With Luke and I facing a house-move next month, I’ve been focusing a lot of my effort on finding apartment inspiration, and discovering how to make the best out of small spaces. Even though we’re not living right in the city and thus won’t be living in a complete shoe box, we’re still trying to keep things modest while making sure all of our belongings have a place. Incorporating function just as much as fashion is my main goal, but since this will be my first real apartment that I can afford to spend some money furnishing, I’m excited to put some effort into our new home.
I spent the weekend googling small-space tips and tricks and came across this sweet little bachelor apartment styled by Nate Berkus for his sister. Although I’ve never actually watched his show, my mum has sent me a few of NB’s segments before, specifically for the purpose of making my old bachelor pad in Vancouver a bit more liveable. Although Luke and I are definitely planning to get at least a one bedroom this time around, I can’t help but wish I’d have thought of using a couch as a room divider years ago. How well does it separate the room? Genius.
One of my favourite things about this space is that its contents are primarily neutral-coloured, with smaller items like pillows and fresh flowers used to add a bit of colour to the palette. I ordered this grey and white chevron bedspread from Urban Outfitters last week, planning to do the same thing for our new bedroom. Adding smaller (and potentially cheaper) coloured accents is a great way to cater to my ever-changing mind, as well as allowing me to easily switch up the room’s mood for a new season, all without taking a huge toll on my bank account. Overall though, I love how fresh and clean everything looks in neutral colours.
My last favourite thing about this room has got to be the gold striped accent wall to tie in with the gold in the rest of the room. I’m fairly certain that we won’t be painting our apartment, so this is pretty out of the question for the new pad, but it is something I’d like to incorporate into a future home once I settle in somewhere. I’m obsessed with stripes, I love how subtle they are while adding character and dimension to the room without making it seem small or overpowering the rest of the decor.
While I may not have actually found much in the way of storage inspo in this particular apartment, I really do think I’ve got a better idea of how to make a small space a bit more functional. Minimal decor, lots of mirrors and glass, and neutral colour palettes make a small space seem more open and inviting. Now all I need is to lock down which apartment we’ll be renting, and the pre-move planning can officially begin. I honestly don’t know what I’m more excited for, that or Christmas!
The first job fair I ever went to was awful. It was embarrassing (someone literally looked down my shirt and told me to ‘keep that coming!’… creepy.), it was awkward, and at the end of the day, I was depressed because of my lack of networking prowess. But to be honest, I didn’t take it very seriously, and it was a school event which meant that 40 of my classmates were in attendance–it was far more tempting to talk to them than to schmooze with the unknowns.
Last week I had the opportunity to attend a recruiting fair for work in Australia (because if you didn’t know, I’m moving there!), and decided to put aside my humility and be the shining star I knew I could be with potential employers. It may not have paid off as much as I’d wanted (I had high expectations), but I walked away feeling accomplished and like I took the reins. And honestly, that’s all I can ask.
The thing about job fairs, especially recruiting fairs, is that you’re not just a resume in a pile. You’ve got a chance to make an interview-worthy impression without having to get the call-back first. Even better, your interest in the company and your attitude can make up for any holes in your resume that might cause you to be overlooked had you just applied online. So in light of my most recent experience, here are my top 3 career fair tips for success for the next time you find yourself feeling uncomfortable, afraid, or just generally clueless when it comes to booth-hopping 101.
- Bring an up-to-date-resume- I’m not just talking about your standard, plain-text resume. Remember that there may be hundreds of other very personable candidates in attendance. Find something that can be your distinguishing factor with your resume (for me, it’s accent colours of red for titles and section separators), something that’s not too over-the-top or overdone. That way, when the recruiter asks for your CV, it’s memorable and they’ll look at it later and think “ah, I remember this red CV! That was Erica Wodzak, she was a very friendly and intelligent lady”. A+ for standing out.
- Go alone- when you attend career fairs with people you know, it’s too easy to stick together and fall into the crowd. I’m not fully comfortable myself being ‘professional Erica’ in front of my friends, so I keep the two personae separate for now. I find it easier to talk to new people when I’m alone, so if you must go with a friend, agree to rendezvous after 30 minutes of mingling. This gives you an opportunity to share knowledge with each other, but to keep out of each others’ peripherals while you’re networking.
- Speak up- be polite, but do your best to make your way to the front of the booth if it’s busy. Have your questions ready, or listen into other conversations and develop questions from what you hear. Make sure to smile and be friendly, and never open with “here is my resume”. My general tip is not to offer your CV, but wait for them to ask for it. This way it makes them want it, and all the more likely to look at it (and remember you) later. Do your best to be intelligent and inquisitive, and remember to thank them for their time when you leave.
It’s not always possible to prepare ahead of time for career fairs, as the company attendance list isn’t always available (which was the case for me last week). In this case, try to develop general questions that still sound prepared–mine was “I was wondering if you were looking to take on any recent graduates in the near future”. When in doubt, grab a brochure and develop a question from there. You’ve got absolutely nothing to lose, and for every new employer booth there is it’s another opportunity to try, try again. Most importantly, be yourself, because you’re
kind of really amazing at it!
So let’s just say that over the last few months, I haven’t exactly been what one would call healthy. In fact, because I’m usually at the mountain in my spare time, nachos and a pitcher of Kokanee are about the only thing I want at the end of the day. Except maybe my pyjamas. Actually, that doesn’t sound so bad right now either.
But alas, summer is right around the corner, and my cute little swimsuits have been giving me and my beer gut* the stink eye from my closet. To show them a little love, I broke out my blender in an attempt to introduce some micronutrients back into my system (and all week I could hear my stomach screaming “What isss thissss?”). Fruit smoothies are usually no stranger to my kitchen–for about as long as I’ve lived away from home, I’ve kept a concoction of frozen berries, fruit juices, and occasional tubs of protein powder to recreate the $6 smoothies I love from Booster Juice. Cuz guuurl, six dollaz is espensive. But one thing that is strange to me? My smoothies coming out green.
I may not be the first girl to come to the revelation that green smoothies are a miracle, but I won’t be the last. I was recently inspired to join the green smoothie brigade through one of my favourite bloggers, Angela of Oh She Glows. She has her own ‘Green Monster‘ (such a great name!) website dedicated to her green-a-licious bevvies, which is super fun too. But if you’re looking to hop on the green train in the near future, I caution you to move slowly. And maybe like, research it a little (I know, I know). My first attempt with kale, which I was completely psyched for, turned out to be a huge flop because who knew you were supposed to completely de-stem a kale leaf’s spine before blending? Psh, so not intuitive. I’ve since had a few more successful attempts, and while I’m still trying to master the art of kale smoothies, spinach has become my new best friend. Yea, for real. Once I get a bit more experience with this magical world of blended vegetables, I promise to share some recipes with you so that you too can enjoy the emergence from your winter hibernation. I promise you it’ll be great and adventurous, sans chalky kale-mouth. You’re welcome for that.
*Okay, I may have exaggerated a bit