Thursday, May 28, 2015

{working girls: ashley}

Today's interview is with one of my favorite people in the world...& I'm literally not exaggerating when I say that. Her name is Ashley & we met our FIRST day of college. {I went to Suffolk for one year before transferring.)  I feel like I've written this story on here before, but here's our meet cute... After reading her incoming Freshman "survey" on Facebook, I realized we had crazy similarities: She has a twin sister; her parents are divorced; she was into theater; etc etc. We messaged each other, requested to be roommates, & ended up becoming BFFs for life. She makes me laugh harder than anyone, and beyond how incredibly hard-working and kind she is, my favorite thing about her is the fact that she named her cat Meryl. After Streep.

She's the only actress I interviewed & her headshot up there makes her so legit. Enjoy! 


Tell me a little about yourself. Age // where you’re from // where you currently live.
I’m 24 years old. I’m originally from Massachusetts, and I currently live in Queens, New York.  

Where did you go to college? What did you major in? 
Suffolk University. I majored in Theatre with a concentration in Performance.

What is your favorite thing about where you live?
To sound totally cliché.....the energy of the city. (To be fair I don't live IN the city, I live just outside of it in Queens, which is great because I get all on the benefits of the Big Apple since it's just a subway ride away, and can still come home to my quiet studio apartment...and my cat Meryl each night.)  NYC has a vibrancy that is all its own. Don't get me wrong, there are times when NYC wins. I wish I had a way of explaining what I mean by that; those times are hard. BUT when you win, there is nothing like living here. I have to pinch myself sometimes, that this city is where I live. I'm further away from my family here than I was in college which at times is tough, but I'm lucky to have some of the best friends in the world here  (I know everyone says this....but I like to  think I win this argument) who I consider to be family. They all help in making this place feel like home. In general, there is no other city I would want to spend my 20's in! I cannot picture living anywhere else, and I think that means I'm right where I am supposed to be!

Let’s get down to it: what do you do?  Walk me through a day in your life.
I work in Administration at the International Multiple Sclerosis Management Practice. I wake up far too early for my liking; I pack a lunch, then head into work. I’m typically there by 8-8:15 depending on the day. Then the work begins. We all have assigned tasks, but on any given day I can be found answering phones scheduling patients, sending outgoing faxes, sorting incoming labs, (between what needs to go to the doctors and what can go to the nurses).

I also have to stay on top of tasks that have been assigned to me alone, like scheduling patients for laser treatments, or IV Vitamin C. This could be a job all in its own, but in general I just have to stay on top of who is on what, what number treatment/dosage of medicine etc, and make sure that they are always scheduled. 

We all have one ‘late day’ a week; this means that on those days I am responsible to check the billing—making sure that all patients who are in the book/computer, actually came, that they paid, that all is accounted for. 

I get out of work between 5/5:30 and I either head home to go on a run, make dinner…. or I head out to an audition or rehearsal of some sort. If it’s the former, that means I spend a great portion of my night submitting myself to auditions, as one day I would like to be doing more of the latter post-work. I’m happy to say that currently it is more of the latter! I am in a show in June called How to Howl and I’m so looking forward to being back on stage again!

Travel back to when you were a freshman in college. Looking ahead, did you see yourself doing what you’re doing now?
Yes and no. I moved to the city to be an actor. That being said, I always knew that I would have to have a job beyond acting to make a living. I did not know what that job would be, but I knew it would need to exist!! Freshman me would have told you that by now I would be living in New York, for sure!

What’s your favorite thing about your job?  Or, what is most rewarding about your job?
My favorite thing about my job is that the operation runs to help people with a disease that I have personal connections with. I feel like I am making a difference. I may not be the doctor treating patients but I am apart of giving them a better quality of life; no matter how small my role. 

What do you find most challenging about your job?
The pace! It is fast and you are always doing something. I love this, as I would much rather be busy all day; but at the same time it certainly adds to the stress. I often think that I am overlooking something that I should be doing….

I’m always curious about what people wear to work, since it all depends on the industry they’re in, how they get to work (sneakers vs. heels), etc.  Describe your work style.
Hmm, I would say my work style is classic without being too corporate. The dress code for my position is much more on the dressy side. Anything less than a pair of slacks is not allowed, and high heels are a standard. That being said, I do not walk around in a suit all day. I wear a lot of dresses, and slacks with blouses. I try to add flair with colors; though my wardrobe is largely based in backs/blues/grays. I do however where red lipstick nearly every day. In fact when I don’t, doctors and patients alike ask me why I’m not wearing it!

I also 100% commute to work in sneakers, and change into heels when I’m at work. I am that person.
Do you feel like you’ve nailed the work/life balance thing? If so, how?  If not, what's something that you do to help try to maintain that balance?
I think that saying I’ve ‘nailed it’ would be wishful thinking. For one I set my alarm clock every day—weekends included. (I allow myself to sleep until 8:30 on weekends instead of the normal 6:00am). This is so I can still be productive with my day off! And I also make sure that I’m always reaching out/making an effort to talk to my friends that are here on a regular basis. 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? Either career, personal, or both.
Follow your passion and the money will come.

favorite workout song: 99 Problems by Jay Z
best meal: Chicken Parmesan 
must-watch tv show: The Blacklist
plane ticket to anywhere, you go to: Paris or Italy, I honestly cannot pick.


I so admire Ashley for both of her jobs. In full transparency, as much as I wanted to be a singer when I "grew up", the sheer fact that it would be hard to support myself held me back from going at that dream 100%. When I shared this with Ashley a few years ago, she point blank told me: "I would rather have no money and be acting, than have a lot of money and not be acting." That right there tells you who she is. {And who I am, actually!} I miss singing like nobody's business & Ashley has inspired me to either take up lessons, or just sing after work more often. You can have a job & still make time for your passions!

You can catch Ashley in How to Howl at the Heights Players on June 19th and 20th. She's very talented and better mention me in her Tony's acceptance speech one day.

Thanks Ash.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

{working girls: lindsey}

This interview with Lindsey totally sets the stage for this new series. Not only is she my cousin, but she's one of the most inspiring and hard-working people I know. To sum it up: Lindsey is on a mission to make healthy eating more accessible, easier, and—most importantly—more enjoyable.

Among what you'll read below, Lindsey started Supper Club at Whole Foods Markets in Philadelphia—a ticket to which is SO sought after, my mom always buys four seats just in case. {Whole Foods locations across the country love the idea so much they're implementing it into their stores!} Philly folks should definitely attend. {FYI: Only 7 tickets left for the next one!!}

Lindsey is smart, hilarious, and compassionate about helping people. I'm so lucky we're related. I know you'll enjoy what she shared with me...


Tell me a little about yourself. Age // where you’re from // where you currently live.
I grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia (Collegeville, PA), I currently live in Philly and I am totally obsessed with my historic apartment in Washington Square West.  I am 27... 30 is coming in hot.

Where did you go to college? What did you major in? 
I went to Cornell University in Ithaca, NY (nerd alert) and played on the women's lacrosse team.  I originally started as pre-med, but switched to Nutritional Sciences with a concentration in Dietetics after my freshman year.

What is your favorite thing about where you live?
The People.  The people in Philly are real people. There's nothing stiff or superficial about us.  We may have a few quirks, but that's what gives us character.  Everyone is connected by this shared love and pride for the city of Philly.  We're all on the same team, and so much of where I am today both personally and professionally is because of this "one-city" camaraderie.  I also grew up outside of Philadelphia, and I come from a very tight-knit family.  Both of my brothers live in the city too, and now that were older it's fun to hang out and merge our groups of friends.  Being able to escape to the suburbs to see my parents, my dog, my grandmom, and extended family was something I missed tremendously when I lived in Buffalo and DC.  Now that I am with "my people," I'm way happier.  In all honesty, my intent was to only live in Philly for a year, and then move somewhere new every year after.  That was in 2013.  It's been two years and I can't imagine leaving anytime soon :)

Let’s get down to it: what do you do?  Walk me through a day in your life.
I am a registered dietitian and loooooove what I do!  This is a tough question since every day of my life is different...

I work for Whole Foods Market as their Healthy Eating Specialist, covering 3 store locations in the Philadelphia area. My job includes corporate wellness, employee training, product development, recipe development, marketing and merchandising, program development, shopping tours, cooking demos, nutrition classes, one on one meal planning, community outreach, the list goes on!

I also work as the nutrition coach for an integrative health center called The Wellnest, which specializes in nutrition for reproductive health. I work with mostly females and provide nutrition counseling for women with PCOS, women struggling with infertility, women with hormone imbalances, metabolic syndrome, as well as maternal health.  We are also starting to expand our services to the general population, so I have also been seeing some patients with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and weight management.

I am also on the nutrition team for Unite For HER, a nonprofit organization providing complementary therapy for women with breast cancer.  The nutrition team is committed to educating and empowering our women to regain control, promote healing, speed recovery, enhance treatment, reduce symptoms, achieve and maintain remission and promote overall well being through nutrition. I attend Wellness Days at local hospitals where I interact with and educate our newly diagnosed women, I provide 30 minute phone consultations with every patient we serve, and I also offer personal shopping and in-home cooking sessions for our women.  This is by far my most rewarding job.

I am also currently working on launching my own website and private practice...stay tuned!!!

Travel back to when you were a freshman in college. Looking ahead, did you see yourself doing what you’re doing now?
Absolutely not!  I had no clue what I was going to be doing.  And now knowing what I am doing, there's no shot I could have predicted this.

What’s your favorite thing about your job?  Or, what is most rewarding about your job?
No matter who you are, where you're from, your age, your sex, your race, or your beliefs - no matter what, if you are human, you eat!  We all eat. It connects us.  I love my job because it allows me to relate with anyone I meet.  The most rewarding part of my job is being able to witness the positive impact I make on other's lives.  That's why I got into nutrition in the first place.  I wanted to help people.  Seeing how food can transform someone, and not just their physical health, but their mental, emotional, and social wellbeing, it's something else.

What do you find most challenging about your job?
Three things come to mind...

A person's Diet Philosophy is a very personal, very strong, very rigid belief.  People can get very defensive if anyone tries to question their diet philosophy.  Being able to meet people where they are, regardless of their "religion" can be tricky sometimes.

Information overload: we live in an era of overflowing information.  The trouble is some of this is credible, science-backed information, and some of it is bogus marketing hype or simply someone's personal opinion that caught wind on Twitter.  It takes a lot of weeding through the BS and working hard to stay current on latest research to reeducate those who have been misinformed and misguided.

Unfortunately, the saying, "You can only lead the horse to the water" is true.  You can't make them drink the water, or eat the nutrient-dense food for that matter.  You are always going to have those individuals who want help, and want to change, but they aren't mentally ready to commit to the steps it takes to make change happen, and don't want to physically put the work in.  There comes a time when you want to help someone, but you can only make so many nutrition recommendations, suggest so many recipes, meal plans, and products, and provide so many lifestyle strategies and behavior change tips. They need to want it, and that comes from with in. That's something I can't control.

I’m always curious about what people wear to work, since it all depends on the industry they’re in, how they get to work (sneakers vs. heels), etc.  Describe your work style.
At Whole Foods I wear jeans everyday (tough life).  If I wanted to, I could wear a t-shirt or a hoodie everyday, but I generally wear a sweater or some kind of top. And of course, I have to wear our mandatory slip-resistant shoes.  Safety First!  Same thing goes for The Wellnest and Unite for Her - pretty casual. I definitely take this for granted!

Do you feel like you’ve nailed the work/life balance thing? If so, how?  If not, what's something that you do to help try to maintain that balance?
Definitely not!  But I am actively working on it and determined to get there.  I've always been an intrinsically motivated person, always wanting to go the extra mile.  But there is always going to be an extra mile to go for, and I am working on saving that mile for "tomorrow".  It's hard!  Especially because I love what I do. When you are lucky enough to have a job that you are passionate about, the line that divides your hobby from your job becomes gray.  Sometimes I don't know if I am working at night because I need to or if I am working at night because I want to!

Luckily I have great friends and an amazing family who try to pull me away from work as much as possible.  I also love being active and working out, which is a great outlet.  I am still on the hunt for a new hobby to balance things out a bit - with spring in full force, I am thinking about taking on gardening.  Time to discover my green thumb!

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? Either career, personal, or both.
I actually just attended a panel discussion with some of the top female entrepreneurs of Philadelphia.  They each shared a piece of advice that they would have given their younger selves if they were given the chance to go back in time.  I loved them all...

1.  Success is not a straight line:  There may be some missteps, detours, and wrong turns along the way, but that's part of the journey. You don't need to know all of the steps, you just need to know the next step.

2.  Relationships Matter:  Give thanks to the people that helped you along the way, show appreciation to those who work for you, and don't forget to give back, and pay it forward.

3.  It's okay to color outside of the lines:  If you don't fit into an already paved out career path, that doesn't mean you are doomed.  It actually means your are predisposed to be unique, one of a kind, and of high demand.

4. You deserve to be where you are:  Whenever you find yourself overwhelmed, intimidated, or in over your head, remember, you did your homework, you put your time in, and you are there for a reason. No one can take that from you.

5.  Be yourself:  Don't try to be the next Oprah.  Be YOU.  You are way better at being you than you are at being Oprah.  And you are way better at being you than anyone else who dares to try and be you.  You are the best at being you.

favorite workout song: I love running to mash-ups.  I also just went to a TBT themed spinning class and we were totally rocking out to Jock Jams. Classics!!!
best meal: Give me some sort of seafood, lots of veggies, some good wine, good company, and pretty and relaxed ambiance and I am one happy girl.
must-watch tv show: Yikes, sadly I am not a savvy TV person!  I watch Homeland, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, Scandal but honestly nothing has been able to get me crazed the way I was about Lost.  I will throw on New Girl or Modern Fam for a good laugh, and I am always up for some throwback Friends episodes.  And of course, the Cooking Channel and the Food Network and Top Chef.  I also love watching Ted Talks on Netflix.
plane ticket to anywhere, you go to: Spain, and then I would bounce to Italy.  Unless it's the winter and I've had it with the cold weather, then I might change my answer to Bora Bora. Get me to the beach!

For healthy tips, recipes, or find out when the next Supper Club is happening, you can follow Lindsey on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, or email her at


How GREAT is this interview??  I can only imagine how rewarding her job is — Seeing how food can transform someone, and not just their physical health, but their mental, emotional, and social wellbeing, it's something else.

Thanks for participating and for all you do, Linds! And thanks for not judging me when I get another scoop of ice cream!


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

{a new series: working girls}

I've posted a total of...five (?!)...times in 2015!  So I'm doing something about it. By introducing a new series: 

Working Girls

I’m about a year and a half into my career and as much as I love what I do, my curiosity to know about other professions and industries never dims. That's normal, right? I think so! There are so many different types of jobs out there and so many cities for young professionals to live in...& I wanted to highlight some of those options. Luckily my girlfriends were eager to help.

I individually interviewed a group of my closest friends {from childhood to post-grad} & asked them the same set of questions. Questions about their career, their work/life balance, their best advice & more.  I did this for two reasons: 

1) Again, I was genuinely curious. I see snippets of my friends' lives on social media and from the occasional catch-up, but I wanted to know more

2) If there is a young woman, whether high school or college or beyond, who reads this blog and is feeling confused about their path—what they should major in, what they want to do, where they should liveI want to encourage them that there is no right way to go. There are so many options, and even if you don’t choose the predictable route, you can end up doing something great and learn something valuable for when you do figure it out.

These girlfriends of mine rock. You'll love them. I chose each one because they live all over the country, work in various industries, & each have their own unique story.

I cannot begin to explain how impressed I was by every single interview.  Their answers are inspiring, thought-provoking, & honest. They keep it real.  

I hope you enjoy...  first one goes live tomorrow.


{photo from someecards}