Life Lately: Fall Edition

We’ve officially reached the best time of the year! It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just a day away, and then we’ll be 100% in the Christmas season. My decorations are up (I’m 100% one of those people who starts getting into Christmas before Thanksgiving) and I’m feeling festive!

I haven’t done a big life update since this summer, so I figure what better time to do one now, as we all wind down to kick back for the Thanksgiving holiday. Here are some of the highlights of fall, thus far.

Finished My Grad Cert Program

For the past year I’ve been enrolled in a graduate certificate program which consisted of seven business-related classes, and last month, I completed the program, with straight A’s! It certainly was no easy feat, with classes like accounting, statistics, and finance (while working full-time and blogging), but I’m so proud that I took the step and successfully completed the program! The program also fulfilled all of the pre-reqs for the MBA program (as a non-business undergrad major), so I’m considering pursuing the degree part-time. I hate tests SO much, but I do love learning! But for now, I’m very much enjoying all of the free time I have back!


Rejoined A Gym

The timing probably isn’t the best considering October through December is essentially a giant eating fest with Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, but I decided to bite the bullet and rejoin a gym! My schedule’s been pretty hectic this fall, so I haven’t been able to get into a solid routine yet, but I’ve been easing back into it. Those classes are no joke!


Travel, Travel, Travel

Last month Ted and I visited Salem, Massachusetts right before Halloween and earlier this month my dad and I ventured out to Colorado for a dad-daughter trip to Denver and Estes Park (more on that to come), and to end the year, my mom and I are gearing up for our third annual Europe trip! Be sure to follow along on Instagram, because we’re heading to some beautiful places (Finland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden) – and what better time to visit than the Christmas season?!

Thanksgiving + Black Friday

So they haven’t happened yet, but how can there be a fall catch up without talking about the biggest events this week?! I’m so thankful to be spending time with my family for Turkey Day and am looking forward to annual Black Friday traditions of shopping with my mom and best friend from high school! Anyone else planning to get some BF shopping done? Immediately following the post-shopping nap, I can’t wait to binge the Gilmore Girls revival show!

And lastly, I’m so thankful for all of you, my lovely followers and readers! I really appreciate your support of Small Towns & City Lights! I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and don’t forget to set your scales back tonight! Ha!




  1. November 23, 2016 / 11:54 AM

    I love this, and am totally of the same heart – you better believe my Christmas decorations are up, too, and I’m LOVING it! I’ve been trying to jump on with the gym during this time, too, and I think that the perspective that SOMETHING rather than nothing during a time of full on calorie craze is better, haha! Happy Thanksgiving!

    • December 2, 2016 / 1:49 PM

      Thanks, Shaylynn! So true – at least we can try to burn off a little of all the Christmastime food we’re eating :)

  2. November 23, 2016 / 12:12 PM

    Congrats on finishing your program! I’m with you on the gym – it’s a hard time of year to stay motivated but even better if you can do it. I’m training for a marathon that’s in the beginning of January so this year I really have to try my best to stay good during the holidays!

    • December 2, 2016 / 1:50 PM

      Thanks, Becky! It so is. Are you doing the Run Disney marathon in January? One of my good friends is training for that one!

  3. Kathleen Brown
    November 23, 2016 / 12:14 PM

    Congrats to you. I can really relate to your blog post. It’s off to the gym for me too. Of course I’m going to wait till after Thanksgiving

    • December 15, 2016 / 12:25 AM

      Thanks, Kathleen! I’m slowly getting there, but I know I won’t kick it into gear AS much until after Christmas :)

  4. November 23, 2016 / 1:26 PM

    Congrats on finishing your program-that’s so exciting! And that’s awesome you rejoined a gym. I’m dying to get back to a solid schedule of workouts…especially tough/challenging ones. I’ve missed it! My mom and I Black Friday shop every year so I’m totally looking forward to that too!!

    • December 15, 2016 / 12:25 AM

      Thanks, Jackie! How long do you have to wait post-baby to get back into the intense workouts? I hope you picked up some great things for Black Friday too!!

  5. November 23, 2016 / 8:06 PM

    If you ask me, this is the BEST time to a join a gym haha this is my second holiday season with a gym membership and man has it been good to have. Congrats on finishing your program as well! :)

    • December 15, 2016 / 12:26 AM

      Thank you! It definitely doesn’t seem too bad this time of year – especially considering the insane amount of food consumed Oct-Dec :)

  6. Esther
    November 23, 2016 / 8:07 PM

    WoW! Some great things happening for your right now! Congrats on finishing your program!

    • December 15, 2016 / 12:26 AM

      Thanks so much, Esther!

  7. November 23, 2016 / 9:03 PM

    Yay have fun on your upcoming trip! I’ve been trying to get back into the gym lately too but it’s been difficult.

    • December 15, 2016 / 12:27 AM

      Thanks, Jenny! January always seems to be the time to get back into the swing of the gym :)

  8. Elizabeth Johnson
    November 24, 2016 / 3:21 PM

    Wow! Sounds like you have been busy. Congratulations on finishing school and doing it so well! That is no small task. Good luck with your Friday shopping!

    Elizabeth Ann //

    • December 15, 2016 / 12:27 AM

      SO busy, but all good things! Thanks, Elizabeth!

  9. November 24, 2016 / 7:49 PM

    Congrats on completing that program! You should be very proud of yourself! My sister and are I BF shopping tomorrow and I’m so excited! I just mapped out our route! :)

    • December 15, 2016 / 12:27 AM

      Thanks, Laura! Did you get anything good on Black Friday?!

  10. November 25, 2016 / 2:01 PM

    Congrats on finishing school!!!! I’m watching new Gilmore Girls right now :-D and trying so hard not to cry in this first episode!

    • December 15, 2016 / 12:28 AM

      Thank you!! I’m SO happy about it, it’s nice to finally have a break :) I can’t believe how quickly those 4 eps of GG went watching. We need more!

  11. November 25, 2016 / 6:08 PM

    so much has been happening in your neck of the woods! congrats girl!! xo

  12. November 26, 2016 / 1:06 AM

    Congrats on finishing the verticals program with such high grades! That’s awesome!!

    • December 15, 2016 / 12:29 AM

      Thank you! I’m so happy about it and it’s wonderful to have some extra time now!

  13. November 26, 2016 / 4:20 PM

    Have a wonderful time on your annual trip to Europe. What a lovely time to visit :)

    • December 15, 2016 / 12:29 AM

      Thank you!! Nothing beats Europe at Christmas!

  14. Ashley
    November 26, 2016 / 10:18 PM

    I love Estes Park! I went there a few years ago while being in Denver for a friends wedding. The pictures just don’t do it justice! So beautiful! :)

    • December 15, 2016 / 12:29 AM

      It was so much fun! I definitely want to get back out there again in the future!

  15. November 27, 2016 / 12:20 AM

    Oh my gosh I can’t wait to see your pics from Norway! I’ve always wanted to visit there so I’m anxiously watching for them. I doublechecked to make sure I’m following you on Instagram (I am).

    Also…I’m 100% one of those people that decorates Christmas before Thanksgiving too.

    • December 15, 2016 / 12:30 AM

      Yay!! We didn’t get to visit those epic fjords, but Oslo was pretty cool! I have SO much to share from the trip, I can’t wait to get the posts up!

  16. Laura
    November 29, 2016 / 11:26 AM

    Sounds like an amazing year! Congrats on finishing that program! It sounds like you havin an amazing Christmas coming too!

    • December 15, 2016 / 12:34 AM

      Thank you, Laura! It’s certainly been a fantastic end to the year!

  17. November 29, 2016 / 10:46 PM

    CONGRATS on graduating lady! I am about to graduate here in less than two weeks and it is so exciting. When I do, I will be joining you at the gym!

    ​xx katie // a touch of teal

    • December 15, 2016 / 9:26 AM

      Thanks, Katie! So excited for you to be finished up as well. It’s such a wonderful feeling + the extra time back is magnificent :)

  18. November 30, 2016 / 6:19 AM

    Yay for more free time, and way to go on getting all A’s! Sounds like you had a lot to balance. Can’t wait to see what you gram on your Northern Europe trip! Hopefully you can see the Northern Lights. :)

    • December 15, 2016 / 9:27 AM

      Sooo much! But glad I did it :) And we DID see them! It was the most magical thing ever! I can’t wait to share all about the trip!

  19. December 13, 2016 / 1:42 PM

    Congrats on your grad program and doing so well!! That’s the best feeling ever!! School + so much full-time work is intense, but you did it!! And now you’re in Scandinavia to celebrate!! Love it!

    • December 15, 2016 / 9:28 AM

      Thanks, Sara! It’s been a wonderful end of the year, for sure! Lots to celebrate!