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

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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)

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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:
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There was a great tree to get hitched under:
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And there was a cute barn where we could hold reception:
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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:

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It was fun to match all our other signage to that casual theme:
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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.
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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!
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I think they all thought they looked pretty cute. :)

My ladies looked gorgeous in peacock and silver.
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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 :)
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It ended up being such a fun group!
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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.
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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. :)

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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?
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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.)

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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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All The Articulate Ladies!

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This has been a week of good reads on the internet for me, and it’s only Tuesday. Sweet! Don’t you love when that happens? I thought I’d share some of the things that were speaking to me.

The first was an article by Jennifer Weiner on The Pressure to Look Good.

This is one of those coincidental articles where days before I had trying to articulate my thoughts on this exact issue when talking to Garrett but couldn’t find the right examples. It all started when I was getting ready to go Scottsdale with my cousin for her Bachelorette party. The entire week leading up to it I told him he was on his own for cooking dinner.

One night I was heading to the nail salon to squeeze in a manicure and a pedicure. The next night I was returning the bathing suit cover up I had purchased because I had found one that was more flattering and squeezing in a quick brow wax. The night before I left I was having a lovely stranger come over while I stripped naked in my living room to give me a spray tan. (That one really freaking him out LOL) And he just kept saying “Dude, this relaxing ladies vacation sure seems like it’s a lot of freaking work!”

Then there was Spanx-gate. For reasons too long and humorous to explain, Garrett has only recently realized how prevalent Spanx are among all women and bless his heart he just can not comprehend why anyone would try and squeeze ten pounds of sausage into a two pound casing. (My words, not his.)

“Because foundation garments are game changers” I told him, “Duh.” But he still couldn’t wrap his mind around why someone would do something so uncomfortable.

Then one night we’re sitting on the couch watching Real Housewives of Orange County together (as you do) and there’s this scene where Shannon is in the bathroom discussing how she is wearing 8 pairs of Spanx so it’s going to take her a minute. Garrett again just can’t believe it and he basically says something to the effect of, “Wait a minute — she is only two pounds of sausage to begin with? Why would she be wearing 8 types of Spanx?” So I tried to explain why I understand that she would take all precautions, being on a reality show and all of that. And yet, he was still confused.

This article did a great job of articulating what I had been reaching for.

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Second was Rashida Jones and her Guide to Happiness at Work

The entire article was funny and true and I could relate on may levels. But the nugget that spoke to me the most was this “Happiness is not the endgame.”

Sometimes someone will say something to me and the perspective it gives just zaps me light a bolt of lightning and this was one of those things. (The last one I can remember was when someone said to me “Balance is a moving target.” I can’t remember who that was, but man — I LOVE THAT.)

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Last was my pal Melissa Joulwan who recently linked to a 2009 post she had written that sung to me like a personal anthem. It was all about the power struggle that sometimes happens between being fun vs. being happy.

This gets back to that brilliance about balance being a moving target, but after weeks of fun! things! on our calendar — I have never been so damn happy to eat grilled chicken and vegetables and to be working out twice a day.

You can call me crazy, but I just call me BLISSFULLY BLISSFULLY happy. Mel articulated exactly how I’ve been feel about this delicious phase that I am in right now.

“…this state of being is not forever. It’s just for a while, so I can re-charge my batteries and emerge feeling strong and happy.

You like me more that way, don’t you? I know I sure like me more that way.”

A hearty YES to that, my friends! A hearty, hearty yes!

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Have you come across any super good reads on the internet this week? Please share!

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The Mojo Search Is Off + My Grilling Favorites + Weight Loss “Journeys”

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Is it weird that this hand-me-down grill from my mom has brought my kitchen mojo back in a major way? I’m not exaggerating when I say we are using it at least 5 nights a week. NUTS. I wasn’t joking when I said that grill is my happy place!

Some of my favorite things to grill lately:

*Trader Joe’s Uncured All Beef Hot Dogs – Holy Crap you guys, these are the best hot dogs ever, hands down, end of story.

Speaking of Trader Joe’s – have you hopped on the frozen cauli rice craze yet? Our TJ’s has been sold out of it for weeks, and last night when I stopped in for some other groceries I spied the (tiny) bags in the freezer section and snatched up a few. I’m excited to see if it’s #worththehype

*Santa Maria Style Tri-Tip — OMG, tri tip in the oven is good, but tri-tip on the grill is WHERE IT’S AT! That rub recipe is just a great, classic seasoning to have on hand. It’s good on anything you want to grill.

*Grilled Salad – If you haven’t ever grilled your salad, it’s just one of those things you’ve got to try. It’s so fun, and tasty!

Anyway, that’s what we’ve been grubbing on. I am not unhappy about it. It’s amazing how easy it is to just enjoy meat + veg in the summer time. The abundance of produce, the smell of the grill — I’ve been looking forward to cooking dinner just about every night.

So I hear this week is The Girls Week. Thus far, Isabel: ✔️ #crossfit

And not to jinx it, but I may have gotten a little workout mojo back. I’ve worked out 5+ times in the last 3 weeks, and am on track to do the same this week. My sanity stays in tact so much more regularly when I am up and working out every morning.

I don’t know if it is the time of day, or if it is just the regularity of a consistent routine, but the other day Garrett told me that all this exercise has made me visibly mellowed. Ha! I think sometimes when I’m not in a good workout routine I start to act like a caged animal. (Don’t you wish you lived with me? heh 😛 I’m really selling it here.)

I know it’s kind of weird to call fitness a hobby, but man — I just really enjoy spending time getting stronger, and healthier. Call me crazy, but the pursuit of those things actually makes me happier. I need to start treating my fitness like I treat my career.

bosses don't cancel

Tangentially related (and still a little stuck in my craw) – I thought this article called “Let’s Stop Calling Weight Loss A Journey” was really thought provoking. Especially this part:

Still, I swore I’d never “let myself” get fat again. Like many people in our culture, I’d always regarded people who gained back the weight they’d lost as failures. After all, people who successfully lose weight are supposed to have made “permanent lifestyle changes” — which is a weight loss cliché, because it’s what we all claim we’re making when we embark on a diet. It’s what we all really believe we’re making. In reality, new exercise habits and subtle palate changes developed during a course of deliberate weight loss might last a lifetime (hooray!), but few among us can continue eating a highly restrictive diet — whether said restriction is focused on calories, carbs, fat, or whatever else is fashionable at the moment — for the rest of our natural lives.

After a couple of years, I started realizing I might not have as much choice in the matter as I imagined. The pounds started coming back, not because I sat on the couch eating cheeseburgers all day, but because I’d allowed myself to focus on things like my career and relationships instead of obsessing about my body all the time. I blamed myself for the regain, but I also didn’t seem to have the power to stop it.

Anyway, this topic is so interesting to me as someone who has lost weight and gained a lot of it back. I haven’t processed all my thoughts on the topic, or on this article, but I did find myself nodding through quite a bit of it and it has definitely struck a chord.

I’m just going to leave that link right here if you’re interested.

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Monday Musings

Lately we’ve been here, there and everywhere and this past weekend wasn’t any different. Mucho full, but also mucho fun!
Someone doesn't understand that it's 100 degrees out and no one is looking for a fur blanket. He's lucky he's so darn cute!

Friday night we hunkered down and enjoyed the air conditioning. Maybe that doesn’t sound too fun LOL but tt was a little too hot to do much else. Buster doesn’t quite understand that no one wants a fur blanket when it’s a bazillion degrees out, but he’s darn cute so we usually cut him some slack. (See Also: TURN UP THAT FAN!)

Summer has arrived here in Sacramento and it doesn’t look like it is fixing to be mild. I even went so far as to buy a pair of shorts this year. (I generally hate shorts, but this year I DON’T EVEN CARE.)
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The AC is clearly getting ready to work overtime this week and I’m just rolling with it, I guess.

Saturday morning we were up an at ’em early to get chores done and tidy up the house before we were off on a mini-road trip up to Chico. If you’re not local, Chico is a little college town about 90 minutes north of us, and it happens to be where my aunts and cousins live. My cousin Kate graduated high school last week (CRAZY how time flies — *I* was in college when she was born!) and so we were heading up to go to her graduation party. More on that in a minute!

One of the errands we were running was stopping to look at some model homes out towards my mom’s house. She lives about 30 minutes from us, but on the way to Chico so we picked her up and took her with us. Garrett and I have been checking on model homes and keeping an eye on local-ish real estate because we are starting to seriously consider buying a house next year. AFTER the wedding of course, because man — I don’t think I could handle the stress of weddings and home buying and moving and decorating all at once. So! It is very far off into the future, but we’re trying to get a feel for what we like, don’t like, where we want to live, etc. ALL VERY PRELIMINARY. But exciting nonetheless.

sp homes
This is the kitchen/family room of my dream house front runner. I mean, let’s get cooking, right??? :) Oh wait, focus on the wedding girl! FOCUS FOCUS.

We got up to Chico in the late afternoon and it was a pleasant 105 degrees. Thank god for Estee Lauder Double Wear I tell ya, but man there is only so much that long wear makeup can do in that heat! :) Despite the heat it ended up being a blast and so much cooler than I remember parties being when I was in high school.

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My cousin Sara’s fiance DJed the event, a grilled cheese truck was parked in the driveway, and there were custom ice cream sundaes being scooped poolside. How cute is that? I mean, not cute enough to make me want to be 18 again, but it was really fun to see Kate there celebrating with all her friends and family. We’re really proud of her and excited for her next chapter.

Sunday morning back at home I was up early to go to a spin class. I’ve been popping in pretty regularly at a local studio about 5 minutes from my house (hello, convenience!) since October of last year and I’m really enjoying it. It’s good cardio and I’ve been doing it in conjunction with CrossFit so it has been fun to switch things up.
Cycle In

Sunday afternoon I headed back out to my mom’s house because she was in the market for a new TV. She moved recently and has been slowly redecorating her new house and she has been totally ready to chuck her old TV and get a new flat screen! We went to Costco to pick it up because I have an SUV and then went back home to put it all together.
Mama's first flat screen! (And of course she wanted to see what HSN looked like in HD.)
She was so thrilled when we got it up and running! I mean, we haven’t mastered the SmartTv capabilities yet, but all in good time. :)

Sunday night I was just ready to relax and have a little kick-back time before work started today. I may have poured myself a little bourbon while meal prepping, and boy was that on point! We cooked up some rib eyes for dinner and some chicken for lunches next week, and I man I can’t say it enough I AM SO HAPPY TO HAVE A GRILL BACK!

Summer sure does taste good so far.

Ours died in February and so it wasn’t really an emergency at the time, but as spring and summer have approached we have really missed it. I didn’t want to run out and grab any grill because we have our eyes on a grill/smoker sometime in the future but didn’t feel like plonking down a bazillion dollars while we are planning this wedding. But having NO GRILL? Has been the pits.

Luckily my mom just got a new one and so we took her old one and are BACK IN BUSINESS. Standing outside by a grill with a cocktail in hand is my summer happy place, and I plan to do it as much as possible this year.

All in all a super fun and busy weekend. I guess now that it’s Monday it is back to the grind, eh.

A little light Monday reading. Weekend, where did you go?

OOF!

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My New Mantra

Love these boys.

The other night Garrett looked over at me in the car on the way to see our wedding DJ and said “Man, do you remember when we had hobbies?”

Ah, yes. Hobbies. Hobbies like writing this blog? And reading books? And drinking pinot noir on the patio while looking at our backyard garden? YES I DO REMEMBER THOSE DAYS, I DO. I DO. I DO!

It appears that “I DOs” are actually what’s causing the problem here though.

Life has pretty much become the cliche sum of working, wedding planning, and those other sundry things that are required to keep our lives and household running. I have replaced pinot noir drinking with toilet scrubbing and errand running — well, that’s not entirely true — I am still drinking the pinot noir. It’s more the patio sitting and gardening and relaxing that have gotten replaced. WOE!

We have all but started a construction paper chain link countdown to the wedding, not because it’s the wedding (which, I mean, of course – YAY!) but more because we have decided it shall be THE RETURN TO NORMAL LIFE! And man, I can see that up ahead as clearly as a desert oasis.

The thing is, a construction paper countdown isn’t necessary because every piece of wedding related organization that I am currently using has a practically real time countdown of “days until the wedding!” In fact, this morning I was reminded that there are 97 DAYS LEFT! As much as I would like to panic, I’m looking at this number as 97 day countdown to getting our lives back, which I am totally looking forward to.

Beyond wedding and work stuff, which make for suuuuuuuper boring blog posts — we’ve just been doing a lot of running around and traveling lately for other weddings, graduations, and other friend commitments. Guess who is unimpressed with all this travel?
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On the upside Buster hasn’t been sick since March ::::knocks wood:::: which has been a blessing on both our stress levels AND our bank accounts. THANK GOD FOR SMALL FAVORS. We also had to leave him with someone other than my mother for the first time in the 3 years he’s lived with us, and I didn’t die of anxiety! YAY! I mean, it did expose a propensity for helicopter parenting that I need to get in check before we have actual children, but we have time I tell ya…we have time. (But maybe not much. We shall see. ;))

My workouts have been inconsistent for the first half of this year and my diet right now is crap; however, after a huge work project/transition that ended on June first (HALLELUJAH) I think I just may have the energy to get my butt in gear during this home stretch before the wedding. I’ll let you know how that goes. Well…maybe. Promises are not my strong suit right now in the blogging arena.

While I don’t anticipate any type of supermodel transformation and I’m not planning on adopting any new regimens or throwing a Whole 30 in the mix, I’d just like to go into my wedding feeling energized — which for me that requires a good balance of diet and exercise. I say that like it is unique piece of information. HA.

Anyway…97 days until normal. 97 days until normal. 97 days until normal.

It has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAFACEPALM.

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