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Sunday, July 23, 2017

A Look Back at 30 + A Look Forward at 31




Happy birthday to me! Today I turn 31. I'm celebrating by FINALLY going to IKEA in Atlanta with my hubby to pick up two bookcases that I've had my eye on for awhile (yes, I'm in my thirties and I still buy Ikea furniture). Then we're meeting up with one of my sisters and two of my best girl friends at Publik Draft House for brunch and bottomless mimosas, followed by a Mary Poppins Sing-a-Long at the fabulous Fox Theatre next door. On the way home from Atlanta, I also requested an All-Star Breakfast from Waffle House (with a chocolate chip waffle). What can I say, I LOVE breakfast/brunch. It should be a fun day in the city and I've been looking forward to it for weeks.

30 was an eventful year that felt like it really flew by. It started with a family pool party birthday celebration, complete with a pinata and a trio of swan floats. Matt and I got engaged at the beach in October. I went to the Dominican Republic later that same month to celebrate my brother Eric's wedding and have a mini tropical vacay with some family. Matt graduated from UGA in December and got his first "real" job. We had a fun couple's shower with a "You Stole A Pizza My Heart" theme in March. I had an awesome bachelorette slumber party with my bridal party in March, too. Matt and I got married in April at a colorful brunch wedding surrounded by our loved ones. Plus we got to celebrate both my MIL's marriage in May in Savannah and a good family friend's wedding in June. We had another fun and relaxing family vacation at the lake with Matt's side of the fam. Oh, and my parents' bought a log cabin in the North Georgia mountains and have been working on fixing it up now that my dad has officially retired after working his butt off for his family for decades. Whew. It feels like so many life events have taken place in my family during this last go 'round the sun. I'm eternally grateful to be able to go through these moments with not only my own big, fun family, but also my husband Matt's big, fun family. I'm feeling very lucky as I start my 31st year.

For 31, I want and need to focus on my health, both physical and mental. I'd like to change my relationship with food and adopt a sustainable whole foods, plant-based diet. I'd like to fall in love with cooking and experimenting in the kitchen again. I'd like to find a regular exercise program that I love and be more physically active, in general. I'd like to deepen my meditation practice and perhaps take up yoga, as well. I'd like to get my generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder in check and start going to therapy. I'd like to engage in more of my favorite relaxing hobbies, like reading, looking at art, and taking photos, and try out a few new ones, like brush lettering, ceramics, and daily journaling. I'd like to have a relaxing, slow year, full of countless good books, long bubble baths, walks around the neighborhood, trips to the lake, and cozy holidays with my loved ones. Cheers to 31!

XOXO

intro images, clockwise from top left:

Friday, June 16, 2017

Friday Faves - Vol. 002



Happy Friday! This Father's Day weekend, my husband Matt and I are getting in lots of good family time. Saturday we're headed to my parent's home in the mountains to swim in the pool, take in the amazing mountain views at their log cabin, and celebrate Father's Day with my dad. Then late Saturday afternoon we're headed to the lake for a few days of my hubby's annual family vacation. I'm so excited for a relaxing weekend of drinking good beer, floating on the lake, hanging out with the cousins, reading on the porch, and playing flashlight tag. It's my idea of pure bliss. If you need some ideas for things to do this weekend, look below for some of my favorite things I've been watching, listening, and reading lately.

WATCHING:

Matt and I just finished watching season 5 of House of Cards which was another whirlwind of crazy, evil politics (that don't seem so crazy or evil these days). Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright are SO good at playing Frank and Claire Underwood, the ultimate politcal power couple. I thought the very last scene in season 5 was a perfect ending, too. I already can't wait until next season!

LISTENING:

Jen Gotch, the founder and CCO of one of my favorite brands, bando, is one of my absolute favorite people that I've never met but have been following for years through Instagram. She is a hilariously relatable and creative woman who is refreshingly open about her issues with anxiety and depression. Jen recently did an interview on the Flash Dance's Conference Call podcast and I loved listening to it for another glimpse into her life, work, and fabulous personality.

I've also been enjoying listening to the Lying in Lakes station on Google Play Music to help satisfy my itch to float on a lake until I actually get to do it this weekend.

READING:

I've really been into reading memoirs of my favorite ladies lately and just finished Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between by Lauren Graham, which I would highly recommend if you are a fan of Gilmore Girls and/or Parenthood (two of my all-time favorite comfort shows). She's a great writer and it's nice to read about her early life and behind-the-scenes experiences.

I just started (and also highly recommend) the audiobook of You'll Grow Out of It by comedian and TV writer Jessi Klein, which has had me laughing out loud at work all week. With memoirs, I usually like to listen to the audiobook rather than read them myself, because it's nice to hear the author's voice read the book as it was intended to be read and they often ad lib, which gives you a little extra bang for your buck.

I recently finished an awesome YA novel titled A Million Junes by Emily Henry. I thought it was fantastic and I couldn't put it down. It's made up of so many wonderful things: a sleepy lake town, sunlit forests, ghosts, magic, Michigan cherries, best friends, longstanding family fueds and a beautiful Romeo and Juliet-like love story. It held a lot of nostalgia for me as I previously lived in a children's book illustrator's house on a Christmas tree farm on the shores of Lake Michigan for my 8th grade year (I know, right?). It was the most magical place I've ever lived and the way Emily Henry describes Five Fingers made me think of my time in South Haven. The book gets a lot more supernatural-focused towards the end which got a little confusing at times but all in all it was a fantastic summer read.

Happy Father's Day (or whatever parental influence celebration you may have this weekend)!

XOXO,
Chelsea

*intro image by Jenn & Dave Stark from the Style Me Pretty vault

Friday, May 26, 2017

Friday Faves - Vol. 001



Happy Friday! This weekend my MIL is getting married in Savannah, so the hubs and I are headed down there for the long Memorial Day weekend. We’re going on a Haunted Pub Crawl on River Street as a pre-wedding activity (so excited!) and we’re hoping to fit in a beach trip to Tybee Island and maybe some thrifting, too. Today I thought I’d start a new series called “Friday Faves” that will showcase some of my favorite things that I read, watched, and listened to in the past week. That way you have some fun suggestions for things to do during the weekend. Check out this week’s faves below!

WATCHING:

I finished up the latest season (S2) of Netflix’s Master of None, starring Aziz Ansari. I absolutely LOVE this show. It manages to be funny, heartfelt, and beautiful, while bringing up important social issues (that are often overlooked in other shows) in ways that are easy to relate to. This season starts out with Dev, the main character played by Aziz, in Italy, making pasta, eating lots of yummy food, and living a simple life in Modena. It’s definitely worth a watch...I’m already looking forward to the next season!

My husband and I also binge-watched the new Netflix docu-series, The Keepers. It focuses on the unsolved murder of a nun, Sister Cathy Cesnik, in Baltimore in the late ‘60s and delves into all the creepy and things going on at that may have led to her death. SO good. I will say that there is lots of talk and graphic details about disturbing events that could trigger some painful memories for survivors of sexual abuse, so maybe keep that in mind before watching. But it is a very intriguing and thought-provoking story that makes you want answers! I’m really hoping that some new evidence or details will come out now that the documentary has aired.

LISTENING:

I LOVE podcasts. I am constantly trying out new ones while keeping up with the ten or so regular podcasts that I listen to faithfully (I literally listen to them all day while I work at my office job). I will probably do a round-up of my top ten podcasts soon, but I wanted to shout-out to a new-to-me podcast, Here to Make Friends, which is a Bachelor/Bachelorette/Bachelor In Paradise/etc recap show. I’ve only listened to the first episode of this season, which is about the premiere of Rachel Lindsey’s season on Bachelorette, but I’m already obsessed. The hosts, Claire Fallon and Emma Gray, are very personable and funny and smart. And their special guest for this first episode was Alison Williams, who I am also a fan of. For anyone that loves or loves to hate the Bachelor franchise, this is a great podcast to listen to. You will laugh out loud and totally identify with their observations and snark.

READING:

I’m in the middle of reading Joan Didion’s latest release, South and West. I’m a big fan of Didion, although I haven’t read nearly enough of her extensive library of writings, and this book especially intrigued me because I love reading about people’s perceptions of the South. Joan is someone who keeps notebooks, which is one reason I love her so much, because I have also been keeping notebooks of some sort for most of my life, to keep track of daily observances, overheard conversations, and interesting sights. This book was compiled from never-before-seen notebooks on a trip she took with her husband to parts of the coastal South in the 70s. So far I’m loving her insightful and objective observations. I’m hoping to finish this read this weekend.

That’s it for our first ever Friday Faves post! I love reading round-ups like this and often get inspiration for things to do on my weekends from reading other bloggers’ suggestions, so I’m really excited to keep up with this series!

Happy Memorial Day weekend!

XOXO,
Chelsea

*intro image by Olivia Rae James for Glitter Guide

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Meteor Shower Memories


In honor of tonight's annual Quadrantids meteor shower, I'd like to take a moment to reflect on three distinct meteor shower memories from my past. The first memory took place when I was in high school in the early-2000s during the Perseids meteor shower. I was spending the night at my friend Jen's house and she had invited her boyfriend and his curly-headed friend over to watch the star show with us. We brought mattresses out onto Jen's back porch and sat out there in the chilly fall night, counting literally hundreds of shooting stars. It was so magical that I just HAD to make out with the curly-headed friend. So there's that...

My second meteor shower memory was seven years ago, during the Quadrantids meteor shower in January of 2010. My little brother and our good mutual friend had the brilliant idea to avoid light pollution and drive way out to the country to watch the meteor shower. We put a mattress in the back of our friend's truck, bundled up, and drove out to the cow fields. As we pulled down a random dirt road, we met a long line of cars full of other people who had the exact same brilliant idea as us that night. It ended up being a nice little surprise. We lay in the back of the truck, drinking eggnog and searching for meteors, listening to the conversations around us. I think we only ended up seeing one or two actual meteors, if any, but the overall feeling of that night was very memorable.

My third meteor shower memory was also more memorable for the experience itself and the company I kept than for how spectacular the meteor shower was. It was a few months after I started dating my soon-to-be husband and we drove out to the country to watch the Perseids meteor shower. This time, no one else was out in the fields, and for good reason, as we didn't end up seeing a single meteor. But we did have a good time, laying on the roof of my car, Blueberry, getting to know each other better and listening to music through the open car windows.

You should try to see if you can catch any shooting stars tonight. Make it a to-do and invite people you love. Even if you don't see a single meteor, it will be a worthwhile memory, I promise.

XOXO

Monday, January 2, 2017

January Vibes

Happy 2017! Here's hoping for a cozy, colorful and fun new year. Instead of the same old resolutions, this year I'm choosing a theme: COMMUNITY. I'm hoping to make some new friends, strengthen my current relationships, volunteer, and get more involved in local politics and events. It feels like a good year to build up a strong community of loved ones and like-minded pals. Speaking of which, Matt and I will be getting married in front of our amazing families and closest friends this April. WOOHOO! It's gonna be an exciting year. I can feel it already.

It's time to kick off this year's monthly vibes series with January. This month, I'm feeling clean, bright, and minimal but cozy vibes. I'm loving the mix of cooler pastels with warmer natural tones and stark white. It combines a sense of the freshness of a new year and a desire to purge or cleanse with a sense of hygge (apparently the buzzword of 2016) and a desire for winter coziness.

What vibes are you feeling this January?

XOXO/Happy New Year!