Happy Monday!  After a weekend of traveling, it’s good to be back at my desk, tackling a BIG to-do list.  Last week was productive, and I’m excited to share (hopefully soon) a few exciting projects and collaborations, but I had some trouble staying focused because my schedule was off-kilter.  I essentially had three and a half solid work days squeezed between my best friend’s fabulous Brooklyn wedding and a solo road trip to visit my college friends in D.C.  While I TOTALLY loved having the flexibility to fully participate in the festivities for both weekends, I missed my little office routine, and didn’t have quite as much time as I would have liked to dig into the confirmed work and potential projects that are starting to pile up (yay!).  So, here I am, ready to jump back in!

There’s nothing better than starting a new week off with an extra dose of positivity, so here’s another edition of Gratitude Diaries:

  • Long drives.  People fall into one of two extreme camps when it comes to driving– either they LOVE it or HATE it, and I happen to fall into the first category.  Living in the city for the past four and a half years, I haven’t had many opportunities to drive.  Matt and I recently bought a new (used) car, with the intention that both of us could get behind the wheel (unlike his old SUV from high school, which he preferred I not drive because it wasn’t in the best shape).  It’s so freeing to be able to jump in the car if I need to run a longer errand, and especially wonderful to be able to plan a road trip!  I went to college in Washington, D.C. and many of my friends still live there, so I decided to take myself on a little getaway on Friday.  It was great having some time to myself– listening to music and podcasts (my favorites are The Lively Show and Gilmore Guys) and stopping for snacks along the way.  Traffic was a little rough driving into Washington, but it still felt great to be on the road.  As a New Yorker, I spend a lot of time at the mercy of public transportation or walking in extreme weather, so I really appreciate the beauty of jumping in a car and being able to just go.
The day we bought our car!
  • My college years in D.C.  I rarely make it down to Washington, but every time I do, I’m reminded of what a beautiful city it is, and how profoundly lucky I was to spend four years there as a student.  I understood when I was living there that it was a special place, but knowing what I know now about how dirty and tough other cities can be (I’m lookin’ at YOU, my beloved New York), I love D.C. that much more.  Sometimes I regret that I went to a city school and didn’t get a “typical college experience,” but when I visit Washington as an adult, I realize that living and learning there for four years was a pretty unbelievable chapter of my life.  Even though college seemed stressful when I was in it, the truth is that the stakes were actually pretty low when I was a student, and I wish I’d taken the time to just enjoy my surroundings a little bit more.
We had the most beautiful weather this weekend in D.C., and it was the perfect afternoon for a walk into Georgetown.  I wish I had appreciated views like this more as an undergraduate! 
  • Thai takeout.  Anyone who knows me knows that I could eat Asian food all day, every day, and I’m especially grateful for friends that are willing to indulge me in that every once in a while.  I stayed with my best friend (who was the maid of honor in our wedding) and her boyfriend for the weekend, and while I cannot confirm that we ordered Thai delivery for both nights of my stay, I am not willing to deny it, either.
  • Seasonal candles on sale.  We LOVE candles at our house, especially seasonal scents in the fall and getting closer to the holidays.  Good candles can be so expensive, and since I’m trying to be extra budget-conscious these days, I haven’t been buying them.  The great news is that when you’re in your mid-twenties and visiting your friends from college, you might just find yourself wandering a T.J. Maxx store in Georgetown, and they might just have the best selection of candles on deep discount.  We laughed at the irony of bargain shopping for home goods in the very same city where we once bought clothes on “allowance” from our parents!
If you can resist this (especially with the low prices), you are a stronger person than I am.
  • Toasted marshmallow milkshakes.  On one of our first dates the summer before sophomore year in college, Matt and I drank toasted marshmallow-flavored milkshakes and walked around the National Mall in the pouring rain, talking and laughing for hours.  Since I was back in D.C. for the weekend, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to have one in honor of that memory.  And let me tell you– I drank every last sip of that shake!

Is there anything that you’re especially grateful for this week?