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Peace Out 2014

Hey there, long time no write! I feel like I’m virtually dusting off this blog in order to write this post. I’m almost embarrassed that it’s been three months since my last entry. But, no use dwelling on the past, let’s look to the future.

It’s that time of year again when we all write down resolutions, renew the gym membership and swear we’re going to make this year the best one yet. Well, that’s wonderful but it’s something we should be doing all year-long, not just in January. So while I wasn’t blogging as much this year, I was:

– Developing my personal brand at work. As a young professional new to my role, I had the perfect opportunity during the last year to build my brand and network. I think I’ve done a fairly good job of that. Now it’s time to refine and focus on specific areas of interest.

– Volunteering. This was a big theme for me in 2014. I coached my brother’s little league team this spring. I also taught grammar school through a program at work and became a big sister through Big Brothers, Big Sisters. I find dedicating your time versus your money to be so rewarding.

– Traveling. I mean, we’ve discussed this already. California, Colorado, Chicago, Myrtle Beach, Florida, Philly (my second home) and the big ones: London and Paris. How many 20-somethings have that list of travel on their resume in just one year?! Not many is the answer. Traveling, whether it be for work or for pleasure, broadened my perspective and gave me some unforgettable memories.

– Sweating it. Exercise played a big role in 2014. I refound my love for Zumba and created a mini family there. I also stretched myself both literally and figuratively during yoga and continued to run, completing five races in 2014. While all the weight hasn’t fallen off, I do feel better both physically and mentally.

Looking back, 2014 was pretty awesome. I learned a lot, grew in ways I didn’t know possible and kind of, sort of figured out a plan for the future. A couple of areas I hope to focus on in 2015 are:

– More travel! Shocking, I know! The first vacation of 2015 is already in the works. I also plan to take more advantage of my work trips. Travel is just good for the soul.

– Being more mindful. This is going to be in all areas of my life. I’ll share more about how this is going to happen later with a book review. But, generally, I want to focus more and be reaching my maximum potential at all time (or almost all the time). What does being at my best look like? That’s the big question for 2015.

– This blog! Unfortunately, this blog has taken a backseat in my ever busy life. That’s going to change in 2015. I have plans for a redesign, several mini series including one about Lean In and some book reviews. It’s going to take time but it will happen! The next post you can expect is my second entry in Jessica Lawlor’s Get Gutsy essay contest!

I hope you take the time to review your 2014 and plan for 2015. Let’s make a deal to check-in throughout the year on our progress. Wishing you another rockstar year!

2015

Leaps of Faith in 2013

Getting gutsy is all about stepping outside your comfort zone to reach your goals. I’m participating in Jessica Lawlor’s #GetGutsy Essay Contest. To get involved and share your own gutsy story, check out this post for contest details.

Jumping fire during my first 5K

Jumping fire during my first 5K

When I think about the last year, two words come to mind: comfort zone. 2013 was an amazing year filled with many successes, a couple of failures and several leaps of faith. I am not one to readily jump out of my comfort zone to try something new. I like things a certain way; routines are a way of life for me. But, what I learned this year was that I can keep my routine while trying new things that provide a different perspective on life.

The biggest leap outside my comfort zone for 2013 had to be running my first 5K. Not only was it a 5K but it was a mud run complete with about 20 obstacles. Go big or go home, right? If you would have asked me a year ago today if I’d run a 5K, I would have laughed in your face. I said I never liked running without actually giving it a try. Now, while I am not an avid runner, I do enjoy running to clear my head and relax. I ran two 5K races in 2013; the goal for 2014 is to run three including Mudderella.

My next leap of faith was taken in New York City when I decided to go after a permanent job at the company I had be contracting for during the last year. When I started this job in November of 2012, I was unsure of what the future would hold. After contracting for nine months, the specific job I wanted posted on our company’s internal website. I applied instantly, knowing that this job was right for me. The job itself is outside of my comfort zone; it is not what I had planned nor it is a strictly communications job. But right now, it challenges me daily and allows me to build a variety of skill sets. The professional move outside of my career comfort zone has paid off tenfold.

Getting gutsy and making decisions outside of my comfort zone does not mean my routine or life has to be drastically altered. I was so scared of the unknown but found it can be an eye-opening experience. The last 365 have been packed with new experiences, memories and goals. My plan for 2014 is to keep pushing myself to the outer limits of my comfort zone while growing and learning during the process. This blog will see a complete overhaul in the coming weeks and I plan to travel to Europe in the early spring. These goals and others will help me stay gutsy in 2014.

What have you done recently that was outside your comfort zone? How was that experience? Please feel free to share with me!

Thank you Summer 2013

With most children starting school today, I thought it would be a great time to reflect on my summer. Obviously, I was pretty busy! The end of summer is just the right time to look back on what you accomplished and set new goals for the fall.

When I was a Resident Assistant at Temple University, at the start of the spring semester, we did an exercise called “stop, start, continue.” As a staff, we listed out activities or behaviors we wanted to stop, to start and to continue.  I thought I’d organize all I learned this summer into those categories.

Stop:

  • Spending money: While it’s perfectly fine to believe in the phrase, “work hard, play hard,” I have to limit how much I spend on extra things. I am still living at home so it’s the opportune time to save. The fabulous ladies at Levo League posted a great article about when to dip into your savings. Wish I had read this sooner!
  • Feeling guilty: More to come on this topic later in the month. But I’m learning to feel less guilty about having a good job, making money, spending time with my friends over my family and vice versa. My life, my time.
  • Freaking out about work: As important as a job is, it’s just a job, not a life. While I love my current job, it doesn’t have to be forever. As the perpetual over thinker, I have to stop obsessing over the future and just keep moving forward

Start:

  • Traveling more: I am fortunate to travel for work frequently but this is different. I want to plan weekends away with my girlfriends and cousins; to visit new places, explore and be curious.
  • Being confident: Expect a post about this soon as well. I tend to downplay my abilities both at work and in my personal life. At almost twenty-three, it’s time to own my awesomeness instead of shying away from it.

Continue:

  • Blogging: I thoroughly enjoy writing and updating this blog weekly. Over the summer, other things took up my time. However, starting now, this blog will be my area of focus. Writing and sharing my thoughts is something I am passionate about so I have to make it a priority.
  • Running: I started running back in March and completed two races. It felt great and I saw its benefits in my body and in how I felt. It’s time to restart and get back into the healthy lifestyle groove.

As you can see, I learned a lot this summer and am so glad I used those sunny Saturday afternoons to grow and better myself. What did your learn from your summer? Do you have any goals for the fall? Please share!

Liebster Award

Yesterday morning, I received a notification that my new friend and fellow blogger, Christine from {Rules for} the Modern Girl nominated my blog for a Liebster Award. After doing some research, it seems there’s no criteria or official nomination process. But rather it’s an award given to fellow bloggers and passed along. I think it’s an awesome way to show your fellow bloggers love and for everyone to learn more about you. You must complete these 5 items when given the award:

liebster1. Share 11 things about yourself
2. Answer the 11 questions given to you
3. Choose 5 fellow bloggers to nominate
4. Think of 11 questions to ask the bloggers you have decided to nominate.
5. Thank the person that nominated you and link back to their blog.

11 Things about Me

1. I am 100 percent Italian and way too proud of it.

2. I could eat peanut butter everyday.

3. I’ve known my best friend for 17 years.

4. I was a cheerleader for 13 years and absolutely loved it.

5. I’m terrified of snakes.

6. I have 11 first cousins.

7. My first concert was the Spice Girls.

8. I’ve worn my LiveStrong band since 2004 and refuse to take it off.

9. I had perfect attendance in high school.

10. I was speaking in full sentences by 18 months old.

11. I refuse to eat ketchup, mustard or mayo.

Christine’s 11 Questions for Me:

1) If you could meet anyone, who would it be?

My grandfather (my mom’s dad). He passed away before I was born.

2) What is your favorite song to sing in the shower?

That’s a hard one! Ain’t No Mountain High Enough never fails.

3) If you could take a trip anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Las Vegas with my best friends.

4) What is your most prized possession?

As silly as it sounds, a Dalmatian stuffed animal. I’ve had him since I was born.

5) What is your favorite perfume or scent?

Love SJP NYC probably because I’m obsessed with Sarah Jessica Parker.

6) When you were a little kid what did you want to be when you grew up?

At age 3, I wanted to be a hairdresser and marry Tellie Monster from Sesame Street. In grade school, a doctor then in high school, a writer.

7) High heels or flats?  And why?

Anyone who’s gone out with me knows flats. I’m just not comfortable in heels. I need to learn how to walk and dance better in them!

8) When the Olympics were on last summer, what was your favorite event to watch?

Hands down, gymnastics!

9) If you had $500 to spend on anything what would you buy?

$500 couldn’t get me an apartment, right? New spring clothes and shoes.

10) What are your ideal New Year’s Eve plans?

Dancing and popping champagne with my best friends.

11) Who writes your favorite blog?

It’s hard to pick a favorite! At the moment, I’m obsessed with my friend Brianna’s blog, C’est la vie. She is documenting her study abroad experience in Paris. I feel like I am there with her!

My Nominations (Painfully Hard Decision)

Lauren from Lauren Cox 

Niki from When the Girl Meets World

Sarah from How Goes the Struggle?

Jason from One Guy’s Journey 

Brianna from C’est la vie 

11 Questions for You! (They’re going to hate me!) 

1. If you had a superpower, what would it be and why?

2. What’s the toughest decision you had to make?

3. Do you believe in God? Why or why not?

4. What’s the best way to spend a Saturday afternoon?

5. How old were you when you figured out what love was?

6. Peanut butter or jelly?

7. If you were forced to get a tattoo, what would you get?

8. Coke or Pepsi?

9. Finish the sentence: My best friend is my best friend because…

10. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in the last year?

11. Why did you start your blog?

Thanks so much Christine for nominating me and for your continued support!

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