Happy May! I’m so excited to share my favorite things with you this month. Who else can’t wait to see what new things I’m loving each month?
I’ve been using this deodorant for a few months now and, WOW, what a difference it makes! I’m trying to make the switch to more organic and natural beauty supplies. Did you know that the FDA is not required to approve beauty products before they hit the market? When I found that out, I really started to think about what I was putting on my skin. Schmidt’s Deodorants are free of aluminum, parabens, phthalates, artificial fragrance, and more. Plus, I love their scents. I’m currently loving the Rose and Vanilla scent.
It had been decades since I last did a cross stitch, but in March I made a Peter Rabbit for Easter. I like to have something monotonous to do in the evenings while I’m in front of the TV. I’ve never been the type of person to just sit still. Whether it’s a puzzle, paint by numbers, or cross stitch my hands are always moving. And, I’ve officially started my pattern for July 4th! Can’t wait to share the final product with you!
J.Crew Factory Earrings
I’ve been in LOVE with these earring jackets from J.Crew! I wear them all the time…with casual outfits or to work. Instead of my diamond studs, I’ve been opting for these cute jackets.
Bobby and I watched The Alienist on TNT. This psychological crime drama is a thriller! The first episode caught our attention and it’s been unpredictable the whole way. We loved the cast. Dakota Fanning, Daniel Brühl, and Luke Evens are a phenomenal trio. I would say this is Ms. Fannings best role to date. If you are looking for something new to watch, The Alienist is available On Demand.
Have you tried any of these? What are you loving this month? Share in the comments below.
One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to be more mindful. More often than not, I get caught up in the future (thanks anxiety!) and forget to take in / embrace the moment. Practicing mindfulness can help reduce stress. According to the American Psychological Association (APA) when you induce a state of relaxation, which can be achieved through mindfulness, you can reap the following health benefits:
Increased immune function
Lowered blood pressure
Lowered heart rate
Increased attention and focus
Increased clarity in thinking and perception
Lowered anxiety levels
As I exercise mindfulness in 2018, I want to share some tips that help me be more “in the moment”. I hope that this 8-part series will not only help me be more mindful but help others who deal with anxiety or stress.
#1. Leave Work at Work
I’m sure everyone has heard this one before, but it’s a great reminder. This is probably my biggest struggle. And it’s not necessarily because I complain about work, but because I can carry over my emotions from that workday to my house. For example, if I had a really busy day and I was bouncing from one task to the next, I’ll come home with a “have to get it done” attitude. And unless I’ve already communicated this with Bobby, he gets smacked with a to-do list out the window. This can lead to unmet expectations and, ultimately, an argument.
Before you put your key in the door, just take a deep breath and let go of all the distractions, people, and emotions from work. Try to walk into your home with a clean mindset.
It’s OK if you can’t totally shake the workday away. Just be sure to communicate that with your partner before you get home. If every day is a bad day, then you should probably think about your job. Are you feeling fulfilled? Do you like the people you work with?
How can you be more mindful? I’d love to hear your stories!
Hi everyone! Happy May! This is probably one of my favorite months — behind September and December, of course. A few great things about May: 1) The spring weather, 2) I can hang out on my patio/deck with my new plants and flowers, and 3) Mother’s Day. The only bad parts about May are my spring allergies. I’ve never had bad seasonal allergies, but something about North Carolina’s climate just destroys my eyes, nose, and throat. All in all, I’m excited for what’s to come in May.
April was a pretty busy month for us. During this time of year, our weekends are packed. I’m assuming because everyone is tired of being cooped up inside all winter. April consisted of a small Easter celebration, some volunteering for Earth Day, and a short trip to Virginia to celebrate birthdays.
Of course, April 1st was Easter. We decided to stay home and not travel. Easter isn’t a big deal for Bobby and me, so we kept it low key. With that said, I love having an excuse to cook an elaborate meal. If you read my post about my failed dinner, then you know we didn’t have dinner. We did, however, have an awesome pancake brunch with some friends.
And because Easter baskets are a thing, I convinced Bobby to let me make small baskets for us and Mowgli. Typically, like Christmas, Bobby would fill my basket and I would fill his. This year, I filled all of the baskets (mostly because I had my eye on a cheap phone tripod). The contents of each basket were less than $20 courtesy of 5 Below and Target.
After our friends left, we ventured out to the grocery store. To our surprise, everything was closed. I mean, I know we live in the south, but EVERYTHING was closed ALL day for Easter. This is definitely not what we’re used to! After driving around for a little while, we finally found a Walmart Grocery that was open. We grabbed a few ingredients to make homemade pizza, and I snagged an egg dyeing kit. Then, spent the last bit of our Easter weekend “tye-dyeing” our eggs!
Next up, we celebrated Earth Day by volunteering at Whole Foods and Horton Grove Nature Preserve. Bobby and I love being outside so much that we had a wedding registry at REI. We spend a lot of time camping and hiking, so Earth Day is an important reminder for us to give back to our planet.
On April 19th, six local Whole Foods Markets agreed to donate 5% of their net sales to the Triangle Land Conservancy (TLC). I spent a few hours volunteering at a booth in one of the Whole Foods. As people walked through the produce section, I greeted them and educated them on what TLC does for the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area.
Over Earth Day weekend, we spent Saturday helping TLC build trails at the Horton Grove Nature Preserve in Bahama, NC. Bobby and I learned a lot about “cutting” trails. From looking at topography and where to map the trail, to digging out all vegetation and how to properly fill holes from roots or rocks. We found that building a trail required a LOT more work than we thought. It definitely gave us a better appreciation for our park system and trail crews.
On Sunday, we attended the Meadow Lark fundraiser for Learning Outside at Irvin Nature Preserve in Carrboro, NC. We got to tour the new gardens, take a carriage ride around the property, make flower crowns, and bid on items in the silent auction. I actually won a set of herb/veggies in the silent auction! Can’t wait to plant them!
At the end of April, we traveled to Virginia for Bobby’s marathon. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out because a few days before the race Bobby started complaining about pain in his Achilles. He rested his legs the entire week of the race but decided to push through and continue with the race. As some of you know, Bobby is extremely headstrong. When he puts his mind to something, he’d rather fail than quit. So when I dropped him off at the starting line, you can probably imagine how nervous I was that I’d get a call from the medics saying he needed to go to the ER. I reminded him of how proud I was and kissed him goodbye.
It was about 2 hours in when I got a call from Bobby. He said, “there’s no way I can finish the 2nd half”. I met him at mile 12 and picked him up. He was in a decent amount of pain, but no ruptured Achilles. I was so thankful that he listened to his body and decided to stop. I’d rather play it safe than go to the ER for surgery.
We spent the rest of the day Saturday celebrating Bobby’s brother’s and stepmom’s birthdays. Bobby’s Aunt and Uncle from Maryland came to celebrate as well! We had a great time catching up with everyone.
It was a busy month, but lots of memories were made! In case you missed it, here are my blog posts from April:
It’s time for another “Things I’m Loving” post. At first, I had a hard time trying to find things I love. But after a few days, I started saying “hey, I really like this!”
These new jersey-knit dresses from Old Navy are comfy and cute! The jersey fabric is formfitting but stretchy at the top, then flares out for a full skirt. I layered it with a jean jacket and some canvas sneakers for a recent Girl’s Night at Dave & Busters.
Heaven’s Gate Podcast
I’m officially done catching up on Game of Thrones. I’m now in the middle of listening to Heaven’s Gate podcast which explores the American cult that committed mass suicide in California in 1997. They interview former members of the cult and family members of those deceased. The whole concept of a cult fascinates me. Especially when this one ended so tragically. It’s worth a listen!
I recently discovered avocado oil and it’s awesome! Avocado oil is an excellent substitute for coconut oil or olive oil. Avocados contain a LOT of beneficial fats. Did you know that avocado oil contains more potassium than a banana? It also has more protein than any other fruit. It can be used for high-heat cooking and have a very mild taste.
Spring isn’t my favorite season, but I LOVE watching the Cherry Blossoms bloom. It’s the first sign of life after a long, grey winter. Check out these Cherry Blossoms near our community pool!
Dog Walk App
When I took Mowgli to the vet in January for his annual checkup, he was about 10lbs overweight. After a series of question from the veterinarian, we determined that Mowgli wasn’t getting enough exercise for the number of treats we were giving. So we decided to cut out ALL treats and increase his daily exercise! To keep track of his walks, I downloaded an app called Dog Walk. It’s a really cool and easy to use tracking app! I just turn on my GPS and hit “start walk”. We’ve been averaging about 1-2 miles a day, which is helping Mowgli lose weight AND gets me moving too!
That’s all folks! What are you loving this month? Share in the comments below!
This past Monday marked the 1-year anniversary of Bobby and I’s move to Raleigh. We get asked all the time if we like it, so today I’m sharing some feedback on the overall moving process and if we like living in North Carolina.
Why did we decide to move to Raleigh?
Bobby and I had been talking about moving out of the DC area for several years. It was too much of a rat race for us and we wanted a slower, more enjoyable life. First, we looked at moving to Denver but the supply v. demand for jobs was crazy! I wasn’t getting any bites on my resume as a lot of employers wanted me to live in the state. Plus, the cost of living was about the same as Northern Virginia and we didn’t want to be bogged down with work to afford our lifestyle. Bobby suggested Raleigh, knowing that the tech industry was growing and cost of living was WAY less. I liked the idea of living near a smaller city, with options to go to the beach or mountains. Also, only being 5.5 hours away from family in Virginia was important for our first big move.
How did the move go?
Overall, everything went pretty smoothly. We had just moved out of our 3-bedroom apartment into a 1-bedroom apartment in Virginia (not expecting to get a job offer from Raleigh so quickly), so we practically lived out of boxes for 8 weeks. That in itself really sucked — not knowing if I should unpack or not…living out of boxes. It was miserable.
When we visited Raleigh for my interview, we were told by our apartment complex in Virginia that we could transfer our lease to a sister apartment complex in Raleigh. So we toured the apartment in Raleigh, signed the initial paperwork, and put down a deposit. About a week later, we were notified that we wouldn’t be allowed to transfer and that we had to pay to break our lease in Virginia. Long story short, we negotiated a lower “break fee” and since we weren’t contracted under the sister complex in Raleigh, we decided to sign a lease with another complex. One that was less expensive and closer to my office. The whole interview-to-move process was about 6 weeks, so we didn’t have any time to make another trip to Raleigh to look at apartments. As some of you know, I’m a planner. So signing a 13-month lease for an apartment that I had never seen was terrifying.
The drive to Raleigh went smoothly. We were lucky to convince my dad to ride with us and help unpack. When we arrived in Raleigh, we got the keys to our apartment and got to view it for the first time. It was nearly perfect! We really lucked out having never seen it in person. Unfortunately, it was on the 3rd floor and the stairwell was really tight so moving big items was a pain. We enlisted some help from Bobby’s aunt and uncle who live in Chapel Hill. They were definitely lifesavers that day!
Do you like living in Raleigh?
Absolutely! We are about 15 minutes from Durham, 25 minutes from Chapel Hill, and 10 minutes from downtown Raleigh. We’re right in the middle of 3 cities with LOTS to do! When we first moved down, we noticed a ton of mom-and-pop restaurants and boutiques. This was quite refreshing to get away from the chains in Northern Virginia. There are several state parks within 20 miles of our apartment so there’s a lot of outdoor activities to do. It seems like North Carolina really prides itself on its recreational activities and areas.
We are 2 hours from the beach and 3 hours from the mountains. This was something we really loved about Northern Virginia. Bobby and I love camping and spent a lot of time in Shenandoah National Park, so it was important to us to find a city that was near the mountains, but versatile for day trips to the beach.
As I mentioned above, the cost of living is much less in Raleigh. Our expenses are about 20% less expensive than in Virginia. We’re living in a less expensive apartment, a lower premium for utilities, and closer to the office (less fuel). And, we live on the more expensive side of Raleigh. We’ve been looking at houses lately and you can find a large amount of 3 beds / 3 baths, new single-family homes for less than $350k. Again, that’s in the more expensive suburbs of Raleigh.
Lastly, and most importantly, we have a better work-life balance. Traffic is nothing compared to DC, which allows people to spend more time at home versus sitting in traffic. Bobby and I currently live about 2-3 miles away from our employers, which means no more than a 10-minute commute thus allowing for more time in the evenings to be together.
What’s the worst part about moving out of state?
The absolute worst part is missing our family and friends. While we have some family and friends in the area, we don’t have the large support system like we had in Virginia. It’s been especially hard for me. I didn’t realize how hard it would be to make new friends as an adult. While I’ve made a few new acquaintances, they’re new and aren’t as solid as my 5+, 10+, or 15+ year friendships in Virginia.
Raleigh is about 5.5 hours away from our family in Virginia, which isn’t too far for a quick weekend visit. But it’s just that, a quick visit. If we leave Raleigh after work on Friday, we aren’t getting into Northern Virginia until 11 p.m. We have all day Saturday to split our time between my family, Bobby’s family, my friends, Bobby’s friends, and any commitments. Then, we like to leave around lunchtime on Sunday so we can get back and prepare for our work week. It’s really hard to squeeze everyone in. And most times, you can’t. We try to visit Virginia as much as we can, but at some point, we need to accept that we live in another state and there are other ways to stay connected. It’s just really hard to do.
In addition, Bobby and I have always been independent of our relationship. We’ve been able to have our own friends and hobbies and carry on our independent lives. Well, when we moved to Raleigh those friends and hobbies were left behind. We’re in a new city trying to find new friends and explore new hobbies. It’s required us to be dependent on each other…which is something we’ve never had to be. We’ve struggled a little bit to find our groove, but I think we’ve found it and are on the upswing.
Another negative side effect of moving out of state is having to use your GPS all the time. We’ve lived here for a year and we still have to use GPS to get places. I know how to get to a handful of locations outside of our 5-mile bubble without GPS, but it’s really frustrating to never know how far away you are or how long it will take you to get there. Especially now as we are looking at homes…we have no idea which neighborhoods are great/poor/etc. It all takes some getting used to. I just didn’t think it would take this long.
All in all, we love living in Raleigh! We definitely can see this being our forever home.
Do you have any questions about Raleigh or our move? Ask in the comments below!
Hi friends! I’m glad everyone loved my February Rewind post. It’s a little easier for me to recap my month versus each weekend. Today, I’m sharing my March rewind. Last month I was bitten by the travel bug and found myself traveling to Florida AND Virginia.
I started the month by heading to Daytona, FL to visit my parents. Raleigh’s weather in February was grey and cold, so I was definitely craving some Florida sunshine. I got really excited and pulled out ALL of my spring/summer clothes. Unfortunately, Florida was under a bit of a cold snap. Temps were in the lower 60’s with a constant cold breeze. It wasn’t warm enough to bust out my shorts, but luckily I packed several extra outfits and layers.
When I arrived Friday afternoon, I was pretty tired from the 9-hour drive. But my mom was really excited about a surprise event she had planned. Embry Riddle Aeronautical University was hosting their annual Open House. Having previously worked in the aerospace industry, I was really excited to check it out! Embry Riddle had a lot of really neat activities for guests. Activities included 3D photos of Mars’ landscape, a night sky simulator where we can see 200+ years in the future (used to project meteor’s, comets, etc), a gravity well, telescope displays, and a scale model of the solar system. The best part of the night was getting to see a star cluster hundreds of lightyears away via the largest telescope in Florida. VERY cool! #spacenerd
Over the next few days, I was able to relax and rejuvenate. My mom and I got to watch the Oscars and The Bachelor Finale. Mowgli got lots of attention, too! My parents allow him to swim in their pool so he gets a lot of exercise! Plus, what labrador doesn’t love the water? One day we went to Barkley Square, a 14-acre dog park with a HUGE pond. He was able to swim and socialize with other dogs. Lastly, we went to a dog-friendly section at Ponce Inlet. Again, more swimming and LOTS of attention!
And, of course, we ate great food!
During my last day in Florida, my dad found out that his long-time friend, Joe a.k.a. “Red”, was in Daytona on vacation. Growing up, Red and my dad traveled to Florida each spring for Bike Week. Red was like a distant uncle to my brothers and I. He was really funny and would let us climb and pick on him when he visited. The last time I saw Red was at my high school graduation in 2005. So when I found out that he was in Daytona, I had to see him. It had been over 10 years and he hadn’t changed a bit (well, a little led red and a little more grey)! My parents, Red, and I had a great time catching up!
On my way back from Daytona, I stopped in Charleston to visit my friends Ricky and Amanda. They moved from Virginia to Charleston in December and I was their first official house guest. It was my first time in Charleston so Ricky and Amanda gave me the official tour. We walked around Battery Park, saw Rainbow Row, visited Shem Creek Park, and drove down Meeting Street.
A few things I learned about Charleston:
It’s a peninsula. I had no idea! It’s surrounded by the Ashley River and the Cooper River. Unless you’re coming from North Charleston, you have to cross a major bridge to get to the city.
There are a lot of abandoned buildings. The downtown area of Charleston is pretty condensed, and the more famous landmarks are on the southern tip of the peninsula, so you have to drive through some low-income and abandoned areas. Luckily, the Charleston population is growing exponentially and the surrounding areas are getting renovated.
Rainbow Row is only 5 houses. And the homes aren’t as bright as the photos in magazines! Officially, there is a series of 13 houses that represent Rainbow Row, but only about 5 of them are brightly colored. Rainbow Row really represents the longest cluster of Georgian homes in the city. Now you know!
Overall, I loved Charleston. The home and building architecture is beautiful and the history is fascinating. I can’t wait to go back and spend more time exploring!
Less than 2 weeks later, I pack my bags again and headed to Virginia. I decided to take the scenic route and take Interstate 81-N so I could stop at my alma mater, James Madison University, and visit my sister-in-law. Maddie is rounding out her freshman year at JMU and I can’t explain how awesome it is to see her blossom and grow, especially in a place that heavily influenced who I am today. Maddie and I have a special little bond and it has me grinning from ear to ear!
If you’re a JMU Alum, you can’t stop in Harrisonburg without visiting The Outpost — JMU’s unofficial bookstore. I was in dire need of a new sweatshirt (mine had holes in it), so Maddie and I did some shopping. We both got new sweatshirts and a few trinkets. Mission accomplished!
Before I left Harrisonburg, Maddie and I decided to grab dinner. Honestly, I was so wrapped up in nostalgia that I really wanted to eat on-campus but unfortunately, Maddie really wanted to get away from campus food so we headed to downtown Harrisonburg. We tried goes to Jack Brown’s (a staple my senior year), but it was too busy so we settled for Clementine Cafe (another favorite). It was great to catch up and spend some one-on-one time with my little sister!
On Friday, I decided to surprise my niece, Kylie, with lunch at her school. When I walked into the cafeteria she was just opening her lunchbox and sitting down. When she saw me her jaw dropped. She said, “what are you doing here?!”. After the initial shock, we were able to sit in the auditorium and enjoy our lunch. Honestly, I’m glad we didn’t sit in the cafeteria. I haven’t been in an elementary school in nearly 2 decades and holy cow it reeked of cleaning chemicals. Yuck!
It was pretty cool that I got to spend some one-on-one time with my niece. She’s SO funny, smart, and kind. She’s a straight-A student, just got accepted into the Gifted and Talented program, she’s on two competitive cheerleading teams, and just started a new season of lacrosse. I’m a proud aunt!
After lunch with Kylie, I was able to hang out with my brother, sister-in-law, and nephew. My nephew, Blake, showed me how to play Fortnite — the latest and greatest video game that’s taking over the world. Now that he’s a teenager, I’m able to tease and pick on him a little more. Again, I’m pretty lucky to be able to spend one-on-one time with my niece and nephew and get to know them.
Later Friday night, I grabbed a quick dinner with a friend then met up with Bobby’s step-mom and sister to watch The Greatest Showman. Oh man! What a FANTASTIC movie! It’s entertaining and has a great message. I’d recommend going to see it in the theatre before it’s on DVD. I’ve been listening to the soundtrack ever since!
On Saturday, I spent the whole day with my friends Lauren and Nick, and their 2 daughters, Ella and Olivia. We started the day with an Easter Egg Hunt at Morven Park in Leesburg. It was unusually cold and we were underdressed so nobody was ecstatic about being outside. We participated in a few activities before the egg hunt including face painting, making bunny ears out of craft supplies, and real bunnies available to pet and hold.
My friend Lauren runs a small business where she makes custom shirts, bibs, banners, teething toys, and more! Check out how cute their shirts are! Visit Ella + Olivia on Facebook.
After the egg hunt (and while both girls took a nap), we went to Petsmart to get a fish for Ella. She just celebrated her 3rd birthday in February and really wanted a fish, so Auntie Lauren just HAD to get her a fish. She was so excited when we got home with all the supplies!!
It was really great to spend the day with Lauren, Nick, and the girls. It made me realize how much I missed them and wish we lived closer!
By Sunday, I was exhausted from running around the past 2 days. I decided to sleep in and stay in my PJs until mid-afternoon. Since I was staying at Bobby’s parent’s house, I was able to spend a few hours catching up with his dad and step-mom. Usually, when we visit, we arrive late Friday night and leave Sunday around lunchtime. Depending on the occasion, we don’t have much time to just catch up, so I was really grateful for the downtime.
I eventually made it out of the house later that afternoon to visit my brother and his girlfriend, as well as my aunt, uncle, and cousins. I’m borrowing a sewing machine from my cousin, so stay tuned on my new sewing projects!
On Monday, I had plans to grab lunch with 2 of my former colleagues at Audi, Ti and Mark. Both Ti and Mark were extremely influential during one of the most vulnerable times in my life — my wedding and the big move to North Carolina. They gave me some sound advice that helped me get through those periods. I really value their friendship and it was great to see them!
While I was in VA, Bobby’s younger brother, Kyle, spent the weekend in North Carolina with Bobby. It sounds like they had a fun brothers’ weekend. They had a movie marathon (Aliens series), played disc golf, and toured downtown Raleigh. I made it back to NC just in time for Kyle’s last dinner at Bobby’s aunt and uncle’s house. It was great to spend time with family and get a little bit of time with Kyle before he headed back to Virginia.
WHEW!! March was a busy month for me! Unfortunately, I didn’t get to write as much as I wanted. I’m trying to catch up and double down on April posts, so make sure you subscribe to my updates!
In case you missed it, here are all of my blog posts from March:
Hi friends! Sorry, I missed my February 2018 edition of Things I’m Loving. February just flew by! And now, March is halfway through. WHEW! Where does the time go? At least we made it through winter. Happy 1st Day of Spring!
Here are few of my favorite things this month…
Have you heard of this thing? I have a lot of tension in my neck and shoulders, and I’m always asking Bobby to give me a neck massage. For Valentine’s Day, Bobby surprised me with a Neck Hammock. It’s been proven to reduce neck pain and tension in less than 10 mins. Check it out! It’s AWESOME!
Some of you know that I love to try new flavors of M&Ms and Oreos. After trying a few pieces I bring the rest of the bag into the office to share (at least, most of the time). I came across this new flavor of M&Ms a few weeks ago and it’s surprisingly good! You can taste all 3 flavors — Strawberry, Chocolate, and Vanilla — in one piece. If you haven’t tried it yet, hurry! The flavor is only out for a limited time.
I’ve been trying to pay more attention to my diet this month. I’ve been really good about going to the gym 3 times a week, but eating a balanced diet isn’t something I actively think about. I downloaded the MyFitnessPal app to help me track my calories and nutrients. It’s been really eye-opening for me! I didn’t change my diet the first few days because I wanted to see how bad my habits were. I realized that I consume WAY too many carbs and fats and don’t get enough protein or vitamins. Starting the 2nd week, I added more protein and veggies. I’m still lacking in calcium (dairy-free diet doesn’t help), so I’m going to grab some vitamins at the grocery store. Overall, I love what this app does! I’m feeling more energized and balanced.
Game of Thrones
I found myself with some extra time this month, so I decided to knock out Game of Thrones. Last summer I watched season 7 — without seeing any previous episodes. Bobby grew tired of my questions and convinced me to watch seasons 1-6. At the rate I’ve been going, I’ll likely finish all 6 seasons before the end of the month. Yes, there’s violence (pretty gruesome at times). Yes, there’s nudity. But it’s SO GOOD!The director does a fantastic job of developing each character. I can’t wait to see how it all comes together in season 8!
What are you loving this month? Share in the comments below!
Hi everyone! I recently heard about National Day of Unplugging and thought I’d give it a shot. The National “Holiday” takes place from sundown on March 9th to sundown on March 10th. The purpose of the event is to connect with ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities in real time.
Right after Bobby and I got engaged, I took a break from all social media. I spent about 9 months off of Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat (I don’t really use Twitter). It was such a great experience! It forced me to connect with friends the “old fashion” way via phone call or in-person. Everyone is so busy these days, but there’s something rewarding about hearing someone’s voice and seeing their body language.
I learned a few things during my 9-months of no social media:
People don’t know how to have a conversation. With social media, everyone knows everything about everyone else. Like, “Sally is having a girl” or “John just got accepted to an MBA program”. We no longer need to ask what’s been going on in each other’s lives. During my social media hiatus, I had no idea what was going on in my friends’ lives so I had to ask. I’d usually get the response “I don’t know” or “same old same old”. It was like pulling teeth to get someone to tell me about their experience at the new pizza shop or their review of a new movie. I realized that social media is affecting our ability to have a “catch up” conversation with those we love.
I missed out on a lot of events. If you’re not on Facebook, you’re not invited. Or at least that’s how I felt. I’d get a text message on Sunday saying “where were you last night?!” I had to remind them that I wasn’t on social media and had no idea they were having people over. On top of missing out, I felt like I was inconveniencing everyone by not being on social media. I’d hear “why aren’t you on Facebook…everyone’s on Facebook…it’s such a drag to remember to text you”. I remember thinking “It’s a drag to remember to text me? Am I even a friend if you can’t remember to text me?” This is when I started to realize who my closest friends were.
Overall, I realized how lazy we can be with social media. It really hinders our ability to truly communicate with our loved ones and community. From time to time, I’ll take a break from social media and connect with family and friends over the phone or in-person. It’s a great reminder that life is short, so build connections with those you love.
For National Day of Unplugging, I plan to do dinner and board games with some friends Friday night followed by some outdoor activities on Saturday. I’m really excited to unplug for a day! Maybe I’ll go all weekend!!!
Let me know if you’re planning to participate in National Day of Unplugging. What will you do for 24 hours without technology?
Hi friends! I don’t know about any of you, but it felt like February just flew by! We had a few days of warm weather at the beginning of the month (highs in the upper 60s). This is our first February in Raleigh, so I was hoping this would be the end of winter. Unfortunately, we got hit with another cold snap at the end of the month. I guess I’ll hold off on packing up my sweaters!
At the beginning of the month we traveled to Virginia to celebrate Bobby’s sister’s 14th birthday. We surprised her with a ticket to iFly Indoor Skydiving. She had a blast! Bobby and I tried indoor skydiving with some friends before we moved to Raleigh and had a lot of fun. It’s nothing like actual skydiving (we’ve done that, too), but worth trying if you’ve sworn off the real thing.
Bobby and I celebrated Valentine’s Day a day early because he was heading to Minnesota to visit his family on the 14th. We typically don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, but we decided to do a little something since we were overdue for a date night. When I got home from work, Bobby was cooking dinner and there was a dozen roses and a bottle of non-alcoholic rosé on the table! Aww!
Bobby and I decided to spend one of our Saturdays touring Durham. We went to a Durham Bulls baseball game last summer and have been wanting to go back to walk around the city. We met up with some of my friends from work and visited a few breweries: Bull City Burger and Brewery, Fullsteam Brewery, Durty Bull Brewing Co., and Pour Taproom. We wrapped our day with some ice cream from The Parlor and a visit with Major the Bull.
Also, in case you missed it….I cut my hair!!! I visited a local salon for a consultation. I’ve wanted to cut my hair, but wasn’t sure if I wanted highlights or needed a keratin treatment. The stylist suggested a deep conditioning treatments and a few strands of baylayage highlights. So, the next day I showed up for my appointment and chopped of 5 inches! I love it!!
Last but not least, in case you missed it, here’s a quick recap of the blog posts I published in February:
Hi friends! I’m celebrating 6 months of consistent blogging. Every milestone counts, right? Today I’m sharing some of my favorite bloggers. These ladies are the ones that sparked my interest in blogging. From fashion and beauty to fitness and food, these are my top, must-read blogs.
I absolutely LOVE Kate and The Small Things blog. I’ve followed her for years on Pinterest and Instagram but didn’t realize until recently that she’s located in Raleigh. I actually bumped into her at Target a few months ago. Total star-struck moment!
Kate is hilarious on Instagram stories. She’s all about “real life” versus blog life. She’s usually in her robe without makeup, and I love that she keeps it honest! Plus, her beauty tips are practical and easy. What’s not to love?
I started following Veronika and Veronika’s Blushing back in 2013 before she had kids. It’s been fun to watch her expand her family and share mom life stories.She constantly posts photos and videos of her 2 kids on Instagram and they are SO cute (enter heart eyes emoji here)! She’s also a working mom, which is what inspires me to be a working mom with a successful blog.
I just love her fashion style! She has a nice balance of office attire and casual/weekend wear. I love that she sticks to more timeless pieces versus trendy items. And everything is so feminine! If only I could have her wardrobe!
Laura is another blogger I just started following. Her blog has some great lists for moms like baby registry items and hospital bag checklist. Honestly, I don’t really read her blog I just follow her on Instagram stories. She’s 100% honest about life, whether it’s dealing with Comcast customer service or post-partum underwear…she doesn’t hold back! She’s hilarious! And I love her fashion style. She’s all about comfort and finding a good deal (me too)!
I’ve been following Megan and the Honey We’re Home blog since 2015. She actually had another blog called Honey We’re Healthy that documented healthy recipes and fitness routines. I’ve tried some of her meal prep ideas and home organization tips and they’re awesome! Megan is this little ball of fun and I just imagine us being friends.
And there you have it! Those are my favorite bloggers. I follow a TON of other bloggers, all for different reasons. Maybe I’ll share a part 2 with more bloggers that I follow.
Do you have any favorite bloggers? Let me know in the comments below.