Ditching the Futon: 5 things to splurge on for your first post-grad apartment

The majority of us are flat out broke the first time we move out of mom and dad’s house. You might be moving for a new job opportunity, to go to grad school or just for your own independence. Whatever the reason, you probably know the feeling of having your car jam-packed with second hand furniture and  hand-me-down household items. It’s great to have family willing to help you out on your new journey into adulthood, but there’s probably some things you’re going to want to buy for yourself once you’re settled and making big-kid money.

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Happy Memorial Day Weekend

This Memorial Day Weekend, I’ll be spending time with my family in Rochester. I’ll be away until Wednesday, which mean you might not see a post up until late next week. I hope all of you guys take some time out from your busy schedules to spend some time with family and friends–I know I will be! Happy Memorial Day Everyone, catch you next week 🙂
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Six things your Starbucks barista wishes you knew

I know this post is a little bit different from what I typically write about, but I’ve been hearing a lot shade being thrown around at Starbucks baristas lately. I thought it was time I protect my own and give the internet a new perspective on the coffee conglomerate we all know and love. So here’s my Starbucks story:

Around this time last year, I ended my short stint as a Starbucks barista. I only worked there for five short months, but I was an employee through the worst and busiest season of the year. I worked through the holidays at one of the busiest shops in my area. To sum it up, it was hell.

I was trying to learn one of the most complicated jobs I’ve ever had during a time when people were busy, cranky and there was constantly a line wrapping around the store. My experience with Starbucks proved to be a serious challenge, but I also met a lot of really cool people who completely changed the way I view Starbucks as a company and gave me a new perspective on the people in the green aprons. Needless to say, I thought my experience was worth sharing.

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Here’s six things your Starbucks barista wishes you knew.

1. They don’t care if you use the wrong drink names

They know that a medium is a grande and a small is a tall. Don’t be afraid to just say “small.” Nobody cares. No need to correct yourself either, because again, nobody cares.

2. No one will judge you if you don’t know anything about coffee

I used to get a lot of timid customers who would stare at the menu board not understanding any of it only to blurt out a drink they’ve never heard of at the last second. The baristas can smell your confusion from a mile away. If you have a question, just ask. It’s better than having to remake your drink because you hate it.

3. They’re extremely well trained

Starbucks is the number one game in town for a reason. It’s because their baristas are highly trained in making sure you get the damn near perfect amount of foam on your latte. Those gladiators in the green aprons are straight bosses with an espresso machine — never underestimate that.

4. They probably got your name wrong because they’re trying to get your drink made quickly

So your name was spelled wrong on your cup. If that’s the worst thing that’s happened to you today, you’re pretty lucky. If your drink is good and you didn’t have to wait twenty minutes to get it, I would call that a win.

5. They’re not all hipster, coffee connoisseur know-it-alls — they can actually be really down to earth

No, baristas aren’t all tattooed vegans slinging coffee to pay their way through liberal arts college. Actually, I met a lot of people just like me when I started working at Starbucks. It was intimidating to start working there without knowing much about an espresso machine, but everyone was really cool and willing to help.

6. They have regulars and know them by name

You’d think that a national chain like Starbucks wouldn’t have the hometown coffee shop feel, but Starbucks can be a place where everybody knows your name. Weekday morning regulars become friends you chat with daily. Don’t be afraid to chat it up with your favorite barista next time your in your local Starbucks. They might just get to know you so well that they’ll have your drink ready by the time you get to the counter (that actually happens by the way). Starbucks is just like any other local coffee shop.

Being a Starbucks barista is pretty intense job, especially when you’re dealing with long lines and cranky weekend customers. So, before you post a photo to Instagram complaining that the hipster coffee slave spelled your name wrong on the cup of your double, tall, nonfat, extra foam, two-pump caramel latte with extra drizzle, remember that someone just like you made that drink with love. Respect your baristas.

#DearMe: International Women’s Day

So here’s something I’ve never done before. Watch my ugly mug on film, giving my younger self some advice for YouTube’s #DearMe campaign in honor of International Women’s Day!

My favorite YouTube Channels:




Alejandra Costello



The Struggle Sunday: New Year’s Resolutions

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We all know how hard the struggle can be. It’s just so. real. There are so many small things that make life a huge pain in the ass. We tell ourselves “This week, I’m getting it together. I’m gonna eat healthy, go to the gym, and keep my apartment clean every. single. day.” On Sunday, we make it our weekly goal to put on our big girl and boy panties, give the world the finger and be awesome at life. But, somehow, by 3 p.m. Tuesday, there are dirty clothes all over the floor, the sink is full of dishes, and the gym is a no-go because, well … Netflix. So, I’ve dedicated Sunday’s to talking about some of life’s biggest struggle’s that millennials face, and the ways we can make getting our shit together (sorry, mom) just a little bit easier.

This week, let’s talk about New Year’s Resolutions. You know, those goals you set two months ago that went out the window sometime in early February? Yeah, those really suck. Here’s a little news flash: as of today, it’s March. It’s seriously the third month of the year. Time might be flying, but there is still enough to recuperate. If you’re struggling to get back on the wagon with your resolutions, try these tips before November comes around and you’re struggling to lose weight, travel, save money and floss your teeth more so you can tell yourself you kind of kept your 2015 resolution.

1. Organize your stuff to make it physically easier to keep your resolution.

One of my resolutions was to take better care of my teeth. That started with actually going to the dentist for the first time in 3 years (I didn’t have insurance #TheStruggle). Next, I decided I needed to start flossing my teeth more. I used to think “Who does that?” then I realized you actually need to floss, or you’ll have a huge dental bill.

Just telling myself to floss wasn’t working. Probably because it’s so. freakin. annoying. So, I reorganized my bathroom countertop so that I had floss picks sitting right there, staring me in the face, only one hand motion away. Since then, I’ve been flossing more, probably still less than I should (it’s still annoying), but I’m getting back on track to making it a habit.

2. Set smaller goals.

A year is 365 days. That’s kind of a long time to tell yourself you’re going to start doing something. There’s always next month, week or even day. Try setting smaller goals that take a week or two weeks to accomplish, and make sure they have a hard deadline. It will be more difficult to flake on your resolutions if you’re working on them a little bit at a time. If you’re trying to save money, try to put a small amount away each week. If you’re trying to lose weight, shoot for 1 lb. per week. If you’re trying to get organized, pick one small area of the house and give yourself two weeks to organize it. You get the idea.

3. Get organized.

I really couldn’t help myself with this one. Bur really, organizing at it’s essence is really just pre-planning–setting things up ahead of time to make things easier for yourself down the road. Make sure you’re always pre-planning, pre-packing and pre-arranging to make it easier for you to accomplish your goal. For example, if you’re trying to work out in the morning at least twice a week, sign up for two AM classes at the gym (going to a class is easier than trying to motivate yourself in the morning, by the way), and lay your clothes out on your nightstand. When you’re alarm goes off your clothes will be right there next to you, waiting, making it easier for you to get up and out the door.

4. Track your progress by writing it out on a calendar or planner.

Schedule your goals in advance on a weekly, monthly or daily basis. Make to-do lists with what you want to accomplish. Do you want to drink 8 glasses of water per day? Write out “water” in your planner with eight check boxes next to it, or even schedule times of the day for you to go fill up your water bottle. Planning to fail is failing to plan. I sound like your mom, but it’s totally true.

5. Reward yourself for reaching your goals.

Plan something special to treat yourself to when you’ve accomplished your resolution. Spa days, trips, or even meals can serve as great motivation. Alejandra Costello keeps her exercise goals by giving herself a sticker when she goes to the gym. Do what works for you.

When it comes to New Year’s Resolutions, the struggle is real, but the good news is, it’s only the very beginning of March. There is still time. So use these tips to “keep on keepin’ on,” as they say, and you’ll be back on track in no time.

Have a life struggle you need some encouragement with? Let me know in the comments, tweet me @qqquimby016 or e-mail me at ayq5005@gmail.com. I want to give you guys the help you actually need!

Also, check out my new Instagram for pics of awesomely organized spaces, organizing products I pick up (I frequent the Target dollar spot), and daily ideas to make getting organized and growing up just a little bit easier. Follow me @LifeInOrder and share your organized spaces with me also!

The Best Live Tweets of Super Bowl 49

I hope everyone in the northeast is safe and snug in their homes today! After an accident due to inclement weather on Friday, I’m glad that my company is working from home today. Check out this view I have from my desk today:


Not too bad, right?

So, I’m going a little off topic today and letting my career take over for a minute. Let’s talk about last night. The Superbowl is the biggest day of the year for my kind. No matter who’s playing in the game, it’s always a win for the advertising industry, it’s the one night of the year where people look forward to commercials and social media has taken critiques of those ads to a whole new level.

Live tweeting has been so popular in the world of marketing and PR lately, so of course I had to get in on the action. While I tried watching the game, I couldn’t help but stare at my Twitter feed at all the great live Tweets happening in the advertising world about the commercials. I’m a true millennial – I love to hear (and give my own) opinions in an instant.

Here are some of the best live tweets that came up on my feed last night.

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Um, so “Invisible Mindy” for Nationwide was seriously hilarious. Right after it aired, this gem popped up on the #SB49 Twitter feed. If it wasn’t already, “Is Everybody Hanging Out Without Me?” is moving to the top of my reading list.

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I think this was probably the best commercial I saw last night. The polar bear dying to be chosen? Come on, so great.

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The organizer in me got giddy with excitement when I saw this picture of HGTV’s Scott bothers at the Superbowl (yes, I follow Drew Scott). Too bad he was rooting for the Pats.

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And then there was halftime. The holy grail for live tweeters. The hilarity started with the tweet above, but definitely didn’t stop there. (P.S. – I’m totally team Taylor but this was too funny not to share.)

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This tweet was from one of the funniest people I know – my best friend, Becca. She’s an elementary school teacher, if it wasn’t already obvious.

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NATIONAL AQUARIUM TWEETED THIS. I couldn’t get over how much I loved that.

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I agree with many in the Twitter community in my opinion that Missy Elliot stole the show. Common White Girl thought so too. She’s always good for a laugh on Twitter and totally speaks to the 90s/00s girl in all of us.

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So many Hunger Games jokes about Katy Perry’s flames outfit. Common White Girl was one of the first – confirming she’s hilarious.

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This year, advertising was great for the feminist movement. My favorite thing about advertising is not only that it reflects and speaks to current culture, but it helps shape it. Sometimes it can be in negative ways, but the positivity surrounding females in commercials this year was completely amazing. Always, “Like a Girl” spot was proof.

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I really loved the Jeep spot, and it was great to see the support for American-made products that took the spotlight this year. WeatherTech is another great example.

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I didn’t agree with a lot of the ratings that AdWeek gave out this year, but I could get on board with Liam Neeson’s spot for Clash of Clans. It was totally unexpected and I was happy to see that the pros appreciated it as well.

What were some of your favorite moments form last night’s big game? Was it the commercials, the half time show or the terribly disappointing ending for the Seahawks? Did you seen any Tweets on your feed that were funny or made an impression on you? Let me know in the comments below or Tweet me @qqquimby016Signature

Leaning In to International Women’s Day

Boy I know you love it

How we smart enough to make these millions

Strong enough to bear the children

Then get back to business

– Beyonce, Run The World (Girls)

Saturday was a special day for many reasons. It was my 3 year anniversary with Matt, and my good Friend Emily’s 21st Birthday celebration, and it was also International Women’s Day. The last of the special events is what I want to talk about today.

This summer, a friend of mine recommended that I read the book Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. She had brought up many times throughout the summer because of the recognizable gender differences in the food service industry (where we were working at the time). I had never before considered myself a feminist, and honestly, I was a little afraid of the word. After reading Sandberg’s book, I am no longer afraid to call myself a feminist, and I’m proud to be one.

For those of you who don’t know, Sheryl Sandberg is the COO of Facebook, and before that she was a top dog at Google. In her book she shares stories, behaviors and actions that take place in today’s workforce and how detrimental they can be to women’s career goals and aspirations. She’s encouraging women to Lean In to their careers, to not be afraid to take chances and go confidently in the direction of our dreams. She asks her readers “what would you do if you weren’t afraid?” and she encourages all of us to do whatever that might be.

She begins the book with a discussion of the ways in which we sabotage ourselves as women. Yes. I was shocked too. Half of the problem, comes from within. It turns out that I am one of my worst offenders.

Sandberg sites a study of successful men and women. The men who participated in the study attribute their success to their own qualities, whereas women attribute their success to external factors. I know that I have been guilty of saying that “I was in the right place at the right time.” or “I got lucky.” instead of attributing my success to hard work, skill and talent. This is only one of the many ways we as women depreciate ourselves.

But fear not strong ladies, Sandberg offers up a solution. She encourages all women to go after every opportunity offered to them, even if it is only a few months before their maternity leave, or if it isn’t exactly in you repertoire. She encourages women to “sit at the table,” an analogy she uses throughout the book from a story she told about a conference she held, where all the men sat at the table, leaving the few women invited to sit in the back and corners of the room.

She also encourages women to be confident, and even if you aren’t, you can fake it. She sites Amy Cuddy’s Ted Talk (available to watch on Netlfix under the Life Hacks Ted Talks), about how our body language can help us exude confidence, even if we are full of self-doubt inside. The point is, that if you fake it for long enough, you’ll actually start to feel confident, and eventually become confident.

She also calls out leaders and high-ups to acknowledge that women have less confidence than men in our professional lives and once that becomes a factor, women will be given the same ability as men to rise to the top. “If we want a world with greater equality, we need to acknowledge that women are less likely to keep their hands up.”

One of my favorite things about Sandberg’s outlook on gender differences in the workplace, is that she never says that women and men are the same. She acknowledges the difference in emotions and confidence and offers up solutions around those differences, instead of just saying “women and men are equal and should be treated as such.” The reality is that women and men are very different, we deal with things in different ways, and she realizes that in order for us to create and equal society, we need to acknowledge and celebrate the differences between men and women, not falsely cover them up.

In my eyes, one of the most blatant ways in which women hold ourselves back, comes from our desire to be liked. I never realized how much I hold myself back by trying to be nice to everyone around me. I want to be liked, I want to be a friend and nice and a person that all others love, but I also want to be accomplished and rise to the top, which in the world of business, are two conflicting ideals, especially for women.

The most obvious way that women sabotage their careers by trying to be liked, is by using self-doubt. As women, it has become more obvious to me after reading Lean In, that women must self doubt in order to be liked. I can’t even begin to count the amount of times I have put myself down to be considered likable, for a laugh, or just to sound like a “nice girl.” I don’t ever want to come across as over confident or “cocky” because women hate that in other women.

“If a woman is competent, she does not seem nice enough. If a woman is really nice, she is considered less competent.”

Sandberg has recently taken a stand against the word “bossy” this week in celebration of the one year anniversary of Lean In. She joins former secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, and CEO of the Girl Scouts, Anna Maria Chavez in the launching of a campaign to end the word bossy. We tell little girls in the early years of their life to “not be so bossy.” What we are really saying to them is that nobody likes a bossy girl, and that women shouldn’t lead, because let’s face it, in order to lead you’ve gotta be a little “bossy” once in awhile. I have seen women in my own workplace, struggle to assert their authority because they are worried about being mean, or bossy. The problem with this, is that the more we worry about being disliked, the more we struggle to do our jobs and to lead confidently.

Check out this week’s Parade insert in your Sunday paper for more information on the campaign. But now, back to the book.

The second half of Lean In goes into the details of having a family and trying to sustain a career, and the ways in which women can learn to juggle both. I found one of the most compelling solutions: to find a partner who supports you. This is one really key factor that I never realized was so important until I read this book. Time and time again I have seen brilliant and talented women fall back on their significant others because it’s easier to give up than to keep going.

Sandberg brings this idea to life when she compares a career to running a marathon.

“The male marathoners are routinely cheered on: “Lookin’ strong! On your way!” But the female runners hear a different message. “You know you don’t have to do this!” the crowd shouts. Or “Good start-but you probably won’t want to finish.”

I had never had this phenomenon explained to me better in my life. It’s really true. Growing up, women are taught they can do anything a man can do, but when the going get’s tough, they don’t really have to finish their careers out strong. They are told that they don’t have to have a career when they have a successful husband. We are told that we could make life easier by being home with the kids, and that our husbands can take care of providing for the family. And while Sandberg recognizes that homemaking is a perfectly acceptable life choice for a woman to make, those who start out strong, are encouraged by society not to finish.

I have seen co-workers and friends give up on following their dreams because they have significant others who make much more than they do, and they don’t have to work to live a comfortable life. I have even heard people tell me after a long day of work “You’re boyfriend is a Mechanical Engineer, you could quit one of your jobs.” “You’ve got a successful guy, what do you need a career for?” I’m already being surrounded by messages that are telling me not to keep running.

Sandberg says that the main reason why women fail to rise to the top is because their salaries barely cover the cost of child care. This is a problem that I see all the time working at the daycare. Many women think that working isn’t worth it, staying home would even out with the high costs of sending their kids to the YMCA or other child care centers. Sheryl reminds us that while when our children are young, usually our careers are too. If women can stick it out and continue to push through the small return of their early careers, we can rise to the top later and thrive as our children and our careers get older.

While I don’t have kids,  I plan to someday, and if life ever tells me that I should stop running, I will remember Sandberg’s words of wisdom. I will choose to keep running, keep pushing, and keep trying because I have big dreams and I don’t want society or money to crush them.

If you’ve been at all curious, excited, happy or confused about anything I’ve been talking about, I urge you to read Lean In. If you are starting out your career, read Lean In. If you’re a mother, daughter, sister, wife, girlfriend, niece or granddaughter, read Lean In. If your partner is struggling to sit at the table, finish her marathon, or Lean In to her career, read Lean In. If you are a woman, or know a women, I highly recommend you read Lean In.

Now, I would like to celebrate the amazing women in my life …

My two amazing sisters who have been my role models for what a strong, independent, educated woman should be. Oh, and they’re both amazing working mothers who help support their families.



My mother, who went back to work full time a few years ago after my father was laid off from his job. She’s made more sacrifices for me, my sisters and her grandchildren than most other mom’s have, and I only had to move away from home to realize that.


My Nana, who dedicated her whole life to taking great care of her family and her home while her husband went to work. She also was the primary caregiver for her parents in their old age, and her husband (my grandfather) in his final months of life as he battled lung cancer.


My best friend Becca, who recently went on a mission trip to Haiti, dedicating her time to orphans in need. Not to mention, has always been there for me no matter how far away, or how many bad decisions I’ve made!


My good friend Lydia, who is spending the next two years of her life as an Occupational Therapist in Cameroon. In the picture below, she is marching for International Women’s Day!


The amazing women of the Saratoga Regional YMCA’s Malta Child Care Center who dedicate their lives to educating and caring for other people’s children.


My good friend Dana, who has been through more hard times than I could ever have imagined, and come out an amazing mother to her beautiful 3 year old daughter, Lucy.


And finally, these four ladies who have been with me through thick and thin and help me laugh more, smile more, drink more, and love more.


For all of these amazing women, I am so thankful, blessed and honored to call me family and friends.

I hope everyone takes time out this week to appreciate the women in their lives. I know I’ll be thinking about how I can contribute to womankind and Lean In to every aspect of life.

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