2015.  The best year of my life by far!  So many good things happened this year.

Dan and I got engaged in our tiny kitchen in October, married in August in Mexico with our closest family and friends and soon after, found out we are expecting our first baby boy in early May of 2016.

2016 is looking like it will be a special year, indeed.







Hi Friends!

Some of you may know that I LOVE interior design.  I follow many – a – design blog and decorating my own home is really fun for me.  So, I plan to do a four part series where I show you the four different apartments that I have lived in, including the one I currently reside in!  This is part 2.

After my first year working and living at the boarding school (mentioned in my last post), I was moved into a new apartment.  The perks of this new place were that it was a two bedroom apartment in a girls dormitory and I would be living on my own (albeit attached to a dorm of 25 senior high school girls!).  Some of you may think this is all very crazy, to live with hormonal teenage girls.  However, I absolutely LOVED it.  I loved living with those kids!  It was such an exciting time in their lives, applying to college, learning how to live  semi-independently and making really great relationships with both their peers and adults alike.  Boarding school is not a place where people send their bad children, like many people think.  It’s an incredible learning experience for all involved (more on that in another post!).

Anyway, back to the apartment.  This apartment was a two bedroom, one bathroom apartment on the third floor (walk up!).  It had 5 walk in closets (5!!!!!!) I lived there for one year and in the summer after that first year my apartment was renovated!  So, you’ll see some before and after pictures below.  I lived in this apartment for three years total (one un-renovated and two renovated).  Enjoy!

BEFORE // The Living Room




BEFORE // The Bathroom





BEFORE// The Kitchen & Dining Area



(please take note of the home made cabinets in the picture below, complete with linoleum flooring as the counter top!)


BEFORE // The Entry



BEFORE // The hallway with the guest bedroom behind


BEFORE // The long hallway looking toward the guest bedroom – kitchen behind – living room to the left


BEFORE // The Guest Bedroom / Office




BEFORE // My Bedroom





AFTER // The Bathroom




AFTER // The Kitchen & Dining Area




AFTER // Home made cabinets turned (amazing!) laundry nook



AFTER / The Guest Bedroom / Office






AFTER // The Long Hallway (behind is guest room – kitchen ahead – living room to right)


AFTER // The Entry


AFTER // The Long Hallway (kitchen behind – guest room ahead – living room to left)DSC01681

AFTER // The Entry looking into the guest bedroom


AFTER // My Bedroom





AFTER // The Living Room




Pretty incredible transformation, huh?  I feel like in these before and after pictures, you can see my style evolving.  I never got around to completely finishing painting the TV stand (oops!).  The renovated version of this apartment has been my favorite living space in my adult life, hands down.  The only thing that was missing? Dan, of course!

p.s. Two posts in two days.  You guys, I’m on a serious blog roll!

The Apartment Series // 1 of 4

Hi Friends!

Some of you may know that I LOVE interior design.  I follow many – a – design blog and decorating my own home is really fun for me.  So, I plan to do a four part series where I show you the four different apartments that I have lived in, including the one I currently reside in!  This is part 1.

When I graduated from college, I couldn’t wait to have my own apartment to decorate.  I moved to Blairstown, NJ  to work as a teacher at a boarding school.  At many boarding schools, teachers often live in apartments that are attached to dormitories.  However, this particular year they didn’t have space, so they gave me an apartment on campus and assigned me a roommate.  I was by no means pleased with this, especially after sharing space with college kids for 4 years.  But, little did I know that my roommate would become one of my best friends! (love you Ame!!!) We shared a 4 bedroom (!), 2 bathroom apartment on the floor above the infirmary.

It was a really great space with lots of character.  Wood floors, built ins, large living space, etc.  Because this apartment was a temporary situation, we didn’t go too crazy with decorating it, because we both moved into (much smaller) apartments the following year.  Below are some photos of some of the shared spaces and my own personal space in the apartment.  The apartment came painted the colors shown in the pictures below, except for the bedroom.  I painted it green.  The photos were taken with a super old point and shoot camera.  I did my best to edit them, but the quality and lighting is not the best (read: terrible).

The Bathrrom




The Guest Bedroom / Office




My Bedroom




The Kitchen



The Living RoomDSCN1364

life, lately.

Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset

Life has been really good lately.  My grad school semester ended in the middle of May and although I have loved being a student this year, working full-time AND being a full-time grad student (plus doing an internship!) has been totally exhausting.  I finished my teaching job last Friday and I feel like a  new person!  No papers to write, no papers to grade, no e-mails to respond to, no assigned reading.  Sweet, sweet freedom.

My mom and brother came to Philadelphia for a few days and we did lots of fun things!  Phillies game, shopping at Kind of Prussia for the wedding, we went to the beach for the day, relaxed, ate good food, all the good things.

They left on Tuesday and now it’s just Lucy and me at home during the days.  As evidence by the photo above, Lucy is a fan of summer.  In fact, she won’t get out of bed until I entice her with food or she hears the leash jingle to go outside.  Yesterday, she didn’t get out of bed until 11 (!) until I bribed her with breakfast.  Lazy dog!

May you enjoy the good life as much as Lucy does.

p.s. I opened up an etsy shop!  Let’s be honest, did you really think I could have NOTHING to do this summer to keep me busy?!

Puerto Rico // Round Four

This past February I travelled to Puerto Rico with twenty middle schoolers and one other adult chaperone.  We had a chilly winter in Philadelphia, so the sunshine was welcomed, despite the fact that chaperoning school trips is nothing short of e x h a u s t i n g.  I had been on this exact same trip exactly two years ago and it was nice to know what to expect and also to see what had changed – the food stops were on-point this time around! We spent the first day exploring Ponce, a city in the southwest part of the island.  It happened to be carnaval there, so we got to experience the excitement first hand.  After that we spent the morning at Boquerón beach and then we were off to Fajardo to swim in the bioluminescent bay!  This was by far my favorite part of the trip!  We took a boat to a small lagoon and once the sun went down we all jumped into the water and swam underneath the boat to see the dinoflagellates light up around us.   Swimming at night (especially in the ocean with scary creatures) is not my favorite thing to do, but it was well worth it. The next day we explored El Yunque – the rainforest – in the northeastern part of the island and we heard lots of coquís singing in the background.  That afternoon we skipped the beach because it was raining. Our last day was spent exploring Old San Juan.  We visited El Castillo San Cristóbal and took a walking tour of the city.  Looking back at my old posts of Puerto Rico, I noticed that I took photos of the same buildings…weird! This was the fourth time visiting Puerto Rico and every time I go to this tiny little island, I fall in love a little bit  more.  The food, the warm people, the sun, the sand, the colonial architecture…it’s a pretty magical place! See for yourself: Processed with VSCOcam with c2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

remember me?

Remember me?

Holy mole.  It’s been a while since my last post in June (which wasn’t really a post because it was just a post of a video that someone else made without any actual writing on my part), many wonderful things have happened in my life!  But, these many wonderful things are also time consuming.  I’m feeling so inundated with work that it’s hard to (figuratively) breathe at times.

I moved to Philadelphia two and a half years ago in search of a work-life balance.  And, well, I’m currently failing at that promise I made to myself.  I need to do better.  I will do better.  It’s a hard thing for type A people like me to do – to take time for ourselves.  To let things be imperfect.  But it’s so so so necessary to everyday functioning and to be happy!  And, most importantly, to make sure that I live my life and remember all the good things.  Because the last 6 months, I feel like I haven’t had time to really look around and to enjoy the little moments, because I’ve been so caught up with work and so many good things are happening in my life right now.

June – I officially became a graduate student at The University of Pennsylvania and I realized how much I love learning.  I also remembered how anxiety-producing it can be for me.  I’m working on it.  Dan and I travelled to South Florida and fell in love with the tropics. We dreamed of living there someday and taking our babies to the beach.  Dan met my extended family and we had the best time.

July – My mom and Dan’s mom both came to Philadelphia for my birthday.  We did girl things and went to the beach and it was a perfect weekend.

August – Dan and I travelled to his hometown, Mystic, CT.  It was my first time there and oh my, how I love New England.  We went to the beach every day in Watch Hill, RI and sat in T.Swift’s backyard and seagulls ate my lobster roll right off my lap.  It was perfect.

September – School began.  In my 28 years of life, the first day of school always gives me the butterflies.

October – Dan and I got engaged!  At home, in our tiny little kitchen and it was just the way I had always imagined it would be.  After, we went out for burgers and drank champagne and I still can’t stop smiling when I think about how lucky I am to have found such an amazing person to spend my life with.  I also cannot stop looking at the most beautiful ring that I get to wear everyday for the rest of my life.

November – Dan and I hosted Thanksgiving at our house.  Dan’s family and my mom came and it was cramped in our tiny little apartment, to serve six people, but I enjoyed every minute.  I love cooking.  I love cooking for other people.

December – December was a whirlwind.  We travelled to Massachussets, Rhode Islad and New York in 4 days.  It was crazy, but time well spent with loved ones.

January – I’m still working on it…

This will be a process for me; to slow down and live in the moment.  But, I will do it.  I must.