Friday Favorites & Turning 30

Happy Friday, everyone! I hope the week has treated you well! What are you up to this weekend? My 30th birthday is on Sunday, and with that in mind I thought I’d mix things up a bit with this week’s roundup and share some of my favorite experiences from the last decade. (By the way, how crazy is it that I’m at the point where I’m measuring my life in decades? When everybody turned 30 on Friends, they seemed SO much older!) But I digress. Stroll down memory lane with me and relive a few of the highlights from my twenties!

Highlights from my twenties

1. My senior year of college, I had the opportunity to spend a semester in Rome as part of my Classics major. As insane as it sounds in retrospect, I wasn’t initially sure that I wanted to do it. I didn’t speak Italian, it was my last year of school and didn’t want to spend half of it away from my friends (yeah, I kind of want to go back in time and slap myself). But I was equally afraid I’d end up regretting it if I didn’t go. So I took the plunge, and guess what? It was amazing. Duh. Not only was living in Rome was one of the most exciting and enriching experiences I’ve ever had, but it really got me out of my comfort zone – something I need more of in my life. Plus, gelato! Need I say more?

2. My 21st birthday party will forever live in infamy as my favorite birthday party of all time. My roommate planned an incredibly elaborate spy-themed soirée: all the guests were assigned a mysterious alias and backstory. There were games (Mil-themed bingo!), prizes (booze, obviously), and of course, plenty of cocktails. To top it all off, my sister flew in to join the festivities. Best birthday party ever!

3. The year after graduating college, I spent months planning a trip to Mexico with a friend. But right before we were about to book it, I was laid off from my job (which happened to be my first job out of college, and my dream job to boot). I was depressed, totally broke, and in absolutely no position to spend big money on a vacation. You see where this is going, right? I went to Mexico anyway. Was it the financially responsible thing to do? Hell no. Would I do the same thing now? No way. But at the time, it was exactly what I needed. We spent ten days drinking margaritas on the beach, exploring Mayan ruins, and soaking up the sun. (And thankfully, by the time we went on the trip, I had found another job. Bullet dodged…)

4. Signing the lease on my first apartment is when I finally felt like an actual adult. No roommate, no family, just me, a legit grown-up. Nothing else before or since has given me the same sense of accomplishment and independence, probably because it was such a long time coming (I had moved back home after graduating college, and it was a few years before I was making enough money to live on my own). Leaving my childhood home behind, I found an apartment downtown, and I was so excited to be steps away from all the restaurants, cute shops, and countless happy hours. But perhaps best of all, I could finally decorate however I wanted. Sweet freedom!

5. I’m a pretty emotional person, but it takes a lot for me to cry in public. That went right out the window the day Jules got married. I can’t remember ever crying so many happy tears! My face literally hurt from smiling so much that day. I love the picture above because you can see how ridiculously happy I am to be standing up there with her. Love you, Jules!

Obviously I’m leaving a lot out, both good and bad, but I hope you enjoyed this brief (well, sort of) glimpse into my twenties. Here’s to the next decade!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

♥ Mil

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, everybody! How was your week? It’s been pretty crazy for us – one of my very best friends got engaged the other night, so I’m absolutely bursting at the seams with excitement! This weekend is sure to be filled with elated (and inebriated) celebrations, and I can’t wait. Meanwhile, Jules is visiting some friends in New York (her second trip this month, dang)! Anyway, before you sign off for the weekend, enjoy some glittery holiday decor and even more glittery beards…

Friday Favorites 12.11.15

1. I’m not very crafty, but this glitzy disco ball wreath is almost fabulous enough to make me attempt a DIY project. (A Beautiful Mess)

2. Speaking of glitz, have you heard about the latest hipster trend? Glitter beards!! And before you ask, yes, there’s an instructional video. It’s amazing. (Slate)

3. This expat’s tips for traveling in Rome are making me extremely nostalgic for the Eternal City. (The Neo-Traditionalist)

4. These curated food-themed gift sets sound so freaking good. But how to choose between the chocolate lover’s kit and the grilled cheese taster? (Cup of Jo)

5. I’m a huge Star Wars fan (Jules and I bought our tickets to The Force Awakens back in October), so I loved reading about the real science inspired by the films. (National Geographic)

Hope you have a wonderful weekend, hopefully one that involves an indecent amount of Christmas cookies!

♥ Mil

4 Great Books to Satisfy Your Wanderlust

4 Books to Satisfy Your Wanderlust // via South by Northwest

Is anyone else really bitter about the fact that adulthood doesn’t come with an annual spring break? I was able to take a good chunk of time off over Christmas when my sister came to visit, but it’s been far too long since I hopped on a plane to some faraway destination just for the fun of it. Unfortunately, my work schedule and general lack of travel funds make it difficult to indulge my wanderlust on a whim. So for now, I’ll have to satisfy my travel urges with the vicarious thrills that only a good book can provide. Here are a few of my favorites and their corresponding literary locales; I’m sure they’ll hit the spot for all you armchair travelers out there!

The Sex Lives of Cannibals by J. Maarten Troost // Books to Satisfy Your Wanderlust #travel

We all have our own version of the quit-your-job-and-run-off-to-a-tropical-island fantasy. J. Maarten Troost makes his a reality when he decides to stop “pushing the snooze button on the alarm clock of life” and relocates to a remote island in the South Pacific. But he quickly learns that paradise is not all it’s cracked up to be…The Sex Lives of Cannibals is a sharply written, hilarious look at expat life and all of its corresponding thrills and horrors.

Four Seasons in Rome by Anthony Doerr // Books to Satisfy Your Wanderlust #travel

In college, I spent a semester studying abroad in Rome, and whenever I start to miss it (pretty much all the time), I reach for Four Seasons in Rome. The book recounts Anthony Doerr’s year as a fellow at the American Academy in Rome; with his wife and newborn twins in tow, he soaks up all the ancient beauty, history, and idiosyncrasies the Eternal City has to offer. You really do feel as though you’re walking the streets of Rome with them. Fun fact: they lived in my old neighborhood, Monteverde Vecchio, during their stay!

Whatever You Do, Don't Run by Peter Allison // Books to Satisfy Your Wanderlust #travel

Whatever You Do, Don’t Run is a collection of entertaining essays from an Aussie safari guide stationed in Botswana’s Okavango Delta. His run-ins with both dangerous predators and foolish, drunken tourists will have you laughing like a hyena; his deep love for Africa and its wildlife will definitely convince you to add a safari to your bucket list (if it’s not already on there, of course)!

The Lost Girls by Jennifer Baggett, Holly C. Corbett, and Amanda Pressner // Books to Satisfy Your Wanderlust #travel

Who among us hasn’t considered taking a year off from life and traveling around the world with their best friends? With their 30th birthdays approaching and their high-pressure jobs causing more stress than they could tolerate, that’s exactly what the authors of The Lost Girls decided to do. Plunging head-first into the unknown, the girls leave their jobs, boyfriends and comfort zones behind and embark on a yearlong adventure that takes them to over a dozen countries across four continents.

I realize now that these books might not satisfy your wanderlust so much as intensify it…whoops! What are some of your favorite travel books?

♥ Mil

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