Thursday, July 17, 2014

Fortunate Fridays {out of my comfort zone} edition

Hey everyone!

Friday is here once again. Although I love my job, I definitely welcome this little break. I have a couple of friends coming over to visit this weekend should it should be quite the eventful week. Will definitely catch up you guys on whatever we end up doing!

So this week's theme is dedicated to the idea of getting out of my comfort zone. I consider myself quite introvert by nature although there has been plenty of occasions in my life where I surprise myself by being more open and outgoing. Usually said moments happens when I either feel I have nothing to loose or I consciously tell myself that going beyond my shyness will pay off.

Well, I have to be honest is that the internship I am doing is challenging me in so many levels. I am learning so much and feel like I am constantly on the go but I absolutely love it. It's also given me the opportunity to reach out and talk to people I probably would never approach in a different setting--perhaps out of intimidation or just my nature of being quite and keeping to myself (which is something I am working on).

This week I am Fortunate for...

1. The fact that my friend Dana invited me over for dinner on Saturday night and I just felt so privileged and honored that she made such a nice {and delicious} dinner for the both of us. Thank you Dana!

2. Places like Barnes & Noble. Without a doubt one of my favorite places on earth! Doesn't matter what city I may be at. If will be staying for more than 2-3 weeks you better believe I will make it my business to find a local B&N. The place just brings peace and happiness to my heart <3...I spent a good amount of my day on Saturday there. Just a cup of coffee, a magazine and I....

Great articles I found on a magazine (I think it was fortune but can't rememeber)...

3. Finally getting my bootay to the dentist and getting bad news and good news--- the scruciating pain I was getting on the right side of my jaw/ head is due to a very bad cavity all the way back on my wisdom tooth (that's both the good news and tr bad news). Now I have to gather the courage of getting that tooth pulled out before I leave DC (ugh!!!!).

4. Learning to keep myself in peace and not letting things that I can't control bother me. Thank god for self-reflection!

5. Finding a Catholic Church in the area and making it to mass this past Sunday. Loved the sermon and just loved being there for an hour or so.

6. The ability to run!!! Been running a lot lately (as mentioned in several past posts) and loving it. Took a break today after running 4 days back to back. Gotta take care of this body!!!

Random selfie of the week:

Some of my eats this week:

Meme of the week goes to the following:

How was your week? Any plans this weekend? TGIF everyone :)

Friday, July 11, 2014

Fortunate Fridays! {proud of my friends} Edition

Hey All!
Hope everyone had an amazing week! My week had a lot going on but I am glad is finally Friday! I just had a chance to sit down and write this post. I should really consider being a "real" blogger and writing these things up in advance. However, until that happens, here is what I feel fortunate for this week:
1. My amazing friends, whom I am so proud of!!!
I believe I mentioned on my previous post that I spent last weekend at my friend's lake house up in Syracuse, NY. She bought the house a couple of year ago and I missed her house warming party due to a family thing I had going on during that time. I FINALLY had a chance to go up to see her this past weekend. When I walked in to her gorgeous home (with a gorgeous lake to match) all I could think about how immensely proud I am of her and all she has accomplished over the years. Nothing makes me happier than seeing my friends succeed and see the fruits of their hard work. Congratulations Lejla! and I wish you much more amazing things!
I took a gazillion pictures but here are a few:

Us on the boat (one piece borrowed from my friend because of course a forgot a bathing suit).

View toward the lake

View of the house from the lake

Osvaldo and I (thanks for driving :)

Lamija and I :)

The girls
2. My dad!!! It was my dad's birthday yesterday and I know I've probably said this several times on the blog but I love my dad to the moon and back. He's been such an amazing role model in my life and all good things I have I owe not only to my hard work but to his never-ending support in my life. I am so blessed to have him around and was a little sad I wasn't with him for his birthday. But I hope to make it up to him soon. Love you dad <3

3. My new found "hobbie"--Running!-- So I am living in a dorm room within GWU for the summer (long story on that one). I am not necessarily ecstatic to have a roommate or to spend every waking moment in a room without a television so, I have this new "thing" where I just go out and run. I like it and I feel my stamina getting better and better. Yayy!

4. An amazing lunch (and trying chicken pad thai for the first time)-- One of the executives from my job took the time to take me and another analyst to work and shared so much knowledge with us! I was just listening to him absorbing as much as possible. Its quite the amazing feeling when you have a chance to talk with smart people and take the time to listen, engage and just learn so much from them. Cheers to educational lunches:

..and ps: pad thai is delicious...yes. I've been living under a rock this whole time.
I'll keep it short today considering is late and I am tired. But, never forget that no matter the challenges we may face in life, there is always something to feel fortunate for.
I leave you with some random selfie I took yesterday before work:

...and with my favorite "meme" of the week:

Tell Me, How did you spend 4th of July weekend? anything exciting coming up this weekend?

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Fortunate Fridays {In love with the city and my job} Edition

Hey Everyone,


How was your week? I have quite the busy—yet super exciting—weekend ahead of me. Although I am in DC and 4th of July is likely amazing here, I actually had previous plans to go visit a friend of mine up in Syracuse, NY. I am super excited to see her and spend time with her and her fiancĂ©. They have a lake house and I hear is beautiful!


So basically, I am leaving DC today as early as possible, getting to NYC and then driving out to Syracuse early Friday morning. I’ll make sure to take tons of photos and will let you guys know how it goes!


This week was filled with tons of things to feel fortunate for. So, here is the run down:

1. Had such a great time last weekend touring Washington and visiting all of the "tourist" attractions. It was so freaking hot but regardless we had an amazing time:

*also got to try a delicious mexican restaurant I had been eyeing since I got here. No pictures (sorry) but the food was delicious. 

2. Keeping up with my fitness!!! The heat here is out of this world (or maybe this past winter was so horrible I forgot hot hot it can get). It's been 90+ degrees for most of the days. However, I've managed to run most days with occasional walking breaks. All the sweating is actually doing wonders for my skin! I noticed a nicer complexion the past couple of days:

3. Free "treats" at work. so basically every last Friday of the month they have "cake day" and there is also such thing as pizza day once a month. What makes this so cool is that the company doesn't get mass-produced treats from Cosco or BJs. They actually go out of their ways to find local vendors!!!! And we get to vote on the "best tasting" stuff. This week'a favorite were definitely these cake balls:

Forgot who made them but apparently it was a 12 year old girl from the area who is starting her own business. How cool is that?! I'll try to see if she has a website and share it with you all. 

4. Staying on budget (at least with food and workouts). So working out is pretty much free considering I run around the city. In terms of Food, I stocked up on some basic staples when I got here and so I have been throwing random things together:

*(Egg and avocado on sprotted whole wheat bread)

*Trader Joe's enchilada with a side of avocado.

5. Last but not least: my strong faith which simple continues to grow. A lot of amazing things going on in my life and the stuff that bother me from time  to time, I pray about. Peace is a wonderful feeling and I don't take anything for granted :)

Cheers to an amazing summer and beyond!

"Meme of the week" (or message of the week) goes out to a friend of mine whom posted this on Facebook:

What are your plans for 4th of July weekend?? 

*Ps: pardon any issues with formatting. Had to write the post using blogger app on my phone.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Fortunate Friday! {First week in DC edition}

Hey everyone!
Hope you all had a great week. Today is the culmination of the second week at my internship and I couldn’t be happier with all that I am learning so far. I have to be honest--- the environment is a little bit intimidating at times. You may or may not know that the finance/investments world is ruled mainly by man. What does this mean for me at the present time? I am the only female intern in the investing department and probably the 2nd female employee in the entire department as well (the other girl is a permanent analyst). Isn’t that crazy?! So pretty much in a room of about 50 people, there are only 2 females.
Another factor that has made me feel a bit out of place at times but that actually motivates me to work harder is that I am constantly communicating with individuals who know a lot more than me about investing (especially when it comes to valuations aka numbers and spreadsheets!). So, while that may not be my strength currently I am definitely in the process of crossing that hurdle and becoming an even better investor. Definitely looking forward for what’s to come.
Anyways, sorry about all the work talk. Let’s get in to my Fortunate Fives for the week:
1.    I was able to switch my housing (dorm room) in Washington from a quad to a double--- O.M.G so, I walked in to my originally designated room on Sunday afternoon and almost fell in to a black hole of depression considering: how super small the actual room was, the lack of privacy, and the idea of having to deal with 3 other different personalities for 6 weeks this summer.

      Instead of crying my life away I walked around a bit, pulled myself together, and then made  a call to the housing department for a room change. Thankfully a double opened up and I was able to switch rooms immediately! I may not have my own space any longer but dealing with one person is a million times better than dealing with 3. So, halleluiah for that! The person I am rooming with seems pretty okay, also an intern, goes to bed at a reasonable time, and doesn’t snore. I am super happy about those factors alone.
2.    Being walking distance from the White House and pretty much right in the center of DC for the summer--- that makes up a bit (or a lot) for the fact that I have to share a room with a complete stranger. I also have a whole foods and a trader joes at walking distance. Made a quick run to TJs the other day just to explore the route and look forward to running more as my stay here progresses. Here is a photo from my first visit to the white house this past Tuesday:

Picture of my 1 mile run :)

3.    My enthusiasm to explore—Since I’ve been here I’ve walked around a whole lot and am becoming pretty familiar with the area where I work as well as where I live. I love just walking around, taking photos, exploring the town and the people. I actually have been lucky to find individuals whom simply ask me if I need help with directions, etc. Is it just me or people in DC are a whole lot nicer than in NYC?!
4.    I have a visitor coming to visit me this weekend—he gets here today. I am super excited.
5.    Feeling more comfortable in my environment, making friends, having family near.
That’s all folks. I am looking forward to a great weekend filled with activities (affordable/free ones to be exact) and just enjoying everything.
Tell me, do you enjoy being in a new environments or are you one of those people that avoids change at all cost? Would love to hear your stories!
For me, new environments always make me a little scared/anxious but it usually takes me a day (or 3) to adapt and then I am good (for the most part ;)…
Favorite Meme of the Week:

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Old Town Alexandria... and a Nice Reunion

Hey all! Hope you all had a great Saturday so far! I had a great time giving myself a "personal tour" of "Historic" Old Town Alexandria here in VA.

The original plan was for me to move in to my aunts house tonight and then move my stuff again over to the place where I am officially staying in Washington. However, I decided to stay one more night at the Virginia spot so I could get a chance to explore some of the "tourist" areas and by that I mean Old Town. Also, this gives my aunt a chance to come help me tomorrow with my bags so it all worked out perfect.

I slept in a little late and woke up around 9-ish. To be hones, when I got up this morning I was feeling a little down. Not sure why but maybe because I woke up alone in a new town with no "set" plans. However, I didn't let my emotions rule my day. I got up, took a shower and made myself some breakfast. I then proceeded to do one of my favorite things: Catching up on blogs! :)
Turned on the TV and caught most of the "Naughty Professor" (the first movie). Forgot how great it is :). My mood began turning around almost immediately.
...After some Saturday morning lounging I got ready and excited to explore the town!

Bathroom "Selfie" before heading out.

I have to say I fell in love with Old Town! Is such a simple yet very historic and entertaining place filled with multiple shops, restaurants, and cute little stores. Most of the locations where inside old buildings which help keep the history of the town intact. I took over 70 photos! Most of them I posted on Facebook. No possible way I could post them all on here so I selected some of the main ones:

Little shops (including multiple cupcake spots..yum!):

The free trolley which transports people from the very beginning to the end of the town. I walked almost 4 miles before I realized it was free. No biggie considering part of my plan for today was to get some exercise in. Mission accomplished!

The very end of the town opens up to a pier:

I had such an amazing time on my own. It had been a while since I spent some nice quality time with myself :)
...Yesterday after work I met up with an old college friend whom I hadn't seen in 9 years!

We had such an amazing time catching up on the good old days. I remember I used to call her "my angel" in college but I cant remember why. Maybe because of the positive vibes I always felt around her. I recall we worked on one single project together but that was enough for us to become good friends. I am glad we kept in touch all these years and that I had a chance to see her again!
Tell me, How was your Saturday? Any exciting things planned for the rest of the weekend?

Friday, June 20, 2014

Fortunate Fridays {Writing from Alexandria, VA, Edition}

Hey everyone!

I am currently writing to you from the very nice town of Alexandria, VA—About 20 mins outside of Washington, DC.

I got here this past Sunday. My amazing family made it a road trip and drove with me all the way from NYC to help me move for my summer adventures on this side of the country. This weekend I move my bags over to Washington, DC where I will be staying for the remainder of the summer.

As indicated on my previous post I am here for an internship. Check out this week’s work-outfit selfies:

Office is business casual. Business casual in the finance/investment industry is almost unheard of. Needless to say the culture of the company is pretty cool.

The experience so far have been great. Even better than I expected and I seriously feel incredibly blessed. I get to do one of the things I love for a living and the feeling is still pretty surreal. I feel like I am still in shock and sometimes have the urge to pinch myself. Without further ado, here is what I feel fortunate for this past week:

1.    The fact that the room I sublet for this week turned out to be amazing—Only about 10 minutes from my job and the girl that rents it out is super cool and fun to be around. She made me feel like I was home right off the bat and I felt super comfortable.

2.    Having family and a couple of good friends in DC—Is nice to know I have people close by that I can reach out to if anything happens, also people to hang out with and that can show me around!

3.    A paid internship where I get the opportunity to learn more about a field I absolutely love

4.    NYC Friends and loved ones checking in on me throughout the week to make sure I am okay and that everything is going well (love when people care!)

5.    I get health & dental insurance even as an intern!

6.    The feelings that the stars are slowly aligning for me and things are falling in to place…


How did everyone’s week go? I plan to be more active on the blog as much as I possibly can at least to share the places that I visit here and my whole experience in the country’s capital! Before I got here, all I heard was nice things about how beautiful and great it is to live here and so far so good.

A year ago today I was kinda’ sad when I realized I was in the same industry after 8 years (insurance). An industry that provided me with a lot but at the same time I was mostly miserable. I am so happy to say things have changed drastically over a year and I am excited to see more positive changes in my life!

Considering coffee is essential for me lately, I went in to Starbucks a few times and got the cheapest thing I could find (regular coffee, small). The point of me saying this is that I am loving the “Oprah quotes” that have been appearing on the coffee sleeves. Very clever idea, Starbucks! Keep it going. 

I have chosen this one to be quote of the week:

"Your life is big. Keep reaching."

Here are some other great ones:

"Your experience is never wasted. Everything has meaning".

"Live from the heart of yourself. Seek to be whole, not perfect"

"Follow your passion, it will lead you to your purpose".

What do YOU feel fortunate for this week? If you are familiar with Washington, any recommendations on where to go/what to see?