Reflections on 2014

I should be getting ready for a NYE party right now, but Happy Endings is on and I'm in my PJ's and sucked into some of the 50+ open tabs on my desktop instead.

This year kind of felt like a stagnant one. I was looking back at some of the blog posts from this time last year (to see if I made any resolutions...) and realized most of what I wrote then are still relevant now. Have I really not changed at all in a year?

I'm still messy. I still oversleep. I still overspend. I'm still lazy. I still want to travel more. To keep in better touch with out-of-town friends. To make more time for in-town friends. I've got a handful of professional goals I don't feel like I've made any progress on this year. So yeah, that's great. I still pretty much have the same haircut and same clothes. The same boxes are still sitting in the corner of my bedroom and same walls are still empty.

But you know, some things have changed.

I've been working on "being present" with (IMHO) some success. I've become a pretty okay cook, thanks to Plated. I've kind of, sort of, taken up yoga. And I don't hate it. I've started to favor red wine to beer (so adult!). I have less "bad" days than I had a year ago, though they still pop up from time to time. I've grown up enough that I realize I'm not one the "kids" using Snapchat, and that's okay. I almost finished a book (reading it, not writing it). I've started to not hate tea (who cares if this happened in the last few days...). I've bought furniture and home decor and pots and pans and a lot of Christmas decorations. I took a kickass trip to Colorado... that pretty much drained my bank account, but I'm still glad I did it.

I almost bought a journal today to propel me in some sort of personal growth, but alas, I decided to save the $10 and put it back. I'm still sorting out what my resolutions for the year are, or if I even have any. But I guess I have a few more hours to procrastinate on that.

For now, I guess I need to shower.


A Few of My Favorite Holiday Decorations

A Tuesday

‎You have to be the kind of person who can make the best out of a Tuesday. You know those people who live for the weekends? They’re wishing their life away. You have to find something worth living for or else you’ll look back and realize you’ve wasted your life away. 
— Drew Marvin, English Teacher


Thanksgiving in North Carolina

It's almost Christmas, so it's a little bit late for me to be finally posting about my Thanksgiving trip to North Carolina. Alas... here it is.

The long weekend was mostly spent in the car. Driving to NC. Driving to Will's base. Driving to and from Will and Abby's house to our beachfront condo at Topsail Beach. Driving to Onslow Beach for family photos. Driving to Wilmington. Driving back to Topsail Beach. Driving back to St. Louis.

I don't love cars, and I was sick on the way home, so that sucked.

But beyond that, it was a wonderful weekend spent with family. Playing with my niece, Willa. Watching movies. Cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Visiting the USS North Carolina in Wilmington. Walks on the beach. Bowling, even. And all of the trumps a fever and car sickness.
One morning, I woke up early to go see the sunrise. I've been thinking about sunrises a lot lately. Someone said to me recently that "the best thing about sunsets is that there will be another one tomorrow." It occurred to me the this is the same for sunrises, but that I don't take advantage of it nearly enough. We've all seen a bazillion beautiful sunsets, but how many beautiful sunrises have you seen?

Well, now I can add another to my (short) list. I woke up, walked across the street to Topsail, and took in a lovely, albeit chilly, sunrise. I picked up a few seashells. I even saw dolphins. I kid you not. I have photo evidence. Cheesy as it sounds, it was all pretty magical.



It's been a hot minute since I've been out to a fancy dinner. Currently craving this dish from Taste.


On Road Trips

I love and I hate road trips.

I've taken a road trip through Southwest Colorado and I loved it. Even on days where we spent 4-8 hours at a time in the car. Yet, sometimes driving the 4 hours to Tablerock is a bore. And the 2 hours to Columbia a pain in the ass.

I've come to realize that maybe it was because Colorado was something new, exciting. I had never seen scenery like I saw there before. It was also part of the trip. Sure, we were always trying to get somewhere – to the Grand Canyon, to our campsite, to a grocery store that sold beer – but the drive itself was part of the trip.

It's not about the destination, it's about the journey. Right?

I've driven east a number of times. Childhood vacations, trips to Florida, more recent trips to D.C. and that drive. Ugh, that drive. It just bores me to death. Maybe because I've seen green, rolling hills before. Maybe because I'm with my parents so we mostly exclusively stop at McDonald's.

I'm sure I'd enjoy it more if we stopped off in Nashville, Louisville, small towns along the way. If we stopped at little local diners to eat instead of fast food. If the radio stations weren't baseball games or classic rock. If my friends were in the car to goof off with.

For this long Thanksgiving weekend trip, I honestly thought about paying almost $700 for plane tickets (and now they are down to like $500 and super tempting). But that would be such a waste. (Right? Right?!)

I'm almost done with Bill Bryson's "The Lost Continent" about his travels through America's small towns (which is an excellent read, by the way), and I've got to admit, it has me a bit more inspired about this particular trip. I want to see, and really appreciate, those east coast mountains and forests. I want to pull off on some scenic lookouts. I want to sit down for lunch or dinner in a little diner or bar.

Now... just convincing my parents.

Bill Bryson The Lost Continent

"Mother & Father," Broods

I don’t want to wake up lonely
I don’t want to just be fine 
I don't want to keep on hoping 
Forget what I have in mind


First Snow

Yesterday, St. Louis had it's first snow of the season. It was lovely... but only because I didn't leave my house all day. I snuggled with Maverick and watched TV and decorated my Christmas tree and drank red wine. In fact, these wonderful pictures are from Instagram (stlgasm, copychief and kevinkellyUSA) because there was no way I was going to venture out in the snow. Not ready for that yet.

This morning when I had to scrape the snow/ice off my car... it was not so lovely.


Is It Thanksgiving Yet?

In less than two weeks, I'll be in North Carolina with my family for Thanksgiving and I just.can't.wait.

Not only because of the obvious – duh, it's a beach – but I love Thanksgiving, I love the holidays, and my little baby neice Willa has grown so much she's basically going to be walking, talking and going away for college by then.


Desk Yoga

I'd love a 15-20 minute yoga refresh class in the afternoon, but these stretches featured on A Cup of Jo will do.


Looking Forward To {November 2014}

  • family Thanksgiving, Friendsgivings and 'Beachgiving' in North Carolina
  • sweaters
  • scarves
  • boots
  • the annual 'Fall Ball' party
  • a few more market Saturdays 
  • mornings with coffee, toast and my DVR
  • making my Christmas list
  • putting up Christmas decorations
  • and Christmas shopping – but not looking forward to what it'll do to my bank account :(


Better in Time

On the TODAY show, they said that listening to sad songs actually makes us feel better. Like someone empathisizes with us and we're not alone.

Heard this little gem on the way to work this morning. The line "It's gonna hurt when it heals too" gets me every.damn.time.


Morning Musings (12th ed.)

How can half the people in my life tell me I'm bossy and the other half tell me I'm a pushover?

I've been saying for months (years?) that I was going to start waking up earlier. Every night I say, "Tomorrow is the day." And every morning, I snooze until 8am and end up late for work.

I used to wake up at 7:20am every morning. 

Do people still get perms?

I have tried to use SnapChat, really. I've downloaded and deleted it three times. Am I just too old to get it?

Why is there no way to manage multiple Instagram accounts yet?! I do not understand.

Practically everything I pin is some combination of chambray, boots and plaid scarves.

My main priorities in choosing a Halloween costume are (a) not having to wear heels, (b) being comfortable, (c) avoiding any type of crafting and (d) not spending a lot of money. This is limiting. 


Get It Done

Last night, I went to yoga and did the dishes. This morning, I cleaned out my car (hello backseat! I've missed you!) and got an oil change. All day at work, I've been punching numbers and making lists.

Basically, current motto is 'get shit done.'

(Also, I do not own this mug, but if someone wanted to buy it for me that would be nice.)


Monday Responsibility

Tonight, in order of what needs to be done:
oil change
bar for the Card's game
actual tickets to the Card's game
none of the above

Tonight, in order of what I want to do:
actual tickets to the Card's game
bar for the Card's game
none of the above
oil change

Tonight, in order of what is likely to be done:
bar for the Card's game
none of the above
actual tickets to the Card's game
oil change



Roots N' Blues N' BBQ 2014

This past weekend, I went to Roots N' Blues for the first time in years and was just totally floored with how awesome the festival was.

Not that I didn't expect that. I just hadn't been to it since it moved down to Stephens Lake. And in that time, had been to my fair share of outdoor festivals to compare. Plus, Avett Brothers was headlining and you know how I feel about Avett.
But still. There were the typical things – awesome food vendors, clean bathrooms (the cleanest I've ever been in), beer + koozie discount special, plenty of shaded areas, chair and aisle lines that festival goers actually respected – but more than that...

It felt local.
There were art installations by local creatives. Someone with the festival came on before each musical act to make announcements and thank the community members who made the weekend possible. Everyone was super friendly. You got the feeling that people would have come out for the festival regardless of who was playing.
And so when you add that with beer, biscuits, amazing weather and great music... it sort of makes for a perfect weekend.

Already counting down til next year. (I just wish someone would make them a better website.)


Fall 2014 Shopping List

A black, camel, navy, and emerald green palette.

Easy shells and blouses (likely from Loft).

Thin leather watch, in black, tan or navy.
Black loafers (JCrew) and tan flats (JCrew) and a restock of my favorite fall boot.

A classic buffalo plaid button-down shirt (Gap).

Dark skinny jeans, with room for a cuff.

The perfect white button-down shirt.
A cozy cream cardigan (like this one). 

It's Okay

If I've learned one thing over the past year, it's that sometimes this is all we need to hear. 



Those days when you hear a song that so accurately describes your life that it kind of freaks you out. Hearing this one – exactly a year later – really hit home.

I remember the day you told me you were leaving 
I remember the make-up running down your face 
And the dreams you left behind you didn't need them 
Like every single wish we ever made 

I wish that I could wake up with amnesia 
And forget about the stupid little things 
Like the way it felt to fall asleep next to you 
And the memories I never can escape

The pictures that you sent me they're still living in my phone 
I'll admit I like to see them, I'll admit I feel alone 
And all my friends keep asking why I'm not around 

It hurts to know you're happy, yeah, it hurts that you've moved on 
It's hard to hear your name when I haven't seen you in so long 

It's like we never happened, was it just a lie? 
If what we had was real, how could you be fine? 

'Cause I'm not fine at all


Looking Forward To {September 2014}

  • the Love Party of the decade
  • a month of music with Loufest in Forest Park, Roots n' Blues in Columbia, and the final Point Summer Show at the end of the month
  • more yoga
  • a couple farmer's market Saturdays with fall goodies like apples and kale
  • cherishing these dog days of summer with as many outdoor events, iced coffee and patios as possible before making the switch to warm lattes and firepits. 


On Social Media

Why not just dump the daily tweeting on to low-level staffers or agency PR flacks?  
That question perfectly captures what's wrong with a lot of corporate and brand accounts! I mean, yes, it's Twitter. We're not mapping the human genome. But it has emerged as a pretty important communications channel, and this is what we do. If you were in a room speaking to an audience of thousands of people, you'd take that pretty seriously, right? I don't see how Twitter is all that different. If you're going to bother having an account, I think it's worth taking a bit of care to say something truly informative, or differentiated, or funny, or whatever. Whether it's a junior person or a senior person, someone in PR or creative, whoever it is should be someone you trust to do a good job and give it some love.


Just Leaving This Here...

... because it looks so good and I haven't had brunch in a hot minute.

The Past

Trying to take (and listen) to good advice from friends and Pinterest.


Summer, Lately

My usual busy-body self has spent the last few weekends in St. Louis with an open agenda. This means I have been filling my days with stops at the TG Farmer's Market, coffee at home, afternoon drinks with friends, naps with Maverick, even a hike at Castlewood. 

It feels unbelievable that summer is almost over.

In the summers, I play softball at Tower Grove. We start in late April and play til mid-August. Looking ahead, it always feels like the longest season ever. Like we have forever to get our groove, win some games. At the (beginning and) end of the season, the games are pushed up 15 minutes to account for shorter days. This year, when that time rolled around, I was stunned. Summer is coming to an end?

Last weekend was our end-of-the-year tournament for softball. This weekend, I'm having a(n almost too) late summer BBQ. The following weekend is Labor Day Weekend – the official end of summer. (For the record: I used to consider LouFest the end of summer, but then it moved weekends, so I know I think of it as a kick-off party for fall.) 

I know I didn't waste my summer, but still wishing I had more days. 


On Ferguson

I can't pretend to know how I'd react if I was on the scene. Be it as a protester, police officer, journalist. Would I resort to violence or force if I was scared or if I felt threatened or if I thought it would help? I can't sit here behind my computer and act like I know the answer to that question. It's easy to do that, but you can't really know.

I can't pretend that I know what they're thinking. I can't pretend to know how it feels to be Mike Brown's mother, family, friends, neighbors. Or on the flip side, to be the daughter of a police officer this week. I feel like my opinion isn't valid. What do I know of hate? Of danger? Of fear? Of injustice?

I can't sit here behind my computer and act like my opinion matters. That what I think is more valid than what "they" think – whether the "they" is the police, the rioters, the peaceful protesters, the media, the government officials. What do I know?

We're not even there. Most of us sitting at home posting song lyrics and famous quotes about love don't even know the first thing about what it's like to be in that situation. To be that scared. To be that hurt. To be that angry.

It's easy to sit back and look in and read reports and look at pictures and watch video and act like we know what's going on out there.


This Is What My Weekend Looked Like, Vol. 2

A weekend spent with great friends in Set Genevieve and in St. Louis in some of that classic STL summer heat.

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