The Weekend Five: Best Things About Having a Sister

bestthingsabouthavingasisterWhen I was two years old, I became a big sister. Growing up, we had the typical love-hate sibling-rivalry relationship, and although we were partners in crime, we also constantly fought. After I graduated from high school and moved three hours away, we grew a lot closer, and two years later, she joined me at my university. Over the last four years in the same area, we’ve had a lot of adventures and helped each other through the tough times as well. She is my best friend, and my only regret is not realizing that when we were little!

This weekend, we packed up my sister’s apartment for her big move to graduate school. The move was bittersweet — while I’m ecstatic for her to embark on this new chapter of her life, I’m sad that we won’t be living 30 minutes away from each other anymore. (I’ll also miss my adorable niece, Lucy the chihuahua mix!) Today’s Weekend Five is in honor of my amazing sister — and all sisters everywhere!

The Weekend Five: Best Things About Having a Sister

1. You have a best friend at birth.
A sister is basically a built-in best friend. If I get married someday, I have no idea who the groom will be — but I’ve known who my maid of honor will be for nearly 23 years. Raised by the same parents, you grow up in similar circumstances, often participating in the same activities and developing some of the same interests. Even if your personalities are completely different, you still have a similar upbringing and shared experiences that set you apart from everyone else.


11913243_10155900359350627_26340899_n2. You can empathize with each other over strange family dynamics.
My sister always joke that we bond the most over being annoyed with our parents. While this isn’t actually true, your siblings do understand (better than anyone else) the family dynamics, and can laugh or commiserate with you when a relative says something silly or offensive.


3. You can read each other’s minds.
I can make a face at my sister or say one word, and she knows exactly what I’m thinking. I love that we can burst out laughing about something that no one else understands, almost as if we have our own language. Telepathy is a superpower that not everyone is lucky enough to possess, but when you have a sibling, telepathy is a very real thing.


4. Your sister won’t judge you, because she has to love you.
While this can be a stretch for some sibling relationships, I am fortunate to have a sister who doubles as my support system. I’m a perfectionist who always tries to be on, especially in a very people-driven career, but with my sister, I don’t have to be perfect — I can confide in her about mistakes I’ve made and decisions I struggle with, and she listens and gives helpful feedback. She knows she can always do the same with me. We are not trying to impress or compete with one another.


5. You have someone who can be a total weirdo with you.
My sister and I have the goofiest conversations that — as evidenced by #3 on this list — only we understand. No topic is ever off limits, and we can act like complete dorks together without worrying about how we are perceived. I love having so many crazy inside jokes with one person!


Best of luck in grad school, Julie! Readers, what do you love most about your siblings?

Link Love Wednesday: Keep Calm and Do Your Pilates

whoever-thinks-that-10-seconds-goes-by-really-fast-has-never-taken-a-pilates-class-9c667Good evening, readers! It’s Homecoming Week at my alma mater, so I’m feeling the nostalgia and school spirit (even if my football team isn’t playing so well this year). I can’t wait to get decked out in black and gold at the game this weekend! What are you all up to this week?

Enjoy this week’s Link Love, and as always, share your favorites in the comments section below! :)

Things I’m Loving Lately

Share your link love in the comments and have a wonderful week!

A Perfect Match: Four Steps to Discovering Your Dream Career

logotransparentEver get stuck when people ask you what you plan to do after college? Hint: Even many adults don’t know what they want to do when they “grow up.” It’s a tough question – especially in your late teens and early twenties!

Luckily, I’ve put together a little guide for Career Camel highlighting a few ways to narrow down your career search and figure out what you want to do with your life. If you’ve read my previous Career Camel guest articles, then you’ll love this one!

So pop on over to Career Camel now to discover my four steps for discovering your dream career. Be sure to drop a comment to let me know what you think!

Whole30 Beauty Bowl

When you’re following a program like the Whole30, it can be easy to overcomplicate things. After all, there are few things more satisfying than mastering a difficult recipe and sharing it in all its glory on your Instagram! :) However, sometimes when you’re in the middle of big lifestyle changes, you need to simplify your meals once in a while. That’s what my Whole30 Beauty Bowl is all about.


Why a Beauty Bowl? Believe it or not, I did not call it a “beauty bowl” because of its vibrant colors (although they are definitely beautiful in their own right). Rather, the meal is packed with vitamins that promote beautiful skin, good vision and a healthy immune system. Plus, it’s incredibly easy to make and is filled with flavor. You’ll want to add this one into your rotation!


Some would call this an “ingredient meal” because it barely requires a recipe, just ingredients! However, today I’ll share my method for a flawless (and delicious!) beauty bowl. This recipe feeds one person, so you’ll want to make sure you adjust your ingredient quantities accordingly!



  • 1 sweet potato, diced
  • A few handfuls of broccoli slaw (mixed package of broccoli, carrots and cabbage)
  • Cooking fat of choice
  • Rosemary (to taste)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 1 hard boiled egg
  • Handful of blueberries


  1. Heat up your oil of choice over medium heat. (I used extra virgin olive oil.)
  2. Add in chopped sweet potato and broccoli slaw.
  3. Drizzle on a little extra cooking fat, and sprinkle on rosemary and salt to taste.
  4. Let cook on medium for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. When finished, add in blueberries and hard boiled egg.
  6. Enjoy!

Let me know what you guys think! Please share and subscribe to my blog for more recipes, Whole30 resources and other goodies! :)

Link Love Wednesday: Falling in Love in a Gum Commercial

extracommercialHappy Hump Day, readers! I hope everyone is having a fabulous week and gearing up for an even better weekend. :) This week, I kicked off a new 28-day workout program with an awesome accountability group, moved up to #1 in my Fantasy Football league, and presented as a guest speaker for a student organization at my alma mater. What have you been up to?

Enjoy this week’s batch of Link Love, and share your own favorites in the comments section below!

Things I’m Loving Lately

  • Jane The Virgin is now back on The CW… and I still have a huge crush on Rafael Solano.
  • This cover of Hall & Oates’ Maneater performed by Grace Mitchell.
  • Receiving a Snapchat from the handsome Don Benjamin.
  • Brainstorming with my mom and sister for my exciting new Twitter project!

What links are you loving this week?

Love Your Shorts Summer Rewind: Adventures in Sanford

Ever since I graduated from college, I’ve looked for new ways to get engaged in my community. I grew up in South Florida, and while it may only be a few hours from where I live now, the two places sometimes often seem like worlds apart. Finding fun local events to attend with friends — especially those that pertain to the arts — has made my new residence feel a lot more like home.


Sanford is a port city just north of Orlando, filled with its own rich history and well isolated from the hectic Disney World traffic. I often drive down to Lake Monroe to enjoy the beautiful view, eclectic shops and historic downtown district. From authentic German cuisine at Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Cafe to (paleo friends, cover your eyes for this!) handcrafted marshmallows and s’mores at Wondermade Dessert Cafe, the city is unique and has something to offer everyone.

Over the past two years, I’ve been using websites like Visit Seminole and EventBrite to find fun things to do in the Sanford area. The great thing about EventBrite is that not only can you sign up for events in your area, but you can also manage your own events and even sell tickets!

Back in August, while using the site, I discovered the Love Your Shorts Summer Rewind, and was immediately intrigued.


The Love Your Shorts Film Festival takes place every year in February, but this year, they kicked off the fall with a showing of some of the best films from last year’s festival. This one-night event featured short films from all over the world of various genres — romance, comedy, sci-fi, animation, you name it!

I decided to go to the film festival with a good friend of mine, and we were not disappointed. The event took place at the Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center downtown, which my friend described as being “straight out of old-timey America.” From there, we moseyed over to the film festival after-party at String Theory Creations, a nearby art shop.


The after-party had a fun luau theme, and featured a live auction. Brice and I didn’t put in any bids, but we definitely enjoyed the people-watching. (There are few things more entertaining to watch than a live auction!) We did take advantage of the many mirrors throughout the shop by snapping a few mirror selfies.

Summer Rewind

For anyone traveling to Orlando, I highly recommend you take a day-trip out to Sanford. There are so many cool events like this throughout the year, and even if you visit on a quieter day, you can still take advantage of some awesome antiquing (my favorite store is Antiques and Dustibles on First Street!), enjoy delicious food, and perhaps even convince a handsome gentleman to take you out on his boat!


Are any of my readers from the Sanford area? What events and activities would you recommend for travelers and locals alike? :)

Link Love Wednesday: Pineapple Edition

GarlandI don’t know about you, but this Wednesday really felt like a Wednesday. Did anyone else feel the drag of Hump Day today? Life has been rather busy lately — mostly good things — and despite my sleep deprivation and sudden aversion to exercise, I’m looking forward to the opportunities to come. What have you been up to in the last week?

Wind down from a long week with this week’s fabulous link love, and as always, share your own favorite recent finds in the comments section below!

Things I’m Loving Lately

  • The show Quantico on ABC. It’s addictive! Who else is watching?
  • Devonta Freeman, running back for the Atlanta Falcons. I picked him up on a waiver for Fantasy Football and played him for the first time last week. He surpassed 30 Fantasy points that week and I was not disappointed!
  • Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari. It’s a great take on dating patterns in today’s generation and incredibly eye opening.
  • This incredibly cool tank top I bought for Halloween. I’ve been secretly living in this shirt. (Shhhh.)
  • Colbie Caillat’s cover of The Script’s song, Breakeven. I think I like it better than the original!
  • Scream Queens on FOX. It’s the perfect dark comedy and filled with familiar faces.

What are you loving this week? Share in the comments section below!

Curry Coconut Crusted Chicken Bites

Do you ever create a full meal plan for the week, only to find that you’re just not in the mood to eat what you planned for that day? I was completely guilty of that last Monday. My chicken was defrosted and my veggies were all set to go under the knife, but I was craving my favorite curried cauliflower and potato recipe and couldn’t get those flavors off of my mind. Ultimately, my cravings won out (hey – at least they’re healthy, right?), and I needed a protein to balance out the meal.

Thus, my curry coconut crusted chicken bites recipe was born!

Curry Coconut Crusted Chicken Bites

Those who have known me for a while know that I do not have a cooking background. Before college, I didn’t know how to boil water. For the first year after college, I didn’t know how to do much else. Thankfully, several rounds of Whole30 have forced me to learn the basics, and after trying out several recipes on the web, I’m finally starting to gain my own creativity in the kitchen.

These chicken bites are easy to make, are completely gluten-free/dairy-free/soy-free/sugar-free (perfect for Whole30), and have a kick-ass flavor profile. They paired amazingly with my aloo gobi, so much so that I repeated the recipe a few days later!

I live alone and generally only cook for one person, so this recipe is written with one serving in mind. If you eat larger portions or are serving multiple people, you’ll want to modify the recipe accordingly. :)

Curry Coconut Crusted Chicken Bites


  • One chicken breast, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut (check your labels!)
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • Salt and garlic to taste
  • 1 egg


1-     Preheat oven to 400°F.

2-     Mix egg in one bowl and dry ingredients in separate bowl.

3-     Coat each chicken piece in egg, then in coconut mixture.

4-     Bake for 10 minutes.

5-     With a spoon, flip each chicken piece on the baking sheet, and bake for another 5 minutes.

6-     Remove from oven, let cool and enjoy!

Let me know what you guys think! :) Please share and subscribe to my blog for more recipes, Whole30 resources and other goodies. Enjoy!

Link Love Wednesday: Christmas Dinner at Hogwarts

85fcbf058d017908542b481c196b3daf32c7d45244d2a52e65a5c29acabf7ffb_1Happy Wednesday, readers! It’s almost October and you may have noticed that my posts dropped off quite a bit for the month of September. In that time, I launched my very own fantasy football league, turned 25, taught Junior Achievement classes at a local high school, started a new fitness program, spoke on a business career panel at a local community college, spent lots of time with friends and family, and hung around the mall much more than I’d care to admit. September was a busy month! :)

October isn’t slowing down, but I hope to have more posts for you as we make our way into fall. In the meantime, take a look at this week’s Link Love, and feel free to add your own favorites in the comments section below!

Things I’m Loving Lately

  • Getting my morning news updates from The Skimm each day.
  • Why Not Me?the latest book release from Mindy Kaling. Fantastic read!
  • Fantasy football — in particular, the impossibly handsome Julian Edelman.
  • The Mathematics of Love, by Hannah Fry, which relates mathematical theories to dating and relationships. It’s a fascinating read and I’m tearing through it!
  • Kate Spade online flash sales.
  • Community. Why didn’t anyone tell me over the past six years how great it was?

What are your favorite links and articles from the week? Sound off in the comments below!

25 at 25: My Birthday Bucket List

10642782_10154513491505627_1672977676_oIt’s hard for me to believe this, but tomorrow is my 25th birthday! :) The last year, with all of its ups and downs, truly flew by, and it’s so weird for me to say that I’ve been around for a quarter of a century. I still think of myself as a college student, half worried that I have an exam that I forgot about — not as a professional who has been in her career for two and a half years. Where does the time go?

In order to get a little more excited about my birthday this year, I decided to put together a bucket list of things I hope to do while I’m 25! I am looking forward to trying some new things and visiting new places in the next year, and can’t wait to share my adventures with readers. :)

I plan to blog about some of these experiences as they take place, but I will also be tracking them on the 25 at 25 page on my blog. Here are the things I hope to accomplish at 25!

  1. Leave the state of Florida for a vacation.
  2. Go to the Central Florida Zoo in Sanford.
  3. See a local performing arts show.
  4. Visit my sister in her new apartment once she leaves for graduate school.
  5. Go to the planetarium.
  6. Pursue public speaking opportunities.
  7. Roam around Leu Gardens in Orlando.
  8. Take a wine and painting class.
  9. Spend the day in St. Augustine.
  10. Visit the Morikami Museum.
  11. Go on a behind-the-scenes tour of Magic Kingdom.
  12. Apply to MBA school.
  13. Start a small side business for career coaching and resume writing.
  14. Ride the swan boats at Lake Eola.
  15. Take a Spanish class.
  16. Tour the Lakeridge Winery in Clermont and attend a wine tasting.
  17. Go berry picking.
  18. Attend a class at the East End Market.
  19. Try a meal from a food truck.
  20. Host a murder mystery party.
  21. Embark on another round of Whole30.
  22. Drive out to New Smyrna Beach.
  23. Watch a mob movie.
  24. Eat a macaron for the first time.
  25. Treat myself to a spa day.

What’s on your bucket list for the next year? Share your goals in the comments section below!