20 Questions About Me

In order to ease myself back in to blogging, I'm taking the easiest cop-out ever and playing along with the 20 Question Game that I've seen floating around the blogosphere.  I mean, anyone who blogs loves to talk about themselves, and anyone who reads blogs loves to read about other people talking about themselves, so what better way to cover both bases than to share this little gem?

What is your road trip essential snack?
I am most definitely a salty snacker-- Cheez-its, Pringles, Chex Mix (cheddar, please!)... the list could go on and on.

You've been handed two free round-trip tickets...who are you taking and where are you going?
Hm... I would typically say somewhere beachy, like Bali or Bora Bora, but since I'm over this heat, I'm going to go with France.  I want to see it all, from Paris to Provence and everything in between.  And I'd of course be taking the husband on that romantic little jaunt across the world.

What was your high school jam?
NSYNC for sure, and my girls and I spent A LOT of time driving around, belting out "Pieces of Me" and "She Will Be Loved" while snacking on Blizzards from Dairy Queen.  Oh, the days of not having to worry about calories!

Would you rather have a perfect bum, or a flawless face?
 I'm going to go with perfect bum.  I'm lucky in that I've always had really good skin, and I kind of feel like any fine lines and such that may will pop up are just a fact of life.  But I'd kill to have a great yoga booty!

What shows are you ashamed to admit are on your DVR?
My brother came to visit a couple of weeks ago and informed me that I have a questionable taste in TV shows so that should speak volumes about this list.  Right now, I'm loving Don't Be Tardy, DCC: Making the Team, Fixer Upper, Who Do You Think You Are?, Ballers, Flipping Out... love it all.  And I seriously cannot wait for the fall premiere of How to Get Away With Murder and Scandal!!

What's your ringtone? 
Just a standard iPhone tone.

What's on your nightstand?
Chapstick, hand lotion, the AC remote, the television remote, and a couple of books.

Do you have any siblings, and if so, where are you in the birth order?
Yep-- a brother, who's 3 years younger than me.  I'm the oldest in every sense of the word!

What physical quirk were you born with?
I'm not sure if I was born with it, but I have a freckle on the bottom inner rim of my left eye.  I'm also SUPER double jointed in my fingers and toes-- if I give you a thumbs up, the tip of my finger bends back to a 90 degree angle.

Morning person or night owl?
I am most definitely a morning person.  I'm up and going by 5:30am every day, and while I usually crash by 9pm, I feel like I fit so much more into my day.  I get REAL mean if I stay up past my bedtime and am over-tired.

 What would you request for your last supper?
The biggest platter of Mexican food ever.  The works!  Tacos, burritos, enchiladas, rice and beans, unlimited salsa, queso and chips...

Have you ever been hospitalized, and if so, what for?
Never, thank goodness!

How tall are you? Do you wish you were taller, shorter...or are you just right?
5'7".  I've always been fine with my height, so I'd say I'm just right!

Do you prefer to DIY or hire it out?
I love to DIY smaller projects, like painting and such.  But when it comes to electric work or anything having to do with demo, we hire it out for sure.

What do you eat for breakfast?
 I get really tired of the same foods really quickly, so I'm constantly rotating.  Right now it's an egg sandwich, sometimes a breakfast taco.  When I want something light, I love avocado toast, or almond butter toast with a banana.  I never used to eat breakfast and now I look forward to it every day and am FAMISHED if I skip!

What would you do for a living if you didn't need money?
It sounds silly, but my dream is to be a stay-at-home mom and be able to do something I love on the side, both for that extra income and for an outlet from the kid-crazy.  I've always loved the idea of being a party planner, or running my own lifestyle/fashion/food website catering to ALL women.

Finish this sentence: Every room needs....
A comfy place to relax!  A good chair, the bed, the best corner of the couch-- a pretty place to put your feet up makes everyone feel at home.

How frequently do you wash your hair? Do you have any hair secrets or tricks?
Every day!  I know it's not great for it, but my hair can get greasy really quickly, especially in the summer when it's so humid/hot every day.  I wash it every morning, and if I work out in the evenings, I wash it again.  I do switch things up with shampoo/conditioners and try to keep it balanced.  Once a week I use a deep cleansing shampoo and follow that up with a deep conditioner and make sure to let it air dry for a little refresher.  Something else that has definitely made my hair more healthy has been letting it air dry about 70% before I blow dry it in the mornings.  I have some wild cowlicks, so I do have to blow dry at the end to make sure everything falls nicely, but blasting it for 3-4 minutes versus 10 or so has made a world of difference.  And I swear by using a heat protectant spray!

Will you leave the house without makeup?
If I'm having a good skin day, sure, but only to the gym and if I'm running errands super early on a weekend.  Otherwise, I always wear a full face of makeup-- call it the southern girl in me, but I can't help it!  Primer, foundation (although I use a tinted moisturizer most days in the summer), powder, bronzer, blush, full eyes, and a dab of color for lips.  If I wear makeup when I workout, I breakout, so that's my only exception.

You just unloaded your Halloween haul...what candy do you go for first?
Probably the Reese's Cups, and then Kit Kats, 100 Grand, and Skittles.  Dangerous stuff, I tell you!

See ya, summer

Did the end of August sneak up on anyone else?  Perhaps it's due in part to the fact that this was quite the cray-cray summer for me, but I  have no sympathies towards the fact that this season is on its way out the door.  

If you know me, you won't be shocked to hear that I am so NOT a summer person.  The heat, the humidity, the clothes, all of the outside obligations... it just doesn't float my boat.  Never has, very probably never will.  Fall IS MY JAM.  The cooler temps, the leaves changing, football (alleluia, amen!), being able to open the windows in the house and air it all out, riding boots and sweaters, cozy candles, sitting outside with a pumpkin beer and not having to battle mosquitoes, hot coffee in the mornings, and of course, Halloween and Thanksgiving!

After the winter that Boston had this past year, I was certainly looking forward to the warmer weather, but I think that we tend to block out the reality of summer from September - April.  By the time May rolls around, we've designed the perfect four months ahead of us-- casual days at the beach with nothing more than a book and your chair, happy hour at home around the fire pit, your sassy summer haircut blowing in the breeze as you stroll down the street in the maxi dress that you knew would be just perfect for a hot day.  Reality?  

The beach is inevitably packed, HOT, way more sandy than you remember and the bag that you now carry is packed full of necessities-- sunglasses, snacks, sunscreen, a hat, an enormous towel, and the tote bag itself emblazoned with your monogram #priorities.

The heat and humidity are so suffocating, you can hardly stand to be outside to let the dog out, so you can just forget voluntarily sitting around a BLAZING HOT firepit.  I'll take a beer in front of the AC, please.

That sassy summer cut fell real flat as soon as you stepped outside, and you've hiked the maxi halfway up to your knees because DEAR GOD it's like a sauna in there.

So yes.  I'm over summer.  Bring on fall in all of its glory, y'all!  And to remind you that that sweet season is OH so close, a few of my favorite pretties. 

don't make me adult today

For the love, I just cannot adult any longer today.  

This morning, I woke up with a pounding headache after dreaming that gangsters broke into my parents house and there were frogs everywhere and I was trying to get to my parents room to wake up my dad but I couldn't make it in time.  I KNOW, right?  Like I woke up out of breath and my heart was absolutely racing.  As soon as I got out of bed, I knew that my headache was sidelining my gym plan for today.

After driving Brian to the train, I came home to make my breakfast and coffee, and I let Molly out to sun on the deck.  She keeps finding gaps in our (brand new) fence (it's like we don't even have one) and escaping, so I keep a pretty close eye on her when she's in the yard.  She went from sitting on the deck to charging out into the yard super fast, so I went out to see what she was looking at.  Well, I have to say that I wasn't expecting this (please feel free to scroll through should you dislike snakes and frogs as much as I do):

Our basement has windows that have these little half-circle cutouts into the yard.  This is the second time this spring that a snake has gotten stuck in there, but the first time a snake AND A FROG were there.  So Molly of course ran straight over to them and started barking, and half-jumped down into the hole, which caused me to freak out and grab her collar.  

We went inside because I sure as heck was not going to remove either the snake or the frog, and I thought that we were good.  She was on guard, but she calmed down and took a little nap while I did my blog-browsing for the morning.   

moment of calm before the day went to hell

I had an interview today at 2:30pm so I started getting ready around noon.  I knew that Molly needed to go out before I left, so before I jumped in the shower I decided to peek outside, thinking maybe they had figured out how to get out of the hole.  

Was that...
a) wishful thinking
b) absolutely fucking wrong
c) both of the above?

If you guessed C, you're the winner of being smarter than me because LOOK AT THIS HOT MESS (or don't because it seriously put me over the edge):

I cannot.  It ate the frog.  The SNAKE ate the FROG.  I don't know if this is normal nature or not, but I do know that frog-eating snakes are slithering around my backyard when my dog (and my barefeet) roam and I am not okay with this development.  

I (wisely) opted to walk Molly on the leash on the street behind our house instead of letting her in the yard, and she was all amped up and impossible on the leash.  Every wind gust spooked her, she kept running super hard and pulling on the leash... and this was all as I was walking her in my interview outfit.  Just as I started to make the turn to head back home, I felt the leash pull and realized that she'd stopped moving.  I turn around just in time to see her sit down with A DEAD MOLE in her mouth.  And I swear to you, she was holding it so gently in her mouth, like she had a prized possession and wanted to be ever-so-careful not to mess it up.  I (again) freaked out and told her to drop it, which she quickly did, and could not get home fast enough.  I walked back into the yard and took one last look at the hole and saw this:

It's safe to say that at this point, I was OVER TODAY.  I took Molly inside, threw on my shoes and was out the door in a matter of two minutes.  Driving to the interview, I followed the directions that the woman who coordinated it had given me and I could not find the building where I needed to be.  I finally called the building and I had unknowingly driven by it three times (kudos to me for that one).  When it was finally over and I got back in the car, I honestly just felt like I wanted to have a big ol' pity-party cryfest for myself.  The day has been all over the place, it's hot and muggy outside, and I was just so, so over it all.  

Once I got back home I let Molly outside to test the waters and she ran straight for the hole (obviously), went INTO the hole, then came back out drooling, so that's fantastic.  We're both going nuts because we're stuck inside with each other until Brian gets home to deal with the snake, and she has proceeded to (much like a small child) empty her toy basket all over the living room and bark/growl at me for attention for the last two hours.

Not even Ellen could make this day better.

So we're leaving shortly to make a trip through Starbucks and meet Brian at the train.  And as soon as we're back home, I'm swapping the Starbucks for a glass of chardonnay the size of my head.

Here's hoping Tuesday allows me a fresh start because today nearly sent me to crazytown.

Five on Friday

Happy Friday, friends!  Let's hop right to this, shall we?

one. paint crazy 
After painting our front door last weekend, I decided to use some of my free time during the day to tackle painting our main bathroom.  Our house doesn't have a master bath, just a larger shared bathroom upstairs, and it was painted an awful tan color.  The previous owners also laid beige tile and a small blue tile pattern on the floor.  Not much makes sense in this house, particularly their design choices and the clash of it all was driving me crazy.  It's the only bathroom in our house with a shower/tub, so any overnight guests will be seeing it, too.  After lots of debate, I took to Instagram with my narrowed down paint choices and with lots of input (y'all are the best), I finally decided on "Tranquil Pond" by Behr.  It's a darker blue and much darker than I would think that I like in a bathroom, but the room has good light and already has great white molding and wainscoting, so it really makes the blue pop.  Here's my little before and after: 
Next up, the living room!

two. summertime = grilling time
We brought our new grill home a few weeks ago (it's basically a new homeowner's right of passage, right?) and have used it every single day, save for the couple of days that it poured and was freezing cold.  Actually, on the first night that it rained, we already had dinner prepped and ready to grill, so we went back and forth in the rain as I held the umbrella over him (#winningatwifeing).  It's our new little routine every night, to hang out on the deck with Molly while he grills and I man the sides and it's been pretty much perfection.

three. doggie play dates
When we adopted Molly, the people at the shelter warned us that she can get really worked up around other dogs and that she tends to be super protective around her food/treats.  We've passed dogs on walks and have driven past them and whenever we do, she absolutely loses her mind.  We have family and friends with dogs and want to be able to have them over to our house and go to theirs and not worry about her freaking out.  The tough part was, we didn't know if she was worked up "Let's play!" or worked up "I want to tear you apart."  My wonderful friend Jeannette volunteered to bring her super sweet dog, Sasha, over last Friday for a meet-and-greet... and they passed with flying colors!  Y'all, I was so happy.  They first met through our chainlink gate, then Sasha came into the yard and they ran and chased each other for two solid hours.  It was the best thing, and I could tell that Molly had such a good time (that might be the most dog-mom thing I have ever said).  So, this was a great start to doggie friendships and we hope that we can work up to the point of taking her to the beach.

four. wedding season 
I feel like so many people complain about wedding season, having weekends filled with showers/parties/the weddings themselves, the money you spend on gifts, etc.  Well, call me crazy but I stinking LOVE weddings.  I mean, ours was obviously my favorite, but there has been something special that I've taken away from every single wedding that we've been to, and there's something so neat about watching your people exchange vows and join The Marriage Club.  And honestly, that's the season that we're in with friends and family right now, and I feel like it will go by so fast-- before we know it, our weekends will be filled with baby showers and bouncy-house birthday parties, so I'm going to go ahead and continue cheersing to the champagne toasts and boogeying to "Shout!" on the dance floor.  We have weddings three consecutive weekends in late October/early November (my favorite time of year AND our wedding anniversary-- perfection) and I already can't wait.

five. weekend relaxation
We have zero plans for this weekend and for that, I am happy.  I'm cleaning house today (my new Friday normal) then treating myself to my first mani/pedi in a month (praise Jesus) and we're meeting Brian's dad for dinner at a restaurant on the water tonight (yes, yes please!).  Tomorrow and we have basic errands and some yardwork, and I'm painting the shed door red, but other than that, we plan for lots of grilling time and outside happy hours.  My favorite way to spend the weekends for sure.

dwell: front door fun

When we first started house hunting over a year ago, I had this ideal picture in my head of buying the perfect little white colonial house with black shutters and a red front door.  I mean, you can't get more New England than that, right?  We looked at tons and tons of houses and there were a good number of them that had absolutely zero curb appeal-- even when your real estate agent is telling you that anything can be changed, it's hard to fall for a house when it just doesn't fit the picture you've been imagining.

Fast forward to September when I finally came across my dream home in the MLS listings-- two stories, white siding, AND the black shutters.  It was like it was meant to be, and luckily Brian loved it as much as I did.  As you know, we made the move in November and have absolutely loved our first little home... except for one major thing:

There was way, way too much white.  The house came with white fencing on the left side of the house, the house was white, the garage door was white, we had the rest of the backyard fenced so off to the right of the house is more white fencing, which meets up with the white shed.  THAT'S A LOT OF WHITE.  Obviously the house and garage door will remain white, but I knew that a quick and easy fix to add a fun pop of color would be to paint our front door.  

I've saved ideas for ages of fun colors for front doors but I couldn't help coming back to a good, classic red.  There's just something about a red front door that makes me so happy and looks so welcoming: 

So, on Saturday afternoon we headed to Lowe's to buy my paint and supplies, and I got to work first thing Sunday morning.  After a few hours and four coats of thin and even paint (Valspar "Classic Red" for any inquiring minds), we are now the proud owners of a red front door!

And here's the gross before: 

Here is a view from the driveway (sorry for the gross pictures, but it's been pouring rain and cloudy the last two days, so I'll take better shots from the street later today or tomorrow and share!):
I am really happy with how it turned out, and it wasn't difficult at all.  The only thing working against me yesterday was the weather, but thankfully the rain brought MUCH cooler temps so while it was damp, there was a cool breeze blowing all afternoon/evening for it to dry. 

Now my next debate is whether or not to paint the shed door to match-- what do y'all think?

No judgment here either, friends-- the ramp obviously needs to be replaced and the beds need help, but Rome wasn't built in a day, folks.  This also faces the street alongside the fence, so it's definitely visible when you drive past.  My debate is to leave the door white but paint the hardware (the door handle and lock on the left, and the two hinges on the right) black, or to paint the door red to match the house front door, and paint the hardware black.  Any input would be fabulous!

Four Things About Me.

I thought I would pop in for a fun little midweek post!  Hope your day is going well-- halfway to the weekend!

Four Nicknames
Kate, Kiki, Katya, Kadis

Four Jobs I've Had
Teacher at After School Program, Nanny, Admin, Business Development Coordinator

Four Movies I've Watched More Than Once
Steel Magnolias, A Christmas Story, Father of the Bride, Stepmom

Four Things In My Purse
Hobo Wallet, Planner, "Essentials" bag (lip balm, colored pens for my planner,  makeup)... does my phone count?  I say yes.

Four Books I Would Recommend 
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Still Alice, To Kill A Mockingbird, anything by Elin Hilderbrand for a good girly beach read

Four Cars I've Driven
Ford Explorer, Dodge Ram, Jeep Cherokee, Subaru Legacy

Four Places I've Visited
Cancun, NYC, Chicago, Baltimore

Four Places To Visit On My Bucket List
France, Ireland, Greece, Fiji

Four Of My Favorite Foods
Pasta, Pizza, Mexican (any and all of it-- burritos, queso, tacos, enchiladas), my daddy's BBQ (brisket, sausage, oh my!)

Four TV Shows I Watch
Real Housewives, Scandal, Southern Charm, GMA

Four Things I'm Looking Forward To In 2015 
Taking the next step in my career, decorating our home, traveling to visit family and friends all over, our big one year anniversary/30th birthday trip at the end of the year

D Day

Well friends, as of this past Monday, I am no longer employed.  Last Friday was D(ismissal) Day, and as evidenced by my last post, there have been LOTS of feels going on.  

Long story short, and without going into too much detail, my company was acquired by a larger company and the corporate "assets" were not a part of the acquisition.  Assets-- that's what myself and the thirty other employees who were a part of the layoffs were called.  We've all had the feeling that something was up for quite awhile now, but we assumed that we would be grouped along with whatever changes may come-- nope.  So three weeks ago, management called the corporate office employees into a conference room full of tables littered with Kleenex boxes (let me just say, if you're ever suspicious that you may be laid off but aren't quite sure, you can consider entering a room full of Kleenex boxes a confirmation that something bad is definitely going down).  We all sat down, they broke the news and everyone promptly burst into tears.  Regardless of having a feeling you might lose your job, having the news actually broken to you SUCKS.  

And full disclosure, as worried as I was about my own situation, I couldn't help but be thankful for all of these random things: that I'm not pregnant, that I don't have children, that I'm not older, that we have our home, that my husband has a great job, that we weren't more aggressive in buying that second car to make our daily commutes easier, that I had the good sense to cut back on fun spending "just in case" the last month or so... Maybe I was trying to reassure myself that I was more okay?  So many of my coworkers and friends are in those positions-- moms with kids in daycare who were immediately concerned not about how their life would be affected but how their kids lives would be disrupted if they can't keep them in their schools; people who have worked there for 10+ years and haven't interviewed in forever and would possibly be considered on the older end of applicants, competing against newer (lower salaried) applicants for jobs; a friend who had put in an offer on her family's first home the day before.  Everyone cried some more and then everyone got really angry, and we all left the office for the day (management told us if we needed to take the day, that was understandable and so yes, we took the day).

Fifteen of us girls made our way to a local restaurant, set up shop at the bar, and ate nachos and potato skins and drank the afternoon away.  Seriously, we were there for five hours, and long after we'd stopped drinking (we did have to get home someway after all), we all just wanted to sit together and be close.  The hardest part of all of this was that I would be losing so many friends.  Yes, we live nearby each other for the most part, but we wouldn't be seeing each other every day, getting coffee together, ordering Thai on Fridays and gathering in a conference room for hours of calls that we had to sit in on.  And everyone knows how hard it is to stay in touch with so many people once your lives go a different way and the place that you met has become the dividing factor.  That day it just felt good to be together-- we cried and laughed and got ragey and told stories that were then considered fair game since we'd all just been laid off.  And I think that we all knew that once we left and went home, what had just happened would be real... and that was scary.

I did go home and Brian ordered pizza and I cried tears into my beer... and wine... and vodka, all through the weekend.  And let it be known that I was rocking the 21 Day Fix until that Friday-- I'd lost 7 pounds, and I fully intend to give it another go once things are back on track.  So I moped and gave myself the weekend to morning/day/night drink and feel really low and bad about myself and the entire situation, but then I started to see the light at the end of this really shitty tunnel.  

I've known for a long time that there was nowhere for me to go at my job-- to move up a step would be completely changing my career path into a division that I've never had any interest in.  But the commute was convenient and I loved my work family, so I let myself get complacent.  In the back of my mind, I always knew that I was going to be 30 in December and that if I was ever going to make a change, I needed to do so pronto, but I didn't know what I really wanted to do.  I'm very much a control freak and as much as I hated being forced to leave this job, since it wasn't on my own terms, I considered the nudge/push/kick out the door a blessing in disguise.  It's led me to applying to every job that I see that sounds fun-- imagine that?  I'm obviously still seeking out jobs that are aligned with for my background experience, but if I see read the description of a job that makes me think "I would love to do that every day!" I'm applying.  I'm letting myself be a little bit picky.  We received a severance package and I just went through the experience of applying for unemployment so I keep reminding myself that everything is going to be okay.  It may not happen immediately, but I'm doing everything that I can and am making the most of this time off.

Being home all day, every day the last three days has been... interesting.  I'm giving myself a project every day so that I don't lose my mind, and that's helping.  Molly is certainly happy to have me home, although I think she's kind of wondering why I'm here disrupting her routine.  The house has never been cleaner, the laundry is all folded and put away, I'm sitting outside and reading for an hour every day while Molly plays, and dinner is ready when Brian walks in the door after work.  I do love playing the housewife, but I also need to get out-- we have a little lunch planned today for our friends from the group of Phase 1 layoffs (including myself) and a few of the girls who are still working and waiting for their day (next Friday).  I then plan to head to the DMV to get my license changed to my married name, and then Brian and I are going to Home Depot to pick up tons of stuff to work in our yard this weekend.

Everything is going to be okay-- it may be crazy, it may be unexpected, it may be a little scary, but it's going to be okay.

And thank you to my amazing husband, family, friends, and blog world lovelies who have been so supportive throughout all of this-- y'all are without a doubt my rocks.