High Five for Friday

happy friday! it feels good to be back ;) this week was unintenionally quiet around these parts. i knew that it was going to be a pretty busy week with last minute things happening before i move tomorrow, as well as packing things up, but it was way busier than anticipated. i really feel like i haven't slept since last thursday, but it's cool. it's all for a good cause, right? (i.e. moving into a bigger and better apartment!)

here's a look back at some of my favorite things from this past week:

1. while i wasn't packing or stressing about packing, i had time to grab dinner with a few friends and a cousin that was in town! it was nice to have the social distraction every night and to unwind a bit after a full day of working and packing. 

2. i'm officially in full fall clothing mode. no joke. i can't stop shopping (and wanting to shop) for fall things. by the way, Old Navy hit the nail on the head with their fall stuff this year (so far!). i popped in earlier this week and picked up a few gloriously striped items, which i'm fully intending on wearing as much as possible. i'm loving this, this and this (below). and everything else. 

3. I'M DONE PACKING. as of the time that you're reading this, i am done. it's a dern miracle, if you ask me. 

4. I'M MOVING TOMORROW. as of the time you're reading this, i'm still moving tomorrow ;)

5. I CAN GET BACK TO REAL LIFE SOON. i've missed working regularly this week, so i'm very much looking forward to this move being over and done with so that i can get back into a regular swing of new posts for you guys, as well as new jewels for those guys that buy them.

how has your week been? link up below! 

Transitioning into Autumn

i'm popping in from my moving box-ridden to share some of my favorite items in my closet right now for transitioning into autumn. it's hard to believe that we're almost into september. seriously, am i the only one that feels like we went straight from Easter to Labor Day, skipping summer altogether? it's crazy. 

anyway, we're expecting some cooler temps in Chicago this week, which actually has me pretty excited. it's been hot, humid, and rainy here the past few days and i'm ready for a cool off. with chillier temps comes the need to brainstorm new outfit ideas and pull out some of my favorite cool weather items to wear.

patterned long-sleeve blouses // i love pairing these with shorts and a pair of flats or heels for dinner with a friend or a night out with Mike. i also like to layer these under cardigans or sweaters (when it's really chilly) and rolling the sleeves a coupe times to show the pattern on the blouse.

destructed denim shorts // i've been all about the destructed denim shorts this summer. i like that they can be dressed up or down, deepening on what you pair them with. with a simple pullover sweater and flats or a fun blouse and heels, these shorts play double-duty. they help me feel a bit more casual, which i like. 

pullover knit sweaters // i've already gotten quite a bit of use out of this sweater i found in the J.Crew sale section in the spring. i like to pair it with a white tank and maxi skirt for cooler days. it's also cute with a collared shirt underneath and statement necklace for a bit of a preppier look.

cotton pencil skirts // this skirt is the ultimate all-purpose skirt in my wardrobe. weather it's paired with a lace crop top, a button-down chambray blouse, a pullover knit sweater, or graphic tee, it's ultra-versatile and super comfortable. when it gets into the 50's, i'll pair it with booties and a scarf, too.

lightweight scarves // i'm a scarf-wearer, through and through. i would wear one everyday if i could. i prefer to wear pattern and muted colors, so that the scarf can add some interest to my outfit without being distracting. for the later summer evenings when the temps get into the high 60's, i like to pair a scarf like this with my jean shorts and tees or with a simple cotton dress. 

printed flats // along with scarves, i'm also a compulsive flats-wearer. i tend to have perpetually cold feet, so these babies come in handy when it starts to get a little cooler. when i saw these in the store, i knew they'd be the perfect addition to my autumn and fall wardrobe. 

what are you looking forward to wearing this autumn?

High Five for Friday

happy friday! it's expected to feel like 98ยบ in Chicago today, so i'm never leaving my apartment. seriously, i moved away from the south for a reason. 

here's a look back at some of my favorite things from this past week:

1. Mike and i celebrated our '2 years since mike walked into my apartment in north carolina' anniversary (we sorta made it a thing, just roll with it). we enjoyed some delicious mexican food at Antique Taco and then binge-watched The Walking Dead. we're basically an old married couple, it's scary. 

2. packing progress has been made! our apartment is basically a war-zone right now, but it's cool. it's all for a good cause, right?

3. i went on a little shopping spree at Anthropologie. it was one of those things where i just 'popped in' the store to see if they had any good stuff on sale, and walked out with about 7 items. not all were for me, but like 6 of them were ;) i picked up these bath salts, this cool pencil holder, this soap rock, and a couple other little things that i couldn't resist. 

4. this has been one of those weeks where i've had to remind myself to go outside and get fresh air. i've had quite a bit of work to do, on top of packing and cleaning, so it's been interesting. while i feel sort of suffocated from being attached to my desk all week, i do feel like i got a lot accomplished and done, which is always a good feeling! 

5. IT'S FRIDAY! can i get an amen?! i'm just really happy the weekend is here. hope you enjoy yours! 

how has your week been? link up below and tell me about it!

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Army Green + Moving Boxes

it's official: i'm putting off packing as long as possible. i have the boxes, bubble wrap, and tape all waiting to be used and i would rather scratch my eyes out, i'm pretty sure. i'm an organized person, so you'd think that i would like going through everything that i have, deciding whether or not to keep it, and wrapping it neatly and packing it in a box, but no. no no no no no. packing is not my thing. it's at this time, just a little over a week to go, when i think, 'i totally understand why people pay other people to come pack up all of their belongings for them'. and i barely have anything in this apartment compared to my last one. (read: that's what happens when you share 750 square feet with another human being - you live 'light'.)

i'm dreading going through my closet the most. partially because i have so many piles of clothes that it's overwhelming, but also because it's full of all the junk that i couldn't cram under my bed. (read: i couldn't fit a dresser in this bedroom, so i got creative.) i have quite a bit to sort through and will hopefully be donating a nice pile of things that i don't need anymore, like old decor, bedding, etc. 

i feel like if i don't start now, i'll be overwhelmed and pulling my hair out next week. i'm at that point where it's too early to pack away everything, but too late to just sit around and hope that the packing fairies show up in the middle of the night to do all the work for me. you know, that sweet spot during the moving process. 

all that to say, i have no idea what the next week and a half or so is going to look like. i'll definitely still be posting, but i may be buried under boxes a couple days, unable to even gather myself enough to write something you may want to read, if i'm lucky.

p.s. i'm still looking to sell my couch. ya know, just in case you need one. 

dress | Old Navy
vest | Target
heels | Tesori via Nordstrom Rack
necklaces | Elisabeth Ashlie and J.Crew Factory (similar)
wallet | Kate Spade
belt | Target

Favorite Things | August

1 | terrarium, westelm.com for DIY
2 | pave spliced posts, anthropologie
3 | colorblock leather pouch, j.crew factory
4 | metal ampersand, hobby lobby
5 | knots necklace, madewell
6 | dots mousepad, anthropologie
7 | capri blue candle, anthropologie
8 | bow keychain, kate spade 
9 | quilted slip-ons, target
10 | ceramic jar, h&m

after enough perusing on pinterest, i've officially become enamored with terrariums. i don't know what it is about them, maybe just how darn cute the little succulents are or how cool their holders are, but i'm into them. big time. i picked one up at an outdoor/plant store last week and it's proudly sitting on my desk. what's also nice is that it only needs to be watered a little every couple weeks, which is especially important for my anything-but-green thumb.

i found that large galvanized metal ampersand last week and knew i had to buy it. with the extra 50% off, it was only $15 - i'd consider that a pretty good deal. i'm not quite sure how i'm going to use it in my new place, but it will make a cool statement wherever it is. i've also ordered quite a bit of those ceramic jars, which will be great for storing things and staying pretty. 

also, that candle? it is the best smelling thing since fresh cinnamon rolls. 

Black + Mint

i like to call this past weekend, 'epic fail weekend'. nothing quite worked out as planned. mike and i planned to go watch the Air & Water Show on sunday, which ended up being canceled due to low-hanging clouds. we went out to eat for our anniversary and i ordered something that was not at all what i thought it would be, so we picked up Trader Joe's sushi on the walk home so that i could satisfy my hunger. we went to dinner on sunday with some friends to a place that is highly recommended. while it was delicious, we had to wait a minimum of an hour and a half for the food. it ended up being worth the wait but, man, we were hangry by the time it arrived and totally gorged. 

so, again, while nothing really bad happened (at all), it was just one of those weekends where i shouldn't have set any expectations for anything, ya know? do you ever have one of those times? however, i did set my expectations high for getting lots of rest and binge watching The Walking Dead with mike...but those expectations were exceeded. (for you Walking Dead watchers, we're about halfway through season 2 - we're a little bored with it, but have heard that the later seasons make it worth pushing through the second. does that sound about right?)

in totally separate news, i like this outfit because i like matching girly, like a pencil skirt, with tough, like chunky black heels and a leather top. 

top | Evereve 
skirt | J.Crew Factory (similar)
heels | Nickels via TJ Maxx
bag | Fossil (other site)
necklace | Kate Spade via Nordstrom Rack
watch | Kate Spade

High Five for Friday

it's hard for me to believe that it's already friday again! i'm heading back home from a wonderful week at the lake today. i've also concluded that friday is the best day to come home from vacation because you go right into a weekend, which allows plenty of time for unpacking, settling back in, and catching up on rest (if need be!). i'm looking forward to one last normal weekend this weekend, followed by two weeks of chaos while i'm gearing up to move at the end of the month.

here's a look back at some of my favorite moments from this past week:

1. my mom and i hit the outlet mall one day and i found some great things for fall at J.Crew Factory. i'm in full fall-shopping mode right now, so i was pleased to see that they had rolled out much of their cool-weather items before we got to the store. i picked up this vest, which i'm particularly excited to wear:

2. i'm finally finished buying for my apartment. the amount of space that i'm going to be living in will be significantly larger, which meant that i had to buy some bedroom furniture and lots more decorative things than i currently have in my teeny bedroom. while it's been very fun to pick things out and select what i want in my room, my wallet is particularly happy that the majority (if not all) of the shopping is done!

3. i started reading #GIRLBOSS this week. after knowing a bit about Sophia's company and seeing her book pop up in my instagram feed for weeks on end, i decided it was time. i'm about 80 pages in and, so far, it doesn't disappoint. she offers good insight into going after what you're passionate about, while also being realistic. if you're at all interested in reading it, i say go for it! it's a very easy read, too! 
image via
4. i mentioned this in yesterday's post, but it's been so wonderful to have some time away from 'regular life' and just take a break. i'm fortunate that i'm able to do that and that i can bring my work with me wherever i go. i think i've realized, this week, just how grateful i am for this chapter that i'm in with my life. i feel refreshed and ready to get back to a regular working schedule, though!

5. (start cat lady-ness)
the cats did very well at the lake! i was a bit apprehensive about bringing them up here since they don't travel to other places much and tend to be a bit shy. it took a few days of warming up to my parent's cats, but by the end of the week, it was as if they'd lived here their whole lives. they've really enjoyed watching the birds, squirrels, chipmunks, and other creatures outside the windows, so i'm excited that they'll have much better views in the new apartment. 
(end cat lady-ness)

how has your week been? link up below and tell me about it! 

if you'd like, feel free to add the button below to your own #H54F post!
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Taking A Minute

...or several days. 

mike and i hit the road last friday night and arrived at my family's lakehouse late. we enjoyed a weekend relaxing with family, playing some golf, and exploring Lake Geneva on monday. he headed home Monday evening, leaving just me and my mom at the lake for the past few days. although i've been working a bit, i've only been doing the bare minimum to meet my requirements, otherwise relaxing and taking a breather. 

i can't believe that summer is almost over and fall is around the corner. i had big plans for this summer, and it somehow seems like it's come and gone like that. work, responsibilities, and obligations took over and i'm left sitting here at the middle of august wondering how on earth we're almost onto the next season. certainly, i've done plenty of enjoyable things this summer and have nothing to complain about. it just seems like life truly is going by faster with each year. 

these past few days have been more essential than i realized. taking a few days off from my regular schedule and obligations to just be is like magic. i feel rested, restored, and ready to dive in head first to the next season. i'm working on some exciting things, both personally and professionally, that i'm hoping will come to life in the fall. 

i'm heading back to the city on friday and will, no doubt, throw myself into purging, cleaning and packing. we're just about 2 weeks away from moving day...and there's quite a bit left for me to do! i'm incredibly anxious to get into the new place and get settled. i'm looking forward to having the space to really make it a home and to living with two of my closest friends. 

while i still have some time to relax on the cozy porch, full of fresh air and sunlight, i'm going to. i know that there's a whirlwind of things that is about to take flight back home, so i'm soaking in all the bird chirps, wave crashes, and red wine that i can at the lake :)

One-Piece Wonder

i feel like rompers are like one-piece bathing suits - they can be done really well or really wrong. i wore a one-piece swimsuit for many years, probably until high school. i remember how much i would dread having to use the restroom or how absolutely impossible it was to put on a wet one-piece. ya know the scene in FRIENDS where Ross is wearing the leather pants and goes to the bathroom and cannot, for the life of him, get them back on. lotion, baby powder, pure brute strength. nothing worked. that's the memory of one-piece bathing suits i have. 

anyway, all of that actually doesn't have anything to do with rompers beside the part that their both one-piece items. the simpler, the better. i love that i can slip this one on, throw on a pendant necklace and a pair of heels and walk out the door. i can't say how much i'll like it when 'nature calls', but it sure works well for every other thing. 

romper | Drew via TJ Maxx
denim jacket | J.Crew Factory
heels | Tesori via Nordstrom Rack
necklace | c/o Vestique

Pops of Pink

print + print + pops of pink = my favorite combination (lately)

mixing prints, especially those in the same colors, is such an easy way to put together an outfit without much extra work required. the prints play off of each other so well, that the need for extra accessories or layers (to add interest) isn't required. for me, it's fun to mix and match items in my closet to see if i can find a combination of prints that i haven't put together yet. this happens to be one that i have done before, and will continue to. i love the impact of the black and white and the ability to add color with my accessories. 

in other news, there's currently a bat living in our lakehouse. it came into the house sometime yesterday and is (presumably) sleeping somewhere, which makes it impossible to find in daylight. so, we're waiting for the 'bat man' to arrive to hunt down that pesky little creature. it will be an interesting day, to say the least. 

shorts | Nordstrom Rack
top | Old Navy (similar)
chambray | J.Crew Factory (similar)
wedges | Target (similar)
bracelet | c/o Chicwish
necklaces | Elisabeth Ashlie
bag | Kate Spade 

4 Weeks with Glisten Fit

there was a time in my life when i made it a priority to exercise at least 4 days a week. that time happened to be when i was in school (which didn't even really count because i was in 3 classes and it was my final semester), had just started dating my workout-obsessed boyfriend, and had (what seems like) all the free time in the world. those days are over, and so is my relationship with the gym. a couple months ago, after what was a long drought without exercise, i realized that i was doing myself a huge disservice by not exercising regularly. duh. i was tired, weak, and ran out of energy quickly. then Jessica emailed me.

Jess and i 'met' a few years ago through blogging. she's since started her own personal training business, Glisten Fit. she emailed me to see if i'd like to try some online personal training with her and i couldn't decline. i needed to get back in the routine of exercising and she came knocking at the perfect time!  in case you ever wondered what a ridiculous (-ly amazing) set of abs look like, you're welcome: 
oh, hello abs! 
for 4 weeks, Jess sent me personalized weekly workouts on Fridays that kicked my booty. i mean, kicked it. like, could barely make it through the workouts, kicked. she was wonderful about checking in to see how everything was going and if i had any questions. she was incredibly accessible and always willing to offer encouragement and a boost of 'you can do this'! the workouts were concise and could be done in less than an hour, which is great since i get bored at the gym in about 7 minutes.  by the end of the first week, i felt incredibly sore, but also had more energy, felt stronger, and looked forward to my daily workouts. i had a great experience for the 4 weeks, and go back to the workouts she sent me for some inspiration in the gym these days! 

here's a bit more about her business and what she does:

what inspired you to start Glisten Fit?

I used to be overweight. When I first started out on my journey to become healthier, I didn’t like the idea of joining a gym. I felt lost and really out of place when I tried visiting them. I needed more guidance and wanted tips that I could use in real life. Fast forward to now. I’m certified personal trainer and I’m really passionate about health & fitness. I want to share the knowledge that I’ve learned throughout the years with women all over the world. I want them to see that health & fitness doesn’t have to be the same for everyone. Glisten Fit is all about helping women love themselves from the inside out by sharing useful health & fitness tips! I want women to be fierce, be fabulous and be fit!

what's your favorite part about owning Glisten Fit?

I have the privilege of connecting with tons of women each and everyday. It’s seriously such a blessing…I never knew that I could use my love for health & fitness and my knowledge of social media (I have a degree in mass communications) to build such an inspiring platform. Every single time someone sends me a message telling me that I inspire them I can’t contain my excitement! I try really hard to be different than other fitness icons that I see on Instagram. I want women to be able to relate to me and my workouts.

say i wanted some workout inspiration but am not ready to commit to personal training, do you have anything for me?

Of course! Every Friday is FIT FRIDAY on the blog. I post a free workout! Sometimes there is a picture demo or a video demo. Sometimes it’s a cute little printable. The workouts vary from week to week. One Friday could be a fast paced HIIT workout, while the next week could be a low intensity ab workout. Another place to find workout inspiration is on my Instagram. I post workout video challenges a few times a week…and my sweet pup usually finds his way into all the videos. Most of my workouts use minimum equipment and can be done from home :)

how does the online personal training work?

The online personal training program is 4 weeks long. If you’re interested you send me an email and I email you back with the application and waiver. The application has questions about your goals and what equipment you have available to you. Then every Friday for 4 weeks, I send you a brand new weekly workout schedule. 

Here is a breakdown of what’s included in the online training program:
- consultation to discuss your goals, schedule, lifestyle, workout history, etc. (part of the application process)
- weekly email check in from me to make sure you're on track
- unlimited email communication with me
- access to the weekly fitness log that i use myself
- nutritional guidance and suggestions (please note that since i am not a registered dietitian, i cannot create specific meal plans, i just give my input on questions that you may have after seeing your food log)
- personalized 1 month workout program that is suitable to your goals

overall, i had a wonderful experience with her! she truly is an inspiration. bonus: if you follow her on Instagram, you can get some other great workout inspiration! 

Jess offered 4 weeks of personal training in exchange for an honest and real review on my experience

High Five for Friday

friday, i am thrilled to see you. seriously. this has been quite a week and i'm very much looking forward to the weekend. i'm guessing you are, too ;)

let's take a look back at some of my favorite moments from this week:

1. MY INTERNET WORKS AGAIN. yes, this is totally inconsequential when you consider real problems in life, but it's also incredibly obnoxious to not have functioning internet. the first half of my week was spent hopping from coffee shop to cafe, eating and drinking way too much and using free wifi. while it was actually really nice to be out of my apartment for the majority of my day, it's also really nice to not have to leave my apartment to do anything work-related. 

2. i had such a great long weekend with my sister and her family in North Carolina. it was hard to say goodbye, as it always is, but i'll see them in just a few weeks again! 
love this little chubster more than words!
3. kate and i were able to steal some time away for just the two of us. although i love spending as much time with my nephew as possible when i'm with him, it was also really nice to have some good sister time at brunch together.

4. as you can tell by yesterday's post (and if you follow me on instagram), i had kate cut 6 inches off of my hair. i was freaking out when i sat down in the chair. totally second-guessing my decision and almost telling her to not cut it, but she went ahead and did it anyway and i'm so glad she did. it feels great to have a change and my hair is so much more style-able these days. i've been having fun the past few days trying new things with it! 

5. while this week has been quite long, it's also been incredibly productive. don't you just love that? i feel like some weeks, by time friday's come, i haven't accomplished even a fraction of the things that i needed to get done. for once, i feel the opposite about this week, which means that i will enjoy my weekend that much more. 

how was your week? link up below and tell me about it! 
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Grey + Lace

with summer winding down (i had to put a scarf on while i was outside a couple nights ago!), i'm finding that i'm reaching for all of my favorite summer pieces in my closet to wear while i can. i love contrasting patterns and textures, so the combination of this lace blouse and space-dye grey skirt are a win in my book. it's feminine, comfortable, and (surprisingly) doesn't make me feel overdressed. 

my internet has been absolutely miserable the last few days, so i've been spending a lot of time at coffee shops and restaurants this week. while it's been wonderful to get out of my apartment for the day, i prefer when things that i'm paying for work. ya know, like the internet. here's to hoping it's fixed soon so i can stop free-wifi location hoping! 

in other news, Mike and i are heading the the renaissance faire with my brother and his girlfriend this weekend and i'm actually quite excited. i always see signs for it on the way up to our lakehouse, but have never stopped in. i'm anticipating eating massive chicken legs and sticking out like a sore thumb, seeing as i don't have much renaissance garb to wear. 

happy thursday!

top | h&m
skirt | h&m (similar)
shoes | nickels via tj maxx
bag | fossil (similar)
necklaces | kate spade and elisabeth ashlie

Sweet Summertime

it's hard to believe that summer is more than half over already. i feel like just yesterday i was anxiously awaiting the arrival of warm temperatures and blue skies, and now i'm having to remind myself to savor them while they're here. i've used the past few months to shake things up a bit. this summer has brought about some positive and fun changes in my life, both personally and professionally. although nothing major has happened, i do feel like i'll be entering the fall with a sense of renewal and a whole new mindset. 

let's talk specifics, shall we? 

one of the significant changes that i've made this summer is getting out of my apartment during the work week. working from home is particularly difficult in the summer because all i want to do is enjoy the little time that we Chicagoans have with 80 degrees and sunshine outside. as much as i'd like to, i can't just throw caution to the wind and go to the beach everyday. i have to actually work, just like as if i had an office (or other type of) job. what i have found to be incredibly helpful to fight the spending-the-summer-indoors-working blues is having a mobile office. i've spent many an afternoon at a local Starbucks (when i say local, i mean down the street), drafting blog posts, perusing Pinterest, and responding to emails. quite honestly, i can get significantly more work done when i'm not in my apartment. i guess not having the distraction of the cats or other things nagging at me really does help.
while there, i've been enjoying the new Starbucks Teavana® Shaken Iced Teas. my favorite flavor is the Teavana® Shaken Iced Blackberry Mojito Tea Lemonade™. it's a refreshing and fruity drink, without being overly sweet. i like to have tea to replace my coffee, especially on hot days. other flavors include Teavana® Shaken Iced Peach Green Tea Lemonade™ and Teavana® Shaken Iced Black Tea Lemonade™. 

another change i've made is making a real effort to get dressed and ready for the day. as easy as it is to just roll out of bed and set up camp at my desk in my pajamas for the day, i feel so much more productive and refreshed when i take the time to shower, style my hair, apply a little makeup, and consciously pick out an outfit. i've had fun sharing them on Instagram, since i can't seem to find the time to share every single outfit in its own post. 
something non-work related that i've also tried to do more of this summer is wearing the less-worn items in my closet. i love to shop, you guys know this. one of the problems that i seem to have, though, is that i get into a routine with my clothes and wear the same few items, while leaving 3/4 of my closet untouched for an entire season. while i've been getting dressed most days, i've been trying to wear those items that i haven't yet or haven't in a long time. reaching for those things has made me feel less like i 'need' to shop for new clothes, while also making getting ready in the morning more fun. i like the challenge of having to style something new or figure out a different way to wear one of my favorite items!

i'm excited to carry these new habits with me into the new season as it comes. it's never too late to shake things up!

to see a Pinterest board with some of my favorite summer things inspired by Starbucks Teavana® Shaken Iced Teas, click here.

Disclosure | This post was sponsored by Starbucks through their partnership with POPSUGAR. While I was compensated by POPSUGAR to write a post about Starbucks, all opinions are my own.  

Cat Custody

i’m fairly certain that i’ll never forget the day that i adopted my cats, milo & otis. i was tagging along with my brother-in-law to pick up his and my sister’s new kitten at an adoption event at a local pet store. i had just moved to north carolina and was all settled into my loft-style townhouse. new city, no roommates, the only souls i know are Kate and Justin (sister and brother-in-law). needless to say, i was a tad lonely and it quickly hit me how quiet the townhouse was. i just neede something else that was breathing to live with me. anyway, we were waiting to speak with the founder of the cat rescue so that Justin could pick up Grits when i spotted the boys in their cage together, Otis huddled just behind Milo. it was clear that Milo was the alpha of the two, the protector and caretaker. Otis was happy to take on the roll of the cared for, willingly allowing Milo to be the brave one that looked at all the strangers ‘aawww’ing over them. they were the cutest little things i’d ever seen and i knew that they had to be mine. after a couple minutes of hanging out with them and holding them, the paperwork was signed and i was officially a cat mom! (this is the abridged version of their adoption story, by the way)

…fast forward to a couple years later when i started considering what would happen to the cats if something were to happen to me…

i had lived with my best friend, Sam, in North Carolina for a year, from 2012-2013. she was the only other person that has lived with the boys, so she knows them very well. she knows their eating habits, their favorite toys, their preferred treats, and their desired methods of being pet. she watched me take care of them for the year that she lived with us, so i’d say she has a pretty good idea of how to maintain their ‘lifestyle’ if i were to no longer be here. after a particularly turbulent airplane ride (i’m an incredibly anxious flyer these days, it’s obnoxious), i realized that i should probably consider the fate of the cats if i were to be unable to care for them any longer. once the plane was safely on the ground, i quickly texted Sam and told her that she gets custody of them if anything ever happens to me. she happily accepted the responsibility and it was settled. for awhile, at least.

…fast forward to a couple years later when my boyfriend developed an undeniable love for the other two gingers in my life…

Mike wasn’t exactly a cat person when we met. he had some family members that had cats in the past, but he’d never lived with one himself. the first time he came to North Carolina, before we were even dating or knew that we would, he probably picked up and held Milo like a baby about 87 times in the span of three days. seriously, ask anybody who was there. he was smitten from the start. now that he’s spent quite a bit more time with them and has developed a bond with them, especially Otis, he’s taken them on as if they were his own. let me clarify, if i were to leave him alone with the cats for a weekend, i’d probably get about 7 texts an hour asking me what to do, how to scoop the litter box, when to feed them, etc. so, he hasn’t exactly taken the care-taking aspect on, but he’s certainly got the love for them. Otis is particularly fond of his lap and will beg for food from him in a way that is different from anybody else. 

i can’t remember where we were, but i will never forget the look on Mike’s face when i told him that Sam would get the cats if something happened to me. it was a mix between horror, sadness, and shock, truly. he’s reaction was so strong that i quickly tried to back-pedal and say anything that would get that heart-wrenching look off his face. the conversation went something like this:

me | well, ya know, if something ever happened to me, i told Sam that she could have the cats. she knows how to take care of them and doesn’t have any of her own, so yeah. anyway…(carries on to the next subject)

mike | (looks horrified, shocked, and heartbroken…can’t even mutter a word…are those tears?!)

me | ohh, oh my gosh, wait, would you want the cats if something happened? 

mike | of course! i can’t believe you would give them to Sam! (very real feelings of betrayal were spread across his face)

me | well, i didn’t know! you’ve never said that you’d want them and i just figured you wouldn’t want to take care of them…

mike | i’d want to have them because i know how much you love them, so it would be like i would have a part of you with me still.

(and then i melted into a puddle on the floor and felt immense guilt for ever considering anybody else to take care of my babies if i were to be gone)
as seen on instagram | clearly, i'm fond of this photo. i just can't get enough!
so, consider this my official will for Milo & Otis. they are to be taken care of by their father, that sweet little bundle of love. one thing i know for sure, lots of bird-watching would be done together.

High Five for Friday

happy first friday of August! as i'm writing this, i'm sitting on my sister's couch in North Carolina with a stomach full of Cookout deliciousness (read: french fries and milkshakes). My friend, Sam, and i pulled an all-nighter driving from Chicago on wednesday night, arriving in Raleigh at about 10:30am. the trip was totally uneventful and went quickly, which we're both thankful for. 

since i'm mostly delirious from lack of sleep and such, bare with me as i look back on some of my favorite moments from this past week:

1. mike and i started watching The Walking Dead a couple weeks ago and we're both sufficiently hooked. we're just barely into the second season, which we've heard is maybe the worst/slowest season of them all, but we're planning to stick with it!

2. it's moving month! cannot wait to get into our new apartment. the whole process of moving doesn't sound particularly inviting, but the idea of being in a new space certainly does. 

3. i'm already loving the time i'm getting to spend with my nephew - he is just the cutest thing and it's so fun to see him interact more and discover new things that he can do. 

4. i think i've officially decided to let Kate chop my hair off...i can't say for sure until it actually happens, but i'm pretty positive it will happen. 

5. this sweet little moment:

how has your week been? link up below and tell me about it! 

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