England Recap – London

Hello and happy Monday! I hope y’all had a great weekend! Mine was pretty good – I got a lot done and was more productive than usual, so I came into this week already feeling accomplished and ready to go!

I’m back today to share the final recap of my amazing trip to England back in May. (I already talked about our awesome days in Cambridge and Hitchin/Letchworth earlier). We spent our last two days in London and it, just like the rest of the trip, was oh so wonderful! We originally planned on just taking 1 day in the big city, but on a whim we changed our plans and stayed an extra day and I’m really glad we did. It let us explore a little bit more, slow our pace, and really take in all the sights that we wanted to without feeling too rushed.

Here are some of the awesome things we saw and did.

Walked by Big Ben. I read that Big Ben would be under construction while we were there, and I was disappointed that we wouldn’t get to see the clock face… but we totally did!! What a happy surprise! We got to hear the clock ringing, which was great timing since its bongs are about to fall silent for 4 years during repairs. (Seriously, all the articles talk about Big Ben’s bongs and it is too fun to say).

Rode the London Eye. This was also a fun surprise! I knew that it was there and that it could be fun, but didn’t think that anybody else would want to take the time to do it. My dad suggested that we do it (and generously paid for all of us) and I’m SO glad we did! It was really neat to get a view of the city from so high (we could even see all the way to Buckingham Palace)! It was definitely worth the wait in line!

Visited Westminster Abbey. This was the coolest thing we saw in London by far! We weren’t allowed to take any pictures inside (and I didn’t want to get kicked out…) but trust me, it was so worth the price to get it. There were so many famous dead people inside!!! And we got to see where Will and Kate were married! And the outside is so gorgeous, too… I mean, just look at it!

Saw Buckingham Palace. Just the outside. I do remember that we got a tour of the inside when I was little, but that wasn’t available at the time when we were back there. We saw the guards walking and just like everything, it is quite gorgeous! We also spent some time walking through St. James park which was absolutely lovely.

Went to the British Museum. We were only there for a few hours, but we saw SO MUCH COOL STUFF! Including lots of mummies, the Rosetta Stone, lots of art work, and more!

Saw other landmarks like Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square. These were more “see and take a picture” places, so we didn’t spend too much time at either. But they were really neat to see!

Had afternoon tea. One of the things my mom wanted to do was have a traditional afternoon tea with scones and clotted cream. We picked a place that wasn’t too far of a walk and it was perfect! We ended up at the Dean Street Townhouse and the tea was warm and inviting, the scones were so delicious with the cream and jam, and my sister also got some finger sandwiches (she didn’t have a great lunch… no need to mention the place we went because nobody really enjoyed it.)

Explored Harrod’s. According to my parents, we used to stop at Harrod’s when we went into London because the kid’s floor had a Lego pit where me and my sister could play. This place is BONKERS, you guys! SO big! SO expensive! SO fancy! The food hall was INCREDIBLE! I got a doughssant (imagine a croissant deep friend and rolled in sugar…. I know….) and it was the most incredible thing I’ve ever eaten. Seriously.

Even though we “took it easy” and really didn’t see as much as we could have, I feel like we still saw and did a TON in our short time in London! I’m already itching to go back – there is so much more to see and do there!

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Back to School for Grown-Ups

Back to school time was always SO EXCITING when I was growing up! Yes it was kind of sad that summer was coming to an end, but there were so many great things to look forward to. Back to school shopping! Picking out the very important first day of school outfit (I still remember the green skirt I wore for the first day of my senior year of high school and I just thought I was the most adorable thing)! Calling your friends to make sure you got the same lunch period! Getting new school supplies!

Even though I haven’t been “back to school” for a few years now, I still get a little rush of excitement whenever August rolls around. I see the supplies and the planners in the aisles of Target and I just want to buy ALL OF IT! (I have banned myself from going to Target this month, btw, so at least I know I won’t be spending all my money there this month.) There are still so many fun things you can get as an adult to refresh your desk at work, and I wanted to share a few of my favorites!

Lily Pulitzer agenda | “get it girl” pencils | mint stapler
coffee mug | desk calendar | notepad
washi tape | phone holder | motivational pens

I didn’t have an agenda at all last year, but I am loving all the designs and covers out for 2018! I might have to break down and buy a small one that I can keep with me in my work bag… And I’m all about the motivational writing utensils! What’s your favorite thing you get when it’s “back to school”?

Work Wardrobe Inspiration

Everybody loves casual Friday, right? At my office, it’s the best day of the week. You get to wear JEANS and it’s kind of silly because it’s so small, but it really puts a pep in my step! For the month of July, my company decided to do something nice and instead of our usual business casual dress code, we got to wear jeans ALL MONTH LONG!!! I don’t know why, but it seriously made it easier to plan my outfits and get dressed in the morning.

Now that today is the first day of August, that means I must start dressing like a real professional lady once again… but I just don’t really feel like it… I’ve been feeling like I needed some inspiration in the work wardrobe department, so I took to instagram to find some cute outfits to inspire me and make me excited to put on “real” work clothes once again. Get ready for a picture overload!

|| dress pants||

One of my all-time favorite color combos 💕💙💕 #navyornothing #edsftg

A post shared by Mackenzie Horan (@mackenziehoran) on

Packing these plaid pants for the holidays ❤ @vineyardvines #edsftg

A post shared by Carly A. Heitlinger (@carly) on

Pretending it's Spring today in my latest post sharing a few of my warmer weather outfit staples. (Link in bio)

A post shared by Sarah Vickers (@sarahkjp) on

|| skirts ||

To all my business ladies 🤗 this skirt is on sale for $40 😘http://liketk.it/2pny6 #liketkit #ltksalealert #ltkunder50

A post shared by BrightonTheDay.com (@brightonkeller) on

Burgundy and gray on the blog today. #didthatjustrhyme.

A post shared by Lilly Style (@lillydemello) on

|| dresses ||

Can't stop won't stop buying navy fit-and-flare dresses 😁 The one in today's post is only $68! www.liketk.it/1HI7x

A post shared by Mackenzie Horan (@mackenziehoran) on

Stay hydrated 😎@jmclaughlinny

A post shared by Sarah Vickers (@sarahkjp) on

|| white jeans ||

Loving this bike basket from @ChappyHappy! 🤗 🚲 New post on the blog! http://liketk.it/2rztn #liketkit @liketoknow.it

A post shared by Abigail • Belle of the Ball (@belleoftheball45) on

what a GORGEOUS day 😎🍂❤️

A post shared by sarah • rose • stuart (@__srs__) on

Today's full outfit, how cute are these sandals from @tjmaxx? ☀️

A post shared by Abigail • Belle of the Ball (@belleoftheball45) on

So many cute outfits, right!! A lot of those dresses I would pair with a cardigan for the office, but I love them just the same. Looking through all of these, a few things have become clear – I apparently REALLY like blue tops with white jeans, I like button down shirts with skirts a lot, and I feel like I need to do some serious SHOPPING!! (Don’t worry, I won’t… too much…) What’s your go-to work wear look like?

How to Handle Not Getting the Job

I feel like I’m really good at going on job interviews. I don’t mean to sound braggy, I actually find it kind of hilarious. I rock phone interviews. I wow the recruiter, and I make the hiring manager excited to meet me. I do really well in a Skype interview. Those things get me to a lot of in-person interviews where it’s just down to me and one other person. So while I’m really good at going on interviews, I’m not very good at actually getting the job. (Which is totally fine- I’ve gotten all the jobs I was meant to have and obviously I don’t want a job where it wouldn’t be a good mutual fit).

Because of this, I’ve had a lot of experience dealing with the aftermath of the “sorry, we went with the other guy” call/email. Sometimes it wasn’t a big deal because I didn’t feel very confident leaving their office (like the most recent interview I went on). Sometimes it was a bummer because I felt like I was qualified, but ultimately I was ok (like an interview I had with a major tech company a few years ago). And there have been one or two times where I was genuinely disappointed and might have shed a tear which seems very dramatic, I realize, but at the time I was just really upset (like an internship I really wanted in college).

Disappointments are always going to be a part of life, but I wanted to share some tried and true ways to handle the situation when you’ve gone through an interview process and don’t end up getting the job.

Let yourself feel disappointed. || It’s totally understandable to feel kind of down when a recruiter says sorry, but no. It’s ok to feel sad and even feel a little bit of a loss. If you’re like me, you immediately start planning you *new life* that will come along with this new job, and it can be terrible to let go of that.

Do something to make you happy. || But don’t go too crazy, now. Do something to perk yourself back up once you’ve heard the news. Get an ice cream cone. Go for a nice long walk. Buy some new stationary and send a card to a friend. Just a little something to get your spirits up.

Reflect on the parts of the interview that went well. || Think about the questions that you ROCKED. What were they? How did you answer them? What made you so confident for those portions of the interview? Write down your great answers so you can remember them for future interviews.

Reflect on the parts of the interview that did not go well. || If you can pinpoint certain parts or questions that were difficult for you, think about why. What were the questions? Were there any that you were not prepared for? How could you have improved your answer? Why didn’t you feel confident for those portions of the interview? Write down the tough questions so you can work on better answers for future interviews.

Ask for feedback. || This part isn’t necessary, especially if you know why an interview didn’t go well, but asking for feedback from the manager or recruiter (whoever you talked to) is one of the most important parts of a “failed” interview. They’ll usually be willing to tell you an area of weakness you can work on, a skill you should gain, if there was something else specific that made you seem like a less than ideal candidate, or if simply the other person was just a better fit.

Move on to the next one. || No minor setback is going to hold you down! Take what you’ve learned, and use that to improve yourself for the next time you have a job interview. It might not seem like it gets easier, but hopefully you’ll feel more prepared and land the job of your dreams!

How to Survive a Redeye Flight (Or Not!)

How to Survive a Redeye Flight

When I was preparing for my trip to England back in May, I had such high hopes for the redeye flight over. The last time I few internationally I was 6, so I didn’t have any reliable tricks to fall back on, but I did a LOT of research online and I prepped and packed so carefully and I was so confident that I would get on the plane, settle in, and get a decent amount of sleep. How do you think that went?

Yeah.

It didn’t go well.

Not at all as I planned. I think that a big part of it was that I had an out of the ordinary flight experience with some particularly tricky seat mates (like putting their bare feet in my area and touching my legs, tapping to wake me up and ask me simple questions, talking at a crazy loud volume for HOURS), but I still did manage to get a few minutes of sleep.

After all the reading and researching and planning, here’s my advice on how to survive a redeye flight – whether you end up getting to sleep or not.

Book the window seat. This is by far the BEST advice I can give (besides having enough money to get the fancy seats that recline all the way. Obviously go that route if you can.) If you are going the cheap route, do everything in your power to get a window seat. Having the option of resting your head against the side of the plane and not just against the back of your seat will give you at least one more option to try and get comfortable enough to sleep.

Bring earplugs. Or noise cancelling headphones. Or both!! Anything to block out the noise of your neighbors and the flight attendants. Even if you aren’t able to sleep, sitting in the quiet can be really nice and more relaxing. If you do have really good headphones and want to skip the earplugs, I highly recommend downloading a good white noise app to help drown out the coughing and talking and airplane sounds.

Pack a sleeping mask. This one was so key for me. The screens were still pretty bright, and it was nice just to totally cover up my eyes and have no light coming in. Normally wearing a sleeping mask will keep people from bothering you, too. That wasn’t the case for me. Even while wearing my sleeping mask, the lady next to me felt the need to poke my shoulder to ask me things like “where is the bathroom?” and “how do I watch a movie?” and I wish I was kidding.

Have some essentials on hand. By essentials, I just mean little things that are really nice to have that you might not think of. Like hand lotion. And a full bottle of water (to drink toward the end of the flight.) And an extra ponytail holder (the seats made my hair SO staticky).

Get cozy in the terminal. Since I was flying in the cheap seats, there was literally NO room once seated to do basically anything. I could barely reach down to grab my bag, let alone do something like put on comfy socks. So anything you might want to do on the plane, like put on your favorite cozy sweater or put on your compression socks – do it before stepping foot on the plane.

Don’t feel obligated to eat the in-flight meal. I skipped it and it was, in my opinion, a great decision. Not eating in the middle of the night helped me mentally to think that it was night time and I didn’t have to try and wake up just to eat or get energized after a full meal.

But do have something for “breakfast” with you. Since it was ‘technically’ morning, I wanted to get my mind in the right place by eating some breakfast. I packed a granola bar and it was just enough energy to pep me up and keep me awake while waiting to go through customs.

Keep your expectations low. Flights are so unpredictable, mainly because the people around you are so unpredictable. Keep your expectations low, don’t expect to get too much sleep, and you’ll do just fine.