Is anyone already listening to “Sweetener?” I just pulled it up on Spotify and already I’m feeling like her first few songs are very different from her last albums especially early on in her career. I’m willing to give this a fair shot though! I’d be interested in hearing what everyone’s favorite songs are afterwards.
I might be known for being someone that often makes big decisions without thinking them through entirely. Isn’t that what keeps things exciting though? I recently decided to leave my job and as I was figuring out my next move, I knew one thing for sure. I wanted some time off for funemployment. It wasn’t quite clear to me yet if I had enough “rainy day” money saved up, but I just knew that I would be okay. The other thing that I had wanted as part of my time off was to take a mini vacation. It would have been so easy to go back home to Seattle, but I wanted to use this time to explore an area that I hadn’t been before and get out of the city.
The time off was a rollercoaster. It flew by incredibly fast, but it taught me so much in so little time. I can’t wait to share with you below just what those lessons were. One thing I will say though is that this felt like a true vacation versus being employed and having a vacation which are two very different things. In my career, the work never stops and I’ve been known to respond to emails and take urgent calls at all hours of the day even while on vacation. I’m happy to report that some of my biggest decisions that I had to make during my time off were mainly around what I was going to have for lunch or dinner.
1. Back Pocket Money
Let’s revisit that money thing again, shall we? When I was working, I roughly knew about how much I was spending a day for my daily latte, commute, and lunch. On my time off, I thought I could save more because I would be eliminating the commute, but naturally, that budget got rerouted to other things… like clothes, snacks, random things I thought I needed. Since I wouldn’t be working, I also thought I could eliminate coffee, but that proved to be more challenging than I thought. My body was so used to it every day that not having caffeine gave me a slower start to the day or required an afternoon nap. I had to keep a close watch on my budget which meant no excessive spending and being weary of the bills I still had to pay without a check coming in. Even with that in mind, there are some things you can’t predict! That thing was dropping my phone and shattering the screen even WITH the glass screen protector I had on it. It happened right before I was about to leave for my trip and I knew I couldn’t go on it without a phone, but as you can imagine, it was not cheap. My heart sunk having to go through with this, but what other choice did I have?
2. Thinking about nothing is relieving
Every day was a new day for me and not every day came with a challenge. Each morning I woke up with somewhat of a plan of what I wanted to tackle, but I wasn’t on a deadline for it. For the first time in my life, I felt very much in control of my own decision making. My brain felt relaxed and that was a relief. In the moment, it may have felt like mindless activity for the duration, but I knew that this time off was actually preparing me to start work again. If I had left my position and jumped into something immediately, I wouldn’t have had the time I needed to decompress. This may be the recruiter in me saying this, but I do think it’s important to have some space between jobs so that you can properly close the chapter on one story before opening another. On my list of favorite decisions to make: deciding on lunch or dinner, picking out floral arrangements for my vase, and deciding which series I wanted to binge watch on Netflix.
3. Yow Yow! got to have its moment
For years, I always said that Yow Yow! had to take a backseat to the rest of my life because it always came in second to my education and career. It made me wonder for the longest time if I could ever cut it out as a full time writer/blogger. Now that I had this time, I wanted to give it a shot. I wanted to wake up every day and have the space and time to come up with the content I wanted to share. I wrote more posts in this span of time than I ever have during a normal vacation or winter break. The most important part for me was that I never felt rushed. I could spend time with my words and if I could have this all the time while juggling a career, I would be perfectly content. It was incredibly fun to do, but it led me a bigger revelation I had for myself.
4. When it was time to go back to work
One discovery that I had was that as much as I loved working on Yow Yow! I wasn’t having the same impact with writing that I had had in my career with recruiting. Yow Yow! was peaceful, but isolating. It also led me to more creative blocks; something that I don’t face in my career. I started to miss the hustle and bustle of being back in the office, juggling a dozen things at once and having a day that was completely unpredictable. I needed the break sure, but I knew I wasn’t ready for retirement any time soon. Funemployment showed me that there was more growth to be had in my career and new challenges that I wanted to hit.
Tomorrow is day one again and it feels exactly like the first day of school. I know I won’t be able to sleep tonight. I’ve got “eagles” in my stomach (virtual high five if you can nail that reference) and of course, I feel unprepared! One of my biggest worries is that even though it was a short amount of time in some people’s eyes, that I’ll feel rusty going back. Here’s hoping that I can pick up my LinkedIn Recruiter again like a bicycle!
Colouring – Time (Acoustic)
When it comes to home improvement shows, I often feel like I missed the boat on the HGTV craze. I’m the kind of person who wants to make my home feel comfortable for everyone and myself, but I don’t often have the resources or know-how to do it. Airbnb’s fascinate me, especially as someone that grew up loving hotels. When I first saw this trailer for “Stay Here,” I thought it was for another Netflix original film. To my surprise, it’s all about working with property owners to make their short term rentals a place people actually want to stay at. “Stay Here” premieres on Netflix starting August 17th for those of you who are interested!
When I was a student, I loved the idea of working out of a coffee shop or a cafe. However, I was never actually good at it. Naturally, I wasn’t productive. I would get distracted people watching or inviting friends over for a chat wherever I was. Veronica, on the other hand, was great at it. She even met her real life husband through this!
I decided to give this a second chance a couple of weeks ago. I had a lot of open time on my hands and because I wasn’t “working” the only work I had was writing for Yow Yow! Normally when I’m writing posts, it’s from my couch at home (like right now!) There are many positives on taking this route: I can wear whatever I want, I’m comfortable, and it’s free. Did you know that coffee shops and cafes not having WiFi in San Francisco was a thing? My top two options were thrown out because of no WiFi! My motivation for choosing a new setting though was because I wanted a new view. I wondered how I might feel writing in a different place. Would it remove some creative blockers that I had? Could I be inspired by something I saw happen at that moment?
The result? I had the most delicious cinnamon raisin bagel smothered in butter for less than $5. My spot was seated at the window facing the street and staring directly at the new Loving Cup on Divis. Not having a protected screen meant someone watching me write a post about my outfit could have seemed awkward. I didn’t meet anyone, but the alternative is that maybe I didn’t seem approachable.
Working out of a coffee shop or a cafe is one of those ideas that I want to love, but in this day and age, it doesn’t seem like the most feasible. It puts me outside of my comfort zone sure, but it didn’t make me more productive, and it wasn’t free. If I’m this close to home, I don’t think it’s an option I’ll choose again, but if I’m traveling for work and want to get out of my hotel room, I could see myself giving this another shot.
Denim Jacket – Gap / Dress – Azalea / Backpack – Everlane / Shoes – Mom’s / Sunglasses – Marc Jacobs
Growing up, I looked forward to a new wardrobe each school year. My mom and I had a set up where she would give me a budget and the intent was for me to use that only for clothes. It taught me how to spend my money wisely and determine which pieces were crucial to spend on. Did I need five skirts or did I really need two sweaters and a pair of jeans? It also showed me that I could buy more affordable staple pieces through fast fashion retailers and splurge on just one thing that mattered to me if I wanted at the end.
After graduating college, I never intended to go back to school. It’s coincidental now though that me going back to work actually falls right around students returning to campus. I’m grateful that this lesson of school clothes shopping has taught me a better value in wearing clothes for longer than just a year so that I don’t have to do this as an adult. For this shoot, I borrowed my friend Courtney’s Everlane backpack because I thought it worked nicely with my outfit. Even as adults going to work, you still need something to carry all of your belongings. I’ve enjoyed chatting with some of my friends to see what they use for their everyday wear.
For myself personally, I’ve always ended up using my travel bags as a work bag. Initially, I would use them for weekend trips or as my personal item on flights, but now they serve more than one purpose. These days, it’s even tripling up as my bag to store my workout clothes for CorePower. This look reminds me a little bit of my youth and it’s not just because of the mid-calf socks that I’m wearing. I haven’t used a backpack since high school so shooting this 10 years later takes me back.
Lucy Sparrow may have just set up the cutest supermarket you’ve ever seen. After creating similar exhibits in both London and New York City, she brought her creative expertise to Los Angeles. At the Standard Hotel in downtown LA, you’ll find a market with some recognizable items and while none are edible, they are all available for purchase. All 31,000 pieces!
With every project, Lucy’s number of items have increasingly grown. When she first started out in London, she had 4,000 hand-sewn products. In New York, the number of items increased to 9,000 with items selling out in just a matter of days.
I’m obsessed with these qt pieces and wish I could see this myself! Readers, if you’re in LA – check out the pop-up at the hotel that is showing right now until August 31st.
I have to make sure when I’m writing these posts that it is AFTER I’ve had a meal. While catching up on news last night, I came across this Street Corn Lobster Roll – hello! Two of my favorite things! I’ve got a love hate relationship with lobster rolls though and if you’re like me, then you know where I’m coming from. I never grew up eating a whole lot of lobster and didn’t have my first lobster roll until I was visiting Boston for work a couple years back. I love that you can eat it hot with butter or cold with mayo. My biggest qualm though? Why is it that when you order the lobster roll it comes with a mountain of fries that overtakes the entire meal?
No disrespect to fries, but the lobster roll always feels so small in comparison and it’s what I want more of. I love this take on a “street lobster roll” that features corn and a spicy kick with the jalapeños . Since I’m a little bit on the weaker side of spiciness, I’ll likely pick these off.
How good does this meal sound for the end of summer? For the full recipe and to have step-by-step instructions on how to make this yourself, visit the source below!
Who: Constance Wu
Wearing: Ralph & Russo
Where: Crazy Rich Asians Los Angeles premiere
It’s almost here! Who’s excited to see this film?! We’re going the night it opens and I’m very ready to laugh and cry.