Office Space

Ladies and Gentlemen….my commute is over!!!

Last Friday was my final day working for George Mason University. It was hard to leave Mason…I just adore that university as well as the talented staff that I was fortunate enough to work with for nearly 3 years. But I was also ready to have my time and life back. No more commuting, and particularly no more stressful attempts to balance those very few hours at home before sleeping and then sitting in traffic again the next morning. (Out of the loop?! Check out my last post for an update on what I’m doing next: Newlie News: The “CIA”.)

I’m so excited (and we all know that my usual level of excitement is abnormally high) to start working with the CIA ( in less than one week! In the meantime, I get to soak up this week of my own little “stay-cation” at home, allowing time to reflect on what’s about to happen.

Transitioning from one job to the next is usually both daunting and refreshing. Am I right? But having this week to set up my home office and enjoy a little bit of the easy life is such a treat! This was my day yesterday:

Woke up – made coffee & breakfast (egg whites, scrambled with sautéed mushrooms, topped with feta cheese) – snuggled with Stella while watching Good Morning America (TOTALLY my pick over the Today Show by the way…major new fan of “GMA”) – did laundry – ran 4 miles with Stella – made lunch (power salad! arugula, avocado, tomatoes, broccoli, and sprinkled with chunks of cheddar cheese) when Sean came home – went to Target – came home and cleaned up a bit – made a delicious dinner with Sean (spaghetti with sausage, and a side of garlic bread), watched T.V. … but got restless … so I made chocolate chip cookies from scratch (yep…same recipe from this post: cookie baking time lapse), finished the night laughing hysterically at our new favorite show, “Duck Dynasty.” End scene. 

Today I set up my new “office space” here at home. Now, this bad boy seen below is no ordinary desk – it’s my great-Grandfather’s desk. His name was William McKay, and he was from St. Paul, North Carolina. When my parents recently moved out of their home in Pennsylvania for their retirement in the North Carolina mountains, I was thrilled to inherit this beautiful roll-top antique desk. I’ve jazzed it up a bit to be a little more “Katherine” and girly…but I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I am to get to work here.

Great Grandfather's Desk

I especially love thinking about how happy great-Grandaddy McKay would be if he knew that his desk would be home to three generations: his daughter’s family, and then her daughter’s family, and then even further to HER daughter’s new family (our little Mason home!). This desk has already brought me so much joy.

Here are a few goodies that I decided to decorate it with:

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I can’t even begin to tell you all how lucky I feel to have this new sense of career independence, such an exciting company to work for, the life I’ve been dreaming about for years, and a chance to celebrate our sweet family throughout our home. I can’t wait for all that’s in store for this life-changing switch.

And on that note…it’s time to get ready for my first ever mid-day Zumba class!!!

Happy living.

Newlie News: “The CIA”

Happy Saturday morning, friends. I have some news to share.

So after nearly 3 years at George Mason University, I will soon be leaving my role as an Associate Director of Admissions for a new regional admissions position with the world renowned culinary school that I completely adore – The Culinary Institue of America (, or more affectionately called “The CIA.” The CIA’s main campus is located in Hyde Park, New York and it overlooks the beautiful Hudson River. The campus is breathtaking. Seriously. Its main academic & administrative building “Roth Hall” was renovated from an old Jesuit seminary. Check out some photos of campus:

cia alumniMy commute from Silver Spring, Maryland to Fairfax, Virginia each day has really gotten to me. For about a year and a half I’ve commuted an hour in the morning (which I feel is pretty average for DC commuters) but then an hour and a half to sometimes two hours each afternoon.  I can’t take that drive anymore. I needed my life, exercise, and sanity back. When I stumbled upon this position it was like everything I’ve ever wanted out of my career – the ability to work from a home office (no more commuting!!!), and to focus my time solely on admissions recruiting. Right now my position is very marketing and recruitment heavy, but I’ve learned that it’s not necessarily my passion to balance the two. I now get to counsel students in Maryland, DC, Virginia, Delaware, and West Virginia who are interested in attending the CIA’s main campus in Hyde Park. The professionalism and prestige of this institution has blown me away. Did you know that Anthony Bourdain is an alum? So is the Founder and CEO of Chipotle, Steve Ells! And many, many more. Click on the alumni image to see who else is kind of a big deal.

I have LOVED working for Mason. When you work in college admissions, you absolutely have to believe in the school that you’re promoting to students. You lose sleep in the fall and spring seasons attending evening college fairs and morning high school visits. You spend hours on the phone and in person at work with perspective parents and students answering their 47302908 questions about what courses they could take in 2 years time, what the campus life is like, what internships are readily available, etc. You carefully review application after application, essay after essay, and transcript after transcript each winter to ensure that your institution will have the best possible incoming freshman class. That said – ya kiiiinda have to whole heartedly love and admire your university. Mason was and always will be easy to love. I will absolutely miss working for them, and more importantly working with my talented, hilarious, energetic admissions team.

My last day at Mason will be May 3rd. Then, after a week off to get my new home office ready, I start my new position at the CIA on May 13th. I’m SO excited!!! The first two weeks will be especially fun as I’ll travel up there to Hyde Park and stay there… TWO WEEKS! I get to shadow a few of their culinary classes, taste test their creations in some of their student-led restaurants, go for a run alongside the gorgeous Hudson River, and I even get to take a culinary enthusiasts’ course one day! HELLO HEAVEN!!! Get ready, cause I plan to post, Tweet, and Instagram like crazy those two weeks as I document my new career-home. I’m so thrilled for my new life to start.

Anywho…go enjoy this gorgeous day. Just had to share 🙂

Happy weekend.