Some great tips on dressing professionally!

PR and Political Communication Commentary

Next up in my series “Avoiding employment” — professional clothing. We’ll talk through fashion faux paus (I’ll even dish out one of my own — yikes!), what clothes are essential, and how to find professional clothing on a budget.

Get the essentials.
It’s no surprise that professional clothing can be expensive. It’s pretty common for a nice tailored blazer to have a price tag of $80 or more. When you’re working on a tiny salary (or no salary at all if you’re doing an internship for credit), $80 isn’t going to fly. Trust me, I was there — I know. However, I learned what I should spend my money on and what I could save some. Here’s a basic list of what you need (for ladies):

  1. A neutral colored suit (black, gray, navy) — Yes, it’s going to be expensive, but this is one thing you can’t go without. In…

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Social media explained….. through a donut

I came across this while browsing blogs today and I thought it was absolutely hilarious.  Sadly, each point on this board is completely, 100% accurate.

It seems that every time I look through my social networks, there are countless uploads of the food my friends and followers are eating at that very moment. Social media today causes us to upload and share every aspect of our life on multiple platforms.

Lately I have been thinking about what effect our uploading has on various products and companies. Whether it be positive to negative, we are spreading brand awareness for a given company with the click of a button. Word of mouth is now able to travel much more quickly and easily.

Take for instance the recent Chick Fil A scandal. Before I was able to actually read a credible article about this situation, my Facebook and Twitter feeds were flooded with posts containing friends opinions on the situation. Negative word of mouth was rapidly spreading about Chick Fil A from sources who really didn’t know 100% what was going on!

In my opinion, social media is a blessing AND a nightmare for PR peeps. It’s an awesome tool to utilize for your benefit, but in  negative situations it can cause extreme havoc.

***This blog posts is solely my opinion and it not based on facts.

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Smoothies: The lazy girl meal

I will be the first to admit that I am not the most domestic woman out there. Spending hours in the kitchen preparing a homemade meal has just never been in the cards for me.

Even though I am not much of a cook, I enjoy eating healthy. One of my favorite snacks/small meals are smoothies! They are fast, easy, and if made with the right ingredients, they provide you with many essential nutrients in one easy meal.

I’ve found that using frozen fruit as a key ingredient in smoothies works best. They eliminate the need to use ice, therefore making the smoothie much more flavorful. Frozen fruits also do not perish, so you don’t have to worry about buying a ton of fresh fruit that is just going to go bad quickly. I do like throwing in a fresh banana when I have one available.

Many fruit juices are filled with sugars and contain very little actual fruit juice. My favorite juice to use is Diet V8 Splash. This juice provides you a full serving of fruits and veggies in each glass! In my opinion, it is one of the healthiest juices on the market. I have recently also started buying Silk Fruit and Protein in mango peach. This juice mixture contains protein, calcium, and fruit juice. It will also make a much more creamier smoothie.

If I’m not using Silk Fruit and Protein, I usually will throw in a serving of yogurt to give me a source of calcium and protein.

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My typical smoothie recipe:

–       Frozen mango

–       Frozen pineapple

–       One banana

–       Diet mango peach V8 Splash

–       One yogurt serving

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I use a Hamilton Brach single serve blender. It’s the perfect size for one serving and the container is easy to take with you on the go if you are in a rush.

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I have found that smoothies are great for a nutritious breakfast or a light mid-day snack for those of us who are not quite Betty Crocker 😉

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Yummy!

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July 23, 2012 · 12:56 pm

P&G “Thank you mom” Campaign

I have always admired Proctor and Gambles advertising and public relations campaigns. They have been shown as examples of how to design and execute a good campaign in many of my advertising, public relations, and marketing classes. I personally am a fan because they are always heart warming and are able to key in on the emotional appeal of their target audience.

P&G has always been “a proud sponsor of moms”. During the 2012 summer olympic season, they are launching their biggest campaign yet, “Thank you mom”. This campaign celebrates moms of athletes and mothers everywhere. P&G will be running many television and radio ads (the most recent seen above) honoring mothers. They will be raising $5 million dollars for organizations and foundations that support local sports programs. P&G will also help send  Olympian mothers to London to support their athletes!

Now I know that this campaign was originally launched in April, but the most recent commercial really caught my attention and prompted me  to want to do a little write up about it. In my opinion, this campaign is the perfect example as to how advertising and public relations can team up and work wonders!

The official press release for this campaign can be found here: Proctor and Gamble

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High heels: The price of beauty

When walking in heels….

We all aspire to look like this:

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When in reality, we most likely look like this…

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WHOOPS!

Being a total of 5’1, I am all about sky high heels. Wearing heels puts me at about the same height as most of my girlfriends. If we’re getting ready and everyone else decides to wear heels, you better believe I am required to wear them as well or I look like a little tag along 12 year old child.

As much as I love the looks of high pumps, I absolutely hate the aching feeling that comes half way through the night. I also hate the awkward walk that comes along with this pain.

I’m not going to lie, I once face planted in the middle of a bar while wearing my highest heels. It was embarrassing, and as depressing as it is, I to this day have never worn those heels again.

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I decided to do a little research on how to make heels a little more comfortable and wearable. 

–       Apparently having strong legs will make wearing heels more comfortable. Having strong calves will allow you to wear heels longer with less pain. Try doing some toe raises.

–       Make sure you are wearing the correct size

–       Practice walking in your new shoes. This will break them in and also help you get a feel for them before you are out in public. Scuffing up the bottoms will help them become less slippery.

–       To help with slippery-ness you can also put some duct tape on the bottom.

–       Invest in some cushions or insoles to stick in your heels. This will help take pressure off.

–       And whatever you do… DO NOT TAKE YOUR HEELS OFF WHILE OUT! Your feet will swell and the heels will be about 20x more uncomfortable than before you took them off.

If stilettos aren’t your thing, try investing in a pair of wedges. Wedges are cute, casual, and much more comfortable and easier to maneuver than heels.

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July 8, 2012 · 8:40 pm

College Girls and Their Planners

I don’t know if this is a normal thing or not, but my girlfriends and I literally OBSESS over our planners. During the school year we love writing all our assignments and dates in them with pretty colored pens. Over summer we spend hours discussing what kind of planner we should get for the upcoming year. These planners will be with us a whole entire year, so this is a huge commitment… right….?

Deciding what kind of planner we will be getting has pretty much been the basis of our summer. There are so many different options that have so much to offer!

Here are a few of the planners that we have been scouting:

1. Lilly Pulitzer Agenda – $26

Lilly Pulitzer agendas are great because they offer many differ style options at a reasonable price. They are all colorful and fun!

Some of the features of a Lilly agenda:

  • 17 month calendar (August 2012- December 2013)
  • Weekly and monthly calendar pages
  • A sheet of STICKERS! Perfect for marking important dates
  • A generous amount of notes pages
  • Dates to remember and contacts pages
I had this agenda last year. I loved it because it had plenty of space for writing anything and everything that I could possibly want to write.

Where to buy: http://www.lillypulitzer.com  I have also seem them in many boutiques.

2. Erin Condren Life Planner – $50

This planner is a little more pricey, but it is personalized! There are many designs to choose from and each one includes your name or initials or whatever you would like on the front cover. There are even options (for a little extra mula $$) that allow you to include pictures on the cover!

Some of the Erin Condren Life Planner features:

  • PERSONALIZED!
  • Weekly/monthly pages
  • “Keep it together” pouch in the back (aka storage for miscellaneous papers, important notes, etc.)
  • Morning, day, evening slots in the weekly spreads (I absolutely LOVE this option because it helps to organize your day a little better!)
  • Stickers
  • Goals and to do lists on each monthly spread
  • Important dates calendar

For an additional cost, you can also add photo stickers with whatever pictures you would like.

Where to buy : http://www.erincondren.com/store/

I’m not positive but since this is personalized, I would guess this is the only place these are available.

I have recently ordered the Erin Condren Life Planner in cheetah print and am patiently waiting its arrival (which means I stalk my tracking number multiple times a day)

These are just two of the planners I have heard girlfriends talking about. I know Vera Bradley, Coach, and Kate Spade are also known to make cute and functional planners, so those might also be options to consider if you are in the market for a new planner.

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Social Media Suicide

We all have that one friend. The one that posts pictures of herself doing beer funnels off a two story building. The one who uploads 234879 pictures with a million different guys a night trying to make her ex jealous. The one who posts her drunken escapades on every single social networking site known to mankind. The one who tweets, “OMG SOO DRUNK RIGHT NOW”. Like omg, don’t you know everyone and their mother can see this information that you so generously put out there for them?!

Now a days social media sites can pretty much make or break you, especially if you planning on entering fields that use these regularly such as public relations, marketing, and advertising.

I don’t think students realize that your future boss or internship employer most likely use every social media site that you do. And they most likely will check out your pages before giving you a job. The job market has become so competitive. If a position comes down to you and another potential employee, the employer will most likely check out your social media and compare the two of you!

Consider this. You are applying to your dream job. You’ve made it all the way to the final interview process. It is now between you and just one other person. You and this other person have equivalent resumes. You both graduated at the top of your class and have outstanding campus involvement. The only thing the company has to make the decision between the two of you is your social media sites. They click on your competition first. His profile picture is of him and his dog on a hike in the mountains. Yours is of you taking shots with your friends. Based on this first impression, who do you think is going to get this job?

Now I know a lot of people say “Oh my profile is on private. No one can see what I post!” There are so many ways around this. There are many programs out there that companies can use to see your profile. If you have a mutual friend, they can also use the more simpler approach and just ask if they will let them log on and see your profile.

I could literally go on about this forever. But I will spare you that misery. Moral of the story is- be careful what you are posting on social media sites! They are not as private as you think and once you put something out there, it is out there forever. What you post now could easily hurt your future career.

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June 27, 2012 · 7:27 pm

Greek life in college: Do or don’t?

There are many controversial views of Greek life in college. Those who are involved with the Greek community on campus have nothing but positive things to say. However, the words sorority and fraternity generally tend to bring up a negative connotation to those who are not familiar with this particular college scene.

Before freshman orientation, I had never even considered Greek life. I had seen the show “Greek” and nothing about that scene appealed to me whatsoever. During my two days at orientation, I met a few girls who convinced me to give sorority recruitment a try. None of my high school friends were going to be attending UCF with me and I figured it would be a great way to meet some new people. I knew that if I didn’t end up liking the whole sorority thing I was under no pressure to finish the week, so I decided to give it a shot.

And I am so glad that I decided to try it out! After two years of involvement in the Greek community, I have absolutely no regrets about my decision to go Greek. Greek life isn’t all about the party life. In fact, these organizations are about much more than that. Being involved in a fraternity or sorority, there have many academic and professional advantages that most people do not consider when they think about typical college Greek life.

Greek organizations on campus set high GPA requirements that all members must meet. Statistics show that on average, college students who are involved in the Greek community have a higher GPA than those who are not. You are also able to easily connect with other students who are in your classes and majors. You almost always have a study buddy, which is always helpful when test time rolls around!

These organizations also offer many great leadership positions.  I am currently public relations chair for my chapter. I am getting some really great experience and it looks awesome on my resume!

Another aspect of Greek life that most people do not consider is the huge network you gain. Alumnus and sisters are always willing to help you out when you are job hunting. Having an alumni association can come in handy when you eventually relocate for a new job and are trying to connect with some new people. I actually got my very first internship through an older alumnus of my chapter!

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but if you are not familiar with the Greek community or as of now you have a negative opinion of it, I hope you will consider the benefits that go along with it too.

http://studentorgs.gwu.edu/greekspeak/extras/nationalstatistics/

^^ This website gives a few statistics pertaining to Greek members that I thought were kind of interesting.

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DIY Distressed High Waisted Shorts

For almost over a year now I have been wanting to make my own distressed denim shorts. I have bought multiple pairs of high waisted shorts from Forever 21, but they have never felt as authentic as the home made kind. Part of the reason I haven’t gotten around to making any is because I haven’t been able to find any “mom jeans” from Goodwill in my correct size. Guess none of our moms were size zero back in the day, huh?

I was rummaging around the local Goodwill the other day, and it was not a shock to me when I still couldn’t find a do-able pair in my small size. I was poking around in the larger section and a perfect pair caught my eye. I decided to give them a try. Can’t hurt right? To my surprise, they fit! Note: when making your own high waisted shorts from “mom jeans” don’t go by the size label on the tag. I ended up with a pair marked 7 sizes bigger than my normal size.

Today I am going to give you guys a little tutorial on how I made my own DIY shorts.

Step one: Get a pair of “mom jeans” from a local thrift shop. You can tell they are high waisted by the long crouch. They usually have a long zipper. Make sure the jeans aren’t made from stretchy material or they will be tight on your thighs once you cut them into shorts, not flattering!

Step two: Put your jeans on and mark with a pen where you want your shorts to end.


Step three: Take a ruler and measure one inch down from your previous mark.

Step four: Fold your jeans in half.

Step five: Gradually cut pieces off until you hit your second mark. This is to make sure you don’t make a mistake and accidentally cut too much off. You don’t want to accidentally make your shorts too short.

You now have shorts!

Next you can make them distressed however you chose. I chose to use a needle, sandpaper, and an X-Acto knife.

Once you are finished “distressing”, throw your shorts in the washer and dryer. This will help the fringes come out and give them their optimal look!

You can also add studs, fabrics, or anything else you would like to make them personalized! I am planning to stud the back pockets of mine with studs I ordered from eBay.

Good luck!

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Tackling the freshman fifteen

As we head off to college, we are all warned by our older peers of the dreaded “freshman fifteen”. We all secretly thought to ourselves, “I will NEVER be one of those girls who blows up like a balloon their freshman year!”  Wrong! The majority of us know how easy it was to fall victim to this infamous freshman fifteen.

I grew up in an extremely healthy family. We all played sports and going to the gym was part of our daily routine. My mom cooked us a health filled family dinner every night. We never under any circumstances ate fast food. Unfortunately for me, I never took the time to learn my mothers cooking skills while being home. So when I was sent out on my own and hunger time came, I went running for an easy meal- fast food. Eating fast food for a couple meals a week, adjusting to the new college lifestyle, and neglecting the gym quickly started to add up during my first year of college. I learned about the freshman fifteen the hard way. Luckily for you I am able to share some advice on how to tackle the freshman fifteen!

First off, I would highly recommend learning to cook early on. Sure, McDonald’s Happy Meal’s are cheap and easy, but is it really worth it? Not only is it absolutely disgusting to eat a McDonald’s sandwich five times a week, but do you know how bad those things are for you?! All fast food sandwiches are loaded with sodium and the majority of them contain trans fat- the worst fat for you! I don’t know what I was thinking eating this multiple times a week for almost a year, but boy am I glad those days are over.

I still have not exactly learned to cook. I have however learned about how to do a little thing called grocery shopping.  Just buying simple things such as cold cuts, fresh fruits, salad items, cereal, milk, yogurt, and other basic food items goes a very long way and gives you healthier options when hungry.

Being in college, it is inevitable that alcohol is going to be consumed at one point or another. What many college students don’t realize is that the majority of their freshman fifteen calories can come from alcohol. A 12 oz beer has an average of 149 calories, 1 oz of liquor an average of 65 calories, and a glass of wine an average of 75 calories. This doesn’t even include mixers, chasers, etc.  This can all start to add up very quickly. Drinking in moderation is not only better for your health in general, but it will also not cause weight gain due to alcohol.

Most importantly- EXERCISE! I don’t know how many times I have heard my girl friends talk about how they ditched the gym to go to a social event. Neglecting the gym is honestly one of the worst things you can do if you are not eating like you should. I know first hand that college schedules can be very demanding and its not always easy to find the time to exercise.  Sometimes you need to get a little creative in order to get your daily exercise in..

-Walk to class instead of take the shuttle. Campus is huge! Chances are you will get in a couple of miles a day if you walk everywhere. This all can really add up.

-Take the stairs instead of the elevator. This not only burns calories but works your gluteal muscles, hamstrings, quadriceps and calves.

-If you have plans to hang out with a girlfriend and you want to kill two birds with one stone, do an exercise class! Campus gyms offer tons of girl friendly exercise classes and they are a great way to meet new people.

It took some time, but I have surely learned my lessons. I haven’t touched fast food in over a year. I have made going to the gym a priority within my busy college schedule.  Of course, there are going to be times when you indulge on some fast food fries or go out with the girls instead of going on that run. But making an effort to stay healthy will benefit you in the long run. My advice to you: lay off the fast food, grocery shop, watch what you drink, and don’t forget to exercise. Not only will you look great but you’ll feel great too!

How did you avoid the freshman fifteen? Any tips on eating healthy in college?

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