Monday, September 15, 2014

A peak inside my place

Perhaps the biggest change I've experienced since finishing college has been moving into my very own place. Finding the perfect place didn't take as long as I thought, but it was a stressful and, at times, disappointing process. How much can I really afford? Do I feel comfortable in this area? Do I trust this landlord? My roommate and I finally found our perfect place at the end of June and by now, it definitely feels like home. We have pretty different styles, but both are represented well in our place and they come together nicely to create a cozy and functional little space. Besides my proximity to almost everything in St. Louis and my shorter work commute, my favorite part about living here has been decorating, especially my room.

My top priority when setting up my room was to limit clutter. My room at my parents' house (still very weird for me to call it that) is bursting with 20 years' worth of clothes, pictures and junk. I did not want that for my first adult room. I kept everything to the bare minimum and I'm so happy I did. On its messiest day, it takes me no more than 20 minutes to pick everything up.

I also had to keep affordability in mind. Paying rent and utilities was going to be an adjustment so I didn't want to spend much more on making my place feel homey. My bed, bedding, nightstand, dresser and some accents were from my old room, which really help cut back on expenses.

I got this bench, among many other things, from Homegoods. I love how it ties the whole space together and adds a bit of interest to the area below my window. That was a huge open space and I'm happy with the look and functionality of the $50 find.

These Kate Spade boxes were a definite impulse buy from a boutique in town. They don't exactly match with the rest of the room, but sometimes if it's cute, you can't resist, right? They're great little hiding places for perfume, nail polish and wristlets.

I have quite the sizable collection of magazines at my parents' house and I'm glad I found a way to display some of them. I also found this guy at Homegoods and could not pass him up. My love for Basset Hounds goes beyond the one I let sleep in my bed.

 My parents found these at a flea market and I LOVE them. So fun and creative!

Like I mentioned, my nightstand and its contents all came from my old room. The nightstand is part of a pair that were going unused in our guest room, and I thought it was a great upgrade from a simple table. It holds so much, and I think it really breaks up the white walls and bedding.

My room definitely still needs some work, but I'm so happy with it — and the rest of my place — so far!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

It's nice to see you again, Fall

For the most part, summer in St. Louis has been pretty mild. We wore jackets on the 4th of July and had maybe one or two days with 100-degree temperatures, which is very rare for St. Louis. I definitely can't complain about this summer's weather, but I'm still so happy that we got our first taste of fall this week. Some of my favorite things about the falling temperatures have included:

1. Awesome running weather The temperatures turned very cold Thursday — just in time for the three-mile run I had planned! I finally got to break out my long sleeves and enjoy the crisp air filling my lungs instead of the thick, humid air I've grown accustomed to during my half marathon training. I could get very used to running in this weather. My long run Saturday was just as enjoyable and I even stayed relatively cold throughout the ten miles, which was a nice change of pace (pun intended).
Shameless selfie to commemorate my first double-digits run. So many endorphins. So many miles.

2. Pumpkin flavored beverages Friday was another chilly day and I had a little time before work so I obviously stopped at Starbucks. I was ready to walk in, order my first PSL of the season (possibly ever) and celebrate the fall-y Friday, but I caught a glimpse of the calories and I just. couldn't. commit. (self-five for the self control). Instead, still feeling very festive on Saturday, I opted for a six pack of pumpkin beer. For some reason, I feel much more comfortable consuming empty, pumpkin-flavored calories if there's alcohol involved. This Sam Adams seasonal certainly does not disappoint.

3. THE CLOTHES I've made a few purchases to amp up my fall 2014 style, but I'm so happy I got to break out some of my favorites from last year. First and foremost: my riding boots. I've had my Lands End brown leather beauties for three years and they are a staple of my wardrobe for sure. I might have jumped the gun a little bit Saturday — fleece, flannel and leather boots was a little much once the sunny afternoon rolled around, but I looked good so that's all that matters, right?
Denim Day at work + Fall temps = a leopard print and blazer kind of day

Saturday, September 13, 2014

A 'positively' new blog title

Wow! Has it really been almost three months since I last posted? What an insane three months it's been. Summer 2014 will definitely go down as one of the busiest/craziest/most wonderful times of my life. A lot has happened, including the big 2-3 and with it, (well, two months later) a new blog title. I felt that I could not lie to my dedicated readers (hi, mom and Matt) by continuing to call my blog "Twenty Two in St. Lou" when I most certainly was not 22 anymore. 

So... welcome to "Positively Katie"! Why "Positively Katie"? Well, Ive always prided myself on being a positive person. Positivity is always one of my answers when someone asks me what my strengths are (a more appropriate answer than tequila-shot-taker, Netflix marathoner or overly-obsessed-dogowner). It's also something I genuinely try to incorporate in my everyday life. Yea, life is hard sometimes. You work long hours at work and sometimes feel under-appreciated, but at least you have a job. It's raining the day you have tickets to the baseball game, but at least it's not 100 degrees. Am I right? To me, having a positive outlook makes all the difference in life, and it's something that I'd love to encourage and share with others. So, as my inaugural post as the author of "Positively Katie," I'm going to share a few things I've been struggling with lately and why, in spite of those things, I'm still doing pretty darn good.

For the first time in my life, I'm really struggling with money. I've had a job since the day I turned 16, so I've always been able to go out to eat, buy drinks and indulge my love of clothes. But, in the past nine months, I've added a car payment, student loans and an apartment to my list of expenses. And you know what, it sucks! I still go out to eat and drink and shop, but on a much more limited budget. I'm learning the difference between 'need' and 'want.' I want a J. Crew down vest in every color. I need food and gas.

I've been trying for so long to lose weight but can't seem to get anywhere. I've always struggled a bit with body image and have tried multiple times to lose weight and look better but I just love pizza and beer and tacos and cheese way too much. I'm probably in the best shape of my life. I started running back in March in an effort to lose weight. I didn't expect to stick with it for very long. But now, in FIVE WEEKS I'm running my first half marathon. Six months ago  I could barely run a mile and today I ran ten for the very first time. I'm amazing myself every week when I add miles to my long runs and I could not be prouder of my progress.

I've been plagued with migraines most of the summer. Have you ever had a migraine? No? You're so lucky! With the busy-ness of the summer and the stress of moving and adjusting to a new routine and a crazy work load, I've gotten five migraines this summer and each has sent me home from work and straight to bed. They're literally a huge pain and anticipating when you'll have one next is so annoying. I'm learning to listen to my body. The interesting thing about migraines is the amount of things that can trigger one. My triggers might be stress, too much caffeine or strange smells. In an effort to avoid a migraine, I've started paying attention to how stressed I am, what I'm eating, how much water I'm drinking and, overall, how I'm feeling. I think being able to listen to your body is so important and I'm glad I've been forced to acquire that skill.

Overall, life has been wonderful. I'm kicking butt at work, loving my very first apartment and have been having so many fun times with Matt lately. It's been such a pleasure having him home full time. Sure, I have some struggles. Everyone does, but I don't let them take over my life. I'm so lucky to have all that I have and that far outweighs any struggle that could get in my way.