Monday, May 30, 2011

My New Summer Staple

Sometimes I find an accessory or piece of clothing that induces instant swooning, instant vows to include it in my daily wardrobe.  My most recent swoon-worthy purchase?  This Panama hat.  I stumbled upon it about a week and a half ago in the men's department at Nordstrom and was certain it was the perfect addition to my summer wardrobe.  But just to be sure, I plopped it on my head and wore it around the store for a good 15 minutes.  After that time, I was certain it would be on my head for the rest of the summer.  So it came home with me.  I have a feeling it'll see its fair share of blog photos, but until then, I wanted to introduce you.  Readers, meet my new summer hat...summer hat meet my fabulous readers!

DSCN4900Hat: Nordstrom
Jacket: Gap
Belt: super old...Gap? Banana?
Necklace: Ann Taylor
Bracelet: Ann Taylor

Friday, May 27, 2011

Home to Celebrate


"Families are the compass that guide us. They are the inspiration to reach great heights, and our comfort when we falter."
Brad Henry

This weekend I am home in Texas to celebrate this guy's graduation.  The end of one chapter and the start of another for my sweet brother, the first love of my life.  Friends and family are coming in from all over, and I can't wait to celebrate with them.  Cheers to new beginnings, celebrations, and time with crazy family!  Have a wonderful weekend :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Facebook Bound

Guess who is FINALLY on Facebook?  That's right, I have joined the times and gotten this little blog a Facebook page.  So why don't you head on over and give me a "like."  I've got a giveaway coming up that will be done using Facebook, so hop on over and get a head start.  Find me here!

Screen shot 2011 05 25 at 12 36 39 PM

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Arizona Recap

We've been back from Arizona for over a week, yet I'm just getting around to posting pictures...bad blogger!  We had a wonderful time in Phoenix, and it was so great to have the whole gang in Arizona.  Matt's sister and her two kids came in from California, Matt's brother Josh and his fiance Anthony flew in from New York, and Matt and I of course flew in from Chicago.  It was a full house, but we loved it.

DSC09083First stop on Davis family trips...brunch at The Good Egg.  Always followed by shopping.  The first time I met Matt's family, I knew I liked them.  Our priorities are the, shop, take pictures.

DSC09082Sibling love.

DSCN4785Another group shot, after a full day of cardio, err, I mean shopping.  After a quick rest we headed out to dinner to celebrate Matt's belated birthday.

DSCN4794To celebrate, Matt's dad picked a spot called The Mining Camp, a barbeque joint that has been in Mesa for over 4o years.  The food is served family style on giant platters and tin plates.  It sounded a little sketchy, but in the end, we all agreed it was the perfect choice.  Even the New Yorkers above liked it :)

DSCN4807Any reason to celebrate Matt is fine by me :)

DSCN4805Hahhhaa, I love this picture of Josh, his biscuit, and his baked beans.  We were all a combination of horribly disgusted and totally delighted with the amount of food that was on the table.  But in the end, we had no trouble packing away all that goodness.

DSCN4811The waitress was thrilled to hear it was Matt's birthday.  She brought out a homemade oatmeal cookie, ice cream, and a train whistle to accompany our table's rendition of happy birthday.

DSC09107Bowling with Matt and I's niece, Alex.  She is turning into quite the little fashionista!

DSCN4825At lunch, I couldn't help but order the fruitiest, girliest cocktail on the menu.  Back in Chicago it was cold and rainy, so I soaked up the Arizona heat and the opportunity to cool down with a fruity frozen beverage.

DSCN4830Anthony's first Pizookie experience.  I'm not sure how someone goes their whole life without that deep dish cookie/ice cream goodness, but Anthony had.  Clearly, we had to change that, but he didn't seem to mind :)

DSCN4850Our last night there, we headed out to Tucson for Matt's cousin's wedding.  The wedding was outside at the Westin La Paloma and it was beyond beautiful!

DSCN4856Matt's cousin, Ian and his gorgeous wife Sarah.  (Remember when they visited us back in September?)  Congrats you two!

DSCN4857That background makes it almost impossible to take a bad picture!

DSCN4848And because, I love this dress so much, I had to show yall a better picture.  I spotted this Tracy Reese dress at Anthropologie back in December and instantly fell in love with it.  Its the perfect combination of garden gnome and fairy princess!

Dress: Tracy Reese, Anthropologie
Earrings/Bracelet: Ann Taylor
Clutch: Coach

So there you have it, our yearly trip to Arizona.  We don't see Matt's family nearly enough, but thankfully we have both Matt's graduation and Josh and Anthony's New York wedding happening this fall, so we're sure to see them at least two more times this year.  And as always, thanks to the Davis family for adding me to your family and making me feel so welcome!


Sunday, May 22, 2011

I'm Alive, I Promise!

Lists{we heart it}

Oh my goodness, it has been nearly a week and a half since my last post, eeek!  I didn't realize quite how long it had been until a coworker (hi Nicole!) asked, "Why haven't you updated your blog lately?!"  Guilty.  I was out of commission during our Arizona trip and since then we've been so busy I haven't had a spare minute to blog.  I promise to be back tomorrow with an Arizona recap, but until then, here's a peak at what's been going on in my neck of the woods lately...

Hanging with family in Phoenix...
Enjoying the insanely-tardy-but-finally-sunny weather in Chicago...
Cranking out some work on my dissertation (I hate it, but it has to be done)...
Working on a surprise slideshow for my brother's graduation next weekend...
Grilling out every chance possible...
Soaking up evening walks with Matt...
Settling into our new one bedroom and learning how to properly downsize...
Loving our new church home...
House creeping with Matt (similar to house hunting but not quite as serious)...
Scouting new spring patios with friends...
Finding a roommate and a place to call home next year on internship (catch up on that jazz here)...
Catching up on my favorite nerd show, "Numbers."  (Thank you Netflix for releasing 293 episodes)...
Planning our September trip to NYC...

I promise to be back tomorrow to resume normal blogging.  Till then, cheers to the last little bit of the weekend and may you soak up rest, sunshine, and whatever else your soul needs to recharge!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Scoozie and an OOTD

One of my most favorite parts about living in Chicago is the constant flow of visitors.  Its seems like every other week someone we know is in town for business, to see family, or just for a quick weekend getaway.  Matt and I always laugh that we had more visitors in our first two months of living in Chicago than we did during our four year stay in tiny Texas grad school land.  (We laugh, but its true.)  So last week when my friend and sorority sister Emily emailed me to let me know she'd be in town for a few days, I was thrilled!  There are few things I love more than seeing old friends and showing off our fabulous city, so the chance to combine the two is a definite win in my book!

DSCN4762We met for dinner and drinks at Scoozi, one of the oldest Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants in the city.  I'd heard pretty good things about it and had been wanting to try it for a while, so luckily Emily was trusting and up for trying something new.  And in shocking dinner news, Matt and I arrived early!  I didn't even know I was capable of such things :)

DSCN4763And you know what they say...the early bird gets the wine!  So wine we did :)  Scoozi's wine list was posted on the wall, and I was grateful for the variety in both type and price.  (Sometimes wining and dining in Chicago can get a bit insane pricewise. so its always refreshing when restaurants here have options.)

DSCN4767Emily (on the right) and her good friend Holly (who after 5 minutes I felt like I'd known for years.)  I love that they have been friends forever and though they live in different cities, they make it a point to travel together every so often.

DSCN4769Matt's birthday didn't technically start for a few more hours, but I couldn't resist the chance to surprise him with a birthday dessert.  Unfortunately our server didn't catch my stealth signals, so I pretty much spelled it out in front of Matt (and half the restaurant) that I wanted a candle in our dessert lol.

DSCN4770What could be better than happy-almost-birthday profiteroles?

DSCN4772After finishing up at Scoozi, we headed to Fountainhead for my friend Christie's going away party.  I am going to miss her so much its insane!  The past year in Chicago has been incredible, and Matt and I owe so much of that to Christie.  She has graciously showed us so much of the city, helping us transition from tourist Texans to almost-native Chicagoans.  Its been so fun this past year to relieve our elementary school days, having impromptu sleepovers, movie nights, and late night laugh sessions.  And though I wanted to cry myself into a puddle when I hugged her goodbye, I vowed not to be "that girl" bawling in a bar.
PS: Christie, I miss you already.  Are you ready for a reunion yet? :)

DSCN4773Excuse me for being a sorority cheeseball here, but there really is something special about the bond you share with your sorority sisters.  Time goes by, people change, but there's something comforting about coming back together long after rush skits, Kappa tshirts, and 700 College Bachelor/Bachelorette watch parties :)

And since Matt was with me (and we were actually early), I was able to get a quick OOTD picture...

DSCN4757Top: Ann Taylor
Blazer: Tahari
Jeans: Gap
Earrings: thrifted
Bracelet: Ann Taylor
Rings: vintage
Heels: Ann Taylor
Sunglasses: Gucci
Bag: Charles David
Scarf (on bag): Anthropologie

I hadn't originally intended to wear the blazer, but in true Chicago fashion, the temperature dropped about 20 degrees as we were leaving.  Typical.  Luckily though, Matt and I are getting away from the Chicago weather for a few days, as we are heading to Arizona tomorrow to see Matt's family and go to his cousin's wedding.  Hooray for sunshine, no humidity and the chance to wear open toed shoes!  Its the little things, right? :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

OOTD: Whoever Said Orange Was the New Pink...

If you can finish the sentence from the title of this post, we are destined to be best blog friends.  If not, well, I suggest you quickly brush up on your classic movie knowledge :)

I've never been a big fan of orange (especially when it has to do with a certain university in Texas.)  I've always considered the color to be an enemy with my first and true color love, pink.  But when I saw this orange number at Ann Taylor, I had to try it.  Sure, it had all the wrong things going for it...the color, the oversized bag-lady territory...but something called me to try it on.  And I'm so glad I did, because I LOVE it!  I wore this last week on Cinco de Mayo when most of you were sunning on the patio and sipping margaritas.  But I was stuck working a shift at the store, so I figured if I had to be putting back clothes instead of cocktails, I could at least look festive doing it :)

DSCN4733Open cardigan: Ann Taylor (sold out in orange, but here in different colors)
Dress: J. Crew (its navy jersey, but looks black in the pictures)
Belt: Gap
Necklace: vintage; from a trip to Cabo
Ring: David Yurman
Earrings: my mom's from the 80s :)

DSCN4737The orange looks a little different in real life than it does in these pictures, but I guess that's what you get with not-so-awesome bathroom lighting :)

DSCN4738I got this chunky beaded necklace when I went to Cabo one spring break in college, and even though I love it, I always have a hard time pairing with actual outfits.  So when I couldn't decide between the beaded or the gold necklace, I just decided to wear both!

DSCN4745PS: Notice a different background from my usual bathroom OOTD pics?  When Matt and I moved a few weekends ago, we had to start sharing a bathroom.  Which sadly meant my wall of jewelry storage system had to be relocated (tear!)  It took some getting used to, but I'm adjusting :)

So while my love for pink is still in full force, its going to have to make some room, because I have a feeling this orange number is going to see a ton of wear this summer.  Is anyone else being a traitor to their favorite color this season?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

My Mom

A1My mom is amazing for so many reasons and so many things.  But what I find more incredible than her unwavering love, her ability to win the laughing game, or her determination to make any small step into a major celebration is the fact that 27 Aprils ago, when the doctor handed her that tiny, red, smooshed, alien looking baby, she didn't give it back and say, "Nevermind." :)

Happy Mother's Day, Mom.  You're the best friend a girl could ask for.

Happy Birthday Matt!

Kristin nathan 659

Dear Matt,

You are the key to my locket,
the sprinkles to my cupcake,
and the lovesong to my soundtrack.

You make the good days fabulous,
the bad days bearable,
and the ordinary days anything but.

You are my rock,
my lifeline,
and my comedian.

And today, on your birthday,
I hope you know how very much you mean to me,
and how very much I love you.

Happy birthday, handsome.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Counter

Last Friday, we headed out to celebrate some recent FABULOUS news for my dear friend Christie.  I feel weird revealing her personal life on my blog (my friends are troopers enough with my constant camera toting and blog talking) but let me just say, its big, amazing, and fabulous news.  In short, she is getting a huge award/fellowship to finish her Ph.D in Italy!  Oh yes, you read that right...ITALY.  See, I told you it was big news!  And what better way to celebrate big news than gourmet burgers, fancy fried pickles, and "adult" milkshakes :)

DSCN4706After a year of me living in Chicago, I think Christie has finally gotten used to my train photo opps :)

DSCN4710After hearing about The Counter, one of Chicago's favorite build-your-own burger joints, on Gilt City, I knew we had to try it.  (And the discount deal didn't hurt either.)  The "check yes or no" paper menu approach is broken down into 5 catagories: Choose your burger, cheese, toppings, sauce, and bun.

DSCN4715Hahaha, I love this picture.  Jess and Christie were deep into burger building at this point.  Though all the ingredients were amazing, fresh, and some pretty unique, it was totally overwhelming to narrow down your choices!

DSCN4714Me and my burger builder :)  I decided to go with a beef burger with brie cheese, bacon, dried cranberries, lettuce, cucumbers, and apricot sauce on a pretzel bun.  I know it sounds a little crazy, but... was SO GOOD!

DSCN4719And to finish off the milkshakes!  We chose the Banana Split which was a banana milkshake with cherry vodka and whip cream.  And not only was it delicious, but the Skyy cherry made it taste just like a one-sip banana split!

DSCN4716The fabulous guest of honor!  I can't wait to see all that God has in store for her in ITALY, eeek!

Anyone else out there a major fan of build-your-own burger spots?  The Counter has several locations across the country, so check out their website to see if there is one near you.  And by the way, in case you're wondering, I am already scheming how I can get myself to Italy to visit Christie.  I mean, I can't let her experience all that fabulousness without me? :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Weekend Loves


Soaking up a sunshine filled Friday...
Celebrating a friend's big news with dinner at The Counter...
Waking up to the smell of waffles...
Flipping through my pile of backed up magazines...
Beautifying our porch for spring...
Going for an afternoon walk/jog...
Enjoying a yummy lunch at Noodles and Co...
Watching a Scrubs marathon...
Cosmic bowling...
Grilling homemade pizzas
Soaking up a nourishing church service...
Cheering long distance for my brother who got a big award at school...
Sipping a long-craved pina colada...
Loving the return of our herb garden (complete with new cute tin labels)...

What were you loving this weekend?