Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Music for Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas Eve, dear friends! I hope you all are able to spend the next few days with the people you love the most. Matt and I will be driving down to my hometown in southwest Virginia on Friday, to spend time with  my family and see a dear friend get married. For today, I have a special Christmas playlist that I actually put together last year, for a guest post on the Freckled Italian. 

Christmas music is incredibly special to me, as dorky as that sounds. You know how it's said that scent ties strongly to memory? While I believe that to be true, I also believe that a certain song can trigger memories just as easily as any old smell, and for me, that holds especially true for Christmas music.

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Can you spot me? I'm OBVI the one in the all pink, Little Mermaid outfit. Even at a young age, I was a style icon.
Just a few notes, and I'm instantly transported back to childhood, the soft glow of the Christmas lights in the background, cookies baking in the oven, and the pleasant smell of fires burning in chimneys all over the countryside. I'm reminded of running wild all over my grandparents' house with my cousins, putting on my prettiest dress for Christmas Eve mass, and sipping sparkling cider in wine glasses so we could feel like adults. Christmas music brings me back to seasons past, times of warmth and love, and the belief in magic and miracles, even in the shortest, darkest days of the year.

Since we'll be busy traveling and partying it up like a Power Couple, I may not be around here for a few days. But, you can probably find me on Instagram and Twitter, and I will try to get back to it as soon as possible. Who knows how many blog posts I'll manage before grad school begins to destroy my life again! For now, I leave you with a playlist of my very favorite holiday songs for you on this Christmas Eve--I hope it warms your heart and overwhelms you with the happiest of memories.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

All Love,


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Fashionably Late: Holiday Style

Hello, friends! I debated doing this post, because the pictures turned out so terrible--white walls do not a pretty background make. But, I went through the effort to put on lipstick and mascara, so we will move forward as planned.

The holidays have to be the best time of year for getting dressed up. So many outfits with glitter and sequins, it just makes my heart so warm! I've been very good at resisting all the sparkly displays this year, and instead of purchasing anything new for Christmas Eve, I've decided to go with a few, festive pieces that are already in my closet.

First, I started with a tulle skirt. What's more festive than a tulle skirt? Okay, probably a sequined skirt would be more festive, but would a sequined skirt twirl like this? I don't think so.

Next, I added a sweater I picked up at the J. Crew warehouse over a year ago. You can't do the holidays without an embellished top!

Finally, I topped it off with my trusty Kate Spade earrings and my purple wedding shoes. I typically only wear these shoes once a year--purple shoes don't always go with everything, and I suppose I'm just trying to make them last.

As usual, Millie wanted in on the photo shoot action.

And sometimes, if you take a picture in front of a painting, it looks much better. No. I'm kidding. But you can't blame a girl for trying!

Top // J. Crew (similar); Skirt // Zehui (similar); Shoes // Nina; Earrings // Kate Spade (similar); Watch // Michael Kors (similar)
I'm planning on sporting this little ensemble to Christmas Eve mass. I've got plenty more holiday outfits where that came from! But who knows if they will make it into a post. To follow along with all of my glamorous outfits over the next week, check me out on insta.

Linking up with Walking in Memphis in High Heels for the Trend Spin Link-up!

What are your favorite holiday outfits?

All Love,

Monday, December 22, 2014

Holiday Traditions

It's that time of year again--the time when everyone starts waxing poetic about their favorite holiday traditions. Sipping hot chocolate by the fire, baking cookies with little ones, singing carols--anything that sounds warm and cozy and gives you the warm fuzzies. But what about the traditions we don't share on Instagram? If you think about it, a tradition could include something that happens year after year, whether you intend for it to happen or not. Here are a few of my favorite, non-traditional holiday traditions.

1. Fighting with my brothers over the lighting of the Advent Wreath
So maybe this doesn't actually anymore, but lighting the Advent Wreath as an adult always brings to mind lighting the Advent Wreath as a child, and how my brother and I would fight tooth and nail over who was going to get to play with matches that night. Such sweet childhood memories.

2. Fighting with Matt over the opening of gifts
Fighting over the Advent Wreath has been replaced with another holiday themed brawl--a constant back-and-forth between myself and my dear husband over when we will open gifts. "Can't we just open one gift early," He'll say, and I'll respond, "No." This fight also includes always keeping an eye on Matt, as he is known to snoop.

3. Gettin' rip roarin' drunk!
Did that make me sound like some sort of hillbilly hooligan? Good. Admit it--it's not the holidays until you've had a few too many glasses of spiced wine or eggnog. There's something about meeting up with friends and family, and the stress of seeing friends and family, that drives us all to drink. In 2011 and 2013, it all went down on the Eve of Christmas Eve, as we caught up with old friends back home. (For 2013, I blame my brother and his insistence that I try all the holiday themed drinks. Couldn't argue since he was buyin'!)

In 2012, it was a few too many cadillac margaritas for our one week anniversary. Lastly, this year's holiday shenanigans have come and gone, but it did not reach the level of me unpacking and playing "Greensleeves" with my flute, so you know it was quite tame.
For all the years I was under 21, just replace alcohol with ritz crackers, a Hillshire Farms cheese ball, and a coke over ice, and you've got yourself a lifelong holiday tradition.

4. Eating all the things
Ever heard the phrase, "Christmas calories don't count?" Well, it's a scientific fact. It's true, you should look it up.

5. Sobbing along to Judy Garland's "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"
I start playing Christmas music the day after Thanksgiving and I don't stop until New Year's. This song really does have a depressing origin, and it's not Christmas until you've caught me crying and feeling all the nostalgia to this song at least once.

And there you have it, dear reader--my most typical holiday traditions in a nutshell. What are yours?

All Love,

Thursday, December 18, 2014

2014: The Best and Worst in Music

Last year, Helene in Between hosted this awesome linkup featuring the top picks for the best and worst in music. Obviously, it was a hit, and obviously, due to my obsession over music, I had to do it again. In the interest of time, I will try to keep it to five songs each. Here we go!

The Best Songs Of 2014

There's no one song here to write down--2014 was the year Nickelback released yet another album of nails-on-a-chalkboard whining. Apparently, they have repeatedly missed the memo that they need to stop making music.

2. "Cool Kids," Echosmith
Don't get me wrong, this song would have been my jam in 7th grade, and I actually kind of liked it at first...until I saw the video. A parade of adolescents wearing the most pitiful expressions, broken up by shots of the lead singer scrunching her face into all sorts of emotions, was kind of the worst.

3. "Sky Full of Stars," Coldplay
I expect better from Coldplay.

4. "Fireball," Pitbull
I used to find Pitbull tolerable, but each song he records just makes me respect him even less. And yet, the less respect I have for him, the more money he seems to make. What is this sick and twisted world we live in??

5. "This is How We Do" Katy Perry
Maybe if Katy Perry was 22 years old, this song would work. Instead, it just reminds me of that 40 year old who tries to hang out with the college kids at the bar, buying everyone shots in a desperate attempt to get their finger back on the pulse of what's hip.

Now that we've slogged through the worst, let's cheer ourselves up with a review of the very best! It is so hard to keep this to just five songs, but it's almost 9pm and I'm likely to die soon from the spin class I just attended. So, a short list it is!

1. "Riptide" or "Mess is Mine," Vance Joy
I can't pick between these two songs. Of course, "Riptide" made me fall in love with Vance Joy in the first place, but "Mess is Mine" made that love so much stronger. It is basically 50% of the reason I bought tickets to see Tay Tay this summer. (With 25% being because I get to drink beer in a ballpark without having to sit through a baseball game, and the remaining 25% goes to Taylor. No, jk kidding, love you Tay Tay 4eva.)

2. "Blank Space," Taylor Swift
Speaking of Tay Tay, you KNOW she had to make this list! I know many would choose "Shake it Off," but I had to go with this one because it is the best, cleverly written "Eff You, Haters!" I have ever seen from any artist.

3. "Yellow Flicker Beat," Lorde
Sometimes, I get scared and think, "what if Lorde peaked in her first album?" then I heard this song and all was right in the world.

4. "Fools Gold," Fitz and the Tantrums
If you thought you couldn't love Fitz and the Tantrums anymore, think again.

5. "When You Were Mine," Night Terrors of 1927 ft. Tegan and Sara
I chose this song because 1., it is awesome, and 2., it makes me so pumped for what could be coming next for Night Terrors. They surfaced a few years ago with "Dust and Bones," and I knew right then we would be friends. They haven't produced a full length album just yet, but you know when they do I'm going to lose my shit.

Ok, so I said I was going to keep this short, but I have to throw out a few of my very favorite albums from this year. You will thank me, I promise.

1. Lights Out, Ingrid Michaelson
Ingrid has been my very favorite artist for the past seven years or so, ever since I heard her on an episode of Grey's Anatmoy I watched while recovering from surgery and thought to myself, "this woman speaks to my soul." I was a little bit worried about this album, because I didn't care too much for Human Again, but Lights Out reminds me of every single reason why I love Ingrid.

2. Ledges, Noah Gundersen
If you're looking to find an folksy/indie album so you can sound hipster, let this be it. Seriously. I just can't even describe how much this album ruled my life for a solid three months.

3. Strange Desire, Bleachers
Jack Antonoff, from a tiny little band you've probably never heard of (Fun., they weren't that big or anything), released his own album and it is the bomb dot com. The sound is a little bit different than Fun., but there are some really great songs on this album--it makes me feel like I am in the middle of an 80s movie love story, in a good way.

Alright friends, we are getting close to bedtime here, so I'm going to wrap this up. In conclusion, don't listen to the worst songs. Listen to these amazing songs I have handpicked for you, and you will have a very fulfilling end to 2014.

The Best of 2014 by Kate T. on Grooveshark All Love,

Where Are They Now? Blogger Edition.

And by "they," I am only referring to myself, and my location is the same it's been for the past three years. I suppose a more accurate title would be, "How I have been spending my time since I stopped blogging," but that's longer and not nearly as clever. Also, can't we all just agree how much we want to be on, or be, a VH1 show? That's what I thought.

Let's get to it.

1. Spending time with my family
Let me tell you about a game. It's called "3/3rds Gang's All Here," it is the best game, and don't let anybody ever tell you otherwise.

2. Eating pizza
Joe's Pizza is my life. We order it at least once a week, and the fact that we don't order it every single day is a testament to the strength of our willpower.

3. Taking grad school classes
And disappointing everyone by making an A-.

4. Acclimating myself to shots of Humira every other week
Or, more accurately, acclimating myself to a panic attack every other week until I finally force my husband to do the shots, and only then getting through it with the help of whiskey.

5. Trying to write a novel
I tried to complete National Novel Writing Month--tried and failed MISERABLY. I even made a bet with Matt to motivate myself--new bedroom furniture was on the line!! Luckily, Matt is very generous and gave me an extension. We'll see how it pans out--maybe I'll even post excerpts! Then you can all be hipsters and say "I read that book before it was popular."

6. Exercising
Steroid weight is no joke. Spin class is also no joke.

7. Working. All the time, working, it won't stop!
Last week was my first week without a late meeting. And by "late meeting," I mean I go into work around 8am and get home after 9pm.

8. Talking about returning to blogging
I've been talking about returning to blogging since I stopped, but nothing ever materialized. Actions speak louder than words and all that, so here I am! For now, until school starts again and I hate everything.

As you can see, I have been quite the busy bee this fall! I seriously don't know if I have the time management skills to keep this going once my next class starts, but we shall see. Until then, please enjoy my witty observations, my impeccably styled fashion posts, my music recommendations, and pictures of the most beautiful goldendoodle in the world.

Case in point.

All Love,

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Oreo Truffles: An Oldie but Goodie

Is that blog title deceptive or what?! I mean, here I am, posting for the first time in nigh on four months, and nothing so much as a "hey" or a "howdy;" just a recycled post from almost a year ago.

Well, you can't blame a girl for trying, right?

The truth is, I've been mulling over my return to blogging for quite some time, but that return always got trumped by grad school homework, work on my future bestselling novel, or other important things, like watching every episode of Hart of Dixie on Netflix. Hopefully very soon, I will let you all know in detail what has been occupying my time this fall. Until that time, I'm going to dip my toes in the water, and make my foray back into the blogging world with a repost of my first-ever vlog. Tis the season for baking, and tis the season for eating your feelings. I hope you find this recipe useful for all of the holiday things.

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All Love,
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