9.8.23

Life Lately

I hope everyone had a great short week after the long weekend! Late last week, the weather was truly perfect – in the 70s with no humidity, and it made me so excited for fall. I’m usually a warm weather girl through and through, but this year, I’m ready for a change of seasons – and excited to break out my favorite sweaters and sweatshirts. (I’m a little tired of my summer clothes – anyone else?) I just wish there was a way we could skip the cold, dark days of winter.

I spent Labor Day weekend down in Nashville, Tennessee, with my friend Emma. We’ve spent many a LDW together, and when we realized that Virginia and Tennessee were playing at the Titan’s Stadium, we knew we wanted to get tickets to the game. We had a great time tailgating and cheering on the Hoos, despite the outcome of the game — which truthfully, was to be expected. On Sunday night, we stayed at The Graduate Nashville, which has long been on my bucket list. Emma and I first stayed at a Graduate Hotel several years ago when we went to Oxford, Mississippi. They’re usually located in college towns, and have the best – and very Instagrammable — decor that gives a nod to the local area. The Nashville one didn’t disappoint! And, I was thrilled we were able to check out The White Limozeen, the Dolly Parton themed bar at the hotel with our friend — and fellow Hoo — Abbi. (If you want to go next time you’re in Nashville, definitely make sure you get a reservation!) I’ll be sharing a full recap of our fun weekend soon.

I hope you all enjoy the last few weeks of summer — and that the temps cool down soon. Here’s a little look at my life lately as we head into fall! x

I RENEWED MY LEASE! —

Of all the places I’ve lived as an adult, my current apartment is hands-down my favorite one. I was living in Dupont Circle when the pandemic started, and while I loved my studio and the location, as soon as we were home 24/7, the walls started closing in quickly. Moving back to Virginia to have more space for less money — including a balcony, being able to leverage the extra money in my budget for a car payment, being closer to my family, and taking advantage of full voting rights, was one of the best decisions I ever made.

Earlier this summer, I received the notice from my building about what my rent increase would be should I choose to sign another 12-month lease. It was going to be $75/month — which truthfully, I would have paid. (Moving is a bitch and adds up quick! Plus, I’m very content here and wouldn’t know what I would be moving for if that makes sense.) But, I decided to try my hand at negotiating, and met with my building manager. I was able to get them to shave $40/month off the increase, which will save me $480 over the next year. Not bad at all — and a great reminder it never hurts to ask!

MY FIRST EYE DOCTOR APPOINTMENT IN 10 YEARS —

I’ve been lucky enough to have great eyesight my whole life — I have never worn glasses and still can see things clearly both near and far. Ten years ago, right after I graduated college, I went to the eye doctor out of an abundance of caution to ensure my eyes looked as healthy as they felt and I didn’t have cataracts, glaucomas, or any other issues. She told me that my eyes looked great and I should come back in ten years. So I set a calendar reminder for summer 2023, and went on with the next decade.

Fast forward to earlier this summer, and it was time to head back to the eye doctor. I made an appointment before work one day, which was rookie mistake as my eyes were dilated for several hours after making it nearly impossible to get anything done when I did get back to my laptop. My eyesight is still perfect, so the good news is I don’t need glasses. But, as the doctor was doing the exam, I noticed he kept looking at my right eye, and getting out different instruments to do so. Turns out, deep in the back of my eye is a freckle that he wants to keep an eye on. I asked him what the worst case scenario was, and he let me know that would be cancer, in which case we would need to have me go to someone who could do radiation on my eye. So instead of going back in ten years, I am going back in a year for him to take another look at it and ensure it’s not changing or presenting as something we need to take more action against.

I called my mom after and we just laughed, because I feel like every time I go to a doctor, they always find something odd or worth looking into on me. It’s just a great reminder to go to all your routine checkups so that if something is concerning, they can find it early and help you monitor it!

UPCOMING TRAVEL —

The end of Q3 and the first couple of months of Q4 is the busiest time of year for me at work, so I don’t have any near-term travel plans as I like to take vacation when it’s easier to unplug and truly ignore my work email — and then I like to be home on the weekends so I can just reset and relax after a hectic work week.

However, I did just recently make plans for two 2024 trips that I’m so excited about — I love having things to look forward to on my calendar. In February, my sisters and I are going to Jamaica! We had the best time this past year escaping DC’s winter and heading to Punta Cana, so we knew wanted to prioritize a sisters trip like that again. We absolutely loved our stay at Sanctuary Cap Cana, but we knew we wanted to try somewhere new. We also knew that, ideally, we wanted to be able to fly direct because dealing with short connections — especially in the winter months with the threat of snow! — is stressful. And, we knew we wanted an all-inclusive experience. With all those parameters in mind, we landed on a trip to Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall in Montego Bay, Jamaica at the end of February! It’s an adults-only, all-inclusive resort that’s located next-door to the family-friendly Hyatt Ziva, so we will be able to access that property and all its amenities + pools as well. I’m SO excited!

Then, in March, I’m heading out west to Jackson Hole, Wyoming! This is a place I’ve long wanted to visit, and Wyoming will be a new-to-me state. I’m going with a big group of girls, and I think it’ll be an incredible time. I’ve only been skiing once, in Park City, Utah, and truthfully, I didn’t love it — so I’ll probably save my money and focus on aprés and exploring the town. Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, here we come!

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POSTSCRIPTS —

+ I recently purchased this green-striped quarter zip from Mango — a Spanish retailer akin to Zara — and I think it will be on repeat for everything from errands to Zoom calls this fall.

+ At Target a few months ago, I impulse bought this pack of 12 fluorescent Sharpie highlighters, and I cannot begin to describe the joy they bring to me. I’ve been reaching for them often throughout the workday, and they make my notes and crossing things off my to-do list just so much more fun. On a related note, I’m obsessed with this screen cleaner that I use for my iPhones and laptops. (I have one of each for work + personal.)

+ If you loved reading Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books as a kid as much as I did, you need to check out the podcast Wilder. It’s a critical look at both the books, how they came to be, and the 1970s television show. It makes me want to take a roadtrip to all the Ingalls family homes across the midwest — add it to the bucket list!

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