Friday Favorites

H E L L O   M A R C H!!  Does anyone else love March and the beginning of springtime? For me, March has always been a favorite month, not only because it’s my birthday month, but because it is the start of many exciting events and seasons. Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day, and the celebration of Easter are just a few gatherings to look forward to (and parties to host!!)

For me, this March is filled with adventure, travel and friendship. I already have three weekend getaways planned this month to visit friends and family, plus plenty of weeknight events to keep me busy. As a way to stay connected with my friends, family, and the random strangers who are reading about my life (hi new friends!), I wanted to start a new series every Friday that shares a few of my favorite things I’ve used, watched, or been coveting over the last seven days. I often share random Amazon Prime finds or YouTube videos with my friends and family, and I asked myself why I’m not sharing my finds, inspirations, or simply a good laugh with all of my digital friends and followers too.

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A Simple Meditation for Someone Grieving

A Simple Meditation for Someone Grieving (1)

They say when you lose someone you start noticing death and the passing of family, friends and other acquaintances more frequently. I never believed it to be true because I thought I was already in tune with death (and recognizing death) in my social circle. But recently, I can’t scroll through my social media feed without reading the news of someone’s recent passing: grandparents, friends, aunts, uncles, and more often than not, parents of all ages, always way too young.

Not a day goes by that I don’t think about my mom. Memories exist all around me, from episodes of Law and Order: SVU to dried mangos I buy while at Home Goods. More specifically, I think about what my life is going to be like without my mom. At only 24, there are too many milestones, birthdays and celebrations to count that she should be here for. That’s something I harbor and face every single day, and feelings I know will never fully heal but instead evolve over time. What hurts more is seeing and hearing friends feel a similar pain. Learning that other men and women in their 20s, a formative time in our young lives, are growing up without a parent or parents for that matter.

Just weeks after my mom passed, a friend told me to meditate to help clear my mind and channel some of my stress, anger and sadness. While I’m no expert at meditating, and honestly should do it more frequently, I found one specific meditation that connected me to my mom and brought me some comfort during my time of grief.

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How I Survived “No Spend” January



Spoiler alert: I did it! I made it one month on a spending freeze!

If you read my goals for 2019, you know that I am trying to accomplish (3) “No Spend” months this year. After a hectic and expensive December full of gifting, hosting and attending multiple events, my wallet needed a time out. I vowed not to step foot into a Target, Home Goods, and clothing store for the entire month of January, plus stop eating out for lunch and no more weekly coffees. I stopped being #Basic for the month and here’s what happened.

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5 Heart Healthy Tips to Follow this Year

Modern Design Lecture Series

The month of February isn’t just about paper or candy valentine hearts. It’s actually about that beating heart in your chest. For those who didn’t know, February is National Heart Health Month and the perfect time to talk about smart heart habits people should and can start at any age to raise awareness, and increase knowledge of prevention.

Over 8 million adults live with one or more types of cardiovascular disease in the United States. Unfortunately, heart disease takes the life of 1-in-3 women in this country. In order to keep your ticker happy, healthy and beating for love this Valentine’s Day, follow these heart healthy tips from the American Heart Association this month and every month!

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10 Ways to Make New Friends in a New Year


The saying goes, New year, same friends, but what about New Year, New Friends?

For some reason, we get into this mindset that we don’t need new friends. Assuming that my readers are also millennials in their 20s, we have our friend group(s) that we’ve curated over the years, from recess at elementary school to roommates in college. These friends are there for us through thick and thin and we can’t imagine anyone else by our side. But let’s face it – friends move apart in distance thanks to job opportunities, families, significant others, you name it. Technology keeps us together and weekend gatherings are a no brainer, but who do you call when you just want to go to grab a coffee or head to the gym?

I’m not suggesting we replace our O.G friends (if they have put up with us for this long, they aren’t going anywhere), but why do we have a hard time expanding our horizons and opening ourselves up to new people?

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My Goals for 2019

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Is anyone else having a hard time believing that 2019 starts tomorrow? On one hand, I feel like I just celebrated the 2018 New Year, yet on the other, 2017 and the start of 2018 honestly seems like it was ages ago! Usually I am excited about ringing in a new year. It means more opportunities, advancements, adventures and growing older (if you haven’t learned this about me yet, I always want to be older than I am… I wonder at what age these feelings will change!) However, this year I am a bit nervous and scared to see what the new year brings. For the first time, I am not looking forward to the clock striking 12AM on January 1, 2019 because it means a new year without my mom. A full 365 days without her supporting me, pushing me, loving me, believing in me.

Before anyone messages me, I do realize that my fear is irrational. I can’t be afraid of a new year. And I have to know by now that my mom is with me in spirit every day.  She sends me so many signs that I know she’s by my side every step of the way. But a new year means more firsts without her, and that’s my fear. It means more moments I can’t share with her, more envy I feel towards friends and complete strangers who get to build relationships with their moms, and more moments of feeling lost and alone. Each day I am learning the intricacies of grief and how to move forward each day. 

The best way I move forward and push myself is through goals.

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20 Gifts You Can Amazon Prime



I can’t believe Christmas is one week away. Yes, you read that right – One. Week. Away. I’m not sure what happened, but I feel like December flew by. One minute I was eating cranberry sauce (the best side!) on Thanksgiving saying how nice it was that Turkey Day was early this year, and the next I’m racing around getting last minute gifts for family members, friends, and coworkers. If you’re like me scrabbling for gift ideas at the last hour, grab your wallet and head straight to Amazon. Trust me, Amazon Prime is your best friend, or Santa Claus, this time of year. 

I’ve rounded up gift ideas for everyone on your list at varying price points. Just call me one of Santa’s elves! 

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10 Gifts that #GIVEBACK


Happy #GivingTuesday! For those who don’t know, Giving Tuesday began as an international movement to kick off the holiday season by giving back to charities and non-profits across the world.

My family and friends can attest to this, but I always try to give back to my community, especially during the holiday season. I’ve always purchased Secret Angel gifts for under privileged children through my church or my work, and I am notorious for adding on a $1 or rounding up my bill at stores to give back to local children’s hospitals and organizations.

One Christmas as a young girl, I decided to only purchase gifts that gave a portion of proceeds back to charity. I remember that included makeup for mom (such as Burt’s Bees!) and Heifer International animal donations for dad. At a young age, I saw the importance of helping and supporting others and I personally believe holiday gifts are a great, easy and selfless way to give (in multiple ways!)

I’ve rounded up 10 gifts that give back to charity and are great for anyone in your life – moms, dads, brothers, sisters, significant others, friends, baby, animal lovers and even their furry friends.

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Holiday Gift Guide for Him


Why are guys so difficult to shop for? The truth: They don’t even know what they want! If you have a man in your life who actually provides you gift suggestions, never let him go! Whether it’s your dad, brother, boyfriend, husband, or even just a guy friend, it’s hard to find them a meaningful gift they will love and use instead of the gift cards that they ask for year after year. 

Over the years, I’ve gotten creative and sneaky with my holiday gifts for Nick, taking hints on what he shops throughout the year, what his friends are getting for birthdays and anniversaries and other random, unique items I know he’ll love just based on our hobbies. My advice for anyone shopping for the man in their life is to think about their passions – sports, comics, video games, food, beer and spirits – and create a customized gift for him. Customized gifts do go a long way and even if they don’t say it, guys do appreciate the extra step you took to make his gift extra special. 

I’ve gathered up a few tangible gifts under $200 that the men in my family have loved over the years, that I am sure the man in your life will love too. 

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#ADULTING Holiday Gift Guide


Can you believe the holidays are around the corner? I’ve been trying my hardest to keep our fall decorations and pumpkins out for as long as possible, but the recent snow storm and the 24/7 streaming of Hallmark Christmas movies have made it very difficult. Once Thanksgiving is over, all bets are off and the our house will look like winter wonderland! 

So many of the bloggers I follow create these beautiful gift guides each year, and I’ve always found them helpful when looking for unique gifts for my friends and family. Since I am promoting a domesticated life, I wanted to gather some of my favorite items and gifts that I have received that have helped my #adulting transition from slumming it in college dorms to decorating and hosting in my first home! Whether you know someone who is moving into their first apartment or home, or looking for the perfect gift for the millennial in your life, these gifts and gadgets will be winners this holiday season and spread cheer all year long. 

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