Gratitude at the post-office

photo-9It took me 2 hours of relentless organizational skills to compile my list of ‘thank you’ cards to  express how grateful I was for everyone who celebrated my collegiate success. 

Between differentiating the 4 gift cards to one store (it’s official, everyone knows that I’m a sucker for Kate Spade) and determining which gift came from who, I now feel relieved to have sent off my gratitude at the post-office! 

Sending cards of appreciation that are thoughtfully hand-written is imperative after graduation! It can become confusing when different people give the same gifts, so here are some tips for how to divide and conquer your letters of gratitude:

1. Have someone, such as a parent, make a check list of who contributed what when you are opening gifts.

2. Have a safe place that you can keep all of the cash, checks and gift cards until you have access to the bank (I used a large Kate Spade wallet to keep everything enclosed). 

3. Tailor each ‘thank you’ card with a very personal message that relates to the gift you were given, even if it’s cash and/or check. For example:

‘Dear Aunt Karen,

Thank you so much for celebrating my collegiate success at my grad party! I especially liked the blouse that you gave me, I have worn it already!’ 

4. When sending the cards, use a label maker or software system that allows you to create your name and address on a sticker to put on the top left side of the envelope. This gives you the perfect professional look on your postage!

5. Last but not least, begin your investment in a lifetime supply of stamps! It won’t be the last cards of appreciation that you send 😉 


Grad party mannerisms on a budget

gradgift2It’s safe to say that I have been able to skip grocery shopping this week after attending several grad parties filled with feasts bigger than any holiday dinner! However, as post grad, I should know better not to enter a party the same way that I enjoy it: empty-handed.

But as any post grad knows, gifts and store-bought cards can be expensive. Here are some ideas on how to bring the celebratory presents to your friends on a budget:

  • Wooden frames from JoAnn Fabrics or Michaels with acrylic paint or fabric that is mode-podged, including your favorite photo of you and your friend (Wooden frame $1.99, Fabric $.99 ranging to $9.99, Acrylic paint $1.99)
  • Cards purchased in bulk, rather than individual cards, can be used for all celebrations! Target has some of my favorites starting at $3.99 (check it out)
  • Splitting a more expensive priced item that your friend has been eyeing with more than two other people (my gift was a Kate Spade wallet split by 4 of my friends and I loved it!

Hope this helped! Below is one of my favorite grad gifts:


Walkin’ the plank and wearing the robe

As of 3:30 p.m. today, it marked my first 24 hours of being a post graduate from the University of South Florida. My alumnae status is a product of an adventurous four years that have been nothing short of thrilling.

The best way that I can relate to stepping on the bright stage to take ahold of a few seconds of fame, at a taller height with the help of heels, is kind of like reaching the peak of a roller coaster. It starts with an overwhelming build up of excitement, anxiety and unnatural mix of courage and fear that helps you take your first step off the staircase and onto the stage. All of the sudden, you feel the cool breeze go by and the pit of your stomach drop as your name is said to thousands and your arm flings right into the air for a firm handshake, just like how it would be if your arm reached in the air as you flew down the roller coaster.

My hand reached for the Dean of my college, which I had the opportunity to intern for in Spring 2012. There was a social media campaign in the form of a photo contest that the college did which promoted graduates to feature their caps on social platforms. Like every endeavor in life, especially ones with crafting involved, I was eager to win. I told the marketing director, a mentor of mine that was well aware of my competitive zest, that my cap was the winner. The first thing that the Dean said to me before congratulating me was, “Your cap is great.” I could have died with fulfillment right then and there.

And now marks my journey of a new chapter in my life after my accomplished plank walk under an over-embelished cap. Stay tuned for industry insights and necessary transitions that this new chapter of life requires!