Story Time {Vol. 11}

Hey y'all,

It's finally the weekend! Each Saturday I pose a question and I would love for you to answer the same question in the comments. I have loved getting to know my readers through these posts and you can catch up with the previous questions here.

Which country did your family come from?

My parents actually did one of those DNA testing kits a few years ago and reconfirmed that we are mostly Western European. My Dad is Irish (potato famine caused my ancestors to immigrate from county Cork) and my Mom is mostly German (there were Kerstings in the phone book where we lived in Germany) with some British and Scandinavian.

Have you taken an DNA ancestry test? Where is your family from?

Best,
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What We're Reading Wednesday {January}

Hey y'all,

I am really excited for today's post as I am co-hosting this month's What We're Reading Wednesday with Stephanie of Wife, Mommy, Me and Dara of Not in Jersey.

Each month, Stephanie will be sharing 2 book lovin' bloggers with on her blog. The co-host will be sharing their monthly reading recaps along with answers to a book themed Q&A.


1. What is the one book from your 2017 READ shelf that you’d recommend to a friend? Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
2. What’s the longest book you’ve ever read? A very long time ago I read Les Miserables (1488 pages).
3. Which author is your go to when looking for a new book to start? I don't think I have one. I love Jodi Picoult, but I've already read all of her currently released books!

Read Dara's January book recap here: What I've Been Reading

Jess from Just Jess
1. What is the one book from your 2017 READ shelf that you’d recommend to a friend? The Woman in Cabin 10 for a fun suspenseful thriller and Small Great Things if they want to be more engaged with the book as it deals with race relations in our nation.
2. What’s the longest book you’ve ever read? Mists of Avalon in 8th grade. It is 867 pages. If I had read the Lord of the Rings Trilogy in one volume it would win at 1216 pages.
3. Which author is your go to when looking for a new book to start? Sherrilyn Kenyon is my favorite author and since she writes three main series there is always a new book to grab.

Read Jess's January book recap here: What We're Reading (Janurary)

Stephanie host of What We're Reading Wednesday and blogger at Wife Mommy Me
1. What is the one book from your 2017 READ shelf that you’d recommend to a friend? Bright Side by Kim Holden. I love the story, the way Holden writes, her storytelling grabs you. 
2. What’s the longest book you’ve ever read? The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. It's 771 pages long. At times, I wanted to give up. It's a long book, very detailed and at times confusing. But I am so glad that I stuck it out. It's a fantastic book. 
3. Which author is your go to when looking for a new book to start? Jojo Moyes. Without a doubt. I've never read a novel by her that didn't leave me wanting more. Her best book? Me Before You. 



Now that we have met everyone, let's get on to what I have been reading recently:



Recently, I have really been into historical romances. They are always my favorite when I need a bit of a brain break and with the holidays being jam packs, some nice romance reads were what the doctor ordered. 
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Devon Ravenel, London's most wickedly charming rake, has just inherited an earldom. But his powerful new rank in society comes with unwanted responsibilities . . . and more than a few surprises. His estate is saddled with debt, and the late earl's three innocent sisters are still occupying the house . . . along with Kathleen, Lady Trenear, a beautiful young widow whose sharp wit and determination are a match for Devon's own.
Kathleen knows better than to trust a ruthless scoundrel like Devon. But the fiery attraction between them is impossible to deny—and from the first moment Devon holds her in his arms, he vows to do whatever it takes to possess her. As Kathleen finds herself yielding to his skillfully erotic seduction, only one question remains: Can she keep from surrendering her heart to the most dangerous man she's ever known?
I didn't feel very connected in Cold-Hearted Rake to the main charachters of Devon and Kathleen but was more interested in West, Devon's brother, and the relationship forming between Helen and Winterborne (which is expanded more one in the second book). I thought it was good but not my favorite. It did start a new series so there is hope for a book focused on West. I did also read the third book of the series, Devil in Spring, before realizing it was part of a series so I am not sure if I would have continued on in the series if not for the interjection of Helen and Rhys Winterborne's story in this particular novel.
Savage ambition has brought common-born Rhys Winterborne vast wealth and success. In business and beyond, Rhys gets exactly what he wants. And from the moment he meets the shy, aristocratic Lady Helen Ravenel, he is determined to possess her. If he must take her virtue to ensure she marries him, so much the better.
Helen has had little contact with the glittering, cynical world of London society. Yet Rhys’s determined seduction awakens an intense mutual passion. Helen’s gentle upbringing belies a stubborn conviction that only she can tame her unruly husband. As Rhys’s enemies conspire against them, Helen must trust him with her darkest secret. The risks are unthinkable… the reward, a lifetime of incomparable bliss.

I enjoyed this book more than the first in the series as it was focused more on Rhys and Helen. I liked that it was a shift from girl meets eligible member of English society but rather played on the social status and change of the noble classes with the wealthy merchant class. Also, Helen always seemed so interesting in the first of the Ravenels books and I'm glad she was not overlooked.

The Naked Prince (Naked Nobility #6.5)

18629604Josephine Atworthy is shocked by the goings-on at her rich neighbor’s house party. Quite shocked. But her demure charm beguiles a mysterious nobleman, who begs a kiss—then another. And in a twinkling, they may be falling head over heels in love.

I started the Naked Nobility series in the Fall and this novella helps to bridge the gap before book six. I enjoyed the story but since it was written as a novela, I felt like the story moved two fast and that there was not a lot of character development to have you get attached to any of the characters. I wish this was a full novel as I loved the idea of the Valentine's ball and the scholarly interests of Jo and the Earl of Kendery with their correspondence over latin translations.

The Dressmaker


The DressmakerTess, an aspiring seamstress, thinks she's had an incredibly lucky break when she is hired by famous designer Lady Lucile Duff Gordon to be a personal maid on the Titanic's doomed voyage. Once on board, Tess catches the eye of two men, one a roughly-hewn but kind sailor and the other an enigmatic Chicago millionaire. But on the fourth night, disaster strikes.

Amidst the chaos and desperate urging of two very different suitors, Tess is one of the last people allowed on a lifeboat. Tess’s sailor also manages to survive unharmed, witness to Lady Duff Gordon’s questionable actions during the tragedy. Others—including the gallant Midwestern tycoon—are not so lucky.
On dry land, rumors about the survivors begin to circulate, and Lady Duff Gordon quickly becomes the subject of media scorn and later, the hearings on the Titanic. Set against a historical tragedy but told from a completely fresh angle, The Dressmaker is an atmospheric delight filled with all the period's glitz and glamour, all the raw feelings of a national tragedy and all the contradictory emotions of young love. 

This book is actually my book club selection for the month and since I am hosting this month I picked the book for the group.  My book club enjoyed our last historical fiction choice so I decided to go with that same genre and picked this novel which has been on my to-read list for years. The book focuses on what happened after the Titanic sank. I think we often only focus on the fact that the ship sank by iceberg that I did not recall learning about the trials that followed. The characters Lady  Lucile Duff Gordon and Cosmo Duff Gordon are real survivors of the Titanic that were involved in the  court proceedings that occurred in London following the inquiry here in the US. I think if you enjoy historical fiction you would enjoy this novel. It deals with the difficulties in the aftermath of the ship with a young woman learning to grow out of the societal structure of England here in the US while also juggling a bit of romance and recovering from the shipwreck.

Next on my reading list is King's Cage, the third in the Red Queen series.
King's Cage (Red Queen, #3)

Thank you for joining us for What We're Reading Wednesday and I hope you link up with us below!
We look forward to sharing and discovering books with you! -- #WWRW2018




Also, if you are interested in hosting, please email Stephanie of WMM at sacox65@gmail.com.

Best,

10 on the 10th {10 Random Facts About Me}

Hey y'all,
I told you I was behind on the blog posts this week. Does it count that I wrote my 10 things on the 10th even if it didn't go live until the 11th? Let's hope for a calmer weekend(and sleep) so I can get some great content out to you! 

 

I actually was tagged to post 10 things you might not know about me on my health/fitness instagram last week so this was easy to write.


1. In college I had a beta fish named Philip Radish. He was a gift from my sorority big sis. Since I am a Phi Beta Chi our family tradition is to give our little's beta fish. My big started the tradition of naming the fish vegetables. There has been P.Radish, Sweet Potato, Kale, Broccoli, Cucumber, and Salad.

2. My first plane ride without my parents was when I was 24 and headed to my college bestie's wedding in Illinois. I still hate flying.



3. I am a Disney fan but have never been to Disney World! My mom’s family is less than 40mins from Disneyland so I grew up going to Land when we visited. Beauty and the Beast is my favorite.
 
Back in 2008 when I last was in California
4. I have an obnoxious amount of scarves (30+) and wear one at least 4/7 days a week. Even in the summer it’s not crazy for me to have a scarf on. I'll show you a few recent outfits with all the scarves.


5. I became lactose intolerant in the summer of 2015 and officially diagnosed in February 2016 so it has been a struggle and learning process to adjust.


6. I worked at Wendy’s in High School and then Target while I was in college.


7. My Toyota Corolla is named Cora, like the Countess in Downton Abbey.


8. I don’t drink coffee, only tea. I used to drink soda during college but I quit soda in 2014.I still on occasion have a soda but it is typically less than twice a month.



9. Two of my teeth are switched. It’s called transposed teeth and my pre-molar and canine are switched. It doesn’t affect my everyday life (I recently told a friend of almost 10 years and she had no idea) but it did mean shaving my other canine so my smile looked balanced and lots of dental residents have checked out my teeth as an example as it’s kind of rare. I spent a lot of time in the dentist and orthodontist office as a kid and even had to wear headgear to bed one Summer.
See, I bet you can't even tell which side it is.
10. My favorite food is beef stroganoff (not the hamburger helper kind but my Mom’s tomato, mushroom, cream sauce with beef over cheesy egg noodles). It is always fun when talking to kids because 90% of the time their favorite food is pizza and they have no idea what I'm talking about. I plan on sharing the recipe later this month!

Thank you Erin for creating the link-up and I can't wait for the other months.

Best,
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TBB Asks {January}

Hey y'all,

I am a little behind on posts this week as the weekend flew by and I have not been home a ton either. Seriously, my Fitbit will tell you that I have not gone to bed before  11pm since Wednesday of last week. I am committing to myself to be in bed at 10:30pm for the rest of this week though. 

I love the Blended Blog Ask posts and this month's questions are no exception so even though I am a few days behind here are my answers:

1. Resolutions or No Resolutions?

I do like to set goals and you can read my post here.

2. Love snow or No snow?

Love snow. I spent three years in Rochester, NY while my Dad worked on his PhD and my grandparents lived in New Hampshire so I grew up playing in the snow. Now as an adult in the south I am not a fan of the ice storms we tend to get but snow just is gorgeous and makes everything quiet. It also doesn't hurt that snow typically means I can work from home in my pjs.

3. Name a new place you want to go this year?

I am already planning a trip to California in March to visit family and another trip to Cali in October for a family reunion so I don't plan on making any other big trips but maybe I will make it back to the Biltmore in the Fall as my friends and I want to go to the winery.

4. Would you rather have a new hair cut or hair color?

Cut. I used to highlight my hair in college and dyed it back in the Fall of 2013 so I would rather not have the upkeep of a new color.

5. Name one special thing you want to do for yourself this year?

Pay off my debt! I know it doesn't sound fun but I started paying my student loans in December 2012 and it is going to be great to not have those over my head.

6. Least favorite thing about January?

 The cold. Seriously, January becomes frigid here in NC and the temperatures last week in the teens proved my point.

7. Most favorite thing about January?

 My birthday!

8. When do you take down your decorations?

Right after Christmas, before New Years.

9. Do you diet in January?

I don't tend to diet as much as try to get back to my normal eating habits after all the indulgences of December but my birthday is also in January so I can't deny myself some birthday treats.

10. What area of your home do you want to organize the most?

I always love organizing my closet. Over the Christmas/New Year's break I organized my pantry, fridge, bathroom cabinets, my desk, and a bit of my closet. Now I just need to tackle the under the bed storage and I will feel like I'm done.

11. Favorite Winter Comfort food?

Macaroni and Cheese is my always comfort food.

12. Favorite Guilty pleasure? 

Hmm, weekend naps, mac and cheese (I'm lactose intolerant), dark chocolate chips on banana ice cream, reading until 1am (whoops, that's why I am not sleeping).
What is your favorite thing about January?

Best,
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Five on Friday {January 5}

Hey y'all,

I cannot believe we are already to the first Friday of the new year and it's payday at that. It was a short work week and it will be a busy weekend with a birthday brunch, baby shower, and hanging out with some of my favorite littles. Let's get started:

one. Unexpected Snow Day.


Well, yesterday the triangle was covered in snow unexpectedly as the coast was supposed to get the majority of the storm. It meant that I was able to work from home, rewatch the Bachelor with my roommate during my lunch, and get lots of Max cuddles.




two. US Figure Skating National Championships.

This week began the US Figure Skating National Championships in San Jose, California. This event will help determine who will represent the US at the Olympics next month. I actually volunteered and attended the event in 2015 when it was held in Greensboro and I can't wait to watch the women's event tonight and more throughout the weekend.
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three. Gallery Wall.

Back in October I went to Ikea specifically for frames and a nightstand. Well, the nightstand was built that week but I held off on putting up my gallery wall above my sewing table desk as I knew I still needed a few things. Well, this week, I said screw it and put it up with the missing items and all. I still need to paint the J, find a mat for one of my pictures, print photos from my bestie's wedding, frame my Degas' Little Dancer Girl print, buy Rifle Paper company wrapping paper for the large frame, and try and find something with dimension so it's not all flat.

four. 50 classes.

On Monday I completed my 50th B3 class and it was such a great feeling. I started taking B3 classes during their pop-ups this past summer but the studio didn't open until September 20th. So it seems I have taken an average of 15 classes a month.

five. Birthday Party Planning

If you know me you know I love my birthday (we are officially in birthday month) and I have started to stew on plans for to celebrate. I am turning 28 and have had a tea, wine and cheese, and brunch party in recent years. I love hosting my friends and enjoying their company. This year I am thinking a favorite things feast-favorite appetizer, favorite fruit, favorite drink, favorite main, favorite veggie dish, etc.

Link up with April, Christina, and Natasha.  
Also linking up with Tif, Becky, and Katie.

What kind of parties have you thrown recently that you have loved?

Best,
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January Goals

Hey y'all,

If you did not catch my post on Tuesday, I shared my yearly goals. I have four of them and you can find that post here. Now that the yearly goals are posted it is time to break them down into manageable sections and share my monthly, weekly, and daily goals.

Monthly

-Create monthly budget and yearly debt plan
-Purge Home(closet, desk, under the bed storage, dresser
-Complete the Putting Me Together Winter Capsule Wardrobe Challenge (January 8th-February 15th)
-Relaxation Time/Margin (bubble baths, reading, mani/pedi, self care and recreation in my schedule)
-Complete my gallery wall in my quiet time space

Weekly

-Meal Plan and Prep Meals
-Attend Barre3 Chapel Hill Studio Classes at least 3 times a week
-Write 3 blog posts
-Connect with one friend face to face

Daily

-Chronological Bible Reading Plan
-Pray
-No frivolous spending (Target Runs, Online Shopping, etc)
-Drink 90oz of water
january goals

What are your goals for the month?

Best,

What I'm Reading Wednesday {Favorite Books of 2017}

Hey y'all,

For the past few years I have made a reading challenge on Goodreads and in 2017 I exceeded the 50 books I wanted to complete. Funny enough though, out of my favorite books, the majority of them I actually grabbed as audio books from my library. As I told you earlier this week in my lessons from 2017, I learned that I enjoy a good audio book on my commute in the mornings (I always call my mom on my way home). So grab your to-read list (or pull up GoodReads) and get reading!

The Woman in Cabin 10

The Woman in Cabin 10
Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. At first, Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for—and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong.

My book club read, Ruth Ware's In a Dark, Dark Wood, and even while still reading it I grabbed the Woman in Cabin 10 from the library as my next read. I loved Imogen Church reading the novels and while I am not a huge suspense novel fan, I do enjoy a good mystery mixed in with my usual historical romance novels. I did not expect most of the twists and turns which is great in a novel like this one.

The Magnolia Story

29483100The Magnolia Story is the first book from Chip and Joanna, offering their fans a detailed look at their life together. From the very first renovation project they ever tackled together, to the project that nearly cost them everything; from the childhood memories that shaped them, to the twists and turns that led them to the life they share on the farm today.

They both attended Baylor University in Waco. However, their paths did not cross until Chip checked his car into the local Firestone tire shop where Joanna worked behind the counter. Even back then Chip was a serial entrepreneur who, among other things, ran a lawn care company, sold fireworks, and flipped houses. Soon they were married and living in their first fixer upper. Four children and countless renovations later, Joanna garners the attention of a television producer who notices her work on a blog one day.

I think anyone who enjoys the show would enjoy the book. I grabbed this as an audiobook and it was fun to listen to Chip and Jo read the story and feel like you were sitting down to them telling you about their lives, their start, their struggles, and where they are today.

Eligible (The Austen Project, #4) Eligible (Austen Project #4)

A modern version of Pride and Prejudice: Liz is a magazine writer in her late thirties who, like her yoga instructor older sister, Jane, lives in New York City. When their father has a health scare, they return to their childhood home in Cincinnati to help and discover that the sprawling Tudor they grew up in is crumbling and the family is in disarray.

Youngest sisters Kitty and Lydia are too busy with their CrossFit workouts and Paleo diets to get jobs. Mary, the middle sister, is earning her third online master's degree and barely leaves her room, except for those mysterious Tuesday-night outings she won't discuss. And Mrs. Bennet has one thing on her mind: how to marry off her daughters, especially as Jane's fortieth birthday fast approaches.

Enter Chip Bingley, a handsome new-in-town doctor who recently appeared on the juggernaut reality TV dating show Eligible (aka the Bachelor/Bachelorette). At a Fourth of July barbecue, Chip takes an immediate interest in Jane, but Chip's friend, neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy, reveals himself to Liz to be much less charming. . . . And yet, first impressions can be deceiving.

This was a fun lighthearted novel perfect for a summer beach day or a snow day curled up by the fire. If you love Jane Austen and modern retellings I highly recommend this one.

Grace Not Perfection: Embracing Simplicity, Celebrating Joy

Grace, Not Perfection: Embracing Simplicity, Celebrating JoyAs a busy wife, new mother, business owner, and designer, Emily Ley came to a point when she suddenly realized she couldn’t do it all. She needed to simplify her life, organize her days, and prioritize the priorities. She decided to hold herself to a standard of grace rather than perfection. This mantra led to the creation of the Simplified Planner®, my current planner favorite!



Grace, Not Perfection takes this message from a daily planner to an inspirational book that encourages women to simplify and prioritize. This book gives women tangible ways to simplify their lives to give space to what matters most. With a focus on faith, Emily reminds readers that God abundantly pours out grace on us—and that surely we can extend grace to ourselves.

I loved the practicality of the book and I love Emily Ley and her journey to help women simplify to uncover their joy. This book really helped me last year start my simplifying journey and lead me to this upcoming year of contentment. I also loved A Simplified Life from Emily. I read it over Thanksgiving and have already decluttered a lot of my home!

Small Great Things

28587957Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years’ experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?
Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy’s counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family—especially her teenage son—as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other’s trust, and come to see that what they’ve been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong.

This book was selected for my book club and I have loved Jodi Picoult as an author for a while. The story sparked a lot of conversation and it was a very timely story in regards to race relations and tensions that are current to the country. This was a lovely audiobook with Audra McDonald reading the part of Ruth.

What was your favorite book of 2017?

Best,

Word of the Year & Goals

Hey y'all,

I started working on my 2018 goals back in October. No I wasn't wishing 2017 away and I actually established some great habits at the end of the year but I wanted to write out intentional goals with actions and focus on my word of the year. I actually spent the evening of December 30th going through Lara Casey's goal setting series on her blog and fleshed out my goals.
Image result for goals lara casey
Via



My word for 2018 is contentment. I even wrote a statement for my year as well. I want 2018 to be a year of intentional living being content in my season, joyfully exploring the blessings I have already received, cultivating my relationship with the Lord, and growing in simple and faithful actions

Here are my four goals of 2018:

1. Cultivate a deep connection with the Lord by reading the Bible(Chronological) and keeping a prayer journal (VMP).
The goal will be accomplished in the following tasks:
-Sign up for the Blue Letter Bible Chronological Plan on YouVersion  completed 12/31/17
-Create a quiet time space
-Set dates in my planner to fill in my VMP monthly sections
-Observe the Sabbath day.

2. Become debt free allowing me to be more generous in stewarding my finances well.
This goal will be accomplished in the following baby steps:
-Pay off my credit card
-Pay of my car loan(APRIL)
-Pay off my final student loan
-Envelope Budget for food-grocery and restaurants
-Complete the contentment challenge from Nancy Ray(No shopping Jan 2-April 2).

3. Live with less. Find joy and contentment with less material items, worry, stress, and anxiety. Find the margin in my schedule and make quarterly weekends of purging and donating items to find margin in my home.
Steps to accomplish this goal
-Create a capsule wardrobe to wear year round
-Complete the No Brainer Wardrobe Workshop
-Clean out closet quarterly(Jan 15, April 15, July 15, Oct 15). Poshmark/donate those items.
-Follow the tactical steps in Emily Ley's A Simplified Life and Simplified Challenge.

4. Create a healthy body-mentally and physically. I am one of God's creations and I want a strong and healthy body so I can continue to serve Him.

Steps to accomplish this goal:
-Maintain a great relationship with my body. It is God’s creation and to honor it by moving it in a healthy way.
-Maintain a 3-4 times a week Barre3 schedule
-Eat whole delicious foods
-Limit dairy (lactose intolerant problems)

I'm saying No to:
scrolling mindlessly, comparison, not trusting the Lord, shopping, idolatry, work stress, debt


I'm saying Yes to:
The Lord: prayer, the Word, contentment, gratitude, Sabbath, community, health, Barre3 (my favorite workout), space/margin, friend dates, creating routines-morning routine and bedtime routine.


What are your goals for the year?

I'll share my monthly goals on Thursday!

Best,


New Year, Blog Reset {Seven Lessons from 2017}

Hey y'all,

I know it has been a hot minute since I have blogged. I decided this Fall to step back when I was in a funk and really focus on preparing for the new year with some new habits. I think I can get into a mindset of purchasing things or viewing my life through the lense of what can I blog or what will be great to post rather than just being intentional with my time toward things I love and to write authentically about my life. I don't anticipate this becoming a job so why not treat it like my hobby that I enjoy and just write. This Fall, I decided to start taking barre3, change up my eating to incorporate more real food from 100 days of real food, focus on my word of the year-simple, and began working towards the best year ever.

I think it is important to set goals and really make sure they are intentional and align with your beliefs and I will be sharing my word of the year and my goals tomorrow but today I thought I would share some of my favorite lessons from 2017.
STOCK-EYE VIA GETTY IMAGES

one.

I'm an obliger. I read Gretchen Rubin's The Four Tendencies this year with my book club and realized I am an obliger. This means I do very well with external accountability.

two

Audiobooks are amazing. I have never been a big audiobook person until this year. Now, not all readers are great and there have been a few books that after 15mins I have pulled the plug and returned to the library but I have loved utilizing my drive or going on walks listening to books.

three

Go to the doctor. I have a wonderful health care team and want to reiterate that you should go talk to your doctor whenever you feel that something is off. I have had a few medical issues that were worked through this year including going to a dermatologist for my adult acne. Seriously, if you think something is wrong, talk to a medical professional.

four. 

Find the exercise that you love and stick with it.I grew up as a dancer and a swimmer. I quit both in middle school and was never a big fan of the gym. Post-college, adult life says you should join a gym and after gaining weight transitioning to a desk job and going through a brief bought of depression I thought why not. I loved my gym and enjoyed the cycle classes. I also would do Tone It Up videos at home. However, I was never super consistent. Well, since B3 Chapel Hill announced they were opening I have been loving getting back to the barre. The classes can be challenging but I have consistently gone at least 3 times a week (minus Christmas at my parents house).

five. 

Treat yourself. Whether a hot chocolate from Starbucks, a manicure from my favorite salon (Paintbase), a face mask, a movie from Redbox, or a nap. It is important to treat yourself on occasion. I try to treat myself to one thing every weekend, it might be a nice walk at my favorite park or just grabbing dinner out so I don't have to cook on Sunday.

six.

Community is the best investment. I really tried this year to invest in relationships with a few friends. I have regular opportunities to meet up with some of my college friends and sorority sisters with our book club but I have added in semi monthly dinners with my friend Nicole, more time seeing MScott, and investing in getting to know the members of my new small group.

seven. 

There is no magical date to start your goals on. Each day can be that fresh start. I have restarted my fitness goals in September with Barre3 classes and I reset my food by in both July and with Weight Watchers in November.

What are some lessons you have learned this year?

Best,