Thursday, November 7, 2013


When it comes to minor ailments, I have my slew. My head aches sometimes. My stomach hurts when I get anxious or if I eat something weird or if it's 9:30 pm on a Tuesday. My face breaks out when I'm stressed or hormonal or if I tilt my head in the wrong direction. My knees and ankles pop when I walk down the stairs. I'm really fortunate though. All my "problems" are minor, and I never take my health for granted. I read this article though and realized something had to change..

Disclaimer: This right here folks is a game changer. Seriously. Game. Changer.

I realized I've been living in a constant state of dehydration. Incidentally, proper hydration can help reduce headaches, aid digestion, and can even improve skin's appearance. Here's the part where I'm totally superficial, I saw this before and after picture and I haven't looked back.
You can read the original article here, but basically this lady was having headaches and digestion problems and she read the staying hydrated could help. So she decided to give it a shot. She committed to one month, 4 weeks, of drinking more water. The added bonus? The dramatic affect it had on her appearance. Doesn't she look 10 years younger? And healthy and vibrant and full of life?

My friend Sarah and I are calling it "The Water Challenge." It's fairly straightforward… just drink the recommended amount of water daily for a month. A good rule of thumb to determine how much to drink? Half your body weight but in ounces. So if you weigh 140 pounds, drink 70 ounces of water a day. We started Sunday and I can already tell a difference in how I feel.

Psst… if you're like me & you have trouble keeping your water goals try this: 20 oz before coffee in the morning. It has made a world of difference for me. Also, having a friend do it to helps! And I may or may not have this before and after picture saved to my phone for inspiration...

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Pumpkin French Toast

This may come as a surprise to you, but I don't have it all figured out. I know, I know... it gets me every time. Some days are better than others... occasionally my bra matches my underwear, sometimes I remember to take my vitamins, and I always manage to pay my bills before they're actually due. But then I find myself in my bed at 11:30pm eating Hello Pandas for "dinner" and denying myself the most basic of human needs (wine) in lieu of the 5 extra pounds that have taken residence on my arse. This is 24, I guess.

I take comfort in breakfast. I don't have it all figured out, but when it comes to breakfast, I'm getting there. I can always count on my coffee to be hot and delicious and I find solace in the fact that I can make Pumpkin French Toast for under 300 calories. That's what matters, right?
[I made 3 pieces. I was feeling indulgent and excessive and overly excited by the fact that this bread only has 80 calories per slice.]
[Ingredients. Totally simple. I make French Toast the way my mom does... Lots of cinnamon and nutmeg and some vanilla. No measurements, just eyeball it. I subbed egg whites to make it a little skinnier. (That's how you rationalize eating 3 pieces.) If you really wanna go pumpkin crazy, use pumpkin pie spice... it's pretty much the same thing.]
[Dip, griddle, candles, coffee.]
[My eyes were bigger than my stomach. But I went for a beach run & ate this last piece when I got home.] 

What are you eating for breakfast this fall?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

This is what fall looks like...

All of the sudden the weather got perfect. I mean really, painfully perfect. I found myself exclaiming, "It's so nice out..." every time I went outside. The skies are sunny and blue, the temperatures are mild... these are the kind of days that make you thankful to be alive. So I've been filling my time with lots of lovely little things that make my heart full. This is what fall looks like (around here)

Crafting (I made this!)
Arguably too much Octoberfest (and a few extra pounds to show for it)
So naturally I went with OPI's "Every Month is Oktoberfect" for my mani/pedi
(the perfect moody, vampish purple with flecks of orangey red)
Family dinners (al fresco, followed by fireside smores)
picnic lunch catch-up with an old friend after 3 years apart 
A (not-so) spooky read, fitting for the month
sweet potato pancakes at brunch (al fresco) with my sweet girlfriends
a pretty convincing breakfast invite from my daddy
Long runs outside (in hopes of offsetting all the Sam Seasonal...)
The perfect running buddy (and equally perfect view)
Halloween costumes for pups (and the funniest snap chat from my brother)
doing some decorating with baby pumpkins 
driving around with the top down and embracing the crazy hair that ensues
Beaufort, boats, more beer (this time Blue Moon, dockside)
cozy cooking (dutch oven ziti, shrimp scampi)
burning my seasonal Christmas candles 

In case you didn't notice, I've been doing everything I can outside.* I swear the fresh air is therapeutic. Making some (tough) decisions, but reminding myself not to take things (especially myself) too seriously. Trying to embrace it all- the work, the struggle, the climb uphill and the subsequent coast back down. 

*If I were to come up with a witty title for this post it might be faAL FRESCO... punny, right?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

On My Mind...


Sometimes you just need a break. 

To clear your mind. To find your mind. To thine own self be true.
(But do we ever really find the things we’ve lost?)

So you take a step back, you walk away, maybe even running without so much as looking back. You’re pedaling faster and faster and then: your legs get tired. Or you’ve seen all you needed to see. Or you’ve found what you were looking for.

Or maybe you haven’t

[and the sea is getting awfully rough] so you’ve decided to adjust your sails, turn around, and head back to that one particular harbor. And you can.

But it’s never the same. Life doesn’t stay where you leave it.

The scenery has changed; the air is different, thicker, stifling. Those same familiar birds have flown south and there’s an empty kind of feeling. The skeleton of what used to be. Like a house that’s been burned to the ground, only the splintering frame remains.

So before you put it in reverse, think twice. Do not be afraid of greatness. Going forward is scary, but sometimes going back is all the more unsettling.

“Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”

It’s no coincidence that Helen Keller said that. Even when storm clouds blind your view, and you can’t see what lies ahead; know that what you’ve left behind is a mystery now too. We know what we are, but not what we may be.

The things that could have been are just as secret as the things that are yet to come, to be, or not to be.

So plow forward, diving headfirst into the next great adventure.

For what’s past is prologue.

your turn. xoxo

Monday, July 29, 2013

Gardens in the City of Roses

While we were in Portland, we decided to check out the International Rose Test Garden. We mainly had a little time to kill and a lot of brunch calories to burn, so with full bellies and a caffeine boost, we made our way out of downtown one hazy morning. The garden was about 2 miles from our hotel, but the walk was so enjoyable.
When we finally reached the garden, it was like something out of a fairytale. Rows and rows of roses. And the smell! Utterly amazing. The pictures don't do it justice. I found myself repeatedly exclaiming "This is so crazy!" 
Next we made our way over to the Japanese Gardens. Practically the polar opposite of the rose garden, but equally beautiful and so incredibly peaceful.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Beautiful Goodbye

Hi friends... Wanna hear something exciting? Dark and early tomorrow morning, my sweet momma and I will be catching a flight across country! I'm headed to Portland and this time I'm dragging my best friend with me. Technically I'm going for "work," if you can even call the CAbi Scoop work. We lucked out & scored a guest ticket to the fashion show and I'm so thrilled to share this experience with my mom! I swear I'm already dreaming of the Fall 13 collection, I cannot wait to see the new line, and I'm so looking forward to some girl time with some of my favorite ladies. Besides all the fashion, we plan to drink fabulous wine and eat delicious food, hike off some of the extra calories, and do some general exploring. If you have any recommendations for things to do in the Portland area, please share!
In the mean time, it's all packing... and I'd say this Maroon 5 song is the most perfect packing music!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Instead of a regular post today, I wanted to send you darlings over to the CAbi Canary. Not only is it one of my most favorite blogs, but you just might see a familiar face making an appearance in that corner of the web today... Eek!
A big thank you to CAbi for including me... it's such an honor! 

p.s. be sure to check out some of the other bloggers featured... good reads! xoxo

Monday, July 8, 2013

shoe game

I'm a shoe girl. I could live in gorgeous wedges and strappy espadrilles. Sky-high heels? Bring it on. From riding boots to rain boots... I love them all. During the summer months, with tanned legs and perfectly-pedicured toes, gold sandals tend to reign supreme. But lately I've had my eye on something a little different...
There's something so laid-back and effortlessly cool about these ladies and their fresh kicks. I'm loving the "off-duty model" vibe... the question is can I pull this look off? So tell me, what are your thoughts on taking sneakers beyond the gym?

[all via Pinterest]

Monday, June 24, 2013

boudoir, bandeau

To say that my bedroom is girly would be an understatement. It is clean, romantic, and feminine... creamy peachy hues, glittering gold, and a boatload of candles. It's more than a bedroom, it's my boudoir. It makes me feel like a fabulous French woman as I'm getting ready. I find myself traipsing around in my silk robe, swiping on a little lipstick and twirling through an extra spritz of perfume. Another girly touch? Lacy bandeaus. 
I've been wearing them under pretty much everything, but I'm especially fond of the look under sheer blouses. The lace peeks out a slight bit, and when the light hits just right you can see the faint outline. Sexy in a subtle sort of way...
[the only problem with my girly room? it's almost too conducive for playing dress-up... my sister came over & we ended up with the entire contents of my closet on my bed.]
I find they work well under camisoles too, sparing you the trouble of an unintentionally exposed bra...
p.s. similarly, my rules for exposed bras here...

[all tops: CAbi, pink shorts: forever 21, all bandeaus: american eagle]

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Lessons, lately...

Go ahead and chill that second bottle. Worst case scenario: you've got a second bottle chilled. (And when is that ever a bad thing?)

If it's bad to begin with, it doesn't usually get better.

Make a day of it.

This idea of "saving it" ... don't. The adorable dress you cannot wait to wear, the bar of dark chocolate you have stashed away... wear it while it fits, eat it while it's good. Preferably wear the dress first, and then eat the chocolate (or else fit could become problematic.)

If you like the song, don't feel bad for playing it. Over and over and over. That's what "repeat" is for.

Never underestimate the power of clear nail polish.

Do you really want to be the girl on her phone?

Don't be afraid to try new things, especially if your friends recommend them. Sometimes you'll be pleasantly surprised (almond milk!) and other times you'll have the satisfaction of saying "I told you it would be terrible!" (hi-low... ugh please go away)

You can choose to be a critic or a fan... Our little secret, being a fan is much more fun. Seriously, when was the last time you heard of a Critic Club? Doesn't happen.

If you don't ask for it, the answer will always be no.

Give (genuine) compliments.
[image via Pretty Stuff]

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Peach Tea Shiner

Things have been pretty boozy around here lately. Not to sound like a total lush, but yesterday I accidentally said "ABC Store" in conversation instead of "ATM." In my defense, the recent spike in my alcohol consumption (see what I did there?) is entirely work-related... well, almost entirely. I've been working on a new drink list for the restaurant, a much greater undertaking than I originally expected. Don't get me wrong, the entire process has been delicious, and you won't find this girl complaining about a cocktail here and there (the things I do for the sake of research and development... #dedicatedemployee) One of my most favorite libations we've created so far? Our Peach Tea Shiner. And since I love you so... here's an exclusive sneak-peek! 

Peach Tea Shiner:
1.5 oz North Carolina moonshine
1 oz. Peach Schnapps
Top with Southern sweet tea. We are serving it on the rocks in a highball glass, but a mason jar would be just darling too. 

The new drink list should be making an appearance next week (Lord willing...) be sure to swing by RuckerJohns & taste one of these delicious concoctions. 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Shameless Saturday

Guys, I'm tired. Do you ever get that way? It has been a busy week and by the time I got off work last night, covered in sweat & sweet tea, I was exhausted. I slept in late today & have every intention of being shamelessly lazy until I go to work tonight. I hope you're relaxing a bit this weekend & that it's sunny and beautiful wherever you are. xoxo

Hey! It's ok...

... if you never got into The Bachelor. Or The Bachelorette. Or Bachelor Pad. But you've seen every episode of Everyday Italian.

... if you're already thinking about what you're going to wear/eat/drink on Wednesday's night out, but to not know what you're doing this afternoon.

... if "adverse weather" justifies drinking coffee, painting your nails, and watching SATC reruns all morning.

...if the zesty Kraft guy wants to make me a salad... make my day, buddy.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

cool as a cucumber

I was a child of the sun, spending most of my formative years with sandy toes and red shoulders. This is in no way an indication of improper parenting, my mom tried her best to slather sunscreen on my little body, but I resisted. I hated the way it would burn my eyes as I splashed in the waves, the way it made the sand stick to my tan skin, the way the application process cut into my play time... It's worth noting that I also had an aversion to bathing suits. I would literally strip down the second my feet hit the shore. Fortunately, my feelings on swimwear have matured, but the distaste for sunscreen remains. All too often it's heavy and greasy, but knowing what I know about sun damage, I have no choice. 

Fortunately, last month's Birchbox included this fabulous organic, American-made sunscreen from Coola. Days after receiving it, I saw that J. Crew was featuring the product as well. It's fantastically lightweight and smells like cucumber. Perfection, if I do say so myself. I've used every drop from my sample and am promptly purchasing the full-size. 


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