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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!

January + February: 10 Things

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.

Since I missed the first month, we’re starting out with Jan + Feb, so here are the 20 things I’ve learned:

J A N U A R Y

  1. 3 birthday cakes are better than 1.
  2. 3 happy birthday songs are better than 1.
  3. The sticks in shuffleboard are called Tangs and the discs are called Biscuits.
  4. I really can exercise every single day, even if only for 10 minutes.
  5. The most expensive wine does not always equal the best tasting wine.
  6. Don’t obsess over the weather – you can’t change it anyway.
  7. New year’s resolutions shouldn’t start until the first Monday of the year.
  8. It’s okay not to finish everything you start.
  9. I’m pretty positive I have seasonal affective disorder.
  10. Sometimes inanimate objects are really hard to say goodbye to.

 

F E B R U A R Y

  1. We have control over our fears, and they’re often not nearly as big as we make them out to be.
  2. I can get tired of drinking wine.
  3. Nobody cares or notices if you’re on third-day hair.
  4. Burmese food is delicious.
  5. Make time for Galentine’s Day just as you would for Valentine’s Day.
  6. If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.
  7. The best team building is traveling together, especially if it also includes working on a ranch in 40 degrees.
  8. If you want to sound sophisticated about wine, just say it has BALANCE.
  9. Being bold looks different for everyone.
  10. While February is the shortest month of the year, it definitely feels like the longest month of the year.

xo xo

life lately

[eating this || first ever attempt at making sunny side up eggs + chrissy teigen’s cheesy spicy hash
D E L I S H ]

[thankful for this || the best birthday party with the best people]

[loving this || 60 degree days]

[enjoying this || a cozy night in with husband for valentine’s day]

[celebrating this || mom + fred’s 4th anniversary with the family]

[watching this || february friday night film vault: oscars edition. hi, stephen!]

xo xo

Book Reviews: Becoming Busy, Becoming Anonymous, Becoming More

Nine Perfect Strangers – Liane Moriarty: I’ve read most of Liane Moriarty’s books and typically devour them. This one was thicker than most and took me a little longer to get into, but overall I really enjoyed it. She weaves the unique cast of characters and intriguing plot together well – this one focusing on nine strangers who go to a “health retreat” that ends up being quite a bit different than what they all signed up for.
Grade: B+

An Anonymous Girl – Greer Hendricks + Sarah Pekkanen: I loved this duo’s first book The Wife Between Us so was excited to see what they could come up with next. Unfortunately for me this one fell kind of flat. It was a similar style of differing perspectives per chapter, of which you didn’t know which character to trust, but it didn’t have quite the same excitement or intrigue.
Grade: B-

This Will Only Hurt a Little – Busy Philipps: Y’all, I liked Busy Philipps before this autobiography, I love her now. That’s a good endorsement, yeah? Her childhood and story are so radically different from mine, and she tells it in such a distinct, funny voice. I laughed, I was shocked, and I learned some behind the scenes TV secrets about Freaks + Geeks, Dawson’s Creek and Cougar Town. By the end of it, she really feels like your crazy best friend.
Grade: A-

Becoming – Michelle Obama: I cannot recommend this book enough!!! I know it’s probably the most hyped book of the year, but it 100% lived up to the hype and more. I was fascinated by Michelle’s entire story, everything from her Chicago upbringing to falling in love with Barack to the intricacies of White House living. She makes you feel like an insider. She gives you hope. And she really makes you long for the Obama presidential era.
Grade: A+

xo xo
You can read all my book reviews here.

Picturebook: Napa + SF

 N A P A 
[play hard]

F R I D A Y 

[arrived at our SUPER ADORABLE boutique hotel, Rancho Caymus Inn
and yes, that is a hummingbird photobombing my picture!]

[no exaggeration, hands down one of the best meals of my life at michelin-star The Charter Oak]

S A T U R D A Y

[bouchon bakery + yountville = adorable pit-stop]

[obviously had to schedule in a stop at the napa sign]

[silver oak 2014 cabernet release day party – so many people, so much rain, so much fun!]

[photoshoot at robert mondavi – and of course, more wine]

[and then somehow we got in CARPOOL KARAOKE! this is the only pic I got (though plenty of ridiculous videos), but it was tricked out with lights, microphones and an iPad to choose a song. why is this not more of a thing?!]

[burger + french dip at Rutherford Grill was exactly what we needed]

[plus a hot tub night, ha!]

S U N D A Y 

[no better way to start Sunday than with a Mumm Napa tour]

[aaand more sparkling wine with our Gott’s, which was DELICIOUS]


[our favorite winery – Bremer! we even signed up for their wine club, and obviously had plenty of fun on our own private tour + tasting]

[well yes, it did rain ALL WEEKEND and we didn’t get to do our hot air balloon ride, but we had some of the most picturesque views and seriously the best 30th birthday celebration!]

S A N   F R A N C I S C O  
[work hard + some play]

[first can we talk about how gorgeous these views were from our hotel?!]


[wonderful dinner with some of my favorite people at Nopa]

[ate some new food + made some new friends at Burma Love]

[couldn’t have ended the week better than with the best team building at Slide Ranch – we worked, we hiked, we ate amazing farm-to-table food and we honored a lost team member. love this work family so much! <3]

xo xo

30 Before 30: Update

Update: I did not complete my 30 before 30 list.

And I’m okay with that.

Y’all, I was striving so hard to complete this list before turning 30 last weekend. But to what end? Because I promised myself I would complete it? Because I made a public promise to my fellow readers, friends and family?

But then I realized, is it worth it to knock things off the list purely for the sake of doing so, and not for the sake of really doing them?

I was discussing this recently with a friend and she called it the “girl scout mentality” – we were raised to stick to our commitments and never break them no matter what. But the older I get, the more I kind of think that’s BS. Sometimes you just can’t do it all, and THAT’S OKAY. This same friend also said, I think this is the lesson you were meant to learn from this list. 

Wow.

I literally sat speechless and we both literally got goosebumps because it was so evidently true. I then thought back to my #1 resolution for 2019 I had written in my journal several weeks ago: Remove perfection as a goal. 

Does anyone else need to hear that as much as me?

So okay, I’m not perfect and I didn’t complete the list, but that’s okay. As husband said, you just add them to your life list and do them when the time is right.

All that to say, I did knock a few more off the list these past few months (and actually ended up crossing off 23/30!), so here’s a complete update on my 30 before 30.

    1. Start a new adventure. I’ve worked for Walmart for 6.5 years, as my first job out of college. I’ve officially accepted a position at Clorox, and couldn’t be more excited/anxious/thrilled to start this new adventure.
    2. Make a complex meal 100% from scratch. This one might have been my favorite one to check off the list thus far. I knew the meal I wanted to make was Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon and knew it would be more fun with help from my mom! It actually wasn’t as difficult as we thought it would be, just verryyy time consuming, but TOTALLY WORTH IT. Oh my gosh this was delicious. 
    3. Hike Pinnacle Mountain + eat a Hubcap burger at Cotham’s. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to eat at Cotham’s since the original location burned down last year. However, I did hike Pinnacle – and it was a doozy! The challenge was worth it, as the views were stunning, and we’re already planning another hike up in the Fall.
    4. Successfully do a one-armed push-up.
    5. See a critically acclaimed show. This one makes me so happy because I’ve been dying to see Hamilton and Mom got me tickets for my 29th birthday for our trip to Chicago. It was AMAZING. Absolutely go see it if you get the chance.
    6. Volunteer 30 hours. (17 hours complete!) 
    7. Buy all my friends a round, randomly. I really loved doing this one, and it was the perfect occasion – Thanksgiving Eve at Club Frisco.
    8. Play video games with Husband for a night, complete with pizza + beer. This was so fun! We played Mario Kart (he schooled me), tennis (both won) and a fighting game (which we also both won, to Husband’s chagrin). I definitely need to get in Husband’s world and do this more often!
    9. Intentionally choose to stay by myself one night in a hotel. Obviously I’ve stayed by myself before, but for work or when husband was away – not intentionally.
    10. Learn a song on the guitar.
    11. Be in a play.
    12. Learn to play blackjack. Nephew Jack taught me this one over Christmas. I learned the basics and now we just need to head to Downstream (or Vegas!) to really play!
    13. Make a signature cocktail. Another Christmas check – the most delicious drink with prosecco, vodka and raspberry sorbet aka The Raspberry Millay! 
    14. Make a YouTube video that gets over 1k views.
    15. Start my book. Yay I’ve FINALLY started it, and no I won’t share any details yet! 
    16. Win at least 1 trivia night. This one was totally out of the blue, but glad it happened the way it did. We won the poolside Hollywood Trivia on our family vacation in Mexico. Go Team Guacamole!
    17. Write 30 handwritten letters. This has also been one of my favorite ones to check off the list and I’m planning to set a goal for myself to write letters every year!
    18. Take a dance class.
    19. Go to a movie solo. I went to see Crazy, Rich Asians (which was THE BEST) and it was so liberating to go to a movie solo. I also happened to be the only person in the theater, so it was extra solo! Ha!
    20. Ride 300 miles. Maybe this one didn’t take as along as anticipated, but it’s still checked off the list and I’m proud!
    21. Dye my hair pink. So this one, I can at least say I tried. I covered my hair (twice!) with pink hair dye from the grocery store to no avail. I’ll try again or just clip some in!
    22. Do 5 things that scare me. (1. Leave my comfortable job of 6.5 years. 2. Ride a snowmobile 3. Therapods aka Sensory Deprivation Tank – ask me about it and I’ll tell ya more. 4. Seriously discuss having kids. 5. We’re booked for a hot air balloon ride next week in Napa, something that’s been on my bucket list for years!)
    23. Give an amount of money that is significant to me and is significant to someone in need, but do it in such a way no one would ever know it was me who gave it and expect nothing in return. I won’t share details, but this was so rewarding and definitely something we will continue to do, and probably my favorite on the list.
    24. Travel to a state I’ve never been to.  This one actually happened without me even realizing it. I thought I’d been to North Carolina, but hadn’t – and now I’ve been twice for work this year. Check! 
    25. Take a personal day, for no reason at all.
    26. Challenge myself with a new hobby. I didn’t realize it at first, but this is totally the Peloton! Since I didn’t grow up in sports or really sticking with an exercise routine, riding consistently has been a huge challenge for me and totally feels like a new hobby! We even chose to ride while on vacation – something I never thought I’d do, ha!
    27. See someone in concert I’ve been dying to see. Taylor Swift – check. Taking Back Sunday (our favorite band from high school) – check AND Beyonce/Jay-Z coming up next month. I think I can officially check this one off the list.
    28. Find an artist whose perspective of the world I appreciate and buy a piece of his or her work.
    29. Take a spontaneous trip. Someone could probably fight me on this, but it’s my blog so I’ll do what I want – our NYC trip was totally spontaneous for me. No, it wasn’t a pick-up-and-go trip, but our friend Mark called, said he was having his 30th birthday party in NYC and did we want to go? I never turn down a trip to New York, so we said yes, but not planning something like that several months out is my kind of spontaneity!!
    30. Plan a huge 30th birthday bash.

BONUS: Read 30 books. 

Here’s to 30 more years!
xo xo

life lately

img_7669[getting excited about this || early saturday morning planning session for our upcoming napa trip!]

img_7672

[LOVING this || 60 degree day + impromptu patio beers]

img_7737img_7729
[celebrating this || our favorite 33-year-old’s birthdays with a blind wine tasting party]

img_7766

[eating this || delicious brisket chili from wright’s barbecue]

img_7790

[obsessing over this || $10 lilies from sam’s club!]

img_7747

[trying out this || rent the runway unlimited – ask me about it! loving it so far]

screen shot 2019-01-19 at 11.29.18 am

[enjoying this || cozy snowy saturday with magazines + coffee]

xo xo