Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The lazy shoes

H&M top - 2010 - swapped (similar) / LOFT pencil skirt - 2009 - $13 (similar) / Franco Sarto Hot sandals via Piperlime - 2011 - $45 (available) / Boys canvas and leather belt - 2010 - swapped (similar) / Nancy Rosetta circle ring - 2010 - gift (similar) / Ball chain necklace (similar)

Outfit analysis: This outfit kicked last week's rut right in the butt. Color? Check. Better silhouette? Check. Good mood? Check, check, check. I waffled a bit on adding the belt, but I really like how it brought in the colors of the skirt and shoes. This whole outfit put me in a happier mood, perfect for spring.

For the past few Mondays, Bruno Mars "The Lazy Song" has been playing during my morning commute. I don't mind the song at night or on weekends, but it is a major mood-killer when I'm starting a new workweek. Does this kind of stuff bother anyone else?

But speaking of laziness, I feel like mine has taken to new lows (or highs, depending on how you look at it). I realized a few weeks ago that I didn't have any brown strappy sandal heels. I don't know how that happened, but I knew it had to be remedied. So I set about scouring the interwebs for some new kicks. I love the caged look but I found myself thinking about how annoying it is to have to buckle and unbuckle shoes.

Enter these beauties. Caged goodness galore, and a convenient zipper. Plus they were on sale and I used Ebates (need an invite?). Case closed.

Do you look for convenience when you shop or are you willing to take a few more minutes for the sake of style?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Executive Summary | Links for your weekend | 05.27.11

File this one under Shameless Plugs...look who's in Sacramento Magazine's June issue? My heart still skips a beat every time I think about it (and I bought two copies just to remind myself it really happened).

Another Friday? My head is spinning, folks. Anyway, I took the day off to pack and then drive out to the Bay Area for my college roommate's wedding weekend! Thanks to all my Twitter friends that helped me find a hairstyle...I'm going to go for a low, curled/textured updo, but I have some down-do ideas in case the stylist doesn't think my hair is long enough (I'm a bridesmaid...I don't get my hair styled for just any wedding). Monday's a holiday—I tip my hat to those that have given their lives to protect and support our country, and to their families—so I will see you back here at the same bat time, same bat place, on Tuesday.

OH! And the biggest news this week: K filed his dissertation yesterday and is officially Ph.D.ed! What a load off. Now I can hand off dish duty and moving research. Whew (it's been hard, you know).

Some of my fave reads from this week (well, more like Fri-Weds...a little behind on my reading, as always):

Style and fashion
Career and office
After hours
Blogging bits
Shameless plugs
What are your plans for the three-day weekend (if you have one)? Any good reads to share this week?

Silver Linings giveaway winner

Wow, ladies...I loved all your feedback on shoe accessories and whatnot to make heels more bearable! I tallied up all the responses and here are the most popular accessories:
  • Heel grips/liners:                   15
  • Foot petals/ball of foot:           7
  • Odor fighters (paper,
    baking soda, dryer sheets,
    or odor eaters)                         5
  • Foam inserts/insoles               4
  • Moleskin                                 2
  • Hose/socks                              2
  • Arch supports                          2
I have to say, I've never really felt the need for heel liners, but I'm really wondering if I should try them out if they make life easier for so many feet...I do have a pair that slip out often (although they don't blister me or anything).

Oh yeah, the giveaway? There's a winner for that, too.

Congrats, Kileen! I'll be sending you an email today to get your info.

Thanks to everyone who entered! Now that it's warming up here, I've really felt the need to get more of these myself. They're available online at $15.99 for three pairs (available for both US and Canadian customers), which isn't bad compared to the high heel inserts I get for $8-$9 for one pair...and I have them in every pair of heels. I love heels, but if you can't bear to walk in them, what's the point, right?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Distractions and regressions

sacramento office fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional agaci top loft cardigan br factory pants enzo angiolini pumps nordstrom stud earrings
sacramento office fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional agaci top loft cardigan br factory pants enzo angiolini pumps nordstrom stud earrings
sacramento office fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional loft cardigan nordstrom stud earrings
LOFT cardigan - 2010 - gift (similar) / A'gaci top - 2011 - $20 (similar) / BR Factory pants - 2009 - $20 (similar) / Enzo Angiolini peep-toes via Nordstrom - 2007 - $70 (similar) / Nordstrom pyramid stud earrings - 2010 - gift card (available) / Ball chain necklace (similar)

Outfit analysis: Another cold day in May...seriously? I finally got around to ironing my clothes and was sooo happy to put these pants back on after a long time away. I wanted to try this top with more tailored trousers, but it was too cold to go with short-sleeves so on came the sweater. I tried a little belt tricks from Academichic and wrapped the built-in waist-tie around the cardigan to give the outfit some shape. Nothing too exciting, but it did the job.

Another belted cardigan. I've been regressing sartorially since I've been distracted with the whole move and transition. I turned in my formal resignation this week, giving them a 6.5 week notice. Sure, this long of a notice isn't required in any sense, but since I already told my boss, our CEO, and a handful of other folks, and the organization is currently working on the budget for next fiscal year so they can plan for it.

I have to say, this whole year has just zoomed by, and now it feels like the last month has just snuck up on me. K turned in his dissertation this week (YAY!), and it's basically go-go-go until we get to Miami. Every single weekend is booked...with good things of course!

By the way, did you enter the giveaway yet? It ends tonight (9pm Pacific)!

How do you get out of a style rut?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Jargon: Just (don't) do it

A page from my illustrated copy of The Elements of Style

If there is one thing that transcends all industries, it's jargon.  You've all heard it. You've maybe even written it. By the way, how jargon-y sounding is the word "jargon" anyway?

Merriam-Webster has several definitions for jargon.
1a : confused unintelligible language 
b : a strange, outlandish, or barbarous language or dialect  
c : a hybrid language or dialect simplified in vocabulary and grammar and used for communication between peoples of different speech
2: the technical terminology or characteristic idiom of a special activity or group
3: obscure and often pretentious language marked by circumlocutions and long words

The jargon I'm referring to can often start as definition 2, but really leans more heavily toward definition 3, which often feels just like definition 1. Jargon often annoys us for several reasons: redundancy,too many words (aka wordiness), cloudiness (most often by complicating the sentence structure), and redundancy. Keeping text concise goes a looooong way toward improving your communication and writing skills.

How do you avoid sprinkling jargon into your own work?
  • Edit. And then edit again. Until you can't be a mite more concise.
  • Read it out loud. In a whisper if you must. Each sentence should be coherent on its own.
  • Mix up sentence lengths. Simple sentences are your friend and can help you get the point across. It also keeps things interesting for the reader.
  • Ask yourself "is it necessary?" For example, in my previous bullet, I debated "can help" in the second sentence. Can it or does it? In the end I decided "can" is necessary because it doesn't always help.
  • Learn proper usage. Sometimes we just don't quite know how to say what we want to say, resulting in wordiness. Some of my favorite resources for language use are the Elements of Style (a classic), Chicago Style Q&A, and Common Errors in English Usage (formerly a website, now a book). Your company or school may have its own style or usage guide or prefer one over another...it never hurts to ask!
Just a few of my (many) jargon-y pet peeves:
  • including, but not limited to. "Including" already implies that the list is incomplete, otherwise you'd use "comprising." Redundant.
  • in order to. "To" can do the job on its own.
  • end result. Redundant.
  • due to the fact that. Try "because."
  • Unnecessary passive voice. This almost always contributes to wordiness and cloudiness. Note unnecessary--sometimes passive voice works. But usually not.
And thus ends another wordy post on wordiness. Clearly something I'm still working on myself.

What is your jargon pet peeve? Are there any jargon-y phrase do you actually like?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tweaking the formula

sacramento office fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional blog ann taylor top hm cardigan old navy trousers calvin klein pumps
sacramento office fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional blog ann taylor top hm cardigan old navy trousers calvin klein pumps
sacramento office fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional blog hm cardigan
H&M Cardigan - 2009 - $30 (similar) / Ann Taylor outlet top - 2011 - $20 (similar) / Old Navy trousers - 2006 - $6 (similar) / Calvin Klein pumps via Off Broadway - 2007 - $70 (similar) / Boys belt - 2010 - swapped (similar) / American Eagle outlet necklace - 2011 - $4 (similar) / Nordstrom stud earrings - 2010 - gift card (available)

Outfit analysis: It wasn't until I got home that I realized that this outfit is almost exactly this outfit, but with a different but still jewel-toned shirt and different but still pointy-toed pumps. You might call it a rut, but I call it having a consistent style (err, I will start calling it that, at least). But really, the proportions of this outfit work really well, so why fix something that's not broken? The best part is that this outfit formula works just as well for spring as it did for fall. An outfit for all seasons is all right with me.

So remember the first time I dressed to go to the tailor at lunch? Yeah, well this is what I wore when I went back. In the back of my mind I was thinking of my lunchtime errand, and the pieces themselves aren't too complicated (the top has a lot of stretch so it's an easy on/off), but then I go ahead and put my hair up into this ponytail. It looks simple, but it has many parts. So there went my plan of easy undressing (not something I normally dress for, by the way).

What makes this ponytail so interesting? Well it's two ponytails—one on top (which I poufed up a big for body) and one on bottom to catch the rest of my hair without making the poufy ponytail too heavy and weighed down (my hair is not too long but it's pretty heavy). Then I took a piece of hair from where the ponytails met and wrapped it around both ponytails and pinned it. And it worked! Sort of. The poufiness stayed all day, which is no small feat for my limp hair, and no one was the wiser. Unfortunately my hair is layered so the wrapping was very messy, as you can see. Anyway, definitely a hairstyle to try again another time—practice makes perfect!

Oh yes, and my closet inventory from this weekend revealed a surprising fact—I have quite a bit of pink. three shirts, a tank, a scarf, and a dress. This may not seem like a lot, but it took me until I was in my 20s for me to even touch the color, so it's major progress.

Do you have an outfit formula? What item in the formula do you swap most often?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Silver Linings [Review and Giveaway]

If you're like me and wear heels most days, you probably don't also wear socks (especially in the summer). Bare feet + closed-toe shoes can make a bad combination, especially in warm weather. Moisture builds, odors reek...yuck, right? So when Jenn Chu, founder and creator of Silver Linings, offered me a chance to review (and giveaway) a pair of Silver Linings, odor and moisture fighting shoe liners made specifically for ladies shoes, I jumped at the chance!

Silver Linings use silver- based technology (get it?) to combat moisture and odor before they start. The ultra-thin liners don't change the fit of your shoe, and as you can see from my pic above, can be used with other arch or heel supports.  I stuck my pair for review in my trusty nude pumps and set to work using them!

I've had them in for almost a month now, but I don't wear the same shoes twice in one week, so I've only worn these about 4 times with the Silver Linings. I immediately noticed the lack of odor.  I didn't smell my shoes before I put these in for a baseline, but there was no foot odor when I check afterward. There is a slight metallic smell from the linings, but nothing strong or offensive (or nearly as bad as foot odor). But does it fight moisture, too?

I'll be honest--I didn't notice a moisture-wicking effect right away. But as soon as I put on another pair of closed-toed shoes the next day, I realized how much nicer it was with the Silver Linings. Definitely a product I would buy on my own for the rest of my closed-toe shoes.

And while it's tempting to keep the second giveaway pair for myself (muahaha), I'm going to stick to my work and give one of YOU a pair!

Want to win a pair of Silver Linings?
Just leave a comment below telling me what your favorite shoe accessory or add-on is! Do you swear by moleskin? Heel liners? Silver Linings? Make sure to include a valid email address. Giveaway ends 9 p.m. Pacific Time on Thursday, May 26, and the winner will be announced on Friday.

Have you ever tried an odor-fighting shoe product? How did you like it?

*I received a pair of Silver Linings at no cost for review, but it was my choice to post a review and the opinions above are entirely my own. No compensation was exchanged for posting this review, but I like to feature useful resources for my readers.

Wear and Wear Again | Pleated A-line skirt

It's time for another edition of Wear and Wear Again! I went through my closet this weekend just to take an inventory (for the first time ever), and was struck by a) how many clothes I have, b) how many clothes I don't actually wear and c) how many clothes I've worn many many times over several years. I have a dress—that I still love, but don't have much occasion to wear—that I bought my sophomore year of college (I last wore it about four years ago, but it's pretty classic and I'm sure I'll have a chance to wear it again). Needless to say, I don't go by the one-year rule. At the same time, there are many many many items that have entered and quickly exited my closet over that same time period. But that's a much larger, more rambly topic that I'd like to get into today.

Today, I'm talking about one of the best deals I've gotten. Ever. This skirt was $6 on the Target clearance rack in December 2007. It was a size too big when I bought it, but I've since grown into it (one of the few benefits of putting on wifely weight). While I'm currently in a pencil skirt phase, looking at these photos really makes me miss this skirt. In fact, I think I'll bust it out this week.

Three things I love about this skirt:
  • The color. Bright and vibrant, perfect for casual or work wear.
  • The pleats. Adds a nice fullness without being costume-y.
  • The length. Demure and ladylike, but not frumpy at all.

More pleated A-line skirts:

Do you like A-line skirts? What do you look for in a fuller skirt?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Executive Summary | Links for your weekend | 05.21.11

The sun finally came out this week, so I went on a lunchtime errand run. In n Out really hits the french fry craving.

What a week, huh, folks? I have to admit, I was thrown off quite a bit earlier in the week, what with the Blogger outage (didn't give me much time to pre-write posts), a raging three-day headache, and generally bad mood-age. But the sun is back out and we're up and running again! What a relief.

Move update: I hit a wall last week when I called apartment complexes only to find that folks in Miami really do 30-day notices. In our little college town, fall rentals are signed the previous February (our current apartment was rented out months ago for when we leave). It's weird not to know where you'll be living just a few months from now, but I guess it's not that weird. Case in point: my last semester of grad school I flew back to NYC from CA on a Friday, viewed one apartment and signed a lease that Saturday, and moved in that Sunday (school started on Tuesday). I'm not too worried about finding a place in Florida, but I am a little anxious about where that place might be and am really hoping that things will go smoothly, especially since we won't be able to take a trip out there before we move (isn't going to pencil schedule-wise or finance-wise). 

We're looking for a managed apartment building, two parking spots, walking distance to stuff (anything), and at least 600 sf. Anyone have an apt that fits the bill available Aug. 1 in Miami? Just thought I'd check.

While we (since I know you're all waiting for me, too) wait for July to come around so I can find out apartment availability for August, let's look at some links!

Fashion and style
Career and office
After hours
Blogging bits
Shameless plugs
What were your favorite reads this week?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Blogging is beneficial

sacramento office fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional style co dress banana republic factory sweater nine west boots
sacramento office fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional style co dress banana republic factory sweater nine west boots
sacramento office fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional style co dress banana republic factory sweater
Style & Co. dress via Macy's - 2011 - $25 (similar) / BR Factory cardigan - 2011 - $12 (similar) / Nine West outlet boots - 2009 - $50 (similar) / Studded belt - 2010 - swapped (similar) / Forever 21 leaf necklace - 2010 - $5 (similar)

Outfit analysis: I got this idea from a magazine ad, I just can't remember which one. I think the model had a floral dress and brown sandals, but I was trying to work with what I had and with the weather (another rainy day with highs of 60 degrees). I tucked the collar of the dress into the collar of the cardigan

This is my new favorite cardigan. I think I've worn it at least three times a week since I got it at the killer BR Factory sale last month. So comfy. If I wasn't already married, I marry this cardigan.

It's been a weird week in my head. It's partially the weather, but also just a general exhaustion, hence the mini break from Sunday (when I wrote my Monday post) until Tuesday evening. While I was on my break, I was a major klutz and needed band-aids at least once a day (for new "injuries"). Sunday, I snagged a hangnail and was bleeding. Monday, I got a cardboard cut in between my toes (don't ask) and needed a band-aid again. Tuesday, my car handle opened up a small gash in my finger, and I bled through about three band-aids in the course of three hours.

Band-aid 1 on Tuesday, about 10 minutes after I put the band-aid on.

Lesson learned: Not blogging is hazardous to my health.

Are you a klutz or do you go through life pretty injury-free?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Go on, brush your shoulders off

In every budding career, a little constructive criticism will fall. It's how we learn. But some folks are better at delivering criticism than others, and there will be times when a well-intentioned comment will send you into an emotional spiral. Other folks may deliver straight criticism. I can't promise you that criticism will ever stop (just the opposite--it won't), but here are some tips on how to handle it when it happens to you.
  • Take a deep breath and step away. Being criticized is hard, no matter how many times it happens to you. I find that taking a step back and not reacting right away is the best immediate response. A few minutes (or even days) to clear your head can do wonders for a professional response.
  • Find the silver lining. It's easy to find the positive in constructive criticism—often the criticizer includes it in the comment or leaves a door open for you to ask follow-up questions about how to improve. And the positive of that is that you have an opportunity to grow in your professionalism and abilities. Regular criticism may or may not have a silver lining, but even if the criticizer didn't intend any positive outcomes, you can embrace the criticism, find your own positive way out, and show them who's boss.
  • Seek a second opinion. Especially when the criticism doesn't seem constructive at first, it's helpful to get another opinion from someone you trust professionally. For example, if a colleague expressed the criticism, you may go to your supervisor to ask their opinion and whether there's anything you can do to avoid the criticism in the future. They may be able to turn it into a constructive comment after all. A trusted coworker or even someone outside your company may be able to offer an objective take on the situation as well.
  • Don't forget the lesson. On the flip-side of being hurt too easily, there are those that are criticized for the same thing over and over again. Once you've found the lesson, hold it near and remember it. I can't even count how many little things I learned in my first year on the job that still run through my mind regularly and help me in my work.
  • Don't be afraid to put yourself back out there. It's easy to be a little gun-shy after you've been shot down a few times. But holding back isn't the answer...keep your head up, stay confident in your abilities, and try again (and again and again). 

How do you handle criticism?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


sacramento office fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional blog jcrew shirt merona trouser jeans blake scott pumps forever 21 vest
sacramento office fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional blog jcrew shirt
J.Crew outlet blouse - 2009 - $20 (similar) / Forever 21 vest - 2011 - hand-me-down (similar) / Merona trouser jeans via Target - 2011 - $18 (similar) / Gap belt - 2010 - $10 (similar) / Blake Scott heels via Off Broadway - 2010 - $40 (similar) / AE necklace - 2010 - $7 (similar)

Outfit analysis: I really liked the laid-back vibe of this outfit, and the trousers and oxford keep it office appropriate. The belt and shoes are a nice touch of color.

It's flashback time, folks. We're going way back...back to the days when...
  • When it was too dark after work to take outdoor photos (got home after dark again)
  • When it was rainy and cold (high of 60?)
  • When newspaper editors kept their sleeves rolled up and wore vests
This was just one of those mornings...the kind that makes me reach for the trouser jeans. I originally had a gray v-neck sweater over the shirt, but it just got too bulky, since I was a lazy shopper and bought this shirt without trying it on (it's a size too big). The shirt and jeans on their own looked a little too plain, so I grabbed the vest and I was sold. So comfy.

There is something about this outfit that reminds me of the old school newspaper industry. Sort of like in the Newsies. Am I crazy? Either way, I like it.

Do you draw inspiration from your industry's history?

Monday, May 16, 2011

In the moment

Things I love right now:

White House at ShopStyle
White House | Black Market painterly floral pleated dress

Manolo Blahnik at ShopStyle
Manolo Blahnik Castant mary jane

Sephora at ShopStyle
Sephora by OPI Flurry Up top coat

Horchow at ShopStyle
Horchow blue leopard rug

Clinique at ShopStyle
Clinique cream shaper for eyes
(This is my favorite eyeliner, which I ran out of right before I did this post, but just restocked last week. Goes on super-smooth, and comes in great colors.)

What are you loving right now?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Executive Summary | Links for your weekend | 05.13.11 [belated]

Someone left a Happy Mother's Day balloon on my bike last weekend. No, I don't have any news for you.

Better late than never, right? The Blogger outage of 2011 (Thursday and Friday) gave me a few days of computer-free bliss, and now I'm getting back on track (or will be come Monday). Currently I'm hunkered down in my little apartment with the heater on while cold rain and hail pelt the Sacramento area. It's May, right?

Anyhoo, here are some links! I haven't checked my Google Reader since Thursday, so these are still your average Fri-Thurs links (any good reads I find from this weekend will be in next week's links).

Fashion and style
Career and office

After hours
Blogging bits
Shameless plugs

Is it spring, summer, or winter where you are?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Links à la Mode: Tech!

Guess who made Links à la Mode Tech this week? [duh] Check out the other fun posts below!


Fashion Is More Sociable Than You Think!

Edited by Christen Rochon
Being fashionable is not for the timid or weak at heart. Its ever-evolving, rapidly changing and new trends are born every minute! With the information age we currently live in, it’s only natural that social media platforms become launching pads on how we interact with fashion and share our fashionable lives with others. Fresh from last week’s Fashion 140 Conference in NYC - it is apparent that more and more companies and bloggers are using social media to connect with consumers & readers in intimate ways like never before. Here are a few examples on how sharing fashion has become more sociable than you originally thought...


If you would like to submit your link for next week’s Links à la Mode, please register first, then post your links. Deadline is Sunday, May 1st — get posting here and grab the code for your blogs here.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

When function comes first

sacramento office fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional mossimo gray dress herringbone three dots sweater gray pumps
sacramento office fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional mossimo gray dress herringbone three dots sweater gray pumps
sacramento office fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional mossimo gray dress herringbone three dots sweater gray pumps
Mossimo dress via Target - 2011 - $17 (similar) / Three Dots cardigan via Anthropologie - 2010 - gift (similar) / Mossimo Versie pumps via Target - 2010 - $10 (similar) / Black wood bead necklace - 2010 - swap (similar) / Silver ball earrings via Target - 2010 - $5 for two pairs (similar)

Outfit analysis: A simple dress and light cardigan help keep things comfortable without looking sloppy. There's just something about this sweater (the sleeve or body length, or both) that reminds me of those '80s blazers that folks used to wear with the sleeves scrunched up like this. Anyone else get this vibe?

This was definitely a functional outfit. How, you ask? Well, I had one main goal for this day (in case you're wondering, it was Tuesday...same-day posting is a little too hectic for me). I had to take my bridesmaid dress in to the tailor at lunch so it will be ready for my friend's wedding over Memorial Day weekend. So I planned around two things: getting completely undressed in the middle of my workday (and redressed) and having heels to create a similar leg shape as I'd have on the day of her wedding. There are just some outfits that don't come off and on that easily, or don't fall into place as well when you put it back on afterward. But this? This was easy.

Does function or fashion usually take the front seat for you? In what cases do you do the opposite?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The right to change your mind

As a young professional and spouse to a graduate student, I still have contact with students regularly. Some are hopeful and motivated, others anxious and uncertain. In these interactions I often think back to my college days and how uncertain I was myself--and how exciting that was.

You see, I am a waffle-r. I thrive on not having hard rules for myself, but tend to go with my mood or the context of the day/month/season of life. Take pumpkin pie for example. I refused to try the gunky-looking orange stuff until I was well into high school. And I loved it. A few years later, it looked repulsive again. Two years ago, I couldn't get enough and went on a pumpkin baking rampage. It all comes down to this--I have the right to change my mind, and I exercise it.

That isn't to say I'm hypocritical or contradictory (although sometimes I am...I'll own up to it). But I have changed my mind several times career-wise. I entered college as a piano performance major set on being a piano professor. I even taught kids. And then I studied urban/environmental planning and design, and spent a year as a transportation planner. I have to admit, I loved it. And then I got this idea stuck in my head that journalism was really the career for me (I was, and still am, obsessed with magazines), and I took off across the country to try my hand at that. Fast forward years later, and while I still use my journalism degree regularly as the managing editor of our nonprofit's magazine, it isn't my main duty in the communications department. Sure, these weren't necessarily full-fledged careers (each of my previous stops lasted about two years each, although I'm coming well into year 4 on the communications bent), but I did have life trajectories planned out for each one before I changed my mind, and things seemed to be going right on schedule.

There were two main things I learned through this journey (other than the fact that I'm indecisive).
  1. There is something to be learned in everything. I still draw upon my piano teaching days when I train colleagues. A year of writing transportation impact analyses and parking studies prepared me to cover the urban planning and development beat in grad school. And my experience as an editorial intern gave me insight that I still use as an editor. Even now, our nonprofit operates a variety of programs, some of which have drawn on my environmental planning background and technical writing skills.
  2. Opportunities are not lost forever. Of all the people who were surprised at my decision to go to journalism school, I think my transportation engineer boss was the most surprised. He had offered me a full-time planner position, including tuition remission to get my master's degree at my undergraduate university, and I said "no, thanks." But he was extremely encouraging, and even expressed his opinion that journalism school and developing my writing would be a strength if I did choose to return to the planning industry.

Some tips on changing careers or industries:
  • Focus on soft skills. Communicating professionally, organization, time management, attitude, work ethic, and problem-solving are just a few of the skills that are necessary in all professional fields. Hone these and they'll travel with you across jobs and careers.
  • Make a connection. Most of the time--but not all of the time--there can be some sort of connection drawn between industries, even if it's just a tenuous one. For me, it was journalism and covering urban planning and development.
  • Pursue your passion, even if you aren't familiar with it quite yet. Your motivation and willingness to learn will get you where you want to be faster. When I applied to j-school, it was honestly a crapshoot. My NYU essay was a one-page exploration of my obsession with the glossy printed word.
  • Start over. No matter where you are in your previous career, if you change industries, you're going to have to take a step down, sometimes a large one. Just something to be aware of.
  • Refresh your new field. There is a lot to be said for learning the ways of your new field, but oftentimes industries aren't as different as they seem. If you have an opportunity to use a skill or principle from a past experience to innovate or advance your new work, take it and you will stand out from the crowd.
  • Maintain your bridges. You never know how or if your new path my cross back over on your old one (or if you'll need a fallback). Keep your network.

Don't get me wrong--I don't think my path is the best choice for everyone. Who knows what would have happened if I'd just stuck to my original plan. My mother decided in high school that she wanted to be an accountant, and she has never looked back (I asked).

But those of us who aren't so tied to one idea? I think we'll do okay, too.

Have you had a straight-shot to where you are now or have you taken a more unconventional route?

BTW--I'm not the only one with career paths on my mind lately. Check out Consciously Corporate's journey to figuring what she's going to be when she grows up.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Black in spring (and big changes ahead)

sacramento office fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional blog gap dress jcrew belt nine west shoes
sacramento office fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional blog gap dress jcrew belt nine west shoes
sacramento office fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional blog gap dress jcrew belt nine west shoes
Gap dress - 2011 - $27 on sale (available) / J. Crew belt - 2011 - $10 (similar) / Nine West peep-toe pumps via Ross - 2009 - $25 (similar) / Random necklaces: American Eagle, Kohl's, Premier Designs, Forever 21

Outfit analysis: An LBD with sleeves is perfect for even the most corporate of workplaces. The necklaces add a fun element, while the belt adds a little color. Colorful pumps would have been a nice addition (note to self--get some colorful pumps).

Despite the nice spring weather, I've been increasingly drawn to black. You saw it with the black pencil skirts last week. And then this. Another black dress. But with sleeves! I resisted buying this dress because I didn't *need* another work dress. But I sure did want one. One with sleeves! And with my friends and family coupon last month, this one was just too good to resist. Bonus--it's machine washable and fully lined. Love.

A few weeks ago I mentioned transitions, with a promise to fill you in later. If you've been listening in on Twitter, you probably know this, but...we're moving to Miami this summer! K is graduating with his Ph.D. next month and will be starting an amazing new job there in August. Now we just have to find an apartment, get our stuff moved, ship a car, and generally pick up our entire lives and move it 3,000 miles away. There is still a lot that is unknown, but isn't that what makes life exciting? And what happens professionally? I'll let you know when I find out.

Are you drawn to certain colors in certain seasons? Or better, do you have any cross-country moving tips?

A week's worth of pencil skirts

Last Wednesday, on day three of black pencil skirts, I realized that was all I had worn last week. So what did I do? Grabbed my fourth and last pencil skirt, ironed it, and wore it on Thursday. It was a mishmash of colors and accompaniments, but I really liked just about every outfit I put together last week.
  • Monday: Tulip
  • Tuesday: Textured
  • Wednesday: Lightweight wool
  • Thursday: Cotton

Do you keep multiples of your go-to item? How do you mix it up?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Office Supply of the Month | Highlighters

If you're anything like me, you love color coding. Seriously, I think I may need an intervention. One of the best inventions in color coding ever: highlighters. I've got green, yellow, purple, blue, and orange at my desk, and it's not uncommon for me to use all those colors in one document (usually while reviewing and trying to understand--not an editing tool).

A highlighter is a felt-tip pen filled with transparent ink. Felt-tip pens were first invented in 1952 by Sidney Rosenthal, who attached a wool tip to a glass ink bottle. In 1962, Yukio Horie of Japan took the idea further by creating a fiber-tip pen (using bamboo fibers) that used dye instead of ink. In 1963, the Avery Dennison company introduced their "Hi-Liter," which was a fiber-tipped pen with translucent ink. While initially the Hi-Liter was available in pastel colors, the company introduced a flourescent yellow in 1978, still the most popular highlighter color today.

Marking up documents
Drawing and art
I used to color my nails with highlighters before my mom let me use fun colored nail polish. Anyone else?

Fun with highlighters

I'm a huge fan of How It's Made. And guess what? They've covered highlighters. Enjoy!

Are you a fan of highlighters? What is your favorite color?