Thursday, September 29, 2011

One Year

Today, this little blog turns one year old!  I wanted to take today to say "thank you" to all those who read this blog, comment, and take time to let me know that you enjoy reading! 

The past year has taught me a great deal about the online community and the power of connecting with others.  I was thinking about it the other day and I realized that this blog is one of the only things that I make an effort to do just for myself and no other reason!  This blog isn't related to school or organizational responsibilities or work.  It is great to have something that is all my own and that I do just for myself.  It is also great to know that I have committed to this for the past year and have every desire to stay committed in the future. 

I have to admit, sometimes I feel like I am just talking about nothing.  I guess we all have self-doubt from time to time and we all feel like that at times.  Oddly enough, the posts that I write and think are most random and specific only to me are often the posts that get the greatest number of comments.  I really believe that this is a reminder to me that we are all much more similar than we think. 

In this next year, I have some personal goals for myself and for blogging.  I think goals are very important.  I read a LOT of blogs, but my commenting has dropped off recently, especially as the number of hours I spend at work and school increases.  I want to get back to commenting more consistently.  I love commenting and feel that it is a very important part of being a blog reader & author because it increases the personal involvement. 

Beyond that, instead of saying over the next year I want to blog more often (which I do), I think I will leave it at this: in the next year, I want to blog with more heart.  I want to talk about things that are on my heart, however difficult or boring they may seem.  I am a private person, but I also need to learn how to put myself out there a little bit more.  And yes, I know it seems odd to say that, as a blogger,  I still consider myself very private. 
When I was a teenager, people told me I had a very tender heart and I always felt that too.  Over the years of college and beyond, I think I have hardened a little bit from life's experiences and trails.  I don't think I'm any worse off from this hardening, but I want to be more open and compassionate going forward.  The truth is, we are all going through something.  I am.  You are.  As you read this, there are problems in your life and things that you are scared and unsure about.  There are people whose feelings you've hurt and there are people who have hurt you too.  One of the greatest things about following blogs is reading about other people's thoughts and perspectives and realizing not that you're the same as someone else, but that you aren't alone. Even though I think we know that rationally, sometimes it is difficult to remember. 

Thanks again for reading along over the past year.  As always, if you have any specific questions for me or ideas for what you'd like to hear about, please leave them in the comments or email me.  

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

(Not Just Green)Sleeves

I think sleeved dresses are happening right now in a really big way.  Whether or not it has anything to do with these two:
... I'm not exactly sure.  I think the sleeved dress thing might have more to do with the impending cooler temperatures than the Duchess and her sister, but frankly, I don't care who or what is responsible.  I just like it. 

I am not a small person by any means and I have always been pretty self-conscious about my arms.  Typically if I wear a sleeveless dress or top, I pair it with a jacket or cardigan to give my arms some additional coverage.   As women, I think most of us love dresses because you can just throw one on and go.  I love sleeved dresses even more because you can literally be dressed and look finished and polished with one piece of clothing.  And an added jacket can take your look to the next level of professionalism and style if you feel like jazzing it up.

This weekend (you know, in suburbia) I got a bit taken away with ze shopping.  What can I say? Nordstrom also makes me do crazy things.  I found (and purchased- eeek!) the three dresses for this winter and fall.

Polyvore set found here.
 The middle dress was just very flattering on, so even though I currently have no place to wear it, I purchased it.  Thanks to Nordstrom's great return policy, I can leave the dress in my closet with the tags on and return it later this season if I don't end up having a place to wear it.  

The dress on the right I just couldn't wait to wear, so I sported it in the following way at work on Monday.  I realized later that my dress was missing the belt, but I think I actually prefer the look without the belt as there is some elastic at the waist that maintains the shape.
Polyvore set found here.
I think as the temperatures get cooler, this dress will be easy to wear with tights and boots.  The silk fabric makes it feel more special than my normal day wears.

And I keep seeing sleeves EVERYWHERE in stores and online browsing.  I'm sure even Mrs. Obama with her killer arms likes a little extra coverage sometimes, and this season designers and stores are definitely offering options.
Polyvore set found here.
I'm really excited to watch the fashion blogs this fall & winter to see how the stylish ladies out there decide to work this style. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sometimes It's the Simple Things

I grew up in the suburbs of Memphis.  And we often took family vacations to big cities.  And I always had the greatest time, and I always loved the cities.  So growing up I somehow got the idea in my head that I was a city girl.  Who needed dull ole suburbia?  In the town I grew up in, they practically roll up the sidewalks at ten p.m.  Yawn.  

Well, now that I am a city girl (as in I live right smack dab in the middle of downtown), I am here with a confession: in my heart I am a suburban girl.  Or at least a less-urban girl.  I love D.C. and all the great things it has to offer- I really do!  There is always somewhere to go or someone to call and hang out with. 

 But I miss the suburbs!  

This has probably been one of the most shocking things to me about moving to D.C.  Sometimes, I just long to get in my car and go enjoy all the great things that you get to do in the 'burbs that you can't do in the city so easily.  I know that sounds crazy.  But it's true.  So I've learned that the best thing I can do for myself mentally sometimes is to rent a car and get the heck out of downtown.  

And that's just what I did this weekend and it was awesome.  So what are my favorite things about the suburbs?

I started out at Target. 
That red cart is such a beautiful site to me!  And check out that bag- more to come on her later!

Oh, I also might have swung by a Chick-fil-a for a diet coke and a chicken biscuit.  Glorious.

And I also went to the grocery store.  I didn't snap any pics in there (I was already pretty weird snapping tidbits of the other seemingly-mundane things I did that day).  BUT let me just say.  I think the grocery store is one of my happy places in life.  WEIRD.  But true.  But only as it applies to non-crowded suburban grocery stores.  Grocery stores in the city are impossibly small and impossibly crowded and when I leave, I just end up so stressed.  (Which is why I've now switched to having my groceries delivered for major stock-ups.)  But I love going to the grocery store when I can just meander and chill.  It clears my mind or something.

I also went to another happy place- Home Goods.  
Now, we don't have a Home Goods in Memphis, so the D.C. metropolitan area definitely has something on my previous homes.  I freaking love Home Goods.  I have always loved Marshall's, but Home Goods just takes things to the next level.  Here are some of the goodies I found.
I love all things mercury glass.  I have a mercury glass lamp from Home Goods already, or I might have bought this one.  Isn't the shape fantastic? 

How about this chair?  I think it is such a great shape and I love the nailhead trim!

Finally, I thought this pumpkin was really cute and fun for fall.  I like the departure from the standard orange pumpkin.  I don't plan to decorate for fall at all, but I love to see what other people come up with to celebrate the season!

What about you? Are you a city girl or a country girl or, like me, do you just love the suburbs in a crazy way? What are some of your seemingly-mundane happy places?

Random Post: A to Z

I've gotten to where I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis.  And I really enjoy getting to better know the bloggers behind the blogs. I just think blogs are such a great way to connect with other people and find people who share some of your same interests but also have their own unique perspectives on the world.  In the name of sharing more about myself, I thought I would write up this little A-Z blogger questionnaire.  Who knows- maybe even my close friends who read this blog will learn something new!

Area code
 901 for Memphis.  I seriously hope I never have to change it. That would be far too complicated at this point. 

Bed size
Queen bed.  I'm only one person and it is perfect for me!

Chore you hate
I hate to sweep and mop!! My floors are rarely super clean for this reason.  I mean, do not get me wrong it's not a frat house over here, but they do stay a bit untidy.  I also hate doing the dishes.
Randomly, I absolutely love to do laundry! Especially the folding.  Especially folding hot towels.  Love, love love. 

Dog's name
Eliza.  She is often called Eliza Jane. 

Essential "start the day" item
I absolutely must put in my contacts soon after waking up or else I do not gain consciousness for a very long time. 

Favorite color
I have favorite colors for different things.  I absolutely love purple & yellow equally, and not just because they are sort of LSU colors.  I really just love them.  But most things in my house are blue and I tend to wear mostly neutrals in my wardrobe choices although I'm not at all afraid of wearing color.

Gold or silver
Both but lately I am very much into gold.

I say that I'm 5'7" but lately I'm starting to think I'm actually 5'8" based on comparisons with friends.

Instruments you play
None.  There was a brief flirtation with piano when I was a kid. Then there was an even more brief flirtation with the acoustic guitar when I had my I-want-to-be-Wynonna-Judd moment when I was like seven, but both failed miserably.  I was always derailed when it came to learning to read music.  I absolutely cannot read music to save my life. 
I spent a lot of my childhood rocking out to that album.

Right now I'm still technically an intern although I have more responsibilities than I have had at previous jobs and I now get a paycheck (glory hallelujah).  

I love babies- absolutely love them.  As for my own kids, ask me this question again in 10 years. 

Living arrangements
I live in downtown D.C. in an apartment.

Every now and again someone calls me "Kate" or by my last name.  I also have a couple of nicknames from my sorority sisters based on inside jokes.

Mom's name
Jeannie to family or Jean to friends.

Overnight hospital stay
I was once hospitalized for food poisoning and I was there through the night, but not technically overnight.

Pet peeve
People who chew with their mouths open, or worse- speak with food in their mouths.  Blegh blegh blegh.  I also get annoyed when people are not self-aware. 

Quote from a movie
My favorite quotable movies, in no particular order, are: Mean Girls, You've Got Mail, Almost Famous, The Breakfast Club, and Steel Magnolias.  The following quote comes to mind based on the season:

Righty or lefty
I'm right-handed.

I have a half brother who is 18 years older than me.  Quite an age difference!
Me with my brother.
Time you wake up
If I have work, around 6:45 on a good day.  If I don't have work, I sleep as late as possible before my dog wakes me up to go for a walk.

I wear different kinds and I'm currently working on updating my underwear drawer.  But dad-gum those things can be expensive!

Veggie you dislike
I don't really know if they are a veggie or a fruit technically speaking but I hate bell peppers.  I also HATE cucumbers.  If a cucumber even grazes my food, I can taste it and I do not like it.  A lot of people find that strange because they say the taste to them is mild, but to me it is overwhelming in a bad way.

Ways/ reasons you are late
Oversleeping nine times out of ten.

X-rays you've had
My feet and I think my back/ hips at some point. And dental x-rays.

Yummy food you make
My chex mix is kind of famous.  So is my spin on my dad's sangria. I love cooking pretty much everything.

Zoo animals you like 
Giraffes and elephants.  Did you know the National Zoo doesn't have giraffes?? I still don't understand that...
So, Courtney & Megan- did you learn anything new? 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Do You Need a Little Happy Today?

Wow, I am having trouble believing it's been 10 days since I last posted.  Yikes!  Hope all is well with everyone out there in blogland.  I have a whole list of topics that I need to sit down and crank out this weekend- so I WILL be back with regularly scheduled programming next week.  I'm saying this to you guys so I will be accountable!! 

In the meantime, if you need a little something to cheer you up today or just make you giggle, check out the video below.  This has totally gone viral, so you may have seen it already, but just in case I thought I'd share it here.  Just FYI- what happens around 1:53 makes me laugh out loud! 

Happy Thursday! 

Monday, September 5, 2011

They Say It's My Birthday

So I feel a bit odd posting to tell you that it is my birthday... But it is. I was born on Labor Day and every few years my birthday falls on Labor Day again. It is awesome. This birthday weekend has been loads of fun. I can't wait to post on it later this week. For now I hope everyone enjoys a great Labor Day.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Happy Birthday, Miss Eliza

Today is a very special day, indeed!

It is this girl's birthday!

I know not everyone feels this way, but for me, pets are members of the family.  Eliza is nine years old today and I am so glad that she lives here with me in D.C.  

She is the best friend a girl could ask for and she loves me no matter what- even if I lose my patience with her or have had a terrible day.  

I know she can't read, but I have to recognize her birthday on this blog anyway!  
Happy Birthday Liza-loo! 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

What, did you think I was referring to Christmas???

No, silly! I am referring to 


I am so excited I hardly know what to do with myself!  If you read Southern Living magazine, you may have noticed that the September edition has just about everything to do with football season and the love of all things Southern college football.  For those of you who weren't yet readers during last year's football season, just be forewarned that I am that stereotypical Southern girl who lives & breathes college, specifically SEC, football during the fall months. 

Southern Living's monthly feature called "Only in the South..." this month discusses some great football moments.  One is: Only in the South... do football games register on the Richter scale.  Oh yes, my friends.  That would be known as the Earthquake Game- LSU vs. Auburn in October of 1988.  Coincidentally, I was a newborn babe living right near campus at the time.  
Circa 2006.
I have had so many wonderful memories of my life associated with LSU football and the SEC.  I cannot wait to watch another beautiful season play out.  This weekend, I will definitely be birthday-wishin' for some roasted duck- Oregon duck, that is!!  If you are wanting to know more about LSU fans and our fanatical ways, I highly recommend this article.  We are a fun bunch, indeed.