Category Archives: 20something Musings

More 20-something musings.

Rainy day and umbrella girl

It’s just been one of those days. The kind where you wake up on the proverbial wrong side of the bed, nothing goes right, and no matter how much work you get through, the to-do list keeps growing.  In spite of my commitment to remaining positive in the face of adversity, today simply has me beat. The dogs stole my favorite cozy house socks and chewed them up, not once but three times. My lovely new car ended up in the shop less than a week after we bought it, and the hubby’s car, apparently a magnet for nails and other sharp objects, got a flat tire immediately following a client meeting. Stranded in front of a florist’s shop in Hollywood, I waited half an hour for the (very rude) AAA guy to arrive and change my tire. He felt that speaking on the cell phone with his paramour the entire time he was changing my tire was an appropriate thing to do. Let me assure you, it was not.

The hubby, my go-to source for peace and happiness, is traveling on business and can’t help too much from thousands of miles away. When I called dear old mom for a pick me up, all I got was more bad news dumped on my head. And by ‘more bad news’ I mean guilt, insults, and a lot of really, really bad news. Yes, it was just one of those days.

In my opinion, being in your mid-twenties is just as confusing as being a teenager. Not only do you go through the same soul-searching about who you really are and what you want to do with your life, but you also have the added responsibility of car payments, student loans, rent, grocery bills, parental issues, and friends with expensive tastes… who like to eat out… a lot. I wish I could just throw caution to the wind and leap blindly into life, hoping that the soft clouds of ambition, hard work and good luck will catch my fall. But I simply can’t, knowing that one paycheck can’t sustain our lifestyle, and knowing that my parents, who I’ve always turned to for assistance, suddenly find themselves in a worse position than I am.

Blech – the growing pains of the Quarterlife Crisis. With issues like these, I’m looking forward to my 30s like a kid dreaming of Santa. (And if you have some age advice like, “you’ll only have a whole new host of issues in your 30s”… now’s not the time to share. Don’t burst my splendid vision of the future, not just yet ;). For now, all I can really do is count my blessings, have faith and keep on trekking.  If you’ve already suffered through a quarterlife crisis, how did you finally get through it?

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My Best Friend’s Wedding…

… or alternately, Adventures in Wedding Planning. Be forewarned – this post is a wry glimpse inside my personal life, not a fluff piece on fashion, and is much longer than my usual posts. It also – gasp! – doesn’t have any pretty pictures to go along with it.  So consider yourself warned, and read at your own risk. 🙂

As some of you may (or may not) know, I have a passion for event planning as well as writing and marketing. When my good friend J – who claimed the title of “Bestestest Friend” in the fourth grade – asked me to plan her wedding, I wholeheartedly threw myself into the affair.  After months of helping her pick the venue and vendors, design coordinating menus, napkins, table numbers, ceremony programs, place cards, stuff favors and create a precise day of schedule, the wedding day arrived last Friday.

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Need… Vacation… Now…

Working around the clock has been starting to get to me. When I’m absurdly busy and stressed to the nines, unfortunately one of my favorite projects, this blog, is the thing that inevitably ends up suffering. I blogged a while back about finding my new path, and it has been the most amazing ride so far. I am starting to book new clients, which is a thrill in itself – I feel so privileged to work with these amazing women to help them create their perfect day. I’ve also already met so many fantastic vendors who I’m brimming with excitement to work with.

However, I’m currently doing a balancing act with my new venture and with writing (until the planning gets off the ground fully), so I feel like I’m working double shifts… and I desperately need a vacation. So when I saw these gorgeous Cruise ’09 ads for Michael Kors I was basically salivating for a getaway. I think the only thing getting me through the work days is a Vegas trip planned for the end of this month (sadly only 2 days), and the much-anticipated trip to Maui (5 days, woot!)  in September.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with these fabulous Mario Testino shots of the Michael Kors Cruise ’09 ad campaign. If you stare at the images long and enough and close your eyes, you can almost see yourself in the location, basking in the sun and wearing fabulously chic cruise wear. Or is that just me? 🙂
michael kors ad

michael kors ad 1

michael kors ad 2

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Quarterlife Career Musings…

prime-meridian-2-croppedprime-meridian-11

Being in your mid-20s isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Forget the fun, fortune and fame of The Hills and welcome to the grim reality of post-college life.

It’s truly an odd place; stuck in the middle of the complete dependence of your devil-may-care college years and the fully independent, responsibility-laden promised land of your thirties. There’s a certain heaviness about it all, as if the choices you make and paths you wander down now will determine the next ten or twenty years of your life. And often times, they do.

The thing I’m struggling with right now is the importance of my next big career move. After freelancing and wearing a million different hats during the past year and a half, it feels like the right time to settle down and move confidently in the direction of my future. Finding that path to head down, however, is proving to be quite the challenge. The biggest problem is the plethora of equally viable options that I can see myself pursuing. Writer/ Editor? Definitely.  Business School for an MBA? Why not! Event/ Wedding Planner? Sign me up. Entrepreneur? Heck, yes.   With interests so varied and a penchant for enjoying both the analytical as well as creative aspects of a job, I’m left torn down the middle. This dilemma conjures a picture I have of myself happily straddling the Prime Meridian in Greenwich wearing pink heart rain boots, hair in pigtails and a goofy grin on my face; only this time half of me is standing in the artist’s world of uber-creativity, while the other half is planted firmly in the c-suite behind balance sheets and cash flow statements.

It begs the question, was college worth it? I toiled, I studied, I aced my exams, and then I graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Communication and a minor in Business. Over the four years at USC I learned all about public relations, communication theory, public speaking, presentations, management, finance and accounting. But I never learned what I truly enjoyed doing, or what I was passionate about.

The hard work throughout college resulted in a job that started the week after graduation at a top PR firm. I felt accomplished and proud of myself, but deep down I was also utterly, hopelessly lost and confused. There was nothing in particular that made me want to pursue public relations, except that it was the field of my first unpaid internship, which allowed me to get a paid internship, which built up my post-college resume and helped me land the PR job. I felt like I had thoughtlessly taken a few steps down a path that suddenly turned into a steep hill. Without noticing what was happening at the time, my life turned into a slippery slope where one silly internship steamrolled into my chosen career field. Eight months later, stressed, depressed and miserable, I finally found the courage to try something else.

Writing freed me, and the ability to think creatively felt like an underused muscle I was just beginning to rediscover. I realized that my college years somehow robbed me of the ability to be creative, follow my heart and truly know myself. Though the past two years have been therapeutic and freeing, I still can’t tell you my ten-year plan. Instead, I’m trying to focus on staying in the here and now, and actively pursuing things that I truly enjoy. I always have and always will love the freedom of creative expression that I feel from writing, but I’ve also found that the life of a work-from-home freelancer has its drawbacks.

Yes, sitting at home in my (undeniably stylish) pajamas and staring at a computer has left me yearning for some daily human interaction.  Mike is always up for a chat, coffee or a nice long walk, but I still miss the boost of collaboration – working together, pooling ideas and resources, and coming up with a smashing result that’s greater than the sum of everyone’s parts.

Over the past few months, I’ve found myself drawn deliciously deeper into the realm of pursuing event & wedding planning – a process that requires countless hours of creative collaboration. As you know if you’re a regular reader, I’m already planning my good friend’s wedding from top to bottom – and am having an absolute ball. I love calling the vendors, researching the best options, creating design ideas, and seeing them come to fruition. Every day in event planning brings a new possibility and a new challenge to create something beautiful for your client – and I simply can’t get enough of beautiful things.

As I counsel other friends on their events, throw my own and plan every little detail for Jenny’s upcoming nuptials, I see that doing this full time is something I could really throw myself into wholeheartedly.  After much hemming and hawing, last week I decided to dip my toe into the pond by choosing a name { The Stylish Soiree } and reserving the URL.  The Stylish Soiree: The art of crafting impeccable events with style.  It’s definitely me, and I’m infinitely excited to jump in with both feet as soon as I have time to build the site.  Is it my life calling? Maybe, maybe not. But it’s certainly a place to start.

So, while I still don’t have my ten year plan, what I do have is a new direction. Writing is and always will be my first love, and I do not intend to give up on it while pursuing event planning. The beauty of having two work-from-home jobs is that I can arrange my schedule to include both without sacrifice, and embrace both the business side and the world of the creative. That girl with pigtails and pink heart rainboots? Looks like she can have the best of both worlds after all.

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Living Vicariously Through Words

berry-wreath-on-door-compressed1

Exhibit A: My crafty attempt (made from scratch!) to divert attention from the ugly color of our door.

Christmas is just around the corner, and I am frighteningly ill-prepared. This being our first official Christmas as a married couple, visions of hot cocoa, eggnog and Christmas tree decorating danced in my head. The visions first danced two months ago, but sadly they have yet to come to fruition. The best I have to show for my delusions of grandeur is a berry wreath on our front door. However, this was more out of necessity than mirth, since our front door is painted the most hideous shade of puke-orange-brown-peach and needed something to dress up its fugliness.

The worst part of all this is that I was SO excited for Christmas this year. I started writing holiday content for Celebrations months ago, which jump-started my holiday spirit.  It looks like I’m going to have to live vicariously through my articles this year, but the good news is if you are also a holiday slacker, you can too. Or, if you’re feeling overly ambitious and want to throw a fabulous party, the articles will be useful as well as entertaining (my personal faves are the New Year’s party articles):

Nature-Inspired Christmas Tree Decorations

Mad Men Themed Holiday Party (best show ever)

Delicious Hanukkah Recipes

Lovely DIY Christmas Wreaths (see pic above)

New Year’s Eve Party on a Budget (a fab fete for under $100)

Top 5 Places to Celebrate New Year’s Eve

Host a New Year’s Brunch (lots of deee-licious recipes to try…mmmm)

I hope you find some useful ideas in the above articles. While I’m okay with living vicariously through the written word, I hope someone will enjoy executing my ideas this holiday season. 🙂 For me, there is always next year.

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Rules for Better Living

cioppino-pic-2Now that all of my suppressed anger has been released, I can focus on better, happier things once again. 🙂 Last week the hubby and I decided we were being pathetically sloth-like and boring, so we came up with a list of “Rules for Better Living” (which explains the pic of the discarded shells to the left) to jump start our lives.

The rules are as follows:

1. No computer after 6 pm (by far the hardest rule for me!)

2. No TV until 8 pm

3. Must get out of the house for at least two hours each and every day

4. Try one new recipe every week

5. Walk the dogs every day Continue reading

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Stupidity Kills.

monkey-see-monkey-doOne of my all-time favorite quotes is:

“The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity. But not in that order.”

That nifty little quote pretty much sums up the way I feel about the majority of idiots I’ve encountered lately. From customer service representatives to bureaucrats to crazy drivers on the road, I feel like the walls of stupidity are rapidly closing in, suffocating me in a slow and painful death.

What worries me most in corporate America is the lack of useful intelligence (street / business smarts, if you will), consideration for others, and the prevalence of idiots in upper management. It really makes me marvel at how certain companies got to where they are today with such dingbats in charge.  Perhaps this is how the economy found itself in such a nasty quagmire.  Keep flailing without direction from above, and you are guaranteed to sink deeper and deeper into crap.

Whatever happened to employees taking pride in their work, wanting to do their job well, making customers happy, and helping grow the business? Whatever happened to bosses who kept their eye out for emerging talent, promoted from within, and rewarded those who produce superior work? If you’re doing it right, you should be rewarded, not held back with all the other inept fools who can’t seem to figure it out. This isn’t kindergarten, people – if you’re a screw-up, you shouldn’t be coddled or given a pat on the back – you should be joining many of the quality workers whose oft-misguided managers sent them to the unemployment line. Continue reading

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