I’m a City Girl Now!

In my very first blog post entitled Home is here, I mentioned sitting at the dining room table with a snoring dog in the background in Salt Lake City. I also mentioned how ready I was to call Brighton, MA my new home. I can now officially say that I do call it home. I am writing this post from my new dining room table in my adorable and cozy apartment. And this time, there isn’t a snoring dog as my soundtrack but a whole city of sounds (and Gemma’s bell on her collar jingling as she walks around.) My new home is here. The beginning of this journey has been terrifying and filled with tears of missing home and tears of just being scared but mostly I have been filled with a sense of peace. This is my home and so far, I think I like it here.

Now, there are a few things that I immediately learned upon moving to the city. So, because I love lists so much, here goes it!

  1. HUMIDITY IS REAL, PEOPLE. Okay, so I guess no one thinks that it isn’t real, but I bet a lot of people (like me) didn’t believe other people (like anyone who has lived in the East Coast) that it is real. We came back from Quebec and suddenly, it was like you were just a walking puddle. I would literally be walking outside for two measly minutes and I became STICKY. BEING STICKY IS SUCH A STRANGE FEELING AND I DON’T LIKE IT. Luckily, the humidity streak has broken today and I actually feel like a normal human being again!
  2. Everyone warned me about the driving in Boston so naturally I was terrified when I first got behind the wheel and y’know what? It’s not that bad! If anything, driving here is easier than in Utah (because NO ONE CAN DRIVE IN UTAH.) If anything, I feel safer driving here… Everyone is aware of their surroundings so it’s perfectly normal to wedge into a new lane on the highway with no room for you because the car behind will (usually) just let you in. The agressiveness could be toned down a little bit and I’ve been getting honked at a lot for just going the speed limit but overall, not too shabby. So, I’m learning to be more assertive and I’ve done a handful of Boston Wedges! *self high-five* I’m not going to talk about the parallel parking because I’ve been avoiding it. *thumbs up*
  3. Okay, now Jeremy would argue that this is the most important discovery that we’ve made (and I think I agree.) DELIVERY. It’s a thing here and so many restaraunts do it!!! We’ve only utilized this option once since being here but it’s so great to know that there’s more than just Dominos available! Being foodies, Jeremy and I downloaded Grubhub and we were SO EXCITED to see about 50 options that deliver to the apartment on the list! Our one delivery experience was from Fast Eddies in Brighton. We ordered online and soon enough, the food was at our apartment. We then realized that the pizza place was 0.2 miles away from us and the delivery guy just walked from the store. So, next time we’ll probably walk to get the pizza (unless we’re feeling ULTRA MEGA LAZY.)
  4. My commute to work is really, really hard. I have to walk for TWO WHOLE MINUTES. I’m actually not kidding though. I can see work from my lil’ balcony. So, it’s not hard. IT’S FANTASTIC. My first day is on Friday and I think with enough time and effort, I’ll make it on time. Speaking of commutes, Jeremy has to commute on the T for 45 minutes. So, he actually has the rough commute but he’s a tough cookie. *big smile*
  5. ADVENTURES. ADVENTURES. ADVENTURES. If you know Jeremy and I well, you know that we LOVE going on adventures. Farmer’s Markets, festivals, etc… you name it in Salt Lake and we’ve probably gone. There is so much to do here! I knew that big cities are supposed to be filled with events and activities but I didn’t realize how many options there are here! I am so excited to explore what this city has to offer and hopefully make friends during this process! We went to the Tall Ships Festival last weekend and this weekend we’re going sailing and sea kayaking!! Needless to say, we are going to be worried about not having anything to do on the weekends.
  6. I’m nervous about it, but I’m going to dip my toes into the music scene here and soon thereafter, I will dive in. More updates as I figure out my plan and I would love any leads if you know the music culture here. So, this learning point isn’t much more than just committing to myself in writing that I’m going to do this even though it terrifies me.

I can’t wait to learn more about this city and to have so many new experiences while settling into being a city girl. I miss Utah and my family and friends SO much though. I definitely left a big chunk of my heart out there and I notice that it’s missing every single day (*disclaimer: I actually have my whole physical heart. It’s just an expression. No need to call a doctor for me.) Though this whole process is bittersweet, I’m just filled with an excitment that I haven’t ever felt before. There’s so much to explore here and I plan to embrace being a city girl!

With Loves, Nicole

P.S. I made a lil’ video about our trip to Canada. Check it out here! If anything, listen to it for the song that plays during the video because it’s an AWESOME song.

Je parle francais, eh?

Well, we did it. We moved across the country. And now, I’m writing this blog post whilst in Quebec, Canada. Yep, you read that right. I’m not in Boston as of this moment. Now, I’m sure you’re asking yourself, “why in the world would Nicole go to Canada right after moving all the way across the country??” Turns out that this is the only time that a family vacation with Jeremy’s family would work out. But man, let me tell you… This past week has been an absolute whirlwind.

To begin our moving process, we did the whole plane with a cat thing. I have only one piece of solid advice for my readers regarding this… 1. JUST DON’T DO IT. SAVE YOURSELF. Travelling with little Gemma Lemma was filled with her singing the song of her people (or more like screaming) to all the surrounding audience members (uh, I mean passengers) in the plane. Whatever ‘sedative’ that the vet gave us did not work. I mean, maybe she was complaining a little bit less on the car ride to the airport but nothing could prevent Gemma from speaking her mind about her misery and suffering in the aiport and on the airplane. What I’m saying is just don’t do it. Ship your cat through UPS if you need to (not actually advocating for that but I definitely thought about doing that around 4am on the flight).

So, we got off the plane with a total of one hour of sleep (not even sure about that) between the two of us and went to see our apartment!! It’s absolutely amazing and I love it so much. It’s the perfect size and Gemma seems to love it as well. Minus the whole part of not being allowed outside because she wouldn’t survive a night in the big bad streets of Boston (not so big and bad but more just the fact that Gemma doesn’t fully understand cars can squish her). Then came all the errands associated with moving over the next few days…. getting a new license, transferring car titles, buying kitchen supplies, picking up furniture.. The list goes on and on. But we did it! All while staying sane (partially) and having just enough time to watch OITNB in our new cozy living room.

And now, we’re finishing out our adventures in Canada and heading home this afternoon.  Speaking of which, CANADIAN FRENCH DOES NOT MAKE SENSE. I’ve  been trying to interact with almost everyone I encounter but I still have no idea what they are saying back to me. Well, lesson learned I suppose. What is the lesson? Uh… learn to speak French the Canadian way before going to Quebec, I think. BUT Canada is absolutely gorgeous. It feels like I stepped back into France (minus the quirky accents) and I love it so much.

More photos and info about the trip in my new post once I get home. Home is Boston. Not Salt Lake… Still trying to get used to that but I think I like the sound of home in Boston. Plus, I have a really cozy couch to get back to at home. That helps.

With loves, Nicole

I’m Shipping Up to Boston. WOOAAAHH.


For those of you who do not know the song I am referencing (aka you didn’t immediately sing it on the top of your lungs upon reading the above), please see the video below. Also, if the video is representative of life in Boston I’m thinking I might just stick around in Small Lake City.


Now, I am not shipping out to Boston to find my wooden leg that I lost whilst climbing the top sails (as the lyrics state in the song, which you might need to look up because understanding any of the words is nearly impossible in the verses) but I suppose one could say I’m finding my theoretical wooden leg there? I’m about to embark on the biggest adventure of my life and I know that I will find many hidden treasures (and maybe even a real wooden leg at sea?) I know that this adventure is going to change me and I am so excited to see the woman that I’m going to become. I’ve had the nervous jitters all morning but I can’t even begin to explain the butterflies of excitment that I have. Today is my last day in Utah and I’m going to miss everyone SO MUCH but I am ready for this change.

So, this post is merely a statement that I’m shipping up to Boston in 12 HOURS. Which means that this marks my last blog post in Utah and next time I’m writing, I’ll be in my new home as a Boston blogger. I’m so excited for the experiences that I’ll have, the people I’ll meet, and creating a home across the country.

And in that spirit, I challenge you to get out and do something that scares you a little today or tomorrow because then you know you’re growing. With that, I say goodbye to Utah and SEE YOU TOMORROW BOSTON.

With all my loves, Nicole

Finding the Gratitude.

6 days. Six days. Six jours. 6 tage. T-minus 6 days. Six. Six. Six.

No matter how I write it, 6 days means the same thing. Ooh, now if I try changing that to hours…. That makes 144 hours. THAT’S NOT ENOUGH HOURS. In 6 days, I will be going through airport security with Jeremy by my side, Gemma in her kitty carrier (sleeping peacefully and heavily sedated *thumbs up*) and a one way ticket in my hand. After attempting to sleep on a red-eye flight, we will arrive in the Boston.

In exactly one week, we will be unpacking the U-box in Brighton, Massachusetts, the place I will be calling home. Everything is set up… the internet, electricity, jobs, packing, Gemma’s health certificate, etc. etc. and it’s been easy and exciting. It wasn’t until last night when I was just relaxing and enjoying my evening that it hit me. I have made the decision to pack up my life and start fresh and new across the country. If you would have told me five years ago that I would be doing this now, college freshman Nicole would have laughed, a lot. BUT SO MANY ADVENTURES ARE ON THEIR WAY and that’s what keeps me going when I get a little scared or sad.

I was told once in a Sheva meeting (basically education for JCC educators) that the best way to become more grateful in your daily life is to make a list of 7 new things each day. After writing down the seven things, read the list out loud and say “thank you” as many times that you need to TRULY feel gratitude. As each day passes, add seven items to the list and read the full list that you have so far. If this is of interest of you, I would definitely recommend doing this. After 7 days, you have a whopping 49 things to read out loud and I promise that you feel exponentially grateful for everything in your life. It’s also amazing how hard it is to think of 7 things each day. When I did this challenge, on the worst days I was able to write things like “I’m grateful to have a beating heart” or “I’m grateful for my cereal this morning. It was yummy.” We live in a society where complaining is the norm and focusing on the negative in the world around us is too easy… switching your mindset to having gratitude for the small things truly reminds you the meaning of this life (whatever that may be to you).

So, I figured while I’m feeling all nostalgic and excited for the future in a big and messy ball of emotions, I would write a list of seven things that I’m grateful for here in Salt Lake that I will miss so very much…

  1. Having my incredible family close enough where I can hop on a bus and be there in 4 hours.
  2. The friendships (new and old) that I will cherish forever.
  3. All the memories that were created here.
  4. My home with beautiful and loving roommates who are like sisters to me.
  5. Being able to drive 10-20 minutes and suddenly you are in the mountains (BONUS: Looking around in Salt Lake City and seeing mountains no matter which direction you’re looking)
  6. The neighborhood of Sugarhouse and how unique of a place it is.
  7. Jeremy (okay, well that part is coming with me but still! This is where we met and fell in love and all those mushy gushy feelings)

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

These past few weeks, I have said ‘thank you’ in my head so many times that I can’t keep track anymore. I am filled with eternal gratitude and love for this place and all the experiences I have had here. I’ve always known what the word ‘bittersweet’ means but I have NEVER felt it like this.

So, for anyone who needs a lil’ pick-me-up activity, some inspiration, or anything like that, try this gratitude list. You’d be surprised about what you come up with and how it changes your perspective on things.

Much loves, Nicole

A brief pause.

A brief pause.

Fun fact: The month of May is Mental Health Awareness Month! Mental health advocacy is something that is very important to me and I believe that creating a community of safety and security when talking about this topic is even more important. I am diagnosed with panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder and for those of you who may deal with this or have a loved one who does, you know quite well that change and anxiety are two things that DO NOT GO WELL TOGETHER. It’s like putting soy sauce into your morning berry smoothie. NO ONE LIKES THAT. NO ONE. Regardless, here I am. Even though change sparks my anxiety fuel and sends me on an uncontrallable jet of doom (okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic) I am still making the change. Why you might ask am I putting myself through this if it’s so scary to me? Well, if I let my fears control my emotions, I wouldn’t really be making any changes in life. Because let’s face it, life is a lil’ scary sometimes and having panic disorder definitely doesn’t help the situation. 

So, how do I manage these illnesses among a period of SO MUCH CHANGE? Well, it’s different for everyone. Finding your own way and own path is essential. But I can certainly offer you a few tid-bits of advice as I’m currently in the midst of this crazy transitional part of my life. So, here goes nothing…

Self Sanity Tip #1: Not everything is going to be perfect and that is completely okay. When you decide to switch up your life in a big way, expect big waves to come at you with full force. For me, it’s been waves of emotions and man, those waves are BIG. And when you have to jump through a billion hoops to just get a parking permit for your U-haul box, insanity is just about to kick in when all of the sudden… I remember I’m not alone! Which leads to the next tip!

Self Sanity Tip #2: Reach out to your loved ones! THEY ARE EVERYTHING DURING TIMES OF CHANGE. I’m lucky to have a fantastic support system who supports our move and gives their love unconditionally. This support system may come in different shapes and sizes. It may be family, friends, neighbors, professors, collegues… Regardless, I promise you have a support system.

Self Sanity Tip #3: Taking time to just be and relax is essential. Without self-care, this big change will be even more overwhelming than it already is. So, draw that bubble bath you’ve been thinking about and then curl up with a good book and cozy blanket. I cannot stress enough how important it is to take time to do things that help you feel relaxed and peaceful… especially with so much change going on! 

Self Sanity Tip #4: The change that you’re making will become your normal soon enough. I know that saying goodbye to my friends and family here is a step to begin this new chapter of my life. My future apartment and job? Those will become normal to me soon enough. Getting through the transition period is just the hardest part (at least I think so… ask me in a few months and I might have a totally different answer.)

And for now, that’s all the advice I have up my sleeve. As for an update on the move, the Uhaul box is all packed up and on it’s way to Boston and in 14 days, we’ll be heading out!! Two weeks left in Salt Lake City and I certainly plan to take a brief pause at least once a day to remind myself that this change is creating strength and courage. And for those going through a similar (or totally different) transitional time in life, I send you my love and support because it’s certainly not the easiest but it’ll be worth it. 

With loves, Nicole 

Decluttering: a love hate relationship

When you look up moving advice on the internet, you see A TON OF ADVICE. I’m not even kidding you… apparently there’s are so many aspects of moving that I didn’t even think about before perusing the big wide interweb worlds. Looking up moving advice is like looking up your cold symptoms on WebMD. Stuffy nose, sore throat… all of a sudden, I’m convinced that I have some deadly disease caused by a rare insect in Lithuania. The other day, I googled “moving across the country advice” and man, was I in for a treat. From how to make sure your cat doesn’t freak out in the airport to how to label your boxes, Google has your back (although I’m pretty sure we already knew that.)

The advice that seemed to stay consistent from blogs to advice websites to ehow articles was that you MUST declutter your life to make a cross-country move easy. So, I took this to heart and said to myself “Minimalism is great. I can do this.” Now, don’t get me wrong. The concept of a minnimalist lifestyle is pretty great. A capsule wardrobe, living your life with intention, and so many other great enriching lifestyle changes. But I gotta be real here with you… It is not the lifestyle for me. NOT ONE BIT. After rummaging through and throwing out 5 big trash bags of clothes that I had in the basement from when I was twelve and beyond, I realized that I really needed to declutter. All those clothes? They’re in a pile ready to go to Deseret Industries.  Then I started on my room… *insert dramatic pause* I’M A HOARDER. I had pencil erasers from EIGHTH GRADE. EIGHTH GRADE WAS A LONG TIME AGO GUYS. LIKE A REALLY LONG TIME AGO. I had my old Motorola flip phone that I used in high school. Somehow I still felt an attachment to these random items like a headband that I hadn’t touched in 6 years. I found the most random stuff in my room that apparently upon my three separate moves to different houses in the area, not once did I think to DECLUTTER. And now, now I know. Now I trust the google monster who told me to declutter. After my realization of being a semi-functioning hoarder, I got down to business and after asking myself “Do I need this?”, a few hours later my whole room had only essentials and two larged trash bags filled to the max.

So, here’s my advice based on my personal experience if you’re looking to do some spring cleaning OR thinking about moving across the country on the fly. If you think for a second “Hm, should I keep this… I really could use this…” and it’s an item that’s been buried under your bed in a box within a box, throw it right in that trash bag. Now, if it has sentimental value but is just a picture or something and it’s not THAT important (ie not family heirlooms and what not) take a picture of it for digital records and then throw it out. Seriously though, my only piece of advice is that if you have to look at the item and try to recall why you still have it, you don’t need it. If it’s clothing that you haven’t worn in at least one year, don’t even think about keeping it. You don’t like it anymore and you don’t need it (the exception to this rule is nice fancy dresses that you would wear if you had somewhere to wear it). And… that’s it, I think. The rest of the items, you’ll know if you need it or not. I would definitely recommed keeping imporant things like basic life stuff… because I guess that’s important or something.

And with that, I must get back to packing. Our U-haul box thing is going to be here in t-minus 9 days and I have three boxes packed. Although due to my excessive decluttering process, I think there’s only a few boxes left to pack. *Self high five*

with loves, nicole




Known and Unknown.

As each day passes, I am beginning to understand the phrase that I’ve read a countless number of times… “Embrace the unknown.” There are many things that are currently known to me when I move. I know where I’ll be living, working and just overall existing. I know that soon (TOO SOON), I will be saying goodbye to the people and places I adore. I know that I’m going to miss it here. I know that I’m going to cry. I know that I’m overwhelmingly excited to be making the biggest change to my life that I have made as an adult. I know that I’ll be leaving a piece of my heart here with all my loved ones.

There are many things and feelings that I know for sure. But with that said, there is a lot more unknown than known. Embracing those unknowns are overwhelmingly goosebump-inducing scary but kind of just part of the whole ‘moving across the country to an unfamiliar place with just a handful of people that you know at the new location’ deal. One of my closest friends keeps reminding me that “You’re not doing life right if it doesn’t give you goosebumps.” And even though I don’t want to agree, I know she’s right. The biggest decisions are supposed to be a little scary because of how BIG of an alteration to your life you are making but the important part is knowing that it is the right decision and holding onto that knowledge as the rollercoaster of emotions and experiences take you for quite a ride.

Sugarhouse is my comfort zone. It is the place I have lived and grown in for 5 years and I am safe here. I know my favorite bookstore, the best place to get a yummy sandwich (Even Stevens is the obvious answer here), my favorite place to walk in the neighborhood, where I get my groceries… there are so many things that I know for certain that I love here. In Boston, I don’t have that certainty yet. There are only so many Instagram pages of local Boston doughnut shops and clothing boutiques you can follow and so many times you can Google Maps from your new apartment to a different part of the city to convince yourself that you’re a local. All of these simple daily questions like “where is the nearest grocery store?” or “how in the world do I go about getting from Brighton to Harvard Square on the T?” are questions I won’t know the answer to until I’m there and experiencing it all for myself. I’m the kind of girl that wants to know everything about my surroundings and I LOVE to research. So, you can begin to imagine how much research I’ve been doing since before even thinking about moving. Trust me when I say, it’s a lot of research. But I keep reminding myself that I don’t need to know everything about the place before I get there and trust that it will be okay.

So, in the meantime, I’m going to enjoy the moments I have here and know that in a month, I’ll be exploring and finding my favorite spots just like I have here. I am excited for the unknown of my new home and the known of all the memories I created here in Utah. And if any of you are reading from the Boston area, feel free to comment and share your favorite spots to be in the city and surrounding areas. I’d love to begin a list of the best places to go and adventures to have upon my arrival.

with loves, nicole