Big News-I’m Moving!

Hey Cats!

I’ve been a little MIA on the blog lately. Some of that is because I’ve been busy, but also because I have been working on something BIG…I’M MOVING!! Not physically, virtually. For the past month, I’ve been busy designing my brand new website, and I cannot wait to share it with you!

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The brand new site will be launching Saturday, July 2, so in just NINE short days!! Ahh I still have so much to do, but I’m so excited! I’ll be changing the name of the blog and have an updated, cleaner look, but the sassy, real-life content will remain the same. With this new, more professional design, I’d like to pursue more collaborations and partnerships, but as always, I will only promote products I believe in and give my honest opinion on products I receive to review.

To be honest, I’m a little sad to leave Sweet Cats! behind. This blog has been a part of my life since before I went to college- 5 years! It’s been a hobby, a creative outlet, a great place to learn, and it even helped me land my current job. But, for a long time I’ve known that if I ever want to reach my full potential as a blogger, I needed a more serious and professional space. So after years of debating, I went for it! The great thing is, the name and appearance are the only things that have changed! I’ll still have Friday’s Few, easy recipes, affordable style, and of course the Gif of the Week. In the words of JLo, I’m still Jenny from the block. Except I’m actually Kristen from the suburbs, but you catch my drift.

SO, what does this mean for you, my loyal readers? I would love for you to come with me! I don’t want to lose any of you, so I’m trying to make this transition as simple as possible. All of my old content will be on my new site, so if you’re looking for a favorite recipe, you can find it in my archives! Please make sure you’re following me on social media, especially Twitter since that will be the easiest place to find the link to my new site! If you follow via Bloglovin’, I’m still trying to figure out how to make that transition. I think I can just switch my old site out for my new one, but I’m not sure! If not, I will be making a new Bloglovin’ account and would love to have you all follow along there! Most importantly, once the new site is launched, traffic from Sweet Cats! will be redirected to my new site. So if nothing else, just head over here any time after July 2nd and you’ll be sent straight to the new stuff!

I can’t wait to share what I’ve been working on, but I’ll enjoy these last few days on Sweet Cats!. Thank you so much for reading for all these years, and I would love for you to join me on my new site!

That’s all for meow!

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Mi-i-iami! Vacation Recap

Hey Cats!

Did you miss me last week? While I had an awesome time on my trip, I definitely missed blogging a bit! It’s good to be back in the swing of things! Hopefully this week will be less crazy than last week! I was on vacation Sunday-Wednesday, went to work on Thursday, where I was surprised with cookies to celebrate my one year anniversary with the company, then left early due to severe weather (more flooding in The Woodlands) and left early again on Friday due to continued flooding. I’m honestly just looking forward to a nice, normal week! And for El Nino to calm himself, because Houston is tired of all these floods. I digress.

Y’all. Miami was THE. BEST. I’ve never taken a full-fledged girl’s trip before (most likely because I’ve never been gainfully employed and if I would have asked my parents to send me to the beach with my friends they would have said, LOL, no). But it was seriously so fun. If you’ve never taken a trip with your closest friends, you need to do it. Even if you’re like, 80. The laughs, the memories, and the sass are unforgettable. Also, it was fabulous to not do work for like three whole days.

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First things first, our condo was incredible. We stayed at Marenas Resort in Sunny Isles, and had a view of both the ocean and the city, which was great. Our room had a kitchen, living room, and awesome balcony that we took way too many photos on. Also, the pool was great, and each day we had our own little chairs on the beach! I got plenty of use out of my monogrammed floppy hat and breezy cover-up!

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Since we were only there for three days, we had lots of adventure to pack in! We drove around in our sassy little rent car that we named Sasha, to the Everglades for an airboat tour (complete with holding a baby alligator, OMG), and to the Port of Miami for jet ski tours! We only got lost once, which is kind of a huge accomplishment considering the road system in Florida is incredibly confusing.

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We had “Fancy Dinner Night”, which ended with no one loving their expensive food and McFlurry’s on the way home. But we looked real cute! As you can tell, we had a blast the entire time. No one got tired of each other (that I know of) and we even watched the premier of The Bachelorette on Monday night, complete with pizza and brackets- we’ve decided to be hardcore fans this season. It was like living with your best friends but no one has responsibilities and you can just have fun all the time. I want that to happen every day.

 

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This was a great trip, for many reasons! It was a great way to celebrate one year of post-grad life, an awesome time with my friends, and a wonderful way to relax!  My friends and I realized that before we went on this trip, we’d never even spent the night at each other’s houses. By the end, we had seen it all: a 3 am wakeup call for a 5 am flight, a full day with only 2 hours of sleep, devouring a whole bag of peanut butter M&Ms in one day, forgotten clothing, and hangry attitudes whilst running through the Atlanta airport trying to catch our flight back to Houston. It’s safe to say that this trip was a bonding experience- but an unforgettable one at that!

I know reading about the beach isn’t the same as going- but I had to share! Stay tuned, as next week I will be sharing my Girl’s Trip Must-Haves, now that I’m a seasoned vacation professional.

That’s all for meow!

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Post-Grad: A Year Later

Hey Cats!

Exactly a year ago today, May 16, 2015, I walked across the stage at Texas A&M, was handed a diploma and thrown out into the world to fend for myself. Just kidding, it was an amicable split. I remember being so excited and proud of myself but sad and terrified all at the same time. Honestly, sometimes I still feel that way. I can’t believe it’s already been a year! It’s been an interesting one for sure, but a happy year as well. Here are some things I’ve learned about myself, life, and Jesus this year:

I'm an educated woman!

P.S. my diploma is still in that tube.

1.You don’t have as much free time as you did in college. I remember my Bible study leader telling us that we’ll never have as much discretionary time as we did at the time, and honestly I didn’t believe her (sorry Kate- but I know now!). I was always busy in college, rushing from one meeting to the next, going to school and work, and squeezing in homework, so I thought once some of those things went away I would have more time.  But now, I feel like there’s never time to do everything I want and need to do. Like, I should probably be cleaning my nasty house right now, but here I am, blogging. It’s definitely taken some planning, prioritizing, and learning to say no, and it’s still not easy, but I’m working on it!

2. Living alone is the best thing ever. Seriously. It’s really expensive, but it’s really worth it. If anyone’s in my house, I invited them to be there. If I want to leave my towels in the dryer instead of fold them, I can do that. No one’s cheap beer is squishing my leftovers in the fridge and literally everything is hot pink or gold. It’s a dream come true.

3. Don’t forget to clean the lint catcher in your dryer. Okay, so this is kind of a pathetic story, but there was a period of a few months where I would have to leave my clothes in the dryer for about two to three cycles to get them dry. After one particularly annoying instance where I had reset my dryer FOUR TIMES and my towels were still damp, it dawned on me that maybe I should possibly clean out the lint catcher (does this have a formal name? “Lint catcher” just sounds weird). I could barely get it out it was so full of lint. It was terrible. I could have spun yarn out of it and crocheted a blanket. I’m surprised my house didn’t catch on fire, honestly. So now I empty it after every other load, and my dryer works just fine!

4.It’s okay to change your mind. I’ve changed my mind about quite a few things over the past year. Whether it’s the church you’re going to, your boyfriend, or what you want for dinner, it’s okay. As long as you’ve prayed about it and don’t do it all the time, it’s okay. You’re not going to get it right the first time every time.

5. You will always miss the free tacos and the free gym. Like, honestly. Sometimes I just want to run around the indoor track at the Rec and then get free Rosa’s on the way home. Ugh.

6. Don’t forget who God says you are. Moving to a new place where I didn’t know anyone was exciting, but also really challenging. And it still is, to be honest. One time, when I was having a particularly tough time, I wrote down all of the things/qualities that God says I am, and the things He says I’m not. It’s great to have on hand to go back to when you need it.

7. It’s possible to make good friends after college. I thought that I had reached my bestie quota for life after I graduated. I mean, everyone’s best friends are usually from college or high school. I expected to make friends, just not tried-and-true, first people I call when something is wrong sisters. But I was wrong. I found two of my very best friends this year, and I am beyond thankful for them. They’ve definitely made it onto the bridesmaid list!

8. People won’t ask you to do things if they don’t think you can do them. At work, there have been quite a few instances where I’ve been asked to tackle roles or projects that intimidated me, causing me to panic and think, “I CANNOT DO THIS.” But obviously, I had no choice, so I’ve been forced to figure it out. And you know what? It’s usually not that  bad! I still have to tell myself sometimes that they wouldn’t have asked if they thought I was going to fail. And it’s definitely encouraging to know that others believe in you!

9. You don’t have to spend all of your shopping budget every month. But LOL, you probably will especially if you’re like me and have zero self control.

10. If you put God in a box, He will promptly remove himself. One thing I struggle with is limiting what I think God can do in my life. I tend to think that He will only work in ways that I can see and understand, but that’s not right at all. For the longest time, like since I was in high school, I was convinced that I would marry the first boy I ever dated. I thought that that was why I hadn’t ever dated anyone; because God was going to give me one and be done. But I was wrong. And you know what? I’m thankful that I was, because God just reminded me that I actually do not have it all figured out, and the only way to deal with a change in plans is to trust in Him completely.

11. Do something that isn’t all about you. Confession: it’s hard not to be selfish when you’re single and live alone and can basically do whatever you want. I joined the Junior League this past fall, mainly to find friends, but I have loved getting to serve my new community with other women. Whether I was helping raise funds or helping sweet high school girls find a prom dress, I honestly loved every second of it, and it was a good way to stop thinking about myself and think about helping others. JLTW was a major highlight of my first year post-grad, and I’m so happy I joined!

12. Staying in shape after college is so difficult. For real. It’s because I don’t walk nearly a mile every day, aside from actually working out. Not to mention the gyms that are filled with real people are incredibly crowded. I’ve given up on that and have started working out at home.

13. You’ll be tempted to become a workaholic. Don’t. There are always blog posts to be written, emails to be answered, and projects to be completed. For a while, I would work for an hour or two at home every night, but then I felt really overwhelmed. So I stopped. Now, I’m not saying to not do your work. There have been times where I’ve stayed up until the wee hours entering information into spreadsheets because they had to be done. I’m just saying that you definitely need a break from work every now and then.

14. You will still miss everything about college. The friends, the freedom, wearing Norts and a tee to class, the cheap rent. I went back to College Station a couple of times this year, and I cried a little every time. It’s like nothing has changed but everything is different. That place will always, always, always be my home and my favorite place on earth. I don’t think I would actually want to be in college forever, but sometimes I wish I could do it again just for like a week. The good thing is, I can always go back and it will welcome me with open arms!

15. You can do it. Honestly, when my parents left me at my apartment a week after graduation in a strange town, I wasn’t sure if I could do it. I was excited but also really scared, but determined not to give up and move home. I thought about it a few times, and sometimes I still do. But looking back on this past year, it wasn’t always easy or fun, but I did it, and the Lord was with me every step of the way. I have a job that I love, I made new friends, I went through some tough times, I made some big decisions, and developed a love for specialty cheeses. This year wasn’t what I thought it would be at all, but I’m so thankful for the path that Jesus has led me down, and I’m excited to see what my future holds!

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Just kidding, I still know nothing.

Thanks for letting me share some real talk today. That’s all for meow!

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A New Direction

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Hey Cats!

With the exception of the rushed Instagram Round-Up I threw up on the blog a couple of weeks ago, it’s been quite a while since we’ve chatted! And to be honest, I have missed this little blog SO MUCH. I’ve been wanting to get back to it for months, but I couldn’t quite bring myself to write one post and then fall off the face of the Internet again. There are a few reasons I’ve been absent:

Time. I have been way too busy the past few months. Between work, Junior League, friends, family, and just being tired, there wasn’t any time to blog. When I was at home, it was only long enough to sleep and maybe do a load of laundry. However, the crazy has died down some, and I’m confident that this blog is something I’m ready to make a priority again.

I was a little discouraged. To be frank, comparing myself to other bloggers got the best of me for a while. I’ve been blogging since 2011 and have yet to “hit it big”. Granted, this blog is more of a hobby for me, but I felt like I was producing top-notch content and no one was noticing. Not to step on any toes, but it’s almost like blogging has become a competition of who has the prettiest pictures, not the best writing, and that really bothered me. I wanted to work with brands and it just wasn’t happening, and it was frustrating. I forgot that I started Sweet Cats! to share my ideas with the world, not to become Instagram famous. And I had to get over that.

I was in a creative rut. My job now takes the largest chunk of my time, and I also write at least one blog post per week, and run multiple social media accounts. So when I get home, I don’t have any words left. Sure, I write about the healthcare industry all day, but I can only string together witty sentences for so long. Also, I felt like I was outgrowing my niche, “Styling the Single Girl Closet on a College Girl Budget”, but I didn’t know what direction I wanted to take the blog. Did I need to launch a complete re-brand? Can I just change the look of my site? Is this even something I want to do anymore? Basically, Sweet Cats! had an existential crisis and I didn’t know how to handle it.

That’s why it took me a while to come back to blogging. I wanted to be at a place where I’m sure that it’s something I have time to make a priority, something I do because I love it, and something that reflects who I am at this point in my life. And I believe that now I can say with confidence that all of those things are true. So here’s what you can expect from the “new” re-directed Sweet Cats!:

A more grown-up feel. I started this blog when I was 18 and had college-girl taste and an annual income of roughly zero dollars. I feel like in the past year or so, my tastes have changed and there are things I’m more willing and able to invest money into. I’m at a point where I draw more inspiration from Southern Living than I do InStyle. I care about my clothes still (duh), but I’m also interested in home decor, a healthy lifestyle, helping others, and succeeding in the professional world. So you’re going to be seeing more of those types of posts from now on.

A more lifestyle-focused approach. My vision for this blog is to become almost an online magazine, something that captures every aspect of life. Not every aspect of my life, because privacy, but life in general. Like I mentioned above, there’s more to my life now than just school and social events. I want to be able to share things that will resonate with girls in my stage of life, and maybe beyond! That’s why I’ve changed the tagline for my blog to “A Modern Southern Belle: Dressing, Eating, and Living Well”.

The same sass, snark, and Sweet Cats! writing style you love. Well, I don’t know if you love it, but I do. One thing that will never change no matter what is the focus on wording. If we’re being honest, it’s never really been about the crafts, or the outfits, or the inspirational quotes, or the lifestyle. For me, it’s always been about telling a story about those things. I love to write, and that will always be the most important part of this blog. It will always be about the words for me. And I hope you will stick around to read them.

I’m so excited to see where this new direction takes me. 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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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:

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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.

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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.

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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- A Few Updates

Hey Cats!

I feel like I haven’t blogged in maybe 20 years. I’ve wanted to, and I’ve had so many good ideas, but what I haven’t had is time. The past few weeks have been out. of. control. So much has been happening that I feel like I’ve been living in an actual tornado. A happy tornado, though. If that’s a thing. My life has changed so much so quickly, and I’m so excited to finally have time to share it with you!

First, on May 1, I accepted a job offer, which was when the happy/busy tornado began. I was beyond excited, because it’s a healthcare administration position in a pediatric office in the Houston area, which is basically everything I wanted out of a career. When I was applying for jobs, I thought I could probably manage to get one of those three things, two if  I was lucky, but definitely not all three. I’ve already started, but I’m still so excited about starting my career!

My start date for my job was May 26, and graduation was May 16, so my last two weeks in College Station consisted of me scrambling to find a place to live in Houston, packing up my house, hanging out with all of my friends for (hopefully not really) the last time, soaking up the last days of college life, and, of course, graduation. It was such a whirlwind with lots of emotions, and I loved every second of it.

Some of my best friends and I right before graduation.

Some of my best friends and I right before graduation.

After graduation, I went home to Tyler for a week before I moved to Houston. It was nice to be with my family, but it was also really busy, since I had to help my dad paint some of my furniture, pack up my room, and (try) to clean up and not leave my parents with a mess! It was a little sad to leave, knowing that I was about to be actually, really, 100% on my own in Houston, but I was excited! My parents helped me move in last weekend, and my first week of work has been great! I also love my apartment, but I’m not sure what to do with all this free time I have now that I don’t have homework or tests!

I'm an educated woman!

I’m an educated woman!

It’s been a lot of change in a small amount of time, but I know that it was time for a change. I absolutely loved college, and my four years in Aggieland will always be some of my favorite years of my life. But, near the end, I could tell that I was “outgrowing” college, and I was ready to have real responsibilities and be more of an adult. I’m excited for this new stage of my life, and I’m excited to share it all with you on the blog!

That’s all for meow!

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2014- A Review

Hey Cats!

I’m sure we’ve all seen the “Year in Review” videos all over our Facebook timelines  for the past few weeks. You can’t miss them, literally EVERYONE has one. I watched my own, but decided not to share, mostly because I had a total of maybe five pictures from this year, and also because I only post to Facebook when it’s a life or death situation, like pictures every month or so to prove I have friends, only a few of my blog posts, or when I need people to do something for my organization. You know, the important stuff. Because of my social media habits, I feel like Facebook does not even begin to know the extent of my life, so the quality of any “review” they could give me would be comparable to the test scores of that kid you only see on test days in your Media Audiences class (you know who you are). So I decided to make a little review of my own. Nothing too fancy, just a glimpse at the highlights of a great year. Enjoy!

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My sister got married in February, so that was obviously a big day for our family. I was Maid of Honor, which was a lot of fun, even though I forgot to give a speech during the reception because I was too busy dancing. I also caught/ripped the bouquet out of the hands of a small child (I needed it more than she did), but the promised fate has yet to take effect. I loved getting to help my sister get ready for this special day, and I am still so happy for her! Plus now I have a cool brother-in-law to hang out and eat ice cream with, so everybody wins!

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In April, I received my Aggie Ring, which made April 11 possibly the best day of 2014. Actually, it definitely was. The ring is one of my favorite traditions at Texas A&M, and in my family, and to finally have one of my own was a huge accomplishment. Now, every time I look down at my right hand, I am reminded of all my hard work and how it was so very worth all 90 hours of reading, writing, and sometimes tears. I’m still not over flashing it around everywhere I go, and probably never will be. Not sorry.

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In May, I started my first longer-than-summer job. So far, I have really enjoyed it, but at first it took a lot of adjusting to get used to that type of responsibility. During the summer, I worked Monday-Thursday, and had plenty of free time in the evenings. However, once school started I had to figure out how to balance both work and school, and it was actually really hard. But, it taught me how to use my time wisely, and how to be a responsible adult and go to work even when I was exhausted from my crazy busy schedule. I also really enjoy working, especially in a field I’m interested in. It’s given me a little more insight on what I want to do after I graduate, which is always helpful! Also, I chose this picture of Hilary Duff because I love her and she looks 9-5ish here, and I don’t have photos of myself in my office just lying around. You understand.

bsb ashley & i

This summer was definitely different from any other. I stayed in College Station to work, which had its ups and downs. I liked being independent, but I really missed my family and being in Tyler. But I made some new friends, got a Political Science class out of the way (best decision ever), and made a few trips to Houston to see my bestie Ashley, one of which included a last-minute Backstreet Boys concert. I kind of enjoyed pretending I was an adult this summer, and spending extra time in my favorite place wasn’t bad either.

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In August, I turned 22. I was actually really happy, I felt like I had definitely outgrown being 21. Everyone expects you to be crazy when you’re 21, and that’s just not me, so I was glad to have a little of that pressure off my shoulders. Plus, I get to say that I’m “Feelin’ 22”, which I love. I was able to celebrate my birthday with both my family and my friends all on the same weekend, something I usually don’t get to do!

phi lamb cov 2014

Throughout the semester, I decided to invest a lot of time and energy into my sorority, since it’s my last year. It was hard at first, because there aren’t many seniors left, and I felt like I didn’t know anyone at meetings. But once I got my prayer group, the lovely ladies you see above, I knew that staying in Phi Lamb for my senior year was the right choice. I may be the oldest one, but all of these girls do such a wonderful job of encouraging me and just being my friends, and I love them all! They have really helped me during one of my most challenging semesters, and I’m looking forward to finishing my senior year with them!

songfest-meg

This fall, I participated in Songfest with my sorority for the last time. Songfest is a philanthropy event hosted by Chi Omega at Texas A&M, and sororities and other organizations pair up and prepare a seven-minute dance routine to compete for money for their philanthropies. And bragging rights for a whole year. I did Songfest my freshman year and loved it, but didn’t have time my sophomore or junior years, so I was determined to do it this year if it killed me. Dancing and performing has been such a big part of my life since I was three years old, and I knew this would probably be my last chance to participate in any type of performance, so I did it even though I literally did not have time. It was so much fun, I made so many new friends, and I got to re-live my cheerleading days with a backflip circle, so #worthit.

b-stud at gristmill

Another group I’ve really loved hanging out with this year is my Bible study group from church. We’ve had the same group since the beginning of my junior year, but we really started to become good friends in the spring, and especially this fall. I always look forward to Thursday nights, because we’re like a huge, loud, crazy family. They’ve taught me that it’s okay to not be perfect, that I’m not always right, and that Christian community is so important and can be so much fun. I’ve definitely found some forever friends within this group of girls and guys.

cat onesies

Last but not least, my mom got my sister and I the most fabulous leopard onesies for Christmas, and I kind of just need you all to know about them. That’s really the only reason I added this picture. Also, they have tails and glitter claws- bye.

I think the biggest lesson I learned this year was that life happens so fast. I feel like I just got to college, and now I only have one semester left! I learned to take advantage of the opportunities in front of me, enjoy the people around me, and let go of the things and people behind me. God has blessed me so much in 2014, and I can’t wait to see what the next year has in store!

I hope you all had a great year as well, and best wishes for 2015 (A-WHOOP!)

That’s all for meow!

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Thoughts From my Closet Floor

Hey Cats!

*An intro: something different today- a creative narrative. Enjoy please.

It happened.I was so convinced it wasn’t going to, but it did. I even told people it wasn’t going to happen.

But I was wrong. 3:47 pm on Saturday afternoon, I found myself in panic mode about finals, and I ended up in tears in my closet.

Yes. In my closet. On the floor. After a few minutes had passed and I had exhausted all of my not-exactly-genuine-more-like-dramatic-effect tears, I paused to reflect.

“You’re being ridiculous. You need to pull it together, write your essay, and then start studying for everything else. You’ve done this a million times, you can do it. Be an adult. Besides, I look great and I better be going on multiple job interviews in the spring- don’t screw this up.” snapped my Banana Republic power suit from inside its garment bag home.

She’s right, and I know it.

“But wait, think about how much fun you’re going to have over Christmas break!” my fur vest piped in. “No business casual for an entire month!”

That sounds really wonderful…also most of my other friends have been done for weeks. Why am I still here? This is the cruelest of punishments. When I get home, I’m going to sleep, drink coffee, blog until I’m literally out of ideas, and do everything I want and nothing I don’t.

The activewear section interrupted my daydream of my copious amounts of free time: “Um, why are you wearing that Juicy Couture tracksuit, is it 2003? What about all of these leggings you buy on impulse?”

Okay, 1. those are exclusively for the gym/when I’m going to be around other people and 2. IT’S FINALS WEEK I CAN DO WHATEVER I WANT BYE.

Speaking of the gym, I haven’t been today.

“Well you need to, we’re bored and tired of being in this box,” exclaimed my running shoes. Yeah, that makes two of us.

Okay, I’ll go to the gym. But I have to write at least one page first. Or maybe just a paragraph. Actually, I’ll just go over the chapters for that topic and think about it while I run.

Crap, it’s 4:03. I literally need to GET IT TOGETHER.

No gym until you actually do something productive, Kristen. Like write a blog post. Or eat dinner. Too bad you cleaned your room already or that would count.

4:05. Clock is ticking on your success at life/this semester. Actually, I have a really got shot at something above a 3.5 for the first time in a while. I should work on that.

“Good talk, guys,” I say to my garments. “And thanks for lighting a fire under my butt, Banana Republic. I can always count on you to make me be responsible”. (side eye to the tribal print mini skirt.)

Here’s hoping your finals week is coming along better than mine, and that if not you also have a nice closet to cry in.

That’s all for meow!

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