2/26/17

Sunday Happenings

Happy Sunday!

It's been beautiful weather in Atlanta this weekend and we've tried to be outdoors as much as possible soaking in the glimpses we've had of spring being around the corner.

Friday morning, Houston said he wanted us to both look forward to a date night on the patio when we got home from work! So we both came straight home from work and we sat our on our porch and shared some cheese and crackers and Banshee Pinot Noir wine that was really good.

I recently discovered this amazing playlist on Spotify called "Coffee Table Jazz" and we turned the playlist on and enjoyed a wonderful, relaxing night at home. I highly recommend it!

Houston cooked us some yummy steaks on the grill and we caught up on some of our TV shows and called it an early night!

I woke up early yesterday morning for my final Pure Barre training and I'll officially start working the front desk at the studio next month, I'm so excited! Sat out on the porch in the afternoon soaking up some Vitamin D and grabbed dinner with some of our friends at 1KEPT.

We have a pretty relaxing Sunday planned with brunch at Red Pepper and church tonight at 5:00.

Here are a few Sunday Happenings for you lately...

We have a nephew on the way!!
What I'm most excited to share is that we have a little nephew on the way!! My sister Betsy and her husband Michael told us over Christmas that they were expecting their first and two weeks ago I was able to fly home to Orlando for the Gender Reveal Party and found out it's a baby boy!!

I thought it was the perfect way for them to announce the gender - both Betsy and Michael are big golfers and they found a golf ball on Etsy that would explode pink or blue when they hit it!

Our family is overjoyed and already love this unborn baby boy so much - we just can't wait to meet him! Open to any and all auntie advice :)

Below are a few pictures from the Reveal Party:












 


Healthy Recipe Inspiration
I found this article on Facebook, this woman lost 100 pounds in the last year and shares some of her favorite go-to, healthy meals. Here's a link to the BuzzFeed article.

look amazing and actually doable!!

5k for Atlanta Mission
Last weekend we had the opportunity to run in a 5K to support Atlanta Mission which is one of our very favorite organizations in Atlanta supporting homelessness. We love the mission they stand for and all the great things they do for our city and homeless community.

Now I'm not much of a runner any more, so the 5K was certainly challenging for me but I was impressed we ran more than I was expecting. Some friends of ours were able to join us and we had so much fun running through downtown Atlanta together.







 
J.Crew + NB Workout Clothes
One of my favorite bloggers, Carly from The College Prepster recently shared that J.Crew teamed up with New Balance on some adorable workout clothes. So many cute fitness clothes I want to try now!!

They have the cutest pink crops that I want here.

Hope you have an awesome week and we have more of this spring-like weather!

xox, A

2/25/17

Guest Post: My Mom's Pure Barre Story

My mom is an amazing writer, and today I asked her to guest post to share her Pure Barre story. My sister and I both love Pure Barre classes and when I was home a few months ago in August we convinced my mom to join us for a morning class, which she agreed to because she wanted extra time with her girls ;)

But to her surprise, she ended up really enjoying it and so she signed up for an unlimited month to see how it would go. She's been going ever since, and she's half way to her 100th class I might add!
I'm so proud of her for finding something she enjoys doing and it's extra fun that my mom, sister and I all have Pure Barre in common!

PS - My mom has the cutest Instagram account - if you don't follow her, you should :)

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Pure Barre Mills Park - Mom's first class before signing up for a month!
My Pure Barre story is short and sweet...
I love to spend time with my daughters! I wasn't intending to start exercising... I really wasn't!

My very first barre class was probably three or four years ago, at another studio with my girls.
I remember laying on the floor in class and the thought went through my mind,
"I think I'm going to die!"

I did what I could in the class (which wasn't much) and I wondered if I'd be able to merely WALK the next day, or week?? But the good thing was I was with my girls!

Fast forward two years and never another barre class. Then, we had our two daughter's weddings.
I did what every mother-of-the-bride would want to, lose weight!

I started a 28-day diet, that on Day 29 ended up becoming a new way of eating for me and my husband. I didn't intend to permanently change the way we eat. I had lost the weight, all 33 pounds of it! But what was still missing, was exercise in my life.

Remember how I love spending time with our daughters? Our Atlanta girl was in town for the weekend, and she and her sister were going to a Pure Barre class that Saturday morning. They invited Mom. It was a fun Mother-Daughter morning. We went to an early class at the Pure Barre Mills Park studio in Orlando, and met their Dad next door for breakfast afterwards. It was fun! 
I started thinking... maybe? Maybe I could do this???

During breakfast, the girls were so encouraging. My husband was so encouraging. 
I was "weakening." Maybe just maybe I could try it for a month?

I'm a practical gal, and I had just paid my $25 for the one class. If I was ever going to try it, now was my time. It certainly was a better deal - a month of unlimited classes for $99!

I was beginning to consider giving it a try, for the pure economics, if nothing else! Right there, in the middle of breakfast, they grabbed me (and my credit card!) and said, 
"Let's quick do this before she changes her mind!!"

And that's how it happened...

What I didn't realize was, I was about to fall in love with a new form of exercise for me, and that was HUGE because... I HATE to exercise! It was a TOTAL unexpected thing to happen in my life, too. Not too many big, new things happen in your life when you're SIXTY!

Each class slowly got a little easier and all those new phrases (like "lift, tone and burn") started making sense. I could do more than one thing at a time! Now I look forward to going to class, rather than dreading other forms of exercise I had previously tried. I can hardly believe it myself!

Class is tough... I'm not gonna lie. Every class is tough, but I'm doing it, and it feels so good!
I am feeling stronger, and that's been awesome!

1/29/17

Sunday Happenings

We're enjoying a nice and relaxing weekend catching up with friends and doing some brunching!
Met some friends for brunch yesterday morning at South City Kitchen, one of our faves. And went to Tree House for brunch this morning with my friend Heather.
Snuck in a few Pure Barre classes and catching up on a little work this afternoon.

Something I think I want to try this year for my "Sunday Happenings" posts is to focus on a few specific topics to focus on such as: 
fitness, funny, food, faith, family and photography (perhaps a photo of the week?).

I can't promise I'll always stick to these topics but thought it might be a fun idea!

Fitness
A new year often comes with goals about health.
And I'm hoping to keep up my commitment to Pure Barre in 2017. It's something I've really enjoyed not only seeing the results but it just makes me feel better overall.

Be on the lookout for some tips for your first PB class I'll be sharing on the blog soon!

Funny
Have you seen these pictures of poor George W trying to put on a poncho during last week's inauguration? I lost it watching this hilarious video where the whole scene unfolded.


Faith
Been jamming out to this on the way to work each morning. Absolutely love this worship song!
Our church does a worship evening every so often and it's always incredible. There was one we went to last year that they handed out a North Point CD called HEAR and it's amazing.

Here is one of my favorites!

Photography
I am terrible at keeping any sort of plant alive. My sweet mother-in-law bought us an orchid several months ago for our home and I was pleased to find out it requires a little water about once a week to stay alive, thought I could handle that.

Well I think I remember about once a month to actually put some water in the vase. I made a comment last night that I was shocked it was still alive, and Houston admitted that he's been watering it once a week for me which I thought was the absolute cutest.

I had to take a picture of our beautiful orchid that is only alive because my sweet husband waters it for me because I never remember! Isn't he the best??


Happy Sunday, friends!
xox, A

1/28/17

2016 Favorite Atlanta Restaurants

One of my favorite bloggers, Luisa from Peaches to Pearls, is here in Atlanta and she recently posted her favorite restaurants from 2016 and I thought that was a fun idea!

A few of Luisa's top choices have definitely made their way onto our list this past year, especially her #1 choice of Colletta at Avalon in Alpharetta - AH-mazing. Also Bartaco and Smokebelly BBQ would be on our list of top Atlanta restaurants.

Here are our favorite Atlanta restaurants of 2016:


1KEPT
Hands down our favorite restaurant this year has been 1KEPT. If we've had friends or family in town, it's our go-to dinner option. It was tough to find the first time we went
(you park behind the building off of Peachtree)
and is around the corner from us so it's also a great date night spot for us.

We love the atmosphere and the food is tough to beat!

They have some delicious cocktails or sometimes we'll bring a bottle of wine to share.
A lot of Atlanta restaurants will let you bring your own wine and just charge you a corkage fee
(we typically call ahead to be sure it's okay) and typically saves us money on our bill.

As far as appetizers, a few of our favorites include the pimento cheese board, deviled eggs, meatballs and black truffle popcorn. Their flatbreads are also easy to share for an appetizer.

Houston and I used to play rock, paper, scissors for who got to order the Chicken Schnitzel for dinner and whoever lost would just eat the other's chicken. So we gave up, and now we both just order it.
Seriously you won't regret ordering it!
Don't get me wrong they have other amazing dishes, but I'm yet to find one I'd rather order over the chicken.

We typically don't order dessert when we're out, but we had an awesome waiter there one night who earned our trust quickly with his recommendations and he talked us into the pecan pie, and I think we've gotten it every time since.

So there are our top 10 for 2016. What are some of your favorites we should try?
xox, A

1/8/17

My Favorite Blogs to Read

Happy New Year! Each new year brings a great time to reflect and plan for the coming year.
One thing I'd like to focus on this year with my blog is to be more defined in the topics I write about and really find my niche when it comes to blogging.

There are several bloggers I really look up to and find inspiration from.
There are so many blogs that I love reading or following on their social channels,
so I wanted to share a few of my favorites!

Images from respective bloggers Instagram profile pictures:
@juliahengel
@carly
@ashleybrookedesigns
@emilyschuman

Julia from Gal to Glam
Julia Engel from Gal Meets Glam is one of my favorite bloggers to follow on social media. She and her husband take all these fabulous trips and I love getting to see where they go! They recently moved to Charleston which is one of my favorite southern cities and I think she's just so classy, I love her style and she's a blogger I really look up to!

I even had the chance to get to meet Julia in person a few weeks ago when she and her husband came to Atlanta for the day.

Meeting Julia in Atlanta
Gal Meets Glam Blog
Gal Meets Glam Instagram

Carly from The College Prepster
The College Prepster was the first blog I really started following on a regular basis back in college.
I appreciate how open and honest Carly is on her social channels and through her blog. She has great style, advice and is about my age so easy to relate to.

We share a love for Lilly Pulitzer, dogs, fitness and we both started our blogs while we were in college. I would love to get to meet Carly one day!

The College Prepster Blog
The College Prepster Instagram

Ashley from ABD Designs Blog
I discovered Ashley on social media a few years ago with the adorable mugs she designs! She makes many other precious products that I wish I could buy ALL OF THE THINGS! She just came out with these adorable workout tanks and I just can't wait to buy one. Her ABD shop has the perfect girly gift ideas for friends, coworkers, your mom, sister, etc.

I had the opportunity to meet Ashley over Christmas and she's so joyful, generous and down to earth!

My first ABD Mug that I keep at work and admire each day!
Houston gave this to me for Christmas a few years ago.
Ashley Brooke Designs Blog
Ashley Brooke Designs Instagram

Emily from Cupcakes & Cashmere
My sister, Betsy introduced me to Emily Schuman from Cupcakes & Cashmere several years ago. I think Emily has the cutest ideas and I love her book my mom gave me a few years ago about styling, receipes and hosting ideas.

Cupcakes & Cashmere Blog
Cupcakes & Cashmere Instagram

I have more of my favorite blogs listed on the right side of my blog under "Favorite Blogs."
Do you have any favorite bloggers you keep up with?

xox, A