Casual Fridays

I'm so excited to introduce you to my sister, Allison, today! This post is going to be about as natural as it gets. We took part of the day off to go shop at The Bizarre Bazaar so it's a little more casual around here than normal. And since we were going to be on our feet for hours, we had to go a little more comfortable than we usually do...because let's be honest, looking cute isn't always comfy and cozy, right?!

For those of you who don't live in the Richmond area, The Bizarre Bazaar is a Christmas gift show that takes place at the racetrack (yes, the same one Dale Jr. tears up twice a year:)). It's FULL of cute boutiques, party accessories, beautiful dishes, decorations, gift ideas, the list just goes on and on. It's one of our cities favorite events! If you live in the Richmond area, I highly recommend you venture on over. They had over 100 new vendors this year! 

Since it's been a crazy week and we were pretty casual, we just did a little impromptu photo shoot with my iPhone (hence the shoddy pics)...

Nordstrom peplum top (similar here and here), True Religion bootcut jeans

 metallic True Religion butt pockets

Banana Republic beaded necklace (old)

Can you believe this chica had a little one less than 3 months ago?! Life's just not fair. 

BUT, I will leave you with a pic of the cuteness that I've been snuggling most of the day with...

Oh yeah. You're welcome. 

Anyone have any special plans for the weekend?? We're heading to Christmastown at Busch Gardens tonight and I'm so excited, I can hardly sit still here! Hope whatever you're doing is fabulous!


Holiday Wishlist: Handbags, Part 1

The holiday season is upon us! Are y'all as excited as I am?! I absolutely love being out in the midst of the hustle and bustle this time of year. Christmas music everywhere, all the stores are decorated so festive, everyone (well, most everyone sans scrooges...ahem, bro-in-law. I'm looking at you.) seems to be in the best spirits...it doesn't get much better than that! 

With that being said, each week until Christmas, there is going to be a Holiday Wishlist post on here to give y'all some ideas! I went today with good, structured office bags that can hold iPads, portfolios, etc. with a couple cute clutches thrown in. I'm a firm believer that if you're going drop some moo-la, drop it on your bag. View it as an investment. If you buy classic, it will last you for years. You can wear a suit from Forever 21, and if your bag looks like it's worth something, your entire outfit will look more upscale. However, as a financial advisor, I highly advise against going into debt for a handbag. Save up and pay cash for it or else pay your card off at the end of the month in full. Just a lil' disclaimer. 


*The links run from top to bottom on each column. 
**Please bear with me. I'm still trying to learn the whole picture collage thing, so excuse the backgrounds on some of the pics. Hopefully I'll get it straight soon! Any tips and advice on this would be greatly appreciated!


It's already THAT kind of Monday...

Happy Monday y'all! Hope everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving with lots of turkey, fun times with family and friends, and good Black Friday deals!!  I'm writing to y'all from my cell because the Internet was down yesterday, so I couldn't get today's post up. Sad face. I'm going to try to get it back up for Tuesday! Check back for a Holiday Wishlist: Handbags post this week!

Here are some Cyber Monday sales you may want to check out!

ASOS: 30% off everything on the site with the code "cybermondayspecial"
PIPERLIME: 25% off everything on the site with the code "cyber"
J CREW: 25% off everything on the site with the code "monday"
ANN TAYLOR: 40% off everything on the site with the code "monday"
ANN TAYLOR LOFT: 50% off everything on the site with the code "todayonly"
MADEWELL: 25% off everything on the site with the code "treat"
SHOPBOP: spend $250 and get 20% off using the code "bigevent12"*

*the more you spend, the greater the % off. Check out their site for details.

Happy Shopping!


Bombshell Bash!

Last week, Bevello graciously sponsored a party for some of my girlfriends to celebrate the launch of the blog (as well as have us enjoy a girl's night out! Booyah.) They literally hooked us up, and surprised me with the cutest little set-up ever! I highly recommend doing one of their Bombshell Bashes if you have a Bevello near you! It also doesn't hurt that they have the most adorable clothes, amazing jewelry, and um, quite possibly the nicest staff ever. Thank you Katie!

We didn't take too many pics, frankly because we were too busy stuffing out faces and burning up the credit card machines, but we got a couple!

An adorable food table

perusing the jewelry

shopping, shopping, shopping

I promise that I'll be more diligent at getting better pics! We had so much fun though! Thanks again Bevello! 

AND, Happy Thanksgiving to y'all tomorrow! I hope everyone eats a ton of yummy food, gets lots of naps, watches lots of football, shops 'til they drop (literally), and most importantly, has a touching, fabulous time with your families. I have so much to be thankful for that it's just beyond overwhelming, and I pray that many of you feel the same way! See ya next week!


Pink Alert

This week kicks off my favorite time of year! I love, love, love (I can't say it enough to do it justice) the time of year from this week until January 2. Like, love it, can't get enough of it. And I'm beyond excited for some of the holiday posts we have coming in these next few weeks! 

Anyone have any big plans for the week?! I'm outta here tomorrow afternoon and won't be back until Monday (I still have some posts scheduled though! We aren't going away for the week!). We've got lots and lots of family coming in for the week and my house is the hotel for anyone under the age of 25. I see a lot of air mattresses and video games in my near future...

Since it is a holiday week, I went with a pretty casual, yet still professional and office appropriate outfit for today. 

Limited blazer, Banana Republic silk tank, Loft ankle pants

Steve Madden shoes

Ann Taylor necklace

Hope y'all have a fun, laid-back week! 


Casual Fridays

Fridays are awesome. Like, seriously awesome. The start of the weekend, slower business days typically, and everyone just seems to be in a better mood. Since Fridays tend to be more laid-back, we are going to make every Friday a "Casual Friday" post day.

As much as I love high fashion (and could stare at the creations of Jason Wu, Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, Karl Lagerfield-the list goes on and on-all day), the majority of it just isn't conducive to the corporate workplace. And let's be honest...most of it isn't affordable. That being said, the best day to push the envelope a little bit with your style is on Fridays. Most workplaces have dress-down or casual Fridays; if yours does not, don't push it. If you want to rock those awesome skinnies with a cute top and blazer, do it on a Friday. If you have any meetings of any importance, even if your office has a "casual Friday", I highly recommend keeping your style professional as you would Monday-Thursday.

Zara tunic top, Seven for All Mankind bell bottom jeans, Vince Camuto booties

Zara tunic from the front

*I just want to say a huge thanks to Emily Bush-Davis for taking the photos with her amazing camera. She's going to be on the other side of it for some upcoming posts so you'll get to meet her pretty face soon! 

*Also, a huge thank you to Courtney Taylor Bowles Photography for the shots on the left side of the site! Check her out if you need an awesome photographer!

Happy Friday! Hope you all have a great weekend!


Interview Prep

Job interviews are inevitable. Whether it be a college student applying for an internship, the recent college graduate trying to be hired on at that dream job, or the stay-at-home mom trying to re-enter the workforce, we all have been there. The only exception may be trust fund babies and trophy wives...which if that's the case, I'm completely envious of you, and I'm sure I'm not alone in my feelings there. Work's overrated. Ha, kidding! I actually do love working. True story. Okay, done with the rabbit trail. 

Being part of a small business owner, having been part of hiring and firing people, and having been ingrained in the corporate world with all my college internships, and immediately after college for a little bit, I hope to provide some insight on things y'all might want to know. 
  • Check yourself out. Evaluate your Facebook page, Instagram page, blog page, Twitter, and any other social media page you may have out there. Y'all, seriously, if it's on the internet, it's not private. I don't care how you have your settings. People talk. And IT departments can get through anything, I promise. Also, google yourself. I know that sounds kind of crazy, but do it. See if there is anything out there that needs to be taken down or deleted. Keep in mind that when a company hires you, you represent them and their reputation, whether you are on or off the job.
  • Check out the company you are interviewing with. Google them, become familiar with their website, ask around to find out what you can. This is the one time it's okay to be a stalker. The last thing you want to do is walk in to an interview with no basic knowledge of your potential employer. 
  • Dress the part. In the corporate world, suits are always a good way to go. If you are interviewing with a small business, a suit is still a good way to go. Dress as professional as possible, but dress for your employer's business. For example, if you are interviewing to work at a fashion magazine, you may want to dress a little more edgier than if you were interviewing at J.P. Morgan. Also: 
    • Make sure your hair is styled and in place (if your hair is long and stringy-I mean that in a good way, I promise-you may want to pull it back in a ponytail or bun for your interview).
    • Have your nails clean and trimmed. If you can afford it, a shellac manicure is an awesome and inexpensive way to go.
    • Shoes and a handbag/briefcase are actually very important. Please, please, please, make sure your shoes look clean and polished. As an employer, it speaks volumes to me when someone walks in with mud and/or scuffs on their shoes. Carry a structured handbag that can fit an envelope or portfolio for your resume.
  • Arrive 10 minutes early and be prepared. Greet the receptionist with a smile on your face. Don't fidget or look nervous. Maintain eye contact. When your interviewer takes you to his/her office, make sure to have your resume easily accessible to hand them, either at the beginning of the interview or when they ask for it. If I were you, I'd offer it at the beginning. Again, maintain eye-contact. 
  • Stay on topic. Don't talk about your personal life or steer the conversation down any rabbit trails. Let your interviewer do that if he/she wants to go there. Be direct and confident in your answers. Don't be long-winded. Also, have any questions that you may have ready and written out in a portfolio or on a legal pad. Avoid questions such as, how much vacation time do I get? How many sick days are built in? What's the pay like? These are not appropriate for a first time interview. You can ask these later. It gives a terrible impression to the people who are thinking about hiring you, I promise. 
  • Be positive. This is probably the most important thing I look for in a potential new employee. A business doesn't want someone who doesn't seem like a team player or who may drag down morale. We are huge here on creating a positive office culture, and I know 99% of other businesses find that to be important too. Do not come across as petty, high-maintenance, or snobby. Remember, you are the one looking for the job. Not them. Also, never speak negatively of a former boss or employer. This may come up in conversation later, but the initial job interview is not the place. Keep in mind that it's never a good idea to burn any bridges, no matter how ticked off you may be. 
  • Follow up with a hand-written thank you note. Once the interview is finished, make sure to shake your interviewer's hand, look them in the eye, and thank them for their time. The next day, thank them again by sending a hand-written thank you note. Make sure to include language like 'you look forward to hearing from them again soon', 'thank you again for your time', 'if they have any other questions for you, please don't hesitate to contact you', and leave any contact information. Keep it short and to the point, and it will speak volumes. Do not send an email. Seriously people, I love email, but it is impersonal. A hand-written note says so much more. Frankly, a small part of me would be offended if a potential hire sent me an email. Just not cool. 
Remember, from the second you step in the door until you leave, be gracious, respectful, and conduct yourself with class. The company may be about to take a chance on you; don't make them regret it. Most important, BE CONFIDENT. You have to believe that you are smart, beautiful, and competent (which you are). If you don't believe that about yourself, how can you convince and employer to believe that? You're awesome. Believe it. And go get 'em!


Here We Go!

Welcome to the "official launch" of The Market Confidential!

I felt it was only appropriate that we start out with a professional look on our first day, and considering it's a Monday, decided we needed fun colors to brighten the day.

Kate Spade Outlet necklace

Gap Royal Blue cropped trousers, Steve Madden suede pumps (similar here)

Ann Taylor Loft top, Michael Kors watch, Simple Meg bangles and gold loops, David Yurman ring

Jewelry is such an easy way to spice up any outfit. It doesn't have to be expensive, and it's always a good idea to keep your eye out for key pieces that you know you'll use. For example, I got that Kate Spade necklace at her outlet, where it was priced 50% off, making it totally affordable. I'm sure this won't be the last time you see it! 

Also, for those of you that are in the Richmond area, we are having a party tonight sponsored by Bevello at Short Pump Town Center, and we would love to have you come by! Party starts at 7pm with champagne, some yummy treats, and best of all, everyone who shops during the party gets 20% off their entire purchase! UM, yes please! 

Happy Monday everyone!

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