giveaway

august giveaway winner announced!

I hope everyone’s gearing up for a fun holiday weekend! Tomorrow afternoon, I’m getting on a plane to Arizona to celebrate one of my bestie’s bachelorette parties. I’ve never been to AZ, and while I’m definitely bracing myself for the heat, I’m super excited to get out of the city for a few days and to spend QT with some of my favorite people. Plus… no humidity, right? That will be a welcome change from New York!

I take the red eye back on Sunday night so that Matt and I can buckle down with packing for the last part of the long weekend. We’re almost in the home stretch of this move, people!

As usual, though, I’m getting ahead of myself. There are more urgent matters to get to, like announcing the August giveaway winner!

Based on a random drawing, the winner of this month’s giveaway prize — a $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble — is…

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Congratulations! I’ll reach out today to make arrangements to send you your prize!

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As always, thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway this month : )

I’ll see you all early next week to chat August and September goals! Have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend! 

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a season of change.

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have a complicated relationship with change.

The prevailing philosophy about change, I think, is that it’s tough to deal with. “I’m bad with change.” You hear that a lot. I, for one, am guilty of using it to explain away my not-so-great behavior during periods of transition.

There are people who love change. They thrive on the opportunity to start fresh over and over again, to reinvent who they are based on unusual circumstances that force them out of their comfort zone. Life seems like it would be easier for people who can embrace change this way. I do think, though, that things get tricky for this group when a change proves disappointing, or when one change doesn’t follow another quickly enough. If you thrive on new situations, the more predictable flow of day-to-day life isn’t going to consistently make you happy… and that’s where the relationship with change gets complicated.

I think I fall somewhere in the middle. If you’ve been following the blog for any period of time, you already know how much I dig a good routine. I’ve already copped to defaulting to that “I’m bad with change” excuse. And all that’s true. Still, I’m pretty adaptable. I learned as a kid to adjust to new scenarios, so I’m confident in my ability to do that. Change is hard for me to process upfront — but my routines! and my schedule! and my usual routes! — but once I’ve worked through that, I don’t usually find myself getting too sentimental about actually executing the transitions ahead of me. More recently, I’ve even found myself craving change after long periods of predictability! A few years ago, I don’t think I would have guessed that would ever be the case. Let’s all treat ourselves to ice cream sundaes for personal growth, okay?

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Matt and I are currently smack in the middle of a season of massive transition, and it’s putting all of my complicated feelings about change to the test. I’ve been talking about this for a few weeks (because it’s very exciting!), but we’re moving to a new apartment in Brooklyn in a few weeks and (this just in!) we are officially getting a puppy just five days after that. We put a deposit on our pup last week and I. am. so. excited. I’ve been debating whether or not to share a photo of him in advance, but as hard as it is, I think I’m going to keep him to myself for now! Trust me when I say that he’s really cute and that I’ll be positively overloading you with pics in a few weeks. Anticipating all of these changes, I’ve been working 12- and 13-hour days recently. I know that having a puppy is going to require me to make some adjustments to my own routine so that he can be well-loved and well-trained in those early weeks. And since I only took one full day off this whole summer (for our Mexico trip!), I’m also just feeling really ready to give myself a little time and space in September. At this point, I’m not sure which or how many days I’ll be taking “off.” I just know that your girl’s going to have to cut herself some slack.

Really, what I’m trying to say is that I’m gearing up for two big changes — the move and the pup — in September, while also trying to mentally prepare myself for a longer period of the unknown. In the meantime, half of our apartment is packed into boxes that are slowly beginning to take over our already small space, and we’re traveling every weekend for weddings and other exciting events. That girl that used to say she was “bad at change” would not have thrived very well in this moment.

I don’t have anything especially profound to say about all of this, or any advice that I think will be particularly helpful to you if you’re in a similar season of change. Mostly, I’ve been surprising myself with how calm I’ve been through all of this… except for those Sunday nights when we’ve arrived home from a weekend of travel and I’ve realized just how much needs to get done between now and our move and how little time we have to accomplish it. And those moments when I realize how weird it’s going to be to live anywhere other than the little home where we got engaged, where I became a writer, where we really started our lives. Oh, and maybe those moments when I’ve been so burned out from those 12-hour days that I’m not as nice as I maybe should be to my husband. Sorry, Matt.

I guess I’m really grateful that I’m at this point in my life where I get to tackle these transitions. There are days when I can’t help but wonder if there aren’t other grown-ups that are bound to step in and deal with some of this stuff for me, but when I get past that, it’s exciting to realize how many decisions are now within my control and how many possibilities there really are. When we finally find our way out of this weird holding pattern we’ve been living in for the last few weeks — in 12 days, but who’s counting? — I just know that it’s going to be amazing. I can’t wait to share that with you when it happens, but in the meantime… here I am. Excited and so, so ready to get all these changes going.

How do you feel about change? Tell me more in the comments below!

And…

Don’t forget to enter the August giveaway! This month, I’m giving a $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble to one lucky winner. All you have to do to enter is comment on this post. I’ll be drawing the winner and announcing the results tomorrow, Thursday 8/30. Good luck!

 

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august giveaway.

It’s kind of hard for me to believe this, but it was exactly two years ago that I got myself a WordPress account, paid for the Finding Plan A domain name, and started drafting blog posts.

I’d given notice at my corporate job a few days earlier, and while I wasn’t quite sure what it would look like for me to become a professional writer, I knew that creating a small space for my informal writing on the Internet would probably be a good first step. If nothing else, I figured that my friends and family would be interested in reading more about how I was navigating the transition from 8-to-5 girl to freelancer. I spent my nights after work learning as much as I could about how to use WordPress effectively and reading articles on random lifestyle sites, imagining a day when I would be able to find my own writing there. I was trying to seem confident, but two years later, I can admit that I was grasping at straws, doing everything I could to prepare to enter the unknown so that the whole thing would feel a little less scary.

Ultimately, this space did serve as the gateway for so many other things, and while I don’t generally define myself as a Blogger (capital B) or think about the blog as a big chunk of my Business (another capital B), I am so grateful for all of the opportunities it has offered me to share my experiences and to connect with so many amazing people! The journey that I’ve been on as a freelancer really did start right here, and it’s hard for me to believe that it’s now been more than two years since I came up with the idea for it and started putting it into motion.

There’s going to be a lot more sentimental stuff like this here as we approach the two-year anniversary of me actually leaving my job in mid-September (huh???), but as I prepared to share the August giveaway with you, I couldn’t help but reflect on this quiet little milestone. I may have launched Finding Plan A on Sept. 23, but it was in the works for weeks before that, and that period of development and planning is worth celebrating, too!

Without further ado, though, I’m also happy to celebrate another GIVEAWAY DAY! 

This month, I’ll be giving away a $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble!

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know you have plenty of books you want to pick up! I love summer reading, but there’s something equally special about knowing that fall is upon us, and that it will soon be time to curl up with a good read under a big pile of blankets. I hate to see summer go, but that visual definitely helps me cope.

All you have to do to enter is comment on this post! Share the love by sending the link to book-loving friends and loved ones, or by posting it to social media.

I’ll (randomly) draw and announce the winner one week from today, Thursday 8/30. Good luck!

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july giveaway winner announced!

Hello, hello! I am currently in one of my very happiest places — Ocean City, NJ — kicking off a week with family! As you might remember if you’ve been following the blog for a while, we’ve been coming to the shore here every year since I was born, so it’s always a very special part of the summer. I’ll be logging work hours early in the morning (at my favorite coffee shop, hopefully!) and late at night so I can enjoy as much time on the beach as possible. There are books to be read! Naps to be taken! Backlogged podcast episodes to be listened to! It’s just so much to try to accomplish…

Beach or no beach, though, it’s time to announce the winner of the July giveaway! This lucky person will be the recipient of a $25 gift card to BaubleBar. There are so many fun accessories for sale on the site right now!

Based on a random drawing, congratulations to…

Lindsey Sanders

I’ll reach out shortly so we can make sure your prize gets to you ASAP!

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Thanks so much to those who entered this month. Remember — you’ll have another chance in August!

I hope you have a happy Monday, friends! I’ll be back later this week to share a recap of my July and August goals : ) 

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july giveaway.

Happy Monday, friends!

I hope you had a fantastic weekend! We had so much fun celebrating the engagements of two sets of friends and then fell head over heels in love with a new apartment here in Brooklyn. Please, please keep your fingers crossed that we get approved for it : ) And, yes — this means that we’re staying in New York for at least another year (you can read a little more about all of that drama here)… and I’m pretty excited about it.

So, yeah, we had a pretty great weekend over here.

Isn’t it funny that a nearly perfect weekend somehow makes it harder to get back into the grind of the work week? Shouldn’t it be the break you needed to kick things off with a better attitude? Not so much, I guess.

Hopefully, this month’s GIVEAWAY DAY will brighten up your Monday. It definitely helps mine to share it with you!

In celebration of the upcoming last month of summer (bummer, I know) and all the great outfits you need to accessorize, this month’s prize will be a $25 gift card to BaubleBar!

Here are a few pieces for sale there now that I’m loving:

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Iva Hoop Earrings
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Evangelia Resin Drop Earrings
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Taina Cocktail Ring
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Elizabeth Cuff Bracelet
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Dana Collar

 

This gift card will help make a serious dent in all of these items… or any other bauble from the site that you’re into!

All you have to do to enter is comment on this post! It wouldn’t hurt to share the link with a friend or two or to post it to your social media so a few of your loved ones have a chance to check it out. Remember: these giveaways come around once a month, so you might as well spread the love!

I’ll (randomly) draw and announce the winner one week from today, Monday 7/30. Good luck!

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june giveaway winner announced!

After feeling the early twinges of a summer cold while we were in Mexico, it seems I’ve now been hit with one full force — apparently, I’m always going to be sick over my anniversary weekend — so I’m just going to get right to the point…. it’s time to announce the winners of this month’s giveaway!

We had a great response to this one both here and on Instagram, and I’m so appreciative to Bushel & a Peck for partnering with me so that TWO of you can get a goodie bag full of all-natural lip balm.  If you didn’t happen to win this month, I would still totally recommend you go check out their products! They even offer free shipping in the domestic U.S. for any order of $35 or more. I love me some free shipping.

Based on a random drawing, we have one winner from the blog and one from Instagram (how symmetrical is that?). Congratulations to…

Ruya + full_and_happy

I’ll reach out shortly to make arrangements to send you your prize!

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Thanks to everyone who entered the June giveaway. It’s such a treat to give back to this blog community each month, so you can bet I’ll be back on July 23rd with something fun to share.

Happy weekend-ing, friends : )

 

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the SSR Podcast is live!

It’s a crazy experience to have your head down so intensely in a passion project for months on end, and then to release it out into the universe in a way that probably feels very loud (and maybe even a little annoying) to the outside world but somehow seems very quiet to you, at least relative to how much louder it actually sounds in your head. Basically, when I dispatched all the social media announcing that The SSR Podcast was a living, breathing thing at about 5 AM yesterday morning, it may have felt a little spammy from an Instagram perspective… but it seemed surprisingly quiet and private for me — and not because I’m not getting support (because I am, and it’s been amazing!), but because I’ve been so consumed with getting all of this up and running that it was hard to believe that tapping those little “post” buttons was really all it took to make it happen. After so many hours, hitting “post” was the last thing standing between me and the moment I’d been stressing about? It was a pretty crazy feeling.

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Believe me — I still have plenty of work to do in order to really get things moving and grooving the way I want to for the podcast. But to have met this one major milestone in what felt like such a quick, quiet way was an extremely weird feeling.

You may already be tuned in to SSR’s social media accounts — and if you are, thank you, seriously! — but I just wanted to take a quick moment to share some easy links for my followers here who may have yet to jump on the SSR train. If you’re feeling like I’m being a little spammy, bear with me for just a little longer here, please. Getting the podcast off the ground has been a huge part of my journey in 2018 so far, and it would be weird if I wasn’t getting the official launch news out with all my pals here on the blog! I’ll resume regularly scheduled programming shortly, I promise : )

In the meantime, here’s what you need to know about yesterday’s official launch of The SSR Podcast

You can listen (and subscribe and leave reviews!) here…

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  • iTunes — if you’re going to subscribe and leave a rating or review, this is a great place to do it!
  • Google Play
  • Stitcher
  • the SSR Podcast website “Listen” page (this is a great place to go for fun show notes and extra resources, even if you actually listen to episodes elsewhere)

You can be part of The SSR Podcast community here…

I can’t wait to get your feedback on the show, and if you enjoy it, I hope you’ll share it with your loved ones! This feels more personal than anything I’ve done before — more even than the blog, which is kind of crazy — and inviting people into it is scary, but I’m looking forward to seeing where it takes me : )

And while I’m talking about sharing with loved ones…

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Don’t forget to enter this month’s giveaway! TWO of you will be getting a goodie bag full of all-natural lip balms from Bushel & a Peck (a woman-owned business YAAAAS!). Comment on my last post here to enter! I’ll be randomly drawing the winners this coming Friday 6/29, so get those entries in ASAP. I’ll announce the winner 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! Good luck!

Product photo credit: Gallivan Photo (via Bushel & a Peck) 

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june giveaway.

Matt and I leave for our second anniversary trip to Mexico (!!!!!) this morning, but don’t you worry — today is this month’s Giveaway Day… and GIVEAWAY DAY you shall have!

This month, I’ve teamed up with organic skincare and beauty company Bushel & a Peck to reward two of my followers with fun goodie bags of products. There’s a lot that I love about this line, not the least of which is its name! When I was a little girl, my grandmother always sang the song “A Bushel And A Peck” to me. To this day, we sign our cards to each other with “Love you B’s and P’s!” : )

I digress with that bit of nostalgic. Anyway…

Bushel & a Peck — the brand, not the song — is super cool because it’s a true labor of love. The founder Aimee formulates and then hand-pours every single product herself! She was inspired to start the line by her own frustrations with the number of chemicals and artificial fragrances included in so many of the beauty and skincare products on the market. After extensive research, Aimee began making her own hand-crafted, all-natural lip balms. She shared the products she made as gifts for loved ones early on, and a year and a half ago, decided to take them to a bigger audience. I learned on the Bushel & a Peck “About” page that Aimee named the company to honor her husband’s grandmother, who signed cards with “Bushels and pecks.” I had no idea we shared that connection when I agreed to try her products, but it makes me love them all the more.

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I’ve been using the Bushel & a Peck lip balms (along with a few other products!) for a few weeks now, and I’m totally loving them. My lips tend to be dry all year round, and I’m always happy to find new solutions to that problem — and the more I learn about all of the chemicals that the mainstream beauty industry employs, the better I feel about adding more natural ingredients into my personal rotation! Bushel & a Peck uses ingredients like organic shea butter, coconut oil, red raspberry seed oil, and therapeutic-grade essential oils. In case you need further convincing, these lip balms were recently named a summer must-have by The Bend Health Guide. So cool, right?

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I’m always psyched to support women-owned businesses, and Aimee is such a gem. I’m so grateful that she agreed to team up with me this month!

In June, two of you will win a goodie bag of Bushel & a Peck lip balms!

To enter, add a comment to this post below. And since there will be two winners this month (and multiple lip balms for each winner!), you should totally share this giveaway with a friend, too : )

I’ll draw the winner randomly one week from today, Friday 6/29. The winners 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!)

Photo credit: Gallivan Photo (via Bushel & a Peck)

 

 

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may giveaway winner announced!

It’s the most magical time of the month! (Except, in the case of this month, at least, Memorial Day weekend here in New York City, which was full of friends and fun and good food and golden retrievers. Crummy weather can’t stop us.)

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

Natalie!

Congratulations! I’ll send you your prize via email later today! Can’t wait to hear what book(s) you pick up : )

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Thanks so much to everyone who entered! I noticed a lot of new faces (well, new names that are associated with new faces) getting in on the giveaway action this month. It’s great to see this community growing! Be sure to come back on June 22 for our next giveaway. There’s something new and a little different in the works and I know you’re going to love it.

I’ll see you back here on Saturday (special weekend edition!) to talk May and June goals! You can check out last month’s goal post here to get a head start : )

 

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may giveaway.

The holiday weekend is (kind of) quickly approaching, which means that even though it’s only Wednesday morning, you’ve almost conquered the week. I’m not entirely sure how the math works out on that, but I’m pretty sure it does… and mostly I’m just trying to give us all (myself included!) a hump day boost.

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It’s been four days since I ran the Brooklyn Half over the weekend and I think I’ve finally defrosted. Given the cold and rainy weather, I honestly didn’t know when I woke up on Saturday morning whether or not I was going to run it, but I’m nothing if not stubborn. When I left the apartment and told Matt I was “just going to walk toward the start line and see what it’s like outside,” I kind of already knew I wasn’t coming back. Oops! It definitely wasn’t the most comfortable race I’ve ever run, but because of the circumstances, it may have been the most satisfying. The icing on the cake? I got my best time yet! A girl’s gotta get out of the cold ASAP, right?

It’s GIVEAWAY DAY, and to celebrate the fact that my half marathon is over and I mostly find myself wanting to curl up with a good book…

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

With Memorial Day around the corner, we all have summer travel to look forward to, which — for me, at least — means summer reading (picture me dancing as I say this)! A $30 gift card should be enough to get you a hardcover or two paperbacks. I’m happy to pass on some recommendations to the lucky winner to make your beach and pool hangs as good as they can possibly be!

To enter, add a comment to this post below. It’s that simple! If you want to take one more step to brighten up Wednesday for someone else (and to help share the Finding Plan A love), please, please go ahead and send this link to a friend or post it to Facebook. If they win, maybe they can lend you the book they buy with their gift card!

I’ll draw the winner randomly one week from today, Wednesday 5/30. The winner will be announced right here on the blog! Good luck!

And don’t forget…

Friday is a big, big day! I’m FINALLY sharing all the details about my soon-to-be-launched podcast! You’ll be able to read more about the show right here on the blog, and I’ll also start releasing the social media handles you’ll need to be able to start following along behind the scenes so you don’t miss any news or episodes! Can’t wait to see you right back here for all that excitement before you leave for your Memorial Day adventures : )

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