What Happens When Age is Thrown Out the Window?

What Happens When Age is Thrown Out the Window?

I’ve always had two philosophies in life 1) age is just a number and 2) you can learn something from everyone you meet. I chose to participate in the Bridging the Gap campaign with this mentality, but I was hesitant that I wouldn’t be able to relate to my partner. What would I truly have in common with someone double my age, and who’s lived in countries I’ve never been to? However, once I started talking with Renata, founder of Fashionably Fab Fashion Tips, I realized that we had so much more in common than I initially imagined.

Renata was born and raised in Australia, but she followed her dreams and at age 50 she moved to France. She has a son, and she is getting married to an Italian man in November. Now, age 52, she has traveled to over 40 cities in Europe – something I aspire to do some day. Some of her favorite places are: Antwerp, Paris, the countryside in England, Austria, and Switzerland.

Renata started her blog because she thinks “it’s important to just see people for who and what they are regardless of age, height or shape. People have a hard time nowadays to see people without labels or status.” You feel this intention when reading her blog; the wisdom woven into posts from her personal life and fashion communicates everything at a humanistic level and it feels refreshing. Everything she writes is authentic, and it’s noticeable. This tone makes sense because Renata is an artist with words – she’s written a book (again another life goal of mine).

I learned from our conversations that we both share passions for traveling, food, helping others and the relationships we have with family and friends. Renata is an expert in European cities; she can tell you where to eat, sites to see and the value of traveling to each country. I think she would write an awesome travel book about European cities. I hope to have this much knowledge about places within the United States. Renata and I both believe that traveling is awesome and that it forces you to truly live life. She says it best, “experience is life,” and I completely agree. Paired with traveling, is her passion for good food. Whether it’s a home cooked meal by her future spouse or dishes she’s discovered while traveling around Europe – she loves it all.

After talking with Renata, I realized that our values, passions and desires are the same; no matter your age. Two lessons I took away from our conversations are that you need to live in the now and make sure to become your best friend. I also hope that one day I have the wisdom and willingness to live my dreams despite my fears. Remember that beauty is ageless, and age is just a number. Renata and I bridged the gap, and I hope that we can meet in person – maybe I’ll travel to Europe!

To check out the other posts, click here!

2017 Goals: Spring Update

2017 Goals: Spring Update

I know that I took a bit of a hiatus from blogging over the past couple of months, but I needed the time to focus on me. Things have been incredibly chaotic and I’ve felt completely drained and unfocused. In order to be able to hold myself accountable, I decided to do a general Spring Quarter update on my 2017 Goals.

*Goal 1: Exercise more and get better at Cardio

Since February, I’ve been exercising three to five times a week. Which for me and my chaotic schedule, has been my only consistent outlet. I’ve forced myself to go exercise on days where I was exhausted, and I just wanted to go home and watch TV and sleep. Forcing myself to maintain this schedule has helped me physically and mentally. I love the mental clarity I get when I’ve finished a really good workout or that I have an outlet to constructively take out my frustration from external things. I’m getting much better at weight training, and I’ve also been jogging a bit instead of only power walking. I have never been a runner, so this is an incredible improvement for me. This May is also the one year anniversary of getting my boot, so I’m impressed with what I’ve overcome in the past year related to my foot and how my stamina and strength have improved.

*Goal 2: Go to all 50 states before I turn 30

I mentioned in my February update, that I booked a trip to Hawaii. Well I’m currently writing this post on the plane to this amazing destination. I am super excited to explore Oahu, and to document my trip. I bought a camera that can go under water and has all sorts of fun attachments, so look out for some awesome pictures and a post about my trip.

I have a lot of trips planned for this summer, but none of them are to new states. There might be a road trip this summer, so maybe I’ll get a new state during that.

*Goal 3: Budget and Save Money

Budgeting and saving haven’t been going too well. I’ve noticed a correlation between my stress level and desire to eat out. When I’m incredibly stressed out, I just want food that I know tastes good, but probably is more expensive. This is something I have to work on, but I’ve been really good about bringing my lunch and not spending money on that. I am still obsessed with Ebates and Ibotta, so at least I’m earning money when I make purchases. I can admit that I haven’t been shopping as much, so that’s been good.

If you’re interested in Ebates, make sure to subscribe through the link or button on the right and you’ll get $10 for just signing up! If you’re interested in Ibotta, use the referral code onjumjl for $10. This post is not sponsored by either company, but I genuinely think they’re great tools for earning money on purchases you were already going to make.

*Goal 4: Be more politically active

This is a goal I need to figure out how to achieve or work on. I’m still deciding on the best way to do this, but I’m leaning towards volunteering for a campaign. I volunteered on campaigns during high school, and I thought that it was a fun grassroots way to be involved.

*Goal 5: Schedule Time for Self-Care

I realize that I’m adding a goal, but I think it’s a necessary one. The main reason that I haven’t blogged in two months, was because I was over booked (whether it was working long hours or outside activities). Since I was over booked and super busy at work, I wasn’t giving myself the proper amount of time to take care of me. For example, I stopped going to the Chiropractor because I just kept forgetting to call to schedule appointments, and I couldn’t figure out where the appointments would fit in my schedule. I’ve felt super drained and it wasn’t until recently that I started to actively work on making sure that I had time in my schedule for me. Over the past two months, I realized that this isn’t a way to live, so I need to actively remind myself that I need to not be booked all of the time.

I hope that all of you had a great Spring, and I’ll make sure to be more consistent here.

Stay tuned to see how achieving my goals is going for the rest of the year!

 

2017 Goals: January Update

2017 Goals: January Update

I’ve decided that instead of writing just an annual update on how I’m progressing on my goals for the year, that I would starting doing monthly ones. So here are the updates:

*Goal 1: Exercise more and get better at Cardio

Well this is probably the goal that I have been most successful so far. Typically, I exercise twice a week, but I decided that I was going to do one of the challenges at Orangetheory. It is a 6-week weight loss challenge (I don’t think I’m losing weight, probably just gaining muscle) and you have to go 3x a week for the 6-weeks to complete the challenge. When I started the challenge I only had the 2x a week package, but since I’m trying to be more fiscally responsible I upgraded my membership to save money.

*Goal 2: Go to all 50 states before I turn 30

In 2017, I have one trip a month from February-September, and two of the trips are to states I’ve never been. I’m going to Nashville, TN for my 26th birthday and Hawaii in May with my family. The other trips I have planned are for weddings and family events. Hopefully, I’ll be able to squeeze in one more trip to a state I’ve never been to in 2017.

*Goal 3: Budget and Save Money

So far I think I’m doing better at this. I’m working hard at not eating out as much, which saves money and is healthier. I’m also trying to go grocery shopping once a week so I have food in my fridge. Another thing I’m working on is not shopping online or in stores until I’ve thoroughly cleaned out my closet. I want to try to sell as much stuff as I can to ThredUp.

*Goal 4: Be more politically active

This has probably been the hardest goal for me to work on. I’ve found the month of January to be too emotionally draining due to the political climate, but I did participate in the Women’s March Los Angeles on January 21, 2017. It was a great way to organize and stand up for what I believe in, and I intend on participating in as many events like that as possible this year.

Finally, I am working on rebranding and writing more content for the blog. I promise I’ll write about some of my travels from 2016 in February. Also, I want to thank all of you for breaking my record for most views in a month in January. I really appreciate you reading and engaging with what I write. Let me know if there’s a topic you want me to cover!

The Year of Me

The Year of Me

Not only have I decided that I need to work on myself personally, financially, and health wise, but I also need to work on myself professionally. Over the past two years I have spent a lot of time applying to over 200 jobs that I could definitely excel at if given the opportunity. I decided that in 2017 I would stop moping around, but I would actually take action. I have signed up for three classes through Udemy: 1) The Complete Web Developer Course 2.0; 2) Microsoft Excel- Excel from Beginner to Advanced; 3) SPSS Statistics Foundation Course: From Scratch to Advanced. I picked these three courses out because I wanted to learn something new, but important or I wanted to strengthen skills I already have. Now I know some of you are wondering, why is a Macro Social Worker learning technical skills? The answer is, well a lot of macro social work jobs I applied to or read wanted some technical skill I didn’t possess, so I’ve decided to change that and I’m going to learn new things.

I also decided to attend a program through Social Brand School to learn more about Instagram, and how to monetize it. My main goals for this are to figure out how to use Instagram to draw readers to my blog, and how I can use Instagram with a non-profit I do some work for.

Some other online resources I’ve looked at to learn new skills are Skillcrush, General Assembly, and Google Analytics. I decided not to do these courses, because I don’t have enough time to dedicate to them; however, I’m still interested in completing them in the future. Once I finish my four classes, I promise to tell you about my experiences with online learning platforms and what I think of them. Happy learning everyone!

2017 Goals

2017 Goals

Well I realize that this is a few days late posting this- sorry! 2017 has been hectic, and we’re only eight days in! I thought I would share some goals I have for 2017, so that way I’m held accountable (we all know accountability is important when trying to achieve something).

  • One of my 2016 goals was to exercise more, and while I tried to accomplish that goal, it was a bit unachievable starting in March. In March, I started noticing that I had a pain in my right foot, and while I thought it was nothing it turned out that when I went to the doctor in May I had a stress fracture. So, from May-July I was basically immobile because I wanted my foot to heal correctly the first time, and not to fracture or break. Once I could move again and my foot didn’t hurt, I tried going back to yoga, but that only irritated it with all the different positions. Then I went back to spinning, which was better, but not great (still would get pain, but the instructors were really understanding and encouraging). In October, I found Orangetheory fitness and realized that I was super out of shape, and I ended up getting a membership there so I could get a full body workout twice a week. My goal for 2017 is to get better at cardio. Cardio has never been something I’ve been good at, so I decided to set a high goal that I really have to work hard to achieve. I’m already working on it, because earlier this week I got five splat points when I typically only get one or two. I’m also still using my Fitbit as a way to hold me accountable.
  • On my 25th birthday, I decided that I am going to attempt to travel to all 50 states before I turn 30. I know that this is a big goal, but I think that with careful planning it is completely achievable. I only need 13 more states, including two that I have trips planned for (Hawaii and Nashville, TN).
  • My next goal is to work on budgeting and saving money. I need to learn how to set and stick to a budget. I am currently still using Mint to help me budget, and then I found that using the Digit App is a great way to save. It takes small increments of money out of my account, and keeps it in a Digit account. This is a better system for me, because I don’t see the money in my actual savings account and want to spend it.
  • My final goal for 2017 is to be more politically active. Since the election did not go the way I had hoped, I think it is important to stand up for what I believe in and to work with amazing organizations that are going to fight for the rights of so many vulnerable populations.

I’m going to work hard at accomplishing my goals for the year, and I really want to know what all of you are trying to achieve in 2017. Let’s work on our goals for 2017 together, and I hope the year is off to a great start!

P.S. I am also going to work on blogging more consistently and to catch up on posts that I didn’t get to in 2016. 🙂

Chef Time #2

Chef Time #2

As someone who’s trying very hard to learn to cook, I thought I would share two of my new favorite recipes.

 Tuna Fish and Noodles

I know this recipe seems a bit bland or unusual, but for me it tastes like home. It possible is my favorite dish that my mom makes.

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Ingredients
8 oz. wide or extra wide noodles
6.5 oz. tuna fish (you can use 2 small cans or 1 large can)
Cream of Mushroom soup

Steps
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Bring pot of water to boil; add noodles and stir.  Cook until done, drain & rinse with hot water.
Drain tuna and break chunks up.
Add ½-3/4 cup milk to soup.  (I usually put soup in 1 qt. pot over low heat and gradually stir in milk.)
Grease casserole dish with butter or margarine.
Layer noodles, tuna, soup (thin), & repeat, ending with soup.
Cook 1 hour.

*If you want to add peas or another veggie to the recipe, you definitely can!

 

 

Eggplant and Mozzerella

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Ingredients

Eggplant Recipes – use a rimmed cookie sheet for both
Eggplant Sorrento Style
2 medium to large eggplants (approx. 2 lbs. total), sliced about 1/4-inch thick
¼ c. extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper
4 ripe tomatoes, sliced approx. ¼-inch thick
1 lb. mozzarella cheese, sliced thin
24 large basil leaves

Steps
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place eggplant slices on lightly oiled baking sheets. Brush both sides with olive oil (you can use olive oil spray instead).  Bake until softened, about 10 min.  Turn & bake until almost tender throughout, about 5 min. more.  Remove from oven.  Add salt & pepper (I don’t use this). Top with 1 slice of tomato, 1 slice of mozzarella and a basil leaf. Bake until cheese melts (5 min. or so).  Serve immediately.

 

If you have an easy recipe you want me to try, please share it! Enjoy!

Back To School!

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Ok, well it might be the second fall that I’m not going to be in school, but I still love all of the back to school sales and items that go with starting school. Here are two of my favorite things:

  1. Planners! I love agendas, they possibly could be my favorite accessory. I typically get a Lilly Pulitzer agenda, but this year I didn’t like the patterns and decided to get something new. This year I got a ban.do planner, and I am obsessed. I got the planner that says I Am Very Busy in blue. Ban.do planners are cute, simple but fun, and have motivational says on certain days. I can’t wait to start using it in August!
  2. My second favorite thing is the Nordstrom Anniversary sale! I rarely buy a lot of clothes at once, but this year I needed some new clothes for work so I decided it was worth the splurge. I got 7 items, and I love all of them. Here are the links to the items I bought:
    • The Bouclé & Knit Drape Collar Jacket is super cute, and a perfect weight for wearing in the office.

    • The Belted Short Sleeve Top is perfect for fall, and comes in lovely colors for fall. I got the shirt in the green and navy, and I can’t wait to wear it!

    • I am obsessed with the Short Sleeve Chiffon Top in Garnet. It fits perfectly and the color is amazing; just don’t wear it in the heat if you get hot easily.
    • Another item that I love is the Halogen® Kick Flare Knit Ankle Pants. They are perfect for someone who is short, and doesn’t want to alter another pair of pants. They aren’t on Nordstrom’s website anymore, but you should definitely monitor it for them!
    • I bought one pair of shoes, the Vans ‘Classic’ Slip-On Sneaker in Black Patent Leather.  I bought the shoes to wear to work because I’m recovering from a stress fracture in my foot, and I needed a pair of gym shoes that didn’t look like gym shoes.
    • The final item that I bought was the Hooded Longline Cardigan in the Trend Section of the store. It is made by BP, which is the Nordstrom juniors brand. The sweater is super comfy, and perfect for fall weather.

I hope that everyone takes advantage of the Nordstrom Anniversary sale because there are tons of good deals on high quality items! Happy Fall Shopping 🙂