Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Don't Be a Jerk this Black Friday

Recently, I wrote a post from a sales associate's perspective of the retail world and what every shopper should know while browsing. With Black Friday right around the corner, I figured now would be a good time to bring that post back and add in a few Black Friday specific "words of advice." It's easy to get caught up with the excitement of Black Friday: the sales, the energy, the events. Some shopping centers, mall, and stores sometimes host fun games and attractions to welcome the holiday season! But, despite the positive energy, Black Friday is a day many retail workers dread, knowing that their family time is being cut short, people will be rude, and their stores will most likely be chaotic. Here's my friendly post on how to not be a jerk this Black Friday.

You can't be mad about waiting in lines. Shopping on Black Friday was most likely a decision you made for yourself. By choosing to go out shopping on the busiest shopping day of the entire year, you can't be mad at any sales associate if you find yourself waiting in a line that's "too long." Fitting room, register, food, store, and bathroom lines will be a part of this Black Friday (like every year), and you'll have to deal with it.

Some of us cut family time short to work and are working long hours. Don't be a jerk, no matter the situation. I'm working two ten hour shifts this year, starting 5:30 pm on Thanksgiving and ending at midnight on Friday night (Saturday morning). I won't get to spend as much time with my family as I would like (because of people's obsession with Black Friday shopping) and I'm going to be working a lot. I might be tired and a little sad, so give me a break. Plus, you shouldn't be a jerk to anyone, ever.

If you plan on buying a lot, don't bring a drink into the store. Seriously, don't do it. Last year we had a customer spill her venti coffee over an entire table of new sweaters, which means every sweater was damaged. No one could buy any of them, despite how cute and popular they were, and it took a lot of time to damaged out all 50 sweaters, clean up the spilled drink, and find something new to replace it with. It's extremely frustrating and pulls focus away from where it needs to be.

I'm a sales associate - I can't change store policy to please you. I mentioned this in my other post, but it's still important. 99% of the time, there's nothing I can do about store policy. I don't make the rules, I simply follow and enforce them. At the store I work at, we have a five item limit for fitting rooms. That won't change because you really want to try on seven dresses, three pairs of jeans, three sweaters, and four tank tops. 

If you have an issue, be respectful and polite when addressing it. This regards the previous point: if you have an issue with the way a store might handle a policy, don't be rude about it. That only makes me as an associate less willing to work with you to find a solution (why would I want to help someone who's mean to me? I'm human too!). There are too many parents who throw tantrums and embarrass themselves and their teenage daughters in front of a crowd of guests. Let me know if you have a problem, be polite, and express to me why you have this issue. I'm more than happy to do what I can to ensure you have a positive experience (that's the truth).

Ask questions and for help when you need it. There's nothing more frustrating and painful than a customer who denies help when they obviously need it. There's no shame in not knowing where to find your size, have questions about a price, or need assistance grabbing an item. We are here to help you and make your shopping experience easier. Watching you struggle while denying help makes my job harder (denying help when needing it often leads to big messes, items out of order, etc.). 

If you couldn't tell, Black Friday isn't my favorite day of the year. I used to be a big Black Friday shopper, but I still knew to be polite, kind, and accept whatever waiting lines I would be in. If you're ever questioning yourself and your actions this Black Friday (and literally any other day of the year), just remember it comes down to one thing: be a decent human being.

Do you have Black Friday plans, or are you waiting for Cyber Monday?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Navy + Plaid, the usual

These photos are so delayed (I have not been on my blogging game lately, oops!). A couple of weeks ago, a Seattle photographer Michelle Dorman and I met up on Capitol Hill at Volunteer Park to shoot some photos! Michelle is honestly one of those people who just makes you feel comfortable and welcomed. We shared a bunch of laughs and got along so easily, and I'm sure we'll spend more time together in the future!

Capitol Hill is one of many Seattle neighborhoods. It's full of a vibrant and loving community, big and beautiful homes (it's where I hope to settle down someday), fun cafes, and good energy. Volunteer Park is a nice area where people bring lunch, walk their pets, visit the Asian Art Museum, plus everything else that attracts people to parks! I've been their plenty of times, being it's where the Seattle Aids Walk is hosted each year. 

Anyways, Michelle and I met up on a beautiful, sunny, and freezing Tuesday this month. My fingers were so cold (I don't know how she was able to keep snapping pics with her fingers exposed!) that I sat in the car for about 15 minutes just to warm back up. 

Check out Michelle's site and her other work. She's extremely talented and takes amazing shots. Her Instagram is full of her photos, too! Give her a follow - and if you're based in Seattle and ever need portraits, you know who I'm recommending. 


Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Affordable Gift Guide: BFFs + Sisters

The holiday season is officially upon us. Working at the mall has reminded me that people don't wait a day after Halloween to start Christmas shopping, putting up decorations, and creating wish lists. I'm a sucker for putting together gifts for my loved ones and decorating their presents (I absolutely love wrapping gifts!), but it can be both frustrating and discouraging when your budget is far lower than you'd like. As a 19 year old, I don't have a lot of extra money to spend on presents (though I wish!). I've been seeing a lot of gift guides that are "under $300" and such, but truthfully, that's still way out of my budget. Spending $300 on one gift for one person is impossible for me, so I've assembled an affordable gift guide - the bff + sisters edition. 

Everything is crazy affordable, yet still so cute and fun! My best friend and I love giving each other tea and a mug (I have so many from her!), which is an easy gift for any tea-loving girl. Add a cute hand written note, and your gift will be full of love.

sunnies  ||  mug  ||  nail polish  ||  notebook  ||  fur snood  ||  socks  ||  head bands  ||  coin bank  ||  lotion

Let me know - what's on your gift guide?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Rainy Day Link Up + GIVEAWAY

Happy Monday everyone! I'm so excited to share with you the Rainy Day Link Up - a link up hosted by myself and Michael from The Monogrammed Midwesterner! Michaela has become one of my good blogging friends and I knew asking her to help host would be a great idea. Seattle has experienced some crazy cold and sunny days, but we also experienced some crazy downpours. The rainy season is here and won't leave well into April and May. So, we are bringing you our go-to rainy day outfits, tips, and tricks. If you're interested in joining, upload a post featuring your outfit and join the link up! We are inviting every blogger around (and use the hashtag #rainydaylinkup).

Monogrammed Jacket  ||  Jeggings  ||  Socks (Steve Madden, similar)  ||  Boots  ||  Scarf (Hollister Co., similar)

What’s your favorite way to keep warm on a rainy day?
Rainy days are just asking to be spent in bed with a cup of tea and Netflix!

Are you a hood, umbrella, or both kind of girl?
We don't use umbrellas in Seattle ;)

What is your best hair tip for a rainy day?
I usually wear mine in a pony! If it's especially rainy (think: pouring), I might try to do a cute bun. I like to keep my hair tucked away under my hood so it isn't soaked by the time I get to class or work!

What's your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
Snuggle up with Chris, make something delicious, and binge watch Modern Family.

We've also teamed up with Ace & Ivy, a shop that Michaela reps for! They've been so generous to help us host a giveaway! We are giving away one monogrammed rain jacket (swoon) to one very lucky winner. Who could pass up a monogrammed rain jacket?

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Best Hot Drinks for the Non-Coffee Drinkers

It's true. I don't drink coffee. I'm not a big fan of the taste (that aftertaste.... yuck) and it always seems to upset my stomach, so I stay away. I may spend most of my time in Seattle, the coffee capital, but I can't bring myself to like coffee. But that's okay! By not drinking coffee, I've found other really delicious alternatives that I'm more than happy drinking! There's nothing like a chai tea latte on a cold fall day! Below are my favorite non-coffee drinks - go ahead, order one next time!

Chai tea lattes  ||  Chai tea lattes are my go-to. If I'm not really sure what I want or what a particular coffee shop or stand has to offer, I know I'll be happy with a chai tea latte. Though delicious on their own, I always add a flavor, to sweeten it up and change it up! Adding the full flavor can be a little overwhelming and overly-sweet, so I normally ask for 3ish pumps, versus 5 or 6.

Best Chai Tea Latte additions
- Hazelnut chai tea latte
- Vanilla chai tea latte
- Vanilla chai tea latte + soymilk
- Pumpkin chai tea latte
- Almond chai tea latte
- Chocolate chai tea latte
- Peppermint chai tea latte
- Chai tea latte + almond milk

Hot chocolate  ||  Hot chocolate will always be a favorite drink of mine. Though it can easily be made at home (my favorite non-instant mix recipe coming soon!), many shops and stands have more options than typically found at home. A white hot chocolate (white chocolate) is what I've been getting a lot recently. It's a nice change from the typical hot chocolate, but just as delicious. When I was in Scotland, I discovered adding honey to my hot chocolate and it might have been the greatest discovery I've ever made. Adding raspberry or blueberry in is nice, too!

Hot apple cider  ||  Ok, really. Who doesn't love hot cider? Especially with a little bit of caramel, hot cider is one of the best fall and winter drinks around. It's perfect when I'm feeling something sweeter, without spending $6 on one drink. A classic choice.

Hot tea  ||  My family is a tea drinking family. We always have hot water on the stove ready because someone is always drinking some! Tea is a great drink, hot or iced, because it's so easy to fit your needs. Adding or avoiding sugar, using cream, blending teas together. It all works (as long as your know your teas). These are my favorite teas:

Hot Tea
- Green tea + honey
- Lemongrass tea + honey (if you're ever in the UK, pick up some lemongrass tea from TeaPigs - best lemongrass tea I've ever had!)
- Orange spice black tea + half and half + sugar or honey
- Chai spice black tea + half and half + sugar or honey
- Lemon ginger tea + honey (perfect for a sore throat or sick days!)
- Peppermint tea + sugar (Trader Joe's has a great peppermint green tea during the holidays!)

Steamed milk  ||  Before I got into chai tea lattes, I drank a lot of steamed milk. It was sometimes embarrassing to order, but I realized that it was too delicious to even care! It's literally a cup full of hot milk with other flavors added. I have a few favorite combos:

Steamed Milk
- Steamed milk + hazelnut
- Steamed milk + almond (the best)
- Steamed milk + cinnamon + vanilla extract + pinch of sugar (best for sick days or when you can't fall asleep!)

Those are my favorite hot drinks! 
Are you a big coffee drinker? What's your go-to hot drink?

Friday, November 7, 2014

Fall Flats: Under $100

I am a huge fan of flats. You can find me wearing a pair year round, as long as I can keep my feet dry. They instantly glam-up an outfit, are so easy to style, and come in every color, texture, shape, and material you could dream of. Fall is the season of the flat. Pair with skinny jeans, a Thanksgiving skirt, leggings, you name it. I'm a huge fan of neutral pairs (leopard is so a neutral!) and found these six pairs online, knowing I had to share them. The best part: they're all under $100. I know what I'm doing this weekend, and it includes a trip to Nordstrom and my bank account ;).

What shoes are you loving this fall? Flats, boots, both?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Warby Parker Winter Collection

*This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. Images c/o Warby Parker.

Many people don't know about my need for glasses. I have a little freckle in my right eye (known as Choroidal Nevus, but nothing serious) that makes it difficult for me to see objects in the distance. When I'm in class, at the movies, watching a football game, or something similar, I wear glasses so I don't get a headache from straining my eyes! When Warby Parker asked me to write a post about their Winter Collection, I was too excited to check out new frames they had to offer. I'm in need of a new pair (I broke mine, oops) and found this to be the perfect opportunity to explore new frames!

While going through the new collection, I picked out a few of my favorites, including some sunglasses! Even during the winter, I find myself needing sunglasses on those especially cold and sunny days.





If you couldn't tell, I'm a little into tortoiseshell.... But can you blame me? All of these frames are so flattering and tortoiseshell is the perfect neutral. Plus, purchasing prescription frames from Warby Parker doesn't just make you look good, you'll feel good, too! For every pair of optical frames that are purchased, another is donated to someone in need. How amazing is that? Warby Parker also offers a home try on program, which makes finding the best frame for your face easy! You select five frames online that you'd like to try on at home - after five days of trying each pair, you order the ones you love the most and send the try-ons back! Who knew ordering stunning glasses could be so easy?

Needless to say, I know where my next set of frames are being bought from. Who says four eyes can't look good? ;)

Do you wear glasses? What do you think about the new collection?

Monday, November 3, 2014

Dos and Don'ts of Healthy Hair

I love my hair. I do my best to keep it healthy, soft, and pretty! Honestly, keeping my hair healthy isn't that hard, especially after developing these habits. Having soft and healthy hair makes me feel confident and really great about my days (is that cheesy? cuz it's true). I've been really proud of my hair. Even before I chopped it all off, it was pretty healthy and easy to work with. These five habits are easy ways to keep and maintain healthy hair - you can start today!

Don't brush wet hair  ||  Brushing wet hair can be one of the worst things you can do to it! Hair is extra elastic when wet, so brushing can cause it to stretch, break, and come frizzy. Yuck! Instead, let your hair air dry for as long as possible, then gently comb through, starting at the ends.

Do brush your hair before you shower  ||  Ever since I started brushing my hair when it's dry before I shower, my hair has become so much more manageable! It makes washing, conditioning, and combing (see above) so much easier and causes less breakage.

Do use hair masks every once in awhile  ||  DIY hair masks are an easy way to quench dry hair. My favorite and easiest mask is is coconut oil. Put a little bit (a little goes a long way!) of coconut oil all through your hair. The trick to not having oily hair after is simple: shampoo your hair before you get it wet!

Don't shampoo your hair every single day  || Washing your hair every day is another terrible thing you can do to your locks. Shampoo dries out hair like crazy, drying out all of your hair's natural oils! Skip a day or two between washes (or more, if you can!). Your hair might get really oily really fast, but after a couple of weeks of skipping days, your scalp will regulate it's oil production. Drying out your hair causes your scalp to overcompensate oil production, which is why it gets oiler, faster!

Don't condition your roots  ||  Conditioning your roots builds up unwanted oils on your scalp, causing hair to get greasy much faster. Instead, condition locks below the your chin and let sit for a couple of minutes. I like to brush my teeth in the shower while my conditioner does its magic!

Do use leave in conditioner  ||  Leave in conditioner is my best friend. It adds a softness to hair that lasts all day, helps with frizziness, and prevents knotting! I put mine it when it's still damp and long before I comb it. It really makes a difference!

What do you do to keep healthy, manageable hair?

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