Guess Who’s Back!!!

Hi friends! Happy first day of fall! I haven’t been around too much lately because honestly, I’ve just been trying to survive. Last time we caught up I was in SoCal for a friend’s wedding, but a lot has happened since then so let me catch you up.

First of all, besides my old roomie getting married in California, my best friend of the past 23 years got married to her best friend. (I guess I’ll step aside for him.) Both Shay and Katarina had amazing weddings and beautiful days to celebrate, and most importantly, I was so proud to be able to stand by both of their sides.

With one last wedding this summer, my girlfriends and I got together earlier in August to celebrate our last 2019 bride in Saratoga Springs, NY. Let me tell you, that sleep update town knows how to party. We had an amazing weekend at the racetrack, and eating our way through town.

Oh yeah, and did I mention, I didn’t get one, but TWO new jobs. One was a much anticipated promotion at work. Defiantly something that is going to keep me busy and growing for the next few years. The second…. Well, I’m baaack! Fun fact, I coached high school cheer for eight years, both in Connecticut and California. I took the past five years off but this year I am returning to coach 29 amazing girls at my alma mater, and wow they keep me busy!

Ironically, I haven’t felt more at home in a long time.

What does this mean for me? Well my weekdays are shot now and I’ve officially said goodbye to Friday nights with my girlfriends for the foreseeable future. But my planner and to do lists have been key the past few weeks. I’ve been juggling my added responsibilities at work, my new schedule, and social and family time pretty well so hopefully it stays like that.

But just because this summer has been pretty busy, doesn’t mean my fall is going to be any different. The next few months are jam packed but there are a few things that have been keeping me going.

A few weeks ago, my girlfriends and I took one of our friend’s two and half year old to Lyman Orchard here in Connecticut. They have a super popular sunflower maze that we knew Kieran would LOVE. Chasing after him in the winding maze, following his giggles was a perfect way to start our Sunday. It was a great way to celebrate summer here in Connecticut and get outside bright and early.

Pro Tip: This is seasonal in Connecticut and only open for about a month and half. Get there early. The maze opened at 10 and we were there right at opening. When we headed out at 11, the place was slammed!

I’ve really been soaking up all the me time this summer. I appreciate the few nights a week I have to myself and I am not running onto the next scheduled appointment or gathering. This summer I have been reading a lot of Elin Hilderbrand. Summer on the island is everything for a New Englander so getting lost in her books put a big smile on my face.

And during this me time, all summer, I’ve been living off of my Candlefish candle from my trip to Charleston. It’s been burning 24/7 and the natural scents are everything. Because I don’t love the fruity and flowery scents of the summer, these earthy aromas can bring me right into the fall, which is just around the corner.

This fall I have a few trips planned, Friday night football games, and all the fall activities. Pumpkin picking, apple picking, apple cider donuts, pumpkin spice lattes. Super basic and I am living for it.

What are you look forward to this fall?? Can you believe summer is gone!!

Friday Five – March

Money Tree
This little gem was a house warming gift from my mom. The Chinese story is a money tree is supposed to bring good fortune and luck to a small business, but you can’t get it for yourself. It has to be gifted. I definitely have a black thumb and usually kill anything that I come into contact with. She has been thriving. I’ve been watering her once maybe twice a week. I try to wait until the dirt gets pretty dry and then just add a little water to dampen it. Lots of sun throughout the day and some of these leaves started getting pretty big. I need to start looking into maybe repotting it. Anyone else have luck with keeping these money tree’s alive? Were you gift your’s?

Our last snow
I can’t complain too much, this winter hasn’t been terrible. We had a few decent storms and each time, the majority of the snow was gone within 24 hours (thank you living along the coastline). At the beginning of the month we had a little storm and I was able to snap some photos on my way to work. I know, not very safe, but could you blame me? As beautiful as the snowfalls are, I am sure glad it’s in our rear view. The extended hours of sunlight since Daylight Savings last week has already been giving me a whole new motivation for summer time. I’ve done a little bit of spring/summer shopping. New shoes, shorts and dresses have been showing up on my doorstep for the past week and I’m not even mad about it.

Girls nights
Sometimes midweek you need a little girls’ night. We are in the middle of planning a trip for 13 of us in April so a few of us got together for one of our last planning sessions. We have a ton of amazing things planned for this bachelorette and I cannot be more excited! And having an excuse to get together with two of my best friends every couple of weeks isn’t a bad thing either. Note to those planning a big trip: don’t plan too much after glasses of wine. We’ve had to make a few changes after we were over served… by ourselves. Welp, it should just add to the adventure.

Barre3 Subscription
This spring and summer there are lots of plans. A few girls’ trips to new, sunny locations to celebrate a few engagements, a couple of weddings, and looking forward to summertime at the beach. Problem is, when I get home at night from work, I defiantly don’t want to go to the gym, or go out in the still too cold for me weather to do an outdoor workout. For the past few weeks I’ve been doing Barre3’s online workouts and they are everything! I feel like I am getting a full body workout, a couple hours a week, right from my living room. It has been wonderful!

Besides the convenience of being able to do the workouts from my living room, I love that I’m able to take as long or as short of a class as I need for the day. I also am able to choose what type of workout I want to take between Calming, Challenging, Energizing, and Focusing. Barre uses a combination of ballet, yoga and pilates to work your entire body using your own weight or small pieces of equipment like small weights, resistance bands or exercise balls. I can’t wait to add in a few outdoor walks and summer hikes once the weather gets a little more bearable.

Solo Breakfast to get work done
I have been having a little trouble getting focused in my apartment to get work done. Editing photos is super easy for me. I can do it in front of the TV, and each time a photo looks good, its instant satisfaction. But writing, how people work when their TV is right there is beyond me. So last Sunday I ran out to our local coffee shop, grabbed a coffee and omelet and just worked for hours. My biggest advise when you’re feeling unmotivated, change your atmosphere.

Favorite Chick Flicks

Is there anything better than a movie night? Now a days we get so caught up binge watching the most recent Netflix or Amazon series that we don’t always sit down and watch a movie. Last weekend I dedicated my Sunday to sitting on my couch with some popcorn, in my sweats, with a cup of tea (which turned to a glass of wine as the night went on). It was good to get lost in some of my favorite movies. Bring on the couple that falls in love that you would never expect (but you always knew), the strong woman who is stronger than she knew herself, and the girl gang who you wish you were a part of. I ended up putting together a list of my favorite chick flicks for any occasion. So grab a glass of wine and enjoy. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

Hello 2019!

Happy New Year friends! I hope everyone had an amazing holiday season. This year seemed especially busy with holiday parties and gatherings a couple times a week. As 2018 slowly came to an end, I did what I do around this time every year, looked back on the past 365 days to see how I’ve grown in the past year.

In December I had a lot of new going on. This past month I moved so it was a lot of reorganizing, getting rid of things I don’t need anymore and redecorating and buying furniture and décor I now need for my new space. Moving always stresses me out. (And you’d think I’d be used to it by now.) I hate the feeling of being unsettled, having blank walls and my clothes in piles, but for right now I am trying my hardest to go with the flow. I am glad most of the craziness is behind me and I finally get to settle in.

What I love right now:

Right now, I’ve been using a lot of Netflix to get my mind off of the mess that is moving boxes and building new furniture. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen every Netflix original Christmas movie this season. But now that the holidays are over, I am fully dedicated to Riverdale. It’s like Pretty Little Liars all over again. And YOU, have you seen YOU? Wow! I’ll do you a favor… go watch it!

I am back on the Whole30 train. Thank you, holidays. So far, a week in, and I am starting to feel great again. I am definitely going to be doing a few posts on Whole30 meal prep, recipes, and weekly menu.

Where I went:

This year I tried to chill with the traveling compared to 2017. Instead of taking 12 small trips like I did last year, in 2018 I took two international trips. Over the summer I went to Mexico for a much needed R&R girls weekend. I haven’t been on a beach getaway like that in almost 10 years and it was fantastic. You can read more about where we stayed and what we did here.

In the fall my road trip buddies, Michelle and Michelle, and I headed north to road trip through Alberta, Canada. It was amazing! The photos truly don’t do this area of the world justice. The colors of the lakes and the beauty of the mountains were jaw dropping. This trip helped me push my limits and step outside of my comfort zone. We stayed at one of my top 5 hotels, ate amazing food, and did more hiking than I thought I could.

Staying a little more local, my friends and I tried to embrace the winter as much as we could by exploring Lincoln, New Hampshire and visiting their annual Ice Castles. AMAZING! In March, a bunch of my friends and I headed to Boston for a weekend getaway. There is no where better in the world to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day besides in Boston, MA. It was great to get away for the weekend and party like we were 21 again. (Read about a past trip to Boston here.) Later in the spring a few of us kicked off the warm weather season with a quick trip to the Cape to explore one of New England’s hidden gems.

What I’m looking forward to:

2019 is already panning out to be a great year. I have a few trips already scheduled for the first half of the year. A weekend in Philladelphia, a bachelorette party in Charleston, and two trips to Los Angeles to watch one of my closest LA-friends get married. I’m hoping the second half of the year is a little calmer, but I’d love to stick some sort of trip in the back half of the year. I’ve been throwing around either Cuba, Oktoberfest in Germany, or just a simple solo trip to Burlington, VT. We will see.

Work wise, things have been really exciting. I started 2018 with a promotion at work, and in June, I got another one. It’s been really encouraging to watch the growth of my company and where they are headed and I am beyond happy to be a part of it. Who knows where this year will lead.

2019 Goals:

I’m not going to boar you with my goals. Each year I make a list of resolutions, or goals, in my daily planner so that I can look at them regularly and hold myself accountable. They’re actual goals, with numbers, and dollar amounts, and intentions to continue to push myself to grow and live as balanced as I can.

Ironically this year a few of my goals require me to work more, and harder. But instead of seeing this as a negative, it just shows how important it is to be intentional with your time. A few years ago I read Chip and Joanna Gaine’s book and I realized that everything they do, they do intentionally. They push their business, their family, and their relationship and the result is to live their best life. Work hard, play hard, right?

This year I am going to keep my goals private, but overall, live intentionally, spend money intentionally, spend time intentionally.

Friday Five – October & November

Happy Friday!!! Who else is pumped to gain an hour this weekend?? I know my waking up in total darkness the past few weeks has not been prime motivation. A few weeks ago I was able to take a three day staycation and it was fabulous. I binged “Anne with an E” on Netflix and relaxed for a few days, just in time for the craziness of the holidays to swing in full force.

I’m looking forward to the holidays more than usual this year. I have some exciting news in early December but I can’t say much for now. For now, here are five things that are getting me through October and November.

A night at the theater
When I was living in California I really started to fall in love with the theater. My good friend’s family ran a local community theater and their productions were out of this world. Being that we were in Los Angeles, there were even a few professional actors that performed at the theater on the side. I really fell in love with Les Misérables while I was out there so when tickets went on sale at the Shubert Theater in New Haven, I new I had to see the national touring company perform live. It was insane!

Day tripping to Newport, RI
I think Newport, RI is such an underrated city. In the summer it is the perfect New England city with fresh seafood restaurants, little shops to explore, and breathtaking sunsets over the water. In the winter the town gets sleepy but winter is the perfect time to go to Newport and truly rest and relax. The skinny streets make you feel like you’ve gone back in time and wandering in and out of bars is really the best way to spend a snow day. I went last week to explore something else that is famous in Newport. The Newport Mansions. Not too long ago New York City’s elite used Newport as a place to summer. Their summer “cottages” were bigger than my high school. A few girlfriends and I took the two hour drive east to explore the Breakers and Marble House, two of the Vanderbilt family’s homes from the late 1800s.

Pumpkin carving parties
My girlfriends and I try to get together as often as possible, but with husbands, kids, careers, and side projects, it’s not always the easiest. Last weekend we were able to be festive all weekend. We celebrated our favorite two year old’s birthday with a Halloween themed birthday party on Saturday, and Sunday had a Halloween party and pumpkin carving contests as a housewarming at another friend’s. It was the perfect way to get into the spirit of the season before fall blows away from us completely.

Exploring the Viking Star in Boston
Part of my full-time job is getting out of the office and visiting the ships that we send our clients on. When Viking Ocean Cruises invited a few travel agents onto their ship, the Viking Star, I jumped at the opportunity to see this ship. Viking is known for their river cruises, being one of the largest river cruise companies in the world, but when they expanded into ocean cruises a few years ago, I knew I wanted to see their ships. I love the clean lines, and the Scandinavian style of their ships. What I love about Viking is their attention to detail and how although they’re not a luxury cruise line, you still feel like a princess while a guest on their ship.

Making a Murderer part 2
A few weeks ago, I did a post about my favorite bingeworthy shows and since, I’ve already gotten through the new Marking a Murderer part 2. I actually watched it in just three days. If you watched part 1, be prepared that this one moves a little slower. We know the story already so now we are going through new evidence and learning information we didn’t know before.