Wearing: Two Seasons at Once

Wearing: Two Seasons at Once

Wearing: Two Seasons at Once

Wearing: Two Seasons at Once

Wearing: Two Seasons at Once

sweater: f21, top: gap (worn here too), jeans: target (worn here and here), sandals: dsw (also here), necklace: jcrew

Hello there! I have been absent from the internet since approximately Monday. There are three reasons for this prolonged absence. Reason number one: the school year is coming to a close and my students finally realized it. Remember when you were in elementary school and you unconsciously decided that you no longer had to do work? It is hitting hard in my room and I come home exhausted every single day. It takes all my energy to corral 22 bodies that would rather be running around outside. We’re having some fun but I find myself saying, “Put your heads down and cool off!” more than once an afternoon.

Reason number two: living life. As much as I like being online, reading blogs, LOL’ing at those funny tweets, and hearting all the Instagram photos, sometimes you’ve got to get out in the sunshine. Nick and I broke free this weekend and spent time all over the place. I’ve got so many cool places in the NJ/PA/Philly area to share! I’m hoping to get all the posts put together this weekend. After being on the go and enjoying every minute of it, I’m feeling that introverted need to spend a weekend doing (almost) nothing. I’m feeling that this might be my first Shore weekend so I can get that rest I’m craving with the sound of the waves in the background.

Reason three: in case you didn’t know, I’m planning a wedding. Pretty sure I forgot that little fact and now I’m planning on not having a social life in June. So. Many. Little. Details. It’s all going to be worth it in the end but oh my goodness the stress is real. I’m really looking forward to my birthday, bridal shower, and bachelorette coming up in the next three weeks!

Those three reasons are going to keep me pretty tied up for a little while longer. There are no guarantees that I’ll be back on my regular posting schedule until at least July but I’m going to make some serious attempts to put some love up on the internet. What I hope is that your life is just as fun but way less hectic than mine right now!

Monday Links to Love

Small Town NJ: Lambertville

Happy Monday! Hope you’re enjoying this holiday with friends, family, or a good book!

* Hilarious and so, so true: A day in the life of Pinterest

* A great interview with Katrina Scott of Tone It Up where she shares her easy approach to a fit lifestyle

* I’m not a morning person but these tips on how to have a better morning might make it easier

* Kids NEED to learn through play from the New York Times

* This HuffPost article was written by my friend from middle school and it is just so amazing: Five Ways to Shine!

* A revealing look at how one girl/blogger makes money on instagram

* As always, the Everygirl knows what they’re talking about: what to wear to work in the summer

Small Town NJ: Lambertville

Today I can’t wait to share with you the small town that was part of my inspiration for this series. Lambertville is a busy little town right on the Delaware River. It’s a tourist hot spot since it embodies the best of small town: a historic main street, unique local shops, delicious restaurants, and hidden spots on side streets. Lambertville gets pretty packed on the weekends so you’re forced to move slow and enjoy this tiny town. Lambertville too small for you? No problem, you can take a stroll over the bridge to New Hope, PA for even more restaurants, shopping, and even a brewery.

What I love the most about Lambertville is that there are so many hidden gems. I feel like I find something new every time. I didn’t even know about my favorite restaurant, Lily’s on the Canal, until two years ago. Another great thing about Lambertville is that the Delaware Raritan Canal bike path runs right through the downtown. Lambertville makes the perfect start for a weekend bike ride (this weekend might be the perfect time for it!).

Small Town NJ: Lambertville

Small Town NJ: Lambertville

Small Town NJ: Lambertville

Small Town NJ: Lambertville

Small Town NJ: Lambertville

Small Town NJ: Lambertville

Small Town NJ: Lambertville

Small Town NJ: Lambertville

Small Town NJ: Lambertville

Small Town NJ: Lambertville

Small Town NJ: Lambertville

Small Town NJ: Lambertville

Small Town NJ: Lambertville

 

Small Town NJ: Lambertville

Small Town NJ: Lambertville

Small Town NJ: Lambertville

Small Town NJ: Lambertville

Small Town NJ: Lambertville

Small Town NJ: Lambertville

Small Town NJ: Lambertville

Small Town NJ: Lambertville

Small Town NJ: Lambertville

Small Town NJ: Lambertville

Small Town NJ: Lambertville

Lambertville is the perfect place to bring out of town guests who want to see a picturesque New Jersey…or who believe that Jersey is just a bunch of highways. If you yourself are a visitor to this state or are a city person, do yourself a favor: rent a car and drive down Lambertville’s main street. You’ll feel instantly relaxed and ready to explore. It’s especially beautiful at this time of the year (though these pictures were taken a little while ago, right before spring had sprung). I love all small NJ towns but Lambertville is the quintessential small town that you’ve got to try.

A Fitness Journey Update

A Fitness Journey Update

I hesitated to type up this post because I am no “get fit” guru. I am just a girl who wasn’t active, started to not feel great about her body and decided to do something about it. And then forgot about working out and eating right and started feeling bad again. My story isn’t so different from many other ladies out there but I think there’s something about sharing your story that could help lift someone else up and create a meaningful connection so I’m going to hit publish on this little update on my fitness journey.

If you’ve read my blog before you might remember my post from this past summer when I began to take my health and fitness more seriously. Let me give you my background in a nutshell just in case: I’ve always been relatively healthy and slim until I wasn’t really and it hurt my self-confidence. The problem was the unhealthy factor: I ate and drank whatever I wanted and I didn’t work out. Working out was sporadic and so were my healthy eating choices. Until I tried Tone It Up.

A Fitness Journey Update

You didn’t come here for a blog post about Tone It Up because you can just check out their community of amazing women who are ready to sing their praises. Or just search #TIU on twitter or instagram and you might get it, just a little bit. Since starting the program though I’ve lost pounds and gained so much confidence and happiness. I have never, ever felt this amazing in my own body. I also feel incredibly supported.

Here’s what I do: I try to run, jump on the elliptical, or even walk at least three times a week depending on my schedule. The thing that I feel has really made working out meaningful to me and changed my body is toning exercises. I work out my abs, my arms, my back, and my whole body at least four times a week. Depending on how I feel I have an active rest day where I walk or do a short yoga session in the morning (that’s usually Sunday). For nutrition, I try to make my meals lean, clean, and green (the Tone It Up way) but let myself indulge on the weekends. I try my best to stick to 80% healthy meals each week. Looking at it laid out like this shows how incredibly simple I’ve made my fitness life. So simple but such great results.

A Fitness Journey Update

I also want you to know that this journey has not been perfect. I love Starbucks chai tea lattes and Five Guys burgers and ground turkey just doesn’t cut it all the time. Sometimes I get home, exhausted because I had to hear “it wasn’t my child!” five different times and I can’t bear to unroll the yoga mat. This whole winter I neglected working out and eating right slowly stopped being my choice. When I started feeling bad about myself again I knew I had to stop what I was doing and change things. Tone It Up taught me not to judge myself but instead move forward to be the best I can be.

My journey to being more fit has taught me to do it for me. I’m the only person who matters when it comes to my health and wellness. It’s not about eating a burger then running for 45 minutes to hopefully burn off the calories. Eat the burger because it’s a treat, don’t get carried away, then work out because it’s a treat too, in its own way.

A Fitness Journey Update

I never thought it was possible to really change my body but I have. If you take away anything from my post here, remember that it IS possible to change and live the life you imagine.

Monday Links to Love

An Austin Adventure

Happy Monday! I’m bringing you only a few links today because, hello sunshine! I’ve been outdoors or out socializing since the weather has just been so delicious. That means less time on the internet. My bloglovin’ feed is starting to scare me but on the good side I can’t wait to share all the fun things I’ve been up to. Other things that have been keeping me away from the blog world is this wedding business. Only two months from today and I can hardly believe it. I’m excited, nervous, and a tiny bit stressed. Hope you have some good things coming your way too! Enjoy!

* Louisiana, where you go to write the next great American novel (thinking I should move there!)

* Giving up that Forever 21 in favor of buying that investment piece and here’s how

* Of course Jess Lawlor makes everything easier for you: achieving your goals with two simple steps

* Even though Coachella has come and gone for the year, I’m still drawing summer style inspiration from the crazy stylish attendees

* Calling all other Geminis out there: it’s Mercury retrograde time again. This post is the best I’ve found on why it doesn’t stink but can be a really great time for reflection

Wearing: A Spring in the Seventies

Wearing: Spring in the Seventies

Wearing: A Spring in the Seventies

Wearing: A Spring in the Seventies

Wearing: A Spring in the Seventies

top and jeans: f21, sandals: blowfish, necklace: charming charlie

My mom was a high schooler in the 1970s and there is nothing I love more than pouring over old photos of her from that time. I have to say that my mom was beautiful and stylish. She had such a sense of style wearing bohemian tops and lots of bangles and Indian print fabrics. When I wore these jeans and sandals before she exclaimed, “Oh I wore that look once!” It’s not a classic look but I’m into this seventies vibe. Thank you whoever decided we should wear flare jeans once again! My other favorite discovery from my mom’s style file is her eighth grade yearbook. Someone greeted her as “Miss Hot Pants”. That was clearly me and my brother’s best discovery while going through basement boxes.

Speaking of life in the seventies, I am enjoying these May days. The blog has been fairly empty because I’ve been out soaking up the sun and warm temperatures that have finally graced this state. I just can’t get enough of fresh air! This weekend we have a few wedding errands to run (almost two months out, ah!) and I’m hoping to catch a new-to-me Philly event. Here’s to living this spring life!

Book Report: March and April

Book Report: March and April

Let’s just pretend like I’m not doing my book report post for March and April in the second week of May. Wedding planning is like the very hungry caterpillar. Instead of fruits, this wedding “caterpillar” is eating all my time! You can’t tell I’m a teacher, can you? But better late than never has become my official motto. So here’s what I’ve been reading lately.

Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner. This is an older Jennifer Weiner book but I’ve been happily going back through her work and finding new favorites. Her books often get classified as “chick lit” but they are much deeper than girl meets boy and falls in love. Her characters are always have real feelings and desires that aren’t bogged down by the romance that’s part of the plot. Best Friends Forever tells the story of Addie Downs who’s long-lost best friends, Valerie Adler, shows up at her door one night with blood on her hands. Fifteen years after Valerie betrayed her during their senior year, Addie is thrust back into a friendship she’s not sure wants anymore while trying to figure out how they’re going to get Valerie out of this messy situation. While this book could have been a slightly strange and campy Thelma-and-Louise style story, the two girls had so much feeling and heart that you felt genuine sadness and elation for the characters as they discovered who they were and how their past shaped their future. It is not my favorite Jennifer Weiner book (I prefer The Next Best Thing) but I would recommend it for anyone who wants a twist on the typical best friend love story.

Is Everybody Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling. Mindy’s memoir is quite possibly the funniest book I’ve read all year. I loved Amy’s Yes Please and Tina’s Bossypants but I connected so much to Mindy. I loved the way she tells about her journey to where she is today and how it’s still a work in progress and her self-deprecating manner. But what I thought was the best part of her book was how she approaches female friendships. She sounds like the best girl friend who only wants the best for the ladies in her life. It’s the kind of book that I would want my best girls to read. You hear that, ladies? Go pick it up, now!

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. I had high expectations for this book because of the many comparisons to Gone Girl. The comparisons are warranted; both books have plenty of suspense and are character-driven stories. But, while I was on the edge of my seat with Gone Girl, I didn’t have the same feeling with The Girl on the Train. Yes, I wanted to know “who did it” but I wasn’t invested. Maybe it was because I didn’t connect with the main character and parts of the plot seemed unrealistic. It was not the thriller that I had been expecting. But it was a very well-written book and worth a read, just don’t compare it to a suspenseful thriller like Gone Girl.

I’m in need of new books for May and June…any suggestions?

Monday Links to Love

A Picture is Worth the Words

* A man lived in his office for over year: fascinating not only because he made it work but because of what he learned

* The intersection of my two loves: the best cities for a shopping spree

* Beauty buys that are great for your skin and great for the environment

* Jordan is so strong for sharing how healthy eating became an obsession and how to lead a more balanced life. Her blog, the balanced blonde, is my new favorite read

* Just in case someone hasn’t shared this with you yet: best friends built houses right next to each other (living the dream!)

* “Gratitude is a choice that turns our enough into abundance.

* This interview with Rachel Wilkerson Miller, the senior lifestyle editor at Buzzfeed, is a great look into the mind of an online creative writer/blogger

* Career tips from female entrepreneurs, aka the people who know this stuff the best

Small Town NJ: Frenchtown

This Small Town NJ series is becoming one of my favorite things to write here. You know I’m a hardcore Jersey girl (though after today’s morning commute it might be more of a love/hate thing). It’s fun to visit new places and re-visit some towns I haven’t been to in years. With the beautiful weekend weather we’ve been having here in New Jersey lately there will be many more small towns to come!

Today I bring you another town off the Delaware River: fabulous Frenchtown. Frenchtown is what small town New Jersey dreams are made of: adorable local boutiques, cute cafes, and great old buildings. My only gripe would be that it only has one main street. I need more of you Frenchtown!

Small Town NJ: Frenchtown

Small Town NJ: Frenchtown

Small Town NJ: Frenchtown

Small Town NJ: Frenchtown

Small Town NJ: Frenchtown

Small Town NJ: Frenchtown

Small Town NJ: Frenchtown

Small Town NJ: Frenchtown

Small Town NJ: Frenchtown

 

Small Town NJ: Frenchtown

It may just have one main street but Frenchtown has it all right there. I don’t get up there often but I always find myself taking a drive out in spring because route 29 is a beautiful ride this season. It was a pleasant surprise to see some of my old favorite shops and some new ones. One shop I can’t wait to go back to is Jasper and June. The shop calls itself a “giving boutique” and every purchase supports some sort of charity organization from women in Asian countries to preserving clean water around the world. It’s beautifully curated with high quality products with such amazing causes. I basically put every item on my birthday wish list. Good luck Nick!

Since it was a few weeks ago when we were still struggling through those windy and cold days we didn’t get a chance to sit outside at one of the little sidewalk restaurants. I guess that means we have to go back right? Hopefully I’ll see you there!

Through the Lens: April

April passed in the blink of an eye so I’m glad I have my iPhone pictures to look back on. It seems like April was definitely a “waiting” month: waiting for the weather to warm up, waiting for the weekends, waiting for the month to be over. Oh well, I still made the most of the month!

Through the Lens: April

top row:

// Started the month off right with a picture of me and my love. This was an outtake from our Easter photo shoot. Oh, timercam, maybe I’ll figure you out some day.

// April was also my month of renewing my commitment to healthy eating. These ingredients turned into a delicious egg white scramble with shrimp. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

// Beautiful blossoms in Princeton which is why I adore the springtime.

middle row:

// One of my best girls got married and it was so much fun to get dressed up and party with the best of friends.

// Back to the track this month. Slow and steady, slow and steady.

// How gorgeous is Philadelphia sometimes? I need to remember to take more pictures of the pretty rowhomes. Also, a blossoming tree between two buildings is why I love that city.

bottom row:

// A day spent in professional development could be a downer but I got out early and the day was BEAUTIFUL. I got to explore a new-to-me NJ college in the best weather.

// Starting my “Small Town NJ” series was the best decision ever: the perfect excuse to get out and explore! This is a view from the New Hope-Lambertville bridge and I officially love this state (like I didn’t before?).

// Finishing off the month with another picture of us all fancied up for the wedding. Only two and a half months until we’re up at the altar!?!