As helpful as our technology is in keeping us connected to the world, we can so easily misplace or lose our phone, iPads, Kindles, etc. I like to find fun, functional and unique cases for my accessories that help differentiate mine from others’. My iPhone 6 case can be found here which I liked because of how colorful and inviting it appears, but is also fun because it’s designed to stick to surfaces like glass/mirrors. For those of you who create videos or take a lot of selfies, this case can be helpful for you (this, this and this one are also fun designs that also stick). My marbled Kindle case is the Finite smartshell case (found on Amazon.com). Agate coasters were found at TJ Maxx (old, but almost exact pattern found here, but this is a more affordable option).
I recently (finally!) made it to Palm Springs, California which was on my bucket list. I had a few people ask in confusion what exactly was there to see- but for those who have been there, know that it is just a beautiful place. I love a good change in scenery and the sand, desert and mix of palm trees and cactus was just so interesting to me as well as of course, the popular windmills! Despite others’ confusion with my pick, I didn’t let that slow me down from getting there and would encourage all of you to fulfill your dreams. I also believe it makes life not only more interesting, but also more fulfilling and rewarding to create and accomplish your goals and dreams. So below, are my tips on how I make my goals more realistic and attainable:
Set 6-month goals: These are short-term goals that are more easily accomplished over a weekend or day trip, and will tend to be the least expensive. In terms of a location distance, I typically consider this less than 5-6 hours away at the most and somewhere I can drive to after work and make it there by midnight. This allows me enough time to enjoy the weekend and be back by Monday morning. These may include going to the ‘top rated’ restaurant in town, gathering all your family for a get-together or weekend trip, or going to an amusement park. If a flight is involved, I typically consider this under 2 hours so that you could fly out either on a Friday night after work or first thing Saturday morning where you won’t miss much from the day.
Set 1-year goals: These are goals that will require some planning, usually due to cost and/or distance. This goal may include flying (and taking a trip) to the other side of the country. As someone who works a 9-5 life, I consider these trips over a 2-hour flight since it may require more than a couple days off from work to allow enough time to sightsee. For me, I would love to travel long-distance and see Japan or return to Italy and this may be considered more of a 1-3 year time bracket. In terms of cost and planning, I like to work towards something (aside from working hard to pay off student loans- which should be #1 goal) meaning that working towards a fun goal like a vacation really helps push me to save even more. For example when I went to Italy last year (my ultimate bucket list item), I started cleaning out my closet and selling items I really didn’t wear (ever) anymore and also gave up the expensive coffee-on-the-go habit. The Starbucks drink may be cute and tasty, but it’s typically just not worth it and quickly adds up at the end of the month ($$$). Last year, my work required me to be in a different location most days so it was easier to buy lunch out, but I started packing lunches to save. These seem like small and negligible costs, but they really do add up. Every time I considered making a purchase, I would ask myself if it was worth it because I could use that to pay for something towards Italy. I know some people would say that vacations are frivolous and costly (and sure, they can be) but for my personal well-being and happiness, I feel that they really restore you and allow you to restart and refresh. I also feel that life is short and unfortunate circumstances happen, so there is no better time than now.
Set 5+ year goals: These goals may include buying a house, having children, or taking a longer trip (2+ weeks). This might include a big family trip where it can be very hard to quickly coordinate so many individual work schedules and this would allow the time for it. I still encourage everyone to have had any and all loans paid off by this time before proceeding with a house or major trip. These goals are easily pushed off, but they are something to think about and remind yourself of every few months. As we all know, time goes by much faster than you think and this will creep upon you more quickly than you will imagine.
I hope these tips help and are simply how I personally break down my bucket list to make it more achievable. This of course may vary for you, but I wish and hope that all of you accomplish yours! I also recommend reviewing your bucket list every 6 months or after you accomplish one goal because your priorities may change.
Sometimes work can be crazy, stressful, frustrating, and unpredictable so that by the weekend we’re either wound up tight or entirely exhausted. And sometimes, all we want to do is get to the weekend so that we can sleep- but life’s too short to sleep it away. I’ve had my share of weekends that I’ve slept away, only to feel regret, bitterness at myself for snoozing while watching Real Housewives re-runs for 48 hours and #FOMO by Monday morning. From regret and mistakes come lessons, and I’ve shared below my top 3 tips for learning how to enjoy your weekend:
Friday night fun. For those living a 9-5 work schedule, I find that doing something on Friday night makes the weekend feel a little longer. I usually like to go out to dinner, see a movie or look for a festival or event which is much easier to find when the weather is warm. By Saturday, I already feel that I’ve done something. I’m the kind of person that has to have at least one thing to do each weekend, which makes it pretty rare that I will ever sit at home from Friday night straight through the weekend to Monday morning. Although, once in a while everyone needs a staycation!
The week is over. I know- easier said than done, but no matter what happened during the week it’s time to move on. Don’t let any arguments, mishaps or mistakes ruin your weekend because the weekend is your time to detox, de-stress, and restore your soul and mental health. This is a time to restart, refresh and LET LOOSE!
Don’t limit yourself. I once drove 13 hours to Canada to fulfill my bucket list dream of staying in an ice hotel (Hotel de Glace) and I still made it into work Monday morning. I admit this trip wasn’t cheap, and I planned and saved for it but I’m so glad I went because this was one of my favorite trips of all-time. I always try to remember that there’s no better time than now and life is crazy and unpredictable, so sometimes there won’t be a better time. If there’s something you really want to do and it’s reasonably within your budget, then why not do it?
Ok so I didn’t count #4 because it’s technically not the weekend…tip #4 is to do something fun during the week. It’s all too easy to get in the rut of work, dinner, (ideally workout) but usually TV, then sleep so I like to play a game, see a movie, or go bowling at some point during the week. I find that this really helps to break up a monotonous week.
I hope these have helped or inspired you and if you have any other tips to offer then please comment, email or message me!
As many items as I have that are black and white striped, it’s actually surprising that I haven’t consciously noticed this love earlier. What I love about stripes is that if you’re not a fan of wearing stripes (in the fashionable sense!), then maybe you can incorporate it as a statement piece through your wallpaper, rug, pillows, or even purse. I also love that there are so many patterns (horizontal vs vertical vs oblique) but also variations in both colors and widths which can convey more of a luxurious, yacht club feel or even thinner stripes for an unintentional Beetlejuice type feel. I personally gravitate more towards the thicker, block style black and white striped pattern such as that seen of my curtains in the photo above. For a more feminine feel, I also love light pink and white stripes. While I wouldn’t recommend everything in stripes, I encourage you to find the pattern, width, and colors that speak to you for that added piece of fun inspiration!
Curtains (old, Joss & Main; here is a similar option). Monogram beach towel (found here, Pottery Barn). Straw hat is a great deal at less than $30 (here, Asos). Straw beach bag (found here or this clutch version is also so cute, by Kayu).
In honor of National Puppy Day and as crazy as it sounds, there are some things to be learned from observing as well as interacting with our pets. What made me decide to dedicate an entire post to this was mainly that I wanted to share with everyone the life lessons I’ve learned from my dog, Bandit.
Greet everyone with an open heart. What I find to be so wonderful about my dog is that he greets everyone as if they’re already his friend and has so much excitement when meeting people (whether new or a well known friend). If everyone did this, the world might be a happier place (or at least I’d like to hope so).
Live in the moment. It’s so easy caught up in our lives- tomorrow, next week, next month or even next year but what’s most important is right now. We forget to enjoy the time right now until we’ve missed it, so I think it’s important to take time out and remember all the things you are blessed to have.
It’s the small things in life. All your dog needs is food, water, and you. Toys would be nice, but have you ever noticed how happy your dog is just to hang out with you? Why do we always need to be doing something, going somewhere, or buying something?
It’s a beautiful day out. Every day. My dog loves to be outside and running around whether it’s raining cats and dogs (pun intended) or a perfectly sunny day with no humidity.
Just do it. Ok- so aside from Nike’s slogan, what I really mean is that if there’s something you want to do, then why wait? There’s no better time than now. As soon as I’m up out of bed, my dog is awake and ready to greet the day. Why do we procrastinate, thinking there’s a better time later to accomplish something? And how do we even know that we’ll have a chance later?
I hope that all of you can gain something too from these 5 lessons I’ve learned. And I’m sure there are other points you’ve noticed and appreciated about your pets, so please feel free to share!
When I found this marble striped serving board by Thirtystone I was more than excited. This is not only a great way to add a little style to your holiday party but is also a great option as a gift for your lovely hostess. My favorite color/pattern combination is gold with black and white stripes, so I paired the board with Thirtystone’s Old Hollywood Collection cheese slicer set. This 3-piece set from Thirtystone is also a beautiful option.
Choosing those books that will sit on your coffee table is a big decision, which also have to at least look appealing. However, I’m not one to pick a book that just looks pretty, I was also interested in books that would fulfill my #wanderlust and #FOMO during the work week on a Monday night when I walk in the door at 8PM ready for dinner and bed.
My most recent and obvious had-to-get-it pick is Aimee Song’s ‘Capture Your Style’ (buy on Amazon!). This was such a beautiful read, and I have such admiration for her sense of style and the way she can see ordinary and turn it into extraordinary. I have to admit that I was so interested and fascinated by her insight and gorgeous photos, I read the book in one sitting.
Another book on my table is Kate Spade’s ‘Places to Go People to See.’ I love this book for the fun, quirky, cheeky, feminine sense of style. This book definitely fuels my wanderlust, but is so inspiring with all the fabulous locations and style that is featured.
The last book on my table currently is Vogue Living’s ‘Houses, Gardens, People.’ The features in this one are just so unbelievably elegant, classic, and grandiose. This book makes me want to (almost) commit to buying (or at least dream of!) a home with a backyard big enough to landscape. (
On a side note: I am having such fun with these animal print sunglasses from H&M (less than $10!). I am all for cheap sunglasses since I lose or break them so often. I bought these sunglasses less than a year ago and they are no longer available online, but here is a fun animal print pair from H&M with colored lenses.