Spring/Summer Wedding Trend Edit

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By Felicia Czochanski

It’s finally turning into that season where you leave work most days and the sun is still out. Where you can walk around outside in the middle of the day and find yourself squinting at the sun shining down on you. Now that the snowstorms have finally come to an end and flowers are starting to bloom, love is certainly back in the warm springtime air!

According to The Knot’s 2018 Real Wedding study, approximately 78% of all weddings take place between the months of May and October. The warm, sunny weather makes this time ideal for outdoor weddings and the blossoming of plants and flowers makes for some beautiful wedding photos. If you’re finding your refrigerator getting full with cute “save the date” cards and invitations – and if fate has it that the weddings you’re invited to all fall within a span of a few weeks like mine do – you’re going to want to save some money where you can.

When it comes to weddings, there are few things you can skimp on – and weddings are expensive and you want your friend’s special day to be perfect! You’ll have to budget for transportation and accommodations, a wedding gift and your outfit. This can add up pretty quickly and thanks to social media and overlapping friend groups, you won’t want to wear the same dress twice!

The perfect solve is to start scouring the racks of your local Goodwill® stores for brand new (with tags still attached!) and like new dresses to wear to weddings and events this spring. You’ll be sure to find dresses that are up to 90% off retail price – believe me, I’m talking from experience here! – and are in perfect condition. Plus, while you’re helping your wallet and adding to your wardrobe during wedding season, you’re also helping out members of your community find employment and access to classes they need, which is funded completely by Goodwill. Truly a win-win!

Now for the Spring/Summer wedding trend edit, keep reading below!

1. Beach Wedding

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Photo: @maryorton

Weddings on the beach are both special and beautiful. You can combine some of the best nature the world has to offer while professing your love in front of friends and family. When attending a beach wedding, there’s one main thing to keep in mind – the wind. You’re going to want to avoid dresses with slits or the tendency to flip up and show everyone things they shouldn’t see. For this type of wedding, it’s important to stick with either a classy bodycon dress or a form-fitting maxi dress. While you’re at it – don’t even think about wearing heels on the sand! A chic metallic sandal will do the trick instead.

2. Black Tie Formal Wedding

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Photo: @bycaitlinanne

Formal weddings are beautiful in their own way. Just imagine walking into an elegantly decorated ballroom where all the guests are dressed to the nines. For this dress code, you’ll want to pick out a floor length gown and a stunning pair of heels. If you’re indecisive about which gown to choose – light pastel blue is trending this season, which pairs perfectly with a silver heel.

3. Semi-Casual Wedding

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Photo: hellofashionblog.com

When it comes to a semi-casual event, you’re going to want to take a hint from the friend or relative who’s getting married. What’s their style? If you showed up in a sundress would that suffice? If you came glammed out in a jumpsuit would they still be excited to see you? You can also gather clues from the wedding venue to see what type of attire would be most appropriate. For instance, if the wedding is being held at someone’s home, you can predict that both of those options would be appropriate. Key rule for this type of event? Wear something you’re comfortable in but still look put together and ready to celebrate!

4. Cocktail, Semi-Formal Wedding

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Photo: @racheloveee

One of the most common dress codes for a wedding is cocktail attire. These are the types of weddings that leave room for the guests to have fun with their outfit choice, as long as it’s appropriate and still within the semi-formal guidelines. You can wear a dress decked out in sequins or show off your style with fun shapes and ruffles, like the mermaid gown with layered, slightly scalloped ruffles on the dress above.

A Quick Behind-the-Scenes View of Recruiting

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By Randy Wooden

I’m often asked questions about recruiters and the staffing industry, so I thought I’d take a few minutes to explain some of the various terms associated with them.

The generic term “recruiter” applies to a person who typically has first contact with you. They may work within a corporation, recruiting only positions for that company.  These are “in house” or “internal” recruiters. You may see their job title as “talent acquisition specialist” or “recruiter.” They often conduct the initial interview and then pass the top candidates on to a hiring manager for further discussion.

Recruiters could be employed by a staffing or recruiting firm. These are external recruiters or “headhunters.” They work to fill openings with any number of client corporations. Their role is to conduct the initial interview/screening and then pass qualified applicants on to the client company for further interviewing.

Let’s turn to how recruiting firms operate. In no case does the job seeker pay anything. For permanent placements – positions where the employee is a direct hire and immediately becomes employed (and paid) by the hiring company – there are two methods of payment, contingency and retainer.

Contingency searches typically occur from the manager level on down. The employer will usually allow several firms to work simultaneously on filling the opening. The search firm only makes a commission if  their candidate gets hired.

Retained searches typically occur at higher levels within an organization. An employer will retain the services of one search firm, typically paying a portion of the anticipated fee up front, another portion upon hire, and a final portion after the new hire has been on board for a short time.

If it helps you to understand better, think of how someone might hire an attorney. If you’ve been in an accident, most attorneys taking your case will work on a contingency basis. You only pay them if you win the case.

On the other hand, a corporation or an individual might hire an attorney on retainer. A lump sum is paid up front with the client and attorney settling up any remaining monies owed once the attorney’s work is complete.

The third way a staffing company is paid is by invoicing the employer based on the hours a person works. This arrangement, as you might expect, typically occurs with hourly workers where there is no direct hire. The worker is actually employed by the staffing company but shows up for work at the client corporation.

The client corporation and staffing company often have an arrangement whereby the client corporation can hire the worker after a certain number of hours have been worked. This allows the client to try the employee before they hire them. We’re seeing more of this arrangement than ever before.

I hope you now have a better understanding of the recruiting business. It serves a valuable role in helping corporations hire folks. Make recruiters aware of who you are and what skills you possess.  Good luck!

Father’s Day Finds That Won’t Fail

What do ties, golf clubs, and a six-pack all have in common? While they’re each nice (and surely appreciated) Father’s Day gifts, they’re also the type of present that you can really only give once. Giving the same type of gift every year will seem uninspired and won’t accurately reflect the way you feel about dear ol’ Dad. So, if you’re feeling stuck in a run-of-the-mill Father’s Day gift rut and are ready for some fresh ideas, we’ve got a whole slew of possibilities for you in this blog post—and at your closest Goodwill store! Goodwill understands that self-sufficiency is best achieved through family financial stability practices that allow households to better manage their money and save for the future. And when you shop for Father’s Day gifts at Goodwill stores then you’re saving money and supporting that mission, too. Without further ado, let’s jump into it!

One thing that I know every dad would appreciate is the gift of time. And while we can’t tell you how to add extra hours to the day, Goodwill Industries – Knoxville, Inc. does have some incredible ideas for making the most of those afternoon hours with a budget-friendly backyard BBQ
https://www.gwiktn.org/blog/2017/backyard-bbq-bash-on-a-budget. Since many dads pride themselves on their grilling skills, this would be the perfect excuse to spend some time doing what he wants next weekend. With tips on how to save money while you shop for meal ingredients and a recipe for easy homemade barbeque sauce, this list is a must read. My favorite part, though, are these DIY solar mason jar lights which would extend the amount of time your family can stay outside after grilling. Hey, maybe we can add hours to the day after all!

It’s true that when I throw out the word “sachet” you probably won’t immediately think of your dad. But why should the fellas miss out on all the fun of these (literally) pocket-sized potpourri pouches https://www.sadieseasongoods.com/shirt-pocket-sachets/. Blogger Sadie Seasongoods noticed that flannel shirts at Goodwill are always plentiful and low-priced especially in the warm-weather months. With Father’s Day right around the corner she decided now was the time to turn a few of them into simple scented sachets! They’re cute while they play peek-a-boo in a drawer, but could also make a pretty nifty car or office air freshener. And since the scent of cedar wards off moths, these would be a safer and more pleasant smelling alternative to moth balls in the closet. I think the part Dad would appreciate the most, though, is that you spent your time and energy on a thoughtful handmade gift for him. You must be his favorite, huh?

If those ideas still don’t seem right for the Dad(s) you’re celebrating this year, take a peek at this video shared by Goodwill Industries of Central Arizona, Inc. for a fantastic list of the dos and don’ts of Father’s Day gift buying https://www.goodwillaz.org/fathers-day-ideas/ Number one in their survey results of the worst Father’s Day gifts was novelty clothing. Those are the things that Dad might wear once for a laugh then never touch again. They also mention certain tech gadgets that become obsolete almost as soon as they’re brought home. Unless he’s a techie who likes to collect, you could steer clear of those pieces, too. Check out the video above for the other items you’ll want to avoid while you shop and some fantastic suggestions that are sure to please.

To all the fathers and father figures out there who might be reading this, you are awesome. Your hard work and reliable presence is helping to (or has helped) form a new generation and that is really something special. Happy Father’s Day!

Good Questions to Ask During Your Interviews (Part 2 of 3)

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By Randy Wooden

Interviewing is an exchange of information. It is not enough to answer employer’s questions; top job candidates come up with good questions of their own. Today we’ll explore more of them in part two of this three-part blog series.

If they do not volunteer this information early in the conversation, consider asking why the position is open. Wait until about halfway through the interview to ask. Their response could take different paths.

They could say the position is newly-created. When a job is newly created, multiple people may have had input during that job’s formation. Try to understand what’s expected from each of those other employees.

They could say the last person was promoted. That’s great news! It shows they promote from within. That being the case, they may promote from within to fill this opening, too. You can ask how long the person who was in the position had been in the job before being promoted.

They could indicate the person who was in the position is no longer with the organization. Unless they volunteer more information, you don’t know whether or not they left on their own. You could ask some key areas they would like to see changed or improved in performance.

Training is another area to explore. If they do not share information about professional development and training, be sure to ask about it after you understand the job duties.

Lastly, let’s talk about how you would inquire about overtime, weekend work, shift work, and other schedule-related questions. Asking, “is there weekend work,” or, “is overtime required,” implies you would prefer to not work weekends or overtime. Rather than asking bluntly, you can ask them to talk you through a typical day or typical work week. This gives them the opportunity share information about scheduling. If they do not fully clarify, you can ask a follow up question to get more information. Tell them you are willing to work the needed schedule (if you are) and just want to understand what’s expected.

Next time, I will wrap up this series with more questions to help you determine whether the job is the one for you. Good luck!

Patio Paradise

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By Jenna Pfueller

It’s patio season, thrifty friends! I get excited about it every year and go all out. The mind movies I have about patio season are one of the few ways I’m able to make it through the hard New England winters.

But apparently each year I get a bit of amnesia about the my level of attractiveness to the local mosquito populace. To them, I’m merely creating a convenient outdoor smorgasbord for them to devour me under strings of trendy Edison garden lights.

Nonetheless, I prepare our back patio space with love, paying attention to light, seating, flowers, and doing my best to create the setting for a perfect summer gathering. Arguably it would be much more enjoyable should the entire mosquito population mysteriously collapse, but I digress.

It all started with some freshly birch logs I saw sitting along the side of the road by the power company clearing debris away from power lines. They were the perfect height to set into concrete and make some porch pillars. Lucky for me, my partner was on board with my DIY idea, and quickly got the car keys to rescue them on my behalf.

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Credit: Jenna Pfueller

I pulled out some big planters I had in the shed, and got a few bags of Quick-crete from the hardware store. Once the logs were set in place, I topped them off with some dirt and planted  geraniums around them in a lame attempt to keep the mosquitos at bay. I pulled the picnic table over and ran a few strings of patio lights and boom-boom-boom– new favorite backyard hangout!

Thrift stores are the perfect place to make your backyard mecca totally cozy for totally cheap. I like to look for trays to carry drinks out on, like these vintage ones I found recently at my local Goodwill®. Not only do they make it easier to carry ALL THE THINGS in and out of the kitchen for prep and clean-up, but they also make a great conversation piece for your guests!

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Credit: Jenna Pfueller

I also look for pillows to make seating more inviting, breezy curtains that can be easily strung up to mute the late day sun, linens that would make fun tablecloths, extra chairs to set out, and used rugs that would be totally fine as a seasonal outdoor landing pad.

Don’t forget about decor, too! Clocks, mirrors, planters– all great ways to add some extra wow.

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Credit: @crazywonderfulblog

A few tips?

  • Use a fitted twin sheet as a tablecloth on picnic tables so they don’t blow away.
  • Find a set of used plates and cups you don’t mind getting chipped to create a more stylized look. It also keeps you from using plastic plates and styrofoam and creating more waste.
  • Keep citronella candles inside mason jars. So much cuter on your table, and you can put the lids on them when you’re done so they won’t get waterlogged between parties.

Need more inspiration? Check out this porch $5 challenge from Lauren, who found some great patio accents at her local Goodwill store.

You can sit back, relax, and rest easy knowing your inviting little piece of porch heaven helped people in your community find stability through work, and saved you a little extra money to buy citronella candles. Trust me here. You’re going to need them!