life · photos

This Week in Review: August 2, 2015

Well, this should probably be more of a “these past four months in review” but hey, what are you gonna do?

So what have I been up to since March?

photo 1

My favorite people in the whole world came to visit.

dog in birthday hat

Maeby turned 3. I love this picture and I love this dog.

connecticut trees

I headed back to Connecticut to see family, friends, and celebrate my grandmother’s 99th birthday.

A week later, I had to go back during one of the hardest moments of my life.

dog san diego beach

Upon returning after my second trip to Connecticut, I spent a lot of time focusing on myself. Time at the beach with Maeby definitely helped.

houston skyline

I headed to Houston for work.

del mar sunset

Caught some amazing sunsets while my mom and her boyfriend were in town…

torrey pines san diego

Hiked Torrey Pines with them…

petco park at night san diego

Caught a Padres game at Petco Park.

rain in san diego

Survived a pretty epic thunderstorm in San Diego and the first real rain storm we’ve gotten in a looooong time.

dog adoption event san diego

And met this handsome guy while volunteering at an adoption event.

▴▴▴▴▴▴

Obviously this isn’t all that I’ve been doing, but definitely some highlights. I’d say over the past few months, there have been some incredible lows and some very incredible highs, but overall, everything has been good.

I’ll get into the details of life’s lows a little later on, but for now, I want to know:

What’s been the highlight of your summer so far?

life

Choose happiness.

choose happiness

One of my new year’s resolutions was to do more of what makes me happy. I also mentioned that I’d like to stop being so scared to make decisions that will positively affect my happiness.

Long story short, though I had only been at my previous employer for a little over a year, I wasn’t happy. I won’t get into specifics, but I was at a point where I was actually dreading going into work, often feeling anxious and sick to my stomach on weekday mornings. I got a lot of feedback from people that “no one loves their job” or “no job is perfect.” I’d like to state that the former is false; the people who say that are the ones who don’t love what they do. And that’s okay for some people. But for me? I want to look forward to work every day. The latter part of the above is true; not every day is going to be perfect. There will be challenges and some days might be difficult, but if you are unhappy about something every day, then that something is not right for you. So anyway, you know what I did? I began looking for new jobs. I was selective about what I applied to, but in the end, I made the choice to move into a new position at a new company, and I couldn’t be more excited about it.

I’m a firm believer that if you aren’t happy about something then you should change it. You can change it.

I got sick of being unhappy and decided to choose happiness.

And this doesn’t just apply to jobs – it applies to everything.

Are you unhappy with your partner? Work with them to make some changes, or if it’s beyond that point, then move on. Don’t like your current living situation? Find a new one. Bummed out that you’re lacking a specific skill? Learn that skill.

In the end, you have a choice that you can make every single day. If you aren’t happy, then do something about it.

The choice is yours.

How do you choose happiness?

 

life · photos · travels

This Weekend in Photos: January 23-26 – Ventura + Santa Barbara

santa barbara palm trees

Adam and I celebrated our 2 year anniversary this past weekend, and decided to head up to Santa Barbara for a couple of nights.

Before deciding on where we’d go away for the weekend, I was actually in touch with Rachel, from My Two Pitties, who told me she’d be down in Southern California to visit her family. She let me know she’d be in Ventura, and since I’ve been dying to meet her and her two adorable pit bulls, and take Maeby to explore other parts of California, I knew I wanted to meet up with her. Finding out that Adam and I would be able to get a great rate on the Fess Parker Doubletree Hilton Resort through my work confirmed that we would be heading up to Santa Barbara on Saturday afternoon, stopping in Ventura on the way to tire Maeby out, and leaving on Monday.

Saturday

ventura dogs on beach

ventura dogs beach

dogs on beach ventura

dog running on beach in ventura

We met up at a beach for humans (shh, don’t tell anyone), and it was absolutely gorgeous. The weather was perfect, the waves were huge, and it was great meeting Rachel! Kaya and Norman, the two pitties pictured above with Maeby, are exactly as Rachel described them. Kaya was overly-fixated on her tennis ball, and Norman was just the sweetest thing ever. He and Maeby chased each other around, while Kaya buried her tennis ball in the sand. It was so great meeting someone who loves their dogs as much as we love Maeby, and Adam was happy to have someone to talk about movies with.

After rinsing Maeby off, we said our goodbyes and made the short drive up to our hotel in Santa Barbara.

When my coworker set up our hotel room, she notified them it was our anniversary. Right after we got to our room, we heard a knock on the door and were given some champagne! It was such a nice surprise, but the card was addressed to Mr. and Mrs. [my last name], since the reservation was under my name, and you know, we’re not married, so it made us laugh.

fess parker anniversary champagne

Adam and I took it easy before dinner, and Maeby fell asleep sitting up. I guess her time at the beach wore her out!

dog sleeping sitting up

We grabbed dinner at Julienne. As much as Adam and I wanted to take pictures of our food, we kept forgetting to because we were so excited to eat when each course came out (we did a four-course menu for $55 a person – such a good deal). Hands down, it was the best meal either of us have ever had.

Sunday

Maeby and I started our day off with a run along the beach, down to the harbor.

santa barbara running

santa barbara harbor

dog running path santa barbara

It was already pretty warm out, but I really enjoyed how beautiful it was. I know Maeby enjoyed our run too – there were a lot of people and other dogs out walking and running.

In the afternoon, Adam and I grabbed a couple of appetizers and drinks at Santa Barbara FisHouse (so good!) and walked down Stearns Wharf.

stearns wharf santa barbara

santa barbara seagulls

photo 3 copy 2

santa barbara panorama

santa barbara bird

We spent the rest of our afternoon just taking it easy, and at night, Adam and I had dinner at Finch and Fork. While most of the reviews were for brunch, the dinner menu looked really good and we weren’t disappointed. Definitely another place worth trying if you’re visiting Santa Barbara!

Monday

Took Maeby for a walk along the beach before heading out…

santa barbara sunrise

…and arrived home in the early afternoon. Maeby’s PetBox was waiting for her, and she capped off her long weekend away with new toys and treats.

dog toys petbox

It’s back to work and back to reality tomorrow, but it was so, so nice to have a weekend away.

▴▴▴▴▴▴

I also wanted to note that I’ve shared this post through Running ‘N’ Reading’s Weekend Update! As always, thanks for hosting!

How was your weekend? If you could have a weekend away anywhere right now, where would you go?

life

The Obligatory New Year’s Resolutions Post – 2015

new year resolutions

I can’t remember what year it was that I made one New Year’s resolution. I think it was freshman, sophomore…maybe junior year of college?

I made the resolution to make better decisions every single day. Whether that involved eating a salad instead of pizza, removing myself from parasitic or damaging relationships, or simply not leaving a research paper until the last minute, my resolution carried into all areas of my life and made me more aware of my everyday decisions and how they were affecting me.

More recently, the topic of New Year’s resolutions came up while I was at Christmas dinner with my friends. While my resolutions aren’t about losing weight or eating healthier, they are built around the same ideas that these kinds of resolutions, and even my aforementioned resolution was; my resolutions are about self-improvement.

And here’s the other thing about my New Year’s resolutions: I only have two.

Save more money.

I’m putting myself on a strict budget as soon as January 1 hits. I began saving up a lot towards the end of the year, and putting plans into place to save up even more. But part of the way in which I will achieve my second resolution is dependent on this resolution. Unfortunately, I need money to do some of the things I want to do, some of the things that will make me happiest, and it’s time I start saving more to do those things.

Do things for myself that make me happy.

The things I do for myself should make me feel good and bring me joy. They shouldn’t stress me out or make me so anxious that I’m losing sleep. I shouldn’t be doing them because I feel like I have to or I’m expected to. I should do them because I want to. And with that, I should stop being so scared to make decisions that will positively affect my happiness. I have a feeling that 2015 will be the year of big decisions, and I’m nervous, but excited for it.

▴▴▴▴▴▴

What are your New Year’s resolutions?

life

One Year

solana beach

In case you missed it on my Instagram, I arrived in San Diego a year ago as of a couple of weeks ago.

It’s crazy to me how quickly the past year flew by, but that’s probably for a good reason: it was undoubtedly the best year of my life.

I remember how I felt when I began applying to jobs out here from Connecticut. I figured the likelihood that anyone would hire me–let alone, interview me–was pretty low. In 2012, I had tried applying to jobs in Manhattan and Boston, and no one would talk to me since I didn’t already live there. And at that point I was only 2 hours away from each of those cities.

But I got lucky. Two weeks after I began applying, I had a first interview at two separate companies, both of which were for roles dealing with social media, something I was hoping to get more involved in. A week after that, I had a second interview (this time via Skype) at one of those places, the next day I was asked for references, and the day after that, I was offered a job. By mid-November, I had a new job lined up at a company 3,000 miles away.

By the beginning of December, I learned how to actually pack up an apartment, planned my route, and spent a week driving across country with Adam and Maeby, during which I learned the best way to move across country, especially when it comes to moving across country with your dog. In the end, it took us 7 days, but we drove through 14 states and arrived in San Diego with a lease starting the next day and all of my furniture scheduled to arrive later that week.

I have so many thoughts about this past year. I experienced doubt but was reminded by so many people that the right time is now. I expected such a significant change and in some ways, that’s what I got, but at the same time, everything was just so…easy. I don’t know if it was my job, the support I already had here, or just how wonderful of a city San Diego is, but from the moment we arrived, it felt right. And yet, I’m still in awe over the landscape when I’m driving to and from work, and can’t get over the fact that I live in a place where people come to vacation.

Despite all the doubt, fears and uncertainty I faced when moving, I am so happy I did it. It’s crazy how time flies, but it’s been a year since I arrived in San Diego, and I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. It’s the best decision I’ve ever made.

As 2014 comes to a close, and I reflect back on all of the incredible experiences I’ve had over the last year, I’m eager to see what 2015 brings. I’m not sure how this coming year could possibly top 2014, but 2015, give it your best shot.

life

What I’m thankful for…

This is the first month I’m participating in a monthly link-up through the SoCal Blogger Society and I’m definitely excited to be doing it!

 photo monthlylinkupbadge_zpsff0e4704.jpg

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we’re all focusing on what we are thankful for.

I am thankful for…

My boyfriend. Last December, we both took a huge leap of faith when we drove across country together and went from being long distance to living together. It was definitely a big change – I had a new job, lived in a new city and was 3,000 miles away from friends, family and all that I knew back in Connecticut. Adam has been incredibly supportive of me from the day he flew in so we could drive across country together, and the process has been so much easier than I could’ve ever anticipated…because of him. And as far as going from seeing each other a few times a year to every single day? It’s been amazing. I get to hang out and wake up next to my best friend everyday, and I’m so thankful I have Adam in my life.

us

San Diego. I’ve never lived in a city that people go and visit. All summer long (and the rest of the year too), I see tourists everywhere and it’s crazy to me that I live in a city that people are constantly visiting (some from other countries!). I love the weather, all that there is to do and see, and the life I’ve built here. I feel so lucky to be able to call this amazing city home.

harbor island view san diego

Maeby. You knew this was coming. This dog is the answer to all of life’s problems. Frustrated with work? Come home and be greeted by Maeby and your frustrations will disappear. Feeling out-of-shape? Take Maeby for a run and then you’ll both be smiling at the end (and throughout the run, she’ll look up at you and smile). Not in a good mood? Take her to the dog park and between how happy she is to ride in the car and how much fun she’s having at the park, you’ll be in a great mood by the time you leave. Ask anyone who knows her, and they’ll agree: Maeby is just everything good in the world bottled up into one 60-pound animal. She’s the best.

dog swimming at fiesta island san diego

My friends. I got the chance to see some of my college friends (and favorite people in this world) on Sunday (who came down from Boston to go to dinner since I’m in CT for the week), and I’ve had some of my other college friends come visit earlier this year. And then there are the newer friends I’ve made in San Diego. I’m so grateful for all of my friends, new and old, for being there throughout the months or years, and because I know that I can always count on them, whether they’re in San Diego with me, or 3,000 miles away.

top of iron mountain san diego photo

cowles mountain san diego dogs

img345

paint night

My job. I’ve learned so much in the year that I’ve been in this position and it’s also given me the opportunity to travel. I love my coworkers, the work that the company does and the work I’m doing.

brighton uk pier

My family. I’m thrilled to be home this week for family time. My family has been so supportive of me throughout my life, but especially with my move across country. Knowing that I always have them by my side and can call my mom for anything at any moment makes me so grateful to have the family I have. We’re all a little crazy (isn’t everyone’s family?), but I wouldn’t want it any other way.

unnamed

98 birthday

All the opportunities I’ve had for growth over the past year. Moving across country was a big deal. My life changed, and the experiences I’ve had over the last year are unlike any I would’ve had if I had chosen to stay in Connecticut. I am so grateful for the opportunities I’ve had to travel, try new things, and continue to grow.

Screen shot 2014-04-08 at 9.28.28 PM

texas

IMG_6026

▴▴▴▴▴▴

So now, I ask you: What are you thankful for?

▴▴▴▴▴▴

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for free entry to a Spartan Race!