Motivation

Resolution Season – S Style

Last week E posted her new year’s resolutions on the blog so I figured with 2014 officially underway that it’s time I posted mine too (plus, now all of you can help hold me accountable).

My main goal with resolutions is to make them extremely realistic. I hate setting myself up for failure and one of my mid-year resolutions this year (going rouge, I know!) was to be more self-aware. I’m constantly trying to better myself, but I also have to realize that I know myself best and I need to adapt any potential changes to what can realistically work for me. So these may not be the loftiest of goals, and they may not be exactly measurable – but they are all sure-fire ways to make me a more put-together and all around happier person.

1. Better monitor my spending

MoneyTree

or learn to grow one of these…..

I think I’m done pretending I can use budget apps and notebooks for now. I’ve tried every trick in the book and nothing seems to work – there’s just something that seems so inefficient to me about writing every little transaction in a notebook or opening an app every time I want a coffee. But I do need to start paying better attention to what I am spending. So that all being said, I’m vowing to start using cash more and lay off the debit card. It’s so easy to swipe your card everywhere, but with cash I have a much better picture of how much I am actually spending.

And yes, ending up with loose change is annoying…but hey, maybe this will lead to another resolution….saving coins for something big, maybe?

2. Cook more at home

cooking

I love baking. This is no secret to anyone who reads our blog. But one of my ongoing goals is to cook more real meals (and healthier meals!). If I have skills with flour and sugar, who says that can’t translate to chicken and veggies? Plus, with cooking there are just SO many more opportunities to experiment and be creative! I’m not talking anything fancy, but grilling some chicken every once in a while probably wouldn’t kill me. I hope this can help me save some money on buying lunch out and lead to an overall healthier diet as well!

3. Get my morning act together

cereal

Like E, I have a track record for playing the ‘how quickly can I get ready and out the door’ game in the mornings.  And everyday I play this game, I feel and look like crap upon my arrival into the office – which is not really how you want to start the work day. There are literally COUNTLESS benefits to waking up a little earlier and spending a little extra time getting ready instead of having to rush through a morning routine. You can eat a real breakfast – the healthiest meal of the day, you’re more awake and alert, you look much better when you put effort in, and it’s no surprise that heading off to work looking good automatically puts you in a better mood and starts your day off right.

 I’ll never be the girl who wakes up early enough to hit the gym, shower, make a gourmet breakfast, and solve world hunger….but I definitely can manage to get my butt up in enough time to eat a bowl of cereal and put on some makeup.

4. No texting, tweeting, or facebooking when with friends

A wise man – okay, it was Andy from The Office – once said: “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.” But it’s SO TRUE. There’s nothing more annoying than trying to have a conversation with someone while they’re scrolling through their newsfeed reading about what so-and-so from high school made for dinner. But we’re all guilty of it. So this year I’m vowing to put the electronics down and focus instead on what’s right in front of me and building real relationships. I’ve met an amazing group of people here in DC, and it would be a shame to miss out on real fun because I’m lost in my phone. Plus, there’s plenty of time to catch-up on social media on those long metro rides into the city or on my way to the grocery store.

What are you resolving to do this year?

xO -S

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The Annual “Resolution” Season

I’m notoriously bad at New Year’s resolutions. I either don’t make them, or make them and break them quickly because they’re some sort of lofty goal like going to the gym daily (which after going to the gym almost never is a big jump). I know I wrote about these last year..but this year I’ve made 3 goals — none of which require me to change much of my daily routine.

1. Save weekly for a trip. 

Florence Italy.. I hope!

The boy and I decided that this year instead of the 5 months straight of presents we normally do (thanks to birthday x2, Christmas/Hanukkah, anniversary, and valentines day in a row) we would try something different. We’re going to go on a trip to Europe! Is this a lofty and financially irresponsible goal? Perhaps. But we’re planning 6 months in advance which will allow our budgets to be created far in advance of our actual trip. So far, I’ve got a few hundred in my virtual “cookie jar” (specifically made for this trip, not general savings) thanks to the help of LearnVest and the year has yet to officially begin!

2. Change my diet

How my plate SHOULD look… instead of entirely starches

I wake up… I drink coffee.. I skip breakfast.. lunch comes around and consists of some sort of sandwich.. more coffee.. I come home and make some sort of pasta with a piece of chicken (IF I’m feeling particularly good) and that’s my nutrients for the day. OH and a gummy vitamin.

As you can see, its not so impressive. I’ve made a person vow to improve this part of my life. It will take up maybe 10 more minutes of my time and the hope is that I’ll feel better day in and day out. Any recipe suggestions are more than welcome!

3. Get my morning act together

I was inspired watching White Christmas last night

This will probably be (sadly) the toughest of my personal resolutions. I’m constantly scrambling in the morning and have timed it so that I cane wake up and be out the door in less that 20 minutes if needed. That’s wonderful and all, but I sometimes get into work not looking my best which is not the attitude that I like to project.

I think I will feel better in the office, and gain more by stepping up my game a bit each day.

I’m sure S has some resolutions for the new year.. what are yours!

xE

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What’s Getting Us Through the Week

Sitting at happy hour on Tuesday I thought to myself, is it REALLY only Tuesday? To say the least, it’s been quite a long week. Here is what has been keeping us going all week:

E says…

1. Seasonal Giving
(sidenote: is that weird?)

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My little guy requested a toy truck or a wooden shape sorter toy. I found both in one!!

Tis the season! Most people tend to think of themselves or their loved ones during the holiday season which is completely understandable. I for one hit up black Friday sales with entirely myself in mind (oops!… but 50% off J.Crew? I mean come on). However, work has organized an Angel Tree giving session through the salvation army and I was volunteered to support a child with clothes and toys for the holidays. My little guy was less than 2 years old and while shopping for a toddler was a new experience (3T..5T??) when giving those gifts in today I felt really amazing that I have the chance to make this little guy’s hoildays. He’s probably too young to appreciate now, but I spent a lot of time considering what he or his parents might find practical – a 2 in one coat for all seasons for instance! Remember, especially in D.C., there are many less fortunate than yourself to consider. Donate what you can – time, money, clothes, food etc. You’ll be helping them and helping yourself.

2. Passenger – Let Her Go

passenger

I somehow missed this song entirely until it was on The Voice for the first time a few weeks ago. Since then I have it on repeat — the original, covers, acapella… you name it, I’ve been listening to it! Its sort of sad, but also sweet.

S says…

1. “Classy” Shade Revlon Nailpolish

Revlon classy nail polish

I usually go for darker shades in the winter, but I am just in love with this light pink from Revlon. It’s not too much, and totally lives up to the “classy” name.

2. Awesome Workouts

workout woman

It’s me! Yes, I even workout in a skirt…(kidding!)

Not sure what it is about having a frustrating week at work, but it has definitely benefited me at the gym – the perfect place to take out all that aggression! Not going to lie – I’ve been really bad about working out lately, so after Thanksgiving I was determined to get back into my routine and I feel SO.MUCH.BETTER. I definitely have more energy, feel better abut myself, and have even been sleeping better (though not sure those are related…). Here’s to hoping I can keep it up!

& we both agree on..

Sound of Music LIVE!

sound of music

This is TONIGHT and we can’t wait! Carrie Underwood is so amazing and this is an absolute classic movie. It’ll be very interesting and hopefully amazing to watch the live performance!

What’s getting you through to the weekend?

xX – E&S

 

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What’s Getting Us Through the Week

It looks like it’s an indulge yourself kind of week over here at Liberty on Less. We’re barely holding on until Friday, but check out what’s been keeping us alive and getting us through the week:

E says…

Both of my WGUTTW are liquids today.. I’m not sure if that’s a bad thing but it definitely shows that this week has been CRAZY at work, and there’s been barely any time to actually consume solid food.

1. Starbucks Mocha

sbux

As I said, the week is crazy. I generally try to avoid spending money at Starbucks, but on Monday my boss and I went for a walk down the street to grab coffee and I suddenly decided on a whim that I wanted a hot mocha. It hit the SPOT.
I know, I know..calories.. but with the walk outside, which has been hard to find time for this week, the delicious chocolaty warmth, and the shot of espresso? Here’s my $3.95, Starbucks!

2. Wine Nights

wine nights

This week was my roommates birthday.. so we went out for dinner and drinks at Ezme on P street in Dupont. I HIGHLY recommend it. Delicious Mediterranean tapas, and fantastic wine selection. Last night was a work happy hour and again the wine came out. I’m not saying over-do anything, I’m just saying a glass or two to wind down at the end of a crazy day is fantastic. Even if it just lets you SIT for a minute. Tonight’s plan? The mimosas nail salon… I see a theme, but hey its a quarter close! Forgive me?

S says…

1. Reese’s Pumpkins

reeses_pumpkins

We warned you this week was about indulgences! Maybe it’s the pumpkin shape, or maybe it’s just the chocolate…but I have eaten so many of these this week! Festive and delicious, though…how could I turn them down?

2. The Return of Fall Television

modern family

Between Mindy last week and Modern Family & Nashville this week – I’m in fall TV heaven! My favorite shows are all back and funnier than ever! I’m very easily entertained, so naturally I’m a total TV junkie. And thanks to Hulu Plus I can watch all my favorites even if I miss them at their original air time. 🙂 These little television indulgences have been keeping me going all week and giving me something to look forward to when I get home from work each night!

Well, I guess you can tell the kind of week we’re having! Are you as ready for Friday as we are?

-E&S

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What’s Getting Us Through the Week!

We’re back after a couple weeks (okay, months…fail!) hiatus with what’s getting us through the week! And this time we’re puttin’ in a little more detail to make up for our absence and total blogger fails.

Elyse says…

This week, I don’t know why, but it’s been very odd. First there was happy hours, then power outages, then staying at work until 830 and walking through Georgetown.. just not my typical thing. This week, there are two things that I look forward to throughout each work day.. and they’re what’s getting me through the week!

1. Outdoor DC Happy Hours.
Maybe because its finally nice but not oppressively hot, maybe it’s because in my new apartment I can stroll 3 blocks and be at the bars.. but suddenly outdoor happy hours are my absolute favorite thing. Cafe Dupont as seen above, has outdoor chairs, couches, standing tables..a fire pit! And a perfect view of the circle! It’s constantly crowded, music playing, happy post-work people. It’s just an infectious buzz. Mad Hatter on the other side of the circle also has an outdoor space (who knew!) and $4 frozen mango margaritas… uhh YES.
.
2. Summer TV Series!

Admittedly, I have poor TV and movie taste. I’m all about chick flicks and dramas. In that light, two of my favorite shows are back for their summer seasons! I’ve been waiting for so long…

The Newsroom – yeah its  Sorkin writing, everyone bashes it. Too scripted..blahblah. I personally wish my life involved soliloquies and drama the way this show does. It seems to be getting a little weird..but if you haven’t seen it yet it’s worth  logging into hbogo.com and taking a gander.


Suits – HAVE YOU WATCHED THIS YET?!? Seriously suits is amazing. Another office environment that I can only hope mine mirrors someday. Here’s the premise: Genius guy with photographic memory pretends to have gone to Harvard, works at a law firm and changes lives. You’re sold aren’t you… This season is getting rather steamy, but everyone who watches a few episodes—guys, girls, my mom—all love it! Knowing that I could curl up and watch this week’s episode after work last night made the day that much better.

Shianne says…

It’s my birthday week (tomorrow I turn 23 – YAY!) and the week before I move (metro life – DOUBLE YAY!) so I’ve been trying to prep for all that while still trying to balance a full work schedule. Here’s what’s helped me through:

1. Greek Yogurt

I have heard countless people rave and rave about Greek Yogurt for so long now and I have always been a non-believer. I’ve even given it a few chances and still nothing. However, this week I accidentally picked up a Greek Yogurt Parfait from Au Bon Pain instead of regular and something in my taste buds must have changed, because I LOVED it. I have subsequently purchased Greek Yogurt every morning since and even added a little granola for an extra kick. And maybe it’s subconscious, but it’s actually revving me up in the mornings as well! I’m not sure how long this phase will last, but I’m really enjoying it while it does!

2. Twitter

This is a totally weird thing, but I’ve had a pretty fun week on Twitter! I’ve been pretty active on my personal account as well as the Liberty on Less account and my thoughts are apparently being well-received. Our blog is now being followed by Marshall’s Brand and a couple other big names on Twitter – which is AWESOME. (If you’re not already following us – you can do so here.)

Personally, as you all know, I’m SUPER into politics. It’s almost exclusively what I tweet about. Well, that and puppies. With Obama’s speech this week, I’ve been even more active than usual and in turn I’ve been getting more retweets than usual – including some from my favorite non-profit advocacy groups as well as one Congressman! I’m not necessarily a Comms person, but it is nice to know that some people you look up to to make changes are seeing what you’re saying and agree with you!

& we both agree on…

CHILLING. 

Yes, chilling. Is that a weird thing to say if you’re not a 14 year old boy? Well, that’s the only word I can think to describe our weeks right now. Each night this week, we’ve both been keeping it super low key – happy hours, mindless television, baseball games, and hanging out with friends. This is especially relevant since we’ve both had fairly stressful weeks at work so doing these things have totally kept us from losing our marbles after hours or caving under the pressure! Even if it’s just sitting with a coffee or some ice cream (have you tried Larry’s? So many flavors!) spending some time to relax and unwind after work with friends will always be one of the best ways to bring you back to reality and keep you from burning out. Just try to keep it light – harping on the stress and complaining to friends will only make it worse…so clear your mind, get a frozen margarita, and relax (not to say that a good venting sesh every now and then doesn’t work either).

As Cole Swindell puts it in his new song:

“Pour it on easy now don’t spill a bit
Nothing but time tonight, let’s get to killin’ it
Long as I’m rockin’ with you girl
You know I’m cool with
Just chillin’ it”

Are these lame? Maybe. But they’re what’s getting us through the week! How about you?

Xx – E&S

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What’s gettin us through da weeeeeeeeeek!

It’s Thursday and we’re gettin’ a little loopy around here (if you couldn’t tell)…here’s what’s been getting us through to this point in the week without losin’ it!

Elyse says…

NAKED JUICE

This week, there is a cold going around my “cuber-hood” (I didn’t coin that term, but I secretly think its adorable). It starts out sniffly, then moves to your head feeling like its filled with gunk and finally you pass out for 3 days straight. If you feel it coming on, QUICK.. grab one of these juice secrets because they are AMAZING.
I was feeling miserable on Monday but felt that taking a sick day was not an option, so I dragged myself to the office and around 10:00am realized that I needed something in my stomach along w. Alkaseltzer (another life saver) and that maybe regular OJ wasn’t enough. Strolling through the cafeteria I wandered upon these Naked Juices, and THIS guy promised 1000% of my daily Vitamin C, specifically to fight off a cold. Talk about good advertising!Its totally delicious, with whole fruits, no preservatives and a whole apple, 1.5 guavas, a whole orange, 5 strawberries and a few other things blended in there. I really didn’t think anything would bring to me life, but I’m actually sort of addicted based on taste and based on how much better I felt after drinking it!!

An apple a day keeps the doctor away right? Try one of these guys and you’ll get an Apple and WAY more.

Shianne says..

SCANDAL

Scandal (2012) Poster

The universe officially wins. I surrender. SO many people have been telling me to watch this show for  SO long and I’ve been holding out. But as this week is that awkward time after the spring shows end and before the summer shows begin, I’ve been looking for something to watch & help me wind down in the evenings. Needless to say, I’m addicted to Scandal! It’s based in DC and all the drama that surrounds politics…aka it was made for people like me! I’m not even going to write anymore because I need to use my computer to continue watching…

& we both agree on…

We’ve got nothing! To be honest, our schedules have conflicted so much in the past few weeks we haven’t even seen each other! And on top of that, Elyse was sick and I strained whatever muscle is in my calf so I did not want to be walking around much after work hours either…fail! But hopefully we get our acts together this weekend and there may be another live blog sesh coming at ya!

What’s helping you get through your week?

Xo – E&S

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What’s Getting Us Through the Week!

It’s almost Friday! Is it me, or has this week been kinda short? Oh wait, I forgot I only had a 3-day week 🙂 hehe. Even though I’ve had some time off this week, we all still need something to get us through & keep us motivated – here’s what Elyse and I have been using to keep us going all week!

Shianne says…

1. Family

My lovely fam at Nishant’s graduation last year!

As you all know, Mother’s Day was last Sunday and I was lucky enough to have my mom and brother drive down from PA last weekend to spend some time with me! It was so nice because we didn’t do the normal touristy run-around-the-city-non-stop thing….we just hung out and relaxed like we would if we were all at home in Pottstown! With all the stress from trying to find an affordable apartment in this crazy town, my ever reliable and laid-back mom is the only one keeping me sane! AND this weekend, I drive up to Rochester to see my dad – aka the older, male, slightly crazier version of me! I’m a total daddy’s girl, so I can’t wait to get some good father-daughter time in!

2. Politics

This is where my true DC-girl comes out! I CANNOT stop reading about everything going on this week! Benghazi, the IRS scandal, AP – it goes on and on! I’m on the edge of my seat waiting to hear what will happen with each of these stories. I’m so passionate about politics that actually LIVING in DC and working in this sector at a time like this just makes me think about how awesome my life is and how lucky I am to be right in the thick of things with a chance to make a difference.

Elyse says…

1. Gummy Vitamins

I can’t remember if I’ve discussed these before, but when you’re working long days, taking public transportation and staying awake off of coffee only 2 of these little guys a day will be a GAME changer. Seriously they perk me up like a flower. Also fun fact, if you take them when you get home from a night of partying with some water before going to sleep your hangover will be almost non-existent. Well worth their little weight in gold!!

2. Office Decorations

20130516-113400.jpg

Found this gem in our supply closet – so tacky but adds so much character! -S

If you’ve seen my room, you’ll know that I’m not the type of person who comes into a space and instantly make it their own i.e. pictures on the walls, little knick knacks everywhere etc. I want to be that person, I’m just not. Infact last year my college room had like NOTHING on the walls. It was downright weird in retrospect.
Everyone in the new office has CRAZY decorated desks… there are even flags coming from the ceiling if you really LOVE your sports team. I think it’s a bit early for me to be decorating, but they did leave me a star golden banner thing! And in the mean time I’m figuring out slowly what I want to get or bring to make my space my own. So far…a mug that holds my pens. Little steps people! Do you think that having your space personalized helps you work? Any suggestions??
[S: I AM that kind of person! It’s so nice to have decorations around the office to make it a more comfortable and fun environment! And it helps people get to know more about you!]

& we both agree on…

Moleskine Products

Untitled

My Moleskine notebook for work & personcal calendar on top! – S

Our post last week stated that we both have new opportunities at work – Elyse a new job completely, and me an opportunity to be lead on my first event! However, that meant that this week we both really had to kick into gear and get our acts together. We’ve both started/restarted using moleskine products to keep us organized and it’s been AH-MAZ-ING. As you can see, I’m kind of the queen of list making…but it works! Once you find a product you like, it’s so much easier to stick to using it and to make a habit of being organized!

What do you use to keep motivated & organized throughout the week?

xO S&E

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What’s getting us through the week!

We’re baaaaaaaack!

 After a 2 week hiatus from our weekly segment of what’s getting us through the week – we’re back today with a little inspiration for everyone to make it through the end of tomorrow! Here’s what’s been helping us this week:

Elyse Says…

 1. Finishing Powder 

For my new job I have to take the metro to work..between the trek up the hill from my apartment, the wind from the metro cars flying by as they pull into the station and the sweaty crowded people on the morning red line I have renewed my faith in finishing powder. If you don’t know what it is, its the translucent powder that goes over your entire make up — and holds it in place while reducing shine and being blown off by the elements of public transportation. It also prevents bronzer from looking a little too bronze especially on pale people like me. I use maybelline because I’m a drug store make up kind of girl but anything that suits your fancy will work! A must for the summer!

2. Free Office Candy


You know that weird time at work– around 3:30 where you’re mostly through the day but you still have a few hours to go and your stomach is grumbling since you just woke up from your post lunch food coma? Well the new office offers a free candy bar — FREE CANDY. its like they just know to call to my inner child. If you went to Rochester– its basically the common market and its constantly being restocked. Yesterdays Haul? Chocolate covered pretzels and chocolate covered animal crackers. I like to think that it will be off set by all the stair climbing I’ve been doing recently. We’ll see..

Shianne Says…

1. Veggie Straws – Zesty Ranch

I honestly had never heard of these things before I stumbled upon them in Target last week…but I’m officially hooked. They are so delicious and are the perfect supplement to my lunch sandwich or soup! I’ve brought a ziplock bag full everyday this week. The best part is, they’re fairly healthy…at least moreso than other snack products! But they’re also really tasty..highly recommend!

2. Blake Shelton – “Boys ‘Round Here”

Blake Shelton is one of my FAVORITE singers of all time and this song is just hysterical.  It’s so fun and silly that you literally CAN NOT be upset while listening to it. It’s physically impossible. I dare you to try. And the video is even better – check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXAgv665J14

 & we agree on…

New Opportunities

View from the new office on a rainy day!

As you know, Elyse started her new job this week and it’s been going great so far! It’s more relevant to her career goals, has a great culture and atmosphere, and she’s already learning a lot! As for me, I’ve just been assigned my very first event to be the lead on! It’s a small trip to Gettysburg, PA – but I’m really excited to learn more about the front-end processes of event planning!

That being said, it’s been a crazy and busy week for the both of us – as new opportunities can seem like tough obstacles at first. But if you look at things the right way and have a positive attitude, you’ll definitely be able to succeed…and think of how much you’ll learn along the way! Here’s to hoping we both stay on this adrenaline high for a little longer!

What’s helping you get through the week?

Xx E&S

Categories: Motivation, Music, Self Improvement | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

What’s Getting Us Through the Week

Its Thursday again, and while this week has been a little brighter, we all still need something to get us through to the weekend!

Elyse says

1. Songza

Songza is a semi new app out there that is competing with Pandora by providing streaming music based on your mood! Songza remembers what time and or day of the week that it is and suggests listening for where you might be.

Here is what is suggests for right now:

photo

I picked Boost My Energy! It is a Thursday morning after all…

photo_2

Since we’ve had a very Rochester filled week, naturally I’m going with “I Love College”

photo_1

Dorm Room Dance Party? Sold.

Here are the ones I’ve been listening to this week in case you want some suggestions! (No judgments, ok?)

photo_3

2. Sun Dresses!

Its been 85-90 here this week. FAR too hot but it has allowed me to break out some sundresses and get excited for buying more!

like this little number from ASOS

& to quote How I Met Your Mother:

Ted: Barney I really have to grade these papers.
Barney: I’m sorry. I’ll let you work…But first a riddle! What piece of women’s attire stokes a man’s desire?
Ted: A sundress.
Barney: Correct. What lightweight outfit pink or white makes the front of my slacks abnormally tight?
Ted: I really have to get this done.
Barney: Of course of course. Sundress by the way.

Shianne says

1. This puppy

puppy

so flufffffy!

Okay, so not this EXACT puppy…but one of my neighbor’s did just get a little brown Australian Shepherd puppy and she’s been walking it every morning while I wait for the bus. She’s so fluffy and adorable I can’t resist playing with her! I hate not having my pups here with me so I’ve been taking the late bus every morning this week just to be able to get my puppy fix!

2. Free Food

donuts

nom alert!

This is a horribly stereo-typical young person thing of me to say – but I love any chance to get some free food. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even just some cheese and crackers – I’ll take it. Just this week at work we had appetizers in the afternoon on Monday for an office housewarming, Dunkin Donuts Tuesday morning, and Chick-Fil-A Wednesday afternoon, AND we get bagels & coffee tomorrow. This is great on so many levels – first of all, I don’t have to go grocery shopping all week so I save quite a bit of money. Secondly, this food is way better than the standard yogurt, granola, and soup I usually stick to. Also….just as we are speaking my coworker just brought me in a GIANT croissant from her meeting. Best. week. EVER.

& we both agree on

ROCHESTER memories

roch

We both just had friends visiting from school this last weekend and it seems like ever since then we’ve been in full-on Roch mode! We had our monthly Rochester ’12 brunch on Sunday, we found our special Rochester-brewed Genesee Creme Ale at Northside Social on Tuesday, and we have a Rochester Young Alumni happy hour tonight! We’re almost a year out, but it feels just just yesterday we were running around the Eastman Quad without a care in the world! Elyse will be visiting her friends this weekend up in Pittsburgh so more Rochester memories to come!

photo (3)

post-brunch stroll

Rochester, we miss you!

Xx E&S

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