[what I'm doing] this week [besides blogging]

Wednesday, October 29

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irrelevant. but I did take this from my front porch the other day, and it's an accurate portrayal of the weather.

- coordinating (& participating, passing out, and throwing up in) a Blood Drive [Tuesday]
- working on our volunteer Haunted House [Thursday]
- moving out of my house [all week]
- driving to Memphis for Halloweekend [Friday]
- celebrating my "Emmaversary" (one year at my job!) [Thursday]
- being disappointed in myself re: a Halloween costume. too. much. happening. [all week] 
- generally feeling crazy [all week]

not conducive to blogging, but you know how that is.

plus Graphic Tee Week, although fun and insightful, was a lot more blogging than I normally do in one week! so I'm taking it easy. looking forward to being back next week when my life and therefore brain are a little more in order.

wishing you ALL a fabulous, safe Halloweekend, and marvelous end to your October, full of the good stuff (included, not limited to: Reeses' Pumpkins, colored wigs, pumpkin anything really, The Monster Mash, Double Bubble, and perfect Fall weather.) 

Graphic Tee Week #5: The Foreign Gift

Friday, October 24

And now for the finale of Graphic Tee Week! We've made it to Day #5. 
If you're checking out Graphic Tee Week for the first time, you can see Day #1-4 here: The Rand-Me-Down, The HS Fave, The Forev Fave, The Band Tee
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| sweater: from Shelby | tee: from Finland | dress: secondhand UO | socks: Madewell (gift from Katie) | booties: Target |

The last category of tees that I own that came to mind were: foreign gifts. Specifically, t-shirts from India that my Uncle has sent me. Though, to be fair, this one used to belong to Amir, and we bought it at the dock market in Helsinki. For theme week's sake though, let's imagine that this tee is a foreign gift. Someone sent it to you, it reminds you of where you came from (my Mom is from Finland, for the record), and it's a great conversation starter. But how do you wear it? 
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Tying any tee over a dress is THE easiest way to wear it, especially if the tee may be a little quirky, but you don't want to disgrace your ancestors. I've also found that many of my old graphic tees are too small to be comfortable anymore, but I still love the print. Well, you could literally repeat this outfit formula every time you had nothing to wear, and never run out.

One other outfit note: Katie sent me these socks in a birthday package, and they are PERFECT for peeking out of booties, or making my clogs Fall-ready. Love 'em.
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Link up your graphic tee outfits below, be sure to check out Andi's finale, and wish her a happy 30th birthday today!

THANK YOU to everyone who made Graphic Tee week a success, by linking up, commenting, and reading along! Remember, you can link up your graphic tee looks throughout this weekend, if you're feeling a bit behind the game.

I sincerely hope this theme week gave you some ideas on how to wear old/random tees you may have in your closet! I'll plan on doing a re-cap post next week, discussing what Graphic Tee Week taught me (eye roll. Those melodramatic blogger statements always make me laugh.)

Well, I feel totally blogged out this week. Wishing you all a very nice weekend. Thanks for reading!

Graphic Tee Week #4: The Band Tee

Wednesday, October 22

Welcome to Graphic Tee Week, Day 4 and happy little Friday! 

Ah, band tees. I've loved them since I started seriously loving music, around 7th grade. I have a host of band tees I think I would have rather worn on this day (Fall Out Boy, Something Corporate, Panic! At The Disco, The Academy Is...) but they're all at my parents house. So Owl City 2009 North American Tour will just have to do (any Saltwater Room fans out there??) I should also note that this outfit appears to be the less-cool version of this outfit. 
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| glasses: Amazon | tee: merch table! | trench: Gap Factory | skirt: F21 | boots: from Carina | 

After all those disclaimers, I'm amazed you're still reading! Because of the usual "tough" nature of band tees, (I say that, and this one is baby shower yellow), I love pairing them with a sweet skirt. This juxtaposed look works out pretty much every time. The boots and trench were two variables that came together after I walked outside and it was in the 40s. 
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Other outfit completer ideas for a band tee: a leather jacket to maximize the "angsty groupie" vibe, a sparkly statement necklace that says "just like Marissa Cooper, I dress like a prep but I like good music". If anyone gets the reference (to the show, OR the specific scene I'm referring to) you win my blog forever and ever. Graphic Tee week is growing weirder by the day, it seems.  
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*photos edited with VSCOCam and taken by my Kelley Lovebug*

You can view Graphic Tee Week #1-3 here: The Rand-Me-Down // The HS Fave // The Forev Fave.
Follow along with my co-host Andi here!

Tune in tomorrow for the conclusion of Graphic Tee Week: The Foreign Gift. Thanks to everyone who has linked up & been reading along so far, and don't forget, you can link up your graphic tee outfits through this weekend!

Graphic Tee Week #3: The Forev Fave

For today's installment of Graphic Tee Week, I'm featuring my forever favorite (not to be confused with my high school favorite, from yesterday.) This is a tee I have been obsessed with since I inherited/stole it from my sister, Carina; and worn throughout high school, college, and real life. I've mentioned a few times on my blog how I'm everyone's token "donut friend" (I used to work at a Donut Shop and now everyone associates donuts with me...) and I also seem to be everyone's cupcake friend. Basically, I have a monster sweet tooth and I'm obsessed with cupcakes. 
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| blazer: F21 | tee: UO | jeans: 7 For All Mankind | booties: Old Navy | purse: H&M |

So this is a tee that lands in the safe zone every time I'm trying to down-size t-shirts. I think I'll keep it forever. So though I usually wear it with the same pair of sweatpants, it was fun to try and style it for real life. I've seen some fantastic pins of blazers over graphic tees, and though I'm not really a blazer girl myself, I would agree that it instantly makes a t-shirt work appropriate. Or church appropriate, in my case for this outfit. 
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To take your favorite graphic tee of all time out of the comfort of your own home & sweatpants, try out the blazer + graphic tee combo. If your forever favorite is covered in baked goods, the structure of a blazer and skinny jeans may add the commentary "I have a sweet tooth, but I'm still professional." 
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If you missed Graphic Tee Week #1 & #2, check them out here: The Rand-Me-Down // The HS Fave. Also, Andi is co-hosting this theme week, so check out her graphic tees here!

Link up your graphic tee below, and remember, Graphic Tee Week runs 'til this Friday. Yup, that means I'll be overthinking my t-shirts for three more days.

Because I know you're dying in anticipation, tune in tomorrow for: The Band Tee.

Graphic Tee Week #2: The HS fave

Tuesday, October 21

A HUGE thank you to everyone who linked up for Day #1 of Graphic Tee Week! And we're on to Day #2, where I'll be discussing and styling: my high school favorite. 
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| sweater: from Shelby | tee: Alyssa Zukas for UO | skirt: from Carina | boots: Frye |

The hardest part about wearing a graphic tee these days is that many of mine are old, from high school or college, while now I'm out of school and working full-time. Even though I still love 'em, I find myself asking, is this shirt still relevant in my life? How can I make myself look like I'm not in high school anymore (I ask myself that question pretty much every day)? 
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And this one is probably my favorite from high school. You can't see it all that well, but it has a vintage looking airplane on the side, which always reminds me of my brother (who flies for the Marines.) 

This shirt was part of a collection Alyssa Zukas did for Urban Outfitters. I fell in love with her designs and bought several shirts, but hadn't seen anything by her since. Then in a weird turn of events, yesterday Hannah wore an Alyssa Zukas tee on her blog, and I learned Alyssa has her own fantastic Etsy shop, where her designs live on! That is some graphic tee gold. Check it out!  
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SO to answer my self-imposed question: to wear a graphic tee that was your favorite when you were young, naive, and just got your driver's license; try pairing it with some of your favorites today. I like to think of this as my "uniform" that I don't wear all that often, graphic tee + printed skirt. Add my sweater that I wear everyday, and my Fryes that I've been wearing everyday, because I paid for them. Bonus that this outfit is very Fall which, by the way, did you notice that it's Fall? 

Don't forget to check out Andi's graphic tee posts, she's rocking some Cardinals gear today! 

Link yours up below, and remember; we'll be going strong through the end of the week.
Check back in tomorrow for: The Forev Fave.

Graphic Tee Week #1: The Rand-Me-Down

Monday, October 20

Hi & welcome to Graphic Tee Week! I am so excited to be hosting my very first theme week with the wonderful Andi of Just Another Smith. Theme Weeks are an awesome way to experiment with a certain item in your closet; especially one you love but often wear in a rut. 

For me, graphic tees are the "rut I love." I just can't stop buying them and wearing them, ever since about 7th grade! I decided to approach this theme week by looking at the different categories of graphic tees I own, and how I love to style them; in hopes that you might have them in your closet too.

So, to kick us off- here's my random hand-me-down graphic tee, and how I love to wear it. 
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| tee: from Shelby | belt: thrifted in Finland | tux pants: Old Navy | flats: Old Navy |

I have to thank my roommate, Shelby, for this gem. I think I always loved it when she owned it, so when I had the chance to make it mine, I didn't think twice! It's always nice when shirts give you color options, but this one demands red and black. 

The print makes me look more studious than I am (though, note: I do remember being in India when I was eight and finding a giant volume of Sherlock Holmes stories. I read The Speckled Band and it scared me straight. Haven't tried him since.) and the drapey fit is perfect for tucking in and belting. 
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This outfit feels totally me! No doubt you have a random graphic tee in your dresser that you inherited/stole from someone. I say, because it's probably a little quirky, pair it with some classics: cuffed pants and flats. 

Also note that while both this shirt and pants are black, one looks grey, I guess I love it that much (file under: things I notice/care about that no one else will)? 
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And in case you're wondering how my boyfriend feels about red lipstick, Hunter said, "I'll take pictures for you on one condition: you have to wipe that lipstick off as soon as we're done." Ok, mom. 
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Also important to note that I'm experimenting with a middle part again, and it is going SO much better than last time! 

Link up with your graphic tee looks below, and remember, you can join us all week all week! 
Tune in tomorrow for: The HS Fave.

The Return of Beatrix

Thursday, October 16

Why hello! It's been a dreary, though busy week that hasn't involved blogging, reading blogs, or anything involving blogging. I'm ok with that! I read once somewhere and I'll never forget, "It's ok for life to get in the way of blogging, but not for blogging to get in the way of life." Disclaimer over.

After watching several of my lady-co-workers parade around in their felt hats, I broke out my own, which hasn't seen the light of day since this outfit. I lovingly refer to it as my "Beatrix Potter hat", and always feel somewhat costume-y wearing it--but I guess that's what personal style is all about...right? My theory behind the hat is to keep the rest of the outfit as simple as possible; this keeps the hat the ridiculous center of attention. 
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| hat: UO | earrings: gift | top: Old Navy | jacket: Old Navy | jeans: F21 | booties: Target | 

I paired it with a messy bun that exploded, some red lipstick [Rubylicious by Maybelline, if you're interested] and some NEW earrings my kind friend Katie sent me in a bday package last week! In her thank you card, I wrote, "The earrings are just like my old favorite pair of earrings that I lost sometime during my Senior year of high school." True story. They are pretty but simple enough to wear with everything. Thanks Katie, & three cheers for accessories. 
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I realize you can't even see the shoes, they're these booties that I've thoroughly stained but will wear anyway because I love 'em. 
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Just some simple iPhone + VSCOCam edited photos by Kelley outside our office one day last week.

Things that have happened this week: drove back from FL, endured a crazy tornado-like storm here in Nashville, met Andrea for coffee, watched some more Breaking Bad, organized a semi-chaotic work lunch, played ping-pong after work, had dinner with Trace and his parents, got a new Ipsy, and tonight I'm babysitting some of my favorite babies!

ALSO- don't forget, I am co-hosting a theme week with Andi of Just Another Smith starting Monday! The theme is Graphic Tees, so pull out your weird/fun t-shirts and get them in an outfit; we would love to have you link-up for one day or as many days as you like.

So, I will be posting outfits every day next week, which will be a bit of a learning curve...surely I will run out of things to say. Would it be more worrisome to not run out?

See you then, if not before (wishful thinking.) 

Weekend Update: Another Mini-Family Reunion

Tuesday, October 14

Back to business; after another quick weekend trip to Florida to see my brother Sundar, my mom who flew out from California, and my brother Amir who came down from Davidson, NC for his Fall Break! I spent a few years in Nashville with no family even in the same region, so I am reminded how thankful I am to have some close(r) now! We make these mini-family reunions throughout the country whenever we can. And hey, these days, 4/9 is not bad at all! 

I saw Sundar real recently in Chattanooga, so when I saw him again, I joked that I didn't even have time to miss him yet. 
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I took Monday off to make the trip back, so we had a full two days! Sundar drove us all around; to the beach, Joe Patti's Seafood Market, and on base at NAS Whiting & Pensacola, where we visited the National Naval Aviation Museum. And two stops for fro-yo and donuts, obviously.  

Another highlight was seeing my cousin, Glory (very bottom right), who is in nursing school in Pensacola. I hadn't seen her since 2007 when my Dad & I visited her family in Ireland! 

Amir is killing it in his Junior Year at Davidson, as an RA, Young Life extraordinaire, club soccer player, and sermon critic, apparently. Hadn't seen him since my trip home in March! So proud of this young man. Hoping to make it over to Davidson in the beginning of November. 

My sweet mother is a darling as ever. She stayed in the airport all night on Friday after her flight got cancelled. By the time we met up on Saturday morning, I said, "Mom, if you want to be a royal beezy clap all day, you're allowed." She said, "No, that won't be necessary." WHAT a good sport.  I loved getting to make her dinner with the boys as she relaxed on the couch. We owe her a few ;) and I told her she could wake me (the anti-morning person) up every morning with "gentle, encouraging snuggles", I miss this SO much in life!! I am counting the days until we can hang again for Thanksgiving! 

And Sundar is just my buddy, obviously. He showed us the planes he flies, but I had already seen them the other weekend. Homie gets to make his selection in two weeks! He's just the best.

We (mostly me) were busy gathering ideas and making plans for our entire family's trip to Hawaii for Christmas. And on the car ride home, I spoke to every member of my family except for Coren (we talked on the way there.) Feeling pretty pleased with myself. And mildly family-obsessed. And it's short week now, wahoo!! Thanks for reading friends!

Where There Are Octobers

Thursday, October 9

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I'd have to agree with you, Anne! Man I love this time of year, and man I am loving this October. The same things I was doing a month ago just feel better. Fall brings the vibrancy back that is lost in the laziness of Summer; and I should add, we are still working out the last of Summer weather around here. Fall fashion is the best, it smells good outside, the weather is lovely, and oh yeah, sweaters! 

Things I am looking forward to this October:
  • Talent Week/Night at work (already happened. Magical.) 
  • hanging with Sundar, Amir, and my Mom this weekend
  • Halloweekend in Memphis with Meredith
  • the haunted house our office puts on for a family community center (theme: Haunted Circus!)
  • celebrating my first "Emmaversary": one whole year of my job! 
  • co-hosting my first Theme Week: Graphic Tees with Andi. Kicks off Oct. 20th! 
  • perhaps re-visiting some dates ideas from my Fall Date List
  • some costumes. Should I resurrect my Beyonce outfit, Poison Ivy outfit, or try something new?

Songs I will fully vouch for this month:

On the nightstand this month:
  • Where Are You, Bernadette? - Maria Semple (I picked this up again after dropping it a few months ago.) 
  • Sharp Objects - Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl. This is a haunting read that I think is perfect for the season. I am spellbound and seriously creeped out. Like, I shouldn't read this when I'm home alone but I will anyway and get freaked out! 

Things I can't wait to wear this month:
  • my "Firstie" Katie send me these Madewell ankle socks as part of a belated birthday present (this is totally fine with me, btw!) I cannot wait to wear them with everything, and by that I mean, every pair of booties I have AND my clogs! Something about these socks make me feel invincible. 
  • my wool snood that I barely got acquainted with this Spring
  • a few other Fall favorite outfits on the blog: here, here, and here
  • Fall outfits I am crushing on Pinterest: here, here, and here

What are you looking forward to doing/listening to/reading/wearing this October? I'd love to know! Share below.

the Turmeric sweater

Wednesday, October 8

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| scarf: from Mom | necklace: World Market | sweater: from Shel | top: from Canada | skirt: from Shel | boot socks: Madewell           | boots: Frye |

Hi friends! I hope everyone is excited to layer layer layer again, because 'tis the season! Here's a little Fall number from over the weekend. My long-lost friend Meredith was back in Nashville [finally!], so we ran around like crazy from Saturday 'til (a legendary) Monday (late) night. Yesterday I got home from work and took a "quick" nap, waking up at 7:40pm. Whoops! Naturally I was thinking I might have trouble falling asleep last night. Nope. My bed is extra cozy come Fall, and I am as much of a sleeping baby as ever. 

N-E-WAYS: Wore this Sunday for church, but mostly doing traffic school on my porch, and making Indian food for my lunch bunch at work. Of course as soon as I started cooking with Turmeric (white people: Turmeric is that delightful yellow spice [a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae, I did research because I love you]) that turns everything, well, yellow. So to finish off this pointless tangent, I changed out of this outfit in phases as I was cooking and the off-white sweater went first. Much as I love wearing a scarf over the stove.
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The temperature dropped on Saturday night (like, down to the high 30's. Enough to freeze some of our HVAC units at the office) so Sunday morning bloomed a little frosty too. I nearly wore out the elbows in this perfectly slouchy sweater last year (don't believe me?) and have looked forward to pulling it out of seasonal retirement since then! Add a scarf, throw color rule inhibitions to the wind, add my perfect boots that I have also been waiting patiently to wear again; bam. I'm clothed. 

Oh- I don't know if I ever mentioned I got this sweater-y top at the most random store in a Canadian mall, and it is perfect. My money's on the fact that I will wear this entire ensemb again this week to work. Don't tell. 
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And one picture of Dith because she's so cute, and graciously took pictures for me. "Shout-out!" (We were saying that all weekend because Dith's friend Savannah's British roommate [my stories are getting more and more bizarre...] says it all the time, about everything. Let's do our part and get that trending in the US, folks!) 
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Cutie-pie with an equally cute and fabulous coat. Can't wait to see this girl again for MEMPHIS HALLOWEEKEND! 

So. It's Wednesday. I feel like Dith just left. Friday after work I'll be leaving for Florida, to hang out with Sundar, Amir who is flying down for Fall Break, and my Mom who is flying out from CA. It's been a wonderful week so far and I can't wait for this weekend!! 

snapshots of life, VIII

Monday, October 6

I am having a fantastic Monday! Just want that to get on record.

It is SO that time again, loyal readers. I define snapshots of life as "all the random ish I take pictures of on my phone that never makes it into a post, but I don't want to forget." If that's good with you, continue reading. Oh yeah, we're going all the way back to July for these guys.
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top to bottom, left to right:
1. I just want you to know that this is my phone background and I love it every time I see it.
2. throwback to when Davy and I went to The Loveless Cafe on a perfect Southern evening.
3. Patterson House for Carina's birthday, the checks come in books and you can sign them! 
4. pudding cup, pool, book, late afternoon sun. a perfect moment.
5. skyping my little peanut. how could you not love that face.
6. got to hang with these four one weekend, finally reunited again. love these guys!
7. did I ever mention Hunter got me this personalized bottle of wine for our anniversary? 
8. I should note I've been spending many weekday evenings like this, and no complaints.
9. meet my little friend Mia, she loves selfies. 
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10. so this one time Huntee made me breakfast and it was amazing,
11. adopted kittens in our office. meet Nielson and Wilson, absolute troopers.
12. I get to babysit the CUTEST kids, seriously. Miles + Lucille.
13. sometimes when Kelley is out of the office, we Skype at work.
14. Chablis came to town for Amanda's birthday, and I am wearing too much blush.
15. visited/surprised Amanda for her birthday in her classroom. I just love Miss Twigg!
16. cakes at City Cafe in Chattanooga last weekend
17. we paraded this hilarious banner through the office for Talent Week
18. dogs in the office. meet Melvin, or Scrum Pup as I like to call him. showed this pic to everyone!

hoping to catch up with your snapshots or slices of life soon. have a wonderful evening!!

snapshots volume one through seven: 7 // 6 // 5 // 4 // 3 // 2 // 1

Foster Cats

Saturday, October 4

Happy Saturday! Aka the best day. I mean, what is better than waking up and asking yourself, "Hmm, what would I like to do today?" How often does that happen?! Kinda once a week.

This is an outfit I wore to work last week, in what I would call "anticipatory Fall fashion." We ended up having a happy hour event outside in the afternoon, and the vest came off so fast. Edit: it's actually cold now. Last night I wore a skirt/t-shirt and was freezing. Ok Fall, if you're serious about it, then I'm serious about it. 
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| sunglasses: H&M | blouse: Gap Factory | vest: Local Honey Nashville | skirt: Old Navy | loafers: Target |

As I've mentioned, my current style strategy is to wear out my closet. Like most, I'm always trying to downsize and whittle down my wardrobe to only items I love; and like some, I'm on pretty much a $0 budget for clothing while I save for other things. 

So, I'm pretty pleased with how this outfit, comprised of "closet orphans", turned out. I love the blouse, vest, and skirt, respectively; but for some reason they don't get much wear. 
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Also I'm combining black and navy which is a huge deal for me! I don't hate it. The vest was somewhat an afterthought as I was looking for something long-sleeved for the morning chill. I realize it's not long-sleeved, but it fit the bill and I love the way the layering turned out. 
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This skirt used to be a bit big for me but now *ahem* fits great, and I think it'll be on heavy rotation this Fall. I don't have a staple perfect black pencil skirt, but I love the drapey look of this one. Bonus it's super comfy. 
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How pretty is this late afternoon lighting? Love it. 
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This is the part of the post where I talk about non-outfit related news, in the hopes of not sounding totally vapid. I survived Talent Week at work! Yesterday was a little rough, in the wake of Talent Night. But man, I love my job and I'm coming up on my one-year-anniversary, crazy! 

I'm spending today feeling like there's something more I should be doing..? I mean, rather than sitting around with some serious Vols fans as they scream at the TV. Of course I'm watching the game too (I'm not watching the game.) Meredith comes into town tonight (yee!) and tomorrow should be strictly business. Have a great Saturday everyone! Talk to you soon. 

Top Five Memories of Summer 2014

Thursday, October 2

It's October, and technically Fall though not officially Fall. I've had my first caramel apple pop and started breaking out those sweaters and scarves, all very technical; but still, I figure it's ok for me to look back on my Summer as the season ends.

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My Top Five Memories of Summer 2014:
1. Centerhill Lake day with Galina, Carina, and Sundar
2. Beyonce & Jay-Z concert in Atlanta
3. Birthday cabin weekend at Cedars of Lebanon State Park
4. Wedding road-trips to Georgia and Virginia
5. July 4th in Memphis

Looking at these pictures and thinking through these memories brings me so much joy. While these are special events and getaways; I want to note that I really enjoyed some everyday stuff this Summer too: pool days, hiking, grilling out, crazy fun afternoons at work, nights out with friends, sitting on the porch. All the things that make Summer so sweet.

Way back in June I wrote a "Summer Road-Trip Wishlist", let's see how I did:
1. Young Harris, Georgia- for Julie & Lee's wedding. DONE, wrote about it here.
2. Harrisonburg, Virginia- for Ashton & Ashley's wedding. DONE, wrote a bit here.
3. Santa Clara, California- home! I didn't get to go, unfortunately.
4. Charleston, South Carolina- just a wish. This didn't happen, still on the list.
5. Pensacola, Florida- to see my bro, Sundar. DONE, wrote about it here, headed back next weekend!
6. Cedars of Lebanon State Park- for my birthday cabin weekend, DONE, here.
7. The BEACH- kinda an anniversary trip? Didn't happen. Boo!
8. Memphis, Tennessee- Meredith for the 4th. DONE, here, planning to go back for Halloween.
9. Davidson, North Carolina- to see my little bro, Amir. I'm hoping this can happen in November.
10. Atlanta, Georgia- DONE, I ended up here a few times!
11. Austin, Texas- didn't happen, still on the wish-list, for sure!

I accomplished 6/11 of these, not bad! The first half of Summer felt so crazy, and I was ready to stop taking road-trips. Whereas the second, "dog days" half felt a lot more chill, and I had three weekends in a row of guests coming to see me instead! 

So long, sweet Summer. Thanks for being good to me. 

And I think this goes without saying, but I LOVE FALL and I'm ready. Bring it, Autumn.