Category: Life

A New Mentality on Student Debt

A New Mentality on Student Debt | The Pace

It is no secret that student debt in the United States is a major problem. According to this Forbes article, there are 44.2 million U.S. borrowers with a total of $1.31 trillion in student debt, and the average student in the Class of 2016 has $37,172 in student loan debt. When I was still in school, these massive numbers were hard to wrap my head around. I have had a job since I was 16, but working part-time jobs with paychecks that went partly to my college fund and partly to fueling my trips to the mall did not give me a real understanding of how income, bills, debt, and personal finance in general operate. Having been in the working world for over a year, I now have a better understanding of how impactful my debt is and how big of an effect it has on my life.

If you’re like me and are one of the more than 44 million borrowers contributing to our country’s student debt, you know how overwhelming and terrible those monthly loan payments are. Partnered with rent, utilities bills, gym membership fees, groceries, and other necessities, it’s enough to bring a twenty-something to tears (and trust me, it has multiple times).

I personally am taking on an enormous amount of student debt and my monthly payments eat up a large majority of my paycheck. I would be lying if I said I didn’t look at my coworkers, peers, and friends that have less (or no) student debt than I do and feel bad for myself. But my debt is going to be a part of my life for quite some time, whether I like it or not. I refuse to throw a 15-year-long pity party for myself and harness unnecessary feelings of negativity and ungratefulness, so lately I have been trying to take on a new mindset regarding my debt.

Instead of thinking of my monthly payments as another bill, I am viewing these payments as a positive step forward. For four years, I dug myself into a monstrous hole of debt, and while I will never look at my four years at Villanova with anything but joy and gratitude, I can recognize now that those amazing years also included the act of painting a picture of very red dollar signs.  But now, I am climbing out of that hole. With every payment, I am getting closer to being debt-free.

I obviously believe education in our country is extremely overpriced and that student debt is an issue that needs to be addressed, but if you are one of the 44.2 million borrowers with debt, we can never let the annoyance and difficulty of our debt allow us to forget what a privilege receiving an education is. In the midst of those painful monthly payments, it is important to recognize our blessings and fortune and take on a more positive mindset.

What are your tips for managing your student debt? Please share in the comment section below!

xo,

Tatum

Gratitude

Gratitude | The PaceIMG_4221IMG_4224IMG_4098IMG_4083IMG_4102IMG_4078

We’ve all been there…”My life is hard because X, Y, Z.” “If I only had X like he/she did.” “Why do have to deal with this?!”

Whether these comments are thought internally, uttered to significant others, friends, and roommates, or posted on social media, they’re one in the same: pity parties. I know realistically that we can’t possibly be happy all of the time. There are going to be times when life gets us down, when it hands us things that cause incredible suffering. But these routine pity parties that we throw for ourselves are the issue.  Lately, I have been the hosting way too many Tatum pity parties and a couple of weeks ago, I decided it was time to officially retire the event. 

Because when I think about it, it is downright silly and stupid for me to feel bad for myself. I have an abundance of resources, far more than I need, and so many blessings in every aspect of my life. So now when my inner self starts writing out those pity party invites, I’m stealing the pen and putting that energy toward thinking about all I have to be thankful for, instead of the things I want or worry about.

Today, I’m sharing five things that I am super thankful for at the moment. Next time you start down the path of self-pity, I challenge you to do the same. Just take a moment and list five things you’re thankful for. A change in mentality from yearning to appreciating makes all the difference.

1. My dream job

About a month ago, I started my dream job. It’s crazy and insane and intense, but it’s also fun, exciting, challenging, and rewarding. I can honestly say that I love my job. I never dread going to work in the morning and have multiple moments a week when I think, I can’t believe this is actually my job. I know how lucky I am to feel this way toward my job, especially being so young in the working world, and everyday I am thankful for that. 

2. My family

I am obsessed with my family. My parents, brother, and I have always been and always will be extremely close. Our family group chat is always blowing up as we keep each other up to speed on our lives. We congratulate each other’s achievements, laugh at embarrassing moments shared, and relive old memories. I especially cherish the time we all spend together, since it doesn’t occur as often as it used to when we all lived under the same roof. Not only am I blessed with such a close knit, supportive, loving, fun, incredible little Murray clan, I have an amazing extended family: Grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins that have given me so much love, support, and guidance throughout my life.

3. My boyfriend 

Eric and I started dating during my sophomore year of college and my life has never been the same. It’s been three and a half years and I still get butterflies when he walks toward me on the street and still smile at my phone when I’m texting him. And while my blog is not the place I share the details of my relationship, I will share my gratitude to have someone so loving, smart, supportive, and altogether wonderful as my boyfriend.

4. My friends

I would be nothing without them. My friends are the icing, the glue, and the spice in my life (if that even makes any sense). They bring excitement, inspiration, laughter, support, companionship, and joy. We celebrate life together, spend too much money together, cry together, laugh together, and live together (in the case of my amazing roomie!). My life would be one big pile of blah without my friends. 

5. My city

Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed of living in New York City. Now that I’ve lived here for a year, my starry-eyes are still sparkling. I am in love with this city. There is no place on earth like it. And to wake up every day and think, I can’t believe I actually live here, is such a blessing. 

What are five things you’re thankful for right now?

xo,

Tatum

Express Corset Front Peplum Top/JORD Watch

Photos by: Jay Haute

It’s Poppin’

It's Poppin'|The PaceIt's Poppin'|The PaceIt's Poppin'|The Pace It's Poppin'|The Pace It's Poppin'|The Pace

Black is my favorite color. What’s not to love? It looks good on everyone, it’s hard to stain (that gets a huge “amen!” from this clumsy girl), and it works in almost every situation (work, dates, going out, etc…). But even this black-obsessed gal knows that the summer calls for a little pop of color to spice up the “all-black-everything” look.

Enter, this hot pink bag from Aoki Boutique. Usually, I stick with neutrals when it comes to bags, but this vibrant color caught my eye right away, and I knew it would be perfect for adding some excitement to an outfit.

Speaking of excitement…let’s talk about this 9-5 life. I’ve only been living it for a couple of weeks, but already am feeling how draining and monotonous it could become (which I obviously refuse to let happen). To keep things interesting and fun, I look for ways to add excitement to my week, whether it be an after-work happy hour with my boyfriend, an episode (or four) of Girls (my new favorite show…soooo obsessed!), or cooking an awesome healthy dinner.

How do you bring excitement to your outfits and life? Share in the comment section below!
xo,
Tatum
Bag c/o Aoki Boutique

Who Run the World?

Who Run the World | The Pace Who Run the World | The PaceWho Run the World | The Pace Who Run the World | The Pace Who Run the World | The Pace I’ve always been a girl-power kinda gal, but lately, I have been especially inspired by my fellow sistas. This summer has brought two new (amazing!) things to my life: interning at Comcast and living in Philadelphia. So far, as I go through life this summer, I continue to be amazed and inspired by the incredible women surrounding me.

First, the Comcast Center is 56 floors of kick-butt women. These women are intelligent, innovative, and creative. I now have hundreds of role models around me every single day–talk about motivation!

Outside of the Comcast Center, Philly is full of other super women, like Alina from Aoki Boutique! Alina combines her passion for fashion and her business-savvy mind to run her adorable boutique on 22nd street. If you live in Philly, you have to check this place out! If not, don’t worry…you can always shop here!

This shirt, from Aoki, is the perfect pair to the inspiration and female empowerment that I just can’t get enough of this summer! It’s intricate and beautiful, with just the right amount of glitz that leaves me ready to take on, well…the world 😉

xo,

Tatum

Shirt c/o Aoki Boutique/American Eagle Jeans

10 Questions: About Me

About Me | The Pace

[outfit post]

I was nominated by Britney Turner of HerStyle Media to complete the 10 Random Questions Tag. Read on to get to know me a little better!

1. What’s your favorite winter trend?

Camel and black from Damsel in Dior
Jacey Duprie of Damsel in Dior

Camel and black. It’s effortlessly chic and I am obsessed! Any look that can be achieved with closet staples is a winner in my book! I’m especially in love with the Jacey Duprie from Damsel in Dior rocks this killer color combo!

2. Sephora, Ulta, or M.A.C.?

Sephora. I could literally live in there.

3. Starbucks or small, cozy cafe?

I am a big Sbux fan, but definitely a small, cozy cafe. I prefer the genuine, intimate feel to the fast-paced atmosphere of Starbucks.

4. One meal you can eat for weeks?

Salad. It’s an obsession.

5. iPhone or Android?

iPhone!!

6. 60’s Glam or 90’s Grunge?

nirvana
Photo via thisdayinmusic.com

Definitely 90’s Grunge. Not only am I a big fan of Converse and plaid, but Nirvana and Pearl Jam are two of my favorite bands of all time (this poster hung in my freshman and sophomore college dorms!)

7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Happy 🙂

8. Chicago, New York City, or Los Angeles?

Considering that it is 3 degrees outside as I write this, I would love some warm weather. Hello, L.A.!

9. #1 Goal in 2015?

Rome
Photo via imageprest.com

Travel. I have never been out of the United States, but at the end of this month, will be starting an incredible journey to Rome, where I will be interning and studying for the semester. I hope to travel around Italy and Europe and can’t even begin to explain my excitement!!

10. What’s one reason you chose to start blogging?

love reading blogs and one day, I had the realization that I can do it too! So I created a folder in my Documents called “If I Started a Blog…” Soon, I changed the name of that folder to “The Pace” and here I am!

Now…it’s my turn to pass on the Random Question torch! I nominate Vanessa Gatlin from A City Girl’s Guide to Life, Areta Chen from Areta’s Style Secrets, Rebecca Pytell from Strength and Sunshine, Ayla from MaracujaSpirit, and Kristyn Royster from Primp & Proper.

My Questions

1. Chocolate or vanilla?

2. Favorite way to break a sweat?

3. Current Netflix binge?

4. If you could babysit any baby animal for a day, which would it be?

5. New Girl or Gossip Girl?

6. If you could be the personal assistant to anyone, who would it be?

7. What do you never leave your home/apartment/dorm without?

8. Would you rather own a private yacht or a private jet?

9. What is something you love about yourself?

10. What is one thing you are working to make better?

Be sure to link back to this post, create 10 new questions of your own, and then nominate 5 more bloggers to participate in the tag! 

xo,

Tatum

Easy Holiday Beauty Look

Christmas is finally here, and I couldn’t be more excited! My plans for this holiday look a little bit like this…family, food, drinks, and repeat. Oh, and all to the tune of my favorite Christmas music (that has been playing since Thanksgiving!)

The holidays are a time for family and thankfulness, not a time to spend hours in front of the mirror. That’s why having an easy holiday beauty routine is key. Today, I am sharing a simple and festive beauty look perfect for all of your holiday events.

 

Holiday Beauty LookHoliday Beauty LookHoliday Beauty Look Holiday Beauty LookHoliday Beauty Look

I started with my usual layer of powder foundation. For the eyes, I applied a gold shimmery shadow to my whole lid, used a white shimmery shadow under the brow and on the corners of my eyes, and used a silver shadow for the eye crease.

Next, I used Rimmel London’s Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kahal Eyeliner. I am obsessed with this eyeliner. It glides on effortlessly and looks fantastic. Plus, a waterproof eyeliner is longer-lasting than other liners, which is perfect for days filled with holiday events.

I applied two coats of mascara (because lashes are a girls best friend 😉 ) and brushed a cranberry blush on my cheeks.

For the lip, I used NYC’s Expert Last Lip Color in Sugar Plum. Let’s talk about this lipstick for sec…first of all, it smells amazing. Second, I am in love with the color. It makes the perfect subtle statement. Third, it’s only $1.99 (Merry Christmas!)

To finish off the look, I used EcoTools Sleek and Shine Finisher Hair Brush to brush my hair into a simple ponytail. This took about 10 seconds and left my hair feeling silky and smooth.

 I’d love to know what your holiday beauty looks are this year! Share them with me below!

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes, but all opinions expressed are my own.

Vegan Applesauce Bread

Vegan Applesauce Bread Vegan Applesauce Bread Vegan Applesauce Bread

Applesauce Bread is a huge holiday tradition in my family. Every Christmas, my mom would make dozens of loaves of applesauce bread, attach a cute Christmas ornament to each, and give them as gifts to family, neighbors, and all of my school, dance, and piano teachers.

This year, my mom decided to switch up her famous recipe by making it vegan! It only took a few small changes, and the bread is as good as ever! The recipe includes an easy egg substitute which really comes in handy whenever you are trying to ‘veganize’ a recipe.

Give this applesauce bread as a hostess gift or enjoy it as an after dinner treat. Whatever you choose, this bread is bound to be a hit!

 (Lori’s) Vegan Applesauce Bread

(makes either 3 regular size or 5 mini loaves)

 INGREDIENTS:

1/3 cup water

3 tablespoons flax seed meal

1 ½ cup sugar

1 cup oil

2 cups applesauce (unsweetened is fine!)

2/3 cups almond milk (or soy milk)

3 ½ cups flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup vegan chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Combine water and flax seed meal in a bowl, stir, and place in refrigerator for 10 minutes (this substitutes for the original 4 eggs in the recipe)
  3. Combine sugar, oil, applesauce, milk, and “egg” in a bowl and stir
  4. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and chocolate chips in a bowl and stir
  5. Mix dry ingredients in with wet ingredients
  6. Pour batter into loaf pans and fill about ½ way
  7. Bake for 50-60 minutes for regular sized loaf pans and 40-45 minutes for mini loaf pans
  8. Enjoy your cruelty-free holiday treat!!

 What are your favorite holiday baked goods? Share them below!

Secret Santa Gift Ideas (Under $30!)

Secret Santa

Monogram Votive Candle/Posy Bib Necklace/Monogram Mug/Cloud Spike Stretch Necklace/Printed Corkscrew/Kate Spade Knee High Socks/Victoria’s Secret Bombshell Gift Set

It’s the busiest most wonderful time of the year! Some of my favorite things—Christmas music, pretty lights, and the spirit of giving—happen during this season. But this season also brings a plethora of projects, papers, and of course, final exams.

On top of a jam-packed schedule, gift giving can seem like a full-time job, especially when you are shopping for someone you really care about! Secret Santa gift exchanges are a great way to reduce the number of gifts you have to buy for your loved ones, saving both money and time (amen!). I am in a couple of Secret Santa exchanges myself and know that even finding one gift (instead of 5, 10, or 20) can be a challenge, so I put together a collection of great Secret Santa gifts, all under $30!

 

Happy giving!! 🙂

Time for Thanksgiving

There are so many ways to show gratitude this holiday season: sending cards to loved ones, giving back to others, or simply taking the time to tell those special people how much they mean to you.

This year, I want to show my gratitude in the post public form I can…on my blog! This is an exercise of reflection for me–a time to appreciate all of the incredible blessings in my life. But this is also a way to let the people in my life know how much they mean to me.

So, here it is. One big thank you note that attempts to compile all of the love and appreciation that just can’t be put into words.

Thank You

I am thankful for my body that allows me to move easily throughout my daily life, in the dance studio, and at the gym. After an injury last winter, I am especially thankful that my body allows me to wake up every morning and work out.

I am thankful for food and the ability to eat it. Last week, I had terrible problems with my stomach that kept me from eating anything without pain; so eating in general is something I really appreciate these days, and the timing couldn’t be more perfect (bring on those holidays meals and treats!!)

I am thankful for Villanova. From #novasaladbar, to my favorite professors, to the academic, service, professional, and study abroad opportunities, and to some of the greatest people I have ever met…Villanova has become a home that will forever be where my heart is.

I am thankful for my family and the immediate comfort and love their presence brings. Being away at school makes me appreciate every moment I have with the most important and special people in my life more than I ever have before.

I am thankful for my boyfriend. Those cheesy rom-coms and Nicholas Sparks novels are nothing compared to the love and care he brings to my life. He brings me more joy and happiness than I ever knew possible.

I am thankful for my roommates. Coming home to an apartment of four of my favorite people on earth is the best feeling and can brighten up even the most trying of days. For the laughs, the support, the friendship, and the love, I am so very grateful.

I am thankful for my friends, at Villanova and at home. I can’t help but smile when thinking of each of you; you mean so much more to be than you could possibly know.

I am thankful for you!! Thank you for reading this article, whether this is your first visit to The Pace or you are an avid reader…thank you from the bottom of my heart. 🙂

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? In whatever way you choose, make sure you save some room between courses for some true thanksgiving.

Forever 21

I celebrated my 21st birthday yesterday. I have been excited for October 13, 2014 for a long time (I started a countdown on my phone once I hit the 6 month mark). I love that I no longer have limitations about where I can go and what I can do; I feel so free! My 21st fell over my fall break from school, so I celebrated in the Pittsburgh area with my family. It was a day of great food, awesome drinks, and wonderful time spent with some of my favorite people.

 

LUNCH: ATRIA’S (Peters Township)

IMG_5654IMG_5683 IMG_5655 IMG_5676 IMG_5684IMG_5657

My lovely and super fun Aunt Terri took me out for lunch and drinks at Atria’s. Atria’s is really cute and our waitress was super sweet. My aunt convinced me to try a Lemon Drop as my first drink and as always, her good taste proved to be true! We shared an order of the Rhode Island Calamari and for lunch, I had Baja Fish Tacos. We had a great time catching up about all that has been going on lately in our lives over martinis, great food, and a delicious brownie sundae.

 

HAPPY HOUR PART 1: TONIC

IMG_5679 IMG_5687IMG_5686The celebration continues! That evening, my parents and I drove into Pittsburgh’s Cultural District to go to a couple of bars together. Our first stop was Tonic Bar & Grill on Liberty Ave. My mom and I both ordered Tonic Tonic’s and totally fell in love with them. Tonic has a really great, inviting atmosphere and some awesome deals for Happy Hour! I definitely recommend Tonic, and I plan to make another appearance there soon!

 

HAPPY HOUR PART 2: TEN PENNY

IMG_5681IMG_5680

Next, we walked around the corner to Ten Penny on Penn Ave. Here, I ordered the Peach Moscato Sangria, my dad went with a Penn Brewery Pilsner, and my mom decided to be adventurous and ordered a “Dirty Pickle.” Ten Penny was much bigger and had a darker atmosphere than Tonic, but we had fun experiences at both bars! The bartenders were great, the food was delicious, and of course, the drinks were amazing.

 

I had a wonderful 21st birthday, and I’m so thankful for all the love I received from my family and friends. I have had a very blessed and happy 21 years, and I am looking forward to all this year will bring!