Always, Katie: July 2013

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

24 Spiffy Ways to Wear a Denim Jacket

I just got a denim button-down shirt toward the end of June, and I have been burning up Pinterest looking for fun ways to wear it!  Here are some of my favorite inspiration pictures - on Thursday, I'll share some of my versions of these outfits.

via Polyvore
via Polyvore
via Polyvore
via Polyvore
via Polyvore
via Rue lala blog
via Hemingway & Hepburn
via Nordstrom
Can't find original source...
via Style Me Pretty
via Vogue
via HauteLook
via Outfit Identifier
via Polyvore
via Styling in Style
Original set removed from Polyvore
via Madewell
via Chicisimo
via Fashion Worship
via Funn Fashion
via Elfsacks
via Revolve Clothing
via The Blue Door Boutique
I'm looking forward to showing you my interpretation of several of these great ways to dress a denim jacket up and down! 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Hunt for Home: The Part I Didn't Mention

For those of your who follow along, I've posted a couple of times about the fact that Ethan and I are in the early, early stages of finding a house - namely, making lists of must-haves and preferences.  

The part that I have been leaving out is the state in which we will be searching - and that state is not South Carolina.  

Ethan resigned his position as an assistant professor and is job searching in Ohio.  His job turned out to be a nightmare in many ways, and we've known for a while that it was not going to be his forever job.  When he was ready to look for a new job, we decided that we wanted to go home.  We miss our Ohio family, and our Ohio friends-who-are-like-family.  

So, we took a huge leap of faith last week, loaded the contents of our smoky, tiny apartment into a Penske truck, and drove back to Ohio.  We are currently staying with his parents (who are amazing - seriously, I won the in-law lottery!) until one of his job applications bears fruit.  

Stopped for lunch - I drove the truck the whole way, while Ethan led in his car. :-)

Truck backed into the driveway on the most gorgeous Ohio day!
Empty truck = exhausted and relieved couple!
We would appreciate your prayers as we transition, and for his/our job search... we have been making sound financial choices, so we can be okay for a long while (thanks in BIG part to his parents providing room and board!!) and expect to still be able to proceed straight to home-buying when Ethan signs a contract, but we would really like for this to happen sooner rather than later :-)   Thank you!
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Monday, July 22, 2013

Coffee and Conversation: Social Approval

I skipped the last Coffee and Conversation, so I'm super-glad to be back this week!  This week's prompt is: 

Coffee & Conversation

"How important is social approval for you?"

While I would really like to be able to say that social approval means nothing to me, that would be an outright lie :-)

Yes.  I care what people think of me.  

Part of this is because I strive to live my life in a way that doesn’t make God facepalm TOO often, and so I surround myself with people with similar values.  I am firmly convinced that God speaks in my life through my friends.  So if any of these people were to disapprove of my actions or words, I would be concerned.  I would be concerned that I was not living a good witness, that I disappointed God (which happens daily, but I still try to keep it to a minimum!), and that I disappointed some very important people in my life.  

I think that this kind of need for social approval is healthy and functional.  I have chosen what I believe to be a social network full of good people who set good examples and give me honest and loving feedback.  Gaining and maintaining their approval encourages me that I am living and loving to the best of my ability and it motivates me to curb my quick temper and other vices. 

Then, there is the other kind of need for social approval.  It is the same need that has created the Mommy wars, the same need that causes debt to skyrocket as we show up the Joneses, the same need that makes my heart a smidge sad that my follower count is only in the double digits.  Clearly, this is not a productive need for approval, but it probably is pretty natural.  I think that the important thing is, when we recognize it, to not embrace it and feed it, but instead, to dissect it.  

For us bloggers, being “liked” can be tied to our income.  Okay, for me, notsomuch, but hopefully someday.  When we start feeling blue about our stats, we need to question whether that is because we are not meeting business goals (in which case, strategize ways to improve content and community) or if we are taking it personally (i.e. “If I weren’t so _______, maybe I’d have more followers.”).  If the latter reason is the case, it might be time to reevaluate why we’re blogging and maybe take a step back.  I took a (rather long) hiatus pretty recently, and it gave me time to get some perspective and develop my own objectives for my online presence.  

In the midst of my quest for social approval, a good practice I have developed is to strive for consistency.  While Ethan and I have inside jokes and talk frankly to each other about things that are better not mentioned in polite company, I try very hard – with good success, I believe – to make sure that I am authentic in public and as conscientious in my home life as I am with coworkers or strangers.  ­­­­­This authentic me doesn’t get approval from some people, and – as I learned (again) a few days ago when I discovered hurtful tweets about me from a Facebook “friend” – It still hurts.  I have had to come to terms with the fact that I will never have the approval of certain people, and that, generally, this reflects more on them then on me.   

As long as the right people approve or gently rebuke me, I am learning to be content in the knowledge that I’m pretty okay. :-)
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Friday, July 19, 2013

Confessional Friday: Guilty Pleasure

It's time for another Confessional Friday!  

This week's prompt: Guilty Pleasures

In two words: 



Any frozen treat, really.  Ice cream, fro-yo, drumsticks, McFlurries, Frosty's, Dairy Queen dipped cones, Culver's frozen custard...

In high school, I worked at a frozen yogurt store for three years.  I DEARLY loved that job!  Not just for the yogurt and ice cream, but for the coworkers and the customers.  It was a great, great introduction into customer service and the working world.  

Sometimes I crave frozen desserts in zero-degree weather... 

My junior year of college, the little market in my dorm started to carry Graeters (a wonderful, Cincinnati local brand) in pints.  It got me through a breakup and a lot of all-nighters.  :-)

A grocery sign announcing a sale on Mayfield ice cream can ALMOST make me jump three lanes to get to the entrance! 

My usual favorite is mint chocolate chip, but I also love raspberry chip, cookies and cream and cookie dough :-)  

And now... I'm wrapping this up and grabbing the last little bit of cookie dough ice cream in the fridge :-)

Have a wonderful weekend, and stay cool!  Maybe with some ice cream ;-)
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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Aw! I'm Fondue of You, Too!

We had a REALLY fun anniversary date this past Thursday!  We went to The Melting Pot.  We went to one a few years ago for cheese and chocolate, but had never had an entrée there before.  We were kind of the mindset that "If we're gonna pay that much for dinner, THEY can cook it for us."


This is a terribly misguided mindset.  Terribly. 

We had so much fun playing with the little forky things and pots of really hot liquid. :-)  And, we are mighty good fondue cooks, if I do say so myself!  We were totally the iPhone-photo-taking nerd diners, so I have a bunch of (what I think are) super-fun pictures :-)  

Our first course was the classic cheddar fondue, with Granny Smith apples, little pieces of veggies, and chunks of bread...

Then, for our entrées, we chose a court bouillon (veggie broth) cooking style.  

Ethan ordered duck, mushroom sacchetti (pasta pockets), and shrimp.  

I ordered chicken breast, citrus pork, mushroom sacchetti, and a lobster tail (which was basically free because of a nifty little glitch in their menu... that our waiter pointed out to us, haha).  It was my first time to try lobster, so I was excited!!  Our waiter told us how long to cook which items, and we whipped out the stopwatches on our iPhones (because we take undercooked meat VERY seriously!).


We also had some broccoli, mushrooms and potatoes to cook in the broth, and several fun - and kind of exotic - condiments, including teriyaki, ginger plum sauce, curry, and a really good cream cheese-based stuff.  And lemon and herb butter for my lobster that I'm pretty sure I could drink by the glassful.  

Then dessert... yummy, yummy dessert! We chose a cookies-n-cream chocolate fondue, and they served it with cheesecake, strawberries, fancy marshmallows, banana slices, brownies and rice krispie treats.  

We did a lot of laughing and chatting and flirting... it was a really fun and silly evening together.  We've both been a little stressed lately, and it was nice to take some time to get dressed up and escape our responsibilities for a few hours :-)  

Earlier in the week, I was digging through my closet and found a dress that I had completely forgotten buying in a consignment shop a couple of years ago, so naturally, that's what I had to wear!  And I needed a new necklace and earrings, so I broke out the beads and made a really delicate y-shaped necklace and long drop earrings with blue crystals.  :-)


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