Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Money Saving Wisdom from That Working Girl

We're graduates. We're looking for things full time. And now more than ever, it's vital to save. Sometimes, figuring out the most effective way is difficult, but luckily we have some great friends to help.

Image via That Working Girl

Lindsay Shoemake of That Working Girl has a few practical solutions that we're sure will make you a very happy saver.

First: Create a plan. Whether you're physically setting money aside or are using direct transfers to a saving account, having a plan is a helpful starting point. Sticking to the plan is pretty important, so find a way or someone to keep you accountable.

Next: Shop sales. Flash sale sites or sales at stores are so popular right now! You can get amazing deals on fantastic items, and you'll feel so savvy when you start saving.

Click over to That Working Girl for the full article and the remaining tips!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Down The Hobbit Hole: Post-Grad Life

Down the Hobbit Hole is a monthly segment penned by Maura, a senior at Michigan State University, finishing her undergraduate degree in English. She's also a lover of cats, great literature and Bruce Springsteen. Life's an adventure and remember: "Not all those who wander are lost."

Exactly two weeks ago, I graduated.

I walked across a stage in front of thousands of people, shook the hand of my dean and received a fake diploma (the real one will be here in 3-10 weeks).

After being in school nonstop for nearly eighteen years of my life, I finally got a break.

There were no more all-nighters writing papers, or hours hunched over Arabic homework. In my mind, it was a little bit like being free. For one solitary moment, time stood still and I was able to take a deep breath and rid myself of all the stress that had built up over the past four years of being in college. And then time resumed, and everything came rushing at me and hit me like a brick wall.

That’s what graduating is like.

It’s somewhere between taking a break and working harder than ever. And the only question that I get now is, “What do you plan to do now?” No one asks me how it feels to be done, and somehow, telling people that I have no idea what I’m doing doesn’t quite seem right.

But I don’t.

I have no idea where to even start. A part of me wants to take the summer off and do some real relaxing (that would be the part that checked out twenty books from the library in the span of four days), while another part is trying to move on and grow up.

This part, very responsibly, has begun its TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) certification and has started to study for the GRE (Graduate Record Examinations).

It wouldn’t be far off to say that I’m a little bit torn about what comes next for me.

To my fellow recent grads in the same position, tell me, how does it feel to done?

- MS

Happy Memorial Day!

Source: @jrgrotto
Happy Memorial Day from your Girls Under PRessure!

Soak up some sun, eat a few s'mores, take a dip in the lake (or pool) and celebrate safely!


Monday, May 19, 2014

Books for Recent Grads

So, graduation came and went. It's been an interesting and emotional time for me at least, but I'm really excited to have a touch of free time, and of course, to be back in New York City for a little while.

With this free time and the airport wait time, I've had the opportunity to get into a lot of great books that aren't for school, which is always nice. I'm primarily into fiction and the classics, but graduation has ignited the nonfiction reader and advice seeker in me. These books taught me to pause, to expel a few fears, to Lean In, to be obsessively organized (which luckily, for the most part, I am), and to just accept the state I'm in and use any upset feelings in a constructive way to build my future.

From my Instagram, @esabak 

Here they are, my suggestions for recent grads:

1. Welcome to the Real World, Lauren Berger. 
She's the Intern Queen, she's built her own business, and her website got me my first internship in New York. Even though I've never met her, I trust her advice.

2. Lean In for Graduates, Sheryl Sandberg.
I didn't grow up in a family where my dad was the go-getter career wise and my mom stayed at home. I grew up with a mom who ran and directed a school she developed on her own and a dad who ran an engineering firm. They're a team, and Sheryl Sandberg talks about that importance and how to push yourself in your career and ask for more. So, even though this "Lean In" presence wasn't foreign to me, her words of advice are always helpful. Plus, she's a stellar speaker.

3. #GIRLBOSS, Sophia Amoruso.
You guys, Sophia Amoruso is so interesting. She built up her own business and found stellar success from paying attention to detail and loving her craft. I'm amazed by that and she shares excellent lessons that are relatable.

4. I Just Graduated... Now What?, Katherine Schwarzenegger.
I think this is an important read for recent grads but I have a small issue with it. The book brings together a number of essays from famous figures like Anderson Cooper and trance music producer Armin Van Buuren (which was incredible, by the way). Katherine discusses the importance of pausing and taking a break and that it's OK to not know where you're headed. But I find it slightly difficult to take advice from someone so well connected. Sure, she's forging forward on her own, but it's hard to ignore that those lifelong connections and a well-known family were key players in the creation of this book.

What have you been reading, new grads?


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Lip Service: May

We've decided to turn Lip Service into a more comprehensive segment. A perfect pout is always a must have, but we have a few overall beauty favorites to share so you'll always look primed and professional at school or work!

Elise: I use and own so many beauty products that it sometimes makes putting together these posts
Source & Buy it here!
difficult! I never know what I want to feature! But after a few hours of thought (read: perusing through ALL of my products) I've decided that for May, it's all about eyes for me. Mascara is wildly important, not just because it's the final touch to a look but because even though I have very dark eyelashes, I need the extra volume and curl that mascara provides. I've purchased enough mascaras to make my wallet really hurt and only came across the right one at an event. And I got the full size tube for free and I'm so grateful I could cry. But I won't. Because it's not waterproof (I never wear waterproof mascara). 

Anyway, it's the Estée Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Lash Multiplying Volume Mascara. It's miraculous. I like that it's more of a traditional brush and that the wiper isn't too snug. The formula is rich and deposits just the right amount of product. It's amazing. It retails for $26 and will be worth every penny. 

Jasmine: We always tend to set a theme. Like Elise, I'm going with mascara this month. My most recent
Source & Buy it here!
mascara purchase was Covergirl's Clump Crusher. Mascara is definitely important, especially for anyone who has a simple routine or is always on the go. 

Clump Crusher promises no clumps, but great volume and length and it delivers. Not only does it come in four shades, but it's at a great price point too, with the average price of around $5. The formula is amazing and unlike Elise, who favors a traditional brush, this has a curved wand and plastic bristles for curling, definition, and obviously to keep your lashes clump-free.  

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Network: Body Language

Hi everyone!

In order to make an impressive first impression, it is important to be as articulate and well spoken as possible. What you say, however, begins before you even utter a single word.

In today’s edition of “The Network” we’re talking all things language—body language that is. After reading this post you’ll be fluent, and ready to network like a pro.

Body language is essential to effective networking, and the right approach can make all the difference. Body language can establish presence, engage those around you and lead to some insightful and productive conversations and relationships. Poor body language, on the other hand, has the potential for disaster and could paint a poor picture of who you are.

With that, here are some guidelines to ensure that you will always own the room.

Perfect Posture

Grandma knew what she was talking about when she hounded you to sit up straight. Nothing exudes confidence quite like good posture. Whether you’re sitting or standing, keep your back straight, shoulders down and chest open. This will show that you’re welcoming and inviting, drawing people to you with a friendly energy.

No folded arms! Trust me, I know it’s comfortable, but a grouchy stance with crossed arms is the universal sign for, “not interested—please don’t talk to me.” That’s pretty counter-productive to any networking efforts if you ask me.

Face It

We’re all more expressive in our faces than we are aware of, and this expressiveness can work for or against you, so be conscious.

Smile! It’s really that easy. Looking happy and friendly is a sure-fire way to draw people to you and display your genuine interest.

Don’t forget about eye contact. Maintaining solid eye contact during a conversation or introduction will help you connect better with people and make a more lasting positive impact. Appropriate eye contact shows someone that you are focused on them and care about what they have to say. It’s really just polite.

Smooth Moves

Yes, great posture is a key component of effective body language, but that doesn’t mean being stiff or stoic. Your body language should make you look poised, yet comfortable.

Move around naturally. Walk with purpose and intent. Use a firm, confident handshake. You’ve heard this all before, but hey! If it works, it works! Also, feel free to use your hands when you talk. I, for one, know that I wouldn’t be able to speak a single word without using my hands. Just be cautious and avoid anything too crazy or distracting. The gestures you use make you unique and help tell your story, so use them wisely.

There you have it! The basics of body language. These are just a few friendly reminders of how to say it all without saying a single word—but I want to know, what are some of your tips and tricks for better body language?


Monday, May 5, 2014

Constructive Distraction: Hair Romance

Procrastination doesn't have to be a total waste of time—check out some of the web's most constructive gems: educational blogs, career-focused news sites, the latest web tools, etc. These distractions make procrastinating time well spent.

I'm sure some of you are questioning the constructiveness of this distraction, but as Elise and I continually preach: looking put together is important. I'm not saying looks are everything, but presenting yourself in a professional manner is expected.

Your hair is one of your most important accessories and one of the first things people notice about others. Hair Romance is dedicated to bringing tutorials, tips and tricks for styling straight and curly hair.

Trust me, I feel for all my fellow Curlies out there: it's taken me a long time to love my hair (I still have days when I loathe it) and embrace that it is (very) curly and treat it as such instead of wishing my hair were straight.

Hair Romance is a great resource for both girls with straight and curly hair. Here are a few of my fav posts:
So take some time and check out Hair Romance. You might find a new style to spice up your look or get some pointers about your favs.

Until next time: happy styling!


Thursday, May 1, 2014

This is the End: Graduation Day!

Accurate. (Source)

Well folks, today is the day: graduation day.

While you're reading this, we're sitting with 3400 of our classmates waiting for our names to be called and be ceremoniously segued into the real world.

To our fellow graduates, congratulations.

To those still in the process, keep on keepin' on—it'll be over before you know it.

Don't worry, there will be plenty to write about as we turn the page, shoulder more responsibility and continue carving our own paths in our personal and professional lives.

Until next time,

Your Girls Under PRessure