CAN I JUST SKIP MY BIRTHDAY?


Birthdays have always been a day I look forward to, just like everyone else on this planet. Unlike everyone else though, I like to go above and beyond to make sure my day is memorable. Just last year I went on a solo trip to Santa Monica, and the year before that I spent the day in London. Since I was a little girl, I've loved waking up on the morning of my birthday and always dreaded it coming to an end. For some reason this year though, I'm having trouble getting myself excited about turning another year older.

My lack of enthusiasm has nothing to do with the a fear of getting older, or even a lack of plans. Honestly, my boyfriend has been working really hard to specially find presents only he would know I would love. No matter all the things I plan and all the talk of the perfect present, I can't seem to crack more than a smirk at the thought of my birthday. And that numbness just kind of sucks.

As I write this post it's the Saturday before my birthday and I'm home alone with my cat Max. This Saturday isn't unlike most Saturdays, actually it's the same Saturday I've been having since moving to the city. Or should I say, the outskirts of the city.

Moving to Washington DC was supposed to be this huge life changing transition, and while a lot has changed, it's not how I planned it at all. Yes, I have grown up, having graduated college, moved across the country, worked on my masters and a full time job. But besides all those accomplishments my personal goals have sort of been pushed aside.

Reality hit me when I realized I couldn't afford to live in the city, leaving me to lease a place in Maryland. Yes it's only a short metro ride from the city center but it just blows that I can't just be in the middle of all the action. Working and going to school full time leaves me exhausted by Friday night, meaning I don't want to go out and the thought of socializing with people I don't know is exhausting.

Not that I know many people, because that's what I believe has me truly avoiding the thought of my birthday. I'll be celebrating it alone. All my friends decided to stay in California, with only one or two moving to New York after graduation. Work and school consumed my life, so other than getting a boyfriend, friends just never really found themselves into my life. For someone who used to spend her time surrounded with people, it's kind of scary to think that without my boyfriend I don't know who I would go to Sunday brunch with.

I suppose the reason I don't want to face turning 23 is because I'm not 100% happy with what I've accomplished at 22. Sure I made a giant leap, finished half of my masters degree, finally adopted the cat I always wanted and fell in love, but I also forgot to make friends to celebrate all those accomplishments with.

Soon enough I'll be another year older, and I guess my wish for this year will be that I revert back to the old me that made friends while waiting in line, and finally have someone to sit at home with on a Saturday night and watch Friends reruns with.


Have any of you ever felt this way about an upcoming birthday? Any recommendations of ways to celebrate the big 23? Let me know in the comment below! 



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4

WHEN DID GOING TO THE MOVIES STOP BEING FUN?


This past weekend my boyfriend and I decided to go see Jurassic world, and when I say decided, I mean I begged him to suck it up and just go watch a movie about dinosaurs with me. I have enough thoughts on the film to write an entire series on the subject, but today I want to talk about something else entirely.

When did going to the movies stop being fun?

Growing up in a small town with not much to do, going to the movie theater as a teenager was the highlight of my weekend. Back when it only cost six dollars to see the latest movie and sneaking candy into the theater was scarier than what was on the screen. Nowadays, you have to spend 15 dollars to see a movie you aren't even sure is that good, plus the cost of hideous glasses if you want to enjoy it in 3D.

My trip to the theater yesterday made me realize that seeing a movie just isn't as fun as it used to be, whether it's the changing prices times or my growing desire to just sit at home and watch something in the comfort of my bed.

As I sat and watched people get terrorized by dinosaurs, I made a mental note of all the things that make going to a theater less enjoyable than just waiting for the movie to come out on DVD.

If you live in the city, plan on arriving no less than 20 minutes early. Unless you like sitting in the second row. (I had to watch Mad Max from row 2, it was not any better from that close up.)

Also plan to make a quick pit stop at the drugstore, because no one should have to pay 8 dollars for Sour Patch Kids. Quick tip, I've never had anyone dig through my purse when I sprinkle a few tampons through the bag.

Let's say you arrive early and want to get the best seats in the house, middle row, middle of the theater. The row is empty, there's only one guy sitting on the end of the aisle. Oh what's that? He's reserving the entire row!!

When did this become socially acceptable? One or two seats, okay. Three is pushing it. But an entire row?? I watched a woman claim 11 seats yesterday. Eleven! It's a movie, you sit there quietly and just stare. Do all eleven of you really need to sit together??

The lights go down, the trailers start playing, all is well. The now normalized 'silence your cellphone' ad pops up, and the 'please don't pirate this movie' warning too. Latecomers are scrambling around trying to find seats. (Hint: try the second row.) You're excited to see the movie you just dropped 30 dollars on. And then it happens, someone with a stroller walks in.

I get it okay. People with babies deserve to have lives. I'm totally pro babies! But don't bring a baby, no, don't bring anyone under 12 to watch Paranormal Activity 4. It's awkward, they're going to start crying and social norms will prevent me from telling you what a terrible parenting decision you've just made. Just don't bring kids to movies that are not for kids! Sitting through a sex scene is weird enough, don't make it weirder by having your kids there with their hands over their eyes. (True story, I think we were all equally traumatized that night.)

By now you're probably thinking I just like to fuss about things, and while that is true, I'm not terrible. Cell phones ringing don't bother me. I get it, it happens, no big deal. As long as you don't start talking during the movie, just do that awkward dance while you try to turn it off. I won't remember in a few minutes anyways.

But! People who like to add their own commentary throughout the movie like this is the director's cut, don't do that. Are you happy that person got eaten by the t-rex? Me too! Let's just not scream, "hell yeah she had it coming!" Maybe some of us we're rooting for the administrative assistant to find love and maybe make it off the island.

Maybe the reason movies have been so blah to me lately is because I've seen very few movies that leave me feeling amazed, like when you were a kid and you couldn't believe how they could have pulled that off. Movies today just feel like constant remakes, filled with CGI and plot lines that all blend into one another. And when I'm dropping the price of a Sunday brunch on two hours time, I want to leave feeling like I need to tell everyone about the movie. Or maybe I'm just bitter that Bryce Dallas Howard can spend an entire film running around in heels while I cant make it out of my building without tripping.


What do you all think, is seeing a movie now as exciting as it was when you were younger? And what was the last great movie you saw, the kind that make you tell everyone they have to see it?




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4

SUMMER 2015 PLAYLIST: A SEASON FOR CHANGE

summer 2015 music playlist

This summer represents change in my life. It seems as if yearly I go through this giant process that involves some big transition, like relocating or deciding to pursue a masters degree. Last summer I graduated college and had the intention to take a year off, but instead I packed my bags and moved from California to the DC area.

Within the next month everything I've worked to build on the East Coast I plan to abandon in the hopes that the new opportunities will lead me to live more happily on a day to day basis. I don't entirely regret my move to DC, I love the city and the opportunities that are available here, but I wouldn't be completely truthful in saying that I never find myself thinking about how I've put myself in a terrible situation.

I moved to DC with no job, no friends and no clue about how hard a transition of this size could be. I wouldn't say I'm homesick, but I definitely call my friends in tears a bit too often. I miss being able to walk to their apartments to just sit and watch TV, I absolutely hate the hour long commute home every day, and the cost of living is higher than I could have imagined.

This summer though I am finally signing a lease for an apartment in one of my favorite neighborhood in Washington DC, I'm quitting the job that often leaves me feeling frustrated at the end of the day and hopefully starting a new job that will align more with my career goals.

I based my playlist on what I would like to hear as I shift from the life I settled for here in DC to the one I've worked my butt of for the past year. Moving from a group house in the city outskirts to my very own apartment in the heart of DC plus taking the risk of quitting a job I never loved that much anyways is about to completely change my day to day satisfaction.

These are some of the songs I'll be listening to as I pack up the few belongings I've collected and load up the moving truck. Most of them have been out for a while but you know a song is good when you listen to it long past it playing on the radio. I made my best attempt to limit the selection, but I promise each and every one is worth giving a listen to. Hope you find at least one new song to love!



I'm actually linking up with a few other girls, so head on over to their blog to see what songs they recommend you add to your summer playlist.

I'd love to hear what your songs of the summer are, so feel free to drop me some suggestions below!

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WHY I STOPPED POSTING ON FACEBOOK

why I dont use Facebook

Facebook was like a party that I heard about really late. Like, I was walking on the street and picked up a flyer off the floor with a date from last weekend late. I remember I signed up for an account right before I started my freshmen year of college, friend requested everyone I had ever met, only to delete them all three months later.

My first few years on Facebook were odd. I went out of my way to make sure I  posted at least once a day, I was addicted to CityVille and I spent way too much time over analyzing my profile picture. Either I got older and more mature or older and more boring, but somewhere along the way stopped caring about how many likes I received and if so and so invited me to their event. Facebook slowly merged into a way I kept in contact with people, either while home for the summer or while I traveled the country.

Fast forward to today and all Facebook has become is an app that fills the extra space on my iPhone homepage. Somehow between moving to Washington DC and graduating college I stopped posting, not purposefully, but definitely for a reason.

Maybe this only applies to myself and the people I keep up to date with on Facebook, but over time I just grew bored with the website. I began to think about how much I really cared about the people on my friend's list and if we were good enough friends for me to express interest in the small moments in there life. Don't get me wrong, engagements, graduations, birthdays, I'm all over them! I love celebrating events more than anyone I know, ask my boyfriend who I like to remind our 7 month anniversary is coming up. I even suggested in a moment of craziness that we should celebrate our love biweekly. He said no.

But all the other stuff people love to share? Trips to Starbucks, pumping gas, spending a Thursday night at home? Who really cares? Long before my disappearance from Facebook I made a conscious effort to only post about stuff that would matter to me 6 months later. That helped me cut out a lot of the fluff, and once I accomplished that I got to thinking about who I really wanted to share those moments with.

While everyone on my friend list is a real life friend of mine, I'd much rather go to lunch with them than like a photo of their lunch. I see that many of my friends haven't taken this newfound attitude of the website though, which is fine, but makes it difficult to keep in contact with people. Call me crazy, but my favorite thing is to call my friends and just sit around for an hour talking about nothing and everything.

While I don't think I'll ever permanently deactivate my Facebook account, I know I'll never make such a big deal about not having posted that day. For people who do want a glimpse into my life, you can find me oversharing on Instagram. But that's totally different, I'm in it for the pretty pictures not the likes ya'll.

Do you still post on Facebook as often as you used to? If not, what social media account is your new favorite? And while we're on the subject, make sure to like my Facebook page, I promise I won't spam your news feed with photos of my lunch.



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8

THINGS YOU MISS WHEN YOU MOVE AWAY FROM YOUR SMALL TOWN


I never considered myself from a small town until I moved away. Right after my 18th birthday I packed up my bags and all my dorm decor and went from sharing a room with my sister to sharing a dorm with two strangers. Triple rooms should really not be a thing that's allowed.

Halfway through my college experience I could feel myself getting restless. Growing bored with the routine I had fallen into and the city I had chosen to attend school in. My junior year was spent studying in the UK, where I fell in love with traveling and the feeling you get when your flight finally takes off.

After graduation I knew I wasn't meant to be home for long, plus four years away made it feel a lot less home-y by the time I returned. Two months after my college graduation I once again packed my bags and made an even bigger move. Cross country. Moving from a beach town in California to a booming city like Washington DC was a big transition, but I never realized how small town I really can be sometimes.

It's small moments where I catch the girl from a small agricultural town come out of me. Whether I'm fussing over the price of produce or commenting on how there's too many people on the sidewalk, I don't think I'll ever grow used to the fact that parking costs 15 dollars an hour and you cant rent a studio for less than 1500 dollars.

You miss a lot of things when you move away from your small town, with most of them being things you always took for granted.

How cheap produce is. How cheap almost all food is. or should I say was.

Knowing where absolutely everything is, from the nearest pharmacy to the organization of the aisles inside the pharmacy.

You'll miss that thing you always took for granted, in my case, how close the beach was.

Uncommon people you never thought you would stay in contact with, ie, my high school English teacher.

The feeling that everything is bigger and better somewhere else. Now you know it's only more cramped and overpriced. I'm looking at your apartments in the city!

The price of living.

That restaurant that already knows your order.

Hanging out with people that knew you before you blossomed, and don't mind reminding you of those awkward years.

Spending time with your mom. Nothing beats going to the grocery store with a mom and still begging her to buy you all the junk your heart desires.

Everything closing at 9pm, leaving no pressure to go out and have the time of your life every night.

How inexpensive seeing a movie is. and how convenient it is that there's a Dollar Tree right next to the movie theater. (What's in my purse? Just a box of tampons that secretly filled with gummy bears.)

Fields. I never knew how much I loved staring out at the strawberry fields till I couldn't anymore.

Have any of you made a move from a small town to a big city? If so, what do you miss the most about your hometown?
4

WHY IS NETFLIX HARASSING ME


I have a love hate relationship with Netflix.

On the one hand, I love all the options available to stream. I am crazy about the fact that I can use my account from all my devices, and I can share that account with my mom. And the video quality, don't get me started. Netflix is great, especially for those of us who like to binge our favorite series. Summer 2013 I did nothing but sit in my stretchy pants and watch Dawson's Creek start to finish. I laughed. I cried. I overheated my laptop.

On the other hand, I can't stand Netflix. It's tough to convince myself to pay monthly for shows I can watch on other websites for free. Is it legal? No. But I occasionally do it so don't judge me. Plus, with my recent move across the country, I sort of need to start saving all my nickels and dimes.

My biggest problem with Netflix is more of a problem with the person I become when I have an account. An addict. That next episode button has stolen hours of my life and persuaded me into watching way too many episodes of early 2000s teen dramas.

I eventually cut ties with Netflix a few years ago for whatever reason *cough free options cough* and hadn't thought about it since. Last summer though I spent a lot of time at home, a lot. I mentioned to my mom possibly starting a Netflix account again, she had no idea what I was talking about then I never thought about it again.

Somebody explain to me how a free trial offer pops up in my inbox the next day?

The next day!

Instances like this make me paranoid that someone is watching my mundane life from a satellite in space somewhere because how did they know? How did the people at Netflix know I was entertaining the idea of coming back and all I needed was a free trial period for them to sink their teeth into me.

Since that day I've received other offers to start my second free trial, and like an addict it's getting harder and harder to say no. I cant be with you Netflix! I'm moving soon, summer semester is killing me plus I'm job hunting, I just don't have the time to devote to us right now!

Then again, the offer expires at the end of August, so maybe I'll take the bait as a reward for finding a job. Either way, Netflix has a great marketing and outreach team, because they found me just as I was playing with the idea of coming back. Seriously though, good job guys!

Do you guys have a Netflix account, and if you do, are you able to exit out after just one episode? What's the longest you've ever sat and watched Netflix?
4

THAT TIME I CRIED DURING A JOB INTERVIEW


Interviews have always been something I look forward to. I'm not sure if it's because I was raised to believe I could do anything I set my mind to or my total confidence in my skills. Or my love of talking about myself. For whatever reason I am almost never nervous before an interview.

My recent move to Washington DC meant having to send out dozens of applications and receiving very few call backs. Rejection is something I can deal with it, because I know if they met me, they'd love me. While I cant shine through a resume or cover letter, an interview is the perfect way to say, "hey, I'll be great to have in the office and I don't expect to be paid very much."

Last fall I had an interview so terrible, so embarrassingly tragic that I haven't been able to write about it till now.

I cried.

Did the interviewer know I was crying, well, no. But the very fact that I was crying while answering the final assessment questions is traumatizing enough. The worst part is that my actual interview went great, it was the Spanish assessment that felt like I was stabbed in the brain then asked to recite the alphabet backwards.

With my rollercoaster emotions though it's not the most awkward space I've ever cried in. I will cry anywhere I please, because I'm not a robot and I'm aware I'll probably never see those people ever again. Here are a few other awkward places I've decided to let the tears flow free.

On the subway after a long day of work followed by an equally long day at school.

Inside a Burger King. While in line. After being stung by a bee for the first time. It was justified!

At my desk at work, for a variety of reasons. If you work somewhere long enough you will eventually cry there.

On a party bus on the ride home from prom. My date was a terrible person, I just didn't realize it at the time.

Dave and Busters on graduation day. I was angry about how my graduation had went and that all of my friends had somehow moved on without me. Plus, they were taking forever to bring me my food and I was hangry.

On an 8 hour plane ride from the London to New Jersey. Some people were uncomfortable but I was heartbroken, so they could deal with it.

Am I the only one who somehow just feels better after letting out an ugly cry? Where's the most awkward place you've ever let yourself break down?

6

SINGLE GIRL BUYING A BED


Buying a bed with my own hard earned dollars was the ultimate sign of me slowly becoming an adult. Bonus points for the fact that I was looking for something larger than a twin size.

I walked into the mattress store knowing my price range, then quickly doubling it when I sat on this foam bed that made my eyes roll back. Since the only salesman was busy with another customer I just sat there, imaging all the naps I would take and crumbs I would drop on it. As I grew bored I began to listen to their conversation, realizing that buying a bed is a lot like buying a car. Just because it says $800 doesn't mean I have to pay $800. I watched as the woman dropped the price down by 500 dollars, then quickly Googled ways to negotiate.

As he turned his attention to me, he swiftly tried to talk me into another bigger, softer, much more expensive bed. Anything but the one I had planned the next 10 years of my life with.

He said I should go for a larger one, saying it would fit two people more comfortably.

He tried selling me on the benefits of the sleep number beds, arguing people like different firmness.

He finally began to attempt to persuade me into opting to purchase the mattress protector, in case of an accident.

He wasn't grasping the situation.

I was a single 22 year old female who was using her first paycheck ever to go buy a bed, any bed, it didn't even matter at that point. Anything was better than the scabies covered couch I had been crashing on since I moved to the city. He wasn't listening when I told him the only thing I'd be sharing the bed with was my future cat and overheated laptop. And worst of all, he didn't laugh at my joke that a queen sized bed would only make me feel lonelier. Mo' space, mo' problems, amiright?

Finally I grew annoyed and asked him if he was going to sell me the bed I wanted or not, cause their competitor was literally across the parking lot. He took the hint and began the paperwork. I said no thanks to the mattress cover, stating I like to take risks and Gatorade stains never hurt anyone.

A week later my new bed arrived and we've never been happier. Coming from always having slept in a twin bed, my full sized bed felt like heaven. A few weeks later my cat arrived and I quickly lost all that extra space.

If there's anything you buy once you enter the real (world where you'll most likely be working at a job you hate) it has to be a bed! Shoes are cute and iPhones are fun and all, but neither one of those items comfort you when you've been in a fluorescent lit office for the past 8 hours.

I'm currently in the process of moving to a tiny studio apartment in DC which means one thing, time to buy a couch! Well let's be real, time to buy a scratching post for my cat.

3

CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY


"It's a crime against humanity!" I screamed at the metro worker who had stopped to ask me if was okay. Apparently my face was just as pain stricken as my feet. Not in my possession for more than 24 hours and my new pair of shoes, the ones I specially ordered because they didn't carry my size in stores, had turned their backs on me.

You know what I'm talking about, we've all limped down the street screaming at ourselves. New shoes, they look so great in the store, feel amazing and better yet they're seem to always be the ones you bought on sale. You try them on and take a lap around the store. No red flags. Even as you pair them with an outfit for the first time everything seems fine. It's not until you walk your first city block in them that you realize you've been betrayed.

By the saleswoman who said they would match everything.

By the shiny red sticker that marked them 40% off.

By the new damn pair of shoes you know you'll never wear again. At least if you enjoy not walking in a pool of your own blood.

Every store should have an exception in it's return policy for shoes. You never truly know until you wear them out, but once they're worn they cant be returned. It's not as if I can lose weight to make them fit better. Shoes are this thing that either work or don't, yet also have the most strict return policies.

As I sit here with my bandaged ankles, calves hurting from walking on my tip toes home, I stare across the room to the front door where I ripped off the flats I once believed would go great with anything. And there they will sit, mocking me until the day I probably move out of this apartment and decide it's time to throw them out.

This doesn't just happen to me right? I can't possibly have exceptionally sensitive feet. Someone please tell me they have at least one pair of shoes who at one point in time cut into the back of their ankle, or at least a recommendation of where to buy cute flats that won't send me home crying in agony.

*as I was about to hit publish I decided to add a little update. I tried to wear them again, this time with these super fancy gel insert things. I'm currently sitting at work with four band aids on my foot.*
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RIPPING OFF THE BAND AID


I knew immediately as I titled this post that the name alone would drive away the 5 readers I have managed to maintain during my months long absence. Okay, yes, I stopped blogging. And I know no one out there wants to hear the reasons why because every blogger loves to explain their absences. As if we're Lindsay Lohan and our blogs are own own Oprah two hour interview tell all.

So instead of boring you all with my reasons of why I disappeared from this awesome corner of the internet, I'm going to just get it over with and post again. Hence, ripping off the band aid. (Side note: does anyone else have a weird feeling of satisfaction when a book or movie references the name of the book or movie? It cant just be me right?)

Also, I've decided to start this new thing where I put little side notes into my posts. Because not only do I have a big problem with interrupting other people, I find myself interrupting, well...myself. And instead of editing my thoughts out of my posts, I've decided to keep them to add flare.

In an effort to get myself excited about blogging again I aimed to redo everything, from my theme to the blogs I follow. One hour into my silent comeback and I realized one of my favorite bloggers has temporarily retired, which is a bummer because it's hard to find bloggers who aren't worried about offending someone.

With my newfound love for blogging I filled up the entire month of June with the ideas I had scrambled onto the back of Target receipts, hoping one day they'd get further than the bottom of my purse. I'm currently working on putting into words the adventures I've encountered since my absence. A lot has happened since I last posted! I moved to Washington DC, finally adopted that cat I was always talking about, became a grown up and started working a full time job. Along the way I cried during an interview, decided being 22 is more tiring than confusing or free, and stopped posting on Facebook.

My new, much more realistic goal, is to post Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I may have taken a hiatus from blogging, but I never once stopped missing the feeling you get when you hit publish. I know everyone cant relate cause a lot of you have it way more together and schedule posts ahead of time. (stares your direction with jealousy)

If any of you are lifestyle bloggers, especially snarky/sarcastic/cat loving one's, I'd love for you to leave your link below. Or any recommendations of new awesome people I missed while I was busy trying to think of new ways to style a boring black pencil skirt.
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