Oh boy. The pace of life is just cruising along. And by cruising, I mean speeding. Seriously. On Mondays, I pray for Saturdays. It happens to frequently that weeks are just all a blur.
One thing I've been trying to be better at is living in the moment. Well, not only the moment, but the day. Enjoying every aspect of the day and not simply wishing for the next one to come along. Because otherwise, time is just passing. Methodically without a lot of impact.
We have twenty-four solid hours in the day (including sleep, which is important!) to use. How are we using it. What's the impact? Is it leading us closer to our goals, our wishes, our dreams? What will make us enjoy the day more? How can we optimize what we accomplish?
live for today.
I need to be reminded of this often. Even if I want to commit to it, I tend to forget! So I made these little wallpapers for your desktop, iPhone (my favorite!), iPad, and Facebook cover photo.
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."
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.
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.
Facebook Cover Photo | Right click and open image in new tab. Drag image to desktop to save. Upload and position in Facebook.
And we're back with another edition of the book club! It's been quite some time, but I've finally read a few books and found one worth sharing. (Books, I've realized are kind of like princes... sometimes you have to read a few frogs!)
I heard about Brooklyn Girls by Gemma Burgess on a few blogs that I read. I was intrigued because the concept seemed super similar to myself (i.e. figuring out the Real World) and also intrigued because it takes place in NYC (or, well, mostly Brooklyn. Duh.)
While the book was heavy on obnoxious dialogue (not a fan of the weird and incessant nicknames of the Oopsh thing), it's really quick and funny and an easy read. Perfect for the summer and even more perfect when you have a lot on your mind and just want to escape.
The characters are ones that you can totally relate to (or at the very least have a friend that totally matches the description). The girls are all facing everything that you face when you're at the bottom of the totem pole at work, unsure of your passions, dealing with boys, and navigating the murky waters of post-college friendships.
Oh and it really made me crave fresh salads and low-fat brownies.
Have you read Brooklyn Girls? What books are you reading or planning to read?
I've mentioned more than a few times on here that I love painting my nails. It's kind of a double-edged sword. I think painting my nails is a great stress reliever, but chipped nails gives me terrible anxiety. I seriously carry around nail polish with me at all times in case some of the polish chips.
Over the years, I've perfected the art. Now I'm not a huge fan of nail art, so it's really not that hard to do a simple manicure at home. It's also so much cheaper than going to a salon. Only when I need a little pampering or I'm going to an event or I'm with a friend will I pay to get my nails painted. I'd much rather do it myself!
Here's my method:
ONE | Remove Polish
I used to paint my nails at night, but I had way too many nights where I got sheet marks on my nails. Now I remove my polish at night and then paint in the morning. Though it might not be true, I also like to give my little fingers a nice break from paint... even if it's just for a night! I use regular nail polish remover from the drug store and cotton rounds. I soak the cotton and press it against my nail for a few seconds. Then I swipe and repeat as necessary. Sometimes, if I've used red polish, I pour remover into the cap. Then I dip a q-tip into the cap and press the end of the q-tip into the edges of my nails. (Those parts are tricky!)
TWO | I wash my hands. ALWAYS. I have a serious issue with how the nail polish remover makes my hands feel. Then I use lots of lotion. (See, that's where removing at night comes in handy! Lotion on your nails can interfere with polish.)
THREE | I'm right handed... BUT my left hand shakes really badly. Even though I should be better at painting my left hand, my fingers will NOT hold still. I always start with the brush in my right hand my left hand on the table. This is something I do for my shaky hand, but it actually really helps with painting in general: I press my hand firmly onto the table. I paint from my pinky finger to my index finger. Then I turn my hand 90 degrees so that my fingers hang off the table and my thumb is perpendicular to the edge.
FOUR | Then I switch to painting my right hand. Same method, same technique.
FIVE | I go through with the same method to do a second coat. (For some colors, like lighter shades... I paint a third coat!)
SIX | No matter what, I have to sit still for at least ten minutes. Even when they feel sort of dry or look dry, the nails can smudge the minute you tap it. Dents, smudges, smears.... not pretty. One solution I've found that works the best, are these quick dry drops. Amazing. I still sit for a while to ensure the polish has hardened.
SEVEN | If I'm going somewhere important and need my nails to really be amazing, I use the Julep Freedom Polymer Top Coat. This stuff makes your nails feel tougher than, well, nails. It prevents chipping, works really quickly, and is way cheaper than getting Gel or Shellak. Even better? It's a piece of cake to remove when you actually want to remove it.
What are your tips for painting nails? Do you prefer DIY or salon nails?
I just turned in my lease renewal for my apartment. I can't believe that I've been living on my own for almost a year now.
Finding this apartment was sheer luck. It was the last of the second day and I was fairly convinced that I was never going to be able to find an apartment that I could afford and feel safe in. (When apartment hunting, you can only choose two: Space, Price, Location.)
When I first decided to move into the city, I was pretty certain that I didn't want to live with someone else. I wanted freedom! My own space! Being able to play music, blow dry my hair at any hour of the day, and have boys over without socks on doorknobs and awkward mini-walks of shame. There are obviously benefits and drawbacks to living by yourself. Everyone has different needs and wants... and that's okay.
In college, I had plenty of experience living with people. I had a traditional dorm room the first two years with roommates (both of whom I didn't know going into the year). As a junior, I lived in a house with three people. And then my senior year, I lived alone in a single. I knew girls who loved being in a house. Of course, I did love being with my friends (and listening to the Country Strong soundtrack on repeat together). But there were times when I just needed space (like finding a housemate in the shower passed out after partying and seeing some of my male teammates awkwardly in the hallway the next morning and the boring battle over chores).
I learned a lot living in a single my senior year. I really enjoyed the freedom, but I learned that I could easily become a hermit if I wasn't careful! Planning dinners with friends, spending lots of time in the student center in the business school, and traveling to NYC nearly every weekend helped. I could have my friend-time and then also come back to a quiet room.
People ask me all the time how I like living alone and whether or not they should live alone. But it's not an answer that I can really give all that easily.
As much as I love it, there have been times when I wish I could come home to an apartment with a roommate (or two). One of my friends who was interviewing for jobs stayed with me a couple of times this summer and I loved it. She happened to be here that one week when I broke down and having her in the apartment to talk to was really nice. And she was here when I got a crazy-random phone call from a boy asking me out on a date... putting him on speakerphone and squeezing each other's arms with excitement was so fun! Even staggering our alarms and showers wasn't an issue.
The two days my sister lived with me on the other hand? Not okay. I love her... but it was a struggle. We were just too different!
I've also heard amazing things from friends who live with other people (just like an episode of Friends), but I've also heard breaking-leases-two-months-in horror stories.
Would you prefer to live alone or with a roommate? I'd love to hear your stories and opinions!