GOODWILL_01

Goodwill Is Your Friend

You’re a senior in college. You’re almost there. You’ve spent the last three years of your life trying to build a resume or portfolio that you hope one day will do your skills justice when seen on paper. You’ve lived off Ramen and PB and J’s for what seems like a lifetime. But it was all worth it; in one short year, you will be able to call yourself a college grad. You’ll be ready to conquer the world.

Pause.

You head to your closet searching for an outfit suitable for a business class presentation. Contemplative, you stand there thinking what you could pull together to make yourself look the best of the best.

After all, you will be marked down if you don’t appear professional.

The rompers, cut-off’s, and sweats staring back at you have treated you well over the past few years, but now they simply won’t suffice.

You manage to pull together an outfit compiled of an Old Navy business-like dress, tights, and heels, but the thought of how you are going to pull together an impressive, business-attire wardrobe in the next six months is more than unsettling.

This scene is all too familiar. We work and we work and we work. Most of us go to college right out of highs school. I’m not sure about you, but I didn’t have a full-blown professional wardrobe built by the age of 18.

I thought, and I Google’d, and I talked to my roommates; I decided to head up to Goodwill to see what they had. Admittedly, I thought it would be a total bust, but to my surprise I found a couple key pieces that could work as foundation in building my professional look.

Goodwill tends to have a stigma around it. It’s cheap, it’s gross, and it’s dirty. Whatever someone may think, the reality is you can find Ralph Lauren, Coach, and other designer names for nearly nothing.

I’d highly recommend taking a trip if you’re on a strict and tight budget. Going to a store like that however can be daunting and taxing so here a couple tips to better the experience.

1) Have a list. Jot down the key pieces you are looking for. Walking into a store that organizes its clothing by color can be overwhelming. Stay focused.

2) Be in the mood to shop. This may sound petty, but if you’re not willing to really look, take your time, and sift through some racks, go out another day.

3) And please, do yourself a favor and do not ‘shop until you drop.

BLACKFRIDAY

Black Friday

All right, America. I think we have reached a new low. This year Black Friday deals started at 8pm… Thanksgiving day! Last year, the door busters started at 10pm. Does anyone see a problem with this or a growing trend that is only bound to get worse?

Let’s break this down. 8 pm on Thanksgiving evening. Families are at the height of their food comas, barely sipping down their evening coffee. Mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, sisters, brothers, sons and daughters had to face leaving their families earlier than ever to ensure the couponing queens of getting their anticipated deals.

This bugs me. And it should.

Our Christmas crazed society needs to calm down. Seriously and really – sit down, breathe, take a moment to realize what actually matters during the months of November through January (and all year) and calm down.

Stories cycled around the Internet and in the news 72 hours prior to Black Friday spotlighting the die-hard shoppers who were camped out in front of Best Buys throughout the country. They set up tents, PS3s, TVs, and anything else that would entertain them until doors opened Thanksgiving evening.

Really?

Your discounted Samsung Galaxy S III won’t fulfill as you as much as you might think it will. The silky robe you’ve been eyeing for months will be there tomorrow. Put away the Target ads and grab a piece of pumpkin pie.

As we enter and exit college, we millennials have a responsibility. The millennials who are going to become wives and mothers, husbands and fathers, must set a good example for their spouses and children more than ever during these holiday seasons.

People die on Black Friday. People are trampled. Employees are yelled at. And this year was no exception. A YouTube video surfaced from Black Friday morning at a Kansas Victoria Secret showing hundreds of people crowded around the storefront prior to opening. People were nudging and trying to bypass the security guards. All to get some ‘Pink’ sweats. The employee was tearing up threatening to not open the store because ‘it was scary.’

No gift is worth that. Something worth everything is spending the evening with the people who woke up at the crack of dawn in preparation for the meal you just devoured. And admit it, it was the most tender bird you have ever eaten. Offer to take clean-up duty, get your parents dessert, and don’t forget hugs and thank you’s.

Those little things, the little acts of kindness, will make whomever you were going to give that Samsung Galaxy S III much, much happier.

As an inspirational quote found on Pinterest once said…

“Never get tired of doing little things for others; sometimes those little things occupy the biggest part of their hearts.”

Exercise

Why Exercise Will Lead To Success

Exercising at the crack of dawn. It just sounds horrible. I can already hear the alarm going off for the third time…

The reality of jumping out of bed with plenty of time to get our morning workout in before rushing off to work teaches us discipline. Every time our alarm clocks ring and we get out of bed greeted by our Nikes, and we do not succumb to the pressure of hitting the snooze button, we grow. Whether it is some Pilates, a jog, a walk on the treadmill, or a full- fledged workout at the gym, it’s worth the 7am wake up call.

It teaches us how to manage time. It undoubtedly builds structure in our lives. Having a workout routine helps to keep our heads clear and our lives balanced. If we live our personal lives in a way that nurtures growth and healthy habits, these attitudes and disciplines will carry over into our careers.

Best of all? It helps us to grow as individuals, and the individuals who know how to take care of themselves in their personal lives are the individuals who find not only success but fulfillment as well.

Have a workout routine that works for you? Tips on how to fit a workout into a hectic lifestyle? Let’s hear it!

CHIVALRY_1

Chivalry Is Dead And We Have Killed It

It seems like everytime I get on Facebook there is meme after meme talking about how all guys are jerks and chivalry is dead. They may be a little dramatic, but I would agree that there is truth to the idea.

It used to be that every man, starting when he was old enough to do so, held the door for a lady (Yes, “lady”. You reap what you sow, right?). Chairs were pulled out and jackets were put around the shoulders of a lass right and left. Now if your date does anything that can be construed as chivalry, you’re ready to elope before dessert.

I’m no expert when it comes to those days gone by but I think most ladies have first hand experience on both sides of the chivalrous coin.

So what happened?

I won’t get into that crazy psychology jargon. But I will say that maybe all is not lost. Maybe the remnants of gentlemanliness still remain. Many will attest to the fact that he is a rare breed of gentleman but when you find him, you’ll discover he was well worth the wait. (But that’s a tangent).

But back to those gentlemanly remnants. Of course, a man should open the car door for his date and he better have asked her Dad for permission (See He Should Ask Your Dad First).  But we don’t live in a world of soda fountains, petticoats and Lucky Strikes. We’ve got Facebook, iPhones and 3D movies. So maybe the chivalry that goes into this tech high world is a little bit different. Maybe it’s opening doors and a good morning text message. Just a thought. Do you think we need to bring back chivalry?