Thursday, July 30, 2009

Nurturing my network

As an avid follower of the Capital Communicators blog (a communication professionals association), I have recently been captivated by the new tactic of one of their contributors. This tactic they call "nurturing my professional network" is essentially a pay it forward type of plan. Each day, the blogger extends help/expertise to one or more people in their network. This can be anything from sending a query over to a friend at a niche agency to connecting with colleagues over coffee. Reading this series has gotten me thinking, what's stopping me from doing this too?

So, I've decided that I, too, am going to try to "nurture my network." Not just my professional network, but that of everyone I know. I'm going to try to do 1 helpful thing every day that will, essentially, provide me with the satisfaction of helping others. For example, as I currently intern at a nonprofit where not everyone is communications oriented, I've become really close with my fellow PR intern. And as our internship is dwindling down these next couple weeks, we're both starting to panic a little about beginning the job search again. So when I found a dream entry-level position online with one of the most renowned PR agencies, believe you me, I was pretty excited. But then I sat back for a minute and wondered about LW (my co-intern). Knowing she would be equally as excited, I decided to pass this this opportunity on instead of just holding it back for myself. Now I know she may have eventually found it as well, but I thoroughly believe that relationship building is a fundamental part of PR. Thus, my small act may not get either of us very far, but at least we can empathize with eachother - working together to help build our futures.

If nothing else, extending some positive karma can't be a bad thing, right?


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Award Time!

Well, there's nothin' like a blog award to brighten your day! Big thanks to Brownies for my Breakfast for the 'honest scrap' award.

Here are the rules:

First, as the recipient of this prestigious award I have to tell 10 true things about myself in my blog that no one else knows

Second, I have to pass along this prestigious award to 10 more lovely bloggers.

Third, I have to notify those 10 bloggers who follow the same forum - I'll be leaving comments on each of your pages and when you post your ten things, be sure to post a link back to me!

  1. I've moved 7 times.
  2. I've lived in 5 states (all Southern of course)
  3. I think the variety in my music taste surprises a lot of people.
  4. I'm obsessed with golden retrievers!
  5. I hate carnations, they're my least favorite flower.
  6. I pretty much moved to D.C. on a whim and it's the first thing I've done as a 'big girl.'
  7. I have a lifetime goal of visiting all 7 continents and all 50 states.
  8. I used to be deathly afraid of heights, but now I'm weening myself into them slowing - rock climbing was a big hurdle for me.
  9. I secretly want a tattoo (but a nice, very small, tasteful one - if that exists).
  10. I've never broken a bone in my body (knock on wood).
And now... drum roll please...

I'd like to pass this on to some lovely blogger friends that you should all keep up with :)
  1. The Pink Tutu
  2. Nautical by Nature
  3. The Pink Cupcake
  4. GRITS
  5. Let's Learn to Love
  6. Miss Monogram
  7. 20 Times a Lady
  8. Lets Be Preppy
  9. Susan in the South
  10. Brunch at Saks
Whew, seriously that was hard to pick just 10.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful week!


Monday, July 27, 2009

In memory

This past Friday, my dad called me with some sad news, the passing of my great-grandma, Mimi. Mimi had just celebrated her 95th birthday and she'd been suffering from Alzheimer's Disease for the last 10-15 years, so our family has been prepared for a long time, but nonetheless it struck me as extremely sad since it's the first death in my family.

But recently I'd been thinking about Mimi more and more. Even though she hasn't known who I am for a long time, she was such a fiery woman I always held her near and dear in my heart. For my recent college graduation, my grandparents gave me a ring that used to belong to her. The diamond had been in my grandad's family for generations and in the 1960's they had it put into this gorgeous setting and gave it to Mimi for a Christmas gift one year. A few weeks ago, my G.G. (my grandma, Mimi's daughter), sent me the pictures of Mimi receiving the ring that I now am honored to own.

In memory, I thought I'd share:

Christmas - Mimi opening her gifts.

I'm thoroughly enjoying her hairstyle here :)
She looks so happy!

Her ring that was given to me. It's much prettier than this iPhone quality photo I assure you!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The path to becoming a money-savvy Gen-Yer

As a girl that decided to follow her dreams rather than financial stability, let me tell you I've come to learn a few things about pinny-pinching. Thankfully, growing up with a CPA in the family helped me learn a thing or two about saving money, which has given me a lot more freedom to try my hand in a new city. As I'm currently interning at a nonprofit (read: no financial compensation), I've come across a few money saving tips from Resqdebt that are particularly helpful to us Gen-Yers, looking to make it to the next step. For more tips, check out their Twitter updates @resqdebt.

    Top 5 Tips for Staying Debt Free in College

  • Accounting 101 – Developing a budget is crucial when figuring out your expenses right after college. Having a written plan or using an online tool like are the best ways to keep you on track and out of trouble. Try only using cash so you don’t lose track of how much you’ve charged. One method is to never spend a $5 bill. Keep them all until the end of the week and deposit them in a savings account (You do have a savings account, right?).

  • Find the Freebies – Companies love to market directly to college students through free product samples, gift certificates and discount coupons. Spending a little time surfing the Web on sites likes and can get you everything from shampoo and toothpaste to cologne and makeup. Also, be sure to inquire whether your school offers free student healthcare; expenses related to illness can put you in debt quicker than almost anything else.

  • Share and Share Alike – Chances are pretty good that you and your friends are taking many of the same classes during the first few semesters of college. The easiest way to save money is to swap textbooks and materials and download study aids for free. A popular site for free e-textbooks and study aides is and allows you to swap books with others looking to do the same.

  • Lose the Car – While you may think having a car at school is a necessity, the money you could save in gas, insurance, parking permits and monthly maintenance could pay for a couple classes! A clever (and green transportation solution) alternative to having a car at college is a Zipcar. Popping up on campuses nationwide, the Zipcar premise is based on the European car-sharing idea. Students can “rent” a car for an hourly or daily rate which covers gas and insurance. Visit for details.

  • Decide on a Domicile – The largest expense after tuition is housing. With the softening rental market, your most affordable option may not be a dormitory. If you do decide to live off-campus, seek out locations that include free basic cable and Wi-Fi as well as those that include utilities as part of the monthly rent. Roommates are a must for living off campus, just be sure you live with someone reliable and responsible to avoid incurring debt due to nonpayment.

    Top 5 Tips for Staying Afloat Right After College

    • Make a Budget… and Stick With It – Knowing what you spend your money on is the first step to spending less. Building a budget helps you prioritize your needs and manage your money effectively. Don’t know where to begin? Check out free online budgeting tools like and to help you get started.

    • Just like new -- If you’re just starting out you probably have some basic home needs (microwave, couch, lamps) but that is no reason to break the bank. eBay and craigslist can help you find basic home furnishings that are very inexpensive compared to stores like Sears. There are sites like where people like you are looking to trade in their stuff; and don’t forget to ask your parents if they have anything lying around they would like to donate.

    • Trim your tech – Take a look at your cell phone and cable bills. Are you using all of those minutes you’re paying for? Do you really need The Documentary Channel on demand in HD, or can you just watch it on Hulu? Cable and phone companies are notorious for overcharging. Get rid of what you don’t absolutely need.

    • You swore you’d never go back… -- While Barnes & Noble offers fresh new books and a very average latte, there’s no reason to pay $20 for what you can get at the library for free. Libraries or $1 movie kiosks are also an inexpensive way to rent movies instead of shelling about more than $10 at a movie theater, not to mention the money you save on popcorn.

    • They’re so proud! – While your parents are still basking in the pride of your recent graduation, take advantage of their renewed love; grace their home with your presence until you can land a steady job and save some money. It’s easier to prepare for interviews when you’re not worrying about rent, not to mention your mom’s cooking is probably a lot better than the Easy Mac you were planning on having for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Kindle - friend or foe?

I am, admittedly, a quintessential old soul. I know this, my friends know this, it's something I've long come to terms with. Although I love to keep abreast on the latest and greatest developments in the world (Web 2.0 and otherwise), at heart, I'm just a girl who was perhaps born in the wrong generation. I'll take a nice dinner with friends over bar-hopping any day of the week and my wardrobe tends to lean more on the J. Crew side than something uber trendy/revealing and I have a fondness for snail mail that will always exist. Call me crazy, I know.

Living in D.C., I've seen more and more people using the new Amazon Kindle. Although, even as an avid iPhone user, I just can't wrap my arms around this technology development. Sure it's useful and handy, but where's the warmth and comfort that comes when you open the pages of a beloved book? Where's the musty smell of the library or your favorite used book store when you first crack the spine of a favorite story? As a girl that goes through books like I'm devouring chocolate, I just can't imagine the relaxing into the stiffness this technology.

My good-friend, Gramercy Gas Light Girl, recently posted this link on the new wave of pirated e-books. I just find it hard to believe that this is what reading is coming to! I've come to the decision that I, too, like GGLG, am fundamentally opposed to this technology. It's almost heartbreaking to think that there's no more dog-eared pages or notes scribbled on favorite passages.

I mean, in all honesty, how comforting does this look? Coffee and a Kindle? I think not.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Diamonds, Dresses and Dinners

Throughout this week, I came up with probably 10 interesting blog posts, but in the midst of my hectic week I lost them all, not having any time to spit down and post. I was practically living off coffee intravenously this week as we prepped to launch our new Web site at work. Goodness, what a task if you're doing that in-house!

But despite the busy workload, I still had time to enjoy a few great moments with friends in the city. Monday night, Tess and I ate at a Mediterranean Restaurant in D.C. that was absolutely to die for! I also got to see her cute new house in Cleveland Park, an area of the city that I adore for its cute homes and residential feel. Tuesday night was my first board meeting with WWPR as the Co-Marketing Communications Chair. The ladies in this group are so wonderful and I can't wait to get involved even more. Wednesday night, I finally had the opportunity to catch The Proposal with some girls in the office around the corner. I love the rom-com movie genre, so I thought this was just too cute!

Today, I finally made it to see the rest of the Smithsonian museums. They just seem to get better and better, I would never be able to choose a favorite. Since moving to D.C., I'd only been to the Air & Space Museum, which I thought was going to be the best by far. But oh no, they get even more interesting. Today, I toured the Freer Gallery of Art, Natural History Museum and the American History Museum.

The National History Museum is absolutely amazing and huge! Literally, you can find everything from elephant skeletons to emeralds in this place. My favorite areas were the butterfly gardens and the gem stone section (featuring the gorgeous Hope Diamond). The American History Museum was amazing as well, but unfortunately my tired feet were done after the second floor. I had really come for the First Ladies exhibit and after waiting in line for about 30 minutes I decided to call it a day when I was done. But at least I have the third floor to call me back for a returned visit soon (thank goodness these museums are free).

Here are some of my favorite moments from today's adventures:

The dinos in the Natural History Museum

The Hope Diamond
sorry for the bad iPhone picture quality

The gems

The dresses of America's First Ladies
American History Museum

Hope everyone is having a great weekend as well!


Sunday, July 12, 2009

The quiet things that no one knows

Today was quite simply a wonderful day. Nothing particularly groundbreaking happened, but it was just one of those great Sundays where everything was simple, quiet and relaxing. To start, I got free breakfast at Panera's, found my lost sunglasses and my favorite tweezers! How can a girl not be happy with that good fortune?

After my delightful morning, I headed to Reagan to pick up my boss from the airport and we spent the afternoon chatting and catching up. We decided to enjoy the lovely weather by heading over to the waterfront area with some dinner. We sat at the marina at Dyke Marsh Trail, one of my favorite areas in Alexandria, and just enjoyed the breeze. I poked around the trails afterward and even caught a few glimpses of bald eagles (again! yay).


I cannot wait to come back here in the fall, when the leaves are bright and colorful. It's going to be breathtaking!

PS - My uncle took my gma to swim with the dolphins this weekend, isn't she cute? Makes me miss good ol' Fla a bit.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The fireworks have passed

I have to say, I think I had one of the best Fourth of July celebrations in a very long time this year! After celebrating at Harbor Fest on Friday, I celebrated Independence Day with Chris and his gf at a local park, Mount Trashmore. Trust me, the name was a bit of a concern to me too, especially after Chris told me that this park was a former trash heap (or something like that). But today it's just a huge hill, which turned out to be perfect for firework-viewing because not only did we get to see the fireworks display that the park put on, but we could also see the fireworks at VA Beach and the amplitheater over the treeline. It was gorgeous!

Sunday, I talked Chris into driving up to Williamsburg with me. I hadn't been to Colonial Williamsburg in forever (back when the parents made us take family pictures dressed up as colonial folk). So, despite the 66 degree weather and the rain, it was a really fun trip!

I think this is a good look for me, no?

The Colonial Capitol, where Patrick Henrey signed signed the Stamp Act.
We couldn't pass this opportunity up!

Now it's back to the grind and it's finally hitting me that I will not be returning to school in a month. I really am a graduate. No back-to-school shopping expiditions in my future this year! Sadness.

Happy post-holiday week lovies!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

"Fireflies in June, Kids sellin lemonade, It's cities and farms, And open arms One nation under God - It's America"

Fourth of July is honest-to-goodness my favorite holiday. I just love it because it instills such a sense of community and camaraderie - for a brief moment during the year, everyone across our country is united in remembrance of how far our ancestors came to bring us to where we stand today. And besides the feel-good commemorative moments that rise during this momentous holiday, the Fourth is of course a great celebration with food, sun and fun!

Although the Fourth in D.C. is breathtaking I'm sure, I decided to head down to VA Beach for the holiday weekend to spend some time with family. As my step-bro (to be) recently moved here, we decided to explore the area a little more and lucked out when we came across the Harbor Fest in Norfolk. I get to enjoy fireworks every night this weekend!

Replica boats


Y'all have a happy & safe Independence Day!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Something New

Although my wedding (if I have one) is about as far off as receiving my AARP card, with the wedding season upon us, I can't help to stop from sighing when I see something fabulous.

I'm not sure if I would actually wear this or not, but you can't really go wrong with J. Crew. It's just so feminine and fresh!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Oh the pages are a turnin'

Much to my delight, earlier this summer, the always lovely and witty CPK hosted a book swap. Now as an avid reader, a self proclaimed bookworm if you will, I of course had to jump on this opportunity asap. Paired with CPK herself, the wise woman sent over a memoir by Amy Cohen, The Late Bloomer's Revolution. The girl must be able to read my mind, because I could not put this book down! It was so endearing, funny and realistic at the same time that I nearly wanted to stay on the metro every day after work just to continue reading.

So, if you have not picked up this one yet, run off to your nearest Barnes & Noble or library and get your copy now! I guarantee you'll enjoy it too.

Anyone have any other great summer reads that I should add to my list?

Happy reading my dears!