Advice for the New College Graduate

Yesterday was a year since a graduated from Siena College. Ugh, it hurts even just typing those words. I literally remember typing this post about what I’ll remember most about Siena. The only thing is… I remember so much more. Now that I’m a year and a day out of college (sobs into my keyboard), I figured I would tell you a few things I’ve learned along the way since graduating.

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Jeans| Top (Sale)|Jacket (Similar)|Purse Similar|Shoes

Expect the unexpected and run with it. 

I never expected to do so much after I graduated. I literally thought I was going to dive in deep into finding a job, land one, and then hopefully work my way up. Although that is completely true and exactly what happened/is happening, I never expected to have accomplished so much in one year’s time. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to go see different places through work and my own time. I’ve been able to explore northern Arkansas, Houston, San Diego, Skytop, New York City, Anaheim, and even new places in my little old state of Connecticut. When you start your first job don’t sit idly on your hands. If you finish a task find another one to do or speak up that you need more work. You’ll be surprised how many opportunities fall into your lap if you do this.

Don’t forget to give yourself “me” time.

After college, I’ve ended up landing a job that was an hour commute each way. The commute eats up a good chunk of my time so I cut the commute in half on Tuesdays by going to a pilates studio. This little bit of me time helps me refocus and recharge. This blog and the gym are both vital outlets as well. When you start an “adult job” you need to find a way to escape so whether that is going to the gym, blogging, or riding horses… you need something.  (Also, if you end up having a long commute like me check out this post on how to survive that commute).

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Finding a job right after college might be difficult. 

Some of my friends had jobs lined up right after college, and some of them took seven months to find a job. It really ends up being the luck of the draw when it comes to finding a job after college. Well, I say that but I applied to almost a 100 different jobs before I found the right one. I found the right job because I worked hard for it. Persistence is key so make sure you write a killer cover letter and follow up with interviews. For more advice on what finding a job is like after college read this post.

Start saving money now. 

During college, it is almost impossible to save money but once you land that dream job and you have a steady income coming in, start saving as much money as soon you can. I use two apps: YNAB and Acorns to help keep track of my money.

YNAB is by far the biggest lifesaver. You can create all of these different folders in the app so that you can divide up your new check. I have tabs for future rent (still living with my parents one year out of college), transportation (driving 2 hours each day really adds up), gifts, vacation, fitness, dining out, fun money, and reimbursement (every time I travel for work I keep track of expenses this way). You can also put goals for each folder so that you reach a certain amount in the future. For example, I’m going to be moving out of my parent’s house in a year or two so I put a goal on how much money I want to have saved when I do. Also, when I’m saving for a cute new bag I take money out of my fun money and put it towards a new folder.

As for Acorns, this app automatically rounds up your purchases and invests that money for you! I started this in January and already have $200 saved in the app. Also, if you shop certain stores listed on the account you can get money back from those purchases! This is such a great app to set up and then just forget about it. You’ll be shocked when you open it up and you already have money saved.

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If you’re a recent grad, what are you most excited about being in the “adult” world? If you’ve already graduated, what advice would you offer a recent grad? Let me know in the comments down below.

As always,

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4 Reasons Why You Need a Linen Dress This Season

Over the weekend, I went to a blogging event with a few local Connecticut bloggers. It was so much fun meeting everyone and learning what their blog is about. Even though all 15-20 of us were at different ages and blog popularities, it was so pleasant to see what people were really passionate about. For example, Courtney from Betty Juliet Diaries blogs about her incredible vintage vibes and the history of the era associated with it. Kelsey from Kelsey Lynn B finds the best sales and knows how to have a killer workout. Lastly, Caitlyn from Confessions of a Northern Belle, the one who brought us all together, blogs about her adventures with her adorable children. All completely different topics but it was so pleasant to see how much joy they have from blogging.

As I talked to a few bloggers and even a few coworkers, I found myself lighting up when I talked about sustainability and fashion ethics. When a coworker compliments me on an article of clothing, like these white jeans, I find myself spewing knowledge about how denim is made or who makes the product. Sometimes it gets to a point where I say to myself “girl, calm down before they frame you as a psychopath”. Green Linen Dress and Everlane Denim JacketGreen Linen Dress and Everlane Denim Jacket

Everlane Jacket | Artisan NY (Can’t find anything similar) |Giving Key Necklace | Shoes

Despite starting my journey to more ethical shopping, I still find myself wandering through Marshalls and T.J. Maxx line no one’s business. Sometimes I’m able to find “Made in the USA” or “Organic Cotton” shirts whereas other times you can see where the quality is missing out of the garment. A missed stitching here… a spaghetti strap that was just slapped on… or jeans that have that weird chemical smell that you can’t seem to get rid of. We’ve all bought these products in our lifetime. As a recovering shopaholic, I have tons of pointless fashion items in my closet that barely see the light of day. With challenges like the 10x10challenge, I’ve been trying to use the items I already have more but that doesn’t take away from the fact that I love shopping. Which is why I’m slowly easing into the sustainability world by focusing on the quality of the items I’m buying and how often I will wear it. Thus, the reason why this adorable linen dress came into my life.

So why the heck is linen so great? What makes it better than other fabrics and why is it so darn expensive?

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Linen as an environmentally friendly product.

When linen is made, the entire part of the flax plant is used to make the linen yarn. The by-product, Linseed Oil, is even used and can be used to preserve wood. Flax uses 13 times fewer pesticides than potatoes but is only approximately 1% of the world’s apparel fiber consumption.

It is easy to grow, but not easy to make the yarn. 

Although Flax seeds can grow in poor soil while using less water than cotton, the process of making the linen yarn is very laborious and time-consuming. This what causes linen garments to be so much more than other items. Although it is time-consuming, to spin the yarn it is more durable than cotton which is the big benefit of having linen clothing.

Unlike polyester or acrylic, it is 100% biodegradable when it is not dyed.

This dress is actually dyed so it is not 100% biodegradable. But if this is something that is very important to you buy linen that is colored in its natural form which is ivory, ecru, tan and grey. This means that if you grow out of the dress in a few years or it just isn’t the same style you fell in love with, you can actually compost the dress! So forget clothes piling up in the landfills, if we wore more linen we wouldn’t have this problem.

On hot days it will keep you cool. 

Even though here in Connecticut I don’t have to worry about the warm weather just yet, I know I have this linen dress to fall back on once it gets warm. Since the linen fabric is built differently than cotton, it actually allows more airflow. It also is less likely to cling to your skin because of the how stiff the fabric is naturally. It is the perfect fabric for the spring and summer because of this.

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So, be like linen. Be easy to adapt and stronger when things get you down. Okay, that may be stretching it but I think it works well.  Next time you’re walking through Marshalls and you pick up that adorable t-shirt, look at what the item is made out of. If it’s made out of polyester, nylon, or acrylic (otherwise known as straight up plastic), you might want to put it back on the rack. Hey, this trick has been helping me save up for this adorable jean jacket (check out the factory it is made in and you’ll be hooked on this company).

What do you think about linen as a textile? Do you like wearing linen in the spring/summer? Have you ever meet up with local bloggers in your area? Let me know in the comments down below. 

As always,

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P.S. This week is Fashion Revolution Week where sustainable bloggers from all over the world are calling out big named companies and asking who makes their clothes. For more information about this week check out my Instagram to see how I’m raising awareness for the garment workers all over the world (40 million garment workers and 80% of them are female).

Double PS: Thank you for Amy from Amy Marie Blog and Lindsay from Lindsay Demo for making me laugh during these photos. We’re definitely going to have to back to Conspiracy to watch a drag show or hit up a cidery/brewery! 💕