Monday, August 31, 2015

monthly discipline: september

january: do things differently herehere and here.
february: just make it hereherehere and here.     
march: mostly vegan herehereherehere and here.
april: wake up before the sun five days a week here, here and here
may: exercise curiositherehere and here 
june: daily gratitude and generosity herehere and here
july: at least one mile a day here and here
august: beach body challenge here and here

September: lead with love and positivity

contrary to popular belief, i am not Pollyanna. we all have an internal dialogue that waffles between positive and negative. i am hard wired toward positive. i have been told this reflects outwardly. my senior year of high school i was voted "little miss sunshine." it was very authentic and i honestly remember thinking everyone and everything was so cute. with age, wisdom, experience and heartbreak it becomes increasingly more challenging to stay in that mindset. it's an intention to see the world through rose colored glasses. 

i am extremely analytical, and at times that can work against me or make me lean toward a negative mind frame. in my humble opinion, focusing on the negative is easy. there are plenty of things to be fearful of and worry about. there are plenty of people to talk negatively about. i want to take a different path. 

i once read a quote that i have been thinking about incessantly. we should all be reminded of these wise words by Eleanor Roosevelt. 

this month, which happens to be my birth month (yay!) i am going to focus on not uttering negative words. we are all wired toward judgment, it's easy to do. instead let's choose to lead with love. i want to age gracefully and what comes out of our mouths is a direct reflection of how we feel about ourselves and the world around us. choose love! 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

corona commercial

every year is a little different. the last two involved a professional photographer, which made us feel quite official. we have switched placement of chairs and even used the wrong chairs one year. 
while departing from the Cabo San Lucas airport last month, I spotted the inflatable Corona bottle and knew it had to join the rotation. 
we both stacked colorful bracelets. i went hippie. mom went classic. this is the third time we matched sunglasses. it really is one of my favorite photos of the year. cheers! 

* 2015 *

Sunday, August 23, 2015

august discipline: beach body challenge

3/4 of the way through and it's time for an update. is anyone following along with me? what started out as manageable has quickly turned intense! it looks simple on paper, however, isn't as easy as it appears. southern gent has joined forces with me again and we have been loyal every single day. i take that back, we have missed two days but then caught up with 4 exercises the following day--ouch! we walked or ran every morning of #familybeachweek, followed with the two exercises of the day. our bodies have been sore and tender in odd places. i have a new found respect for strength. i am not in this to lose weight, in fact i have gained a few lb's. just trying to trust the process. there was a time when i thought being skinny was attractive. i have shifted my mindset in recent years and am aiming for tone and strength, which is actually the really difficult stuff...and i am finding takes more time, patience and dedication. 
i had a strong epiphany the other day. both physically and emotionally, we have to endure great pain if we want to embody great strength. i am stronger and have more fortitude today, because of the pain i have weathered in this wonderful life. don't give up friends, it's always better on the other side. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

business branding film

for over a year i have been drawn to the concept of brand films. i have seen them used in multiple capacities; from telling the story of a small business to telling a love story. i enjoy things condensed. i can appreciate long winded chronicles, but they also lose my attention. i like the brief nature of a brand film. to squeeze the gist of something or someone in a concise narration maintains interest. i have wanted one for me. i have yearned to star in my own brand film. turns out i wasn't the star at all. my pug marty stole the show. 

i took time to find the right people to work with. when i stumbled across Remedy, i knew i had found exactly what i was looking for. they have worked with some of my favorite small businesses around Raleigh and captured the essence of each perfectly. their instagram bio says they "partner with people and brands that live and work with intention and purpose." that phrase resonated with me and propelled me to contact them. fast forward a couple weeks and the filming began!
it was a very fun 3 days of different scenarios. they gather a lot of footage to later edit. the company is managed by two 20-something's, Josh & Austin. they are experts at their craft.

day 1: at the farmers market. i strolled around as they filmed me. kinda felt like a big deal.
day 2: coffee with a couple awesome friends (thank u sara & meg!) (a man asked if we were the real housewives of Raleigh. Of course we said YES), followed by a run around a few neighborhoods. they were following me in a car and filming out the window. i am pretty sure people thought they were stalking me.
day 3: they interviewed me in my office, followed by another awesome friend (thank u christy!) and my mom & brother who acted as clients (love them!).

the guys put everyone at ease. their style is natural and authentic and they really help set that tone during the filming process. i think that reflects in my little brand film.

my vision was to eliminate the stigma attached to the therapy process. it's a business card that comes to life! i hope it's ok to say when you're proud of yourself, because this is one of those moments for me. 

Saturday, August 1, 2015

monthly discipline: august

january: do things differently herehere and here.
february: just make it hereherehere and here.     
march: mostly vegan herehereherehere and here.
april: wake up before the sun five days a week here, here and here
may: exercise curiositherehere and here 
june: daily gratitude and generosity herehere and here
july: at least one mile a day here and here

august: beach body challenge

i can proudly say i worked out 90% of the July days! i really do prefer the measurable disciplines, my accountability feels more sustainable. i exercised 27/31 days. i was so dedicated, southern gent & i even worked out on vacation. i would highly recommend it. i once thought vacation was about laziness and gluttony. there is definitely plenty of room to be unstructured on a vacation, however, we loved the extra hop-in-our-step workouts gave us. we may have followed gym time with cocktails and nachos, but we earned them.

i originally stated 'at least one mile a day' to be conservative, but in fact i ran 2 miles daily and often ran sets of stairs post run. after one month, i feel markedly stronger than i have in some time. this discipline is certainly not ending with the close of july. i want to add strength training to my runs. i found this guide online. it's a bit intimidating, bring on the sore. i hope you follow along with me.

here is a sneak peek into our recent trip to Cabo San Lucas: 

the tub on our balcony was a special treat

a marina filled with fishing boats

lovers beach

swinging on a swing at this open air bar

a humidor overflowing with cuban cigars

building art

our aggressive waitress, so fun!

color everywhere

pina coladas for days

best dinner view

at our hotel, perfection!

my partner in crime

the wanderlust never ends

Saturday, July 18, 2015

easier and more fun!

today is mine and southern gent's 5th anniversary. five years ago i was so relaxed and so certain i had found my person. i still feel that way today. somehow he is blind to my imperfections. there is no one i would rather spend my day or my lifetime with.
when i had his ring engraved, i chose "easier and more fun" to have branded on the inside of his silver band. that has been our motto ever since. we work to make each others lives easier and more fun.

though the journey has been challenging, we have learned after 5 years that all we really need is each other. we have accepted that our family may always consist of just the two of us. if that remains our reality, we are fulfilled because together we have more than we ever imagined. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

july discipline: at least one mile a day

i have loved all the disciplines. my favorites, however, are ones i have had to consider every day. i have always been a regular exerciser but typically take days off in between. just 12 days in, once-a-day already feels natural. i have scaled down my runs from a once 4-6 mile stretch to 2 miles, to assure sustainability. when i was running longer distances, i felt fatigued between runs and sometimes dreaded the next one. i am probably running about the same mileage in a week, just more frequent & shorter bursts. i often add sets of stairs after the run for a nice little boost.
i must confess i had to skip one day, this past saturday. the only reason was that it was our neighborhood block party day. i was busy from the moment i awoke. the most time consuming of the tasks was this balloon extravaganza i dreamed up. it appears simple, but it was not.

the 2' x 3' balloons came from china. the day of the party a friend and i went to the party store to get them inflated. they promptly informed us it would be $12/balloon to fill with helium. you can do the math and would probably agree that was astronomical. luckily my friend is a master negotiator, so we walked out with inflated letters and more than a 50% discount. i am infamous for losing a few balloons in transit, but that wasn't an option. there were no extras. the letter B was slightly ripped and the letter T was popped by a sharp object in the garage. we were able to remedy the crisis with a quick piece of tape. 
with a little help from dowel rods and packing tape....the vision came to life. 

the afternoon/evening was complete with food trucks, a dunk tank, a selfie station, temporary tattoos, bubble wands, sidewalk chalk art, a stellar dj, 2 bounce houses, corn hole games, a popcorn machine, water balloons, a visit from the local firemen, glow sticks, a kegerator & a driveway viewing of Spy Kids. it was an awesome collaborative effort from a committee of awesome gals. the gobs of kiddos (mostly not pictured) had a marvelous time, i promise. 

i was mostly busy having a ton of fun, and not snapping photos at all. 
but here are a few images i captured:

the adults always manage to have a great time too!

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