Friday Five – September

I just noticed, my last Friday Five, I only did four…. What!? What a mess! So this month I am going to have six fabulous spotlights to make up for skipping out on you before.

September may be my favorite month of the year. I love the spring but back and forth weather here in the northeast can be a little much. You know exactly what you’re going to get with September. Sunny and warm days and cooler nights. Perfect firepit and wine on the patio weather. Swoon.

New favorite TV show to binge
Binge watching season is upon us folks! One of my favorite things about the fall and winter is the built in acceptance to stay home on a Friday and Saturday night to watch up on shows from the week, or start a whole new show you haven’t seen before. This month I just caught up on the new Kevin Costner show on Paramount Network, Yellowstone. I am obsessed and cannot recommend it enough, but it defiantly has a specific type of audience. It’s pretty graphic on the violence and sexuality. It also swears a lot so if that’s not your cup of tea I’d opt out. But you can always binge this month’s option for Netflix show, Hart of Dixie. So cute, so happy, and such a good before bedtime watch.

Soaking in the summer nights
September nights are what I live for. Crazy humid days, bring either wild thunderstorms (like tonight) or insane sunsets. Last weekend we had a fire at my friends beach house and the weather was perfect. Then this week I had a midweek glass of wine down at the beach to soak in the amazing sunset that is the month of September. And tonight I’ve been stuck on the coach listening to this crazy rain storm.

Book club book of the month
Its been a while since my A.D.D. was able to give into a good book. I could barely put this one down though. The Couple Next Door was really the first thriller that I truly loved. I love horror movies and thrillers when I watch them, but its always been hard for me to read a thriller. This had so many twists and turns and I really wasn’t sure how it was going to end, even when I had figured out who was the antagonist was.

Me time
My goal for September is to really get back into a routine. It is so easy to let all senses of a routine get pushed aside during the summer, as you can see from my lack of posts this summer. I’ve been scheduling myself a me night once a week. I take my laptop to a local coffee shop, turn on my favorite podcast (hey Straight up with Stassi) and write. This year, I got not one, but two promotions at work, so this fall is about putting myself out there, and diving deeper into my passion projects. And a little bit of people watching once a week doesn’t hurt either.

Sephora’s Cream Lip Stain Liquid Lipstick
These aren’t new to me, but they are perfect for fall. Last year one of my girlfriends introduced me to Sephora’s Cream Lip Stain Liquid Lipstick. Their shades are everything and best of all: they stay put! I can wear these all day and I barely have to reapply. These three are my current favorites (here, here, and here) and perfect for the fall. Because my complexion is so fair, I can’t really get into the dark maroons, browns and purples that scream fall so these are great for the pale skinned girls out there.

Finally getting sleep with the help of Young Living
I’ve officially drank the kool-aid and got myself a Young Living starter kit. If you’ve been on Instagram for even a second, you know that these essential oils are everything right now. I’m not going to lie, I can’t get full on into them. I’m not here to switch up every product in my house, stop buying candles, and say that an oil can fix everything. But for me, it’s fixed my sleep problems for sure. I’ve always had problems sleeping. Whether it’s getting to sleep or staying asleep, it’s been a struggle for a long time. Diffusing Cedarwood, Frankincense, and Lavender has helped so much. I sleep throughout the whole night, I sleep deeper, and I was up feeling rested. I even made a spray to bring with me this week on my trip. If you’re interested, definitely reach out to me, I’d love to talk more oils with you.

Friday Five – June

Walks on the Beach
Happy second day of summer everyone!!! The best part of where I live in Connecticut, especially during the summer, is how close we are to the water. My house is a mile from the beach and we have a State Park here that has the best boardwalk along the shoreline. No matter what’s going on, this little beach walk can put a smile on my face. I try to take the dog for a walk down to the beach a couple times a week.

Planning for Mexico
Next month one of my closest friends from California is meeting me in Playa del Carmen for a few days and I cannot be more excited. I haven’t had a true, sit on the beach and do-nothing vacation in years! Like actually years. And while we have a little bit of touristy things planned (I really want to visit the Tulum Ruins while I’m there) the other three days are going to be just the two of us, catching up, margarita in hand while laying on the beach. I’ve been in crunch mode, getting the last few details planned, like how we are getting from the airport to the hotel, and buying a few new things.

Roden + Fields
This past winter my skin was going through something. I don’t know if it was the shock of the winter weather, or the stress of starting my new job, but my face looked like a teenage girl who just hit puberty. I have a girlfriend who is a Roden + Fields consultant and she has been trying to get me to try the stuff for years. Welp, I gave in, drank the kool aid and now I’m hooked. Their Unblemish regimen is my life. I love all of the products I’ve tried. I have defiantly had to up my moisturizing game since starting to use Unblemish but Skinscuticals has been my lifesaver in that department and my skin is back to looking it’s actual age.

Book club and cheese boards
My friends and I try to find a reason for us to all get together at least once every two weeks. Otherwise some major separation anxiety sets in. A few weeks ago we got together for a book club. It was perfect. The weather was amazing, it was a random Tuesday, and it just so happens that the author is from our town. My friend was able to get her to come to our book club and talk about the book. We picked her brain about the writing process, what it was like to pitch the book and have it finally get picked up, and then whats coming up. Definitely check out “The Last Mrs. Parrish.” There are so many twists and turns you don’t see coming. Next month we have another meeting so I will have to keep you posted on how that book is.

31 Things About Me

Saturday I turned the big 3-1. This was the first year in 8 years I was able to spend with my family and girlfriends and they absolutely made it a wonderful weekend. We explored new restaurants, got a psychic reading, and found new breweries. I thought it would be fun to write down 31 things about me, but I did realize that it was harder than expected.

  1. My first job was at an ice cream shop and I have worked in all forms of customer service since. Restaurants, retail, as a travel agent and now managing a travel agency.
  2. Living in California pushed me into friendships that I would have never had staying in my suborn city in Connecticut. Those friendships mean the world to me.
  3. I am a complete cat person. I love their independence and sassy attitude.
  4. My drink of choice is red wine 80% of the time. Whiskey 20%.
  5. I love watching documentaries and tv shows about murders and cults.

  1. Being around creative people truly inspires me beyond belief. My closest friends are photographers, lighting designers and theater actors.
  2. I coached high school cheerleading for 8 years and at times I miss it so much. My cheerleaders were like my children and when I see they graduated college, got a job they wanted or even got engaged (yes, I have some that are already engaged, married, and some even have kids) I am so proud of the girls they have become.
  3. I am actually pretty introverted. I rather have a few quality people in my life than to collect friends that aren’t really there for me.
  4. Some of my closest friends have been my friends since I was 10, and the rest we met in early high school.

  1. One of the things I miss most about California is my hair stylist.
  2. The home I was born into was about 4 miles from my last apartment in Orange County, CA.

  1. I truly believe that travel can change your life. I decided I wanted to move to the west coast after a trip to Tuscan, AZ in 2008.
  2. In 2012 I went to Oregon for the first time and my life way changed in so many ways and showed me that bags, shoes, and name brands are not that important but experiences are.
  3. In 2016 I took a weekend trip to Las Vegas and that trip changed my entire career path and truly helped me learn what industry I should be working in.

  1. In certain situations, I can be extremely blunt and out spoken and in other situations I can be a complete push over. I’ve been working on finding a happy medium.
  2. I started college as an education major and wanted to be a high school History teacher. I graduated with a journalism degree.
  3. Yoga gives me strength and clarity. My weekly yoga class is a time for my mom and I to bond.

  1. I love road trips! The road trip I took in 2017 was originally planned for the summer after I graduated from high school but my friend and I never were able to take it. So when I decided to move home, I knew Michelle would drive with me.
  2. My ultimate road trip would be through Austria, Germany and Switzerland. And then a separate road trip through Ireland.
  3. My mom’s home cooking is definitely my favorite, but a good Italian meal from a restaurant is always a close second.
  4. I don’t usually watch shows from the beginning. I need to be swayed into watching anything that’s too trendy.
  5. I love going to country concerts. I’ve seen everyone from Alan Jackson when I was like 5 years old, to Garth Brooks world tour and Florida Georgia Line before they were anyone special.
  6. Les Mis is hands down my favorite on stage production.
  7. I was once on a pilot of a game show that never got picked up. But it was so much fun.

  1. A summer day at a winery is my idea of a picture perfect day.
  2. Growing up I went to day camp in the town next to mine. It was a huge, historical home that I swear to this day was haunted.
  3. I love that I was able to spend a good amount of time on the other side of the country. It pushed me to explore small areas of the country that I would have never explored otherwise.

  1. I need to push myself to explore New York City more. I take the city for granted and don’t know enough about my own backyard.
  2. I have a stupid obsession with Bravo. Give me Vanderpump, give me Housewives, I love it all.
  3. I am the most uncomfortable taking photos. I want to get better… and I see my growth, but I want to be better.
  4. This was terrible to write. And hard. Talking about myself is one of the hardest things I’ve had to do on this here blog. But I am all about being uncomfortable and pushing myself.

Hello 2018!!

I usually don’t say things like this but I am more than happy to bid 2017 adieu. This past year was a big test to me. A test of strength in myself, friendships and trust, patience in my career, and prioritization of my life. This was also a year of exploration and travel. A year full of monthly weekend getaways.

I don’t mean to sound negative because I don’t look at this year as a bad year at all, just a year of growth and learning. And I am glad to put a lot of the year’s hurdles behind me and keep moving forward. I started this year in Scottsdale with my fiancé. Flash forward six months and I was packing up my life into my car with my sister and best friend moving back home to Connecticut. And now six months later, I am ringing in the new year in Newport, RI with the people who truly have been there for me for my entire life.

What I love right now:

I always try to stay away from trendy shows but somehow always fall on the bandwagon against my will. It took me two seasons to get into Walking Dead and six seasons to drink the Game of Thrones kool aid. But only halfway through season two I am fully on board with This Is Us. I binged all of the current episodes in 5 days. Obsessed! I cannot wait for the season to start again next month. Does anyone have any other good Netflix shows to watch?? I hear Riverdale is mindless and great. What do you think?

Per the usual during the winters I am stocking up on cozy sweaters and yummy candles. My new favorite are these DW Home candles that I found at Home Goods. I even picked up a few Rose Quartz for the spring. January welcomes back my weekly yoga classes that have become a good go to during my crazy weeks at work.

Where I went:

Like I said, 2017 is the year of the weekend getaway. I took only one week off over the entire year and it was completely consumed with my move across the country. Most of my other weekends were filled to the brim with weddings, bachelorette parties, visiting family, and exploring new cities. I have been so blessed to have lived in two amazing locations this year where I could take quick road trips.

Besides my west coast to east coast road trip this year I also road tripped to Scottsdale, Las Vegas, Vermont, Salem, MA, Boston and now this weekend in Rhode Island. I also took further trips home to Connecticut at the beginning of the year and down to Atlanta and Orlando this fall.

What I’m looking forward to:

One thing I learned in 2017 is to not plan too far ahead. This year I have two international trips lightly planned and that it so far. (Dates set, but not tickets bought yet.) Last year at this time I had bought and paid for 5 of 6 of my cross-country trips. In 2018 I plan on going with the flow and taking the year as it comes.

Today I started a new job, a promotion in an office much closer to my house. (I’m talking like a mile from home.) I’m excited for this next chapter since this is what I’ve been working toward for the past two years. Truth be told I tried to put this off as long as I could. My manager in California tried to make me take the plunge to the next step but I have this thing about really wanting to know everything about every job that I lead, so I decided to stay in my position and learn more. But sometimes you need to step outside of your comfort zone.

2018 Goals:

I have a big list of goals for 2018. I have personal goals, financial goals, and professional goals all written down in my daily planner where I can see them and be reminded of what I’m working toward each day. I do this every year and somehow, they tend to fizzle away mid-March. This year I created a few lifestyle changes to set me up for my goals. I’m hoping these will keep me in check for the rest of the year.

-Be better about self-wellness

Like I said earlier, I have been doing yoga once a week and since I’ve been back on the east coast, gym has been a semi regular part of my schedule. Both are great me time where I don’t think about anything and just work on myself. I defiantly plan on upping that in 2018.

I am also kicking off January with my third time doing Whole 30. My first time was in April 2016 which was super successful. I felt great and lost a lot of water weight. Then last January I did it again for about two weeks before going on a quick vacation where I blew it all. Plan is to get through the whole 30 days this time around. January 2 through January 30.

-Make a morning routine

Part of my self-wellness is removing the stressors in my life and one of the silliest stressors I have each morning, is not getting out of bed after my first alarm. It’s a terrible habit where I roll out of bed 10 minutes before having to leave for work. It has got to stop! New week, new year, new job. Since I live a whole 3 minutes from my new office I am going to keep waking up when I was before. That will give me almost an hour to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee, while I get ready instead of rushing it on my way to work. It will also give me time for a second cup of coffee so #winning. The extra time will defiantly make mornings more relaxing.

-Create a weekly schedule

It’s been damn cold here in Connecticut and once I get home from work, the last thing I want to do is go out again. All I want to do is put sweats on and watch TV from my couch. But not this year. This year to encourage me to GSD (get shit done) I am going to schedule my weeks. Something like this: Sunday-gym, Monday-write, Tuesday-yoga, Wednesday-gym, Thursday-write, Friday-gym. I usually do pretty well on a schedule but this is a little much. We will see how it goes.

Most of all, in 2018 I just want to grow. Year after year, it doesn’t matter what happens to you, as long as you continue to grow as a person. 2017 you sure kicked my ass. Sayonara!

Fall Bucket List

Happy first day of fall ya’ll! This is what I’ve been waiting for. Fall in New England, literally is there anything more cliché? I don’t think so. I love the change of season, the changes of color from Mother Nature, bundling up in fall clothes, the cooler weather and even though it terrifies me, I am super into learning about hauntings and anything paranormal. AKA I love fall.

This is the first time in seven years that I am back in my hometown for Halloween and celebrate the fall season the way you’re supposed to. Last year we went apple picking and the nastolgia was real. This year I am so excited I get to do it here in Connecticut. So I made myself a little fall bucket list of all of the things I want to do this fall to celebrate the season.

  1. Take a ride to see the fall foliage
  2. Visit some of Connecticut’s covered bridges
  3. Go apple picking
  4. Bake a pie
  5. Watch a high school football game (my best friend coaches high school cheerleading and I love supporting my friends)
  6. Have a scary movie girls night
  7. Pick a pumpkin
  8. Finish one book per month
  9. Visit four new wineries
  10. Have a soup and wine night
  11. Explore Salem!!

Ironically, I am currently boarding a flight to Atlanta where it will be in the mid to upper 80s and mostly sunny.This weekend my mom sister and I are visiting my older sister and her family. Follow along on my Instastories for the weekend.