Friday, March 16, 2018

The Weekly Recap: March 16

TGIF! After a long week, I'm so ready for a relaxing weekend!

• Joe's parents visited last weekend
• We visited the One World Observatory and Met on Saturday
• On Saturday night, we saw a show at the Comedy Cellar & Judah from 30 Rock was there!
• We checked brunch at Beauty & Essex off the bucket list - it was amazing
• Joe and I took his parents to the Natural History Museum on Sunday 
• I took a spin class at Flywheel, which was one of my Upper East Side favorites

Weekend Plans:
Saturday: TBD!
Sunday: TBD!

Throwback Post
Florence Guide: One Day: The travel bug is all too real! I really want to take Joe to Europe, especially Italy. 


• Jordan Peele: Can Film Change Our Culture? [Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations]
• How to Build Your Creative Empire [Don't Keep Your Day Job]

Song Of The Week

Monday, March 12, 2018

My Favorite Restaurants in Jersey City

Over the weekend, Joe's parents visited us in Jersey City. We've been here for over six months now so  of course we wanted to bring them to some of our favorite restaurants. This made me think about the places we love to dine and I figured I'd share.

Razza: This was the first spot we took Joe's parents to--their pizza was named the best pizza in New York in New Jersey! Their brick oven pizza was great but their bread and butter really stole the show. The bread and butter are both house-made and perfect!

Taqueria Downtown: As California transplants, we can be picky when it comes to Mexican food. Taqueria Downtown is decent--we like the guac and tacos. This spot is no frills but upbeat. It's a small joint so it's usually packed but the service is quick. 

Left Bank Burger Bar: If you're looking for a casual spot for burgers and beer, this place is for you. We've taken both sets of our parents here and everyone has really enjoyed it. I'm pretty easy to please with burgers and get their bankrupt burger--basically a cheeseburger. Joe really likes their ahi burger. We hope to hit up their happy hour soon!

Brownstone Diner: Pancake lovers rejoice. Joe and I love this spot for stacks of pancakes on a snowy weekend morning. This diner has been around Jersey City for ages and offers tons of delightful breakfast options. Be prepared to wait a bit for your table though. 

Porta: Another pizza joint. Right by the Grove Street Path, you'll find this delicious pizzeria. I love the ambiance and their quality food.

Wonder Bagels: For my bagel lovers: Wonder Bagels is better than some of my New York staples. Their bagels are huge and fluffy. Joe also really likes their steak and egg breakfast burritos.

Bang Cookies: These cookies are so good and you can order them online! Free local delivery on orders of 4+.  

Any spots I should add to the list? I'd love some suggestions!

Friday, March 9, 2018

The Weekly Recap: March 9

Wow this week has been exhausting! From the snow storm to mounds of work, I'm so happy it's Friday.

• Joe and I ventured into Brooklyn on Sunday: we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, went to the Brooklyn Cat Cafe and snapped some Insta-worthy stoop photos
• We also went Sweet Moment in Chinatown--the drinks were almost too cute to drink
• I tried a dance class at Alvin Ailey with my coworkers
• We had a huge snow storm on Wednesday and I spent the day working from my couch
• Joe and I actually made a nice dinner midweek--filet mignon, mashed potatoes, and roasted broccoli 
• We're diving into season 2 of Jessica Jones on Netflix

Weekend Plans:
Joe's parents are visiting!
Saturday: We're hitting up One World Observatory and seeing a show at the Village Underground that night
Sunday: Brunch at Beauty & Essex then a visit to the Natural History Museum

Throwback Post
Our Wedding Photos: I've been sharing our wedding photos with my new coworkers this week. It reminded me of all the fun details and photos! I'll always enjoy going through my favorites. 


• How She Did It: Running a Chart-Topping Podcast [The Goal Digger Podcast, Episode 132]
• 5 Big Lies That Are Holding You Back [The Goal Digger Podcast, Episode 131]

Song Of The Week

Friday, March 2, 2018

The Weekly Recap: March 2

It's Friday! We finally made it. This week was exhausting and I'm ready to head into the weekend.

• I brunched for a friend's birthday at Blend On The Water
• We went to karaoke for the first time in K Town
• I saw Game Night [gotta love Movie Pass]
• I've been experiencing the worst insomnia--please send your remedies!
• I saw Phantom of the Opera on Broadway with my team [we also discovered the cheapest dive bar beforehand]
• I've been making my way through the latest season of Grace & Frankie

Weekend Plans:
Saturday: I'm getting a massage, not sure what I'll be up to the rest of the day
Sunday: TBD! [but definitely cleaning up before my in laws visit next week]

Throwback Post
Cherry Blossoms | Brooklyn Botanic Garden: I'm itching for spring to arrive! I want to see the cherry blossoms again this year. 


• Improving Your Online Following [The Influencer Podcast, Episode 48]
• Grandma Uggboot [Will You Accept This Rose?]

Song Of The Week

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

How To Change Careers Without Losing Your Mind

Last week I shared a post about finding your dream career. Long story short, I wasn't a fan of my career and switched fields in mid twenties. I went through a few things I did to help me find my new career. Once you've found your passion, you need a way to work towards it without losing your mind.  Hence my post today. 

One of my biggest obstacles was handling the transition. Now that I knew my end goal--what did I need to do to reach it? How could I support myself along the way? 

Learn To Handle Rejection: Since I didn't have experience in the field I wanted to enter, I had learn to accept rejection. Lots of rejection. I went on loads of interviews and was rejected. Over and over. As tough as it was, I learned to accept the rejection and move forward. I allowed myself to be upset and leaned on my support system. Once I dealt with the disappointment, I moved on. Whether that meant researching other companies or applying to more jobs that day, I encouraged myself to persevere. 

Support: Along with the rejection comes a need for a support system. Lean on friends, family, counselors, or whoever else for support. Pursuing a new career path isn't easy. Commend yourself for doing it and find others who will be there for you when it isn't going smoothly.

Write Down Your Fears: Changing careers comes with unknowns, which can make us fearful. Write down everything that is worrying you about switching gears. Then be proactive. Come up with solutions to ease your worries. For example: if you're worried about money, focus on how you will financially support yourself while switching careers. 

Self-Care: You know I had to include self-care, as I'm a huge proponent of it. Take time for yourself. Pamper yourself. Move. Nourish yourself; body and soul. 

Treat Interviews As Learning Experiences: One of the nice things about going on lots of interviews for similar jobs is you'll probably be asked the same questions. Write down questions that stumped you on the spot and spend some time writing out thoughtful answers. Also remember: you are interviewing these companies as much as they are interviewing you. Use this time to really learn about the day-to-day responsibilities and office culture. I wasn't always treated with respect during interviews. This taught a lot about companies I didn't want to work for. Use everything you learn to make informed decision moving forward. 

I hope these tips can be of use to you in your job search!

Friday, February 23, 2018

The Weekly Recap: February 23

Ah we've reached another Friday. This week has been an exciting one for me! 

• Joe and I enjoyed Sunday brunch at the Butcher's Daughter. I've been meaning to try it for ages and it did not disappoint--I got the weekend waffles & Joe got the avocado benedict. 
• With Monday off, I did a little pampering: eyelash perm & nails
• I started a new job and I LOVE it!
We experienced some warmer weather for part of the week

Weekend Plans:
Saturday: I'll be celebrating my girl, Stephany's birthday
Sunday: I want to see Blank Panther--everyone says it's amazing and MoviePass makes it so easy

Throwback Post
Eyelash Perm Experience: Since I got my lashes done this week, this post feels appropriate. My first visit was fall of 2016 [tested out before my wedding] & I shared my experience. This was my third time getting this service. I always love the way my lashes look after! Although Gigi's Yelp says she is closed, you can book an appointment here. The price has gone up for weekends [now $50, cash only] but if you go during the week, it's $40 [before 4:45PM]. 

• Body Politics & Anti-Diet Activism [Food Psych, Episode 143]
• 3 Steps to Starting and Succeeding at Your Dream [The Influencer Podcast, Episode 47] 

Song Of The Week

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

How To Find Your Dream Career

Happy Hump Day! Isn't it wild that we're halfway through the week already?! Thank you, long weekend! 

I've been going through some [good] changes in my life recently and reflecting on how I got where I am. I've been meaning to start a career advice series for ages. I want to share what I'm going through as I change careers. 

If you didn't know, I fully changed career paths less than a year ago. I started my career in health-related research. I got my bachelor's degree, worked in research for two years, then got my master's degree in New York. During my master's, I started to realize that this wasn't the path for me. After my program concluded, I spent some time applying to jobs in the health field; honestly, I felt guilty so that's what I did. After a few months, I literally couldn't do it anymore. I was lying to myself and employers. I took some time to reflect and search for my next move. In this post, I want to share a few things I did to find my current field. 

1. Read: The moment I told my parents I wanted to switch careers, they ordered me this book. An updated edition of this book comes out every year and it's been around for a while now. The first half discusses getting a job and the second half helps you gain clarity on what you want to do. Do the exercises and make lists! I wrote all over my copy.

2. Meet With A Career Counselor: I realize this may not be feasible for everyone but if you can, do it! This is still something I still mention in job interviews when potential employers ask about my transition. I was fortunate to have just completed graduate school and my university has a great career center. I made an appointment with a counselor. We basically discussed what I'd done before, why I didn't like it, and some ideas of what I might like to do. She recommended a few jobs off the bat but also had me take an in depth assessment. We went over the results in a follow-up meeting and she gave me more career options then. My current field came from one of her suggestions! 

3. Browse Job Boards: If you have some ideas from the book and/or career counselor, I recommend scanning job boards. My favorite job boards are IndeedLinkedIn Jobs, and Google Jobs. Take a look at what jobs are out there, what are their titles, and what qualifications are required for them. You may not have all the skills you need already but you can certainly consider taking classes and/or doing an internship to gain experience.

4. Update Your Resume: Per my last tip, you need to have your qualifications in check to even be considered for your dream job. Look at the skills required and update your resume with any you have.   Tailor your resume to postings for particular jobs. There are tons of free resources that offer resume support. If you are a student, I highly recommend your career center. I remember taking my resume there during my time as an undergraduate. Also, local libraries [NYPL does!] tend to have free classes about resumes, job hunting, etc. 

5. Try Out A Job: Whether this be a taking on temporary work (what I did initially) or diving into a full time position, find a way to test the waters. I applied and interviewed for tons of jobs. The best fit happened to be temporary so I took it for the experience. I ended up learning way more than I expected and meeting some of my closest friends. 

These definitely aren't magical solutions but these are a few things I did and they helped me. I sincerely hope you find your dream job! I know I'm 10x happier today than I was a year ago.

Monday, February 19, 2018

5 Ways To Unwind At Night

We can all agree that sleep is important. We can probably also agree that we don't get enough of it. Whether it is staying up too late, waking up in the middle of the night, or spending too long on our phones in bed--it's easy not to get enough sleep. 

I have always struggled with falling asleep. Once I'm asleep, I'm ok but getting myself to sleep is an issue. I can remember staring up at the ceiling as a kid and just hoping to fall asleep soon. Over the years, I've found a few ways to unwind at night [assuming I actually follow through]. 

1. Stretching: This is my best way to relax at night. I danced growing up and would stretch every night before bed. I did it to get more flexible but it also really helps with sleep--your muscles release tension. I like to turn on calming music and stretch when I get the chance. 

2. Journaling: Growing up I also tried to keep a diary. I inevitably would stop writing in it and would give up on it. As an adult, I've found more structured journals. I'm currently working through a meditation journal from Lululemon. I'm also a big fan of the Five Minute Journal.

3. Tea: Sipping a nighttime tea [think yogi calming or sleepytime] can do wonders before bed.

4. Guided Meditation: I'm slowly getting into meditation and know it can be powerful for calming in the mind. I really like the Calm app for convenient guided meditation.

5. Essential Oils: I recently became a Young Living distributor. I was already into essential oils but I've been learning more about them recently and everything they are capable of. I like to diffuse lavender or stress away at night. I also rub thieves [for immunity] and lavender [for sleep support] on the bottoms of my feet before going to bed. 

What helps you unwind at night?

Saturday, February 17, 2018

The Weekly Recap: February 17

Happy Saturday! Who else is excited about this three day weekend?! 

I am starting a new series on blog: The Weekly Recap. I've been wanting to share regular updates for a while now but couldn't decide how to share. I figure the best way is to recap my week every Friday. I initially planned to have this out yesterday, however, I was out late on Thursday, didn't get it up and figured I'd post this next week. I just came to the realization that I don't need to wait a whole week because I missed a self-imposed deadline and this can go up on Saturday this week!

For now, this will be my format but I may change out categories--we'll see how it goes. 

• I attended the Simply conference for the third year in a row last Saturday!
• Joe and I booked a trip to Disney World in May
• I became a Young Living distributor and all my essential oils came in this week [video coming soon]
• For Valentine's Day: we went to Bocca Di Bacco for dinner, it was really good. We also saw Kinky Boots on Broadway. 
• I've been getting into meditation recently--I tried out Inscape [in NYC], downloaded the Calm app, and started a Lululemon journal
• I caught up with Julia at the Grey Dog by Union Square
• I tried cupping for the first time and surprisingly didn't bruise as much as I thought I would
• I'm starting something new and exciting next week [I'll definitely share it in next week's recap]

Weekend Plans:
Saturday: Joe has to work but we're seeing a show at UCB at night
Sunday: TBD, I'd like to do brunch if it stops snowing or something else in Manhattan
Monday: Long weekends are the best! Joe has to work but I'll hit up a pilates class and get my nails done

Throwback Post
Book of Mormon Review: Since we saw a show on Broadway this week, I started thinking about my show reviews. This was my second show review and is still my favorite show on Broadway. In fact, I saw it for a second time in December!


• 10 Things I'm Afraid To Tell You...[Goal Digger, Episode 127]

Song Of The Week

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

A Love Letter To My Husband

Happy Valentine's Day! Whether you are married, single, or somewhere in between--I hope you have a great day! This is our first married Valentine's Day, which is wild to me. I can't believe we said "I do" over six months ago and we're continuing in our journey of marriage. 

This year, we are celebrating with dinner and a Broadway show--it was so fun last year and we might make it a tradition!

The real reason to celebrate today is because we love each other. We fight for our love and relationship every single day. Life isn't easy but it's a lot easier together. Writing is one of my favorite ways to express myself so I decided to share a love letter to my husband..

Dear Joe, 

It has been a wild ride since I met in the summer of 2012. We were just kids then and no idea about the journey that lied ahead of us. I remember our first Valentine's Day vividly--I was still in SLO and you were up north. I drove up, after class, on Thursday so we could spend President's weekend together. I was supposed to spend the night at my parents and see you over the weekend but I desperately wanted to see you that day, on Valentine's Day. Even though it was late and I'd driven for hours, I drove on to see you. We made a heart-shaped pizza and drank wine. It was perfect. 

Every Valentine's Day since, we've done something special. The next year we took a sushi class and made chocolate soufles from scratch. In 2015, I surprised you and took you to Seattle for the weekend. Our next Valentine's was our first in New York! There was a snowstorm and we had breakfast in bed with our newly adopted fur baby, Nutmeg. Last year was our last Valentine's as an engaged couple and we saw Waitress on Broadway. This Valentine's will be special in its own way, as every other year has been. 

I cherish the memories I've made with you, each and every year. Our experiences have molded our relationship. I look back at the moments you've made me laugh or smile--I can't help but love you even more. You are truly one of the kindest people I've ever met. I can genuinely say that I've never met someone who dislikes you; that says so much about your character. 

You are a stand up guy. You've been there for me in my darkest times and for my greatest accomplishments. You left a comfortable life in California to struggle with me in New York. You helped me develop into the person I've become--a completely different person than I was when we first started dating in 2012. You've taught me how to be brave in difficult times. You've helped me become more confident and accept myself for who I am. You make me the best version of myself. 

Six years ago, I never would have expected to be where we are today. I cannot wait for all our adventures to come! 

I love you to the moon & back. 

Yours forever,

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Galentine's Day Gift Guide

Galentine's Day: "Oh it's only the best day of the year. Every February 13th, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It's like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas." --Leslie Knope, Parks and Recreation

Can you tell I've been re-watching Parks & Rec recently?! I watched the entire series when it aired and decided to go through the whole show again this month. While I do post a Galentine's Day gift guide every year, I decided this year to feature my gifts that align with Leslie Knope quotes. You could even use the quote in a card or gift tag!

Gift #1: "I need you to text me every 30 seconds saying that everything is gonna be ok."  

Gift #2: "Ann, you beautiful tropical fish." [sub for friend's name!]

Gift #3: "I am super chill all the time!" 

Gift #4: "If I had to have a stripper name, it would be Equality."

Gift #5: "I guess some people object to powerful depictions of awesome ladies."

Gift #6: "You know my code. Hoes before bros. Uteruses before duderuses. Ovaries before broveries."

Gift #7: "Slowing down is not really my jam." 

Gift #8: "Why would anybody ever eat anything besides breakfast food?"

Gift #9: "I am a Goddess, a glorious female warrior." 

Gift #10: "Ann, you poetic and noble land-mermaid." [sub for friend's name!]


Friday, February 9, 2018

How To Start Listening To Your Body


Three years ago, I was suffering from major back pain. This wasn't a new injury. I had been suffering for almost four years. I had chosen to ignore my body, on more than one occasion, and this had resulted in a major injury.

Let's get really personal...

Backing up a bit–I had an unhealthy relationship with exercise when I was in college. I was always curvier growing up and decided to change things in college. I became a personal trainer and became obsessed with physical appearance. I ran, lifted weights, did Crossfit, yoga, hiking, swimming, pilates, cycling–sometimes multiple workouts in one day. I completed my first half marathon in 2011. Six months later, I wasn't running as much [although still running very regularly] and I was doing Crossfit. I became insecure about the muscles I was developing and started adding in more cardio to look more lean. One day at Crossfit, the friend I had gone with finished before me. I start pushing myself because I was embarrassed she finished first. During one of the exercises, I felt my back start to sink in–I will never forget this feeling. After the workout, she tells me she skipped some of the exercises because she was tired. I was annoyed but also felt relieved that I had actually finished the workout. The next day I woke up in so. much. pain.

I tried to stretch and foam roll. I talked to my instructors at Crossfit. Literally nothing helped me. The worst part was everyone around me encouraged me to keep going. No one wanted me to take a break. I was finally [somewhat] happy with how I looked and wanted to keep going–I was in a really dark place.

I kept going and the pain got worse [shocker]. I slowed down a little bit but I kept working out. I had just signed up for two more half marathons and was determined to complete them. Two weeks before the first half marathon, I knew I wouldn't be able to complete it without severely hurting myself more so I opted out. This was emotionally painful because this event required a trip. The race was in Canada. I was going with a friend. We had flights and a hotel booked. Bummer right? I went on the trip, cheered her on, and tried to ignore my super disappointed feelings.

After this trip, things continued to be rough. I had seen a couple doctors and was going to physical therapy regularly. I wasn't making any progress. I was still in just as much pain. It wasn't getting worse but I wanted to be my "old self" again.

Over the course of three years, I tried a chiropractor, physical therapists, and loads of doctors. I got acupuncture, massages, pain killers, muscle relaxants, products I'll never remember the name of, and cortisone shots in my spine [the most painful thing ever]. After my MRI, my doctor told me I'd have chronic pain for the rest of my life. He told me this at 23 years old. He put me in a support program for people with chronic pain. I had to get a full evaluation with a doctor, physical therapist, and psychologist. I had to go to appointments multiple times every week and saw no improvements.

Nearly three years ago, I decided to get one more opinion before moving to New York. My friend had told me about a special type of physical therapy–the Graston Technique. I found an office in my town that utilized this technique and called them up. One month later, I was pain free. It was the most insane thing ever. Apparently, my back injury had healed itself a long time before but I was left with a lot of tightness that caused referred pain; your muscles tighten up to protect areas that have been injured. It truly was a miracle!

After my injury and years of suffering, I've learned the importance of listening to your body.

I appreciate movement and how it makes me feel [mentally and physically]. I also would never want to push myself past healthy limits again.


I mainly go to classes and walk. Obviously walking happens a lot naturally in New York City. I really like ClassPass because I have so many options. There are so many classes that are geared towards mental health and relaxation as well–I went to a restorative yoga and meditation class the other day.

I don't work out to look a certain way anymore. For years, that was my motivation and focus. After years of recovery from injuries and an unhealthy relationship with my body, my body has changed a lot. Five years ago, I would never post a photo like the photo above. Now I'm proud of my body, changes and all. I'm finally listening to my body and letting it change naturally based on its needs. I may not totally have it down yet but I'm working on it. Progress not perfection!

I also like activewear that feels good on my body. The outfit pictured above was sent to me by Fabletics, a company I've admired for years. Fabletics [Kate Hudson's activewear company] is an affordable yet quality-focused activewear line. I really admire that Fabletics is a size inclusive brand, offering sizes XXS-3X on their website. They also offer great introductory deals – 2 pairs of leggings for $24 – a $99 value – when you sign up for their flexible VIP membership program. Highly recommend this line!


This post is extremely long so to sum things up: choose movement that feels good to your body and avoid pushing yourself passed your limits. Our bodies work so hard everyday to function properly so we need to show them some love too!

What do you do to listen to your body? I'd love to find out in the comments!


Monday, February 5, 2018

My Everyday Makeup Routine

Recently I've been keeping my everyday makeup pretty consistent. I have a few products I absolutely adore. I usually only change up my look by rotating my lip products--otherwise I stick to what I like! 

Let's dive into my routine...

I always start off my priming my skin so my makeup stays all day. I love the Fenty primer--I've been using it for a couple months and it gives my skin a beautiful glow. 

For my base, I've been using the Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation. It is buildable and makes your skin look flawless. I recently found the most amazing concealer--Tarte Shape Tape. It is the best undereye concealer I've ever use. It provides great coverage and doesn't crease on me (assuming I set with Laura Mercier Translucent Powder). I always apply these products with my BeautyBlender

Then I dab on a bit of Glossier Cloud Paint [such a fun blush!]. I just use my fingers to blend in a couple dots of this product. I use a Real Techniques brush to dust on my Becca highlight. I finish my look by filling in my brows with Glossier Boy Brow. I occasionally wear mascara but recently I've been skipping it! My lip product also rotates every day. 

What are your go-to products?


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Tips For Maintaining Your Car

Thank you to for sponsoring this post!

Our car has seen a lot of wear and tear over the past few years. We moved across the country (California -> New York). Joe drives this car to work every day in the rain, snow, or otherwise. Also, for two years, he drove from Manhattan to job sites across the city or New Jersey every week. This car has seen a lot of use! 

When he bought this car, it is obviously a huge investment. We do everything we can to maintain it well so it will last for years to come. 

Here are a few tips for maintaining a car:

• Check your engine oil [this the blood of your car & should be changed every 3000 miles]
• Check tire air pressure [can easily been done at offers a step by step guide & video on how to do this]
• Wash your car [show your car some love]

Six Months [or 7500 miles]: 
• Check the air filter [remove air-filter element & hold up to light; if you don't see light, it's time to replace it]
• Inspect exhaust system [check for rusted exhaust parts that need replacing & tighten loose clamps]
• Check brakes [either in the shop or at home]
Check the fluids
Clean the radiator [this prevents overheating]
Check the battery
Check lights [ask a friend to help you check the headlights, taillights, reverse lights, brake lights, and turn signals]

Two-Four Years:
Drain & flush cooling system [may be best to find a shop for this one]
Change automatic-transmission fluid
Replace drive belts & hoses [although they may not show signs, if they become noisy--it's time to replace them]
Change the timing belt

As Needed:
Replace broken lights, windows, mirrors [always do this ASAP--safety first!]
Clean the interior [especially important if you want to sell your car eventually]
Replace windshield wipers 

Anything I missed? Leave it down in the comments!

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