Month 1 of 12 is officially in the books! This year I wanted to start a new series that I am calling my monthly “Love it List”. In short, it will be a list of no more than 10 things that I loved this month! This could include any books or articles I’ve read, products I’ve tried, or moments spent with loved ones. Anything that has made me smile and I think is worth sharing with you. I also think that this is the perfect way to let you in on my life outside of this blog!
I have always looked at this blog as a space to share my life with others, but also where I document and collect many of my thoughts and feelings. The “Love it List” will provide me with another place to save my memories and highlights. I love the quote “gratitude turns what we have into enough,” and I’d like to practice more gratitude on here this year. Setting aside some time to reflect on all those special moments and keeping them together in a series is a great way to do that.
If there is anything in particular that you’d like to see on here, be sure to let me know.
Without further ado, here is January’s Love it List!
01. My Nana Turning 85, My Dad Turning 56
This month my family celebrated two birthdays. On the first of the month, my Nana turned 85 years old! She is very much the glue that holds our family together, and one of the most important people in my life. We grew up next door to my grandparents, and her and my papa are in all of my childhood memories. She has been one of my biggest supporters throughout my life, no matter what I do. Not many people my age still have their grandparents with them, or the close relationship I share with my Nana. My family surprised her with a big birthday party on New Years day. The look on her face was definitely a highlight of this month, and likely this year.
My Dad turned 56 on the 23rd, and we celebrated his birthday at my Nana and Papa’s house. She cooked his favorite dish (lasagna) and we spent the entire night laughing. My dad is probably my biggest inspiration. Anyone who knows him would agree that he is a very special person. From the time I was little he has believed in me and made sacrifices for me and my brothers that we will never be able to repay. I owe him everything. His birthday is a really special time to me.
02. New Years
Since moving home from college, I rarely see some of my closest friends. For four years your best friends are only a short walk away and then suddenly they are a fight away. I think many of us can take that aspect of school for granted. Many of my teammates and friends live in other states, so our visits are few and far between. On New Years, I was able to meet a group of my teammates in Boston and catch up after a long time apart. Seeing them all and hearing about what they are up to was really special and fun. I know those moments don’t happen as frequently now, so I am always grateful for them.
03. My Friends
I am at the age where many of my friends are taking big adult steps in their lives, and I just have to say- my friends are killing it right now! Buying homes, finishing grad school, making big career moves, and trying to start families…just some of the butt kicking they are up to. It’s so cool to watch your friends take on the world and succeed. Sometimes (all the time) I don’t feel old enough to be at this stage of life, but somehow I am there! I know my storyline isn’t always going to be moving at the same pace as theirs, but it makes my heart happy that they are all moving up and in the direction they want to be. Those things always deserve to be celebrated.
04. The Sun
One negative to living in New England during the winter months is the lack of sunlight. It’s dark when I wake up in the morning, and it’s dark when I leave work at 5. Depressing, right? But there is good news this month! I’ve started to notice that there is still some sun in the sky at 5 o’clock, which means that the sun is setting later, which means spring is coming! For the past few weeks I have driven home to a gorgeous sunset in the backdrop. Sometimes it’s the little things that make me happy, and this is one of them.
I’ve been using a new skincare routine for a little over a month now and am so happy with the results I’m having. My skin has been something I’ve struggled with for the better part of last year, so to have a routine that shows visible progress and results makes me really happy. I’ve done an updated skincare routine this month where you can look into exact products I’m using. For now, I am going to continue my routine and be happy that I’ve finally found something that works for me.
06. The Patriots
The game isn’t until the 4th of February but the fact that Tom Brady & Co. are in another Super Bowl this year has me so excited. I am a huge football fan and look forward to watching this team every season. There was so much talk about Tom Brady being 40 this year and how his game was going to decline. No one believed he could maintain his level of play, and he has. As a former athlete I admire his process and his competitive nature so much. He also shared his new documentary “Tom vs Time” on Facebook Watch and I have been loving it. Even though I was sweating for the entire AFC Championship Game, I can’t wait to cheer the Pats on for the Super Bowl. Sports are a big part of my life and my family, so it’s going to be a great day!
07. My Blog
I know it sounds cliche, but I really love working on this blog. I started it when I was in a bad place and threw all of my time and energy into it. Maybe that wasn’t the best way to cope with what was happening at the time, but it turned into something that brings me genuine joy every single day. I honestly am so proud of myself for what this space has become over the last two years.
This month I revamped the entire site, changed to a new theme, and put a lot of time into learning new coding techniques. I really want to make this place feel as “me” as I can, and every day I get closer. I think the perfectionist in me will never fully be satisfied, but I really love the current aesthetic. Blogging is more than just pretty pictures and words to me; I’ve found a new appreciation and love for building a brand and website and all of the behind the scenes. I’ve also been taking online classes on Skillshare and find them to be really helpful. It’s reinvigorated my love for this website, and I hope you can feel that when you visit and read!
08. New Music
Music is always a highlight for me, and this month I discovered a few new songs that I felt compelled to mention. I’m a big Spotify user, and have shared many of my playlists on my account. My favorites from the month of January include “Parallel Line” by Keith Urban, “Say Something” by Justin Timberlake ft. Chris Stapleton, “For You” by Liam Payne & Rita Ora, “My! My! My!” by Troye Sivan, “Kings & Queens” by Mat Kearney, & Thomas Rhett’s cover of “Castle on the Hill” for Spotify Singles.
Spotify has become my favorite app, and I look forward to listening to my Discovery Weekly and New Music Friday playlists every single week. Anyone who knows me personally can testify that I am constantly sharing new music with people and encouraging them to listen to my favorites. I just love how music can so easily convey what so many of us struggle to verbalize. I also appreciate how it can completely turn your mood around, or in some cases allow yourself to go to those more sad places when you need to. I just love music 🙂
09. American Crime Story
I’m not an avid TV watcher (I basically only watch sports and Game of Thrones), but I have really enjoyed the new season of ACS so far. This season is focused on the Assassination of Gianni Versace and stars Daren Criss as Andrew Cunanan. What I particularly like about ACS is that the show does not follow the obvious subject (OJ, and now Versace). Instead it uses the death of Versace to track the life and crimes of Andrew Cunanan, someone who I know very little about. I was only four years old when he died and wasn’t familiar with the story before this show came out.
I’m already hooked and I’m really looking forward to the remaining episodes. Would definitely recommend watching this show if you’re looking for something new. I’m actually getting ready to watch Episode 3 as I finish up this blog post!
I’m trying to make a conscious effort to explore other people’s blogs and YouTube channels and this month I discovered TarMarz through my favorite YouTuber, Jessica Clements. She is from Ireland living in NYC and how she doesn’t have a larger following is beyond me! I love her moody Instagram feed and really enjoy her vlogs (that accent tho). She’s very real, which I appreciate. She is still growing and it is really cool to follow along in her journey of breaking into the social media sphere. I really love her stuff and you should definitely check her out! I’m glad I found her this month.
Until next month’s edition!