Inspired by...Summer Bucket List!

With 11 days to go until I am back home in the states and summer has officially begun, thinking out my summer bucket list was exactly what I needed!  

 

1. READ…a lot

     After doing nothing but course reading for the past six months, I am in desperate need of a good story to dive into and sooth my worn-out brain and re-inspire me.  I have a list of fiction and non-fiction books I’ve been meaning to get to, so stay tuned! 

 

2. Friends!

     It’s been almost a year since I’ve seen my best friend Brittany, but now that she is back in New York, and I’ll soon be back in Connecticut, I can’t wait for NYC dates at our favourite restaurant, Red Bamboo, complete with bubble tea and a walk on the high line, hair and makeup lessons (she’s my style guru), catching up on Grey’s Anatomy, and just being together.  I also can’t wait to see my darling sister, Farishta, too!  She’s much closer to home, thankfully, so I’m looking forward to long walks, tea dates, making Indian/Afghan food, and talking about life.  

 

3. The 20-Something Project

     Since becoming a 20-something, I’ve been having this identity crisis about “growing up” and entering the real world, and I’ve realised that I don’t know the first thing about the real world.  I mean, who does?  But, I want to become financially independent (like, grocery shop without my parents’ credit card, for example, learn how to invest my money, manage a credit card, etc.), figure out my personal style, get my health and wellness on track, and work on my personal brand.  Any tips, books, podcasts, etc. that you can suggest would be very much appreciated!

 

4. Blogging, Smart Girls Group, theSkimm, apps and content

     And now onto my digital life!  I, of course, will continue to blog but I love that the #BlogEverydayInMay challenge has gotten me to blog, well, every day (except for this week when I fell behind…).  I’ve really enjoyed these prompts and want to work on increasing my blogging and social media output.  I also want to keep working on my projects for Smart Girls Group and theSkimm and even become more involved.  As for apps and content, I cannot wait to get my new phone (first new phone in over two years!  Yay for more space!) and load it up with apps, and just keep soaking up the digital world that I’ve come to love so much.


5. Live it up at my dream internship

     I’ve been dreaming of the summer I would intern at Choate Rosemary Hall’s summer programs for eight years, and it’s finally here!  I could not be more excited to return to the place that changed my life and be a part of it once more.  I not only get to live on campus and be a dorm advisor to middle school and high school girls, I get to help teach, chaperone excursions, run a sport, and just throw myself into life at Choate.  Dream. Summer.  :)


Inspired to be,


Katherine

Inspired by...Saying Thanks

Welcome to the Blog Everyday in May Challenge Day 4!  Today, I am writing a letter to say thanks to a very special lady in my life: my dear friend Farishta who I met on the first day of eighth grade and who has been my friend and sister ever since.

Dear Farishta,

We have been friends for 6 and a half years and you have made those years so beautiful.  I don’t really remember meeting you on the first day of eighth grade or even how we started talking, but one day we did, and then one night we talked on the phone for hours, and the rest is history.  Something about us clicked and you fell into place in my life and fit perfectly.  We survived the last bit of middle school together, and then I left to be homeschooled and kind of abandoned you to face high school on your own, but it didn’t matter that we didn’t go to the same school anymore because we could pick up right where we left off when we saw each other again.  I remember riding my bike to your house (#PreLicenseLife), making hummus in your kitchen, and having movie dates. 

Then, I came back to Valley at the beginning of junior year, and what a miracle because we were in the same math class!  My very first class at a real high school was with you and I was so grateful for that.  We had another survival story: Advanced Topics with Mrs. White and we came out with most of our sanity left.  Remember musical?  It was great having you there, too, especially because we got pictures like this:

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And then we had junior prom, at which we only got one picture together, but I think it’s a funny picture:

We had senior year together, too, and even though we didn’t have any classes together, you were still there through happiness and the occasional heartbreak.  We had plenty of fun times, though, like Titanic, Senior Reception (looking classy, as always!), and of course, GRADUATION!  This picture is hanging on my wall right now and I can’t believe it’s been three years since it was taken.

We’re in college now, and since I’m in London, we’re farther apart than ever, but even just texting you is enough for me because we still never run out of things to talk about.

Thank you for being more than my friend and for being my sister.  You were my friend in that horrible part of middle school when no one was my friend, you were my friend when I was homeschooled and we weren’t at the same school, you were my friend at one of the hardest most wrenching part of my life, the most cringe-worthy part of my life (a.k.a most of high school), the best parts of my life, and six and a half years later, you’re still here and I love you for it.  You have a beautiful spirit and are so strong.  You do my makeup, listen to my crazy stories, and are so kind to me, so I am grateful every single day that I have a friend like you.

I love you and miss you so much!  See you in a month!

Love,

Katie 

Adventure in the West Village

I haven't had an "adventure" in the city in quite some time so when my best friend, Brittany, called me and said she would be visiting from Tampa and could we meet up in the city, I was thrilled!  She moved down there last summer for a change of scenery and career and this is the second time I've seen her since then but it doesn't matter how long it's been or how far we are because she is one of my dearest friends.  She is so loving and fun and she brings out my girly side - she shares my love of social media, introduced me to the beauty of Papyrus cards, is my go-to fashionista, and got me my first Kate Spade bag :-)

I met her and her boyfriend, Greg, at a vegan soul cafe in Greenwich Village called Red Bamboo.  While the concept of "vegan soul food" seems a little odd, wait until you try this place because it is FANTASTIC!  They use a special kind of vegetable and soy-based protein to make "meat" dishes that, I promise you, taste and feel exactly like the real thing.  As a 5-year-strong vegetarian, it often throws me for a loop and I have to remind myself that, no, it actually isn't animal-based meat!  My personal favorite are their buffalo wings and "Bamboo Nuggets" with a ginger-carrot dipping sauce.  This time, I got a roti canais, which is an Indian crepe with a coconut, potato, and "chicken" based curry and that was excellent!  I love curry and this wasn't a strong one so it made for a good appetizer.  I forgot to take a picture in my excitement, though…  Next, I had a teriyaki chicken salad over mixed greens, mushrooms, carrots, and cucumbers which was a satisfying and light meal.  Brittany and Greg both got the "Bamburger" which is a soy-based burger with lettuce, tomato, pickles, house-style mayo, and either dairy or nondairy cheese.  Mind you, my mom used to make the best, juicy, tender burgers, so this one doesn't have me fooled as much, but it comes very close.  For dessert, we had a peanut butter cheesecake (the "cheese" is cashew and avocado based) with chocolate ice cream (it was probably soy or rice-based- I couldn't tell).  The three of us split it but it was every man for himself to get as much as possible of the rich decadence that was that creation:

Just looking at it now makes me hungry for more!

Just looking at it now makes me hungry for more!

After one of the best meals I've had in quite some time, we walked through Chelsea Market where we poked around a few shops, and finally went to "The Filling Station."  This little place in the market is my personal favorite and sells gourmet olive oils, balsamic vinegars, and salts that you can sample as much as you want.  The foodie in me went to town!  My personal favorites were the peach balsamic, the chocolate balsamic, pomegranate balsamic, and blood orange olive oils.

It was so beautiful out today so we headed over to the High Line which, though I am on it almost every day since it's near where I work, remains one of my favorite places in the city.  It used to be an old light rail aboveground, but it's been converted to a park and path that lets you observe the city from higher up.  You can still see some of the old tracks and they've planted wildflowers, and put in benches so it's a little sanctuary for me.  

It stretches from West 12th street to about 28th street so it's also a way to get uptown a little faster, as well!

Love this girl!

Love this girl!

It was time to start heading back so, after an iced tea break at Starbucks, we headed back to where they had parked.  Greg and I both share a love for bubble tea so ended up driving around the city a bit until we came across the cutest little place in Midtown called CoCo Tea.  Bubble tea is an Asian creation and is iced tea with tapioca pearls at the bottom that are sweet and chewy and incredibly fun to sip!  Greg and Brittany each got a milk-based caramel tea with tapioca pearls, and I opted for a passionfruit black tea with the tapioca as well:

YUM!

YUM!

Brittany and Greg and I had a lot of fun chewing obnoxiously on the pearls while they were driving me back to Fordham….

Also, check out the Papyrus card she gave me!

She knows me so well! <3

She knows me so well! <3

All I can say is that I am so lucky to have such special people in my life and this city at my fingertips.  I am constantly inspired by both :-)

Inspired to be,

Katherine