January 2017 Goals

I know I’m a little late with the goals this month, I just have had so much to talk about here on the blog! I hope you all are having a great start to 2017. I bought my new planner, and have been busying myself with filling in important dates, birthdays, and events. (Yes I know I am a total nerd, I’m ok with it!)

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Several of you asked about my planner when I posted it on my Instagram story, and I love it. I got it from Amazon.

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You can find the exact one I got here: me & my BIG ideas Create 365 The Happy Planner, Hello Life, 18 Month Planner, July 2016 – December 2017 (I got it on sale because it starts with July 2016 and goes through 2017), or you can get just the 2017 version here: Create 365 The Big Happy Planner, Make Things Happen.

Goals. Goals goals. Ok, so you may have seen my post last week talking about creating goals in general. I hope it gave you something to think about, and maybe now you have created some goals for 2017 for yourself with some action steps. (If you missed the post you can check it out here.) Let’s take a look back at my December goals then move into my January ones, shall we?

December goals:

1.) Get unpacked: B+ While 99% of the boxes are unpacked, everything is not “put away” in it’s proper place. I need to get to organizing now that we have unboxed all the things.

2.) Be intentional and present this Christmas season: B- Eh. I really tried, but moving in to a new house, in a new state, right smack in the middle of the Christmas season makes it tough. We watched lots of Christmas movies, went to EK’s preschool program, Christmas eve church service, and had family come into town. However, it all just felt a little…rushed. I want to so badly do better next year.

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3.) Get into a workout routine: B- Again with the yes/no. I DID join Orange Theory fitness in December (blog post coming next week!) but that is only for two days a week. I also recently got pieces for a home gym (that post coming soon as well!) but now it’s more of finding time since Emma Kate is only in school three days a week. I need to workout more than those three days, so I have to figure something out to make it better. Right now I am thinking OTF twice a week, home gym twice a week, and a long run to make five workouts. Now to just get the timing right so I can actually do this…

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January goals:

1.) Organize my closet: We have an extra bedroom off of our master that I have dreams of making a “dressing room” for me. Since it’s not currently in the budget, Bobby and I are sharing the smaller master closet. We are trying to come up with a temporary solution, and I need to figure it out sooner rather than later, because I am just wearing the same 4 outfits over and over because it’s easiest. Ha.

2.) Fix my workout routine: I am determined to get this figured out and have a solid couple of weeks with it “working” for me. Once I do it I will be able to stick with it, so I just need to figure out what times and days work best for what workouts.

3.) Eat better: I know I’m being vague, but it’s because I’m not sure what I want this to look like just yet. Maybe only eating one treat a day? Only drinking water? Less snacking at night? Still trying to figure out the specifics. I pretty much ate whatever I wanted between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and my clothes are fitting a little tighter. Better eating coupled with a better workout routine should get me back on track, I just need to get the rest of the Christmas candy OUT of my house, and meal plan better. Sometimes convenience wins in our house and it’s not the healthiest choice. Better planning is key.

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That’s it for this month! I will check back in at the beginning of February to let you know how I did.

QOTD: What goals do you have for January? Did you meet your December goals?

Tampa Tuesdays: The Rock Spa at Seminole Hard Rock Tampa

Last week, I had the opportunity to have a little girls day with Megan at the Seminole Hard Rock in Tampa. Having just moved here, I had obviously never been before, and had no idea such a big, nice place was even in Tampa! The main attraction was massages at the Rock Spa. DiN3WsYHrqEDJ1V2qj_iFHw8N27oMi5peRqZaecl2h0pX92IB

Don’t you just love it when you walk into a spa and are instantly hit with the most wonderful smells? Well the Rock Spa definitely did not disappoint in that aspect or any other.

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We check in and were brought to the back where we were shown all of the wonderful amenities. There was a beautiful locker room with a hot tub, steam room, showers, and super comfy robes. 9F_G7KsZJbkcuS0m0OZI7U4rwN7rKOxjGRIN25Vnw9gpX92IB

We got changed and went to the relaxing waiting area to wait for our appointments. I enjoyed some lemon water while I waited, and before long I was greeted and brought to my room.

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I was getting a special treatment called Rhythm & Motion. This massage was very unique in that there was music playing above my head during the massage, and the sound also vibrated in the table. At first I wasn’t so sure about this, but the music wasn’t loud or annoying, and it all flowed together. I was also able to use an essential oil to use during the massage (lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, or orange) that deepened the relaxing experience even more. This was a 50 minute massage, and I wanted to note that it focuses mainly on the upper body.

After the massage was over (all too quickly!) I met back up with Megan in the locker room. My masseuse had given me a little treat to have post massage that I enjoyed before we dipped into the hot room and steam room. (Pictured below with the water is sorbet and a shot of tea).

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We would have loved to stay all day, but we had to head to up lunch at Fresh Harvest.

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I had never been here before but was super impressed! There was SO much variety and so much food. This restaurant features several live action stations where you can get made to order food like pasta and burger sliders, or grab your favorite pizza or sushi from other stations. There were so many things I wanted to try but there was no way I could fit it all!

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Especially since I was saving room for dessert. Candy, cakes and pies, crepes, and my favorite, milkshakes.

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I kept saying over and over that I have to take Bobby here, he would absolutely love it (that boy can eat!) It was such a fun treat to be able to have a girls day at the spa and then enjoy a quiet lunch together and catch up on life. everything was in the same building, easy to get to, and wonderful. I will definitely be back!

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**Seminole Hard Rock has just announced the opening of their all new Poker room! We got to take a sneak peek of it last week and it is beautiful. The room opens Thursday January 12th at 11:30. It features 46 tables, Wi-Fi throughout, and lots of very large TV’s for the sports fan. There is even a special room with two VIP tables, a bar, as well as a snack bar with seating for over 20. Also to note, Brad Garrett, (Robert Barone from one of my all time favorite shows, Everybody loves Raymond,) will be doing a ceremonial guitar smash before the venue opens to the public. How cool is that?!? If you are a poker fan, you will want to check out this beautiful new room.

QOTD: What is your favorite spa treatment?

Disclosure: I was provided with free services from Seminole Hard Rock Tampa, however all opinions are my own.

Support Your Health in the New Year

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It’s that wonderful time of year again! No, I’m not talking about the holidays…I’m talking about cold and flu season! Every year we get the dreaded time that strikes fear into the hearts of well, everyone. No one wants to get sick, but sometimes it seems unavoidable. Well, there may be some things you can do to support your immunity.

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1.) Drink water: Drinking water allows your kidneys to remove toxins from your body. So if you don’t drink enough water, toxins can build up and weaken your immune system. Drink up!

2.) Exercise regularly: Exercise is a great way to boost your immune system. Good news? You don’t have to do anything crazy to reap the benefits. Moderate activity levels will do just fine. Some research shows that physical activity may help flush bacteria out of your lungs and airways, which could potentially help reduce your risk of catching an illness.

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3.) Eat healthy foods: Some research has shown a link between immune function and certain foods. Bananas for example contain vitamins and minerals that can impact immune response. Cheese and other dairy products contain a natural component that has boosted immune response.

4.) Wash your hands: We all know that not everyone follows this practice, and we also know this can be one of your best lines of defense against getting sick. Especially after being in public or touching door handles, shaking hands, and being at the gym. Scrub scrub scrub!

5.) Cough or sneeze etiquette: I try to keep tissues in my purse and my car for those unexpected sneezes and coughs, but sometimes I forget and try to use etiquette by sneezing or coughing into my elbow, and not just out in the open air. Be mindful, especially when around others!

6.) Take Renew Life Ultimate Flora Probiotics: The “gut” is  the center of your body’s overall health. This can affect things like immunity and digestion. Did you know that 70% of the immune system is located in the digestive tract? I think that makes it important! Renew Life Ultimate Flora Probiotics deliver potent formulas with tens of billions of cultures, and multiple probiotic strains to help your immune health.probiotic

Probiotics are important for everyone’s health and Renew Life’s Ultimate Flora Probiotics offer different formulas for all of your family members. Renew Life Probiotics are available at health food stores and major retailers, including Target and Walmart. Visit RenewLife.com for more information.

 

QOTD: What am I forgetting? What do you to to support immune health during cold and flu season?

Tampa Tuesdays

Hello friends! Now that I am living in Tampa, I am slowly learning my way around (with and without Google maps) and trying to immerse myself in all things Florida and Tampa. Because Tampa is a MUCH bigger city than the one I came from in Mississippi, there is so much more to explore and to share with you all, so I decided to start a new series called “Tampa Tuesdays”. I probably won’t do this every Tuesday, but whenever I have something fun and new to share with you about Tampa, I will try to do it on a Tuesday. It’s actually a little deceiving because I will also share things from surrounding cities as well, but mostly focus on Tampa restaurants, stores, and experiences. I hope you will follow along as I explore my new area!

Today I wanted to share with you about an amazing restaurant called Pelagia. This restaurant can be found at the Renaissance Tampa International Plaza Hotel.

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Bobby and I were invited for a special tasting of their Christmas and New Year’s Prix Fixe menus , which were created by Chef Brett Gardiner.You aren’t going to want to miss this if you are local! How it works is you get to create your own menu by selecting one starter, entrée, and dessert from the prix fixe menu. We didn’t experience all of both menus (that would have been way too much food!) but we got to sample items from each.

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We started with an appetizer plate which had smaller portions of four appetizers you can find on the special holiday menus.

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What I loved about the menu is that it paired ingredients together that I would never have thought to put in the same recipe, but they came out amazing! Bobby’s favorite was the duck confit with sunchokes, frisee, pomegranate, and port vinaigrette. (top of the photo). My favorite (which totally surprised me!) was the grilled pear, watercress, maple bacon, and walnut dressing. (Far right in the photo). The pear wasn’t mushy, and the bacon paired with it had the most amazing flavor. I must try tor recreate!

Next we were given four samples of the main course to try as you can see from the above menu. Bobby and I both agreed that the rack of lamb with the blackberry sage demi was our favorite. So tender and juicy.

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Lastly, we were treated with samples of four of the sweet desserts on the prixe fixe menus. Anyone who knows me knows I have a sweet tooth, so I was most excited about this part, and it did not disappoint.

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My two favorites were the apple crumble dessert at the top left, and the eggnog panna cotta at the bottom right. It’s always fun to have festive holiday desserts, and these hit it out of the park. (The other two were wonderful too with great rich flavoring, but if I had to pick…) As a chocolate lover, I was surprised my two favorites were non chocolate, but that just goes to show how amazing they were.

The restaurant was beautiful and easy to get to from the front of the hotel, and the staff was warm and friendly. Even the private dining room had a unique flair, and a fun and funky chandelier.

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Reservations are available for seatings from noon to 8 p.m. on Christmas day, and throughout the day for New Year’s eve. The cost for Christmas day is $45 for adults and $18 for children 13 and under. For the New Year’s meal, the cost is $70 for adults and includes a glass of Prosecco (which I can attest, is delicious as well!). Prices exclude tax and gratuity. Please call 913-313-3235 for reservations, or you can make them online here.

*Bobby and I were provided a free meal from Pelagia, however all our thoughts and opinions are our own as we explore our new city! 

7 Year Blogiversary

Well, with all the moving madness I am a little late, but did you know that I have now been blogging for SEVEN years?!? Looking back, my blog has evolved so much over the years, and it is truly my baby. I have put so much time, love, and many tears into my little corner of the world, and I thank you for taking this journey with me!

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Our first big race expo. Training for the runDisney half is what inspired me to start blogging.

For those of you who may have been here since the beginning, you will remember that this blog started out as Running With Sass, a running/training journal to hold me accountable. I had never blogged before and had zero idea what I was doing. (Heck, there are still days I have no idea what I am doing!) The blogging world has changed so much and some days it’s hard to keep up with all of the “new things” going on with blogs and social media, but I do love it and hope to do it for many more years to come.

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First half marathon

I realized as the years went on that I loved this community, the other bloggers, the readers, and the support. I love encouraging others and helping people, and am so thankful for all of the doors that blogging has opened for me. Heck, Bobby’s new job all came from a connection I never would have made if not for blogging! I owe my little blog so much, and I owe YOU my readers so much! Thank you for hanging in there with me through thick and thin, good times and bad.

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I can’t wait to share our new Tampa adventures with you in 2017 and beyond! Cheers to another year. XOXO.

2016 Christmas Gift List

It’s time again for some Christmas gift ideas! This is in no way an exhaustive list, but just meant to give you some ideas for the fitness lover or hard to shop for family member on your list. All of these products are things personally used by me, and some of them may contain affiliate links, while others are things I just love and wanted to tell you about! Let me know if you have any questions and I can try to help you out or find answers. Happy shopping!

1.) Running skirts from RunningSkirts.com. I know I talk about these a lot, but they are seriously my favorite running skirt brand. Pockets on each side to hold keys, tissue etc, sweat wicking, and they have styles with shorts, capris, and briefs. Super comfy and adorable too! They also have shorts (run buns) and capris now, too. The tops are really lightweight, and they are always coming out with new stuff. Right now they are having sales on different days for different items, so go check out their site!

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2.) Resistance bands. Since we just moved and haven’t joined a gym yet, I knew I would need to get a couple of things to get me by for now, and resistance bands were at the top of my list. They are great for stretching, PT, or minor running injuries. For instance, I have hip and IT band issues and strengthening my hips and legs with resistance bands has helped me So much! I use them while I watch TV at night. Super easy.

 

3.) Photo gifts from Shutterfly. These are always a big hit, especially with family members wanting pictures of Emma Kate. We personally order our Christmas cards and photo calendars from here and the quality is great! Also, this time of year they are always having sales.

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4.) goodr sunglasses: This is a start up company I came across, and I am in love with their super affordable and adorable running sunglasses. They don’t slip (really!) and I have worn mine every day. They did a kickstarter campaign in the fall, and I believe in these sunglasses so much that I joined in and pledged. More colors are coming soon! You can get them in orange with free shipping for prime members now, or check out their website for pre orders of other colors.

5.) My ebook or in paperback: I of course had to throw this one in there. Smile If you or a friend are looking for some motivation, encouragement, and a fresh start for the new year, then my ebook may be for you. If you aren’t sure, you can read a sample chapter here for free.

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6.) ZEROWATER water filters: I have used the ZEROWATER pitcher before and was super impressed, but this was my first time using the portable tumbler. It’s pretty awesome because I can now fill up my water bottle anywhere and know that I will have great filtered water! I took it to the gym this morning and it worked like a charm. It combines the top-performing filtration technology with a sleek, convenient design. The ZeroWater filtration system combines FIVE sophisticated technologies that work together to remove virtually all dissolved solids from your tap water, so you taste nothing but the water.

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QOTD: What is on your Christmas gift list?

Imaginative Play with LEGO® DUPLO ®

I am really loving the age that Emma Kate is at right now. Just in the past month, her language has exploded, her motor skills have gotten a lot better, and she has gotten way more imaginative with playtime, which is also really fun for me! One of her new favorite things to do is to play with LEGO® DUPLO® bricks.

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These preschool building toys are specially designed for little hands (ages 1½ – 5 years old). They are much larger than regular LEGO® bricks (twice the size!) Making them safer for toddlers and preschoolers and easier for them to handle.

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I have to admit, playing with these toys brought back so many childhood memories for me, I love how LEGO® bricks have stood the test of time, and more than 25 years after I played with them in my living room, now my daughter is playing with them in our living room!

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As soon as Emma Kate opened the box, I was down on the floor next to her, helping her set up the “choo choo train” and building tall towers that are “so high” (her favorite). I think it’s so important to not only let a child’s imagination grow, but as parents, we should be partnering with our kids in playtime, showing them the ropes and encouraging them to learn new things. Kids learn by playing, touching, and experiencing new things. It is my job to guide Emma Kate on this learning journey, and LEGO® DUPLO® just makes it a lot of FUN! The nice of the legos is that you can build anything you want, there are few toys like that, for example a spinning toy that you can learn how to build your own.

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LEGO® DUPLO® offers so much flexibility and open-ended play for each stage of your young one’s development. You can do things from build towers, to trains, to buildings and more. There are even figurines like cute dogs and little people to put in the structures.

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Ready to be inspired for playtime with your little ones? Head over to LEGO.com/Family and see what you can do to help nurture your child’s imagination.

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QOTD: What is your family way to play with your kids and help their imaginations grow?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

December Goals 2016

It’s the last month of the year! (Insert happy and sad face all at the same time.)  Did you make any big goals for the year? How are you doing with them? What about your November goals? Am I asking enough questions? I’m going to be honest, with the move last month, I didn’t have much time for anything else, and my goals kind of got forgotten about.

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As a refresher, here were my November goals:

1.) Get the house ready for moving: A- Ready or not, it got moved! I didn’t get to comb through everything I wanted to and purge/donate/sell, but I did get most of it done and have only had to get rid of a few things while unpacking boxes. Pretty happy with this one, but also wondering how we have accumulated so much stuff over the past ten years?!

2.) Workout consistently without boot camp: B- Meh. My last week in Mississippi, I did HEAT class and went for a run, but it wasn’t my usual intense 5-6 days of workouts. While I was on the road, I did two hotel gym workouts, and I worked out yesterday in our new neighborhood gym…but I need to get on a schedule and get more consistent. I’m considering starting Orange Theory. Thoughts?

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3.) Get Bella groomed before we move: A+ Bella got a haircut and looks so pretty! One less thing to worry about for awhile. Check!

4.) Change our address on all the things: C- I got our mail forwarded and have changed some of the things, but there are still SO many more things to change address on. I think this will be one of those things I will be constantly doing for months, and doesn’t really get changed at one time (at least that’s what I keep telling myself to feel better mmkk?)

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Moving on, here are my December goals:

1.) Get unpacked: Y’all, we have a lot of boxes to still unpack and go through. A LOT. I think they may be growing at night while I sleep. I am trying to not get overwhelmed and take it one box at a time, but it’s hard to not want everything in it’s place right away.

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2.) Be intentional and present this Christmas season: We have a lot going on this month especially with being new and trying to get settled in, but I don’t want to “miss” Christmas. Emma Kate is starting to understand things about Santa, the tree, etc. and I don’t want to fly through this special time. I mean, we still have so many Christmas movies to watch.

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3.) Get into a workout routine: We haven’t decided what we are going to do yet as far as joining a gym (again, maybe Orange Theory?), so for now I will be running and working out in our neighborhood gym. However, I need to get into a routine and be consistent. I have worked too hard to go backwards.

Are you having a hard time keeping track of your goals or reaching them each month? I have found that printing them out and keeping them in front of me either on my refrigerator or mirror helps! Check out my free fitness and other goal tracking printables here so you can download and print for yourself!

QOTD: Did you meet your November goals? What are your December goals?

Unpacking in Tampa

Hello from Tampa! We finally have internet and my laptop is up and running. I may be surrounded by boxes, but I have a Christmas candle burning, music playing, and my tree is up. However, it has been quite the experience to get to this point. Let me backtrack.

Me, Bobby and Emma Kate left my parent’s house in Louisiana on Sunday and drove to Tallahassee. Then Monday we drove to Tampa and it was warm enough to swim at the hotel pool!

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We battled several issues back and forth with our lender and the title company all day Monday, and weren’t sure we were going to be able to close on Tuesday. Tuesday morning came and after more back and forth, we FINALLY got the final numbers literally fifteen minutes before closing. We were able to do the walk through and get to closing, but we had to hurry because the movers were set to come at 1:00 (closing was 11:30).hO8QiqcuZBC3zm3EWY5562phR9lOZRrSEcbQ2hOpEr0pX92IBO6s2USUwoHpCAxxuZIAzaQBtnhdUkEcHBkrSoXvbrkUpX92IB

We get to the closing and the lenders had sent over the wrong packet for signing!!! So they had to send over the right one and reprint everything. If you have ever bought a home you know how much paperwork this is. Finally after 12:30 we started signing. As we are signing, the electricity goes out. Yall, I can’t make this stuff up! We finally got into the house and the poor movers were here until after 7:00.

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I have never seen so much packing paper in all my life. They pack stuff up super tight and well, but I felt it was a bit excessive and did feel guilty/wasteful.P_3IkSM_TnE4rMP1RDMeup3ptk2pLy2GQ62WowzoJWEpX92IB

Things are slowly coming together, but there are still boxes everywhere. We haven’t even touched the stacks in the garage and I have been wearing the same three outfits and and over for days. TWWIEejvrU4y-v1T2U_joQUqrEiFR2-PfPW09X6zN1opX92IB4pJ80TMBUvsZ-jG1w5L-gps5id0npgBY91p6D76k4CMpX92IB

However, Emma Kate LOVES the packing paper. I’m thinking I should just save some to give to her for Christmas instead of spending money on toys!IHb7dKfaWDG2vYYpew1j5Aclz-H0AsILu89f2njxzuMpX92IB

This girl is already loving her new daycare, too! She goes three days a week and did awesome on her first day.VHj93u5FE3m2UO80SFPYP25_fgKKHWVjWGy8V3s_sWgpX92IB

I was sure to get our patio set up first thing, and we love our view!xP3NS9by3RTQ7rMmXs_wH9wU61-9_wNse5NBxxldjckpX92IB

More to come, I still have to do a gift guide and recap the rest of our Disney trip. It’s all coming up I promise!

QOTD: When you have moved, did you pack yourself or have movers pack you? What was your best strategy for unpacking?

Thanksgiving 2016

Hola friends! I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday with friends and family. Mine was a little odd compared to previous years, but I am glad I got to spend it with my family. Bobby and I were at my parents from Wednesday until Sunday. My sister even flew into town for a couple of days. Here is a quick recap of what we did.

Wednesday, we closed on our house in Mississippi. It was bittersweet, and the first rain we have had in weeks, so it was fitting for my mood.

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We drove to my parents house in Louisiana, and settled in for a few days of hanging out with family. Thursday included a lot of cooking, parade and football watching, and eating.

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Emma Kate watching the parade

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Emma Kate checking out the black Friday sales in the paper.

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After a delicious meal, we all took naps (as you should on Thanksgiving!) and then I went for a quick 3 mile run.

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After some photos, we went to visit some sweet friends that we are going to miss so much!

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On Friday, my mom sister and I went shopping and to lunch. Then Friday afternoon was spent watching all the Friends and Everybody Loves Raymond Thanksgiving episodes. Best shoes ever! We ate pizza and watched more football that night, after my dad brought my sister to the airport.

On Saturday, my dad and I took Emma Kate to the playground.

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My dad and I also ran a few errands, and then we just kind of chilled the rest of Saturday…and watched more football…and ate more food. On Sunday, my parents went to church while we loaded up the car and said our goodbyes after lunch. It was sad, but my family is coming to Tampa for Christmas so that will be fun!

It was nice to have a few days to rest and recharge before the moving in madness begins this week!