Category Archives: personal


professional growth: presentations

I can still remember doing anything and everything possible to get out of a presentation in high school. I hated them. Walking up to the front of the room was the worst. I could feel my face turning red with every step. My voice would get caught in my throat, my words would get lost in my head and time seemed to slow down. I didn’t matter that I would practice the presentations over and over; the day of was always horrible.

Then in college I had to take a public speaking class to graduate. I decided to just get the class over with right away first semester, but I was scared out of my mind. We each had to pull together about four different types of presentations throughout the course of the semester and I’m pretty sure the first one was one of the worst things I’ve ever done. Our professor counted and announced the number of times you said “um” or “like” and I was horrified with myself. Have a heart, lady! But you know what? Each presentation got better.

It’s been eight years since that class and now I give presentations for hundreds of families throughout the year for my job. I run training sessions for co-workers and I’ve provided educational workshops for various professionals. In fact, last week alone I gave 4 presentations, each 1 hour long,.. and I liked it. It’s weird how things can change like that, isn’t it?

Over time I’ve learned how to project my voice and I’ve drastically cut down on my filler words (like those pesky “ums”  and “likes”). I’ve learned how to properly transition from one topic to the next and I’ve even started building PowerPoint & Keynote presentations to be used for large events across my office. It’s funny how something I spent so long trying to get out of ended up being one of my strongest professional skills. Growing up is funny like that.

PS-  7 tips to rock a solid speech (and where I found the above photo)

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

very inspiring blogger award

Maggie of Magpie Making Do recently nominated me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award! (thanks girl!) Do you follow Maggie? Her blog is honest and smart and one of my favorite reads. She posts about everything from her knitting projects & DIY wire bracelets to recipes & manicure updates. I like them because her post topics seem to just add to her daily life instead of making life decisions just to please her blog, ya know what I mean? She’s a genuine bloggger and I really love that. If you like that too, I highly suggest giving her a read!

This nomination technically came at the end of June but because of pre-scheduled vacation/grad school posts I haven’t really been able to sit down and create this post. Doesn’t seem like I’m holding up to the nomination, huh? These kinds of posts are great “getting to know you” posts and I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve done one of these. I’m super excited to be up and moving again. So here are the rules:

  1. Thank and link the amazing person(s) who nominated you.
  2. List the rules and display the award.
  3. Share seven facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated.
  5. Optional: Proudly display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you.


1- So far I’ve been to 23 states out of my 50 state goal.

2- I would rather be warm than cold. It’s a lot easier for me to cool down than it is for me to warm up.

3- When I was young I took piano lessons for a few years and I also played the violin in school (grade 3- my 1st year of college). I can’t really play either anymore and letting skills go is my biggest regret to date.

4- I’m pretty horrible at making plans. I LOVE seeing my friends and family, but after work and general life tasks, I easily fall into a trap that I lovingly call my couch.

5- Dean and I have a little secret up our sleeves. I’ll introduce it to you next month- but  you can know now that it’s a doozy!



Magpie Making Do- It’s probably against the rules to officially nominate the person who nominated you… but I’m also not listing out a full 15 bloggers either. I’ve decided to make up my own rules and just go with it #BA

Welcome to My Life- This is Bahar’s blog. She was in a bad car accident last February, and now she keeps friends and family updated on her recovery through posts. She writes once a week and it’s always an eye opening read.  I really appreciate that she’s more than willing to start conversations and to answer your questions about her every day life.

Writes Like a Girl- My blogging sister from another mister (or something like that). I’ve written about my love affair with Nicole’s blog quite a few times. If you haven’t clicked over there yet, I must not appear too trustworthy in the blog department.

Happy or Else- Christina is a new mom writing about a variety of topics from out in Southern Cali (and I’m a little more than jealous of her current residence). Her posts always have an interesting spin to things most of us are probably thinking about. Plus her acupuncture/healthy living posts are some of my favorites.

Kristina does the Internets- A fun loving life and style blog that we can all actually use in real life! Kristina’s outfits are always pulled together and affordable and her party planning skills are amazing for those of us with an average 20-something budget.


Do you keep up with any of these leading ladies? What blogs have you been reading lately?

Happy 21st Birthday, Nicole! Here’s a drink!

A birthday drink recipe

Today my little sister is turning 21. This means that for 21 years she’s been stealing my clothes, singing too loudly and talking over my favorite TV shows. But 21 years also has brought great things like shared responsibilities of the parentals, bringing Catan into my life and lots and lots of laughter. I think the trade off is worth it.

In honor of her momentous birthday, we’re kicking off a new line of posts here on WLB- drink recipes! We’re starting off with one that’s sweet, cold and definitely worthy of a birthday celebration.


strawberry manilow- homemade strawberry milkshake & whipped vodka

Strawberry Manilow- a strawberry shake & whipped vodka


  • 1 cup fresh strawberries (~6 whole berries)
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup ice cream
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • 1 shot of whipped vodka
  • (topping: whipped cream and sprinkles)


  1. Put everything in a blender and pulse until all ingredients are crushed and mixed well
  2. Top with whipped cream and sprinkles
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin

strawberry manilow- strawberries,ice cream and vodka

strawberry manilow- strawberries,ice cream and vodka

Let’s all raise our glass and cheers to Nicole and her birthday weekend celebration. Long Island- we’re comin’ for ya! Happy birthday, sister!


PS- Oh and while you’re going to buy strawberries, here’s my favorite strawberry shortcake recipe.

Summer Reading 2

Last summer I gave a short list of books that I was looking forward to reading, but I only made it halfway through. But this summer will be different- I’M FINISHED WITH GRAD SCHOOL!*

This leaves me with so much extra time for activities and my first order of business is to get my hands on as many books as possible. Here are the first four on my list (all info from Amazon).


Summer Reading List: #GIRLBOSS

by Sophia Amoruso

As Sophia writes, “I have three pieces of advice I want you to remember: Don’t ever grow up. Don’t become a bore. Don’t let The Man get to you. OK? Cool.  Then let’s do this.””


Summer Reading List: Where'd You Go, Bernadette

Where’d You Go, Bernadette: A Novel
by Maria Semple

“… a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter’s role in an absurd world.


Summer Reading List: the fault in our stars

The Fault in Our Stars
by John Green

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love. “


Summer Reading List: And the Mountains Echoed

 And the Mountains Echoed
by Khaled Hosseini

Following its characters and the ramifications of their lives and choices and loves around the globe—from Kabul to Paris to San Francisco to the Greek island of Tinos—the story expands gradually outward, becoming more emotionally complex and powerful with each turning page.”

*And just for the record, Gold, Heat, and Let the Great World Spin are still on my list.