Swan song: 2016 resolutions

2016

They say some of the most stressful events in life are getting married, moving, and starting a new job. We did all three in six months.

On top of that,ย I lost two grandparents, started traveling for work, and adopted a puppy. It’s safe to say that 2015 kicked my ass, but it was worth the fight.

This quote from the band States can sum up my 2015:

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That’s why for this coming year my personal mantra is “back to basics.” I lost my way a little this year, but I’m going to get back on track.

I listened to the Leave Your Mark audiobook by my unofficial mentor, Aliza Licht, and one of the most important takeaways was probably something she didn’t intend: Although our culture glorifies entrepreneurism and the #girlboss, there’s a lot to be said for those who invest their extra energy into advancing in their day jobs. Her story alone is inspiring. She started as a pre-med student from Long Island, and has built an empire on her work ethic and social savvy while climbing the career ladder. That’s why my 2016 includes shutting down this little side hustle, investing in my career, and spending more time with my husband & our fur baby.

But I also have some more specific goals.ย Here are my three new year’s resolutions for 2016:

  1. Become debt-free: 2016 will be the year I become debt-free. Luckily we didn’t go into any debt for our wedding or our move because we paid for everything in cash, but I’m still carrying around car payments and student loans. The quicker I pay those off, the more money I can add to our savings account each month.
  2. Send more love letters: Okay, maybe not literally love letters, but I believe in the power of snail mail. This year I was also inspired by Hannah Brencher and her mission to help strangers with greeting cards and love notes. (Watch her TED talk here.) I’m taking baby steps. My goal for 2016 is to send all of my besties a physical birthday card, rather than just a text or Facebook post.
  3. Actually read the books on my shelf: I am hereby placing myself on a book ban. I cannot buy any more books until I read all of the ones I currently have. I think the perfect time to start will be on our two-week Christmas break.

Thanks for everyone’s support over the past two years – it’s been a fun trip! Please keep in touch โค๏ธ

๐ŸฅTwitter: @ryanrcaitlin

๐Ÿ“ทInstagram: @caitlinrryan

๐Ÿ‘ปSnapchat: caitlinrryan

Current views: December

I, for one, am so glad that my travel season is over. I needed this time at home to heal & recharge. Only eight more work days left until our very extended Christmas break. Because of the way our holiday schedules and PTO worked out, we’re able to take off a full two weeks. Next weekend we’ll be piling in the car with Rufio and making the 12-hour trek up to New York and we can’t wait to see our families & friends. They haven’t met Rufio yet!

I am a little nervous about taking our puppy on a 12-hour car trip (he doesn’t like the car very much) but I discovered these Blue Tranquility treats and I figure they’re worth a try. Anyone else have tips or tricks for surviving a long car ride with pets?

I will say, I don’t miss December in upstate New York. It is GORGEOUS here in Charlotte – the sky is actually blue! I’m wishing for a white Christmas, but after that I’ll be happy to come back home to the south โค๏ธ

Here’s what we’ve been up to this past month:

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Celebrating this little mama-to-be at her baby shower in the 518 Continue reading

#GIRLBOSS gift guide

girlboss gift guide

Call me old fashioned, but I love practical gifts. Something that will bring joy to the recipient every day. That’s why some of my favorite gifts to give and receive are pretty candles and fun mugs. There’s something luxurious about lighting a candle in the evening, and I love having brightly-colored mugs to wake up my morning cups of tea.ย I’m not a fan of saving something for ‘special occasions’ โ€“ I believe that we should indulge a little each day. Gifts don’t need to be expensive (everything on this list is under $30), but they can help make our days a little fancier.

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5 people to thank in your professional life

5 people to thank in your professional life

As we gather around the table this Thursday and eat into a turkey, mashed potato, and gravy coma, we’ll undoubtedly take a moment to reflect on the basics that we’re thankful for: family, friends, food, and good health, to name a few. But even though the focus of the season is on our home lives, it’s important to give thanks to the key people in our professional lives, too.

Take a few hours over the 4-day weekend to reflect on the past year, put together a list, and start writing out little notes of gratitude.

Tip: You’ll want to get these notes in the mail by the second week of December at the latest in order to reach people before they head out for the holidays.
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Good finds

baby onesie cookies

Adorable onesie cookies at my sister-in-law’s baby shower

Even though Thanksgiving is still a week away, I’m in full-on holiday mode. We’ve already watched two Christmas movies on Netflix, our Christmas cards have been ordered, delivered, and are waiting on our island with stamps, and I’ve already started preparing our Christmas music playlist for our 12-hour drive up to New York. I’m in the holiday spirit, and I can’t be stopped. But I’m still looking forward to turkey, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Gobble gobble!

Here are five good finds from this past week:

  1. Blooming apple pie with maple butter glaze: If you want to be an overachiever and win the dessert table this Thanksgiving, try your hand at this beautiful apple pie. If you do, send me a picture. I’ll be super impressed/jealous of your baking skills.
  2. Will red lipstick kill or kickstart your career?ย Aliza Licht (DKNY PR Girl) is known for her signature red lips and nails. Do you rock red at the office? Personally, I save red lips for the weekends, but that doesn’t mean I don’t respect the women who wear it to meetings!
  3. 14 healthy breakfast hacks flight attendants swear by: These plane-friendly meals will save me on my next trip for work. They certainly beat my typical breakfast of flavored water and a pop-tarts pack that I pick up in the news store at the airport along with a copy of Marie Claire. I’m too ashamed of this meal to even put it on an expense report.
  4. Tips for decorating a small space for the holidays: In my mind, it’s already Christmas, and MPR & I never skimp on the decorations even though we’ve only lived in 650 square feet for the past three years. This article gave me even MORE ideas to up the holiday cheer in our apartment.
  5. 11 differences between busy people and productive people: You know those people who are always overwhelmed and literally running down the halls of your office? Here’s how to not become one of them.

Enjoy!

Current views: November

I often forget how close we are to Thanksgiving and Christmas because I’m still able to walk Rufio wearing a light jacket. These pretty 70-degree days are definitely throwing off my internal clock. Speaking of Rufio, I feel like we’ve really turned a corner with him in terms of training โ€“ he slept through the night for the first time, he’s eating more, and we taught him how to sit and lay down ๐Ÿ™‚ This month also marked the first time I had to leave him to go on a business trip, and I worried about my little baby. Good thing our dog walker texts photo updates every day!

This year, we’ll be staying down south for Thanksgiving and having a “Friends-giving,” and I’m looking forward to the 4-day weekend to relax and cheer on the Panthers with my two boys. However, we’re already counting down to Christmas (I may or may not have started perusing the Christmas movies on Netflix) when we’ll be heading home to New York.

Here’s what we’ve been up to this past month:

How to lose a guy in 10 days

My new nameplate at workโ€“current theme is favorite movies. “It’s a Chinese Crested!”

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Good finds

Poochon puppy

Lately, I am a traveling machine. This past week I was in Dallas for a client event, and this week I’m heading home for my sister-in-law’s baby shower and a family visit. I’m definitely tired, but the upside is that I’m a pro at airports now. Plus I’m glad I get to visit my family in November while avoiding the crazy Thanksgiving travel congestion. I don’t know about all of you, but I’m looking forward to closing out 2015 and starting fresh in 2016. This has been one crazy year.

P.S. Exactly one year ago this weekend was my bridal shower & bachelorette party โ€“ time flies!

Here are 5 good finds from the past week:

  1. How to Ace Your Side Hustle: The Ultimate Guide: Side hustles have been all the rage in 2015. Here’s everything you need to know about starting yours and using it to supplement your income.
  2. The Doโ€™s and Donโ€™ts for Cooking Thanksgiving Dinner: I don’t know about you, but we’ve never cooked our own Thanksgiving dinner before. I’ll be perusing this little guide for a smooth Friendsgiving.
  3. 7 Things You Should Do *Now* to Fend Off Holiday Debt: Holiday marketing is already in full force! I’m so excited to start buying gifts for everyone on our list; however, it’s never worth going into debt buying presents. This article has seven ways to save some green this season.
  4. 5 Ways to Be Memorable in 30 Seconds or Less: While wedding planning, MPR used to tease me because our vendors never remembered/recognized me if I was by myself, they only knew us as a couple. Needless to say, I got a little self conscious that I was forgettable ๐Ÿ˜ฆ This article has great tips to make sure no one ever forgets you again!
  5. Maison Jules Long-Sleeve Heart-Print Sweater: I’m obsessed with this sweater! So adorable and perfect for holiday gatherings ๐ŸŽ„โ˜ƒ๏ธ

Enjoy!