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valentines day 2015

To fall in love, do this. That’s the name of a New York Times article that’s been making the rounds for the past couple of weeks. I first heard about the article on Hallie’s blog. It’s so interesting! The basic idea is that a psychologist performed a study where he discovered that he could cause two strangers to fall in love by having them answer a set of 36 personal questions.

The questions are broken up into 3 sets and the questions become more personal/intimate as you progress. Once you’re done answering the questions, you’re supposed to stare into the other person’s eyes for a period of four minutes. Answering these questions and maintaining eye contact creates an accelerated form of intimacy between the two people and a few of the couples in the study did, in fact, fall in love and get married.

Hallie answered a few of these questions on her blog and left an open call at the end of her post, so I thought it would be fun to answer a few of the questions too. I picked nine of the questions- three from each set. Hopefully you’ll get to know me a little better through these answers. Who knows? We might just fall in love…

Would you like to be famous? In what way? When I was younger, I thought it would be awesome to be famous. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be Beyoncé for a day? Now that I’m older and have realized that I’m definitely an introvert, I know there’s no way I could handle being famous. I value my privacy too much. Of course, I do have this little old blog where I share personal tidbits with total strangers… (Side note: Someone once asked me how I’m able to share personal stuff online and I couldn’t explain it very well at the time. I think it boils down to the fact that it’s much easier for me to write about my feelings and share them at a distance, than talk it over in person with someone).

Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why? No, not really. I’ve been in the “real world” for years now but telephone calls at work still make me a tiny bit nervous. I don’t think you can hear it in my voice, but when the phone rings I’m like, “Why are you calling me? Don’t you have email??”

If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want? I’m pretty sure I’d pick the mind. I recently watched The Theory of Everything and it was rather inspiring. Stephen Hawking was limited by his body in so many ways, but he was still able to do incredible things with his mind.

If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know? Here’s what I’d ask the crystal ball: Will I fall in love? Will I ever figure “it” out? Where will my siblings and I be in 20 years?

What do you value most in a friendship? Someone who I can just be myself with. When I hang out with my closest friends, I don’t have to be “on” and I don’t have to worry about friendship politics. We can just be.

If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why? Yikes, I’d change a bunch of things. I know that I’m not living my life to the fullest right now (probably not even up to 50%), so I’d stop settling in many aspects of my life and just do what I wanna do.

If you were going to become a close friend with your partner readers, please share what would be important for him or her to know. Give me donuts and we’ll be friends forever. Beyoncé is everything. I do not eat cheese- you must be able to wrap your head around this (You don’t even know how many friendships I’ve lost over this. Just kidding).

When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself? Hmmm, I can’t quite remember. Possibly when I found out my little brother had been in a car accident. The last time I cried by myself was last weekend when I watched 12 Years a Slave (that movie wrecked me).

Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why? I’d like to say my books, but in reality I’d probably try and grab all of the major electronics- computer, iPhone, camera.

If you read that article, I’d love to know what you think about the concept. Also, if you decide to write a post about this, link back here and to Hallie’s post so we can read your answers! (If you need to know how to fall out of love, read this humorous New Yorker post).

On January 23, 2015 · 4 Comments · In Life
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new york city guide

It’s crazy to think that I’ve been living in NYC for about three-and-a-half years now. I remember how excited/nervous I was when I first announced it in this post. I’m certainly no expert and I still hesitate to call myself a New Yorker, but living in the city has definitely taught me a few things. For anyone who’s thinking about moving here, I thought you might like to hear my perspective and for those who already live here, perhaps you can relate.

NYC on television is very different from NYC in real life. This seems like an obvious one, but let me explain. I think before you move here you have a certain picture of life in the city. Maybe that picture came from Sex and the City or maybe you’ve visited once or twice before. I went to college in Connecticut and visited New York on several occasions while I was in school. When I graduated and knew that I was moving to Manhattan, I thought I knew what to expect. Boy was I wrong. There are some things you won’t fully understand until you actually live here. Yes, there are the glamorous landmarks, but there’s also the smelly and crowded subways, the 6th floor walk-ups, and the muscles you’ll develop from carrying your heavy groceries for several blocks. This is not to discourage anyone, just to point out that the reality is a lot grittier than what they portray on the small/big screen.

– Apartment hunting is no joke. I thought writing my senior theses in college was stressful, but that almost seemed like a cake walk compared to hunting for my first apartment in the city. I think if you talk to anyone who knows me, they’ll tell you that I’m not easily stressed, but during that time period I was ready to gouge out my eyes and pull out my hair (pretty picture, no?). I’ve moved around in the city a couple of times now and I think I’ve picked up a few tips along the way, but that’s another conversation. I have not met one single person who enjoys moving in the city. If you are moving here, do tons of research and gird your loins.

– You can do a lot with a little. I think *80% of the population is the city is making just enough to get by (*this is not a real statistic, just a number that I totally made up!). You may not be making a ton of money, but it is possible to live here. You’ll start cooking meals at home or learn how to stretch that Seamless order into two meals. Chances are you’ll be living in a smaller space, so you’ll learn how to take advantage of every single storage opportunity (under the bed, on top of the shelf, the oven…). Items with multiple functions or devices that collapse for easy storage are your best friends. There are times when money is very tight and I ask myself if it’s really worth it to be paying an arm and a leg for rent. For me, the answer is yes.

Opportunity is everywhere. There’s so much to do and see in the city, it’s impossible to be bored. You all know that I’m a homebody, so I’m not always hitting up a new bar or sampling the latest restaurant. However, when I do want to venture outside, there’s a plethora of activities to choose from. Living in the city and writing this blog has given me access to some cool opportunities and I’m grateful. Every once in a while, I’ll have a perfect NYC moment where I feel so lucky to be living here. Those moments are the best because they allow me to fall in love with the city all over again.

Some days are the best, some days are the worst. I don’t think this is specific to NYC, but perhaps it’s a bit intensified here. Some days I am loving life here and other days I get my lease renewal or see my credit card bill and I’m in total despair. When you’re living here, you hustle, you bustle, and often you struggle. The city takes and it gives. There’s an amazing energy that comes from being surrounded by people of all different backgrounds, but there’s also utter exhaustion when it feels like you’ve given everything you got. When I first moved here, I was fresh out of college and I wasn’t sure I could hack it. Slowly I began to think of New York City as home and for the moment I can’t imagine living anywhere else.

All of these thoughts were swirling in my head because I was working on my NYC Guide. I’ve toyed with the idea for a long time now and I was hesitant because I didn’t think I had anything to offer. Occasionally people ask me for recommendations though, so I thought maybe at least a few people would like to know about the things/places I like in the city. Of course this is not a comprehensive list, just a few places that I would highly recommend. I’ll be updating this page as I discover new places and I hope you’ll find at least one good suggestion on my list.

Apparently reflecting makes me mushy because I am having some feels right now. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post and my blog in general. It’s amazing when I think about how long some of you have been reading this little old blog! I shared some of my resolutions last week, but one resolution that wasn’t on that list was to try and write a few longer posts like this one. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while, but of course it’s always harder to hit publish when you’re getting more personal and putting your opinions out there. Depending on how this goes, I’d like to do longer posts like this on certain topics and hopefully they will spark a bit of discussion. How does that sound to you?

(image via)

On January 16, 2015 · 22 Comments · In Life
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2015 Resolutions 600x400

For most of my long break I was a lazy bum, but sadly vacation has come to an end. I’m trying to use this day to get up and get organized, so I thought it would be the perfect time to share a few of my resolutions for 2015. I mentioned this last year, but I do like to set resolutions/goals at the beginning of each new year. Sometimes I do really well and other times I utterly fail. It’s more important to me though that I try, rather than beat myself up for the goals that I don’t complete. Here are a few things that I’d like to work on in 2015.

– Finances. This is a constant struggle for me and things got a bit out of control during the holiday season. In 2015 I’d like to get back on track and work harder on living within my means. That means more cooking at home, fewer nights out and fewer impulse purchases.

– Take a trip. Somewhere, anywhere! In 2014 I didn’t really travel and that was a major bummer. I did go to Philly once in March and to visit my family in California in December, but other than those two times, I didn’t leave New York. The hope is that if I do well with the goal above, I can set aside a some money for a mini-vacation sometime later in the year. This goal should give me some incentive to work on goal #1 because I really think that not getting away last year was not good for my physical/mental health.

– Journal more. I’ve always wanted to be able to journal consistently. Usually I can manage to write daily for a few weeks or so, then inevitably I taper off. I’ve tried one of those “one-line-a-day journals” and I’ve sort of kept up with that. Some days I remember to write in my physical journal, but most days I don’t. I recently bought a digital journaling app called Day One because I thought it might be easier to add entries daily if I could type them. I’ve been using the bullet journal method since last February and that’s actually worked really well for me. I use it more for planning and jotting down notes though, and this year I’d like to try and use it as a logbook as well, as described in this blog post. I like the idea of jotting down little bits and facts from my day and I think this would be easier to maintain. Also, there’d be nothing to stop me from writing longer entries that day if I felt like it. The gist of this is that I’d like to try a few different methods and hopefully one of them will stick.

– Write more letters. I still think that sending snail mail is really important, but in the last year or so I’ve been majorly slacking on this front. I have plenty of pretty stationery that’s going unused and that’s just a shame. I’d like to dedicate a half-hour during the week to writing notes to friends and family to let them know that I’m thinking of them and that I care.

I hope your 2015 is off to a good start. If you’ve made any resolutions that you’d like to share, I’d love to hear about them in the comments down below.

(image via)

On January 5, 2015 · 30 Comments · In Life
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On this final day in 2014 (remind me how we’re here already?), I thought it would be fun to look back on the year. I always like reflecting around this time of year and this past week I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’d like to accomplish in 2015. One of those things is continuing to work hard on this blog. I’m very proud of the work that I put into this blog in 2014 and I want to continue to improve my little corner of the internet.

We’ll talk more about some of my 2015 resolutions on Friday, but for now I wanted to share my five favorite style, beauty, and lifestyle posts this year (click the image to go to the original post):

STYLE

Leather and Leopard

Claire Outlander Navy Blue Coat shoulders

peplum top with skirt

fall capsule wardrobe shirts

Christmas Card1

BEAUTY

Essie Spring 2014

Perfectly Paired Under 40 Dresses and Nail Polish

Rimmel Salon Pro Lycra

My Manicure Routine Thumbnail 600x337

Miyu De Stress Mi Beauty Tea

LIFE

Jean Paul Gaultier The Boudoir 600x600

Handmade Birthday Presents

Garance Dore Open Studio

Prom 2006 Stockdale High School

apple pie 600x600

Thank you so much for your continual support! You all are definitely a big part of what keeps me going and why I love pouring my time and energy into this blog.

On December 31, 2014 · 16 Comments · In Life
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