A Fall Weekend in the Green Mountain State

Sorry to be gone for so long, my friends!  The hubs and I spent last weekend in the beautiful state of Vermont…it was such a fun, fun weekend!

My husband plays guitar, and was invited by our good friends who make up the band Lefty Lucy to play at a wedding last weekend.  (hey, Lucy!!  🙂 )  I had never met the bride, groom, or anyone in the wedding party before last weekend, but they were sweethearts and invited me to come along as a wedding guest.  How nice, right?

We stayed at the Equinox Resort in Manchester, Vermont.  Here’s a photo I borrowed from the Equinox website – the town of Manchester is truly picturesque!

The leaves are just now beginning to change here in PA, but in Vermont, fall has hit full-force.  Even though it was pretty rainy and foggy and chilly all weekend, it was still stunningly beautiful there.  These are some pics I took around the wedding reception area:

The reception was inside this boat house on the water:

The setting of the wedding was really rustic, but the decor was so elegant, and the flowers were gorgeous

(can you spot my hubby in the background with his guitar?)

All in all, it was a great weekend with super nice, fun people, and the wedding was so sweet.  If you’re a follower on my blog, you might be wondering, “how did you do with your 30 Day No Alcohol challenge?”  Well, glad you asked 😉

I did….pretty darn good, all things considered.  You see, the groom of this wedding happens to be an awesome chef, and he happens to be friends with some of the best winemakers in California.  And I happen to LOVE a good glass of wine.  Are you following where I’m going here??

One of the guests of the wedding is the winemaker for a winery that has a 12 MONTH WAITING LIST.  Meaning, you can sign up for their mailing list, and in 12 months, you just might possibly have the opportunity to buy a bottle of their wine if you’re lucky, but there’s no guarantee.  And this winemaker happened to give the very generous gift of several cases of his Pinot Noir to the bride and groom.  Which happened to be served at a party the day before their wedding.  Which I couldn’t pass up.  It was a once in a lifetime opportunity for some amazing pinot.  And I went for it – in moderation 😉

In addition, the best man at this wedding happened to be a certain celebrity chef, who we happened to have dinner with the night before the wedding, and who happened to order some really delicious wine for us to enjoy with dinner.  Um, couldn’t pass that up either!  So I enjoyed – again, in moderation 😉

I’m not going to beat myself up about it – for me, it was a lesson in enjoying the good things in life in moderation. The weekend wasn’t about drinking…it was more about being with great friends, making new friends, and just enjoying the heck out of being in the beautiful state of Vermont.  And I’ll toast to that 🙂

I hope you have a fabulous weekend, wherever you are!  What makes a great weekend for you?  Spending time with friends, enjoying some delicious eats, physical activities – please share!

Raising the Bar: My 30 Day Challenge

This is our bar.

Isn’t it pretty?  All those lovely, shiny bottles all lined up in a row.

Problem is, my husband and I have been spending a lot of time here lately.  Ever since my father-in-law passed away, we’ve found ourselves indulging in comfort food and comfort beverages a little too often for my liking.

My family has a strong history of alcoholism.  My grandfather died of liver disease; my mom has had a lifetime of struggles of her own.  Sometimes I’ve even wondered if I have the addictive personality of an alcoholic.  (There, I said it.)  If so, I’d certainly be what you call a “functioning alcoholic,” but I’ve always had a little fear in the back of my mind that I’m genetically destined to have a problem controlling my limits.

It’s just that, usually when I have a drink, it leads to consuming more than what I intended.  Like I’m a college kid that drinks with the purpose of getting drunk (or really buzzed), rather than a mature adult that can enjoy a nice glass of wine with dinner and that’s it.

Truth be told, the longest time I’ve gone without consuming alcohol since I was seventeen years old is about 4 weeks.  When I trained for my bikini competition, I imbibed right up until the end when my coach said, “no mas.”  So I’ve been drinking, on the regular, for 15 years.  Holy fuckin’ shit.

And today I’m dealing with a crushing bout of post-drinking depression.  I’m feeling really, really stupid and just generally bad about myself.  “Why?” you might ask. Well, it has to do with the fact that I acted like a college kid again last night.  We got together with some good friends and stayed up waaaay too late.  And I felt like a pile of dog poo this morning.  And all day.  That’s just great.

But because I’m trying not to get too down about it, I’ve decided to turn this into a blog-worthy learning experience. And confess my sins to the universe, because that’s how I roll 😉

Here is a really interesting post on accomplishing goals and keeping new good habits by implementing a “30-day trial.”  In other words, if you can spend 30 days doing something consistently, it is more likely to become a habit, and will be less daunting to accomplish than if you think it’s going to be something you have to continue doing that “something” every day for the rest of your life.  For instance, if you decide to start working out every day….forever….you might lose your motivation after a week and quit.  It just seems so hard!  However, if your goal has a defined start and end date, like 30 days, you are more likely to achieve your goal and keep your motivation up.

So, I’m ready for a little reset.  Well, a big reset.  30 days, no alcohol.  

I mentioned to my hubs that I wanted to lay off the booze for a while, and he kind of laughed.  And said, “that’s fine, but don’t be disappointed in yourself if you don’t achieve it.”  Which, my friends, officially makes this a challenge 😉

Here are a few things I think would be a benefit of my 30-day trial of no alcohol:

  • Better sleep (I sleep like crap when I drink!)
  • Wiser food choices
  • Losing some of my belly “fluff”
  • Better workouts
  • More energy
  • Higher productivity
  • Regaining a more normal level of alcohol tolerance (meaning, not being able to drink everyone under the table like I usually can)

And here is the downside:

  • Dang, I love a good glass of wine.

I’m already talking myself out of this.  We’re going camping in two weeks, and the entire point of the camping trip is to sit around and drink all weekend.  However, at that point, I’d be almost halfway through the 30 days already!  Can I do this?  I can do it.  And I will do it.  Day 1 is almost complete (LOL!).

And I wonder if this 30-day trial may lead to other 30-day trials in the future?   Could I journal, or workout, or meditate, or draw, or organize something every day for 30 days?  Who knows where this may lead?

And please let me know if you’d like to play along!  It doesn’t have to be the no alcohol challenge – but what is one thing you could do for 30 days to improve your life?