Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Quarter life crisis, the terrible twenties, whatever you may call it.  For anyone who graduated college after 2004, you know what I’m talking about.  As defined by Urban Dictionary the “Terrible Twenties” are:

Age 22 – 29. The period by which the safety net of school and parents are no more (or coming to an end) and the world is thrust upon you, forcing you to grow up. It’s the period of individual growth and learning of the world–away from the shelter of parents. It includes feelings of angst, frustration, depression and forced evaluation of self. It is followed by the intrinsic need to have one’s own family.
Friend #1 (Age 23): “I can’t get a break in life!”
Friend #2 (Age 33): “You have to crawl before you walk…you’re in the terrible twenties.”

Even as a victim of the “terrible twenties”,  I still laugh out loud reading these testaments.   I have had more articles, lists and tumblrs sent to me about this horrendous crisis that no one warns you about, than I can count.  Not only do the articles ring true, but they bring comfort to those of us experiencing these moments of weakness – we are not in it alone!

For me, growing up I had always thought about “What will I look like when I’m in my twenties?   What will I be doing?  Where will I live?”.  I thought the twenties were going to be a walk in the park, a piece of cake, the peak of my existence… which unfortunately is just not the case (sorry under 21 year olds…).  Regardless of the fact that you likely have no one to take care of besides yourself, it’s far more complicated than that.

In this so-called phase, not only have I developed a new-found “habit” (better known as self-inflicted anxiety), where I think about every possible thing in my life and how everything’s going to work out one way or another, I have also started to actually THINK about my career.  And by THINK I mean, I have realized that I have a life to live and (God willing) a future family to take care of and this isn’t all fun and games.   Enter quarter life crisis:  Recently, I have heard the little voice in my head saying, “I’m going to become a [career of choice at that moment] and will figure out the details later”.  Take me back 5+ years ago (when I wasn’t in the TT’s), I never would have thought such a thing!  But now? Now that I am panicking about where my life is headed and how I am going to find a job that I love while also being successful, having a bunch of kids, a happy marriage, (a summer house in Nantucket – fingers crossed), and a healthy life?   Oh that sounds easy!  I will throw-all-inhibitions-out-the-window and dive into a career I have zero experience in!  And then it leads me back to the internal debate of my next career move – do I stick with what I know or take the risk of trying something different?

Furthermore, as I go through this tumultuous time, I have also taken comfort in reading about other women’s (mostly 30 somethings) career paths and how they got there.  Most of the time, they started their careers by doing something totally irrelevant to what they’re doing now and passionate about.  One site I find particularly interesting and inspiring is The Everygirl.  In the features section they have a “Career” link which basically brings you to a page of women with really cool jobs and interviews them on how they got there.  Most recently, I read an article on the two Design Directors for Nate Berkus (ya know, Oprah’s interior design guy). One of the questions the site always asks is:  “What advice would you give your 23-year old self?” and in this interview one of the girls answered “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”  This is something my mom has always told me and something that’s not always easy to swallow in the moment.  But as simple as it is, I think it’s something we need to remember going through the TTs (think big picture peops!).  I also think we need to realize that we are YOUNG and there’s no time like the present to try something new and take a risk, because this is our time to be selfish and have no regrets!  After reading the articles and talking to my friends, I have a hunch I am not the only one my age going through these internal conflicts, and I encourage all of you twenty-somethings to take a deep breath with me and repeat “it’s all going to be ok”.

Now, in reality, I’m going to look back on these years and only remember the good times and likely make fun of myself for even writing this post.  But for now, I am living it and I can’t wait to get out!  The twenty somethings, particularly mid-twenties, are a bit confusing if you think about it.   We are not old, but we are also not young either, and there is no excuse to be irresponsible anymore (ahem, losing cellphones on a monthly basis).  We have jobs where we’re taken seriously and we have bills to pay, yet we don’t think of ourselves as real “adults” yet.  People are either getting engaged, having babies, breaking up, getting married or traveling.  There is no roadmap for where we’re going and the only thing you can do is figure out what YOU want and find happiness and confidence in yourself.  For me, I’m caught up on the career choice dilemma first and foremost and so I signed up for an interior design course which I am beyond excited about!  Take matters into your own hands.  Everything will work out if you stay positive and work hard.  As challenging as it may be, we can’t worry about it in the meantime.  Whether it’s your career, your relationship, your apartment, whatever!  Make a small change towards something that makes you happier and I think you’ll be glad you did!

Happy Thursday!  Can’t believe it’s almost the weekend!  Yippee!

XOXO

PS – a few more funny articles on twenty-somethings: 1, 2, 3, 4

Za Za Zara!

NEWS FLASH:  Zara, one of my fave clothing stores, is now entering into the HOME market!

Is this a match made in heaven or what?  I first discovered Zara when I was studying abroad in Italy and it hadn’t come to the states yet.  My friends and I thought we had struck gold when we stepped into the higher quality and higher fashion version of our good friend H&M.   And I think Zara has only gotten better with age, as I have had some pretty amazing finds in the past year (if I do say so myself).  Sooo to think that they now have stuff to beautify the bod AND the apartment, is just beyond exciting!  Check out the goods people!

These colors!

Glam dish towels, wouldn’t you say?

I’m developing a new appreciation for the skull trend… never thought I’d see the day.

Lucite side tables?  They’ve thought of everything!

Love this shabby chic bath mat!

How perfect would this be on a bureau with some flowers, a candle and perfume?!

I have to say… it is much more understated than I would’ve imagined… and I-like-what-I’m-seeing.  And if you weren’t already sold, wait until you see the prices!  What do you guys think?  Would you buy Zara home goods?

2 days down & 3 to go!  WE CAN DO IT!

XOXO

Have a leisurely weekend…

Happy Friday everyone!

I woke up with a smile on this morning simply for the fact that it is Friday.  All week I have been dreaming about what I wanted to do this weekend and here’s the list I came up with (can you tell I love lists?):

1. Go for a run in Central Park

This is one of my favorite fall activities.  In the summer the park get’s so hot and crowded, but in the fall it is a much better scene, with crisp clean air and foliage that you unfortunately don’t get in many other places in the city.  Although I don’t live close to the park, my bf does and therefore I make a point to hit it up any weekend I’m up there.

2. Drink iced coffee and read the paper…outside.

via

Most likely the style and travel section, but it’s still the PAPER.  And there’s nothing like having your morning coffee al fresco.

3. Rent a bike and ride up to the Cloisters (remember the fall bucket list??)

National Geographic

Yes, I am finally doing it (and yes, I will look this cool riding my bike)!  We’re thinking Saturday afternoon so cross your fingers for nice weather!

4. Go to Eataly and make an Italian dinner

Eataly

I studied abroad in Florence when I was in college and my bestie from home and I still make one of the meals we would also prepare for dinner when we lived there.  The meal consists of:  butternut squash ravioli with walnut sauce (Eataly is the only place you can find the sauce),  fresh tomatoes and mozzarella with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and a french baguette… and obviously some red vino.  AMAZING!

5. Watch Homeland (lots of it)

The bf and I just started getting into Homeland and we are beyond obsessed!  Anyone else?  We’re only on season one though so we have a lot to catch up on…

6. Make my mom’s chicken pot pie for Sunday football…the best chicken pot pie ever (recipe below).

Martha Stewart

I have such a weakness for chicken pot pie (CPP for us regulars)

Recipe:

– 1 package of frozen pie crusts (ok so it’s not totally homemade, but trust me it’s delish)

– 1 can cream of chicken soup

– 1 cup frozen peas

– 1 cup slices carrots (cooked)

– 1 cup diced potatoes (boiled)

– 1/2 can chicken broth

– 2 chicken breasts with bones

Line a pie sheet with one of the thawed pie crusts.  Cut chicken in half and saute in a frying pan with olive oil and cover.  Add chicken broth and simmer for 20 minutes.  Remove the chicken off the bone and cut into small pieces.  Place the chicken meat, liquid from the frying pan, veggies and cream of chicken soup in a pot and heat thoroughly adding spices and a dash of milk for thickness (can also add chicken bouillon cubes for added flavor).  Pour mixture into pie sheet and cover with second pie crust, pressing the outer edges to mend both crusts.  Bake at 325 – 350 degrees for 30 – 45 minutes (depending on your oven), until golden brown.

7. Watch the Sunday Morning Show in my PJs

For anyone unfamiliar with this show, take note – it’s the best.  The style is very old school and it takes a little bit of getting used to…but you will learn to LOVE it.  Great, simple, feel-good story lines for an easy Sunday morning.

And that is all!  Soooo basically all I want to do is cook, eat and watch TV.  GOOD!  But sometimes you must have weekends devoted to r&r!  What are you all up to?

XOXO

Local Watering Hole

I’ve always wanted to have a “go-to neighborhood bar” but have never seemed to be able to commit.  Maybe I am too curious and always want to try something new or maybe I just haven’t found the right match yet…

Tonight my gal pals and I are going to explore the neighborhood and I am so excited!  Whenever I walk home from the subway or elsewhere and take a different route I always walk past places and think I need to come back here!  Yet time and time again, when I try to remember where those places were or what they were called, I go blank.  Either I am losing my mind or it’s a common problem amongst others living in the city.  Anyone?  Hopefully it’s the latter.

There’s something magical about having that local watering hole where you know the bartender by name and you can always rely on it for those winter nights when it’s too cold and snowy to leave the ‘hood.  Even though I have lived in my area for going on 3 years, I still tend to go to the West Village or some other area to explore and find new bars or restaurants, and I happen to love where I live!   Not to mention, there are endless possibilities in and around my apartment that have yet to be discovered!  So tonight, my gfs and I are vowing to change that!  We are starting at Terroir, a cute little wine bar tucked away on Harrison Street and going from there…wish us luck!

I can’t wait for a glass of vino, some candlelight, a sweater and my galpals!  I LOVE FALL!  Do you have a go-to bar in your area?  Do you love a dive bar or do you prefer a swankier scene?  I am dive bar gal all the way!  Stay tuned, tonight might be the night where I meet my match!

XOXO

PS – a helpful bar guide from Time Out New York

Wedding of the Year

How do I begin…

Hands down, the most amazing wedding I have ever and probably will ever experience.  I think I have just gotten myself (and my dad) in trouble as my idea of a “nice wedding” has now been jaded.  My weekend started with a morning run with the bride, followed by a lovely (and emotional) bridesmaid luncheon, which just set the scene for the entire weekend.  We sat in a glassed in porch in a quaint little inn off of the main street of town.  We ate petite fours and sipped tea with all of the excitement and anticipation for the wedding ahead!  I then met the bf in the town and we poked into a few stores before it was time for the rehearsal (and the rain).  What could’ve been a damper (no pun intended), ended up making the night, as we drank cocktails and ate hors d’oeuvres, the rain sprinkled on the large glassed in room, dimly lit with candles.  It was such a cozy and romantic feel, as was the entire weekend ahead.  Then, we proceeded to the main dining room, where we entered a buffet of lobsters, mussels, ribs, corn on the cob, clam chowder and apple cobbler.  The whole night was so warm and you could feel the love as people one after another got up and gave speeches (myself included – terrifying).  After several speeches, slide shows and a Power Point presentation (no joke), we were off to the local dive bar where all of our friends were waiting for us.

The next morning, it was right back up early to start the big day!   All of the ladies in the wedding party met at the bride’s family’s house for a morning of primping.  We were surprised with monogrammed robes and Kendra Scott earrings (which the bride designed for us), which we lounged around in all morning.  It was heaven!  We ate breakfast, chatted, got our hair done, chatted, had lunch, put makeup on, got dressed, took a few photos…and we were OFF!  My bestie has never looked so beautiful and happy, and she literally took everyone’s breath away when she walked down the stairs in her dress (ahh… that dress!).  Then before we knew it, we were trolleyed off to the church.  The ceremony felt so full and personal and was actually lead by the president of our alma mater!  I managed to keep it together emotionally which came as a surprise to all of us.  After the ceremony we headed to cocktail hour which included a plentiful raw bar which tasted better than ever!  A glass of wine and a shrimp cocktail later, we were off to the tented reception right on the water which was one of the most unbelievable productions I have ever seen.  Who knew that you could transform a tent into a romantic ballroom fantasy land?!  And we didn’t let the weather stop us!  The flowers, the people, the Temptations cover band, the speeches, the food, everything was above and beyond anything I could’ve imagined!  Once the band stopped, the festivities did not, but of course, there was an after-party back at the hotel with a DJ, late night food, a photo booth, a candy bar and another… open bar.  As you can imagine, we woke up Sunday ready for brunch with sore legs from dancing.  And it came as no surprise, that the brunch was again the most decadent brunch spread I have ever seen.   So as you can imagine, the wedding was an absolute blast and couldn’t have been more beautiful… here are some pictures so you can see for yourself!  Enjoy! (and sorry for the horrible iPhone photos…new camera is on my wish list)

Can you believe this?  I mean the dress?  The flower girl?  COME ON!  Sooo… now I am basically thinking I either need to elope or hire their wedding planner and hope I win the lottery.  It seems reasonable!  Right?

What was your favorite wedding like?  How do you picture your own big day?  I love how everyone’s weddings are so different and each have a personal feel (for the most part).  I was never one of those little girls who dreamed of her wedding day, but being a part of weddings like this has really got me thinking about what I would do for my own!

Hope your week is off to a good start!  Congrats to M&C and enjoy the honeymoon!!!!

XOXO