Life Lately

Before I take a mini-break to soak up Christmas and unplug for tons of family time, I thought it would be fun to share a bit of what life has looked like lately.

Shout out to Instagram Stories for giving me a reel of moments to look back on from time to time.  See you all next week — have a very merry Christmas!

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L is for Lucy’s Best of Atlanta

I’ve only ever lived in Atlanta.  Well, mostly.  I grew up in a neighborhood 25 minutes from the center of the city.  I went to college in the heart of it.  I worked for a year after school in a suburb close by.  And now I’m back in the middle of it all.

Truthfully, I didn’t do much exploring until I graduated from school, but I promise I’m making up for that wasted time!  One of the 52 things I wanted to accomplish this year was creating a list of my favorite things around town.  It took me a while, but my list is finally here, just in time to keep Atlanta’s holiday visitors busy!

A few highlights:

Your Dekalb Farmers Market for all the food you could ever want!

The Daily for a beautiful and intense workout!

The Atlanta Beltline for a Saturday afternoon activity!

You can find my full list here.  I’ll keep updating it as I find new favorites, but in the meantime, you should definitely let me know if I’ve missed anything.

Currently – The December Edition

from New Darlings

Happy December!  I am so ready for a break from work, a bunch of festivities, and a new year.  Well, kind of.  I’m still not done with my Christmas shopping and I’ve got stuff to wrap up for work before my end-of-the-year vacation, but I am definitely in the Christmas mood!

Lately I’m …

Eating:  I’ve been trying to get better about actual meal planning — unless I pick out real recipes and figure out what foods make sense for what day of the week, I will end up eating a giant salad every night.  That’s just something I’ve learned about myself.  (I’ve also learned that meal prep isn’t really my thing.  Planning is one thing, but prep is a usually a no.  Unless I’m doing a Whole30.  During Whole30s, both meal planning and prep are a must.)  In the past month I’ve tried and liked these Korean Beef Meal Prep Bowls (one recipe made enough for yummy leftovers!) and these Halloumi Burrito Bowls.  They’re both fun and different, but not too tricky to make night-of-consumption.

Reading:  The latest pick for my book club is The Handmaid’s Tale.  I know everyone else seems to have read it in high school, but I didn’t.  I also haven’t seen the show, so I went in with zero knowledge or expectations.  All I’ve got to say is “woah”.  It’s heavy and thought-provoking, and I can’t wait to talk about it.  Also, my mom sent me this article about the power of taking tiny steps and my dad shared this article about productivity without burnout (I especially like the suggestion of choosing your own success metric).  And I love the idea of creating a list of go-to feel-better ideas.

Hearing:  Last week, my sister sent me the “Single Ladies” episode of the “Role Overload” series that the Stuff Mom Never Told You podcast has been cranking out recently.  I am all about that conversation — ownership of your time is important, whether you’re a single lady or not!  Oh, and Christmas music too, of course!

Planning:  My January 2018 Whole30!  My parents, my sister, and I are going to kick off the year with a month of no sugar, no alcohol, no grains, no legumes, no dairy, and no carrageenan/MSG/sulfites.  This will be my third full attempt and I’m nervous, but excited.  I’ll definitely be reviewing my previous Whole30 notes in preparation.

Watching:  Obviously, season two of The Crown is on my watch list.  My boyfriend and I also just started watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.  Rachel Brosnahan is so good!

What are you loving lately?

Snow, snow, snow, snow, SNOW!

The weather this past weekend was so fun!  At some point early last week, “wintry mix” popped up on our 5 day weather forecast.  The “wintry mix” predicted for Friday became “snow”, but all of our local meteorologists said there was no need to freak out, no need to buy all the bread and milk in the stores, no need to plan for disaster — the snow would fall, not stick, and be gone as the day progressed.

I woke up Friday morning, not surprised but a little disappointed, to find nothing.  But by 9 AM it was coming down and it stuck!  It snowed off and on for all of Friday and I could not get enough.  And with the exception of some major traffic when everyone left work at the same time to get home early, Atlanta handled it pretty well.

On Saturday morning, I woke up and it was still snowing.  It was beautiful and, I kid you not, I sat in bed for about 40 minutes just watching it fall.  Eventually I decided to brave the elements, so my boyfriend and I bundled up and headed to Piedmont Park.  It was cold and I felt like the Michelin Man in all my layers, but I’m so glad we went out to see it.  The park was full of little families exploring the snow, and lots of dogs who were as excited about the snow as I was.

Like a winter wonderland, isn’t it?  I really was not expecting any kind of remotely snowy weather this season, so it was a sweet surprise.

And yes, this post’s title is a White Christmas reference.  No, I haven’t watched it yet this season.  But I will very soon and you should too.

A Visit to Big Nick’s Tree Lot

If you follow along on Instagram you know that last weekend, my sister and I got together for an all-day, festive, Christmas-y sister date.  We typically get together for walks on Saturday morning, so we decided to just expand our tradition to include a couple things around town.

We kicked off the day with the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Christmas parade — it was so much fun and a much bigger deal than I expected.  There were so many high school marching bands playing Christmas songs, there were huge balloons, and there were llamas dressed in Christmas-themed outfits!

After the parade, we walked through Piedmont Park and along the Atlanta Beltline to Ponce City Market.  We went in search of Big Nick’s Tree Lot, a King of Pops and Tree Elves sister venture.  The lot itself was a little bit disappointing — it’s small, not like the huge church parking lot set-ups you see with rows and rows of trees.  But it was very festive and very pretty.

I’ve got no room for a tree (and if I did, I’d be solidly on Team Fake Tree), but it was fun to window shop.  They were beautiful and they smelled so good!

I loved the little seating areas they had set up.  And the “elves” were very nice — it didn’t bother them one bit that my sister and I were there with no intention of buying a tree and every intention of taking a billion photos.

The rest of Ponce City Market was festive too.  All the shops are decked out for the holidays, as you would expect, and the open air food hall is decorated too.  The whole outing was a fun way to get in the spirit.  Plus, it was on my 25 Days of Christmas calendar!