70s Soup Recipe Mugs

Last year, while my friend Jasmin and I were out thrifting, we discovered these little soup mugs. They're cauldron shaped, short and squat, and have a circa 70s style illustration and a soup recipe on them. They crop up fairly often at thrift stores. They're part of a set, each mug in the set depicting a different soup. I'm not sure how many are in the set, but it's something like a handful or so. Jasmin thought her father would like them so we picked them up at 75 cents a piece.

Over the past year, we've managed to basically give her father a collection of them. He has at least 6 if memory serves correctly. This past weekend, among other goodies, I found two more mugs-- a mushroom and a tomato-- at the goodwill this past saturday. To my recollection (as well as Jasmin's) he does not yet have the Tomato. As for the Mushroom, he already has it, but Jasmin is keeping this one for herself.

I think these things are charming. In the beginning, I think the first mug we got for her father was a present for father's day. Over time though, we've sort of gotten in the habit of picking them up when we can, here and there, for her dad. As you may know, I have no qualms about gifting thrift, especially when it's a nice, well thought out gift.

These mugs crop up a lot at thrift stores. Not to the point that they're always there like with copies of The DaVinci Code, but I've seen them crop up quite a few times. I think they're really charming. For all my googling though, I still don't know much about them. On etsy these sell at varying prices. Sellers' best guesses date these mugs at the 70s, which was my gut feeling given the style of the illustrations.

The entire set, based on etsy listings, includes: scotch broth, mushroom, ox tail, split pea, clam chowder, tomato, chicken, and onion.

If you happen to have any info on these mugs, please let me know. I'm very curious about them.
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10 Things I Learned at the Women in the Real World Panel

Hey there readers!

I've been a bit inactive on this blog for the past couple weeks since I was planning a conference between several HerCampus branches across the state. Basically we all got together, took photos, talked, hung out, ate dinner, and danced together. But the most important part was our panel. We had four phenomenal speakers come out and talk about their experience in the career world, and share their wisdom and advice. 

Our panel consisted of Windsor Hanger, one of the founders of HerCampus, Jen Garrott, Associate Producer for Colonial Williamsburg Productions and documentarian, Caitlin Elizabeth, a recent grad who is on her way to making her dreams come true as a professional photographer, and Carrie Adams, a former White House Intern doing grad school while working for Sojourners, a social and environmental justice group.

If you want to see photos of the event, You can check out HCWM's facebook page, this write up we did on it, or the blog post Windsor Hanger wrote on her time with us on the Founder's Blog at HerCampus.com.

On to the main event! I wanted to highlight some of the things that I learned at the Panel for you all-- I think it's all phenomenal advice that I would love to share with you all.

1 - Always be nice to everyone. It can be hard to put on a happy face, but it never does you any good to burn bridges. You may think you're just talking to a caterer and end up talking to the CEO of a company. You may be blowing off a classmate and then five years later, they are instrumental in you furthering your career. People talk and your behavior gets passed along to other people -- with or withot context. No matter how frustrating or difficult someone is, always be nice.

2 - Always send a handwritten thank-you card. Always thank the people who take time to help you out along the way, interview you, hire you for an internship, etc. etc. Be sincere in your message and try not to do it in email form. In some industries and at certain companies, you may get the feeling that an emailed thank you is preferred, but if you're not sure, go with handwritten, on a nice card. Harper's Thrifty Tip: If you are a gal strapped for cash, I recommend checking out the book-journal-stationery section of your local Marshall's, TJ Maxx, Ross, or other discount store. They have great, pretty, classy looking cards, often for $3-$5 off what they'd cost at a regular retail joint.

3 - Keep track of your connections. It's important to maintain the contacts you make, so hold onto their information some where safe, and keep them updated every once in a while. The best networkers are the ones who maintain good relationships with the people they meet. That being said, you should consider carrying around a coupon portfolio for business cards, and keeping your own business cards on hand as well (so that people can keep track of you!)

4 - Your major is not as restrictive as you think. Getting a degree is a huge deal, but don't feel like picking a major is marrying a career path. Jen Garrott talked about her experience as a history major and constantly being asked if she planned on writing history books and papers or teaching history-- and she wasn't interested in either. She went on to make a historical documentary and work with film and other media, producing educational materials for Colonial Williamsburg. Your major is not a decree from on high about what you will do for the rest of your life. Take it from my mother, who changed her major a half dozen times officially, and probably twice that in her mind, before settling on Hotel and Restaurant management-- and now? She works as a consultant for groups evaluating the financial risk associated with different business ventures. There is literally zero correlation.

5 - Always be the yes guy. Carrie Adams stressed the importance of taking on anything that needed to be done. There are plenty of people who will say "that's not my problem" or "I don't know how" or "not our division"-- you want to stand out as the person who will take on any task. You want to be the person whom the boss knows will get the job done. They'll start to hand you better jobs, and they'll respect you much more. Go-getters don't get called that for passing the buck!

6 - As a woman, you may face discrimination or assumptions about who you are, what your strengths are, what your weaknesses are, what you can do, and how much you can handle. Challenge that. For the next woman to follow you, it is up to you to challenge people who try to put limits on you and other people of your gender. Of course, this doesn't happen everywhere, but if it happens to you, don't just let it slide. Stand up for you and every girl who walks in after you.

7 - Be proactive. Look for things to do. Look for ways to make things better. Even if you just go around the office asking if anyone needs you to run files here and there or even just photocopy things. You always want to be the person people know as a hard worker, dedicated and proud of everything you do. If there really isn't anything to do, hit the web and read up on the field. Windsor mentioned that people who don't go to work to do work should do the same thing at home, off her clock, out of office space, and without being paid.

8 - Your resume is your first impression-- and it's up to that one piece of paper to help you get a chance to make a second one! If your writing is terrible, if your formatting is off, or you have a typo-- sorry! You don't make it to the next round. If you can't handle perfecting a one-page paper that is supposed to tell a company why they should consider you, how can they expect you to handle anything? Remember to save it in PDF format so that it doesn't get messed up in conversion. Also remember that your resume should reflect your industry-- a graphic designer and an accountant should have two very different resumes.

9 - Try new things. Even if something doesn't work out-- whether it's a strange class or a summer internship-- it's always valuable to learn more. Try out different fields if you're not certain where you want to go-- or even if you are! You may discover a passion for something you never even thought about-- like anthropology!-- or discover through an internship that the field you tried out isn't for you. Even if that's the case, you've narrowed down your interests, learned some new things about a field, and about yourself, and gained valuable experience. Once again, remember to say thank you after every opportunity!

10 - Find a mentor in your field, and a woman if that is what you are too. It is so reaffirming to have someone who has been in your shoes, can talk you through the tough times, and has come so far. If you can find a great mentor, you are extremely lucky to build that kind of a supportive relationship!

Well those are ten things I learned from our fabulous panel. There were many other great tips and I wish I could have shared them all. I'm excited for next year and putting together another one of these conferences! I hope you found it helpful and if you're on campus next time we have our conference, swing by our panel!

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The College Series : College Picking with Rosie Kaplan

This week, we have a Guest Post, by Rosie Kaplan, my friend since 3rd grade, and current Hokie at Virginia Tech. She is studying interior design, and loves her school. Julia talks about how to pick a college when you have gotten your acceptances and don't know which one you like best. You can also check out some of the things that I had to say about picking colleges to apply for or selecting a school to go to here.

The acceptances are in.
The tension and excitement are there, you can feel it.
Everyone’s talking about it and no one’s talking about it, all at the same time.
It’s getting in to the final month until you absolutely have to make that life changing
What college will you be going to in the fall?
Strike that.
What school will be lucky enough to have you walking across their campus this fall?

The first thing I want to stress here is that college is not the end-all be-all. You can transfer. You can take year off. And you can also find the best of friends in the most unexpected places. What I’m trying to say is that this decision will not make or break your life – it’s a decision that will effect your life. No matter what you choose life will go on and, judging by your fabulous taste in blogs, it’ll be a great life.

One of the most important aspects of this choice is to immerse yourself in your top- choice schools as much as possible. If you applied there then they obviously have a good program, as well as excellent taste for choosing you. So now think about this: when you are living your day-to-day life, what aspects will matter to you? Food? The gym? However long walks across campus are? Are you looking for certain clubs? Do you have a disability? Do you need something specific nearby – like a hospital? Do you want to participate in club or intramural sports? What’s the nightlife like?

One of the best things you can do during this time is to visit your school. Many schools hold “accepted students” days where you can get information on different programs, tour again, and they can give you tons of stuff with their colors, mascot, and logo while showing off their school at its absolute best. And I not kidding – I went to the accepted student’s day for Virginia Tech (which is where I am a student now) and it was on a sunny, beautiful spring day when all of the school was outside gathering for our “Big Event” where we give back to our local community through service projects. I took one look and said “this is the school for me” – and I don’t regret it.

If you can visit be sure to try to get a moment to talk to anyone you might have questions for and visit anything that is crucial to your enjoyment of your college experience. When I visited I went to the Hillel’s (Jewish Student group) Friday night service and dinner, where I got to talk to other Hillel members. My father and I also walked around Main Street, where the closest restaurants and stores are, and got to talk to an advisor. Visit clubs, dining halls, the student center, and the local shopping. Look at campus – is this walk-able? (you’ll figure out the geography of any campus, but make sure the distances are something you can tolerate) Are you okay with the number of roads, bike paths, and sidewalks? Take a moment to talk to passing students – can they tell you where things are? Do they seem enthusiastic about their school? Are they helpful, or do they brush you off? Look around at the current students and the campus – is this a place where you can see yourself fitting in? (I know, I know, never judge a book by its cover. Your school may not be exactly as you see it during your visit, but it’s not terribly off either.)

An important thing to remember is that you want to grow in college, right? You changed in high school and you will change in college. So look around and ask – is this who I want to become? Do I want to grow into one of these people?

If you still can’t make a decision, or if you can’t visit, or if you want to narrow down your choices before you choose which schools to visit, do some snooping. There are plenty of books and websites about the schools you are interested in – just check out your local library or Barnes & Noble! Personally, I used the College Prowler books. These books talk to current students about their school and also list and rate many of the important aspects of college life. Each book is organized in the same way, so you can get one for every school you’re interested in and compare them that way too. Some of the sections are: By the Numbers, Academics, Local Atmosphere, Safety & Security, Facilities, Campus Dining, Off-Campus Dining, Overall Experience, and Student Organizations. Each section includes testimonials, important information (like statistics, phone numbers, and addresses) as well as a grade and an explanation about what that means.

I know I sound like an advertiser right now, but I swear that I received no money for this. The prowlers really did help me make my decision and they, or a similar series, can help you too. I still have my Virginia Tech College Prowler – I’m staring at it right now – and in the first couple of weeks I used it to find important phone numbers that I realized I wanted programed into my phone (like the local police and saferide), look up dining hall hours, and figure out a nice restaurant off-campus.

If all else fails, talk to your parents and friends you trust – where do they see you? What do they think that you will want in a school? What was important to their college experience that they hadn’t thought to look into beforehand?

Think of your college experience like a science experiment: “If I choose (insert college here) than (insert who you could potentially become) because (insert every experience from your first sweaty move-in day to throwing off your cap at graduation years from now). There is no way to solve for all of the variables that you will experience in four-ish years. Like any science experiment, sometimes you’ll get it right on the dot, sometimes you’ll be a little off, sometimes you’ll realize the correct answer and why halfway through, and still others you’ll simply brush off as a life lesson. The important part is not who has the best on-campus dining (according to The Huffington Post, VT currently stands at #3) or the most school spirit (Hokie, Hokie, Hokie, Hi! Tech, Tech, VPI!) – It’s about the memories that you will look back on and the person you will become.

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