Yet another month has flown by without an update from me other than these monthly check-ins. At least February is actually a shorter month, so there's a reason why it feels like it went by so quickly, right?? Honestly, I've not done so great on the whole “not hustling” thing I swore to stick to this year. I've been going through quite a few changes when it comes to work stuff, so it's resulted in the need for re-evaluation, brainstorming, and pitching. I feel excited about what's to come, though! So here's what went down in February:
Attended Alt Summit in Palm Springs, California
I spent 5 days / 4 nights in Palm Springs for the Alt Summit conference. It was my first time to Palm Springs and I wanted to cry when I left. This place is filled with vibrant colors, gorgeous palm trees and majestic mountains all within the same glance in any direction. It was an Instagrammer's dream come true, especially the location of the conference: The Saguaro. This hotel is a rainbow-colored delight that will have you feeling giddy just by standing in the courtyard. I'm already dying to go back! A lucky bonus of attending Alt Summit was getting to connect with and see my blogger bestie, Jen from Something Turquoise!
I actually didn't stay at The Saguaro, but instead my “squad” and I rented an adorable AirBNB called “The Vivian” that was an absolute DREAM! It had its own pool, hot tub, and was decorated impeccably with mid-century modern fabulousness. I'd go back in a heartbeat! It was so great to spend time with these ladies who have been such a huge support to me over the last several years.
The Alt Summit conference itself was fun, and I met some really interesting and wonderful women! As with most conferences I've attended, I feel I've gotten so much more out of the conversations I had with other attendees rather than the sessions. But there were some great sessions, too! I particularly enjoyed hearing Jordan of Oh Happy Day's session on monetization, Allison of The Allison Show, and Luvvie.
Because so much time was taken up with the conference, I didn't have time to do much exploring. I had a few good meals out in the city, including some delish Mexican food at Las Casuelas Terraza and an amazing brunch at Reservoir. I would go back to PS just to eat at Reservoir again– it was seriously that good– especially their bloody mary's! I'm already looking to make plans to return to Palm Springs ASAP.
Visited my sister in LA
I always look forward to my winter visits to California… not just because I get to see my sister Kim, but also because it's typically a nice reprieve from the NYC Winter. This year, the weather in LA was pretty awful on my trip, so that was quite a letdown… and I got to return to New York just in time for a huge snow storm! Even more reason that I'm already plotting my next trip out west! It definitely wasn't all a loss, though. As with most trips to Los Angeles, I ate some pretty epic meals. Many of my most memorable moments when I travel revolve around food… that's normal, right? Soon enough I'll publish my city guides to my favorite spots in both NYC and LA, so be on the lookout for that!
This trip was also different due to the fact that my sister recently moved in with her boyfriend of close to 2 years. This stay with Kim wasn't quite the slumber party we'd both grown used to! It was still super fun to spend time with her and get to know her boyfriend Jay better. They are both such talented and driven people, and I can't wait to see them become a Hollywood power couple. 😎
Some of the things I did while in LA:
- Had the famous chopped salad at La Scala
- Hiked up to Griffith Observatory
- Got my sweat on at Shape House
- Had brunch at Bottega Louie
- Explored Grand Central Market
- Did the sky slide at OUE Skyspace
- Visited The Last Bookstore
- Drove on the lot at Paramount Studios to visit Kim at work
- Ate at my fave spot, Lemonade
- Used my Classpass membership to go to Flywheel in Larchmont
- Attended a weddings event at the Hotel Bel Air
- Had ice cream from Salt & Straw
- Got a Double Double Animal Style from In-N-Out
- Picked up some cookies from Milk Jar
- Had some delish Mexican food at Petty Cash Taqueria
I always love my time in Los Angeles, and I'm hoping to find another excuse to get out there before 2017 comes to a close. Good news is that Kim and Jay are planning a trip to NYC this fall, so I at least have that to look forward to!
Saw a Disney Cover Band
A few of our friends told us about the Disney cover band, The Little Mermen, and without hesitation, I was in. They sang all the classics from The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast all the way to the newest hits from Frozen and Moana. They even did a High School Musical number and my HSM-loving heart was so into it. The band had several costume changes – the lead singer transformed from Mary Poppins to Ariel to Pocahontas to Belle and more between songs. It was good, clean, Disney fun but in a bar setting. Sometimes a good Disney sing-along while enjoying some adult beverages is just what you need, ya know? Apparently, they do a limited number of shows per year but I definitely recommend checking them out — a good time was had by all!
Attended to a Whiskey & Cheese Tasting
I'm always on the lookout for unique gift ideas, and in recent years we've put more of a focus on experiences over things. I decided to surprise E with a fun experience for Christmas this year, and I purchased tickets for us to go to a Whiskey and Cheese Pairing / Tasting event at the swanky Flatiron Room in NYC. My friend Kari had recommended this place to me and it's safe to say it was a hit! Eric really enjoyed the class and learning more about different types of whiskey… while I enjoyed the cheese portion of the evening most. 😉 Overall, the class was a wonderful experience and I think we'd both be interested in going back for another event in the future!
Celebrated Baby Knight!
Our friends Eric and Brittny are expecting a baby girl in May, so we joined them to celebrate her impending arrival at the lovely Maison May in Brooklyn. This was honestly the most fun and chic baby shower I've ever attended. The details were impeccable – just look at that greenery wall!
Friend and wedding planner Jove Meyer taped various ferns and greenery to the wall and it made such a statement! There were delicious bites and Bloody Mary's from Maison May and overall, it was a truly wonderful way to spend a Saturday!
Enjoyed the unseasonally warm NYC Weather
We've had a bit of a warm spell here in NYC following the snowstorm in early February, and it's been SO incredibly nice. We had about a week and a half of mild weather ranging from the mid 50's to mid 70's!!! It was like a miracle. On the days when the weather was nice E and I spent hours outside. Walking in the park, grabbing delicious Poké from our new fave: The Poké Spot in Union Square, and doing some window shopping.
Had a visit from an Aisle Society sister
One of my fellow Aisle Society members, Anna of Marry Me Tampa Bay, came to NYC for a visit and stayed with me for a couple of nights. We spent a super fun night in Brooklyn, doing a little bar hopping and enjoying some amazing southern style food at Sweet Chick. I also joined her and a friend in seeing the Tonight Show monologue rehearsal with Jimmy Fallon as well as a taping of The View! It was so great to spend time with Anna and get to know her better. Already looking forward to seeing her in Jamaica this month for our 2nd annual Aisle Society retreat!
Submitted a book proposal
I spent quite a bit of time in January and February putting together information to submit a proposal to a publisher who expressed interest in doing a book with me. They were thrilled with the proposal and wanted to move forward but something in my gut was telling me this wasn't the right opportunity. I was so excited about the possibility of producing a book that I lost sight of what I actually wanted. I ultimately decided that the particular book they were looking to produce wasn't something that I felt fit into my current goals or plans. I've since connected with a book agent who is going to help me in putting together a proposal for the book I've actually always wanted to write. I'm feeling super excited about the possibilities and seeing how doing a book can help my business continue to grow and flourish!
Refinanced our rental property
In a true act of #adulting, E and I decided to refinance our townhome back in Nashville. We were able to reduce our interest rate by 1.5% and reduce our mortgage to a 15 year, essentially saving ourselves over $40,000 in interest over the life of our loan. It was a true pain in the ass to go through this process, but for that kind of savings, we felt it was totally worth it. Our mortgage payment went up by less than $100 but we'll get it paid off sooner. I'm so glad we decided to hang on to that property when we moved to NYC, as it could potentially help us when we're ready to buy something new someday or just continue to serve as a secondary stream of income.
Other than a 24-hour stomach bug, (which was horrendous) February was a pretty wonderful month. I'm looking forward to see what March has in store for me. What's currently on the docket: getting my taxes ready, filing some serious biz paperwork and getting some financial stuff in order. It feels like we've done so much grown up stuff lately that it really makes me wonder: does anyone ever feel like they're actually an adult? 😂
Until next month (but hopefully sooner?!)