Farewell August

August, you spoiled me with your warm hugs and brilliant sunlit smiles.

I cannot put into words how great this month was! This month started with my birthday, day trips, family gatherings and Allyson currently visiting for two weeks between the end of her summer internship and the start of her senior year which starts in September.

We explored new towns and found new favorite spots to eat or shop locally as well. This month has been about having no itinerary and the wanderlust that took us on spontaneous adventures. It’s true what they say that if you live in the moment and don’t schedule every minute of your free time, that time will feel like it lasts much longer. I was off three days last week and it felt like a full week. Keep that tip in mind for your next long weekend or vacation and you will see what I mean!

I know this is bad for a blogger to admit but I didn’t take many pictures either. One day I even left my phone at home! Crazy, I know. It was a strange feeling at first but so freeing at the end of the day.

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My new grand niece was born 8/19!   Eliana James –  Eliana is in honor or her grandmom Ellie and great grandmom Anna.   James is for her great grandfather who’s birthday she was born on. She is such a little peanut! We love her to pieces.

 

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With the new baby in the house, Allyson and I took her big sis and bro to the park for some auntie/cousin time. These two have big imaginations!

 

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My new book that I cannot put down.  Look for a review next month sometime!

 

20160828_190633 Summer is for relaxing with the pups on the deck, grilling food, listening to music and sharing cocktails with the family.

20160827_131547 And just one last reminder… Never miss a chance to sparkle!

 

I hope all my stateside readers  have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend!

I am not quite ready for summer to unofficially end. But I do long for those cool crisp fall days and everything smelling like pumpkin spice and the leaves begin to change.

Tell me…. What are you most looking forward too about fall?  Or what will you miss most about summer? 

 

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December already?

How was everyone’s November?  I can not believe it’s December already.  November went by so fast!  It has been exactly a month since my last post.  It was a recap of my first full week of morning workouts. I am happy to report that I am still going strong.  I even got up early on my vacation last week and got my yoga in first thing! I really look forward to that time now.  This is probably one of the best changes I have made in a while.

So how was your Thanksgiving?  Ours was really busy this year with 3 dinner parties and a birthday brunch that kept us busy from Thursday to Sunday.  We drove up to NH to bring Allyson home on 11/22.  She has a 6 week winter break so she will be home through the first weekend in January when we take her back north. I loved having whole days to spend with her shopping and catching up.

Speaking of shopping….. I am feeling SO accomplished!  I managed to get all my Christmas shopping done between Macy’s and Amazon.  We got incredible deals the day before Thanksgiving at Macy’s.  They were honoring their Black Friday deals that day. It was great!  The store was empty.  We saved a ton of money… Best shopping season ever! I still have a few small things I want to get for Dan and stocking stuffers. But really, the stressful part is over.

Speaking of stocking stuffers….. Last year we came up with The Great Stocking Challenge.  You can read about it by clicking the link but basically each of us come up with a theme, take a set amount of cash, split up and spend a day shopping for what we interpret that theme to be.  Then we wrap the items but do not tag them.  The game on Christmas morning is to guess who bought what.  Allyson picked her theme this year, “warmth”.  Dan and I have yet to come up with something. I am leaning towards “girlie” but not sold yet. I am really excited to for this!  We do not have many holiday traditions so this one is new and exciting for us.

As for the rest of the month, I am involved with 2 challenges:  1 is yoga and 1 is squats.  I plan to spend this month living in the moment.  I don’t want to rush around or let the days pass without anything to show for it.  We have some parties to attend and I hope to have my Father-In-Law and his wife down for dinner as well.  I hope to make it back on here before the New Year.  In case I do not, I want to wish you all a safe and happy holiday!

Tell me: Do you have a favorite tradition you share with family or friends?

Currently

Hey everyone! So much for me blogging more frequently.  Life has been busy but I can’t complain. I thought I would jump on here real quick to say, “Hi” and catch up on a few things.

If you follow me on Instagram, you will know that I have been on there A LOT the past few weeks.  Part of the reason is because of the yoga daily challenges.  I am really learning so much! Having the challenge has helped me stay accountable to keep moving daily and I am meeting so many new Instafriends in the process.  Now yoga has become a daily habit and I am in LOVE with it!

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I was so excited when I learned on Friday that I was one of two winners in the May challenge!  I never thought I had a chance really because there were so many people that were better then me. I am humbled.  It was a nice surprise and a great start to my weekend!

Speaking of great things happening…

 

Oh Hey! Check it out.

Oh Hey! Check it out.

This happened this weekend too! I have been struggling with most of the arm balances in the June challenge (all about balance).  On Saturday (top) I manages to pull off a baby grasshopper pose.  On Sunday (bottom) I was able to get lift on elephant trunk pose.  Both still need a lot of work but getting lift in both poses was encouraging.

I love that my gardens are in bloom and filling in nicely.  I have embraced the weeds, to a point.  I am not spending 8 hours on my weekend pulling every single weed on every single weekend.  I just don’t have it in my anymore.  So, if it looks like ground cover, it can stay.

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I love this rose bush. It grows these big clusters of peach roses.

I have been mixing up my face cleaning routine because my skin has been a total wreck lately. I think the problem was my face wipes.  I have found my new favorite at Wal-Mart:

winning

 

From the Simple Skincare website:

Simple® knows that what is left out is as important as what is put in when it comes to gentle, yet effective skincare. Our wipes, like all Simple® products, have no dyes, artificial perfumes or harsh irritants that can upset skin and contain skin-loving ingredients and added vitamins for natural, healthy-looking skin. 

Simple wipes refresh and nourish your skin plus remove waterproof mascara. They are perfect for traveling or for your gym bag when you need a quick cleanse – they work in just one step, no rinsing required.

Two weeks ago, i decided to try Simple wipes mainly because Wal-mart had a large pack with a bonus pack of round eye make-up remover pads for $4.97.  I am not one to pass up such a bargain and I am glad I gave it a try. In just two weeks, the acne I was experiencing has subsided and my skin feels smooth and hydrated. I like to keep wipes in my running bag so that I can remove my makeup while sitting in traffic on my way the park for my evening run. Some wipes leave me feeling like I have a film on my face but I did not experience that with this brand.  I will be definitely be buying these again! If you are interested in skincare and what to learn more about this brand, check out their website for some interactive fun! This is all my own opinion and was not asked my Simple to do a review.  This is just me sharing what I love.

My blonde moment of the week was yesterday when I was out for my run.  I was taking it easy because it was hot… letting my mind wonder when I suddenly remembered that I had three days of half days coming up this week (Tues-Thurs) then off on Friday! I was making mental plans all night for what I was going to do with my off time: Run, yoga, read, maybe go to my sisters.  Then it hit me… although I have off on Friday, my half days are NEXT week.  I have these three full days of work to get through.  Man, what a disappointment! It was like that first Christmas morning when you suddenly realize you are not a kid anymore and your gifts suddenly became more practical then they are fun… Oh well… At least I still have this weekend to look forward to!  It’s our annual sister’s weekend in Ocean City, NJ. I can’t wait to get away, run on the boardwalk in the morning and spend quality time with my sisters.

So, that’s what has been going on lately.  I hope to blog from the beach but I don’t know if I can do it. I do not usually get cell reception and I do not think there is wi-fi at the house but I will try!

Did you do anything great this weekend?  Do you have a new beauty find you would like to share?

Currently…

I feel like my mind is all over the place lately.  It’s filled with a lot of randomness.  So, it’s time to play a little game called “currently”.  Ready to play along?  

This past weekend…  What a great time!  Saturday, we met up with a few of our best friends, saw Band of Skulls play in Philly, filled up on a late night snack of Smokin’ Tacos and got home WAY past my bedtime. 

No sense of time… Because we were with friends, I really tried to keep my phone in my handbag.  I have a slight addiction to my phone but I did well. I only checked it a few times while in the car. I do not wear a watch and I really felt out of sorts a bit thinking it was not as late as it actually was.  So, yeah, sorry Jess if my text woke you… I was this way on Sunday too having decided to leave my phone in the house while I got some gardening done. I was two hours behind the actual time.  That can really screw you up! 

Digging in the dirt session… First round done.  Sunday, I got three hours of weeding completed. I estimate maybe another 6 hours to invest before all the gardens are tended to.  Then hopefully I will get mulch this year and get that down quick to help keep new weeds at bay.  I lost a few plants and bushes to the harsh winter.  Some I am sad about and others not so much.  I need to find a bush or large plant that is zone 7, full sun and can take on a lot of water.  I have a bald spot in one garden that I need to fill.  Maybe an asparagus plant will work… Any suggestions?  This spot gets run off from another part of the yard.  Even the much gets washed away.

Mad Men… (spoiler) Sunday’s episode was so good! Betty is a total wacko. Will Don be able to comply with the rules set up for him or will he wig out? I felt bad for Don the way everyone treated him.  But it was great writing. I did not see that twist coming. Next week’s episode looks even better!

Social Media… I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed lately.  So many blogs to read and not enough time in the day!   I have decided it’s impossible to read it all so I am jumping in when I can.  I have been seeing people post cool video collages on Instagram.  What app is that? I think I need it! I went on this blog last week to add my new Sweat Pink Ambassador badge and all my badges disappeared! I got them all back except the SPA badge.  It will not show up in the side bar and it’s driving me nuts.  I am getting that tiny image box like there is something there but it’s broken. Grr.

Yoga… I feel like I am really coming to appreciate it more lately. I think the chest opening poses helped a lot with getting over my chest cold in record time.  I love the stretch and how relaxed but energized I feel when I am done.  BUT More to come on this later. I want to learn the more advanced poses (Like Crow) but know I need to be patient and go slow… I will breathe deeply and enjoy the process. Ohm….

Running… My race is on 5/24.  I have not been out in weeks since I had that horrible chest cold over Easter. I am finally feeling better.  Now I need to get out there and really bring it!  We are getting rain all week.  I think I need to suck it up and just get out there – rain or no rain. All you glasses wearing runners, I have questions: Does a baseball cap really keep the rain off your glasses? I really can’t stand water on the lenses.  Do you ever have issues with them fogging up?

Future plans… This coming weekend is family weekend at Dartmouth for all first year students to show off the place to their family.  I am off Thursday-Monday because of this.  We are traveling Friday night and coming home on Sunday.   So yay to no 14 hour round trip this time!  I am looking forward to spending time with Allyson and having her show us some of her favorite parts of the campus. Dan’s birthday is this weekend. I am hoping we can celebrate a little for him too.  

OD I feel a little more settled now….  When life starts to feel hectic, I sometimes need to remind myself to stop and look around.

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You all are pretty amazing too.  Thanks for stopping by!