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. 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Hanging Around Like A Bat

Another weekend has come to a close. We really need to adopt a 4 week work schedule in this country. It just seems better for the soul. Where do we start this petition?

This weekend was just another great weekend. I had myself pretty busy, but I got to see so many of my favorite humans, workout, treat myself, clean the house, eat good food and get some good relaxing time in with Christian. I actually am shocked that I was able to fit so much in. 

Friday 

We had a girls night Friday night with wine and pizza and it was so good for the soul. Just sitting around, no men, and getting to just talk about anything and everything we wanted. There were venting sessions, killer laughing spells and lots of puppy play time.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

February Goals: A Recap

So today, we're all starting posts by saying "wow, guys, can you believe it's already March?!" right? Because, seriously. We had either the hottest or second hottest February on record in Charlotte this year. Beating the record that was set in 1927... NINETEEN TWENY SEVEN. If you've hung around here long enough, you know that I'm a cold weather person and therefore very upset with this turn of events. Luckily, 1927 was also the year for record snowfall in Charlotte in March. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed.

Today is the day to talk about February goals. Overall, I did pretty well with completing 4/6! One of which was unfortunately out of my control so it'll be on the list for another month. So without further ado...

Monday, February 27, 2017

Try More: A Weekend Recap

This year is the year of Try More and this weekend I really knocked some things off that list and I couldn't be more excited! So, it brings me to another weekend recap.

Friday 

We haven't seen our friends Matt and Lisa in a few weeks so we were so excited to get together for good food and fun hockey game. We went to a (new to me) restaurant because Lisa's pregnant and the baby wanted queso. Sadly, the queso was really runny and not good at all so baby was still not please. Luckily, the rest of the food was really good!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Thursday Thoughts on my Fitbit

Y'all. I joined the Fitbit club yesterday. Sorry I'm like 5 years late on this one.  But, we are doing some sort fitness challenge soon - they haven't announced the details yet - and it included a free Fitbit for the first 40 people to sign up! We could get the Fitbit One for free OR we could pay the difference to get a different one. I decided on the Fitbit Alta (affiliate link).

I liked that this one has the screen the smaller screen than the HR that Christian has but I can still see my daily stats, the time and my phone notifications. I was really wanting an athletic watch of some sort of Girls on the Run practice, so this came at the perfect time!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Doggy Life

So I got my Tuesdays mixed up for linking up with with Lauren and Bre for Add It To My List. So, I'm going to share these things anyway because I love them! We were dog sitting this weekend and I realized there are some dog toys we just couldn't live without and then, after reading Stephanie's post yesterday, I wanted to share some of my favorite things we've had over the course of Ellie's almost two years of life!

I'm also just filling this post up with pictures of Ellie's ridiculous sleeping poses on our pillows. Christian said the other day "Ya know, Ellie could never survive in the wilderness.... there aren't any pillows".  So true.

Monday, February 13, 2017

80 degrees in February

Do you ever have one of those weekends that is just good? You're not even sure why but it was? That was this weekend. Also, I could use a nap to recharge from weekend because this week is about to be insane. I haven't done a weekend recap in awhile so why not today to see if I can start some blogging momentum for the week!

Friday, February 10, 2017

5 on Friday!

Um, how did Friday get here so quickly? I'm not usually one to say that the week sped by but it really seemed to this week! All of a sudden, I was talking to my team at work and we realized it was 4:30pm on Thursday! Right around that time, I also realized I didn't blog at all this week. But, I have a good reason that I will be sharing today :)

Friday, February 3, 2017

5 on Friday: February Goals

I have set a few goals this month so I thought this would be a good place to write them in.. stone? The cloud? Google? Anyways, I want to put them somewhere just to hold myself a little more accountable.

If you missed it, my goal for 2017 is "Try More" thanks to my friend Lisa. So far, I already checked a few things off this list in January. I tried some new fitness classes and really committed to my new meal plan (outside of some REALLY stressful days where I just couldn't find the strength to cook). This month, I have quite a few "try more" on my list!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Add It To My List: A Link Up

When I saw Lauren and Bre mention this link up last week, I knew I had to join! I love buying/watching/reading/doing things based on my friend's real recommendations so I can't wait to see what everyone is sharing today!

My list is kind of all over the place, but that's what makes it fun, right?

Books: 

I mentioned last week I just finished Anna Kendrick's book - go get it!

Friday, January 27, 2017

5 on Friday!

The last few weeks have been tough, as I mentioned earlier this week, but hopefully I will be back on the blogging train this week. My 5 on Friday this week is going to be short and sweet but I wanted to put something out there and get the blogging juices flowing! 

one // Date night tonight! 

We are going out for Queen's Feast tonight at Napa on Providence and I'm pumped. We haven't had a really nice date night in awhile and we're going to a new restaurant. I'm also ready to cheat SO hard on my meal plan.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Thankfulness

Sometimes, life isn't all roses and pretty coffee cups on Instagram. Sometimes, it's really hard. Sometimes, just waking up, getting dressed and getting to work is an achievement in itself. And that's where I am now.

I'm not here to whine and complain, though. I'm actually here for the exact opposite! I want to share some things that are keeping me functioning right now. Also, just as a note, thankfully no one is dying (or has died) and things with Christian and I are a-okay

My planner has a spot in the top corner of every week to write something I'm thankful for and that's something I'm taking so seriously right now. It's so nice to sit down on Sunday night to plan my week, our meals and think about what I'm thankful for this week. Which is where I came up with the idea for this post.

These are the things I'm most thankful for right now.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

These Are A Few of My Favorite Things

Oops, hello again. It's been so hard getting back into the groove since the holidays! Maybe because work has been super busy and so has life? All good and fun but not as much blog time as I'd like. Today, I just wanted to share a few of my current favorites that I'm loving. 
 

Thursday, January 5, 2017

2017.

Last year, I sort of set some resolutions and I actually didn't do too bad at them. But, I don't really liek resolutions. This year, I'm setting a phrase. Not really a word, but sort basically the same idea.

First, I want to look back at 2016's "resolutions":

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

See ya, 2016.

I'm a little behind on the recap/new year posts but I had some time off for New Years and I really wanted to soak up every last moment of it before we grind on into the new year. I also failed my first test of the new year by writing 1/3/16 as the date yesterday. I'll figure it out by June, I'm sure.

Over the last year, I've made a few great new friends, strengthened relationships with some of my best friends, travelled a few new places and a couple of my favorite cities, learned SO much at work and had some amazing nights with my wonderful husband. I can't wait to see where 2017 takes us!

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