WFH: Desk Elements

Even as things start to open up, many of us will likely be working from home still in some form or fashion. Having a set up at home is so important to boost your mood and productivity. Here are three things that have made a huge difference for my work at home life:

Fresh Flowers 

I love having flowers or plant life. It’s an instant mood booster! Not to mention it makes me feel very fancy.



I think I love having flowers in my office because scent is so powerful! I am someone who is extremely sensitive to smell for better or worse. When I moved my friend who specializes in Ayurveda told me that having scents that reminded me of home could help my homesickness and ground me in a new place. I personally love that working from home I can burn candles and spritz palo santo and hinoki oil blends without anyone being disturbed!


Art & mementos

Some people like minimal items on their desk, some like more. I personally am “more” person. I had a boss who told me my cubicle was Tumblr personified. Either way, you should have something aesthetically pleasing that makes you happy. I personally have some photos of friends and a framed Thurston Moore signature.


What do you have at your desk (home or otherwise) that helps ground your or make you more productive?

WFH: Desk Elements

Amazon Accessory Round Up

While I try not to shop anything fast fashion/wasteful fashion, time to time, I allow myself to buy an item or two from Amazon in this category. Typically, they are items I know I will wear and do have some kind of uniqueness or quirkiness to them.

These gradient pink and blue sunglasses are completely dreamy. I love the shape, it’s a nod to the ’70s without feeling completely dated or too kitsch.

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I am obsessed with this acrylic eyeglass chain. It comes in a variety of colors and are a great way to avoid losing your sunglasses to the bottom of the lake. Also super convenient if you are bopping in and out of places and your sunglasses won’t stay on your head.


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Finally, this is the least essential item, and probably barely functions, but I can’t help but love this rhinestone belt. I really see this balancing out a super casual look of jean shorts. It adds an element of fun to something you don’t expected to see it paired with.

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Amazon Accessory Round Up

Finding Peace Working From Home

Brown Photo Fashion Facebook Cover

When Coronavirus hit and my entire office quickly shifted to a work from home model, my life honestly didn’t change much at first blush. If you’ve read my other piece on how to mentor from afar, you know I’ve been a primarily remote employee since late 2018. I know from personal experience, it’s easy to underestimate how difficult working remotely can be – especially if you are an extrovert who loves to bounce ideas off people!

Within a few weeks of our new office set ups, I had multiple colleagues calling, texting, and instant messaging me on how difficult they were finding this situation now that the dust settled. One friend looking for solace asked how long it took for me to find a rhythm and was shocked when I said nine months to a year. While I do believe this is largely a time game, there are things that fundamentally helped me feel like this was normal.

Get dressed. 

This one, I’m pretty firm on. It was the one thing I did not do right away and when I started doing it, I felt 100 times better. Now, that’s not saying every single day the outfit has to be totally office level, sometimes I’ll pair a nice shirt with jean shorts. I found that if I do this the line between relaxation and work is better defined. Also, if you have to run to the store it seems less cumbersome because you are ready to go.

Have some rituals. 

One of my rituals is having my morning coffee before I set up for the day. I don’t answer work calls or messages. I enjoy this and get dressed. This could honestly be anything that you maybe would have done at work otherwise (some of the girls in my office used to have a day set to wear athleisure – that should still be a “thing”).

Define space. 

Okay, this one will definitely be challenging pending your set up. I’m lucky that when we moved we knew I’d be working remotely so we spent the extra money to have an extra bedroom. You can get creative, but I beg you, don’t work in bed (another mistake I personally made). Again, this will help your mind differentiate “home” and “work.”

Take breaks and log off. 

I take multiple short walks outside during the day. When you’re in the office you’d like get up, walk around, go to meetings, etc. You aren’t getting that right now and you need that time to reset. Also, try to set clear times to log on and off – I burned out fast thinking I would get up extra early to start work (you know, since I could roll out of bed, not get dressed and roll back in with laptop). Try to ask yourself if you would stay late at the office to finish this item or if you’d leave it for the next day.

Remote work is challenging under normal circumstances. Give yourself some grace right now – you’re trying to get your work done during a global crisis. There are obviously more things you can do than I listed above (I love to get flowers for the office), but these are simple things you can do to give yourself some peace working from home.

Finding Peace Working From Home

Hats & Hats & Hats

Anyone who knows me well knows I love a good hat. One of my favorite brands is Lack of Color by the way – I don’t think I’ve ever gotten so many compliments. Lately, I’ve been seeing so much inspiration on hats with fun elements to style them and make them your own.

I love the idea of adding a velvet ribbon, feathers, a bandana or even embroidery for something more permanent. Wool hats can really add interest to a look – I love with a Reformation dress or even a vintage t shirt and jeans.

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Hats & Hats & Hats

Bet on Mid-tier Influencers

Influencer trends

For the past few years, there’s been a splattering of articles proclaiming that influencer marketing is dead. Honestly, I’m at a point where I either roll my eyes or I laugh.

Sure, in the past decade we’ve seem some industries hit hard including print and TV. I personally believe these people assume death means “gone” or “done.” Really, it means transformation for survival. The print outlets who pivoted to online sooner are by and large still around. The networks who leaned into streaming platforms were better positioned than their competitors. The people who dig their heels in saying that something is over instead of something is changing are narrow minded and frankly I’m tired of it.

Yes, influencer marketing is changing. That’s nothing new, it’s always been changing, maybe you just weren’t paying attention. I’ll walk you down memory lane.

When I started my career, we called it “Blogger Relations” – we essentially treated bloggers like media. We pitched them product in hopes they’d write articles (here’s one of my early hits on HelloGiggles I was incredibly proud of at the time). It was extremely reminiscent of traditional PR.

Time passed and things evolved. Now I was paying bloggers for posts or in exchange for gift cards. I will never forget the day I got a media kit from a blog I loved and their going rate for a long-term partnership was slightly more than my annual salary. This was a huge shift for me seeing that these blogs were in essentially mini media publications themselves. I knew I had to lean into this industry.

Then we started seeing the splits based on followings as new platforms emerged (Instagram, Vine, etc). Our feeds filled with micro influencers hawking hair vitamins and mega influencers on the red carpet for the Met Gala. This starts to ramp us up to where we are today and where I think we’re going.

There is a huge space for what I call the “power middle” for influencers. Brands and consumers are getting massive fatigue from brands deploying hundreds of micros to share the same product on the same day and these mega influencers are taking the place of traditional celebrities and are even appearing in TVCs.  This leaves us that mid-pack group. Here’s why I’m betting on them:

  • ROI: They are large enough for great reach, without the hefty price tags of your mega influencers.
  • Relatability: While they have sizable followings, they are still small enough to feel connected to their audience.
  • Content Quality: Mega influencers often have tons of resources for great content, sometimes micros do and sometimes they don’t. This middle group is typically a sweet spot of DIY and professionally made content.

All in all, there are exceptions to every rule and every brand and campaign is unique. There’s never a one size fits all solution for influencer (or really anything else in the marketing mix for that matter). However, these power middle influencers have so much potential to be the leaders of the industry. That is, until it changes again.

Bet on Mid-tier Influencers

Style Inspiration: Summer White

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Warmer weather to me always signals crisp and fresh outfits. Maybe growing up in Texas this feeling and mood comes earlier for me than most (I have to laugh when Orange County neighbors think 80 degrees is a heat wave). Wearing white can be a bold statement and sometimes tricky to get something that truly feels like “you.” There are some things I consider when going for this bright look.

Go all in on the color, but pop with accessories. Add a metallic or cherry red bag. Find sunglasses in a stunning color instead of a the typical tortoise or black. Spice things up with pattern shoes. The all white background will give these pieces a moment to shine.

Find points of interest or texture. Maybe its buttons. Maybe it’s a summer knit against white denim. Maybe it’s an open back or cutouts. Regardless, add some visual interest to your look by having some unexpected elements. It will ooze of cool.

But, don’t be afraid of classics. A light white button down can be styled so many ways. Maybe it’s a french tuck, or buttons done at the top versus the bottom. Maybe its worn and wrinkled and has a beautiful patina. Classic doesn’t have to mean boring if you don’t let it.

Style Inspiration: Summer White

How to be a good mentor from home

Green and Pink Stripes Artists & Illustrators Influencer Maximalism Facebook Cover

A friend and I were recently catching up and she brought up mentorship in the time of COVID-19. While most people are adjusting to a new reality of working from home, I’ve been working from home since late 2018 and she expressed how she thought I had managed to still be available as a good mentor even when I’m not physically present.

Now, adjusting to not having an office space can be a challenge for many reasons. We have to pivot our entire mindsets of how we do our work. Those around us that deserve education and encouragement should still be able to receive those benefits regardless of our current location.

I often hear the excuse: I can’t just pull them into a room to listen into a call when we aren’t in the same space. 

I get it. Especially in my field, being able to just grab a fellow staffer to sit in on a call or a meeting can be super helpful and when WFH you have to go out of your way to orchestrate this. I implore you, when you can, try to patch them in. I know it won’t always work, but just make it a habit. We’re lucky that most people are in a similar boat and understanding when you ask if they can hold for an extra minute while you try to get your entire team.

Make use of technology. 

Yes, video calls are great, but I’m not just talking about that. Try to use platforms that allow you to collaborate on documents. Google docs is really universal and most people are comfortable using that platform. Microsoft team also has great functions for sharing documents.

On that note, get in the habit of over explaining and asking your mentee to share their thinking. 

This is honestly something that should have been done before we were booted out of office spaces for our own safety. When I started my career, I personally always hated when a superior would review my work and just fix it for me. Especially when there were no comments. Get used to overtly saying why you did something vs. assuming. Also, ask for your mentee to mark up their work with comments to share their thinking. This is not only helpful to the mentee, but it helps you understand how they think or got to a conclusion. Ultimately, it will help you provide them better guidance.

During this hard time, just be available. 

Good mentors listen. It doesn’t need to be formal, but even sending a quick note to check in and see how they are doing is a great way to build the relationship. The more trust there is, often the more they’ll open up, which will give you opportunities for genuine guidance.

What steps do you think are essential to being a good mentor during this time?

How to be a good mentor from home

Are you there, debt relief? It’s me, Jordan.

I vividly remember sitting in a class senior year of high school and a woman came to talk to us about college and student loans. She was so nonchalant about taking on debt, comparing it to how no one scoffs at taking out a home loan. This was laughably before the housing market crash, but these are statements I will never get out of my ears.

I barely knew what I wanted to be when I grew up, still full of raging teenage hormones, but was somehow “responsible” enough to sign for six figures worth of student loan debt. This toxic industry was only reinforced by my parents outdated notion that since they paid their way through school, I should be able to as well. To clarify, I don’t think paying your own way through college is wrong or you should expect your parents to foot the bill, but my circumstances and my parents were incredibly different. Their statements only reinforced taking out loans in my mind. My college, which was also my parents’ alma mater, was only a few thousand a semester during their college years. When I was accepted it was a steep $40K a year and I received very limited financial assistance.

While no one was forcing me to sign on the dotted line, media had fed me idealistic images of beautiful college campuses and that this was the path you took if you were smart. I know this story is far from unique. I luckily had a great experience that I think of fondly and built a great network that got me a job right out of school.

When I graduated, I was overwhelmed by the debt. I was only making about $32K a year, and every step forward I took with raises I couldn’t help but have lifestyle creep. There are days I often reminisce about how I made my life work with considerably less. I became so desensitized to seeing a high number on my outstanding loan amount on my bank statement that I developed an unhealthy relationship with money.

A few years ago, I got a job that didn’t have corporate cards. It was the first time I took out a credit card. In my mind, I knew that I needed to only put work expenses on that card, but easier said than done. Because of my massive amount of debt, I had very little saved up for emergencies. Someone broke into my car and I needed my window fixed, that blue piece of plastic got swiped. I unexpectedly got the flu and had to go to urgent care, it got swiped. I was exhausted and was self soothing by shopping…well you see where this is going. I racked up a few more thousand dollars that I still chip away at.

There are days I still feel like a failure with money. I think about all the things I could have if I hadn’t taken out that credit card, or if I hadn’t gone to college. My mind swirls with the freedom my husband and I could experience if this debt didn’t exist. Now, I’m really working on being better with money, having a budget and cut back on frivolous spending.

We’re lucky that there are more people, especially women, talking about money (I personally love listening to Gaby Dunn or watching Aja Dang). When I feel really down on myself about money, I try to remind myself I’m not alone and so many of us were sold this bad deal. I know there will be an end eventually if I can just stay on track. In the meantime I will be working 60 hour weeks, freelancing and selling my clothes at Buffalo Exchange.

Are you there, debt relief? It’s me, Jordan.

Bougie on a budget

Ok I’ll be honest. I have a ton of student loan debts (like many of my peers) but I also have what my MIL likes to call “champagne taste on a beer budget.”

Personal style is really important to me. I went to a private school where I wore the same thing day in and day out. I feel most like myself when I can dress the way I want, which often comes with a high price tag.

Recently, I’ve begun to accept the fact that I really need to focus on spending better and spending less.

Spending better – only buying things that are 1) quality and will last longer. That cost per wear y’all. 2) make me feel good and no buyer’s remorse. I recently have begun swapping my beauty products for green & clean ones. 3) things that better myself, like my yoga studio.

Spending less – This is pretty self-explanatory but does ladder into spending better. If I buy better quality things and only things I truly love, I’ll buy fewer items. I also love a good coffee out, but that racks up quickly. I’m not going to ditch it all together, but just do it less.

Some things I’m doing to help me be better with money:

Podcast Bad with Money by Gaby Dunn – I recently discovered this from listening to another podcast called Glowing Up. What I appreciate about this Gaby’s refreshing take on “who was going to tell us this?” Meaning, who was supposed to tell us about 401ks or investments. It’s also super interesting from the perspective of the societal structures that keep the rich rich and poor, well, poor.

Investing/Saving – I’m a little ashamed to admit, I only just started a 401k about a year ago. Late is better than never I suppose. I’m also dipping my toe in investing with Ellevest. I don’t put in more than I’m willing to lose, because to be honest, much like Gaby  Dunn investing still mystifies me, but I know the investing gap is REAL.

Using services that help me save – when I do shop online, I’ve started to make sure I use ebates. It’s not a ton of money, but in the past two years, I’ve probably gotten a return of ~$100, which adds up! Also I make sure that I constantly use things like to get rewards. My husband I were recently able to get a hotel room for free on a last minute trip.

Shop used – I’ll admit sometimes this is hard. Because shiny new consumerism! However, things like Luxury Garage Sale and The Real Real is a great way to get something in a good condition at sometimes half the cost.

I’m really focusing on making a huge dent in my debt this year and to have financial freedom. What steps do you take to feeling in control of your finances?

Bougie on a budget