breathe. stretch. shake.

I’m a week or so away from declaring my “ONE YEAR NEW YORK ANNIVERSARY” and so far it’s been an incredible ride. It’s also been an adjustment.

I never thought I’d see the day where I actually missed driving and being stuck on the tollway back home. But I do. I have a sincere love/hate relationship with public transportation around here. It’s a tease. The trains show up on time to get you feeling good about life, then run on their own damn schedule reminding you that you have zero control over your commute. Way to put me in my place, New York.

I can honestly say that since moving here I’ve become a more active (and somewhat healthy) person. I’m either running to catch the train or walking everywhere. I no longer drive — trust me, this is a good thing around here. I did go through an Uber phase but my bank statements quickly put an end to that. Believe it or not, $7-$10 Uber rides really add up. Who would’ve known?

All in all, I’ve made a conscious effort to work out regularly and eat better which I’d say has paid off. I mean, I’m down 12 pounds so that’s a start. I don’t have a gym membership but in all honesty, I haven’t needed one. I was working at a yoga studio and taking advantage of the free yoga classes for a little while but that’s done. I’ve actually taken advantage of the Nike Training Club and Nike Running Club apps and they’ve made it so easy to stay on top of my workouts and helped me in the consistency department. Remember, I’m the queen of commitment issues so this is progress.

I’ve done yoga (that’s hella amusing) and boxed (my personal fave) but this NTC program makes it so easy for me to get my workout in A N Y W H E R E which I appreciate. The best part? It’s free, duh. Haven’t you heard living in NY is expensive? I highly recommend to all my friends with a crazy work schedule who can’t make it to that 7pm Soul Cycle class. Because that’s a thing here, so…

You’re welcome.

workout-pic

Till next time,

j

New York, I Love You

We’re 25 hours in and so far…it’s been QUITE the adventure. Let’s recap, shall we?

I accepted a job offer.

I’ve viewed an apartment (more to come on this).

I’ve partied amongst celebrities (they’re just like us).

I gifted a complete stranger with a tie.

I’m not going to lie. When I boarded the flight from Dallas to New York, I began panicking. My eyes were watering, my nose was running and I felt like I made the biggest mistake of my life. The memory of my mom and little sister waving me through airport security is permanently etched in my mind. I was heartbroken and excited. Nervous for what was to come. Whatever. It was time for me to put on my big girl panties and prepare for the next chapter of my life. I grabbed my iPhone and started playing “Big Rings” in an effort to distract me from the fact that I was no longer living with my loved ones.

Fast forward to today. Today was a whirlwind. A lot transpired in the last 24 hours. I accepted a job offer. Yes, I did. And I still cannot believe it. I spent YEARS applying to job after job after job in New York. This has been my dream for SO FREAKING LONG and I can finally check it off my list. You have no idea how incredible and surreal this all feels. Getting a glimpse into what my commute will be from now on gave me chills, as well as a reminder to never forget my walking shoes. This is all happening.

I began the dreaded New York apartment search. You hear so many horror stories about getting scammed or “losing” an apartment.  Survival of the fittest out here if you want a place to sleep for at least a year. Nevertheless, I trekked it allllllllll the way to Bushwick/BedStuy in Brooklyn. I took two trains to get to this apartment. Not only that…but the train was no longer underground! That’s how you know this place is way too far out. The people were chill, super friendly, but it also reminded me a little of the housing arrangement from Workaholics. We’ll see what the next apartment showing brings.

Tonight was F U N. I attended a launch party for Michael Strahan’s new line at JCPenney and mixed and mingled among the stars…okay not really… but there were a few celeb sightings. I engaged in a few catch up sessions in front of Joe Jonas who was in charge of the playlist AKA was the night’s DJ. He’s just as cute in person as he is everywhere else. Good job, Gigi.

I tried Uber pool tonight and engaged in a delightful conversation with a lawyer named Sherry. I gave him a tie that was in my goodie bag seeing as I have no need for one. I mean, why not pass it along? He was thoroughly impressed with my decision to pack up and make my way here and wished me the best of luck.

Thanks, Sherry. Means a lot.

When you go after what you want, really go for it,  everything somehow works out. Nothing worth having will come easily, so just remind yourself that the struggle is only temporary.

The struggle is real, but the hustle is realer. [Yes, I know ‘realer’ is not a real word.]

xoxo

Relationship Status

I recently ended a really major relationship.

I cancelled my gym membership.

Don’t get me wrong, the gym was great. No hard feelings. In this situation, I was the problem. Our relationship just became too much to handle. There are days when I get out of work right at 5 pm. Then there are others that are not so predictable. The consistency of my schedule just wasn’t there in all honesty, and it was becoming more of a burden than something I looked forward to. Because, at one point, the gym was something I looked forward too.

Me leaving the gym does not mean that working out is no longer a part of the routine. It just gives me a little more freedom time-wise and enables my laziness at the same time (meaning I don’t have to leave my home to get my sweat on) which is something I really appreciate. I acknowledge that I have to eat better and I also acknowledge that this overhaul isn’t happening overnight.

For me, this isn’t about being able to squeeze in a two-piece swimsuit..I could care less. I’m also not going to count how many bites of bread I’m allowed to have. No. I will not. This is about me waking up each morning happy with myself, feeling great and not being so focused on how my closet is a disappointment because plus-size clothes tend to fall toward u n f l a t t e r i n g.

One way to build toward that routine that will get you from eh to YEAH is to start off slow. I, for one, am partaking in Buzzfeed’s “Get Fit Summer Challenge.” I’m on week 2 (HOORAY) –  so far, so good. Add just the right playlist and you’ll glide through day 1. Check it out when you get a chance!

Stay classy, friends. I’ll check back mañana with a new post.

Bidding 2014 Adieu

It’s that time of the year again.

The time of year where every other status update is a “New Year, New Me” status.

*No judgments, just keep doing you*

This is the first time that I’ve truly taken the time to reflect on the year I’ve had. And it was pretty good.

I got a promotion, did some friending/un-friending, changed my view on life, traveled, attended amazing concerts, declared life anthems, saw my brother get accepted to many colleges and learned more about myself. Eye-opening experiences, business endeavors and acceptance of the things I can’t change were a part of 2014.  And it was the Year of Beyonce.

Friends came and went. The ones that stick around are usually the ones you need in your life. The ones that will encourage and lift you up when you’re down. The ones that are game when a night (or weekend) on the town is on the agenda and adopt the #YOLO philosophy with you. I’ve got a solid squad right there with me and as I move forward with my goals and check them off the list one by one, they’re the ones raising a glass.

So I’m raising a glass to them and impatiently waiting to see what 2015 has in store for us. No days off.

3879874872014 was a year of concert-going.

I stayed raging at the One Direction concert with what felt like an infinite amount of screaming estrogen. I survived and lived to tell the tale.

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I was so bummed to miss Sam Smith’s visit to Dallas but managed to snag a killer view at ACL. It was incredible. I still get chills. He’s magnificent.

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I revisited the Kings of Leon.

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I witnessed Iggy and her derriere.

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I touched Lady Gaga.

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Just to name a few. I mean…is this my life?

My baby got into a number of colleges. Come 2015 — he’ll put his big boy pants on and move to Chicago. 2014 was the year where he proved to me and to the world what he’s capable of and I couldn’t be prouder.

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Overall, I had some crazy career highs, like meeting Nina Garcia!

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And lived at the mercy of my playlists. 2014 had some killer anthems.

Here’s looking to 2015. 

The bar’s been set pretty high. I’m pretty stoked about this next year. There’s just something about it already.

xo

Shake Your Tambourine

A workout is not a workout without the proper accoutrements.

By proper accoutrements, I mean a sensational playlist. Obviously.

For a few months, I worked with a personal trainer multiple times a week to get in shape. It was fun. It was intense. I loved him and I hated him. One thing that was missing from this weekly rendezvous, however, was my music! Gyms are notorious for playing the WORST music on the overhead speakers.

#sorrynotsorry

I apply a playlist to almost every part of my day. I need to clean out the sample office? There’s a playlist for that. I need to place sample orders? There’s a playlist for that? I’m stuck in traffic? There’s a playlist for that.

THERE’S A PLAYLIST FOR EVERYTHING!

I can’t possibly be the only one who feels that way. Suddenly, a two mile run is nothing because you were too busy rapping along to Kanye. It happens. There is nothing more horrifying than realizing that your headphones didn’t make it to the gym. NOTHING!

I always say a playlist is the modern day version of one’s diary. Some things are better kept hidden and sacred, especially the workout playlist. HOWEVER, because I’m not a heartless creature, I thought I’d share one of my workout playlists. More specifically, this is the playlist I resort to after receiving heart-crushing news (i.e. you snoozed and lost on that one guy). But don’t let that keep you down, champ! You’ve got a kickass playlist to get you through the next half-hour of intensity.

You’re welcome.

Horses & How to Care for Them

They say you can tell a lot about a person based on the people they surround themselves with, the television shows they watch and the things they like to do. I personally believe that the books a person reads tells the most about them. People have interests we never hear about. The only way to know what someone feels so strongly about is to look at what’s on their Kindle. It’s almost as personal as taking a peek into someone’s ‘Recently Played’ on their iPhone. It’s on a different level. Welcome to the new version of a diary.

When I began writing this post, my sister was reading a book called Horses & How to Care for Them. Odd. We don’t own horses… At first glance, my sister is a spitfire. She’s extremely vocal and hard-headed but boy is she willing to fight you when it comes to defending her beliefs. Deep down — she’s a softie. This is overly apparent when looking at her literary selections. She loves animals. All animals. She doesn’t understand how people can hurt animals — quite frankly neither can I. She doesn’t go around talking about her animal activist side. If you play close attention, you’ll see it. From the books she reads, from the shows she watches and from her actions. It’s quite cute to watch her treat our dogs like human beings. It makes sense to her.

I love observing people (in a non-creepy/stalkerish way). There is so much people hold back on sharing, but it’s so evident in their interests and actions! It leads me to question how people perceive me merely on the people and things I surround myself with. Actions speak louder than words. We’ve always known that.

What are you reading? Who are you hanging out with? What’s on your playlist? What show is at the top of your DVR list? Who was the last person you Snapchatted?

You’ll be surprised to learn a few things about yourself along the way. Life’s crazy. It changes from one day to another.

Me? I let my playlists do the talking.

xoxo.

Festival Circuit

Buku-Music-Festival-2013-Review

Let the beat drop….

There’s always that moment at a music festival where the sun is beating down on you and you ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?” It’s the never ending battle. Do you want to run and grab water before the dehydration REALLY hits you? Or do you hang on for dear life because your favorite band is going to go on any minute.

No, really. Set times are just suggestions when it comes to these things. Yet so many people, year after year, find themselves doing whatever it takes to get passes to these weekend long events. I am one of those people.

It’s pricey. It can be exhausting. Just ask Black Bird! Post-ACL activities did NOT exist this past October when we trekked to the Texas capital for a weekend of music and food trucks. So whyyyyyyyyyy do we do it?

Entering the gates at a music festival ups your adrenaline. It’s exciting! You walk in and see so many people, whom you already know you have some mutual interests with, you hear fantastic bands playing in the background and smell a plethora of street foods. All of this in a park and within walking distance of your points of interest. There’s no description. There’s a method to the madness that is the festival layout. It’s like your birthday and Christmas all rolled into one! Golly, how’d I get so lucky?

Everyone has the same mission…get there early and get a good spot for your favorite bands — don’t let anyone through once said concert begins — and prepare yourself for the overpowering stench of weed. It’s like banding together with complete strangers, everyone’s going for the gold and you will not let late bloomers show up mid-song and try to get in front of you. Nuh-uh. Won’t happen. In my case, I was a little more intense about this when Kings of Leon played. Nobody gets between the Kings and I.

An exhausting yet exhilarating experience, I’m beyond stoked for Round 3. I’ve done Governor’s Ball in New York ( during the coming of Yeezus), Austin City Limits in, well, Austin (Hello Lionel Richie, is it me you’re looking for?) and next month I’ll be hitting up Free Press Music Festival. I’m too excited about that one.

Why? Two reasons:

A) I’ve never been to Houston (surprise, surprise)

B) I’m reuniting with my partner-in-crime and fellow music festival aficionado, Princess.

I’m contemplating jumping on the Lollapalooza train (Hello Chi-Town!), but it’s all extraordinarily up in the air. I figure — I’ve got no kids, no husband and basically I do what I want….if I want to treat myself to a weekend of good music and fun memories then so be it. Who gon’ stop me!?

My suggestion to you? Stop dreaming about Coachella and make it happen. It’s all it’s cracked up to be. Trust. Start saving up those pennies! It’s going to be an expen$ive ride. Hope you’re not claustrophobic!

So worth it, though.

xoxo

Anatomy of a Love Affair

Posting on my blog was something I looked forward to everytime that time of day came.

I don’t know where this love affair between the written word and myself came about. I remember being in first grade and practically throwing a fit everyday because I had to go to math class. I despised math. I still do. Consistency is a great thing, folks. One of my proudest moments was the day I walked into my first grade classroom with a copy of some random book I found at Bed, Bath & Beyond. That book? Harry Potter & the Sorceror’s Stone. That’s right. I was THAT kid. Other kids were still trying to get a handle on those damn picture books but not this girl. Oh no.

So I liked reading. I liked hearing stories. I liked telling stories. Cue the part where I liked writing stories. Hand me the paper and pencil!! Fourth grade came around and guess who always had her stories posted on the bulletin board. Me. UH-GAIN. So I guess long story short, I like to write. I always have and I’m sad that I don’t do it as much anymore.

Somewhere between “I’m a full-time member of the corporate world” and “I do nothing exciting with my life,” I forgot about that love. You should never let something you love take a backseat. It serves as an upside to a rainy day. It’s the cherry on top of your sundae and what keeps you trucking during a miserable workday. So how could I have forgotten that?

I made a deal with myself that I’d put my all into this blog. It’s a hobby that I could create into a profession. The fact that I’ve forgotten about my love for it is scary! Don’t let things get in the way of doing what you love or being with those you love. Life gets so crazy sometimes and I think we all need a little reminder. Don’t grow up to be one of those miserable things that are so upset with how their lives turned out. You have time to do what you love and see it evolve.

I’d like to write a book one day. Or be a magazine editor. I love what I do for fun. I’d like to see myself a few years down the road saying “I love what I do for a living.

Get out there and start living. I’m right there with you.

xoxo

An Ode to the Concrete Jungle

Lately, I’ve been antsy.

I miss New York. I did a lot of growing up while I was there. New York was a rite of passage. It is also the best effing city in my honest opinion. Deal with it or get lost.

I created a playlist (soundtrack to my everyday life) while I was there. I won’t lie. It’s really kind of badass. I play this playlist whenever the mean reds (or blues) hit me.

Don’t worry, New York.

BRB.

a small taste.

This song gives me all sorts of feels. Sia is best served during those AHA moments. I loved hearing this song at night when I was walking down Broadway in Soho and waiting for that miserable bus that was never on time to get me home. I’d stand there and just stare up at the lights and listen to this song. Shook me to my core.

Tell me this song just doesn’t scream NEW YORK to you? As soon as you’re running up those subway steps onto the street and that whistling begins? You’re unstoppable. YOU WILL LIVE A VERY COOL LIFE IN NEW YORK.

This came on at a bar. This came on at a bar in Soho. This came on at a bar in Soho on my birthday. This came on at a bar in Soho on my birthday after quite a few drinks. PURE JOY. I believe my exact words to the entire bar that night were, “HOLY SH**, I LIVE IN NEW YORK. IT’S MY BIRTHDAY AND I LIVE IN NEW YORK AND HAVE THE GREATEST INTERNSHIP IN THE WORLD.” That’s that.

Holy crap. This song, WITHOUT FAIL, always came on during my commute back home. I was always on the bridge leaving Manhattan and heading to good ole Staten Island. This was so calming and fulfilling to hear after a hard day’s work in the city I fought so hard to get to.

Because what’s a playlist without Lana Del Rey???!!?

My jam for a good portion of Spring ’13.

You’re on a mission. That mission may require you to walk a few miles in uncomfortable shoes. And that’s okay.

Song of the year. That is all.

Subway jam while hanging on for dear life during “rush hour,” or what I called, the sardine commute. (Shudders.)

Dedicate this one to my Nolita boo thang.

Because, DUH.

xoxo

My Red Hot Valentine’s Day

Papercuts.

They’re the devil.

I’ve been single for 23 years. And I’ve never had a problem with it. Come Valentine’s Day, however, I don’t understand why it becomes such a big deal for “us single folk.” NO. You will not call me “single folk” because that is not what identifies me. It’s not what I’m known for. Valentine’s Day is really just like any other day in Janette land. No, I’m not bitter — quite frankly I don’t care much for it. I do enjoy seeing all the girls I work with getting flowers, Tiff’s Treats, chocolates and love letters. Hell, it’s the one day your better half obviously doesn’t care about your caloric intake, so why should you. BTW — massive brownie points to some of the men in my co-workers’ lives. There were some puh-retty creative deliveries around the office. Those M&Ms with your faces plastered on them? My absolute favesies.

So why the papercut? Welp. The first thing that happened this morning as soon as I arrived at the office? Indeed, it was a papercut. That searing pain that strikes as soon as the paper slides through your skin is one to fear before it even happens. I was a bit concerned. Could this be a foreshadowing of my day? Would I have to deal with obligatory “Awww” reaction from people upon finding out I had no Valentine’s Day plans? Would it be shoved in my face? Before I could even begin to circle my thoughts around those questions — I had to focus on my to-do list seeing as how I had a few deadlines to meet on this glorious day.

My Valentine’s Date

In a nutshell, my day consisted of me watching Jennifer Lopez movies, eating Subway, frivolously reblogging Tumblr posts, cuddling with my dogs & catching up fashion week highlights. I also enjoyed Buzzfeed and Thought Catalog on their many “XX Reasons Why It’s Better to Be Single on Valentine’s Day” articles. Seriously, though, those can be extremely entertaining.

It was really just an ordinary Friday for me. The only extraordinary thing that occurred today was that I FINISHED DOING MY LAUNDRY. What?! Yes, finishing my laundry has been the highlight of an extremely rough work week.

Papercuts are the devil.

Which is why I’m extremely happy that this was the only negative aspect of my Friday.

As Tom Haverford once said, “Treat yo’ self!”

This is applicable to any day of the 365 days allotted in a year. It doesn’t necessarily have to be February 14th.

xoxo.

P.S. I’m putting the finishing touches on my health blog. STAY TUNED!!!