Thursday, February 28, 2013

Kate Spade (Extra) Sale!!

Kate Spade is having another sale... great deals on some great handbags and jewelry!!!

I'm particularly loving the Post Street Little Nadine!

Swing by the Sale section to see everything.... and then use "Save25" at checkout!

Act quick! Your favorite might sell out quickly!! 


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Live Your Dreams | New Wallpapers

It's no secret that I am a quotations junky. It's actually a borderline issue. If I hear a great quotation, I jot a note down in my iPhone. I take pictures of quotations I like in books. And I scour the Internet for the best of the best inspirational words. I'm not even sure why, but reading great quotations just makes me so content. Maybe it has something to do with being able to connect with the words of someone else and feeling not alone. Regardless of why, I love a good quotation.

I was in the mood for a new wallpaper. Actually, I was just in the mood for a new outlook on everything. Such a strange few weeks. Bottom line: I have some super incredible opportunities on the horizon. I mean, truly incredible things. But I was feeling intensely mixed emotions. Fear, excitement, amazement, disbelief... and lots of anxiety. 

But in dealing with these emotions (plus dealing with all the regular issues of Life and work), I realized that I was losing sight of what was really important. The opportunity. I didn't connect the dots (...) on working and working and working. In the back of my head I know that there will be a payoff, but sometimes I'm just swamped with to-do lists and meetings and long nights alone in my apartment.

And then seriously out of the blue, there's a payoff. And it's overwhelmingly amazing. I called my mom actually and was just like, "This is why I give up my weekends. This is why I do it. Someone gets it."

I realized though that I need to be better at remembering this on a daily basis and not just on an out of the blue basis. I was looking for quotations and couldn't find one that captured how I was feeling and what I really needed. Then I kept circling back to my favorite: Live Your Dreams.

It's just my favorite. I can't get enough of it. I repeat it as a mantra pretty much forty times a day. I like the juxtaposition between the present (live) and the future (dreams). What will come in the future, must begin now. What you do now, will become your future. Live your dreams.

I was trying to figure out a cute background, but it's the end of February/Early March and it's not quite spring-y out and it's not quite winter-y so I was struggling. Then I remembered the whole thing about connecting the dots and my current obsession with polka dots... just too perfect!

Desktop Wallpaper | Right click on the image and open in new tab. Drag to the image to your desktop to save. Right click and choose "Set desktop picture."

 iPhone Wallpaper  | Easiest way is to open this page on your cell phone. Click on the image to open to full screen. Press and hold on the image and save to camera roll. Then set the picture as your lock screen and wallpaper.

 iPad Wallpaper  | Easiest way is to open this page on your iPad. Click on the image to open to full screen. Press and hold on the image and save to camera roll. Then set the picture as your lock screen and wallpaper.

Facebook Cover Photo | Right click and open image in new tab. Drag image to desktop to save. Upload and position in Facebook.

What's your personal mantra? What are some of your all-time favorite quotations?


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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Let's Get Real

So I've obviously put off this post for the end of the month. (Remember when I promised to talk about LOVE during the month of February?) I'm frankly super hesitant to put this up at all. As a rule, I don't like talking about religion, politics, and relationships. The no-relationships-on-the-blog is for a slew of reasons. But mainly because a) I like to have a private life and b) I would have no idea how to pen the details of my "dating life." Plus, I've been involved with guys who really have no interest in being included on here, or in tweets, or in Instagrams. At all. And I respect that!

With that said, maybe it is a good idea to at least touch on the topic every now and then.

I kept meaning to draft a post this month. I mean, I really did want to just get it over with. Like ripping off a Band-Aid.  (I did do a cop-out post about loving yourself here.) Of course, after months and months of the same routine, the same cast of characters, and a feeling of at least normalcy.... everything got flipped on its head.

I ended something with someone I actually cared about... a lot. Someone I thought was out of my life for, like, ever appeared... again (literally) uninvited. I had a phone number blocked through Verizon. I got too nervous to get drinks with (do people even "date" anymore?!) someone. I saw someone from college who I hadn't seen in a long time. And I crossed a weird, unwritten line with a friend. And absolutely zero things worked out. Seriously, I jinxed myself or something. February was ridiculous.

Please forgive me for not being able to include a ton of details, but I guess what happened in the past three and half weeks are pretty typical of the NYC dating scene. Or maybe it's just pretty typical of dating in your 20s in general? It's so much fun... and so much not-fun.

It's a tough balance between protecting yourself and letting yourself be vulnerable and open to new possibilities. Plus, it's an even harder balance to deal with all this emotional baggage during free time with work. I feel like there's all this pressure right now on women to define what work-life balance looks for them, but most of the conversations rally around children and husbands and careers. But what about early twenty-somethings navigating dating scenes that glorify the "hookup culture" and establishing ourselves in new cities and laying the groundwork for our careers. It's a lot.

However, I think what's most important while all this craziness is going on is to remember who's really always there for you. It's my close friends who are there to decode text messages, dish the details over Sunday brunches, and help sort through the broken pieces when the house of cards comes tumbling down.

Does anyone else feel the same way about relationships in your 20s?


PS Want me to give a little bit more detail without giving details? (Cryptic, I know...) This song hits way too close to home for me.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Best Way to Eat a Thin Mint

My mom is the worst best. She sent up a package filled with boxes of Girl Scout cookies. They're the best. Thank goodness they're only available once a year. I couldn't handle it if they were always available. Seriously, I may have to replace Brussels sprouts with cookies as my primary diet. Which would just be awful.

Seriously, I typically have okay self control when it comes to food. These little guys? ZERO. I found myself sitting on the floor of my bedroom stress eating the cookies. Yea, it was bad. Not one of my finest moments. But, it's in the spirit of the Girl Scouts so I guess it's okay.... right?

So the Samoas are pretty amazing. I used to not like them, but they've turned into a new favorite of mine.

But the Thin Mints will always be my favorite. (Is it just me, or have they gotten smaller over the years? I justify my ridiculous consumption of them based on this fact.)

We're a "Thin Mints Belong in the Freezer" kind of family. They absolutely taste better when super, super chilled.

But want to know how to make them taste even better? My high school crew coach's wife taught us this trick and it's truly amazing. I should put a disclaimer out there that I would rather go to the dentist than drink a glass of milk (omg, gross). But this is absolutely the only exception when milk in a glass to drink is okay.

Essentially, you make a cookie straw and drink the milk. Yea. When you were little (or, if you're like me... now) did you ever drink Sprite with Twizzler straws? It's the same concept!!!

You take the cookie and bit a little bit off opposite ends. There are tiny holes throughout the inner cookie, which creates this amazing straw. The milk ends up tasting like chocolate milk and the cookie turns into the perfect texture. The colder the cookie and the colder the milk, the better. Take that oreo!!!

Do it. I dare you.

What's your favorite Girl Scout cookie?


PS Has anyone tried the Crumbs Thin Mint Cupcake?! There's a Crumbs like four blocks away from my apartment and it's taking extreme willpower not to go down and taste test. I'm secretly hoping it's horrible so I don't end up eating it every morning for breakfast. My suspicion, however, is that it's delicious. 

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Apartment Tour!

Eep! So I've truthfully been putting off doing an apartment tour because I felt like I was going to be doing more decorating. Yea. I realized that I've already been in the city for six months and that this is definitely as good as it's going to get. It drives me crazy half the time when I don't think my apartment is "cute" enough (thank you Pinterest for making me feel inadequate). And then the other half of the time I actually love it. It's not going to be featured in any magazine anytime soon, but I'm just fine with that.

Eventually, when I'm like actually grown up, I'll hire someone to decorate for me. Because interior design is not my strength. At all. As you'll note. (Hello white walls.)

I think that the walking video tour of my apartment is super funny. It's literally how I see my apartment. Ha!


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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Digital Porfolios

It's a digital world. Magazines are folding, websites are exploding, and the written word is most likely found on a device rather than paper nowadays. I do still love a good book and I read the paper on Sundays. But let's face it: digital is here.

I was interviewed last week about this and basically I said that I think words are words. Whether they're on a screen on a sheet of paper, ideas are ideas and stories are stories. There is no doubt that the times they are a-changin'. It is sort of sad if you think about it too much, but if you should read The Shallows. It's a really interesting read about how our brains are changing with the rise of the digital age. It also talks about how the printing press was shunned because people believed that verbal communication (and storytelling) was an art that would be lost if people wrote them down.

Okay. And we're back.

Resumes have been top of mind for me. Of course, there are plenty of resources to figure out how to make your resume better, but there is also something to be said for having a really great digital portfolio. Most people in creative fields have a portfolio and likely a digital one, but I think it's actually something that everyone should have.

If you keep up with the portfolio, you will always have something in your back pocket (literally) to show people your talents. Your portfolio might include: clippings, writing samples, photographs, links to your social sites... really any kind of work you think is worth sharing and doesn't exactly fit on a traditional "resume."

There are a few platforms that I suggest and you can decide which works best for you. I'm also interested to hear if you have one yourself and how you use it!

Tumblr | This is one of the easiest platforms to use because of the simple upload process. You can also password protect the "blog" which is definitely a bonus. Another benefit is that you can upload different forms of media. Tumblr lets you easily upload links, photographs, videos, plain text, and even voice recordings. It might look more beautiful with photographs, but you can toggle your theme choice to suit your needs the best.

Pinterest | I go back and forth on whether this is actually a good idea or not. I think it's a good idea if your work is super visual and if it shows up in different places. (That is, why would you pin from the same source. Might as well send them the original link with everything.) You can have one board devoted to your "portfolio" or you can have different boards for different types of works. The good? Your work can spread somewhat virally! The bad? It's public.

Wix or Wordpress | Wix allows you to build your own website super easy. Actually, it's kind of scary how easy it really is. Completely WYSIWYG. I recommend purchasing your name as a domain and using it as a place to really brand yourself. (I know, I know.... personal branding is kind of overused right now!) Wordpress is also a great option. You can install a theme that turns the site into a portfolio. It's also really simple to update.

Dropbox | This is my favorite. With the mobile app and desktop functionality, you can literally store anything on your phone. I like to keep a document running on my computer and updating it as new things need to be added. I save as a PDF and then I have it ready whenever I need it. You never know when you'll need it. I actually store all kinds of documents (drafts of projects, old brainstorms, lists of my favorite quotations, etc.) and open the PDFs as needed. It's super easy to send links to the documents too since they're in the cloud. Aside from just a digital portfolio, you could have your regular (up-to-date) resume at the ready. Instantly send someone a link to the PDF before you even leave the conversation. (I've done it and I've seen it done before.) As for a portfolio, you can have a document with your best writing samples (or whatever...).

Do you have a digital portfolio? What platform do you use?


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