Reaching Milestones

Reaching Milestones

hello everyone! So I know it’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted anything, but today I’m back with some motivation to help get you through the end of the year while ending it on the best note possible.

So the past few months I’ve spent most of my time busy with making progress towards both personal and professional goals. One of my personal goals I’ve been working on is running my first 10k. One of my best friends suggested running the race with her, and normally I would have said no in an instant, convinced I could never finish it. However, I decided to join her and signed up. I told myself there’s no reason why I couldn’t complete the race-whether that be running the whole thing or even walking parts of it. So I set myself on an easy training plan and told myself that 6 weeks was plenty of time to accomplish this goal.

Just a few months prior to this, I was preparing for my first 5k race. The thought of running 3.1 miles seemed daunting to say the least, and I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to do it- but I pushed myself, and was able to complete the race. Now, to be able to say that I can run double that distance is something I honestly never thought would be possible. Running has never been something that I’ve been “good” at, and I was convinced that if I didn’t have a natural ability to run well, I would never be able to master it. While I do not believe I have mastered running by any means, I definitely feel like I have proven to myself that I can accomplish any goal I set as long as I stay determined and motivated. (And this is coming from a person who could barely run a half a mile a little over a year ago)

So today, the day after I completed my first 10k, I want to challenge and encourage anyone out there to set a goal for yourself that may seem daunting, but if achieved, would give you the biggest sense of accomplishment and achievement. You truly never know what you are capable of until you try. That’s not to say to go out and set a goal that’s completely unrealistic to achieve in a short amount of time, but be honest with yourself and your abilities and challenge yourself to go outside of your comfort zone. You may surprise yourself.

One Year Full Time: 10 Things I’ve Learned

Welcome back! Today I’m talking about 10 things I’ve learned since starting work full time over a year ago. I can’t believe the time has gone by this fast, and I definitely have learned a lot-and I can’t wait to share. Whether you’ve been working for years, or are just about to start a new job, these 10 things can help give anyone some new perspective on their work situation.

  • Always have a good attitude

In an office setting, or any type of work setting really, people are going to talk. When you’re new, first impressions can mean a lot, so regardless of how you may feel about the people around you, or your job it’s always best to have a positive, respectful attitude. People who show up to a job acting like they know everything, or that they’re above everyone else or the job, are not going to have a good reputation. If you’re always ready to take on any task, no one will ever have anything negative to say about not only you but your work ethic as well.

  • Be patient

Sometimes it’s hard to be patient when you want to hit the ground running, and try everything under the sun. Something important I’ve learned in the past year is to be patient, and let things happen when they’re meant to. This is not to say you should sit back and not take initiative to do things, but try not to get ahead of yourself and realize that in a lot of work settings, you need to earn the right to move your way up the ladder, and that’s totally normal and fair.

  • Go outside of your comfort zone

Try new things, talk to new people-there’s always a benefit to going outside of your comfort zone. I’ve found some of the best experiences I’ve had professionally in the past year have come from me taking even a little step outside my comfort zone and putting myself out there. Trust me, you won’t be sorry.

  • Always ask questions

You’re going to be confused, and you’re going to make mistakes, but never feel afraid to ask questions or for clarification. Depending on the type of work you do, one mistake could be monumental, so instead of messing up majorly, take the extra step and ask for some clarity. You might feel like you’re bugging the person, but in the long run both you, and them will appreciate you getting the task done right the first time around.

  • Don’t be confined to your job title

Some of the best things I’ve accomplished in the past year have come from taking advantage of opportunities that may not be within my job title, but I still sought out. This can be a careful line to toe, because you don’t want to over step, but you also shouldn’t be afraid to ask for more responsibility or more opportunities if you feel you can handle it.

  • Network-but don’t be obnoxious about it

Everywhere you go, every opportunity you have to meet someone new, use it as a chance to network. You shouldn’t be extra about it, but inquiring about someone’s experience and career path is completely normal, and could be helpful to you to get ideas about your own career. Plus, it’s always great to connect with more people in your field, you never know when you may run into them again!

  • Don’t take things personally

Sometimes when things may not go the way you want them to, it can be hard not to take it personally. I know this from experience-that when opportunities don’t always pan out, or plans fall through, it’s easy to turn on yourself and think it’s because you messed up or you’re not good enough. Truth be told, sometimes things just do not work out. It’s still not a fun situation, but knowing that it may not be your fault can alleviate a lot of stress and inner turmoil you may have about the situation.

  • Know when to talk and when to listen

You do not want to be known as the office gossip, period. It’s easy to get caught up in office drama or other people’s problems, but try not to give into it. Nothing positive can come from getting involved in gossip, and even if you can’t avoid it, just politely listen and then walk away. You don’t need to be rude, but talking about other people behind their back will never end well.

  • You are your own best advocate

This goes into a few of the other points, but if you feel you deserve an opportunity or have accomplished something great, don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself. Again, you don’t want to come off arrogant, but know your worth and value, and do not be afraid advocate for yourself. No one knows yourself and what you capabilities are better than you do.

  • Reflect often

Every few months or so, it’s good to do a progress check with yourself. Some companies or organizations have mandatory check ins every couple of months, but if yours does not, or even if it does, it’s a really helpful practice to get into it. I have to set goals for every quarter at work, and it keeps me on top of what I want to accomplish on a short term, and a long term basis. It’s good to give yourself a check in every now and again, see where you’re at professionally and personally. Evaluate what you can differently, or what you can improve upon.

That’s it! I hope these tips help any of you out there in the working world!

Xo.

Travel Diaries: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach is easily one of the most popular vacation spots in the United States, and for good reason! Beautiful beaches, tons of activities for every age, it’s hard to get bored when you’re there. I’ve been to Myrtle Beach more than a dozen or so times, with it being my family’s go to vacation spot every summer, twice a summer, since I was 6. I have the most amazing memories there, and every time I go back as an adult I’m reminded of all the beautiful times I’ve had with my family.

Check out below for a list of my favorite places in Myrtle Beach to check out!

Broadway at the Beach– this place is awesome. It’s basically an outdoor mall, but so much better than a regular mall. There’s a bunch of stores, a lake, restaurants, a mini golf course, an aquarium, Margaritaville and a movie theater! This was one of my all time favorite places as a kid, and one of the biggest attractions in MB.

Market Commons– This is almost like a smaller version of Broadway at the Beach. It’s a cute, quiet little town with lots of shopping options. They also have a movie theater, as well tons of cool restaurants no matter what you’re in the mood for. It’s a nice alternative when you don’t want to large crowds of going to Broadway at the Beach, but still want a good variety.

Murrell’s Inlet– if you want seafood, and I mean really good seafood, you have to go to Murrell’s Inlet. It’s directly south of MB and not a far drive at all. They have so many restaurants to choose from, but if you decide to go definitely make a reservation because it can get pretty busy during peak seasons. I highly recommend Russel’s Seafood Grill, they have the best food and a cozy feel.

Damon’s Oceanfront Grill– When I was a kid this was my favorite restaurant to go to, mostly because it was right next to our hotel and it was nice to be able to walk over. But besides the proximity, the view is to die for (it’s right on the beach) and they have great food. They’re known for their ribs, and every time I go I can’t resist getting them.

Me circa 2005, on the Pier by our hotel. You can actually see Damon’s in the background on the right next to the three hotel towers!

I hope you guys liked this latest travel diary post! See you next time, as always, 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

Travel Diaries: Paris

Travel Diaries: Paris

Welcome back to another travel diaries post! This week is all about Paris. I went to Paris about two years ago, and it was such a magical city. The food alone makes me want to hop on a flight back at any second. Besides the occasionally contemptuous french person, Paris was a beautiful city explore with so many things to do. Check out my favorite things about Paris below!

Food: The food in Paris was amazing. The first thing I tried when I was there was a beignet and I still often dream about it to this day. The second thing I ate was a french baguette sandwich and wow, does it make regular white bread look like the ugly step sister. OH and the macarons. If you go to Paris you HAVE to try the macarons. They make any American made macaron pail in comparison.

History & Culture: In my opinion, one of the best things about Paris is the amount museums, and history there is. The Louvre is arguably the biggest and most well known museum, for good reason, but there is so much more that I wish I had time to explore. Walking around the city made me feel like I was going back in time- there is so much history everywhere you go. It’s really something special, and makes you feel connected to the people who were there before us.

View from the Louvre
In front of the Louvre

Sights: This goes along with the history aspect, but there are so many incredible sights to see when you’re in Paris. Obviously the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe are the most notable, but even just walking along the Seine river provides such a beautiful picture of all that Paris has to offer. You could spend days walking the streets of Paris, exploring every scenic building and landscape. I was truly in awe everywhere I went

My two best friends and I in front of the Eiffel Tower

And that’s it! I hope these provided a brief overview of Paris to any of you out there who are considering visiting! I could not recommend it more, and I personally cannot wait to go back, hopefully sometime soon.

As always, keep it klassy, xo.

My Lasik Experience

My Lasik Experience

Have you ever wondered about lasik? Coming from someone who spent 10 years wearing contacts, and 12 years wearing glasses, I always had questions about lasik. It seems like a magic cure for those of us who struggle to see without glasses or contacts, however there are definitely a lot of things to consider before deciding to get the procedure.

I decided to get lasik back in February, after many years of dealing with contacts and glasses. For me, I knew it was something that would be well worth the investment and that would greatly improve my day-to-day life. Let me start from the beginning of my lasik journey, and let you guys know all my tips and recommendations if you are considering getting lasik.

Consultation: At most places you can get a consultation for free, which is great. It’s not a quick process, (mine took about 1.5 hours) but it’s a fantastic way to get all your questions answered, and even see if you qualify for lasik without having to commit to anything. This is also a good time to discuss payment plans or financing, depending on what the practice you go to offers.

Pre-Op: So, you go to the consult and decide that you’re ready to take the plunge and get lasik- so what’s next? The doctor should run through all the requirements you have to do before the procedure. Mine told me not to wear my contacts, only my glasses, for two weeks leading up to the procedure. Some doctors may require you to come in a few days before the procedure to re-measure your eyes and make sure everything looks good before the big day. I met with my doctor two days before my procedure, and it was a great time to ask last minute questions.

The Procedure: I’m not going to lie, the actual experience of lasik was definitely weird and mildly uncomfortable. This should be no surprise considering what is being done to your eyes, but some people may not know what to expect. The good part is that the whole process should be done within 20 minutes or less. I think mine took a total of 15 minutes. It’s very quick, it’s usually automated for the most part with a machine so there’s little room for human error, and besides the discomfort, it’s generally not too bad.

Post Op: Immediately following my procedure, I was extremely sensitive to light and my eyes had a slight burning. My doctor told me this was very normal and to go home and nap and when I woke up I would feel much better. I did just that, and he was right. I woke up with much clearer vision and less pain. The next morning I was able to drive to my appointment and my doctor advised me that everything looked perfect. I had to come back in a week for another post op appointment, and I had to use artificial tears every hour for the first two weeks following the surgery. Nothing too crazy.

Now that it’s been almost 3 months since I got lasik, I would definitely recommend it if you find yourself relying heavily on glasses or contacts. I couldn’t comfortably see without some of kind of lens correction, and it was a hassle at times. Lasik can be pricey, depending on where you do it and the financing options, but I looked at it as a life long investment. I would never have to spend money on glasses, contacts, eye exams, nothing for the rest of my life, and at 22, that sounded pretty good to me. Like any big purchase or investment, definitely think it over because it is a big decision, but to me it was well worth it.

Have any of you guys ever had lasik? What are your thoughts on the whole process?

Hope everyone had a good weekend! xo.

Travel Diaries: Italy

Travel Diaries: Italy

Welcome to my second travel diary post! This week’s post is all about traveling to, you guessed it, Italy. I traveled to Italy back in May of 2017 and it was one of the most memorable trips I’ve ever been on. In today’s post, I’m going to be sharing my favorite cities to visit in Italy along with my tips and recommendations for anyone who is thinking about traveling to this magical country.

The first place I went in Italy was Venice– a city with no roads and can only be traveled to by boat. I loved walking around the different canals and seeing all the beautiful buildings.

Recommendations: Definitely go on a gondola ride. They’re SO much fun and it’s such a cool way to see the city. When I went I stayed in an air bnb because the few hotels that are in Venice are a bit expensive, but if you can manage it, I’d definitely recommend a hotel over the air bnb.

The next stop was the Amalfi Coast. We stayed in Naples for a night and then took a train to Sorrento and spent a few days traveling around the area there. Capri is only a short ferry ride away from Sorrento so it was super easy to get to! I didn’t find Naples to be particularly spectacular, but Sorrento and Capri were amazing. The Amalfi Coast is definitely something worth going to if you’re ever in Italy.

View of Positano
Amalfi Coast

Recommendations: There are several bus companies that can take you to smaller towns outside of Sorrento, such as Positano, or to other ferry ports to go to the other smaller islands around the coast. I’d highly recommend skipping the bus and taking a ferry instead. It’s not that much more expensive and it’s significantly safer and less stressful to travel on. My best friend and I took a bus to Positano and the winding roads around the mountains made us not only nauseous, but a little fearful that the bus would go over the rail-less edge.

The last place I visited was Rome. I only spent one night there, so I definitely want to go back and see more of the city. I hit the major spots while I was there, including the Trevi Fountain, which was even more amazing in person as it was in the Lizzie McGuire movie. Even though it’s a super busy tourist spot, it’s definitely worth seeing if you find yourself in Rome.

Recommendations: If you want the traditional picture of you throwing a coin in the fountain, you literally have to stake out a spot next to the fountain. It’s one of the most popular tourist spots in Italy, and for good reason, so you really need to be patient if you want that once in a lifetime picture. I’d also recommend checking out the cool local shops they have in the surrounding area. My best friend and I found this amazing store with every kind of Lemoncello you could think of and as many samples as you want. We found tons of last minute gifts there so it’s always worth checking out the local shops.

My last and final suggestion for your travels to Italy would be…..you have to eat pizza!! Pizza is honestly one of my favorite foods and the pizza in Italy was just as amazing as I expected. They have it at legitimately every restaurant so it’s always a safe menu option, and it’s to die for. I loved trying pizza in every city we went to.

One of the many pizzas I ate during my 10 day trip

I hope you guys enjoyed my latest travel diary post about Italy! I cannot wait to go back and visit this country again, and explore even more that it has to offer. I hope my recommendations help any of you guys who are considering traveling there as well!

As always, keep it klassy. xo.