Sunday, June 13, 2010

A Lovely List

I'm not very good at multi-tasking, but I promise I will eventually learn to balance my new job and my favorite job (this! this!). So sorry for my random disappearing act again, friends. But I have found some very lovely things while I abandoned you, and these precious little bits have been motivating me along the 5-day work week that is much more exhausting than I ever imagined (College, you should really warn your co-ops about this loathsome and undeniable truth).

1. First, day-dreamy Balloons from Javi Devitt on Vimeo.

2. This short story by Leanne Shapton

3. Ballerinas by Edgar Degas
4. Funky and Flirty Necklaces by SUNKEN TREASURE
5. The effortlessly cool and always stunning, Miss Zoe.

Also, I thought this was quite lovely...

Monday, June 7, 2010

Guest Post :: Carly of Grown Up Lady Me

Greetings students of elephants!

You might have noticed that Molly and I sometimes overlap or reference each others' posts.  That happens for a number of reasons, but the biggest one is that we usually spent at least an evening or two a week together when she was here in Boston.  Now Molly's moved on to an awesome job in a whole other state and her allusion to getting it, despite a less than perfect interview, was still overlapping with what I was thinking about.  Lately I've been doing a battery of phone and in-person interviews for my company (again).  I'm learning a lot about what to do and more of what not to do.

Here's some quick advice to those of you looking to start or change careers out there:

You better think.  Take a second to consider the question that you are being asked and why.  All too often people rush to answer and miss the mark.  

This is only a test. Recently I've been working with a manager who has adopted some brief in-interview tests.  At first this freaked me out.  I didn't want my little, carefully selected interview candidates to freak out.  But, that was half the test.  Whether or not someone can add sets of numbers in their head is important when they are applying for a job that utilizes basic math.  Just as important is how they react to being asked to do so on the spot.  To my relief, many people handle it well, and it almost disarms them to see themselves sweat a little, then succeed.  Keep cool and don't be afraid to laugh. 

Dress for success.  An oldie but a goodie.  My Developmental Psych teacher was a big believer of this one, and always told us to get up early and dress well on test days.  Even if it is a casual office, wear something that is appropriate, that makes you feel powerful, and something non-generic.  As tempting as it is, particularly when you're new to the working world, to work that basic black suit to no end, it does nothing to help jog my memory.  There is no substitute for great qualifications or exceptional skills, but clothes show personality and can give confidence. I love the outfits Molly put together for this post.

A well dressed pair of applicants
When someone asks about you, tell them about you.  One of the most interesting questions I like to ask is "What's not on your resume that you think would be good for me to know?"  Consider it before you have your next interview. Channel those lame freshman orientations if you have to, but you know interesting things about yourself.  You know marketable things about yourself.  And your interviewer, until you tell them, does not.  At one interview I attended, a candidate for a technical position left her retail experience off her resume.  When it came up in her interview, the hiring manager asked her not to downplay such experience as customer service was a huge part of what our company was all about.  Company culture is a big part of hiring and you are more than a set of skills or a degree.

Follow up, follow up, follow up.  It's not just perfunctory.  In my job, I've seen over 200 people apply for one entry level position.  It is difficult to get to everyone, but people who thank me for the interview, or people who pose follow up questions, simply position themselves in my inbox.  Word of warning: As much as you might want to, you do not control the response of the company to which you are applying.  I actually got an initial email from an applicant who gave me 3 steps of how to let him know if he was NOT being considered for the position.  Please be polite and considerate of other people's circumstances when you follow up.

Last but not least, sometimes you just make mistakes during an interview.  Never give up!  Even the most egregious of errors can be forgiven for the right candidate. 

Well, that sure was an adult perspective!  I feel it's necessary to tell you all that I work in an office with lime green walls, where it is not uncommon to get pranked with a handsome cardboard cutout we've dubbed Chad, and with people who conduct entire conversations with quotes from Arrested Development. No one there is entirely grown up, least of all me.

See more laugh-out-loud life perspectives from Carly, here!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Interview with Grecian Grace

I would like to introduce you all to BU Graduate, Red Sox fanatic, Grecian Goddess, J.Crew obsessed, and hands-down hilarious...Jaime Argyriadis. My girl reigns from the Cape Cod region of Massachusetts but has made her way all around Europe and back again with some of the greatest stories to ever touch this site. If there was ever a specific company and style to crave, I would specifically recommend my lady, Jaime.
1. My dream home will have: A view of the ocean! I grew up by the water, on a man-made island only accessible by bridges. My dream home will be surrounded by waves.
2. The wackiest thing about my family: We have Ouzo on tap in my kitchen and there is a hand-made spit and brick oven in my grandfather’s backyard, with which we cook lamb and goat at family holidays.
3. The piece of clothing I will never be without: I cannot see myself going anywhere without a cardigan. I love cardigans. Colorful, dark, shiny, simple, thick, light, oversized, fitted: they are perfect and are integral in any wardrobe. They are perfect for travelling, layering, for comfort or glamour, with a belt, with a shirt underneath, buttoned as a shirt, tucked into a skirt, beneath a sassy leather jacket and more. I couldn’t live without my cardigans. I have approximately 30 (maybe more), in various shapes, sizes and colors. They are color-coordinated in my closet according to hue and fabric. It’s a sickness. I can’t deny it, and I’m not ashamed.
4. Words I live by: There is no easy way from the earth to the stars. All you need is love. Live and let live. No regrets.
5. The five people at your ideal supper: This is something I think about often and have never come up with a conclusive answer for. I have now thought long and hard and present to you my 5 ideal dinner guests:
My idol in almost every single way, I have a dedicated obsession with Jackie O. (And the rest of the Kennedys...) She was passionate, beautiful, smart, independent, effortlessly stylish and a fiercely protective mother. The older I get I see just how hard it is to be as meticulously graceful as Jackie always managed to be.
Jane Austen. I began reading Pride and Prejudice for the first time when I was 10 years old. I understood almost none of it, but I re-read it at least once each year, have studied it in a college course, and have watched both film renditions dozens of times. I love each of her novels for different reasons, and I am convinced Jane and I would have been BFFs. Convinced.
My Papou. Papou is my paternal grandfather, and possibly my favorite person on this earth. He is heartbreakingly adorable, funny and kind. I could totally see good ol’ George charming the socks off both Jackie and Jane, (we all know how Jackie felt about older Greek men.)
Anyone who knows me knows I am a J.Crew-obsessed girl (please re-visit the cardigan paragraph). Someone I’d DIE to have at this dinner is Jenna Lyons who singlehandedly turned J.Crew into the brand it is today. She’s fresh and smart, great at what she does, seems super down to earth, and I would love a chance to peep in her closet. Best Jenna Lyons fun fact: She lets her 3-year-old son pick out her shoes every morning.
Pudge Fisk after the “waving fair” home run in Game 6 in ’75. Hands down one of my favorite sports memories ever (although I wasn’t alive). His 33 is my favorite number, and I always have a soft spot for him. He always had a smile on his face.
6. On Sunday mornings you'll find me: Hm, depends. In bed? On the beach? Wherever I am, I’m either reading a book or watching a movie. I do very little else.
7. The song that sums up my life so far: This is an unfair question which I feel Miss Molly has put here to drive me crazy. How can there be one song that sums up practically 22 years of living? Songs are transcendent; they are magical and emotional and give way to the deep and honest roots within a person. There are so many songs that one can relate to on various levels, in different moments, and different cycles or phases of life. How can I choose just one? I’m going to rip the band-aid. Rather than take the time to think about it, I’m going to close my eyes, think about myself, and pick the first song that feels right, that makes me smile or react convincingly enough for me to display it here for you all to read. Ready? Done: "Juicy" by Notorious BIG.
That was easier than I thought. I rose up like my boy Biggie. What once was a dream is now a reality. East coast 4eva. Honeys play me close like butter plays toast. Now I feel vulnerable to the blogosphere.
8. The most dangerous thing I have ever done: I haven’t done it yet. Still waiting.
9. When I grow up: I want to be happy. Have a family, a career, a great community of friends. I want to keep travelling, and learning. Mostly, I want to stay young no matter how old I get. I guess, as a self-proclaimed Peter Pan, I don’t want to ever really grow up.
10. The flower that is sure to make me smile: Hydrangeas remind me of home, summer, my mother and are usually very good at making me smile. They’re gorgeous if you dry them, put them on a Christmas tree (á la Martha Stewart), in a bouquet, or just leave them alone. I love hydrangeas of every color. I love their simplicity and I love that they are truly representative of New England where I grew up.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Gift List

Despite the current (and much needed) thunderstorm hitting Litchfield County, it was a beautiful Holiday weekend filled with food, parades, and my first sunburn of the season (ow!). As I visited various friends and families at cookouts with famous pasta salads or a favorite bottle of wine, it suddenly hit me that I arrived without a gift for the host! Since I anticipate many more summer parties in the near future, I have been searching for little tokens of appreciation for those gracious hosts.

My favorite finds:

Elephants Stationary @ Paper Source (Personalized, $53 to $600)
Porcelain Dinnerware @Jonathan Adler $50 (4 piece set)
Moroccan Lantern @ Apartment48, $38
Tie Dye Throw @Aid to Artisans $80
Mykonos Tumbler and Pitcher @Jayson Home & Garden $35 (pitcher) $12 (tumbler)