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Just over two months ago I sat through a graduation ceremony, ate a celebratory dinner with my family, and realized that an amazing four years of college was over (check this post for more about that). A week later I moved into a new apartment, started working full-time, and was officially on my own.

It seems true adulthood isn't something you can dip your toes into, it's more like cannonballing off the diving board - but honestly despite some of the challenges it's been pretty amazing so far. Paying my own rent for the first time was one of those 'hell yeah I can do this' moments and it felt freakin' great. I also love having a real work schedule without any of that Sunday night homework guilt I used to get in school. Some things, like budgeting and finding time to be with friends, have definitely had more of a learning curve though, so I thought I'd share a few lessons I've learned with you all who might be in the same boat! I'd love to know what you think and if you've learned anything important for post grad life.

1) Create a budget, but don't let it run your life

I've managed somewhat of a budget for years, but its VERY different when your budget suddenly includes things like a monthly metro card, utilities, a gym membership, and oh yeah that big one rent. For the first few weeks after I created my budget I was constantly totaling up spending and worrying that I was going to mess everything up. It took the fun out of getting drinks with friends or buying a new top (even one that was well within my monthly clothing budget). So now instead of worrying about my spending every moment of the day I make choices about what I can and can't do ahead of time and forget about the money being spent in the moment so that I can focus on the experience instead.

2) The every other night rule is key

In college it was always pretty easy to balance my social life with school since I was constantly surrounded by friends, flash forward two months and we're all leading totally separate lives at new jobs and weekends seem to just go by way too fast. That's where the every other night rule comes in. Instead of just going home to sit on your couch every night after work I've learned to make plans two nights from Monday to Thursday (hence every other night) so that I keep a balance between having enough R&R and having enough fun!

3) Make mornings count

Ok, this is a lesson I'm still working on, because like I'm sure many of you I was all about sleeping in late, especially in my last semester of college. Now that I leave for work by 8:15am it is super easy to get into a bad routine of waking up 30 minutes before I have to leave, throwing on clothes and makeup, and running out the door. Doesn't sound peaceful or enjoyable at all right? To fix this I've been trying a couple new tactics (more on that soon!) to wake up earlier and happier so that I don't feel like the first thing I do in the morning is run out the door to work.

4) Meal Prep is LIFE

And that is not an exaggeration. My weeks live and die by how well I meal prep. I'm currently in the middle of a bad meal prep week so not only have I been way less healthy than normal, but I'm also blowing my budget (see #1) on boring fast casual lunches when I'd rather be spending them on happy hour. My piece of advice - Pinterest is your friend for finding great easy recipes. I like to throw something super easy together on Sunday night for Monday (think like 10 minutes or under) and then do some actual cooking on Monday night for the rest of the week so that I'm not ruining my Sunday evening.

5) Make new friends and keep the old

Anyone getting girl scout melodies going through their head? But really, I feel like the hardest part of graduating is realizing that there is no longer is a set way I can make new friends. Almost all of my friends from school are still living in the city, so it's easy to fall into a routine where I'm never meeting a single new person my age (probably the opposite problem most post grads have). That being said I'm making it a personal goal over the next six months to find ways to get out there and meet new people my age! 

5 Lessons From Two Months of 'Adulting'

Just over two months ago I sat through a graduation ceremony, ate a celebratory dinner with my family, and realized that an amazing four...
Monday, July 24, 2017

TGIF and TG the Nordstrom Sale opens up to public access today! I've had tons of friends asking about when they could finally purchase from the Nordstrom Sale and today is the day!

As a cardholder I've been able to shop the sale for over a week and have already begun to style some of my favorite pieces, like the outfit I'm wearing in this post. I hate to beat a dead horse (is that the saying?), but it is truly my favorite sale of the year. Not only can you stock up on new fall trends, but you can get such a great deal on items that come back year after year (aka this jacket and these shoes). 

I wanted to give y'all a taste of what I ordered even though I won't be wearing most of the pieces I bought until it gets a little chillier. I actually felt hilarious walking around the city in a long sleeve top and jeans, but ya know #doitforthegram. 

Keep scrolling for outfit details and the full list of what I ordered and loved! Also, check out my full Nordstrom guide here



WHAT I BOUGHT:

1) Madewell High Waisted Jeans - Unfortunately, these jeans sold out pretty early on, but I'm crossing my fingers they'll get restocked soon. Madewell jeans are hands down my favorite brand of denim so at 35% off I knew these high waisted skinny jean were a must. Also, I was ecstatic when the knee rip actually hit me in the right place!

Here are a bunch of denim options under $90 (most are under $50!):



2) Ruffle Sleeve Blouse - This blouse (that I'm wearing in the pictures!) is probably the girliest thing I've worn in a long time, but I'm kind of obsessed. It's one of those pieces that you can wear for every season. Despite being long sleeve it's actually light enough to wear with a cute skirt during this ridiculous summer weather. 

3) Lace Trim Camisole - This is another one of pieces that sold out, but I'm hoping will get restocked! I ordered the cami in white and really want to be able to order it in more colors. It's truly the perfect layering piece and I love that it has adjustable straps. 

4) Suede Jacket - It took me a couple of days to finally hit purchase on this grey suede jacket since I already own last year's version in green, but honestly the hype around this jacket is so worth it. The quality is incredible (I love how heavy it feels) and it actually keeps me warm well into December. Plus, it's $63 off right now and you definitely won't find a better deal later in the fall. 

5) Tan Slide Loafer - Truth be told I wasn't in love with the shoe selection in this year's sale, but I did fall in love with these slide loafers. They're just what I needed for work and depending on your style the tan, metallic, or leopard print will be your new favorite shoe. Important note - they definitely run small so go half a size up!

Here are a few of my favorite shoes under $100:



6) Cozy White Sweater - This sweater is probably my favorite purchase from this year's sale. I wore it around my apartment for hours last week just saying "why can't it be fall" over and over again as my roommate laughed at me. The slight bell sleeves are also perfection.







Nordstrom Sale Public Access & My 6 Favorite Purchases

Friday, July 21, 2017

I own about a dozen different black dresses and my collection just keeps on growing because every time I see a new LBD I somehow convince myself I need it. That was exactly the case when the Mint Julep team reached out to me about about their amazing online boutique. I immediately started scrolling through their new arrivals and realized I needed ALL the dresses.  Most of their pieces are under $50 as well, so you won't break the bank while adding pieces to your cart - definitely a nice change from all my #NSale wishlist items ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

I've seen embroidered dresses like this one all spring but they've all been out of my budget, so I couldn't believe that it was only $45! The embroidery trend is one I can definitely get behind and this adorable dress also comes in white and blue

Also, to give you a little BTS it was SO hot and humid when I was taking these pictures that I could actually feel the sweat running down my legs (ew), so I was extra grateful for the swingy lightweight make of this dress. 


*This post is sponsored by The Mint Julep Boutique, but as always all opinions are my own*

Embroidered Summer Dress

Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Finally the long awaited Nordstrom Sale is here! I was up bright and early scrolling through all the pages of product to find some of the best pieces. I'm ordering a few things online this morning like these black jeans (only $51!), these mules, and this sweater

The sale is only open to Nordstrom card holders right now, so if you don't have one make sure to hit up mom, dad, or whoever you know has one to be able to start shopping now. Major thanks to my mom who got one last year (I definitely use the perks more than she does). Also for those of you who don't want another credit card there is an option to do the Nordstrom card as a debit card that pulls straight from your account! If you don't have the card the sale opens up to the public on the 21st. 

There are so many great pieces as part of the sale though, so I highly suggest jumping on your favorite ones before they sell out. I've compiled my favorite affordable pieces below so that you can skip the pages and pages of product and just see the best of the best. I always keep my limit at or below $100 for each item during the #NSALE because you can even get high quality bags and shoes for under that price. A few notable items - this free people look alike sweater for $38, Madewell jeans for only $90, and an adorable overnight bag for $40. Scroll to the bottom for links to everything pictures!

This post is just a sampling of what I love from the sale, so make sure to check out my full Nordstrom Sale guide here! You can also find it by clicking on the 'Nordstrom Sale' link in my navigator. I'm adding plenty of great pieces under $100 (mostly even under $50) all day today and continuing through the sale!







Affordable Nordstrom Sale Picks

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Another week and it's time for another installment of my coffee break series! If you're new to the series make sure to head back to my first post for a bit of an explanation on what these posts are about. 

This week there are a few things occupying my mind - namely the upcoming Nordstrom Sale and a visit from my mom. Right after arriving yesterday my mom went the grocery store and cooked me one of my favorite dinners. Aren't moms the best? 

NORDSTROM ANNIVERSARY SALE

Now onto the Nordstrom Sale - I'm sure you're sick of hearing about it already, but seriously this is the BEST sale of the year! I'll be back here bright and early tomorrow morning my favorite affordable pieces. While the sale is a great time to splurge it's an even better time to stock up on high quality low price pieces to take you through the fall and winter. 

There are so many great posts out there this week on tips for shopping the sale, so I thought I'd share my favorites with you. Liz (one of my favorite bloggers of all time!) has a great comprehensive guide about what to buy during the sale from the right pieces to look for to the best brands to search for. I especially love Shelby's post with tips to prepare for the sale. The most important one is definitely to take stock of what you have and what you actually need. 

Make sure to check out my Nordstrom Sale page (it's linked in the navigation bar as well!) which will be updated daily throughout the sale with my favorite picks. 

SUMMER COCKTAILS

I've been itching to make fun summer cocktails at home for weeks and after having a particularly delicious cocktail at a graduation party this weekend I'm finally making it happen. 

I'm all about light sangrias and they're perfect to make in a big batch for a party. On the top of my list is this Watermelon & Pineapple Sangria and this Strawberry Sangria. My all time favorite drink is a spicy margarita, so when I found this easy Jalapeรฑo Watermelon Margarita I knew I had to make it! 

Do y'all have good summer cocktail recipes? I'm always looking for something easy and refreshing!

LEARNING HOW TO CONTOUR

When it comes to makeup I'm honestly pretty clueless. I wear the same BB cream, foundation, etc every day but I haven't really updated my routine in years. Since I feel like my daily look has been especially lackluster lately I've made it a personal goal to learn how to contour by the end of the summer. I'm starting the journey with these videos from Refinery29 and I'll definitely keep you all updated. 

I'd love to know if you have any product and/or technique recommendations! 

Coffee Break N.6: Nordstrom Sale, Summer Cocktails & More

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

My personal goal this summer was to get out of NYC for as many weekends as I could and so far it's been going pretty well. As much as I love the city, there's nothing like being surrounded by true nature during the summer months, so I've been taking serious advantage of visiting friends living outside the city. 

This past weekend I headed out to the North Shore of Long Island to stay with one of my old roommates (Hi Annie!) and let me tell you - I LOVE the north shore! It's not only beautiful down by the water, but the towns are also full of cute shops and restaurants like Sweetie Pies in Cold Spring Harbor. Having a great tour guide who knows me so well meant we explored so many places that were right up my alley. Keep reading below for a few of my favorite spots!


Huntington is the cutest little town and if you head towards the Bay there are so many gorgeous houses right up by the water. Plus, it's hydrangea season (my favorite!) and almost every house is surrounded by pretty pink and blue hydrangeas. 



The small center of town in Cold Spring Harbor is full of picturesque places like the one above!



This Lively swimsuit arrived right as I was packing up for the weekend and it is truly perfect! It's my first one-piece and I have to say I'm sold. You have to check out the fun back of it too. Also, please ignore my sunburn lines... I promise I was wearing sun screen!

As we headed to pickup a delicious peach cake from Youngs Farm this weekend my friend told me bringing my camera along was a must and thank god she did! The farm store had delicious looking veggies and the bakery had so many summer pies and jams. Along with the cake we also ended up getting fresh biscuits and Strawberry Rhubarb jam which made for the best breakfast the next morning. 


Of course, I had to end with even more hydrangeas ๐Ÿ˜„

Weekend Recap: North Shore Long Island

Monday, July 10, 2017

This long weekend truly kicked my ass... Anyone else feel that way? I somehow went full speed ahead until Tuesday night when I then fell asleep before 10PM while watching TV. Thank god that at least meant I caught up on some sleep . Now I'm back though and ready to conquer this week, but only because it's three days long ๐Ÿ˜‚.

I've been excited to share this look for a while, because it's one that is so outside of my comfort zone. If you haven't noticed, I'm really a skirts and dresses kind of girl when it comes to summer dressing. I love a flowy frock or a fun patterned skirt, but wearing anything besides denim is something I've always avoided. However, since I've been trying to test out new pieces this summer I immediately gravitated towards these gingham culottes. Gingham is deep into my safety zone (prime example here), so I knew at the very least I'd love the pattern. 

After almost returning these pants multiple times I finally got the nerve to wear them to work last week. While I was definitely partially motivated by the fact that I hadn't done laundry in over two weeks the risk was well worth it. Not only did I conquer the heat and humidity, but I love the way this outfit is totally work appropriate while also giving a nod towards my carefree days in Spain ๐Ÿ’ƒ. 

I found this amazing pair of pants at Zara and they've unfortunately since sold out, but I've linked to a few pairs below that are just as affordable and perfect for summer dressing. 

SHOP THE POST


Gap top (similar) // Zara pants (similar) // Steve Madden Sandals // Clare V bag




Out of My Comfort Zone

Thursday, July 6, 2017
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