Creative A.D.D.

Eating pizza in Italy - one of many passions!

Eating pizza in Italy – one of many passions!

I have Creative A.D.D. I have so many interests, passions, and business ideas that I cannot just settle in with just one. I constantly have at least 10 different tabs open, will read half an article or podcast and then jump to the next one and the next one. I’ll start drafting a business plan and then decide I just need to map out my values and big picture goals before I can finish that, but then don’t come back to it. I realize a large part of this is probably due to that extra appendage my generation has grown: our phones, constantly glued to our palms, scrolling, consuming, scrolling, consuming, onto the next thing. If any of this sounds familiar to you and think you might have a case of Creative A.D.D. too, maybe you’ll agree with me that it’s more than just a Millennial thing.

For me, my Creative A.D.D. stems from 3 deeper issues: perfectionism, self-worth derived from work/achievement, and having several interests that don’t lend to a more conventional career path.

I used to think being a perfectionist was a good thing. Teacher’s pet, honor roll, well-liked – who wouldn’t want those labels? But perfectionism is exhausting and at its core is just another form of procrastination. Waiting for the perfect moment to start that project, your business, join a dance class – there will never be a perfect moment, waiting for perfection is you just getting in your own way. Where Creative A.D.D. comes in is rather than letting yourself go for it, letting it be messy or God forbid, failing, you jump from one idea to the next, planning, planning, planning the perfect idea, but then never taking the leap of faith you eventually need to do anything bold. Perfectionism has got to go in order for creativity to thrive.

This goes hand-in-hand with perfectionism, but since grade school, I’ve always derived my self-worth from work and achievement. It was hard to recognize this in school, since you are rewarded and recognized for your achievements, and so much of your identity (or at least mine) came from which AP classes you took and getting the lead in the school musical. For achievement-seekers, like me, the working world quickly gets frustrating and unfulfilling. We want the gold star, the A+ for all our hard work. Without the gold star, we (I) question our identity and what the point of everything is. We go looking for the next thing that will fulfill that sense of achievement and make us feel good about ourselves again, until it turns into a cycle of looking for the next best thing that we think will define us (that’s the Creative A.D.D. again).

For some of us, we aren’t meant to just do one thing. We have so many interests (food, weddings, working out, travel, entrepreneurship, personal development – mine for example) that we don’t know what to do with them. Because the conventional path is to go to school, pick a major, get a job in an industry that easily fits into a check-able box, we do the same, but never really feel like we find our niche. That’s because maybe there just isn’t one niche for us. We live for the thrill of learning, the curiosity of meeting new people and gaining new experiences – or that’s me at least. This is where the seemingly negative connotation of Creative A.D.D. can get turned on its head if you let it. How could having many different interests possibly be a bad thing? How could not fitting into a check-able box when it comes to your job be a negative? Right, it’s not, but because it’s not the norm, we let ourselves feel like everyone else has got it together but me.

Well I’m learning that most people don’t have it together. We’re all just figuring it out as we go. Faking it til we make it. So whether you’re a recovering perfectionist, achievement-seeker, or Renaissance woman of many talents & interests, I think the best thing we can do is to let it be. Sit in quiet (or a noisy coffee shop if that’s your jam) and stop thinking about. Stop searching for the perfect idea, the next gold star, the one true calling that you just can’t find. If given time and space, you’ll probably find that one true calling is actually a conglomeration of many things, and it may not be perfect on paper, but it will be yours, and when it is truly you and yours, those gold stars won’t matter so much anymore. Or least, that’s how I’m trying to look at it.

P.S. I highly recommend this TEDx talk by Emilie Wapnick on “why some of us don’t have one true calling” – she totally inspired my post today.

Fighting the Sunday Scaries

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As I said on Friday, I’m trying to get out of the habit of living for the weekend by savoring the little things that add happiness every day. Taking a beat to slow down and really appreciate a good cup of coffee or an evening walk without thinking about all the things I have to do is definitely a challenge, but sometimes even more challenging for me is fending off the Sunday (and Monday) Scaries. You know, that pit in your stomach that starts to bubble up around 3pm that says I reeeeeeallly don’t want to go to work tomorrow. I remember getting this pit in my stomach feeling as far back as elementary school. Even though I loved school and homework, there was something about the end of the weekend that filled me with dread and anxiety.

That feeling has only strengthened over the years regardless if I’m in a job that I enjoy or not. I’ve realized that the Sunday Scaries have less to do with actually dreading work or school and more to do with anxiety over not feeling in control of my time. I’ll start to obsess about all of the little tasks I have to get done this week, how early I have to wake up, planning, planning, planning every minute so I feel like I have more control rather than feeling controlled by the circumstances of my job and commute. So by the time Friday rolls around, it’s no wonder I can’t wait for the weekend, it’s the only time I allow myself to loosen the reins, let go of (some) routine, and not live by a to-the-minute plan.

Though I do think a healthy routine is helpful for getting things done and gaining a sense of control over your schedule, it’s a fine balance between being productive and being a control freak. It’s a balance I struggle with every Sunday, but here are a few things I like to do to make the impending doom & gloom of Monday a little less jarring:

  1. Pick out my outfit for Monday on Sunday night. Knowing I have one less thing to worry about on Monday morning means one more thing I can cross off the never-ending to do list.
  2. Get the coffee ready on Sunday night. Just the smell of coffee is enough to relax me, so by grinding the coffee ahead of time it’s not only already taken care of on Monday, but gives me something to look forward to the next morning.
  3. Make a really delicious dinner – with enough for leftovers. Whenever possible, we always like to be home relatively early on Sundays so we can have time to make a comforting dinner. Bonus points if it makes enough for Monday’s lunch too.
  4. Have a glass or wine, or two. Maybe not the healthiest suggestion, but that glass of wine makes me feel like the weekend still isn’t over yet.
  5. Talk about our favorite highlights from the weekend, what we’re looking forward to, or not looking forward to for the week. Recapping the weekend not only makes me feel good by remembering those good moments, but sometimes I feel like if I get my worries out before the work week, it lessens the worrying when I’m actually in it.
  6. Pick out a good book or podcast to listen to on Monday morning – again something to look forward to rather than dread.
  7. Get lost in a good movie or TV show. Again, maybe not the most productive suggestion, but if I can get wrapped up in a show that will make me forget about Monday for a few hours, I’ll take it.
  8. Just breathe and remind yourself that Monday is never as bad as you think it’s going to be!!

Friday 3×3: Feel Good Edition


Woot woot, it’s Friday people! We have a fairly low-key weekend ahead of us. Besides shopping for a mother of the groom dress on Sunday, I’m looking forward to hitting up some of our favorite local coffee shops, getting a good run or walk in outside, and finding another show to binge-watch now that we finished House of Cards.

If you read my post from the other day, you’ll know I’ve been going through/slowly coming out of another winter creative hibernation slump. Whenever I get caught up in the seeming hamster wheel of everyday life or just feel bogged down by work and routine, I always find myself living for the weekend. And while it’s great to look forward to things, for me it can feel more like just getting through the weekdays just to get through. That’s 5 days spent in a foggy trance – that’s a lot of days in a year! No bueno. So as Kevin,  my mom, and lots of friends have told me, it’s all about the little things that bring you joy every day that we should appreciate, not just the grand gestures, adventures, and trips on the weekends (though those are great too). So for today’s Friday 3×3, I’m sharing the little things that have been bringing sparks of joy to my day – whether it’s a Saturday or Tuesday.

Walking or running outside in the sunlight! Nothing quite as intoxicating as the sun shining and your heart pumping.

I always prefer fall to summer – I love layers, sweaters, and scarves – but with this sunshine, I am so ready to shred the heaviness and lighten up my wardrobe. I recently got a Barbour jacket for spring (similar to this one) as an early birthday present and every time I put it on it makes me feel good. My friend Allie always says that what you wear can totally improve your mood and confidence – I could not agree more!

Phone calls with friends, siblings, and my parents. I’ve been trying to get away from texting and go back to the old school phone call and it’s been really nice to hear someone’s voice on the other line. A great tip for any international friendships: my friend Roxy and I have been leaving each other voice messages through WhatsApp. Because of the time difference (she’s in Paris) it’s nearly impossible to find a time to talk on the phone, so now we can get the same personal feel of talking without having to schedule a phone call weeks in advance.

Speaking of Paris… I recently started having weekly Skype sessions with a French tutor from France via italki. We just chat in French about anything that comes to mind – really fun and feels good to challenge my brain. My goal is to be conversational again in French by our honeymoon there next summer.

Investing in good coffee at home. We used to buy our coffee from Trader Joe’s every week, which wasn’t bad, but after we got this coffee grinder for Christmas, we’ve been getting fresh beans from local coffee shops and it makes the morning a little more pleasant. The smell of freshly ground coffee in the morning is to die for.

Mornings have always been my favorite part of the day – so much promise of the day ahead! (and coffee) – and we’ve really perfected our Saturday morning routine. We’ll go to crossfit at 7am, be the first one’s in Trader Joe’s by 8:15, and then enjoy our coffee and Kevin’s epic breakfast sandwiches (2 fried eggs, shredded cheddar, avocado with lemon & sea salt, sometimes bacon, on a whole wheat english muffin) while watching The Pioneer Woman on TV. Sounds silly, but this ritual has easily become my favorite part of the week.

Jamming out to Broadway show tunes in the car. I used to spend hours in the basement rehearsing my Broadway debut and it’s been fun putting the pipes back in action. My belting song of choice: Take Me or Leave Me (so basic).

Another thing I’ve been enjoying in the car, is Audible. I love my podcasts, but sometimes all of the personal development and motivation can blur together. It’s been fun listening to books purely for pleasure. I quickly finished The Nightingale, which I highly recommend, and just bought When Breath Becomes Air, I’ve read so many wonderful things about it.

What little things are bringing you joy today and this weekend?!

Photo by Roxanne Matiz

On Shedding Creative Hibernation


HI!! The temps are about 20 degrees warmer since my last post and it’s getting lighter later outside now! Yup it’s been a while. If you couldn’t tell from my last post, or if you’ve been following my sporadic blogging journey over the past 5 years, you might be picking up on a pattern: I tend to hibernate from January to March. Not in the fun let’s cozy up and watch Netflix kind of hibernate, but the WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE??! kind of hibernate.

As much as I prefer the cooler temps to the summer climes, you could say that I experience seasonal depression. Every thing is honky dory up until New Year’s Day and then I take a cold, hard look at my life and the past year, decide that last year was not good enough, and now this will be the year that I lose 10 pounds, start a business, become fluent in French. I start out with such high expectations and am all go-go-go, until it all inevitably becomes too much, I get burnt out, resentful, and then just hide in shame until the sun thaws the world again mid-March.

So here we are in The Thaw. I’ve sat down to write out an editorial calendar for the blog for the past 3 weeks in a row and just cannot bring myself to do it. Healthy weeknight recipes, money-saving wedding tips. Every time I tried to think, I came up empty. The harder I tried, the more frustrated I became, the more barren my creativity felt, and repeat.

But yesterday I tried something different. I tried this intuition writing exercise I heard about on Jess Lively’s podcast. I wrote to my intuition: what is it that I am meant to do that won’t leave me feeling so listless, unsatisfied, uninspired, and tired? Without really thinking, I just started to write: You can do whatever you want, you just have to do it. You like the security of your job and that isn’t going anywhere right now, so use this time to figure out who you are and what you truly enjoy. There isn’t one thing that you are ready to commit to right now, so don’t, just do it all as long as it makes you happy. Just continue to do what you are doing and eventually clarity or an opportunity will arise that will lead you. Live in the now. Do the things, stop talking about them. Connect with people. Share what you are experiencing. 

I figured what better a way to share my creative rut/frustrations/growth/exploration and connect with people than right here. Whenever I go through my existential winter hibernation, I always feel like I am the only one who is this crazy, who has no idea what I’m doing. Although I know that’s not true – fake it til you make it, baby! – when you’re in the hibernation hole, it can get lonely and hard to see anyone else outside feeling the same way. So for anyone else out there feeling this way or who has gone through this, tell me, what do you do to shed those heavy, winter layers?

Image via A Clothes Horse

Mind Shift


It’s been a little while since my last post. Between traveling for work, a ski weekend with friends, and general work busyness, it’s been hard to make the time to get around to blogging. The Type-A in me wants to say if you really wanted to make writing a post a priority, you would just do it. But in an effort to not always beat myself up for “not doing enough”, I’ve decided to shift my perspective. Rather than thinking I’m lazy, I’m too busy, I’m not trying hard enough and feeling guilty for not meeting these unspoken expectations I set for myself, I’ve been thinking it just hasn’t been a priority recently. 

When things get busy and stressful I tend to make it only worse on myself because I’ll focus on all of the other stuff that I want to do or need to do but don’t have the time/energy/money to do right now. I feel guilty and start to resent the things that were meant to bring me joy. Blogging, finishing a book, signing up for a French class. These things of pleasure soon become another to-do list item, a nagging reminder of all the things I wish I could accomplish every day in this unrealistic, fantasy life.

So in the recent swirl of everything, I’ve been focusing on what are the priorities for me right now: getting enough sleep, eating home-cooked meals, breaking a sweat, spending quality down-time with Kevin. I’ve been telling myself that if I just let myself be with those 4 fundamentals until I start to feel less crazed, the desire to blog, read, and take a class will naturally come back when the balance and time is right. Luckily that only meant a week or so away from the blog before the true urge to want to write came inching back in, not the nagging have to write feeling.

For any other Type-A, perfectionist, wanna-do-it-alls out there, hopefully you can relate to this feeling. I’m not saying that it’s easy or that I haven’t still felt guilty from taking a mini blog break, but making a conscious effort to make this simple mind shift has helped slow down and dilute the anxious spiral of the I shoulds that often arise in times of stress.

Southwestern Mountain Inspired Wedding


One of my favorite parts of planning our wedding has been deciding on our vision for the day. It’s almost like developing a brand: what wedding style and vibe best represents and suits you as a couple. Once you nail down what that looks like, it helps to narrow down the search for venues, vendors, and details that can bring your vision to life. For us, we wanted the day to play up our love of classic old school New York and Rhode Island. It’s been so much fun searching for the perfect stationery, flowers, and table settings that will embody that 1920’s city glamour.

The great part about your vision is that it is truly yours. The options are seriously endless when it comes to picking a theme and vibe that fits you as a couple. So while I could obsess about our wedding all day, I’ve also loved getting inspired by other wedding styles and imagining what menu or flowers I would choose to bring that to life. While recently scouring Pinterest I came across the stunning image above of a mountain wedding in Utah. I loved the natural elements and the southwestern feel, so I thought it would be fun to share my spin on a colorful, southwestern mountain inspired wedding. Here’s what I’d do…

the dress

the shoes

the invitations

the flowers 2

the table

the cake

I am loving this turquoise and pink motif, and would be such a fresh contrast to the snowy mountains. So what do you guys think? Would you like to see more of these types of posts in the future? Let me know below!

Images: the venue / the dress / the shoes / the invitations / the flowers / the table / the cake

Sweet & Spicy Greek Meatballs


I’m currently en route to Chicago for my first ever business trip. It feels so grown up to say that and at the same time I feel like I’m a bit of a poser – since when did I get old enough to go on a real business trip? I’m excited but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bit nervous. As much as the daily grind can get monotonous, I also live for our routine and little rituals: morning crossfit, recapping our days over home-cooked dinners, nightly Louie binges on the couch with the cats. It always takes some shaking up in the usual motions to appreciate how good things already are.


So before I headed out for the Windy City, it felt so good to indulge in one of my favorite weekly rituals: our Sunday night dinners. I always love to cook on Sundays because there’s no pressure to get dinner on the table after a busy day at work. I can really savor the process, experiment, and take time with it. I also love this time because Kevin and I will usually recap on our favorite moments from the weekend and talk about what we’re excited about/not so excited about in the week ahead. It’s those last few hours of the weekend when I feel like we can really breathe and take it all in before getting swept up in the swirl of normal work life.


Not surprisingly, we usually opt for dishes of the comforting fashion for our Sunday night dinners: pastas, chilis, chicken parm, something stewing in the slow-cooker. There’s something about comfort food on a Sunday night that feels so nostalgic and bittersweet. So this week, I was inspired by Giada’s take on lamb meatballs from her cookbook Weeknights with Giada. The lamb meatballs at Landmarc were one of my diehard favorite items when I worked at Benchmarc (and still are), so I was excited to give these a try. Though these weren’t quite as good as Landmarc’s, they were pretty close and did a pretty good job of quieting my nerves before heading out of my comfort zone this week.

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Sweet & Spicy Greek Meatballs (adapted from Giada)

Serves 3-4


1 lb ground lamb

2 cups cooked couscous, divided

3 scallions, white & green parts, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 egg, beaten

1/4 cup flat leaf Italian parsley, chopped, plus more for garnish

5 tbsp olive oil, divided

3 tbsp dried mint

1 1/2 tbsp dried oregano

1 1/2 tsp cumin

2 tbsp cinnamon, divided

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 25-oz jar marinara sauce

2 cinnamon sticks

  1. In a large bowl, gently combine ground lamb, 1 cup couscous, scallions, garlic, egg, olive oil, dried mint, oregano, cumin, 1 tbsp cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. Season with salt and pepper. Roll into 2-inch balls, about 16.
  2. Heat a large heavy-bottomed pot (like a dutch oven) over medium-high heat. Add about 3 tbsp olive oil. Once the oil is hot, fry the meatballs until browned on all sides (you might need to do this in batches depending how large your pot is).
  3. Once the meatballs are all browned, add the jar of sauce, remaining 1 tbsp cinnamon, and 2 cinnamon sticks. Lower heat and simmer for another 15 minutes for the meatballs to continue cooking and so the flavors come together in the sauce.
  4. Serve the meatballs and sauce on top of remaining 1 cup cooked couscous and top with fresh parsley.

Wedding Insider: Allison Koehler

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Today I’m excited to announce a new column that will be gracing the pages of this blog: Wedding Insider. As a Sociology major, I’ve always loved to interview people and am so curious to learn more about what people do and how they got there. As I’ve been exploring the wedding industry – both as a future bride and as a possible career – I wanted to share some of the questions and insights I’ve gleaned through my conversations with current wedding experts. First up on the Wedding Insider is none other than my BFF Allie. Not only did Allie style our engagement pictures, which was so much fun and came out amazing, but I reach out to her on a near daily basis for all my fashion questions. This gal has some serious style and is the most genuine and hilarious person I know. Without further ado, here’s Allie!

Allie interview

Thanks so much, Allie! Be sure to check out Allie’s work and her blog at or follow her on Instagram for daily fashion inspiration and tips.


Images by Julia Elizabeth

Vegan & Gluten Free Cauliflower Alfredo


This weekend was an absolute dream. The blizzard did not disappoint – we got a solid 2+ feet and it was the perfect excuse to stay home, lounge around, eat/drink more than we should, and more importantly get back to living in the moment (something I’ve been working on recently). Though we ate a sizable amount of boxed brownies, guac, and cheese from Trader Joe’s, I also spent a fair amount of time in the kitchen making some deliciously hearty meals, like these Pineapple Chorizo Rice Bowls and Chili Garlic Beef Stir Fry with Coconut Jasmine Rice.


On Sunday I wanted to balance out some of the meat-heavy dishes we devoured earlier in the weekend, so I opted for this vegan and gluten free rendition of “alfredo” made with spaghetti squash and cauliflower. Through the recent “cleanse” we did to start off the new year, we gradually worked towards eating mostly animal and gluten free. Though I’ll admit, we definitely missed the feeling of fullness from animal protein, my body definitely feels better without gluten in it. Save for the boxed brownies this weekend, we’ve been trying to transition to a mostly gluten free diet, only splurging when it’s really worth it (really good crusty bread, homemade fresh pasta, or a beautifully crafted pastry).


This dish does not disappoint. The alfredo is full of flavor and richness thanks to full fat coconut milk, cashews, and raw garlic. The cauliflower beefs this up and makes it more filling. And I just love the consistency of spaghetti squash – it totally fulfills my pasta cravings and leaves me feeling a lot less bloated and more comfortable after eating. This would be a great recipe to make for weekday lunches: roast up a couple spaghetti squashes and heads of cauliflower, make a big batch of the sauce, then keep all the components in separate containers and mix together just before serving. It’s indulgent and comforting enough to pair with the 2 feet of snow outside, but balanced and healthy to bring you back to reality when the snow inevitably starts to melt.

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Vegan & Gluten Free Cauliflower Alfredo (adapted from Half Baked Harvest)

Serves 2


1 medium spaghetti squash, halved & seeds removed

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

2 tbsp olive oil

1 cup full fat canned coconut milk

3/4 raw cashews

juice of 1 lemon

1/4 cup nutritional yeast or parmesan cheese (if not vegan)

2 garlic cloves, smashed

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes + more for serving

1/2 cup julienned basil leaves

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place squash cut-side up on the baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Roast for 30-45 minutes until the flesh is tender and easily shreds.
  2. At the same time, place the cauliflower on another baking sheet lined with foil. Toss with remaining tbsp oil, cayenne pepper, and salt. Roast 25-30 minutes until tender and slightly browned & crispy.
  3. Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor, pulse coconut milk, cashews, nutritional yeast, garlic, lemon juice, and crushed red pepper flakes until smooth. Season with salt if needed (mine did not need any extra salt).
  4. When the spaghetti squash is done, scoop out the flesh from the skin and divide between 2 plates. Top with roasted cauliflower and drizzle with alfredo sauce. Top with fresh basil and more crushed red pepper flakes for extra heat.

Friday 3X3


Happy Friday! The anticipation of this winter storm has been palpable all week, and today it was only heightened by the fact that it’s Friday. I’m afraid to admit that I cannot wait for a big snow storm – I don’t want to get too excited and then end up with a disappointing dusting after all the hype – but the New Englander in me is so ready for some serious snow. We’re stocking up on movies rented from the library, boxed brownies, and lots of wine, so regardless if we get as much snow as they say, I plan to have a relaxing, cozy weekend at home.

Today I’m excited to introduce a new weekly post that I’ll be doing on Fridays: Friday 3X3. This is where I’ll share 3 different links, articles, products, pictures in the 3 areas of food, weddings, and wellness that caught my eye or inspired me this week. Hopefully this will give you some good reading, scrolling, or listening for the wintery weekend ahead!

I’ve planned some delicious comforting meals for the weekend, starting off with these pineapple chorizo rice bowls for dinner tonight. If you haven’t already stocked up for the weekend, make this one!

We’ve been making these gluten-free overnight oats for breakfast this week and they are so good and truly take less than 5 minutes to make. Make a couple jars on Sunday for breakfast on-the-go throughout the week!

I always love to know what people are eating. This realistic and diary-esque approach to meal planning inspired me to do something similar for the blog soon…

Check out my tips for savoring the engagement phase over on the blog for Two Little Birds – a Philly-based wedding planner for anyone in the area.

I’m not crafty or patient enough to want to do any DIY stuff for our wedding, but if it involves wine, I might give it a chance. These wine-stained cards would make such chic escort cards.

Pending the weather tomorrow, we’re planning to go to Williams-Sonoma to start our registry there, and this visual guide on what to register for in your kitchen is seriously comprehensive, albeit a little intense.

Loving the new podcast Life Lately from this blogger I’ve followed for years. This episode about making a home wherever you are really resonated with me – we’ve been thinking about moving back to NYC, but this was a good reminder to still appreciate where you are now.

I talked about starting a capsule wardrobe a few months back. This series about creating a minimalist wardrobe is awesome for anyone interested in getting started.

Speaking of moving back to NYC, I just started reading this book by Kevin’s favorite author Pete Hamill and am totally enamored. This article by Hamill about the transformation of the city is worth a read.

Side note, pretty sure Kevin and I have to buy this book Cabin Porn, which is where the above picture is from. Hello, dream life.