JANUARY

One of my goals for 2016 was to return to blogging about our life. Instagram and Snapchat (@megangielow) have become an easier outlet for me in the past year, but I thought at the very least I could update here once a month :)

A few of my favorite January memories:

// Hosting a very small NYE celebration at our new home. We dined on good cheese, leftover Christmas cookies, and watched the ball drop with four good friends of ours.

// Nashville trip! Jenna + Kevin used to be our neighbors when we lived in Charlotte, but both of us moved to different cities in 2015. We hadn’t seen them since the fall and wanted to meet their newest addition. We spent a lot of time chatting, playing games with Amos, and cuddling with their newborn, Luca. We adventured to Jeni’s after hearing so much about the popular ice-cream shop (spoiler: Salt & Straw is still my all-time favorite), as well as a few incredible coffee shops. We also got to see Nate & Jaclyn, whom I haven’t seen since Field Trip! It was good to catch up over breakfast and hear that they are enjoying their new home in Nashville.

// Snowmaggedon 2016. We got about a foot of snow in 48 hours in Asheville, which is the most I’ve seen in the Carolinas since we moved here in 2010. We enjoyed playing with Poa in the snow, as well as venturing to Biscuithead in the midst of the storm.

// Asheville Folk Photo Workshop. I’m so excited to be teaching at the AF workshop in April with four of my talented friends! It’s going to be wonderful time for all involved.

// Downtime. One of my favorite things about this time of year is resting and dreaming up ideas for the rest of the season. It’s nice to go from working 60+ hours a week to 20-30 in the winter months. I’ve loved having time to go to yoga, sleeping in, reading many books (more below), catching up with friends, and organizing everything for the 2016 wedding season.

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New Year’s Eve with Alicia + Elizabeth

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Shopping with Brendan in Nashville (L), NYE (R).
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Visiting sweet boy, Amos, and his parents in Nashville.

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January books (L), snow day (R).

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to stop bringing my phone to bed with me. Instead, I’ve been filling that time with reading. It’s been over a month now, and I don’t think I’ll be going to back to old habits. I fall asleep much faster, and I like making time to read even on a busy day. A few books I finished in January:

All The Light We Cannot See (Anthony Doerr)
I recommended this book for our book club because I love it so much! This was one of the most enjoyable books I’ve ever read in a while. I savored it over the fall season, sipping on a few chapters here and there on flights. I didn’t want it to end. The writing is exquisite. The story is enthralling. WWII culture has always intrigued me, so this definitely filled my curiosities.

Cross Justice (James Patterson)
James Patterson’s novels are a guilty pleasure for me. I can read most of his books in a day because they are easy to read and always suspenseful. Typically, we buy his audiobooks to listen to on our commutes or long trips, but I’ve been working through the Alex Cross series in book form. If you like mystery/thrillers, I would recommend checking out any of his novels.

The Creative Habit (Twyla Tharp)
This book is a good kick in the pants. I love Twyla’s attitude about hard work and creativity. She has dozens of exercises to expand your creative intellect, and her “tough love” makes you want to get up at sunrise and hit the pavement running. Her stories and nuances are mesmerizing, especially to someone who has a dance + musical background.

Make It Happen (Lara Casey)
I’ve always looked up to Lara, and I admire her honesty + faith in her blogging and Instagram posts. Her book has been on my list for a while, and I jumped right into it after receiving the book as a gift for Christmas. This is a great read for any time of the year, but I’m grateful I started off 2016 deep in these pages. Her writing has made me re-analyze the priorities in my business and personal life, along with some wonderful goal-setting techniques.

We Were Liars (E. Lockhart)
This was a quick read. I finished it within 24 hours on one of our snow days. I didn’t realize it was teen fiction when I put it on my book list, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. The writing was unique, and the story kept me turning the pages faster and faster until the end.

Dreamers & Deceivers (Glenn Beck)
To be frank, I didn’t really know who Glenn Beck was until Brendan pointed it out when I was reading this one night. I purchased this book at impulse when I saw it on one of the Barnes & Noble tables because of the stories listed, not the author. I’m more of a moderate in my political views, and this book seemed to waver more on the right side of the road. It’s an interesting perspective into many hidden stories in the political + business world, but I felt at times the facts were skewed to make a point. Not my favorite read this month.

The Kind Worth Killing (Peter Swanson)
I listened to this book, but I wish I had read it instead because it was well written. The plot is not a typical whodunnit, which kept my attention. It’s an interesting love story (maybe that description is pushing it…) with some fascinating characters. Definitely worth the read.

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