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About – OkGoods on Instagram

There’s no doubt that sharing on social media is easier than creating a blog post, so if you want more frequent updates on random things from OkGoods (aka me) then you can follow along on Instagram for fashion sketches, plant portraits, and random pictures with good light. ; )

Follow me here at OkGoods.

Here’s a bit of my life lately:

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Trying out a new ink pen

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Celebrating spring weather practising watercolours and drawing a cocoon coat.

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A vibrant denim rainbow sketch

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Hoping to do a clay class later this year and painting textural pots while I wait

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Finally hanging a beautiful planter we bought in San Francisco

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Our apartment is covered with plant babies, and we can’t help but keep buying more.

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Sunny weekend views on a chilly Sunday #NeverGoOutside

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Some of the gang, including a stubborn Spider Plant I’m trying to rescue

Thanks for reading!

The Grindstone – 5

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Monochromatic wins my heart again. Navy is my favourite colour to work all at once… Of course, an all black look is classic and forgiving, but something about navy is more rich and artistic feeling, especially when paired with gold accessories.

Hopefully this inspires you to throw together a polished one-colour look as easily as something a bit too business-casual (I’m thinking of my own running pants and giant sweater looks). Mix textures, but not colours – so easy for cold mornings standing in front of the closet hazily putting together an outfit! ; )

Image from Vanessa Jackman.

Follow more modern workwear inspiration on The Grindstone Pinterest Board.
See the full Grindstone series here.

The Office Gift Guide – For your awesome intern

Ok Goods Gift Guide for your awesome intern

 

 

You’ve spent months mentoring and working with a young talent, and sadly you don’t have the best gift they could ask for, a job. So in lieu of a full-time contract, here is a list of things they can use to help them land their dream gig, or just to say thank you and GO GET EM.

1. A real and amazing reference letter or even a LinkedIn recommendation will be useful for years to come, and even better, it will boost their confidence for interviews and they’ll remember your supportive words at all the awkward networking events when they are building up the guts to talk to someone. (And before they leave, please look over their resume and portfolio to make sure they’ve put all the hard work they’ve done with your company into use and the world can see it)!

2. Holding a physical printed magazine in your hands is a pleasing in a way that digital can never top, and it’s also one of those things that most people can’t justify for themselves when on a tight budget. Give them a year (or two!) of industry inspiration and aspirational articles to read through and pile on their shelves.

3. Some say gift cards are a “no no”, but there’s a catch with this one… Load up a coffee shop gift card and present it with a suggestion to only buy coffee for others. You never know where a coffee meeting will lead them! If they really just want a card for the mall or amazon, I’m not against that either! This gift is meant to say ‘thank you’ after all, so don’t feel pressured to put rules on it.

4. Getting started in your career can be a tricky and expensive time. You need decent interview clothes, have student loans about to come due, and probably financing a laptop to help you with freelance work on the side! Even though there are free networking sites and social media channels for self-promotion there are some classic ‘work things’ that will help them feel more like a young professional and less ‘imposter‘. Try funding an industry membership, website hosting, or some fancy business cards (or stickers!) that they create with a template.

5. Celebrate the end of the internship by growing their liquor cabinet with a bottle of something dressed in a witty label. Add a book of cocktail recipes or a decorative bottle opener just for fun.

See all Gift Guides here.

The Office Gift Guide – For your boss

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This person might be the trickiest one on your holiday gifting list. You can’t buy a gift card, jewelry is too personal, and something generic is worse than nothing at all. Pro tip, avoid buy anything that involves choosing a size, or something that would be difficult to hide if they don’t like it. The idea here is to show appreciation and thought. Your gift should be personal or not at all. So here’s a list ways to be thoughtful and affordable (because honestly… they know how much you make).

1. A kind and sincere holiday card is the most meaningful thing on this list. Adding a message of your support, gratitude, or a fun memory will go a long way for holiday cheer. Simple.

2. Another affordable but heart-warming gesture is baking up some homemade treats. You and your boss spend long meetings together, order take-out some days, and snack on the same things — so you know the kind of treats that they run to during that 4 o-clock wall (and you probably know if their allergies). Classic chocolate chip cookies or some really good banana bread are safe bets. If they aren’t fond of sweets, try a bag of fancy coffee beans instead.

3. If we learned anything from Master of None, it’s that a fancy candle can go a long way in a small space like an office. Plus it’s fun to smell all the candles while you’re shopping.

4. Most people, no matter the pay-grade, appreciate indulging in fancy versions of everyday items. Switch up their kitchen routine with a small splurge on a shelf stable item like seasonal jam or olive oil. For bonus points attach a simple recipe that showcases the ingredient.

5. Use some of that personal knowledge you have from years of working together and get them a classic record for their underused record player, or pull from an inside joke and get them something weird to make them smile.

If none of these ideas fit the bill, look for something local and support a small business in your neighborhood. If you’re in Toronto, check out some of my favourites; Lost & Found, Easy Tiger, and Good Egg.

See all Gift Guides here.

The Office Gift Guide – For your work bestie

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This year I am celebrating the art of office gifting! If you are shopping for your boss, your intern, or a job-searching new grad, stay tuned for my 2015 Office Gift Guide. And to start us off… Your work bestie is there for your big wins, and your toughest days in the office. You can count on them for impromptu sushi lunches, and use them as a sounding board for your ideas in and out of the office. Your friendship is loyal, and your gift game is on point this year… say thank you to your friendship with this easy list of present wins.

1. Get a plant to cheer up his desk. Or send her some beautiful flowers, sign the note with an inside joke and let everyone else in the office wonder who the secret admirer is.

2. Stock her drawer with simple pleasures. My personal favourites are the subtle rosebud salve; the tin feels very vintage and separates it from your common lip balm tube that gets lost in all your coat pockets and the bottom of your bag. And Burt’s Bees Cuticle Cream which is the perfect thing to massage into your hands during a conference call or during your commute.

3. You’re always sharing snacks anyway so indulge in something extra special like well-packaged chocolate, or a set of french macarons to share at their desk.

4. You know their work style better than anyone, so buy some fun affordable accessories they would never choose on their own but are always complimenting on other people. Ring here, and earrings here.

5. Change up your lunch routine and splash out for a long lunch at a Japanese Izakaya restaurant. It’s loud, it’s dark, and it’s perfect for bonding over Tinder Dates gone wrong and the inevitable office gossip. If you’re in Toronto, check out Ryoji. I used to live in that building, and the interior like a luxurious Japanese cabin.

And if all else fails, a bottle of wine is rarely turned down.

See all Gift Guides here.

The Grindstone – 4

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This look reminds me of a school uniform, which is a refreshing idea when you’re used to wasting energy in the morning trying to put together a look for work. I loved reading about what it’s like to wear the same thing to work every single day, and am putting pieces of that idea into effect in my own routine. My personal uniform is most definitely pants, a collared shirt, and a second layer to keep me warm in the fluctuating temperatures of an open-concept office, though I’m still working my way to that ‘effortless choice’ of outfit in the morning.

The key to this polished tomboy look is the slim and tailored silhouette, and crisp details. Now that we’ve dipped below zero I won’t tell anyone when you switch into your patent leather oxfords and out of your waterproof commuter winter boots, because sometimes we just have to be practical and not risk the shoe-ruining, toe-freezing cold weather, so we suck it up and switch out our shoes at work. Practicality wins, in this outfit, and during my commute.

Image from Mango Fall ’13 via Fashion Gone Rogue.

Follow more modern workwear inspiration on The Grindstone Pinterest Board.
See the full Grindstone series here.

The Grindstone – 3

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This outfit is so great; classic shapes made more interesting with an oversized blazer and precious silk pants in a not-so-precious indigo heart print. All elements neutral coloured, including the classic white runners mean I vote this perfectly work appropriate.

Image from Vanessa Jackman.

The Grindstone is a series of posts featuring inspiring modern workplace fashion. To me, the modern workplace is a place where casual dress and fashionable choices meet to make you feel inspired, comfortable, and effortless throughout your workday. In a word, you.

Follow my modern workwear inspiration Pinterest Board for The Grindstone.