Period Problems

Advice, Awkward Girl, Feminism

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(Click picture for link to article)

With this BBC article, I was inspired to write about the period.  Don’t run away yet!  I promise this will not be a gorey post.  Menstruation and the taboos surrounding it have been common topics recently among my friends and I.  The subject was most recently broached when discussing having our period at work, and the embarrassing feeling that comes along with having to walk to the bathroom with a tampon in our hand.  God forbid people might know we are on our period!  How did this generation of women become this way?

In a broader sense, women’s menstruation in India is stigmatized heavily.  So much so that they do not have access to proper sanitation.  Women’s rights in India are altogether a huge issue, however just this one basic need is not met partly due to the taboos surrounding it and a lack of education.  If we expect to be able to make a change on the other side of the world, it is important that those who are able around the world leads by example.

I’m glad to see women like Rupi Kaur, starting a conversation about the topic.  Women have had a period since the beginning of time, you’d think it would be a comfortable topic at this point.  I think a lack of education and communication, both in and outside of school, has lead societies around the world to create this awkward bubble around periods.  So I say to girlfriends, talk to your boyfriends about your period, to mothers, talk to your sons about periods, sisters, talk to your brothers.  Open communication is key.  On my part, I refuse to hide my tampon in my sleeve on my way to the bathroom.

-S

Quarter Life Crisis

Awkward Girl, Quick Read

It’s real!  Turning 25 has been looming in my mind.  A quarter of a century old is scary, I’ve just gotten used to being 24.  I think what’s throwing me off is dwelling on all I haven’t done.  So I’ve decided to make a list, because they calm me, of a few things I would like to accomplish this year and a few things I already have!  And really, get to it, because I don’t want life to pass me by while I sit passively and end up being 30 and unfulfilled.

1. Euro-trip with a best friend

2. Join a book club download

3. Move to Seattle download

4. Make new friends

5. Go to Lake Chelan

6. Get second tattoo

7. Admit shopping addiction

8. Visit faraway friends

9. See more live music

10. Get involved in community

What else should I add to my list?  What have you done and/or would like to do this year?  And how are you other quarter century olds coping!?

-S

O.O.T.D. x 1 Week

Awkward Girl, Beauty, Fashion, Workplace

There’s definitely a theme to my outfit choices since working at Anthropologie…go figure.  It seemed a good time for this post as I am wrapping up my time there for this holiday season.  The rewards of working there have far surpassed my expectations of just fueling my shopping habit.  I found working with the strong, confident, beautiful women (and one man) both inside and out, gave me so much inspiration and a renewed excitement and confidence in myself.  The positive and encouraging atmosphere was so refreshing compared to my stuffy office job, and really promoted creativity and self expression through fashion.

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Monday – Anthropologie Tunic, Banana Republic Skirt, Anthropologie Dolce Vita Boots

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Tuesday – Aritzia Hat, Anthropologie Coat, Urban Outfitters Scarf, Aritzia Sweater, Tom’s Booties

Wednesday – Aritzia Jacket found at Plato’s Closet, Aritzia Top, Free People Skirt, Seychelles Boots from Anthropologie

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Thursday – Anthropologie Jumper, Anthropologie Heels, Aritzia Top

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Friday – Seahawks t-shirt, Anthropologie pants, Zara boots & repeat jacket from Wednesday

Office Relations

Awkward Girl, Quick Read, Workplace

Inspired by the article below

BBC Article – Turn the Table on Control Freaks

Getting along with coworkers…is sometimes a struggle for me.  I am fairly introverted, non-confrontational and can be shy and soft spoken in a new or uncomfortable setting.  The personality type described in the BBC article is one I struggle with most.  They tend to overpower me which I end up resenting them and myself for letting that happen.  It’s the new year and I would like to work on being more sure of myself in my office, and elsewhere!

Do you adjust your own ways or expect that others will catch a hint and realize that they are making you uncomfortable?  It almost pains me to have to adjust my approach so much so that it makes me uncomfortable, in order to deal with a coworker who is so different.  I’m learning it is neccessary to do though if I want anything to change.  How do you handle difficult coworkers?  Feel free to share any insight!

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I do like most of my coworkers, most of the time.  So here’s a picture of us liking eachother =)

The Dos and Don’ts of Asking for a Promotion

Awkward Girl, Feminism, Tech Industry, Workplace

Guys, I did it! I had a “mature, working girl” moment: I asked for a promotion! Well, I actually didn’t really ask… this is what really happened when I met with my manager and why I wish it did not happen.

Me: “So before we finish, I was told to make sure you received an email about the process for recommending a college-hire for a promotion.”

Manager: “Oh, I didn’t know that you wanted a promotion, you have never brought it up before.”

Me: “Oh, well… I think they sent that email because…”

Manager: “If you want a promotion, we should have been talking about this and you should have come to me with your career profile and how you compare to the next level…”

Me: “but I don’t really know…”

Manager: “So the next time we meet, we can start talking about this again. But make sure you have that all figured out…”

Me: “Oh. Okay. See you next time.”

Please learn from my mistake. Never utter the words “promotion,” “raise,” or “bonus” without being prepared to back it up. Even if you aren’t even thinking about asking for one, always be ready. My employer has career profiles for every level that lists out core competencies. If I was doing it right, I should have reviewed my current level and how I compare to the next level every month. If you do want a promotion, start conversations early and go to your manager saying “I want to start working towards the next level, let’s begin talking about how I can get there.”

My fellow How to Pee in the Woods writer, Lauren, has a similarly mortifying story.

I work on a small team at a small company. When I started there were three people doing my job. They both left, so I was stuck doing the job of three workers. When it became clear that my company was not planning to hire replacements for my team members, my family and friends all encouraged me (read: nagged endlessly) to ask for a raise. After all, I was doing three times the work I had signed on for.

So I sat down with my manager and said it would be great if I could be compensated for all the extra work I was doing. I thought it was pretty self explanatory.

Manager: “So… You want a raise. Does that mean you want a promotion?”

Me: “Not necessarily. I just think since I am doing a lot more work now than I was when I signed on, it would be nice to see my salary reflect that.”

Manager: “We don’t have the resources to give you a raise right now. We can talk about this again next year when review time comes around.”

Now, maybe I could have been more specific about my accomplishments. I’m sure I could have gone about it better. But a female friend of mine at a different company did the same thing, only she was prepared with a list of things she had accomplished. She got the same answer: Not right now. Maybe during review time.

All this to say, be prepared to brag about your accomplishments, and be prepared for rejection.

Side note: The above friend and I both have boyfriends who asked for a raise (not during their yearly review), and both of their requests were granted. As women, it’s typically harder for us to ask for what we deserve, and I’m hoping it was just our lack of confidence and preparedness that led to our rejection and not something worse (*cough* institutionalized sexism). At any rate, all we can do is offer our stories and advice to other women in the workforce and hope we all learn something. -L

Every employer is different, but the key here is to be prepared to brag, and remember: if you don’t ask, you’ll never get what you want.

For a more step-by-step guide, check out PayScale’s guide to salary negotiation which also works for asking for a raise and a promotion.

Please learn from our mistakes and go get that promotion or raise! — J

Single & Mingling

Awkward Girl, Dating, Fashion

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“In today’s Tinder-verse, everyone and anyone can get laid if they really want to, so just be real about what you want.” –Emily Sher

I feel like Emily Sher summed up my feelings on tinder and dating perfectly.  It’s so easy for people to find a quick hook up with such little effort that the excitement of dating and getting to know another person seems to be getting left behind.  Is dating a thing of the past?  I sure hope not, because being an introvert and a cautious person in general, I can’t handle this modern dating scene!  Having been quite single since leaving college and my small college town, I get asked by friends, family and some randoms who have no business asking, if I’m dating anyone and if I’ve tried online dating.  I can feel my blood start to boil just thinking about how uncomfortable this makes me.  I just want to run away!  No I haven’t tried online dating, I’m only 24!

So for now, I read about other peoples dabbles in online dating.  Natalie Joos, of the Tales of Endearment blog I recomended in my Fashion Blogs to Follow, has some great insight and a lassez faire attitude I really appreciate and relate to.  Her take on dressing for dates is super helpful for the girls like me who dress for other fashion girls as oppose to appealing to a larger audience (i.e. men).

Maybe a time will come when I decide to try online dating, but for now I’m hoping to meet someone the old school way.  I won’t be waiting around for Prince Charming though.  My approach is to be real about what I want and when I am interested in someone, I don’t hesitate to make it known.  Rejection happens, but dating is fun!  Getting to know myself and new people is what it’s all about.  I’d love to hear other philosophies on dating, so please share!

-S

New Year’s Eve Outfit Inspiration

Awkward Girl, Curated, Fashion, Holidays, Quick Read

I’m pretty sure every girly girl, myself included, pictures a little, sparkly, dress for New Year’s eve.  Since I already wore my sequin dress for my birthday this year I’d like to go in a different direction for New Year’s eve.  Something bold and cozy…I’m thinking a crop sweater and soft, leather, skirt.  Maybe a matching two piece ensemble?  Now that I’m out of college and truly in my mid-twenties, I am not going to freeze my ass off in a tiny, revealing outfit.  So here are my New Year’s eve outfit ideas, let me know what you think!  And please feel free to post your own outfits in a comment, I’d love to see what everyone else is wearing.

Click on the picture to see where an item is from =)

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The theme of my choices is texture.  I think a variety of textures paired together can make an outfit go from flat and simple to eye catching and interesting.  I love the contrast of the leather skirt paired with bold, metal jewelry and the silk culottes with a thick, knit sweater.  Try something out of the box for the New Year, it’s a great time to break out of your comfort zone!

-S