2015 is nearly over! I wanted to put together some sort of highlight post, since I was scrolling through my instagram feed. So here are my top 5's for 2015. Lots of good memories and some closet additions that I've been loving this year. Hope you all had a great holiday and a happy new year :)
Top 5 Clothing Purchases
2. Lo & Sons Saffiano Pearl
3. Everlane Heavyweight Tee
4. Nike Roshes
5. Warby Parker Glasses
Top 5 Eats
2. Smylie's in Evanston
3. Ba Le in Uptown
4. DMK in Lake View
5. Bruges Brothers Food Truck
Top 5 Sights
2. Chicago River on a cloudy fall day
3. Lake View during a cloudy fall run
4. West Loop in the Spring
5. Loop in the Winter
Top 5 Songs
Alright - Kendrick Lamar / To Pimp A Butterfly
2. Angels (ft. Saba) / Chance the Rapper
3. Belize - Wayward / Ugestu
4. Reflektor - Arcade Fire / Reflektor
5. Supreme - Postiljonen / Supreme
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
I love giving presents to my family. I spend a lot of time thinking about the perfect gift for each person, and I love to see their faces when they open them. For me though? I don’t ever have much of a Christmas list, and even I think it’s hard to come up with what I might want. But I was very pleased this year to receive some really useful items, as well as something off of my clothing wish list.
1. Garlic Press - I HATE mincing garlic. It always leaves my hands smelling like garlic for the rest of the day. My sister recently bought one for herself, and then one for me. I whipped it out to try for one of my mom’s sauce recipes, and it works like a charm!
2. Boscia Sake Eye Masks - Another gift from my sister. I’ve yet to try this, but I’m excited to! I’ve tried a hydrogel mask before, and it was very hydrating.
3. Stacking Egg Measuring Cups - Last thing from my sister - At home, what I use to measure is a Starbucks mug that I know holds 12 oz, and I eyeball it. These are much needed, and look so cute in the kitchen.
4. Everlane Silk Sleeveless in Slate - My mom has started to shop at Everlane ever since I introduced her to the brand. I actually have this shirt in a dusty rose color, and have been wanting to add another one in this same color!
5. Sony MDR-V6 Studio Headphones - My boyfriend got me these for Christmas and I’ve been using them every time I’m at a computer. I’ve only ever used iPhone headphones, so these are a huge upgrade. I’m not an audiophile by any means, but listening to music or podcasts with these are a joy.As for how my family received my own gifts to them -
It turns out the Petra Market tote that I got my mom overwhelmed her frame. I agreed - it’s very large on a 5’2” frame, in my opinion. If you’re into that oversized look, I definitely recommend it! The leather is buttery smooth, and doesn't seem like it would scratch easily. The hardware is very pretty and understated. Overall, a very luxurious bag that looks like it'll age very well. Anyway, we’re exchanging for the Petra Magazine tote in Camel, which hopefully she’ll like!
I also decided to get my brother tickets to Bulls vs. Celtics at home, which we are going to next week with my boyfriend! Should be a fun thing to do to ease back into the work week after the holidays.
Did you get anything interesting for Christmas?
Monday, December 28, 2015
Know what you're worth and go out and get it. I was underpaid at my first job at the ad agency. I was fresh out of college with no experience outside of my internships. It was a fantastic job, good people, good benefits, fun clients. It was an almost-perfect job, except for the pay. Leaving it was scary, but I was able to get a 25% pay increase and a promotion in doing so, which set me on the path to maintain that level of income.
Never take a job for the money. No explanation here - if you take a job for the money, but hate any part of the role, you’ll hate going to work, no matter what.
Ask lots of questions. Don't worry about being annoying, you're just trying to do your job well. When I was an intern, I hesitated to ask for help. I wanted to figure things out on my own, and I didn’t want to be annoying as a young student out of her element. But I started to tell myself “I’m just trying to do my job” before I hit send on any email that asked a “dumb” question. At the end of the day, you’ll save everyone a lot of headache if you ask a lot of questions early on.
Leave a job when you've stopped learning. This piece of advice is from my manager at my first internship. When you’ve stopped learning new things in your role, and you don’t have any more room to grow at your job, then it’s time to leave. If you’re coasting at work, seek out new challenges, ask for more work. If there isn’t anything more for you to do, or your manager balks - time for a new challenge elsewhere.
Always be uncomfortable. Surround yourself with people smarter than you. Seek out A players. It's okay to feel like you're two steps behind, to feel like you’re the dumbest person in the room. This applies to finding a job as well. Job postings are often self selecting. If you see a job you want, but don’t think you’re ready for, or you don’t meet all the requirements - apply to it anyway! You’ll learn on the job and grow into it.
Never accept a first offer. Negotiate everything. Salary, signing bonus, vacation, perks. It doesn't hurt to ask. I always regret not negotiating my first job’s offer. I thought that I couldn’t because I had no experience. When I started, I realized that one of my coworkers did, from the same no-experience position as me. Women are more likely to not ask, so if you’re a woman reading this, ask!
Learn how to work with your manager. This will be your most important relationship at work, so develop it. Learn how they like to communicate. What do they want to accomplish? How can you help? Are they hands on, hands off? Part of this too is learning how you yourself like to work. Do you like a boss that is more hands on? If you both are opposites, sit down and set expectations. Find a way to compromise so you both are happy. Ultimately, they’ll be the keys to the rest of your career at the company, and your advocate during promotions/raises/etc.
Always leave work feeling like you were productive that day. I start my day writing down 3 things I need to accomplish by end of day to have been 'productive'.
Don’t take yourself too seriously. I’m usually the youngest person in the room, and I sometimes feel like I have to prove myself. At the end of the day, it’s just a job! I constantly have to remind myself to not give af, especially when things get stressful. Actively think good thoughts and have a positive attitude.
Don't apologize or undermine yourself. Trust your knowledge and support with data and facts. You know what you know, so stick to your guns whether you're the youngest in the room, the girl, the newbie to the industry.
Always be looking for a new job. I get an email sent to me every week with job postings that I might be interested in. I also keep in touch with my analytics recruiters, and they send me jobs every so often that they think might be a good fit. It’s not that I’m disloyal to my current job. It’s more along the lines of always knowing what else is out there. It’s also handy for colleagues and friends in the industry that might be looking for a new job. And, you’ll never know if your dream job suddenly pops up.
Sunday, December 27, 2015
a shot of my work-from-home desk at my parents' houseEach year, I think about where my blog is going and where I want it to go. It’s almost completely influenced by what my goals are for each year. When I started this blog, I had just started my career, and I wanted to dress in a way that was professional and made me look older than I was. To be taken seriously. I think this year, that was definitely accomplished, despite not have written about it. I have silhouettes that I stick to, I know what materials and shapes and colors I like.
For the next 3 years, my primary goal is to save as much money as possible to pay for an MBA. In 3 years, I’ll be 26 and have 5 years of experience under my belt in marketing and advertising, and I’m considering it as finishing school on the way toward a leadership position in the far future. Of course, this all requires money, so I’ll be pulling back a lot of spending in different areas of my life - basically food and clothes. I’ll have a lot less to write about - not zero! - but a lot less.
So the point of this is that in the coming year, the posts here on dorigamii will be a little bit different. A lot less revolved around consumption, and a lot more revolved around a real life - loving the clothes I already have, and carefully saving up for the few things that I want.
Thursday, December 17, 2015
A quick post now that I've FINALLY gotten all my holiday shopping done. Here's a gift guide based off of what I actually got my family for Christmas.
Everlane Petra Market Tote in Black - quietly luxurious for my mom, whose fashion sense is way better than mine, and truly lives a minimalist lifestyle.
Bose QuietComfort 25s - noise cancelling headphones for my dad, who commutes into the city everyday by train from the suburbs and loves listening to music.
Tartelette In Bloom palette and a design book for my sister, who is a makeup addict and industrial design student.
NBA 2K16 & $50, for my brother who is a decision science student and loves basketball and video games and always needs cash (ha)
The BeardBrand Tree Ranger Suite of beard care for my boyfriend, who is a PhD student and can grow a truly mean beard (it’s so prickly!). This is more of a gift for myself than him, ha.
Rhodia Meeting Notebook for the coworker in professional services. I personally have one of these notebooks. They're made in France and the paper is seriously so nice. I love the way the pages are designed with a column for action items.
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Lo & Sons Pearl in Saffiano Leather during Black Friday at a pretty steep discount - 30%! Rounding out to about $173 total for the crossbody. It's on sale now for the holidays at 25% off, or $10 more than what I got it for. I've had my eye on the full grain nappa leather version of this purse for a while, but could never pull the trigger on it. A crossbody bag for me is very well loved, and the leather seemed a little too soft for me to want to trek around with. That, and from the other blog reviews about that version, it seemed like any lumpy item would show through the bag.
When the Saffiano leather version came out, it seemed perfect, and I'm here to write today that it is!
When the Saffiano leather version came out, it seemed perfect, and I'm here to write today that it is!
The Pearl in all its gloryThe leather feels really good, and is advertised to be scratch and water resistant. One difference between this version and the prior version is that the logo is now imprinted into the leather, and not gold stamped on, which gives it a much more minimalistic and sleek look to it. The bag itself comes with two straps - a longer strap if you're wanting to use it as a crossbody bag, as well as a short strap that hooks itself onto one side if you want to use it as a clutch (or if the longer strap is too short for you!). I'm 5'2" and I only use the long strap on its own, adjusted so that it hangs right on the body.
The Pearl is split into 3 different compartments - 2 zip ones that surround the middle, larger compartment that can be buttoned closed, which offers a bit of security! When I first looked at this, I thought that I'd be able to fit the length of a notebook in these zip compartments, or an iPad mini, but it's not the case. The two zip pockets can't accommodate the length of my work notebook. I also just tried to slip in an iPad mini with a case on it, and it just barely went in (took a little effort). On a completely different note though, I've also noticed that any lumpy items (cushion compact) don't show through the leather, which is a difference from the nappa leather version that Lo & Sons has.
The middle compartment has two padded pockets as well, which can protect a cell phone. Personally, I never use it - I always keep my phone in my coat pocket. I just put it in here for demonstration ;) The middle compartment holds the most, and is where I keep my meeting/work notebook. There is also a key chain in the center compartment of this bag, and although it's a small detail, it matters. The keychain is actually long enough to reach my door without having to unhook my keys from!
Close up on the hardware
The Saffiano versions of The Pearl only come in gold hardware for now (which I prefer). It feels very premium and solid. There is a hook at each end of the bag, where the straps (lobster claw) will hook into. If you want to use the shorter strap, you just hook them to the same side of the bag. It's very versatile!
Regarding the construction, it's very well made. The stitching is nice and even and secure. The inside is lined with their hummingbird logo in a smooth poly. It's a structured bag, and doesn't really flex like the nappa leather version seems to do. The crossbody strap is thin - I can definitely see this being uncomfortable if you really pack a ton into this bag. But if you're only carrying a few things, it's quite comfortable.
Here's a quick snapshot of what I usually carry around in it. I use it for days when I know I'm not carrying my work computer home, or on the weekends. One note is that I can fit my nice camera into the center compartment (Sony a5000) which, if you're familiar with the size of that model, is surprising! Overall, I'm really happy with the purchase, especially at the price I got it at. It's something that I've wanted to buy for a while (structured crossbody), and this fits the bill almost exactly.
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
I stopped writing these types of posts in August because I had really slowed down in buying clothes. Some of these, I've mentioned in prior posts, but I figured I'd just recap a full 4 month's worth of purchases. I categorized them into whether they were planned or not. NOTE: Prices listed are what I paid for them likely on sale - they may be different now!
Planned ($787 or 86% of Total)
Ted Baker Leather Jacket ($450)
Impulse ($69 or 8% of Total)
Fear ($57 or 6% of Total)
TOTAL: $913 since August, which comes in at around $228 per month for 4 months. I have to be honest, as I was writing all of this out, it was a scary amount of money that I was seeing myself retroactively spend. But after dividing it out over the amount of time, it doesn't actually seem that bad, and actually fell under what used to be my monthly clothing budget.
In the past 4 months, I've worked at two different jobs with vastly different dress codes and client interaction AND gone through 3 different seasons (summer, fall, and winter). I've gone from super casual, jeans + top + sneakers at the start up - to business casual/business professional depending on if I'm meeting with a client or not. I've been at my new job for a full 5 days now, and went through some panic after the first couple, realizing I didn't have enough clothing to last me through the week... or through the winter. But it's interesting in that my impulse/fear driven purchases only take up 14% of the total budget in this time period. Most of the money that I spent, was planned for (86%). However, because they were planned for, I was a lot less price sensitive, more willing to pay a higher $ for something I knew I wanted.
I've noticed that my impulse/fear purchases all fall below a certain price point - $20. I never realized that until I wrote this out now. Next time I am out shopping, I'll need to mentally signal to myself that if an item is $20 or less, it's most likely that I'm deviating away from the plan. But at the same time, my impulse purchases have been very well loved. My fear purchases are now the workhorses of my work wardrobe when combined with the more expensive items that I had planned to purchase, or already own. They've all been largely successful, and there's not one that I regret since they're all basic items.
The Old Navy Pixie Pant are a great dupe for my go-to, Banana Republic Sloan trousers, at a MUCH lower price point AND they're wash and wear. No dry cleaning needed. The Uniqlo blouse and the Old Navy one are great drape-y rayon blouses that can be dressed up at work, or down on the weekend. The Uniqlo Legging Pants are my go-to comfy pair of jeans that don't show a panty line even though they're technically leggings. I think through careful inspection of the impulse purchases before they're purchased (seams, fabric content, wearability), I can avoid any buyer's remorse.
Anyway, this was a very long post, mainly useful for me since I've learned a lot about my spending habits. Note to self: don't go shopping when driven by fear or boredom. And stay away from anything $20!