July Recap

July was such a fun and busy month for us. We had something going on every weekend this month, which is great and exhausting at the same time. The first weekend was filled with various 4th of July events. We went over to a friend’s mom’s house in historic Webster Groves for the parade the morning of the 4th. That night we went and watched Kirkwood’s fireworks. Tim and I both agreed that Webster puts on a better show. It might have been where we were watching the show from, though.

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Tim signed us up for the Freedom 4 Miler race, so we did that on the 5th. It was Tim’s first running race, and he did so good! I thought 4 miles was a little ambitious for his first run, but he powered through and we finished with a decent time! We went sailing later that day—first time out to the lake all summer. (Oops)

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The following weekend we had our friends John and Melanie’s wedding. It was so much fun. Their reception was at Third Degree Glass Factory, so we got to watch glass blowers during the cocktail hour.

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I was “Sober Sally” that night because I had to get up at 5 AM to do the New Town Triathlon the next morning.

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I finally learned how I’m able to ride a bike in a skirt. Now I just need to get a cruiser with a basket so I can ride to the grocery store.

I keep dreaming of going back to Europe. Seeing this time-lapsed video of Barcelona isn’t helping that feeling go away any time soon.

We headed to the Ozarks for a quick weekend getaway for our friend Matt’s birthday. I’m almost shocked I didn’t come home sunburnt. I did, however, come home with a couple bruises on my rear because of a cannon ball into the lake from the dock’s roof.

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Tim came running up the basement stairs one evening and told me that I HAD to watch this “All I Do is Farm” parody video.

And then there’s “12 Ways to Piss Off a Nebraskan“. I’m sure I could add a couple more, even though Nebraska and Missouri are practically the same.

Holy cow, we have vegetables growing in a small garden off the side of our house!! The basil plant seems to be doing okay (I think the sun is frying it), we have peppers coming in and we’re finally started to see the start of a couple tomatoes. We planted a few other things quite late, but the cucumber and zucchini squash has started to sprout.

I did a second triathlon this past weekend, and Tim did it too!

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This week has been busy with cleaning and prepping for a party at our house tomorrow—it’s luau themed!

—m.

Wanderlustering

I am having a serious case of wanderlust. All I want to do is design stuff, eat my body weight in sweets (without gaining that amount of course) and travel the world.

QueenstownQueenstown, New Zealand / October 2013

I read an article (that I can’t seem to find) about how people who travel are never content with where they are. That is exactly me.

I think about what it would be like to live in a different city. I’m constantly looking up road trips across the US and what kind of weird and wacky things are along the way. I have a constantly growing wish list of places around the world I want to see/visit. I’m always tempted to take a chunk of my savings, buy plane tickets to some far away land and spring a trip on Tim. I keep track of how long it’s been since my last trip and have a countdown until the next one.

hawaiiTop of the Haleakala Volcano in Maui, Hawaii at sunrise / September 2010

Speaking of next trip, Tim booked a long weekend getaway to Chicago in August for my birthday. I’m also planning on flying out to San Francisco in November to visit a good friend of mine that just moved there. Knowing these two trips are in the foreseeable future is certainly helping my wanderlusting.

NotreDameParisTrying to get a picture in front of the Notre Dame in Paris / May 2009

I’m no where near having a “world traveler” status, but that’s what I want to work towards during my life. I not only want to see these other places, but I want to actually learn about the culture. Eat the local food. Walk down quieter streets that aren’t filled with tourists just to look at the buildings and architecture. To go on hikes and explore the landscape. I could fill an entire post with places and things I want to see and experience.

But until then, I need to learn to be patient.

Traveling requires time and money…two things that a 26 year old trying to pay off student and car loans while establishing her career doesn’t have a lot of.

GardenOfTheGodsSiamese Twins, Garden of the Gods outside Colorado Springs, CO / June 2012

I also need to learn to be more content with where I am in the present.

Stop dwelling on that fact that it’s been five years since I’ve been to Europe, and dream a little less of the day I get to return (cough*2016*cough).

It will happen in due time…at the right time.

I came across another article while I was looking for the one I mentioned above (I may keep looking for future reference), and there was a section that really rang true to me.

We all seem to be victims of ignoring what’s actually happening right at this very moment, which is only natural when we have so many choices and opportunities available to us.

We can all forget the whole point of happiness, and that’s peace of mind, acceptance, and mindfulness. Essentially, it’s being happy no matter where you are in the world, or what you’re doing, or whom you’re with.

Being mindful quiets the mind and brings us a sense of peace that no other quest for a “perfect life” could ever bring.

Mindfulness helps you to appreciate life as it happens. It stops us from agonizing over what might’ve been or what could be. It just brings us back to the present.

Yes—embrace everything that comes along. Yes—go out and see the world and enjoy everything this life has to offer.

But whenever you feel yourself losing focus and wondering about where you’ll be happy next, bring yourself back to the present, look at what you already have, look around you and enjoy the moments that are happening right now.

I’m not necessarily looking for happiness in other places—I have more than enough here in St. Louis—but I know how happy it makes me feel when I do get to explore and experience other places. I’ll never stop having that wanderlust feeling. I can only hope to cross off as many places as I can from my list in my lifetime.

—m.

May Recap

May was a very slow month for us. We didn’t have many plans, which was so nice because the next six months are going to be very busy!

We started the month off by going to a friend’s house for a combo Cinco de Mayo/Kentucky Derby party. The horse I bet $1 on didn’t win.

My brother shared the 7 Things Only Middle Children Understand with me. If only they knew how I felt being the middle child…. Actually, it’s not so bad. I would prefer to think about the 15 Perks of Being a Middle Child.

Manchester Orchestra came back to The Pageant. We all agree that those are some of the loudest concerts we’ve ever been to. I just wish the guy in front of me would have stopped Snapchatting videos to his friends every 30 seconds.

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Ideal Weddings, by Age is pretty funny.

Even though I don’t have children, apparently my parenting values are in line with Russia’s. Should I be worried?

We went to the Ozarks for Memorial Day weekend like we do most years. And as usual, laying poolside, hanging out on the dock, soaking up the sun and sipping on drinks is always a fun way to spend an extended weekend at the lake.

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I love the idea behind this Last Photo project. Random people in select cities throughout the country are asked about the last photo on their phone. There’s been some entertaining stories.

We lost two great people just a day apart—the design community lost Massimo Vignelli and the next day the world said goodbye to Maya Angelou. One can only hope to achieve what those two did in a lifetime.

And lastly, I was able to cross off another 30 Before 30 item and finally got my personal portfolio site, Kerning & Cupcakes, up and going! It still has a long ways to go, but I’m excited to just have it up.

Dear Pork, I’m breaking up with you.

I’ve been noticing over the last year or so that my body acts negatively after I eat pork. Normally I can start to tell within an a hour or two after eating and the feeling usually lasts well into the next day. A variety of things will happen, but mainly I feel sluggish and get an upset stomach with bloating and/or severe abdominal pains or cramps. It doesn’t matter what kind of pork product it is, I can plan on not feeling well after eating it.

Prime example: Tim and I went to dinner with my coworker and his girlfriend a couple months ago and we went to a restaurant that has a “whole-hog” cooking style. I ate a stupid amount of pork knowing that I was going to feel awful, and sure enough I did. For the next two days! However, there was so much that I had never tried before, that I felt like I was going to miss out.

I was doing some research to understand the symptoms I was experiencing and it’s very possibly that I have developed an intolerance to pork. It’s not an allergy, just a digestive intolerance. Which, if that’s the case, just means that my body lacks the appropriate enzymes to absorb and digest the proteins found in pork. I also found that having a pork intolerance is more common than people realize, and that it can develop at any time in a person’s life. I haven’t gone to a doctor for any official tests, but I’ve been monitoring what happens every time I do consume pork. I have also read that the type of pork, where it comes from and what it was fed can also be factors to how it can effect people with an intolerance. Thankfully I haven’t experienced anything worse than severe pains. I’d rather not have to plan my day around the bathroom if you get what I mean.

All that being said, I am officially breaking up with pork. Except for maybe when we have BLT’s because I LOVE BLT’s. I’ve never been the biggest fan of pork to begin with, though I do like a pork chop occasionally. I find this all very funny because my Grandpa was a hog farmer and I was in 4-H and showed pigs at the county fair growing up. Maybe my childhood is coming back to get me.

So pork, sorry but I’m breaking up with you. You can keep your stuff and I’ll keep mine. No hard feelings, okay?

—m.

The Challenge-5 Months In

So I’m five months into my “no shopping for a year” challenge, and I can honestly say it hasn’t been all that bad. I unsubscribed from 90% of the shopping emails I received, so I don’t seem them anymore. I really dislike the mall, so I haven’t had a desire to go. I also don’t bother “window shopping” online anymore because I know I’m not going to buy anything.

However, on the flip side to that statement, I reeeeeeaally want to go shopping. Mainly for skirts. And a new pair of light brown strappy sandals—the ones I own will probably only make it through this summer, but I’ve had them for at least five years. But that’s really it.

So, how is it really going?

Technically, I have purchased a few items.
There were some exceptions made in the beginning—an item can be replaced if really needed, but the old has to go and the challenge doesn’t apply to athletic gear. So I have replaced a few items and kept with the “one in, one out” rule. Also, I never said swimsuits were off-limit, so I have purchased a couple new ones.

I hate admitting this, I really don’t think I’ve saved any money.
Or at least not what I thought I would. I have found myself looking more at home goods now that clothes are off-limits. Maybe next year I won’t buy anything for the house. Tim would probably love that. However, there has been other expenses that haven’t exactly allowed me to put as much into savings as I’d like—race entry fees (two sprint triathlons and a half marathon), a new bike helmet, a plane ticket home for a week. Stuff like that.

By the way, totally off subject, but Southwest’s prices are starting to get really high. The fact that I had to pay $225 roundtrip for a 1 hour flight (each way) is ridiculous. I only paid like $260 roundtrip with Alaska Air when we went to Seattle back in March, and that was 4 hours each way. Not cool, Southwest.

Quality vs Quantity.
This is a big one for me. I will be the first to admit that I am a cheap-o. I have no problem shopping at places like Target, Old Navy or Forever 21, and I won’t spend more than $40 on a pair of jeans. But now, I’m finally seeing the light with buying quality pieces. I’ve noticed that I’m going to have to get rid of a few favorite pieces of clothing at the end of the year because they weren’t made to last long (hems coming undone and color fading are two big things). I think it’s totally okay to spend very little on trendy items that will only be in style for just a few months, but staple items would be of a better quality. I remember buying a $100 black blazer during college and hating spending that much on it, but you know what? That blazer is still in great shape and has lasted me. Same goes for the more expensive pair of jeans I own—they are outlasting the others.

I have a 30 Before 30 item to clean out a chunk of my wardrobe and start over. I have a feeling that will be happening next year, and I’ll be investing in a few quality staple pieces that I know will last me. I was reading an article on Design*Sponge about a closet makeover and how, in the end, everything in the closet was a favorite. I want that to be my closet, because right now it certainly isn’t. I will say that I have learned over the last few months what pieces I really don’t care for. I’m constantly adding to the donate pile more than ever now.

I need a mix & match lesson.
I should really spend an evening/day/weekend really looking at the pieces in my closet and figure out how to mix and match better than I currently am. I get bored with wearing the same thing every so often, so obviously this would help me better utilize what I do have.

So overall, I think it’s going fairly well. I actually found a $30 gift card to Express not long ago. I’ll most likely combine that with one of their coupons and see what I can get without spending any of my own money. Considering the prices in that store, that’s a whole other challenge!

—m.