Farewell, 2016. Hello, 2017.

venicebeachPhoto by Shannon Duggan Photography

I love the feeling of newness and anticipation that every new year brings. We have no idea what 2017 has in store for us, but then again, who really does? I have a lot of big hopes and dreams and aspirations for whatever may lie ahead. This past year I’ve learned more than most that it’s important to not let what makes you comfortable stand in the way of what you are called to do. Instead of making any resolutions or goals or choosing a word or a theme for this new year, I’m going to let that quote carry me through.

This has been one heck of a transformational year. It’s a funny thing when you pick up your entire life and move it to the other side of the country. It’s a transformational thing, really. I’ve learned a lot about myself, and I’ve learned a lot about us. We’ve explored and learned so much new, living in a culture entirely different than what we’re used to. I’ve read a lot and written even more. Not publicly, but personally and privately. As much as I wanted to write more on here, revamp the blog, give it another facelift (and I would love to do all of these things in this new year as well), I have continued to learn that pen to paper is still my favorite way to express my thoughts, even if I’m expressing them to no one other than myself. Maybe someday I’ll share more of those thoughts with the world, but likely not any time soon.

2016 has been a challenge in many ways but an opportunity for growth and learning and adventure more than anything else. 2016 has been a really, really great year.

We came home on Friday night from our two week trip home to STL, and while it was so so good to be home with family and friends for the holidays, it also felt good to come back to our California home too. Isn’t it the strangest thing the way that we can feel so at home in one place and equally at home in another? It’s a complicated feeling, but I think a lot of it has to do with nothing more than the people we are with. Maybe it also has something to do with the fact that the months of August – December were non-stop travel for us. Really, it seems like all of 2016 was that way, and it’s been amazing, but this little bit of ‘downtime’ at home this weekend before jumping back into the busyness of work this week has felt so good. I feel rejuvenated and ready to dive right into this New Year. I know it’s going to be another busy one, I know there will be a lot of travel, but aside from that, God only knows what more is in store. Only time will tell.

Farewell 2016, you’ve been good to us.

Hello, 2017.

Xo.
Kasey

Waiting for the Fog to Roll Out

“I’ve been in love with love, and the idea of something, binding us together. You know that love is strong enough, I’ve seen time tell tales about that systematic drug. That heart beats as one. It’s collectively unconsciously composed.

I lost my head in San Francisco, waiting for the fog to roll out. But I found it in a rain cloud. It was smiling down.” -San Francisco, The Mowgli’s

screen-shot-2016-09-24-at-6-02-45-pmThis month we took our first trip to Northern California to visit San Francisco, another bucket list city and another pin to add to our map. Albeit foggy, and much chillier than Southern California, it was beautiful. I can’t say that it tops my list of favorite cities, NYC and Chicago still hold out strong in the top spots, and of course STL for obvious reasons, but I would say that SF makes the cut of top 5. It’s a very unique city, in my opinion, very vibrant, very Liberal, very bright. It’s neat. I definitely want to go back. While we live so close, that’s a definite possibility.

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The main reason we went when we went was for the baseball game, of course. The Cardinals were playing the Giants this month, so we tacked this on to our ‘West Coast Cardinals Tour.’ Since moving out here, we’ve seen the Cards play this season vs. the Padres in San Diego, the Angels in Orange County, the Dodgers in LA and now the Giants in San Francisco. The stadium was beautiful. No Busch Stadium, but I still loved it. PLUS, they had really delicious garlic fries! The stadium sits right on the water so the views are pretty fascinating too, but being right on the water made it that much cooler. We were pretty cold that night and unfortunately, the Cards didn’t bring home a win until after we left SF. Sigh. Still glad we got to see our boys another time on the west coast though.

screen-shot-2016-09-24-at-6-02-57-pm screen-shot-2016-09-24-at-6-03-25-pm screen-shot-2016-09-24-at-5-47-33-pm screen-shot-2016-09-24-at-5-47-47-pm screen-shot-2016-09-24-at-6-02-06-pm screen-shot-2016-09-24-at-6-02-18-pm screen-shot-2016-09-24-at-6-02-32-pmAlthough we were only in SF for a quick weekend, we still squeezed in a lot and did and saw a lot of musts in those couple of days. We walked across the Golden Gate Bridge (and of course took a selfie, because you basically didn’t go to San Francisco without doing that). We went to Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39 and had clam chowder from Boudin in a sourdough bread bowl (well, Tim did, I had chili which was also delicious and warm in the chilly NorCal weather…I’m worried I’m turning into a Southern Californian talking like this. Ha!). We rode the cable cars through the city and made sure we got a spot right on the ledge (I think this was the highlight. So much fun!). We saw the Painted Ladies from Alamo Square and watched the cars drive down Lombard Street, the crookedest street, and walked up and down the city’s hills. My oh my those hills. We had lunch at a little place called Street Taco in Haight-Ashbury and of course made our way to another bar arcade for a game of Ms. Pacman on Friday night called Brewcade. And, we even braved a very early morning waiting in line (4am wakeup call!) for tickets to Alcatraz, and it was worth it too. Even the boat ride over was worth the views of the city and the Golden Gate Bridge. If you’re planning on going, though, I highly recommend grabbing your tickets online early, as in, weeks early. We grabbed a cup of Philz Coffee while we waited for our Uber back to the airport. We still didn’t get to make it to all of the places on our list including Sausalito, Chinatown, Muir Woods and more. There’s so much to see out here. So much in Southern California, the entire state of California and the west coast. So much to take in every single day. It’s fascinating. We loved what we did get to see of San Francisco this time around though. The public transit there is definitely very prominent, but even for being such a small (radius-wise, anyway) city, we found that Uber was our easiest, most convenient option. We typically take public transit everywhere we go when we travel, Chicago and NYC still proving to be the best, most streamlined, user-friendly transit systems, even for the non-locals. SF has a variety of options from buses to cable cars to subway tracks, but for timing and ease, Uber ended up working out best for us, but there were Uber drivers everywhere, we rarely had to wait, and since the city’s radius is is so small and there is not much traffic (not like down here, that’s for sure!), the fares were inexpensive so this ended up working out great for us. We also love to walk a lot but we were bouncing around from one side of the city to the other, and those hills…(insert wide-eyed emoji here…).

Next up on our list? Potentially Vegas. Can you believe we’ve still never been to Vegas, and now we’re just a short drive away? But the trips I’m looking forward to most to finish out the year? Home 🙂 We’ll be back home for the holidays during both Thanksgiving and Christmas, and I absolutely can. not. wait. I can’t imagine spending a holiday without family. But in the meantime, we’ve got a busy work and life season ahead of us as fall kicks off and we jump into the holiday season! It’s been weird feeling like we’ve got a bit of a breather right now, but I keep telling myself to enjoy it, because the end of this year is going to fly on by. We welcome October this weekend (and maybe even cooler temps too?!). I put up the fall wreath, but I’m hoping to get the rest of the fall decor out, light fall candles, bake pumpkin bread, you know the drill. I love fall. It would be pretty basic of me to write a post about how much I love it, as I’m sure I’ve likely already done in the past, but if I get around to it, you can expect one in the weeks to come.

Xo.

Six Months on the Coast

“You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart always will be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.” – Miriam Adeney000058280002
Photos by Shannon Duggan Photography

Six months ago on a cold January day in St. Louis, we woke up and finished packing up the car to embark on what would be seemingly the most invigorating chapter of our story yet. We were moving to California. We were leaving behind our family, our best friends, our community and so many things that we loved for the unknown. Some may call us crazy. Some don’t understand why. For us, it just seemed to fit. As the pages turned, some days much slower than others, one thing after another seemed to fall right into place. For a bit more background, you can read more about when we found out we would be moving HERE. Still to this day, I tell Tim I don’t quite know how we ended up exactly where we did, how we got the great jobs we did. And his answer, “Everything happens for a reason.” He’s right. God has played such a big role in our story (well, he’s writing it, but you know what I mean), and every piece of this just seemed to fit. Was it hard to leave our family and best friends? Harder than I can even explain. I felt more emotions on the day that we left St. Louis as we were driving away from our house, the first home that we bought together, than I even expected to have. Since we had so much time to prepare leading up to moving day, I thought that I had gotten all of my emotions out at that point, but I hadn’t. Missouri was home to us our entire lives. We always had dreams of going elsewhere, despite how much we loved the city we lived in and especially the people in it, but to experience what else this world holds. Timing just never seemed quite right to make that bold move, but I have quickly learned that I don’t think there ever truly is a ‘right’ time for much of anything, and that’s ok. 

Once we got to California (you can read more from the start of our journey HERE), we of course went through that typical honeymoon phase for the first couple of months. Everything was new. We had so much to explore. So many things to see and do. But after the newness wore off, I came to realize just how hard being away from everyone, and everything, back home really was. We were so comfortable. I think that there are pros and cons to comfort. After those first couple of months here, I started to really long for that sense of comfort. A coffee date on a Saturday morning with a girlfriend, a Saturday shopping day with my mom, family dinner, weekly yoga dates with one of my best friends, inviting friends over for dinner in our home. Where were those things? Where were those people? Where was the sense of community here that I so longed for and loved? I’ll admit, after all of the new wore off and after a couple of months of being so seemingly busy with settling into my new job, I started to feel a little bit lost again. I wondered why we were here again. What brought us here? What are we doing? Everyone’s back home watching the Cardinals play at Busch Stadium, watching the Blues in the playoffs on the big screen at Ballpark Village, my family’s together for small gatherings with our new nephew, our friends were celebrating birthdays and baby showers and bridal showers together in the city. That made me sad. Really sad.

Being away from all those comfortable things truly forces you to step out, to find your own new sense of community, to make new friends. We’ve had to figure out what our new local favorites were, a new grocery store to shop at, a new church community that loves people and loves community as much as we do. That was tough. But then friends and family were starting to book flights and come to visit, and as we’ve been able to share with them the things that we’ve already come to know and love as new ‘locals’ of SoCal, I’ve realized that I do like it here. I catch myself talking less about the things that I don’t like, comparing less to the Midwest. Dare I say, dang you California for making me fall in love with you a little bit more each day. I think I’m afraid to fall in love with it here. I’m afraid that we won’t someday go back to what is home. I can sit here and say that in two years we’ll be here or there, but in all honesty, I have absolutely no idea where we’ll be. I never thought that we would be living in Southern California, less than 10 miles from beaches and the Pacific Ocean or that I would be working in a top 10 higher education institution as an associate director doing things that I love today. And somehow, that’s exactly where we are. And I love it. Yes, I still dream every single day. I can’t help the fact that I’m a dreamer, a goal-setter, a planner, and I can’t help the fact that there are so many things that I want to do and that there are so many places that I want to be. I envision us doing some big things. Some really big things. But for today, somehow after six months of trying to figure this whole thing out, I’m starting to realize that I really do believe that this is exactly where we’re supposed to be today.

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My mom, who is less than fond of the fact that we live so far away (and I don’t blame her, and I promise not to live this far away from home forever. I love my mom so much!), even reminded me on the phone one day, after complaining per usual about how much I love [sense sarcasm] the traffic out here, that I live in Southern California. I live in a beautiful place with beaches all around. I live where everyone seems to want to be. Pros and cons. Always pros and cons. If you know me, you know well that I strive to be living in a big city, in the middle of it all; that’s really where my heart is. Chicago. New York City. I’ve dreamt of these things since I was a little girl. Out here, aside from being just a few miles outside of LA, it’s more commercialized and more suburban than I ever would have expected. And one thing that we want so badly to have in a place that we live is a place that we can walk everywhere and a place with a wealth of public transit options. Also not options most places around here. But, for today, that’s ok. We’re getting used to what is the new normal for us. It may not be what we expected, but it’s still an adventure unlike any other in so many ways. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned from this chapter thus far, it’s that stepping out of your comfort zone is so so good for you. It may not always be easy, but it’s one of the best things that you can do for yourself. 

We’re growing in so many ways out here, and it’s only been six months. We’re hiking, we’re exploring, we’re going to the beaches, taking up things like biking and surfing that you just can’t quite do in Missouri. We’re finally starting to find the community we’ve so longed for, we’re discovering our favorite local restaurants and coffee shops. We’re taking advantage of it all. And I think we’re discovering more about ourselves than we even realized. We continue to grow as individuals and in our marriage as we discover more and more what it is we truly envision our lives to be. I’m not sure what the plan for the next six months, the next year, the next five years holds. For today, we’re exactly where we’re supposed to be. It may have taken all of the last six months for me to realize it, but we live in Southern California. And I like it. 

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“I met a girl who kept tattoos for homes that she had loved. If I were her I’d paint my body until all my skin was gone.” -Andrew McMahon, Something Corporate

Xo.
Kasey

Midwest on the West Coast

Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 8.37.58 PMAs I shared in my most recent post, my parents were here to visit early this month, and we had SO much fun while they were here. The weekend after they were here, our sweet friends, Jessica and Tell, came to visit next. We met these two back in St. Louis (Jess and I met through social media actually 🙂 then later had grad school classes together at Webster then worked weddings together that I was planning and their company, Created Space Studios, was filming), and then these two left us to head a little bit west (but not quite California west) as they moved to Kansas City. We were so sad when they moved, but at the same time, we were inspired. We admire this couple and their dreams and ambitions and feel so much on the same page as them in terms of work, life, career, goals, everything. Their move may have been a little touch of inspiration for our own big move (along with a few other subtle touches of inspiration from a few others too). This is also a couple who loves to travel like we do, so we knew that they would definitely be coming out to visit. Not only do they share our love for travel, but also our love for baseball, and specifically, the Cardinals. So, their trip was planned around two conveniently scheduled series games – one vs. the Angels and the other vs. the Dodgers, and we made a full weekend of it.

We had an absolute blast at a winning game vs. the Angels the first night that Jess and Tell got here. Although Angel Stadium and Angels games have not yet proven to be my favorite, everything about this game was so much fun. The stadium had so many other Cardinals fans which made it that much more exciting. There was even a cat (see Rally Cat) that ran across the field in the middle of the game?! Ha, we couldn’t help but laugh. Toward the end of the game we moved down to the first section with the rest of what was dubbed ‘Busch Stadium West’ to finish out the game, and being surrounded by what seemed to be only Cardinals fans left in the stadium at that point, it was a truly phenomenal experience.

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Saturday was the Dodgers game, so we decided to spend the entire day being touristy in LA and Hollywood. We had lunch at the newly opened Shake Shack in West Hollywood (happy to have some of the East Coast here with us on the West Coast!) followed by a trip down the Hollywood Walk of Fame to take another look at the stars and the Hollywood sign. See it in the pic below? Ya, it’s not quite as big as the movies make it seem 😉

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We also took a Warner Brothers Studio Tour which was also SO much fun! We got to see all of the Batmobiles, studio locations for Fuller House and Big Bang Theory, I was a ‘stand in’ for Ellen (her studio and stage are beautiful!) and our tour guide gave us an extra special behind the scenes tour of the Pretty Little Liars set and so much more. We had an awesome guide who seemed to love our loud and lively group. My appreciation for the entertainment industry continues to grow out here. I’m absolutely amazed by it all. We finished up our tour with coffee at Central Perk, just like Friends! 

 

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Then came time for our next round of baseball. We were afraid to ask any Dodgers fans to take our picture outside of the stadium, so we had to wait for Cardinals fans to save the day, and of course, they did. We may not have taken home a win at this game, but we ate a lot of food, had great company and Jon Hamm was there (and we caught a glimpse of him on the jumbotron wearing a Cards hat. YES!) so we’ll take it. Another ballpark to check off the list (no worries, Busch Stadium is still my number 1!)!

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And before they had to leave to head back to the Midwest on Sunday, we took them to one of our favorite donut shops in Costa Mesa and took our donuts and coffee to the pier to watch the surfers catch some waves in the morning, followed by a quick drive down the coast so that we could give them a little taste of OC life too.

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My heart is so full after having family and friends here to visit and explore with us this month. I’m anxious for more visitors already so I hope we have more friends coming soon!

Xo.

We’re ‘locals’ now

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Ok, so we’re not really ‘locals,’ per se, but being here for five months now has us starting to finally get in a groove (although I still use my GPS to get everywhere, even in our neighborhood because there are SO many different routes to get everywhere…because traffic…) and starting to endure the SoCal culture. I figured I’d wait until at least the six month mark before I start sharing the things that I really don’t love so much about this SoCal life. In the meantime, though, we still act like tourists almost every weekend. With so much to do here, I don’t know that that will ever not be the case. But, it’s interesting the way that this place will do crazy things to you. For example, the 72 degrees that I once thought was so warm and cozy early on actually does not feel as warm as one may think. I no longer make fun of those jacket wearing folks when the temperature dips below 70 in the morning or evening. The Pacific air is just different I tell ya. Also, I’ve learned about ‘Gray May’ and ‘June Gloom,’ both times of the year through which the marine layer from the ocean forms cloud cover that doesn’t break until afternoon each day. It feels a bit more like fall than almost summer to me right now. Even though this place doesn’t particularly have seasons. Hm.

The weather is one thing, but the food is another. Although I’m a relatively healthy eater (and I’ve also got that whole gluten thing that most people know about me), I still crave a good burger and fries and comfort food. By comfort food, I mean pizza, pasta, steak, potatoes…All the things that either my parents always made really really well or that St. Louis has some of the best restaurants for. Food is different out here. Think juice, smoothies, salads (I do love salads, thank goodness), but gosh some days I just want something with more substance! At a happy hour for work today, I discovered that I accidentally ate fish eggs (insert wide-eyed emoji here from the girl who doesn’t even eat seafood, no sushi, more or less eggs from a fish), and at a work lunch yesterday, I ate my entire meal at a Japanese restaurant with chopsticks. Not that that doesn’t make sense or anything, but at home (as in, back in St. Louis), it wouldn’t be a problem to simply ask for a fork. Not the case here. I’m embracing the culture, although I’m definitely a wee bit out of my comfort zone most days. Oh, and I was also complimented on how well I ate with my chopsticks. Ha.

Weather, food, weekend getaways. We also just booked a trip to the desert. We will be spending our Memorial Day weekend in Palm Springs. Who would have thought?! I’m sure I’ll have a lot to share following that excursion.

With us having been out here for a few months now, family and friends are finally starting to come visit us too which makes my heart so happy. This past weekend my mom and dad were here, and we took them all up and down the coast of OC and LA to share some of our favorite places.

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Brunch at Las Brisas in Laguna Beach with my family while they were here to visit.

Although we’re definitely still foreigners to the real locals around SoCal, to those who come to visit, we are able to share some local insight which makes me feel kind of cool 😉 I’m also catching on to the local terminology, like using ‘the’ before every freeway name (the 55, the 405) and talking about the ‘Santa Ana Winds’ like they’re no big thing (more on that to come some day I’m sure). Now excuse me while I go put on a jacket and find myself some darn good, greasy gluten free pizza and pasta con broccoli to satisfy my Midwest, yet ‘SoCal local,’ soul.

KaseyLucasStLouis

 

The Latest and Greatest

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So. Getting back on a schedule with my posts hasn’t proved to be much of a success for me just yet because, well, life. We’ve been extra busy with our jobs, and since I still have events under my belt, that also means evenings and weekends too. So, every little bit of time that we have together, even if it’s Thursday nights or Sundays, we are taking full advantage to get out and explore and do something fun. We got to go home for Easter a few weeks ago and meet our new nephew, and it was SO good to be back home in a city that we love with family. It’s only/already been four months for us being out here, and that’s also the longest that we’ve been away from home and away from family, which I will definitely admit, is tough. But, let’s dive right on it…

Currently Loving: 

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St. Louis sports and this great little package that my parents sent in the mail last week! The Cardinals are my number one, as I believe we all already know, and I’ve been making sure that everyone out here is well aware of how great they are too. We’ve got tickets to at least one game in every series that the Cardinals play out in California starting with a game in San Diego next weekend to celebrate Tim’s birthday. I am SO excited to see those boys out here and to wear all of my Cards gear loud and proud in the stands! I am not the biggest hockey fan, but I do of course support the Blues, and hockey is really Tim’s support. It’s playoff time for them, and I am of course cheering them on as well.

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Hiking! We have been taking advantage of God’s beautiful creation out here, and it certainly is nothing short of amazing. The views are phenomenal. We have been going on a lot of hikes with the dogs. We have some pretty great hills and mountains closer to us in North Orange County, we’ve done the touristy Runyon Canyon in LA (the city views were pretty spectacular here) and we’ve done some neat hikes by the ocean and the bay. I would like to do a post in the future on some of our favorites. There isn’t a ton of opportunity for hiking in MO (although there is some), but out here there are so many mountains, hills and trails to explore.

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Travel! We just booked some exciting upcoming trips including Portland and Seattle for our anniversary in June (5 years!) and San Francisco in September (where we will see the Cardinals play the Giants!). We’ve also got quite a few smaller weekend trips on tap. We want to take advantage of so many great places around us while we live out here. We are working on adding quite a few pins to our map. The west coast was looking pretty sparse, but it’s starting to fill up quite nicely.

Not So Much: 

Sweet tea and good BBQ are hard to come by out here. I LOVE my sweet tea, and BBQ (especially a favorite of Tim’s) are two things that we just haven’t nailed down yet. I think that these are two comforts that remind me of home too, so when we try out a new BBQ place, and it’s just not like St. Louis (not that I would actually expect it to be of course), I get a little let down. So, if you have any good BBQ recs in SoCal or any other suggestions on where I can get sweet tea aside from Chick-fil-a or the grocery store, please feel free to share 🙂

Listening:

MisterWives. Just got their newest album. So good. Fun, upbeat summertime music in my opinion; it just puts you in a good mood. We’ve been listening on our record player outside on our patio.

Watching:

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. I watched season 1 when we first moved out here and absolutely loved it. It’s just so lighthearted and funny, typical Tina Fey style. Season 2 just came out. Something light and fun to watch when you want something sort of mindless at the end of a long day.

Reading: 

I tend to always be reading way too many books at once, but I recently started going through Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life, guiding you through 40 days of purpose. His church is actually out here where we live, so we’ve visited one of the locations closest to us a few times. We’re still on the hunt for a new church home out here (no easy feat), but more to come on that in a later post.

Tomorrow starts another Monday, but it’s also Tim’s birthday week! We are getting awfully close to 30 this time around. Crazy! We have had a lot of milestones set for ourselves early on in our marriage when we reached 30 and/or five years of marriage. We celebrate five years of marriage this year, and 30 will happen for us both next year. Never would have imagined we would be living in Soithern California right now, and I can only imagine (and hope and pray about) what the next few years will bring. God’s got plans for us, and we are living out each new page of our story one day at a time. April is a busy month of work and life, but I’m extra excited for May because my parents come to visit, we have friends coming to visit and the Cardinals will be in town!

Hope you all are enjoying a restful Sunday. And I will leave you with this quote that I stumbled upon last week – “How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.” -George Washington Carver

Xo.

KaseyLucasStLouis

 

 

Things I’m Loving (and maybe a few that I’m not…)

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Hi All! I feel like it’s way too much of a challenge for me to find the time to post regularly over here, unlike on IG, but I want to so I’m trying to come up with the best way of doing so without it being too forced, you know? So, I think that what I’m going to try to shoot for is (hopefully) two weekly posts. One being a weekend adventure recap since many of our weekends out here are spent exploring SoCal, and two, I want to try sharing weekly ‘things I’m loving now,’ as inspired by the super great Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey podcast that my dear friend Chelsea got me sucked into, and now I cannot stop listening! I think I may even do an entirely different post on a few of the podcasts I’ve been listening to thanks to this girl because now thanks to a significantly longer California commute to and from work each day (seriously, traffic is no joke around here), I spend a lot more time in my car, but I’m listening to some super great podcasts (and catching up on sermons from my home church because of it) so I supposed that makes the commuter lifestyle seem a bit better.

So anyway, here’s how I think I want to line out at least one of my weekly posts:

-Three things I’m loving right now.

-Something I’m not really loving so much right now (because as much as I don’t like to be negative, sometimes I just need to let out a little vent session, so one sentence here might do).

-Currently listening to (this may be favorite Spotify stations, podcasts, etc.).

-Currently watching (Netflix because since moving, we have given up cable, which I have mixed emotions about. I just really miss having HGTV on all the time!) 

-Currently reading (books, blogs, etc.).

A few of these things may vary or remain the same each week because, well as much as I love to read, it still tends to take me way longer than it really should to finish a book based on a way too busy schedule (will get into that at some other point, I’m sure).

Here’s what I’m going to start with for this week (even though it’s still the weekend; not sure which day I’m actually going to try to plan for posts yet, but schedules do definitely tend to help.):

Three things I’m loving right now:
1. Being an aunt! My first nephew was born this week! I will say that this has been the first real feeling of challenge being so far from home, BUT, we’re going home next week to meet him, and I couldn’t be more excited! (I also went to the TOMS warehouse sale earlier this month (perks to living in California!) and just had to buy a pair of these Tiny TOMS for Rhys.

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2. Everything at Target, not that this is anything new because I’m always loving everything at Target, but they are consistently continuing to rock my world. I’m especially loving all of Oh Joy!’s lines at Target.

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3. Dog + Bone dog collars and leashes made in Austin, TX. I am in love with this brand’s look, and Bent and Emma recently got new, bright colored collars and leashes.

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Something that I’m not really loving so much right now: 

Some of the oddities that I’m learning about California. The biggest example would be the fact that I thought this place was supposed to be so ahead of the game on everything, but even in the world of gluten freedom, they don’t have it. Like, at all. Before moving out here everyone said how easy it was to be gluten free in California. Hm. Maybe I’m just finding all of the wrong places? We just have to do some pretty serious digging every time we are planning to go out to eat to search for the best gf options. There are certainly some, just not quite as many as I would have hoped or expected. St. Louis is definitely way on top of the game when it comes to this, especially compared to here. Also, there is no good Italian food here. Anywhere. And Italian is my #1 so this is so sad! I’m still determined to find it. We are definitely spoiled by all of the great local restaurants on the Hill back home (with great gluten free pasta too!).

Currently listening to:
Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey podcast (so many inspiring women on this show, go listen!)

Currently watching:
GIRLS HBO. I’ve been watching since season 1, and I’m seriously obsessed with this show. Trying to figure out what this twenty something life is all about? So are these girls so it makes me feel a bit more sane about having a million and one different dreams and goals and ambitions in one single moment.

Currently reading:
Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl by Lisa TerKeust – Almost done with this one. I absolutely and have read a few of her other books too. As you can probably tell from the book title, she is a Christian author, and she also runs Proverbs 31 Ministries. They have a great app called First 5 with quick devotionals to start your day. It’s so great.

That’s it for this week. Let’s see if I can get this thing back on some kind of a schedule. Phew! In the meantime, Happy Spring! Yahoo! (Side note – This took me five days to actually even post…yet I had started it. Let’s see if we can keep this thing on a schedule. I wrote this over the weekend, and it’s already a new week sooo there’s that. Additional side note – I would normally be adding more photos and linking way more things that I want to share, but when I do these posts from my iPad, it complicates things a little and takes wayyyy longer than it should. So I’ll hopefully go back and do things, but hey, progress, not perfection, right?! 😉 )

Xo.
Kasey