FriYAY feels!

It’s finally,   o f f i c i a l l y   summer! If you’re in the south like me, it has already felt like summer since April, but now we can finally be correct when we say it.

My sister and I planned on doing a free community event Wednesday morning for the summer solstice and international yoga day, but it got rained out and rescheduled. Since we were already up at the butt crack of dawn and dressed, I led us through a yoga class on our balcony while the sun came up. It felt so good; I have totally fallen out of a routine with my yoga and I always notice a difference when I get back into it.

pardon the poor quality selfie

yoga mat + blocks (blocks were a gift)

For summer, I’m focusing on some goals, like I said. Doing more yoga is one of them. Being more active in general, actually.

I’m also trying to make time to read for fun, which I love to do. I started summer off by devouring The Girl on the Train. I know I’m way late to that game, but I finally got around to it. I’m about to start reading All the Missing GirlsI know I’ll be done with that one in a few days, so any book recommendations would be greatly appreciated! I also just got set up for Audible with my Amazon Prime membership, so I can listen to books while I’m driving or at the pool, too.

Speaking of listening to books, I finally jumped on the bandwagon and listened to the S-Town podcasts. I went to see my dad for Father’s Day in Charlotte this past weekend, so I had time to do some listening. I tend to doze off at the wheel if no one is in the car with me, so I needed something to keep my attention. It was so good. It was one of those stories that really leaves you thinking about it for days. When it was finished, I just sat there for a minute, brain whirring and heart stirring (see what I did there? But really). I wish there were more chapters.

Finally, since I’m limiting alcohol due to 1. trying to be healthier and 2. not having money in the summer, I’m fixating on a couple of guilty pleasure libations right now. (As in, literally drank both of these while writing this blog post). I said I never would, but I find myself loving La Croix now. My sister and I found a new flavor that we can’t get enough of:  Blackberry cucumber. So refreshing. We have only been able to find that flavor at Target near us. My other summer must-have is iced coffee. I drink it year-round, but in the summer it’s a given. Of course I can make my own, and sometimes do, but Emily (my sister) and I have been loving the Starbucks Dark Roast Iced Coffee. When I’m not paying a reasonable amount way too much for pre-packaged coffee, I use my french press to brew strong coffee and stick it in the fridge overnight. Yes, I realize I also just wrote a blog post about our new coffee bar. It’s a drug, people, I’m telling you.

i have way too many pictures of food & drinks on my phone

That’s all that’s really new with me! I’m waiting for some sunshine so I can have a pool day and work on my golden tan getting more pink and freckly. It has been rainy and stormy on and off here for a few days now, so I haven’t had a chance.

Enjoy the weekend, and let me hear those book and podcast recommendations!

FriYAY feels!

It’s my final FriYAY of the school year! Today is the last official day of school!!! Next week we have teacher workdays and graduation, and I’ll start my summer job. It always feels weird wrapping up another school year and saying goodbye to students you’ve really come to love…but I know in August I’ll get a whole new set of kids to drive me crazy and get to know all over again!

While I’m out of school, I have a few fun events this summer and I am on the hunt for more summer dresses (because I literally have two at the moment). I love Loft, but seriously can’t afford it…even sale prices can be steep for me, but usually what I buy lasts a long time. I am loving a lot of these right now!

Speaking of summer fashion, I think I’m feeling bold enough to rock a pair of these! I’m also loving the look of these for a friendlier price tag. ***UPDATE*** My friend Kelly just sent me a link to these for a way happier price tag and they are currently on their way to me!

I’m throwing a wedding day brunch tomorrow, and I’m really excited about it. It’s nothing huge, but I hope everything goes smoothly and the bride is pleased! In another life, I’d be an event planner.

I got the iPhone 7 Plus and I am so excited I can’t stand it. The camera on this thing is the main reason I upgraded, but the size is actually something I’m thrilled about! I’m loving it and feeling super fancy. Bad and boujee, even. (If that wasn’t a song with the word boujee already spelled out, I would have spelled it differently. Just sayin’.)

F i n a l l y , next Sunday is Father’s Day – does anyone else have the hardest time finding a gift for their dad?! My dad is super tough to shop for and all of the cliche gifts seem cheesy or don’t seem like him at all. He builds beautiful guitars and works with his hands, but he’s retired and he pretty much gets what he needs or wants for himself. I always start at Etsy to brainstorm ideas for gifts. I love being able to buy personalized or custom made items and helping out an individual or small business! They also have some cute cards for the pet dads in your life 🙂 Pets are family, too!

That’s it for me this week. Andrew and I started a new meal plan and I’m feeling good about it! I am excited about making changes and seeing some results. Everyone enjoy the weekend!

FriYAY feels!

FRIYAY!!! We made it another week. I know I haven’t written in forever…I’ve just been busy and sometimes feeling blah from all of this gross weather changing. Speaking of which, can it PLEASE be spring already? We got to enjoy such beautiful weather for so long…and then the dreary cold came creeping back in to laugh in our faces. I’m so ready for sunshine and warm weather…but the humid summer can definitely take its time getting here! This post brought to you while dreaming of higher temperatures.

I am loving this skirt from J.Crew Factory! I am always excited about an elastic waist, and this still looks chic and comfortable. This top from Old Navy…they just get me. I love silky tanks that can easily transition from work to play, or from warm to cool weather with the addition of a cardigan. This top is perfection, too – and would be great tucked into that J. Crew skirt with a long delicate necklace like this! When the warm weather finally shows its face again, these shorts will be my go-tos. They are similar to the ones I basically lived in last summer from Target. Cozy and lightweight for the sweltering heat we get in NC.

I can’t do a platform, and I just haven’t gotten into the chunky heel trend…but these little wedges look right up my alley! I love all three colors, but if you know anything about me, you know I’ll probably get black if I buy a pair.

I’m so curious about this crazy charcoal peel off mask everyone is talking about  (and recording themselves using!). Curious…but also scared enough not to have bought it yet!

Speaking of skin care, I’m going to be 30 in September, and I’m starting to notice smile lines and a worry wrinkle between my eyes that has been slowly creeping up for a couple of years. I like to tell my students it’s because of them…and it probably is! I’m in the market for some anti-aging skin care that will keep my skin healthy and not break the bank – I’m reading great things about this eye cream and this moisturizer (I have used an Olay daily moisturizer for years already). I might even get brave and buy a face oil like this one or make a DIY one – they’re all over Pinterest!

Here’s hoping that next week and the first day of spring brings sunshine, balmy breezes, and soft t-shirts that can be tucked into elastic waist skirts. Happy Friday!

FriYAY feels!

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Hydration, goals, monograms, and daily reminders

It has been a while since I’ve written a Friday update! I have been covered up, but here I am. Things are getting a little more balanced around here.

-This week has been focused on prioritizing. I am teaching a unit on time management in one of my classes, and it always makes me take a look at my own life. I’ve been making plans (as you can see, I am no longer using my Passion Planner because it ran out – but I am trying this floral, $9.99 Target planner for this school year.) I’m trying to be better about looking at my weeks and being very deliberate about my priorities and when I can fit things in…as well as when I need to say no to things to take care of my own values.

-I was so excited this week to look at my progress on my six week shred! It really lifted my spirits and I know it’s only three and a half weeks, but it feels good to have stuck to something. My clothes fit better, I feel more energized and excited about picking out what to wear, and it has been a really nice way for my mom and sister and I to stay connected.

-I have picked up a new Monday afternoon class at Hot Asana where I teach yoga, and that has helped get me back in a groove with my own yoga practice. Lately I had felt like I was kind of in a yoga rut…using the same playlists, having trouble making it to take classes, not feeling inspired to write brand new classes. But with my new class time, more consistent practice on my own mat, and holding yoga club meetings for the students at the high school, I feel revamped. My new S’well bottle that is beautiful, bright, and keeps everything freezing cold doesn’t hurt, either!

-After buying a sample of it at Ulta, I finally bit the bullet and purchased the Living Proof dry shampoo (this one comes with a free gift!). It actually makes your hair feel and look clean, not to mention the a  m  a  z  i  n  g smell that stays in your hair all day. I still love my Dove dry shampoo the best all-around, but if I constantly had $22 to blow on dry shampoo, this would be the one.

But…most importantly…back to speaking of planners…I do have my eye on the pre-order 2017 Passion Planner in Blush. I just can’t help myself. I am who I am.

Happy Friday! Enjoy the weekend and stay out of the rain!

 

FriYAY feels!

It’s the last week of summer, and today is my first teacher work day. I’m excited to get back to school, teach a brand new class, get new students, and to be a mentor teacher this year, but of course I wish that the summer break could linger just a little bit longer.

A few fun things from this week:

-When I got home from Aruba, I had a beautiful little stash of jewels waiting for me! I ordered them from www.elisabethashlie.com right before I left for my trip. I love everything about these pieces, and love that they are unique and dainty, but still make a statement. Not to mention, everything is affordable and great quality! These are my picks:

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Left to Right: 1, 2, 3, 4

Dying to get one of these rings next!

-I got to have some great QT with a few really special people this week! I finally got to spend a pool day with my roomie, had lunch with someone very near and dear to me, I got a sushi fix with my BFF Whitney and we got to celebrate some big news for her…and I also got to see my main squeeze! I had a super sweaty walk with one of my best friends Abbie, and we can always pick back up where we left off. As cheesy as it sounds, I also got to spend some time just with myself, and I’m working on finding more time to do that so I can take better care of myself. 

-Teaching Fellows sent my final letter saying that I am DEBT FREE and no longer owe any money or service in NC public schools to pay back my college scholarships. That is an AMAZING feeling! I will of course still teach, but it’s nice to know my debt is covered.

-I went to take one of my dear friend Sam’s yoga classes this week. I always love supporting her! We did yoga teacher training together and we’re teaching a specialty class together next month, so stay tuned! She is such a light, a sweet soul, and incredibly talented in so many ways.

-This week = extreme snuggle mode with Bruno and Oliver. Andrew took such good care of them while I was gone, but we have all been extra snuggly this week now that we’re reunited! Even Bruno, who is usually way too cool for that kind of stuff.

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-Finally, two quotes that have been sticking with me lately, because sometimes we need those seemingly obvious reminders:

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Happy FriYAY 🙂

FriYAY feels!

Another week down! I can’t believe summer is close to an end and soon school will be starting up again. I’m so ready for this nasty humid NC weather to be out and for the sweet breeze of fall to start rolling in. This week went by incredibly fast (like the rest), but here’s a quick snapshot of what I’ve been up to!

-National Lipstick Day was actually last Friday, but if you don’t already know it about me, I love lipstick. So I’m squeezing it in on this week’s FriYAY feels.

national lipstick day

-On Tuesday, I went to my best friend Whitney’s house with our two other BFFs, Lauryn (my roomie!) and Kelly. We went to Italy together when we were young babes in college for a study abroad program, and we have remained thick as thieves over the last 8 years. Life is so busy, but when we get together, it’s always like we never missed a beat. Whitney’s boyfriend Romain is an   a m a z i n g   chef, and he cooked us the most delicious meal: pasta carbonara with seared scallops on top with homemade focaccia bread. Whitney re-created our favorite salad we had in Italy (we stayed in a deconsecrated convent with former nuns who made two of our meals every day!). It was just a really happy time, and the food (& company) could not be beat! Unfortunately, Whitney was off duty from J Parker Photography, so you get my iPhone pictures.

focaccia bread
italy salad
the best pasta

(We also re-created our favorite glamour shot with Lauryn and Whitney’s miniature weenie Daphne!)

lauryn daphne then now
2013 vs. 2016

-I got to pack for my trip to Aruba! Now that it’s finally here, I’m allowing myself to believe it is happening and now I have time to breathe and be really excited about it! But I will miss my doggies. Bruno & Oliver will stay with Andrew for the week, which puts my mind at ease, and I know they’ll love playing with his dog Nala! Bruno and Oliver loved helping me pack gave me a guilt trip while I packed.

-I got to see Andrew before leaving for Aruba! It is hard being an hour and a half away, but we do a good job of making time for each other. We tried to make breakfast for dinner (should be simple, right?), but we ended up with a mess on our hands, a waffle maker that stopped working, and a lot of burned bacon. Still, we were able to laugh about it and make “waffcakes” or “panffles” – we haven’t decided which we like better yet – and it ended up being a fun night even with the chaos! Sometimes life reminds you that everything doesn’t have to be perfect.

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-This year at school, I’m going to be a mentor teacher to a beginning teacher! I attended a mentor teacher training this week, which wasn’t necessarily fun, but now I’ll get to help a new teacher! That is something I really have wanted to do even since I began teaching.

-Last, but not least, family stuff: 1) My cousin graduates today! He’s the baby of my cousins, thoughtful, funny, and I remember holding him on a pillow when he was just a tiny newborn baby with white blonde hair. Congratulations, Michael! 2) I am heading home to Asheville today with my sister to see our brother and mom, and we are all going to watch a movie like old times, but this time in my brother’s new home! My sister and I haven’t seen it yet, so I’m pretty excited and proud of my big brother! 3) Tomorrow, my siblings and I are having breakfast with my dad and nana (his mom). It has been a long time since I’ve seen either of them and I am glad we’ll get to squeeze it in! Then it’s a week in Aruba with my mom, sister, and aunt! There is a lot to be thankful for.

Everyone enjoy your weekend! 

FriYAY feels!

We made it through another week (praise hands emoji)!

I wanted to start a sort of ‘week in review’ series up here, because I feel like my weeks fly by and sometimes I don’t take the time to really appreciate the small moments in the everyday.  Life is busy – believe me, I know that – but I think it’s important to reflect and touch base with yourself every now and then. And I chose Friday because…well…because FriYAY!!!

So here’s my first FriYAY feels post 🙂

-I started my week spending time with my big sister Emily – she came in for the holiday weekend and I hadn’t seen her in forever.  We had a great time! We checked out Cinebistro at Waverly Place to see The BFG, grilled out by the pool with Andrew, took the dogs for a walk, got our nails done, and she came to my regular Sunday night warm flow yoga class at Hot Asana Studio in Durham.  For the Fourth of July, we went with Lauryn to a Carolina Mudcats baseball game and saw fireworks – I got a foul ball! It was a great holiday weekend.

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I am currently dying for the glasses/braces snapchat filter. I can’t help myself.

-I recently purchased some new makeup items and tried them out this week. I’m going to do a full post soon, but I’m currently L O V I N G these:  Urban Decay afterglow 8 hour highlighter, Essie Spa Many Many Mani intensive hand lotion, tea tree skin clearing mattifying facial toner from The Body Shop, Sephora collection dry clean instant dry brush cleaner spray, and – I finally bit the bullet – The Philosophy brand Purity made simple face wash. I’ve bought travel sizes on and off and recently bought the big 8oz bottle, and I am so pleased.

-I finally had some time this week to get back to cooking! I made skinny buffalo chicken strips with homemade garlic parmesan potato wedges and balsamic brussel sprouts, and Romano chicken with lemon garlic pasta – I love Gina’s recipes from Skinny Taste and have used them for years.  I definitely believe in being healthy, but you have to find a balance – her recipes allow you to live a little without guilt.  The Romano chicken was one Lauryn made and I had to have it again!

-I got better sleep this week than I have been getting, and focusing on that has really helped me be refreshed in the mornings and ready to take on the day. It makes sense, of course, but this week I tried to stick to it. I love listening to the Instrumental Study playlist on Spotify before going to bed to help me wind down, and I don’t care if that makes me a nerd.

-I FINALLY broke down and started using the Starbucks app.  I have created a monster! But this week I ordered a new drink for in-store pick-up (YES THAT IS ACTUALLY A THING) and it was so delicious. It is a double shot on ice, a grande iced espresso drink with just espresso, nonfat milk, and classic syrup. Only 100 calories, velvety smooth and just sweet enough to curb the bitterness of the espresso. I don’t want to call it my new drink yet, but it’s a hard possible. Forgive me if I’m super late to this game, but I was excited about it!

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-I wrote a lot of new yoga classes and workouts to do at the gym.  One yoga class I wrote this week was on balance, and I thought it was an interesting juxtaposition of balancing with your body on your mat and trying to find balance in your life – we are all struggling to do that in some way, whether it is with fitness, food, finances, family, friends…man, that’s a lot of words starting with F.  It was a good week to think about balance for me.  I’m also excited about my gym workouts.  I used to be pretty fit and spent a large portion of my time in the gym, planning meals, counting calories, measuring and weighing, etc. and then there came a time in my life when that was the last thing I cared about, and it started to show! Now I’m really working on finding a balance because I like love to eat and have a good time, but I also love the way it feels to be working toward a goal and working toward a long and healthy life. So I’ll be working out hard at the gym between going to yoga classes, and it feels really good to be planning for that.

That’s it for me this week!  A lot of great things in addition to these, but these are my highlights.  I hope everyone had a wonderful week.  Enjoy your weekend!