As I look back on the year that I have had so far, I am so thankful for the beautiful memories I have made with some of the best people around. This year I had some huge movement in my life, and I can’t wait to see what’s next. I want to take a moment and reflect on all the things I am truly grateful for today and every day.. the memories, the opportunities, and the beautiful people surrounding me.
(Yes, I am thankful for the existence of ramen.)
Just wanted to say thank you to those individuals who have made my life so special.
If your life is anything like mine, you are always on the move. I travel a lot for work, but mostly to territories throughout Florida. In other words, I pretty much live in my car.
By now, I have gotten pretty good at being out and about, but also prepared. You’ll find some of my tips below. I would love to hear any tips any of you might have for me too
1.Get Yourself a Mary Poppins Bag.
Keep everything in this bag, and bring it everywhere. It should be big enough to hold your laptop, papers, and folders, but also have room for things like your emergency kit, sunglasses, a water bottle, ect.
2. Get Organized.
I have found that by keeping things in separated tiny bags, I am a little more organized. I keep everything in smaller bags inside of my Mary Poppins bag. This way, if I need to bring a smaller bag with me, I can easily grab the things I do and don’t want inside. It can get so frustrating when you feel like your things are scattered across your car. If you feel yourself loosing track of things, pause and re-group. It will save you time in the long-run Also, if you’re a jewelry girl, I highly recommend grabbing yourself a great jewelry separator for all of your small easily lost or tangled items.
3. Stay Healthy.
When you are traveling a lot, your body can get run down and worn out. It’s so important to stay healthy, even when you’re on the road. Pack yourself a cooler full of healthy snacks and quick meals so you aren’t temped to run through a fast food place. Also, take your vitamins!!
4. Pack Within One Color Family.
Packing neutrals has been key for me! I always try to pack a sweater that goes with everything, and a pair of shoes that are comfortable and that match all of my outfits, depending on how long I’ll be gone. It’s nice to be on the lighter side when you have to lug your bag from place to place. Plus, even if you pack lightly, and wear seemingly neutral pieces, you can always jazz it up with smaller accessories.
5. Bring Something that Comforts You.
Being on the road can be lonely sometimes. If you have something that reminds you of home, it can be really comforting. Maybe it’s your favorite tea, or your crystals, or your boyfriend’s hoodie, or all of them. Sometimes that little thing is just enough to cheer you up if you’re feeling down.
BONUS: The things I always keep in my Mary Poppins Bag
Emergency kit: band-aids, floss, chapstick, mints, Benadryl, Advil, Tums, safety pins, lotion, triple antibiotic ointment, mini deodorant, nail clippers, tweezers.
Laptop, charger. (Phone, Charger. Camera, charger, cord. Never assume your battery will last. It probably won’t.)
Wallet, sunglasses, keys, pepper spray.
A pouch full of regularly needed items: Burt’s Bees, Lipsticks, Pony Tail Holders, Bobby Pins, Back-up Touch Up Makeup, Body Spray. (Also, Name tag, sticky notes, business cards, pens for work.)
Obviously, the party I support did not win this election. There are many things that I would like to say, and I have refrained from posting anything until I let my emotions calm down. If I have learned anything over the past week, it’s this: life doesn’t stop. Life doesn’t stop when you candidate doesn’t win, and life doesn’t stop when your mom is hospitalized. Life keeps moving, the earth still spins, and you have to keep fighting and being strong for yourself and everyone around you. Keep pushing forward America. Keep pushing for the ideas and the issues that you believe in, that is what we are founded on. Learn from your mistakes, vote in the next election to let your voice be heard. Over 90 million eligible voters didn’t vote in the 2016 Presidential Election, and that speaks volumes. We still have a ton of work to do. If we ARE going to make America great for EVERY person in this country, we all need to stand united. I know a lot of you are hurt, myself included. But we cannot let this divide ruin us. Try to have understanding from both sides. Before you spew hatred, see each other as human beings, with daily issues and problems just like yourself. Let’s work together to accomplish great things. Fellow Dems, the road doesn’t end here! Volunteer, raise funds, and support the causes you believe in!
Let me start off by saying that I am not here to tell you how to vote. Every person should know who they would like to vote for by now, and I am not the person who is going to persuade you either way.
I took advantage of Florida’s Early Voting, so I have already chosen the people I would like to represent me. But, I was conscious about what I wore to the polls. WHITE!
Remember when I told you that I am not here to tell you how to vote? Well, I am here to tell you to VOTE! (Especially YOU, ladies!) There are a lot of people who fought very hard to earn you the right to vote, and it would be an awful shame if you didn’t even use that opportunity. There are people overseas right now defending YOUR freedom, so do them a favor and use it.
Why did I wear white to the polls? It is a nod to the women of the suffragette movement. White was the chosen color for demonstrations, parades, and protests for womens’ right to vote. (Other colors included purple and gold.) Wearing white is my way of being appreciative of the women who fought so hard to give their great granddaughters the right to vote. (Yes, I will be wearing white, purple, and gold on election day!)
Our fight to vote spanned over several decades, and was finally recognized nationally in 1920. That means there are women alive today that fought for our right to vote, and watched it happen before their eyes. Imagine a world where you had absolutely no say in your government. Men had every right to tell you exactly how life was going to be. If you didn’t like it, that’s too bad, and there is nothing you can do about it. Women went to jail, went on hunger strikes, were then force fed, faced brutal police officers during protests, and faced discrimination in the home and in the workplace….all to gain a vote. Unfortunately, the struggle didn’t end there. Even forty years later, African American women and men were still prevented from voting in many areas of the country. The fight continued. Today, the people of this country can vote no matter their sex, or the color of their skin.
However, the struggle for equality is not over… across the board. There is still discrimination that happens today against gay men and women, Hispanics, African Americans, Asian Americans, Middle Eastern men and women… and the list goes on and on. Don’t let yourself be blinded, our minorities still face so much discrimination and inequality today. Even as a white woman, I have faced discrimination because of my sex. Even today, women only make 80 cents for every dollar a man makes. (source) Even today, women are afraid to walk to their cars without pepper spray in their bags, or without carrying a weapon in fear of sexual assault. Even today, women are sexually harassed on the streets, and are taught to just ignore it, because there is nothing we can do about it. Even today, women are taught rape safety, but men are not taught not to rape. Even today, there are still debates about whether or not a woman should make choices about her own body or not. Even today, women are still taught at an early age that it is her responsibility to take care of the children and to stay in the kitchen. (Don’t believe me? Look at the types of toys assigned to little girls, and then at the toys assigned to little boys.) There is still work to do here, ladies and gentlemen.
Even if you do not like our current political situation, the fact is that this is a historic moment for women. A woman is the nominee for one of the two major political parties of the United States. (Not only that, but there are TWO women on the ballot!)
This is a huge moment for women all over the world, and even if you don’t like her, it still proves a step in the right direction for women.
So, I invite you to celebrate the fact that women have the right to vote, and that we are even able to vote for a woman in this Presidential Election. I will be wearing white, purple, and gold. Will you?
If you haven’t already… get out there and VOTE VOTE VOTE! This is your opportunity to share your voice. People have protested, been beaten, been jailed, harassed, and died for your right, so USE IT!
So, the time is here. Jason and I will be moving in with his parents on Friday. I am beyond excited to be back in my home town. However, it does feel a bit strange to go back to living with parents after living on my own for five years. The other day I came across an article on one of my favorite sites, and it made me feel a little bit better about the whole situation. ( http://darlingmagazine.org/moving-back-in-with-parents/ )
The article starts out with, “In 2016, co-habitating with parents is the most common living arrangement amongst 18-34 year olds.” Wow, what a relief! I really had no idea that living with your parents was so common. I have had many people ask what our plans are when we get to Naples, and its always a little bit of a surprise. After living on your own, it almost seems like we are going backwards. BUT, Jason and I both agree that moving in with his parents is the smartest move for us right now. Truthfully, we are only moving forward.
There are multiple reasons that this move is going to be wonderful for both Jason and I. Really, I am so excited to be able to spend time with Jason’s family. In the Darling article, they talk about how great it is to get to know your parents as adults. This situation is a little different for me, because I’m not moving in with my own parents, but I am still very excited to grow closer to Jason’s family. (And maybe steal some of Jason’s mom’s Peruvian recipes!) Even though I won’t be living with my family, I will still be very close by. I will finally be able to regularly go to my sister’s games to watch her cheer, and I will be able to visit with my grandfather, and I will be able to see both my mom and dad on a regular basis. There are a lot of things that I have missed out on over the past five years because I haven’t been nearby. I am so stoked to finally be able to participate in those things without driving two and a half hours.
Another huge and obvious win about this move is saving money. For people our age, it is difficult to save! Between student loan bills, rent, car payments, other bills, and a starting salary, (if you’re lucky!) there is little left over to really start a savings with. However, this is also the time of our lives that contain pretty heafty financial burdens. We are expected to eventually buy our first homes, transition to paying all of our own bills, maybe get married? Tell me that doesn’t sound expensive?! This next stretch of time for Jason and I will be all about saving for the next portion of our life, and to TRAVEL! With the money we will be saving, we are going to try to see a little more of the world as well as save for the future.
Jason and I are so ready to bring on the next chapter of our lives. This is something that we will probably never be able to do again, and so we are going to try and savor every moment. The positive, the negative, and everything in-between.
Okay okay, I can’t say I’m sad to see summer go. I love the Fall and Winter, so I’m definitely happy I welcome them into my life. However, Florida is particularly ridiculous with weather. Chances are it won’t feel like Fall until December. Hah! Either way, I am trying to ease into the season with great rich rusty fall colors.
This dress has been a favorite lately. I love olive green, and it works great with my usual black accessories. This dress is also my favorite because it is so comfortable. Lately life has been a little chaotic and sometimes a girl just needs a good go-to chic comfy dress. (PS- this dress is $15 at Forever 21!)
I have been traveling quite a bit for work, and have been packing up our apartment in between, and I can’t wait to be DONE moving! We officially move NEXT WEEKEND! What?! Where has the time gone?! I will be sad to leave Tampa behind and all the lovely friends I have made along the way, but I am definitely very excited about our move and what is in store for us in our new life in Naples. With the new season, a new season of my life is coming. I am ready for a change, and for some new challenges. So here we go!
Well, I have officially been working my new job for about a month. (Yay!) While I am still living in Tampa, I have been able to work from home because the closest office to me is 45 minutes away. This was a whole new experience for me, and something I had to adjust to. I am really starting to get a great groove going, and I feel good settling into my job.
In order to make sure that I was being productive every day, I made rules for myself to follow. These little things help me succeed at my job, and help me hold myself accountable.
The first thing I learned was that I need to leave the house to work at least twice a week.
I go stir crazy if I don’t leave the house. I realized this after the first week. I thought, “Hey! This is great! I can work in my pajamas!” Which, I did, and it was awesome. BUT it definitely gets old. You begin to feel like you’re cooped up, and that never feels good. Getting out of the house is always good for the mental health. Not only that, but I have found that I am actually more productive when I go and sit at a coffee shop. I suppose there are less distractions there? I’m not sure why, but I definitely try to get out a couple of times a week.
I have read that it is important to have a designated “work space.” I tried that, but I it tends to change every day. We have an office in our apartment, and I have a desk, but I don’t always use it to work. So my morning rule is: Determine where I will be the most productive for the day. I have to set myself up with all of the tools I need to ensure that I am successful, and most importantly, I have to be comfortable. One day it might be the desk, and another, my bed. Also, I think its important to re-evaluate my space after lunch. (Who wants to sit in the same spot all day?)
To-Do Lists, Schedules, Check Lists, Calendars, and Reminders. Set them, use them, cross things off, conquer tasks. I am a crazy list person, so making them makes me happy and keeps me organized.
One of my initial goals for working from home was to create a structure for my days. I have started to work out how I will accomplish my tasks throughout each day, but the truth is that every day is different. With my job, I can’t do the same thing every day. The demand changes, the projects shift, new ideas need to be worked on. I had to accept that my days might not ever be completely structured. However, something I have found beneficial is every morning, I sit down with a pen and paper and write down my priorities. From there, I can block out how much time I would like to dedicate to each task. Then I can (sort of) plan my day. Of course, life isn’t perfect, and those times don’t always work out, but it keeps me on track.
I have to find the right tunes to keep myself motivated. Create a playlist, and roll with it. I think this would also apply even if I wasn’t working from home.
I also have to remember to eat, and to stay hydrated. This seemed so silly to me at first. But honestly, without anyone around reminding me that it was time for lunch, I would make it to around 3pm and I would be starving and have a headache from not drinking water all day. The mornings are the busiest time for me, and I have to get a whole lot accomplished before 12:30. To make sure that I am hydrating myself, I have to keep a water bottle close by. My goal is to drink that big water bottle by lunch time. (I set an alarm on my phone for lunch so I don’t forget!)
Overall I think I am doing pretty well with working from home, and I am having a lot of fun doing it. There are obvious perks for working from home, and I am definitely taking advantage of them before I move and have to work out of an office again.
Isn’t it the best feeling when you find something you feel SO confident in? Like when you walk out the door, you instantly hear some girl power Beyoncè music playing in the background because you feel so good?
Until the moment your friend makes fun of you for wearing the very thing that made you so happy. And you’re like oh…
I am type of person who wears what I want, no matter who likes it or hates it. If I feel good, then I’m going to wear it.
But I can’t pretend that I don’t consider my friends’, my mother’s, my boyfriend’s opinion. There have been many times where I have been questioned for loving something. Take this choker for instance. I am obsessed. I want to wear it with everything. BUT my boyfriend, best friend, and mother all think it looks like a shoe lace tied around my neck.
I’ll give it to them, it does sort of look like a glorified shoe lace. BUT I LIKE IT.
It never feels good when your favorite people are not jamming with your new favorite thing. But you know something? It makes me happy. I feel confident, even if my friends and family don’t like it. I fully appreciate that my friends and family are so close with me that they can be completely honest. However, I still think that if you love something, you should probably just rock it anyways.
If it makes you feel good, do it. (Cue the Sheryl Crow, If it Makes You Happy.)
These are some of my all-time favorite pieces in my wardrobe right now. I have had negative comments from various people about almost every piece of this outfit. Sometimes you just have to fight that, and say no, I am feeling this and I am going with it. Honestly, if I listened to all of those people, I would not be the person I am. (I certainly would’t dress the way that I do.)
And here I am again relating fashion to life. But, it totally mixes in this case. If someone doesn’t like what you’re wearing, how you act, or the things you like, ITS OKAY. You are your own person, and the world would not be the same if you tried to be someone else. If they are your true friends, they will love you no matter if you are a theatre geek, if you sing obnoxiously in the shower, or if you wear a shoe lace for a necklace.
Yeah girl just be YOU
Thanks for reading my lame, mushy, power to yourself post.
I was so excited to find our copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed child on our doorstep yesterday. I immediately cued the Harry Potter soundtrack and got cozy in bed to read.
If you don’t already know, I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan. Fun Fact: I have The Deathly Hallows tattooed on my right ankle. So you know it’s real.
Anyways, I was extremely happy when I heard that the script for The Cursed Child was going to be a released. However, after reading, I have mixed emotions.
What I loved:
Firstly, I did actually really love the story itself. I liked the whole plot, and I liked what she did with some of the new and old characters. I liked that she incorporated the past into the new story.
I sort of felt like she addressed some things that were never really expressed in the books previously that just needed to be said. I also feel like this story is a response to many people criticizing her choices that had to be made to make the story worth reading. (Life, death, character choices… you know.)
I also LOVED Hermione’s career choice. Yay feminism! Yay! You can be anything you put your mind to!
I liked how she discusses some of the emotions that Harry felt after the war, and throughout his childhood, and how it affected his adult life.
This book was a really quick read for me, and was definitely a page turner. But this also leads to what I didn’t quite like about the book.
What I didn’t like too much:
This book was a really quick read for me, and was definitely a page turner. However, I think it was a quick read because it was in script format. I am a fast paced reader, and I was quite excited to see what happened in the story. With those two things combined, I felt like the story was rushed, and that everything happened fairly quickly.
I blame the quickness on the fact that it was in script format. I don’t mind reading in script format. (I grew up doing theatre and reading scripts, so this is hardly a foreign territory.) But honestly, there wasn’t much room for character development, setting descriptions… or any descriptions really. Many of those factors truly make J.K. Rowling’s writing what it is. In the other books, she keeps you engulfed in a whole new realm with details and nuances in her writing. This book simply does not have that, which was a huge disappointment.
Without the character development, it was hard not to see moments of cheesiness. These moments may not have been cheesy if I was able to put myself in that space and time. However, without details, without descriptions, I found myself feeling off while reading certain lines. (I really didn’t want to feel this way, and was pretty much in denial until I finished the book and looked back on all the events that happen.)
This script actually just made me want to see the show in London. I feel like with actors in front of me, developing the characters, giving me the right reactions and feelings behind the lines, I think I would really enjoy it. When you think of the beautiful thing that could be made from this script, it really makes you appreciate it.
I went in expecting a full-fledged Harry Potter novel. This is not what it was, so there was some disappointment there. I want to read it again, and take my time to let my mind wander and develop for itself. I think during the first read, I was truly rushing through, just so I would know what happens in the end.
Advice to those who have yet to read it:
-Go into it slow, and pause to let your mind dream up the characters and settings.
-Get ready for some mushy gushy moments. Get ready for some cheese ball moments.
-If you don’t remember Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire OR Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Re-read them.
-Go into it with no expectation.
All for now, Didn’t want to write too much and spoil it for others!
Since my last post was full of all the negative things I experienced in retail, I wanted to balance it out with some of the positive experiences I had. Every moment in life has a hidden lesson, and in the past three years I have learned a lot.
I think the most positive part about working at Anthropologie was being surrounded by such a wonderful team. I always said, “If you ever need a confidence boost, just walk through our doors!” Every day, the team was always there to welcome you, tell you how cute your outfit was, and they were absolutely genuine about it. Sure, dealing with snarky customers isn’t always fun, but at least you had your team there to back you up and push you through your day.
One of my biggest challenges was learning how to deal with situations with grace and dignity, even when they did not deserve an ounce of grace. There were many moments I had to learn from. Being in a customer service role is not always sunshines and daisies, but you learn. Working in retail truly tests your patience. Over the years, I had to learn to let some things go, and to not get so worked up about them. There could have been moments where I had every right to scream at the top of my lungs, but didn’t. I had to learn control, and kindness. This translated in my personal life in big ways.
The customers weren’t all bad though. I definitely had my fair share of favorite regulars that would come in. It’s amazing how involved you can actually become in some of these ladies’ lives. Over the years I have seen women go through dramatic weight transformations, go through divorces, have babies, get married and loose loved ones. The fitting room can be a really vulnerable place. I have heard many stories throughout my time in that store. Somehow I felt connected to many of these women, even though I only saw them for a few hours, maybe once a week. Sometimes I knew that I might be the only person they could objectively talk to. I was there to give style advice, but also to listen, and to listen with my heart. I loved the bonding experience I had with many of the customers.
With job skills, I would say that I was able to advance myself quite a bit of the past couple of years with Anthropologie. I was able to dip my hands in many areas of the business. From hiring, to growth and development, to selling, to events, to social media marketing, and actually running the floor, I gained so much experience. With Anthro, I had my first big interview too. I applied for an internship at home office about a year and a half ago. I passed the first couple rounds of applications, and the company flew me out to Philly for an interview. I was so nervous that I probably talked nonsense during the actual interview. Hindsight is always 20/20 and there are plenty of things that I could have done to be better prepared. BUT, it really did give me the opportunity to grow and learn. (Not to mention, to see a glimpse of Philly and home office!)
There was also the benefits of throwing parties and events! I live for that sort of thing, so I always enjoyed planning all of the birthday events and the stylist events. I most enjoyed putting together pop-up markets. Something about giving opportunity to local businesses is just so awesome to me.
Overall, I would not trade in my experience for the world. When I started at Anthropologie I was 20 years old, and I feel like I have truly done a lot of growing since then. The experience I had there, and the mentors that came along with it truly helped shape who I am now.