Quick Snaps from Nashville

Hi everyone!  I’m still finishing up my complete Nashville weekend recap, but I have a few photos and notes to share in the meantime.  Looking back through them has been really fun and I can’t wait to share the specifics of our trip.

Aren’t those tiny pumpkins the cutest?  I like their speckles and stripes.  We found these as the pumpkin patch in the 12 South neighborhood, next to bins and bins of other tiny gourds.

This house was big and beautiful with a giant wrap-around porch.  It was right along the side of a bunch of townhouses, looked like it belonged in the mountains, but somehow still didn’t seem out of place.

A few things from around town:  some alleyway art, some good eats (a Proper Bagel cinnamon crunch bagel with chocolate chip cookie dough cream cheese, a double cheeseburger with Mexican street corn from Butchertown Hall), and more pumpkins (a farmers’ market find).

We happened upon this bridal shop in while wandering around town and couldn’t keep ourselves from stopping to “oooooh” and “ahhhhh” over that dress in the front.  The shop was closed (and we didn’t have an appointment, obviously), so we peered in through the windows — there wasn’t an ugly dress in sight!

I have saved the best for last.  My mom is the queen of Halloween.  There were decorations scattered around the city and we were quite tickled with them all.  You’re welcome.

More next week!  Let me know if there’s anything specific you’d like me to include in my detailed post.

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Autumn Vibes

I just got back from a weekend in Nashville with my family.  We’ve been having lots of fun taking advantage of long weekends for little trips.  It started with trips up to the mountains, then our girls’ trip to Charleston, and now Nashville.  (I’m going through all my photos and working on a recap to share soon!)

This trip felt like a perfect fall kickoff — we found so many farmers markets and pumpkin patches.  Sometimes it’s hard to tell when seasons start and end in Atlanta because our weather can hop around, hitting all the seasons within a week.  Fall is especially tricky.  I’ve got to get my solidly autumnal vibes somewhere, so I turn to photos like these to get me in the mood.

from @ktnewms

A little staged, but so cozy!

from Classy Girls Wear Pearls

Our leaves aren’t changing here yet, but I’m hoping it happens soon.
Red leaves are pretty, but the yellow/orange ones are my favorites.

from My Fitness Pal

Doesn’t that look delicious!?
The recipe is on my list of things to try.

from @homeiswherethehartis

All Home Is Where the Hart Is posts are so festive.

from Gimme Some Oven

Also on the “to try” list.
I had no idea I liked apple pie until recently, but man, I do.

How are you getting in the mood for autumn?  Tell me!

Let’s Chat About the Gilmore Men

A while back, I shared a lot of my feelings about Gilmore Girls.  I received more responses to that post than I have to any post before, which was exciting, so I figured I’d bring the topic back.  Plus, you know that I can ramble on and on about this show.

This time, we’re getting into the men of Gilmore Girls.  Sure, the show is about women, the relationships they have, the growth they experience, etc.  But it’s also about the men who exist in the middle of all of that — often secondary players, but players all the same.  I don’t feel like I can rank them from best to worst, but I can put them in buckets:  the good (the ones who were worthwhile, the ones who I like), the bad (the ones who irritate me), the ugly (the ones who make me so mad), and the “huh” (the ones I could have done without).

The Good

Dave Rygalski:  We didn’t see much of Dave, but we saw enough to make it really disappointing that Lane ended up with Zack.  Dave was the guy who coordinated band meetings, the guy who cared enough about Lane to bravely give her mom a speech about all the ways he wasn’t a demon, the guy who put up with and almost embraced the Kim craziness.  And he was just nice.  To me, he represented all kinds of hope and opportunity for Lane.  (All the things that Zack never represented even a little bit.)  And I think it’s a real missed opportunity that he just disappeared from the show.

Logan Huntzberger:  It might be unpopular, but I am so firmly “Team Logan” that I spend every re-watch of the show waiting for him to arrive.  I like Logan for many of the reasons I like Paris; they are unapologetically self-aware of the things that make people dislike them in the first place.  And I get that he had some serious flaws (hello bajillion dollar business failure and resulting meltdown), but I think he was right for Rory.  He pushed her to grow in a way that Dean and Jess never did.  (I will go on record as saying that I am not on board with revival Logan and his cheating ways.  If I weren’t sticking primarily to the original series in my evaluations, he’d be kicked out of this group.)

Jackson Belleville:  With one pretty big exception (his non-vasectomy), Jackson is a really good guy.  Patient and loyal, he was never a complicated character.  He was easy to like and always had good intentions.  He was a good friend to Lorelai when she needed him and he complimented Sookie nicely.  (About that vasectomy:  I think it was completely wrong for Sookie to demand that Jackson have a surprise vasectomy.  He never should have lied to her about it afterward, but I cannot get on board with how she did that and am, therefore, a bit more sensitive to his response.)

Max Medina:  Oh Max.  Poor, poor Max.  I think he, like most people, was attracted to Lorelai because she was exciting and funky.  And I think Lorelai was attracted to him because he was a grown-up person who had it together; Max had a job, he cooked, he valued communication, and he was thoughtful.  But he also wasn’t exciting.  His stability was boring and Lorelai was never going to be okay with that — duh.  (The same goes for Alex Lesman, the coffee shop entrepreneur who was nice and normal and gone from the show without a goodbye or even a cry session.)

Continue reading “Let’s Chat About the Gilmore Men”

My WFH Morning Routine

Several days each week I am lucky enough to work from home.  This is a relatively new thing for me — the beginning of 2017 brought with it a new job opportunity and this work from home set-up.  It’s been great!  I love the flexibility that working from home allows me to have.  But with that flexibility comes the requirement of some serious self-control, which is always a work in progress.

I’ve found that my ability to stay focused and productive while working from home is really bolstered by a simple, solid morning routine that helps me feel ~!*centered*!~ before I’m on the clock.  So here’s a look at my work from home mornings …

What is your morning routine?

I’m out of bed by 7.  As soon as I roll out of bed, I start my work computer, turn up the temperature in my apartment (I keep it cold at night!), and pop in my contacts.  I give myself a little while to scroll through Instagram, change out of my pajamas, go through my morning skincare routine, and unload my dishwasher before logging into my work computer around 8.

After logging in, I review my calendar for the day and create a new to-do list.  All the productivity articles I’ve read suggest making the next day’s to-do list at the end of the day, but that just doesn’t work for me.  I like to start the day with a prep session so everything is fresh!  Obviously, deadlines, presentations, etc. are already on my radar.

Once I feel ready for what the day is going to throw at me, I have breakfast.  Tidying up after breakfast serves as a bookend for me; it’s the last thing I do before my work day officially starts.  I always try to get the clean dishes put away (if I didn’t do it earlier in the morning) and the dirty dishes put in the dishwasher before devoting my full attention to work.  If I don’t deal with my breakfast dishes, I end up piling all of the day’s dishes in the sink — it’s one of those weird things that sets the tone for the rest of day.

How long have you stuck with this routine so far?

It’s been about nine months.  Of course, it’s been a work-in-progress for most of that time.  I started my job in January and I spent a while trying to craft a routine that just wasn’t working for me, one with morning workouts and a significantly earlier wake-up time.  I’m still hoping to make that happen at some point, but not right now!

How has your morning routine changed over recent years?

My routine has always been heavily influenced by where I have to be and when.  Four years ago, it was dictated by my college class schedule.  After that, I was getting up and heading into an office every morning, so my routine was all about getting up, “putting my face on”, and getting out of the house.  Now it differs just a bit depending on whether or not I’m due in the office that day.

What time do you go to sleep?  What time do you wake up?

Most of the time, I’m pretty useless after 10 PM, so I try to just give in and go to bed then.  Usually, my alarm goes off at 6:30 AM and it sometimes takes 30 minutes for my feet to actually hit the floor.

Continue reading “My WFH Morning Routine”

Currently – The September Edition

from @homeiswherethehartis

I’ll keep this short and sweet, and just acknowledge that it’s been a rough couple weeks in the weather department, huh?  Sending well wishes to everyone!

Lately I’m …

Eating:  In preparation for my recent weekend trips, I was really diligent about cleaning out my fridge and pantry — that meant no food went bad while I was gone, but it also meant that I came home to very little food at all.  I did, however, have a little bit of chicken in my freezer, some feta, half of a red onion, and a cucumber that needed to be eaten right away.  I whipped up a quick vinaigrette, put my spiralizer to use, and ended up with something like this Inspiralized Cucumber Greek Salad.  It was my first time “making” and eating cucumber noodles — I loved them!

Sipping:  All of the Whole30 people on Instagram, especially the ones doing the September Whole30, are pumped about Pumpkin Spice Nutpods.  I’m not regularly a coffee drinker and I’ve never fully hopped on the pumpkin spice train, but I am on board with the Nutpods — subtle and yummy!  (They’re a little pricey, but they last a while and you only need a tablespoon at a time.)  Related:  Meg Biram shared a few tips on how to order a cheaper, healthier pumpkin spice latte.

Reading:  My sister and I are reading 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam.  It’s a little bit dense, but so practical and eye-opening.

Watching:  I recently watched Get Out with my boyfriend and we really liked it!  I found it really impactful, especially since we were able to watch both endings.  Also, my sister, my cousins, and I brought out the big guns to make it through Atlanta’s Irma experience — we spent the night watching (and singing along with) High School Musical 3:  Senior Year.

Planning:  We are taking a trip to Nashville soon and I’m rounding up recommendations!  I’m happy to hit a few of the Nashville tourist must-sees, but I’m also looking forward to checking out some “neighborhood gem” coffee shops, restaurants, artsy spots, etc.  Know of anything that should be on my list?

What are you loving lately?