Hello + happy Monday! I am lucky enough to have the day off work today, and while we aren’t too far removed from that nice holiday break, I was really grateful for a three day-weekend! I worked 12 days straight because of the College Football National Championship (more on that below!), and while it was really fun work, it’s nice to have a few days just to relax and catch up on my personal life.
This weekend has been a fun one—on Saturday, my friend Diana was in town, so her, Monica, and me went to Le Diplomate for brunch. Diana used to report on the royal family at People and is an expert on the Windsor family, so it was perfect timing that Queen Elizabeth dropped her most recent statement on Meghan and Harry right before we went to brunch. After brunch, it was so rainy and cold, I settled in on my couch for a marathon of classics on Disney+, including Jungle 2 Jungle, The Lizzie McGuire Movie, and Remember the Titans. Then on Sunday, I went to my oldest friend’s baby shower and out to BBQ with the family to celebrate my day’s birthday!
Today I am just hanging out and heading to Soul Cycle a little bit later—so I thought it’d be fun to check-in and share a little bit about what’s going on in my life lately.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP /
At my day job, I do PR across some really fun sports, dining, and entertainment events, and was lucky enough to staff the College Football National Championship this year. The game was played on Monday, January 13 in New Orleans, and I headed down the Saturday before to do some prep work on the ground and settle in before game day. This was my third trip to New Orleans—you can read about my past trips here and here!—and I was really glad it was not my first time in the Big Easy. Unsurprisingly, big sporting events like National Championship Games bring a lot of people into town, and had it been my first time to New Orleans, I think I would have been overwhelmed/turned off by the crowds and extreme partying. I’d wager a bet Mardi Gras is way crazier, but I am glad I had gotten to experience New Orleans on a “normal” weekend before walking into what was essentially a three-day tailgate.
On Saturday and Sunday, I had a work obligations, but was still able to enjoy Bourbon Street with my coworkers, enjoy my favorite gumbo at Kingfish, and try one of the hottest new restaurants in town, Sofia. I also caught the most amazing golden hour over the mighty Mississippi and Jackson Square, which is anchored by the beautiful St. Louis Cathedral. And, of course, no trip to New Orleans is complete without beignets. This time, I tried Cafe Beignet instead of my usual Cafe du Monde, and was really impressed! Cake for breakfast? Sign me up!
Monday was truly a work day for me, but it was fun work—and one of my assignments was going to the Championship Tailgate concert, which was a free concert for anyone in New Orleans ahead of the game. Judah & the Lion opened, and then Tim McGraw played an incredible hour-long set riddled with all his hits. Being a Louisiana native, he had on this wild LSU bomber jacket. This was my second time seeing Tim McGraw live (the first time was when he was on tour with Faith Hill!), and he is an incredible performer—I would highly recommend hitting one of his concerts this summer! After Championship Tailgate wrapped up, we headed to the game, which was held in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. An iconic stadium, I was excited to attend a game there—but something that weighed heavily on me when I was there was how many people suffered in the building during Hurricane Katrina. I am definitely praying for their peace.
The game itself was really fun—and the stadium was so, so loud! I could barely hear my coworkers next to me, so I have no idea how the teams communicate on the field. My sister Lindsey goes to Clemson so I was #AllIn on Dabo’s Tigers, but since Baton Rouge is about an hour away from NOLA, there were definitely way more LSU Tigers in the city and at the game. The atmosphere was really lively, and everyone was really cordial—”go Tigers!” was a popular phrase since it applied to both teams, and a lot of storefronts and restaurants made really cute signs with this battle cry. I, of course, was bummed Clemson didn’t win—but it was really LSU’s year. They played an incredible game with a legendary QB and had the home team advantage—one of their team hype songs is Calling Baton Rouge, and I don’t hate that, either!
I am really lucky that my career has brought me some incredible opportunities—things that I would have never imagined when I graduated college or even just a couple of years ago. My life is nothing like I imagined it would be ten years ago, but it is a lot better than anything I could have dreamed up. I work really hard and push my comfort zone when I can, and it’s nice when those things pay off.
CHEER ON NETFLIX /
Every year during the month of December, I feel like I forgo TV series in lieu of all the cheesy Christmas movies, but then by the time January rolls around, I’m like “what do I watch now?!” since all the normal TV shows aren’t back on the air yet. If you read my last life lately post, you know I was on a Keeping Up With the Kardashian kick there for a little while, but then I caught up to real-time and once again, was like “what do I watch now?!”
Luckily for me, right around the time I wrapped up watching KUWTK, Netflix dropped their docuseries Cheer. Done by the same director as Last Chance U, it follows Navarro College Cheer for a season and is so good. My sister, Jennifer, was involved in competitive and high school cheer, and now is a high school cheer coach, so cheerleading is always something that has been a part of our family. Cheer is so well done—it shows the athleticism of the sport, explores the hardships many of the members of the team have had to endure, and makes you really want to root for them. I watched it all in a day and have seriously considered re-watching it.
NON-DRY JANUARY /
LOL, y’all—ask me how Dry January is going! New Orleans was no match for my Dry January pact with myself, and I caved the second day I was there. When on Bourbon Street, right? After that, it was hard to get back on the bandwagon, especially when my first social plans back in the district were Thursday night tacos and margs with friends.
Although I didn’t stick with Dry January this year for the full month, abstaining for almost two weeks was a great reset after the holiday season. Despite my best intentions every year, December is always jam packed with social occasions where I find myself eating and drinking more than usual. I gained a few Christmas pounds, but am back to my normal weight now that I’ve been making more of an effort to get back into my healthy-ish diet and cut down on drinking.
Candidly, part of the reason why I was doing Dry January was to lose some weight. When I did it two years ago, I lost five pounds without changing anything else about my diet and exercise routine. I’ve gained about 10-12 pounds over the last two years and would love to get back to my old normal weight. That being said, the last two years I prioritized other things—finding a new job and then getting settled at my new job, both of which were stressful and I know when I am stressed, my body holds onto weight. This year, I think I can make it more of a priority, and while I fell off the bandwagon for Dry January, I think it was a great reset and reminded me how easy it is to skip those post-work drinks when you want to!
UPCOMING TRAVEL /
My youngest sister, Lindsey, turns 21 in March, and we have long talked about taking a sisters trip together to Vegas to celebrate the fun milestone. We coordinated our calendars and found a time in May that works for everyone, booked our flights, and then Jennifer found an amazing hotel deal that basically is allowing us to get three nights in a hotel for the price of one! I’ve never been to Vegas before, and while I know it’s a city you either love or hate, I am excited for a few days in the desert. Other than wanting to see the famous Vegas sign and take a Soul Cycle class, I don’t know much about Sin City—would love any recommendations you have! I’ve also never been to Nevada before, so that will be a new state off my list.
Then, in late May/early June, my friends Lauren, Molly, and I are heading to Europe, to visit our friend who is over there studying abroad! We’re still working out exact details of our trip and have a ton of flight alerts set—we’re keeping our fingers crossed that the flight in and out of Nice, France we found the other day drops back down to a reasonable price. We likely will visit two places (some combination of destinations in France/Italy) on our trip and spend about a week abroad. I haven’t been to Europe since I visited France, Italy, and Greece for three weeks in high school—and let’s just say, my fashion choices are a lot better now so you will not be seeing any throwbacks from that trip here, hah!
Other than that, my friend Emma and I have started to talk about our annual trip, which is one I look forward to every year—we’ve been to New Orleans (’16), San Francisco (’17), Key West (’18), and took a road trip through the south together (’19). We’ve started talking about where we want to go this year, and there are some really fun destinations in the mix! I can’t wait to see where we go!
That’s a look at what’s going on in my life lately! I saw a meme the other day that said how is it the 74th day of January, and that’s kind of how I feel. If we could have one really good snow day and then skip to spring, I’d be game for that. Hope you have a nice week! x