Top Five Travel Essentials

My job requires travel, so I’m frequently on the road (or more appropriately, in the air). I actually hit a slow spot travel-wise recently and have been home for a while, but I’m heading out again this week. Growing up, I was definitely a homebody and never expected I’d get a job that required travel, but I’ve really come to enjoy it!

I’m planning on expanding this into a whole series of posts, but I thought it would be good to start off with my top five travel essentials. Everything listed below are good for both work and personal travel, and they are all items I own and love!

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Quick Life Updates

I’ve just joined Bloglovin – feel free to follow along!

Although I don’t have many life updates, the one I have now is a pretty significant one. I submitted my two weeks notice at my previous job (my last day was on Friday) and I’ll be starting a new one in a couple weeks. I’m both nervous and excited for the change.

The job I just left wasn’t my first job out of college – the first one was not really a career path for me (I would’ve had to get a Ph.D. in Economics or Statistics or similar, and that was not in the cards) so I transitioned out of it. While I did like the one I just left, I think it was just time for a change.

Even though I pushed myself into it, changes are always kind of difficult for me. I’m pretty good at adapting once the New Thing has started, but everything leading up to that is stressful. A ridiculous but true example – I would get anxious about moving from one apartment to the other. Not just the moving part (packing is probably my least favorite thing ever, because it’s basically cleaning on steroids and I hate cleaning to begin with), but my brain always processes it as a phase in my life that I am leaving forever. Very dramatic and very sentimental, that’s me. The part leading up to to transition is the worst part, but once I move into the next phase I’m off and running again.

Random list of some things I’d like to do in the two weeks between jobs:

  • Visit my friend Dylan downtown
  • Read 5 new books
  • Take the pups to the dog park
  • Horseback riding lessons
  • Decorate for fall – do people still say basic? Because I definitely am
  • Relax!!
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Review: Cotillion by Georgette Heyer

Review: Cotillion by Georgette HeyerCotillion by Georgette Heyer
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on October 1, 2007
Genres: Historical Fiction, Regency, Romance
Pages: 355
Format: eBook
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five-stars

Almost an heiress
Country-bred, spirited Kitty Charings is on the brink of inheriting a fortune from her eccentric guardian -- provided that she marries one of his grand-nephews. Kitty has spent her secluded life pining for the handsome, rakish Jack, who is well aware of her attachment.

A plan of her own
But when Jack fails to respond to his great-uncle's ultimatum, Kitty hatches a strategy of her own -- a counterfeit betrothal to mild-mannered Freddy Standen (who neither needs nor wants the money).

A most unlikely hero
And when Kitty's generous heart leads to all sorts of unintended troubles, there is only one man who can rescue her from more than one dreadful fix, pick up the pieces of her plotting and in the process her heart...

After a multi-year hiatus from reading (transitioning from school to the working world was a big change, plus, ya know, dumb life stuff), I’ve decided I want to get back into it. I signed up for a Kindle Unlimited membership to see if I like it (so far, very much!). Not knowing what I wanted to read, I started picking through books I’d read before and looking at the author’s other works.

I’ve read a book by Georgette Heyer before that I liked well enough, so when I read the description for Cotillion it sounded like a fun, low-stress read. I wasn’t disappointed – how stressful could a book with that description possibly be?

Cotillion opens up at Great-Uncle Matthew’s home, where he has summoned his five grand-nephews to hear the inheritance terms of his estate. He has no children of his own, but adopted Kitty Charings after her parents’ early demise and has determined the rules of inheritance: his estate will not be divided, and one of his grand-nephews must marry Kitty in order for the pair to inherit the entire estate, or none of them will inherit. He’s hoping that his favorite nephew Jack will be persuaded to offer for Kitty, who has had a not-so-secret crush on him since childhood.

Unfortunately for Kitty, Jack doesn’t like being ordered around, and declines to appear for the summons. Faced with the prospect of marrying the somber rector Hugh or simple-minded Lord Dolphinton, she impulsively proposes a sham betrothal to mild-mannered dandy Freddy instead. She’s always wanted to escape the dull estate where Uncle Matthew insists on pinching pennies as much as possible, and have a delightful romp in London.

‘I do not want neatness and propriety!’ interrupted Kitty, her cheeks flushed, and her eyes sparkling. ‘I want elegant dresses, and I want to have my hair cut in the first style of fashion, and I want to go to assemblies, and rout-parties, and to the theatre, and to the Opera, and not – not! – to be a poor little squab of a dowdy!’

While I had read a book of Georgette Heyer’s several years ago, it wasn’t really anything too impressive to me at the time; I really started reading Cotillion because some of the quotes on Goodreads said it was a really lighthearted book. Work has been really stressful for me lately, so what could be a better antidote than a Regency romance novel?

Absolutely nothing, it turns out! Silly and fun, Kitty browbeats Freddy into whisking her off to London where she gets mixed up in all sorts of affairs. Instead of the (expected) endless parties of the ton, Kitty instead takes us (and Freddy) on a tour of London courtesy of a guidebook, and attends a shockingly vulgar masquerade the ton would certainly not approve of.

Although Cotillion may be considered fluff, it’s very well-composed fluff. It features a wonderful cast of characters, from Lord Dolphinton’s harpy mother, to somber Hugh, eccentric Uncle Matthew and poetry-addled Fish; the story also has an undertone of somberness as both Kitty and her new friend Olivia are both entirely dependent on men’s fortunes to lead a comfortable life.

Overall, Cotillion is a wonderfully entertaining read and I highly recommend!

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Home for July 4

I took Friday 6/30 and Monday 7/3 off and had a five-day weekend for Independence Day! I’ve had a pretty busy year so far, so it was a really great break. Allen was planning to visit his dad this weekend, so I drove down to Miami to see my family (and of course, get the pups ??)

It was definitely a really nice change to spend several full days at home, instead of coming down late Friday night and having to leave midday Sunday. And I got to see Ray again – I hadn’t seen her since Christmas! 

I (not very surprisingly…) overslept on Friday morning, so I left Tampa late and didn’t get a chance to eat lunch with my cousins. Ray and I went to another cousin’s and her boyfriend’s house for dinner that night, and met up with (yet more) cousins. I have a ridiculous amount of family. Sometimes irksome (how do you see so many people in short visits?!) but sometimes AWESOME (uh, any family get-together is rad). Mostly awesome. 

On Saturday, my parents, Ray, and I went to Sawgrass. Just to get out of the house, really. I ended up spending a boatload of money on a new suit and work pants from the theory outlet. Definitely necessary, but my wallet is hurting. Buying pants – work pants especially – has always been a huge challenge, as I have very muscular calves for my body, so everything fits oddly. And these are really nice ones, and I’ll actually wear them, so it’s worth it. Still painful though. 

I woke up on Sunday with what I call “the Sunday feeling” – kind of sad because the weekend is almost over. But it was great, because I wasn’t leaving until Tuesday! (A Sunday fakeout?) The fam was originally going to go to dim sum, but plans fell through. Although I do love dim sum, I always get SO tired afterward. 

We ended up hanging around the house most of the day, which is pretty much my favorite thing to do. Had dinner at Auntie Maggie’s house where I saw (even more) family, and then went to Miami landmark Swensen’s for late night ice cream with my mom’s side of the fam. 

Most of Monday was spent catching up with my cousin Sam. I know I keep harping on this, but it’s so hard to see everybody when I’m only in town for one full day! So it was really nice to be able to do that. 

Tuesday morning was a Jamaican brunch with my mom’s side of the family. I’m not too fond of Jamaican breakfast – blasphemy, I know! But I saw my mom’s fam again and ate breadfruit, so it was a great morning. 

Wik and Cass and I spent most of Tuesday in the car back up to Tampa. The two pups spent most of the drive sleeping, lucky ducks!

Random thoughts before I call it a night:

  • I started an Instagram for the pups! Follow their adventures (okay, mostly naps) at @wikncass
  • I went to NYC to visit my friend Yue for Memorial Day weekend. This is actually supposed to be a post. It’s coming.. hopefully before Christmas… I’m improving with my post frequency though, sort of. So I’ve got that going for me?
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Sunshine & Chill

It’s March, aka almost summer if you live in Florida (even though it dropped to 40 degrees this week…). I love maxis, especially ones with fun back details – they’re so comfortable yet put together. And I’m totally feeling all of the cute sun hats that seem to be popping up! I’ve never been a hat person (like, ever – only when it’s cold), but I will probably try to get myself one of these.

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