Weekend Links / / Bringing Up Social Media

Fall in Nashville

Living in a small space forces Jordan and I to rethink all of our belongings. I recently did a major closet purge (which now sits on my floor in a pile until I decide which items to donate and send to thredUP) and you don’t know how lighter I feel. Our apartment is a little less than 700 sq. feet with only one fully functioning closet (we are able to store a few coats and our vacuum next to our washer/dryer). That’s right Jordan and I share a closet! There just isn’t space to keep so so items around.

This purge led us to get rid of cable in the traditional sense. We finally bought an Apple TV which is so sleek in comparison to a cable box. Between that swap and switching to two MacBooks instead of having an iMac set up on our dining room table our home feels so much more spacious.

Onto the links!

The Pitfalls of Social Media / / Did you all follow the debacle that was this article? People were shouting praises for Essena’s choice to leave social media and a mere week later a video was posted where she essentially is begging for money as she no longer has sponsors. Tiffany Mitchell shared a different and healthy perspective on the good social can bring to our lives.

“Having the buffer of a computer to temper my fears of sharing deep things about myself acclimated me to the idea of true openness. It allowed me to start admitting who I really was, who I had been hiding.”

It’s Different, But It’s Good / / How often in life do our plans work out exactly how we imagined them? Hardly. At least in my life. During times of frustration, I think to myself if I was pregnant or a mom by now I wouldn’t have to make decision A, B or C. The beautiful thing is my life is different, but it is also really good.

When Does Eating Clean Become an Eating Disorder? / / “The problem is that we have moralized eating, weight, food, and exercise.”

Something becomes a disorder when you no longer can function outside of set perimeters. Feeling a little anxious at take-off and landing is normal when flying, but a true fear of flying is completely avoiding flying at all costs. Such as turning down an opportunity to attend a destination wedding.

Eating whole foods and limiting processed foods is key to a healthy diet but eating is only one part of being a person. It is not healthy when your life becomes consumed by what you are eating. Feeling guilty for having a treat or turning down nights out with friends because you won’t be able to “eat clean” are not signs of a balanced life.

How I Fill in My Eyebrows / / I honestly didn’t think much about my eyebrows until the last year or so. After watching YouTube videos I realized how much a difference filling in your eyebrows make. I’ve tried a few pencils but they never last throughout the whole day. Ashley discovered major staying power by applying a teeny dab of eyeshadow primer prior to your pencil.

A Book Review: Bringing Up Bébé / / Jordan and I read this while flying to Europe a few years ago. We had just started trying to get pregnant and thought it fitting since we were spending time in Paris. Pamela  Druckerman is an American journalist married to an English man and parenting in Paris. Bringing up Bébé is part memoir and part observation on French parenting. Even if you don’t totally agree with the French way of parenting, it is fascinating to take a step back and see how parenting choices is more cultural than we think and maybe the Western way of doing things isn’t the only or right way.

10 Autumn Drink Recipes / / I have my eye on the Maple Bourbon Cider. Do you have up your drink game when the weather turns cooler? I love margarita’s year round, but flavors such as apple I only seem to crave during the winter.

Happy Weekend, all!

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Weekend Links / / Year Ten

© Kate De La Rosa

One evening this week, Jordan and I were hopping into bed for the night when we realized that we had officially been a couple for a decade!

It was October 14, 2005. I remember so clearly selecting my outfit, as I was meeting Jordan’s bandmates for the first time: a denim skirt over white leggings with a vintage Illini (University of Illinois) t-shirt. On our way to band practice, we stopped at Starbucks for coffee and hot chocolate — there once was a time I didn’t like coffee! While standing in line, we ran into an acquaintance of Jordan who asked if I was his girlfriend. We had been going on dates for about a month, but an official label hadn’t been discussed.

Well, friends, Jordan answered by saying “Yeah, well, I think we are? Catherine, will you be my girlfriend?”

And that’s how it happened. Haha.

Onto the links!

Fall 2015 Capsule Wardrobe | This is not the first capsule wardrobe post I’ve saved. Up until this point, I didn’t feel confident committing to a major purge. Before living in Nashville through all four seasons I had questions such as: what would summer would be like compared to Chicago? How many sweaters will I need for a shorter winter? After living here for a full year, I am ready to tackle this project.

Classy Bunny + Video Tutorial | Amy has two costume tutorials on her blog with more to come! Costume ideas don’t come to me naturally, so I love finding easily replicable tutorials. Are you attending any Halloween parties?

Drive the Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina | I do not use the adjective “outdoorsy” to describe myself. As a child, I preferred playing inside with my doll house to digging in the dirt. The only time my family went camping, my brothers had terrible allergic reactions to the elements so we never went again! I attended summer camp, where I had the opportunity to hike, mountain climb, white water raft, camp under the stars and essentially any other outdoor activity you could imagine. I loved it at the time, but I just haven’t sought it out as an adult. My friend Tiffany and her husband Whitman are constantly hiking and camping. Her photos are giving me reason enough to explore nature a little more!

10 Slow and Steady Strategies for Practical Decluttering | In theory, minimalism and organizing are meaningful and worthwhile pursuits. In practice, I find the process challenging for my sentimental heart. While reading through Courtney’s process, I took pause at step three: play the memory game. For items which are particularly hard to part with Courtney suggests placing them in a box for 30 days. Once those 30 days are up if you haven’t thought or discovered a need go ahead and donate!

Messy Hearts & Messy Homes | What does it look like to invest in community and invite people into your home when your life is messy and chaotic? Elizabeth shares a poignant and powerful lesson she’s learned amidst undergoing a demo project in her home.

Happy Weekend, all!

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Photography © Kate De La Rosa

Weekend Links / / Allergies and Lady Bites

Nashville Farmer's Markets

On Wednesday, while editing photos for a project, I found this snapshot from a late summer farmer’s market peach run. Finding photos from this day reminded me just how much I loved my first southern summer. Those same markets that were bursting with corn, tomatoes, juicy berries and peaches a mere six weeks ago, have transitioned to seasonal gourds and pumpkins.

My allergies have been out of control lately (another reminder that Fall is here!). Friends warned us prior to our move to Nashville that allergy medicine would be a must because Nashville is in a valley. They were not joking! I had a whopping two day+ sinus headache this week which left me sneaking naps whenever I could. In general, I try not to nap as it messes with my ability to go to fall asleep at night, but sometimes they are a welcome treat.

What are you weekend plans? Several friends are passing through town this weekend, so we have lunch and dinner festivities for tomorrow and hopefully lots of football watching on Sunday!

Onto the Links!

Simplify Meal Planning / / People in my life know I cook a lot. Eating home cooked meals is something I enjoy and have made time for in my life. I get asked often how I do it (find the recipes/inspiration, cook etc). My system is a bit haphazard but if you are new to the process look no further than Brittany’s post.

Organizing my Pinterest Boards / / Pinterest is only helpful if you can actually find the information once you’ve pinned something. Kelsey explains, step-by-step, how she cleaned up and simplified her Pinterest boards.

31 Days of Scripture During Infertility / / Lisa participated in an October writing challenge last year which resulted in her creation of the eBook, 31 Days of Prayer During Infertility. She is back again with a new 31 day project. Day two, Learning to Wait, has given me a lot to think about.

Wearing a Dress for Fall / / Everything about Jana’s outfit is perfect and completely something I would wear and have worn. It is reminiscent of this look, minus the hat! I love pairing denim jackets with easy cotton dresses.

Bites & Sips: Ladies Night In / / Kelly attended a girls night in which featured rounds of catchphrase, wine and appetizers. I love this idea for a birthday party or even a “just because” party. Swap the wine for Diet Coke and it’s reminiscent of my sleepovers in high school — I love it!

…One other thing before I sign off. Jordan was on another episode of Vernacular Podcast this week talking all about James Bond songs. You can listen to his episode here!

Happy Weekend, all!

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Weekend Links / / Divergent Nashville Guides

A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with a friend about Young Adult fiction. No matter the specific genre, I still look for good storytelling and world building.  I remember discovering Sarah Dessen when I was in high school and the world of YA fiction was introduced! I loved reading The Hunger Games, but when Divergent made the rounds a few summers ago it didn’t immediately spark my interest.

Well, after my friend suggested I give them a go I have to admit I am completely hooked. I already finished Divergent and already have Insurgent waiting for me from the library! It’s nice to read a book which doesn’t take a lot of effort, especially after a busy day at work. Have you read them?

Our friends from Canada are visiting this weekend! Jordan and I are excited to play tour guides for them. We’ve had a lot of fun planning the places we’ll take them. The weather will be perfect for exploring too. I love fall weather in the South!

Onto the links!

Five Tips for Traveling on a Restricted Diet / / I used to not think about where Jordan I would eat while traveling. We don’t tend to seek out specific dining establishments while on the road; we stop when we are hungry! This became trickier as I eliminated dairy, gluten and now meat. After our last trip to Cincinnati, I made the decision fast food simply isn’t an option for me. I don’t feel good, even when choosing a salad.

What Marriage Means to Me / / I love being married to Jordan. I don’t take our connection lightly. I think the question, “What marriage means to you?”, would be an interesting discussion for marriage counseling.

“To me, marriage is being on a team. It’s having a teammate in life, and having someone to cheer on.”

Serial Podcast is Now a Television Show / / I am really intrigued by this idea!

How to Drive Traffic To Your Blog with Stumble Upon / / Determining which social sites to spend time on has been tricky. I don’t blog for numbers, but at the same time I put a lot of time and effort into each post so I want to reach as many people as possible. Erin’s tips have really helped me realize how to use Stumble Upon properly. I appreciate that engagement is rewarded.

Roasted Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup / / There is no going back, I have officially entered soup, stew and chili season. With a few dietary adjustments, this soup will be a nice addition to my rotation!

How To: Solo Traveling Tips for Women / / I wasn’t single long enough to have to travel alone much. There are a lot of safety concerns to factor when you are traveling alone, especially as a woman. Rae’s tips (know the number of the local police, have the address of where you are staying on you — not just in your phone, don’t be an “obvious” tourist etc) are good even if you are traveling with a friend.

Happy Weekend, all!

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Photo Credit: Jordan Short

Weekend Links / / Semi-Vegetarian


^ One more from Mt. Adams!

How was your week, friends? Mine began a little haphazardly (which is normal whenever you come back from a trip!) but it turned around quickly. On Tuesday I had tea with Greta, a fellow blogger in town. I love turning internet connections into real ones.

On another note, I’ve been toying with the idea of going (mostly) vegetarian. I don’t know. I try not to get too crazy with my food choices (as the right to pick and choose what I eat is something I don’t take lightly) but the factory farming practices pervasive in this country leave me uneasy. I can’t ignore it anymore. Listening to this Fresh Air interview on pig farming was the straw that broke the camel’s… er, pig’s back…literally.

I think often of my papa (my mom’s dad) who ran a dairy farm, the exact farm he was born on in 1923. Raising cattle, pigs and chickens to only eat them later in the season was a way of life, at least for a midwestern farmer. This was prior to factory farming, a time when nothing was wasted. He even milked all of his cows himself!

Anyway, I’ve decided to take it week by week, day by day, circumstance by circumstance. I enjoy the challenge involved in creating meals around vegetables, legumes and grains. It’s been similar to the challenge when I first eliminated dairy and gluten — it feels really daunting at first, but it gets easier and I kind of enjoy it! Early in the week, I roasted a whole bunch of vegetables, cooked a batch of quinoa and prepared hardboiled eggs to help aid in quick meal preparation.

Onto the links!

Simplify Your Home: A Guide To Decluttering your Home / / Brittany’s tips on decluttering your home have come at just the right time as Jordan and I are getting serious about our belongings. This afternoon we are visiting our storage unit hopefully to downsize even more. The point which really got me thinking? Resist the urge to reorganize. I do this often. Don’t reorganize, declutter!

Ryan Adams Cover’s T-Swift  / / Have you listened yet? It’s so good! I often forgot Ryan Adams’ covers of Taylor Swift’s songs weren’t originally his. Shake it Off  wasn’t one of my favorite songs on Taylor’s 1989, but I really like Ryan’s interruption.

Workout Wednesday: Tips for Taking Up Swimming as Exercise / / Anne, while training for a triathlon, has begun swimming and is sharing her tips with us! I grew up swimming. I wasn’t ever the fastest on my teams but, technique wise, I was always fine. Swimming is a complete full body workout that happens to also be low impact — unlike running.

Remember You Are Spending Your Life / / It’s easy to wish away seasons of life. I know I do it often and Chelsea’s recent post was a good reminder to not take my time for granted and to spend it wisely.

“We really have to remember that we are spending our lives. Whether it feels like it or not. No matter how much free time you have or how much of a choice it feels like you have about your life, you’re still spending it. From what you do on your commute to work, to your lunch break, to before bed, to your day off…whatever you do, you’re spending your life.”

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Tacos / / I received sweet potatoes in my CSA and immediately roasted them for this recipe. Delicious! I felt full and satisfied and they were excellent as leftovers throughout the week.

Happy Weekend, All!

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Weekend Links / / Ohio Bound

Weekend Links / / Ohio Bound

Jordan and I are in one of our favorite cities, Cincinnati, for the weekend! Cincinnati holds a special place in our hearts. While we quickly passed through the city on our way from Toronto in April, it’s been a few years since we had time to explore areas such as Mount Adams. Much of our early dating years were spent taking weekend road trips to this very city. Jordan had recently finished a year program working alongside a local church and the host family he lived with is still very dear to us. They are family. We always enjoy reconnecting!

We lumped this visit with a chance to see Death Cab for Cutie. The last time I saw them in concert I was in high school when they opened for Modest Mouse. I remember being disappointed they only played three songs! I’m sure they will play more songs than that this weekend. Haha.

Onto the links!

Why I No Longer Equate My Time To Dollars / / Daisy’s writing always leaves me thinking — that’s why I include them so often! I was recently listening to the Around The Table Podcast and the hosts had a segment on services to pay for rather than DIY. The majority of the discussion revolved around time; Is it worth the time to invest in learning a new skill? i.e. learning to change your own oil. I enjoy cooking meals from scratch even though they take longer, but I would gladly pay someone to clean my house!

The 5 Big Fall Books / / I’m excited to read these this fall!

Kamiak Butte + Muddy Colors of Harvest / / My dad is from Idaho and we took family trips to Sun Valley, but I’m itching to go back and fully experience the splendor. Natalie’s recent hiking pictures are amazing! I have a hard time enjoying the outdoors when humidity is involved, but the dry heat in the west is my kind of heat!  It’s funny when I first began reading lifestyle blogs, several years ago, everyone seemed to be settled on the east coast. Now, many of those same people have moved west!

Fast Curling Wand Waves / / My best friend, Lauren, is a hair stylist and used a wand on my hair the last time she cut it. Curling my hair has never come naturally to me (the clamps on traditional irons has always gotten in my way!) but I’m obsessed with the ease of wands. I’m planning on purchasing one this fall and hopefully after a little practice I can master the technique.

My Ideal Icelandic Weekend / / Iceland has been our brain lately, which is why I have loved Kiki’s blog. Did you hear about WOW Air, the new airline that is offering crazy cheap tickets to Iceland? They only fly out of limited airports, but I am excited for more competitive flight options and for a potential 2016 trip!

Happy Weekend, all!

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Weekend Links / / Bowls & Spoons


Jordan and I had a busy busy Labor Day/Birthday Weekend. When Tuesday hit, I was not ready for my early mornings again! I’m still trying to write thank you cards, reply to all of the sweet social media comments we received and edit photos from our party.

I had a hard time staying motivated this week mainly because all I really wanted to do was flip through my new cookbook, Bowl + SpoonSprouted Kitchen is one of my favorite food blogs and their cookbooks are beautiful to look at. One of my favorite recipes to bring to a gathering is their mango guacamole — it’s always a huge hit!

What are you weekend plans? Besides working, I’m excited for football and celebrating birthdays with friends.

Onto the links!

Roasted Banana Coconut Ice Cream | Speaking of Sprouted Kitchen, this summer Sara shared an ice cream recipe. I purchased an extra can of coconut cream as an ingredient for our birthday cake and I think it’s screaming to be made into ice cream. Now to find an ice cream maker. If any of my Nashville friends have one, please let me know!

September Challenge: Week 1 | Beth has challenged herself (for the month of September) to eat on $4.50 a day/$31 a week (the average food assistance allowance). Many people in America (and the world) go to bed hungry without really knowing if they have enough food to feed their family. Many bloggers do a 30/30 wardrobe challenge, but I’m kind of curious if I could eat on less than $5.00 a day.

Life is Not Rainbows and Unicorns. | Even people with “glamorous” jobs and lifestyles have difficult days and seasons. Thank you for being so vulnerable, Esther!

7 Steps to Simplify Your Life This Fall. For many of us, September is a chance to regroup after a busy summer. Fall can also be a great time to set new intentions for how the rest of the year will go. Daisy’s practical steps gave me pause on my commitments, goals and priorities.

“You and I are easily distractible creatures with a need for structure and a desire for purpose. So if we don’t stand firmly for what we love most, we’ll be swept away by the waves of obligation and temptation that come rolling in these next several months.”

Caponata | Each week 2-3 eggplants appear in my CSA and each week I wonder what to do with them. Through experimenting, I’ve discovered eggplants are better when paired with tomatoes. This roasted Italian dip has been an interesting way to use eggplants. I added in bell peppers because I had an abundance in my fridge. We’ve been eating it cold with corn chips as a snack all week!

Five Things: NYC | Gluten-free bakeries, last-minute broadway tickets and make up — sounds like my kind of weekend in New York City!

Happy Weekend, all!

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Weekend Links / / The Start


This week marked a change in our home life. Jordan has joined WELD, a creative community and co-working space in Nashville. For the past three and a half years, he’s exclusively worked from home albeit with the occasional client visit, business lunch or afternoon at a coffee shop. A few months ago, Jordan was presented with the opportunity to join WELD and he began the process of becoming a member.  If there ever was a right time for transition, we both felt like this could be it. I’m excited for Jordan professionally and creatively, but it feels like I’m sending him off to school for the first time. Will he make friends? Did I pack enough snacks? Will he forget about me? Haha.

It’s rather silly, but I’ve grown accustomed to coming home from work, at any time of day, to a happy greeting from my husband. I’ve been spoiled!

There are benefits to our new arrangement, things such as: now I get to greet him when he comes home… and watching anything on Netflix I want without worrying about interrupting a conference call. Did you all know The Baby-sitters Club is on Netflix? I remember watching that show when my family first moved to Chicago in 1993. I was thoroughly obsessed with the books and kept a notebook with every title I read so I could keep on track. This show brings back a flood of lovely memories. Thanks to Katie for pointing it out to me!

On to the links!

/ / BreAnna’s weekly grocery hauls inspire me to grocery shop more efficiently. This week, she shared six budget friendly and healthy snacks. I’m always curious how people snack. I usually stick to three square meals in a day but Jordan loves to snack in between, so I’m continually on the search for healthy and less processed treats to keep in the house. What are you snacking on?

/ / 10 Ways to Inspire Movement. It’s far to easy for me to skip a work out. I’m on my feet at work, only sitting during my breaks. Despite my best intentions to convince myself, I recognize that standing while making lattes isn’t the same as cardio. 😉 I’ve been saving my favorite beauty YouTube videos to watch while on the elliptical as my inspiration.

/ / Six Ways to Simplify Summer. Time in the summer months seem to be on turbo speed compared to February. It’s easy to want to fill up your entire calendar with fun events, but it can also get overwhelming to manage those plans. I love Daisy’s suggestion to protect the blank spaces on your calendar, so to allow for spontaneity.

“Resist the temptation to fill those empty days; leave yourself time to be spontaneous. When that day arrives, do whatever suits your fancy (and the weather), and don’t worry about not accomplishing anything. Sometimes spontaneity leads to an activity we’ve needed all along.”

That’s exactly how I felt about last Saturday.

/ / How to Stay Organized in a Small Space. It hasn’t been easy to whittle our belongings down to fit into an apartment that has one main closet (the other two closets hold our washer/dryer and water heater). We have music and home office equipment that is tucked under beds and couches. Everything (mostly) has a place. It is extremely important to stay neat in a smaller space and thankfully it doesn’t take long to clean our place!

/ / Did you all catch the Gilmore Girls reunion at the ATX festival last weekend? It seemed like all the entertainment news outlets were buzzing about it! EW has a portion of the live panel on their website. It was so fun seeing the cast (minus only a few!) laughing and sharing stories from their time on the set.

Happy Weekend, all!

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/ / Linking with Meagan & Susanna.

Weekend Links / / Sun-Screened Friends


Jordan and I intentionally kept our nights low-key this week. May was a really busy month for us and we needed to wind down a bit. Speaking of being intentional, on Wednesday night, we unintentionally finished the entire series of Friends. Generally, each season is composed of 24 episodes, so when I hit play on episode 18 I didn’t think it was going to be the end. I might have teared up during that last scene. If there is a better sitcom, I can’t think of one.

This week I tried my best to catch up on a few projects, clean up my inbox and actually read a magazine or two — lofty goals! Haha. Generally, after I get home from work and wash the stale coffee off my body and hair, I find it hard to just relax. Whether it be blog projects, Jordan’s business, or general housekeeping there is always more to do! I need to get better at shutting the computer down, especially now that summer is here.

And now for some weekend reads!

/ / Brittany and her husband just bought their first home and are expecting their first child. A lot of fun new changes for them! Several months back, Brittany shared their desire to maintain a minimalists perspective while house hunting. This week she gave an update on the desires they had for their first home vs. what they ended up buying. I’m quite thankful that Jordan and I have been forced to downsize even more in our current place. It’s made me aware of how little one really needs, though double sinks in our bathroom would be nice!

/ / Jordan and I subscribe to Relevant Magazine, but I also enjoy reading the articles published on their website. Wedding season is upon us and whether you are single, engaged, or married for 2 months or 15 years, there are a lot of great points brought up in this article, The 10 Things I Learned in 10 Years of Marriage.

“We are in this marriage for a lifetime, so we can either choose to be joyful or to be miserable.”

/ / 13 Natural Sunscreens to try. I’m on the hunt for a good face sunscreen that won’t cause a breakout. What is your favorite facial sunscreen?

/ / I bought the biggest bag of spinach at Costco this week. Costco is like an adult playground with endless imaginary possibilities. Oh, the trouble I’d get into if I had a deep freezer and a huge pantry. I’d buy all the things. Besides smoothies, Monique’s strawberry mango chopped spinach salad sounds like the perfect way to use some of my fresh produce.

/ / Jordan and I can’t stop listening to Brandon Flowers’ latest album. Have you listened yet? It’s so good!

Happy Weekend, all!

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Incase you missed it:

Reviewed | Hey Natalie Jean

Explore Nashville | Sevier Park

To Remember

/ / Linking with Meagan.