Life Lately – February 5, 2018

Happy Monday! Coming at you today trying to battle a little cold that snuck up on me this weekend. Thinking I might pop out and grab a Medicine Ball from Starbucks. I’ve heard good things! Apparently it helps fight the sniffles and sore throat, which is exactly what I’m feeling today. Yikes! I better fight this quick, cause that’s no way to ring in my 30th year.

Turning 30

Yep, my 30th birthday is right around the corner. I’m already feeling pretty spoiled after this weekend. My girlfriends took me out to C&O Restaurant in Downtown Charlottesville. We had way too much wine, the best scallops in the world and just awesome, hilarious conversation. They certainly surprised me and I’m so grateful for their friendship!

In addition, David surprised me with an exciting trip! More on that coming this week, but let’s just say I am counting down the days until sunshine and warm weather.

Finn

I can’t accurately put into words my love for that little boy. Every week, I countdown until the weekend when I get to spend quality time with him, and then the weekend goes by too fast. I’m pretty anxious about leaving him for an extended period of time, but he will get some spoiling of his own with his grandparents.

Finn is learning more words by the day. This weekend we taught him the colors, and he does pretty well with them. I’m so impressed at how much little kids know! Despite his tantrums, I could spend every minute with that kid and never get sick of him.

We took Finn to get his first haircut a few weeks back and he did so good! He didn’t want to sit in the big chair by himself, so I sat with him, but once we figured that out, he was an old pro. Once he was all cleaned up he looked like such a little boy. All of his baby curls were gone! Being the sentimental type, I saved one curl for his baby book. I cannot believe he will be two in just a few short months.

Other Big News

In other news, David is doing fine. He hasn’t had to travel much lately, although once we get back from our trip, he will have to leave again for work. He is training for another jiu jitsu competition, and was recently promoted with two stripes on his belt!

Juneau is still my favorite fur baby. He doesn’t get as much attention on the blog as his brother does, but he is still the best friend I could ever ask for.

We’ve made some progress in the house hunting journey, but more on that to come. It’s been a long journey, but things are looking up. I can’t wait to be able to share all of the ins and outs from our house hunt, some tips I’ve learned as a first time home buyer, and just more decor posts. All in good time… patience is everything right now!

Our Life In iPhone Photos

a snap from my husband who is determined not to get sick before vacation
david’s white belt, now with two stripes
bath time!
snuggling with my main man
brave little boy getting his hair cut for the first time
these two <3
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5 Ways to Battle Seasonal Depression

This weekend was unseasonably warm and the sun was shiny for most of it! The warm-up arrived at the perfect time. The previous few weeks had been freezing. The type of weather where the snot in your nose freezes and you throw an extra blanket or two on your bed. Just downright cold.

January is always a tough month. The holidays are over, there’s a lot of pressure to start the new year with a fresh perspective, the days are short it starts getting dark as soon as you leave work, and the weather just adds another layer of miserable. It’s not in your head. Science shows that seasonal depression or the winter blues are real. The lack of sunshine can affect your mood and get you feeling down in the dumps. It’s been an issue for me since college. I used to associate feeling down this time of year with my birthday and thinking I was just stressed out about turning a year older. Nowadays, I realize that it’s truly a chemical thing and that I have to make every effort to actively fight the winter blues.

I’ve put together a list of things that are helpful for me. I’ve also found that simply being intentional about doing things is helpful. Instead of thinking something is a chore, look at it as an opportunity. For instance, walking the dog in this weather is painful, but I’ve started to bundle up, turn on a podcast and track my steps. Juneau deserves to get outside whether it’s freezing or not, so I’ve started using that time as ‘me time’. Here are some other tricks I use to fight the winter blues:

1. Get up and get dressed.

Cozy days on the couch are the best, but overdoing it can get to you. I’ve found that there is no better medicine than a shower and some makeup. Feeling like a human being goes a long way! So, sure, take it easy and relax on those snowy mornings. But make sure you get yourself put together before too long. Even if you just throw on yoga pants, it’ll do wonders for your mind.

2. Talk to someone about it.

I’m an open book about my depression because not only does it help me to talk about it, but I want you to know that it’s totally normal and others are feeling it, too. Habitually, I like to hibernate and be alone when I’m feeling down, but the moment I talk about it I start feeling better.

 3. Book a vacation!

Give yourself something to look forward to! There’s nothing better than getting out of town and changing the scenery when you’re feeling down. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant – a day trip or a weekend getaway will do the trick just fine.

4. Exercise.

There’s literally nothing better than a good sweat session when you’re feeling down. The hardest part is getting to the gym, but once you’re there, you won’t regret it. I’ve started taking a pre-workout before my gym time and it’s made all the difference in the world. I like to workout in the evening, and it’s tough to find the energy some days. A few swigs of the pre-workout and I’m ready to go! Exercise makes you happy, it’s science.

5. Take advantage. In a few months you’ll be so busy you;ll be wanting some down time.

Just remember, in a few months, your summer evenings and weekends will be filled up with endless plans. Take advantage of the downtime now, you’re gonna miss it!

What do you do to fight the winter blues?

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The Best Shows I’ve Watched on Netflix

Today is the perfect day for this post. It’s mid-January, the snow is falling in Central Virginia, and all I want to do is lay in bed and watch Netflix until I can’t watch it any longer. Anyone feel me? Better question, anyone actually like the month of January? Didn’t think so.

netflix

In the past few years, David and I have had our fair share of time to become experts on the best shows on Netflix. I was pregnant, meaning I didn’t want to do anything. Then we had a newborn, meaning we couldn’t do anything. And now we have a toddler who goes to bed at 7pm and we still don’t do anything. Just kidding, we do things… sometimes.

Anyways, today I’ve rounded up some of the best shows I’ve watched on Netflix over the past few years. I’ll be up front with you, Stranger Things is not on this list. Neither is House of Cards. If that makes you question me as a critic, I understand. But I have included reasoning behind my choices in hopes that helps you give these shows a chance. PS. These are in no particular order. I can’t rank shows that have different plot lines. It’s like comparing apples to oranges, in my opinion.


Wentworth

By far and away, the best show I’ve ever watched. Ever. Wentworth is an Australian television drama. I’ve heard it be compared to Orange Is The New Black, which you won’t find on this list. The only similarity I see between OITNB and Wentworth is that they take place in a women’s prison. Other than that, they are like night and day – with Wentworth being the night. It’s dark – the way it’s shot, the storylines, even a little bloody at times. I typically shy away from these sorts of shows, but for some reason the way it’s done on Wentworth fits.

Wentworth currently has five seasons on Netflix, so it’s not something you’ll binge over the weekend. But trust me, once you get invested, you’ll never want it to end. The storylines are brilliant and continue through all five seasons. The character development is unbelievable.They are currently filming season six and I cannot wait for it to be released. Trust me – give this show a chance. It’s incredible.

Longmire


David and I started watching Longmire after my parents suggested it. It’s about a Sheriff, named Longmire, and takes place in a small town in Wyoming. The town is close to an reservation, so there is a lot of interaction with the natives who live there. Longmire started on AMC and was bought by Netflix after a few seasons. Within each episode, there is usually a crime that needs to be solved. But over the series, the characters intertwine and you find out so much more.

I like this show because it’s entertaining television without over-doing it. There’s no blood and gore where it doesn’t have to be and the mystery-factor of each episode is really compelling. They just put out the sixth and final season, so there’s plenty to watch. Based on the Netflix description, I would have never given this one a chance but it’s long since become of our favorite shows of all time.

The Marvel Comics Series

This includes several shows, but since they all intertwine, it’s imperative to watch them altogether.

I fought David on these for a long time, but after he finished The Punisher (he watched it out of order so I guess he’ll have to watch it again when I do :)) and wouldn’t shut up about it, I decided to give the series a chance. I was expecting cheesy comic book stories but I couldn’t have been farther from the truth.

Daredevil – Matt Murdock and his friend, Foggy, open a law firm in New York City. Matt is blind, and has super human strength and senses. The show does a great job showcasing his struggle between following the law and becoming a vigilante. There are currently two seasons on Netflix, each with it’s own villain. You are also introduced to several other Marvel characters in Daredevil, so be sure to watch both of these seasons first.

Jessica Jones – I was a little unsure about this show because it starts off pretty dark. However, the storyline is super compelling and David and I ended up watching three to four episodes a night by the end of the season. Jessica Jones has super-human strength as well, but refuses to be a superhero. We’re also introduced to Luke Cage quite a bit in her show, so be sure to watch this one after Daredevil.

Luke Cage – Admittedly, we are right in the middle of this one, so I can’t speak to the storylines too much. However, the feel of this show is very different than both Daredevil and Jessica Jones. It picks up right where JJ ended, so watch this one third.

After we are done with Luke Cage, we will have to watch The Iron Fist, The Punisher and The Defenders, which includes all of the Marvel characters.

The Great British Baking Show

Taking a total left turn here, but I have to include The Great British Baking Show. There are currently four seasons on Netflix. The show is a baking competition set in Great Britain, so there is a lot of British humor and flavors that I’ve never heard of before. However, unlike American competition shows, this one is so friendly and sweet, it’s a nice distraction from all the other dark shows on this list!

Riverdale


I just finished season one of Riverdale on Netflix and have to watch season two on the CW app. Riverdale is based on the characters from the Archie comics. You’ve got Archie and Jughead, and Betty and Veronica. The show is not comedic in nature, however. It’s actually pretty dark (sensing a theme with the TV I watch?) and involves murder and mystery, but it’s shot like a typical teen drama, so there’s a lot of love storylines and teenage angst.

Narcos – David’s Pick


David still bugs me about watching Narcos since he went on to watch it by himself. I stopped because it was a little bloody and there was a lot of reading subtitles since many of the characters speak Spanish throughout the show. However, it’s in my queue to watch one of these days. David loves this show because” it’s well written with historical context to keep you interested. There’s plenty of action and it’s an extremely intelligent show.”


Have you watched any of the shows on my list? What do you think?

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My Favorite Bloggers to Follow

I believe the year was 2014. I was in that ‘what the hell am I gonna do with my life?’ phase. I had a blog online journal called Life As I Know It. The content was lackluster, there was zero photography, and it wasn’t even self-hosted. I started doing research into making my blog better, and I fell into a world that would change the way I digested online content, change the way I shopped, and how I used my social media. It may seem trivial, but you know those hobbies I was wondering about the other day? Welp, reading blogs is one of my favorite things to do! I start every day on Bloglovin’ going through new content. (PS. Bloglovin’ is a great place to aggregate all the blogs you follow. It’s like a news site for blogs. You can follow me here.) I spend my lunch hour (and really every other hour) scrolling Instagram and watching Stories. I find so much daily inspiration for everything from motherhood to style to home decor to hair and beauty.

lifestyle bloggers to follow

So today’s post is a little different! I’m rounding up a list of bloggers that I think you all should follow! Go, spend some time on their sites! I’m sure you’ll all find something you love!


Lauren McBride at Lauren McBride Blog

lauren mcbride blog
photo via lauren mcbride blog

Lauren McBride is a Connecticut-based blogger who blogs about pretty much everything! She is a mom of two little ones (with one on the way) so she does talk about great baby products, kids toys, and being a mom. However, she has the best style – basics and neutrals that she styles to look so fabulous! And don’t get me started on her home decor. OMG it’s so beautiful. She just has great overall taste. Of everyone on this list, she is my favorite to follow on Instagram stories. She is so real, and makes me laugh daily! Plus she always shares the BEST sales and makes it so easy to shop.

Brighton Keller at Brighton The Day

brighton the day
photo via brighton the day

Admittedly I’m new to #TeamBTD, but Brighton at Brighton the Day has quickly become one of my favorite bloggers to follow! She is a former CPA, which I find so fascinating! Besides having impeccable style and a gorgeous home, Brighton spends a lot of time inspiring her followers. She reads great books and provides her insight on them. She is more than just a fashion blogger, she wants to provide insight and inspiration in your every day life! Her blog posts are great, but it’s over on Instagram Stories where you really get the most out of BTD. She shares great quotes, tips, real life stuff and does it in a sort-of stream of consciousness way that is totally relatable and makes you feel like she is just chatting with a good friend! I’m glad I stumbled upon her Instagram because she has some awesome life tips!

Blair Staky at The Fox And She

the fox and she
photo via the fox and she

Blair was one of the first bloggers I found and have been following her for almost four years! I’ve found so many other great bloggers through her site, too. She has great style, and her home decor is so spot-on. Blair blogs a lot about health and wellness and I find it so refreshing that she is pretty honest about all of it. She just had a baby in November, which has been fun to follow along with and relate to in a different way.

Kelly Larkin at Kelly In The City

kelly-in-the-city
photo via kelly in the city

Kelly in the City is one of the blogs I found through The Fox and She. Like Blair, Kelly and her family live in Chicago. I love her blog because it’s essentially it’s her family’s diary! She talks about what they’ve been up to each day or on the weekends, and does it in the most conversational way! Kelly’s daughter Emma is just a few months younger to Finn so I love reading about her experience as a mother. Kelly’s style is a little on the preppy side, but the pieces she chooses are still neutral enough that they can be styled in so many different ways. Her husband, Mitch, also cameo’s on the blog every now and then, plus he takes most of the photos that are shown, so it’s truly a family affair.

Jess Loftus at The Golden Girl Blog

photo via the golden girl blog

Jess is another Chicago blogger. She got married last fall, so her wedding planning content is super fresh and she was very transparent with everything she went through. Jess’ style is a little edgier, but I tend to gravitate towards everything she wears because she her outfits are so on point. In addition, she has great posts about capsule wardrobes (aka how to wear one piece of clothing in multiple ways) and has started a new series about style tips (like how to make your legs look longer.) On Instagram, she shares some great recipes and beauty products and she is so relatable (aka rarely has makeup on and wears pajamas all day – my kinda girl!)

Emily Ann Gemma at The Sweetest Thing

the sweetest thing blog
photo via the sweetest thing blog

If you follow any fashion bloggers I’m sure you’ve heard of Emily Ann Gemma. She is one of the more prominent people in the blogging industry, but still totally down to earth. She has a little baby boy named Luke and her husband just finished his residency and she talks a lot about both on her blog. Her style is a little flashy/high-end/designer, and some stuff she wears is just a little too expensive for me, but she also includes basics and makes them look so fancy! Ha! Plus, her photos are absolutely gorgeous (and actually are taken by her husband, too!)


These are just a few of my faves to follow! I hope you check them all out. Who are your favorite bloggers to follow?

 

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Life Lately – January 5, 2018

Here we are, the first Friday of the new year and things are full steam ahead for the Gregory family. The holidays are in the rearview and life lately has been all about adjusting back into our normal routine. This time of year is a little awkward, don’t you think. There’s little to look forward to because it seems like winter is going to drag on forever. Plus, the next real holiday isn’t until Memorial Day, so it’s a long stretch of cold before anything exciting happens.

We’ve tried to make it a point to give ourselves something to look forward to. My mom and dad are planning a visit, my birthday in mid-February is going to be memorable, and at some point this year, we hope to moving into a house! Little things that help to break up the gray days of January do wonders!

The Holiday

We had the most relaxing Christmas! We stayed in Charlottesville, which is sure to help reduce the stress. We spent Christmas Eve Eve with David’s dad and Christmas Day with his mom. Finn was still a little young to understand the magic of Christmas, but he did like to tear the wrapping paper off. However, he would then get sidetracked with whatever he just opened and forget that there was plenty more loot under the tree. It’s the best feeling watching Christmas through your children’s eyes!

David and I only took a few days off from work, and unfortunately Finn came down with an ear infection in the days after Christmas, so the rest of the week remained pretty low key. New Years was as anti-climatic as they come – we ordered in sushi and watched Netflix in bed. We were both asleep by 9:30! #toddlerparentproblems But I don’t regret it! It was nice to feel refreshed and well rested on the first day of 2018!

David

As of Friday morning, David is en route to Long Island for another work trip. As I’ve mentioned before, he absolutely loves his job, which makes these work trips easier to handle. This is the first one that falls over a weekend, so I’ll be riding solo with Finn and Juneau.

Finn

Speaking of that little boy of ours, Finn is still the cutest thing ever :). He surprises us every day with a new word or action that he’s picked up on. He loves to chat, especially about his ‘choo choo’ trains! He has reached the age of throwing tantrums, which is something we are still working through. Some days I feel like super mom and can handle the tantrums with ease. Other days, my patience fails me and I have to walk away from the situation before I lose it. I know every mom feels this way, but it’s definitely testing me recently.

Family

Everyone send some good vibes to my sister, Emily this weekend. She has some important stuff happening in her professional life and she’s pretty nervous! I know she’ll do great! XOXO

Also, pretty jealous of my younger sister, Sarah, and her boyfriend, Ryan who spent their Christmas holiday skiing in Colorado. The photos and Snapchats we got were absolutely gorgeous and I’m wondering why I haven’t taken advantage of their proximity to some of the best skiing in the country. Also, the Snapchats I got of Ryan when the Buffalo Bills made the playoffs for the first time this century were just as amazing.

Lastly, shoutout to my mom and dad for simply being the best. Maybe I don’t give them the credit they deserve as often as I should, but the things that they do (like paying over $20 in postage so Finn can have his Christmas presents on time) for all three of us truly make us better people and make our lives easier. If you’ve ever been lucky enough to meet my mom and dad, you know what I mean. They would bend over backwards for just about anyone and I feel like I hit the jackpot when I got them as my parents! Love yas!

Our Life In iPhone Photos:

finn got sick the week before christmas and slept in our bed for the first time. he took advantage of all the space!
double duty with his new toys!
sometimes after i look through my photos, i find a million photos of toddler feet
new train! he’s obsessed!
christmas eve with my man
icymi, i wrote an entire post about this sweater and boots. check it out here.

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