Self-Care during Self Quarantine.

If someone had told me that I would ever type that title to one of my blogs I would have laughed in their face, but here we are. It’s been a roller coaster of a few weeks and I want to preface this post by saying that I am fully aware that I am in a wonderful position during this crisis. Not only am I working, but I am working from home. I don’t take that for granted. I know that so many people have lost their jobs or their businesses, or still have to work outside the home worrying about what they are coming in contact with. That being said, I’m single momming it with my two kiddos, trying to balance us being in each other space all the time, work, and keeping them going with school work. It can be a bit mentally exhausting.  I gave myself a schedule of things to do for myself. Things that don’t take up too much time and can be squeezed in daily, and things that don’t put a strain on your wallet! I thought I would share them with you in hopes that maybe a few of them would resonate with someone and help make this time a little easier.

Daily Self-Care

 

Sunday is a long stretch or yoga session. I love yoga. I’m not as consistent with my practice as I’d like to be and I find I do more in the summer that any other time. Lexington has so many lovely instructors who offer free classes in the summer so I find myself heading to those sessions in the warmer months. I do, however, make a point to do at least one good yoga/stretch session on Sunday evening. Your practice doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s but I promise if you fit at least one good stretch session in your schedule you will feel better. I use a great YouTube channel for my practice.

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She is a great place to start if you have never practiced before! She has so many options to choose from and a range of times. I know, for me, when I started practicing yoga an hour long session seemed like a daunting task. She has so many beginning choices and shorter sessions.

 

Monday night is mud mask night. Sometimes I wait until my kids are in the bed and sometimes I traumatize them by hanging out with them with a mud mask on. It’s all about balance. I have a mask that I use regularly. I sometimes find random ones to try out, but my tried and true choice is my charcoal mask from Mary Kay.

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Tuesday I take time during the day or evening to listen to a new or one of my favorite Podcasts. I have so many that I love. I usually listen to them in the shower or when I am getting ready, but on Tuesdays I make it a point to sit somewhere with a cup of coffee or tea and  listen intently to one of them.

 

 

These are just a snippet. I have so many that I listen to. I love them. I listen to more podcasts than I watch tv. If you have any that you love, please share them with me. I love discovering new ones to enjoy.

Wednesday is a coloring session. I’m sure that sounds crazy to some of you. I don’t care that it does. It is one of my favorite things to do. Sometimes Cazlin and I color together. Sometimes it’s me, a cup of tea, my favorite music, and my coloring pencils.

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I have purchased two separate complete books that I have colored. One for each of my children. I colored the entirety of each and they can have them after I am long gone.

Thursday is for meditation. I do have the breathe app on my watch that sends me alerts, several times a day, to make me focus on my breathing and to bring my focus to the present, however, on Thursdays I carve out at least 15 minutes and do a guided meditation from the Headspace app.

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The app is free. It gives you several basic meditations. You have the option to purchase deeper meditations if you like. I just use the basic meditations to take a few minutes to body scan and clear my head (which is quite an undertaking.) You can also find guided meditations on YouTube or you can put on some soft music and just spend some time focusing on your breath. Doing this has made me so much more aware  of where I hold my tension and how often I find myself holding my breath.

 

Friday night is Bath night. I mean the works. I light candles, put on St. Tropez spa in apple music, make a cup of tea or glass of wine (depending on the week.) , pour in some Dr. Teals Lavender Bubble bath, and soak.

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This weekly ritual started as a New Year’s resolution in 2018. I may have missed a handful of weekend bath nights since. Cazlin thinks it’s hilarious her response when I start gathering the supplies is “are you going to your spa?”  My response is always, “of course.”

Saturday is for trying something new. I love to cook and since Saturdays I have more time I use the afternoon to try cooking a new dish. I turn on French cooking Radio on pandora, pour a glass of wine, and pick a recipe from my pinterest board. Sometimes it turns out and sometimes it’s an Epic Fail. Either way it is always an enjoyable experience. I love that you can find so many different recipes on Pinterest. Currently, I have been dabbling in French recipes and I’ve also perfected my shrimp and grits.

So these are just a few things I do to bring myself joy every day. I hope that each of you are taking a few moments out of each day to breathe and center yourself. If you are feeling overwhelmed, just know that you aren’t alone. Be kind to yourself, give yourself some grace and know that I am praying for your peace and health. Much love to you all!

My Girls

Well y’all life has been interesting. Dating has been interesting. But one thing that rings true, always, is that I have amazing women in my life. This time of year is hard for the single gal. All these “tokens” of love pop up everywhere you turn. It could easily send someone into a therapy session with Ben and Jerry. However, I  have the cure. Time with your girlfriends. And maybe that one guy you grew up with that you treat like a girlfriend. (y’all have one too, don’t act like you don’t. ) So I’m coming at you this week with a few fun ways you can spend time with the loves of your life.

 

Host a Chick flick night.

It is so simple. Grab some popcorn, wine, and a spread of your favorite candies and give your gals a couple of John Hughes movies to choose from(we used wine corks to cast our votes) and you have a recipe for an evening of laughter that is hard pressed to beat.

 

 

We even had these perfect cookies made by the futile gourmet. Let me just say that some of my dearest friends started out as random Instagram conversations. I sincerely hope this is no different. He is so funny and talented and I could just eat him up. Not to mention these cookies were amazing.

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If you would like to reach out to him for orders or  you can find him at www.thefutilegourmet.com 

 

 

 

Attend a workshop.

I’ve lived in Lexington for 20 years. I love the way I still find new things. I love the way it is constantly changing and becoming something new but still holding true to its southern charm. So when I was invited to a workshop at Alexandra Pallos floral design I was so excited. They had a delicious spread from fete boards and mimosas to go around. Alexandra led us through a floral design and we all went home with beautiful arrangements. I love creative workshops like this. It sparks other creative juices almost instantly. I came home from the workshop ready to brighten up my home. I even went and purchased a plant, on purpose. (yes, I hear you gasping.. I named it …. surely I will not kill something I named. I digress).

 

 

Thanks to Sarah at www.spaceplaceandsoutherngrace.com for capturing so many beautiful shots. She will be doing Aidan’s senior pictures and I cannot wait to watch her work her magic again!

You can also check out all Alexandra has to offer at www.alexandrapallosfloraleventsky.com

You can follow fete boards on Instagram and order either through DM or email them at feteboards@gmail.com

 

Galentine’s Brunch

Priyanka hosted the sweetest Galentine’s brunch. Everyone brought something to share and we enjoyed catching up and sharing some of what we had going on. We had such a lovely time. Any time that I get to spend with these women is uplifting.

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Kelsey outdid herself with this brunch board.

and there was a ton of great food. but Kelsey made the most beautiful brunch board. You can find her tutorial for the brunch board at www.kelseydiane.com. 

So get out there with those you adore and celebrate all the love.

 

Enjoy a few other galentine posts by some of the loveliest lovelies.

www.kentuckygirlramblings.com

www.sassinthebluegrass.com

www.glamourandgiggles91.com

www.fabulousinfayette.com

www.lexfoodguide.com

Holiday Wrap Up.

Best Holiday Ever… Did anything extravagant happen? No. Did we have a ton of crazy gifts? No. Was it practically stress free and relaxing? YYYYYEEEEEESSSSS. Honestly it was one of the most chill Holiday seasons I’ve ever had, and if you know me you are well aware that chill isn’t one of the words normally used to describe me. Like I had said before, 2019 wasn’t a year that I was telling everyone about. Somewhere before Thanksgiving I made a couple big decisions that I should have tackled a year ago and after that the tides turned.

Thanksgiving was a big weekend. I spent it with my Aunt on actual Thanksgiving Day and then my Mom and siblings the day after. The kids ate til they were full and I watched every possible Hallmark Christmas Movie that I could fit in that weekend.  I did a little shopping with some girlfriends and basically just lounged with my little  family all weekend. Here are some of the highlights.

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I need y’all to know that once upon a time I viewed myself as a tall woman. I realize that I am not actually tall by any means, however, standing next to the teenage guys in my family I am as short as a hobbit.

 

Caz and I made some Mickey Gingerbread Cookies and a frozen palace gingerbread house.

 

 

I got to visit with one of the best guys on the planet and our kids got to meet for the first time.

 

 

We did our annual Jammie Cocoa Christmas. (we get in our jammies, grab some cocoa. Turn on the Christmas music and head out to look at Christmas lights) This year we turned it into a scavenger hunt. It was our best yet!

 

The kids had their concerts and recitals. The pic of Caz trying to kiss Aidan is basically their relationship.

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We visited Santa. Let me just say that if you don’t visit Santa at Hillenmeyer you are missing out! It is completely worth the wait. You can take your own pics and its like you are in a completely different world, when in fact you are just in the Fresh Market Parking lot.

 

 

 

We saw frozen 2, went to the Southern lights, our elf hung out, and we did our annual Christmas Eve girl’s brunch at the Castle.

 

 

Then Christmas day arrived. The kids had a wonderful morning. Aidan got his favorite Irish Shortbread in his stocking. I swear he is like a little old Irishman sometimes.

 

All in all a perfect Holiday. Full of our little family’s Traditions. So here is to the New Year. I pray that God pours out blessings on each of you!

 

 

 

 

Goodbye 2019

I love New Years. It’s my second favorite holiday. As a planner there is nothing better than a universal “fresh start” day. I make New Year’s resolutions every year. Some stick, some don’t but at the end of the day the feel of newness and goal setting always gets me going.

I normally don’t spend a lot of time looking back on the year I am leaving, but every book I’ve read and every podcast I’ve listened to has encouraged reflecting on the previous year. So I sat with that for a bit..

 

2019 isn’t a year that I am sad to see go. I dealt with some heartbreak, anxiety, and depression. However, these last few months the tides have really shifted. You know when you can feel it. You feel a change coming. Well that’s where I am. I’ve sat with my planners, I’ve set my goals, and I’m ready to take on some new challenges and adventures. Even though 2019 wasn’t a banner year for me it had some beautiful moments and I’m always grateful for the things that happen in my life. They are all life lessons and we can either get knocked down by them or learn and grow stronger and better from them.  So I thought I’d Share a few of my Highlights from 2019.

 

I became more involved in the blogging community and boy do we have one of the best around. I have made some amazing friends in this community.

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My oldest turned 16!!!!! Y’all, he is the best kid. I mean his room is a mess and I might occasionally have to encourage a shower, but he is so funny, witty and one of the most sincere guys on this planet. I not only love him, but I like him.

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Not only, did Aidan turn 16, but he also got baptized. Y’all this picture, that Cody Logan captured, makes my heart explode every time I look at it…

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I got a new job and I work  with some incredible people.

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Spent a lot of time with these two. Summer went quick since they spent a few weeks with their dad. It felt like school came quickly.

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I enjoyed my first NFL game.  I’m a broncos girl, but Julia and I headed up to Indianapolis for a colts game and thoroughly enjoyed it. Oh my, that stadium is aaaammmmaaazzzziiiinnnggg!

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This little princess turned 8. She is such an amazing little creature.

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This year gave me a lot of clarity. It gave me a few tears. It gave me some life lessons.  But it also gave me new tools. It gave me some really good laughs. Some amazing friends. and it gave the world Baby Yoda. So I’ll call it a win.

 

 

Cheers to you and yours for a wonderful 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Free Day! Part 3

So after we had the world’s best Beer at Sig Luscher Brewery, We Hopped back on The Lexington on Tap Tour bus and headed on over to Buffalo Trace Distillery. This was not my first Time to Buffalo Trace. They have family events there every year. We have had the pleasure of doing a great Easter Egg hunt on the grounds. All that being said, I had never had a proper tour of the facility.

 

Now, brace yourself, I’m about to tell you something that might shock you, since I am a Kentucky Girl. I’m not the biggest fan of bourbon. Truth is, for many years any time that I had candy or drink with bourbon in it, my lips would swell up like a terrible botched collagen injection. So I feared I was allergic to something in bourbon. Turns out it was  just a terrible coincidence of some kind. So it’s only been in the last few years that I have ventured into the realm of bourbon. I will say this, even if you aren’t a fan of bourbon or spirits in general, the history of buffalo trace is interesting enough that you would enjoy one of the many tours they have to offer.

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At the end of every tour you get to Sample some of their spirits and they finish it off with a bourbon ball, so drinks and dessert for everyone.

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This was our tour guide, Brian. However, after having a Tim at Wise bird and a Tim at Sig Luscher, some of us just called him Tim, as well. He humored us. He was an amazing tour guide and I actually requested him when I went back for one of the other tours, but he was not working that day. One of the best things about the Buffalo Trace tours is that they are entirely FREE! I highly encourage you to check one of the tours out or one of their family events. They do an Easter egg hunt in the Spring and an Evening with Santa during the Holiday Season.

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We loaded the Bus and Headed back to Lexington. Let me just say that the folks at Lexington On Tap Tours have it together. I know that there are a few options when it comes to these types of tours, but these folks have relationships with so many of these businesses. Our tour guide was welcomed like an old friend at every stop. And I don’t know if it was her or our driver who made the playlist for the music on the bus, but they can DJ for me anytime.

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It was an amazing tour! If you enjoy spending a day with some amazing people and checking out new things that central Kentucky has to offer in the Winery, Cidery, Distillery , and Brewery scene then check them out at http://www.Lexontapbrewerytours.com

 

Again, huge thanks to Max Event and Design Management for taking the stress of getting all of the good pics off our shoulders. Now if you need me, I’ll be over here, just trying to decide what to do with my next free day.

A Free Day. Part 2

So today is part 2 of my free day, Lexington on Tap Tour recap. Check out day 1 to read about Wise bird Cider Co. Again, huge shout out to Max Event and Design Management for the amazing pictures in this post.

 

After we spent some time sipping lovely cider at Wise bird Cider, we boarded the bus to head to our next stop, which was Sig Luscher Brewery in Frankfort, KY.

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I enjoy a good beer, occasionally. It’s not the first thing I normally order, but let me tell you something. The people at Sig Lusher are doing it right! I have found my most favorite beer on the planet. (But I’ll get to that in a moment).

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Say hello to Tim Luscher. This was my favorite stop on the tour. This man’s gift for storytelling, mixed with his amazing ability to make delicious beer made for one really enjoyable experience.

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They have some beer steamed brats and franks and some amazing pretzels and cream cheese selections. So you can grab something yummy for lunch there, as well. We got to sample quite a few different selections while Tim gave us the history of Sig Luscher. Each of the beers we sampled were fantastic, easy to drink, and refreshing.

 

Then came my favorite beer.

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Y’all these people have brewed a beer and put it in a Blanton’s bourbon barrel. It was the most delicious beer I have ever tasted. It was like a dessert.  I have since visited again and they were out of the Blanton’s 66. Rumor has it that Santa might be bringing some.

 

I sometimes get so caught up in Lexington Life that I forget that we have amazing neighbors. I plan to be visiting Frankfort and other surrounding cities with a little more frequency. Because what’s the point in having amazing neighbors if you don’t visit them?

 

A Free Day! What the What! Part 1

It’s not often that I get a day to myself and when I finally do it’s always a struggle to decide whether I should spend it doing work around the house or something fun to give myself a break. As a single mom you need to have that time to regroup and relax. So, when I was invited to go on a Lexington On Tap tour with some of the finest bloggers Kentucky has to offer, I  jumped!

First, I’ve decided to break this post up into several posts because each stop deserves direct attention! Also, we were so lucky to have Darienne from MAX Event & Design Management along for the ride, taking the pictures you will see in each post. So with the stress of getting all the pictures off my shoulders I was free to just completely enjoy myself.

We started at Wisebird Cider Co. This is a new addition to the distillery district.( I’m low-key in love with the distillery district. you can easily spend an entire afternoon there and families are welcome.) You have everything from pizza to axe throwing over there. Wise bird is nestled in a corner and has a beautiful patio area.

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I like cider. I’ve also found that some ciders are a little too sweet. Wise Bird Cider is not. It is tart and crisp and sweet in the perfect way. We met Tim and he showed us around the place, giving us the basics of how they make their cider and why he chose cider.

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I’ll stop here for a minute and say that every person, at each of our stops, was exceptionally nice and the amount of passion that these people have for their craft is admirable.

That being said,  we Got to sample some cider and it was delicious. Even if you don’t think that you are a fan of cider I encourage you to go try it out. It just might change your mind. They are creating different tastes and I’m looking forward to trying different things as they are released. If you are a wine lover this is for you!

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So if you want to try a little something new in a really cool part of Lexington, go grab a slice of pizza or some ice cream and then grab a flight of cider from Wise Bird… You won’t regret it!. Try the slushy it’s my favorite.

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10 Things

I’m going to be 42 on Sunday. I am not one of those women who shies away from her birthday. I love any reason to celebrate. So in honor of being on this planet for almost 42 years and for some of you who have put up with me for almost that same amount of time (ahem, Shane and Tucker) I am going to give y’all some random info about me myself and I .

  1. I was born in West Virginia.

This might be my Son’s favorite thing about me. It gives him reason to sing country roads. There weren’t a lot of hospital choices for my folks in Eastern Kentucky, so they took a little drive up to Huntington, WVA to bring me into the world.

2.My favorite color is blue.

I love all shades of blue, but I think I may have just a little bit more turquoise than any other shade.

3. For several summers I was a certified hunter safety instructor and worked at Camp Robert C. Webb.

Y’all this job was the best summer job a college kid could ask for. I made some amazing friends and had my heart broken twice. Best memories ever. And for all my girls from there who might be reading this. (jiggly monkey night forever!)

4. My dream vacation is a month in France.

I’m a complete Francophile. I love the music, food, art, architecture, style, well just about anything French. I would love to spend some time there in the countryside and in the cities.

5. My favorite dessert is Tiramisu.

In college, a friend, introduced me to this coffee flavored dessert and it has been my favorite ever since.

6. My mood can easily shift depending on what song comes on next.

I come by this honestly. but music is just part of my DNA. It’s so important to me. If you send me music, then I love you..

7. I originally wanted a career in finance… Guess what? I suck at math.

8.I am a complete Disnerd.

I know that isn’t much of a shock to most of you. I love love love Disney. It is my Happy Place.

9.If I have a gift for you, I can barely contain myself and it will, most likely, end up in your possession days before it is suppose to.

This is a problem. I am fully aware. My family makes fun of me. but I like giving gifts. what can I say?

10. I am a hopeless romantic.

I’m a love letter writing, snuggle up in front of a fire, let me make you a mix tape kind of girl. I wear my emotions on my sleeve and give with all my heart. I use to apologize for being this way but as I approach 42 I realize that this is who I am. I love big.

 

So there you have it. Just ten random tidbits about me.  I do, now, expect all of you to start sending me music. Just in case you were wondering. me

 

 

 

 

September Goals.

September….. As a kid I lived for the September issue of Seventeen Magazine. I loved all the back to school buzz. New clothes, new School Supplies. I am that Girl. This time of year is my absolute favorite. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love all the seasons. It’s my favorite thing about living in Kentucky. We get them all! I love snow and bundling up in my favorite sweaters and scarves in winter. I love the cool mornings and flowers of Spring. I love hot Summer Days spent by the pool. But I absolutely adore the change of the seasons between Summer and Fall. The colors, the temperature, the football, the holidays. I love it all.

So when I sat down to think about my goals for this month I was full of joy and reflection. I get this way this time of year. My birthday is right around the corner and my life just keeps shifting and evolving. I am looking forward to so many great things, but I also know that if I want to keep growing and becoming a better me then I always have to reach for more and keep challenging myself. So here are my September Goals.

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  1. Be More Present…….

This one will be the hardest for me. (I can literally hear my boyfriend and about 3 of my closest friends laughing in my head). I struggle with this. I struggle with the fear of things that have happened in the past, but more than that, I walk about 150 steps into the future. While I know I can’t master being in the present in just one month, I did a little research and found an easy place to start. I have added the breathe app to my apple watch. I have set it to go off randomly throughout the day. I am going to use that as a reminder to breathe deep and be present in whatever moment I am in.

Another thing I am going to start doing is randomly leaving my phone at home. I left it at home last Friday when I met Marc for date night. He was running behind at work  and I had to sit with myself for a bit. At first I had a ton of anxiety and felt completely disconnected, but honestly it was refreshing. Once upon a time we weren’t constantly connected all day…. And we all turned out ok!

 

2. Plan a great Birthday for Miss Cazlin.

 

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This girl and I share a birthday month.

*fun fact. I was having serious contractions on my birthday in 2011. I seriously thought she and I were going to share and actual birthday, but alas, she stayed put for a few more weeks.

I’ve always enjoyed planning parties for my kids. While Aidan has officially outgrown the birthday party, Caz is in her prime. She has changed her mind 10003904873075 times on her theme this year and she has until Friday (when I print invitations) to actually decide. I will, of course, do a blog post about the birthday girl’s big day.

 

3. To make self- care a priority. selfcare

I tend to let everything else be more important than taking care of myself. The last month or so I really started focusing on getting exercise in. This month I plan on making sure I am getting enough sleep, Taking breaks from staring at my phone, spending some time in meditation and prayer and just slowing down in general. I want my kids to see their mom take care of herself. I want them to see a calm and peaceful mom. I can’t be that mom if I am constantly tired or short fused.

 

4. To spend 1 hour a week with someone I haven’t seen in a while.

Y’all, I have a huge group of wonderful people in my life, and life is unpredictable. So I made the decision to have a cup of coffee or a glass of wine with one person a week that I haven’t seen in a while. Catch up and just enjoy the company and conversation of someone who may not think the same way I do and that has different perspectives on the world. Most of us spend our time with people who always agree with us or walk a similar walk that we do. I say “how boring”. Spend time with different people. Talk to people who don’t always agree with you. Learn things, get different perspectives. All our differences are amazing.

5. To practice my French Daily.

I have been thoroughly enjoying the duolingo app. I have started listening to a few podcasts and youtube channels that are in French. It’s important to work our brain. I had literally felt like I was on autopilot for too long. I’m breaking up the monotony and I will continue to challenge my brain.

 

So there are my five goals for the month of September. I look forward to updating y’all as the month goes on. For now I’m going to make a cup of coffee and pretend its 65 outside instead of 81.

 

Friday Favorites

There are so many cool things that I have been enjoying lately. I’ll continue to share with you as all the cool things appear in my life.

 

So, in high school, I took French as my foreign language choice. Don’t ask me why, then, in college I decided to try to learn German. Basically, I now know how to say bad things in several languages and nothing substantial in any language. So I decided to try to relearn French. I downloaded the Duo lingo app. I started playing with the app approximately two months ago and Y’all I love it. I perused a few French Instagram feeds and I understood the majority of what I was reading, which felt really nice. The app is free and it is set up like a game which makes it so easy and fun. They also have podcasts that you can listen to, in the language you choose, to help boost retention.

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If you’ve ever wanted to learn a foreign language or brush up on one you might have taken over 2 decades ago (gasp). I highly recommend this app.

 

I’ve been a magazine girl since the days of Teen, YM, Seventeen, and Mademoiselle. The magazine landscape has changed quite a bit since those days, but my love for a good magazine sure hasn’t. My current favorite magazine is Mantra Wellness. It’s full of great articles, it’s colorful, and contains so many inspiring pictures. One of my favorite things in the magazine is the workbook-esqe section that asks questions, provokes some thought, and allows you to use the pages of the magazine like a journal. They also have a great Instagram to follow as well. In Lexington, KY the only places I have found this magazine at is the Hamburg Target and Whole Foods. If you see it anywhere else let me know. mag

 

 

As I was putting my thoughts together for my day, Marc (hey look I finally said his name instead of just lovingly referring to him as “the boyfriend”) brought by my current favorite order from Starbucks. I’m loving a London Fog. I know everyone is in a tizzy, today, because Starbucks has announced that they are releasing the Pumpkin Spice on August 28. But this girl loves her Chai Tea Latte and her London Fog. tea

 

And let’s just take a moment and brag on that lovely fella. Listen, any man that can remember your Starbucks order is a good man. He’s certainly a keeper.  Hope y’all have had a lovely week. Talk to you soon.