Carolina Holiday

Happy New Year! We got back from our vacation to South and North Carolina late Monday night and spent today settling back into our space. I love coming home after a trip and making a day of unpacking. It's a good opportunity to savor the last bits of the journey, relive good memories, and evaluate how much I over packed. New Year's resolution #5: cut down on the number of beauty items I travel with. 2 moisturizers, 4 lip glosses, 2 highlighters, 5 lipsticks for a trip where I barely even touched my concealer. Reign it in, me. (Resolutions #1-4 in a future post.)

I've written before about counting down the days to these holiday trips. Traveling South is a total 180 from the insanity and hectic atmosphere of our New York life. I even enjoy the time spent in the car, just us and the dogs. Podcasts, conversation, and frequent stops to indulge in bad for us food.

This year felt more special than ever. The wedding was long behind us and we were able to fully relax and enjoy the quiet and calm of South Carolina. I woke up every morning and read on the front porch while Potato and Jack spun around like tops in the front yard. Ian slept in until noon almost everyday and woke up to grits and football. After nine glorious days we drove to welcome in 2017 with friends in North Carolina. I can honestly say I have never had a better time for New Year's Eve or been in a warmer or more welcoming home than that of our hosts. Not to mention, the epic amount of wine I drank. New goal: learn more about wine. Appreciate it on a deeper level.

More than anything else, over the last eleven days we did something we almost never do. Settled into relaxing. We said yes to all the sugar, carbs, fats, oils, and fried chicken. I wore sweatpants for days on end and did not put on makeup everyday. Ian did not check work email. Even the dogs hit refresh. They ran around, played, jumped and experienced space in a way they could never do in the city. We all totally disconnected. The result is coming back to New York with a completely clear mind.

I want to share some photos which didn't make it to social media. Looking through is making me nostalgic and it's only been a few days! I hope you enjoy them! Let me know how you celebrated your holiday break in the comments. I would love to learn about what you ate, where you traveled, your families! Resolutions and habit shifts in the days to come but for now, I want to savor the warmth and love of the last few weeks.

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Photos of a 100 year old oak which was uprooted during Hurricane Matthew. It's now being cut up and used for firewood.

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It is an understatement to say that we ate a lot this trip. I'm not one for diets but after the amount of BBQ, butter, sugar, and carbs consumed over this holiday I'm actually attempting a Whole30! Seriously, the food was amazing. We stuffed ourselves every single day to the absolute brim.

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My signature New Year's frittata made with leftovers from dinner the night before. I'll post the recipe for this very soon. So quick, easy, and always a crowd-pleaser!

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If you've been following along on this blog, you'll know I post a photo of this pecan tree every time we visit my in-laws. In my head it's something akin to our very own Giving Tree. It produces enough pecans that we head home with a bag full every visit. Less than a quarter of a pound of this treasure costs around $7 in NYC! So it's safe to say that straight off the tree pecans are my prized possession in the kitchen. I immediately stash them in the freezer and use sparingly as toppings and snacks. Gold people, they're actual gold in this city.

For maximum pecan harvest, Ian's younger brother was put into the tractor arm to hit the nuts off with a big stick!

Recipe for these sugar and cinnamon roasted pecans up soon!

All the treats and gorgeous scenery aside, the best part of the holidays is family. It's cliche and it's cheesy but the moments when you catch people reconnecting and really catching up are the ones which bring the most joy. Having a plate full of BBQ, mac + cheese, and coleslaw to shovel into your mouth while doing so is just the cherry on top.

Actually the cherry on top is discovering your husband looks really damn cute on a skateboard. Happy 2017, dear readers!