Currently

It's been a whirlwind of a fall for us! Sarah got married, went to St. Lucia for her honeymoon, and jetted off the Denver for a weekend with some girlfriends. I spent the past couple of months celebrating Sarah and Ryan's nuptials, exploring California, checking off my fall bucket list, renovating a new house, and tackling projects around our current house to put it on the market. We are hoping to wrap up renovations and move around Thanksgiving, and our fingers are crossed that we'll sell our current house quickly.

Kindly Kentucky has taken a backseat, and I know that it may well stay there for the next couple of months as the bustle of the holiday season begins and the house projects and move continue. However, we plan to have a couple posts each week through the holiday season and resume more regular posts after the new year. Thanks for bearing with us!

Since we have been a little absent the past couple of months, here's what's going on with me...

Reading: I'm a little late to the game, but I'm currently reading The Girl on the Train. I read The Nightingale this fall too, and it was hands down the best book I've read this year.

Watching: I just finished Parenthood on Netflix. Sooo good! Like everyone else, I've been watching This Is Us.

Eating: Lots of applesauce. Homemade applesauce is so easy to make, and I can eat it for every meal. I started making it in June with the first crop of apples, and the orchard I normally buy from still has fresh apples!

Wearing: This cozy pullover every morning to walk the dog. 

Using: Houzz and Pinterest A LOT! I'm trying to get ideas for paint colors, kitchen designs, and living room ideas. 

Wanting (also kinda needing): Living room furniture. We plan to use our current living room furniture for the tv room in our new basement, so we need all new living room furniture for our new house. Making decisions about new furniture stresses me out! Specifically, deciding on colors and upholstery fabrics really stresses me out.  I also want a few new rugs for the kitchen and dining room. (Side note: I led a session on managing money for a group of freshman this week, and we had a long conversations about needs vs. wants. I'm totally aware that this section is the most lengthy, and I know my husband probably isn't surprised.)

Considering: More house-related decisions... Do I want practical granite or beautiful Carrara marble to replace the laminate countertops in the kitchen? What are your thoughts? I'd love to hear from you if you've experienced the same dilemma or have and love one of the options.

Here's an iPhone picture dump from the past few weeks...

Checking out the murals in San Francisco's Mission District.

Checking out the murals in San Francisco's Mission District.

Waiting for the sunset at Sentinel Dome in Yosemite. We learned that canned wine travels really well in a hiking backpack. 

Waiting for the sunset at Sentinel Dome in Yosemite. We learned that canned wine travels really well in a hiking backpack. 

Afternoon of wine and fresh snacks at VML Winery.

Afternoon of wine and fresh snacks at VML Winery.

Meeting furry friends at Porter Creek Winery. Also, ordering a case of wine.

Meeting furry friends at Porter Creek Winery. Also, ordering a case of wine.

Sarah and Ryan tied the knot!

Sarah and Ryan tied the knot!

Perusing the St. James Art Fair in Old Louisville with Mom. Full disclosure: this is not an iPhone pic like the others.

Perusing the St. James Art Fair in Old Louisville with Mom. Full disclosure: this is not an iPhone pic like the others.

Deep into home renovations. The Dr. Pepper can serves as evidence that a worker was there earlier. 

Deep into home renovations. The Dr. Pepper can serves as evidence that a worker was there earlier. 

Out for a drink with a bestie who evacuated Charleston during the hurricane.

Out for a drink with a bestie who evacuated Charleston during the hurricane.

Lots of early evening walks to Ashland.

Lots of early evening walks to Ashland.

42 mile bike ride to Evan's Orchard for apple pies and fresh cider. Not pictured: dorky bike shorts

42 mile bike ride to Evan's Orchard for apple pies and fresh cider. Not pictured: dorky bike shorts

 
 

10 Ways to Maximize Election Day

I'll be honest, I've been looking forward to November 8 since January 1. Yeah, we get to elect our next president and fill other political positions, but I've been planning all the things I want to do on my day off work for months now! Tell me I'm not the only one.

As someone who walks into the office is 8:00 AM and leaves at 5:00 PM, I get so frustrated by other businesses that are closed by the time I leave work. I'd love to get a haircut or go to the bank or check out the cute boutique on the corner during the week, but like millions of other hard working folks, I'm left running around on Saturday morning trying to take care of all my errands. That's the glorious thing about election day. It is a completely free WEEKDAY that isn't a holiday or a sick day. Hallelujah! 

  1. Vote!!
  2. Watch the Today Show (or other human interest "news" program of your choosing) in your pajamas for a couple of hours while drinking coffee. Skim something frivolous during commercial breaks and eat muffins (aka morning cupcakes) without feeling guilty.  
  3. Do something new or go somewhere that you've always to try, but that you've never had the chance. I've been dying to try a new massage clinic that is literally two blocks away but only offers $30 student massages on weekday mornings and afternoons. I received a neighborhood coupon code a couple months ago, so it was fate to schedule an election day massage. I've been looking forward to that Nov. 8 massage for months now. Hit up that 10:30 AM yoga class or go to lunch at the hole-in-the-wall diner that everyone raves about!
  4. Order your holiday cards and make your card recipient list. This always sneaks up on me, and then after Thanksgiving I'm annoyed by how long it takes for the cards to be printed and shipped and feel like I'm addressing holiday cards up until the last minute.
  5. Do a really hard workout. This is more of a personal goal, so if you're not an exerciser, then feel free to jump to the next point. Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and after that, it's a downward spiral of cold weather, comfort food, and sugar plums. I find that if I get a really good workout in, it motivates me to continue working out. Also, it's a great way to bank some calories for turkey and pumpkin pie later this month.
  6. Spend time cooking a great meal and then save leftovers for later in the week. Few things make me happier than leftovers on a weeknight.
  7. Take advantage of the sunshine. One of the worst parts of late fall and winter is going to work when it is dark and leaving when it is dark, so soak up all the sunshine while you can!
  8. Get a massage or a pedicure. Treats like these are hard to schedule into a normal week. 
  9. Start a project you've wanted to tackle for a while but just haven't had a good time or the motivation to start it. Maybe it is a new craft or fixing something around the house. For me, it is going to be stitching a fraying rug. 
  10. Meet a friend that you normally don't see. You can combine this with points three or eight, or just start happy hour at 4:00!

There are two weeks left to plan! How do you plan to spend election day?

 
 

Stitch Fix Breakup

Earlier this spring, I received my first Stitch Fix. I liked four of the five items that I was sent, and you can read more about my first fix here. I originally created a Stitch Fix account because I was in a style rut and thought it might be a good way to incorporate a few inexpensive trendier items into my everyday wardrobe, and it just seemed fun. After I was surprisingly pleased with my first fix, I signed up to automatically receive one quarterly, which seemed reasonable.

I didn't document my summer fix, but I found a new coral red tank top that looks great alone and is perfect for dates or nights out with friends. I've worn it with white jeans and tucked into a skirt. It also looks good under a blazer, so I've worn it to work as well. Other than the tank, I didn't love the other items in my summer fix, and for the most part, the items were priced higher than I requested in my preferences. 

Just in time for early fall, my last fix was waiting on my doorstep when I arrived home from the lake this weekend. Since it has been in the 80s and 90s here, I've resisted purchasing new fall clothes but been really tempted by all of the new collections in stores. I was practically bursting with excitement when I ripped open the box and saw a classic red and navy plaid peeking through. 

$54 plaid shirt - This pop of plaid initially had me really excited, but I was disappointed when I pulled it out of the box. I love cotton and flannel plaid shirts, but this one is polyester. I am more of a gold girl, so I don't love the silver buttons. The pockets also give this a more of a Western flair than I'm comfortable with. RETURN

$54 plaid shirt - This pop of plaid initially had me really excited, but I was disappointed when I pulled it out of the box. I love cotton and flannel plaid shirts, but this one is polyester. I am more of a gold girl, so I don't love the silver buttons. The pockets also give this a more of a Western flair than I'm comfortable with. RETURN

$58 stretchy skirt - This skirt is black and cream. In my account preferences, I specifically checked "no" next to black items because I prefer navy as my neutral. I liked this on more than I thought I would, but it made me look a little more bootilicious than I'd like for work. Other than work, I don't know where I would wear this. I also don't have any great options for tops or shoes that would coordinate with this. RETURN

$58 stretchy skirt - This skirt is black and cream. In my account preferences, I specifically checked "no" next to black items because I prefer navy as my neutral. I liked this on more than I thought I would, but it made me look a little more bootilicious than I'd like for work. Other than work, I don't know where I would wear this. I also don't have any great options for tops or shoes that would coordinate with this. RETURN

$128 dress - I liked the fit of this dress pretty well, and I have a few dresses of this same cut. I feel like I see this kind of dress frequently at TJ Maxx for $39.99, which is a price I'm comfortable paying for a generic dress like this. I'm okay paying a little more for a dress that I'll get lots of wear out of, but this one didn't seem worth the price. My biggest gripe about this dress is that it is purple, which I the other color I checked "no" to in my preferences. I just don't like purple, and this dress is Barney purple. Cringe. RETURN

$128 dress - I liked the fit of this dress pretty well, and I have a few dresses of this same cut. I feel like I see this kind of dress frequently at TJ Maxx for $39.99, which is a price I'm comfortable paying for a generic dress like this. I'm okay paying a little more for a dress that I'll get lots of wear out of, but this one didn't seem worth the price. My biggest gripe about this dress is that it is purple, which I the other color I checked "no" to in my preferences. I just don't like purple, and this dress is Barney purple. Cringe. RETURN

$48 tee - This is a fun shirt I would wear on the weekends. I like the pattern, colors, and length. I normally wouldn't pay $50 for a tee unless it was a classic neutral that I could pair with lots of different options. However, I didn't want to lose my $20 styling fee, and this was the item I could see myself wearing the most. KEEP

$48 tee - This is a fun shirt I would wear on the weekends. I like the pattern, colors, and length. I normally wouldn't pay $50 for a tee unless it was a classic neutral that I could pair with lots of different options. However, I didn't want to lose my $20 styling fee, and this was the item I could see myself wearing the most. KEEP

$34 necklace - In full disclosure, one of the crystals had already popped out when I opened this. I put it back in for the picture, but the necklace was defective and didn't seem to be great quality. Even if the quality was better, I wouldn't keep this necklace. Santa put something similar in my stocking in 2013, and while I still wear and like that necklace, I don't think it is an emerging trend or a timeless pieces, which is what I would be inclined to keep. RETURN (Note: When I say Santa, I mean my mom. Thanks, Mom!) 

$34 necklace - In full disclosure, one of the crystals had already popped out when I opened this. I put it back in for the picture, but the necklace was defective and didn't seem to be great quality. Even if the quality was better, I wouldn't keep this necklace. Santa put something similar in my stocking in 2013, and while I still wear and like that necklace, I don't think it is an emerging trend or a timeless pieces, which is what I would be inclined to keep. RETURN (Note: When I say Santa, I mean my mom. Thanks, Mom!) 

I don't claim to be a fashionista, but I just wasn't impressed with what I received. I was hoping to add a few trendier pieces that I could fit into my normally classic wardrobe, but I thought most of the items reflected trends that were at their height a couple years ago. I don't think my stylist really paid attention to my preferences or looked closely at my Pinterest board that I linked to my account. I may give it another whirl at some point, but I think I'll be taking a break from Stitch Fix for now.

Have you tried and loved Stitch Fix? Is there another subscription service that you love? 

 
 

Thoughts During Barre

In some sort of crazy, last-ditch effort for wedding prep, Sarah bought a Groupon for a month of unlimited classes at a Barre studio in Louisville. At the time, it seemed great. She daydreamed of gaining perfectly toned biceps and stretching it out at the end of class feeling leaner with every inhale and exhale. 

Being reminded again of all of our cute barre-going friends’ great results, Laura was also intrigued. Although this was Sarah's first foray with barre, Laura has taken about 6 barre classes in her life and pretty much hated it every.single.time. When Laura found out a local barre studio offered a one week trial for only $15, she decided to give it another chance.

While we can’t say we love it, it’s definitely been growing on us. As a coping mechanism, we do a lot of thinking and daydreaming to make it through a class. Does anyone else do that? Anyways, here are some thoughts...

I bet Reese Witherspoon does barre.

No wonder the instructor is so perky. She’s not doing the workout like the rest of us fools.

Why did I chug that iced coffee on the drive over to this torture chamber? Now in addition to the uncontrollable shaking, I have to pee too. This is just great.

I want ALL the Lululemon.

If Al Roker were here, he’d definitely be wearing the men’s line of Lululemon.

Why do I sweat more than the average human being? I really hope my deodorant is doing its job.

How is that lady's lipstick still intact? Between my panting/constant water guzzling, I'd be lucky if Chapstick stuck to these puppies.

If the instructor tells me "yes you can!" one more time....(insert aggressive overreaction here).

Her nails look really good. I wonder where she got them done and what color that is.

Are everyone's glutes burning like Hades, or is that just me?

Would bodybuilders think this is hard?

Please don’t let anyone else notice that I’m shaking more than anyone else in the room.

Does my significant other even know what isometric exercise is?

It’s a good thing I stopped ballet after age 5. Being graceful just isn’t my thaang.

Why is that girl smiling? She needs to wipe that off her face right now because this is not fun.

How am I supposed to differentiate between the positive pain and the negative pain? Isn't it all just...painful?

Should I treat myself to wine or ice cream after this? Hmmm. Both, definitely both. This is seriously hard.

But in all seriousness, as tough as barre is and as much as we are having to adjust to it, it's a great workout! If you love that "good burn," we suggest giving it a try. Check back in a month whenever our deals run out. Sarah will let you know if she has those perfectly toned biceps yet.

 
 

Bar Harbor

Today we’re recapping the third and final portion of our New England getaway! We started the trip in Boston and then stopped in Salem, Brunswick, and Freeport before finally making our way to Bar Harbor for a few blissful days.

The evening view from The Saltair Inn couldn't have been more relaxing.

The evening view from The Saltair Inn couldn't have been more relaxing.

We stayed at The Saltair Inn, which was a lovely bed and breakfast. If you're traveling to Bar Harbor, I cannot recommend it enough. It was the perfect waterfront location! We were close enough to walk to everything but not in the middle of downtown, so it was still very peaceful. The view was beautiful and the breakfasts we enjoyed on the terrace were some of our best meals from the entire trip.

Our favorite dinner was enjoyed on the terrace of The Reading Room. It was one of the only waterfront dining options in town, and the views were spectacular. The food was good, but our friendly waitress and the atmosphere was our favorite part of the experience.

When in doubt, stop for ice cream!

When in doubt, stop for ice cream!

On the first afternoon, we spent a couple of hours exploring the shops downtown with ice cream in hand. We were tired from traveling and were planning a 4:00 AM wake-up to watch the sunrise the next morning, so we enjoyed some burgers and local craft beers at the Bar Harbor Brewing Company before taking a stroll along the Shore Path and calling it a night.

July 4, 2016 - 4:53 AM 

July 4, 2016 - 4:53 AM 

The next couple of days were spent enjoying the beautiful sights of Acadia National Park and lighthouses around Mount Desert Island.  

Maine was just as beautiful as we had hoped. We're still dreaming of the views of the rocky cliffs leading down to the blue waves and the scent of the fragrant pine trees, and we can't wait to go back!