Things I Want to Love

With social media being such a huge part of everyone’s daily life, it is easy to see what is the current “healthy” trend. I put “healthy” in parentheses because we all know that some of these trends aren’t as healthy as we would like to believe. There are some things that I want to love so bad because they are so in, but I just can’t. Am I the only one?

La Croix 

Not only is sparkling, flavored water EVERYWHERE, it’s also not a bad thing to absolutely love. I want to love it. I want to choose it over a Coke, but I can’t. I bought an 8 pack of Spindrift because everyone was raving about it, and I was convinced this time was going to be IT. I was going to be a part of the cool kids club. But it wasn’t. And now I am forcing down cans of nasty so they don’t go to waste. We had a Falcon’s party for their first game of the season, and I put them with the other drinks hoping SOMEONE would take one or two off my hands. They didn’t.

Kombucha

I was rolling through Target the other day because, why not? And I saw they had some kombucha on sale. I had been wanting to try it because of course, it’s been blowing up my Instagram feed and ya know, peer pressure. So I snagged two bottles and opened one before I had even gotten to the car. And, guess what. It was awful. I tried to play it off because Kyle was with me, and I didn’t want it to be obvious that I just wasted money on nonsense. But he tried it and quickly realized it was brewed by Satan himself. No to Kombucha.

Quest Bars

Another one Kyle tried and said, no. And I totally agree. These are like if you took the most fake tasting sugar substitute and mixed it with sand and put some remnants of slightly decent food in and baked it together. I will never understand the hype. Maybe because I still eat things like donuts and cake and REAL Oreos, I know that the poser protein bars are just sad.

Arctic Zero

I was really excited to try this out because I went through a faze where I just wanted ice cream every single night. This way I could eat an entire pint and not feel quite as guilty. Nope. I would rather feel a thousand years of guilt than eat this crap. You know how you used to “soak” your dishes in the sink because the food was just “too hard” to clean off right then? We all know that’s code for, “I don’t feel like doing the dishes, and I want it to seem like I’m being productive.”  Well if you had eaten a plate of chocolate cake that night and soaked your dish, and then took that old chocolate dish water and froze it, that would be the chocolate Arctic Zero.

Overnight Oats

So the concept of overnight oats is to basically soak oats in the fridge overnight with different things like milk and fruits and spices like cinnamon or nutmeg. And in the morning, BOOM you have breakfast ready to go. And these are SO great if you love slimy, goopy, cold, mushy oatmeal. If you don’t like those things, I would skip this FABULOUS idea.

Zoodles

So I want to start of by saying I don’t HATE zoodles. It’s more like, don’t EVER expect them to replace real, wholesome grain filled noodles. #allthecarbs #forallmylife. I’m over people acting like I can replace some Rigatoni with some zucchini noodles and my body will never notice a difference. Don’t make me laugh. HA. HA. HA.

Image result for danny zuko laughing

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Do y’all have any things that you tried and just realized, yeahhhhh, no. That doesn’t work for me? Or have you tried the above and think I need to give it another chance? Let me know!

 

 

Atlanta- Places you should check out

Having grown up in metro-Atlanta and currently living right outside the perimeter, I hate when people talk about how there is nothing to do around here. Although Atlanta is no LA or Vegas or NY, there are still so many places to go for great food and good times. I’ve included places all around North Georgia as well because if you live around Atlanta and have for a while, you might just want a new scene. This may not be a super “foodie” or “vacay friendly” post. But these are place that we love and I just wanted to share.

Something that has been going on for a while but people don’t know about is KOP Yoga. It’s held on Tuesdays at 7pm in Historic Old Fourth Ward next to the skate park. It is LOADS of fun, and when it’s over, you head down to the Inman Park King of Pops window for a yummy treat! Thousands of people show up, so if you are a newbie to yoga, I can assure you, you will not be the only one. Just bring a mat or a towel and a bottle of water and enjoy a free yoga sesh!

Next is Ponce City Market. I’ve heard people say PCM is a tourist trap, but I disagree. Ponce City Market is an outdoor mall in a building that used to be the old Sears and Roebuck building. I love the history of the building, and all the things it offers. You can shop lots of awesome stores and if you want, you can rent a bike from High Mountain Outfitters and hit the Beltline right outside the back doors of PCM. Also, Skyline Park, the rooftop of PCM, has fun things to do like mini golf, carnival games, and rides.

This is a little stretch outside of Atlanta, but I can assure you it is worth the drive. Nana’s Chicken N Waffles in Conyers, Ga. is THE place for an awesome brunch. But if you are headed there on the weekend, be prepared for a wait. This place is in an old Waffle House, and has that AWESOME hole in the wall home cooked feel. There is not a single thing on the menu that will disappoint.

Of course I can’t do a post on Atlanta without including The Varsity. We took some of our engagement pictures at The Varsity because it is such an Atlanta staple. Their milkshakes are ideal and their onion rings are always the best. There is also a couple Junior Varsity around metro-Atlanta if you don’t want to head all the way downtown, but you still need a fix.

Da Vinci’s Donuts has a couple locations, but we usually went to the Sandy Springs location. They have smaller donuts but TONS of flavors. And they aren’t gross and dry like a lot of donut places are that make too many flavor options.

 

When we lived in Sandy Springs, we were RIGHT off the ‘Hooch. There are so many fun things to do at the Chattahooche. The have awesome parks and fun walking trails. You can raft, kayak, or tube the ‘hooch. They also have festivals and a river race you can participate in or watch.

Len Foote Hike Inn is another place outside of Atlanta, but it is TOTALLY worth the drive. It’s pretty much straight up 400. You park at the top of Amicalola falls and hike the Appalachian Trail about 5 miles up to the inn. There are no trash cans up the trail or at the inn. Whatever trash you take up with you, you take back down. The inn has no tvs and asks that you limit your cell phone usage as much as possible. The purpose of the inn is to enjoy nature and all the amazing things it has to offer. They offer an early morning wake up to anyone that wants to have a cup of coffee or hot tea and watch the sunrise. The meals are served at one specific time and you eat family style with all the guests. I cannot express how amazing this experience was, and I would love to go back. If there is ANYTHING you do on this list, I recommend this through and through. However, no animals are allowed at the inn, so you will have to make sure your pets have a place to stay during your visit.

Another hike we enjoyed but obviously isn’t in Atlanta was Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield Trail. This trail is super dog friendly with doggie water fountains available at the bottom. It is a gorgeous hike with a lot of traffic.

Suntrust Park is north of Atlanta in Cobb County. It is the new home of the Atlanta Braves, and a pretty gorgeous park. The intent of the new stadium is to make it a multipurpose facility that can be accessible year round. It has shops and restaurants around the park with delicious food and fun little stores. Wahlburgers just opened up and Baseballism has an apparel store. Also, during game days, there are some GREAT food options inside the park and carnival games, a zipline, and a rock wall for the kiddos.

A couple other places we love around North Georgia:

Wish Shoe Boutique

Heet Atlanta (Shoes)

Paris on Ponce Antiques

Scott’s Antique Market

Front Page News Yummy Food (People always talk about Vortex in Little 5 Points, but I think Vortex is SO overrated)

Kaboodle Antiques

Spiced Right Ribhouse

North River Tavern

The Local 7

Cosmo’s Little Italy (It’s not really in Atlanta, but it has some of THE best pizza. Fun Fact: Kyle and I ate here the night he proposed to me.)

Special Kneads and Treats (This isn’t in Atlanta either, but if you’re getting Cosmo’s, your dessert needs to be this place.)

Lakewood Antiques 

Revolution Donuts (My favorite donut place ever)

Radial Cafe

Shorty’s Pizza

Lotus Chinese (THE BEST Chinese/American food I have ever eaten)

I know I’ve probably forgotten a TON of places we love, and I will probably edit this as we check out new places. Hopefully this gave you a couple ideas of some new places to try so you don’t get stuck in a rut.

Is there any places you love that we should try?

 

Online Window Shopping

It is finally summer break for me, and I am so glad. I have 3 weeks to get everything taken care of that I have been putting off. Little Luna babe needs to get spayed, and I have little projects around the house that I want to take care of. Do y’all have any summer projects you are planning to get done?

I noticed the mornings around here have been a little crisp, and oh man am I loving it. The other day I mentioned to Kyle that after the summer we have had here in Georgia, I would totally be willing to settle a little farther north one day. Maybe on the coast once the kiddos are grown and out of the house (so a billion years from now). I dream of no mosquitoes and sweaters during cool summer nights. Two things that don’t exist in Georgia. I never would have thought I would seriously say that. Summer is usually my favorite season. I love the heat, and I usually HATE the cold. But lately I have been longing for layers and boots. Who am I?!

Is anyone else Nordstrom sale’d out?! I tried so hard to avoid the craziness and not buy EVERYTHING. Luckily, I stuck to only buying one pair of PJ pants that I will probably wear class and act like they are supposed to be worn out and about. My other pair of black comfy pants have a hole in the rear end (something Kyle pointed out to me while walking down the hall of the cruise ship) so I needed to replace them. At least in public. J I got those sweatpants from Walmart (high quality) when I was in high school. They are my go to comfy pants, and nothing can truly replace them. They are the PERFECT length and fit. Do y’all have any clothes that you will NEVER get rid of? The go-to piece when you’re feeling like crap or just need something familiar? I ALWAYS pack them when we travel just in case. I am hoping my new pair will be up for the challenge. I will keep you updated because I know you’re dying to see if they live up to my high standards. (UPDATE: They are pretty comfortable, but they run a little big. The leg is kind of long and they almost have a bell-bottomed flare that covers my entire shoe. Overall 7/10.) Did you snag anything in the sale? I’m not going to lie, I wanted every single piece I saw. I even added everything I wanted to the shopping cart and exited out before I bought them. I even considered doing a post of pieces that I loved from the sale, but every other blogger in the blogger universe did that post, and every single post is exactly the same, sooooo I decided against it.

So instead, I decided to post about a few décor pieces I LOVE for the house. Some are dream pieces and others are serious options. Let me know what you think!

This rug for the living room

This rug for the sunroom (I really love this one)

This rug for kitchen

This couch for the sunroom

This faux brick for an accent wall in the living room. I want to find a brick that matches the brick in the garage so it looks like the brick from the garage is just backed up to the living room. We have brick in the sunroom that used to be the exterior brick prior to the addition of the sunroom. I love the industrial look and I hope to incorporate even more industrial features down the road.

This faux plant for the end of our hallway for some greenery. I usually HATE faux plants. I feel like they just collect dust and serve zero purpose. But this plant was posted on Instagram the other day by Lynzy and she has me eating my words. I would like to put it next to our mirror to give the hallway some texture and color.

These picture frames for the hallway or something similar. We have the photos we want to frame printed out in black and white. We just need the frames. I don’t know if I want more of a shadow box frame or a matted frame. The frames would go on the wall to the left in the above photo.

This console for the living room. I love this so much!!

If we had a bigger bathroom with an empty wall, I would have something like this ASAP.

These side tables for the living room to compliment the TV console.

This coffee table for the living room. I love the marble but I don’t know how it will work with our couch. If I could get some sort of boomarang type table painted a funky color to give a pop to the room, I would be in heaven.

We are just looking for some tie in pieces to round out a lot of our rooms. Slowly but surely it is coming together. We did snag this AMAZING couch at the Scott’s Antique Market in South Atlanta a few weeks ago and we are so obsessed!

Is anyone else adding some fun pieces to their homes? Find any AWESOME pieces?

10 Ways to Calm Your Anxiety

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***Trigger warning: Today’s post is about anxiety. If that is something you have trouble discussing, please come back next week for a new post.***

There are so many things that affect anxiety, and there always seems to be the same typical suggestions to help. Things like eat wholesome foods or stay active are usually what I hear. Unfortunately, sometimes those don’t always help. So I wanted to make a list of small things that help me so that maybe someone else can use them.

  1. Keep Lists

Lists help me remember all the things I would usually forget. How many times do we get to Sunday and we are trying to remember the errands we need to run for the week or the chores we need to do to be prepared for the upcoming days? Make a list! Things as obvious as a grocery list or a to do list is life changing. So many times we assume we will remember those little things like schedule that vet check up or pick up those cupcakes for little Jimmy’s party, but when the time comes, we are totally lost. I typically use the notes app on my phone and the to do list in my Emily Ley Planner.

And that brings me to my next point…

2. Use a planner

As I said above, the Emily Ley Academic Planner is my go to. It has a full page per day and hour by hour planning. It keeps me completely sane. One thing that contributes to my anxiety is lack of order or control. My planner keeps me in control of my week and aware of what to expect.

3. Do small chores daily

This one is HUGE for me. I try to do at least a single load of laundry a day. That’s wash, dry, and fold. I can honestly say I am horrible with getting clean clothes out of the basket, but I’m working on it. Also, things like doing all dishes before bed has helped. If I wake up in the morning to a sink of dishes, I feel like my day starts off on the wrong foot immediately. Also things like having certain days that I vacuum and mop help keeps the house up until a full cleaning day on the weekend.

4. Take active breaks

Throughout the day I notice I have certain times where I get really overwhelmed or anxious. If I get up and have a brisk walk, I notice that it eases the anxiety a lot. Now that I am taking summer classes, I am sitting in class for almost 6 hours straight. I get so jittery and anxious where I feel like I could just explode. Luckily we are able to take a quick break every so often. Many people just sit at their desk and play on their phone, but I have to get up and move around. I also noticed this was necessary when I was working a desk job. Even if it was a walk out to the warehouse, I needed that time to reset.

5. Meditate

Sometimes I think people assume meditation is some kind of cross legged, humming, eyes closed, connection to higher power. Although some people do use meditation for many things, there are also more simple ways of meditation. It could be a way to bring you back to center and remember that whatever it is you’re worrying about is conquerable and you are able. Lately I have been using the app called Headspace. The free 10-day trial includes 10-10 minute sessions, and sometimes that’s really all you need. It helps you focus on your breaths and not letting your thoughts hold you captive. I always have my headphones with me, and if I have a moment where I feel like I’m losing control, I popped my headphones in and take a moment to listen to a session.

6. Lay out your outfit

Maybe it’s just me but the morning can be the most hectic time of the day. If my day doesn’t start right, the rest is doomed. If I lay my outfit out the night before, it is one less thing to worry about. I lay everything out from underwear to socks to any kind of jewelry I might wear. That way I can just mindlessly get ready and be in the car with plenty of time to get where I need to be.

7. Don’t get over caffeinated

Growing up, caffeine didn’t affect me. I could drink a soda or coffee and go right to sleep. Now, if I consume too much, I get antsy and irritable. It’s almost like feeling tipsy where I can feel my grip on reality starting to slip. I have to be very careful because if I get this way during class, I usually have to step out and take a lap round the building.

8. Drink plenty of water

To tie in to the one above, be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day. I notice that if I don’t drink enough water, I usually get a headache and fatigued. Those things usually trigger anxiety because I feel like I am not able to preform tasks that are necessary for the day. I also notice a change in my skin and my hair if I continuously go days without drinking enough water. *TMI* I also have trouble going to the bathroom regularly if I am dehydrated. And who wants to be stopped up?!

9. Be aware of your triggers

We all have different things that influence our moods and anxiety. Pay attention to the things that bring about attacks and take note. If you are able to target these things and prepare prior to encountering them, it makes things so much easier down the road. One example for me would be large crowds. We are going to Ikea this weekend and usually by the time we make our way through the endless maze, I am ready to lose it. Luckily, I am aware that is a trigger for me and I can take necessary precautions. I can step away from the crowd and take a breather. I can be sure I had plenty of sleep and I ate before going in (two thing that usually affect my anxiety.) Also, I am usually with someone like my husband who knows certain things affect me, and he usually can spot when I am on the verge. Make sure you have someone you trust with you in those situations.

10. Have a cry day

About once a month I have a good cry. Not just a quick one, but a good solid hour long cry. I prefer to end my cry in the shower because then I can wash makeup off after and start fresh. It is almost as if I am washing away the negative and beginning anew. My cries are rarely ever because I am sad. It usually is a way to release the tension of the past month or so. I don’t schedule them and they usually happen organically and are instigated by some really sweet or tug on your heartstrings video. However, I do know that some people like Kristin from the Bert Show here in Atlanta keeps certain videos for the exact purpose of a cry day. We all have our different things, but try it out and see how it works for you.

Unfortunately many people suffer from anxiety. I hope we can all be more open with our struggles and encourage each other with pointers and help. Don’t be afraid to talk to someone. Please get help if you are suffering from any kind of mental health issues.

Do you have any things that help with your anxiety?

Caribbean Cruise

Before I start on the cruise, I am making a PSA. If you are EVER even near Cocoa Beach, Fl. you absolutely MUST stop at Anacapri Pizza and get a margherita pizza. It is the best pizza I have ever eaten in my entire life. I am drooling just looking at the picture.

We took an amazing cruise for our late honeymoon/one year anniversary. I’m not going to lie, I get SO motion sick, and I was so nervous I was going to be sick the entire time. People kept telling me I wouldn’t even feel the motion, but I knew I would. And OHHHHH did I. Luckily, it only really affected me at night when I couldn’t see out the windows, so I was able to just take some seasickness medicine every night before bed. I tell you what though, I was miserable the first night. But all was resolved and the fun commenced.

They had two formal nights, but we ended up going to just one. They had a 24 hour pizzeria and unlimited food during the day at the buffet so fancy dinners weren’t necessary. They had brunch (my favorite meal) some mornings. They also had unlimited burgers at a Guy Fieri burger joint and unlimited BBQ during our at sea days. I gained 6 glorious pounds on this cruise, and I don’t regret a single bite.

Our first port was Grand Turk and we went kayaking but, I didn’t take any pictures so we will start on our second port, Puerto Rico. We went on a walk through San Juan with an amazing tour guide that told us all kinds of historical information. She was so sweet and full of knowledge. We stopped at a local restaurant and learned the proper way to make a mojito (my FAVORITE drink.) We also were taught how to make mofongo, a local dish. It was beyond delicious.

Our third stop was St. Kitts. We went 4-wheeling up the side of the mountain and saw some of the most amazing views. No picture will ever do it justice.

After we finished riding 4-wheelers, we went to this beautiful botanical garden and enjoyed locally made fruit punch and cake. The fruit punch was to die for.

On our way back to the boat, we passed a dude and his monkey. I couldn’t pass up a photo op. His name was Peter. 🙂

Our last port was St. Maarten and probably my favorite. We took a boat out to a floating hut and just relaxed. I drank a local frozen drink and read a book. It was so incredible. The water around us was so clear, and we were able to snorkel around the hut. There was a sunken helicopter and submarine. It was so beautiful and serene. The picture above was a view from my lounge chair. Now whenever I am stressed or anxious, I imagine I am back here. I hope one day we can make it back to this island.

I’m not sure I will ever be up for a cruise again. There are plenty of things to do, but Kyle and I are not big on making conversation with strangers. And you are constantly surrounded by people. There is ALWAYS a line you have to wait in for whatever you want to do, and you most likely will see the same people over and over again. So you are kind of forced into conversations. I would say that’s my least favorite part of the cruise.

I also hated that we didn’t have a ton of time to enjoy local stuff like food or the actual beach. So I might choose to do less excursions if we ever went again.

Has anyone else been on a cruise? Any pointers or things I should keep in mind if we go on another one?