Monday, September 30, 2013

Music for Feeling Beautiful

Hello friends! I hope you all had a lovely weekend. Matt and I had a great time yesterday at a Jewish wedding--more pictures on that later this week!

I was planning to do a Music Monday post, then I saw that Betsy had a great link-up planned for today with the prompt, "I feel the most beautiful when..." I didn't want to disappoint you all, so I'm combining the best of both worlds on today's post.

I know I've tossed around the term "Crohn's Disease" on here every now and then, but I don't think I've talked about it all too much. Crohn's is basically an inflammation of the intestines, and it's not really something that can be "cured," but maintained. It's a nasty little bugger, and sometimes it gets me down more than I care to admit. I feel that I have been fortunate that it hasn't severely affected my quality of life (in the past few years at least), but it has dragged me down, more than I care to admit.

Three weeks before surgery, 2007.
I feel the most beautiful when I'm healthy.

I feel the most beautiful when I can branch out and try new foods, and not suffer the consequences later.

Sushi and I were not friends for a good part of my life.
I feel beautiful when I'm not all roided out because I'm having a flare up--when I'm not facing sleepless nights, unstoppable weight gain, and a swollen face that looks nothing like me.

I feel the most beautiful when I can sit up straight, when I'm not all hunched over because of pains in my stomach.
Or because I have a fever and chills.
I feel the most beautiful when I have endless amounts of energy, when I don't need to sleep 10+ hours at night and take another three hour nap during the day.

I feel the most beautiful when I can travel and experience the world, without the worry of a flare up.

Hiking a mountain in Mexico.
I feel the most beautiful when my clothes fit just right--not too loose because of diseased-induced weight loss, and not too tight because of steroids.

I feel the most beautiful when I'm able to workout consistently at the gym. We all know the benefits of exercise.

I feel the most beautiful when I'm with my husband. Sickly or not, he always makes me feel completely confident in myself, as if I'm the only person in the room who matters.


Being healthy gives me beauty and confidence. It makes me feel comfortable in my own skin, and inspires me to seek out new adventures. I'm healthy now, but I know that can change at any time, so I feel very blessed and grateful for these beautiful moments, and for the amazing husband who supports me through it all.


What makes you feel beautiful, dear readers? Head over to Betsy Transatlantically and please share! And, since it is Music Monday, here is a hand-picked playlist that always makes me feel like the most awesome person on the planet.

Much Love,

Kate





Sunday, September 29, 2013

Breaking News in Sports

Sources have confirmed that former Virginia Tech Hokies' starting quarterback Sean Glennon has been named starting quarterback of the Muncie Hayseeds of the Midwest Fourth Division Flag Football League.
image via USA Today.
"I'm very honored to have this opportunity to lead such a well respected organization, after years of hard work and dedication," Glennon reported to members of the press, after the announcement was made.

This will mark the first time that the oldest of the Glennon brothers will take meaningful starting snaps at this Parks and Rec sponsored match.

Sources confirmed that Glennon will get paid in free t-shirts for the team and a 10% discount at Paunch Burgers within the Muncie town limits.


When asked about his brother's promotion to starting quarterback within the Tampa Bay Buccaneers organization, Sean quickly pointed out it was his tutelage which led to Mike's success in the NFL.

"I took some time off after college to really work with my little brother. That's why you didn't see me making it big in the NFL. It's all about sacrifice, you know."

Image via Tampa Bay Times
Mike Glennon was unavailable for comment, but we were able to speak directly with a representative from the Muncie Parks and Rec department.

"Sean's been after us for years to let him be 'starting quarterback.' Normally we don't bother with those things in flag football, but eventually we got tired of him harpin on us about it, so we just let him have it. Plus, he agreed to clean up the litter in the parks, so it's a win-win for us."

When it was pointed out that Sean's first game would coincide with his brother's debut as an NFL quarterback on live television, Sean stated "I don't need to watch his game. He's a Glennon--I know he'll succeed."

Friday, September 27, 2013

Confession Friday

This has been one nightmarish, hellish week and I am SO glad to see it end.

Okay, so maybe that was a bit dramatic. But this week has consisted of 12 hour workdays, restless nights, and one poor little sick doodle.

Bless her heart.
Needless to say, I am quite pleased to see the weekend.

Despite my histrionics, lack of sleep, and anxiety over my dog's health, I have been feeling pretty upbeat this week. Let me tell you why:


1. My dear husband got a raise this week. Do you know what that means?

TREAT YO SELF.
Just kidding, it actually means we will pour more money into savings, because we are fiscally responsible adults.

But maybe I will peruse the sale section of the Kate Spade website. Just in case. 

2. My husband, MattyT777, had some additional exciting news this week, but for now we will keep that under wraps until it happens. Let's just say it has something to do with flying up to Bristol, Connecticut.

3. Haim's debut album is going to be released on Monday! Ya'll KNOW how I feel about new music. Bonus--you can stream the whole thing right now on NPR!

4. I've been very pleased with my progress on Candy Crush this week. I'm on level 271! I don't know if I should be proud or sad.

5. I sent off three more letters for my Lettered Letters project; so, that brings my total to a whopping FOUR letters! Only 96 to go!


6. I'm really excited about this print I ordered from Crystal Faye's shop. It's going to go in my guest bathroom, because doesn't everybody like to think of mimosas as they take care of business?

Get it here.
p.s. Helene is hosting a giveaway for a mug & gift card from Crystal Faye, AND she has a code for 15% off!

7. I still can't get over pictures from my precious niece at her baptism last weekend. Still a little sad we couldn't be there (they live in FL), but at least I have these pictures to keep me going!


Both pictures courtesy of this guy, Nora's Uncle Johnny
8. This was actually last week, but I'm still giddy over the stationery I ordered from Sugar Paper. Totes adorb, AND they even included a handwritten note, thanking me for my order.

You're welcome, Meredith.
9. After starting the season with a loss, and a less-than-stellar performance against Marshall, VT finally pulled it together and clinched a W over GT last night. It's too soon to tell what the rest of the season will bring, but for now we will bask in the glow of sweet victory.
Celebrating a Hokie touchdown, circa 2007.
10. I got two new Twitter followers this week! Way to be Kate, way. to. be.

11. Lastly, this video from Funny or Die:



That's it for today, dear readers! What has made you happy this week?

Much Love,

Kate

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fashionably Late: Shorts and a Button Up

One of my favorite things about fall is that I get to pair long sleeves with shorts. I get to stay warm and comfy, but still show off my great legs.


Ladies, this is the simplest outfit to piece together. Throw on a sweatshirt to keep it cas, or pull it all together with a Ralph Lauren sweater, pearls, and a pair of sperrys--you know, that "I just stepped off my sailboat in Martha's Vineyard" look.

This is THE facial expression of a Martha's Vineyard socialite. Try it.
I went with a button up from Target and shorts from the Crew. If I had been blogging this past spring, I would have instructed each and every one of you to buy one of these shirts. They were only $25 and came in a variety of cute colors and patterns. I may or may not own three.

This is my "Matt? Did you get the shoes? Matt?" look.
At this point you're probably thinking "you're doing better with the whole modeling thing, but why on earth would you pass up an opportunity to do a photo shoot on a motorcycle?"

Because my neighbors and I don't have that sort of relationship. Yet.

Don't worry, we'll get there.
Much Love,

Kate

Shirt/Belt/Random hairband on wrist: Target
Shoes: Coach
Wristlet: Lilly Pulitzer
Necklace: Kate Spade
Watch: Michael Kors

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: The Favors

Wedding favors--can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em!


Something Charming

Did that honestly make any sense? Probably not. My personal opinion (so take that as you will) is that wedding favors aren't really a crucial component to a successful wedding. However, I think that it's a nice gesture to send something home with the guests, and we wanted to do it as a way to thank them and have them remember our wedding as THE BEST WEDDING EVER.


Since everybody and their brother has done a candy buffet these days (well, duh, they're simple and aesthetically pleasing), it might be fun to peruse your own ideas, or something that matches your style or theme of your wedding. Martha Stewart Weddings has a gazillion slideshows of ideas for favors, but before you go down that rabbit hole, consider these factors:

1. Will it fit in your budget?
Miniature, personalized champagne bottles may seem like a great idea at every place setting, but mayyyyy not be the best idea for your wallet. Or your future finances.

Limoncello personally hand crafted in Italy. Original? Yes. Cheap? NO.
Image via Martha Stewart Weddings
2. Is it feasible?
Remember in Bridesmaids, when everybody got an adorable puppy as a favor? It happened in the movies for a reason--because movies are not real life.

via
3. Does it travel well?
Can it be tucked inside a carry-on, or will it be thrown out by security? This may not be that big of an issue if most of your guests are local, but it's something to consider if you've got friends and family flying in from all over the place.

4. Is it easy to make/buy/assemble?
This kind of goes hand-in-hand with #3. If it IS feasible, then what kind of set up is required? Is this a DIY project that could take a few days, or can you just buy everything ready-made and set it up the day of the event? Which brings me to my next point...

5. How will you set up the display?
It's really no big deal how you decide to display them--whether you do it at each place setting, in a basket by the door, or maybe set upon trays held by living statues. The important point to remember is who is going to set it up (who? whom? I never get it right). If you don't have a wedding planner or event coordinator who can ensure everything is set up in its proper place, then assign SOMEONE to do it--friend, bridesmaid, groomsmen, anyone who might have a few spare minutes the day of the wedding. Nobody gets to enjoy a favor that's boxed up in a dark corner somewhere (except you, for the rest of your life).

Favors at every place setting, set up the night before with my ladies, final touches courtesy of my Aunt and the event staff.
That should about do it! Any other brides have tips on choosing favors? For the record, in case you didn't notice in the pictures above, we had hot chocolate (duhhhh, winter wedding!). My MIL, Debbie, was super wonderful and put it all together about a week before--she even made the mix herself! The favors were a huge hit, and I still have one bag full of hot chocolate mix because I'm a hoarder and can't bring myself to break it's pristine-ness (is that a word? didn't think so).

Warmest thanks! Get it?? WINTER WEDDING!!
Much Love!

Kate
p.s. I'll post a DIY on how to make this favor when I get the ingredients for the mix from my MIL!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Quarter of a Century

Today is a very special day. Today, my bff and maid of honor, Ashley, turns a quarter of a century old.


Ashley has been my very best friend since high school. We bonded on a 12 hour bus ride to Toronto as we discussed boy troubles, the many insufferable people you meet in high school, and musicals. I knew we were meant to be friends for the long haul when, during that fateful trip to Canada, we got hit on by 12 year old boys. It was one of the most awkward moments of my life when those 12 year old Canadians sat their trays down next to us at the food court, but it became one of the most mortifying when I tried to act smooth and walk off (hello! I'm like, 17, way too old for an adolescent), and instead of stalking off as the suave, older woman, I stumbled and spilled my coke across the table. Luckily, Ashley was there to help me quickly clean it up and make a graceful exit.

Always stylish and classy!
I started to write a post about 25 of my favorite memories of us, but that was LITERALLY turning into a novel (totes bril idea--The Adventures of Ashley & Kate, look for it in bookstores in 2015). Instead, I will say this:

Friends like Ashley are quite rare, and I don't know how I would have survived the past ten years without her. We've both been through quite a few ups and downs since high school--going off on our own to college, undergoing surgery for Crohn's (me), packing up and moving to a new city(her), and lots and lots of boy drama. Ashley has been by me through it all, always ready to fix things with a trip to Bella's for cheeseticks, a visit to the toy aisle at Target, a mix CD, or just a quick phone call so we can Facebook stalk the crap out of the people we don't like.

Who needs boys when you can have an HSM backpack?
Ashley was also the best Maid of Honor a girl could ask for. She saved the day when we encountered a ghost on our bachelorette trip, she was always willing to listen to me vent about wedding drama nonsense, and she came through for me multiple times on TBD--like bringing me a salad while I got my hair fixed to make sure I had something to eat, helping me with my pearl earring crisis, and awaiting my arrival in the reception hall with a rum and coke. And not to mention, she killed it with her MoH speech--pulling out Emily Bronte and The Little Prince quotes...I bawled the whole way through.




So here's to Ashley on her 25th birthday. Ashley, I hope your next 25 are just as wonderful and amazing, and I'm so very glad that I get to call you my best friend. I'll still be here when you turn 50, plugging away at this little blog, and I can't wait to see how many more memories we will have made by then (hopefully one will be getting Tay Tay to be our bffl. You guys are practically neighbors so you should get to work on that).

Our astrological counselor Sage (Josh)
Making an oreo truffle tutorial that's good enough for Food Network.
Hangin out with Ingrid, NBD
On a UVA visit, Ashley made up a special bed for me called The W.A.C.--wonderfully awesome cubby.

Monday, September 23, 2013

From Another Angle

Today I'm going to write about something that is a hot button topic. It might make some people angry, but then again, maybe not--I'm not even sure that I have a wide enough audience to stir up any emotions.

I'm talking about gun violence. A week ago today, there was a senseless shooting at the Navy Yard in DC. Like any time there is a mass shooting, my heart was breaking as I heard the news. As usual, I was sucked back to that time six years ago when I was a student at Virginia Tech--the shock, the desperate need to refuse to believe it, and the crippling fear of not knowing who was hurt. I hate hearing that there has been another shooting, and my heart fills with sadness when I know that there are people out there--moms, dads, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, best friends--who have to go through the same experience.

It seems that the immediate reaction to a shooting these days is to flare up about gun control--no matter the side you are on. For once, I would like for everyone to hold off on attacking each other over this issue, and just take a moment to send prayers, love, and positive thoughts to anyone affected by this tragedy. Everyone always wants to know the "why" to something so incomprehensible, and people will want someone to take the blame, but that will come later. In that moment, there are people hurting, and what they need is emotional support, not another angry debate.

Yes, there is an issue of gun control in all of these shootings. However, there is another issue as well--mental health. This article from CNN discusses this issue, and I'm hopeful because it seems as if lawmakers are starting to realize that there is more to it than gun control.

Please don't think I'm excusing any shooter's behavior because of their mental health issues, or because they were picked on, or whatever. Despite how I feel about a need for better resources for people struggling with mental illness, I still cannot manage to feel sympathy for the shooters.Maybe one day I will get there, but for now that feels like too much to ask.

I just hope that we can stop viewing this issue as guns vs. no guns, because there is so much more to the issue, and like most things in life, it's not black and white. We need to start realizing that there are people out there who are fighting some very serious mental problems, and their communities are unable to provide the resources they need to get better. We need to start attaching such a negative stigma to those who are suffering from depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and instead be supportive and encourage them to seek help. Finally, there is a much larger issue going on in our society. It feels like the norm is to react in anger, rather than understanding; people have an "I don't care, not my problem" mentality, and it seems as if we're starting to care more about ourselves than others.

Again, please don't think I'm trying to place the blame on society for these shootings, because that is not where I'm going with this, not at all. I think there were many contributing factors that led up to it, but in the end it was the choice of each individual shooter, even if they were struggling with a mental illness.

I don't have a solution to any of it, and I don't think these thoughts I have are the end all, be all on the gun control debate. I can only hope that we start to realize that we can't stop these shootings just by passing a few laws and getting angry with our legislators; there's going to have to be a more conscious effort on our part as well to start looking out for each other, and to stop taking every opportunity to bring each other down.

If you are a prayerful person, please continue to keep all those families who have been affected by any senseless shooting in your prayers.


Friday, September 20, 2013

Confessional Friday

I've been called "weird" many a time in my day--meant as a compliment or insult, depending on the source. Truth be told, I don't actually mind being called weird, and I enjoy embracing all these little odd quirks about myself that are actually quite endearing (to my husband, at least). Every now and then, I'll encounter someone (i.e., an ex boyfriend) who will pronounce something as "weird" and intend for it to be every bit as insulting as it sounds. I usually get real salty over that and most of the time end up eating my feelings, but friends, let me tell ya, it has never stopped me from being a total oddball.

Case in point.
So for today's Confession Friday, I'm going to switch things up a bit. Yes, I've got a slew of items to confess, but as you read I ask that you keep the following in mind:

Is it weird?

Please share your thoughts on whether or not my behavior is eccentric enough to be deemed cute and quirky, or something that needs to be stopped.

Polling starts now.

1. I take a whiff of food/beverages before I taste it for the first time.

How else can you assess the taste if you don't smell it first?
2. If barefoot, I'll walk through the garage on the balls of my feet so that my feet don't get dirty. Apparently, dirt is repelled from the front part of your foot, so that doesn't matter.

3. I sing songs to my goldendoodle as if we are in a musical together, and then I'll have one sided conversations with her like it's the most normal thing in the world. I think she likes it.
Cool song, mom. Sing it again.
4. I think being a wedding dress model would be the bees knees. Something about traipsing around in a sparkly white dress all day is just appealing to me.

See? I already have experience.
5. Like most girls, I think Ryan Gosling is super dreamy. However, my opinions may not be the most reliable, as I also find Bill Nihy, Gary Oldman, and Alan Rickman to be super dreamy as well. Maybe it's the accents?
See? I'm not the only one who thinks ole Bill is a dreamboat.
6. I won't eat bananas with brown spots on it. Never gonna happen.

7. I get hot flashes at night like I'm a 40 year old going through menopause (although I guess I can't claim with certainty that I know what a hot flash feels like). This usually involves me throwing off pants, socks, and blankets in a fit of rage, only to blindly grasp for them in the dark later because I'm suddenly freezing.

8. If I'm sitting in a chair for longer than 15 minutes, I'll end up either folding my legs underneath me or sitting cross legged. Some have remarked that this is odd, but I find it to be completely normal.

This is comfortable for me.
9. When I use lotion, I apply it in little dots across the backs of my hands. Trust me, this method gets it evenly distributed across the hands.

10. I love the smell of pancake batter. This is always a moment when my nose deceives me, because it does not taste as great as it smells. Still...I need that to be a Yankee candle fragrance.

11. If I'm eating any kind of baked pasta dish that has meat sauce, I'll eat everything but the meat. In the end there will be this pile of hamburger/sausage that's just been pushed around my plate. You're probably thinking "just get plain tomato sauce" but no, that's not the same.

I like meat, but I don't like it in my pasta sauce.
That's all the weird I can come up with right now. There's definitely more than this, but I know for a fact that those are weird and I'm not even going to bother putting it to a vote.

What do you think? Anyone else get called weird on a daily basis? Please share, and please have a happy and safe weekend.

Much love,

Kate

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Claim to Fame

Did you know that I am famous?

Well, actually, I'm not. However, this one time I met a famous person, and isn't that close enough?

The year was 2007. A few of my friends were going to SpringFest at Longwood, and I decided to tag along because not only was Carbon Leaf going to be there, but also the infamous Bubba Sparxx. Ya'll remember him?
Confession: Did not realize he was white.
Since "Ms. New Booty," was my jam from the previous summer, I knew I had to take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity.

We left early--and by that, I mean we left around 9am. What? It was college and the night before was my 20th birthday! I drank rum for the first time and beat the living daylights out of a pinata.

Sorry bout it, Sancho.
Anyway, we arrived in time for the early act. She was a young musician who was just starting to pick up steam through her MySpace page, and although I had never heard of her before that day, I was hooked the moment she did a cover of Beyonce's "Irreplaceable."

After her performance, we stood in line for no longer than 30 minutes, which was enough time for me to buy her debut album. She was super kind and autographed it for me, and even took a picture with us.

These days, I believe she has gained some popularity among certain circles. Perhaps you've heard of her--her name is Taylor Swift.

To the left, to the left
Surprisingly enough, we did not become best friends, but I have the picture to prove that I met Tay Tay, and can brag about it to random people when the mood strikes me.

One of the nicest people I've ever met!
And in case you're wondering, I missed the Cali Park Bubba Sparxx performance. I spent the afternoon taking a nap in the backseat of my friend's Camry because I had the feve (fever). Crohn's Disease, what can ya do?

BUT WAIT.

That's not the only famous person I've rubbed elbows with! I've also met Ingrid Michaelson. This was perhaps more exciting for me, since I love her more than I love Taylor. If you've never been to an Ingrid concert, put it on your bucket list to go. She is an amazing musician and fills in the gaps between songs with witty repertoire.


Jealous? I'm sure there are many out there who have their own famous people pictures, so by all means, go ahead and one up me, I won't be mad! Promise.

Much love,

Kate


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