Reading is always on my goals list each year – as I love diving into good books – I just usually fall asleep when I’m reading, especially if I’m at home. So, I don’t read nearly as much as I’d like too. But that is just another reason why I love traveling and flying, because I just hunker down on the flight and read away – even our PSP trips were spent reading and napping by the pool.
I wanted to get a few more books finished before Summer’s end, but I did get through a few goodies that were both for fun and also for some professional and personal development and enrichment.
Ok so here are my summer reads;
Influencer: Building Your Personal Brand by Brittany Hennessy
I don’t talk much about my 9-to-5, but I’m very much in the world of social and influencers. And as a blogger myself I was intrigued to learn a bit more of the business side of being an influencer while also understanding the business side being the influencer coordinator because there are a lot of pieces and parts to the puzzle. This industry also has seemed to blow up over night! It’s a great read and includes case studies along with guides for getting your social profiles, blog and community up to snuff!
18th Abduction by James Patterson
This is a series I’ve been reading since at least high-school, if not middle school. My mom read James Patterson and I got into the Women’s Murder Club Series, which releases a new book each spring. I’ve grown and learned to love the characters over the years – this is always an easy ready with short chapters usually ending in cliff hangers, which means another chapter or five. The main character is Lindsey Boxer a detective for the SFPD, her boss gal pals, a report, attorney and medical examiner who help solve crime, serial killings and much more. I also just saw that the next book is coming out October 9th so I’ll be diving into that these winter month!
She Means Business by Carrie Green
I’ve always had a ton of ideas about doing more of the things I love on a daily basis and this book is a guide to help you foster those ideas and start turning them into reality and something that is sustainable. Not only is Carrie’s story inspiring, her motivational dialogue throughout the book is inspiring and empowering. I am still working through Carrie’s book – but it’s definitely one I have been book marking, highlighting and taking notes along the way!
What books have you read this summer? Any good recommendations?
I’ve been a bit stressed out lately, and but came up pretty suddenly this past week. As we were driving away from the city late Friday night, I could start to feel some relief. But it wasn’t until about midway through Saturday when I could feel my tense body finally start to relax and the neck pain that had been lingering for the last 2-days was finally gone – that’s when I realized, I really needed this weekend away from reality with my little family.
Initially the weekend was supposed to be a girls trip with an afternoon at the spa, but some things came up so B was stuck with me heading to one of our favorite spots, the cabin. The cabin is literally in the middle of no where, there is no wifi, although there is TV, but it’s largely you, nature and just a break from the real world. Even on weekends when you’re home with no plans, you always find something to do – clean the house, laundry, yard work – or you think you should be doing something besides nothing. But that’s not how it is at the cabin, sleeping in is ok, watching Shark Tank marathons and day drinking is also totally acceptable.
We also ventured to our favorite spot near the cabin, Southern Tier Brewery Co. – and yes they had our favorite seasonal beverages on tap, Pumking and Warlock. The weather was perfect and we even brought Moz along this time! Usually we leave her behind at the cabin, but after a walk around the property at the cabin, she had plenty of exercise and just hung with us at the brewery. We also grabbed some yummy eats at STBC – our go-to the pretzels and then split the BLT this time, which was so good! They never disappoint from a brews, food or atmosphere perspective. It was the perfect breakup in the day.
The leisurely mornings might be my favorite – taking Moz out around the property for her morning routine, and then drinking coffee before B whips up a tasty breakfast is always so relaxing because we’re never usually in any rush for anything. And by the time breakfast is done and cleaned up, it’s about time to take Moz for a longer walk so she can take in all the fresh smells of nature, chase chipmunks and watch frogs jump into the pound. Friday night after we got there a huge storm rolled in and we fell asleep to the rain pounding on the roof of the cabin, it was so relaxing and so perfect.
As we were driving back to reality, I was reflective on the fact that we all need to take a little extra time for ourselves, an intentional break from the day to day, from the stresses of the work week and everything else. It was also a good reminder of making the most out of changed plans and still taking time away. Even if it’s a simple getaway for a night or two, it’s refreshing for the soul and it helps us stay sane.
So the reason we visit Myrtle Beach is a little different that I am sure 80% of the people heading down there. The beach and other extra curricular activities are always secondary to the reason we “vacation” there. I’ve mentioned in previous MB recaps, that we go to visit my grandma who lives down there in a nursing home and that is 100% why we go down to Myrtle Beach, to see her.
The goal generally when we go down and visit with my parents is to get my grandma out of that nursing home for a few days whether it’s a trip to the beach, shopping, dinner, or hanging out at the pool/condo. But this trip wasn’t so much the case. Earlier in August she had an unexpected trip to the hospital that ended with her needing surgery which then led to longer hospital visit. Luckily things went better than anticipated given she is 86 years old, but she was still recovering and more fragile from the surgery and her stay in the hospital when we went down there. SO, we couldn’t take her out, meaning it was a lot of visits at the nursing home this time.
Our days at the nursing home consisted of making sure Grandma ate her lunch and dinner, occasional visits out to the patio area, cards (which she did not play), coloring (which she did not want to do either) and a few chats about the past. She even had some photos from her wedding in 1956 – her wedding dress was amazing so I asked her what she ended up doing with her. Her response; “I burned it.” … Yup! She burned her wedding dress when she was 24.
The reality of our trip down to the beach destination with 80-degree weather all week was that we only made it to the beach once and only went swimming once at the condo (and at 9 o’clock at night). Friday we went to lunch and did the Conway Riverwalk in between visits at the nursing home. Saturday was all day at the nursing home with a quick shopping trip to the Tanger Outlets before dinner with the extended family.
We also got to visit with my cousin and her three boys, who are an absolute treat and love B – they were super fun to see how much they’ve grown up, their personalities and sheer sweetness they give us for only seeing them every so often! We soaked up as much time with them from jokes, to hugs, hide and seek, giggles and cuddles on top of being able to see my cousin and aunt and uncle who live down there too.
So although Myrtle Beach is often a beach retreat for many others, we go to see family who can’t travel to see us and hope to offer a little ray of sunlight to her probably lonely and long days at the nursing home.
Do you have a ‘vacation’ destination like this? Comment below!
We just got back from Myrtle Beach and it wasn’t maybe the typical trip you would expect when you’re going to a beach destination capital – but more on that later *smiles*. So for any of those folks who can’t do the beach 5-days in a row – because let’s face it, my parents are those people and that is who we go down to MB with – here are some fun alternatives to still enjoy the weather and beach vibes that Myrtle Beach has to offer without the beach.
(1) Murrles Inlet. This spot screams adventure, from kayak to jet ski rentals or a chartered deep sea fishing excursion – this spot has endless views and dining options. Not to mention, Goat Island! With perfect views from Drunken Jack’s, Goat Island and the rest of the inlet offer entertainment even when you’re on shore.
(2) Conway Riverwalk. This quaint town along the Waccamaw River is not only walkable but shopable and has great restaurants. The Riverwalk is the perfect after lunch walking spot to admire the scenic views of the river in this historic southern town – we dined at the Riverside Bistro one afternoon before walking the route!
(3) Myrtle Beach State Park. Slight disclaimer – if you’re planning to do the beach, this is the place to go! With a private boardwalk, gift shop, ice cream and moderately busy beach – you won’t be fighting for a front row spot to the water or sunshine. Beyond the beach, there are cabins for rent or you can camp at the campsite. There is also a Nature Center and natural trail.
(4) Golfing. With over 80 golf courses, this golf capital of the world offers a plethora of golfing options from budget golfing to high end top notch destinations. We always stay in condos on golf courses and enjoy the scenery while my dad and B swoon over the course. This past time we stayed on the International World Tour Golf Course and it was definitely a stunner.
(5) Shopping at Tanger Outlets. Who doesn’t love shopping? Especially when it’s outlet shopping! With stores like Nike, Loft, Columbia, GAP, Coach, J.Crew, Adidas and Eddie Bauer there is something for everyone and plenty of discounts to take advantage of. This getaway from the beach is perfect for a little retail therapy on vacay!
Coming off of our trip, we left just before any sort of Hurricane Dorian weather started to affect the area – although there were rip tides and the king tide that affected the beach and weather. As of Saturday, the beach was closed due to double red flags — so in this case it’s good to have a backup plan or two! Also keep in mind, hurricane season begins June 1 and ends November 30 – but always seems to hit September – November.
The month of August has been a constant whirlwind and we still have almost two weeks left! The weekends have been packed from weekend trips, to birthday parties and girls meet ups. On top of the weekends, the week nights have also been jammed packed, back to back, leading right into the weekends – I’m honestly exhausted! But, as exhausting as it’s all been, it’s been a lot of fun, with great moments, so here’s a quick round-up so far.
The first weekend in August was spent back home celebrating my brother and sister-in-laws baby shower! It was a busy weekend, as I was helping mom with a lot of the party details as I was in charge of the woodland themed decor, while also making sure the shower went off without a hitch. Family and friends traveled in from near and far to celebrate and spoil the parents to be and future baby girl. After the shower, the little bit of the weekend left was spent with extended and immediate family during this quick 36-hour trip.
Weekend #2 was a little less busy? We hosted dear friends on Friday night, grilled out and enjoyed a beautiful evening on the patio, we even had s’mores! It is always great catching up with those two and we’re always thankful for the time we get to spend with them especially now that they have a little one! Saturday, I got together with the girls, we went for a hike through the park and got our monthly catch-up in. Again, the time with these girls is so precious as we’re all in different stages of our life, Beks has two beautiful little kiddos, A is expecting her first and I am just living life.
The rest of Saturday, B and I were able to actually relax, take a nap, grab a bite to eat and watch our shows. Our Sunday was crazy, as we were double booked with bday parties, that weren’t so close geographically. Our nieces’ 4th bday (unfortunately I can only post photos of the delicious sweets due to political reasons) was earlier in the day and then we went to a surprise 60th to a dear family friend. Both parties were fun, we got lots of time in with the 4th birthday princess and then helped pull off a successful surprise party and laughed the night away.
Weekend #3 – We headed back home again this time on Thursday night so that I could get my wisdom teeth out Friday morning! It was something I wasn’t looking forward to doing, but was told it should and needed to be done. I opted for no gas, so after the procedure was done, mom and I ran a few errands before heading back to the house to ‘rest.’ Saturday the guys went golfing, while Mom and I did a few more errands for a project she asked for my help out – a closet makeover for my brother’s baby nursery (which turned out amazing.) The rest of the weekend was fairly low key, as I tried to eat soft food, iced my face and did salt water rinses for my wisdom teeth post op care.
In between all of these weekends there has been week night dinners, after work functions, work summer outings, hair cuts, running errands, a few runs, walks with Moz and reality TV. The rest of August is still jammed packed, but more of that will be shared with you all soon! xox
It’s HOT in the SUMMER and oh how I love it, so much! So let my latest obsessions, summer edition continue into the month of July – because I am just eating it all up. One thing about summer is it always makes me want to travel, and coming fresh off a trip the travel bug is still lingering, hot! On the opposite side of that, because the weather has been so great we’ve been loving our outdoor living space and soaking up as much sun and summer nights as possible in our own backyard oasis.
Summer 2020 Travel Plans: With a bigger trip falling through that we had on our radar for next summer, my wheels have already started turning for another big trip or multiple little ones to fill in the gap. 2020 is going to be a big year – so as much as I hate thinking about it and rushing away 2019, it is definitely going to be one that calls for some planning! Speaking of 2019 – we still have a few more trips queued up and are still swooning from the west coast, lush Portland was definitely an awesome trip!
Our Backyard Oasis: We’ve been a bit obsessed with our back patio and using it as much as possible, from eating dinner, snacks, to late nights sitting with music playing and drinks flowing until it’s time for bed! On the weekends, it’s honestly been weird to sit around inside for too long unless it’s first thing in the morning. Moz loves it too, she gets all the sun spots!
Running Routine: I’m slowly getting back into my running and fitness routine! It’s been a slow start to 2019 and even slower start this summer – my June Fitness Friday post shares the latest updates from pulling my back, to physical therapy and now getting back to it. Although this might be one thing I don’t love about summer, is running in the heat – so I’m pushing through and making myself still run!
What’re your favorite things about summer?
It’s no secret one of my favorite things about traveling is all the good food involved. Normally I’m researching months and weeks in advance of a trip, but I admittedly was a bit more relaxed with this trip, knowing we were visiting two new locals who love good food — while also knowing D is an amazing hostess and chef. This trip also had no shortage of champagne and local beers.
Ambonnay Champagne Bar: This cozy and quaint champagne bar was a bit off the beaten path (at least it seemed to be for me), but ended up being the perfect little spot for pre-dinner drinks, conversation and yummy champagne of course! With a rotating menu of different, hand sourced champagnes you can’t go wrong especially if you are a champagne connoisseur – we simply described our preferred bubbly finish and the lovely owner recommended a delicious glass… or two!
We’re fresh off a trip back from PDX aka Portland, Oregon! Our really good friends (F&D) and former neighbs moved out there at the end of March — so we just had to get out there for a visit and to see their new city! Our trip was a good mix of catching up, exploring the city and their neighborhood while also seeing some of the beautiful nature spots that Oregon has to offer from Mt. Hood to the Hood River, local markets, the Rose Gardens and all those historic Portland signs.
Highlight #1: Downtown Farmers Market + Rose Gardens — On our first day in, we explored a local farmers market with all of these fresh local vegetables, fruits and luscious flowers. One thing I was not expecting from PDX was the amount of greenery, beautiful flowers and all the fresh LOCAL fruits. It was pretty incredible and not to mention delicious as D stocked up for the week ahead on delicious treats.
We got lucky this past weekend with an extra day making it a long weekend visiting the family back home. The weekends are already jam packed, so the extra day was much needed and allowed a bit more time to relax and do some normal running around with the parents.
Mom and I went to the local nursery where she picked out some flowers to plant around the house, which I was able to get for her as a belated Mother’s Day present! Growing up, we always went this local farm to pick out flowers to plant around the house, so it was nostalgic while also realizing some things never change – like this little local green house, the owners, the flowers and the fact that my mom can’t make a decision even when she’s shopping for flowers! But it’s all those little things that never change that made the trip with Mom a memorable one.
With the extra day, beyond the flower shopping, I was able to help mom with some decorating around the house (which she never lets me do!) we shopped a yard sale and we were even able to get all her new flowers planted and ready for spring! B and my dad went golfing, to a golf demo day and up to the local brewery – so they definitely stayed busy, while Mom and I got extra one on one time in.