Happy Wednesday, team! How’s your week going? Mine is good—I feel like we are right on the cusp of spring and that makes me so, so happy!
My friend Emma was in town last Thursday through Sunday, and we had the best time eating and drinking our way through DC. It’s always nice to host a friend in town and make it a staycation in your own city. All of our good times combined with the time change have left me lagging this week, but luckily, it’s all downhill from here. This coming weekend, my fun Aunt is in town, so I am going to hang with my family on Friday night, and then it’s one of my good friend’s 30th birthdays on Saturday! Though I have a few plans to look forward to, I’m also glad I’ll have some downtime to regroup and work on the blog.
It’s been a hot second since our last life lately, so I thought I’d share a few things on my mind. Please let me know what’s going on in your life lately and share any random thoughts, things you’re loving, or really whatever comes to mind.
PS—original post from the photo above is here.
DO YOU READ BLOGS ANYMORE? /
Though I always keep tabs on my favorite bloggers on Instagram, lately, I’ve really been making a point to read their blog posts again. Of course, I never completely quit reading blogs, but over the past few years, I fell out of habit of checking most of my favorite blogs everyday. The hustle and bustle of life got in the way, and I could catch the highlight reels on social media as a way to “skim” my favorites and read only the posts they shared that looked interesting.
Since starting my new job, I have a 30-minute train ride to work and, luckily, have cell phone service the whole way. While maybe I should be using that time to read a physical book, I’ve found myself using the time to read blog posts again—and I love it! Though social media is great, I love that blogs really allow for long-form content to be created and shared, and especially love when I find posts that resonates with me, shares something interesting, or introduces me to something new. Falling back in love with traditional blogs and reading blog posts on a daily basis has really made me think about writing the blog I’d want to read. When I think about creating content using that lens, it makes blogging so much easier—and, lately, I’ve had no shortage of blog post ideas. (I’m just short on time to write them!)
I’ve been blogging for almost five years (!) now, and of course, have gone through so much since then. Naturally, there have been times when I’ve been super passionate about writing my blog, and other times where I wasn’t as much, but kept at it because I knew I’d find that passion again. I’m excited to have a reinvigorated sense of creativity around A Touch of Teal, and hoping I can re-prioritize it in my life—especially as it gets warmer out and the days are longer, both of which make it easier to take great photos, which I think always elevates content.
JARED FREID LIVE AT THE KEN CEN /
On Saturday night, Emma, Laura, Sarah, and I went to the Kennedy Center to see our favorite comic, Jared Freid, do standup. For those of you unfamiliar, Jared is the host of two of my favorite podcasts—J-Train and U Up. On his podcasts, he’s hilarious and gives such honest advice about modern dating, friend relationships, and life generally. I don’t see a ton of standup comedy, but whenever I do, I always tell myself I should make a point to go see it more often. Our whole crew was dying laughing the whole time, and Jared was so gracious to us after when he did a meet and greet with fans.
The Kennedy Center regularly hosts comedy programming if you’re looking for a fun way to switch up your weekend plans! Our tickets to Jared were also very affordable—under $25 each. The wine at the Ken Cen, well, that’s another story.
NEW TV SHOW TO BINGE /
After Emma left this Sunday, I really wanted to spend a lazy afternoon on my couch watching a TV show, but I’m all caught up on the shows I watch live—which, right now, are just This Is Us and A Million Little Things. This fall, I binge watched Younger and Bold Type, but since then, basically watched Friends or cheesy Hallmark Christmas. So I decided it was high time to find another TV show to watch. I asked for recommendations on Instagram Stories for a new TV show and settled on Victoria, which is a Masterpiece Collection show about the life of Queen Victoria. I loved Downton Abbey and The Crown, and am loving this one, too.
In case you’re in the market, some of my favorite tv shows have been Friday Night Lights, Gilmore Girls, Downton Abbey, Younger, The Bold Type, The Crown, Queer Eye, Parenthood, Hart of Dixie, Scandal, and Everwood (talk about a throwback!).
The shows recommended to me on Instagram were Grace and Frankie, Jane the Virgin, Schitt’s Creek, The Americans, Dynasty, Call the Midwife, Good Place, Cheer Squad, Friends from College, The Good Wife, Desperate Housewives, and Girlfriends Guide to Divorce.
That being said, I’d love to hear what shows your loving lately if it’s not listed above! I’m not big on fantasy or violence.
SOUL CYCLE /
If you follow me on Instagram (or you are my credit card statement), you know that my workout routine lately has pretty much been Soul Cycle exclusively lately. I still go to my favorite spin studio in Clarendon about once a week, but since I no longer work out in Arlington, it’s not as convenient for me as it used to be. I started going to Soul Cycle on the weekends earlier this year as a way to treat myself and manage my stress from the week so I can feel like the best version of myself.
Now, I’ve started to add some classes into my weekday schedule, too, because I love riding there so much. Even though it’s stupid expensive, it’s worth it to me, and, truthfully, way cheaper than most happy hours I’ve been to. The bikes are the highest quality around—the resistance knob is so smooth. Their classes are usually pretty packed, which makes for incredible energy. The room is dark, so I can really just focus on doing me and zone out from everything going on in my life. And the instructors, I think, are the most professional around—the music they choose is awesome, and I love that they don’t over-instruct the classes by queuing you in for every single move. Above all, I always think to myself during the middle of the workout, “damn, I am having fun.” If you aren’t having fun, what’s the point? We get to choose how we work out, and I’m of the mindset it shouldn’t be torture—life is too short, and, if you hate it, you won’t keep up with it anyway.
My favorite Soul Cycle instructor (Cher, for you DC locals!) also gives great inspirational nuggets of wisdom in her class that really make me think. Lately, a phrase she’s been repeating is “it costs $0 to not be an ass hole,” and I love that.
HOW DO YOU PRACTICE SELF CARE EVERY DAY? /
I considered writing a whole post about this topic, because it was on my mind all the time right after Thanksgiving, but decided I wasn’t sure I had enough to say to merit a full post. So I wanted to share some thoughts on self care here.
To back it up, I found out the week of Thanksgiving that I was offered my new job, and quit my job right after the holiday. During that time, my anxiety was through the roof—I was nervous about the unknown future and sad about leaving people I’d worked alongside for 5+ years.
I wanted to close out my job in the absolute best way possible—I worked to finish any open projects, I wrote how-tos for any functions at my old job that no one else on my team knew how to do, I held transition meetings with my teammates and business partners, and I wrote 70+ handwritten thank you notes to express my gratitude. On top of all that, I was dealing with my aforementioned nerves around starting my new job, planning a trip to San Antonio (so much of the joy of traveling for me comes from the research phase!), and it was the holiday season, which meant there were a ton of social events on my calendar.
During that time, every morning, I’d wake up, and ask myself how I could make my life easier today and practice self care. Many days, I found that meant buying my favorite breakfast sandwich that brought me so much joy. (DC locals, it’s the malibu melt with chipotle chili at Sweetleaf—there’s not one near my new office or apartment and I crave this sandwich all the time!) Some days, I found it meant Instacarting wine to take to holiday parties. Other days, I found it meant ordering household supplies I could easily pick up at my CVS on Amazon Prime. And nearly every day, I found it meant I let myself skip making my bed.
Getting wild over here, I know.
But the thing is, I have always been the type of person to make my bed every morning. Even as a little kid, I always made my bed—even when were on our family beach vacation at the rental house. It was a non-negotiable for me. (While we’re on the topic, if you want to hear a great speech on why you should make your bed everyday, I love this, but I digress.) But when I was struggling a bit to stay above water, making my bed just seemed so inconsequential. It was one less thing I had to do everyday. One less thing to add to the to-do list. And not making the bed didn’t impact my day negatively at all. Cutting the task out probably only saved me two minutes every morning, but it lifted a much heavier weight off.
And truthfully? Now I really only make my bed when I have people over.
UPCOMING TRAVEL /
You know me, I never stay put for too long! My first trip this year was to Austin, Texas, which was a great way to kick off 2019 travel as it was high on my bucket list for a long time. And, earlier this month, I went to New York City for a quick one-night work trip. I’m heading back up to NYC in April for another quick work trip, but hope to make it back for a long weekend sometime later this summer so I can see all my favorite New Yorkers. (It’s hard to catch up with friends on a work trip when you’re only in town for a night!)
At the end of this month, I was invited to a media stay for a night at Morrison House in Old Town Alexandria. They’re launching a fun new program I can’t wait to share with you all—I think you’ll find it to be right up my alley! My sister Jennifer is coming with me again and resuming her role as my photographer, or as we call her, my faux-tographer. It’s no secret I love Old Town and I’m excited to have a reason to make the short trip down there. Even though it’s so close to DC, it has such a different vibe, and being right on the water, it’s such a calming place.
Early next month, I’m heading to Minneapolis, Minnesota to work the Final Four. I’ve never been to Minnesota before—it’ll be state number 30 for me!—and I’ve never been to the Final Four before, either. It will be a ton of work, but I think it will be a lot of fun, too, and I’m so excited for the opportunity.
After that, I’m looking forward to getting some summer travels lined up! My sisters and I are planning a trip to Quebec City, Canada and my family is heading to Atlanta, Georgia for my cousin’s wedding, but I’d love to get a trip back up to New England on my calendar since I had so much fun in Newport last summer.
That’s what’s been going on my world lately—drop me a note to let me know what’s going on in your world or if there are any posts you’d love for me to write: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Personally I adore reading blogs. It’s how I start my morning everyday and I find it so calming and a nice ritual that I’ve had going for about 8 (!!) years now. I use Feedly to keep track of all my blogs, and they have an app which makes them easy to scroll through on my phone. Highly recommend it. Also, YAY that you’re coming to NYC soon, and I never make my bed and I have no regrets!! LOL
That is such a great ritual — I am glad it is coming back into my life, too! I will definitely hit you up when I am in NYC and so glad I have a fellow no-bed maker! x
As I’ve been trying to spend less time on my phone, I’ve gone back to reading blogs more frequently as well. Similar to you, I prefer reading blogs too. I have found myself skipping over posts from full-time bloggers (not all, but most) and enjoying those from part-time, hobby or side hustle bloggers. Maybe it’s because they seem more attainable, but I look forward and appreciate posts from bloggers with smaller audiences more.
I *completely* agree about full time vs. part time bloggers! I find those who are doing it on the side to be way less desperate and maybe I just relate to them more because I am also working full time! If you have any favorite “smaller” bloggers, let me know – I’d love to add some new people to my rotation.
I love reading blogs! Yours especially 🙂 I go through a rotation of all of my favorite blogs at work during lunch. I also gave up IG for Lent because a) I was straight up addicted and b) I don’t want to be the new mom on my phone all the time. Reading blogs is such a great way to stay connected to others and gain new insights.
Thank you so much – so good to hear from you! Just sent you a quick note.
I love that you love SoulCycle!! It has been the one constant since moving, and I’m so thankful for it!
YAY! I am so glad it is in Houston — it makes such a difference in my life in such a positive way! x
I’m so glad you are feeling inspired. It’s really cool that reading other people’s blogs can spark our own creativity! I couldn’t agree more that it helps you see what you enjoy reading.
Thank you so much — you summed it up perfectly.
Girl! They’re opening up a soulcycle in clarendon marketplace – it’s right next to the apple and origins stores! I’m super pumped because I work in Courthouse and had to walk alll the way to OTF Clarendon to get in a workout lol.
As for TV shows, we have the EXACT same taste in shows. Younger and the Bold Type are my jam, although I didn’t keep up as religiously over the last year or so. Strongly second Jane the Virgin, the Americans, and Girlfriends Guide to Divorce. GGTD is more in line with the low-stress, high-entertainment content of The Bold Type and Younger. 🙂
YES! I am very excited about that new Soul Cycle — can’t wait to ride there. Thank you so much for your recs — I am adding GGTD right to the top of my lists since you compared to The Bold Type and Younger!