Friday, July 31, 2015

24 favorite posts

Thank you so much for all the kind birthday wishes! I had to work yesterday so I celebrated with lunch with my family and birthday donuts. I put more thought into my wish than I ever have before, so hopefully it'll come true and 24 will be my best year yet.

Last year on my birthday I shared 23 things I really wanted, but were a little impossible to receive. I thought about doing another list, but just adding 1 more item seemed kinda lame. So instead I decided to complile a list of my top 24 favorite posts. Some of these are recent ones that you might remember, but some are so old I'm certain nobody ever read them the first time around.

1. My All Time Favorites Play List
2. A Magnolia State of Mind
3. The Best M&M Cookies 
4. My Defining Moment  
5. What Being a Sister has Taught Me 
6. Why I'm Actually the Worst Blogger 
7. One Last Thought on 2013
8. A Review of Ajax Diner
9. Alternative Olympic Sports
10. 7 Places I would Like to Live
11. 7 Places I would not Like to Live
12. An Honest About Me
13. 5 Ways to Feel Put Together
14. 15 Great Karaoke Songs
15. 9 Reasons Brunch is the Best 
16. How To Become Instagram Famous
17. My Life in 200 Words
18. Road Trip Essentials
19. My Own Nail Polish Line  
20. Advice for a First Time Bridesmaid 
21. How To Make and Stick to a Budget 
22. Stop LoopGiveaways 2015 - Tips for Hosting an Instagram Giveaway
23. DIY Kate Spade Earrings
24. Thoughts You'll Have While Job Searching

So click though (use the Pin It button!)  and maybe you'll discover a new favorite post! Let me know if you do! Also I usually share an old post or two every week on my twitter using #salsaarchives

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

5 answers to know before every job interview

I'm by no means an expert, but I have been on my fair share of job interviews. As I'm still job hunting I know I'm nowhere near done with these. Generally speaking I think the interview is the least painful part of applying for jobs. Writing a cover letter and customizing your resume are so boring to me because you're basically following a formula. The interview is where you get to let the true you shine, not just what you put down on a piece of paper or really an email because literally everything is done online now. With each interview I do I get more and more comfortable and that's 100% because each interview is practice for the next. Practice makes everything easier, that's just a fact of life. I've practiced the dreaded "tell me about yourself" question more times than I have fingers and toes to count on, because it's an obvious given. But I also always make sure to have answers prepared for these 5 questions. I try and think of full answers and practice saying them, and then I keep a little cheat sheet with bullet points jotted down. If it's a phone or skype interview I keep this infront of me along with my resume and a list or questions, and for in person interviews I'll review them in the parking lot before walking in the building. I have been asked these five questions in one form or another in every single interview I've ever had, including the one when I was 18 and applying to be a summer camp counselor.

1. What are your long term career goals and how does this position fit into that?
2. What made you apply for this job?
3. What aspect of this job would be the most challenging and the easiest?
4. What would be your goals for the first 30 days in this job?
5. Why should you be hired over everyone else?

Plus I think it's always good to know a little bit about what's going on in the news; maybe it's just because I have a journalism degree but I've been asked a few times what current news story I was most closely following. I've also been asked frequently about what book I'm reading. Here's a hint, if you aren't currently reading something, or you're reading an embarrassing trashy beach read, say you're rereading an old classic favorite from high school.

What are your interview tips? Any questions you wish you'd prepared an answer for beforehand?

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Monday, July 27, 2015

This or That Summer Edition

Happy Birthday week to me! I thought I'd kick things off by playing a summer version of one of my all time favorite games "This or That." The rules are really simple; you either pick this or that, never neither, and never both.

1. Ocean or Pool? Pool hands down! I live at the beach so maybe that has something to do with it, but I am just not a fan of sand at all. Plus I like knowing I'm swimming in clean water not filled with fish or plants.

2. Beach Vacation or Wilderness? Beach, even though I don't want to actually get on it I really do love the water. Beach towns usually have lots of cute little shops and great restaurants. I don't think there are many things more relaxing than sitting on a patio by the water watching the sunset with a tropical drink in hand. Plus as my mother always says "my version of camping is staying at a hotel without a pool."

3. Watermelon or Strawberries? Strawberries. Sometimes the texture of watermelon freaks me out plus I think you're more likely to get an under ripe watermelon than strawberry.

4. Bikini or 1-Piece? Bikini. This has been the biggest change for me in the past few years. I hated to wear anything other than a 1-piece for the longest time because I was always worried about it coming off and flashing everyone. But now I just opt for a bikini with a little more structure and coverage and feel great.

5. Lemonade or Iced Tea? Iced Tea, assuming it's sweet tea. If not, than eww and lemonade.

6. Hotdogs...Grilled or Over the Fire? Grilled is literally the only way I'll eat a hotdog. The more burn marks the better!

7. Hat or Sunglasses? Sunglasses because my eyes are super sensitive to the sun. I do love a great beach hat though and when you've got pool hair there's nothing better than a baseball cap. My general rule for sunglasses are the cheaper the better!

I lost these perfect for summer earrings about a week after taking this picture and I'm still so upset 

8. Windows Down or AC? I'm sorry but how is this even a question, obviously AC. Anyone who says different clearly lives in a magical place without bugs

9. Tanning Lotion or Sunscreen? Sunscreen #PaleandProud I don't leave the house without some type of sunscreen moisturizer on my face. You can keep your bronzed skin and I'll keep my not wrinkly version.

10. Baseball Game or Concert? This is probably the toughest one, but I'm going to say concert because than it'd be inside. I love baseball, but I much more enjoy it in the spring before its boiling hot out.

11. Ice Cream or Popsicle? popsicle! I'm dying to try making my own boozy version for a day by the pool. Popsicles just seem lighter and a more heathy treat for summer.

12. Fireworks or Fireflys? Fireworks. I'm like a little kid when it comes to these I'm always mesmerized and could watch for hours.

13. FlipFlops or Bare Feet? Flip Flops; I don't like to be bare foot. Plus it's way too hot to try and walk around without something between your sole and the hot enough to cook an egg sidewalk.

14. Water Ballons or Squirt Guns? Water Balloons. They're probably more dangerous and take more time to put together but I think the effort is worth the fun. I think it's so funny because for some reason nobody ever has very good aim and you'll end up hitting someone on your team.

PS: I'm borrowing this version from Abby, so hop over and see her answers to play along too!

This post may contain affiliate links. When you click on one of these links I will receive a small payment in exchange for sending you to a website where the product can be purchased. If you prefer not to click on a link for this reason and still want to know more about a product please feel free to email me. All opinions are my own. 

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Monday, July 20, 2015

Summer Playlist

Hi! Are you surprised to see me on a Monday? I haven't gotten a post up to start the week in a hot minute, but this week I thought I'd share my current playlist, something I haven't done in awhile either, so what better day to share it! Hoping today will be a much better Monday than last week's and I'll be super productive this morning and the rain will hold off long enough to have a pool afternoon with my sister.

What songs are you loving right now?
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Friday, July 17, 2015

Birthday Wishlist

This is the first post featuring affiliate links. When you click one of these links I will receive a small amount, think 5 cents. This is something new I'm trying, and all future posts containing links will include a small discloser at the bottom. If you're against these and really don't want me to get the 5 cents for clicking the link and still want to know where something is from you can always email me and I'll let you know. I'm not trying to get rich off you, but I figure if you're going to click the link anyway I might as well receive a small amount back.  

My 24th birthday is a little less than 2 weeks away, so I figured it was time to share my birthday wish list. Plus Wednesday's post was a bit of a downer so what better way to change the tune around here than with a post dedicated to presents. Maybe I'm biased because it's my birthday we're talking about here, but I promise I'd be just as excited if we were going to eat cake for your special day.

Donut Pool Float - Okay is this a slightly immature gift to get for your 24th birthday? Yes, but it's infinitely more practical than the giant flamingo pool float. I've been wanting one of these since they first debuted last summer so I think it's worth it. 

Charm Necklace - I am so obsessed with this new style from Bauble Bar! When I was little I had a charm bracelet that I wore all the time and there was nothing I loved more than going to buy a new charm to add. I'm hoping they'll eventually add the bracelet option, but until then I need one of these necklaces. I love that these are easy to interchange so it's really like having multiple necklaces! First charms I'll need are the elephantmermaidflamingo, and neon tassel.

Kendra Scott earrings - The Alex is by far my favorite KS earring. I own them in the rose quartz and wear them all the time. I don't know why this goldstone color appeals to me so much, but I've liked since the very first time I went on the KS website but haven't bought anything in it yet.

Nail Polish - Okay so not technically nail polish (although who wouldn't want that!) really what I'm wanting is a pedicure at one of our local spas. I was really hoping I'd be able to get the day off from work and be able to go have a mini spa day, but it looks like I'll have to work that night so maybe I'll go when I'm off that next week.

MAC lipstick - Y'all already know how much I love MAC lipstick. A girl can never have too many tubes of it and I'm in the market for a bright fun pink to finish up the summer.

Silver Wedges - I don't really wear a lot of silver, but I just have to have these wedges! They're so fun and the silver is an unexpected choice because we usually only see gold. Plus I'm convinced they'll make me look tanner and feel a little bit like Zenon. Just call me your Super Nova Girl!

Dunkin Donuts - If you've been following me for longer than about 3 months you'll know my love for DD. I haven't been since May (insert crying cat emoji) because June was my no spend month and then I decided to limit my sweets in July so that I'll feel hotter at the pool. But knowing I've got some money on a gift card to get my coffee for free (in addition to my always free donut!) would be really great.

Other things I wouldn't mind receiving: a plane ticket for vacation, money for my savings account, or Prince Harry (hey a girl can dream). I also really want a new crossbody but can't find one I really like; I love the look of this Rebecca Minkoff but I don't love that price.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

applying for jobs is a lot like dating

As you all know I'm job hunting and have been for the past few months. In all honesty job hunting is a lot like dating. You're putting yourself totally out there hoping someone else can see your worth. It's essentially saying "This is who I am, please like me." Like dates, some job applications are worse than others. There are the ones that you apply to and never hear a response; that's like leaving your number for the cute bartender or swiping right on Tinder. You've put in some effort, but not so much that it's personal; there are a million possible reasons they didn't call you. Then there are the ones that you interview for and don't work out, either they never contact you for another interview or just go total silence until 3 months down the road you receive a form email informing you you didn't get the position, or worse you never hear back at all. This is the boy you go out with once and are left hoping for a second date that never comes. Was he your happily ever after? Maybe, maybe not; things end before you're really ever able to discover, and two months later you see him out with another girl. This one stings a little more. But in my opinion the worst is the one that wants you yet can't seem to pull through to make it work.

Unfortunately I'm stuck in the last example in both my job hunt and dating life but that's another post for another day. I was offered a position Sunday night for what would have been my dream job if only it paid more. It was the most work I've ever done in an application and interview process and I guess I should have seen the signs from the beginning. In my rush to make this potential employer want me I sat through 2 interviews (one at 8:30am after working till midnight the night before) and completed 5 skills assessments which was essentially providing free work. After months on the job hunt I didn't feel empowered enough to pull the trigger and say enough was enough. I was offered the very lowest amount in the range for the starting salary along with zero benefits because it was going to be a contract position; I was offered a job with more work and responsibility for much less pay than I currently make. I tried to counter offer and was met with rudeness. I was told that if the starting salary wasn't going to meet my expectations than I never should have applied. But honestly why would you quote a range and then not be willing to negotiate within that range?  Even though the offered terms were not satisfactory I still have a problem turning it down. From the time I first got the offer email to until about an hour after turning it down the next morning I was filled with so much anxiety. I've been applying and interviewing for months, could I really turn this opportunity down? With no other prospects on the horizon was it worth it to say no and essentially start back at square one? My answer ultimately was yes.

I guess what I'm trying to say is it's important to know your own worth and stick to your guns when someone else doesn't see it. Do I think I'm worth $100,000 a year? No, but I do think I'm worth more than $17,000 below the average for that job. Sometimes life is really hard, but you just have to have faith in yourself and believe that your worth is visible to others. Eventually someone will think you have more worth than you even think for yourself.

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Thursday, July 9, 2015

Hello There

Hi I'm still alive! I know I'm not a big blogger, so maybe nobody cared that I've been absent from this little space for the past 2 weeks. But here I am again. I haven't got a great excuse for not posting except for that life got in the way. Since I last posted I've been dealing with a still not loving to work correctly all the time computer which has really been the number one reason I haven't gotten even a small post up. There are some posts that are really easy to write out and don't require much thinking, such as gift guides but these posts require a little bit of time creating a graphic, something my dear old vintage macbook just doesn't want to do. I've got a couple of posts that hopefully I'll be able to get up next week and luckily I have had lots of ideas that I've been jotting down so when I do finally have a working correctly computer again (fingers crossed in the next few weeks!) I'll be ready to go with lots of great content.

I've also had my phone die on me. Not just like the battery died and I didn't readily have my charger available. Died as in I was at work Saturday morning and one minute it was fine and the next it wouldn't turn on even after trying two different chargers in 3 different outlets. Needless to say things were a little rough until I could make it to Best Buy and purchase my new gold Iphone 6. I love having having a new phone with tons of available memory but I'm still not in love with the feeling of my phone is essentially the size of a small tablet.

I've also been applying and interviewing for jobs, AKA the least fun thing to do in the world. I just wish I could send a cover letter that said "You should hire me because I'm awesome and you'll love me." and companies would get it and be like "yeah she's awesome, hired!" But instead I'm stuck writing custom cover letters, doing skills tests and providing free work, and waking up to do early morning Skype interviews. I know I just need to be patient and keeping pushing because I'll find something I love; I'm just getting to the point where I don't understand why nobody will take a chance on me.

And lastly I've been playing with the idea of monetizing this space. During my job hunting I've come across a few part time positions or low paid full time jobs that are literally perfect except I'd probably need a second job of some sort to survive. I just want to see if it's possible to make money through this hobby so that I could apply and potentially accept one of those jobs that I'd love without having to worry about how I'm going to pay my water bill one month. I don't necessarily want to start selling ad space and guest posts, but if you're a fellow blogger and want to swap sidebar buttons for a month or do guest posts just hit me up because I'm always open to that! I'm more trying the affiliate links route. I know I'm not a fashion blogger nor do I have the following of big bloggers, but after reading a few things it seems like these are actually pretty easy ways to make a little bit extra cash. I don't want to shove it down anyone's throat and I don't plan on changing the way I post, but if you're going to click on the link anyway why shouldn't I make a nickel off of it? I've already started a little bit with Twitter links and when I post my birthday wish list next week I'll be debuting it on the blog. So I want to know you're honest opinion, would you be turned off if I started using affiliate links that paid me per click? Also what is the correct and legal way to distinguish these links?

So what have you been up to lately?

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