Polish your Interview Look

I've gotten some questions about putting together the perfect interview look so I thought this would be a great time to put an outfit together and discuss the key components of the polished interview ensemble. We all know interviews can be nerve wracking and it's such a short time where you need to make a strong first impression. We know that your merit and resume will do the most talking, however, first impressions are everything. And this includes how we look and present ourselves. You could have an Ivy League education and a decorated resume, but if you walk in looking all frumpty dumpty, or worse yet, just trashy and inappropriate, you'll most likely be passed over for that position. 
So what's in a perfect interview look you ask? Let's take a look:
Polished interview look
Recreate this polished look for yourself:

The Interview Look Essentials:

1. Tailored Dress. I really like this dress because of its clean lines and the fabric is perfect all year round. The gray is beautiful but black would also work well, and either can be worn with a jacket on top. Other great options include this one or this one. The main thing you need to do is wear something tailored and well-fitted and avoid anything too tight, too short, or even too baggy.

2. Classic black pumps. Oh the red bottoms we know as Christian Louboutin. If you have the money, go for them. Just make sure they are closed toe, and the heels aren't too high or too sexy. You want conservative and business looking shoes. I also like these and these. And make sure you are comfortable and can actually walk in those heels. Because nothing gives off a bad first impression than awkwardly walking in heels like a 5 year old wearing her momma's shoes!

3. Black Purse or brief case. Again, if money were no object that Celine bag is to die for. A black structured bag is great to hold your portfolio, resumes and other business gear. Other great bags include this one or this one. I stress a plain black bag too. This is not the time to wear your hot pink sequined bag or Louis Vuitton limited edition with flowers and cherries all over it. This is a serious job, and you don't want these distracting (though fun) patterns getting in the way of who you are as a candidate. 

4. Simple Jewelry. KEEP IT SIMPLE. I can not stress this enough. This is not the time to show off your "arm party" or how many rings and midi rings you can stick on each finger. No, just no. Wear a simple watch, stud earrings, and simple necklace. I actually wear this necklace in silver with my initial from Tiffany's because it is small and nondescript. I even go as far as not wearing my diamond cross necklace that D got me because I don't want to portray any specific religion and want to appear as neutral as possible. This might not matter, and some might think it's silly, but I always avoid religious and political affiliated things during an interview when possible. 

5. Classic Makeup. Avoid your hot pink lipstick and lime green manicure right now. I don't care if it's Chanel -- it's not approrpriate. Before I have an interview I always get my nails done and pick a soft pink or nude to just appear polished, professional and clean. The same goes for your makeup. Clean lines and soft natural colors will work best. Other great "interview nail" colors are this one, this one, or this one.

So that's my take on the perfect interview look. 
What do you like to wear on an interview? What are some of your tips and tricks?

xo Steph


dots & denim

For some reason today I'm running blank on what to write for todays outfit. I guess after blogging for over a year now, it's inevitable that sometimes you'll run out of witty things to say about clothes. The same goes for blog titles and I knooooww you feel me on that one! Here's an outfit styled for work complete with a denim pencil skirt (so versatile and fab). I also styled this polka dot top I've had for years here.
 Outfit Details:
Cardigan: NY&Co (nice option) // polka dot top: Banana Republic (nice option) 
 Denim pencil skirt: Loft (same) // Love necklace: Tiffany & Co (same)
Leather wrap bracelet: Tory Burch (same) // Nude heels: Nine West (similar)

 {take the cardigan off and you have a great look for happy hour. because it's 5 o'clock somewhere}
Happy Monday everyone -- hope you all have a great day! 

xo Steph

also linking up with Still Being Molly


30 random facts for my 30th year.

In honor of my 30th birthday which is slowly creeping up on me the first week of August, I thought it would be fun to share 30 random facts about me to celebrate. Personally, I always love learning about weird quirks and facts about other people (especially bloggers) because I find those things endearing and ultimately what makes me like a person more! I originally shared facts about me here -- so hope you enjoy this second edition: 

30 for 30 facts about Steph @ Pretty Little Things

1. I love Tazo teas. My current favorites are vanilla rooibos and green ginger.
2. I eat sushi about once a week and I'm so happy I finally got D on board with it too. Otherwise it would be a lot of lonely dinners for one.
3. Somehow over the years I've turned into a homebody. I used to love going out and being a social butterfly and the thought of staying home one night would make me cringe. Now it sounds amazing. Ugh that sounds exactly like something a 30 year old would say!!
4. I love getting stuff in the mail. Magazines and subscription boxes can make a mundane weekday a little perkier.
5. Reading all of your blogs has become my favorite thing to do in my downtime. Thanks for all the inspiration!
6. My birthday is August 4th and I'm such a leo. Totally a fire sign without a doubt!
7. Target is my weakness
8. I'm allergic to apples. Weird I know!
9. I love sushi, shrimp, lobster and most other seafood. If I ever developed a shellfish allergy I'd be so sad.
10. Fall is my favorite season, with summer being a close second.
11. I majored in English and Psychology in undergrad.
12. I have two Masters Degrees (seriously, who needs two??) One in Education and one in School Counseling. I guess I like to learn.
13. One day I will have a library in my house.
14. I love books and will probably never own a Kindle. There's something about holding a book in your hand and placing it on the shelf when you're done that is so satisfying to me.
15. I love anything chalkboards. Which is why I have a chalk board wall in my office to help inspire me and to always be creating things.
16. I don't understand Twitter, nor do I have any interest to get involved in it! Despite how many people tell me I have to tweet to be a successful blogger. 
17. I love holidays and any excuse to decorate and be festive.
18. The same would go for theme parties. It just makes everything more fun.
19. One of my favorite books is The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
20. I am very sensitive to smell and always smelling things like paper, clothes etc.
21. I've been known for getting sucked into a Lifetime movie. And then I fall asleep on D. And then D is force to watch said Lifetime movie because he can't reach for the remote.
22. If I had all the money in the world, I would travel everywhere and see everything.
23. I am fascinated by seeing other peoples lives and how they live their life. See above.
24. I hate running. I wish I didn't but I do. People always talk about having that "runner's high" and I just don't get it. Running just makes me angry.
25. I already have my Halloween costume picked out for this year. Favorite holiday what what!
26. I believe in past lives and reincarnation. And I've decided my dog was Egyptian royalty in her past life. Also my mom was squirrel ( I mean this in a good way). I know you think I'm weird now ; )
27. I love decoding dreams and have a dream dictionary next to my bed. I dream in such vivid color every night so I always like to rehash them in the morning to find out the "true meaning"
28. I've always said my favorite color is purple. But when I think of it I never wear purple, like ever. So now I'm thinking I don't have a favorite color. Which is weird in itself.
29. I'm currently into 80's style aerobics. My mom's Jane Fonda work out tapes (yes on VHS) are helping me bring my sexy back!
30. I wonder if anyone actually cares about these little facts about me and if you're thinking I'm a total odd ball now ; )

I'd love to hear from you all -- 
what's a random fact about you that makes you, you?!

xo Steph


pretty little photos

What have I been up to lately? Well I'm glad you asked because here's some photos of my busy life. Enjoy!
 Cousin love. You would never know we are over 12 years apart. Either she looks older or I look like a baby......I think it's the latter.  ; )
ice cream and this skyline make for a perfect sunday summer night.
 sometimes you just have to get your hair did for no reason to feel good. If only I could do this myself!
 freshly baked homemade cinnamon rolls made by mom.
they tasted like cinnabons but better : )
 this little cutie.
 summer love.
 caught in a laugh.
 celebrating my girlfriend's 30th birthday.
 spending time with D's family at the Monmouth car show.
the ladies.
and the gents.
it was a hot one that day my friends.
you might not be able to tell here, but I'm melting away!!
 tried my hand for the first time at spaghetti squash. It was pretty good but needs some tweaks on my end.....but recipe to follow soon!
 attempting to create healthy, portion controlled meals using my easy lunch box containers. These things are great and one of the best recent purchases to date.
another one of my healthy lunches using the leftover salad that comes when we order sushi. It has the most delicious ginger dressing and I simply added some grilled chicken, and fruit and veggies as sides.
I saw these at Target and had to buy immediately. 
I love themed, seasonal a or limited edition items because of the festiveness -- sign me up!
really tasty too, and just sweet enough to cure my cravings.
 me and D at my girlfriends housewarming/pig roast. 
Another hot day, but a great time -- before we melted : )

So that's all for me lately, what have you all been up to?
How have you been spending your summer?

xo Steph


What's inspiring me lately...

I haven't done one of these posts in a while -- but I just wanted to share some images of what's inspiring me lately. It looks like the theme here is simplicity.
All images of original sources can be found on my {pinterest page}
love the idea of wrapping presents in simple brown kraft paper (you can use brown paper bags too) bakers twine, and little springs of fresh greens.
using washi tape as drink markers for guests to write their names on.
I have those exact wine glasses too, so this will be happening....
 there's something about a simple black and white bedroom that is both so chic yet so serene.
can D and I find a place like this to stay for the weekend, or better yet, live in?
this is like the adult version of a tree/club house.
I want it!
simple white flowers to brighten up the bathroom, or any room for that matter.
 this gorgeous salad with fresh and colorful ingredients. This will be perfect since I'm on a fruit craze in fashion, and fresh from peach picking!
I can just imagine me eating this beautiful salad while wearing this dress. sighh
 Words I need to live by.

So what's inspiring you lately?

xo Steph


maxi + a scarf

I haven't done one of these mirror shots in a while (look at me all trying to be a polished blogger) but you know what? Sometimes all you need is a good iphone in the mirror shot to convey what you're trying to get across. You know what I'm saying? Cheers to myspace style blogger pics, and a long overdue outfit post from me too!
Outfit Details:
Tank: Old Navy (same) // Maxi skirt: Target (similar) // Belt: Old Navy (cute option) 
 Scarf: H&M, old (similar) // Leather wrap bracelet: Tory Burch (same) // Bangles: Alex & Ani (same) Sandals: Target even though they are hidden but similar to (these)
 So is anyone else out there still wearing scarves like me despite this crazy heat wave?? 
Stay cool kids : )

xo Steph

Also linking up with Still Being Molly and the I love bloglovin' link up


summer mantel & details

One thing that always stumps me about summer decorating and decor is that there aren't many holidays to decorate for. You know how I love my holidays! And mantels too. There's something about mantels that I love. I think George Constanza from Seinfeld can be quoted saying "If I grew up having a mantel, I think I'd be a different person." haha
Other than fourth of July where you can get a little red, white and blue happy -- I like to decorate for summer with pretty turquoise and coral colors to brighten things up. This summer-ized mantel will take me all the way until fall where I will go pumpkin/halloween crazy on this thing!! You can check out my Valentine's and Christmas mantels here and here. And also my winter mantel in this post here.
 all decor on my summer mantel were from Target -- tried to link sources but I couldn't find them online.
{lots of bright turquoise and coral accents}
and the "Bali Sunrise" scented soy candle from Target smells ahhhmazing.
 and gotta have the Dachshund candy dish too to represent our little doxie Tiki.
 books are always a great way to decorate on the cheap too. These books are D's, but any nice hardcover book works nice.
matching throw pillows are also a great way to change up your look every season. This turquoise chevron pillow was my summer pillow of choice.
 We've only been here since December and we've finally gotten around to hanging stuff up on the walls. Slackers! Here's a small gallery wall D and I put together.
and these are some of my favorite canvas art pieces we picked up a few years ago from local artists. There's just something about the trees and the colors and the different seasons I love so much.

Hope you enjoyed my my summer mantel and details around my apartment.
Happy Friday everyone -- hope you all have a wonderful weekend : )

xo Steph


busy girl breakfast: healthy greek egg white "mcmuffins"

Yes, I was the person who still calls regular chicken nuggets, "mcnuggets" and egg sandwiches "egg mcmuffins" --  I guess that's just good advertising that has sunk into my subconscious as a child eating "happy meals." But I digress. 
Anyway, onto an important topic for me is eating healthy on the go. For anyone who works (be it at an office or a working mother at home) having time to actually make a healthy breakfast can seem nothing short of impossible. I don't even have kids, and finding time to make a nutritious breakfast for myself as I'm running out the door to head to work, can seem like a lost cause. I fell into a phase where breakfast was hitting up the Dunkin' Donut's drive thru every morning before work (or as I like to call it "dunkies") for my morning hazelnut coffee and bagel (sometimes donut) to scarf down quickly while working. Yeah -- not healthy. at. all. I always wished there was a "fast food" restaurant that offered only healthy foods like egg whites and smoothies but it seems like there's nothing like that out there, at least not around me. So what's the solution for a busy girl/healthy breakfast on the run? The healthy egg mcmuffin of course. Just a half hour of prepping on the weekend and you have yourself frozen healthy choices in your freezer to grab as your heading out the door.
What you'll need:
egg whites (or eggs if you prefer)
whole wheat english muffins (I like ones from whole foods)
butter (to grease muffin tin)
muffin tin
feta cheese

(or make any variation of this muffin sandwich that you want. basically anything you can throw into an omelette would make a great egg sandwich. other variations I like include adding broccoli or any left over veggies from dinner, or plain egg whites with a slice of pepper jack cheese and Frank's Red Hot sauce -- so good)
 prep your toppings -- chop and have everything ready.
also while prepping, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
 important: you must grease the muffin tin or else the egg muffins will stick and pretty much be ruined. I found that a thin layer of regular butter works best, and I've never had a problem getting them out this way. I've also tried non-stick sprays like Pam and it didn't come out so well. Just trust me, stick with butter. pun intended ; )
 Now time to fill the muffin tins with your fillings. I fill them to about the halfway point, putting the spinach in first, then the tomatoes, then a little bit of feta cheese. I go lightest on the feta since that would be the most unhealthy ingredient. But this is really the fun part where you can get creative and put anything you want in them. Left over broccoli and potatoes? Sure. Crumbled up bacon, heck yes! Except that bacon wouldn't fall under the category of healthy anymore. Boo.
 Next, pour your egg whites (or beaten regular eggs) into the tin over your fillings. This should be filled about 3/4 of the way -- to make room for them to cook and rise a bit. It should look like this before you put them in the oven. 
 Bake in over at 350 degrees for about 20-22 minutes. 
Again, everyone's oven might be a little different. If you want, stick it with a toothpick to make sure it's cooked. And when they are, they should look like this.
 Let them cool for about 5 minutes them pop them out of the muffin tin with a fork to cool some more. Easy Peasy. Of if you're like me who can't wait -- eat one of these bad boys right away because they are that yummy. These are also great to make for breakfast or brunch when you have guests over. They are like little mini quiches and will surely please a crowd quickly. Serve with some skillet potatoes and some bubbly mimosas and you've got yourself a fab brunch: )
 Now on to making and storing the sandwiches. 
There are a few ways you can do this. You can freeze the egg muffins on their own, or you can freeze them as a whole sandwich. I like the whole sandwich because it's more convenient for me, and that's what this whole recipe was about. So I like to cut pieces of foil and arrange my english muffins and eggs like shown above. 
 then I squeeze down on the top of the muffin to distribute the egg within the sandwich. Because I hate having extra bread/bun and not enough "stuff" in the middle.
 wrap 'em individually and seal in a freezer bag. Label and date them so you're not eating them years later because that's gross. These should keep for a few months but I assure you they only last a week or two at the most in my home.
If you have leftover eggs or not enough english muffins you can always freeze them like this and heat them up -- and then assemble on your sandwich. But it's totally up to you. Like I said, I like the whole sandwich together because it's the most convenient for me, and I can literally grab it and go when I'm heading out the door for work. 

Most convenient for me is microwaving it for a minute each side and then letting it cool for a minute. Again, that's for my microwave so experiment with cooking times that work for you. You can also do this, and then toss it in a toaster oven for another minute or two to get a more "oven" baked taste and texture if you prefer -- but it's totally your preference.

Another method, but not always doable it putting it in the oven for 30 minutes. I know, you're thinking that's crazy and super inconvenient but it could work for you if you pop it in your oven when you take a shower and do your makeup, and then you'll have a hot egg sandwich waiting for you when you're ready to leave. Also a great method for those who are weary of microwaves or don't own one at all.

So that's one of my solutions for busy girl/healthy breakfasts to-go. I'll also be sharing my smoothie recipe which is my other go-to healthy breakfast option.
What's your favorite ways to eat a healthy breakfast on the go?

xo Steph

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