Allow me to introduce you to the summer bucket list. Creating an epic summer bucket list began in high school with my original girl gang right after school hand ended for the year. We had two months together, without lame classes and teachers, which meant it was crucial to live our best lives each summer. The items on our list ranged from enjoying the best soft-serve ice cream in town to securing the hottest summer fling in town (...which never really happened). These days, my summer bucket list lives on and continues to bring me ice cream fun.
Now that Memorial Day Weekend has passed us, and the sun is shining brighter than Meghan Markle's royal career, it's time to start writing up a summer bucket list. This summer, my Mom and I are going to Spain together and it's going to be on another level for this epic list. Since so much adventure is awaiting me, I really want to bask in the simple pleasures summer always brings. Ice cream on the boardwalk. Sweaty runs and golden tans. Dancing in the moonlight. Flirty skirts. DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. Picnics. Beach. Summer lovin'. While getting down to basics, I want to spend less time on my phone and more time with summer.
So my homework for you, is to think about what you want to do this summer and what this season may mean for you. Maybe it's time you finally went on that weekend trip to Canada. Maybe you need to hit the dance clubs and enjoy a steamy summer fling. Maybe you need a walk at the beach to just think. Whatever you do, please don't waste this sunshine because we wait all year to live the good life.
It’s been one month since I have become a live-in girlfriend on the Upper West Side. In that time, we have fallen in love with our new couch (if you live in NYC, run to Bob’s Discount Furniture in East Harlem, it’s the spot for fulfilling your Pinterest dreams while also keeping money in the bank for date night), found our design aesthetic and celebrated the new nearby Trader Joe’s by keeping the fridge properly stocked at all times.
Before moving in, I saw my boyfriend 1-3 times a week, and most of those times were crammed post-work hangouts. We have transitioned from seeing each other occasionally, to seeing each other live our lives every day. Before you live with someone, you have no idea how they really live their lives. Do they shower in the morning or at night? Are they chatty after work or do they need some space? Do they keep their shoes on or off when in the apartment? All of these little things you don’t know until you live with someone.
Thus far, I have learned that building a home with someone takes time. If this was just my place, I would have a Beyoncé shrine and a mermaid themed bathroom, but this isn’t just my palace - it’s our kingdom. Before this stage in a relationship, you still think in “me” and “I”. What do I need at the grocery store? What am I doing this weekend? Once you’re living together, you begin to think more in “we” and “our” because like, hello, he’s right there. Now, we buy our groceries together (but mostly cook separate meals) and collaborate on weekend plans. I am still fiercely “me”, but with a built-in partner to take my Instagram photos.
My main takeaway is to really speak up about your needs and wants once you share an address with your S.O. If you need to be in bed by 10 PM during the work week, be honest with your partner and make it happen. Recently, I had “one of dem days” as Monica says and needed the apartment all by myself to just chill. I had to be honest with my man that it’s not personal, but I need some alone time. If you’re living with someone, you got to really live.
Come and knock on our door, we've been waiting for you <3
Some say you don't really know someone until you travel with them. I know that if I were to board a plane for a spa vacay with some certain gal pals, I would need another spa vacay immediately after to recover. We all have different travel styles, you may enjoy a night out with someone but really, really hate a pub crawl with them in a foreign country after they lost their passport for the third time.
When I studied abroad, my friends and I would explore a different city or country almost every weekend. I would wake up each Friday morning ready to board my cheap Ryanair flight with my hideous orange backpack, knowing that wherever I went would be dope because of my friends. I even found my travel soulmate with these people, a companion who has the same interests, budget and map reading capabilities.
My last adventure took me to Washington, D.C. to smell the cherry blossoms and kinda remember U.S. history class. Each year, D.C. hosts the National Cherry Blossom Festival to celebrate the 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to the city. The gift and annual celebration honor the lasting friendship between the United States and Japan and the continued close relationship between the two countries. The trees bloom beauty and friendship, it’s quite remarkable.
My travel companion was my hunky boyfriend, Dave. In many ways, Dave is my partner for life, my go-to, my right hand, my dude. But…I have learned that we don’t always travel well together. Our first getaway was this past fall to the hot and steamy Savannah, Georgia. It was the perfect southern romance, complete with a ghost tour, drag show, pralines and absolutely no fights. Not even a little disagreement. We got lucky.
This time around, I played tour guide for Dave’s first trip to D.C. Before our visit, he thought the National Mall was an actual shopping center. And he was excited about it. The real National Mall, rich with history and glory, didn’t impress my man at all. I was annoyed that he wasn't in awe of these landmarks and that he didn't want to walk everywhere, while he was annoyed that I was racing around and not relaxing at the zoo with a brew #zoobrew.
Just because you’re dating/seeing/married/committed/hooking up/whatever with someone, doesn’t mean that person is your ideal travel mate. Each adventure is different, and a couple getaway shouldn’t be your only trip when you’re with someone. In fact, you may need a break from that special someone!
When planning a trip, who you travel with is just as important as what you travel to see. The best part about travelling is that you don’t even need anyone to go with you! I am a big fan of solo travel, so read that blog post too. Although we had a great trip and the blossoms surrounded us in natural, pink, delightful beauty, my mind is already planning a fun holiday to Cuba with my girlfriends. Sometimes you just need a girls island vacay and other times you need an adventure with your S.O.
This is the real me: what I love, what makes me happy and what makes me buzz.