July 31, 2014

Job Hunting - 10 Tips

I’m going to put it to you straight. Finding a job… it’s tough. The days of just relying on a nicely designed resume and well-written cover letter are over. Now you have to go to great lengths to connect with people at the company, impress the right ones and send up a few prayers that the right opportunity opens its doors. While I could almost narrow down my 10 tips into one (NETWORK), I have decided to still present my best 10 tips for landing your next job. Because trust me, I’m right there with you!

1. NETWORK. I cannot stress this enough. Seriously nine times out of ten it’s not what you know but whom you know (but yes you do need the skills to back it up too). If you are interested in a company, find someone to connect with. This is where LinkedIn is great. Cold call or email them. They will appreciate your enthusiasm and interest. Invite them to lunch or coffee to pick their brains for advice on how to get a job there. Ask them to put you in touch with someone in HR or pass your name along to others in the company. This is step one of finding a job, and it never really ends. In the business world you will always be networking. Develop this skill first and perfect it. You will be doing this for the rest of your professional life.

2. A unique resume and cover letter. With so many people applying to every open position, you want to have a resume and cover letter that stand out, prove why you deserve the job and make the employeer want to invite you to interview. There are tons of samples for stand-out resume designs and cover letters. Work up something that shows your professionalism and personality. Have a friend look it over for feedback too!

3. Think like the interviewer. Look at your resume and think, “Now what questions would someone have about my background and skills?” Think of different experiences you’ve had that could answer each question with an example that shows how you are prepared to handle this job.

4. Dress to the nines. Interview attire should be appropriate. Think – a step up from the company’s dress code. Have your hair neatly groomed, nails clean and outfit pressed. Employers will value your attention to detail when getting ready and also looking nice will bump up your confidence!

5. Firm handshake. Seriously, this is crucial. Look them in the eye and give a firm handshake. The handshake is a non-verbal insight into your personality and you want to come off as confident.

6. Be prepared for the weakness question. We’ve all heard of this one. “What are some of your weaknesses?” Be prepared to answer this questions eloquently and formulate an answer that has a positive spin.

7. Also be prepared to say why you are the best person for the job. Seriously. Have this answer planned and practiced. Give specific, concrete examples of why you have the experience and skills set to do this job and why that makes you the best candidate.

8. Have questions prepared for the interviewer. At the end they will open up the floor for questions from you. ALWAYS have questions prepared. Show you’ve done your research before the interview and have invested some time to learn more about them.

9. The handwritten thank you note. Write and send this as soon as you exit the building. Make sure you send a separate note to each interviewer and include specific things about your interview conversation to show you were engaged.

10. Say a prayer and don’t give up. The right job will come. If you are sticking to these tips there will be something out there for you! Just don’t give up, and continue to give it 110 percent. It will all be worth it!

July 30, 2014

A Nashville Getaway

To celebrate Katie's birthday, we're headed north to another one of my favorite Southern cities, Nashville, Tennessee. Music City is only about a three hour drive from Birmingham, so we knew it was the perfect place to go for a weekend of birthday celebration. Our friend from UNC and Katie's childhood best friend, Katie, is coming down tomorrow to meet us for the weekend, and our new friend from Birmingham, Alex, is coming too - we can't wait.

Although we're mainly playing the weekend by ear, we do have a couple places to hit on our itinerary while we're in Nashville. (You guessed it, particularly surrounding food and drink). Here's what's in my suitcase so far, although the over-packer that I am will probably load my car full of clothes I won't wear! 


For a night out, I'm pairing my black romper with cowboy boots and a gold necklace.

Coffee at Fido.

Fido is a must stop for me whenever I go to Nashville. I've heard that you can often spot country musicians here grabbing a coffee for the road or songwriters sitting in the back working on lyrics. Crossing my fingers I spot one this trip!

Jean shorts, J.Crew tee, a summer scarf and sandals.

Drinks + Appetizers at Pinewood Social.

Although I've never been, I've heard Pinewood Social is a hotspot that I have to try. So, to celebrate Katie turning 22, we're going out for early drinks and appetizers.

Anthropologie black tank, Zara lace shorts, Kendra Scott necklace and tan wedges.

Brunch at Husk / Country Music Hall of Fame / Live Music at The Bluebird Cafe.

No Nashville trip is complete without brunch at Husk. Don't be surprised if you see a picture of my food over social media. I'm a little obsessed with their brunch. We're also going to try to see if we can grab a spot at The Bluebird for Sunday's songwriter night. Wish us luck!

White shorts and embellished top.

Although we only have a couple days to spend in the city, I'm still determined to someday hit all the spots on this list from Southern Living

July 29, 2014

Travel Tuesday: Caribbean

Alright, Mon! This travel Tuesday we are heading down to some of our favorite Caribbean islands. Whether you’re stopping through on a cruise or just visiting one of your favorites, the Caribbean is the best place to let go of your worries, soak up the sun and kick back with a delicious drink in your hand. While there is no possible way to capture all of the beauty, water activities, food and nightlife of every Caribbean destination, we did manage to narrow down a few of our favorites!

First up, the Bahamas. While they may be located just above the Caribbean Sea, they are close enough for us to highlight. The Bahamas features two islands, Freeport and Nassau. While we’ve both visited the Bahamas as different times, Julie and I traveled to Nassau together as a part of our spring break cruise.

When in Freeport, head on over to the Port Lucaya Marketplace. Here you will find the entertainment hub of the Grand Bahama Island. To put it in simply: 34 international bars and restaurants, over 60 stores and the largest straw market on the island. Visit the square at night for music, dancing and of course, $1 shots. Some of the best beaches include Taino Beach, Barbary Beach and Sliverpoint Reef. Here you can enjoy relaxing on the white sand or snorkeling in the crystal clear waters. Additionally, Freeport boasts a nice collection of country clubs for golfing and casinos for those feeling lucky.

In Nassau you also have a great blend of luxurious resorts, a thriving nightlife, white sand beaches, turquoise waters and countless attractions. One of the most famous resorts, Atlantis, serves as a popular place to visit while on the island. Whether you’ve decided to stay at Atlantis or just want to get a day pass to the water park, there are plenty of things to see and do for all ages. No matter what daytime activities you plan, make sure you still enjoy the Bahamian Kalik beer and cracked conch at a poolside bar & grill.

When in Grand Cayman head on over to Seven Mile Beach for a day of sunshine and sand. Looking to get a bit friendlier with the sea creatures? Make sure you check out Stingray City to get up-close and personal with the rays at the Stingray Sand Bar. Test your balance on a paddleboard or dive down under the surface and see Devil’s Grotto. Whether you’re the adventure type or just want to relax, Cayman has is all!

Ocho Rios, Jamaica is another favorite when it comes to circumnavigating the Caribbean. The land of sugar cane, coffee and limestone has much to offer in terms of activities and gorgeous cream-colored beaches. Ocho Rios serves as the island’s cruise ship capital. I definitely recommend testing out your skills on horseback in order to see the best sights from both the interior and the waterfront. Carve out some time to climb the 600-foot waterfall at Dunn’s River Falls. Lastly, before you leave, make sure to try some of the jerk chicken.

If your travels lead you to San Juan, Puerto Rico, make sure to check out Old San Juan. The stretch of over 400 restored buildings from the 16th- and 17th-century Spanish colonial period encompasses the history of the old world meshed with romantic European charm. If the city doesn’t satisfy your history fix, check out Castillo de San Cristobal and the San Juan National Historic Site. The Castillo de San Cristobal is a 27-acre series of fortifications, which are largest the Spanish built in the New World. The San Juan National Historic Site was constructed during the 17th and 18th centuries to defect the San Juan coastline. It sits on a dramatic rocky outcrop at 140 feet above sea level.

July 28, 2014

Monday Musing: Transitions

Whether we want to or not, life sends us down a path that involves numerous transitions. Life’s stages change quickly as we transition from high school to college, college to first job and so on. Some of these transitions are from our own choices; some from opportunities; and some sneak up on us, forcing their way into our lives. Whatever the circumstances, these new experiences often include a lot of experimenting, learning and trying new things.

For Julie and I, transitioning to Birmingham has been a huge change in our lives. We left the college world, our friends and family and moved down to a new place with new (and first) jobs. Some of the adjustments were expected, such as learning new recipes to cook, balancing our bank accounts and working 40-hour weeks. However some of the transitions take time. We are still looking for our favorite place on a Saturday night, our go-to niche of friends and stability in a full-time job.

I think one of the hardest things about diving in to a new stage of life is the uncertainty. Everyone experiences things differently, and life doesn’t really come with a guidebook. However, I think with a simple acknowledgement of the past as the past, we can see the future as full of opportunity.

There is this movie, Up In the Air, where George Clooney plays a character whose job is to fire people for companies that were downsizing. He always began his termination speech with “ I’m here to talk to you about new opportunities.” Being laid-off is a huge lifestyle change (one of those transitions that sneaks up on us), and I can imagine it is not something one would see much positivity in. But I think Clooney’s character makes a good point. Every new transition (door closing) is a chance to seek and explore new opportunities!

For me, this week marks the end of my internship at Intermark Group. I am so sad to have this time end (there’s that door closing again), but also excited because I have a few interviews this week that could lead to another opportunity!

During times of transition there is a constant feeling of everything being in flux. Many times we have let go of our old patterns and feel a bit unsteady, but this is when we are most malleable to change. Now is the time to explore, try new things and consider options you normally wouldn’t before your life begins to naturally solidify into new patterns. And guess what, there’s probably another transition hiding right around the corner!

July 27, 2014

Guest Post: The Style Hunter

Today we're so happy to welcome Emily Fogarty of The Style Hunter. Emily is a friend of Julie's who she met while interning in Savannah, Georgia last summer, and turns out, Emily is a blogger with an affinity for all things fashion. We love Emily's style and use of textures, patterns and sparkle, as well as her mix of fashion finds both high-end and budget friendly.

We're swooning over her outfit in today's post. Be sure to stop by Emily's blog too - we know y'all will adore it just as much as we do.

Top: Anthropologie Jeans: Old Navy Shoes: No clue (similar) Clutch: GiGi NewYork 
Necklace: BaubleBar (similar) Sunnies: Guess (similar)
Nails: Essie Fruit Sangria (The Style Hunter shade)

Few things make me genuinely, incredibly excited. 

--A huge glass of sweet tea, after I haven't had it in a long time.

--When I swipe on a bright lip and instantly feel pulled together.

--Chips, queso and a marg with my best friends. And gossip. Lots of it. 

--When my nails have dried completely and there is not a smudge to be found.

Another thing that makes me truly happy....something you see on the hanger at a store that is just so incredible that you just have to have it or you know you will just die. You appreciate the art like way it hangs, or the way the store has styled in on the mannequin and you just sit back and say...I would hang out with that girl. 

Then the panic sets in, you want to try it on but what if it doesn't look like what you thought and your dreams will be crushed. That is how it was for me with this peplum. I about died right there in Anthropologie when I laid my eyeballs on it. I grabbed a small and headed to the dressing room. It was perfect for that St. Patrick's Day statement top. When I got in the dressing room, however, the gal crushed my spirit for a minute. She said it runs huge, and the girl in the dressing room next to me had the extra small. With the giant top on, I had to wait impatiently for the other girl to get there and try it on. Thankfully, the St. Patty's Day gods were shining down on me and it became MINE!

Sometimes you gotta be a bit pushy and go after what you want. Especially when the peplum literally stands on its own and does not move. That is called the jackpot ladies.

July 26, 2014

Easy Peasy Key Lime Pie

A fresh, tangy slice of key lime pie was just meant for summer, don't you think? We may or may not have the easiest key lime pie recipe for y'all, today. 

Just whip up a couple ingredients, pop in the oven and voila, you have a refreshing summer dessert that will sure be the cherry on top of your weekend. Trust us, it won't stay in your fridge for long!


9" graham cracker pie shell
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
3 egg yolks (whites not used)
1/2 cup Nellie & Joe's Key West Lime Juice

Combine milk, egg yolks and lime juice. Blend until smooth. Pour filling into pie shell and bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Allow to stand 10 minutes before refrigerating. Just before serving, top with freshly whipped cream and garnish with lime slices. Or, just eat as is - like we did!

Weekend Links We Love

Happy Saturday, friends! We can't believe it's already the last weekend in July - where did this month, or summer for that matter, go?

Here are a few things we've been perusing online lately, and we hope to spend the morning doing more of that, with a fresh pot of coffee brewed nearby.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Every blogger we follow seems to be talking about this incredible sale. Hurry, because it ends August 4! But good news, you can shop straight from your couch with your morning cup. Here are a few of our favorites:

Katie's picks: Tory Burch 'Eloise' Riding Boot, Bobbi Brown 'Nude on Nude' Collection, rag & bone 'The Dre' Slim Fit Boyfriend Jeans, Kate Spade 'Branton Square' Teardrop Stud Earrings in Emerald
Julie's picks: NARS cheek palette, Tory Burch Logo Wrap Leather Bracelet in Bark/Shiny Gold, Frye Leather Riding Bootie, Zella 'My Run Layer' Half Zip Top in Coral Bloom

These raw, vegan, salted peanut butter cookies. We made peanut butter cookies earlier this week that were egg-less and substituted oil for applesauce, but we want to give these lovelies a try. Best part about this recipe? The sea salt on top.

5 Road Trips You Need to Take. Living all the way Deep South, we're bound to be making a lot of road trips in the near future. These maps from The Glitter Guide give five great road trip ideas to try this summer. We're especially fond of the one from Savannah to Charleston, and of course from New Orleans to Atlanta.

15 Centerpieces for Your Summer Table. We love these budget friendly, DIY ideas to spruce up our apartment. Fresh florals and bright colors really liven up a space, and we hope to try one or two of these for our next get-together. And who knew lemons could look so pretty as a "stand-in "floral" arrangement?

Kate Spade Launches Swimwear Line. The company announced that 70 swimwear pieces will hit stores in November. Expect lots of bows, graphic prints and '60s glamour. (We just wish we had this Kate Spade suit for one of our last beach trips this summer).

July 25, 2014

Summer Outfits for the Career Girl

When the warm weather rolls in, the wardrobe becomes shorts, tanks and swim suits... right? Well, when you have to work five out of the seven days of the week, your clothing options look a little bit different. While we unfortunately can't spend every day by the water, we can put together a few summer inspired outfits that are appropriate for the office. Check out a few of our summer looks that meet the company dress code, but also easily transition for a weekday dinner or cocktail hour.

Tailored Shirt and Skirt: A tailored shirt and a high waisted skirt are the ultimate work pair. This outfit is all business, but can easily transition into an atmosphere after office hours. Use a tank and pair it with a cardigan for the office that you can take off after work, or a simple cap sleeve like the one below.

Top: Express, Skirt: New York and Company, Shoes: Guess, Bag: J Crew

Sleeveless with a Cardigan: Take a sassy sleeveless dress and pair it with a simple cardigan. The sweater will keep you in line with dress code, while you can still show off those arms after work. Pair it with a belt to dress up with waistline.

Cardigan: New York and Company, Dress: White House Black Market

Aquatic Colors: Keep cool this summer with cool-inspired colors. Blues and aquas are the perfect cure to the office blues.

Top: New York and Company, Skirt: J Crew, Shoes: Nine West

Watch: Michael Kors, Bracelets: Kate Spade, Alex and Ani

Colorblock Dress and Blazer: A colorblock dress is easily flattering. Pair it with a blazer and the look says you mean business; but take of the blazer and you are set for after work drinks. This is a simple, easy, work-to-night outfit that you can mix-and-match.

Dress: Lauren Ralph Lauren, Blazer: New York and Company

Summertime Whites: Summertime is the time for white attire. Take your white pants or white skirts and match them with a bold top, or pull out your favorite white dress. Whites are also stand-out options for nighttime.

Dress: Nordstrom 

Patterns: Incorporate bold, summer patterns into your wardrobe for summer. The bright patterns will keep you in the summertime spirit, even under the florescent work lights. These patterns are easy transitions into post-work events too! *Tip: Pair summertime whites and bold patterns

Top: Banana Republic, Pants: Express

Shoes: Macy's

Casual Fridays: Choose a dark denim and a fashionable top. Pair it with a wedge or a heel to keep the outfit a little more dressy, or a classic, simple flat for a more comfortable look.

Top: Stein Mart, Denim: Level 99, Purse: Kate Spade

Do you have a go-to summer work outfit you love? Share it with us in the comments section below!

July 24, 2014

Ten Things You Didn't Know About Coffee

It all started with…
Dancing goats. Legend has it Ethiopian shepherds were the first to realize the effects of caffeine. They noticed their goats began to dance around and behave in a strange way after eating coffee berries.

It was eaten…
That’s right, originally African tribes mixed coffee berries with fat to make edible energy balls.

It grew because of Islam…
The Islamic religion prohibited drinking alcohol, but accepted coffee. This contributed to the growth in popularity of coffee

It’s a berry…

Coffee beans are actually the seeds found within a bright red berry.

It's not what you smell in Starbucks...
Coffee companies such as Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts sometimes use "fake coffee smell" to entice shoppers.

It starts working in minutes...
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, it takes about 30 to 60 minutes for caffeine to reach its peak level in the blood.

It has different levels of caffeine... 
Different brands will give you a different level of pick-me-up. For a full list of brands and their caffeine levels, click here

It's in every scene of Fight Club...
The director of "Fight Club," David Fincher, is said to have placed a Starbucks coffee cup in every scene of the movie.

It is free
OK, not actually free. However, Caffè sospeso, which in Italian means, "suspended/pended coffee," is a tradition where one pays in advance for an extra cup of coffee for a future customer. People can come into stores that honor this tradition and ask if there are any sospesos available for no cost.

It was invented by George Washington...
OK, again not actually. The name man who invented the first mass-produced instant coffee was in fact named George Washington. His instant coffee was given to appreciative American soldiers during World War I.

July 23, 2014

A Glimpse of Our Apartment

Our first post-college living arrangement is an exciting new place. Now that we are out of college we put a lot of time into the aesthetics of our apartment, while still remaining on a budget. It was fun to blend our styles and tastes to create our new space. Without even telling each other, we ended up with the same bedroom color scheme. While we are still getting used to things like keeping our energy bill low, paying rent and balancing our bank accounts, it is nice to have a place with a few familiar things to make us feel at home. Take a look at this snapshot of our place, and let us know what you think!

The Living Room:
The couch and coffee table

Chair and ottoman

Fireplace, TV and storage trunk

Bar table

Wreath above our couch - handmade by Katie's sister

Bow accents on the lamp beside our chair - made by Katie's sister

When in Alabama... you need an elephant

The Dining Area:
Kitchen table and Old Well painting by Julie's Mom 
Our adorable salt and pepper shakers

The Kitchen Area:
Stove top

Counter top

The Bedrooms:
Katie's bed

Katie's room

Katie's vanity

Julie's bedroom

Julie's desk

Julie's dresser

The Bathrooms:
Katie's bathroom

Julie's bathroom

Julie's bathroom

The Patio: