Best Brunch in Washington DC

Best Brunch Cover

Ah, brunch. There’s no classier way to find yourself tipsy before noon. The bottomless mimosas are ever-flowing and the food is piping hot. Plus, you don’t have to wake up at the butt crack of dawn.

What our nation’s capital lacks in convenient parking options, it makes up for with it’s favorite hobby. D.C. has mastered the brunch scene, moving away from the traditional yuppie-style meal, and adding a variety of options.  I always say, you can’t live a full life on an empty stomach! Here’s my roundup of the best brunch options in D.C., along with some honorable mentions.

In no particular order…

1. Halfsmoke – $

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John Cole Photography – Hospitality Construction Services

Halfsmoke is one of my favorite places to get brunch because of the atmosphere. You walk in, and your nose is wafted with scents of smoked meats and yummy food. The hostess greets you at the door, and walks you through the restaurant to your seat while Cardi B and Migos plays in the background. She seats you, and sets in front of you: a Lisa Frank binder. The menu’s in a Lisa Frank binder, y’all!

The restaurant definitely has a hip-hop, chill vibe between the R&B and Rap music videos playing on the several flat-screens and the many varieties of board games available for you and your party to play at no additional cost. There’s even a free photo booth to take pictures at.

yourphoto
Do you see me?

But enough talk about the atmosphere, let’s get to talking about the food. The brunch menu specifically runs all day on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Any purchase of a $25.00 brunch plate awards you unlimited mimosas for an hour and a half!

The chefs at Halfsmoke bring dishes such as red velvet funnel cakes, eggs benedict, fried chicken, and cinnamon crunch french toast to life. The menu has 90s inspired dishes such as Pinky and the Brain and Boy Meets World. Oh, and the check comes in an old VHS tape case. Check it out!

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John Cole Photography – Hospitality Construction Services

2. Ted’s Bulletin – $ to $$

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Missy Frederick – DC Eater

Ted’s is how you say… eggcellent (ba dum tss). There are several locations, but I’ve experienced the one in the Mosaic District in Northern Virginia. It boasts a restaurant, bakery, and bar of American classics. Where else can you find buttermilk biscuits AND liquor-infused milkshakes in the same place?

The restaurant’s atmosphere is upscale with low scale prices. Breakfast is served all day long as well, so this is a godsend if you’re like me and will sleep well into the afternoon. My recommendation for brunch is to get the Original Breakfast Burrito. It’s under $15, and mixes marinated flank steak with hashbrowns, eggs, cheese, avocado, and green chilies.

Emily S. Yelp
Emily S. – Yelp

3. Founding Farmers – $$

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Founding Farmers King of Prussia

Founding Farmers is hands down the best place to get fried chicken. The macaroni and cheese is also pretty amazing. There are many locations, but the Tyson’s, Reston, and King of Prussia locations are the only ones that offers a $32.50 brunch buffet on weekends.  My recommendation is to order the spicy fried chicken on a donut. It sounds weird, but you only live once! That combo, along with some mac and cheese and greens? YES. JUST ALL TYPES OF YES.

4. Milk & Honey – $$

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Trip Advisor

Milk & Honey says “we didn’t invent brunch… we just perfected it.” With a tagline like that, how can you doubt that the food is good? The menu selections here are ultimate! Cajun shrimp and grits or a lobster, egg, and cheese croissant (deep fried lobster tail!) are just a couple of their offerings. Everything on the brunch menu is under $25, which is pretty impressive.

Besides the menu, the restaurant also boats celebrity chef and Food Network’s CHOPPED winner, Sammy Davis. They’ve even held events for companies such as Ferrari. I’d recommend saving a lot of space in your tummies and making the trip up to Bowie or College Park, Maryland ASAP!

5. First Watch – $$

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Hacienda Hash – First Watch

First Watch is especially good if you’re looking for some healthy options for brunch. Don’t get me wrong, there are still huge omelettes and bacon strips galore. However, the restaurant also is mindful by serving fresh ingredients, listing all nutrition facts online, and has a pretty impressive healthy section of its menu. They’re also dedicated to sourcing their coffee from local small communities. French toast batter, muffins, and fresh fruits and vegetables are prepared every single morning.

6. Ambar – $$

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Ambar Website

Ambar brings Balkan cuisine to Clarendon and D.C. If you’re in the mood to try something new, this is the place to go! Sauces such as chimichurri and apple-wasabi mayo adorn this brunch menu, while still paying homage to favorites like strawberry nutella waffles and steak & eggs. There’s also the “Balkan Experience” option, which gives you unlimited food for 2 hours for $39 per person (the whole table must participate). Best of all, all brunch cocktails are under $8 – mango mimosas, anyone?

7. Cava Mezze – $

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Cava Mezze Rockville

Cava Mezze is Mediterranean food “dedicated to culinary excellence.” Spicy lamb and gyro graces the menu along with classic favorites for the safe diners out there. The prices are pretty great for a la carte food, or the entire party can do all-you-can-eat for $35.00. Just like Ambar, this is a good place to go if you’re craving something new. And if you’re wondering, yes it’s the same company as Cava Grill!

8. The Caged Bird – $$

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Meshach Cisero, Owner – The DC Line

Umm Cajun brunch? Sign me up. Cajun shrimp and grits, Cajun avocado toast, and Jerk steak & eggs are just a few of the highlights of this menu. This location recently opened this past June, but is quickly making a name for itself with its tasty food and community involvement. Nestled on a strip in Dupont Circle, this restaurant won’t disappoint your tastebuds.

Honorable Mentions:

Cyclone Anayas

One of the best omelettes I’ve ever had in my 22 years of living is the lobster omelette from Cyclone Anayas. That’s the only reason it’s on the list. It was heaven to my tastebuds. Amazing. Also, if you want Mexican food in your brunch, this is the place to be.

Pinstripes

Georgetown is one of my favorite places to go because there’s many hidden gems there. I recently found an awesome escape room there that was nestled away. Literally I have no idea how people find it or how it’s in business. Anywho!

Pinstripes is a really cool place because not only is it a restaurant, but it has a bowling alley inside too. They recently started doing brunch buffets every Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm WITH bottomless mimosas for $36.00 per person. I had to drop this on the list because apparently the mimosas get you pretty… happy!

The Griphon DC

If you’re not familiar with The Griphon, it’s mostly known for being a club/lounge in D.C. Clubs in the area are more frequently doing brunches and day parties in the morning as a way to draw a crowd in during the day. This isn’t on the list for the food, but it’s here for the TURN UP!

Gifts for Her Under $30 (Holiday 2018)

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It’s that time again! I love the holidays. Food, parties, time with loved ones, and getting away from work makes me a happy girl. Plus, what other time of the year is it appropriate to spike your hot chocolate? Point made!

However, what I DON’T love is being completely clueless about what gifts to buy – especially when your girl is “balling on a budget” (do people still say that?). So, this post is for anyone who’s looking to get gifts for a special lady in your life in an affordable way. Be it your “bae,” friend, or family member, here are some gifts that any girl would love!

If she’s a beauty queen: Vanity Makeup Mirror – $29.99

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This is actually my favorite gift on this list, which is why I had to start with it. A vanity mirror is one of those low-cost gifts that looks expensive. This one has 36 LED lights, and two side panels with 2X and 3X magnification so she can make sure there’s not a single eyebrow hair out of place! For someone who spends a lot of time getting dolled up, this is perfect.

I have to say though, it feels weird to get all up close and personal with the pores on your face. Brace yourself!

If she needs to de-stress: Aromatherapy Oil Diffuser – $13.59

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I own this diffuser, and I loved it so much that my mom received one a year later. All she has to do is put in some water and essential oils, hit a button, and there’s a stream of mist that smells amazing and calming. This one rotates between colors, so it’s also perfect for a nightlight.

Bonus use: Peppermint oil and this helps me feel a lot better when I’m sick.

Here are some cheap essential oils to go with the diffuser!

If she loves music: Rose Gold Portable Bluetooth Speaker – $15.99

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This speaker is adorable! It connects to her phone for seamless audio playback, and is small enough to fit in a purse. It’s also touchscreen. While I don’t own this speaker myself, the reviews are pretty great! This is an awesome gift for music lovers who like to take their favorite songs everywhere with them. It’s also a cool addition for someone with quiet laptop speakers or an iPad.

For the fashionista: Multiwear Pashmina Scarf/Shawl – $12.99

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I love scarves and pashminas because they’re transformative fashion – you can wear them multiple ways! This one is really beautiful in mustard, but there are plenty of other colors to choose from too. A nice colorful scarf with a black turtleneck, black pants, some boots, and throw on some jewelry. That’s a FIT.

For the makeup lover: BH Cosmetics Take Me Back to Brazil Palette – $27.50

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Colorful makeup can be scary to get, knowing that the wrong color combo can have you looking like you belong with the Ringling Brothers. But, not for the makeup lover! She seamlessly blends, flicks her wrist, and a look is made. Get her out of her comfort zone with some festival-inspired colors in this palette. Take a peek at the reviews – the looks are STUN-NING!

If she binge watches: Roku Express – $29.88

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This is also one of those gifts I ended up getting for my mom. She absolutely loved it! If your special lady doesn’t have a smart TV, this is an awesome way to convert her TV into one. Netflix and chill, anybody? Get your minds out of the gutter.

For the wine drinker: Mikasa Cheers Glasses Set – $27.99

wineIf your lady’s anything like me, she fancies her wine in a cute glass. These are adorable, yet very elegant as well. They look expensive, but they’re under $30.00! I also think this is great for ladies who have wine nights at their house. They can tell their friends about how you bought them this adorable set.

For the YouTuber or Blogger: Tripod and Bluetooth Remote – $17.95

tripodI’ve done a lot of videos and photoshoots on my lonesome, and let me tell you – it’s tough without the right equipment! Whether she’s a novice or seasoned content creator, this will get her started off right. The Bluetooth remote is perfect for starting shots without having to edit off the awkward part where you come and click the record button. She’ll love it! The bendy legs also make it super flexible to work with. I’ve used one in a moving car, and it kept the phone steady on the dashboard.

For the boss babe: Inspirational Travel Mug – $19.99

mugThis saying is really popular, and it’s perfect for the woman who’s a go-getter. She believed she could so she did!

For a girl on the go: Lightweight Tote Bag – $30.95

toteAs a student and a working woman, never underestimate the power of a good tote bag. I need my laptop, planner, work folders, pens, phone, keys, lip-gloss, and everything but the kitchen sink (anyone remember that saying?). This one comes in many colors, and has generally good reviews. I cheated because it’s not technically under $30, but this is the nicest I could find for the price!

For the naturally curly girl: SheaMoisture Superfruit Complex Set – $27.99

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Superfruit Complex is a miracle worker! Whew chile, the curls. Plus, it smells really great too. I think I’ve said enough about that.

If she loves ambiance: Vanilla Bean Noel Candle – $28.59 

vanillaVanilla Bean Noel is the perfect mixture of something that resembles sugar and vanilla. Candles are absolutely wonderful during the holiday season as they have the whole house smelling like a wonderland. Set some ambiance!

For the skincare lover: Aztec Secret Healing Clay Mask – $10.95

aztecThis clay mask has a cult following on Amazon. People use it for their skin, but I’ve also heard it being used for hair! It’s made from natural calcium bentonite clay, and apparently works miracles for troubled skin. I’d recommend throwing this in with some other spa-related items such as a manicure set or a foot bath.

 

What are some of the best gifts you’ve been given? Happy holidays!

 

Disclaimer: These items have been hand curated by me, and have not been provided by a sponsor. However, I may receive commission with the purchase of these items through the links provided.

 

6 Extremely Fun Dates in the DC Area

Dates

Ah, young love. Or old love. Any love really! I’ve got to admit, I can be a hopeless romantic. If you follow me on socials, you’d know I can’t resist a good adventure. That’s why for me, it’s important to have someone who loves to escape the confines of the living room to travel or try something new.

I’m always getting messages from you all about where that super-cool thing on my Instagram story is located. That’s why I decided to round up 6 fun dates in the D.C. area! These outings aren’t just for couples – they’re for families and friends too. Some of them are even… dare I say it… FREE! Let’s get started.

$ – low price; $$ – moderate price; $$$ – pricey

1. Artechouse

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Artechouse (Art + Tech + House) combines technology, science, and creativity to engage all your senses in an interactive exhibit! Throw your arms in the air and watch plants wiggle and shake. Flail your hands from side to side and watch the installations react to your gestures and movements in real-time.

I love this “museum” because it has rotating installations, meaning there’s always a new experience to be had. One of my favorite memories was using the Artechouse app on a drink during their Nutcracker exhibit, and watching sugarplum fairies dance over my cocktail. From the New Nature Exhibit, to the Nutcracker Exhibit, to the Cherry Blossom Exhibit, each one is created by different artists who immerse you in their world using Augmented Reality and motion sensors.

If you’re 21+, I recommend going “after hours” for a more mature crowd. The tickets are purchased online in specific time slots, and are reasonably priced. The cocktails, however, are a bit expensive.

45 minutes – 1 Hour of fun; Tickets range from $10 – $15. – $$ 

2. ZavaZone

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Source: The Bum

Have you ever seen American Ninja Warrior? This is Northern Virginia’s very own version of that show! ZavaZone is perfect for couples who are athletic and love a little friendly competition. My boyfriend surprised me with a date here, and we had loads of fun dodging obstacles and talking trash to each other (with a little encouragement from time to time!).

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ZavaZone has trampolines, “warped walls,” several obstacle courses, rock climbing, and a sky-high ropes course that overlooks the entire center! There’s a lot of children here, so I recommend going during the evening for a little less traffic. They also have adult nights. If you’re ready to have your own American Ninja Warrior showdown with friends, family, or your significant other, this is a great place to go. Tickets can be purchased online or on site.

1-3 hours of fun; $20.00/person for 1 hour – $

3. The Renwick Gallery, Hirshhorn Museum, or National Portrait Gallery

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Source: Smithsonian American Art Museum

One of the best perks of living near our Nation’s Capital is free access to museums, zoos, and festivals. Anyone who loves art can live their best life here! Let’s begin with the Renwick. The Renwick Gallery mostly focuses on art from the 19th century to now, and a lot of it can be classified as modern or contemporary (my fave!). Enough of the boring details though, how about some photos taken by yours truly?

The Renwick

These photos are from the Renwick’s “Burning Man” exhibit, which details a festival by the same name that takes place in the playa (desert) in Nevada. The exhibit has costumes, funky vehicles, and a larger-than-life statue of a naked woman made out of metal. I actually went on this trip solo, and I enjoyed being able to take it all in on my own. The Renwick periodically changes their exhibits, so Burning Man is on its way out in mid-January. I can’t wait to see what else they have in store!

The Hirshhorn

The Hirshhorn is another gallery that features a variety of contemporary and modern pieces, and also has rotating exhibits. I recommend visiting this several times throughout the year, especially during summer months. There’s a sculpture garden outdoors that sometimes hosts free events and live jazz when it’s warm outside.

 

Pictured above is one of the BEST exhibits I’ve ever visited in my entire life. It’s by Yayoi Kusama, a Japanese artist whose disability helps her create some of the most beautiful art I’ve ever seen in person. The dark room pictured uses mirrors and lights to make it look like infinity. The small lights and darkness represents the souls of people who’ve passed on. It was nearly impossible to get tickets to this exhibit! We stood in line for over an hour, they sold out, and we had to beg passersby for extra tickets. It worked! That’s a rare occasion here, though. Typically, you can just walk straight in. Make sure to check the website for what installations are being shown!

The National Portrait Gallery

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The National Portrait Gallery mostly features portraiture of famous Americans who’ve shaped our culture and entertainment. Not too exciting, but it’s definitely worth an honorable mention – mostly because it has beautiful architecture and a nice atrium with trees and water fountains.

Hours of entertainment; all Smithsonian galleries are free! 

4. Autobahn Indoor Raceway

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Source: Autobahn Indoor Speedway Website

Do you and bae have a “need for speed?” If so, tear up the track at this 40,000-square-feet indoor raceway located in Manassas Mall. Accelerate to speeds up to 50 MPH for adult racers and 25 MPH for junior racers under 13. I’ve been on a date here, but I’ve also taken my dad. Both times were a blast!

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This is yet another fun date for the competitive types! Not only are you competing against whoever you’re with, you’re also competing to beat your own times. It’s a thrill for sure. Just remember to wear closed toed shoes and a hairdo that fits underneath their mandatory face mask and helmets. Ladies… make sure those eyebrows won’t wipe off!

Time depends on how many races you choose; $20/per for the first race – $$$

5. Paniq Room DC

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Paniq Room isn’t your typical escape room. Located in the heart of Georgetown, it’s a hidden gem that’s so much fun! I went here on a double date for their Insane Asylum room, which only 15% of groups make it out of. We did it, but it certainly was insane! It was the perfect date to go on around Halloween season – especially because the famous Exorcist Stairwell from the movie is just a short walk away.

Tickets should be purchased online – the bigger the group, the cheaper the price. Since it’s in Georgetown, there’s plenty of places to eat a meal or get dessert nearby. If you’re taking a family, don’t do the Insane Asylum room – do the Tribal Quest (there’s a Groupon!).

60 minutes (arrive 15 minutes early); Tickets depend on group size; $$

6. The National Zoo

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Source: Smithsonian National Zoo

The National Zoo is another free date idea that’s wonderful for people of all ages! The baby elephants and the pandas are to-die-for! It’s open all year round, except for December 25 (Christmas). Every year, they decorate the park in tons of beautiful lights during the Holiday season for an event called Zoolights. Admission is free, but there are small paid activities such as a mini train ride and the Reindeer Games Zone for kids.

 

My best friend and I had a blast listening to carolers, viewing lights, and drinking our Starbucks – as there’s one located conveniently down the street! No matter what time of year it is, I recommend taking a trip here.

 

I hope my roundup of dates led to some great ideas for you and your loved ones! What are some awesome dates you’ve been on?

The 3 Hardest Lessons Post-Grad Has Taught Me

Post Grad

I remember it like it was yesterday. That’s the most cliche thing anyone could ever say, but I promise I do! It was summer before my senior year of college, and I was honestly dreading it. All the seniors around me were all over social media expressing their excitement about our last year of college, saying things like “I can’t wait to get out of here!” My parents were ecstatic too, with good reason to be. Their baby girl was finally getting her Bachelors degree!

…Honestly though, I never shared the same excitement. Nobody would’ve really known because I always forged my biggest grin when I was asked about graduation.  I was anxious. Scared. Confused. But, there was more to it than just my future path.

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A couple months before graduation!

Of course, just like high school or college graduation, there was much anticipation about what was to come. Where will I work? Will I do graduate school immediately, later, or would that eventually become not-at-all? Do I reaaaaally have to consider moving back home? Long story short, I graduated in May and eventually everything fell into its place. I graduated college, and had the best summer of my life post-grad. I was accepted into a masters program at my alma-mater, received an assistantship teaching, and another assistantship that offered a full-ride to school. Perfect! This was going to be a breeze… or so I thought. Then reality struck, and I’m navigating through it. I’m still learning these 3 lessons. They seemed trivial when I first started to realize them. My problems feel so small compared to others that my friends have expressed to me. But, I quickly learned: if it makes you uncomfortable, triviality doesn’t truly matter.

1. “Perfect” Doesn’t Equal Happy

 By no means am I perfect. I know that, and that’s not quite what I’m getting at here. But on paper, and maybe even on social media, you’d think things were perfect.

Master’s program? Check.

Job? Double check.

School paid for? Check.

Boyfriend? Check.

Good friends and a support system? Check.

So in the realm of all things perfect, why was I feeling so down? I just remember going through the weirdest slump near the time graduate school started. There were times where I’d cry for no reason. Time spent alone turned into binge-listening to the saddest songs I could find. I remember one of my coworkers made the comment that I’d seemed much more jaded recently. I just didn’t feel like myself.

Some huge sources of support during this slump… even if they didn’t know! 

Why, in the realm of all things perfect, was I feeling this way? I’m still not sure. Sometimes I still slump into these moods. I can’t pinpoint where these feelings come from. It’s hard to actualize anything like that when you’ve always been known as the happy friend and the person who’s always smiling.

I’ve started practicing reflection often as I get older, and making time for things that make me happy. Blogging, YouTubing, painting, and spending time with the people close to me are outlets that mitigate these negative feelings. If you’re the strong friend, the bubbly friend, the happy friend, the “perfect” friend, learn to accept the sadness that comes from virtually nowhere. Know it’s okay to feel it, and practice combating it. Don’t be afraid to verbalize it. If your friends are real, they’ll understand. You’re not by yourself.

2. Accept Your Weirdness and Try New Things

I’ve always been weird overall, but not really publicly. You know how there’s a “good weird” and a “bad weird?” Don’t play oblivious! The good weird that makes you laugh and that everyone claims to be on social media. Then the “bad weird” attributed to “geeks” and people who are socially introverted (which is totally unfair by the way!).

I feel like most people have things they truly enjoy that they hide from people because of fear of judgment. After graduation, you realize none of that stuff truly matters. The apprehension to indulge because of others makes even less sense. So, I’ve began sharing and accepting the things I like that aren’t conventional.  Here’s a few.

Anime.. I think it’s become more accepted lately, but before now, most of us said it was for “geeks.” But actually, it’s pretty damn cool! I’m just getting into it, but some really great ones I’ve watched so far are Attack on Titan, Death Note, and Sword Art Online. I love that the episodes are only 20 minutes, so it’s easy to binge watch. The plot lines can also get really intricate and intense. Sometimes, I like to go on Instagram and look up cosplays of my favorite characters. It’s totally nerdy by society’s definition, but I like it.

Dungeons and Dragons.. So this definitely threw me for a loop! If you don’t know what it is,  look it up. It’s an RPG (Role-Playing Game). When one of my coworkers invited me to play, I was apprehensive. But, it’s actually pretty fun. I now play with my coworkers every Thursday night. I don’t see myself continuing outside of playing with them, but I now see why people get so into it.

Old, Upbeat Songs.. This is one of those guilty pleasures that pull me out of bad moods. I have an upbeat playlist on my Apple Music account. Songs like I Want Candy (1965) and Walking On Sunshine (1983) are perfect for solo car rides, screaming at the top of my lungs. They’re trash to most people, but they make me happy!

The takeaway here is, embrace things that are “weird” if you enjoy them. Indulge in all of it (as long as it’s healthy).

3. You’ll Lose Friends

Among all of the organizational involvement in undergrad – I was on a dance troupe, modeling troupe, a resident advisor, a former cheerleader, a tour guide, participated in events by organizations, etc… It’s easy to get caught up in the social setting and forget quickly who’s your friend and acquaintance.

Lots of involvement during undergrad – and lots of different groups!

After it’s all said and done, you realize who’s truly there for you and who isn’t. The people who consistently flake on spending time with you or the ones who never check on you after you’ve made effort to connect. Eventually, it really hits you. Some people just aren’t meant to be in your life consistently.

That’s not said from a place of malice or anger at all. The key word is consistently. Some people were meant to be close to you for a certain period of time or to support you in a way that you just needed in the moment. Not everyone is lifelong, and honestly, that’s okay. Hold on as tight as you can to the pictures, memories, etc. that you have with them. Check in periodically to make sure they’re okay, and keep it moving.

After it’s all said and done, the people who are lifelong will still be around. That’s why they’re life long. My best friends from high school are prime A examples of this. We’ve been friends for 7 years, and although we don’t talk everyday, I still care about them immensely. We link up when we can, and always pick up where we left off. They’re truly lifelong.

I’m learning to accept these lessons little by little each day. I’m becoming more resilient, more aware, and developing into the person I want to be!

What are some things you’ve picked up along the way post-grad? If you’re still in undergrad, what are things you’re nervous about?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Change the Way You Organize – My Top 3 Tips for a Chaotic Life

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Before I start, let’s get one thing straight: organization and productivity aren’t the same thing to me! I’m a super procrastinator. Time management STILL isn’t my strong suit even after completing a whole bachelor’s degree. Maybe it’s because I thrive under pressure, maybe it’s because I just need to do better. Who knows?

Copy of Hi There!

 

BUT, with that said, I’m an amazing organizer. Have you guys ever heard the quote “there’s a method to the madness?” That’s me! Between my two graduate assistantships, blogging and YouTubing, being a full-time master’s student, and socializing, life can get chaotic beyond belief. Even though I usually procrastinate on important things, I still tend to excel – shout out to stellar organization. Let’s jump in to my top 3 tips for organizing a chaotic life!

Google Calendar

Do you catch yourself forgetting about meetings and commitments until the day of? Sometimes I wish I can clone myself and be multiple places at once – or at least send somebody to do it for me in their best Marissa disguise. Since that’s not an option, it’s important to know exactly where I need to be and when.

Google Calendar can be accessed both on the computer and the phone, but I recommend the app for quick access on-the-go. Let’s look at my anxiety-inducing calendar. Take a deep breath!

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Pretty full, right? Don’t let it scare you. This is how we manage life! Let me break down the colors.

Sage/Light Green – Work commitments, meetings, etc.

Purple – Fun with friends

Pink – Payday (SECURE THE BAG Y’ALL)

Yellow – Overnight duty for my assistantship (it’s also Google’s default color, so little miscellaneous things slip in there sometimes – it’s okay!)

Gray – Social media drops and content creation days

Red – Really, really, really important things like tuition payments, class registration, doctor’s appointments, etc.

Not too bad, right? Are you shook? If so, don’t be. It actually helps so much and you start to easily remember the colors within a few days of them. I don’t log obvious things such as showering, attending class, or studying, but some people choose to. It’s all about your personal preference. Regardless, having Google Calendar is like having a personal assistant. You can set reminders, and you can create recurring events instead of logging them all by hand (time saver!). Best of all, it’s cloud based – meaning you can access it anywhere. I’m starting to sound like a commercial, but I can’t stress enough how awesome this app is for me. Outlook calendar is very similar, but I prefer Google. See what works for you. I love to look at the different colors to see how I’m balancing my life. When I see green start to cover my entire calendar, I remind myself to make plans with friends for some fun. If my calendar is super purple, I remind myself to take time alone and save some money (going out all the time is expensive!).

Organize Your Laptop!

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Or desktop – whatever you use! Have you ever downloaded something and saved it as something super obscure and nonsensical? I used to have a bunch of files floating around with names like “picture.jpg” “picture 1.jpg” “woiejowe.docx.”

You’ve got to be stopped.

Be strategic about how you use your computer. Create folders for everything, and save things in their proper place. It only takes an extra 2 seconds. Set aside some time to organize your computer and de-clutter your downloads and documents. I have folders for each class, each assistantship, the blog, my YouTube channel etc. That way, when for some odd reason I need that paper from Marketing 455 Fall 2017, I can go directly there. Losing files is the worst! Be strategic.

Sidenote: you can take it even further by organizing your emails too. I used to have a professor who’d send a couple emails a day, and I routed them all into one folder.

Folders and Binders

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I’m taking it back to elementary school with this one! I like to keep separate binders for all of my classes, and separate folders for my jobs as well. I have three classes with separate binders for each in pink, purple and green. My teaching assistantship paperwork is in a teal folder. Paperwork for my other assistantship is in a manila folder. It’s so quick, cheap, and easy. If you’re like me and have tons of notes and loose papers, this is an easy way to keep them separate. Plus, the bright colors make it a little more fun. Stock up during back-to-school shopping for the best deals.

 

These three methods help me navigate my crazy life every single day!

What are your top tips for organization? What about for productivity? Let’s hear it in the comments!

A New Chapter…

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“The best time for new beginnings is now.” – Unknown

A shiny, new blog. I never thought I’d see the day when I’d finally let the madness inside of my head come to a halt, and find the courage to click the “Publish” button. Dramatic? Maybe a little bit, but sometimes life calls for a little drama.

After weeks of looking at countless blogs, Pinterest posts, and Instagram pages, I finally decided “let’s just do it.” Truthfully, the thought of starting a new blog is much scarier than I thought. The struggle of what to talk about, whether people will be able to relate, how much to share, and how people will view you after reading is something SERIOUS. But, I’m ready to welcome you with open arms into my life. Here goes nothing!

I’m Marissa. I stand tall, but I’m only 5’3. I love “girly things” like pumpkin spice, art museums, and brunch – but I’ll still geek out over a good anime or Social Sciences Theory. I’m a first-year graduate student navigating this very weird time where I’m an adult, but not quite a “grown up.” I smile almost all the time, but I sometimes feel sad as well. I feel connected to others, but can also feel detached in a room full of people I call friends. A lot of people think I have it all together (I’ll give you a hint – I definitely don’t!).

Every highlight reel has a boatload of bloopers and behind-the-scenes craziness. It’s life. That’s why we’re here. Here, you’ll find snippets of my life and thoughts. From surface topics like fashion, college & beauty, all the way to deeper things like relationships & emotions.

I’m writing for the girls (or guys!) like me. The ones who try to value both their good and questionable moments. The ones who love a good day trip or adventure. The ones who can relate to that feeling of being somewhat lost, but still feeling excited to make their own path. The ones who sometimes plan out a whole weekend of socialization, but sometimes just need to drink ungodly amounts of wine and lay in bed… amiright? (asking for a friend)

With this blog, here are my 3 promises to you:

  • I promise not to make this into a facade of fakeness. What’s the point of that? Sure, my life is full of smiles. It’s easy to filter out the bad times, and only share those positive moments. I won’t do that.
  • I promise to bring you on my favorite adventures! From day trips to DC for french toast and art, all the way to my rare international trips.
  • I promise to welcome your comments and 2 cents, and to look at things from multiple perspectives. In fact, I love these! Let’s talk to each other.

My goal is to create a space where I can be myself, you can be yourself, and we can share with each other. This isn’t going to be easy… Nobody said it would be. It’s a growth experience. With that being said, welcome to TheMarissaDaily.com!