Small Wins

Every month (actually, every day) is a new adventure when you’re 23 and adjusting to a new city + state. I am officially in my first holiday season outside of Florida, and I can certainly feel the difference . . . all I need to do is step outside *grabs big black coat.*

While I tend to look at the “big picture”, I have had many small wins this past month. Below are some that just make me seem so “twenty-something” . . . which I proudly am.

  • Holidays: Halloween + Thanksgiving

IMG_0103Cady Heron identified Halloween as the one time of year where a girl can dress like a total slut and nobody can say anything about it. I took it has the one time of year where you can convince your boyfriend to dress up like a 90s Nickelodeon character. However, I plan on finding excuses for us to wear these outfits multiple times.

For Thanksgiving, I was welcomed to Matt’s grandparent’s house in Long Island, since a trip to Florida was $700+. It was so lovely, and after a nice at-home Thanksgiving dinner, we enjoyed other meals at the Golden Reef Diner, where David met Carolee, and cue the music: “everybody knows their names.” Seriously. I highly recommend their waffles, omelets, gelato, B&W cookies, everything . . .

  • Food: Taking “dorm food” to a whole new level.

I am a very serious #foodie. I also recently got invited to be a featured foodie on the new My Fab 5 food-ranking app, so you know I’ve made it. Below are a few good eats I explored this month, inspired by my dorm favorites! My true friends know to never touch food that we order until I get the perfect picture.

IMG_0267Groceries: I forever miss Publix, but in Boston Trader Joe’s is definitely where it’s at. If you’re looking for gourmet dishes that only require a microwave (aren’t we all?), get their Risotto or the 4-cheese Farfalle. Feel free to reach out if you need more Trader Joe’s recommendations . . . I have plenty to share.

#creationaday: Just look at that hashtag on Instagram, but have some Chobani on hand before you do. Chobani is the best, and after going to the Chobani Bar in SoHo last month, I decided to make my own! Just grab some yogurt + your favorite nuts & fruit. I also always encourage Cookie Butter and/or Nutella.

ramenRAMEN: Matt’s Aunt introduced us to the magical world of Ramen this weekend. Forget the 12-pack you can buy for a $1 and splurge on some real ramen. We hit up the famous Ippudo – after waiting in a line out the door just to put our name in and wait another 45 minutes (there is a bar conveniently inside and next door to pass time.) Whatever city you are in – get on Yelp, and get on this bandwagon.

  • Entertainment: Must-sees.

I know how hard it is to spend $10-$15 on a movie when they all come on RedBox for $1 eventually, but there are some really, really good movies that are worth seeing now. I recently enjoyed Mockingjay Part 1, Interstellar, and Theory of Everything. Next on the list are Hobbit & Into the Woods! You win this time, movie industry.

IMG_0463Lastly, seeing the new off-Broadway comedy, Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man, really topped off this month. I got discount tickets through work and I am so glad I heard about it! This is as hysterical as the title suggests, and very interactive (be prepared if you sit within the first five rows.) Matt and I were laughing the whole time – and may never look at a juicer the same way again. I’ll leave it up to your imagination, and I encourage you to see it if you’re in New York!

 

 

I can’t believe tomorrow is December already. I’m excited to head home to Florida for two weeks and get some rest & relaxation! Bring it on, winter!

5 Things I Learned After Moving to a New State

Greetings from Boston! I am officially a settled in Bostonian, and I have learned so much this month. I will start by saying that moving to a state is not easy — but it definitely serves as a great opportunity to learn about yourself and the world around you. September has treated me very well, and I’m glad I found the time to get this post in. My goal is to post at least once a month!

There is the age-old question, “What did you learn in school today?” Well, here is what I learned moving to a new state this month:

10713976_10152260845561364_4639764118192997706_o1. You will learn by making mistakes that co$t you.

It is easily known that moving states is a financial commitment, but finding the best deals takes some time. I moved here and thought loading $20 on my CharlieCard for the T (train for all my non-bostonian friends), would last me forever. It lasted about a week, and I can’t wait until October 1 to invest in the monthly pass. Another fun adventure I had was taking a $40 Uber to WATERTOWN, MA just to pick up a package. I had put the package for signature delivery, with the chances of me or my roommate being home very slim (which I would like to add that my roommate was home, but our garden level apartment can be hard to spot). I digress. In new surroundings, take the time to ask around before making impulse decisions! AND if you have never downloaded Uber or LYFT… you should + use my promo codes for a free ride with each!

UBER: daniellek84 — LYFT: DANIELLE416650

10658844_10152260836996364_5486116463053396782_o2. Familiar faces are a #blessing.

I give major credit to those who move states without knowing a soul! I had a very easy transition since one of my best friends, Becca, has lived in Boston for over a year and knows the ropes. Who else would house your two large suitcases because your apartment isn’t move-in ready yet? And of course, my wonderful boyfriend has been in Boston since June and has seriously been my rock! He has helped me with all the stressors and I am so thankful to take this journey with him. This is an open invite to all my friends to please visit me (So glad I got to see my forever bestie, Carlie, in the Twerkus again!)

3. It’s really hard to not talk about your state . . . all the time.

I am such a proud Floridian and it really shows. I find myself constantly talking about Florida, checking the weather in Florida, and telling people that I am from Florida. I always noticed other people in college consistently talking about their home states and now I totally get it. It’s a way for me to keep Florida in my heart. And I can’t wait to kayak without the fear of an alligator attack. Side note: One of my Lyft drivers told me, “I can tell you’re from Florida, you have a different kind of beauty.” That’s good to know — keep it sunny, FL!

4. When you’re #workhappy, you are really, really happy.

I love my job. Her Campus Media is absolutely incredible and the women I work with are so driven and inspiring. I have truly found my niche in sales and can’t wait to see where it takes me. I got to experience an amazing getaway in the Berkshires for the office retreat! I am so thankful to have already made the trip to the mountains — we went hiking, apple picking, and cider tasting. In one week I was able to retreat in the mountains, hear Simon Sinek, Malcolm Gladwell, and Martha Stewart speak at #INBOUND14, then enjoy an evening with my Matt and my work ladies for the #HCTurns5 Birthday Bash!

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5. Take things one day at a time.

This is a new mentality for me. I have always been notorious for stressing about 100 things at once. I came to the realization that I worried about things not going right, way before necessary to do so. Honestly, going to the serene mountains put everything into perspective. You can be so stressed over the littlest things, and maybe you make a few mistakes here and there, but the world keeps spinning. Don’t let Thursday ruin your Friday. Moving to a new state, or starting any new chapter, comes with a lot of “could have, would have, should have” moments, but you can’t let them control you. Life is beautiful and I am truly blessed.1502263_10152260820686364_6064866970963215157_o

I find it most appropriate to end this post with a huge huge huge THANK YOU to my mom, dad, and sister back home. Also to my friends who have been there for me throughout the process. BONUS: My roommate is awesome, helpful, and selfless (she is an AOII, after all!)

Moving On Up – Literally

Today is my last full day as a Floridian. Tomorrow I will be a Bostonian.

IMG_7359With today being my last day, I am reflecting on how thankful I am for everything – especially these past three months. I have had one of the best summers ever and I spent it at home! Working at the summer camp I grew up at was the best decision I could have made. It was the ultimate mental detox from being such an involved student, and it is an amazing experience to spend time with friends you have basically known your whole life.

Seriously though – major shout out to my Next Stop Broadway family. They give me so much life and this summer had me laughing every day because they just get it. From needing to use a “phone bucket” to peel my 12/13-year-old campers off their phones to Wednesday dress up days, I loved every minute of it. P.S. to all reading – I got “Best Counselor of the Year” with fellow rockstar Daniel Kies which really was the icing on the cake! I have so much love for all of you.

IMG_7498Also, I really missed my family, so these three months were highly cherished. Now, I’m about to embark on a journey that will make me miss them even more. Moving to Boston is not easy, but somehow at this moment I have all my suitcases (only 2.5 . . . ) packed and three boxes ready to be shipped. I am looking forward to this next step in my life, and I am filled with so many emotions.

Boston will be amazing, I will have my wonderful boyfriend by my side as he begins grad school at Northeastern, one of my best friends Becca as a neighbor, and I will be rooming with a fellow AOII alumna! PLUS, my co-workers are all so fabulous and I can’t wait to contribute to the glory that is Her Campus.

To my loving family who I know is reading this: Thank you from every bit of my heart. You put up with me this summer, helped me prepare for this move, and taught me so much (as you always have). Thank you for being you. There are no words to describe how thankful I am. I had a wonderful family BBQ to say farewell, and passed down my Barbies and American Girl, which was a clear sign of “growing up.”

BFF Since Pre-KThis summer reminded me to cherish lifelong friends. My friends and sisters from college are amazing, but there is nothing like lifelong friends who just get you. Friends who remember your AOL Hometown Page and away messages, and who wrote in your Hello Kitty Friends File. I have so many amazing friends in my life that I can talk to once every five months yet we never grow apart. You all know who you are!

I can’t say it enough – I have so many emotions right now. I am nervous, excited, proud, determined, scared, and so ready all at the same time. I’m coming for you Boston with my fancy new haircut (but I will miss Publix dearly).

All my love from Florida,

Danielle

Back-to-Back Travels

10456265_10152101840241364_9096411878994879464_n“Travel. The only thing you buy that makes you richer.” 

Excited to be back on the blog after two amazing weekend travels! Working 8-4, M-F, and traveling on the weekends has kept me very busy and inspired.

Last summer, Matt visited me in NYC for Fourth of July weekend, so I did the same this year in what will soon be both of our homes – Boston! We had a wonderful weekend of exploring, and of course . . . food. I am so blessed that our paths in life have led us both to Boston. I truly love the city (and Matt).

Following that trip, I attended my second Her Campus Intercollegiette Conference, #HerConference. However, this time I was part of the National Team! I can not stress enough how much this trip solidified that I made the best decision to start my career at Her Campus Media. I made instant friends and am counting down the days until I begin work. Fellow September-starter Liana and I got to work the Social Currency booth. There were amazing raffles from sponsors including Intel, Luna Bar (they gave away a semesters worth of Luna Bars to two lucky winners), Chloe + Isabel, VS PINK, and so much more. Collegiettes had a great time tagging our sponsors on social media to receive raffle tickets, and I had a blast working that crowd!

Speakers at the conference included Carley Roney, Co-founder and Chief Content Officer of XO Group (formely known as The Knot), and Susan Kaufman, Editor-in-Chief of People StyleWatch among many other notable women in the editorial, blogging, marketing, and digital worlds.

My career is going to be surrounded by empowering women, and my heart is full of passion to sell Her Campus to the world. I had a blast celebrating success with my future co-workers and reflecting on how thankful I am for all opportunities.

10534506_10152114705591364_6857306435054518229_nAlso in New York, I got to see my cousin, Gillian, who is the recently appointed VP of Consumer at Weber Shandwick New York! While in the same building, I visited my Golin girls from last summer (and walked out with this perfect Instagram notebook).

My next flight will be a one-way ticket to Boston, where I will be roommates with a fellow AOII alumna. In the mean time, I am LOVING my time at Next Stop Broadway, making new memories with lifelong friends. HUGE PLUG for my best friend Carlie Craig who works for and is on tour with YouTube Sensation Todrick Hall, so proud of you starring in Twerk Du Soleil! Check her out as ‘Rebecca’, the hysterical IM5 stalker in Todrick Hall’s #BandCamp, and on Instagram as the hilarious @IM54U4Ever9290_10152121240431364_1476153999113395496_n

I had a lot to catch up on, hope everyone is having a great summer as well!

 

HCXO,
Danielle

 

A ‘Collegiette’ Dream Come True

Next week makes 2 MONTHS (awkward, last edit said weeks, guess I am adjusting..) since graduation! I have received notice that my diploma on the way – and I am on my way, too.


Being home for the summer has given me plenty of time to self-reflect. I view my personal brand to be very healthy – physically and mentally. So, what have I been up to? Well, I am five days away from completing the 30-day Ab Challenge, have been a consistent YouFit member, traded spaghetti for spaghetti squash, and finally finished both seasons of House of Cards (never getting involved in congress). The break has been great but I am looking forward to beginning my camp counselor position next week.

Oh, and I’ve accepted the perfect post-grad opportunity! -drum roll please-

unnamed-1In September I will be a new resident of Boston, joining the National Team at Hercampus.com as the Sales Assistant for Her Campus Media! “Her Campus is the #1 online and offline community for college women.” It also serves as a college marketing firm – helping brands enter the college market. I love college . . . I love brands . . . win. Also, I am forever a ‘collegiette.’

I will have many exciting roles, one being to increase knowledge of Her Campus Media within the marketing and advertising industry. By conducting PR outreach, networking, and attending industry events, I will make sure to be a real ROCKSTAR.

Rockstar. I heard this word many times during the interview process and it is spot on. This is a fast-paced growing company founded by three inspiring Harvard students while they were undergraduates. They need rockstars to keep growing – so let’s get the show started!

Here is my quick tidbit of job search advice for all my other recent graduates:

  • Be patient (I know it is hard to stop refreshing your email every two minutes)
  • Know yourself and what you value
  • Know your options
  • Explore
  • Be brave
  • Trust your instincts

See you in September, Boston! (OK I’m visiting Matt for 4th of July Weekend first…)

HCXO,
Danielle

40 days, but who is counting?

In a past post, My 40% of Happiness, I noted of learning that happiness is 50% genetic, 10% circumstances and 40% – intentional (you choose). So, I find today to be an appropriate day to reflect since I graduate from the University of South Florida in 40 days.

A lot can happen in 40 days. In the past 40 days, I have transitioned out of my last executive position within my sorority, traveled to Boston with Matt, celebrated the birthdays of my sister and dad, and learned more about myself along the way.

Boston was my most alternative spring break, and thus the most rewarding. It was interesting when people would ask why we were in Boston – Our replies: “I am visiting graduate schools!” and “I have a job interview!” – pause – Where did our lives go?

Things are happening so fast, but I have to remember that I am 22 – and feelin’ it! I had the opportunity to interview with one of my dream PR agencies, and I hope that door opens for me. Plus, Matt got accepted to Northeastern University and I am so proud of him!

We visited the original Cheers, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston Tea Party Museum, Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market, Harvard, Northeastern, among other hot spots. I even got to see my lifelong friend Becca – plug for Becca Bakes – and my friend Megan who I worked with at GolinHarris. Matt and I ate a lot of food, with plenty of lobster & chowda to choose from, and you can bet that I took a picture of everything. Follow me on IG @deekush if you appreciate a meal in your feed at least twice a day. No shame in being branded as a #foodie. Oh, and another plug for comedian Josh Blue who we saw at Laugh Boston!

Matt always tells me that everything works out. And alas . . . it always does.

Now, I am going to graduate from USF in 40 days with every week someone asking me, “So, what’s next?!” I will definitely let you all know as soon as I know. I have had so many opportunities here at USF within sorority life, my on-campus jobs, and the honor of serving as a USF Ambassador (crazy that we just welcomed our new class last week and I’ve reached my 1-year mark!)

40 days seems like a lot, but it is not. I will take each day one by one and enjoy the moments.

Cheers,
Danielle