Falling for fall…

I awoke to a distant, cool, familiar breeze on my exposed skin.  Tucked under my covers with a growing puppy at my feet and a husband to my side, I was snuggled in a warm cozy bed, and I could feel it…

Fall.

Lying there, slowing working my way out of a foggy slumber, I pulled the covers down and let the sun and breeze peak in on me.  I turned to my nightstand and turned on some music, the sweet tunes of Van Morrison filling the room.

Fall.  I could feel its presence, its hesitant, reluctant entrance in the air outside.  Autumn.  My favorite season and time of year.  I closed my eyes and contemplated the upcoming season, the wrap up of a great summer.  Later that day I would be spending the afternoon with friends, relishing the last warm days on a patio, soaking in the sun for as long as we could, the warmth on our skin.  And soon, things will begin to cool off.

The weather, the calendar.  Things will become less hectic, weekends with fewer obligations and plans.  A summer that has so effortlessly flown by, jam-packed, filled to the brim with sun and fun, heat and humidity, cocktails and patios, road races and adventures, long weekends and weddings- it will slowly fade away.  In will creep a new season.  My favorite season.

Soon we’ll be in long-sleeve shirts, an extra blanket at this time of morning.  Reflecting on new plans.  For Columbus Day and apple picking excursions.  Cider, and pies, apple crisp and hayrides.  Pumpkin flavored everything.  Red wine, pumpkin beer, butternut squash soup, and crock pot meals.  Leaves changing, and falling.  Sweaters.  Fall tones, crisp sounds and smells outside.  Wood stoves burning, football.  Thanksgiving.

Around the corner, new plans and new memories.

New possibilities.

 

 

On soaking it in a little longer…

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And just like that, more than another whole month has passed since I’ve updated this little blog of mine.

In my mind, while on my walk with Charlie Girl tonight, I thought maybe I’d come over here and list out some reasons why I haven’t stopped in to update this space.  But to be honest? There’s no real reason, other than that life has gotten in the way, things have been busy, summer nights lately have been better spent on the deck enjoying the evening (or watching Bachelor in Paradise if I’m being really honest), I’ve been lazy, blah blah blah.  There have been times I’ve wanted to write and even gone so far as to plan “tomorrow night will be the night!,” but then things get in the way, and I don’t do it, and I end up feeling like, “has it been too long?,” and I just skip it.

All that being said, here I am!  And I do enjoy this space, and the special people I’ve met through this venue, and rather than put the pressure on myself to write because I “should,” I’m just here now, finally, because I want to be here.

As these summer days are fading away, with the days getting shorter again, previews for fall TV premieres happening, Halloween candy out in the stores (seriously?), and count downs online of days until Christmas, I can’t help but be reminded of how quickly life passes by…

Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

Ferris Bueller said it best right there, didn’t he?  Lately I’ve just felt like time is whirling by, one moment it’s the Fourth of July, and now it’s the end of August?  And then I’m walking in my neighborhood and a neighbor already has a pumpkin on their front steps? (Again I have to say, seriously?  In August dude?)

Where does the time go?

How has your summer been?  Have you gone on any fun getaways?  Has it been sizzling like it has here in Boston?

Speaking of time flying- it’s crazy that our little puppy is now eight months old!  Eight months! Also, we’ve lived in our new home for just about the same amount of time, which is crazy to think about because it seems like just yesterday in the dead of this crazy winter that we closed on our house and moved in on a cold day in December.

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Puppy Kindergarten Graduate!

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And Paris- that seems like just yesterday too, but it was in May, and that seems like just a blink of an eye ago as well!

Then there’s Vegas.  Ahh, Vegas.  I had my first ever Las Vegas experience a few weeks ago, when I had the opportunity to travel for a work trip to a really great nursing conference in really hot Las Vegas.

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Almost as good as the real thing?…#notevenclose

Love.

With a few weeks left of summer and my favorite season of crisp air, apple picking, cozy sweaters, scarves, and boot wearing on the horizon, I’m making a real effort to soak up these last lingering, warm days of the season.  I hope to get in at least a few more ice cream stand trips, a handful of cookouts, dining outside on our deck for as long as we can, a few more adult Arnold Palmers, and hopefully at least one trip to the beach.

What else do you hope to squeeze in during these last few days of summer?

 

Friday balance…

TGIF!

As I log in over here (and have to get an email reminder with my log in password), I’m reminded how quickly time flies, and how it’s been a while since I’ve spent some time here in this space.

I started this blog as an outlet, where I could visit and chat and vent and share, with like-minded people about the nitty gritty of real life happenings.  With many highs and lows of daily life, my goal has been to write about attempting to maintain a sense of all around balance in a life that can so often feel hurried, and frantic, and overwhelming at times.

Balance is important to me, and it’s funny how something that I consider such a priority is also something that can be a struggle at times.  Do you notice the same?  Things that are at the top of our list are sometimes those that we have to devote the most thought, and effort towards.

Here’s how I have been trying to maintain some balance in my daily life as of late…

  • With all the summer cookouts and excuses for beer and burgers and ice cream, I’ve made a commitment for the past twenty one days to exercise daily.

1381489_1552512508312621_2282268715550206855_n-300x300Balance is about working hard, and enjoying the little things…

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S’mores on our patio. #getinmybelly

  • We love to cook at home, and especially in the summer, grilling is one of our go-to’s.  Sometimes, on a Friday, we’d rather sit for drinks on a patio and have someone else do the cooking.  And we’re so pumped about one of our new favorite places not far from us, where we can bring our pup for dinner while dining alfresco!
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“Gimme that sangria, Mom!”

  • Summer cookouts don’t always have to be unhealthy!  Brought a little balance to the table a few weeks ago with this yummy app:
Strawberry Ricotta Bites

Strawberry Ricotta Bites

  • Reading.  I love to get lost in a good book, and with hot summer days lately, we’ve taken to cooling off in our finished basement and catching some Netflix shows.  I’m also trying to balance out the TV watching with some reading.  I feel like it’s easy to lose hours of the evening getting sucked into episode after episode of OITNB, or our new one, The Americans, but at the same time, I feel like I should be balancing things out with something more stimulating for my brain, like getting into a good book.  What are you reading now?

The bottom line is that balance isn’t always easy.  It seems like a good idea, and easy enough, but it can take some work!  It might not always look perfect, and some days will feel more balanced than others.  My goal is to try to focus on little ways to bring balance to my daily life, making small adjustments in my routine, taking the time to slow things down a bit and giving myself permission to not always having things exactly perfect.

How are you adding some balance to your life lately?

 

Tuesday Treats… the Paris Edition

I traveled to Paris just about two weeks ago now, and so many moments during my trip I found myself taking deep breaths, and really intentionally trying to take it all in, soak it all up, live truly in that moment.  My mind would wander, and I’d consciously redirect myself and remind myself that you’re in Paris; live and be in this moment, right here, right now.

I so enjoyed my trip.  The cafés, the architecture, the much less fast pace life in Paris compared to the States, specifically the East Coast, the baguettes, the macarons, the eclairs, the champagne, and wine, and new beers.  The Eiffel Tower.  Oh how I fell in love with the Eiffel Tower.  Notre Dame.  Visting Ernest Hemingway’s haunts.  Versailles.  Speaking French again.  Cappuccinos.  Croissants.  Oh my goodness, the croissants.

The whole entire trip was a treat; it truly was.  Here are just a handful of pictures and I promise to write more soon.

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Champagne on the flight over…

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Kir Royale. My new favorite drink!

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Notre Dame. The Seine. Le sigh…

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Relaxing on the lawn after biking around Versailles.

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Heaven.

Love.

Love.

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Balconies for days…

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I was obsessed with finding the best macaron. Lemon- loved the lemon.

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Found it!

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My idea of a perfect day.

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So many cafés…

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One of Hemingway’s favorites…(mine too!).

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I will always remember my morning run by the Eiffel Tower. Perfection.

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Cheers!

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What did you treat yourself to recently?  Linking up with Becky on today’s post of treats!

Things I know to be true

Ernest Hemingway once said: “write one true sentence.”

You may know of my affinity for Hemingway, and with Paris just around the corner, I was thinking of his writing and his life recently.  And then I thought of some of his most poignant quotes, which led me to thinking of things that I know, deep down, to be true.

  • I know that if I skip a run or a workout in the morning, putting if off for after work, 80% of the time I will come up with some excuse to not do it.
  • I know that I seldom can get out of Target spending less than $50.
  • I know that I have a true, legitimate addiction to chocolate.  Not just in a “oh I love chocolate and can’t get enough” kind of way, but in a way where if I have one piece, I pretty much can’t help but have two or three and unless I go cold turkey on it, I have trouble with moderation.
  • I know that every time I see cinnamon Trident gum, I will always think of my grandmother.  And smile.
  • I know that being by the ocean makes my heart happy.
  • I know that even if I’m not feeling it, a run almost always makes me feel better.
  • I know that I am terrible with directions.  I just got lost on walk with Charlie girl tonight before dinner.  And I went South instead of North on the highway the other day on the way to work.  I’m not exaggerating when I say I hands down suck at directions.
  • I know that I compare myself to others way more than I should.
  • I know that I’m far too judgey of myself.
  • I know that tequila and I do not mix.
  • I know that I can’t go more than a couple days without hearing my mom’s voice.
  • I know that I have a tendency to be all or nothing on a lot of things.
  • I know that I love a man in a blue shirt.
  • I know that I’m a morning person, but like to have the chance to sleep in and have no plans.
  • I know that I ask a lot of questions.  And that can annoy my husband sometimes, particularly.
  • I know that I have a tendency to stir the pot.  Not necessarily pick a fight, per se, but I don’t always let the small things go, and I know that I should be better about this.
  • I know that I can get sucked into YouTube videos for hours and not realize where the time went.
  • I know there’s not much better than an evening spent with my girlfriends, talking about adult things, or random things, being silly, and feeling safe knowing you’re with your people.

What about you?  What do you know to be true?

Treats from this week…

One of my not to secret guilty pleasures is The Bachelor and Bachelorette.  As I’m sitting here with my husband watching Intervention (another show I’m addicted to- “addicted”- I know, the irony is not lost!), a trade off before I subject him to a whole entire two nights of this Bachelorette shit show quest for love, I decided to get in on Treat Yourself Tuesday.  I was reminded of the things that I look forward to.  Reading blogs, crazy reality TV shows, playing with Charlie puppy after work, lazy Sunday mornings, long runs, and I decided to write about some other treats I’ve enjoyed lately.

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An adult coloring book!  I’d seen these online a while back and kind of forgot about them, and found a handful on sale at Barnes & Noble last night and decided to pick this one up!  Mindless fun.  While watching The Bachelorette.  So, while I kill brain cells watching, I activate new ones coloring.  Win!

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Breakfast, or any meal lately, on our deck.  And just, deck and patio weather in general.  I’ve been loving the warm weather lately to enjoy sitting outside in our yard. Not loving the crazy pollen!

IMG_2700Treated myself to these new Sam Edelman booties for my birthday as a gift I picked out from my mom!  Loving these- they’re super comfy and I’ve been pairing them with shorts and jeans, and looking forward to wearing them around Paris with spring dresses in FIVE DAYS!

unnamed-1I made a this yummy slushie the other morning after a warm run!  Strawberry lemonade Nuun Hydration blended with lots of ice- totally hit the spot!

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So did these “Pink Lady” martinis I enjoyed with some girlfriends before seeing the Broadway production of Dirty Dancing last weekend! #icarriedawatermelon

Among some other treats that aren’t pictured, include some fun new clothes for my trip!  I didn’t really need new clothes, but when you wear scrubs to work every day, you miss dressing like a regular human sometimes.  And really, a trip to Paris?  As if I needed a better excuse than that to treat myself to a few new fashionable finds?!

Thanks to Becky for hosting this fun Tuesday treat!

What did you treat yourself to this week?

 

 

 

Where does the time go?

I honestly think about updating this blog every day.  Every damn day I think about a post that I might like to write, an idea will pop into my head on my drive to work, someone will say something that will make me think of something else that will make me think, “huh, maybe I’ll write about that…”

And then time passes.  And it’s 8:57pm on a Wednesday night and you’re just finally sitting down to relax.  And you realize, not only have the past few weeks flown by, but the last couple of months have whirled by too.  And you remember, life is short.  And it’s important to stop and take it all in, to actually press the pause button and enjoy the small moments that make up these days passing by.

Life is short.

Get dirty.
unnamed-12Get dirty with friends.

unnamed-13Soak in the tub.

unnamed-14Life is short.  Travel.  Laugh often.  Drink Bloody Mary’s on a patio on a Sunday afternoon. Enjoy brunch.

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Life is short.  Forget about eating “the right thing” once in a while and eat the things that taste damn good and don’t worry about it.

Life is short.  Get gussied up with your main squeeze.

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Life is short.  Laugh at yourself.  Let the small things go.  Get silly.

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Life is short.  Eat cupcakes.  Eat lemon cupcakes with coconut cream cheese frosting that your mom makes you for your birthday, and the next day eat dark chocolate frosted peanut butter cupcakes from your work wife.

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Life is short.  Take it all in.  Live in the moment.  Be kind to yourself and be kind to others.

And lastly, take naps, because life is NOT too short to enjoy a good siesta.

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This post is inspired by one of my favorite bloggers, Kate!

Your turn!  Life is short… finish this sentence!

Treats for Tuesday

Treat-Yourself-Tuesday-Badge

Treat Yourself Tuesday is really a chance for me to share some of my treats from over the past few days.  There weren’t specifically any treats that happened today, but there are some over the past few days!

One treat was this mani I gave to myself Sunday afternoon.  The light blue color screams spring to me, and I paired it with one of my new Jamberry wraps!

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I also have been treating myself here and there for things with my trip to Paris in mind (one month away!).

These shoes are one of my latest purchases!  I’ve been looking for an open toed booty for the spring and these ones I figure will go well with skinny jeans, black pants or leggings, skirts, and dresses.  And perfect for Paris!

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Oh, also?  That rug is a new treat that Matt and I picked out from my in-laws finally as a Christmas gift for our living room.

And speaking of treats, we just booked this tour for our trip and I’m ecstatic about it!

Here’s a little blurb about it.  Cannot. Wait.

Eat, drink, mingle, savor.  You will immerse yourself in French food, wine and culture and learn about the strong traditions around eating, drinking and living the Gallic way.  We start off with a behind the scenes tour of that everyday marvel, the French boulangerie! You will meet the bakers, experience baguette-making up close and leave with a greater appreciation for these individuals who start their day at 2am!  The tour will then visit 5-7 gourmet food shops where you will mingle with the shopkeepers, learn about their specialities and of course taste what they have to offer. Tastings are generous and include a variety of treats such as artisanal breads and pastries, olive oils, wine, cheese, and so much more!

The other treats I’ve been getting lately have been for the biggest treat of all…

Meet Charlie!

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She finally came to her new furever home on Saturday and we couldn’t be happier!

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Here’s our prom photo:

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She’s such a little love!  So friendly and calm and really sweet!  Other than the treats mentioned above, most of the time lately I’ve been buying her little nuggets to treat her.  How can you resist that face?!

How have you treated yourself lately?

 

 

Believe Nothing

Agrees-With-Your-Own-ReasonI’m actually not even sure that this quote above is from Buddha.  Actually, I’m pretty sure it’s not from Buddha, which, kind of just defines the quote itself right?

From Buddha himself or not, I love this quote.  Because isn’t it true, that we’re kind of programmed in a way to be naive about certain things?  We read articles in magazines and pick up books off shelves at Barnes & Noble, and we believe what we are reading to be true.  We believe it to be true, especially if it resonates with us.

Say you’re trying to lose weight, and you hear a podcast on the “seven best diet tricks to shed those pounds!”  You’re pretty likely bound to believe that these tricks must be legit, but how do we really know?

I have a few co-workers who are often complaining about their weight, and this one co-worker perpetually is telling them that “carbs are bad!” and “you can’t eat a bagel, what are you thinking?!,” and these poor co-workers of mine who are trying to lose weight, they take this other co-worker’s advice as The Total Truth.  But come on.  Carbs aren’t the devil.  Bagels once in a while aren’t going to hinder your weight loss goals.  This is common sense, right?

I just find it interesting how, so often when we are looking for something, seeking out a tiny little nugget of advice or input, it can be so easy to take whatever we hear to be true.  Really, are you giving up the carbs because you know it to be the key to your success?  Does it agree with your own common sense?  With your own reason?

If it doesn’t- if something someone says or something you read somewhere feels a little off? Then you have every right to go ahead and say “screw it.”

Because the bottom line is, you don’t have to live by anyone else’s rules but your own.  At the end of the day, you need to be happy with your choices, and only you can know what the best choices for you are.  If it doesn’t feel right, if it doesn’t agree with your own reason, then who cares what expert (or co-worker!) said it.  Screw it.  Do you.  Follow your gut.  Go with what feels right.  Eat the bagel if you want to, and know that you aren’t doing a damn thing wrong when you do.

Do things that correlate with what you believe, and don’t feel like you have to follow anyone else’s “sage” advice.  At the end of the day, don’t you want to be comfortable in your own skin, with the choices that you’ve made, knowing you made decisions based on your own intuition and gut feeling?

(I’m fully aware that you may read this and very well say “screw this!” and move along. And thats the whole point, really.  (Not for you to say screw it and leave my blog forever.), but to take things with a grain of salt- if they speak to you and resonate with you, then roll with it.  If not so much, then that’s okay too.  It’s all about being true to you, and following your own inner voice, which, admittedly, can be difficult sometimes.)

 

Coming soon…

No, not a human little baby, but a puppy baby!

I think I mentioned a couple weeks ago that Matt and I were getting ready to start seriously thinking about a dog?  And you know how that goes right?  Once you start seriously thinking about a dog, it’s all you’re seriously thinking about, all the time!  We went back and forth between going with a breeder or adopting.  After lots of thought, we decided to go the adoption route and just like that, we met this sweet little love last weekend:

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And our she had our hearts immediately!

(Dog= skeptical.  Matt= elated!)

We had been looking at local shelters online, and one in particular in Boston was having an event locally last weekend.  We had scouted out this little girl on the shelter’s website ahead of time, and after waiting in a long line for over an hour to meet her (there were tons of people there, and so many dogs to be adopted! so many pups going to goo homes!), we immediately knew we were all in, right upon seeing her sweet little face!

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I mean, seriously?  Look at those floppy ears!  Those blue eyes!

She’s just the sweetest girl ever!  She’s just over four months old, and came here from Arkansas a few weeks ago.  She’s a Blue Heeler mix, and she’s sweet and playful and already knows some basic commands!  She’s currently living with foster parents right now, a really nice couple that’s super chill and friendly, our age, the guy has a beard too, and they’re just really nice.  We hit it off immediately, and we knew right away that this was a done deal for us; we were sold on this little love!

This adoption process is no joke (which it shouldn’t be- they’re very thorough and rightly so!), and we’re just about done.  We had the home inspection tonight which went well, Cosmo Cat is getting an updated vaccination on Saturday which he can’t wait for, and then things are pretty much wrapped up (fingers crossed!).

We hope to bring our new addition home next weekend, and if you couldn’t tell?, we’re totally over the moon with excitement!

Do you have any pets?  What’s your favorite thing to do with your furbaby?