The Random Things That Make My Weeks More Exciting

When working in a structured 9-5 schedule day in and day out, sometimes the days can become mundane and repetitive, almost like a merry-go-round. Aside from the weekends, you most likely do the same thing everyday from the time you wake up until the time it’s time to recharge your batteries again. For me, I typically come home from work and either do laundry, clean, occasionally go to the gym, and by occasionally I mean never, read, blog, watch TV, etc. Nothing too crazy.

But, sometimes during the week, there are small things I tend to get excited about and that’s what I want to write about today. It’s a snow day here in Philly and I have nothing but time on my hands, so here it goes.

1. Giveaways & Promos

In the blogging community, whether you’re a part of a structured organization of bloggers, or you just have your own community through your growing following, you often stumble across really cool deals, opportunities and promos.

Yesterday,  one of the blogs I follow along had a promo code up for a free trial for Rocksbox.com which I had never heard of but it’s similar to Ipsy and Birchbox but for jewelry! So, I’m waiting for my free package in the mail now, I’ll let you guys know how it goes! I’m also going to try and snag a free code for you guys too!

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2. Book launch team for one of your favorite authors? Say no more

This could have happened with or without my blog advantages, but I’m super excited about this. Paul Angone, author of 101 Secrets for your Twenties and All Groan Up, which I have featured on my blog previously, is releasing a new book in April titled 101 Questions for Your Twenties.

I was selected to be a apart of this book launch team along with 200 other fans and readers as we are awaiting our free copy in the mail! After reading, we will review the book on various platforms such as Amazon and Google reads as well as share on our social media. I will definitely putting s full in-depth review up on my site for everyone!

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3. Finding a face mask that actually works at a very reasonable price

I’ve been shopping at Bed, Bath & Beyond for any and all toiletries, as well  as make-up recently, because their prices are so low for the same products I would typically buy at Target for full-price. Not to mention, they ALWAYS have coupons either for $5 of $15 or 20%off your order.

The winter has not been great for my skin so I’ve been on the hunt for a weekly face mask to help and I have finally found a winner! In addition to the mask, the face wash I bought has been a god send too. Both are photographed below!

4. Who doesn’t love free iced-coffee?

I’ll admit, everything about the Dunkin’ Donuts app is irritating anymore, but sometimes, it’s worth the hassle.

I’ve been receiving free beverages based on a point system, I received a free one for my birthday, and using the On-the-Go Mobile Ordering on the days off Flyers or Sixers games is worth it for $1 medium iced-coffees!

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So, maybe try the app again and save yourself some money. Those iced-coffees really do add up.

5. Snow day: no work and all pay

As I said before, it was a snow day in Philly. Yesterday was my birthday so I was able to go out and celebrate last night without worrying about setting an alarm for this morning. And the best part? It’s a paid day off & it might even be happening again tomorrow!

 

Cheers!

 

It’s Always Darkest Before The Dawn

The best kind of happiness is the kind that comes into your life when you least expect it. Between toxic relationships, endlessly job searching for months, anxiety, 2017 wasn’t the easiest year. But just like everything else, pros and cons go hand in hand. Although I struggled from time to time this past year, I also had a lot of great opportunities to experience and I’m so grateful to reflect on the better times because good always outweighs the bad.

I had the chance to visit a few new cities, spend a lot of time on the beach, read new books, focus on myself, start a new job and develop new friendships. I’m happy about everything good that has come my way, but I’m not entirely sad to see 2017 come to a close and I’m more than happy to embark on 2018.

As many of you know, I’ve had a difficult and defeating time seeking full-time employment this past year, which I know some people can relate to and I wish you all the best of luck in your process! However, I do not have to continue my search as I accepted a full-time offer right before the holiday. When accepting the offer over the phone, I literally said to the woman, “This is the greatest Christmas gift I’ve ever received”, and there is so much truth behind that.

The past few weeks, knowing that this is the last of my excessive free time, have been so stress- free and relaxing. The weight I feel has been lifted from my shoulders, from both external and internal pressures to find a full-time job, is indescribable.

As the saying goes, good things take time, and I guess time is what I needed. The past year and a half as post-grad have definitely been unconventional from the outside looking in, but I feel I’m right where I’m meant to be. I’m learning that as you get older, people’s opinions of your choices become more and more irrelevant, and I think that’s something everyone should keep in the back of their minds. I think my biggest regret of 2017 was caring so much about what everyone else thought and ignoring what I actually cared about. Maybe it’s easier said than done, but it’s an empowering feeling when you finally conquer this tactic.

Even though it’s just a change in date on the calendar, a new year can be an opportunity for change, growth and fulfillment. Although I don’t have a resolution, and I don’t normally do, I’m definitely more committed than ever to focusing on me in every way, shape and form. Whitney Port posted an Instagram that resonated with where I am right now and I couldn’t love it more.

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She captions the quoted picture with “Loving yourself isn’t only the greatest revolution, but the greatest resolution.”

Wherever you’re at in your life, don’t forget to love yourself. If you’re in a tough place or confused or lost, just remember, it’s always darkest before the dawn, as Florence and The Machine says.

Happy New Year!

What You Want to Do Vs. What You Should Do: The Noise of Life

“Noise” is defined is defined by the dictionary as “a sound, especially one that is loud or unpleasant or that causes disturbance”. Life noise, however, has a different connotation in regards to many aspects.

Throughout life, there can be different forms of noise day to day. This noise is a distraction for many people when focusing on what makes them happy. Too many are focused on what makes others happy instead. Anyway you swing it, sacrifices are made for people we love and care about, but that’s part of any relationship. However, making life decisions and being indecisive because you don’t want to hurt others feelings is in turn constantly hurting the individual. It’s difficult to distinguish between looking out for those you love and looking out for yourself. The hardest part is that there is no right answer; the answer is within each person’s way of living life.

People, places and things create a lot of noise in life. Personal appearance in social situations is one of those noises. What is there to do tonight? Who is going to hang out with me? I’ve had this outfit since high school and still wear it, does it matter? My makeup isn’t the newest addition of naked (or any type of naked for that matter), will they notice? There is such a stress on the way people look in social situations, it’s crazy. Everyone is judged on how they look, whether it’s a positive or negative judgement. Stressful, unnecessary noise. The way anyone presents themselves is individualized and is important to be left that way. The way someone dresses or looks does not need to change the way that person is perceived. Too many focus on external characteristics instead of truly getting to know people for who they are internally. Next time you meet somebody new, try talking to them with more decency. Even if you are already with friends, invite someone new in; find out who they are.

Another noise ringing constantly is about the way life is “supposed” to be like?

1. You should have a steady job by the age of 23.
2. You should be looking to date someone long term so you can have a family by age 30.
3. You should have a budget and be saving your money to buy a house, not spending so much of it.
4. But then there’s also: enjoy life while you’re young, you can save money later.

The word SHOULD is thrown around way too often. Life isn’t about right and wrong. The real question “should” be, what do YOU want your life to be like RIGHT NOW? Do we have to stress so much about the future? Who cares what’s going to happen in a year, or ten years. Why is it so frowned upon to just live for now and make good decisions based upon the way everyone wants them to be made? Because, in the end, life is about embracing feelings of the individual and who better to make decisions than the individual who is actually living that life? It’s up to them, not the rest of the world and the way things have been set into a precedent by our parents’ generation.

The loudest noise, in my opinion (because this is what I constantly feel), has become: will I upset “so and so” if I decide to do this? After all, it is what I want to do, isn’t it? But repeatedly I notice thoughts like, “but they don’t want to do that (or they disagree) so I should change my mind to make them happy”. It’s a way of unintentional perfectionism that I’m noticing is taking over these decisions. Perfectionism can be dangerous. I won’t tell them certain things because I feel they won’t agree/will judge me. And don’t get me wrong, I have learned that boundaries are very necessary to have. However, if you’re talking to someone, you shouldn’t feel like you must discount your feelings because you feel the other person will get upset or disagree with you. Avoiding upsetting others is close to impossible, so what’s the point of risking your own happiness to stress about others’ happiness when we cannot control that? I believe that everyone has a bit of perfectionist qualities; it’s important to not let them run your life.

Venting is something everyone needs, so it’s important to find a few people you can tell many things to without feeling judged. Sometimes it’s good to have those people to discuss different things with: one person for work situations, one for relationships, one for advice about friends, etc. Extra people means extra noise and that noise makes people second guess. For me, I find myself asking people, what would you do? Or what do you think? When in reality, does it matter? No. It’s more noise, it’s more unnecessary opinions, and it makes me feel like there is a right and wrong in every situation. Noise while making decisions really gets in the way and hinders the way people live their lives. Living a life this way is utterly exhausting and stressful, and for what? Live YOUR life the way YOU want to. Make your own decisions.

I’ll go a little bit in a different direction to finish. I truly believe the things I discussed and really am working on all of that for myself in my own life. However, there is another side as well. Most of us have people we are close to whether that be friends, family, significant others, or more than one. As much as it is important to live the way I have described above, it’s also just as important to make time and do things with those who mean so much. So sometimes, sacrifices should be made. And that’s okay, it’s part of life as well. Don’t want to go to a family reunion? Doesn’t matter, that’s something that is important. You’re not just attending to make others happy, but to spend time with those you love. And most importantly to enjoy it, because you truly don’t know how often you’ll get to do those things. That goes for friends and significant others as well. Sacrifices are always made in any type of relationship. Something may sound “better” or more fun than going to something “obligatory”. But that’s just the thing, it doesn’t always have to feel like an obligation, if these people are important to you, you will want to go. This is just as important to consider.

Life has so much noise in it, it is exhausting. But at the end of the day, the importance is to not get so caught up in all of it. Living your life and doing things that make you happy are so crucial. As well as making time for others. As the “entitled” generation, it’s important to have a balance between these things, which is extremely difficult but totally doable. Extra stress about decision making isn’t worth it. Simply, think, what do I WANT to do? Instead of what SHOULD I do? You may “hurt” people in the process or maybe they won’t agree with you, but that’s the noise we need eliminate from our minds. It takes a conscious effort to think in this way, and it’s challenging. But it could truly make a happier, more enjoyable life for years to come.

 

Seeking Silver Linings

 

As a post grad, there aren’t many things that come easy. However, there are moments of most days that can be seen as small wins. Someone brings in lunch for the office, you won $5 on a scratch off, you got over 100 likes on an Instagram, etc.

Some of these things could be perceived as shallow and meaningless, but I see them as silver linings.

Waking up early at the crack of dawn five days a week is not my idea of fun in any way. I unfortunately look like I’m still rolling out of bed to get to class most days I go to work just because I value those 10 extra minutes of sleep I should be using towards fixing my hair. But at the end of the day, 90% of my day is spent staring at two computer screens, and I don’t think they mind what I look like. I’m not saying I look like a total slob, but I could definitely look better. But those extra ten minutes of Z’s? Small silver lining.

I commute to Jersey for work, which has it’s pros and cons, but the most obvious con is traffic. Going to work, traffic isn’t terrible, but going home is a nightmare. For anyone that drives to work, I know you understand. However, there are those days that maybe you leave a few minutes earlier than usual, or even a few minutes later, and you overpass all of the rush hour traffic. Bliss. Or, another silver lining of the day.

Among these other silver linings could include things like the people at Dunkin perfecting your iced coffee with the right amount of cream and the right amount of sugar, gas going down 2 cents, avocados being on sale, your parents not questioning your every move on occasional days, realizing you have enough money left over after bills and factoring in weekend expenses to get your nails done, etc.

Even when you’re having a bad day, it’s always nice to take into perspective the good things that happened too, no matter how small they are.

With each new season comes new opportunity, potential, and excitement. Today is the first day of Spring, and unfortunately a Monday, but that doesn’t mean it has to be dreadful. Grab a coffee, do some online shopping, get your nails done, watch a feel good movie, treat yourself to a dinner out- whatever! Then, reflect on your day to appreciate the silver linings that happened, and then just maybe, you can say you had an okay day. Happy Spring, post-grads!

Note: NOT thinking of what you were doing a year ago at college (slumming it, drinking, easier life) every continuous day, WILL make it easier to realize your days aren’t so bad.

Cheers to 23 Years

Exactly 1 year ago today I was in Myrtle Beach, SC blowing up for Spring Break, and it just so happened to be my 22nd birthday. This year, I’m sober and getting ready for bed at 9 p.m. to wake up in the morning and adult. Bittersweet.

The timing of me being offered and accepting my first full-time job was like a birthday gift in itself. Finally stepping into adulthood and trading in my free time for a real paycheck. No more sleeping in on Tuesday mornings, Sunday Fundays, or binge watching in the middle of an afternoon weekday. However, I know that once I get into the groove of my new job and adjust, it’ll be well worth it.

Celebrating my birthday this past weekend was incredible, and I feel so humbled to have the friends that I have. Even though it was a regular night out, I had a great Saturday night in Mannyunk. Aside from having a good night out in lieu of my 23rd birthday, today I’ve thought of so many reasons to cheers to 23 years!

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Like I already said, the full time job was an incredible gift alone and something to feel fortunate about. Although it’s within an industry I’m unfamiliar with, I’m determined to stay optimistic. Every thing from here on out is a stepping stone towards one day landing my dream job, whether it’s through connections, good work ethic, grad school, or just being lucky, it all starts with my first real job.

To my very dearest friends, thank you for always wanting to celebrate and coming out! Over the years, I’ve always had a good celebration, even when I turned 21 and 6 of my closest friends were out of state or out of the country!

To the simple gifts that are the best gifts. The best gifts I’ve ever received were either homemade, thoughtful, or sincere. This year, I got a little of everything. A homemade memoir of our summer in sea isle, touching cards, and a book so perfectly and beautifully picked out for me.

To my family, who always celebrates in the most traditional sense. A homemade dinner at the birthday persons request, followed by homemade cake, that usually has a potluck of arranged candles, usually only amounting to no more than 2 or 3… But it’s always quaint, nice, and humbling.

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Maybe as we get older, birthdays become more simple and less stressful. This birthday was very laid back, but it may have been on of my best yet. I appreciated the day and weekend more because there was no expectation and hype that usually comes with it. I understand that both me and most of my friends are on a budget, so spending like crazy just for one person’s birthday isn’t an option, or a considerate idea. I never want someone to feel obligated to spend money they don’t have just for my birthday.

All of this being said, I think 23 year is going to be the best one yet, full of new experiences, opportunities and open doors, and lot of surprises. Looking forward!

 

Love Yourself

Valentine’s Day is, in my opinion, an overrated holiday filled with unnecessary expenses like flowers and chocolates that are overly priced this time of year due to the high demand. Oh, and don’t forget the $5 card from Hallmark that your significant other will most likely toss in the trash a week from now. However, the holiday holds a respectable meaning behind it, which is obviously love. A day to celebrate love, appreciation and gratefulness… kind of sounds like a similar holiday we already celebrate in November, but it’s fine.  Here ends my negativity towards the holiday, and why I now view it as more than just a day for people in relationships, which is what society has come to depict it as.

First off, Valentine’s Day was a lot cooler when the whole class was your Valentine. Everyone got a cute little card and a bag of candy, and your teacher would throw you a party with enough junk food to make you sick. February 14th used to be a lot easier and fun as a kid, then it got weird and hyped up in high school and college, but now it’s becoming pretty cool again.

As someone who has a lot of friends in relationships, it makes my heart so happy to see them in love not just today, but everyday.  And to see my guy friends step up to the plate for the day? Refreshing.

This year, according to other blogs and social media accounts I follow, the trend of “Galentine’s Day” is becoming progressively popular, which I think is awesome. Your girlfriends are the ones who let you bitch to them about the same things over and over again, talk you off the ledge when you have drinker’s remorse, drink a bottle of wine with you in the middle of the week just because, shop with you, kill the dance floor with you, and probably hold your hair back while throwing up after a long night out. WHY NOT appreciate these lovely ladies in your life on Valentine’s Day, they’re basically holding you together like glue! And to all of my girlfriends out there, and you know who you are, I love you to the moon & back.

I’m also feeling a lot of love for myself today as I recently started a new job in a  full-time position, finding my daily routine, planning exciting things for later in the year, and above all else, finding the happiness I deserve. Sometimes we don’t appreciate ourselves enough, so today can also be a day to reflect on the person you are and think about all the things you love about yourself. Be as conceited and self-absorbed as you want today, we deserve it.

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So, whoever you are, go out and treat yourself tonight! Whether it’s a bottle of wine, a pizza, dessert, a scratch off (guilty pleasure), or whatever it is you love, go get it! Because you are loved, appreciated and beautiful, and you definitely don’t need a life size teddy bear or flowers to tell you that. Love yourself, today and everyday.

Happy V-Day everyone, cheers!