What's Going On In My Life?

It's pretty obvious that I haven't posted much this month–– besides a recap of last year and sharing my goals for 2018, it's been pretty silent. This is because I decided to post less about fashion and more of what actually interests me right now, and well, I'm still trying to figure out what I am passionate about at the moment. Earlier this month at my company retreat, we had a purpose session in which we took the day to dive into our pasts and what they mean for the future. After basically spending the day in therapy with my coworkers (that's what it felt like–– free therapy), I came to the realization that part of my purpose is to always be creating new things and exploring new ideas. I'm the kind of person that always needs to be working on something fun and new to be excited–– at one point in my life, it was tennis, then blogging/photography, then going to Africa and taking major risks, and now I'm trying to figure out what is next!

One of the things I am dedicating my time to right now is being healthier and getting in shape. I've been doing pretty well so far. Since December 25, I have worked out almost every single day, only missing 4 days, one being today because I'm starting to get a cold and I don't wanna push it (I seriously get sick so easily). Missing only 4 days within almost a month? I'll take it. I have also been cooking almost every single meal for myself, and I have been eating salads for lunch (Sweetgreen's Rad Thai salad is lit) instead of just snacking on trail mix, cookies, and chips at work. Ok, enough about that! Here are some other things that have been happening lately!

  1. I got a MoviePass card. I have been wanting to watch more movies because I am usually so out of the loop when it comes to them. I just saw I, Tonya the other day, and I am dying to see Lady Bird next. Do you guys have any other movie suggestions?
  2. I took outfit photos. Well, Kate took outfit photos for me. I had brunch with both Kate and Caroline this weekend and had no intention of taking photos. I left my camera behind on purpose and went with the intention of gorging on brunch and catching up/chatting with both of them, but Kate snapped these of me and I actually like them! Kate was also kind enough to let me borrow her glasses since I had the usual bags under my eyes and hadn't washed my hair since my run the day before. She's the real MVP.
  3. I found the cutest stuff at Lululemon this weekend. Align leggings are my new favorite things in the world, and I love this cropped tank and this tank as well. I also got these leggings in the color "jet stream" and this top. For about 8 months, I did not shop at Lululemon because I was not sure it was worth the money. Now that I went back, I cannot believe I went that long without making a purchase!
  4. I've had the best time with friends lately. Over the past few weeks, I have gotten to catch up with friends I haven't seen in awhile and it has been so lovely. You know those friends you have that you don't see for months at a time and you don't necessarily talk all of the time but when you see each other again, you pick back up like nothing ever happened? I value friendships like that so much–– at this point in my life, everyone I know including myself is so busy so it's hard to stay connected all the time! 
  5. I am addicted to Plated. I love the idea of meal kits, and I am forcing myself to also explore Blue Apron and HelloFresh. My roommates have tried the others, so we can all send each other free boxes. It's so fun to learn new recipes, and it's amazing to have it all delivered to my door so I don't have to go grocery shopping after work. Somehow, the courier lost my box yesterday, and I was DEVASTATED–– I have to grocery shop tomorrow after living off of frozen dumplings and zucchini fries I found in the back of my freezer. I contacted Plated's customer support though, and those guys took care of me! Once I try all of the subscription services, I am going to do a master post on what I liked and disliked about them all! I am getting my first Blue Apron box Thursday, and I have to say that Plated has an advantage over the number of meals they let you choose from.
  6. I found the shearling bag I am sporting above for under $70 at Madewell the other day. It's completely sold out online, but it's worth looking in the store sale section for it! I love that Madewell usually lets you put your student discount on top of their sale discounts (and yes, I still use my student ID for discounts thank you very much). 
  7. IT WAS SO PRETTY OUT THIS WEEKEND. It was 50 and sunny, which is heaven up here. People were eating ice cream and wearing short-sleeved shirts, and I spent all of Saturday wandering around flatiron while letting the sun beam down on me. Yesterday, I ran all the way from 28th Street to Brooklyn Bridge on the East River Greenway. I was freezing by the end and had to subway back, but the fresh air and vitamin D was worth it.
  8. You guys. Pressed Juicery freezes. They are so amazing, I cannot. If you have a Pressed Juicery near you, please do yourself a favor and try one of the freezes. They basically make their juices into dairy-free ice cream! I had the strawberry flavored freeze with melted cacao chips and real strawberries post-run and I was squealing from delight. They were out of chocolate and vanilla, but I cannot wait to try those–– I am so amazed that their vanilla flavor is only made of dates, almonds, sea salt, and vanilla!
  9. I have practically given up alcohol for the most part. Besides the occasional drinks on the weekend, I don't really feel the need to drink anymore–– I have realized that I can have just as much fun sober. My new rule is no drinking during the week unless it's a very special occasion, and on the weekend, only 2 drinks a night if any. It's working out rather well–– no more hangovers and feeling terrible the next day!
  10. Since starting a job in the food industry, I have come to appreciate food and cooking so much more. I have also tried so many new foods, and I am not as selective as I used to be! I'll put the hottest hot sauce on almost everything, I can whip up teriyaki sauce from scratch, and the other day, I had parsnip for the first time–– I would have never thought to try it, but it's so good when you roast it alongside carrots! Does this make me sound three years old? It probably makes me sound three years old.


How to Stay Positive During A Gloomy Winter

I'm not going to sugar coat things–– my happy mood usually goes from 100 to 0 this time of year. There's something about frigid days and shorter temperatures that puts me into a mental downward spiral, but over the past few weeks, I have managed to claw myself out of it. Honestly, this has been my best January yet so far! I think the following things have really helped me turn things around.

Keeping a positive attitude
This sounds stupid and simple, but every year when winter rolls around, I automatically assume I'm going to be down and bummed––this puts me in a negative mood because I'm thinking bad thoughts and it amplifies the bad energy. This year, I have been telling myself that it's going to be the best! winter! yet! and it honestly has. Tell yourself that it will be ok repeatedly, and you'll start to believe it.

Do something good for yourself (at least) once a week that requires you to leave the house 
Work/school and your normal routine don't count for this. Instead of sitting on the couch or taking a nap, sign up for a new yoga class, go and get a facial, or treat yourself to a movie–– I just signed up for MoviePass and I am super excited for my subscription to start because there are so many movies I want to see! It's hard to get out of bed and get moving when the temps are below freezing, but you'll feel better afterward. Yesterday, I skipped my barre class and slept in because I was too cold to get out of bed, and when noon rolled around I regretted it instantly. I felt sluggish and gross instead of energized and inspired. Today, I made myself get up for 9:00AM cycling and I felt AMAZING afterward. Sometimes, you just have to push yourself to get moving and you'll build momentum from there.

Have a movie/lazy day
Contradicting my last point, sometimes it's good to just relax and stay in bed if you feel like it. Today, after cycling, I watched 6 episodes of This Is Us and it was just what I needed. I only got out of bed to drink a smoothie for lunch and have cauliflower pizza for dinner, and it was so blissful. There's nothing better than putting on long PJs and comfy socks when the temperature is in the single digits outside.

Try light therapy and Vitamin D Supplements
Fact: My favorite thing in the world is sunlight. I'm a huge fan. If you want to win me over, stick me on a tropical island in the middle of summer. In NYC from November - March, the sun hangs low and barely peeks over the buildings so you never really see it. I was on the phone with my mom the other day and walked through a patch of sunlight and started screaming from happiness and just stood in it for like 10 minutes. My mom and bystanders thought I was legitimately crazy, but it was the highlight of my day. Since the sun is scant during these months, I use my happy light and Vitamin D pills as substitutes. I don't know if they actually work, but I do feel better!

Give yourself fun things to look forward to
I booked a trip to the Bahamas with my best friend in May, and I am so excited. I am looking at it as a reward for getting through my first northern winter. I am also going to Winter Park, FL for my college alumni weekend in March, and it will be a nice little break from the chilly air here.

Exercise! Exercise! Exercise!
If I could give you one tip for turning your winter around, this would be it. I have worked out for 14 days in a row now, and I have honestly never felt mentally or physically better. Doing so has allowed me to lay the foundation for a good routine that I want to keep up all year. Elle Woods was right when she said endorphins make people happy. Even if you start out with 30-minute walks, you'll feel better, I swear. I have a gym in my apartment building, so I have been getting in hour-long workouts that allow me to binge my favorite shows while on the treadmill. I try to not watch TV unless I am on the treadmill, so it's an incentive for me to work out, especially since I am now addicted to This Is Us! My favorite workout right now is walking on the treadmill at a 5-10% incline and 3.7-4.2 speed for 45 minutes. It's a good LISS workout that won't leave you sore but gets the job done. I follow that with 10 minutes of abs/weights!

My Favorite Clothing/Shoe Purchases of 2017

I think it has become pretty obvious that I am posting less about fashion and outfits on here, but I did want to share my favorite purchases of 2017–– all of these are pieces I truly loved and got a ton of wear out of this year! Some may be sold out or unavailable so I have done my best to link similar products. I made sure I didn't list anything that wasn't 100% loved and approved by me!

My chevalier jacket–– this lightweight "blazer-like" jacket made for some great outfits, and it was a staple piece I am glad I purchased. Although it was over $200, I know I will get loads of wear out of it!

My checked blazer–– this was a super inexpensive find at Bershka, but I cannot seem to find it anymore so here's a similar one. I look forward to wearing this again when it warms up a little, especially with a turtleneck thrown under it!

The jeans I am wearing with my checked blazer–– Funny story... I wore these to work today and one of my coworkers was wearing them as well. Actually, a few of the girls I work with have this exact same pair (we have a very Madewell-loving office). Then, I popped into the MZ Wallace store to look at totes and the cashier had them on too! They are the only jeans that have ever made me look like I have an ass in a good way, and they look wonderful with a black bodysuit or a tee tucked in.

My Sam Edelman loafers–– I got these because there was no way in hell I was paying for Gucci loafers, and I fell in love with how comfortable they are! I was not expecting much, but they are an absolute wardrobe staple while being comfortable for all of the walking I do on a daily basis.

My white overalls–– This sounds silly, but these things got me through the summer. I bought them on a whim when they were final sale, and they are the only pair of overall shorts that have ever looked good on me. They are unfortunately not available anymore, but I have linked similar ones!

These Mother jeans–– These definitely are not available anymore, but I am dying to get my hands on the ripped version they are now selling. These jeans fit me just right and are the most flattering cut. I picked these up in California earlier in the year, and they were a major spring/summer staple.

My Club Monaco tie-front dress–– this was great to wear to work in the summer. It was lightweight, fit just right, and never stretched out. Since I purchased this way back in June, it's no longer available and I have not been able to find a similar modest version, so the one I linked has a cutout. It would still be cute in the summer if you have a beach vacation planned for 2018!

My Gucci Purse–– I got this on sale through a friend, and although I probably spent too much on this for how little I use it (at least I realize this now), it still makes outfits pop and is perfect for going out (although I don't really go out much anymore––cheers to getting older).

My Dolce Vita black booties–– these elongate my legs, and although they are on the taller side, I can wear them all day and night without any pain at all! They are also on major sale right now.

Spanx leather leggings–– There's a reason these are so popular. They are so flattering, suck you in perfectly, and are great for day and night. Bloggers everywhere love them, but I was not convinced until I tried them on in a store. I can even wear them to work!

What were some of your favorite purchases this year? I am always looking for tried and true staple piece recommendations, so please let me know if you have any–– especially jeans because I really need to refresh that portion of my wardrobe!

2017 Recap in Photos/Video

I meant to share this last week before 2018 officially started, but I was busy hanging with friends and family so posting got put on the backburner for awhile.

This past year has been the most amazing year of my life. It had its fair shares of ups and downs, but I went on so many incredible journeys and met so many amazing people. This was the year I decided to spend more on experiences rather than just things–– I would rather travel the world and meet new people than buy a new purse that will inevitably go out of style in a few years. I took over 30 flights this year, and I definitely checked some things off of my bucket list. Instead of just talking my way through what I did this year, I've decided to share my favorite photos with you guys!

The Grand Canyon/Las Vegas/Red Rocks:
For spring break, I went to Nevada with my best friend, Ashley. Although a majority of our time was spent by the pool and on the Strip, we definitely took a few days to get out and explore nature. I had been to the Grand Canyon before but had wanted to go back with a friend. It was such a fun trip, and Ash was a trooper for dealing with my bronchitis and incessant coughing and hacking. She was also a trooper when her wallet was stolen in a nightclub.

I Graduated
I graduated from Rollins College with a degree in Political Science! The three years I spent at Rollins were the three best years of my life, and although I was relieved to be done with the tests and homework, I was truly sad to part ways with my college life. I met so many great friends there, and I've already been back to visit once!

I climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro went on a 4-day camping safari, met amazing friends, and did some amazing volunteer work in Tanzania. On the way there, I missed my flight and magically got to explore Istanbul, Turkey with a majority of my group that also missed the flight.

June was the best month of my life because I spent it halfway across the world in Tanzania. I went on a field study with Rollins after graduation (yes, they let you do that) to volunteer and assist with community development–– I built toilets and new housing for school teachers and met some amazing people along the way. Some of us headed to Tanzania early to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. I was the only female in our group to reach the summit (hardest day of my life), and it was the most amazing feeling literally being on top of the world. I still regularly talk to the group I climbed with and even got drinks with them when I visited Rollins in November! I also went to Paris recently to visit one of my climbing buddies, Rachel (more on that later).

I got my first "job" over the summer in Savannah
I would not even really call this a first job because it was just part-time while I was figuring out where I wanted to move, but previous to that, I had only worked for myself doing the blog and for my dad in his office. I screwed myself over in college by never doing "real" internships, so I had never had real experience before. Luckily, I walked in Michael Kors one day and they offered me a job, and it was perfect for passing time in July and August. I ended up becoming best friends with my boss, and I even rang in 2018 with her!

I moved to NYC
I did this completely impulsively, without a job or anything. I knew I wanted to get the hell out of the south, and originally I wanted to go west, but ultimately decided to stay on the east coast because it was closer to all of the people I love. I will eventually move west (I swear), but for now, I am so happy with where I am and the job I have working for a natural food company in SoHo!

I went to a polo match
This was the first time I was given tickets to an event for free (thanks to my blog), and it was so much fun. My friends tagged along, and we had a blast. They had a VIP area for bloggers to enter and eat/drink for free, but I was having so much fun with them that I didn't wanna leave them to check it out.

I explored new states and places up north
I explored Connecticut and Pennsylvania with Marlee this fall and had a blast. I finally went apple picking, and I also visited Yale and had the BEST time exploring Philadelphia with her. I'm so glad we got to be close friends and share so many fun memories.

I went to Paris to visit Rachel
Rachel is one of those chill people that is so easy to be around. Although we both went to Rollins together, we never really crossed paths in college. We really got to know each other on the field study trip to Tanzania, and we were roommates there practically the whole time. I remember when she first told me that she was studying abroad in Paris this summer and I jokingly told her I was coming to visit. Then one day, I figured why the hell not and booked the trip only a few weeks before I planned on going. I spent a long weekend there (you guys probably think I'm crazy now) I ended up having a blast there!

So yeah, that was my year. It was filled with impulsive travel (deciding to go to Tanzania A MONTH before leaving and climbing Kilimanjaro with zero training and booking Paris a few weeks before the trip) and some silly decisions (spending 8 days in Vegas is far too long, but Ash and I still had a blast–– our livers are still recovering). I'm glad I traveled so much this year because now that I have a job, I will probably be limited in how much I can go to random places at the drop of a hat. I do already have a trip with Ashley's family planned for May, which I am super, super excited about.