So typically, our winters in Louisiana are not that bad. Of course this week we were hit with an ice storm so we are all bundled up right now, but is most cases, I can get away with a casual dress and boots during the winter. And I love that. Being able to pair my boots with a cute dress and not freeze my tail off is one of the many reasons I have committed my life to the south. It is funny to think that I wanted to live in a New York for grad school. I didn't end up doing it because I got married, BUT I really wanted to live in New York City for a year to say I did it. Now thinking about it, I think I would have died. Seriously, yesterday and today we have had record lows in Louisiana and I have not wanted to leave my house! Could you imagine if I lived in New York and had to endure blizzards on the reg??? Yeah, probably not my cup of tea. So with all of that being said, I enjoy VISITING cold places and wearing the clothes for a couple of days, but I will stick to my flirty dresses and boots if I have a choice!
I have to say, I am not much of a cold weather person. I am that girl who loves the first two weeks of fall because I can wear my boots for a minute but then I am kind of over it. I will admit, I like to be in my bathing suit by the pool in all honesty. And I was doing JUST THAT in the Bahamas this past weekend, so all felt right in the world until I came home. I made it back to Louisiana and apparently Mother Nature thought it would be funny to welcome me back with some snow. Yep. You read it right...it is about to snow here in Louisiana. So you know what that means? I am ready to put my sweat pants on, make some soup and curl up on the couch. If I had a working fire place, it would be raging so I will have to light all my candles instead. Hope you all stay warm out there!
A mere two weeks in to the New Year and I am tired people. How is that possible? I feel like I do my best to rest and have time to myself but it feels like I can never catch up. But lately, it has been mostly about that. Just catching up. I have tried to recover from our Argentina trip, do (several loads of) laundry, clean the house, plan content, and get ready for upcoming travels. I know I do this to myself so please do not mistake this for complaining. I love my life and I am so thankful we are able to do the things we do. I just need to rest a little more!
With the New Year upon us, that means new goals for this girl. If you read my recent post where I shared some of my goals for 2018, then you saw that one of my main goals is to travel more this year. I love seeing the world and exploring new places, so now (one week in to the New Year) I am making it happen! Booking flights, planning adventures...yep, I am going places people. Literally. I cannot wait to see what all 2018 has in store and am excited to start crossing some of my destinations off of my list!
What do you think of when you hear the word INTENT? What initially comes to your mind? For me, for whatever reason, I think of passion. There seems to be a difference in just doing something to do it, and doing something with intent. When there is intent behind it, there is more of a drive; a true desire to complete the task. Right? I decided to Google the definition of the word INTENT and these were some of the answers I got from the world wide web:
Happy New Year!! Can you believe it is 2018??? I know I can’t but I am definitely excited for this new year! This past year brought some beautiful, yet challenging, moments with it but for the most part was one for the books. JL and I were fortunate enough to see more of the world together, which I will always cherish. If you remember, we traveled with this family to Alaska back in the summer. This trip was so much fun, not only because we were venturing through a new place, but because I was able to watch his family venture. They live in a small town so things that I take for granted while traveling, meant so much to them, creating good reminders for me. We also added Lake Tahoe to the list recently, as a new skiing spot. Typically in years past, we have skied in Winter Park, Colorado, but I have to say, Lake Tahoe was BEAUTIFUL. And of course we made several trips to the beach because, what would summer be without the beach?
In the spirit of Christmas, I'm still working on gift guides! For this one though, I have a helper...and he's pretty great. Both Jon Luke and I worked together to put together this "Gift Guide for Him," because naturally, he needed to have a say in what you should get your guy for Christmas. But whether it's for your special someone, your brother, your dad or your best friend, keep reading to see some great gift ideas for him! Jon Luke might even make his writing debut here!
So I have to say, I have recently fallen back into my guilty pleasure...Gossip Girl. Yep, I can admit it. I have a true addiction to the show and am starting my third time through watching it. When the show actually aired on television I was not a die hard fan. I don't even think I watched at all. It wasn't until about five years ago, while I was living with my sister-in-law in Auburn, that I decided to tune in on Netflix. I had a feeling that I would fall in love with the story line, due to the fact that I love New York, but I never really understood just how much I would love it. Maybe it was because of my love of NY or maybe it was this life that I was living through the characters on screen. I am not sure what it was, but I quickly channeled my inner Serena van der Woodsen from all things fashion, to travel, to that New York lifestyle and I LOVED it.
As we get closer to Christmas, I can always feel my stress level rising. It is subtle, but it is like my heart beats a little bit faster during the holidays. I went to the doctor yesterday and the nurse said my blood pressure was a little high (not unusually high, I double checked) and asked me, "do you have a lot going on right now, or are you stressed?" AM. I. STRESSED. That is the question that I CONSTANTLY ask myself. Usually the answer is yes. To be quite honest, I stress myself out all the time and sometimes for no reason. It is crazy but I can't help it! SO for this holiday season, I am doing my best to get rid of the STRESS. I want to be easy-going. I want to have time for myself and Jon Luke. I want to RELAX. And this is how I am going to do that.
With the holidays pretty much here, we have several parties and events that we will have to attend over the next few weeks. I love dressing up for the holidays but eventually I get tired of the typical "Christmas dress." With that being said, I found this burgundy set from Theory and knew it would be perfect to mix in to my holiday wardrobe options. The deep burgundy is perfect and I love the high-waisted style of the pants! The other great thing about this look is that I can wear it work also! So it was pretty much a win-win for me. I've already worn it to a rehearsal dinner this wedding season but am planning on wearing it several more times in the future!
Happy Friday everyone! We did it, y'all. We made it to the end of the week and to DAY FIVE of Gracefully Taylored's Five Days of Fitness! Today, I want to tell you all about my Kayla Itsines BBG workout. I jumped on the Kayla train about three years ago and do not regret it one bit. I had seen her/her client's results on her Instagram account and always thought, "WOW! This is amazing," so I bought in to the craze. I bought the original Bikini Body Guide workout (before the App came out) and did the twelve weeks guide. Y'all...I saw serious results. Now I can buy the 12-24 week PDF or I can keep using the App but I love this workout!
For as long as I can remember, I have always been intrigued by boxing. I tried kick boxing classes throughout high school and college but never stuck with it until recently. About a year ago, I decided I wanted to add to my everyday workout routine. Apparently I had some anger built up because I decided that I just wanted to hit things, which made me look in to boxing again. I found a local gym and decided on personal training sessions so that I could get the most out of my time in the ring. Y'all, I have to say...I LOVE IT. I have become even more interested in the sport of boxing because there is so much more to it than I thought! From foot placement to which punch to throw next, you do actually have to think about what you are doing. And while I am not planning on getting in the ring for a true fight anytime soon, I do love the act of "training" for something. My coach keeps me motivated, I feel confident, and it really is a great stress reliever!
So I have to say that one of my favorite things to do fitness wise is to just go on a run. For whatever reason, I find it so peaceful. This is my time. My time to worship, my time to reflect, my time to think. Just my time to be with myself, no distractions...just running. Truthfully, I was not much of a runner until I graduated from college. My first year of graduate school I decided I wanted to run a half marathon. And not only did I want to run a half marathon, but I wanted to run it in San Francisco. Yep...hills. This meant I needed to train. A LOT. It was really during this time that I realized how much I loved running. I spent a lot of time running the plains of Auburn and truly loved every minute of it. So now I like to find route, but I also just like to go. Just run. And see where I end up, and how far I can go.
Well it's DAY TWO so you know what that means right?!? It is time for me to introduce another workout that I choose DAILY to stay in shape. Today, it is all about Pure Barre. And to start, I actually have a funny story about how I started taking Pure Barre. I was in class during graduate school, secretly working on my wedding website, while my professor spoke about something I obviously was not paying attention to. I was newly engaged and a newly retired tennis player with a bum knee and mission to fit into my wedding dress. True story. Thankfully, there was a girl in my class who was teaching at Pure Barre and she invited me to try a class. While my initial reaction to her invite was "I was not a dancer," she quickly convinced me that was unnecessary. I figured if I didn't need to be a dancer then this would be easy right? I mean, I was a Division I tennis player. Yeah...wrong. I could not stop shaking. So needless to say, four years ago I started Pure Barre...and now I'm addicted.
It is here! Gracefully Taylored's Five Days of Fitness. I have to say that I am really excited about this series. Fitness has always been a huge part of my life so when it comes to sharing things on the blog and being real with you all? This is perfect. Honestly, Jon Luke and I were sitting on the couch one night talking about things I could do on the blog and he asked why I didn't put more fitness content out. The more I thought about it, the more I began to ask myself the exact same question. Why don't I share more of this? So, this is me sharing. I am going to start with a week devoted to all things fitness. From the workouts I choose to stay in shape, to the fashion, even creating a gift guide for those who have fitness lovers in their lives! It will all be here over the next few days and I am excited to share!
It is finally here! The day (or weekend really) that we have all been waiting for...BLACK FRIDAY. While I am just as excited about this weekend as everyone else, I promise I was not waiting in line two in the morning, nor was I out last night. BUT, I have been on my computer plugging away at the sales so I have rounded up my favorites below!
Can you believe that tomorrow is Thanksgiving? I cannot! But it is here and I am excited! While I have been prepping for our Thanksgiving meal, I have also been prepping for those exciting Black Friday Deals! There are going to be so many great sales going on so be sure to stay tuned because I will definitely be doing a round up on the blog! In the mean time though, if you are anything like me, then you have already started your Christmas shopping. I mean, let's be real...I started mine months ago because I just want it to be done. That way, when the time comes I do not have to stress about gifts! So, for those of you who are like me, I have put together my first gift guide for the special ladies in your life. Whether it be your main gal, your bestie, your mom or sister, I have rounded up some great options of items that can go under the tree this year!
With the cooler temps making an appearance again, I have to say that one of the trends I have been loving lately is velvet. Perfect for fall and the holidays, this fabric can be so fun mixed in with just about any look. I have always been a fan of velvet for the holidays, but I have been loving it now for my everyday looks. This velvet duster for example is perfect both dressed down with ripped denim, or dressed up with a jumpsuit or dress. This is one of the many things I love about fashion. You can take so many mixtures of fabrics and patterns to create so many different looks! It really is endless!