hey, teach!


I have been working diligently on my 4 Simple Goals!

Have you? Do share!

One of my goals was to get out of my long johns (yes, I wear them all year round!) and spruce up a bit. Perfect timing, since my elementary education practicum just started, and I have to dress up for the classroom. In order to make sure I emphasized the “sprucing” when it came to an outfit, rather than just trading PJ’s for leggings, Bea and I got together and pre-planned some outfits. We put our two closets together and came up with some fabulous (if we may say so ourselves) finds!

This houndstooth jumper has been in my closet for almost 6 years now. You might not believe that I got it at Wal-Mart, but I totally did! In fact, it was on the clearance rack and I snagged it for a whopping $7. One of my favorite color combinations is black and golden shades of yellow  (it’s all over my living room, in fact) so I paired it with a mustard-y cardigan and black flats. I really love this dress, and it gets a lot of compliments!

This dress hails from the land of Forever 21. (Question . . . would you judge if I continued to shop there well into my 30’s?) We can’t decide if we should call the tights Grape, Eggplant, or Brandywine (that last option is definitely inspired by our recent LOTR movie marathon, fyi) but regardless, I snagged them (and all of the tights featured in this post) from We Love Colors. Adding more color to my wardrobe was one of my overall outfit goals, and this site really delivered on the color options!

This dress is from Bea’s closet, and also originally from Forever 21. My favorite part of this outfit is the contrast of the green tights and my golden leopard (or are they cheetah?!) flats. I LOVE ANIMAL PRINT SHOES. Phew. Glad I got that out. I hope that I don’t look totally ridiculous in these colored tights–I think the earthy, fall tones are the best to wear, and you’d tell me if I wasn’t pulling it off, right? Right.

Overall, we put together about 10 outfits. Half of them were dress/tight/cardi combos while the remaining 5 centered around my lonely pair of Gap black slacks. But these three outfits were our absolute favorites. What do you think?

Happy fall!


on packing up and moving out

Relocating is an extremely exciting prospect, but packing is such a hassle! Who knew? Not I, because the last time I moved I was ten, and my mom did all the packing: my room, C’s room, her room, the kitchen, living room, dining room, garage – um, thank you, but no dice.  I only have my bedroom to pack; I certainly can’t imagine an entire house!

(Mom, you are awesome for having done that on your own.)

So, where in the world am I heading off to? Springfield, of course! Yes, the Big Move is finally happening! And in preparation for it, the past month has been a fast blur of tests (the GED and the ACT), car repairs, packing, cleaning, and more packing.

In a word, my life has gone barmy.  It’s also very stressful. But this week is almost over and when it ends, I’ll be navigating my life in a city.  

So exciting, so fun, kind of scary! 

I have two more days in the house I’ve lived in since I was ten, and then I’m off to take Springfield by storm, which is totally a bittersweet feeling. It’s going to be horribly sad to leave my mom and since I’m the last bird to depart the nest, well, you can imagine how my mom will feel.

However, even with our unavoidable separation looming, Saturday absolutely cannot arrive fast enough, although, with that in mind, I probably ought to finish packing…

See you in the South!

xo, Bea


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!



oh how i love him

Do you ever have one of those moments when you sit quietly for a second and realize something happened to you and you don’t know when or how? Well this has been happening to me a lot lately. For some reason every time I have a peaceful moment I sigh and realize just how much I LOVE WES. We have been together for nearly 7 years now, and lately I have been very happy to find that my tummy is always full of butterflies again and I just can’t stop telling him how much I like him. I guess what happened is at some point in the last six months I fell in love with him again and fell farther than the first time. I hope this is what our marriage is always like. Tumultuous in the day to day but over long stretches of time discovering that the chaos has just brought you closer together.

 “Is my chin pointy in this one.” “Your chin is not pointy.” “Let’s take it again.”

“Do I have a double chin in this one.” “No.”  “Yes I do.” “Then why did you ask?”

“Please try to stay in the frame on the next one, Wes.”


“This is pretty dece, but can you try to block the photo bomber with your Big Nog next time?”

“Please don’t say dece.”

a few little thoughts

I have an announcement to make.

It’s the weekend.

And that is exciting.

The first week of the new semester is long gone. Before I know it Christmas Vacation will be here. That’s just how it goes . . . a blink of an eye and a season is over. Before I get carried away in the momentum of Fall and homework, I wanted to think about and write down some  things about my new direction in life. Just so that I can take a peek at this post when the weight of the semester is pressing down upon me and remember why I’ve taken this road!

I am leaving the healthcare industry because . . .

. . . my first glimpse of work in the field has been a most sour experience. Unfortunate but true. There’s a solid possibility I will not be accepted into PA school and I am not going to risk working in this level of healthcare the rest of my life. Nor am I willing to keep other aspects of my life on hold for another attempt at admission to then start a 2 year program.

. . . I realized this past year that my passion with science lies in learning and teaching. I don’t want to do “science” as a professional anymore, at least not by doing research or practicing medicine.

. . . it does not involve the kind of creativity I thrive on. I thought that being challenged and thinking critically was a form of creativity that was enough for me, but I’ve discovered that I need to make and see and inspire truly beautiful things, like art and passions and imaginations.

. . . I don’t envision being able to maintain a healthy body, a healthy marriage, healthy friendships, or healthy hobbies while working in emergency medicine, the type which I would be most interested in practicing. Four years of undergrad has made me very, very familiar with my limits, and I know if I continued down this path, I would be faced to choose between my career and the rest of my life. I’m not looking for a career with less stress, just a different kind of stress.

. . . I am enjoying a nearly debt free lifestyle with my husband.

. . . I would like to have the opportunity be a stay at home mom and not feel like it would be impossible for me to re-enter and catch up in my field.

. . . I want to have dinner with my family every single night and never have to drive into work on the fly because I’m on call. This also goes for ballet recitals, soccer games, and music programs.

I am entering the field of education because . . .

. . . I absolutely love school. Or, more specifically, I really, really love learning. I want to be in a position to encourage others to fall as far in love with learning as I did! And this is my biggest motivator for choosing this path.

. . . “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” Yes, that is from The Help, and I want every kid to know that. Poor kids, rich kids, happy kids, sad kids, confident kids, shy kids. Every kid needs to know that about themselves, and I’m going to tell them.

. . . I miss being responsible for building a community (read: I wish I could be an RA the rest of my life sometimes), and I know that if I can create living environments  that are based on respect and kindness and fun, then I can create learning environments that achieve the same.

. . . School supplies. Organizing school supplies. Building a reading library. Literary adventures.

. . . I like the idea of  a 3 month season during the year in which a schedule change occurs. Whether it’s filled with family time, professional development, pool time or a combination of all three, a change in habit always inspires me.

. . . I am excited to have vacation time that coincides with that of my wee little babes (that aren’t made yet, of course). There’s nothing wrong with getting excited over gingerbread cookie baking marathons during Christmas vacay and Staycations in Springfield over Easter break.

. . . I think I “fit in” better in this career, and that I will be able to achieve balance between my professional and personal life as a teacher.

no downton?

I came home from work just DYING to watch more of Downton Abbey season 2. Suffice it to say I thought about sitting here angrily when I discovered it would not stream (Hulu…you’ve got some ‘splainin to do!)

However, I decided to take the time to play around with this random application I found on my Mac the other day. Did it come with the computer? Did I install it? I just don’t know.

Anyway, it’s called CollageIt Free, and I think I will toy around with it a bit and then look for additional apps!

On my mind:

I love that burnt-orange-and-olive floral. It’s on this amazing retro bench from one of my favorite restaurants in Nixa, Missouri. I actually sat there and asked Wes how difficult it would be to sneak it out the porch door (for shame!)

I have shopped waaaaay to much lately. I bought an adorable new wrap dress from Red Velvet and as I was leaving the store I noticed that dress in the window. I’m drooling.

I found this gem of a jar in my Granny’s basement when we visited Colorado this summer. I can’t explain how much I love it. I think you can be “in love” with inanimate things to this extent, but I also think they call it a disorder…

Finally, I’m missing my sis. And those ducks we’re just too cute not to snap a picture of!

xoxo Cat

sundays are for . . .

1. Baking. http://www.endlesssimmer.com/2011/08/30/smore-than-you-can-handle/

2. Frantically calling your mom because you just can’t make RICE like she does. Rice–2:1 water to rice kind of rice.

3. Wishing you could freeze time and stay in this particular Sunday forever, and never let the fall semester begin…

4. Finding the perfect bed for the spare bedroom.

5. Sedating the kitty cat with Benadryl in order to give her a “sanitary shave” on her wittle witty wehind (little kittie behind) so she stops having an issue with…long hair…and…poop.

6. Taking a piece of Pinterest love and actually making it happen in my own home.

7. Watching as much Downton Abbey as I possibly can.

8. Finishing up a project here and a project there…

9. Reading under my favorite blanket.

10. Shamelessly perusing blog after blog after blog after blog. The three open in my browser right now:

Secondhand Sundays


Oh So Lovely Vintage

summer reading list: the postcard killers

There is nothing I love more (except for vintage dresses, Girl Scout cookies, Essie nail polish, and estate sales, of course) than a poolside thriller of a novel. So, who better to author book number 2 of my summer reading list than James Patterson? Well, I don’t really know the answer to that question, because I had not previously read anything by James Patterson. But I must say I did enjoy this book, The Postcard Killers, a lot. I started it poolside, but it quickly became one of those sneak-out-and-read-at-work-when-your-boss-isn’t-looking type situations. Definitely fast paced.

So here’s the dish: washed up homicide detective begins obsessively tracking a string of European murders after his own daughter and son-in-law are killed while abroad. Appropriately, said detective is always one step behind, until a clue allows him to preempt the killers in Scandinavia. And the murderous couple is caught. In Chapter Threeish or Fourish.

So what’s the rest of the book about, you ask? Well, that’s the twist. The book is written from another point-of-view: that of the murderers. So during the entire story, you know exactly who is committing the crime, how they’re doing it, and you can kind of figure out why (read: they’re off their rockers). Upon capture, however, it appears that the people we know to be the murderers are not the murderers at all. So whodunnit? That is the question that’s sorted out throughout the rest of the novel.

Oh, and of course, whether or not handsome, forlorn detective finds love or not.

Scandinavian love.

Which, according to my husband, is the best kind (as if he knows). One thing I definitely know is that this was a Jackson well spent (or whoever’s on the $5 bill). Sometimes unexpected splurges are the best!

xoxo cat

pause for summer

I am sooooooo looking forward to the weekend. A mere six Mondays ago I was tying up lose ends before I started summer classes. It has been a whirlwind six weeks, and I am so glad that my math class is over. I learned so much, but it was the most intense summer class I have ever taken. Three hour lectures four days a week with numerous hours of homework and supplementary videos to deal with outside of class. I’m sighing with relief now that it’s over! I still have another class to wrap up, but I’m excited to have about 5 hours of my day back to myself. I’m especially looking forward to more time with friends (read: fulfilling our Sno-Cone addiction with our favorite Double Date, Whitney and Colin), chats with Wes, and just being able to bathe more frequently relax a little.

xoxo cat

a new dress, a new project!

photo c/o The Clothes Horse

Browsing fashion blogs for inspiration and new boutiques to shop at is something I could do all day.  One blog that is absolutely addictive is  The Clothes Horse. The blogger, Rebecca, has fantastic style and I’m constantly blown away by the outfits she comes up with. (Fun Fact: We share the same first name!)

Most of the clothes she blogs about can be found at various online boutiques, such as Modcloth and Family Affairs, and I managed to snag the red dress featured above at Spotted Moth. It came in the mail today, and I’m so in love! I don’t often find clothes that are made well and I seem to have the worst luck sartorially, but today I struck gold with my new red dress.

Before I started sewing, I never looked at the garments I bought. I would never notice if a hem was jagged, or if a hem was actually finished. They were just clothes, and I wore them. It’s something my mother did, however, and I would always hem and haw at her, but now I understand the impulse completely: when you know how the pieces fit together, you can’t help but look for flaws.

When I presented my new dress to my mom, we immediately looked at every seam, hem, and button hole, searching for something wrong…and found nothing!  My mom was actually impressed by the workmanship, and that doesn’t happen often.

photo c/o The Clothes Horse

Seeing this dress pushed me to try my hand at making a dress, one with large fluttery sleeves, a style I’ve just recently realized I tend to wear a lot. The pattern pieces have been cut, the instructions thoroughly read, and even now I’m slip stitching my bodice piece together. It’s my hope to have it finished sometime tomorrow, and I’m bursting at the seams (no pun intended) to share with you my photos and finished piece!

xoxo, bea