How to stay active on vacation

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I’ve been on vacation in Florida this week, and while taking time off from work has allowed me to catch up on sleep, shows, and books, it’s also allowed me to catch up on working out! Being in a warm climate (and in a condo complex with a small exercise room) has made it super easy to incorporate a quick workout into my daily routine. I’ve honestly been better about working out here than I have been during the normal work week back home, and truthfully that’s because I’m often distracted by errands, plans with friends, things in my apartment, etc! Anyone else in the same boat? I’m sure some of you are like me and don’t want to leave the house again upon arriving home from work (and it’s even harder to get back outside when it’s cold!).

Below are a few ways I’ve managed to stay active during my trip, and while they’re not necessarily the most innovative (no crazy indoor exercise routines/DVDs here!), they’ve worked for me:

1. Take advantage of what’s in front of you. For me, that means going to the free, small exercise room located less than a minute from our condo. I’m generally the only person using the equipment, and I like to alternate between the elliptical and the bike. I can be kind of weird about ellipticals (I really didn’t like the ones in my grad school campus gym), but the ones here are both simple and sufficient!

2. Go for freebies. You know that great feeling when you can take a trendy exercise class for free because you’re a new customer? Aim to do the same when you travel! When I was in Florida this past summer, I attended an awesome spin class on the house and had a blast. Google fitness studios near your travel destination and see what types of deals they offer.

3. Treat yourself. Ok, this is obviously contradictory to my last point, but vacation is supposed to be fun, so why not make your exercise routine extra fun while you’re traveling? Maybe you’re a SoulCycle fanatic but there isn’t a studio in your hometown. Take advantage of what’s offered in your new city and treat yourself to a class that’s an old favorite, or check out that yoga studio that’s been all over Instagram while you have the chance!

4. Kill two birds with one stone. I love exploring the local college campus near our condo (I did study higher education, after all!), and my dad and I decided to take a walk over there the other day. Our “quick loop” turned into an hour-long walk and was a great form of exercise but also was fun and touristy.

Any tips you’d add to this list?

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The latest in books

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Whew! I honestly could’t have been worse about reading this past fall. I blame it on starting a new job and moving to a new apartment, which in turn meant getting used to a new routine, a new schedule (probably the biggest change), and a new neighborhood. But that excuse can only go so far…how did I fall off the reading bandwagon so badly?!

Anyway, now that I’ve been on vacation, I’ve had the chance to read a ton, and I couldn’t be happier. Seriously, I packed 6 books for 6 days. Plus I’ve already been to the library down here and picked up two more. Reading marathon challenge accepted.

Without further ado, here are a few books I’ve read lately and either liked or loved:

Younger, by Pamela Redmond Satran: I can’t get enough of the TV show younger (I’ve talked about it before here), so when I learned that it was actually based on a book (1. Yes you read that correctly and 2. Why was this some big secret?!) I picked that baby up right away. I loved the similarities between the book and the show (there were many) but the book obviously condenses everything into a short storyline and doesn’t have the same ~plot twists~ that the show does. However, if you’re a big fan of the show like I am (or even if you’re just looking for a fun, light read without having seen the show), I’d definitely pick this one up!

Truly Madly Guilty, by Liane Moriarty: Ugh, I wanted to like this one more than I did. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a Liane Moriarty book, so of course I still breezed through it in days, but I guess I wanted more to happen (the big “mystery” was something that would definitely frighten me in real life but it didn’t deserve so much build up in my opinion). The book focuses on several different families who all regret something that happened on the night of a neighborhood barbecue, and the storyline switches between past and present. Funnily enough, I had actually started this one as an audio book while on a long bus ride, but I didn’t think I’d have the patience to listen to all 17 hours of the recording and decided to just pick up the actual book instead. Not in love with this one but Moriarty definitely still rocks…which leads me to my next read…

What Alice Forgot, by Liane Moriarty: Loved this one and all of its twists and turns. Also, since when are Australia and America so similar? This book could’ve easily taken place in any town in the U.S. I started it right after I finished Truly Madly Guilty, and then read 200 more pages on the plane, and boom. It flew by and was a funny read about a woman who loses 10 years of memories in an accident and is struggling to piece her life back together.

One True Loves, by Taylor Jenkins Reid: My favorite read of late. I finished it in a day and told all of my friends to pick up copies (so far one did, woo!). This was a very raw and emotional story about a woman who believes her husband to be dead, gets engaged to someone else, and then learns that her husband is alive after all and must choose between the two men. Although the premise may sound a little cheesy, Reid did a wonderful job of capturing mixed emotions and–I’ll admit it–left me in tears at points!

The Balance Project, by Susie Orman Schnall: Every 20-something should read this interesting (fictional) take on life, love, work, and, well, balance. The book follows Lucy, an assistant whose own life is suffering as she attempts to make everything seamless for her boss, the queen of having it all. Eventually Lucy must choose between her own interests and her boss’s and struggles to do so, all while trying to maintain her struggling personal life.

Other books I enjoyed earlier this fall: Grace, Not Perfection by Emily Ley and First Comes Love by Emily Giffin.

What have you read lately? I’m about to start another light read, The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy Reichert (seems like a good winter break read, right?).

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10 Things That Cross Your Mind When You’re Selling Old Clothes

  1. Ok, I’m going to go through my entire closet Marie Kondo style and sell or donate anything that doesn’t give me joy. Bonus points if I find something that I personally never wear but would probably resell for a lot. Ahh, I’m going to make so much money after this. What should I buy??
  2. It’s a good thing I did laundry last night, because now my whole wardrobe is at my disposal. I’m going to fill this whole bag right here and then start another one and head down to the consignment store as soon as it opens.
  3. These boots cost over $200 alone. I know that resale prices are lower, but like, wow, they’re totally gonna want these, even if they sell them for less. So I know I’ll at least be making one sale today, and probably a big one at that.
  4. Ooh, Lululemon. Another brand they’re totally going to want. This workout tank was never that flattering on me, but someone else will L-O-V-E it.
  5. Waiting at the store for my name to be called. Who knew half of the city had the same idea to come here right at opening on Saturday?
  6. Write down what seems like every piece of identifying information (except for, like, my social, ha!) on the donation sheet the salesperson had me complete.
  7. Salesperson who was nice a moment ago adapts the most snobby expression ever as he starts going through my stuff.
  8. Salesperson tells me he’ll take three of my items. I ask him why he didn’t take the Lululemon tank, and he points out a small stain on the back.
  9. Eww, that stain obviously wasn’t from me! I just washed everything! But actually, now that I think about it, I did wear that shirt last weekend while eating froyo with the kids I babysit…
  10. Salesperson asks me if I’d like to receive $52 in store credit or $17.99 in cash. I take the cash and vow never to spend my time selling clothes at a consignment shop ever again. If only I had made enough money to justify that Milly dress in the window…
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Long Time, No Talk

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It’s casually been a month since I last posted…oops. Here’s to hoping more posts will go up while I’m on vacation! In the meantime, a few fun links…

  1. How perfect are these adorable AND affordable gingham flannel sheets? Brb, ordering a pair. You’d never guess where they’re from…
  2. Has anyone seen this movie? I’ve heard great things so far and am putting it on my must-see list! Who doesn’t love Emma + Ryan + musicals?
  3. What are you reading? I just finished two Liane Moriarty books and am plowing my way through several others that have been on my to-read list. Thank goodness for vacation!
  4. Need some living room inspo? I’m loving everything about this design scheme.
  5. The best brunch in every state, because, duh.
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Thanksgiving Essentials

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I hope everyone is gearing up for a wonderful Thanksgiving break! Here is what I’ll be enjoying this weekend (in addition to family, friends, sleep, and FOOD!).

1) Gilmore Girls. Lots and lots of Gilmore Girls. #TeamLogan all the way, but mostly I can’t wait to catch up with Rory and Lorelai and see what on earth has been going on in Stars Hallow and beyond for the past 9+ years…I’ve read quite a few plot theories online and am curious to see what actually happens!

2) Pizza. As if food wasn’t a big enough part of the weekend already…my sister and I plan to make a homemade pizza for our GG marathon on Friday night. Bring on the cheese, please!

3) Christmas music. I started listening to it last night and although it’s a bit early, I feel like it’s starting to be socially acceptable to crank up my Pandora station now that it’s nearly December 😉

4) Reading. I love reading for fun and picked up a lighthearted book that got good reviews. Hopefully I’ll finish more than one book over the course of the weekend (I guess it’ll depend on how long it takes us to power our way through Gilmore Girls!).

What are you up to this Thanksgiving break?

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Christmas is just a click away

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File this away for when you’re feeling lazy, ladies. That’s right, this is a list of gifts that you can order on Amazon Prime (which sells more than just textbooks and toilet paper) meaning that these items will arrive on your doorstep just two days after you click “purchase!” Whether you have a last minute holiday party coming up and need to find the perfect hostess gift, or you want to check a few items off your list in advance, this is the shopping guide for you!

1) At only $14, this mug is a no-brainer! Any girl on the go will appreciate having a cute way to transport her morning coffee.

2) Even super popular Rifle Paper products can be purchased via Prime! This $18 calendar is just one of many adorable options. Bonus: the calendar images are awesome for framing later on.

3) A book or two is never a bad gift idea. I’m excited to crack open this one.

4) Kate Spade earrings will let her ring in the new year with style.

5) Classy and classic, Le Creuset cookware is always in style. Though it’s a high-end brand, this set of bowls retails for only $21.

6) Why head to the drugstore when you can purchase Essie polish on the computer? This holiday sampler makes for a great stocking stuffer.

7) Any party hostess will surely be thrilled to receive this gorgeous gift.

8) The perfect addition to her holiday look.

9) Even Lilly items are available on Prime! This luggage tag comes right in time for holiday travel.

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Rocking a wristlet

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Finding an ideal going out bag can be tough. You obviously want to look stylish and it’s nice to have an option that matches a bunch of different pieces, but is it really worth dropping $$$ on something that will likely get suffer spills and be tossed on sticky bar counters (I’m looking at you, oh-so-beautiful Tory Burch crossbody)?

Lately a bunch of my friends have been gravitating toward wristlets or clutches rather than crossbodys, and I have to say, I’m kind of getting into this look! There are so many cute, affordable options out there that I may have to follow suit… 😉 And guess what store has too many adorable options to count? T.J. Maxx, of all places! Take a look at the roundup above and let me know which is your favorite one! I spotted a similar clutch with a charging component in Francesca’s the other day and thought it was the coolest thing ever. Yes, it’s basically the same concept as sticking a portable charger in your bag, but the built-in element makes it impossible to forget to grab this handy little piece before going out. Oh, technology, you just get better and better…

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Snack City

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Feeling a little uninspired at the grocery store lately? I get it. Now that pumpkin spice season has come and gone and you’ve tried basically every appetizing pumpkin-based product on the Trader Joe’s shelves, it’s time to find some new options…I’ve got you covered with the below ideas!

Clementines. Even the smell reminds me of winter. Clementines are perfect because 1) they’re almost always juicy (unlike oranges, which can sometimes be kind of dry) and 2) they’re super portable if you want to tote a few (or five) in your work bag for an afternoon snack.

Carrot chips and guac. Love guac but feel guilty binging on chips? I’m with ya. I spotted a bag of carrot chips at Whole Foods the other day and thought they’d be perfect for dipping (or, you know, regular carrots will do the trick too, but I like the texture on these).

Brussels sprouts. Why spend the $ on getting them in your salad at Sweetgreen if you can make them at home? (Ok, they taste way better at Sweetgreen, but they’re totally in season right now and easy to roast in your own oven). They make the perfect addition to any dinner.

Cheese cubes. So what if they remind you of kindergarten just a bit…cheese cubes are delicious, pre-cut, and great for entertaining. I picked up a small container of cheddar cubes the other day and was pleasantly surprised to find that they were cheaper than buying a whole block of cheese (sometimes they can be a bit expensive, so check the price before you buy!). Yummy and filling for a quick snack.

Halo Top. I know it isn’t really ice cream season, but I think we can all agree that it’s always an ok time for Halo Top. You’ve probably spotted the cute jars all over Instagram, but if you haven’t, here’s the, uh, scoop. At only 300 calories or so per pint, this super trendy ice cream won’t ruin your post-holiday (or pre-holiday!) diet.

What’s on your shopping list? I’m always up for suggestions.

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Headboards

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One of my friends moved to a new apartment this summer and has been looking for a queen-sized headboard. I honestly was shocked how expensive headboards were when I was first looking and was excited to find mine at Target. It was still expensive in my opinion, but compared to all of the $$$ ones out there, many people would consider it a good deal. It’s held up really well and matches with lots of different types of decor and color schemes (I would know since I redecorate all the time! But I’ve also seen it in many different rooms on various blogs and on Pinterest). I actually can’t find the link to the exact product, so it’s possible it’s been discontinued, but the image above is exactly what mine looks like.

Since I purchased mine about a year and a half ago, I’ve spotted several cute options both on Craigslist and other websites (World Market has some adorable–although expensive–options, for one). I thought I would do a little roundup below in case anyone else is looking for a cute headboard without breaking the bank. Let me know which one is your favorite or if you have any shopping tips. I know people who have made their own headboards with cute fabric, but from what I can tell, it sounds like a lot of work!

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One//Two//Three//Four//Five//Six (this last one is a splurge item, but I couldn’t resist!)

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Hats off

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Growing up, I hated wearing winter hats. My hair always got staticky, the hat never looked exactly right, etc, etc. But lately, I’ve been loving the pom pom hat trend and had to round up a few of my favorites. Honestly, you can’t go wrong wearing any of these options this winter! Who says you can’t stay warm and look stylish?

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