Scoring A Weekender Bag

In honor of Superbowl Sunday, I want to talk about a recent score of my own.

I spied this beauty at Homegoods a few weeks before Christmas. She was heavily discounted at $269.99, but I still had a few gifts left on my list, and decided it wasn’t a good time to buy.

img_1750I left, but kept thinking about her. She was the perfect rich evergreen color, she looked luxurious, and most important, she was the perfect size for the weekend. I’m fortunate to have several lovely traveling bags to hold my clothes while I’m jet setting. But they were a little too big for a quick overnight.

Fast forward to December 26. My mom and I did our annual shopping trip to the outlets, and on the way home, I decided to stop at Homegoods “just to see” if she was still there. I visualized seeing her, picking her up, and using her for weekend trips, and then…it happened.img_1907There she was! The LAST one on the shelf. I picked her up, clutched her close, and checked out immediately, using a few gift cards I’ve had for ages, just waiting to be used on the perfect gift. By the time they were totaled up, all I owed was $99.00

TOUCHDOWN!

Here’s the details-Terrida brand, Giorgione collection in Green.

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Word of the Year: 2017

2017-calendar

source

Happy New Year! I’ve known for several years that 2017 was coming, but wow, did it get here fast!

When times are hard, it’s easy to say, “Yeah, that was just NOT my year…” And sometimes it really isn’t. It’s a contrast year, showing you everything you don’t want and making what you do want that much clearer.

WORDOFTHEYEARsource

My Word of the Year for 2016 was Present. It took me several months to get into the groove, but once I did, it was like the rapids, and it all came flowing so fast, I had no choice but to let go and enjoy the ride. And you just wouldn’t believe the presents that presented themselves. Presents in the form of laughter, in the form of friendship, in the form of love, in the form of money. Unreal, and yet so real!

I wanted to be fully accepting of where I am in my life right now. So I accepted.this-is-30

I wanted to start enjoying the current moments. So I enjoyed.abbey-laughing

I wanted to open my eyes to the glorious things that surround me today. So I opened them.post-5-years

I wish I could include all of the photos of everyone that showed me I am loved and filled with light. I wish I could post pictures of every place I went that confirmed that I am exactly where I am meant to be. I wish I could describe every conversation when I felt that there was no where else I’d rather be, but in that moment. Instead, I will say Thank You to the people who are special to me and filled 2016 with more joy than I could have anticipated.

Now that I’ve been living the high life, I’ve got to get into some deep sh…stuff. I’ve decided that my Word of the Year for 2017 is:

trust word in vintage grunge wooden letterpress printing blocks, isolated on white

Trust. Now that I’ve Loved, and Grown, and lived in the Present, I need to start trusting the process, trusting myself, and trusting others again.

It’s about being confident in my own life experiences to know when I’m making decisions that are leading me on my desired path.

It’s about knowing I can have everything I want, I just have to give up the control and know that it will appear when it’s time.

It’s about believing in myself to know that the trail my heart has already blazed, has only one option-to come to be. No more uncertainty.

I am SO looking forward to all of the joys that 2017 will bring!

What’s your word this year?

Hanging Out At…My Apartment, Christmas Village, La Viola, and the Kimmel Center

nacho-libreIf we were playing What Do You Meme (got this for my brother for Christmas, so fun, you must play) that would be my caption.

I really enjoyed myself this season! The festivities began when I hosted my Dad and Barb for our annual celebration the weekend before Christmas. I love finding the perfect gift, making sure the house smells good, that there’s enough to drink, the music is playing at the right volume in the background, and thinking of the perfect menu for everyone’s dietary needs. My challenge: Something satisfying that was gluten free and didn’t have red meat or bacon. Here was my invitation and menu:2016-christmas-invite-blogThe Farmer’s Casserole recipe was from the Better Homes and Garden’s cookbook I got a few years ago as a Christmas gift 🙂 It was perfect, because the “crust” was made from crispy hash brown potatoes, and I eliminated the bacon! The chicken apple sausage from Applegate Farms is always so juicy and flavorful, Barb made the roasted vegetables (a crowd favorite). img_1797

The Gingerbread yogurt parfait was a much simpler version of Bobby’s Flay’s creation. Regular plain yogurt (I’ll use Greek in the future), mixed with maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, sliced bananas, topped with whipped cream and a gluten free gingerbread soft-baked cookie! It was really warm that day, so the whipped cream didn’t last too long 🙂img_1802

And then my favorite cold-weather drink…Caramel Apple Sangria. I’ve been making this for about 3 years and it never gets old 🙂 I posted about it before here. The original recipe is from The Wholesome Dish, but see my version below!

Caramel Apple Sangria

2 apples (I like Honeycrisp)

6 cups apple cider ( I like Red Jacket brand)

1 bottle white wine (I like Barefoot Moscato)

1 cup caramel vodka

1/4 cup caramel sauce

Mix and drink…liberally

And then, no Ferenz family gathering would have been complete without the props and selfies…
img_1806 img_1816img_1809My apartment is small, but I really do love to entertain. I’m thinking it should be a goal of mine in 2017.

I took a day off mid-week to stroll around the city and take in all of the Winter Wonders. The first stop was the Christmas Village in Dilworth Plaza. They have lots of local vendors that set up tents, and there’s a carousel, and food, and drinks, an ice skating rink, and lots of happy children!img_1848 img_1846img_1842They had a really cute photo spot with Christmas trees and a winter scene, but my arms were only long enough to capture the happiness that the whole season brings!

Afterwards, I treated myself Lobster Ravioli at one of favorite Italian restaurants, La Viola Bistro (East).img_1853And, obviously, I topped that carb-laden pasta off with some Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake.img_1854 I may be back in Philadelphia, but my Charleston appetite is here to stay!

And then off to the Kimmel Center, where I may have found myself a new annual tradition…my girl, Elise, at work told me that she was going to the Kimmel Center to watch Home Alone projected onto a big screen, while the Philadelphia Orchestra played the entire musical score. Ummm, yes please! After she told me this, I spent the next 2 days thinking about it, and then woke up on my day off, bought myself a ticket and enjoyed it, like no other! It was JUST like watching the regular movie, except that at the music parts, the orchestra would play. Heaven.img_1859 img_1861The music is already amazing, but being in this beautiful theater, knowing that Christmas was only 4 days away, it was about as close to a child-like Christmas magic I’ve felt in a long time 🙂

Then on Christmas Eve, I met my bestie, Sue, for a lovely brunch, where we talked, ate, and “aired our grievances“. img_1883

And then Iron Man and I jetted up to his hometown to spend time with his wonderful, loving, generous family ❤ img_1884After a late night of gift-giving, drinking, talking, and laughter, we got up early and made our way back so I could celebrate with my mom’s side!img_1904 img_1909img_1891Isn’t Caroline the cutest?! Her brother was supposed to be in the photos, but between the 32 people and 2 dogs in attendance, that photo ended up looking more like this:img_1900#truelife

And for the final Christmas Celebration of 2016, I got to spend some time with this little hunnie last night. Emmie in her feather boa. So cute!img_1942Hope ya’ll had as wonderful of a Christmas as me and my families!

I have a special post for tomorrow about my Word of the Year and an overview of last year’s word!

Food and Friends and Festive Drinks

Hi!

I had the pleasure of attending the baby shower for one of my oldest friends, Aisling, today. It was wonderful catching up with some old high school friends AND their adorable little ones 🙂
img_1647We got talking about food (obviously), and I promised I would link to my post about my Chik-Fil-A Nuggets Copycat Recipe from January. So when you get the craving on a Sunday, you’re covered!

And, just for you, Mary, the perfect Holiday Sangria 🙂

Caramel Apple Sangria

2 apples (I like Honeycrisp)

6 cups apple cider ( I like Red Jacket brand)

1 bottle white wine (I like Barefoot Moscato)

1 cup caramel vodka

1/4 cup caramel sauce

Mix and drink…liberally

 

Light and Easy

Hello from Philadelphia!

Since I’ve been home, I’ve been thinking about everything that is important to me. Fostering friendships, laughing, enjoying my work, cultivating important relationships, eating really good food, spending time with family, laughing more, transforming my hair into “Charleston Blonde”, so I can finally be a blonde “Ole” emoji in my group text with my Chucktown Girls, more laughing, and committing to fun in everyday life 🙂

blonde-emojiimg_1183

I truly feel like I emerged out of my chrysalis into the most beautiful butterfly. I’m in the best place in my life to give and receive love. I’ve proved to myself many, many times throughout the past few years that everything is possible. “Fierce” is the best way that I can describe the feeling that I have entering my 30s.

In order for me to keep up this momentum (because, let’s face it, life throws you some lemons, even when you’re sipping that lemonade you made from the last ones), I’ve been listening to a TON of Abraham Hicks videos on YouTube. It just makes SO MUCH SENSE!

Everything SHOULD be Light and Easy. Why do we make everything more complicated for ourselves? I have SO many instances where The Universe has provided me exactly what I’ve needed at exactly the right time. So why should now be any different?

If you need some inspiration, then definitely check out the link. It’s brought me so much peace in my time of transition. Everyday, I feel closer to clarity, closer to alignment, and trying to enjoy the growth that comes from experiencing contrast. Abbey and I say, “The vortex is there for you, all you have to do is step in!”

It’s almost time for a new Word of the Year, and I’ve got one that feels like the right choice for 2017. Stay tuned!

 

Life is Good.

bridge

To try and describe something that’s indescribable is always impossible. You try to find words that mean what you feel, but it’s like a phrase that doesn’t have a direct translation.

As I’m entering the last week of my trip, I’m realizing the impact that the last 2 months have had on my life.

The healing that has come out of this journey is really incredible. If that’s all that happened I would be grateful! It’s helped me to forgive myself, forgive others, and confidently lets me know that a different path is meant for me. It’s almost like a veil was lifted and I can finally start to appreciate all of the good in my life. It’s not that I couldn’t see it before, but everything has become brighter and clearer. But that’s not all that happened. I found my inner strength, gained confidence, was independent, and made some amazing friendships that I intend to keep forever.

I went out to dinner with a few friends tonight, and we were all talking about Charleston and what brought us here, and someone asked me, “What would you tell yourself 2 months ago?” And my answer really surprised me. “Nothing.”

My favorite part of this journey has been the NOT knowing. The beautiful unfolding of my life was so exciting when I DIDN’T know what was coming. This shocked me, because I’m constantly saying, “I just wish I knew what was coming next!” And for the first time in a long time, I’ve been happy with NOT knowing. With letting things happen as they do and enjoying the scenery along the way.

As I sit here, with my “butterfly bestie” Abbey’s beautiful piano song she played tonight still ringing in my ears, I’m trying to think of other
words that I can use to describe what this trip has meant to me, and I’m at a loss.

This rarely happens, so let’s relish in the silence, just knowing that life is good.

 

Food for Thought

I know I usually post so many things about where I’ve been eating and what I’ve been wearing, but lately, this trip has become more than all of that for me (even if I have been eating at great places and wearing fabulous clothes…)

I’ve really been enjoying expanding my circle of friends:

group-cocktail-club

On Friday, I met Amy (second blonde from left) at Black Tap Coffee so we could do some work out of the house. Not only did we get work done, but she also shared some great shopping sites:

Impressions

The Mint Julep Boutique

Dottie Couture Boutique

Magnolia Boutique

Ebates

After Amy left, I stayed for a while finishing up some things, and a gentleman sat down at the table next to me. We got to talking and it turns out he was visiting from Denver to officiate for his friends’ wedding. He was so excited to share with me that his wife was expecting their first child. He showed me pictures of her, because he thought “she looked so cute in this one”. It was obvious that the love he had for his wife and future son was just overflowing out of him, and he had to tell someone! My friend Sarah, and I call this phenomenon: “I can’t know it alone”. When you witness something so good or so bad that you just HAVE to tell someone because it’s basically bursting out of you! It was good to hear from a man that he loved his wife and was excited about a family. So excited, that he had to tell a stranger!

Michael said he was a pastor at a church in Denver. He asked me where I was from and how I ended up in Charleston. After telling him a little about myself, he asked if he could pray with me. Typically, I wouldn’t feel comfortable praying with a stranger in a public place, but for some reason, I felt like this is exactly what I was supposed to do. He left me with these words, “If God has confidence in your ability to make decisions, you should trust yourself to make decisions.” I’ve committed to making sure that I take advantage of every single little thing that is happening in my life now, so, hearing those words really resonated with me.

Then this morning, Abbey and I “Went on an Adventure” by walking Folly Beach out as far as we could to see Morris Lighthouse.img_0901 img_0899What started out as a morning beach walk turned into a wonderful whole day filled with meaningful conversation, lots of laughs, book recommendations, extra walks around the block, “double chills”, and cinnamon buns.img_0905You know when you meet someone and you just KNOW that your paths were meant to cross? Well, that’s how I feel about Abbey. She has such a gypsy spirit and radiates joy, no matter what lemons life throws her way. We got so caught up in laughing during lunch, that we may have even disrupted some of the other diners at the Lost Dog Cafe…#sorrynotsorryimg_0907I ended my day feeling grateful and happy and ready to accept the Universe’s plans for me tomorrow!