I Can Always Relate to this…

The name of the song, “That Green Gentleman” makes me think of “being green”. Being green means you just haven’t quite ripened. You’re still in the blossoming stage. Holding onto the tree knowing you’re not ready to drop just yet, until after a sunny day and strong breeze you might fall. You can continue to ripen so you’ll get picked up or you can lie around and rot. Your choice.

Being a twenty-something means that life is full of choices and changes. At the beginning you’re at the cusp of adulthood and before you know it you are a full-fledged adult.

You become more aware of birth and death. You realize how precious life truly is and that taking friends and family for granted isn’t worth it. You start deciding who in your life is worth your time. You learn to manage your time and begin to understand how it can be so easily wasted.

As a twenty-something you become more aware of the world around you and start to understand the concerns about insurance and healthcare and the impact of the government on our lives. You may commit yourself to a partner for better or worse or watch your friends do this, in terror or in jealousy. You make decisions about financial planning and family planning that will impact you for the rest of your life.

I love this song because no matter what the changes are at the moment, my life is constantly changing. I have dreams and hopes of it continuing to change and evolve and becoming the person I am meant to be.

The chorus line says it all:
“Things Have Changed for Me, and that’s okay.”

“Life is a great and terrible and short and endless thing—and none of us make it out alive.”
– P.S. I Love You

Embrace it. Embrace life. Embrace the change. No matter who or what you believe in, I hope you believe in optimism and see that things always turn out the way that they were supposed to—every cloud has a silver lining. Please realize that not all of us twenty-somethings are thoughtless and useless. And maybe those who are just haven’t found something to latch onto yet.

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Best Questions for Informational Interviews

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So as an Interior Design student in my senior year I am required to take a course called “Professional Practices in Interior Design”. One of our assignments is to phone interview 5 Interior Designers about their job. In my business classes I have learned that this interview-with-the-purpose-of-getting-information is you guessed it— called an Informational Interview.

Why bother with Informational Interviews if my teacher didn’t assign it?

What’s great about Informational Interviews is that they can give you insight into a company to reinforce the idea that you want to apply there or realize that maybe that place isn’t worth your time. Informational Interviews are especially great for two situations:

1. You’re interested in a company but honestly, their website sucks. They sound great but there just isn’t enough information there to fully justify that and you want to know more.

2. You’ve been pouring over every detail of their website and any other information about them you can get your hands on. You’re convinced this is the perfect company for you and you want to know how to make sure your resume gets into the “YES” pile.

Let me warn you, Informational Interviews can be scary, especially if you choose to do them in person (however in my experience they are never as scary as a “real” interview where a potential job is on the line). On the flip side, they can also be VERY rewarding. Often enough the Informational Interview will land you the in-person Interview (assuming it went well enough). The in-person interview often means you’re one of 5-10 being interviewed so your chances of getting the job just increased exponentially.

The Informational Interview puts you in contact with your potential boss or co-worker and gives you someone’s name you can throw out when write your cover letter (in addition to an inside-view of the company). Almost always the hiring manager will go to the person you spoke with and ask what they thought of you. Few people actually call for Informational Interviews so they will definitely remember you; that’s why it’s so important to make a good first impression with them over the phone (and in any other correspondence such as email).

That brings me to another point. Part of the reason it’s scary is because we are a generation of texters and typers. We rarely talk on the phone anymore except maybe to a select few people. We text and we Facebook and we email. DO NOT simply email your questions, you’ll automatically be downgraded. Feel free to email them to ask about the best time to call them and/or if they are willing to submit to an Informational Interview.

When emailing them, it doesn’t hurt to tell them you are a student or someone considering changing careers. They’ll be more willing to talk openly than if they think you are some employee working for their competitor. Tell them how you received/found their contact information so they don’t think you are a Level-9 Facebook creeper. Company websites and LinkedIn are great sources for this. Be polite and double check everything before you send it. Typos make you look dumb, i’m knot lieing.

Now for what you’ve all been waiting for, the Best Questions to Ask for an Informational Interview:

*When actually doing an interview never do more than 20 questions per interview. In fact, I would say 20 is really pushing it. My personal sweet spot is about 12 or 13, this gives you room to ask follow up questions if they give you an answer that leaves you wanting more without really passing 15-16 questions. Notice hardly any of these are YES or NO questions, you want them to give you as much information as possible but not waste their time.* Your informational interview should probably last 10-20 minutes and you should do your basic research about the company in advance as well as be prepared to introduce yourself when you call.

Advice from your Interviewee:

What are your recommended keywords/ buzzwords to include in a resume or cover letter when job hunting in this field?

Thinking about the most successful interns that you’ve had, what was it about their character, work ethic, abilities etc. that made them exemplary?

What educational preparation would you recommend for someone who wants to advance in this field?

What are the best ways to network in this field?

Do you have any recommendations for places to find job listings in this field?

What do you know now that you wish you knew as a college student looking to enter the workforce?

What courses do you wish you would have taken that would have better prepared you?

If you were a college student again, what might you do differently to prepare for this job?

What skills are indispensable to your job? How did you learn these skills?

What is your educational background as pertaining to this field?

Which classes have you found to be the most useful in your day-to-day work?

Do you think I left out any important questions? Is there anything else I should know?

Can you recommend any other sources that I could do an Informational Interview with?

Questions about the Career Field:

What skills or personal characteristics do you feel contribute most to success in this industry?

What trends in this field would be most likely to affect someone just entering this career now?

Are there professional organizations I should be aware of other than insert popular national organizations for your field?

What professional journals should I be aware of?

As technology grows, in what way is your occupation changing?

How is the economy affecting this industry?

What are the greatest pressures, strains or anxieties in this field?

Questions About Your Interviewee’s Job:

What precisely do you do? What are the duties/functions/responsibilities of your job?

What is your job title? Do other people in your company have the same title? If so, do they have the same job responsibilities?

What does your typical day look like?

How did you get this job?

How many hours do you work?

Do you work set hours or do you have a flexible schedule?

Who/ What positions do you frequently interact with in your position?

To what extent do you interact with customers/ clients?   How much time do you spend with clients?

How does use of your time vary? Do you have busy/slow times or is work fairly consistent?

What are your major job responsibilities?

What percentage of your time is spent on each of your job responsibilities?

What kinds of decisions do you make?   What are the toughest decisions you face at your job?

What interests you least about your job, and what creates the most stress?

What demands/ frustrations typically accompany your job?

If you could change anything about your job what would it be?

What types of technology do you use regularly?

How has your job affected your lifestyle?

Do you ever bring home work with you?

Do you put in much overtime or work on weekends?

To what extent does this job present a challenge in terms of juggling work and family life?

How well did your college experience prepare you for this job?

How much flexibility do you have in determining how to perform or execute your job?

Do you  mostly work individually or in groups or teams?

Are there aspects of your job that are repetitious?

How much job security do you have in your current position?

Questions About Your Interviewee’s Company:

Why did you decide to work for this company?

What do you like most about this company?

How does this company differ from its competitors?

How would you describe the company atmosphere/culture of your workplace?

How would you describe the atmosphere at the company? Is it fairly formal or more informal and casual?

Aside from visible compensation such as money, benefits etc., what kinds of mental dividends (such as job satisfaction) does this career yield?

Where do you see growth or change occurring in your organization/company?

What does the company do to foster innovation and creativity?

What is the management style of this organization?

Is there a typical chain of command where you work?

How are decisions made at your company; is it collaborative or do senior employees primarily make the decisions?

What is the dress code?

What is the pace of your work environment?

What are other typical jobs in your department –entry level, middle and senior roles?

At your company, what are the typical entry-level job titles and functions?

What degree or certifications do you/ your company look for in potential employees?

What is the typical job-interview process at your company? How many interviews do candidates generally go through before being offered a position?

What kind of work experience/ internship experience  are you/ your company looking for in a job applicant?

How does the company evaluate job performance?

What kinds of accomplishments does the company reward?

What social obligations go along with a job in this field? Are there organizations you are expected to take membership in? Are there other things you are expected to partake in outside of work hours?

What does the company do to contribute to its employees’ professional development?

Do people in your department function fairly autonomously or do they require a lot of supervision and direction?

Overachiever Questions:

“I looked through some of the job descriptions on the HR sector of your website in preparation for our interview today, most of the jobs I would be interested in listed insert skill, skill and skill as necessities. Can you tell me how those skills are used in this profession? Also, what skills do managers look for that are not in the job descriptions?

Questions to Ask Before You Get Married

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This weekend Theo and I went back to our hometown of Geneva for the annual Grape JAMboree. It reminded me of the last time we passed through when I took this photo: This summer we took a trip to the Rochester, New York Area where his brother, sister-in-law and niece lives. From Toledo that’s quite a drive and we had a great time; I finally got to meet his sweet little niece.

One of the things we did to pass the time was some questions I had found online of “Questions to Ask Before You Get Married”. Below I have listed a bunch of the ones I picked out and categorized for your convenience. There are tons more on the internet so don’t stop here if you want to get to know your significant other better. Theo and I have been together for over 6 years and based on our personality types one of the ways we really connect is through long, thoughtful conversations so this is great for us and we’ve already covered the basics. For example, we’ve already discussed many parenting ideas not just “Do you want to have kids?” “How many?” So without further adieu, here are some more in-depth questions to discuss before you get married AND the bottom has a surprise for you all!

LOVE, COMMUNICATION & SEX

What is the best way for me to show you that I love you?
If I put on weight will it affect our relationship? How?
What turns you off sexually?
Do you think being in love means (1) Never having to say you’re sorry, (2) always having to say you’re sorry, (3) knowing when to say you’re sorry, (4) being the first to say I’m sorry?
Have the been times when you were uncomfortable I behaved with the opposite sex? If so, when?
Suppose we are experiencing trouble in our marriage, in what order will you seek help to resolve our conflicts: (1) divorce lawyer, (2) your parents, (3) sibling(s) [we also included friends here] (4) marriage counselor, (5) me, (6) clergy
Do you believe that you should stick with a marriage if you are unhappy all the time?
When do you need space away from me?
Whenever we have difficult feelings about each other should we (1) remain silent, (2) say something as soon as the difficult feelings arise (3) wait a certain amount of time before raising the issue, (4) do something else (if so, what?)?
What is the best way for me to communicate difficult feelings about you so that you are not offended?
Who should know about the arguments we have?
What makes you not want to talk to me?
Do you feel you could communicate with me under any circumstances about any subject?
When you are in a bad mood how should I deal with it?
What are your views on pornography?

FINANCES

Would you be comfortable transferring all of your money into my bank account?
Do you trust me with money?
What justifies going in to debt?
What are your current personal debts?
Do you feel stress when facing financial problems? How do you deal with that stress?
How often do you use credit cards and what do you buy with them?
How should we prepare for a financial emergency?
Do you feel that lack of money is a good reason not for us to have children?
When our child is very young, will he or she go to daycare or will one of us stay home and take care of the child? (If yes to the second, who would work and who would stay home?)
Will we have a budget?
Who will pay the bills?
How do you feel about helping me pay my debts?
What are your feelings about saving money?
Do you prefer separate bank accounts or assets in different names? Why?
Do you believe our parents should know our financial condition whether good or bad just because they want to? How far should this go?

FAMILY & FUTURE

How would our relationship be affected if for medical reasons we could not have children?
If we are unable to have children, should we adopt?
Who comes first—your spouse or your children?
When we are married do you anticipate spending just as much time with friends, family and coworkers as you do now? Why or why not?
How did your family resolve conflicts when you were growing up? Do you approve or disapprove of that method?
Would you prefer to live in the city, country, by the beach (etc.)? Why?
If I wanted to move away from our families would you support me?
How do feel about having our parents come live with us if the need arises?
How will we schedule holidays with our families?
How long would you like to wait before we have children?
Do you anticipate raising our children (1) the same way you were raised (2) completely different from the way you were raised (3) a mixture of both?
Other than formal schooling what types of education will our children receive and how will they receive them?
When we have children who will change the diapers, heat the bottles, prepare the meals, do the housework, bathe the child, get up in the middle of the night, take the child to the doctor, buy clothing, dress the child?
What types of discipline would you implement to correct a child or teenager’s behavior? Were these practices you experienced or are they new ones you have developed on your own?
What does my family do that annoys you?
How would you react if our son or daughter told us they were gay?
What influence, if any, do you believe my family should have on our relationship?

MISCELLANEOUS

What childhood experiences influence your behavior and attitude the most?
Is trust automatic until something occurs that takes it away, or does it evolve over time?
Would it be permissible for us to open each other’s mail?
How are we different? Could this be a source of future conflict? Do our differences complement one another?
Is there anything about marriage that frightens you?
How would it affect you if I traveled frequently on my own to (1) visit family, (2) earn income, (3) pursue a hobby, (4) deal with stress?
How will you support my hobbies?
Is there anything you would regret not being able to do or accomplish if you married me?
What is nagging? Do I nag? How does it make you feel?
Do you approve without reservation of the way I dress?
If you always say you are going to do something but never do it, what is the most effective way to bring this problem to your attention?
What holidays are most important to celebrate to you?
Are there certain holiday traditions you want to establish or maintain?
Do you harbor any racial/ spiritual etc. prejudice?
How do you feel about having guns in our home?
What health problems do you have?
Have you ever had any psychological problems?
Is there anything in your past I should be aware of?
Do you keep letters/ memorabilia from past relationships? Why or why not?
If I had bad breath or an odor would you tell me? Should I tell you? How should I tell you?
Do you look forward to at least one night out a week, or do you prefer to stay at home?
How would you rank the priorities in your life: work, school, family, spouse, friends, hobbies? Does your ranking reflect the amount of time you spend on each?
Do you prefer to set a daily work schedule or flexible work activities and time tables?
What do you fear?
What is your all-time favorite Halloween costume?

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Theo as a Vampire, what a little cutie!

Here’s your surprise: Theo’s answer to this question was one that he described to me as we were driving in the car. I had never seen the picture. I saw the picture a few days later on Facebook. The first Halloween photo I found of him was above. Typical Theo, flashing a beaming smile even when he was supposed to be Dracula.

What was his actual answer to his favorite Halloween costume of all time?

His mom made him into Uncle Fester  from the Addams Family. His outfit was covered in nails and check out “Thing” (the creepy doll arm) on his shoulder. This was definitely an awesomely creative work of art by his Mom—and potentially the creepiest photo I have ever seen of my amazing boyfriend. My personal answer? I was little orphan Annie one year but there are no photos to show a record of that. I’ll see what I can scrounge up later today for your enjoyment!

Theo's All-Time Favorite Halloween Costume: Uncle Fester from the Addams Family!

Theo’s All-Time Favorite Halloween Costume: Uncle Fester from the Addams Family!

What are your favorite questions that I missed? What is your favorite Halloween costume of all time?

My Favorite Nailpolishes for Fall 2013

Fall Nailpolishes

I have personally bought these and loved them—it doesn’t hurt that they are on-trend right now either!!

1. Revlon Colorstay Nail Enamel in “Bold Sangria”

Such a fun wine-purple color and goes great with warm tones like mustard which is always a great color for fall especially with this year’s color of the year–Emerald!

2. Revlon Colorstay Nail Enamel in “Jungle”

I have to admit I ordinarily wouldn’t go for a green nail polish. However this is another color that goes well with mustard (which I am determined to wear this season) and I just bought a super-comfortable black and olive striped dress that looks great with leggings and boots (you’ll get to see photos soon, this weekend is the Grape Jamboree in my hometown and I plan to rock that outfit!)

3. Revlon  Colorstay Nail Enamel in “Midnight”

This nailcolor is a classic navy. It paints on nice and dark without a milky undertone yet it’s blue enough that if you wear black you can certainly tell that your nails are navy. I think this color will transition great into the winter and I can’t wait to wear it with a chunky off-white sweater.

Last, but certainly not least….

4. CoverGirl Outlast Stay Brilliant Nail Gloss  (in the square bottles) in Toasted Almond

This color is great for us girls with a light skin tone—it warms your skin tone up very nicely and has a perfect neutral tone. I loved how it looked like a rich, chocolately cup of hot cocoa. I would easily wear this color year round, it just feels very classic and mature.

These are the polishes I just added to my collection, I would say this Fall as far as brights hot pink and orange are making a big hit which I will probably be wearing soon for my school’s Homecoming weekend—Bowling Green’s colors are orange and brown.

Any colors you would add? What are your picks for this season?

Have you head about Lover.ly? My personal Review

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After finding a blog post about Lover.ly I went to look it up. It’s similar to Pinterest but exclusive to weddings. It has a goregous home page—my first thought? “This is very Style-Me-Pretty-esque”. I found out why.

Unlike Pinterest you cannot add your own inspiration from outside sources you can only re-select what already exists on their site. They get these images from popular blogs (eg. Style Me Pretty Weddings) and retailers (eg. David’s Bridal, Watters). If you wanted to replicate a Style Me Pretty wedding this is your complete source for those items. Otherwise I might just stick to my tried-and-true Pinterest. Although the same concept of collecting images into personal categories is very similar, I don’t think it’s as easy to use as Pinterest UNLESS you have a strong intention of buying exactly the item you found rather than using it as inspiration. (They have a LOT of the purchase links or brand names attached.)

However, if you do like Lover.ly and want to keep using it but also want to use your Pinterest….LUCKY YOU—I tried it and you can definitely Pin an image from Lover.ly to Pinterest.

So, happy pinning (on Pinterest) and bundling (on Lover.ly)!! If you need some wedding inspiration check out my themed “I. Do. Dreams.” Boards! I’m not sure if you can find someone on Lover.ly—maybe that privacy is a nice feature if you want your wedding ideas to be a surprise!

http://www.pinterest.com/myerz2008/boards/

I did my research: LEED AP ID+C

USGBC LEED symbol
So last December I passed the LEED Green Associate Exam, and that was amazing.
My tips for those of you studying for the LEED GA? Make flash cards of the vocabulary terms you learn from the various books/sources. Learn/memorize those 5-8 ASHRAE standards that relate to green building functions (know the basic function of which is which). Take as many online practice exams as you can find and study harder than you have for anything in your life. Use your best judgement on the questions and you’ll surprise yourself with how good of a score you get—after you think “there’s no way I passed this”.
Okay LEED GA pep talk over, now onto what this post is actually about: my research on LEED v4 and my prospects of taking the LEED AP exam for ID+C. For those of you new to LEED in it’s entirety I will quickly break down the basics:
LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) is a certification body under USGBC (United States Green Build Council). LEED is the main green building/sustainability certification body in the United States (there are others but LEED is the most recognized in the design/building industry). Buildings can be LEED CERTIFIED if they meet a certain amount of sustainable building criteria. There are 4 levels of LEED Certification (from lowest LEED points to highest) Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum. An individual working in the design/building industry who is an expert in sustainable building practices would likely have attained this title by being LEED ACCREDITED. The appellation LEED AP stands for LEED Accredited Professional and there are several categories that someone can obtain their expertise in. The one I am interested in as it pertains most closely to my profession is the ID+C  (Interior Design & Construction) specialty. To obtain a LEED AP appellation you have to pass two parts of  the LEED exams: Part One is the LEED Green Associate (LEED GA) portion which can be taken as a student or interested party. The second part is the LEED AP specialty of your choice which is taken after you have real-life experience working on a LEED Certified project and/or under/with a LEED AP.
As far as what I mean by “LEED v4” is that they are in the process of updating the current system and lots of minor changes are being made. Supposedly the tests are going to be more difficult since the structure is changing—(eg. you already learned it one way and now it’s a whole new setup that you have to re-learn) so I’ve been getting bombarded for months with emails telling me to take the LEED AP while its still in the old system. I thought, “Gee that actually sounds like a great idea—why not take it while the LEED GA material is still relevant and fresh in my mind?” Well, it turns out I can’t do this since nothing I have done to date would count for my real-life LEED expereince qualifying me to take the LEED AP exam.
I fully read through the eligibility requirements in the LEED AP candidate exam booklet to find out that I can’t (and shouldn’t) take this test (or any specialty AP exams) until I’ve worked on a LEED project with a LEED AP. I also asked a young instructor from my Professional Practices in Interior Design class her thoughts since she is a LEED AP what her opinion was. She doubted my class project of the LEED home from last year would qualify me —also since you have to know the website inside and out for the exam it helps if you actually used it for a real project. (Makes sense).
For those of you like me who are making progress towards your LEED AP and still need CEU/ credit hours: check out the “Principles of LEED Series” for 6 hours of free credits through USGBC. You choose a “specialty” pathway but since its through USGBC your hours will update automatically on your profile.
I’m still in the process of finding out more about LEED v.4 since that’s coming out “soon” but I’m not really certain how soon “Soon” really is, since right now they are in Beta testing. Here’s what I could find about “LEED v4”,http://www.usgbc.org/leed/v4   it looks like things are combined a bit more as far as rating systems so yes—studying for it will definitely be some un-learning of old ways but that’s okay by me.

Modern Architecture Tour of Toledo & Class Field Trip Fun

Yesterday was actually way more fun than I had anticipated it would be. We had a class field trip for my “Modern Architecture Since 1900” class. We caravaned around Toledo stopping at the Toledo Public Library, My teacher’s personal home  that she designed (she’s an architect), the Glass Pavilion of the Toledo Museum of Art and the Frank Gehry building across the street from the Glass Pavilion—AKA the Art building for the students at the University of Toledo.

At her house we had a DELICIOUS meal of Carribean cuisine and I enjoyed a chicken kabob, the best hummus I’ve ever had and my first taste of baklava. I cannot reitterate enough how delicious it all was. In fact, I wish I had taken photos of the food just so you could drool over it as well. Instead I’ll show off a drool-worthy photo of her bathroom among others from the trip!

I apologize in advance: Sorry if some of these aren’t great quality—I had to take all of them on my iphone since my camera batteries (despite charging them) died about 10 minutes after we started. Also please don’t mind the heads of my classmates!

Toledo Public Library

Lucas County Public Library, Glass addition added in the 1980s, Colored Glass “Vitrolite” PWA art installation and the Rooftop Garden!

Toledo Public Library

Children’s Library: the first of its kind to be on the “piano nobile” or “noble floor” AKA main floor. Children’s libraries were in the basements for seperating the children and keeping them safe–it was an adult free zone unlike today. The area has a Rainbow Fish themed fishtank, many themed areas, child-height doors and fun carpeting!

Toledo Public Library

Since the original building was Art Deco, there were some amazing lighting fixtures: The large pendant over the entrance (left) and the space-age looking pendants that were through the entire main area (right top). The bottom right shows the old lighting fixtures that during the 1980’s addition & renovation were installed under glass as coffee tables!

Modern Architecture Toledo

This is my teacher’s house in Toledo, the front has a large fence closing off the road from the ivy garden. Inside the entire back is a glass window looking out into the woods. Her bathroom has the BEST view!

Toledo Museum of Art: Glass Pavilion

The Glass Pavilion really is glass–from floor to ceiling. They had to install the glass in grooves in the concrete floor and ceiling. Since the ceiling was there from the previous building they built a false exterior of plywood and installed the glass walls from the inside out. The far left shows the first piece installed in the building, a chandelier by Dale Chihuly. The bottom right shows one of the classrooms where glass artists can learn and work.

Frank Gehry Building Toledo

The University of Toledo Art building was designed by Frank Gehry. The inside has very sharp angles and doesn’t really feel like an art school (no art on the walls!) and the outside looks like a modern castle. Our teacher said the majority of people really don’t like this building–and I would have to agree with that group, it was definitely my least favorite of the trip.

 

Overall we had a fun day, luckily I had my friend Kim in the car with me so it wasn’t just me and two architecture students that I didn’t know. Lunch was amazing and all of us in my car had some good laughs about the things our teacher’s husband told us about their house (eg. we commented on how great the bathroom view was and he said “Yeah, we like to spend a lot of time in there”).

Blake Lively has the World’s Cutest Dog

Okay so I LOVE cute little dogs. Big dogs just aren’t my cup of tea—proabably because they are at least as big as I am. This is my boyfriend Theo’s minature short haired dauschund Teddy for an example of why I’m obsessed with small dogs.

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I was searching for photos of celebrities with long haircuts that I like since I’m going after work today to get my hair cut (my local salon offers a $20 women’s cut/style/shampoo on Tuesdays) and I was just finding a few more desirable options.

One celebrity I came upon was Blake Lively—and I’m realizing I often style my hair much like she does, sort of straight with messy waves/curls that cover my shoulders and upper chest.

Upon doing so I saw her teacup malti-poo “Penny” and my heart melted. See the below photos to fall in love:

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blakelivelyBlake, her dog, and Penn leave set

 

 

 

 

Fashion Advice from Tina Fey

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Unfortunately, no I did not get to meet Tina Fey in person to solicit advice from her, but I have almost finished her book Bossypants. I’m listening to it on audiobook in my car rather than listenig to whatever is on the radio and current celebrity gossip.

I’ve had some good laughs and some serious thoughts as a result of her life stories. One piece of advice really stood out to me.

She was talking about fashion and creating that sense of style that everyone envies, she also revealed she shops almost exclusively at Express–a store known for their simple pieces and great fits. (AKA my favorite store to buy jeans and dress pants.)

Here’s the direct quote from the book Bossypants by Tina Fey:

“A wise friend once told me, ‘Don’t wear what fashion designers tell you to wear. Wear what they wear.’ His point being that most designers, no matter what they throw onto the runway, favor simple, flattering pieces for themselves. Anyone who has never met me can tell you that fashion has always been very very very very very very very important to me. For example, I once told my cousin that my dream would be ‘if the whole store Express was my closet!’ How prescient, because now, of course, I wear nothing but Express. It can’t be said enough. Don’t concern yourself with fashion; stick to simple pieces that flatter your body type.”

Short and sweet—wear what the designers wear. Often they wear timeless black outfits with simple but flattering shapes. Think about the judges of Project Runway:

MM 2012 project runway

Almost always Nina Garcia (fashion editor for ELLE) and Michael Kors (fashion designer) are wearing simple black and white pieces. Zac Posen (fashion designer) has since replaced Michael and is a little more wild— but still a suit wearing man he often incorporates interesting color pops or differing textures. Tim Gunn the mentor of the group is known for his pinstripe suits. Since Heidi Klum has a goregous body she is often wearing something slightly more racy or edgy but it often comes back to simple roots. The most racy of the group is almost always the guest judge wearing something that reinforces their personal brand and signature style.

If you’re looking for a classic style that will never go wrong and you can add more quirky pieces to I also reccommend reading Nina Garcia’s Book “The One Hundred“.

I bought this book used on Amazon for just a few dollars and it is invaluable fashion advice.

The-One-Hundred-Nina-Garcia

The book is filled with goregous fashion watercolor images by Reuben Toledo and explains the 100 classic fashion pieces you could/should work towards adding to your wardrobe. Many of these pieces are so basic that you can easily find them at Gap, H&M, Forever 21 and more—you don’t need to blow your budget at Neiman Marcus.

To buy Tina Fey’s autobiography “Bossypants”, click here:

http://www.amazon.com/Bossypants-Tina-Fey/dp/0316056898/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1377024717&sr=1-1&keywords=bossypants

To buy Nina Garcia’s “The One Hundred”, click here:

http://www.amazon.com/One-Hundred-Guide-Pieces-Stylish/dp/0061664634/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1377024744&sr=1-1&keywords=the+one+hundred

Or better yet, look for them at your local library and save a few bucks!