Special K(T)

sports, smarts, arts… and other random thoughts

Webster Apartments — August 27, 2016

Webster Apartments

When you work in NYC, you need some place to live. But because I am a consultant and could potentially be traveling four days of the week, I wasn’t going to be paying New York City rent until I was positive that I couldn’t commute from home. So I booked myself 4 weeks at the Webster Apartments until I figured it out.

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The Webster Apartments is a women’s dorm located in the heart of Manhattan. The Webster houses students, interns, or business professionals within a certain salary range for up to 5 years, though most people here are foreign students/interns.

What you pay: Your rent is based on a sliding scale of what you make; hence no income = lowest cost.

What you get: It’s a dorm. Think a room with a sink. Shared bathrooms. Two meals a day. Solid wifi. 24/7 security. And a banging roof deck with an incredible view (see above)!

What you don’t get: Air conditioning (the first 2 days I almost died). Men are ONLY allowed on the first floor of the building, not in rooms. Location is loud, non-residential but you are a few blocks away from Time Square. A gym- there is no work out room. Water pressure- if you live on the 13th floor like I do, you will need to take the elevator to a lower floor to wash your hair.

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My opinion: For what you pay, this is an incredible deal. Rooms are clean and the building is safe. The roof deck makes the city a little more bearable for a suburban person :) My real issue is that I am not a city person. I like to run outside and see grass. I like to drive my car to Target or a supermarket (there are literally zero supermarkets near me).

The food is edible but really strict. You can have as much oatmeal/cereal/salad as you want, but everything else is served to you based on their portions. You get one piece of meat. You can chose between dessert or a piece of fruit. You cannot take anything out of the dinning hall (at least that they see😉 ).

Also I don’t know if flushing toilets is something unique in the US, but this sign is in every stall.

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And still no one seems to read those signs. I will spare you a picture.

 

“Business Casual” Work Clothes —

“Business Casual” Work Clothes

I finally have started my job as a consultant in NYC… YAY work! The first two weeks consisted of training. We got to travel to a couple different locations for office and national training, and learned that life on the road is awesome (company paid for dinners and hotel rooms!!) but tiring (delayed flights, packing, repacking… ugh).

Moving onto clothes: The dress code for my office is business casual, which really is no help at all for a girl. It turns out that business casual ranges from a women’s suit to maroon leggings and a long white blouse.

The most worn item by the other girls you ask?? Bandaids. For real, you can tell if a girl is a new hire by looking at her feet. All the new shoes.

See below for my first two weeks of outfits. As you can see, my clothes stick to my typical five colors: black, white, grey, tan, and navy blue.🙂

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Another clothing consideration is travel and transportation. I take the subway to work and have to walk about 5 minutes to get to the subway and 5 minutes to get from the subway to work. In the heat of the city, I am sweating in long sleeves. And then packing work clothes in a suitcase is such a pain. It is quite time consuming to try on each outfit before you leave. I am planning on buying a few more dresses because all you need to pack is the dress!

Artsy and Stylish: Other People are Cool — August 4, 2016

Artsy and Stylish: Other People are Cool

I was perusing Pinterest for work outfit ideas, as I begin my real life job as a consultant next week eeeeeek!!!! and stumbled upon two awesome people with two awesome blogs.

Stylish Petite

This lady’s work outfits exude class.  I, too, desire to be an entrepreneur whose success can fund a stylish closet and a career as a full-time blogger.

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Speaking of clothing, if you want to read a great article on why men’s cargo shorts are the worst thing ever, click here!

Drawn the Road Again

Then as I stumbled upon this awesome artist, who doesn’t relate to work clothes in the least. She does these sweet watercolor sketches of her travels across the US and abroad. #lifegoals

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The fluffiest pancakes of all time… — July 19, 2016
Mid-Summer Culture Update — July 16, 2016

Mid-Summer Culture Update

I’m balancing pop-culture via in theater movies with books from the Barnes and Nobles classics list. The new and the old. Anyways here is my rating system:

👍🏻 = I like.

👎 🏻= I don’t like🏻🏻.

👊🏻 = Neutral/ no opinion.

Books- The Classics

Sense and Sensibility 👎🏻👎🏻

Ugh. My first book of the summer. Absolutely horrendous. All they do is whine, and NOTHING ACTUALLY HAPPENS. Seriously, you could recount the entire book in paragraph. Two sisters, Elinor and Marrianne, have boy problems. Elinor = sense (aka. she hides her feelings). Marrianne = sensibility (aka. drama queen). They each date people who turn out to be engaged to someone else. GASP! They move houses…drama…they take a trip to London…more drama. Then Elinor ends up with her guy. Marrianne does not. The end.

The Secret Garden 👍🏻

To recover from the tragedy of Sense and Sensibility, I choose an easy read next. Quick story, kept me entertained, and I could knock it out in and day and a half. I approve.

Crime and Punishment 👎🏻👎🏻

I had read this along with Sense and Sensibility in AP English my senior year of high school. I hoped it would get better when I could just read for enjoyment, but there is really nothing enjoyable about the mental state of a man who believes its ok to commit murder. *Smiles ironically* (I still have no clue what this means). Really, no complaints about the writing, I just don’t care for the topic. And the 600 page length is not too pleasing either.

 

Movies- Showing in a Theater I Worked

Now when I say I have “seen” these movies, what I really mean is I worked this movies. Think when you flip channels and you see the same parts of an episode a zillion times but you’ve never seen the whole thing. On the other hand, movies that I have worked multiple times, I usually end up seeing most of the movie. I have seen the ending of every movie, because you wait inside the theater for people to get out.

The Nice Guys 👍🏻👍🏻

This was the first movie I ever worked. It’s pretty funny and kept me entertained. I approve.

Alice Through the Looking Glass 👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻

Really not my favorite. Watched this one a few times.

X-Men: Apocalypse (partially) 👊🏻

I know the gist of this one (aka I’ve seen the ending about 3 times), but really I’m not a fantasy person so I didn’t watch too closely.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows 👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻

Absolutely terrible. I have watched this one upwards of 7 times. “Normal? What fun is that? *Music ends climactically* Turtle Power!!This. This is embedded into my head.

Now You See Me 2 (partially) 👊🏻

Only watched this one a few times. I am interested, but tried not to watch since I haven’t see the first one.

The Conjuring 2 👊🏻

I don’t do scary movies. I understand what happens but I closed my ears.

WarCraft 👊🏻

Again fantasy and I don’t do video games so 1) I watched but had no idea what was happening and 2) didn’t really care to give much effort to figure it out.

Central Intelligence 👍🏻👍🏻

I liked this one. The storyline is pretty typical, but it made me laugh and has a great end scene compilation.

Finding Dory 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

Adorable. This is a must see! I love Gerald and Becky and Destiny and all the new characters. The only thing that is sad is since I know Ellen plays Dory, I picture her face when Dory speaks. Also Jay from Modern Family plays Hank the Septopus, and Phil plays Bailey the big headed whale.

Independence Day Resurgence 👊🏻

Meh. Not my fav. I haven’t seen much of the beginning of this one at all.

The Shallows 👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻

TERRIBLE. I had to watch this 3 times in a row. And I watched the entire movie. Please save yourself and do not watch this movie.

The Legend of Tarzan (partially) 👊🏻

It’s a more historical account of Tarzan. I didn’t have strong feelings either way.

The BFG 👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻

Bad. Bad. Bad. Boring and the little girl is whiny and it’s just weird.

The Secret Life of Pets 👎🏻

All the good parts are in the preview promo video. It’s a very predictable storyline. Good idea, but poorly executed.

Plus, exciting news!! I only have one week left of my serving-movie job. Real person job, here I come!!

Philly ‘Round the Fourth 2.0 — July 15, 2016

Philly ‘Round the Fourth 2.0

Z came to visit! YAY! On Friday night, we ate a late dinner at a restaurant which has fancy outdoor seating. The table and chairs swing back and forth in this huge glider-rocking-chair-like contraption. I have been eyeing them up every day as I drive to work. It was interesting. I think they would be better in daylight, as at there was not much lighting at night.

Saturday was filled with outdoor activities: biking, wiffleball, and tennis (including watching Serena win not once but twice at Wimbledon). Then on Sunday Z, Chris, and I visiting Philly for the afternoon. See the map below for our itinerary.

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I really wanted to check out the summer activities around Penn’s Landing, so we stopped there first. The Blue Cross RiverRink hosts Summerfest featuring an outdoor roller rink, mini-golf, and lots of fun oversized board games (Aaron and I visited Blue Cross WinterFest two years ago). Since we had arrived around 1pm not much was happening at SummerFest, so we continued our way down Penn’s Landing.

Next stop: Spruce Harbor Park, which is this cute park filled with food trucks, brightly colored adirondack chairs, hammocks for napping, and strings of lights dangling from the trees. Z got some tacos, but I can’t pass up cheesesteaks in Philly so Chris and I waited until we walked past Sonny’s Famous Steaks on our way to the historical region for lunch. The wait was longer than desired, but you can’t beat a great cheesesteak.

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The Big Chair at Blue Cross SummerFest.
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Chillin’ at Spruce Harbor Park
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Cheesesteaks from Sonny’s…nom nom nom

After everyone had eaten, we headed over to the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. Contrary to common belief, the Liberty Bell was not cracked from ringing the bell. There was actually just a scratch that was affecting the tone of the bell, and in an attempt to fix it… the scratch enlarged to a huge crack. Great job guys, great job.

At Independence Hall, we got an insider tip from a security guard to enter through the museum and skip the security line. After a brief chat with Ursula about the rise of Indian nations in the colonial era, we joined the group 3:15pm tour of Independence Hall as no-ticket standby visitors. It was perfect timing.

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dawwww, cousins
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Squad selfie at the Liberty Bell

After walking back to Penn’s Landing, we took a quick stop a street festival sponsored by McDonalds celebrating the Latin Grammys. I understood zero words that were being said. Luckily I had my handy dandy Spanish translator, Z, with me! Then we set off looking for the LOVE statue, which apparently had moved to a temporary location across the street.

While the LOVE statue was not too difficult to find, parking was a bit of an issue. I am not the most decisive city driver especially when it comes finding a parking spot on the street. So everyone got a nice tour of the shopping district in the neighborhood of Rittenhouse Square, as I circled the blocks. Eventually I found a parking spot that I could easily pull into 🙌 🙌 🙌.

Following our LOVE statue visit we decided to walk around the shops I accidentally discovered during our little parking adventure. Then we ended the evening with gelato. We stumbed upon Gran Caffe L’Aquila, which apparently wins tons of awards for their gelato!!! It was delish. I had chocolate, Z got the pistacho, and Chris tried the cannoli flavor. All were wonderful.

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we❤ Philly (and gelato)
3 Things That Made Me Giggle — July 5, 2016
T-Mobile Tuesdays #GetThanked — July 3, 2016

T-Mobile Tuesdays #GetThanked

My family has T-Mobile. Places where I get good service: 1.) my house and 2.) Notre Dame Stadium ONLY during home football games when hundreds of people are there (Seriously, I can send pictures messages with astonishing speed). Places where I do NOT get service: everywhere else…

But good news! This summer, instead of investing money into improving their cell service, T-Mobile decided to give its customers free things each Tuesday through a mobile app. Clearly, I have been taking full advantage of this. The first two weeks you got a free medium 2 topping pizza from Dominos, a free small Frosty, and a free movie rental. That was good stuff! Each member of my family was getting a personal pizza. I could order a white pizza with chicken and spinach for dinner on Tuesday and have leftovers for lunch and dinner on Wednesday. It was delicious!!

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Then Dominos had to go and back out, stating it couldn’t keep up with the higher-than-expected demand. That is terrible service. So now we are getting a myriad of replacements: $15 Lyft ride, a free year subscription to a food magazine, $20 credit to Fandango, $20 credit to StubHub…

While I was disappointed I lost my pizza, some of the replacements are really solid: my mom and I went to see Finding Dory with our Fandango credit, and I’m pretty sure our fam will be able to get Phillies tickets with $20 each for StubHub this upcoming Tuesday.

Side Note: Finding Dory was adorable!! A little slow in the beginning, but super cute and funny. I would highly recommend it. “It’s your destiny, Destiny!”

Random Q&A — July 2, 2016

Random Q&A

I was perusing the internet and stumbled upon an interesting article on a website called Buzz Nigeria: The Best 40 Random Questions You Can Ever Ask Someone. Needless to say I was entertained, so I thought I would answer some of them so you too can be entertained.

Are you usually late, early, or right on time?

The answer to this question has definitely changed since I entered college. In high school, I was always early. ALWAYS. And that was ingrained in me mainly because of sports. If practice was at 3:30pm, you got there at least a half hour early. In college (with the exception of basketball managing and job interviews) I have transitioned into a right on time person. Time has simply become more precious. My days were often scheduled to the minute. I think this will transition into my career as well because even during my internship, you would be a fool to arrive to a meeting more than 5 minutes early. Efficiency is important.

Do you like chocolate?

YES.

Do you like rainy days or snowy days more?

Definitely snowy days. I greatly dislike getting wet unless it is 100% by my choice. Plus snow is pretty.

What scares you the most and why?

The fear that I encounter the most on a daily basis is dogs. I am terribly afraid of dogs, I have no idea why, but they scare the living daylights out of me. Other fears: most other animals, disappointing people, drowning, and being trapped or held down and unable to escape.

What’s you middle name?

Marie, after my mother’s middle name.

What music are you listening to right now?

Mostly country, but I also frequent the Top 40 songs. For running/working out or just a change of pace, Summer Hits of the 90s and 2000s are two of my go-to Pandora stations.

Accumulating Experiences, Not Things — June 27, 2016

Accumulating Experiences, Not Things

Those of you who keep up with the economy know that consumer purchases are on the decline. Those of you who don’t, should subscribe to Morning Brew, a free daily email that provides an easy to read overview of the stock market and economy aimed at the millennial business professional.

Anyways, quick summary of the economy: millennials want experiences, not “stuff.” And for once, I include myself in the majority.

I am extremely hard to shop for because I don’t like “things.” In some ways, this is because I am a minimalist; I like to be organized and clutter-free. I have a particular style for clothes, jewelry, and home decor, so I really enjoy picking out those items myself. The other contributing factor is that my favorite gifts from others are shared quality time. See, I don’t attach people to stuffed animals or dooddads, I attach people to experiences and memories. And I LOVE pictures.

For me, pictures remind me of my friends and family. When I returned from college, I partially redecorated my room. The first thing I did was put up my pictures of my friends and family from all my favorite memories this past year. As I scrolled through my photo library on my computer and pictures on Facebook, I flashed back to all I had experienced this past year: tailgates and gamedays spent with friends during football season…fall break with my boyfriend…the not so great memories of my senior design group…all the crazy stories as a member of the basketball managers…the ND football bowl game trip to AZ with Z and Aaron…spring break in Disney…senior week spent with my closest friends and graduation with my family.

FullSizeRender-1FullSizeRenderWhether it be going out to dinner or a day trip to the beach or a mini golf outing, every adventure is a photo opportunity. Memories are captured on camera, and seeing smiling faces makes me smile as well.

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