Monday, August 22, 2016

So I'm Working With a Health Coach...

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why you should try health coaching

Health coaching. Seems a little vague on first glance - not necessarily something we're all become familiar with.

I've tried seeing a counselor, I've worked out for my whole life, and I think I know how to eat well, but suddenly I've learned that there's a whole lot more to the concept of HEALTH than those parts of my life.

Enter Jessica Cassity, founder and owner of Deeply Rooted Coaching.

Jessica sent me an email a while back and offered to show me her stuff - a whole 8 sessions/3 months of open & honest conversations, a tiny bit of paperwork, and hopefully some progress. Honestly, Jessica's email couldn't have come at a better time in my life. I'm just starting to gather the pieces (I know, it seems like this has been happening for a while) and taking some tangible steps (with Jessica's support) toward actually starting the next chapter of my adult life.

So far we have had about 2.5 (I add .5 because one of our conversations was cut short by me being disorganized and phone conversations about my goals, a one-year vision, and then discussing ways that I can be moving toward this vision and toward these next things even while I'm in the midst of a chapter that feels a little stagnant.

So let's get real here - I'm going to share my vision with y'all, and talk a little bit about how my conversations with Jessica have made me feel about it.

My one-year vision: I see myself living in Richmond, hopefully in an apartment on my own, with a job that pays the bills and challenges me either intellectually or creatively. Not something where I sit in the same place for 8 hours a day, but something that makes sense for my level and lifestyle. I want a gym membership, a workout routine, and the ability to have control over my surroundings - including diet and lifestyle.

Where I am now: I've been living at home in Portland for almost three months now. I wasn't sure for a while if I would be here for a few years, wasn't sure if I was going to move back to VA, and haven't been totally happy. Impermanence made me feel like I couldn't splurge on a gym membership or get a steady job - I work part time and nanny part time and am probably the most out of shape I've ever been.

How Jessica has helped: At the beginning of our relationship, Jessica mentioned that health coaching focuses on a goal and on small daily changes, rather than discussing things that happened in the past and why they're having an impact on my life now. We've had super open talks about my family, my feeling of stuck-ness (or whatever), and certain things that have been causing me anxiety and stress. I left our last talk feeling empowered to make decisions for myself and take small steps (like finding a two-week exercise Groupon and planning the driving route back to VA) that will help put me in the mindset I want to be in when I get back to Richmond.

Stay tuned - I've been tweeting a lot about this journey, and plan on spotlighting Jessica in my #GirlBoss series. If you've been feeling stuck, a health coach (or even the tips I'll share from my experience) could be a great way to get out of your current rut.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

My Favorite Scents

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It's possible that I have a perfume obsession. I rarely, if ever, leave the house without spritzing myself with one my my favorite scents - and if I leave without putting any perfume on, it's okay because I always keep a tiny bottle of Pacifica perfume in my car for this type of *emergency*. Because this (for whatever reason) is such a big deal to me, I figured it wouldn't hurt to share some of my favorite scents with you (whoever you are). I usually like typically "girly" scents that would probably be categorized as light or sweet, like Bamboo, that I just snagged from Fragrance Outlet (and came in a really adorable box, always a plus). My all-time favorites are from Jo Malone - she makes gorgeous, natural scents that can be layered with each other to make something perfectly unique to your taste. I learned this from my Grannymac, who passed away when I was a sophomore in college. She loved to take me to Nordstrom and visit the Jo Malone counter, where she would pick up her favorite scent (Vanilla and Anise) and let me pick out a few samples for myself. It's one of my fondest memories, and something I love to look back on when I'm shopping for myself or others. Perfume can be a wonderful evocation of special times and memories, and having a "signature scent" is a cool concept.

I linked a few of my faves below, most of which are ones I've either worn in the past or loved on my friends and family. 
Comment and let me know your suggestions!

*I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.*

Friday, July 15, 2016

Yes, You Can: Get a Big-Girl Job

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Happy Wednesday, and happy job-hunting to all you recent college graduates out there! If you've been keeping up with The PDX Belle lately, you may be aware that I've returned to Portland (PDX) and am on the hunt for a "real" job - or as I like to call it, a "big-girl job". Anyway, this has been quite a ride for me - I've had a number of interviews both in-person and over the phone as well as on Skype. I've had some weird emails from recruiters, a few profiles on online job boards, and a few major letdowns. If you're also navigating these uncharted waters, this post is for you. I've come up with some resources for us from other bloggers who have been in the same boat - read on and let me know if you have any helpful tips yourself!

1. It isn't all about grades anymore.
Focus on creating a well-rounded resume that highlights your achievements both in and out of the classroom.

 "If a hiring manager is reviewing two resumes and one candidate has a 4.0 GPA and very little job experience or extracurricular activities, and the second candidate has a 3.5 but was in several leadership positions in different organizations during their time in college, who do you think is the more attractive candidate?" -5 Career Myths You Can Stop Stressing About, The Young Hopeful 

2. Be patient. This is a process. Don't beat yourself up when you don't get the position - focus on what you can improve on and how this experience ultimately (even if it's in, like, ten years) will help you land the ~dream job~.

3. Do your research. Make sure you know what you're applying for and what the company or organization is all about. See #5...
"Especially you comm. people… when a website says “PR Assistant” what they really mean is “Entry Sales Position/Telemarketer for Verizon Fios.” Do your research before applying." -Pro Tip Interview Hacks, Ampersand 
4. Dress to impress... Kind of. Practice walking around in your interview outfit, sitting down, crossing and uncrossing your legs, see if it shows sweat, and make sure it's nice and conservative. Need some tips? Check out this post on Berry Trendy for an example of a professional look, as well as suggestions on how to build a grown-up wardrobe.

5. Ask questions. If you did some research on the company, you may be wondering about its' history or previous growth. Are there opportunities for promotion? How would you describe the workplace culture? What would a typical day in this role look like? Check this Pinterest board for more ideas, or if you want to be let in on a lesser-known tip, check out this post.

Ready to ace the interview? 
Comment below and let me know about your job search - trials, tribulations, and successes! 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Portland-Area Hikes

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Helloooo readers if there are any of you today - I'm currently back in Portland trying frantically to find a job and stay sane while living at home. The ways I'm staying sane? Redecorating my dad's house (see how I mentioned a bit of a family structure shift here - we're all still recovering a bit), spending as much time as possible outside, and doing everything I can to take advantage of PDX while I'm here, because who knows where the next few months/years will take me!

Like I said, I've been trying to get outside as much as possible. For me, that means doing something I've grown up with - walking trails in and around the Columbia Gorge, Portland area (hi, Forest Park), or the Cascades/Mt. Hood. I joke with my dad that you can tell if a person is from Portland based on their approach to hiking - if they won't shut up about it and have it on their Bumble bio, they're probably from California.

As the summer goes on, I'm going to keep updating this list with my favorite area hikes, including their difficulty, photos, and links to driving directions (bc God knows I can't give directions). Here's my first fave --

McNeil Point 

Yes, it's actually called McNeil Point - for years I thought my dad was joking with me because that's our last name. 
  • Difficulty: Moderate to difficult - it's nearly 10 miles round trip on sort of a lasso type loop, and there's a part toward the end (when you're almost to the little hut at the top) when you're legit scrambling straight up loose rocks. That's kinda hard when you're out of shape like me.
  • Perks: The view of Mt. Hood is insane. Once you get to the top, it feels like you could just about walk right onto the side of it. The wildflower fields throughout the whole hike are gorgeous at the right time of year, too.

Catherine Creek

There are actually a ton of trails in this area - it's right across the Hood River bridge in the Columbia Gorge. Stop at White Salmon or Hood River on your way home for a beer!
  • Difficulty: This is a multi-pronged answer due to Catherine Creek's multiple trails. There's an ADA accessible paved trail across the road from the trailhead I usually go to, and it still offers a gorgeous view of the Columbia River Gorge (obviously very easy, good for all ages and abilities). There's also a short 2-mile loop that I've been doing with my family as long as I can remember, and that's easy as well. Beyond these trails, there are networks that lead as far up the ridge as you choose to go - it's great for exploring but can get a little bit steep and rocky as the views get better.
  • Perks: My dad always says that when it' cloudy in Portland, it'll be sunny near Hood River. And generally, he's right about that - it's rare to hike Catherine Creek on a cloudy day, which is awesome because the view of the Gorge to the east and of Mt. Hood to the west are phenomenal, and the meadows and wildflowers are pretty as well.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

"Do Something Dope"

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cross country

My younger brother, Eamon, has a category of apps on his phone labeled "do something dope". In this category are some travel apps, map apps, and other activity-oriented apps - stuff you'd look at if you were planning something fun and out of the ordinary.

I learned about this category while Eamon and I drove cross country last week - all the way from Richmond, VA to Portland, OR. In my 2000 Jeep Cherokee. Loaded down with a huge amount of the stuff I've accumulated throughout college. Needless to say, we were really a sight to behold.

We left Richmond in the morning on Saturday and made it to PDX at around dinnertime on Wednesday, making the trip a 4-night 5-day adventure that spanned across the U.S. - a bucket list type thing for me, and an excuse to connect with some awesome people. I feel like if you're down to welcome two college kids driving cross country into your home no questions asked, you're probably a pretty sweet human being - it takes a special brand of hospitable and chill to be about that type of last-minute overnight visit.

This trip was a reminder for me to get out of my comfort zone and reconnect with the world around me, with places like the Flatirons or Utah Salt Flats or the rolling farmland in western Iowa. With people like the sweet family we stayed with in Omaha who fed us bratwurst and fruit salad, our cousins who took us to an Oregon-themed Chicago bar, a mutual friend in Boulder who sent us off with a handmade dream catcher, and a gal in Salt Lake who gave us an evening walking tour of the city. They were all kind and welcoming and awesome in their own ways and were intentional in their hospitality and in giving us a taste of their beloved homes.

After all the amazing scenery, fabulous human beings, creepy roadside stops, soggy sandwiches, repetitive Spotify playlists, and wrong turns, I can confidently say that we did something dope.
Don't let it stop here - don't just chill in your comfort zone.

(thanks for the inspiration and road companionship, E)

Monday, June 20, 2016

Wait, what?

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This is coming out of nowhere, or so it may seem. What is coming out of nowhere? This post - the fact that I actually opened up Blogger and started to type. Somehow,we went from hitting a couple hundred views per day this summer to a whopping 50 (on a good day) right now, nearly a year later. Strange how these things work - how life starts to change, how you let go and hope that one day you might regain control of something so seemingly insignificant as the lifestyle blog you began almost a year and a half ago in hopes of one day becoming the next Carly Cardellino (if you know, you know) and curating or publishing content at a big shot magazine.

So what's the deal? Does this (The PDX Belle) not matter anymore - all the time and effort, photoshoots, relationships created, and candid words?

Not the case.

This year has been one for the books. If you've been around long enough, you know that I spent the past fall semester studying abroad in Austria - and if you paid attention, you would know that this little semester (so tiny in the scheme of things) had a bit of an impact on my general outlook.

The eating and exercise habits that had me dreaming about competing in IFBB bikini competitions last year (this is a little-known fact if there ever was one) stemmed from a breakup in January 2015 and resulted in me missing out on the vast majority of activities with my friends - tracking every single calorie that went into my body didn't allow for alcohol or late-night Sheetz runs, and working out after closing retail shifts every weeknight (including Fridays) didn't allow for spending much time with the girls. It took spending four months in Salzburg to kick these habits and learn how to love myself (something I still struggle with) with an extra five pounds or a new dress size. Disclaimer - if you love yourself first, there's nothing wrong with working out and counting your macros. That's the key.

So getting to now - breaking up with your best friend of 3 years isn't easy. Watching your family experience some nasty, heartbreaking structural shifts isn't easy. And facing the "real world" after a series of setbacks and quarter life crises hasn't been easy, either. The photo above is from a year ago, and it isn't representative of the way I look now. Getting in front of a camera and smiling to model an adorable boutique's newest dress doesn't sound fun right now, because I know I would look at the photos and dislike what I see. I'm in transition between home (Portland) and Richmond, hoping to find a job sometime soon, and wondering what the next step will be. My suitcases aren't unpacked just yet, and they may not be for a while.

But until then, The PDX Belle (the blog, not me) is going to need a little inspiration and revamping. If you stuck with this post long enough, maybe you have some ideas - maybe you knew The PDX Belle before Austria and before senior spring - and you can help us get back to a happy, healthy place.

Cheers - and thanks for your support!


Monday, February 15, 2016

Yes, You Can: Figure it Out As You Go Along

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Welcome back, readers! I've got another little motivational piece for ya - I've connected with another really cool creative gal, this time Britt from BTL Shoppe. She went about things a little differently than some of my other #GirlBoss features - she bought her business after dabbling in blogging and other creative outlets for quite some time. It's a cool story and she has some great insight -- follow along below!

We also have an Instagram GIVEAWAY running until Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 4 PM EST. Enter here

1. What is your history as a "maker"? What is your creative background?

For as long as I can remember, I've loved to write creatively. I always assumed my career would involve writing, yet I ended up going in a completely different direction. In 2010 I started a fashion and lifestyle blog called Try It On Me. I believe having a hobby or some creative outlet is essential in maintaining sanity! Blogging brought so many incredible opportunities to me over the years, one of which being my involvement with BTL Shoppe. After years of blogging on and off, I decided to take a break and look for something different. BTL Shoppe literally fell into my lap, and it was another creative endeavor that I was excited to explore! 

2. What is the biggest business risk you have ever taken? Did it pay off?

The biggest business risk I've taken was when I acquired BTL Shoppe. Aside from what I learned watching Shark Tank, I knew NOTHING about small business ownership. I'm an educator by day, so my background hasn't involved any business training. When the opportunity to purchase the business was presented to me, I scrounged up the funds to buy the business, in the midst of a holiday season. From day one of ownership, holiday orders were flowing in and I had no clue what I was doing! I'm 100% learning as I go, which is part exhilarating, and part terrifying! 

3. Why "BTL" or "Between the Lines"? Is there significance behind your shop's name?

To be honest, that's the name the business had when I bought it. I'm still deciding if I want to keep it, but I like it! 

4. Who is the greatest inspiration in your life? What impact have they had on your career?

The #GirlBoss movement in recent years has been a major inspiration. I read Sophia Amoruso's book a couple summer's ago, and immediately felt so inspired. love women that aren't afraid to speak their mind and make it happen! But if I had to pick a few favorites, I'd say BeyoncĂ©, Lena Dunham, Amy Schumer, and Taylor Swift are my girl crushes and muses of the moment. In my real life, my fiancĂ©, friends, and family have served as constant support and inspiration. 

5. If you could give advice to your 21-year old self, what would you say?

Jeez, I think about this question weekly! How much time do you have?! If I had to give advice to my 21- year old self I would tell her to say yes to (almost) everything. A couple years ago I read a quote from Tina Fey that said "Say yes and you'll figure it out afterward." As a historically "no" kind of person, I decided to start saying yes to nearly every opportunity that was thrown my way. And I'm so glad I have. I've been pushed out of my comfort zone time and time again, and met great people and had some amazing experiences, none of which would have been possible if I had been too afraid to say yes.