Why Multitasking is a Myth

I’m here to warn you about something that might be ruining your daily life and up until now you may have considered it a good thing or even a skill, but not one that improves with practice. I’m talking about how Multitasking is a myth.

I’m that old-fashioned person that (for the most part) works on one task at a time. Not surprisingly, this is a habit that has sparked some questions from my co-workers and past classmates or friends in college. The truth is, the majority of millennials would work on an assignment on their laptop while watching Netflix on a tv, texting a friend, and eating ramen. I have a headache just thinking about it.

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Work

Constantly switching tasks at work is kind of like red light, green light for your brain. This is better known as “serial tasking” instead of multitasking by psychologists (American Psychological Association). Therefore, instead of seamlessly changing responsibilities the brain is having to forgo a few seconds delay every time there is a new goal.

As a millennial, I am part of the “multitasking generation,” who grew up with video games, smartphones, and e-readers can somehow concentrate on several things at once. In fact, research indicates that frequent multitaskers are often the worst at it, according to Scientific American. This is a skill that does not improve with practice.

Relationships

Have you ever been sharing vulnerable news with someone to look up (to your dismay) that they are totally engrossed in their cell phone? No one wants to be this person. Thus, their attempt at completing several tasks at once leads you to believe that they are not listening to you because they are too busy responding to someone else. It turns out, multitasking is only possible if the activities involve different brain processes. If you are doing two things that activate the language center of the brain, you’re only retaining one channel.

I’m not saying you should never try to complete 2+ tasks at a time. Let’s be real, a lot of situations in life require you to do so. One kind of multitasking that is proven to work is listening to music. Multitasking is only possible if one or more tasks are like second nature or if they involved different brain processes, according to Entrepreneur.

Driving

Yes, we are all warned about texting and driving but as drivers, we need to take this information very seriously. In the most serious of situations, our confidence in being able to juggle several situations can result in someone losing their life.

 “When Strayer and his colleagues observed fifty-six thousand drivers approaching an intersection, they found that those on their cell phones were more than twice as likely to fail to heed the stop signs. In 2010, the National Safety Council estimated that twenty-eight per cent of all deaths and accidents on highways were the result of drivers on their phones. “Our brain can’t handle the overload,” Strayer told me. “It’s just not made that way.”” – The New Yorker

I know this is one of my more serious blog topics, but it is so disheartening to look around at a red light and see that almost every driver has their eyes glued to their phone.

The Challenge

If multitasking truly does work for you then don’t let me slow you down! However, if you are finding that certain parts of your life are lacking attention or are never being completed then look no further than the statistics! In these busy lives we lead, it can be easy to feel like we are never getting anything done. At the end of the day, if we are thoughtful and have intentions of completing tasks they will eventually be done. If you consider your self a multitasker who is open to change… keep reading.

The next step: I challenge you to try transitioning to focusing on one task at a time. Do you find that you are more productive at the end of the day? Do you feel less frantic? You will most likely see a boost in your overall productivity, as counter-intuitive as it might seem.

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Why I Reject Valentine’s Day

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I actually (kind of) HATE Valentine’s Day.
This always confuses people because I’ve been in a long-standing relationship, and to be clear, a healthy and happy relationship. So, why would I of all people be one to dread this holiday? Heck, one time when I shared this viewpoint with a past co-worker she gasped “How could you!??” Oops…

To be blunt: a lot of this day brings out the worst in us. It makes us feel like we have to show off what gifts we received like that somehow equates to how worthy we are of love. And if our significant other doesn’t purchase something for us then that means they aren’t a suitable partner?.. okay.

I know this may sound dramatic. To be clear, I would never ever turn down a gift from Chase on this special Thursday. BUT I will never ever be upset if he does not purchase an item for me on a day when society tells him he HAS to. Let’s be real, what is romantic about someone doing something for you because they feel like they have to. Um, not much in my opinion! At the end of the day, coming home to a freshly cooked dinner or chocolates on a random Monday means x100 more than mass commercial goods on a day when marketers sell us on a false idea of love.

At its core, the message behind Valentine’s Day is great! Love and celebrate those in your life you mean the most right?? I’m not trying to sway people into disliking this day meant for love. Instead, I want to tell people that you are special whether you’re single or not. Don’t let a relationship define you. Don’t let others opinions of you define you. And most importantly, realize that you are the only one in charge of your own happiness. And if your boyfriend didn’t buy you roses at the last minute he’s not a terrible partner. I have seen too many girls caught up in the comparison game of he got me this, etc. The truth is that you are beautiful, unique, and worthy even if you receive nothing at all on this day.

So, have fun getting dressed up and boujee for no reason! Remember, don’t let anyone dull your shine.

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Do you find yourself questioning long-standing traditions too? Even if they are in your favor?

Xo,
Lauren

One Year In the “Real World”: What I’ve Learned

Hello lovely readers,

Where have I been?!
Honestly, it’s so much harder to keep up with a blog when you’re not in school anymore. In college, it was so easy to add “write X blog post” as a line on my to-do list when I had so many assignments to work on along with it. Writing blog content was an activity I looked forward to as a break from academic writing and a way to express myself creatively. Sadly, I’ve drifted away from that and am hoping to write at least one post a month this year. Who’s going to keep me accountable?
Anyways, enough of the pity party. The reason you’re reading this today is that I am reflecting on not only a new calendar year (heyyy 2019) but the day that marks exactly one year at my first full-time job at Trunk Club. As I was flipping through my 2018 agenda I realized how drastically my life has changed over the last 12 months. I entered the workforce, adjusted to life post-grad, got married, and moved to Dallas. Below are a few takeaways I have from being in the “real world” (insert sound effect: dun dun dun…)
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Your major in college doesn’t define what you do with your life 
I’ve had a few people (with a puzzled look on their face) ask me why I am working in fashion since I majored in public relations. Well, I have a few things to say about this, but the main one is to not box yourself in! The truth is that I use writing skills, speaking techniques, and countless other skills from my degree at my job every day. Sure, we all grow and change interests but we shouldn’t hold ourselves back from exploring different options.
Invest in classic pieces (I had to put at least ONE fashion tip in here, LOL!) 
There are a lot of tips I could write about that I’ve learned in training as a Stylist and with working with so many different clients but I will just start with this. I started building a capsule wardrobe for myself in the last year and it is so much easier to get dressed in the morning! What is a capsule wardrobe you may ask? It can be defined as investing in quality and timeless pieces while getting rid of/ stop buying trendy pieces.
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Life is what you make it 
Even though it may not look like it, I have experienced heartbreak, defeat, and loss of creativity in the past year just like everyone else. “50 percent of happiness is genetically predetermined, while 10% is due to life circumstances, and 40 percent is the result of your own personal outlook,” according to Psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky discusses the “happiness set point,” in her book, The How of Happiness. This just proves that at the end of the day we are just as happy or sad as we decide to be.
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What are you doing to keep yourself accountable for this year? I have a feeling 2019 is going to be BIG!
Xo,
Lauren

5 Things No One Tells You About Changing Your Last Name

The wedding is over and you have returned from a blissful honeymoon. All along your wedding planning journey, you would receive (sometimes unsolicited) advice on everything from which venue to book to how many people you should invite to the big celebration. Months of stressful planning have come to an end but there is one part of getting married no one wants to talk about… changing your last name (*insert sound -effect “dun dun dun”).

I hope that this somewhat wearisome list and hopefully helpful advice helps upcoming brides and provides a giggle for anyone who has endured this process previously. Here we go!

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  1. Plan to carry your most confidential papers with you to every stop. It was surprisingly more difficult to get my name changed through my bank than it was to get a new Social Security card. You may need to provide proof of identity with unexpected documents like a voter’s registration card, cell phone bill, your birth certificate, etc. Basically, just expect your identity to be continually questioned for a few months.
  2. Practice your new signature before you visit the DMV. Especially if you have a last name as challenging as Sepulvador… I am now a proud owner of a childish signature on my license because I waited to write my new last name in cursive for the first time when getting my license. Don’t let this be you…
  3. Get a good book. In my experience, over three hours at the DMV, one hour at the social security office, and another at the bank all make for some quality reading time. Besides, you can only refresh Instagram so many times!
  4. People will doubt your legitimacy. A simple errand like picking up wine for girls night may turn into the beginning of a public identity crisis. A manager may have to get involved when your credit card and ID don’t match up. It’s awkward.
  5. Help others. I personally text my all of friends that live in the Dallas area that are getting married soon of which DMV to not visit and what times to avoid from personal experience. Friends don’t let friends waste half a day at the DMV, am I right??

Fortunately, when it’s all over you get to enjoy time as newlyweds and get giddy at the thought of being Mrs. _____. This is an exciting time full of change and once the hard part is over there is so much to celebrate!

I want to hear from you? Was your name changing process as painful as mine? What you do recommend others to do differently?

Promotion, Wedding, Moving, Oh My!

Hello, lovely readers and long time no see! I could go on and on about how busy I’ve been with wedding planning, preparing to move to Dallas, and adjusting to life post-grad but I’ll just stop right there. I’m so glad to share I forced myself to sit down and write a blog post for my abandoned corner of the Internet.

I was recently promoted to Stylist at Trunk Club in Dallas! I am excited to announce that I can now style my own clients who stop by the clubhouse. As an Associate Stylist, I styled clients virtually with trunks and got to shadow Senior and Expert stylist appointments but now I get to do the fun on my own too. Who else gets to say that the play dress-up for a living? You can sign up with me as your stylist here or list me as a referral if you are interested in having me as your stylist.

I was recently featured on one of my clients’ blog posts The Fox & She. Blair wrote all about her experience with Trunk Club here.

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“When you sign up you answer a few questions that help your stylist understand your style. I also chatted with my stylist, Lauren, and gave her a better idea of my lifestyle so she could pick things that were appropriate! I told her I was a new mom and that comfort was super important! Anything that was too fancy or could easily be destroyed with baby spit was off limits, haha! She also asked what types of things I was looking for at the time. Which is so helpful because I was in desperate need of new sneakers and some athleisure.” – The Fox & She

I had so much fun shopping for Blair! I would describe her style as casual and comfortable yet comes off as effortless. Blair is wearing the Madewell Knot Front Tee in Heather Shale and AG ‘The Farrah’ High Rise Skinny Jeans in Paradox Blue. Madewell is a fantastic brand for those looking for staple pieces in their wardrobe that won’t go out of style.

I will be sure to start sharing more fashion blog posts in the future. Quite possibly, “How To Stay Cute and Cool in the Texas Summer Heat,” for starters?

Are any of you interested in seeing a blog post about how to have an affordable wedding in the DFW area? Chase and I were able to keep our wedding cost relatively low and this is no small feat for anyone who has ever planned a wedding. If so, I will write up a post about that to save some brides to be from some of the headaches I experienced. Hopefully, it won’t take me as long to publish my next post, hehe. Until then, pray I keep my sanity as I get married and move to a different city in the next month.

Thanks for stopping by!

Lauren

all images courtesy of thefoxandshe.com

My First Month at Trunk Club

Whenever I tell people I’m a Stylist at Trunk Club in Dallas they usually respond with something along the lines of, “What’s a Trunk Club?” or “You get paid to do what?”. To be fair, I definitely don’t have a typical full-time job. It’s far from conventional when compared to teachers, nurses, etc. So, I figured I would write a blog post about the first month of my career at Trunk Club and how I ended up in fashion.

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What is Trunk Club?
“Trunk Club was started to solve a simple problem: shopping for clothes in stores is overwhelming and inconvenient. With Trunk Club, you’ll discover great clothes that are perfect for you without ever having to go shopping. We combine top brands, expert service, and unparalleled convenience to deliver a highly personalized experience that helps you look your best.”

There are two ways to be styled with Trunk Club; in person and online by ordering trunks. There are seven locations throughout the U.S. and Dallas just happens to be one of them! The company was founded in 2009 in Chicago to help men who hated shopping. Basically, this service is made for people who have little free time for shopping, admit they don’t know what to wear or want a wardrobe refresh. Now, it has turned into a full styling service for men and women. Trunk Club was acquired by Nordstrom in 2014 so all of our clothing is through them. Yay for Nordstrom discounts 😉 You can learn more here.

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What do you do as an Associate Stylist?
I spend the majority of my day chatting with clients online and building trunks full of items to be shipped straight to their home. This is to serve every individual’s needs and work with plenty of different clients. Because I have only been working for a month I am currently in training do style in-house appointments. AKA come in to see me so we can have mimosas and shop together once I’m done with training! You can check out the Dallas location here.

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Can you style me?
If you’re a female… yes! I am a women’s stylist for trunk and in-house appointments at the clubhouse. I would insert my referral link here… but I feel like that’s a shameless plug. So, please e-mail or message me if you would like me to be your personal stylist through Trunk Club.

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Wait, did you major in fashion in college?
No, I did not. Anyone who knew me in college can attest I was a total PR nerd. I was the Vice President of PRSSA, won several awards from the journalism school, and held two (unpaid) internships during college. However, there are many PR skills necessary for my job. Including communication skills, writing and grammar proficiency, the ability to form strong relationships, upholding the values of an organization, and many more. Even though “public relations” isn’t in my job description or title I am so happy with my career choice. The beauty of a major like public relations is that it is full of transferable skills that can provide useful in a plethora of careers.
I have always had a “passion for fashion” (ugh, I’m so corny). So, even though I’ve never taken a formal class on merchandising I have learned so much through training and informing myself on brand knowledge. Further proof, that if you have a dream job but don’t think you’re qualified enough find reasons to prove why you are.
I truly don’t want this post to come off as an advertisement for Trunk Club (because it’s not). I just really love my job. I found this an easy way to explain a (somewhat) complicated job title. Like always, please reach out with any questions or comments!

 

Adjusting to Life Post-Grad

First of all- congratulations! Whether you graduated a little over a month ago, like me, or three years ago graduating from college is a great accomplishment to be proud of. Now, let’s get real- the last few weeks (and months- if we’re being honest) of undergrad are filled with so many questions. Will I land a job before graduation? Will I land a job three months after graduation? Should I go straight into a Master’s program? Do I Have any idea what I’m doing with my life?! There are just SO many questions for those of us who are waiting to hear back from employers, acceptance letters, etc.

I have found a few things that have helped with the transition from being a college student to entering the real world. Even though I just graduated a little over a month ago there are very clear distinctions for post-grad life. Hopefully, the following tips help you feel productive, happy and ready to take on every day.

  • Stay busy- This will be easy to do if you land a full-time job after graduation but the timing does not work out for everyone this way. If you’re on the job hunt try signing up for a workout class or volunteering at a non-profit a few days a week to keep your motivation up. It’s important to have a somewhat steady schedule so you don’t stop trying to find your purpose.

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  • Stay in touch with college friends- one of the hardest adjustments is one-month being minutes away from your closest friends & seeing them several times a week to moving away/ getting busy and maybe seeing them once a month. This may be easier to do if you live near your college town but the beauty of technology is that you can keep in touch with your besties who live over 500 miles away! Life gets crazy but it’s important to make time for the friendships that matter most.

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  • Keep learning – really Lauren? I just graduated from college and you want me to do homework? No, not like that! Just because your college classes ended doesn’t mean you should stop being curious about this vast world we live in. Whether it’s picking up a new hobby or reading books about topics you aren’t well versed in it’s important to keep pushing yourself to grow. I recently started reading The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson and I’m learning more about psych wards, criminology, and the minds of criminals than I bargained for. This is a must read if you’re a psychology nerd like me who appreciates investigative journalism.

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  • Reminisce but don’t regret – Yes, we all long for our college days. Spending almost every day with our closest friends, facing new challenges every day, going to sporting events, and most importantly, getting free food all the time. Kidding…. Kind of. I would be lying if I said I don’t get a pang of sadness sometimes when I think about road trips visiting my best friends and boyfriend in college. However, it’s important to not dwell in that sadness because the best is yet to come! As college graduates, we can’t get so caught up in what we had that we miss what lies ahead.

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  • Rest- If your college career was anything like mine I would rarely get home before 8 pm. I get home around the same time from my full-time job but I am SO much more tired. Why is that…? I’ve learned it really does take a few weeks to adjust to working full time.

I hope this list helps those of you who are also adjusting to this huge life change. Post- grad depression is real. It is a subject that isn’t talked about very much, but if you feel like you are experiencing this you’re not alone. While one in four students suffers depression during their university years, there are no official figures for the post-graduation period, according to The Guardian. Mike Burton, of the Sussex University Counselling service, says that this group “slips through the system”. On Instagram, we are living our best lives, but at the end of the day, we’re all just trying to figure it out. Here is a great article on the subject from The Washington Post.

 

What has helped you adjust best after graduating from college?

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Proud college graduate,

Lauren

Reflection on 2017

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2017 was a BIG year for me. It’s safe to say more than a few life milestones occurred this year. As the new year begins I can’t help but reflect on all of the changes that have happened in my life. Chase and I got engaged, I graduated from college, got to visit Europe twice, landed my first full-time job, and so much more.

 

In June, my high school sweetheart proposed to me. You can read about Chase and I’s love story on The Knot. This summer I got to travel with Chase’s family throughout France and Italy. I plan on writing a separate blog post about this experience but to keep it simple it was nothing short of magical. It was everything I have ever wanted in a proposal and I am looking forward to the next step in our life together.

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I cannot believe I actually graduated from college! I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism with a concentration in Public Relations and a minor in Psychology from the University of North Texas. My college journey hasn’t always been easy but I can already say it was all worth it. From starting out in community college, transferring to a four-year university I pushed through it all. From being a commuter student, working every semester, taking night classes, completing two internships, being involved in student organizations and graduating with honors. I am here to say that if you work really hard you can achieve your goals. Adjusting to life post-grad is probably going to be challenging but I am still too caught up in the whirlwind of the holidays and graduation for it to hit me yet.

Anyone who knows me knows how important travel is to me. I am so blessed to have traveled to Europe TWICE this year. These are both trips that definitely have individual posts coming. Last week, I got back from a Rhine River Cruise with my aunt Diane. This was a graduation, birthday, and Christmas gift all rolled into one. Fortunately, we have been able to A LOT of amazing places over the years and I will write about our most recent trip soon. Hopefully, I will be able to continue to squeeze travels into my life even after college.

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Lastly, I started Life with Lauren. In 2017, during my last semester of college I learned that time flies by and if I don’t start chasing my dreams I may lose the time and motivation to pursue them. Even though I am still in the beginning stages I have already been pleasantly surprised by the responses I have gotten from my blog. Readers I barely know (or have never met at all) have contacted me letting me know that I inspired them by my community college story and other posts. After all, that’s what this space is about. Even though it’s just for fun (for now) my blog is a great way to express creativity and keep loved ones updated about my life.

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I have so much to look forward to in 2018 including; getting married to Chase, start working full-time for a company I love, and moving to Dallas. I am in such an exciting chapter of my life so I am trying to take it all in and make the most of every day. I am so thankful to live this life I’m living. Thank you to everyone who has benefitted my life and for reading this blog.

Thanks for stopping by! What were some of the biggest lessons you learned in 2017?

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