Joe Fresh for JC Penney

I discovered Joe Fresh last fall with my mom, actually.  They have adorable, expensive looking office-appropriate clothes for really moderate prices. I have also recently fallen for JC Penney.  I am almost certain they have undergone a rebranding of sorts, and are no longer the mom-jeans selling, out-dated, old lady department store they once were.  They actually have things I would buy.  And now, they are selling Joe Fresh.

As soon as I saw the “Coming Soon” sign in the store, I freaked out and texted my mom a picture.  One of Joe Fresh’s major faults is that you can’t order online, and since we live in Rochester, it is rare that we can shop there. But now. We can shop at our own JC Penney.

And you know we will be there multiple times over Spring Break.

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1. Pants || 2. Skirt || 3. Dress

4. Dress || 5. Shirt || 6. Cardigan

I guess I have a thing for blue this season…

A Place of Our Own

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After a lot of ups and downs between friends, switching roommates and some uncertainty–make that a lot of uncertainty–my good friend Kaitie and I are signing a lease on our own apartment today!

While my parents were on board right away, Kaitie’s parents needed a little convincing.  But once they saw the place they were sold.  And we are so excited to be graduating from dorms finally!

Kaitie was originally planning on staying with her current roommates, but when I suggested an apartment of our own she instantly jumped on board with me.  Kaitie is a relatively new friend, but she has been one of my most genuine and understanding friends at Fordham, and I can’t wait for us to share an apartment.

I think we are really good for each other and we will be able to remain close friends without getting sick of each other.

I can’t believe I just signed up for my housing for my last year in school. Life is going too fast.

Hey Check Out My Buttons

I have been trying to figure out forever how to get these sweet buttons on the side of my blog.  And today I stumbled upon this post on Pinterest which gave me step by step instructions for how to do it!

 

So now, if anyone is so inclined, I am totally reachable via email, facebook, twitter, instagram, tumblr and/or pinterest. :)

On My Own

It used to horrify me to consider doing things alone. What would people think, seeing me eating or shopping by myself? Who would I talk to?

But now, taking time to do things and go by myself is one of my favorite indulgences. Today, I had to run to the Mac lab at Lincoln center to work on a graphic design project. Afterward, I rewarded myself for going out of my way to be a good student by taking a whole afternoon to explore the city on my own. I wandered into C. Wonder, J. Crew, H&M then across the street to T.J. Max, and suddenly I was walking across Central Park south to the upper east side and Bloomingdales. I found myself enjoying a cappuccino in a coffee shop and then some fruit and cheese at Whole Foods. I even sat and read a little on my Kindle. It was such a good day.

Instead of worrying about what people would think, I enjoyed the quiet and my own independence. Walking all over the city gave me time to think and relax. I could poke around Bloomingdales for as long as I wanted without worrying about holding up my companions. It was liberating.

How fortunate I am, to be able to take a day and wander around Manhattan, just because I wanted to.

I also might have treated myself to some new accessories and a scalloped tank ;)

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Obsession: Cap Toes

I don’t know what it is about a cute cap-toe ballet flat but I am disgustingly obsessed.

I think it started a few seasons ago when I set my sights (unrealistically) on the cutest pair of Kate Spade flats with a hot pink cap toe. They were beautiful. I am dying for her to bring them back (preferably after I get my own job so I can afford them) because I can’t pass them up again.

There is something about the playfulness of a pop of color that makes it seem like you’re trying to be cute and fun, without wearing a bright color shoe that practically screams “I’M TRYING TO BE FUN.”

I love them. And they pop up everywhere, making it more and more difficult for me to resist. Even Andrew can tell I love this trend–for Christmas he got me a pair of Toms that just happen to have a maroon cap on each toe.

And now, J. Crew factory has the most beautiful pair of pink flats with a pink toe that I can’t stop thinking about. I’m not ready to splurge yet, but as soon as they’re on sale I’m making moves.

Or at least, begging my mom to.

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1 || 2 || 3 || 4

5 || 6 || 7

8 || 9 || 10

Obviously, there’s a fixation theme here. The pink.  I’m clearly over winter and I’m ready to start wearing Springtime brights.

On a side note, how perfect are those Kate Spade for Keds? If I were more of a sneaker wearer (and had $80 to blow) I’d be all about those.

For now, I’m going to keep looking at these J. Crew Factory flats, placed safely in my shopping cart, until I go home to the outlets and kill myself (and my bank account) buying them.

Healthy Eating

I posted last week about how Hungry for Change changed how I thought about healthy eating.  And I like to believe I have.  I’ve started to consciously check for preservatives and the like when I buy groceries, and I try my hardest to eat fruits and vegetables as much as possible.

On my original post, it was drawn to my attention that it might be difficult to eat this way in college/on a budget/in the Bronx.  However, I am not finding it especially difficult.

I have a new love for Trader Joe’s.  We just got one in Rochester, and even though I am a diehard Wegmans shopper there, Trader Joe’s is my go-to in the city.  They have a lot of organic and health-conscious foods that I really like.  Plus, I really do think it is less expensive than Modern in the Bronx, where I typically shop.  In the Bronx, my groceries for a week are usually around $40-$50, depending on what I buy.  At TJ’s, I spend only around $30 to feed myself for the week.

My clean eating grocery staples (usually) include:

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I don’t eat a ton everyday–I’m only 4 feet 11 inches tall, I don’t need that much to fuel me. But this is more than enough to last me.

For breakfast: I usually have coffee and 2 eggs scrambled, and a banana. This is enough to keep me nice and full until lunch.

For lunch: I’ll either have greek yogurt with chia seeds and multigrain toast with brie and an apple, or a salad with the pre-packed chicken, chia seeds, cucumber, and anything else I feel like throwing in. I like a big lunch because it keeps me full until dinner, which I usually don’t eat until late at night.

Afternoon snack: Sometimes, especially when I have night class, I’ll have a snack (or two) so I’m not starving to death in class.  I’ll usually have a Luna Bar. Which I am addicted to. Or some fruit.

 For dinner: I’m lazy about dinner.  I either make some kind of stir fry with frozen vegetables and the pre-packed chicken.  However, because my mother is a saint, she sent me back with enough Chicken French and Chicken Parm to freeze and eat for weeks.  Another thing I recently found that I love is spaghetti squash.  Its easy to steam and shred and its a healthy sub for pasta.

Ultimately, though eating healthy may take a little more effort, and might seems a little daunting, I think its totally doable.  You just need to have the patience to get started.  But once you do, your body continually asks for more real food.

Happy eating!

New Roommate!

My 6-person Walsh apartment has undergone almost too many roommate changes since we picked it in the lottery last spring.  All of which have occurred in the corner room, or, the Black Hole, as we like to call it.

First, our friend D transferred from Fordham, and we were randomly given G before school started.  Then, D’s roommate, M, moved out before I even moved in!  Then, a few weeks into first semester, we were given a different M to fill the old one’s place. And then, second semester, G moved off campus, taking her Keurig and TV with her.  Whatever.

Its funny because all of these people were supposed to live in/did live in the corner room. What’s up with that?

And now, halfway through second semester we’re getting a new roommate! In an interesting turn of events, we actually already know her.  J has been a commuter since freshman year and has been trying to live on campus all year.  However, she cheers here, so I know her from when I used to cheer, and she’s good friends with a few of my other friends/roommates.

Spreekend last spring. K, J, B and myself

Spreekend last spring. K, J, B and myself

I’m excited to have a full apartment again, even if it means fridge and cupboard space will be  a minimum once more. I think it will be nice to have another friend to hang out with all the time.  It will also be interesting to see how the dynamic adjusts, since J has a strong and outgoing personality.

We did already agree to have wine, though. So. Thats a plus.

Throwback Playlist

As a visual arts minor, I am forced to endure Visual Thinking, otherwise known as a once a week 2 hour and 45 minute class, where somehow, the projects are complicated and there is no class time to work on them. As a result, my roommate and I find ourselves consistently sitting at home on Saturday nights, working diligently on these ridiculous projects, which are intended to simply teach us the basics in design. Whatever.

To get myself through these marathon art sessions, I’ve become accustomed to listening to one Pandora station and one station only: Beyonce.

I swear to god, its the best station you’ll ever listen to. First of all, Beyonce is the Queen. Second of all, it consistently kicks out the best throwbacks circa 2004-2009.

I put together one playlist, but there are sure to be many more, of my favorite throwbacks, brought to me via Beyonce Pandora.

I hope you find these songs as nostalgic of Jr. High and High School as I do.

PS I tried really really hard to figure out how to embed a playlist in this so that you can play my songs right here. Unfortunately, that is way beyond my technical capacity at this point. Maybe in the future. Instead, I made a cool graphic.

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Public Library Card!

After many trials and tribulations, I finally got my New York Public Library card.

After about a week of having my iPad after Christmas and buying a few books, reading them and moving on, I knew I would have to find a more cost-effective way to feed my reading habit. So, I tried to log onto the Rochester Public Library website with my old card from kindergarten, only to find out it had expired! (And that I had $8 in fines on it too, but whatever).

So, I applied for my card from the NYPL. TWO MONTHS LATER it finally arrived. I was so excited! Free books! Not the case.

Though there are many digital copies of popular books throughout the various branches, the most popular books are all out already, with long lists of people waiting to read them. Nevertheless, I put holds on as many on my wish list as possible, and downloaded a lesser-known book to read in the meantime.

After reading, and re-reading a thousand articles online on how to get the books from the library to my Kindle app, realizing that for some books its just not possible, and then finding another book and downloading it, I finally got one on my iPad. And, its the first in a series!

I can’t wait to embark on many more nerdy endeavors with my official library card. :)

Couldn't have said it better myself

Couldn’t have said it better myself

Handouts

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I’m going to write for a minute about something that bothers me a lot. Maybe it should or shouldn’t, but I can’t stand to watch people be coddled by their parents and have everything handed to them.

More so at Fordham than at my high school, I have come across a surprising amount of people who can’t function on their own, because they’re never had to. People’s parents give them cash every week, review and edit their papers, I’ve even heard of one girls’ mom completing her applications for her. This isn’t to say that my parents don’t give me treats every now and then, but it just blows my mind that some people’s parents are so involved in their lives.

My parents taught me very young that I am to work hard and earn everything I get. I earned an allowance and had chores for a long time, and I was not spoiled with new toys all the time. I knew I was expected to not only do my school work myself, but to do it to the best of my ability. They always expected me to give everything my all and achieve as high as I could. As soon as I was old enough, I got a summer job and earned my own spending money.

When I got to school and met people who had never done laundry or had a job, it blew my mind. How can someone not know how to edit their own papers or budget their own money? How can parents expect their child to go off into the real world without teaching them a little independence first?

I have a very close relationship with both of my parents and talk to them regularly, so there is no absence of love in our family, despite their high expectations. I am actually grateful my parents raised me to be as independent and hard working as they did. Because of them, I am learning to be a grown up. Though its not without constant struggles, I’m at least learning. If they had spoiled me senseless, when could I cut the cord? Would I expect my mom to send out my résumé and write my cover letters? Would my dad go to interviews?

I’m proud of myself and I thank my parents for raising me this way. Maturing hasn’t been easy, but it’s been worth the journey to see myself accomplishing all the goals I set out to when I was little.