Year in Review: 2017

Typically I write these posts for myself because no matter how much I like to grow my audience, I do sometimes enjoy writing posts that are purely for my own memory keeping. As I debated whether or not I should just save this post as a draft, I decided that a post of this kind might serve a purpose to anyone who reads my blog on a semi-regular basis.

2017 was a tough year for me, not because anything terrible directly happened to me, more so because I had to learn when to fight my battles and when it just wasn't worth the time. Currently, I'm sitting in bed, it's Christmas Eve, and like usual I'm thinking about what I want my blog's purpose to be in the coming year.

While this year review may literally be all about me, I hope it can also give some of my younger readers some hope that it does in fact get better. Me three years ago was miserable, living paycheck to paycheck, and unsure of what the future held. Me today is much more certain about what my short-term goals are, all while being grateful for what I've accomplished in the present.

Biggest accomplishment: completing my master's program

This past October I graduated with my Master's in Counseling Psychology, I degree I never imagined I would have attained when I first decided to study psychology. My desire to go into the field of psychology all stemmed from a bad relationship that led to me attending short-term counseling, and seven years later I now have the credentials to help adolescents like myself get through life's toughest years.

Toughest moment: fighting for my degree

Although this is a topic I have a lot to say about, I've made the decision to not write about it until I can fully control my anger about the situation. Long story short, after my graduation I was notified I had not met my clinical requirements, meaning I was denied my degree being conferred. The weeks that followed were some of the hardest of the year, and because of it I definitely burned some bridges at my university.

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Favorite photograph: anniversary dinner

A quick photo I took during my anniversary dinner is definitely my favorite of the year, especially because it says a lot about my relationship without you knowing it. My boyfriend and I are very private about our relationship, for different reasons, yet we both made the decision to not broadcast each other online. Our anniversary was spent exploring a new city and ending the night by eating chocolate chips cookies in bed.

Newest travel destination: birthday in Miami

Since my 21st birthday, I've made it my goal to go somewhere new for my birthday, which is why this year I visited Miami, Florida to celebrate my 25th birthday. My week relaxing week in Florida was the exact type of vacation I needed, with me being halfway through my clinical training at the time. Plus, Florida is so freaking photogenic I almost filled up my phone with the number of photos I took.

Most challenging/rewarding experience: becoming a therapist

Going into 2017 I had no idea I would be spending nearly a year completing my clinical training requirements, and although I would have loved to be licensed by now, I enjoyed every moment I spent with all the clients I acquired during my time as a therapist intern. My first session with a client was on Inauguration Day, and my level of nervousness to this day cannot be described.

For weeks I worried about saying the wrong thing until a client told me just how much she enjoyed talking to me every week. It was from then on that I realized how much I loved getting to know people, with my first goal becoming developing a relationship with a client before anything else. Saying goodbye to my clients was incredibly tough, but the feedback many provided me has me hopeful for my future as a therapist.

Let me know a highlight of your year, good or bad! If you wanna prepare for the new year, click here to read my 10 step plan to make next year your best. 

How to Make Friends in a New City: 3 Ways to Meet People

Three years ago I moved to a city where I knew no one. For the next year and a half, my social circle consisted of my boyfriend at the time and my college friend who would occasionally visit from out of town. My initial plan was to form friendships with my roommates, what I hadn't planned for was all three of my roommates moving out of state halfway through our lease.

Making friends in your twenties is hard, but it's unexplainably hard when you're living in a city you don't know. Thankfully I eventually got tired of being bored at home and pushed myself to meet people, and today I want to share with you the three best ways to make new friends in the city.

What to do when you live in a new city and don't know anyone. Where to meet people, how to introduce yourself, and how to make friends.

Friend of friends

Gonna be honest for a second, this is the hardest out of all of them. The reason being that you both have a mutual friend, so there's the extra pressure to get along for at least the afternoon. When asking for your friend to introduce you to people they know, make sure to be honest about the things you like to do and the characteristics you look for in a friend.

I'll use myself as an example, if being set up on a blind friend date, I'd ask to be connected with someone who didn't mind inappropriate jokes, liked having specific plans when going out, and isn't shy when they first meet someone. Don't be afraid to say what you are looking for in a friend, this way you can save yourself the time and awkwardness.

How to Help a Friend Through a Breakup

My passion for writing grew out of writing about relationships, but unlike others, my interest has always been about the end of relationships. Breakups, getting played, cheating, not knowing where you stand, all of these are stages of relationships that we don't talk about, out of embarrassment or fear that others will judge us.

At one point in our life most of us will get our heart broken, and whether you like it or not, you cant hold onto the hope forever that things will work themselves out and fall into place. Getting your heart broken shoves you into a situation where you are left picking up the pieces someone else left, which is why it's so important to be present for someone when they take the risk of reaching out for support.

Helping a friend after they have been dumped or during a breakup can be tough, as a therapist I can help you figure out what to say, what to do, and how to help.

Something must be in the air this month because I've had numerous people reach out to me for support regarding their relationship status, ranging from women who were never official to twenty years deep into a marriage. Somehow along the way my passion for relationships coupled with my unwavering desire to listen to women process what went wrong has led women from around the world to reach out to me during their lowest moment, and no matter where I am I will always make time for a woman who is sitting somewhere crying over a lost chance at love.

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The thing is I'm not always available, and not every woman who reads one of my posts will reach out to me. Over the years I've been through enough breakups to hear most pieces of advice from friends, the good and the bad, as well as on the other side. Now becoming a therapist, I've learned what opinions are better kept to myself, as well as techniques that help people heal in the toughest of situations.

If you're in a position to help a friend or family member through a breakup, keep reading for my best advice on how to help them vent, heal, and move on in the healthiest way possible. No one relationship is the same just as no one breakup is the same, but my hope is that these tips will help you comfort someone else when they need it the most.

Fall 2017 Bucket List for Twenty Somethings

Even though my birthday is right smack in the middle of summer, fall is my all time favorite season. The weather is finally enjoyable and everything around me looks like it was made to be Instagrammed. As someone who enjoys making specific plans for the weekend, buckets lists are totally my jam.

A fall bucket list for twenty somethings and millennials.

There's already a ton of fall bucket lists out there, but few of them are targeted for twenty-somethings who want to have nostalgic fun as well as participate in adult only events. When writing this post I searched for local fall events hosted in my area that you can most likely find in your city as well. If you have any ideas to add, don't hesitate to comment below what you'd add to your personal fall bucket list.

How My Interests Are Changing in My Mid-Twenties

Last week I got really emotional out of nowhere and like a true millennial I posted that shit on my Instagram story. If you're not yet following me on Instagram I definitely recommend you do, not because I want more followers, but because it's where I'm most active, post the most content and interact with people on a daily basis. But back to my breakdown.

I later realized I was dealing with high levels of anxiety, which were stemming from two of my good friends planning to leave the East Coast area along with not being sure if Washington DC is one hundred percent for me. My anxiety did what it always does, pushed me to clean and sort of my life, meaning I deep cleaned the shit out of my apartment. Deep cleaning coupled with an upcoming yard sale had me in a never-ending spiral of questioning whether I want a certain dress to still hang in my closet and whether or not I'm okay with any of my clothes being in this closet because am I truly even happy here? It was a mess.

How my interests are changing as I enter my mid twenties, plus how the changes are making me enjoy life more overall.

I'm finally over the anxious episode that led to my now very clean apartment, but coming out of it I realized my interests are drastically changing as I age deeper into my twenties. Just today I was shopping at Target and I grabbed for another plain basic gray t-shirt, which is fine, except I already own at least four.

My style is one easy to recognize change in my life, but the more I pay attention the more changes I see in my interests, how my time is spent and with whom. Below are the ways my interests are changing in my mid-twenties, and I'd love to hear if you noticed any differences as you entered your early to mid-twenties as well.

3 Ways to Help Hurricane Harvey Victims

After watching CNN's news coverage for a few hours last night, I suddenly became very anxious about the current conditions in Texas. Living in Washington DC puts residents in this strange position where you're weirdly detached from the country while at the center of our country's legislation.

When natural disasters like this hit, I think a lot of us can be guilty of becoming so overwhelmed with the news being reported that we feel as if there is nothing we can do, so we use that feeling as an excuse to do nothing. While it's true that I cannot directly help in any way, I think we're all capable of pitching in a little bit to a larger collective cause.

The problem is, what causes are worth helping with? After spending some hours watching more news coverage, talking to my sister who currently lives in Texas, and considering the limitations my readers may face in an effort to help, I came up with three ways to donate to help victims of Hurricane Harvey no matter your situation.

Look What You Made Me Do: Twenty Something Edition

Unless you are one of those people who pays zero attention to pop culture, you may not know that Taylor Swift released her long awaited new music this past week. After three years of silence from one of the most talked about celebrities, we all witnessed what may be the beginning of Taylor's not giving a fuck era. And I'm 100% here for it.

If you step back and look at everything as objectively as possible, Taylor Swift is very much a celebrity who is picked apart for doing all the normal twenty something things. Casual dating, occasional lying, trying hard as hell to look professional when her life is really a mess, and overall figuring herself out. I am by no means a super fan, but I also am not a person who hates someone for dating a ton of people and profiting off of those relationships. Hell, maybe I'd do the same thing if anyone would pay attention.

Taking Taylor Swift's new single and comparing it to all the things 20 somethings are guilty of doing because of their age.
Her new single is unlike any of her previous music, and love it or hate it, it's full of references to all the scandals that have been attached to her in the past three years. As your typical twenty something, I too am guilty of uttering the phrase, "look what you made me do," while blaming someone for something I definitely played a part in.

Because Taylor's new single has been stuck in my head all weekend, I thought I'd write a post to highlight all the shit being in my twenties has made me do. The good, the bad, and the pieces I'm still trying to figure out.

The Ultimate College Shopping List for Freshmen Year

The summer before my freshmen year of college was very hectic for me. As a Type A personality, I must have read every college dorm packing list available, searching for one that listed every possible item I could have needed once moved into my freshmen year dorm. What I didn't take into consideration was the fact that I would be placed in a triple dorm, meaning three girls in one very tiny room, or how many items my school provided for students.

In an effort to save you some money when it comes to college shopping, I've broken down this shopping list into categories, followed by must haves and nonessentials, aka nice to haves. Depending on which university you attend, you may or may not need the items in the nonessentials category.

College dorm shopping doesn't have to be expensive, which is why I created this complete list for college dorm shopping for freshmen year.

If you want to know my personal must have items, you can click here to read my top 10 items for freshmen year. I've also written about 10 things you probably won't need in your college dorm, you can find that post by clicking here.

For more college advice, scroll to the bottom of this post for some of my most popular college posts about how to save money on textbooks, lessons I learned my freshmen year and the best way to study last minute for an exam!

5 Reasons to Cut Your Cable

I can still remember the day I cut my cable. I was sitting at the receptionist desk of my old job, having recently given my notice, staring at my bank account wondering why I was being charged twenty dollars extra each month. After a very annoying call with Comcast I realized they had increased my price, with absolutely no notice.

My anger got the best of me which led to me not only cutting my cable but internet as well, and within a few minutes I had cut ties with the only provider that serviced my area. I bussed home convinced that I would figure out a way around my new circumstance, which is what led me to this post today.

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Learn how to save money each month and live without cable, all without having to miss out on your favorite shows.

Cable is too fucking expensive. Yeah, I said it. Sure it's nice to not have to download anything or really think about what you wanna watch, but I refuse to pay that much money for a service that I really only use like 10% of. Think about it, how many channels do you actually watch? Probably like 5-10, leaving you with possibly hundreds of useless ones you don't even need!

This reason, along with the increased price, led me to cut my cable overnight. As an avid tv watcher I had to figure out something fast, I mean, I am the type of girl who eat, sleeps, breathes television. Below are the things I turned to that have helped me say goodbye to cable permanently, all while keeping up with my tv shows and saving a ton of money along the way.

Three Years in the City

I'm beginning to write this post with no real direction, kind of like how Michael Scott starts a sentence. Thanks to Facebook's On This Day feature, I remembered that this weekend marked three years in Washington DC for me, an anniversary I would have surely been angry had I forgotten it.

My journey on the east coast has been nothing like I imagined it would be, because to be honest, I had very few expectations when I boarded my flight three years ago. I've told my story a few times so I'll keep it short today, after two months of living at home postgrad I decided to donate all of my belongings, accept an offer for grad school, and move to Washington DC all in the matter of three weeks. Yes, including finding housing, finding the money to make it all happen, and figuring out what the hell I was gonna do for money when I arrived.

To be perfectly honest, my first year and a half here was total crap. A combination of lack of friends, social support, money, and feeling of belonging. 2016 was the year I broke down, for many reasons that all seemed to pile up at once. The winter of 2016 I forced myself to make a decision, give up and go back home where things would be simpler, or pick myself up off the floor (literally) and force myself to go out and enjoy the city I had dreamed of for a decade. I chose the latter.

The Best Thrift Stores in Washington, DC

Thrift shopping is like gambling except you always leave a winner. Or maybe that's just my perspective, because my first 30 minutes in a casino was hands down the most disappointing experience of my life.

No I wasn't expecting to be richer, but I at least wanted to have a little fun. Thirty minutes at MGM Casino and I decided I would rather spend my money on a new outfit than playing a game that made absolutely no sense to me. If you live in or are visiting Washington DC, you might have noticed the serious lack of thrift stores.

Love to thrift shop but don't know where the best thrift shops in Washington DC are? Click to read the best 5 thrift shops in Washington DC

Growing up in California meant I was never too far from a Goodwill or Salvation Army, but metro accessible thrift shops are super hard to find. Three years later and I've finally found thrift shops that a) are easy to get to without a car and b) always end with me leaving with a bag full of clothes. Most of the thrift shops on the list I've visited myself personally, but one is a recommendation from a friend who always looks like she just walked out of a magazine, so I'll trust her recommendation.

How to Stop Self Sabotaging

This week at work I had a realization that made me wonder why I hadn't thought of this before. Quick briefer, I'm a therapist, sorta. Technically I am, but I'm unlicensed, which means I'm in the process of earning my hours to be able to qualify to sit for the licensing exam.

I've completed my master's program and been trained in how to sit with everyday people and talk about the stuff that makes them feel like they are living anything less than a happy life. Thankfully I knew what I wanted to do from a young age, and maybe at one point I'll write about what actually led me to choose to study psychology and counseling.

But back to what I was saying, I had a realization. After a tough session with one of my regular clients, I found myself feeling really frustrated about how the hour had went. I was frustrated and they were feeling defeated, all because they were self-sabotaging in their everyday life.

Here's the thing, people base their worth, their ability to accomplish things, and how others will respond to them on past experiences. Meaning if others always praised you, you will most likely grow up to believe that your efforts will be recognized and good things will happen to you. On the flip side, those who have faced rejection from a young age have a worldview that tells them that hard work doesn't always mean rewards, people will never fully accept them, and that some things aren't worth trying for.

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Are you guilty of sabotaging yourself because you fear what might happen? Read for the six steps I work through with my clients to help them achieve their full potential.

In the case of my tough session, I was frustrated that my client couldn't see both her potential and the ability for her to advocate for herself. This is a clear example of me being a bad therapist though. Why? Well I wasn't taking into account her worldview, which means I was pushing my beliefs of how fair the world is on her.

If you're someone who routinely tells yourself there's no point in trying, nobody will care, or that other's will mock/hate/laugh at what you create, keep reading to find alternate ways to push yourself out of your comfort zone one step at time.

Lessons I Learned at 24

Birthday posts generally call for what you learned that year, and I'm not sure if you noticed, but I didn't write one for year 23. The reason is simple, I was either a) miserable or b) too busy pulling myself out of that misery to sit down and write a post.

I think one day I'll sit down and reflect on that year, but today I want to focus on what I learned the year I was 24, that weird year where you're not in your early twenties anymore but you cant brag about having stuff figured out as if you were in your mid to late twenties. As in between as this age was, I picked up some new knowledge and experiences that I will 100% be keeping in mind for this upcoming year.

Who says we stop learning as we get older? Click to read the 10 life lessons I learned at 24, from friendships to my body image.

Although I'm turning 25 this year, I firmly believe the lessons below are applicable regardless of your age, and the earlier the better, right? Keep reading for the 10 lessons I learned at twenty four and how they can help you make the most of life no matter your age.

5 Ideas for Celebrating Your One Year Anniversary

Hello you reading this. You might have clicked this post looking for ways to celebrate your one year marriage anniversary. First of all, super happy for you! Seriously, congrats for finding someone willing to love you at your it's laundry day and I'm wearing swim bottoms for underwear worst. Here's the thing though, this post is aimed at one year dating anniversaries, so you're kind of too far ahead of the game for this one.

If you still are looking for some sweet ideas, then totally keep reading. Also, if you wanna drop some of your wise dating advice in the comments below, I think we'd all love to know how you manage to not break up with your significant other when you catch them cutting their toenails on the couch. Just my problem? Okay, never mind.

Related Post: 13 Date Ideas for Introverted Couples

How to celebrate your one year dating anniversary whether you're low on cash or creativity.

So a quick background, this coming weekend is my anniversary, which is kind of a big deal because we've been arguing since the day we met. Seriously ya'll, I'm pretty sure the first thing I ever said to my boyfriend was a snarky remark about where in the bar he was standing. Obviously he was instantly smitten.

Because I like to make a big deal out of little things, like where people stand in bars, we are celebrating our one year anniversary. If you're in need of ideas of how to celebrate one year of putting up with each other's quirks and movie preferences, keep reading!

Why I Hated Every Minute of Earning My Masters

Masters degrees. Or should I call them the new bachelors? Whatever you think of them, they're gaining popularity each year. I remember my senior year of college and learning that most of my friends were suddenly interested in earning another degree. Here I was under the impression that we were all going to move home and look for jobs.

When I graduated college many of my friends enrolled in a masters program to avoid the real world, ie, applying to those jobs we had been dreading. Two months at home led me to have to make a choice, live with my mom who enjoys orange juice with pulp (ew no) or move away once again and continue my education. Sure I had the option to just move away and get a job, but to be honest, I was scared.

I could have spent months or years working in a job that would have given me some sort of experience, and in a way I did do that, but my ultimate end goal has always been to be a therapist. And you just can't be a therapist without a masters. So I did the only thing I thought I could do, I entered a masters programs (and I got a job or two along the way).

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Here's the thing though, I fucking hated every minute of it, and that's putting it lightly. It wasn't the coursework that made me incredibly unhappy, it was the entire process. The campus, the requirements on my time, and the nagging feeling that kept telling me how much I was missing out on because of constant coursework.

The reasons why I was so unhappy during my time as a graduate student, and why I'm glad I earned my masters anyways.

Before I started my masters I did what I always do, Googled searched like a mofo to find what other people thought of their schools, their programs, and the process as a whole. What I found led me to believe I was making the right decision, and even though I don't regret it, I cant sit here and tell you I'd want to do it again. So let's talk about it, the reasons why I hated every minute of earning my masters. 

I have so many emotions I don't even know where to begin. It also doesn't help that I took my exit exam just yesterday so I'm really riding that it's-finally-over wave. I'll start with the smallest thing, the lack of community.

4 Reasons You Need to Go See a Movie Alone

Today I realized something I wish I had sooner, the movies are a fucking fun place to be on a Thursday afternoon. Seriously ya'll, catching a movie in the middle of the workday gives you the same feeling as skipping math class did in the 12th grade. Trust me on this.

With my boyfriend being out of the country and a day with no homework or work work, I took the opportunity to go watch Dunkirk while it was still in theaters. Quick synopsis of how I felt about it: Tom Hardy could get it, at first I was a bit lost but then it got clearer, it was shot beautifully, and so far it's the best movie I've seen in 2017. And I watch a ton of movies.

The reasons why you need to go see a movie alone ASAP, because your independent woman self deserves it.

My decision to go watch a movie alone reminded me of how it felt to be single a year ago, back when my life was lived selfishly and a large pizza lasted me more than an hour. As I walked towards the bus stop I made a mental note to remind myself to write about why I think every woman needs to take herself to a movie every once in a while. Even if it's not on a weekday afternoon, it's definitely a task we should all pencil into our schedules a few times a year. Here's why.

The Importance of Authenticity in Relationships

Even though I don't specialize in couples counseling I find myself talking about romantic relationships a lot with my clients. It makes sense though, relationships are something most of us strive to achieve and maintain most of our lives, whether it's our first boyfriend or lifelong partner.

Because the majority of my clients are females, a lot of them struggle on how to find a partner they can thrive with and how to stay in control of that part in themselves that allows them to feel whole once the relationship ends. It's hard to word but we all know what it means, that thing that makes you feel okay when a relationship ends, even if we sometimes feel like we may have lost it.

As someone who has dated a variety of people in my life, I know the struggle in blending two lives while making sure I remain authentic to myself. It's the relationships where I let go of who I truly was and what I wanted that left me feeling angry and depressed at the end of the day, and sometimes alone at the end of the relationship. Remaining authentic means so many things depending on what stage of a relationship you are in, whether that be looking for someone to share your life with or figuring out how to do so in the long term.

Below is the advice I give to clients, and whether you're 15 or 45, I think it can ring true no matter your age or situation.

Dating can be hard, whether you're 22 or 42. As a therapist, I tell all of my clients the same thing, remain authentic and true to yourself. Here's how.


So many times I hear people telling others to make the best first impression possible, and while that is good advice, when it comes to dating I think people hear to show characteristics that they may not realistically have. For example, if you're a loud and outgoing person, you might approach someone new by toning yourself done and letting them lead the conversation. While this isn't necessarily bad, how long can you honestly keep this up for?

As long as you're being the respectful side of yourself, don't be afraid to be real when you meet someone. The benefits of this is that the person you meet know the authentic you from day one, meaning there's no awkward moment later when they find out you like cheesy Lifetime movies and can talk about space theories for hours. Don't push aside the things that make you who you are, because if it's the right person, they'll embrace those quirks from day one.

My Cat's Life is the Best Life + Practicing Self Care

I woke up Tuesday morning in complete agony. Instead of my cats waking me up or the sound of construction across the street, I woke up due to intensity of soreness in my legs. You guys, day 1 of being less of a coach potato is kicking my ass.

If you read my last post, you might know that I'm trying to develop healthier habits all around. One of my goals is to be more physically active, which I totally crushed on day 1, but now I'm thinking maybe I went too hard too soon. Not even exaggerating, it hurts to lay in bed.

Since my plan to bike this morning is out the window, unless I wanna end up crying on the side of the road, I decided to make use of the morning sunshine by treating my cat to a walk on the balcony. I know what you're thinking, huh?

Here's the thing, my boyfriend's condo has a balcony which my cat is obsessed with. After a lot of Googling I decided it's way to dangerous to let Max walk out there on his own, so I've decided to let him walk around on the balcony with a harness. No more than 5 minutes into our first "walk" and he was literally rolling on the ground in joy.

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As I sat on the hard ground in pain, I realized just how great a life my cat has. A few weeks ago I was breaking down regularly because of all the medical problems he was saving, but thankfully they managed to go away and we've made some lifestyle changes to prevent their return.

Having a pet seriously makes you notice little things, like birds chirping and just how much black you actually own. Okay, maybe that's just having a cat realizations.

Since apparently Max practices self care each morning by rolling on the patio until he's covered in pollen, I thought I'd recommend some simple ways to practice self care in less time than it takes to convince your cat that a harness is not out to kill them.

You might also like: 10 Amazing Ways Getting a Pet Changes Your Life

Pack some snacks

Do you ever wake up after a hard night and realize you still have leftovers? That same feeling can be recreated when you pack yourself some snacks for later in the day. The task takes no more than a minute and will boost your mood instantly later.

Listen to some comedy

Spotify is my go to place for stand up comedy, otherwise Netflix is a great option too. As I get ready for the day I always try to listen to something, the more positive the better. If you don't use Spotify, Youtube is a great option to listen to both stand up and late night comedy.

Put on a faves playlist

Comedy not your thing? Try making a playlist of morning only songs, meaning songs you won't play on repeat all day. This way when you listen to your playlist you won't feel the temptation to hit skip.

Make your bed

As a person who never makes my bed, I can admit that when I do I feel so much better about myself overall. Such a small task makes me feel like I've done so much already, which is why it's such a simple self care practice. Plus, slipping into a made bed is one of the best feelings.

Change your phone background

A few months ago I was one of those people who never changed my phone background, but a quote I found on Pinterest made that all change. Now, once a week I'll browse Pinterest for cute images or quotes that will boost my mood and energy whenever I grab my phone. My favorites come from my body positivity board, but otherwise my quotes for twenty somethings is a no fail location to find a new phone background.

What small tasks do you do to boost your mood? Share a self care practice in the comments below. 

PS You can now sign up for the weekly newsletter, where you'll get tips, resources and motivation to help you make each week of 2017 better than the last. Signing up takes seconds so make sure you're on the list!!

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How Chasing Your Dreams Affects Your Friendships

Although I don't write much on the topic of friendships, making and maintaining friendships is a topic that is almost always on my mind, agenda, and to do list. Why, you may ask? Well, I left everything and everyone I knew to live, work and study in Washington DC. Meaning that one decision meant I was in a new place with absolutely no friends to call on.

I've written about my story a bazillion times on here, so I today I quickly want to share one that was told to me recently.

Relates Posts: My Life After 1 Year in a New City, 2 Years in a New City Follow Up

We all want to chase our dreams, but no one talks about how it affects our personal lives. Click to read how following your dreams affects your friendships, especially in your twenties.

If you've ever noticed, I have a contact button on the top of my menu bar. On that page you will find a photo of my adorable cat, Max, and my personal email address. Yep, the very one that Papa Johns sends my order confirmation emails to. I have that there for two reason. 1) Hell yes I want to work with companies, but mostly 2) I want to connect with all of you. Meaning if you have a question, email me. If you need advice, email me! If you read something and it made no sense and you wanna get a better explanation, email me!

And that's exactly what someone did. She read a few posts of mine, connected in her own way, and took the chance to email me for more advice. What exactly did she need advice on? Only the thing that many of us at some point in time will relate to.

20 Summer Date Night Ideas Under $20

As I sat down to write this I instantly titled the post, '20 Spring Date Ideas." Then I remembered spring was almost over and I just hadn't noticed because the weather in Washington DC has been terrible. 

With summer coming, it's leaves a lot of us either wanting to go outside completely (totally understandable) or wanting to enjoy every bit of sunshine while it lasts. As someone who lives her life like she only has $20 in her bank account, I thought I'd put together a list of summer date ideas that won't empty out your wallet or leave you wanting to run back into the nearest air conditioned building. 

Summer date night ideas don't have to cost too much money. Click to read 20 summer date nights that cost twenty dollars or less! Date nights that will keep you having fun all summer long!

1. Outdoor movie
If you're looking for a fun date idea you can only do for the season, outdoor movies are the perfect option and free a lot of the time. All you need are some snacks and something to sit on!

2. Learn a new water sport
For couples who don't mind trying something new on date night, learning a water sport is an option to both spend a few hours having fun and spend little money. To save even more money, rent the equipment instead of buying it. 

3. Host a garage sale
Need an afternoon date idea? How about a date that will make you money? If so, having a garage sale will help you pass the time together and earn some extra money for your next date night. 

Dealing with Rejection From Female Friends in Your Twenties

This is such a weird post to write, but I think it's a topic a lot of twenty something women deal with but don't talk about. Maybe guys deal with it to, but I sincerely believe making and maintaining female friendships is a lot harder than keeping male ones. I mean, there has to be a reason why all my longtime friends are mostly males.

Here's the back story to how this all came into my mind. It's Sunday night and I'm scrolling through my Facebook. I'm not looking for anything specific, just waiting for my boyfriend to finish getting ready for bed so I can shut off the lights. While I'm scrolling I see that one of my Facebook friends uploaded a bunch of pictures, most of them of her and another mutual friend of mine.

When I use the word friend, I don't mean it in the way I refer to it usually. Sure her and I have had some good times, but we're more friends on the surface. Both the friend who uploaded the photos and the other friend featured in the photos. Is this still making sense? Neither are my best friends, but we have all spent time together and individually.

Join a Free Community of 20 Somethings Online

After moving to Washington DC with nothing more than a suitcase and a cactus, I quickly realized how important it is to have a community around you, whether it be in real life or online. For my first year and half in the city I survived off the support of my friends back home and online, and they are honestly the reason why I had the opportunity to be where I am today.

Social media may be our life, but it has never been an accurate reflection of our lives. My goal both in my blog and in real life is to connect women so that they can receive the support and encouragement they’re lacking in real life, on one of the platforms that leaves so many of us scrolling in envy.

What did I create? A Facebook group for twenty somethings like you and me, from all over the world, to address all the stuff we love and hate on a daily basis.

Buzzfeed quiz results. Second opinions on resumes. Relationship advice. College and post grad problems. Rants about friends who don’t fully get our dreams and support from those who are on the same path.

#SurvivingOur20s is no longer a hashtag you can only use on Instagram, even though I love seeing all of your gorgeous photos. #SurvivingOur20s is the name of the new online community where you can connect with other confused millennials who are trying to make the best of what has been called the defining decade.

The group is still brand spanking new, which means all new members will have an impact on what our focus is, what the group evolves into, and how beneficial it can become.

If you are interested in joining a group of likeminded millennial women, click here to join our free Facebook group today.

Things to know:
  • The group is private, so anyone outside the group cannot see what’s going on inside
  • There will be discussions/resources shared by me, but you can ALWAYS start a new conversation
  • No hate allowed, which means you can be 100% yourself with the guarantee that I will have your back

Click here to request to join today.

I cant wait to connect with you inside, and if you love it, feel free to share the link with other women who you feel would love it too.

xx Rubi

Petty Reasons I Wish I Could Break Up with Someone Over

I've said it a million times and I'll say it again, breakups are hard. Ever since becoming a therapist I've learned all the different ways people deal with the end of a relationship, apparently everyone doesn't lay on the kitchen floor and eat popcorn from sunrise to sunset.

Over the years I've written a lot on relationships, specifically when they end. I like to say that coping with breakups is something I should be certified in, because I have more than enough experience to help everyone get through the stages of a breakup.

If you've been on this blog for a little while or found me way before this website ever existed, you might know that my claim to fame is a post I wrote that went viral on how to get over a breakup. I wrote the post in the middle of the night in tears, classic me, and somehow people connected with it. To this day the post is still on the first page of Google results when you're looking for ways to get over a guy, and that's how my love for writing really began.

Breakups are hard, but what about breakups where we break up for petty reasons? Click to read my petty relationship deal breakers, then share one of yours!

Not all breakups are bad though, I think we all have that one relationship that we were relieved finally ended. The other day I was in the middle of an argument with my boyfriend, one of those ridiculous ones where no one is genuinely mad, fussy would be a better description. In that moment I wanted to leave and never come back, and that's how this post came to be. Below are my relationship deal breakers, that is if I was as petty as I wish I could be.

Self Care Tips from My Cat, Max

Does anyone else enter a three day weekend super excited for all the possibilities that an extra day can bring? Then wham! You realize that extra day or not, you rather sit on the couch and use all that time to scroll on your phone and catch up on your shows.

Three day weekends come with a ton of pressure for me, especially living in Washington DC. Living in the city means there's always something going on, especially around holidays like Memorial Day. My weekends typically start off with ambitious intentions, but by Saturday afternoon I accept the fact that an extra day doesn't make me wanna be a couch potato any less.

If three day weekends or major holidays give you that same feeling of anxiety due to fear of missing out, then I've got the solution for you.

Practicing self care doesn't have to be bard or take up too much time. Click to read how my cat Max inspired me to practice more self care on a daily basis, plus tips on how to do it yourself.

Pet Magasin was kind enough to provide the cat hammock to me for review. Unreliable reviews suck, which is why I (or Max) would never recommend anything we didn't actually use or enjoy. 

Meet Max, he's my adorable cat, who gives me the side eye every time my boyfriend and I argue about what we're going to do today. Here's the thing, Max has no sense of time, or three day weekends, or feeling of having to do fun activities because that's what all the cool cats are doing. His chill as hell attitude is what we should all strive for during the weekends, especially because his life is one long self care routine.

If you need to chill out for a second, keep reading to see how Max manages to enjoy every moment, inspiring my boyfriend and I to emulate his self care practices.

20 Ways to Save Money This Week

Saving money doesn't have to be hard or mean you can't enjoy your life. After quitting my well paying job to finish my masters, I learned that the only way it was going to work was by cutting back on things I didn't need and saving money on the things I did.

If you're trying to cut your budget or save a little extra money, below are twenty ways to save money that won't take away from how you spend your time or how much fun you have doing the things you love. For more ideas on how to save money on a daily basis, click here for more posts!

Want to save money without too much effort? Click to read the 20 ways I save and make money each week without changing my routine all that much.

1. Buy generic
This one seems obvious, but whether it's food or househould items, generic is typically the same and works/tastes just as good.

2. Don't buy lunch
If you work a 9-5 job, then you know how expensive lunch can get. Skip the extra cost and pack a lunch, with the savings being more than half of being it daily.

3. Shop through Ebates

If you haven't heard of Ebates, where have you been? All you have to do is visit, click the online retailer you wanna shop on, and then just shop! It's that simple. Every three months you get a check with the amount of savings you've accumulated, no coupon codes or extra work required. Plus, if you sign up through this link, you get a free $10 just for joining.

4. Only shop at thrift stores
Spend a little time finding the best ones in your area, then make a pledge to only buy used clothing until you've reached your financial goal. Once you find the one perfect piece, you'll be hooked.

How to Stay Healthy If You Hate Working Out

You guys, I tried, I really did. Here's the thing, in the past thirty days I seriously learned what my obstacles are, where I continuously fail myself, and how others manage to get past all these excuses.

Okay, it doesn't help that I'm drinking a Coke as I write this, but in my defense I woke up at 7am today to go volunteer at a soup kitchen. Also, I have a paper due tonight. Oh, and I'm totally just making a million excuses because there's no damn reason I should be drinking a Coke right now.

That's step one of living a healthier life, calling out your own bullshit. If you're like me and look for a million and one reasons for why you can't get a workout in or say no to those french fries, keep reading to learn how other's get past all these mental roadblocks.

You might also like: 10 Best Apps for Your Health and Exercise Goals

Call yourself out

Like I mentioned earlier, you need to be able to know the difference between actual obstacles and straight up excuses. For example, on Wednesdays I work from 9am to 6pm, then have class from 7-10pm. Sure I could wake up early or stay up late to exercise, but on days like that I need the extra sleep. Me not working out on a weekend? That's just me coming up with an excuse for why I don't have the time.

Every time you skip a workout or opt to eat an unhealthy meal, write down why you made the decision. This way you can look back and see what your patterns are, where you can improve, and in which instances you're just looking for the easy way out.

Why You Should Travel on Your Birthday + 3 Tips to Help You Plan

My entire motivation to travel on my birthday began on my 20th birthday. I spent the day with my mother and her new husband, touring San Francisco and overall hating where my life was.

Don't get me wrong, I love my mom, but that's just not how I envisioned entering my twenties. I don't really know what I wanted out of the day, but that day just wasn't it. Nowadays I don't remember much about my 20th birthday, which seriously bums me out because I'm a person who likes to remember big milestones like that.

A few months after my 20th birthday I vowed to never have a forgettable birthday again, and I was going to restart my twenties by traveling abroad. Overnight I was committed to getting out of the country, which is how I ended up studying abroad twice before I graduated from college.

Vowing to travel every year on my birthday has given me two things, the ability to enter a new year from a new perspective (and place), plus memories that I know will last me a lifetime. Here's why you should reconsider spending your birthday at home or in a location you've visited before. Trust me, you won't regret it.

Traveling in your twenties doesn't have to cost a fortune. Click to read why everyone should travel on their birthdays, plus how I travel on a small budget.

Why you should travel on your birthday:

Guaranteed memories

Like I mentioned before, traveling on my birthday has helped me better remember how I spent the day, and how I felt when I turned a new age. We have no control over our birthdays as children or teens, but in adulthood it's up to us to plan something we'll never forget. Sure I cant remember what I was doing the week after or months later, but ever since I turned 20, I can remember exactly what I did, how I felt, and who I was with.

Social media definitely helps in holding onto memories, so why not document some that are new and exciting? To help with remembering my birthday, I aim to take a photo an hour to remind myself of what I spent my time doing. You don't have to travel far to enjoy a vacation, you just need to find a place that gives you the opportunity to discover something new.

You might also like: Photo an Hour (22nd Birthday Edition)

13 Date Ideas for Introverted Couples

Raise your hand if your last date night was two people sitting on the couch, one watching TV, and the other scrolling on their phone pretending to be interested about what you're watching. *Raised hand so high it touches the ceiling.*

I wouldn't label myself an introvert, I prefer the term selectively social. Right around 19 years old I came to the realization I didn't have to be friends with everyone, and how much easier life was when I gave myself the option to bail out on events with people I'm not that close with. My boyfriend though, he fits the introvert definition perfectly. Just last weekend he proposed we spend our weekend doing less, but together.

I wish ya'll could have heard him say together to me. It's as if he wanted to put as much emphasis on the word as possible to distract me from the fact he was asking if we could be loaves all weekend. After a few seconds of being mildly irritated, I realized it was just his inner introvert talking, so I came up with these date night ideas for introverted couples. You know, while we were together doing nothing.

You might also like: What It's Like to Date an Introvert

Looking for fun date night ideas that fit your introverted personality? If so, click for 13 date night ideas for introverted couples or partners.

One on one activities

Just because you're both introverts doesn't mean you can't go out and enjoy what your city has to offer. The trick is to choose an activity that doesn't require a lot of interaction with other people in the area. Below are some dates you can go on that won't require you to talk to people once you get there.

Advice for New College Graduates

As of lately every time I open my Instagram or Facebook app, I'm showered with photos of graduations and cap and gowns. It's crazy to me that three years ago I walked across the stage, well, more like waddled. I should have known my first year after graduation would me a mess. The sign? Oh nothing big, I just got my period in the middle of the my graduation ceremony.

No big deal. I didn't work four years to walk across the stage while bleeding through my dress. Whatever

To be honest, my entire graduation was a mess. Family drama ruined the day, I spent the night with a guy I kinda couldn't stand, and I'm almost sure I cried myself to sleep. The entire experience was not what I had imagined, but it was what came after that was even more unplanned. 

If you're a recent college grad or a few years out, it's always nice to hear how other people manage to figure their shit out. I may not be at my end goal, but hey, I make my rent, have a job I love and managed to find a pretty good guy in a pool of weirdos. Okay, let's get into the advice!

Life after college can be hard, which is why I wanted to share the 10 pieces of advice I wish someone had told me when I graduated college. New grad advice from where to live to how to write the perfect resume.

You will break down

I don't think I ever cried so much as I did during my first year out of college. Whether it was stress from graduate school, paying my bills or finding new friends, it was all a lot. Don't think you're any different because you get overwhelmed by all the new responsibilities thrown at you. Just because no one talks about sometimes hating their life doesn't mean they're not feeling the same way. Break down, wipe your tears and get back to being the badass you are.

You might also like: Moments Every Twenty Something Can Relate to as told by Friends

How to Work Full Time and Go to Grad School

This August marks three years since I uprooted my life, moved to the East Coast, with nothing more than a few hundred dollars and an acceptance letter into grad school. I don't know how I did it, but within two months I managed to start my graduate program, find two jobs and start building a life in a new city.

No one warned me how hard it would be, especially when it came to feeling like I was in control of my life. Making friends was hard, and even with the few I had, finding the energy to spend time with them was even harder. Working and attending graduate school full time is one of those things that you can't fully relate to until you're in that position, but you can prepare.

As someone who had never even had a job, entering the workforce at the same time I was going to school full time was a bit of a shock. If you're considering going to school full time while working full time, or doing both part time, keep reading to see how you can prepare to better balance both responsibilities.

You might also like: The 8 Important Lessons My 2nd Year of Grad School Taught Me

Learn how to balance working and going to school full time, from someone who has managed to do it all the past three years. Tips and advice to working hard and still enjoying your life.

Plan your courses ahead of time

If possible, plan your course schedule ahead of time to anticipate changes in your work schedule and intensity of schoolwork. Unfortunately with my graduate school I was not able to plan my courses more than a semester ahead of time, which made it difficult to anticipate the types of hours I could commit to and the number of classes I would be taking.

By planning your classes ahead of time, it gives you the opportunity to collaborate with your employer and control the amount of work you'll have throughout the year.

What It's Like to Date an Introvert

Ever wonder if a guy is introverted or just shy? Click to read the traits that most introverted guys share.

Just as I was about to start writing this post I realized the last time I took an assessment on extroversion and introversion was the 9th grade. I distinctly remember there being a poster on the wall that had the words extrovert and introvert written in blue and purple marker, and underneath were positive traits of each type.

Back in the 9th grade we were all convinced it was better to be an extrovert. I mean, who wouldn't wanna be the type of person who has a million friends and an active social life? I'll tell you who, an overworked, midtwenties female who rather stay at home and watch Netflix than stay at the party till it's long past over.

Since I probably faked a bunch of answers the last time I took the assessment, I decided to retake one that had a little more credibility to it. Within seconds I found an 81 question assessment on Psychology Today, seemed legit. A few minutes later I had my score, I was basically in the middle.

How to Celebrate a Pet's Birthday + Max Turns 3!

This is your warning: I am a crazy cat/dog/hamster/whatever fluffy animal is in front of me lady. If it has fur, I have love for it. Which is why when I had the opportunity to adopt a cat almost three years ago, I jumped at the opportunity. I seriously put more thought and effort into adopting Max than I did into purchasing a bed and mattress. So yeah, he's kind of my life.

Every year I do something small to celebrate his life, because cmon, he doesn't have forever. The other day my boyfriend was looking at me like I was crazy for wanting to buy Max a birthday gift, which is when I pointed out to him that at best Max will have 15 years on this earth, making each birthday that much more special. I don't know if he fully got it, but whatever, the package is on it's way here anyways.

If you love your pet as much as I do, here's how to celebrate their birthday without getting yourself a one way ticket to a psych evaluation. Also, enjoy the photos of Max throughout the years.

How to Be Unemployed & Still Enjoy Your Life

I just passed the six month mark of quitting my job at the law firm and becoming unemployed in one of the most expensive cities in America. Yeah, I did that. My reason for leaving my great job is simple, I am determined to complete my masters this year.

Working full time and going to school part time was killing me slowly, so I spent a year saving all my extra income to prepare for the time I would spend unemployed. Had my situation been different I probably could have saved a lot less, but since I'm too far from home to live at home and too busy to pick up a part time job, this is how I've managed to be unemployed and still enjoy my life in the city. Living off my savings of course!

You might also like: 5 Reasons Why You Should Wait Before Going to Grad School + Why I Didn't

Eat out less, cook more

Even though this is a no brainer, so many people continue to maintain their dining habits when trying to save money. You would be surprised how much you spend on meals and snacks you buy spontaneously. If you have trouble sticking to this, outline a rough meal plan for the week so you can plan when you'll splurge and which meals you'll cook at home.

The Stages of Watching a Law and Order SVU Marathon

This past weekend was awesome. Sitting around in my underwear eating Magnum ice cream bars for lunch kind of awesome. My boyfriend wanted to go see the new Fast and Furious move and I...did not. So I did what anyone would do, insisted he go see it so I could get a moment for myself. Oh, and the remote.

My Saturday started off like any other, waking up at 10, liking everyone's brunch photos on Instagram and eating my weight in potatoes. When I decided to turn on the television I figured I was going to catch up on Real Housewives or My 600 Pound Life. I know, I have a very random taste in TV. After scrolling for a bit, it happened, stage one of watching a Law and Order SVU marathon.

You might also like: How to Survive a Trip to Ikea with Your Boyfriend

Stage 1: Aimless channel surfing

It starts off innocently enough. You decide to watch some TV but don't know what's on. The news is too depressing and you feel too old for anything on MTV. After flipping around for a bit you reach the destination you didn't even know was there.