Monday, July 28, 2014

5 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Money

Because Maxie McCoy Monday wasn't enough... today is Maxie McCoy Monday, Money Edition. Because of our work experience, women and money is something we've talked a lot about together. She's just a smidge older than me and I have definitely asked her for advice a few times! (And commiserated over bank draining purchases like my pink couch and her beautiful leather jacket.)

I love the five tips she shares because they're practical!

Money can be a very sensitive topic. It was something that five years ago I would never talk about. I didn’t bring it up with my girlfriends. I rarely asked my parents for financial advice. And I always figured it was one of those “grown up” issues that would naturally take care of itself, eventually.

Well, now that I’m verifiably one of those “grown ups”... I’ve learned a few things. They are lessons that I’ve either learned the hard way or by listening to the advice of my elders. I can tell you this: there is no reason that money needs to be a taboo topic. If anything, it hurts you and me and everyone else by not being comfortable talking about it. We need to be able to ask for help. And we sure as heck need to share what we learn.

Here’s the thing about finances, they’re not going anywhere. Money will always be a part of life. Your ability to handle this particular topic in your life will have a major impact on your future. So you might as well start diving into it now right?

Save Something, No Matter How Little

I’m lucky that I had parents who always impressed the importance of saving on me. But when I was 22 years old in a big new city trying to pay for my rent, saving 10% of my paycheck as experts suggested was just not an option. So, I saved what I could. And so should you. Whether that’s 20 dollars a paycheck that goes into saving or $200, make sure you have some kind of cushion in case the worst happens. Don’t get caught up in the shoulds. Save what you can early on and trust me that you’ll be able to save 10-20% of your income sooner than you think. 

You Go Broke One Small Purchase at a Time

We see something under thirty bucks, and we don’t think a thing about. Literally, we become broke one $30 purchase at a time because all of those small “harmless” purchases add up. Eventually leaving our bank account depleted. Start tracking what you spend. Don’t give any less meaning to a $30 purchase than you do a $300.

Learn How to Negotiate as Early as Possible
You might say “Duh Max,” but the more your job pays, the more money you have to save and spend. But you’re not going to just be handed more money. You have to learn to ask for it. Asking for what you deserve is a tough skill when you’re new to it, but just like anything else it’s practice. So begin negotiating the little things today that way you can negotiate the big things like salary later.

The LearnVest Program Is Worth Every Penny

I’ve taken my finances to the next level because of the amazing programs provided at LearnVest. They give you access to a fabulous dashboard that makes tracking your budgets and expenses a freaking dream, and they set you up with a certified financial planner who talks you through every step of your financial goals (shout out to my planner Chris!). If you feel like getting serious about your money and want a little support along the way, LearnVest is worth it.

Talk to Your Galpals
If you’re anything like me, you hate saying no to dinner, workouts, or shopping trips with your best friends. It’s how you bond. But it also can really add up. Learning to talk to your best friends about money can not only begin to break down the stigma related to personal finances, but you all can help support each other towards your financial goals. This way you won’t be embarrassed to suggest cooking the girls dinner at home to save money, or letting them know you’re not buying that amazing dress because you’re working on cutting your spending each month. We talk to our besties about everything else, why does money have to be any different?

Start building your tolerance for conversations about money. It’ll help you get comfortable with your goals, develop a stable future for yourself, and allow you to create a life of your dreams. And who wouldn’t want all of those things?

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Sunday, July 27, 2014


This was the first weekend I can remember where I had no plans. Literally ZERO plans! No coffees, no brunches, no phone calls. Nowhere I had to be or go or get dressed up for or prepared for. Nada. Not even on Friday night. What a treat. And the best part about the summer in the city? Everyone on the Upper East Side leaves for the Hamptons so it's extra quiet. It's like a vacation in and of itself.

Garrett and I cooked dinner (aka he cooked dinner) and watched a documentary. When it was over, it was still pretty early so we went off to play tourists. I've never been to Serendipity 3 before and I guess I thought it was overrated and a tourist trap, but I was still willing to try. Who in their right mind would turn down any kind of chocolate?! We expected long lines because it was 10pm on a Friday, but we only had to wait 25 minutes! While we waited, we zipped across to Roosevelt Island on the tram– another first for me.

Verdict on the frozen hot chocolate? SO GOOD. I'm kind of mad I had it because I've been craving it ever since. I didn't get the concept of how something could be frozen and hot... but it's just like a hot chocolate flavored slushy. YUM. Serendipity 3 definitely a touristy spot, so the crowd is strange. If you're into people watching though, it's the best in town.

Teddy and I walked so much on Saturday. My legs are actually kind of sore... just from walking. I added it up and I think it was over seven miles that we logged between the morning and the night. Insane. We picked a new route in the morning and Teddy had so much fun running up and down grassy hills with some new puppy friends. Too cute!

The park was actually pretty surreal in the morning. So perfect, it felt like I was walking in a movie set! I mean... look at that lighting!

This is just a PSA... the avocado toast at Le Pain Quotidien is one of the best I've ever had. Delicious. And they have THE best lemonade in the world too. The perfect summer meal.

More walking on Saturday night. Again a gorgeous NYC scene.

And today was spent catching up and relaxing and all the puppy snuggles we could fit in!

Hope you had a great weekend! Anything fun?!

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Shorts and Blazers

I love a good pair of shorts. It's probably the Florida girl in me, but I have a huge collection of shorts that I rotate through all the time. Running shorts in the morning when I'm walking Teddy in the Park and lots of chino shorts during the day when I'm working alone. Weekends? All about the shorts. The only downside is that they tend to be a little bit casual. 

But that doesn't mean they can't be dressed up! I've actually seen a bunch of sort of suit sets with a matching blazer and shorts. I've liked a few, but some of the prints can be a bit much. So I made my own with my trusty schoolboy blazer and new Elizabeth McKay shorts.

I actually love that I can wear the shorts and shirt during the day with Jack Rogers and then throw on wedges and the blazer if I have to run to a meeting or if I'm attending an event at night. It's like leading a double life, haha!

This is also a great transitional look in the next few months– just swap wedges for closed toe pumps for late summer.

Light blue, navy, and gold... love it.

Schoolboy Blazer // Sleeveless Oxford (old, but this is similar!) // Striped Shorts (c/o... and these are similar)

Would you pair a blazer with shorts?

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Cute Notebooks

I've been on such a paper kick lately. For a while now, I had been keeping notes on my phone and gmail task list and occasionally emailing myself to-do lists so I'd always have them. It started to get really messy, really quickly though. I also haven't been traveling as much, which I kind of really love, and I'm at my desk consistently every day. (Versus working remotely a few days a week.) 

At my old job, I lived and died by a Moleskin. I carried it around from meeting to meeting jotting down everything I needed to do, taking notes, and brainstorming for projects. I picked up the Moleskin "habit" from a few of my coworkers who used one and it really did ensure that I didn't forget about something that I promised to do and I could reference back to old meetings quickly.

I think I'm always going to keep my day-to-day meetings on my Google Calendar. Things change all the time and I like being able to sync it with my phone, include address locations, and notes about what to prepare. In college, most of my schedule was pretty consistent so I could jot down classes, meeting times, crew practices, and exams + due dates without the fear of everything getting out of whack with one cancelation. Every day is so different now that I have to keep it online so I can know where I have to be and can schedule things a lot quicker since it's easy to reference.

However, when Lilly sent me the cutest agenda, I wanted to make sure that I'd be able to use it. While writing down every single to-do wasn't going to work, I found that it's been great for planning purposes for my blog. I actually am really bad about coming up with blog post ideas and typically wait until the very last minute before I know what I'm going to write about. Even though I just started using the agenda more as a blog planner, I have a better sense of scheduling blog post topics. Time will tell whether it works longterm, but I'm really loving the system so far.

With all that being said, I've also been doing a lot of brainstorming and note taking. I definitely prefer to type 90% of the time, but sometimes I need to really just get my ideas on paper. It's messy. I like to be able to scratch things out and draw arrows and see everything in one place. It definitely helps my writing process. I've been using it as a personal sounding board before transferring the ideas into actual thoughts on the computer... and using the notebook as a reference while I type.

I feel like I'm always going to be in this weird sort of internal battle with digital versus paper and I'm finding that there's no real one size fits all answer for everyone and for myself. Between planners, notebooks, iPhones, computers, and tablets.... I think all that I'm missing in my little repertoire is a typewriter and stone/chisel. Ha....

I have a wonderfully large collection of notebooks in my apartment and I always find myself collecting more, whether or not they're necessary... Anyone else? The cuteness factor is definitely something that digital is lacking!

P.S. 12 // Ballad Stripe // This Just In

Gold Stripe // Soft Cover // Chevron

How do you stay organized digitally and with paper?

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Giveaway :: Monogrammed Jack Rogers

Oh, happy day!!! If you've been wanting to add a pair of Jack Rogers to your collection or want to get your first pair, get ready to be excited! We're teaming up to giveaway a pair this week...

And not just any old pair... a monogrammed pair!

In addition to the classic diamond monogram, they've recently released a circle version. I can't decide which one I like the best– they're both too cute. And the color options? I die!

Woo! Enter to win using the Rafflecopter widget below:

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valid for US Residents only

Good luck!
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