Life Lately, Vol. 32

Happy Friday Y’all! This week was a super short one, given that I was off on Monday (still mourning the loss of the Dawgs, but damn they have SO much to be proud of – what a season!) and I was traveling up to Vermont Wednesday & Thursday. This weekend we’re actually quite busy – we’ve got dinner with friends at Tuscan Kitchen in Seaport tonight (checking off #2 AND #5 from my Boston Winter Wishlist), a friend’s surprise birthday party on Saturday and a lot of little things to do around the house. A productive weekend it will be!

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the living room, coming together (still waiting on our console to arrive!)

Traveling vicariously through my parents, who are headed this weekend to Australia + New Zealand. They’re doing a two week cruise around New Zealand (hello hobbits + Sav Blanc!) and then two weeks in Sydney, Melbourne & the coast. Cue the envy! This trip is definitely on my bucket list, though it’s not on my 2018 travel goals. Maybe 2019! Who has tips & suggestions for them?

Speaking of traveling, I keep reading that Iceland air has so many new direct routes to Reykjavik, including from San Francisco, Baltimore, Kansas City and Tampa Bay. If y’all haven’t read my Iceland posts, be sure to check them out: Southern Iceland, Reykjavik, Golden Circle, The Blue Lagoon, What to Pack & 10 Tips. It’s such a beautiful, unique country – I highly recommend that you snag one of these direct flights and spend a long weekend in the land of fire & ice!

Searching for some new skincare products. I was listening to The Skinny Confidential this week and heard Dr. Dennis Gross talking about his Peel Pads and product line. I am by nature very skeptical about skincare products; however, his story is interesting. With years of training in skin cancer research & molecular biology (now dermatology), he has such an understanding of the science behind skincare. I may try these peels – has anyone tried his line before? Would y’all be interested in more posts on skin care?

This Week on South End Style

Cape of Good Hope Road Trip

2018 Travel Goals  | 2017 in Numbers2018 Resolutions

Life Lately, Vol. 31

Enjoy your weekend! 🙂

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Boston 2018 Winter Wish List

Happy Monday! I’m going to keep today short and sweet because today is a VERY big day for us Southerners / Georgia folks! Today my Georgia Bulldogs are in the national title game for college football. Y’all, the Dawgs haven’t been to the game since 1980, before I was born! I flew down to Atlanta last night to meet up with a bunch of college friends and we’re tailgating today and doing our best to cheer on our Dawgs to a victory!

That being said, I always like to share a seasonal “wishlist” to explore Boston (ex. Fall 2017, Spring 2016 & Summer 2017. I think it’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind. No matter how long you’ve lived in your city, there’s always something new to explore!

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Go ice skating: The Boston Common Frog Pond and City Hall both have large outdoor rinks for like $5 that you can go skating in. On a non-windy, warm(er) day this sounds like so much fun, followed by a warm hot chocolate! Perhaps a weekend day date or outing with girl friends?

Eat at 5 new-to-me restaurants: Oh my gosh there are SO many restaurants in Boston that I have been dying to try. We really limited our dining out majorly in 2017 because we were saving calories money for our wedding and honeymoon. While we are still on a budget (more on that in another post), we’re hoping to explore more restaurants in the city now that we’re walkable to most. On my radar is a new hot pot place, an authentic Chinatown pho restaurant, the Eately popup, a new North End Italian spot any more. Any suggestions?!

Take at least 2 ski weekends: We are quite spoiled here as we’re 3 hours from Loon/Lincoln, Sugarbush, Stowe and various other mountains. I do really enjoy skiing when I (a) have a friend my level and (b) it’s above 20 degrees. We’re hoping that my in laws will come up for a Vermont ski weekend and we’ll likely go with our other friends to their New Hampshire house. Getting outside for the weekend, getting some exercise and getting some fresh mountain air really helps me survive winter here. There’s no better feeling than an adult beverage after a long day of skiing. Am I right?!

Get out of the house every day: As someone who works from home at least two days per week, there are times when I will look up from my computer to realize it’s 3pm and I haven’t eaten a thing, brushed my hair or left the house. Nature of the beast, I guess. So now matter how miserable it is outside, I’m hoping to get out every single day, even if to grab coffee or hit the gym. Cabin fever is a major problem here in Boston!

Once a month date nights: I realize that once a month doesn’t seem very often but when your husband is knee deep in a start up (that literally takes 24/7 work) and I travel for work/pleasure at least 3x/month, and it’s freezing cold majority of the time, it’s hard to muster up the energy to actually plan (and go on) a date night. This is something we’ve got to get better about so I’m making a pact here to do it! In fact, we’ve got plans on Friday to go on a double date to dinner + a comedy show so that’s a good start!

Visit a museum or two: with so many to choose from, I’ve actually only ever been to the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) and the Isabella Gardner. On my list for years has been the JFK Museum and the Museum of Science. Hoping to make both this year (the perfect snow day activity!)

Try many new fitness classes: if you’re following me on Instagram, you probably have noticed that I joined a new gym – Lynx Fitness Club (new here in Boston!). They offer over 50 classes per week, including boxing, barre groove, yoga, treadmill training and various HIIT style workouts. I’m eager to try them all and see which is my fave!

Learn to cook some new dishes: there’s no better time than winter to get into the kitchen and start cooking. I definitely will try making some homemade Mediterranean dishes from the cookbook I got for Christmas, as well as some new healthy crockpot and casserole types. I’m not big on hearty, rich meals but I do like whipping up a lighter version. Stay tuned as I’ll share any great recipes I’ve found in my Friday posts.

Make it to a Bruins game: Hockey isn’t really my sport but it’s always fun to cheer on your local team. The games are somewhat short and definitely high energy. I’d like to grab a bite at Ward 8 or another nearby spot and then head to the Garden for a game!

Life Lately, Vol. 31

Happy Friday y’all! Somehow we survived blizzard #1 of the season. Lucky for me I work from home, but I was able to get out to the gym and grocery store for necessities (you know…chips, ranch, wine…). I was getting major cabin fever so getting out of the house felt good, even if it meant being pelted in the face by 40mph snow winds.

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blizzard #1 in Boston – January 2018

Researching a possible European vacation in May 2018. We typically always go somewhere for Terry’s birthday around Memorial Day (Puerto Rico, Iceland, Paris, Amsterdam) and my best gal pal cousin has a birthday the same time also so I’m hoping to do a week with her and then 4-5 days after with him. We’re looking at possible 2-3 city options, such as London-Paris-Amsterdam, Dublin-London-Copenhagen, Lisbon-Porto-Barcelona…anyone have suggestions for 1 week in Europe and 3 close cities?!

Cooking all of the soup, stew, chili and crockpot recipes possible. As I mentioned, the temps are frigid here so really having a hearty, hot meal is the best way to keep the body warm! Last night I made some vegetarian chili and on next week’s menu I’m trying Lexi’s lasagna soup, Angela’s spiced lentil soup & Lisa’s turkey bolognese.

Shopping for the perfect ottoman for our bedroom, which if you’ve been following along my Instagram story, you’ve probably seen many times. I picked up a charcoal rectangle one (from HG, but similar) but now I’m second guessing it. Something if “off” but I can’t figure out what. Then I saw a round light grey one which I think may work better. Only downside is that it doesn’t have storage, which we need. Hmmm, decisions decisions.

Which ottoman do you prefer?

What’s on your weekend agenda?

2018 Resolutions

Happy New Year!
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You can read my review of 2017 in numbers and my 2018 travel goals. As I wrap up 2017, I can’t help but make some “resolutions” for 2018. While I’m not a stickler about these, I find that making resolutions is a great way to make some much-needed goals and to start the year off on a healthy, productive note.
Pick a new hobby
For me, I’ve been super in barre lately. Now I know working out isn’t really a “hobby” but I’ve been enjoying the way it makes me feel and how it takes me back to my 10+ years of ballet growing up. It’s a fun “me” thing that I enjoy doing so I’m keepin on!
Make the Time
There’s nothing more annoying for me to hear than people say “I don’t have time.” Yes you do, everyone has time…it’s just a matter of prioritizing. Like those guitar lessons I was supposed to start last year but “didn’t have time” for (also a new hobby #twobirdsonestone). Or the old friend who I keep saying “I’ll call her next week”. Or that trip back home to see grandma that will come later when we “have more time”. Unfortunately, time is the one thing we aren’t guaranteed and there may not be more. So don’t wait. Now is the time.
Let it Go
Whether it’s the promotion you were promised but never received (possibly the most frustrating thing ever), the recurring family drama that somehow can’t be squashed or that one friend who can’t just ever seem to be happy for you….let it go. This is a VERY tough one to do as it’s hard to let go of hurt, resentment, pain…but it’s not doing anyone any good to harbor it. Either cut it out of your life or promise yourself to move onward without it! No bringing negativity into a new year!
Start Meditating
I downloaded the “headspace” app after heading rave reviews about it. This is going to have to be a conscious effort for me everyday to do this but I am going to try my hardest to meditate when I wake up for 5 minutes every day. I get super anxious and stressed out easily, especially after a bad nights sleep so Im hoping that this 5-minute habit will help ground me and start me off on a healthy mental note each day.
Save for a goal
This is a great resolution for a few reasons. First, having an end goal is always a great way to keep on track financially. Second, the sense of accomplishment that comes with achieving that goal is motivating. Third, having this goal will have you second guessing any frivolous purchases & create healthy spending habits. It may be saving for a down payment on a home, a new handbag or a trip somewhere. For me, I’m saving for a trip back to Africa in 2019. So every time someone says “wanna grab lunch” or “let’s go to Starbucks”, I’ll have to rethink that. I may suggest a walk around the park & bring my own lunch instead, putting that $15 to my trip fund. Little changes add up quickly!
Call one friend a week
Now this is of course now counting those I talk to regularly. But when you move away, people get married & have babies, and life gets busy, you lose touch! All it takes is a 15 minute window to pick up the phone, grab a cup of tea & call an old friend. Is there any better feeling than a great conversation to reconnect old friends?
Quality over Quantity
This is something I put into place in 2017 that I’m keeping with me for 2018. Whether it’s clothing, furniture, dining out, events, etc. I want to invest in things that I love & that bring value to my life, not just excess junk. This can be done by purging items from closets (the BEST way to start a new year), from buying organic, healthier foods and cooking at home versus spending $10 on an overpriced, unhealthy lunch or kicking that habit of buying all of the crap you see at Target (easier said than done, I know). Less is more, always.
Those are my resolutions for a healthier & happier 2018…what’s your resolution?
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wishing you a happy & healthy 2018 from my family to yours 🙂

Life Lately, Vol. 30

Happy Christmas Eve – eve (Eve?)…haha, either way it’s just around the corner! Mom & I baked a few batches of holiday cookies last night and I wrapped the majority of presents. Usually I’m wrapping them the night before, so it feels good to be done! Hopefully this weekend will consist of some relaxing, a little more baking & catching up with family and friends.

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The stunning Christmas tree at the Four Seasons Santa Barbara

Running more and it feels good! I went running outside (thanks to that 60 degree GA December weather) for the first time in weeks and it felt amazing. It’s hard to believe that just two months ago, I was running the THP10K and felt good with 6 miles. Yesterday, my legs felt heavy after two…it’s crazy how out of “running shape” your body gets so quickly. I’m heading to Barre 3 today for some strength and regeneration!

Cooking all of the crockpot recipes lately! Last night for dinner, I made my family Santa Fe Chicken via Skinnytaste and it was delicious. We all agreed that it’s one that needs to be put on repeat. As winter worsens in Boston, I’m sure that I’ll be using the slow cooker more frequently. Up next I want to try Spanish style chickpeas, chicken and dumplings, and turkey meatball stroganoff.

Binge watching “The Crown” right now…hard! I put out some feelers on my Instagram story last week and over 75% of you said that you recommend it. Though it took a few episodes for me to get there, I am certainly into it now. There is so much fascination around the British Royal Family that I just love anything about them. Especially now with Prince Harry being engaged (have y’all seen these engagement pictures? Stunning!)

Enjoy your weekend 🙂

Life Lately, Vol. 29

Happy Friday Y’all! It’s crazy to think that this time next week we will be scrambling for our last minute Christmas gifts (shop my travel + interior guides) as the big holiday is one week from Monday. I’m definitely looking forward to escaping down South and getting out of this horrid frozen tundra that is Boston! It’s been in the 20s all week and let me tell you, that is miserable.

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snow, snow & more snow!

Looking forward mostly to seeing family and friends that I haven’t seen in some time. I’m ready to gossip catch up with my childhood girl friends at our annual cookie swap, where I’ll likely be bringing a kale + quinoa salad, some cookies & some wine.

Baking…or should I say, finally baking! I know, I know- I’ve legit mentioned this like five times but I finally narrowed down my recipes and tomorrow morning I’ll be baking Nutella chocolate chip cookies, double chocolate crinkle cookies & peppermint white chocolate cookies (sans icing). I’ve got a few different groups to divide them among in Boston and then the winner will be repeated in Atlanta for the cookie swap! Unless I decide to try a new recipe. Hmm, decisions, decisions…Mom, ready to bake?!

Working on getting back into shape. The past two months have been a total whirlwind – between two trips to Atlanta, three work trips, Thanksgiving travel, moving (nightmare!), quitting crossfit (for many reasons), my husband starting a new job & having the plague a bad cold for two weeks, working out has taken a major backseat. For those of you who know me, this is so not the norm. I am a workout every single day kind of gal. Top it off with some unhealthy eating habits coming back (I’m looking at your, pint of jingle jangle ice cream!) and I am feeling b-l-a-h. I found this blog post & this article to be helpful. This week was great, mostly paleo, meal planning and I’ll continue it into next week. No reason why I can’t kick it back into high gear at the holidays! Stay tuned for some more fitness/healthy eating planning in 2018.

What’s on your weekend agenda?!

Life Lately, Vol. 28

Happy Friday y’all! Thanks for all of the birthday calls, texts, videos, messages, FaceTimes, etc. Birthdays in the “real world” aren’t as fun because we still have to go to work but I made the best of it by treating myself to a yummy lunch & cutting out of work early (to move the final pieces…haha, told you – real world!). But I cannot complain because today we are headed to the Big Apple!

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best birthday gift ever is this little family of mine

Reading a new book by my new favorite author, Karin Slaughter. Shout out to my friends Lauren & Jessie who both recommended her because she is dark, creepy and awesome! I read “Pretty Girls” in about 2 days and now I’m started “The Kept Woman“. I love the murder mystery/crime as well as the fact that her books take place in Georgia. If you’re in the need for a good read, pick this up. You won’t be disappointed!

Working on my fitness! (in the words of Fergie, ha!). In all seriousness, I’ve been off of the “workout” train for over a month now, which feels like an eternity to me. Various reasons contributed to this – cancelling my gym membership, traveling a lot, moving, general laziness, etc. You know when you get to the point where you feel heavy and soft and overall “blah”? Yea, I’m there. I’m starting a new gym 1.1.18 and I can’t wait to get back into the swing of things. My friend Amy and I will be in mega health mode (me b/c I feel gross and her b/c she’s training for the Boston Marathon) so it will help to have a partner in crime to whip me back into shape.

Shopping for a few Christmas gifts! Due to a very, very expensive 2017 (wedding + honeymoon + moving = a sh*t ton of money spent) our families have agreed to keep our holidays low key on the gift front. After all, isn’t the season really about spending time together, catching up & watching The Griswolds?! I am, however, giving everyone a little something so I’ve been searching for the perfect gifts under $100. So far I’ve already checked mom, dad, Terry, MIL & grandma off of the list. Now I just need brother and SIL – any ideas for cute couples gifts for married siblings?

Freaking out because tomorrow is the day! We are going to see HAMILTON and I am sooo pumped I can’t even handle it. I’ve been planning my outfit for weeks now and we’ve got two dinner pre-theater reservations (1 Italian, 1 Thai…will choose on Sat) – to say we are excited is a huge understatement. Be sure to follow me on Instagram (@southendstyle) where I’ll be posting a lot on my story!

This Week on South End Style

34 Things About Me (on my 34th Birthday)

Life Lately, Vol. 27

Enjoy your weekend 🙂