Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A Year Goes By So Fast. At Least For Me.

Pittsburgh, moving, reflection, recollection, Jamie Allison Sanders
My first day in the AEO Pittsburgh office. I made it in one piece!
Exactly one year ago today, I packed up my apartment and left New York City. After close to 12 years in the Big Apple (11 years, 3 months and 23 days, to be exact), I was ready for a change. Sure, some people thought I was insane for leaving the greatest city in the world. But you know what? It really wasn't the greatest to me anymore. 10+ years is a LONG time to be in one place, doing basically the same thing, seeing the same people. New jobs, new faces and new apartments may have come in and out of the picture, but at the end of the day, my life hadn't really CHANGED in a long time. I was ready to take the next step and see what else was out there.

Well, I'm here to tell you that it's been a GREAT ride so far. I've made some truly wonderful friends (some of whom I already knew before coming to Pittsburgh but became closer once I moved), some of whom were brand new this past year. I've found a very supportive network of people who are there for me in good times and bad, who call or text to check on me if I'm not at work by 9:30, who constantly make me smile and laugh, who are there for me when I cry. (Crying is at a minimum, since I'm pretty happy most of the time, but come on, it does still happen sometimes.)

And, while New York may have all the fabulous spas and salons and restaurants one could ask for (I won't lie, I do miss getting my Sunday morning pedicures and twice weekly blowouts), I have actually been able to -- gasp! -- SAVE MONEY THIS YEAR. (And that's while my hair has been red, pink, brown and blonde, all in the span of 12 months.) I don't even know the last time I was able to say that. I've made huge strides in "becoming a real grownup" (whatever that really means) and have become smarter with my cash. I've definitely enjoyed being able to spend money without worrying so much, or without watching my bank account dwindle to mere dollars. (Thankfully, gone are the days when I had about $30 in there.) Not to mention I have an apartment with a dishwasher, disposal, central air and MY OWN LAUNDRY. Who knew all of that was possible?

Sure, there have been some ups and downs. Work can be stressful and challenging. Driving has been interesting. (Who scraped a column in a parking garage and caused $1500 worth of damage to her car 5 days after she got it ... and with only 62 miles on it? Oh, that would be me.) But it's been a really fantastic year all the same, and I wouldn't change the experiences I've had for the world.

So I leave you with a little photo retrospective of my past year in Pittsburgh -- and with the fact that I can't wait to see what happens next.

And, yes, I do my own blowouts now.

Pittsburgh, moving, reflection, recollection, decorating, apartment, home decor, Macy's Chloe tufted velvet couch
Decorating my apartment has been a blast. The Chloe couch from Macy's was exactly what I pictured owning for the new space.

Pittsburgh, moving, reflection, recollection, cookies, neighbor, party
In Pittsburgh, your neighbors are apparently nice to you when you let them know you're having a party.

Pittsburgh, moving, reflection, recollection, Aerie, Aerie Plaid Blanket Scarf, American Eagle Outfitters marketing team, corporate headquarters, fashion, accessories
That day five of us showed up to work wearing the Aerie Blanket Scarf. We had to immortalize the moment.

Pittsburgh, moving, reflection, recollection, friends, Forever 21 sweater poncho, fashion
With my wonderful friend Addie. Yes, we both planned to wear our new sweater ponchos to work. (Side note: we start every workday with a hug!)

Pittsburgh, moving, reflection, recollection, Oscars 2014, Academy Awards 2014, Oscars drinking game rules
The rules for the Oscars 2014 drinking game, as thought up by my creative friend Mindy and myself.

Pittsburgh, moving, reflection, recollection, drag queen bingo, outrageous bingo, friends, fun
Having a blast at OUTrageous Bingo recently with my friend Julie (and our new fabulous drag queen friend).

Pittsburgh, moving, reflection, recollection, hockey, NHL, Pittsburgh Penguins, Consol Energy Center
I finally went to my first Penguins game! AND I had amazing seats -- 6th row, center ice.

Pittsburgh, moving, reflection, recollection, rainbow, nature, American Eagle Outfitters corporate headquarters
Sometimes you look out the window at work and see a rainbow. It happens more than you'd think, since Pittsburgh is pretty grey and rainy.

Pittsburgh, moving, reflection, recollection, BTS 2014, back to school, denim, American Eagle Outfitters marketing team
The American Eagle Outfitters marketing team on the day of our BTS 2014 launch. All wearing denim, of course.

Pittsburgh, moving, reflection, recollection, friends, birthday, Benihana
Julie and two Jamie S's! Celebrating our friend Jamie's birthday at Benihana. We're fancy, we know.

Pittsburgh, moving, reflection, recollection, AEO Better World, American Eagle Outfitters Community Day, cleaning up park, Jamie Allison Sanders
Giving back during AEO Community Day this past summer. Yes, I'm shorter than a rake.

Pittsburgh, moving, reflection, recollection, dogs, American Beagle Outfitters, fashion, clothing
Days when people bring dogs to work are the best! Hanging out with my friend JoRae's dog, Lucky, on a break from his modeling career with American Beagle Outfitters.

Pittsburgh, moving, reflection, recollection, Pittsburgh Pride 2014, Chaka Khan, concert
Seeing Chaka Khan perform during Pittsburgh Pride this past summer.
Pittsburgh, moving, reflection, recollection, Pittsburgh Pirates, baseball, PNC Park
I only made it to one Pittsburgh Pirates game this year, but it was a blast! Loved the stadium.

Pittsburgh, moving, reflection, recollection, Soba restaurant, chocolate maki, dessert, food
The restaurant situation in Pittsburgh is actually pretty incredible. Check out the chocolate maki from Soba.


  1. What a great post! I haven't been to Pittsburgh in about 3 years, but it really had come back and seemed to be quite a cool city. I left NYC after living there for a loooooong, long time to move to the suburbs of Boston. I still miss NYC 13 years later. Glad you're happy with move!

    1. Thank you so much, Allison! I agree that Pittsburgh has become quite the cool place to be. Boston is fantastic, too -- my brother and best friend both live there! At least you're pretty close to NYC if you ever want to go for a visit.

  2. So cool that you've had such an awesome year! I think it's awesome that you work with American Eagle- I'm obsessed with their Aerie line. It's a dream of mine to live in NYC but it's just sooo expensive. I've never been to Pittsburgh, it seems awesome!

    1. Thank you so much! Aerie is so wonderful, isn't it? NYC is definitely expensive, at this point I'm glad I can just go for vacation but live somewhere cheaper! ;)

  3. You wear the changes well! Glad you took the leap and embraced all of these new opportunities. Here's to another amazing year :)

  4. Wonderful post, and it certainly looks as though you have set up a really lovely life for yourself in Pittsburgh! Congratulations!

  5. Awesome post! Sounds like you had an amazing year!

  6. Thank you for sharing your year! I love the sofa, by the way.

    1. Thank you so much! I think it's still available at Macy's...

  7. GIRL! I love that couch! And I want all the treats!

    1. Thank you, Laura! I think it's still available at Macy's... :) And there are definitely ALWAYS treats around in the Burgh.

  8. Such a great post! That couch is Gorgeous (yes, with a capital g!)

    1. Thank you, Bailey! I'm pretty obsessed with it. :)

  9. wow! Sounds you have had an amazing year!

  10. I also lived in NYC, left and came back sort of but I am across the river in NJ. Sounds like you had quite a roaring year though ;)

  11. YAYYYYY Pittsburgh!!!!!!!!!!!! More amazing-ness to come!!!!!

  12. Looks like you had a great year. Thanks for sharing with us!