travel

Pre-Holiday Getaway with Lark Hotels

The Holidays can be wonderful, but they can also be stressful! So this year Mike and I decided to get away for a weekend before the Holidays really ramped up. We checked in to The Hotel Salem, a fabulous Lark Hotel located in the heart of down-town Salem. It was perfect timing, the Halloween crowds were gone and things were still calm ahead of the Holidays. 4DF123E3-BEBF-44C7-8C54-9B501FA8B29E

The Hotel Salem opened just over a year ago. It is conveniently located, a bunch of great restaurants and cute shops are all within walking distance. The Peabody Essex Museum is just one block away and The Witch Museum is right next door! If you’ve never been to Salem I highly recommend doing both.

On Saturday we hit up Far From The Tree Cider and did a couple of flights to sample all their different ciders. On warmer days you can sit out on the patio, they don’t serve food but you are welcome to bring your own or have something delivered! Definitely try the seasonal cider, everything is made with local, freshly pressed apples for small batch cider.  BDBE0C89-84B2-44D7-B718-58E1C7D62B49_1_201_a.jpeg

The Hotel Salem has a restaurant located on the first floor of the building, The Counter. The staff was super friendly and the food was delicious! Friday night I had the Short Rib Grilled cheese, this thing was bigger than my head and it was amazing!! For breakfast in the morning I had the French Toast and Mike had the Chorizo Hash,  while we planned out our fun day of exploring Salem. When you stay at the hotel you get 10% off food at The Counter so definitely stop in for at least one meal during your stay.

Our hotel room was roomie and as with all Lark Hotels was uniquely designed to fit the location. It was the perfect setting to unwind and relax. Each room comes with all the necessary amenities; waffle robe, big screen TV, comfy bed, and most importantly a wine opener! There is also a coffee and tea station on each floor that you can help yourself to anytime of day. The station was also equipped with sparkling and filtered water. We had such a nice time, after a long day of exploring Salem we literally just crashed and took a quick nap before dinner. If you’re a light sleeper, try and request a room towards the back of the hotel, our room overlooked Essex St and it was definitely a bit noisy with all the bars and restaurants right there. 8B22BFFF-27FA-425A-9437-3C4AE745F35062CEFF46-6F25-4BB9-AADF-A4253727A52118287A47-CEC3-47B1-86B3-46C204DD84C7

After a weekend with The Hotel Salem I am feeling refreshed and ready for the holidays! What are you doing to relax and unwind before the holidays?

Thank you so much to Lark Hotels for hosing us for the weekend, as always all opinions are my own.
lifestyle

Xtend Barre Newbury

One of my goals this year is to spend more time taking care of myself. 2018 was a bit crazy between graduation, working on a congressional race, blogging, and working several side jobs. I definitely did not prioritize my health. By the end of campaign season I kept getting really sick, my body was literally rejecting the way I had been treating it. I was eating like crap, not working out, getting just a couple hours of sleep every night, drinking way too much, and the stress was crippling.

The last few months I have been focused on getting healthy, body and mind. I did barre classes my junior year of college and they were always a great workout. I have been going to Xtend Barre for about a month now and I absolutely love it! I go to the Newbury St location, the instructors and staff are all so friendly, upbeat, and positive. Which is exactly what I need and want in a fitness studio! I love walking into a bright positive environment every time I work out.

I am so excited to be Xtend Barre Newbury’s new ambassador! Everyone should have a workout that they love, it makes it so much easier to pull yourself out of bed on Sunday morning and go workout when you love where you go. There are a lot of options for barre in Boston but I love Xtend, each class is different so you don’t feel like you’re doing the same thing every time. And I have definitely noticed a difference in my body after a month, I’m more toned and my clothes are fitting a little better!

The studio is bright, beautiful, and clean. It’s conveniently on the green line, right by June’s convention stop. The studio has plenty of lockers, changing rooms, and water available. If you’re new to Xtend you can get one week unlimited for just $35! I’m there 2-3 times a week and I hope to see everyone at the barre!

lifestyle

Thrive Juice Cafe

Eat better, feel better! If you’re looking to eat better but don’t want to compromise on taste you should check out Thrive Juice Cafe in Arlington. I have personally always struggle with the desire to eat healthy, if you know me you may know that I’m not exactly a gourmet chef (I make a really good grilled cheese though!) I eat out a lot, and it an be hard to find healthy inexpensive options. Thrive Cafe is the perfect solution! It has been so hot out lately and nothing makes me feel better in the heat than a smoothie, I got the Tropical Splash smoothie when I was at Thrive last weekend. Its made with Mango, Banana, Pineapple, and Almond Milk. They have a variety of juices and smoothies for whatever you are in the mood for. 17719F40-1F5E-4F2F-B01D-C7054CC124A43A138DEA-6400-4F13-B951-D0D39B436F81FE19E5DF-7273-45B3-8B1F-B34570211CD6D745D530-177C-4A1F-A768-F450A48163E814980829-F613-41C4-9D42-334DE067610AD69718D1-B9A1-4025-A1C8-5B7D596852D9

To eat I got the Spicy Avocado Toast, and a Mediterranean Salad and my friend got the Loaded PB &J toast. Both were amazing! I will  definitely be back for more spicy avocado toast. Thrive is the perfect spot to grab breakfast, lunch, or a quick snack while you’re out and about. If you are trying to eat better but don’t want to start dropping hundreds at whole foods I definitely reccommend making a stop at Thrive Cafe.

lifestyle

End the Stigma

I’ve sat down to write this post countless times. I have deleted so many attempts out of my drafts folder. But it is time I talk about mental health. From Instagram it is easy to make my life look like it’s all cute outfits and rosé but that if far from the truth. Since I was a young teen I have struggled with mental illness specifically with depression and anxiety. To this day I still struggle. I have been very very lucky to be surrounded by family and friends who always supported me and made sure I got the help that I needed.

That being said there were and are still some very very dark times. I would love to say that once you get treatment everything goes away but mental illness isn’t a cut or a bump, it doesn’t just heal and go away. It is chronic and can often last for years, and it has nothing to do with how much your family loves you, or how successful you are in your career.  Nearly 45,000 people committed suicide in the US last year. But there are thousands of chronic illnesses out there that people live with, talk about, and do not feel they need to take their own lives. I feel fortunate to have grown up in a generation willing to talk about mental illness but there is still a stigma out there that keep many people from seeking help. I have been scared to talk about my struggle with mental illness publicly because I was worried people at work or potential employers would treat me differently. I have been worried about being judged and mocked. But none of those feelings compare to the grief family and loved ones feel when someone they care about takes their own life. I have been in therapy, I have taken anti-depressives and anti-anxiety medication, I have tried yoga and meditation, I have suffered and cried and wanted to die. Some things have worked better than others, some worked for a little while and then stopped working. Early this year I remember crying to Mike after an anxiety attack, I told him “I just want to be normal.” With love and empathy he told me “it’s a chemical imbalance in you brain, I can’t count the number of people I know who have struggled with mental illness at one time or another. It is extremely common, so therefore you are normal.”

Mental illness is extremely common, society needs to stop treating it differently than any other illness. If you have ever felt alone because of your mental illness you are not. I am here. Thousands and thousands of other people have shared your struggle. Depression can make you feel all alone in the world and like there is no future for you. I have had those feelings, but things do get better. Treatment does work. There are people out there that love and care about you, and there are people out there waiting to help you.

I’m Katie, I am a daughter, a sister, a friend, a girl boss, a political junkie, a wine lover, and I struggle with mental illness.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

lifestyle

February Slump

As a blogger there is often a lot of pressure to constantly seem fun and interesting. Even if all you want to do is sit at home and watch Netflix you feel like you need to go out and you need to do something fun so you can post about it. Boston winters are long, cold, and really depressing. I love photographing a fresh snowfall but that’s one snapshot and it doesn’t capture how grey and dreary winter can be. By mid-February I start to feel really depressed, I feel fatigued and I lose motivation and inspiration.

The past week I have been dealing with some family things that have kept me offline. Taking a week off from posting taught me two things. First I genuinely enjoy blogging. I love  sharing posts, taking photos, going and trying new things! But the second thing I learned was it is okay to take a break. The world did not end because I did not post, I was able to step back, take a breath, and focus on my family. The next couple weeks are definitely going to be tough, there is still a lot going on and the weather looks really crappy but I am hoping to be back on a normal schedule again.

A few things I like to do when I am feeling a little crappy, whether it be family issues or the weather these tips can definitely help break you out of the February Slump! 5838DA87-2529-41F0-A409-82F2F6AA4CF6

1.Tea 

I love curling up with a cup of tea! Whether you like tea or coffee or hot cocoa curling up with a warm cuppa something can sometimes be just the trick! Put on your fuzzing socks and spend the day relaxing inside.

2. Go For A Walk

I know its cold but fresh air truly is the best cure! So bundle up put on some layers and go for a walk. If there is a day where the sun peaks out get out there, just spending ten minutes outside can make you feel so much better.

3. A Good Book (or a Good Binge)

Read a new book, its cold you don’t want to go outside I get it! So find a good book and spend the day inside reading. If you can’t find a book find a show. Finding a great show on Netflix or Hulu that you can binge all day long is one of my favorite ways to spend a lazy Sunday.

4. Vitamin D is Key!

Seasonal Depression is very real and sometimes you need a little help! We get so little sunlight during the winter so it is very easy to become Vitamin D deficient. I take a daily vitamin D supplement, consult your doctor but I definitely think taking this daily supplement helps me through the winter.

5. Phone a Friend

Making plans with friends give us things to look forward to. I have a standing weekly date with my best friend Maddie. I also plan afterwork drinks with friends and co-workers. It gets expensive to go out too much so I try to restrict these night outs to 1 or 2 nights a week. But even just 1 night out with a friend can make you feel a whole lot better!

What tips and tricks do you have for getting through the winter? Let me know in the comments below!

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