Red, White, and Blue

Hey Cats!

Hopefully everyone’s week is off to a good start! And even if it’s not, it’s going to be a short week, so you won’t have to deal with it for a long time. I’m excited to get a chance to sleep late an extra day, and maybe go shopping because #payday. Except maybe not because I’m still terrified to spend money because I’m still trying to learn how to be an adult. But I digress.

July 4th is such a fun holiday in my opinion. I wish more holidays were in the summer, just because it’s more fun to be at the lake or outside than inside and cold. Also, I love picking out a red, white, and blue outfit to wear to whatever get-together I’ll be attending. I bought a super cute red bandana-like tank last summer, and I’ve promised myself that I was going to wear that with my blue jean shorts. But if I hadn’t planned ahead, which is usually the case, here are a few things I would be considering for the 4th!

firework shorts

How adorable are these Fireworks shorts from Old Navy? I almost want to go buy them and wear them instead of my other shirt! Plus, they’re under $15 right now, which gives you a great excuse to run out and buy them if you don’t know what you’re wearing yet. Paired with a white eyelet tank or a red solid tee, these would be the perfect pants for a backyard barbecue!

scarf

This flag scarf from Sideline Sass would be the perfect way to spice up an outfit of basic pieces, like white jeans and a black tank. But only if you’re planning on being inside, because hot.

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If you’re looking for a slightly more girly option, a sundress is a perfect choice. This Monterey Tank dress from Lilly Pulitzer is a wonderful combination of patriotic and feminine, mostly because it has a little touch of pink!

america-bikini

If you’re planning at hanging out by the pool or at the lake all day, this Stars & Stripes bikini is an easy way to squeeze red, white, and blue into your day. Pair this with a cute cover-up and lots of sunscreen!

And as always, it’s not the 4th of July without this little gem:

pauletteI hope you all look like a true patriot this Independence Day, whatever you choose to wear. That’s what Paulette would want.

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Monday’s Musings

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Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend- I sure did! After work on Friday, I went to hang out with my bestie Ashley and some of her friends. Then on Saturday, we went to brunch at LaMadeleine- their eggs Benedict is served on a croissant instead of an English muffin, and I LOVED it. Then later, we headed to downtown Houston for the Garth Brooks concert! It was an awesome show, and both Garth and Trisha Yearwood were fantastic! We’re already planning to go see Garth at the Houston rodeo next spring…he told us he would be there.

As fun as this weekend was, it was also really tiring! I took a two hour nap yesterday, and went to bed early, because I was exhausted last week, and I can’t do it again. So that’s why I chose this quote this week:

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I’m hoping that this Monday is short and not too full of surprises. I’m finally getting the hang of my job, so there shouldn’t be too many things that are out of the ordinary anymore. And strong coffee and a good outfit always helps, especially on a Monday. Here’s hoping that a short Monday with strong coffee and a well-put together outfit starts your week off right, too!

That’s all for meow!

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Friday’s Five

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Happy Friday! It’s been a short week for me, because on Monday, I was at home in Tyler for a doctor’s appointment. It was nice to be at home, but to be honest, I’ve had a hard time getting back into my regular routine at work! Per usual, I’m super excited for the weekend, partly because I finally get to sleep in, but mostly because I’m going to the Garth Brooks concert on Saturday with my bestie Ashley! I love Garth, so I’m beside myself, and obviously I already have my outfit picked out. Even though it was a short week looking forward to the weekend, I still found five things I’m loving this week.

1. A Big Announcement

monogrammed-life

I’m so excited to share that I am now a contributing blogger to Marley Lilly‘s blog, The Monogrammed Life! Some of my posts that I share here may also be on their site as well! For years, I’ve been wanting to establish a partnership with a company I love through my blog, but I always felt like my blog wasn’t fancy enough, or that it had too many words and not enough pictures of clothes. However, that wasn’t something I was willing to change, so I decided that it was better to be patient and wait for someone who loved my blog the way it was. I’ve always loved Marley Lilly products, and I’m very happy they love my work as well! Check out my bio on the site, and be sure to follow along to see other great posts from my fellow contributors!

2. Sprinkle Bowls

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I came across these sprinkle bowls on Pinterest, and they are adorable. I love sprinkles on my ice cream, so how fun would it be to eat my ice cream out of a bowl made out of sprinkles? I need to have a party and make these ASAP.

3. A Sassy Mug

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ban.do, the best place for sassy desk accessories has done it again. Like my pencil pouch that lets everyone know that I do not have time for games, this travel mug takes the liberty of saying what I’m thinking all the time. I need it.

4. Kendra Scott Bracelet

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I’ve been wanting some new Kendra for my jewelry collection lately, and I’m loving this Grady bracelet! It’s dainty, but still adds a pop of color to your outfit!

5. Bethenny

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Because without her, RHONY would be literally nothing this season.

That’s all for meow!

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A Shorts Story

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It may be the end of June, but it’s finally starting to feel like summer in Houston! It’s warmer, and most importantly, it’s finally stopped raining…at least for about a week. I love shorts, sundresses, sandals, and tanks, so whenever summer weather rolls around, I get really excited! Unfortunately, I can’t wear too much of that to work, but I don’t think that will stop me from buying a whole closet full anyways.

The first thing I get excited about is sandals, because free feet, obviously. Following closely behind that is shorts, because my legs can also be free. Basically, I don’t like to be trapped in clothing of any kind, and summer is a great time to give my appendages a chance to breathe. This summer, I’ve had my eye on a few pairs of shorts that I’d love to add to my closet. I’ve previously discussed the importance of a good pair of denim shorts, and the basic color chinos everyone needs, so what I’m looking at this season is a little less practical, but a lot more fun.

lilly-shorts

These Buttercup Scallop Hem shorts from Lilly Pulitzer are everything I want to be in life: cute, classic, a little unexpected, and an all-around favorite. I mean, they’re scalloped, what more could you want? I am definitely planning on taking a pair of these home for myself, once I decide what pattern I want…they’re all so pretty! These would look cute with a solid, loose-fitting tee and sandals for brunch, or with a chambray and a pair of wedges for dinner at the beach!

jcrew-blue-chinos

Up next are these JCrew Factory chinos in Alpine Blue. Honestly, you can never have too many chinos, and it’s my personal mission to own every color. Last summer I bought the festival blue, and in addition to this pair, I want the vibrant flame pair, too. The thing I love about JCrew chinos is that they’re durable, classic, flattering, and you can always get a good deal on them if you just keep your eye on the website! They’re actually $19.50 right now, but I’m working on not spending all my money, so I’m going to have to control myself until I get my next paycheck. Pray for me.

larkin-shorts

These Larkin shorts from Sideline Sass would be perfect for going out! They’re fancy and fun, but they also have an elastic waistband which is always a dream come true. The girly lace trim is also a nice touch. These could be dressed up or down, but I think they would be perfect paired with a navy tank, a tassel necklace, and sandals for a casual night out.

sheinside-shorts

These tassel shorts from SheInside are a great way to have a little fun without going too crazy. I’m loving the tassel trend this summer, and this would be an easy way to give it a try. Plus, they’re under $15 right now! These would look great with a crisp, white structured top, or even over a swimsuit at the beach or pool.

What shorts are you thinking about adding to your closet this year? Let me know!

That’s all for meow!

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Friday’s Five

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Yayay Friday! I’m so exited for the weekend! I don’t have a lot planned, but I’m excited to have some time to rest, clean, and get caught up on thank-you notes from graduation. I did have some of what would usually be “weekend fun” on Pre-Friday yesterday, but more on that in a minute. As much as I definitely needed and enjoyed being by myself these past few weeks, the “new” is starting to wear off and I’m ready to make some new friends here. I started visiting churches a few weeks ago, so hopefully I will find a group of people to hang out with soon! But until then, it looks like it will be gourmet pizzas on Friday nights. I mean, hey, life could be worse. Here’s what I’m loving this week:

1. Burd Jewelry

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Last week, I received an invitation from Natasha, the creator of Burd Jewelry, to attend her second trunk show in Rice Village! I was excited because it was my first trunk show as a blogger, Rice Village is one of my favorite parts of Houston, and her jewelry is so beautiful and surprisingly affordable! I will be writing an entire post on Burd next week, but until then, check it out for yourself!

2. Holy Crepes

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After the trunk show, my bestie Ashley and I headed over to Sweet Paris Creperie for dinner. We’ve been here quite a few times, because it’s the best. This time, I tried something new and ordered the Ham & Gruyere crepe and I almost DIED it was so good. We also had a lemon dessert crepe, which was the perfect crisp finish to our meal. If you’re in Houston, be sure to stop by, even if it’s just for dessert! It’s also incredibly adorable inside.

3. The Skimm

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As you all know, I cannot start my mornings without The Skimm. It’s a quick little email that gives you the rundown on current events in an easy-to-read, easy to understand format with fun little subject lines (possibly my favorite part) such as “Whoomp there it is”, etc. Want to know what’s going on in Washington, the Middle East, and even in cyberspace? Then Skimm it. That way when someone brings up the FIFA corruption in conversation, you can at least say, “you know, I have heard a bit about that”. BOOM. Adulthood made easy.

4. Cookie Butter Iced Coffee

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THIS IS NOT A DRILL, I REPEAT, NOT A DRILL. Lauren from DC Girl in Pearls, God bless her. She is a saint for sharing this with us all. I found her recipe for Cookie Butter Iced Coffee the other day, and after that I couldn’t really focus on anything else. I mean, it’s cookie butter and coffee. What a time to be alive. I still have to find a lazy girl’s method for iced coffee for this to work well, though. I think that’s going to be my weekend project. Maybe it can be yours too!

5. Milania Guidice

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Miss her. She’s going to be that friend you can count on to say what everyone’s thinking, but nobody really wants to say out loud. And somebody needed to tell Tre, if we’re being real.

That’s all I’ve got. Have a great weekend!

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Recipe- Apricot Arugula Prosciutto Pizza

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It’s Pre-Friday! That’s my new favorite way to refer to Thursday thanks to The Skimm. I feel like this week has gone by super fast- it seems like it was just the weekend yesterday! Speaking of weekends, one of my favorite things to do when I don’t have other plans is to make something new for dinner. It’s a long process that keeps me entertained for quite some time: I find a recipe, go to the grocery store, and then go home and make myself dinner! I know this makes me sound SUPER lame, but I promise I don’t do this like, every weekend. But I always find really great recipes, and I’m going to share my latest treasure with you!

I found this recipe in my Pioneer Woman cookbook, and I’ve been wanting to make it for a while. I had every intention of making it just as the recipe said, but the only fig spread I could find was about $6 for a tiny jar, and the other ingredients were getting pretty expensive, so I opted to use apricot jam instead! It turned out really delicious!

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Here’s what you’ll need:

– 1 pizza crust (I’m not actually Ree Drummond, so I didn’t feel obligated to make my own- I used a refrigerated crust!)

-1/2 cup apricot jam

-One 12oz log of fresh mozzarella

-8 oz prosciutto (I just found a small package in the deli section, pre-sliced and ready to go!)

– About 1 &1/2 cups of arugula

-Shredded Parmesan cheese

Here’s what you do:

1. First, roll out the pizza dough onto a slightly greased cookie sheet. Spread it out evenly until it reaches the edge of the pan, or as close as it will get.

2. Next, spread the apricot jam evenly on the crust, leaving a little space on the edge.

3. After that, slice the mozzarella into thin rounds, and place them all over the pizza.

4. Bake at 425 for 12-15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the crust is cooked.

5. Then, place the prosciutto slices on top of the cheese. I tore a couple of mine into smaller pieces to make sure there was prosciutto everywhere. 

6. Next, pile on the arugula. I didn’t pile mine too high, because I knew I was going to have over half of the pizza left over, and I wasn’t sure how it would keep in the fridge (update: it was perfect! The arugula didn’t wilt or anything!).

7. For the finishing touch, sprinkle a little Parmesan cheese over the top of the pizza. Enjoy!

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I had to stop myself from not inhaling this whole pan by myself. The combination of the sweet apricot, creamy mozzarella, salty prosciutto, and spicy arugula is genius. It reminds me of my favorite pizza from Napa Flats in College Station: it’s date, prosciutto, and truffle oil and it’s also the perfect combo of sweet and salty. UGH so good. This pizza will change your life, I promise. You could whip this up for a night with friends, or you could make it for yourself and eat it for three days straight like I did! Either way, you can’t lose. Thanks again to Ree, my Aggie basketball bestie for the recipe!

That’s all for meow!

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TJMaxx Tweak- Lilly Pulitzer Maxi

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For some reason, I am exhausted this week! I’m not sure if it’s because I had a busy weekend, if my regular 6-hour sleep schedule isn’t going to cut it any more, or if it’s because I haven’t been going to the gym regularly anymore. But I should probably start going to the gym again, for a variety of reasons. I’ve been wanting to join a gym, but I can’t find one with an indoor track, and I’m just going to have to convince myself to start running on the treadmill, which could take some time. The treadmill is just so boring, though. I feel like you run forever, but you never get anywhere!  The rec center at school kind of became my second home, and I’m going to have a hard time finding a place that I love as much as I did. Nevertheless, I need to go somewhere, so I’m just going to have to suck it up and start paying for a membership. Ugh. But I digress.

For the longest time, I knew that I wanted to get a Lilly Pulitzer shift dress for graduation. I wanted something classic, Southern, and grown-up, and a Lilly shift had all of those qualities. In November when I started looking, I had my heart set on the Janice shift dress in Shorely Blue.

janice-shift

It was perfect, and I was so excited about it. But, it was definitely expensive, and I wasn’t doing a great job at saving my money. Around spring break, I realized that I probably wasn’t going to be able to afford it. While I was at home for spring break, I went shopping with my mom and sister for Easter dresses, and though I wasn’t happy about it, I started looking for graduation dresses, too. I couldn’t find anything I loved (for graduation…I found about 5 I wanted for Easter…I had two different looks I was going for, okay?) at the first few places we went, and I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. The next day, my mom and I went to TJMaxx to look for a new top to go under my suit, and I thought I would browse the dress section while I was there, just in case.

AND THAT’S WHEN I FOUND IT. I saw the recognizable, bright-colored, juice-stand print peeking out of the rack, and I literally ran to it. They had my size, but there was one problem…it was a maxi dress. My mom was like “I don’t think this is going to work,” but I dragged her into the dressing room anyways-you can’t get what you want if you don’t even try.

I tried it on, and just as I expected it was WAY too long for me. But it fit perfectly everywhere else, and it was beyond gorgeous. I loved it, my mom loved it, and I had to have it. I twirled around in it for a while, and then I had an epiphany. “What if I cut it off and make it a shift dress?”, I asked my mom. She thought it was a wonderful idea, and we spent the next fifteen minutes in the dressing room deciding where we could cut it off, if the alteration place could actually do it, what to do with all the extra fabric, and of course, what shoes I was going to wear. It was the best thing that ever happened to me. Not really, but graduation has come and gone and I’m still just really excited about it.

Here’s what the dress looked like when I bought it:

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Please disregard the HUGE MESS that is my closet at my parent’s house. I was going to take a better picture of it, but I forgot until I was at the alteration shop and the lady held her scissors up to it and said “there’s no going back now!”. So this is the best I’ve got. Anyways, don’t you love it? I will admit that it made me a little sad to cut off all that extra fabric, especially since it had that beautiful lace trim on it. But my mom and I salvaged the fabric and I’m thinking about making a skirt out of it! Also, since this was at TJMaxx, I’m pretty sure it’s out of season. I don’t recognize this print, but I still really love it!

And here’s what it looked like after alterations:

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I’m obsessed. Still. I will seriously wear this thing as long as it fits, because we all know that Lilly is timeless. I was so happy to find it, especially since my dreams of a Lilly dress were crushed by my financial irresponsibility. Speaking of, you’re probably wondering how much I paid to make my graduation dreams come true. The dress itself was $80, and alterations were $20, so $100 total. Still not cheap, but significantly less than buying my first choice! I’ve never been one to tweak clothes to my liking, because most of the time, alterations are kind of a hassle, and it seems easier to me to just find something else that fits how I want it to. But do you remember Monday’s talk about not settling? Yeah, this was about the time in my life that I decided not to settle for anything I didn’t really want, and I decided that yes, that even applied to my clothes. Also, I really like the idea that probably no one else has this exact dress. I’m definitely going to start searching for more bargain pieces that I can tweak to my tastes. This is a great way for those of us who are extremely picky to customize our wardrobes without spending a fortune!

That’s all for meow!

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Father’s Day Gift Guide

Hey Cats!

Did anyone else have a rough time getting going this week? Because I did. I was nearly late to work yesterday because I was being a slowpoke and just wanted to crawl back in bed. It also didn’t help that I couldn’t decide what to wear, and tried on about four different outfits before I gave up because I had five minutes to do my hair and makeup. Hashtag Monday. But it’s Tuesday and I went to bed super early last night, so I should have it together today, but stay tuned.

As do all important holidays, Father’s Day snuck up on me this year. Did you know it’s June 22? It is. That’s a little under 3 weeks from now… yikes! Also, my dad’s birthday is the 24th, so I’m probably just going to order both gifts at the same time. My dad and I are besties, and I always like to get him something special, and now that I actually have a job, I can buy him something a little nicer than a belt or a tie. Here are a few things I’m considering:

fishing-shirt

Dads love fishing shirts, like this Columbia shirt from Academy.  I would totally get my dad one of these, but he has like, at least five. I know he would probably love another one, but I think this is what I’ve gotten him for the past couple of years. I think dads like these because they can wear them basically anywhere. To the lake, to a football game, or even a casual dinner. I mean, I even have a couple myself. Everyone loves these. Buy matching ones for you and your dad for extra points.

boot-bag

My dad has quite the collection of boots, something we have in common. We all hate traveling with boots, because they take up so much space, and if they get dirty (which is inevitable), you don’t want to put them back in your suitcase. If your dad likes to lug his Luccheses whenever he goes on a trip, this boot bag from Jon Hart is an excellent choice. You can even personalize it, which if you think I love monogramming my own objects, imagine how much I love monogramming gifts for others…about 5x as much.

SCHEDULE.0

Another great option is football tickets, or tickets to another sporting event. My parents have season tickets to Aggie games, but I am considering getting my dad tickets to a Rice game (not sure if my dad reads my blog, but if he does I may have just ruined the surprise. So oops.), since he played football at Rice, and now that I live in Houston, it would be an easy trip!

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My dad is a real estate agent, so he always carries business cards. I’ve almost bought him this business card case from Marley Lilly three different times, but I always run out of time to order it! I think it would be a good way for him to keep track of his cards when he’s out and about!

What are you thinking about getting your dad for father’s day? Let me know!

That’s all for meow!

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Monday’s Musings

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Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a good weekend! I got to see my family this weekend, which was wonderful. My sister and her husband came to see me on Saturday, and we went to lunch and explored my new neighborhood a bit! Then on Sunday, I got to spend some time with my parents, and they got to see my apartment without boxes all over the floor. It was a great weekend, and I’m excited to go back for another week at work!

Speaking of my job, I am really enjoying it. I definitely still have a lot to learn, but I’m starting to get used to everything and not be so overwhelmed. I think it’s going to be a great way for me to learn about the administration side of healthcare, which is the direction I want my career to head in.

While I was looking for a job, I started freaking out once January rolled around, and started considering taking anything rather than what I really wanted. But at the same time, I didn’t want to take a job doing something I didn’t want to do, or end up living somewhere I didn’t want to be. I had quite a few “requirements” for what I wanted out of a job: something in healthcare, preferably pediatrics, something in the Houston area, and something that would give me the opportunity to help other people. But most importantly to me was to be in Houston. I have a lot of friends here, I love the city, and I think it’s a good place for me to be at this point in my life. I started applying for jobs at hospitals in the Medical Center, which is home to some of the best hospitals in the world. It wasn’t long after I received my first rejection letter from one of these hospitals that I realized I wasn’t going to go straight to the top fresh out of college. So I started to re-think my career goals. I applied to lots of PR jobs, social media specialist positions, and even positions in the fashion industry. But something kept pulling me back to the healthcare field, even though I had convinced myself that it probably wasn’t going to happen. There are a few really great hospitals in Tyler, where I’m from, and they actually had quite a few positions that I would have liked and was qualified for. But I knew I didn’t want to go back to Tyler, and just as I felt really strongly about working in the healthcare field, I felt like Houston was the place for me. I knew I was being really picky, but I kind of didn’t care.

dont-settle-qupte

 

I found a lot of jobs that I was “qualified” for. I found a lot of jobs that I may have been pretty good at. I found a lot of jobs in Tyler, Dallas, College Station, and places inbetween that sounded like something I would want to do. But I couldn’t do it- I was dead set on Houston. In fact, I only applied to two jobs that weren’t in Houston, one in Austin and one in College Station. I don’t think my parents know this, but I didn’t apply to a single job in Tyler. I started on a few applications, but I never finished them. Part of me was terrified that I was putting myself in an impossibly small box, but the other part of me was terrified to settle for something I didn’t want. So I kept applying, but only for jobs I thought I would love, in places I thought I would enjoy, constantly praying that the Lord would work things out for me.

The end of April, I received a job offer from a company in College Station. It was something I think I really would have enjoyed, but (along with a few other factors), I knew that after graduation, it was time for me to move on from Aggieland, as much as I loved it. As much as it scared me, I knew that it wasn’t the job for me and I needed to turn it down. I called them and declined the offer on a Wednesday afternoon, came to terms with the fact that I was going home to Tyler after graduation by Thursday morning, and received an offer for my job in Houston by lunch on Friday. Now, I know that this doesn’t happen for everyone. And honestly, I wasn’t really sure it was going to happen for me until it actually did. But, with lots of faith in myself and, what I was capable of, a refusal to settle, and most importantly, lots of prayer and a belief that God would provide exactly what I needed, I was pleasantly surprised.

Aside from my job search, there were quite a few things I decided not to settle on this year. Not settling for boys I knew were bad news. Not settling for three laps when I knew I could run four. Not settling for surface-level friendships with people I met this year when I knew I would be gone in a few months. Not settling for taking the easy way to being accepted and doing what was right instead. Not settling for missing out on anything my senior year even though I didn’t have time for it. And you know what? All of that was really hard. But I know that it helped me learn not to accept anything I didn’t want, in every area of my life. I guess the moral of the story is to trust God, trust your gut, and when you feel deep down inside that something isn’t right for you, don’t do it. You may have to wait a while for something else to come along, but it will definitely be worth it.

That’s all for meow!

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Friday’s Five

Hey Cats!

Yay for Friday! I’m super excited for this weekend, because I get to see my sister and the rest of my family! I only got to see my sister a couple of times the week I was at home before I moved, so I can’t wait to see her and show her my new apartment! She and her husband have a wedding in Houston, so I will see them before, and then I’m riding with them to my dad’s side of the family’s family reunion, where I will see my parents!

It’s been a great first full week of work! Here’s what else I’ve been loving this week:

1. The Pioneer Woman’s Crunchy French Toast

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Well, she’s done it again. Ree Drummond, my culinary hero and fellow Aggie basketball lover posted a picture of this DIVINE-looking French Toast on her Instagram page last week, and I had to know what made it crunchy. GUYS. She breaded her French Toast in Panko bread crumbs and then cooked it in butter. I’m dead. I need it. I don’t know when I’ll use the rest of a loaf of bread, but I have to try it. Maybe Saturday morning? Yes.

2. Monogrammed Wrapping Paper

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Just when I thought we had run out of objects to monogram, they found another one. This monogrammed gift wrap from Ann Page is the only way I will accept gifts from this day forward. Just kidding, I accept gifts in any form. Always. But really, how adorable is this? Just so Southern. Except I do have one question…do you get it with your monogram, or the monogram of the person you’re giving the gift to? If you have any clarification, please share.

3. JCrew Chino Shorts

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Since it’s warm now, I will inevitably buy a new color of JCrew chino shorts. They’re just the best, and they’re always such a good deal during the summer! This year, I have my eye on this vibrant flame pair. How cute would these be with a white eyelet tank? Too cute.

4. What’s Gaby Cooking Instagram

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One of my favorite ways to waste time is by scrolling through the Discover page of Instagram. Mine is typically filled with pictures of food, and I’m not even sorry about it, because this has led to my discovery of multiple delicious Instagram accounts, and blogs too! My latest unearthed treasure? What’s Gaby Cooking. Just look at those delicious burgers, fresh produce, and yummy desserts! She also has a pretty cool blog where she tells you how to make all of these treats. Check it out!

5. Weekend Inspiration

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Eat more tacos. Duh.

I hope you all have a great weekend! That’s all for meow!

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