On My Radar: 2018 Edition

Happy 2018!

I can’t believe it’s the start of a new year. In some ways 2017 flew by, but in others it dragged on. I’ve been eagerly awaiting 2018 for a while now, and it is finally HERE. Cue all the praise hands and happy dances.

So many exciting things are bound to happen this year, I can hardly wait.

Although I am still planning and finalizing my “resolutions,” I will share those with you soon. In the meantime, I wanted to share what’s on my radar lately because I’m really excited about them.

On My Radar…

ONE: “The Magnolia Story” by Chip and Joanna Gaines

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This book! I received it for Christmas because I’m a huge fan of Fixer Upper. I was always intrigued by the husband & wife duo who flip and design houses, raise four kids, live in Texas, and keep God at the center. However, while reading The Magnolia Story, I became an even bigger fan of the Gaines’.  It’s an easy read, too, so it hasn’t taken me long at all to be almost finished it. I’ll probably finish it tonight and I started reading it a few days ago.

 

 

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TWO: La La Land Piano Sheet Music

This piano sheet music book is another thing I received for Christmas and I *love* it. I’m always on the search for new songs to learn on the piano to challenge myself and keep my skills sharp. Since I teach piano and no longer take lessons myself, playing for fun usually does not happen on a regular basis. La La Land quickly became one of my favorite movies in early 2017, and the soundtrack is downright ah-maze-ing, so I am excited for the challenge.

 

 

THREE: Fur Vests

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This trendy piece of clothing has stumped me. I love how it looks and received one as a gift this year. I’ve pinned a few outfits on Pinterest that includes this statement piece, but I have yet to test it out. It’s so warm and stylish, I’m excited to wear it soon.

 

 

FOUR: Bloom Daily Planners’ Daily Calendar

Screen Shot 2018-01-02 at 4.10.56 PMI discovered Bloom Daily Planners a few years ago while researching the best academic planners to use during my senior year (*cough* my Type A is showing *cough*). Bloom is a Delaware-based company and their founders attended the University of Delaware, so obviously when I found this out, I was hooked and purchased my first of many products from Bloom. This year, I received the Bloom Daily Planners’ Daily Calendar and it sits proudly on my desk at work. It’s not only adorable and colorful, but every day features a quote or a challenge – two of my favorite things!

 

Those are a few things on my radar. What’s on yours?

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The eBay Addict

I have a confession to make.

I am semi-addicted to eBay.

Seriously. If a product comes with free shipping and there is 5 minutes left, it is mine and I will not let it out of my grip.

Just kidding!

I do not bid on Ebay. I refuse.

In fact, even if there is a cute necklace and there are no bids with 5 minutes left, I will not bid on it.

I do not bid. I will not bid. It’s not worth it.

However… 

The “buy it now” option on eBay is a weakness, and I am admitting that to you today.

It is not a problem. It is a hobby.

A very cheap, very fun hobby.

How can you not want to buy a pair of earrings for 99 cents and free shipping?! It seems too good to be true, but it is not. It is real, and it’s fantastic.

Let me let you in on a few recent purchases… maybe then you will understand my recent fascination with finding a steal and spending literally next to nothing

*Disclaimer: I do not purchase items all the time. I’m not actually an addict. I recently discovered how much money I could save with the “buy it now” option and wanted to inform you of this brilliant, brilliant alternative to purchasing accessories.

* Each item below was purchased for $1 on eBay with free shipping. *

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See? So fun. Each accessory comes about 2 weeks after the purchase and by that time, I’ve usually forgotten about the purchase so it’s like a surprise to myself every time!

The more you know. 🙂

The Top 5 Things You Won’t Learn In A Classroom

Five weeks in.

It is unbelievable to think how quickly time has flown when I stop and think about it. Five weeks ago, I started my ten week internship. I proudly hold the title of social media and marketing intern and I couldn’t be more ecstatic.

In any internship, the first day is always the hardest, simply for the fact that you have no idea what to expect. On that bright and sunny Monday morning, I was anxious, excited, nervous, ready. So many emotions overwhelmed my mind that when I walked through the doors for the first time, it was time.

It was time to do what I knew I could do. I was focused and determined to start working, eager to soak up everything I could, and ready to begin this long-awaited chapter in my public relations career.

Now, five weeks later, I’m half way there. With only five weeks under my belt, it’s  been the greatest five weeks. What a beginning! I’ve learned a lot and still have so much more to learn. Every day, it becomes increasingly evident that relying solely on textbooks and exams will not help you in the “real world.” Being A Great Intern 101 is not offered in the course catalog; it is with experience that you develop and enhance the skills necessary to succeed.

In only 25 days, I’ve learned many lessons through my own experience and observing others. I’ll spare you from all of that and instead give you…BWP_PRSSA-0063

The Top Five Things You Won’t Learn

In A Classroom:

1. Come early, stay late– It’s easy to want to leave the office as soon as your hours are up for the day. 40 hours a week is a lot of time to be in the office and as an intern, it can be a challenge not to count down the minutes until closing time. One of my mentors once told me, “To be a great intern, you have to go early and stay late. Do whatever you can do in the hours you are given, but go above and beyond when they don’t expect it.” Best advice ever. Going above and beyond is a skill that can’t be taught in a class room; it’s adapted through work ethic and determination. Come early, stay late– do whatever you can to go above and beyond the expected 8 hours a day. This doesn’t mean arriving two hours early and staying until midnight– even if it’s 15 minutes earlier and 20 minutes later, the drive is evident. People will notice, but more importantly, you give your 110%.

2. The interview doesn’t end when you get the job— Once you are hired, that’s not the end of it. Every day, I walk into the office with the goal of showing them that they made the right decision to hire me. I said the right things in the interview, but actions speak louder then words. Actions provide the backbone to the investment they made. Go above and beyond, ask questions, work hard, be proactive, show up on time– the works. It’s easy to want to let your guard down after a few days on the job, but their investment in you is just as important as your investment in them.

3. Keep your notebook with you 24/7— I write everything down. I’m a writer; I have to see my tasks on paper and check them off. I learn through visuals and remember ideas better when I see them physically written down. Walking around the office with a notebook helps me remember the little things. When I meet with my boss, I write down what he says. I write down daily to-do lists and week-long goals. I write down my ideas so I don’t forget them and also important reminders from emails and meetings. If you are a visual person, keep a notebook with you. It helps more than you think.

4. Walk around— Don’t be that intern who sits at his/her desk all day. Walk around; get to know people. I struggle with finding the perfect combination to receive a healthy balance, so I discovered a solution. Drink water from a water bottle. When I finish the water bottle, I go to get more water (duh) and on the way to the water cooler, I stop to say hi to whomever I pass. It helps! This little walk gives me a break from sitting in front of a computer, keeps me hydrated, and allows me to meet my fellow coworkers.

5. Conquer a fear– It could be anything from learning to write a professional email to stepping out of your comfort zone. For me, as ironic as this sounds, it was getting over my fear of talking on the phone. As a communications and public relations major, this should come second nature to me. But, I’ve always been a little self-conscious about calling people to ask for information or following up on a task. I’ve conquered it through past internships and during this one, I’ve conquered it some more. It gets easier and easier every day and for this, I’m glad. It wasn’t necessarily a fear, but it’s been a slight out-of-my-comfort-zone task that I’ve had to face time and time again. Big or small, a “fear” can hold you back from your fullest potential. Take the time as an intern to really try and overcome it. Don’t limit your capacity for success.

Five weeks down. Five more to go. At the half way point, I’ve learned way more than these five important tips. So far, I’ve not only strengthened my resume and learned a lot about the company, but I’ve also developed as an intern and a public relations professional. What are tips you’ve learned through your internship experiences? Comment below!

Let’s connect on Twitter: @KeriBetters

4 Ways to Balance Creativity and Work: Article by Made By Meagan’s founder, Meagan Walsh

Keri Note: As part of the new year, I wrote down several resolutions I was determined to keep. One of which was to incorporate guest bloggers into LittleMissKeri on a regular basis.

I am SO very excited to feature Meagan as the first guest. We swapped blogs– I guest wrote on her’s (my article can be found here) and now she is writing on mine! Yay!

Meagan is a fellow college student and the next Martha Stewart (sans jail time). She’s a crafting queen and the nicest person you’ll ever meet. I’ve gotten to know her better through school and extracurricular activities and have always been envious of the way she can make something out of nothing. Through her Instagram and Pinterest pages, it’s easy to tell that she has talent behind the sewing machine. To say it plainly, she puts Pinterest DIYs to shame.

To feature Meagan on this blog is an honor. Not only is she a creative genius, but she also just opened her Etsy shop and you can now buy her creations! Stop by the shop by clicking here and buy something from Meagan today!

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As an upcoming college graduate, I find myself completely terrified of entering the workforce. It’s not that I haven’t enjoyed past job experiences, but the notion of spending my entire life behind a desk and missing out on time with friends and family is something that just cuts to the core.

I am then reminded that nearly everyone I know either has, is currently, or will one day go through a very similar situation and I’m faced with the reality of making the best of it. In an ideal situation we would land our dream job with a dream salary in a dream location and we would live out our days happily as contributing members of society.

But frankly it’s not that easy. Working long hours in less-than-desirable pay grade is the norm, especially for first-time employees, but the characteristics reach far-beyond entry-level positions.

I’ve always been the creative type. I enjoy spending my days behind my sewing/embroidery combination machine (yes, I’m an old lady stuck in a twenty-something’s body) and there’s a good chance I’ve lost all my fingerprints as a result of my glue gun. I find that I’m at my happiest when I create something with my hands. From hair bows, to purses to scrapbook crafting, I’m into it all.

Mod podge runs through my blood.

I’m finding myself increasingly scared that once I find a full time job and begin working that I’m going to lose the energy to complete a hobby that genuinely fulfills my soul. I’ve been very fortunate to grow up in a household which thrives on creativity while also balancing strict academic and personal success. My parents raised me to succeed academically while always allowing me to paint, sew, act, and play sports.

I’ve made it my personal pledge to keep that mindset during the beginning of my career. I think that no matter what stage of career you find yourself in, it’s imperative to maintain creative balance.

Here’s my pledge (which I intend to hang up on my wall in some sort of crafty fashion) to help maintain creative balance in a working career.

1. Schedule Time

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Make time at least once per week to indulge in a creative outlet. Whether it be painting, photography, interpretive dance, sewing, or music. Honestly I don’t really care what you do- just do something. Depriving yourself of a hobby that you love for the sake of making money will hurt your soul in the long run (I can’t guarantee the soul-crushing, but go with it). Write down that time in your planner- and actually do it. This time is for YOU and bettering YOU. This isn’t time to skimp out on.

2. Create Something with your Hands. 

It’s my personal belief that there is literally nothing better than the satisfaction you get from creating something. The first time I made a pillow was quite possibly one of the best days of my life. It’s so important that we, as humans, recognize our amazing ability to create beautiful things. walsh3

3. Share

The internet is amazing. Amidst all of the scary corners of the internet, we find spaces where we can share our creative outlets with others. From a simple share on facebook of that Pinterest recipe gone horribly wrong, to a full blown tutorial (check mine out!) to share to everyone, being able to have the work you do inspire someone else to create is an amazing feeling.

4. Reflect

It’s so tempting to come home from work and retreat into yourself. During my summer internship I sometimes worked normal hours and sometimes worked into the night and I found it so hard to just relax. We want to take a nap, watch some TV and interact on social media. Take some time every day to reflect. It doesn’t matter what on, but what it all boils down to is perspective. Work is not your life, your love, happiness, relationships and satisfaction are your life. Reflection can take many forms, but it’s important to find the form you most identify with- from meditation to religion to just writing it all down.

Am I still afraid of losing a little bit of my time and energy when I start working? Of course. As part of my personal pledge, I finally opened my etsy shop, giving myself literally no excuse to slack on taking some creative time to myself- I mean, I have orders to fill!

Perspective. It’s all about perspective.

Am I still going to search for my dream job? Yes.

Am I going to find my dream job? Yes.

Am I going to set aside creative me-time after I have an amazing day at my dream job? Yes.

Do what makes you happy. If you’re lucky enough for your career to be your creative outlet, then that’s amazing, and I can only hope to one day be in your shoes.

What do you do to balance career and creativity? Tweet me and visit me on my blog and on my crafting blog!

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Hump Day Snow Day.

Remember when I said that Delaware weather is extremely unpredictable?

Yesterday, we received 12+ inches of snow.

Yep, not lyin’. That actually happened.

Because of this, my job was cancelled yesterday and today, which means I’m stuck at home finding ways to occupy myself without going completely insane.

If you’re anything like me, you like to stay productive. Having ‘free time’ is weird and I don’t really know what to do with it. I’m used to having a schedule that’s jammed packed with places to go, people to see, things to do. With the weather completely erasing my plans and me now staring at a day that has no pencil markings, I’ve come to the realization that I need something to do.

So, with coffee as my sidekick, this is what I’ve done so far…

I’ve created my own 101 in 1001 list.  You can find more about it if you click the link, but basically it’s 101 things I want to accomplish in 1001 days. I’m slowly, but surely, trying to check items off the list and frankly, thanks to two snow days, I’ve been able to check off a few! I definitely recommend doing this and if you end up joining me on this adventure, let me know and I will add your name and list link below mine.

I began my adventure jar. A mason jar, a little decor, and loose change. It’s as easy as that. Save your loose change and then, when you want to make a purchase or reward yourself in some one, you use your adventure money. Maybe by the end of the year, I’ll have enough money to buy these shoes. (killer, right?!)

One of the things that I *should* be ashamed of, but am soooo not is the fact that I created a Pinterest board called My Happy Place. Truth be told, I love desks, stationary, and brightly colored everything. (I mean, it IS #8). It may be the Type-A nerd in me or the girl who couldn’t wait for the first day of school just so I could buy a new notebook, but this inspirational board inspired me to reorganize my desk and spruce it up. I added a few pictures, a small whiteboard for writing down inspirational quotes, and cleaned out my desk drawers. Nothing says Happy Keri more than a clean, organized desk. I know… I’m weird.

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I read “Heaven Is For Real.” It’s a true story about a little boy who had a near-death experience and went to Heaven for 3 minutes. The real reason why I began reading it is because the movie is coming out in a few months. When possible, I try to read the book before the movie so with a few days to spare, I decided this was a good time to do it. I read it in 3 hours– it’s that good. I definitely recommend it!

I began knitting a scarf. When cleaning out my room, I found a ball of yarn and my knitting needles. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I used them. It’s been that long. So, why not start a new hobby? Maybe I’ll actually be able to check off #81. 

Well, that’s about it. So far, I haven’t done too too much with the free time. Besides planning for a few events in spring and keeping myself busy with odds and ends, the two days have been relaxing and I haven’t lost all sanity yet. There’s still hope.

However.

I really can’t wait to get back into being busy.

What are some things you’re doing during this break? Any ideas, suggestions, foods to try, or DIYs you’d like to share? Comment below or send me a tweet! 

 

Spring into Spring: Top 5 Favorites from the Pinterest Closet

It’s about that time in January where I begin to long for spring.

I am not the kind of girl who enjoys the freezing cold weather with negative wind chills and lots of snow on the ground. Not that this is actually happening right now… it is Delaware after all. We are known for our crazy and bipolar weather. The other day it was 60 degrees, yesterday it was in the 40s…last week, we had snow. What is this.

Anyways, because my mind longs for warmer temperatures and sunny days and happy birds chirping from tree branches, I’ve begun to escape to the land of Pinterest for some spring inspiration.

These 5 are my favorites and I thought I’d share them with you!

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I have to admit, one of the reasons why I pinned this is because there is a Starbucks cup in the picture. No shame. I’m a helpless Starbucks addict with no hope in ever quitting. However, besides the coffee cup, I love this outfit because of the soft green and floral combination. It’s not too frilly and not too girly, but has a hint of laid-back, let’s study in the library and go on a picnic on Saturday kind of feel. I dig it, especially with the neutral bag, shoes, and watch.
To purchase items from this outfit, click here.

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I guess I should probably admit this now, because you’ll find out eventually. I have a slight obsession with trench coats. My mom bought me a grey one a few years ago and it is, by far, my favorite coat ever. I love this tan one with the classic polka dot shirt and forest green accent sweater. To me, this screams “Weekend Outfit in the City” and I don’t really know why. What I do know, however, is that those mustard yellow flats are to die for. Yellow has become sort of like a neutral, because it can go with everything. You can wear them in every season and make each outfit look new and refreshed. Paired with jeans, a trench, polka dots, and green? Perfect.
To purchase items from this outfit, click here.

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Nautical stripes, red pants, and a gold chain. Simple, elegant, a hint of the sea. Need I say more?
To pin this to your own Pinterest board, click here.

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Starbucks in the picture. The fact that I pinned this because of that is a weakness and a problem, I think. The thing I like about this outfit is that it’s accessory-based. The scarf, the ring, the boots, the bag… the accessories make the outfit. The outfit, in itself, is casual– a long sweater, leggings, a tank top. What makes a statement is the boldness of the light, spring-colored accents. And the Starbucks cup helps, too. 😉
To purchase items from this outfit, click here.

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I couldn’t havae a fashion blog post without posting at least one dress. Coral and sky blue is my favorite combination, especially for spring. For practicality reasons, I like this outfit because the dress can be worn with heels or flats. It can be made new with different accessories like studs or pearls and worn with a denim jacket and a different bag. It’s elegant, classic, girly, and screams spring.
To purchase items from this outfit, click here.

These five outfits make me so excited for spring. Although there are still several months left of winter, at least I know that spring is coming. Until then, I’ll keep pinning beautiful outfits! To follow my Pinterest closet, click here.