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.

 

TV Shows to Binge this Fall

Happy Hump Day!!!! Here in New England, it’s starting to get pretty chilly which means, hibernation time. I’ve already started my season of binge watching and my list is starting to grow for this winter. Last year I really started to get bored with some of the shows I was regularly watching. Sorry Walking Dead fans but after Carl died I just couldn’t get back on board. So, this winter I need to get into some new shows, and not just my usual Housewives and other Bravo shows.

I rewatched Hart of Dixie last month and it reminded me how much I love a feel good comedy. Currently I’ve been glued to Anne with an E but I just have a few more episodes left. I think next up is going to be a true crime documentary. When Making a Murder came out in 2015 I was hooked so now that we get to see more of Steven Avery, I am ready for it.

What are you currently watching?? Let me know in the comments.

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.