Tuesday, February 28, 2012

How To Clean Your Ceiling Fans With No Mess!

I found this tip on pinterest, by way of Real Simple.
At first, I was skeptical.
Everytime I try to clean my ceiling fan, dust falls all over my bed!
But this worked! And it was SO easy.

I'm not going to post a picture of my pre-clean ceiling fan because it's gross, but you know how it builds up on the sides and you can see it from below? Yuck.
Just imagine that.

Now, all you do is take a pillowcase (longer than your fan blades), hold one side of the open side in your hands, and roll it up like you would a wrapping paper roll. Then you slide it over the fan blade, careful not to disturb the dust until you're ready!

Once the pillowcase is over the whole blade, just slide your hand (over the case) down the blade, wiping all of the dust into the pillowcase! So easy! I used the same pillowcase for all 5 of my blades and while I was up there, I dusted the rest of the fan.

{via}

Once you're done, take the pillowcase outside, turn it inside out, shake it out, then wash it like normal.
Voila! Clean ceiling fan with NO mess! 

Little Glimpses

A little glimpse into my daily life - and phone pictures :)

{my fave boys! i've been babysitting for these munchkins for over 5 years now and it kills me to watch them grow up so fast!}

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Those Who Don't Believe In Magic Will Never Find It.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how I'm always looking for magic in my life. Today, I found this on pinterest and I felt it summed up my post so nicely that I just had to share it with you!

{via}

Friday, February 24, 2012

Spring Has Arrived!

I know the calendar still says winter, but my garden says it's spring. :)




I couldn't resist these colorful freesia last year, but I was so sad when they went dormant for winter. But last week, they came right back, brighter than ever!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ciao Bella!

Guess what?
I am the luckiest girl in the world!
Wanna know why?

Because I am going...
to Italy!!

{Florence, Italy via}

My tickets are booked, my guidebook is highlighted, and my bags are packed!
Well, no, that last part isn't true. But I AM constantly making lists of things I want to pack.

Come May 8th, I'll be on my way to Italia along with my good friend, Lindsay! We have two weeks to explore Venice, Florence, and Rome and their surrounding areas.

{Dusk, Piazza Navona, Rome Italy via}

I can't even imagine the photos, the food, the souvenirs, and experiences we will come back with. It will surely be a life-changing trip and I can't wait!

{Lucca, Tuscany, Italy via}

To get ready for this journey, I (of course) turned to blogland and found some fun, funny, awesome blogs written by Americans who now live in Italy. These ladies have been so helpful: with restaurant recommendations (mmm...gelato), beautiful photo spots, even quiet places in their cities that really make you feel like you're in another time.

Here are a few of my faves:


Do you know of any good travel blogs?
Even better, let me know if you have any fun Italy travel tips to share with me!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Little Glimpses

A little glimpse into my daily life - and phone pictures :)

{my real-life fitness inspiration corkboard i created
using my virtual fitness inspiration corkboard on pinterest}


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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Little Glimpses

A little glimpse into my daily life - and phone pictures :)
{the sunrise from my front porch on Superbowl Sunday}

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Friday, February 17, 2012

Comparison Is The Thief Of Joy

The other night at dinner, my friends and I received the most wonderful news: a very sweet couple in our group is expecting! They are the first of my very close friends to get pregnant and of course, I am soooo excited! Imagine the decorating, the planning, the shopping - I can't wait!

But, I also hit that teeny tiny place where I thought... when is it my turn? Okay, I know! Snap out of it! And I swear it a. lasted only a moment and b. didn't diminish my insane joy for their happiness at all. But, it happened...and it hurt. It's not constructive to compare, I know. And most of the time, I can acknowledge all of the blessings in my life. But I compared for a second. And I came up short.

So... I came home and wrote about it. And now I'm better. Like magic. :) I really need to try to remember the below.

{via}

*And if you identify with this theme (I'm sure so many of you do), you should check out Nichelle's post over at Vintage Wanna Bee.*

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Five Things I've Learned By Living Alone

I've lived alone for over a year now and I feel like a completely different person. It hasn't all been rainbows and lollipops, but whatever difficult times I've had, have been instrumental in building who I'm becoming. If you're considering it, I think it's important for everyone (but especially girls) to live alone for a while. It doesn't matter what stage of life you're in or if you're in a relationship - it's about getting to know yourself.

{via}

I also strongly believe that acknowledgment sows the seeds of gratefulness. So in that vein, here are the first five things I've learned by living alone.

{via}

1. You can be lonely with other people or you can be lonely alone.
Being lonely (or unhappy or sad or happy, for that matter) are all within YOU. You can decide where you are in your emotions and how long you want to stay there. Sometimes, you want to wallow for 20 minutes - you want to cry and be frustrated and hate your life. And I'm telling you that that is okay. It's OKAY. For 20 minutes, you can curl up in bed and wish your life were different. But after those 20 minutes go by, and you've had a therapeutic release, you need to get up and do something about it. Only YOU can change your life.

{via}

Before I lived alone, there were moments when I felt intensely alone in the world. Crying by yourself DOWNstairs, when your roommate and best friend is UPstairs is really hard. Crying by yourself in your own, empty house with your cats is tough, too. But, I found it easier to pity myself in the former situation. Easier to say, he should come down here. He should come comfort me. He should be a good friend. And whether he should have or not aside, I was making a big mistake in blaming HIM. When I'm sad at my house now, I get sad. Then, I decide to do something about it. This is something I don't think I could have learned as well/as easily without living alone.

2. A pet makes all the difference.
To be honest, I've never lived alone without a pet and I don't know how I would have handled it if I had. Growing up with animals, I am well-acquainted with the absolute sheer comfort you can get out of a cuddle with a furry friend. Many a high school heartbreak was healed by laying my head on a labrador's chest. So, yes, animals give you a tactile and emotional comfort that helps you whether you live alone or not.

{my magic - no longer with us}

But, I think more importantly, they also provide you companionship. If I didn't have Oliver and Crash, who would I talk to when I walked in the door? How long would I go without saying a word? There was a time when I would call upstairs and ask Jonathan to come watch a show with me - now Oliver climbs onto my lap and we enjoy an episode of An Idiot Abroad. For people who have dogs, their pups can join them in the world. Running errands or running a mile, Fido is your activity pal. Once you no longer have people around you all the time, these little guys become that much more important.

{oliver and crash}

3. Living alone is the gateway to doing things alone - and happiness.
I remember the first time I saw a movie alone. American Beauty had been out for over a month and all my friends had seen it. So, I walked my 14-year-old self to the theatre and saw a (probably, completely inappropriate) movie. It was liberating. From that moment on, I was an independent woman. Or, on the path to becoming one. Since then, I can happily spend time with myself - at the bookstore and farmer's market, going to thrift shops and garage sales, movies and lectures. Last year, I even went on a road trip all by myself - no internet/phone allowed - and became even more at ease being alone.

{via}

Of course, there are moments when you're standing at the pier, watching the sunset and you think, it would be really lovely to share this with someone. But what I've found is that 90% of the time, we're just looking for validation when that happens. We don't give ourselves enough credit. This sunset must not be awesome unless my friend agrees or I share a picture on Facebook. Listen up people! Your eyeballs told you it was amazing. TRUST THEM. They're smart. And the other 10% of the time, call up a friend, tell them to meet you with a hot chocolate and enjoy the sunset together.

4. Get out of your house!
Once you create your perfect little nest, with a comfy couch and a cozy bed and that perfect spot for applying your makeup, you may never want to leave. But you should. Just because your DVR is full of New Girl and once Upon A Time episodes, you can't spend all Sunday lying on your couch watching TV. Well, at least, not every weekend. My house is such an extension of my personality, such a piece of my soul that sometimes it's hard to leave. Plus, there's those cute cats.

{via}

But you can't let your haven become your hindrance. When I first lived alone, I spent many weekends completely at home. Partly, I was nesting, but partly I was hiding. I was so COMFORTABLE there - and that gets a little scary. I want to be comfortable in my bed, in my skin, in the shower. But I don't want to be comfortable in MY LIFE. I want to be challenged, excited, and a little bit scared. Plus, it never feels better to come home than when you've been away. So, make your house beautiful, make it homey, make it YOURS - and enjoy it. But then enjoy the world and your friends and the land outside your bed.

5. Stay in sometimes - naked.
Let me explain! The best part of living alone is...living alone. You can pee with the door open, you can walk to the kitchen in your birthday suit in the middle of the night, you can lounge on the couch in your skivvies on a Sunday afternoon. You can wear as many or as few clothes as you want. I have a robe hanging on the back of my bathroom door...but I don't think I've ever used it in this house. Why would I?

{via}
The real benefit of all this is that you get to be so much more comfortable in your body. Without the impetus to cover up, you forget why you *wanted* to cover up in the first place. And when you pass by a mirror and you catch a glimpse of yourself, you appreciate what you see. I don't care what insecurities you have, you must be able to find beauty in some part of you - the curve of your calf, the small of your back, the hollow in your collarbones. Being naked alone in your house, with no one there who could possibly make you feel bad about yourself, opens you up to the question, Why should I be that person?

It's your job to love you and that doesn't mean only in your best jeans.

***********************

What do you guys think? Have you ever (or do you) lived alone? Did you find it liberating or lonely?

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love Day

{via}

Today (like everyday) is a day to celebrate love. And though I'm romantically unattached, I have no shortage of love in my life. So, to my amazing friends, I say Happy Valentine's Day and don't ever be afraid to love - it can only be a good thing. <3

Monday, February 13, 2012

Chin Up Buttercup

I'm having a meh sort of day today, not quite sure how I feel/should feel about a bunch of things. I'm hoping some time spent writing introspective posts/journaling later will result in a happier katie later today. :) In the meantime, this brought some sunshine into my morning.

Friday, February 10, 2012

In The Mail!

I got my newest piece of artwork today!


{Use code LOVE12 to get 12% off of your order!}

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Join Me On Pinterest!

So, like everyone else on the Internet, I am OBSESSED with Pinterest. In case you haven't heard, it's an online bulletin board where you can "pin" pictures and articles. It's so addicting!

If you're on Pinterest, feel free to follow me or my boards and definitely leave me your screenname so I can follow you!

If you aren't a member yet, and you need a referral link, leave me a comment with your email address and I'll send you one! :)

Goodies I found on Pinterest:




Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Big Gesture

{via}

I am always hoping for the big gesture. When my birthday rolls around and everyone is hanging out (like any other Saturday), I hope there's a big surprise party about to begin at any moment. When I pull into my driveway, I think that maybe my crush will be parked there waiting for me. When my doorbell rings, I think for just a second, "Maybe that's a good friend stopping by just to say hi." 

So, I don't usually get the big gesture. I mean, I have. I've received spontaneous boba milk tea drop-offs and birthday scavenger hunts and even an anniversary note printed in the classifieds. But, of course, more often than not, there is nobody waiting in my driveway and the doorbell is just a solicitor. Which is normal and fine and my life is not a movie. 

But I still always hope. My brain automatically goes to that magical place first - which I love about myself. I'm so optimistic and I expect the best in everyone, but what that means is that I'm usually disappointed, if only for a moment. 

So, what's better? Hoping for magic and settling for reality? Or assuming that nothing special is going to happen and not getting disappointed when it doesn't? Personally, I'm not going to fight my "true nature" - I am an optimist and a romantic and I see magic around every corner. And I am so okay with that. :)

What about you? Do you see magic everywhere?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Renewal

Oh me, oh my, I'm a bad blog mommy. I have been MIA for...(I don't even want to look, I'll feel too guilty!) a long time. And what reasons can I give you? I got busy, I got distracted, I was over-extended, I lost inspiration, I wanted to watch RHOBH instead? They're all true and all false. But the best part of blogging is that, I'm pretty sure you all understand. You all have lives, too, and that's what makes this so interesting.
But, I am so happy to be back! And for the foreseeable future, I'm going to wait on the grand giveaways and the etsy seller spotlights, so that I can focus on writing. Because that's why we blog, right? Because we love to write and we think we have something interesting to say. Of course, if I see something too dang cute not to share, I will share! But mostly, I want to share more of my life with you and to get to know more about what's going on in yours.

So, a little recap is likely in order. I graduated from college (finally)! Last June I walked at commencement and in September, I received my diploma.
{Moi in June 2011}

As of last November, I've also been in my apartment for a year - and guys, it's definitely come together! My plan is to write some home spotlioght posts in the coming weeks, so I can share my nest with you!

Oliver and Crash are still best buds and the best little kitties I could ask for. Since adopting Crash in November of 2010, he has warmed up to me and is now the sweetest, most loving boy ever. He still runs and hides when anyone new comes over, but he eventually works his way out.

{Crash on Black Friday 2011}

I carved my first pumpkin in 2011 and I think he turned out pretty well!

{first pumpkin carving!}
Two of my best friends got married and then we went to Hawaii!

{Kyle and Lindsay on August 13, 2011}

{2 weeks later on Oahu!
*Jen, Lindsay, Me, Anthony, Katie, Kyle, Andrew*}

I went to some great concerts since I've been gone from Blog-land.

{Zac Brown Band}

{Toby Keith and Eric Church}

{Rascal Flatts and Sara Evans}

{Lady Antebellum and Josh Kelley}

{The Get Up Kids!}

I ran into an old friend (like, met when we were TWO, inseparable until high school, haven't seen her in 10 years) at a party at a good friend's house! She jsut recently invited me to her baby shower and I'm so excited to be back in touch.
{Sheri and I in 1987}

{Sheri and I in 2011}

I went on a road trip with my best girls


and I went on a road trip with myself.


And I tried bone marrow for the first time (and that wasn't the last time!) - it's delicious!


Whew! It does feel like you've missed a lot. But ultimately, know this: I left blogging because I needed to focus on living. What does that mean? I'm trying to be a truer me - a pretty ostentatious undertaking. I'm still single and though there are nights that I'm lonely, there are plenty of Sunday mornings when I get up and do exactly what I want and that's precious. I'm taking Spanish classes because even though I finished school, I miss learning. I've started journaling again (and blogging) and this has helped me to figure out what's going on in this head of mine. I tried anti-gravity yoga and decided it wasn't for me and I tried bone marrow and decided it was. I wake up everyday and look at the art and beauty and color (and kitties!) in my home and I know I'm lucky. And if I had to take a break to get there, I'm so happy I did. :)

Can't wait to write more (and read more)!
Love,
Katie
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