17 Highlights of 2017

Framily Friendsgiving 2017
1. Ringing in the New Year on Long Island with the fRamily, in our pajamas.

2. Going on family outings to Malibu, Big Bear, and Joshua Tree (while inevitably bickering but loving each other anyway) and exploring Barcelona, Bilbao, San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, and San Sebastián with my sister.

3. Working with a Wicked awesome team (even if only on a short-term contract), learning how much social impact initiatives truly engage me, and getting trained in Mental Health First Aid.

4. Reuniting with Nick for the first time since Lolla 2015, meeting his fiancée Chante (who is such a sweetheart), and becoming an Honorary Caruso. #Fireball

5. Trying my best to, in the words of Brian Lofrumento, “double-down and invest my time in people who prioritize me as much as I prioritize them.”

This year, I’ve strengthened existing friendships near and far and made new friends. I enjoy picking up right where we left off even if we don’t get to see each other regularly. The hardest part, however, is accepting that sometimes, you just have to let go.

6. Traveling to Orlando with the fRamily to drink around the world at Epcot and witness the magic of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

7. Catching up with my Little in Charlotte and Little Little in Philly.

8. Celebrating #TheLoveLeeChans in SoCal and #SheBecomesShih in Boston.

9. Re-signing our apartment lease and continuing to enjoy living with my fabulous roommate. Happy Golden Birthday, Sarah!

10. Falling even more in love with The City. Boston still has my heart, but New York is starting to become a close second — it’s also nice to have extended family in White Plains and on Long Island. 

11. Giving the NYC dating scene a shot.

While I’m still #SingleAF, OKCupid made for some entertaining stories (no, I’m not going to write about them publicly), and I learned a lot more about myself. The challenge for 2018 is to give up the apps and attempt to swipe right in real life.

12. Joining the Bentley NYC Alumni Committee and giving back to a school that has helped me become the person I am today.

13. Finishing grad school at Northwestern, starting a new consulting gig, and learning more about what I value in a career and workplace environment.

14. Becoming at least a little bit more comfortable with saying “no” in both my personal and professional lives.

15. Continuing to prioritize physical and mental well-being.

I’m ~20 pounds down since January 1st thanks to the Sweat with Kayla BBG workouts. I’m adding Aaptiv to the mix to not only up my cardio game, but also practice guided meditation on a more regular basis. I still find it challenging to eat healthy sometimes, especially when NYC has so many restaurants I have yet to try. I am, however, getting better at portion control while traveling weekly for work with the help of FitLife Foods.

16. Approaching life with a growth mindset and learning to be more in the present.

17. Last, but not least, finding out that the fRamily is growing — I cannot wait to meet Baby Amoia in April and Baby Cassella in May!

2017, you’ve been amazing; 2018, I’m ready for ya!

One Year Later


A year ago today, I crossed the first item off my Thirty Before Thirty bucket list by starting this blog — that makes today my blogiversary!

This time, last year, I was moving out of my Boston apartment nine days later, to live out of a suitcase until I moved into my Evanston apartment in June. I had a farewell party at Loretta’s, then I spent my last day in Boston volunteering at Bentley Consent Day.

Loretta’s, March 2015.
Bentley Consent Day, April 2015.


I am another year closer to thirty, flirty, and thriving, and I am overwhelmed with joy by all the birthday love — thank you for the phone calls, messages, Snapchats, etc.! I started 27 with my fourth OrangeTheory workout of the week, because you know, our metabolic rates decline with age. Shoutout to Yiyi for telling me about OrangeTheory over a year ago, and to Rachel for finally getting me to a studio on Sunday! I still plan to stick with the T25 at-home workouts, but I know I need a little extra boost before Justin & Alyssa’s wedding in June, and Erik & Angela’s wedding in August.

OrangeTheory Evanston, March 2016.

Other than relaxing during a 90-minute massage and publishing this post, I didn’t really have any plans for the day — I figured I would just go with the flow and enjoy the outdoors during the intermittent bursts of sunshine. Shen, one of the Graduate Housing Assistants, graciously purchased a chocolate chess pie from Hoosier Mama’s — it was absolutely delicious! I am also eyeing tonight’s menu at Boltwood, and might head over there for dinner for one and maybe even chat with the bartender who twice called me out for ordering club soda + lime when there was an open bar on two different occasions (I was in detox mode). Tomorrow, I am excited that I get to play dress up with Melissa, my rock in Chicago, and attend the Barristers’ Ball at the Tiffany Dome with Corey, a close friend of mine from high school.

With Melissa at Benchmark, March 2016.

As some of you may know, I only have less than two months left in Chicagoland, which I find difficult to believe especially when I was planning to be here for two years.

The primary reason I am leaving sooner than expected is because while I thought I had the option to take all my classes in-person, I discovered that certain classes are only offered virtually with a three-day in-person component. As someone who was actively involved on-campus as an undergrad, I was looking forward to being a full-time student and immersing myself into student life once again, only to realize that there is a lack of campus life with the way this program is designed. Knowing what I know now, I would have done this program as a part-time student and worked full-time instead of studying full-time and working two part-time jobs. However, I am already here, and as an optimistic realist, I know it is about having the right mindset to make the program work for me. As such, I have enrolled in two non-MSLOC in-person daytime electives at Medill IMC to balance out my virtual MSLOC night class this quarter. On Tuesday, some classmates and I even decided to attend our virtual class together from a restaurant to still experience in-person interactions. Next school year, I only have five credits remaining and will complete those remotely, primarily from Southern California in the fall and a location TBD in the spring, hopefully with some side trips in between…budget pending. Having to read Managing the Unexpected: Resilient Performance in an Age of Uncertainty and The Opposable Mind: Winning Through Integrative Thinking for one of my electives certainly comes at an opportune time!

Yes, I still like the curriculum and content of my graduate program, I am thankful for the opportunities to learn from and with my MSLOC professors and classmates, and I am happy that I have taken a step towards where I want to be career-wise because of this program. I am also glad that I have gotten to know some of the MSLOCers outside of class — one of them even introduced me to her study abroad host sister, who I met up with in Denmark over spring break, and a few of us are planning a bachelorette for two of our classmates who are tying the knot to their respective significant others this summer!

Living here has taught me how to become more comfortable with being alone without being lonely, and has reminded me that there are certain opinions that we cannot have unless we have had firsthand experiences. I am surprised to have discovered that while I love the Chicago area as a place to visit (and I plan to continue visiting in the future), it is not a place for me to live in; I appreciate those who respect my opinion regardless of their thoughts. I have also realized that while I have often said that I could never do New York for more than just a weekend, and I apologize for making such an inexperienced claim, I simply won’t know unless I try. I am excited to intern in New York this summer, and I am actually nervous that I might not want to leave the concrete jungle (shout out to Nicole & Sarah). I still have a strong feeling that I will eventually end up back in Boston, but who knows where the world will take me!

I would like to continue making the most out of my remaining time in Chicagoland, crossing additional items off my bucket list, and maintaining and strengthening my relationships with others.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post and please feel free to reach out — I would love to hear from you and catch up!