Housewarming Gifts + How to Stay in Touch with Long Distance Friends

I am very fortunate that I’m still in touch with my close friends from college (10 of us have a Facebook message thread in which we post about our latest job accomplishments, exercise class recs, group vacation ideas, and more!). Unfortunately, though, all of these ladies live in different cities (though some are nearby each other), residing in places such as San Francisco, New York, Madison, WI, and Juneau, AK, to name a few! Hence, the importance of staying in touch! Here are a few of my favorite ways:

Instagram tags: I used to think tagging a friend in a blogger’s or website’s Instagram post was a silly concept, but seriously, everyone and their mother does this. If you see a funny post that reminds you of a friend, tag her in the comments, and I guarantee it will brighten her day next time she logs on. Here’s one that a friend recently tagged me in, so true:

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Snail mail: I don’t trust my friend’s mailperson in NYC, so I send any cards (fun, congratulatory, etc) to her office! It may be good to check with your friend first before doing this to get a sense of what her office mail system is like and to determine whether people frequently receive personal mail. When my friend got a promotion, I had fun writing her new job title on the envelope…it’s the little things, people! Plus, all of my cards are currently jazzing up her desk memo board, making me feel extra popular.

Snapchat: If something exciting happens throughout the day, I’ll frequently send a mass Snapchat to a bunch of friends, which is a quick, non-invasive (see below…) way to inform a group about something fun without having to send a billion different messages.

Group texts: I’m a member of a very active group text with a few girls from my graduate program, and it’s been a blast updating one another on jobs, dating adventures, awkward moments throughout the day, and even discussing our favorite blogs to read, duh! Of course, some people absolutely despise group chats and all of the constant messaging (all of the guys in our friend group have chosen to exit the chat at some point between when we started it in May and now, so maybe we text each other just a little too much).

Now for the next part of this post—housewarming presents! I recently sent a housewarming gift to two of my good friends who moved in together as roommates in New York, and I’ll admit it, I was at first a little stumped about what to send! I was this close to clicking purchase on these initial mugs from Anthropologie, but I wasn’t sure if one of the girls already owned one, plus kitchen space in NYC is so limited anyway that they may not want extra mugs lying around. I then decided to focus on finding something New York or city themed, and after doing some browsing on Etsy, I found an adorable brownstone print, which they love!

If I could shop for housewarming gifts again (and I’m sure I will), here’s what else I’d pick. Not only are these finds cute and likely things she wouldn’t buy herself, they’re also super affordable ($20 or less!):

From TJ Maxx: 

Play up the pineapple trend with this fun figurine, $14.99

A leopard-loving friend will appreciate this quirky throw pillow, $16.99

From World Market: 

Help her jazz up her bathroom area with this cute NYC-themed bar of soap, $5.99

These mugs are perfect for travel fanatics and the stacking system makes them easy to store, $16.99

From Nordstrom Rack: 

Roommates can leave notes to one another on this cute magnetic board, $14.97

throw blanket will help her jazz up that hand-me-down couch, and this one is such a steal at only $13.97

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What’s in my drawer: Desk snacks

I always get much hungrier when sitting at a desk than I ever did while working in more physical jobs. Thankfully, at a desk job I can keep a drawer stashed with treats! In my opinion, the ideal desk snack should be both nutritious and delicious. Here, I’m sharing a few of my faves, as well as their pros and cons (cause picking a snack is a serious business, ok?!).

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La Croix seltzer: I loved seltzer before La Croix became the “it” brand, but I definitely understand why these cans are so popular—the flavors are great! Cut out those afternoon diet coke runs and keep a few cans of these on hand instead!

  • Pro: With tons of yummy flavors, you can switch things up a bit and never get bored (I’m totally the type of person who gets tired of foods easily, so I appreciate this).
  • Con: The packs of seltzer are much more costly than that grocery store brand liter bottle.

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Biena Chickpeas: I had tried these before after a friend recommended them to me, but at the time I just thought they were so-so. Then I picked up the ranch flavor and got hooked (if you like the ranch flavor Wheat Thins, you’ll love these)

  • Pro: Great flavor, way better for you than chips, tons of fiber = a good choice all around!
  • Con: The aftertaste is a little powerful, so it may be worth popping a breath mint before that meeting with your coworker! The flavoring also gets stuck to your fingers which isn’t the best when it comes to typing.

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Nourish snacks: What blogger hasn’t talked about these? The snack-sized portions were on display all throughout my Target store, and I’ve even seen them at Starbucks!

  • Pro: Tons of variety in flavors, plus there’s something to be said for a pre-portioned snack.
  • Con: These snacks are a little pricy for the size ($1.99 per 1-pack), so to me they’re better as an on-the-go, keep in your purse option.

What do you like to crunch on at work? I’m always looking for new, healthy suggestions!

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I donut know what happened to froyo

I was walking through my new neighborhood the other day (more on that later!) when my mom pointed out a frozen yogurt shop down the block. I told her my guess was that it would be closed within the next few months, and by the time we got closer to the storefront, we could tell that there was already a “for rent” sign up outside the building! My mom was shocked, but I then explained my philosophy that donuts are the new cupcakes which was the new froyo. Anyone else think so?

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Anyway, when I heard about a new donut shop in Bethesda (because donuts are all the rage), we had to try it before a day full of errands. My mom ate the chocolate donut and mine was s’mores (so decadent OMG). The vanilla one was for my sister, but I’m not going to lie—we did consider splitting at one point later while stuck on the highway. Thankfully we displayed some willpower and it made it home in one piece!

Also, I came across this article the other day and I so agree with what they said about 2016 (and I think my picture above pretty much exemplifies this point).

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