Thursday, October 30, 2014

On my horizon

Hello out there! 

I'm not sure about you, but I sure am ready for the weekend. Not only is it some lovely time off work, but I'm getting all dressed up for Halloween tomorrow night! I absolutely love any opportunity to get dolled up. I will be posting later this weekend to share my costume! So now, here's three things on my horizon this week..

1. Tocca Liliana Perfume

I'm pretty much a sucker for anything from Anthropologie. Although it can be pricy, I truly love their products and the quality is amazing! While shopping this weekend, I happened to come across this GORGEOUS perfume.

tocca, tocca liliana, perfume

Not only is the scent heavenly, it's pretty! The inside lid of the box says "Love Yourself" in a pretty script font. Who doesn't need that as a reminder every now and then?!

Tocca, liliana

I went with the smaller bottle just to make sure I loved it on my skin- so I did have to sacrifice the sprayer attached to the normal size bottle. I am really enjoying it, so obviously I had to share with y'all!

2. New York City

However stereotypical this may be- I just have to put it out there. I am completely and utterly in the middle of a love affair with New York City. During one of my previous assignments, I was located just about 1.5 hours outside of this lovely city. In hindsight, I wish I went more than once/twice a month during my six months up there! It truly is a magical place to visit. Additionally, I have serious respect for those who live there. It is so loud and busy 24/7! Too much going on for me. I was blessed with the opportunity to head into the city with a couple of my girlfriends and stay with a family member for the weekend. 

I had a Japanese style of cooking that I have never had before called sukiyaki. Let me first just say that it was INCREDIBLE!! You choose a type of meat and cook it at your table in broth and vegetables that complement the meat. Similar to what fondue in a restaurant feels like. Once all your ingredients are cooked, you eat your sukiyaki "soup" with rice. I was thoroughly impressed. 


Although a weekend allows you a teensy tiny amount of time in NYC, we made the best of the trip by walking all over the city and enjoying the sites. We hit up Central Park, the Hudson River park, Chelsea Market, Little Italy, Madison Ave and 5th Ave, Rockefeller Plaza, and just about everything in-between that you walk through! And I'm sure this goes without saying, but we ate some of the best food I've ever enjoyed. Here are a few photos from our sights:

Central Park, NYC, skyline
brunch drinks
Union Square

3. Macarons

For me, it's not a trip to NYC without eating at least one macaron. And if I'm in New York, I want to trek over to Ladurée to get the best of the best. They had the cutest storefront decorations up for Halloween- and I was able to try the seasonal flavor offering! It was an orange cookie with Hazelnut filling- and I highly recommend it! I would be a happy girl if I had a Ladurée in my neck of the woods, but it also makes each trip special because it is such a rare treat for me.

macaron, laduree, halloween

halloween, window, laduree

What's on your horizon this week? What is your current favorite perfume? Do you have any go-to spots in NYC?

xox. T

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

My favorite tech "accessory"

Today, I wanted to share with you my favorite technology "accessory": my fitbit Flex.

fitbit Flex

Now, I'm not sure if many other people wear theirs as a part of a bracelet stack... but I absolutely love this little piece of rubber and plastic! Over the past year, I have really gravitated away from any regular exercise or workout routine. I experience little spurts of ambition where I sign up for fitness classes or go running or shop for gym memberships. The length of these ambitions vary, but nothing seems to stick for me. I've always lead an active lifestyle and have never really needed to put forth the effort to "get fit" or go outside of my normal routine to make sure I was getting enough exercise. 

Let me just tell you right now I was delusional until this past summer. I pretended not to notice my metabolism working less, my clothes fitting more snug that usual, and the fact that I was worn out after small amounts of physical activity. While I am well aware that our bodies change with age, I also understand that healthy habits are important and often require extra effort on our part. Upon the realization of my health mistakes, I decided to get a fitbit. This thing rocked my world. Putting a numerical value on my activity has been really eye opener for me- I was overestimating the amount of activity I was actually doing on a daily basis. Sure, walking around DC and checking out the monuments helps rack up 20,000 steps but I am not doing that every day. Most days I come home from a mainly sedentary work day, change into my pajamas, and plop onto the couch to watch the tv for the evening. {a picture of health, right?}

Fitbit allows you to set daily goals for different categories: steps, distance, active minutes, weight, water consumed, and calories. I truly believe that the changes I have seen in my health since July were the result of the goals I have set with my beloved gadget. For me, the visualization of my activity as well as the tracking of my progress towards my goals has been extremely effective as a motivator. I get so excited when I reach my goals. I just want to do more! 

FitBit, app screen

Although the use of technology has helped me, I know many people are able to make huge changes on their own. I think that no matter how you reach your goals, it's important that you have them and constantly work towards achieving them! You only get one body- so remember to treat yours well.

Do you have any fitness gadgets? What keeps you motivated to stay healthy? 

- T

Friday, October 24, 2014

The best travel companion

Happy Friday, world!

Since my decision to move away from home, traveling has become a bigger part of my life that it ever has been before. Between trips home, having money from a stable job to take vacations, and traveling for work I've been on the move more than I have in my entire life. Although the airport can be a stressful and busy place, I find solo travel to be pretty enjoyable. I love having the opportunity to reflect on my trip ahead of me or the memories I just created as I await my plane. Another thing I love about traveling is the opportunity to get into a good book. I haven't found anything that makes a flight go by faster than a great read! 

When I was in college I realized that while I found reading to be pleasant, I never picked it as a recreational activity. I never read books for pleasure, had any lying around, or invested in a digital reader. The extent of my reading at that point in my life was textbooks and required reading for school. That disappointed me. I made the decision to put energy into finding good books and actually setting aside time to read them. My first step was buying a Kindle. It was an excellent choice for me at that time because I could bring one item and have multiple options all in one place! This was great for the beach or any traveling I happened to do.

After college, I found myself using my Kindle less and staring at the empty spaces on my bookshelf I kept in my room. Although the Kindle afforded more convenience and options, I was beginning to miss physically turning pages and having a concrete collection of the books I loved. It also proved more difficult to recommend a book to a friend. It's much easier in my opinion to recommend something and then let said person borrow it. They are more likely to read it since they don't have to seek it out! And truth be told, I love being on the receiving end of that! 

While I still keep my Kindle around for trips to the beach, {it's so much easier- especially on those windy beach days!} my favorite travel companion is a nice paperback book. They don't take up too much space or add excessive extra weight, and one book is plenty for the kind of travel I do nowadays. I picked up a new book a few weeks ago before a girl's weekend and am enjoying it so far. It's called 'The Paris Wife' and is a novel about Hemingway and his wife. 

The Paris Wife book

I will be sure to let you know what I think after it's finished. If you're looking for a new book, here's a few I've read recently that I enjoyed: 'Gone Girl' by Gillian Flynn, 'Wild' by Cheryl Strayed, 'The Fault in Our Stars' by John Green, and 'The Life of Pi' by Yann Martel.

What are your favorite travel reads? Do you have a specific travel ritual that you love?

Have a wonderful weekend!

xoxo. T

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

On my horizon

Good afternoon! First off, I just wanted to say thank you for coming here to read my third post. This has already been a wonderful learning experience for me so far and I am enjoying every second of it. I have been tinkering around with my layout and background, have you noticed the new digs? Any thoughts or comments regarding that? I think I have decided on this one for right now but who knows when my opinion will change again!

Today I wanted to share 3 things that are "on my horizon" right now. I thought this was a fitting way to title what I want to share: a few things that I've been thinking about, noticing, or am excited about! So let me just jump right in...

1. Chai Latte Concentrate

For most girls my age, Fall means one thing: PUMPKIN SPICE LATTES. While I am slightly embarrassed to admit this, I just had my first sip {I couldn't even commit to an entire drink} of the cult favorite a few weeks ago. In my defense, I was scared to try it because of the level of sugar I anticipated to be in the drink. I have what I call a "salt tooth" where my "sweet tooth" should be. I am a fan of black coffee and sugar-free syrup in my lattes- those who share my taste can probably understand my hesitation towards this popular fall treat. I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of sweetness I experienced in the non-fat version! However, my favorite fall beverage continues to keep its #1 slot on my list- the chai tea latte. 

Mmm, I seriously feel cozy just thinking about drinking one. While in the grocery store last week, I happened to wander down the tea aisle and to my surprise, I stumbled upon a carton of chai tea latte concentrate. I wanted to shout "WHERE HAS THIS BEEN ALL MY LIFE?!" but managed to refrain and just pluck one of these beauties off of the shelf. The carton I found has enough tea to make 8 drinks with its contents, making it extremely economical and easy! You simply take 1/2 cup of concentrate, mix with 1/2 cup of your choice of milk,  then heat or serve over ice for your desired temperature. It's. That. Simple. I love that the concentrate is dairy-free, so you are able to use lactose-free milk, almond milk, whole milk, or your preferred type of milk! This is excellent news if you have dietary sensitivities like I do. If you are a fan of this drink I highly recommend giving the DIY at home version a shot!

chai latte concentrate

2. Breaking Bad

When I set out for Virginia on my own, one of the first {and best} decisions I made was to purchase a subscription to Netflix. I know I am extremely behind the times to just get a subscription at the beginning of 2014, but I had never needed my own subscription because I was always able to watch with family or friends on their own accounts. I've truly loved my decision to jump on the bandwagon in this case because it has opened up the door to so many new-to-me movies and shows! Through multiple recommendations of people in my life I recently decided to begin the series "Breaking Bad."  I studied biochemistry in college and was intrigued by the science-y/nerdy aspect of the show at first, but I quickly became consumed by the characters and story line. I absolutely FLEW through it and am currently in the last season. I won't post any spoilers but I will say that my opinions of the characters in this series are drastically different now than they were during season 1. Two thumbs up from this gal. I can't wait to finish it to tie up all of the loose ends.

3. Essie Nail Polish

I'm going to be straight with you- this girl's on a budget. I am blessed with an incredible job. It's fulfilling and it pays my bills. Unfortunately, because of the area I live in, my bills are large. So one of the ways I have tried to save money is to paint my own nails. I like having polish on my nails, and it has become a relaxing and stress-relieving activity for my evenings. Nails chip often anyways, so having the polish at home is great for those necessary touch-ups! I am still not a professional, but I have learned a few tricks to help get started with at home manicures:

 1. Get the right grooming tools. I suggest a metal cuticle pusher {I've tried the wooden ones but I just prefer a metal one because they are re-usable, easy to use, and easy to clean}, cuticle trimmers, a nail file, and a good pair of nail clippers.  
2. Use a base coat and a quick-dry top coat. 
3. Paint your dominant hand first. Because you have better control with this hand, it's easier to avoid smudges while painting your non-dominant hand second.  
 Anything you would add to the list of essential tools? Any suggestions for a great brand of top coat? Do you have any killer tricks to get that perfect at home manicure? Please comment!

My current favorite brand of polish is Essie. It is affordable, easy to find, and comes in a great selection of colors! I also love that they come out with new sets for each season. The downside to that is the fact that my want list of shades is growing constantly! Here is a peak at my current collection:

essie nail polishes

essie nail polish collection

I like to keep them on display in my bathroom because they are all so pretty, and it keeps them right in front of my face to remind me to change things up!

Those are the main things on my horizon right now, what's on yours?

Until next time,

Monday, October 20, 2014

Just another Manic Monday

Is it just me or do the days during the weekend go by exponentially faster than those during the week?

 I know I'm in good company when I say that I wish weekends were longer and the work week shorter. Unfortunately, it's not up to me and the 5:2 ratio seems to have stood the test of time. {read: nothing is changing anytime soon.} Mondays always seem to start slowly for me, as mine typically start with a conference call promptly at 8AM. After that it's the shuffle of chugging coffee, trying to remember where I left off on Friday, and desperately trying to get enough done before I stop again for lunch. I used to spend a significant amount of time on Sunday preparing for each Monday so I was ready to hit the ground running after my conference call. Thankfully, I've recently decided that my weekends are mine and I don't want to bring work into them even a teensy bit unless it's absolutely necessary.

As of lately, my weekends are packed with various activities. Sightseeing with visiting family and friends, watching football, taking hikes in this gorgeous fall weather, shopping, catching up on my TV shows, reading, traveling, church, brunch... I can honestly say no two weekends of mine are the same. And I think I'm ok with that. Part of my reasoning behind my huge change of scenery was the burning question "If not now, when?" in the back of my mind. I'm not a particularly spontaneous person, but in this season of my life I am trying to focus on the right now. I am actually a notoriously planned individual so this shift in focus has been forced- but extremely refreshing. Although there is no substitute for a well executed plan in my opinion, allowing for change and flexibility in your life can open doors that you didn't even know were there! 

While I realize there's no one size fits all solution in life, I challenge you to evaluate where you are right this very second and see if you have an opportunity to ask yourself "If not now, when?" Just see where it takes you. It may be helpful in any decision- small or large. I can wholeheartedly say that my decision was worth the risk. Who knows what the next big change will be!

Thanks for reading!


Friday, October 17, 2014

Hello world!

Welcome, my friend! 

Today I'm taking that frightening plunge onto the internet and am eager to start my journey with blogging. I'm sure I can guess a few things on your mind right now- Who is she? Why is she doing this? What will she talk about?- and I am happy to answer that for you today!

Although I am choosing to keep myself anonymous at this time, you should have no problem getting to know me through my posts. And here's a little background to get you started: I am a twenty-something career gal living up in northern Virginia. I am originally from Georgia {hence the 'peach' reference} and have made my way up to the beautiful metro-DC area for my job. I didn't know a single soul here when I accepted my position and was extremely nervous making the jump to be totally alone. You may be thinking that I am crazy to leave a loving family, my fabulous friends, and the comfort of the sweet city of Atlanta for a strange place- sight unseen, I should add- for work. And you may be right. But for now, I choose to count myself as blessed. 

As for how I found myself sitting here on a Friday night beginning a blog... that's a great question. I made several moves before landing myself in VA permanently and was requested to begin a blog for my loved ones to follow so they could keep up with my happenings prior to the first move. I was genuinely excited by the suggestion, but soon realized that I was not able to take on yet another challenge in the middle of the chaos I called my life. My life already felt like a hurricane swirling around me and one more responsibility added on top seemed unmanageable. I don't like to do anything half-way and knew that I would not be able to put the deserved effort into an endeavor like this. Although I knew the timing was not right upon the suggestion, I couldn't shake the idea of starting a blog. I have been following blogs for YEARS now but really hadn't ever thought about trying it out. The more I thought about it, the more convinced I became that this would be the perfect next project for me in my new phase of life! I will go ahead and add the disclaimer that I do not by any stretch of the imagination have a super glamorous life or what people might consider a "blog worthy" lifestyle, but I do have my own story to tell. I make the promise today to tell it in the most open, authentic, best way that I can!

What will I talk about? Me. No, this is not a shrine to myself and I am not setting out to blog so I can boost my own ego. My goal is to give you a glimpse of who I am, what I think, what I do, and why I do those things. Hopefully in a fun and interesting way! I am ready to see where this project takes me and hope that you will enjoy it enough to join my on my journey. I am open to suggestions, comments, and constructive criticism so please feel free to leave any of the aforementioned for me! 

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