Friday, May 30, 2014

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday folks! 
This weekend will be pretty laid back which is great since we have a lot of work travel coming up next month...sighs. 

I am so excited for this movie, This Is Where I Leave You! With such a great cast and story line, it will definitely be a winner. For the record, Jane Fonda is such a fox (she's 76!!!).

 Are you going to watch the new CNN series Sixties? I can't wait to watch it and love Tom Hayden's article about how the youth did overcome in the 1960's. 

Paste Magazine's list of the best metaphors in songs is pretty amazing. Radiohead is featured multiple times on this list and rightfully so.

I may be an idiot, but I'm going to try the 30 Day ab challenge. Although it seems a bit intense, I'm up for the challenge. Are you going to try it?

I am traveling to LA in a few weeks for work so I was so excited to see this LA Guide today! I'm most excited about Runyan Canyon.

I know this Bill Murrary video has been making the rounds, but I really love his marriage advice. Traveling together will definitely show you if you've found your mate! 
Most importantly, please check out this news piece on Hope for Steve. I went to high school with Steve who is battling ALS and him and his wife, Hope, have been raising awareness about the disease. Their documentary is being shown for the first time this weekend and their story is so touching. Take time from your day to learn about ALS, see Hope and Steve's unconditional love, and remember to live each day to the fullest. These two are such an inspiration!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Work In Progress

Do you ever notice that the messages that keep you motivated are constantly changing? The things I take inspiration from are always me.

For instance, a few years ago, I was really motivated by this quote: "a year from now you'll wish you'd started today." Truthfully, that idea still resonates with me constantly. Then when I started running, I would get geared up from the idea that "strong is the new skinny" (especially when I would start feeling weak mentally).

The last few months, especially when I hadn't been as active or as fit as I wanted to be, I would focus on the idea to "be forgiving of yourself" since I think everyone struggles with that. Whether it was eating too much, not working out for a while, or just being judgmental of myself, I'd try to remember that "it's not how you fall, but how you get back up" that matters.

Currently, my focus has been on the fact that I am "a work in progress." Although I've been feeling really energized, motivated, strong, and happy lately, I realize that some days will be easier than others. Despite feeling good, I also know that I can feel better (while also remembering that whole forgiveness thing). Life is always going to give you ups and downs, but the most important thing is finding peace and balance with it all. I suppose that the journey to being the best versions of ourselves shouldn't always be easy, because there sure is a lot to learn along the way.

After all, life is just a ride...

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Weekend Recap: Memorial Day Edition

This weekend was pretty great...
It was just me and Townes all last week (and the week before, actually) since J has been traveling a lot for work. The time I spend walking with Townes, with beautiful weather and music playing on my headphones, has become so restorative and the best part of my day. We typically head to the PATH trail in our neighborhood and walk through the woods and Townes will lay in various parts of the creeks to cool off. It makes me happy to know he loves these walks as much as I do.


Friday night, J's best friends came over and we grabbed dinner before he got home around midnight. After that, I let them have their last boys night together since Kyle flew back to Berlin on Saturday afternoon. It's a shame that the boys aren't all together more often...maybe one day.

On Saturday, we cleaned the house (necessary after routy boys stay up until all hours of the morning drinking. Just kidding...kind of). As usual, we also did a lot of work in the yard. We bought a new lawn mower (finally) since ours stopped working and had to be fixed multiple times before we finally took it to the curb. 

We ended the night at Raging Burrito for dinner. YUM...we also had some great people watching since the Decatur Arts Festival had just ended and there was a live band playing in the square.

On Sunday, my parents had their annual Memorial Day pool party. They recently had their pool redone so it was perfect timing to throw a party. The pool used to look like this (sorry for the bad quality photo):
Now the pool looks much better and I can't wait to spend many days poolside this Summer! My folks even got all new pool furniture too. How cute is Townes in the photo below? He looks like he's smiling!

It was funny, because my sister and I showed up to the party in the same swimsuit (#twinsies). Haha! We ended up staying all day and they even fired up the grill for round 2 that night! Good times.
 On Monday (there's nothing better than long holiday weekends), I started the morning in the best way - with some coffee and my new book
 After walking Townes, I decided to lay out with my book in the yard to get rid of my razor back tank tan lines from mowing the lawn (definitely first world problems). At one point, I came inside to get some water and that's when a torrential downpour started! Thankfully my iPhone and book didn't get too wet, but it was a close call! 
We ended the night by cooking out. We had pre-ordered some vegan ribs from our local Dough Bakery. They had daikon radish "bones" and tasted amazing! For the record, they didn't taste like the real thing per se, but we really enjoyed them. 
We also had corn-on-the-cob, baked beans, and salad. I'm so excited to grill out more often.
We ended the night by watching "Monuments Men" which was really good so overall I'd say it was a wonderful, peaceful weekend. It was just what was needed after the crazy-busy couple of weeks!

Farmhouse Wares: Wish List

I've always loved the finds on the Farmhouse Wares website. The rustic, country pieces are adorable and would add charm to any home or garden. My all time favorite piece is the garden hand sign up above. I love the vintage look and it would be great by my garden.

Here are my other current favorites:

How adorable is this enamel set? It'd be cute for camping, but maybe too cute to risk getting banged up...
Farmhouse Wares is currently offering 10% off for Father's Day so make sure to enter "dad14" at checkout!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Toys R Us Children's Fund Gala

A few weeks ago, I flew to NYC for the annual Toys R Us Children's Fund Gala. My company supports the charity and since I manage the Toys R Us relationship, I got to go. It takes place at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. The above picture was the view from my hotel room on the 44th floor.

Since I don't attend many galas, I decided to bust out the fanciest dress I own. You gotta get your money's worth, right? By the way, I felt ridiculous 
taking mirror selfies, but I had to get some documentation of the killer dress.
Being silly/ cheesy.

The host is always Martin Short. Below he is suspended in air during his opening number. 
The surprise guests of the night included Paul Shaffer, Seth Meyers (!!!), Goldie Hawn, and Boomer Esiason. Eugene Levy and Richard Belzer (MUNCH!) were also there randomly.
James Taylor was the performer of the night and he sounded incredible. It was pretty magical when he sang You've Got A Friend.
"When you're down and troubled and you need a helping hand and nothing is going right. Close your eyes and think of me and soon I will be there to brighten up even your darkest nights." - Carole King

Monday, May 26, 2014

Summer Bucket List

 Summer always gets me excited to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. I recently read this awesome Summer bucket list (see my favorite bucket list here). Although this list says it's for single girls and isn't your standard bucket list (i.e., host a cookout, go to the beach, campfires, etc.), this list is still pretty good (and funny)!

Some of my favorite items from this list:
  1. Eat an entire watermelon in one day
  2. Learn how to skateboard
  3. Learn the “Single Ladies” choreography
  4. Pick a summer anthem
  5. Buy ALL the high-waisted shorts
  6. Rock red lipstick A LOT…and pink…and orange…and coral
  7. Donate clothes (simplify, simplify, simplify)
  8. Bake a pie
  9. Do yoga outside
  10. Play “True American” –like in New Girl!
  11. Spend an entire day listening to Beatles songs
What's on your Summer bucket list?

Friday, May 23, 2014

Friday Favorites

Best spots to view wildflowers in the USA? Yes, please!

This incredible dance video was shot in a single take. Makes me want to dance so badly. LOVE!

Important lessons to learn in Costa Rica. Number 13 is my favorite, by far. I'm so ready to go back. Check out our Costa Rica trip herehere, and here.

Rumor has it that Jay Z is opening up a club in the Atlanta airport. Suddenly traveling all of the time doesn't sound too rough.

We are all basically nothing and the Earth is full of magic. Listen and see for yourself...

Hope your weekend is full of wonder and exploration!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Make Out Music

There are some songs that are undeniably meant to be listened to while making out...among other activities. Everyone expects artists like Al Green or Marvin Gaye, but I figured I'd share some of my favorites. 

The first track, Talk Show Host, is definitely my all time favorite. The teenage version of myself would like to believe that it's not because this song was on this soundtrack. Some of these are more soft and slow, while others are...not.
Hope you enjoy and put these songs to good use.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

CSA Wednesday

Since it's not easy (sadly) to get seasonal, local fruits and vegetables at local grocery stores, I love having our weekly CSA box. The local vegetables are not only at their prime nutrient level, but they also don't use up too much natural resources during transit. 

This week we got tons of strawberries, yellow squash, shitake mushrooms, arugula, kale, sweet potato, and lettuce. I'm looking forward to making some large salads, grilling out, and making lots of smoothies.

Now begins the wait for tomato and watermelon season!

Krochet Kids

Krochet Kids

I've always been a big fan of Krochet Kids. Their "goal is to holistically equip people living in poverty with the skills, education, and resources to change their circumstances forever. Work provides worth. Education breeds innovation. Mentorship nourishes relationships. Through this multi-faceted and measured approach we work with each beneficiary to create a path toward independence."

They have women working in Uganda and Peru currently and each piece is signed by the woman who made it. Pretty cool, huh? You can see the impact that Krochet Kids is having in the women's lives and communities here.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Water Sign

Beach Bound

The first day of Summer is over a month away (June 21), but with Memorial Day coming this weekend, it only means one thing: pools are open! It's no surprise to me sometimes that I'm a water zodiac sign.
With that being said, the neon one piece above is definitely on my wish list! Although I'm working on being bikini-ready, you can't go wrong with a classic one piece. 

All of these pieces make up my perfect, laid back beach/ pool attire. My parents are having a pool party this weekend and it should be especially fun since they just had their whole pool redone.

I'm looking forward to lots of time this Summer spent by the pool (and maybe some beach weekend getaways)...

What's your ideal Summer consist of?

Monday, May 19, 2014

Weekend Recap

 I'm having an epic case of the Monday's so I figured I'd start the week with a weekend recap.
The weekend started out a bit rough since I was traveling most of last week for work and then left my work laptop on the Delta flight! I remembered once I was already home and basically all you can do is file a ticket online and cross your fingers that you get it back. I went to the gym and danced to try to lift my stress and thankfully, it worked!

On Saturday, to celebrate our best friends, Kyle and Ken, being in town, we had a cookout at our house. I woke up early and went to the market, then mowed the lawn, and prepped the food. We ended up with a huge spread (especially for 6 people) that included veggie burgers, fruit salad, kale salad, hummus and chips, deviled eggs, beans, and olives. Oh yeah, lots of beer and bourbon too.
We all just sat around and talked, laughed, and even Skyped with Antje (Kyle's wife). The weather was in the 70's and perfect.

So good to have the boys back together (Langely, you were missed)!

Later that night, J + I went to see Alison Krauss + Union Station and Willie Nelson at Chastain Park, an awesome outdoor venue. I even got to see one of my favorites, Caroline! 
We ended the night at Twain's playing billiards.  
On Sunday, we had our friends' (Harry and VeeVee) wedding! Sadly it rained (which means good luck I believe) but it was such a nice wedding full of love + a photo booth!

The stunning couple!
So much fun - so lucky to have these crazy kids in my life!
 Hope you had a killer weekend!
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