Hello + happy August! I can’t believe we are in the dog days of summer; this year is flying by. I’ve spent the better part of the last two weeks watching the Olympics and cheering on Team USA! I put all the women’s gymnastics events in my calendar and purposefully didn’t schedule any conflicting plans on those nights—I am a dedicated fan. I ended up watching the Olympics almost overnight; the swimming is also so fun to watch and I wanted to see Allyson Felix dominate in track + field. I also loved how many of the athletes posted to TikTok from the Olympics Village—I feel like I got a really behind-the-scenes look at this Olympics in a way I haven’t past games. I am excited we only have to wait three years for another summer Olympics this time.
I wanted to give you a little look at my life lately; these are always a fun way to recap a smorgasbord of random things on my mind. I know I say this a lot, but work has been so busy lately and I just don’t have the time to keep up my blog like I did when I started it seven years ago. I have a lot more responsibility at my day job, and really prioritize self care, rest, working out, and seeing friends and family when I have free time outside of the “office.” (I am still working remotely—we are supposed to go back into the office three days a week after Labor Day.) I still love blogging and sharing what I’m up to and loving here and over on Instagram, I just don’t see a world where I get back to a regular cadence of posts each week. I really appreciate you reading whenever I do post—A Touch of Teal has been such a fun project for me to work on all these years!
A FUN WORK UPDATE —
Speaking of work—I got a really exciting phone call last month: I got promoted! This was a huge personal goal of mine for the year that I have worked really hard to achieve, and I was so excited when my manager gave me the news.
I always told myself when I got promoted, I would buy myself a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Brut Rosé to celebrate. The day I got the call, I snuck out to Target on my lunch break, picked up a bottle, and had it chilled and ready to go for a little post-work celebration. My sister, Jennifer, and my cousin, Kara Marie, came over that night and we did takeout from Courthaus Social, one of my favorite neighborhood spots, and sat out on my balcony drinking champs to celebrate. Later in the week, the rest of the team found out about my promotion and it felt really good to have everyone reaching out to congratulate me.
Prior to joining my current team, I worked at my previous job for five and a half years and I couldn’t have picked a better first job if I tried. When I started looking for a new job in summer 2018, I knew it was time for me to leave, in order to grow as a person and to grow my career—but naturally, I was really nervous about leaving a great thing for the unknown. In hindsight, it’s one of the best decisions I have ever made. My current job is challenging, but so rewarding, and I am surrounded by awesome teammates who teach me something new every day. I also generally have really good work/life balance, and—in non-Covid times—really fun work trips to look forward to. This promotion was hard-earned and I am excited for the next chapter of my journey at my job!
A RETURN TO LIVE MUSIC! —
Over the past several years, one of my family’s favorite way to spend time with each other in the summer is to catch a country music concert at Jiffy Lube Live, a big concert venue out in Manassas, Virginia. My sisters and I saw Luke Bryan in concert together at Jiffy Lube five years ago and always have talked about what a great performer he is. My dad also loves Luke Bryan, so when he realized Luke Bryan would be in town on a Saturday this summer, he surprised us all and bought tickets to the show. Instead of a traditional tailgate, we always grab dinner + drinks at a restaurant close to the venue—this time we did Mexican food and margaritas, and it was delicious.
Luke’s opener was Dylan Scott, and y’all, consider me a fan—he has great music and was an awesome performer. It’s sometimes hard to be an opener and great the crowd into it, but he played a great mix of his songs and classics, like Fishin’ In the Dark and Sweet Home Alabama. And then to follow it up, Luke put on an awesome show. We actually saw him perform on his birthday, so his family and the crew surprised him mid-performance with ‘happy birthday’ and some gifts—the energy that night was awesome!
Jiffy Lube was sold out, so there were 20,000 people there! That was by far and away the most people I’ve been around since the pandemic began, and it was kind of a shock at first to see so many people packed in pretty tight. But it was super fun and really felt like ‘precedented times.’
Later this month, my sisters and I are seeing Thomas Rhett at Jiffy Lube and I am so excited. He’s one of my favorite artists and I have never seen him perform live before—should be a great show!
MY 4TH OF JULY SURPRISE —
Adulthood is so fun, sometimes! (Insert sarcasm.)
The last week of July, my sisters, my cousin, and I spent a week on Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina. (It’s on my list to write a little post about our trip this year!) We returned home on July 3, and the following day for the 4th of July, I was going over to my parent’s house for a family grill out in honor of the holiday. When I pulled out of my apartment building’s garage, I made it about one minute down the road before one of my low tire pressure lights came on. Only I had no idea what the light was, so I decided to pull over to check my car manual to see what was up. I quickly identified it was the low tire pressure light, so I got out of my car and pretty quickly noticed the huge bolt above jolting out of one of my back tires.
Like all adults, I did what you do when the going gets tough—I called my dad. He graciously offered to come get me so I wouldn’t miss dinner, and then he helped me realize I lived about a block from a tire repair shop. We got my car to their parking lot, but since it was the holiday, they were closed. I went back the next morning and they were able to tell pretty quick it wasn’t going to be a patchable hole, so they ordered me a new tire and my car was fixed the following day. It definitely wasn’t I wanted to spend nearly $300 on after returning from vacation, but it could have been a lot worse—we could have had a tire blowout on the highway or had to deal with the inconvenience while we were actually on vacation.
SPEAKING AT WJMC —
My cousin’s cousin, Elena, runs The Washington Journalism & Media Conference, an immersive program for high school students interested in journalism and media. When I was in high school, I did a similar program at Georgetown for a week, and it was an awesome way to learn more about a passion area of mine, while also getting a taste of college life—we slept in the dorms and ate in the dining hall, both of which were really novel concepts to 17-year-old me.
Because I was so involved in student journalism in high school and college, took several media internships in college, and ultimately, found my way to a career in PR because of those experiences, Elena asked me to come speak one night after work to a group of WJMC students in a breakout session. I was honored—and excited! I put together a presentation for the group fo 20 students assigned to my breakout about what I do for work now and how I got to where I am today. The students were so engaged and asked such thoughtful questions—they wanted to know about how to get internships, how to perform well at internships, my advice for college, and so many other things I would have been curious about as a rising high school senior.
I definitely would love to be invited back to speak next summer!
UPCOMING TRAVEL —
Before the pandemic, I lived a lot of my life on the road—it was go, go, go. One of the things I realized during the pandemic is that I actually like really being at home and in my routine and I don’t need to have plans out of town every weekend. So I’ve tried to spend a lot of my time at home this summer, and it’s been really nice! I have been spending a ton of time on my balcony.
That being said, I do have a few upcoming trips to wrap up the summer! Next weekend, I am heading down to Winston Salem. Their tourism bureau is hosting me for the weekend to show off the best their North Carolina city has to offer so that I can share it with my followers, and hopefully encourage some visits to Winston Salem from the DC area. I am very excited for this trip! I’ve been to Winston Salem twice before, to visit friends when they were studying at Wake Forest Law School, but admittedly, we didn’t spend a ton of time exploring the city—we mostly hung out by the apartment complex’s pool, hah!
The following weekend, I am heading to Charlottesville to spend a weekend with my best friend, Molly, who lives down in Cville. I always love going to Charlottesville because it’s like spending a weekend at home—I’ve done so much there, I never feel pressure to see it all or do it all in one trip! We have a reservation at Merrie Mill Farm & Vineyard, which opened relatively recently and looks so cute— I am so excited to check it out!
Then, over Labor Day, I am heading to New York City for my friend Laura’s bachelorette party! Kristyn and I are going to be roommates for the weekend and are taking the train up together Friday afternoon. It should be a really fun girls’ weekend in the Big Apple celebrating our bride-to-be.
That’s a little look at my life lately—have a great weekend!