I love the burbs, that's what I learned this May. After almost three months in our small, 450-square feet apartment in Manhattan, we decided to safely move out to the wonderful suburbs of New Jersey. I can safely confirm that the suburbs and New Jersey are grossly underrated.
Living in New York City has its countless magical moments including seeing celebrities on your block, partying until 6 AM, getting literally anything you want at anytime of day, enjoying the most fabulous restaurants and bars, working for the best companies and honestly, being the best of the best. There's no city in the world like New York. However, it also has its miserable moments. Rats and garbage on your sidewalks, subway delays, way too many people, unidentifiable smells, small and expensive apartments, expensive everything tbh. Seeking refuge in the suburbs reminded me how fricken' fabulous it is to have SPACE, a BACKYARD, a CAR, LAUNDRY in the home, real SUPERmarkets, a GUEST bedroom and just plain convenience.
While I have been a city girl for most of my young adulthood, the pandemic has opened my mind to living somewhere with more livability. If we continue to work remotely in the future, it opens up limitless possibilities for us to live anywhere, and that's amazing! Why can't you work for your dream company and live in your dream setting? There will be some positive change coming out of this catastrophe and I think working remotely is one of them.
Dream big and reach for the suburbs baby!
Month two of the COVID-19 pandemic is complete. Even though I’ve been mostly stuck in my 450-square foot apartment, I still managed to learn a few things.
I have learned that working from home everyday is harder than you think. Before this pandemic hit, I would have jumped at the opportunity to work from my cozy, yet wonderful, apartment every day. Working from home has forced me to create and enforce boundaries to maintain work and home wellbeing, but it has also taught me that there can never be clear borders between the two. Your work doesn’t instantly disappear at 5 PM, just like a fight with your boyfriend doesn’t get resolved by 9 AM. At the end of a pandemic day, there’s just life, not work and home life.
Just as WFH has been harder than I anticipated, it has reminded me that so much is harder than we think. For example, brainstorming sounds really easy and even fun. In my profession, I am required to be creative and innovative all the time and I have yet to have a brilliant idea hit me in the shower. Brainstorming requires more than just sitting in a room with creative people, it needs research, reading, interviews, observation and much more. Most things aren’t as simple as they seem.
The pandemic inspired my boyfriend and I to re-watch one of the best shows of all time, America’s Next Top Model. Besides the sashaying, strutting, fierce showdowns and Ms. and Mr. Jay, I have concluded that the key message of the show is important for all of us to know. This message is that the biggest weakness and threat to our lives is lack of self-confidence. Lacking confidence holds you back from the runway of life, it forces you to stumble instead of catwalk, shrink instead of pose, hide instead of shine. Confidence boosts every aspect of your life: career, relationships, health. Thank you Tyra Banks and her model squad for proving that to me.
Lastly, April has motivated me to examine my “normal” and “pandemic” lives. When we can go back to “normal” will I want to go back? Do I want to change how I was living my life? Can I cut aspects of my life out that chip away at my self-confidence or happiness? This pandemic has showed me that in my life, work will never stop and it will always be there. So will music, books, fitness, my boyfriend, family and real friends. The magic that makes my life - restaurants, travel, parties, bars, picnics, shopping - can all be taken away and I want to keep the magic alive for as long as I can.
I always say that March is a wildcard. Growing up in Rochester, NY, March would often deliver us fierce snowstorms, followed by weeks of grey slush. March Madness. In like a lion, maybe out like a lamb. Ides of March. This March has proven my belief that March is forever a wildcard.
Like many of you, when I first heard about coronavirus I didn’t think too much about it. I figured it would all be OK and handled rather quickly. The past two weeks, I have been quarantined in my little NYC apartment, leaving my home only to search for toilet paper (seriously) and long walks. I work, eat, 305 dance, hang, virtual happy hour and survive at home. I worry about my “at-risk” parents and grandparents, friends losing jobs, the economy, millions of people dying and putting others at risk. These days can easily blur together. Right now, all we know is the unknown, faith, hope, love, fear and a little bit of kindness. It’s a weird time to be alive, and it’s a time that will change history and all of us forever.
What I learned is that if you have your health, you have a lot. I have experienced health scares and have known this for some time. However, it deserves reminding. What really matters besides your health? If you have your health, you can have everything else. If you take good care of yourself always, you can handle and enjoy more life. Health is a blessing. Health is a gift. Health is wealth.
I have learned to relish in quiet. Being quarantined at home can have its perks. We’re all at the same place. For the first time ever, I can hop on social media and NOT be bombarded with Kelly’s photos from her French getaway, Matt’s abs or Laura’s wedding portraits. It’s like we all hit ‘pause’ on the busy movie called life and get to rest. We can go for afternoon walks, cook dinners, read books, breathe deeply, just be. Perhaps we needed this pause.
I have come to believe that virtual happy hours should always be a thing. Why haven’t we been catching up with high school friends this way? It’s 2020 and I want to chat with video and a glass of wine in hand.
I have been reminded that essential workers – grocery store workers, pizza makers, bus drivers, cooks, bodega owners – are fricken’ ESSENTIAL. These are people that serve us with a smile on their face during a PANDEMIC. Thank you for risking your lives to help me and my community. Thank you for always being so helpful, patient, kind and giving. Thank you for doing this when not being paid NEARLY enough, without sick and PTO days, without any applause and little corporate support. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU.
I have realized my own privilege. I don’t have to worry about my job, money, shelter, food or kids. While staying at home can be “inconvenient” or “annoying”, it isn’t hard. It’s not disrupting my life, taking away my job, putting my health at risk, delaying my children’s education, harming my parents or destroying my savings and finances. My privilege offers me the ability to hit ‘pause’ and take afternoon walks, millions of Americans are not granted that same luxury.
Thank you March for another month on this planet. I am thankful for your lessons. I am wiser for your experiences. I am certain of your wildcard ways. I am hopeful it will all be OK.
As we leave 2019 to enter the roaring 2020 (get it?), I am taking time to reflect on what a year 2019 was and how fantastic, dope, wonderful, fearless, great and fun I want 2020 to be.
2019 challenged me. I turned 27 and entered my return of Saturn age. You may be rational and not believe in astrology and that Jen and Brad will get back together, but the return of Saturn hits in your late 20s (helllloooo 27) and forces you to really grow up. After I graduated college, I moved to New York City and devoted myself to my career. Now, I am thinking, “Is this what I really want?”, “Am I on the right path and do I want to be on this path for the next 10 years?”, and the most epic question of all, “What’s my life purpose besides getting Jen and Brad back together and performing Raspberry Beret at karaoke clubs?” This age has hit me like a ton of aperol spritzes and most of the year I felt confused, frustrated and alone.
While I did complete all of my New Years Resolutions (yes, I make ‘em and stick by ‘em), I still ended the year feeling unaccomplished. During the year, I developed new dreams and goals, but came up short by the end of 2019. I also hopped on Instagram and BAM felt inadequate when compared to everyone else’s shining accomplishments for the year. While I pride myself on always being a ray of sunshine, no one is immune to these icky feelings – especially when you’re in your 20s, have an Instagram and live in one of the most competitive cities in the world. It’s so easy to forget all of your accomplishments and happy feelings when you see that Maria from high school is a published author, was just promoted and had a dream Caribbean wedding. DAMN, Maria.
We live in a society that praises career, financial and beauty accomplishments. There’s some good to this, it pushes you to succeed, dream big and make that money. However, what about the accomplishments that can’t be easily measured and defined? Achieving happiness is a BIG triumph. Looking in the mirror and liking what you see is HUGE. Feeling good about yourself is CRITICAL. Building positive relationships with colleagues, friends and family is IMPORTANT. Finding and keeping love is LIFE CHANGING. Giggling and having a jolly time is NONNEGOTIABLE. Why don’t we equally celebrate these moments and feelings? They are hard to achieve, but so crucial.
According to the 2019 World Happiness Report, Finland is the happiest country in the world. The survey, conducted by Gallup, uses a three-year rolling average of survey responses around six factors: GDP per capita; social support; life expectancy; freedom to make life choices; generosity; and corruption levels. Finland scores well on all factors but particularly strongly on generosity. Finns feel good about their community, environment, life-work balance and overall wellbeing.
While America has the world’s highest GDP, economist Jeffrey Sachs, one of the report’s authors, said worsening health conditions and declines in social trust and trust in government were making Americans less happy. Any wellbeing benefits from rising incomes in the US were being offset by growing addictions to social media, shopping and consuming unhealthy foods which were causing unhappiness and even depression, he said.
I totally feel this. Social media influences how I view myself and others. It’s human nature to compare yourself, but social media expands this. It’s almost like when you read a fashion magazine, you suddenly feel the need to buy clothes and makeup you can’t afford because you’re an unfashionable mess. After decades of reading magazines, we all know this isn’t true, but with social media we aren’t as savvy yet. If you use social media, use it responsibly. Put those blinders up, unfollow people that disturb your wellbeing or make you feel less than the gem that you are.
2019 was the year of ACTION for me. I am a doer, I like to get things done. 2020 will be my year of JOY. I want to do more things that bring me pure JOY. I still want to DO and achieve my goals, but I also want to live for JOY and spread JOY. Wearing pink brings me joy, so I shall wear more pink in 2020. Meeting new people makes me smile, so I shall network and make that smile happen. Feeling fit as a fiddle gives me a happy feeling inside, so I shall go to more 305 classes. Going on adventures and feeling breathless gives me a whole lotta JOY, so I shall go on more trips and try new things.
I sincerely believe that if you’ve been hustling and putting in the work this year, 2020 will be fruitful. I believe that it always comes together, everything will happen in due time and that a positive attitude – despite the bumps and social media usage – goes a long way for you and others.
Cheers to the roaring 2020 and feeling more JOY. Come on get HAPPY!
You know when you feel late fall magically turn to early winter? The air transitions from crisp, to actually cold. The Starbucks cups are dressed in holiday cheer. The Hallmark holiday movies return. The weekends are spent hunting down your favorite cozy sweater. And then Mariah Carey officially announces the holiday season kickoff. It's a wonderful time of year.
As I type this, I find myself enjoying a quiet weekend. It's rare to have a weekend like this all to myself. The extra me-time has my mind fantasizing about the holiday season and I can't wait for Thanksgiving stuffing, apple pie and the lovely feeling of spending time with dear family & friends. This year will be my first Thanksgiving without my family and my first with my boyfriend's family instead. I usually spend the holiday with my parents and best friend, Shaffat, who is my family too. Since I felt late fall turn to early winter today, taking time to reflect for everything I'm grateful for before the big day. After all, the grateful feeling is what this season and happiness is all about. I'm feeling blessed as Kardashian for:
- quiet weekends (they are the best)
- Trader Joe's (best snacks & prices)
- vacays (I am still thinking about my summer trip to Greece. oh my...)
- dear friends (those people that really know you)
- books (the type you can't put down)
- Netflix (thank you for The Crown, GLOW, POSE, The Great British Baking Show and Friendsgivings)
- tea (if a cuppa can't cure it, we got a real problem)
- pups (dogs make everything better)
- planners (would legit be lost without mine)
- trashy reality shows (love my Real Housewives & Kardashians)
- my bed (Drake knows)
- positive attitude (always important)
- everything else (shelter, money, family, DAVE, you know...)
Five years ago today I moved to New York City for a part-time job in media. I fell in love with NYC the summer prior as an intern at a small PR agency. After that experience, I was determined to live and work in possibly the most wild city in the world after I graduated from college.
That summer after college graduation was challenging. It felt like everyone from the Class of 2014 had landed a real world job, except for me. I remember applying for 10 jobs a day and feeling so discouraged that I only heard back from a few companies and start-ups. I remember taking the 7 hour bus ride from Rochester, NY to knockout several interviews and then hopping right back on that gross bus for a long ride home. It took me several months to find an opportunity that was a good fit with my skills and actually wanted me.
My parents drove me down to NYC on LDW. I moved into an apartment in Bayridge, Brooklyn, right off the last stop on the R train. After my parents moved me in, they waved to me as they drove off back to Rochester. As I stood there, tears began to fall. I wondered what my NYC life would actually be like. I was scared, excited and for the first time ever, on my own. Even though all I wanted was a job in NYC, I realized that I was going to miss my parents, the safe haven of college and had no idea how much my first post-grad year was going to push and develop me.
Some things have totally changed since I began my Carrie Bradshaw adventure. Here are the five lessons I have learned in my five NYC years.
I made really bad decisions.
It's almost painful to remember some horrible decisions I made as a young New Yorker. Almost all of these decisions involved drinking wayyyy too much. I was transitioning from a college student to an adult, and I had not yet learned that adults can't party on a Tuesday night. My drinking impacted my friendships, intimate relationships, safety, health and even my career.
I was scared to cut people off.
I stayed in a lot of dating relationships and friendships that were not good for my spirit. I've learned that in order to maintain a positive life, sometimes you have to let people go. Back then, I knew that some friendships weren't real or positive, but I was scared to cut people off for the fear of being seen as "mean" or a "bitch".
I was determined to get my dream job.
Looking back, I think I was super bright-eyed and know I was determined to get my dream job - which I got! I emailed my dream company every week for months until they had me come in for an interview. I still believe that once you have a goal, you have to fight for it. Five years later, I know that it's easy to get too tired or busy to chase down your goals, but you have to pursue it with everything you have. I still fight to keep that fire in my soul because you should always remain that bright-eyed girl with lots of dreams.
I had no idea how to be a healthy adult.
As mentioned above, I was not a healthy person my first year in NYC. I was in negative relationships. I drank way too much. I lived in an apartment that I hated. I worked three jobs for my first 8 months in NYC including dressing up as a Christmas present and handing out fliers in SoHo. I had no idea what it meant to be mindful or empathetic. Now, I am surrounded by positive relationships and people. I have role models and mentors. I have a loving, committed and wonderful life partner. I hardly drink and actually know my limit. I live in an environment that I love. I make money now! HAYYYY. I am confident in my body, skills and mindset. I feel proud of who I am and where I am going.
I was truly enamored of NYC.
When I first moved to this city, I couldn't get enough. The hustle, the museums, the $1 pizza, the clubs, the so many cute men, the adventures, even the R train had some redeeming qualities. Everything was new and shiny. I have since been around the block and know that I will eventually leave the city for things like a backyard, savings, a suburban Target and new adventures. But I know there is no where else I would rather be during this time of my life. New York is where you come to dream and evolve. It's where you come to glow up. And I can only imagine how my bright my glow up will be in the next five NYC years.
It all started with a solo trip to Bermuda.
Two winters ago, I visited the island of pink sand to enjoy a week in complete solitude. I stayed at a yoga studio and it was pure Zen magic with sunshine.
My parents were horrified that I traveled around a “strange island” by myself. When I safely returned, my Mom was so traumatized that she insisted on accompanying me on my next adventure.
Before I asked my Mom to join me on a trip to visit my college study abroad host family in Spain, I was hesitant. Do I really want to travel with my Mom? It sounds almost borderline nightmare. My mom lives in a suburban bubble. She needs help just navigating our small hometown. She is not well-traveled and never left the country until her mid-50s. She is one of those few people that will only cross the street in New York City when the flashing walking man is giving her the go ahead. When I finally asked her to come with me, she said yes immediately.
The months prior to our trip were filled with buzzing anticipation. We talked endlessly on the phone about our upcoming trip, even discussing at length the appropriate flirty, colorful wardrobe to pack. I was pleasantly surprised by how giddy my Mom was about visiting Spain. It was hard to remember the last time I heard so much excitement from her on our daily phone calls. It delighted me to hear her catching the travel bug, a condition I had been blessed with for years.
The day we landed in Madrid was unreal. After months of planning we had finally arrived. This was our first trip together. It’s funny how her fear of me traveling solo had brought us to this positive place. Just my Mom and me.
The opportunity to travel solo with your Mom is an experience many of us want to enjoy. Haven’t you seen Snatched or The Guilt Trip? In fact, according to luxury travel network Virtuoso, traveling with family was the top travel trend for 2018. I even noticed the movement on Instagram, seeing influencers post selfies with their Moms in Rome, South Africa and Australia.
Just the idea of traveling with your Mom is special. I live a 7-hour car ride from her, and although phone calls, Facetime and texts help to stay in touch, I am jealous that my nearby siblings get to see her way more than I do. And then there’s that horrible reality that one day my Mom may not want to travel anymore.
After Madrid, our Spanish holiday included stops at León, Barcelona and a small mountain village, Maraña. My Mom was a great travel partner because she could keep up with my ridiculous New York pace, take any staged photo for Insta and always knew if I was in the mood to be chatty or chill. We shared moments that I will hold in my heart forever.
But, it wasn’t always a perfect Gilmore Girls episode. As the more experienced traveler, I was responsible for getting us around Spain the whole time. When we arrived in Barcelona during a taxi strike, it was quite the challenge to figure out the metro system. Over an hour later of bickering, train transfers and dragging our luggage all over the city, we arrived at the hotel’s rooftop pool to celebrate our accomplishment. We were feeling ourselves after slaying that public transit obstacle!
My other responsibilities included setting my Mom’s phone up to Wi-Fi, checking her into flights and trains, carrying her luggage (while carrying my own) and translating her most random English questions (example: “Does anyone drive pickup trucks around here?”) for my study abroad host family to understand. Of course, we got on each other’s nerves, but we also laughed a lot. We truly basked in each other’s company in beautiful, sunny Spain.
The next time you’re thinking of an adventure, instead of asking your romantic partner or friend, think about your Mom. Maybe it will bring you closer together. Maybe you will learn from each other. Maybe you will see another side of your Mom. It’s easy to forget that before you, she had another life. There was a moment in Barcelona at The Sagrada Família, when my Mom couldn’t believe that a woman like her, with such humble beginnings, was in this breathtaking basílica. I rememebred that my Mom isn’t just my Mom; she’s a woman with an interesting history, a wonderful present and an exciting future.
My Mom and I returned to New York with a better understanding of each other. We learned that we aren’t only Mom and daughter, but we’re travel partners too. We’re thinking our next adventure will be to the Grand Canyon. Where will you and your Mom go?
I haven't blogged or even been on my website since May 2018. This has been the longest break I have ever taken from my little space here. I took this short 'pause' to catch up on life and reflect. During that time, I started a new job! I moved into a brand new apartment with my man! I went to Spain with my Mom! I became a Godmother for the first time ever! I went to Greece with my man (first abroad trip together - and we survived)! And finished all five seasons of Grace & Frankie!
I am excited to be blogging and sharing my thoughts again. The past few months, I have so missed writing and realized I mostly enjoy writing for myself, for my own memories and pleasure. Can you believe I have been blogging since 2014?! I think that in some ways, this space has evolved into my public display of self-care.
I am not just back with an updated website and blog though! I am back with my first-ever podcast, Bridgit Off The Clock. Take a moment and collect yourself now!
It has been my DREAM to create and host my own podcast ever since I graduated college 5 years ago (HOW was that five years ago?! We're still getting better & better like Countess Luann though). During my university days, I had my own radio show titled, “The Baby Makin’ Hour” yeeeapppp, and the show was about as you may have guessed it, college dating and hooking up. Since those glorious and fun years, I have been daydreaming about podcasting, but kept putting it off because of the 9 to 5 or let’s be real 7 to 7 work grind.
The podcast is all about being the best you can be, both on and off the clock. Each episode, I chat with people who inspire me, from family, friends, career coaches, wellness experts and the girl across the cube, to unpack how we can all be the best we can be from 9 to 5 and beyond.
I created the podcast to celebrate and support young women working while dreaming, hustling and scheming for a life that is more balanced, dreamy, passionate and FUN. When I chat with my working girlfriends, we often talk about how it's really hard to bring your A-game to all facets of life. I legit feel like Michelle Obama if I slay at work, go to a yoga class and wash my hair all in one damn day. With so much focus on our careers, it's easy to forget about our happiness, health and successes outside of the office. This is why I built this little space of mine, because I know I am not the only gal who has felt this way in my 'adulting' journey.
I am so excited to be back and know that when women come together as a supportive and encouraging network, we can help each other feel seen on and off the clock! Check out the first episode HERE & stay tuned for more!
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 had 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 of awesomeness 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