Catching up via Instagram: 11/1/2015

Annnnnd, we’re back.

I had planned to get at least one or two Africa posts up by now, but I’m still having trouble finding words for everything, and so that will continue to be pushed off. Soon, I promise! For now, some glimpses into life in New York City, both before and since my trip.

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Just after my most recent post, fall started and everyone busted out their best cool-weather outfits. Turns out mine and Kelli’s are pretty similar – right down to the hairstyle!

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Nothing better than bookending a day with a morning walk through  my favorite park, and a nighttime walk through the Financial District.

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A night at The Smith and a catch-up with my sweet friend Victoria ended with the discovery of a photobooth in the bathrooms (?!) and the realization that we are both terrible at photobooths.

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Community groups are in full swing, meaning I have a built-in excuse to hang out with friends on Saturday nights.

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The foliage has been gorgeous this season, and this one particular tree on my block was way ahead of the game.

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One of my favorite ways to kill an afternoon: Picking up a book at the Mid-Manhattan Library, walking across the street and reading it on the front patio of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building (aka what most people think of when they picture the New York Public Library).

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My friend Misha sends a fantastic Halloween care package every year (she’s close with all three of us roommates!) and I had to laugh when I pulled out this Brooklyn Nine-Nine mug – I’d say the officers look right at home with Leslie Knope, which was a gift from Kelli earlier this year!

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Nothing beats walking across the Brooklyn Bridge at sunset, even if the temperatures are dipping and the walkway is packed with tourists.

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When I got back to the northern hemisphere, I was thrilled to see that the leaves hadn’t fallen yet. I immediately ditched my bags at home and went for a wander through Brooklyn (ending, of course, at my favorite coffee shop).

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My sweet little brother celebrated his 23rd birthday last week, causing my usual wander down memory lane. Look how cute we once were!

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Yes, more fall! I’m thrilled to report that my attempt to actually enjoy it this year has been mostly successful.

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Was I the only one OVERJOYED when Apple finally gave us a taco emoji?! Of course I couldn’t update my phone right away on the weak wifi in Swaziland, but you better believe it was one of the first things I did upon my return. And then: A celebration at Domo!

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Finally: Halloween. I didn’t plan a costume this year, instead choosing to partner with Emmie the Pinata. I’d say it worked out!

So how are all of you, friends?! Catch me up!

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First day of Fall

Just like that, another season change: The days are considerably shorter, the weather is cooler, everything is pumpkin-flavored. Everyone loves fall, or so it seems. Living in Phoenix, I would listen to midwest transplants wax poetic about changing leaves and pumpkin patches, while I nodded along and cherished the ongoing  pool days. I’m a summer girl, and the entire concept of autumn was lost on me.

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Last year was the first “real” fall of my adulthood, and I can’t shake the feeling that I did it all wrong. Each day was cooler than the one before, and I would psych myself out thinking about how much colder it would get as winter approached. I built an entire fall bucket list, and completed exactly zero items, preferring to spend my weekends lying in the sunshine in a jacket, pretending it was still summer even though it undeniably was not. (I did see leaves change, but that was more inevitable than intentional). I own maybe five sweaters, and I put off wearing boots as long as possible. And although I thought I’d be happy living as though it was warm, I was actually pretty miserable.

This year, I’m determined to make the most of fall and find out what the hype is all about. I want to treat it like an actual season, rather than an interlude between iced lattes and peppermint mochas, and to hold off the dread of winter chill.

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With that in mind, here’s a peek at what I’m hoping to accomplish in the next three months:

  • Apple picking: This was on my list last year and it never happened. I’m now aware of a farm in Queens, so it’s a lot more attainable than I expected!
  • Go to an NBA game: Maybe not a fall-specific activity, but the season does start next month, and basketball is the only professional sport I’ve never seen in person.
  • Cook lots and lots of soups and chilis: I LOVE this little food group, and even though I left my dutch oven in Arizona, I’m determined to re-create my favorite recipes on a smaller scale.
  • Spend some time in the spring by popping down to the Southern hemisphere: because even though I’m determined to love fall, I’ll always love spring more 😉

What are your tips for making myself enjoy fall?!

P.S. This is my favorite fall bucket list: Activities for people who really hate fall but pretend to love fall. I only wish I’d thought of it first!

Washington Square Park through the seasons

Contrary to popular belief, New York City is home to hundreds (literally) of wonderful parks. Everyone knows about Central Park, but there are so many other great places to spend time outdoors!

The park where I most often seem to find myself is Washington Square Park. Located between the two offices I’ve worked in since moving here (one in SoHo and one in the East Village), it’s been my default lunch spot for over a year. Not only that, I often pass through walking to and from work, and it’s my favorite spot to kill some time before meeting up with friends.

My favorite things about Washington Square Park: The fountain and arch are iconic, the people watching is strong thanks to NYU and it’s freaking gorgeous. To prove this last point, here is a collection of my favorite photos since I moved to NYC thirteen months ago. They’re chronological, and encompass all seasons: spring, summer, fall, winter and spring again! (Because spring is the best).

Spring (2014)

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Summer

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Fall

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Winter

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Spring (2015)

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What’s your favorite season?

My Week in Instagrams: 11/30/14

Can y’all believe it’s already advent?! My very favorite season kicks off TODAY! I’m so excited for a month of celebrating the birth of Jesus. It’s already off to an awesome start, with this week full of holiday celebrations.

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I’m usually the type to wait until after Thanksgiving to put up the tree, but my roommate and I both had last Monday off from work so we made a day of it: Saw Mockingjay Part 1, stocked up on Thanksgiving foods from Trader Joe’s, watched every Thanksgiving episode of Friends and put up our tree! What a wonderful day it was.

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Of course when we put up our tree I realized that I didn’t bring any of my ornaments with me in the move – and all of Becca’s are from her alma mater, which is my alma mater’s rival! So on Tuesday I started replenishing my Christmas stash with this ornament featuring the best letter in the alphabet.

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In many ways, Thanksgiving this year was just another Thursday for me, with fewer people in the office and more phone calls placed to family. But I was shocked when getting off the train in Manhattan to find New York City looking particularly charming – especially considering we’d just suffered the first slushy snowfall of the season. It made for a cold but beautiful walk to work.

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Friday was my college’s annual game against our aforementioned rival. It’s considered football’s most intense rivalry, so obviously I had to post some support for my Sun Devils! Tragically, we lost the game. I don’t want to talk about it – but I am forever proud of ASU!

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Finally, last night my sweet friend Chelsea – the very first person I met at Liberty Church back in the spring – hosted an impromptu Christmas party. Santa hats were involved and many photos were taken. Such joy I take from my friendships here in NYC!

Happy holidays, friends!

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My week in Instagrams: 11/16/14

Hello, friends! What a week this has been. It was about 100% more relaxing than last week, yet eventful enough for a ridiculous amount of Instagramming. It was a mix of nights in and birthday celebrations for friends and trying to adjust to the very chilly fall weather! No snow yet, though – let’s keep it that way as long as we can, yes? Here’s a glimpse at my life this week:

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Fall colors continue to be stunning and, at least for now, it’s still warm enough in the afternoons that I can wander through parks on my lunch breaks.

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My sister continues to be the best and sends random cards in the mail every couple weeks. This one put a huge smile on my face – I love Christmas enough that I’m already listening to Christmas music 24/7.

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One day this week I got out of the house earlier than normal and decided  to go for a walk on the way to the office. I stumbled across this gem in Washington Square Park and it put a huge smile on my face. I’ve only been here 8 months but I’d say this is accurate!

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The incredible mail week continued with this tote bag from my friend Kathleen – isn’t it adorable?! And such a lovely reminder to slow down and enjoy the little things.

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Yesterday was sunny enough that I wondered at one point if I should have worn sunscreen – yet the temperatures were hovering in the 40’s, even midday. Back in Phoenix, that’s about as cold as it ever gets, so I’m pretty anxious about the soon-to-plummet temperatures here in NYC! Check back later this week to find out how I’ve been preparing for winter.

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