Thursday, July 31, 2014

Survival Tips for Graduates Living at Home


Like most recent graduates, I had grand plans of staying in the city after school and enjoying life as an urban 20-something. Reality eventually caught up with me, and I quickly realized that it was in my best interest to take some time away from Chicago in order to save up some money. Before I knew it, I was packing up boxes, saying goodbye to my roommates and heading back to live in the suburbs with my parents. While nights out to dinner with my family are vastly different from nights out at bars and parties with my friends, I'm starting to get the hang of this whole moving-back-in-with-my-parents thing, and I thought that I would share a few tips with you guys to make your adjustment a little easier.

Have a plan | While I was wrapping up my senior year, I was fortunate enough to be offered a job that would have started literally the day after I walked the stage at graduation. While some people will advise you to take anything that you can get so you can start making money, I was also fortunate enough to be in a position where I had some cushion and didn't need to start working right away. I turned down the job because it wasn't aligned with the area that I hoped to be working in and honestly just didn't excite me. I knew that I could keep on searching for a better opportunity throughout the summer while enjoying some time off, but I also knew that I couldn't be unemployed forever, so I made sure to come up with a plan. I set goals for myself every week pertaining to the number of people that I would reach out to and network with and the number of positions that I would apply for. Having a plan makes the job search process SO much more manageable and ensures that you actually make progress towards your goals during your time off. 

Pitch in a little bit | You are living at home, which is ultimately saving you money on rent, food and utilities. While moving in with your parents may not have been exactly what you wanted, in the end they are doing you a favor and helping you out a ton, so it's only fair that you help them out as well. Think back to those chores you did in high school, pick up the broom and start doing them again. Offer to cook dinner every now and then or run errands for your mom. Your parents will be appreciative and you'll feel like you're earning your keep. 

Update your bedroom | The first time that I was able to decorate my bedroom on my own, I was in the midst of a major pink phase. I still like the color quite a bit, but I just don't feel the need to have it splashed all over my walls anymore. Since I'll be living in the room I grew up in at least for the next few months, I have plans to swap out the pink for a pale blue or purple and to kick a bunch of the clutter to the curb. Giving your room an update will ensure that you don't feel like you've reverted back to high school. 

Set up a routine | As unfortunate as it is, gone are the days of sleeping in until 11 and then spending the next three hours on the couch having a Sex and the City marathon {guilty}. Finding a job should be treated as a job and that includes waking up at a consistent, normal hour. I've been working towards getting up at 7 a.m. every morning. While it seemed impossible at first, I'm learning to love the peacefulness that comes with early rising and the extra four hours in my day. You should carve out a better portion of your day to commit to sitting down, searching for relevant positions, writing out cover letters, sending networking emails and applying for positions, but make sure to also set aside time each day to work out and to take a few breaks. Reward yourself at the end of a productive day by spending time on something you enjoy. For me, this means reading through my favorite blogs or doing something creative.


With Love,
Ellyse
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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Year Ago Today...

A year ago today I was basking in the HOT Arizona sun (#throwbacktuesday?), spending a week enjoying a routine consisting of morning workouts followed by afternoons laying by the pool and sipping fruity cocktails. Wishing I was there right about now, but good thing I'm heading to Florida in less than a week!


With Love, 
Ellyse

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Five // 09


ONE // BEST DAYS TO LIVE IN CHICAGO // Never has an article more accurately described my favorite city in the world. I only have a couple of weeks left living in Chicago and then it's back out to the suburbs for a while in an attempt to save up some money, but you can guarantee that I will be counting down the days until I can move back. I miss patio Saturdays and summer parties already :(



TWO // ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK // I'm absolutely hooked on this show and thank goodness I've had some free time lately because I just plowed through 10 episodes in two days and was finished with the first two seasons a few days after that. By no means is this a show that I could ever see myself getting caught up in, but I can't. stop. watching. 




THREE // HOW I USE EVERNOTE // I love this feature on Cara Lynn Livermoore's blog about how she using this handy app. For a while in college I used Evernote to take notes during lectures. It made it so easy to sync up with my iPad and phone so that I could study without having to lug my computer around everywhere or I could pass my notes along to friends. While I had a system down for classes, I've never used this program to it's full capacity, and it was so interesting to read about all the other functions this app had. 


FOUR // NORDSTROM ANNIVERSARY SALE // Christmas in July is finally here! TONS of new products including things from designers such as Tory Burch, Kate Spade, Burberry and Frye will be marked down until August 4. Make sure to take a look at some of the things I have my eye on this year!




FIVE // 11 REASONS WHY MARIANOS SHOULD BE YOUR GO-TO GROCERY STORE // Mariano's is a new grocery store chain that is only located in the Chicago-area at the moment. Think Whole Foods, but better. So much better. I loved reading this piece and seeing what unique features these stores have to offer. Any place where you can grab a drink while you shop or have your wine in three minutes is a favorite in my book. Also, know all those times when a new recipe you're trying out calls for a tiny amount of a really obscure spice, but the only way to get your hands on it is to buy a huge jar that you know you'll more than likely never use completely? Mariano's has a solution to that! If you're ever in the Chicago-area and need to go grocery shopping, I highly suggest venturing into one of their locations. Not to mention how delicious their juice bar is. Do I have you convinced yet? 

With Love, 
Ellyse
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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale officially kicks off this Friday (Nordstrom card holders have early access until the sale officially begins). Having formerly been a Nordstrom employe, I'm super excited to hit up the coveted sale and score some great pieces from fall. Must buys on my list? A new pair of running shoes, a pair of unique heels and some lived-in jeans. Happy shopping!

// sweatshirt // iPad case // jeans //
// heels // earrings // sneakers //


With Love,
Ellyse
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Sunday, July 6, 2014

currently...



enjoying summer saturday mornings at the farmer's market

craving a major closet update...my wardrobe is so worn out right now

planning a late summer trip to Florida with some friends

wearing light and breezy sundresses to fend off the sweltering summer heat

designing an update to my childhood room since I'll be back at home for a little bit. Out with the hot pink, in with the neutrals

reading the story of my life {insert monkey covering eyes emoji} and revisiting a favorite from my high school soccer days

sipping Arnold Palmers or fruit water...the perfect summer refreshments

listening to the country music Pandora station on repeat and X by Ed Sheeran

eating healthy! I'm on a kick right now and it's full of fruit, protein and green juice & smoothies :)

watching Orange is the New Black. Nonstop. 

needing to stay focused on the job hunt

loving summer!!


// sweater // shorts // sandals //

With Love,
Ellyse
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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

what to wear: fourth of july

For me, the Fourth of July will always be associated with spending the holiday weekend at my grandfather's farm in Pennsylvania. Every summer my family and I would leave behind our hectic schedules full of soccer tournaments and day camps to retreat to his countryside oasis for a week or two. All of my aunts, uncles and cousins from my dad's side of the family would come over for a huge party, which included my sister and I wearing matching dresses, tons of food, cannonballs into the pool and running around catching fireflies all night. My grandpa has since sold his farm, so my Fourth of Julys are a lot more laid back these days, but I'm still looking forward to spending the day outside, eating tons and tons of watermelon and wearing an outfit that's both casual and patriotic!

what to wear: fourth of july
// blouse // red shorts // navy shorts // sandals // dress // sandals //

With Love, 
Ellyse
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