My Favorite Things in 2018

Does that title rhyme slightly? Just me? Great.

I wanted to do this wrap up of the stuff I really loved this year that I didn’t talk about and/or barely talked about. Sort of like a giant Sunday Summary, A.K.A that thing I don’t do anymore (but can still be viewed if you’re into that).

Best Hair Product of 2018:

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The Tragic Before

Technically, this isn’t a product. HOWEVER, I discovered this dry shampoo blow drier trick and it is a game changer. Had bun hair all day and then someone wanted to hangout (and i did not want to have bun hair) so I tried this trick. Here’s the post I did and how it ended up going for me, but spoiler alert, it works.

Best Book in 2018:

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If you need to know anything about me, it’s that I love to read. I’ve been slacking slightly with how much, but I’ve been picking up major speed with it lately. I’ve read roughly 20-ish books this year, which is kind of a lot. Trying to narrow it down to the best was hard, but some of the books I read just sort of ran together. Really thinking about doing a monthly post about the books I read the month before (mostly just to push myself to read more). OKAY on to my actual pick: You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero. I know what you’re thinking “Self-help book? That’s for sad weirdos.” Here’s the thing: You’re right! BUT, I’d argue that everyone is kind of a sad weirdo sometimes! I read this when I really needed something to give me things to do after I quit my job and when I needed a distraction from going down the “what if I have to move home because I can’t find a job” hole. I would honestly read it again, that’s how much I liked it. If you’re stuck in place in your life where you have no idea what you’re doing, read this. If you wanna make a crazy change, read this. It’s 2019, the year of making goals and gettin’ bread—as the memes say, so read it!

Best Makeup Product of 2018:

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Okay I almost put something else for this that was expensive and to be fair, very good. I feel that I should instead pay homage to a brand who had my back when I was too broke to go to Sephora and get new stuff. That’s right I’m talking about ELF. You wouldn’t think with $1 brow pencils and $3 concealer would be worth putting on your face. I’m here to tell you, your assumptions are wrong. My brows are perfectly filled and my pores CONCEALED! Was actually not a fan of the bronzer cause it was too glittery for my tastes but that doesn’t mean it’s not quality! Okay done with my spiel.

Best Skincare Product of 2018:

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Spoiler alert it’s like 2 dollars. Spoiler alert again, it’s lemon juice. I started using it and it felt like a miracle. Then I stopped for a few weeks recently, because I’m skeptical person and sometimes I don’t feel like buying lemons ya know. Started using them again and wow I forgot how good they are. My skin just has so much less redness and blackheads! It’s so great and so cheap.

Best Movie of 2018:

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I know you all want me to say A Star is Born, but I’m sorry I can’t. The music is amazing, yes. Bradley Cooper is hot, yes. I absolutely knew what was gonna happen at the end and so I didn’t like it as much. Maybe if there was a world with no spoilers and people wouldn’t have talked about how amazing it was and subsequently ruining it. I also really don’t watch movies in theaters that much. I’ve seen maybe 3 movies this entire year, so I fell like I can’t say what the best movie this year is. I can say what the best movie saw this year. It’s not new, it’s just new to me. Okay, it’s Steel Magnolias. This is a weird pick for me, since every time anyone would bring this up I’d immediately think “How can that be good? It sounds so corny.” It was on Netflix a few months back and it was a rainy Saturday, so I thought I’d give it a try. It’s set in a small town in Louisiana—hence the name. The thing about movies centered around the South is they’re always over exaggerated. Every other word is “crawfish” or “gumbo” or “pea-can pie!” I get it, its a movie, but that why I never really like them. This one doesn’t do that. Overall, its pretty reflective of life in smaller southern town and I loved it. I cried, I laughed and now I know why it wont so many awards. It’s not on Netflix anymore, but find it somewhere because it’s so good.

Best Show of 2018:

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Okay this is so hard because I’ve seen so many good shows this year, but there’s only one that filled me with the most joy every time I turned it on: The Great British Baking Show. Am I late to this game? I really don’t know but this show is so good. I really loved watching to the point of watching two seasons in a about a week. I did it in a weird way where I watched seasons 5 & 6 first and in my humble opinion, those are the best seasons. After that, they change the hosts and Prue isn’t one of the judges and I need her color coordination in my life. I love the accents, the stuff they come up with and  Paul Hollywood is a cutie, I’m just gonna throw it out there. Really into shows that make me laugh and aren’t super dramatic lately and this one definitely fill that for me. I even watched it twice, so if you haven’t yet, here’s your notification.

Best Clothing Purchase of 2018:

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This was the year I bought so many clothes, it’s obnoxious. Trying to “re-vamp” my wardrobe and also buying things for a 9-5 job was tough. I think the best purchase and the thing I got the most use out of were my Lululemon leggings. As you know, I’m more of a quantity over quality gal. Trends come and go a lot for me to be buying something that I may not wear in a few years that costs an arm and a leg. Also let’s keep it real, I’m still washing my clothes in a laundry mat for god’s sake. I’m in no place to be buying anything over 50 bucks. I completely believe in a good splurge for things that may be expensive, but you’ve been lusting after for a while. Hence, my purchase of these leggings. I really wanted to see if they are so different from the $20 Forever 21 leggings and I’m here to say yes they are. They fit like a glove, the length is always perfect (aka no bunching at the bottom) and they stay in place when I’m running. I still only have one pair so far, but 2019 I’ll be getting some more and really coming into my basic white girl form.

Best Workout of 2018:

 

So, I’m splitting this up by home workout and workout class, okay great:

Best home workout is always Tabata with Raneir Pollard hands down. He’s so fun and at the same time, the workout is always intense. It’s always my Monday go to for a good strong beginning to my week. Also, they just uploaded a new one!

Best workout class I’ve been to in the city is Yoga sculpt at Corepower yoga. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, If I were a richer woman, I’d be doing yoga twice a week at minimum. This particular class is not only yoga, but a little bit of cardio to satisfy my needs. They have them all over, so check them out if they’re near you!

 

Cheers to 2019! Can’t wait to make many more posts and let me know if there’s anything you’d like to see more of on the blog 🙂

The Purge: Social Media Style

Hello New York City, I’m back in you!

If you’re confused, I went home this weekend to visit the South. I flew into Nashville and took a road trip down to Baton Rouge, where I went to college. I hadn’t been down to Baton Rouge since moving to NYC. Every time I go back home it feels weird, but comfortable. I’ve lived there all my life, I know how it works and how people normally are. It’s strange, considering when I was growing up, I always thought that wasn’t where I was supposed to be. I wasn’t like all these people. I was gonna do stuff with my life and leave this boring place. I feel like, since graduating, I’m never doing enough. In the words of Carrie Bradshaw:

In New York, you’re always looking for a boyfriend, a job or an apartment.

I’d even extend that further. You’re always looking for something. I’m always trying and failing to keep up. I’m constantly reminded of designer names I don’t recognize, places I’ve never been and can’t afford to go, and apartments I won’t be able to afford for years. If this sounds exhausting, lemme say, it is 100%. I’m always going and hustling and wondering if I should be trying harder or working more. When I go home, it gives me a chance to slow down and look at my life without living it for a while. I’m reminded of how stupid I feel and how much I just want to stop the whole “Rise & Grind” and maybe stay in bed for a while.

Social media is great in so many ways. I get to connect with people all over and it’s the reason I can even write this and the reason anyone can read it. It can also be isolating. I know people say all the time “social media isn’t real” and I don’t think anyone is dumb enough to still believe everything they see online. However, I watch Instagram stories like movies. Tiny snip-its of people’s lives that I may or may not actually know. In 10 minutes, I can see where someone lives, works, what they wore, who they saw and where they went. It’s someone’s apartment that looks nicer than mine, the fact that they can go grab drinks on a week day, they look like they have a ton of fun at work or they have a link to a sweater I wish I could buy. Sometimes, it’s taking an Uber to a bar with friends, something I almost never do because it’s an unnecessary expense.

I was talking with someone recently about this who also moved away from home and she said something that stuck with me, “We get really caught up in just trying to survive here, that when we go back home, we wonder what the heck we’re even doing and why.”

So what does this have to do with social media? I decided to unfollow a bunch of people recently. Not because their content wasn’t good, or they were just generally annoying, but because looking at their posts and stories made me feel bad about where I am in my life. I started questioning everything I do, including the things I enjoy, and wondering if I should be changing it. Why aren’t my posts prettier, why don’t I buy things from this place I’ve never heard of, why don’t I go out more, why don’t I live there etc. It’s ridiculous. So now, I’m only following people who:

  • Are generally funny and entertaining (I love laughing and love doing that for others as well)
  • Inspire me in some way (not just inspire me to make more money or buy more clothes, but to push myself more in a good way)
  • Are people I genuinely enjoy seeing on my feed (it’s literally MY instagram, why am I following people I don’t genuinely like seeing?)

I’m still figuring out what exactly my brand is—I get closer to figuring that out as I write these little posts. I’m working more towards being someone who actually makes people better after leaving my page, rather than just envious of my life. If you ever feel like this, you’re 100% not alone. I just read an amazing post by Mimosas and Manhattan, whom I’ve been following (and will be continuing to follow) for a while now. She mostly talks about blogging full-time, but also touches on how easy it is to feel like what you’re doing—no matter what that is, isn’t enough. If what I post makes you feel like absolute crap about your life, I don’t mind if you unfollow. I unfollowed people who I actually liked, just because I couldn’t handle how bad it was making me feel. Believe me, you’re doing enough and at least for me, Katie from a year ago would think I was freakin’ killing it.

The Tah-dews in Nashville

If you haven’t been keeping up with my ‘gram, I just got back from a super fun little va-cay in Nashville this week. I had the MOST fun (shoutout to my cousins Kristen and Andrew!). I honestly came back a little bummed? So weird, I kind of get like that when I visit the south.  I love NYC, but there’s nothing like decompressing in the south for a few days. When I moved here, I never thought in a billion years I would be saying I actually miss the South. Somewhere the universe is laughing at me and my naiveté. Anyway, I’ve been to Nashville a couple times and I wanted to share some stuff that I did that I recommend!

Fourth of July Fireworks Downtown

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This is highly specific to the 4th, but wow they were great. Second only to NYC, of course. They start at 9:30 and last until 10. I was lucky enough to see them from this GORGEOUS downtown apartment. She had full view of them and I was in heaven. She also had the cutest little Persian cats, so, obviously #goals. Just trying to be the NYC equivalent, ya know?

 

Murals

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There’s actually a bunch of murals I wanted to check out, but we only got to this one. There’s also angel wings one and “Nashville looks good on you.” Found this one via thefashionablybroketeacher on Instagram! She’s based in Philly, but goes to Nashville all the time (jealous), so I looked at her pictures for some ideas! This mural went perfectly with all of our fourth of July garb.

Frothy Monkey

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Horrible name, amazing salad.

Hiking Trails


No pictures of this because we were so ~one~ with nature, or I forgot, you decide. They have so many just outside the city and they’re so cute. If I lived here and simultaneously had all of my shit together, I would run at least one day. Great for when you wanna workout, but not super hard.

Nama Sushi

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Been to this place twice now, and it’s amazing. We happened to go when they had half-priced rolls which made it taste that much better. You should definitely try the seaweed salad, sounds horrifying but very good. Trust me.

Losers Bar


Will I come here every time I go to Nashville? Yes. Is it because I saw Garrett Hedlund the first time I went and must see him again? No….maybe a little. They play my favorite country band of all time, Brooks & Dunn, so it is a must-go. 

Meowsic City Cafe

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Cutest little place and I get to pet cats? I’m there. All of the cats are adoptable and even Kristen liked it (and she thinks cats are weird and they say the same about her, probably). All I wanna know is, when are we getting one in NYC?

The Candle Bar

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The day was very gross and rainy, so perfect weather to chill and make some candles! So many fragrances, I could barely choose. I felt like a 60 year old grandma chemist with my beaker and scale! Loved the concept and again, where’s the one in NYC?

Hattie B’s Chicken


Three words: BETTER. THAN. CANES. Still need the sauce, but the chicken was unbelievable and definitely satisfied a very hungover and hangry me. There’s always a line, but you have to go. With three locations in Nashville, its gotta be good.

There you have it, pals! Nashville is one of my favorite places and is home to one of my favorite people, so I absolutely love going. My only qualm is that we went to a party and all the men wore flip-flops. Guys, get it together! Just kidding (kinda).