Do you ever just know you belong somewhere? Like you just know you will thrive there? That's how I feel about New York. Since I was a child, I knew that I was a city person. I'm not sure if that's a weird thing to know when your seven years old, but whatever. Every time my family took a road trip, I would always stay up because I knew we were bound to drive through a city, and I loved looking at the lights and the buildings. Even now, every time I see a skyline in the horizon, I still feel that hint of excitement.
I need a big city. A packed metropolis, if you will. Minneapolis is not nearly large enough. The more people, the more buildings, the more craziness, the happier I am. My list of acceptable habitats has pretty much been narrowed down to New York, Chicago and Paris. London would also be a potential contender. However, as I go through the pros and cons of each, there is ultimately some reason why I couldn't see myself living permanently in Chicago, Paris or London — I'll get into the reasons later.
Which leaves New York. My true home, I think. And here are the reasons why I think New York is where I'm meant to be:
It's on the East Coast.
Chicago is a great city — it's big, there are plenty of people, and it's ridiculously awesome in the summer. If I could spend every summer in Chicago, I'd be a very happy camper, err, city dweller. But alas, Chicago is in the Midwest and I am an East Coast person, which I never really realized until I spent a few years in this god forsaken, landlocked tundra.
Although I grew up all over the place, I've always had strong ties to the East Coast because my mom is from New Jersey. I spent my childhood playing in the ocean and eating "hoagies." Not to mention, my family currently resides in Savannah, which is on the East Coast (for those of you who are geographically challenged). Which leads me to my next point.
New York is only an hour from the beach.
I didn't realize how much I missed the East Coast and the beach until my jerk friend Kelly started snapping me pictures from Florida. I miss the ocean. Lakes suck.
New York has everything I need – specifically Chinatown.
Not sure why I'm so fond of Chinatown, but I'm assuming it's because I have an eating problem and Chinese food is damn delicious. It's one of those things that we always did *if* we were visiting a city on vacation. We would eat Chinese food and it was always spectacular. The Midwest severely lacks quality Chinese food in my opinion. Speaking of food...
Brunch is a religion.
Brunch is taken seriously in New York. As it should be. People need to prioritize brunch more. Why wouldn't you want to spend hours eating eggs and potatoes and drinking Bloody Mary's!? Those three items are the holy trinity. And I stand by that. New Yorkers brunch like the champions that they are and the world should do the same.
So. Many. Concerts.
Have you ever heard of an artist not having a concert in New York? No. Because it literally never happens. Every artist ever performs in New York. Oh, you want to see Skrillex? He'll be here on Friday. You wanna see Taylor Swift? She's coming in March. Literally you could see every artist you've ever wanted to see. How awesome is that?
The true reason New York wins the non-existent competition of my home, is because New York is where fashion happens. Paris is the fashion capital of the world, and I would absolutely love to live there, but Paris is in France. And as much as I love it, I don't think I could ever legitimately become an expat. So unless I can land some baller job that keeps fighting for me to stay in the country, I can't imagine I'll ever be able to live in Paris full-time.
But that's okay, because New York is home to so many fashion brands, you can't even start listing them because the list would never end. I want to work in fashion and that means I need to move to New York. It's basically non-negotiable. Not to mention everyone seems to dress well in New York, so that's an added bonus.
Have I sold the idea of New York to you yet? Because I've definitely sold myself on the idea. Watch out, NYC, I'm coming for you! Just give me 18 months so I can save up enough money to live in poverty in a super crappy apartment in a very sketch area. Don't worry, I'm sure the views will be great.
When I was in sixth grade I decided that my New Year’s resolution would be not to drink soda for the entire year. And for some reason, my 12-year-old self was incredibly dedicated to this resolution and I did not drink soda for all of 2003 (or was it 2004?). That was the last time I actually stuck to a New Year’s resolution.
It’s not that I’m a complete failure with zero willpower, it’s just I’ve never really set a resolution compelling enough to really follow through. But this year, I’m making a resolution that really resonates with me.
Live an instagrammable life.
Not only does this statement encourage me to achieve my goal of having a well-done instagram account (I don’t want to be insta-famous, I just want to take good pictures and use my instagram as a portfolio piece), but it means doing things that are worth instagramming. Perhaps I’ll visit museums, drink more espresso, dress better, make jewelry, hell, even buy more cute shoes – it doesn’t really matter what I do, but by living an “instagrammable” life, I will be pushing myself to do more with my free time, instead of watching 30 Rock for the eightieth time (I still love you, Tina).
That is my new mantra for 2015. Live an instagrammable life.
Secondary resolutions include: style blogging at least once a week, eating paleo 80 percent of the time, and studying French every time I consume wine (so at the rate I consume le vin, I should be fluent by March).
Cheers to 2015! XOXO.
A reoccurring theme in my blog posts is how I lack hobbies. I can never figure out what to do in my free time, so I just end up watching 30 Rock until I can go to bed without being judged (I like going to bed at 10, okay?). Every time I think of something that might be a fun hobby, it’s too expensive or I know that I’ll be tired of it after 3 weeks and if I did spend money to do said hobby, it will be wasted. I’m also deterred by having to go somewhere to do something. I’m a real piece of work.
A second reoccurring theme in my blog posts is my desire to eat paleo. It’s the only diet that makes sense to me, but unfortunately it’s kind of hard to do, a little expensive, and I have a weakness for nachos. I’ve had some good runs on the paleo diet, but I can never seem to stick to it for more than a month. The first time I did it was right when I returned from Paris and the thought of bread made we want to vomit. I just ate fruit and vegetables while on the couch watching TV and I lost three pounds. Even my dad was impressed.
So where am I going with this? Somewhere, I promise – just wait for it.
And then the other day my roommates and I decided to watch reruns of past Victoria’s Secret fashion shows, because why not indulge in some self-loathing before going out on a Saturday night? Anyway, my female roommate and I were talking about how we could totally look like Victoria’s Secret models if we just ate well and exercised (duh). We are clearly both delusional and conceited, but that’s a whole other thing.
Then today I read an article on elle.com about how the fashion editor was going to try to turn herself into a Victoria’s Secret model. And I thought to myself, “hmm, that could be my hobby.” What if getting in shape a la Victoria’s Secret Angels was my hobby? It would kill two birds with one stone – I would have something to do after work to occupy my time – exercising, cooking, thinking about food but not actually eating it – and I would have to eat paleo. Can’t eat nachos and look like Candice Swanepoel. You just can’t.
Now obviously I’m smart enough to know that I am not committed enough to really do this. I like drinking wine too much and I am rarely motivated to exercise. But it would be a fun experiment for a week or two, right?
I'm getting tired just thinking about having to do this, but it would be an entertaining blog series at the very least. I'm should put more thought into this. More to come...
I'm sure all of you have heard of the paleo diet, which basically just means that you only eat meat, fruit and vegetables. I first tried the paleo diet when I returned from France last year and it actually worked out pretty well. I ended up losing 3 pounds in a week and all I did for exercise was watch Netflix (my father would be so proud). It was relatively easy to cut out carbs the first time around because I was completely sick of bread after spending four months in France. Bread was the enemy.
Every other time since then, I've failed miserably.
But now I've decided to try eating paleo again, because my eating habits have been pretty unhealthy as of late. Last weekend I only ate fast food. How is that even possible. The worst part was that it didn't even phase me. Which is a sure sign that I need to cool it and start eating better. So I'm going paleo. And I'm going to write about my struggles here.
6:58 AM- "Oh crap I forgot to eat breakfast, but I can't eat honey nut Cheerios at work like I normally do. I'll just grab this frozen broccoli souffle. The zucchini one is delicious. I can do this! I can eat paleo. Woo! Great pep talk."
8:06 AM- "This souffle is a little too salty and it smells weird. Why is this so salty? Oh my god. Ok, I think I'll be fine if I only eat half of this 140 calories souffle. I should be able to make it until lunch. Also, I'm never eating broccoli again."
9:30 AM- "Well apparently a 70 calorie breakfast is not good for keeping hunger in check. Good to know. I'll just eat some mixed nuts. God, why are almonds so gross. I thought I liked almonds but these taste exceptionally terrible."
10:32 AM- "I just turned down a cookie, oh my god, I'm so good at this paleo thing. I'm basically a caveman. I'm so proud of myself. This is great."
12:17 PM- "Wow, paleo options are severely limited at restaurants. Ugh, I really don't want a salad. Especially one with sunflower sprouts. What even are sunflower sprouts? I bet those are paleo. Maybe I should just get this salad. Oh god, nope, can't do it. Pot roast it is, but I won't eat the potatoes. That's close enough, right? Wait- is everyone else ordering beer? NO BEER FOR MELANIE."
2:27 PM- "Ok, time for dessert. I will eat this Ghiradelli dark chocolate square and it will satiate all of my sugar cravings."
5:14 PM- "I can literally smell chips and salsa down the hall. Tortilla chips aren't the worst kind of carbs, right? Chips and salsa is a relatively healthy snack. Nope, I can't. I have more will power than this. Come on Melanie, you can do this. PALEO."
7:08 PM- "I am so hungry I think I might throw up. I need something before my Jimmy John's lettuce wrap appears. These black olives will do. Go paleo."
*eats lettuce wrap in record time*
7:36 PM- "It's fine if I have a few peanut butter m&m's, right? I know they're not technically paleo, but they aren't technically carbs either, so as long as I eliminate carbs I'll consider this a successful day. But I'm only going to have five m&m's."
7:41 PM- "Ok, what's five more m&m's?"
7:44 PM- "Screw it, I'm eating a handful of m&m's. I've had so few calories today, my body needs these."
7:46 PM- "God damn it."
We'll see how it goes tomorrow.
I graduated college about a month ago, and a little over two weeks ago, I started working full time. As a child, you fantasize about adulthood. “How amazing will it be not to have to do homework!?” It turns out not doing homework is pretty damn amazing. Not having homework to do, on the other hand, is not great. Because now you have literally nothing to do.
Once you finish work for the day, you basically have to figure out how to kill time until you can go to work again the next day, repeating that process as a way to kill time until the weekend, where it is deemed socially acceptable to drink alcohol in mass quantities.
I am proud to report that today (approximately day 28 of adulthood) my roommate and I stared at each other for a few minutes trying to figure out what to do before deciding that 1) 9:30 was totally an acceptable time to go to sleep and 2) that this revelation might make a funny, or at the very least, a relatable blog post.
Conclusion: Maturity is a myth.
50 days until I take my last final at the University of Minnesota.
50 days until I am done with school forever.
50 days until I am officially an unemployed* college graduate.
The next 50 days are going to be the longest 50 days of my life. Then it will be summer, the most glorious season of them all, filled with rooftop bars, sunshine and any activity that keeps me outside. I cannot wait for summer. In an attempt to get through the next 50 days of school, work and terrible Minnesota weather, I have decided to create a summer bucket list. I read that you tend to be happier if you have things to look forward to, so that's what I'm going with. Feel free to tweet me suggestions: @mkrichtman
Melanie's Summer Bucket List
* as of March 26, I will have employment upon graduation. Hallelujah.
It’s never too early to start thinking about New Year’s resolutions. Below are my 2013 problems and my proposed solutions for 2014. Side note: I probably need a therapist or a life coach.
The Problem: I don’t want to be in Minneapolis anymore.
The Solution: Move to Chicago, New York or Paris by the end of 2014.
I don’t like living in the same place for too long. I get really antsy and I start resenting everyone and everything around me. I need a bigger city with more people, restaurants and things to do. I'm also starting to realize that I hate below freezing temperatures. Minneapolis is awesome, and I’m so glad I went to college here, but I need to move on.
After working in Chicago this summer, I've decided that I need to live there again, and what better time than after graduation? I love the look and feel of the city, and Lake Michigan is an acceptable replacement for the Atlantic Ocean. New York also seems like a logical move. Unlike Chicago, I don’t really know anyone there, but I think it would be a perfect fit. And if I want to work in fashion (which I’m pretty sure I do), there is no better place than New York. I also want to live in Paris again for a year or two, but I’d settle for a vacation in the near future.
The Problem: I spend all of my money on food and drinks.
The Solution: Find something awesome to save up for.
God, stop buying Starbucks every day. Is it really that hard to make coffee at home like a normal person? Stop buying Taco Bell every weekend. Stop buying beer. Just please stop spending all of your money on edible things. I used to be so good at saving money because I was saving for Europe. My entire life was focused on going to Europe, so it was pretty easy to not spend money if I knew I could buy a pair of shoes once I was in France. Now, I’m no longer in Europe, my life is meaningless, and I buy food to ease the pain (and I’m also just super lazy when it comes to cooking). I need something new to save up for. A trip to Paris? A pair of Christian Louboutins? A spa day? I don’t know what it should be, but I need to come up with something fast before I spend all of my money and gain 500 pounds.
The Problem: I am about as healthy as Nick Miller from New Girl.
The Solution: Do the opposite of everything I currently do.
I really need to start kickboxing and eating paleo again. Kickboxing is good for my physical and mental health (I’ve watched Warrior too many times and now I just want to punch things — the air works just fine). Eating paleo makes me feel good. Carbs are the enemy.
You know what? Let’s start with baby steps… Maybe try eating something that isn’t microwavable? Also, stop doing everything in your bed. I know it’s comfy, but pull it together, lady. You have a kitchen table and a desk for a reason. Eat and do your homework there. Beds are for sleeping, watching TV and blogging.
The Problem: Hobbies include eating, sleeping and watching TV.
The Solution: Figure out what real hobbies are and start one.
I need to do something that is inexpensive and doesn't take very long. My attention span can be relatively short and I need something that I can do in 20 minute intervals. Maybe I’ll make jewelry? Start a style blog? Trade stocks?
“Ugh but I hate doing things, hobbies are the worst.” –me, as I was writing this. Can complaining be my hobby?
The Problem: I don’t blog regularly.
The Solution: Blog once a week.
Blogging should be my hobby, but instead of trying to write something regularly, I usually just wait until “inspiration strikes” like I am some pretentious artist. I need to make an editorial calendar and try to write something once a week. Writing is fun and employers supposedly look at your blog before they hire you, so I really have no reason not to blog.
**Hi future employers, please ignore everything I previously said about being lazy. I’m actually very motivated when it comes to work and building a successful career.
Two years ago I remember telling my roommates about how I would be totally fine if I were to end up with professional success instead of personal success. I could tell by their facial expressions that they were shocked. Is it so wrong that I want to succeed on my own? I'm not saying that I don't want to get married, or that I don't want to have children, but I am willing to dedicate more time and effort into finding a fulfilling career rather than searching for a husband. Does this make me weird? Probably. It seems as though society has a problem with women who are ambitious.
According to Facebook's COO Sheryl Sandberg, "Professional ambition is expected of men but it's optional- or worse, sometimes even negative- for women. 'She is very ambitious' is not a compliment in our culture. Aggressive and hard-charging women violate unwritten rules about acceptable social conduct. Men are continually applauded for being ambitious and powerful and successful, but women who display these same characteristics often pay a social penalty."
Even though it is 2013, society still seems to judge women who want to prioritize their careers. Wanting to be a powerful, successful CEO and a woman is almost taboo since these women aren't seen as nurturing, nice, or as feminine as their counterparts who have chosen to take a more traditional route, such as getting married and staying home with kids (not that there is anything wrong with that).
When I was a freshman in college, my friends and I took a Myers-Briggs personality test. My classification was ENTJ (Extrovert, Intuition, Thinking, Judging) which was described as "the executive." As one of the rarest personality types, ENTJ is associated with CEOs such as Bill Gates. Naturally, I was rather excited about this news and proceeded to tell my male friend that I have the same personality classification as some of the greatest male CEOs. His response was "yeah, but you're a girl, so that makes you a bitch."
Talk about an unfair stereotype. I'm not sure what the appropriate solution is for this problem- or if there even is a solution- but I think society needs to acknowledge that gender roles should be expanded to allow women to want the same things as men without being automatically written off as a power-hungry bitch. After all, why did we fight so hard to be considered equal to men if we are going to limit ourselves professionally in order to be seen as wife material?
I am ambitious. I want to be successful. I want to build a career. I want to be a good role model for my sisters. And I am not going to let public opinion affect my goals. So let's all break the stereotype and make it positive. Let's be successful and sweet. Can I get an amen, ladies?
Several months ago I had the chance to live in Paris with a French family for four months. One of my best Parisian friends was my 10 year old host sister, Marie. This is a blog post I wrote in January during my second week in Paris. Enjoy!
My ten year old friend, Marie, has given me homework. I think she is tired of me not understanding her references, so she has loaned me several French children’s books. I have been instructed to read a different one each night and report back to her. And I’ll do it. Let’s face it; she probably has a better grasp on my French abilities than the professors who decided to put me in Intermediate French III. Although, I was told that my French was perfect by a cute waiter at a café, so… He obviously lied. But, in his defense, I am very good at ordering food. I’ve had a lot of practice with my three trips to McDonald’s.
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