New Year, New Goals

English Scones BBC

Happy 2017!

I've been enjoying wishing all who I come in contact with a Happy New Year or telling them I hope the year has been off to a great start for them. It's only a few days into the new year, but it makes sense to check in on your resolutions. I used to resolve to exercise more and eat better, and I still do, I but I've come to realize that this isn't something that should only come to mind during the new year. So while I try every day to be a bit responsible with my health, I've decided I need new, original resolutions. This is what I've come up with for 2017. 

- Learn how to make English scones from scratch. This looks like a good recipe!

- Travel to a brand new place that my boyfriend and I have never been, like Spain or Iceland. 

- Take a few workshops on topics that interest me. 

- Volunteer once a month to help people in my community. 

- Start a coffee meet up for women entrepreneurs. 

I hope your 2017 is as delicious and exciting as mine sounds on paper. ;) I'm looking forward to having more fun and trying some new things. Cheers to a great year. 

 

It's Pumpkin Spice Season!

What better to celebrate the end of a blistering hot summer and the beginning of pumpkin-flavored EVERYTHING and gorgeous weather than with a #celebrateeveryday balloon session?!

Enjoy Fall! I'll be sipping Pumpkin Spice Lattes and making tasty holiday plans. 

xx.

Passion and support from family & friends gets you from one happy photo to the next. Although caffeine has been known to help, too. 

Passion and support from family & friends gets you from one happy photo to the next. Although caffeine has been known to help, too. 

A little quirkiness never hurt anyone. 

A little quirkiness never hurt anyone. 

Sometimes the imperfect moment is better than the constructed, "perfect" one. 

Sometimes the imperfect moment is better than the constructed, "perfect" one. 

I hope you're enjoying Fall as much as I am!

I hope you're enjoying Fall as much as I am!

Follow my next balloon session on Instagram

Let's Get Better

I've considered myself a runner ever since my first Cross Country practice in my Freshman year of high school. I improved quite a bit during the three years I was active on the team, but once I got busy with A.P. classes and more responsibilities in the community service club I was Vice President in, I ended up leaving the team and not replacing that active time with something equally active. This takes a toll on your body when you're used to eating chocolate muffins every day and not gaining an ounce because you're running 5 times a week. It's now been more than 10 years since I've been active on a consistent, challenging basis and boy is it difficult to get back into! However, suddenly I have a target to aim for-- a holiday 5k in November, where not only will I be directly participating, but I'll also be in charge of the Datz Restaurant Group's team. This work project is going to keep me accountable and focused in a way that getting in shape solely based on numbers on a scale never could. I need to finish the race strong because I'm representing my employer AND myself. And as Jennifer Lopez said in 'The Wedding Planner" when she faced the impossible: "I love a challenge! I'm a professional!" Technically it was slightly more adult wording than that, but we're gonna keep it PG. ;)

So, long story short, I'm going to kill two birds with one stone. I'm going to get healthier and exercise on a consistent basis and I'm going to kick butt in this holiday 5k. Wish me luck.

xx. 

My new running shoes! They're so comfortable. The pink laces I added are a happy thought when I see them during a tough workout. 

My new running shoes! They're so comfortable. The pink laces I added are a happy thought when I see them during a tough workout. 

I ran a full 5k last weekend and it took me 50 minutes. I wanted to stop running and walk when I hit a mile and a half. I thought about walking again at 2 miles. But after the workout ended and I hit all 12 laps, I reminded myself that I've been better at this before and I can do it again. 

I ran a full 5k last weekend and it took me 50 minutes. I wanted to stop running and walk when I hit a mile and a half. I thought about walking again at 2 miles. But after the workout ended and I hit all 12 laps, I reminded myself that I've been better at this before and I can do it again. 

48 Hours in Gainesville

Hiya!

For those of you creatives who haven’t been to Florida, it’s known for 2 things— its hot, hot heat and it’s size. You could drive for hours in any direction and STILL be in the same state. But it does have a lot of rustic charm and quirky cities to explore— like Gainesville. 

I’ve been to Gainesville a handful of times because my boyfriend James went to college there and he likes to revisit every once in a while. I like this city because the drive out there is very green with plenty of cows and little farm-like houses to peek at and the city’s downtown is super cute. There are always people out walking, eating, and enjoying their city. 

Here’s what I did with my 48 hours in G-ville when we visited in mid-August!

 

Namaste

I love exploring cities that aren’t my own, and I thought taking a drop-in Yoga class would feel really good AND help me to feel like a part of the city while I’m here since I’d be headed to a local studio filled with people who have made Gainesville their home. Visit Searchlight Yoga if you get a chance. Definitely try and take a class with Karen! She’s great.

Coffee Fix

With an iced vanilla coffee in tow, I caught up with an old friend via email, played around on Zillow for a while and drafted a few blogs on the patio at Maude’s Side Car Cafe. Maude’s is not only a fantastic place to have coffee and a slice of cake, but it’s also a small business champion, if you will. Years ago, a Starbucks opened its doors right next to Maude’s, a small locally-owned coffee shop. For the average shop, this would’ve killed their business, but Maude’s has prevailed. I stop in for a cuppa whenever I can. Also, their playlist is great (“Friday I’m in Love”, anyone?) and they’re wifi passwords will make you smile. This time the password was davidbowie. Yeah, I told ya. I see you smiling!

 

Grabbed a Slice (or Two!)

Satchel’s is a Gainesville institution and a Florida foodie icon. Not only is the pizza completely awesome, but Satchel’s is also (maybe even more so) known for its Americana art-filled walls and room full of vintage toys and gadgets for you to take home if you please. You’ll leave Satchel’s full of handcrafted pizza and inspiration. 

Hit the Bricks

It’s no secret I have a thing for coffee, balloons, and street art. I snapped a few fun photos in front of some gorgeous spots off Main Street. It’s was pretty toasty outside (my iced coffee wasn’t iced for long!) but it was worth it. 

xx,

Gina

I'm a Cheater!

January 28, 2016 was Datz's 7th birthday. What better way to celebrate than starting a national foodie holiday-- National Cheat Day! We learned that Datz was commonly known as a place that locals come to "cheat" on their diets or health plans. Turning the idea of being into a cheat destination into something playful was so much fun. When National Doughnut Day, National Bacon Day, or National Pumpkin Pie Day comes around, foodies take part by enjoying those foods and talking about them on social media. We sought the create the same type of social media-based event. 

I'm so proud to have been able to create and produce this this event. We trended locally in Tampa on Twitter with over 1,500 tweets, had 125 Instagram photos tagged to National Cheat Day, the FB event page received 19K impressions, and we received a proclamation from the City of Tampa's foodie mayor, Bob Buckhorn. We built a solid foundation for National Cheat Day with the support of 30 local media outlets and bloggers. I am very much looking forward to seeing what we can do with National Cheat Day's second year in 2017.


Cheers to 2016!

2015 was a year of career changes, road trips, amazing food, the return of an old friend, and so much more. To ring in the new year, my boyfriend and I hosted 14 of our closest friends for a night of food, drinks, puppies*, and gold confetti. I spent a fair amount of time on Pinterest and a LOT of time at West Elm, Target, Homegoods, and Party City selecting the right pieces for the party and am really excited about what I put together! Behold— here are photos of the food and drinks table from the party as well as a group of photos from a mini styling session in my kitchen where I grouped all of the decor elements together. I wish you a wonderful new year and hope you’ll let me know what you think of the party’s decor in the comments below!

P.S. I’m behind in creating my 2016 bucket list but stayed tuned! To see more of my favorite ways to style a party or special event, check out my Pinterest here.

*The evening’s puppies included my Lab mix, Beaumont, my co-worker’s Dachshund/Corgi mix, and his six week old Chihuahua/Shih Tzu mix. Swoon!

I had decided that the color palette was gold, black, and white, so these are the colors I looked for in each of the decor items chosen. I was lucky to have a 20% off coupon for Target, so this is where I picked up garland, confetti, party hats, and the paper straws. I found an amazing cake stand with a gold base and several rectangular, white platters at Homegoods. At Party City, I purchased the gold paper cups and the gold glittered place card holders to display the names of the batch cocktails and what each appetizer was.

I had decided that the color palette was gold, black, and white, so these are the colors I looked for in each of the decor items chosen. I was lucky to have a 20% off coupon for Target, so this is where I picked up garland, confetti, party hats, and the paper straws. I found an amazing cake stand with a gold base and several rectangular, white platters at Homegoods. At Party City, I purchased the gold paper cups and the gold glittered place card holders to display the names of the batch cocktails and what each appetizer was.

While at West Elm, I chose four wiry yellow Christmas trees with frosted edges. They were half off because it was a few days after Christmas. The Wooden, white trees with gold glitter rings were also half off, and came from Target.

While at West Elm, I chose four wiry yellow Christmas trees with frosted edges. They were half off because it was a few days after Christmas. The Wooden, white trees with gold glitter rings were also half off, and came from Target.

We had two batch cocktails-- Spiked Mulled Apple Cider and John Daly. The Apple Cider included  delicious mulled spices from Sur La Table and Whiskey. The John Daly was an alcoholic version of Arnold Palmer and had a bottle of Sweet Tea Vodka in it. They were both amazing!

We had two batch cocktails-- Spiked Mulled Apple Cider and John Daly. The Apple Cider included  delicious mulled spices from Sur La Table and Whiskey. The John Daly was an alcoholic version of Arnold Palmer and had a bottle of Sweet Tea Vodka in it. They were both amazing!

I look forward to the next party I get to style and adorn in lovely things!

I look forward to the next party I get to style and adorn in lovely things!

The appetizers came from Trader Joe's. I had fun choosing and ultimately ended up with four, including Mushroom Turnovers, Shrimp Toast, Chicken Parmesan Lollipops, and Feta Cheese and Caramelized Onion Pastry Bites (crowd favorite!). 

The appetizers came from Trader Joe's. I had fun choosing and ultimately ended up with four, including Mushroom Turnovers, Shrimp Toast, Chicken Parmesan Lollipops, and Feta Cheese and Caramelized Onion Pastry Bites (crowd favorite!). 

The only appetizer I wouldn't try again was the Chicken Parmesan Lollipops. They tasted great, but they fell off their sticks. Live and learn. 

The only appetizer I wouldn't try again was the Chicken Parmesan Lollipops. They tasted great, but they fell off their sticks. Live and learn. 

Psst. The Apple Cider was my fave. 

Psst. The Apple Cider was my fave. 

Cheers!

Cheers!