California: One Year Update

May 27, 2016

Holy sh*t, you guys. I have been a California resident for a whole year. And it feels...normal. It's scary to say that, because I feel like I'm being disloyal to Minnesota, but I am used to and adjusted to living in California. Okay, well maybe I'm not 100% adjusted to the exorbitant housing prices, or the lack of snow at Christmas, but for the most part this feels normal. 

I'm not sure what I expected, but I honestly thought it would be harder. I say this now, when the awfulness of job hunting is a distant memory from eight months ago. Those first four months were definitely the worst. Job hunting sucks enough as it is, but add in being away from everyone I know and love and the suckiness is compounded. Thankfully, after I started working everything kind of fell into place. My job is going well, I have a few friends (not as many as I'd like, but it's progress!), Mark and I are happy, I love our new apartment, and we have the cutest pup.

Can we talk about that for a second? I was just thinking about everything that has happened in the last 12 months and it's nuts. I graduated from college, moved across the country, moved in with my boyfriend, started my first full time job, and got a dog. Not sure how I'm going to top that!

I was looking back and reading my thoughts before moving, one month after moving, and six months after moving. That is one of my favorite things about having a blog: it's like a diary. I can look back and see how I was feeling before this monumental change. When I read how I felt before moving it brings back tons of memories, but thankfully I don't have those worries or anxieties anymore. California was this big unknown beast, and now I feel like I've tamed the beast a little bit. I’m actually enjoying myself and this stage of life quite a bit. Hope I’m not jinxing it by writing it here!

Adaptation is a pretty amazing thing, don’t you think? I thought I would be miserable all the time here. I know, how dramatic is that, but it's the truth. Now, that's not to say I don't have my moments of homesickness, but this whole year went 100x better than I thought it was going to. I’m actually really proud of myself for making the leap to move out here, and I’m thrilled that it’s turned out so well (I’m sure my mom is too). I may not go to the beach as much as I thought I would ;) but California has pleasantly surprised me. 

xo Catherine

p.s. - we’re in NYC for the long weekend visiting Mark’s sister and her husband! Follow along if you’d like on Instagram or Snapchat (myinnerfabulous). 

Recent Reads Vol. 6

May 25, 2016

I read a review for this book months ago and added it to my library list, but had totally forgotten what it was about by the time I cracked it (or my Kindle) open. When Breath Becomes Air was written by Paul Kalanithi, who was a neurosurgeon, after he was diagnosed with cancer. He writes beautifully, and it's interesting to see him grapple with death both from the patient and doctor side of the equation. If you like Grey's Anatomy, you'll like this book. It's obviously real life, and not dramatized for TV, but I think if you're interested in surgery and surgeons lives, you'll especially enjoy this book.

This book was recommended by The Skimm, and I enjoyed it immensely. It tells the story of Mercy, Margaret, and Hillary, who are all American expatriates living in Hong Kong. All three women are dealing with different issues from death to infertility, but little do they know that all three of their stories are intertwined. I always enjoy books that tell the story from several perspectives, and this was no exception.

Another Skimm recommendation! This book is perfect if you're looking for a very light thriller. It's not exactly suspenseful, but just kind of creepy. Several girls in the city of Dryden come down with very strange and similar symptoms. No one can figure out what is making these girls ill. Is it the toxic lake in town, or perhaps it was a vaccine? You've got to read it to find out!

If you are an Anglophile, or love William and Kate you need to read this book. I know I'm a little late to the party on this one, but it took my library forever to get it in eBook form! This book is pretty much fan fiction of Will and Kate's lives and I loved it. It's semi long but I breezed through it because I was so enthralled. Sometimes you just need a little romance and happiness in your life. 

I also read The Widow recently, but I don't think I would recommend it. It's thrilling, and kept me reading, but I would say a little too disturbing. Now I'm on to Size 12 Is Not Fat. I'm a total Meg Cabot fangirl so can't believe I'd never heard of these books!

What are you reading?
xo Catherine 

You can find my last Recent Reads post here!

Why You Need a Crop Top, Even if it's Not Your Style

May 23, 2016

If you already own (and actually wear) a crop top, then hats off to you! You understand how great and versatile of a piece they can be. If you're thinking, crop top?! no way, not for me, then today I'm here to convince you. 

Top: Topshop via Nordstrom. Skirt: Banana Republic (similar). Heels: Steve Madden. Purse: Coach (very similar). Sunglasses: Ray-Ban. Necklace: J. Crew Factory.

I originally loved the cropped trend, but knew that I wouldn't be comfortable bearing my midriff for all the world to see. Even so, I bought two cropped tops and wore them to death with high-waisted pants and skirts. Then last week I was reading Grace's blog, as I often do, and realized that she had hit the nail right on the head. Crop tops are the best for layering! I did it all the time, but never consciously thought about how perfect they were and how I needed more of them in my life. Enter this $15 scalloped pretty from Topshop. I realized that I always end up reaching for crop tops to go with high waisted bottoms because I hate having to tuck in shirts and deal with re-tucking, and worrying about things laying flat once tucked in. I know you know what I'm talking about. Now, if you're still not convinced you can always slip a fitted tank top underneath so there's no risk of any glimpses of midriff. This is what I do if I'm going to wear one to work. Yes, I wear them to work!

I hope I've made you reconsider the crop top, because they can be worn tastefully, I promise! Here are a few more outfits featuring my beloved crop tops:

Original blog post here

Original post here

Original blog post here

Original blog post here.

You can throw them over a dress (like above), pair 'em with a skirt, or even high-waisted trousers. So versatile. Here are a ton of really affordable cropped options if you want to try the trend out!

xo Catherine


May 18, 2016

Time, man. The past two months with Louie have flown by. We're having so much fun seeing his little personality come out. He's very spunky, to say the least. Now that we've settled into a routine and having a dog is the new normal I wanted to share a little "pupdate" ha ha, see what I did there?

What's going well:
Potty training! I know, I'm as shocked as you are. I can't remember if I shared on here that he used to love to poop on the stairs in our apartment building, and I'm proud to say he's stopped doing that. Sure, he still has an accident every few weeks, but it's usually our fault for missing his signals or waiting too long to take him out. I'll be honest, I cried a few times the first week we had him because of potty training. When he was being difficult and wouldn't go outside, but would then immediately poop as soon as we got to the stairs I would angry cry. Those were dark days😂

Training in general. For the most part. He still has a lot to work on (barking), but he can sit, lay down, roll over, shake, walk pretty well on a leash, and kind of stay. He's quite bad at "come" though. On Sunday Louie graduated from puppy school at PetsMart, which was adorable. I wouldn't say the training there was the greatest, but it was really nice just to have someone to pose our questions to and give us some guidance.

The best part:
How cute he is and how much he loves us. Honestly I just want to squeeze him all day everyday. He's my little shadow and loooves snuggles. It can be kind of annoying that he always wants to be with us, but our apartment is so small it's not like there's anywhere else to be! But back to how cute he is. I know I'm biased, but I'm always so happy when people stop me to ask what kind of dog he is and tell me he's cute #prouddogmom There is also no better feeling than seeing his little tail wag and butt shake with pure joy when you let him out of his kennel or come in the door at the end of the day.

The worst part:
Feeling guilty when we have to leave him in his crate. It's not very often that he's in there for extended periods of time, because we're homebodies, but we always feel so guilty when it does happen. Like last night when we were at Beyoncé we felt bad that he was all alone at home, even though he was out of his crate all day with Mark. Overall I'm really happy we crate trained him though because he's so good in there at night and he's not destroying our things while we're at work :)

What I would say to someone who wants to get a puppy:
Do it! But not lightly. Know that it's a lot of work. Training in general requires a lot of discipline and time and potty training requires vigilance and constant attention. Those first few weeks you really can't leave them unattended. I also would probably not want to get a puppy without the help of a significant other or roommate. It's a lot to undertake by yourself. It's so nice to have someone to alternate with waking up at night or taking the dog out. Unfortunately, I feel like I wasn't able to fully enjoy the first few weeks because I was so stressed out and overwhelmed, but that's just my personality. So don't be like me! Just know it's going to be hectic and enjoy it anyway.

Another thing to keep in mind is that no matter how much you plan puppies have a mind of their own and your plans will not go accordingly :) you'll definitely be flying by the seat of your pants from time to time. This was hard for me to come to terms with. However, I would suggest you have a plan for the big things before you take the little guy home, like whether you're crate training and what your commands will be for things like jumping or barking. 

If you've ever had a puppy then you know they are no walk in the park. It's probably all you will think/stress about for the first few weeks but I wouldn't change anything. I had my moments of doubt that first day when I was in way over my head, but they quickly subsided (thankfully). He really brings us a lot of joy and laughs, and I love how he makes us feel like a little family.

Phew, that was a long one. Let me know if there's anything else you want to know! Would love to hear your puppies stories too.

xo Catherine 

ps - you can find the first Louie post here


May 16, 2016

Dress: J. Crew (similar). Chambray: J. Crew. Sunglasses: Illesteva. Sandals: Sam and Libby via Target. Watch: Cartier. Earrings: Odette and Ophelia c/o. Purse: Kate Spade
This outfit kind of makes me look like I could be teaching kindergarten doesn't it? It's definitely a "sweet" outfit because of the tied chambray, but I love the youthful flair it adds. You may remember that I'm all about getting the most use out of my dresses, so trying a button up over a dress is a great way to make a totally different outfit. This dress is from high school and has spaghetti straps (do people still call them that?), which I do not like wearing anymore, so if I want to wear this dress I always end up with a cardigan or denim jacket over it. On Saturday I wasn't in the mood for my regular cardigan/jacket so I tried the chambray and loved it for a day of errands and lunch out with Mark. This weekend was very laid back for me because Mark was up in the city for most of it so I was able to run errands and catch up on my TV shows. 

I'm preparing for BEYONCE tonight :) Mark randomly decided on Friday that we should go and bought us tickets. Love him. Be sure to follow along on snap (myinnerfabulous)!

Thank you so much for reading!
xo Catherine 

Picnic-Worthy Outfit

May 11, 2016

Dress: 1.STATE via Nordstrom (very similar). Cardigan: Hinge via Nordstrom. Hat: Nordstrom (very similar). Purse: Coach (today's version). Sunglasses: Target (similar). Shoes: Steve Madden

Had to include this pic with the pup! He tags along for pictures sometimes and I couldn't resist a mini photoshoot.

There are a couple of things I want to note about this outfit. First, that this hat sucks. Lol, probably not what you were expecting, amiright? It's honestly just a cute prop, but as a functional hat it's pretty terrible, and I just thought you should know. The one I linked above is very similar but looks like it's a bit deeper and would actually stay on your head, unlike this one 😂 I may buy the one I linked above because I love having an arsenal of hats for when I don't feel like washing my hair. The reason I kept this one is because I got it for only $11 and it didn't seem worth it to return. 

The second thing I want to note is this cardigan. I know I've talked about my love for it before, but honestly I've already gotten so much wear out of it and it's a unicorn because it doesn't ruin outfits when paired with a dress. Do you know what I'm talking about? I always hate having to put on a cardigan with a dress because it usually looks stupid and ruins the outfit. However, I've now found two cardigans that actually work with dresses. Oh happy day! The other cardigan is this one that I still wear pretty much weekly. I think the trick is finding ones that are longer, but not so long that they overwhelm you. 

The third thing is that I feel like I should be going to a picnic in this outfit, but in actuality I don't think I'd want to wear a dress to a picnic. It's too hard to make sure you're not flashing anyone when you're sitting on the ground!

Hope your week is going well! Mine is going pretty slowly, but we're already half way through, so I'm looking on the bright side.

xo Catherine 

Garden Party

May 9, 2016

I have been craving summer, but the weather hasn't been cooperating in CA, until yesterday that is. The last half of the day was perfection and I just wanted to throw a party and enjoy a cocktail al fresco. Unfortunately our apartment does now allow enough room for such festivities, so until we have a house I'll just keep daydreaming about the backyard shindigs that I'll eventually throw. Naturally, daydreaming includes shopping, so I ended up browsing fun outdoor accessories and I thought I would share them with you in case you actually have the space for a garden party. I included what I would wear, what I would serve my food on, and just some fun accessories that are begging to be part of your outdoor spread! 

Happy Monday!
xo Catherine 

How to Dress Down a Nice Dress

May 6, 2016

Dress: ASOS (similar). Jacket: Old Navy. Sandals: Sam and Libby via Target. Purse: Coach (very similar). Dressing down a nice dress may seem like an odd concept to you, but for me it's all about getting the most bang for my buck. I hate buying a dress for a special occasion like a wedding, or graduation, and then only wearing it for that event. That's why it's nice to have a go-to way of making these dresses work for a casual setting too. For me, that's flats and a denim jacket. Okay, okay, so these may not technically be flats, but we'll count it. Speaking of these sandals, they are so comfortable. I never would have thought that a pair of sandals with a heel would be more comfortable than flat ones. The trick is getting ones with a chunky, low heel. I think it ends up adding just the right amount of support instead of making them uncomfortable. Not sure how that works, but the one thing I do know is that these are going to be my walking sandals for upcoming trips! 

How's your weekend looking? Tomorrow we're going to one of my coworker's symphony concerts, and that's pretty much it in the way of plans. Maybe drinks or dinner at a local pub we want to try one night. An entire day of doing absolutely nothing sounds so good to me right now, so that may be Sunday since I won't get to see my mom :( for those of you who do get to spend Mother's Day with your moms make sure to hug them extra tight!

xo Catherine 

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