Happy Weekend!

img_3220

Happy Weekend! Three of my good friends from grad school are in town, so I’m looking forward to showing them around the city (two are originally from VA, but one is from the West Coast and has never visited DC before!). Any suggestions for us?

In the meantime, here are a few things I enjoyed reading/watching this week…

Loved Abigail’s video explaining her take on how Flywheel and SoulCycle differ. I have been spinning a lot as of late, so I appreciated hearing someone else’s perspective!

Tips on how to decorate like a designer? You can bet I read this article, and now I’m sharing it with you for your own inspo!

Weeknight dinner ideas are always a struggle for me. I’m feeling inspired by these options!

Ahh, Jackie opened an Etsy shop! Seriously loving all of her pictures–especially the macaron print 😉

Also, so pumped that How to Get Away with Murder came back on this week. I actually just finished catching up on Season 2 last weekend, so I’m ready to dive right back in! Does anyone else watch?

Continue Reading

A Day in the Life

img_3101

Now that I’ve moved and feel a little more settled into a daily routine, it finally makes sense for me to write one of these posts! I am always intrigued when other people post similar things, so hope you all enjoy this little glimpse of what a typical weekday looks like for me.

6:00 am: Alarm goes off. I usually wait to get out of bed until my second alarm goes off at 6:10, but I keep my phone across the room (because that’s where my outlet is located, but it’s also a good strategy in general), so I’ll usually grab it at 6 and then put it next to me in bed for 10 minutes. The key here is to not fall back asleep after my second alarm! If for some reason I’m up late (by “late” I pretty much mean after 11 pm), I may set one alarm for 6:20 to allow myself a little extra sleep.

6:10-7:05: Eat, get dressed, make bed, do hair and makeup, clean up apartment a bit.

7:05: Meet S, a teacher I work and carpool with, in her car outside of my apartment. Listen to country music, catch up, and drive to school. S doesn’t work on Fridays, so on those days I leave at 6:55 to begin my three-bus commute that doesn’t get me to school until 8:15, eek!

7:30: Arrive to school. Check email and then head over to greet the high schoolers as they arrive (still working on learning all 100 names and faces, but it’s a fun job!).

8:15-4:30 (or 5/5:30, depending on the day): Work work work/grab lunch from our yummy school cafeteria (seriously, the food is so good and not having to pack a lunch in the morning is a lifesaver! Sometimes my coworkers and I sit down and chat for a bit, but we usually just fill to-go boxes and eat back at our desks).

4:30-5:45/6: Commute home. Because I take public transportation I have an extremely long commute, but I absolutely love where I live, so it’s worth it to me (and also extremely affordable—the bus only costs $1.75 each way! Even if you get off to run an errand midway and get back on again, you only have to pay once as long as you’re going in the same direction and it’s within a two-hour span).

After work: Every day has been different! I’m trying to establish a better routine. Some days I’ll head to the gym or a ClassPass class, other days I meet up with friends/dates/my mom(!), and every Wednesday I have to work from home a bit at night to review a weekly newsletter for work. I also eat dinner (although I’m not much of a cook and lunch always has been and still is my biggest meal of the day, so I usually don’t go too crazy at night), try to read or catch up on Netflix, blog, read other blogs, FaceTime long distance friends, shower, etc. Before I know it, it’s time to start getting ready for bed…

10:00 pm (although more likely it’s 10:30 by the time I’ve finally put away my phone, brushed my teeth, and set out clothes for the next day): Hop into bed and fall asleep within minutes. Whew!

I’m still trying to get used to this routine, especially after having worked in NYC where everyone (in my industry, at least) was on a much later schedule. Although it’s nice to get out earlier in the afternoon than most people, having a long commute means that I’m still getting home at a relatively “normal” time—but don’t get me wrong, I’m so grateful that I’m doing my commute at the time of day I am rather than an hour later! I’m also sloooowly getting better at becoming a morning person again. I was able to spring out of bed in high school but haven’t had to in years—my earliest commitment during graduate school didn’t start until 10 am! Carpooling with someone else and taking the bus holds me more accountable when it comes to leaving on time. In New York, I could easily leave five minutes later than I should and still catch a subway within minutes, whereas if I miss my bus, I’m stuck, because all three of mine run in a chain (don’t get me wrong, though, I’ll take the occasional Uber Pool in the morning or afternoon if I’m really, really tired!).

Continue Reading

Saying Yes

Image.
Image.

The spring before I started college, my mom gave me a simple piece of advice that I still do my best to follow today: if a new friend invites you to do something, GO!

Think about how many times you’re invited to an event or happy hour–maybe after a long workday or on any already crazy-busy weekend–and you’re just not feeling it. I get that. This piece of advice isn’t about saying yes all the time (there are some days where you may really just feel crummy or not in the mood to socialize), but it’s about making a point to say yes when it comes to new friendships.

The key is about being flexible. For example, if your coworkers invite you out to lunch but you’ve already packed food from home, it can be tempting to pass. But it’s just as easy to just throw your paper bag in the office fridge and plan to bring it home for dinner. Yes, it may mean spending a few extra dollars, but wouldn’t you rather cultivate new relationships and engage in some bonding time? (Mentally insert girl raising hand emoji).

As someone who loves talking with and meeting new people but also values alone time just as much, I sometimes struggle to follow the exact advice I’m preaching here. But just keeping it in the back of my mind will often help steer my decisions, and rarely do I regret the decisions I make as a result.

Do you all agree?

Continue Reading

What’s Going On…

img_2792

A little life update post to start off your Wednesday! The weeks have been flying by and I can’t believe it’s already late September. So pumped for my visitors this coming weekend and later in the fall…my weekends are getting booked up and I’m not mad about it!

Weekend adventures: Last weekend, I took an introductory DSLR photography class and learned so much! I’ll be taking a lot of photos for work, but I think that a bunch of what I’ve learned will be helpful for the blog if I ever purchase my own “real” camera. As our instructor said, practice makes perfect, so I need to slowly start moving away from using my iPhone camera and getting more comfortable with the real deal! I also spent the weekend trying to recover from seasonal allergies, blah. HELLO, fall in DC. This weekend, three of my close friends from grad school are coming down to DC and I couldn’t be more excited! Martin’s Tavern and the cat cafe are on the agenda for sure.

Latest finds: The struggle to find cute, flattering pants is real for all of us, right? I found a great pair at LOFT last month (after returning two pairs that I had ordered because I thought they were the same as ones I had previously owned, but the style must have changed). I’ve worn my new pair several times already and just picked up a red shade. Since I was making two additional returns and had a coupon for $25 off a purchase of $50+, I actually didn’t owe anything extra and ended up receiving money back. Those are the best kind of shopping trips, right?

Trying: To be better about managing my schedule during the week while still doing fun things after work. I love working at a school, but the hours are tough to get used to after a typical 9-6 job and 15 minute commute on the subway. Waking up at 6 am as opposed to 7:45 is rough! I leave the house around 7 and usually don’t get back until 5:45/6 at the earliest since I have a long commute in the afternoons. That said, I still am trying to participate in activities and events after work without running myself down. Tips? (Also trying to read my library books, pictured above, because they all look amazing! Wish I wasn’t so exhausted in the evenings!).

Continue Reading

A Curated Kitchen

img_2780

Ok, if I’m finding kitchen stuff cute, does this mean I’m officially OLD? Anyway, the accessories I’ve come across are too cute not to share, so add these to your list of potential housewarming presents for friends, stocking stuffers, treats for yourself, and the like…

Butler Tray: You can use this in any room of your house, really (how cute would it be as a nightstand??), but it would work amazingly well in the corner of your kitchen as a small drinks stand or coffee and tea bar. I love love love campaign furniture, so this caught my attention right away when I spotted it (on sale!) on the World Market website. Considering how much other campaign pieces retail for and the functionality of this piece, I think it’s worth your while!

Dish Towels: I’m in love with all of the patterns on the site, but I especially like this pair because of the fun phrasing and dalmatian print. I feel like they’re too cute to actually use, but they’d make a fun decoration nonetheless!

Dessert Plates: Because I can’t be more obsessed with everything that 8 Oak Lane sells, I’m going to also highlight these adorable dessert plates. They kind of remind me of Kate Spade! This cheerful, summery placemat also screams Kate Spade to me and would be a great accessory for an outdoor party.

Etsy Print: Last but not least, as a self-proclaimed wall art addict, I firmly believe that fun prints are a must, even in the kitchen. Last spring I downloaded this hilarious print to hang in my kitchen, and I still love it (I’m all about the puns, people). It’s super affordable (print = $3.50 + printing in color = maybe $1) colorful, and a great conversation starter!

Continue Reading

DC Musings

img_2740

I have had the best time exploring the city more now that I officially live downtown (even though I lived right nearby for 18 years while growing up, my interests have changed quite a bit in the past several years and many new attractions have opened up!). Here are a few of my latest faves…

Crumbs & Whiskers. This cat cafe is the cutest thing ever and truly deserves its own post, so you can expect one coming up soon! It’s located in Georgetown and requires reservations in advance, but in my opinion, planning ahead to spend time with cute cats is totally worth it. Plus, the cafe serves coffee and macarons!

Eastern Market. Guys, I had been meaning to check out Eastern Market for the longest time. It was so much fun strolling around over Labor Day Weekend and checking out all of the stands. My friend purchased a bunch of fresh tomatoes and I purchased a bag (#typical). In my defense, it was a $5 Longchamp purse that I scored at a secondhand clothing store we stumbled upon, so it was totally worth it!

Tidal Basin Paddleboating. When my bestie visited from NYC over Labor Day Weekend, we decided to check out the paddle boats we had spotted on our way down to Eastern Market. For only $8 each, we had a paddle boat to ourselves for an hour and hilariously tried to maneuver it (we eventually got the hang of it!) in order to get close-up views of the Jefferson and Washington monuments. Unfortunately, the new “swan boats” (they’re shaped exactly like the inflatable pool floats) were out of commission that weekend–so. bummed.

Exploring Georgetown. Georgetown is much more than just shops–it also has the cutest old houses, awesome restaurants, and great people-watching. If you like Mexican food, a stop at Jaco Taco is a must. If you don’t want to spend any money, stroll around and take pictures outside of the adorable townhouses (many of which are painted in bright colors) and walk down to the waterfront for some amazing views of the Kennedy Center.

What are some of your favorite things to do in DC? I would love to hear some fun ideas–I have friends from grad school visiting next weekend and can’t wait to show them around.

Continue Reading

Tips & Tricks, Take 4

Image.
Image.

From the Everygirl: “10 Recipes That Will Make You Fall in Love With Brussels Sprouts,” by Cassandra Monroe. Last fall, I became obsessed with Brussels sprouts. I never got the whole craze before, I can’t turn back after having frequented several restaurants in Philly that served great ones (although Sweetgreen and the Whole Foods salad bar have pretty good Brussels, too!) These ideas will definitely come in handy as I look to jazz up my Trader Joe’s sprouts this fall.

Another from the Everygirl, because I just can’t get enough: “How to Tastefully Incorporate Animal Prints in Your Home,” by Caitlin Timson. Another obsession of mine (in addition to Brussels sprouts) is animal print. I used to fall into the category of people who find it tacky, but as this piece shows, it certainly can be classy! There’s a reason every girl and her mother owns leopard print pillows these days!

From York Avenue: “Before and After: A Small Space Makeover with Eileen Fisher Home,” by Jackie Clair. Need some help refreshing your bedroom? Check out how Jackie (one of my fave bloggers!) made over of her sister’s room, and I guarantee you’ll be pumped to re-do your own!

From HerPhilly: “The Budgeting Life,” by Emily Tharp. I came across this link this spring before I started blogging and wanted to share! I am always curious as to how other people budget and Emily provides some inspiration. Also, if you live in Philly (or just love the city), check out her blog!

Target has a beauty box? Sign me up!

From Day Designer: “Fifty Best Practices for Living a Well-Designed Life.” I’m already working on a few of these and love all of this advice–great inspiration! Especially loving 1, 13, 21, 32, 35, and 50 😉

 

Continue Reading

Grad School Lessons

Image.
Image.

Heading back to grad school after a few years in the working world (aka the “real world”)? That’s what I did, and I highly enjoyed my nine-month (!) graduate program, which, as you likely can imagine, completely flew by. Since I had taken two years off before starting school, it took some readjustment to acclimate to life as a student. Here are a few lessons I learned (but keep lesson #1 in mind as you read this!). If you happen to be considering grad school and need any advice whatsoever, don’t hesitate to reach out!

Lesson #1. Everyone’s situation is unique. Your classmates won’t all be in the same boat when it comes to their reasons for choosing your particular institution, or how they’re financing their education, or even in terms of what exactly they’d like to do after your program is over. People like to talk about all of these subjects a lot, and it’s fine to participate in these conversations as much or as little as you feel comfortable. Just be respectful of other people’s decisions and situations even if you wouldn’t have necessarily made the same choices yourself!

Lesson #2. Your schedule will feel weird at first. After working in an office from roughly 9 to 6 every day, it was refreshing to have short breaks during the middle of the day (when I wasn’t in class or at my graduate assistantship). However, with bursts of time off during the week came busier weekends. Gone were the days of a night out followed by a leisurely brunch followed by shopping with a friend followed by a movie night (although I was certainly thankful to be able to do just that this past weekend!). Sure, you can maybe do one or two of those things, but weekends are also key for catching up on work and sleep, meeting with classmates to nail down group project (group projects were a constant in my program), etc. Your non-student friends may have a hard time adapting to your schedule at first, but planning ahead ensures you can still make time for your normal get-togethers.

Lesson #3. Your priorities may shift. In college, I was extremely dedicated to my extracurricular work on the student newspaper. Not only did it set me up for my future jobs before grad school, but it was a great way to meet people both on and off of our staff and feel involved on campus, and I enjoyed it so much! In graduate school, my coursework, assistantship, and another part-time job in my field kept me more than busy. The requirements for my program (namely, the assistantship) kept me fulfilled outside of the classroom, and making an effort to spend time outside the classroom with the people in my program filled any social void I may have experienced due to not participating in a traditional “activity.” While I did have some friends who were involved with our grad school’s student government or other groups on campus, extra commitments just weren’t a priority for the majority us during a nine-month program (and this is coming from a group of higher ed master’s students who were nothing but involved as undergrads!).

Lesson #4. You can still have fun. When I started school, I was worried that I would never have time for social activities or dates or visits back home or to New York City. Not true! I found it totally possible to have a life outside of the classroom–maybe not every day, but after all, this is grad school, there’s obviously work involved! By planning ahead, it was super easy to buzz up to NYC from Philadelphia and spend a quick weekend with my friends back there. Since some of my grad school friends were part-time students who also worked, we often met up for lunch and caught up mid-day while they were on campus for their jobs. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, people!

Have any pressing grad school q’s or other tips to share? Send ’em my way!

 

Continue Reading

Back to School Links

Image.
Image.

I realize that many of you college students have already moved in (maybe even weeks ago!). My undergrad classes always began after Labor Day, which meant that I was always one of the last left at home. If you’re still prepping for back to school or have some downtime before classes and clubs kick into gear, check out these links!

Love that Domino.com posted a dorm-related link! If you need to scratch that DIY itch, you’ll appreciate these ideas.

Need a new school tote? This one looks adorable (herringbone = swoon) and functional (could easily double as a work bag down the road)!

This PBTeen banner would make the perfect addition to a dorm room (loving the leopard piece!)

Don’t forget to join your college’s Free & For Sale group on Facebook to score some great decor and clothing deals!

How cute are these state-themed pillows? Get one for where you go to school or to represent your home state. I guarantee you’ll get tons of compliments! This college survival kit is also adorable (do they make any for real life?!).

Continue Reading

Looking Forward to Fall

IMG_3409

I’m gonna let you guys in on a secret. It may ruin my credibility as a blogger, but I have to tell ya. Ok I’m kidding, this isn’t a huge scandal, but before I started college in New England, I wasn’t a fan of fall (but now I love it–so don’t worry, I’m right there dreaming about Pumpkin Spice Lattes and apple picking and chunky sweaters and scarves with the rest of you. Whew!).

Growing up, fall was always kind of blah. Going back to school? No thanks. Although, I’ve actually always loved school, so that was likely more about not wanting to deal with transitions.

However, I absolutely loved my freshman fall at college (I think that and my senior spring were my two favorite semesters, funnily enough). The classic New England scenery certainly and the colorful trees that surrounded my college campus in Maine were picture perfect and the season grew on me and is now a time of year I truly love. Now that I’m living in a new city, I’m hoping to make more of an effort to do some fun DC things, such as these…

  • Go antique shopping with my mom. This may not seem like solely a “fall” activity, but the summer has been so hot that standing outside treasure hunting will be a little more enjoyable when the temps are cooler. I can’t wait to check out the flea market in Georgetown as well as the antique shops in Kensington!
  • Bake for my office. In grad school I always loved bringing in treats to my coworkers (mainly so that I wouldn’t eat them all myself!), and I hope to do the same for my new office. Turning on the oven will hopefully sound a little more appealing in a few months!
  • Go pumpkin or apple picking. There’s nothing like embracing your inner child and visiting a local farm to get into the fall spirit. There are tons of places for this in the DC area that I went to growing up, so it would be fun to go back as an adult.
  • Learn to knit. This has been on my to-do list for awhile, but once the weather is cooler and I won’t feel as bad about spending time inside, this is something I’d like to learn how to do! Who knows, maybe I’ll have a scarf completed by winter…

What’s on your to do list once the weather gets cooler?

Continue Reading