Saturday, December 31, 2016

Hello... It's me.

Were you wondering if after all this time, I was still alive? Well, I am, and I think I'm the best I've ever been.

I've spent the past few months focusing on other things besides this blog, but the approaching New Year seemed like a good time to get back into writing. Since the last time I wrote, I have completed a few more semesters of graduate school, most recently my MBA capstone class. I have two more classes and I graduate in May!

I've grown in confidence, independence and experience throughout these past few months. Some of my priorities have changed and some of my convictions have gotten stronger. I'm in the healthiest relationship I've ever been in, I'm working towards graduating with my MBA, I am about to start job searching for my next career move, and I'm excited to see what my next steps are.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Resolutions for self betterment

Hello! I'm alive!

After another brief period of being generally unwell, I am finally getting back to being my good old self. I have officially been graduated for over a year, and recently was able to watch the members of the Class of 2016 graduate from my alma mater, and place of employment. It was wonderful to watch them walk across the stage while simultaneously trying to get a decent photograph of them and uploading posts to social media (for my job, of course).  

In one year, I will be walking across that same stage once again with my Master's diploma waiting for me. It's wild that I'll be moving onward and upward from my cozy little life in small town America in just a year, but I know that these two years of post grad living will have taught me so much about the real world, that I'll be an even greater candidate for an upper level job in a big city, potentially abroad. 

It is such an exciting time in my life, and I am trying to take in every moment as best as I can, though I've realized that I haven't been doing my best at being my best. Does that make sense? I've been so comfortable and maybe even complacent, the past few weeks that I haven't really been moving forward, but rather staying in the same place. After being sick again and watching at least five hours of Netflix in a single day last week, I decided I needed to make some changes and quit wasting my time. 

Here are a handful of small improvements I want to make a point of implementing in my daily life to help me grow and be the best I can be:
  • Work out each day - even if it's just 15 minutes of yoga before bed 
  • Aim to do 1 hour of grad school work a day (at least)
  • Take my vitamins every day - I've been having some medical issues blah blah blah so a good, proactive thing to do would be to make a point of taking my daily vitamins daily, instead of maybe twice a week, when I remember 
  • Take some time each week to plan for the future - my real real life will be starting in about a year, so the discernment and job search process begins, yet again!

Friday, May 20, 2016

What I've Learned One Year Post-Grad

It has been a little bit over a year since I have graduated from undergrad... In that year, I have gone through a lot of change and a lot of growth. I have laughed, I have loved, I have been challenged, I started graduate school and working in an office and at a newspaper... I have learned more than I ever believed I would in a year and I'm certain that I am better because of it.

Though I could write an entire novel on the different life experiences I have gained from one year, I have cut it down to just 20 tidbits:
  1. Seeing friends and making plans require a lot of effort
  2. Paying rent hurts, but having a place of my own (that I pay for myself) is one of the best feelings in the world
  3. Having great coworkers makes going to work a lot easier
  4. I love baking
  5. Having good friends is the biggest blessing 
  6. Not dating anyone is far better than dating the wrong person
  7. Spotify premium (at the student rate) may be a necessity 
  8. Having a good landlord is truly a blessing 
  9. Having annoying neighbors is just something that happens and there's not much you can do 
  10. Going out every weekend is overrated and expensive 
  11. I like cats! (I've never had a pet before this year)
  12. Budgeting is hard
  13. Grad school is not any easier than undergrad for the most part
  14. Paying off your credit card every month is hard
  15. Having a washer and dryer in my apartment is the biggest luxury ever
  16. I do quite well on my own 
  17. Going to the grocery store can be turned into a weekend plan that you look forward to 
  18. "Making dinner" doesn't happen every night 
  19. You must make time for the things you actually enjoy doing
  20. Driving 40+ minutes to do something fun is normal 
I daresay I have learned more about the working world, humanity and myself in one year of post graduate living, than in four years of undergrad! This year has definitely been one to shape me and make me even better than I was 365 days ago. 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

My KeepCup

If you know me personally, or just follow me on Pinterest, then you know that I have an attraction to a gorgeous cup of fair trade coffee (ahem, just check out my coffee&tea board). I believe that enjoying a hot beverage (like coffee or tea) should be an experience, rather than just a habit. If you really take the time to enjoy the processes of grinding grounds or steeping tea, these seemingly normal actions can become lovely little rituals during your day. Having a classy travel mug to keep them in makes these moments even more glorious. 

Enter my trusty, right hand companion, KeepCup:

It may come as a surprise to you all, but I didn't really start drinking coffee regularly until last year... my senior year of college. Actually, I vividly remember making a mental note when I was younger that I never wanted to depend on something like coffee every single morning like so many adults did... well, here I am...

I began my quest for the ideal to-go mug after the plastic one I had became stained after so much use. Being a young professional, I decided that I wanted to upgrade to a travel mug that was edgy, aesthetically pleasing and functional. Since I am trying to live a life with as little unnecessary waste as possible, I also wanted something that I could take with me while I was out and about so I wouldn't have to use as many disposable containers.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

my week in objects (mostly).

Here are five things that made my week:

1. this clean and decorated corner of the apartment.

(because we crammed 11 guests into our tiny abode to celebrate a special birthday!)

2. these pretties.

(for brightening up the kitchen and being such a gorgeous, deep hue.)

Sunday, April 3, 2016

my week in objects (mostly).

Getting back to reality after Easter break was difficult, but here are five little things that made my week:

1. this haircut. 

(because I said "above the shoulders," without meaning quite this short, but I'm alright with it now.)

2. this Venezuelan staple. 

(because I love my mother's homemade arepas and I can't wait to make them in my own kitchen.)

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

my gratitude project.

I have been wanting to do some kind of gratitude project for a while now, but I never knew where to begin. I needed to find a way to make a point of appreciating the people who I have in my life, and I figured that the few months before Easter would be a good time to do this. It would also give me a deadline as to when to wrap up the project. After thinking and looking online for some inspiration, I decided that writing thank you notes (really, more like thank you letters) would be a great way to reflect on all I have to be grateful for. 

Since letters take more time than emails or social media posts, and are much more intimate, I thought that they would be a good way to proceed with this project. I love writing and receiving mail, so I figured that the people I wrote to would enjoy this project as well. It's a nice feeling to be recognized for being kind, even when you don't realize that you've been doing anything extraordinary. 

I started my project by making a list of 30ish people that I knew I wanted to write to. This included good friends, family members, acquaintances, coworkers, my doctor, my landlord and some others that I added along the way. My goal was to write 30-40 letters by Easter, so I was able to put a check mark and the date next to the names on my list after I wrote and sent their letters. 

Monday, March 28, 2016

my week in objects (mostly).

Once again, my poor little blog has been neglected for a few months. I was dealing with the same mystery illness as before, on top of piles of work and MBA courses... but not to worry! I am feeling  much better now and am finally getting back to my normal self. So much better, that I may even start working out again (because apparently I'm up for another 10 miler in April?!).

Anyways, here are five little things that made my week:

1. this iced mocha. 

(for keeping me going after work and onto a 3 and a half hour night class.)

2. these hints of spring. 

(for making me even more excited for warm weather.)

3. this cozy, wool sweater.

(because it still fits even after shrinking a bit in the wash.)

4. this coffee and cupcake date.

(because we've been besties for 9 years, and it's always so good to get together when I'm home.)

5. this snoozy lap cat. 

(because she kept me company on the couch when I wasn't up to doing much else but napping and schoolwork.)

Saturday, February 6, 2016

my week in objects (mostly).

Unfortunately, I have been plagued with a mystery illness for the past week or so, which has made it difficult to focus on anything but sleeping, but anyways, here are five little things that made my difficult week a bit better:

1. this meal.

(because gluten free bread isn't all that bad, especially when smothered in garlic and butter, and served with portobello pizzas.)

2. these Indian sweets.

(because they arrived safely in a care package sent to me by my mom!)

Monday, January 25, 2016

Surviving the snowpocalypse

If you're located anywhere near the East coast of the United States, you heard about Winter Storm Jonas... which finally brought winter to my area in Maryland after an unusually warm December and January.

Anyways, we were told all about the impending blizzard all throughout last week, so we had time to prep for being snowed in to our little apartment for a few days. It was my roommate and I's first winter snow storm on our own and off a college campus, so we made sure we did everything we could to be safe, comfortable, and prepared for anything that could come our way. 

My roommate and I had plenty of time to run the grocery store to grab everything we needed to keep us fed for the next few days and longer, if need be. We made sure to stock up on gallons of water, bread, fruits, vegetables and baking ingredients to keep us going during the weekend.

Being cooped up inside all weekend made it easy to just snack throughout each day, so I made sure I had healthy and delicious snacks on hand, like vegetables, pita chips and hummus. There was also a lot of cookie eating, since we baked peanut butter cookies, but life is all about balance. 

Snow started falling on Friday evening and we knew it was going to stick around so we hunkered down. 

I had absolutely no plans for the weekend, so I did not set an alarm and couldn't wait to sleep in. When we woke up on Saturday morning, my little car was completely covered in snow! It continued to snow all day, so I focused on my editing work for our local newspaper and chilled, though it was hard to not get a little stir crazy. 

That evening, my roommate and I made interesting smoothies, cooked an amazing dinner (seen below), and then drank gin and tonics while we watched Tristan and Isolde. It was a snow day well spent.

On Sunday, we woke to find that it had stopped snowing, but besides that, not much had changed at all. My car was still covered in snow and the plow had not touched the roads by our apartment. I'm really not used to how Maryland handles snow, being from upstate New York. Instead of having designated plowing machines, like in my hometown, our little Maryland town has trucks with plows attached to the front. They are also quite slow to dealing with plowing the roads. It's definitely a cultural difference between the two areas. 

We heard a lot more action outside our apartment, so we decided to take a walk through town. Though the sidewalks weren't really cleared, we hiked to Main street and checked out how it was coping with all the snow. It was a nice adventure and it felt great to get out of the apartment.

Here are some suggestions for surviving the next blizzard:
  1. Stay updated with a weather app
  2. Own a shovel
  3. Get to the grocery store and stock up on necessities including food, water and batteries
  4. Find a new hobby and dive right in
  5. Cancel all your plans just in case it snows for a while
  6. Get snowed in with a friend!
  7. Combat boredom with books, movies, homework, baking, games, whatever
  8. Make sure you have candles, flashlights and blankets in case the power goes out
  9. Charge all your electronics while you have power 
  10. Use your time to be productive
  11. Do an at-home workout if you're inside for a while
  12. Cook something really elaborate while you have the time
  13. Play outside!
  14. Make sure your car has enough gas in it for when you can finally drive
  15. Have warm gloves and snow gear for when you have to shovel out your car
My roommate and I had a great weekend in the apartment and we still have one more day off since the university we work at is closed for a snow day!

How did you survive Jonas?

Sunday, January 24, 2016

my week in objects (mostly).

five little things that made my (hectic) week:

1. this adorable, glass travel mug.

(because I love everything that KeepCup stands for and was happy to purchase such an adorable and necessary accessory to keep on me at all times.)

2. this practice partner.

(because what better way to be distracted from your yoga flow than a yoga cat? #namaste)

Friday, January 15, 2016

my week in objects (mostly).

here are five little things that made my week:

1. these parcels.

 (because receiving a textbook and a letter on the same day just made me so happy!)

2. this selfie.

(because we have all been best friends since our freshman year and it was great to reunite last weekend!)

Saturday, January 9, 2016

my week in objects (mostly).

five little things that made my week:

1. this tiny baby succulent. 


(because he now sits happily on my desk at work.)

2. this mason jar of oats. 

(because I'm trying to eat healthier after devouring everything in sight over the holidays, but still want to feel full.)

Thursday, January 7, 2016

50 things to do for yourself

It is no surprise that I have learned quite a lot as a young female professional and recent college graduate who has only been let loose in the "real world," for a few months. There is a lot of growing up to be done when transitioning from being an undergraduate student to being a young professional and graduate student. Working two different, professional jobs, starting my MBA and having my own apartment has taught me a lot about what it takes to keep it together in the real world. 

I've learned that success starts with yourself. YOU are the key to success (has DJ Khaled brought up that one yet?)

It is important to respect yourself, be independent, rely on yourself and plan for the future. Only you can ensure your own path to your best self, and I think that all female 20-somethings who are trying to lead a successful life should start with themselves.


So here are 50 things that you can do for yourself:

  1.  Have a budget 
  2.  Create things - write, doodle, craft, whatever makes you happy!
  3.  If you don't have a favorite book, find one 
  4.  Take yourself out on a date
  5.  Be quirky 
  6.  Don't let criticism discourage you
  7.  Find a routine that works for you 
  8.  If you haven't gotten your driver's license yet, get it 
  9.  Find a mantra 
  10.  Be comfortable with yourself

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Easy ways to start living greener

If you know me at all, you know I'm a recycling fiend. I will keep and wash out plastic cups, I will pick up discarded water bottles that I find, I will tear out my notebook pages at the end of the semester to save them from going into landfills... but the reality of the matter is that recycling is not enough. 

If you take a look at the four R's (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle), you will find that recycling comes last... that's because it should be seen as a last resort. I was  taught a few years ago that there should actually be another R included, and that would be Refuse. 

Anglesbyangela easy ways to live greener eco friendly

By refusing everyday items that we have just gotten used to using and accepting, we can start changing the world. We can 100% live without plastic bags, we really don't need plastic straws most of the time, and who even has time for plastic cups?

If you start making a point to eliminate these wasteful, unnecessary objects from your life, there is a chance that your actions will catch on and start a movement.  

Here are just a few easy ways to start living greener:

Anglesbyangela easy ways to live greener eco friendly

Bring your own bags 

Sunday, January 3, 2016

my week in objects (mostly).

five little things that made my week:

1. this set of loose teas. 

AnglesbyAngela loose teas my week in objects

(because someone who knows me very well gave me them for Christmas.)

2. these District blooms.

AnglesbyAngela DC Blooms my week in objects

(for welcoming us to the United States Botanic Garden in D.C.)