When You Don’t Get The Job

I’ve been very hesitant to share this story because I don’t want to come off petty or jealous. I’m going to be honest though… I kind of am. Let start out by saying there may be elements to this story that I don’t know. It doesn’t look like that’s the case, but it could be. Let me give you some background without being too specific, as to not burn any bridges with the parties involved.

Some of you may know that I own a salon studio. Working behind the chair and running my business is my primary job. I also freelance as an educator for a very popular brand. I do hair 6 days a week and I teach my classes almost every single Monday. I’ve been working 7 days a week most weeks for about 2 years now. I’ve done this because I’ve been taught that working hard is the only way to achieve goals and I’ve taken that idea to an extreme. I’ve become a workaholic and to be honest, most days I’m not mad about it.

So right before Christmas, this brand that I freelance for sent me an email saying there was an opening for a full-time position in my area. This would be an opportunity to do what I do on Mondays, as a full time job. I LOVE doing hair but teaching other people, sets my heart on fire. The idea of being able to do it more was such an exciting thought! Almost immediately I sent in my resume and I thought I had a great shot since I’ve already been trained by the company in facilitation and have gotten GREAT feedback on the classes I’ve been teaching the past couple of years. Bonus: I already live in the location that the position was open in so they wouldn’t have to relocate me!

I felt that the interview went great! I got really wonderful feedback from the woman who interviewed me and she commented on how much I’ve grown as an educator since being a new hire with the company. Later on the same day, she called me back offering me to work a really big show that the brand puts on every two years. She phrased it as if it was an opportunity for me to see if I really was interested in the position. I was over the moon! The company was paying my airfare, hotel, per diem PLUS paying me to work! This was a dream come true. At this point it almost felt like a done deal.

At the show, things seemed to go WONDERFULLY. I felt that I got along great with the team I worked with and they repeatedly told me how grateful that they were to have me there. On the last day, team members were starting to lose their voices which was a problem because they were supposed to be demoing on stage! I stepped up and filled in for a couple of them and everyone told me I saved the day. I couldn’t believe how well things were going. I was on cloud 9!

Weeks passed after the show and I heard nothing. I thought this was strange, but I figured that everyone must be really busy. I could see no reason why I wouldn’t be hired so I honestly hadn’t even considered the possibility that I wouldn’t have gotten the job. I was just waiting for the phone call to confirm so that I could announce to my clients that I would be changing my hours and accommodating them on nights and weekends from now on. After a while I decided to follow-up with an email. The first time, I heard nothing back. I emailed again another week after that and then I got the phone call. The woman who had interviewed me called to let me know that they went with another candidate who would be relocating from another state to take the job. It was a person that was currently in training as a freelance educator (like I already was). To say I was devastated is an understatment. It took all my strength not to burst into tears while I was on the phone. I was so caught off guard by this news that I was completely speechless.

The next day I emailed her asking for coaching on what I could’ve done differently and I was so disappointed with the feedback I received. It was clearly so generic and not personalized to me. She refered to improving statistics behind the chair that she had never even asked me about and had no way of where I stand with. She suggested that I take classes that are quite frankly less advanced than the certifications I already hold. I don’t blame her, I know she’s busy but I wish that someone had taken the time to give me personalized recommendations of what I could’ve done differently. I feel like I’ve dedicated so much to them over the past couple of years and I thought this was the moment where it would pay off. I was wrong.

Here’s what I learned from this situation: When it comes to other people, it doesn’t matter how hard you work, if the right people don’t notice then it’s not going to get you where you want to go. This was the last time I’m going to leave my destiny in anyone else’s hands. I own my own business because I want my decisions to be the only thing that dictate whether I succeed or fail. I never want to give anyone else the power to decide my potential again. I know what kind of fire burns inside of me to win and it’s quite frankly it doesn’t matter if anyone else sees it because I SEE IT. If I win, that’s on me. If I lose, that’s on me too. I’m sure I will do plenty of both but I can promise you I’ll win a lot more often. I’m learning every single day and I take every mistake as a learning experience and when you learn, it wasn’t really a mistake in my opinion.

What does that mean for you? I understand not all industries allow you the opportunity to be your own boss at all stages. However, I want to challenge you to be so undeniably tenacious with whatever you do that it’s impossible for people not to see it. If they don’t see it… then they’re not the right person to recognize that in you. Take the risk to find your tribe, if you’re tribe isn’t out there, then I guess it’s time for you to be the leader and start your own. See you on the flip side Chief! And until next time, stay advantageous.

Where In The World Have I Been?

You may have notice Pretty Advantagous has been Pretty Dead… lame joke right? Sorry, I had to. I figured it would be good to give you a quick expaination of were I’ve been and where I plan on going from here.

So Since I last posted, I’ve been to Alaska, Vegas, Arkansas, and New York City. It’s been a wild ride. I’ve learned a lot about myself and the world around me since we last spoke and I’ve got a ton of content I want to share with you in the upcoming days. Life isn’t always easy my friends. Sometimes the people who seem to have it all together are the people who are falling apart the most. I have so much to be grateful for but believe me, the struggle is still real. I want to start making this blog a bit more personal and see how everyone responds to it. These next few weeks are going to be a very experimental time for Pretty Advantageous so I appreciate all of you who will stick around for the ride while I find my voice and figure out exactly what I have to say. I can’t wait to take you all with me on this ride. Until next time, stay advantageous my friends.

Successful New Year’s Resolutions Start NOW

It’s officially MID-December. Holiday parties and gatherings are underway! We are out shopping like there’s no tomorrow and we are scurrying like little elves to get everything done in time for Christmas. What most of us are NOT thinking about is kicking off the New Year! It doesn’t seem like it’s that time yet, but 2019 is creeping up on us quicker than we ever realize! promises

How many times have you set your expectations for the New Year only to let yourself down just a few days or a few weeks in? Most of us see the New Year as a clean slate to achieve all that we set out to do! This year the most important habit we can kick is the habit most of us have where we don’t keep our promises to ourselves. In the book Girl Wash Your Face Rachel Hollis really opened my eyes to the concept that breaking promises to ourselves even if they’re small, sets us up for failure. When we break promises to ourselves it’s setting up a pattern in our brain where we are unwittingly training ourselves to quit before we even start. Your brain has a tendency to default to trained habits so if you’ve gotten into the habit of quitting your brain will want to default to that. The good news is, you can break that habit.

There are so many ways you can start setting yourself up for success with your New Year’s Resolutions NOW! Another thing I learned from Girl Wash Your Face (click the image above to purchase) is that it’s easier to add a new habit than to take one away. When I read that, I realized that this concept is true and that the reason most of us are failing to achieve our goals is because we are taking on these huge changes all at once and it’s simply not sustainable for most people! Of course, some of you are very strong willed and can do this, but most people will quit and get overwhelmed. So I came up with a foolproof strategy to achieve all my goals this year and I’m going to share that with you! No matter what your goals are for 2019, it’s time to jump start them NOW start ADDING habits today that will assist you in achieving your goals and then on January 1st you can start taking the bad habits away! So for example, if your goal is to be healthier this year, start drinking more water this week, next week start exercising and then when you start the healthy eating when the New Year begins, you won’t be trying to tackle everything all at once. If your goal is to be more organized, start pinning your organization ideas and maybe begin purchasing the things you’ll need to achieve that goal. That way, when 2019 comes you’ll have a game plan and all the tools you need to get organized immediately. If your goal is to start a blog, start researching the things you need to do to be successful, purchase your domain, you get the idea! Winning comes  with preparation so if you start setting yourself up for success now you will greatly increase your chances of achieving all that you set out to do.  

One of the best ways to get into the right mindset to achieve your goals is to start reading motivational books. I personally don’t have the time to sit down and read but Audible has completely changed my life. It has given me the ability to read over 40 books this year will multi-tasking. I am so thankful for this super affordable alternative to traditional reading. Honestly, I spend less on my Audible subscription than I would pay for all the books I read. If you want to kick start your year, take advantage of the great deal above by clicking the banner to receive your first 2 books free! 

What I Spent My 20% Off Ulta Coupon On…

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They say it’s the most wonderful time of the year! With all the wonderful sales on the shopping scene, I tend to agree. Although I know I should be shopping for everyone else during the month of December, when I receive an Ulta or Sephora coupon ALL BETS ARE OFF! As a self proclaimed makeup addict, I can’t help but take advantage of a good coupon. When I read the fine print on the Ulta coupon that came in the mail and saw that there were almost no restrictions, I got in the car and headed off to Ulta immediately. 

When I walked in without a game plan, I knew I was in trouble. After all, even a coupon is no excuse to spend all your money on things you don’t necessarily need so I did what any responsible adult would do and I went straight to the affordable section. When I say affordable, I’m referring to the non-luxury section of the store that I used avoid like the plague. With brands like NYX and Morphe stepping up their game I knew I could find some quality products over there! When it was all said and done with my coupon I spent UNDER $80 on all these goodies! If you want to see all my great finds, keep reading. 

 Ever since I realized that the Morphe X Jaclyn Hill Palette and Vault Collection were my eye shadow ride or die palettes, I’ve been dying to buy more Morphe shadows. I know they’re not the same formula, but with Jaclyn’s collections being so amazing I was really curious on what else the brand had to offer. I was looking through the palettes and this beauty definitely caught my eye! The Fall Into Frost Palette has a gorgeous variety of perfect fall and winter shades and it is a beautiful mix of mattes and shimmers. I used it for the first time today and I have to say, it lived up to all my expectations. 

Like I said, I’ve been wanting to try more Morphe products! The 8S Stellar Impact Highlighter Palette caught my attention immediately! I swathed that first blue shade (ultraviolet) shade in the store, after seeing the blinding shine and pigmentation I immediately had to add this to the bag. All the shades are very wearable. At first I thought the bluish shades would be way too much, but it actually looks amazing on! I can’t wait to try every shade! 

I’ve used so many beauty sponges! I thought I found my holy grail with the orange real techniques sponge. For the price and quality I believed it could not be beat. Although I must say, after trying the Morphe Beauty Sponge I’m fairly certain I’ve found my new favorite. What sets this particular sponge apart for me is the density! What I mean by that is it’s much heavier than any other beauty sponge and it packs on product like no other! I’ve only used it once for a regular foundation and concealer application today but I suspect the sharp edges are going to be great for highlighting and contouring… which is actually what the sponge was designed for. 

I wrote an entire blog about how much I love this foundation and all the reasons why a while ago so if you want to read that, click here. If you’ve read that, you probably know why I needed to repurchase this when I had the chance. 

NYX Liquid Suede lip sticks were my gateway into the affordable makeup world. They perform ALMOST as well as the Jeffree Star Cosmetics Liquid Lip Sticks. Although nothing can beat Jeffree, these are a close second. I love the consistency and the staying power of these lipsticks. They’re also not drying like some matte lipsticks can be. I grabbed the shade Brooklyn Thorn because although the photo does a poor job at capturing it, it’s a beautiful deep mauve with a subtle purple undertone. I’ve been looking for a shade like this for the colder months and this one was just what I was looking for at an unbeatable price. 

The last item I purchased was Worth The Hype Mascara by NYX. Honestly this was a disappointment because it didn’t meet any of my expectations I would have in a mascara. Although, I’d rather try a flop when I have a coupon than pay full price! So no harm no foul.  

Day 8 of Blogmas 2018

Chic & Unique Christmas Decor From Etsy!

Have you ever noticed that most of your friends have such similar holiday decor? Everyone seems to buy their decorations from all the same stores. I want my home to look chic and unique around the holidays! I think I finally cracked the code though! One of the best ways to make your home stand out at Christmas time is to buy some of your key pieces from Etsy! I found some great decor to help you get some great ideas. Some of them might even be able to be inspire you if you’re inclined in the DIY department. So without further ado, here are 7 amazing items that are sure to give your home the unique flair you are looking for this holiday season. 

 These Seashell Christmas trees are such a cute touch and are sure to give you tons of inspiration for an entire beach themed Christmas. The chances of other friends or family members adopting this unique holiday theme are slim to none! Your decor will definitely be a conversation starter. If you live somewhere cold, it’s also bound to make you feel a little bit warmer this Christmas. 

This AMAZING and unique MAP garland! Can you imagine how special this would look on a Christmas tree?! It’s perfect for a travel obsessed person, couple or family. I know that if I walked in and saw this strung across someone’s home I would think it was such a cool idea and I’d definitely want to talk about it. 

This adorable shadow box with Christmas music and decor! I’m imagining this gorgeous piece sitting on a piano! I think that would be such a beautiful touch for a music lover. I’m also picturing some beautiful paper garland with musical notes and snowflakes to go with the winter musical holiday scene! 

 Something that actually looks vintage to compliment your already vintage decor in the best possible way, like this Retro Wooden Santa! If you are trying to create a more 1950s vibe, this sign can go outside on the porch or be propped up against a wall to completely create that effect inside or outside of your home. 

Have you ever seen a Christmas trees covered in gorgeous orange monarch butterflies? I haven’t and most of your friends probably haven’t either. This is another great way to tie summer into your Christmas decor. I love the uniqueness of this beautiful idea. I guarantee everyone who visits will agree.   

A snarky sign mixed with holiday cheer! If you like a little bit of humor with your decor this sign is sure to give you the little laugh you’re looking for. People will probably be dying to know where one can make such a purchase. This is a very unique and interesting piece of decor. 

Isn’t this copper wire fairy light garland SO interesting? I can think of so many interesting places to put this in a home! Above a fireplace I bet it would give such a modern twist to any traditional holiday decorations you already have! 

I hope you enjoyed some of these Chic and Unique Etsy finds! If you look hard enough you may even be able to some more things to add to this list. 

5 Great Gifts For Dad

Dad’s, Grandpas and Uncles can be some of the hardest people to shop for. Here is a list of 5 gifts that most of the dad’s out there are sure to enjoy! Hopefully this gift guide will give you ideas that will confirm your spot in the family as the favorite! All the product photos below are amazon links so for specific names and more details that I haven’t included, just click the photos! 

An Outdoor Surveillance Camera like a Nest Cam!  I don’t know about your dad, but mine LOVES to know what’s going on outside. A camera like this will allow him to see what’s going on 24/7 from the convenience of his smart phone.  Plus, if he’s a practical man, word on the street is these cameras can actually lower homeowners insurance in a lot of areas! 

A Drone. My dad is a pretty much just an overgrown child. If your dad is retired like mine, and looking for a new hobby, learning to fly a drone will probably be perfect for him! The nice thing about these, is there’s a huge price range available so chances are you can find one in your budget. 

A Smart Watch. My dad has ALWAYS worn a watch. If yours has too, it might be a good time to upgrade him to an awesome Smart Watch like the Samsung Galaxy watch shown above. 

A Wireless Weather Station. This is another gift with the ability to sync to your dad’s smart devices! This is a great way for your dad to track the weather at home no matter where he is! Who wouldn’t want to nerd out over this sophisticated setup? 

A Telescope! This one may seem odd, but this is a gift that no one else has probably thought of. What better way to pass the time than to look at the stars! 

I hope this list was helpful and that it gave you some great ideas of things you can give your dad this holiday season! If you liked more than one idea save one for his birthday. 

Day 6 Of Blogmas 2018

Creative White Elephant Gift Ideas

Many different groups choose to do some variation of White Elephant around the holidays. I’ve also heard this game called Dirty Santa or Yankee Swap. Chances are if you’re attending holiday gatherings this year, you’re bound to find yourself in a situation where you’re playing a version of this game. 

If you’ve never played this game before, you probably have no idea what I’m talking about so I’ll quickly give you an overview of what this is all about. Usually each player or participant is asked to bring a wrapped gift to contribute to a pool of gifts that will be used to play the game. Usually all players will sit around a table or in a circle where the gift pool can easily be seen by all. Each player will draw a number which will determine the order that the players take their turns. The player who goes first will choose a gift and open it. Each player following will have the option to open a wrapped gift or steal a gift that has already been opened! In the event that a player has their gift stolen, they will then have the option to open a new gift or steal from another player. Some groups will have rules against stealing the same gift multiple times within a turn. As I mentioned earlier, there are many different variations of this game!  The host of your particular gathering will definitely give you the official rules of their version of the game. 

White Elephant gifts always come with a price you are asked to aim for. It’s usually between $10-$20 funny, weird and unique gifts are usually the biggest hit so below I’ve listed 5 great ideas at 3 different price points to help you get specific ideas, or draw inspiration. All the images are Amazon links so be sure to click them for more information on the brand, exact price, exact item name, and other details I may not have included. 

(Around) $10 Ideas 

Red Wine Stain Remover! This is a gift that will probably get a little chuckle especially since chances are someone will be drinking wine while this game is being played. I think this is a perfect White Elephant gift because it’s both functional and kind of funny. 

A Funny Throw Pillow. First of all, this will probably throw people off when it’s wrapped because the size and weight and also, home items like throw pillows with a hilarious phrase on them are an interesting touch to a household. An item like this will definitely be a hit! Of course, depending on the crowd you’ll be with you could always just get a regular decorative throw pillow! 

An Adult Coloring Book. Adult coloring books are still all the rage. They’re great for calming anxiety and killing time! Of course you could just pick up any old coloring book, but a funny one like The People Of Walmart Adult Coloring Book is sure to get the attention of the group and make everyone laugh. 

A Nerf Gun. When it comes to White Elephant, I think the most random and unexpected gifts always end up being the most fought over! A Nerf Gun is such a weird unexpected gift and if there are men playing, they will be stealing this EVERY TURN.  

Novelty Band-aids!  There are a lot of great novelty band-aids like these bacon bandages above! One of the best things about a gift like this, is even though it’s funny it is still useful. Besides, the next time you see a friend or family member wearing a bacon band-aid you’re sure to get a good laugh. 

(Around) $15 Ideas

A Novelty Clock. I think a novelty clock is a really funny White Elephant gift because people don’t really use wall clocks anymore but they can still be a really interesting conversation starter at the office or really anywhere it’s displayed. I love the Melting Clock pictured above. If there are any art lovers in the group they will definitely get a kick out of this nod to Salvador Dali. 

Funny Socks! Socks are something functional that everyone needs. Most people wouldn’t purchase a pair of socks like the Bob Ross ones pictured above, but they’ll definitely wear them or re-gift them to someone else who will. This is a gift that’s sure to get a laugh. 

A hilarious Welcome Mat that everyone can relate to. This is another gift that I love just because of how random it is. I know if I saw somebody open this at White Elephant  I’d probably steal it and proudly display it in my home. 

A 60 Pack of AA Batteries! First of all, no one could ever have too many batteries. You’re probably thinking this is the most boring gift on the list. Don’t worry! All you have to do to make this one funny is create a label that says “Gift Not Included” then you have a joke and the most functional White Elephant Gift of all time. 

Desktop Corn Hole/ Bean Bags set! I actually can’t even explain how fun this game is. One of my cousins brought it to our family Thanksgiving last year and it actually lead to our entire family having a tournament across the dinning room table. Ever since then I thought it would make a genius White Elephant gift! 

(Around) $20 Ideas 

Big Fuzzy Slippers! Honestly, the more outrageous the better. These obnoxious pink bear paw slippers above are so perfect. Of course there is always the issue of people having different sizes but luckily people do have the ability to steal, trade or re-gift. I think part of the fun is the possibility of 6 foot tall grown man opening these. 

A Game. The idea of having a game as a White Elephant gift is brilliant because it keeps the party going, especially if it’s a unique game most of the players have never played before. Relative Insanity pictured above is a perfect game if the majority of your group is family. It was created by Comedian Jeff Foxworthy and has been featured on several talk shows. 

A Grilled Cheese Toaster. Yes, you read that correctly. This is a toaster specifically designed to make grilled cheese sandwiches. It has baskets to safely and easily cook 2 grilled cheese sandwiches at once. So this is another odd yet useful White Elephant Gift. 

The Huggle Hoodie. This is pretty much a snuggie on steroids. Why would you not want to pretty much live in a blanket? I still don’t own one of these but I’ve wanted one since I spotted it on a friend over the summer. You better believe if I saw this at a White Elephant I would be ready to fight for it. If you don’t like this idea, really any of it’s “As Seen on TV” family members would be good choices. 

This Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker. This is seriously my favorite thing on the list. It’s random enough to be a perfect White Elephant gift but there’s actually a good chance the recipient will actually enjoy it and use it. 

 I hope this list gave you a lot of good ideas! My goal when choosing a White Elephant gift is to pick out things that are fun, interesting and people will actually like, or that they will have potential to re-gift to someone else. I hate to get things that will just end up in the trash when spring cleaning rolls around. I also recommend wrapping the gift as beautifully as you possibly can. I like to try to make my gift the most aesthetically pleasing and I’m always hoping to have my gift picked first.  

Day 5 of Blogmas 2018