Archive for March 2012

27 March 2012

Post vacation reality check

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: travel

Truth: I sat, staring at this screen for about 15 minutes before I started typing.

I had no idea what to write about.

Then, rather than thinking of something grand, I thought I’d write about well, what is going on right now.

I’m in a post vacation reality check.

What is this? It’s the re-introduction of your vacation-self to real life-self.

This can be rough.

Usually, you go through five stages of emotions during this time:

  • Confusion (Wait, this work thing happens every week?)
  • Anger (What do you MEAN I can’t have wine with lunch every day at the office?)
  • Shock (I have to pay bills? What?)
  • Acceptance (I am back. Time to start planning my next trip)
  • Jealousy (Timmy gets to have a day off? What an a**hole)

Last week, I immediately started at Acceptance, then moved to Jealousy and then Confusion. This week, I’m hanging out at Anger (seriously, why can’t I have wine every day as an afternoon snack) and Shock. I’ll probably bump back to Acceptance one more time to help get back to the normal me.

I’ve also taken to spending more time on Pinterest (avoiding the wedding boards) and “pinning” things I wish I could buy but can’t because I’m being “responsible.”

Here’s the other thing kids: trips are expensive and even with a budget, that first bill post-trip burns like an STD (not that I would know).

So for now, I’m anxiously awaiting a few things:

  • April 1st (pay day!)
  • The final stop at Acceptance
  • The weekend
  • New pins on Pinterest (not about weddings)

Welcome to my reality. Let’s also hash tag this post #reasonswhyimsingle

How is everyone else?



25 March 2012

Paris adventure and photos!

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: travel

I’m back!

In the last two weeks, I’ve flown 10,000 miles, been on two continents and in three different time zones. To say it’s been exhausting is an understatement. And my body finally caught up with me this week, leaving me sick in bed for the last 48 hours.

But today I finally had a chance to transfer and upload some photos.

So Paris in a nutshell: GREAT. Beautiful sights, amazing food and of course, a bit too much wine :)

The only drawback: being a solo, single traveler in the city of love. Seriously, the level of making me out made me nearly lose my mind. I have zero issue with being single, but the last thing I need is excessive PDA thrown in my face. So, yeah, I should have known better.

In the course of a week, I got to see, do, eat and explore a lot of things. Seriously, my feet have the blisters to show the amount of ground I covered.

My two favorite things that I did:

  • Versailles – It is amazing how big and grand it is. Seriously, huge hallways, ornate decor, truly lavish lifestyle and landscaping. The castle was impressive but the gardens and surrounding land was the best. Add in a 75 degree, sunny day, bike (with basket) and a light breeze and it was one my most favorite days ever. Sounds cheesy but it’s true
  • Catacombs tour – Yes, it is touristy and jammed but it was seriously, awesome. 80+ steps below Paris, with six feet ceilings, it was fascinating to explore the Paris underground and see hundreds of thousands of bones still preserved. SO COOL

So let’s take a look at some pictures.

More photos are on my Flickr set here.

Now, I’m ready for two months in Chicago relaxing and, well saving money. Because next up is Hawaii and London/Barcelona in fall. But seriously, I need a nap.

How is everyone???

08 March 2012

On the road again

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: travel

After my Seattle/Vancouver trip in August, I took a travel break. I wanted to spend time in Chicago, see my friends and try dating. Two of these things happened with good results.

But after a seven month break and a few work-related trips, I’m hitting the road again, solo-travel style.

And rather than take a trip in the states to get my feet wet again, I’m heaving myself in the deep end by heading back overseas.


That’s right, Charles De Gaulle, aka Paris.

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. My seven month personal travel break made feel safe and comfortable again, and I feel like I lost some of my adventurer nerve.

But as much as I love Chicago, I need a vacation…badly.

I need a break from life and work here. I need a change of scenery so I can clear my mind.

I love solo travel because of the freedom it allows, but it is also lonely at times.

To combat this, I took a friend’s advice and started journaling on my larger trips. I write in it as if I’m talking to a friend, telling them what I see, do and experience each day. I wrote in one for my Italy trip, starting from the day before I left. The journal holds my fears, joys, lists of what I saw and history I learned.

At times, the journal became a like a travel companion. It went with me everywhere and was updated multiple times a day.

And now that I’m hitting the road again, my new journal just arrived and I cannot wait to start writing in it.

So I’m off on the road again. But I’ll be back soon with updates from Paris and my super crazy decision to attend a work function in New York right after. But, um, it’s for Mad Men, so it was an easy decision :)

Any upcoming travels for you?

06 March 2012

Normally imperfect

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Random

I may be a perfectionist but I’m definitely, absolutely not perfect.

And reading¬†Lacey’s post last week about her imperfections inspired me to write down my own. These aren’t all bad things, they’re just little quirks, nuances and unique things that make me…me!

Yes, there are a few things on this list I’d like to change, but even if they don’t, eh, that’s okay. Why change every quirky thing about yourself? Then you wouldn’t be different!

Let’s take a look at what makes me the imperfectly me.

  1.  The first thing I do when I get home from work is change in to my PJs. I always feel more comfortable in casual, comfy clothes
  2. When I eat, I have one or two bites of all items on the plate blended together and then resume eating each item separately. I also prioritize what I eat first
  3. The other half of my bed and my bedroom floor is usually littered with magazines. I love reading in bed
  4. I do not like to eat lunch before 12:01 pm. Coworkers see me sitting at my desk staring at the clock and at 12:01 pm, my lunch comes out
  5. I sit with my arms folded across my chest almost all of the time. I’m not being cold or standoffish, I just unconsciously do it, but I feel like it turns people off
  6. I like eating healthy but seriously, I’m addicted to sweets. I cannot get enough
  7. I have NO IDEA how to work curlers, but I love having my hair curled. I can’t figure it out
  8. On weekends, I rewear outfits from the week in various new combinations. But I always preface with friends that items may look familiar when we go out. But if a guy is involved…he gets a brand new outfit
  9. Sometimes, I can’t help but multitask when people call or speak to me. I hate that I do it so I have to really focus on one thing
  10. I hate crying or having confrontations with people in public. I always feel like people are staring at me
  11. I am a hopeless romantic. Hopeless to the core
  12. I don’t like sitting too closet to people on public transport. I tend to feel claustrophobic. And if they elbow war me? I never back down
  13. I always laugh nervously during awkward or uncomfortable situations. Sometimes it gets me in to trouble
  14. My nose is always running. It drives me crazy when I’m out
  15. When I’m talking to someone, I am listening but also scanning them over. I have zero idea why I do that, maybe it’s my way of taking them in?? That just sounds creepy
  16. I prefer to be warm when I sleep. I love feeling warm and cuddled up in bed

So there is a perfect way to summarize this: freak, lazy and general oddball. I think we can also categorize this as #reasonswhyimsingle. Yep. But hey, that’s me :)

What makes you imperfectly you?

05 March 2012

Instagram, I heart you

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Random

Newsflash: Instagram is awesome and addictive.

I know because I recently succumbed to its awesomeness.

Yes, I also crawled out from under the rock I’ve been living with because I finally started USING Instagram. I’ve only had the app downloaded for, oh a year or so.

But after seeing some awesome New York photos from my friend Katherine, I decided to give it a try and BOOM. ADDICTED. I even got that hooked that baby up to my Twitter and Facebook accounts to make it easier to upload photos and share.

Seriously, how have I gone this long without it? It doesn’t always make my pictures look prettier but sometimes, is sure does.

Here are some of my photos, not to brag, but I think they’re pretty awesome.

Sometimes, I even take pictures just to Instagram it and get better with the settings and filters.

I am a huge nerd. But my username is “bayjb” if you’re interested in following and seeing more of my random photograph nerdery.

Are you addicted to Instagram too?