Monday’s Musings

Hey Cats!

Happy Monday! It is finally starting to feel like fall in Houston, but only because it’s been raining. It was nearly 80 degrees last week, and my sweaters are literally crying in my closet because they want to be set free. It’s to the point where I’m about to wear them anyways. I mean, it’s cold in my office so that counts, right? I think so. Otherwise about 45% of my wardrobe will sit unworn, and I just can’t have that. I digress.

I love to turn everyday objects into lessons about life. For me, it makes things easier to understand if I can compare them to something tangible. I came across this adorable little analogy, and I loved it!

pineapple-print

How cute is this? And it’s so true. It’s important to be confident and stand up for what you believe in, but also important to still be sweet to everyone you meet. It also gives a great answer to the question, “If you were a fruit, what would you be?” I think I may add this to my collage wall, when I get around to that. Also pineapples are very trendy right now, so we should all aspire to be like them.

Don’t forget to be a pineapple this week!

That’s all for meow!

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Last-Minute Costumes: Pineapple and Strawberry

Hey Cats!

I have always loved dressing up, whether its for Halloween, spirit days, date parties, or you know, Wednesday. However, I always wait until the last minute to get my costume together, and there have been a couple of times where I just ended up wearing cat ears. As per usual, I waited until the week of Halloween to decide on my costume, but this time I actually made something! My bestie and I decided to be a pineapple and a strawberry. I found the idea while scrolling through Instagram, and it was so cute and looked so simple to make.

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Also: my face. I usually cut my face out when I take mirror selfies, but obviously I had to get the bow in. It makes me feel awkward to take selfies of my actual face, so this is what I have to offer you. Bye.

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Here’s what you’ll need:

Pineapple:

-1 oversized yellow t-shirt

-black puffy paint

-green bow

Strawberry:

-1 oversized red t-shirt

-white puffy paint

-green bow

Here’s what you do:

First, be sure to put a piece of newspaper inside your t-shirt. This will keep the paint from bleeding through and causing the shirt to stick together!

For the pineapple, simply draw rows of inverted V’s across the entire shirt and the sleeves, like the picture!

For the strawberry, simply draw teardrops haphazardly. You can fill them in if you’d like, but it looks just as good if you don’t!

Also, I was going to make a headpiece of some sort out of green construction paper, but then I found these green spirit bows at HobLob, and as every retired cheerleader knows, DO NOT EVER pass up the opportunity to wear a spirit bow. You will regret it.

These shirts took me maybe 5 minutes each to paint, and cost less than $5 for the entire costume. Pair the tees with black leggings and riding boots and you’re ready to go! This is a great idea for Halloween, date parties, big-little reveal, or any other occasion where you need a cheap but creative costume.

I hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween!

That’s all for meow!

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Fall Shopping List

Hey Cats!

Fall is upon us! Well, here in Houston, fall is still working on making its entrance. It’s being a little shy, but hopefully it will be here to stay within the next couple of weeks! Until now, it’s been too hot (I’m talking still in the 90s) to wear fall clothes, so I’m a little late to the autumn wardrobe party. However, last weekend I went shopping and got a bit more inspiration for my fall must-have list. Here’s what I’m wanting this season:

1. Blanket Scarves

ML blanket scarf

ALL OF THEM. Just kidding, I’m going to limit myself to only buying one (okay, maybe two) this season, mainly because I’m not sure how many opportunities I’m going to have to wear them this season. I’ve been told that it doesn’t even get very cold in Houston, and I honestly don’t like to bundle up if it’s not necessary. I have the classic, camel-colored plaid from last year (that I wore the CRAP out of), but I’m loving all of the monogrammed options from Marley Lilly! I’ve got my eye on the Jingle Green, Jade Plaid, and Royally Plaid.

2. Utility Jackets

Sideline-Sass-jacket

I’ve been wanting this olive-colored outerwear for a couple of years now, so it’s probably time to get one! I love the color, and the relaxed silhouette is the perfect way to pull together a casual outfit. Plus, it looks like it’s not too heavy, which is perfect for this Texas autumn. The jacket pictured is from Sideline Sass, but I’m also loving this maroon JCrew option!

3. Patterned Open Cardigan

Old Navy Cardigan

I love a good cardigan, and I’m in need of some variety in my collection of knits. I have about 5 oatmeal-colored sweaters, and I love them all, but they’re all basically the same. The pattern on this Old Navy cardigan is perfect for fall, and would pair well with a solid tee or a chambray!

4. Destroyed Denim

gap-jeans

As you may have noticed, ripped jeans are back. I was actually talking to my sister about this last week, and she said she found some from high school that still fit, so she can be trendy without spending any money! Unfortunately, the first time that trend rolled around, I was in middle school and my parents bought all of my clothes, and they weren’t big fans of the destroyed denim look, so I don’t have any. Anyways, these girlfriend jeans from Gap are definitely on my list. I actually just bought a dark-wash pair a couple of weeks ago, and I love the fit! I’m also a fan of cuffed jeans with loafers or booties, so these will be perfect for my fall footwear!

5. Black Booties

Nordstrom-black booties

Okay, so I actually already have a pair of black booties, but they have heels so obviously, I need some that are flat. My brown booties are a staple in my fall/winter wardrobe, but sometimes I find myself wishing I had black as well! This Topshop pair from Nordstrom fits the bill perfectly- simple, but the strap detail keeps it from being boring. These would pair well with a piko top and some black jeans for a sleek and chic look.

What are your must-haves for fall? Let me know!

Recipe-Pizza Spaghetti Squash Boats

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We’ve talked about how eating healthy was a big part of my life when I was in college, but unfortunately, I have fallen off the wagon since graduation. For some reason it has been extra hard to cook every night, so when I find healthy recipes that I love, I hang on to them!

I have a love-hate relationship with spaghetti squash. It usually sounds like a good idea at the grocery store, but then once I get home I realize that it’s a lot of trouble, and until now, I didn’t have a super delicious way to prepare it. A few weeks ago I was pushing my cart through Trader Joe’s and saw a spaghetti squash. “I haven’t made one of those in YEARS”, I said to myself, and tossed it in my basket without another thought. Then I got home and it was staring at me, asking me, “now what? Please not just garlic powder and cheese”. So I had to get creative. I scrolled through Pinterest for some inspiration, and came up with this pizza-inspired twice-baked squash.

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Here’s what you will need:

-1 spaghetti squash

-1 cup marinara sauce

-1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese

-1 tbsp olive oil

-salt, pepper, and garlic & onion powder to taste

Here’s what you do:

  1. First, prepare your spaghetti squash. There are a few ways to do this, but you’ll want to cut it in half lengthwise and cook it in the oven for optimum boat shape. Be careful while cutting it, it’s a dangerous task, especially if you only have steak knives. Anyways, bake at 400 degrees for 30-45 minutes, or until it is soft to the touch.
  2. Once the squash is cooked, scrape the “noodles” of one half into a mixing bowl. You can prepare both, but this recipe is for those of us cooking for one! I wrapped the other half in foil and stuck it in the fridge for another day, and just followed the same recipe!
  3. Mix the olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder into the squash.
  4. Then, mix in 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce and 1/4 cup of the cheese.
  5. Next, spoon the squash mixture back into the shell.
  6. Top with the remaining sauce and cheese, and broil until the cheese is brown and bubbly!
  7. Enjoy your boat!

This is a yummy, healthy dinner that’s pretty filling and will make you feel great about yourself. Unless you go overboard on the cheese, which is understandable. Plus, if you’re cooking for only yourself, you have dinner for two nights! Spaghetti squash might just be my friend after all.

Monday’s Musings

Hey Cats!

It has been over a month since I’ve blogged, and I have missed it SO much! It’s been a combination of a lot of things: weekend plans, weeknight meetings, a lack of ideas, a lack of time, and mostly, work. But! That is not necessarily a bad thing! As much as I’ve missed this little blog, I have been doing a lot of other things I love.

Marc Jacobs quote

I’ve known since I was in about the second grade that I love writing. In the past few years, that has turned into a love of blogging, which has taught me a lot about social media and its importance to branding and marketing, for both my personal brand and the organizations I work for. Recently, I have acquired a few extra responsibilities at work, including overseeing the blog and social media accounts. It has been keeping me so busy, even outside of 9-5, but I LOVE it. Having the opportunity to do even more of what I love has been so great, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. That being said, I would love to get back in the Sweet Cats! swing of things! With fall already here, I have a lot of things planned, so stay tuned for a lot more of what I love!

That’s all for meow!

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Friday’s Five

Hey Cats!

Happy Friday…we made it! I feel like this week has flown by, which is great because I’m looking forward to a fun and relaxing weekend. I’m going dancing with some new friends tonight, and then Saturday I plan to lay by the pool until I finish my book, or until I finally reach an acceptable level of tan, whichever comes first.

Here’s what I’ve been loving this week!

1. Fruity Ice Cubes 

Ashley-Brooke-Designs-Fruit-Ice-Cubes-1024x676

I saw these pretty little ice cubes on Ashley Brooke Designs’ Instagram a week or so ago, and I died. 1. They’re beautiful, 2. This looks like a foolproof way to have infused water whenever I want. I had every intention of making these, so I bought raspberries, lemons, and limes at the grocery store. But then I got home and realized that I don’t have ice trays. And then, I went back to the grocery store in the middle of the week because I only had two types of cheese (THE HORROR), and I could not find ice trays anywhere. So we will try another store on another day.

2. Woods comma Elle, Inspirational Figure.

elle-woods2 I found this Buzzfeed article that shares 23 Important Life Lessons You Learned from Elle Woods. You may or may not know that it’s my not-so-secret life dream to be Elle Woods, so obviously I loved it. I used to watch Legally Blonde about once a semester to keep me from giving up, not even a joke.

3. Marley Lilly Downtown Tassel Crossbody 

ML-downtown purse

I love my classic monogrammed clutch  from Marley Lilly (you see it in about 75% of my Instagrams), but I’m also obsessed with this new Downtown Tassel purse. It’s a little dressier, and lately I have been fond of the initials rather than the traditional monogram. Not that I would ever turn either one down. This would be so cute for a night out, gameday, or just when you don’t want to carry your huge bag around!

4. Wall Decor

gold-skull

I have been wanting an animal head decoration on my wall for quite some time. That sounds so weird. But you have this photo for reference, so you know I’m not a freak. I like the deer, but I also like this golden cow skull from Benevolent Jewels! This would be cute wedged somewhere in a gallery wall! I like it because it’s like me- a little bit country, but a little bit glam, too. P.S., Benevolent Jewels has totally re-vamped their site, and it’s fabulous! Head over and check it out!

5. Life Saying

i do what i want

I found this on Pinterest the other day, and it made me think of myself. The other day, I told my friends that “I just have this thing where I don’t do anything I don’t want to do”. Once you get to that point in life, it’s just great. So go do whatever you want this weekend, I sure will.

That’s all for meow!

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Starting From the Bottom

Hey Cats!

It has been quite a while since I’ve had a chance to blog, so I’m happy to be back! Even though I don’t have homework anymore, 9-5 every day is a lot more time consuming than I thought it was going to be, so a lot of evenings after I go to the gym (if I make it there) and cook dinner, it’s 8:30 and time for Bravo and then bed. And since I’m still making friends, I try to do something social on the weekends, like a normal person, so that’s cut out a lot of weekend blogging time as well. But I think we would all agree that real friends are more important than my blog, as fun as it is. I digress.

Speaking of the 9-5, I actually really enjoy the routine of going to work every day. Honestly, I’ve always really liked working. It makes me feel like a productive member of society, it gives me a sense of accomplishment, and I think it gives me a constant opportunity to learn something new, whether that’s about my industry, or about how to do better at my job.

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My first job ever was a summer nanny when I was in high school. That position taught me how to get to work on time and be a semi-responsible person, and led me to develop incredibly unhealthy spending habits, but that’s a story for another day.

The summer after my sophomore year in college, I interned at a law firm in my hometown. It started as two days of shadowing the attorneys, because at that time I wanted to go to law school, but then they told me to come back on the third day, and I just kept showing up until it was time for me to go back to school. That experience will probably always be my favorite, because I learned so much, everything was so interesting, and I loved the people I worked with. I could always tell that they wanted to help me be my best, so that’s what I always tried to do, and continue to try to do.

First of all, the experience of just being in a professional environment was incredibly valuable. Seeing how everyone interacted with each other, with clients, and with other professionals in the field taught me how to interact with those people as well. I observed that it was important to treat people with respect, but also that sometimes it’s necessary to let people know when you mean business. I believe that professionalism is an incredibly important skill to master, and something that should be exhibited in everything from a cover letter, interview, follow-up email, and every day you show up to work. Even on a Monday. This glimpse of the real world that I got from my internship was something that not only helped me get jobs, but it helped me understand what type of  environment I work best in. That being said, choosing a job is a bit like choosing a college- yes, they have to accept you, but first it’s important to do your research to make sure that it’s the place for you, and that your values line up with the company’s.

One other valuable lesson I learned at this job was never to say, “that’s not my job”. Well, I learned how valuable that kind of an attitude is in the workplace. My dad told me that many times growing up, but I never understood why a team-player attitude was so important until I started working in an office. About the second week, I was told to organize the supply closet. I was less than thrilled about this task, because it was across the hall from everyone else’s office, and at this point I still thought my role was practically a junior attorney (L O L). But I did it anyways. It took me about three days. I didn’t whine about it, I didn’t try to get out of it, and I only cried once when I fell off the stepladder and bruised myself in three places. I also didn’t do a crappy job just to get it over with. I have learned that if you work with excellence in even the smallest of tasks, people notice, and they’re more likely to give you larger, more important responsibilities. Also, one time the toilet overflowed in the bathroom, and I had to clean it up. At first I thought about trying to get out of it…that was definitely not my job. I mean, I had cleaned someone else’s toilet on a mission trip, but that was for Jesus. We had a cleaning crew for this. But then, I thought about how much damage it could do, and how clients would react to a closed women’s restroom. Not pretty. So, I cleaned it up, and then spent the next forty-five minutes with a towel trying to soak up the water that had leaked onto the carpet in the hall. Not exactly my favorite day at work, but definitely a memorable one. Through these and other experiences, I learned how important it is, especially in an entry-level position, to have a positive attitude no matter what is thrown at you, and to go into work with the idea that you’re there to help the company as a whole achieve a common goal. So if that means helping a co-worker when she’s overwhelmed, do it. If that means subbing in for the janitor, do it. Now, I’m not saying to let people take advantage of you. If you have too much on your plate, don’t feel like you have to do extra things. And obviously, don’t ever do anything unethical. But by viewing your position as a member of a team rather than an individual, you will show those around you that you take not only yourself seriously, but that you are a full supporter of the company and it’s purpose, and that will get you pretty far.

So if you’re starting from the bottom, the idea is to make sure your whole team gets here. At least that’s what Drake says.

What was the most valuable lesson you learned from your first job? Let me know!

That’s all for meow!

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After-Work Snack: Whole Grain & Hummus

Hey Cats!

After putting it off for an embarrassing amount of weekends, I cleaned my entire apartment last night. It smells super clean and now I don’t want to touch anything for like three weeks. Love that so much. What I don’t love is that I was trying to FINALLY find out who A is on PLL (I mean, I know who it is, because no one can keep a secret, but I need to know the whole story), and my TV just freaked out and froze with 15 minutes left in the episode, and I couldn’t finish it. I have been waiting over 5 years for this. I can’t even. But I digress.

The past few days when I’ve come home from work, I have been wanting something different for a snack. I found this SkinnyGirl lime popcorn that I really love, but a lot of the time I’m not hungry enough for a whole bag of popcorn. I also bought the most delicious hummus from Kroger the other day to spread on my wraps for lunch. I ran around the entire store like a crazy person looking for it, and while I was doing that I decided that it was the most poorly-organized grocery store I had ever set foot in, and vowed never to return. But I probably will, because that hummus is really good. Anyways, I wanted some hummus, but I didn’t have anything to dip in it. Until I remembered my whole grain tortillas that I bought to make wraps for lunch. I cut one into wedges, baked it, and boom! Instant whole grain chips and hummus!

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Also, how cutie is this little red ramekin? My mom got me a set of four for my birthday and I love them- they’re great for so many different things! Now obviously, this isn’t exactly a recipe because homemade tortilla chips are by no means a new concept. But if you’re looking for a healthy snack and don’t have a lot on hand, this is a great option! Just cut a tortilla into wedges or strips (wedges is easier!), place on a baking sheet and bake at 425 for 5-7 minutes, or until crispy! I always buy whole wheat tortillas because it seems like the healthiest option, and I actually really love them in chip form, too! They taste almost like a pita chip, but not as salty, and they have a lighter crisp rather than a crunch. I’m probably going to run out of both tortillas and hummus doing this, but it’s so delicious! Have a wonderful pre-Friday, everyone!

That’s all for meow!

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I’ve Got A Blank Space, Baby…

Hey Cats!

I hope everyone’s Monday was great! Mine was kind of a Monday, not in the sense that it was bad, but it was super busy with lots of things emerging out of the blue. I didn’t even finish my morning reports until after lunch, which really stressed me out. But by the end of the day, things had definitely calmed down, and after a workout and a night of blogging (for both work and fun…yay!) , I’m ready to go today!

Decorating my apartment was something I had looked forward to long before I knew where I would be living. I had most of my wall space planned out: collage wall above my couch, big mirror in the dining room, Audrey Hepburn print surrounded by my antique hat collection above my bed, and a couple of oddly-shaped prints and collage frames to squeeze into the tiny slivers of wall wherever I could find. That pretty much covered everything, except for a few gaping expanses of wall over my TV, my dresser, and in my hallway.

So what to put in these blank spaces? Well I don’t have anybody’s name to write, that’s for sure. But I have been considering a few options, and  maybe you could help me out! I think that all of these options would look great, but the trouble is deciding on only two or three! Here are my options:

prada-marfa

A Prada Marfa canvas is the perfect chic and sleek addition to my apartment. I am 100% sure I’m getting one of these, but I haven’t decided what room I’m going to put it in! There are a lot of options on Etsy, in many different sizes. I’m wanting one that’s fairly large so it will cover a lot of wall space.

Deco+Radiance+Wall+Mirror

I’m also considering a sunburst mirror for above my dresser. I found this one on Wayfair, but I bet you could also find one at Home Goods (my favorite place ever) or Hobby Lobby!

wall-monogram

Obviously I’m considering a wall monogram, like this big one from Marley Lilly. It comes unfinished, but I would probably paint it gold, gray, or black! I thought about doing a design but I do not have that type of talent, so one color it is. But glitter is also an option, per usual.

Watercolor-canvas

I also love the idea of a watercolor canvas. This one from Pottery Barn is beautiful, but it wouldn’t really match the rest of my decor. I have my eye on one at HomeGoods, it’s navy, gray, pink and gold and would look perfect on any of my blank spaces- plus it’s a lot cheaper!

collage-wall

Finally, I’m considering another collage wall, because it’s perfect for those of us who can’t decide. I also have a couple of small art pieces that need a home, so this is looking like a good option. And obviously I would love to find quite a few more!

So now that you’ve seen my options, which ones are your favorite? Let me know!

That’s all for meow!

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Monday’s Musings

Hey Cats!

Happy Monday! Last week was beyond busy- I had plans every night, and barely had time to be at my apartment, let alone blog! I got to spend a lot of time with friends, both new and old, which was awesome, but by the time the weekend rolled around, I was absolutely exhausted. I slept from 9:30 Friday night until 11:15 Saturday morning, and it was the best thing that has ever happened to me. Part of the reason I was so exhausted was because I went to the Outcry concert in downtown Houston on Thursday night! It was an awesome night of worship with Kari Jobe, Bethel, the Passion band, Hillsong, and a few more bands that I can’t really remember. I went with some of the girls who were in my Bible study back in College Station. We had been planning this since March or April, and I was excited not only for the concert, but to see them as well! They’re some of my besties, and I’ve missed them a lot these past couple of months! We had a great time catching up and worshiping together, and we even got to see our Bible study leaders!

Hillsong is one of my favorite worship bands, and it was beyond awesome to see them in real life! I know most of their older songs, but they also sang a few of their new songs that I hadn’t heard before. One song in particular caught my attention. It was called Touch the Sky and I just absolutely loved it. It talks about the abundant life we have when we choose to give our lives over to Jesus completely.

hillsong-quote

I will be completely honest: I have a hard time turning to God when I’m wanting to touch the sky, or accomplish things. I like to think that Kristen can do everything all by herself. But the truth is that I absolutely cannot. These words made me realize that the only way I will be able to reach heights is by being humble and asking God to guide me, direct me, and teach me, and actually listen to Him. And even if I do not accomplish my goals, I am able to touch the sky simply by being able to talk to, praise, and serve Jesus who loves me so much and chose me to be His.

I know this was a little different from the usual, but I definitely felt like this was something I needed to share. Thanks for reading!