January Reflections

iced coffee with cream

Let’s chat about January, the revival of Love Your Balance and looking forward to 2020!

Happy last day of January, guys! If you don’t remember (since it’s almost been 2 years since I launched it…) once upon a time here on OBB there was something called #loveyourbalance. 

Love Your Balance was a movement I wanted to start to inspire people to love their own version of balance. I shared my favorite Trader Joe’s items, my Valentine’s Day menu, how I avoid binge eating when I am stressed and my love/hate relationship with exercise

living room windows with candle lit

Unfortunately, I let this go and stopped putting my energy into it when 2 years ago we bought a house! Goodness, what a wild ride it has been since then! We have been in our house for almost 2 years and we couldn’t be happier. So why not start it up again?!

I wanted to use this chat each month to catch up with y’all and reflect on the last month and look forward to the month ahead. I love reading these posts from my favorite bloggers so I thought I would do it here. Grab your favorite beverage, take a seat and let’s get into it! 🙂

Dry January Thoughts

Yes, my husband Ben and I participated in Dry January this year. We usually do this every year, as we usually over-indulge in both sweets and wine during the holiday season. This season was no exception. So, January 1st came along and alcohol was no more. 

We found that we were SO much more productive during this month. In fact, we did a mini renovation on our bathroom (I’ll talk more about that below).

We also read a lot more, felt like the weekends were so long, and did things like go out to movies and dinner instead of just our normal weekend activities which included staying in with a bottle of wine and pizza. 

the last book party book

Not to say that it wasn’t tempting. I will say that we did split a bottle of wine on my birthday. That was in the middle of the month. It was totally worth it, too. 

Overall, as always, even though it was difficult in the moment (because when isn’t denying yourself something that you like hard?!), we are both glad we did it. We are looking forward to February – however, we have decided that we are only drinking on the weekends. 

Bathroom Renovation

Say hello to your new fave HGTV hosts! 

Ben and I at restaurant

We have been slowly but surely re-painting/somewhat renovating our house for the last 6 months. Our house is almost 100 years old and with it, comes character but also some issues. 

living room looking into den

Like, the fact that people have painted the walls and door frames about 100 million times. So, since we now own the house, we didn’t just want to paint another layer. We wanted to strip the layers to the bare bones and start all over. And that’s what we have been doing. 

We have only one bathroom in our house. This is what it looked like when we first bought the house: 

original bathroom

Then on the day that we moved in, my Mom painted it a grey color that we picked out (that ended up looking more purple due to the light/no window). 

bathroom reno #1

This is how it currently looks: 

bathroom reno #2

I love following Chris Loves Julia on Instagram. They are in the middle of remodeling their house and provided the paint colors they are choosing and introduced me to “contrast trim” which I loved. We literally used the exact same paint colors that they used. 

Wall color: “Alabaster” by HGTV Home Sherwin Williams

Trim Color: “Accesible Beige” by HGTV Home Sherwin Williams 

Cabinet Color: Anchors Aweigh by HGTV Home Sherwin Williams 

Shower Curtain: Waffle Weave Grey by Better Homes and Gardens

Shelves*: Sodoku Floating Shelves from Amazon

Vase: Target Dollar Spot

Floral Pick: Michael’s 

*This is an affiliate link – basically, this means that I will earn a small commission if you click the link, love the shelves as much as I do and purchase them. Thank you for continuing to support Our Balanced Bowl!

Overall, we are so pleased with it! It feels like a total glow up. It was such an inexpensive process as well considering we used a lot of leftover paint from when we did our living room with the same colors! I’m very happy with it. 

Told ya we were more productive when we weren’t drinking wine on the weekend! 😉 Ha! 

Surprise Birthday Party! 

Okay so, ever since Benjamin and I were first dating, I told him that I wanted a surprise birthday party. 

5 years later…it finally happened! And I truly was 100% completely surprised! So here’s the story: 

I didn’t really want a gift for my birthday other than going out to a nice restaurant. We decided on The Eddy Pub. Benjamin and I got all dressed up and off we went! Lo and behold when we arrived, we walk down the stairs to the bottom part of the restaurant and ALL OF MY BEST FRIENDS AND MOST OF MY FAMILY ARE THERE. 

shocked face at restaurant

I was shocked when I saw my friends. And I literally cried when I saw my family! They live 3 hours from me so it meant so much that they came down to surprise me. I ugly cried for sure. 

friends and family at the eddy

We had the most amazing homemade sourdough bread as a starter. Ben had Pork Belly Ramen as his entree and I had a NY Strip with Roasted Cauliflower and Marinated Mushrooms.

homemade bread and butter

steak with mushrooms

It was delicious but I don’t think it would have filled me up had I not been eating some of my Mom’s pimento cheese fries she got as an appetizer! Ha! 

For dessert, I was blown away by this Tres Leches Cake. It was SO moist, full of that delicious sweetened condensed milk and then topped with a thick layer of caramel. Truly, it was the best cake that I have ever eaten.

best tres leches cake

It was amazing and I was sad to see the evening end. Thank you to my amazing husband for setting it up for me! 

February Thoughts/Goals 

Going into February, I want to continue to do (mostly) daily yoga. At least shoot for 5 days a week. I started yoga back up this month and I truly loved it. I do at home classes with Yoga with Adrienne – they’re completely free and perfect for all levels! 

Another goal for me is to continue to cut back on sugar. For me, it’s not a restriction thing. I just honestly found that when I wasn’t eating as much sugar, everything had so much better taste.

For instance, I had an orange and it was like – the sweetest and juiciest thing I had ever eaten. Or my daily toast – which I used to slather with butter and jam. Now, I put butter and cinnamon on top and the cinnamon tastes sweet! It’s the craziest thing how your tastebuds can change. 

Lastly, I want to continue to read more. I’ve really enjoyed it and so far, I’ve read 3 books in January! I want to keep it going! 

Ben and I before my birthday party

Hope you guys enjoyed this little chat. I plan on doing more #LoveYourBalance posts this year, including more grocery hauls, tips, tricks etc. Can’t wait to share! Comment below with what you’d like me to talk about! XO – Haylie 

Former Love Your Balance Posts

Pantry Staples

Refrigerator Staples

What I Eat in a Day

How I Balance Treats 

Thank you so much for following along here, friends! Want to see more? Be sure to follow ourbalancedbowl on Instagram and tag me with your photo if you end up making a recipe! You can also post a photo of your recipe to the Our Balanced Bowl Facebook page! I always love to see your re-creations! If you do make a recipe, it would make my whole day if you were to rate and comment so I can get your feedback! Lots of love! – Haylie

8 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Such a fun post, Haylie! I’m trying to read more too. Every January I say the same thing and, I must say, I’m enjoying it! I usually have a couple going at the same time, usually a non fiction (Marco Pierre White’s The Devil in the Kitchen right now) and a fiction (first one in ‘The Witcher’ series, a fantasy, right now). You’ve done such a great job on your bathroom..it’s always so fulfilling when you do that kinda thing around the house. And how lovely that you had a surprise party and your friends came all that way to see you!! Sweet! Looking forward to your next one 😉 Happy weekend!

    1. I’m definitely going to add those to my list, Dawn! 🙂 Thanks for the recommendation! And thank you for the love on my bathroom! It was definitely a task but fun and glad to see the finished result!! Thanks for taking time to read my post <3

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