A Working Woman's Guide To Ensuring That She Makes It Out Of The Office In Time For Scandal!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Greetings to my fellow hardworking Divas! And Happy Fall to you all! As many of you know, Fall weather not only brings colorful leaves and Pumpkin Spice lattes...it also brings brand spanking new T.V. shows. Last week, my biggest T.V. addiction returned for it's new season, and I'm pretty sure you all know which television show this Diva loves the most...SCANDAL! I'm super excited when Thursday rolls around because I know Shonda is going to have something special going on. As we all know, before sitting down to a heaping spoonful of Scandal, there are certain things that need to happen...driving home from work...cooking dinner...doing homework with the kids...putting them to bed early...you know the deal! And we absolutely cannot forget the all-important task of chilling the wine we intend to sip while sitting on the edge of our seat watching Shonda's masterpiece unfold. 

The key to getting all of these things done is getting out of the office on time. Ladies, there's no room for error here; we have to stay on task so that we can leave the office, get our housekeeping items done, and be sitting on the couch with our wine at 8:59 P.M. This may seem difficult for some of you with ridiculously demanding careers, but I'm here to help! I have prepared a 4-Step process to ensure that you make it out of the office in time for Scandal. If you follow these steps, I guarantee (kind of) that you will make it home in time to get your life in order, and make it to the couch...because isn't that the ultimate goal? Are you ready? Let's go!

Step 1 - Get to Work Early - This step is super important! You have to get an early jump on the day just in case you encounter any Scandal impediments. What do I mean by a "Scandal impediment?" The impromptu meeting...the question from the client that you're sure you answered last week...the random conversation that you have with your co-worker regarding your amazing boots...the co-worker who insists on sitting in your office and crying for a half hour because she broke up with her boyfriend the night before...the team gathering in the lunch room to celebrate someone's birthday...any of these sound familiar? Now, I would prefer for you to avoid all Scandal impediments, but sometimes you can't. A simple solution is to get in the office early so that you have more time to get your work done before leaving. A side effect of this step is that you come across as a dedicated and hard-working employee/employer...not saying that you aren't on any other day of course!

Step 2 - Make Sure There Are No Meetings Schedules After 4 P.M. - By a show of pearls, how many of you have been in an hour-long meeting that turned into an hour and a half? We cannot have this happen on Scandal Thursday! Hour and a half meetings disguised as hour-long meetings are Scandal impediments, and you are not here for it! Remember, the key is to be out of the office by 5. Obviously the 4 o'clock cut off can be scaled back or forward depending on your work hours, but the key is to not schedule any meetings in your last hour of work. A nice trick is to schedule a faux meeting on your calendar for that hour. Get your last bit of work done in that hour and scoot out of the office at quitting time! 

Step 3 - Bring Your Lunch From Home And Eat It At Your Desk - Simple step! You want to make sure you optimize all hours in your day, including the lunch hour. Pack a turkey sandwich or a salad for lunch and enjoy it at your desk while you do other work. The trick here is that you do not bring anything "clunky," so nothing that you have to warm up in the microwave. Sorry ladies, no Lean Cuisines on Scandal Thursday...we have a schedule to keep! And we do not want to compromise our mission by running into a well-meaning co-worker, and getting pulled into a conversation on how Scandal gives you life! To recap, turkey sandwiches, salads, Lunchables, cold chicken and/or pizza...all acceptable!

Step 4 - Bob and Weave, And Avoid Eye Contact With Anyone As You Head Out The Door - Remember that well-meaning co-worker? She's hanging around the hallway waiting to strike up a conversation with the first person she sees.You really like her, but we do not discriminate when it comes to Scandal impediments...avoid them at all costs! Head in the opposite direction and make a bee line to the exit. Do not pass GO...do not collect $200...GET OUT! While you're scurrying out the door, do not make eye contact with anyone...he or she may be a Scandal impediment, and you can't take that chance. Keep your head down, and your shoulders raised. Hold your purse close to your chest and move at a pace of at least 3.5 miles per hour. You can breathe a sign of relief once you're out of the building!

There you have it ladies...these steps will work if executed properly. Happy Scandal Thursday Divas! Enjoy the show and your wine. And for those of you who are fans of my martinis, check this one out: The Scandaltini!

Tips To Ensure You Never Miss A Workout...With Your Busy Self!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Over the last year, I have grown to realize that planning ahead is the only way that I will ever see the gym. It's true! Balancing my personal and professional lives has always been a challenge for me. And when you add a one-year old to the mix, planning ahead is no longer and option...it's a necessity! After talking it over with some fellow Divas, I have compiled a quick list of things you can do to prepare yourself for the gym...or a spin class...or a zumba session...or a crossfit workout. Whatever your workout of choice may be, these tips may keep you from missing a workout by simply preparing. Enjoy!

If you workout before heading into work...

Tip #1. Lay out your workout clothes and gear the night before. You don't want to be fumbling around in the early morning looking for stuff while suffering from a sleepy haze...it's a waste of time! Get it together the night before when you are wide awake.

Tip #2. Have your pre-workout snack ready to grab from the kitchen. Maybe it's a banana and a glass of juice. Maybe it's individually, pre-packaged fruits and veggies that you plan to throw into a blender quickly for a smoothie. Maybe it's a store-bought protein shake. Whichever you choose, make sure that it is ready to grab so you can go! And son't forget your water bottle!

Tip #3. If you are going home after your workout, make sure your work clothes are picked out, ironed, and ready to jump in once you get out of the shower. If you are running low on time, this is a great way to save some in the morning.
Tip #4. If you are going straight to work after your workout, be sure to gather your work clothes and workout bag (with your necessary toiletries, undergarments, and shoes) the night before, and place them by the door.

Tip #5. Prep for breakfast the night before. It is the most important meal of the day! Even if you do not plan to eat your breakfast at home, make sure you have a plan in place as to when and where you will eat breakfast, as well as what you will eat. This is especially important if you do not plan to head back home after your workout. Don't forget!

If you workout after work...

Tip #1. Pack your gym bag the night before, and leave it by the front door so you won't forget. Be sure to include your water bottle!

Tip #2. Keep a stash of spare workout clothes in your office or your car, just in case you forget your gym bag at home. I speak from experience...the easiest thing to do when you leave your gym bag at home is to skip the gym. Take that option off the table, and keep a spare in your office or car.

Tip #3. If possible, change into your workout clothes before you leave the office. This is my usual practice, and it's all mental. Once the workout gear is on, I feel like I've reached the point of no return...I'm absolutely going to the gym...no questions asked!

Tip #4. Keep pre-workout snacks in your office or car so that you can grab them when you're heading out. You do not want to spend too much time thinking about what you are going to have before working out. Keep a stash in your office or car, and don't forget to restock when you run out.

Any more tips Divas? What do you do to ensure that you won't miss your workout?

Clever Solutions to Common Diva Mishaps!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Quick story...last week when I was heading into the office, I took a look in my rear-view mirror, and guess what I noticed...I noticed that I had only put eyeliner on one eye! Seriously I did! I'm pretty sure of what happened. I was rushing to get out of the house in time before traffic picked up, and I got distracted. So here I am sitting in the parking lot of my office with one beautifully-decorated eye, and one naked eye...I wasn't worried. Why, you ask? Well, this sought of thing seems to happen to me all the time. And over the years, I have learned to prepare for my raggediness by keeping a stash of necessities in my office. Since I was recently reminded of my occasional mishaps during my eyeliner debacle, I thought I would take a moment a share some of the solutions I have concocted over the years. Now, I'm not necessarily saying that any of these mishaps have actually happened to me...all I'm saying is that it's best to be prepared. Enjoy!

Mishap #1: You walked out of the house with a black shoe...and a blue shoe!

Solution: How many of you have done this? Personally, when I go shopping for work shoes, I often buy the same style pump in three different colors: black, blue, and brown. Sure, I have other varieties, but it is always good to have what I call "standard pumps." Since the pumps are all the same, and I am often putting on my shoes in the dark, I have on occasion made it all the way to the office with two different colored shoes on my feet. After my first embarrassing shoe blunder, I made it a point to keep a pair of black pumps in my office...just in case! Just be sure to bring them back to office the next day. 

Mishap #2: You put your makeup on in the dark...or while you were at the red light...or anywhere where it did not turn out right!

Solution: I refer you to my eyeliner debacle discussed above. As I said, I wasn't too concerned because I had an emergency makeup case in my office. It's a small case with just a few of the basic makeup items: powdered foundation, a basic eye shadow palate, an eyeliner, a tube of mascara, a lip gloss/lipstick, a travel-sized face wash, and a travel-sized moisturizer. A small makeup case is perfect if you have a mishap (like me), if you need to freshen up after lunch or before dinner, or if you need a complete redo! Just remember that you need to take inventory of your makeup every few months. To help you remember, change your office stash of makeup at the same time you change your main stash.

Mishap #3: You accidentally bit into the onion and garlic bagel you scored from the office supply, and you really don't care if you eat the entire thing...you're hungry!

Solution: This one is easy...keep a toothbrush, toothpaste, and travel-sized mouthwash in your office. Brush and gargle after lunch, and after any funky snack sessions. Remember to replace your toothbrush as necessary.

Mishap #4: You bent down to pick up your cell phone that you dropped on the floor while scurrying to a meeting, and...well...you split your pants!

Solution: This is a solution that I learned early in my career. You should always have a spare outfit in your office...just in case you split your pants...or spill Coke Zero all over your dress. In any event, having a spare is never a bad thing. You should choose something that works well across the different seasons. And make sure you take inventory of your spare attire every six months to ensure that it still fits...especially after the holidays!

Mishap #5: In your haste to finish your cup of coffee before heading to your office-sponsored training on file management, you spilled a few drops on your blouse...your brand new blouse!

Solution: Keep a stash of stain removers in your office for occasions just like this. A Tide stick or a Shout wipe are good choices. Dab that blouse on your way to the training!

Any other tips that you would like to share with the group? We're listening! Have a great work week Divas!

Building a Business Casual Wardrobe...The Basics!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Greetings Divas! And welcome to June 2014! Over the past few months, I have had the opportunity to speak to a variety of different women at different stages of their professional lives. While these women vary in age, profession, and experience, there was one concern I noticed that each of these women had in common: their wardrobe! For the new professionals, there are concerns as to how they should dress for an interview, which items of clothing they should purchase immediately when they start a new job, and how they should dress during different work-related social outings. For the professionals that have been working in their professions for a few years, one of their concerns was how to elevate their current wardrobe and accessories.

In having these conversations, I realized that there are many corporations that are moving towards a business casual work-wear model. But what does that mean? In speaking with these women, I also realized that different folks have different definitions of the term "business casual." As a result, there are several schools of thought as to which items of clothing are appropriate in a business casual work environment. Now I'm no expert, but I do have an opinion...you all knew that already! In speaking with the new professionals, I highlighted 10 basic items that they should start with when building a business casual wardrobe....and here they are!

1. Black Dress Pants - Nothing is more basic than a pair of black dress pants, which is the number one staple in a business casual wardrobe. Black pants will pair well with cardigans, blouses, and blazers. Eventually you should have several pairs of black dress pants in different styles, but one pair will suffice for the new wardrobe builder! To start, choose a classic, straight legged pair that fits comfortably. Try to go for pants made of light wool material, as this is the most versatile for the different seasons.

2. Navy Dress Pants - Another great staple to add variety to your business causal wardrobe! Navy dress pants will pair well with cardigans, blouses, and blazers, just like black pants. Similarly, select a pair that fits comfortably, and that is made of light wool material.

3. Gray Dress Pants - Variety, variety, variety! Again, these pair well with other wardrobe staples.

4. Cardigans (3) and Tanks (3) - I truly believe that cardigans and tanks are a necessity in any business casual wardrobe. Paired together, they create a neat and stylish effect. And with all of the different varieties of cardigans and tanks on the market, you are sure to find some that fit your personal style. My suggestion is to start with at least 3 cardigans and 3 tanks. While I am a fan of variety, my suggestion for your first set of cardigans is to choose solid colors that pair well with your other staple items...you can add some other funky varieties later! As for the tanks, they should pair well with your cardigans. I suggest selecting 3 that would go well with any of the cardigans; this allows you to mix and match.

5. Black or Gray Dress SkirtWhether it is a pencil cut or an A-line, be sure to select a skirt that is knee length and made of light wool material. The best type would be one that you can pair with your cardigans, blouses, and blazers. To start, pick either a black or a gray skirt.

6. Black or Navy Dress - Another great addition to any business casual wardrobe! Score yourself one in black or navy, and be sure that it fits your form without being too tight. Also be sure to select a style/cut that is ideal for your body type. I'm a big fan of sheath dresses, but A-line dresses work as well!

7. Blouses (4) - Every basic business casual wardrobe should have several blouse options. It is important to have blouses in a business casual work environment because you are not required to wear a suit, but you still need to dress neatly. Blouses are versatile, and can be worn with dress pants and skirts. I suggest starting off with 4 blouses in varying colors and styles; however, one of your blouses should be a button-down, white shirt with a collar.

8. Blazer - A blazer is a great item that can serve several purposes. Blazers can be worn with dresses, skirts, and pants, and can also accompany a cardigan if paired properly. For those who are building their business casual wardrobe, I suggest either a black or tan blazer...these would give you greater pairing options. Be sure to choose a blazer that is versatile and that fits comfortably.

9. Black Belt - A black belt will pretty much go with every outfit you concoct from this list. But it has to be a nice one. Leather is the optimal option...with black or silver hardware. No belts with bling please! 

10. Black PumpsBlack pumps are the go-to shoe for the business casual wardrobe, as they often match well with basic business casual attire. You should score a pair that is high-quality and comfortable. Your pumps should be closed toe, and should have a 2 to 4 inch heel.

Now that we have discussed basic items, I want you all to note the items that I did not include on this list. In my humble opinion, business casual does not include denim, leggings, mini skirts, or shorts. These items may work in an environment where casual clothing is acceptable, but they are not appropriate in a business casual setting. In addition, you should avoid sneakers, flip flops, and strappy sandals.

So there you have it! What are some of your business casual staples? What would you add to this list?

Healthy Snacking Delivered Straight to the Office...Thanks Graze!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Quick story (I promise!)....a couple of weeks ago, a friend/colleague introduced me to a new way of snacking in the office. She was walking around the office with a box full of snacks. I was intrigued...a box full of snacks! Who doesn't  love snacks?! When I asked her what she was eating, she told me it was a Graze box. We were heading into a meeting, so I didn't bother to ask for more details. A little later in the day, I walked back into my office and saw that she had left a little "coupon" for the Graze box on my keyboard. She also sent me a link to the Graze website. I had no clue what I was about to get myself into, but I went to the website anyway...snacks were involved! And once I checked out Graze.com, I was all in!

If you are as excited about snacks as I am, you are probably begging me to tell you about this Graze box. Graze is a service that delivers fresh boxes of healthy snacks to your home or office on a periodic basis. Each box contains 4 snacks (there are over 90 options), and is composed of healthy foods, including nut and seed mixes, dried fruits, crackers, dips and dippers, and other natural snacks. How do you get your box? You go to Graze.com and create an account. During the registration process, you input the address to which you want your Graze boxes delivered, and the frequency of your deliveries (i.e. weekly, every two weeks, once per month, etc.). You can even go through the catalog of snacks and select whether you want to try it, like it, love it, or trash it. Once your account is created, you can log on to see which snacks are on their way to you. You can also see and rate the snacks in the boxes you already received. My first Graze box was delivered to my office last week. Check it out!

Each Graze box costs $6, and is billed to the credit card you place on file during registration. I used my friend/colleague's code when I signed up, and ended up getting my 1st and 5th box for free...yay for me! And, you can modify your delivery preferences or cancel your subscription at any time. 

So, why am I sharing this information with my fellow Divas and Gents? For one, many of us professionals who spend a lot of time in the office are more likely to snack throughout the day. Why not snack on something healthy? After all, beach weather is right around the corner...cakes, cookies, and chips are not conducive to the Summer body you spent all Winter creating. Each Graze box boasts a number of healthy benefits, each of which are noted on each package and represented by appropriate symbols. Each snack is also perfectly-portioned, so there's no post over-indulging guilt...there's no time for that!

Overall, I am super impressed with the concept of the Graze box. I enjoyed my snacks over the course of a week, and not once did I feel bad about what I was consuming. I can't wait to get my next box!

If anything I've written in this post is of interest to you, do yourself a favor and head over to Graze.com. Get your healthy snacking on!  

Side note: Just so you all know, I was not compensated in any way by the wonderful owners of Graze. I am simply a humble attorney looking for healthy and tasty snacks to get me through my busy day...without adding extra inches to my hips...you dig?!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Share My Post!