Prospurly August 2016 review

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Well, I seem perpetually two months behind on these reviews now… but with much of my recruiting behind me and things getting into a different rhythm, I hope to pay a little more attention to my blogging. We’ll see how well that works out. :)

Prospurly is just under $45 per box (with code for 10% off your subscription – use my referral links from this post) and comes with artisan foods, bath & body items, home products, and other sustainably crafted items. Boxes are sent monthly with no option to skip. They offer a referral program that earns you free boxes.

prospurly august 2016 box open with products showing prospurly august 2016 info card with product details

Botanical Love Notes – How adorable are these? They have chamomile, calendula, and lavender. I feel like framing these in one of those three-panel frames rather than actually writing in them and giving them away. I may choose to use them eventually, but I like them as art for the moment.

Foxes & Ferns organic bath tea in Relaxation (bonus item) – One of these came back in May and I haven’t used it yet since I haven’t had a chance to take a bath, but it sure makes for a nice aromatherapy sachet. I will have to make sure I try it out when I’m back home in Virginia this winter. It’ll be fabulous!

Healthforce Superfoods Spirulina Manna – They recommend 15-25 tablets a day?! Wow, it seems so strange to consume so much of this stuff. I’ll try throwing a few in my food or something since it has a pretty strong seaweed-like scent. I could certainly use a health boost after all this time eating poorly.

Foxes & Ferns Lavender Love beeswax candle – This is a super cute candle with lavender buds in the wax and the bottom half of the jar dipped in gold. It’s such a wonderful decoration on the shelf that I don’t want to burn it just yet.

Atlas Cedarwood + Jojoba Oil roll-on – This is meant to be used to calm and purify. The woodsy scent combined with a hint of citrus (or something refreshing) is a really cool calming fragrance. It’s very unique and definitely not something I’ve smelled before. When I close my eyes it sort of reminds me of pine…

Angel Face Botanicals Grace antioxidant facial toner – Ah, I love facial toners. This one sprays wonderfully to create a nice mist on my face. It’s soothing and I’m a fan of the use of white tea. It feels fantastic and I can easily see this becoming my new fav.

Seva Amazon rainforest body oil – The first thing I noticed with this was the Off the Mat Into the World logo — I worked with a woman who is involved with that group! Totally awesome. This is a jar with a pump head, which will be fun to use. It has a light oil and seed sort of scent to it and absorbs well into the skin. This is the perfect kind of thing to use in the drier months to keep skin soft.

gomacro macro bar in cashew caramel – This little bar is very soft and chewy, which I like. It has a hint of nuttiness but is generally just sweet in my mouth. I like the smaller size since I don’t typically enjoy bars, but this is one I feel I can finish. If I decide to try bars in the future, I’ll definitely keep this in mind.

This was another fun box with some items I’m very interested in and others that I’m venturing out of my comfort zone for. I think that’s great! What do you think of this month’s box?

[This post contains affiliate links. Signing up through them helps support my subscription and I’d be ever so grateful. :) All opinions are my own and I received no compensation for this review. I just purchased this box and wanted to share what I got!]

Good news and good fortune

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This was an awesome week. First and foremost, I got an internship offer!! This was a major win for me and I’m thrilled. ? I’ll share more details on recruiting and internships once everything settles in the coming weeks. I’ve now rewarded myself with a night meeting new friends, sleep, grocery shopping, lots of boba, a massage, Ethiopian food, and a long-awaited iPhone order (expected to arrive in a month). This is the good life.

Compounding that awesomeness are other wins:

  • I was selected for a workshop to develop my strengths, Gallup style. I’m told over 175 people applied! I’m curious how many were selected – 50 maybe?
  • I randomly came across Honest Tea at Costco and when I tried to find more, was told I was lucky because they sold like hotcakes and they had no idea how I even found any left. I claimed the very last one, which wasn’t even in their system anymore, lol.
  • Last-minute, I called up Massage Envy to book an appointment and got the next slot, with their most popular therapist nonetheless. He was amazed at how much pressure I could take (comfortably) and how flexible and loose I am in the shoulders and hips. Apparently only dancers and gymnasts are like that, yet I’m neither. He said I was one in a million and even thanked me after the massage because he had so much fun.
  • And I even got a fortune cookie that said “Your opportunities are many.” Indeed!

Now before I get too carried away, I do have homework and studying for a quiz that I’ve been putting off… So I guess I should buckle down and stop acting like I forgot all about school. I’m going on a hike tomorrow that I thought was 3.5 hours roundtrip but upon further research, that might only be the way up. I guess I can spare half a day for fun and to finally hike the Hollywood sign!!

The craziest week

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Every time I think things can’t get crazier, they do! I mean, this week has been insane for me, especially in contrast to my classmates.

It started off on equal footing, with tons of studying and procrastinating for our finals on Monday and Tuesday. Luckily, we got through them and I think I’m relatively unscathed (we’ll see how the grades pan out). I then practiced interviewing with multiple 2nd years, worked on a case competition, attended various info sessions and workshops, had an informational interview, did a phone screen, and prepped for a big interview tomorrow.

Just today alone I was on campus for a full 12 hours of work back to back. I didn’t even have time to eat, though strangely I wasn’t very hungry. I did manage to eat 4 cookies to tide me over until I got home around 10 tonight. My body doesn’t feel tired, but my brain is a bit numb. Meanwhile, many of my classmates have the entire day off since we don’t have class and they don’t have many (if any) meetings. What a stark difference in lifestyles right now. They’re at the beach and I’m in study rooms and classrooms.

Oh! And then today I got a delightful phone call letting me know that I was selected to be a co-director for the Marshall MBA Ambassadors program!! Yippee! So I also squeezed in a quick meeting with the co-directors who are passing on the baton, then sat with the program director in admissions who helps guide us, and finally had a touch-base call with my co-director, who is out in New Orleans for a conference. We had a kick-off dinner to plan for tomorrow, a welcome email to send to the rest of our ambassador team, and other deliverables that don’t need to be done just yet.

It has been a whirlwind of a week and it’s barely half over. Tomorrow I have more meetings, case competition stuff, my all-important interview, and the kick-off/welcome dinner. I’ll have some breathing room after 9 tomorrow night leading in to Friday morning, so I might go home. Then it’s another informational call, a meet and greet on-site with a potential employer, and a long drive out to Joshua Tree for a fun weekend camping and rock climbing.


But then when I return Sunday I need to regroup with my case competition team to finalize what we will submit Monday morning. We also happen to start a new set of classes Monday, with our very first prospective student visitors already! #mbalife

First Friday Off

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What an insane weekend! It was the first time that we first year MBAs didn’t have class on Friday and boy did we take advantage of that.

Thursday afternoon it started off wonderfully lax as I sat in the courtyard chatting with classmates after class. I went home about three hours later and worked on my first cover letter for an internship application. Around 7:30, I went out to a bar that many of my classmates were at and socialized until nearly 10. At that point, I was ready to leave and eat dinner! Three of us went across the street to try to get food, but they had just closed the kitchen, so we walked over to a pizza place instead.

iphone temperature alert due to overheating

I accidentally left my phone in the sun for a bit and it overheated!

It was so nice to actually be able to go out and spend time getting to know classmates, some of whom I hardly ever see since they’re not in my cohort. The next day, I got to sleep in, which was fabulous. My roommate was going down to the pool, so I went along and brought my computer so I could edit my cover letter based on feedback from a mentor. In the afternoon, I went on campus to meet with a second year to get more tips on how to tweak my cover letter. To round things out, I asked one more mentor for insights and then I felt pretty ready.

By then, it was time to head off to Fusion BBQ, which was a mix of foods from black, Latino, and Asian cultures. We hung out at Echo Park chatting and eating for nearly 4 hours and I completely forgot to get a picture of the food spread. At 10 or so, we headed off to part two in K-Town, stopping by two places to meet up with others. I thought that I was going to head home as they left around midnight to go to the Line Hotel, but then we ran into more classmates outside and I decided to go along with them.

At the hotel, they got tables so we sat there as some people danced nearby. It was extremely hot, everyone was crowded in, and the floor was sticky. Felt like your typical nightclub. I was standing outside when they started to close the place down not long after 1:30 and they almost didn’t let us back in to get our valuables! I don’t think I’ll be going back there again, especially after the insane charge for the table.

I was giving a couple of people rides home, but at the first stop we decided to just go hang out in the apartment for a bit. The four of us went up and woke up the guy’s roommate, who hadn’t made it to the festivities. We hung out there chatting for over two hours before calling it a night. I was starting to crash and absolutely knackered from the evening I thought would end by midnight. At 5, I happily climbed into bed for a few hours’ sleep.

apex sign at leadership conferenceSaturday morning I had to get up at 10 to attend a professional event at the Sheraton (APEX Leadership Conference: Reinvent Redefine Rediscover). I walked over and made it there on time to meet a couple of cool people who help run APEX. The first session of the day was either Personal Branding or Global Networks. I went to the Personal Branding one, mostly because I was curious about hearing from a female speaker. I wish I had gone to the other one since much of what we talked about was exactly what I’ve been learning in business school, but I did meet two wonderful ladies, so I’m grateful for that.

leadership operating system slide by lisa gates of career oxygen

Learning about our Leadership Operating System.

After lunch, we broke up into other sessions and I chose the Negotiating one (there was one about Managing Up in the other room). It was a really great session run by Lisa Gates of She Negotiates and I felt like it helped me figure out my value proposition a bit better. I even got a chance to speak in front of the room and share a bit of my story! We then spoke with the person sitting next to us and as coincidence would have it, my partner turned out to be a rising YouTuber, Kevin Yee. You should check out his YouTube channel! He’s super chill and a great person, so I’m glad we sat next to each other. He even interviewed me briefly for his vlog. :)

I wasn’t as interested in the final sessions, plus I wanted to catch part of the tailgate, so I left around 3 to walk back to my apartment and drive down to campus. At the tailgate, I met some older alum who graduated over a decade ago. One was having a blast making crazy tower creations out of empty cups! I then hung out with a bunch of folks from the first and second year classes and as the tailgate ended, we made our way to one person’s apartment to watch the game. I was there until about 9. Since the Trojans were beating the Sun Devils by quite a bit, I didn’t stay for the end of the game. After so much being out, I was ready to go home and chill!

Key lessons from yesterday:

  • Talk to people you sit next to. You might just make some friends!
  • Skateboarding with a pencil skirt works just fine; cartwheeling with a pencil skirt does NOT work.

Now it’s time to get back down to business and write up my next cover letter, prepare notes for the marketing final, and study data for the quiz on Tuesday… #mbalife

building plastic cup tower at tailgate party

a different kind of "professional skateboarder"

I rolled in with what I call a “SoCal Professional” look.

USC Own It Conference 2016

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This Saturday, I spent the day on campus at the inaugural USC Own It conference. It’s targeted more towards undergrads, but was still a good opportunity to meet women.

view of crescent moon in blue sky with trees

The moon was still out when I arrived! The trees were also shedding like crazy (perhaps there was a squirrel?).

line of ladies getting breakfast before usc own it 2016 conference

piles of tote bags for attendees of usc own it 2016 conference

Lots of goodies!

glowing lights inside usc bovard auditorium executive panelists at usc own it 2016 conference


The morning panels were women in high leadership positions and then media/news.

sign post guiding attendees to breakout rooms for usc own it 2016 conference

We split for breakout sessions before and after lunch. I went to both tech ones.

lunch trucks at usc own it 2016 conference

Lunch time!

microsoft tent at usc own it 2016 conference

A little bit of networking at lunch, with the lovely folks at Microsoft and Bing.

giant "we own it because" board with empowering statements posing with art wall

using a power pose in front of art wall

Power pose time. :)
(If you’re not familiar, look up Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk.)

women entrepreneur panel at usc own it 2016 conference

The afternoon panels were women in tech and then entrepreneurs.

Prospurly July 2016 review

laelene Post in reviews, subscriptions,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Still playing catch-up here… this is a look at the July box, which I’ve had for some time. I’m hoping my schedule will allow me gaps on the weekend to get back into a rhythm with blogging.

Prospurly is just under $45 per box (with code for 10% off your subscription – use my referral links from this post) and comes with artisan foods, bath & body items, home products, and other sustainably crafted items. Boxes are sent monthly with no option to skip. They offer a referral program that earns you free boxes.

prospurly july 2016 box open with products showing prospurly july 2016 info card with product details

Essential Oils for Beauty, Wellness, and the Home book – This will be a great resource for me as I explore different types of home remedies. It’s full of recipes for all sorts of things ranging from digestive health remedies to kitchen cleaning to personal care.

St. Tropica Coconut Hot Oil Hair Mask – I look forward to trying this out on my hair soon, since it’s been a bit dry. I’ve never tried hot oil before, so this should be interesting! I’ll have to dig out a shower cap from my hotel soaps stash.

Masala Mama Chicken Jardaloo spice kit – For now, I have no time to cook, so I’ll have to table this until I get some more time. I look forward to having a little cooking party sometime to try this out though!

Lotus Naturals After Sun Body Spray – I’ve had some activities recently that were out in the sun and I should have tried this after. I’ll put it out so I remember next time I’m out in the sun, which I’m sure will happen somewhat regularly now that I’m back in LA.

feedingsmiles Divine Facial Steam – This smells fabulous and I kind of want to make tea from it, but I’ll resist and use it for steaming my face as recommended. I look forward to taking some time to pamper myself with this and a face mask.

Wildflower seed bombs (bonus item) – I’d gotten this before and it looks like they included it as a bonus item this time. I think I might go get a little pot to plant these in. Or maybe I’ll throw one in the yard when I’m visiting my parents next time!

SudsBucket island punch bath bomb bundle – How cute is this packaging?! It looks like little peas in a pod and I love that I get a little face/hand towel as part of the bundle. These smell amazing and I can’t stop sniffing them.

MyChelle Refining Sugar Cleanser – I’m a fan of this brand and I’ve been using this cleanser at home, so this will make a great travel companion.

I’m pleased with the variety of products and I’m happily incorporating them into my life, one by one. What do you think of this month’s box?

[This post contains affiliate links. Signing up through them helps support my subscription and I’d be ever so grateful. :) All opinions are my own and I received no compensation for this review. I just purchased this box and wanted to share what I got!]

Julep September 2016 Collection review

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Julep is celebrating 5 years! I’ve been with them since December 2013, after resisting the temptation for a long time. I’m happy to say I’ve been a Maven for more than half of their existence now, so I couldn’t resist getting this celebratory box.

Julep ranges from just under $25 to $40 per box based on tier (or as discounted as just under $20 to $35 per box when prepaid three at a time) and comes with combinations of nail polish colors, skincare products, and beauty products (depending on your style profile choice). They offer plenty of upgrade and add-on options too. Boxes are sent monthly unless you choose to skip. You also have the option of gifting your box to a friend. They offer a referral program that earns you $15 store credit per referral.

julep maven september 2016 collection box contents

September 2016’s collection of Cheers to Five Years! box

julep september 2016 collection products open

no limits Luxe Hydrating Creme, Cheers to Five Years! Lipstick Mini Trio, get in line Invisible Lip Liner

julep september 2016 collection card and mini lipstick trio

Quote card and Cheers to Five Years! Lipstick Mini Trio

julep september 2016 collection card and note from ceo card

The September 2016 Collection cards.

get in line Invisible Lip Liner
How cool is this?! This lip liner applies on clear so you can use it with any lipstick and prevent bleeding/feathering issues. I think this is fantastic since I don’t have to worry about having different shades and if I apply it a little off, nobody would ever know. I’m not the greatest at drawing lines on my face and this allows me a pretty generous margin of error.

no limits Luxe Hydrating Creme
Ok, I have to admit I got this purely for the cool design. You press on the big round button and the lotion starts oozing out from the small circle! How fun is that? The formulation is also great for hydrating without leaving a residue. It feels great on my dry elbows! I got this as an add-on to the box that I used points to redeem.

Cheers to Five Years! Lipstick Mini Trio
This adorable set has three bright shades – bubbly, fizz, and pop. They all sound very champagne-esque and celebratory, don’t they? I’d say that’s appropriate for the occasion. :) The consistency of these are wonderful and apparently you don’t need lip liner with it.

Happy anniversary to Julep! I had fun with this box and I love the continued innovation they have for a variety of beauty products. My skin has never been happier and I look forward to what else they’ll surprise us with in the years to come.

Join as a Julep Maven to get polishes and/or beauty products sent to you monthly! Use code FREEBOX or FREEMAVEN to get the first box free (you pay shipping).

[This post contains affiliate links. Signing up through them helps support my subscription and I’d be ever so grateful. :) All opinions are my own and I received no compensation for this review. I just purchased this box and wanted to share what I got!]

Small successes

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Today was pretty successful in my book! I tried some sips of 5 Hour Energy for the first time and managed to stay awake in class. I seem to nod off for a few seconds no matter what, so the energy boost helped me get past that. Then I got to do an informational interview for a student position I’m interested in. I’ve spoken to quite a few people about their experience in the role and I hope my application shines!!

At lunch, it was time to claim free hot dogs for lunch. Pink’s Hot Dogs was on campus giving out free dogs. Each person could claim two, as well as chips and drinks. On my way out, I ran into a second year who I’d been meaning to talk to (“Superman”) and had a nice interaction with him and another second year (“Caser”) who came over. My friend and I then proceeded to spend the rest of the afternoon attending meeting after meeting together.

First up was case competition training, complete with catered lunch boxes. I was able to chat up a classmate I hadn’t officially met yet. He recently got a product (coconut cookies) into Trader Joe’s, which is awesome! After sitting down, I swapped cookies with the classmate next to me because he had chocolate chip and I had poppyseed. I call those small wins.

The next meeting was training for case interviews, which I hope I don’t have to do. I got called on by Caser to talk through one of the slides during the live demo. I talked a bit more than I needed to but ultimately got a decent point across and didn’t make a (complete) fool of myself! At the start of the meeting I was able to set up time to talk to Superman about two roles I am interested in. We met up at the mixer following the event to chat about his experiences. I hope I get both roles!

After the mixer, it was off to yet another kickoff meeting. Here I was able to score some Jimmy John’s sandwiches, as well as the platters they came on, which I plan on using as serving trays when we host parties at our apartment. :) To wrap up the night, our quiz #2 scores were posted for the Data class and I managed to pull off another 90! I’m pretty sure the professor accidentally copied my quiz #1 grade – I had no clue what I was doing!! 😉

So all in all, a good day. Now if only I could put my sore throat and “under the weather”ness behind me…

Prospurly June 2016 review

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Well, I got this box while I was out in China and then things have been so hectic with school that I never got around to reviewing it… so here it is! I’ve already had the July box for a month and the August one is on its way, so hopefully I’ll get those up quickly.

Prospurly is just under $45 per box (with code for 10% off your subscription – use my referral links from this post) and comes with artisan foods, bath & body items, home products, and other sustainably crafted items. Boxes are sent monthly with no option to skip. They offer a referral program that earns you free boxes.

prospurly june 2016 box open with products showing prospurly june 2016 info card with product details

Mr. G’z La Jarra Spanish EVOO – The timing of this was perfect, since I was able to bring the olive oil and vinegar with me to my new apartment. The olive oil is a rich flavor that’s perfect for dipping bread in. Mmm, mmm! Now I can enjoy these flavors at home, which is great.

Mr. G’z Balsamic Vinegar – This vinegar is tart with some sweetness, which is quite nice. They suggest trying it on ice cream and I can actually see how that would taste good. If I ever get ice cream, I’ll have to try it. For now, I must go get some bread so I can enjoy them.

Lotus Naturals Dreamscape oil – I’ve never had a lucid dream, though I’ve gotten close to thinking that a dream was a dream while I was in it. I don’t know how this is supposed to help dream recall, but that sounds intriguing. I won’t be trying it until I feel more rested, since whenever I have dreams I don’t sleep well.

Bubbles and Botanicals Dear Aphrodite Bentonite Clay Mask – I’m always happy to have clay masks, since they help bring out toxins and clear pores. The powder formula should be really good for my oily skin.

SimpliMandi Brighten Up skin brightening serum – I’ve never been sensitive to dark spots and I don’t know if that’s because I don’t have them or I don’t notice them. I’ll use this for fun, but I don’t know if I’ll notice any changes!

SimpliMandi Honey Butter gentle mask + exfoliator – Ooo how fun – this mask sounds exotic and nice. It’ll be a nice thing to slather on on the weekend.

I look forward to trying all of these. I’ve got some products I’m still using, but I’ll get around to opening these eventually. What do you think of this month’s box?

[This post contains affiliate links. Signing up through them helps support my subscription and I’d be ever so grateful. :) All opinions are my own and I received no compensation for this review. I just purchased this box and wanted to share what I got!]

An ocean of work

laelene Post in mba,Tags: , , , ,

Yikes! I’m getting worse at staying on top of things here. With two full weeks of class behind me, I’m in the thick of things and just trying to stay afloat. It truly feels like a tsunami is behind me and I’m trying to swim to stay ahead of it. Every time I get past a wave, it’s a relief but then I look back only to find the massive waves have not receded.

Just about every single day, we either have a quiz or some sort of homework or project due. Next Friday we’ll already be done with two classes. How crazy is that?! Three intense weeks of class and they’re over. I’m still not sure how I feel about that at this point. On the one hand, we are basically going through recruiting boot camp so we are prepared as polished professionals as soon as we begin looking for internships.

(In case you’re not familiar with MBA life, you basically starting the recruiting process in the fall, where recruiters from various companies come on campus to seek interns for the summer. These internships are done in the summer between 1st and 2nd year and often can lead to full-time job offers to start after graduation. Much of the focus is on what internship experience you can get, since the whole idea of business school is to prepare us to be leaders in corporations.)

This week was pretty brutal, with long days dragging into long nights. It culminated in an all-nighter Thursday that lasted until nearly 5 am on Friday. I ended up sleeping for an hour and a half. Surprisingly, I was pretty functional for the day and didn’t even sleep early last night. This morning it was tough getting up though, so thank goodness it’s the weekend and we have a little bit of breathing room. I still feel pretty stressed since there’s a lot to do – research for two projects, studying for a quiz on Monday, reviewing for a quiz on Tuesday, conducting an informational interview and doing a write-up on it, plus a bunch of readings.

There are some boxes I really want to review but I just don’t have the bandwidth yet! Hang tight and I’ll hopefully get around to them later this month and into next.

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