Tuesday, July 22, 2014

beach packing

all ready to go//beach products

i am a classic over-packer. this goes along with my ability to over-think, over-eat, over-buy, etc. if i pack just enough clothes to have one option each day of my trip, i will most definitely hate every single thing i brought and be miserable and have to buy more options. when i went to new york a few years ago, i brought what i (and my family) calls my baby hippo suitcase. it is a very fitting nickname. i drug that suitcase blocks and blocks from the train station to our hotel, and didn't regret it once. i had every item of clothing i could possibly want and three coats for the new york city winter weather.

beach packing is different, though. you don't bring a coat, and bathing suits don't take up too much room, but you need space for books. now that i have my nook, my bags tend to weigh about 30 pounds less, but i still pack for every possible event. my family goes to myrtle beach, the vacation spot of my mom's childhood and a place we have visited every summer since i can remember. it's tacky in parts, and we love it.

summer reading//head wraps and sunnies

here are some things i am bringing to the beach this year:

beach bag: this plastic, waterproof bag actually came as a free gift from clinique, my makeup brand of choice. i love this bag for the clear, bamboo handles and the ease at which i can dump sand out of it.

banana pouch: i really love this pouch from h&m. i use these types of bags at the beach to hold things like my phone and sunglasses while i am in the ocean.

beach book list: i have two new beach reads, 'the shoemaker's wife' and 'reading women,' two titles i can't wait to peruse while poolside.

sensitive skin sunscreen: i have crazy sensitive skin, so this clinique sunscreen is a lifesaver. it sprays on, which is fun and easy, and has proven itself summer after summer as my go to sunscreen.

new sandals: my mom picked up these fun brighton sandals for me a few months ago and i just love them. you always need a new pair of flip flops for a beach vaca.

beach towel: i love this oversized beach towel. the shark towel is nate's (of course).

headband/wrap: i absolutely hate having my hair in my face, especially poolside with the breeze. the black and gold polka dot head wrap comes from hay's in searcy, and is perfect for the beach or a university ball game. the green band with a bow was a gift from my mom. both are big enough to hold all of my hair back, but still look stylish.

sunnies: these sunglasses are oldies, but goodies, from forever21. they are pretty big, and definitely have a fun, 70s vibe. they are also tinted so even gloomy days look sunny.

hair products: i have two products i use at the beach. the first is moroccan oil that hydrates hair and protects from heat. the second probably takes away all of the good things the first brings, but i love sun in. it just gives my hair a boost to start turning blonde. this product is actually a bit hard to track down. i found this bottle in a dollar store (yikes), but it really works for my hair! and i only use it about once a year so, no harm??

face product: when i am not at the pool, i like to use a light moisturizer containing sunscreen. again, my choice is clinique. this moisturizer is lightly tinted and has 25 spf. i wear it under my regular makeup and it keeps me hydrated and protected from the sun.

what are your beach staples??

love, katie

Monday, July 14, 2014

my new favorite bbq


awhile ago, i posted about my love of the pioneer woman's dr. pepper bbq. made in the crockpot, it is easy and has simple ingredients and makes a pretty good pulled pork. but i don't really consider it bbq in the true sense. it cooks down to a much thinner sauce that really works better as a pork taco than traditional bbq. so when i wanted to make some pulled pork sandwiches for the fourth of july, i turned to pinterest to help me find a more bbq-ey bbq.

strangely for me, i had pinned a recipe from the website skinny mom, a healthy recipe site. for moms. neither of these handles describes me at all. but the recipe made some of the best, true bbq pulled pork i have had in a while. i was a little hesitant at first because the pork smelled like christmas morning with all the cinnamon and nutmeg, but the end result was delicious. i changed a few things like leaving out the cumin and using sweet baby ray's sauce instead of something healthy. everything else i followed pretty much to a tee.

it was definitely a crowd pleaser and this will go in my file of great dishes to make for guests or holidays. i topped mine with homemade coleslaw which is one of my favorite things to make and so easy! i used to buy the expensive coleslaw dressing at the store, but it is one of the simplest dressings to make. here is the recipe i use from food.com. i made a few changes like not using a full cup of mayo and a little bit more vinegar. i also use lawry's seasoned salt instead of regular salt and i nix the dry mustard and add a splash of lemon juice. it is so much better when you make it at home, guys, i promise! this is the same recipe i use for broccoli slaw too, which is fantastic on pork tacos.

now i am really hungry and have none of these items in the house to eat. sad day.

love, katie

Friday, July 11, 2014

summer wedding style

one of the hardest parts about living in arkansas during the summer is having to wear anything other than a bathing suit. arkansas is usually hot and humid, and is one of those states where you can sweat just walking to and from your car. one summer, nate and i lived here with our old chevy blazer that had no a/c and we about died. cracked leather seats, windows that didn't always roll down all the way, it was just the worst. we would drive that car back and forth to ohio and pray for cooler temps.

summer weddings can be hard to dress for in general, but especially down here, you have to pay attention to your layers. you don't want to be a sweaty mess as you stand in line for wedding cake. a lot of summer weddings are outdoors (if you are a guy reading this, look to my earlier post with my brother eric's tips for outdoor wedding attire for men), but thankfully the wedding we attended a few weeks ago was inside. 

my selfie//dress from heart and soul in searcy//nate's selfie attempt//oversize clutch from f21
i usually opt for something sleeveless, but i found this dress at heart and soul boutique, a local shop in searcy, and it was a great fit and price. for only $35, i had a perfect summer wedding dress that matched my new oversized clutch from forever 21 and was long enough that i could potentially wear it to church or work. these tend to be must-haves for me to purchase anything anymore.

my biggest concern was that it was a little too southern for me (i am an ohioan after all), but nate assured me that even though it had a slight bell sleeve (my words, not his) and that there were three patterns going on, it didn't look too southern. 

nate did make fun of my giant bag, which unfolded looks like one big, blue square. but he quieted down after he needed me to hold his keys and other belongings.

what is your go-to summer wedding look?

love, katie

Thursday, July 10, 2014

fourth fun

nate is a pretty domestic guy. he is the better cook, cleans with more detail than i ever could, and when my mom gave us a sewing machine last year, it was for him. he is a man of many talents, but his most recent pursuit is making his own bow ties. here is his first one crafted just in time for the fourth of july. he created a pattern based off a tie he already owned, bought interfacing, the flag fabric and thread, and then made a pretty decent piece of neckwear. so i made him stand in front of the house with my burlap flag and pose for pictures (you know, his favorite thing ever).

nate is adorable//good picture except for my finger//the finished bow tie//patriotic socks
the fourth of july weekend was a busy one for us. we have just the best friends ever who gave up pretty much their entire weekend to help us build a fence. it was the most american thing we could think of for the fourth; hot dogs, watermelon, fireworks and neighbors helping neighbors. or in this case, coworkers helping coworkers. thanks to matthew and jason and their families for three days of hard work to put together this beautiful fence! kevin is so happy to have a backyard to run around in now.

the men hard at work building our fence
mixing cement//digging posts//kevin's new friend//patriot pup
while we didn't get to spend the fourth with family, we got the next best option by spending it with good friends. happy independence day!

love, katie

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

fun in austin

i posted yesterday about loving summer because i get to spend more time with kevin. well i also love summer because i get to travel with nate for work. he is in texas most of the time, and while i don't jump at the chance to go to every city (sorry lubbock), when nate said he was headed to austin, i said 'let's go!' 

torchy's tacos//boutique shopping downtown//dinosaur planters//round rock baseball 

the extra fun part of this trip came from my mom and kevin traveling with us to austin. sure we had to go to a few extra baseball games, and we definitely got rained on for most of the trip, but we had a great time. 

baseball, baseball and more baseball//my feelings about the pouring rain and my damp hair

as for food, we kept it pretty basic and tried in-n-out burger for the first time. it was tasty and we got to eat outdoors, so plusses all around. we even did some shopping in ikea and picked up a kevin look a like stuffed animal. he proceeded to eat the tail and ears immediately. 

in-in-out goodness//kevin's evil twin//tiny art in a vending machine//kevin is always watching

all in all, i still have a lot more of austin to see. two days just didn't come close to covering it.

what do you love about austin?

love, katie

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

mom's day

about two weeks ago was my mom's birthday. i won't tell you how old she is, but she does have a different menu option when we eat out now. when i was younger (and we lived in the same house), we would take girl trips at least once a year. we went to state parks, historic towns in ohio, even a few out of state trips. i have a lot of fun memories from those trips. now that i live in arkansas, those trips are a little harder to pull off, but we manage. recently, we made an out of town wedding into a girls weekend when we headed to marietta, ohio. right where the muskingum meets the ohio river, marietta is only a few hours outside of columbus. we stayed in the lafayette hotel, a historic place that is right on the riverfront. 

for anyone interested in staying in a historic hotel, let me just remind you that historic is usually code for old. and quirky. and small. in our case, it meant a maze of hallways, oddly placed staircases and creepy bedroom mirrors. it didn't help that we stayed on friday the 13th. under a full moon. we were pretty quick to creep ourselves out, but luckily, we were in town during an arts festival so not much time was spent being weirded out by the hotel.

summer salad from panera//the ohio river//woodworking
marietta was a lot of fun. they hold an arts and merchants festival on the second friday of every month, which made for a perfect evening. favorites include the putnam chocolate shop (get the dark chocolate french mints), a slice from over the moon pizzeria, a visit to harmar village and of course the riverfront views.

amazing dachshund figurine collection
fun shops//scary big boy

at home in the garden
happy belated birthday, mom! thanks for another amazing trip!

love, katie

Monday, July 7, 2014

summer lovin'

kevin loves summer//beautiful hydrangeas
 i love summer for a number of reasons, but a big reason is that i get to spend more time with my favorite pup! kevin is 3 1/2 now, and likes taking walks on campus, rolling in the grass, and taking lazy afternoon naps on his big dog pillow. he has been a good traveler this summer too, heading to ohio and texas with us.

soap from anthro//my favorite new purse//heartfelt sunnies
another reason i love summer is all of the summer accessories i get to buy! this cactus prickly pear soap from anthropologie is the best smelling bar of the summer. i am super obsessed with this floral embroidered straw bag that i got for $8 at a thrift store in indiana. of course nate hated it, so i knew it was a keeper. in a moment of insanity/mid twenties crisis, i bought these heart shaped sunglasses. maybe it was because i was shopping with my brother eric, or the fact that coachella had just happened, but something about these frames called to me. and summer is the perfect time to dress a little younger than your age ... or at least that's what i'm telling myself.

love, katie