book review // Lean In


I love Sheryl Sandberg. I think she's brilliant and an inspiration. In fact, one time, I got the bright idea to just email her and ask for a job. It must have gone to her spam by accident. Bummer. But in all honesty, I'd love to work for her. So it's so surprise that when I heard about her new book, I immediately pre-ordered it on Amazon

I'm in a transitional period in my career right now. I still feel very "entry-level" and I'm not sure where I'm headed. I know what I'm passionate about and what I would want to do in a perfect world but I'm still trying to find the job that fits the bill. I've applied for a lot of different things at this point. In a way, this move is my chance to somewhat start over with my career. 

Lean In was the perfect read for this transition. Let me start off by pointing out that I was hired for my previous two jobs partly because I was a women...because that's what they were looking for. So that is both frustrating and encouraging. But anyway... 

Sheryl's book isn't too preachy and it isn't a "self-help" story. Yes, some of her stories are outrageous and will never happen to me - she was in the right place at the right time and knew the right people. But nonetheless, it's encouraging to hear someone of her stature fail, and then try again.

I enjoyed her writing style and all her personal anecdotes. She tells stories of defeat, failure, triumph and struggle. She's not super woman (though we all think she is) but I would call her lucky. 

No matter where you are in your career, this is a great read. It's not about feminism. It's not about tearing down "the man". It's not about asking for a raise or "sitting at the table". It's just a story about a woman advocating for other women in all areas of life. Read it. 

monday musings.


Y'all this weekend was sooooooooo busy! 

1. After a hectic week of work, I hurried out at 3pm to get to the #partyauf wedding extravaganza! It was such a lovely affair and I can't believe C and I are next! (The wedding instagram hashtag thing is genius - #thomaspartyoftwo)

2. We woke up bright and early Saturday morning to head out to Lake Grapevine for anther open water swim. I actually got in the water this time and yes. it. was. cold. and windy. and lot of waves. Whew. It was tough but I'm glad I got it in. 

3. We hurried off after the swim because we had a full day of errands ahead of us. First on the agenda was hitting up the 50% off sale at the JCrew outlet. C and I needed a few things for our upcoming Euro trip so we battled the crowds for some great steals. 

4. After a quick trip to Central Market, we raced home to make rice bars and cookies to take out to the race. Our triathlon team decided to camp out at the race site since it was sorta far away. We had a blast chatting with our teammates and slept like babies on an air mattress in the back of C's car. #highmaintenance 

5. We had a relatively late "wake-up call" sunday morning since we were only minutes from the race start. We bundled up and walked over to transition. It was a chilly morning but C and our team had a great race with almost everyone placing in their age group! 

6. The fun didn't end after the race though. We chose to forgo our traditional post-race nap in exchange for some shoe shopping for C. We did find some shoes as well as a possible rehearsal dinner dress! 

7. By the time 6pm rolled around, we had just enough energy to shove Fireside Pies in our faces and drag ourselves home for a little sunday night TV. 

8. This week isn't slowing down at all either. This is our last week of work, we're racing on Sunday and then we leave for London Sunday evening! 

london calling // footwear


We leave for London/Edinburgh in 11 days! C lived in London for a few years when he was working and I've never been! Even though I spent six months studying abroad, I wanted to visit smaller cities that I might not otherwise have had the opportunity to spend time in. I'm pumped to have my own personal tour guide to show me around London. 

Traveling in Europe requires a ton of walking. Not only is it a great way to see the sights, but it's also a great way to get to know the lay of the city. While I am on a bit of a spending freeze as we prepare for this move, I treated myself to some essential footwear that is equally as stylish as it is supportive. There's nothing worse than trying to enjoy a new city but having to limp around with sore feet and blisters. 

cole haan 'air bacara'  $98 // sseko sandals $49 // 'earthwise' toms $54

I chose the Cole Haan flats for their Nike Air technology and supportive sole (and also because I needed to replace my old nude flats). Nude flats go with everything so you can't go wrong packing them for a trip. They are currently on sale for $98 at Piperlime which is basically free

I recently heard about Sseko Sandals from another blogger and was instantly hooked. The sandals consist of a leather sole with a ribbon/chiffon tie that you can style any way you'd like! There are a whole bunch of videos on how to tie the sandals here. Versatility in my wardrobe is key. Sseko is a Uganda based company that helps women get to college by giving them a way to earn an income. I love supporting a brand that gives back

Toms were another obvious choice for a trip filled with walking. The breathable canvas and durable sole make for happy feet. I'm on my third pair now (because the second was a little too 'well-loved'). I chose this heathered grey pair because, again, they'll go with everything. Toms also gives away a pair of shoes for every pair purchased. Love doing a little good when I go shopping.

I made sure to purchase the shoes a few weeks before my upcoming trip so that I can start breaking them in.  Biggest traveler mistake is wearing brand new shoes when you're schedule to be walking for hours. 

What are you favorite shoes to wear when travelling and walking a ton? 

musings but not on monday.


1. Hectic. That's the word to sum up the past five days. Which is why I'm bringing you some very belated musings. Where to begin...

2. We started the trip to CT off with a meeting with our baker and picking out rentals (tables, chairs, linens, glasses, etc.) Both appointments went great which was a relief.

3. Friday included a full schedule of apartment viewings and a few Yale "Welcome" events. The first appointment was a disaster which put a big grey cloud over the whole day. But the good news is, after seeing 15+ apartments, we found one we loved and we signed the lease! We're excited to be in a great area (view of East Rock above),  close to school and lots of other students. The apartment is very new with a huge kitchen and lots of light.

4. The shower was lovely and so fun. We were able to celebrate with sweet friends and family including C's parents and grandmother! The whole night was such a treat and made the wedding feel so real!

5. Sunday we took C's parents to our potential rehearsal dinner site for brunch. It's right on the water and offers a great selection of food. We're excited to give our friends and family a taste of the CT coastline!

6. By Monday we were wiped but thankful to have crossed several items off our list. We handed over our deposit on the apartment and made some time to drive up to the summit of East Rock. Crazy that this will be our new home in just a few weeks!

7. Now that our whrilwind trip is over, it's back to reality. We only have a short time left at our jobs before we're off to London and then packing for the move! I can't believe the wedding is only 79 days away!

8. In other news, C is racing this weekend and out triathlon team decided to camp out at the race site. I love adventures! 

9. We also signed up to do a triathlon the morning we leave for London. Living on the edge. 

10. Our wedding bands are here! 

11. We're going to a really fun wedding this weekend for that dapper blonde kid below. Can't wait to be reunited with some great friends and celebrate a sweet couple!

ok enough rambling...

our changing outlook on what we eat.


Curiosity got the best of us. After much discussion with our well-versed Paleo/Whole30 friends, Jessie and Brian, we decided to give it a go for one week. No grains (rice, pasta, bread, quinoa), no peanuts, no beans,  no added sugar. One week. Approved items consisted of grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, pasture-raised eggs, grass-fed butter, lots of veggies, some fruit, almonds/cashews, coconut milk, Larabars (in moderation, yay!), you get the idea. Protein, fiber, and (good) fat heavy diet.

I am no where near qualified to explain why this way of eating has become to popular or discussed. There are a million articles you can read (listed below). Brian blogged about his experience and it's a great summary. I found this article very interesting and informative. You can also read more information here. Also, definitely check out this video which really explains what's going on in your body.

My very, very, very basic summary would go something like this.
  • Grains are composed of carbohydrates, and those carbs are turned into glucose (a type of sugar) in our system to be used for energy and various other tasks to help our body function –any glucose that isn’t used as energy is stored as fat.
  • Our bodies are designed to operate on a lower amount of carbohydrates than what we’re used to eating, so less carbs isn’t an issue. When there is an absence of carbs (which is how we’re USED to operating), our body will take stored fat and burn THAT for energy in a process called ketogenesis.

Here's what one week of a Paleo/Whole30/Whole9 diet might look like. We were not super strict so take this for what it is. This isn't the Bible. Obviously.

Day 1 // eggs, bacon, black coffee, protein shake, salad, applesauce, larabar, spaghetti squash with meat sauce

Day 2 // coconut pancakes, coffee with coconut milk, smoothie (coconut milk, almond butter, protein powder, blueberries, strawberries), almonds, larabar, beef taco bowl

Day 3 // mocha espresso smoothie with coconut milk and protein powder, salad, larabar, coconut pancakes, chicken with sweet potato and broccoli, dark chocolate

Day 4 // mocha espresso smoothie with coconut milk and protein powder, Fadi's chicken kabobs and cauliflower, larabar, chicken & salad, applesauce, dark chocolate

{recipe} paleo pumpkin muffins


When C and I first started venturing into the world of Paleo eating, I was a bit bummed that I'd have to give up baking. But, to my excitement, there are lots of great recipes out there for Paleo-friendly baked goods. So you know I had to give it a try and see if they compared to the "real stuff".

Verdict. They are amazing. Super good for you which is an added bonus!

monday musings.


1. Did you know that this is my 56th monday musings post? I launched the series in December of 2011. Since then...
  • there's now a Trader Joe's in the DFW area
  • I've changed up my face wash
  • I still GChat with Becca
  • I watched Center Stage last week and still want to be a ballerina
  • We just reorganized the closet
  • I'm having nightmares about my actual wedding
So some things have changed and some things haven't. This is why I love these musings - such a fun walk down memory lane.

2. But seriously, y'all, Center Stage is still such a great movie. C said he went on his first date with an old high school girlfriend to see that movie in the theaters. Meanwhile, I was in 7th grade.

3. C had another tri this weekend and killed it. Not only did he PR but he ran his fastest run splits (in fancy new shoes) and finished with tons of energy and no pain. He's so awesome. Pictures to come...

4. My Little (sorority little sis) got engaged this weekend! I'm just so stinking happy for her and her new fiance. They are the perfect match and I can't wait to watch them learn and grow in marriage.

5. I think I'm going to take up trail running. The Northeast has a lot more opportunities for this and even if I'm slower, I think it will be more exciting.

6. I logged 25 miles on my bike yesterday with sweet Becca. We chatted and caught up on life and before I knew it, two hours had passed. I came home with a pretty sweet sunburn on my arms and legs though.

helmets are sexy.
7. We enjoyed some amazing paleo pizza with Jessie and Brian last night. The food was delicious and the conversation was even better. We'll miss you guys!

8. C is starting a blog :)

9. I'm planning on breaking my shopping fast to get a few items for our London/Scotland trip. I specifically plan on investing in some new Toms for all that city walking. I also finally purchased these sandals I've been eyeing. I think they'll be great for Europe and so versatile!

on my reading list


I love to read. I have a Nook and it has a permanent home in my purse. I love having it with me so that I can keep myself busy while waiting on a doctor's appointment, at the car shop, waiting for a movie to start, you get the point. 

When I moved, I sold almost all of my books (except my beloved Harry Potter hardcovers) to Half Price Books. I'd already read all of them and they were honestly just taking up space. I love a good, well-filled bookshelf, as much as the next girl but there's nothing I hate more than packing and unpacking boxes of books. 

However, there are some books that are better read on old-fashioned paper. These books might have recipes, pictures, great quotes and other things that I'm likely to refer back to. For this reason, I tend to prefer the paper version so that I can have the book on hand (lest I have something to decorate those bookshelves with!). 

There are a few books on my reading list that fall into the "must get my hands on the paper version" category. 

These books all have a similar premise - they offer up a personal story/experience wrapped around great recipes and inspiration. I can't wait to spend some of my time off in May poolside with my nose buried in these books. I tend to favor a quick read, fiction book so it's always nice to slow down and really dive into a book that makes you read a little slower and think a little harder. So far, each of these books has received wonderful reviews and feedback. Jenna Weber writes the most amazing blog titled Eat, Live, Run. I feel like we're best friends from her adorable "virtual coffee date" series. Daphne Oz is the daughter of the infamous Dr. Oz made popular by Oprah, so we know her book has to be filled with tons of great stuff. The other two books have been widely publicized in the blogger world so I'm excited to see what all the buzz is about. 

What are you reading these days?

a few words to say // about words


I was recently chatting with her friend about the frustration of connecting with her boyfriend while he was away in Spain on business. The internet was spotty and he was very busy so they weren't able to talk very much over Skype.

I asked her if they emailed much. She said sometimes but not much. Our conversation made me think about being in away in Costa Rica on a mission trip just a week after C and I met. We relied on email to stay in touch and keep each other informed. I saved those emails. I actually cherish those emails.

C and I were able to put into words our feelings for each other, something that often doesn't happen when you're first dating someone. The distance, the time change, the spotty internet, caused us to rely on sweet messages during our time apart.

I remember getting so giddy seeing his name in my inbox. Sometimes our emails were trivial but they always seemed to end with a comment on our new budding relationship.

From our third date to the Nasher Sculpture Center

C is a man of few words. He's excellent at picking out cards that say just the right thing, leaving room for just "Love, C" at the end. While I do appreciate the time, effort and thought that goes into him picking out cards for me, his raw, real and unguarded words are so very sweet. A card is typically given for an occasion. These emails weren't celebrating a holiday, but they were celebrating the start of a very exciting and fulfilling relationship.

I read back through those emails recently (of course I saved them!) and they made me giddy all over again. C's words were so genuine and open, something that often doesn't happen because we see each other everyday and are in constant communication.

Whether it's an email, letter, or card, the personal words of a loved one have a huge impact on us. I feel so loved when C picks out the most perfect card for an occasion but the icing on the cake is a sweet, handwritten note for no reason. I will always cherish those fleeting moments and that is what makes them special. Stepping out of the routine. Going beyond the normal "I love you". Adding a little extra to the day.

april favorites.


In three weeks, I'll no longer have an income. While that's slightly terrifying, I'm doing what I can to prepare. That means, limiting my spending to only the necessities (and yes, wedding related expenses) for the next few months. I thought it would be a good idea to remind myself of all the cool stuff that I already own so that I don't get tempted by the Memorial Day sales and "good deals". There really isn't anything I "need". I have stockpiled some pretty great products so the last thing I need to be doing is splurging on a new blush color or colored jeans.

Tarte BB Cream - I got a large sample of this last time I was at Ulta because I was feeling bored with my Bobbi Brown BB Cream. Now I'm hooked and I'm savoring that sample until I can purchase the full size product. I do have a 20% off Ulta coupon that's only good until the 6th though....

Juliette Has a Gun. Not A Perfume - Ok, strange name I know, but I love the stuff. I got a sample in my Birchbox and then patiently saved up my points (and used a BB coupon) to finally purchase a bottle. I covet it. 

Tarte Blush in Blissful - When I had my make-up done at Blushington, they used this blush and I loved it. It really stayed in the place and the color lasted through all that kissing, long into the evening.

Keds for Madewell - I bought these on an impulse when I took my cousin to Northpark. Now I'm desperately trying to make them work for every outfit. Bonus: they came with leather laces, white laces and gold sparkly laces. Awesome.

Trish Mascara (Lash Curling) - Have we talked about this mascara before? Well if not, I'm so deeply sorry. I don't usually stay hooked on mascara for long but this one has done me in. It comes off in tubes so you never have raccoon eyes. It also makes my lashes look super long and amazing.

Etsy elastic hair ties - I ordered a whole bunch of that elastic that people make those trendy hair ties out of. Instead of forking over $16 for 3 measly hair ties, I can now make my own for basically free. Score.

Dior Lip Glow - I feel sort guilty for keeping this a secret for so long. I mean, nothing I can tell you about how amazing it is will do this product justice. It's literally the best thing I've ever put on my lips. This might be the only lip product I get all the way to the bottom of.

JCrew toothpick jeans - I'd be lying if I said I wasn't lusting over another pair of these. I have them in Red but could really go for an acid washed pair. You know, to wear with my Keds. They are just so right, it's wrong.

GAP pocket tee - Ok so I can't link to this one because they are gone (total bummer) but I have this amazing gap 3/4 sleeve tee that is so soft and perfectly slouchy. I have it in white and grey and I would live in them, if that was appropriate. Sometimes GAP wins.

Suave or Aveeno Dry Shampoo - I'm an every other day hair washer so I swear by dry shampoo. I'm really digging both of these right now. The price is awesome and the smell amazing.

And there you have it. A few of the things I'm crushing on this month. In fact, last weekend when C and I were doing a bit of spring cleaning, I realized how important it is to occasionally take stock of what we have on hand. I have like 12 running hats. Nope, I don't need that new one just because it's orange and only $10. No, I just don't. It's easy for something that's not "new" to feel boring. How many products did I throw away that were still almost full? PS: Most beauty stores like Ulta and Sephora have amazing return policies. Take advantage of that people! If you bought it, used it, hated it, take it back! 

monday musings.


1. This weekend was both exciting and boring at the same time.

2. We had a blast with our triathlon team on Saturday. Some of us swam (in 55 degree water) and then headed out for a bike ride. It was a beautiful day minus the very windy conditions.

Our awesome triathlete buddies Brendan & Bonnie

3. Then we spent the evening at our church's new Saturday night service. We attended with our sweet friends, Jessie and Brian. The evening ended with Thai food and great conversation. We're gonna try to be #better!

4. Then came Sunday. I'm squeezing in a bunch of hours to meet my Junior League requirement so I spent Sunday sitting at a table at the zoo passing out temporary tattoos for the Dallas Zoo's 125th birthday. Snore city.

5. Earlier in the week, we had lunch (still dreaming about that sandwich) with our minister, Elizabeth. We love meeting with her because she is so wise and so funny! We are well on our way to getting this ceremony planned!

6. In other wedding related news, the suits have been tailored, socks arrived and wedding bands ordered! We're making another trip to CT in just a few weeks where we'll meet with our caterer again as well as our cake baker and church staff. Just under 100 days to go!

7. I am stressed about finding an apartment at Yale. The places are much less expensive than in Dallas but you get what you pay for. It feels like all the good ones go really fast and that you have to act quickly. We're hoping to pick a place when we're up in April!

8. I found this AMAZING site to order our guest book from. Their books are stunning and very affordable. In fact, they deserve their own post once our book arrives.

9. Saving the best for last...after an exciting and heated conversation Saturday night, Craig and I have decided to give a Paleo/Whole30 type eating plan a try. Much, much more to come on this but here's a preview of what last night and this morning looked like.

Our grocery store haul // my breakfast // craig's breakfast of "bulletproof coffee" (yes that all went in the coffee)

{featured friday} there's something about mary


{featured friday} highlights some of my favorite blogs and websites that I want to share with all of you! These are blogs that consistently blow me away with amazing content. I know you’ll fall in love with them too!

This featured friday is a little special. While Mary's blog is one of my favorites, that's not the only reason I want to feature her today. In fact, there are many, many reasons she deserves this special post. 

But let's back up and start at the beginning. Mary and I met while we were studying abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark spring of 2009. Actually, I'm not entirely sure how we ended up meeting...I think we took a class together? Mary? Is that right? It could have been because some of her classmates from Indiana were my neighbors in the American dorm I lived in. I'm not sure and neither one of us can remember. We actually tried to figure it out...but can't. 

The gang in Cinque Terre, Italy
Nice, France

But that's not really important. The important part is, we met. And became sweet, sweet friends. We spent our spring break traveling through France and Italy together. It was clear that we got along great and really understood each other. We celebrated 21st birthdays together (not that exciting when you're abroad...) and I made homemade American Mac&Cheese for her host family. 

StitchFix #1 | Review


I'm sure you saw me tweeting and blowing up the social media world with my referral code for StitchFix. I'm all about testing out new subscription services and from what I've seen from other bloggers, this one looked promising!

After a few weeks, I was off the wait list and my first "fix" was in the mail.

Here's how it works:

  1. Fill out a style profile that is very detailed to help you stylists pick the perfect pieces for you. Don't be afraid to share pinterest boards! 
  2. Schedule your first "fix" for $20. That $20 goes towards any of the 5 items in your fix! 
  3. Receive your hand-picked goodies, try them on at home with your favorites pumps, belt and accessories. Log into you account online and checkout for the items you're keeping. (Bonus: you get 20% off if you keep all 5!). 
  4. Send back everything else and schedule another "fix". 

When I opened the package, I was super excited to see colors and patterns that I loved! I pulled all the items out but was way too sore/exhausted from the half to try anything on.

{recipe} easy basic frosting


A few weeks back, my friend's sister asked if I'd be interested in making golf themed cupcakes for her son's 2nd birthday. She remembered a while back when I casually mentioned on this blog that I wanted to get paid to bake things for people. I was so honored and flattered that she asked me (and that she reads this blog!). I of course agreed and got right to work planning.

Bethany requested "cupcakes-in-a-jar" which is a big trend these days all over pinterest. I had made them once before so I was confident I could pull it off for Palmer's party.

The cupcakes turned out just right and from what I hear, they were a hit at the party. But I didn't just want them to look good, I wanted them to taste good too. I mean, after all, Bethany wasn't paying me to make cupcakes that looked awesome but tasted like crap.

monday musings.


1. Recovery week felt awesome. A few easy workouts to loosen up the muscles and a great ride with Becca on Friday. I'm excited to get back on my bike some more, especially off the trainer and onto the roads. By the way, if you're in the DFW area and want to train with a team, check out our site. I'm so sad to be leaving this group when we move because everyone is so amazing.

This picture is more fitting of our team's relationship. Get on in there mike :)

2. C and I spent some time with our minister, Elizabeth, this weekend, discussing marriage and our new chapter. It's so exciting that it's getting so close! We'll meet with her again in a few days to plan the ceremony.

3. We also spent some time checking out wedding bands this weekend. I think C was hoping there would be more options for him but we found the perfect one pretty easily.

4. I'm thinking I should do a make-up favorites round up again soon. There are a few products I've been crushing on lately and y'all should probably know about them.

5. I made these last night and they are SO good and SUPER easy. I used brown rice syrup instead of agave because that's what I had on hand.

6. I also attempted my first batch of kale chips. Other than being WAY over salted, they were delicious! I think we'll be making them again.

7. Maybe this warrants a full post but y'all the apartments in New Haven...while they are significantly less expensive, they are also significantly smaller and older. Can I get some full-size appliances please? I mean, it'll be great and we'll find something totally adorable and perfect, but the hunt has been...interesting to say the least.

8. Mad Men returns this weekend! Also, completely different topic but I need more Reese Witherspoon in my life.

9. 1 month of work left before our London/Edinburgh trip! Did I tell you about that yet?
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