Alyssa J Freitas

September 18, 2019

The Importance of Confidence

I recently had breakfast with a girl friend, and we had a lot of catching up to do. As it usually happens, the catching up turned into a coaching session and we were helping each other think through challenges.
Click to read now or pin to save for later. Learn about the importance of confidence in your career

We're both in sales and appreciate that each deal we work on is completely different and we have to adapt. But that also means it can be hard to trust yourself when you are constantly faced with situations that don't have a formula to "properly" handle.

I got to thinking about how this pretty much describes life. There are always new hurdles to overcome and it can be scary when you're in a brand new situation. However, if you have confidence and trust in yourself you will be able to handle yourself with grace and progress toward your desired results!

A moment of some clarity on this came while I was looking through my old YouTube videos (I did a series of compilations in college) and came across this one of a sales competition. The video shows an exciting week where I got to explore Milwaukee and had an exciting victory, coming in second place.

While you watch me accepting an award and hugging my friends, what you don't see is the fact that I called my mother from the bathroom, crying after the first round. I was convinced I'd bombed and was devastated that this one moment would kick me out of the competition.

I learned a major lesson from this:

1. Often times you're your own worst critic

I tore myself down, going over every wrong word I thought I'd said and looking at how I didn't do a good job (in my eyes) leading the conversation. Not only was I not looking at what I did well, I also wasn't constructively figuring out how I could get better the next time.

2. It's easy to forget the process when looking at your accomplishments

When I think back to the competition, I only remember the highlights. If I wasn't rewatching this video around the same time as my breakfast conversation, I may have just remembered the feeling of success and not the doubt that led up to it. 

This shows how important it is to put challenges into perspective and to acknowledge that you've had doubts before and have proven your capability. Basically, have some darn confidence!

Although this story was a victory, there are many other times where things haven't worked out perfectly or I haven't performed in line with my personal expectations. What is important in both types of situations is having belief and trust in your abilities and doing what is in your power to improve. It's the only way to deal with challenges and something we can all benefit from working on!

How do you deal with challenges and trust yourself?

-Alyssa J

September 11, 2019

Top Apartment Moving Tips

It's been a little over two months since I moved into the city. The apartment is nearly fully decorated and we've settled into a nice groove in our new neighborhood. I'll have a full apartment tour coming soon, and wanted to share some of the lessons learned so far.
Click to read now or pin to save for later! Here are the top tips I have for moving to an apartment for the first time

Prioritize window dressings

Our apartment doesn't face the street, but instead looks over a garden that belongs to a neighboring building. It's lovely and I am so happy that I have greenery to look at and no street noise. However, we can see quite clearly into one neighboring apartment and there's another building across the way that we can partially see into. 

There were absolutely no window dressings when I moved in and I wish I had taken measurements when we decided on the apartment and bought them first thing! Our windows are very large and it was a bit challenging to find options that would work. I went with drapes for the bedroom and this awesome shade for the living room. They offer many dimensions and it was so easy to install. 

Start with the bare minimum and build from there

Because I was moving out for the first time, I didn't have a ton of "household" possessions. Even when I went away to college, I always lived in a dorm and never had a kitchen. It wasn't until my final year of college that I even had my own bathroom.

My mother and I purchased some basics, like a pot, pan, and a few utensils, and I've been getting more of what we need from there. Better to start out with less and avoid overbuying.

Bring lots of cleaning supplies

This is something I am more of a maximilist about haha Bringing more cleaning supplies than you think you need will allow you to not have the excuse of "oh, I need to go out and buy xyz before I can get the place in tip top shape." I invested in a Dyson vacuum (definitely go to Costco for this) and filled the space under my sink to the brim. 

Buy the less expensive mattress

They say you should invest in things that keep you off the ground; shoes, tires, beds. I agonized over choosing a mattress and nearly spent double because I thought it might make a difference. Luckily I went with the $500 option instead of the $1,000 from Mattress Firm and absolutely love it. Make sure you're still getting quality, but you don't need to buy into all of the "technical" speak about it. If it feels good when you lie down on it, just get that one.

Be prepared for assembly to take longer than you expect

We got the majority of our furniture from Wayfair and Home Depot. We spent a few nights assembling everything as it was delivered. We made it fun, but it certainly took longer than anticipated. So far we've been very happy with the quality and I love that we choose everything in less than a half hour on the fourth of July to take advantage of the sale. 

Those are the top things to keep in mind when you're moving. It's fun and exciting and, if you stay calm and trust that everything is going to work out, it doesn't have to be stressful.

What did you learn when moving? Does anyone have a move coming up? 

-Alyssa J

September 4, 2019

Fall Pinterest Inspiration

Back in 2015 I wrote a post about organizing your Pinterest account. I discussed how to determine who to follow, how to set up your boards, and basically how to make your Pinterest account the best thing ever. Since then, Pinterest has made some changes. The chief one is that your home feed is not just people you follow, but also pins that Pinterest recommends for you.
Click to read now or pin for later! Check out Pinterest inspiration to get in the fall mood

While there is a specific tab for those you follow, the experience on mobile is poor and I've been pretty disappointed with this change. So what's a girl to do? I've found that going to your boards and getting recommendations from there ("More Ideas") and searching for specific topics is the new way to go.

I recently went through my boards and removed images that no longer inspired me (many preppy outfits from high school had to go haha) and have been getting much more value out of using Pinterest! Today I wanted to share with you how I'm getting inspired for fall.

I picked out my top pins for the season and included my boards for more inspiration. Enjoy!





What's been inspiring you lately?

-Alyssa J

August 28, 2019

August 2019 Monthly Recap

After the banner month of July, I knew August would be a bit more light. But it still ended up being quite full!
Click to read now or pin to save for later! Check out what I got up to in August

First up, I got a library card! It was so exciting because I am a voracious reader and there's a branch a block and a half away from our apartment. I've already made a few trips and am absolutely loving the convenience.

Joe and I went to our second Andrew Belle concert, this time at the Bowery Ballroom.

We discovered that Riverside Park is a mere 10 minute walk from the apartment and have been going over to walk, read, and eat.

A highlight of the month was visiting Hershey Park! It's important to ride roller coasters every summer, and this trip fulfilled that requirement. We got a beautiful dinner at the Hershey Hotel, and I published a complete post with our tips.

My sweet friend Casey came to visit and I was so excited to set up our sleeper couch for the first time and be a hostess.

The apartment continues to come together (though I'm not ready to give a tour just yet). Papa and Lady worked on this DIY shelves project in our kitchen nook and I am so happy with how it turned out!

We stumbled upon a street fair not even a block away from the apartment! I can't get over how close and exciting everything is nearby.

Our second concert of the month was Tame Impala. This was my first time going to Madison Square Garden and it was great!

What have you been up to in August?

-Alyssa J

August 21, 2019

What I've Been Reading Lately, Vol III

It's been a few months since my last What I've Been Reading Lately post and since then I have gotten a NYC library card! Not only that, there's a branch two blocks away from my apartment. Couldn't have asked for a better location. Without further ado, here's what I've been reading lately.
Click to read now or pin to save for later! Check out the books that have been on my radar recently

Issac's Storm by Erik Larson

Erik Larson also wrote The Devil in the White City, which I talked about in my Chicago city guide. He's a phenomenal story teller for historical events and this book was wild. At the turn of the 20th century a hurricane of unbelievable strength hit the Gulf and the ensuing disaster is devastating. There are so many events that we never hear about and I love learning about how people of an earlier time responded. 

Read this if you like history, talking about the weather, and sibling feuds. 

Educated by Tara Westover

This book has been quite popular recently. It's the memoire of a woman who grows up in the US without standard access to education...and in a family that is separated from society. I had to know more after finishing and went on to watch interviews with Tara. It's another book that will make you appreciate your privilege and open your eyes to how others live. 

Read this if you like tough family dynamics, persistent heroines, and underdog stories.

A Conspiracy of Paper by David Liss

This book was suggested as similar to Edward Rutherfurd's work...I don't buy it. This historical adventure story follows an ex-wrestler who gets caught up in the stock trading scene of London. It's an interesting way to learn about the early days of speculation, but I wasn't a huge fan of the writing. 

Read this if you like...actually just go read Edward Rutherfurd instead ;) 

Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I picked this book up on my trip to LA at The Last Bookstore. I found myself desperately searching for the symbolism as if I were back in a high school english class and looked up analyses after finishing. It was a good story and there were poignant scenes, but it wasn't my favorite. I'm a bigger fan of his short stories. 

Read this if you like actresses on the beach, mental health commentary, and rich language.

I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon 

Other than the animated film, I really didn't know anything about Anastasia and the Romanov family. This historical fiction work covers both the perspective of Anastasia and one of her most successful impersonators. After reading this I went looking for more information on the family and was blown away with what I learned. I will say that I found Anastasia's perspective and story more compelling than her impersonator, so I did breeze through certain parts. 

Read this if you like royalty, intrigue, and Russian culture.

Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao

Ummm ok, this book was tough. It's about two girls in India in the early 2000s and it's disturbing. The vivid scenes of sexual abuse were tough to handle and I should have put this book down when it went so far out of my comfort zone. I understand that the author was providing commentary and that all of these unspeakable acts do happen, however it was too much for me. Less violence would still have gotten the point across. Can't recommend this one. 

What have you been reading recently? Have you read any of these and what did you think?

Check out more reading posts here!

-Alyssa J