Favorite Recent Purchases

June 10, 2019

Today's post is a little all over the place but I wanted to share some random things that I've been loving lately! I can't quite put my finger on why but I've been feeling less and less inclined to share things on Instagram stories lately. I was talking to my girlfriends about this and said that I used to post on Instagram stories all the time and lately just haven't felt like sharing and have even become more self conscious about it. One of my friends pointed out that it could be that I posted a lot more frequently because I was living away from all of my friends and family so that's how I kept in touch was by posting more of my everyday life online. I think that was a really insightful point and could be applied both to social media and to the blog. When we were living in California I had way fewer social plans because I didn't have a ton of friends there so I was blogging and Instagramming more in my free time. Now that I'm back in MN and see friends and family frequently I haven't made sharing online that much of a priority. All this to say that these are some things that in the past I would have probably shared on IG stories but haven't so I wanted to put together a little roundup of my favorite recent purchases here!

My cordless vacuum. This is a game. changer. Our very cheap vacuum didn't make the trip to MN with us so I was on the hunt for something new. I really wanted a Dyson but couldn't justify shelling out hundreds of dollars so I decided to try this version since it had such good Amazon reviews and is only $120. Overall I really like it! The only issue is that every once in a while the battery won't last if I'm trying to vacuum the whole house at once. It can be kind of annoying when that happens but is way less annoying than a cord IMO so I'm happy with the tradeoff!

This gorgeous Tuckernuck scarf. You may remember a similar red scarf from last year (seen here) so when I saw this beautiful summery option come out I pre-ordered it right away and have already gotten so much use out of it!

Non-slip shoe grips. I don't know about you but a lot of the flats and sandals I buy have zero traction so I picked up these sticky grips that you put on the bottom. Et voilà: traction! Such a simple product but they're so helpful.

Spring tops. I realized that this was an area of my closet that was seriously lacking so I picked up this cute Swiss dot top and this linen button up in two colors! I wear one of these pretty much every week and want to pick up even more colors. I'm wearing the French blue in the picture above!

This Target palm print headband also pictured above. I was hesitant to join in on the headband trend for fear that it would look too juvenile but I couldn't pass up this adorable palm print option for only $15. I wore it to work last week and received so many compliments on it!

Natural dry shampoo. I've been trying to swap out my beauty products for natural options where possible. There are some things I'll never be able to give up but dry shampoo seemed like an easy enough product to swap out. I was previously using baby powder as dry shampoo which my old stylist pointed out is just talc. Needless to say, that made me want to switch things up since some studies have found talc linked to cancer. I bought this natural replacement and while it's more expensive than baby powder it lasts for a while and works really well. Pro-tip for applying dry shampoo: blast your hair with your blowdryer after you apply it. It helps it absorb and results in zero white residue! 

This book that has helped tremendously with my anxiety. I haven't mentioned this anywhere but when we flew to Florida in March I had a panic episode on the plane which has never happened before and I was completely unprepared for how to handle it. I think it was a combination of not being sure about my return travel plans, sitting in a middle seat and having to sit on the tarmac for an hour before we took off. It wasn't a full blown panic attack but needless to say it was not pleasant. That was the catalyst that lead me to finally find a therapist in MN. I am happy to say that I found someone I really like and she recommended this book which I have found extremely helpful. We flew to SF over Memorial Day weekend and because I had built it up so much in my head that I might feel panicked again I was very nervous for the flight. At the beginning of our flight to SF I was feeling on edge but was able to use some of the practices in this book to work through it and am happy to report that both flights ended up going very well! 

That seems like a good place to end things — hope you enjoyed! Funny how this roundup of recent products doubled as a little life update as well!

xo Catherine 

Recent Reads: Vol. 21

May 9, 2019

Well, I’m happy to say I finally got my act together and wrote a blog post! Today I’m sharing the eight books I’ve read in the last couple of months (there are some really good ones!). One thing to call out is that I’ve switched it up from previous Recent Reads where I would either recommended the book or not to a rating system because when I read other book reviews I find ratings really helpful!

The Death of Mrs. Westaway. Harriet is in her early 20s getting by on her own as a tarot card reader at Brighton Pier. One day she comes home to a letter saying her grandmother has died and left her an inheritance. Harriet knows that they’ve sent it to the wrong person but goes anyway to collect the money so she can pay back some debts. Once she arrives at the Westaway home she realizes that things are amiss and gets tangled up in the family drama and mystery. We read this for book club and all agreed that it was just okay. It kept me entertained but there were some plot holes and I really didn’t love the main character. 
Rating: B-

Proposal/Remembrance. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I was ob-sessed with the Mediator series when I was in elementary and middle school. It’s a YA series about Suze Simon who is a ghost mediator. Naturally, I was thrilled when I found out that she had written new books about Suze as an adult. Proposal is a novella and Remembrance is a full book that continues the Mediator storyline. It essentially felt like a warm hug to step back into one of my favorite literary worlds, so I was loving every minute of these books. If you love YA, paranormal activity or teen romance I’d definitely recommend these books.
Rating: A

Balthazar. This was another trip down memory lane. After tearing through the Twilight series in middle school I wanted something similar to fill the vampire void, so I read the Evernight series.  It’s about a boarding school for vampires with lots of teen angst, love triangles and mythical creatures. This book was the last in the series but told from a different character’s point of view. Again, it was so fun to step back into one of my favorite series and I think these books hold up as an adult!
Rating: B+

Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win. This had been on my list for a very long time, so I was excited when I finally got it from the library! Charlotte Walsh is a tech executive living in Silicon Valley with her husband and 3 daughters. She decides she wants to challenge herself even more so her family moves back to her home state of Pennsylvania so she can run for senate. Needless to say, the campaign is grueling and she’s attacked about everything from her appearance to her marriage and living in California. The campaign takes its toll on her personal life, especially when secrets are dredged up, so she has to decide how far she’ll go to win. Overall, I liked this book but I wasn’t blown away. I had heard it was the only fictional book ever written about a woman running for office, so I felt I needed to read it!
Rating: B+

Blink. This is a Malcolm Gladwell book that wouldn’t normally be one I’d pick up on my own but it was chosen for book club. It’s all about “thin slicing” which is the split-second decision-making our brains do in order to keep us from having to labor over every decision or judgment we’re faced with. He lays out both the ways we do this to our benefit and to our peril. The topics ranged from racism to marriage to predicting heart attacks. It was very interesting and educational. It did take me a while to power through it because it was so research-heavy that I found myself going much slower than normal to absorb it all. I enjoyed it and learned a lot but some parts were pretty dated (it came out in 2005) or were a bit frustrating. 
Rating: B

The Other Woman. Emily and Adam meet in a bar and quickly fall in love. Everything is going great until Adam introduces Emily to his mother, Pammie (honestly could she have come up with a more obnoxious name?). Emily can’t figure out why but Pammie seems to hate her. Adam can’t see it because he adores his mother but Pammie goes to great lengths to make Emily’s life a living hell. This book was a little predictable but it didn’t stop me from tearing through it. There was some suspense and a few twists thrown into the mix so I liked it. 
Rating: A-

Daisy Jones and The Six. I’m so excited I finally read one of the ~it~ books in a timely manner! Usually I have to wait months to get it from the library but my mom had a copy. This book was unique because it was written as if it were a Behind the Music documentary. It’s told from several people’s perspectives who are being interviewed. Daisy Jones is a singer-songwriter living in LA in the ‘70’s. The Six is a semi-popular band that’s on their way up. Their mutual record company suggest they do a duet and after it’s a smash they decide to join forces to become Daisy Jones and The Six. There’s a lot of relationship drama, band tension and addiction. The story was very interesting, I really loved the way it was written, but I don’t think it lived up to the hype. That’s the trouble with hyped up books, even if they’re really good they might still disappoint because they’re not the best ever. Anyway, I did really enjoy this book and can’t wait for the mini-series!
Rating: A-

The Idea of You. You guys, I saved the best for last. This is by far my favorite book on the list! Solène is a 39-year-old divorcée who takes her 12-year-old daughter to an August Moon concert (August Moon is clearly supposed to be One Direction). They go to the band’s meet and greet and Solène meets 20-year-old lead-singer Hayes (the Harry Styles of the band) and they are immediately taken with each other. They go on to have a love affair despite the 20-year age difference. This book was v. steamy while still being well-written. I loved all of the characters and was not ready for it to end. Definitely read this book!
Rating: A+

xo Catherine 

House Progress (Living Room + Dining Room + Bedroom)

April 15, 2019

interior-design-inspiration
This post is a long time coming — seven months to be precise. I've been meaning to share photos of our house progress from the beginning but here we are seven months after we moved in and I'm only now sharing these. I'll caveat this by saying that these are very much progress photos and the house is not done. I kept wanting to wait until everything was perfect to share more photos but I think that progress photos are fun too. Hopefully sharing here will help me get my butt in gear to keep putting the finishing touches on! Today I'm sharing before and afters of the living, dining and bedroom. I'll do the kitchen and bathroom another time but those transformations aren't quite as dramatic. 

So. These photos are a mix of iPhone snaps and DSLR photos that I've taken over the last seven months. Most of the DSLR photos were taken yesterday so they're the most up to date. I did tidy up to take those photos but I really didn't do much more than that so you may notice stray cords, empty frames, etc. Settle in for lots of photos of where we started, where we are now and what finishing touches I still hope to make!
before-and-afer-home
I think I've said this before but our house is a rental. You'll probably think we're nuts to have made updates to it since we don't own but I love this stuff and really wanted to put work into the space to make it ours. So the first step was to paint the living/dining area white. The whole house was painted a pale grey but the living and dining area don't have the best light so I wanted it to be white so it would look as bright as possible. 

Dining Room

before-and-afer-dining-room
We also swapped out a couple of light fixtures, including the chandelier in the dining area. Mark and his dad are the best and did it themselves. We plan to just swap them back to the original fixtures when we move out. 
styled-shelf
The next step was to install this ladder shelf from CB2. I've mentioned it a million times but Alaina is someone whose design style I really admire. She had this shelf in her last house and I knew that I wanted to get one for this space. It's the perfect home for some of our prettier glassware and we also use it as a makeshift bar.
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dining-room-inspiration

In addition to the chandelier we had to put in a curtain rod because this house didn't come with any window treatments (insert eye-roll emoji here). I would love to get a larger kitchen table and add a rug here since we have the space but other things have taken priority for now. 
before-and-afer-shelf
before-and-afer-shelf
I played around with the shelf stying for a while and I think I have it where I want it. I might want to get one more baking dish to stack on that 6th shelf but otherwise I love it!

Living Room

before-and-afer-living-room

The living and dining room are one big, open area so we painted the whole thing white. Well, I shouldn't say "big" since our house is tiny but it felt huge once we started painting. Mark was very against painting but I was adamant and told him I'd take care of it since he didn't think we should do it. I thought it would take me a day since the area is relatively small but good lord it was a nightmare. Remind me never to paint again. It took an entire weekend (as in three days) and Mark ended up helping a lot after I had a meltdown or two. He's the best.
living-room-design-inspiration
before-and-afer-bookshelf
You guys, this bookshelf has been the bane of my existence. I was so excited to have this cute little built-in to style but I cannot for the life of me get it to a place I like. I've rearranged a million times and still don't love it. I just want to finish it and be done!
styled-bookshelf
styled-bookshelf
before-and-afer-living-room
Couch

I've been wanting to make a few updates to the living area to warm it up a bit. After having these plaid pillows out for Christmas I realized how much I loved the look of some color or even a pattern on the couch. I've been on the hunt for the perfect pillows ever since. We also really want to get an ottoman coffee table to make this little area cozier and better for movie-watching. There's too much white going on right now so I'd love to get a cognac leather ottoman or something like that to warm it up!
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living-room-interior
In an ideal world we'd mount the TV but I doubt if that's ever going to happen. Just imagine it's mounted ;) 
living-room-inspiration
reading-nook

So this little nook is actually in the front room which is technically a bedroom. It's a joke of a bedroom so we use it for storage and have this little chair in there that Louie likes to perch on and bark at people as they walk by 😅

Bedroom


bedroom-inspo

Our bedroom is a special little snowflake in that there is no room to put a queen sized bed without blocking a window or having the bed up against a wall. We chose the blocking a window option. I know it would look better without a headboard but we like having one so it is what it is. The other eyesore in this room are those mismatched black shades you probably noticed. You also may have noticed that a lot of our windows have paper blinds. We got them when we moved in since the house felt like a fishbowl without any window treatments. Here we are seven months later with a ton of paper blinds still up because, well, window treatments are expensive. We've only put in a few permanent treatments and the rest are still paper. I plan to eventually replace the black shade here with this white one that will hopefully look less weird. 
before-and-afer-bedroom
styled-nightstand
before-and-afer-nightstand
before-and-after-dresser
I am obsessed with this dresser. I mentioned it before but I just wasn't finding anything online that I liked so I turned to craigslist and found a woman who had refinished this old dresser in black to give it some new life. I never thought I'd be this into a dresser but here we are. 
styled-dresser

I think the finishing touch here would be to group the items on the left in a tray like this one and then it'll be good to go! 
styled-dresser

Still a ways to go but I'm really happy with the progress we've made and am excited to keep chipping away at it! Hope you enjoyed seeing the progress!

xo Catherine 

Friday Day Dreams - March 22

March 22, 2019

Happy Friday! This was a good week for me — it was Louie's adoptiversary, we had a fun book club, a ton of snow melted...what more could a girl ask for?


This week's high: It was a really good week at work. Nothing major happened but a lot of things that I was nervous or having some anxiety about went really well or better than expected. 

This week's low: I'm in a workout rut. I've been doing BBG since last January and even though there are multiple programs within the Sweat app I'm still feeling bored and finding myself dreading every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning when I get up early to workout. I'm worried that if I keep dreading it this much I'll stop altogether, which I don't want. If you have any favorite at home workouts, let a girl know. 

What I'm reading: Balthazar. I'm continuing my nostalgic book kick and am reading the fifth Evernight book which was a series I started in middle school and never finished. It's very similar to Twilight and I'm having a great time re-living this fantasy universe. 

What I'm watching: We're watching Sharp Objects and OMG you guys it's so intense and dark. I read the book several years ago and I only half remember what happens but it's so much darker to see this storyline than to read about it. It's very good though!

Best thing from the internet: I'm not usually a home/design TV show person but I saw this clip of an amazing NYC apartment where all of the kids got to design their own room. So they have a zip line and rock climbing wall and some other really fun adventure features that I would love even as an adult. 

Currently obsessed with: My Quay Australia sunglasses. I bought these about a year ago and wear them all the time but have been trying to give my other sunglasses some love (you know how that goes) but I always find myself coming back to these! I wasn't sure if I liked them on me at first but I am all in now. 

Weekend plans: One of my best friends is coming to stay with us this weekend! I am so excited because I haven't seen her since my wedding and she'll be our first house guest. We don't have any firm plans but will definitely be going out to some favorite restaurants and enjoying the gorgeous spring weather. 

Have a great weekend!
xo Catherine 

Recent Reads Vol. 20

March 19, 2019

Every year I hope to read more books and I'm off to a good start with 11 under my belt already! Here's what's been on my Kindle lately:

The Girls. It’s summertime in the ‘60’s and Evie Boyd has had a falling out with her best friend, parental supervision is basically non-existent and then she meets some girls in a park that she becomes very taken with. Turns out they all live together on a compound with a man named Russell that they can’t stop raving about. Evie starts hanging out with all of them on the compound and gets drawn into their cult until things take a turn towards violence. This is loosely based on the Charles Manson cult, which I didn’t really know much about so that was interesting. Would I recommend: no. I know this was the *it* book a couple of years ago but I cannot figure out why it was so popular. I didn’t like any of the characters and it was written in a way that was just really, for lack of better word, gross. 

Dead Mountain. I stumbled across this book when I was browsing online one day and am so glad that I did. It tells the story of the Dyatlov hiking group who were very experienced Russian hikers that all went missing in Siberia in the 1950’s. When their bodies were recovered it was under very odd and unexplainable circumstances. They had all fled their tent without the proper clothes for the cold, some of them had violent injuries and increased radiation on their clothes. What could have caused them to abandon their tent when it was -40 degrees and the middle of the night? The author went to Russia a few times for interviews and even did the same hike as the Dyatlov group. He ultimately makes a case for what he thinks happened that February night. Would I recommend: yes! I was so pleasantly surprised by this book and got sucked into the mystery of it. I couldn’t stop thinking about it and was basically talking everyone’s ear off about it for weeks. That’s when you know it’s a good one!

Good Riddance. When Daphne’s mother, who was a high school teacher, dies and leaves her an old high school yearbook that’s annotated with notes about where all of her pupils ended up she’s not quite sure what to do with it. She ends up Marie Kondo-ing it and then a nosy neighbor picks it up out of the trash which leads to all sorts of secrets coming out about her mother and her students. Would I recommend: yes if you’re in the mood for a light, easy read. It wasn’t my favorite book ever but it was cute. 

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. So so happy that my friend (hi Mary!) picked this for our February book club. It had been on my list for years and I’m happy I finally got around to reading it. Eleanor leads a very regimented and anti-social life because of some childhood traumas she hasn’t dealt with. A few random events force her to meet new people, get out of her comfort zone and face those traumas. Her inner dialogue is hilarious and was the best part of the whole book. Would I recommend: definitely. I loved this book and would say she’s one of my favorite characters ever. 

Ghosted. Sarah and Eddie meet when she’s home in England and spend a magical week together. They fall in love and plan to talk and see each other again soon. But then Eddie vanishes and won’t respond to any of Sarah’s messages. As she tries to figure out what went wrong and get to the bottom of what happened to him all sorts of old secrets come out. Would I recommend: yes. I really enjoyed the story and there were a few twists I didn’t see coming. 

An Anonymous Girl. Jessica is looking to earn some extra money so she enters a psychological experiment about morality. Dr. Shields, who’s running the experiment, seems to be able to see right through Jessica and knows how to manipulate her. Jessica becomes more and more involved with the study until things take a dark turn. Would I recommend: yes. This was entertaining and kept me wanting more but there weren’t any big reveals which I was a little bummed about. 

Famous in Love. I’d been hearing about these books for a while thanks to Grace and Becca and am so happy I finally checked them out from the library. Paige is a high schooler living in Seattle when she auditions for Locked, which is basically like a Twilight or Hunger Games-type franchise. She gets the part and flies to Hawaii to shoot the movie with her two costars Jordan and Rainer. A bit of a love triangle forms as Paige tries to navigate Hollywood and figure out how to be famous. Would I recommend: duh! I love a good YA series and this one does not disappoint. I was put off for a while because I knew that Bella Thorne was in the TV adaption and I do not like her. I’m so glad I got over that and read them anyway because I got sucked in! I read the sequel too and loved it. I tried watching the show but it’s so bad and so different from the books so don’t let that deter you!

I'm almost caught up on sharing recent reads! I'm only three behind now so hopefully my next post will get us up to speed. Would love to know if you have any recommendations or if you've read any of these books!

xo Catherine 

Friday Day Dreams - March 15

March 15, 2019

lowdermilk-beach-naples-florida
Hi Friends - it’s been a minute. Today’s Friday Day Dreams will be a great way to catch up! Since we last talked Mark and I had a little getaway to Florida. Originally I was going to go for a whole week with Mark there the first half and then my mom there for the second half. Unfortunately, like I mentioned in the last FDD my mom fell and broke her wrist so she wasn’t able to join me. I considered staying by myself but ultimately four days felt too long to be alone in another state so I came back early with Mark. It was a bummer but I was excited to see Louie and I was able to get some things done that I wouldn’t otherwise make time for. The trip may have been shorter than anticipated but we were lucky to even have a few days of warm sunshine. 

This week's high: The snow is melting! The streets and our yard are a nightmare but I’m just excited about the consistent above-freezing temps. Spring is near!

This week's low: My anxiety has been worse than normal the last couple of weeks. I've always had anxiety, and like most people it ebbs and flows, but with all of the travel plan changes last week I've been feeling extra on edge. I don't talk about my anxiety on here much but it's something I've dealt with for as long as I can remember and sometimes it's just more prevalent and harder to deal with.  I've been meaning to find a permanent therapist I like here in MN but it's hard to find someone you like and I've been lazy. In the meantime I've been trying to meditate more because that helps!

What I'm reading: Remembrance. This is such a fun read for me because it’s a new (well, from 2016) installment in the Mediator series which I LOVED in elementary/middle school. I was so excited when I found out she wrote a new book that followed the characters into adulthood. I’m having all of the nostalgic feels. 

What I'm watching: We just finished True Detective season 3. I thought it was pretty good but I wasn’t blown away like everyone else seems to be.

Best thing from the internet: This hilarious video of a dog gone rogue during his dog show performance. 

Currently obsessed with: You guys know I love my Revlon ColorStay lipstick and I am loving the "Ingénue" color I just bought. It's a true red, which I didn't think they made, so I am pumped. 

Weekend plans: As of right now we don’t have any plans. It’s St. Patrick’s Day on Sunday so I feel like we need to find something to do! Otherwise I really need to organize our pantry and have been putting it off for months. Maybe this will finally be the weekend…

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!
xo Catherine 

Friday Day Dreams - March 1

March 1, 2019

This week's high: Definitely that we leave for Florida tomorrow! It hasn’t happened yet but knowing it’s coming has gotten me through multiple snowfalls this week. 

This week's low: Aforementioned snowfalls. Just kidding, I’ll be more original than that. My low this week was that my mom broke her wrist :( She's okay but still not good.

What I'm reading: Oh my gosh I feel like I’ve been tearing through books lately. I read both of the Famous in Love books this week and am on to our next book club pick: The Death of Mrs. Westaway

What I'm watching: This really wasn’t a big TV/movie week for us but I watched a few episodes of Suits, which I am verrrry slowly working my way through. 

Best thing from the internet: Elizabeth Holmes' So Many Thoughts Instagram stories. If you're not already following @eholmes what are you even doing with your life?! She is a journalist who loves the royals and has an extensive knowledge of the fashion world so her commentary on the media/fashion aspects of the royals is very well-informed. Whenever Meghan or Kate have an official engagement she writes a whole screen full of commentary and Thoughts that are fascinating and also hilarious. Every time there's a new royal engagement I can't wait for her to SMT it and there has been a lot of royal activity this week so I'm loving it!

Currently obsessed with: Essie’s Mrs. Always Right. My friend (hi Kara!) gave me this at my bachelorette party and I just rediscovered it. I typically only use Essie’s Gel Couture colors but wanted something different and reached for this one. It’s so pretty and would be the perfect color year-round. 

Weekend plans: Going to Naples! We leave tomorrow and I am beyond excited for sunshine, dresses and lots of reading.

Have a great weekend!
xo Catherine 

Friday Day Dreams - February 22

February 22, 2019

This week's high: Mark started a new job! I’m so excited for him and really hope that it’s a good fit. He’ll be working from home, which he’s excited about and I know Louie will be pumped to have a buddy with him all day 😊

This week's low: All of the snow. While I love snow, let’s just say I’m counting down the days until we go to Florida next weekend!

What I'm reading: I just finished An Anonymous Girl. I got my mom Book of the Month for Christmas and got to pick a free book for myself so this was my pick. It’s a thriller about a woman who finds herself a subject in a psychology study where the professor who’s running the study has dark, ulterior motives. 

What I'm watching: Mark and I are trying to finish up our list of Oscars movies but for TV we’re currently watching True Detective season 3 and so far so good!

Best thing from the internet: This is a few weeks old at this point but I loved this video of a corgi riding a horse😂

Currently obsessed with: Neutrogena Hydro Boost gel. I’ve been having a lot of issues with acne lately so I’ve been seeing a dermatologist who has me using retinol to help with the breakouts so my skin is verrrrry parched. I’m talking can’t put makeup on without it peeling. I was doing some research on drugstore extra hydrating moisturizers and came across this one. I’m only about a week into using it but it’s been super helpful so far!

Weekend plans: Tonight is my company holiday party (better late than never, right?) and then watching the Oscars on Sunday! No other plans as of now. 

Have a wonderful weekend, friends!

xo Catherine 

What I Wore to Work for a Month

February 19, 2019

I'm so excited to introduce today's post because I've been preparing it for over a month! I kept feeling guilty that I wasn't shooting outfits for the blog but in the winter I tend to feel less inspired and am rarely in the mood to stand outside in 20 degree weather for photos😇Enter the mirror selfie. I documented what I wore to work every day for four weeks in the hopes of inspiring myself to get a bit more creative with my outfits this month. Along the way I learned that I basically only ever wear my hair down, I love my cognac booties, and that I gravitate towards a lot of red, black and camel in the winter months.

 A few things to note: 
1. To be totally transparent, I did rewear a few things to show that I do rewear my clothes, but because I was taking photos every day I definitely repeated less than I would have normally. 
2. It was dark most mornings/nights when I was taking photos so please excuse the poor overhead lighting.
3. On the days I was wearing flats, don't fret, I wore boots into the office and swapped shoes inside😊
4. I work at a very casual advertising agency so you'll notice that my outfits are pretty laid back. 

Anywho, I hope you enjoy this little peak into my daily life!what-i-wore-to-work-for-a-month
Middle: Similar black top. J. Crew vest is sold out but I saw some listings for it on Poshmark. Madewell jeansSplendid booties
what-i-wore-to-work-for-a-month
Middle: Similar cashmere sweater. Tuckernuck scarf is sold out but Etsy has some really cool options. Similar Rag and Bone jeansSplendid booties.
what-i-wore-to-work-for-a-month
what-i-wore-to-work-for-a-month
Right: Similar button down. I couldn't find any similar pants but it's this style from Old Navy. Similar flats
what-i-wore-to-work-for-a-month
what-i-wore-to-work-for-a-month
Middle: Similar turtleneck. Tuckernuck scarf is sold out but Etsy has some really cool options. Madewell jeansSplendid booties.
what-i-wore-to-work-for-a-month

I really enjoyed putting this together so I hope you liked it too. January is kind of the worst because it was freezing and I was already sick of my winter clothes so this was a great way to force me to mix it up and not reach for the same four sweaters all the time. I plan to do another version of this in the spring or summer to inspire myself to get creative when there are less layering possibilities. I'm looking forward to it!

xo Catherine 

Recent Reads - Vol. 19

February 13, 2019

Happy Wednesday! I always love writing these posts because I could talk about books all day every day. I'm still getting caught up with sharing all of the books I read in the time I wasn't blogging so some of these are from several months ago. I'll get caught up eventually!

Born a Crime: We read this for my October book club and I really enjoyed it. I wouldn't have picked this up myself since I don't really follow Trevor Noah but it's enjoyable even if you don't know much about him. Trevor writes very beautifully (and comically) about growing up in South Africa and being of mixed race during and after apartheid. I'm ashamed to say I really didn't know all that much about apartheid other than it ended not that long ago so this book was very informative for me. He has so many hilarious anecdotes and I just overall really enjoyed reading his life story. Would I recommend: definitely! Like I said, even if you wouldn't consider yourself a Trevor Noah fan this book is excellent and you'll learn a lot from his firsthand account.

Standard Deviation: This book follows Graham, Audra and their son David in New York as they encounter new neighbors, origami-club members and doormen. Sounds kind of odd, right? I promise it's interesting! Graham had divorced his first wife to marry Audra and then his first wife comes back into the pictures so he can't help comparing them and questioning how he loved two women who were so different. Honestly, this is a book where not a whole lot happens plot-wise, the best parts of the book are just the random scenarios and all of the great character development. Would I recommend: yes. I didn't love this book but I really really liked it.

The Proposal: I had read The Wedding Date so I was very excited for this semi-sequel to come out! The Proposal is about Carlos (who is briefly in The Wedding Date) and Nik who meet at a Dodger's game after a guy who Nik is casually dating proposes to her on the Jumbotron...and she says no. Carlos and his sister rescue Nik from camera crews and then Nik and Carlos end up hitting it off. This is Reese's current book club pick, so if you like her taste you'll enjoy this book! You definitely don't have to have read The Wedding Date first but this does reference it a little bit. Would I recommend: yes! This was such a cute read —like a rom-com in book form.

Becoming: Oh my gosh you guys. I was so so so excited to read this and it did not disappoint. We read it for December book club and everyone loved it. Michelle is an amazing writer and I learned so much about her from this book. It follows her from her childhood on Chicago's south side all the way into the White House. I was actually really surprised at how a-political the book was. She was obviously surrounded by politics but she and Barack tried not to talk about work so the book is much more personal than political. Would I recommend: 1000x yes! Such a good read, especially the story of her and Barack's romance😍

From the Corner of the Oval: I followed up one political memoir with another. This is written by Beck Dorey-Stein who was a stenographer for the White House during the Obama presidency. It was a really interesting look into what it's like to be a White House employee, i.e. all of the protocol, travel, etc. that is part of that lifestyle. The book reads like fiction even though it's her actual life because it's pretty juicy. I wouldn't say it's salacious, but she does write about everyone very candidly, including the affair she had on and off with another staffer. Would I recommend: yes, if you're into politics. I thought the author was kind of immature and wanted to tell her to stop making stupid choices a lot but it was a fascinating read.

One Day in December: I'm sure you've heard of this book since it was Reese's December book club pick but I'm going to tell you about it here too! This is another rom-com, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Laurie makes eye contact with Jack from the top of a double decker bus one night and she swears that there was a connection between them. She spends the next year looking for the mysterious "bus boy" and just when she's about to give up, her best friend brings home her new boyfriend who just happens to be...bus boy. The book follows Jack and Laurie's relationships, friendships and achievements over the next ten years as their lives overlap. Even though it starts around Christmas, I wouldn't call it a holiday book and it can be read at any time. Would I recommend: yes. It was very cute, slightly predictable, but that's just what I'm looking for when I read this genre. 

Have you read any of these books? Would love to know what you thought!
xo Catherine 

Friday Day Dreams - February 8

February 8, 2019

I completely spaced on last week's Friday Day Dreams because it was nuts at work and I honestly just lost track of time. It wasn't until Saturday that I realized it had slipped my mind, that's how much of a week it was. Oh well, lot's to fill you in on today then since it's been two weeks!

This week's high: Our Hewing Hotel staycation last weekend. Not sure if it counts as this week since it was last weekend, but this is my blog and I make the rules, so let's say it does! My in-laws gifted us a night at the Hewing in Minneapolis for Christmas and it was so delightful. We got massages, used their rooftop hot tub, ate some delicious pizza, slept soundly in our gorgeous room and had a delicious brunch. I'd highly recommend the Hewing both for a hotel but also their bar and restaurant are v. good. 

This week's low: Cooking. Mark and I both really dislike cooking but it's obviously a necessity. For some reason the disdain we feel for this task was worse than normal this week and so every night was a struggle. 

What I'm reading: Ghosted. I just started this book this week and am liking it so far! Everyone said it takes a while to get into, but I haven't found that to be the case yet. 

What I'm watching: The Good Place. I finished Schitt's Creek this week and needed another comedy to fill the void. I've tried watching The Good Place before and wasn't that into it but I'm giving it another shot!

Best thing from the internet: I wasn't familiar with Seth Meyers' This is the Kind of Story We Need Right Now segment but saw this video going around this week. It's about a guy who got invited to a random bachelor party and went to it even though he didn't know anyone. It was definitely what I needed to see this week😂

Currently obsessed with: My new cordless vacuum. Hear me out. I am not what you'd call a neat freak 😇 I like things to be put away but when it comes to actually vacuuming, sanitizing, etc., I'm not great. Enter this cordless vacuum that I'm so excited about. We were in desperate need of a new vacuum and I wanted one of the Dyson ones but wasn't willing to shell out $400. This one is a great dupe and had good reviews on Amazon. So far I really love it and that cordless life is so freeing!

Weekend plans: It's going to be a busy weekend. We're going out to a concert at a jazz club tonight and then tomorrow is my cousin's baby shower at my mom's house. After that my sister, mom and I plan to spend the day together, which I'm very excited about. Sunday will then be spent relaxing because three days of plans in a row would just be too much 😉

I hope you have an amazing weekend!
xo Catherine 

Friday Day Dreams - January 25

January 25, 2019

TGIF, friends! This was a looong week for many reasons so this girl is ready for the weekend! 

This week's high: Book club! Our book club met this week to discuss The Girls and it was such a fun night with lots of thought provoking conversation. This may be a theme, as last week's high was also related to seeing friends, but it just brings me so much joy to be surrounded by such amazing women and I always feel energized afterwards. Does this mean that I'm an extrovert?!

This week's low: This is an easy one this week: the weather has been rough. Mark says I'm not allowed to complain because I wanted to move back to MN so bad but when it's single digits you're allowed to complain no matter how much you love the place you live. 

What I'm reading: Good Riddance. When I worked at Google they always had free books that were sent to the Google Play Books team so I was able to snag an advanced copy of this and finally started it this week! It will be available on February 5th and so far it's a fun, cute read! Just what I was in the mood for after my last few books were all pretty heavy. 

What I'm watching: Friends from College. We watched the first season when it came out in 2017 and just assumed it had been canceled since it took two years for season two but we were pleasantly surprised to see it waiting for us in our Netflix queue. It's very funny and the 30 minute episodes are the perfect length.

Best thing from the internet: I was just introduced to this Instagram account when Reese Witherspoon shared one of their videos and they have the cutest curated videos of animals😭

Currently obsessed with: Slippers. I now have three pairs, which is utterly unnecessary but makes it more fun to have options when you wear them literally every single day. Our house is VV cold right now so I'm in my slippers from the second I'm out of bed to the second I get back in bed at the end of the day. J. Crew has the best slippers, IMO, and I've been loving this pair because there are no pesky laces that end up coming untied. 

Weekend plans: I'm hoping for this to be a productive weekend, which means I'll have to overcome the extreme sense of laziness that sets in when it's 8 degrees outside😇I have returns to make, I want to clean out my closet and there's a shelf I've been meaning to build for a month. Wish me luck!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!!
xo Catherine 

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