Monthly Archives: April 2012

rally cat

Hello lovelies!

I hope your weekend is going swell. I wanted to share with you some amazingness from my Saturday!

I traveled to Jefferson City, Missouri yesterday, with a group of fabulous Drury students and professors to participate in the Unite Against the War on Women Rally. We had a great time road-tripping it to Jeff and an even better time during the march.

This event was important to me because I wanted to meet more men and women who have the same concerns as me regarding issues like access to affordable birth control, violence against women,  and issues surrounding healthcare and education (for all individuals).

This was my first rally, and I loved the amount of diversity among the participants–old and young, men and women, urban and rural. It is so important not to stereotype–a feminist has many different faces and backgrounds!

I am also excited to tell you that I have officially decided to earn my teaching certificate in elementary education. I haven’t talked a lot on here about my career goals, but for the majority of my time in college they included earning my MD or PA-C. (I wanted to be a doctor or a physician assistant). Only my mom, sister, a few close friends, and Wes really know that I’ve had serious qualms about those goals.

I’ve spent the last year doing some serious soul searching. I realized that I am not the same person I was when I first started college. I have new weaknesses and new strengths, and have come to the conclusion that a career in medicine is not for me.  In times of question, my little self inside my heart has always piped up and squeaked “you would make a fabulous teacher!” (Seriously. I imagine that my conscience sounds like the mice from Cinderella).

I feel very blessed that I let myself take this year to seriously consider becoming an educator. And I feel very brave for not worrying about “wasting” the last four years of college just because I won’t be using my biology degree to become a doctor. Those experiences will never be a waste. And I feel very lucky to have a most supportive husband who told me last night that I can master any skill I want to (including the skills needed for effective teaching) but at the end of the day “good teachers wake up and want to do what they do everyday. And I know you want to change the world.”

At the rally, a lady named Peggy Cochran spoke and while I don’t recall the details of her speech, it reminded me that I was at that rally because all I want to do with my life is help others realize and affirm their worth as a human being. And that’s what my teachers did for me.

So that’s what I’m going to do.

xoxo (rally) cat

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DIY fleas-be-gone pup collar

I live in Missouri, and in the summer, we get the bugs like craaazy. And my poor baby dogs suffer tremendously (and I, by association, do as well, since Gracie is old and must stay in the house all Summer) from the itchy fleas and chiggers and the persistent ticks.  So, I decided to get out my herbs and wage war on the critters.

This herbal dog collar is super easy to make, and inexpensive, too!

Here’s what you’ll need:

A bandana. If your pooch is pampered and lives it up in your home all day, you can most likely get by with a gently used bandana you already have. Now, if your dog likes to frolic outside and run through bushes and brambles, I strongly suggest you buy a brand new bandana, so it lasts a wee bit longer.

A sewing machine.

A marking pen. I use one with disappearing ink.

Herbs. The only herbs I had on hand were rosemary, lemonbalm, mint, and lavender. There are many more plants in the world that repel unwanted bugs, but these are probably the easiest to come by. The only thing I did to prepare my herbs was pulverize the rosemary before I put it in the collar. Rosemary is prickly and sharp, and I didn’t want it poking through the fabric.  I did this by busting out my mortar and pestle, but you don’t have to go Medieval: place your rosemary in a bag and crunch it with  a rolling pin.

Step 1. Begin by folding your bandana in half to create a triangle.

Step 2. Next, fold the top of the bandana (the straight edge) over 1 1/2 inches- this will be tube for the herbs to reside!

Step 3. Place your tape measure at the bottom of your fold and right where the fold meets the corner of the triangle, then measure inward 2 1/2 inches.

Step 4. Take your pen and mark it. Repeat step 3 and step 4 on the opposite side.

Step 5. Using the dot you made as a guide, sew one (just one!) end shut.

Step 6. Now you will need to sew on the edge of the fold you made in step 2 to make the tube.

Step 7. Take your herbs and stuff them in the tube. Put in enough herbs so that they fill out the tube, but not so much that it’s bulky.

Step 8. All you have to do now is sew up that last edge, using that dot you made as a guide. That’s it!

Tie the collar around your dog (or cat!) and have him/her strike a pose, like my Love did.

I hope this tutorial helps your furry friends this summer!

xo, bea

these are a few of my favorite things // cat

So . . . I spent the whole winter looking for a perfect pair of (affordable) riding boots, but never found what I was looking for. I purchased one pair from dEliA*s–a cute knee high riding boot that laced at the toes and zipped up the back–but my left calf was too big! :/

Thus, I have declared that I will stop at nothing this summer until I find a perfect summer staple shoe. And I’ve decided this doesn’t include the $10 sandals I buy at Target to replace basic blacks from last summer. Instead, I think I’m going to branch out and buy something a little more fun–maybe a style I’ve never tried before. I love trying new things!

So here’s my Summer Shoe Favorites!

I have been in the market for cowboy boots my whole life, because I just can’t ever seem to find a pair that I absolutely love! It seems no matter what I pair with them I always feel a bit too . . . country. And hot. Cowboy boots are really warm shoes. I like these cropped boots because you still get that cowboy boot vibe with the silhouette, the stitching and the tassel, but the height feels totally rock and roll! I’d wear these boots from Alloy with this, this, and this! I think they’d go especially well with the hi-low trend that’s all over town!

I’ve had my eyes on some saddle shoes for a long time now. Instead of being two-tone, this pair from dEliA*s are two-texture, which is a fun take on the traditional that I really like.  I also love these ones because the crochet details make them airy–no socks! The only problem is I’m not sure what color I’d buy–probably the white or the pink. Maybe both! I’d wear them with this, this, and this! I like to wear flat shoes with short dresses–minis and heels combined is just sometimes too much for me to deal with!

These Sperry’s from dEliA*s are definitely a splurge, but I am in dire need of a pair of kicks that go great with skinny jeans that I can wear socks with. I keep getting blisters walking long distances in my flats and sandals–but my trainers just won’t do with skinnies! So I think I might invest in a pair of these. Maybe not this summer, but definitely when we go to Europe! I love this pair because I am a sucker for animal print. I’d wear them with these, these, and these!

I can’t help but add a basic black sandal to my wish list. And this pair from Forever 21 is super affordable! I’ve bought a new style of flat sandal in black for the last three summers–they sometimes last, they sometimes don’t–but when they do I have a few options to choose from in a color that goes with everything! I’m really into chevron shapes, so I love the gold detail on the toe-piece. And the double ankle strap is unlike anything I already have in my closet! I’d wear them with this, this, and this!

*iwillnotmakeanypurchases*iwillnotmakeanypurchases*iwillnotmakeanypurchases

Until payday.

Thanks for letting me share! What’s on your summer wish list?

xoxo, cat

instagram photo reel // spring

Is it fantastically warm where you are, dear readers? I’m having a wonderfully sunny, mellow day that I decided had to be shared in pictures!

I live in a house that is surrounded by country: big fields, long dirt roads, bugs, and the odd animal that shows up every now and then. Do you know what the best thing is about my location? The flowers! Oh my, the flowers. Some my mother planted ten years ago, others have been there since we’ve moved in and never fail to crop year after year.

There are peonies  (sadly, they haven’t bloomed yet.), lilies, and bushes of white flowers whose name has escaped me at the moment. Sometimes, even chamomile finds it’s way out of the ground. Nowadays, we have wild strawberries growing under the kitchen window.  At the height of summer, everything has reached its peak, and it makes for a beautiful sight.

these irises come every spring

do you know the name of these flowers?

love, my dog, couldn’t keep out of the photos!

no strawberries on this plant, however…

…look what I found! a lonesome strawberry, but he’ll soon have buddies.

Happy Spring!

love, bea

happy sounds: bea

My tunes this week are designed to relax and transport you to France rather than induce a head bop (but you just might do that anyway because my man Yann Tiersen has a way with musical notes!).

1. Soir de fête

2. La Plage

3. La Veillée

4. Le Matin

5. Les Jours Tristes

6. La Boulange

7. Les Bras de Mer

listen, love, here

enjoy!

love, bea

a peek into my apartment // a much needed closet makeover

I absolutely adore weekends that are spent {successfully} fulfilling a to-do list. This weekend, my goals included deep cleaning as much of the house as possible, spending some time at the salon (I had terrible split-ends), cooking a hoard of food for the week, and finally getting my closet organized. We have been in our new apartment for a about four months now, and the closet was ridiculously messy. A big pile of who-knows-what dominated one corner of the floor, while my clothes were haphazardly arranged on one side of the closet. Wes’ side wasn’t too bad, but you have to consider that he only owns like, three t-shirts and a pair of pants.

So, I dug deep and got in touch with my inner Carrie Bradshaw, and what you’ll find here is the before and after for my (for now) dream closet!

Before:

After:

What I did . . .

Clothes off the floor! Organized by type: formal, winter wear, jackets & cardigans, dresses and blouses. Shoes are stacked in plastic totes up top!

Kitty has reign over our second bathroom so I used an extra set of shower hangers to hang belts and handbags!

All in a row! Belts, swimwear, scarves, and handbags. I tied bikini bottoms to the corresponding top before hanging–no more searching for your suit separates!

I wanted a boutique look for my closet, and I didn’t want to spend a lot of money, so I used what I had–those vintage suitcases I snagged for $32 a while ago, and two Liberty of London boxes I already had. I placed two pairs of boots in the boxes and Wes’ rarely worn ties and business socks in the train case! I used our old coffee table to create more storage space.

Instead of just setting them on the floor, I anchored my rain boots on a cute Daher tray.

I stored small clutches and coin purses on the right and hats and tights on the left. A fun Topshop catalog hides all the bungle underneath! Winter accessories are stored in the small suitcases that sits to the right of this one.

Pillows and Blankies

Instead of storing extra blankets and sheets in a cardboard box, I pulled them out and displayed them! Theres about six blankets rolled and stacked, and I stored our extra pillows and sheets in a cute box, ready to go for when we have a house guest.

Extra hangers find a home in a Topshop shopping bag. Keeps my organizational necessities nearby while reminding me about my fun shopping excursion in downtown Chicago!

Wes’ side. I added some manly touches–like a vintage globe–to balance my sparkly and shiny accessories!

I really like this his/hers signs!

A pretty light fixture will tie it all together!

If spending a lot of money is holding you back from organizing a space in your house, don’t fret–get creative! Everything I used for this project I had somewhere else in the house, except for the shoe totes, which I bought at Target for a couple of bucks a piece. I even made the light fixture!

xoxo cat

best chai in town

I absolutely love chai tea. The first mug I ever had was at an Indian restaurant in Minneapolis. It was warm, silky and spicy and I haven’t found anything like it to date. Iced chai tea is my cafe drink of choice here in town, and I love the blend at Hebrews Coffee on Republic Road. It’s my favorite so far! There’s always some sugar and spice that settles at the bottom, making me think there might be some real spices that go into the drink. I don’t know for sure, but I know that it’s delish!

Wes said the mocha is quite tasty, too.

What’s your favorite cafe drink? I’m the type of person who often sticks to the things I know. I tend to get risky when I’m on trips and having fun–like when I tried that fateful cup of chai in Minnesota (I ate buffalo there too!)–but when it comes to the day to day grind, I always go for tried and trues. So give me some good recommendations so I can find a new tasty treat to fall in love with!

xoxo catherine

these are a few of my favorite things: bea

The past few days have been  fast and furious, perhaps a bit too much (I’m exhausted, completely so!), but these few things I’m about to show you have helped me tremendously in winding down by reminding me to take a breath and relax a jot or two.

1. Nectar from a Stone by Jane Guill. This is my go-to novel. I’ve read it so many times!

2. http://marawilsonwritesstuff.com Do you recognize that name? You might, if you’re old enough. Mara Wilson was the girl who played Matilda in the 1996 movie of the same name. Yeah! I could hardly believe it, but there it is. Check her out because she is every bit as cool as when she could levitate a box of Cheerio’s  in Matilda.

3. The weather has been absolutely beautiful these few weeks, so I’ve been going outside to sit and feel the sun. I don’t do anything except sit on my stoop and listen to the birds and wind.  It’s the ultimate break-time during the day!

4.  Cuddling with my dog, Gracie, at night. She is such a little space heater! Lately, she’s been falling asleep on my pillow, right above my head, and during the night, her legs (and nails!) become impossibly tangled in my hair. Needless to say, I usually wake up with my whole head teased into a poof!

Stress is stressful, but everything ends perfectly if I can give my dog a kiss or warm up in the sun…

love, bea

chicago love 2012 // the sights

1.// Chicago from the Skydeck in Willis (Sears) Tower. 2.// It was a little scary stepping out onto the ledge: it helped to look out instead of down! 3.// The husband and I strike a pose. 4.// We took a taxi to Millennium Park. So many beautiful flowers! 5.// The Bean! 6.// Between the park and the Field Museum, we stopped for some Italian Ice. Strawberry + lemon = delish. 7.// Red tongue! 8.// Sue, the largest and best preserved Tyrann0saurus Rex at the Field Museum. 9.// A beautiful shaul in a cultures of the world display. 10.// I love this pottery! It’s inspired a terra cotta painting project. 11.// Hotel for men only–I think the Blues Brothers stayed here.

Our last day in Chicago was spent seeing everything we could see. Our first stop was breakfast at Yolk where I had a delicious eggs benedict. A few blocks later, we found ourselves at Willis Tower where we took a trip up to the 103rd floor to see Chicago from way in the sky. It was an amazing sight to see! It was a little foggy so visibility was down, but it was still worth it. I didn’t come home with any souvenirs though–everything had Willis Tower emblazoned on it, of course, so I’m on the look out of a retro  Sears Tower mug!

Next, we took a cab to Millennium park to see The Bean. It made for some fun photos, and there were so many people milling about, happy to be in the city. On our way to the Field Museum, we snagged some Italian Ice and saw a Segway tour speed by. The Field Museum was my favorite stop of the day–but we only got through two displays! I would have loved to see the Opening the Vaults: Mummies and the Genghis Khan presentations–maybe next time. I know we’ll be back to the city!

Night included another trip to The Bad Apple and some fun with friends from the comic convention. The next day, we made it out of the city by about 9am, and made the long trip back to the ‘ol Springfield, Mo.

But not before we hit up the fabulous Pink Elephant antique store outside of East St. Louis!

1.//The actual pink elephant. 2.// This tea kettle was adorable! 3.// I love this blue scarf. I wish I had bought it now–it was only $3. 4.// Nerd alert: The Exciting World of Metrics lunchbox! 5.// The Tastee Treat! You can shop and get ice-cream!

We had a very good time in Chicago. I hope I get to go back soon–in fact, I might start planning a trip with my friend Molly to hit up the Randolph Street Market! Thanks for following along with us–I hope you enjoyed the photos!

chicago love 2012 // part deux

1.// Broadway Antique Market in Chicago. I actually spent most of my time shopping at Edgewater Antique Mall. Both were fun! 2.// I am searching for affordable vintage globes so I can add some masculine decor around the house. 3.// I nearly bought these shoes, but my feet were so blistery I couldn’t tell if they’d be comfortable or not! 4.// I love collections of things contained in pretty holders. Can anyone come up with a project for all of those old radio/tv dials? 5.// I would have loved to have brought home this owl vase, but it was too pricey! 6.// Geek moment: the Biology major in me went gonzo over this mitosis instructable! 7.// Two fab hand bags I almost came home with. But I couldn’t decide which, so I said neither! 8.//So. Many. Outfit. Possibilities. 9.// After shopping, we had dinner at The Bad Apple. 10.// I had The Frenchie. 11.// Wes had the Red Dragon. Yum!

Wes and I spent Day 2 in Chicago apart, he at the convention and myself shopping the Chicago vintage & antique scene. It was a little challenging to do the driving in such a large place, and the Saturday traffic was pretty thick. Overall, let’s just say thank goodness for Google and the iPhone! Anytime I had any trouble I just whipped it out and typed my question, like “paying for parking in Chicago”. Saved me a lot of fumbling at the meter trying to figure out if it was a quarter only situation and such.

I found some fabulous glassware, a Lucite tray, and a vintage wrap dress. The dress requires a tad bit of repair, so maybe a tutorial is in the future!

Next, we headed downtown so I could venture into Topshop and Urban Outfitters. Before we knew it, we were starving. Wes suggested we eat at The Bad Apple, a bar in northern Chicago. If you are ever in the area, I definitely recommend The Frenchie–brie, spinach, and truffle mayonnaise made for a fabulous burger! We returned for a second time the next night, and while Wes got adventurous and tried a new burger, I had The Frenchie again. It was so delicious, I actually left fries on the plate–both times!

Chicago sights to come!

xoxo Cat