five on friday

This week has been one for the books, y'all. I am SO glad it's Friday! Am I the only one who feels like short weeks sometimes seem that much longer? Anywho, let's get to it!

{one} healthy is as healthy does
After a little too long of trying to convince myself that I've been living a healthy lifestyle, I faced the facts: while I do make good choices the majority of the time, there are a few too often "wind-down wines" after work, a cheat day often turns into a cheat day and a half, and I haven't been moving and active like I should be. I can truly feel it in my body and know that it's time to make changes. So, while I do still stick with My Fitness Pal to keep myself accountable on track, I'm making a conscious effort to get real, healthy foods back into my diet. I'm obsessed with my Fitbit but don't utilize it like I could, so I've readjusted my daily goals to realistic numbers and am aiming for "all green" days and getting in at least 30 minutes of movement every day, as well as 3-4 workouts each week. And STRETCHING. I'm excited to see what kind of improvements I start to feel over the next few weeks - this refresh is so, so needed!

{two} make a house a home
As much as I'd love for this not to be the case, not a single room in our house is completely, 100% "done." The guest room is close, as is our bedroom, but everything needs finishing touches - curtains, artwork, throws, lamps, decor. We're making it a point this weekend to go through each room and clean out the closets, throw out junk, fill big donation bags of clothes, and make a master list of what we want to do to each room. I think approaching it that way will keep me sane because I have a REAL bad habit of going to HomeGoods for couch throw pillows, seeing lamp/table/framed painting that could work in the guest bedroom/office/master bedroom... and leaving with a dog toy because I'm too overwhelmed to pull the trigger on anything else. So, let's hope this practice puts me crazy in its place.

{three} currently reading...
As a part of my whole mind/body reconnecting goal, I'm trying to put my phone down at night, turn the TV off, and read for a bit. I've noticed that even if I read for just 30 minutes, I sleep better (go figure, right?). And the sad thing is that I love to read. LOOOOVE. It's always been my favorite hobby. And when I took the train everyday into the city for work, I had two hours of uninterrupted reading time. Now the commute is better but my reading habits have seriously suffered. As an attempt to get back into the bookworm game, I'm currently reading two books: Brooklyn by Colm Toibin and Expecting Better by Emily Oster. 

Brooklyn needs my undivided attention to really get into it (it's on my Kindle, and I've found that it's harder for me to really get lost in a book on my Kindle, versus the printed book in my hand), but I'm enjoying the story so far. Description from Google: 

Hauntingly beautiful and heartbreaking, Colm Tóibín's sixth novel, Brooklyn, is set in Brooklyn and Ireland in the early 1950s, when one young woman crosses the ocean to make a new life for herself. 

And Expecting Better is honestly fantastic. While I'm not pregnant, I love all of the insight that the book offers, as well as the statistics and factual info to back it up, versus just reading "Don't drink coffee. It is bad for your baby," and I know this will come in handy when I am expecting. While it's a "pregnancy book" and geared towards a female audience, I truly think that Brian (the econ major) will enjoy reading it at some point as well. The statistics and research are really interesting-- promise!

{four} bff chrissy
Can I just say how much I stinking LOVE Chrissy Teigen? Girlfriend is gorgeous, hilarious, and keeps it real - about hating dieting but having to do it, marriage funnies, and how her dogs are treated like humans (not that I can relate to that at all...). Also? She loves to cook and eat (again, love her). She has a new cookbook coming out this month and I cannot wait! I've pre-ordered my own book and strongly encourage you all to do the same!  Her website, "So Delushious," is fantastic, and you can read all about her recipes and the book itself there.

{five} it's yo birthday!
Lastly, February is a big month of birthdays for my people!  Love them all so much! 

my sweet mama

our sweet, sassy, spitfire niece, Meredith

and my bestie, amanda! welcome to the 3-0 club, my dear

Happy Friday (and weekend) to each and every one of you!!

thoughts for thursday | a southern vacation

The husband and I have been talking about planning a trip for months now, and I think we're finally right on the cusp of actually booking it!  

We initially wanted to go somewhere beachy and warm (back to Cancun, Punta Cana, Bahamas, etc.) but then the Zika outbreak happened and I kind of panicked. While I'm not pregnant now, babies are certainly in our 5 year plan, and the whole "Do not travel here if pregnant or planning to become pregnant in the next 2 years" freaked me out. 

A girl can still daydream though...

excellence playa mujeres

el dorado casitas, riviera maya - our honeymoon resort! 

sandals antigua

So we've now decided on a little southern vacation. And as much as I'd love to be gearing up to sit on a beach and drink cocktails all day, this makes my little Texan heart so dang happy - here we come Charleston, Hilton Head and Savannah!

Our plan is to fly into Charleston early on a Tuesday, stay through Thursday morning, drive to Hilton Head for a couple of nights, and somewhere in there take a day trip to Savannah. I think it will be perfection and, most fun of all, I've finally started to make our little trip agenda! 

-places to eat-
My first move was to book dinner reservations at Husk and Halls Chophouse in Charleston - any other suggestions that may trump these two spots? I have a list a mile long of restaurants for breakfasts and lunches, but any insight on "this is the best food you may ever eat" spots would be GREATLY appreciated :)

-things to do-
I'm so excited to just kind of wander around the cities and soak in the southern charm, but I'm also all about having a plan. I definitely want to see Rainbow Row in Charleston and a walking tour or two. Brian wants to golf in HH so perhaps I'll just go along for the ride? There are also bicycling "adventures" everywhere. I mentioned that to Brian and his immediate response was "Can you ride a bike?" Perhaps I haven't shown my most athletic side over our years together...

Any "must see/do" places or things to do in Charleston/HH/Savannah that I should add to our list? 

-places to stay-
Zero things booked for this important piece of the puzzle. We briefly considered an Airbnb or VRBO but at the end of the day, I cook supper every night at home and keep our house clean, bed made, etc. but I certainly don't want to do all of that on vacation. So hotels/B&Bs it is! Any ideal areas to stay? I know we're all over the place, but if you have any specific spots that have rave reviews, I'd love to hear about them!

So, what am I missing? Fill me in, ladies!

And because I'm excited...


I love living in the northeast but I just can't help but think that the south was hit with a pretty stick, amiright?

So, am I being crazy? If you're in my similar shoes, would you be as paranoid about Zika as I'm feeling? 

weekend recap | valentine's day fun

I've been feeling the pull to get back into blogging, and what better way to kick this off than after a long Valentine weekend?! (update: I started writing this on Tuesday morning and just finished on Wednesday afternoon -- baby steps, people!)

Saturday morning had me up bright and early to head to the gym and do a quick round of grocery shopping, followed by a Panera breakfast with the husband. Brian ran a few errands while I straightened up around the house, and Molly did a lot of this:

Brian's afternoon was occupied by a few hours of studying (he passed the first part of the CFA exam with flying colors - woop! - so now it's on to prepping for CFA: Part 2 in June), so I decided to give him some peace and quiet for a few hours and headed out to get a fresh mani/pedi. We had dinner reservations that night (call me a party-pooper, but there are two nights I refuse to go out on the actual holiday - Valentine's Day and New Years Eve) so I came home, got prettied up and we actually managed to get a picture on our way out the door!

Sunday was one of those perfect days where you don't do much but relax at the end of the day feeling so completely content and happy-- it was perfection. We typically switch off who gets up first with Molly on weekend days and who gets to sleep in - since Sunday was my day, boogie-girl took a drive with me to get coffee (girlfriend loves riding co-pilot):

And yes, she is indeed wearing her monogrammed coat because what did we wake up to on Sunday morning? This craziness right here: 

NEGATIVE EIGHT DEGREES, PEOPLE. I love the cold but that mess was just... I mean, the card would hardly start. As I sat in the car to try and warm it up before driving, everything electric was moving in slow motion. I believe it's safe to say that I have never in my life experienced temperatures THAT cold.

We survived the freeze and made it home to make a perfectly corny heart-themed breakfast for two. I'm honestly pretty proud of this because I tried to make the heart-shaped bacon last year and legitimately turned it into charcoal. This year was a bit more successful!  Add french toast and strawberries, and we were two happy campers. 

It was way too cold to venture out anywhere, so we spent the rest of the day snuggled up- Brian studied while Molly and I watched sappy movies on the couch. We'd planned a delish dinner at home and  had a good time in the kitchen getting it all prepped and cooked-- how can you go wrong with wine and a cocktail to accompany you? It may not look the prettiest but goodness gracious, it was phenom, if I do say so myself: Prosciutto-Wrapped Boursin-Stuffed Chicken Breast, Creamy Mushroom Pasta, and Asparagus.


We've never really exchanged gifts on Valentine's Day, but always exchange cards, Brian always gives me the prettiest flowers, and he gets a big box of chocolates and a Reese's heart (or three, per his request). This little set-up has made me smile all week whenever I walk past it.

And I couldn't help but laugh when I looked up Sunday evening and this was my view - wearing slippers on separate couches, sipping cheap champs out of your crystal wedding flutes #marriedvalentinesday.

A good Valentine's Day, indeed.

In other news, my nephew turned FIVE on Friday!  When the heck did my Little Man turn into a big kid?  Ugh, time flies and he's not even mine! Love this kid so dang much.