Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Marshalls Haul

I don't know about you, but I love hauls. I used to post hauls all the time. I recently stopped in Marhsalls for something specific... I cannot recall what it was... Clearly, I ended up with a few things that I did not need, but once I stumbled on them, it was obvious I had to have them.
I have been very into French press coffee lately. Brewing my own little cup of coffee at my favorite restaurant is what life's little pleasures are made of. When I saw the cutest little French press (on sale!), it was from the shelf to my hands in seconds. Of course, I would need some coffee for my French press. How great is the name of this coffee company?!
Marshalls is really stepping up their book game. 52 Lists for Happiness has been popping up in my feed lately. I discovered it tucked away amongst the office decor for just $10. I have been an admirer of Garance Dore's work and had her book on my wish list for quite some time. I found it in the clearance section of Marshalls for $12! The images within the book are so lovely.
My final purchase was a pocket sized agenda that will fit in just about every purse I own. I wanted something small to jot down errands and reminders for when I am on the go. I love this cute little agenda.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Coming of Age

When I first decided I want to blog back in 2009, it was a fun hobby. In the very very very early days, it was similar to a diary. I just popped on to write about my day or how I was feeling about life.
I later tried to curate my blog a bit more. DIYs were big for a bit and posts were touch and go for a few years.
In 2014, I did not post once.
By 2015, I picked it up again. I was living in NYC and feeling very inspired, but I was a little lost in the blogosphere. I did not have a solid identity and found myself mimicking other bloggers.
For the past two years, I have been the most active. While I still have not mastered a consistent schedule, when I do post I love the content I am putting up. Not to sound like a Lifetime movie, but my experience with blogging has been a growing experience as well. As I grow and change, the blog grows and changes with me. I often think about what it will be like to look back on this blog 20 to 30 years down the road. It will be a trip down memory lane that's for sure, but I also want it to be me. There are so many blogs out there and I don't want to conform. I like fashion and beauty and reading and venting and learning and growing and sharing. One day I may post about quitting my job and the next I might post a haul. It's all over the place, kinda like me at the moment, but I don't mind. Ultimately, it's an outlet. A creative outlet for whatever I am into at the moment. So, while my posts may be all over the map, I hope there's something you find that you can relate to.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018


At 1:00AM on January 15th, 2018 I quit my job. I do not have another job lined up. I quit my job with no backup plan. At the age of 28 (going on 29 in less than two months), I will admit I thought I would have things "figured out." I graduated with my Bachelor's degree in 2015, after 6 years of undergrad and jumping from school to school until I found my dream school in NYC. I was naive and believed that after earning my degree, I would find the perfect job, make great money, and live happily ever after at the young age of 25. Three years later and my life at the moment could not be further from that fairy tale.

I landed my first "real job" right after graduating at a company I was initially excited about. After a few months and a shift in my duties, I soon found the work monotonous and too far removed from what I wanted to be doing. I studied marketing at LIM College, a small, private college in the heart of New York City with a focus on the fashion industry. I never wanted to be the next Anna Wintour, but I wanted to work in the fashion world. It was exciting and glamours and it was what I was drawn. The trends, the designers, the art and passion that goes into fashion. It's not all glitz and glam, and sure the work isn't always going to be exciting. It can be caddy and tough, but my experiences were always positives one.

One of my greatest internships was at Town & Country Magazine. I was only interning once a week on Fridays, but I always woke up excited to get into the office and see what I could help with. I would grab my coffee on the way and walk across town on 59th Street right along Central Park. I started my internship in the fall when the leaves where changing and the trees were showing off. I can remember a specific day on my walk to work when I thought to myself, "Mary, can you believe you are walking along 59th Street in NYC, coffee in hand, on your way to organize clothing and accessories from some of your favorite designers to prepare for a photo shoot?" I was in awe of my situation and so incredibly excited to show up at a job where I was unpaid and running around all day organizing and collecting garment bags. But I'll tell you what- it never felt like work. Every time I stepped into Heart Tower and stared up the steep mammoth escalator to the half a dozen elevators that lead to Town & Country, Cosmo and various other magazine offices, I was giddy.

Photo of Central Park on a sunny fall day on my walk to Hearst Tower.

Fast forward to last week. My days of sorting Oscar de la Renta shoes are long gone and I stare at a computer fixing issues on the backend of a website for hours at a time.Work that was tedious, stressful and most of all lacking in drive and creativity. Don't get me wrong, I am not afraid of hard work, but I am afraid of mindless work. I had only been working this job for 4 months, I loved the people, but the job duties were stressful and non stop issues arose every hour it seemed. There were too many issues to uncover and solve in a day. Day after day, I would leave defeated, rattled, and feeling like a failure. The stress turned into anxiety and the anxiety kept me up at night. I was getting little sleep and when morning came I dreaded the commute to an dark old office.

Sunday, January 14th rolled around and work was looming only hours away. I could not fathom the idea of going into work the next day. The thought of it made me nervous and so anxious I wanted to break down and cry. I was unhappy, stressed to no end, and saw no way of bettering my situation. I did something I never imagined I would do and something I am not completely proud of. I wrote an email stating my resignation. At one am on Monday, January 15th, I threw in the towel.
I am not a quitter. I have worked in jobs I didn't enjoy in the past, but over the course of a month or so, this job was breaking me down. This was not a decision I took lightly and I considered the consequences and all the people I would affect and disappoint. But, with all that to consider, my mental health, well-being and happiness were far more important to me.

I grew up in a family full of hard workers. My father owns a business and my mother is a lawyer. At a young age, a strong work ethic and desire for success was instilled in me.  But I think there was another piece of the puzzle that was not always stressed in our society, and that was to find joy in my work. This is no fault of my parents, I think this is a characteristic of America. I have come to realize what a strong emphasis there is to finding a job and earning a paycheck, but I think being happy with what you do is just as important, if not more important. Before I started working full-time, I would tell myself "I want to find a job and do what I love." That certainly fell to the wayside as jobs were hard to come by and the feeling of need to find a job outweighed the need to find the RIGHT job.
I am ready to work. I am ready to throw myself into a job. I just want it to be the right job. I think I get so hung up on the idea that a company wants to hire me that I forget that I should also want to work for that company. I have certainly accepted jobs because I felt I needed to more than I felt I wanted to work there. It's important to remember, I get to choose the job just as the managers get to choose me, if I am the right fit. I am making myself a promise to only apply to jobs that I can see bringing me joy. Sure, there will be tough days, but the good days will outweigh the bad if I am doing what I love.

Resigning was a very difficult decision. It was a choice I made with a heavy heart, but once I made the choice I felt a burden was lifted. You know that saying that's been around (and is so clique), "You only live once." Well, I have realized it's true. You only live once and I did not want to live another day feeling overwhelmingly unhappy and unfilled. I want to find my dream job. Honestly, I do not know what that is. I have so many interests from food to fashion to anything surrounding creativity. And maybe my next job won't even be in the marketing field anymore. One of my favorite quotes (another clique) is "Not all who wander are lost." I am wandering right now. My path my not be clear, but I know what I want and just as importantly, what I don't want. I may be wandering, but I am not lost. I am at just beginning my journey.

I still have the issues of T&C that I helped with during my internship.

Monday, January 8, 2018

December Favorites

For my December Favorites, I decided to group things a bit differently. Each month I tend to have more than just beauty favorites, and I wanted to talk about all the things I have been loving.

Kristin Ess Weightless Shine Spray. I purchased this spray about two months ago and have used it ever since. My hair is so shiny and healthy. It is a great product for detangling and anti-frizz. I have been on a no heat streak for some time now and using this spray cuts down on having to use other products to ensure my hair isn’t a frizz ball.

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel. This moisturizer has changed my skin’s life. This stuff is amazing. I use it each day and night, and I have seen a huge difference in my skin’s tone and texture. It is very hydrating and feels so luxurious. It is one of the best parts of my nighttime routine.

Too Faced Just Peachy Matte Powder. I am mildly obsessed with the Too Faced Just Peachy Collection. I have the bronzer and now the matte powder. The best part about this collection is that everything smells amazing! The scent is just like fresh peaches picked right off the tree. It is such a delightful to use.

Sally Hansen Insta Dry Nail Polish. My boss actually introduced me to the Sally Hansen Insta Dry Nail Polish and I have since bought 4 different colors. It takes just one coat, a few minutes and you are good to go! This polish is perfect for people who can't sit still for very long aka me.

Lush Bath Bombs. One of my favorite ways to unwind lately has been with a warm bubble bath. It is incredibly relaxing. I go all out with candles flickering and a good book in hand. It has been a great little nighttime ritual to relax after a long day or week.

A soon as I saw the trailer for Murder on the Orient Express, I was on Amazon ordering the book. Ever since I finished that murder mystery, I have been on an Agatha Christie kick. I love her writing and Hercule Poirot. He is a strangely wonderful character, who makes me chuckle with this odd habits and amazes me with his insight. I have a short stack of Agatha Christie books waiting to be read.

 Lavender Essential Oils // Yankee Candles //Vintage Coach Willy Bag //
  Letter Board //Fuzzy Duck Boots

Essential Oils. I bought a diffuser a few months back because I heard diffusing essential oils is great for the body, mind and soul. Lavender oil has been my favorite for helping me sleep. It really works. I also love using Tea Tree oil to help with my skin.

Yankee Candles. Who doesn't love to lite a candle on a cold December day? I have been favoring Yankee candles over any other brand lately. I find the quality is better than others and they last so long. My favorite scent has been Autumn Wreath.

Vintage Coach Willis Bag. I purchased this bag over a year ago and rediscovered it when the cold weather hit. It is a great size for all my essentials- phone, wallet, and a little pouch for lotions, lipsticks, etc. I just love the look and feel of this bag.

Letter Board. I have this letter board sitting on my desk. It is a fun item that I look forward to playing around with and changing every few weeks or whenever I need a new pick me up.

Fuzzy Duck Boots. I received these boots for Christmas two years ago and really put them to good use these past few months. Buffalo has had some crazy cold temps and these fuzzy boots keep my toes so warm and toasty!

Thursday, January 4, 2018


Happy New Year! The start of a new year has always excited me. I like the idea of new beginnings. Not that anything dramatic really happens once the ball drops, but the concept of starting fresh brings me a sense of peace. I like the idea of a whole new year ahead of me to make new plans and set new goals. 2018 is already looking pretty good. I have two trips planned and hopefully a third trip to Europe in the works! But I am getting ahead of myself. All throughout the year, new goals are laid out depending on career changes and other events that pop up, but I do like to have a few resolutions. I used to set resolutions and dive in head first. By the end of January, beginning of February, I am burnt out and feel like a failure. A pretty common occurrence with resolutions. This year I am taking a more relaxed approach. Sure, I have goals, but I am going to take it easy and make them attainable. I want my resolutions to be something to look forward to and not so much a burden. So, without further ado, here they are:

Read a book a month. This might seem like a very low bar to set, but I tend to go through stages of reading. I will read a book consistently for a week, then life happens and a month later I am finally finding time to finish the book. For instance, I started Hercule Poirot’s Christmas mid-December and haven’t touched it in about 3 weeks. I am looking forward to finding out who done it in the nest week and moving on to The Girls or In the Unlikely Event. Two books I have had for months and haven’t even cracked open yet!

Drink more water. This is a goal I set each year and clearly I am not doing a good job, but for the past few months I have really been trying. I downloaded an app and have water bottles everywhere- my room, my desk, my car. Similar to riding a bike, I am hoping this will become second nature and not something I do when I realize I am far too dehydrated. (I am going to fill up my water bottle as I type this.)

Go to yoga once a week. I first tried yoga about 4 years ago in NYC. I loved the studio and the environment. It was so relaxing and a great way to unwind after work. I am still trying to find a studio I like here in Buffalo, but I am aiming to have my first session scheduled for next week.

Travel to Europe. I have done so many wonderful things in my 28 years, but I still have not visited Europe. I am determined to achieve this goal. I would love to go to Barcelona or Dublin or Greece. Anywhere really! I just need to go. I want to explore and wander and not over plan. Just go and enjoy.

Create more. This is incredibly vague, but I enjoy doing so many creative things from crafts to drawing to writing to baking, I just compiled it all into one category. My friend bought me the perfect book for Christmas filled with recipes and DIY home d├ęcor ideas. It really rejuvenated my love for crafts and I cannot wait to start creating.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Gift Guide: What to Buy Your Boss

While trying to figure out what to give my boss this holiday, it occurred to me that this would make a great gift guide. Finding the right gift for your boss can definitely be tricky. Of course, a lot of the decision will come down to the type of work relationship you have. Maybe you can get them a gag gift knowing your boss would appreciate a good laugh. Or maybe you want to keep it a bit more professional. Here are a few ideas to help you find the perfect gift.

For your boss who loves a good red wine.

For your boss who is a boss in more ways than one.

For your boss with a sweet tooth.

For your boss who knows how to laugh it off.

For your boss who appreciates art and snail mail.