Friday Favorites.

Hello friends! The sunshine is glorious in North Carolina, and I hope it is just the same wherever you are. I’m loving a lot of things this week, so I thought I would share them with you!

First up, Bow and Drape! My friend Carly tagged me in a photo on their Insta this week. It was a sweatshirt that said “Hair on fleek” (I’m not really sure what that means, but apparently it’s what the kids say these days) and had sequined TROLL DOLLS on it. I immediately fell in love. Turns out they customize sweatshirts and clutches. I’m counting down the days until my gray and black “Goal Digger” sweatshirt arrives. 🙂

Second, we have a water bottle by Ashley Brooke Designs. I’ve been coveting her coffee mugs for a while now, but being that I have a coffee mug for every day of the week, I can’t bring myself to buy a new one. However, this sassy water bottle that says “I Like the Way You Work It” is calling out to me.

Third, the fact that Run the Quay is next weekend and I’ve been consistently running 5 days a week. Crazy talk. Here’s to breaking an hour on my time!

Last but not least, Dr. Pepper. My one true love.

dr pepper

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what i’m reading

I love to read. It’s always been a hobby of mine. Is reading considered a hobby? I’m going to go with yes. I was that kid who waited at midnight for the release of the next installment of the Harry Potter series, then I would devour the book in days. Well – except for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – that one scared me for a solid 2 weeks before I picked it up again.

Anyway, I thought I would write a short post on what I’m reading currently or planning to read in the next few weeks. As you can see here, my dresser has turned into a make-shift bookshelf. That’s mainly due to the lack of space on my nightstand. I do, in fact, own a bookshelf, but I’ve gotten into a habit of picking up (or ordering off Amazon, let’s be real) books and starting them all at once. It’s my intention to finish at least 2 of these by the end of February.

Make it Happen – Lara Casey
My friend, Carly, and I went on a trek to Barnes & Nobles a few weekends ago for this book and I didn’t really know much about it. She was intent on reading it and told me she would let me know how it was. Then I met the author the very next day at a bridal show I was working. It’s a small world, after all.

One Plus One – Jojo Moyes
Ever since I finished Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, I’ve been entranced by her writing and the way she tells a story. I would also recommend The Girl You Left Behind – so good.

The Empathy Exams – Leslie Jamison
It’s rare that I pick up a book that’s non-fiction, but the description of this one grabbed my attention. It’s a collection of essays about the human experience and how we express empathy towards others.

Tiny, Beautiful Things – Cheryl Strayed
This one stays on my current rotation. It’s a collection of advice columns (questions and answers) from Dear Sugar, also known as the best-selling author of Wild. Every time I have something frustrating in my life happen or my heart breaks, I reach for this one.

A Book of Sunshine
My Meme gave me this book in September of 1998 (it says so on the inside cover). I just came across it a few months ago while moving, and it made me immensely happy.

booksfeb15

Not shown here is the book I’m actually reading at the moment. I’m currently working my way through The Ship of Brides by Jojo Moyes. It’s on my kindle and I’m enjoying it so far. Now if only I could read all day instead of work… 🙂

 

March Madness.

Hello – your terrible blog updater is at your service.

You know that saying that March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb? Well, Mother Nature must have forgotten that one. It’s been a dreary, windy, cold, tornado-y month. Okay, so that it wasn’t that tornado-y, but I did spend a significant amount of time wrapped in a blanket burrito, fearing for my safety on Saturday night.

Let’s look back:

  1. I took 15,000+ steps on March 20
  2. I had my first massage and facial experience (& felt way out of my league)
  3. I was pulled over and ticketed for the first time in my life (ouch)
  4. I was first place in my work’s bracket challenge for a significant amount of time. I was convinced Warren Buffett was going to have to pay me for a perfect bracket.
  5. Sarah and I ordered no less than 6 beverages at brunch in Charlottesville – we were running of out of room for all of our liquid
  6. I attended my 2nd baby shower
  7. I was spoiled with 2 new things from Moon & Lola + Chanel perfume just because
  8. I learned I signed a 13 month lease instead of a 12 month lease (another ouch moment)
  9. I learned that the word “kurtosis” refers to the hump on a distribution curve
  10. I’ve read 2 books
  11. I spent 8 hours in a car to see my best friend for the weekend 🙂
  12. I tearfully made it to season 4 of Breaking Bad – poor Jesse.

See ya in April!

february wrap-up.

Holy cow, that was fast! I cannot believe that February has come and gone.

Here’s a quick look back at one of my favorite months:

  1. I went to the gym 17 times and hiked Raven Rock State Park once
  2. I attended my first baby shower
  3. I had 2 snow days where I didn’t change out of my pajamas and huddled in a blanket nest
  4. I’ve saved the $42 required for the 52-week money challenge
  5. I spent $173.43 on gas — down $113.49 from last month! Yay for shorter months and snow days.
  6. I made a dozen muffins
  7. I paid tuition for the second to last time!
  8. I earned an A in my first class of the semester
  9. I’ve gone 6 days without talking to my mom 😦
  10. I ate the most incredible peanut butter bacon banana sandwich
  11. I joined the Kate Spade New York watch club!
  12. I ate 1 slice of strawberry cake and 3 triple chocolate cupcakes
  13. The Furicane returned to North Carolina!
  14. I purchased a FitBit yesterday and I’ve taken 1,532 steps since I set it up last night at 7:00

So that was my month! Let’s see what March has to offer!

twenty-four.

Oh, little blog. You’re giving me quite the challenge this year. My last two birthdays, I offered wisdom and challenged myself…however this one kind of snuck up on me. It’s not that I didn’t realize I was about to turn 24, but I just have been swamped with doing this and that. This being finishing up class number 9 of my MBA program and that being preparing for everyone and their brother to visit Raleigh. I apologize, sincerely.

Instead, I’ve decided to make a list (surprise, surprise!) of 24 little things that I love about life.

  1. Being able to say “There’s nothing I really don’t enjoy about my job” 90% percent of my work days
  2. Waking up a few hours before my alarm and realizing I get to sleep a little big longer
  3. Knowing how to get to a destination without looking up directions or using Google Maps
  4. Going to Target with my mom 🙂
  5. Having Jasmine curl up in a ball on me and sleep
  6. Writing notes and letters and cards to people I appreciate and love
  7. Knowing keyboard shortcuts – seriously, how did I go 22 years without utilizing them?!
  8. Becoming an emotional ball with legs around holidays – (my money is on me crying at least twice today)
  9. Going to the gym and soaking up 45 minutes of uninterrupted “me” time
  10. Waking up to a thunderstorm and lightning
  11. The overwhelming feeling of joy and sadness every time I drive across the Virginia state line
  12. Having best friends who can complete my sentences even if we haven’t spent time together in months
  13. Being known as the “sparkly” one
  14. The satisfaction of cooking a really good meal
  15. Opening shipping boxes – even if they only contain textbooks, it’s still like opening a present
  16. Checking off things on a to-do list
  17. Planting flowers and enjoying them when they bloom
  18. Feeling the perfect amount of refreshed after a nap
  19. Eating a warm peanut butter sandwich – yum!
  20. Not wearing make-up and being able to rub my eyes
  21. Bear hugs from Shane ❤
  22. Earning an A on a paper that caused a huge amount of stress
  23. A successful trip to the grocery store – complete with grocery list that lists items in according to the layout of the store and saving over $25
  24. Riding with the car windows down on a Spring day

I do remember saying something about 24 random acts of kindness; however, my planning has been poor (along with my wee-little bank account) so that will have to stay put for now. I did scrub the floors, counters and buy flowers in preparation of the Virginia & West Virginia visitors this weekend. That counts, right?!

I hope your day is happy! 🙂

 

23 things, an update

Just an update on the list of 23 things I challenged myself to do on my last birthday. While I didn’t accomplish as many of these as I thought I would, I did accomplish many things I never dreamed I would do! Things I did are highlighted in bold font. 🙂

  1. Run in the Dirty Dan Dash
  2. Become responsible enough to own a pet
  3. Get a tattoo (I’ve been saying this for years) – the older I get, the happier I am that I haven’t done this. 
  4. Learn to sew
  5. Read 100 books –  this was extremely lofty – I didn’t take into account that I would have to read a book every 3.5 days
  6. Watch my big sister get married – there’s a giant, goofy grin on my face in the pictures too!
  7. Bake cakes for friends on their birthdays and accomplishments
  8. Pay off my last student loan!
  9. Learn how to make chicken fried rice – AND chicken pad thai!
  10. Make my own sushi – this on the list of things to do soon!
  11. Run in a color 5K
  12. Start writing a book
  13. 52 Week Money Challenge
  14. Recycle more!
  15. Go on a spur of the moment vacation
  16. Take a painting class –  more like 4!
  17. Embrace the Anti-Diet
  18. Take a dance class
  19. Cook dinner at least once a week
  20. Make a painting like Mia & her mom in Princess Diaries
  21. Re-read all of the Harry Potter books (gotta keep the kid in me alive somehow) – best. decision. ever.
  22. Hike to a waterfall in North Carolina
  23. Become the most positive person I know

So I didn’t get a lot accomplished. Here’s to a more productive year. I’m feeling quite optimistic about 24. 🙂

adios january.

I cannot believe that January is over already. Technically we have 14 hours left, but still…

Just like that we’re 1/12 of the way through 2014 and what do I have to show for it?!

Things I’ve accomplished in January:

  1. I’ve been to the gym on average 4.2 times a week (mostly at 5:00 a.m. – ouch)
  2. I’ve helped the boy install 6 of 11 sets of blinds in the new house!
  3. I’ve made a dozen cupcakes that disappeared in 3 days
  4. I’ve cooked approximately 22 dinners & packed tons of lunches
  5. I enjoyed 1 snow day where I discovered the wonderful nectar of the gods, also known as coconut oil
  6. I’ve watched 2 seasons of Raising Hope, 1.25 seasons of Friends, 2 episodes of Breaking Bad and I’m currently caught up on Downton Abbey season 4
  7. I’ve read 4 books
  8. I spent 3.5 hours navigating the nightmare that is known as IKEA
  9. I spent 2.75 days in Virginia
  10. I’ve sent 7 pieces of mail
  11. I lost $286.92 to Sheetz and the Moozda’s constant hunger for gas
  12. I’ve saved the $26 required for the 52-week money challenge (hi, mom!)
  13. I fed Henry* once – his feedings are the boy’s responsibility because his food stinks and the last time I fed him he regurgitated his food and began pooping within 30 seconds of me feeding him

So there are the numbers of my month. Now to take on February, the best month ever! 🙂

*Henry is our orange African Cichlid – he kind of looks like a goldfish, but he’s shy…except for when he poops and pukes. Shane likes fish. It’s weird.

fourteen.

Fancy meeting you here, stranger. It looks like we’ve made it to another year. Another 365 days (364 – I’m a day behind)  ahead of us and a blank slate. I spent day 1 sealing grout and unpacking things my boyfriend hasn’t used in 6-8 months, and I’m thankful that he is finally in a place he can call his own (and I’m just a little thankful that I get to help decorate it).

I’ve seen lots of these going around the interwebs and I’m a sucker for a good list, so instead of resolutions I’m going to list 14 things I want to do this year. I know, I know, I did this with my birthday last year, but 14 is a bit more manageable. #givemeabreak

  1. Invest more time and energy into myself versus material things – this means spending money on a gym instead of Kate Spade bags
  2. Stick to my budget every month.
  3. Do 24 random acts of kindness in honor of my 24th birthday.
  4. Start a Blessings Jar to be opened on New Year’s Eve.
  5. Dance more.
  6. Read more books – put that Kindle Paperwhite to good use!
  7. Have more fun.
  8. Keep things organized.
  9. Change the quote on my office chalkboard once a week.
  10. Do some serious condensing in the amount of clothes, shoes, stuff I own.
  11. Make my bed every day – let’s be real, a neat bed makes for a happy day.
  12. Stop using my introvert tendencies as a crutch.
  13. Stop hiding from cameras.
  14. Have more adventures!

out with the old…

2013 – You were supremely better than 2012. You were packed full of excitement, trips and moments that made my heart feel like it was going to burst with joy! While I wait for the clock to tick down to Christmas and a new year (and new possibilities), let’s revisit the best moments of 2013.

  • Visiting Gwendolyn in Athens, GA! Athens is such a cool place and any time I can utter the phrase, “I’m a sushi-filled blob” is a good memory in my book!
  • The infamous Geico Hump Day commercial!
  • Buying a pair of white Converse All Stars – best. purchase. ever.
  • Reading the Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Yes, it’s a young adult book. Yes, it’s sappy. Yes, it made me bawl my eyes out. I can’t wait for the movie!
  • 23 things for my 23rd birthday – I’ve accomplished 9 of the 23. I’ve still got 2 months, right?!
  • Moving!!
  • Seeing John Mayer in concert!
  • Carrying the RDU Baton.
  • Chopping my hair off! Here’s to it growing out quickly in 2014.
  • iPhone 5, baby!
  • My sister getting married. AKA getting the best big brother ever!
  • Meeting the boyfriend…#swoon
  • Discovering the amazing concoction known as a venti Iced White Mocha
  • Making a zombie survival kit
  • Visiting Sarah in Charlottesville
  • Getting promoted!
  • Painting the handsome Mr. Hunter for a Christmas present

Friday Favorites.

Hello –

1. The Alexander Square parking deck in Raleigh. The stairwells smell like cinnamon and it’s one block down from my favorite store and two blocks down from my favorite restaurants. Plus it’s the only parking deck I can navigate Raleigh from.

2. Chuck’s – again downtown Raleigh. Get their Big House burger. Delicious.

3. Sam’s Club – did you know you can buy bulk flowers from them?! Holy cow – my life has changed.

4. My mom & dad – they sent me these gorgeous flowers on my first day of my new job:

fleurs

 

Happy weekend, y’all! I hope it’s full of fun adventures!

leah