Alyssa J Freitas

February 19, 2020

9 Winter Activities in NYC on a Budget

Winter in New York; there's nothing like it. It's magical and festive and all that starts to wear off come February. It's still freezing, but there are no holiday activities to keep us entertained, and you've most likely run through most of your cold weather ideas by this point. Never fear - today I'm sharing with you my the top things to do during the winter that won't break the bank, and won't require you to freeze outside.
Click to read now or pin to save for later! Here are the top places to go in NYC and things to do on a budget in the winter

1. Rock climbing 

You've seen this many a time in my monthly recaps. I love rock climbing and it's the perfect activity to give you a fun workout, not matter what the temperature. I go to Central Rock gym. 

2. Ping Pong, Pool

Going to a bar that has games is a great way to spend a fun winter evening. Ping Pong is my favorite and it won't break the bank to socialize and play to your heart's content. Break Bar is Astoria is a go-to. 

3. Take a cooking class

I've been looking for places to do this in the city and would love any recommendations you may have. 

4. Museums. All the museums. 

As you know, I am obsessed with the Met and can spend days there. I also recommend the New York Historical Society. It's much smaller and you can see the whole thing in a few hours and learn something new! Friday nights are pay as you wish.

5. Explore a new place to read

The New York Public Library system is extensive and there's nothing like reading in the flagship location

6. Host a game night or go to a board game bar

Joe and I love playing board games together and are growing our collection. If you want to try out some new games, head to The Uncommons

7. Comedy show

There are so many inexpensive places to go for comedy shows. You can check out this Meetup page for groups that even give away free tickets. 

8. Movies

If you're a morning person you can check out matinees for a better price and less crowds. You can also watch movies at home and work your way through lists like this.

9. Sample hot chocolate

My friend Sheetal and I are doing an Instagram series on the best hot chocolate places in the city. Check it out here

What activities do you turn to in the cold winter months? 

-Alyssa J

February 12, 2020

5 Things I've Learned in 25 Years

Happy belated birthday to me! Each year since I turned 20 I've been compiling lists of lessons I've learned - you can check out 20, 21, 22, 23, and 24.
Click to read now or pin to save for later! Check out the 5 things I've learned in 25 years

1. If you're going to make a change, might as well embrace it all at once

This year I changed jobs, moved, and got engaged all within the course of one month. I doubt I'll have so many major life changes in such a small span of time again in the near future, but I learned that if life is giving you a lot, just roll with it. While there were hard moments and challenges with getting used to a multitude of new daily adjustments, I learned I can handle it, and so can you. 

2. Projects keep you engaged

I know that I like to be constantly on the move, but I had to find some purpose. From maintaining this blog, to joining WISE, to working for Yukon, and now with my Instagram series (#findmeatthemet  and best NYC hot chocolate), I found such joy this year in what I have pursued out of my primary work. When you're pushing yourself creatively and intellectually, you just feel good.

3. Find yourself a person who is smart, fun, kind, and loving and lock it down

Joe and I made one of the biggest and best decisions this year - to get engaged! While we'd talked about it for a while, the commitment was actually made and it was exhilarating...and nerve-racking...and right. I learned that when a commitment is forever it can be overwhelming at first, but the reality is if you are with your guy, you couldn't be luckier. 

4. I want to travel more

This year all of my trips were pretty short and domestic. From going to Disney a few times, to a weekend away with Joe, I had such a fun time, but I want to expand my horizons and tackle more places. This year we have our honeymoon, so that will be awesome, and going forward I want to be more intentional about taking the time and spending the money for those new experiences. 

5. Patience

I wouldn't say I've mastered this (not even close), but I've once again recognized the importance this year of patience. So many things in life require time and work and planning, and that's ok! As long as you're moving towards your goals and making progress, you are right where you need to be. 

What did you learn at 25? 

-Alyssa J

February 5, 2020

January 2020 Monthly Recap

Hello, new year! It's already February so it's time to put up my January monthly recap. I started this series at this time last year as a way to motivate myself to take more pictures and to serve as a journal of sorts. I've admittedly been journaling infrequently and I'm wondering if these recaps as partially to blame!
Click to read now or pin to save for later! Check out what I've been up to in January

Joe and I celebrated New Year's Eve by going out for dinner, kissing at midnight, and proceeding right to sleep.

This month included the birth of two new series on Instagram - #findmeatthemet and hot chocolate reviews across NYC in partnership with my friend Sheetal. I've had a great time making trips to the Met and consuming tons of sugar!

I've been wanting to upgrade my wardrobe and I was finally inspired to make a purchase after putting on a shirt I've had since I was 16 and discovering it was coming undone at the seams. I went to Scotch & Soda and played dress up with the shopping assistant - obsessed with what she picked out for me!

So much time at the Met - surprise, surprise.

Joe and I went on a double date with Austen and Andrew to try out Korean BBQ. It was delicious!

Because of our hot chocolate project, Sheetal and I have also been exploring different neighbors and we spent a beautiful, mild morning in Soho.

The weather then took a turn and we got a bunch of snow on the night of Joe's friends' house warming party. We ventured to Jersey City and got to enjoy the sparkling snow.

Addison and I have birthday's back to back and we celebrated by going to the Palm for dinner and having Lady's delectable cupcakes.

I went to San Diego for Looker's sales kickoff and it was such a beautiful place we got to stay. I had a room with a fireplace that opened onto the beach, we had s'mores at a beach bonfire, and of course learned a ton that is going to be essential to success this year!

For my birthday I had a three day extravaganza. I got my annual Cinnabon, Joe took me to the dining room in the Met, and my girl friends all got together for brunch. Feeling so happy and loved entering my 25th year. I'll have a post coming next week about 5 things I've learned in 25 years, so stay tuned for that!

How was your January? 

-Alyssa J

January 29, 2020

Recent Writing Work

Hi there, hello! I was thinking about what I wanted to write about this week and realized I hadn't shared some of my recent publications elsewhere.
Click to read now or pin to save for later! Check out where my work has been recently

If you don't know, I volunteer for an organization called Women in Sales Everywhere (WISE) which is just what it sounds like. I'm the Content Chair and work on editing the blog as well as managing Instagram, especially the stories section!

Recently I wrote a blog post about how to smoothly transition jobs. You can check it out here!

Along with all the sales things (it's pretty much all I think about), I was profiled on a website called Sales Hacker. They have a "day in the life" series and mine was called "A Day in the Life of an Account Executive on the Move." You can learn all about my daily routine here.

On LinkedIn I wrote a post about what I learned about data in 2019. That was a fun one and I love to share my experiences across platforms.

I used to seek out guest posting opportunities to expose my work to different audiences. There isn't enough time to do so like I used to, but I am so glad I get to share my thoughts here and that once in a while I get to reach new eyes.

-Alyssa J

January 22, 2020

What I've Been Reading Lately, Vol. IV

It's been a while (about 5 months) since my last "what I've been reading lately" post, so it's high time for a recap!
Click to read now or pin to save for later! Here are all the books I've been reading and what I think of them

The Widow of Wall Street by Randy Susan Meyers

I consistently like reading books and watching movies and tv shows that involve people losing their money. I think it stems from the great fear I have of losing all of my money and want to see how fictional characters respond. In this novel a woman trusts the wrong man and they experience a rise and wealth and a devastating fall together. I gave this one three stars - pretty average, nothing that grabbed me or was especially memorable. 

The Vexations by Caitlin Horrocks

This historical fiction novel was wonderful. It's about a group of siblings and how their lives unfold in La Belle Epoque Paris. The sister of Erik Satie (a famous composure I knew nothing about before this) goes through her own trials and tribulations that are wrapped up in and influenced by the choices of Erik. I don't want to give too much away, but this got a four star rating from me. 

Sarum by Edward Rutherfurd

I. Love. Edward. Rutherfurd. I can't say this enough. You've heard my descriptions before about sweeping novels that cover years in a certain place, with amazing stories that intertwine. Well, this is it. Again. And as good as anything I've read of his. Five stars, as always.

Gravity is the Thing by Jaclyn Moriarty

This was a bit out there. A group of people get sent chapters from a self help book when they're young and it continues into their adult life. The authors of the book invite them to a seminar and the madness unfolds from there. There's romance and existential crises and all that. It takes a little while to get into, but I enjoyed it overall. Four stars. 

The Chain by Adrian McKinty

I flew through this book in a day. It's a thriller where there's a series of kidnappings, all dependent on one another. There's a big twist, but I did see it coming. Not much to say without giving it away. I give it three stars and it's good to pick up if you need a pallet cleanser. 

After the Flood by Kassandra Montag

This is a climate change fear book. The world is flooded because of melting ice caps (scientifically correct? Who can say) and a mother and daughter fight to survive. There are colonies and terrorists and you're on the edge of your seat, rooting for them to make it, while reading. This novel gets a four star rating. 

Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man's Fight for Justice by Bill Browder

I most likely would not have picked this book up if it wasn't for Looker's book club. This book follows Bill during the start of his career as he realizes the investment potential in Russia during the privatization of businesses. From there, things unfold and the Russian authorities are revealed to be a crooked lot, to say the least. Four stars. 

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

I enjoyed it. I didn't love it. Though looking back at my review I gave it four stars, so maybe I liked it better than I remember? It's about a group of people who go to a wellness retreat for a variety of reasons and it turns into a very dark experience. In this one there is a twist that I 100% did not see coming. 

The Gifted School by Bruce Holsinger

A new school for gifted students is opening. Everyone thinks their child is gifted. The community dissolves from there. Another novel with another twist, and I only got it about a chapter before, if that. The writing was solid, the characters were alright, and I gave it a three star rating. 

The Capital by Robert Menasse 

I really wanted this to be a book that I loved, but alas it didn't capture me like I thought it would. The story starts out strong and a bit whimsical - then it lulls and doesn't pick up again until the very end. I love stories that have multiple characters that all intersect without being clearly related, and The Capital gave me exactly what I was looking for there. However, the style of writing can be confusing without the use of parentheses and the connections among characters don't come together in a satisfying way.

What have you been reading lately? Any recommendations? Come be friends with me on Goodreads here!

-Alyssa J