Hi babes! December is here and that means there are tons of parties, celebrations, and gatherings popping up on the calendar!
Not sure what outfit to wear or where to start? I’m here for ya boo! You know I love to plan ahead – and that’s exactly what I’m going to help you do!
I’m super excited to share with ya’ll my favorite pieces this season – from sweaters, jeans, the BEST holiday dress, boots and skirts. There are SO many fun items to share in this post!
Today I wanted to share 7 Christmas or Holiday party looks you can wear – ranging from casual to super dressed up! Each outfit I put together is meant to flatter that beautiful hourglass frame. I will explain in each option how we can accomplish this with each look.
For those of you who are new here – my name is Mary and I am the founder of The Candid Millennial. I’m SO excited to have you here and talk ALL things millennial!
Before we get started – I just wanted to make a quick comment on the outfit featured in this post. I am L O V I N G this wide leg pant trend this season. This pair of LEITH pants is SO cute and comes in SO many beautiful colors. Plus, they’re under $100!
Like you and many of my readers, I fill my life with all the things: career, side hustle (blog), charity, family and so much more. My biggest motivator is personal growth and career growth, all while trying to find “balance” in my life.
For my motivated millennials out there – today I wanted to talk about some different ways I’ve been able to leverage my knowledge, talent and skills to make more money and essentially more than triple my income in the past four years.
You might not realize it, but often times there are opportunities every single day that we come across to increase our income. We can choose to ignore these opportunities, or jump right on them! More often than not, we also fail to recognize that most opportunities are created by us!
In this podcast, Liv and I dive deeper into the topic of anxiety. This is the most vulnerable I have ever been on the internet, but I feel so passionately about this issue and have felt so enlightened recently after learning more about it.
Can ya’ll believe Thanksgiving is already here? I’m going to try and get a post up tomorrow with some last minute outfit inspiration for the big feast!
This year has been the fastest year of my life. I’m not sure if it has to do with my career change to sales or just the simple fact that time goes by faster as you get older, but I sure am wishing time would slow down just a bit!
This past weekend I visited my 95 year old grandfather in Nebraska. It’s honestly been at least 15 years since I’ve been to Oakland. It was actually nice to slow down, stop the rat race and smell the roses. Not literally, but you know 🙂
Stress, commitments and deadlines have all kept my mind super wired. Sometimes I don’t know if I can take much more, wondering if everything I have going on is going to lead me to a mental breakdown. Am I the only one who feels this way?!
Thankfully, the holidays are just around the corner and we will all get to slow it down for a minute, relax and spend time with those we love.
If you’re trying to find a way to unwind, relax and give your mind a rest, I have three of my favorite tips to do just that.
As I watched the waves hit the shoreline of the beach go back into the ocean, I let my mind flow freely. Thoughts of “should I take this risk?” and “Am I crazy for wanting more?” and “If I don’t do it, what will my day to day be like if I decline?”
Anxiety, fear, happiness, and joy are just a few of the feelings I experience daily. One moment I’m in pure bliss – then BOOM! – an unexpected or difficult situation occurs and a cloud of anxiety starts to creep in.
One feeling I don’t believe in is regret. I know it’s cliche to say “Yeah, I have no regrets” and it is so overused, especially for millennials. But in my life, not taking an opportunity would equal a regret. And I don’t want to live my life looking back and thinking “well what if I did XYZ”?
Aside from my career, I’ve taken a risk by doing many things I was honestly terrified to do. But I felt that in my heart it was what I was supposed to do. Some examples include auditioning for The Voice, joining a women’s group where I knew no one, leaving a relationship, auditioning for a local band, learning how to practice yoga, etc…
You see, all of the things listed above are things I used to be afraid of. Now that I took a risk by trying new or scary things regularly, I have more confidence each time I push my own limits.
This year I turned the big 2-5. I am officially a quarter of a century old – and I must say, it is a pretty sweet place to be! I love feeling not too young but not too old. I honestly wish I could stay at this age forever!
Before I blink and turn 26, I wanted to reflect on some of the best and worst experiences I have gone through so far. There’s seriously SO much that I want to share. Between lessons learned, trial and error, wins, losses…still MANY lessons remain.
But what is life without a little reflection along the way?! So here is my list of the 25 things I’m happy I experienced in the 25 years of my existence. Enjoy!
Sometimes [often times] I find myself having a creative block when it’s time to come up with effective hashtags and unique ways to caption my Instagram posts. Instead of spending hours trying to think of something catchy, a pun-inspired caption or lyrics related to my pic, I use the following blog posts to get my photos hashtagged and ready for viewers. Enjoy! (more…)
Currently, the social media channel that consumes half of my free time is Instagram with Snapchat just barely coming in second. But I’ve found that keeping up with the most recent social media channels can be almost as challenging as herding cats. To avoid making yourself or your business look like an amateur on Instagram, I put together a list of my favorite tips that can help you become an Instagram pro! (more…)
This is John and I in Mexico back in March. I met him on Hinge. I love him very much. && Yes, Hinge is a dating app. Our two year anniversary is coming up this July 2017!
If you missed the latest on the vlog, see below for more on my thoughts on dating online as a millennial:
It’s taken me a lot of thought, revisions and NERVE to post this next blog/vlog -oooh girl [or boy] I’m starting a conversation about dating apps! Before I go any further, please know that I understand online dating is NOT for everyone. I actually wasn’t an advocate for it until I tried it. My goal is not to tell you that you MUST try online dating if you are single. I simply want to share a pretty cool experience around the cultural phenomenon of dating apps that completely changed my attitude towards dating in your twenties. Join me in this conversation…I want to know your thoughts and experiences!
Modern Dating With A Traditional Mindset
Let me start by this: I actually have pretty traditional views on dating and have always felt opposed to online dating apps… especially for young people. Here’s why: if you are living close to the place you grew up (like me), you probably find that you have a variety of groups of friends from either high school, college, family or work. I regularly do social things like attending networking events, going to happy hours and going out on weekends with my friends. In many ways, I consider myself a pretty stereo-typical twenty-something year old girl. I’m driven to succeed but I also want to have as much fun as possible along the way (especially B.C. – before children YIKES). I also tend to be the first one to break the ice when I find myself around a new group of people. All of these things made me think that I was not a candidate for dating online.
What if you could control what people thought of your business before they ever got the chance to meet you face to face and shake your hand? I’ve got good news…. you can! A website is a first impression for anyone who doesn’t know you yet. Many times, people will find your website through search engines such as Google or through other people talking about you on social media. With so many tools available to build your own website, many are quick to think “this will be easy!” WordPress, Wix and Squarespace are all great places to get started with many tutorial sources available. You have a website, but does it do what you want it to do? Have you thought of a strategy for how your website will perform? Are you converting your visitors to readers? Customers? Fans? Based on experiences in different industries and different types of websites, I’ve compiled a list of six “universal” ways to instantly improve your website.
#1 – Convert Your Visitors
Whether the goal of your website is to sell a product online, inform new customers about your brand or service or simply gain a following for your blog, you want to be converting your visitors. What does converting a visitor mean? It means either they buy your product, leave their information with you so you can contact them or they can easily find how to email or call you directly from your site. There are several tools out there to help you convert visitors depending on which platform your site is on. Add an email subscription pop up to your site so whenever someone lands on your site, they are given the option to leave their contact information. Yes – these can be annoying, but you have to make it easy for people to subscribe or sign up for email reminders. Add a contact form or ask a question box on every page of the site. Include a contact button in the main menu navigation so users will find it in an obvious place. Include you NAP information in the header or nav. The idea is to make it as easy as possible for site visitors to convert.
#2 – Be User Friendly
I never stop hearing from clients about how they much love the Apple website – and I 100% agree. I may be bias since I have to have Apple everything, but do you know why the Apple website is so appealing? Simple: it’s user friendly. It’s easy to navigate and easy to find what you’re looking for. Keep your menu short with 5-7 main menu options. Make the answers to visitors questions about you or your product easy to get to with organized navigation in sub menus. Make the purchase process simple. Make it easy for the visitor to get in touch with you. Keep the content clean and organized. Leave room for white space. An easy way to test your site is to have a friend or family member spend 15-20 minutes clicking through the pages and giving their feedback on how they think the site flows.
#3 – Tell Your Story
Just because you might be in an industry or business that isn’t necessarily interesting or new doesn’t mean you can’t make it interesting and new. Use your website to tell your story. Who are you? Where did you come from? How did you get here? What are your goals? Who works for you? What’s their story? Who are your customers? What’s their story? How are you helping them? How can you help me? How are you better than your competitors? Many of these questions are meant to be answered creatively and in a way that draws a potential customer in, yearning to learn more. It’s the story of your business or blog. Add a page to your site with the story, then add a main menu option “Our Story” or “Who We Are” or “About”. You can also include it in a slider banner on your home page. People are more interested than you might think to learn about your story and what you’re all about. Talk about you, I want to know!
#4 – Call To Action
Does every page on your website have a call to action? This doesn’t necessarily have to be a conversion. Does it urge the visitor to do something, such as go to another page, fill out a form, call, add to cart, see what’s new, suggest another post, etc..? Your home page isn’t the only place where a call to action is important. Look at the different pages you have and see if you can find opportunities to add a clearer action item for new visitors. Tell them where to go or what to do next.
#5 – Social Media
If you don’t have social media pages, I suggest creating some. You don’t have to get crazy with it by creating 10 different profiles. Depending on what you do, I only suggest certain platforms. Your website is a great place to connect customers and new visitors with your business social profiles. Add social media icons to the header or footer of your website. Add buttons such as “like us on Facebook” or “Pin to Pinterest” to different pages or posts. Social media is meant to be a place where you pull back the curtain of what happens behind the scenes at your business and show customers a closer picture of what you do and why. You can use this to your advantage by attracting new customers.
#6 – Add a blog feed
Adding a blog feed to a website is a great way to keep the site fresh in Google’s eyes. If a website is constantly being updated and adding new content, it’ll stay on the top of Google’s mind. But before you go blog crazy, be very cognizant of who your readers are and what they care most about. Writing sales-y articles that are constantly mentioning “come to me!” “buy me!” “I’m the best!” isn’t the best approach. Answer a common question in your category, appeal to your audience and be genuine in your topics. One place to start when trying to think of a topic? Google.
So, what kind of things make your website successful? Do you have any tips to share that could help improve a website? I’m excited to hear what other tips are out there! Please leave a comment below or contact me to start a discussion 🙂
While there’s always exceptions, I find that many of the people I’ve worked with in the professional world who previously had experience in the service industry all have a skill set that helps them excel faster than others. Exposure to different scenarios and personalities combined with good ole’ basic dirty work creates a stronger and smarter work ethic. Basically, we get our sh*t handled and we do it with a smile on our face. Here’s what I learned from working in over 15 different restaurants and bars through high school and college and why I think this has helped my peers and myself advance our careers quickly:
#1 Exposure At A Young Age
Being an employee in the service industry since the age of 15, I’ve learned through experience more than what most people would expect out of a 24 year old. I’ve been managed under several different styles of leadership, I’ve worked with several different coworkers with different types of personalities, and I’ve provided a service to several types of customers. I have a soft spot for waitresses, bar tenders, hostesses, cooks, bus boys – anyone in the service industry, especially at a young age, because you are exposed to a lot and you learn fast what kind of people exist this world. The bubble you live in is soon revealed as just that – a bubble!
#2 Hustle Hard
Have you seen the videos of that couple in the car where the boyfriend asks “Babe, what do you want to eat?” she says, “I don’t care babe, you pick!” and he says “Okay, how about Italian?” she says “ew no way, what else?” he says “okay, what about Mexican?” she says “oh my god thunder thigh city!” and he says “Okay, salad?” and she says “do you think I’m fat?!” and he says “well what do you want??” and she says “I don’t care, I’m just starving, pick something!!” If you haven’t seen the viral videos or memes about being hangry (hungry + angry), then you’re missing out. Point is, when people go out to eat, they are hungry and they want their food or drinks NOW. People in the service industry learn early on that you need to HUSTLE if you want to make money (as you work on tips) and this skill is carried over into a business setting when working with clients or bosses who want things done as soon as humanly possible. Efficiency is KEY to making a customer happy in this setting and is a very useful skill to have.
#3 We Handle It
Angry customers. Overwhelmed managers. Drunk customers. Drunk coworkers. And even sometimes, drunk managers. All of these issues arise when you work in the service industry and at some point you realize what you need to do….you just handle it. Angry customer? Quickly take charge, calm and reassure them that their concern is your top priority and find a solution. Overwhelmed managers? Do your best to not bother them with any issues you or customers are having by finding a reasonable and creative solution. Drunk customers? Call a cab and cut them off. Drunk coworkers? Avoid at all costs. Drunk managers? Start thinking about pursuing another part time job. We are problem solvers and have to get creative amid all the chaos that surround working in a restaurant or bar. Problem solving is a VERY good skill to have no matter what professional industry you end up in.
#4 Ridiculousness Isn’t As Ridiculous As It Seems
Things don’t phase service industry workers as much as workers in other industries because we’ve seen it all. It’s interesting to watch what people are like the moment they get a little liquid courage inside of them. Most people handle themselves responsibly, but some find themselves taking on an entire new persona. Arguments between couples, obnoxious orders to waitresses, demanding more alcohol from a waitress when they are way past the legal limit, fist fights, loud talking or yelling, ridiculous dancing…the list is endless. Being exposed to erratic human behavior makes it harder for us to be surprised or shocked when something is thrown our way that seems either irrational or out of left field. You want a dolphin in your pool by the morning for your daughters 8th birthday? Sure!
#5 Lessons From Doing The Dirty Work
Last but not least, I think having to do dirty, laborious work really does something to you. It makes you appreciate the type of work that doesn’t involve sweeping wings off the carpet, cleaning vomit stained toilets, taking out dirty women’s bathroom trash cans or mopping beer and vodka stained floors. I never enjoyed this kind of work and I don’t know if any sane person does, but it made me appreciate the fact that I worked my way up so that I wouldn’t have to do that for the rest of my life. You have to start somewhere.
I applaud anyone in the service industry and will always be supportive of the work that goes into remaining sane after 14 hour shifts, crazy customers and dysfunctional management. Anytime I see a resume that has experience that includes service industry work, I get excited. Do you have experience in the service industry? If so, how do you feel it’s contributed to your career? If not, what industry did you work in before you started your professional career and how did it help you? I’m curious to know because I am sure there are other experiences out there that are very helpful. Please leave any comments or feedback below! ~XXXO
Establishing an online presence starts with two things: a solid website and a solid social media following. Whether you are a small business, a one person shop or simply striving to promote your blog, having a social media presence is essential to your online success.
How do you get there? Share things people want to see and care about. Share things that people will want to share with their own friends or followers. Share your story. Follow my five tips for posting on social media channels and watch your engagement increase drastically!
| 1. Social Media Posting: Rule Of Thirds |
When thinking of different ideas and topics for your social media channels, keep this simple trick in mind: the rule of thirds. Your posting strategy should consist of the following: 1/3 selling, 1/3 educating and 1/3 sharing.
Selling – this means explaining what you or your product/service does. You can share photos of what you do or share the latest “special” or “promotion” for your products. Social media is an easy and FREE outlet for promoting yourself, but beware – only using your social media sites to sell will lose engagement and could even turn off your followers.
Educating – this means sharing blog posts you’ve written or really great articles that discuss the product or service you offer. Educating your following about what you do is different than selling. For example, if you sell an antioxidant drink that does amazing things for your body, you would share an educational article that explains what antioxidants are and why they’re beneficial.
Sharing – I typically see the most engagement in these kinds of posts. This is sharing a funny meme, a viral article, a local news article or event in your city, photos of your customers, photos of you, celebrations, etc.. The idea is establishing an interpersonal connection with your followers while also being a community expert. It’s about sharing things that most people can relate to or have an interest in.
*Note – it is never a good idea to share political or religious views unless you are 150% open to subjecting both you and your company to other people’s views as well. Either way, I advise against it.
| 2. Share Links To Your Website |
Social media profiles are great opportunities to drive more traffic to your website or blog. I get the most site views whenever I share links back to my blog. For many of my clients, I see the same results. Facebook or Instagram are especially great for sharing blog posts or pages on your site, linking your followers to your website. You should have a website before you have a social media page, but the two work together and I recommend you have both – you won’t be as successful with just one over the other.
| 3. Share Video |
When you scroll through your Facebook or Instagram feed, what are you noticing the most? Videos are becoming more and more popular. Facebook’s recent update allows for videos to play in your news feed without the need to hit “play”. A quick 15-20 second demo of your product or a 30 second intro of yourself can draw hundreds to thousands of views. Sharing video generates the most viewers and is the fastest way to get your message across. Simply upload your video to YouTube and share the link across all profiles, such as Facebook and Instagram.
| 4. Share Photos |
Just like videos, photos are also very important. While you are able to make a status update on Facebook or Twitter with no photo, I advise against it simply because it won’t get as many views as a photo would. Social media users want to see things faster than they can read them. If you have a photo that is intriguing, it’ll lead to them reading what you want them to know.
| 5. Share Local Events Or News |
This is a good strategy if you need more engagement. Typically, if I see a social profile struggling to get views, I’ll start sharing popular news stories or viral articles to get back into the algorithm of the newsfeed of the page’s followers. This will quickly generate more viewers and allow other posts back into their feed. As you may or may not know, you don’t see every single post of every person you friend or follow. You only see posts of the pages or people you interact with the most. So this simple trick is to help get you back on the mind of your followers.
I hope you found something here you haven’t heard of before or at least feel refreshed on the things you already know. If you have any questions or comments about the best social media strategies to generate engagement, please feel free to comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org <3