In honor of my Birthday… and entering my mid-20’s…

I figured, why not attempt to embrace it and soak up every minute of this very chaotic period of every person’s life. That stage where you don’t quite have it together yet, you have an idea of how to get there, but the entire act is still being played out. So we enter the world of our mid-twenties, and turning 24 defines me as such. So why not make sure and live it up, in honor of my birthday and things needing to be done, things already accomplished, and things that just make life worth living:

d594a4f3429a24fc4b39fe8bcdd9cef8

25 Things To Do Before You Turn 25: (list courtesy and inspiration of, Stephanie Georgopulos’, article)

1.  “Make peace with your parents. Whether you finally recognize that they actually have your best interests in mind or you forgive them for being flawed human beings, you can’t happily enter adulthood with that familial brand of resentment.”

As weird as it may sound, become friends with your parents, really get to know them; in a way stop thinking of them as parents and more like cohorts. You are far more alike than you know, and my getting to them better you may be surprised and learn a little more about yourself.

2. “Kiss someone you think is out of your league; kiss models and med students and entrepreneurs with part-time lives in Dubai and don’t worry about if they’re going to call you afterward.”

I am not so sure how much I want to go running about kissing random men, I understand the point; get out and live don’t sit there and wish you were doing something with someone somewhere, just do it or I’m sure you will regret it, learn to live in the now.

3. “Minimize your passivity.” stand up for what you believe in, if you feel as though something should be changed for the better don’t just stand by the wayside waiting for someone else to take the spotlight; get the ball rolling!

4. “Work a service job to gain some understanding of how tipping works, how to keep your cool around assholes, how a few kind words can change someone’s day.”

This is such a true thing, working as a customer service representative now as a full time job, it really makes me appreciate such great service in return; it also makes me very frustrated when other companies (such as apartment complexes that are supposed to make their tenants feel at home but in reality the staff is so very rude you could never think of that way) do not reciprocate the same level of customer service that I provide at my job every single day.

5. ” Recognize freedom as a 5:30 a.m. trip to the diner with a bunch of strangers you’ve just met.”

Although I may not have many opportunities to be out and about at 5:30 am, its really about embracing the moment and appreciating the time you have to be free. Soon enough there will be a family and kids in the equation and those little moments of freedom will be fewer and farer between.

d531b487faeeaa5085e23f98e47797ea

6. ” Try not to beat yourself up over having obtained a ‘useless’ Bachelor’s Degree. Debt is hell, and things didn’t pan out quite like you expected, but you did get to go to college, and having a degree isn’t the worst thing in the world to have. We will figure this mess out, I think, probably; the point is you’re not worth less just because there hasn’t been an immediate pay off for going to school. Be patient, work with what you have, and remember that a lot of us are in this together.”

Enough said, you have to work to get to where you want to be. Sure you may not have your dream job right out of the gates, but the majority of people don’t. You work hard, you figure out what you like, what you hate, and you grow and build from there. Embrace the grind because later on it will pay off.

7. “If you’re employed in any capacity, open a savings account. You never know when you might be unemployed or in desperate need of getting away for a few days. Even $10 a week is $520 more a year than you would’ve had otherwise.”

Save, save, save. Spend a little, indulge to keep yourself sane but always be thinking of the future, and that last minute car repair that could make or break rent that month.

8. ” Make a habit of going outside, enjoying the light, relearning your friends, forgetting the internet.”

This is something we all need to remember, all the time. We need to remember how to interact without checking Instagram every 5 seconds. I am one of the worst, I am so addicted to my phone it is not even funny. Long runs when it is me the road and my music make me really remember how refreshing it can be to just take a break from technology.

9. “Go on a 4-day, brunch-fueled bender.” Just do it. Do you need a reason? I think not.

10. “Start a relationship with your crush by telling them that you want them. Directly. Like, look them in the face and say it to them. Say, I want you. I want to be with you.”

As terrifying as this may be, it could also be the leap of faith you are looking for. And hey what do you have to lose? If anything they may just reciprocate the same.

11. “Learn to say ‘no’ — to yourself. Don’t keep wearing high heels if you hate them; don’t keep smoking if you’re disgusted by the way you smell the morning after; stop wasting entire days on your couch if you’re going to complain about missing the sun.”

It is one of the hardest things for me to do, is say no. However with time, to be happy, sometimes you just have to say NO because that is what is best for you. Say no the relationship that is going nowhere, say no to the people who cause you to be unhappy, and get out there and be with who makes you the best version of you.

12. “Take time to revisit the places that made you who you are: the apartment you grew up in, your middle school, your hometown. These places may or may not be here forever; you definitely won’t be.”

Flashback Friday’s are not a bad thing, don’t get stuck in the past wishing you were there because it will never be that way again, but always thing back and visit those times that built you into the person you are today.

13. “Find a hobby that makes being alone feel lovely and empowering and like something to look forward to.”

Find something that you look forward to doing when you are home alone with nothing to do, run, sew, paint, do yoga; whatever gets you in that state of true bliss.

14. “Think you know yourself until you meet someone better than you.”

Always be content with yourself, honor your flaws and realize they are something you have to live with. However that does not mean that others can not inspire to live up to your full potentially just a little bit more. Anyone who can influence anyone to be a better person, that is never a bad thing.

15. “Forget who you are, what your priorities are, and how a person should be.” Again playing off #14, be the change you want to see, be the person you want to encounter on the street, be the customer service representative that really makes a customer’s day. Just be the change you want to see in the world.

16. “Identify your fears and instead of letting them dictate your every move, find and talk to people who have overcome them. Don’t settle for experiencing .000002% of what the world has to offer because you’re afraid of getting on a plane.”

Figure out what makes you scared, and conquer it; don’t let fear of anything or anyone dictate how you live and plan your life.

17. “Make a habit of cleaning up and letting go. Just because it fit at one point doesn’t mean you need to keep it forever — whether ‘it’ is your favorite pair of pants or your ex.”

No need for explanations, sometimes the best of us even need to follow their own advice. Tie up loose ends and move on if it is for the better.

18. “Stop hating yourself.” How an anyone possibly love you if you don’t? Look in the mirror and see someone who deserves everything she wants and needs. Sure maybe you need to lose a few pounds but that is no reason to hate yourself, there is always something beautiful you can distinguish.

19. “Go out and watch that movie, read that book, listen to that band you already lied about watching, reading, listening to.” Catch up on those things that you have been putting by the wayside.

20. “Take advantage of health insurance while you have it.” Or be blessed to work for a company with incredible insurance

21. “Make a habit of telling people how you feel, whether it means writing a gushing fan-girl email to someone whose work you love or telling your boss why you deserve a raise.”

But take this with a grain of salt, don’t go shooting back raging e-mails in the heat of the moment, step back save a draft, and come back to that e-mail a few hours, maybe even a day later and go over that response with a more level head.

22. “Date someone who says, “I love you” first.” – essentially, date someone who gives a shit about you. Enough said.

23. “Leave the country under the premise of “finding yourself.” This will be unsuccessful. Places do not change people. Instead, do a lot of solo drinking, read a lot of books, have sex in dirty hostels, and come home when you start to miss it.”

Travel, travel, travel, it is something I already regret not being able to do enough. Study abroad, take a job over sees, do something to see the world before you are tied down

24. “Suck it up and buy a Macbook Pro.” Or get a computer you are really proud of and will want to use for a long time

25. “Quit that job that’s making you miserable, end the relationship that makes you act like a lunatic, lose the friend whose sole purpose in life is making you feel like you’re perpetually on the verge of vomiting. You’re young, you’re resilient, there are other jobs and relationships and friends if you’re patient and open.”

No additional explanation needed. Do what makes you happy, drop what doesn’t enough said. Once you have hit your mid-twenties, what is the point of keeping up with the drama. Just drop the people and things that cause that strife and embrace being almost a quarter of a century old.

726a740f455edf2287f13440b59d75d3(photo Credit Levo League)

This one was a long one! I won’t be offended if you don’t read it all, These are all such things to keep in mind, especially on the eve of my birthday weekend. Hope everyone has a festive fall equinox! TTFN xox Birthday girl #GFP

Make mine Virginia Wine!

I am lucky to be located in a state that really offers everything, Virginia has beaches, mountains, farmland, and city you really do have everything. Something else that we have a lot of are vineyards and wineries.  I LOVE wine, my roommate and I are probably addicted to the cheap-o, but pretty good wine from Trader Joe’s.  However, one of my favorite weekend past times is to traps all over this beautiful state to wine taste my way around Virginia.  Please make mine Virginia Wine!

Since last fall I have really been racking up the wine glasses from the different vineyards I have done tastings at. But this summer I have gone on a few great wine tasting weekends! I am no wine expert but I love to drink wine, try wine, and hang out at vineyards, I mean who doesn’t?  I am here to tell you a little about a few of my favorites over the past few months.

We have certainly been blessed to have so many vineyards in the DC/Metro area and thus far I have not really tasted a wine I hated, so that is always a plus!

For my roommates birthday back in May we went to two Wineries in Leesburg, VA. Lost Creek Winery and Hidden Brooke Winery, both were gorgeous and delicious!

IMG_4273

Hidden Brooke Winery (above) sitting here on this front porch was such a pretty view!

IMG_4266

Lost Creek Vineyard and Winery (above) the terrace outside was precious and their staff was incredible!

A little later in the summer a few friends and I went on a quick adventure to Bull Run Winery out in Manassas, this is a newer Winery but it has really made a name for itself quick! It has amazing wine, especially the blueberry wine, and the atmosphere was fun and intended for you to hang out, and enjoy some wine with friends. Some nights they have live music! This was my second trip to Bull Run and I know I will be back again.

A weekend a little later in my roommate and I went on an adventure out to Delaplane, VA for the annual Strawberry Festival out there and decided wine tasting needed to follow. We headed out to a Vineyard I had heard all about, and nothing but good things, Naked Mountain Vineyard, it was GORGEOUS, set up in the mountain hillsides with scattering of chairs ready for you to take in the view and enjoy some incredible wine, DRINK NAKED!

IMG_4376

Then most recently, last weekend, I went with a few pledge sisters on another wine tasting adventure, hitting 3 vineyards in one lovely afternoon!

We started off back in Delaplane VA at another renowned Winery called Barrel Oak Winery, again an extremely fun atmosphere, but this time almost centered around dogs! They love their dogs here and that was evident, although I am primarily a cat lover, I do love all animals and dogs are super cute! This place was fun and partially family oriented.

IMG_4848

Then we headed out to Amissville , VA to Grey Ghost Vineyards, although it was a little more mellow, the wine was delicious and I brought home a delicious chardonnay. The view was gorgeous!

IMG_4836

And last but certainly not least we headed to Granite Heights Winery, which used to be one of my pledge sisters family’s farm. She grew up there and now it has been converted into a winery! It was very quaint, and the wine was delicious! The old house was gorgeous and the farm as a whole was just a beautiful site to see. It was so wonderful to be able to enjoy great wine, while taking in some real life history from someone who had grown up there. And as a bonus, I scored the most INCREDIBLE blueberry cinnamon jam, to die for!

IMG_4838

That is a lot of vineyards, however there are a lot more to go! More updates about wine tasting adventures around VA and running trails I have been exploring! xox Glutenfreeprep #GFP

Meet the Diva.

So I am not sure if it has been proclaimed upon the blog but I am a cat lover. Not completely a crazy-cat lady, yet, but many of my friends are beginning to feel as though I may be headed down that path. I do not completely agree with them but I do love cats, sorry not sorry.  My entire life my family has had a cat, my cat growing up, Bagheera (like the Jungle Book!) was probably the most demonic creature alive, however my parents were virtually saints for keeping him and “loving” him. Needless to say, he is the only cat I have not enjoyed, but as a 10 year old, when a cat ruins your sparkly, light-up boots by peeing on them; said cat gets put into the dislike group.

However, from then on out we have always had luck with our cats, after Bagheera, my parents have had a few cats who have been wonderful! Throughout college I also, always had roommates who had cats. When I first moved off campus my roommate had 1 cat, and got another. When that roommate moved out, another moved in another cat, and another. So 2 years, 4 different cats. A lot of love and a lot of cat pictures; but never a cat of my own. And as I write this it seems more and more like a crazy cat lady but again, sorry not sorry.

So, when I moved out on my own in March I came to the realization that for the first time in my life, except the times I lived in the dorms in college, I would not have a cat, whether it be a roommate’s or my parents. And that was just completely unacceptable. So after being settled in my new place for a few weeks I set out on a mission to give a loving kitty a new home. I searched online a bit and found a cat that I thought was very precious so I attempted to set up an appointment to meet her. However this cat was at a foster home so it would be difficult to set up an appointment right away, so they had me come into their shelter (more like a cat house) and see if any of the other animals there would meet my fancy.

When I went into this house it was insane, there were cages and cats everywhere, all loving and wanting to come home to be loved by a nice family, or pair of roommates in this case. So I made my way through this maze of cages and was introduced to many different cats, males, females, short haired, long hairs, young, old, and every color you could imagine. However, one very small female caught my eye because of her petite stature and her cute little socks. Her adoptive name was “Little Princess” however, that was a bit pretentious for my liking so:

Meet Dinah (Dine-ah) – like the name of Alice’s cat in the original Disney version of Alice in Wonderland, I swear the Disney character names are a complete coincidence, I am just a sucker for Disney.

IMG_4451

She’s a petite little thing and a diva of all divas. She loves to knock over everything and chew on everything she should not however, I love having her here, she certainly makes me smile more often than she makes me angry.  And I am so happy I rescued her from that crazy place she was living before. She’s a cuddlebug like no other and is such a chatty cathy if I have ever heard one.

IMG_4296

Well that is all for now from your crazy cat lady in training, hope you love her as much as I do! Keep checking back for more gluten free goodies, vineyard adventures, and running trail adventures! xoxo Glutenfreeprep #GFP

One of the best events of the year! The Summer Lilly Pulitzer Sale!

Ladies, ladies, ladies, its one of the best times of years for all of us Lilly lovers out there! Last summer I am really not sure where I was or what I was pre-occupied with but I missed the sale and I was throughly depressed.  I was not going to let that happen again! So this time I was much more on my game and up and ready to shop when the sale started at 8 am!

IMG_4857But as it always happens, the Lilly site crashed! It was a tragic start to my day. I could shop but I wouldn’t be able to add to my cart. Stressful, exciting, saddening. But not to fear the day was eventually saved when I was able to shop at lunchtime. But one dress I had my eye on in the morning had already been completely snapped up before I was able to actually shop but I still scooped up a few very cute finds at an amazing deal!

IMG_4856

I got this super cute and super versatile striped dress – the Kaleb Dress I am super excited to sport this in the fall, even with the super springy colors!

Followed by another wonderful dress just itching for spring to start again was the Darcy Dress, perfect if I am ever invited to a tea or to attend the horse races, whenever wherever!

And a very cute top that I am in need of more of, I am an avid shopper for my bottom half – I have a colored shorts and pants addiction – however I need tops to mix and match as well. This Drew top will be the perfect addition to my collection, of small but growing perfect tops for any occasion.

Screen Shot 2013-08-19 at 9.10.08 PM

 

Now, all I have to do is wait and wait and WAIT for this wonderful order to be processed and delivered! Love love love everything that I ordered and I can not wait to wear all of it! Keep an eye out for updated on that as well as a post to come introducing a wonderful new addition to my life since I have moved out! Keep reading to find out who!

That’s all for now! Love your gluten free Lilly lover! xoxo Glutenfreeprep #GFP

Go Ape!

go-ape

So back in the beginning of the summer I told my roommate that I would take her to this zip line and ropes course in our area called Go Ape! as her birthday present from me, 3 months later we finally got around to it. This place was awesome! It was exhausting, nerve racking, exhilarating, and awesome! We went to the course located in Rock Creek Park, MD. There were 6 different obstacles ranging from zip wires and Tarzan swings into rope ladders, to crawling through a wooden tunnel and walking a wire, all in the tree tops.

Big-Group

 

 

So you get there and you sign your life away, but that is to be expected, swing at your own risk of course. And you go into a quick preview of what you have to do to survive in the trees  taught by great instructors, and you go. You climb up, swing across, balance your way through to the final goal of zip lining through the tree tops.

I was pretty scared for the first course or two, and gained my confidence as the courses progressed. You have to make sure you are all hooked in or else falling to your doom, (I’m probably be a little dramatic but still the idea remains).  All in all it was so much fun and I would recommend this to anyone who doesn’t have a slight fear of heights.

It definitely makes me want to get out and find more ropes courses and things of the like, it was challenging and a great form of exercise while also fueling that adrenaline thrill; Go out there and Go Ape!

IMG_4657

TTFN! xox Gluten Free Prep (GFP)

{Instagram photo challenge}

So Happy Halloween everyone! 🙂 Unfortunately I have to work tonight, maybe celebrating after, who knows? Anyways! This lovely month of October I did the Instagram photo a day challenge, which was as follows:

Day 1: You, now. Here is the best and most recent picture (although not so much at this point ;)) of me and my pledge sister.

Day 2: Picture with you Father, I know I have some with just my Dad but why leave Mama out?

Day 3: Far Away. Visit to Seattle in 10th grade, one of the best trips of my life.

Day 4: In my mailbox.

Day 5: Bright! It’s always a bright day with my pledge sisters on the way the La Parota! ❤

Day 6: Everyday. My planner and my phone are two things I use everyday for everything.

Day 7: Natural, delicious apple crisps, Kind of natural. 😉

Day 8: At night. Typical apple cider and Pinterest.

Day 9: Something you do most weekends. Work as a day of event and wedding go to girl! It is wonderful and I absolutely love it!

Day 10: Black and white, me and my friend Paige went and got Blueri froyo!

Day 11: Hero. Shannon Miller was my hero growing up, I idolized her as a gymnast and it was incredible to  meet her and to have her coach me at IGC. She is still an inspiration today successfully battling cancer.

Day 12: Together. Even if I feel completely alone I know I have you 5! My life. My heart. My home. LO6 lubuil.

Day 13: Table. Cute table settings at the last wedding of the season!

Day 14: Favorite. Dubbie ( 😦 ), Cosmo, Queso, and Alice! (and extra Kiki).

Day 15: First thing you see. It was Dublin my baby kitty but she got snatched up by a terrible woods creature who thought she would be a nice meal 😥 so very sad. I miss her.

Day 16: Strange… I couldn’t find anything else. I don’t think this needs an explanation for strange…

Day 17: In my fridge, lotsa stuff, and lotsa stuff I can’t eat.

Day 18: (late again.) Prices! Prices at King Street Coffee with GF mini loaves!

Day 19: Underneath. Underneath this ugly warehouse roof is the largest collection of vintage carriages in the US!

Day 20: Man-made. Keys are man-made, keys to all the cool things at my work.

Day 21: Sometimes. Sometimes I blog 😉 #gfp

Day 22: Up. Up the movie, is so cute!

Day 23: Before Bedtime: Netflix

Day 24: 3 Things. Even though today at the Battlefield was pretty awful… here were 3 pretty parts.

Day 25: Frame. cute frame used as an armoire tray!

Day 26: Near. It’s nearly Halloween!

Day 27: Love/ Hate. I hate a love hate relationship with running.

Day 28: A good thing. OMG THESE ARE DELICIOUS! I have been thinking about buying these as long as I have been gluten free but could never bring myself to pay $7 for donuts! Thanks Mom and Dad 😉

Day 29: Errand…No errands today! Stuck inside thanks to Hurricane Sandy. Carved a kitty pumpkin instead! 🙂

Day 30: You, Then. Dad and I carving pumpkins just like we did last night!

Day 31: HALLOWEEN! If I were going out tonight I would want to be Effie Trinket from the Hunger Games!

May the Odds be ever in your favor!

Thats all for now! That was such a fun challenge 🙂 🙂 I Liked it a lot too because I was able to give some variations to the pictures based on the theme of the day!

TTFN xox. GFP ❤