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.
Today is my last day in the retail world. Retail is tough, and as a manager, you get to deal with all of the lovely people who come into the store or call on the phone. Don’t get me wrong, most customers are great… but some customers make the job harder than it should be.
To celebrate my last day, I give you: You might be a bad customer if….
If you get upset with the store team when they don’t tell you when something is going to go on sale… (PS- we actually don’t know, and we don’t decide.)
If you try to return something from 2 years ago. Yes this happens, yes it happens a lot.
If you return a quilt because your dog chewed it up.
If you try to return something without a receipt, or tags, and expect to get cash back.
If you get upset with the staff because UPS lost your package… because obviously that is OUR fault.
If you get upset that you have to wait in a line. That’s life sista.
If you throw items into a team members hands, like a servant, instead of kindly handing them over and thanking them for starting your fitting room.
If you ask to use our employee discount because “you’re here all the time anyways…” No, you SHOP here. We WORK here.
If you ask us if we have a restroom and then get upset when we don’t have one.
OR if you get upset that we didn’t let you use our EMPLOYEE RESTROOM.
If you DEMAND to use our employee restroom.
If you take out your bad day on us. I’m sorry you’re having an awful day, but that is also not my fault.
If you decide to take a shopping spree 10 minutes before we close. Yes this happens frequently.
If you leave your items at the cash wrap, don’t tell anyone, and then get upset when they have been put away.
If you let your children run wild throughout the store while you continue to shop.
If you let your child talk back to the staff….
If you let your child touch all of the breakable things in the store.
If you bang on the doors and demand to be let in after we have closed the store.
If you scream at the staff for things that are out of their hands.
If you scream at the staff until they give you the sale discount that ended three days ago.
If you ask to use one of our employees’ phone chargers, and then get upset when we don’t have one/ let you use one.
If your child pees in the middle of the fitting room floor, and you expect the employees to clean it up.
If your dog poops in the middle of the store, and you simply leave it there.
If you break something in the store, and you simply leave it there.
If you complain about how expensive everything is.
If you try to haggle with the staff. We don’t determine the prices, in case you were wondering.
If you get mad at the staff when the power goes out and we have to take every transaction by hand. PS- We didn’t make the power go off.
If you say, “it didn’t have a tag, so it must be free!” WOW YOU ARE SO FUNNY!
Honestly, I could probably write a whole book about the crazy stories from my time in retail, but we will save that for another time.
You don’t have to compare your life to others. You are on your own journey in this life. You don’t have to be thinking about marriage, or kids, or that big promotion. Do you. Do your life at your own pace.
It is TOTALLY okay to cry. In fact, its good for you. It isn’t natural to bottle up your emotions. There should be no guilt involved with crying, or expressing yourself.
3. Not cleaning.
The laundry will get done eventually, and the kitchen will get cleaned. Some days, you just need to relax, and save it for another day. Do it for your own mental health.
4. Changing to benefit your life.
This one has been a tough one for me recently. I have felt some guilt for leaving behind a team that counted and depended on me. However, this new job has presented some great opportunities for my life, and will benefit me in the end. I have to remember to let go of the guilt.
5. Eating dessert. And eating it first.
Of course, it is good to watch what you eat. But let’s be honest. You have to enjoy life, and sometimes, you want dessert first. And thats okay.
6. Saying no.
Feeling guilty for not wanting to hang out is not going to do you any good. If you don’t want to do something, say no. Sometimes you just need time to re-charge yourself, and thats okay. Just because you don’t want to hang out, doesn’t mean you are a bad person or friend. It is totally fine to stay in and binge watch your favorite Netflix show.
7. Saying yes.
Feel like you’re too busy to hang out, but REALLY want to? GO! You will make time for your busy life. It can be refreshing to take a break and spend time with friends. With that being said, I wouldn’t recommend having a wild night and going into work the next day, but everything in moderation. You have to make time for play too. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
8. Taking a selfie.
Just because you post a picture of yourself doesn’t mean your a narcissist. You are allowed to love who you are, and love being in your own skin. In fact, I highly encourage it. When you love yourself, you attract love, and you will spread love.
9. Protecting yourself.
Let go of what no longer serves you. If something or someone is no longer benefitting you, and is now draining you, let it go. Its okay to take care of yourself, and to be a little selfish.
10. Taking a personal day.
If you need a day to yourself, you need a day to yourself. Your team will manage without you. Let go of that guilt. Sometimes if you just keep “pushing through,” you will push to your breaking point. We don’t want that, so how about that personal day?
Scarves are IN! Bandanas, scarves, neckerchiefs…. whatever you want to call them, I’m in! They are the perfect little accessory, and can totally transform an outfit!
I was talking to my mom on the phone a few months ago and we were talking about how neck scarves were in again, and my mom told me she had a ton of them sitting in her closet from the 80s, and that I had dibs to any that I wanted. So naturally she sent them all to me in the mail hahah.
Turns out my mom used to sell these bad boys. They are made by a designer named June Crichfield. This one in particular is made from a print of an old Heinz ketchup advertisement. She uses all kinds of food company ads to print her scarves like Hersey and McCormick & Co. So cool right?!
I wanted to show you guys some of my favorite ways to wear these:
#1 The Boy Scout Tie
This one is super easy, and good for the hot weather, since its not up around the neck. It also feels the least “fashion risk-y, ” for those of you who are not quite ready to jump on the bandwagon.
#2 The wrap around
This one is really easy to tie, and pretty easy to style. It can be styled similarly to a short necklace, and looks great with button down blouses.
#3 The wrap and baby bow
I like bows, I’m not going to lie. So this one is definitely one of the preferred ways to tie a neck scarf for me. It makes a statement, but it doesn’t take away from the whole outfit.
#4 My fav
This one just seems so Parisian and flirty! I love the way it can jazz up an outfit.
Want some more ideas? Tie it to the strap of your handbag, wear it as a headband, or even as a bracelet. The possibilities are endless!
What are your thoughts on this new trend? Let me know in the comments!
Our second stop on our vacation was at Kill Devil’s Hill in North Carolina, affectionately known as OBX. Jason and I were able to meet up with my family there, which was a change of pace. We had so much fun!
A few of my mom’s friends let our family stay at their house there, and we were within walking distance of the beach! Jason and I had fun searching for sea glass and walking down by the shore.
After arriving at Kill Devil’s Hill, Mom, Jason and I went over to the Wright Brother’s Memorial. I definitely recommend taking a trip there if you are in OBX.
The hill was definitely a climb with my injured knee, but the view was worth it!
PS- This dress is from Target, and I basically live in it. It is super comfy, and was great for our long drive from Charleston. I threw on some slip on shoes and a chunky necklace and it made for a great travel outfit. After touring the museum, we relaxed with the family and took a nice long NAP!
Our first full day in OBX was one of my favorites on the whole trip. We rode horses on the beach! What a dream! We drove down to Cape Hatteras National Seashore and Recreation Area, and met the team from Hatteras Island Horseback Riding.
If you are ever in the area and want to do this, I highly recommend Hatteras Island Horseback Riding. They were great, and very accommodating. They were also pretty reasonable with pricing for our family. Seriously guys, how cute are they?!
After we were done with the horses, we hit a couple of lighthouses and museums on our way back north.
The first one we hit was the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. We climbed all 257 steps to get to the top! I think this was my favorite lighthouse. I love the classic black and white!
We then saw The Bodie Light house (which we were too pooped to climb! 😉 )
This is Jason’s vacation hat, and it was one of the best things to have happened on the vacation hahah! The next day we took a little trip over to The Whalehead Club in Corolla, which was GORGEOUS! The house was designed completely in art nouveau and had some amazing art throughout (like Tiffany’s glass!). We took the house tour, which brought us through 21,000 square feet of history. The house was used for many different things throughout history, so it was very cool to spend time in.
Unfortunately you can’t take photos inside, hence the lack of photos on this place. But trust me, it’s gorgeous!
We also visited the The Currituck Lighthouse after that. This was my mom’s favorite. The lighthouse is just around the corner from Whalehead. We decided not to climb, but it was definitely worth the visit.
Overall, OBX was BEAUTIFUL! We definitely enjoyed our stay there. It was a more relaxing part of our vacation. We cooked at home, took lots of naps, and used the time to power back up for the next couple of days ahead.