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I turned 24 a couple of weeks ago and wanted to cap off 23 in the cheesiest way I know how. I was able to go down to D.C. and convinced my mother to bust out the long forgotten fondue pot from our childhood- to this day there are few things better than a large vat of melted cheese for a meal. This year was a huge period of growth and a lot of life lessons. Here are some of the things that carried me through the past 12 months, and I hope you can find some humor or entertainment from them as well.  {Image}

1. Be on time- you never know what could happen and being early is ideal. Whether intended or not, being late means telling the person that you do not care (and if you are going to be late, let them know as soon as possible). 

2. Dog parks are the happiest, purest places in the world. 

3. You don’t have to be best friends with everyone, but there should always be a level of respect. Additionally, look people in the eye who take your coffee orders. Thank cleaning staff. Know the name of your company’s doormen/doorwomen and mail attendant. 

4. Dresses are god’s gift to humanity- you always look good and essentially are wearing a glorified sack.

5. Never. Stop. Learning. Ever. You should always have an answer to “what is the last book you read?”

6. Take note of the people in your life who are always there when things hit the fan. They are your biggest cheerleaders and will be there through the peaks and pits. 

7. The communities that were made for you in childhood by your parents and at school take a lot of time and effort to create post grad. 

8. One of the most mature things you can do as an adult is own your mistakes, apologize and offer a solution to make things better. 

9. Often when things don't work out, it's the universe pushing you to where you're supposed to be.  

10. Be the person who makes others feel important. Listen when others are talking (still working on this one!). 

11. There will be a lot of relationships that fade out or do not transition to the real world, and that’s ok. It’s no one’s fault, but rather a part of life. However, there is nothing wrong with sending a quick text or DM to let someone know you’re thinking of them. Grandparents are one of the most wonderful gifts in the world- spend as much time as possible with them. 

12. Humor and humility will carry you through every difficult situation in life. 

13. Be generous, whenever you can. 

14. Twenty-two feels really old right out of college, but to the rest of the world, you’re still ridiculously young. However, older generations should still respect you, regardless of your age. Millennials often get a bad rap, and people who use this generation as a scapegoat are often just salty. 

15. AirPods are one of the best inventions of the decade. 

16. Learn a couple great signature recipes- ie: roast chicken, meatballs, an amazing summer dessert.

17. Communication will make or break every relationship in your life. 

18. There is nothing wrong with tuning out the world and getting sucked into a show like The Bachelor- life doesn’t always have to be so serious. 

19. Write every day- even if it’s a brief journal entry. 

20. Showers can be the most creative space- we need to fight the company trying to put TV’s in shower curtains!

21. You eat an elephant one bite at a time- when things get overwhelming, break down the task into little things. Recognize when you are spiraling and get outside. Take a walk. 

22. It’s 9838130928301 times easier to clean a little every day than let it pile up and become a dreaded endeavor. 

23. Find your style and clothes that look good and get them in every color. Quality over quantity comes into play here (especially with limited city apartment storage and closet space). 

24. New York rent is a large chunk of your salary, so take advantage of every opportunity. Applying for Broadway lotteries (you are luckier than you think you are), attending tapings and sitting in interviews will make things a little less painful when the first of the month comes around. 

Fresh Picks

Happy Thursday! I hope you are having a wonderful week. After going home last weekend to D.C. in full bloom, celebrating Easter and turning 24 with my mom's famous cake, it was the ideal way to start a new year. New York is really coming alive and has brought such a welcome change of weather. Here are some of the things that have made me smile and I hope they make you as well! {Image}
I came across this tweet and loved the message on always having the time to change your life or start your legacy.

If you have been around me the past month, I have likely mentioned Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard. The expert segments on child psychology and relationships are incredible.

My best friend Holly gave me this shirt as a birthday gift and I have done laundry just to be able to wear it again.

Things I Have Had to Learn the Hard Way

I want to start by saying that I am very blessed to have an incredible family, my health a roof over my head and means of supporting myself, to which I am so thankful. I would not be writing this without the support of close friends and family. Getting right into the meat of the issue- 23 has been a very challenging year. Some of the more difficult times were situational, some were simple mistakes and some stemmed from the reality that being on your own for the first time is a transition. I came by a recent tweet that made me laugh out loud:

"i don't trust anyone who has never cried on public transit" Agreed, Jarod.
Despite all of the good, bad and ugly the past year, there have been many amazing moments that I am so grateful for. I don't feel like doing a whole five paragraph format, but here are some very real truths that I have learned from experience and the smart people I'm lucky enough to get advice from:

Being treated badly by people often says more about the person's character than yours. Of course it's important to always analyze a situation before coming to conclusions, but often these people are hurting, and coping in a way we cannot understand. The friends who have your back will always meet you halfway. People tend to match up their esteems, so make sure you're attracting the right people. 

Someone told me that whenever they think of giving up, they think about all of their ancestors before them and explaining your daily problems and why you're not taking advantage of their sacrifices. I told this to my Gramma, who was equally intrigued and confused that young people might think this way- haha. 

It's ok to not know what you want in your careers- just know what you don't want to do. Don't settle in a bad environment, when it comes to friends, romantic relationships, and mental heath

23 is incredibly young. Far too young to "give up on your dreams." Always be open to something new and amazing that might be around the corner. 

Bring on 24! {Image}

Five Winter Pick-Me-Ups

As winter is coming to the final end, everyone is ready for warmer weather and to move on to spring/summer. Here are some of the things that I have been doing to get through the past couple months that I wanted to share (and serve as a reminder to myself to continue to do more of these things). 

Closet Clean-out | Back in January, I went through a major closet purge (after being influenced by Marie Kondo, admittedly). This meant going through everything and ultimately, donating a lot too, but overall having a lot less mess to stress about. 

Water| It's the one thing that has cured my headaches- who knew!

Reading + Podcasts | Podcast recommendation of the month is Still Processing, done by two culture writers at the New York Times

Gratitude Journaling | Sometimes, it's really easy to get in your head about everything that is going wrong, what needs to improve and future goals. The more I have been able to take the time to actually write down positive things that happened in the week have been, the more content I have felt. 

Beauty Treat | Over the past month, I invested in my skin more as winter has been very dry. Whether it's a skincare routine, message or new makeup, it's a great time to give yourself a little TLC. 

Tips for Work Productivity (Through Trial and Error)

Happy Tuesday! Hope you are having a great, productive week as we head into March, the start of daylight savings time and (eventually) spring. Over the past couple weeks, I have been working from home and discovered through many mistakes that there are right and wrong ways to go about working on your own schedule. Here are some of the things I've learned, and the best way to have a stress free, guilt free, work day. {Image}

Start early | Everyone has their own cycle of doing things, however, getting up, dressed and starting early works best for me. I have been listening to a ton of podcasts so far in 2019 (How I Built This, This American Life and TMG are some of my favorites right now) and a morning walk to the gym and heading to a cozy coffee shop is the best way to start the day.

Natural Light | My current apartment has very little natural light. (We will be moving at the end of April and I'm very excited for a new roommate to join our group and more natural light/room decor posts!) I have found the more exposure to windows, the better for my overall mood. 

Intention | There are so many distractions, that making a list is essential for getting things accomplished. Scheduling events/social engagements at night also keeps me accountable to not procrastinate all day. 

Breaks | I like to put a podcast on, and combining something I enjoy with a walk to run an errand keeps things productive and gets me moving. 

Meals | Working from home and means having more time to cook a nice dinner (with candles!) and plan meals out. Might as well take advantage of the opportunity before going back to the office life!