Meet The Bay

Oh, the road that led me to Fritzydoodle. ¬†I rode eventers in a past life, giving up my favorite pastime like a dolt during college. I made the journey from California to Massachusetts for school and found a dressage barn outside Boston to call home for a little while. But as working /partying / studying students often find, time ran short for all-consuming activities like horses. I went to school for entrepreneurship and dove right in after graduation so it’s been about six years (seven?) since I rode consistently. Crazy, right?

We moved to Vero Beach, Florida three years ago and about halfway in, I realized that it was time for ponies to come back into my life and I leased a dressage horse last year to get my feet wet after so many years off. He was lovely, but he was a tiny little thing and it was time for me to find my forever friend. Disclaimer: Buying a horse maaaay not be the most recommended course of action if you’re as busy as I am, but I haven’t regretted it once since he’s been here. ūüíô

I started looking locally, I do live in south Florida after all – the fancy horse capital of the U.S. With a budget that seemed massive to me, I set out on the hunt. Searching for a tall, nice mover with a snuggly disposition. I quickly realized I was only able to spend a pittance in comparison to the going rate for 17hh schoolmasters. The height requirement for my leggy 5’9″ frame quickly priced out most ideal candidates. Apparently people like to put a lot of moula into those big gorgeous movers, go fig. Every horse within budget that allllmost fit the bill was too aged to be a long term partner. I’m a forever owner, so whoever came home was not going to leave me anytime soon {insert creepy laugh here} so I wanted to make sure that we could have a nice long riding career together. That magical 7 year old lanky unicorn just didn’t seem to float my way.

I found few candidates in the states that I could afford, so I started looking abroad. I had it down to two, and could not decide between the very different geldings for months. I finally settled on one and he didn’t pass the vet. Neither did the next three after him, including two local horses. It was not a fun time. In my mad hunt, I found a broker in the UK that was representing some horses out of a German barn. I’d missed out on a gorgeous gelding they had but low and behold the magic of Facebook and YouTube, Fritz came waltzing onto my computer screen. He is a 2011 Hanoverian gelding by F√ľrstenball out of Lady-Lou, a Londonderry¬†mare. And he’s 17 hands of dark bay magic.

It took me two months to decide between the first two candidates, it took about two hours to decide on Fritz. Within a few more days, I had more videos and had him scheduled for screening. It was love at first trot.
As soon as I sent the deposit and the entire month that I waited for him, I worried that I was cray cray and made a mistake. Then when he arrived, I worried that he out-horsed me.

Admittedly, he is much younger than what would best suit my abilities and lifestyle and as soon as he stepped off the truck from quarantine, his sensitive nature was apparent. My guy is gorgeous, but make no mistake he is a baby. He is terribly unsure of himself and constantly worried about his surroundings. Thankfully, he is sweet as pie and thinks through problems. He panics slightly, but relaxes and comes back to you as soon as he realizes the world isn’t ending. He’s been here just over four months and I’m pleased to say he’s settled in nicely! I’ll tell you more about our last few months’ adventures later, it’s been quite interesting.

During my worried/waiting phase, I told myself that if he arrived and was too much for me, I could find a better owner for him. Some ambitious young pro would love a horse with those gaits to produce and make a name for themselves. But the thing is, as much as a developed horse with a bag of tricks would be great, this is my guy.

I’m not a big proponent of fate, but as weird as it sounds after only a few months together, I think I am meant to be his owner. I’m meant to be his advocate. Without sounding like a crazy mommy who thinks my 1400 lb horse is a delicate flower, he is incredibly sensitive. Much more so than any horse I’ve ever known. There is a time and place to be stern and enforce boundaries, of course, but he needs to absorb each experience in his own time. I once read an interview in which Laura Graves said that many professionals told her to move on from Diddy, that she had to lunge every ride until his seventh year. But she understood him, saw the potential and helped him find his way. Now, I’m no Laura, and he’s no Diddy. But I think we can become a team and better athletes with a little patience, practice and help from a boatload of professionals.¬†

The happy news; this horse has personality to spare and I love his face. ¬†He’s incredibly affectionate, listens attentively and while he might step out of line every now and then as a baby would, he always wants to please you. He’s incredibly intelligent and thus busy… he’s the silly Cookie Monster of the barn who convinces his older (usually sensible) neighbors that playing fly-mask-away is priority #1. He will follow you around the stall while you muck, requesting scratches on his favorite spots. And while he’ll get nervous about a saddle pad that falls off the rack, he’ll stand patiently for the important stuff like the farrier and dentist. He’s a conundrum, and it’s swell.

Plus, he’s one handsome pile of fuzz. Let’s discuss that important detail…

Fritzy in Germany with his sales rider:
  
  
  

The travelling pony arrives in Florida:  


 He traveled from Amsterdam to quarantine in Miami via The Dutta Corporation who I would highly recommend. They were phenomenal and he was in excellent shape when he arrived. Of course, being the posh pony that he is, he flew first class and in a fun twist, he had the opportunity to talk shop with quite the accomplished flight-mate. The Hanoverian stallion Sandronnerhall was acquired by syndicate for Adrienne Lyle and happened to come over on the same flight as my little dumpling. Hopefully he picked up some times from Sandronnerhall!

I’m looking forward to getting to know even more all the quirks and silliness he has hidden in his whiskers, and I hope you’ll come along for the ride!

xo, L

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The Start of Something New

Hey y’all!

It has been an insanely long time since I found the time to write any meaningful content for “The Modern Blonde.” ¬†To be completely honest, in the little spare time that I’m afforded, it¬†seemed that living life¬†was¬†more important than documenting my thoughts on it.

That perspective changed last week when I had a bit of a training¬†predicament¬†with¬†my new young horse.¬†(PS: I bought a horse! More on that later.) I needed to research the issues we were having and found that while there are several young horse books and scores of training websites, I couldn’t find anything remotely similar to what we were experiencing. Until I found the forums, that is. What a treasure trove! I google and read, read and googled. The support that all¬†these wonderful equestrians lend one another is remarkable. They freely offer advice, support, tips, and what I was looking for: stories of personal experience. It was a breath of fresh air.

I decided to post my own question thread, detailing my dilemma. The support and wave of response made me misty. It was like this huge weight of self-doubt had been taken off my shoulders. I don’t remember the last time I felt so relieved. I still don’t have all the answers, but help is¬†out there. Le sigh.

One of the people that so kindly took the time to lend a thought suggested videoing Le Pony and myself as we are now, in our infancy, so that we might have something to compare to when we’ve become fancy. I had thought to tape our sessions simply so that I can show trainer/rider/horse friends and post it on the forums for critique, but I hadn’t thought of the wonderful before and after aspect. It’s like a #fitspo for my #horsepo, then and now style. So, obvi… I’m in!

Slightly embarrassing confession time. I’ve never been able to stick to a meal journal, but I studiously¬†keep a pony log: a¬†daily chronicling of our escapades.¬† So when I wonder how¬†many sessions he’s had in the grass arena, or how long it’s been since the farrier came, I have all the info handy.

And you better strap your helmets on, I’ve decided to take my pony log global.

Let me say this loud and clear: I am by NO MEANS a professional, this will not be a pool of wonderful gems of training wisdom. But I would like to share my experiences with this young and fairly quirky fella with two goals in mind:

  1. That reflecting on my training will bring better clarity. I’d love for¬†this challenging horse who pushes me far beyond my comfort zone and skill set to make me a better horsewoman. If I’m going to break some bones along the way, I better learn something from it, eh?
  2. The hope that perhaps someone does find just a smidge of help from¬†following our progress, just as I found my mojo¬†reading other’s experiences in the forums.¬†¬†Even though I won’t be imparting any groundbreaking training tips, I hope that the right person can find encouragement in knowing that someone else is going through it too.

And on that hopeful note, I would like to introduce you to the latest furry man in my life. Meet Fritz, aka pony. I think you’ll love him¬†too.

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   xoxo,

          L

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Southern Charm

After making the move from Charleston, SC to Florida, I’ve found myself reflecting on the things that I’ll miss most about low country living. ¬†During our time in Charleston, I was fortunate enough to reside in Mount Pleasant’s Old Village, a magical movie-set neighborhood that just brims with southern charm and begs to be strolled in the moonlight. ¬† ¬†I can’t quite express how peaceful this neighborhood is (mind you not on a Saturday in the summer when tourists flood the city like palmetto bugs) and how much I’m going to miss it.

Picture this… quiet meandering streets lined with oaks dripping¬†in¬†Spanish¬†moss. ¬†Hydrangea, lavender and everything else amazingly southern blooming, picket fences and porch swings. ¬†The quintessential rocking chair, perfectly¬†poised¬†for front-porch sittin’. ¬†Gas lamps burning a welcoming beacon at every walkway. An abandoned brick stairwell from a 1700s rebel officer’s home. ¬†The sun setting in a brilliant glow over Charleston harbor, illuminating the Holy City’s steeples as it disappears. ¬†Pure Magic.

While there are a million delightful restaurants, sites and adventures to be seen in downtown Charleston, the peaceful magic of day’s past is found in the Old Village.

Pitt Street Bridge (& my puppy’s rump)

If you ever find yourself in town, wander on over to the “Old Bridge” at Pitt Street. ¬†Aim for sunrise or sunset and you’ll find yourself in another world. ¬†The bridge was¬†original site of a trolley bridge connecting Mount Pleasant to Sullivan‚Äôs Island from 1898 to 1927, there was a plank bridge built on Hogs Head barrels across the cove during the Revolutionary War¬†and the Civil War. ¬†Today it is a gorgeous reminder of who came before us. ¬†From this waterfront vista, you can see historic Fort Sumter, downtown Charleston, the Cooper River Bridge and Sullivan’s Island through the marsh and bay. ¬†It is hands down my favorite place in all of Charleston and well worth a romantic stroll. ¬†Wander back down Pitt Street and you’ll pass one historical home after another, many once belonging to officers, politicians and pirates. Yes ma’am, I said pirates!

1.  Hot Toddies

Get your mind out of the gutter; I mean the drinks not little trollops. ¬†The first place we lived in Charleston was in this itsy little tucked back neighborhood and our very first neighborhood friend introduced me to a new concept. ¬†Upon our first meeting, we were instantly invited to come have a hot-toddie on the porch that very evening. ¬†It was an unusually cold first winter, she was about eighty years old and the drinks were oh-so-warming. ¬†To this day, I do believe she made the best first impression. ¬†If you haven’t indulged, google it this winter. Yum.

2. ¬†The true meaning of y’all, y’all

Now here’s the thing, my mama is from the south. ¬†Y’all has always been part of my vocabulary. ¬†But here, it isn’t just a cute little hyphenate. ¬†Nope, it’s a way of life. ¬†Brace yourself New Englanders, in the South – everyone talks to everyone. ¬†I know, right!? ¬†I literally can’t walk down the street without stopping to have a friendly chat with some lovely person, neighbor or stranger alike. ¬†Being a native Californian, that suits me just fine and I rather enjoy knowing silly little details about folks I’ve never seen before. ¬†(See that fella down there, he’s on his way to the boat docks to have himself a po’boy and watch the dolphin roll in). ¬†I’m desperately hoping that my new Vero Beach neighbors will be as warm as the folks in the Old Village but I’m nearly convinced that there is no comparison. ¬†Everywhere you look, it’s a friendly face with genuine interest in how you are. ¬†And while the pace of the line at Starbucks might be maddeningly slow, it is ridiculously refreshing to live with such a welcoming group of people. ¬†So for that, I thank you southerners!

Hey y’all” = come on in for supper/let’s sit and chat for 5 hours/wana go down to the creek (yes, we have a creek) and grab some shrimp and beers?/it’s time for brunch/it’s time for bed kids

“All y’all” = A 4+ group of people is invited over for hot toddies.

“Bye y’all!” = I’ll see you tomorrow, same place same time. ¬†No, you don’t need to call first. ¬†Yes, the front door will be unlocked and a pie will be on the table – help yourself and bring me a slice out on the porch, will ya?

3. Architecture should be adorable

Our new Florida residence is a lovely little waterfront hideaway, but I already cannot wait to build the next house. ¬†My extreme desire to build our next residence is largely thanks to the exquisite home design of Charleston (namely the Old Village, Sullivan’s Island and Isle of Palms). ¬†Take some old world sea-captain stateliness, mix in some plantation grandeur, a little Key-West flair and throw on some adorable shutters and you have the most adorable homes ever built. ¬†They. are. exquisite.¬†Perfectly adorable and unassuming but marvelous all at once. Every detail has been paid attention. ¬†The front porch (major factor) is curved for the best view and angle for waving at passersby. ¬†The gas lamps frame the walkways and doors. ¬†Oh god, the doors. ¬†BEAUTIFUL. ¬†Big bay windows from every room. ¬†Balconies and hidden gardens in abundance. ¬†Paved driveways, adorable little hedges. ¬†Amazeballs kitchens. It’s all designed for understated opulence but more importantly, for relaxed southern living. These folks really know what they want from their daily lives; comfort, kitchens filled with loved ones and yummy food, views for days and yards that welcome the neighbors over for toddies (see number one) and oyster roasts. Relaxed, detailed, seaside. ¬†That’s me in a nutshell. ¬†And now I know how to express it in architecture. brava.

4.  On that note, gas lamps are a necessity

Just as much as I’ve fallen for the amazing construction techniques here, gas lamps will forever be a part of my life. ¬†There is just something so old-world and romantic about a flickering light to illuminate your path. ¬†Maybe I was meant to live during the Civil War. Wait, scratch that, I can’t do without my excel and Starbucks.

Twinkling gas lamps have this exceptional way of adding a touch of the mysterious to an otherwise ordinary evening. If you are so lucky, stroll down a gas lamp lit street¬†one night and feel the magic. ¬†Watch the lights flicker, take a deep breath of salty air and pretend you’re a pirate for just a brief moment.

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4. The Civil War isn’t just in history books

I’ve had the privilege in living in not only one but two major historical war towns. A city incredibly chalk-full of historical battle sites, Boston (and the outlying cities) is of course home to the “shot heard round the world” – the unordered shot on Lexington Green that began the American Revolution. ¬†And of course on June 17, 1775 the first major fight between British and American troops occurs at Boston in the Battle of Bunker Hill. The city oozes with revolutionary history, it’s truly fascinating. No, seriously.¬†

Travel south and right in my Mount Pleasant backyard, on April 12, 1861, General P.G.T. Beauregard, in command of the Confederate forces around Charleston Harbor, opened fire on the Union garrison holding Fort Sumter.  This first fire aimed at Fort Sumter took the

George S. James fired the first shot at Fort Sumter

Civil War past the theoretical, making it a very real conflict and thus igniting our fair country’s Civil War.¬†Captain George S. James has the distinction of firing that monumental¬†first shot. ¬†The spark had been lit on the war and there was no turning back from that point on. ¬†I had the phenomenal honor of being a MP resident for the 150th anniversary of the firing on Fort Sumter last year. ¬†What a crazy history lesson that was. ¬†The cannon fire began at 4:30 am, just as it had in 1861 and didn’t cease until the Union surrender of the fort 34 hours later, I kid you not. ¬†Cannon fire literally shook our house. ¬†The south is alive and well, my friends.

Admittedly, I’ve always found the histories of¬†monarchical¬†countries more interesting to study/read tawdry novels about. ¬†But after having lived in a place where the past is so present, one can’t help but want to know more. ¬†The passion of my southern neighbors (confederate loving or not) made me more than a little ashamed that I know more about Henry VIII than the¬†development¬†of our United States. ¬†Note to self: learn about your own country’s history asap.

A History Lesson, or two: 

5. Beer & Puppies should be casual

So again, this little bit of enlightenment comes from my specific (awesome) neighborhood. ¬†Never have I ever seen a neighborhood with such a relaxed approach to puppy containment and sidewalk drinkin’. ¬†Pooches & parents stroll through the neighborhood to the park without a leash in sight and make friends as they go. ¬†It’s really such a simple concept – yet so rare. ¬†Traffic is generally minimal in our quiet subdivision and there are no mean doggies to worry about. ¬†What’s even better? Usually the proud owner is toting a bevvie (scotch seems to be the libation of choice) and are generally happy as a clam at high tide. ¬†It makes for wonderful morning walks and evening gab-fests.

6. Eating like a southerner every day = blaaaa

Everyone knows that a Carolina girl can sure fry some chicken. But dear Lord, these people¬†won’t eat greens (not collard) to save their lives. ¬†Call me picky, but we have found it exceedingly difficult to find healthy meals in this fair state. ¬†Not ¬†only are salads totally off the menu, it’s to the opposite end of the spectrum. I’m talking buttery grits, creamed anything and there’s not a pasta in sight that isn’t covered in cheese. ¬†It’s a bit disturbing.

Thankfully, Charleston happens to be a fairly active city so at least people get their blood flowing after clogging their arteries. ¬†What I’ve learned from this culinary experience, comfort food isn’t for me. ¬†My metabolism just can’t keep up with all those biscuits.

7.  Football is intense

I think everyone knows that the South takes football seriously. But I could never have imagine just how serious. ¬†I’m talking babies in pimped out SC strollers, team flags flying from every vehicle/window/fence/wall, local holidays just so that everyone can travel to Columbia to tailgate for the big game, full-back Tiger tattoos, completely color coordinated wardrobes (I’m talking every.single.garment.), and my special favorite… the Garage Party. ¬†The ultimate in college football excitement, the Garage Party is a common¬†occurrence¬†in even the poshest neighborhoods. ¬†Now, I never got a definitive answer as to why watching football is best in one’s garage. ¬†But it seems to have something to do with the excessive drinking and spilling of beer. ¬†Southerners, can I get confirmation on this? ¬†Walk down any street on game night and you’ll hear men, women and children alike screaming at ¬†big screen TVs in the garage. ¬†“Geeeeettt hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimmmmmmmmmmm! Get em boy!!!” was my neighbors favorite thing to scream. I miss her already. Excessive drinking and shouting aside, it’s nice to feel a part of something. I’ve never been one to cheer for a team whose college I didn’t attend or get super into professional sports, but there really is something energizing about rallying around a hometown team. One thing Southerners do especially well is come together and it seems football is no exception. ¬†They’re quick to support their brothers, a lesson we can all do well to learn from.

Disclaimer to Charlestonians: I will never ever pick a side so let’s just pretend I’m wearing whatever colors you want me to be, k?

8. Mornings are magic, so wake up already

I’ll just put it out there, I’m not a morning person. ¬†Once I’m up, I’m totally fine. It’s the actual getting out of bed that kills me. ¬†It’s so dang cozzzyyy in bed. Why would anyone ever leave it? ¬†Thankfully, I have this really whiny puppy who insists on waking up and going for a walk before the sun comes up. ¬†I can’t tell you how many sunrises I’ve seen in the past few years, but they’ve been enough to make me not want to miss another. ¬†Here’s the key; the world is still at sunrise. ¬†It’s truly a special time of day. ¬†No one is out (except maybe my neighbor Sally who is awesome to share a sunrise with in case you’re ever in town at 6am), the birds are just starting to sing, and the world is covered in a silvery fine mist that makes every leaf seem enchanted. ¬†Try it, would ya? ¬†Set your alarm for 15 minutes before sunrise tomorrow (that is, unless you have children or puppies who perform this function for you), brew a cup of bold roast and just wander in the pre-dawn splendor. ¬†This is an especially good time for quiet reflection but don’t ruin the peace with list making. ¬†Just soak it in. You never know how that morning magic will change your day, or your life.

9. Support Local

I’ve always been inclined to root for the underdog. ¬†In sports, elections, boat races, you name it. ¬†So it was no big leap for me to want to support small local businesses as opposed to big box stores. ¬†Charleston takes the concept of supporting local to a whole other level. They are fiercely loyal to local teams, boutiques, farmers, grocers, artists, performers, any one who claims southern ground as home. ¬†I think it all comes back to the sense of community that these southern folk were raised with. ¬†Everyone takes care of everybody else and the cycle perpetuates. ¬†It’s wonderful. ¬†Restaurants are owned and operated by local chefs, menus consist of locally grown produce and meats, festivals celebrate local artists and performers, and patrons flock to stores owned by born-and-bred South Carolinians. ¬†The concept that I’ve always been eager to embrace has been expanded upon ten fold. ¬†As a result, we consumers receive better service, better products and fresher foods and locals have something to be proud of.

Not to mention, the relationships that are fostered from supporting local artisans are a major bonus. It’s a special kind of awesome when Tony at the breakfast place has your order ready for you when you arrive and Joe at the meat market calls you when the best cuts of filet come in. Personalization is fabulous. ¬†Living with that kind of hospitality year round makes me realize that I need to always provide that same level of service to my own clients. ¬†I think we are fortunate to live in a time when customer appreciation and high levels of service are coming back into fashion and I hope dearly that I can help move that forward in my own small way.

10. Take time

My years in Charleston were spent building and growing a business, so needless to say I had very little sleep and even less time to spend on myself. ¬†My hair got unruly, my nails went unpolished and my exercise dropped off the map. ¬†When every minute is scheduled out, even the smallest task can seem to suck your day away. ¬†Twenty minutes to get coffee and a bagel is just not going to work for me. ¬†Before Charleston, my adult life was spent in Boston where things move at the speed of light, just the way I like it. ¬†However (and this is a big however), southern living is trying desperately hard to teach me to slow down. ¬†I’m happy to report that I’m making progress, albeit in small steps.

But here’s the thing, the people in line at Starbucks that want to chat – it turns out that they’re actually really nice!¬†The deli manager who likes to talk about craft beers and gun ranges before he slices your turkey – he’s pretty cool to share a burger and watch a game with. ¬†The shop girl who won’t stop babbling about how awesome my shoes are (yes, they are awesome, thank you for noticing) – she lived down the street from me in Boston. ¬†All the people and all the slow situations that initially made my skin crawl from sheer inefficiency, are actually pretty cool. Let’s be honest, I’m never going to have hours to just wile away at the market. ¬†But I’m learning to be more patient with daily adventures. ¬†Because really, if I’m rushing through my day, what’s the point? ¬†To the same end, slowing my pace has helped me carve out some time for myself. ¬†I still don’t have time for that coveted activity that is actual store shopping, but I’ve made room in the day for making dinner at home and hitting the gym. ¬†And who could forget all those early morning puppy prances? It’s not perfect balance, but it’s a start. ¬†And I have the southern way of living to thank for making me realize that I need it. ¬†It turns out, there is something to be said for going slow enough to actually enjoy yourself.

So thanks, Charleston. ¬†While my time with you was brief, it is with a heavy heart that I leave you. ¬†It’s with heaps of appreciation that I’ll be bringing some of that Southern Hospitality with me down the coast.

xoxo, L

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Charleston Charm

Just a few of my favorite homes and images from around Mount Pleasant and Charleston.  Tres inspiring.

 

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Follow the Curve: Walter Steiger

There is just something so right about Walter Steiger’s signature curved heels.¬† Sex on a platform is what it is.

Browse: http://www.waltersteiger.com/

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ClearanceCharms:

Reposting from NewDreamz because I adore a good arm party

Originally posted on Oh So Charming:

It‚Äôs no secret that we loooove an arm party at Clearance Charms. ¬†Whether it‚Äôs stacking charm bracelets, Shamballa bracelets or Friendship bracelets ‚Äď you can‚Äôt go wrong! ¬†Mix in your favorite watch, cuff or bangle and you‚Äôll have a look that will be the hit of any party!

Here are some of our favorite arm parties on some very stylish celebrities ‚Äď from Olivia Palermo to Justin Bieber!. ¬†Share yours with us and you could win a prize!

   

  

Arm party, celebrity style, alessandra ambrosio, selena gomez, justin bieber, karl lagerfeld, the man repeller, leandra medine, olivia palermo, jay z, beyonce, lauren conrad, kim kardashian, paris hilton, zoe naylor, jessie j, fashion, coachella, trends, jewelry, bracelets, shamballa bracelet, friendship bracelet,

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I Got Pressed.

I’m going to be honest with you, the last two years of my life have not been entirely healthy. Business was booming and with the chaos came very little time for myself. I’m not sure how all those super-women squeeze morning workouts in before the bell tolls, but for me it just wasn’t an option. Working thirteen hour days, seven days a week really took everything I had. The very last thing on my mind was fitness. I was just trying not to fall over.

What’s worse? On top of missing my daily workouts, nothing I ate (ok, almost nothing) was real food. What does one eat when one’s trying to stuff something into one’s mouth so one won’t pass out while working on 300 projects at once? For me it was whatever was the quickest; Goldfish crackers, potato chips (ok at least they were all natural!), macaroni and cheese if I’d had the time to boil water, ritz crackers & peanut butter, candy for a sugar burst… you get the drift.

I recently realized just how many crackers make up my daily food consumption – it was truly startling. Do I really like crackers that much?? The answer is a resounding hell no. They’re just so freakin’ easy, I’m sure you know what I mean. But now that the dust has settled (sort of) at work, it seems a crime to continually eat something with no nutritional value. Especially when -ahem, ahem- at the ripe old age of twenty-seven, my metabolism has changed drastically. {sidenote: omg am I really 27?? how did that happen??} My Mister once commented to me that if he ate the crap I ate, he’d be 500 pounds. I didn’t know what he was talking about, until my metabolism betrayed me so viciously.

I was never the skinniest girl in the room, I am 5’9 after all, but I always found happiness in being fit. Until the vortex that is my work life, I worked out five days a week and always felt good. I rode horses (three day eventing to those of you who want to know), I did Pilates regularly (big hat tip to Mt Pleasant Pilates & Polestar Pilates in Miami), I ran distances and sprints with no issue, I biked, I kayaked. So as someone who always regarded myself as a fit person, you can imagine my shock when I realized my jeans were tighter than they should be. But then again, I suppose not moving for two years and eating solely processed food will do that to a person.

So kids, the moral of this story? Like many of you, I’ve decided to make a change. I want my old body back. But moreover, I want to feel good. I want to have energy again. And by golly, I’m going to get it. That first step is always the hardest, so I decided to go in head first and begin with a juice cleanse to rid myself of all the toxins I’ve put into my bod and shred my dependency to snack food.

In full disclosure, I started working out again regularly in January and we’ve been eating much healthier in general. For me, that means actually taking time to cook at home so we don’t have to eat junk. But gosh, the dog starts whining at five so it’s straight to the park after work then I’m starving so a little peanut butter can’t hurt and then who cares what’s for dinner. Right? I blame the dog. It does help that when my hunnie gets on a mission to be well – he takes his mission verrry srrsly. A retired baseball pitcher, he really knows what to do to make his body perform at its best. And let me tell you, I don’t want to be the chubby girl standing next to that tall handsome hunk of meat. But I digress…

So anyway, I thought a juice cleanse would be the perfect kick-off to the new/recovered me. Before you start moaning like my brother did; no, I have not become an obsessive juicer. That isn’t where this is going, though I REALLY want a juicer for Christmas in case anyone is making a list. I chose Pressed Juicery’s three day cleanse and they promptly shipped me twenty-four juices for my sipping pleasure. Based on my survey answers, they reccommended Cleanse 2 for “more experienced juicers,” needless to say I was worried but forged ahead.

I won’t lie to you, Greens 4 was pretty tough to swallow. I think it’s the way the juices seperated? In any event, the rest of the juices were actually delightful and I tended to skip half of Greens 2. Day One, I was totally starving and cheated with a bite of BCS’s grilled chicken at dinner. But otherwise, eight juices a day + my regular water intake (a lot) really kept me well satiated. I found several really key benefits to those three days of juice fast:

I woke up totally energized each morning. More than that, after my first morning drink (Greens 2) I was so a l i v e. I can’t quite explain it. I think it’s how other people feel after coffee (I react oddly to caffiene). My mind was awake and running but not in a manic way. It seemed to me like that’s how I’m supposed to feel all day. Like that was what wellness felt like. Maybe that sounds corny, but so true. And I’m hoping I can find a way to keep that clarity constantly.

After the cleanse, I transitioned back to normal foods slowly. Let’s get real for a sec, I’m never going to be totally carb/meat/dairy/whatevs free. But now I crave veggies and juice more than ever before. I don’t want crackers, I want grapes and broccoli. Which works out because now apparently I can’t eat chemical packed foods.

A few days after my cleanse, I was walking through the office and spied a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup in the candy bowl. I grabbed one and gobbled without even thinking about it. 1) those things really aren’t that tasty, y’all. And 2) approximately ten minutes later I felt SO gross. I’m talking light headed, headachey, need to lay down kind of ill. Weird, right? So I kept eating my veggies, grilled meats, brown rice, etc then a few days later I thought maybe I’d have a handful of goldfish since I’d burnt my lunch leftovers. Same thing happened, totally nauseous, light headed, the whole deal. I realized that every single time I ate something processed I felt this way. Apparently, my body really doesn’t like unnatural foods. It only took me twenty-seven years to listen to it.

It makes sense, really. I’ve never believed in hormone injected meat so I eat only organic meats, why wouldn’t that thought extend to the contents of my pantry? I’m not going to lie, when you’re busy it can certainly be hard to have fresh food constantly available. But the extra effort and occasional skipped snack is well worth not putting chemicals into my body when doing so very clearly makes it function at less than one hundred percent. Even if I do miss my snack packs so much that I could cry (which I don’t), nothing would be worth losing this energized feeling. Whether it leads to a whittled middle or not, that’s yet to be determined. So far, I’m satisfied with feeling well. And honestly, even if it didn’t make me feel as fantastic as it does, now that I’ve thought about all the chemicals in processed food, I can’t go back. It just doesn’t make sense, why eat something that was made in a lab when I can eat something that was grown in the sun? Pretty sure we humans weren’t designed to live on sodium benzoate. It just seems so obvious when you think about it.

While I promise not to turn this into a diet blog, I’ll share some progress updates & some of my clean menus along the way. I do reccommend veggie juice cleanses since it worked so well for me, but know your body and do what’s best for you! You can order the cleanse I did at www.pressedjuicery.com, my drink selections & reviews are below. In the meantime, I’ll keep my eyes peeled for that juicer you’re sending me as a totally unexpected present. So sweet of you. ;)

My menu via Pressed Juicery:

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Perfection

No explanation necessary.
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Motivation

Per usual, Monday has me thinking about motivation.

No matter what you’re pursuing (and we’re all pursuing something), go after it.

Don’t wait.

Don’t put it off.¬† No matter how much it wears you down today, give it everything you have.¬† Because tomorrow you’ll be one step closer.¬† Whatever your goal may be, you cannot even hope to accomplish it if you don’t go for it.¬† Day one is always the hardest but every day after you’ll feel more contented and proud that you’re on your way to cross that elusive thing off your list.

So, you want to get in shape for that girls’ weekend to Cabo?¬† WORK that body!¬† Saying you want to look hot in that¬† bikini doesn’t get you very far.¬† You gotta work for it, girls.

Are you a lowly intern desperately seeking a raise with every copy you collate?¬† Make copies that make your boss weep with joy so that she can’t help but notice you.

Convinced that you have the naughtiest dog at the park?  Take the time out of your undoubtedly busy schedule to train that furry fido.

Tired of being pushed around by a bossy relative or co-worker?¬† Create a mantra, as in, “I am a strong, confident woman.¬† I will stand up for myself.”¬† And repeat it every morning and every night.¬† Eventually, you may just believe yourself.

But I implore you, whatever it is that you seek to accomplish Рstart today!  Start right this very minute.  You may be surprised at just how much you can achieve if you try.

xoxo, L

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Making a House a Home, part one

We recently purchased a home in Vero Beach, Florida.¬† We’re lucky enough to have our own little slice of heaven on the barrier island waterway.¬† My Mister gets to drop the boat in from the backyard, and I can hear the ocean from the front.¬† It’s magic.

In the months since we signed on the dotted line, we’ve been busy improving a house that pretty much didn’t need improvements.¬† That’s normal though, right?¬† From the hardwood to the paint, we’ve been making it our own.¬† There’s still quite a bit to do, but we’re off to a good start & it’s nice to have a place that represents us a little better.¬† Of course we have no idea when we’ll ever actually move into this house; but whenever we decide it’s time, he’ll be¬†ready for us.

Here’s a little snippet of what we’ve started.¬† You’ll notice the house is practically empty, the¬†switch plates are missing (oh boy I special ordered THE most¬†gorgeous little suckers, they just came in last week!), and there is nothing on the walls. But¬†stay tuned for¬†tons of updates, photos & furniture (!) to come!

For some reason, our first purchases were all dining related.  We had a custom dining table, outdoor dining table, and two coffee tables created by Stephen Wain of Wain Green Wood in Charleston.  He works with reclaimed southern heart pine to create these beautiful pieces.  Our new dining area is rather small but he was still able to capture the grand farmhouse feeling we were hoping for.

Shop:  Custom tables from Wain Green Wood, Chairs from Celadon Mt Pleasant, sisal rug from GDC Home.

Shop: Wain Green Wood custom tables, new patio chairs needed desperately!

                    

We installed new handscraped oak floors in all of the bedrooms and restained¬†the rest of the home’s¬†honey-colored cherry floors to a lovely dark brown.¬† We love the contrast of the Great Room’s paint (Valspar’s Woodlawn Sterling Mist) and the lightwash furniture with the dark wood.¬† The darker paint in the game room/office on the left is Valspar’s Winter Flannel.¬† Entry table from Nadeau Home.

Note: that sad chandelier & my discarded Stephen Sprouse Louis¬†have got to go before that room can be labeled a man cave, dont’cha think?

This will appeal more to the fellas, but we also had the dock re-done!¬†Two boat lifts, an addition and a lot of gadgets later –¬†we’re ready to float!

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Our lovely new kitchen, save for the plastic dog feeder & ladybug tea kettle, obvi.¬† With views of the water from the kitchen, you can’t help but want to cook.

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What could be better than my favorite beach bar a mile down the road?¬† If you ever visit Florida, try the conch fritters at Mulligan’s Beach Bar & Grille. De-lish.

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