Thursday, April 24, 2014

Morning Routine

I am a creature of habit. I drive the exact same routes, wake up at the exact same time and listen to the same playlists over and over until I have the transitions memorized. Although I've been told people with entrenched habits and routines are more likely to develop alzheimer's, it isn't enough for me to give up the comfort of routine. 

I read this article about how people with strict morning routines are more creative. The habit frees up space in your brain for more interesting and important thoughts instead of "Will I shower or eat breakfast first today?" Also, you begin to crave the sense of accomplishment that comes from completing a routine. It's actually quite fascinating.

My morning consists of quickly scrolling through my Twitter feed from the night before (even though I know "they say you shouldn't immediately grab your phone first thing in the morning. Whatever.) Showering followed by the top of the news cycle, typically Good Morning America, while I drink my coffee and eat breakfast (toast with jam and a banana.) Those 30 minutes could be spent under the covers a little longer, but that's the time that I begin to feel like I can actually take on the day ahead. And finally there is makeup, hair, picking an outfit, and packing up all my snacks for the office. And I'm off.

I'm more of a morning person than a night person. And thankfully I was able to work out a work schedule of 8:30 to 5:30, which, (one) allows me to miss the worst of the traffic, and (two) gives me a little extra "me" time when I feel the most alert and productive.

Even in college I took the extra time to wake up a little bit earlier to develop a routine instead of racing around trying to look as presentable as possible before my first class. Perhaps you love working out first thing in the morning. The key to making that happen is by ingraining the action into your morning sequence that you don't have to even think about "where are my shorts? socks? tennis shoes?" Or maybe mornings are your time to write and spark your creativity. Whatever it is, by doing it in the same order morning after morning, you'll have more brainpower to think of the exciting things in life.

What about you? Do you have a routine set in stone or do you begin your day however you feel like it at the time? 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Weekly Wishes No. 21


I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend. Mine was spent back at home making use of my birthday gift to get my nails done. Best two hours I have spent in a while. I also went to the new Mexican restaurant by my parent's house, ordered the tortilla soup, and was unpleasantly surprised when they brought out a watery-brothy soup that was like the evil twin of tortilla soup, which I just assumed was tomato based. Wrong. So wrong. Note to the chefs, broth and tortilla chips do not mix well. It was a mushy hot mess. But the fish tacos were spot on, so they made up for the horrible soup. 

Last week I had a lot of things that I wanted to check off my list, such as read this month's book club selection. And well, last night when I went to download it on my Kindle I discovered that it is the only book not available as an ebook, so I'm off to pick it up after work tomorrow. I also wanted to go to bed earlier, and besides Thursday night when I just had to watch the Scandal finale, I think I did a good job with that. I also made an appointment to get my haircut next weekend and worked on editing some of my older posts to make sure the formatting and links are all up to speed. 

And on to this week: 

Find a dentist. And sign up for dental insurance.

Thankfully I can stay on my parent's primary care plan, and just have to get dental. But the whole insurance process kind of baffles me. So I'll be calling around hoping that someone on one of the cheaper plans is currently accepting new patients. 

Find out where the nearest hospital/ER is to my apartment. 

After a brief stomach pain, that in my mind just had to be an appendicitis (for the record, I wasn't sick, I just had one too many spoonfuls of cookie butter), made me realize that I'm not 100% sure where the nearest hospital is. I know it has to be close because there are a lot of doctors and nurses in my building leaving at 4:30 a.m. for work. But I thought about it, and in a state of emergency, I don't think I would be able to navigate myself using my phone's GPS. And I don't know my neighbors well enough to ask them to drive me. So I should probably work on this.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Favorites: Olivia Pope Quotes

I'm writing this before the season finale airs so to not be tempted to, or accidentally, give away any details about last night's episode. I know that once a season ends, I go through some serious Scandal withdrawals. So much so that I always end up starting back at the beginning and watching all the episodes. In my opinion, the first season was brilliant and the show is slowly going downhill, but I'm invested in it, so of course I'm going to stick it out until the end. I the only one who is getting extremely fed up with the Olivia and Fitz tension? Because I'm over it. So over it. 

If you find yourself wondering what you will do in these next few months without our favorite lady in the white hat (and impeccable white suits, coats and gloves), here are my favorite quotes from my favorites at Pope and Associates.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

My First Apartment: Before

I thought I would take the time to give you a little glimpse at my apartment prior to moving in. And by glimpse, I mean this is everything, because it's tiny by non-metropolitan area standards. But that's just less to clean, right? 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Weekly Wishes No. 20

Happy Monday! I've started to realize that I only do Weekly Wishes posts when I can tell you that I successfully completed everything that I set out to do. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? I'm not sure.

Two weeks ago, I wanted to walk every night and free up space on my phone. And although that pesky red notification circle is still on my phone telling me to update my software, I did enjoy the spring nights. 

This week: 

Read this month's book club selection. 

I slacked last month, and I think I may be on a probationary period with Samantha and am on the verge of being kicked out of book club if I don't start taking it seriously haha. Duly noted. Need something to read, too? Join in with this month's pick "How to lose friends and alienate people."

Go to bed earlier. 

Last week was spent flying through the Divergent series (all three books) and since they are so fast paced, I could never quite find a good nightly stopping point. After telling myself it's no big deal, by 3 p.m. I am regretting my decision. 

Find a hair stylist in town.

My long bob has grown out and is at that awkward length of flipping out on my shoulders. I've held out for two months to get it trimmed, but it's time to get it back under control. Cross my fingers I'll find someone who can handle a basic trim. I thought that was a guarantee, but after a very bad experience at school, I am very hesitant to let anyone new touch my hair.

Begin cleaning up my older posts. 

In the beginning I thought it was clever and interesting to center all of my text, but now it's just hard on the eyes to read. So cleaning up the formatting, making sure all photos are linked, and adding SEO when possible. My goal is three posts per week, so this is definitely an ongoing project.

Add categories to my sidebar. 

I've been meaning to organize my posts for ages. Most importantly, grouping all of my travel, life lesson, recipe and design posts so they are easily found. I've started writing a little bit of everything, which I like because I don't just have one passion or focus, but depending on what you are interested reading, I want them to be easier to search through.
The Nectar Collective

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Coffee Talk vol. 13

Hello everyone! I hope you are enjoying your weekend so far. Saturday was spent binge reading Allegient (yes, I know I'm behind this trend, and I hate to admit it. Mixed emotions about the conclusion, but I'll save that for another conversation), finding a short cut from my apartment to Chipotle and browsing for the apartment. P.S. cross your fingers that the rest of my furniture will be delivered by the end of the month! Then the days of sleeping on a mattress on the floor will be behind me.

And now for a few of my favorite posts from this week: 

1. You know my love for House Hunters. It is one of those shows that I can watch for hours on end and not even realize it. All my knowledge of real estate comes from Susan Whang. So of course I love Katie's spoof "The Style Dunce's Official Guide to Apartment Hunting: From an Expert on House Hunters Who Remembers when Suzanne Whang Was Still Hosting."

2. Pretty downloadable/printable card from Victoria at Oh So Pretty.

3. Tired of stalking every grocery store in your area in search of girl scouts selling cookies? Why not make your own dulce de leche samoas at home and avoid the condescending looks when you buy 10 boxes.

4. I'm in love with these illustrated custom family trees.

5. Is your desktop in need of some spring color? Why not try one of these desktop wallpapers on for size? 

6. Jackie's NYC studio apartment is everything and more that I would hope for in a small space. You've probably seen it all over Pinterest. And now it's been featured on Apartment Therapy. Congrats!

7. Wise advice from LC on how to ask for what you want. I always find myself turning my requests more into questions and in an effort to make what I want actually sound like something the other person wants and suggests, I usually end up beating around the bush too much. 

8. My colored skinnies from Paris bit the dust along time ago and I've been meaning in investing in more colored pants. I'm loving these red ones, especially paired with white converse. If I had known that converse were making a comeback, I might have saved mine from high school. oops. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Last minute birthday gift ideas

Image via O'Malley Photographers for Style Me Pretty
What would you do without Facebook reminding you of people's birthdays? If one has snuck up on you. Don't fret. Depending on how long you have to get a gift, from mere hours to a week, I have a perfect gift for the birthday girl

Day of

IOU one fabulous night out.
This is a great option if a friend's birthday falls on a weekday. Acknowledge it, and let her know that you have something extra-special up your sleeve. Whether you organize a spa day, or take her to hear her favorite band, an IOU is an acceptable placeholder.

Dinner and splurge on dessert (candle optional).

Is there a new restaurant you two have been dying to try? But maybe it costs more than an outfit from Target? Go for it! Treat yoself...and more importantly, treat the birthday girl. And get dessert while you're at it.

Treat digital e-card.

And for those friends who do not live nearby, why not send them a dressed up e-card? Add photos of the two of you and make a promise to meet up in the near future to celebrate properly. Although I am still a fan of snail mail, waking up to a pretty e-card in my email inbox isn't such a bad way to start the day.

Three days before

Put together an at-home manicure/pedicure kit.

This is especially thoughtful during the spring and summer. Gather sugar scrubs, thick lotion balms, a pretty nail file and an assortment of polishes. Wrap them up in a box that can double as a storage container and you're set.

Anthro coffee mug and/or jewelry. 

You can never go wrong with an Anthro coffee mug, or their jewelry. Or one of the many colorful books that look just as good on a bookshelf as they are being read in your hand.

Five - seven days before

Instagram prints.

This might take a little bit more effort and shipping time. Gather Instagram prints of the two of your or places you've been together, have them printed or made into magnets. If you want to go above and beyond, swipe her phone for a little bit to have her own photos made into prints. They work great when grouped together in a gallery wall.

Monogrammed stationery. 

There is nothing more classic than monogrammed stationery. And nothing says "I'm an adult," like it either. Who knows, maybe you will even get a thank-you note written on your gift. I like this one, this one and this one

Print of her favorite city or vacation spot.

It's no surprise that Paris still holds a special place in my heart. But maybe your friend is far from home and a little homesick, so you find one of her hometown. Or maybe she loves Italy as much as I love France. A little something to look at everyday reminding her of a time or a place that she has been or is dreaming of going is a thoughtful gift. If Paris her cup of cafe au lait (see what I did there?) then I recommend Anna With Love's recently re-opened photography shop. I'm still trying to decide which ones I want for my apartment!

This site was made with love by Angie Makes