• Collectively Colleen

When I was in college (possibly even younger), I used to see my Dad and other relatives/friends traveling all of the time for work, Jet setting off to different cities and sometimes different countries. They would come back sharing photos of the different places they ate and things they saw. It all seemed so glamorous to me. Getting paid to travel?! Yes please! I aspired to one day have a job that allowed me to travel the world.

Fast forward to 2017 when I landed my current job, I was told that there would be some traveling involved. My inner-self was jumping for joy. Was I able to travel? Heck yes!

After a few trips around the country, I can now tell you why people say traveling for work is not all it’s cracked up to be! While I wouldn’t call myself a business trip connoisseur, I’d like to trip after a handful of trips over the last 2 years that I’ve got it somewhat figured out. Below are some of my top trips for newbies when it comes to business travel.

1. Make Time for Yourself.

Traveling for work is like being at work 24/7. There’s no “set hours” usually and you spend the majority of your free time with your co-workers going to lunch, dinner, drinks, etc. It can become overwhelming faster than you realize. My saving grace has always been making sure I carve out time for myself. Whether that’s waking up early to do some yoga, stopping by my hotel room before dinner for a quick nap or heading back early from dinner to catch up on some reading. It has truly made a difference in my energy levels when traveling!

2. Don’t be Afraid to Eat Alone.

I used to be one of those people who hated eating by themselves. Now, I love it. When I’m traveling for work, it’s usually for some type of tradeshow where there always needs to be someone “working” the booth/showroom. Therefore, not everyone can leave to go get lunch and you’re left fending for yourself. At first, this was terrifying to me and now I find so much joy in taking that time for myself (re: tip #1).

3. Pack Light.

I also used to be one of those people who would ALWAYS check a bag. I insisted on bringing half of my closet and 8 pairs of shoes “just in case”. This latest trip I decided to keep it minimal and get it all in a carry on. What a difference. I didn’t spend each morning deciding what to wear and I was able to walk right off the plane and into the car home without waiting for a bag. The latter alone made it worth it.

Plus, sometimes you might be stuck having to go to an office, show or meeting before being able to check in to your hotel and you don’t want to be the girl with the obnoxiously large rolling bag.

4. Enjoy What you Can!

While yes, business trips are exhausting and most likely you won’t have free time to explore the city like you want to, enjoy what you can! Relish in being able to eat at new restaurants, meet new people and just getting to experience a new city.

I hope these tips help you out for your future business trip!

Do you have to travel for work a lot? If so, what are some tips I missed? Let me know in the comments or on my latest Instagram post.



  • Collectively Colleen

Updated: Nov 10, 2019

Hey there, long time no talk. I realize it’s been a few months now since I’ve made a blog post and you may have noticed that I haven’t been as active on Instagram as well. And I promise, there’s a reason (or two)!

A few months ago, I wasn’t feeling myself. Posting to Instagram, writing blog posts and attending different events felt so forced. I dreaded having to get ready. My mental health was not at a great point and honestly neither was my physical health. I hadn’t been to the gym consistently since before our wedding, I wasn’t eating healthy and I felt beyond sluggish.

Now, some of you may remember last year where I wrote a blog post about training for a half marathon. I could laugh out loud when I look back on this post. I had no clue what I was trying to get myself into and I had tried to do it during the most stressful time of my life. Needless to say, it didn’t happen. I stopped running, I gave up and I didn’t think about it again until this past February when Peter (my husband) made a comment to me about it.

So of course, the wheels in my head started to turn again. I started itching at the idea of training for a half marathon again, or at least trying to.

I downloaded a training plan, I put my shoes on and I just started running. Three times a week, every week, consistently. It wasn’t pretty at first. I was not in great shape. I could barely run for 2 minutes straight without feeling like I was dying.

Fast-forward six months later, I still run consistently every week and I love it. I’ve been running long distances of 13 and 14 miles. I have also FULLY immersed myself into the running culture. Reading books, listening to podcasts and doing allll of the nutrition/gear/recovery research. (More posts to come on that later)

I am also significantly happier than I was all those months ago. I’ve really taken the time to focus on my health and recenter myself. Running consistently, biking with my husband, cooking healthy meals, reading more. I now finally feel like I’m at a place where I can get back into blogging and sharing more on Instagram but on my own terms. More authentically.


If you know me, you know I can’t sit still. So of course during all this time I also decided to take on a new business opportunity. In short, I started an Interior Design Business!

I’ve always been a lover of homes and interiors. Admiring the design, beauty and precision that go into them. Spending countless hours binging HGTV, no matter what show was on. When I joined my current full time job at a contract furniture manufacturer, that love of interiors only grew. I was able to help design our Chicago Showroom not once but twice! It truly ignited this passion I had deep down inside. I thought if I love this so much, why don’t I try it out?!

Nardo Interiors then came to be. You might remember through my Instagram posts or blog posts or by just having a conversation with me that I also co-own an Ad Agency with my husband, Nardo Agency. When brainstorming through all of this interior design business, we figured it would be a smart idea to make my interiors business and extension of our existing business. This way we can cross-promote our services and keep it all in the family!

I have shared some of our projects on my Instagram stories and am so excited with how successful things have been so far! It’s a lot of work but also a lot of fun. I find so much joy in hunting down the perfect sofa or small trinket that brings together a space.

All that being said, if you know anyone in need of Interior Design Services (residential or corporate) send them our way! We’re still working on the website but we do have a Houzz Account Set up that you can access HERE.

In short, I’ve been a busy lady these last few months. Running all over the place, literally. But I’m excited to get back into sharing more of my life with you and I promise I won’t disappear again… at least not for a while!

What can you expect from me now? Probably some more posts on running, behind the scenes of different Interior Projects and just my old authentic self.

As always thanks for sticking around <3

xoxo Colleen

  • Collectively Colleen

Photo: Marcus Hardy

Hi Friends! I’m back again with yet another book review. In case you missed it, this year I had set myself a goal to read more. In January I reviewed some of the books I had already read and was planning to read. You guys really seemed to like it and also had some imilar goals!

Since then, I’ve started and finished a few more books that I wanted to share with you! Let me know if you’ve read any of these or if you have any more recommendations!

China Rich Girlfriend & Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan

In January, I raved about Crazy Rich Asians (the first installment in this series) and I let you know that China Rich Girlfriend had kind of been off to a slow start. Now I can confirm that the 2nd and 3rd books within the series are definitely a let down. I didn’t want them to be but they did drag out and it took me much longer to get through them. Overall, I would still recommend you read them if you liked Crazy Rich Asians just to see what does happen.

The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines and Mark Dagostino

Ok so many people might not know this but full time I work in marketing for a large contract furniture company. I’m around furniture, textiles and general interior design all day. That being said, you could say I have a love for interiors. One of my favorite styles is farmhouse and therefore, I’m obsessed with Fixer Upper. I picked up Chip and Joanna Gaines memoir and I couldn’t put it down. It was so sweet to hear how they got to where they are now and the story behind it all. My love for them now runs much deeper.

Homebody by Joanna Gaines

Piggybacking off the last book, as soon as I finished The Magnolia Story I ran to the library to pick up Joanna’s new design book, Homebody. I just started it this week and it is mostly images, but there’s a lot of design advice that I truly appreciate. If you have any appreciation or love for home designing, it’s must read!

At the Wolf’s Table by Rosella Postorino

In Baltimore, I just recently joined a book club run by my friend, Eliana! Her instagram is @stylish.reality and so the book club is the Stylish Reality Book Club! This is the first book I’m “reading” with the group and I use reading lightly because I’m actually listening to it through Audible! I wanted to get it from the library but the waitlist was soooo long I was afraid that by the time I got it, I wouldn’t be able to finish it in time. I had never used Audible or even listened to an audiobook but Audible offers your first audiobook free and I figured this was the best time to use it! I’m almost finished it which is good since we are meeting next weekend, ha!

At the Wolf’s Table is not what I would typically pick up to read and at first I really could not get into it. But I have to say I’m definitely getting more into it now and am excited to see how it ends! As for audiobooks in general, I don’t think I’ll do that again. I’m so much of a visual person that I can’t seem to focus on the storyline as well. I enjoy podcasts because you don’t need all the details to keep up with what is happening so I can work and listen. But with a detailed book, you need to pay attention so I find it harder to find time to listen to it.

What books have you read this month? I love getting all of your guys recommendations so please continue to send them my way!

xoxo Colleen

About Me

Hi there! My name is Colleen and I’m the author and creator of Collectively Colleen.This blog is a place where I’ll be sharing everything about my life! From favorites to career tips, outfits I’m loving and places to travel, I’m going to be sharing it all here!


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