Monday, February 17, 2014

Of North is here!

This is such a surreal feeling to be writing my last ever post as Urban Tease. I've been journaling my life on here for more than five and a half years, and now it comes to a close. I knew that this day would come, and in fact, I've been pretty anxious about it for some time now. Thank you to all my beautiful readers who have made Urban Tease what it is! Whether you've been reading for one month or two, two years or five, it's meant the world to me that there are people out there reading and responding with such heart and compassion. I hope that you will continue to follow my life and share yours with me at my new blog, Of North. I am currently working at fixing out any kinks and perfecting the design. Lots of content will be added soon and I'm so excited for us to begin this next chapter together! Thank you all for making Urban Tease so special - I'm grateful beyond words - and I hope we can continue to make Of North something special and unique as well.

I will keep Urban Tease and all its original content up and archived, however no new content will be added, so please change your bookmarks, links, Bloglovin' following, etc. to Of North xx

Monday, January 27, 2014


I called out of work today because it's a "feels like" temp of 40 below outside. Well, I didn't really "call out" - I worked from home and am going in tomorrow instead. I thought about it all night and finally agreed with my parents and boyfriend that it was best that I didn't go outside today. I'm so small and get chilled to the bone so easily - plus, with my commute, I'm standing outside waiting for the bus for 15 - 30 minutes! So, instead, I woke up and decided to attempt victory rolls again! I was inspired when I saw a pin on Pinterest for a tutorial that that girl from Sea of Shoes did a while back (although I'm not going to link directly to it because her blog is impossible to navigate/I don't want to search thousands of posts back trying to find it). It'd been a couple of years since I'd so much as even attempted doing victory rolls because they never turned out well and just made me all frustrated & angry at how uncooperative my hair is. After an hour of struggling, teasing, and brushing out my curls, I finally got two little victory rolls accomplished and looking relatively tidy! And after about 30 Youtube tutorials, I think I've finally got the motion & direction of the curl down and am already eager to try victory rolls again.

Because of this new hair accomplishment, I decided to take some photos so that I will always be able to remember the glory of my first victory rolls. Maybe I'll use these photos for my Christmas card next year - "Happy Holidays from Chloe & Victory Rolls! From my family to yours..." Seriously though, I'm ecstatic!

In addition to some photos of my victory rolls, my mind is also overflowing with thoughts. Thoughts on blogging, thoughts on February, thoughts on things I want to accomplish.... So read along to those thoughts or just look at the photos - or leave the blog entirely if neither option appeals to you.

The other day I booked my flight to go visit my sister in Arizona near the end of February. Arizona hadn't really appealed to me until I saw the weather report - 70 degrees & sunny! Jeez. That, and my sister has been texting me constantly asking me to come down. My sister and I are not close by any measure of the word and we have little sisterly bond between us. Most of our relationship over the past 20 years has been cattiness and criticism, and I regret to say that some of that is on me. My sister has rarely said anything nice to me, but the other day she sent me a long text which was somewhat nice (somewhat a crack at my boyfriend), to tell me that I'm a smart, beautiful, independent woman (!!!!) with a good head on my shoulders. Yeah, she then went on to say that I tend to date down and my boyfriend doesn't deserve me but whatever. My boyfriend just said, "Yeah, I have to agree with your sister on this one" so that's that. And so, after she seemed to like me all of a sudden, I booked a flight and she's been texting me all excited & such with what we're going to do for the 4 days I'm down there. I'm already excited - plus, 70 degrees & sunny!

My boyfriend and I are also planning a trip to visit his parents in Reno, where it's reportedly been in the 60s, and I'm already excited to get back to the mountains. I never grew up anywhere near mountains and didn't see my first until I visit Taos, New Mexico when I was 11. But ever since then, I've been in love and my soul yearns to be among the majestic creatures.

It will nice to get out of town for a little while. I haven't had a break since the middle of June when I got a week to visit some friends & family in Geneva and London. That little trip was sandwiched between May term and summer term, and then I launched into fall term and graduated, and have since been putting my all into my internship. Add onto that my boyfriend being in ill health since August, and I'm just wiped. I'm fully ready to get out of Minnesota for a few days and be able to focus, breathe deeply, and take things one little bit at a time.

In addition to those couple little trips, I've also been thinking a lot about launching a new blog. I'm so excited for this new page in my blogging life! I would love to get the blog up around the beginning of February and so I have hired my boyfriend to help brainstorm names for the blog. So far, he's been rather unhelpful, with suggestions ranging from "Rural Prude" to "Chloe: The Final Frontier". In my mind, all I keep thinking is "Tackling Adulthood". I keep trying to get out of that box and try brainstorming new names, but for whatever reason, "Tackling Adulthood" just seems to be it. I've gotten a bit of criticism for it and I understand why. It's not nearly as fun and trendy as "Urban Tease" but oh well. I don't want my new blog to be strictly a fashion blog and I don't want an artsy name with a flower or a bird or something French in the title. I want it to be slightly gritty, slightly straightforward, not too trendy or generic. I don't want it to just be another fashion blog where you can't even remember who writes it because the name sounds exactly like 5000 other blogs. 

I've spent a lot of time thinking about possible names and I always come back to "Tackling Adulthood". Maybe this means that I should go with my gut. Or maybe it means that I'm uninspired. This is a big leap! I don't want to be that girl who starts a new blog every few years simply because the title no longer applies to her life. (Though I think I'll still be tackling adulthood well into my thirties.)

With my life in balance now that my boyfriend is back home and showing so much improvement, and now that the big special event at work is nearly here and over with, I'm starting to think about what I can do for myself. I've been so focused on work and catching up with my boyfriend, I haven't given much though to what I want. It's easy for me to forget about myself and put the needs of others first. I find it very difficult to breathe and let go of other people's expectations for me, but sometimes I just need to put myself first and do what's best for me. And so, since I take joy in the small things in life, I've decided to begin putting together a small list of things I want to accomplish this spring.

1. Learn to drive. I took driver's ed and got my permit when I was 16, but then my father would never teach me to drive. My mom doesn't have her license and my sister was not 21 (or sober ever, really). After I turned 18 and you no longer have to have a parent sign that they've driven with you or whatever it is they have to do, I started telling myself that I'd save my money and hire a professional to teach me. But then the idea of getting into an empty car with a strange man I don't know didn't really appeal to me. So I put it off. And I've kept putting it off. However, now I'm going to learn. My boyfriend has been offering for a few months now and I'm finally in a place where I feel like this is a possibility. I'm a nervous driver but my boyfriend is so sweet and has never ever once risen his voice at me (or been angry with me, really) so I feel comfortable driving with him - even though I'm terrified to drive!

2. Make pretzels! I've pinned dozens of pretzel recipes on Pinterest and now I finally want to start making them! I started simple last week and tried to make pretzel rolls, but my boyfriend forgot they were in the oven and got them out 20 minutes late. It was more like eating a pretzel breaded with rock, but oh well - first attempt only!

2. Master the victory roll. I want to get victory rolls down to a tee so that I can do them in a few minutes early in the morning and wear them to work and such. They're such a fun look and I'm starting to get bored of my hair which is not a good sign!

I'm so excited for February and feel a boost of creative energy and ambition coming with it! For tonight however, I am going to cuddle down and watch some TV, drinking tea and snacking on cookies. I'm also going to clean the fish tank because my fish Myrna just died a tragic death at the hands of a parasite and I'd really hate for Bubba & Vincent to get sick also. I've already killed 3 fish in 2014, and let's keep it at that!

I think this week I'm going to attempt making pretzel rolls once more and maybe go out for my first driving lesson with my boyfriend - yippee! What type of small goals have you made for yourself this year? Or big ones, too! But, big goals are accomplished in small steps.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Would you hold it near as it were your own?

I feel like I should let you know that this post will have a lot of photos (come on, LOOK AT THAT SKIRT), too many words (because it's me and my mind is always overflowing), and an obnoxious cat named Little Girl (who's making her very first blog appearance). I got this skirt in the mail today from ANTHOM, one of my lovely sponsors this month. It's also the most beautiful skirt that I've probably ever seen in my whole entire life. It's from a Brooklyn based brand called How Very Dare and I already know what I'm going to be living in this summer. It's very sheer (undies alert!) and I'll need to figure out a good way to wear it when I'm in more formal settings (i.e. the outside world) but whatever. What's wrong with seeing some undies anyways? Just pretend it's a swimsuit. See, not risque anymore. Anyways, bottom line: I'm sleeping in this skirt tonight because it is SO BEAUTIFUL.

My shirt is from Topshop, which is worth mentioning, but don't let it detract from the wonder that is this skirt. Unless if you want to consider that I found this shirt on the sale rack for a few pounds (in London), then it might just almost compare.

Little Girl loves the corner where I was taking these photos and she spent most of her time sitting in a cardboard box screeching at me. She has this scratchy old voice like she's been smoking for the past 40 years and her face always looks like she's smelt something foul. She's about the size and shape of a bowling ball and I absolutely cannot stand her. She's my third cat and I took her in this summer after she lived in my yard for a week and I fell in love with her. However, as soon as she got inside she became a bratty little princess and has spent the last 6 months beating up on my two male cats, Gogo and Peter. Gogo always has dried up blood all over his face (he doesn't have claws & can't defend himself from her) and he also got a nasty bladder infection from the stress of being constantly stalked and harassed. Poor little baby. See why I detest Little Girl so? But dammit, she's so soft. Like a fat screeching, squabbling mink coat that you just want to bury your face into.

Every time I see these photos, I'm like OH MY GAWD that skirt! And then I remember it's mine and am filled with glee.

Now that I've obsessed over this skirt (almost) to my heart's content, and explained some things about Little Girl, I can get into what's really on my mind: re-branding.

Over the past couple of years I've grown to hate my blog name. Urban Tease. It's something I came up with at the age of 15 - and it was something that explained my blog well. It was a teenager's blog, a teen who was exploring her style which was somewhere between being very "urban" and also very much a "tease". (It's less on the tease side these days though this skirt if obvs not a good example.) The past couple of years, I've found myself wanting to write about more than my clothes. And I have. I've given long feminist rants (I made an entire tag for my "soapbox" posts), I've reviewed books, I've interviewed my friends, I've discussed jobs, convictions, religion, family, quarter-life-crises (okay not yet, but it's coming, I swear). As I get closer to "adulthood", I find myself wanting to blog about even more: recipes, home decor, DIYs, professional clothes, working out, etc. but I feel like Urban Tease is no longer the right venue. I feel like I have outgrown Urban Tease in the 5 years that I've been writing it.

And I'm not ashamed of that or anything. In fact, this all feels very healthy. I've loved writing this blog and it's such a stress reliever to be able to get so much off my chest and have people read and respond in very genuine, caring ways. My last post, on religion, was scary to write. I was so nervous about receiving harsh backlash and losing followers, sponsors. But none of that happened. The responses I received were all full of grace and full of love. It made me feel so blessed, and gave me motivation to keep going and exploring new topics.

And so, I have a...I'm not sure...a suggestion...I almost feel like I'm asking permission for this. Maybe I am. Yes, I am. I'm asking permission. I would like to retire Urban Tease and begin writing about this new chapter of my life on a new blog. It would still have a lot of the same Urban Tease-y goodness (outfit posts, my outspoken, opinionated, foolish self) but I'd also like to expand it to so much more. I want to post about what's inspiring me. I want to write about new recipes I'm trying, my workout routine, finding a job. I want to detail moving into my future apartment (when I get a real job, fingers crossed), and talk about buying my first car and taking my subsequent first road trip in that car. There are all of these new topics that I want to take on as I tackle adulthood, but I feel like Urban Tease is no longer the place for it. I look at this blog as a token of my teen years - of high school, of college - and I look at it with great happiness and much humility (and a bit of humiliation), but I feel like I've grown out of Urban Tease. It's bittersweet, but fills me with pride.

In the next few months, with your permission of course, I would like to launch a new blog about tackling adulthood. I don't have a name for it yet as I feel like it's not quite time to make that transition. Maybe I'll title it "Chloe Tackles Adulthood", as that seems most fitting to where I am in life right now. However, there would be no point in beginning a new blog if no one would read it, and so that's part of why I feel like I have to ask permission: Would you, as an individual and beloved, appreciated reader, transition with me to that new blog? And, furthermore, would you be interested in more posts, and more diverse posts? I'm not going to do it without the support of the readers that make my blog much of what it is.

I cannot believe that January is almost over. Tomorrow, my boyfriend gets home. He's been sick lately and spent the past month away, getting better. I've missed him loads - talking to him, seeing him, hanging out with him, doing everything with him. I've been talking to him a little bit in the past couple of weeks and he's already doing much better. I know that there'll be some time before he'll be in the same health as he was, but it will be good to have him back. I'm so lonesome without him - and all of my other friends. So many of them are studying abroad right now, or live too far away for me to visit. Minnesota is really miserable like that in the winter. You have no motivation to go out places to see friends. I'd so much rather stay in and watch movies with my cats, even if it doesn't quite fill that loneliness in me.

With January ending, I'm getting a little anxious about finding a job. My original goal was to have one set up by the second week in February. But, I'm reminding myself that everything will work out in the end. And now that I've gotten the idea of starting a new blog off of my chest, I can feel out the reception of that idea and hopefully start fresh on that project - a bigger, better blog depicting my foray into the endless joys of adulthood.

For now, that's all Little Girl and I have. PBS is airing Some Like It Hot so I'm off to cuddle down with some good snacks and watch the timeless humor of Billy Wilder. Keep warm and please give me feedback about my big new idea xx

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A Note On Spirituality

I think that I've talked about my spirituality in passing on the blog a few times. It's a huge part of my life and it's how I interpret everything that happens to me and around me, so it's surprising that I haven't written about it more. A lot of people get scared off when I tell them that I'm a person of faith - or worse, when I say that I'm a Christian - because there are a lot of preconceived notions about people who follow an organized religion. Especially as a young person, the "cool" thing to do seems to be rejecting religion and being critical of anyone who follows a religion.

I had a "friend" who recently "dumped me", you could say. I had met him a couple of years ago at work when he was new and I was training him. Shortly into meeting him, he starting talking about how anyone who follows an organized religion is stupid and just kidding themselves. I quickly told him that I was religious and that I disagreed with him, but my religion is very personal and I owe no explanation to anyone about it. He calmed down a bit after this, but continued to try egging me on. Over the next couple of years, he sent me messages on Facebook trying to provoke me into denouncing religion or at the very least, debating it with him (obviously with hopes that I would fail the debate). Every time, I flatly told him that my faith wasn't up for debate and I owed no one an explanation. The other day this happened again. This time, I had had enough. I told him that it was very rude and put me off when he constantly did this, and especially the first time that I'd ever even met him. He replied by saying that he felt the need to criticize people's religions because religion teaches you not to think critically, and therefore anyone religious has never been critical about their beliefs. WHOA. Hold on there! Anyone who has ever had a religious experience or who has sought out religion will know that in order to accept a spiritual practice into your life involves deep critical thinking. The journey is often very painful, revealing a lot about your faults and vulnerabilities. It completely changes how you see anything and how you react to things, even very painful, unfair things.

I was raised Lutheran my whole life. I've attended two different churches and went to Sunday School and bible school on and off throughout my life. I confirmed my baptism when I was 15 after four years of studying. But at this time, I would have in no way considered myself a spiritual person. I probably would not have even referred to myself as Christian. The religion meant very little to me on a personal level. I knew the stories and the commandments, but only on a surface level. My confirmation was mostly an answer to what I believed my parents expected of me.

When I was 16 I went through a series of traumatic events. Everything that I had understood about my life and myself changed. My best friends, the people who I spent nearly every day with, left me. I was very depressed and felt very alone. Out of desperation, I found myself sitting in the church pew waiting for service to start one Sunday morning. I wasn't there to accomplish anything. I just didn't really have anything to do. I listened carefully during the service, though I don't remember what the sermon was even about now. I probably didn't sing the songs, but I was immersed in the sound of everyone else singing. I took communion and shook hands during the offering of peace. I felt very much at home and I didn't feel one bit lonely. It was the first time that I had felt that way in a long time, even before I experienced that trauma. It felt like something that had been missing my whole life was suddenly there.

I started going to church every Sunday. I read religious essays. I listened carefully to every sermon. I brought home the bulletins that had verses in them that had touched me very deeply. I prayed every day and found myself in constant communication with God. But, it wasn't always easy. My new found faith had opened up how vulnerable I really felt. It changed my priorities and beliefs about myself and the world, beliefs which I had deeply ingrained into my mind. At times, exploring my faith was very painful and scary. At other times, it was filled with joy and comfort.

Since finding my faith, I have experienced similar trauma twice more, as well as the continued battle with the aftermath of such trauma. Although I've sought counseling and therapy, in the end my faith is what has done the most healing. I have developed new friendships and rekindled old ones. I feel so much more connected with everything that happens in my life. My experience with religion has taught me kindness and gentleness, it has taught me compassion and understanding, it has reminded me that I am never alone. Without my faith, I don't even know if I would still be alive today, and if I was, I doubt that I would be very happy or really, truly alive - merely surviving. Therefore, my faith in God is very important to me, and the connection that I have found in my faith is extremely personal. (This is as detailed as I prefer to get about it, and even this is a bit much.) I owe no one an explanation to my spirituality, but I strongly believe that if someone who knows me well thinks that my faith prevents me from thinking critically, then they are no friend of mine and they have no understanding of what faith and religion really mean.

I didn't write this with the intention of sounding angry or rude, and I definitely am not trying to imply that my religion is better than yours, or that someone without a religion isn't fulfilled. I have no opinions or critiques on your spiritual practices as long as they are not physically harming you or others. I couldn't care less if you choose to not follow a faith practice, or if you simply have no found one yet. I just wanted to talk about mine a little bit, so that no one is under the wrong impression about me or my views of the world, and to remind you that everyone is fighting their own battle, and if they've found a healthy way to heal from it, then there's no reason why you should critique it.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

How to Ace Your Internship

Last May I quit my part time job so that I could focus all of my energy on working within my professional field, hoping to build up experience and find a job soon after graduation. Over the summer I worked on a political campaign and then in the fall I landed two internships. One was with a domestic abuse advocacy program, and one is (as I'm still working there) with a non-profit that benefits individuals with intellectual & developmental disabilities. All three of these internships have been incredible learning experiences, however my first one (and a couple months into the second) was a little rocky. I think this was because my last job was very simple and I was there for such a long time that the work came to me very naturally - I never really worked hard at it. Internships are different. They're learning experiences and you're only going to get as much out as you put in. Just the other day I accepted as extension of my current internship until I find a full time job. I was very flattered to be offered the extension and felt very rewarded for all the hard work that I've put in.

I feel like, while a lot of colleges might have classes on building resumes, etc., not all of them have classes on how to get the most our of your internships. And if you don't come from that type of background (both of my parents are working class), then the office setting can be jilting. Because of this, I thought I'd do a little post about how to get the most out of your internship - and impress the boss while at it!

Get to know the company you're working for
Take my word for it that there's nothing more embarrassing than to have someone ask what the company you're interning with does...and to have no clue how to answer.

My second internship not only involved a rather complex mission statement, but also required confusing - and sensitive - terminology and legal procedures. After a few weeks of feeling completely lost and fearing the question of, "So what does legal advocate mean?", I asked one of the recent hires how she settled into the job. In response to my question, she handed me a massive binder of notes and photocopies of important documents and pamphlets. And so, I started my own. I spent a good day at the copy machine, going through all the manuals, books, information pamphlets, binders from trainings, etc. that were around the office. I compiled them all into a binder and then I studied that binder every day until I got that shit down.

When you start working at a new company, ask your new co-workers and your boss about why they work there and what the work means to them. Ask them if they have any tips for learning your way around the office or the work you're doing. Don't be shy to ask questions when you're confused. And seriously, compile that binder or folder. It will save your ass down the line!

Talk to people outside of your department
Even if you're not going to be working with them on a project and even if you don't need to knock their socks off for a good review, it's handy to get to know the other people you'll be seeing around the office. It's always nice to have a friendly face around, or someone who you can talk to in the break room or at the water cooler. A lot of the time these people will make time to get to know you because a) you're not working for them and b) you're young and hip! Some of these co-workers have even connected me with people that they know within my own field. It's really great and so don't be shy!

Remember, you're a guest there
I feel like I should follow up that last tip with this one. Always remember that you are a guest there! Yeah you're doing work - and probably unpaid work - but this opportunity is a learning experience and meant to give you a boost. My first tip is, as one of the mall cops at my part time job used to say to me, never dip your pen into the workplace ink. Or it was something like that. What I'm trying to say is, do not sleep with anyone in your office. Do not start something romantic with anyone in your office. I don't care if there's chemistry and I don't care if you're really lonely. Adopt a cat. Buy a vibrator. Start something with them afterwards if you really need to & don't mind having your reputation diminished once you're out. As Kelly Williams Brown wrote in her book Adulting, pretend everyone in the office has plastic doll crotches.

Other very simple basics: Arrive on time. Keep your work area clean. Stay off of social media. Don't be that person who stinks up the whole office with smelly food. Keep phone conversations private. Just because your boss likes you, doesn't mean that you're his/her new bff. These are all very simple. You're a guest. Be courteous.

Dress the part
The concept of "casual Friday" does not exist for you. Always dress for the work that you're doing. If you're working in an office, dress professionally. I've worked with other interns who wear cut offs and leggings to the office. If you don't see full-time staff doing it, then don't do it yourself. Make sure you know the office's dress code policy and stick to it. If you're supposed to wear business attire, then wear it. No leggings, no jeans, no strappy tank tops, no tube tops. Remember, it's always better to over dress than under dress. Dressing up shows that you're serious about your work and take the company's reputation very seriously as well.

Here are some office essentials:

A good pair of sensible shoes
Invest in a good pair of kitten heeled shoes or loafers. Even if your strappy four inch peep toe platforms are fucking hot and make your legs look great, save them for date night. I have four pairs of work shoes: black pumps, brown pumps, red loafers, and black boots (for snowy winter). Here are some good examples:

A professional carry all bag
This is the tough thing to find. It's important to have something professional (no massive purses with everything thrown in, please!) but large enough to hold all of your papers (and keep them clean & unwrinkled) as well as your lunch (because you'll go broke eating out every day). My favourite bag is a great big blue one that I found in a vintage shop. It's circa 1970s from Sears, with several large pockets. It holds EVERYTHING. Your bag is up to you. Check out vintage shops and thrift stores. If you opt to buy one online, always check measurements. The worst thing is buying a bag and having it come way smaller than you imagined, or not open wide enough to fit anything. (This always happens to me when I'm buying "fashion" bags, assuming that I can also use them for work. Cute, fashionable bags are ALWAYS way smaller than you think they will be.)

I was recently contacted about the upcoming brand O'Bazziƫ Classics which I'm really excited about, as they make large, beautiful bags and in really exciting colours. I'm definitely going to scoop one of these babies up when they hit stores.

A pencil skirt and blazer
A sharp pencil skirt and well-tailored blazer are investment pieces. These are things that you will be wearing constantly. I went to Nordstrom and headed to their petite section to assure that all my clothes would fit properly. If you choose to buy second hand or online, make sure that you bring them to the tailor if they don't fit correctly. The last thing you want is to be swimming in your clothes, especially an over-sized blazer. Skirts should hit right around knee length. Absolutely make sure that the hem extends past your fingertips. Your office isn't a club. Be modest.

Be smart in meetings
Meetings can be scary. I was lucky that my first internship was for a political campaign run entirely by young people - the oldest staff was around 28, if I remember correctly. It wasn't as scary to speak up and say what I believed, because everyone was my own age. My second and third internships: not so much. Board meetings at my current internship can be a bit terrifying. But, I speak up. And when I do, yeah, I turn bright red, but whatever. I'm asserting myself, asking questions, and making it known that I'm curious to learn more and that I want to be taken seriously.

Always take good notes. A legal pad will be your best friend. And make sure that you have all your necessary paperwork with you. Check with your boss to see if he/she needs help setting up any presentations or making copies of paperwork. Be very prepared, and spend the meeting attentive, sitting up straight, and taking - perhaps an unnecessary amount of - notes.

Offer to take on tasks - not in your job description
Offer to take on new tasks. Often, these will come up when you're in meetings and they're listing off things that need to be accomplished. Speak up and offer to complete assignments or tasks - but only ones that you know you can feasibly achieve.

Often times when you're in meetings, you feel like someone else who is more qualified should take on the tasks being thrown out. But, the only way you become qualified to do them is by starting as a beginner. After the first committee meeting I was in, my boss took me aside and said that I could take on all the tasks that I had offered to do. Many of them were not even tasks on my job description, but I wanted to do them anyways. It pays to be a go-getter and have confidence in your abilities.

Stay organized
I'm going to end on this one because it is the absolutely most important. Organization is the crux of achieving professionally and personally. The easiest way, for me, to get organized is by making lists. I make to-do lists of everything I need to get done. If the boss gives me several tasks, I write them all down in order and check them off as I go along. If I have individuals or businesses that I need to follow up with, I put them all on a list and go down that list one by one. I keep all of my lists in a legal pad so that I never have a post-it note with one list, and another with a different list, etc.

All of my paperwork is filed away and if I must take out more than one file, I keep them stacked separately. There's nothing worse than needing to check several files at once and finding them all on top of one another or strewn across your desk.

Write down every meeting that you have, every day that you have to be at your internship, what times you start. Keep them all in your date book. Nothing will disrupt your day more than missing a meeting or arriving to work an hour late.

It's important to remain organized throughout the duration of your internship. Organization is a never ending task, but it can cut the stress of your work down by half and keep you focused on what's important now, and what isn't important now, so you can put all of your energy into what you need to get done first.

So, in conclusion...
I hope that this little guide will help you down the road, or perhaps very soon! So many of my readers are in that age group (my age group) where we're just launching our careers. It's a scary thing to do, but I'm lucky that my experience interning has cut down my anxiety of beginning a full time professional job, and a lot of that is related to the fact that I'm working hard to get the most out of my internships. Every internship is different, just as every boss and office is different, but I believe that these core principals and practices can be applied to any internship, to succeed in any internship. Best of luck to all who are on that scary path to having a career!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Calling all sponsors!

Urban Tease is looking for new partners! You can partner with the blog is many different ways (all of which are outlined here), but today I want to talk about advertising sponsors!

Advertising is a great way to partner with the blog whether you are a shop, blog, brand, magazine, or anything else. The blog has cultivated a strong following of like-minded individuals, and so if you think your shop/blog/product corresponds well with my blog, then it is sure to correspond well with my readers. Over a thousand readers follow the blog using Bloglovin' and Google Connect. The blog averages between 400 - 500 page views per day.

These are the blog stats for today, January 8th:

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Friday, January 3, 2014


2014 has been weird. I spent New Year's Eve home by myself, eating salami and watching Alice in Wonderland, When Harry Met Sally, and Friends. All the parties I was asked out to were with guys who want to date me. My boyfriend is still sick and is getting treatment right now. My best friend is back studying in Glasgow, though we were Facebook-ing all evening so it wasn't quite as lonely. My cat was home with me, so he and I spent the evening on the couch, cuddling.
I enter 2014 with caution. I'm without my two best friends. It's too cold out to go anywhere (the high for Monday is -16F and the office I work at closed down - IT'S THAT COLD). I spent all of New Year's Day cleaning and moving my fish tank to a place where I could sit and watch my fish better. I woke up the next day to find both of my fish belly up and dead. 

My boyfriend had helped me pick out Seymour & Baby after my dog died in March. Jesse and I spent the whole day setting up the tank and positioning all the plants and such just right. And we spent like an hour at the pet store with me pressing my face up against all the tanks and carefully selecting which goldfish I wanted to take home with me. I could barely contain my excitement when we got home and we were able to let them loose into the tank.
I'm getting new fish tomorrow. I have the tank all set up and ready, so why not? When I got Baby & Seymour, they were supposed to help me get over Moses. And now I'll be getting two more fish to help me get over my other fish. It's weird. Baby & Seymour belonged to both Jesse and I, and now these fish will only be my own. I hope that this isn't how 2014 will be.

I took these photos today. I've been thinking back to a post that I did at the beginning of 2013 when I was feeling very melancholy. I decided to re-visit that same spot, since I was feeling very much like that same person.

I'm wearing my favourite shirt - one that I've been wearing pretty much since I started this blog back in '08. It's my safety shirt. And these socks remind me of this cabin up north that my family used to rent every autumn. We'd spend a weekend tramping around through the fallen leaves in our Doc Martens, rock climbing across the cliffs of Lake Superior, watching ships cross in the sunset.... They're warm memories attached to warm clothes.

These overalls are new. Although I'm totally into the '90s revival loose overalls, I found these ones in the sale section of ModCloth and decided to go for it because they're all cute and '50s. They're super cozy and kind of like wearing pajamas around - but not in a way where you feel all sloppy and dirty.

I spent today doing nothing. Well, I did some pilates in the morning (I just got an exercise ball and am SO PUMPED), but since then I've been on the couch watching Friends. My best friend left me the entire series on DVD before she left for Glasgow in September, and so I've been watching them all through.

I've also been applying for jobs but not many have stood out to me. I think only two - one of a local non-profit and one for a Minneapolis-based PR agency - have really caught my attention. I was going to apply for an advertising sales job at a publisher that I thought I'd be a shoe (shoo?) in for, but then decided that it wasn't the direction that I want my career to go. (When I told my mom this, she said, "Yeah, I knew a guy who took an advertising sales job at a magazine and then he died suddenly, 5 months later!") I'm under-qualified for every job I'm applying for, but you have to start somewhere, and hopefully someone will take a chance on me! And not be too struck down by my horrid cover letters.

I didn't create any resolutions for the New Year. Does that sound bad? It's not like I think I'm perfect or don't have things about myself that I need to work on improving. I just feel like 2014 is holding so much in store for me, that I need to accomplish those tasks first, and then from there I can figure out how I need to improve. Like I said, this is the year of my first real job, my first very own apartment, hopefully my first very own dog and my first car, too. That's a lot of stuff in itself.

And some things that I feel like I need to "work on", I'm not even sure if they're bad. I was thinking something like....not being so emotionally invested in everything. But is that so bad? Is it bad that I find passion for almost everything I do, all the people I know, everything I say and believe? It backfires some times, but it also makes me fiercely loyal and wholeheartedly compassionate.

I could try getting out more and making new friends - or simply keeping in better touch with my old ones - but I like having my two best friends and others who I check in on regularly, even if I don't do a lot with them. I like staying in and watching movies and being by myself. It's not such a bad thing. I'm social, just only to a certain degree.

In the past few years I've taken huge strides to be more organized, more independent, more dependable, more outgoing. I now consider myself very much all of these things. I consider myself a go-getter, a self-starter, never words that I ever thought I would use to describe myself. I think I'm very happy with how I am right now, and need to make these other major life adjustments before I decide what qualities I need to work on in order to succeed in my new life.

My best friend sent me Cadbury chocolate in the mail today. They make it so much better in the UK! My British auntie sends it over in every care package - I love the popcorn toffee one, and the new Bubbly kind - YUM! I think I'll spend my evening snacking on that and watching Friends. I've been feeling very emotionally spent lately and just need a few days of doing nothing before I can get back into everything. Here's hoping that 2014 brings many great things, and maybe starts looking up some! Stay warm out there, especially to all my Minnesotan friends xx