Beginner’s Guide To: Packing Light

Beginner’s Guide To: Packing Light

Hello everyone! Welcome back to another beginner’s guide, this week all about packing light. Whether you’re going away for a quick weekend trip, or can only pack in a carry on for a week away, these tips will help you save space and time!

☆ Packing Cubes

You may have seen or heard of these before, but they’re great for packing a lot into a small space. Some can get a bit pricey, but amazon has extremely affordable ones in lots of different colors, so there’s one for everyone!

☆ Prioritize

When you’re deciding what to pack, make sure you pack things you actually need and are going to use. If you’re really trying to conserve space, you need to realistic about what you need on the trip, and how many options you really need to have.

☆ Pack items that are versatile

If you pack items that can work for various situations or events, you’ll really get the most out of what you pack. You may want to pack something specific for a particular event, but otherwise try to pack basics that could work in a bunch of different weather situations, or different outings you may be going on.

☆ Travel Sized Products

When trying to save space, narrow down which products are your essentials and try to get them in a travel size, or transfer to a reusable travel sized bottle or container. It’ll save you tons of room and plus if you’re not checking a bag, your products need to be under 3 ounces anyway.

☆ Plan out outfits

It’s easy to just throw a bunch of clothes into your suit case and tell yourself that you’ll figure out your outfits when you get to your destination. Save yourself the stress of not knowing what to wear and plan out the outfits you’re going to need. If you don’t know exactly what your itinerary is, try to plan outfits that will work for a variety of outings you may be doing.

I hope these tips can help any of you guys who are trying to pack a little lighter for your next trip! Stay tuned for more travel posts coming this week! xo.

Product Review: Kindle

Happy Friday! Today I’m bringing you a review centered around reading preferences: do you prefer reading a physical book or reading on some sort of tablet? Typically, I prefer reading a physical book- I’ve always loved reading, pre-tablet days, and even now that there are so many options available to read books on a device. To me it’s just part of the experience of reading.

However, recently I’ve gotten tired of reading a book once, putting it on my shelf, and never touching it again. The past few months I’ve been trying to purge what I don’t use, and as much as I love books, I’ve realized that right now my space does not permit keeping 50+ books. While I plan to donate some of my current collection, downsizing to a tablet seemed to be the way to go to avoid this problem in the future, as well as cut down on the weight of carrying a physical book around.

I decided to get the plain, regular Kindle. There’s nothing special about it, and at under $100, it was a good fit for me. I didn’t need something super fancy or expensive, especially considering how I wasn’t sure I would even like it, so its simplicity works well for my lifestyle. I’ve broken down some of the pros and cons for you guys below, in case you’re considering getting one!

Pros:

☆ Size- It’s so small and portable. I love that I can fit as many books as I want on it, while it fits in comfortably in any of my bags. Truly does not compare to lugging around a physical book.

☆ Variety- I love that you don’t have to wait for a book to be delivered, or go out and buy one when you want to try something new. There’s so many books to choose from, and at the touch of your finger tips, it makes reading so easy.

☆ Great for traveling- this goes back to the size, but if you’re someone who spends a lot of time on public transportation, or traveling, a kindle would be a great option. I love always having a book on hand in case I get stuck somewhere, but it’s not realistic to carry a book with me every where I go. A kindle resolves this problem.

☆ Deals- Amazon has a lot of good deals on books, and some you can get even credits back on, which you can put towards buying other books. The prices are also generally cheaper per book, so you’re saving money in multiple ways!

Cons:

☆ Battery life- The charge is not the best, and I’ve researched ways to help increase the battery, but it still doesn’t work as well. It would be nice if the battery could last longer, but it’s not a huge deal breaker for me.

☆ Downloading- Downloading books can be a bit of a hassle sometimes. For some reason, if you want to download a book on your phone, the amazon app does not work, and you can’t make purchases through the actual kindle device. You have to go directly through a browser, and it took me a little while to fully figure it out. I do wish it was easier to use, but once you get the hang of it’s not too bad.

SO….in conclusion: I personally like having both as options. I read some books on my kindle, and if I know I’m going to be traveling, I’ll make sure to download some books on my kindle. If I’m just reading at home, I don’t mind the bulkiness of a physical book. It gives me the best of both worlds, so I encourage you guys to try it out and see for yourself!

xo.

Beginner’s Guide to: Apartment Hunting 101

Beginner’s Guide to: Apartment Hunting 101

Welcome back! Today I’m delving into the topic of apartment hunting. Within the past year I’ve had to apartment hunt twice, and I feel like there’s definitely stuff I wish I knew going into the process. It can definitely be an overwhelming process, so today I’m sharing all my tips and recommendations if any of you are about to embark on the apartment hunting journey!

Compromising is inevitable

When you’re looking for an apartment, the odds that you find one in the perfect location, under budget, with all the features you want, is unlikely. You will most likely have to compromise on something, so before you start looking you should try to come up with a list of things that are a non negotiable and……

Prioritize

Take that list of things you absolutely cannot live without, and prioritize the rest. Basically ask yourself: what is the most important feature your new place needs to have? A good way to figure this out is to look at your current living situation and think about all the things you do not like, or wish you could change. It’s a great place to start and then you can slowly build your list of features and qualities you need to have, and those you can live without.

Always visit the apartment if possible

Unless you physically cannot visit an apartment, I highly recommend you do so. It is key to helping determine if you like the apartment or not. Anyone can take pretty pictures and make a space look nice, but seeing it in person is often much different. On the other side of that, some apartments may not have great pictures available, so you’d definitely want to visit to get a good feel for the space and amenities you would have.

Take into account potential extra fees

Apartments are notorious for having numerous random fees that you may not initially take into account. That’s another reason why it’s so important to visit the apartment if you can, or at least speak to a leasing consultant on the phone. You may see one price online, and not be aware of fees for parking, trash removal, sewer, water or pets if you have them. These can easily add up and make your rent much higher than you anticipated.

Write down questions you have in advance before you visit the apartment

Before you tour an apartment, it’s always good to have a list of potential questions ready to go. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re touring and not remember something important that you wanted to ask. It’s happened to me before, and it’s one of the most annoying things. If you know you have a pet, make sure you ask about the pet policy. If you’re wondering about parking, make sure you ask how many spots are allotted for guests. These are just a few examples of some things that are always helpful to know, but you may not think to ask.

Take notes/pictures if you’re touring more than two places

If you’re looking at a bunch of different places, it can get confusing trying to keep track of all of them and which ones you liked, and which ones you didn’t. There’s probably going to be pros and cons of all of them, so I found keeping notes/pictures on each place I visited was extremely helpful when it came time to pick which one I wanted to apply to.

Make a checklist of all the necessary paperwork for an application

When you finally decide on an apartment that you love, I’d recommend making a checklist of all the paperwork you’ll need to provide for either your application or your lease. Some places do not take credit cards or cash for an application fee, so you may have to go to your bank to get a certified check, or use a personal check. Most places will also want proof of income so prepare to have two recent paystubs available to provide.

Be aware of the individual policies that apartments have (Pets, income standards, etc)

Again, a lot of places have different policies that can get confusing to keep track of. Some have income standards, (for example, your income may need to be 3 times the amount of rent), so that’s something important to consider. They may also have specific policies when it comes to pets,(a pet fee, extra rent every month for the rent, specific buildings where pets are allowed). The same goes for parking, utilities, cable ( some places have specific providers you have to use), etc. It’s always good to make sure you’re aware of everything you’re getting into before you sign that lease!

And that’s it! I hope these tips and recommendations can help any of you who are currently or will be hunting for a new apartment! Keep it klassy, xo.

1 Year Post Grad: A Reflection

1 Year Post Grad: A Reflection

So yesterday marked one year since I graduated with my undergraduate degree. To say this year has been a transformative one would be an understatement. I can’t believe it’s already been a year since I transitioned from full time undergrad student, to full time adult, living on my own and supporting myself. Here are a few things I’ve learned in the past year since I’ve graduated…

☆ You won’t stay in touch with everyone, and it’s okay

You suddenly go from living within 5 minutes of all of your friends, to living hours and many miles apart. Maybe some are close by, but in my experience people tend to scatter in different directions. When you first graduate it’s normal to want to stay in touch with all of your friends from school, but you’ll soon realize which relationships are worth the effort of maintaining. Not everyone can be your best friend, and you can’t be everyone’s best friend. You’ll realize fast who your true, real, friends are, and those friendships will only get stronger over time.

☆ Adjusting to adult life is hard

There’s college life…and then there’s being an adult. Whether you’re still living at home, or living on your own, adjusting to working full time or balancing grad school is a much different beast than undergrad. Suddenly you have much more responsibilities, the stakes are higher on everything, and you’re trying to navigate the world of being a more responsible human being. It’s hard, and there’s definitely a learning curve, but it’s not impossible, and the key is to cut yourself a break sometimes.

☆Budgeting is important

I always tried to “budget” in college, but trying to budget as a somewhat adult is completely different. When you’re managing a full time pay check, no matter what the amount is, it’s vital to have a budget so that you’re not over spending on extraneous expenses. Budgeting is a another trial and error process, and something I’ve really had to focus on in this past year so that I can reach my savings goals for the future.

☆ Focus on yourself

In the past year I’ve learned to focus on myself and my goals, and to try not to compare myself to those around me, and those on the internet. It’s hard when you’re scrolling through instagram not to look at someone’s life and think how easy their life is, how much you wish your life could be like theirs, etc. It’s incredibly unhealthy to have the mindset that you’re never enough and you always need to buy more, do more, and be more. I’ve learned that my goals and my potential and circumstances are very different from those of someone else, and comparing them is apples to oranges. I do believe in using other people to motivate you to set goals and develop better habits, but not if it’s going to lead to a destructive mindset. Focus on yourself and…….

☆ Allow yourself to grow

I’ve found this past year to be one of the most transformative of my entire life. I’ve adopted healthier habits, I’ve found new interests and I’ve tried to readjust my mental state to best reflect what I want out of life. It’s been a challenging, yet refreshing year and it’s made me even more excited for the future. Creating goals and seeing myself actually being able to accomplish them is something that never gets old.

xo

May Reading List

May Reading List

Welcome back! If any of you are looking for new books to read, these four are on my current May reading list! I’m about 1/4 of the way through all of them, and they’re all quickly becoming some of my favorites.

Enlightenment Now– One of Bill Gates’ favorite books, and for good reason. It’s basically about, you guessed it, being enlightened about the world around you. A very intellectual book, but very interesting and thought provoking.

How Not to Die– The author breaks down each chapter about “how not to die from….” lung diseases, heart problems, etc. He even breaks down food and exercise and what you should be focusing on to optimize your health. It’s super easy to read and I feel like I’m learning so much about the human body and how big of a role food can play in how well it functions.

The Happiness Equation-Basically a book all about how to be happy. Might sound simple, but the approaches the author breaks down really challenge your existing perspectives about how small every day changes can really affect your overall happiness and optimism.

Intellectual Devotional- whoever came up with this is a genius. Every day of the week there’s a small, shorter than a page, little snip it about random topics like history, music, culture, etc. It’s a super easy way to learn something new every single day!

They’re all different, yet focus on the same theme- being more aware of yourself and your surroundings, and allowing yourself to be more educated to make better decisions regarding your wellbeing and happiness. If you’re in need of some motivation, I definitely recommend checking some of these out!

Xo.

2019 Goals: A Check In

2019 Goals: A Check In

So….we’re almost halfway through 2019 (I know, it’s crazy). I think it’s common for most people to set goals at the beginning the year, with the intent of following through with them. But, then life gets in the way, and suddenly you have a bunch of unfinished goals, motivation is left behind in January and you’re right back where you started. WELL, let this serve as an almost-halfway-point check in! Where are you guys with your goals? Have you made progress on them, or did you find yourself losing motivation soon after you started them?

Usually for me, I have this great ideas of what I want to accomplish or become, and I always fall short. It’s easy to stop when things get hard, or uncomfortable, or just not convenient anymore. The trick is to stay motivated, to find what gets you going and to remind yourself of that every day.

One of my main goals for 2019 was to run more, and specifically, be able to run the 5k my high school hosts every April for Alumni weekend. I knew the date ahead of time and I knew I wanted to be able to finish alongside my two best friends who would also be running it with me. It was great motivation, and I was able to accomplish my goal! I never thought I’d be someone who could run more than a mile, but pushing myself past my comfort point has really allowed me to see my own potential.

I recently completed a run and was able to get in 3.5 miles! I was proud to have been able to run the farthest I ever have, and it’s motivating me to create a new goal of running 5 miles. Challenging myself to work out when I don’t feel like it, and push myself far out of my comfort zone has been one of the most personally rewarding experiences of my life.

I challenge all of you to push yourself, find a new motivation, a new inspiration, something that excites you and makes you want to tackle your goals head on! There’s still plenty of time left in 2019, don’t let it go to waste.

As always, keep it klassy, xo.

Meet Spencer

Meet Spencer

I thought I’d share something light and fun on this Friday morning! Everyone, meet my cat, Spencer. I adopted him back in February and he has warmed his way into the hearts of everyone he meets. He’s super playful and loves to act as an alarm clock (especially on the weekends) but his sweet demeanor and loving personality also trump the mischievous behavior.

I’ve always been a dog person, but I went to an animal shelter and saw him, and well the rest is history, I fell in love instantly.

Do you guys have pets? Are you more of a cat or dog person?

Let me know!

Xo.