Happy Tuesday, team!
Life lately posts are apparently some of your favorite to read, which is good news, because they are some of my favorite to write! It’s been nearly two months since we checked in, so I thought I’d give you an update on what’s been new with me. I’d love to know what you’ve been up to—drop me a line in the comments! x
MY NEW APARTMENT /
I’ve been in the process of shopping around for a new apartment for the last couple of weeks or so! I am planning on staying in Arlington, but it’s a popular place to live and summer leasing is expensive and competitive, so it’s definitely been a process. My current lease ends on August 15, so I am hoping to move either the first or second weekend in August so that I don’t have to carry two leases for very long.
As part of the move, I am also looking for a couch! It’s the one big piece of furniture I don’t personally own and I think I will have enough space for a pretty sizable addition. Right now, I am leaning towards this sectional from Overstock paired with these Beverly Palm pillows from Society Social. I also am desperately in the market for a new desk, as mine is literally about to fall apart. I love the Sugar Paper Writing Desk, but it’s sold out at Target currently or something simple like a Gold X-Leg Desk—of course that one is also sold out, too. So, if you know of anything similar, please let me know!
I’ll be sure to do a full apartment tour once I’m all settled in the new place this fall.
ORANGE THEORY FITNESS /
After hearing so many of my friends rave about Orange Theory, I decided to give it a try at the end of May. I’ve been spinning at a studio here in Arlington a lot lately, but wanted to get some more weight-bearing activity into my exercise routine.
I’m not going to lie, I was really intimidated to try it out—something about the orange lights, treadmills, and row machines just made it really overwhelming. However, the first class is free, so I figured I might as well give it a shot since there’s a location right near my office. The front desk staff was so great about explaining how the class worked and getting me set up with a heart rate monitor. I really enjoyed the workout and ended up signing up for a four classes/month membership. I will say I was a bit turned off with how sales-y they were after my first class—I hate being sold to, but there was a discount on the heart rate monitor if you signed up that day, and I’m a sucker for a good deal.
I’ve been to my new studio four times now, and am in the process of trying to figure out who my favorite instructors are. I took an awesome class right after work on Friday, and it was a surprisingly relaxing way to kick start my weekend.
23 & ME RESULTS /
My family and I all took 23 & Me ancestry and health tests! I always knew I was a European mutt, but it was really cool to see the exact breakdown. And, since both of my parents also took the test, I can see which part of my ancestry comes from which parent.
As I already knew, the majority of my ancestry is Northwestern European—British and German—and Eastern European. I am about 2% Scandinavian, and while not a lot, prior to taking this test, we didn’t know we had any Scandinavian in us. The most surprising thing on the results, though, is that I am 0.01% East Asian. Yes, that’s right, one hundredth of one percent. So, while definitely not a lot at all, still very interesting! This ancestry shows up as Mongolian on my Dad’s report, which is somewhat sensical, since we are Lithuanian, which was often ruled by Russia, which at one point was at one point part of the Mongol empire.
Though it’s a bit of an investment, my family and I really enjoyed taking these tests—we also did the health portion—and comparing notes was really fun. This would make a great gift for anyone in your family who’s interested in genealogy or the family tree.
STAYING PRESENT ON VACATION /
My friend Dana wrote an amazing post about de-stressing on vacation, and it really resonated with me. While I was in Charleston a couple of weeks ago with my college roommates, Molly and Lauren, and our good friend, Eileen, I had a really hard time leaving all my work sh!t in DC—which is pretty unusual for me.
However, when we left for this trip, I was coming off an extremely busy week at work, and since I was out on a Friday, my coworkers were obviously conducting business as usual. The email addict that I am, I couldn’t stop checking my inbox, responding to emails, and reading feedback on work I’d done before I left. As a result, I had a really hard time staying present on a vacation I had so been looking forward to in my favorite city. Then, I got mad at myself and started feeling guilty for not being present—I paid a lot for this trip and work really hard when I’m at work—I earned this trip and should be enjoying it. All those emails would still be there on Monday.
Luckily, after my coworkers signed off email for the weekend, it was a lot easier for me to de-stress and be present with my friends. However, I wish I had just put my phone away from the start.
The following weekend, when my sister and I went to Palm Beach, I made more of an effort to clear my plate at work of even the smaller projects so that my inbox wouldn’t be as overflowing with pressing requests that required my immediate response. As a result, it was a lot easier for me to just enjoy my trip instead of worrying about work. I definitely am going to use that strategy moving forward, too!
(PS. Recaps of both of these trips are coming really soon!)
LEARNVEST UPDATE /
In my reader survey, several of you asked for an update on how Learnvest is going for me. I thought about making this a full post, but thought it might be best to do that once I have my new apartment—sans roommates—when my budget is a lot tighter.
So, for now, I thought I’d give you all a little check-in. I’m still a paying customer, and one thing on my to-do list from Learnvest is to get a last will and testament, a living will, and a medical power of attorney. I know these are all important documents to have, so I am glad my planner assigned them to me as challenges and recommended some online institutions where I could easily get these documents without spending an arm and a leg.
In terms of how my budgeting is going, I will say, it’s harder for me to stay on budget when I am on vacation. $24 poolside drinks in Miami? An expensive candle in Charleston? An Uber to a restaurant five minutes away in Palm Beach? It adds up fast! So, my fixed expenses savings—my initial post explains what this is—has basically been dry for the past few months, and I did dip into my emergency fund once to cover some of my Miami trip. But, I have no regrets because I know when I’m old and gray, I’ll be glad I had these fun memories when I was young. (Note—Learnvest definitely does not recommend dipping into your emergency fund for vacation, but I’m only human.)
Luckily, I’ve known this move is coming for a while, so I’ve been saving for it since last fall. I have money and the majority of my tax return earmarked in a separate savings account for movers, a new couch, application fees, and the inevitable Target runs that moving brings. This definitely gives me a peace of mind about the whole process!
So, that about wraps up life lately around here. One last thing—I’ve been wearing these Jole Steve Madden slides literally every day. They are well-worth the $70 price tag, which I was initially hesitant about—I can’t recommend them enough.
I bought the Paper Sugar desk last Fall and love it, but it isn’t “original”. It’s made by Office Star Products. I found it on overstock by just searching “gold and white desk”. Hope that helps!
Ah! Thank you so much – I had no idea. I so, so appreciate it.
I completely feel you on unplugging while on vacation- it is so hard to do when you’re heavily invested in your job! I’ve definitely been trying to do it more though, because I don’t want my friends to think of trips with me as a constant attached-to-phone type vacation!
Such a good point – I definitely want my friends to feel valued and appreciated, too! I don’t want to be the person that is texting the whole time.
I’m really curious about the 23 & Me test! I think I’m a European Mutt too, but it’d be cool to find out exactly what that means.
I’ve also been curious Orange Theory too, so I’m happy to read your experience! I hate pushy sales people, so that is a big turn off.
Yay! Great minds. Definitely give OTF a try – just be prepared for the aggression afterwards!
I love your life lately posts! And loved seeing your travels, too – especially Palm Beach! That’s awesome you love OT – I’ve heard so much about it and I think there’s even one near me! I love starting my weekends with a Friday evening workout, too – or even a restorative yoga class which is AMAZING! My gym is dead on Fridays and I love it lol
Aw thanks so much! Friday night workout classes really are where it’s at.
I love this entire update! And those slides! My husband is going to Charleston this weekend, but I’ll be going to San Francisco so trying not to be too jealous. 😉 So glad you enjoyed your time in Palm Beach!
I loved Palm Beach, thank you so much for your help! And ah, I hope you had a great time in San Francisco!
I’ve been curious about the 23 & Me test. I think I might look into it more – it sounds so interesting! I’ve been eyeing those Orange Theory classes too. It def looks intense but seems like it’d be a good workout! Once my current gym membership ends in a few months I might consider giving it a try and switching!