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24 years later

Another year older, another year (I feel a little) wiser. Birthdays are bittersweet for me, but when I think about where I am on today, this year, versus where I was on this day last year (job-hunting, dating two jerks, unhappy), I feel so, so, so, so, so grateful.

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I made a lot of hard decisions at the end of my 23rd year…I chose to take a break from New York, to leap for a job outside of my comfort zone, to re-evaluate my priorities in life, and to really set goals for myself. I’m really happy with these decisions so far, and I’m so goddamn excited for my 24th year.

My birthday always makes me think about the future. Will I feel different next year, when I turn 25? What about 28? Or 30? Will I be married? Have kids? A mortgage? Stop coloring my hair?  It’s a mystery, but there is definitely some stuff I want to accomplish in the next few years. So, true to form, I’ve made a list. And I’ve given myself a pretty big window. Anything I should add?

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24 things i want for my 24th birthday

I shared my general holiday/birthday wish list with you guys around Christmastime, but here is an updated version featuring TWENTYFOUR things (material and hypothetic) in honor of my 24th birthday on January 31.

1. Better sleep quality.

2. REALLY REALLY REALLY good Neapolitan-style pizza.

3. These Brother Vellies boots.

4. A massage.

5. La Mer face cream.

6. This way-too-trendy Chloe bag that I can’t stop thinking about.

7. To stay at The Plaza Hotel for one night.

8. Tickets to Hamilton.

9. Doughnuts from Kane’s.

10. To see James Turrell’s Roden Crater.

11. Those shiny number balloons that every basic bitch takes a pic with on her birthday.

12. Love Style Life by Garance Doré.

13. Rose gold Birkenstocks.

14. Flowers.

15. Lunch with Mindy Kaling.

16. A custom necklace from Smith + Mara.

Monday chill pill 👌🏼 #pills #monday #intials #custom #diamonds

A post shared by SMITH + MARA (@smithandmara) on

17. A Kale Caesar salad from sweetgreen.

18. Warm weather.

19. A bath in a clawfoot tub.

20. Chocolate cake. (I’m going to make this one.)

21. A jacket exactly like this but with my last name on it.

22. I Hope You Find Me: The Love Poems of craigslist’s Missed Connections by Alan Feuer.

23. A Moroccan wedding blanket. (I regret not buying one of these when I was in Marrakech every. damn. day.)

24. A weighted blanket, which was marketed to me once as “Advil PM for your whole body” and now I’m going to die if I don’t get one.

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places

my no-fail packing list

One of my resolutions for 2018 was to travel more, so I’m super excited to already have two trips planned. Both are long weekend adventures, so I’ll be squeezing everything into my carry-on suitcase. In addition to the basics like passports and tickets, I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks for making traveling as comfortable as possible.

Since you can’t bring liquids through airport security, I definitely suggest bringing an empty water bottle with you. Fill it up in the bathroom before you board, and keep track of it during the whole trip – paying for water is my biggest pet peeve, and unless you’re going somewhere where the tap water is undrinkable, keeping that bottle in your purse will save you lots of $$$.

Sunglasses are the #1 thing I ALWAYS forget, so those are usually the first thing on my packing list. Painkillers, like Advil, are another thing that is super annoying to spend money on when you’re supposed to be on vacation. Bring a small bottle with you along with your prescription meds.

What are some things that are always on your packing lists? Comment below!

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P.S. Pin this handy graphic to your travel-inspired Pinterest board for quick reference!

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my wish list this year

Last month, I wrote about why gift-giving is so important to me. I enjoy exchanging gifts with my family and friends, and every year I send my parents a list of gift ideas (I promise, they appreciate the suggestions) to be used for Christmas or my birthday- which is in January! So, I thought I’d share a few of the things I asked for this year in case you need an incredibly last minute idea for the lucky lady in your life.

a new calendar.

I ask for a new calendar from Rifle Paper Co. almost every year. It’s one of the first things I see when I wake up in the morning, and the charming illustrations and quaint text always bring a smile to my face. I especially love the travel ones.

pajamas.

In line with my ongoing quest for improved sleep quality, I requested a pretty pajama set for Christmas this year. I picked out a pair at Marshalls that I liked, but the offerings from Kate Spade, Ralph Lauren, and Hill House Home (below) are particularly cute.

shoes.

I ask for shoes every year, and never get any…probably because on a scale of 1-10, I have a Carrie Bradshaw amount of shoes in my closet. Anyway, I’ve been lusting after pairs from Mansur Gavriel, Dear Frances, and Brother Vellies (below).

 

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another year, another 3 resolutions

Well…2016 is finally coming to an end. I think a lot of people have mixed feelings about this past year–for me, it was definitely a rollercoaster. SO much has changed in the last twelve months. I graduated from college, got a 9-5 job, and moved twice. It’s kind of crazy how unprepared I felt for it all, and how many added responsibilities I now have.

2016 coming to an end has me thinking about where I’ll be this time next year. There are still a lot of things I want to do, like get a Master’s degree and live abroad (maybe I can combine these two…), so who knows if either of those will become a reality over the next twelve months.

This time of year is always overwhelming, between Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s eve, and my birthday (it’s a busy two months!), but I wanted to take time to make a list of my resolutions for 2017.

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1. Have dates with myself. I’ve found myself wistfully scrolling through Instagram and seeing cool gallery exhibits, pop-up eateries, and outdoor installations, yet never actually go to these things–even though tons of them are right here in NYC! I want to make more of an effort to actually go to these kinds of things, even if I can’t find someone else who wants to tag along.

2. Get my finances in order. I started working on this a few months ago when I realized that I have to pay taxes (yay, freelancing!). But I definitely want to get my expenses in order so I can invest and save the rest.

3. STOP CARING ABOUT BOYS! I literally sound like a broken record but I am so sick of spending time and energy on dead-end relationships. I promise to work on this so I can stop whining about it…

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things to be thankful for any time of year

 

Last winter, I went kind of all-out with New Year’s resolution posts. Since we just celebrated Thanksgiving and we’re now approaching the end of 2016 (YIKES), I wanted to reflect on how I’ve tackled my goals as well on the kind of things we should resolve to do more often.

Last December, I resolved to keep doing me. I wanted to focus on being my best, happiest self, and have been trying to rid my life of all things toxic. I had an amazing 2015. I studied abroad, worked hard in school, and got an internship that helped me get to where I am today. So far in 2016, I had another incredible internship, graduated from college, and landed a great job. I’ve also been selling my writing and feel like I can finally say, with confidence, that I’m a writer.

I’m thankful for a lot of things when I wake up every day–I’m grateful I was able to stay in NYC after finishing school, I’m grateful that I get to work in an industry I’ve always dreamed of, I’m grateful that I’m healthy, and I’m grateful for the good things to come. Anyway, here are things we can all be thankful for, all the time.giphy-8

be thankful for…

Happy hour.

Whoever pays for your Netflix account. And just Netflix, in general.

Instagram filters.

Double star days at Starbucks.

Free shipping.

The pizza delivery guy who works rain or shine.

 

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no fail* travel tips

I’m not going to try to sell myself as a cool, hip globetrotter. You may or may not know that I spent a semester abroad my junior year and managed to visit 8 countries in ~5 months, and I’ve been to like 40 states in America (including Alaska and Hawaii, so THERE) thanks to my parents’ shared passion for domestic travel and national parks.

In my 22 years of traveling, I like to think I’ve picked up a few (almost) no fail tips and tricks for making every journey a success–whether you’re with your family or your drinking buddies.

1. For the love of God, don’t get on a tour bus.

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Ok, ok, that was a little dramatic. I’ve done my fair share of bus tours on family trips, and they definitely come with pros and cons. If you’re in a foreign country (where you don’t speak the language) for a limited amount of time, a tour bus could be a good option. You won’t have to spend time trying to understand the local public transit system, and if it’s a “hop on, hop off” kind of deal, it’s basically a free shuttle around the city. But OH MY GOD do not take one in New York. I don’t understand why anyone would come to NYC, look at all the traffic, and decide to hop on a freaking bus. Take the subway, rent a bike, or take a city bus.

2. Go where the Anthropologie is.

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This is a rule of thumb I have for finding cute shopping neighborhoods in large cities. And it doesn’t have to be Anthropologie (if you’re in Amsterdam, try Dille & Kamille), but looking up boutique-y stores like this will usually land you in a trendy, non-commercialized shopping district. Just make sure it’s not far from the city center, because then you’ll probably end up at a mall. Not the worst thing, but you know.

3. STAY! TOGETHER!!

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This is especially important if you’re abroad and can only iMessage/WhatsApp over WiFi! Organize your schedule ahead of time so everyone gets to see what they want without getting separated. And if you must split up, agree on a very specific meeting place. Not “outside of the Louvre” but “in front of the rightmost table at the outdoor cafe on the right side of the third pyramid at the Louvre.” Got it?

4. Back it up.

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My phone is constantly out of storage. Literally twice a week, I’ll try to take a picture and my phone won’t let me. To avoid this problem when traveling, be thorough and back up your whole phone to your iCloud/laptop/hard drive/whatever before a big trip, and then delete the photos form your actual phone so it has room for all your selfies!

Happy trails!!

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