Thursday, March 28, 2013

Vintage Lovers Photos

I stumbled across a collection of vintage lovers photos a couple months ago and have had a huge, vintage crush on them ever since. Basically, I had to restrain myself from pinning-all-the-things to my fotos me gusta pinterest board.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Do you have a photography Pinterest board?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Shabby Apple giveaway winner!

Just wanted to give a little shout-out to Mikaela for winning my Shabby Apple giveaway! Can't wait to see what pretty item you use the $35 to purchase :) Check your email for your discount code, girl!

And thanks to all of you for commenting, sharing and liking my post yesterday about the role we play in the oversexualization of young girls. If you haven't read it or commented, I'd love to have you check it out and join the conversation!

You guys rock. Life is good. Happy Wednesday.

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Best Taco in Phoenix

If there's one thing Arizona does well, it's Mexican food.

In my opinion Arizona does a lot of things well (see: sunsets, winter weather, orange blossoms, etc.) but today we're focusing on the tacos. When I leave Arizona (see: four long winters in Utah for college) there are always many struggles to face, but the Mexican food is one of the worst. I'm snobby enough to declare that you just can't get the real deal when you're too far north of the border.

So I don't take this decision lightly.

Tacos are my favorite food, there's no question about it. And I've tried a lot of tacos in my day. So the label of Best Taco in Phoenix is not something I'll be handing out willy nilly to the nearest drive-through with a corn tortilla. After much thought and deliberation (but not really because IF YOU'VE EVER EATEN THIS THEN YOU'D KNOW IT'S OBVIOUS)....

America's Taco Shop: Al Pastor Taco

I never let a visiting friend leave Arizona without getting this in their belly. There's something about the way they marinate that pork that makes my taste buds want to weep tears of joy and yell ARRRRIBA all at once. I can't....I can't even talk about it anymore because I'll get mad that I don't have one right now. I mean I have FEELINGS for this taco.

And if carne asada is your thing, America's Taco Shop is touted as having the best in the valley. But please, at least try one al pastor. Do it for me. And your posterity. Think of the children.

And if you need a side dish...

You might think a side of refried beans is just a side of refried beans, but that's only because you haven't tried these ones. Order them. Just do it. Also, some introductory chips and salsa while you're waiting for your food never hurt anyone.

Do you have a favorite taco in Phoenix?
...and do you want to come to America's Taco Shop with me?

Friday, March 22, 2013

suspenders + mint sweatpants

First and foremost, I would like to officially announce that, following the raving success of my quest to bring overalls back in 2012, I have decided to move on to suspenders this year:

Second and secondmost, here's what I've been wearing lately! Also, one of these days I'll actually fix my light wait until I move out and don't have to worry about it so my pictures can stop being nasty and yellow. At least my goodwill rug is nice.

polka dot shirt: clearance at Madewell // vest and skirt: goodwill // navajo sandals: target
denim shirt: can't remember // flower pants: county fair in idaho // tan sandals: target
mocha stripe maxi skirt: modestpop // gray lace shirt: ross // white floral shirt: modestpop
printed blue dress w/ lace collar: california // gray cardi & tan boots: target
navy stripe sweater: charlotte russe // jeans: downeast
gray cardi, mint pants & leopard flats: target // denim shirt: F21
blue plaid shirt & navy wellies: walmart // yellow vintage skirt: thrifted
blue tee: walmart // awesome belt & sandals: target // tropical skirt: gift
black silky shirt, necklace & mint pants: target // denim vest: charlotte russe // tan ankle boots: F21

That last one is a special gem from when I was sickly and wore my mint sweatpants and gray hoodie for an inappropriate number of days in a row. It happens.

Also, did you enter my Shabby Apple giveaway? Just a few hours to go!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

i gave dave elkins my business card

Who is Dave Elkins?
The lead singer of Mae. Currently the creator, producer, captain, bounty hunter, etc. for Schematic.

What is Mae?
Only the favorite band of my senior year of high school. Rocked out to their concert in 2005 at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe. Blasted their album Destination: Beautiful all the day long in my little teenage car.

So what happened?
I met Dave. He was exceptionally nice. He said, "What do you do?" I said, "I'm a writer." Then he said, "Do you have any interest in writing about music?" And he said something about critiquing music and new bands. And then trumpets sounded and halos of light descended, and my eyes lit up and I said, "I do that all the time on my blog." And that is the story of how I gave Dave Elkins my business card and he said he'd email me about some freelancing. Except minus the parts about angels and halos of light, but I would argue that's still up for debate.

Needless to say, it was the coolest. Now excuse me while I take a trip down memory lane on a little Spotify date with Destination: Beautiful and probably The Everglow. Thank you and goodnight.

p.s. Dave informed me that Mae is going on tour this fall to celebrate the anniversary of Destination: Beautiful, and one of the tour stops includes Arizona. I slept soundly and peacefully last night, my friends.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

music: say it ain't so

I'm a busy girl today and when I'm a busy girl that means a music post for the blog! Luckily today we've got a great gem, aka a cover that takes me back to high school but with a modern twist. And who doesn't love a little electric ukulele and sweet harmonies?

Grazie to Kelsey for sharing this with me!

p.s. did you enter my shabby apple giveaway yet? still a couple days to go!

Monday, March 18, 2013

A&A: jonah & dis bear

▲ That one time when I went to the lake last Saturday with a raft and managed to forget the oars. Oops.
▲ The second photo of the model wearing this dress. I mean, who approved this expression?
▲ I read a news story about a man who's been building a wooden boat by hand for like 8 years. Definitely charming, but his name is Jonah. He has to know this can only end in tears. #whale
▲ You know it's Friday when my homonyms fail me:

▲ Everything about this gif.
▲ That one time one of my favorite high school bands that has since broken up (may they rest in peace) (sob) randomly released a bunch of $6 T-shirts. I bought two.
▲ The response to my post about perfection.
Glitter eyeliner that is like $1 at Target because yesplease.
▲ That one time I hardboiled eggs in the oven and it changed my life. The Pinterest taught me how.
▲ This inspiring story about a girl I used to know in high school and her fiance.
▲ My Shabby Apple giveaway that's still going on! Did you enter yet? Go. Fight. Win.

What's awkward and/or awesome about YOUR life lately?

Friday, March 15, 2013

Shabby Apple Giveaway!

Oh, oh it's magic, you know-ow-ow...

Look, I don't know why that song is in my head but I decide it's fitting because today I'm doing a giveaway and a new dress or skirt sort of feels like magic now doesn't it?

Ah, Shabby Apple! 
Purveyors of pretty things and modest clothing! I rocked one of their dresses for Bridesmaid Round 10 and it was oh-so-lovely. I mean, how can you not love a navy dress with a giant bow on the front?

Here's what I'm loving right now:
I mean, do you see that mint dress with the white peter pan collar? DO YOU SEE IT?

1 // 2 // 3 // 4

And now you can enter to win a $35 Shabby Apple gift card!
You are such lucky ducks, you know?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

music: the oh hello's

I stumbled across The Oh Hello's after hearing one of their songs in a movie trailer a couple weeks ago. Does anyone else do that? Hone in on the song in a movie trailer or during end credits and scramble to look it up? A good soundtrack can really sell a movie for me. 

Case in point: I can't stop listening to the Warm Bodies soundtrack, weeks later. 

Other case in point: The only reason I survived the first (and only) Twilight movie I ever saw in theatres was because they killed it on the soundtrack. Since then, I've just looked up the soundtrack every time one of the movies comes out rather than watch the movie itself. I do the same thing with Nicholas Sparks movies. #sorrynotsorry

Anyway, I dig this song and immediately passed it along to several friends after it caught my attention. (The meggles blogged about it here! It's catching on!) It makes me want to go on a rambling roadtrip through the midwest with my windows down, shoes off and hair dancing in the wind.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

the hidden language of hugging

I first titled this post "the science of hugging," but there are no actual statistics or biological facts in this post. However, it is backed up by a lot of field study, so I still like to think that's like science.

Relevant side note:

There are different kinds of hugs.

I once had a guy inform me that every hug has a specific meaning. Depending on the way a girl hugged him, he could decipher if she was digging him. Basically, this is the hidden language of hugging, according to my friend:

1. The one arm over, one arm under.
Meaning: You're just friends.

2. The side hug.
Meaning: You're DEFINITELY just friends.

2. Girl's arms under, guy's arms over.
Meaning: She's more like a little sister to you.

3. Girl's arms over, guy's arms under.
Meaning: It's go time. In his words, her pretty face is "all up in your grill."

Do I agree?
Not entirely, actually. I would say #1 and #2 might be accurate, but maybe not the other two. The thing is, sometimes guys are tall. And then it's entirely unfeasible (and awkward) to go for method #4 without finding the nearest curb (or bench) (or trampoline) to stand on. (I take it back, I think a trampoline might cause facial bruising and I can't be responsible for your shenanigans.) 

Besides, I feel like every guy I've dated has had a specific preference between method 3 and method 4. I can see this becoming a thing: "Did he hug you?" "Yes." "And?" "Method 3." "Oooohh..."

My true feelings: you've got about 0.00005 nanoseconds to make this decision when it's hugging time. That's a lot of pressure and analyzing to put on something that allowed little-to-no prior planning. I tend to default to #3 and, noooo, that doesn't mean I want to be everyone's little sister. So gosh, let's not read too much into this, right?

I don't know, what do you think?
p.s. let's focus on the hugging meme in this post, because it's relevant and makes me laugh.

Monday, March 11, 2013

a very insta-weekend: skip-its and trapezoids

This is pretty much how it went down.
You kiddos done your taxes yet? Do you hate it ever-so-much? I once took a family finance class in college and there was a tax assignment. I never turned it in. #confession


Also, on Thursday I told a friend that my life is a Bermuda Trapezoid. The following day, this weather pattern appeared directly over my house. So maybe I am a witch?

p.s. the photos of me playing with the Skip It? I had to prove to my nieces and nephews that Aunt Katie's still got it. Note: I still got it.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Problem with Perfection: Life is Not Pass/Fail

I tend to keep score on myself.

I don't do it consciously, and I don't write it down anywhere, but I do it. It's always there, running like a ticker in my head. It's that little voice that keeps track of my choices and reminds me if I'm winning or failing.

Did I go to work? Win. Did I not complete my entire task list? Fail. Did I take a shower and get dressed? Win. Did my hair not look its best? Fail. Did I eat healthy meals and no processed junk food? Win. But did I add a Dr. Pepper to my lunch menu? Fail. Did I pray before I went to bed? Win. Did I get distracted or forget to pray for so-and-so? Fail.

No seriously, I critique my prayers.

It's a habit, and a bad one. But I catch myself doing it all the time. This morning, for example, I was running late to leave my house for a meeting before church. As I was grabbing my keys and headed for the door, I realized I'd forgotten to pray. I paused, and the negative thought process kicked in.

Why bother, if it's just going to be last-minute and rushed? And why didn't I get up earlier in the first place? And where am I supposed to kneel down since my laundry is attacking my room? Why didn't I fold my laundry yesterday? Do I even know which half of these clothes are clean and which are dirty? Am I going to be a bad mother? 

The problem is, I set the bar too high.

There is always room too improve. Too much room, usually. It's overwhelming. And I have this nasty habit of defining what I think success should be, and then berating myself if I don't achieve it.  But here's what I've thought about this week:

1. Success is fluid. I'm big on To Do lists. I live and die by my day planner and sticky notes. And if too many things go undone at the end of the day, it's easy to feel like I failed. But the thing is, God knows me perfectly. He knows how my day has gone. He knows if work was hard, if I have a headache, if traffic was slow, etc. He knows my emotional/mental/physical capacity perfectly, at that moment, and He knows the best I can give, on that day, at that moment. He knows that today's best might not be yesterday's best, and it might not be tomorrow's best. He knows exactly what I have to offer, even when it feels like I'm sucked dry and I have nothing left to give, and that's all He asks of me, right then, at that moment.

2. Desire counts for something. God knows where my heart is. He knows that, if I could, I would wish for 20 more hours in a day to accomplish all the things I want to do and be and see, etc. He knows I would travel to foreign countries and adopt all the orphans and feed all the homeless people and have a mansion big enough to house them all and stop world hunger while I'm at it. He knows where my heart is, and He knows I can't get to everything I wish I could. But I know it still matters to Him that I would, if I could.

3. Even small efforts matter. I tend to naturally think that if I can't do something perfectly, why bother? If I can't run 10 miles, why even bother putting on my running shoes? If I can't read my scriptures for 20 minutes and think deeply and draw fascinating and insightful parallels to my daily life, why bother even picking them up? Like this morning, when I was rushed and immediately felt guilty that I hadn't made time to pray. It almost felt like a mockery to get on my knees in such a rushed frenzy on my way out the door, like I was treating God like an afterthought. But I don't think He saw it that way.

I'll tell you what I did: I got on my knees, for all of about 5 seconds. I told Him I was sorry I didn't have more time, and that I was late and I had to go. I said I'd try harder next time. And you know what? I think that 5-second prayer mattered to Him, as silly or half-hearted as it felt. What mattered most to Him was that I'd gotten down on my knees at all.

Did I love someone today?

At the end of every day, this is the question I want to start asking myself. I don't want to ask myself about the laundry or the groceries or the work assignments or solving world hunger. I want to ask myself, "Did I love someone today?"

Did I call or text an old friend, just because? Did I pause for a few minutes, when I was in a rush, to chat with someone else? Did I try and make someone laugh if they were having a bad day?

Life is NOT a pass/fail exam.

So, stop keeping score. Stop focusing on everything you didn't get done. Turn off the little voice that says, "OK, you had a pretty good day BUT..." Stop setting impossibly high standards for yourself. Do your best (whatever that means at this moment, on this day), breathe, and let it go.

Friday, March 8, 2013

AZ Blogger Meetup Recap: Sweet Cakes

You know what they say: "Better 2 weeks later than never."
I mean, I say it all the time. I just wish places like the library actually cared.

At the end of February, Camille and I planned and hosted (hostessed?) (...twinkies?) the first AZ Blogger Meetup. Attendance was fantastic, the people were fantastic, the soda fountain was fantastic for providing me with too much Dr. Pepper too late at night, causing me to stay up until 3am watching Geek Charming.

A big thank you to Sweet Cakes Cafe for being an amazing venue with amazingly delicious treats and amazingly nice employees!

Camille and I were so pleased with the turnout and we can't wait to host the next one in May! If you're an AZ blogger, join the Facebook group to stay tuned and to network with local bloggers.

First, more pictures!
All photo credit to Bonnie Jean Photography.

And the list of our lovely attendees...
Here's a code to add this shmancy button to your own recaps!


Don't forget to join the Arizona Blogger Meetup Facebook group so you can join us at the next gathering and see the rest of the photos!