best chai in town

I absolutely love chai tea. The first mug I ever had was at an Indian restaurant in Minneapolis. It was warm, silky and spicy and I haven’t found anything like it to date. Iced chai tea is my cafe drink of choice here in town, and I love the blend at Hebrews Coffee on Republic Road. It’s my favorite so far! There’s always some sugar and spice that settles at the bottom, making me think there might be some real spices that go into the drink. I don’t know for sure, but I know that it’s delish!

Wes said the mocha is quite tasty, too.

What’s your favorite cafe drink? I’m the type of person who often sticks to the things I know. I tend to get risky when I’m on trips and having fun–like when I tried that fateful cup of chai in Minnesota (I ate buffalo there too!)–but when it comes to the day to day grind, I always go for tried and trues. So give me some good recommendations so I can find a new tasty treat to fall in love with!

xoxo catherine


four simple goals before 2013–inspired by ABM

Hello, hello!

I’ve been catching up on my favorite blogs on this lazy Saturday and I am very excited to participate in 4 Simple Goals with Elsie from A Beautiful Mess! I love goal-setting, list-making, self-improvement . . . the whole bit. It just makes me thrive. I have so many day-to-day things to accomplish (don’t we all?) so I often forget to prioritize those little things that make life special. I really like the idea of making a list of things to do that will solely bring me joy. Just putting something I should enjoy–like sketching ideas for some accessories Bea and I want to make–on a to do list with things like “scrub bathtub” or “vacuum stairs” automatically makes it seem like a chore!

I hope that this will help remind me that these simple goals do not have to be completed in a weekend, and that they shouldn’t be stressful!

Interestingly enough, I did intend on posting part of my weekend to do list. Most notably, it included:

1. pluck eyebrows

2. trim bangs

3. shave legs

I’m 0 for 3 on that hairy to do list (Ooh! A pun!), so I’ll just move on to my very own 4 Simple Goals!

1. Photography: I want to take more photos of Wes and I. For some reason, I feel super awkward asking people to take a picture of us if we’re out and about, and Wes doesn’t particularly enjoy hamming it up for the camera. I’m super sad that we have only a few pictures of us from our first year of marriage! But, I’ve decided to move past that, cherish the ones we do have (did you see the previous post!?), and make an effort to snap some pics of us on a weekly basis.

2. Projects: I have so many projects in progress right now! They include framing some Pinterest images for our bedroom, making our headboard, spray painting some fabulous chairs I found for our dining room (but oh, what color!?!), envisioning our wedding scrapbook, reupholstering my living room chairs . . . Oh. My. Goodness. There’s so many, and I have many more that I can’t even think of. Well then. The goal is to steadily work on just one. I’m officially picking . . . wedding scrapbook!

3. Family Cookbook: Recently, Wes and I realized just how many delicious recipes we have discovered that are delicious, healthy, and inexpensive. Yet, it seems like every week we have no idea what to cook! We’ve decided we need to begin documenting exactly how we like making our faves, like this delicious spaghetti and our new favorite soup. That way we’ll be able to whip out the goods (that did not sound appropriate . . . ) super quick without asking “Did we use the blender or the food processor on those cashews?” or “Didn’t we like it with three cans of cannellini beans instead of two?” So I’ll probably develop a nice little template to use during our cooking escapades . . . and I see a cookbook DIY in the future!

4. Dress Up: I have a secret . . . I love clothes, but I hate getting dressed. I rarely shed my pajamas on the weekend (I do a lot of homework and house cleaning!!!), and you’ll often see me in my workout duds between classes. And then I have to wear scrubs to work. So I change my clothes all the time, but never really get put together. It’s very easy to get into a style rut because . . . comfy clothes are comfortable! But comfortable also sometimes means blah. And then I feel blah. So, I’m going to make more of an effort to get put together. I have a lot of cute clothes and I want to wear them, by golly!

I hope you’re inspired . . . check out A Beautiful Mess to see their goals and link up your own!



rally cat

Hello lovelies!

I hope your weekend is going swell. I wanted to share with you some amazingness from my Saturday!

I traveled to Jefferson City, Missouri yesterday, with a group of fabulous Drury students and professors to participate in the Unite Against the War on Women Rally. We had a great time road-tripping it to Jeff and an even better time during the march.

This event was important to me because I wanted to meet more men and women who have the same concerns as me regarding issues like access to affordable birth control, violence against women,  and issues surrounding healthcare and education (for all individuals).

This was my first rally, and I loved the amount of diversity among the participants–old and young, men and women, urban and rural. It is so important not to stereotype–a feminist (also known as a humanist) has many different faces and backgrounds!

For the event, I made Chai inspired cupcakes, and dubbed them “Keep Your Laws out of my VaChaiNa Cupcakes”. I only spent one evening developing the recipe, and while they got rave reviews, they really just taste like pumpkin bread/gingerbread, so it’s back to the baking tins to develop a cupcake that really just screams “CHAI TEA, BABY!”

I am also excited to tell you that I have officially decided to earn my teaching certificate in elementary education. I haven’t talked a lot on here about my career goals, but for the majority of my time in college they included earning my MD or PA-C. (I wanted to be a doctor or a physician assistant). Only my mom, sister, a few close friends, and Wes really know that I’ve had serious qualms about those goals.

I’ve spent the last year doing some serious soul searching. I realized that I am not the same person I was when I first started college. I have new weaknesses and new strengths, and have come to the conclusion that a career in medicine is not for me.  In times of question, my little self inside my heart has always piped up and squeaked “you would make a fabulous teacher!” (Seriously. I imagine that my conscience sounds like the mice from Cinderella).

I feel very blessed that I let myself take this year to seriously consider becoming an educator. And I feel very brave for not worrying about “wasting” the last four years of college just because I won’t be using my biology degree to become a doctor. Those experiences will never be a waste. And I feel very lucky to have a most supportive husband who told me last night that I can master any skill I want to (including the skills needed for effective teaching) but at the end of the day “good teachers wake up and want to do what they do everyday. And I know you want to change the world.”

At the rally, a lady named Peggy Cochran spoke and while I don’t recall the details of her speech, it reminded me that I was at that rally because all I want to do with my life is help others realize and affirm their worth as a human being. And that’s what my teachers did for me.

So that’s what I’m going to do.

xoxo (rally) cat

my thrifting kit


i do a lot of thrifting. over the past year, it has become my #1 pastime. i started discovering local flea markets when i started planning my wedding. now, it’s become an addiction! but i wasn’t always into second-hand. my mom often took my sis and i to thrift stores as wee little kids, and for a long time i thought it was gross to wear someone else’s clothes or use old dishes. of course, this was a time when i thought cooties were a real thing.

but with age comes wisdom, and now i appreciate the world of vintage and heirloom. besides the fact that i absolutely adore certain trends from former decades, i’ve realized how fun it is to bring something into your life that has a history. it’s fun to imagine that my butterfly gold pyrex plate and bowel were parts of an original set given to 1970’s newlyweds, or to wonder who learned how to sew at my vintage singer sewing table.

anyway, like i said, i thrift a lot. a long time ago i decided to put together an official thrifting kit when i had to run home to measure the space for a piece of furniture i wanted to buy. when i got back, the chair was gone . . . and it would have been PERFECT for my apartment . never again will i be caught without a measuring tape!

so, here’s the components of my very own thrifting kit!

1. multiple forms of money. some places are cash only, so bring a twenty!

2. a tape measure. you don’t want to miss out on that ‘perfect’ piece because you weren’t sure if it would fit, and likewise, you don’t want to buy something you think will fit in your space and end up with something unusable.

3. bring inspiration. if you’re shopping for living room decor, bring snaps of stuff you like and stuff you already have!

4. use a camera–often! if you see something you like but aren’t positive it’ll find a place in your home/closet/life, take a pic and mull over the image at home! also, taking photos helps you remember where you saw something. flea markets can be huge, and it’s probably unfeasible to tote around an Eames rocker the entire time you’re in the store. of course, if I came across an Eames I could actually afford, i’d probably just buy it as fast as i could and call it a day!

5. a list! sometimes i go into the grocery store for tuna, bread, and eggs and end up leaving with Doritos, bulk toilet paper, and batteries. wait–we’re talking about flea markets. well, the same sentiment applies. if you are on a budget (money or time wise!) take your list of things you are specifically on the look out for.

6. a notebook is important. sometimes while i’m perusing booths/stores i come up with great ideas for projects, or just want to note an item that i loved that i want to research and learn more about.

7. and, obviously a writing utensil. to write with in your notebook. i am very, very partial to Sharpies.

thrift on, vintage warrior, thrift on!

xoxo cat