Worth It

Be True to Your School: 5 Ways to Give Back to Your Alma Mater

This weekend is Homecoming at Purdue University.
Homecoming is a time when alumni return to campus to reunite with friends and reminisce about their college days.

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Photo Credit: Trevor Mahlmann

Oh….and go to the football game

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Photo Credit: Trevor Mahlmann

 

You may be picturing alumni clubs and alumni donors as rich retirees, but recent grads – the truth is….It’s not too early to give back to your school. 

You can volunteer your time and make use of your connections to impact current students in the following ways:

  1. Job Shadow

  2. Mock Interviewer

  3. Resume Reviewer

  4. Guest Speaker or Mentor

  5. Monetary Donation

Job Shadow

Career exploration is important as some students are still figuring which industry would be the best choice for them. If your company will allow it, a job shadowing opportunity can help a student to experience a typical day in your role.

Resume Reviewer

The first step on the path to an internship or full-time career opportunity is creating a resume. As a resume reviewer, you can assist students in making sure their resumes are polished and professional.

Mock Interviewer

Resumes and interviews go hand in hand. You can help students prepare to make a good first impression by participating in a mock interviewing program. Using a list of standard behavioral interview questions, you can simulate a typical job interview so that students can practice communication skills.

Guest Speaker or Mentor

Student organizations are often looking for professionals to speak at various club meetings and conferences. If you are willing to talk about your company or share your success story, this is another great way to share your knowledge and experience.

 If you are willing to meet students one-on-one or in small groups for coffee or be contacted by phone or Skype, students who are looking for some direction and advice would be grateful to benefit from your mentorship.

Monetary Donation

Whether you can contribute a little or a lot, every dollar adds up. If you make  donation, most contributions are tax deductible and often you are given the option to designate whether you want your contribution to go to a specific student organization, program, or school within the university. To increase the impact of  your contribution, find out if your company offers a matching program.

Also, don’t forget to leverage your connections inside and outside of your workplace. Many corporations are involved in philanthropy and are willing to sponsor student organizations and university events. You can act as a liaison in helping to coordinate a company sponsorship.

For more information on how you can give back, contact your school’s alumni office or career center.

Ever Grateful, Ever True

Have a Happy Homecoming Week

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Tips for New Travelers

As the title says, this post is intended for new travelers – if you’re a frequent flyer please add your tips in the comments!

  • Create an itinerary that includes your flight and hotel information to share with family and friends. If you have planned activities add them to your itinerary, so you can stay on schedule.

  • Print your flight booking confirmation and tickets for any activities you purchased in advance

  • Download and check the airline app to be aware of any gate changes or delays

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When in NOLA

 

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To celebrate Mardi Gras, today’s post is a recap of our Spring 2015 trip to New Orleans. We’re bringing you 5 recommendations of fun things to do and see.

  1. Hotel Monteleone’s Carousel bar

  2. Café du Monde and Jackson Square

  3. Mardi Gras World

  4.  The French Quarter & Hurricane’s at Pat O’Brien’s

  5. The French Market

Hotel Monteleon’s Carousel Bar

After seeing Hotel Monteleon’s Carousel Bar on a travel channel show, I knew I wanted to go there during our trip.

The carousel bar is a real functioning  revolving carousel that moves at a pace more comparable to the Earth than a carnival ride as not to displace the bottles & drinking glasses. The carousel completes one rotation every 15 minutes.

Being a popular location it was very crowded and at first it was hard to find a seat. We ordered our drinks at another bar area that was farther back from the carousel. Luckily, an older couple was kind enough to wave us over to their table as they were leaving. We sat at a small, round table for two and crunched on Gardetto’s snack mix that was served with the drinks.

The Sazarac – the official cocktail of New Orleans: whiskey, sugar, bitters and absinthe

Café Du Monde

No trip to New Orleans would be complete without a visit to Café du Monde. It’s an open air café with lots of tables close together under a green and white striped awning. The lines for to-go orders and for seating seemed equally long and we wanted to have the experience of eating at the famous café. The menus are printed on the napkin holders and it’s best to be ready to order when the waiters come by. Napkins are essential – as you can see in the photo, these airy doughnuts are covered in piles of sweet powdered sugar. Yum!

  

Jackson Square

Café du Monde is found near Jackson Square, which is a park located in the French Quarter. The St. Louis Cathedral, a well-known New Orleans landmark is surrounded by beautiful greenery and gardens.

Mardi Gras World

At Kern Studios’ Mardi Gras world – it’s Mardi Gras all year long. For a family friendly activity, you can tour the factory where floats are made. As soon as the current year’s Mardi Gras parade is over, float builders are back to work creating for the next year. It’s amazing to see how large-scale the floats are along with the talent and intricate attention to detail it takes to decorate them.



Before the tour begins, there is a short presentation about the history of the holiday and traditions of the parade. King Cake is a coffee-cake like iced pastry served only during Mardi Gras season (but of course Kern Studios has it specially made for every tour group). Following tradition,  each King Cake has a small plastic baby baked inside. Whoever gets the piece with the baby is the host of the next year’s Mardi Gras party.

The French Quarter

The French Quarter is the fun, touristy area known for nightlife on Bourbon Street. The truth is that New Orleans is a party even during the daytime. One afternoon we sat on the patio enjoying the sunshine at Pat O’Brien’s Courtyard. While the Sazarac takes the title of official New Orlean’s cocktail – I would argue that the hurricane is a more well-known drink outside of NOLA. The hurricane was created at Pat O’Brien’s Bar  in the 1940’s and many would say they still make it better than anywhere else.  Pat O’Brien’s hurricanes are sweet and strong. Ours were served in plastic cups instead of the namesake glass – which is fine because unlike the Midwest, New Orleans allows alcoholic drinks to-go and it’s not unusual to stroll down the street with a drink in hand.

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The French Market

The French Market is lined on both sides with vendors selling all kinds of souvenirs, novelties, food & drinks. We enjoyed a piña colada and a frozen daiquiri from Organic Banana – they offer a variety of daiquiri flavors along with non- alcoholic fruit smoothies.

You can find a  variety of items ranging from the expected tote bags, shot glasses, and keychains (many of which were covered in the fleur de lis) to alligator head bottle openers. Most vendors offer low prices, making The French Market the perfect place for souvenir shopping before you return home.

Have you visited New Orleans or celebrated Mardi Gras?

Tell me in the comments!

“To Travel” List

Style & Savings Jet Set

Traveling is something I have always wanted to do and one of the perks of “adulting” at an accounting job is that I finally have the paycheck to do it.

Here is my “To Travel” list of destinations in no particular order I will mark them off (and add to it) as I go!

  • California (LA/Hollywood, San Francisco)

  • Vegas

  • Texas (Dallas, Houston)

  • Hawaii

  • Georgia (Atlanta)

  • NYC

  • St. Louis, Missouri

  • Miami, Florida

  • Washington DC

  • Atlantic City/Jersey Shore

  • The Hamptons

  • Monte Carlo, Monaco

  • Seattle – (Pikes Place market, big fancy Starbucks)

🎶 Come Fly With Me 🎶

                          

Bridal on a Budget: What’s Worth It

In a recent issue of Wedding Wire’s email newsletter, I clicked on the article

 7 Things Every Couple Should Agree on Before they Start Wedding Planning.

The second thing on the list after Budget was Spending Priorities. As a Bride on a Budget, I had already put some thought into this – my photographer and videographer were the first vendors I booked.

Here are the Top 5 items in our wedding budget that are worth it:

1- Photography

2- Videography

3 – The Dress

4 – Music

5 – Food

1- Photography: Photos are forever. I want to have a beautiful wedding album and framed         photos to decorate our future home

2- Videography: Watching a video of our wedding will allow us to re-live the happy                     memories

3- The Dress: The big moment of a wedding is when the bride makes her grand entrance.           With all eyes on me, I want to look stunning!

4- Music: While the ceremony is all about the bride & groom, the reception is about                     creating a fun party for the guests. Music sets the tone for the party and the dance                 floor. We want our guests to remember how much fun they had celebrating with us.

5 – Food: Having good food is part of providing hospitality to guests and being a good                   hostess.

 

As a guest or a Bride, what elements of a wedding are most important to you?

To Travel & Beyond

 

Wedding Wish Lists

Besides the Save the Date debate, another compromise we made was the decision to have a registry or a Wishing Well

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(a nice way of saying cards & cash only)

Our compromise was to create a registry for the Bridal Shower and to have a Wishing Well at the wedding

Originally I really wasn’t interested in a registry because we both have apartments with home & kitchen essentials, but once we started the list, I realized there were some items that I would enjoy, but normally wouldn’t treat myself to.

Libbey® 9-Piece Cocktails Mixologist Set              Waring® Rotating Style Belgian Waffle Maker

Another reason why I didn’t want a registry is etiquette. I read this book right after we got engaged and it made me very conscious of not becoming an entitled Bridezilla and remembering to be a gracious hostess to my guests. I do not want to offend them by “asking” for gifts or dictating how much a gift should cost.

Miss Manners' Guide to a Surprisingly Dignified Wedding

As part of the compromise, we are not publishing registry information on any of the invitations. The registry will only be shared with guests who ask or choose to view it on our wedding website.

Despite Miss Manners’ views on the matter, registries have become commonplace and are considered helpful to guests who are not sure what to give.

Registries have evolved to include contributions to the Honeymoon or to a down payment on the couples’ first house.

As a guest or as a bride – How do you feel about wedding registries?  

 

 

To Travel & Beyond

Save the Date Discount

My favorite (pre-) Black Friday deal this season was from Vistaprint. Their  emailed coupon code was for 60% off, which was better than the code that was advertised on the site (50% off).

After some debate, we decided that Save the Dates are a good idea and this was the perfect time to order them.

This design incorporates our school colors – I’m proud to say black & gold are an elegant duo for formal events.

The other half of the design will be a photo from our engagement photo session where we are wearing our wedding colors. Using the wedding colors on save the dates and invitations is a good cue for guests who want to dress to match the color scheme.

I’m happy with the deal I got from Vistaprint especially since it included the envelopes and return address labels.

I realize that there are even cheaper alternatives such as to send evites or to text your save the dates – but I like the idea of a refrigerator magnet as a reminder. Remember the days when mom would put your school picture, drawings, or A+ homework on the refrigerator? How could you not feel special with your picture on 150+ refrigerators?

Happy Wedding Wednesday!

Style and Savings Wedding logo        5fe57-wedding-wednesday-button_

Update: Our Save the Dates arrived in the mail in about a week from when we ordered them & I am really happy with the quality