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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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!

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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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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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Monday’s Musings

Hey Cats!

Happy Monday! I have a busy week ahead, and I’m going home this weekend to celebrate my birthday with my family! It’s next Monday, and I’m having a really hard time coming to terms with the fact that I actually have to go to work on my birthday, because since it’s in the summer, I’ve always been off of school. So that should be an interesting experience.

Anyways, this weekend was absolutely wonderful because I did absolutely nothing. It made me think of this quote that I found on Pinterest maybe a million years ago:

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I personally require an unusually large amount of “me time”, which I’ve been getting a lot of since I’ve been living by myself. But for the past few weekends, I’ve had stuff to do, and while it’s all been fun and great, I’ve been dying to just spend a weekend by myself relaxing. So that’s what I did, and it was fantastic. I mean, I did actually leave my apartment…I went shopping, to the pool, to the grocery store etc., but I was just by myself doing anything I wanted to do and nothing that I didn’t. It was a much needed weekend of rest and refueling! I definitely couldn’t do it every weekend, but every now and then, it’s necessary. Now I’m ready for my busy week at work/with friends! What’s your favorite way to relax on the weekends? Let me know!

That’s all for meow!

 

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Monday’s Musings

Hey Cats!

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July weekend! It was nice to have time off, hang out with friends, and watch fireworks! And also eat everything I laid my eyes on. Then on Sunday, I cleaned my apartment and found a new favorite grocery store, which I am probably still a liiiittle too excited about. But that’s adulthood for you, I guess.

As I was deciding what to write about for this week’s Monday’s Musings, I was thinking about how different my life looks now than it did a couple of months ago. Almost nothing is the same, and it’s all still pretty new to me, but it’s so,so great.

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Thanks to my girl TSwift, I have a really great way to describe how my life in my new city feels. It’s definitely a different tune from what I was used to: I went from having little responsibility to having quite a bit, from having all of my friends in a 10-mile radius to being completely by myself, and from asking permission to making my own decisions. But it’s the best new soundtrack I could have asked for, and I’m ready to dance to it for a long time. I have new routines, new ways of looking at things, a new level of confidence in myself, and I’m finally making new friends, which I love. I’m so thankful that my post-grad experience has been so exciting so far, and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

That’s all for meow!

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Monday’s Musings- A Few Updates

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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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Monday’s Musings

Hey Cats!

How was everyone’s Spring Break? I’m assuming you’ve all had Spring Break by now, because mine was super late this year! I went to the beach with my parents the first weekend, which was a lot of fun, but not nearly long enough- I could have stayed all week! But I have loved being at home and just hanging out with my sister, shopping, and hiding from my real life. Except on Thursday when I wrote an entire term paper in under 12 hours. Hi, my name is Kristen and my favorite stop on the train to academic success is the Procrastination Station. It was supposed to be due the week before spring break, then my professor decided to give us an extra week, which was really generous, but it was due during spring break. This should not have been a problem, except I tend to have a “due today, do today” policy on homework. It’s a really bad habit, I know, but I’ve been this way ever since my mom stopped having to sign my folder in about the second grade. I have tried to change my ways, but to no avail. It’s like I can’t do my best on something until I’m under extreme pressure and time constraints. This is probably an extremely unhealthy way to live life, but it’s gotten me pretty far and I only have two months of school left so let’s not fix what isn’t broken. But I digress.

Speaking of two months of school left, that’s a thing that’s happening right now. Actually it’s less than two months- I graduate from Texas A&M on May 16! Who else feels like they just started the spring semester? I came across this wonderful quote on Pinterest that really captured my distress on this issue:

march quote

 

That’s pretty much how I felt when Spring Break rolled around last week. It’s just all happened so fast! I haven’t worn my riding boots enough. I’m not sure if I’m ready for this college thing to be over. I don’t have a job yet (a personal favorite). Have I even been doing all my homework?! Easter dresses, what? I need to get a pedicure if I’m going to start wearing sandals soon. Ugh, it’s about to be pollen season. General nervous laughter. You get the idea.

I love spring and I’m super excited about it, but I feel like I skipped a couple of months somewhere! I guess this is just another lesson about how life moves so fast when you’re having fun. So let’s all take a deep breath, not freak out (HAHA), and take advantage of the rest of the school year! Or spring if you’re a real adult.

Have a great week, that’s all for meow!

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Monday’s Musings

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Happy Monday! And it’s extra happy for those of us who have today off! I definitely need this extra day to get my ducks in a row before I go back to school! I realized last night that I don’t have any pens or notebooks and folders for my classes. Oops. I also have a few other errands to run, and other chores I’ve been putting off all week. Yay for the last minute!

Last night I met up with some of my friends for coffee, and we had a great time! They are always so encouraging, and I’m so thankful to have them in my life. We don’t get together as often as we would like, but I always really look forward to hearing about and celebrating each other’s accomplishments and goals. Since this is our last semester, we talked a lot about jobs, future plans, and all of the upcoming changes in our lives. We discussed that it can be a little scary, but it’s also a really, really exciting time, and that made me think of this quote:

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It can be scary to not know what’s ahead, but as my friends and I discussed, we don’t have anything to be afraid of. This is a very exciting time in our lives, and it’s a good time to do things we’ve never had the opportunity to do before, or won’t always have the opportunity to do, like go move to another state or travel around. Being brave with your life can mean lots of different things. It can mean taking a job in a new town, or taking a temporary internship in an industry you’re dying to work at. It can mean jumping at every chance for a new adventure, or it can mean taking a step back to re-evaluate your priorities. It can mean putting yourself out there to make new friends, but it can also mean recognizing that true friendship is a rare find. For me, being brave with my life means trusting that God will fulfill His promises to me, even if that happens in a unique way. It also means being confident in my abilities at work, school, and even here on my blog. Being brave is investing time and effort into new friendships at the tail end of my college career. It also means not settling even when I’m not sure when another opportunity will come along. Whatever being brave with your life means to you, I encourage you this week (and this year and forever) to do that, and remember that you don’t have anything to be afraid of!

That’s all for meow!

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Monday’s Musings

Hey Cats!

Happy Monday! I’m looking forward to a great week, and I hope all of you are, too! It’s a short week since July 4th is on Friday, and I’m taking a little trip with one of my friends, so I’m excited about that!

I came across this quote on Pinterest, and I really like it…in fact, I’ve said something along these lines many times before!

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I think that if you know what you want, you should ask for it. Whether it’s a job, a raise, a certain responsibility at work, or anything else, if you feel like you deserve it, you should ask for it! Because if people don’t know that you want something, they won’t offer it to you. If you’re confident that you want something and have worked hard enough to deserve it, you shouldn’t be afraid to say it! I’ve learned that no matter how much I want them to, great opportunities aren’t just going to fall into my lap. I’ve had to be confident in myself and my abilities to land both of the internships that I wanted- they weren’t really just handed to me. Additionally, once I started both of those internships, I saw tasks that I knew I was capable of and wanted to do, so I asked if I could try my had at them, and my bosses were happy to let me do them. You have to know what you want and go get it. Not in a ruthless way, but in a confident way. So this week, if you want something, don’t be afraid- let someone know! Chances are, they’ll be impressed and pleased you did.

That’s all for meow!

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