myself, I’m awed by the fact that every time I hear this, I’m watching the words come out of a somewhat exhausted-looking woman’s mouth. I can tell that underlying those words are hours, days, and years of worry, sleepless nights, and money hard spent. And I can’t find any other way to describe witnessing motherhood as witnessing a life of complete selflessness. While these two words can’t ever truly portray that amount of gratitude I have in my heart, I want to say to my own mom, thank you.
Mother’s Day is around the corner and chances are your mom, or your wife, to this day continues to run around the house, checking off her to-do lists, cleaning up after your family, cooking you dinner, and transporting your kids. Basically, everything you somehow never remember to do, yet she always does. Because Mom always knows the time and when to be where...
I came across a totally unique Mother’s Day gift idea to share with you.
Have you ever seen a wooden watch?
Now when it comes to shopping, I am one who tends to venture off the beaten path. If the rest of the world has it, I don’t want it. So as you can imagine, when I came across such a unique watch I didn’t think twice about getting one.
If you’re shopping for Mom, here is a link to the women’s watches. Or, if you’ve already fallen in love with the glowing mint-faced watch in this post, here is the link to this specific mint-faced watch.
Now that I own one, I can tell you what I love about it:
1. Shipping is free and mine arrived in two days!
2. The packaging makes for the perfect gift.
I opened the packaging to find this beautiful wooden keepsake box. Spend some time looking at this box because you’ll even see it has a little hidden drawer. Perhaps, the perfect place to store your most treasured rings or earrings.
3. The wood color on these watches is beautiful and so different than the typical metal watches.
And when you finally get past the packaging, you’ll notice your brand new watch resting on its little JORD pillow.
4. Because it’s wood, it’s lightweight.
Which means there’s no sweat piling up between your skin and the watch.
5. The face color options they have are so springtime and beautiful.
All of the models and colors for women can be found here.
And GUYS, men's models and colors can be found here
BONUS: Best of all, the company, JORD Watches, will engrave the watch for you. Honestly, could this timing be any more perfect for Mother’s Day?
If any moms are reading this, I wish you all a Happy Mother’s Day. Whether your kids are with you or far, know that your time is cherished and you are so greatly loved.
Thinking about a Grad Gift or Father's Day surprise? Follow @suits.and.sneaks on Instagram where I'm giving away $100 for a JORD Watch on 5/21/17!
You guys. I'm not even exaggerating when I tell you I wore this outfit to work today and got compliments ALL DAY LONG. They went a little something like this:
1. Nice job on the outfit!
2. You look so bright!
3. Omg, that is so springy and summery!
4. That is a total springtime color, I love it.
5. Omg even your shoes match!
6. I just love that color it makes me smile.
7. Wow I've seen you twice today, I can't believe I've never met you prior!
See what good outfits can do you?? Can we say #makeyoumemorable?? I mean gosh, who wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of such love every day? And while at work!
As such, get ready for an explosion of turquoise on my Instagram feed. In the meantime, get in on the color pop! I put together my some of my favorite turquoise dresses and sneaks for you ladies below! A separate makeup and accessories post will follow. And guys, I have a whole separate post for you hitting suitsandsneaks.com right after this one. Happy shopping!
Meet Turquoise Chuck:
My Favorite Turquoise Dresses
2017 is here and it’s time to finally bite the bullet and make that career change, right? You know, the job you really should be in. That career you deserve to have. At some point you determined that quitting your job cold turkey and starting over in a field you love would be the answer to your professional frustrations. It certainly could be. Yet, you’ve kicked yourself every day since for not actually doing it.
But maybe, for good reason, you just can’t change the job situation you’re in right now. And you know what? That’s ok. So here’s how you can find happiness and fulfillment in the job you already have. Identify your frustrations, then change your mindset. Let’s walk through some common examples together:
Frustration: My personality and passions don’t fit this job.
Mindset change: This actually makes me better than my coworkers at certain things.
These differences in your characteristics and traits are what make you unique, so list out creative ways your differences could benefit your company. For example, I am a corporate auditor. Yet, I love to design things and write influential articles. So I asked my boss if he had any side projects that might put my passions to use. He had me redesign a presentation for senior leadership and update our job postings to be more appealing to the millennial generation. While my fellow auditors might’ve cringed at these projects, it came easy to me. And major bonus, my boss loved it. So you see, you have a unique opportunity to really shine when your differences can be put to use.
Frustration: Professional attire just isn’t my thing.
Mindset change: I’ll take my personal style and make a brand for myself.
Start wearing your favorite clothing item 1-2 times a week, then balance it with what’s considered more typical attire for your office. For example, I love cute sneakers but I work in a corporate setting. When I wear sneakers, I make sure they look damn good, and then I offset their casualness with a blazer for professionalism. It’s all about balance. I have an entire article on how to pull this off on my website. Eventually people will pick up on your new style with enthusiasm. Not everyone will prefer it for themselves, but they’ll fall in love with your confidence. And that means the real you can now shine through during your workday. How awesome is that?
Frustration: I tried, but the opportunity just isn’t there for me to do what I really want to do.
Mindset change: Make a game out of your day job and devote one hour each night to your passions.
When all else fails, you might just have to lose the expectation that you’ll be passionate about your current day job. So make a game out of it to get you through the day. Have a speed contest with yourself each week to get you through the work faster. Or, for each of your job responsibilities, write out one thing you’d do differently if it were up to you. Figure out a way to put a different spin to your work so that you can at least get it done on time and exercise your brain in a new way.
Now for the important part. Devote one hour each night simply to do what you’re really passionate about doing. For example, I started writing at night over two years ago. I placed no expectations on myself other than to spill my thoughts onto paper as I ate dinner each night. This did two things for me: 1) It was a healthy outlet for my frustrations, and 2) After two years of doing it, I got really good at it. And look, here I am writing to you today.
To sum it all up, you ultimately got hired because of who YOU are. So don’t ever change. A business cannot sustainably thrive on one set of personalities and skills. So find creative opportunities for your differences and offer them up to your leaders. Because guess what? If nobody else has the skills you have, then that automatically makes you the best at them.
So you’re one of the lucky ones who got hired into an office casual workplace. Your brilliant HR department recognizes that productivity, creativity, and innovativeness can be directly correlated with comfort. I mean let’s be real here, how can you think freely when you’re being choked by your necktie or trying to sit still to avoid wrinkles? Ladies, how can you run down the halls cranking out work when you run the risk of tripping over your heels? So much for efficiency.
But now you can breathe a sigh of relief. Those days are behind you. No more ironing or dry cleaning. You get to wake up and throw on whatever the heck you feel like and waltz into work straight up Zuckerburg style. You’re ready to innovate, produce, and speak freely in your white tee and jeans. Your productivity has soared. You feel like a gazelle flying through the Sahara. Nothing is stopping you now. At least nothing YOU seem to notice. But not so fast speed racer.
Let’s face it. Work clothes are annoying. They’re expensive, and they put many of us in a bad mood even before we put them on. But I think we can acknowledge that, when worn correctly, they make a good employee look really good. A serious employee look seriously driven. An all-talk employee look, well, believable. Basically, work clothes make a worker look legit. Put someone like that next to the t-shirt and jeans guy and let the stereotype answer the question for you – Mr. Suit-and-Tie surely has to be the other guy’s boss, right? Not necessarily. But you must realize, perception is everything. And whether you like it or not, a HUGE part of one’s upward movement in a company, no matter the size, industry, or location, is based largely on the element of perception. Perception of your work ethic, your accessibility to others, your willingness to help, and, wait for it, your appearance. And guess which one is recognized by most people first? Ding, ding, ding! First impressions are everything, right? This still holds true in an “office casual” setting, yet this logic often gets thrown out the window with the dry cleaning bag full of no-longer-needed white collar shirts.
So let me introduce you to a concept I like to call, “polished casual.” This is my inspiration, my passion, my main purpose behind creating Suits & Sneaks. You can dress as casually as you want, exactly to your personality, and still look driven, passionate, and promotable. So, some tips:
Rock the Suits and Sneaks look (obviously): I’m not even kidding, blazers are the godsend to the office casual phenomenon. And yes, I know they can get hot, but listen here, if I can sport this attire in Tampa, Florida’s 100 degree, 98% humidity months, then y’all can too. The look here is to be yourself, with an added layer of professionalism (blazer), offset with an added layer of hip (sneaks). Contrary to the full business professional attire, you’ll rock the same fashionable look while appearing as if you didn’t even try. [suddenly singing Beyonce’s “I woke up like this” song…] I can’t even tell you how many times people have stopped me and said, “I love the Chucks,” or, “You’re rockin’ that outfit, nicely done!” So find a few good fitted blazers or jackets, pair with some hip, casual sneakers, then get ready to rock.
Wear the right balance of fit vs. comfort: Obviously fitted clothes will always look better than baggier clothes. But, you can totally mix both! Gentlemen – Wear that comfy t-shirt with an added sport coat on top. Add fitted jeans, and finish off with some spankin’ new casual kicks. I can’t speak for all women, but for those who share my style, gentlemen - you will look HOT (again, that Beyonce song is in my head). Ladies – there are some awesome linen pant styles out now that finish off fitted at the ankles. Tuck a loose fitting shirt into these, add a scarf, pull your hair back, finish off with fashionista sunglasses, and voila! You’re totally comfortable, yet look like you stepped right out of a Pinterest board. Which leads me to my next tip...
Accessorize! Guys and girls both. Guys – you can do this by rocking all different watches, belts, ties, and shoes. Girls – Scarves are the easiest, most manageable, versatile, cost effective accessory you could buy. Check out some of our favorites on our Shop page. Accessories will instantly dress up your I-rolled-out-of-bed-and-threw-on-what-I-had look.
Carry a trendy laptop bag. This is getting easier as more purse-laptop bag hybrid styles are hitting the market. Buy a few different colors so you can swap them out with your outfits then get ready to rock your new arm candy. See some of the styles we picked out on our Shop page.
Look crisp. This is all about ensuring you look polished in your comfy clothes. So give them a good starch and iron before wearing them. Don’t come to work in wrinkly, casual clothes. That is when you look like you don’t care.
And finally, be yourself! Dress to your personality. Make your base truly reflective of you and use some of the above tips to simply polish off your look. Then, go into work feeling fabulous in your body, because your outer shell better reflects the inner you. And to have a feeling as fabulous as that during your 9 to 5 workday is truly rewarding.
So you get the concept but need some inspiration ideas? You came to the right site my friends, because this is what I love to do. Follow Suits & Sneaks on social media and check out new outfit inspirations weekly! Want to contribute your inspirations to Suits & Sneaks? Go ahead and tag us on social media or submit your best kicks here.
Subscribe here for weekly fashion ideas delivered right to you.
While the name “Suits and Sneaks” speaks for itself, I wanted to take a quick moment and share with you why the “Suits” part is so key to your polished causal wardrobe. Guys and girls, read on for the top four things simply wearing a jacket can do for you.
1. You can wear whatever style you want underneath.
I love when I see professional on the outside and then something so stylish, trendy, or heck, even downright funny underneath it. It shows the world that you can be professional and have a totally kick-ass personality shining through at the same time.
2. It shapes you where it counts.
Ladies, the blazer tucks you in on both the waist and chest lines so you can walk into work with clean edges. Guys, if you’re looking for size, the jacket gives you the broad shoulders and chest you’ve been working towards (with no extra reps needed). And just as the ladies benefit, it also polishes off your waist line by hiding that little bit of extra you might be carrying.
3. It hides wrinkly or sloppy shirts.
Even if your shirts are perfectly pressed in the morning, they’re going to soften up and wrinkle as the day goes on. The jacket however, being the heavier material it is, will stand strong for you, keeping you crisp looking and sharp for the entire day.
4. It shows you care.
Throwing a nice, fitted jacket on top of your outfit is the easiest way to one-up your level of professionalism without actually having to do any extra work. It gives you an added layer of clout, of stature, and it simply polishes you off.
So hold up your jacket my friends, give it a great big smile and say, “Jacket, you complete me.” Because that’s exactly the look it’s giving you, one of polished completion. Be sure to check out some of my favorite styles I picked out below. And of course, follow @suits.and.sneaks on Instagram for your dose of daily Suits & Sneaks fashion posts.
Jackets for the Gals:
Jackets for the Guys:
Suits & Sneaks recognizes that sometimes the weather could be a little better, and when moments like that strike, one must save the sneaker from the elements and don the next best thing: The Chooka Boot.
To start, the brand name itself is just adorable. But you really haven't seen adorable yet until you've browsed through their collection. It's large, and it's versatile. So we took it upon ourselves to pick out our favorites and share them with you here.
For the Trendsetter Who Screams "Look at My Baby Blues" :
For the Timeless Designer Who Loves a Gray Slate:
For the Plaid Lover:
The Horse Rider:
And For the Love of Dots & Designs:
These are the easiest gifts for any girl on your list. May you send her Chooka & Cheer!
~Kristin, Suits & Sneaks