Thanksgiving + My Gratitude List

Gratitude List

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!  Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday ever!!!  It’s a holiday where you eat, relax, meet up with friends/family, eat again, and hopefully be grateful.   This is the bee knees of holidays people, there’s nothing better.  (I also love all the shopping sales that closely follow. Ha!)  But it simply wouldn’t be a Thanksgiving without being able to say what you’ve been thankful for…

Wafiq and I have a ritual of saying what we’re thankful for almost daily. When times were a little tougher I think we would say them twice a day… Taking time to challenge each other in a grateful war always makes the mood brighter.  And it takes your mind off all that negative shit that’s stuck up in that brain of yours.

This year, I have TONS to be grateful for, so lets get into it!

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Gold Mine Organization at The Container Store

Drawer Organizer

With the last few weeks feeling like my eyes were wide fucking open, I decided I have to get my shit together.   I always feel this way, like I really need to get my life wrangled in, but this time the feeling felt focused.  Small changes had to start happening, now.  A few weeks ago I discovered The Container Store.  Damn, for people that already knew of this beautiful secret of a store, congratulations.  I bought one small organizer for all my hair clips, I think it was $2.99.  I brought it home, and felt changed.  Organized and proud.  But I left it at that.  Every once and awhile I would brainstorm ways to organize my makeup but didn’t follow up.  So… after this slam dunk of events happening and being woke the F up, I decided no more waiting – I need to act!

Clear drawer trays: (here)

I chose clear because I can leave notes under them // Clear drawer trays: (here)

Super cheap but super valuable hair organizer: (here)
So that’s what I did. I went to The Container Store and bought pieces that I thought would help organize my room.  I didn’t think about what someone else would use to organize, I didn’t think about what made the most sense, I didn’t think about what a fancy organizer person would do – I only thought about how I wanted to organize my shit… and I proceeded.

The reason I’m even bringing up The Container Store is because it’s a one stop spot to knock out all of your organizing needs + most of the items are affordable. I’m obsessed with this store now. So let me tell you how I started.  I bought this tiny box organizer that looks like a children’s fishing tackle box and decided to separate all my hair clips into the dividers.  Before, they were all in one location, but in a small plastic box mixed together. I had no idea how many ponytails I had, where the other shiny blonde bobby pin was, or what clip I was looking for.  This $2.99 organizer made it so simple, and easy to store!  (Full disclosure, I left it out on my bathroom counter for a week just so I could stare at it).

For my makeup,  I started with different sized drawer organizers.  I went back and forth about where I wanted my makeup… On the counter or put away in drawers.  What do you think? I’ve seen it on counters lately as like a decoration? But I wasn’t feeling it for myself… so I went for these drawer organizers.  I decided on clear plastic organizers because they’re shiny, and I put little notes underneath them to reference.

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Life Chats: Not Always Rosey

Life Chats

I would love to say I’m back with Taylor Swift in my ears but I have 1,000 upgrades, login/password confusion, and download issues happening in iTunes right now so no Taylor Swift for me! Might have to take it the old fashion way of buying a tangible CD or pirating.    I’ve only been looking forward to this album since she disappeared.

I had a few traumatizing events happen the last few weeks, Jury Duty, work overload, and a book that rocked my socks.  The combination of everything changed me.  Really changed me in my core, opened my eyes, freaked me out, kept me awake… I’m going to follow up with a few posts on those events in the next week or so because it’s a lot to take on in one post, for me.  Especially since I haven’t written a post in awhile, I wanted to say hi first!  Immediately after Jury Duty I started thinking – fuck blogging, it’s not important enough.  I kind of protested myself, to myself?   My eyes were opened WIDE and I really shut the door on blogging, I was completely shifted in my thoughts.  I couldn’t come on and write about shoes, or festivals, or being happy – when that’s the opposite of what I gave a shit about.  But then, being away made me feel anxious, I love writing. And it doesn’t have to be roses and smiles all the time, because life isn’t roses all the time.  And my writing doesn’t have to be perfect or make perfect sense, because no one is perfect.  No one knows everything.  I also learned that being away from blogging & writing didn’t feel right. 

I’ve anxiously been waiting to have a post schedule again.  I use my blog as a creativity outlet but realized it’s more than that for me, it’s a way to express what’s in my head and talk to a few people that read.  My goal  is to eventually talk back and forth (I think some people call that conversation 🙂 ) with readers.  I know everything I say or think can be changed with a little extra knowledge and I’m going to do my best to search for it!  And always hear the other side on all my thoughts, and I encourage you to do the same.

Needless to say, waaaay out of the holiday spirit this year.  I don’t even remember Halloween.  Did it happen already?  This might not seem like a big deal, but as a blogger I should give a shit.  And my whole life I have – I love costumes and dressing up.  I’m typically VERY holiday. Celebrations excite me and I’m always down to participate… but this year I haven’t gotten into the swing of things, just haven’t and I probably won’t.  I’m relieved, I don’t want to holiday this year.  I want 2017 to be the year that I’m not focused on holidays but focused on myself and upcoming plans.  I’ve done this once before, when I first moved to Dubai.  I skipped holidays, and you know what? It wasn’t so bad.    So this year will be somewhat similar, not a total skip, but pretty darn close.

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Austin City Limits Music Festival 2017

ACL Fest

Wooooooof TA!  Austin City Limits music festival beat the crap out of me! Every year I go I hope it’ll be easier, but it never is.  I love the music & the break from normal life – but it’s H O T in Texas and that heat can really beat you up.

This festival came right on the heels of the Vegas catastrophe, which you couldn’t help but feel heavy about.  My friends & I did our best to not bring it up but that’s hard to do when there’s thousands of people stuffed in on top of each other at a concert.  I think that’s how it’s going to be from now on for our generation.  It’s hard to honestly say otherwise.  We have to live in a place where we’re cautious of our surroundings and listen to our instincts, especially when we’re in large crowds.  Unfortunately, that’s where we’re at in America.  Boo, all because of those mother fuckers.

One adjustment I noticed this year, I’m not sure if it’s new or just something I’m more aware of, is the huge crane overlooking the festival with police on it.  They had a birds eye view of the entire festival and you could see they had huge lenses to see everything happening on the ground.  That was about my only piece of mind.

On the 2nd night as Wafiq and I were watching one of the shows, we heard a huge bang come from the other side of the festival.  We told ourselves if we hear it again, we’ll leave.  Then we heard it again.  And again.  There were police near us that also looked concerned, as did most of the people around us.  To make a long story short, it was pyrographics at the stage on the other side of the festival. I’m thinking (and hoping) this part of live performances will have restrictions in the future.  I don’t think it’s worth it to risk confusing a crowd.  With our tensions a little higher than we’d like, Wafiq and I decided to leave early that night.  Again, we’re at a place where you have to trust your gut on certain circumstances, call us dramatic but I’d rather be the dramatic one all day than the one standing there when/if something happens.

I constantly brag about the incredibly insightful active shooter training I did with our city Fire Marshall – I need to do a whole post on that because it was way more helpful than I imagined it could be.

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My First Dating App Pic + A Little Dating History…

Dating Picture

Last week I did something a little anxiety provoking by logging onto Facebook & scrolling through years of pictures.  I don’t use Facebook very much anymore, and have never been a die-hard Facebooker.  For a few years after graduating college I deleted my Facebook all together.  No matter how much mind control you have, scrolling through a feed of highlights from everyone else’s life takes its toll on you.  I felt myself questing decisions I was making & comparing, comparing, comparing! – so I let Facebook go. At the time it was fantastic.  Since then I’ve rarely been using it & do my best not to get sucked into scrolling through my feed.

Ok, so this leads me to the other night, I stalked myself.  I wanted to see what was up with Miss Katie in her good ol Facebook days.  Years ago Facebook used to be a place where people posted full albums of a night out, dinner, vacation, dog, friend, time at the park.  Not 1 photo, but an album of 50.   These days Facebook is more business-y? And people sharing articles.  Instagram took over photos I think.  So I stalked back to the days of albums.  I should continue by saying, I don’t like erasing past decisions, which is why I try not to delete anything that I posted myself.  If I wanted to post it at the time, that’s how I was living life! OUI!

I felt pretty good after stalking.  Solid life experiences I’ve been documenting.

BUT THEN, I came across this photo of myself on my apartment balcony and immediately remembered.  MY FIRST DATING APP PHOTO.  I think I was 21?  Somewhere around there, and guys I put so much effort into this photo! The outfit, the lighting, the smile, the head tilt!  Probably even the nails…  I remember getting this shirt for $5 at Forever 21 & I never loved anything more.

My one & only dating app picture – on E Harmony
I put myself on EHarmony.  EHarmony at 22.  I remember feeling like the guys I was meeting on my own weren’t interested in anything more than going to church with their parents on Sunday mornings OR binge drinking on Monday nights.  Not for me you know, can we land somewhere in the middle?  So EHarmony (and blind dates) were my jam.  I pretended I was on The Bachelor and had a new date every week, on Thursday nights.  I had that system running for a long time…  Thursday was perfect by the way, the date didn’t interrupt one of my already planned fun weekend nights but was late enough in the week to actually relax & enjoy the night. Highly recommend setting up a similar schedule if you’re single.

The problem with Eharmony was that no one wanted to date me.  I think I was too young for the site?  One of the dates that I landed was with this guy that met me for appetizers.  He barely spoke & I don’t think listened to anything I said.  But I was so excited for this date!  I remember that. I can’t remember why, I think because he was older and it made me feel like he had to be more mature & maybe potential for a 2nd date??  Well we ate the apps, he took me to a nearby bar, and I saw a smile for the first time of the night when he looked up for the first eye contact of the evening and asked “what my sexual preferences were”.

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What Do You Think A Shelled Sunflower Seed Is?

Sunflower-Seeds-2

Holy shit!  Almost literally. I was scared to go to the bathroom the morning after I ate those fucking sunflower seed shells.  I know that’s all you’re wondering, how was my poo poo.  Well, ladies and gentleman I’m relieved to report everything flowed normally… so far.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about you didn’t see my Insta Story. I’ve been trying new cookbooks & have recently been using the Naturally Nourished recipes.  I went for a casserole recipe the other night & noticed one of the ingredients was “shelled sunflower seeds”.  To me, this meant in-shell.  I was in Trader Joe’s googling “Shelled Sunflower Seeds” with results showing sunflower seeds, IN SHELLS.  Confirming my thoughts that the recipe had to mean sunflower seeds, in their shell.

Does baking a shell of any seed make sense? No it doesn’t. But neither did putting bulbs of garlic in green juice to cure my shingles, but it worked.  My mind told me no. My gut told me yes. To pursue & discover this new secret vegan ingredient, sunflower seed shells.

I blended about 1/4 Cup of sunflower seeds, in their shells. I did have a moment of hesitation after noticing the sunflower seed shells weren’t grinding down very well.  After persistence, I sprinkled the crumbs onto my casserole and baked.

Sunflower seed shells are a softer shell, okay?  I ate them as a child.  I know.  So I thought, maybe baking them would create a soft, crunchy crust.  Clearly wrong.

THIS WAS NOT A GOOD IDEA. And likely unsafe. Therefore, don’t do it. Shelled means unshelled. I don’t understand it still, and probably never will, but what the hell, learned something new.  In my defense, in another recipe from the book it asked for “Pistachios, out of their shell” which is why I assumed if that’s what they meant w/sunflower seeds they would’ve said it the same way?

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3 Tips For Normal People Trying To Take A Pretty Picture

Good Photos

I HATE taking pictures.  I take them all the time for Instagram & my blog but it’s my least favorite thing to do.  People stay interested w/images more than a ton of writing so I know if I want my blog to be what I imagine, it has to include photos.  But it’s the hardest piece of the puzzle.  Can you be more into yourself than when you’re taking photos, trying to be pretty?  Ugh it makes me uncomfortable more than you’d imagine.

When you see pictures of me, this is typically the process. First, I hold the camera & Wafiq poses for it so he can remind me how easy it is.  He doesn’t care if other people are looking at him as he tries to act cool for pictures, he models confidently.  Once he makes me laugh enough, we switch.  He grabs the camera & tells me to do the same thing.  Boom, all my pictures.

I’m uncomfortable taking pictures & I know I’m not the only one.  Being in a picture these days means you’re likely going to be plastered on social media for everyone’s eyes.  Back in the day, a photo was shared w/family & maybe a few friends.  Now it’s all eyes on us, all the time!  The good side, having these pictures posted everywhere means we’ll easily be able to have the memory.  The best part, the memories. So I don’t let myself shy away from taking them.

There are a few, super simple tips I learned in college when pictures really started being a thing.  I wasn’t used to my picture being taken & after seeing a few horrible ones I started following these three rules for ALL photos.

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5 {New} Jazzy Ingredients For Your Kitchen!

5-new-ingredients

I’m back w/a few other kitchen favorites!  I’m all about trying new flavors, doing new things, and not getting too comfortable with -anything!  Including food.  I keep these 5 ingredients in my kitchen most of the time, and think it’s worth a try if you haven’t.  Sometimes, when they’re sitting there starring at you, you’re more likely to make use of them. I might not cook w/these guys every day, but they’re common enough ingredients to keep around

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3 Long Hair Tips For The Lazy

3 Hair Tips

I have Rapunzel hair.

And as much as I would love to explain how I planned it that way & have spent years & years growing it long, that’s not 100% the case.  My hair grows like a weed.  Having short hair isn’t an option because it would take way too much effort to maintain.  Long hair is easy for me, I go to the Salon approx twice a year.

I get asked about my hair more than anything else. You know?  Like instead of “where did you get those granny Sketcher slide ons?” people ask about how I did the bun in my hair today.  I don’t know why…

3 Long Hair Tips For The Lazy

1.Don’t wash it.  I don’t wash it because I’m lazy AF.  I know it’s almost trendy these days to say how many days in between washes you are for your hair.  “I haven’t washed my hair in 5 days!”.  Well, I haven’t washed my hair since I was a child.  Once a month my mom had to force me to wash it, and I don’t think she wanted to either but as a mother you feel like you have to enforce rules.  It takes an hour to brush out & another 3 days to air dry.  I see no interest.

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I’m Moving. 4 Items On My Furniture Wishlist.

New Furniture

Did You Know?  Australian homes have the largest house size with an average of 2,500 square feet, while homes in China are the smallest, at just over 500 square feet. U.S. comes in with the 2nd largest average size.  (via) Happy Thursday! We’re moving in a few weeks & I’m in the process of purging […]

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