Thursday, June 30, 2011

Guest Post: Jenn from Jenn Said What?!


I am so excited to have Jenn here today guest blogging. Blogging is such a wonderful way to meet people and make connections and Jenn is here today to share some ideas about connecting with other bloggers. 
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Hi Katelyn’s friends! I’m Jenn, and I blog over at Jenn Said What?!  I met Katelyn a few years ago while we were both attending a leadership camp in rural Illinois. It was about as much fun as a leadership camp in rural Illinois sounds, but at least I got to meet Katelyn!

I was so excited when I discovered Katelyn had started blogging because it’s been something I’ve done on the regular for over three years now. Three years means a lot of time spent writing, editing and building a community. And of course, the community aspect is my favorite part of blogging.

I’ve met some amazing, wonderful people through blogging. Strong, passionate and fiery women who challenge me and support me every day. I take every opportunity I can to move my friendships offline and hang out IRL. One of my favorite blogging events ever was Bloggers in Sin City this past May.

Imagine going to Las Vegas. Now imagine going to Las Vegas with 55 other bloggers from around the country (and Canada!). Now imagine going to Las Vegas with 55 other bloggers and getting VIP access to all sorts of venues and shows and basically taking over the strip. IT WAS AWESOME.

If you get the chance to go to a blogger meet-up, I highly recommend it. It allows you to put a face to a blog and really build on the relationships that you started online.

Next up for me: speaking at the 20SB Summit in Chicago on August 20 & 21, where I’ll get to see and meet even more of my internet friends. If you’re interested in starting a blog, building the one you have, transitioning into social media as a career or just hearing some inspiring stories, you should DEFINITELY attend. And most importantly, be sure to come say hi to me if you’re there!
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Thank you again, Jenn!!! 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Guest Post: Cassie from Primitive & Proper


I am so excited to have Cassie from Primitive & Proper here today.  Cassie is sharing some of her best tips about starting & owning your own business.  She has an amazingly successful and awesome business, so it is a real treat to hear her perspective on this.  Thanks again, Cassie!!
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Hello, Eclectic Traditionalisters!  I am so excited to be here today at Katelyn's awesome blog!  A couple weeks ago, she mentioned how we met through a craigslist purchase she made.  She mentioned you can meet fun and normal people via craigslist.  Katelyn, get to know me a little better.... or maybe normal is relative. ;)  Anyhow, so who am I?  I am Cassie from Primitive & Proper, a blog that started based on my furniture business, but has since grown into more of a creative outlet for me, where I blog about DIY projects, crafty projects, and whatever else I feel like because, hey, it's my blog.  Speaking of my business, I thought it would be fun today to shed some light in creating your own at home business.  Many of us bloggers are stay at home moms, and having a business is not only an independent income, but also it's nice to have people that know you other than just as "mom", "mommy", "mama", "waaaaah!"  I am not going to give you the actual steps that you need to take, but let you know what worked on my own journey, as I began the journey with no idea where it would lead me.  Also, since this will be word heavy, I am just going to throw in some random pictures of furniture I have refinished so that you have some fluff and eye candy!  Here's one now!

A little over 4 years ago, my family of 4 moved here from Louisiana with our two dogs.  There's me, my husband Chris, Sawyer who was 18 months at the time, and Emerson, who was 6 weeks.  We bought our home and discovered that much of our stuff from Louisiana (where we had a much bigger house, huge master bedroom, and even a 2 car garage!!!!!) didn't fit into our tiny new home.  I began thrifting via craigslist, Goodwill, yardsales and more to find items that I could make over for our home.
In doing so, I discovered that I really love revamping furniture!  With two children under the age of two, it brought me peace and serenity.... After the kids went to bed or during naptime I would pick up my paint brush and get to work!  I loved it then and I love it still.  So that leads me to tell you what the first thing you need to run a successful home business is...
Passion
You really need to love what you are doing! I loved it so much that started amassing huge quantities of furniture, and I would paint it, so then I had huge quantities of pretty painted furniture.  My husband looked at me and said "What are we going to do with all this furniture?"  I replied, "Maybe I could sell it."  And so it began.  I posted the first couple items I painted for sale on Craigslist, and they sold right away!  I was amazed.  And I never would have had that reaction without the willingness to...
Put Yourself Out There
Don't be afraid to put yourself out there and test the waters.  Do YOU love your product?  Then certainly others will love it, too!
While you are putting yourself out there, check out local markets and see if there are any that you might fit into as a vendor.... flea markets, craft shows, etc.  They can be great places for getting your name out there, and building clientelle.  And once you begin making sells, the best advice I can give you today is this" Always provide...
Excellent Customer Service
I promise you that no matter how big or small your business is, the one thing that will really set you apart and keep people coming back to you and referring people to you is awesome customer service.  Be friendly, flexible but firm, just be you, but better! :)  I for one have gone into one of my favorite retail stores, have walked around the store with an item in my hand to purchase, and have had not one person say hi, and instead a sales rep was chatting on the phone, looked at me, and went right back to the conversation.  I put the item down, not even in the right place since I figured they could get off the phone and actually do some work, and walked out of the store.  I refuse to buy from people who provide horrible service, and I personally strive to do the best I can within my abilities.  I don't want people walking away from me because I was rude, ignored them, or just didn't make them feel welcome.

So these are the real basic starter tips... Once you feel you have a legitimate business, it will be time to started getting all official and stuff.  By that I mean following government rules, which I do.  Each state is a little different, so I highly recommend looking into what it takes.  Here in Maryland, I formed an LLC, got myself a Tax ID so I can pay sales taxes, and had my house zoned for business use within my county.  So make sure you are aware of the law, and follow it, or your business could be shut down.  I hope you all have found this somewhat helpful, and I hope at some point the government makes it a little easier on us small business. ;)

Katelyn, thank you so much for letting me hijack your blog today!!!  Please come visit me over at...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Guest Post: Tara from Cottage 1910 on Calligraphy


We have a great guest post today that I am really exited about! Thanks again, Tara, for guest blogging for me!  I appreciate it SO MUCH!!!
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Hi, y’all, this is Tara, a wife and mother to 8-month-old twin girls who just moved to central Ohio. My husband and I bought our first home last September, a 100-year-old cottage and we’re in the very beginning stages of renovating while inhabiting the house and blogging about it at Cottage 1910. I’m originally from Alabama, and I grew up loving the etiquette of the South and all things genteel. I have always treasured beautiful handwriting and I remember in second grade painstakingly practicing my capital G because I just couldn’t get it right.  Years later, this love of fine writing has led me to learn pointed pen calligraphy and embark on a business adventure.
I always thought I could just pick up a pen and with some time and practice I would magically be able to copy and write as a master penman. This is pretty far from the truth. There are foundational hands and foundational pen strokes that are really important to master before embarking on your own font creation. I have only very recently started learning the pointed pen arts, but I would like to quickly share with you a simplified 3-step process to learning calligraphy. I’ll try to include ideas of cost and time commitments as well.
An example of how calligraphy can set the tone and carry the theme throughout wedding paper goods.Source
Step 1: Decide how you want to learn.
There are really two ways to learn calligraphy—with a teacher or on your own. I personally have a teacher who comes to my home for $10 a lesson once a week for about an hour and a half. Honestly, having her demonstrate each stroke then watch me and instruct me in the middle of writing difficult letters (I don’t even want to talk about a capital O right now) has been the best experience for me. You can find a teacher in your area by contacting your local calligraphy guild or by looking around at the International Association of Master Penmen, Engrossers, and Teachers of Handwriting website (www.iampeth.com). However, there are many ways to self-teach. The Tamblyn Book ($24.90 from Ziller of Kansas City—they also make great inks) and The Zanerian Manual ($55 new from Amazon.com) are both well respected beginners’ books. You can also find online tutorials of specific scripts at zanerian.com and the IAMPETH site.
Source
Step 2: Gather your supplies.
The essential tools to get started in calligraphy are ancient. You’ll need paper to write on, ink to write with, a nib to hold the ink and a penholder to hold the nib. The best paper to practice on is Rhodia graph paper from The Container Store ($5.49), but you can also use Ampad graph paper (available at Staples for $4.49) or Kodak Ultimate Photo Paper, 24# weight (available at your local big box), though the Kodak is not ruled so I wouldn’t start there!  A good ink to practice with is Higgins Eternal Black ($2.39 from Amazon.com). For best results, you’ll want to add 8-10 drops of gum Arabic (try your local art store for this) to the Higgins. There are many good quality inks out there and a few are Ziller’s of Kansas City, McCaffrey’s inks and Moon Palace Sumi for great Japanese stick inks. Those are just for starters! As you get to know your supplies better over time, you’ll develop your favorites.
The decision between various nibs and penholders really depends on the look and style you’re going for and what works best for how you tend to write.  You won’t really know what works best for you until you try them—for instance, do you want a more flexible or rigid nib? Do you want an adjustable penholder so you can hold your pen at different angles? It can get complicated! This is where having a calligraphy mentor can be a huge asset. Calligraphers are a friendly bunch who tend to enjoy passing on information to each other, so even if you don’t have an official teacher, forming a relationship with an established calligrapher to answer your many questions is a great idea!
But back to writing supplies. My teacher suggested a Speedball oblique pen ($2.35 at Amazon.com) to start learning engrosser’s script and I have three basic nibs (the Gillott 1068A, 303 and 404 are great starter nibs and generally run $0.75-$0.95 each). I would not recommend the Speedball oblique.  All of my frustrations have really stemmed from the nib falling from that pen, or the pen leaking. There are some better but still inexpensive plastic penholders available from Paper & Ink Arts (www.paperinkarts.com) for about $13 that would be great for experimenting and finding out if you want to continue to pursue calligraphy.
Beautiful hand work with some impressive flourishes!Source
Step 3: Practice, practice, practice.
Whether you use a teacher or a book, you should learn first how to set up your space and your paper and then begin your basic strokes. It takes time and practice to become consistent  with all the lines and slants that make up letters. I didn’t write a single letter until my third lesson! It was all foundational strokes. Practice every day and practice individual strokes to encourage muscle memory of each letter. Then be sure to clean up and care for all of your tools so they can serve you and your art for many years!
A creative way to replace place cards and still keep the writing theme going.
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Thank you again, Tara!  Everyone please go give Tara's amazing blog a visit!  

Friday, June 24, 2011

Weekly Gratitude

Thank you to the fun friends who have volunteered to guest blog for me next week. We are going to have some fun topics around here next week- get excited!

Thank you to the blogging community for being so friendly and supportive.

Thank you to the inventor of shaving cream. What a lifesaver.
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Thank you to the redneck riviera. I'm gearing up for my trip down there (I leave Saturday) and I am so excited!!

Thank you to the guys who just cleaned my air conditioner- but could you come back and put the cover on? (I think they forgot...)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Thoughts

I do not care for linen fabric. I absolutely love the look of it- but for clothing, it makes me crazy how it wrinkles so quickly. I know it is "supposed" to wrinkle, but I don't like it. I just don't. And I don't like that I don't like it, because I love the look of it when it is all pristine.  Oh yeah, it also is hard to get stains out of- at least in my experience. 

My friend Emily sent me a link to this awesome website: I Can't Find My Phone. Perfect for single gals when your phone goes missing. Just hope & pray it isn't on silent. 

Did anyone else watch the Miss USA pageant on Sunday? I was severely underwhelmed. Sure, the girls are pretty. But anytime they had to talk, I literally cringed and changed the channel.  I'm not saying Miss USA- of all organizations- has ever been a beacon of good decorum, but these ladies were not impressive.

I'm still loving Pippa and her sis, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. Sorry I'm not sorry. 
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A couple of weeks ago my friend Emily sent me a really depressing article about the dating scene in Washington, DC.  [In her defense, she said she didn't read the article before she sent it to me...]  The article basically said women in DC are really uptight and career-driven and uninterested in making time for dating. And, the article said... therefore, DC has the highest number of fertility specialists per capita of any other American city. You know... since people wait until they are in their late 30s to make time to settle down and have families.  Great stuff, huh?  (I'm being sarcastic in case it didn't come across well...)

Emily also sent me another article about how DC was named the best city to raise children in. I don't know if I agree with that... but her email subject line was amazing. She said: if you ever find a man at least you'll be in a good town to raise kids.  Fair point, Emily. 


I recently found this great blog called Can You Stay for Dinner? What a great title for a food blog, huh? The "hostess" aka author, Andie, has a great and I think truly inspirational weight loss story.  You should definitely check out her blog. 


My dog has started licking the sides of her paws incessantly!!!! And, by association, she also licks the fabric in my house.  It is driving me crazy and she is no longer allowed on my sofa because of this. Does anyone have tips to make her STOP it right now??? Or like, even soon would be good. 


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Speaking of dogs, Marley & Me was on television last night. Man do I love that movie. Even if it does make me cry like a baby.  The movie is just so great at capturing the love that you can have for a dog and how a dog can become such an important part of your family.  

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

What's in My Bag?

I feel like this is completely random, but does anyone else love the "What's In Her Bag?" feature that used to be on instyle.com? I'm pretty sure that feature is no longer around on In Style, but the PurseBlog has a very similar series.  I have always loved reading "What's in Her Bag?"  I think this is because: a.) I LOVE purses, and b.) I'm nosy!  I thought it would be fun to share what's in MY bag, so here goes!


Here's my bag. I purchased this last summer. It is a great bag- It has two handles that are comfortable for the shoulder. It also has a cross-body strap and that cross-body strap that converts to another (longer) hobo-style shoulder strap!  It is a great bag all around.

I know it's kind of a random color, but I have wanted an emerald green purse ever since I first caught a glimpse of Katie Holmes's Emerald Green Balenciaga bag. 
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I kept looking and looking for a bag that would be practical for me, my budget and was the perfect color! I finally found it! 

Here's what's in the bag:

My wallet- a Marc by Marc Jacobs wallet, iPod nano, hand sanitizer, four pens (not sure why I have four...), my camera case & camera- a Cannon PowerShot from a long time ago, my Target aviator sunglasses, and various lip glosses. 

The spherical shape is this amazing lip balm. It's about $3 at Walgreens or Ulta. The others are Bobbi Brown, Sephora (from a free birthday gift set- Holla!) and a random brand that I bought cheap at Ulta. For someone who doesn't love lipstick/ color... I sure have a lot of options in my bag. 

What do you carry in your bag? 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Weekend Happenings

This weekend was jam-packed with fun things to do.  I started off the weekend on Friday night at Cassie's adorable home in Maryland!  True story: You can meet fun and normal people via craigslist... sometimes.  I met Cassie over the internet after I saw a craigslist posting of one of her furniture pieces. It was only a matter of time before I got hooked on her blog and on perusing  the furniture on the Primitive & Proper website.  We later met at the DC Bloggers Brunch, and then I saw her again at Luckett's last month.  Well... fast forward a month and Cassie redid a beautiful trunk. I had been looking to replace my coffee table for a while, but I never found something that struck my fancy just right- until I saw the trunk on her blog. 

So, I trecked it out to Maryland Friday to pick up my trunk! I also got to stay for a few minutes of her monthly "Wine & Design" night. I wish I'd been able to stay longer. 

Remember my living room before?

Well here it is now with my new trunk!
Cassie, I know you imagined this in a beach bungalow, but how do you think it looks in my city studio?  Haha- not quite what you had pictured, I know! 

I really loved the old trunk, but it was impractical as a coffee table because it was a bit unsteady on top.  The new coffee table is beautiful, better with the scale and style of my apartment, and still offers (very crucial) storage. 

After I brought the trunk home, I went out to celebrate my friend Nisha's birthday! We didn't take any pictures- but I wanted to give a little shout-out to my friend!

Saturday and Sunday I spent with my friend-since-5th-grade, Rebecca. Rebecca is in DC for a month-long academic conference as part of her super-smarty-pants fellowship. I am very excited to have her in DC for the next month. It was an adventure of a weekend to get her acclimated to DC. I'm so proud she is already taking buses by herself and doing very well navigating! Luckily, we've had great weather to walk around in.

I introduced Rebecca to Five Guys on Saturday- she's now a convert. We also had dinner at my all-time fav, Oyamel.  I'm definitely feeling the need to eat a big salad today- or maybe just not eat again for a while. Haha. 

Hope you all had a good weekend! 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Sticky Situation

Well I think my dear pup Eliza knew just how desperate I was to come up with blog content, because yesterday she stepped in gum. 

Yes. Gum. 
Source
I guess she knew that this would make for an amusing blog entry. 

Apparently this happens to a lot of people, because there was a good bit of information out there on the web for me to consult.  

And, just to clarify- the gum was not in her hair. It was stuck, very, very stuck, on her paw- up in between the bed of her foot.  And to add insult to injury, all dogs have very sensitive paws and my dog happens to be a big drama queen. 

So after ruling out the peanut butter option (because I didn't have any in the house) and the cutting-out option (the last thing I wanted to do was cut her paw), I decided to go with canola oil and cotton balls.

In case you should ever find your pet in a similar situation, you soak the cotton ball in canola oil. Then, you slowly work the oil into their paw. This took a few minutes for us (and lots of patience and calming down) but all the gum eventually came out without too much drama! 

Although Eliza was not too happy with me. She was even less happy when I subsequently gave her a bath.
Sporting her drowned rat look. Hehe. 
So, that is the story of Eliza and the gum. I think I actually stressed myself out more than I should have. It was much less difficult than I thought to remove the gum. Thank heavens for the internet! 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Weekly Gratitude


Thank you to amazon.com for your incredibly fast shipping. I literally received something from you in less than 42 hours. Now, that is impressive.

Thank you to the Real Housewives of New York for making me feel like, relatively speaking, I'm not crazy at all.

Thank you to youtube.com for allowing me to view whatever video I want to, whenever I want to and however many times I want to.

Thank you to anyone who follows me on twitter. I hope my tweets are only mildly annoying most of the time.

Thank you to the readers who've offered to guest post for me. Yay! If you are interested in guest posting for me too, let me know!

Thank you to the makers of low-fat ice cream deliciousness. 'Nough said.

Yall have a good weekend now, ya hear? Over and out.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

What I'm Loving Right Now

I just want to begin this post by saying that I hope I do not lead my readers to think that I am a product-obsessed person. I love "things" as much as the next girl, but after a while, I do get tired of bloggers (and tweeters) who are constantly discussing "things."  I like to shop (mostly online these days) but I also like lots of other things in life.  And I really limit what I actually purchase, especially these days.  I have a budget just like everyone else. If you ever think I'm writing too much about stuff, you have my permission to leave a comment and let me know! 

That said, some things are just too cute not to blog about, so here are some things I'm loving right now.
I adore these cards. Kate Spade is one of the best in the business at coming up with clever stationery. She had some holiday cards this past year that I just died over. I hope she brings them back this year (and I hope my budget is roomy enough)! 

I am slightly flipping out over these dinner plates from Anthropologie. I was very generously gifted with 4 of the dessert plates for Christmas last year. I absolutely am enamored with the dinner plates.  The cups and saucers aren't bad either. I am thinking these might appear on my birthday list. It's in September but who's counting?

Speaking of Anthro, I am still loving the raw gem trend that's happening right now. These earrings are darling. At nearly $100, they are definitely out of my costume jewelry budget, though. But they sure are pretty to look at.

My friend Kathryn recommended this book to me. It's one that I'd seen in the store several times, but just never purchased because I thought it might be a flop (and I think Paris-lit is easily overdone in the wrong way). But since she recommended it, I decided to give it a try. It is so good that I am purposefully making myself read it slowly so I do not fly through it as I tend to do. It is great so far. And the main character has one of my favorite names of all time.

I'm also loving several songs right now (country music haters, beware), including:
Mean
Taylor Swift
I've been pretty adamantly anti-Swift but I just love this song. Summer guilty pleasure?

Knee Deep 
Zac Brown Band 
(borderline obsession has been happening with this one since my last beach trip in November)

You Lie
The Band Perry
"That ain't my perfume...."

What are you loving right now, dear readers?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Guest Post: Kitchen Brunch Bridal Shower

I am so excited to have my dear friend Catherine guest-blogging for me today. Catherine is honestly one of the kindest people I have ever met.  (I am very lucky to have several friends that I can say that about.) 

She is warm-hearted and always assumes the best of people.  She  also has great taste in everything from music (she's a big Bob Dylan & Janis Joplin fan) to clothing (she is always appropriately chic).  I hope you enjoy reading her post today. Please feel free to leave her some sweet comments!
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I recently hosted a Bridal Shower for my dear friend Haley. There were six hostesses including myself; Samantha, Kristin, Lauren, Emily, and Katie. 

The shower was a true southern affair. The invitations invited the guests to a Kitchen Brunch in honor of the bride. The invitations had a beautiful bouquet of flowers tied with a ribbon printed on the side. The walkway to the house was lined with standing sconces filled with Rosemary and Baby’s Breath. We tied white, tulle ribbons around these. 
The menu for the shower was a mix between southern favorites and tea-party essentials. Kristin brought delicious homemade chicken salad and Lauren brought a fruit tray with pineapple, cantaloupe, honeydew, and strawberries. We served scones with lemon curd and cream, cheese grits, ham biscuits, petit fours, and cupcakes that were dusted with “pixie dust”. Samantha brought cake balls and we served iced tea, lemonade, and coffee punch. Coffee punch has always been a big hit in our house. We serve the punch at our annual Holiday party, family reunions, and showers. I have included the recipe below if anyone would like to try! 
We used both of my grandmothers’ china and glass party saucers and cups. There was mingling and socializing. Haley opened some wonderful gifts including an ice cream maker and her dishware. 
We decorated the house with pictures of the couple in mismatched frames including gold, silver, and wooden.  The guests were given small white mesh bags filled with “pillow mints” as they left. 
After the shower, Haley gave her hostesses a beautiful hand-made notebook her fiancé made.

I think the most important thing is to first decide what type of shower you would like to throw. Because we decided on a brunch and the kitchen opens right up into the party area, we decided on a kitchen theme. The shower had a sort of garden party feel which was perfect with the beautiful weather. We knew we wanted it to be very classy and elegant. The food was placed on antique serving dishes and placed on the dining room table. Pictures were an easy way to highlight the couple. I think that simple decorations are essential to a beautiful brunch shower!

Café Latte Punch
Mix together the night before:
1 c of instant coffee
½ c of cocoa
1 c of boiling water
1 ¼ c of sugar
1 T vanilla
3 c of cold water
3 quartz of milk
Refrigerate the above overnight. Whip 1qt. whipping cream. Soften ½ gallon of vanilla ice cream. Fold the ice cream and whipping cream in a punch bowl. Pour in other mixture. This makes quite a lot so make sure to have another container ready for the extras!
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Thank you so much for blogging for me today, Catherine.  I actually just decided to schedule a little vacation at the end of June. If anyone out there in bloggerland (even if you don't yet have your own blog) is interested in guest posting while I'm on beach time, please email me at theeclectictraditionalist @ gmail.com (without the spaces). 
I would love it! 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Expectations

Optimistic. Pessimistic. Realistic.
It is incredibly easy to box people and thoughts into these categories. But in reality, isn't it hard to decipher what you are? Aren't we all a mix of all these words, depending on the situation? 

I would love to think that I'm an optimist, although I will freely admit that I'm probably more of a realist. 
But here's the thing. 
My friend Kathryn would argue that I am a pessimist. (But she's my good friend anyway.) Well, nobody wants to admit that they are a pessimist. It's negative. 

And I would argue that I am more of a realist than anything else because I do try to be positive, but situations in life constantly let me down. Negative situations. And they keep me from seeing everything in the best light all the time. But I want to see things in the best light. I really do. And it's difficult.  Perhaps I just give in to negativity too easily?

In my view, there are plenty of heartbreaks to be had in this life even when people treat each other well. Accidents, death, loss of health/ jobs/ homes. All these things are incredibly disappointing and heartbreaking. And more often than not, nobody causes them. It is truly nobody's fault. Given that, why do some people have to treat others with disrespect? As if life wasn't already hard enough... 

It's all so confusing sometimes.  In a world where a new political sex scandal surfaces every other week and it seems like people are constantly letting you down, how do you deal?  Should you just learn to manage your expectations better? Maybe if you stop expecting so much from people they won't let you down as often. Maybe not. 

In this day and age, is it really too much to expect people to be honest? To have integrity? To be who they say they are? To do the right damn thing? It just doesn't seem that hard to me. But then again, maybe I expect too much.

[What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments if you'd like to.]

Friday, June 3, 2011

Weekly Gratitude


Thank you to the producers at Bravo for making such entertaining television shows. The people on the shows can be such hot messes at times that it actually makes me feel better about my own life.

Thank you to the weather that brought a little "cooler" front through DC yesterday. It is pleasant outside and yesterday was a beautiful day! I hope to soak up some of this beautiful weather this weekend. It will be oppressively hot again much too soon.

Thank you to the blogging community for providing support & encouragement, advice, and unending hours of entertainment.

Thank you to Pippa Middleton for your chic and attainable style choices.  And p.s. your name is adorable.

Hope you all have a great weekend! 

Frugal Finds Friday: Kate Spade Essex Scout

Who doesn't love Kate Spade? I've been a fan since middle school, literally. I vividly remember begging my dad for a Kate Spade bag in the seventh or eighth grade. What can I say, I've always loved purses.  Want to score the Essex Bike Scout for less?