Thursday, March 25, 2010

Random Finds

Cool skirt. From J.Crew, I wouldn't wear it like the model with the black tights... but with a silky shell and nude heels - awesome date night outfit.
Love this spring/summer sheath dress, also J.Crew. Also comes in pink & navy blue. I'll take on in beige and one in navy, please! So cute for work with a little cardigan and pumps... and for play by itself with cute sandals!

Stress Sucks

Actually - it sucks the life out of you. No, really. Stress is the feeling you experience when you have to handle more than you are used to, and your body responds as though you are in danger. (In danger of a bad review, perhaps?) You know that fight or flight response? It makes hormones that speed up your heart and make you breathe faster and give you a burst of energy. So maybe it wasn't the extra shot of espresso this morning...

Some stress is normal, useful, and can moderate levels can be good for you! It can help you power through and complete a task you never thought you could, or meet a deadline you thought was impossible. Then you get that 'achievement feeling we all love so much. But we all know stress has down sides - headaches, upset stomachs, back pain, and trouble sleeping. It can weaken your immune system, make you moody, tense, or depressed. Your relationships can suffer as well as your work. See - stress really does suck the life out of you. What can you do? Funny you should ask...

- Find out what is causing stress in your life: Really narrow in and find out - is it your workload or one rude, needy client? Maybe a time-sucker coworker is draining your energy and leaving you stressed.
- Learn better ways to manage your time. You'll get more done with less stress if you make a schedule. A former manager of mine used to preach "plan your work and work your plan". Annoying but true.
- Learn how to cope. Does eating chocolate cake make you feel better? Maybe, but will going for a walk and getting some fresh air make you feel better and not resentful later? Probably.
- Take care of yourself. If stress is making it tough to sleep at night, find ways to relax and make night time more peaceful. Turn off the TV (I read somewhere that the TV glow can interfere with your internal body clock!), take a warm bath, get a massage, anything to help you relax. Also - make sure your bedroom is a peaceful place - don't keep unpaid bills next to your bed - that will just stress you out more!
- Learn to say No. (I'll let you know what I find out how to do this!)
- Speak up. If taking on an additional project is going to push you over the edge, is it really worth it? (See above.)
- Exercise. I don't know about you but a good sweat session always makes me feel better. Running is my personal outlet - its a chance for me to zone out and finally breathe and be alone with my thoughts. Plus - when I'm angry or stressed it's like I'm fueled to run. In college I once ran 6 miles out of sheer anger at a boyfriend. (HA!)
- Write. Get a journal (or a blog...) and get your feelings out somewhere. Some people suggest writing (fake) letters to people that frustrate you. Just DON'T mail them!
- Get a hobby! If you're always stressed about work - doing something after work for fun will help you feel better. Volunteer, go to the library, paint something.
- Laugh. Laughter is the best medicine - so get some girls together and a bottle of wine and de-stress!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Irish I Were Celebrating

St. Patrick's Day! What are you doing to celebrate today? I personally, am not Irish, not one bit. Every year I forget to wear green on St. Patty's day... and every year I tell myself I am going to remember. Because people at work always give me a hard time when I'm not wearing green on St. Patty's Day.

Did I remember today? Nope. I'm wearing pink and cream... oops. In honor of one of my favorite TV shows, The Office, are you having an office party? Or better yet, stories from office parties or happy hour work functions? People get crazy on St. Patty's Day, which means hilarious stories.

Spill 'em Chickees!


Wow... what a crazy few days it has been! I'm back... no longer Missing In Action. I don't know about you - but I love to daydream. I dream real, big, dreams, too - but daydreaming is always fun! Personally, I enjoy daydreaming about what my husband and I would do if we won lottery. Not that I ever even buy lotto tickets... My thoughts and plans usually revolve around upgrading our home to a ridiculous degree, and of course clothes... and college funds for nieces and nephews, and new homes for our parents... oh the joys of daydreaming.

What do you daydream about? Or, more specifically, what would you do if you ever won the lottery? How would you spend your days and your money?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Backyard Office

Check out this - the coolest 'home office' I've ever seen. I want one! Found on - check out to scoop behind the Backyard Office! Thanks OfficeStylist - had to share your awesome find! More office renovations and cool style tips can be found on her site. (Photo courtesy of

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Season of Sales

The tail end of each season is a great time to stock up on staples, and purchase those big-ticket items marked down! Every Corporate Chickee should have a great, business-appropriate dress coat. I have two different styles - one in charcoal grey and one in winter white. I highly recommend having two in very classic, basic colors. Whenever I'm wearing black - I wear the charcoal coat, when I'm wearing brown I wear the white coat. I have two great classic looks. Then I mix it up with my red spring trench coat (cheap at Sears over Memorial Day weekend a few seasons back) and cropped plaid peacoat for a more casual look. For more on trench coats, check out CornerOfficeChic's article on punchy-colored trench coats for spring!

Check out this adorable winter white dress coat found on - marked down from $298 to $149.99! At $150, it's still a higher priced item for most of us - but it's half off! You can't pass that up when it's a staple item you'll wear for years. The key when investing in these pieces is going timeless. Don't buy a $300 super-trendy coat that you can only wear for 2 seasons. Buy a classic silhouette that won't go out of style that flatters your shape! There's lots of flexibility in a jacket like this. Wear it buttoned up for a serious look, wear it open like the model with a cute camisole or layered tanks underneath for a more laid-back look.

Bonus item: Since you know how much I love J.Crew I can't stop at just one item - check out this super cute, cropped jacket. On the hanger I probably wouldn't give it a second look - but on the model it's adorable! As a petite one, I love the cropped look with shorter length sleeves.

A jacket like this is versatile - wear it buttoned up for a serious, professional-look, or open like the model with a camisole or layered tanks underneath for a punch of color and a more laid-back look.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Cleaning Bug

If you're like me - you've been bit by the cleaning bug! The recent warming-weather and morning sunshine makes me want to clean our blinds, reorganize closets, and buy fresh flowers! In the spirit of spring cleaning, here are The 10 Habits of Highly Organized People by Sarah Stebbins, courtesy of (Kind of like the home-version of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People for work!) Below I've highlighted the main rules, and my own 2 cents! What are your personal habits that keep you organized at home?

Rule #1 Walk Away from Bargains Just because the sweater in on sale, doesn't mean you need it! (or have space for it!)
Rule #2 Make Peace with Imperfection In the article, PysD Renae Reinardy says that "trying to do every task perfectly is the easiest way to get bogged down." So give your best effort and call it a day!
Rule #3 Never Label Anything 'Miscellaneous' No need to quote the article on this - we all know what this means. Give everything a home. If it doesn't have a home, maybe it doesn't have a place in your home, either!
Rule #4 Schedule Regular De-cluterring Sessions Do a little every day, don't wait until it's a huge project!
Rule #5 Stick with What Works Another expert in the the article, Dorothy Breininger says, "Don't waste time and money seeking out the best of everything" - if what you use works and you like it - its fine!
Rule #5 Create a Dump Zone Identify a place for all the 'stuff' you accumulate each day and will need later - like dry cleaning receipts and field trip permission slips. My personal favorite? A cute basket or bowl near your main point of entry to the house - you can easily stash your stuff there and hide it on a shelf where it just looks like a decoration!
Rule #7 Ask for Help This is pretty obvious...
Rule #8 Separate Emotions from Possessions I think we all struggle with this when it comes to clothes! That adorable cocktail dress you wore at such-and-such function... if you'll never fit into it again, or it's too worn-out to be saved... maybe it's time to say good-bye!
Rule #9 Foresee and Avoid Problems Breininger suggests tackling the leaning tower of tupperware now, before it erupts on you while you're running out the door to work - smart gal!
Rule #10 Know Where to Donate Find a good place to donate your loved but no-longer-needed clothing and items, whether it's a charity or a neighbor. This way you know right where to go each time you clean the closet!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Spring Collection!

Introducing the Lauren Conrad Collection for Kohl's! Adorable tops and camis at reasonable prices. I love some of her dresses - but they look way to short to be work appropriate. (Not that I think she designed this collection with the office in mind or anything.) There are some really cute blazers and tops for under suits though. As a long time fan of The Hills, I'm excited to check out her new Kohl's line collection.

I also love that she's a young start-up designer. I remember reading in magazine article, the interviewer asked her that if it hadn't been for Laguna Beach and The Hills, what would she be doing now? Her answer: The same thing I'm doing now, with a smaller apartment and fewer shoes. Points for honesty!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Tried & True

If you were stranded on a desert island, what beauty product would you not survive without?

I love this question. I love hearing about other people's favorite beauty products - because they test them out then I can purchase them knowing I at least have a decent product on my hands. Let's be honest, many beauty products aren't cheap! You don't go out and buy 10 moisturizers and then pick your fave... you let magazines do the dirty work for you! Every magazine has their own beauty awards. I personally like Self Magazine's Healthy Beauty Products Awards.

What are my personal can't-do-withouts? First - my Neutrogena Healthy Defense daily moisturizer. It's SPF 30 and available in tinted or untinted. I love the way it goes on and feels good all day. I usually wear the untinted version, but keep the tinted version in my gym bag. After a lunch-time workout, tinted moisturizer is a great way to get office-ready again fast!

Next up - my lotion. (Can you tell I'm obsessed with moisturizing?) I'm a life-long fan of Lubriderm daily lotion with SPF 15. It's just the best -
non-greasy, non-sticky, moisturizes really well.
I'm never going without it!

Now I'm in the market for a really good night cream. I'm getting to that age where I feel like I should start using some kind of anti-aging night cream and/or eye cream. Any suggestions?

What can't you live without?

Put Me In, Coach!

Ever feel like you're working your butt off and no one notices? Ever feel just plain invisible? I felt invisible today... not really sure why. I just did. Sometimes it's nice to feel invisible for a couple of days, I mean I did get a ton of work done today. Silver lining!

So, in case anyone else out there is feeling invisible on a regular basis, here's an article from iVillage about how to get noticed at work. The author has 5 tips on how to Get Your Career in the Spotlight:

1. Meet people in other departments. Why? It's not about what you, but who knows you! (and who likes you!) Apparently this one-liner works internally as well as externally in the job world. Personally, done! I have a fairly small office, so it's easy to get know other departments. But, there's always room for improvement! I don't know that much about everyone - so there's something to work on.

2. Join an outside group. The theory here is to make yourself an informal spokesperson for the company - in the networking world. This means you're a natural leader. Well... I've been doing some business chatting on LinkedIn, does that count?

3. Learn a new technology. The author suggests trying predict what might be the next new technology in the field and start teaching yourself necessary skills now - so when it becomes standard and others have to learn it, you'll be a pro already. Hmm... I'm going to have to think about this one for a while. I'm already pretty tech-forward for my office, and that hasn't really gotten me 'noticed' in the big way just yet.

4. Take on something unpopular. Earn brownie points by taking on a high-profile job that no one else wants to do. Bonus if you ace it. Good advice, I think. But make sure you're confident you can at least do very well at it, so even if you don't ace it - it's not like you took a bath or anything. That's a good way to get noticed in a bad way.

5. Remember to limit yourself. Choose your tasks carefully, and really focus on them. Everyone knows you're better at something when you can really dedicate time and effort to it. For me this means going back to the basics. While I can really excel in some of my job duties, if I work too hard on one project, the basic duties start to slip. Time to go back to focusing on the little things - because the little things add up.

What have you don to 'get noticed'? Did it work?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Sale Alert!

Now is a great time of year to stock up on big-ticket winter items like coats, scarves, gloves, bulky sweaters, etc. Stores are putting out their spring clothes, even swimsuits are almost out, while we're all still trudging through snow.

You may have noticed - but I have an affinity for coats - here's a super coat plaid winter trench coat from Victoria's Secret marked down from $168 to $89.99!

Another great find - a cute striped cardigan from NY & Company, I love this one because it's a simple cardigan, but it's not a solid. It has a little bit of personality to it, and I love the way they styled it with dressy dark jeans and opera-length pearls.

Happy Monday!

Yay! It's March! One step closer to spring... finally! In honor of Monday and March, here's a funny article found on, What Not to Wear to Work. I'm not sure it's supposed to be funny - it just is. It's focused mostly on what not to wear for an interview, so let's discuss interview-dress techniques.

Not based on any formal research or expertise - below are a few things I've heard over the years about dressing for interviews - I'm not saying I agree or disagree with them.
Share your tips, tricks, or disagree with these!

1. Women should wear skirt suits with nylons and close toed shoes - always.
2. Wear understated jewelry - think a single strand of pearls and pearl stud earrings or something equally classy and simple.
3. When interviewing for a position like accounting, engineering, or technical support - wear glasses. Apparently hiring managers will assume you're more intellectual and detail-oriented if you're wearing spectacles.
4. Conversely, if you're interviewing for a creative position like marketing or advertising, put in those contact lenses, and throw a statement color into your suit, or wear one unique piece of jewelry. The theory here is that you're trying to showcase your creativity, your ability to be different and think outside the box.
5. If you have long hair, pull it back into a low ponytail. Especially if you are young, this will help you appear older. (Really?)

Readers, let's hear yours!