Life Update

I've been receiving a ton of questions recently about moving and all that came with it, so I wanted to write up a life update for those that are curious. As you may or may not know, I recently took a seven day road trip from Virginia to California. I (my mom) packed my entire life into my little VW bug and put almost 3,000 miles on my car. Tylar and I each drove our cars alone to get here since we would need them to get around after the move. I posted a Q&A on my Instagram stories, so here are allll of the answers to everything you all wanted to know:

Was it hard traveling with a husky?

Other than the fact that she usually doesn't like other dogs, Loki is very well behaved. Because of that, and the fact that Tylar took her on a long run before our drive every morning, traveling with her was easy. If we needed to go to dinner or explore for an hour or two, Loki is crate trained and was awesome while we were gone. I do think it was really stressful on her though. After the trip, Loki started showing signs of illness and it turned out that she had colitis. Colitis is caused by an infection or a parasite, but usually starts from some form of stress. So, traveling with her was easy because she was such a good girl, but it was hard on her. Don't worry though, she's much better now and she's loving it here.

Where did you move to?

CALIFORNIA, BABY! We moved to Irvine and we absolutely love it. It's about 20 minutes inland from Laguna and Newport Beach and an hour south of Los Angeles. It's one of the safest places to live in America, it's beautiful, and I'm never bored. It has great nightlife close by, amazing food all the time, and it's one of the few places in California that has not one, but TWO Dunkin Donuts. We decided to come out here because my brother gave us an opportunity we couldn't turn down. By splitting a room, we're only paying $100 more than we were in Harrisonburg during school. Hunter (my brother) found us a two-story, three bedroom house in a gated community, so we live with him and his best friend from home, Tim. I came out here without a job, without a plan, and without a whole lot of money, but it worked out perfectly. I'm over the moon about my life here.

photo by @jaythaute

Where do you work?

I had a couple of job offers, but after weighing all of the options, I accepted the marketing assistant/social media coordinator position at Bassman Blaine. The company is an interior design firm based in Irvine that has full service interior design and sells furniture from twelve vendors to furniture stores and interior designers. I'm super excited to be working here. I really wanted to work in fashion, but since I'm not living in LA, it was hard to find an entry level position in the field without any experience. I just like to think of interior design as fashion... for your house.

I'm only a few days in, but I'm loving the job so far. I've gotten to plan the social media for one of our accounts and I'm about to take over more. With that, I get to help with the marketing efforts once I'm a little more trained. My coworkers are awesome, the company is small and good to it's employees, and our new building is about to be AMAZING... it has a freaking yoga studio in it.

Where does Tylar work?

Tylar works for Acorns doing Customer Service. He came into California hoping to work for them and landed one of the only entry level positions open right now. He's super excited to be at such an innovative and modern company and I'm hoping after a little bit of time in this position, he'll be able to grow into Digital Analysis like he wants to! The office has the startup atmosphere so Tylar has a lot of fun at work. It has a fitness center, a bar, nap nooks, a stocked kitchen, and he gets unlimited paid time off.

photo by @jaythaute

Do you miss Virginia?

I miss the people in Virginia, but I don't miss Virginia itself. After living there for almost 22 years, there was nothing left for me. I always considered my hometown a black hole-- a lot of people settle down there and love the small town lifestyle, but there was no way I could reach my goals or full potential living there. I felt so out of place in my town, I hated the cold, and there wasn't a large amount of acceptance and opportunity for where I wanted to go with my career. Regardless, I miss my mom like hell. I miss my fam. I miss my best friends Katelyn and Hannah. I miss the gym I taught at during my four years of college. I miss my friends. But none of that will ever be enough for me to move back. Virginia will always be my home, but I never want to leave California.

What did you study? How is it relevant to what you do today?

I studied Mass Communications focused in Public Relations. Excellent verbal and written communication skills are a necessity to get into marketing and social media, but the public relations side strays a little from the job description. Public relations is a form of communication used to create relationships with the target public, while marketing is more towards selling to that public. A background in PR helps because a lot of things are similar between the two fields, but I do think I chose the wrong major. I wish I would've done marketing or media arts & design!

That being said, never let your major choose your future. If you really want to do something, you can make it happen. I may have had to move all the way to California to make it happen for me, but I'm happy that I did. Marketing is a much better fit for me. Even though I'm only a few days in, I love my job and I think I'm going to end up being really great at it. I do want to get into fashion eventually, but I'm happy just having that on the side with influencing for now. Who knows, I may fall in love with my job and the interior design and stay there forever. If that's the case, I'd be perfectly okay with that. All that matters to me is that I'm happy, in my career and at home. :)

edit by @annemerrilll

What are your hobbies?

My hobbies are exercising, playing the guitar, watching TV, and styling/shooting. I workout every morning before I go to work, which honestly sucks for me because I'm not a morning person. It's better than going after work when the gym is packed and I'm slumped, though. I've played guitar since I was in fifth grade and I do it just because I love it. As for TV, my favorite shows are the Office and Game of Thrones, but recently I've been binge watching Nashville.

As for styling/shooting, I really do consider blogging and influencing a hobby, because it does take up a lot of my time out of work (even though I try to make it easier by shooting a quick outfit pic when I'm going out anyway). Since my move, my blogger career has been thriving. I got my first invite to Paris fashion week (even though I couldn't afford to go), my first invite to a blogger event in LA (which I also won't be able to attend because it's the day after I start my job), and an invitation to speak on a blogger panel (again, I can't go because I'll be working). Though I wasn't able to actually attend any of these, it was an honor to be invited. I have, however, gotten the opportunity to meet up with the NastyGal team in Venice Beach for a feature, and have a few other exciting collaborations up my sleeve.

What's your involvement with Target Tag and what was the process like?

Funny story, I thought it was a scam at first. I checked my email and saw the subject line: "Hello from Target- wanna collab?" Obviously I had a heart attack first, but when I opened the email and saw that they wanted to talk to me about a paid sponsorship and send me to their headquarters I though it was fake. Taking the chance, I set up the call. My girl Marcia rang me up and told me barely anything about what I was doing, just the compensation rate and when they wanted me to come out. So I said, abso-freaking-lutely.

Not knowing the point of any of it, I flew to Minneapolis, MN for a weekend with target and a group of creatives that I now love with my whole heart. The second day, we found out that Target was launching a digital magazine and that we were the content creators for it. It was a new project for Target and the opportunity of a lifetime for all of us. It was a secret. It was crazy. It was amazing. I was there with the coolest people I'd ever met and didn't understand why I was one of them. I don't know how they chose me or why they chose me, but I am so incredibly thankful for the opportunity they've given me. I wish I could tell you more, but all I know about the process is that I was and am #blessed.

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