city apartment

IMG_5435it’s official: we have an apartment! I’m half excited and half still in shock over the cost of rent in this city (it’s bananas, y’all!). the rent is eye-watering, but we’ll be right in the middle of the city, blocks away from fenway and the famous citgo sign above. I’m incredibly grateful to my in-laws for letting us stay with them while we were apartment hunting. our move-in date is next friday.

since we drove out to boston with only the things we could carry in bess, our buick century, we had next to nothing in terms of furniture/household items. I’ve been shopping for the apartment over the past couple of days, being intentional in buying only items that we need AND love. it’s got to work for us on all levels – function, style, quality, and price. if something’s not quite right, it doesn’t come home with me.  I’d love to share some of the items that have made the cut in upcoming posts. it’s been several years since we’ve had our own place, so I’ve definitely been stockpiling ideas on how to decorate our new home!

here’s a before photo in the meantime:IMG_5433it’s small and I’m not digging the wall-to-wall carpeting, but it’s ours and we’re together. plus, I did say I wanted a white kitchen… ;).


a new adventure

hello from boston! we arrived in town last thursday night after driving through indiana, ohio, new york, and pretty much all of massachusetts. there’s nothing like a road trip to remind you how big & wide this country is!

we decided to make a little trip out of it instead of just powering through the 16-hour drive. we stopped for lunch in toledo, oh and stopped for dinner and the night in buffalo, ny. the next day we visited niagara falls (it was james’ first time!), stopped for lunch in utica, ny, and made it to boston in time for dinner at my in-laws.

I’m so glad we did it that way – we were both in need of a little break, and it was nice to be able to take our time and let ourselves take in the scenery along the way.

IMG_5378img_5393.jpgour little buick, packed to the brim

IMG_5381IMG_5380IMG_5379IMG_5383a food coma at tony packo’s (still dreaming about that stuffed cabbage!)

IMG_5391IMG_5413IMG_5402IMG_5401IMG_5404IMG_5411the original buffalo wings by night, niagara falls boat tour (aka, the site of jim & pam’s wedding) at the falls by day

IMG_5415amazing pad thai at a gem of a restaurant we found in utica

IMG_5416nothing says ‘welcome to massachusetts’ better than a bottle of polar



may clothing budget

one | two | three | four | five | six | seven


st. james x j. crew shirt: $89 $40 on sale + student discount

lauren ralph lauren crossbody: $168 $75 on sale

madewell necklace: $45 $10 on sale + student discount

j. crew factory skirt: $79.50 $32 on sale

j. crew factory tee: $29.50 $11 on sale

j. crew cap-toe flats: $118 $41 on sale + student discount

sperry boat shoes: $90

total: $299

remaining budget for june & july: $201

we’ll be moving to Boston in the beginning of August, which means we need to get serious about planning our move and all of the costs associated with that. to help keep our spending on the lighter end for the next little while, I’m going to start listing out my monthly purchases here on the blog, to keep me accountable and also to share with you guys the things I’m loving & buying. 5% of my present income is about $2000, so that gives me about $500 per quarter to play with for clothing, which is a category that includes everything that I wear (clothes, shoes, accessories) but not makeup.


may was a bit spendy – graduation + all the sales + some actual time off of school over the holiday weekend made for a costly combination. but still, I love what I ended up getting. the purse was a bit of a splurge, even at such a steal of a price since I didn’t really need it and wasn’t looking for a new bag, but I couldn’t resist the classic, timeless shape and ultimately bought it as a graduation present.


what fun stuff have you found lately? have a good weekend!





presents newly graduated nurses would love




after 3 years of intense study, I am 6 weeks away from finishing nursing school! I cannot wait. after getting asked so many times by family and friends about graduation presents I’d like to receive, I figured it was finally time to go ahead and do a legit visual gift guide for the new nurse. here’s what made my list:

healthy snack subscription | as a nurse, every day is unpredictable and taking a break to eat sometimes gets pushed back for awhile. to fend off getting hangry/hypoglycemic, I always keep snacks on hand. I’m not above snacking on the occasional candy bar, but I try to keep my snacks somewhat healthy. having snacks delivered to my door has been a lifesaver for the rotations when grocery shopping was next to impossible. healthy & convenient = great gift.

fancy stethoscope | this was the gift I requested from my parents. I had a perfectly good stethoscope that I used all through nursing school, but getting a more sensitive stethoscope is probably the most classic graduation present for someone in health care, and my parents wanted to gift me something substantial. I had my married name and future title engraved on the bell for that extra touch.

apple watch | any watch with a second hand will do, so this is definitely not a necessity but would make an awesome gift nonetheless. I actually got the apple watch 2 Christmases ago from James, and I have loved using it on the floor. I love being able to quickly and discreetly scan texts and emails without taking out my phone, and I like that it keeps track of my activity level throughout the day as well. I use mine with a silicone band (tons of options on amazon, no need to buy the $50 version from Apple) to make disinfecting after a shift as easy as wiping with an alcohol swab.

portable chargers | of course, what good are fancy gadgets if they don’t have any power? this portable charger is the size of a tube of lipstick – perfect for scrub pockets! – and this keychain makes charging the apple watch on-the-go a breeze. don’t forget the lighting cable!

fleece jacket | hospitals/clinics tend to be cold, so I always like having an extra, no-fuss, versatile layer hanging around. I love these jackets from Columbia.

no-sweat tumbler | for all his/her hot/cold beverage needs. I love that I don’t have to worry about condensation and that it keeps my coffee hot and my water cold for hours. get it in stainless steel for 25% off through June 4. you can also personalize it here (free with purchase through 6/4) or make it part of a set by tossing in a gift card and some reusable straws.

phone wallet | nobody has time to look after a wallet while on the floor. I keep my license, my debit card, and my gas card in this case in my daily life, but on the floor, it comes in super handy whenever I make a quick coffee run down to the cafeteria.

compression socks | because standing on your feet for 12 hours is no joke. my legs feel so much better after a shift when I wear these, but they’re expensive. gifting a pretty pair or two would be a surefire hit.

lunch box* | ironically, eating healthy isn’t exactly my forte. I’ve worked on eating better by bringing my lunch most days. I love this lunchbox – it’s big enough to hold 12+ hours worth of food containers. I can easily fit 2 average sized glass containers, 3 or 4 cans of sparkling water, some snacks and pieces of fruit, with room to spare. plus, I love that they can be personalized!

something snarky | because to do nursing day in and day out, you have to be willing to laugh – and at yourself, too! :)

ID reference cards | handy for reviewing some concepts, especially when you’re new to the floor and trying to find your bearings. love that they just clip on to your ID badge for whenever you need a little bit of a refresher.

fellow nurses, any gift ideas I missed? let me know below – I’d love to see your recommendations!

enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend!

*full disclosure: I am an independent consultant for thirty-one, but I loved and bought their products before I became a consultant. short&lovely readers can receive free shipping and 10% off their order placed here through May 30. send me an email at after you’ve placed your order, and I will apply the discount retroactively.

wearing my heart on my sleeve


the future is female | woman up (similar) | introvert!

…or chest, rather. I’ve been wearing statement sweatshirts nonstop the past month or so. not only are they insanely comfortable, they’ve also been a way to let a little of my personality & thoughts shine through.

they’ve been the sartorial edition of conversation starters. I’ve gotten so many compliments from and engaged in conversations with so many people I don’t know. in these challenging times, talking to each other more can only be a good thing.

what have you been loving to wear lately?

p.s. the ‘introvert!’ one just kills me! I call it my ‘quiet jazz hands’ sweatshirt (said with the aforementioned jazz hands) , which makes my husband laugh like crazy. I’m totally digging the subtle irony. how very introvert of me. ;)

p.p.s. these shirts are great, too, and incredibly relevant.