Purchased: 3/3-4/9

honeybee gardens powdercolors stackable mineral colors eyeshadow in gypsy

target kimono cardigan; old navy fitted scoop-neck tees in citron and white; target wooden link necklace; old navy chevron crossover dolman sleeve dress

pink (!) simply vera skinny ankle jeans via kohl’s; target bikini bottoms; old navy one-shoulder swimsuit

{unpictured bamboo tank and tee, plus a pair of black exercise capris, all from t.j. maxx}

lc by lauren conrad boyfriend blazer via kohl’s {a truly awesome blazer}

old navy jersey maxi tank dress {also worn in the above photos, belted into a midi dress}

old navy perfect cardigan

old navy lounge cami {in white and black}

essie nailpolish in fiji via ulta

old navy chambray button-down {I snagged it from the clearance rack; sadly it’s no longer on the website}

old navy pocket tea-length swing skirt {I’m obsessed with this and wish they had them in more basic colors; I’d easily buy several more!}

Clearly March was a month of excess in more ways than one. I’m trying to get back on track this month by using only gift cards and a bit of money I’ve already set aside for some badly-needed new bras (TMI?). Hopefully my next ‘purchased’ post will be much more brief than this! Even though I’ll probably regret writing this later, I feel like there are only so many more things I can justify purchasing for my spring/summer wardrobe. At least that’s what I need to keep telling myself!

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Life Lately

{sunday night dinner of fish, sweet potato fries, and broccoli; a quick jaunt to wilmington for work, plus a view from the river walk; beautiful carolina blue sky; a favorite outfit from the week, sketchily photographed in my office building’s gym; strawberries growing; close-up tulip; dinner out with friends, followed by a book reading; the spread for this month’s book club (we discussed ‘the immortal life of henrietta lacks’ by rebecca skloot); azaleas in bloom; BUYING OUR NEW CAR!!!; a celebratory meal afterward; a quick trip to ikea while in charlotte; friday night date with my favorite gal, including dinner at red robin (veggie burger + bacon!), a trip to the bowling alley to play big buck hunter, and froyo afterward; new flowers and plants- ranunculus, pothos, spider plant, and bluebird; saturday brunch with wonderful friends; saturday evening birthday party for a friend, complete with lots of baby time and unpictured dancing; easter sunday brunch, followed by a wonderful easter egg hunt put on by the mrs. for the second year in a row; some afternoon time on the patio with my latest read (‘wild’ by cheryl strayed, about her solo hike on the pacific crest trail); a sample of this week’s lunch (mediterranean quinoa salad); and, back where we started, sunday dinner (same as last week’s, but with my favorite roasted brussels sprouts instead of broccoli)}

Last week was quite the whirlwind, but sort of in the best way possible. Work was productive and exciting, Kate and I made our first major purchase together, and we got to spend a whole heck of a lot of time with friends, which is always a treat. I’m so thankful for this little blog, too, because even when I’m feeling overwhelmed or anxious, I can look back on my week in photos and see that there was so much good in it. Much more than anything that had me stressing. I keep trying to remind myself that I can do anything, but I cannot do everything. I want to be fit and healthy, an amazing wife, daughter, friend, and employee, have a thriving and fulfilling career, be involved in many volunteer activities, grow and cook my own food, blog frequently, read a ton, cultivate several hobbies, be extremely well-rested, and have ample down time. Clearly achieving all of this at any given time is impossible. I feel as though I’m continually re-learning how to say “no” to things and prioritize what is most important. All while simultaneously figuring out exactly what those priorities are in the first place. I mean, I’ve got the big ones figured out (health, marriage, family + friends), but what falls in place after those and in what order? Is this part of what it means to grow up? I’m thinking it just might be.

How was last week for you? Anything new, exciting, or particularly grown up? And, since I posted this a day later than I’d meant, how is this week shaping up so far?

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Weekly Planning: 4/8-4/14

Perhaps not surprisingly, this past week didn’t go exactly as planned. With day trips to Wilmington and Charlotte for work and car-purchasing, respectively, things were even more crazy than usual. This weekend brought lots of fun meals and parties spent with friends and good food. A bit too much food, a lot too little exercise. Yadda, yadda. Here’s the plan to get things back on track this week. This awesome post by Cassie on her motivation is serving as a much-needed kick in the pants. One of the biggest reasons I wanted to lose weight when I first started was to be as healthy as possible during any future pregnancies and to be the active mom I’d like to be.

On a related note, daaang y’all. We made this mediterranean quinoa salad today to have for lunches this week. I insist that you make it as soon as possible! We quintupled the recipe and added a bag of spinach that we wilted, as well as a lot more broccoli, and it was fantastic. I’m so excited to have it all week long!

Here’s a (hopefully) more realistic exercise plan for the week! With a big work event on Thursday and lots to do between now and then, I’m hoping to get my zen on via yoga at least once (if not twice) to simultaneously stretch and chill the heck out.

Kate and I also have a plan to get back on track in a literal sense by keeping track of what we eat for the next seven days (Monday through Sunday). I’ll report back next week!

What about you? What does this week have in store for you on the fitness front?

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Life Lately

{tulips, beautiful weather for walking, freshly-cut irises, strawberry buds, baby smiles, Brussels sprouts + burritos, growing basil, perfectly-dressed salads with other eats, a visit to my alma mater, skirt time, neighborhood cat, dogwood petals, lone tulip before + after, sunday brunch, target candy samples, belted scarf}

This week was a wild one. We have a big event coming up soon at work, plus lots of little things that kept popping up and seemed to fill my days more than usual. It was super-productive, but really exhausting. This may sound a bit dramatic, but it was all I could do to keep breathing, moving forward, and remembering all of the good things, both at work and in the world outside. Added to this was a summit I’d been helping to plan at my alma mater, which went from Friday afternoon through very late Saturday. It was energizing and inspiring and went a thousand times better than I’d ever planned. I also got to see old friends, meet new ones, and stay with one of my besties, all of which were good for my soul. I made the impromptu decision to drive back home after the final event on Saturday (instead of staying one more night) and it was so good to sleep in my own bed and smooch on my wife. Although I wasn’t able to sleep in on Sunday, we had a great time going out for a nice leisurely brunch, and then I grocery shopped, loafed around, and was treated to a delicious dinner cooked by the Mrs!

Speaking of Mrs., I actually need to start referring to her as Doctor, since she passed her dissertation defense on Monday! Words can’t describe how incredibly proud I am of her and how excited I am for her to be making her dreams a reality. Much celebrating commenced on Monday evening with friends and now we’re just biding a bit of time before we celebrate her graduation. Exciting times in our household! I’m just hoping that this week is more calm and relaxing than the last. Fingers crossed for that for y’all, too!

How about you? What’s new?

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Weekly Planning: 4/1-4/7

Although I didn’t stick to last week’s plan 100%, or even close to it, it was so helpful to have a basic outline of what I should eat. There were so many times throughout the week where I wasn’t sure what to have for a meal or snack and was able to easily consult the meal plan to make a healthier, well-planned decision. It also helped decrease the amount of food we wasted, since everything we purchased had a clear plan and purpose. Win-win in my book. I’m hoping I’ll be able to stick to it even better this week!

Exercise last week was a different story. Suffice it to say that I didn’t stick to the plan. At all. Hanging out with a friend and her adorable baby, as well as just sitting on the couch after a long day, seemed way more preferable to exercising on most days. I still made it out for a long walk with Kate and went to BodyPump, but that was about it, aside from some shorter walking breaks during the day. Hopefully I’ll stick to this week’s plan more fully. Unfortunately I didn’t do a walk on Sunday so we’ll chalk that up to a carry-over of last week’s laziness and get it together for the rest of the week ahead. Either way I’ll keep you posted!

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Life Lately

{some tulips i got to brighten up my desk; post-work drinks on a patio. hooray for the return of outdoor seating!; wiig-ing* it for a work event; wisteria in bloom. it smells heavenly!; spotted in carrboro; replenished fruit bowl; one of three orders of nachos we had last week. oops?; raspberry margarita with friends; cupcakes from our favorite store; rain over jordan lake on the way home; sunshine less than five minutes later; so psyched to be getting in some gym time; all dressed up for a fundraiser; nice healthy sunday breakfast; afternoon reads; dogwood blossoms; unc during a post-church stroll}

Last week was a bit of a wild ride! There were work events and meetings (including one for part of the day Saturday), plans with friends, squeezed-in exercise, and little dates with Kate. On top of a packed schedule came the news that we need to replace one of our cars a full two years earlier than we’d planned. This led to a trip to Greensboro late on Thursday to get in a few test drives before the dealership closed! It’s sort of hard to believe, but this will be the first major purchase we’ve made as a couple! We’re still weighing our options, but will hopefully have everything sorted out before the old car dies completely.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this on here (though I probably have in person if the topic of church has happened to arise), but Kate and I have started looking for a new church to join. We love, love, love the minister at our former church, but were never able to feel completely a part of the community for myriad reasons. We may end up back there in the future, but for now we’re exploring our options. So we’ve started church hopping! This weekend was our second go at visiting a new church, which is both nerve-wrecking and exciting. While neither we’ve visited seem to be ‘the one,’ it’s been a really positive activity for both of us. Plus, our visit yesterday left us right up on Franklin Street, which meant we got to partake in one of our favorite lunches {the spicy eggplant quesadilla from Cosmic Cantina} and take a bit of a walk.

I’m hoping that yesterday’s mellowness is a sign that this week will be much calmer than the last!

Has anyone else been feeling particularly busy? Any exciting plans for the week ahead?

*Wiig-ing: References Kristin Wiig’s wardrobe of blazers over dresses in ‘Bridesmaids.’ My friend Patty and I feel particularly fancy whenever we Wiig it.

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Weekly Planning: 3/25-3/31

Over the past few months, I’ve found it increasingly difficult to make and stick to a plan when it comes to eating well and exercising regularly. I often exercise at least four times a week, but have even gotten into a rut with that the past few weeks, where I’d rather do just about anything than go to the gym. While I’m usually good about planning what we cook and bring for lunches during the week, my meal planning often doesn’t extend much further, leaving us open to the temptation of going out to eat more than we should. I know that in weeks when I make a detailed meal plan we not only save money but also don’t waste the food we’ve already purchased.

To help hold myself accountable on both fronts, I’ve decided to start posting my meal and exercise plans for the week. For what it’s worth, the lunches and dinners are what both Kate and I eat (unless it says something about going out or to an event, in which case we may or may not be going together), but we usually do our own things for breakfasts and snacks. Since I work in a traditional office environment while she’s often closer to home or on campus, I feel the need to have a more detailed plan about what I’ll be bringing for snacks. Also, I didn’t include desserts, since recently Kate has tended to bake a batch of cookies for us to enjoy over the course of the week (yes, I’m spoiled!). Other times we’ll have a bit of chocolate or even go out for frozen yogurt.

Anyway, here’s what we’ll (hopefully) be eating this week!

As you can see, I’ll be at a conference for most of next weekend, so there’s some uncertainty with what I’ll be eating and if/when I’ll be able to exercise. I’m going to try to let this serve as my motivation to be as healthy as possible the rest of the week!

I’ll keep y’all posted with how well this works!

What about you? Do you make a plan at the start of the week for meals and/or exercise? Any motivational tips to share?

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Life Lately

Springtime has been treating us well so far!

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A More Organized Purse

After a few weeks of carrying around a purse that was getting heavier by the minute, I realized that it was time to make a change! While carrying around a different bag for a few days with just the essentials was a great short-term solution, I knew I couldn’t avoid a serious clean-out forever.

While I was home sick the weekend before last, operation clean-out officially commenced!

Here’s a ‘before’ shot of everything I’d been lugging around (wallet, cosmetic bag, random papers, and receipts not pictured):

almonds, larabars, tampons, assorted buttons, deodorant, hair clips, assorted lipgloss and lipstick (six total… not excessive at all…), etienne aigner leather gloves, cynthia rowley reading glasses, two notebooks, a sticker from our trip to bend, oregon in 2008 (!),  eleventy-billion (approximately) pens, my work nametag and j.crew business cards, assorted business cards i’ve collected, bobby pins (straight and swirled), dayquil, hair ties (black along with clear plastic ones that work well but look like nuva rings), 65 cents

 I spent some time organizing, paring down, throwing out, and returning things to their rightful places in our house, here’s what we’re working with now:

cosmetic bag (filled with lipgloss, tampons, benadryl, my epipen, hair ties, bobby pins, etc.), almonds, pens (to return to the office), cynthia rowley reading glasses, orla kiely notebook, my very favorite pen (bic fine-tip 730r, in case you were wondering), chapstick (that lives in an outer pocket for easy access), work-related swag, and my kate spade wallet

And last but not least, the bag I’m carrying around these days:

elliott lucca tote (a gift from Kate for my grad school graduation)

In the week-plus I’ve been carrying this around, my shoulder and back have felt much, much better and I’ve actually been able to find things in there without mega frustration. Score!

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Life Lately

This past week went by so quickly! I feel as though I blinked and it was suddenly Friday. Trust me, I’m not complaining. Last Sunday I spent some time roasting up some of my farmers’ market finds to use in this week’s lunches (black beans + rice). The results were pretty tasty!

On Sunday night, I was finally feeling better, so we headed to P’s in Raleigh for an Oscar viewing party. We had quite the spread of appetizers and desserts to eat while taking in the pre-show (my favorite part, even though Ryan Seacrest tested my enjoyment of the red carpet proceedings this year) and the awards themselves.

After work on Monday I came home from the gym and chopped up all sorts of salad fixings for the week’s dinners. Tomatoes, mixed greens + romaine, Trader Joe’s light champagne vinaigrette, radishes, green onion, carrots, and sauteed tempeh. So easy and so tasty!

On Wednesday Kate and I had an impromptu date night to a sit-down Mexican restaurant followed by the world’s least expensive frozen yogurt trip ($3.20 for us both!). At least I sprang for a margarita at dinner to make up for it…

Even more flowers bloomed this week! I absolutely love the variety of crocus we planted in our garden- white and purple striped with bright orange stamen (?).

While working from home (aka a different coffee shop), I snapped this photo in between all of my email sending. I love these lanterns!

After work (and before a three hour board meeting!) on Thursday, Kate and I took a quick trip to Staples for exciting things like printer ink. Fortunately, Kate found all of the items on our list while I lusted after all of the beautifully displayed Martha Stewart products that came out recently. Thank goodness for good spouses!

On Friday, I took a quick lunch break to meet up with a friend who was sadly moving out of town this weekend. We hit up City Beverage in Durham, which has some of my favorite decor in the area, not to mention a great menu. I got my standard: the bahn mi chay sandwich (it comes with tofu) and a side of garlic fries. Om nom nom.

After work, Kate arrived home to find that her brand new iron had come in the mail. Have I mentioned that my wife does all of the ironing (and laundry!) in our house? It is indescribably awesome. Anyway, our old iron bit the dust, and so she did some hardcore research before settling on this one. I’m happy to report that it’s every bit as awesome as she’d hoped.

Saturday morning Kate baked banana-walnut-chocolate chip muffins while I visited the farmers’ market. I then met up for lunch with a friend from college who was in town for the UNC-Duke game, followed by some grocery shopping. It was so good to catch up and hear about her life in Charlotte!

Saturday night we headed to a friend’s in Raleigh for dinner and games. We had so. much. food, y’all! One friend brought fondue with baguette and apples for an appetizer, another brought brie + strawberry preserves with baguette, and we brought some goat cheese and baguette. Basically it was carb-central, and I loved every minute of it! We had such a great time catching up and cooking together and our friend R did a great job with dinner! After dinner we started out by playing Hoopla and then eventually transitioned to writing down three secrets about ourselves, putting them into a bowl, and having everyone guess who put what. We ended up each telling the stories behind our secrets and it was such an unexpectedly fun way to get to know really good friends even better.

This morning I finished making my first batch of iced coffee of the year (I use a bastardized version of Pioneer Woman’s method and keep it stored in airtight pitchers in the fridge). So easy. So tasty. So much less expensive than stopping at Starbucks before work!

During the day we did a run-walk around town with a friend, went out for more Mexican food for lunch, did even more grocery shopping (I swear it’s a rabbit hole), and I made vegetarian chili and cornbread.

We’re now camped out in front of ‘How I Met Your Mother’ (just as good the second time around!) with a double batch of granola cookin’ in the oven. Here’s to a great week ahead!

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