Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Writer Wednesday - Vanessa from Vanessa's Runway

Vanessa is a late twenty-something from Orange County who enjoys all the good things in life: family, friends, laughter, great food, live music, traveling, fashion and beauty. Her blog, Vanessa's Runway,  is a creative outlet where she shares fashion finds for less, great local hot spots to try, favorite recipes, beauty products to try and some fun DIY projects to spruce up your home. Vanessa's goal is to empower woman of all shapes and shades to feel confident, glamorous and to be themselves.

Who are you? I'm Vanessa - A mover, shaker, advertising professional and lifestyle blogger from Orange County. I love to dance, cook, read a good book and drink a strong margarita.

Where can you be found online? Do you have a blog or other online receptacle for your work? If so, how would you describe it to a stranger you've just met while on vacation? I have a lifestyle blog "Vanessa's Runway" - My blog is my creative outlet where I share simple recipes, local city spotlights, fashion, beauty and DIY projects. I can also be found on Instagram and Twitter.

What inspired you to start writing/blogging? When did it happen? I started blogging in 2009 over at blogspot when I graduated college and used it as a creative outlet. I stopped blogging because I got too busy with work, but knew I always wanted to come back to blogging and did so last year. Time away from blogging gave me a chance to have a much clearer vision and voice for my blog.

Why do you write? I write for self-expression and to share tips that I love and that can be helpful for others. It's a great way to create a supportive community and meet new people.

Your writing inspires me. Who inspires you? So many writers/bloggers, they're so creative, witty, knowledgeable and strong. They inspire me to be myself and share my voice.

In keeping with the admittedly loose travel theme of Not Intent On Arriving, if you could have an all-expenses paid trip anywhere in the world, where would you go? I've always wanted to visit Europe. It's on my bucket list and I'm hoping to make it happen soon (cross your fingers for me!). I'd love to do a European trip and visit England, Amsterdam, Paris, Italy and Spain!

What is your favorite place on earth? Corona del Mar beach in Orange County. It's a smaller beach and so gorgeous. It's the beach I went to as a child, where I got married and where I plan to take my babies when I have them :)

Anything else you'd like us to know? I love a good laugh and connecting and meeting new bloggers. Please visit my blog or social media accounts and leave me a line, I'd love to connect!

Monday, April 20, 2015

I'm Not a Work in Progress

This week was all sunshine and spring buds and when I walked to the subway from work on Friday, I realized: I have been treating myself like a never-ending self-improvement project. How exhausting to be one long list of things accomplished or yet to accomplish. How exhausted I've been trying to accomplish being this perfect whole, feeling as if just this one more thing would finish me off in becoming who I was meant to become.

Let me be real here. There is a lot to improve. I am a person, and I think all people have a lot they can improve on. Some of my recent improvement items have included: joining Toastmasters to get better at public speaking; joining Weight Watchers to get back into eating healthily and exercising more; making an effort to dress more professionally; joining a running group at work; making all my doctor and dentist appointments on time; and applying to another graduate program.

And I'm still planning to do these things, but I'm letting myself off the hook for when I need to do them by and with how much gusto I approach them. I like being goal oriented, but I don't need to be perfect. I have felt a lot of pressure with all of these things, when honestly, I'm good enough just as I am, and on Friday, somehow, I started refusing to let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

My inbox might never hit zero and I might insult people by never responding to their messages and that's fine. I may never hit my goal weight and at this point, it's looking less and less likely that I will ever find a suit that looks good on me. So what? I'm no longer going to feel bad about anything that doesn't get done. I still have my to do list, but I'm going to stop letting it make me crazy. Today, I am enough, just as I am.

I hope, if you're feeling pressure, internal or external, you'll join me, because I know you are also enough. We all are.

Related required reading:

Thursday, April 16, 2015

#LillyForTarget Preview Sale at Bryant Park

I complain a lot about living in New York City because there is legitimately a lot to complain about. But, all those hours of being stuck on the subway, all the morning runs trying to avoid rats, all the freezing winters and sweltering summers just paid off, because I was able to check out the Lilly Pultizer for Target sale four days early!

I'm not a big shopper, but since getting my new job, I've been trying to amp up my wardrobe a bit, and so I'm excited to have this more affordable collaboration happen right now. This was my first Target collaboration shopping experience, so I figured I'd write a bit about it.

I got on line (oy, NYC and her lines!) at about 7am, and it was probably about 100 people deep at that point. By the time I got in at 8:15 or so (the doors opened at 8), the line had easily doubled in size, and the first person to arrive got there at 3am. Did I mention that NYers love their lines? While we waited, men in dinner jackets brought orange-mango-ginger drinks around to everyone. I thought it was tasty, but someone on line said it tasted like Tang. Do you know that the first time I had Tang I was instantly enamored? I said to Roger, "This is the most orange thing I have ever tasted. This is so orange. Isn't this the freshest orange juice you have ever tasted?" He said, "This is not even real orange juice. This is Tang." Anyway, I thought the juice was good but someone else on line did not.

Anyway, the line moved super fast (much, much faster than the average line I've waited in before), and I was in by 8:15am. It was a little crazy inside, but no where near as crazy as the one Black Friday sale I have been to. They kept restocking items, which was very nice, and while not everything I wanted was there or in my size (I was hoping for a bikini and a "fan dance" shift dress), I'm really glad I got to go and check out everything early, so I have a better sense of what to buy on Sunday.

Anyway, some notes from the sale that maybe will help you if you also weirdly want to shop preppy clothes a lot lately:

  • The dresses were much higher quality than I was expecting, for only being $38, so if you're thinking of getting one of those, go for it! 
  • I also found the sizing to run true-to-size. I bought a 10 and a 12 in the "See Ya Later" shift dress, since there were no fitting rooms, and the 10 fits best, which is pretty normal for me, so go with your normal size if you're ordering online and can't try anything on. (I'm pretty sure I'm going to return both and get the "Fan Dance" or "Nosie Posie" shift dress instead. But if you're dying for a hot pink shift dress and you need a 10 or 12, hit me up!)
  • I also bought the "Upstream" shift dress, which I wasn't drawn to at all online, but which really spoke to me in person. I think I was turned off because the navy is more subdued online, but it's actually pretty vibrant and I love fish. I read all these things online that were like, "Pick out what you want before you go," but of course it's hard to know what you'll like in person, so don't be afraid to change your mind, either.

Anyway, the pop up shop closes when they sell out (I kind of feel like they won't sell out, since there's a 5-item or less rule and they seemed pretty prepared to keep re-stocking), but free manicures and juice will go on all day until 6pm at Bryant Park if you're in the area and need a quick mani. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Writer Wednesday - Alissa from The Adored Life

Alissa of The Adored Life is a 24-year-old young professional trying to figure it all out. She is a graduate of the University of Kansas with a degree in Strategic Communications, loves polka dots, glitter, donuts, shoes and is in pursuit of the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. One of my favorite things about Alissa is that she believes in being honest and transparent about her life online, and her blog covers everything from the familiar feelings of emptiness of being a senior graduating college to the silliness of driving off without the bottle of water she paid for. I hope you enjoy her interview, and check out The Adored Life after you finish it!

Who are you? I'm Alissa, a young professional trying to figure out life one outfit at a time. I'm the creator and blogger at The Adored Life where I seek to build a community where people feel like they aren't alone, can laugh together and celebrate life's ups and downs.

What inspired you to start blogging? When did it happen? I was in the midst of the worst college semester of my life when it occurred to me that I needed to be able to look back on that time and see where I had come from. I had no intention of anyone ever reading my thoughts. I just wrote for the pure passion and knowledge that I needed to do it for myself. From there it just grew into what The Adored Life is now, my daily journey, one outfit at a time.

Why do you write? Writing is how I find out about myself. It's how I record my own life to look back on and see where I was a year, two, five years ago. Through writing The Adored Life, I learned about my way of dealing with stress and hard times, and how I cataloged my own life.

Who inspires you? I have a brother with Down Syndrome who is 19 months younger than me. Everyday he wakes up exuberant and content with what he has, and he has a desire to make people happy, regardles of how they treat him. Sometimes I take his attitude for granted but other moments make me take a step back and realize how truly extrordinary he is. Through his health scares he has reminded me that not every day is just given to everyone, to wake up happy I get another chance to encourage someone, and to always treat people with respect and integrity.

In keeping with the admittedly loose travel theme of Not Intent On Arriving, if you could have an all-expenses paid trip anywhere in the world, where would you go? I would leave everything I have right now to travel to Italy. I took two years of Italian language in culture in college and I really appreciated their pace of life. My teachers would tell me about the late nights they had eating and laughing with their familia so loud the people on the street would reply back to them!

What is your favorite place on earth? My favorite place on earth is anywhere that I find my own quiet. I grew up in the country and and had the luxury of a wide-open sky and lots of land. Yet, with the peace and quiet I still found myself creating my own noise that distracted me from truly being at peace and with my thoughts. Now I've learned to create my own quiet but it's not always easy. Anywhere that I have been able to create it is my favorite moment.

Anything else you'd like us to know? I wish that someone would have told me that you start to learn the day you graduate college. Sure, in college you are learning, but it's not the same learning you will have when the next day you wake up and realize, "I have my entire life ahead of me, what do I do?" You learn about yourself, what you want, what you don't want, who you want to be for the rest of your life, etc. For some, myself included, they are completely confident through college and have no doubts about their life and then they wake up the next day and have a gigantic blank book to fill with what they do in their life and that can be mind-blowing.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Writer Wednesday - Carly from Dresses & Denim

Ah, after a bit of a hiatus, Writer Wednesday returns, just in time for spring! And, we're lucky to get started on the right foot, with the lovely Carly of Dresses & Denim. In addition to her work as a lifestyle and fashion blogger, Carly is also an urgent care physician, mother, and wife. I hope you enjoy hearing a bit more about her writing life, and for more photos of her fantastic outfits, check out Dresses & Denim!

Who are you? I'm a mommy, wifey, urgent care doctor and the blogger for Dresses & Denim, a lifestyle and fashion blog.

Where can you be found online? The best place to find me is on my blog at but I also have an Instagram and YouTube account.

Do you have a blog or other online receptacle for your work? If so, how would you describe it to a stranger you've just met while on vacation? Dresses & Denim celebrates the beautiful things and moments in life. I feature practical and affordable style through outfit posts, hair and make-up tutorials, home-keeping ideas, my travel destinations, and of course my favorite moments as a mommy, wife, and doctor.

What inspired you to start writing/blogging? When did it happen? After years of being fully focused on my education as a medical student and resident, I graduated and started practicing medicine as an urgent care doctor. I had always promised myself that once I completed my education I would develop my creative side and personal style. Dresses & Denim Blog was started to chronicle my style journey, but has evolved as my style evolved. The blog features my practical and affordable tips for life ranging from outfits, to beauty and hair tutorials, to practical tools and ideas for home-keeping. I also share a bit of my personal life and my endless travels.

Why do you write? It's a way to develop and explore my creative side.

Who inspires you? Everyone, as cheesy as it sounds..... every person as something interesting about them, whether it be their life story, their interesting style or their thoughts on the world. I truly feel like every person I meet impacts me and inspires in at least a small way.

In keeping with the admittedly loose travel theme of Not Intent On Arriving, if you could have an all-expenses paid trip anywhere in the world, where would you go? Right now, I would say Hawaii, but ask me in a few weeks and I'm sure my answer will change. There are so many places I want to travel to.

What is your favorite place on earth? Ithaca, New York in the summer time. It's so beautiful and peaceful.

Anything else you'd like us to know? I do huge giveaways for my blog subscribers on a regular basis on my blog so be sure to head over to and subscribe, so you don't miss out.