Turning 23 Years Old

This past weekend I turned 23 years old. I was expecting it to be a letdown, because how could anything be as exciting as being legal at 21 or screaming the lyrics to Taylor Swift’s 22 on your big day? I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this birthday weekend 🙂

On Saturday I spent the morning at a new coffee shop which I looooved! It’s called Maketto and it’s part dim sum restaurant, part street fashion store, and part cafe.

I brought my laptop and caught up on work stuff and started applying for teaching volunteer programs. It felt good to spend my last day as a 22 year old planning for the coming year and being super productive and ambitious!

When I finished up at Maketto I walked home and on my doorstep was a delivery from Georgetown Cupcake! I actually ordered these for myself haha, but I seriously think that it’s worth treating yourself on your birthday! At first, I felt silly ordering myself something so extra, but if no one else is going to do it for me than I can do it for myself! The same thing goes for buying flowers. You’re worth treating yourself.

Fast forward to Saturday evening and I went to dinner at a super fancy restaurant downtown called Zaytinya. It’s this Greek/Turkish/Lebanese place, and it was amazing!!! 🙂 I went with just a few friends but we ordered SO. MUCH. FOOD. We got tzaziki tip and hummus and baba ganoush and pita bread to start out. Then we got Halloumi cheese and falafel and cauliflower and zucchini patties and Greek french fries and spanikopita for our “dinner.” We ended with a bunch of desserts– Turkish delight, rosewater ice cream, apricot Greek yogurt, olive oil ice cream (what the heck?!), Turkish chocolate coffee cake, Baklava ice cream, and walnut ice cream. I think the Turkish delight was my favorite 🙂 The whole time I felt so lucky to be surrounded by such amazing friends. I really hope they’re all at my birthday celebration next year 🙂

On Sunday I spent most of the day back at my parents’ house. My mom made my favorite meal for dinner (angel hair pasta with shrimp!) and I opened my presents and had cake with my family. It was a very chill day, but definitely a good one. I’m really excited to see what 23 holds!

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Gift Guide for the Ladies

One of my favorite things about blogging during the holidays is getting to see everyone’s gift guides. I always get so many good ideas looking at them, both for what to get my friends and family and what to put on my own wishlist! I thought I’d actually join in and make my own gift guide this year 🙂

  1. L’Occitane Almond Milk Concentrate  ($50)loccitane
  2. Harry Josh Blow Dryer ($199) harryjosh
  3. UGG Dakota Slippers ($100) ugg
  4. ban.do Portable Phone Charger ($54) ban.do
  5. Kiehl’s Hand Salve ($15)                 kiehls
  6. Patagonia 1/4-Zip Fleece ($99) patagonia
  7. Kate Spade ‘Going Places’ Scarf ($78)katespade
  8. Airbnb Gift Card ($25-$500)airbnb
  9. Francesca’s Faux Fur Blanket ($60)francescas
  10. Amazon Echo ($99)amazonFeature image found here.

Lunchtime Reading: December 14

1 Some common skincare mistakes that you might be making and need to stop right now. (The Everygirl)

2 Is it ok to take a sick day off from work even if you only have a cold? (CNN)

3 Speaking of feeling sick, here are some doctor-approved home remedies for the common cold. (Mayo Clinic)

4 Treat yourself to some of the best beauty products of 2017. (The Work Edit)

5 I had Fitbit’s Charge 2 watch, but it felt too chunky. Now I’m eyeing this one. Thoughts?

6 English basement apartments are very common in DC, but their natural light situation is simply non existent. Here are some tips for fixing it. (Apartment Therapy)

7 I’ve never been a big fan of winter, but creating a Pinterest board for the season has helped get me excited about the holidays and snow to come.

8 Things polished women do to look perfect 24/7. (The Zoe Report)

9 I’ve never been a Louis Vuitton fan girl, but I would totally go to the brand’s exhibit in NYC after reading about it here! (Elle)

10 Some tips on how to treat redness and sensitive skin. This is a must read! (Allure)

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Lunchtime Reading: December 13

1 The mom jean trend is alive and well and I am here for it. My only questions is where can I buy them, aside from thrift stores? (The Everygirl)

2 Hitha is the master traveler, and she has blessed us with a look inside her travel makeup bag. (Hitha on the Go)

3  Kate Spade is having a surprise sale that ends tonight. I’m in love with this purse and this clutch.

4 The makeup you need to throw away before 2018 (The Zoe Report)

5 Some gift ideas for your fellow ladies in the office 🙂 (Lauren Conrad)

6 LinkedIn has some tips about how to bring holiday cheer to your office (LinkedIn)

7 Small decisions, especially with tech, can have big impacts. Here’s how.

8 It was 26 degrees this morning in DC and my skin was not having it! Time to whip out my favorite moisturizer.

9 I never thought about decorating my kitchen, until now. (Elizabeth Street Post)

10 If you don’t already follow The Work Edit, do yourself a favor and check it out now. Abra is doing some amazing giveaways right now!

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Professional Headshots

Professional headshots are a necessary evil in today’s digital world. You need something to put on your LinkedIn profile, and a selfie usually isn’t going to cut it, even if it’s a really good one. So what should you do instead? Hire a photographer to take a professional looking photo for you! This can be a little daunting, so here are a few do’s and don’ts I learned when I first got mine done!

Do

  • Wear a simple top in a neutral color- think grey, white, navy, etc.
  • Ask your university’s career center if they do complimentary headshots– some do!
  • Create a Pinterest board with professional headshots that you like
  • Put on a little makeup: think foundation, blush, eyeshadow, and mascara
  • Take your photo in a well-lit area, either near a window or outside on a cloudy day
  • Have a professional or semi-professional take your photo

Don’t

  • Wear a bright colored top or one with a busy pattern
  • Go to your photo shoot with no idea of what you want your headshot to look like
  • Apply makeup with a heavy hand– this is for LinkedIn, not a Broadway audition!
  • Take your photo in a dimly lit area, dappled sunlight, or direct sunlight
  • Ask your friend who’s never seen a DSLR in their life to do the job

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Lunchtime Reading: December 7

1 Trump declared that the U.S. recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. This is why it’s a big deal. (CNN)

2 Why you should still send Christmas Cards even in the age of Facebook. (The Federalist)

3 I want everything on Alaina’s Winter Essentials gift guide. (The Elizabeth Street Post)

4 Does wearing makeup to work actually matter? (Huffington Post)

5 As 2017 comes to a close, here are the 10 best pop culture moments of the year. (The Zoe Report)

6 Some simple tips to avoid catching the office bug this winter. (Forbes)

7 This holiday party outfit could not be more perfect! (Extra Petite)

Jessica Rose Parr is all kinds of life goals and her Instagram is one of my favorites.

9 I know graphic tees are so 2007, but for this one I might consider bending my fashion rules.

10 How to decorate your apartment for the holidays without breaking the bank. (The Everygirl)

Office Holiday Party

This is my first year being in a “real adult” job during the holidays, meaning I get to attend my first office holiday party! My company puts on a pretty big show, and it’s definitely an event to see and be seen at. I’m super excited! It’s given me an excuse to go shopping, but I don’t want to blow all my money either so I’m mixing in some pieces that I already own. Here’s what I plan on wearing for the big day:

Ellen Tracy Scuba Keyhole Dress ($53)

Baublebar Anastasia Hoops ($38)

Calvin Klein Strappy Sandals ($75)

Calvin Klein Toggle Wrap Coat ($160)

INC International Concepts Clutch ($35)

And that’s only half the fun! There’s still the beauty side to think about 🙂 My idea right now is a French manicure on my hands, fire engine red for my toes, and a salon blowout for my hair. I can’t wait!

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