Spring Break in Tampa

FSUflowersIt’s officially spring! The weather is back to 70s and 80s, the flowers are blooming, and there are so many people spending time outside. It’s a nice little reminder of why I love living in Florida.

Last week was spring break and Spencer and I managed to sneak away to Tampa for a few days. The vacation was filled with board games, good food, lots of walking, and heaps of relaxation. I finished my second scarf¬†and it is happily on its way to its new owner, my older sister, Kirsten. ūüôā

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goulds at craft fair

Spencer’s family¬†loves to be¬†active and¬†its one of the reasons I love spending time with them! This is his dad and little brother, Grant. We walked to the Wiregrass Mall for a¬†craft fair where we ate delicious thai food with pork buns and pad thai. I bought handmade soap made with lemon and handmade peppermint shaving cream for Spencer. The weather was perfect and I managed to get in some major steps for my Map My Run app.

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We then went to a car show in¬†Dade City¬†and I actually had more fun that I had initially anticipated. There were so many interesting cars! Both new and old with their proud owners close by. Spencer’s dad recently purchased this 1951 Chevy Styleline Deluxe and it’s so fun to ride in. Wherever we go, people constantly stop us to ask about its history.

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I know practically nothing about cars so naturally I thought of the crocodile with teeth game when I passed this truck.

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On Sunday, Spencer and his brother and I played mini golf and I didn’t get in last place!¬†

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On Sunday night, Spence and I went to the off-broadway play, First Date¬†at The Straz Center! It was a hilarious play with only seven cast members! Afterwards, we walked around Ybor and had the best pizza at New York New York Pizza. It’s this hole in the wall place with pizza that reminds me of my summer in New York. So good.¬†¬†

Spencer’s family is full of incredible cooks¬†and I love helping to make dinners with them because I learn so much! We had lasagna, burgers¬†with putin, and shish kebabs with rice. After this weekend, I decided I was going to eat healthier. Since then, I’ve stopped drinking soda and eating fast food and sweets.

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Board games are a staple in the Gould house so we played lots of catch phrase throughout the weekend. This is one of my favorite places to be. backyardpool

It was the perfect little getaway and I’m so happy we were able to spend time with his family. We came back to Tallahassee Monday night of spring break and both worked the rest of the break. Little trips like these remind me of what I’m working so hard for: travels, family, and happiness. ūüôā

Happy spring ūüôā Wishing you warmth wherever you are!

New York City, Then & Now

Tomorrow, I’ll be in New York City once again. It’s such a strange and exciting feeling, and I know once I get there, I’m not going to want to leave.

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The first time I went to New York was in March 2013 with Tallahassee Community College for a journalism conference. This trip changed my perspective on a lot of things, especially my views toward traveling.¬†I love traveling.¬†Ever since stepping out of that taxi and seeing just how very¬†massive the world is, I’ve had this desire to see more, learn more, do more.

Since I’ll only be in the city for five days, it’s important for me to have a schedule and list of things I need to do. Otherwise, I would be endlessly strolling down Bleeker Street or through Central Park. Some of my best memories started off with me simply walking through Manhattan. Maybe Taylor Swift said it best in Welcome to New York:¬†“Walking through a crowd, the village is aglow.¬†Kaleidescope¬†of loud heartbeats under coats.”

On this trip to New York, I hope to…

  • Stroll through Central Park and reminisce about this past summer.
  • Take many¬†many¬†beautiful photos. The only thing I wish I could have done more this past summer would be to have taken more photos.
  • Visit Astoria, Queens.
  • Read on the subway.
  • Meet someone completely inspiring.
  • Not have a heart attack when I meet Carly Heitlinger.
  • Recreate one of my past photos in the city!
  • Gain better insight into what my necessities are for¬†when I graduate. Location? Pay? Job? Company?¬†I’ll be touring four agencies¬†so I’m hoping that the inside look might inspire me.
  • Learn more about myself through interviewing. (Could also do this while touring agencies.)
  • Walk the Brooklyn Bridge (again).
  • See another show on Broadway!
  • Take away and learn¬†three new things from the AWNY conference¬†workshops.
  • Eat an almond cookie at Ferrara Cafe in Little Italy.¬†They are to die for!
  • Get coffee at at least three local shops.¬†This is really hard since there is a Starbucks¬†around every corner.

As I was writing¬†this list of things to do in the city, I remembered making a similar list¬†this past May when I found out I would be spending the summer in the city. When I looked back, I was so happy to realize I did most of the things on my list! Aside for hailing a cab as smoothly as Carrie Bradshaw (I mean, that’s practically impossible) and eating at Serendipity (which I still would love to do!), I’ve done every single one of those things, which were at some points pretty¬†embarrassing. (Try to imagine me walking through 7th Ave with my phone stuck in my face, asking the Elmos how to get to Central Park…)

Tomorrow, I’ll be in New York. Tomorrow, I’ll be rushing through airports, trying to get to the city in one piece. Tomorrow, I’ll be writing down every waking emotion so that I can try to remember just how fantastic this city is. Tomorrow, I’ll be hailing a cab while taking photos while secretly¬†pinching myself that this is my life.¬†Tomorrow, I’ll be closer to discovering who I want to be.

New York in 1 Week!

I’ll be back in my city one week from today!

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I’ve had Welcome to New York¬†on repeat since it was¬†released and I’ve been¬†reusing my favorite mug for weeks. The perfect way¬†to celebrate my reunion. I’ll be arriving at 3pm on Tuesday, November 18th and returning to Tallahassee on Sunday, November 23rd. (Five whole days in New York City!) There are so many things I simply can’t wait for!

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I’m so excited¬†to roam the busy streets, taking in all of the amazing, smelly, wondrous smells.¬†One part of New York that I truly miss is just walking down the streets just to wander. The city is so massive that you simply cannot cover everything in one summer. Next week, I’ll be able to cover new ground.

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I’m ecstatic¬†to see¬†JWT and all of the wonderful people who work there.¬†This past summer changed my life in more ways than one and I’m so proud of all of the work they’ve been releasing lately.¬†Check out their recent work with NAMI! This #IWillListen album is so important to me because I was able to help with this campaign for my summer¬†intern project. Through this project, I learned that¬†1 in 4 Americans is affected by a mental illness, and I was able to¬†see how organizations such as these help so many people.

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I can’t wait to meet Carly of The College Prepster!¬†Carly is one of my favorite bloggers and I’m so happy she agreed to meet for coffee. I love everything about her from her style and voice to her positive outlook on life! Her Instagram¬†inspires me daily and¬†reading her blog has become one of my favorite morning routines.¬†She is¬†someone I sincerely admire and I’m so grateful to be able to personally meet her. Can’t. Wait!¬†

nyc friends

I’m elated to see all of my friends!¬†In a city where people sit inches apart without talking, wearing¬†headphones to keep people out, it can be really hard to make friends. But I was fortunate enough to meet extraordinary people with incredible kindness and authenticity. Brunch and coffee will be a must, along with Central Park strolls and endless subway rides.¬†It’s gonna be a blast.

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I’m thrilled to be able to tour such extraordinary agencies. I am so grateful to be afforded the opportunity to tour Translation, Grey, Deutsch, and McCann Erickson! When I toured mcgarrybowen, Havas, Starcom, and Leo Burnett in Chicago this past April, I gained insight into¬†agency culture and client work. I also met¬†with amazing people in the industry and learned the history of each agency. It was interesting to see where each firm has come from, and compare it with where they are now. I can’t wait to see what these New York¬†agencies are up to!

This trip will be one for the books.

I’m so happy to have this space so I can look back and remember all of the wonderful things this city has offered me. Thank you for reading and letting me share my joy with you.

xoxo,
a city girl.

Fall = Traveling!

As October begins to wind down, I’m beginning to realize 2015 is coming to a close. Halloween is less than two weeks away and today is the start of the second half of this semester.¬†Registration for¬†classes¬†opened up this past week and I’ve officially started planning for my last semester at Florida State.¬†¬†This is blowing my mind.¬†When I think about how I’ll be graduating in¬†seven months, I get a wave of excitement, fear, and adrenaline rush through me. All good things.

This fall, I have so much to look forward to and I simply can’t wait. My boyfriend, Spencer, will be in Austin, Texas, for the Formula 1 conference (I know–lucky him! I’ve always wanted to go to Austin!) and I have a few trips planned.

I’ll be returning to New York City in November!!!¬†Every year, FSU’s Ad Club makes its way to the Big Apple for the Advertising Women of New York conference and we also tour a few advertising agencies. The agencies haven’t been confirmed yet, but¬†they are sure to be amazing and I cannot wait. The Chicago trip was so amazing, and I know this trip will not disappoint either. I’m so excited to be able to see my friends¬†and walk down the same streets I took every day this past summer. Even though I lived there for 11 weeks, I probably saw less than 1% of the city. It’s definitely going to be a great trip!

My parents rented a vacation home in Virginia for Christmas! It’s (hopefully) going to be my first White Christmas since leaving St. Louis in 2007! I’m so happy to have moved to Florida, but I dearly miss the snow. I’m¬†secretly hoping¬†that I’ll see a little snow when I’m in New York next month.

As of right now, I’m not sure where Spencer and I will be spending Thanksgiving. We normally spend it with our parents, but this year, we are considering going to St. Louis to see my sister and grandparents! The details aren’t finalized yet, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed. It’d be nice to see my hometown again after being away for such a long time.

So many exciting things coming up! The weather is just starting to get crisp in Tallahassee and I’m absolutely loving it. More than half of my clothes are for “cold” weather–the quotes are necessary since I’m a Florida gal now–and it’s so nice to be able to wear multiple layers.

Do you have any exciting trips planned? What’s your favorite season?¬†

Living in Queens!

Flights are booked, housing is finalized, excitement is at an all time high.

I leave for New York City two weeks from tomorrow. I still haven’t come to terms with the fact that I’ll be living in New York City for 10 weeks.¬†This will be the summer of achievable dreams, beautiful photos, and city life. I’ve been tacking things onto my NYC to-do list and each one seems more attainable as the days go by.

I’ll be living with a friend in Astoria Queens and couldn’t be more excited! Have you seen Buzzfeed’s article of the 60 reasons why Queens is the best Borough? Oh my gosh, all of those authentic food pictures might¬†have just climbed the top of my to do list… or, “to eat list”. Looks like I need to make a new list!

Vintage shopping, cute little parks, museums, AND delicious food? I’m sold!

I can’t wait to call you my new home, Queens! Here’s to a beautiful, wonderful, and extraordinary summer!

New York City Summer Housing

For the past few weeks, I have been working tirelessly to find summer housing for my internship with JWT. I have researched reviews, memorized maps, and gotten personal recommendations. I’ve gotten to know quite a lot about important factors and things to consider when living in the city, and more than a few of my friends have asked me to share what I’ve found. And I thought that if my friends would like to know about it, maybe some people on the Internet might appreciate this research, too. So here’s what I’ve found regarding summer housing in New York City.

DORMS

1) Fashion Institute of Technology 

  • May 26th, 2014 through August 8th, 2014
  • $3,750 for a shared apartment; $5,966 for a single apartment
  • Located at 406 West 31st Street
  • Private bathrooms and full kitchens
  • Wi-Fi, cable TV, and on-site laundry facilities
  • There is a $10 charge per guest per night

2) New York University

  • May 26th, 2014 through August 9th, 2014
  • Prices vary based on dorms, but between $181 per week to $290 per week with a meal plan required (minimum $130 per week)
  • Non-NYU students can only stay at Rubin Hall (non-air conditioned) and Brittany Hall (air-conditioned)
  • Rubin Hall is at 35 Fifth Ave, and Brittany Hall is at 55 E 10th St.
  • Health insurance is required; as a non-NYU student, you cannot obtain health insurance through NYU

3) Columbia University

  • May 26th through July 4th; July 4th to July 6th; July 6th to August 15th
  • For full summer, $3,038 for a double room and $3,808 for a single room
  • Located at the East Campus at 70 Morningside Dr.
  • Must provide proof of an internship and that you are a student
  • Gym membership to the Dodge Physical Fitness Center
  • Private bathrooms and air conditioned rooms
  • Computer lab and fitness lab

WOMEN’S RESIDENCES

1) The Webster Apartments

  • My favorite of the women’s residences; most highly recommended
  • $315 per week
  • There are no specific move in and move out dates
  • Must show proof of work or internship
  • There is a $65 charge per female friend per night
  • Breakfast and dinner are included in the price
  • Housekeeping service
  • Wi-Fi is available for $30 per month
  • Telephone in your room and personal mailbox
  • Beautiful gardens and common areas with cable TVs
  • They also have a really cute blog¬†(which happens to be on WordPress!) where they talk about city life and special events

2) The Brandon Residence for Women 

  • Cheaper alternative at $1,118 to $1,332 per month
  • There are no specific move in and move out dates
  • Located at¬†340 West 85th Street in the Upper West Side
  • Single bedrooms with shared bathrooms
  • Maid and linen service for a charge
  • No Wi-Fi available
  • Breakfast and dinner are included in the price

3) The Markle Evangeline Residence

  • Run by the Salvation Army
  • From $1,210 to $1,820 per month depending on the number of roommates and size of the room
  • Located in West Village at 123 W 13th St
  • Private bathrooms, but extremely small bedrooms
  • Breakfast and dinner are included in the price
  • Must provide proof that you are working in the city
  • Beautiful roof garden
  • Laundry facility on-site, but charges $1.00 per load

SUBLETTING

Subletting an apartment or studio from someone can be a great alternative at times, but it’s important to remember that there are extraneous fees and other things to take into consideration:

  • When searching¬†on Craigslist, Facebook, or other third-party websites, it can be hard to determine what is a scam and what isn’t. Make sure you always sign a subletting contract and speak to the person about everything prior to paying anything.
  • Real estate brokers can be great in terms of professionalism finding a nice place, but they often charge a broker fee, which can sneak up on you. I spoke with a broker who charged 1/2 of a month’s rent. In New York, that could easily mean an extra $1,000.
  • Will you be sharing the place with a random roommate or have your own place?
  • There’s no certainty of the utilities or cable bill.
  • Unlike a residence, there is no breakfast or dinner included.
  • While these residences and dorms are located in Manhattan, most sublets might be in the other Borroughs, which would mean a longer commute to your internship or job if you work in Manhattan.
  • Subletting an apartment might provide you more space if you live in Brooklyn or Queens as opposed to a studio in Manhattan.
  • Living in the other Burroughs can be quieter than Manhattan at times.

These are just the options I’ve found over the past two¬†weeks of apartment hunting. If you know of any others, please let me know! I’m still scouring the Web to find the perfect place for me to live this summer.

What do you think of these places? Which do you think is the best place to live?

St. George Island

This weekend, my friends and I had a weekend getaway. Our supervisor, Sheila Glosser, has been promoted and is moving to Atlanta (so proud!), so we celebrated with a going away party at St. George Island. I had never been on an island before, so I was really excited to explore. It’s the closest beach to Tallahassee at about a two-hour drive, and the bridge to get from the main land to the island is 5.2 miles!

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To be honest, I used to hate beaches. Being that I grew up in St. Louis, I never went to the beach as a child. I was 13 when I went for the first time in Tampa, and got really sunburned. I’m also not¬†the best swimmer and get a little nervous¬†when I think about things at the bottom of the ocean.¬† However, St. George Island is different. I actually really enjoyed the beach. The waves were very strong and despite it being cloudy, the weather was breathtaking. My boyfriend taught me how to bodysurf and we spent hours riding the waves to shore. I¬†loved it.

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There was also a wedding!

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St. George Island had one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever been on.

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I’m so glad that I went outside my comfort zone and explored the island. It was a nice oasis to escape to for a weekend, and it¬†is definitely a vacation spot¬†we’ll be frequenting more often.

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