This Fall

Apologies in advance for those of you who read this blog for cute style inspiration, fun things to do in St. Louis and my boring weekend to do lists. This blog is first and foremost for me and there's some stuff I need to get off my chest. Shit's about to get real.

Fall used to be my favorite time of year in St. Louis. There were so many festivals, Oktoberfest, balloon races in Forest Park, perfect weather for walks and visits to the Tower Grove Farmers Market. It was the best time for leaves on the street, the Best of Missouri Markets, the Shaw Art Fair, decorating pumpkins for my front porch, stops in at the Companion Early Bird Outlet for some bread and pastries. It was late season Cardinals games, and if we were lucky a World Series run. It was a time for sweaters and jackets and beards and beers and everything I loved.

But this year my fall is different. 

It feels isolated and lonely and unmotivated.

I feel like just sitting at home and watching TV and eating Ben and Jerry's. Or maybe just sleeping. Or maybe just laying there. Not sleeping, not reading, not thinking.

I don't want to talk to anyone. I don't want to see anyone.

Yet, at the same time I am craving attention. I want to be seen, be heard, be held, be loved. Misery doesn't love company, it loves an audience.

I want to cry. I want to scream. I want to stop crying. I want to feel nothing when I feel something, and I want to feel something when I feel nothing.

I'll probably read this someday - maybe tomorrow, maybe next week, maybe a year from now - and I'll regret it. I'll think I sound pathetic or sad or that I was feeling this way over nothing and no one. I'll probably take it down.

But today, this fall, this is how I'm feeling. 


The Process

"I’m having a hard time trusting in The Process." 
 “What process?” 
 “The process that says if I do my part, everything will turn out right.”
via humans of new york



This Weekend

Quick list of things to do this weekend:

  • drink wine and catch up with girlfriends in Columbia
  • watch Project Runway
  • have a movie marathon of Bling Ring, Drinking Buddies, Great Gatsby and/or Mud
  • sleep in my bed and watch shows on my iPad – because I plan on being too lazy for the couch
  • paint my nails some pretty fall color
  • go to Target and buy throw pillows, fall candles, plaid things and a face mask
  • clean my house
  • go for a run sans dog – he's on 'vacation' with my parents
  • watch the Emmy's with my good friends red wine, Old St. Louis Chop Suey and Ben & Jerry's


The Essential Southwest Colorado Camping/Road Trip Packing List

I just got back from a six-day trip to Southwest Colorado and Arizona to visit the Grand Canyon and Petrified Forest and decided to put together a little list of the things I couldn't live without. Now, keep in mind this list is excluding the obvious – like a tent, for example – but come on, that would just be overwhelming to name every single thing.

I will say, for the sake of transparency, that all of our camping equipment was shipped out to Colorado a few week's prior, so we didn't have to worry about getting that through security or on the plane. Definitely made things easier. And I was travelling in a pair, so that meant two carry-on bags (and more importantly, two Ziploc baggies of liquids!).

So, here it is, my Essential Southwest Colorado Camping/Road Trip Packing List:
Baseball cap, backpack, and as many American Apparel v-necks as your suitcase will allow. This pic was from our day at Mesa Verde
TGFB (Thank God for Birchbox!) We've accumulated so many travel size items it makes packing a breeze. Pictured here, toothpaste, dry shampoo, moisturizer and CC cream. Also, wet wipes! These things came in super handy for days we didn't get to shower (as did the dry shampoo). 
A rain jacket. You know, for that day that it inevitably rains on your hike at the Grand Canyon. le sigh
Slip-on shoes for the airport, long days in the car and at campsites are a must! Sperry's were substantial enough for all the little trails and scenic overlooks we stopped to visit.
A koozie for all the beers you'll be consuming. Don't worry about packing it though - pick one up as a souvenir! :)
Scandal (or other binge-worthy show) on your iPad. I'll admit, I planned to do a lot of reading this week, and alas, I did not. But hey, now I'm all caught up with Olivia Pope and pals. 

Also got a lot of use out of Nike dri-fit socks, my cross body bag from Rack and Clutch, quick-dry towels from Reebok (pretty sure they were meant for hot yoga...) and our car charger for iPhone/iPad. 

Happy packing! :)

On the Road in Southwest Colorado

On our Labor Day visit to Southwest Colorado, we spent time in Durango and Cortez, and visited the Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest and Mesa Verde. Along the way there were stops at the Four Corners, Elephant Feet, the Little Colorado Gorge, badlands in New Mexico, breweries, diners and Lot-a-Burgers.

I hate being stuck in a car for hours, but looking back at the pictures makes me miss the open road.

Read more about our other stops: the Grand CanyonPetrified Forest National Park, and Mesa Verde


Target Fall 2013

Be Better: Happy Camper

"Happy campers aren't just 'good'; they're 'great.'"

Visiting Mesa Verde on Labor Day Weekend

On our Labor Day Weekend trip to Colorado, we spent the morning one day exploring Mesa Verde. We only did one tour – Cliff Palace. I wish we had done a couple more, but we were both exhausted and had quite a drive ahead of us still as we were spending the afternoon in Durango. 

The Cliff Palace tour was fun (and less 'strenuous' than I expected). Our Ranger talked a lot about how what they ate, how they hunted and survived, which I think was really interesting to Joe. I was too preoccupied with the hundreds of birds flying in and out of the cliff above us, the kids that I thought were going to fall in the kiva and anticipating the climb up the narrow cliff to exit. 
Mesa Verde also has a lot of scenic look out points to stop at on your drive up the mountain. Getting there was more driving than I anticipated, so these little stopping points were nice. 

Be Better: Apologize

Apologize for things as soon as you realize you were wrong, even if you have to swallow your pride to do so. 
from Chelsea's Guide to Being More Happy


Visiting Petrified Forest National Park for Labor Day Weekend

After our stay at the Grand Canyon, we headed east to the Petrified Forest National Park. The 'forest' is not really a forest at all. It's a desert. A desert with a bunch of logs so old that they turned to stone. (Or something like that... there is a lot of science involved that I do not understand.)

After hiking in the rain in the morning, the blue skies and nice breeze was a welcome change. 
After an afternoon walking around the park, we drove to our nearby KOA in Holbrook and were happy to find that they had a pool – seriously, the highlight of my summer! We sat by the pool, grilled for dinner, and finally got to see some stars! (it had been too cloudy previous nights)
Even though we were advised to skip the Petrified Forest, I'm glad we went. It was a gorgeous day, we got to see some really cool rocks logs petrified wood and of course, we got to go swimming! Holbrook and the National Park are a little out of the way, but if you're ever in the area you should stop by. 

Read more about our other stops: the Grand CanyonMesa VerdeCortez, Durango and beyond

Visiting the Grand Canyon for Labor Day Weekend

On our trip to Colorado for Labor Day Weekend, we made a little road trip south to the Grand Canyon. The trip that was supposed to take four or five hours turned out to take more like seven, with stops along the way at Four Corners, Elephant Feet and the Little Colorado Gorge. 

When we finally arrived at Grand Canyon National Park, we entered at the South Entrance and let out a communal 'whoooooooaaaaa' as we rounded the corner and saw the Canyon for the first time. We pulled off at the first overlook we could find (Navajo Point) and jumped out of our rented Explorer. 

None of us had been to the Grand Canyon before and my friend's "Is this even real?" comment could not be more true. My mom had told me before I went that it really does look just like the pictures, even though you are standing right there, and she was right. Despite it being right in front of me, it is still unbelievable. It's size is unfathomable. If someday someone comes out and says it is all a hoax, that there is some giant green screen force field projecting the images, I would by it. Even though I've seen it in person. It is too big to even comprehend.  
After stopping at the lookout, we stopped for some food/firewood and made our way to our campsite at Mather Campground. The night was spent with good food, good friends and good beer around the camp fire, and we even had a visit from 'Erik' the elk, who hung out maybe 30 feet from our campsite all night. 
Saturday morning, we went on a 1.5 mile hike on the South Kaibob Trail to Ooh Ahh Point. A mile and a half in the Grand Canyon sounds a lot easier than it actually is, especially in the rain. The walk down was fine – a little steep at times, a little too narrow for my tastes/safety, but fine. It started raining right as we got to Ooh Ahh Point, where we were to turn around and walk back up. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't miserable, or that I didn't struggle. I definitely deserved that gourmet coffee when I got back to the Visitors Center. 
All in all, it was a great experience. I wish we had more time there. I wish we could have done my trials (surprising, considering how terribly that one went....). I wish we could have seen the Havasupai waterfalls. I wish it hadn't been so cloudy so I could have seen a sunrise and/or a sunset at the Grand Canyon. 

Guess I'll have to go back someday.... 


Dog Days of Summer

I know it's post-Labor Day and everyone is ready to bust out the sweaters and oxblood bordeaux burgundy nail polish, but today it's nearly 100 degrees in St. Louis and I'm taking the opporunity to rock my favorite summer shirt one last time.

Tipped Crepe Tank from Loft. similar


We listened to this maybe too much on our drive through Southwest Colorado and Arizona last week.

Now on repeat. Missing that landscape, freedom, breeze and blue skies.


Be Better: Call People

Call people back when you say you’re going to, and make a note of reaching out to the important people when you haven’t heard from them in a while. 
from Chelsea's Guide to Being More Happy

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