Saturday, December 31, 2016

Cheers to 2017!





Happy New Year's Eve!! I have always found something so magical about New Year's Eve and ringing in a new year. It is a holiday I have always been extrememly fond of because I truly believe in eveything it represents - new starts and fresh beginnings. I most definitely romanticize New Year's because I just can't help but love celebrating the passing of another year, toasting to a new one, sipping champagne, and kissing at midnight. Auld Lang Syne will forever give me chills when I hear it and more likely than not watching the ball drop will bring a tear to my eye. It is magic.

However, it is a holiday that is so much more than just sparkles, parties, and champagne. No holiday captures the spirit of hope quite like New Year's does. It is my wish that you are of course doing whatever brings your heart happiness this New Year's Eve, but it is also my wish that this New Year brings you a little bit of hope. Hope for a year filled with love, peace, and happiness. Hope for this ever changing world we live in. Hope for all that is yet to be. And hope that this new year will be a little bit sweeter than the last.

I want to wish you the happiest of New Years. I hope twenty seventeen brings you all the blessings of health, happiness, love, and well-being. I hope the fresh start that a new year provides inspires you to chase all of your wildest dreams and to never settle for less than what sets your soul on fire. Before the year is officially over, I want to take a second to say THANK YOU. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the overwhelming support you have given me this past year. I am truly blessed to be able to share this little corner of the internet with you all. Cheers to a new year. I cannot wait to see all that is in store for twenty seventeen!

xo. G

Friday, December 30, 2016

Thank You 2016


I talked in my very first blog post ever about how some years throw everything they can at you and then some. They are every bit as challenging and trying, as they are enlightening and full of life. They are often years that provide the biggest personal growth and they are full of learning. Although it may not seem like it, they are just as beautiful as any other year, you just might have to look a little harder to find that beauty.

2016 you were just that.

I think the biggest thing I learned this past year was that life just keeps on going. You aren't meant to stay in one place forever, as much as you would maybe like to. And this doesn't just mean literally being physically in one place forever, but even just a single situation, role, or relationship. Things end and this is okay - they teach you what they need to teach you, provide you with exactly what you need, and then they end. On to the next thing. Twenty sixteen provided me with many endings, but we must not forget that endings are often synonymous with beginnings. More often than not new wonderful, beautiful things cannot begin without something else coming to a close.

What's important is to not mourn what we have lost, but to instead recognize what they have left us with - a bigger heart, memories to light up the darkest of days, new friendships, and a deeper understanding of this world we live in. The list of things we gain from those things that evade us goes on and on, and is deeply personal, but this is what is important. This is what matters.

I may no longer be a student, but I have finally reached the culmination of many years in school. The conclusion of that role has opened up the door to the beginning of a career as a nurse. It is my hopes that I will touch the lives of at least some of the people I encounter throughout the course of my career, and even if not, I am so lucky to even have the opportunity to do so.

I may have graduated from college in twenty fifteen, but twenty sixteen most certainly did a good job of solidifying the fact that there is no going back to those oh so wonderful years. That is a time in my life that is gone forever, but the closing of that chapter represents a whole life ahead of me that I get to live. The beautiful thing is, all the friendships I made in those years get to come with me on my journey through life. The people we have by our side throughout life make us lucky, and I will forever be thankful that those four years brought us together.

I may have have lost a love and best friend, but I now know what it feels like to love with my entire heart, and for that I am blessed. The ending of relationships are often painful, but if you look beyond the hurt, I promise you will learn something and walk away better than you were before. I was left with irreplaceable memories and the knowledge of what it means to love. I will search far and wide for a love like that again, and I will refuse to settle for anything less.

All of those things may have ended, but they have provided me with both wonderful memories, invaluable lessons, and most certainly a strong foundation to begin not only a new year on but also the rest of my life. I couldn't have timed the culmination of all of those endings better if I had tried. Twenty sixteen may have closed a lot of doors, but twenty seventeen's door is wide open, bright, and welcoming. The ending of this year is providing me with a completely clean slate, and I cannot wait to see what is waiting for me in the coming year. Having no restraints, nothing and no one holding me back, is a really beautiful thing. I can go wherever I want, do whatever I please, and become exactly who I'm meant to be. What could be better than that. And to think that it is in large part because things ended. I'm telling you endings are really just beginnings. Embrace them, let them teach you, and move forward with excitement for what's next.

I'm not sure what it is - whether it's the fact that seventeen has forever been a lucky number of mine, or because it feels like a complete and much needed fresh start - but I have a really strong feeling that twenty seventeen is going to be a really good year.

It doesn't feel right to say goodbye to a year without taking a moment to say thank you to all it has provided you with. So to twenty sixteen I say thank you. Thank you for letting me begin a career that will allow me to go and make a difference in people's lives. Thank you for so many new and beautiful friendships. Thank you for teaching me so much about what it means to love. Thank you for allowing me to create something I am so very passionate about and for allowing me to explore a side of myself, that for a long time I didn't know existed. Thank you so very much for the opportunity to see and explore the world, and for adventures and memories to last a lifetime. I am eternally grateful. Merci, grazie, danke, gracias. Last but not least, thank you for all the endings, that come to find out, are really just beginnings. Twenty sixteen, you weren't all that bad after all. Thank you.


xo. G

Thursday, December 29, 2016

2017 Planners








Nothing represents a fresh start quite like a new planner. Every year I look forward to not only picking out a new planner, but also to the many crisp, empty pages just waiting to be filled with new adventures, celebrations, and the day to day happenings of my life. Those empty pages represent not only a fresh start but more importantly a new year and endless potential.  

My love for planners (and the organization they provide) developed way back in middle school when they gave them to us, and I have been using one ever since then. My first 'real' planner was my Lilly planner, which truth be told is what I have used since my freshman year of college up until this past year. My many Lilly planners served me very well, and I will miss the playful color and fun they brought to my day, but I decided it was time for a change. 

As the years go on, what you need out of a planner changes as your needs in life evolve. For the past five years the use of my planner revolved around school and being a student. Since that chapter came to an end, I was looking for a planner that would work best with my new roles and responsibilities, and I think I can say I successfully found one!

Sugar Paper and Target have once again impressed me and left me wanting everything in their collaboration! I spent a solid twenty minutes in the aisle going back and forth between different planners but decided to go with the Signature Planner. I loved the crispness and simplicity of the design, but what sold me was the setup of the weeks. My favorite features are the 'This Month' and 'This Week' pages at the beginning of each month and week. Perfect for staying organized and on top of it all! I am so excited and have been waiting patiently to start using it. It is the perfect planner for me! 

Of course, that's just the thing with planners - there is the perfect one for everyone and there is no 'one size fits all'. What works for me might not work for you and vice versa. It is all about finding one that fits your needs and works best with your lifestyle. The perfect one for you is out there, it's just a matter of finding it! To help you do just that I have linked a handful of different planners below. If you haven't already found your 2017 planner, check them out below. Enjoy and happy planning! 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Year End Reflection

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and holiday this past weekend filled with family time, rest & relaxation, and of course lots of yummy food! It is so hard to believe that Christmas has come and gone already, and that the new year is quickly approaching. As twenty-sixteen draws to a close, I find myself looking back on this past year and taking time to reflect on all that has happened - the good, the bad, and everything in between. I think it is so important before the year comes to a close to look back at your year. Take a moment to reflect on lessons learned, challenges overcome, goals accomplished (or maybe still in progress), and who you are and where you're going.

I think it's sometimes easy to get wrapped up in the happenings of day to day life that we forget to take a moment to pause, reflect, and really look back on how far we've come in a year. It's amazing how much personal growth can occur in what is really a short amount of time. If for no other reason at all, take a moment to reflect on your own journey, your own growth, and your own lessons learned.

To me, looking back at the year as it draws to a close always puts life into perspective. Throughout the year there are days, weeks, and months that aren't always as easy as others, and yet when I look back on my year, those aren't the things that stand out to me. Despite how awful some of those times felt in the moment, they are not the ones I remember. They do not define 2016. What I do remember when I look back on this past year are all the beautiful memories made, friendships created, goals accomplished, and adventures lived. Those are the things that are important - the one's worth remembering. Most importantly, as years come to a close, I am always reminded of this - regardless of how I felt the year went, it was another year I got to live, love, and explore. And that is something not everyone is lucky enough to get. For that reason alone, I am extremely blessed.

To help kickstart your year end reflecting, I wanted to share some questions with you that were written by one of my favorite writers, Maxie. I have talked before about how much I love Maxie and all she has to say, and this is just another reason to add to the list of why she is so great. I read and answered these questions myself and so many light bulbs went off in my head. It was amazing. I hope that by answering these questions you all have some of those 'ah-ha' moments as well. Reflection is a great way to prepare yourself to say goodbye to the old year and hello to a new one, and with 2017 less than a week away there is no better time to do just that!

Enjoy!

MAXIE'S YEARLY REFLECTION QUESTIONS 

1. What am I the most proud of?

2.What have been my three happiest moments?

3. What is the biggest lesson I’ve learned?

4. What do I still want to do that I haven’t started?

5. What was I worried about at the beginning of the year that worked it’s way out?

6. What is the most synchronistic event that happened this year?

7.Who did I spend the most amount of time with? Has that been energizing to me? Or has that been draining?

8. When was I the most fully expressed version of myself?

9. What have I accomplished? And what’s still unfinished?

10. When did I feel a total fire in my belly?

11. What money has been the best spent? And what money was wasted?

12. What is one attachment, belief, or person that I am finally ready to let go of?

13. What is one thing I’ve been doing that makes me feel really really good about myself?


I hope by answering these questions you found some clarity, inspiration, or motivation as you head into the new year! And if you're looking for more inspiration be sure to head over to Maxie's website. I promise you'll find it there! 

Happy almost 2017!


xo. G

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!

I'm sure you are all currently spending time with loved ones, but I just wanted to take a quick second to wish you all a very merry Christmas. May your day be filled with endless love, joy, and happiness as you all celebrate surrounded by all the ones you love and who love you. I hope you count your blessings twice, cherish the moments and the memories, and most importantly I hope you never forget what this holiday is all about.

Merry Christmas! 

xo. G

Friday, December 23, 2016

Christmas Cookie Cutouts




If I had to pick one of my favorite parts about the holiday season, baking Christmas cookies would definitely make my top five. I must admit, I am not the biggest baker throughout the rest of the year, but for whatever reason I love it this time of year. It has always been a tradition of my family to make homemade Christmas cookies, and although we have made many different types of cookies over the years, there are a few recipes that are an absolute must for us every year. One of those being cookie cutouts - they are a big hit in my house! They are so fun to make and decorate, and they are super easy (& delicious!). With Christmas only a couple days away, these pretty cookies make a great last minute dessert or hostess gift! Enjoy and happy baking!

CHRISTMAS COOKIE CUTOUTS

Cookie Dough:
1 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
3 cups all-purpose flour

Decorative Frosting:
4 cups sifted powdered sugar 
3 tablespoons milk 
Food coloring of your choice

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375° 
2. Beat butter in mixing bowl on medium speed for 30 seconds.
3. Add sugar. Beat until combined.
4. Add egg. Beat until combined.
5. Beat in as much flour as you can. Stir in remaining flour. 
6. Divide dough in half
7. On floured surface roll half of the dough at at time 1/8 inch thick.
8. Shape with cookie cutters of your choice
9. Arrange on greased cookie sheets. 
10. Bake 6-8 minutes. 
11. Cool on rack
12. Decorate as you like

Enjoy!

xo. G

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Plaid Holiday Look






Is anyone else in total disbelief that Christmas is this weekend!? I can't believe it. Every year the holiday season flies bye, but for some reason I feel like it went extra quick this year. With Christmas Eve only a few days away, I wanted to share what I will be wearing this year. I came across these J.Crew Factory lace pant and love love love them. The sizes are limited online because they are on sale, but you can find a very similar pair on the retail J.Crew website. I love that the lace gives the outfit a bit of texture, and they are most definitely a party pant - perfect for the holidays! 

I made my love for plaid known in a post last week, and this festive shirt was getting all the heart eyes! It is the perfect plaid for the holidays, and the tuxedo bib detail in the front is a nice added touch. Some other holiday plaids that would compliment the lace pants beautifully are this tartan plaid shirt  and black watch plaid shirt.  

My heels are Steve Madden from last season, but there is a very similar Steve Madden pair that would work just as well!  I always love a good pointed toe and you just can't go wrong with the classic d'Orsay silhouette. Perfect not only for Christmas but for any other dressy occasion that may pop up. 

To finish off the look I kept it fairly simple with a crystal statement necklacepearl earrings, and of course no outfit is complete without a pretty red lip

I hope you are gearing up for the holiday weekend by watching Christmas movies, baking cookies, and daydreaming of what pretty little outfit you'll be wearing. I hope that this has served as a little bit of inspiration for you in that last department! Enjoy and Merry Christmas! 


P.S - My coat is the J.Crew Factory city coat and I love it! I have been eyeing this coat for the past couple of season but just never got around to buying it until this year. I am so happy I did. It is perfect for dressier occasions, but can still be worn casual. It is a super popular coat, so sizes and colors are limited at this point in the season, but the J.Crew cocoon coat is it's twin! Definitely worth checking out and getting before it's gone! 


xo. G

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas in the City












Christmas in New York City is truly one of the most magical experiences. I am blessed that for the past twenty something years living in Connecticut has allowed me to enjoy all that the City has to offer this time of year. I look forward to it every year, and it is a tradition I hope to share with my family someday! The City really gets all dressed up for Christmas, and it is worth braving the cold and the crowds for. If you haven't already been to New York City at Christmas time, I highly recommend adding it to your bucket list! 

I wanted to give those of you who aren't able to make into New York at Christmas time a tiny little glimpse of the magic and share some of my must see/dos! My pictures don't even come close to doing the City justice, but I hope they give you a little taste of Christmas in the City and inspire you to take a trip there one year.

Enjoy and Merry Christmas! 


MUST SEE
Rockefeller Christmas Tree 
Saks Fifth Avenue Windows (and shopping inside!)
Bryant Park 
Bergdorf Windows 
St. Patrick's Cathedral - inside and outside
The Plaza - The Todd English Food Hall

MUST DO
Dinner at Carmines Restaurant (Times Square) 
Rockettes 'Christmas Spectacular' Show at Radio City Music Hall (!!)
Watch Saks Fifth Avenue Light Show 
Explore the inside of the New York Public Library (5th Ave at 42nd Street!)
Ice Skating at Rockefeller Center, Bryant Park, or Central Park


xo. G 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Friday Finds!



End of Year Reflecting // As we approach the end of 2016, I find myself looking back and reflecting on this past year. I think reflection is good for the soul year round, but most definitely important as we prepare to enter a new year! I was thrilled when I found this article that spoke about end of year reflecting by my favorite writer, on one of my favorite blogs (!!). I urge you to not only check it out, but also to spend some time looking back and reflecting on your own 2016. Two weeks left my friends, there's still time!

Midwives Can Change the World // If I can influence you to do one thing today please watch this! Regardless of whether you are in the health care field or not, this is so important, especially if you are a woman. I think some of the issues brought up during this talk are things many people didn't even know were issues. As someone who is going into maternity nursing this is an issue dear to my heart, and I hope that with increased awareness this country can make strides to better not only the outcomes for women in this country but also their birthing experiences.

Holiday Destinations // With the Christmas season upon us & everything decked out for the holidays,  I have been thinking a lot about what the Christmas season is like in other cities around the world. I think this in part due to my recent travels - I can't stop thinking about how magical Paris would be this time of year. I think Paris at Christmas time is most definitely getting added to my bucket list! However, I'm sure Paris isn't the only beautiful place at Christmas time. I would gladly take a trip to each and every one of these holiday destinations! Check them out & join the wanderlust club.


And just in case you still need ideas for some last minute gifts!