Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Shop Hope's Favorites

As a college girl and blogger, I'm constantly looking for new, cheap clothing brands. I have a very simple, chic style and really just like anything that I think looks nice and that I'm comfortable in. I've been running on a college budget so it's always nice to find a brand that is relatively low price but has high quality clothes.

A website called ShopHope's was brought to my attention recently and I've fallen in love. 

The site has very trendy clothing but I really feel as if there is something for everyone. The best thing about Shop Hope's? They have NEW arrivals twice a day from Monday-Friday, at 12pm and 5pm. That is something I've never heard of a clothing website/brand doing which really sets it apart from anything else.

It also means that there are always new items for you to look at and purchase. 

Shop Hope's also always ships free in the US and Canada. I online shop a lot and shipping is something that always makes or breaks my decision to buy something. Sometimes the shipping is more than the item I'm purchasing and it's really annoying.

Shop Hope's definitely caters to a certain kind of style but I'm kind of obsessed with a few items on their website. 

I'm very into dresses this season as you can tell and Shop Hope's has a lot of them. 

If you'd like 10% off your next Shop Hope's order, use this coupon code:

Check out these other blogs and their favorite looks from Shop Hope's.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Get Your Careeranista On

With my impending graduation in sight, I am always looking for tips and tricks for the job search (hence my latest blog post from last week). It's a really hard adjustment, college to post graduate life. There are a lot of new rules, new opportunities and an entire new routine that you have to become accustomed too.  

It's really scary, not knowing what's going to come next and hearing mixed reviews about job hunting, having and keeping a job, and life after college in general. A lot of people love it, some people are indifferent to it, and some just down right hate it. I'm terrified of not knowing how to operate in the real world but thankfully, there are resources out there to prepare you.

I feel like I've been mentally preparing for the real world for the past year now and I owe a lot of that to Levo League. It's always been my #1 career resource and after having my dream internship there, I learned so much it's insane. 

There are other resources as well and I'm truly thankful for them. One of those resources is a new book "Careeranista: The Women's Guide to Success After College". I was sent a free copy for review by the author, Chaz Pitts-Kyser. I'm always up to read a new book, especially one that is going to benefit me.

I really didn't know what to expect when I first started reading, I thought it'd be like other career books I've read but at a hefty 272 pages, I was overwhelmed with tips, tricks, information and good old advice. 

I've read a lot of career books, articles, and blog posts but nothing has made me feel as confident as this book did. I've been dealing with a lot of stress and fear about the real world and succeeding after graduation but this book 100% made me feel better. If that's not a reason to read it, I'll just have to give you more.

This book covers everything from cleaning up your social media profiles to dealing with sexual harassment in the work place. It goes from beginning to end, to when you're looking for a job to what to do when you want to switch jobs. You're able to get every bit of a career advice you'll ever need in these pages, which is wonderful.

By definition, according to the book, a Careeranista is "A smart, sophisticated, success-driven young woman committed to carving out a career she loves." Who wouldn't want to be defined as that?

The book was divided into parts: Becoming a Careeranista, Succeeding as a Careeranista, Questions of a Careeranista, and Handling a Careeranista's Biggest Obstacles. I feel like this makes it a lot easier to know which sections are most important to you. 

There were definitely some highlights for me, a lot which occurred in the first section "Becoming a Careeranista" because that's the stage I am at in life. 

Within the first chapter, I'm taken back because the advice is so detailed; Chaz advises all young-ins to create a career plan early on in college; map out where you want to go, what positions you want to hold and ultimately where you want to end up. Having a plan such as this will help you gear your path in the right direction and always give yourself a certain amount of time for each goal.

Sticking to the path though is not always as easy; there are always going to be bumps that throw you off. "There are multiple ways to get to a destination" so it's okay if you lose sight of the original goal. 

Some hardcore advice she gives in the book is as follows: think outside the box as you job search, expand your horizons because there are "plenty of places nurses work besides hospitals" (EYEOPENER) 

The next part of the book that blew me away was the informal job search strategies. Some of these I already knew but some were brand new to me. It's nice to know that there are other ways to get a job besides Linkedin and Monster.com. I will definitely be using some of these new strategies in my search.

Another great tip? Follow up on job applications! If you email someone your resume and cover letter, email them two weeks later to make sure they got them. I really need to start actively doing that.

There were other features throughout the book that caught my eye; there was an inspirational quote at the top of every chapter (which I'm always a sucker for), there were sample questions and email layouts when necessary, so you have a step by step guide of what to do. There were also other ladies personal stories and advice included throughout the book; those were titled "Diary of Careeranista"; it was nice to get a different perspective. 

A few other highlights of mine: Resume and Cover letter guide and resources, 20 points for a better interview, what kind of research you should do on a company before an interview, and real world myths.

It was really nice to have a detailed description of what you expect and should do in every situation, for example--what you should do when you have multiple job offers. I read a lot of articles and blog posts on careers but having it all in one nifty little book and being extremely detailed in it's advice. 

Everything after part one is about what happens when you get the job; how you should act in the work place, how to manage your boss, how to deal with co-worker conflict, and how to stand out. It's all very useful information and advice. Once I score a job, I will definitely be referencing back to this.

Altogether, this book kind of changed my life. It changed the way I'm looking at my job search, my career, and life after college. For the next two years, I fully believe I will be obsessively reading and referencing this book.

If you're on the verge of graduation or need some helpful career advice, take a gander. You will not regret it.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone! I hope you enjoy your day with your family, friends and loved ones! I also hope the Easter Bunny treated you well :) 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Job Hunt: Stay Organized and Get Moving

I've been putting off writing this blog post for months because I'm still in deep denial that I'm searching for a real person job. I've heard it for over a year, that looking for a full time job is a full time job. I'm no where near ready to be catapulted into the real world. I'm not that qualified, I don't really know what I want to do, and I'm terrified.

The fear that is in me is unreal and I feel as if I'm sabotaging my own job search because part of me never wants to grow up and get a job.

The other part of me is terribly excited. I see all these Instagram photos and articles and blog posts about fabulous 20 somethings and their cool full time jobs. They have all this cool stuff, travel around the world, and are just so effortlessly cool. I want to be them.

I've been applying to jobs left and right since January. I've probably applied to over 50 jobs and do you think I've heard back from anyone? Nope. I haven't.

It's incredibly frustrating but very expected. I'm expecting to not have a job when I graduate, which is scary enough in itself. I also do not want to hear my mother along with everyone else I meet asking me "Did you find a job yet?" "Where are you applying?" "What do you want to do with your life?" EVERYONE JUST SHUT UP.

There is a skill to applying for jobs and things you should know before you get started. Tips and tricks will go a long way in this job search. There are also ways to stay organized which I think is the most important aspect of accomplishing anything in life.

Where to Look:

-Indeed.com: I love using Indeed, better than any other job website such as Monster.com or Craigslist. I think it's easier to use and visually more appealing. I also think there are a wider variety of jobs and better jobs posted on Indeed. One of my friends interned for them over the summer and he raved about them as a company. He was definitely right. 

-Linkedin: I'm almost positive every career counselor, speaker, professor I've ever had or met has told me to polish up my Linkedin skills. I've had a Linkedin for the past few years but thought of it only as a visual, online profile. I didn't realize all the benefits that came along with it, like the job search. Like I said before, I applied to almost 50 jobs and I think I found 40 of them on Linkedin. There are all these job postings from all these different companies; some of them you can apply right on Linkedin using your profile(which is my favorite because it's so easy) and others direct you to the company website. They even give you the contact information of the person posting the job. It's so easy it should be illegal. 

-Company Websites: I think this is the easiest of them all but I feel like a lot of people are clueless about this feature. If there is a company, brand or website you want to work for, most likely they have a careers section. If you go to your favorite website and scroll to the bottom where the social media buttons, the Contact Us, and About Us tab are, there is most likely a Careers Section. There you will find job openings, a description of the company and maybe even the services and benefits they offer employees. I've been having a field day with this feature on my favorite websites like Birchbox and Refinery29.

Staying Organized:

Notebooks: I use my adorable May Designs mint polka dot notebook to list the places I want to work, the people I know there, and all the jobs I've applied for. I usually just jot down the company, job title, and date I applied. It's not the best organization tactic but I just came up with a new system that might work better.

Excel Spreadsheets: I always forget about the lovely Excel. It's so easy to use and really simple to organize. I think I might start using this in relation with my notebook. I'm thinking to organize it by industry, company, and type of job. This would be helpful in knowing if you already applied to a job or if you have applied to different jobs at the same company. 

When it comes to job hunting, I am no pro but there are things that I've learned along the way:

-Have a killer cover-letter: This is something I have yet to perfect. Don't be generic, don't say the same thing over and over again. Get deep into a cover letter and explain why you think you'd be a good fit for the job and why you want to work at the company. Make it special, don't recycle cover letters; if it's a company you really want to work for, pour all your passion into the cover-letter. It'll benefit you more in the end. 

-Cold emails: There are so many mixed feelings about cold emails but I think if they are done correctly, they can work out. Emailing a contact person about a company, even if there are no jobs available at said company, can show your passion and ability to take initiative. This article from Levo League can be a huge help in deciding how to write the perfect cold email. 

-Social Media/Linkedin: Using social media to land you a job or even launch your job search into the spotlight. Make sure your accounts are cleaned up, tweet and share things that are related to your industry. It'll keep you relevant and show employers that you are knowledgable about things going on in your industry. 

Linkedin is perfect for this because anyone can view your profile and there are so many influencers on Linkedin; it's probably the first account that employers will look at so if it's cleaned up and presented nicely, it'll reflect nicely. Also, your Linkedin profile is your time to shine; put everything on there. It's allowed to be longer than your resume so use that to your advantage. (Sidenote: Resumes should be no longer than a page)

-Google Yourself: The best thing I ever learned was to Google yourself. A google search of your name every now and then will give you an inside look to what employers will see when they search your name. I've done so much stuff online that my name takes up the entire first page of a Google search. It's pretty awesome. Also, make sure it's all good stuff like your Linkedin, links to blogs and articles you've written, and your personal online portfolio.

-Don't be discouraged: Applying to jobs is tiring and annoying and can be frustrating if you aren't hearing anything back. Be proactive, follow up, and never stop trying. There's a job out there for you, you'll find it.

Take a look at my Pinterest board "For the Real World" with links to dozens of articles that are super useful and helpful during the job search!

Do you have any tips or tricks to the job search? Share them in the comments!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Collegiate Standard Spotlight + Review

There is nothing more I love than my sorority but I think jewelry is a close second. When you combine the two, there is an explosion of love and obsession coming from me.

I have a few pieces of jewelry barring my sorority letters and I wear them every chance I get; I have two rings and a bracelet. I love them all, I love representing my sorority in a subtle way.

I'm always looking for new brands that offer gorgeous pieces of sorority jewelry and I was so happy to find a little surprise in my inbox one day giving me just that.

The Collegiate Standard contacted me about doing a partnership/review of their website and one of their products. I was totally ecstatic about this opportunity and I'm so happy to finally be able to share it with you all. 

The Collegiate Standard is an official Greek Licensed Jewelry company which is always the way to go. That means they are legally allowed to produce your letters on gorgeous pieces of jewelry. They cater to not only sororities but fraternities as well (hello lavalieres!) 

All the jewelry is definitely within a college student's budget; how can you go wrong with a beautiful $20 necklace baring your letters? They offer everything from necklace lavalieres, to rings, to bracelets. And it's not just letters that the jewelry is donning but symbols as well. 

For example, my beloved Phi Sigma Sigma's symbol is a pyramid and I think this is the most gorgeous necklae I've ever seen.

TCS was kind enough to send me my own beautiful necklace to love and cherish, and review for you all. It's a diamond heart pendant with my letters shining bright. The chain is a little bit small for my liking but it's still perfect.

The people at The Collegiate Standard are so wonderful that they are offering a special coupon code to Royally Pink readers so go and get your jewelry today!

If you want to contact The Collegiate Standard:

General Inquiries: 
For Sales: 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Things I'm Bad At

It's not a secret that no one is perfect. I'm not perfect, the people around me aren't perfect, there is no such thing as perfect. 

There are though, people who have special skills, talents, and are just better at certain things than others. I consider myself an expert in some things, like being able to name any celebrity in a given movie or saying the Greek alphabet in under 60 seconds. There are some things I'm a natural at and I'm sure all of you are naturals and experts at things.

Even though I'm natural at some things, I'm terrible at other things. I saw someone post this little feature a month or two ago and it's been on my "blog to dos" since then. 

-Doing my hair: My hair is a lion's mane and it takes me about two hours to blow dry and straighten it. The only problem is that I hate doing it. It's heavy and frizzy and curly and annoying. I hate blow drying it but if I don't blow dry it, it's even worse to straighten. I'm really bad at doing my hair; I could get it straight but there is always a few pieces out of place, hence why I always try to find one of my friends to straighten it for me.

-Public Speaking: Oh I think this is my least favorite thing to do. I have never liked giving speeches or presentations but I've gotten used to it since being in college. I don't get as nervous as I used too and taking a public speaking class in high school definitely helped. I still do get nervous the morning of a big presentation. I just don't see the point. I'm not a very loud and outgoing person, especially in front of a classroom when I'm being graded but I get way too nervous for my own good and stumble over my words. 

-Looking for things: My mom never lets me look for things that I need because I do it half-ass. She usually ends up looking for a dress or pair of sunglasses that I need or can't seem to find. I swear I look but it just so happens that things automatically appear when she looks for them.

-Balancing my finances: I think this is the most important thing you should know how to do but I currently have $2 in my bank account so it's definitely one of my low points. I can never seem to get a grip on my bills and credit cards so everything just piles up. It doesn't help that I'm an online shopping addict or that I like to go to Chiptole and Red Mango instead of cooking my own dinners. This is probably a skill I should get started on since I'll be an adult in about a month.

-Keeping Secrets: I don't necessarily have a big mouth and I could keep a secret if it was something really important or serious to the other person but if it's something small or meticulous, I have a hard time keeping my mouth shut. I blame my big Queen's mouth and my love of gossiping but it's just something I can't really help. I have gotten a lot better though!

-Accepting change: Part of me loves change but part of me hates it. Big life transitions, such as graduation, are never easy for me. Letting go of stuff isn't easy for me, especially when it's something I'm so used too, like my life at school. I don't think life transitions and accepting change will ever get easier for me but who is good at that stuff? 

There are definitely other things I'm bad at but these are just a few that I could think of off the top of my head.

What are some things you're bad at? Tell me in the comments!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Monday Musings

Last week kicked my butt. I was super stressed out, hardly had any time to breathe, and had too many emotional breakdowns. Let's put it this way....it was my last Phi Sig Family Luncheon, I'm planning my sorority's Formal (which is tonight) and dealt with owing the banquet hall over $5,000 extra. I picked up my cap and gown, had a bunch of homework assignments, and there was a gas leak in my house.

Last week just did not agree with me, on any level.

Even with the bad luck I was experiencing, I did find some mini windows of light this week and there are some things to look forward too.

Me and my big at Formal :)

-FORMAL! I had my last sorority formal on Friday and it was utterly bittersweet. I had so much fun with my sisters and all my friends; it went way too fast for my liking but it was probably the best formal ever. It was awesome knowing that I made it all happen #formalchairprobs. I just can't believe it was my last one as an active. Graduation is starting to hit me, hard.

-Girl Meets World Trailer: In the middle of a breakdown last week, I saw that E! Online had tweeted that a mini trailer for the BMW sequel had made it's way onto the internet. It's hardly anything of substance but my goodness it put me in the best mood and made me that much more excited to have Cory and Topanga back on my screen.

-BaubleBar: As each day passes, I think I fall more and more in love with Baublebar. I'm not even just talking about their jewelry but their brand as a whole. I think their social media presence is phenomenal and the way they present themselves makes me long to work there and be part of it. Every Friday, BaubleBar does a mini flash sale or a Buried Bauble (a few pieces on the site are marked down but it's your job to find them). A few weeks ago I didn't care that I had no money, I needed something from BaubleBar. I participated in this Buried Bauble fun and received my purchases this week. I'm kind of obsessed. 

-Easter Break: My Easter Break starts on Wednesday and strangely, I'm really looking forward to it. I need a break. I need to get my life together and it's really hard to do that at school. I'm excited to go home, see my mom and the rest of my family, and just sit on the couch doing nothing all day. I do plan on writing some papers, blogging, and getting down and dirty with my job hunt. This is the last break I'll have as a college student so I'm taking full advantage. It's so bittersweet I could start to cry.

-An Open Letter to the Class of 2014: Meaghan McGoldrick is an alumnae of Iona College. She's a year older than me, she was the editor of the Ionian newspaper, and she's probably one of the greatest writers of our generation, no lie. She is constantly instilling me and the other Gaels, along with everyone else who reads her blog, with wisdom, funny anecdotes, and blowing us away with her way with words. This week, she posted on her blog, "An Open Letter to the Class of 2014". It literally broke my heart and tore into me like a wrecking ball. This post quickly floated around Twitter and Facebook with all my classmates posting and retweeting it. Then, suddenly the post was on Huffington Post College and Meaghan went viral, again. Please go read this letter. If you are a graduating senior, go read it. It will make you cry, smile, and make everything incredibly real. It made my week better and even sadder, all at the same time. Break out the wine Class of 2014, the countdown is on.