Hi there! Last month, I wrote my first life lately post in almost a year. It was so fun to pull together—and based on anecdotal feedback and page views, it seems like you all enjoyed reading it, too. As such, I’m going to bring back publishing these life lately posts on a monthly cadence. They’re a great format to round up all the things going on in my life that I want to share, especially the types of updates or recaps that don’t necessarily fit into a standalone post of their own.
Weekend after next, I am heading up to New York City to visit Emma, and we have such a fun itinerary planned. (Emma came down to DC in July, so it will be nice to see her in back-to-back months, especially since we aren’t taking a trip together this summer. Those flight prices, man!) A highlight of the trip I’m looking forward to is that we’re going to spend time with Monica on Friday night. If you’ve been reading A Touch of Teal for a long time, you’ll know that Monica is one of my oldest and best friends I’ve made through blogging, and we were next door neighbors in Dupont for a couple of years before she and her husband moved to NYC. I have seen her once since she moved, but it was for a quick drink while she was in DC—so it will be nice to see her for a longer period of time and really catch up on life! I’ll be sure to share a full recap of my trip.
Other than this quick jaunt to NYC, I am home for the entire month of August and Labor Day Weekend—a first in many years. It is HOT and humid here in DC, but, I am soaking up summer before the cooler temps roll in. And, as I’ve mentioned before, I am really enjoying my routine, but also enjoying having the freedom in my schedule to say yes to last-minute plans and catch up with friends I haven’t seen in a while. Overall, I feel like my life is pretty balanced right now—work is keeping me busy, but I still have time to do all the things I want to do. It’s been a nice change of pace, especially compared to this time last year.
This summer has brought some really fun times my way—here’s a look at what’s been going on in my life lately this month:
A WEEK AT OCEAN ISLE BEACH, NORTH CAROLINA —
During the last week of June, my family went to Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina for a week! I’m not going to do a whole post about our time given this was truly a vacation where we didn’t have much of an agenda and went to all our favorite places we have been before—but you can read about past trips to OIB we’ve taken here and here.
This particular week was really special as it was the first time since 2014 that my mom’s whole family got together for a week at the beach—her three sisters, most of my cousins on that side, my whole immediate family, and my 92-year-old grandmother all came. There were 15 of us in total spread across four condos and it was so much fun to be reunited in one of our favorite places. We spent almost every day down at the beach—we’d meet up under the umbrellas by around 11am, loaded up with sandwiches, snacks, and coolers full of cold ones and often be the last ones to leave around 5:30pm. We swam, we went on long walks, we read, we drank some amazing orange crushes, and we played a lot of really fun card games.
This trip was also extremely special as we left the day after I found out the lesions on my liver weren’t cancer—I was so relieved to have received great news that it really gave me a new lease on life and perspective on what’s most important. I am also so glad that my doctor ensured I had this news before I left for vacation, so I wouldn’t have to have the unknown hanging over my head the whole week.
As with all vacations, this one went by too fast, but I am so grateful we were able to have this special time together.
A QUICK TRIP TO NYC —
In July, I went to NYC for 24 hours, and I left absolutely buzzing with joy. It was such a great morale boost for me—there is just something about the city in the summer that makes me feel so alive. It was also very poignant because ten years ago this summer, I lived in an NYU dorm in Union Square as a 21-year-old unpaid intern, and then this summer, I was staying at the W Union Square as a 31-year-old with a great career. It felt like a full-circle moment, and I just can’t believe that transformative summer is now a decade in the past.
While in town, we went to Scarpetta for dinner and had a great meal—we split a ton of the appetizers and then I did a summer pasta for my main. But, the waiter had told us that the spaghetti was the best thing on the menu, so we ordered a few extras for the table—I am so glad we did because it was delicious, and I am not usually a huge spaghetti fan. It was just such a convivial atmosphere, and I left with a full heart and full stomach (as cheesy as it is).
After dinner, I met up with Emma for a night cap—it was so nice of her to come meet me in the West Village after her book club, and I am so glad I got to see her while I was in town. We went to Airs Champagne Parlor and split a bottle of bubbly. Afterwards, we took a walk through Washington Square Park and even though it was 10:30pm at night, it was absolutely bustling.
It was such a fun trip that I booked a trip back while I was still in town—as I mentioned earlier, I’ll be going up weekend after next!
SUMMER NIGHTS SPENT AT JIFFY LUBE LIVE —
For the last six or seven years, my family has made a point to check out Jiffy Lube Live’s summer concert schedule and grab tickets for some of our favorite country music artists. (Jiffy Lube Live is a big outdoor music venue near us—it seats about 20,000—and a lot of major artists passing through the DC area play this venue.) We’ve seen everyone from Maren Morris to Sam Hunt to Thomas Rhett—and this year, we got to see two of our favorites again.
The Thursday before Father’s Day Weekend, we saw Kenny Chesney, who is one of my dad’s favorite artists. We saw him a while back, but it was nice to see him live again. He has so many hits and his voice live is incredible—it sounds just like it does on all his albums. The other thing I appreciate about Kenny is he tends to start his concerts earlier than other artists, which means they also get out on the earlier side. Since Jiffy Lube is about an hour away from my apartment, and this concert was on a “school night,” it was much appreciated. (Can you tell I’m in my 30s???)
THE OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK AT WJMC —
One of my cousin’s (who is technically my cousin’s cousin, but we’ve known each other our whole lives, so for all intents and purposes, we are cousins) is the director of the Washington Journalism & Media Conference, which is held at George Mason University in Fairfax every summer. It’s designed for high school students who are interested in careers in journalism and media, and the week-long program is jam packed with speakers, panels, field trips, and touring around DC.
Because I was involved in my high school’s yearbook and my college newspaper, my cousin asked me to speak one night to a group of about 30 students about how those experiences in student journalism led me to a career in PR. I first had the opportunity to participate in this way last summer and loved it, so I was excited to be a return speaker at WJMC again this year. The session was an hour, and I spent the first 25 minutes talking about my experiences in student journalism, how that led me to picking Media Studies as my major in college, my internship experiences throughout college, and ultimately, how all of those jobs and choices led me to my career so far. The rest of the time, I left it open for student questions, which was so much fun—the students asked such thoughtful questions.
Sometimes, I can get lost in the day to day of life, especially at work—but preparing for this session each year is always a good reminder of how far I’ve come since my high school yearbook days. High school me would be so proud of the career I’ve built for myself and I’ll that I’ve accomplished. It’s all turned out better than I could have even imagined or hoped for.
A DAY IN OLD TOWN WITH MY SISTER —
My sisters and I hang out often, and since Jennifer and I live a mile apart, we see each other for one-on-one time quite a bit. But, it had been a while since Lindsey and I got together for quality time just the two of us. A few weekends ago, our mom, dad, and Jennifer were all out of town for one reason or another, so as the remaining family members in town, we decided to get together for a fun Saturday brunch down in Old Town, Alexandria.
We were able to get a last minute reservation at Barca, an awesome tapas restaurant right on the Potomac River—and, we lucked out with great weather! Because of the fun vibes and great food, it really felt like we were on vacation. We had a few mimosas, shared wonderful food, and got all caught up on each other’s lives.
After we were done with our long, leisurely meal, we walked around Old Town for a while. We popped into a couple of boutiques on King Street, and I ended up purchasing this super cute dress from The Lucky Knot. If you’re looking for a cute, colorful piece of clothing at a great price point, I highly recommend this store—we browsed for quite a long time! Once we were done shopping, we walked by the water for a while, which is always so relaxing.
Even though Old Town is only about a 15 minute drive from my apartment, I don’t take advantage of it enough—it’s such a cute, historic waterfront town with a lot to offer, and I want to try and get back more often.