Skill to Conquer: Stock Your Urban Kitchen

When you’re making the move into your first real apartment, getting your kitchen all set up can be one of the most intimidating tasks. Especially if you’re a new cook (I still consider myself a new cook and it’s been 5 years), you may not be sure what you need, what is worth the expense, or what you’ll want when you have friends (or the occasional date) over. Here are a few suggestions…

Urban Kitchen 1. A pots & pans set including at least one large pot, two sauce pans, and a frying panThis set from Cuisinart includes all you need in a starter kitchen. A big pot for pasta, two smaller pans for sauces and soup, and the all-purpose frying pan. I trust the Cuisinart brand, so it’s worth it to spend a little bit extra money and have four good quality pots rather than 8 crappy pots you’ll need to throw out after a year

2. Wooden spoons, a whisk, and a spatula – I hate plastic large spoons. I just do. Go classic with wooden spoons that will last you decades, and buy as many as you’d like. If you need something like a pasta spoon or fryer basket, get stainless steel if you can. Stash them in a cute vase or pitcher on your kitchen counter

3. A decent knife set – Doesn’t need to be something super fancy, just high quality enough that you can sharpen the knives if needed and not so dull that you’ll hurt yourself. I actually have this set from Ikea and I’m very happy with it

4. A tea kettle – Not only do I have at least one cup of tea a day, but I think it’s so welcoming when you come into someone’s apartment for a visit and they immediately offer you a a cup of tea. Keep a a nice tea kettle around that you like to look at in your kitchen

5. Popcorn – I never buy microwave popcorn, now that I know how easy it is to make my own at home in a big pasta pot. There is literally no comparison. Perfect for game night or Netflix dates (you can find a recipe here)

6. Cheese plate – Again, a great must-have for the urban kitchen if you need a cheese plate with some wine to chill out at the end of the day, or like to have little bites for guests to pick on while you make dinner (or wait for the Seamless to arrive). I like this one that is also a chalkboard

7. Fun dishes – I am OBSESSED with Fishs Eddy in the city. Not only do they have quirky dishware, but you can also mix and match basics for an amazing price. You can’t go wrong with white dishes (with a little flare) for every day, but fun salt & pepper shakers make a great tableside conversation piece

8. Crockpot  - In the winter, it’s a life saver. For very little money, you have a machine that will cook dinner for you and keep it warm and tasty until you get home

9. A plant – You need some life in your kitchen. If you can grow some herbs, awesome. If not, pick a plant that doesn’t need to much sun or water. Even if it’s a cactus, you’ll love having some green when you’re making a salad or gabbing with girls over drinks

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Quiet Moments

MBed

pillows.throw.dish

I’m really looking forward to some quiet brainstorming this weekend. I have lots to think about and get excited for, and some of that includes updates right here on the blog. I find that while weekends used to be a time for me to let loose and forget the week, I now look forward to these two days as a time when I can really get stuff done and take care of the most important things on my mind.

Here is how I take advantage of the quiet moments in a weekend:

Spend time mid-afternoon or early afternoon in bed (see above) – Even if I don’t need nap, I use it as a time to unwind and just be with myself

Get outside without ear buds – Whether you’re in a park, on a run, or in the subway, unplug and don’t look at a screen or fill your ears

Cook a new recipe – I am so quiet and in the zone when I cook. Following instructions and creating something yummy is so rewarding

Have a happy weekend!

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Meet us at the Intern Queen Party

I’m so excited to share that I’ll be speaking on the panel at the 4th Annual Intern Queen Party at 404 in New York City on Wednesday! M and I attended the first Intern Queen party and met tons of new hopeful interns and professionals including Lauren Berger.

Intern Queen Party

The party is to celebrate the end of summer internship season with a panel of internship coordinators and executives from Macy’s, Sirius XM, Us Weekly, HuffPost, DoSomething.org, Chanel, NBC Universal, the Rachel Ray Show and more. We’ll be discussing advice you need to move forward in your career and how we each got started in the industry. I’m so honored to be a part of the panel.

Details about the party are below and you can get your ticket here. Tweet using #InternQueenParty to join the conversation and we hope to see you on July 30th at 7:00pm!

p.s. If you don’t live in NYC, there’s a party in Washington DC also on August 5th.

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“Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself”

The above quote is one of my favorites from Gabrielle Bernstein. Gabby uses the phrase as a call to get rid of all the crap in your life that is blocking you from your true self. I think this is a great mantra for your career path and day-to-day work life as well, but my version comes with a little tough love.

It’s not uncommon to feel like a victim of what is happening to you in work or the job search. When your pitch goes unanswered, your boss is too busy to meet, or your resume has gotten no responses, it can feel like the universe is working against you. Here’s a little harsh reality – if you turn the problem inward and see what you can do about it personally, often you can find an answer and shake up the pattern. The victim mentality (“This is just busy work”/”Everyone is ignoring my cover letter”/”I’m just not good enough to get the job I love”) does you no favors.

Here are a few ways you can “check yourself before you wreck yourself” at work:

Get in front of the mirror and be honest - Time to get real. What lies are you telling yourself about your work? Are you pretending to be dedicated to the job search but doing little more than a quick indeed.com hunt once a day? Do you get negative about a task you hate doing, so you rush it and make mistakes only to make you hate it more? Give yourself the good, hard truth. Are you really doing your best work, or are nasty little negative thoughts and intentions messing it up?

Start from scratch - Whenever I want a new start, I write out all of my negative thoughts and worries until I can’t write anymore. Through all the rants, I pull out what REALLY needs to be addressed (my resume needs to be reworked, I need to get out of office politics), and I trash the rest. You can start with a new, clean slate and a fresh impression. That’s the beauty of having a career – if you think you’re stuck in a rut, there is almost always a way out if you look with a fresh pair of eyes.

Surround yourself with people who want to work hard too  – In my experience, workplace Negative Nancies either a)want to slack off and not do any work for a number of reasons or b) Like to complain about work so it seems like they’re working hard or c)work far too hard, don’t help themselves, and are generally unhappy. Do you really want to be any of these three? Find people in your school, community or office who you admire for their work ethic. Take them to lunch or notice their note-taking habits in a meeting. Pick up some good habits for yourself – these are free gifts!

See yourself succeeding - If you picture yourself happy at your job on a daily basis, down to what you do each morning at your desk and the lunch break you take midday, I guarantee you will get there. It might not be tomorrow, but if you start thinking about what would make you happy at work and strive towards that in every way you can, I promise you’ll find you are inherently working harder and opportunities will open for you. Just the way karma likes to pay the positive people back.

 

Do you find yourself in a personal wreck and not sure how to get out? How do you check yourself?

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