I’m finally back after a long hiatus! December was a hectic month with the holidays, home construction, family visiting and a last minute New Years trip to LA. I’ve never been happier to be home…I’m starting to feel settled for the first time since August.
I hope you all had a great start to the New Year. We spent last week in LA, exploring the town, eating delicious food and enjoying the sunshine with friends (if you follow me in Instagram, you know all about my adventures!). I can’t wait to share the highlights with you – LA guide coming up! I’m still soaking in the fact that it’s 2017 – this year flew by. This photo was taken almost a year ago…craziness.
As with every new year, I try to reflect on how I can be a better person…whether that means taking better care of myself physically & mentally, being a better friend, daughter, sister, girlfriend. I’m not always one for resolutions, but I do think self-reflection is important and the beginning of the year feels like the appropriate time to do it (& obviously other times throughout the year as well!)
After doing some reflecting, I put together a short (but challenging) list of goals for 2017.
We finally made it to our new home! Moved in last week, and it’s glorious. I can’t express how relieved I am to have the move over with – I was a high-stress/anxious mess the last few weeks. I’m finally starting to feel like myself again. Now, that we’re unpacked (almost), we’ll be focusing more on the fun stuff…designing our home, room by room.
Leo and I both have an appreciation for the interiors at Soho House. We’ve been to several clubs around the world, and are impressed time and time again by the beautiful, welcoming spaces they create. Leo discovered that Soho House actually has a book, Eat Drink Nap, all about interiors, along with their tips & tricks on designing awesome spaces. We now have the book sitting on our coffee table, and it’s been quite helpful over the last month as we decided paint colors and started thinking about what furniture we wanted to buy for our new home. The book is jam packed with photographs of the gorgeous Soho Houses around the world, along with tips on how to mix old and new furniture, eBay rules for purchasing vintage items, how to purchase the right sofa, how to grow your own herb garden, where to buy art, recipes from the Soho House chef’s & so much more!
The part of the book I want to share with you today is in the very beginning – how to start a room from scratch. The rules are unbelievably simple…
I’ve done a fair amount of international travel the last few years. I LOVE traveling, but we can all agree that the worst part of it is having to sit on an airplane for extended periods of time. Everything about the experience is less than ideal – the seats, food, the fact that it’s always COLD, the dry air…the list goes on. Bottom line is, it kind of sucks. Luckily, there are products out there that make flying more bearable. You’d be surprised how much small changes can improve your overall travel experience! Shop the products I can’t travel without below.
When I look back on the summer before heading away to college, I recall experiencing a wide array of emotions. I was excited, afraid, sad, and nervous all at once. As an 18 year old, it was the biggest change I’d ever had to experience (outside of becoming a big sister at age 6 – but I had no say in that one). My first week away at school, I cried myself to sleep in my bottom bunk bed, nicely tucked in my new & crisp XL twin sheets. I’d never been away from home for so long, away from my parents, and my friends I’d known my entire life. I had NO idea what I was in for. If I had known, I would have gotten my sulking, self-pitying butt out of bed and started to experience the beginning of what would be the best four years of my life. What would I tell my 18 yr. old, college-bound, self if I could?
My anxiety has been at an all time high these last few weeks. Not only do I have to move out of my place in the next 7-10 days, but I also have a LONG vacation coming up at the end of August (hellloooo Greece). Clearly not an ideal situation, but hey…things happen.
I’ve moved quite a few times in the last 10 years (7 times to be exact). At this point, I’m confident enough to say that I’m an above-average packer. I pack quickly and always manage to know where everything is at all times. Sure, packing properly can be considered “common sense”, but I can attest that I did not have common sense at age 19. Probably little to none, actually. I’ve picked up on some solid packing rules in recent years, and seeing these through this time around has really helped keep me focused this last week! For those of you moving in the near future, including you college go-ers (ugh…I envy you…hard), hopefully these tips help de-stress your move at least a little.
I try to go through my closet at least twice a year to keep it fresh & organized. I hate clutter, and when my drawers start piling up, I know it’s time to clean out. Usually, I go through everything I own (from clothing, shoes, accessories & bags) in the early summer and before the winter months. This year, I’m going through a major clean-out as I’m moving for the first time in 3 years. As you can imagine, I’ve got loads of nonsense stashed away in every crevice of my one bedroom apartment. A whole lot can accumulate in a 3 year period…let me tell you.
As I sort through all my things, I abide (is it odd that every time I use this word I think “the dude abides“?) by a few rules I’ve set for myself. These rules were put in place after a few years of frequent moving…yeah, 8 times in 8 years – doesn’t that sound like so much fun?! I hung on to items from late high school & early college WAY too long, and realized I needed to have a set of “closet cleaning rules” to reference to keep me in check.
I took part in a workshop this week that really opened my eyes to the lack of gender diversity in corporate leadership today. Though women make up over half of entry level jobs, they only account for ~15% of C-suite executives. 15%!! This makes no sense given studies have shown that companies with more women in the C-suite are more profitable. What happens to all of those women as they climb up the corporate ladder? Well, many of them choose not to for personal reasons, but there are plenty of women out there who want to move up and just aren’t given the opportunity. Many companies are striving to address this issue, but as women, there are ways we can “stretch” out of our comfort zones and take ownership of our careers.
Around this time last year, I took the trip of a lifetime with my mom. We hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, camping for 3 nights in the wilderness (I should add this was my first camping trip EVER). With Mother’s Day around the corner I couldn’t help but reminisce on this unforgettable trip we took together.
We’re all guilty of letting life distractions get in the way of family time (and if you’ve solved this problem, please fill me in on your secret!). Although I’m lucky enough to have my parents nearby, I still feel like I could be spending more time with them. And let me tell you…the older you get, the more difficult it is. Knowing how rare it is to get uninterrupted Mom time, this trip we took together last year will always have a special place in my heart.
Take this weekend to spend quality time (and I mean “no devices” quality time) with Mom and let her know how much you appreciate her. Don’t just get her a gift, give her your time. Our Moms gave us 18+ years of their undivided attention – I think we owe it to them!
For those of you struggling to find the perfect gift, check out last year’s Mother’s Day Gift Guide.
Leo and I have been house hunting the last few months (oh yeah, big steps!), and we’ve learned so much throughout the entire process…and still continue to. House hunting can be draining and time consuming, and we’re doing everything we can to ensure we aren’t wasting our time & energy on homes that we know won’t work for us. Luckily, nowadays there are tools out there that make the entire process a little bit easier and accessible. We’ve been using RedFin, and love love love it. It gives you access to all MLS listings in real time, without having to go through an agent. It’s also a great first step if you’re considering buying and want to get a feel for what’s out there.
As we had to learn some things the hard way, I wanted to share a few tips & tricks we’ve picked up along our house hunting journey. We haven’t found the perfect place just yet, but we’re getting closer & closer!
Annnnddd Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! Are you scrambling to find a dinner reservation for two? Dreading heading to your favorite restaurant and being one of 20+ couples there? I’m sorry to be a downer, but sometimes I just can’t deal with the cheesiness that comes along with this holiday (and thankfully Leo’s on the same page). However, I do think it is a nice excuse to spend time with your significant other. So, how do you get around the cheesiness? Plan a date that’s out of the norm. Valentine’s Day is the perfect holiday to step out of your comfort zone and take date night to the next level. Stop scanning for the next reservation on OpenTable, and give one of these unconventional date ideas a chance. You can thank me later.