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Like many people out there, I got a job right out of college, but felt in some ways I had settled and was capable of achieving much more in life. After almost two years, I was unfulfilled in a job that didn’t push the boundaries. It was time to make my mark in the world. Prior to leaving my job, I set up a system to organize my job search efforts, gain exposure through social networks and implemented a system to collect information vital to my search.


One of the most useful note taking apps out there. I am obsessed with Evernote and use it for everything from recipes to drafting blog posts. When it comes to your job search, Evernote allows you to keep track of your search efforts by capturing, categorizing and will be a useful reference to prepare for your next interview.

Capture companies you want to work for, jobs you want to apply to and those you haven’t. Add tags to each note to categorize for future reference. After you have a collection of notes, take a look back on your progress.

Track what types of jobs you apply to and what industries you are interested in. Looking back will give you insight as to where you came from and how your preferences have changed.

Prepare for interivews. Type up targeted Q & A’s prior to each interivew and brainstorm for at least an hour in preparation. Collecting your thoughts, drafting hypothetical scenarios and answering the tough questions will give you the leading edge in a competative job market.

For more on how to use Evernote, check out tutorials on .


For your job search, use Instapaper to capture relavent articles and blog posts for tips, hints and inspiration. There is a lot of useful info out there for career development and coaching. Find it. Use it. Just by doing your research you will be already ahead in the game.

Instapaper can be used anywhere, even without a nearby WiFi connection. As long as the article was previously downloaded in the app, you will have full access to it at any time. Perfect for airplane mode, traveling abroad or in remote areas.


Stay connected with college professors, colleagues and build your online resume. Today almost everyone who is looking for a job or has one is on LinkedIn. I included it in my list as a reminder to stay active on LinkedIn and try to spend equal if not more time on this network than on Facebook and Twitter. Join groups on LinkedIn, participate in discussions, make connections and engage with others in the same industry.

Brazen Careerist

Join the conversation. Become part of a network of career bloggers, companies and amazing career resources. As part of the network, you can attend webinars, virtual career fairs, get career advice and take training courses to learn a new skill or ramp up old ones.

Incorporate these apps and networks into your job search efforts and you will be one step closer to finding the next rewarding opportunity in your career.


The Beginning

Pressure. That’s all I felt in the months approaching and following my graduation date from college in 2009. Pressure from others, but mostly from myself. Who would I become? How would I start my professional career? Who was I ? Those are the questions I asked myself everyday at the end of 2009 and after the new year.

Asking these questions was my first mistake. Too wrapped up in the questions I was suppose to ask myself, the right way to start a career (according to conventional wisdom) I fell back on what I thought I SHOULD do.

Sometimes plans don’t work. Even backup plans fall through. You determine your destiny. Not chance or luck. I found myself following the rules I had set for myself.

Allergic to risk. Failing to fail. Aiming for perfection.

You’re Hired

The day I got a job offer I was overwhelmed with feelings of relief, ambition, success and a hint of fear. My professional career had officially begun.

Background checks, screening, new hire orientation and classroom training entered into my life. I spent three weeks in Baltimore for training. The first months of work were filled with textbooks, learning entire computer systems and dreaming of finally having a cubicle to call home. Not exactly the life I envisioned or the career I had set in mind before graduation.

I learned the ropes, passed tests, graduated from training, released from my mentor and and was on my own. I became a worker bee. It was all about the numbers. I followed the rules, exceeded performance and quality standards. Error free. Risk adverse.

Months went by and then another year had passed. Is this what I went to school for? Am I happy? What am I achieving? I woke up one day realizing I had settled. My worst fear had come true and it was only my fault. Paychecks became more important than my dreams and ambition to challenge the status quo. My passion had disappeared. What had happened to me? I was not being true to my character.

I felt like I had joined the military in some ways. I became absorbed with exceeding the numbers, saving my paycheck and waking up at 5 a.m. for another 12 hour day.

Making Moves

After spending two weeks in Europe for a much needed vacation I had planned my whole life, I realized it was time. I was just living through the motions. Making my bosses happy, processing claims and collecting a HUGE paycheck.

My 25th birthday was quickly approaching. How did I get to 25 so fast?

Two weeks before my birthday I woke up. I asked my bosses for new roles, challenges and projects to move forward in my career. I had proven myself time and time again, but there were no opportunities to grow. Leaving my federal job was the hardest decision I had ever made. I walked away from my large salary, life-long friends and my federal career, but I was ready to move forward. I knew moving forward would be hard, stressful and nerve-racking at times. I was pulling myself out of my comfort zone and diving head first into the unknown. Moving towards my new career and redefining my future without rules or deadlines. You never know what you are capable of until you push yourself to the limits.

Where Am I Now?

My passion is alive. Enjoying the moment. Being a better daughter, sister and girlfriend. Challenging myself and the status quo.

I refuse to settle in life. Challenge is what I live for. Be bold. Make moves.

If you don’t like something about yourself, your life or who you are spending your life with, change it. No more excuses.

Who am I? I am a person who works hard and plays hard while making history. I do the first two everyday and will spend the rest of my life striving for the third.

Life Lessons

Perfection does not equal success. If you are perfect, you will never learn from your failures. Failure is the first sign of success. Never compare yourself to others. Do what is right for you, not others. Be allergic to bull, even if it’s coming from your own thoughts. Don’t settle for average.  Remember the past, but move towards the future.

I define myself by what I do. I am a blogger, entrepreneur, paddle-boarder, adventurista, foodie, photographer and thousands of things. But the one thing I REFUSE to be is average. Be your OWN definition of exceptional.

Spring is here and the Seattle sun is finally shining!

It’s time to get healthy, get active and sieze the day.

Here’s a quick and easy smoothie to enjoy for breakfast, lunch or an afternoon energy boost.


  • Two handfulls fresh basil
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • Banana
  • 1 tsp honey or agave nectar
  • Protein powder (missing from picture but highly recommended to stay energized and full)


Combine all ingredients in a blender.

Blend and enjoy!

This piece of travel clothing and company {r}evolution apparel has become my new obsession and inspiration since I discovered them last December. These two incredible women (who I adore and admire) have created a multi-functional piece and fashion company that represents sustainability, environmentalism, human equality and chic style all wrapped into one. Wow. Sounds amazing right? Pre-order yours or visit their new online store mid-April. Here’s their debut piece, but there will be a maxi dress to accompany and looking forward to an entire 10 piece collection in the future promising 100 ways to wear. Keep up the amazing work girls!

AND HOW WE IMPACT THE WORLD” – {r}evolution apparel

“We’re just two people who want to live with purpose, passion, and adventure. And make the world a little bit better along the way.” – KRISTIN & SHANNON

DIY Easter Brunch Terrarium

Love this idea for a table arrangement for Easter brunch! via DIY terrarium.

Start with about 3/4 inch sand.

Add just enough water to make the sand moist.

Pat down the sand level.

Add a layer of rocks. (We used shiny rocks collected at the beach)

Then a layer of dirt.

Plant small cute little plants. Succulents are my choice.



-madey edlin

Time to celebrate EVERYONE! Today is officially the FIRST full day of Spring (even if it doesn’t feel like it yet in Seattle). Inspired by the new season, I decided to share my new favorite go-to salad. Have it for lunch with a bowl of tomato soup or just add chicken breast and make a meal out of it.

What You Will Need:

  • Romaine lettuce and arugula
  • Micro greens (Trader Joe’s)
  • Handful of roasted pecans
  • Organic mango
  • 1 T Chèvre goat cheese (optional)
  • 1 T Olive oil
  • 2 T Balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Honey
  • 1/2 tsp Fresh lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

How the Magic Happens:

First: Prepare lettuce (wash, rinse, dry and tear into bite size pieces) wash micro greens and slice mango.

Second: Make the dressing by combining olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, lemon, salt and pepper in a small bowl and stir until mixed.

Third: Place lettuce in large bowl. Drizzle with dressing and toss.

Next: Top with micro greens (aren’t they cute). Sprinkle with candied pecans and chèvre. Add mango slices and…..


Now quick eat, Eat, EAT and enjoy with a glass of chardonay or riesling if you have a sweet tooth like me!


The Eco-Chic Economist

P.S. And don’t be shy with the pecans (more is always better when it comes to healthy food). Looking forward to picnic weather and sharing more recipes and Eco-Chic adventures with you!

Two weeks ago, I jumped on a plane and flew far, far away from rainy and gray Seattle weather. For me, this was a special trip. One full of old memories and new ones. I stayed with my aunt and uncle at their beautiful house I had not seen since I was 12. We visited my favorite spot on the island, Kiholo beach and brought back some of my best and most vivid childhood memories.

During my trip I realized that I might know myself better now than when I was 12, but I am still the same exact person. I have always pushed myself and never settled for average. My interests and taste in food might be different, but I have the same passion and drive for life.

The journey is just beginning, but I will always remember to enjoy now.

Below is a list of must-see activities and destinations on the Big Island.

Have fun exploring!

Kuhio Bay at Four Seasons Resort

Top Big Island Destinations

  • Alii Drive Kailua

  • Hilo Farmer’s Market

  • Kiholo and lagoon

  • Waimea Valley

  • Hawi

  • Volcano National Park

  • Lava Tube

  • Kuhio Bay

  • Akaka Falls

    Magic Sands Beach

    Volcano National Park

    Akaka Falls

"Everlasting Light"

Many people (including myself) cannot afford to purchase an orignal piece of art, but deeply enjoy the beauty of orignal artwork. Do you want an orignal piece of art at your home or business, but don’t have the cash to make the purchase? Solution: Get a library card from the Art Lending Library and checkout a piece and enjoy for months!

Step 1: Join

The Art Lending Library provides a network of lending and borrowing original artwork to the general public for FREE. Sign up at an opening and get a library card at 201 Yesler Wy. Suite B Seattle, WA.

Step 2: Check out

Attend a library opening and reserve a piece for delivery by the librarians to members’ homes or business.

Step 3: Install

Art Lending librarians will come to your home or business and install the art for you.

Step 4: Enjoy

 Gaze and admire your borrowed piece of art for 4 months.

Step 5: Return

Once time is up, the librarians will come collect the artwork, take a picture of you and the piece and return back to the gallery. Choose a new piece of artwork at the next opening or reserve your favorite piece time and time again.

So what are you waiting for? Get a library card!

Next Event: March 1st, First Thursday art walk for their Grand Opening (this won’t be a check-out event)

Questions? Email and visit their website and Facebook page.

Below are a few pieces previously featured at the Art Lending Library

"a wandering into morning, wading into evening and sifting into sleep" from: "The Mailbox in the Woods"

"Bodi seti satva" from, Atoms. Motion & the Void

 I just saw this and had to share it with my fellow economists courtesy Hope you enjoy a good laugh!

Another good one

Top 5 Reasons to Yelp

Over the years I have become an avid user of Yelp. Why you ask? Because Yelp gives me a snapshot of the restaurants, events or services through the eyes of consumers.  If I’m in a new city, country or even my hometown Ballard, Yelp is my go to resource for finding the best of the best and almost guarantees a memorable experience.

After having a horrifying experience last weekend at a hotel in Hilo, Hawai’i that my aunt had booked (she should have used Yelp), I introduced her to the site. She now says she will always Yelp prior to making any hotel reservations in the future. Sorry Naniloa Resort, you have been yelped and it doesn’t look good.

Top 5 Reasons to Yelp

  1. Transparency- Allows recent customers to share their experience, good or bad with others and hold merchants accountable for their service and products. The availability of information allows consumers to make informed decisions and seek out highly rated merchants. Transparency creates an incentive for below average merchants to improve their products and services (which is my next reason).
  2. Better Products/Services- Increased transparency leads to higher quality products and services. Companies don’t want to establish a bad reputation that the entire world can see.
  3. Meet new people- Yelping is social. Read other reviews, become a fan of fellow yelpers and get to know people who share the same tastes.  Get out of your house and into the world! You are bound to meet interesting and passionate people.
  4. Tell your story- Writing reviews on Yelp and becoming an elite member allows users to create almost a diary or timeline of the restaurants, hotels and cities they have traveled too. Give it a try, sign up on Yelp and watch your reviews grow. Take a look back on your review history and let the memories roll.
  5. Explore new neighborhoods, cities and let your adventurista side out- Yelp allows users to explore new places. From speakeasy bars to the best Tom Yum a city can offer, the site lets people expand their horizons, create new experiences and lasting memories.

So what are you waiting for?

Get Yelping!