Fit for a Friday



Happy Friday! I hope everyone has some fun and/or relaxing weekend plans ahead. Here are a few links I’ve been loving from around the web this week.

Kate Spade Saturday for West Elm
West Elm and Kate Spade Saturday launched their collaboration this week and basically created the home collection of my dreams. I’m already trying to figure out a way to fit the Retro WingChair into my decor budget. (J, ignore that last sentence.)

12 Kitchen Looks Expected To Be Big In 2015
Open shelving, gorgeous wood textures, and modern traditional style would create my ideal kitchen space.

Dawww… Also, this is pretty much how I get through the snow too…

Single Lady 5-Minute Gooey Molten Chocolate Mug Cake
This looks delicious, even for us not-so-single ladies.

Have a great weekend, friends! xx

Two Thousand Fifteen


Happy New Year! We officially went back to the daily grind Monday after a wonderful two week vacation over the holidays. Our time off was a pretty great mix of downtime, travel to see family, and fun plans around town and with friends.

Despite really missing having my morning coffee on the couch with a cat cuddled beside me, I’m excited to be back in a routine and am feeling refreshed as we start a new year. 2014 held so much excitement and adventure for us – travels both within the US and across an ocean, beautiful weddings of loved ones, new additions to the homes of our friends and even our own extended family – our nephew, Collin, was welcomed into the world at the start of December! – and meeting lots of new people along the way.

In completely un-me fashion, I awoke on January 1st with no real urge to do anything but spend the day relaxing with J and being perfectly content in the moment. And we did just that, watching the Rose Parade before going through movie after movie snuggled up with mimosas, bacon, and a snoring cat. I’d like to think that was a good start to a 2015 resolution of mine – being just a little easier on my type-A self and accepting less-than-perfect as perfectly ok.

I recently saw a quote that read, “Love the home you’re in.” This resonated with me on many levels. I’m a tried and true perfectionist, and while that tough-on-myself attitude can be great at times, it can also be pretty darn exhausting always worrying about self-set standards and expectations. This year, I want to love the home I’m in by applying this philosophy to my relationships with others, career, stage of life, and even my actual “home.”

So, here’s to you, two thousand fifteen. I can’t wait to see what you have in store.


Weekend in Photos: A Berkeley Springs Friendsgiving

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On Being a Sorority Woman

IMG_4818I often reference my sorority here. This is because, despite the fact that I’ve now been out of college longer than I was a collegiate member, it’s still a huge part of my life. I can give you the usual spiel about the sisters I met later becoming my bridesmaids (true) or how my best memories from college were made at a sorority function (also true), but I can also tell you how my sorority experience better prepared me for life as a whole. How the opportunities I had to plan a fundraising dinner for 200+ people at age 19 prepared me far more for my career than that integrated marketing class I took, and how convincing a roomful of critical young women to vote for me to be on the Executive Board and “lead” their chapter is the best interview prep I could have ever received.

After college I took my experience a step further. I got a job with my sorority’s national headquarters traveling to other chapters around the country and acting as a liaison between the national organization and individual chapters. This position challenged me in unique ways and was probably the best decision I made fresh out of college. Rather than going straight to an office where I likely would have felt a little naive and in over my head, I went to an organization that embraced my youth as well as my femininity. I was raised up and empowered as a young professional woman –something that doesn’t happen often in Corporate America – and I took that feeling of resilience with me as I transitioned to new opportunities.

A misconception I often hear about sorority women is that they are all the same. I’m always very defensive when I hear this, as nothing ever made me feel more like I could be myself than the support of my sisters. And frankly, if we were all the same, nothing would have ever gotten accomplished. We needed the stubbornness and loyalty of some sisters to keep us grounded, the fashion sense of others to make sure we didn’t go out looking too ridiculous, accounting and business majors to keep us on budget, and those with athletic ability to help ensure that I would never, ever, have to play a round of Greek Games dodgeball. Being in a sorority didn’t just bring out each of our individual differences, it highlighted them.

I’ll also tell you that if you think young women only join sororities for parties and boys, you’ve obviously never been to an 11:00pm Friday night Greek Sing rehearsal the day before the big show. If you had, you’d know those are about the last things on one’s mind. If that is or was someone’s main priority, a sorority is probably not for that individual. If learning the values of working as a team, making sacrifices for others, and giving something your all is important to you, then by all means, bring the Milano’s pizza and come with some choreography ideas.

When I made the decision in 2008 to accept my bid, I didn’t know the lifelong experience I was committing to. Today, I honor the pledge I took to uphold the values and traditions of my organization, and I do so every day through my social and professional interactions with others. As an active member in an area alumnae chapter and organization volunteer, my sorority gave me a whole lot more than my bridesmaids and some memories, it gave me a future of things to look forward to, and when I moved to a new place and was overwhelmed as a recent college grad and newlywed, it also gave me a new place to call home.

Happy Founders Day to my fellow sisters. Here’s to 115 more.

On Life this Month

DSCN0792Whew, it’s been quite the month, guys.

We’ve been working away, doing some local-ish traveling, enjoying lots of fall-y things, watching too many TV shows, and making small updates to the apartment along the way. Get ready for lots of words.

I kicked off the month with a trip to Pittsburgh for Duquesne’s homecoming. Despite being a frigid first weekend of October, it was great to spend time with some besties, meet the beautiful new daughter of a wonderful friend, and trek around campus a bit. So many good memories from my four years there. The only downside to the weekend was that it was only two days. If only the real world didn’t exist and I could just spend a week trolling around Pittsburgh doing absolutely nothing at all.

I’m also smack in the middle of “campaign” (not political) season for my job, so the work weeks have been a bit of a blur with lots of moving around the city to different government buildings. On the plus side, nothing makes me feel more like an independent lady than lugging my display board and suitcase filled with premiums up a busy non-working Metro escalator, taking my heels along for the ride. And thank you sir, but I don’t need assistance. Strong women unite.

J’s job is keeping him busy as well. I went to a late-night homecoming pep rally with him one Friday evening and it was awesome to see him in his element interacting with some of the students and his coworkers. However, I was called “Mrs. K” on more than one occasion by his kids, and I’m pretty sure my brow earned a new wrinkle every time.

In addition to some work and a little travel here and there, we’ve been doing our best to check things off our Fall Bucket List. Earlier this month we got to enjoy an Oktoberfest party with my sorority alumnae chapter, and this past weekend we carved our pumpkins and had a little beer tasting of our own, with a side of pumpkin cheesecake from Wegman’s. Carrie supervised from the screen door, which has become her favorite spot in the apartment thanks to the cool fall breeze and lots of leaves flying by for her to “hunt.” We also spent the weekend catching up on “How to Get Away with Murder.” I’m not quite sure how I did it, but somehow I’ve gotten J to watch a Shonda Rhimes show with me.


Things have been coming along on getting our apartment together. In the past I’ve been in a rush to just purchase things to make a space feel more complete, but I’m trying to really take my time this go-around. Luckily, our apartment is small so it isn’t like we have rooms and rooms to fill (only three, actually), but our tastes are constantly evolving and what we picked even two years ago doesn’t fully fit our style any more. Knowing this, we are trying to focus on quality pieces and purchasing things we think will have a longer shelf life in this and future homes. We got the base of our gallery wall hung, and I finally decided on curtains for the bedroom. True story, we have been hanging beach towels in our bedroom windows at night because we didn’t have curtains and the cat would try to climb the blinds if we left them down while we slept. Needless to say, I’m excited for our curtain rod to come in this week so we can hang the drapes and sheers and act like some-what civilized adults. It’s ok to judge us, I do too.


That’s about life for us this month. What’s new with you? Done anything fun and seasonal or tackled a home project? Enjoy the rest of the week! xx

Weekend in Photos: Laid-Back Fall

It was a quiet two days around here. An an unusual weekend with no commitments, we kept things easy and headed to the close-by Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis for Art at the Park and a stroll to the overlook. We had dinner out, watched lots of football, picked out favorites from the pumpkin patch to carve next week, and sipped apple sangria. Cheers to the week ahead!

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6 Low-Key Date Ideas for the Fall Season


As the leaves begin to turn and the themed aisles of Target quickly turn from back-to-school to an odd combination of both Halloween and Christmas, there’s no arguing autumn is in full swing. In previous years, this is usually the time when I accept that I won’t see my husband until the end of March due to a busy basketball-centered travel and work schedule. However, the beginning of this summer brought about a promotion and change of work responsibilities for J, and he’s no longer at the office until nine every evening or on road trips through the weekends. With a new found ability to spend more time together this fall and winter, I thought I’d brainstorm and share some inexpensive and low-key “date” ideas for the months ahead.

1. Spend a Saturday afternoon at a local watering hole sharing a pitcher and watching college football
Even non-sports enthusiasts can appreciate the atmosphere of a cold drink, greasy appetizers, and cheers from fans on game day.

2. Head to the kitchen together and spend the day making each other’s favorite cookies
With the exception of after-dinner dishes and heating up frozen pizza, J pretty much avoids the kitchen at all costs. However, if anything is going to lure him in, it’s the promise of cookies. This is a great opportunity to turn off the TV, put aside the cell phones, and maybe even learn something new about each other.

3. Paint a wall in your home and share takeout pizza when it’s complete
Quality time together and little home improvement? Sounds like a win in my book! Painting just one wall is an inexpensive and easy way to add a quick update to a tired space. If you’re anything like us, you’ll appreciate spending the money on paint and supplies much longer than you would a date out.

4. Carve pumpkins and enjoy a meal from the slow cooker
Throw your favorite one-pot meal or stew in the slow cooker and spend a Sunday afternoon carving pumpkins outside. When you come back in you’ll have a hot meal waiting for you to enjoy. This would be an awesome date-in to invite another couple to share in.

5. Go for a hike – or head out on a geocaching adventure
As part of our anniversary date last month, J planned an 8-mile hike and picnic around a local state park. It was fun to get a little lost together and enjoy the peacefulness of our surroundings. I also had a really fun time pretending to see snakes so J would freak out. I think we would love the added adventure of geocaching with our phones and finding “treasure” at the end.

6. Create your own Oktoberfest tasting
So many beer and wine stores around us are now offering customers the option to create their own six packs by purchasing individual bottles of premium beers. This is a great way to try new brands and flavors without too much commitment or expense. Head out with your partner and select a handful of pumpkin or Oktoberfest beers to try and then take back to your home to pour and share while you discuss what you like and don’t like.

Do you have a favorite or go-to low-key date? What’s something small you’re looking forward to enjoying this season?