march giveaway.

Happy Friday, everyone! I’m lucky enough to be coming to you from Chicago this morning. I flew out of snowy New York City late yesterday afternoon  and am so excited to spend the next few days hanging out with two of my very best friends. The three of us live in different cities — New York, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. — and we’ve tried to make a better effort over the last few months to get together for these girls’ weekends on a regular basis. It’s a great excuse to get away for a weekend, too, and I secretly love the way it feels to do a little solo plane travel. Matt’s actually coming to Chicago later tonight because we have another set of friends celebrating their upcoming wedding here tomorrow. He’ll be able to snag some QT with one of his best college pals while I’m with the girls, and we’ll meet up for the couples’ shower. It couldn’t have worked out more perfectly!

In the meantime, though, it’s GIVEAWAY DAY… and I couldn’t be more excited to share this month’s prize with you. 

For the first time ever, I’ve teamed up with  an author for the March giveaway. How cool is that? Meet Hannah Howard.


Hannah and I met at the very beginning of my freelance journey when we both took a Freelance Bootcamp class at the Brooklyn Brainery. At that point, Hannah had recently sold her debut book to a publisher, and although I was having some serious writer FOMO at that point (guilty!), I was so intrigued by the premise of her memoir that I got over it pretty quickly. I was so excited when Hannah reached out a few weeks ago with the opportunity to work together to share Feast: True Love in and out of the Kitchen with my blog community. Thank you so much, Hannah!

Many of you already know that a healthy relationship with food hasn’t always come easily to me personally, and since Feast (just out this month!) shares the story of Hannah’s own journey to find self-acceptance in spite of her disordered eating — all while exploring the unique and colorful food scene of New York City — I knew even before cracking the cover that it would be right up my alley. I started reading the book on the flight yesterday, and before I knew it, I was 100 pages in. Hannah’s writing is absolutely stunning. I love the way she describes food and the city that I love, and her reflections on how we feel about ourselves as we grow up (just wait until you read about middle school!) are wildly relatable.


Even if your relationship with food has never crossed the threshold to disordered, you surely have had other moments of self-doubt, and Hannah’s narrative will really resonate with you at that level. Plus, her writing is beautiful and offers a fascinating peek into the NYC food scene.

Here’s a quick summary:

Hannah Howard is a Columbia University freshman when she lands a hostess job at Picholine, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Manhattan. Eighteen years old and eager to learn, she’s invigorated by the manic energy and knife-sharp focus of the crew. By day Hannah explores the Columbia arts scene, struggling to find her place. By night she’s intoxicated by boxes of heady truffles and intrigued by the food industry’s insiders. She’s hungry for knowledge, success, and love, but she’s also ravenous because she hasn’t eaten more than yogurt and coffee in days.

Hannah is hiding an eating disorder. The excruciatingly late nights, demanding chefs, bad boyfriends, and destructive obsessions have left a void inside her that she can’t fill. To reconcile her relationships with the food she worships and a body she struggles to accept, Hannah’s going to have to learn to nourish her soul.

The winner of this month’s giveaway will receive their very own copy of Feast! So cool, right?

All you have to do to enter to win this giveaway is COMMENT on this post! I’ll draw the winner randomly one week from today, Friday 3/30. The winner will be announced right here on the blog.

(Unfortunately, you’re not eligible to win this contest if you live outside of North America, due to shipping concerns. I’m sorry about that!)

… and if, as you’re typing in your own comment, you feel so inspired, I’d love for you to pass the giveaway along to a food- or book-loving friend who might also be interested in entering. Grab that URL at the top of your screen and text it to a loved one or share it on social media. It means so much to me to able to share Finding Plan A with more and more people — and I would be all the more excited to have more eyes on this post in particular, since it will allow us to help Hannah get the word out about Feast!

Happy commenting! And happy weekending! 


february giveaway winner announced!

Happy Friday, everyone!

The weekend plans in this house consist of mostly sleep, sleep, and more sleep. Somehow, I managed to fall wildly behind with work after just one full day off for our Charlotte trip (how does that even happen?), so I’ve been working 12 and 13 hour days all week to make up for it. I’m seriously ready for some down time! There are a few hours left between me and that precious weekend and you can bet that I’m in full-on countdown mode.

In the meantime, though, it’s time to announce the winner of this month’s giveaway! We had a record number of entries in February, so thanks to everyone who entered and shared it with their friends and family, too. Don’t forget to keep checking in for monthly giveaways (and other great posts, too!) — they go live on the 23rd of every month! The winner is selected based on a random drawing.

The winner of this month’s prize — a $30 gift card to Barnes & Noble — is….

Tamara H!

Congratulations, Tamara! I’ll be emailing you your prize shortly!


What is everyone doing this weekend? I’d love to hear more about your plans in the comments below!



weekend in charlotte.

Hi everyone! I hope you had a great weekend and that your week is off to a great start, too. We’ve been back from our little southern getaway for a few days now, and I’m excited to share some of the details!

First of all, if you’re planning a trip to Charlotte any time soon, I would highly recommend the Airbnb we stayed in. It was walkable to lots of bars and restaurants (although we learned that most people don’t walk as many places as New Yorkers do — oops!) and a 15-minute-or-less drive to pretty much anywhere else we wanted to go, from the center of the city to cool neighborhoods like NoDa (my personal favorite). Honestly, the space was more than we knew what to do with — we had two bedrooms and two bathrooms — but since we’re used to living in such a small apartment, getting to spread out a little bit was really part of the vacation! You could easily fit six or eight people in this Airbnb, and Matt and I agreed that if you have plans to visit Charlotte for a football game or something similar, it would be absolutely perfect, especially since it had an awesome front porch that would be great for a little pre-game beer and snacks : )

We snapped this pic in the living room of our Airbnb, actually! I’d hoped for more photo ops during our visit and that didn’t quite pan out, so I insisted on a selfie before our last dinner out.


Here are a few more highlights of our trip!

(Fair Warning: Most of them involve food. Hey — we were just trying to get a feel for the culture of the city! And isn’t food love in the south?)

  • Driving through the Dilworth neighborhood and eyeing up all the beautiful old houses from the car. It’s basically everything you ever imagined that a beautiful Southern city could offer.
  • Exploring NoDa and brunch at the Crepe CellarNoDa was the closest thing to Brooklyn that I saw while we were visiting Charlotte — funky artists selling their work on the sidewalks, cool paintings on the building facades, funky stores, and cool bars. A friend recommended Crepe Cellar to us for brunch and the four cheese savory crepe I had there may have been my favorite bite of the trip. We also stopped by Amélie’s French Bakery & Cafe to get Matt his coffee fix — another suggestion from a friend!
  • Reading and relaxing in Freedom Park. So much of what we enjoyed about our weekend getaway was the weather. After a long few months of cold temperatures here in New York City, it was such a treat to enjoy a little sunshine and 75-degree air! We grabbed our books and spent a few hours on a bench reading.
  • A night out in downtown Charlotte, starting with dinner at Sea LevelWe ate dinner outside (did I mention that warm weather?) and tried oyster shooters for the first time (yum!). After that, we took a little field trip to the Howl at the Moon piano bar because we thought it would be fun to listen to some live music, and we got way more than we bargained for. If you follow my Instagram Stories you know exactly what I’m talking about… there was a banana-themed citywide bar crawl happening all across town, and we spent the evening watching hundreds of people in banana suits belting out the oldies on stage. It was amazing.
  • Breakfast at Sunflour Baking CompanyThe multigrain bread I ordered with my breakfast sandwich was quite possibly the best bread I’ve ever tasted. And Matt is still talking about the fact that he didn’t get to go back here to try a chocolate chip cookie!
  • Checking out the U.S. National Whitewater CenterGiven the timing of our visit, I’m not sure that we saw this landmark at its best, but I can imagine that it would be an awesome place to explore in the late spring and early summer. You can buy a day pass and have free reign of all of their adventure activities and ropes courses, and they also have a beer garden smack in the middle of it all.
  • Getting a great deal on a denim jacket at the Gap outlet store. I don’t usually like to shop on vacation, but we had some rain on Sunday afternoon and decided to check out the Charlotte Premium Outlets on our way back from the Whitewater Center. By the end of last summer, I’d more or less worn out my trusty old denim jacket, and I found a new one for $40.
  • A feast on our final night! I had one of the best Italian meals of my entire life at Fiamma restaurant (hands down!) and we — of course— made an ice cream stop at Golden Cow Creamery. Did you really think we’d last a weekend in another city without checking out the ice cream scene?
  • Trying the steamed bagel sandwiches at Owen’s Bagel & DeliI have a blog reader to thank for this one (thanks, Victoria!). I can’t quite explain why these steamed sandwiches were so much different than other bagel sammies I’ve had in the past… but they were really different and really good.
  • Getting through the Charlotte airport so. fast. I know this sounds a little silly, but I can’t say enough about how easy it was to travel through this airport. At the last minute, we decided to switch our tickets onto an earlier flight, and we made it from the rental car dropoff through to our gate in 25 minutes flat.

Thanks for letting me share the highlights of our trip with you!

One more thing…

Don’t forget to enter the February giveaway! This month’s winner will take home a $30 gift card to Barnes & NobleAll you have to do to enter to win is comment on my last post (linked here!). I’ll be drawing and announcing the winner this coming Friday 3/2, so don’t miss your chance to enter ASAP!


february giveaway.

Friends, you did it. You made it to Friday!

This afternoon, Matt and I are leaving for our spring getaway weekend — and not a minute too soon, either, because after all of the warm temperatures we had here in New York City earlier this week (I was almost too hot in a light sweatshirt!), we’re looking at a colder, rainier forecast for the weekend. For a few days there, I was worried it would be colder in Charlotte than it is here, and that would have pretty much defeated the whole purpose of this southern adventure! Anyway, I’m really excited to get a change of scenery and to enjoy the kind of down time you can only get when you’re removed from your usual routine and environment. I can’t wait to tell you all about it when we get back!

In the meantime, though, it’s GIVEAWAY DAY, which means that it’s all about you and showing my gratitude for your continued support.

The February giveaway prize is a $30 gift card to Barnes & Noble!

This is pretty much the prize of my dreams, and I hope you’re as excited about it as I am. A $30 gift card should be enough to get you a hardcover or two paperbacks. If you’re the lucky winner, I’m happy to give you some recommendations!

All you have to do to enter to win this giveaway is COMMENT on this post! I’ll draw the winner randomly one week from today, Friday 3/2. The winner will be announced right here on the blog. Good luck!

As you’re getting ready to type those comments below, can I just ask you for one quick favor? Just one? I promise it will be really easy!

If Finding Plan A has resonated with you and you love reading the content and entering the giveaways, could you please grab the URL up at the top of your screen and pop it in an email or text to one of your loved ones? Give them the opportunity to enter for the Barnes & Noble giveaway and to be part of this awesome community! The more we can share, the better. It would really mean the world to me if we could work together to get the word out, friends!

Have a great weekend! xo



january giveaway winner announced!

Yesterday, I was walking around my neighborhood without a jacket on… and today I woke up to snowCan someone please explain? This weather is so crazy and confusing — no wonder so many people are getting sick. (If you are one of those people, I hope you feel better soon!)

The show must go on regardless of weather, of course, and I’m so happy that today is the day I get to announce the winner of the January giveaway. Thanks to all who entered to win this month’s prize (an infinity charm bracelet from The Shine Project)! Please continue to check in each month for the giveaway… and, of course, the blog posts : ) The winner is selected based on a random drawing.

Congratulations to…

Lisa Hoppe!

Yay! You win! I’ll reach out via email today to make arrangements to send you your prize.


I’ll see everyone right back here on Friday, when I’ll be talking February goals. Don’t miss it!


0 comment

so you want to start writing?

In the year and change since I launched this blog — and started writing full-time — I’ve been lucky enough to find myself in touch with lots of people who are interested in making room in their own lives for writing, sometimes as freelancers and sometimes just for fun. I’ve loved all of these conversations, not only because I typically feel an instant soul connection with fellow writers, but also because talking through the way that I’ve approached this whole journey so far usually gives me a chance to step back and think about what I might want to do differently moving forward. Since I work for myself, I often feel like I’m strategizing into a void, so talking about the writing nuts and bolts with people as fascinated by the craft as I am really (and selfishly) helps me get out of my own head. I give them some suggestions (or I try to!) and they make me feel like less of a one-woman show. Everyone wins, right?

In case there are other aspiring writers out there reading this who haven’t reached out to me directly (and you should feel free to contact me if you want!), I thought I’d put together a few basic tips that might give you the push you need to just dig in and get started. These are all really easy and should be helpful no matter what kind of writing you want to do. (If you like this post and want a more detailed edition in the future, please let me know in the comments below!) Keep in mind that I am by no means an expert. I have plenty of writer friends who might recommend different things, but when I look back on my experience growing as a writer over the last 15 months, this is what sticks out to me — either because I did it right or did it very, very wrong.

Here are a few things you can start with if you want to make writing (of any kind!) a priority in your life.

  • READ, READ, READ. It sounds really simple, but I can’t overstate the importance of reading for writers. If you want to write, take the time you typically spend reading every day and add to it. Reading helps you develop your craft, but (for me, at least) it also offers a mental break from writing. Sometimes, I can’t help but get sick of the words I write myself, and I need to step away from that. Since I’ve started writing professionally, I’ve added more magazines, newspapers, and online outlets to my rotation, so I’m reading content outside of the (usually fiction) books that I’m always drawn to.
  • Start a blog. Starting a blog doesn’t mean you need to have true Blogger-with-a-capital-B aspirations. It just means you’re setting up a space for yourself online where you can share your writing and ideas. Creating a more public platform will encourage you to write with some consistency, and if you’re planning to start freelancing at some point, it will be a great way for you to showcase your writing skills to editors early on.
  • Seek out a writing community. One of the first pieces of advice I got when I decided to start freelancing was to find Facebook groups of other writers. Honestly, I hadn’t been a big fan of these groups before that, and I still struggle with some of them now (so many notifications! so much complaining!), but finding some way to network with people who are pursuing the same things you’re pursuing is obviously really helpful in the early stages. There are groups for aspiring freelancers, essayists, novelists… pretty much anything you can think of! If you need recommendations for specific groups, feel free to send me an email!
  • Start with small chunks of time. Writing is a muscle, and if you’re not used to spending a lot of time doing it, it can take a while to work up to the point where you can sit and do it for hours (or days!) at a time. Set a timer for 30 minutes every day and spend that time writing in your journal or working on an essay. Even if you’re struggling with writer’s block for part of that half hour, don’t turn your attention to something else! It will get easier to put in the time if you practice sitting down in front of your computer and just. doing. it. This is an especially good tip if you’re trying to work writing in around a 9-to-5 job. Almost anyone can find 30 minutes to spare at some point throughout the day — even if it means waking up a little earlier : )
  • Tell people. Just like anything in life, writing is a lot easier to take seriously if you have people holding you accountable to it. Make sure the people in your life know that you’re prepared to make writing more of a priority in your day-to-day routine. Hopefully, they’ll step up to keep you on track and give you a listening ear when you need one. When I’m going through a slump with working on my book, I commit to texting one of my friends a random emoji every time I spend more than 30 minutes on it. Even an extra dose of accountability for those baby steps is helpful!

I hope this helps! Again — please, please let me know in the comments below if you’re interested in more content like this! 

In the meantime, don’t forget to enter this month’s giveaway!

One lucky winner will receive a this gold infinity charm bracelet from The Shine Project. What’s not to love about this?


All you have to do to enter to win is comment on my last post. I’ll be drawing and announcing the winner here on the blog on Tuesday 1/30, so get those entries in ASAP! Be sure to spread the love and share the link with them, too. Good luck!




january giveaway!

Guess what, friends? I have some good news for you. It’s GIVEAWAY DAY! Picture me dancing around in my desk chair to Joy to the World by Three Dog Night (which, for some reason, has been my play-on-loop choice for the last few days). Time to spread a little Tuesday happiness!

This month, I’m back with a prize from The Shine Project, which makes the giveaway that much more fun for me. Doesn’t everyone need a little extra special bling when they’re feeling the winter slump (we have some weirdly warm weather here in New York this week, but I have a feeling it will take a turn for cold any day now)? Answer: yes. Everyone needs a little extra special bling… always.

The extra special bling from Shine is that much better because of what it represents. If you’re new to the blog (nice to meet you!), let me catch you up, because this is one of my favorite organizations. I got involved as an ambassador for Shine last spring. You can read the whole story here, but essentially, Shine supports inner-city American students on track to be the first in their family to go to college by teaching them to make jewelry and offering them employment and mentorship. Student employees at the Shine centers have the opportunity to work hard to earn money for their higher education, so the purchase of Shine products supports their academic goals. A portion of the profits also goes toward a scholarship fund that benefits the Shine kids. I absolutely love this organization– and I’m obsessed with the jewelry, too! It’s easy-to-wear, affordable, trendy, and supports a really awesome cause.

Pretty awesome, right?

This month, I’m giving a gold infinity charm bracelet from The Shine Project to one lucky winner!

My favorite thing about this bracelet is how sweet and delicate it is. The charm isn’t going to get caught up in your jacket or tangled up while you’re digging through your bag (been there!), but it’s enough of a statement to catch your eye if you’re looking for it : ) I’m a big bracelet girl, and I think you’re going to love this one.


All you have to do to enter to win this bracelet is comment on THIS post!

Feeling extra generous? Send this link to a friend to give them a chance at winning, too. You’ll have another chance to win a prize next month, so you might as well spread the love!

I’ll draw the winner randomly one week from today, Tuesday 1/30. The winner will be announced right here on the blog. Good luck!

(Unfortunately, you’re not eligible to win this contest if you live outside of North America, due to shipping concerns. I’m sorry about that!)