Friday, December 2, 2011

Thanksgiving Happenings

Ever since I was little, Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. (This could be because it's always the same time as my birthday though lol.) This was my first Thanksgiving away from home and I couldn't have been more thankful my brother James came to visit me. 

Since I had most of the week off, we were able to spend lots of time together. I was so excited to not only show him around the city, but my neighborhood as well. I wanted him to see what it was like for me living here. We went grocery shopping, ate at my favorite pizzeria, walked down Fifth Avenue, saw the Plaza and the Apple store, took the subway, walked around Chelsea Market, went to the Upper West side to see all of the balloons that were going to be in the parade and went to one of my favorite bars, The Stumble Inn. And that was all in his first day here. 

My friend Jill moved to D.C. about a week ago and came up Wednesday evening to spend Thanksgiving with us. I was so excited to see her since it has been way too long! She is so chill and amazing that it seemed like the three of us could have been childhood friends. On Thursday we all hung out around the apartment, watched the parade on TV (we agreed there was no way we were waking up that early to go wait in the cold), watched football, cooked, drank and had fun. 

Since there ended up being eight of us for Thanksgiving, we had it over at Erica's boyfriend’s apartment. The food was absolutely delicious and we had more than enough. Erica's dad came in town, so it was nice to have a parent there. He gave a very sweet toast about our new lives and all of the "firsts" we would be experiencing. I hadn't given it much thought, but I realized how right he was. It made everything that much more special. I passed out on the couch from a food coma, so James, Jill and I went home to watch some more football.

Friday afternoon we went to a beer garden in Astoria called Studio Square. It wasn't the one I wanted to go to (the original one is 100 years old) because it didn't open until later that night, but we figured this new one would be just as good. I haven't ever been to the original, but I have a feeling it must be better. Granted we went on a Friday afternoon, but the place was almost completely empty. We decided to eat, hang out and watch some more football while James drank his beers. Eventually Jill and I got bored, so we left.

 Afterwards we were feeling semi-touristy and went to Rockefeller Center to see the Christmas tree. The whole area was already decorated for Christmas, the giant tree just wasn't lit up yet. Afterwards we went down to Bryant Park by Grand Central and walked around the Christmas shops they have set up. There is also an ice skating rink that I plan on skating at some point this month. James is really into trying unique types of beer, so we went to some cool pubs/bars in SoHo and Greenwich Village. 

Unfortunately Jill had to leave Saturday. Alexa took her to the bus at Penn Station and then met up with us. While she was doing that, James, Shaina and I went to Eataly. It's the largest artisanal Italian food and wine marketplace in the world owned by Mario Batali, Lidia Bastianich and Joe Bastianich. There are about five different restaurants and a complete market. It has everything you could imagine. One of the best things (besides the food) is you can walk around the entire market with a drink in your hand! I had probably one the best glasses of wine I have ever had and ate delicious pasta. Afterwards we went to the Baylor bar and watched the Bears beat Tech (Sic'em!). 

James and I decided to take it easy on Sunday since we were both so exhausted. We slept in, ate yummy waffles for brunch, watched lots of football and a few action movies like the old days. Sadly James left at 3:00am Monday morning to catch his 5:45am flight back to Houston. 

Overall my Thanksgiving week was wonderful. I was able to spend quality time with my brother, see old friends, have time off from work, and go to new places in the city. I couldn't have asked for a better holiday in the city. I will say that I can't wait to go home for Christmas though!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Another Year Older

As many of you know, I turned 23 years old last Tuesday. While some people would freak out about getting older, I actually prefer it. That could have something to do with me always feeling like the youngest/a child because all my friends are older. Or the fact that I hate telling hot, older guys how young I am. Either way, I was excited to be turning 23. 

While normally I am always prepared with some sort of birthday celebration, this year was different. I'm in a new city with new friends and a new life. I felt almost a little foolish making my birthday a big deal to people who had only known me for a few months, so the only thing I planned was going out to dinner on my actual birthday.

Little to my surprise my friends had something else planned. My friend Jess had planned a surprise party for me down in the Flatiron District. I was absolutely shocked! I couldn't believe that they had been planning this all along and I didn't have a clue about it. I was so surprised and happy to see them all. I instantly knew this was going to be an amazing birthday.

My friends had a drink ready, balloons, a birthday sash and tiara. They tied the balloons to my wrist, put the crown on my head and the sash on me. I tried to protest, but they wouldn't allow it. Every time I took it off, Shaina kept putting it back on so I gave up fighting her (until the last bar when she stopped noticing). I also ended up loving the balloons (until some rude girl popped them) because they got me free drinks and birthday wishes all night!

After Flatiron we went down the Lower East Side to a place by my friend's apartment called Dark Room. It is everyone's favorite place to go at the end of the night. It was so much fun! There were tons of cute boys (some had foreign accents so that's always a plus) and great music. We danced, laughed and had an amazing time.

The entire weekend was filled with amazing birthday activities. We went to brunch on Saturday and shopped for a dress for me for my birthday dinner. Sunday Alexa and I went to brunch in the Lower East Side at NoLita House. On the weekends they have live bluegrass music and a boozy brunch special. The music felt a little like home and the food was delicious!

At my new job our office was only open Monday and Tuesday so my brother flew into town Tuesday night for my birthday and Thanksgiving. We were all supposed to go out to eat in Greenwich Village at the tapas restaurant Alta, but long story short, it didn't work out. Instead I picked a bar down in Alphabet City. It was listed as the best place to get group drinks online, but it ended up not being that great of a bar. Luckily my friends are chill and didn't even care (or at least they said they didn't). We still had fun hanging out before everyone left for Thanksgiving. 

My friends throwing me a surprise party and buying my drinks all weekend was more than enough. To top it all off though, I got some excellent presents as well. Alexa gave me two AMAZING cookbooks, a Christmas cd and a Christmas ornament. Erica got me some pretty Bobbi Brown makeup. My parents bought me new clothes while my mom was in town and then sent more gifts with my brother. They send a gift basket with another great cookbook, an electric wine opener, two bottles of wine and more amazing goodies. My brother flew here to see me, so that was more than enough. 

While I started out with low hopes about my birthday, I ended up being more than thrilled with it. The surprise party was more than I could have asked for. The fact that they even took the time to plan it meant the world to me. They could have stopped right there and I would have been happy, but they continued. I couldn't have asked for better friends or a better first birthday in New York!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Too Busy to Keep Up

I know I am a complete slacker and haven’t written a post in forever- sorry!! I have been so busy since I returned from Waco, I haven’t had time. I was waiting to find my camera cord so I could upload pictures, but that doesn’t seem to be happening anytime soon. Also, I don’t really have time to write up my blog at work anymore, so that’s another reason I’m behind. I’ll just give you a quick update on my life and try to write more this week.
Homecoming was absolutely amazing!! I got to see tons of old friends, the beautiful Baylor campus, and eat amazing food.  I caught up with my best friends and went to every happy hour I could. I drank more margaritas and ate more Mexican food than I have since I moved to New York, and it was heavenly. Scruff’s was packed all weekend as expected, but it was a blast once we got inside. Tailgating was fun and the game was amazing. I cheered, drank and cheered some more. I didn’t get very much sleep hanging out with my friends all night and the time change causing me to wake up so early.
A few of my favorite highlights include: a group of us hanging out at George’s and going to Piano Man; hanging out with the guys at 9th every chance I got (they didn’t really have a choice, I basically would just show up whenever I felt like it); having late night chats with Haley like we used to when we lived together; getting ready for the game, and tailgating with all my friends.
While Waco was amazing, I was ready to get back to NYC. I was shocked how much I missed the city. I missed walking the streets and all the noise that comes with it. I flew back Sunday night and my mom flew in Monday night to come visit. I had two days off from work before I started my new job, so it worked out perfectly. She cleaned my apartment and washed all my clothes, which I was so appreciative of. I showed her the Met, Tory Burch, my neighborhood and several other places around the city. We ate amazing food and had a great time. I’m glad she was finally able to get a sense of what my life is like here.
This past Monday was my first day at my new job and so far I absolutely love it! The people I work with are so welcoming and very inclusive. I get along great with my team and enjoy what I do. Even though it takes me about 45 minutes to get to work, I love the new neighborhood my office is located in. It’s on Houston Street and I walk through SoHo to get there. I never really come down to this part of the city, so it’s nice to see new places. Hopefully since I don’t work as much now, I’ll have time to explore the area more in the future.
Today is my birthday, and if you know me, I have already started celebrating. My brother is coming in town in time for my birthday dinner in Greenwich Village. Luckily I only have to work today and tomorrow, so I can’t wait to show him around the city and celebrate my birthday and Thanksgiving with. We are going to have so much fun together. I’ll write more about my birthday, my job and my brother’s trip later this week, don’t worry. J

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Waco Bound

Today I leave for Waco and I'm beyond excited!! It's Baylor's Homecoming weekend and everyone is going to be in town. I have been looking forward to this more than I can explain to any of you. I land today in Austin at 12:15pm and will be in town until Sunday evening. (Sidenote: to those of you who helped me be able to afford this trip, I am truly grateful. I cannot begin to describe how much it means to me! Thank you.)

While living in Waco, I never once thought I would miss it, but somehow I do. Actually it's more like I miss my friends and a few restaurants. My list of things I want to do consists of the following, plus whatever else happens to come up while I'm there (in no particular order):

 Piano Man
 Ninfa's happy hour with Melodie and Kathryn
 Lunch at Teriyaki Park with Michelle
  Hanging out with all the boys
 Jimmy John's with Cami (perfect hangover food) 
Hanging out at George's and drinking Big-O's with Haley, Michelle and Dana
  Driving around jamming out to music with Haley
 Scruff's (duh)
 Dinner with my beautiful AXO family line
 Tailgating and the football game
 Brunch (I'll definitely need a few Bloody Mary's this weekend)
Being reunited with all my friends (obviously)
Taco Z late night with Blake
 Staying up all night and laying in bed talking with Haley
 Walking around campus
Ranting about dumb stuff with Alex
and much, much more.

Yes- I realize I have a pretty extensive list and will only be there for four days. I figure it's a good possibilty that some of this won't happen. I'm just going to go and have the most fun I possibly can and not worry or stress about anything. (I have already told myself I'm not going to let anything or anyone ruin/put a damper on this trip, I'm too excited.) No matter what I do or who I hang out with, I know this weekend is going to be amazing!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Halloween has never been my favorite holiday. I never get into dressing up, but that could be because I'm never creative enough to come up with a good costume. Halloween also happens to be my best friend's birthday. Ever since the third grade, Halloween has been more about celebrating Shelby's birthday than the actual holiday. Unfortunately though, the rest of America loves getting dressed up and celebrating Halloween. Being in New York I almost felt obligated to go out and celebrate with all the other crazies here.

I went back and forth all day at work on whether I was going to go out or not. This was not because of my usual lack of enthusiasm for Halloween, but rather because it was SNOWING. Yeah freaking crazy I know. All I could think about was how cold I would be in my costume and what shoes I would wear. I mean I had already almost busted it several times in my rain boots, I couldn't even imagine what I would do a few drinks later in high heels. After much deliberating, I decided to suck it up and just go.
With my work schedule, I didn't have time to prepare/think about my costume. It was literally a last minute thing. This is how my outfit came together: Friday- I borrowed a flapper dress from a girl I work with at the museum. Saturday morning- a girl from Tory brought me two long strands of pearls. As soon as I got off work, I went to Ricky's and bought a feather headband and a cigarette holder. I went straight home, put on my costume (praying it would fit), and left to go over to my friend's house to get ready and pre-game. I got there, borrowed a pair of fish nets and a pair of heels from her roommate. Finally after putting it all together and having the girls help me with my headband and lips, I was ready.
While it wasn't the best costume out of everyone there, I must admit I was rather impressed at how it all came together at the end. My friends and I all hung out, took pictures and celebrated until we left to go to the MTV party near Penn Station. It was fun and we all had a great time. Unfortunately I had to wake up and go to work the next morning, but oh well that won't be the case much longer.  
I didn't go out on actual Halloween day because I after work I was too exhausted. I heard the parade down in Greenwich was awesome and my friends said they have funny stories to tell me tonight at dinner. I'm glad I went out and spent time with my friends, but even New York still didn't convert me into being a huge Halloween fan. I'm already over it and look forward to going to Waco this weekend!

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Real Deal

So if you keep up with my blog or me, you know I have been working two jobs for the past month and half. While it has been overwhelming and stressful at times, I have loved it. Well my job situation is changing, yet again. I have recently been offered a full-time position at a media agency in the city!

My boss at the Met has been very supportive and has allowed me to end my temp job here early. She understood that I should not pass up a career opportunity and could not guarantee me a job here at the end of December. This was so amazing because it was a HUGE factor in whether I was going to take the job or not. You have no idea how badly I stressed over talking to her about it and leaving the Met early (I wasn't able to sleep and was physically making myself sick over it). After all it is very scary to leave a job you love, even if it is temporary, for one that you only think you will like.

So now about my new job. I will be the new assistant media planner for two luxury goods accounts. My first day will be Monday, November 14th.  I am going to continue to work at the Met and Tory until then. The company wanted me to start sooner, but I pushed it back a bit. I wanted to wait to start until after my trip to Waco and my mom came in town. That way I don't have to use up any of my vacation days. Also, I sincerely enjoy working at the Met so it will be nice to have an extra week or two with the girls in my office.

Everyone I have met at the company so far has been amazing. They are very open about me moving up within the company, saying this is a starter position and most people are promoted within a year or so. They also said after I had been at the company a while, they were willing to work with me if I wanted to move to different departments or work on different accounts. They are allowing me to do as much or as little as I want. I feel like this job will be an amazing experience and I will truly learn a lot from it. I know I will be able to grow here and it will help my career for the future.

The main downsides (besides having to leave the Met) are the pay and location. The salary is much less than I was looking for, but hopefully I will prove myself and will move up quickly. I'm going to have to start out this salary eventually, so I figure it's better to get it over with than continue to postpone the inevitable. I'm just nervous with winter and Christmas coming up (I literally don't own "real" winter clothes and I'm obsessed with buying people multiple Christmas gifts). I finally decided the sooner I took the pay cut though, the sooner I can get to higher positions for it to be increased. God always provides me with everything I need anyways. This will also help teach me how to better budget my money (my dad will love that haha). 

The other downside is that it is about 45 minutes from my apartment. I will definitely no longer be able to walk to work, which will probably turn out for the best with winter quickly approaching. I also figure that I don't plan on living in my current apartment/neighborhood forever, so it shouldn't be a deciding factor. Who knows, this time next year I could be living on the west side. Also, since it is so far, I won't be able to work at Tory Burch at night during the week. This was kinda sad since I am taking a pay cut; I wanted to be able to have more money coming in from somewhere else.

After stressing out about these and many other things for over a week, I decided this was an excellent opportunity I couldn't pass up. I believe it will lead me to great places and they are offering me many opportunities that most other companies would not in the same position. Plus it's going to be nice to be able to tell people I have a real job. I feel like I'm finally growing up lol. I'm sad I only have a few weeks left at the Met, but I can't wait to start my new job and career!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Laughter Heals the Soul

Often times after graduating college, you lose touch with many of your friends. Work, distance, new friends, dislike of talking on the phone by some, and just life in general somehow always seem to get in the way of making time to catch up. This has been especially true for me since I moved and work all the time.

The past few weeks though I have caught up with several of my friends from school and have loved it. Catching up with the boys is probably the best. Even though most guys don't enjoy talking on the phone, I think we have had some of the best conversations. I have laughed harder during some of those 20 minute phone calls than I have in months. I literally can't keep myself from smiling and feeling happy during and after our chats.

I have Grant to remind me how stupid boys can be and always responds to my texts at 2:00am when I want to tell him about a dumb guy. He always makes me laugh and reminds me that these boys aren't worth it. Then there is Mark who I can banter with back and forth and always call him out. I'm sure our conversations sound harsh to outsiders, but we are laughing the entire time. I have Blaine to call me out on everything and then ask me the real questions about life. Kevin and I have been friends since we were three and it's always nice to know I have that go-to person who understands me and will listen. There are plenty of others, but I'm sure you probably don't care (in fact, I'm sure someone will call me and make fun of this blog in general, but I don't care).

While it is always good to catch up with old friends, I have needed it even more this past couple of weeks. I have been overly stressed and missing all my friends beyond words. It's hard living in a huge city with no one to talk to or who truly understands you most of the time. My friends have helped me forget everything and just love life. They have literally helped me be happy again and feel joy down in my soul (I know it sounds cheesy, but it's true).

The amazing thing is they made me feel so much better without having to do anything or even knowing it. With these types of friendships it doesn't always have to be a deep intense heart to heart talk to mean something. Just being able to talk, laugh, and sarcastically banter with them was enough.

Each time after talking with them, I have truly felt refreshed about life. They have reminded me why true friendships should never be taken for granted. I can't wait to see all of them next week and be able to enjoy a whole weekend of fun.