Moving on.

Dan B.

In some previous articles I made reference to working in radio. It’s an atmosphere that changes almost on a daily basis. I love it, and wouldn’t change it for the world. And luckily, I was recently offered a position at a different radio station than where I had been working. Of course, I accepted. The problem was, it meant leaving the station I’d worked at for six years.

It was difficult. I gave my notice, exchanged personal contact information with several people, and awaited my last shift. Finally it rolled around, and seemed extremely surreal. “Do I really want to leave this place? Am I making the right decision? My roots are here,” I was thinking. I was afraid.

Of course everyone at my former station was happy and excited for me to continue my career path. They offered their advice, they offered their well-wishes, and made sure that I knew the door there is always open. I didn’t leave on bad terms at all, because burning bridges in such a narrow job field would be the last thing I’d want to do.

This will seem somewhat redundant when compared to an older article I wrote about conquering your fear. In a way, you could probably argue this is just a recycled post related to that message. You’d probably be right.

Leaving a familiar place can be tough, especially when that place was the warm beginning of your hopeful career path. Maybe you went to college somewhere far away from home, then after four years you had to go back. Or maybe it’s the opposite – you were afraid to go off to college somewhere far from home, but you did it anyway, because you thought it was the right thing to do. No matter how it turned out, you still have something like that to thank for countless experiences and memories that you will take with you to the grave (not to get all morbid or anything…)

Stepping outside your comfort zone will be the best thing you could do for yourself. Consider your life a book, and when you leave a familiar place you’ve just started another chapter. Or, if you’re like me, consider your life a video game…you’re on a new quest to get to that happy ending where you live happily-ever-after with a princess named after a piece of fruit.

Looking like a working girl


Today I’m going to talk about something superficial. My looks. Age is a sore subject with most girls and we buy SO MANY things to try and improve ourselves for the sake of vanity.

When some girls get to college they really blossom and become these gorgeous victoria’s secret models and you just stare in awe. For others like myself, I felt worse. I felt so ugly. I took my entire wardrobe with me to college however my highschool attire wasn’t exactly something to brag about. I bought everything in solid colors and I had a pretty simple style. Stripes were the only pattern I ventured into. When I got to college I saw girls in jewelry matching their outfits and high heels (these were the fashion majors, mind you). I could not keep up with that. My tshirts and jeans had to do the job because I was broke and I honestly didn’t know how to style myself. Add to that the fact that I wasn’t a small enough size to share clothes with ANYONE I roomed with. That was a downer.

Fast forward to my first job and dear god did I feel like an outcast. People were wearing dress pants and button down shirts with fancy high heels (oh why more heels?!). It was almost as if what you wore to the office was a competition because being stuck in a cubicle for 8 hours meant there’s nothing better to do or look forward to (other than doughnuts and coffee). I put on my last surviving business attire from highschool FBLA outings and vowed that I NEEDED to start looking for more professional attire. After about 2 weeks I reverted back to my safe zone and bought khakis and button down shirts in every color. Very boring yet cheap and it got me atleast dressed for the day. However I started noticing that not even my boss took me seriously (I’m sure my age didn’t help) and other people in the office would comment on the days that I looked more put together. That was one giant red flag.

I worked my ass off and I still felt like I was only being assessed by how I looked. So I amped up the makeup, bought some foundational pieces and really tried to walk in my high heels the best I could. I did feel a bit better about myself when I truly put forth the effort to look put together but I still had resentment about my work not being enough to make me stand out and be appreciated.

Sad story is – first, second, third and all other impressions matter when it comes to business. Your looks do truly represent you and I wasn’t giving myself a chance to show my confidence or personality. I was focused on being the frumpy girl in the office and how it affected my work instead of working on my confidence and my skills.

So buy some nice black pants (spandex yoga pants do not count ladies!) and don’t forget to put on a necklace or earrings here and there. When you see a nice shirt on sale that would be great for work, don’t feel guilty. Just buy it and look at it as an investment to your portfolio. You are the face of your own brand and you need to feel just as amazing as your skills are.

Making moves

Jessica M

The time has come for me to take a step so many girls have made before me – moving in with my boyfriend.  I’ve had several living situations since turning 18.  First there was the dorm room with my best friend from high school.  We were lucky, and rather than have our friendship torn apart by the confines of that mini-room, it only made our friendship stronger (even with the occasional screaming match or two).  After that, the dorm roommate and I moved into a small three bedroom apartment with another girl from our dorm.  Things started out strong, but we eventually starting drifting apart and the third roommate moved out early, in the middle of the night (or was it morning? the concept of time in college was so fuzzy), leaving behind only a drawer full of underwear (seriously) and a few perishables

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times... (photos from my Facebook)

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… (photos from my Facebook)

in the cupboards.  After that apartment, the original roomie and I moved into a large house with six bedrooms.  The roommates in this house came and went and were swapped out several times (including a year that involved a 19 year old boy moving in, and adopting his five 21 year old roommates as pseudo mothers.  Only four of us stayed the full two years in that madhouse, and I’m still not sure what kind of effect that had on our psyches.  After college, I spent about a year living with my parents before my brother and I moved into our grandma’s apartment after she passed (no it wasn’t creepy, yes sometimes I think I can “feel” her presence – but it’s probably more likely a caffeine buzz peaking and/or wearing off).  This takes us to present day, and the next step of my journey into “adulthood.”

I’ve lived with guys before.  My brother and my pseudo-son Phil who I mentioned before.

We should probably discuss rules about full frontal nudity and eating (photo from thoughtcatalog)

We should probably discuss rules about full frontal nudity and eating (photo from thoughtcatalog)

Plus countless former roommates boyfriends who would camp out in our place more often than their own (we were pretty fun).  And I’ve fallen into K-holes with previous boyfriends where it seemed like we were spending every possible second together and it felt like we might have been living together.  But shared bills, income dependency, and close quarters with no separate place to flee too are all going to be new concepts.  Don’t boys have cooties???

There are a lot of things I’m concerned about, some more serious than others.  What if he can hear me making #2s through the bathroom wall?  What if he doesn’t like watching Gossip Girl marathons when I’m feeling sick (it’s literally the only way to feel better, sans doctor)?  What if I forget how awesome alone time is?  What if we get bored (gasp!)?   What if he forgets to switch to his Netflix account and messes up all my recommendations? What if he loses his job, and I have support us both financially?  What if we break up?

With the bad, there is always good.  I can’t wait to have someone to share breakfast with

I can't wait to have someone to help me realize I'm making poor choices, before it's too late (photo from tumblr)

I can’t wait to have someone to help me realize I’m making poor choices, before it’s too late (photo from tumblr)

every morning.  I can’t wait to have someone with an obligation to plunge the toilet or tub when they’re clogged.  I can’t wait to have someone to watch Gossip Girl marathons with me (Chuck and Blair, your shitty relationship is like crack to me).  I can’t wait to be able to spend time together on weeks when my schedule changes, and I get stuck working 8:00-4:30 while he’s working 3:00-11:00 (we don’t have weeks like that often, and I do enjoy the random alone time, but by the time the week ends, I’m glad).  I can’t wait to have someone to come home to every single night.  I can’t wait to have someone by my side, that loves me more than I love myself.

Am I ready?  Who knows.  What I do know is I’ll never know until I make the leap, and I’m ready to skydive.

on younger siblings and relationships with them



Moving has been a big thing on my mind, and I definitely still have a lot to say on the subject being that it’s such a big deal for me and all. However, today I’ve been thinking about my relationship with my siblings, more specifically, my little sister.

Growing up, I always wanted a little sister. For some reason I thought for sure if I got a sister, I would get a sister that was my own age-I even had a dream that Publisher’s Clearing House brought my parents a check and myself a sister that was my age. That clearly never happened, but when I was eight, my mom told me that I was going to have a little brother or sister and I was super excited. I wasn’t so excited when she was born and I had to learn to change diapers and make bottles. Mom called it “birth control.” I had a harder and harder time as she got older and started to walk and talk and go through all of my stuff. Then, two years later of course Mom and Dad decided to give us a little brother that just added more into the mix. Being the oldest of the three with the largest age gap, I always felt like I was more of the entertainer and the babysitter than the sister that got along with them. It’s not like it was my parents’ fault, it was definitely just the age difference.

As we got older, my sister and I fought more and more. After I went to college and my sister was taking after my artsy ways, my mom told me that she mimicked me a lot, even if she didn’t want me to see. I tried for years to get her to talk to me like a friend, but all I got was a lot of angry yelling and her telling me that Mom liked me better. She seemed to have severe “middle child syndrome.” She wanted attention so badly, that she didn’t care if she had to yell and behave badly to get it. All I wanted was to have a relationship with my sister, mainly due to the fact that my mother had once said to me that “Once we’re gone, you’ll only have each other” meaning my siblings and myself. I never understood why we couldn’t get along, or why she would have such a hard time talking to me.

Now that I’m older and I’ve gone through a lot more things in life, I kind of see why she didn’t want to talk to me. Yes, I had a hard time, but I still had really good grades and did my best to make a life for myself and Mom and Dad did nothing but praise me for being able to do so. I can understand why being eight years younger and not knowing what you want to do with your life (not that I really had/have it all figured out) could be so much more intimidating.

My little sister is about to graduate high school and after doing nothing but barely talking and her turning everything she can into a fight over the last eight years, I’m finally seeing that we might be able to have a healthy relationship. I’ve been wanting nothing more than a sister that would call me or text me randomly and she’s done that recently. She wants me to be at her high school graduation and told me that she also wants to make sure we get a sister tattoo together. Okay, the tattoo might not seem all that sentimental to some people, but I’ve had my fair share of piercings and the only tattoo I have is one that means a lot to me, so getting one with my sister actually does mean a lot. She wants to come stay with me (all the while knowing that I will not be holding any crazy ragers or supporting any crazy underage parties and such) so I know that she just wants to come stay with me and hang out for once.

People have been telling me for years that all kids go through a phase where they don’t want anything to do with their parents or their older siblings but that they get over that at some point during high school/college and I always hoped that they were right. I’m glad that I can finally see what other people had previously said, and that my little sister really is a an actual human being and can be pretty cool.

In the Weeds


For those individuals lucky enough to experience the hustle and bustle of the restaurant industry, you know what I mean when I use the term “in the weeds.” For the rest of you, I can describe the feeling as a near panic attack, minor heart attack… Like the first time you forgot to turn in a midterm paper. Getting “in the weeds” is when you get slammed as a server, and no matter how hard you work, you can’t catch up. Every direction you look there is something slowing you down. It’s pretty awful.

You do not have to work in a restaurant to understand the fear of the weeds. I’m actually writing about this to relate to my real life, where I have been feeling in the weeds for quite some time now. With my freelancing life up and running, I’m getting a lot of work that I’m excited about, that unfortunately can’t fund itself. So I have my job hustling as a server at a restaurant. But then I got a job offer! And then another! All this within the last two weeks will make Kemm a dull guy.

So what do you do when you’re in the weeds? I take some advice from Bear Grylls, host of that survival show, Man vs Wild. When dealing with large forests, or giant fields of tall grass, you need to find your bearings, set your sites on something in the far distance, bury your head, and keep moving toward that goal. Same goes for the restaurant business, and any other challenges you may face. It’s certainly not the easy way of dealing with your issues; I’ve seen people walk out, break down crying, and feel very passionate negative emotions while in the weeds. I’m sure most people would rather call it quits most of the time, but that isn’t helping anyone.

In the world outside of the restaurant, I try to take a few things each day. Sit down and make a check list, change it around, come up with an order of importance, a work flow if you will. Seeing things in front of me always helps ease my mind and feel accomplished when I get to knock a few items off the list. You honestly can’t plan to get in the weeds, like I couldn’t plan to have two job offers in a week while also being approached about three potential business ventures. So here I go burying my head… Hope to see you on the other side!

If You’re Crafty and You Know It


In my days as a sorority girl (truth be told, I still am) crafting for your little, g-little and really for no good reason other than you want another letter-something in your house/room was a way of life. I wasn’t that artistic. Which now I have learned you don’t need to be to be crafty.

Staying on track and being smart about money is something like to think I do well. I have my “weaknesses” like anything Apple and Vera Bradley but I reign those in and purchase within reason.

So, I had a MAJOR realization that our married home/apt still looked like I was in college. Mismatched furniture, nothing cohesively tying everything together and just random stuff. Now, I am not looking gift horses in the mouth because when we were starting out, we took everything and anything to not sit on milk crates.

We moved into our current home about 12 days, yes 12 days, before our wedding and I had also started a new job the very same day. I keep wondering why I did that to myself but it worked out. So now that we have been here almost a year, I have had some time to think about making things work.

I started planning and visualize everything and creating a PInterest board (with the same title) with things that I could make. Now, these things don’t require me to draw a scene like Van Gogh or take photos and distort them like Warhol but just some wood, paint, glue and some patience is all I would really need.

So, I started planning out each room and set myself a budget. Side note: if I ever get a chance to write about my wedding that I planned for under $10k, I will. I decided color schemes, decorations and most importantly, functionality.

Our bathroom was first. A new shower curtain, liner and hooks and change out the towels and we were good. Mind you, I purchased Kate Spade linens from Bed, Bath and Beyond for under $15. My shower curtain and liner from Ikea cost more than they did. Win-win!

One of my biggest projects was my home office. I do work from home so I wanted this office to be a me space. We returned a couch that was given to us to replace it with a futon. I didn’t like the dull mattress cover so a dark gray full fitted sheet did the trick. My in-laws and our friends like to stay and I was sick of making them sleep on the couches we have. So this was another win-win! I made pillows and chair cover and did a little sprucing up and this room was done for under $250. This was with a purchase of a futon, fabric, sheets, chair, table top, legs, book shelf, wall brackets and wall shelves.

Our living room was simple. Slip covers and make covers for a our current pillows and a few more to make it comfy. We purchased a book case and turned it horizontally and a new cheap coffee table so everything matches. I was able to find (and still debating on these) a set, yes set, of slip covers for our couch and love seat from Amazon for $60! Yahoo!

Our bedroom is last because there isn’t much there. I am going to make some throw pillows, make a few odds and ends and then we are done!

It makes you feel good that when you have the time (which everyone says they don’t) to allow yourself to be totally scared to try something new. I received a crash course in sewing on buttons, measuring fabric, using a sewing machine and stuffing pillows. But in the end, it’s all going to work out.

Making your home feel homey and wonderful doesn’t require a lot of money if you can get crafty. I always thought to get a certain look you had to buy it. I am glad I was wrong. The hubs and I were able to do this together and make our home ours. It’s a good feeling when you’re done and you look at what you made. It’s a completely different feeling than looking at what you spent thousands of dollars on.

So friends, go ahead and get crafty. I plan on doing one project a month. What are you going to do?


Jessica M

image via ABC/

I was brought up in a very supportive, loving household.  I’m really lucky in this fact.  My parents never pressed any ideas or ideologies on me.  My mom (who for the most part has always been a role model for me – despite our radically different political stances)  was never open or obvious about dieting, weight loss, or her appearance.  I never questioned why she was only eating cabbage soup for a week while we ate pizza or hot dogs.  I didn’t start wearing makeup until I was a sophomore in high school, and I never really even learned how to wear makeup until late college (I’m still figuring that crap out for the most part).  I never felt less than perfect, just the way I was.

That is, until I hit (about) 12 years old and started the same body hating phase we all seem go through.  Puberty was hands down one of the worst times for me.  My body was awkward, didn’t look like the other girls’, and I was miserable.  I come from an Italian family, curves were practically in my genes (and past was almost always “what;s for

image via Fox/

image via Fox/

dinner”).  Why is this?  Why is it that even though I was in a supportive household where my weight was never questioned did I still manage to grow to hate the way I looked?  (I like to blame the media, but that’s neither here nor there)

Even at my smallest (size 4) I was still unhappy with how I looked.  As I’m moving into my late twenties (27 in May), I can see and feel my body changing again.  Things are becoming even more curvy, and old favorite pieces of clothing aren’t fitting in the same way.

Being in my late twenties has also brought a different outlook on life, and in it a much more appreciation for my body.  These curves helped carry me through my college campus where no bat an eye at a 10-14 inches of snow in a day and we still walked .5 mile to class.  These thighs get me up and down the steps at work and in the parking garage when a lot of the other employees are practically marooned by an elevator being out of service.  This body has helped carry me through the 26 (not 27 yet) years practically no

image via HBO/

image via HBO/

injuries (besides one crap ankle from a drinking accident – seriously, who puts an 8 inch drop off right below the door to a bar).  Even when it didn’t want to, it’s been carrying me through the subzero temperatures and the polar vortex that’s been going around.  I have no reason to hate it.  Even when I was that coveted size four, people didn’t treat me differently.  Life went on exactly the same as when I’m carrying a few extra pounds.  It’s me looking in the mirror and critiquing myself.  It’s me picking apart my body, instead of looking at it as a whole.

It turns out, I’m just as capable at looking in a mirror without the critique.  Jennifer Lawrence has a semi-recent quote I like to reference, “What are you going to do? Be hungry every single day to make other people happy? That’s just dumb.”  And to whoever said nothing tastes as good as skinny feels – you clearly aren’t using Pinterest to its full potential.

on moving, moving on and letting go


Many times, when I sit down to write here, I feel stuck. This week was no different. I sat down in front of my blank screen and stared for a few minutes, before looking around the room trying to come up with something relevant. Then it hit me. I have boxes sitting all around right now of things to keep, toss or donate before the move and it’s taking up good piece of my free time each week.

Mainly, I’ve been motivated to go through things so I don’t have to move to another state with a ridiculous amount of stuff. I do a little purge before every move, but being that this one is a big one (literally and figuratively) I’ve been very concerned with getting things down to the basics. The other day I opened a few plastic totes that I’m pretty certain I hadn’t even looked at once since I moved into this apartment two years ago. The first thing that I found in one was a bunch of paper shopping bags. I have no idea why I’ve always felt compelled to save them. I try to recycle and reuse them but the majority just sit around (sometimes, for years) and waste space. Luckily, I’ve actually found it very easy and pretty refreshing to be able to get rid of as much as I have these past couple of weeks.

Then, I started thinking about how this purging of items is a lot like purging things in life. I’m getting ready to make some huge changes in my life and I’ve really been doing my best to let go of the things that don’t matter. J and I have always been able to talk to each other, and now that we’ve both agreed to make plans together it’s been even easier for us to discuss things. Knowing that we both want each other in our lives forever, kind of makes it seem silly to not be able to say what you feel discuss things in a completely open manner. I mean, if we’re going to be “stuck” with each other there’s no reason not to, right? It feels just as refreshing to have certain discussions and voice certain opinions as it does to clear this apartment of the unnecessary clutter.

Over the years, I’ve found that certain things are just best to let go of. Sometimes it’s just a shopping bag or an old holey pair of jeans, and sometimes it’s people…but either way, there’s no shame in letting things go when it’s time.

Keep on Keepin’ on


After my last post, I was browsing through some sports articles on an app on my phone and found this fantastic article about Jackie Bradley Jr., the new centerfielder for the Boston Red Sox. Coming off last year, I’m pretty confident that the Red Sox will win the World Series again in the next few years, but this one player has some fans concerned, and with good reason. In 107 appearances at the plate, Jackie Bradley Jr. was batting .189, a very poor number when trying to make it on the starting squad for any MLB team, let alone the Rex Sox.

Now who in their right mind would ever pick a player with this kind of showing? Like they can’t find someone better than this scrub to come play outfield. However this article was not written to bash Bradley, but to teach the reader not to judge a book by its cover, and not to judge Bradley by his first 107 at bats.

A quote from the article that sums my entire point up:

“Would you judge a writer on his first draft, an artist on his first sketch, an actor on his first play, a lawyer on his first case? Hey, there are folks who do, and occasionally they get it right. But you could fill a library, a museum, a theater, a courtroom with the number of times they get it wrong.”

NOT EVERYONE IS PERFECT ON THE FIRST TRY. You are supposed to make mistakes and fudge stuff up!!

Don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise. You will fail. You will be denied. There are others that are better than you. But don’t ever let that stop you from trying. Anything you accomplish can be done in a different way that someone may find to be more appealing, but it goes both ways. Keep looking for your place.

I’m currently on the hunt for a big boy job. I have a few options, one of which I doubt I am the best candidate, but I’m staying confident. I have amazing skills as a designer/photographer/video producer and eventually I will find something. If you have confidence in yourself and are willing to learn the worst you can do is try again at a later date. Improve yourself and prove everyone that doubts you wrong.

So that’s my spiel, coming from a very reliable source when it comes to rejection. Every failure is a résumé builder, at least for a designer. Good luck, because the more you fail, the harder it is to keep failing.

I don’t want to steal Gordon Edes’ thunder, so if you are interested in reading the full article, the link is here!

Not Needing a Money Tree After All


So my last post was about the problems we encountered while buying the house. I never actually went into the positives of what happened, so here’s the story –

My husband and I have been dreaming about houses since we met and have always tried saving money towards a house. But as most people our age; that was beyond impossible. Whether it was a medical bill, a vet bill, an outrageous electricity bill, or just a plain old flat tire, money was not staying in our savings account. We always felt bad about dipping into our funds but we knew that racking up credit card debt wasn’t a good solution either.

Fast forward to last year and my husband got a job that moved us 5.5 hours away. We had two weeks to move since it was for a job and we had no choice but to just suck it up and find another apt, and that’s what we did. When we moved in I started wondering if we had the wrong idea about what it took to buy a house. My mom built her house brand new with no money down about 15 years ago… yeah yeah, I know that market doesn’t exist anymore. I still had a gut feeling that we needed to talk to someone though.

So I called builders, I called realtors, and they all told me the same thing… you need x amount of money down and you need this high of a credit score and here’s what you can afford. So…. Nobody was telling me that I COULDN’T buy a house, but they certainly didn’t sound like it was all that possible either.

When we met Mike Suter we had $1600 in our savings account and we were waiting for him to sit back and laugh. By anyone’s calculations, $1600 does not equal the 3.5% down for first time buyers loans and it certainly doesn’t equal the 10K that we were told we’d need in closing costs from other realtors. Mike gave us a different story though. We walked out of his office having faith in him as a realtor but still a bit skeptical of the too good to be true amount he said we’d need upfront. I heard from friends about “unexpected” costs coming out of the buying process and I was worried.

Three months later we found out Mike was right. He said we needed $1000 down and about $250-500 for any inspections/testing that weren’t going to be covered under our closing costs. Did we pay closing costs? No, the seller did. We found a seller willing to do that and it cost us nothing. Actually the seller didn’t even flinch when we asked, in fact our biggest disagreement with the seller was over the roof needing an extra vent. Go figure. So, what did we end up spending? Well, we handed over our $1,000 in good faith to the bank. When we settled on a price we paid $500 for our well & septic inspection. At the day of settlement, we got our keys and a check for $700.00.

That’s right, we paid $800.00 to buy our dream house and be rid of apartment living. Even after about a week of living in our new house, my husband and I checked the mailbox in fear of a “missed” expense from the mortgage company or something. Well, I actually never did get the mail. Most of the time I hid in the other room while my husband sorted through it. But a month later, nothing ever came.

So if you are like my husband and I, feeling overwhelmed and like the idea of buying a home, but think it only happens to those people with lots of money, go talk to someone. If you live in eastern PA, call Mike, RIGHT NOW. If you don’t live in eastern PA, go find someone like Mike. Three months from now you can be reading this blog from your own home.