Friday Favorites (5)

Time for more Friday Favorites! No photos today because I am completely pooped, sorry!

Field Days

Our marketing department had a field day yesterday and it was so much fun. Remember having field day in elementary school? It’s just a great way to get outside, get bonding, and get competitive. I may have overhyped my dizzy bat skills / gotten nervous and thrown my strategy out the window. Dizzy bat protips:

  • It is worth it to spin slower so that you can run better
  • It is also worth it to take a moment to regain stability before you start running
  • Closing your eyes helps some people, but not all people

There is no way to do dizzy bat and still be graceful. That is why it is great for bringing people together. It is a great equalizer.

warmer Weather

Even though… the temperature jumped up a little TOO fast this week. It was 80° today and yet I could see my breath walking to work just a few days ago. That’s DC weather for you. However, it is nice to be able to be outside and NOT see your breath, to not wear a coat. I don’t love wearing a lot of layers too often, because sometimes I feel stifled (especially after wearing 6 layers in Harbin…). Warmer weather means winter is really gone (or… on its way out, I don’t want to jinx anything) and that spring is more or less here.

Happy Hours

Even though I don’t really drink, I like that happy hour is a space where I can get together with friends and we can all unwind together. The workday feels really long some days, and I was surprised at how much a happy hour special can turn those days around. Similar to how I enjoy the unacknowledged camaraderie of commuting on the train, I also enjoy the usually unacknowledged camaraderie of leaving your work worries at the door for a magical moment of food and drink.

Payless dexflex flats

I wear these every day to work, unless I wear boots in anticipation of rain. I found them before my Europe trip when I was looking for comfortable walking shoes that weren’t sneakers. A really friendly sales associate asked if I needed help, and while I usually say “nah thanks though”, I accepted and she immediately pointed to her own feet and said that these shoes are amazingly comfortable. She wears them for her on-her-feet jobs and they are cute and come in different colors. They’ve got memory foam in the soles. I was so sold.

I own them in black and in nude so that I have a pair for essentially every outfit. (Fun fact: These are my first and only pair of nude shoes. I still think nude shoes are kinda weird as a concept but these work.) Every now and then, they’ll offer new colors and the reviews are overwhelmingly positive: 296 out of 311 would recommend them and they have a solid 5 star rating on the Payless website.  They really are extremely comfortable and many of my friends own the shoes. The only real downside is, at the end of the night, leaving someone’s place and trying to figure out whose flats are whose.

Friendly People

One thing about being alone for most of my little gap of unemployment was that I somehow forgot how friendly and nice and helpful people are! It’s just really great to be reminded of that every day. Whether it’s my coworkers, people at Yelp events, or even strangers in bars and on the train, you can’t help but feel a warm and fuzzy faith-in-humanity feeling in your chest when someone smiles at you and genuinely wants to help you. Sometimes you hate people, but sometimes you just gotta love ’em.

What are you loving this week?
What are your most comfortable shoes?
Did you have any moments that just made you love humanity?
Are you excited for warmer weather? Or do you live somewhere where the temperature doesn’t change much?

Friday Favorites (4)

Hello hello!

It has been a hectic week, with me starting BEDA and also starting a new job.

It’s only the 4th of the month and I’m already struggling a bit to blog every single day, but it’s a good exercise and I already committed to doing this so LET’S GO! This week is mostly a lot of feelings.

Alumni Associations

As a student, I was always SUPER involved with extracurricular activities. Now that I’ve graduated, I find that channeling some of that energy into alumni activities is really fun. My school’s honors program is starting its own alum program, which is long overdue, and I got so excited at the brainstorming kickoff event. I can’t wait to be more involved and to bring together fellow alums!

Blush Med institute

I attended an event at Blush Med Institute, where I basically got to do a trial run of their services. I got a skin consultation, where the dermatologist used this fancy machine to confirm my statement of “I have true combination skin – oily T-zone and dry cheeks” by using some light to show my T-zone with orange spots and my cheeks with white spots whaaaaat. SORCERY!

I also got a short facial (mmm), a massage (mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm), an LED light treatment, and microdermabrasion. ALSO Tout de Sweet was kind enough to provide their DELICIOUS and SUPER COLORFUL macarons. (Photos to come later!) It was a really relaxing afternoon and I was really in need of that before my first day of work. Plus, all of the staff was so incredibly nice! Love love loved it, I highly recommend their membership to anyone in the area.

Having a Schedule

I won’t sugar-coat it for you: I was going pretty crazy during the interim period between my old job and my new job. Every day, I lazed around, with no specific goals after I got hired, and no agenda for any given day except attempting to clean my room (hahahahahaha) (ahem).

Now, not only do I have, essentially, a concrete purpose every day, I have a very set schedule. Start times, end times, meeting times.

This is the stuff I live for. I love having things planned ahead of time.

Having regular social interactions

Again, being at home alone was killing me. I’m an extroverted person most of the time, so my extremely limited social interaction was actually draining me. Talking to my new coworkers and going to happy hour to just unstress and laugh with other people is what recharges me. I like being surrounded by people. And since it’s orientation, almost all of the people are SMILING AT ME that’s awesome.

Getting Home!

I have a really long commute (1.5 – 2 hours each way…) so finally making it home is a really beautiful feeling, even though I’m completely BEAT when I do.

NOT the HIMYM Series Finale

But maybe the fact that no one else seems to have liked it either. I do really like many of the posts that have popped up as a result of this shared disappointment. I will tell you all about it really soon!

Tell me about your week! We need to catch up 🙂

Friday Favorites (3)

Here we go, it’s my 3rd Friday Favorites round-up and I don’t have a theme in mind so HERE WE GO!

“Starry nite” scented oil

From Cha's Fragrances
From Cha’s Fragrances

Every year, my family goes up to the Poconos at some point in the year. One of our traditions is to visit the flea market. Now we haven’t been to the flea market in a few years, and when we came back, they had moved it to a smaller location. It’s just not as good as it once was.

ANYHOO. Every now and then, my dad will buy some essential oils or potpourri. This time around, he said I should pick out a little fragrance for myself. My options ranged from rose and jasmine to “Marc Jacobs Daisy” or “Chanel No. 5”. But you know me, I see “star” (or better yet, “STARR”) and I go !!!

So I picked up this oil called “Starry Nite” and I haven’t used it at all because I don’t know how to use essential oils, really. I diluted this with some water and spritzed it around my room, and my room smells nice now. Not quite like a starry night, but nice regardless.
Bonus: I finally found a use for the little spritz bottle I’ve been saving!

Marc Jacobs Daisy rollerball

You can tell I've had this for a while by how worn the box is... oops!
You can tell I’ve had this for a while by how worn the box is… oops!

Okay, this is another fragrance-related thing, but it’s one of my favorite perfumes/scents. I bought the rollerball for myself a long time ago — because I’m much to cheap to buy a whole bottle of perfume, especially considering I don’t really wear perfume — and I decided this will be the year I actually use it for the warmer seasons. It snowed this past Monday, but I know warmer weather has to come around eventually. The scent is so great (I often just hold it to my nose to get a fix) and rollerballs rock because they’re so portable. Yey.

Day Dresses

"Florals? For spring? Groundbreaking."
“Florals? For spring? Groundbreaking.”

I realized that I mostly only own semi-formal dresses. Dresses, to me, signal some serious business. But they’re an easy outfit when it gets warmer because you don’t have to match your tops and bottoms – it’s already done for you. Yesssssssssssss a lazy girl’s dream.

Bonus: I now own dresses with POCKETS! 😀 <happy dance>

Baci Perugina

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Yum! The love note said “A friend to all is a friend to none.” … not very loving…

Baci Perugina is chocolate that comes from Italy. The first time I had it, my dad brought me this treat all the way from a business trip in Italy. I loved it because there’s hazelnut and, best of all, a cute little love note written in multiple languages. I found out a short while back that TJ Maxx sometimes carries these yummy little chocolates! Super score! The chocolate is really yummy and the love notes are like an extra pick-me-up to go with the treats.

Coreworks Fitness

This is a studio near my house where I bought a Groupon a few weeks ago and have only just started using. The first time I went was a bit of a disaster, which I’ll tell you about another time. I nearly passed out because I didn’t have enough water or breakfast, but my instructor was super nice and helpful. She was attentive to me even as I was sitting out trying to recover. The facilities are super duper nice and clean. You can do pilates, yoga, barre classes. I even got to try out a reformer class, which was overwhelming because I’ve never done an equipment class before, but I had a lot of fun and that instructor was also super duper to me. (Plus my barre instructor did the class with us and was helping me out.) The staff is just super great, and I love the facility a lot. The place kicks my butt constantly, but I like it regardless. I just have to find which class is best for me, and I’m pretty excited to do so! (I’ll write up a more in-depth post about this studio soon.)

What have you been loving lately?
What are you favorite spring and summer fragrances?

Friday Favorites (Pi Day!)

Today is Pi Day, so I thought I’d dedicate some of today’s Friday Favorites to my favorite types of pie.

Now I gotta be real with you guys: I really like pie. A lot. There is a heated pie vs. cake debate, and I don’t want to get started there because I don’t understand who is making anyone choose, you can have both.

I digress.

Here is a list of my favorite pies!

  • Apple, ever the all-American classic
  • Pumpkin, which I really only eat around Thanksgiving but I’m sure it tastes good all year round
  • Cherry, although sometimes the tartness is too tart
  • Key lime, where my current favorite is served at Red Lobster (it is so good) (so good)
  • Chicken pot pie, which is the first and only pie I’ve really eaten that is not a dessert pie
  • Pizza, because I’m from New Jersey and apparently not everyone calls it a pizza pie?
    Gooey Melty Thin Crust Cheese Pizza

Non-themed roundups may come eventually. XD

Happy Pi Day! What are you favorite pies?

Friday Favorites! (Special edition: China)

I was inspired by Julie aka PBFingers, who has her own “Things I’m Loving Friday” series on her blog, to start my own little roundup. (P.S. Julie is one of my favorite bloggers; I highly recommend PBFingers if you are into fitness, food, and fun.) This will just be a roundup of things that I am currently a fan of, or dedications to single things that I like, so much so that I wanted to share them here!

Although I likely won’t have a roundup/dedication available every single Friday, I’ll try to post whenever I have a nice list of things that I really enjoyed recently.

Without further ado, here is today’s roundup, which will be a special edition  that focuses on things I am a fan of from China, to be followed soon by another recap post.

Condiment Caddies

A dumpling shop caddy with soy sauce, black vinegar, minced garlic, brown mustard, and chili sauce

American condiment caddies usually have ketchup and mustard. (Unless you’re at IHOP, in which case, you get lots of syrup.) I’m not knocking ketchup (I love ketchup!) but in China, soy sauce is king. And in lieu of mustard, Chinese chili sauce/oil is super yummy. Also, if you go to a place that specializes in dumplings or noodles, they will have vinegar (usually black vinegar for dumpling shops, sometimes red for noodle shops). Other possible things could be things like brown mustard (none of that bright yellow stuff) and minced garlic. Lots of yummies going on, and I don’t know why exactly but I was such a sucker for it!

FOOD

Say it with me: omnomnomnomnommmmm

Okay, let’s be real here, you guys. Chinese food (which is just regular food in China, yes) is SO good. Here are a few of my favorite things that I eat when I go back:

  • Peking duck, which tastes even better with an accompanying duck soup and is a delicious nice meal to have. Someone served it to me with pop rocks, and it was weird. Peking duck is a treat and I enjoy it loads. You can have too much, though, so be careful!
  • Hot pot is something that I eat here really often, but it’s extra special over there. They do it up proper, yo. There aren’t enough hot pot restaurants in this country. (Yet?)
  • 拔丝地瓜 (basidigua) which is a kind of sweet potato/yam that is cooked with sugar and when you pull a piece off, the sugar is still sticking to it so you have to dip it into cold water to harden it and eat it. There is no way to not be messy while you eat this, but it’s pretty fun. I also have not had this in America before.

Fireworks

As the country that invented fireworks, China does not disappoint here. Where I live, setting off fireworks is illegal, so when I see them outside of big shows, they’re little dinky firecrackers. But I set off some big deal big kid fireworks in China and it was SPECTACULAR although it was way loud.

Unabashed Bundling Up

Not a single pair of shorts or flip-flops in sight!

I don’t know why, but I feel like in America, fashion trumps warmth in the winter. And sometimes, I see boys walking around in gym shorts and flip flops when it’s snowing outside, making me wonder what is going on because gym shorts are no more fashionable to sweatpants. Personally, I always wear at least one pair of leggings/thermals in the winter under my pants because I just cannot stand being really cold. In China, I will never see someone in shorts in the winter, and I’m glad. In fact, when I decided I was going to wear 6 layers to Harbin (and 5 layers of pants), I was encouraged and given down-lined coat to boot. Walking around the streets were guys AND girls with maybe-too-cute mouth covers to keep their faces warm. These are my kind of people.

Unabashed Love for SPF

Again, I get ridiculed quite a bit here for being so very into sun protection, but China is the nation where I can always count on getting a sunbrella in the summer and where all the daytime skincare products have SPF in them. When I cover up any and all exposed skin, I only had one person ask me “Are you trying to avoid getting too much sun exposure?” and when I said yes, that was that. Accepted. No ridicule. Yes thank you very much.

Asian Street Style

You know, even though it’s sometimes way over-the-top or way cutesy for my tastes, I appreciate that I could wear my panda hat around without anyone looking twice, mostly because they had little foxes on their mary janes, or giant lips on their mouth covers, or a badger hoodie, or their own panda hat. So that was kind of nice, despite how overbearing it seemed on particularly cranky days. Also, Asian girls seem to be very into the skater skirt/dress & tights combo, and I dig it. (I don’t like baring my legs, personally, so I’m always down for tights.)

WeChat

This app is available to everyone in the App Store and the Google Play Store, and I like it a lot. My favorite feature is the small voice messages that you can leave in your chats. I like this feature because a) I can hear someone’s voice and b) I really hate typing on my phone. Really really. Talking comes so much more easily to me, you don’t even have to look at the screen to do it. WeChat is HUGE in China. Most companies and TV shows have their own WeChat IDs that you can interact with and it’s one of the online media giants in China along with Weibo and Baidu. (So instead of companies having Facebooks and Twitters and Instagrams and etc. etc., they all have a Weibo and a WeChat.) I wish more people here would use it so that I could type less on my phone and have more friends to talk to with it!

What have you been a fan of lately?
Do you bundle up a LOT in the winter or bundle the bare minimum?
Are there any apps that you wish more people used with you?