Wednesday, November 22, 2017

On the Eve of Thanksgiving

I can't tell you guys how excited I am that Thanksgiving is tomorrow! I'm so ready for good food, snuggles by the fire and starting off the Christmas season in my house (yes, even though I personally start celebrating on November 1, my husband does not so I celebrate alone until now LOL). The last few weeks have been pretty crazy, but I wanted to stop by and share some tidbits about outfits for tomorrow (and where you can get them on sale today) and some Black Friday deals you should scoop up!

So first, what are you going to wear tomorrow? If you're not sure yet and you need a quick, affordable outfit idea, check out Old Navy. They're already running their Black Friday deal of 50% off your entire purchase. These are a few things I've bought recently that would be perfect for your Thanksgiving. 
Velvet Top / Buffalo Plaid / Lightweight Sweater
Ponte Knit Leggings / Velvet Leggings / Olive Pants
Flats / Black Suede Booties /Camel Booties
Now that you have some comfy clothes, you need to be ready for your Black Friday shopping in your food coma. The great news is that you do not need to leave your couch. I repeat, don't leave your couch. Especially on Thanksgiving Day. If everyone protests Thanksgiving Day shopping, maybe stores will stop opening! 

Here a few stores that you should definitely check out. Also, Ebates and BestBlackFriday.com are great resources to shop sales! 

  • Old Navy - clearly I'm a fan, but the deals are so good! 
  • Target - duh. They have so many different sales on toys and electronics which are the two I will be looking at! 
  • Tarte - This is my favorite makeup and they always have good deals this weekend. They're already running 25% most of their store right now. 
  • QVC - This is a weird one, I know, but you should check it out. They have all your favorite brands at the same price with a bonus gift or at a discount! These are great for gift sets. 
  • Fitness - If you've been eyeing a new gym membership at any local studio, they're probably going to have good sales so make sure you check them out! 
  • Ebates - Many stores will have higher cash back percentages so don't forget to activate it before you do your shopping! (You can use my referral link to get $10 cash back immediately) 
I hope you all have an amazing holiday weekend and I'll be back next week with plenty of holiday posts :)  

Friday, November 10, 2017

Five on Friday

Whoops. I've been a little MIA this week - it's been a crazy one! What better way to pop back in than by joining the Five on Friday link up to end the week.

one // I'm headed to Chicago this afternoon!

An opportunity came up for me to be in Chicago next week for work so of course I took it as an opportunity to go up early and spend the weekend with my best friend. We're headed to the Purdue/Northwestern game tomorrow and she's taking me around to explore all the Christmas decorations that are already up on Sunday! I can't wait to share the trip with you guys!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

A New, Glorious Month

November 2 seems like a good time for an October goals update and to possibly set some November goals, right? Okay, good. I'm also linking up with Kristen for the What's New With You Linkup!

one // Be active for at least 30 minutes per day. 

I got so close on this one! There were 6 days that I didn't hit it according to my Fitbit. Although I "failed", I really paid a lot more attention to my activity so I think it's a success overall. 

two // Try a new workout class.  

I really don't think I did this. The sad part is, I already can't remember most of October. Both work and home were so crazy that I was just lost. I do know that I spent a lot of time in the gym, though, and tried some new exercises so does that count?

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Things to do this Weekend to Prepare for the Holidays

It's here, it's here, it's here! The Holiday season is here! Hear me out: I know a lot of people are "no Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving". I used to be one of those people. Let me tell you why I have changed my tune...

Image result for christmas november 1 meme

Can you think of a Thanksgiving song? What about a Thanksgiving movie? If you're my husband, you would say, " uh, yeah, the Adam Sandler song and Charlie Brown". And that's it. (If you think of more, PLEASE let me know).

Monday, October 30, 2017

Quick, Work Friendly Halloween Costume

Although most people (myself included) probably celebrated Halloween a little too hard this weekend, we still have to get through the actual holiday tomorrow. This weekend we went to two different parties with different costumes. That wasn't the original plan, but I ran out of time during the week to get together my Friday night costume so this is what we ended up with:
A hunter and his deer
This was actually SO easy to do for someone who isn't very makeup skilled, so I thought I would share what I used and how I did it. Unfortunately, I didn't think about sharing this until after my face was basically done so I don't have step by step pictures, but it was pretty straightforward once you have the right tools!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Four Friends and a Baby

It's already Monday? This weekend went by way too quickly because it was just too much fun. I thought it would be a perfect weekend for a little recap!

On Friday, our friends from Chancellorsville drive down and then we had a surprise visit from Christian's best friend that lives near DC. We spent a good night catching up and just enjoying each other's company. 

Saturday, it was baby shower time! Our friend Sam is expecting her first little one and she's the first one of our friend group so we are over the moon excited for her. Kristin and I ran a few errands and got breakfast with our husbands before heading over to help finish setting up for the shower before everyone arrived.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

My Honest Review of Stitch Fix and Le Tote

A few weeks ago, my aunt and uncle were in from Maui for the week and we, of course, spent a lot of time with them at my grandparents. One night, we were out on the screened porch and my aunt mentions that her whole outfit is from Stitch Fix. Obviously, I have heard of Stitch Fix at this point and have even had a few friends try it out without much luck. But, Joyce convinced me to bite the bullet and try it at least once.

Monday, October 2, 2017

October Goals

It's here, it's here! We have finally hit my favorite month of the year! And, we even had some Fall-ish weather this weekend (well.. Sunday). This weekend I got two great workouts in at Pure Barre and Vibe5 Yoga and we spent a wonderful afternoon at the Renaissance Fair with our friends and their adorable baby. I'm so glad my friends are having cute babies so I don't have to ;)

I wanted to start this month off with a few "goals". Obviously, I'm not setting goals this year and I'm just "trying more" things so I'm going to keep these more general like that.  For an update on where I was in June, check out this post.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Add it to my List: Beauty Edition

Today, I'm back again and linking up with Bre and Lauren for Add It To My List! I really enjoy reading everyone's posts and have definitely found some new things to try. So, today, I thought I would go with some of my new (or just tried and true) beauty finds.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Happy Fall Y'all!

And welcome back to your own blog, Leslie.
I've learned that I'm just not good at blogging in the summer. For most people, this would be because they're so busy outside enjoying it. It's exactly the opposite for me. I spend most of the summer hunkered down inside and refusing to go out unless I absolutely must or it's dark. 

For any of you that are also cursed by living in the South, you may understand this. I just find ZERO joy in sitting outside pretending to enjoy myself while it's 110 degrees and 100% humidity. 

Recently, I wore shorts to the first Panthers tailgate and my family gave me the hardest time for how white my legs are and "not to worry, there's plenty of time left in the season" (insert cry laughing emoji here). Basically, what I'm saying is Summer is the WORST and I'm pretty happy to say buh bye to it. Sadly, its still in the 90s here in Charlotte so if it's cooler where you are, please send it my way!

Friday, August 18, 2017

I was there.

I was in Charlottesville last weekend.

I've written about my love of Charlottesville a few times before (here and here). My best friend moved there three years ago and I've spent so many weekends exploring the town and totally falling in love with it. I'm always so amazed at how nice and welcoming ever person I've met is. All of the businesses are vocally welcoming and inclusive.

This is something Kristin loves about Charlottesville - it's open, inclusive, loving culture; and it's a reason I've come to love it as well.

Friday night, we went to Fridays After Five on the downtown mall. This is an event where they have beer tents, food trucks and live music during the summer. When we got down there, Kristin remarked how not busy it was for  Friday and we assumed it was because it had rained a little earlier and people didn't want to risk getting caught in it.
After hanging out awhile, we walked down the mall to grab dinner at Jack Brown's. As we walked through the mall, I noticed a LOT of police officers gathered in groups all over the mall and things were much less crowded than normal.

As we left the mall, I noticed there were multiple temporary barricades around Emancipation Park behind the mall. At this point I said "oh, I guess there's a rally happening?". We knew there was a rally planned but it didn't hit us until that point that the city was probably quiet because of it.

Saturday morning, we woke up to the news of the violent march that had started very shortly after we had left the mall. I couldn't believe that such horrible hate and violence had taken place in the very spot that we had been just a few hours early when the town had been so sleepy and peaceful when we left.

Anytime I'm in Charlottesville, I always need Bodo's Bagels and this weekend was no exception. We drove to our normal spot to find it closed and the parking lot closed off. Immediately, I check their social media to find they preemptively decided to close that location to protect their employees.
At this point, Kristin and I both started to really get worried about the day's events. As we ate breakfast (we went to a different Bodo's), I saw things on social media that the rally may not really be happening because things got violent before it even started.

I was there to help with wedding preparations, and we needed to do some shopping. Kristin picked a place that was farther away from the Downtown mall to be on the safe side. As we were driving down the highway, Kristin points out my window and says "oh my god, look.... "

As I turned my head, I saw probably 200-300 white, primarily men marching into McIntire Park beside the YMCA and a playground. These people were carrying Confederate flags, Nazi flags, swastika emblems, poles and other random things that were later used as weapons. And we both froze.
Source - Read. This.
I can't describe how awful that scene made us feel. I truly thought I would be sick. And, then, I became extremely aware of my privilege. I, as a white, middle class female, was not in dire danger just by existing in this town at that moment. I realized that we were free to go about our errands, while others were living in fear by these people being in their town. And I think that is what made me feel so sick.

I felt (and honestly still feel) helpless. How do I help? What can I do? How do I make a difference? How do we end such vile hate? I really don't have the answers but I have spent the last six days consumed by these thoughts and truly trying to discover what I can do. There are marches and rallies being planned but is that the answer? Will that solve the underlying hatred that exists in this country and has become more tolerated in the last 18 months?
Source
One thing I also want to note is that these people traveled to Charlottesville specifically to cause an issue and to bring hate and violence to a town that is loving, open and progressive. These were not Charlottesville locals and this is not a problem with Charlottesville. The majority of arrests made during the rally and protests didn't even reside in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The man who drove a car into a crowd of peaceful anti protestors who injured over 19 people and killed Heather Hyer was from Ohio.
Source
Thank you if you made it this far into the post because I know it's heavy and it's kind of rambly but I just have so many thoughts and I don't know where we go from here. I just know that it hurts me so I can only imagine how those who were actually being targeted feel and I want to know how to help.

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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Try More 2017: 6 Month Check In

Well, we're halfway through this year, now, so it seems like a good time to pop back up on this ole blog. The last month-ish has just been overwhelmingly busy, but somehow I just really don't know what all I was doing. Do you ever feel like way? Like you're just BUSY but kind of on autopilot?

I felt like this would be a good time to look back on the year and how I'm doing with Try More 2017! This post is going to be kind of long, but it's nice to have it all together in once place!

January

I got a slow start in January because it's easier to lay on the couch and binge watch TV.  But, I did make the decision to volunteer with Girls on the Run. Considering I'm not a runner, this is shocking and the season is over and I'm still shocked that  I did and enjoyed it so much. I have an entire post planned to talk about the organization and what I learned being a part of it!

I did get a discount code for Classpass and joined for January and I'm still loving it! If you'd like to sign up and try it out, you can use my link and we both will get $30 off!

February

After a lackluster January, I was off and running in February starting with a watercolor and hand lettering class for Valentine's Day with Skill Pop. I created two cards - one for my grandmother's 70th birthday and the other for Christian!
We ended up going to a Charlotte Checkers (hockey) game which was my first hockey game. We seriously had such a blast and I'm looking forward to getting to go again next season!

If you follow along on Instagram, you've probably seen a few posts about my new obsession with AIR Fitness. I have a couple of friends who had gotten into it and I convince my Classpass buddy at work to go with me one Saturday morning. It was weird and I felt so lost BUT I've been going a couple of times a week now and I just love it so much. There are different types of classes: a HIIT class, yoga and the standard AIR class that uses the silk hammock to do crunches, burpees, planks, push ups, etc.
Also, thanks to Classpass, I tried my first hot yoga class and was going pretty consistently. Hot yoga and hot summer in North Carolina don't work for me so I'll be waiting a couple of more months before I go. But, it's seriously such a workout. My biggest piece of advice though: drink SO much water during the day before you go.

March

During March,  I was definitely eating really well and exercising a lot which was definitely a part of the whole "try more" initiative. I felt like I was finally starting to see some results, too, and feel really good! I also had my first facial at Mud. Facial Bar which is in the same building as AIR.

If you can't tell from the name, all the facials are mud based and they're about 30 minutes in length. Lisa and I got facials together and tried Yafo Kitchen for the first time and it was an absolutely perfect girls morning.
April 

Buckle up, April was crazy!

We started into April with a trip down to Atlanta to see our friends, The Reimherr's! Maggie and I cheered together freshman year of high school and she's been stuck with me ever since - she even sang at my wedding. After they got married last year, they were in Boston so this was the first time we'd seen them since their wedding. Now, yes, being from Georgia, I've been to Atlanta quite a few times. But, it was fun to see it in the eyes of friends and try new restaurants and places. (But, yes, we did go to the Aquarium and World of Coke because duh).
I finally made it to Charleston, SC for a trip with my best friend. We had tickets to see Tim McGraw and Faith Hill in their Soul 2 Soul tour and it was SO fun. I've seen Tim before, but never Faith. She is absolutely flawless in person. Amazing. We also spent the day bouncing around King Street and the Battery and another day being lazy on the beach!
The weekend after Charleston, I ran my first 5K with my team from Girls on the Run. And I use "run" lightly because I didn't fully run the entire but I tried to!
For Easter, I attended another SkillPop class: Cooke Decorating. The class was hosted by Lindsey of Follow the Ruels. I thought I was going to totally bomb, but they didn't turn out as bad as I thought they would!
May 

Oh, man. We had a blast in May. I celebrated my birthday for the first time in three years (we've been at my uncles' weddings the last 3). But to REALLY celebrate, we went to New Orleans with Christian's best friend and his wife. Three of the four of us have April/May birthdays so we wanted to really celebrate this year!
We had SUCH a blast. So many Hurricanes, beignets, and LOTS of seafood. I'm pretty sure I gained 10 pounds in the 5 days we were there but it was worth every single bite and sip.

June 

I ended May and started June by heading out to Lawton, Oklahoma to watch my little brother graduate from Basic Training. I never thought I'd end up in Lawton and I'd really like to not ever go back there. But, if he ever ends up stationed back there (he might drop out of the military, LOL), but I would go visit if I had to.

The rest of June, I didn't really have any huge "try more" moments like earlier in the year, but I did try a few new restaurants, had a mac and cheese hot dog at my first Charlotte Knights game and started Parenthood for the first time.
On the workout front, I worked out at the gym with Christian for the first time ever and ouch. He's a mean trainer and I couldn't walk for a couple of days. I've also been working on incorporating more yoga and trying out some handstands with my practice.
Whew. A lot has happened this year and plenty of it wasn't covered in this post that I may never talk about on the blog or maybe I'll write a huge, long post spilling my guts. Who knows. But, if you read this far, kudos to you. We'll do it again in December ;)

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

On Turning 26

Last year, around a month before my birthday, a coworker asked me how old I was. I confidently replied that I would be turning 26 on May 4th. We had a conversation about "how young that is" and la ti da. A few days later, I was emailing my best friend and I said "Can you even believe we're turning 26 this year?!" To which she responded, "Leslie, we're turning twenty FIVE this year...."

I was so certain that I was turning 26 that I called my mom that night after dinner and asked her how old I was between fits of giggles because I couldn't believe I didn't remember and Christian was just trying to confuse me more because he thought it was hilarious. 

First thing my mom said was, " Are you drunk right now?!" But, no, I had just forgotten my age for over a week and somehow had forgotten how to count. My mom told me that if I ever forgot again, all I had to do was subtract the year I was born from the current year. And I very bravely said, "But, mom, 16-91 is a negative number and I'm definitely not in the negatives."

It's a wonder my mother didn't drive herself up to Charlotte to make sure I wasn't drunk or sick or had gone crazy but she instead burst out laughing and told me it would be 2016 minus 1991. And that is how I learned that I'm turning twenty six TOMORROW and not last year. 

So, in honor, some pictures from past birthdays: 

17th
Both Katherine and Kristin were at this birthday and I'm still friends with both of them. :) 

 19th
Whew. Freshman year: The Year Leslie Needed a Burger.

 20th. 
My first good ish picture with Christian. Taken on a flip phone. 

 21st. 
The night where we pulled a "Hangover" and didn't look at pictures until the next day. 

22nd. 
The year I forced all my friends to see Tim McGraw even though they don't like country music. 

23rd. 
The year all my uncle's started getting married. 

24th. 
The year I quit my job and went to Hawaii (for an uncle's wedding). 

25th.
The last uncle finally got married!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

A Summary of Books

I've been trying so hard to get back into reading again. I love reading so much but real life just keeps getting in my way! I downloaded a free trial of Audible last month so I "read" one book that way (and I'm still not sold on the whole audio book thing) and then I was traveling for work last week so I got in one book and two half books ;) So, today, I thought I would link up with Steph and Jana to share my thoughts and get back into this blogging groove, too. 

Truly, Madly, Guilty by Liane Moriarty 

I was inspired to download this because of Big Little Lies  coming on HBO. I decided I didn't want to read it because I was too hooked on the show. I still may read it, though, now that I've watched the show. I've also read The Husband's Secret  a few years ago so I knew I liked the author pretty well. 
Image result for truly madly guilty
I found this book a little harder to listen to because of all the POV changes. Each chapter is a different person's viewpoint of either present day or "the day of the barbecue". Essentially, something big happens at a neighborhood barbecue and each person is dealing with the ramifications in different ways. On top of that, there are interesting relationships between all of the characters prior to the barbecue that are also being dealt with. 

Final thoughts: A good read that will keep you guessing, but drags on for awhile before you find out what the big event is they're all reeling from which got a little annoying. 

Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris 

I like a good psychological thriller so that's what I was looking for before leaving on my trip and had seen this one pop up a few places. Like, Liane's book, it also switched back and forth from present day to about a year and a half prior. As the book goes on, the timelines meet for climax of the book. I liked the way this one was structured in tat respect, but WOW this book is so heavy. 
Image result for behind closed doors

Slight spoiler but I don't want to give it all away: it deals very heavily with abuse and the antagonist is a very twisted person - it's not a typical situation. I was very interested in the beginning, but towards the middle, I almost put it down because it made me uncomfortable. But, I hate not finishing a book and I was hoping for a positive ending so I kept reading. I wouldn't say the ending is "good" but it ties up the book nicely. 

Final thoughts: Don't pick this up if you want a happy, easy book. It is heavy and very hard to read but written very well. 

Uganda Be Kidding Me by Chelsea Handler 

I'm going to be honest, I'm not totally done with this book, but I'm close. And I've read all her other books, so I kind of know how this goes. I find Chelsea to be absolutely hilarious. I also wonder if her books really are true. I don't know how one person can drink so much and still function, LOL. But, she's got a funny way of writing and I have laughed out loud quite a few times while reading it. It was definitely good to break up Behind Closed Doors with this one on the plane. 

Image result for uganda be kidding me

Final Thoughts: A good vacation read. 

I've already got 3 more books downloaded on my tablet and one I'm listening to on Audible so hopefully I'll be back next month with some more books! 

Happy Tuesday, friends! 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Travel Tuesday: Atlanta, GA

You would think that since I'm from Athens, GA, I would have been to Atlanta a lot. And I've definitely been a few times, but not as an adult. I went once as a freshman in college, but that was for a Braves game and a tour of the World of Coke (okay, okay, we went to WOC this trip, too).

My friend, Maggie (and her husband Derek), recently moved back to the South after a stint in Boston. Sadly, we never made it to Boston to visit but I am SO glad to have her back in driving distance. They were having a housewarming party Saturday night, so we knew it was the right weekend to go down there.

They live in the midtown area so we were able to walk to almost every place we went to. And let me tell you, I am so jealous of all the yummy food they have in walking distance! Every place we ate was SO good so I've got to share them with you! 

El Ponce - Gringo tacos, rice, black beans and queso.

I was quite hungry when we got in Friday night so I don't have a picture of my tacos from this place, but wow it was good. It was also very reasonably priced which is always a bonus. We ordered a pitcher of beer for the table and the waitress brought us about 85% of  a pitcher and then said "hold on, this isn't enough, be right back" before bringing us basically another full pitcher. Talk about good service ;)

Java Jive  - Cream cheese, tomato and avocado egg scramble, home fries and the best biscuit ever. 

Ponce City Market - Hops Chicken - Chicken biscuit and mac and cheese 

This place was so cool. It's an old Sears warehouse that they turned into a shopping and dining destination. When you walk in, it's a huge food hall with SO many different types of restaurats (and no chains). There's Chinese, Korean barbecue, fried chicken, Cuban, seafood, and so many more. We got Hops Chicken and it was seriously delicious. Christian and I both had chicken biscuits and there were definitely in the running for best biscuits and the mac and cheese was definitely one of my favorites.
And of course, we did the touristy things, too: World of Coke and the Georgia Aquarium. Since I work for Coke, I was able to get in free and get them discounted tickets so it was a no brainer! Also, I'm oddly obsessed with Coca Cola and the entire brand so I was in heaven the entire day. 

After the World of Coke and getting stomach aches from all the taste testing, Christian and I headed to the aquiarium while Maggie and Derek prepped for the party. And by that, I mean Maggie made like 200 jello shots ;) 

After we did the touristy things, we headed back to Maggie and Derek's apartment and their friends came over for burgers, drinks and Jell-o shots. We also ended the night at a 90's alt/80's rock karaoke bar with a live band. And, of course, Maggie got up there to sing "I Want You to Want Me" and it was awesome. We all woke up a little hoarse after screaming/singing all night. 

I'm definitely happy to have them back in driving distance so we can have more weekends like this! Next up, their trip to Charlotte! 

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