The end of my senior year definitely didn’t go as planned. While I wasn’t able to finish out my undergraduate career at the University of Oklahoma on campus with my friends and peers, I knew I at least wanted some photos to commemorate my 4 years as an undergraduate. Since social distancing procedures were already in place by mid-March, I was unable to hire a photographer for a senior portrait shoot.
Luckily, my time blogging has given me loads of experience with iPhone photography, self-timers, and tripods! I got ready and loaded up all my gear early one morning and headed to campus. I love how they turned out, although trying to wrangle all the props with the addition of a cap/gown/stole/hood on my own was a hassle. (Also, do you realize how hard it is to take a cap-throwing picture on your own with a 10-second self timer? REALLY hard.)
I’m proud of my work on these pictures, and over the past 4 years as well. I can’t wait to experience virtual commencement and graduation with my family this weekend!
I am excited to announce that I recently accepted a social media internship position with Tart-a-licious French Desserts! It’s only been a few weeks, but I love working with this gourmet dessert business, especially since my work can be completed remotely during quarantine.
As a social media intern, I’m helping the owner streamline her social media strategies, create social media content, and really nail down brand voice and narrative. After my internship with bread & Butter last summer, I feel really confident about working in the restaurant industry and all the nuances that come with it.
While the tasks I’m doing are very typical for a social media intern, how I scored this internship position was anything but typical. I had been applying for summer internships like crazy when suddenly COVID-19 put everything on hold. My mom (AKA my #1 fan) likes to browse Nextdoor and when she saw Tart-a-licious’ social media internship job posting in this unlikely place, she knew I would be a great fit. I applied immediately and within 48 hours I had the job. This position is only set to last through May, but I’m already getting great experience and I know I’ll be sad when it’s over!
Well, that’s my story. Here’s my advice on how to find internship opportunities in places that aren’t LinkedIn or another job site…
1. Use any and all connections
Think of the industry you want to work in. Whether it’s fashion, finance, or food, identifying you dream job is the first step in putting your connections to work. You’d be surprised how far an introduction can get you. Any relative or family friend you have working in your dream industry can help steer you in the right direction and talking to the right people. I’ve found that a personal email always gets you farther than a job application.
2. Cold-call businesses
Seem scary? It kind of is. But desperate times call for desperate measures. If local businesses in your industries don’t have job listings for internship positions, reach out and ask if they would consider having one. This doesn’t have to be done over a literal phone call- a polite email will do. Especially during these uncertain times, make sure you include why having an intern will benefit them. They hadn’t seen a need for this position before you brought it up, so make sure to sell it!
3. Social networking sites
These don’t have to be conventional, although asking around on Facebook and Twitter isn’t a bad start. I found my social media internship on Nextdoor, which makes sense because it’s a local business looking for a local intern. If you’re looking to work locally, a local social media site is a good option.
As many corporate offices have closed their doors to interns due to COVID-19, I hope these tips can help you find an internship you love. Stay safe out there!
We’re a little over a month into quarantine, and it would be easy to say I’m not going crazy being stuck inside. However, I have been trying to make good use of my time, and keep a balance between work and relaxation. This was a tough balance to find at first- working from home is not my forte- but the longer I’ve gone on, the easier it’s become. Here’s how I’ve been spending my days since shelter-in-place went into effect.
1. Got an internship
More on this in an upcoming post, but I was incredibly lucky to score a social media internship position with Tart-a-licious French Desserts during this quarantine experience! Since I have extra free time now that I’m not going to physical classes or commuting to campus, an internship seemed like the perfect way to fill my time. Can’t wait to share more about my experience soon!
2. Updated my resume
With new industry experience comes a new resume. I’m particularly anal about mine (not surprising when you own a resume design business) and reformatting mine to fit my new experiences was a lot of fun. I can’t wait to use it to start lobbying for a summer internship position!
3. Found new resume clients
I’m not the only one needing a new resume right now! To help those affected by COVID-19, I’m currently offering a discount of $30/document to all new resume clients. Hopefully this is able to help those seeking employment in a troubled job market. (Interested? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org)
4. Designed for Redbubble
Recently, I realized I need to start capitalizing on my graphic design skills and upload more of my work to Redbubble. If you have anything you want to see, let me know!
5. Started rewatching Gossip Girl
This one shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. I’ve been binging Gossip Girl since my sophomore year of high school (7 whole years, which is kinda crazy) and I just got back into it recently. Since I’ve seen the whole series all the way through more than 10 times, it’s the perfect show to have on in the background if I’m doing other things. Currently on season 4!
6. Played animal crossing
Wild World, not New Horizons. For some reason I just can’t give the Nintendo DS version up- I’ve had it since 5th grade and still love socializing with my villagers and taking care of my town when I have some down time. It’s a great way to decompress, as well!
7. Stayed focused on my goals
COVID-19 may have stopped normal life, but school goes on. I’m gearing up to finish my semester and graduate in a few weeks, albeit without a ceremony. However, I’m excited to officially have my bachelor’s degree and officially be a master’s student! After I finish writing this post I’m going to start working on my 2-year plan. I’m excited to see where life takes me over the next year and the year after my master’s graduation, and I want to be prepared!
I feel like the world has completely changed since my last post. COVID-19 has drastically altered my life and my future, as well as the lives of billions of people worldwide. Two weeks ago, this was not even a possibility in my mind. One week ago, I was trying to come to terms with the fact that I would likely never walk the stage for my undergraduate graduation. And now, within the past few days, I’ve had to adjust to the idea that I will never go to an in-person undergraduate course again, never participate in my sorority’s senior ceremonies, and never get to feel recognized and appreciated at my marching band’s end-of-year banquet.
All that to say, my life and the foreseeable future has changed beyond comprehension in the past three days alone. Currently, my university is on spring break, meaning I have been experiencing the latest developments away from home (my friends and I planned a trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico.)
Disclaimer: The COVID-19 situation has been changing and developing so rapidly that by the time we left (traveling by car)many of the most recent restrictions and warnings had not yet surfaced. While it is not ideal to be traveling anywhere at this point in time, we have done our best to stay socially distant and take all necessary precautions to help preserve our health and the health of those around us. This post is meant to share how COVID-19 affected our trip and the adjustments we made to still have fun while remaining socially distant.
We left Norman and headed to Santa Fe at the very beginning of our spring break, feeling restless due to all the unknowns we knew were sure to come. Equipped with the disposable gloves Taylor’s dad gave us to protect us at gas pumps, we were on our way. The Norman to Santa Fe drive is about 8 hours long, so we stopped for a lunch break in Amarillo and made a side trip to Cadillac Ranch before heading back on our way.
After arriving at our Airbnb (although not planned, this option made us feel much more secure than if we had been staying in a traditional hotel) we needed food. Partially in anticipation of the possibility of more limitations to come, and partially because we were trying to play it frugal, we stopped by Trader Joe’s to grocery shop for the week. I had expected it to be a lot crazier than it was- maybe it’s because TJ’s customer service is immaculate or maybe it’s because Santa Fe wasn’t losing their minds yet, but we were able to find most of the food options we wanted to make. With both a lactose intolerant friend and a vegan friend (and me just being picky), it can make grocery shopping with limited options difficult. Luckily, we didn’t experience that here.
Day 2 was our first full day in Santa Fe. At this point, many places were still open, although it was clear that the town was a little less full of tourists than usual. Armed with hand sanitizer and a desire to keep 6 feet of space between us and those around us, we chose to visit some of the less interactive sites: Loretto Chapel and Cross of the Martyrs.
On our 3rd full day (and first weekday of the trip) we decided to head to Old Town Santa Fe and see what was open. We were able to go into some stores (staying cognizant of what we were touching and what other window shoppers may have touched) and even got to eat lunch at The Shed, a restaurant we had been eyeing. Under orders from the governor, all New Mexican restaurants were operating at half capacity starting that morning, but even reduced occupancy didn’t keep us waiting very long. After a successful afternoon of browsing, social distancing, and margarita drinking, we headed back to the Airbnb with full stomachs, slightly lighter wallets and some cute photos (shout-out to my phone tripod for allowing us to take some cute pictures on our own, without the assistance from strangers!)
By that evening, we were starting to realize that hiking was going to be our best bet in terms of socially-distant physical activity. We chose a hike on the edge of town and timed it so we would get a fantastic sunset view of the city- but still have enough time to get down before darkness fully came.
Remember when I said we were about to turn into big hiking girls? Our 4th day proved that. We made the hour drive to Bandelier National Monument and spent the afternoon hiking different trails. This was a really fun day because we packed lunch and got to spend a few hours on our own, surrounded by nature. We even saw deer on our last hike of the day, which was amazing. The views here simply cannot be contested.
By day 5, restrictions and regulations were really starting to hit Santa Fe and we knew most of our activities would be completely solo from now on. Our activities Wednesday mainly consisted of painting denim jackets (we had picked up paint earlier in the week) and completing a puzzle we bought at Goodwill. It was beginning to look like Airbnb activities or hiking would be our new go-to, although none of us were that upset. It was rainy and we didn’t really want to venture out, anyways, so we happily spent our 5th day peacefully self-isolating in our Airbnb.
After a whole day inside on Wednesday, we knew we had to get creative on Thursday. Given that we had nothing but time, we chose to make the 3-hour round-trip to the Rio Grande Gorge and drive through Taos on our way back. I wish there had been things open in Taos for us to see and do, as it looked like a really cute town, but due to recent developments most shops and restaurants were closed. (We settled for just driving through, instead.)
Thursday evening was bittersweet for us, as we had originally had tickets to a concert that night. Because of the new restrictions put in place, our concert was cancelled (not that we would have continued to go, even if Grouplove said “the show must go on!”) Luckily, we will be refunded what we paid for our tickets, so not all is lost.
Today is our last full day here. Although a lot of our plans had to be altered or cancelled (the concert, Meow Wolf, and visiting local museums, just to name a few,) we have still managed to keep a positive outlook and make the most of our trip while staying aware of the changing climate around us. Today we have planned to do a photoshoot in our Airbnb, learn some TikTok dances, and continue composing the musical we started planning- all fun things we can do from the comfort of our (temporary) home.
While this trip definitely threw some curveballs our way, we were able to make the most of it while keeping our health and the health of others a priority. Getting the email that you won’t be returning to campus for undergraduate courses is hard, but it’s much easier to cope with when you’re surrounded by friends. I’m looking forward to getting back to Norman on Saturday and beginning my self-quarantine: while we took every possible precaution on this trip, you can never be too careful, and I want to ensure I am not a carrier before spending time with my friends or going back home to my family.
If there’s anything you want me to discuss or make a post about during my self-quarantine period, please let me know. I’m sure I’ll have an abundance of time. Stay safe, everyone!
It’s March now, which means that spring break is right around the corner. Last year, some of my girlfriends and I took a trip down to St. Augustine, Florida, where we spent a glorious 6 days relaxing on the beach, indulging in great food, and exploring the city.
When it came time to pack last year, I was kind of at a loss. What’s important? What isn’t? And as a chronic overpacker, I stuffed my carry-on-sized suitcase to the brim and hoped for the best.
While I’m not heading back to the sun and the surf this spring break (although stay tuned to see where I will be headed), I wanted to share my tips and tricks on what you need and what you don’t for the ultimate spring break beach vacation.
I’ll be detailing my top 10 items below, and attaching a full packing checklist at the bottom full of everything you’ll need. Let’s dive right in!
If you’re on a beach vacation, this should be a no-brainer. You can probably get away with just one bathing suit if you won’t be swimming every day, but if you will be, pack multiple: because believe me, putting back on a damp or sandy swimsuit is no fun.
Going out to dinner, walking around town, or even just hanging around the beach house- a flowy sundress is a must! They’re super versatile and can be used for several different outings.
3. Light jacket
Hopefully your trip is sunny and warm, but if mother nature doesn’t favor you and you’re struggling to soak in those rays a light jacket will be your best friend. Beach weather can change on a dime and a light jacket will make sure you don’t get too cold.
The ocean glare can be super bright, so always pack sunglasses to protect your eyes while you’re lounging in the sand. You really only need one pair, but they don’t take up a lot of space, so you can pack multiple if you would like!
5. Multi-purpose sandals
If you’re traveling with a big group or flying with a carry-on, luggage space is limited. Luckily, most beach clothing doesn’t take up a lot of room, but picking pairs of shoes that are super versatile can really help maximize your luggage space. Sandals that you can wear out to grab lunch or to a bar later in the night serve double duty and help you have more space in your luggage for other things!
Depending on the area you’re in, you might be privy to restaurants or bars right on the beach. Packing a cover-up ensures you’ll be able to go in and grab a drink or bite to eat during your beach day!
Probably no explanation necessary, right? Pack a couple pairs of shorts and you’ll be ready for anything you have planned, from a beach day to lunch downtown.
8. Multi-purpose tops
Much like with sandals, packing tops that can go from day to night will really save you space in your luggage. Flowy tank tops and bandeaus are your best bet!
Down by the ocean can get pretty windy, so prepare to hold your hair back with scrunchies or bandanas! Anything that helps keep your hair out of your face will be essential.
If you’re in a beach town with things to do other than hang out in the sand, you’ll want a cute and comfy pair of sneakers to walk around in! I wore mine out to a local farmer’s market and coffee shop.
And that’s my top 10! Here’s a full list of everything you’ll need:
Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments, and have a great time on your vacation!
P.S. Heading to St. Augustine or somewhere similar? Check out my recap posts from spring break 2019 to see what we did on our trip!
One year ago today I created my blog, and one year ago tomorrow I launched it. I’ve come a long way from my first few posts, taken with a makeshift tripod propped up on my bed in my bedroom. What a year it has been, and I’m thrilled that Selfies & OOTDs has continually given me a platform to create content and share what I love.
If you want a good laugh, go back to February 2019 and see what my first few posts looked like. (Yeah. Pretty amateur.) Luckily, I’ve matured in more ways than one, and I’ve learned a ton about blogging, social media marketing, and content creation in the process. Here’s 8 things I wish someone had told me when I first started blogging:
1. For the best shots, have no shame
When I first started, I took all my #OOTD shots against the door in my bedroom. Aside from the fact that I didn’t have a real tripod, I was also self-conscious about people seeing me pose and wait for the self timer to go off. When I got my tripod this summer, the game completely changed, and after a few outings of taking my pictures in public I was no longer fazed. This let me have way more creativity with my poses (and it meant you could actually see my feet!
2. Even lighting is the best lighting
I thought the wall by my window was giving me good natural light, but it really wasn’t. The best lighting I’ve found is when I’m outside, in the shade. That way no one part of my face is in the shadows and none of the lighting is too harsh. But more on that in a bit…
3. Early bird gets the worm
Remember what I said about even lighting in the shade? That’s why I take almost all my pictures in the morning, preferably before 9 a.m. This gives me optimal choices for locations in terms of where is still shady, as the sun has just barely come up over the horizon. I also like the mornings because it lets me take pictures when my makeup and hair are freshly done.
4. No one can tell how cold it was when they look at the picture
When you’re getting up early in the winter, you know what that means… It’s going to be cold outside. Luckily, no one can tell how much your toes were freezing when you took the shot as long as the end result is cute- and I find that the pictures I took on the coldest days end up being my favs.
5. Hashtags are everything
About 4 months in to my blogging journey and I had only hit 80 followers. What gives? Answer: not using the tools Instagram was handing me in order to reach a larger audience! I used to feel squeamish about hashtags, but once I started using them I never looked back. It’s never been so easy for me to find and engage with like-minded individuals!
6. Engage and be engaging!
Like I just said, the purpose of Instagram is to engagewith others. You will see such a difference in what you get out of it if you give it as well! Tell that girl you like her outfit, comment on your favorite brand’s post- there’s tons of people just like you out there waiting to connect!
7. Content planning saves lives (or at least, your feed)
I’ll admit it, I fell off the wagon somewhere between September and December. School caught up to me, and suddenly I was posting less and less just because I wasn’t prepared with a plan. I implemented a content calendar for the start of 2020, and it’s already working wonders. Consistency is key, however frequently that means for you!
8. Don’t be afraid to call yourself what you are
When I first started out, I felt weird calling myself a blogger. I felt like that was just a title reserved for influencers and people with way more followers than me… but I soon realized that it’s not the number of followers you have or the number of likes you get: if you have a blog, you’re a blogger, and you shouldn’t be afraid to call yourself one. (Shout-out to my dad who always tells people I’m a blogger if we’re out doing a restaurant review in public. It’s hella validating!!)
So excited what February 2020 – February 2021 has in store for me. I hope you’ll stick around, because there’s more where that came from!
P.S. Thanks to Nompton Social for letting me come in before opening and take pictures with your murals today- you’re seriously the best!
Round glasses are one of my favorite trends I’ve been seeing lately (no pun intended), and I’ve been having such a fun time figuring out how to style them! If you are like me and were blessed with 20/20 vision, fear not: you can still take part in this cute look by buying round glasses without prescription lenses. I’ll have my favorite blue light blocking pair linked down below.
Since glasses of any kind automatically give off more of a nerdy vibe, I try to lean into it by pairing it with one really conservative item of clothing. (Here, it’s my turtleneck.) Once you have your more classic item picked out, I then like to play around with the rest of the outfit. For contrast, I picked my pair of light wash skinny jeans with unique embroidery on the back. Additionally, I chose to bring my favorite velvet handbag along and gold pendant necklace as accessories to add back in a chic element. Finished off with my suede riding boots, another conservative and classic touch, and this outfit is complete!
You can always go further to either end of the spectrum if your style calls for it, but I aim to keep all elements balanced when I’m styling an element outside of my comfort zone.
I’ve only had my round glasses for about 2 weeks and I’m loving them! I’m excited to find more ways to style them, but in the meantime, I would love to see your take. If you wear round glasses (prescription or faux) post your look on Insta and tag me so I can see!
One of 2020s standout trends is supposed to be denim-on-denim. While I’m not quite ready to dive headfirst into a full-blown navy-on-navy ensemble, I dipped my toe in the water today by pairing my navy denim jacket with my black jeans. Baby steps!
I found this amazing Lauren Ralph Lauren white turtleneck at TJ Maxx the other day, and I am obsessed with it already. I love turtlenecks, sweaters, and especially combinations of the two, so I’m guessing I’ll be wearing this one a lot this season. I think it looks super classic, especially when paired with other neutrals and closet staples.
I truly can’t believe it’s already mid-January. Yesterday was the first day of my last undergraduate semester (meaning graduation is coming up faster than I realize) and every day I feel older and older. Nevertheless, I’m excited for this semester and all the fun things it will bring!
I got this cute rhinestone bobby pins for Christmas and I was just dying to try them out. I decided to pair them with slept-in, braided hair since I felt like the quirky bobby pins would compliment it nicely. I also chose one of my favorite chunky sweaters as a juxtaposition against the flowy pleated skirt and heels. I loved this vibe and can’t wait to play around with it more!
2019 has come and gone, and with a new year comes New Year’s resolutions. Resolutions, goals, visions, whatever you want to call them- they’re a great way to refocus and help get your life back on track for the new year.
I’ve always liked writing down my resolutions (usually in a journal of some sort), but this year I decided that I should take the time to post mine here, as well as provide some additional ideas in case you’re struggling to fill your list as well. It’s only January 6, so it’s not too late to get your priorities in order and start making a game plan for 2020!
Here’s my personal goals for 2020, and stick around for even more ideas should you be in need any yourself!
MY 2020 NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS
1. Continue Making Fitness a Lifestyle
I had this same resolution for 2019, but luckily it still applies despite the massive progress I made last year. I hope to make working out a part of my weekly routine and continue to grow stronger and push my body’s limits (while respecting what it can and can’t do due to my reoccurring lung problems.) Hopefully more barre and pilates classes are in my future!
2. Prioritize Eating Out With Friends Versus Eating Out For Convenience
This is something I did a pretty good job of last year, but I started to fall off the wagon as 2019 came to a close. When I choose to go out to eat, I want it to be in a social setting, not by myself just because I don’t feel like shopping or cooking. If I’m going to be eating alone, I need to be eating at home. This helps save my wallet and my waistline!
3. Learn How to Use a Curling iron
Okay, this is kind of a silly one… But it’s something I’ve never tried but always wanted to master. My hairdresser recently gave me the most gorgeous waves using just a curling iron, and that’s when I decided this was my year to conquer the curling iron. I’ve used wands and straighteners to create curls, but never an iron. The time is now, I need those waves in my life!
4. Post More Consistently
I posted 131 times in 2019… quite a lot for someone who only launched her blog in February! However, the consistency just wasn’t there. I posted almost every day while I was in Austin, but would go weeks without posting once school hit its peak in the fall. Since then, I’ve made myself a content calendar which will help me most on a more regular schedule. I have some really exciting posts lined up already and I can’t wait to share them!
5. Read at Least One New Book a Month (Not for School!)
This is also a resolution I’m taking from 2019. I love self-help books, but sometimes it’s hard to prioritize reading them between school, my sorority, my blog, my resumé business, etc… But reading is so good for you, and once I sit down and actually start reading, I absolutely love it. The goal: at least 12 books this year, ones that aren’t required for a class!
BONUS RESOLUTION IDEAS
If you’re not used to taking a step back and setting goals for your own life, New Year’s resolutions can be daunting. I hope that my list above and my reasoning behind each one helped get your own creative juices flowing. If you’re still stuck, here are 25 ideas that you might want to consider adopting for 2020!
Take more weekend trips.
Spend more time outside.
Get better grades.
Practice mindful eating.
Set (and stick to!) a budget.
Aim for 8 hours of sleep every night.
Don’t hit the snooze button.
Learn a new language.
Conquer one of your fears.
Learn how to play an instrument.
Organize your living space.
Create a nighttime routine.
Spend less time watching TV.
Drink more water.
Say thanks for something every day.
Learn a new sport or hobby.
Eat less sugar.
Schedule in 1 hour of self care per week.
Spend more time with loved ones.
Clean out your inbox.
Be intentional with your time.
Start a blog.
If you’ve already set your New Year’s resolutions, let me know what they are! Anything I didn’t cover?