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Weekend Picturebook: NYC

T H U R S D A Y

[Gorgeous views flying into the city]

[Late night bite at Jacob’s Pickles, a few blocks from our hotel – the buffalo chicken blue cheese mac and cheese was TDF, and see husband’s chicken and pancakes with bacon in the background – good-ness!!]

F R I D A Y

[First things first – had to get that Peloton ride in! It was seriously such an awesome experience! 90s Pop Ride with Emma Lovewell (Husband’s fave instructor)
(If you don’t know about Peloton, ask me!)]

[Lunch at Momofuku Noodle Bar with birthday boy Mark – pork ramen was delish, and so cool to finally eat at this place!]

[Undoubtedly one of the best parts of the trip – we stumbled upon this freaking amazing rooftop bar with the most delicious frosé I’ve ever had!]

 [Next stop – checked something off my NYC bucket list: Top of the Rock! Views were incredible.
And we definitely didn’t *almost* fall off from all that frosé…]

[Cheers to pour decisions! Such a fun night out celebrating one of our dear friends’ 30th birthday!]

S A T U R D A Y

[Explored Upper West Side and found one of my new favorite places – Zabars!
If only I lived here and could shop there every day – speciality cheeses, homemade bread …
at least I got to try a bagel and coffee.]

[Walk along Riverside Park – another gorgeous day in the city.
The locals thought it was too hot, but low 80s felt great to us Southerners!!]

[American Museum of Natural History was amazing! (Night at the Museum, anyone??)
My geologist/developer husband especially loved the rocks]

[Saturday night in Greenwich Village – mine (and T.Swift’s) fave <3]

[Dinner at Emily West Village (aka Pizza Loves Emily) – tried to do a cute blogger pizza photoshoot … total fail haha! But I do have a cute Instagram Husband]

[Found the most adorable Air’s Champagne Parlor – this was the BEST rosé! The quote on the mirror says: “I only drink champagne on two occasions – when I’m in love, and when I’m not.” – Coco Chanel
Amen, Coco!]

[Comedy Cellar! SUCH a cool experience – I would highly recommend!]

S U N D A Y

[Brunch at Jacob’s Pickles before our flight home – we learned our lesson for next time, definitely share!!]

[Cheers to an awesome trip and watching the World Cup final in the airport!]

xo xo

You might also enjoy some of my other NYC picturebooks: Sept. 2017, Aug. 2016Dec. 2012 

 

Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer

Lately, I’ve been learning how to be content. Content with stillness. Content with a slower pace. Content with the season of life I’m in.

I made a radical change a few months ago. Sometimes job changes may not seem radical or may not be radical at times, but my entire way of life changed with this one. My days are now more consistent, my nights and weekends are more about me, and everything just feels different.

At first, I might have missed it. I might have missed the crazy, rollercoaster days and weeks I was so accustomed to. But then, I got off the rollercoaster and realized life was so much more than the thrilling, yet unpredictable highs and lows.

Contentment is hard though, isn’t it? Don’t we always seem to want something else, think the grass is always greener? Enjoying where you are and not pining for the next season of life is very hard. I’m not saying I have the secret to success, but it’s something God has been teaching me the last few months.

And I love it. I love the stillness. I love the laziness of just being home with husband, cooking meals together, arguing over why the washer isn’t working, contemplating why one plant isn’t growing, doing life together. ((Have we officially become a boring, old, married couple?!))

Yet, just the other day I asked husband if I was squandering away my summer Fridays by doing nothing. Doing nothing for me being, laying by the pool reading 100 pages at a time, then going inside to cool down and watch an episode or two of my current binge. Should I be using my time off wisely? Getting things done? Crossing things off my to-do list?

No. Just be. Enjoy the time. Enjoy those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.

I’m thankful for this season of life we’re currently in. I know it won’t last, but hope to enjoy it while we can, and then learn to love the next season – whatever may come.

“Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.”
– Henry David Thoreau

xo xo

life lately

[celebrating this || 7 years of marriage with my favorite guy <3]

[enjoying this || a cool dip in my new pool]

[watching this || ocean’s 8 with my girl tribe!]

[loving this || wonderful deck-warming party with drinks, lawn games + the cutest cookies]

[eating this || a gorgeous and delicious meal at Preacher’s Son]

[stuffing ourselves at this || BITE NWA, two nights in a row, and it was oh so worth it]

xo xo

Book Reviews: She Lives, She Loves, She Lies

Counterfeit Gods – Timothy Keller: This was definitely one of the best studies we’ve done with our Community Group in the last few years. It was convicting, challenging and created great dialogue among the group. One of the things Keller succeeds at doing in this book is weaving in Biblical stories and perspectives to tie in to modern day idols.
Grade: B+

Women in Sunlight – Frances Mayes: From the author of Under the Tuscan Sun, this book did everything I wanted it to and more. The story follows four older women whose children want to put them in a retirement home, but instead become quick friends and decide to move to Tuscany. I laughed, I cried and I was transported back to Italy with every single page. The writing is terrific, changing with the character’s perspectives, and the story will give you passion to do something radical.
Grade: A+

The Perfect Mother – Aimee Molloy: This book was a classic female-led thriller, which is my favorite mindless reading. Yet the ending was truly shocking. Though I’m not sure I loved that – it seemed maybe a little too out there, if that makes sense. That being said, it was an easy, enjoyable read AND Kerry Washington is starring in the movie, so obviously a win.
Grade: A-

Still Lives – Maria Hummel: Set in a modern museum in LA focused on the mystery of a famous artist gone missing, I was intrigued by the set-up. While it had all the makings of a good book, something about it fell flat for me. The behind the scenes of a museum and their artist relationships surrounding the plot was the most fascinating piece, but the ending was rushed and too complex.
Grade: B+

xo xo

You can read all my book reviews here.

Weekend Picturebook: Chicago

 T H U R S D A Y

[First stop: Eataly then shopping!]

[The most AMAZING dinner at Girl and The Goat – oysters, goat empanadas + fall off the bone pork shank. Seriously a meal I’ll never forget.]

F R I D A Y

[We would highly recommend the architectural boat tour – even though we were freezing our booties off! Good thing there was plenty of coffee + baileys.]

[Cliché touristy things: pictures in front of the Bean, chicago dog + Art Institute]

[Cindy’s Rooftop was perfection – and boy do we have a story to share. Ha!]

[HAMILTON! finally! 100% lived up to (or possibly beyond) the hype]

S A T U R D A Y 

[SNL exhibit at the Broadcast Museum was too cool – we could have easily spent all day in there!]

[Walk along the beach + a drink at The Drake – not exactly beach volleyball weather to us Southerners!]

[PIZZA, obviously]

[almost time for TAYLOR ….. !!!]
but first, a little history …

[T.Swift in LA, 2010]

[T.Swift in Nashville, 2013 – 2ND ROW. Don’t even ask how we got those seats.]

[T.Swift in Chicago, 2018!]
and yes, we’re wearing matching touristy sweatshirts because, again, it was freezing

[I swear I’m still on a high from this show. 2 hours of pure adrenaline, singing at the top of my lungs, dancing to my heart’s content. Best part was when she came to the second stage right next to us!!!]

[and then it started pouring, but we were okay with it because, Taylor, duh]

[and then we had to walk 3 miles home, in the pouring rain, couldn’t get an uber, and I was so over it… BUT THE CONCERT WAS AMAZING]

S U N D A Y

[Ended the weekend on a perfect note – brunch at The Hampton Social. Pictured: Frosé, lobster bisque + crab and avocado – all delish!]

What a perfect mother-daughter weekend. I couldn’t have asked for anything more!
xo xo

Do it for you.

I made a commitment to myself.
I made a commitment to myself to ride the Peloton 10 days in a row.

Here’s why I decided to do it, and how I stuck with it.

I’ve already blogged my praise of the book, Girl Wash Your Face. But there’s one chapter that has really stuck with me the last month – “I’ll Start Tomorrow.”

Can we take a moment and be real with ourselves … how many times have we said that?! I’ll start tomorrow!! I seriously can’t even count.

As Rachel Hollis says in her book, “We talk about the things we’d like to do, be, try and accomplish, but once we get to the moment of actually doing it, we fold faster than a card table after bunco night.”

I try so hard to keep my word and my commitments to other people, but I easily cancel on myself without even a second thought. I’ll skip my workout when I told myself I was going to do it after work. I’ll eat another piece of cake when I said I wouldn’t. I’ll listen to music on my way to work when I told myself I was going to use that time to pray.

I know I have the self-discipline, but I’m choosing not to use it. Why? I decided to try harder to stop breaking promises to myself.

So I started with something small. We have a constant supply of peanut butter M&Ms downstairs in our office, and it’s a huge issue. (Did I mention they are PEANUT BUTTER M&Ms?!) Grab a handful here and a handful there. No harm in that right? Uggggh. Well, I told myself I wouldn’t grab any handfuls all week, and guess what – I did it!

Okay, next commitment – ride 10 days in a row on the Peloton, culminating in a mother-daughter trip to Chicago to see Taylor Swift.

Y’all – I’m 9 days in, and I’m so proud of myself! I would be lying if I said it wasn’t hard, because there were several days I was so close to quitting. Like that day over Memorial Day weekend when we’d been out in the sun all day and I was drained and it was 5pm and I still hadn’t ridden. I almost broke down. I almost canceled on myself, but I didn’t.

The other thing I’ve been teaching myself through this is – this commitment is for me. No one else. You might be reading this thinking, “10 days? That’s nothing.” And maybe for you, it’s not, but for me it is a challenge. Husband rode 30 days in a row and has already done a 60 min ride. I’ve done 9 days in a row and just did my first 45 min. But guess what, that’s okay! And not only is it okay, but I should be happy for his accomplishments and he should be happy for mine even though they’re completely different.

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt

My current favorite quote, and one we should all remind ourselves of daily.

So, I’ve got 1 more ride before my early flight to Chicago tomorrow, and I’m not canceling on myself now.
And then, it’s time for a mimosa.

xo xo

life lately

[celebrating this || our beautiful mommas for mother’s day <3]

[decorating this || our “spring themed” cake at our team cake decorating competition!]

[laughing at this || a weird + funny “sub-par” night, that actually wasn’t sub-par at all]

[enjoying this || a fun evening with co-workers at the DICED cooking competition]

[waking up early for this || the most beautiful, perfect #RoyalWedding!!]

[LOVING THIS || our new deck + updated landscaping is finally complete!]

xo xo