Staycation Review: 2 out of 5 Stars

I took a 5 day Staycation beginning last Thursday, and I had planned to have all sorts of fun adventures to chat about on the blog this morning, but all I have to show for it is a Doctor’s Appointment and a dead Fitbit.

Not so photogenic, those things.

I am still sick. Typing those words is frigging depressing, but I’ve come to the conclusion that whatever I’m dealing with is now beyond the scope of Dr. Google’s education. I had a super bad cold the last week of 2015 and it hung around the first couple weeks of the year but now it is JANUARY NINETEENTH and I am not myself. My cold symptoms have subsided for the most part (except for a nagging, uncomfortable cough) but I still feel incredibly weak and tired.

I have zero endurance and my five days off were basically filled with things like grocery shopping and then taking a nap. Taking a bath and then taking a nap. Getting the mail and then taking a nap. (Ok the last one is an exaggeration, but you get what I’m saying.) On Thursday I had 5 loads of laundry I planned to do, and by yesterday evening there were 3 left. It’s not like laundry is running a marathon, but it sure felt like it this weekend. (Of course in one of the two loads of laundry I washed my Fitbit and despite having that mishap before — this time it did not survive. WEEP!)

I did venture out to a spin class on Friday night because I thought I felt alright, despite knowing that probably wasn’t the best decision. But it was a Neil Diamond THEME RIDE, and in my mind I was like “it’s only 45 minutes, you will survive.” And I did — but then of course, I came home and took a nap. And then went to bed for the night two hours later.

So. At this point I have set aside my stubborn tendencies and made a appointment with my doctor for Thursday, but I feel stupid and like I don’t even know what to say. “I had a cold and still feel like shit. Fix me.” I don’t have high hopes they’ll tell me much with that description, but I don’t really know what else to do at this point because I’m too tired to figure it out myself. GRUMBLE. In the meantime, I’m obviously skipping last week’s workout post because I didn’t. I mostly worked out my eyelids opening and closing them so frequently.

I did manage to make a recipe last Tuesday that was supposed to be a GAME CHANGER! And it was in the sense that it made Garrett break out in hives. So that sure changed the game. Yikes, sorry babe! As you can imagine, I won’t be sharing that recipe here as a “recomend.” :)

So, all in all, I’m glad I had 5 days off — it was a welcomed respite, but nothing like I had hoped. Continuing to lay low this week, work, and see the doctor. Cross your fingers for me they can tell me something informative, because I’m getting a little stir crazy up in here with all this resting. It’s hard to take on 2016 when the sheer act of making the bed makes you feel like need to get back in it.

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What I’ve Been Into This Week

Happy Friday, friends!

What a good week this has been! I had so much fun watching The Golden Globes last Sunday that I think it just set the tone for what was a fun and mostly relaxing week. I’ve been taking it easy — I’m not longer dying (THANK GOD) but I’ve still got a nagging cough and just needed some rest, so I’ve been taking advantage of lots of downtime.

Here’s what I’ve been into:

Reading

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

Finally getting into my book club’s pick this month: Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff. It definitely feels like everyone and their mother is reading this book, so I can’t wait to finish it and discuss. Garrett has started it and told me it was a little weird, but so far I’m enjoying it.

Listening

I find, when it comes to what I listen to, that on any given week I’m usually committed to an audio book, podcasts, or an album of some sort. This week it’s been all podcasts.
criminal

I’ve been loving catching up on Criminal, even though that show can sometimes be a little heavy. The most recent The Stay was really sad. When I was done listening, it reminded me of how I felt when I watched that documentary Into The Abyss.

But the episode prior about the LAPD dive supervisor who was faced with doing a dive in the La Brea tarpits was FASCINATING!

On a MUCH lighter note, I really enjoyed Modern Mrs. Darcy’s new podcast called What Should I Read Next?

what should i read next
She has guests each episode and asks them to discuss a few books they loved, a few they hated, and what they’ve read recently. Then she makes a recommendation. The first two episodes are up and were so fun!

Perusing

Lots of fun stuff on the internet this week, as usual!

*10 Instagram Accounts I Love Following — I always loving finding new Insta accounts to follow. Who are your favorites?

*A Week of Meals to Break Your Junk Food Addiction — A little simple, healthy meal inspiration seemed to be just what I needed this week.

*Smoking in the Mirror – 10 Years of Girls Gone Child — I can always read long posts about why bloggers blog. Makes me feel inspired and nostalgic.

*Speaking of bloggers talking about blogging, I liked Bri from Design Love Fest’s thoughts on returning to old school blogging. I feel like a lot of people are going back to their roots this year and just SHARING. Thumbs Up Emoji.

*2016 Fitness Trends: How We’ll Be Working Out – This showed some interesting data around what industries are increasing and decreasing interest.

Watching

I’ve been in the mood for comedy apparently, because the only things I watched this week outside of my normal Bravo-worshiping tv schedule was John Mulaney New In Town and Louis CK’s Chewed Up. Both very different. Both VERY hilarious.

Buying

I had to stop at Walgreens to pick up cough drops the other day, and of course I left with two new lipsticks. Did you know Burt’s Bees has like, actual legit non lip balm lipsticks now? THEY DO! And they are pretty fun!
burts bees lipstick Image Credit

I picked up Blush Basin and Juniper Water — basically the lightest and darkest shades my Walgreen’s had (All the shades are right here) and I love them both! Easy to wear, and they feel moisturizing without being too high maintenance. In case you needed something to impulse purchase the next time you are a Target… You’re welcome! 😛

******

Have an awesome weekend, friends! Hope you are doing something fun!

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A Book Equivalent To Comfort Food

AJ Fikry

I finished my first book of 2016 and the only word I could think of to describe the experience of reading it was COMFORTING. The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin was a literal delight. It was short, sweet, light hearted, and warm, but it’s most notable quality was that it screamed: FOR BOOK LOVERS!

“A book for book lovers” is an expression I hate a little. I’d put it right up there with “The Next Gone Girl.” But in this particular instance, it is completely warranted. A lot of the book is spent exploring themes surrounding how much meaning books can have in someone’s life physically, emotionally, and in their relationships.

Spoiler Free Summary

It follows a bookselling curmudgeon named AJ Fikry who owns his own small shop on the fictional Alice Island. His wife has passed away and his life has turned into a depressing little mess. He drinks himself silly on the regular and one night during one of these episodes he pulls out his very valuable copy of Edgar Allen Poe’s Tamerlane, passes out and wakes up in the morning to find that it is missing.

Meanwhile, he comes upon a mysterious package left in his bookstore that ultimately changes the entire course of his life. I won’t add too much more as part of the pleasure of the book is just meeting all of the characters surrounding this town, the store, and AJ Fikry himself, and seeing how their intersections unfold.

My Thoughts

A lot of what happens involves the bookstore, the publishing industry, and mentions of contemporary novels. It is an environment and setting I always love reading about, and the tone of the novel is just easy and enjoyable.

It is not perfect — there were parts that were predictable, or where I thought things moved too quickly or that characters could be fleshed out more. But while I was reading it I just didn’t really care because it was so charming.

I listened to it on Audible (It is strangely not showing up there now) and I think it was something like 7 hours, so it was so quick that I was almost sad to be coming to the end. It is the kind of book you don’t want to end because you just want to keep the characters around for a bit longer.

I generally characterize myself as a mystery/thriller reader and I love books that are plot driven and page turning and sometimes a little tense, and this book was really focused on the people and their stories, but I still found it just flying by. In the past when this book was recommended to me I kind of put it in the back of my mind because I didn’t think the cover was appealing and it sounded a little boring, but now being on the other side I’m almost sad I waited.

If you are on the fence about this book, or if you are looking for a charming little book to read this winter, my recommendation is to pick it up. It’s a quick and easy story that rewards you while reading it. I haven’t read any other books by Gabrielle Zevin but I’m thinking I’ll have to pick one up. If you have any recommendations for one of her books, or just another warm and fuzzy novel feel free to let me know in the comments!

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Weekly Workouts + Eats

I want to get back to re-capping workouts and meals because I enjoy getting inspiration from others in this area (I’M ALWAYS INTERESTED IN WHAT YOU ARE HAVING FOR DINNER, TELL MEEEEEEEEEEEE!) but I was sick this week and I’m a little rusty at remembering to photograph our dinners so this week is not really starting off with a bang now is it. I had some wins though, chest cold be damned, so here’s what last week looked like:

Monday

Garrett and I were up bright and early for 5am Crossfit. I felt like my cold was much better and was happy to get back to working out. Here’s what we did:
workout

It was one of those workouts that looks nice and inviting but then when you are finished, you feel like this:
workout pic

That night I also hit up a yoga class over at CorePower Yoga in Fair Oaks. They were doing a friends and family night and my friend Amy is teaching there so I joined because my body has been craving a bit more yoga lately.

Dinner was a Beef Pot Roast with Cauliflower Mash and Carrots that I had made in the crock pot. My crock pot regularly saves my ass on Monday nights. :)

Tuesday

Tuesday morning when I woke up (after doing two workouts the day before) I thought to myself “Maybe that cold *wasn’t* actually over.” GRUMBLE. I took it easy that morning (usually I will go to spin) and then by the end of the day I felt okay so I thought I would see if a little hot yoga would help me sweat out whatever my body was trying to get rid of. I know, just go with it. It made sense in my head. Look – even the Mayo Clinic says it is good to workout when you don’t feel well! Usually working out *does* make me feel better, but I think this cold was getting good and ready to move down into my chest. Asshole.

YOGA

Came home and on tap for dinner was Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs. I cooked them in the Trader Joe’s Bolognese sauce and seriously — THAT IS THE BEST JARRED TOMATO SAUCE! (I mostly hate jarred tomato sauce, so that is quite the compliment coming from me.) I wasn’t super hungry so I ended up just making a smoothie and going to bed, but that made some BOMB lunch leftovers! :)

Wednesday

Oh Wednesday.

Wednesday was the day that my body woke me up saying “NO MORE WORKING OUT, YA DICK! GET SOME REST.” So that was nice. :/

Dinner was Garlic Pork Chops that I had sous vide on Sunday (thank god! because I did not want to cook.) + Green Beans from Trader Joe’s.

Garrett was stoked. I went to bed early.

Thursday

Thursday was more of the same. More rest, more coughing, less working out. I considered going to Crossfit but the workout was The Filthy 50 and even I’m not that stupid.

Dinner was some basic Burgers + Salad + Sweet Potato Fries. I am currently obsessed with Brianna’s Italian Vinaigrette. I wish it wasn’t true, but it is!

Friday

I had high hopes for Friday but I was mostly chugging cough syrup and leaving work early. I would like to tell you we ate something super duper healthy. Instead, I made BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger Nachos.

Nachos

I don’t even regret it. I made sure my corn chips were organic you know. BAHAHAHAAHHA

Sat + Sun

We spent the weekend eating leftovers and mostly I was chugging water and taking monolaurin.

monolaurin

It was sexy, as you can imagine.

*******

I have higher hopes for this week. I’ll still balancing rest, but I’m on the mend for sure and I’m just ready to get back to real life! Cross your fingers for me, and have a great week, friends!

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What I’ve Been Into This Week

What a crazy week it’s been with people returning back to work and reality after the holidays, right? I wish I had found this funny or die instagram post on Monday morning — I probably would have printed it out. LOL

It was a gray and rainy week, which sounds sort of depressing but my formerly brown drought deprived lawn was loving it, so I guess I am happy. I just feel like my wardrobe was not prepared. I guess there should be some shopping in my future? I can live with that. :)

Nevertheless, we survived the week and now: WE WEEKEND! Here is some stuff I’ve been into this week that seemed worth a mention.

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Reading

books
I’ve been pouring through My Cooking Year by Ruth Reichl and listening to The Storied Life of AJ Fikry on Audible. Both have been GREAT so far, so that’s a nice way to start off January after a year of mediocre reading.

Scrolling

On the internet there was all sorts of interesting stuff floating around.

*Kendi’s Top 10 Beauty Buys of 2015 – I thought it might be fun to write something similar because I bought a lot of new beauty products this year, but look — 7 of Kendi’s 10 would have been on my list, so hey — read that one instead. :)

*57 Small Changes You Can Easily Can Make To Improve Your Life — I was lured in by “small” and “easy” and for the most part they were. I especially liked #5, 9, 24, and 31 (SO MUCH YES to # 31)

*6 Face Masks That Really Deliver — I ALWAYS love talking about face masks and a few faves I enjoy are on this list.

Pinning

Get in mah belleh, all of you!

*Korean BBQ Steak Bowls with Spicy Sesame Dressing

*Massaged Kale Salad

*General Tso’s Meatballs

Watching

netflix-making-a-murderer

Like everyone else in America it seems, I spent the New Year’s Eve Weekend binging on Making A Murder and I am unsettled with the experience. It was thought provoking and tragic. Dramatic, but realistic. And really, just so sad. It’s hard to say “I recommend it!” But I absolutely do.

Listening

weeknd
*The Weeknd’s album Beauty Behind the Madness. And I can’t decide if I like it yet. All of the hits are hits, but the album versions all seem to have really vibey intros which bug me. I’m undecided, but still listening.

Around The House

We got sick the week between Christmas and the New Year and I came across a random coupon for Lavender scented Breathe Right Strips. Congested as all get out and chugging cough syrup like it was Purple Drank, I figured what the heck could we lose.

Turns out: they were actually kind of awesome! And mixed with my new bad-ass humidifier (old lady alert!) and some essential oil voodoo, I feel like things are getting back on track. Whew!

cough syrup

******

That was my week in a nutshell. What have you been into?

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2016 Goals + Priorities

Believe you can and you're halfway there

I’ve been a little out of touch with my inner goal-setter for the past few years between challenging promotions at work, getting engaged, planning a wedding, and all of the other living in between. Since about 2013 I would categorize my focus as very external, and I think it shows.

January is no better a time to set goals than July, but something about this January feels a little bit transitional to me. I’m ready to focus on myself again after a few years of focusing on things outside of me. Of course those external things are all still plates that I am spinning, but I am feeling a shift in priorities. I want to do some things that are just for me.

I’d like to spend the year doing relaxing things. Silly things. Celebratory things. Superficial things. Seasonal things. I want to spend my time embracing the awesome. Opening my heart and my mind. Learning new things. I want to stretch myself into something new, and at the end of 2016 I want to feel like I have shed a layer of sorts.

Physical + Emotional Health

I want this to be the foundation of my year. The thing that is most important. When I feel emotionally and physically grounded, most of my other goals easily fall into place. So this will be the priority.

*Be diligent about your morning routine
*Find a therapist (How does one do this? It feels overwhelming.)
*Prioritize mobility as much as exercise
*Walk the dog ALOT!
*Spend lots of time outside
*Continue to mix up CrossFit, Spin + Yoga
*Only do things that feel good in your body

Travel + Leisure

We don’t have kids right now (and it remains to be seen if we will) so I would like to take advantage of that fact this year and spend time traveling to new + beloved places. Also, I’d like to read significantly more than I read this year.

*Palm Springs
*Napa
*Central Coast
*Maui
*Yosemite
*Take a Girls Trip
*Read for 20 minutes everyday
*Read 50 books by the end of the year. DNF any books that you don’t find compelling in the first 50 pages.
*Find seasonal things to celebrate (Maybe bring back the bucket list!)

Family + Friends

I want to feel connected to my community of friends and family and the older I get the more I realize that this doesn’t happen unless you MAKE it happen. Here’s to making it happen.

*Take more photos, make more memories (This year was a bad year for photos and I actively missed it.)
*Send more care packages, and random fun mail.
*Send all family and friends Birthday Cards. It’s a small gesture, but always nice to receive.

Try New Things!

(below are some random ideas)
I read a great article last year about why time goes by so quickly as an adult. The cliffs notes were that it’s because we have less “firsts” after about age 20. So I want to try more things. Be a beginner. Have new experiences. See new places. In essence, slow down time. And appreciate it. I’m tired of always feeling like time flies.

*Take an OrangeTheory class
*Take a hip hop dance class (dude, I am DYING to do this but won’t go alone! LOL)
*Run a 5k, a 10k (and if you feel like it, something longer. No pressure.) While this isn’t new, it’s been a while and I want to approach it like it is.
*Go to Molokini and snorkel (YIKES, this scares me, but Garrett really wants to go.)
*Find some new “staple” recipes.

Financial

Ho Hum, but needs to be done.

*Get our finances a little more automated
*Buy new cars. (This *sounds* fun in theory, but I’m actually dreading it. But it needs to be done.)

Superficial

Because you must always have a few random, fun, superficial things to aspire to.

*Look into Invisalign
*Buy myself a fancy (but classic) handbag
*Finish your gallery wall
*Get a god damn headboard for your bed! (This has been on the list for 3 years in a row. Get it together, girl.)
*Re-decorate the home office
*Cut your hair. (It’s been like a year and I’m not sure this long hair is for me! LOL)

******

I feel good about that list and those priorities. Obviously I’ll add and delete things as the year evolves, but it’s a start. And I feel excited.

Look out 2016!

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Our Wedding: The Venue, The Invitations, The Bridal Party + The Rings

I mean, what does one say when they are telling the story of the wedding? I’m not sure exactly where to start! There are too many details and emotions that it has been kind of paralyzing trying to write about it, so I think what I’ll do is share some of my favorite pictures and start with some of the details. (All photos courtesy of StudioKYK Photography)

(Also, lest there be any confusion, I would have been TERRIBLE at figuring out all of these details if it weren’t for my very awesome wedding planning partner in crime Kirsten from KMK Design Company. Hiring her was basically the best wedding planning thing we did!)

Sooooooo…maybe let’s start with the venue?

When we decided we were going to go all in and do a somewhat traditional wedding we wanted to do it at place that felt like our backyard. That was the entire vibe we were looking for. “Let’s find a place that feels like a really awesome version of our house, where we can invite 100+ people over for dinner.” Mmmmhmmmm. Sounds good.

We settled on a place called The Flower Farm that hit on all our major desires. Desires?…that sounds a bit saltier than I meant it to. It ticked some things off our list, ya know?

It was a cute bed and breakfast with sprawling grounds and a great backdrop for photos. We wanted to get married outside, and could really visualize ourselves doing it there:
364-www.studiokyk.9.18.2015-593

There was a great tree to get hitched under:
607-www.studiokyk.9.18.2015-446

And there was a cute barn where we could hold reception:
223-www.studiokyk.9.18.2015-400

CHECK, CHECK, CHECK!

There were also all sorts of other details to think about. Like invitations! That was my favorite part. I wanted them to be super casual because um…WE ARE SUPER CASUAL. Here’s what we landed on:

059-www.studiokyk.9.18.2015-175

It was fun to match all our other signage to that casual theme:
224-www.studiokyk.9.18.2015-402

But I’m getting a little ahead of myself, aren’t I?

So we had a venue, a date, invites were sent, people had RSVP’d and of course we had selected our bridal parties. Garrett decided he needed eight groomsmen. EIGHT, YOU GUYS.
130-www.studiokyk.9.18.2015-270

It was the only non-negotiable detail in the whole shebang. 7 are friends from high school, 1 from college — and he was like “Yep, I NEED all 8 of them.” So 8 there were. :)

I, on the other hand, couldn’t even imagine having EIGHT BRIDESMAIDS OHMAHGAWD MY HEAD JUST EXPLODED, so I chose 4. (2 boys for every girl seemed perfect, right?) So I had my BFF and three cousins-who-feel-more-like-sisters to stand up there with me (and keep me sane!) Love these gals!
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I thought the boys looked great in their gray suits and I LOVED those ties and the boutineer!
134-www.studiokyk.9.18.2015-276041-www.studiokyk.9.18.2015-148042-www.studiokyk.9.18.2015-150
I think they all thought they looked pretty cute. :)

My ladies looked gorgeous in peacock and silver.
167-www.studiokyk.9.18.2015-324

And we had so much fun getting ready! I was SO SUPER NERVOUS it was crazy. They kept me sane and hydrated and breathing sort of normally :)
015-www.studiokyk.9.18.2015-114

It ended up being such a fun group!
172-www.studiokyk.9.18.2015-334

As for our rings — mine was obviously my engagement ring and in the end I opted not to have a band made. I kind of like how it looks on its own and figure if I really feel like I’m missing a band we can make one later.
011-www.studiokyk.9.18.2015-108
Garrett’s ring on the other hand is kind of a story. A month or so before the wedding I was stressing that he hadn’t gotten a ring for him yet. We were juggling lots of plates, he wasn’t worried, but I kept freaking out because I felt like we needed to find something special, try things on, be all ceremonious about it, etc.

One day I was at work and he sent me a text with a picture of this ring, asking me what I thought. I told him I liked it and suggested we go look at it that weekend. A few minutes later he texted me back and said “No worries, I just Amazon Primed it. It’ll be at the house in 2 days!” And that right there is the romantic story of Garrett’s wedding band. Bought on Prime.

Modern Love, I guess. :)

024-www.studiokyk.9.18.2015-127

So we had a venue, invites, people coming, a bridal party — we even had rings and gin! Guess it was time to get hitched, right?
033-www.studiokyk.9.18.2015-138

Stay tuned for the story of the wedding ceremony….

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2015: What A Freaking Year

I know I owe y’all a wedding post, but every time I sit down at the computer after work it feels like climbing a mountain. We’ll get there. But for now, answering this ubiquitous year end questionnaire sounded so much more manageable. And also like a little bit of catch up. So indulge me!

(Questions have evolved over the years and I amended some myself.)

*****
1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?
Bought a wedding dress.
Wore a jumpsuit.
Got married.
Woke up next to MY HUSBAND.
21562369601_c9de0d91ba_o
Nuts, this year.

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions and will you make more for next year?
I achieved a remarkable amount of my 2015 Goals, all things considered. The most notable: “Have wedding. Stay Sane. Pay Cash.” The “stay sane” part was probably a C+, but an A+ on having the wedding and paying cash.
I also purged the crap out of my house and did it without ever uttering the word KonMari or saying a prayer to my socks. So: thumbs up on that.
And I had a very arbitrary goal of prioritizing personal upkeep, and until recently I did a very good job of having a regular, on point manicure. So that was pretty cool. (Julep Flora and Kiara Sky Back to the Fuchsia were my jam this year.)
nails

I’ll continue that in 2016, for sure. And as for — will I set goals? DOES A BEAR SHIT IN THE WOODS?

3. How will you be spending New Year’s Eve
I guarantee you I will be in bed before midnight because I am an old lady, but we will spend it having appetizers for dinner and drinking (leftover wedding) champagne! Only 2 cases left. :) I’m more excited about New Year’s Day though: FIESTA BOWL // GO BUCKEYES!

4. Did anyone close to you give birth? Did anyone close to you die?
My cousin Jim gave birth. Well, his wife did. In the picture below he is on the left.

As for folks dying, this month we have lost two friends, Paul and Mandy – both to cancer. Both so young. Honestly, it’s still a little bit unbelievable. Paul is in the middle next to Jim. He was practically a member of our family for many years. Such a good guy.
Paul

My friend Mandy had cervical cancer, beat it, and it came back very aggressively this spring. She blogged her way through the end and I really can’t say enough things about how beautiful and inspiring her attitude was. If you would like to read some of her thoughts, her website is right here.

Fuck, that makes me sad just typing it. What a gem she was.
Mandy

As you can imagine, the end of this year has really caused me to reflect on how I am spending my time.

5. Did you travel this year?
I visited the Central Coast; Scottsdale, Arizona; Palm Springs; and had an awesome Bachelorette weekend out in Calaveras County. TAKE ME BACK (to any of those places, really.)

6. What would like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?
Health. Fitness. Sanity. Time to myself. Weekends away with Garrett. A tropical vacation. Time to read books. Yoga. And you guys, I think I want to run another relay race. (HURRY TALK ME OUT OF IT!)

7. What moment from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
There are a few. Of course the wedding, but I think that is kind of the easy answer.
I mean this happened in 2015:
be cool

Also: The Royals winning the World Series.
Eric Hosmer

But if we are talking actual “moments’ the most memorable was the night before the wedding. That will forever be etched in my memory because we stayed at a beautiful hotel and our room overlooked the Capitol and I took a moment to stand in front of the window at just about midnight and everything was all lit up and the city looked beautiful and I had this incredibly calm feeling that everything was going to be okay.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Not eloping.
Discovering how awesome Audible is.
Finding Dia + Co.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Pretty much everything in this video.
I spent this year out of touch with myself, checking things off lists, going through motions, stressing about things I didn’t really care about, and holding my breath. I don’t regret any of that because I honestly have no idea what I could have done different, but it definitely feels like a failure.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I kept a year-at-a-glance calendar to track my workouts this year (FREAKING GREAT idea that I have more to say about, but the cliffs notes is I will totally do it again in 2016.) Anyway, if I was sick and didn’t work out I would mark the days off as “SICK” so I knew that it wasn’t just me slacking during those times of inactivity. Looking back over the last year I was sick FOUR TIMES for one week or more. You guys. YOU GUYS. That has never happened to me. My poor, overtaxed immune system this year. I’m fighting off a cold right now and I’m not sure who will be the victor yet. I can’t even tell you how focused on my health I will be next year because seriously, that was depressing to look back on.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A last minute mini-moon trip to Palm Springs the week after the wedding. (We thought for a minute we’d just wait until April to take our honeymoon and be fine. STUPID.)
Spotify Premium.
An Audible Subscription. (Did I mention how fricking great that is!?!)
A beautiful rose gold iPhone 6s.

12. Where did most of your money go?
The government took a hefty chunk, but an even bigger chunk went toward a casual dinner party I threw for 110 of my closest family and friends. Also: I bought a looooooooooooooooot of lipstick.

13. What song will always remind you of 2015?
Probably our first dance song at the wedding.

14. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Exhaling all of the oxygen in my lungs. Traveling. Feeling sunshine on my skin. Walking my dog. Working out. Writing on this blog. Being in nature. Buying clothes that I love.

15. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Being stressed. Shallow breathing. Staring at my bedroom ceiling instead of sleeping. Distracting myself from stress by mindlessly watching You Tube videos. Buying Lip Products. HOLLY YOU DON’T NEED ANYMORE LIP PRODUCTS.

16. What was your favorite new tv program?
I feel like this year Vanderpump Rules really made life worth living. (Especially when accompanied by the Watch What Crappens Podcast.) I also enjoyed How to Get Away With Murder for a while, but then it got a little nuts.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier or sadder? Sadder. 2015 took a lot out of me. I worked a lot. Stressed a lot. And we lost two friends who were just to young to die. I know I will perk up, but I am definitely sadder at the end of this year.
Thinner or fatter? So. Much. Fatter. We’ll take care of this next year though.
Richer or Poorer? Richer. Richer and Sadder. How’s that for a case study in money ain’t everything. It also can’t buy you class, according to The Countess so it’s a good thing there’s not a question about Classier or Less Classy, because honestly it would be a toss up.

18. What was the best book you read?
Sadly, I didn’t read a ton of books this year. But I really enjoyed Delancey and The Girl On The Train.

19. Greatest Musical Discovery
That I’m a Justin Bieber fan, apparently. But how “Great” is that really? Let’s…never speak of this again. (But dude, his new album *is* really good.) I also really enjoyed Ryan Adams cover of Taylor Swift’s 1989 album.

20. Favorite film of the year?
Not counting our annual and ceremonious viewing of Teen Witch, I don’t remember watching that many movies. We watched Somm on Netflix this year. I think that was this year. Anyway, we loved it. Since that is the only movie I remember watching, I think we can call that the favorite. That Sommelier test looks simultaneously terrifying and inspiring.

21. What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?
I turned 37 in October and I can not tell you at all how I spent it. Since it was 25 days after the wedding I probably spent it muttering “HOW GOOD IS THIS LIFE NOW THAT WE ARE NOT PLANNING A WEDDING?” :)

22. Greatest Food Discovery
The Chicken Liver Pate at The Tropicale in Palm Springs.

23. Describe your personal fashion concept of 2015?
Is this clean? Does this fit? Are all of my appropriate bits covered? Are these workout pants completely nuts? Not a whole lot of time for personal fashion concepts in 2015. I regret this, actually.
fashion concept

24. What did you want and not get?
A sip of a PumpTini. Dinner at Sur. You know, really important things. Look out, 2016!

25. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A chilled bottle of Lisa Vanderpump’s Sangria in my fridge? Ok, ok this is starting to veer into weird fangirl territory which is not my intention at all. I’ll stop now.

26. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned
Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

Also, this:
la croix

27. What pictures best represent 2015?
grumpy cat
family portrait

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This Weekend + Blogging About Our Wedding

Am I the only person who starts to feel anxiety at the end of the year about digital photo management? Something about the ease of iPhone and Instagram photos and digital sharing and all of that makes me so much less inclined to print photos. This doesn’t bother me eleven months out of the year but something about December makes me feel like: PRINT! ALL! THE PHOTOS! So that’s happening this weekend. Lot’s of photo printing, frame updating and hanging.

I hate frame hanging with a fiery passion. I need a good tutorial on how to hang frames absolutely straight and beautiful with zero tools or measuring. Also only using nails. Because tape measures and fancy wall mounting hardware? I HATE THAT SHIZ!

Since we’re talking about photos, Garrett and I have yet to finish selecting our photos for our wedding album. You guys it is like the “end of year photo anxiety” ON STEROIDS. So many gorgeous ones! Here is a random one:

wedding photo

Even though I’m making a weird face, I love it! And there are like MANY HUNDREDS of pictures I love. oy! (Granted, this is a good problem to have. But still!)

So let’s talk about the wedding and the blog for a minute. I know a lot of you inquired in the comments of my last post and via email (OMG, thank you for all your sweet emails!!!) about whether I would post about our wedding. And honestly, I’m happy to! I think I just wanted to come back and say hello before I all of a sudden inundated you with photos of “HERE IS MY WEDDING BLAH BLAH BLAH” after a few months of radio silence.

If you’ll indulge me, I’d actually like to kind of tell the story of our wedding. Does that sound weird? It’s ok to tell me it sounds weird. I guess what I mean is that I’d like to show you pictures — but I’d also like to talk about how we made the decisions we made and why we did some of the things we did. You see, I was not the kind of person who could work my job, live my life, and plan my wedding, while also blogging about it with excitement. The fact is, this pretty much nailed my wedding planning experience, and had I been blogging through that, no one would have wanted to hear from me.

But now that it’s over — I look back and think it was just perfect! I have so many positive things to say about it, so I guess in that sense I’m glad I waited to talk about it. I was thinking maybe this weekend I would start getting some of those thoughts together and write some posts for next week. It will be a multiple post situation for sure, so hopefully that won’t make your eyes roll back in your head? And if it does — maybe pop back in and check on things the following week, huh? Ok, cool.

Thanks for all your patience with me here folks. I think this will be fun. Have a lovely weekend and let’s meet back here next week. xo

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Hello From The Other Side

It just took me 10 minutes to figure out how to log in to wordpress because it’s been so long. So, that’s embarrassing. I guess that means we are probably overdue here.

The other problem I’m having is that I just stared at the screen for over an hour trying to figure out what to say. The blogging muscle is REALLY atrophied, y’all.

It makes sense: my Ad Network canned me (rightfully so for not posting in 5 months!) and my Amazon Affiliates account was shut down. It’s like the universe is saying that this website is just primed (see what I did there?) to just go softly into the night.

But the thing is — I am just not ready to stop sharing.
I’m also not ready to stop writing.

The community and landscape of blogging has definitely changed –so much so that just writing “community and landscape” just made me feel a little bit silly. The internet is vast and full of so many platforms from which to shout that it’s hard to know what, if anything, is left to be said.

I feel like I’ve outgrown this home.
Well, maybe not the house itself, but the decor?
I don’t know why I am turning to metaphor here.
The easiest way to put it is that I am not ready to move on, but I definitely need to spruce some things up around here.
I need a little refresh, but I know that I am not done sharing here.

I’m going to ease back into what feels right, and I think that starts by just showing up here. I’ll be puttering around and changing things to more accurately reflect who I am and what I’m doing here. I don’t know how long that will take or what it’s going to look like in the end. I don’t even know if I remember how to do any of it. All I know is that I miss sharing food, fitness, random thoughts and daily life. So maybe we’ll just start with that.

I’m just not sure how to best do these days between Instagram (love), Twitter (is this dead?), Snapchat (hoo boy someone explain that to me), You Tube (seems intriguing.) But what I do know is that now that I’ve survived the majority of 2015, gotten married and finished most of my thank you notes (:)) and not gone completely insane — I finally have some time to think about all of the things I’ve been missing.

And writing here is one of them. I’m looking forward to sharing the new normal.

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