Monday, August 25, 2014

Prepping for Stress-Free Travel

Stephanie George recently wrote a guest post on travel essentials for the PR gal. So, since you now know the essentials of what you will want to be traveling with, you're ready for some travel prep tips!

The main goal of your vacation is probably to relax. Of course you'll want to get out and see the sights and try new things but this should be a stress-free time for you. A time where you mind can unwind and shut down a little from the every day hustle and bustle of your busy life.

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1. Start with a checklist of what you will be packing. Everything. Including your travel documents, ID, cash, etc. On this list I usually get a little Type A and indicate what will be in my carry-on and what will be in my luggage that is being checked. Once the item is packed, it gets crossed off the list.

2. Charge up those batteries. Seems like a no brainer, but it happens. You board the airplane and realize something (your phone, laptop, kindle, ipod, whatever it might be) is not holding full battery. I also suggest checking the battery levels before packing said electronics.  

(I once thought my Kindle was fully charged because I knew I put it away fully charged. Come to find out, the battery somehow depleted itself and when I pulled it out on the plane, there was ZERO juice left.)

3. Bring only the essentials. Especially if you're headed to the beach. How often do you honestly put on make-up or wear that super cute new trendy outfit you packed, instead of that cute, yet comfy and easy sun dress when you're hanging poolside or on the sandy beach all week?

I know you will still want the make-up and stylish threads for a dinner or night out, but be realistic and don't over pack.

4. Be versatile. Back to the over packing topic. When packing shoes, pack a pair of sandals for the beach, running shoes (only if you will be running or working out), a pair of flats for walking around and a pair of heels for the dinner or night out. To avoid bringing to many pairs, make sure each pair will match each (or at least most) of the outfits you have planned. (Now, I know just as well as you do, this can be hard when you want to stay fashionable and look fab at all times but it can be done!)

BONUS: Pack items that you can dress up OR dress down with a statement piece of jewelry. This also saves time and makes for an easy transition from day to night.

5. Take a look at what interesting places and activities there are around your location. Of course, you don't want to plan TOO much before actually arriving, but it is nice to have an idea of what will be around you. But really, don't plan too much. Get to your destination, explore and go with the flow. 

This is your time to do whatever you want. Relax, have fun and enjoy!

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Get Ready in 15 Minutes or Less

We've all been there. Your alarm decides to have a mind of it's own and not go off to wake you up. Or, you meant to hit snooze and hit dismiss instead. Either way, it means you wake up late.

It happens. You open your eyes, realize your late and jump out of bed scrambling get ready for the day and {hopefully} make it to the office on time. Whether you're a morning person or not, this puts anyone into a bit of a frenzy.

So, what can you do to pull yourself together and look presentable when there is basically no longer any time left for your morning routine?

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1. Spray that dry shampoo in your hair and take advantage of your go-to hair do that is effortless and takes minimal time.

2. Wash your face with cold water. This will help wake up you and your skin. Don't forget the moisturizer to brighten and replenish your skin.

3. Dab concealer around your eyes to give them a brighter look.

4. Brush some powder on your face and blush on your cheeks. And, finish with a quick swipe of mascara and lip gloss. (I keep these essentials in my purse for days like this. It makes it easier for a quick touch up throughout the day or after work too.)

5. I'm sure you all have a few go-to outfits as well. (If you don't, figure out what they are.) Grab one of those. Throw it on and you're ready to go. (You just have to make sure that you are ahead of laundry day.)

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Dating Chronicles – Dating Etiquette

There’s a lot of advice out there about how us 20-somethings can make it through the dating game. It comes from relationship experts, psychologists, those who’ve already been there, and those going through it now. Rachel and I decided that this post would be filled with tips from 20-somethings for 20-somethings. 
What your fellow ladies have to say about: 
Being out on a date


@rachmariepr - Be present. Turn off your phone - or at least put it to silent. If you must check it, do it while in the bathroom.. I know it is hard for us PR girls to not be connected at all times but, I promise, you'll live AND (hopefully) have a better time than if you were thinking about your phone.
@AlyssaNRomeo - Be yourself. Don’t get caught up trying to be someone you’re not, and let your true self shine through; it’ll be enough.
@EmCatPR - Be decisive. Nobody likes the awkward back and forth of "I don't know, what do you want to do?" The best scenario would be choosing a place, time or activity together, but that doesn't always happen. If he gives you options, be prepared to choose one or even suggest your own favorite place or activity. You will spend more time getting to know them and less time stressing about the little things!
 
Lindsey - Be punctual. Being on time shows you value and respect each other's time. Don't watch TV during sex. (Haha, we agree Lindsey!)

Dating in general
 

@PRGirlPaige - "Never love anyone who treats you like you're ordinary." It's so important to be with someone who continually reminds you to go out and be your best - but you have to do the same in return. Also, the older I get the more I realize how essential it is to be with someone who is motivated with their own dreams. You don't always have to have everything in common, either. My boyfriend of 4 years and I have very little in common besides adventuring and similar humor, but it makes everything more fun because we're so different. 

@AlyssaNRomeo - Don’t rush into things, and don’t be afraid to move on. We need to realize that no matter how much we want something to work out, if you’re looking for something serious and he’s not, it’s okay to just walk away.

@RachastaPR - Be willing to date outside "your type"! Before I met my boyfriend, I was convinced I had one type and that was the only type I would consider in terms of dating. Once I met my now boyfriend, I realized that your type does not matter and can actually really limit you in terms of finding the right one. I had an imaginary checklist and surprisingly, he does not fit many of those criteria. What I have found though, is that we fit perfectly together because we balance each other out. I wouldn't have it any other way!
Lindsey - Be open and honest, hiding the truth is the same thing as lying. He will appreciate your honesty and in return, he will give it back.

Celeste - Don't settle!!! Be confident in yourself to know what you are worth! Always trust your gut... It knows best what you deserve!!!

Valerie - Be upfront about what you want and how you feel. Never feel like you have to wait on him to make decisions on when to take the next step make it an equal decision. And never expect him to read your mind at anytime!!!! Know your WORTH and make sure you give yourself time from relationship to relationship to get the past out of your system. I have been guilty of not doing that and it never works out! Don't ever expect anything from anyone because that's the quickest way to get let down.

A friend of mine is struggling with the following right now, so here’s what she had to say - “Stop trying to keep up with what everyone else is doing or what society deems as "normal." Get married, don't get married. Have a baby, don't have a baby. It's YOUR life, do things at your own speed and what you want to do. Basically, don't obsess with time lines or conventional ideals.”

Another echoed the sentiments of @RachastaPR and @PRGirlPaige – “Be open to prospective datees. Don't think your type is your type... Be open!” To which the above friend agreed, because her “husband was never what (she) thought was (her) type but turned out to be the best thing (she’s) ever had!”

And one of the greatest things to remember is, “don't feel like you have to have everything together to be someone's perfect fit. You may not be where you want to be at this point in your life - and they may not be either! … The person you're supposed to be with will accept where you are right now and you will accept them and you'll grow together - or you won't. And that's ok. Your 20's are a time to be selfish and be all about you, so if you aren't meshing with someone, even after you've put time in, don't feel obligated to stay in fear of not finding someone else or that you're too old to start new.”

This is a crazy, confusing time, so take yours, try not to over-analyze, and above all, have fun! If there’s a piece of advice that’s really helped you, add it to the comments below.
 
♥ Alyssa

{Images courtesy of: epaperbird and Hitch Online.}

Monday, August 18, 2014

A PR Girl's Travel Essentials

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Summer is the busiest time to travel. Whether you’re packing for a family vacation, visiting relatives or exploring new parts of the world, make the trip an easy and stress-free experience with some travel essentials. I’ve compiled a list of tried and true travel items that I can’t leave home without. My top travel essentials are:


1.     Notepad & pen: One thing about PR girls is that we can never completely unplug. Bring a notepad and pen with you to write down blog post ideas or a to do list

2.     External Battery: Some airports don’t have places to plug up electronics. If they do it’s usually full, so an external battery is essential. It gives you the freedom to charge anywhere so you don’t become a “wall-hugger”. I recommend investing in a battery that can charge your phone and iPad/ laptop at the same time.

3.     Toothbrush: After the airline snacks, coffee, and maybe a nap it’s nice to be able to brush your teeth. It gives you a nice, clean feeling no matter what (name that slogan).

4.     Make-up: There are times when you will have to go straight to work after getting off the plane. Instead of traveling in your make up, bring travel sixes of your favorite products. If you can’t find them ask for a sample.

5.     Snacks: Keeping a few healthy snacks in your bag is great especially if you don’t have time to get anything to eat. KIND and Go Picnic are great!

6.     Headphones: A good pair of headphones is a must. Listen to a podcast, music or audio book. They also double as ear plugs.

7.     Sleep mask: Catch up on some zzz’s. It can be worn on road trips or even on the train.

8.     Baby Wipes:  These are great for removing make up, wiping down seats, washing your face, and cleaning your hands.

9.     Good Book: Utilize your flight by catching up on some reading. Girl Boss, Bossy Pants, and If You Have to Cry Go outside are great reads.

10.  Slippers: During long flights it’s nice to kick off your shoes and relax. Pack slippers to keep your feet warm and for those trips to the bathroom.



Tip: If you can, pack a change of clothes in your carry on just in case the airline loses your luggage. 

These items allow you to not only enjoy the journey but to make the most of your travel time. And as any PR girl knows, multi-tasking is a must. 
What are some of  your essentials? Tweet me using the tag #travelmust. Happy travels!

{Guest post by Stephanie George.}

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Dating Chronicles – It’s Date Night!

Ah, date night. 

Break out the wallets, and let the night’s festivities begin. Tried and true, dinner and a movie, a rousing round of mini golf, and a home cooked meal from your sweetie, are all great date night activities, but let’s be honest, if you’re always doing the same things, or develop a routine with them, your relationship’s bound to get boring…and expensive.

Date night should be one where you go beyond the usual how was your day, or how was your week conversation. The further you are into a relationship, the deeper you should be connecting with your man. 

A movie every so often is great, but as we all know, you won’t be having any type of meaningful conversation before it begins. There are plenty of date night activities that are going to give you both the opportunity to connect more, while not breaking the bank or taking place somewhere you don’t feel like you belong.



Watch a sunset: Cheesy sounding? Yes. Regrettable? No. One of the best dates I ever had with a guy was going to a nearby lake and watching the sunset over the water. It was quiet, there weren’t many people around, the view was gorgeous, and just waiting for the sun to disappear gave us more of an opportunity to talk. We actually ended up in such a deep conversation that the person responsible for closing the gate had to tell us to leave.

Go to a BYOB painting class: Groupon and Living Social have tons of these deals posted during any given week. And before you dismiss it because neither he nor you are overly artistic, know that you don’t have to be the next Picasso. A lot of these places will have the design traced out on your canvas, so you’re essentially doing a paint by numbers thing. It’s casual, relaxed, and did I mention, BYOB? C’mon, good times are sure to be had.

Get physical: Now, before your mind wanders too far down that path (although, you can do that too) I mean be active together. I know so many couples who work out together, whether it’s vigorous or a nice 30-minute post dinner stroll, the point is that you’re either going to be sharing a passion, or developing one together. Think about it, you can do just about anything from biking, walking, weight lifting, running, to maybe even some classes. Maybe one night you can go to his karate class, and then one night he’ll do an aerobics class with you. Most gyms and studios will have a drop in price for classes, or even a first class is free type of deal.

Go technology-free: I saw this one on Pinterest, and when I thought about it, loved all of the ideas that came to mind. I know it’s hard nowadays to even consider putting your cellphone somewhere out of reach, let alone shut it off, but it’s only for a few hours. Think about how romantic it’d be to lay under the stars without text messages, emails and Facebook notifications interrupting your date. And if you don’t want to go out, eat dinner by candlelight, then curl up and either read together, share stories, or just talk until you fall asleep.

Movie marathon: Pick a theme, then dig through your DVD or Blu-Ray collection, log in to Netflix or hit up a Redbox, and get started. If you’re both movie people anyway, then this is the perfect opportunity for you. It’s cheaper than going to a local theater and you’re in the comfort of your own place (Hello, sweatpants anyone?!). To prevent from always watching the same genre, write them on little pieces of paper and pick from a hat. Who knows, maybe you’ll end up watching something you would’ve never given the time of day, but then end up loving it.

*Unless you’re me, and the movie you get stuck watching is Clerks … I know, I know, there are a lot of Clerks fans out there, and I promise you, I really did try, but I just couldn’t get into it! I have to give my boyfriend at the time some serious props though, he watched The Exorcist, The Notebook, and I think I talked him into watching Titanic once when it was on TV. The only movie he asked me to watch was Clerks and at some point I just stopped paying attention.  Boyfriend 3 – Me 0 in the movie compromise department.

Now, these are just five suggestions. Pinterest has an entire date ideas section. There are some pretty creative things out there, give something new a try. If there’s something you and your honey love to do, share it in the comments section so others can give it a try too!

Peace, Love & Stories,
Alyssa

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

5 Tips Every PR Intern Should Follow this Summer

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Caroline is a PR intern at Ruby Media Group this summer as has some great words of wisdom for her fellow interns out there. {And, those of you who will be interning in the future!}

As an aspiring Public Relations professional, I want to get the most out of my internship this summer. Not only do internships look good on your resume, they are a great way to experience your future career path. My time as a PR intern has taught me not only valuable lessons but has given me a chance to get my hands dirty and actually learn something useful. So to all of my other aspiring PR professionals, make sure you take something away from every internship by utilizing my top five tips to help maximize your experience.  

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1.  Get to know your supervisor.

Remember that your supervisor isn’t just there to give you work or to watch you fail. He or she is your biggest advocate or supporter, and your supervisor wants you to succeed. Always remember, your company chose you for a reason and vice-versa.



2.  Remember- you are there to work.

Get to know your co-workers and take initiative for yourself. If you don’t feel like you’re being challenged enough, then ask for more work. Your supervisor and co-workers will appreciate your work and help around the office. Also, try to understand why you are working on the tedious work for a client instead of what needs to be done. This will help you understand the larger strategic picture and how your work ties into the communication strategy.



3.  Do the tedious work.

It may not seem like the most crucial element in the overall scheme of things, but in the end it will be worth it. Remember to be patient. As your supervisor trusts you more, they will assign you more challenging tasks. Make sure you put in the hours needed to make your work high quality, and you will be rewarded.  When you get positive feedback especially from the CEO, there is no better feeling.



4.  It’s OK to ask questions.

As the saying goes, “There’s no such thing as stupid questions.” It’s encouraged to ask questions especially if you are working on important client initiatives. It shows you’re curious and eager to learn about the industry.  Most importantly it shows you want to do your job correctly and send out your best work possible. Since the PR industry is 24/7, don’t forget the most crucial question to ask, “When is this assignment due?” Deadlines are crucial; don’t let one creep up on you.



5.  Keep writing.

Being a good writer is critical in the PR industry. Always keep up with correct grammar, and do not rely on spell-check. This is a skill that people easily slack off on. Instead, try to keep a blog, ask to draft a pitch and practice strong email writing. You will be helping yourself in the end!




Caroline Arnold is a PR Intern at Ruby Media Group and a Strategic Communications Major at Elon University.

{Image courtesy of Ruby Media Group.}


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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

4 Looks for the 4th of July

              4 Outfits for the 4th of July from Scarves.com

4 Looks for July 4th:

1. Denim Shorts, One Teaspoon
2. Rustic American Flag Scarf, Scarves.com
3. Sunglasses,  Tom Ford
4. Suede Booties, Steve Madden
5. Lace Top, Nasty Gal

4 Looks for July 4th:
1. Silk Cami, Anthropologie
2. Tasha Bracelet, Nordstrom’s
3. Scalloped Lace Shorts, Nasty Gal
4. Red Carnival Stripe Scarf, Scarves.com
5. Slingback Peeptoe Heels, Urban Outfitter’s
6. Wantage Clutch, Aldo

4 Looks for July 4th:
1. Dress, Forever 21
2. Perforated Loafers, ModCloth
3. Cuff Bracelet, Tory Burch
4. Star Stud Earrings, J. Crew
5. Star Spangled Neckerchief, Scarves.com

4 Looks for July 4th:
1. Starfish Scarf, Scarves.com
2. Bikini, Billabong
3. Totebag, Forever 21
4. Classic Fox Sunglasses, Wildfox
5. Sandals, ModCloth
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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Dating Chronicles: *Cough, Cough!* It's Toxic

Have you ever sat there wondering why you're still single? Why you can never seem to find someone who turns into more than a hookup or late night booty call? Why it seems that everyone around you has someone but you?

I know I have, and I'll tell you what, I still don't have the foggiest idea why, other than it's just part of the dating game.

I'm serious.

The way our dating culture has morphed into games and deceptions has created one toxic, undesirable medium that isn't going to give any of us the happy ending we want. Granted, I know there are plenty of 20-somethings, and actually people of any age group, who are blissfully happy in their current relationships, but there are still droves us "outsiders" looking in other's happiness, wanting desperately for it to be ours.

Well, here's the thing, if you want it - go get it!

 
Five Ways to Escape the Toxic Dating Game

1. Go get your man! Ladies, it's a brand new day. I know rejection hurts, but if you like someone, don't just sit there waiting for him to pursue you. There are some smooth criminals out there, but if you're crushing on that bookwork you see in the library every week, or that brooding guy who's the friend of a friend, but barely says two words when the group is together, chances are they're not going to make the move you want them to. Say "hi!" and just see where the conversation goes. Take control!

2. The past should stay there! There's a reason, if not many, that your past relationships didn't workout. But don't automatically assume that every potential one will end up the same way. Putting that kind of thinking out into the universe will only attract that back to you; keep a positive attitude and you'll be far more likely to find someone who's more compatible than any of your exes.

3. Slow it down! There is no rule out there that says you have to sleep with someone on your first date. There's nothing wrong with it, but since TDC is about honesty, I'm telling you here and now that it's only going to complicate things. It's easy to get caught up in the heat of the moment, but you have the power to resist. Use it and wait until you trust and understand your new partner more to take your relationship to that vulnerable and intimate level.

4. Be yourself! If you try being someone you're not from day one, when you finally let your new man see who you really are, he's going to wonder where the "you" he met went, and that's sure to spell disaster. So whether you're a complete Harry Potter nerd, ave a crocheting date every Wednesday with your grandmother or are a total adrenaline junkie, tell him! If you're honest with him, he'll be honest with you. Before you know it, you'll discover that you have more in common than you originally thought.

5. Make mistakes! We're young and while we might dread making mistakes, the fact is that somewhere along the way, they're unavoidable. When it comes to relationships, nobody is perfect. Those that claim there isn't a thing wrong are lying through their teeth. While we hate the feelings that accompany mistakes, the simple fact is that they are necessary. How else will we learn? Mistakes happen, don't let them drag you down and keep moving forward.

Finally, this last extra piece of advice is something I know I struggle with, so I'm sure some of you do, too. It's OK to be alone. I know writing that made me cringe a litle, but it's the truth. We can't force relationships, if we do they're sure to fail. So, while we may be unhappy in the Kingdom of Singlehood, the truth is that sometimes, it's the best place for us.

{Guest Post by Alyssa Romeo}

{Image via MomGonePaleo}