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! 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Cherry Blossom Buds

Two weekends ago, Christian and I headed up to DC to see the cherry blossoms and hang out with his sister and best friend. It was a pretty warm February for DC so the blossoms were set to bloom about two weeks earlier than normal which is why we picked mid-March to go up because it was supposed to be peak weekend.

And then, of course, it snowed/iced that week and the blossoms weren't having it. They were talking about "permanent damage" for some of them and saying they may not even really bloom this year. Luckily, they have bloomed and it doesn't look like there's permanent damage. Unluckily, they were not blooming the weekend we ended up going. 

We still did some fun stuff, though, and I always love being up there. It's such a beautiful and fun city. I'm glad we have a few people up there so we can always make excuses to go up!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Basic Training

Last Monday, my little brother left for Basic Training.
I have always been a huge supporter of our troops and I'm so thankful to the men and women who devote their lives to protecting our freedoms. But, I'm not going to lie and say that I was over the moon for my brother when he started discussing this idea about a year ago.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

How to Eat Healthier Without Going Crazy

I have to start off today's post by saying thank you so much for all the positive responses I received last week on this post. It's nice to know that everyone has their own struggle with a healthy lifestyle and have seen success with lifestyle changes as well!

As promised, I said I want to share some of the things I'm trying out and seeing some positive results with. This will probably be a once or twice a week type post - I'm not going full healthy living blogger over here ;)

For today's post, I'm just going to share the eating changes I've made. It goes without saying that I'm no dietician so this may not work for everyone, but I tried to do a little research before jumping into something.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Getting Real About Weight

Last October, I stepped on Kristin's scale. I hadn't been keeping a scale in our house because I don't believe that the scale tells you everything you need to know. Well, stepping on that scale told me exactly what I already knew: I had a gained a lot of weight since I got married.
As I'm telling Kristin about the scary number I saw, she said "but, as long as your clothes fit well, that's what matters"! And I had to admit, out loud, that my clothes didn't fit. And that I had started buying clothes in sizes much bigger than I'm used to. 

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