The Runners’ Club.

Last weekend, I ran slow. Like, painfully slow. Like, can’t put it in writing slow. And it was a pretty big bummer. I started running at the beginning of the summer as a break from spinning and lifting, and as I added mileage, I kinda fell in love with pounding the pavement. It never got easier, but I got better at pushing harder and being positive about the pain.

It all started with an accidental 5-mile run that jumped to 6, 7, 8 before I knew it. Four weeks into the summer, and into this whole new runner vibe, I was up to 9 miles and thinking about signing up for a half marathon. I obsessively looked for one in Philadelphia, then DC, then Baltimore, but kept stopping myself from actually registering.

Gearing up for Peru, I started to get nervous that a week away from my 20 miles a week regimen would ruin me. I told myself I would try to run on the trip, but with the elevation and general exhaustion from all the llama lovin’, I got home 20 miles short of what I was planning on doing abroad. Being the psycho I am, I jumped right back into my weekly routine immediately, giving myself no time to work back up to where it was. And as you’d guess, it didn’t go so hot. I ended up hurting my IT band and putting myself out of commission for a handful of weeks.

Those two weeks took a toll on my confidence. I felt like I’d gotten injured because I wasn’t strong enough, or fast enough, but really, I just wasn’t being smart enough. I debated ditching the effort and dropping back into my normal workout habits. But slowly, and surely, I started making back up to where I was. It’s all a mental game of perseverance and resilience. I’m slower. It’s harder. And I regret not listening to my body when I had the chance. 

This week, I originally planned to be running at least 10 miles at a time, maybe around 25 miles a week. And I can’t. And it’s okay. It’s all progress and the road isn’t always flat and linear. The podcasts will keep playing, the timer will keep ticking, and I’ll keep jogging along until I cross some finish-line, sometime, somewhere. 


Stuck in my head: Haircut // Ryan Beatty
Snap it: Navy Yard, Philadelphia

Cheesesteaks and Chokers: The Finale.

Well, the end has come and gone. I said goodbye to Fishtown, goodbye to photo shoots, goodbye to the team that taught me how to use a french press. To learn more about my time with URBN, consult my last post. This post is a tribute to a city that’s no longer new to me. “Dirty old Philly,” as our old lady neighbor once called it, is now a friend of mine.

Before this week’s outfits and eats and smiley moments, I want to take a second to thank the three best roommates I could’ve ever asked for. To Nina, thank you for introducing me to cookie crisps, knowing I’ll always be willing to take a photo of (or with) you, and being my Sample Sale ally. To Leena, you are the kindest, gentlest soul I’ve ever encountered and every interaction with you leaves me wishing I was a better person. Thank you for also talking Bravo with me while the others judged from a distance. And to Marg, you’re my ultimate adventure buddy. From walking 4 miles around the city by accident that first weekend to supporting and encouraging my peanut butter/mixed nuts addiction, you will never truly know how much this summer meant to me!

Okay, enough with the sap. This is the grand finale of my time in Philly. Back to the business school, I go.

Last #OOTDs

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Last Suppers

The Best Week Yet

Well, that’s a wrap. This city’s definitely been good to me, too bad I never had the cheesesteak to prove it.

Farewell, Philadelphia.


Stuck in my head: Malibu 1992 // COIN
Snap it: Fishtown

URBN In Conclusion

As you know, this summer I worked as the Marketing Food and Beverage Intern for URBN. I worked specifically on marketing efforts for the restaurant brands Pizzeria Vetri, Amis Trattoria, and Bar Amis, with a little work on Terrain Cafe and Terrain Events.

This was my first time working for a family-owned cultured business within a bigger corporation. Things were more hands-on, personal, and impactful than I ever imagined. I worked on ground marketing to connect the restaurants to their communities, as well as big market analysis to determine new locations of interest. I also got to get down and dirty in social… and digital… and design. 

The biggest takeaways from my internship, like the others I’ve done, were the lessons a-la-cart my managers taught me along the way.  I was so fortunate to work directly under a team of two talented PR and Marketing Superstars. Larissa and Brittany welcomed me to the team but they also immediately threw me in and expected me to work hard, do well, and learn. 

But back to #professionalvibes, I want to share the top two lessons I pulled away from my time with URBN.

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1. Make Your Questions Count

I am a huge question asker. For some reason, my brain doesn’t think “Google It,” I’d rather run to the best source and ask them instead. My team was patient and kind in answering my one million and one questions (think everything from “what’s Pizzeria Vetri’s Pantone code to how do adults make friends when they move to a new city,” but my team also imparted a little wisdom on me in my final touch base. They said I do a great job of asking questions to understand, but taking initiative and solving some of my own lower level asks can sometimes speak louder than curiosity. They encouraged me to keep being inquisitive, but to make each question count. 

2. Have Creative Confidence

I’m the first to criticize anything I design. Despite being in a design program, spending numerous sessions working on graphics for GNI, and making things for fun, I am sincerely not a fan of my own work. It wasn’t until this summer when I was really thrown into InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator that I can finally say I’m probably not the world’s most insecure designer anymore. My team depended on me to create collateral that was practical but also creative. I’d like to believe I’ve mastered the business card and tablecloth designs, and last week I made the first graphic for Instagram I’ve ever actually liked. Spoiler alert, it will definitely be in my portfolio. 

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Overall, I’ve been so lucky to have this opportunity. The URBN culture is truly like no other and I’ve loved bringing my Fashion Week vibes to the office every day. There’s no way to know where this crazy world will take me next summer, but I’m so grateful for all I got to experience here. 

A special thanks to my badass manager, Brittany Connor, as well as my social guru and personal Instagram picker, Larissa Crossley. They’re pretty great. More thank yous to my recruiter, Wesley, and other teammates, Dante, Tia, Adam, Chris, Rita, Emily, Bri, etc etc.

Think you’re interested in your own URBN experience? The URBN recruiting team will be visiting UMD in September, so keep your eyes peeled. Positions for next summer also come out in September. Double whammy.


Stuck in my head: Coast to Coast // Houndmouth
Snap it: “Thank You” graphic for Brittany!! (modeled after a print from Pinterest)

Cheesesteaks and Chokers: Week Nine.

The theme of this week: pure demin takeover. It’s insane to think that the life I’ve created here is coming to an end. Only seven more days of adulting before I go back to tailgates and textbooks. Not gonna lie, I do miss the Terp life.

Here’s week nine and all it’s glory. To be honest, the week was packed with fun but I don’t have the photos to prove it. Did it really happen if there are no pics? Had a little break from behind the screen. No munchies, not many moments. But don’t worry, the outfits are all there. Priorities, you know?

Lookin’ Good

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Feelin’ Good.

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Stuck in my head: 11:11 // Arkells
Snap it:

The Big 100- “Reading Revival” Revisted.

Everyone loves a good Netflix binge. Like, who doesn’t want to watch hours of Stassi vs The World (clearly, I’m watching Vanderpump Rules right now). But, almost a year ago, I committed to refinding my love for reading. And this week, I’m reporting back to say I found it, celebrated it, and have held onto it. 

The number of books I’ve read throughout the summer and semester is probably pretty average. It ranges from 1-3 a month and yes, one of them is always the Girls’ Night In book club pick. At first, progress was slow and it took an effort to turn pages instead of pressing play, but over time, the value of reading started to really show itself. 

“Reflecting on the differences in the characters I was reading about lead me to develop an understanding of narratives from different perspectives. A kind of empathy I could bring to the real world.”

Something I’ve noticed is that in times of self-obsession, like extreme stress or mini-meltdowns, empathy with and an attachment to fictional characters can keep you sane. It’s a distraction without complete distance and isolation from all human emotion. It’s a connection without a charge attached. It’s simple and it’s a way to practice loving when you maybe don’t have all yourself to give. 

“There are other women out there that want to grow from the books they’re reading, too. They want to understand the relationships between characters and relate it to their own personal development.”

I read the best book about two weeks ago. It’s topping the charts and is this month’s GNI book. It’s called Educated, by Tara Westover. It’s about the education of a girl raised by a super religious Mormon family. The real kicker is that it’s a memoir. The other real kicker is that it’s impossible to put down. 

There’s a kind of excitement in realizing someone enjoyed the same thing as you. It’s uniting and powerful. All the women in my family had read the book, or are currently reading the book, and I feel so close to them when we talk about it. The differences in interpretation reveal how we differ but also all we share. I love hearing her favorite subplot or her least favorite chapter. I’m getting to jump into the brains of people I love and it’s all because of 300 pages of words. 

So, I’ll end the same way I did in February 2018.

“So to conclude, read a book. Not optional. Please and thank you.”

Find the original story of my Reading Revival here


Stuck in my head: Golden Age // Houndmouth
Snap it: current read: The Handmaid’s Tale featuring my doggie PJ pants

Cheesesteaks and Chokers: Week 8.

At this point, I’m hard-core missing the white stone pillars of my city and have faced the fact that my time in Philly definitely won’t include a cheesesteak. I’ve had an incredible time bouncing from must-see to must-see the past eight weeks, but it’s time to kick it up into full gear for the final two. It’s time for even more thrifting, munching, and binging bad Netflix movies with a bowl of cherries and a spoon of peanut butter. 

This week’s highlights: Amanda’s 21st Surprise Brunch in DC, the perfect swag bag from UO, an outdoor showing of Wonder Woman, bowling at a bar, and an impromptu girls weekend with my Carlie.

Dress code. IMG_8671IMG_8841IMG_8879IMG_8894IMG_9028IMG_9052

And the menu.

 

And the best moments.

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Stuck in my head: Off the Market // Age.Sex.Location Beachhouse
Snap it: UMD Shady Grove rooftop thanks to Julia + for Amanda

@urbn_internships Instagram Takeover

This summer is flying by faster than you can say “where’s the closest coffee shop?” I’ve gotten a lot of questions about what exactly I’m up to at URBN. Luckily, I’ve been given the chance to share the day to day of working with the food and bev team through an Instagram takeover of their internship recruitment profile.

The takeover is a part of a series of intern takeovers. They stretch across department, brand, and age range. And with all the creative energy on campus, they never disappoint. 

You can find my takeover live in the @urbn_internships feed, but I’ve also included it here for all my social media detoxers out there.

Pairs best with a kale, pizza, or whatever your stomach desires. 

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Hi, friends! I’m Jordan and I’m the URBN Food and Beverage Marketing Intern. I’m from outside Washington DC and I’m a junior marketing major at University of Maryland. Get ready to be hungry, this takeover may cause excessive pizza cravings. 

 

URBN owns a handful of restaurants across Philly, CT, DC, and CA. Each restaurant has its own personality with a focus on sourcing local, seasonal ingredients on their menus.. Swipe to explore them all: @pizzeriavetri @terraingardencafe @amistrattoria @bar_amis

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One of my main responsibilities is running the social media for @bar_amis, a URBN restaurant located in the Navy Yard. I’ve had experience with food photography in the past, but this is my first time owning the entire process. I get to do everything from scheduling shoots with the restaurant team to creating campaigns and collateral for events to purposing and posting the content.

That’s all from your neighborhood f+b intern! Thanks for following along on my takeover; hopefully you grabbed a snack (or two) along the way!


Stuck in my head: Take That // CRUISR
Snap it: URBN HQ

Cheesesteaks and Chokers: Weeks 6 and 7

Time keeps getting away from me. Week 6 was only 2 days long, thanks to Peru. But, week 7 returned with all the thrift store finds and Philadelphia sunshines to make up for it.

Here’s week 6 and 7. Highlights include a photo shoot at Pizzeria Vetri, a trip to the famous Philly Art Museum, and a new vintage baby doll maxi dress.

What I Wore

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What I Ate

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What I Loved


Stuck in my head: Beetle // Run River North
Snap it:

The Big 100: “Trading Words for Memories” Revisited.

The first post I want to highlight is this one, Trading Words For Memories, written for my family after my grandfather passed away in December of 2016. It was my first experience of loss, the first time I saw my Dad cry, and the first time I felt like my writing could make someone feel better. In reading the old post, I can hear myself struggle to find the right tone and words to express how I was feeling. 89 posts later, I have more to say. 

“There’s a part of me that wants to fill every hole he left in someone’s life– husband, father, grandfather, friend- but I think his memory and influence will do more good than an overemotional 18 year old trying to be her Dad’s dad.”

Something I’ve always struggled with is feeling guilt in relationships, and wanting to fix things for people, even when it’s not really possible. Experiencing this loss, I think that I wore my Dad’s heaviness more than my own. But through time and support, I learned how resilient people are, and that the best thing we can do is preserve in their memory.

“Staying true to my everything-happens-for-a-reason spirit, I know that all change comes with lessons and love. I am inspired to preserve my relationships with everyone, forgive and forget, because life is short but love lasts so long.”

And at the time, focusing on the positives in my life felt like the greatest takeaway. But since, I’ve started to honor my Grandfather’s memory not with personal lessons, but through questions about who he was. I started asking for stories, recounts of his best reactions, passions he chased throughout his life. Over a year out, I think I know who my Grandpa was even better than I did when he was alive. I feel like I’m reshaping the old, cookie-loving man I’d known into how my parents, cousins, friends of friends knew him. A true intellectual with a weakness for sweets. 

“But in all sincerity, I really believe that each person in your life shapes your character. Thank you for making me who I am today. I know you’re proud, and honestly, so am I.”

But the closing holds true, and I never stop thanking my lucky stars for the incredible role models in my life. 

Find the original moment of reflection here


Stuck in my head: Mission to Mars // RKS
Snap it: terrain cafe, PA

 

The Big 1.0.0.

This week I shared my 100th post and I didn’t even notice. Like talk about letting a big moment slip by. Come on, J, let’s get it together here.

I started my blog back in September of 2016 with this post about losing my blog-ginity and how I wanted to develop my personal edge through writing. The “OK, let’s do this now” came from my, at the time, favorite Instagrammer, and the name came from my love for my campus and my city. 

That’s when the creativity took off and I started to develop my voice. I shared about my internships with CAVA, Marriott, and GNI and started to try new things, like going vegan for a week. I dedicated posts to people that make me so happy and vacations that made me really feel like I was living fully. From burnout to pushing through the push-up pain, I’ve found a passion for writing for other people and become a much more reflective, self-actualized person.

In Summer 2017, I felt like I’d outgrown the image I’d created. I wanted to own my female experience and speak more to social media. That’s when The Next Classic was born, in 12 hours, from my parent’s beachside bedroom. The perspective matured, just as I had in freshman year. In this swap, I can hear a change in the way I saw, and now see, the world around me. 

This post is like bringing the cake to the party, it just felt necessary to round up some of my all-time favorite works and bring them back from the blog graveyard. To celebrate 100, I’m resharing two old posts with new insight.

The first one comes tomorrow.  

My blog has seen me grow professionally and personally and I’m proud of how my work and my character have evolved. It’s time to stop and smell the syntax, but not without a true, sincere thank you to everyone that’s helped me along the way. From Instagram DMs to comments on the site, my family and friends are really the ones who built this. I owe all my confidence, and probably a couple internships, to you. 

I’m still impressed with myself from the “stop and smell the syntax line,” so we’re going to end with that. Let’s stop and smell the syntax, friends. 


Stuck in my head: Butterfly // Delicate Steve
Snap it: Herald Square, 2016. It felt like time to bring this back.

Modern Day Time Machine.

I’ve written before about my dark years. AKA: the eight years that Taylor Swift played on a loop and her picture was plastered on every and any open space within a mile radius of me. At the time, I thought I was *musically living,* now I know I was really just missing out on a whole world of different sounds.

No worries, I was eventually cultured. Enter Spotify, which, not to be dramatic, changed the soundtrack of my future. And now, my favorite compliment to get is “you look like you listen to indie music.” Houndmouth, HAIM, and Hippocampus describe my life better than any pop, country crossover track.

But, as I danced in my nosebleed seat at the Taylor Swift Reputation tour, I couldn’t help crying (and singing) along as she played some of her classics. And I started thinking about the power of music to take you back to such a specific moment, or feeling. The thought has stuck with me, and no matter how many times I sit down to write about it, it’s still hard for me to put into words. It feels almost like a modern day time machine.

And in all of this, I started to think about how it’s not just memories and feelings, but the people you share music with, too. It’s why we avoid certain songs that remind us of certain heartbreaks and make playlists dedicated to people we love. There’s so much life tied into something that we just have to press play to experience.

I wasn’t expecting to be so emotional at the concert. I didn’t even think to wear waterproof mascara; most of Swift’s current songs are more sass and less sob. But, when she played tracks from her first couple albums, it brought me back to long car rides with the best of friends, fifty chairs in a circle around a campfire, and a time of my life when my biggest worry was how I was going to fit more magazine cutouts of Taylor into my shrine. Simpler times, to say the least. It wasn’t a sad, depressing cry. More of a, “wow, things are so different now and I’m so different now” moment.

Change is always confusing. Realizing things aren’t the same always makes us more reminiscent of the past. I love where I am now, but part of me misses where I was when the Red album hit iTunes. It’s okay, life goes on and it keeps getting better, but sometimes it’s nice to be brought back to who you used to be. 


Stuck in my head: Long Live // Taylor Swift
Snap it: Rep Tour!

 

 

All To Do With Peru.

Well, I’ve done it. I’ve walked with the llamas. Stood at the Sungate. And been left breathless by countless flights of stone stairs. Peru was a travelers dream, my Mom’s dream specifically, and we went for the bucket list. Hiked one day of the Inca trail, held a baby alpaca, and saw maaaany guinea pigs on sticks.

I originally wanted to create a post about Peru travel hacks, but I slowly realized the only hacks I have for you are: bring Pepto because altitude sickness is real, a Bluetooth speaker can turn a seven-hour hike into a seven-hour sing-along, and peanut butter is an American hiker’s best friend. 

Peru was definitely a “this is so insanely cool” style vacation. And no surprise, Inca walls are now my new favorite aesthetic. See proof below. 

Here’s my photo diary. Peru edition.

 

 


Stuck in my head: Hostage // Billie Eilish
Snap it: Pisac, Peru (Mitch was very winded post this photo bomb)