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monthly roundup no. 7: march 2018

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It’s the end of March which means spring is officially here. That means it will finally get warm… right? RIGHT?! This long-lasting chill is making me crazy. Going through my Pocket this month shows me that I’ve been really career-minded lately, and this link round-up post is pretty indicative of that. Read on for some great resources to check out to build your employability and get organized (and also get clean teeth with really cute toothbrushes)!

Signature is one of my new favorite blogs, and their Memoir Writing Guide is awesome. I don’t have any grand plans to publish my own memoir, but past therapists have given me exercises to write about traumas and tough memories – this guide helped give me some more prompts on how to get started on this, and I love writing exercises.

I’m not a hypochondriac (said every hypochondriac ever,) but my family history of cancer has given me some pretty severe anxiety. Any weird ache or pain or ailment or symptom and I’m convinced that I’m the next in line for chemo. This post from WBUR on onco-anxiety – this specific fear I have is actually so common that it has a name – helps me realize that it’s a pretty valid fear for many.

Marisa Mohi is a Twitter friend-of-a-friend with a fantastic blog and super cute Etsy shop. I’ve been gearing up to clean and reorganize my office for literal months – this post with ideas on desk organization for creatives is what has finally gotten me off my butt to get moving.

Marlow is a new business and employment blog, but they already have promise. This article on expanding your network was really helpful – I’m very guilty of being a bit narrow-sighted in thinking that since I’m so happy in my current job that I don’t need to put effort into my career or brand (not to mention I get pretty nervous and awkward at networking events.)

Google’s Digital Garage is a really great free educational resource to work on your employment skills. I’ve been doing some of the digital marketing activities here, and they’re super useful! If you’re looking to career shift or even just build on your current job skills, it’s a really nice resource.

I’ve been a very long-time fan and reader of The Billfold, and current editor Nicole Dieker launched a podcast last fall called Writing & Money. I’ve ramped up my freelance pitching game lately, and this podcast has really helped me feel confident in pitches and stories! < If you have a LinkedIn profile and use any kind of software in your job, you could earn Starbucks or Amazon gift cards for adding reviews to G2 Crowd. They do apparently have a limit so even if you use a seemingly endless amount of programs, they’ll eventually put a cap on your rewards, but I used my Amazon gift cards from them (in conjunction with the ones I’m still loading up on from Swagbucks) to score some sweet new workout wear and running shoes. 

The Student Loan Refinancing Blueprint: I’ve been thinking for awhile about refinancing my student loans. This post from Comet broke down a lot of the remaining questions I had and helped guide me through which of my loans (if any) would be good candidates for refinancing. I also found this student loan spreadsheet from Student Debt Warriors which made me confront all my outstanding debt and really break it all down – something I’ve pushed off and ignored for years.

And now for something completely different, BF subscribed us to Quip a few months ago. I’ve never had an electric toothbrush before, so it’s a whole new world for me, but I really love the toothbrush and the toothpaste is super good. The brush has a built-in timer with notifications every 30 seconds so you know when to switch sections of your mouth, and my teeth are the cleanest they’ve ever been.

Do you read a lot of business or employment articles? Share your faves with me – I love to read career-related posts!

March 30, 2018
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underwater sunshine (or what i did on my summer vacation)

Posted in Living, Travel by

Where do these summers go?! For the second year in a row, the summer was jam packed in the best way, but it absolutely flew by. If I wasn’t spending afternoons by the pool, I was jetsetting somewhere every week, it seemed – it’s pretty amazing to finally be living the kind of life I really want. Here’s a quick recap of the summer:

june

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I started the summer off with two trips to the water – first to see Dani in Boston, then down to the Florida beach with my family. There is nothing I love more than being on the beach and cooking in the sun with the people I love most, so this was a really great way to kick the year off (and a good indicator of exactly how busy I would end up being)!

july

IMG_2754IMG_2752Even though I made it a point not to travel out of state in July, I still managed to pack the month full. Hands down, Outlaw Roadshow was one of the best days of music I’ve ever been lucky to see, and the surprise Counting Crows set to close out the night didn’t hurt matters any. I went hiking to some waterfalls with some of my best friends to celebrate my Nashversary, and spent many afternoons napping by various pools throughout the city.

august

IMG_4124.JPGIMG_4121.JPGIn early August, I finally moved to Nashville proper after a year of commuting from the burbs, and honestly, I couldn’t be happier with the new place (no matter how stressful and time consuming moving ended up being.) Before I set off on another big trip, I finally got to see one of my bucket list bands when I saw Gin Blossoms play two shows in one night. No one will ever be able to tell me any differently – they are one of my favorite bands of all time, and I really had a great night. CF and Sixx came with me, and it was pretty nice to not be there alone!

The next morning, I flew to Montreal for my company retreat. Even though I have “known” my co-workers for almost a year, it was nice to meet in person for real, do some heavy bonding, and exchange treats with friends!

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september

September has been a really great way to end the summer. Over Labor Day, some friends from Charlottesville came to visit, and I had friends from college staying with me as well. It was a busy weekend for sure, but super fun to get out and sing some karaoke again (and have a band full of boys to buy me drinks all weekend :))

After that, I made a last-minute trip back home to the mitten. My best friend had her baby, and I was just homesick for water. Turns out the 10 hour drive isn’t so bad, especially when the trip back is broken up with visits to wineries and dinners with Sixx!

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Last week saw what I consider the most wonderful time of the year – Americanafest in Nashville! A full week of my favorite kinds of music, plus panels and meetings with some of the smartest and most talented folks in the industry. A co-worker came into town for the event, and we exhibited during the conference and at night, I ran from venue to venue checking out showcases and discovering new loves. (I managed to make it to seven Nashville venues in one evening, which felt like a world record.)

In the middle of all that craziness, because I wasn’t getting enough music or activity – I flew to Denver to see Counting Crows for the third time this summer at Red Rocks. It was really otherwordly – Red Rocks is like nothing else, and I can’t recommend going there enough.

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Pairing Americanafest with Red Rocks and a comedy show at Zanies in Nashville on Friday night, I ended up seeing shows at ten different venues in 2 states within 48 hours. That is definitely some kind of record.

I have one more trip to Raleigh next week, then off to Cincinnati in mid-October, but other than that and Thanksgiving, my travel looks to be done for the year. So, yeah! It’s been a really great summer. I am so lucky to be able to get to do these amazing things and hang out with such great people. If only this summer heat could last forever, I’d be all set…

September 19, 2015
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an (updated) day in the life

Posted in Living by

This year, and really since I moved to Nashville, my life has been totally different than it ever was before – but I’ve been enjoying it that way. Since it has changed so much even since I did the last “day in the life” post, I thought it would be fun to do another “follow me around” blog about what my normal day is like!

6:30am: the alarm goes off (recently I’ve been waking up to the Glee version of “Home,” because of course.) I’ll hit snooze a few times before I get out of bed at 6:55, make a cup of coffee in the Keurig while my regular pot brews, and sit down at my computer.

7:00am: Because I am so lucky and fortunate to have a job that allows me to work from anywhere, I’ve lately been enjoying sitting on my patio and working from my laptop. It’s pretty painful for my tendinitis, but I can’t resist the sun. (I even got to work from the front lawn of the record store a few weeks ago!)

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12:00pm: I check out of the office for the day and have a few hours between shifts. My favorite lunches lately have been scrambled eggs on a piece of toast, with roasted brussels sprouts (I never ate these growing up and now I am totally obsessed) and a side of fruit. I’ll clean my house, work out, take a little nap, or run some errands during this time. Lately I’ve really been focusing on purging my closet and the rest of my house preparing for this summer’s move (much closer in to the city) and my mom’s visit in a few weeks!

3:00pm: Depending on when my next shift begins, I could shower and get ready at 3 or 4. I make a quick Shakeology shake (lately I’ve been recreating the Mocha Coconut frappucino that Starbucks got me addicted to before discontinuing a few summers ago) and I’m out the door to head to the venue. Depending on traffic, it could take anywhere from 20 minutes to over an hour to get to work… I really wish I was kidding. Welcome to Nashville, ya’ll – hope you like to sit in your car on the highway.

6:00pm: Doors open for the show.

8:00pm: The show starts!

Then depending on what shift I’m working and how late the show goes, I get home between 8:30 or 12:30.

This is a really normal week for me. I might have one or two days per week off from the venue, so I don’t work at night on those days, but for the most part I really am this on-the-go day in and day out. Though it seems a little crazy busy, I really love it, and as hesitant as I am to admit it lest I jinx myself – I’m happier than I’ve ever really been.

What does a day in your life look like?

May 27, 2015
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You Are Too Big To Fail.

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you are too big to fail.

At the beginning of the year, I set one goal for myself: that I was going to find a new job and move out of Virginia. I wasn’t sure if I could do it, to be honest. I had been applying for jobs for over a year already, and had only gotten one interview. I also wasn’t totally sure where I wanted to move, so a lot of those applications were sort of half-hearted. So in March when Sixx moved to Nashville, it helped me to focus my search on one city and by the end of the summer, here I was.

I had a dream and a plan, and I broadcast it so publicly that I had to make it happen. It was too big to fail.

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It wasn’t easy and there have definitely been some major potholes along the way, but I’m starting to really buy into all the dream it/do it manifestation stuff, because it’s really happening for me now. (I say this all very cautiously, because I’m a very superstitious person and I remain convinced that everything will fall apart at any minute 😉 but I think the positivity thing is paying off. Being positive, deciding to be happy, and setting achievable goals are all helping me continue the forward motion I’m on and inspiring me to keep planning and making a push to have the life I want for myself.

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Am I struggling right now? Yeah, a little. But I decide every morning now to be happy and make the best of my day, and that helps too.

You should set goals that are Too Big To Fail, too. Find an accountability partner (hayyyy, Athena!). Force yourself to donate $1 for every time you say something mean about someone. Apply it to anything: a fitness goal, finding a new job, finances, moving to your dream city. When you find something that sets your heart on fire, you’re able to follow through and execute your dreams.

And if banks are too big to fail, you sure as hell are too.

How do you accomplish your big dreams?

October 20, 2014
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High Anxiety & the Power of Staying Positive

Posted in Mental Health, Personal by

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It has been truly another whirlwind month. After thinking that I had finished the transition process (and trust me, there’s no part of this summer that was NOT a transition) I was proven wrong again. I am typically a glass-half-empty kind of person. It’s just my nature, and I work very hard to overcome it and be the happy, bubbly girl you see here 😉

Earlier this month it felt like my world was falling apart and that I had no way to control it. I won’t go into the gritty details yet. But it’s been a crazy, chaotic, stressful month. It’s no secret that I have pretty severe panic disorder, so coupling that with the pessimism that lives in my head made it really tough to keep on keepin’ on.

I heard this amazing story from The Moth by Peter Sagal, one of my favorite NPR hosts, that really helped me feel like I could get through. He talks about his divorce and running Boston as a guide for a blind runner during the 2013 Marathon.

There were nights that I literally could not sleep and I just kept saying to myself “relaxrelaxrelax” in my head, over and over and over, in order to keep other thoughts out of my head. And then I’d wake up two hours later, still panicked into a frenzy, and have to repeat that “relaxrelaxrelax” mantra.

It’s funny to look back on when Sixx and I first met – he was really uptight, followed the rules to the letter, was totally the opposite of me. It took us years to get him to go with the flow. He teases me about this now when he tells me over and over to “let it go” and just breathe.

But it’s funny, because since this life-altering thing and getting through the initial few weeks of terror, I feel this sort of peace now. For once, I really believe when people say that things will be okay. (Basically because at this point if anything else goes wrong, I’m going to be just checked into the hospital :)) But there came a point where I made a decision to take charge and override the doubt and take a page from the book of The Hold Steady and stay positive.

Since I decided to do that, things have improved greatly. This girlfriend of mine has a saying she liked to trot out in college: “it’s all about the bounce back.” I’m hoping to bounce a little higher than I have before, and I think my attitude change is going to help me get there. And I have a lot of things to be happy about – Sixx comes home in a few weeks, I’m seeing my family this weekend. My mom bought me a really nice set of headphones. TV season is back in full effect.

It’s tough because my life doesn’t look like I thought it would look right now, but in a way, it looks the way I always thought it would.

And here – if that wasn’t enough positivity for your day, check out this cute little interview from a high school football player.

September 25, 2014
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