The Weekend |I Thrived!|

Hello last day of February!!!

I for one am glad to see February go, but only because March is my birth month so I always want it to be March.  Plus March means it’s officially Spring and Spring is my favorite season.  So really it’s win win for me.  
So, I had a phenomenal weekend!!!  Seriously it was the best weekend I’ve had in a long long time.  And it’s all thanks to the Thrive Blog Conference!  I cannot wait to share all of my real thoughts and feelings about the whole thing, but let me just tell you it was AH-MAZING!
For now I’m just going to share some of the highlights from the weekend as a whole and then be sure to check back later this week for a full re-cap!

Once school was over it was all things Thrive! It was seriously the best experience I’ve had in a while.  Much more fun than the conferences I have to go to for my actual job. 
-Had a minor hiccup on Friday when I realized that I left the dress I bought from Francescas at home!!!  I was already 30 minutes from home in Houston traffic when I realized it so there was no way I was going back to my house.  Thankfully since I did buy my dress from Francesca’s I was able to buy the same one and a major crisis was averted.
– Met some of my favorite Houston bloggers.
-Took some adorable pictures in the “photobooth” sections.  All the vintage furniture was provided by a local Houston company called Vintage Indulgences.  
– Ate some of the most delicious cookies I’ve had in a while courtesy of Sweet Marie’s.  Seriously the lemon lavender shortbread cookies were fabulous.
-Had another minor hiccup when I realized I left my DSLR camera battery plugged into the wall at my friend Holly’s house.  So iPhone pictures it was. 
– Learned a ton from all the amazing speakers!!!
– Left the conference with a tribe of new friends and some great insight into how to make my little space of the internet really THRIVE!! 🙂
And now for some more photos, which I know you’re dying to see.

(picture courtesy of Meg Cady Photography)

Overall it was a fabulous two days.  And I am so glad I decided to go.  To be honest I’m STILL trying to process everything I’ve learned but that’s to be expected when you learn so many great things.  I really hope the creators, Whitney and Bree hold the conference again next year because I will definitely be in attendance.

Was all about the Oscars!!!  I did take part of my day to relax and recharge after a very busy Saturday.  I went to the store and pampered myself a little with a trip to the nail salon.  But once I got home it was full on Oscar mania.  I mean I had to watch to make sure my main man, Leo, won his first Oscar and I was so happy when he did!! (As were about 1 million other people in the world I’m sure!
– Loved seeing all the Oscar fashion.  Here were my favorites:

To be honest I wasn’t at all impressed with the rest of the show.  If it hadn’t been for Leo I honestly probably would have turned it off after the first 30 minutes and started watching Fuller House (which I plan to watch tonight!).  But I sat through it, spending most of my time on my phone.  I did absolutely love Lady Gaga’s powerful performance of her song and thought that Spotlight was 100% deserving of the Best Picture win.  But other than those three things….I could have found a better way to spend those 3 and half hours.  Which was really disappointing to me because I LOVE the Oscars and just movies in general.  Hopefully next years show is better.  Much better.
But at the end of the day…….LEO WON!!!!!!! And really that’s all that matters!
February was a whirlwind month and I am glad to see it go.  Although I do wish I could relive Thrive just one more time.  But now it’s on to the next month…the BEST month!  Bring it on March, I’m ready for you! 
Hope your weekend was great and may your Monday be short! 🙂
Linking up with Biana.

Oh Hey Friday: |5 Things I’m Most Looking Forward to at THRIVE!|

Well it’s finally here y’all!  It’s finally time for my very first blog conference!  I have been so excited for this weekend for so long that it’s hard to believe it’s finally here.

So in honor of such a momentous occasion for myself and my little space of the internet, I have decided to dedicate this Oh Hey Friday post to the top 5 things I’m most looking forward to about the Thrive Blog Conference!

[one] Being around other bloggers!  There is just something about being around a group of women who are as into the blogging world as I am that makes me very happy.  I realized this a few weekends ago when I met Ashley from The Wandering Weekenders.  When you meet someone in real life who’s blog you’ve been reading on a weekly basis you feel like you already know the person.  There is definitely a connection between bloggers that non-bloggers just don’t understand.  Plus I cannot wait to see/meet some of the bloggers who’s blogs I’ve been reading since moving to Houston!

[two]  All the learning!  This is the main reason I’m going to the conference.  I want to learn how to really build this little space of mine.  Not that I’m expecting to become some big time blogger where I can quit my job and blog full time (although that would be amazing).  But I do want to learn a few things about what I can do to grow.  I’m most looking to the sessions about photography, growing your social media following, and working with sponsors.  I’ve stalked  browsed the blogs of the speakers and they all seem amazing!

[three]  What I’m planning to wear to the conference!  Ok this may sound totally lame but I am so excited to wear the new dress I bought for the conference.  It is perfect!  You can see a sneak peak of it here.  And the best part is I got it from Francesca’s Collections, who just so happens to be a sponsor of the conference this year.  I’m also pretty pumped for the dress I’m wearing to Friday’s meet and mingle event.  The dress belongs to my roommate and I’ve been eyeing it for a while now.

[four]  The decor!  Since I found out about last years conference too late I was stuck drooling over all the attendee’s Instagram pictures via the hashtag #thriveblogcon.  And y’all the decor was so stinkin cute!  Look at these pictures from last year!

(Photos courtesy of Meg Cady Photography)
And I just know this year will be no different! So excited to see what they’ve come up with for this year!

[five] Going home inspired!  I think this is what I’m most looking forward to.  I’ve decided that that is going to be my goal for the whole conference.  I plan to get as much out of this conference as I can so that on my drive home I am inspired to make this space better than it has ever been.  So that I am inspired to step out of my comfort zone and do things I normally would be scared or nervous doing.   I even found the cutest notebook at Target that I plan to take notes in that has that exact word written on the front.

I will be INSPIRED when I walk out of Thrive!

Have a great weekend friends!  I cannot wait to share all about Thrive with you next week! 🙂
Linking up for Oh Hey Friday!

Your Next Favorite Book: Throne of Glass Series |The Prequel and Book 1|

Last night I had book club.  I had never joined a book club before moving to Houston and I have no idea why.  Because let me tell you, talking about books that I love with other people who read and loved them is one of my favorite things.  Reading a book is so much more exciting when you have someone to gush with over how much you loved it.  Each month our book club picks a book to read and then we pick a restaurant to go to, to talk about said book.  We have books picked out for the next couple of months so I’m pretty excited!

The book we just finished has become one of my all time favorites.  And I actually think I’m going to have to buy the whole series because I know one day I’ll want to re-read them.  Yeah, I do that a lot.  Re-read books I like.   Anyone else do that?  Ok good.

I’m actually going to review the first two I’ve read and then I plan to review the others in the series as well.  🙂  Now on to the books!

Goodreads Synopsis:  Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan’s most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin’s Guild, her allegiance is to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. In these action-packed novellas – together in one edition for the first time – Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and seeks to avenge the tyrannous. But she is acting against Arobynn’s orders and could suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery. Will Celaena ever be truly free? Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine to find out.

Goodreads Synopsis:  After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her… but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead… quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

My thoughts:  Ok so first thing I need to point out is that Assassin’s Blade is actually all the novellas that the author wrote AFTER she wrote the first book in the Throne of Glass series, which is titled Throne of Glass.  Ultimately there are going to be seven books in the whole series but she has only written four of them.  The ladies in my book club (who are also teachers at my school) highly recommended reading Assassin’s Blade first because they said it explains a lot of the main character, Celaena’s back story, without giving anything away from the first book itself.  And boy were they right.  I honestly cannot imagine starting this series without having read the prequel first.  It really does explain some of the key events that drive Calaena in the first and second books.  I’m in the middle of the second book in the series right now, Crown of Midnight.  In fact, Assassin’s Blade reads just like it’s a whole novel, rather than a whole bunch of little stories thrown together in one book.  They follow each other and events in previous novellas are referenced throughout.

As for Throne of Glass, the characters are easy to fall in love with, the love triangle is very well done without being too unrealistic or predictable and there’s magic.  That right there had me sold on the books just from reading the back cover.  It also helps that it is set in a medical time period which I’m a big sucker for so you get some pretty great details on the clothes she get to wear.  Plus Calaene is an all around bad ass in my opinion.  I much prefer her to some of the other female leads in the more well known series out there like Hunger Games and Divergent.

Thankfully a new blogger friend of mine, Kristen from See You in A Porridge, has also read the books and she can confirm that they are amazing and that you should read them!


I’ve recently joined a blogger book club that I am very excited to take part in.  If you love to read and are looking for a virtual book club to join then think about joining the one that Christy over at Planes,  Trains, and Running Shoes is starting.  She’s organized it through Goodreads and we haven’t yet chosen our first book so there is still time to join us! 🙂

Happy Reading friends!

Linking up with Jenn and Jess for What’s Ha-“Pinning” and Michelle from Blogs Like a Girl for her Reading Lately link up!

Currently {February}

Reading… I think because I powered through 6 books in January I got a tad burnt out on the reading front this month.  I’m not devouring book after book right now but I am currently reading the second book in the Throne of Glass series:

Drinking…Lady Earl Grey tea and water.  Always water and lately always Lady Grey.  It’s my favorite tea and lately I’ve been drinking it every night around 8:00pm.

Watching…the new series American Crime Story.  Like everyone else, I knew all about OJ Simpson and I remember my mom and dad and everyone obsessively watching the trial.  But since I was only 7 years old when everything happened.  The show is fascinating to say the least.  And apparently the series itself is a spin off series of American Horror Story.

Listening to…This song on repeat.  I’m obsessed.  Ask my students, they just love hearing it over and over again.

Thinking about…SUMMER VACATION!  So I know I mentioned that my family and I are going to Washington DC in June.  Which we are all so excited for.  We’ve settled on going the last week in June. But the best part is that my mom told me that she and my dad and brother want to drive up to New York for a day or two too!!!  AHHH! Washington and New York.  I need it to be June please. K thanks!  (Ps. Is it sad that one of the reasons I’m so excited is because I’m gonna have some awesome stuff to blog about this summer?  Cuz it is! 🙂 )

Looking Forward to…the next two weekends!  I’m photographing a friends wedding this weekend.  (Don’t worry it’s a very small and intimate wedding so my lack pf stellar skills is acceptable!)  And of course THRIVE!  AH I’m so excited for this I can’t stand it.  This weekend I’m gonna be shopping for my outfit.  It’s a little intimidating because I know everyone is going to be dressed super cute and stylish and I just really hope that I find something that meets those two criteria!  Any suggestions for a good place to shop would be highly welcomed! 🙂

(photo courtesy of Meg Cady Photography)

Wearing….the monogram pajamas my bestie Jordan gave me as a bridesmaids gift!  They are seriously the most comfy PJs I own and they have my monogram on them.  Win Win.  I wore them to pajama day at school last semester and it was widely questioned if I actually slept in them.  The answer is yes, yes I do.

Wanting…some ice cream.  Luckily I have the tastiest ice cream in my freezer right now and as soon as I finish writing this post I’m going to have some.  It’s Ben and Jerry’s Salted Caramel Core.  SO GOOD!

NeedingA new blog button.  For some reason mine disappeared and I have no clue why.  But I need to update the button anyway so now I’m on the hunt for tutorials that will help me make a new one that fits with my current blog design.

Laughing at…these funnies.
Happy Thursday! 🙂
Linking up with Christy for her Currently link up and Jessi and Jenn for What’s Ha-“Pinning!”

6 Reason "Adulting" is Hard

I don’t know about y’all, but nine times out of ten, I feel like I’m just pretending to be an “adult.”  I feel like this is all an act and any minute I’m going to be back in my parents house and I’ll be completely dependent on them.  Sadly however, that is not going to happen.  I will continue to be an adult for the rest of my life.  And you know what’d I’ve decided?  Adulting is hard!  Like seriously, why kids are so eager to grow up is beyond me.   So I’ve come up with 6 reasons why I think “Adulting” is hard.


[one] Insurance.  Did y’all know that you have to resign up for insurance every calendar year?  Yeah cuz I didn’t.  In fact I started 2016 completely insurance less and it was the most stressful week of my life, waiting to find out if I was going to be able to do late enrollment.  Thankfully I was but lemme tell you that part of being an adult sucks.  Oh and my mom picked out my health insurance plan.  So theres that.

[two] Calling to make appointments.  I don’t know about y’all but my mom made all of my appointments, aka doctors, dentist, eye appointments.  Why can’t my mom still make those appointments for me.  Because I always forget.  Take today for example, I was supposed to call and make myself a dentist appointment and I didn’t.

[three] Paying bills.  I have to write down which bills are due on which days of the month in like 4 different places.  In my planner, in my phone, in my school’s email calendar, and I even set an alarm of the really important ones.

[four] Figuring out your retirement plans.  The minute I started my “real” job (since apparently working for the Mouse doesn’t count) I was told I needed to start a retirement account.  So I met with my mom’s financial guy, Frank, and after about an hour of him explaining the ins and outs, of which I STILL don’t really understand much of, I had a 403B account.  The nice part is I don’t even realize I don’t have the money because it’s taken right out of my paycheck and put right into my account.  Still though, retirement plans are hard and confusing.

[five] Staying up to date on the new domestically and internationally.  I’m sorry but why would I want to watch the 5 or 6 o’clock news when I have re-runs of Friends to watch or last nights Downton Abbey to watch. Plus the news is always so depressing.  I seriously do not see how my father comes home from work and watches news stations pretty much all afternoon.  From CNN to Fox News to MSNBC if it’s reporting what’s going on in the world he watches it.  And I know I should be too, especially with it being an election year and all….but Farrah from Teen Mom OG is being totally hateful to her mom right now and Ericka on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is stirring shit up with the ladies and I have to watch!

[six] Prioritizing your finances.  You have to know exactly how much your bills are so that way you know how much you have to spend on food, household items and upkeep, and of course what we all want to spend our money on….the fun stuff.  I have to constantly tell myself, “Kathleen, you can give yourself a pedicure you need to save money for new tires.” or “Kathleen, you should be going to the library instead of spending money on books.”  or “Kathleen, you really don’t need to eat Chick-Fil-A for dinner for the second time this week, you should eat the food you bought on Sunday.”  See priorities.  They suck!

Don’t get me wrong being an adult obviously has it’s perks and I do enjoy those perks a great deal.  But sometimes you just gotten vent about how much being an adult can really suck.  And this is one of those times.  Ps. I used a picture of me at Disney World because that is the one place that you can be as un-adult as you like and no one will judge you.

Have anymore reasons to add to my list?

Your Next Favorite Book: The Heir and the Spare

Y’all I am seriously kicking my 2016 reading challenge’s ass so far.  Since my last book review I have read 2 more to total 6 books so far.  I think I may even surpass my goal!  Woo hoo!
Ok so today’s book was read because of my love of the book The Royal We.  You can read my review on that American girl meets handsome heir to the British throne book here.  My friend Lauren, who is a co-worker and fellow book lover showed me this book.  We both loved The Royal We and so when she saw this one, she knew she had to show it to me.  And after reading they synopsis I knew I had to read it.  🙂

Goodreads Synopsis: Family can be complicated. Especially when skeletons from the past pop up unexpectedly. For American Evie Gray, finding out her deceased mother had a secret identity, and not one of the caped crusader variety, was quite the surprise. Evie’s mom had a secret life before she was even born, one that involved tiaras.

In this modern day fairytale, Evie is on a path to figure out who her mom really was, while discovering for herself what the future will hold. Charged with her late mother’s letters, Evie embarks on a quest into her past. The first item on the list is to attend Oxford, her mom’s alma mater. There, Evie stumbles upon a real life prince charming, Edmund Stuart the second Prince of England, who is all too happy to be the counterpart to her damsel in distress.

Evie can’t resist her growing attraction to Edmund as they spend more time together trying to unravel the clues her mother left behind. But, when doubts arise as to whether or not Edmund could ever be with an untitled American, what really ends up unraveling is Evie’s heart. When Evie uncovers all the facts about her mom’s former life, she realizes her mom’s past can open doors she never dreamed possible, doors that can help her be with Edmund. But, with everything now unveiled, Evie starts to crack under the pressure of new family responsibilities and the realization that her perfect prince may want her for all the wrong reasons.

My thoughts:  I really wanted to completely love this book.  Especially since it doesn’t look like there is going to be a sequel to The Royal We.  The story was cute and the idea is obviously one that every American girl (well most of them….ok some of them….ok ME! lol) have dreamed of.  And the book did hold my attention the entire time.  Sadly however it wasn’t fabulous.  The writing was subpar and the dialogue had me rolling my eyes more often then not.  
A few times I had the thought that if I were to actually sit down and write a book, my writing might be just like this.  Which is hilarious to think about and I think that’s another reason why I didn’t outright dislike the book.  Because I would hope that some silly, overly romantic, and British obsessed girl would buy my book and like it despite my terrible dialogue.  It did have it’s funny moments though I did feel like Evie was a bit dramatic and ridiculous about 85% of the time.
So should you read it?  Meh, you could probably skip it, as long as you read The Royal We instead.  But if you’re looking for more American girl meets British boy at a university and they fall in love kinda stories, then go ahead and give this one a shot.  
Happy reading! 🙂

Linking up for:  
Life According to Steph

Getting to Know Me!

Hello hello friends!  Today I thought I would do a little getting to know me post, seeing as there a few new faces around these parts.  Which is fantastic!  I am so grateful to each and everyone of you who continue to read and comment on my little space of the internet.  Plus it’s been forever since I did a post like this and stumbled upon these questions on Paula’s post over at Thirteen Thoughts!
1. Are you named after someone?
According to my mother, I’m named after a favorite student of hers from back in the day.  And also the actress Kathleen Turner.  I think.  That could be inaccurate. lol

2. When was the last time you cried?
Last weekend.  My aunt re-discovered all these old home videos my grandparents (who have both passed on) took when we were little.  And by little I mean babies.  She was able to e-mail me one of the videos and I bawled for a good 25 minutes.  It was so heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time to watch them. Here’s a snippet of one I posted on Instagram!

3. Do you have kids?
Not yet!

4. If you were another person, would you be a friend of yourself?
Yes I think I would.  I think I’m a fantastic friend and person a good portion of the time.  🙂

5. Do you have a guilty pleasure?
I dunno if this would be considered a “guilty” pleasure but I eat peanut butter straight off a spoon and love every minute of it.  

6. Do you like handwriting?
Like my handwriting?  Yes!  Save for my signature.  I think my signature is kinda sloppy.  But according to my brother that’s how it’s supposed to be.  

7. What is your favorite cereal?
Cinnamon Toast Crunch. 
But I never buy it.  Lately I’ve been on a Honey Nut Cheerios kick.

8. What is the first thing you notice about people?
Their smile, height, and overall attitude.  

9. Do you have any pets?
The two lights of my life…Sadie and Brady.  They both love me but have very little love for each other.  Which I’m hoping will change one day soon! 

(I wish Brady had stayed this little forever….now he’s huge and a terror sometimes.  Plus I don’t think they’ll ever do this again! lol)

10. Scary movies or happy endings?
Happy Endings for sure!  I can do without scary movies.  But happy endings give me all the warm fuzzies and are my absolute favorite.  

11. Favorite TV Show?
As if I could pick just one!  
The Tudors, One Tree Hill, House of Cards, Downton Abbey, Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away With Murder,  

12. Summer or Winter?
Winter until Christmas is over and then Summer all the way.  If I’m honest I’m more of a Spring girl than anything else!  The weather is perfection and the flowers are all in bloom.

13. Hugs or Kisses?
Hugs because I haven’t been kissed in far far too long.

14. What’s the furthest you’ve been away from home?
ITALY!!!! Summer of 2015 will always be one of my all time favorites!

15. Do you have any special talents?
I can twist my right arm all the way around in a complete circle.  It’s kinda gross to watch but still a talent! 

16. Where were you born?
New Mexico.  No not MEXICO….New Mexico.  Some people get confused when I say that.  

17. What are your hobbies?
Reading…all of the books, going to the movies, trying out new restaurants, and of course BLOGGING!!

18. What color are you eyes?

19. Favorite movie?
Again, as if I could pick just one.  Titanic, Shakespeare in Love, Sleeping Beauty, Step Brothers, anything with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, and obviously anything with LEO!!!

20. What color is your car?

21. What did you want to be when you grew up?
For the longest time I wanted to be a pediatrician and for a hot second I wanted to be an FBI agent.
Well there ya have it.  Now you know me just a little bit better!
Feel free to use the questions for your very own Getting to Know you post, they originally come from a tag.  
Have a great Wednesday! 
Linking up with Jenn and Jessi for What’s Ha-“Pinning”!