1.7.19 10

My 2019 Goals

Happy first full week of 2019!

I’ve shared my goals on the blog the last two years (2017 here, 2018 here), and wanted to do the same this year. Though I love the idea of starting fresh with a new year and setting goals for myself using January 1 as a marker of change, I also tend to take stock of my life in a similar way on my birthday each year in November. I make a list of more personal goals in a the same notebook each year on my birthday  for what I hope to accomplish for the next year of my life. When I was 27, I accomplished every private goal I wrote down except for one—find a new job. I was then offered a new job four days after I turned 28, so I decided to count it. Some years, not all my goals come true, and many times, my goals change throughout the year. But regardless of what they are, whether or not they come true, or whether I change directions, I do think it is really important to take stock of what you want, write it down, and put it out into the universe.

Last year, the three goals I shared publicly were to save more money, eat/drink better, and take a solo trip. I’d say I really only accomplished the last goal when I took my solo trip to Charleston in June. On the money goal, I did increase my 401(K) savings contribution twice, but I didn’t grow my emergency fund in a significant way. On the eat better/drink better, my diet didn’t change in any significant way—but I didn’t gain weight, so at least there’s that, hah. I think one of the reasons I failed at the first two goals is that I didn’t attach specific numbers to them, which made it hard to measure them or work towards anything concrete. So this year, I am trying to be more specific about my goals.

So, without further ado—here are my goals for 2019. (I wrote goals to accomplish by the time I’m 29 in my notebook this year like always, too!) I’d love to know what you’re working towards this year—drop me a note in the comments below.

Read more “My 2019 Goals”

1.4.19

San Antonio, Texas Travel Guide

Happy Friday! The first few days of work after an extended vacation are always a little rough, but I am glad it was a short week and thankful to be back in a semblance of a routine. My weekend plans are pretty low-key—have a fun wine night tonight and then some things to do around the apartment this weekend. I’m excited to ease into the new year slowly.

Today I wanted to pop in and give you my San Antonio, Texas travel guide. This was a “bonus” trip that I planned a week or so before departure. It worked out that I was able to take a week off between jobs, which was a huge blessing. I knew that if I hung around my apartment that week working on the blog/personal to-dos, I’d be anxious about starting the new job and wouldn’t be able to enjoy myself. Plus, I knew that if I ever had free time between jobs, I wanted to take a trip. All I had to do was decide where to go!

My mom said she would go with me (this was our first one-on-one trip together!) and picking San Antonio was an easy decision for us. For one, since it’s in the southwest, we knew December would be pretty mild. For another, it’s been on our bucket list for as long as I can remember. And lastly, they are known for their margaritas, so it sounded like my kind of place.

Luckily for us, we were still able to get a decent deal booking only about 10 days out from our trip and during the holidays—airfare + hotel was about $750/person for four days, three nights. We absolutely loved our time in San Antonio, and I’d recommend the city to anyone—it’d be great for families, a bachelorette party (there are no open container laws on the Riverwalk!), a girls’ weekend, a business trip. And, if possible, I’d highly recommend going during the holidays—it was magical to see the city decorated. (Also, heads up, they drain the San Antonio River once a year in January along the Riverwalk to clean out debris—the schedule is here.)

Here in the Mid Atlantic area, I feel like San Antonio doesn’t have the same draw for (or marketing targeted to) tourists as some other cities, but it truly is a gem—so if San Antonio hasn’t been on your radar, I hope this post piques your interest a bit! Read more “San Antonio, Texas Travel Guide”

1.2.19 6

What’s On My Nightstand, Vol. 25 (+ the Top Five Books I Read in 2018!)

Happy 2019! I hope everyone had a nice relaxing holiday break and is ready to conquer another year—it’s back to the real world grind for me today, and while I loved the extended vacation, I am excited to get back into my weekly routine and lean into my new job.

I wanted to start 2019 off with a What’s On My Nightstand post since it’s been a while since I did a reading roundup—I may try to do them at the beginning of each month in the new year to better stay on top of them! You can always follow along with what I am reading in real time over on Goodreads—feel free to friend me there.

Each year, Goodreads allows you to set reading goals for yourself, so for 2018, I made it my goal to read 52 books—one book per week. I am happy to say that I accomplished that goal and read exactly 52 books. In the spirit of self improvement, my goal for 2019 is to read 62 books—I can’t wait for a whole set of new stories and worlds to explore in the new year!

Last year, I shared the top five books I read in 2017 in this post, and wanted to do the same this year. These are the books I could not put down and could not stop thinking about once they ended. If you’re looking for a great book to kick off 2019 with, definitely consider one of these titles—I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. (Longer descriptions of these books can be found in past OMN posts here.)

  • One Day in December by Josie Silver—this book is included in the recap below, but I couldn’t put it down. I love how it explores the idea that we all start as strangers and that things tend to work out in ways we least expect it. It’s a great read on romance, friendship, and growing up.
  • Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren—another great love story, this one stands out among  much of the “chick lit” I read this year because it’s so well-written with many plot twists I didn’t see coming. I also love that it follows Macy and Elliott’s love story over the years—and shows how communication really can prevent years of heartache.
  • Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton—a wonderful read told across the generations as Marisol who journeys to Havana to spread her grandmother Elisa’s ashes in her homeland. Elisa fled Cuba during the Castro revolution with her family and moved to Miami, and her and Marisol were extremely close. It’s a story I think many can relate to, regardless of whether or not they are Cuban (I’m not!) and I can’t wait for the sequel to come out this year.
  • Beauty in the Broken Places by Alli Pataki—this is probably one of the best memoirs I’ve ever read. Alli and her husband are en route to their babymoon in Hawaii when her husband has a massive stroke en route. The plane is forced to make an emergency landing, and Alli’s whole life changed in an instant. Despite the circumstances, this is a memoir filled with hope.
  • From the Corner of the Oval by Beck Dorey-Stein—I loved this memoir so much and thoroughly enjoyed that DC as a city had many cameos throughout Beck’s story as Obama’s stenographer, a job she found on Craigslist. It’s definitely a must-read if you want the inside look at the White House.

Let me know which books you loved in 2018—I will be sure to add them to my list for 2019! And, without further ado, here’s a roundup of books I’ve been reading recently.

Read more “What’s On My Nightstand, Vol. 25 (+ the Top Five Books I Read in 2018!)”