“A Few of My Favorite Things”

As seen on Tiny Girl, Big Dreams!

I’m happy to be collaborating with Raphaela today and to highlight some of what inspires me. From urban-scapes to fashion and political happenings here and there, keep reading to find out what keeps this city girl running (hint: it’s usually a latte or two)!

Fenway Park (As seen from the roof deck at Baseball Tavern)
As seen from the roof deck at Baseball Tavern

1. Fenway Park. When I was little, leaving my town and driving a marathon’s distance to Boston was both a common occurrence and a treat. Saturday afternoons were spent eating pizza on the steps of Fanieul Hall and walking around as if we were tourists from some distant city. My Dad taught me about the history of the city long before I was ever assigned a textbook so it was no surprise when I decided to attend college in the Back Bay area, just steps from America’s Most Beloved Ballpark. When last year’s tragedy occurred, Fenway Park became a beacon for Red Sox fans and Bostonians from all over the world. The Red Sox were an incredible relief from the sadness my beloved city had to endure and their 2013 World Series victory was a reminder that even after bad days or rain delays we would always be “Boston Strong”.

Got luck?
Got luck?

2. The number seven. I was born on the seventh day of the seventh month and my name has seven letters. Upon realizing that, I’ve always been drawn to the idea that it is my lucky number.

Now that is a Caesar salad.
Now that is a Caesar salad.

3. Dining out. Aside from being a self-proclaimed foodie, I love to indulge in treating myself to things. Trying new restaurants is a favorite pastime of mine and I enjoy documenting my experiences from time to time on my blog. From creative spins on Caesar salads at suburban respites (see above) to traditional sushi rolls at favorite spots, I am already looking forward to my next culinary adventure.

I feel like "capturing memories and finding the perfect filter" should have a place on my resumé...
I feel like “capturing memories and finding the perfect filter” should have a place on my resumé…

4. Having adventures. One of the best parts about going to school in the city was that you could wake up and do anything. Plans that seemed concrete would inevitably lead you to discovering a new coffee shop you just had to try. The best adventures were the unexpected ones and having a camera handy to save them forever is a wonderful thing.

City girl closet.
City girl closet.

5. Fashion.Until I got to college, I guess I never really understood how much of what you wear is an act of self-expression. In high school I spent a lot of time worrying about whether or not what I was doing was “cool” instead of focusing on what made me comfortable. As I grew up (see also: matured), getting compliments from real grown-ups on an old concert tee shirt or peacoat felt a lot better than shopping at stores just because everybody else was doing it. Rule #1: Be you.Everybody else is already taken.

I may or may not have an insatiable sweet tooth.
I may or may not have an insatiable sweet tooth.

6. Dessert. At some point in my life I know this is going to catch up with me but I really, really, really love dessert. Hot fudge sundaes, cheesecakes, macaroons….you name it! While I try to keep my affinity in check, I rarely go a week without a sweet treat at an inappropriate time of the day and I like to think of it as a, “Hey, you’re pretty great. Enjoy this treat and keep up the good work!” sort of positive reinforcement.

Which came first; coffee or politics?
Which came first; coffee or politics?

7. My job. At 5 years old you think 10 years old is a long way off. You can picture what it will look like to be a “big kid”. At ten, being twenty sounds cool but you don’t really know what it looks like. I guess that “not knowing” is a real gift because I credit “not knowing” with where I am today, just going with the flow (and by flow I mean opportunities) and doing things I’m really passionate about.

Research a la The Style Checklist by Lloyd Boston.
Research a la The Style Checklist by Lloyd Boston.

8. Reading. Between writing and working and trying to have as many adventures as possible, I find that my time to read can be quite limited. Recently I finished Bossypants by Tina Fey and I’m working on Is EveryoneHanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling. I also enjoy “quick read”, coffee-table style books like The One Hundred by Nina Garcia and Style by Lauren Conrad to keep my brain and fashion sense simultaneously stimulated.

Rise and shine!
Rise and shine!

9. Mornings. As I’ve gotten older, I have found that mornings are just the best. I mean, no one is going to write a book on how amazing it was to sleep in on a Saturday morning but they might write a book about waking up early, drinking a fresh cup of coffee and getting a full day of adventures in. That’s the kind of person I want to be.

Catch me if you can...
Catch me if you can…

10. Instagram. I’m a big fan of social media in general but Instagram but be my favorite platform. I have a lot of friends who live all over the place and Instagram is a great way to stay connected to their lives.

For more on what I love, who I meet and where I go, be sure to follow A City Girl’s Guide To Life on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

xo, Vanessa

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Vanessa M. Gatlin

-Blogger, dancer, fashionista -Self proclaimed "political junkie" with a strong interest in international affairs -2011 graduate of Emmanuel College in Boston

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