the latest

tax day: a nightmare IRL

Though it’s a great creative outlet and gives me some extra cash for luxurious things (like traveling, new shoes, and manicures), freelancing isn’t always a breeze. Cue: taxes.

I consider myself to be pretty financially responsible. I have a retirement savings plan, invest in the stock market, pay my credit card bill in full every month, and thrive at department store clearance racks. But taxes are a whole other game.

ilana2.gif

Luckily, my trusty accountant (known to me as “Dad”) has been Turbo Tax-ing for me for the last few years. I’ve previously gotten sizable refunds, so this year, I was shocked to find out I’d be getting nothing…and instead, owed the government a good chunk of change. I’d been planning to upgrade my computer with the return I expected, but, alas, I wrote checks to the IRS.

As a freelancer, I got a stack of 1099s in the mail, chronicling my earnings for the various media outlets I write for. I started putting money aside last year to pay my 2017 taxes, and ended up transferring those funds to a high yield savings account. I earned about $100 in interest in a year, so I highly recommend it. (I used American Express.)

ilana1

I feel like financial security is something that’s often overlooked, especially by millennials. My parents grew up pinching pennies, so they’ve always been frugal, a practice that has rubbed off on me a little. I have expensive taste and don’t think twice about the occasional splurge, but I get most of my wardrobe from low-brow retailers like Zara, bring my lunch to work 90% of the time, and have drastically cut back on fancy coffees.

Anyway, I guess the lesson here is that I should start saving for next year’s taxes right now. Sigh.

Advertisements
Standard
the latest

elements of a dream job, according to me

It’s been kind of weird realizing that work is, in fact, “work” and isn’t always fun. As I spend more time in the workforce and have gotten to peek in to various office environments, I’ve started keeping a mental list of everything there would be in my dreamy perfect corporate environment (though I doubt I’ll ever find a job with these elements). What’s on the top of your workplace wish list

An office dog.

I once worked in a dog-friendly office building and seeing pups in the elevator every day made me so happy.

The Office Dwight GIF-source.gif

Somewhere to take a nap.

Or at least a daily nap-time allotment. Being an adult is exhausting, ok?!??

Diet Coke on tap.

Or seltzer. Along with plenty of ice. One place I previously worked had a whole soda fountain available for free…but it was disappointingly stocked with Pepsi products.

The ability to do my nails at my desk without feeling self-conscious.

When I was an intern, the girl who sat next to me used to do this and I always thought it was ballsy AF. Honestly, I’d probably do this now if someone would invent scent-free nail polish.

An expense account.

Remember that Seinfeld episode when Elaine goes a little nuts with her corporate card? That’s what I have in mind.

 

 

Standard
the latest

my favorite words

I make a living playing with words, whether it’s writing an advertisement or describing various types of food and drink. These are some of my very favorite words (in alphabetical order), along with images that remind me of them.

Demure.

A teacher once described me as “demure” and it sounds so much nicer than “quiet.”

tumblr_p37o2dYBG01tat1bvo1_1280


Effervescent.

The only thing better than “eternal.”

1dd1ef72e07fcf908f9296b8cf39dea8


Grace.

Jealous of anyone named this.

tumblr_o9kq1cyMLZ1vnbynno1_1280


Quintessential.

Because why would you say “essential” when you could say “quintessential?”

tumblr_obwya0pyM51qz6f9yo1_1280


Sparkle.

Clothes, eyes, smiles, sunlight…everything sparkles.

tumblr_p13t2aVqhN1vkw9ago1_1280


Summer.

It just makes me happy, especially when used as a verb.

tumblr_nyi5tyCxdZ1s7qfzno1_1280


 

Wander.

Like “travel,” but more wistful.

tumblr_p5mwfrQU521th8ngro1_1280

Standard
the latest

calories worth consuming

It’s no secret that I love to eat. I appreciate all kinds of food, whether it’s a super fancy pizza or an old standby, like a vanilla cone from Dairy Queen. A lot of times, I’d rather skip a snack or wait for something better instead of “wasting” calories on a food item not worth its value in flavor.

I gave up “sweets” for Lent, and though I’ve had a few pieces of banana bread (technically a breakfast food!!) and some dark chocolate (to scare off starvation in Iceland!), it’s been a challenge. I usually end each day with something sweet – often a scoop of frozen yogurt (Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food is a go-to) or something dipped in chocolate hummus. It’s gotten me thinking about the foods that are worth eating, no matter how much fat or sugar it contains. Here’s my definitive list.

Ice cream.

I only buy frozen yogurt or low-fat ice cream to keep at home, so when I go “out” for ice cream, I want the good stuff. Full fat. Maybe a waffle cone. Maybe a sundae if I’m feeling famished.

the best things in life are pistachio-flavored 🍦

A post shared by Allison Russo (@nycismyboyfriend) on

Wine.

Especially rosé. Especially in warm weather.

Necessary. #humpday #rosé #repost @quaintrellebyab

A post shared by Allison Russo (@nycismyboyfriend) on

Pizza.

Again…the good stuff. Stringy mozz. Not-too-sweet tomato sauce. Lots of fresh basil. Maybe some kind of spicy pork product. Mike’s Hot Honey if you have it.

weekends are a lifestyle 🍕 #thisisfall #franklinave #fiordilatte @barboncinopizza

A post shared by Allison Russo (@nycismyboyfriend) on

Doughnuts.

I probably have four doughnuts a year, so they need to be good to be worth eating. One of this allotment is reserved for an apple cider doughnut each fall. In January, I had a doughnut from Kane’s, a Boston icon that lived up to the hype.

preferred breakfast spread 🍩 #sweets via @glitterguide @caitlinkruse

A post shared by Allison Russo (@nycismyboyfriend) on

Brunch.

Belgian waffles, pancakes, and allll the whipped cream. Plus maple syrup. And fresh berries. Nothing like a midday sugar high.

new post is up…spoiler: boys scientifically don't really hate brunch. #linkinbio

A post shared by Allison Russo (@nycismyboyfriend) on

Good bread.

I told you I’m obsessed with carbs. Not sandwich bread, or pita bread, but real, crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside bread. Preferably with lots of Kate’s butter and a little salt on top.

Standard
the latest

all that glitters is…silver?

Lately, I’ve been trying to step up my accessory game. My closet is literally overflowing with clothes, so instead of adding to that inventory, I’m making an effort to style forgotten pieces of clothing with new jewelry.

That’s why I was PUMPED when I learned more about Rocksbox, a jewelry subscription that lets you try out all kinds of designer jewelry before you commit to buying it. I’m always hesitant to order earrings online because it’s hard to tell how big they are, and whether or not they’ll be too heavy for my ears…so this experience has been amazing so far.

I almost exclusively wear silver jewelry, so I listed that as a preference when I took the initial style quiz. They have products from some of my favorite labels like Kate Spade, Gorjana, Kendra Scott, and House of Harlow 1960, so there was tons of stuff I immediately added to my wish list. Can you tell I’m a sucker for statement earrings?

I’m not a salesperson, but this is a subscription box that I’d seen on Instagram and heard good things about…so it’s been super exciting for me to be a part of Rocksbox.

You can also apply the $21 monthly fee as a credit towards a purchase from your box, so it’s a win-win situation. Not to mention that they have a ton of insanely cute stuff that’s up to 40% off the retail price.

If you wanna check it out, click here and get a free month! You can be an #RBItGirl, too.

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Rocksbox.

Unlimited Jewelry? Yes Please!

Standard
the latest

binge-worthy shows

I love TV. Like, a lot. Whether it’s a seven-season sitcom or drama mini-series, if it’s quality television, I’m there. I guess “quality TV” is kind of subjective. There are shows that I like to watch (like Law & Order: SVU) that I realize aren’t in the canon of critically exceptional TV, but I appreciate them for what they are and consider them binge-worthy. Here are some others.

The Honorable Woman

Ok, I haven’t finished watching yet, but HOW HAD I NEVER HEARD OF THIS?! I’ve never been a big fan of Maggie Gyllenhaal, but this eight-part series is sooooo good. Everything from the cast to the script to the cinematography to the story. I promise you won’t hate it.

This Is Us

I hate cliffhangers and having to wait a week for a new episode, so this is a show that I have to binge-watch. I find Mandy Moore pretty annoying in this show, but there are so many other A+ characters that I’ve been a devout watcher.

The Handmaid’s Tale

If you haven’t watched the first season, do it now. I’ve been waiting for literally a year for the second season to come out, and this show deserves all the hype and awards it’s received. Television like this is a reminder of how powerful the medium can be.

Broad City

On a lighter note, Broad City is one of my favorite comedy series, and the short episodes (around 22 minutes) make for perfect bingeing. I don’t have cable, so I have to wait til these guys come out on Hulu to watch…which just means I can stream a whole season in one day.

Mindhunter

I love Criminal Minds and SUV, so this show was a no-brainer binge-watcher for me. I’m not a huge fan of the casting choice for the main character, but I appreciate the production value of this series. Plus, it’s fascinating to see how behavior analysis began at the FBI.

Standard
the latest

an ode to carbs

I’m willing to try almost any diet trend. I was a vegetarian for years. I’d LOVE to go eat at a vegan restaurant. I’ve drastically cut back on dairy, save for frozen yogurt and cheese indulgences. But one thing I’ll never quit? Carbs.

I don’t know why anyone would voluntarily decide to be gluten-free. If I could eat one thing for the rest of my life, it would probably be pizza. Or pasta. Or really crusty French bread with well-salted butter. Or a perfectly made BLT…I love a sandwich. Even freakin’ God said we’re supposed to eat “daily bread.” (Ok, that might be a stretch.)

For Lent this year, I gave up sweets. I realize that “sweets” is a pretty general categorization, and I haven’t 100% followed my sacrifice, but it hasn’t been too bad. (Though I’m not particularly religious, I usually give up some kind of food or drink for Lent every year since by this point I’ve fallen off my “new year, new body” kick.)

But I don’t think I’ll ever be able to fully quit bread. Why would you give up something that tastes so good? That’s so filling? So cheap??? When you’re at a restaurant, isn’t pizza or pasta usually the most inexpensive thing on the menu? Move over, filet mignon. I’ll take a loaf of bread over you any day.

Standard