January Fun: A trip to Kingsmill in Williamsburg, VA

23 Jan

I mentioned in my 2020 goals post that I’m planning one weekend of fun for each month. Well, January was easy because my sister’s, brother and I planned a weekend trip for our mom to celebrate her birthday! While I’ve been to Williamsburg, VA many times, I had not yet visited the Kingsmill Resort. My mom had said she loved it though, so we figured out a weekend and everyone booked their rooms.

We ended up traveling to the resort last weekend – driving there on Saturday and then driving back home on Sunday. As part of my mom’s birthday gift, in addition to her water-view room, we scheduled her a massage, pedicure and also had a delicious dinner out as a family.

Since we were there, I also booked a massage for Travis and a massage for me to enjoy. And OHMYGOSH did we enjoy them! Holy moly. My masseuse, Leah, was absolutely amazing and did a combination of a regular Swedish massage, hot stone massage, and even did a bit of cupping. I’d never experienced cupping before, but it basically felt like she put some sort of suction thing on my back and then dragged it down a bit before un-suctioning it. It didn’t hurt, but it felt a little tingly. It’s been a few days and there aren’t any bruises or anything (which is literally all I knew about cupping, that it gives you big circle bruises).

For dinner, the whole family went out to a restaurant called Food for Thought (you can find it here). About half of our people got the ribs special and they were so, so, so delicious (Travis gave me one of his, because he’s awesome). I ordered bacon wrapped scallops, which were also super good. Jack stuck with the chicken fingers and French fries… I let the waiter know that it was my mom’s birthday weekend, so they were nice enough to bring her out a dessert with a candle in it. There was no obnoxious song, so we stuck with ‘Happy Birthday’.

This would have been a great time to insert a photo of the entire family at dinner, but I literally didn’t get my phone out at all until the next day.

After dinner, we all met up in my sibling’s rooms because they got a shared suite with a common room. It worked out great because we could light a fire for warmth/ambiance and we also played a rousing game of charades. My family gets super competitive – so we played original Harmans (me and my siblings) vs significant others (all our spouses). It was pretty hilarious and I’m still pretty darn proud that I got Mona Lisa from whatever the hell my brother was doing.

I finally did take a photo when we were about to leave, here is me and Jack on our hotel balcony:

Every time we go to Williamsburg, one of my favorite places is the Astronomical Pancake House. So, even though the rest of the family decided to get up early and go to breakfast at 9, I knew Jack was going to want to sleep in (he was up past 10pm with our shenanigans). Sure enough, he rolled out of bed at 9:30 with plenty of time for us to pack up our room, check out and drive on over for pancakes. Actually, I should say waffles… because THIS:

I get the same meal every time we go because it is THAT delicious!

The first fun weekend of the year was a success! I loved hanging out with the family, the resort and massages were amazing, and my mom had a great birthday weekend. Now I can’t wait until our February fun…

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Reviewing Causebox: The Winter 2020 Box Reveal

21 Jan

I finally received my Winter Causebox… and to be honest, it’s not a winner for me. But, before we get all into that, let’s do a quick refresher on the Causebox subscription.

About Causebox:
Every season, members receive a limited edition curation of products from the leading socially conscious brands. Some of them are designed exclusively for Causebox. Each box is designed and filled with love. From the original artwork on the outside of the box, to the lovingly handmade products that fill it up, there is love in every detail. The cost is $49.95 per quarter if you subscribe annually, or $54.95 per quarter if you subscribe by the quarter. I don’t have a referral code to give you, but if you click on their website you might see a pop-up with a promo code on it: www.causebox.com

Now, let’s talk about the Winter Causebox:

I saw the Winter box spoilers back in November, but they had some shipping delays so boxes didn’t come until mid-January. This was kind of a bummer, because there were a couple items that I was thinking about giving as gifts. Apparently rather than sending out an update by email, they put it on our Causebox log in pages… but who logs in on a regular basis? It seems that they had a lot of negative feedback, because they sent out a few ‘sorry’ emails and also launched a new customer service Instagram account to deal with some questions. Kind of disappointing, since this company isn’t exactly new at this point.

Anyways, let’s take a look at what I received in my box:

Imani Collective Knit Throw Blanket, $120 retail value

Everyone received a blanket, but annual subscribers were able to choose which colorway they preferred. I went with the slate gray stripes version, but when I opened my box I was kind of surprised at how thin and scratchy it was. I mean, I expected a lightweight blanket… but it’s not very cuddly at all. For now, it’s living in my den and may end up moving out to the sun room once the weather gets warmer. For me, this is certainly more of a spring/summer weight blanket rather than one I can use now when it’s super cold outside. The colors are pretty though and I like the little tassels on the ends.

Artisan Direct Gold Servings Spoons, $39 retail value

I had a choice between mittens, a travel jewelry box, or these spoons. I didn’t really need/want any of the items, so I picked the spoons since I’m always needing serving items when we have holiday dinners. They’re fine. Not $40 worth of awesome. But fine.

Whitney Kerney Mugs – Set of Two, $35 value

SIGH. Is there literally anyone in the world that needs a coffee mug at this point? Sure, these mugs are cute but I have an entire cupboard full of cute mugs and the last thing I need is two more. Very underwhelmed with this one.

Foxy Originals Mix & Match Stud Earrings

I think these earrings are cute, but I basically never change my studs… so I was planning to gift these. Since I missed Christmas, these will go to live in my ‘gifting’ box until I have something coming up where I think they’d be a great fit.

PUR 4-in-1 Correcting Primer, $33 retail value

Derma E Hydrating Night Cream, $29.50 retail value

I don’t use a foundation or primer, so I thought this PUR primer might be interesting to try. As for the Derma-E night cream, I’m almost out of the night cream I’m currently using so this is good timing for me to try a new one.

Overall Thoughts
I feel like the Winter box was just… meh. I mean, it was fine. Nothing was terrible, but also nothing was great. Usually I find at least one item in the box that I really LOVE. So, this one was a total disappointment for me. Perhaps I’m overlooking a sleeper favorite though?

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post.

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My 2020 Goals

16 Jan

As I mentioned before, I don’t do resolutions. Instead, I like to pick specific and attainable goals to focus on for the year. I’ve been letting the idea of my 2020 goals marinate for awhile and I think I’ve finally come up with this year’s list.

Rather than choosing a word, like “Balance” in 2017 and 2018 and “Thrive” in 2019, I’ve decided to pick a phrase: “Do something about it!” This year’s focus is on being my own problem solver, not procrastinating and pushing myself outside of my box when necessary.

When it comes to my specific goals, here’s what I’ve come up with for this year:

Goal #1: To Get out of my Rut

Specifically: Plan a fun weekend each month of the year.

It becomes so easy to just work-work-work every week and then chore-chore-chore each weekend. If I’m lucky, I snuggle up on the couch with a book or a television show for a bit, but still… I get stuck in a rut. My plan for 2020 is to plan (and look forward to) one weekend of fun each month. I’d like it to be a weekend *away* each month, but I’m not sure if that is sustainable for the whole year.

My initial list includes: a weekend at Kingsmill to celebrate my mom’s birthday, a snow tubing trip, a weekend at my bestie’s house, possibly traveling for a conference, a trip to Universal Studios, beach weekends, and more!

Goal #2: Take Care of Myself

Specifically: doctor’s appointments, annual screenings, dentist appointments, massages, pedicures, etc.

I’m 42 years old, which apparently comes with a bunch of health-related appointments. Just off the top of my mind:

  • Annual physical – once a year
  • Annual OBGYN check-up – once a year
  • Annual mole check at the dermatologist – once a year, sometimes every 9 months
  • Annual mammogram – once a year
  • Doctor’s appointment/labs to keep an eye on my cholesterol – every 6 months
  • Dentist cleaning/check-up appointments – every 6 months

I feel like I’m missing something? Anyways, there are also extra appointments… like next week I get to have two more moles cut off and tested. Then I get to go back two weeks later to have my stitches taken out. If I have to force myself to get poked and prodded, and sliced and diced… I feel like I need to get some annual goal points for it!

The other part of taking care of myself is self-care. This includes hair appointments (cut and color), massages, pedicures and doing my own fingernails. These little things make me feel happy and I often put them off way too long. So my goal for 2020 is to keep up with a more frequent massage and pedicure schedule because it makes me FEEL good.

Goal #3: Improve Healthful Habits.

Specifically: increase our automatic deposits into our retirement accounts, drink more water, incorporate more movement into my day, pack my lunch, exercise, and learn.

Let’s break these into little bite-size goals:

  • Increase our automatic deposits into our retirement accounts: I’ve already taken the first step by having a call with our finance guy to discuss our plans. Increasing the monthly amount for our existing account was easy, as a verbal instruction was all he needed. Now, it’s on to the paperwork for our second account. It’s sitting on my desk and I’m hoping to get everything together and turned in… soon.
  • Drink more water: Why is this one so hard for me? I can literally go days with just drinking coffee and the occasional sip of water with meals, but I KNOW I need to get more water into my system. I have a big cup at work, so my 2020 goal is to drink at least that cup full during the workday, every day of the week.
  • Incorporate more movement into my day: it is very easy for me to sit down at my desk and not get up again for hours. Sure, my iWatch reminds me when I’ve been sedentary for too long, but I’m pretty good at ignoring it. I’ve decided to give myself a goal of doing laps around the office. I initially set 10 laps as my goal, but so far I’ve only gotten up to 5 laps. I’ll keep trying though!
  • Pack my lunch: I spend less money and eat healthier when I pack my lunch, so my goal is to pack my lunch 3 – 4 days each week.
  • Exercise: In addition to just being more active throughout the day, I also want to get back into a gym routine. I’ve already signed up for a 10k in April, so I should probably do some sort of exercise before I run it.
  • Learn: I am a total nerd and I really do love learning. I’m planning to continue checking out lots of random books at the library, and I’d like to take some lessons throughout the year. Maybe do an iSky visit and a cooking class (perhaps one with Jack too!). I also bought myself a ukulele because I’ve always wanted to learn how to play a stringed instrument, so I’m slowly learning how to play!

How about you…do you set goals or resolutions for yourself for New Years?

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AR Workshops: Feeling Crafty… Again and Again

14 Jan

I’ve blogged about the AR workshops before, where I’ve made a plank sign, a chunky knit blanket, and then an advent calendar. Each time I go to a workshop I have the BEST time, which means when a friend and/or family member mentions that they’d like to try it out… I end up signing up for another workshop!

{Pssst, this isn’t a sponsored post, but if you want to find an AR Workshop you can find them here: https://www.arworkshop.com/}

Well, I did TWO more workshops in December that I wanted to share with you all!

Welcome Sign

I saw that they had some holiday themed front porch signs and almost chose one of them… but then I thought I’d rather have something I could use year-round. I stained the wood a darker brown and then used off white, gray and moss green for the stenciled accents. Even though my intentions were to lean this against the brick wall on my front porch, I still went ahead and attached the hanging screws and wire to the back of it to give me some options. I also attached a cute little gingham ribbon, which you can see in the last picture.

In progress:

Here I am with Lindsey and her adorable holiday themed sign:

And here are the signs made by my sister (in law), Jaclyn, and her mother:

I initially leaned this in our front entrance area to let it fully cure before I paint it with a coat of polyurethane. But then I decided that I liked it there! So now I’m not sure if this will eventually work its way outside or not.

Jewelry Display

My sister Kelsey came into town for the holidays and she also wanted to visit the AR Workshop (she also realized there is one just 10 minutes from her house in Richmond!). I wasn’t sure what other projects I really *needed* to make, but then this jewelry display caught my eye. I have a collection of bracelets that were just living in a box on my dresser… which leads to me forgetting what I actually own. I thought this display could be perfect for displaying them!

I went with the phrase “Leave a little sparkle wherever you go” and stained the wood dark. Then I chose off white and gold for the stenciled text, as well as the tray accents and around the sides of the display.

In progress:

When everything was dry, I added the jewelry hooks  to both sides and then used the nail gun to put all the pieces together, including the lazy susan contraption on the bottom which allows the display to spin around.

Here’s the three of us with our projects (me, Jaclyn, and Kelsey):

And here is the jewelry display at home all loaded up:

Once again, I had a wonderful time hanging out with everyone at the workshop. And now that I’ve attended FIVE workshops I have enough stamps to do a free project. I have my eye on one for February, so I’ll keep you posted!

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