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Tackling Interview Anxiety

Dress: Thrifted (Talbots) | Shoes: Thrifted (Michal Kors) | Purse: Thrifted | Scarf: Thrifted 

At this point I don't consider myself to be an expert at Interviews by any way shape or form, but by now I have gone through my fair share of Interviews from college to now (landing my job for the fall) and have picked up some valuable lessons along the way. 
Let's start out with my first "real" interview I ever had, which would be the panel interview I went through in getting my RA job in college. While I had worked two other jobs before college those were for people who already know me so there wasn't a real interview process. I remember going into the interview for the RA position and thinking to myself "This is my first real interview" and to be honest I didn't know what to expect at all! However, I had been prepped by another RA with possible interview questions I could be asked so I was able to think of my responses to possible questions that could come up during the interview. You would think that I would have completely failed my first "official" interview but if I am being perfectly honest it went so much better than I was expecting....I mean I got the job so evidently I did alright:)
Flash forward to last fall when I was in the midst of doing student teaching and had to complete a "mock interview." At first I hated the idea that we had to get a principal or AP at our school to do a "mock interview" with us, but in the long run that experience greatly prepared me for the various interviews I had this past spring. In doing the mock interview I had a list of questions that I knew would be asked and was able to think through and prepare answers for them, so nothing ask was unknown. However, this greatly helped me to freely and confidently answer questions without worrying how I would answer and gave me a feel for how to sit, act, and carry myself during such an important process. 
After my student teaching was over and I graduated I then entered into a whole new season of figuring out my future, attending job fairs, looking for job postings/openings, and going through interviews. The whole process seemed daunting and overwhelming at first......job fairs are not an Introverts cup of tea, but it turned out to not be nearly as bad as I thought. While I attended a few different job fairs, there was only one that really scored me some opportunities (and ended up landing my my job for the fall). The day of that big job fair I actually did two interviews with the school that I will be working for in the fall. What you might not know about job fairs is that at some you might just drop off your resume and give your name and others you will actually go through a mini interview at the districts/organizations table so that they can evaluate you as a candidate (always be prepared for questions). 
Thus, the day of that BIG job fair I went through two interview processes and was also scheduled to be interviewed by one of the AP's but their schedule got busy so I went and did my interview the next week. After that interview I also had an interview with the high school I student taught at for a position that was going to be coming available. 
While at the beginning of this year the though of Interviews would have probably scared and overwhelmed me, I learned so much through the process, gained valuable experience, and learned so much about myself. 
Interviews can be overwhelming and lead to so much anxiety, however I learned many valuable lessons along the way and thought I would share them with you all!

  • Always Be Yourself - I can't tell you how important this is! This goes for how you carry yourself, how you talk, what you say, and even how you dress! I remember getting ready for the Job fair and interviews and always thinking back to what so many professors had told me about "professional dress" in it being neutral, tailored, and businesy.....quite honestly "business dress" has always been boring to me because it has no personality. With that I infused my own personality into the "Business appropriate" dress I wore to the job fairs and interviews and it always gave me so much more confidence! To the BIG job fair (where I landed my main interview) I wore a 60's green and yellow floral print shift dress (made from a sheet) over a long sleeve, high neck vintage button up blouse and yellow heels:) To my 3rd interview with the school I wore fitted gingham pants, a lavender sweater set, and black suede block heels. To the Interview I had at the school I student taught at in the fall I wore a yellow dress (pictured in this post) and nude block heels. Being myself has always made me the most confident, and that to me comes from dressing as me:) This is my #1 tip for overcoming interview anxiety!
  • Always Be Comfortable - This specifically has to do with what you wear! Don't wear a fitted dress that you will be worried about riding up when you sit down and don't wear tall heels that will hurt your feet. You need to put something on that you won't worry about until you are finished, so if flats will be more comfortable wear them! 
  • Practice Questions Beforehand - Whether you are interviewing for a teaching position like me, or another position in a field that you have qualifications in, you can always find possible interview questions. Familiarizing yourself with possible questions beforehand helps you to be prepared for questions that could be asked so that you don't always have to think about them on the spot. Write down the questions and your answers to them, say them to yourself, or even have someone interview you. I seriously interviewed myself all the way to the BIG job fair.....no joke! Because I was prepared for the questions they asked me, I was able to answer them confidently and thoroughly during my interviews which took the stress out of thinking on the spot. 
  • Fake It Till You Make It - Okay, so that sounds weird, but here's the thing, sometimes you might not have prepared for a question that is asked of you and that is okay! You can either say you would have to think about it, because you honestly don't know what you would do in that situation, or you can let your brilliant brain take over and answer the question for you:) When I was in my second official interview I was asked a question about leveling up, personalized, learning and how I would keep students on task. I hadn't been asked this question before and had no real experience with it, but in the moment I had ideas come to mind and I started listing off all of these methods I would use and accountability procedures I would implement in my classroom....it sounded awesome and apparently the content area coordinator thought so too because he said "Wow, you have though about that a lot!"
  • Always Be Honest - Remember the story above, where I started rattling off an answer that I hadn't prepared for or ever been asked and the content area coordinator made the comment that I must have thought a LOT about it, well turns out after he said that I admitted "Honestly I just came up with that right now!" Not many people would probably admit to the fact that they hadn't actually "put a lot of thought into it", but I guess in that moment admitting the truth seemed right. Thankfully the coordinator thought so too because he said "Honest, I like it." I think honestly is so important in an interview. If you don't know that answer to something, admit it, but also follow it up with saying you will find the answer. Or, if you answer a question on the spot and get a comment, be honest about it:) If you can't be honest you are not being true to yourself. 
  • Believe In Yourself - If you can't believe in your potential you will never survive an interview or land the job! In order to have the people interviewing you believe in you, you first have to believe in yourself, your abilities, qualifications, and potential. Also having others support and believe in you helps you believe in yourself! Every time I would head out the door to a job fair or interview my mom would always tell me "You've got this" and "You are perfect for this job!" That always helped me to regain my belief in my abilities and go into an interview confident that I was a good fit. 
  • Make Eye Contact With Your Interviewers - I know, this is awkward and probably seems super hard, but it isn't as bad as it seems. So many people go into interviews and look at their hands or avoid eye contact with the people asking them questions.....odds are they won't get the job! You have to pretend they are your best friends and you are having an important conversation with them. Make eye contact while they ask you questions and then make eye contact with everyone while you are answering.....it's not as bad as it seems and it makes you look super professional and odds are could easily land you the job (after while you won't even know you are doing it)!
  • Use Real Life Experiences - Drawing upon real life experiences is so important in an interview because it shows the interviewer or panel that you have experience and worked through something similar in the past. Sometimes they might specifically ask you about your experience and other times it doesn't hurt to bring up examples of you using a specific technique or completing something relating to the question. Using examples from real life show that you know what you are talking about. 
  • It's Not As Scary As It Seems - Odds are the interview will go better than you think (especially if you prepare). The people interviewing you have been in your shoes, they know how nerve wracking it can be, so just relax and be yourself. Take deep breaths, don't be afraid to ask for clarification on a question, smile, make eye contact, and be confident! 
  • Shake Hands At The End & Thank Them - It is always a good professional procedure to shake hands when you first meet the person interviewing you, but always shake their hands at the end and thank them for your time. This shows you care not only about the interview process and job but also about those taking the time to talk with you. 
  • TREAT YOURSELF! - Last but not least, make sure to treat yourself afterwards! This has kind of become a tradition in our family of going to get icecream or coffee after a big test, interview, etc. and you better believe I treated myself after those interview:) You deserve a treat and something to look forward to! 

- Madison 

My Skincare Journey Pt. 2: 7 Myths of Skincare

When it comes to skincare, many of us go through life hearing so many different opinions, solutions, products, and tricks that it can start to seem overwhelming. Sometimes we hear from someone that something worked really well for them and then when we think it will solve all of our problems it doesn't. Skin can be a tricky thing to master, especially for those of us who have acne prone skin, but it isn't without hope for a solution and cure! 
However, when it comes to the topic of curing our skin or getting it to a manageable state, we come face to face with so many opinions and ideas that we often become defeated and feel as if there is no hope. We try one route and hear that there is no way it will work, or we avoid other routes because we think there is no hope in trying it for ourselves. With so many different opinions and myths surrounding skincare, I thought I would share some myths that I have discovered the truth in and that have changed my outlook on skincare and my skincare journey forever! Obviously there are way longer lists of myths that you will find if you google it, but this list of 7 are myths that have been factors in my skincare journey. I do want to point out however, that while these 7 myths might be true for me, everyone is different as is their skin, so something that was true for me or worked might not necessarily be the cure all of someone else (everyone has to understand their own skin)

  • Your Makeup Is The Problem - I can't tell you the number of times I have heard people say that your makeup is what causes acne! I have had people tell me that and constantly read it on websites. Here's the thing....makeup doesn't cause acne....not completely at least. No studies have actually shown that acne is caused by your makeup, however our skin is a delicate and a very special organ and we have to treat it with care, which starts with what goes on and comes off of our face. The main problem with acne prone skin and makeup is when it isn't removed properly as this leads to clogged pores which generally cause our acne. So the next time you think your makeup is the problem it might only be the #6 problem when other things are the true cause. Thus, simple make sure you are okay with what you put on your skin and make sure you take it all off before you go to bed (I will talk more later on about removing makeup). 
  • Scars Are Forever - This was a HUGE myth for me! In fact it was one of the myths that really got me down a lot about my skin because I felt hopeless that after years of struggling with acne, once I finally got it under control my skin wouldn't look "flawless" anymore. While my acne prone skin will never be the same as it used to be, my scars are not there forever! If you do research there are ways to fade, reduce, and get rid of acne scars, and I have seen many of those methods begin to change my skin already. We will still have the remnants of what used to be, but our scars can be faded and diminished by the products we use, treatments we try, and amount of liquids we drink (I will share more about this in another post) so THERE IS HOPE! 
  • Oil Is Bad For Your Skin - Okay, so you might be reading this and be a bit confused:) Here's the thing, eating foods cooked in oil or that have a lot of oil on them are definitely not good for your skin, we all know that (goodbye french fried, and fried food), but putting oil on our skin is actually one of the best things for us! If you are at all familiar with skincare trends you would have probably seen the trend with "oil cleansers"! Oil Cleansers are the best thing you can use in your skincare routine because applying an oil cleanser not only removes makeup and clears your pores, but actually tricks your skin into thinking it is overly oily and halts oil production. Apart from oil cleansers there are a TON of face oils that not only have benefits because of their ingredients, but also for the reaction that happens when we apply oil to our skin (like above). Thus, for those of you who have oil skin (like me) and have heard for YEARS that you shouldn't be using oil on your face, we actually need to used oil cleansers and face oils more to help our skin balance out (I would suggest doing more research if you are are interested in this)! 
  • Moisturizers Are Your Problem, Especially If You Have Oily Skin - Have you believed this one? I know I have! For so many years I would avoid using heavy moisturizers, or stop moisturizing all together because I thought it wasn't good for my oily skin. I thought it would make my skin more oily and I didn't want that. What I didn't know however, is that when I didn't moisturize and keep my skin at a good balance, my skin would actually produce more oils. Our skin NEEDS moisturizer in our skincare routine because our skin needs the nourishment it provides! I recently added in a new extreme moisturizer to my skincare routine and it has been a game changer (I will share more about that in another post)! For those of you who have oily skin or combination (like me) I would suggest you do research and find a moisturizer that works for you, your skin will thank you and you might see a difference in your complexion! 
  • Only Topical Medication and Pills Will Help - For years I thought that my only option and choice to have clear skin would be to get a highly medicated topical medication or prescription pill. This could have been from knowing people who had taken this option and seeing a difference in their skin. However, the problem with this is that you take the easy way out, you don't actually deal with the problem, you just try to solve it and often times it doesn't do you any favors in the long run (everyone's skin is different so for some this might be their only option...but I personally would only use this as a last resort). For example: many girls/women go on birth control simply to help their acne, but the problem with this (besides what birth control does to your bodies hormones) is that when they choose to stop taking it their acne will most likely be back. Acne is caused by so many factors in our life (some of us even have acne prone skin in our DNA) so choosing topical treatments and prescription pills only helps for a short time and doesn't allow us to understand the underlying problems of our breakouts or treat the overall health of our skin (which is vital in the skincare process). 
  • Wash Your Face In Hot Water - Okay, so I am soooo guilty of this myth! When I was younger I thought that the hotter the water was the better is was for my skin! I would scrub my face in hot water, soak a wash cloth in hot water and let it sit on my face just willing the heat to solve all my problems.....but it doesn't! Hot water is actually the worse thing we can use on our skin because it strips our skin of any natural oils (which our skin actually needs) and severely dehydrate it. So when you think the popular thing is steaming your face will help, it actually doesn't. You might even think that cold water would be better, but there is no solution there in tightening our pores either. The best thing we can do is wash our face in lukewarm water. 
  • Your Acne Is Caused By What You Put On Your Face - This one is a double edged sword because sometimes what we put on our face could possibly be the problem, but like I have said before our acne is often caused by internal and lifestyle factors! Thus, it truly is key that you understand your own skin, what doesn't irritate my skin could irritate yours? As someone who loves skincare and makeup I am constantly trying new products and my sister has always made the comment that maybe what I was using was the cause of my breakouts. However, even if I had a bad breakout after using a new product, I could usually attribute it to being caused by something else like the food I ate, the high amount of sugar in my diet, my period starting, or being really stressed out! Now that I understand my skin more, I know that my breakouts are not caused by the products I use (though I try to be conscious of them) but rather by other things. 
Have you believed any of these myths?
What are other Myths you have believed?


The Value of Time

Shirt: Thrifted (Ralph Lauren) | Pants: H&M | Shoes: Thrifted | Bag: Target | Earrings: Five Below | Scarf: Thrifted (Vintage) | Watch: c/o JORD 

I don't know about you, but I feel as though at the turn of each new year time goes by faster and faster! As much as I think certain weeks or months will inch by, they always end up flying by faster than I think and before I know it a month, and then two months, and then a year are up.
When I think about time and how fast it goes, I always wonder how much I miss. I think so often, we are focused on getting as much done as we can in the time we have, but what if our focus on fitting so much in causes us to miss things? What if we are so focused on getting things done that we miss what time has to offer?
When the topic of time comes up it always gets me to thinking? It makes me think about how many hours I have in a day and how much I need to get done, but it also makes me think about wasted time. What if those moments we take to relax or those times we get sidetracked are moments we could have dedicated to something important?
I guess when it comes to time there are always so many questions, but also so many thoughts on making the most of every moment. Like when you think you are to busy to get everything done, but in the long run if it is important to you you will make time! That is a resolution of mine as of late, to make time for what is important to me and to stop making excuses!

As for this look, it is a little different than my usual style, but something I have been loving lately! I found these paper bag waist pants at H&M a couple of months ago and fell in love with them when I tried them on. They reminded me of something an artist would wear, and according to the 6th grader I had in class one day that's what he thought too:) Since the pants are so unique I usually pair them with a striped top, for this look I chose to pair them with a striped tank top. Since the look is very "business" like I paired it with flat loafers and my business bag.
To finish off the look I decided to wear my JORD wood watch for an extra unique flair. I have always loved the style of JORD watches because there are not many like it. I love that they are wood and bring in a natural style to a look while adding in a slightly modern flair.

- Madison 

Recent Faves Pt. 16

I love sharing these "Faves" posts with you all and I know you all always enjoy reading them! I feel like there is always more to share and more that I come across that I love, but I often forget about it when the time comes to creating these posts.....I should probably get better at saving links as I find them:) Despite that however, this might be one of my favorite "Faves" in awhile because there is so much goodness and excitement to share with you all! I think these posts give you not only a glimpse at what I have been loving lately, but also give you a glimpse at who I am as a person too:) Pull up a chair, cozy up in your reading corner, as always grab your favorite hot drink and get reading! 

  • Lauren of Passing Whimsies (what used to be the blog Someone Like You) has been one of my favorite bloggers from the moment I discovered her. We have a lot of things in common from thrifting our wardrobes, being cat moms, and being very introverted. I have always been inspired by her and her courage to move to NY and absolutely LOVE her recent post on her blog (which she picked back up after 2 years) where she shares a video about Living With Anxiety in New York
  • What would be my Recent Faves post without something from Rebecca of A Clothes Horse:) I absolutely LOVE this post she wrote about 8 Ways To Improve Your Style because she focuses so much on being inspired by other people, books and characters which speak so much to me as I believe clothes have their own language and the power to transform and transport us! 
  • I am such a HUGE fan of NBC's World Of Dance and while there have been so many amazing groups and routines so far I can't get over the beauty of this piece by Charity and Andres to the song "Say You Won't Let Go"...... so moving! 
  • So if you didn't know, I get really into TV shows! I get emotionally invested in characters lives, especially specific characters that I want together, so after waiting for over 4 years and 5 seasons the season 8 finale of Blue Bloods was THE BEST EVER because my two favorite characters FINALLY decided to be more than partners on the job!!! 
  • I loved what Keiko Lynn wrote about this dress and how sometimes we avoid wearing something because it seems to important, but in reality we should just wear the dress! 
  • New FAVORITE purchase is this adorable polka dot jumpsuit from Saving Paige! I can just see myself wearing this to teach in or grab brunch with a friend:) It's so classic and simple, but still quirky and different which I love! 
  • Recent FAVORITE read is the "If I Run" Series by Terri Blackstock! I got hooked on the thrilling story and wanting to know how it ends. 
  • Absolutely love everything that Maddy Corbin posts, from her fabulous style, creative photos, photo editing/filters and everything in between:) 
  • Where has The Other Sparrow been all my life?!?! I can't get over these gorgeous dresses....i'm seriously swooning!! This is what my dress dreams are made of! 
  • Last but least, have you seen the new PBS Little Women? I know there were a lot of mixed reviews from people that I know after they watched the first episode, but I also know a lot of people who ended up loving it after they finished all three episodes:) I personally LOVED it so much (I've already watched it 2 times and cried at the end which I never do). I think all of the characters were perfectly cast, and while it might not have followed the book perfectly, I think they did a great job of giving every March Sister their own story line and character development and beautifully told the story we love so much (with such honesty)...not to mention the ending was one of my favorite Little Women endings ever! 
- Madison

Just Dress Up

Dress: Ruthie Grace (same) | Shoes: Thrifted (Old Navy) | Earrings: c/o Happiness Boutique 
 Bag: Thrifted | Scarf: Vintage 
**Photos by Jana Kay Photography**

I don't know about you but I fully believe in the power of clothes! The power that they can transform you and take you to another place! I always say that clothes are magic because they can transport you to another country, into a story, or onto a new and exciting adventure. However, I also firmly believe in the power of clothes to make you feel better, happier, almost like a therapeutic pick me up:)

I can't tell you the number of times I have found myself in a gloomy cloud after being weighed down with projects or staying home for consecutive days. It's not that I don't like working on projects or staying home, but when I stay home I look like a "bum".....seriously no joke! If I know I am not going anywhere my hair goes up in a messy bun, I don't put any makeup on, and I throw on an over sized Tshirt and yoga pants (I have even been known to stay in my pajamas). However, what I have noticed is that I can get into a weird mood, almost like you feel a bit depressed, and the one thing that always helps me to feel better is to take time and pamper myself.

Even if I am not going anywhere, taking the time to get ready, do my hair, put on makeup, and pick out a cute outfit always boosts my spirits! What boosts them even more is getting dressed up to go out of the house....for me this usually just means going to run errands, take pictures, or hit a couple thrift stores, but it is always fun to feel "dressed up" to do those things:) Other times I might just over dress for an event, church, or a lunch date because WHY NOT! Overdressing is my forte and it is part of who I am:)

The next time you are feeling down, take the time to DRESS UP! I don't care if you are staying home, running errands, or actually have somewhere to go. Look in your closet and pick out something that makes you happy, makes you feel the most YOU and wear it with confidence! Wear the ruffly dress, put on the sparkly shoes, swipe on the red lipstick, and reach for the dangle earrings!!!

- Madison 

Girls Movie Night Vol. 1

I asked, you answered, and now I am delivering! Today's post is the first in a biweekly Saturday blog series sharing my favorite movies in all genres......and trust me, there's a LOT! For today's installment I decided to go for a theme that all of us girls could use, a "Girls Movie Night" selection. However, when it comes to girls movie nights there is a LONG list that I can choose from so this is simply Volume 1 of the series:) However, in all actuality this selection encompasses a lot of my favorites (really I have a lot of favorites) because we get a little bit of everything, we have humor, friendship, summer memories, royalty, fairytale, even two about being the presidents daughter, and all with a bit of "chick flick" romance.....so lets get started! 

  • Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants - If you are looking for a feel good, friend focused movie about magic jeans then this is the film for you. I love this movie because it is perfect to watch with your friends (or sisters) as it follows 4 friends throughout a crazy summer as they all go in different directions, grow up, face life, take on challenges, learn about themselves, and grow together as friends (Movie Tailer).
  • Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants 2 - We meet up with the 4 friends again in this movie as they are now working their way through college, making big decisions, working through relationships, finding out more about who they are, taking risks, trying new things, and dealing with more adult problems. This second movie is probably a bit more mature than the first, but they are all still fairly clean. (Movie Trailer)
  • The Princess Bride - This is a classic and it is "Inconceivable" if you haven't watched it! Full of adventure, humor, intrigue, sword fights, and romance this is a film your entire family would love and perfect for a girls night (Movie Trailer
  • Mirror Mirror - If you are looking for a movie with a fairy tale theme, amazing cast, fabulous costumes and a perfectly happy ending this is what you should watch! I seriously LOVE this movie, not only because I love Lily Collins, but the costumes are incredible and it follows the story line of Snow White (Movie Trailer). 
  • Chasing Liberty - One of the favorite go to movies for me and my friends is this film! Why? Well it could be because it stars Matthew Goode and Mandy Moore, or because it centers along a story line in which the presidents daughter decides to defy her dad and ends up going on an adventure with an undercover agent (who she things is a regular guy) and yeah......you get where it is going:) (Movie Trailer)
  • First Daughter - Very similar to Chasing Liberty only this time Katie Holmes is the presidents daughter and she is going off to college with the hope of having a normal life as a normal college student, but that dream is short lived as being the presidents daughter makes her anything but normal. The perfect romantic comedy for a girls night (Movie Trailer).

Polka Dot Stroll

Dress: Ross | Shoes: Thrifted | Purse: Ross | Hat: Forever 21 | Scarf: Vintage 
*photos taken by my brother*

Nothing like a good polka dot dress and an afternoon strolling by old houses! A couple of weeks ago I took a day trip to the beach with my mom and brother, and you know me, I always plan for the occasion and the opportunity to take pictures:) With that I knew I wanted to stop along some of my favorite streets in Galveston to take pictures in front of the old houses. This happened to be a new street we found and I absolutely LOVE the houses!
Visiting the old historic parts of Galveston is as close as I get to visiting Charleston in Texas:) I have always loved old houses because they hold so much history and so many stories. I think just looking at and strolling by old houses takes me back in time and I start imagining who lived in the house 100 years ago, what they did, what kind of functions they had, what was their story? From landscaped yards, green lawns and quaint picket fences what isn't there to love!
Since I knew I would be going straight from the beach to downtown I tried to put together a simple, yet classic ensemble and this old brown and white polka dot shirtwaist dress was perfect. I wanted something simple, but also classic and southern so what is more classic than polka dots and more southern than a hat and a straw bag? For the record this is probably the quickest change I have made for a photo shoot as I threw this dress on over my swimsuit, put on a sparse amount of makeup (hence why I look slightly pale) and topped off my beach head hair with a hat! Honestly though, with old historic houses like these you can wear the simplest of outfits and still look classic!

Do you like historic houses?
Have you ever seen the historic homes in Galveston?