Cost of Living > Job Salaries???

I live in the Tysons Corner area, and the expansions have been very rapid: new metro line, new Vita apartments and Hyatt Regency hotel, among new jobs rapidly becoming available. Some of these jobs require a minimum of an undergraduate degree from a 4 year university, while others are more based on experience and qualifications and/or require no experience or education level.

I was looking at apartments today, just out of pure curiosity. One of the complexes I was looking into was requiring an average of $90-$100k/yr dedicated just to rent. Many entry level jobs don’t even touch that in salary before taxes.

One question I have for all employers: how do interested candidates earn that experience for entry level jobs? Entry level implies little to no experience, yet many jobs ask for that experience. Unless the expectation is internships completed through college, which are many times unpaid internships, how else do young adults gain this experience level which then allows for an income consistent with cost of living and inflation?

I shouldn’t have to move out of an area that I love because job salaries are lower than cost of living, without going directly from paycheck to paycheck.

If only there was a life manual, right?

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The More Education….The Better?

Recently, I have been doing a lot of reorganizing of old college files that I stored away for the longest time, and I decided to go down memory lane with the different completed assignments. I was looking at papers I wrote, and realized how my writing and comprehension has vastly improved. With the exception of a post college continuing education course here and there, I have not pursued any graduate programs, and I’m beginning to rethink that route.  Education after high school unfortunately is not a free ride, unless you are a lucky individual who has access and/or earns a scholarship. Education is expensive, but does it earn you more money in the long run?

Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg have certainly proved that you don’t have to have those pieces of paper in order to earn those extra figure paychecks.

Here’s another great question: is experience or education better? I know some people, who do not have college degrees, whereas I do. However, they are more established in their careers than I am. Is that because they were out working hard in career aspirations establishing themselves, while I was focusing more of my time on academic endeavors. If both of us were applying for the same job today, and we both had similar to equal qualifications and experience for the job, but the only true difference between us was that piece of paper….who would get the job. It’s a debatable question at times.

They say that more education earns more money, but is there enough evidence to back this up. Do all of the celebrities who are out there making money off of their films have college diplomas and even further qualifications. Do all of the journalists, artists, entertainers, etc have diplomas?

To set the record straight, do I regret going to college and graduating? Absolutely not. I do not regret it for a second and I am a very lucky person who does not have any college debt. There are many people out there, however, who are paying off their loans, and perhaps are still not done with academic interests and programs. We never stop learning, but the true question is does shelling out thousands of dollars for a program honestly help us earn more money. The question may never be 100% truly answered. Just some food for thought.

I complete this posting still on the notion of applying to graduate school. You just never know what the world has in store for you. Always learn, never stop (it just depends on how much money you want to spend :))

DIY-Entrepreneurs

I at first thought that you always needed to hire someone to get something done, whether it’s painting, or any other work. DIY has become a big thing, to not only save money, but to be able to have control on how something is completed. I am reading a fascinating book, The Glitter Plan, and it is all about how two entrepreneurs met, and followed their dreams and have turned $200 into a fashion empire. They talk a lot about how to establish yourself, and how to literally start a business out of your own home. They started their business with a line of maternity wear, because one of the woman was expecting and she could relate to maternity wear. They talk a lot about being able to relate to your product and wanting to buy it yourself.

I think the whole message is that you the entrepreneur needs to use your own creativity and really try to stray away from the pack and be your own product and image. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, but try to do things on your own as much as you can. It is your creating then, your product and your efforts.

DIY is a great way to get things done!

Miss USA-Let’s to Reality

I’m sitting here watching the #MissUsa2015 pagent and while I love watching beauty pagents (time permitting,) there is one problem I have with it; I feel like it kinda defeats the purpose of the whole concept. These pagents are not reality. Of course women are perfectly entitled to be fit and healthy, and beautiful, but not every single person is over 5’5 and has a perfectly toned body. Many women love to really get glammed  up and wear fun clothing, makeup and heels, but how often does this actually happen? When women are in an environment that involves getting into a swimsuit, how many of them have hair cut, colored in place, pounds of makeup on, stilettos and jewelry? Nothing is impossible, but come on, that almost never happens.

I wish that these pagents focused more on inner beauty and brains, and less on physical appearance. Though being super woman is always a good title to carry, there are many many women who do not spend a ton of time on their physical appearance in order to be successful in their professional careers. I’m not saying that I loathe watching these contests, I just feel there should be less of a focus on the outside beauty (swimsuits and evening gowns) and more on what really drives us: passion and confidence.

I will say though, it does take a lot of courage to come out and compete in these pagents. The discipline and passion is noted and they all are hard workers, and focused, clearly. Reality is just not always having perfect makeup, and parading around looking glamorous.

…..And the beat goes on

Growing up, I wanted to be a teacher, I had my heart set on it. You know what changed that–high school. I realized in high school that I didn’t want to pursue that career dream anymore. I then thought about marketing. Marketing is demanded in any field, right? Politicians need to have their campaigns very well marketed to gain voters, entertainers need to have their tour dates very well marketed so that fans know when and where their shows are. A major event going on in a small hometown needs to be advertised so that community residents know to attend. Marketing is everywhere.

March of this year, I was hired to work with a small marketing firm and work closely with the owner. I was very excited at this opportunity, not only was I working for a marketing business, but I also would see first hand how an entrepreneur runs a business. Funny thing is that I learned something that I never knew about myself with this job, I like conducting sales.

To briefly describe my job, my boss has various contracts with botanical gardens around the country. My job is to contact and invite those members of the gardens to renew expired/expiring memberships. The training that went into this job was very specific. I have so much more appreciation for the time that it took me to do the training and all of the specific details that went into it, customer service and product knowledge  really go hand in hand, and they help drive sales. I get a rush when I complete a sale, knowing that I persuaded the client to trust me and go through me to renew their membership.

I never thought I would be gain happiness like this before from a job, and I’m grateful that I was given the opportunity to explore this field. It has taught me that you should always keep your options open, and never say never to something. I’m in marketing and sales now, I know that I want to be in marketing, its just what type of marketing.

The whole point of my message is that you may think you know the answer to something, you try something new, and then realize a whole new world of another. Experiment, have fun, and learn.

Petite Complete Fashion–BTS

So here I decided to go into a little more bts detail on why I decided to do this website and attached blog.

During my second half of high school, so when I was a junior, I was involved in Internet Marketing, which at the time, was a newer concept. There was a brand new type of class that was being offered, Entrepreneurship. Of course being an entrepreneur is no new concept, however the idea of offering the class in a high school setting was very fresh and a novice idea. While I was not enrolled in the Entrepreneur class, my Internet Marketing teacher and classroom were right next to each other in connecting classrooms so there were many times I had an exposure to Entrepreneurship class.

I have since carried a torch for wanting to be my own boss. No, as of this website launch, I am not a successful, very well known one….yet! And I’m not saying that this will happen to me, but that is my goal, and everyone has to start from somewhere.

I thought to myself for months how could I put together a website about something that I related to, something that I was passionate about, and something that was MINE; thus Petite Complete Fashion came about. I have always been short, petite, vertically challenged, whatever you want to call it. I have very often had issues finding clothing that fits my bottom half without being torn up just a few months later. More retail clothing businesses have become much better about designing pants and jeans for people who do have petite legs. Obviously I cannot change my height, and to be 100% honest, I am very happy being petite, (I don’t have far to fall when I trip 🙂 )

This site has given me a chance to create something of my own, and the start to being my own boss. I am putting this site together all on my own (with the help of software of course.)  In the end, this site is something that every entrepreneur strives to have: passion and success.

So thank you to each and everyone for visiting my site and blog and help me continue my journey!!!!

DIY Hair Care-Ingredients You Can Eat!

I wish I could take credit for this tid bit of information, but recently I read online about a very effective DIY hair care treatment that will not only make your hair super soft and shiny, but is also completely natural, and very generous on your pocket book as well. Two magical ingredients. Ya ready? Coconut Oil and Honey. That’s it. While the thought of ingesting coconut anything makes my stomach turn, the smell of the two ingredients combined together is amazing.

Here is what you do. Take 1 tbsp of each, put into a pan and let it warm just slightly for the coconut oil to melt. Stir both together. Be careful to not let the mixture get too hot too quickly. I made this mistake the first time around, and fortunately, the only thing to get slightly scalded for a moment was my fingers.

Side note-before heating up the mixture, wet your hair first. I just spray my hair with a spray bottle, you don’t want your hair to be soaking shower wet, but enough that it is heavily damp. The mixture is said to absorb into the hair follicles better when your hair is damp and the mixture is  slightly warm.

Once the mixture is warm, and your hair is damp, go ahead and spread all over your hair. It’s going to be a bit sticky, so make sure to dress with a top on you won’t mind getting a little messy and needing to be laundered. Once you cover your head, either leave it down, put up in a pony, whatever you fancy. I left it on for 30 min or so, but depending on your hair length and texture, you can leave it on longer/shorter time frame.

When you are ready, rinse out in the shower, then shampoo and condition as usual. Viola! Hair will be silky smooth and shiny and hydrated! When someone asks, spread the word about this mixture.

Fashion to Face Care!

I am one of the lucky ones who hasn’t had to deal with a ton of acne from my early teens on. That doesn’t mean that I slack off with my face care, I just don’t to worry as much! I use a variety of different products, the only specifics that I use are mostly natural, simple, and clean ingredients. One of the face cleansers I use is called “Purpose,” a soap free cleanser that is soap free and dermatologist recommended. It comes in liquid and bar form; I prefer the liquid but it’s the same company and cleansing idea.

Another face skin source I use is “Simple” cleansing facial wipes“. I use these on lazy days, at night or when I’m in a rush and don’t have time for a full scrub down. I normally get the generic brand that has the same/similar ingredients to name brands. While I don’t limit myself to one brand, I have found myself liking “Simple” because it is chemical and alcohol free. Regardless of brand, I only use alcohol free items, as the alcohol dries out skin.

A great added nourishment to your skin is another product made through “Simple,” their Micellar Cleaning water. It has vitamins, and other healthy ingredients to keep the skin soft, clean, and healthy.

For moisturizing my face, I use Vaseline. No, not Vaseline Jelly, but an actual lotion. It is very light, and great for everyday use, but it does have micro droplets of Vaseline jelly in it for soothing healing power. You can buy the name brand or generic. Same idea, just a few cents less for your wallet.

During the winter time, however, I change it up and sometimes apply Care One Vitamin E cream to my face. It’s a bit heavier, so I only use on very cold, dry days during the winter or when my skin needs a little extra TLC.

One other fun thing that I do is use the Freeman skin care masks. They have up to 2-4 applications in them. They have ones for various skin types, and for different purposes for your face. They have one to help relieve stress, others are exfoliating and remove toxins in the skin, some are peel off, and the others are simply for hydration purposes. It’s like a day at the spa, but much more economical plus it’s fun adding different color face masks and sometimes scaring people! 🙂

Don’t Judge the Book by its Cover

One of my favorite places to shop, quite honestly, is thrift stores. One of the main ones I visit on a frequent basis is Penny Wise, which is located in the heart of Vienna, VA. Penny Wise sells most things, like clothes, books, shoes, office supplies, purses, jewelry, kid’s items, and other goodies. I find many great options there, some are very worn items, and others are brand new and still have the tags on them, you’ll never know.

One of my favorite and most memorable purchases there was a pair of lightly used figure skates. I grew up liking ice skating, and would only skate as a hobby. The mere fact that they were available only for $4 was a steal for me.

ice skating pic

Enjoying my very first “skate” in my new skates!

Other fun purchases have been Eddie Bauer shirts I’ve gotten there. While they didn’t have the tags still attached, they were lightly worn, and I knew I had to get them. $4 each for Eddie Bauer, let alone lightly used, you just don’t see that. I like to be thrifty, saving my wallet, and contributing my money to worthy causes. A win win for all.

Take Advantage of Sales

Last weekend, I went with my mother to Old Navy at Tysons Corner Center, for their annual $1 flip flop sale. Not only did they have this great promotion, but the entire store was up to 50% off. I take advantage of sales when possible. For example, if I see a piece of clothing that I can wear on multiple occasions, or that will never go out of style (I bought a simple knee length black skirt that is very comfortable) and the item is at a reasonable price, stock up and get a few of them. Sometimes there will be a limit of how many replicas of an item each customer can purchase, but if the item is a good price, and you can use on multiple occasion, don’t just purchase one.

I don’t normally take advantage of Black Friday deals, given Black Friday doesn’t even start on Friday anymore, but as early as 4pm Thanksgiving day.  Last Thanksgiving, I decided to see what the mall was like at 10pm Thanksgiving evening, given that not only do I live 5 minutes away from the mall, but it was 10pm, so most people have concluded their Thanksgiving Day observations. The mall was busy, but not the jam packed sardine level like I was expecting. The only store that caught my attention was Old Navy, which had the ENTIRE store 50% off. I knew I couldn’t pass this deal up. I told my mom about it, and given she has just woken up from her post Thanksgiving day turkey coma, I figured we both had enough energy to go and scope out a few items. We ended up there about 12:30am, and stayed until….well we stayed much longer than we had planned. BUT, we got new clothing for extremely good prices, and clothing that would last me all winter, and into the changing Spring season. Given it was 50% everything, we saved as much as we spent. If you have the funds to do some fun shopping, and need the items, don’t feel guilty of buying a few replicas of the same thing, especially if you will use the items as long as they will last. I know I’m enjoying some of the year round items on this hot summer day that I purchased on a very cold Black Friday morning!

Bargain or Bust?

A component that I take into consideration while shopping is if my purchase will be a bargain or a bust. I don’t *always* hugely considering my purchase, especially if it is a fun item that won’t break my wallet. 

 

I remember seven years ago I was shopping with my mom at Macys and we found this very cute little black strapless cocktail like dress that not only was very cute, but was only $70. Now before you go saying only $70, it was a dress that I could use many times for many different occasions. Every lady needs a cute little black dress, and when you can wear it for many different occasions, how could we pass it up. I feel guilty if I spend over $25-$30 on one piece of everyday clothing (or the few special attire occasions), I’m always on a budget, but if I can see it as an investment purchase, where I’ll be able to wear it many times, and the price is reasonable, then I (we) will purchase. Don’t always let the price tag be the deciding factor–not saying to go and blow all of your money, but if you can see many uses for an item that might cost a little bit more than you normally would spend, in actuality, you’re not spending much more than you would on smaller more frequent purchases. Just a little food for thought. 

From Office to On the Town

June 19, 2015

Do you ever stress about how to make a wardrobe change from being the working girl to out on the town? Well all it involves is some simple planning and creativity. One tip is to bring some extra makeup with you in your purse, like a darker eye liner for a smokey look, or to use makeup that you can double use–like a lipstick that can also be used as a blush. Wear the same dress to work that you want to wear out with your girlfriends *or for a date*, but make sure it is still work appropiate, a blazer always helps, as do the proper shoes and accessories. Bring an extra bag with you to work and just do a little bit of planning of outfits that are versatile and work for differing occasions.

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