Fall in our new neighborhood

We’ve been enjoying our new house over the past few weeks (when we’ve been in town, which hasn’t been as often as I would like!). We were able to have a few good pool days but now the waters starting to get a little too cold for me (if only the air would get a little colder as well!). The best part of the new house is that it’s a 10 minute walk to the ocean! We’ve been taking a ton of walks and it’s so refreshing. My favorite is pouring some wine in a cup and camping out on a bench for the sunset. It’s the best.

donut float

Obviously the first thing I ordered after moving in was a donut float. Worth it.


The view from our neighborhood park on an early morning walk.


Our first meal outside (red wine pasta and garlic knots) using the new patio furniture.




After sunset walks home.


A little too happy + pink flamingos

IMG_5007A small nature trail leads to a drain pipe and concrete wall but also to this view.


Fall vibes at brunch.

Fall To Do’s

Like everyone else in the blogging world, I love the transition into fall. It’s a good time to settle in and set some new goals for the season. Here’s what’s on my to do list for fall:

Go camping // this has been on my to do list for the past few falls and I’m determined to check it off this year!

Make weekly crockpot meals // every monday I want to make soup, chili or other hearty meals to eat throughout the week.

Have game nights // relaxing in our new house with friends, board games, wine and snacks sounds like the perfect fall activity.

Host dinner parties // not the impromptu ones like we normally have but actual planned ahead, thought out dinner parties.

Get outdoors // enjoy the fire pit on chilly nights, go for bike rides in the cooler air and eat meals on the patio.

Nest // continuing working on making our house a cozy, comfortable home.

What’s on your list?

Summer Weekends

This weekend was really great. Mostly because it was filled with sun, water and really good food, a few of my most favorite things. We’ve been on what seems like an endless hunt for a new house (wish us luck) so between the stress I’m trying to squeeze in as much good stuff as I can. Thankfully, I have just one day of work this week, followed by a couple days to just relax and get stuff done around the house and then we are off to New York City for the 4th of July! I could definitely use the vacation :)

Friday night we met up with my parents to watch the sunset at the beach with some sandwiches and some wine (well a lot of wine). siesta key sunset

sunset sunset

Saturday we went to the Farmer’s Market where they had a Shrimp and Lobster Festival going on as well. We got there early and it was pouring but after hiding out for a while under a produce stand it was sunny skies! We picked up some veggies, scored some free fresh pasta and enjoyed a lunch of crab cakes and lobster rolls. (Also, has anyone had lychees before? I picked some up but haven’t tried them yet!)


The rest of the day involved house hunting and movie watching but I did see my first Sarasota peacock while we were out and about! And he was nice enough to show me his feathers :)


Sunday, we spent a delightful morning fishing and reading on the boat. We caught a lot, but they were apparently small undesirable fish for keeping (I don’t really care I just get excited when I catch something!) We then made fried green tomatoes for the first time (recipe coming soon!) from the tomatoes I picked up at the Farmer’s Market and grilled some steak and corn while I caught up on my blogging!


fried green tomatoes

How was your weekend? 

Tips for working at home

working from homeMany people now have the option of working from home, at least every once in a while. I work from home one day a week and it usually ends up being my most productive day. But I also know how it feels when the couch and netflix are calling your name. Sometimes it’s hard to stay focused, even more so when all the comforts of home are right at your fingertips. Here are some tips:

1. Get ready for the day: It’s hard not to stay in your pajamas with your hair a mess when you’re at home, but I find I’m significantly more productive if I do something to get ready in the morning. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to do your hair and put on a pencil skirt. My getting ready usually consists of changing out of my pjs into something equally as comfy (like yoga pants or a t-shirt dress), putting my hair up and throwing on some mascara.

2. Have a designated work area: For most of the day I stick to the dining room table when working. It’s always clear of clutter, right by the window, and has a jar of fresh flowers on it. I originally was working in our home office but realized the dark room that’s away from the rest of the house just made me want to get out of there. Create a work area clear of distractions and preferably somewhere that inspires you.

3. Take breaks: I get easily distracted by housework when I work from home. So instead of reading a blog or going on Facebook for a quick work break I do something around the house like empty the dishwasher or switch over the laundry. Then when I sit back down at my computer I stay focused on work until my next break.

4. Take advantage: Don’t forget to indulge in the benefits of being able to work from home! Make yourself a delicious lunch you wouldn’t normally bring to the office, blast your music, or work outside on a nice day.

5. Get out of the house: Sometimes after a day in the office all you want to do is go home and sit on the couch. But after a day of working at home all I want to do is get out of the house. Plan a dinner out with friends or a trip to the mall for after work on the days you’re home.

Weekend Recap

This weekend was yet another crazy weekend but a lot of fun too! My sister came into town with her boyfriend for the weekend to celebrate her birthday. It was her boyfriends first time in town so we tried to fit in as many Sarasota things as possible! I think we managed to fit in a ton.

Friday night we did a night out downtown that started at our favorite bar, State Street for some yummy cocktails.


The next day we attempted to go on the boat but the skies were pretty intimidating so we ended up doing a quick boat trip followed by lunch, naps and then dinner with my parents at Kazu’s, a great little sushi place. After dinner we made our way to a beautiful sunset on Siesta Key.

IMG_6181 IMG_6185 IMG_6198

The next day we took a trip to Treeumph for our friends birthday. It’s an adventure course full of wood bridges and zip lines through the trees. Honestly I wasn’t very excited about going but I ended up having a really good time and it pushed me out of my comfort zone for sure. I definitely left feeling accomplished! (and completely worn out!)IMG_6215 IMG_6203

After that we headed over to my parents to hang out by the pool and celebrate my sister’s birthday!


It was a great weekend that ended in a two hour nap and a whole lot of laundry to get done. Back to reality for me!

How was your weekend?

Four ways to stay motivated at work

I find my productivity at work tends to go down a lot in the summer. I stare longingly outside at the blue skies and dream about sitting on the beach with a book but instead I find myself stuck in a freezing office all day long. I’ve come up with a few tips on how to fight off the summertime work blues and stay motivated!

1. Put on some upbeat music. Pop in your headphones and put on whatever music gets you tapping your foot and humming along. Lately this is the Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift or Vampire Weekend Pandora stations for me.

2. Buy some fun stationary or office supplies. When I’m writing in a pretty notebook or using a pencil with an encouraging saying on it, I’m immediately motivated to get more things checked off my cute to do list! Check out this, this or these.

3. Reward yourself. Set a timer (or use an app like this one) and stay completely focused for a set amount of time. Come up with a reward you get once the time is up. Some examples could be eating some chocolate, going for a quick walk or checking your Instagram feed. Whatever will motivate you!

4. Have something to look forward to. Plan something to do after work even if it’s just sitting on the couch with a glass of wine and a book. It will keep you energized during the day if you have something to work towards! 

Any other tips? Feel free to share!

A little bit of life lately

These past few weeks have flown by and been packed full! While it’s been fun, I’m ready for this coming weekend when we don’t have any serious plans and can relax a little more at home. I wanted to document some of the pictures I’ve taken over the past few weeks, enjoy!

Made an after work trip to The Ringling Museum of Art to catch an art exhibit and enjoy the view:

ringling museum

Jake and I at wedding number 1 (of 2) at a house on the bay on a freakishly cold and windy evening for FL in April. We made the best of it and had a great time! (even if we did spend a lot of time around the heaters).

The weather went from cold to hot again really quick and I think it’s safe to say we are going to stay hot for a while now. Plenty of boat days in the future :)

We went to a polo match (my first one!) which was super fun besides the sunburn I had afterward. That wasn’t so fun.

polo match

We took a short trip up to Tampa to watch the Lightning game (my Valentine’s gift for Jake) and hang out with a few friends while we were there.

hockey game
The living room renovation is officially complete! (more pictures to come of that!) Here we are enjoying our new couch for the first time. For some reason this is my new favorite photo :)

I was a bridesmaid in wedding #2 and so we had festivities to partake in for the whole weekend! Even though it took place about 15 minutes away from where we live it still felt like a mini vacation. Here you could see them setting up for the wedding from our hotel room:


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30 Day Yoga Challenge

yoga challengeAs you might already know from reading my blog, working out is not my favorite thing. Even so, it’s important to stay moving and healthy so I’m always looking for easy ways to incorporate exercise into my routine. When my sister invited me to join her in a 30 day yoga challenge I loved the idea! You’re emailed a short 10-20 minute video each day that you can watch in the comfort of your living room. Yoga is one of my favorite ways to exercise since it’s also a great way to de-stress so I thought why not give it a try?

Today I finished day 2 and so far I’m loving it! I woke up after day 1 wondering how I could be sore after doing just 10 minutes of yoga but I was! I don’t know if this proves that it’s a good class or if I’m just extremely out of shape (I think a little of both :)) Day 2 was even more of a challenge for me. Even if you are a beginner with yoga, this is a great way to learn the poses and get some exercise without having to leave your house or use a lot of time. I suggest everyone click here and go sign up!

Will you be my Maid of Honor?

maid of honor giftAfter a lot of back and forth, the fiancé and I finally decided on having only two people in our bridal party: his brother and my sister. It was a tough decision since we both have a lot of amazing friends, but  it was the best decision for us and will help keep our wedding a little more simple. I also wanted to keep it simple for our friends since they live all over the place and being a part of a wedding can be a big money and time commitment. Obviously this isn’t the best choice for everyone but so far I’m happy with our decision :)

I wanted to do something special to ask my sister to be my maid of honor, so I put together a little bowl of presents for her. I loved how it turned out and she loved it too!

bridesmaid giftIncluded was:
Will you be my maid of honor card
– Knot ring (I bought one for myself too so we each have one!)
– Essie Nail polish in my wedding colors; Back in the Limo and Rock at the Top
– 3 small notebooks
I put all of this in a white dip bowl I found at Target and tied some ribbon around it (also from Target, found in the dollar section) to finish it off!

How did you ask your bridal party to be a part of your big day?



Wedding Planning Update: Booking Vendors

weddingplanningI’m no wedding planning expert but I wanted to share a little bit of my journey as I stumble along. So feel free to give me feedback or share your own planning process!

My process so far has been putting all the big tasks into a few small groups and only tackling one group at a time. Once I finish one group I move onto the next one and so on. This was a great way to get the big stuff out of the way, quickly and in an organized way that helped me stay focused.

The first thing we did once we decided to officially begin the wedding planning was sit down and discuss what things were the most important to each of us. For me the most important vendor was the photographer. For the fiancé it was the food (surprise ;) ). So that influenced how we created the groups but it could be different for everyone!

Here’s how I divided it up:

Group 1: Guest list, budget– these are the two things you really need to discuss and have a pretty good idea about in order to start actually booking any vendors.

Group 2: Venue, catering, photographer– You need a venue first thing so you can set a date. Once we had that we researched, met with and booked our top two priorities.

Group 3: DJ, officiant, hotel block– these were the remaining vendors that weren’t top priorities for us but still need to be locked in early.

Group 4: Engagement photos, save the dates, website- Next up we are getting engagement photos taken and once we get those back I can start on the save the dates and our wedding website.

Group 5: Florist, dress, decorations–  I threw the florist into the last group since my flowers are going to be a small, simple order. The dress and decorations are something I want to take my time with after getting the rest of the big stuff out of the way.

Doing it this way, we were able to get through groups 1, 2 and 3 within the first month of being engaged which was a huge weight off my shoulders.

I’d love to hear about your own experience! Feel free to give any advice you have! :)