New Beginnings

{taking a bite out of the big apple}

 

{cheers to being employed!!}

The moment I have been waiting for- and studying and working and preparing for- is finally here. On Monday, I am starting my first job! Even more, the job is in Manhattan, a city I have longed to move to since I was a little girl, and is for one of my all-time favorite fashion brands, J.Crew.

I am feeling so many emotions as I begin this new chapter of life. Every success I’ve ever celebrated, from receiving good SAT scores that got me into the top communications school in the country to securing two awesome fashion internships and graduating college with double honors, has culminated into this moment of accepting my first job. While I’m nervous to start and sad to leave my family in Maryland, I can honestly say I breathed a sigh of relief for the first time in eight years.

I’m scared yet determined, intimidated yet excited to see what this next phase of life brings. Either way, I’m waltzing unapologetically into NYC with the starry-eyed naïvety of twenty-two.

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Graduating College

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During the past few months of studying for finals, looking for a job, and graduating college, blogging really fell to the wayside. I’m happy to finally have free time while home in Maryland, and grateful to be able to relax a little with my family before moving to NYC to start my career. My family had a rough year and it brings me so much joy that things are finally back to normal.

Less than two weeks ago, I graduated summa cum laude and with honors program distinction from Syracuse University with a degree in public relations, marketing, and fashion communications. While I’ve never been one to gloat or be lazy, it feels quite amazing to look back at all I’ve accomplished. I sincerely enjoyed my time at SU, and while I am very excited for the road ahead, saying goodbye to such an important chapter in my life has been sad. I left school with amazing memories, mentors, and friendships that will all last a lifetime. Growing up is hard, but I feel incredibly blessed to do with will my family, friends, and boyfriend by my side.

Cheers to a new chapter!

xx, Laina

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{celebrating}

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{from marshall street to manhattan}

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{so much love for my family}

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{my amazing boyfriend, Evan}

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{beyond thankful for all the friendships I’ve made}

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{owe it all to my wonderful parents}

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{love my sisters}

Getaway | Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

I recently traveled to Mexico for my college spring break with 8 of my best friends in my sorority. We stayed in a beautiful villa nestled in between the ocean and jungle. The whole vacation felt so luxurious: our villa came with two chefs that made us the most delicious authentic Mexican food and a driver to take us to the beach. The sunshine and time with my girls was much needed. My first trip to Mexico was quite the success, and I’m definitely going to have to return for the guacamole, strawberry daiquiris and salty beaches. The semester is going by so fast. It’s hard to believe I’ll be graduating in just a few short months- so many things are going to change.

Before I get too nostalgic, here are some photos to recap my spring break.

xx, Laina

{loved seeing these colorful blossoms everywhere}

{on the beach!}

{strawberry daiquiris x infinity pools}

{palm prints}

{taco night}

{swim-up bar}

{tropical oasis}

{sunset naps were always taken in the hammock}

{loved the beautiful mosaic tiles}

{take a dip}

{where I wish I was}

Easy + Healthy College Meals

Since switching from a dorm to a full college apartment, I have really fallen in love with cooking. It’s my stress reliever after class, and I like knowing exactly what goes into my body. I follow a mostly vegan diet (with the exception of eggs- could never give those up!) and the occasional portion of chicken for dinner. I try to eat as many vegetables as possible and minimize processed food (doing this made my acne clear up as well.)

Cooking and grocery shopping can be very time-consuming, so I research healthy recipes on Pinterest and utilize the Yummly app to determine what ingredients I will need for that week’s meals. Below are some of my go-to healthy recipes that won’t take more than 20 minutes to make. Enjoy!

xx, Laina

Breakfast

Avocado Toast: 1/2 an avocado on Ezekiel bread + 1 egg with garlic zucchini noodles topped with goat cheese crumbles, onions, and tomatoes

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Smoothie Bowl: 1 cup of spinach + 1 tbsp organic peanut butter + 1 banana topped with pomegranate seeds, blueberries, strawberries, hemp seeds, coconut, and a fig bar

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Lunch

Spinach + Veggie Salad: Fresh spinach with olive oil dressing topped with carrots, cucumbers, Hilary Eats Well veggie bites, peppers, onions, goat cheese crumbles, and sunflower seeds

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Greek Buddha Bowl: Taboule, olives, falafel balls, 1 tbsp olive tapenade hummus, cucumbers, and tomatoes

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Dinner

Beet Noodles: Spiralized beets with roasted cranberry + goat cheese brussel sprouts, Hilary Eats Well veggie bites, 1 tbsp of roasted red pepper hummus

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Warmed Whole Grain Salad: Quinoa + whole grain rice blend mixed with spinach, butternut squash, red onion, pomegranate seeds, and bits of soy bacon

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Go-to Vegetable Medley: Roasted sweet potatoes, butternut squash, brussel sprouts, carrots, red onion, and cranberries all marinated in olive oil and sprinkled with smoked paprika

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Winter Break Highlights

It’s been a long time since I last posted on the blog. First and foremost, I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and enjoyed their new year celebrations. I rushed out of last semester, managing to take my final exams early to get home to my family sooner. Since coming home for break, I’ve truly spent every free moment with my family, whether it’s curled up around the fire watching movies, poking fun, or having dinner. We had a tough year, and we really needed this month to relax and spend time together.

I have a lot to be grateful for, but recently my worries and anxiety about the future have prevented me from being present and being happy. I’m looking forward to 2017 because fresh starts are always exciting. However, the thought of graduating college, finding a job, and starting a new life somewhere is extremely daunting. Throw in a tumultuous history of anxiety and a family member battling cancer and you have yourself a lot of ups and downs. All of this aside, I really want to be more positive this year, maintain my friendships after graduation (and my friends are scattered across the country), and try to focus on being present.

Here are some highlights from my winter break.

xx, Laina

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{meet my siblings!}

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{carefully wrapped gifts for all my loved ones}

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{favorite holiday pastime: baking cookies}

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{you can find me curled up by the fireplace in my J.Crew camp socks, J.Crew slippers and Anthropologie mug, sipping a chai tea latte}

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{too obsessed with my pup}

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{Banana Republic poncho, Subdued scarf, Zara jeans, Sam Edelman booties}

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{I love sending surprise Christmas cards with Starbucks gift cards- a simple gesture that goes a long way}

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{so obsessed with this stunning ring}

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{new year’s eve drink of choice: a pomegranate moscow mule}

Autumn Highlights

It’s hard to believe it will be November in just a few days. My classes are a lot harder than I expected this semester, and I find myself taking advantage of any free time that isn’t spent studying or doing work. In those rare moments of bliss, I’ve done a variety of fall activities. Follow along with what I’ve been wearing and doing this past month below.

xx, Laina

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{J.Crew coat + J.Crew sweater + Francesca’s blanket scarf + Sam Edelman booties}

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{pretty mums on campus}

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{apple picking scenery}

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{enjoying the foliage colors}

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{wine tour through upstate new york}

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{when your booties match the leaves}

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{quick trip to nyc: loving this central park view}

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{camouflaged}

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{time square views from viacom}

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{weekend at home: loving the porch decor}

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{all about slip-on loafers}

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{the moments of bliss post-shower when you stay in your warm robe}

Fall Friday

The impending stress of midterms is upon us, but my roommate and I were able to take a break from studying today to visit the nearby town of Skaneateles. Upstate New York is simply breathtaking in the fall, and I felt grateful for the stunning panoramas of fall foliage on the ride there. A day of pumpkin picking, shopping, and eating cider donuts was exactly what I needed to refresh and refocus. How are you enjoying the fall weather this weekend?

xx, Laina

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{stopped at a pumpkin stand on the way there}

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{loving this decor}

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{donuts for lunch}

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{lake scenery}

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{small towns}

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{wearing Sam Edelman booties + Nordstrom blanket scarf + J.Crew jacket + Urban Outfitters sweater}

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{meet my roommate, Zoe!}