Thursday, August 17, 2017

Picasso Paige

In the third grade, I was tasked with drawing Mary L. Singleton, the first black woman elected to Jacksonville City Council, to be the focal point of my class's bulletin board for Black History Month. For once, I didn't finish in class and asked to take the poster home where I promptly handed the print out of Mary L. Singleton and poster board to my mom. That night, she drew and I colored with my freshly sharpened colored pencils. The next morning, I turned in my portrait of Ms. Singleton and returned to my comfort zone of multiplication tables and long division. Meanwhile, my teacher was so impressed with my work that she submitted our bulletin board for a district wide contest and we won. Staff around my school started calling me "the artist" and my mom called my teacher to let her know that she strongly helped me with my drawing assignment but despite my protest that I wasn't the talented one, I went on to publicly receive an award from Duval County Public Schools on behalf of my third grade class from Mary L. Singleton's family.

Since third grade, I've always longed to again be "the artist" creative type. To be real and not a phony. So twenty years later, I finally felt brave enough to become an artist and create my own painting. To explain, when I moved to Nashville, I wasn't sure what to put above my couch. In NYC, I had a gallery wall of picture frames and in Charlotte, I had a wall of windows (here and here.) Though I liked the picture frames from the gallery wall, they were $3.99 from Ikea and had lived long past their expiration date and inevitability, one was always crooked. Plus, as I near 30, I felt like I should have more sophistication and be the type to have fancy art displayed on the walls in my apartment. I dreamed of having one of Inslee's figure studies or this beauty by Britt Bass and while I may have sophisticated daydreams, I'm currently a graduate student with a monthly income of $0, and couldn't afford the price tag on a print let alone a large, original. Though I scoured the pages of Etsy and Pinterest looking for affordable yet fancy looking art, I came up with nothing which led my feisty inner independent woman to think, "I can do this myself."

I'd go abstract so that if anyone critiqued my work, I could simply accredit it to their lack of refined taste. I started planning the canvas, the colors, the tools, and my mind was spinning. This was it. I was going to become an artist. I started to daydream about my studio (terrace overlooking a garden with fountains, of course) and all of the galleries that would showcase my work across the globe. Oh the exotic trips I could go on and all to gain inspiration. Or better yet, maybe I wouldn't be appreciated in my time and centuries from now, pupils would study my work in their art history classes on spaceships. Or the best scenario, I'd become so renowned that Kate would catch wind of my name and hire me to do exclusives for the redecorating of Kensington Palace. I think its clear, I had high hopes of my painting.

Hopes in tow, I went where all of the great artist go to purchase art supplies, Michaels. As I paced the aisles, I cringed at the prices I was seeing. No wonder these Etsy artists charged so much for their work. I splurged on the cheapest acrylics available and a nice medium sized canvas and made sure to swipe my DPHHS ID for my teacher discount on the way out.

I traveled home where I transformed my parent's porch into my terrace studio. Though it wasn't overlooking a garden with fountains, I had mom's lemon tree nearby and the St. John's River in lieu of a fountain. Now, where to begin. In my Pinteresting for cheap art, I had read countless articles about how to take an artist's work and recreate it for yourself and though it was tempting, I didn't want to again be a phony. This art was going to be a Danielle P. Leach original!

I spent days in my studio creating my canvas, blending the colors on my paper plate palette, and carefully brushing strokes of paint only to intentionally go over them again with a new stroke. Through this process, I realized how much I truly enjoyed painting. There weren't any guidelines or expectations. I had no idea what was I was working towards. If I messed up or didn't like my creation, I could simply go over it with new paint the next stroke. It was beautiful and freeing and while I had no idea where the painting was going, there I was dancing around the patio, paintbrush in hand.

Though I wanted the process to last forever, one day I looked at my creation and just felt this need to stop. It was right where I wanted it to be. So I did.

Now that I've rambled on long enough and because I know some of you have been waiting to see my first ever Danielle P. Leach original since it's debut on my Instagram stories, I present...

Picasso Paige's Painting Process! 

The end of day one where I realized that I was going to need a lot more of the three tubes for $10 paint at Michaels.  

The end of day three (I think.) Annnnd... 

ME! Proudly displaying first original. 

One more because this snap wasn't staged at all. 

I've been told the final resembles a cow which makes sense given my love for cows specifically, ones named Kyle (which is what I call all cows.) I wasn't sure what I would do with the painting but I am proud to share that it is currently hanging above my couch in Nashville. I haven't had anyone over to admire my work but I'm certain, once word gets out, my place will be packed with paparazzi trying to get a snap of my latest piece in transit to the hottest gallery. Get it while you can. 



The Artist 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Fire Up The Grill

I enjoy being in the kitchen. There is something about a meal that brings everyone together and I love making meals for people. In Charlotte, I had a decent sized kitchen and open living space so I would frequently invite friends over for dinners, brunches, and of course, pizza and wine. In New York, my kitchen was large by New York young adult apartment standards but it really could only accommodate one person and the living room was separate so not ideal for entertaining not that anyone in New York hangs out at each other's apartments which was frustrating for my large collection of drinkware. I don't have any friends to host yet in Nashville but am hoping for more dinner parties like Charlotte. One thing I haven't been able to do at any of my apartments and certainly can't do in Nashville is grill which is why I've been maximizing every opportunity to fire up the grill this summer at my parent's house. 

I love the grill because it adds so much flavor while simultaneously leaving zero mess to clean up post meal. I've been grabbing some protein (chicken or turkey sausage) and a few vegetables and throwing them on the grill for delicious weeknight meals that have to be healthier than the Chick Fil A drive thru. Speaking of vegetables, I have some truly exciting news to share. I now eat zucchini and not in the let me take a small piece and hide it in this mound of other things bite or I'll take a bite and then down an entire glass of water to hide the flavor but actually eating zucchini all by itself and I haven't died yet so I think this is a good sign for my hopes of becoming a vegetable eater. 

Another thing I am obsessed with this summer (as is Pinterest) corn. I'm not sure there are any real health benefits to eating corn but it has to be better than french fries, right? We recently went out to eat and I debated ordering the corn and ricotta ravioli appetizer, followed by the summer corn chowder soup, and topping it off with the sweet corn risotto as my meal. I opted against this strategy but man, doesn't that sound delicious? 

If you follow my story on Instagram, you can see that I've been posting lots of pictures and videos of my creations to my story so I thought I would share a few favorites here. 

I picked up a vegetable grill basket from Target for $8. I tried to find it online to share the link but it appears to only be available in-store. It was the Room Essentials brand so nothing fancy but it seems to be doing the trick. 

First, I'll cut up whatever vegetables I purchased and put them in a bowl. I found that the red potatoes take longer to cook so I tried cutting the potatoes in 16 pieces and that seemed to be a good size. Other than that, I've done peppers, onions, tomatoes, and my new summer favorite, zucchini. Once in the bowl, I add 1-2 tbs of olive oil depending on how much I have in the bowl (it all drips to the bottom so I don't think that's too important) and then I add some seasoning. My dad loves salt so to my dismay I usually add some salt and then toss in some pepper, oregano, garlic, and parsley and mix in with the oils and let it sit. I've let it sit for 10 minutes or a few hours. Once the grill is up and flaming, I scoop the vegetables into the basket and grill away for 15-20 minutes.  For the corn, I've been able to just place it on the grill and slowly rotate so that all the sides have a nice grill marks and I cook whatever protein (typically chicken) until it's done. Theres minimal clean up and I think the meal is so flavorful. 

Another favorite is this summer corn, tomato, and feta salad. I've made this twice once on the grill and once using the skillet on the stove and HIGHLY recommend using the grill. It's amazingly delicious. This summer cavatelli doesn't require the grill but it does call for zucchini so as a new found consumer of the vegetable, I enjoyed this dish. 

Summer away my friends. Soon enough, it will be fall and we will be all pumpkin everything.



Monday, July 31, 2017

My Henry

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed that we celebrated a big milestone this past weekend, Henry’s eighth birthday. I received Henry as part of my 21st birthday gift and in that time, he’s managed to fill my heart full of love and joy while simultaneously emptying my bank account. Though I can’t imagine my life without him, I wasn’t initially keen on Henry.

Almost one year to the day before Henry was born (July 28, 2008) my childhood lab, Bo, passed away during my first summer home from college. Being an only child, Bo was the closest thing to a sibling I had ever known and when we lost him suddenly to the dreaded c-word, my heart was shattered into what felt like millions of pieces. So when my parents called to tell me that they were getting another dog, a yellow lab, I surprised myself when I asked if I could have one too. It was my junior year of college and I had just moved into a house that I purposely selected because they allowed dogs.

Though he was adorable that first year, he drove me insane. I don’t think my heart was 100% healed from losing Bo and I had a difficult time learning to love him. There’s one story that I often tell that I think epitomizes Henry’s puppyhood. In our townhouse at the time, Henry stayed in his crate on the first floor in the opposite corner from the front door. A few feet from his cage, we had a love seat parallel to his crate so that you could see the back of the loveseat when you entered the door. One afternoon, I opened the door to discover that Henry had managed to bounce in his crate across the hardwood floor to the back of the loveseat and chew it so that the backing was completely open and stuffing filled the room. He sat in his crate with his tail proudly waging.

Though he frequently jumped on the counter and ate my dinner and destroyed every sock I owned from the depths of underneath my bed, within that first year, I went through my real first rocky relationship where I heavily leaned on Henry for comfort and support and the rest, is history. Through changes in friendships and failed relationships as we moved to multiple zip codes, Henry was always my one constant for the past eight years. Despite the oscillations, Henry has always been the one to need me and love me unconditionally. I safely guard my heart which has often led me to be perceived as cold over the years but with Henry, he’s the only one who I’ve ever truly been able to melt into.

Which is why, I’m terrified for his surgery tomorrow. With Henry, I’m always the worst case scenario. A small sneeze out of the ordinary can lead me to cancel every plan for the upcoming week so that I can sit at home and safely monitor him. I know an ACL surgery is common, especially with large dogs, but I feel as if I’ll be frozen until I hear from the vet after his surgery to know that everything went ok and they didn’t find anything else and together, we can begin to heal.

Sometimes when I pray, I find myself praying for my wants and always correct myself that God has a plan larger than what I can conceive and I should pray for patience while I wait for His plan to unfold instead of praying for what I want. I desperately want (and need) Henry to be OK so praying right now is tougher than ever. Selfishly, life without Henry is unimaginable. He’s been my sole source of that companionship that I deeply desire and I'm too fearful of being truly alone.

As I wait, I’ll keep listening to the uneven beat of his limpy paws coming down the hallway and be grateful for eight years of unconditional love through those big brown eyes (though praying, for many more.)

Our deepest gratitude for your prayers, thoughts, and support.



PS. A post from the archives of another time Henry sent my anxiety through the roof.

PPS. The first picture I ever posted of me and Hens! (Taken on my BlackBerry.)

Monday, July 24, 2017

NY to TN to FL and the In-between

Last week, my Dad reminded me how well I was doing updating my blog until the move. I can be productive when I have a lot going on but once it gets down to nothing to do, even the simplest tasks can be put off until tomorrow, or the next day, or the day after that (hi, laundry.) Anyways, I thought I would share a few updates from the past few weeks and then commit to my regularly scheduled postings.

First, it was harder to leave New York than I anticipated. I felt like so much of me was ready to go for months and the final weeks came and I was filled with doubt. I felt slightly defeated by New York like New York had won and I don't like losing but also, I was constantly questioning my decision to grad school. So much so that I thought I should have applied to get my MBA (wonderful degree though not for me.) It didn't help that the weather was perfect and I was spending so much time with all of my friends from fun lunches and dinners to packing parties with sparking rose at my place. I had the biggest meltdown the Sunday before I left but fortunately, I have some incredible friends who knew just how to pick me up those final few days!

Aside from terrible traffic, the move itself went well. My Dad was able to pull the moving truck onto my side street minutes after the street cleaner came by so we had zero issues parking. All of the movers showed up when they were supposed to so getting my things plus me and Henry from Manhattan to Nashville was simpler than I anticipated. We did decide to leave the Friday of a long, holiday weekend so traffic was insane (like six hours to go 200 miles insane) and no one in our party was particularly thrilled with the traffic which made for a tension filled driving Friday but if thats the only thing that went wrong, I'll take it.

I spent right at a week in Nashville before leaving so I don't necessarily feel qualified to answer the "How is Nashville?" question yet. In that week, I did find the Target and Publix and let me tell you, life is glorious. The first time I went to Publix (to purchase my food for one week) I was so excited, I walked up and down every single aisle just because. My buggy had minimal items but it didn't matter, I wanted to experience it all. Also, I think I went to Target maybe five times. It's so convenient. One night, I was assembling a headboard that had been delivered from Wayfair and realized that I needed a piece I could easily grab at Target. In under 30 minutes, I drove to Target, picked up what I needed, and was back assembling the headboard. Seriously, magical. AND there is a Starbucks walking distance from new apartment that also has a drive through so really, all is well in Nashville.

While there, I did find a promo for Class Pass and joined. I prefer a community where I work out so I knew that I wouldn't be a long time member of Class Pass and found a code where it was $30 for 6 classes. I had been reading blogs about gyms and fitness studios in Nashville and wanted to try a few affordably before deciding which one was for me. Sadly, the spin studio is nothing compared to NYC but I did find a place that I LOVED. I went to a few where all of the other participants instantly sized me up when I walked in and no one talked to each other which made me feel insecure the entire time I was working out. Additionally, a few of the instructors didn't take the time to correct my form (I'm certainly not an expert) and they just yelled orders from across the room. I'm sure I am slightly spoiled from my time with Holly and Geoff but I knew there had to be more. On my last day, I tried a random place that I hadn't read about but picked because of the close proximity to campus. Everyone there was so kind, introduced themselves, and cheered each other AND they had a dog that ran around during the fitness class. I'm sold. Can't wait to try some more classes just to be sure (though I think I already know) when I get back in August.

For the past week, I've been home in Florida literally doing nothing. I feel so lazy and I have no idea why I am so tired all of the time but I also don't really care. For the past few years, I've been non-stop and I can't think of the last time that I didn't have an email to respond to so I am trying to embrace the slowness and overly indulge in a nap or two. I've been able to see some friends and family since being here which is great. Usually, my visits are short and its one dinner to say hello but nothing more so I've enjoyed having time to bounce around and have extended lunches or pools days catching up.

We plan to be here through this week and weekend and all next week before heading back up to Nashville. I have a creative project that I'm itching to start so stay tuned for details. Henry, who will be eight on Saturday) has an appointment on Wednesday with an orthopedic specialist for hips. They've gotten so bad that he can barely walk and though I try, I can't quite carry him. I've been praying nonstop for this appointment and that we are able to discover the source and have a treatment plan to heal him. He's reminding me so much of my childhood dog, Bo, before he passed right now and thats really not something I think I could handle so I'm praying continuously for this appointment on Wednesday. If you pray, please say an extra prayer for Henry and his hips and the vet on Wednesday.

Here are some snaps from our final few weeks.
Seriously, could Central Park BE anymore beautiful? (In my Chandler voice.) 

Saying goodbye to our New York home. 

Unpacking in Nashville. If you can zoom, please find his teddy bear right next to him. 

With my favorite babes in Florida. Their momma was my childhood friend and I love these babies to pieces. 

I'll be back soon.



Thursday, June 29, 2017

My NYC Top Ten

On the eve of my departure from NYC, I thought I would share my top ten things to eat, see, and do in the city.

The Met + Roof Garden Bar 
While I'm certainly not an art aficionado, I did fall in love with The Met during my time in NYC. On a typical weekend, I loved leisurely leaving my apartment and walking across Central Park to The Met and contribute my $2 donation for admission. During the winter, I'd typically spend more time exploring unchartered territories such as The American Wing or Art of the Arab Lands, though I always made time for my favorites including Monet's works in European Paintings and the time period rooms in Decorative Arts. During the summer, I'd swiftly walk through Greek and Roman Art and Arts of Africa before taking the elevator to the fifth floor Roof Garden Bar. I found comfort in being surrounded by the lush greenery of Central Park contrasted against the expansiveness of the downtown buildings.

Book Culture 
I've never been a reader. Growing up, I always struggled with reading comprehension and by struggle, I mean I was an A-/B+ student instead of the typical A+ student I was in my math and sciences. Instead of immersing myself in books to overcompensate, I shied away from reading and never really considered myself a book worm. After moving to New York, I decided to intentionally start reading again and Book Culture enabled my love for reading. I could spend hours sifting through the staff recommendations and perusing their collection of cards and gifts. Book Culture quickly became a weekend favorite and I've certainly dragged almost every visitor to their 81st and Columbus location.

Central Park
I could easily write a novel declaring my love for Central Park. I've always visited Central Park but though living so close, I was truly able to appreciate all of her intricate details. From the view of the paddle boats on the Bow Bridge to the waterfalls in the North Woods to the winding paths of the Ramble, I never tired of her beauty no matter the season. Some of my fondest memories of NYC have been in Central Park from the morning walks with Henry collecting sticks to the hours on picnic blankets sipping champs with my friends. I think Central Park might be the most difficult to leave behind as I move to Nashville.

The Ribbon 
The Ribbon is easily my favorite restaurant in NYC. I feel like it's a less hyped though slightly tastier version of The Smith. From the old Trivial Pursuit cards on the tables at the bar to the checks being delivered in an old book and the collection of maps on the walls, The Ribbon certainly has me charmed and their cavatelli pasta is to die for.

Seriously, the best chicken parmesan possibly ever. So incredibly yummy. Between the fresh ricotta and the garlic bread, I could eat here everyday.

Shake Shack
For quick and affordable, I always loved Shake Shack though, this past year I tried their Chick'n Shack and my life was changed. Absolutely the most amazing chicken sandwich ever (at Chick Fil A, I'm a nuggets girl.) I'm not sure if it's the semi sweet bun or the buttermilk mayo but either way, I strongly recommend this $7 gem on your next visit to NYC.

Levain Bakery 
Truth be told, I was apprehensive about Levain. I'd seen their ginormous cookies on every NYC food Instagram account and had heard rumors of the block long line at their 74th street location, but I don't like walnuts which come in their chocolate chip cookies and din't think I would be a fan. Fortunately, I walk by their larger, lesser known 116th street location twice daily on my way to and from school and caved to societal pressure to be trendy and try a cookie. Totally worth it even with the walnuts. These have been my "I've had a bad day and I need a cookie" staple the past two years. I definitely recommend treating yourself on your next visit to NYC and though they are moving to a larger location on the UWS, I'm sure the line will still be long and I highly recommend the trek to 116th for the cookies anyways.

Milk Bar
This was a favorite even before I moved to NYC and while I still love the b'day cake truffles, the b'day cake shake makes you believe that heaven is a place one earth (the song that was playing on my list visit to Milk Bar.)

Emack and Bolio's Ice Cream
Though I know New York has plenty of fancy ice cream ships and even shops with cookie dough pretending to be ice cream, I love plain, yummy ice cream. Emack and Bolios is perfect because they have some funky flavors, but also all of your tried and true flavors and you can live wildly by getting a crazy cone. My personal favorite, Cookie Monster ice cream in a fruity pebble cone!

Blessed Sacrament 
In my first year, I tried countless churches and thought I was turning into Goldie Locks because none of them felt quite right. I started attending the 5:30 mass on Sunday during my first spring and absolutely loved it here. There are so many entries in my Joy Journal about how much I loved Father Duffell's homilies on Sundays. I started attending the Spirit Sunday Socials and made a few friends so it was always comforting to see familiar faces as I prepared to start a new week. Additionally, the church is absolutely beautiful so I may have daydreamed about getting married there a time or two.

Though NYC doesn't come without it's struggles, I'm incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to call Manhattan (HA!) home for the past two years. Now, to Nashville!



Thursday, June 22, 2017

Recent Articles

Tonight, I have zero motivation to pack so I thought my time would be better spent writing a blog posts than sharing snaps of my lack of effort on my Instagram story. My bins arrived on Monday and so far, I have packed the living room, the foyer, and two hallway closets. Somehow, I hit the NYC closet lottery and currently have the equivalent of six closets. In Nashville, I'll be going down to two (both in the bedroom) so I am a bit worried about my storage and my accumulation of junk over the years therefore, I am trying to eliminate while packing. I'm at the phase where the novelty has worn off and if the fairies wanted to show up at any moment and pack my apartment for me, I'd gladly let them in. (Monica Gellar would work as well.)

On to tonight's post. I've read quite a few articles recently that I've enjoyed and thought I would share them here.

Katie Burke's Career Profile on The Everygirl 
I read almost everything from The Everygirl but I particularly loved Katie's advice to her 23-year old self. "Run your own race. Don’t measure your life as it relates to others, personally and professionally. And, enjoy it all — the cramped apartments, the late nights at the office, the dance parties, the long marathon training runs, the dates that don’t work out, the dates that do, the trips you take, the things that don’t quite go your way, and the fumbles you make along the way — they are teaching you more than you know." While this advice could always resonate with me, it particularly does now related to my move. I crave routines and predictability and the last few weeks have been tough with a flexible school schedule and extra time spent planning for the move. I easily get bogged down with the logistics and to-do lists and can become frustrated with everything but I'm trying to push myself to "enjoy it all." I play music while packing. I soak in the sights, sounds, and smells (unfortunately) on my daily walks around the city and have been taking detours to frequent some of my favorite spots. Instead of declining invitations, I'm saying yes to lunches, after school drinks, and walks through the park. This crazy- yet endearing- city will soon be a vacation destination and I want to savor the moments of my time here. 

Professional Praise Article on HBR 
I don't innately deliver praise and I rarely give compliments. In Charlotte, I actually worked with my therapist on being more likable at work. One of the techniques we practiced to make people feel more comfortable around me, was to give compliments. Yes, I had to role play giving a compliment. After much practice, I carefully chose my moment and decided to shout across the room to a co-worker that I liked their dress while she was doing dishes so naturally she couldn't hear me and the whole conversation was 1,000% awkward. Personally, I care more to hear about where I can improve as opposed to what I did well so on a team, I am quick to point out our flaws instead of noticing the strengths. I enjoyed this article because it pushed me on thinking less selfishly and how I want feedback, but to think more about who I am working with and how they would like to receive feedback. My Graduate Assistantship has a leadership component and I want to be mindful (particularly in the beginning) of giving more praise and establishing relationships. 

My So-Called (Instagram) Life on Modern Love 
I've always loved the Modern Love articles. I stumbled across this one today and identified so much with the writer's experiences. I'm not necessarily worried about my brand on social media but more so understood her desire to be "cool" or "laid back" in relationships so much so that actually hinders the relationship. All throughout the first dates, I'm incredibly self conscious (normal, I think) and overthink everything that I do and say. Even after a few months, I'm so focused on being removed and detached (at the fear of being denied) that I ultimately sabotage any relationship from happening. In my last "break-up" (can you call it that if you were never really together?) the guy told me I was too ambivalent. I specifically loved the blueprints, walls, and door analogy in the final paragraph. Now that I'm at least aware of this hindrance, perhaps I'll be better with the next one. To find out, I'll keep swiping. 

Before I return to packing (though I really don't want to) I have one final story story to delay the process. Today, I was on a walk through Central Park with my friend Alison when we stumbled upon a turtle on a busy pathway. He was clearly trying to find his way to safety but kept running into the fences around the lawns. Tourists were walking by and messing with the turtle so naturally, I felt charged to rescue the turtle. Seeing as I'm not 100% up to date on my turtle knowledge, we called the Central Park Volunteer hotline where I explained to them that I was on a path in Central Park and has come across a lost turtle. Quite the entertaining phone call where I learned that it is breeding season and many turtles wander far from the lake to lay their eggs. I was told to move the turtle to a grassy or wooded area and remove him (I guess it was a her if she was going to lay eggs?) from the crowded pathway. Naturally, I didn't necessarily want to touch the turtle but there was a willing tourist who carried the turtle to safety. Whew! Crisis averted and turtle life saved. 

Ok. Pack to packing!



Thursday, June 15, 2017

Life: Two Week Countdown

I can't believe it. I'm down to my final two weeks in NYC. Only 10 days left of work. It's happening and I haven't packed a thing. Which leads me to a move update. Two weeks ago, I mentioned how stressful it was planning the moving logistics. Well, it didn't get any easier. After a few more hurdles, once I was ready to give up and hope that fairies would somehow magically transport all of my belongings from NYC to Nashville, I secured a plan that is carefully detailed in a page long Google Doc. Part of this plan and the reason I haven't packed a single coaster is that I'll be using reusable bins from Bin It that will be delivered on Monday. I'm excited about this mostly because I like to pretend I'm green and I think renting reusable bins meshes well with my Whole Foods persona but also it was significantly cheaper to rent bins than order boxes and have them delivered in NYC (yes, I made a Google Sheet for comparisons.)

Before I start bribing all my friends to a packing party filled with sparkling rose, I'm off to Charlotte for another wedding this weekend. I lived in Charlotte for four years after graduating from college and part of me always thinks of Charlotte as home. Yes, my parents house in Jacksonville is home home but I think of Charlotte as molding me into my independent self. I had such a strong community in Charlotte from my church to my TFA friends and though I know it wouldn't be the same (quite a few friends have moved away since I left) I would absolutely love to call Charlotte home again someday. (Here's a fun snap of me with the QC from that time I was featured on The Everygirl.)

A few things on my mind this week...

  • I really want to prioritize my fitness and healthy eating starting with my three week vacay in Jacksonville this summer. Its tough because I truly LOVE food and I honestly don't like vegetables but I'm hoping to have more time in Nashville that allow me to make a more conscious effort. The Everygirl posted this article and while there are certainly a few recipes I want to try, my main takeaway was that I should drink more champagnes since its the healthier, lower calorie option. 
  • I lost my glasses this week. I'm so upset because I never lose anything but I've searched the twelve block between my school and apartment frantically and prayed to St. Anthony countless times with no luck, so I have an eye doctor appointment before I leave. Kind of works out because I've been paying for vision insurance for the past two years and haven't used it at all so at least I'll be able to make something out of my $2 monthly deduction and I'll hopefully be able to stop squinting at my computer soon. I had my last frames for over three years so I'm excited to change it up a bit... wondering if I could pull these off
  • This may deserve it's own post but I absolutely LOVE Downward Dog on ABC. If you haven't watched it, I'm sure you could find all the episodes streaming or OnDemand somewhere and I promise it's worth the few hour binge. 
Have a lovely weekend!