15 Chickflicks to Watch Tonight

15 Chickflicks to Watch Tonight

One of the saddest things of 2018 is the lack of chick flicks we’re producing these days. One of the staples of my childhood and teenage life was getting together with my best friends, or having a girl’s night with my mom, sisters, and grandma and aunts to watch a feel-good, cry your eyeballs out chick flick. And sadly,  I haven’t seen too many “I MUST GO SEE THIS” films coming out that represents what a 90s chick flick should be.

I’m a huge movie watcher, so I wanted to get together some of my favorite films that you can watch by yourself, with your bestie, or with your man for Valentine’s Day this year! And to my knowledge there are no Nicholas Sparks inspired movies on here. But there are a couple Julia Roberts movies mentioned because I think all good chick flicks should have Julia Robertson in them.

Cry Your Eyeballs Out

Steel Magnolias – 1989

This is the perfect “coming of age” movie in chick flicks, if you ask me. You deal with life, love, and loss. There are so many big named, amazing actresses in this movie and Sally Fields – she just takes the cake for her performance in this one.

PS I Love You – 2007

OK when I watched this for a second time in college, I started crying before the movie started, throughout the entirety of this film, and for 10 minutes after the movie ended. Granted, I was in a very dark place emotionally but if you need a cathartic movie – this is the one for you.

Happy Endings

Licensed to Wed – 2007

I don’t know how I just discovered this movie like a month ago, but it was recently added to Netflix so I watched it with my sister and Pai and we laughed the entire time! It features John Krasinski, Mandy Moore, and Robin Williams – so an A+ class in the comedy department.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding – 2002

I can watch this movie over and over and over again because it is so stinkin’ quirky, and quirky is my favorite. I also felt like it mirrored my life as I was planning our own intercultural wedding.

When Harry Met Sally – 1989

When Harry Met Sally has an R rating, so I didn’t watch it unitl I was a grown up, but as soon as it was over, I had to call my grandma as this is one of her favorite movies. We talked for a long time about love and marriage after watching this movie, so it holds a special place in my heart. The downside is it’s hard to hear Billy Crystal without thinking of Mikwasowski from Monster’s Inc.

Unconventional Endings

Me Before You – 2016

just watched this movie this week. I read the book last year and liked it, but didn’t think it was absolutely amazing. I would almost say I like the movie more than the book in this one! Louisa is so quirky and adorable, and the chemistry between her and Will Trainer is adorable. You’ll probably cry at the end.

LaLa Land – 2017

La La Land is a movie I need to own. Once I got past Emma Stone’s breathy singing, I fell in love with the head nod to 1960’s cinematography, and this is one modern day musical I can get behind. I love my chick flicks to be realistic, so the ending here was perfect for me.

15 Chickflicks to Watch Tonight

Quirky & Cute

500 Days of Summer – 2009

If there ever was a perfect casting choice, it was to put Zooey Deschanel across from Joseph Gordon Levitt. THEY ARE THE PERFECT AWKWARD COUPLE. I had no idea what to expect watching this movie in college, but I want to get my hands on it again because it is so perfect. Anytime I am at Ikea all I can think of is the line from this movie, “Honey, there’s an Asian family in our bathroom.”

About Time – 2013

I can’t mention chick flick movies without putting a movie on here with Rachel McAdams. If I’m being completely transparent with you guys, I don’t remember what this movie about (which is typical, this is why I get to watch movies over and over again) but I remember absolutely loving this one. It has time travel in it, so this is the second time Rachel McAdams is married to a time-traveler. Go figure.

Girl Power

Hidden Figures – 2016

Now that I’ve seen Empire, it’s hard to watch a movie with Taraji P Henson in it without imagining her screaming, “Lucious!” and banging someone with a broomstick. However, Hidden Figures is the perfect girl power movie – these ladies are smart and fierce. I love that this story is also based on a true story.

Mona Lisa Smile – 2003

I love it anytime Julia Roberts comes onto the scene. As a lady armed with a liberal arts degree and dreams of teaching one day, Mona Lisa Smile was the perfect feminist, liberal arts film.

The Help – 2011

Anytime you put Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer together, you have a power team. I love the bravery these ladies show in sharing their stories. Plus when a small town writer changes the world? It’s a great ending.

Movies You Can Watch With Your Man

Hitch – 2003

I am all here for Will Smith making us laugh. I have seen this movie more times than I can count, and a couple of those times have been with my husband and my parents. It’s the perfect rom-com to settle down with valentine.

Princess Bride – 1987

My husband didn’t initially think he would like Princess Bride, but after he sat down and watched it with me, he loved it! It’s corny, the hero saves the day, and it will make you laugh. This is a timeless classic you could watch even with your kids!

15 Chickflicks to Watch Tonight

What are your Valentine’s Day plans?

10 Books to Read for Black History Month

10 Books to Read for Black History Month

When Mr. M and I were in Memphis two weeks ago, we had the opportunity to go to the National Civil Rights Museum. It was an awe-inspiring afternoon, and we could have spent so much longer than the 3 hours we spent working our way through the museum.

The older I get, the more I am conscientious and appreciative that we take time to commemorate black history. It is unfortunate that we a) have to make a conscious effort to do so and b) that we relegate it into one month when it all should be integrated into America’s history. Although my husband was not born in America, he shows a deep understanding and appreciation of acknowledging the pain that encompasses the black community in American history, which has helped open my eyes to do so as well.

So what do you do if you don’t live an area of have any African-American/black friends? You can read! This is why I love books. It has helped open my eyes to to worlds that I would not have known otherwise. Today I’ve compiled 10 books to read during black history month. And let me make a disclaimer: I have not read all of these books yet. Almost all of them are on my bookshelf at home, and I am halfway through several of them. A few of these recommendations came from Mr. M, and a few of them came from NPR (because Fresh Air is my jam!)

10 Books to Read During Black History Month (2)

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 The Hate You Give – Angie Thomas

I just started this book last night and already got tears in my eyes during the first chapter. This is the perfect book club book – especially if everyone in your book club is white. This book is so important to read – especially during this era.

“Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.”

Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston

I fell in love with Zora Neal Hurston in my 20th century American literature class in college. Her short story, “Sweat” introduced me to her strong characters and the nuanced way she weaves love and life and insecurity amongst her characters.

“Their Eyes Were Watching God brings to life a Southern love story with the wit and pathos found only in the writing of Zora Neale Hurston. Out of print for almost thirty years—due largely to initial audiences’ rejection of its strong black female protagonist—Hurston’s classic has since its 1978 reissue become perhaps the most widely read and highly acclaimed novel in the canon of African-American literature.”

Beloved – Toni Morrison

This is a book I have picked up several times and never finished, but it is on my list of books to read this month during Black History Month. Toni Morrison is such a praised author, and her protagonist – who used to be a slave, brings us into her world of living post-slavery but still struggling with her identity.

“Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe’s new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement.”

Between the World and Me – Ta Nehisi Coates

This is also on my list to read this month, and I’m already bracing my heart. I got this book for Mr. M a couple years ago, and I have listened to several interviews and podcasts with Ta Nehisi Coates since. He speaks in such a raw and vulnerable way; I can understand his cynicism, but it also hurts to read if you’re a sensitive soul. 

“In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?

Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.”

Any and All Maya Angelou Autobiographies (Letters to My Daughter Listed Below)

I am really jealous because my husband lived in Winston-Salem once and heard Maya Angelou speak at the library before she passed away. I fell in love with Maya Angelou’s poetry and autobiographical works in college, and I think she intertwines pain and beauty in the same sentence in such a spectacular way.

“Dedicated to the daughter she never had but sees all around her, Letter to My Daughter reveals Maya Angelou’s path to living well and living a life with meaning. Here in short spellbinding essays are glimpses of the tumultuous life that taught Angelou lessons in compassion and fortitude: how she was brought up by her indomitable grandmother in segregated Arkansas, taken in at thirteen by her more worldly and less religious mother, and grew to be an awkward six-foot-tall teenager whose first experience of loveless sex paradoxically left her with her greatest gift, a son.

Whether she is recalling lost friends such as Coretta Scott King and Ossie Davis, extolling honesty, decrying vulgarity, explaining why becoming a Christian is a “lifelong endeavor,” or simply singing the praises of a meal of red rice, Maya Angelou writes from the heart to millions of women she considers her extended family.”

The Color Purple – Alice Walker

It’s hard to think of the Color Purple without thinking of Oprah, but this is a classic in African-American literature. 

“Published to unprecedented acclaim, The Color Purple established Alice Walker as a major voice in modern fiction. This is the story of two sisters—one a missionary in Africa and the other a child wife living in the South—who sustain their loyalty to and trust in each other across time, distance, and silence. Beautifully imagined and deeply compassionate, this classic novel of American literature is rich with passion, pain, inspiration, and an indomitable love of life.”

Letters from Birmingham Jail – Martin Luther King Jr

Did you think I was going to list books to read during Black History Month without mentioning Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr? This is a short, but deep read from the profound MLK.

“The Letter from Birmingham Jail, also known as the Letter from Birmingham City Jail and The Negro Is Your Brother, is an open letter written on April 16, 1963, by Martin Luther King Jr. The letter defends the strategy of nonviolent resistance to racism. It says that people have a moral responsibility to break unjust laws and to take direct action rather than waiting potentially forever for justice to come through the courts. Responding to being referred to as an “outsider,” King writes, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”.”

The Color of Water – James McBride

I picked this book up last year, intrigued as I will be a white mother to black children one day. I loved reading about James McBride’s life and how he struggled with his identity, but was enveloped by the love of his mother. 

“Who is Ruth McBride Jordan? A self-declared “light-skinned” woman evasive about her ethnicity, yet steadfast in her love for her twelve black children. James McBride, journalist, musician, and son, explores his mother’s past, as well as his own upbringing and heritage, in a poignant and powerful debut, The Color Of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother.

The son of a black minister and a woman who would not admit she was white, James McBride grew up in “orchestrated chaos” with his eleven siblings in the poor, all-black projects of Red Hook, Brooklyn. “Mommy,” a fiercely protective woman with “dark eyes full of pep and fire,” herded her brood to Manhattan’s free cultural events, sent them off on buses to the best (and mainly Jewish) schools, demanded good grades, and commanded respect. As a young man, McBride saw his mother as a source of embarrassment, worry, and confusion—and reached thirty before he began to discover the truth about her early life and long-buried pain.

In The Color of Water, McBride retraces his mother’s footsteps and, through her searing and spirited voice, recreates her remarkable story. The daughter of a failed itinerant Orthodox rabbi, she was born Rachel Shilsky (actually Ruchel Dwara Zylska) in Poland on April 1, 1921. Fleeing pogroms, her family emigrated to America and ultimately settled in Suffolk, Virginia, a small town where anti-Semitism and racial tensions ran high. With candor and immediacy, Ruth describes her parents’ loveless marriage; her fragile, handicapped mother; her cruel, sexually-abusive father; and the rest of the family and life she abandoned.

At seventeen, after fleeing Virginia and settling in New York City, Ruth married a black minister and founded the all- black New Brown Memorial Baptist Church in her Red Hook living room. “God is the color of water,” Ruth McBride taught her children, firmly convinced that life’s blessings and life’s values transcend race. Twice widowed, and continually confronting overwhelming adversity and racism, Ruth’s determination, drive and discipline saw her dozen children through college—and most through graduate school. At age 65, she herself received a degree in social work from Temple University.

Interspersed throughout his mother’s compelling narrative, McBride shares candid recollections of his own experiences as a mixed-race child of poverty, his flirtations with drugs and violence, and his eventual self- realization and professional success. The Color of Water touches readers of all colors as a vivid portrait of growing up, a haunting meditation on race and identity, and a lyrical valentine to a mother from her son.”

The New Jim Crow – Michelle Alexander

Mr. M recommends this book be put on the list. While it is not a novel, this is another must-read for white people in the 21st century. I haven’t read it yet, but it is also on my to-read list.

“By targeting black men through the War on Drugs and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control—relegating millions to a permanent second-class status—even as it formally adheres to the principle of colorblindness. In the words of Benjamin Todd Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP, this book is a “call to action.”

When They Call You a Terrorist – Patrice Khan-Cullors

I heard about this book from an NPR segment a couple of weeks ago. It just came out last month, and I am anxious to get my hands on it. Although I have not heavily followed the Black Lives Matter movement, I do believe in standing in solidarity with our black brothers and sisters in a nonviolent way. I am curious to read more on Patrice Khan-Cullors and how she co-founded the Black Lives Matter movement.

“From one of the co-founders of the Black Lives Matter movement comes a poetic memoir and reflection on humanity. Necessary and timely, Patrisse Cullors’ story asks us to remember that protest in the interest of the most vulnerable comes from love. Leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement have been called terrorists, a threat to America. But in truth, they are loving women whose life experiences have led them to seek justice for those victimized by the powerful. In this meaningful, empowering account of survival, strength, and resilience, Patrisse Cullors and Asha Bandele seek to change the culture that declares innocent black life expendable.”

10 Books to Read During Black History Month

What books would you add to the list?

Living Healthy on Purpose

Healthy Lifestyle Tips - 5 Things That Happen When You Hit Up the Gym!

Hello friends! Last week I took a brief hiatus while Mr. M and I made a whirlwind trip across the entire state of Tennessee and honestly, I was just over capacity to do anything other than driving and responding to emails. And if we’re still being honest, I’m still over capacity, so prayers & coffee would be delightful, k thx.

If you remember at the beginning of January, I mentioned doing goals a little differently this year. Rather than be unhealthily goal-oriented (which oops, I already am), this year I’m practicing different disciplines.

My discipline for the month of January was to start the year of with a healthy start. I chose this by focusing on two main things: exercising and no-sugar.

I knew I could do exercising as long as I made myself verrry discplined.

The sugar part though? That’s the part I was scared of.

In addition to exercising and eating healthier, I also kept track of other healthy habits: drinking 64 oz of water a day, eating my fruits and veggies, and going to bed by 11pm.

You all will be glad to know I kept track of all this through a bujo inspired habit tracker on a random note page in my planner, and there are zero days where I was in bed to sleep by 11pm. In bed by 11pm to read? Yes. So maybe next month I should be a little more realistic and say “in bed by 11pm” rather than “be asleep by 11pm” because trying to balance working until 5, working out, and cooking dinner is not an easy feat. I don’t know how you crossfitters do this.

8 Unexpected Reasons for Healthy Living #healthylivingtips

5 Things I Learned from Working Out

Workout Classes are the Way to Go

Mr. M and I got new gym memberships at a fun gym here that offers an array of amenities, including classes. Yay! Nothing has ever motivated me on a Saturday morning to go work out like this hip hop WERQ class has, but I’m not even mad. It just gives me one more reason to love Saturdays, and I mourn the days I can’t make it due to adulting obligations (#work is not as fun as #WERQ.) I’ve already looped one friend into the class – because who doesn’t love to drop it like it’s hot in a very clean, but sweaty fitness room on a Saturday morning.

When I’m disciplined, I’m as disciplined as all get out.

If we say “we’re working out three times a week,” I’m sitting down with my planner and figuring out what three times that week we’re going to make it happen. I’m proud to say the only week I only worked out twice was when I spent the whole day on the couch feeling like I was going to throw up.

Working out with your spouse can be fun. . . and torture. . . for your spouse.

I learned a lot about myself and how I like to be motivated, and how I handle stressful situations all through working out with Mr. M this week. In fact, I’ve decided that every couple should work out together before they get married so they can better understand each other, and work through little things like, “How to respond to my wife when she’s sassy because she can’t do a pull up.” This happened. Mr. M passed with flying colors. But also, I need to work on my gym attitude because some days I walk in there feelin’ like I’m gonna kill it and then other days I wonder what IT is that I’m gonna kill.

It takes a while to see results, but hard work pays off. 

While I didn’t lose weight according to the scale, I can definitely see more muscle definition in some areas – like my legs. And I have lost some measurements in the areas I don’t want to lose .  . . but don’t worry, the taco baby is still going strong as well get out. So I guess my next step is to work on core. That being said, two weeks ago I couldn’t do a pull up. I just hung on the bar like a sloth with the assist supporting my knees, and laughed at myself to keep from crying from embarrassment. Then all of the sudden on Monday, boom. I could do 8 pull ups three times . . . with the assist.

The more you work out, the more you like it. 

Last week when I got home from our quickie road trip, I experienced a weird phenomenon where I actually desired to work out. As soon as we got home, I set my bags down and rushed off to the gym. I originally went with the intent to just get a quick 15 minute cardio work out in to shake out the cramped-in-car-legs, but then I ended up spending an hour doing so much more. And it was fun!

I know, I’m a freak. Let’s talk about what it was like to give up sugar.

Healthy Lifestyle Tips - No-Added Sugar!

3 Things I Learned From Giving Up Sugar

THERE IS CORN SYRUP IN EVERYTHING

Rather than do a full month of no-sugar, Mr. M and I set out to do a 21 day sugar-free diet, but had to cut it short due to the unexpected roadtrip we took last week. Instead we did a 2 week no-sugar diet, so a modified whole 30, if you will. We didn’t do 100% no sugar, but instead we did no-added sugar. Which brings me to my first point. . .  It took me a bajillion hours to grocery shop because I looked at labels on everything and I was appalled and abhorred to find that there is corn syrup in so. many. things. Like canned beans! Or canned tomato soup!

I feel cheated by the FDA.

No-added sugar isn’t actually that hard. 

I was really worried that I was going to live my life for the next two weeks deprived of all goodness in the world. And yes, I couldn’t eat my regularly scheduled corn syrup infused chex mix, but GUY’S. CHEEZ IT GROOVES HAS NO ADDED SUGAR. That was exciting to discover. And also, I survived post-dinner dessert! I found a paleo chocolate brownie recipe that I love even more than regular brownies! Finally, luckily, I was still able to properly season all our food because most spices don’t add sugar! I was also able to find marinara and salsa that had zero added sugar as well. Aldi to. the. win.

But also, Larabars are gross.

I actually enjoyed how I felt without added sugar in my diet.

When we did no-added sugar, I did get dizzy in the afternoon the first couple of days, but then my body adjusted and I found that I felt lighter and healthier. Now that we’ve incorprated sugar back into our diet (just in case you didn’t see my Five Daughter’s Baker post, here it is right now because YUM) I’ve noticed my face break out again, and I don’t feel as great anymore.

No-added sugar is definitely a lifestyle choice we are willing to make!

What healthy lifestyle choices have you brought into your  new year? 

5 Cozy Winter Reads

Winter Books for Adults

You guys, IT’S SNOWING! Last year we got zero snow days, and that was very sad for me. I had great dreams of a second honeymoon with my boo where we wore sweatpants all day and drank coffee and read books. But alas, that was not in the cards for us last year. Today, however, we get an extra Sabbath via an unexpected snow day.

It’s been a lazy day – we stayed in bed until midmorning, had a delicious brunch, and then I’m cozying up with a good book.

Winter is my favorite time to be a reader, because it’s the perfect excuse to say no to anything else except books and fuzzy socks and extra cups of coffee (or tea.)

50 Books in 12 Months

Over this year, I am going to start incorporating more book-ish posts. Last year I completed 24 books over 12 months, and this year my goal is 50 books over 12 months. I am keeping track of my progress on Goodreads and also on this little bookshelf I drew for myself in my planner. As I read each book on my list, I’ll color it in on the shelf. Any additional books I read I’ll stack up next to the bookshelf. I’ll be posting my progress on my Insta-story because I’m so goal oriented and I also like affirmation.

Winter Booklist

I’m the type of person who has book preferences based on the time of year. In the summer, I love to read books by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. In the spring, I love to dive into books of poetry – Nayyirah Waheed, Rupi Kaur, and Mary Oliver are my favorites.

In the winter, however, give me a big book full of detail and whisk me away into another world.

5 Books You Should Read This Winter

Winter Book List

This post contains affiliate links meaning that if you click/make a purchase through those links you are supporting Hugs & Lattes! 

 The Chronicles of Narnia – C.S. Lewis

I am slowly but surely working my way through this series. I never got through it as a kid! However as an adult, I know this is a series I will one day want to read to my future children. I can only read The Chronicles of Narnia in the winter. Maybe Narnia is forever winter in my mind. Next on my list is Prince Caspian! Y’all, it legit might take me 7 years to read this.

Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

A lot of people hate Wuthering Heights, but it was quite possibly my very favorite read in my Victorian literature class. I love the gothic themes, and I feel like it is a more well-written high brow version of Twilight.

Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

This is another Victorian read that I couldn’t put down my senior year of college. The Bronte sisters are so strong and sassy, and I had a secret desire as a little girl to be a governess one day. Then I grew up and realized I lived in the 21st century instead of the 18th. I also had a not-so secret desire to own a goldendoodle and name him Mr. Rochester. My husband never acquiesced on the goldendoodle or the name.

All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr

You guys – I just put this book down at 12:30 in the morning after trying to escape from real life every chance I could get. It was one of those books that kept me awake afterwards just thinking about it. The way Anthony Doerr describes the surroundings and life of his two main characters makes you feel as if you are at an art museum, spending hours in front of two particular paintings. I highly highly recommend. (Plus it completes your 500 page requirement if you are doing Modern Mrs. Darcy’s 2018 Reading Challenge!)

Rules of Civility – Amor Towels

This is one of my book club’s recent reads. It took me a few pages to get into, but if you like The Great Gatsby, you’re going to love this book. It is a) impressive that Amor Towels writes from the persepctive of a woman so eloquently and b) like a literary Gossip Girl of the 1930s.

What books would you add to this list? 

Top 10 Moments of 2017

 

Top 10 Moments of 2017

I know, you’re so surprised to see an end of the year recap. No one ever does this kinda thing when preparing for the new year. I watched a medley of the top songs of 2017 earlier today, and I honestly thought some of those songs came out 10 years ago. So 2017 is finally coming to a close.

It has been an exhausting year, but a year of so much growth and progress. Over this year, Mr. M and I traveled somewhere new almost every single month, I started a book club, and got more serious about my blogging.

Top 10 Moments of 2017

Top 10 Blog Posts

#MyBigFatZimWedding Series

It was so much fun for me to recap the wedding and related events leading up to the big day. When Mr. M and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary, we watched the full ceremony video all over again and fell into the post wedding blues again because we miss that day.

5 Ways to Rock a Swimsuit This Season

OK so it may not be swimsuit season per se right now, but if you’re dreaming of a hot tub at a mountain log cabin getaway like I am, you’ve still gotta don some waterproof wear. And especially after Thanksgiving and Christmas, we may feel a little self conscious stuffing ourselves into an itty bitty teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini. So I found 5 ways to rock a swimsuit this season.

Celebrate Yourself – Series

Last spring I pulled together a series on celebrating different aspects of yourself. Tiffany from Endless Bliss joined me with a great post on celebrating your worth. It was a life changing post!

3 Steps to Revamp Your About Me

As bloggers, our main priority is to create good content and to push it out – this means our about me section sometimes gets left to the wayside. These 3 steps give your about me section the face lift your blog needs!

4 Steps Towards Living a Full Life

This is probably one of my very favorite posts of the year, and a good reminder for me to look back on when I’m feeling exhausted and discouraged.

3 Steps To Take Towards Your Dream Today

And I’m now realizing that I really like the formula of: # of steps towards ___. I didn’t make it well-known, but I started to participate in NaNoWriMo this November. I was scared to publicize the information, because I was scared the accomplishment of announcing it on social media would satisfy me and I wouldn’t succeed. Unfortunately, I only went strong for one week and then with a mini vacation and Thanksgiving, I ended up not completing. But! I started a dream, and now I get to work towards it.

When You Call My Husband the N-Word 

This post was hard to write, and hard to experience. But it opened doors and led to a fantastic series that I absolutely love throughout the month of November.

Creating Space

I was SO excited to host several wonderful ladies on Hugs & Lattes in November. I was able to learn from them and their experiences with race and identity. This is my #1 fav series from Hugs & Lattes probably ever. I’m hoping to have it continue throughout the 2018 with some other bloggers!

Date Nights

I love date night, and I love coming up with fun creative ideas! This was a fun series to create this year, and I’ve got several fun ideas geared up for next year!

8 Books to Prepare You for Marriage

As an avid reader and big fan of marriage, I was super excited to share with my readers the 8 books I’ve found that have helped prepare Mr. M and me for marriage immensely!

Top 10 Memories of 2017

Snow Weekend 2017

Getting snowed in with my best friends and my brand new husband? It was the perfect way to celebrate the first weekend of 2017! And it was the only time it snowed and stuck. But I’ll take what I can get. Here’s to hoping we get some snow days this year.

Asheville MiniMoonda

Mr. M and I took so many fun little mini vacations, but Asheville is always my favorite place to go. We had so much good food and enjoyed a Josh Garrels concert.

Starting a Book Club

Being the literary nerd I am, I’ve always wanted to start a book club, so when I realized I had the time and space to do it, I jumped at the chance. It has been an amazing year of literary wonder and friendship.

Greenville Minimoonda

Mr. M and I had to go to Greenville, South Carolina in May, so we made a little trip out of it and had a blast! Also, Greenville, South Caroilna in May is H.O.T.

Blogger Meet Up #1

Tiff from Endless Bliss came down for the weekend and I took her to my favorite place in the world – Asheville.

Wilmington Minimoonda

For Mr. M’s birthday, I planned a little roadtrip throughout North Carolina. We ended up in Wilminton where we experienced the solar eclipse at 97%, and spent MUCH needed days unplugged and resting at the beach.

Blogger Meet Up #2

Pretty much as soon as we got home from Mr. M’s birthday road trip, we packed back up and went to Pennsylvania to spend the weekend with Erica from Coming Up Roses and her husband, Jamie. We had an absolute blast and already have our next meet up in the works!

Family Vacation to Las Vegas

I haven’t dived into our Las Vegas trip yet, but there will be recap of our latest travels on the blog soon. This was the first family vacation I had been on since 2014, and I loved every minute of it.

Blogger Meet Up #3

Around Thanksgiving, I got to meet up with Divya from Eat, Teach, Blog. This is why I love blogging: Internet friends turn into real life friends.

Celebrating Our First Anniversary

Mr. M and I celebrated our first anniversary staycation style. We ate at a new restaurant in town, and spend the day holed up not going anywhere or seeing anyone. It was glorious.

What were your favorite moments of 2017?