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There’s No Place Like Home [5 Memories + Life Lessons in 5 Years]

In May, we celebrated 5 years in our very first home. I’m amazed by how quickly the time has gone and how much we still love it just as much as that first year. If there’s anything that could make me feel like a legit adult, this is it!

In honor of the anniversary, I wanted to capture 5 favorite memories in our home + a few things we’ve learned along the way …

  1. I’ll never forget our very first night in our first home. It genuinely feels just like one of those highlight reels in a move. We bought our favorite wine + beer, ordered pizza and sat cross-legged on the floor giddily talking about the future.

2. I love hosting and entertaining people, and we’ve had a lot of incredible parties at our house (My Golden Birthday, Annual Fall Parties, South by South Mouth NYE bashes, Game of Thrones finale, etc.) It’s really hard to choose just one, but I think our #WarmThisHouse party stands out the most probably because it was the very first. We hosted family + friends, ate macarons + took shots, turned our patio into a cocktail hour, and ended the night with costumes and jumping photoshoots. I love this pin board of our polaroid pics from the night that I keep in our bedroom. It reminds me of the simple things in life.

3. Here’s a life lesson: A house is hard work, but a yard is HARDER work. Boy, have we learned this. I’ll never forget the first summer in our house when I spent hours pulling freaking dandelions from the front yard. Then hours pruning our rose bushes. Then hours at the doctor with my infected hand thanks to the rose bushes. Another lesson – sometimes just spend the money to have someone help you.

4. We’ve made several updates to our home – changing light fixtures, patching holes in the wall thanks to dear ol’ Olli, but none so big as deciding to add on a deck, and husband’s only request: a hammock. It’s been some of the best money spent + best decision ever made.

5. Truly my favorite memory of all though in the 5 years of our home has been enjoying time on our front porch. There’s something so special about that white wrap-around beauty. I feel so much peace on that porch, especially in early morning and early evening. (especially in fall with a blanket, coffee + book!) I’ve planned international trips out there, had countless deep conversations with friends + intimate conversations with God, and most recently enjoyed a nice bottle of rosé to celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary. A lot of life has happened on this porch.

I’m so thankful to have such an amazing home to share with my family, and just as thankful to have some of our best friends living in our neighborhood. Aren’t neighbor friends so special?

I truly can’t wait to see what the next 5 years brings. ❤
xo xo

Book Reviews: The Six Artists, The Seven Husbands + The Millions of Corks

 Daisy Jones & The Six – Taylor Jenkins Reid: This is one of the most uniquely written, and captivating books I’ve read in a very long time. I don’t want to give too much away, but the story of the whirlwind rise and fall of a rock’n roll group in the ’70s is hauntingly beautiful, fascinating and kept me turning the page for more.
Grade: A+

Cork Dork – Bianca Bosker: If you’re interested in wine – and not just drinking it – but the behind the scenes of the wine industry, the restaurant/wine culture in NYC and the makings of becoming a sommelier, read this. It did drag a bit in the middle, but overall very interesting and enjoyable. And obviously makes you want to drink more wine.
Grade: B

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – Taylor Jenkins Reid: So after I read Daisy Jones, I was told to read this book by the same author. I’d heard so much about this one, but for some reason never picked it up. After loving Daisy Jones, I was skeptical it could be as good, but had to try. Y’all. This author can do no wrong. Again, uniquely written, captivating and hauntingly beautiful. Do yourself a favor and pick them both up to read this summer.
Grade: A+

The Bride Test – Helen Hoang: Another repeat author, Hoang wrote one of my favorite books of 2018 – The Kiss Quotient. This one is similar in that it’s a super sweet story, easy read, but has more depth than you’d expect. A love story between an autistic man who doesn’t think he can love and a Vietnamese “mail order bride.” You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you’ll be rooting for these characters.
Grade: A

 

xo xo
You can read all my book reviews here.

life lately

[drinking this || all the beer at our favorite event, fayetteville foamfest]

[loving this || the best monday night with literally everyone at the killers!]

[enjoying this || a quick trip to LA for work, eating at my favorite restaurant, spending time with one of my favorite people + running into DIANE KEATON!!]

[throwing this || game of thrones finale watch party, complete with themed food + drink and trivia with prizes]

[cheers-ing to this || an amazing long weekend]

xo xo

10 Things: March + April

Reminder: for 2019 I’m starting a new series – 10 things. I want to capture things I’m learning in my 30th year whether tiny or bold, big or small. The rules: It can only be one sentence, and there can’t be repeating lessons from month to month. It can be something I’ve learned in prior years, but needed reminding. I’m also including one picture per month that’s symbolic of the month for me.

My plan was to post this monthly, but the past few months have been craaaazy so doing a combo post again. Here are 20 things I’ve been learning:

 

M A R C H

  1. Don’t be lazy – put your outdoor cushions inside for the winter.
  2. Sometimes a 9:15pm dinner is the best dinner.
  3. Porch wine always tastes better than inside wine.
  4. Israeli hummus is the best thing I’ve ever eaten in my life.
  5. There is nothing like the first spring day.
  6. I am the worst uuni pizza chef.
  7. Give yourself permission to do nothing for an afternoon.
  8. Lemon coffee is not just a thing, but a very delicious thing.
  9. The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.
  10. Don’t listen to other people’s negative opinions.

 

A P R I L 

  1. It always seems impossible until it’s done.
  2. Wind therapy is a real thing.
  3. Add brussels sprouts to your crawfish boil.
  4. Sometimes the right thing to right thing to do is the hard thing to do.
  5. A fresh coat of paint can make the world of a difference.
  6. Not all tiki bar drinks come with umbrellas.
  7. Seeing my name in a byline never gets old.
  8. You can get a sunburn in April.
  9. A cookie can make someone’s day.
  10. Book the massage.

xo xo

10 Things: Jan + Feb

Book Reviews: The Dreamers, The Sisters + The Photographers

The Dreamers – Karen Thompson Walker: As someone who loves all things related to sleeping/dreaming, this book fascinated me. An ordinary town is transformed by a mysterious illness that triggers perpetual sleep. Though a little repetitive in the middle, this unique story kept me quickly reading to solve the mystery.
Grade: A

The Winter Sister – Megan Collins: Another female-led thriller (my fave) with a little less suspense than I’d like, but still enjoyable. Solid B, easy read, didn’t love the characters.
Grade: B

The Age of Light – Whitney Schrarer: I love love loved this book! Set in 1940s Paris, it’s based on the real-life love affair between photographer Man Ray and model turned photographer Lee Miller, whom I knew nothing about, but immediately took me down the Google rabbit hole. The writing was sharp, the characters complex, and it felt like a romance novel + historical fiction. I couldn’t turn away.
Grade: A+

Girl, Stop Apologizing – Rachel Hollis: This one makes me very sad to report because I’m such a Rachel Hollis fangirl (and still am). However, this book just didn’t do it for me. It felt like it was trying too hard to be the cool older sister to Girl, Wash Your Face. There were still some great nuggets of wisdom, advice and empowerment, but overall not quite the energy I was hoping for.
Grade: B-

 

xo xo
You can read all my book reviews here.

life lately

Life lately has been CRAZY. I’d sum it up perfectly with the manifesto –

W O R K   H A R D . P L A Y   H A R D .

I haven’t blogged in a month (since our trip to Philly), so here’s a little peek into my life as of late.

[traveled for this || great meetings in durham with my burt’s bees team]

[planned this (with some other party people!) || clorox spring fling at the holler]


[ate this || crawfish boil, round 1 + 2]

[loved this || two wonderful easter celebrations with the best family]

[enjoyed this || a night out with the girls to see Waitress at the WAC – which we LOVED!]

[soaking in this || the most beautiful spring weather]

[traveled (again) for this || more great meetings in SF with my SMG team
#foresightwarriors]

Busy month, huh? Philly > Durham > SF … and things don’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.
But you know what I’ve been thinking lately – let’s be THANKFUL for being busy with all good things, and enjoy the little moments of joy and relaxation with my favorite people while I can. ❤

xo xo

Vacation Picturebook: Philadelphia

W E D N E S D A Y 

[loved our hotel: Kimpton Palomar at Rittenhouse Square!]

[late lunch at Parc – the most adorable Parisian cafe on the square]

[walked around Rittenhouse Square on the most adorable little streets, then wound up in this bookstore that printed classic books right in front of us! We picked up Frankenstein by Mary Shelley – such a cool souvenir]

[one of my favorite things about exploring a new city is the food – I read about this Israeli restaurant Zahav in a magazine and immediately called to get a reservation. 2 months out and all I could get was 9:15pm on Wednesday night, so of course I took it. I didn’t get great pictures, but this was a meal and an evening I’ll never forget! we got seated around 9:30 and didn’t leave until almost midnight. we did the tasting menu and it was such an experience and the food was amazing – especially this hummus! HIGHLY recommend this place if you’re in Philly and can get in!]

T H U R S D A Y 

[all the historical things! independence hall where the declaration of independence was signed, snuck a peek at the liberty bell through a window, benjamin franklin museum, and my favorite: elfreth’s alley]

[dinner at buddakkan – the edamame dumplings were the best!]

[the reason for the trip – BON IVER!!! I can’t say enough how magical this show was. the venue was stunning, our seats were incredible and I’ve loved Bon Iver for years. this was a bucket list show for me, and it exceeded all my expectations]

F R I D A Y

[recovery after late night show: donuts + coffee, and not just any donuts, some of the BEST donuts I’ve ever had – made fresh right there. my favorite was the strawberry lavender, and we may or may not have gone back saturday morning….]

[did a lotttt of walking down museum row, but totally worth it, especially to end up here…]
[is the music playing in your head right now?! we had to run the rocky steps, obviously.
and the art museum was also legit]

[y’all, the eastern state penitentiary was crazy cool and crazy creepy – totally recommend this tour. it was seriously fascinating (and did I mention creepy??)]

[drinks + apps with a familiar face!! loved spending time with AMR and hearing about Philly from a “local” ❤️]

[after a long day of walking + drinking, we stumbled upon a ben + jerry’s – it was the perfect late night snack by the fire to end our friday]

S A T U R D A Y 

[because saturday morning it was rise + grind for a 60 min soul cycle! not quite peloton, but still fun]

[brunch at the cutest place The Dandelion british pub with the cutest husband. also it was 75 degrees (!!!) and we got to sit in the little balcony and people watch]

[ended the trip the best way we know how – found a local brewery, enjoyed the sunshine and talked about our favorite parts of the trip]

xo xo

You might also enjoy: Picturebook: Napa + SF, Picturebook: Girls Weekend in NYC!