Three Things I've Learned From Blogging

April 29, 2016

I've been blogging for three and a half years now (cray) and while there's still a lot I want to accomplish I've come to learn a lot from the blog world. Blogging is such a huge part of who I am now. My head is a constant stream of outfits I want to put together, social media tactics I want to try, blogs I'm inspired by, and unfortunately jealousy and comparison, but we'll get to that later. It's hard to remember a time when I wasn't blogging. I know that may sound strange since in the scheme of things three and a half years isn't that many. However, I feel like I've really come into myself through blogging. Which leads me to the first thing I've learned:

1. I am a creative person. Pre-blog I never would have classified myself as a "creative." That was always my sister, and for some reason I thought I couldn't be creative because I wasn't interested in the traditional channels like drawing, painting, and music. Now, though, I've realized that blogging allows me to be creative, and I cherish that. That constant stream of outfits I want to try putting together, that is creativity to me. Outfit planning is without a doubt my favorite part of blogging. I like being forced to look at clothes in a new way and now I'll take a second look at a piece I may have ignored a few years ago. 

2. Putting yourself out there on the internet is terrifying. I think I've said this before, but the internet is a scary place. When I see the awful things that women are saying to other (very popular) bloggers I can't believe my eyes. I'll never understand why someone thinks they can say hurtful things just because it's the internet. Thankfully I haven't had to deal with much negativity surrounding my blog yet, but that day may come. 
Having a blog, especially one where you constantly post pictures of yourself, feels very narcissistic, which may be hard to come to terms with. Taking outfit pictures in public is downright awkward, but it's just kind of normal to me now. Slowly but surely I'm becoming less and less concerned with what the people biking by while I take pictures think. And that is a very freeing feeling. I think that mindset has transferred over into my everyday life too. I wear what I want now. California is a very casual place, but most of the time I just say F it and wear heels anyway because they make me happy. Moral of the story here is that if putting yourself out there is what's keeping you from doing anything, be it starting your own blog or asking for a promotion, it's never as bad as you think and it gets easier the more you do it!

3. Comparison really is the thief of joy. Who hasn't scrolled through Instagram and thought, "Damn, why isn't my life that beautiful?" Or even "How does she have more followers than me?" Yep. Guilty. Comparison, I've found, can bring out a girl that I don't want to be. This is one that I'm still struggling with, but I'm actively trying to get better at not making comparisons. One thing I heard and that I try to keep in mind is that you can't compare your beginning to someone else's middle or end. You don't know where other people are in their journeys and you can really only focus on yourself and the things you can control. When I find myself making comparisons, I try to ask myself "What is it about myself that's really bothering me?" That's usually the reason I make comparisons, and it helps to address those issues instead of lashing out against someone else. 

If you have a blog, what do you think is the biggest thing blogging has taught you?

xo Catherine 

Navy and Pink

April 27, 2016

Sweater: Nordstrom. Jeans: J. Crew. Purse: Old Navy. Shoes: M. Gemi. Necklace: Loft (similar). Sunglasses: Ray-Ban.
So many great pieces to talk about in this outfit. Let's start with the sweater from Nordstrom. I don't normally gravitate towards tunic style pieces, but I really loved this one. It's part cashmere, which is my favorite. I'm an advocate of splurging on cashmere (or waiting until it goes on sale, like this sweater is right now!) because those are the pieces I tend to reach for most often. Whenever I don't know what to wear, I go with my tried and true cashmere sweaters. What I love about this one is that it's a sweater material, but really loose and short sleeved, which make it perfect for spring.

Now, moving on to these loafers. I kept seeing bloggers rave about this fancy Italian shoe brand M. Gemi, and so I did some perusing and fell in love with basically all of their shoes. The price tags kept me away for a while though; I thought $178 was a ridiculous amount to spend on a pair of shoes. The more I read though, the more I was convinced. Everyone said they were the most comfortable shoes ever and that they mold to your foot perfectly. Well I put my name on the waitlist and decided to pull the trigger once they became available, and after I stumbled upon a $40 off coupon (just google it)! The shipping was free and fast, and the packaging was swoon-worthy. I've only worn them twice so far, but there was no breaking in period. Hallelujah 🙌 there's nothing worse than blisters from new shoes. So far I would definitely recommend!

Hope your week is going smoothly!
xo Catherine 

White on White

April 25, 2016

Sweater: Hinge via Nordstrom. Top: Topshop via Nordstrom. Jeans: J. Crew. Purse: Tory Burch (similar). Shoes: Steve Madden (similar). Watch: Cartier. Earrings: Odette and Ophelia c/o.
This weekend was so good, you guys. We didn't do anything special, and it was still the best. On Friday night we made pizza (as we do every Friday) and watched The Man in the High Castle. Saturday was spent at a puppy playdate, running errands, and ended with a little date night. Then yesterday we laid pretty low besides our puppy training class. I'm a total homebody, so a weekend spent in with Mark and Louie makes my heart happy. 

Now, lets talk about this outfit. I wore this for dinner on Saturday night. I find it so hard to know what to wear for dates here in CA because everyone is so casual. It's usually easiest to wear jeans and wedges/wedge booties. For some reason I never wear jeans with pumps. I can't explain it, but I'll pretty much only wear them with dresses or skirts. Anyways, I put together this totally neutral outfit and fell in love with the nautical vibe. Now I feel like I need to head to the east coast and go eat some lobstah by the water in this outfit ;) I will say that right before we took these pictures I devoured a huge, messy burger (there was a fried egg involved) and didn't even spill! I would call that a successful Saturday.

Hope you had a wonderful weekend and thanks for stopping by!
xo Catherine 

Coffee Table Accessories Under $100

April 22, 2016

Coasters: Target. Tray: Crate and Barrel. Vase: Crate and Barrel (actually a wine chiller).

I don't know about you, but I find decorating to be very overwhelming. With all of the beautiful images I'm bombarded with on Instagram and Pinterest it's easy to feel hopeless and like I'll never have a home that looks like the ones on the internet unless I spend a ton of money. I'm slowly realizing that 1. It's okay to not have a home that looks like those ones on Pinterest, and 2. That it is possible to have a beautifully decorated home without breaking the bank. The hardest part for me is adding little details to things like coffee tables and mantles. 

Through some trial and error I've learned that a good formula for coffee table decorating is having the basics (books, candles, greenery) and adding in some items with personality. That's where these fun lemon/lime coasters and the Underwater Dogs book come in. They're conversation pieces and they make me smile. Another tip is to get a large tray and just stick with decorating that tray. That's pretty manageable, right? That way it's clean and you can actually use the other half of your coffee table ;) 

I spent a ton of time scouring my favorite stores looking for fun and beautiful pieces for my own coffee table and thought you might enjoy them too. Here are a few options to beautify your coffee table situation for under $100:
One idea that I personally love, that I saw displayed at Anthropologie, is to put some battery powered twinkle lights inside a terrarium. So cute! 

What's on your coffee table?

xo Catherine 

5 Shoes You Need for Summer

April 20, 2016

Neutral Wedges (from left to right): One// Two// Three// Four// Five
Block Heels: One// Two// Three// Four// Five
Slip On Sneakers: One// Two// Three// Four// Five
Walkable Sandals: One// Two// Three// Four// Five
Heels with the "Wow" Factor: One// Two// Three// Four// Five

With warm weather kicking in, I've got summer shoes on the brain. These are the five styles that I belive every woman should have in her closet for summer, and I've even rounded up five of each of these pretties at various price points for you!

 First, there's a neutral wedge that can go with literally everything. Second, a pair of block sandals that are stylish, and way more comfortable than pumps. Third is a pair of slip on sneakers because summer is typically when we have travel plans, AKA walking a ton. Fourth, a walkable sandal that may not be as comfortable as sneakers, but is the perfect in between for when you want to be stylish, but are going to be on your feet a lot. And lastly we have heels with the "wow"factor just because I belive everyone needs more pieces that make them smile in their lives!

What are your summer staples for footwear?

xo Catherine 

The Perfect Summer Cardigan

April 18, 2016

Cardigan: Hinge via Nordstrom. Top: Old Navy. Jeans: J. Crew Factory (similar). Sunglasses: Illesteva. Tote: Old Navy (similar). Sandals: Loft (similar). Earrings: Odette and Ophelia c/o. 

Let me just warn you guys that you'll be seeing a lot of this cardigan in the coming months (and even later this week). I saw Taylor from Little Blonde Book wearing it last week and knew I had to make it my own. It's the perfect topper for summer and spring outfits. I already have at least five different outfits planned around it! A note about sizing: I'm wearing the XS/Small and I normally wear a medium. I tried on both sizes, and honestly couldn't really notice a difference, so I sized down. 

So not ready for it to be Monday, you guys. This weekend was all sorts of goodness. It felt like summer. There was swimming, al fresco dining, and walks with the pup. I never want the weekends to end, but I was particularly sad to see this one go. I feel like we're really getting into our groove with little Lou.

Thanks for reading lovely!
xo Catherine 

The 2016 Project Update One

April 15, 2016

Can you believe we're three (and a half) months into 2016? You may remember that I've set a mini resolution for each month of the year and dubbed it The 2016 Project. If you're new around these parts you can read all about it here. Today I wanted to check in and share how the first quarter of the year's resolutions went.

January: standing an extra hour a day at work. I already hated standing for the first two hours of the day, so adding an extra hour after lunch was unpleasant. I stuck with it all but one or two days when I was in meetings all day. But, as soon as February 1st hit, I dropped that extra hour like it was hot. I've actually read a lot of mixed articles and research about whether standing at your desk is actually better for you. I've pretty much learned that it's good to stand and move around, but it's not great to do it for long stretches of time, or for the majority of the day because it's hard on your body. Honestly I'll take whatever reason I can get to sit down! 

February: do a weekend long digital detox. Mark was kind enough to join in on my endeavor for this one. I was worried we'd be really bored, but it honestly didn't feel that different. I don't think there are any official rules for doing a digital detox, but we decided that we wouldn't use our phones, computers, or TV. We also didn't do a full 48 hours, it was more like 36. We kept very busy that weekend though, which I think is the key to staying sane. We ran errands and packed up our apartment for our impending move. I would say that nighttime was the weirdest/hardest, because that's typically when we would watch a movie, or browse the internet. Overall I enjoyed the weekend, I'm not sure Mark can say the same though. I would love to implement little digital detoxes into our lives going forward. Like phone-free date nights.

March: no eating out. Besides July's no shopping, this was the one that I went into thinking would be the toughest. While we don't eat out a ton, it is a normal part of our week to pick something up, or go out on the weekends. I love trying new restaurants, and don't love cooking, so eating out gets two thumbs up from me. There were definitely times during the month when I was itching to get out of the house, or just pick something up so I wouldn't have to make dinner. However, I was surprised that by the end of the month I wasn't going crazy, and that we had successfully (minus one work dinner) made it through! I don't think we need to take a whole month off of eating out, but it definitely showed me that we don't have to go out as often as we were before. We'll see if I'm feeling the same way in another month though!

April's challenge is to go somewhere new. I could technically cross this off already, since I went to Hartington, Nebraska for the first time last weekend, but I don't think I'll count that since it was scheduled before I started this project. I'm thinking maybe a new beach or maybe the dog park for the first time!

Did you set any New Year's Resolutions? How are they going?

Have a great weekend!
xo Catherine 

Spring/Summer Wedding Guest Attire

April 13, 2016

Dress: H&M. Shoes: Steve Madden. Belt: Target. Clutch: Target (similar). Earrings: Odette and Ophelia c/o. 

Went a little overboard with the pictures for this post, because I just love how they turned out! Golden hour is real, you guys. Would you ever guess that this dress is from H&M and under $30? It looks so much more expensive! Sadly there's only a size 6 left, but if you wear a size 6 (or 4 - I've found I need to size up at H&M) you're in luck! If you like the pattern, you can find it in a top version here

Phew, back to blogging after a little unscheduled break. I was in Nebraska over the weekend for my cousin's wedding, and ended up catching a cold on the way home, so blog posts took a backseat. The wedding was so much fun! I've been feeling very homesick lately, so seeing my family was just what the doctor ordered. I actually bought this dress to wear to that wedding, but ended up opting for a different one last minute because it felt more like winter there. This dress would be perfect for a spring or summer wedding, date night, or even for a casual work environment! 

Hope your week is going well. Thanks for stopping by and reading!
xo Catherine 

Whimsical Clutches

April 6, 2016

I don't know if you've noticed this by now, but I love a little whimsy. You may remember my lemon purse from this post or this post, or perhaps the elephant dress, or skirt? I love to have a little fun with my outfits - it's an instant mood lifter! The other day I was scrolling through my Instagram and saw this pizza purse from the girls' section on J. Crew's Insta and got all heart-eyed over it. Mark and I love pizza, we eat it every Friday, and sometimes other days too. Anyway, I clicked on the link and saw that the girls' department is chalk full of cute, whimsical purses that I could drool over. They even had a donut purse! Sadly it was sold out, but then I decided I couldn't live without a donut purse, so I went on the hunt. I found this one above from Lord and Taylor and purchased it immediately. I'm (not so) patiently waiting for its arrival. Anyways, the point of all this rambling is to tell you that you need a whimsical purse or clutch in your life, especially with summer coming up! It's the perfect time to be a little whimsical! 

Which one is your favorite?

xo Catherine 

Pom-Poms and Tassels

April 4, 2016

Scarf: J. Crew. Top: H&M. Purse: Old Navy. Shoes: BucketFeet. Jeans: J. Crew Factory (similar). Sunglasses: Amazon

I literally wore this outfit both days this weekend. Whoops. For some reason I've been really drawn to the combination of blue and white, and while I appreciated it before, I can't seem to get enough of it these days. I've been decorating the apartment with a lot of blue and white too. It's everywhere! Another thing I can't seem to get enough of are tassels and pom-poms. They're such a fun detail that really just add that extra oomf to an outfit. Anyways, How was your weekend? This one was a good one for us. There was a lot of catching up on TV and reading, time spent with friends, and we started puppy training! I still can't believe we have a dog, although it seems almost normal now. 

Thank you so much for reading!
xo Catherine 

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