Working in Retail

8:00 AM

Hi y'all,

Is working in retail worthless?

I'll be the first to say, that sometimes it feels that way. We often get paid too little, and often aren't given the respect we deserve (from both customers and our employers).

It's often easy to find a job in retail (they're one of the most frequently hiring businesses around). However, it is a lot harder to know if you'll keep your job. Often times, I've found that management is not open about your performance. Plus, some people aren't afraid to cut you from the schedule without any explanation (often it is simply because they don't like you).

While there are definitely childish and tasteless tactics being used, you can also have your bff or your next great recommendation as your manager. This has really only happened to me three times, with about 6 different managers, in the three stores I have worked for.

Depending on the type of store you're working for you're voice might not be heard. I found it much harder to work in a chain retail store compared to boutique retail. I will say that often times it depends on the owners in boutique retail in how much they listen. Not that anyone asked my opinion, but if I think it is wise to take advice and suggestions from the people who work on the sales floor every day.

I will say that if you don't have a servant's heart, working in retail will be very difficult. You're goal as a sales associate or a manger is to make sure the customer is pleased. This can sometimes be hard to do. Customers can be hard to get along with and sometimes even impossible to get along with. However, they can also be your best friend. But you definitely have to be okay with getting the customer what they need and sometimes talking to a brick wall.

Each company has a different structure (and if you move between stores, you might even find a different structure between stores). I have always found it hard to understand how a company functions when one store does something one way but others do it a different way.

It is also entirely too easy to spend your entire pay check at your place of work. Retail stores give their employees a discount (most don't disclose it to the public; however, some retailers are very open about it). Some even allow a certain number of employee "gift" purchases. I think setting a budget (which is something I need to work on) is important.

I will say that working in retail bettered my people skills (I'm still awkward, but  I make it work for me). It helped me become better at technology and explore a field I considered going into post college (I currently run the social media for my location of the store I work for). Working in retail helped me create new friendships. One of my friends I reconnected with (we had gone to preschool together and were admitted to the same college), but we really became friends after working together for almost a year in retail. It helped me create new friendships and encourage people to look at CNU and ADPi. It really is shocking how much colleges and greek life come up in conversations (then again, I live in a college town so maybe I shouldn't be so shocked). Working in retail taught me to value my goals and to make sure I am always working towards them. I think it is hard for some people to understand and I know a lot of retailers refuse to talk about goals outside of their store (because obviously their store is the only place you can work). I think it is important for people to understand their goals are valued and that they're supported (but again, no one asked me).

Working in retail taught me that I will definitely stick to my style. I can't say I've really ever branched out from it. Working in retail taught me that it is okay to believe what you do, and not everyone is going to value you at the rate you should be valued (whether monetarily or as a human being). It taught me to stand up for myself and that change can be for the best (I wouldn't almost be a teacher if I hadn't quit my last retail job). I value people more, and I am far more patient when shopping (that doesn't mean I won't get upset if the employees are simply not doing their job). I value my free time, and the nights and weekends I do get to spend at home.

I will never say working retail was a bad thing. It was never demoralizing or horrible (minus a few time periods where management was truly awful). Working in retail gave me many life lessons, and at the end of the day that means I don't have many regrets.

with southern grace,

Plan Perfectly with The Day Designer

8:00 AM

Hi y'all,

I absolutely love this planner. I cannot say enough good things about it.

I was a tried and true Lilly Pulitzer planner user before I found the one. Honestly, I think if I had known about the Day Designer in college, it would have been a game changer for me. In fact, I've used it throughout all of my teacher licensure program and I can say I feel much more organized and on top of things.

I felt like my Lilly Pulitzer planners left a lot to be desired as I became older and outgrew the whimsicalness of the planners (not that I don't love Lilly Pulitzer, just feel like I needed a more adult look for my planner).

I even took it with me last summer to visit my college roommate and brought it with me. She liked it, so I bought it for her as a gift, and she had already bought it for herself. Needless to say, I jumped on getting us both one again this year.

Last year, I had found out about the Day Designer right before the new ones by Blue Sky came out at Target. I hopped on it y'all.

Little did I know, I wasn't planning effectively. But, that all changed.

This was by far a great decision. I did buy an identical one for my roommate as well.

I have actually found the daily planning super helpful because my life changes daily.

This is what a monthly layout looks like in this planner:

And the daily layout:

This year, I bought one from a shop when the regular yearly planner went on sale.
I bought the Blue Tile print for myself and the Palms one for my college roommate.

The monthly layout is a little different in this one, and it did take some getting used to.

And the daily looks like this:

I think I like having lines in my planner on the monthly (like in the Blue Sky one). I also think I like having 30 minute blocks instead of just hourly.

I do like the fact there is the daily scheduler, and I cannot wait to use it as a teacher (again I think the 30 minute blocks would benefit me more as a teacher) versus as a student.

I definitely think I'll be sticking with the Day Designer though.

Have y'all tried the Day Designer? Other planners? What's your favorite?

with southern grace,

Let's Go Back to Real Relationships

8:00 AM

Hi y’all,

Tinder. Bumble. Farmer’s Only. You’ve seen the ads, you’ve heard your friends talk about them. You’ve probably even used them. 

So this might sound ridiculous, but what happened to the old fashioned days of dating?

I cannot tell you the amount of people who will tell me the only way to get a date is to either use an app or go to a bar and get drunk. 

Hello, seriously? Is there no other way to meet people?

I do know people who have successful relationships (and most likely would not have met otherwise) from either websites or Tinder. 

What really kills me more than anything else is “friends” won’t set up their male friends with a female friend. When I asked people why they wouldn’t do this, they said “I don’t want anyone to have to put up with that”. Why are you friends with them then? 

While I don’t think the most important thing in life is having a significant other (sign me up to be a puppy mom, please). I do think it is important to have good quality friendships and people who care about you. 

Now, I was never the popular kid in school (and I really wouldn’t change that fact). I learned how to be a friend with myself and I truly value the friendships I do have. However, finding a significant other has been tough. I have been able to put myself first, though. I have increased by education, decided what I actually wanted to do with my life, and am more financially stable than I thought I would be. I won’t apologize for who I am. I will most certainly continue to wear the same style of clothes, being willing to get my hands dirty at any time, and work toward my own personal goals. 

I’ve also noticed that when my friends and other people I know go on dates, their dates don’t treat them the old fashioned way. Doors aren’t held open. Heck, some don’t even come to the door to get their date. Instead, the cool thing to do is “hide” your relationship.

Bottom of the line: It’s not okay for you to feel awful about yourself because your date doesn’t treat you the right way. Instead, stand up for yourself. Believe me, this relationship won’t be your last.

with southern grace,

Packing for the Long Weekend

8:00 AM

Hi y'all,

Memorial Day Weekend is almost here, and I bet you that unlike me, you probably are going on an extended trip (I have to work on Saturday morning). 

While I’m sad that I have to cut my plans short, I thought I would give a few quick tips for packing for your long.

Packing for the Long Weekend

Pack Necessitates
Less technology is more
Duffle bag
Separate your jewelry

  1. Pack what you (realistically) need. I am for sure someone who over packs. I have found it super useful to lay out the outfits you plan on wearing. This way, you know exactly what you have and what else you need to pick out. This also means don’t pack a lot of makeup. Chances are you won’t need it.
  2. Bring sunscreen. This is something I almost always forget to bring, but should. Especially during big holiday weekends it can be hard to either find sunscreen or a hassle. 
  3. Don’t bring all your technology. Take a break and enjoy your weekend. You don’t need your laptop, iPad, phone, and iPod. Maybe, just you’re phone. But, don’t forget to put it down and remember your charger.
  4. Use a flexible suitcase. Instead of using one of those rolling hard suitcases all the time, use a duffle bag. This is a total game changer because you can put it in places in a car you can’t put a hard suitcases, and you can also pack a little bit more because it’s flexible.
  5. Pack jewelry in little bags. This sounds really silly, but if you’ve ever bought from Kendra Scott, you get a bag with each piece. Keep them! Use them to individually pack your jewelry pieces. It prevents tangling and keeps the jewelry cleaner.

with southern grace,

Summer Lovin'

8:00 AM

Hi Y'all,

While I don't anticipate making many posts like this one, I thought I would share some of the items I'm loving so far for summer. I do like doing these posts, but I typically end up making at least one purchase while I'm creating them (even with this one, I bought some stuff from J.Crew).

Linen Rayon Dolman Dress

with southern grace,

101 in 1001 Update

8:00 AM

Hi Y'all,
Since it's been a while since January when I started this list, I thought I would give it an update.

Start: January 1, 2017
End: September 29, 2019
  1. 1. Finish my teaching program
  2. 2. Student Teach
  3. 3. Get my teaching licensure
  4. 4. Get a teaching job/contract
  5. 5. Pass my tests to become a teacher
  6. 6. Attend a professional conference
  7. 7. Start my master's degree
  8. 8. Learn CPR 5.5.17
  9. 9. Set up a virtual file for Word Study
  10. 10. Copy some math handouts
  11. 11. Update my resume
  12. 12. Keep a journal during practicums  March-April 2017
  13. 13. Keep a journal during student teaching 
  14. 14. Become certified with Hootsuite
  1.  15. Save $5000
  2. 16. Get a puppy
  3. 17. Read 32 books (1 for each month)-total complete: 12
  4. 18. Take a trip
  5. 19. Attend my sorority's 5th year anniversary celebration
  6. 20. Unplug from technology for 24 hours
  7. 21. Workout every day for 30 days
  8. 22. Go back to London/UK
  9. 23. Move into my own apartment
  10. 24. Sell some of my old Lilly clothes/clothes I don't wear
  11. 25. Buy a new computer
  12. 26. Watch a full baseball game
  13. 27. Run a mile
  14. 28. Run 2 miles
  15. 29. Run a 5k (does not have to be a race)
  16. 30. Attend a polo match
  17. 31. Go apple picking
  18. 32. Go ice skating
  19. 33. Drink 70 oz. of water every day for a week 1.15.17
  20. 34. Buy nothing for 30 days Feb. 2017
  21. 35. Go on a hike
  22. 36. Blog 5 days a week for a month
  23. 37. Visit Charleston, SC
  24. 38. Go to CNU's Homecoming
  25. 39. Celebrate my friend's Medical School graduation
  26. 40. Visit Chicago again
  27. 41. Take a trip alone
  28. 42. Clean out my technology- computer, iPad, phone, and iPod
  29. 43. Give to CNU
  30. 44. Give to Alpha Delta Pi
  31. 45. Frame my college diploma
  32. 46. Clean my room
  33. 47. Write a handwritten letter, that is not a thank you note
  34. 48. Unsubscribe from all unwanted emails
  35. 49. Get to inbox zero on all of my emails
  36. 50. Make my bed every day for a week 1. 29.17
  37. 51. Go one month without shopping Feb. 2017
  38. 52. Make dinner with a friend
  39. 53. Get Invisalign/teeth straightened
  40. 54. Learn to a shoot a gun
  41. 55. Take a trip with a friend
  42. 56. Work on my Spanish Started February 2017-use the app Duolingo.
  43. 57. Pray more
  44. 58. Take a day for myself
  45. 59. Clean out my closet
  46. 60. Go kayaking with a friend
  47. 61. Take 5 minutes a day for myself for a month
  48. 62. Visit a zoo
  49. 63. Visit a new museum
  50. 64. Clean my car myself
  51. 65. Clean my bathroom once a week for a month Jan. 2017
  52. 66. Celebrate best friend's graduation from college
  53. 67. Go camping
  54. 68. Hold a plank for 3 minutes
  55. 69. Clean out social media "friends" Jan. 2017
  56. 70. Take my coins to the bank
  57. 71. Buy myself flowers
  58. 72. Watch a documentary 5.11.17 {On the Farm: Life Inside Angola}
  59. 73. Go to a concert
  60. 74. Spend time in a park
  61. 75. Make my bed everyday for a month
  62. 76. Do a 30 day exercise challenge
  63. 77. Do PT exercises everyday for a month
  64. 78. Get a new doctor {scheduled appointment for June 2017}
  65. 79. Go to "Sunset Series"
  66. 80. Try paddle boarding
  67. 81. Have/go to a bon fire
  68. 82. Watch the sunrise with someone
  69. 83. Watch the sunset with someone
  70. 84. Have a day where I stay in bed all day
  71. 85. Walk 30,000 steps in a day
  72. 86. Plan outfits out for the next day the night before for a week
  73. 87. Cook someone dinner
  74. 88. Cook someone breakfast
  75. 89. Organize jewelry Jan. 2017
  76. 90. Binge watch a show I haven't watched before
  77. 91. Get my t-shirt quilt made of my sorority and college t-shirts
  78. 92. Reach out to a sorority sister
  79. 93. Have a rainy movie day with a friend
  80. 94. Go to a fair
  81. 95. Go to the beach
  82. 96. Visit Harry Potter Studio Tour in England
  83. 97. Have a picnic
  84. 98. Pick up for 5 minutes a day for a month
  85. 99. Go on a ghost tour
  86. 100. Post to Instagram every day for a month
  87. 101. Buy myself a nice piece of jewelry. 
*1 month= 30 days, 1 week= 7 days

Total Complete: 11/101 
To Go: 90

Surviving Long Distance Friendships

8:00 AM

Hi y'all,

As many college students head home for summer, this is the longest time period you'll be away from your college friends (assuming y'all are all returning in the fall).

I know that I definitely missed my roommate, sorority sisters, and my best friend (who ended up transferring and even moving states).

But y'all, what a time to be alive. Technology changes the face of the long distance friendship or relationship.

1. Facetime. Guys, I cannot tell you how useful Facetime actually is. I got to "meet" my long distance diamond sister, and see my best friend's apartment in Chicago (and her dog). You can even facetime during your favorite t.v. shows, so its just like you're watching them together.

2. Texts. While a text can be easily ignored, your friends will answer your {eventually}. It's a great way to be in constant communication.

3. Hand written letters/cards. I absolutely adore a handwritten note. I keep almost all of them. Not only are they a great way to keep in touch, but they're a great way to remember your friendship over many years, even decades or centuries.

4. Start a Youtube channel. You can start your own YouTube channels and both upload to it. This allows all your college friends to see what you're doing (and maybe even make you some pocket change).

5. Make plans to visit. Chances are y'all will have some free time during the summer and if you don't live too far apart, you can probably set up a visit or two.

It's also important to keep in mind that you might grow apart, even just a little during these 3 months apart.

Likewise, it is important to prioritize your school friends, just as much as your hometown friends during the summer months.

with southern grace,

Recent Purchases + What I'm Lusting After Roundup

8:00 AM

Hi Y'all,

I'm not one to share what I've bought, but I think that it is nice to know what people are buying. I personally haven't tried out the Dry Bar products yet, but I've heard enough good things about them, I thought I would give them a try. I have multiple pairs of Hunter Boots (Navy and pink) but both are matte. I've already worn these boots twice and love how neutral they are.

I also have a small list of things I've been lusting after...

Personally, I can't wait until the May 22 Lilly Pulitzer release (they have the cutest sailboat print coming out!). 

What have y'all bought? What are y'all lusting after?

with southern grace,

Sorority Skills Used in Every Day Life

8:00 AM

Hi Y'all,

As some of you may know, I'm an ADPi. So, I figured there was no better day than ADPi's Founder's Day to share this post with y'all: the skills I've found useful since graduating in 2015.

Now, I realize that I work in retail and in school, but I feel these are pretty universal.

1. Conversation. If you've ever done sorority recruitment on the sister side, you can probably hold a 10 minute conversation with a brick wall. Let me tell you, this skill is actually useful when making small talk or trying to figure out something during a sticky situation. Since I work in retail, I have definitely had to talk to people from all walks of life, and working in a school means I have to figure out what the conflict is when there are two kids screaming at each other and crying at the same time.

2. Multitasking. Being in a sorority means you're pretty busy. This means you can probably do two (or more) things at once. This I have found super handy in being able to get things done during the day so I'm not running around anymore than I have to (which is still a lot).

3. Organization. Again, this was a key skill in college, and still is post grad. I always have something going on since I work two jobs and go to school full time. Now, I don't color code my agenda anymore (well at least not as much), but I now use Google Docs/Google Drive successfully, or at least in a sufficient way for me to be successful.

4. Time Management. What? You mean you don't have to work 5 hours, go to class for 3-4 hours, AND do homework? Well, if you don't you're probably taking work home with you. While, I take very little work home with me because I have successfully learned time management. While I was doing my undergrad at CNU, I rarely had as much homework/studying to do as my roommate (granted, different majors and different expectations), but in my collegiate years, I would work, go to chapter, homework, and dinner and still be in bed by 9 or 10 every night (and I can say that I made it through all of college without drinking coffee).

5. Crafting Skills/Tech Skills. I don't know about y'all, but my crafting days did not end on May 9th, 2015 when I graduated. If anything, I use them more now. I can make an ad/flyer on the computer quickly. I can edit a picture for Instagram and keep a consistent look (done more for the store than my personal Instagram). I can craft something in 10 minutes that it takes other people half a day to figure out how to do. Also, cutting things with a die cutter? Oh my gosh, give me 5 minutes and it's done.

Moral of this story: learn all the skills you can, you never know when you'll need them.

with southern