2018 Resolutions


I love New Year’s Eve. Not for going out (always overrated, in my opinion), but because of  the fresh start it promises. I enjoy looking back on my year, seeing what I accomplished, and setting new goals for myself. It’s a good way to ensure that you never stop growing. Because if you’re not growing, you’re dying.

2017 was a big year for us. We bought a house, became vegetarians, decluttered, and actually did some traveling for pleasure, including Cuba and Nashville. But I also crushed the professionals goals I set out for myself last year:

  1. Attend more networking events: I attended every single PRSA Charlotte luncheon, helped plan the PRSA Charlotte Communications Symposium, and at the end of this year, I ended up taking over the PRSA Charlotte New Professionals Committee. My mantra for the past couple years has been “bloom where you are planted,” and with every step I take to get more involved, I set deeper, stronger roots here in Charlotte.
  2. Volunteer regularly: This past summer, I joined the Junior League of Charlotte. While I’m still in my provisional year, I’ve already met so many wonderful women and made new friends, all while helping to improve our community.
  3. Make more time for the things that truly make me happy: I’ve gotten better and better at saying no to things I just don’t want to do. Life is short, and I want to fill my days with what I enjoy, not obligations.

Now we’re on the eve of 2018, and my resolution is much more broad:

do more things that make you forget to check your phone

Earlier this year, both MPR and I conducted an experiment where we deleted all of the social media apps from our phones. (The only exception for me was Instagram, because I manage accounts for work, and there’s no way to post on Instagram from a computer.) I found that the apps kept sending me irrelevant notifications, and it’s nearly impossible to ignore those red badges on your home screen. I was tired of feeling the urgent need to open those apps, especially when 99% of the time, the notifications were pointless and after scrolling through my feeds, I was left feeling unfulfilled.

So I deleted Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Slack. At first it was a little challenging, but I did successfully break the habit of mindlessly pulling out my phone and scrolling. And as a result, I decreased the amount of time I spent on Instagram, even though it was still on my phone.

As a PR girl, I never thought that I could delete social media from my phone. But the truth is that I wasn’t any less informed and I didn’t become a recluse, I simply learned to use the networks more intentionally.

This fall, I ended up re-downloading Twitter because I help manage the PRSA Charlotte social media accounts, and we like to live tweet the luncheons, but I turned off all notifications. (Pro tip, if you try to turn off notifications on any app and it doesn’t seem to work, delete the app, re-download it, and when it prompts you to receive notifications, just hit no/not now.)

So to prevent a backslide in 2018, my resolution is to do more things that make me forget to check my phone. This includes reading more books, discovering and listening to more music, and watching higher quality shows and movies. (Side note: I forgot how overwhelming cable TV is! When we were home for Christmas, the act of trying to find something to watch on the thousands of channels made me just want to shut everything off. Netflix + Hulu for life!)

My resolution also includes getting into yoga, spending more time outside with Rufio, and continuing our quest to clean eating. It’s pretty incredible how much time you realize you have after you cut out mindless apps.

What are you working on in 2018?

PR Girl Travels: Nashville

I believe in Nashville

On Halloween weekend we headed to Nashville for an Islanders/Predators hockey game. It was our first time ever in Nashville, and we had the best time! We shared an Airbnb with friends and went to the game with a ton of other people part of MPR’s Isles meet-up group – plus Danny & Taylor made the trip down from New York!

One of my favorite things about relocating to the South is all of the new destinations we can explore within driving distance of Charlotte. Nashville is about 6 hours away, and the route took us right through beautiful Asheville. If you’ve never been, I highly recommend making the drive in the fall months because we got to do some leaf-peeping along the way – and we even drove through snow on our way home! (Don’t worry, I was prepared with the Michael Bublé Christmas CD locked and loaded.) 🍂

I think what I loved most about Nashville was the energy, and yes, there really is live music on every floor of every bar on Broadway. I can’t say I follow country music, but I sure can appreciate it. 🎶

Broadway in Nashville

Acme Feed & Seed

I was a little worried about finding good restaurants for the group that had vegetarian options for me and MPR (AKA not BBQ), but I can honestly say it was a breeze. We did not have one bad meal. I got an amazing falafel sandwich at Acme Feed & Seed, flavorful Korean BBQ tofu tacos at Bajo Sexto Taco Lounge, and an egg and cheese on a buttery biscuit at Milk & Honey.

Korean BBQ Tofu Tacos

Egg and Cheese on a Biscuit Milk & Honey

While exploring Nashville, we ran into numerous people from the Islanders team because they were all staying downtown. We even picked the same dinner spot as one of the coaches, and after we introduced ourselves, he gave us passes to meet some of the players after the game. We were definitely fan-girling, but we were able to sneak in a few selfies. (It helped that they had just won 6-2!)

Isles Meet Ups CLT

Islanders vs. Predators

Cal Clutterbuck

Anders Lee

On our way out Sunday morning, we stopped by the famous Biscuit Love to grab some bonuts to go – that’s biscuit dough fried like a doughnut. And yes, it’s worth the wait when the line wraps around the building! (Luckily we were in and out because we got there at 8 AM.)

Biscuit Love Nashville

I also couldn’t leave Nashville without popping into Reese Witherspoon’s store, Draper James. I came very close to buying a set of mugs with cute little scotty dogs and dachshunds on them, but I’m pretty sure if I came home with one more mug, MPR would kick me out. (What can I say? I enjoy teatime!)

Draper James Nashville

Amelia's flower truck

Nashville skyline

Overall it was a great trip and I’m so thankful we got to share it with the best friends – both new and old. It was fun to see our New York and Charlotte words collide, and I’m looking forward to our upcoming trips to Raleigh and Brooklyn! 🏒

Happy Halloween from The Ryans

Family costume: Peter Pan, Rufio, Lost Boy

Peter Pan, Rufio & a Lost Boy 🌟

Growing up, Halloween was my absolute favorite holiday. Partially because my parents always went all out with decorations, pumpkin carving, and costumes, and partially because there’s nothing more fun than dressing up and getting free candy!

There was a short window of time between college and moving to Troy when I opted out of Halloween because a. I was poor, b. I was living at home, and c. MPR and I were long distance. But this year I made up for lost time by decking out our house in pumpkins and skeletons, wearing a family costume, and throwing a Halloween Housewarming party. It was so much fun and I cannot wait to greet all of the little trick-or-treaters in our neighborhood tonight!


Thing votive

The Addams Family is my favorite Halloween movie, so I knew I had to have this as soon as I saw it! 👻

Corpse Bride hand towels

I was really into the whole Corpse Bride thing this year 💀


Mikey’s favorite! Life’s a witch and then you fly.

Mummy and Frankenstein cookies

These little mummies and Frankensteins came out so cute and were super easy to make! 🎃

Witch finger pretzel rods

Witch fingers!

Guacamole pumpkin

Go home pumpkin – you’re drunk! 👻

Happy Halloween! 🎃


My 3 favorite blogs at the moment

I am a tad obsessed with the blogging world. Ever since I created a LiveJournal account back in high school, I have been hooked. Over the past 10-15 years I’ve upgraded my platform, and blogging in general has morphed from a hobby into a lucrative business. In fact, a big part of my job in PR is working with bloggers and influencers to partner with my various clients and create content about them. Who would have ever thought that all of this random blogging knowledge I’ve accumulated over the years would help me in my career?

With all of that being said, I still love to read blogs just for fun. I wish fashion bloggers were around back when I was in high school – I could have used the help! 😂 Here are my favorite three blogs that I read regularly (aka on my lunch breaks at work 🥗):


Instagram: @carly

The College Prepster

A huge life goal of mine is to cultivate a closet that mimics Taylor Swift during her “Red” era. I love how she always looked ladylike and put together, even in her street style photos. Carly from The College Prepster doesn’t have as many nods to vintage style as Taylor Swift, but she has that whole preppy, classic style down. I also like how The College Prepster is a true lifestyle blog where she shares snippets about her family, her adorable dogs, and the books she’s reading.


Instagram: @kristarobertso

Covering the Bases

Krista from Covering the Bases is also a preppy fashion blogger, but I like that she’s a size 6, so I know that I can successfully recreate a lot of her outfits. She also has a full-time job in marketing/social media, so I can relate to her. Lately she has been doing a lot of posts about what she wears to work, which I LOVE. Working in a casual environment like an agency, I can get stuck in clothing ruts, so I love using her outfits as inspiration. She has also made me a huge fan of navy blue. Coming from a girl who used to wear all black everything, this is a big step for me.


Instagram: @mflynnpete

Freckled Italian

Megan from Freckled Italian actually used to live in Charlotte, and I met her when I attended two of her SkillPop classes – one on Instagram tips and one on blogging tips. Within this past year, she moved to California for her husband’s job, and is now expecting her first child, so I love to follow along on her newest adventures. She’s also a talented writer and I get lost in her dreamy, lyrical posts.

What are your favorite blogs to read?


25 things you may not know about me

The Oxford Exchange in Tampa

Do you remember back in college when Facebook notes were introduced to share long-form writing? Most people only used them to participate in those viral exercises that asked you to answer questions only with song titles or list 25 random things about yourself. I’m not sure what made me think of them recently, but I dug into my Facebook archives to try to find them because I thought it would be fun to see how much I have changed over the last 10 years. But alas, they are gone forever. And then I saw a similar one pop up on my Facebook news feed! So because I’m feeling nostalgic, here are 25 things you may not know about me.

  1. Favorite Smell? Sandalwood & vanilla (also my favorite wallflower 🌸)
  2. Last time you cried? I honestly can’t remember… most likely the last time I had the stomach flu, which I believe was earlier this spring 🤢
  3. Favorite pizza? Plain cheese 🧀
  4. Favorite flower? Tulips 💐
  5. Did you go to college? SUNY Cortland for undergrad, Quinnipiac University for grad school 🤓
  6. Untie your shoes when taking them off? Nope! I’m lazy 👟
  7. Roller coasters? No, thank you 🙅🏻
  8. Favorite ice cream? It’s a tie between mint chocolate chip and cookie dough 🍨
  9. Favorite pastime? Going to concerts 🎵
  10. Shorts or jeans? Jeans 👖
  11. What are you watching? All of my favorite shows are Netflix originals: The Crown, Master of None, and Stranger Things 👻
  12. Favorite Color? Magenta 💖
  13. Tattoos? Not one 0️⃣
  14. Piercings? Just one set in my ears 👂🏻
  15. Color of hair? Dark brown 💁🏻
  16. Color of eyes? Dark brown 🕶
  17. Favorite food to eat? DESSERT! Bring me French macarons or Italian rainbow cookies and we’ll be friends for life 🍪
  18. Favorite holiday? Halloween 🎃
  19. Beer or wine? Wine 🍷
  20. Night owl or morning person? Definitely a morning person since I tweaked my work hours ⏰
  21. Favorite day of the week? Sunday ☀️
  22. Do you have a Nickname? Most commonly Cait or Moons 🌙
  23. Pictures on your wall? Me & MPR in our various homes: Long Island, Troy, and Charlotte 🏙
  24. What makes you most proud? That we built a brand new life for ourselves here in the Queen City 👑
  25. Favorite music? Pop-punk! 🎶

Your turn!


Vegetarian Recipes for Newbies

Honey sriracha tofu for meatless monday

MPR and I have been on quite the food journey this year. We started out by cutting all processed foods and carbs. Then I dabbled in paleo and used the spiralizer to turn veggies into noodles. Then we fell into a Netflix food documentary hole and discovered the benefits of a plant-based diet. We started incorporating more vegetarian and vegan meals into our weekly meal plans, and eventually cut out meat entirely. It has now been a little over three months and we’ve never felt better.

You’re probably wondering, “but why?” Once I dug in, I found that this is actually the simplest way to eat (at least to me). We buy fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and tofu. We can eat any combination of them without worrying about counting calories and are still able to maintain our weight loss. I had to retrain my brain that carbs are not the enemy. In fact, whole grains are really good for you and an important part of a well-balanced diet – hello guilt-free pasta on Sundays once again! I missed you dearly!

Instead, I now do my best to avoid all added sugar and animal products. There’s quite a bit of research that ties animal proteins to just about every chronic disease, and since we cut it out, we never feel gross or bloated after any meal.

So in honor of World Vegetarian Day today, and Vegetarian Awareness Month this October, I thought I’d share some of our favorite vegetarian meals so far. Because if we can do it, anyone can do it!

  1. Slow Cooker Lentil Sloppy Joes from Simply Quinoa: These lentil sloppy joes are 100% better than traditional ones with ground beef, in my opinion! You could serve them on rolls or over brown rice – both are equally yummy.
  2. Southwestern Black Bean Pasta Salad: This is one of my favorite pasta dishes we’ve tried since lifting our ban on carbs. We make it with nutritious whole wheat pasta and the black beans provide protein to keep you feeling fuller longer.
  3. Roasted Chickpea Gyros: I could easily eat this meal every single week. The delicious seasonings on the roasted chickpeas are so much more flavorful than the chicken or lamb traditionally served in gyros. We pair it with this homemade tzatziki sauce! 💯
  4. Cowboy Caviar: This just replaced queso as my favorite dip. Seriously! It is so refreshing and the perfect side to bring to a BBQ.
  5. Spicy Sofritas Black Bean Bowls: This Chipotle copycat recipe is a game changer. It was the first tofu dish I tried and I am hooked!
  6. Sticky Sesame Cauliflower Bites: This is better than any Chinese takeout I’ve ever had. Their chicken always freaked me out 🙈
  7. Honey Sriracha Tofu: I love to pack this for lunch with brown rice and broccoli.
  8. Chickpea Salad Sandwich: Less stinky than tuna, but just as filling!

If you’re thinking about dipping your toe into the vegetarian/vegan pond, here are some of my favorite resources:

If you have any favorite vegetarian or vegan recipes, please share! We’re always looking for new dishes to add to our weekly rotation.

Home Tour: Guest Room

Guest Room

Strangely, the first room we finished in our new house was the guest room. Mostly because we didn’t need to buy anything new to furnish it, but also because we slept there the first week while we waited for our new mattress to be delivered. To be honest, I just can’t sleep on an air mattress for more than one or two nights, so that room quickly became our top priority.

We got pretty lucky with our house. It’s only one year old, so we don’t need to do any renovations. We even like the paint colors the previous owner had picked out, so literally all we’ve had to do is move in furniture and hang things on the walls.

The room we decided to make the guest room has a bright blue accent wall that perfectly matches our bedding and curtains, so we have officially dubbed it “The Blue Room.” We can’t wait to have our first guests stay with us next weekend!

Guest Room 2

Complete with inspirational messages from Andrew McMahon and The Wonder Years 🎶

Guest Room 3

Guest Room 4

Now accepting reservations at #RyanBnB, so come visit!! 🏡

A moving announcement & moving announcements

We bought a house

Well, it finally happened. I left the city for a 3-bedroom in the suburbs.

And I don’t hate it.

In fact, I kind of love it. Our neighborhood has winding tree-lined sidewalks where I can walk Rufio (and I don’t need to worry about him hurting his little feet on broken beer bottles like when we lived in fratty South End). There’s a neighborhood pool and playground around the corner from us where I can hear kids splashing and laughing, trying to squeeze the most out of these last few nights of summer. I drive down pretty country roads to get here, yet we’re still close to Starbucks (priorities), our favorite South End restaurant (Pinky’s), and a picturesque outdoor mall. Rufio loves to run up and down the stairs (and bark at neighbors from the bay window). I’m still mastering pulling in and out of our 2-car garage, and we’re still getting photos hung on the walls, but this is our home.

New neighborhood

I would like to give a shoutout to my walking commute (RIP). For the last four years (two in Troy, two in South End) I had been able to walk to work, and I had become incredibly spoiled. I now drive 25-30 minutes each way (which I know isn’t terrible) and tweaked my schedule for Charlotte traffic. So these days the Ryan household wakes up at 5 am and is out cold by 9 pm. It’s an adjustment for sure, but I just pretend I’m one of those people in the new Delta commercial (hi-ho!)

If you know about my love of stationery, you can imagine that one of my favorite parts about buying a house was picking out new address labels and moving announcements. I searched for a long time (like before we even scooped up this house over the fourth of July holiday), but I had trouble finding one I loved because they all seemed a little too ostentatious versus informational. The Christmas/moving announcement cards were some of the worst offenders – “We’re celebrating Christmas in our new house” – and they don’t even wish the receiver a happy holiday! So I lucked out when I found these moving announcement postcards from Rifle Paper Co. Simple and to-the-point. And I picked up a 10-pack on sale for $5. Can’t beat that!

Moving Announcement Postcard

Rifle Paper Co. Moving Announcement

I’ve been sharing some sneak peeks of the house on Instagram stories as rooms start to come together, but I’ll start posting more here. The first room we completely finished was our guest room. We affectionately call it “the blue room,” and you’ll see why soon.

So there you have it. The Ryans are officially homeowners, and we are totally rocking this whole suburbs thing. I hung a Fall wreath on the door yesterday, and MPR just ordered an Islanders flag for the front flower bed. We got this 👫🐶🏡

I tossed 496 things in 1 month. Here’s how.

The Minimalism Game

Ever since I was a kid I felt overwhelmed by my own clutter. I held onto everything at risk of needing it again. But at 28 years old, I watched Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things and something finally clicked. It kind of gave me permission to let go of the things I didn’t need or want, but kept out of guilt. Ever since watching the documentary on Netflix, MPR and I have been regularly cleaning out, making trips to Goodwill, and buying more consciously.

But in prep for our move, I wanted to kick it up a notch and really force myself to go through every drawer and cabinet. Enter The Minimalism Game, or #MinsGame for short. The way it works is on the first day you get rid of one thing, on the second day you get rid of two things, and so on for an entire month. You’re technically supposed to compete with a friend or significant other, but I posed it as a challenge to myself.

In the end, I got rid of 496 items this past month. Here are some things I learned about myself in the process, and the full list of items I got rid of.

  1. A lot of my clutter is just things I forgot to throw away.
    In my list you’ll see a lot of old toiletries, makeup, receipts, and packaging. I tend to use items until there’s only one or two squirts left, start a new bottle, and just leave the old one there. Why? I have no idea, but I’m making a conscious effort to stop that going forward. I also tend to hold onto receipts and packaging in case I want to return something. Good plan, but then months and years go by and I still have them, taking up space. I need to set up a system where I clear out these items at the end of every month.
  2. Another chunk of my clutter is things I’m holding onto “just in case.”
    One example is five pairs of prescription glasses (in varying prescriptions). FIVE. I wear contact lenses 95% of my days, but my mother always told me to keep extra glasses pairs around in case something happens to my current pair. But they’re not doing me any good and I’ve never touched them, so I sent them off to Goodwill where they’ll be donated to people who need them. Another example is stacks of extra envelopes from my wedding stationery and Christmas cards over the years. Guess what? A normal letter doesn’t fit in those size envelopes, so I’ve never found another use for them. In the trash they went. And the worst offender? Beauty samples and hotel room toiletries. I take them, but I don’t use them.
  3. I don’t reread books.
    I just don’t. So I got rid of all physical books, either by making trips to my local Little Free Library, bringing them to the lending library in my office, or donating them to Goodwill. I’ve also stopped buying new books and instead borrow them from the library to cut down on clutter and spending.
  4. I really need to channel Marie Kondo and clean out my purse.
    Days 11-13 were completed just by cleaning out my purse. I don’t think I need to go to Kondo’s extreme of completely emptying my purse every night, but I could aim for cleaning it out once a week. After all, why carry around stuff I don’t need?
  5. I held onto things because I didn’t know how to get rid of them properly.
    For example, old checkbooks from an account I don’t have anymore. That graphing calculator from high school math class. Bras that never fit right. The hard drive from my college computer. While it may seem overwhelming at first, I promise you all of your answers are just one Google search away. In the process, I stumbled upon this great article, 9 things you didn’t know you could donate to Goodwill.

So there you have it. After one month I am 496 items lighter, and I’ve never felt more organized. I’m getting to the point where I truly believe everything I own is something I love and use regularly. And when you think about it, if it doesn’t fit into one of those categories, why let it take up precious space – physically or mentally?

The Minimalism Game:
Day 1: necklace from 8th grade graduation
Day 2: two shauna niequist books
Day 3: one cookbook, one YA novel, one coffee table book
Day 4: two magazines, two empty toiletry bottles
Day 5: one well-loved bra, extra spatula, extra potholder, spiralizer, wine stopper
Day 6: 6 DVDs
Day 7: 2 calculators, 3 post-It pads, Hollywood boot straps, Rufio’s old name tag
Day 8: stack of old business cards, old postcard, left over envelopes from Christmas cards, stack of old receipts, junk mail, post-it notes, old notes about a doctors appt, Vera Bradley iPad case
Day 9: old mouth guard, 3 post-it pads, 5 old makeup samples
Day 10: 10 envelopes from old Christmas cards/wedding stationery
Day 11: 6 gum wrappers and 5 old light rail tickets
Day 12: 6 expired coupons, shopping list, Charlotte hounds ticket, old movie tickets, regal crown club receipt, parking pass, petco grooming receipt
Day 13: 11 receipts, appointment reminder card, twist tie
Day 14: One Lesportsac duffle bag, one lesportsac tote bag, one Victoria’s Secret tote bag, that curling wand I never quite got the hang of, a body wash that makes my skin itchy, 2 pieces of junk mail, 2 old lip glosses, 1 sample mascara, 1 old blush, 2 expired nasal sprays, 1 old prescription information sheet
Day 15: 8 skincare samples I never used, 1 shampoo and 1 heat protectant spray with only a tiny bit left, 1 hotel body lotion, 1 nail polish color I don’t like, 2 face moisturizers i don’t like, 1 almost empty perfume bottle
Day 16: Sock bun I ever use, 1 body lotion with only a squirt left, 1 face serum with only a squirt left, 1 makeup brush shampoo, 1 electric razor, 8 empty boxes/packages of stuff, 3 zip lock gallon bags I used for travel for my toiletries
Day 17: 17 old CD cases
Day 18: 18 old CD cases
Day 19: 3 old CD cases, 1 DVD, 15 old sauce/dressing packets
Day 20: 5 wet naps, 2 old cookie icing packs, 1 broken hanger, 1 hat, 1 pair of gloves, 7 text books from college/grad school, 2 license plate covers, my epic wedding planning binder
Day 21: 2 picture frames, 1 card game, 3 coasters, 2 champagne flutes, 6 mugs, 7 bras
Day 22: 5 pairs of shoes, 4 skirts, 1 bathing suit coverup, 7 shirts, 1 pair of jeans, 4 pairs of socks
Day 23: 15 pairs of underwear, 7 pairs of socks, 1 pair of tights
Day 24: 7 shirts, 3 expired antiseptic wipes, 2 tote bags, 1 wristlet, 1 pair of gloves, 4 belts, 1 pair of sweatpants, 3 sweaters, 1 Islander jersey, 1 bracelet
Day 25: 1 lap top case, 7 receipts, 1 map of Detroit, 3 lip glosses, 1 box plastic cutlery, 1 puppy blanket, 3 puppy poop bags, 1 runner, 1 set of sheets, 2 pillowcases, 3 hoodies, 1 wallet
Day 26: 2 purses, 1 wallet, 2 pairs of pants, 1 piggybank, 17 coins of foreign currency, 1 pair of shoes, 1 pair of glasses, 1 hair comb
Day 27: 19 necklaces, 6 rings, 2 watches
Day 28: 24 pairs of earrings, 4 bracelets
Day 29: 15 pendants, 14 pins
Day 30: 1 locket, 8 bracelets, 5 old CCs/IDs, 2 packs of old envelopes, 1 embosser with old address and maiden name, 1 pack of photo thank you cards, 4 pairs of glasses, 8 receipts from old prescriptions
Day 31: 3 receipts from our wedding, 2 shopping receipts, 4 old check books, 1 bag of extra buttons, 2 business cards, 1 old perfume bottle, 1 old compact mirror, 2 old lip glosses, 2 old foundations, 3 old eye shadows, 1 old eyeliner, 1 bronzer, 1 old mascara, 1 makeup brush, 1 old cuticle softener, 1 old pair of tanning goggles, 4 nail polishes

Everything in transit

Something Corporate North

I vividly remember riding in my family’s mini van to Coconuts to pick up Something Corporate’s “North” on release day. It was a typical October evening in upstate New York – dark, damp, and chilly. As soon as I got home I ran up to my room, put it in my Walkman, sank down to my pink carpeted floor, and devoured it from start to finish while following along in the lyric book.

That album was a constant companion during my early morning bus rides that fall. I remember scrawling on ripped loose leaf corners and passing notes in Spanish class that read, “give me just one inch I swear that’s all I need.” On Friday nights I talked to my friends about my big plans, places I was going, places that they hadn’t been. It was 2003, and no one understood me like Andrew McMahon.

And that’s why it was so hard to get rid of all of my CD cases and inserts while playing the Minimalism Game. Do I need them anymore? No. To be honest I hadn’t touched them in years, but it made me long for that ritual of picking up a new album and instantly sitting down to memorize every word and riff. Streaming music on Spotify just isn’t the same. But after a fun night of nostalgia (complete with a Fall Out Boy DVD), I went through each book, thanked them for the memories, and tossed them in the trash.

I saved just one lyric book that I couldn’t bear to part with: “Everything in Transit” by Jack’s Mannequin. The artwork alone evokes memories of high school heartbreak, turning 18, and my last summer at home. It was what my friends and I scream-sang in the car when we felt alone in a crowded room. It’s the lyrics I still recite every time I need caffeine in the bloodstream (AKA Starbucks). It was the soundtrack to my own personal coming of age story, and it was the perfect closure when I met my future husband on the first night of college, almost one year to its release date.

You can breathe now. We were made for each other.

Jack's Mannequin Everything in Transit