Category Archives: Tips + Tricks

5 Tips for Finding a New Job

20th March 2015

I know how stressful the job search process can be after just having gone through it myself. It is stressful if you have a job and are trying to balance working your current job with updating your resume, filling out job applications and networking.  It is equally as stressful if you don’t have a job and you have the added pressure of trying to find something quick but also wanting it to be meaningful work that you enjoy.

By no means am I an expert but below are 5 tips I found useful and that I believe helped me land a job!

The first time I had to look for a new job was because I was leaving the teaching profession in pursuit of a different career.  The big question was what different career I wanted to pursue. Honestly, I had no idea what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.  My dad encouraged me to use my connections, meet with them, talk with them, learn about their jobs and see if anything sparked a fire inside of me.

What an amazing piece of advice this was! We all have people in our lives (teachers, friends, neighbors) who have had different experiences than us and who can give us a sneak peek into a different career.  Invite them out for lunch or coffee and talk with them.  Ask them questions about their jobs, what they like and dislike about this particular career.  You will be amazed at all that you learn and how this connection could lead you to your next job!

When I first started in the fundraising field I was encouraged to join the Association of Fundraising Professionals.  This group is a national organization which has local chapters in most major U.S. cities.  Although I was nervous at first to attend meetings, it has been a great way to meet others, learn about the profession and grow.

I encourage anyone looking for a job or looking to make a career switch to look into whether there is a professional group for your interest.  These groups provide many free educational opportunities, workshops and networking events.  You never know who you might meet and what new opportunities might come your way from being a part of a professional group.

As tedious as the process might be, online job sites are a great free resource to help aid in your job search.  While many sites can be hard to navigate there are a few that I found that are worth your time.  My particular favorite is Indeed.  I found it to have the most relevant and extensive job postings out of any I tried.  You can also get emails sent to you daily based on key words that you provide.  Every morning I would spend a few minutes looking through the job postings 
and bookmarking any that I wanted to come back to that night.

This is something that I have never been great at but I do realize its importance.  How many times have you sat down to apply to a job and realized that you have to update your resume but can’t remember a single one of your accomplishments (hand raises slowly from keyboard)? Make yourself a reminder to go into your resume the first of every month and give it a few updates.  Spending a few minutes every month doing this will help when you actually need your resume for a job application.

With my latest career shift I was trying to enter into the marketing field which I have no formal training in. I didn’t want to invest the time and money in taking college courses in marketing and didn’t have time to spend all day learning since I was still working full time.  A friend told me that her and her husband were trying to read one professional development book a month and how easy that would be to read a little bit each night to help work towards their career goals.  I thought I could apply this concept to my life through Podcasts.  How easy would it be for me to listen to one podcast on the way to and from work each day that helped me in my quest to land a job in marketing? So that’s what I started doing! I did some research into different career development and marketing Podcasts and then each morning would turn off the radio and turn on my iPod and listen away.  It feels good to use this time in the car in a positive and enriching way.

I would love to hear what tips you have for finding a job!

image via death to the stock photo

Today I’m linking up with: 5 on Friday: Darci, April, Christina, + Natasha | Friday Favorites: A Little Bit of Everything,Momfessionals, + Grace and Love | Oh Hey, Friday: September Farm + The Farmer’s Wife |High Five for Friday: Caitlin, Della, Katie, + Tif | Friday Favorites: Meet @ the Barre

Blogger Exercise Q&A

3rd March 2015

I have always been a fan of reading Q&A sessions that other bloggers have posted.  I love the glimpse inside of other people’s lives that they provide and the helpful tips and tricks you can get from their answers.

Since we are in the final stretch of winter and are ALL looking for a little exercise motivation right now I thought it would be fun to do a little Blogger Q&A centered around exercise. Hopefully you will learn something new from one of these bloggers and get motivation to go out and run, lift weights or do an exercise DVD.

First let me introduce the bloggers that participated in the Q&A.
www.meganspotted.comwww.meganspotted.comwww.meganspotted.comQuestion 1: What is your typical running schedule? Describe a typical week for you in terms of running & exercise.

Amanda: I usually run 3 days/week, or every other day. Twice during the week and once on the weekends. I trained for 2 full marathons this way and had no injuries. I feel like this is the best for my body and my schedule so running doesn’t take over my life!

Erin: Right now I’m training for a half-marathon, so I’ve had to stay pretty disciplined. Usually 3 runs, 1-2 speed training days and 1-2 days of hitting some weights. When I’m not training for a race, I tend to lift weights 2-3 times a week and run twice a week.

Sarah: (When I am not injured…) approximately 3 days a week. 3-5 miles during the week and 5-10 on the weekend.

Question 2: What running/exercise gear (shoes, watches, etc.) can you not live without?

Amanda: Obviously, I can’t live without shoes, but I’m in-between brands, so I can’t recommend anything in particular. Two things that are on my list of must-have running gear: my Moving Comfort sports bra and Bondi Band headband.

Erin: I’m a huge Nike fan, even though most “real runners” say that Nikes aren’t good for racing. I can’t help it- my shoes are Nike and I love my Garmin Forerunner watch!

Sarah: My Brooks shoes, cute, tight fitting running pants, music, FlipBelt, Garmin watch

Question 3: Describe how you fuel your body before, during and after your runs/workouts.

Amanda: I try to stick to the rule of eating something within 15-30 minutes after a workout. Even if it’s just a piece of bread with peanut butter on it, I want to get some protein quick. During workouts, I really don’t fuel much. I try to drink water every few miles, but otherwise unless I’m doing a really long run I don’t eat anything. I can’t eat too close to a run or I have serious stomach issues.

Sarah: Before I make sure that I eat a bar, usually a Clif bar and after a banana or bar and lots of water.

Question 4: How do you stay motivated in the winter to continue running/exercising?

Amanda: Mostly I just think about how much it will suck once winter is over and I haven’t been running at all. That and I guilt myself into running so I can eat some ice cream after without feeling bad. … But I don’t really recommend that as the best method for motivation!

Erin: It’s tough! I’m very guilty of eating more junk in the winter months, so I try to remind myself that I need to keep up the intensity in my workouts if I want to actually be happy about putting those shorts on come Spring!

Sarah: I make sure I have cute clothes and warm gear!

Question 5: What type of cross training exercises are you favorite?

Amanda: To be completely honest, I am not great about cross-training. I like working on my core and upper body by doing pull-ups and push ups.

Erin: I love Zumba! It’s a great way to get your heart rate up and work some different muscle groups!

Sarah: Bootcamp, strength training, lifting

Thanks so much ladies for sharing some of your exercise tips and tricks! I find it so fascinating to read how others stay motivated.  I also love reading about how other people cross train and get a good workout in when they aren’t running! Be sure to check out Amanda at The Lady Okie, Erin at Love, Fun and Football and Sarah at Total Basset Case to keep up with their workouts and daily life adventures!

You can check out some of my winter weather exercise tips here.  What are some ways you stay motivated to exercise in the winter?


27th February 2015

I can’t believe it is already Friday and February is coming to an end! While I am glad that March & Spring are on the horizon, I am sad to see my birthday month go.

Today I’m sharing five things from my week that include one thing I’m loving, one thing that makes me happy, one thing I want to try this weekend, one thing I’m reading and one thing I’m making.

one thing I’m LOVING
I am loving that our bedroom project is finally moving ahead and that progress can be seen! This project started about a year ago when John and I decided that we wanted a true master bedroom and to do that would require us to remove the wall that created the second closet in the bedroom.  We did most of the demo ourselves but quickly decided that the rest of the work we would leave to the professionals.  Well a year later and those professionals have done a lot in the first week!
www.meganspotted.comone thing that makes me HAPPY
Change can be a hard thing sometimes even when you know it is for the best.  This week I had to tell the coworkers that I have shared so much with over the past three years that I had accepted another position elsewhere.  While it was a tough decision I know that in my heart it is the best thing for me and my family.  I was so nervous telling everyone but they were all supportive which makes me happy that I was given the opportunity to work where I have for three years and that they are a part of my life!

 image via death to the stock photo

one thing I want to TRY this weekend
I have been trying each weekend to be better about meal planning for the week.  I know how important it is and how much time it would save me during the week but for some reason the weekend passes by without me doing it.  This weekend I want to try really hard to sit down on Saturday/Sunday and plan out meals for the upcoming week.  Then I can go to the grocery store and buy the necessary supplies.  

one thing I’m READING
I have always been very fascinated with social media and learning new techniques and strategies.  My new position requires me to use social media quite a bit so I decided to get a jump start and read a book on the topic.  Currently I am reading The Art of Social Media by Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick.  This book is a wealth of knowledge on all things social media.  I highly recommend downloading the ebook as it contains links that take you to examples of what they are talking about.  I am only sixty or so pages in but already have learned so much.

image via death to the stock photo

one thing I’m MAKING
In late 2014 I purchased a sewing machine because I wanted to learn/relearn how to sew. By this point in 2015 I figured I would already be well on my way to a sewing master but alas I am still a rookie! Truth be told I have only used the sewing machine a hand full of times since I got it and this is largely due to the fact that I don’t have anywhere to put it and keep it up.  Lazy me wants to have a place to keep it up all the time so I don’t have to lug it around in its original box and set it up each time I want to sew.  Lucky for me my dad agreed to build me a sewing space in the basement as a birthday gift.  You can check out my post about the plans for this space here.  This weekend though I have vowed to dust off the machine and try my hand at one of the projects I have pinned to my sewing board.

image via The Purl Bee

How was your week? Share some things that you are loving, that make you happy, that you are reading, making or trying in the comments below.

Today I’m linking up with: 5 on Friday: Darci, April, Christina, + Natasha | Friday Favorites: A Little Bit of Everything,Momfessionals, + Grace and Love | Oh Hey, Friday: September Farm + The Farmer’s Wife |High Five for Friday: Caitlin, Della, Katie, + Tif | Friday Favorites: Meet @ the Barre