Our family was all asleep by midnight on New Year’s Eve but we still had a good time celebrating with burgers, hot dogs, fries and Christmas lights before saying goodbye to 2019.
(Side note: The above pics were taken in “live” mode on my phone and were hilarious because both boys were diving face-first into those fries. I wish there was a way to share live-action photos on the blog!)
I’ll share more about our New Year’s Eve below along with a roundup of some of the other things that are making me smile this week. As always, please feel free to join in the fun and have a wonderful weekend!
Things I’m Loving
During the week of Christmas, both Chase and Ryan ended up with the flu so our family’s grand plans to do a ton of Charlotte-area Christmas activities got scrapped as they rested and recovered. Once everyone in our house was finally healthy, I became determined to do a handful of the things on our list despite Christmas having come and gone. I suggested heading off to Charlotte Motor Speedway to check out their annual Christmas lights set to music as a special activity on New Year’s Eve. This was our first time experiencing Speedway Christmas and it was awesome!! I also think our delayed timing worked in our favor since it wasn’t busy at all and we were able to drive along the race track and enjoy watching more than 4 million Christmas lights twinkle and blink to Christmas music. I now completely understand why Speedway Christmas finds its way onto nearly every Charlotte-area holiday “must do” list. And FYI for any locals, you can still see the lights through Sunday!
AR Workshop Girls’ Night
I got together with two of my friends for a girls’ night on Monday at AR Workshop in Davidson and it was so much fun! We’ve talked for a while about wanting to do something a little crafty together and when my friend Laura suggested AR Workshop, we were all about it. I previously visited the studio a couple of years ago with my mom when it first opened and have been itching to return ever since!
We each selected our projects online ahead of time and arrived ready to work! I am always amazed at just how much AR Workshop has you do (everything from sanding the wood and applying the stencils to using a nail gun to attach frames, etc.) because I initially thought it was more or less a place you went to paint. It’s a lot more hands on but in a really good way! I ended up making a large sign featuring a map of Lake Norman, the local lake we take our boat out on all summer long. I love that the sign feels personal and we already have it hanging up in our home!
Your Blog Post Requests
Earlier this week I put out a call for blog post topic requests both on the blog and Instagram Stories. Well, apparently asking via Instagram was the key because I got hundreds of replies and that made me so excited! I jotted down your requests (the above pic isn’t even all of them!) and am feeling all kinds of excited to tackle your ideas in 2020. THANK YOU to everyone who took the time to let me know a little bit about what you’d like to see in this space in the coming year. It helps me a ton to know what you enjoy seeing on the blog so I can bring more of it your way!
Charlotte Candle Company Candles
The week before Christmas, I received one heck of an awesome delivery! Charlotte Candle Company, a local eco-friendly candle company, sent us the most incredible smelling candles to enjoy in our home and my candle-hoarding self rejoiced! I cannot tell you just how heavenly the three scents they sent our way are and we’ve been burning at least one Charlotte Candle Company candle every day since they arrived.
I have the Carolina Christmas candle in my office and it smells like a Christmas tree without any kind of weird artificial scent in the mix which, in my opinion, is REALLY hard to find in pine-scented candles. (Does anyone else often feel like balsam/pine-scented candles can almost smell soapy? This one doesn’t and simply smells like the real deal!) The Cypress & Bayberry candle was the first one I burned and it made wrapping presents in our kitchen feel oh so festive and cozy thanks to the woodsy scents of moss, fir and cypress mixed with bayberry. LOVE it! Cranberry Woods is the scent I’m saving to use when my other two candles run out since it isn’t as “Christmasy” but still smells bright with a light hint of pine and vanilla. You can pretty much guarantee these candles will be on my gift guide next year because they’re amazing.
Strength + Conditioning Workout
My first workout of 2020 took me to Burn Boot Camp for this sweat fest! It combined strength exercises with short bursts of intense cardio and I loved it! The pace of the workout was great and I wanted to share it here with you guys as well since I know it’s a total body workout I’ll reference again for myself in the future. Please let me know if you have any questions about the formatting of the workout. Here are a few links to some of the more obscure exercises mentioned above: Beastmakers / BOSU Burpees with Push Up / Heismans / Kettlebell Floor Push = Think a bear crawl but with your hands resting on a heavy kettlebell as you push it across the floor. This exercise will not work on many traditional gym floors so substituting traditional kettlebell swings is a great option.
Best Paleo Chicken Thigh Marinade (Our family’s favorite! A great one for meal prep and one I make all the time to have on hand for busy weekday lunches. I’m also sharing these again today since I know a lot of people like to kick off 2020 with Whole30 and these are Whole30 compliant.)
Weighted Core Workout (A 10-minute core workout that will have your abdominal muscles burning.)
Question of the Day
What is one thing you are loving this week?