Your 2017 Favorites

Happy Sunday. Boy has it been a weekend on this end. Per usual, we bit off a bit more than we could handle. We were inspired by Emily Ley’s book, A Simplified Life, and organized five rooms in our home. By the time we finished today we had 17 bags to donate, 6 bags of trash, and 6 spotless closets. It feels AMAZING! The task left us a bit exhausted, as it was also combined with hosting our friends Laura & Matt as well as a fussier-than-normal baby. Based on lots of feedback from friends on Instagram, it seems that her fussiness and spitup could be a combination of teething and eating too much since we’re now introducing solids. Over the next two days we are going to try pacing her bottles better and keeping her solid foods very simple just to eliminate any allergies, sensitivities, or other issues.

For today’s post, I thought it would be fun to share some of our and your favorite things from 2017. For your ease and enjoyment, I’m dividing this post into sections including fashion, baby, recipes, books, and posts.

Books – I spent more time reading last year, though many of the books were parent or baby focused. My goal is to read 40 books this year! In order to reach that goal, I will have to stick with my plan of disconnecting and reading before bed as well as during travel and anytime I commute.

  • Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
  • The Dollhouse
  • All the Light We Cannot See
  • Present Over Perfect

Parenting/Baby Focused

  • Happiest Baby on the Block
  • Mom’s On Call
  • Bringing Up Bebe
  • The Fifth Trimester

Recipes – Based on blog traffic and pins, these were my top five recipes last year even though some are more than four years old!

Posts – These were my top five blog posts last year, based on traffic.

Fashion– Based on ShopStyle clicks and purchases, these were the top 5 items you all purchased after seeing them on the blog!

Beauty – These were my favorite beauty purchases last year and many of you purchased the same based on the ShopStyle clicks and feedback!

Baby – These are the top five things that we’ve loved during Katie’s first six months of life. There are so many more items but these are the ones that JUMPED to the top when Bo and I discussed this list.

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored and instead is a list of the things of my favorite things this week. As normal, it includes lots of beauty and fashion items which means there are a few affiliate links via ShopStyle. It takes time and money to maintain a blog so I thank you for the support and few cents that come from clicking through the links!

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My 2018 Goals

New Years Goals

As 2017 came to a close, I took time to reflect on 2017 and look forward to 2018. Now that we are a family of three, my priorities have evolved. Based on these changing priorities, I have decided to put goals in place for 2018 instead of resolutions.  Instead of choosing resolutions that are hard to maintain or achieve, which inevitably that will stress me out, I’ve tried to review the areas of my life and put small, achievable, realistic goals in place. Since it is hard to stay accountable, especially over 52 weeks, I hope to check in on a monthly basis.

1) Disconnect more. While I plan to continue my blog and social media presence, I want to ensure that I take time to energize myself and allow enough time to engage with friends and family. I did a great job disconnecting during a few weekends and then over the holidays but I want to make a more conscious effort moving forward. I have seen a few cartoons recently which put into perspective how children can perceive their parent’s attachment to the iPhone and I want to ensure that I am fully engaged when I’m with Katie. Other than capturing the occasional picture or video, I want to do a better job focusing 100% of my attention on her versus multi-tasking.  However, this engagement is important not only with my daughter but also to ensure I’m showing my friends, family, and co-workers the respect they deserve as well. There is no reason my phone can’t be put away when I’m interacting with actual PEOPLE face to face as that should always take priority. 

2) Train and run a 5k, 10k and a half marathon. I’m not trying to PR these races but I love running and would like to get back to running at 2-3 days per week as well as running with friends and local moms. My weekly goal is to run with the local Brooklyn moms each Thursday morning when I’m not traveling. In addition to those 3-4 miles, I hope to log a longer run one day per week. As Katie gets older, I may consider a jogging stroller, but for now, my goal would be to run either in the morning before she wakes up or at a time when Bo can watch her during the weekend. As I find this balance, I think it’s smart to focus on shorter distances as I become tempted by Spring races. Once I can train and run a 5k or 4-mile race, then I can look towards longer distances. The first race I’m contemplating is the NYRR Al Gordon 4-miler as it is in Prospect Park, just a few minutes away from our apartment and allows for almost 2 months of training! 

3) Survive a 90-minute FLY class or do a double. Now that Bo and I invested in our health and gave ourselves the gift of a FlyAnywhere Flywheel bike for Christmas, this will be a frequent workout choice. In order to ensure I’m challenging myself, I want to make it a goal to graduate from 30 and 45-minute classes to 60, 75 and finally a 90- minute class. My goal is to carve out time for a 60-minute class at the end of January! And yes, since so many people continue to ask, Bo and I will share more about our experience with our FlyAnywhere bike in a dedicated post later this month.

4) Continue reading each night before bed. I did a great job putting my phone and computer away for thirty minutes during December and spending the time reading. In fact, my evening ritual was to sip decaffeinated tea, apply relaxing hand lotion, a face mask, light a candle, and curl up with a book for 30 minutes. This relaxing ritual did wonders for me mentally during this chaotic period and is something I want to continue in the new year. This change helps me sleep better and feel more productive since I was able to read 3.5 books last month. I just finished the Seven Husband of Evelyn Hugo and am still reading Katharine Graham’s Personal Historybut I would love to hear your recommendations as I continue to carve out this “me time” each day. 

5) Practice yoga once per month. This sounds crazy but I really miss yoga and know that weekly practice may not be realistic at this time, BUT I can definitely make time for it at least once per month, especially if I can combine it with girlfriend time.  Once upon a time, I practiced yoga 1-2 times per week and loved the way it made me feel mentally and physically. Since there are FIFTEEN yoga studios within a mile of our apartment, I hope to take at least once class per month and will prioritize heated classes at studios like Tangerine, Heatwise and Brooklyn Yoga Project since this is the style I like most. 

6) Blog at least two times per week and share updates via Instagram at least five times per week including more Instagram stories/videos. Even though the blogging world has evolved since I first launched this blog in 2010, I love sharing my life with you all and have no plans to move to an Instagram only platform. Even though I’ve admittedly had a tough time finding my rhythm since returning to work, I believe that this was to be expected and is something that many of you understand as you face similar challenges in your own lives. Based on comments and traffic, you all have the most interest in my Friday Favorites, Katie Updates, Coffee Dates and Training Plans/Workout updates. I will do my best to prioritize these topics as I carve out time each week to blog.  

7) Invest in my relationship with Bo and do our best to enjoy one date per month, whether it is a date night or day date.  Originally, we were going to enjoy a 24-hour vacation in Charleston over the holidays while our parents watched Katie. But, since Katie and I were both sick over the holidays, we canceled this trip. So far we have had two date nights – one in November at a local restaurant and one in December for his company holiday party. Since we have two different babysitters we know and trust, I’d like to make a January date a priority to schedule for a Saturday later this month. Since there are so many amazing movies out right now, maybe we will change things up a do a casual dinner followed by a movie. 

Your turn – What are your resolutions or goals for 2018?

Photo credit Anna Rachel Photography

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Gift Guide – For Your Friends Who Love to Workout

Gift Guide for Runners

Each year, I put together a gift guide for runners and friends who like to sweat.  This year, every item on the list below is something that I either own and love or have on my own wishlist. Keep in mind, since there are only a few days until Christmas, these are items that are available either in-store or via express shipping.

Epson 307 GPS

  • Epson ProSense 307 Multisport Watch – Over the years I’ve tried a number of different GPS watches and this is hands-down my favorite. I’ve used the watch for outdoor and indoor runs, HIIT workouts and even spin classes and I’m amazed with the accuracy of the GPS and the HR monitor. The watch is very intuitive and I never found myself confused on how to set, program or use the watch. The battery is better than any I’ve tried, lasting through many workouts and even daily wear while running errands or tracking steps. If you want to give it as a gift for a loved one or to yourself, make sure to use the code DIAMOND17 for free 2-day shipping and a discount!
  • Brooks LSD Jacket – This jacket is perfect for running or outdoor workouts all year-round as it is wind & rain resistant while still being light enough to tie around your waist or stash in a pocket or bag. I love that it’s available in 8 fun colors.
  • Athleta Criss Cross Sweatshirt – The detail on this sweatshirt makes it perfect for errands or going to and from workouts. Available in 9 colors and a range of fits and sizes, I would love to open the rain check color on Christmas morning.
  • Sarah Marie Designs Kinda Wanna Run Sweatshirt – This is the coziest sweatshirt I own and therefore was one of the first things I packed in my bag for Savannah. Whether I’m working from home, running errands, or dashing to a workout you can expect to see me wearing this sweatshirt multiple times per week.
  • Brooks Threshold Glove – I have sworn by these gloves for winter running the past few winters. The water-resistant and windproof mitten cover keeps hands warm and dry while the tech-friendly glove fingers allow you to easily switch to the next song or check your splits on your watch.
  • YurBuds Inspire Sport Earphones – Four years later, I still love running with my Yurbuds.  I never have to adjust my headphones or worry about them falling out.
  • Ahava Bath Salts – I love these naturally healing, lavender bath salts after a workout or stressful week.
  • Trigger Point Mini Grid Foam Roller – This little guy is the perfect foam roller for everyone. It’s cheaper than others, is small enough to bring on trips but still gets all the knots. Everyone, regardless their fitness or running level, can benefit from foam rolling!
  • Brooks Run Happy Hat – I wear this hat throughout the year and love the Run Happy logo on front as well as the comfortable fit and sweat-wicking material.
  • Sweaty Betty Ear Warmer – This fleece, colorful ear warmer protects your ears from the winter weather while holding your hair in place.  I bought the black version three years ago, while living abroad, and where it for both running and cold, winter errands and commutes.


Disclaimer: Thank you to Epson for partnering with me on this sponsored post. As always, all opinions are my own. 


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