favorite lunch boxes

My college was a bit obsessed with recycling and protecting our planet that after four years, I too became a bit obsessed with preventing waste and recycling. At my first job after college, I enforced recycling efforts and put recycling bins in everyone’s offices. If I saw someone throw out a water bottle, I would ask if they were going to recycle it to nudge them a bit.  I am sure I was really annoying, but after a few weeks the office cleaning staff had a lot more recycling to cart away than they ever did before.

Now post college I don’t have signs up everywhere reminding me to recycle or the appropriate bins to throw out my aluminum cans or water bottles. While it may take me an extra few steps to recycle something or to bring it home with me to recycle later, I still am committed to protecting our planet.

One of my biggest life changes is no longer using plastic bags to pack up my lunches or dinners if I am working late. I bought Sistema plastic containers to pack up my lunches and most of the time I just bring my entire bag of goldfish with me instead of putting it into an extra plastic bag.

I also bought a few small bags that I can bring my lunch into work everyday, no cartoons are included! I walk into work with my purse and lunch bag everyday, and sure I look like a bag lady, but I know I am doing the right thing for my planet.

Head on over to Target and buy yourself some tupperware and a cute lunch box. Homegoods always has cute ones too and it is a great way to help the environment!

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summer to do list

It was a cold and rainy spring, but then over night the sun and summer heat arrived! With all of this sunshine it makes going to work everyday a little bit more difficult. I have a lot I want to get done this summer. So I made a list and hope I can get it all done!

Here is my summer to do list!

Go through my wardrobe and purge
Every season when I bring out new clothes out of storage and I have to justify putting it back into my closet. Since my days are spent in the office, I donated a lot of my going out or casual summer clothes because they only collected dust in my closet.

Update Your Resume
Now is a good time to update your resume so it can list all of your accomplishments and skills.

Work Out
Since all of my free time is spent on the beach or at my pool, I need to make sure my body stays in shape! With the warmer weather, it makes it easier to go for a run on the boardwalk or long walks on the beach after work.

Visit Other Beaches
Even though I do live on a beach in Jersey, my family and I rent a beach house every summer in LBI to feel like a tourist on a beach. There’s a long list of beaches I want to visit in Jersey this summer and I hope to cross them off the list!

Ice Cream
I don’t know how I don’t gain 100 pounds because of my ice cream consumption every summer.

Farmers Markets
This may be my favorite part of my summer. There is a farmers market that is in walking distance from my house and I could spend hundreds of dollars on fresh veggies and fruits.

Start a Project
When the summer temperatures prevent us from going outdoors, have a project you can work on indoors. To be honest, that is how I got most of our home renovations done because I was bored and couldn’t go to the beach. One summer, I was able to organize all of our family photos and last summer I painted and redesigned our second floor.

Explore Your City
Take advantage of those summer days and walk around your town or city like a tourist. Go to a restaurant that only the tourists go to and spend time walking around.

Try a New Fruity Drink at the Bar
To be honest, I am a little intimidated by the drink list at bars. This summer I hope to just go down the list and try a few things to see what I like. Obviously, not all at once, but throughout the summer I hope to check them off my list!

Drink More Water!
With the warmer weather, your body needs more water! I just bought a new tumbler from Starbucks so now I can carry it wherever I go so I can keep up with this goal.

Wear More Lilly
It is officially summer for me when I take my Lilly Pulitzer dresses out of storage!

Celebrating Jeffy on Father’s Day + A Gift Guide

IMG_2389I love my family so much. I know a lot of college graduates who moved home after college, jumped through hoops to move out of their parents house so they could get their own apartment. This is my third year after college graduation and I am still living with my parents, but at the same time I am not trying that hard to move out either. My family is the world to me. I was blessed to grow up in such a supporting and loving family. I am taking this new phase in my life, being an adult living with my parents, as this opportunity to get to know my parents better as people.. For years our parents drove us places, made a home for us and did a million things on the side for me to grow up as a happy child with everything I ever wanted.IMG_4460IMG_4154

When I was a little kid, I never really understood the significance of Father’s Day. I would get a card, a gift and we would do a family breakfast before heading to the beach. When someone is in your daily life everyday, I think we don’t realize how much they do for us. When I went away for college, I would call or text my dad when I needed someone to listen. He would always respond with something corny or a classic dad quote. I called him crying one day because I got a B+ as a final grade in my Management course, and he told me that “a B is for beautiful like me”. I was sobbing, but had to cry because it was so corny. He never cared about the grades I got because he knew the pressure I put on myself. He wanted to know how much fun I was having in college and tease me for being in the library insisting I go out and have fun.IMG_2961IMG_5686

When I moved back home after college, my family and I went through a rough few months dealing with my dads health. There were days we had to rush him to the hospital and there were times I was hyperventilating on the hospital floor afraid he wasn’t coming home. My dad was hooked up to wires after heart surgery trying to make me feel better when I should have been the one reassuring him that. My dad always puts the needs of others before his own. While he was on bed rest in the hospital after his stroke, I remember climbing into bed with him and my mom had to pry me off when the nurses had to do his checkup. I never took my dad for granted, but when I saw my dad sick I realized I needed to show him more how much he means to me. He is the strongest guy I know with the biggest heart. Always willing to help out and always giving me money before I walk out the door in case I need it. We still walk together and hold hands even though I am all grown up. That is one thing that will never change between us. IMG_2967IMG_2407

The funny thing is that we bicker a lot when we are doing projects together because we have the same exact personality. The bickering quickly turns into us laughing I promise! I get my reckless driving and parallel parking skills from him along with his sense of humor. I am my father’s daughter in every way!IMG_160313381276_511868612356796_2110208174_n

I made a goal to tell my dad everyday how much I appreciate him by saying good night before I go up to bed or putting his shoes away. It is the little things that show someone how much we really care. However, you cannot just say you love your dad on Father’s Day and show up empty handed. So I put together a little Father’s Day gift guide to inspire you to run to Target and grab a card as well as get a little something that dads need.

 

 

J Crew Factory Mens Button Down Shirt / J Crew Factory Shorts / Ray Bans /Record Player / Jord Watch/ Coffee Travel Mug / Snacks / Multi Port Phone Charger / A Card

 

How To Get Your Life Together

Late last night, one of my best friends texted me that they wanted to understand themselves better. I read the text and followed up with a question to get more information from them. It was a short, vague statement that needed more explaining. My friend explained that they felt like their life was a mess and they couldn’t find their place in this world. The only response I could think of was to tell them that all of us are a mess, just some of us are better at hiding it from others. My friend was not looking for this type of answer, but it is all I could think of. In our lives, we get to a place when everything gets repetitive, we want to furnish our lives with pretty things, but the low balance in our checking account is constantly looming over us. We want someone to come into our lives tell us what career path we should have, what friends are worth our time and to find us an apartment and stock up the fridge for us. But we are all adults now, so we have to get our life together ourselves. We used to fill up our free time being social with friends, but now sitting on a couch in pajamas after work sounds a lot more fun. We are constantly tired and fill our schedules with things that have to get done and carry that to do list around with us. When was the last time you woke up and had nothing to do or had nothing planned for that day? For me, it was in January and since then I have been moving full speed ahead without stopping.

The conversation with my friend fizzled out as all text conversations do, neither of us had the answer we were both looking for. I was up all night thinking about my friends question though, how do I get my life together?

  1. Sit Down and List Your Priorities

Earlier this week I went to bed with damp sheets because I washed them, but forgot to throw them in the dryer before I went to bed. For me my priorities are family, work, friends, me time and organizing/cleaning, though they don’t always go in that order. The rank of my priorities shift from day to day, but knowing what is most important going into my day, helps me be the most productive. I like to keep my priorities in check when I get overwhelmed. I can’t accomplish everything, but sitting on the couch with my parents to watch a movie together is sometimes more important than loading the dishwasher before I go to bed.

2. Know How Much Time You Have

Before I start my week, I like to sit down and see what hours I am working, what hours I have free to do stuff and how many hours I have that I can pamper myself. I usually work 45-48 hours a week, so if I don’t take time to designate when I can get certain things done, I find myself drowning in things I cannot accomplish the whole week. If I know I have four hours of free time before work on some days, I can schedule to get certain things done before work. I like to plan my week in advance, if I don’t I have set myself up for failure. I try to get as much done as I can before I go to work, because I know after a long day at work the last thing I want to do is do anything besides lay in bed and eat pasta!

3. Know Where Your Money Is

When was the last time you checked your bank account? With technology and everything being online, you don’t have an excuse not to check your bank account. I like to check my accounts at least once a week to make sure my checking account has enough money in their to cover my expenses. I have all of my bills automatically come out of my checking account to make sure I don’t fall behind on payments. I also know how much money goes out a month for bills, so I have my checking account set up so I always have enough to pay them. Over a year ago, I signed up for Mint and it helped me so where I spend my money. It helps track your purchases and then helps you budget your finances. Money can be an uncomfortable subject, but if you stay on top of it and know where you are spending money, you can see where you can cut back and when you can splurge. Just because you have money sitting in your savings account does not mean you should use it. Look at your finances and look at your near future goals. Get comfortable putting money aside that you won’t use to pay off a student loan or a credit card with. Put money in your savings to actually save for the future. Right now my family is getting ready to sell our house and move, and I know I will need money for moving expenses. I don’t want it to be a big shock to my account when I start spending money.

4. Bring Your Own Coffee

Speaking of finances, I am going to share how you can save $20 a week. Stop buying Starbucks or lunch! Make your own coffee and spend your money on groceries instead of eating out or buying coffee during the week. I give myself one day a week when I will buy a coffee, but even on those days I usually still bring my own. I will buy the Starbucks K Cups and make my coffee in the morning and will make a lunch the night before. Stock up on snacks and food you can make into quick lunches when you do your weekly food shop. Another way to save money, don’t buy drinks when you are out. I have plastic reusable water bottles I keep filled in the fridge so I can grab one on my way out in the morning. I also buy a container of Snapple or Diet Cokes at Wegmans and leave them in my car and some in the fridge. They are a like a $1 each if you buy them at the food store, compared to $2-$3 if you buy them at a convenience store. Every penny saved does add up!

5. Make Time For Friends

Most of my friendships are long distance, so we have to get creative on how to stay in touch. With technology, we can send each other daily Snapchats, like each others photos on Instagram or stalk their Facebook pages to see what we are all up to. Check in with your friends to see how they are doing. Send them an emoji or ask them about a post you saw on Facebook that they posted. It is difficult sometimes to start a conversation when you don’t see one another every day, but make an effort. Some of my friends and I will write a long paragraphs to each other to update each other in our lives. We don’t expect an immediate response or a response at all, just write to say hello or check in. I have one friend who is very busy with work and school so our conversations usually take 4 days to send and reply to a text conversation that usually is only 6 texts. We are not that great at responding, but it is the effort that counts!

6. Accept You Cannot Get Everything Done

When my friend got overwhelmed that they couldn’t get control of their life, I had to explain that very few of us do. Instead of waking up worrying about all the things we cannot control, wake up accepting you will get done what you can that day. Try to make the best of it. That credit card statement can sit there and you can pay the minimum. Laundry can sit there for another day. Your fridge can sit empty, order in! Instead of stressing out about it, do what you can and try again tomorrow.

7. Make Plans With Friends

I worked with a girl for four months before I finally got the courage to ask her to grab dinner or to see a movie after work one day. It sounds silly, but making friends in your twenties is more challenging than finding a date! I finally went up to her and made small talk and blurted out if she wanted to see a movie. It was awkward. It was improper English. But she just laughed and she replied that she wanted to ask me to hang out as well, just didn’t know how. Now we are good friends and continue to make plans outside of work. It may seem intimidating, but just ask someone if they want to get tacos or coffee sometime. I have been asking multiple people at work and not once have I been turned down for tacos!

7. Learn to Manage Stress

I suffer from anxiety and without my coping methods, it gets difficult to control. My current schedule and workload have been growing leaving me feeling discouraged. There is so much to do and very little time to get it done. I have ways that I can relieve stress and find ways to cope with my anxiety. What works for me doesn’t work for everyone, but if you take time to manage stress in a healthy way, it helps you in the long run.

8. Sleep

Turn off Netflix and go to bed at a reasonable hour. I am guilty of this and continue to hit that button to say yes, I am still watching. It seems like a good idea at the time, but you will hate yourself in the morning when that alarm goes off! I am a lot more productive in the morning when I go to bed at a reasonable hour and get enough sleep. Instead I will read before I go to bed, or if I need something to fall asleep to I will put on Nick at Night and fall asleep to Friends or Full House.

9. Show Up On Time

If I show up early for work, I am in the best mood for the rest of the day. When I get there early, I have time to get settled before I have to start working. Put together an outfit and pack your lunch the night before, do whatever you can to get yourself out of the house faster in the morning.

10. Admit Defeat

We will never have our lives together and once we accept it, life gets a bit easier. Right now, we are only responsible for ourselves and in a few years we will have to juggle a relationship, family and a mortgage. Call up a friend and cancel dinner plans if you are overwhelmed. Or call up a friend when you need them most and ask to watch a movie on a couch in sweatpants for a chill night. The same goes if you see a friend struggling, check in and remind them that none of us have it together and it is totally okay!

8 Things I Have Learned Since Graduation

I recently attended my third graduation at my alma mater and the magic I first felt on campus when I visited the school is still there as an alumni. Whenever I walk on campus, I get this feeling of calm and this sense of being home. Things have definitely changed since I graduated two years ago including my spot in the dining hall being taken away to make room for the new entrance to the dining hall. Still bitter about that one! I had big plans for my life after graduation, and on graduation day I already started to doubt what I was going to do with my life. Being a college graduate means you have a reallllly expensive piece of paper and memories that will last a lifetime with hopefully a bit more knowledge than before! I graduated college two years ago and I am still working on trying to figure things out. However, here are a few things I wish someone had told me when I graduated. 

First, everyone says congratulations when you graduate, but no one says they are sorry that your life as you know it is officially over. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but after college graduation it feels like you jumped off of a cliff and you have to find your footing again.  Continue reading “8 Things I Have Learned Since Graduation”

Rosie Lately

Happy Monday, everyone! I feel like I blinked and a whole week and weekend went by! Getting up for work this morning was a bit difficult because a weeks worth of activities finally caught up with me. I am exhausted starting this week, so I am hoping I can catch up on some sleep. Anyone else?? My work hours are crazy like usual, but I have been trying to have a life outside of work. Earlier in the week I made some goals I wanted to accomplish this week and found time to get them done. Nothing all that exciting, but I finally brought the pile of always growing laundry in my bathroom down to the laundry room and got to clean up my room. I love to get involved in projects around the house, so this week I took some time to get some work done. It is a amazing how much you can get done when you make a to do list or goals for the week. Lately, I have been carrying around a small notebook to jot down something I want to get done or something I want to accomplish.

WHAT I’VE BEEN UP TO

On Saturday, I drove to Philadelphia to go back to my alma mater to cheer on some of my college roommates as they got their Masters.It was a rough drive getting there with traffic and got home around midnight, but it was worth the drive to see these girlies!

I learned very quickly after graduation that the post grad life is not like I planned. The goals I set for myself are going to take some time and weekends are not spent brunching and lounging around without a care in the world. Which is one of the reasons this little blog started because I was looking for a creative outlet. It’s been two years since we graduated and we are all on our different paths becoming adults while trying to figure out life. But what hasn’t changed is our friendship and commitment to be there for each other. It takes a bit more work than it did before, but we make efforts to see each other, plan vacations together and be there to support each other’s accomplishments. I don’t know what the future holds, but I know I’ll have these girls by my side! Being back on campus I got the motivation to set some new life goals. I hate change and often get a lot of anxiety whenever I start a new adventure in my life. But lately, I have also been craving this change in my life. I have a few things in the early planning stages, so stay tuned to see what new adventure I have planned!

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I found out that if my life doesn’t go as planned, I can have a fall back plan of being a dry wall installer. We hired a guy who disappeared to put up some drywall in an extra bedroom turned walk in closet for my parents. It was almost completed, so I decided to finish the work myself. In my free time (LOL), I would spend a few hours taping and spackling, sanding and then spackling again! Good news is that last week, my dad and I finally finished this stage of the room renovation. This week we are going to put in some trim and install the closet. I am so happy to have this project almost finished!

INSTAGRAM ROUND UP

Jersey had a very brief heat wave for a few days and it was marvelous! Everyone was complaining about it, but I enjoyed every minute of it! I took advantage of the warm weather and wore some shorts and a t shirt to run some errands last week. I also finallyyy got to start wearing dresses to work and didn’t freeze the entire day. Whelp. Didn’t last long because the cold and rainy weather is back! I have my space heater on at work today because yes, it is that cold outside!

Bandannas are “in” this season. However, whenever I see them in a store or on a model, I just think of my mom in the eighties wearing them. I wanted to get creative and I do love to accessorize, so I went into my moms scarf closet and found this beauty! My mom has dozens of vintage Dior silk scarves from the eighties and I am going to be use them on my purses to match my outfits. I hope to have a new blog post up sharing some looks soon! It’s such a fun way to dress up an outfit.