Valentine’s Day can be so corny, but I do appreciate that it always reminds me of how lucky I am. Not because I receive the best gifts, but because I have a man who is completely devoted to our marriage, to me, and to helping us succeed as a team. As I write that, I feel pretty lucky that those feelings and thoughts can come out of my 25 year old mind. Here are a few ways that my husband and I show love for each other throughout the year!
Do you or someone you know struggle with anxiety and/or panic attacks? This has been something I have dealt with myself for the last five years and I have finally learned to spin what most see as a negative into a positive.
My anxiety and panic attacks come and go as they please, and I never truly know when it is going to be a good day, week, month, or year. In the last five years, I have gone from weeks on end with countless panic attacks a day that have left me broken and drained, to also experiencing the bliss of one year free of a single anxious thought or panic attack.
Recently, I have been thinking a lot about year one of marriage and all of the chaos and beauty that it has encompassed. I have been happily married to my soulmate for a little over a year now and I wanted to share an honest post about the up’s and down’s of our first year, mostly through advice based on our own experiences.
There is a lot of love in the air in my home today! From recently celebrating my one year wedding anniversary a month ago to celebrating my parents 20th wedding anniversary yesterday! We got married at what most would consider a young age, since we both haven’t even celebrated our 25th birthday yet. We said “I do” three years after we began dating and lived together for two of those three years. Two months after becoming husband and wife, we packed up our belongings into two separate cars and drove half-way across the country together from Stillwater, Oklahoma to San Francisco, California to start our new life. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do, leaving behind my home, family, friends – everything I had ever known. Little did I know what wonders life had in store for me!
Last Sunday I was scrolling through Instagram and saw a post about a company called Parabo Press and how they had a sale going on for (25) 5.5″x5.5″ prints for free – just pay for shipping ($6). I have had several Instagram photos that I have been wanting to print lately, so I couldn’t pass on this fantastic deal for quality prints at a great steal! Take a peek at their website here!
Some of my Instagram photos are not square, so they didn’t fully fill the frame but they still turned out super cute!
Now to create a wall collage with my photos – pictures coming soon!
A few more shots of my favorite new Parabo Press prints!
The best way to use Parabo Press is to download the app here in the app store. Right now, the square Instagram prints are back to the normal price of 25 prints for $24 plus shipping, but follow them on Instagram and keep an eye out for a flash sale!
And if I haven’t convinced you enough yet, check out some photos straight from their website (all photo credit below goes to Parabo Press):
There are many more options on the app besides the square photos. You can choose from engineer prints, greeting cards, a 14 month photo calendar, and my personal favorite – the linen hardcover book! My photo prints arrived on Wednesday, which seemed like an extremely fast turnaround time of only 3 days after my order. I also started to follow their blog for creative ideas of how to use my square prints and more.
I really wanted to share this creative company with you all because I was super impressed with the photo quality, turnaround time, and overall process of ordering from them. If you are looking for a chance to showcase any of your photos in a unique way – download the app and see what they have to offer.
I hope you enjoy your experience with Parabo Press as much as I did!
Recently, I moved to northern California with my wonderful husband. While I was prepared for the chaos of driving two separate cars, one pulling a u-haul trailer, 1666 miles across half of the United States, I was not prepared for everything that would soon follow. Yes, we have been living with his kind, patient and gracious parents for a little over 10 weeks trying to figure out the best place in the San Francisco/Bay Area for us to settle down.
Much of this anxiousness of moving has been due to the fact that I am currently seeking employment and looking in many towns and cities on either side of the bay. With the way traffic works in Cali (1-2 hours to go 45 miles), I would much rather live close to my place of employment than have to commute a ways.
So, to share some positive and uplifting thoughts with you, I have searched within myself to figure out some of the wonderful things I have learned through my interview process on this journey. I have now had a total of 6 in-person interview experiences, more specifically 6 different companies, but with a total of 9 in-person interviews at those 6 organizations. I have come a long way since my first interview process and feel very hopeful for my most recent interview, which I hope and pray is “the one” and I truly feel it is.
I want to share my reflections of what has worked for me in interviews so far and the constructive criticism I was given by the organizations interviewing me.
(Drum roll please…)
- Speak slowly, then speak slower than you think you are speaking, and continue that process until it feels like you are speaking oddly slow – you are now finally speaking at the right pace!
- Engage in as much eye contact as possible (without being too creepy). I truly believe this brings across a sense of genuine interest to the interviewer and will make the difference between yourself and a candidate who finds themselves looking around the room or fidgeting.
- Speak with confidence, even if what you are saying is a shot in the dark. Now, I am not telling you to blatantly lie, however, if you are asked for statistics or facts you can’t immediately remember, throw out the number that seems most accurate and say it confidently. This will convince them that you are at least a convincing person if nothing else.
- Smile a lot and smile different smiles. Do NOT be a complete cheese-ball in your interview unless you are auditioning to be a professional cheerleader or flight attendant, because you will probably come across as too ditsy or overly excited – neither of the latter are good. A nice teeth smile (or laugh if appropriate) will lighten the mood and relax you, and sometimes a simple closed mouth smile, mixed with eye contact and a nod here and there shows them you are truly excited about what they have to say and eager to listen and learn more.
- Do not miss the opportunity to research! I know you have heard this before but I have put a spin on it. Yes, I will research the mission statement, the values, the overview of the company, but I like to go into more detail and research the interview staff, checkout their social media pages, as well as google information such as any awards or honors the organization has won. If the moment arises to mention any of these, it is a HUGE game changer. You will actually see their faces light up – who doesn’t like to brag on their company?
- Research and know the salary you need to live affordably in that area. In the bay area, salaries, housing, and grocery costs change within every few miles and it could be the difference between living a life where you can save, living pay check to pay check or living in poverty. Glassdoor is one of my favorite sources for salary research, but I always check the local rental costs of housing and gas prices as well to see what I would need to sustain my lifestyle.
- Wear an outfit that still makes you feel like you. I say this because I have tried numerous interview attire’s and I have noticed that when I am uncomfortable in my clothes or something that doesn’t feel like “me”, I truly don’t shine as well. Companies will want you to dress as their policy states, however individuality and different personalities liven up any work environment and they are looking for that as well. Stay put together while finding ways to still showcase your uniqueness.
- Prepare meaningful and thoughtful follow-up questions! Some of my favorites: “Would you share with me your perspective of your company’s work culture?” “In the first 4-6 weeks on the job, what would you like for this position to accomplish?” “How does leadership show that they care about their employees?” All of these questions will show you different perspectives of your interviewers and possibly give you insight to whether or not you truly want to work at the company.
- Post-interview, always send a thank-you email, card, etc. Different places online will you tell you what is most appropriate for what type of interview (phone, skype, in-person) and you can craft the thank-you from there. This could be the difference that sets you a part from the competition. A two to three line simple thank-you card to at least one individual from your interview process could make an impressive impact.
- Don’t forget to follow-up. The interview process doesn’t necessarily stop once the in-person process is over. At big companies, they could be interviewing 5, 7, or even 10 candidates for their first round interview process and if you don’t follow-up and send a thank-you of some sorts, you are only hurting yourself. Human resource staff tend to have many interviews on their plate each week and it’s easy for you to fall through the cracks – don’t let that happen to you!
I hope some of these interview tips and tricks have been helpful for you if you ever need to pull them out of your back pocket in the future.
What are some interview tips and tricks, advice, or stories that you have experienced? I would love to hear some as I continue to go through the job hunting process.
Wishing you the very best!