reflecting on 2014.

and just like that 2014 turned into 2015. join me as i reflect on the goals (see original post here ) i set for myself this year. let's see how many times i can use the phrase "well i kind of accomplished this one" in one post. here goes nothing.
  • read more. well, yes i did accomplish  this goal. however, what is so sad is that i only read two (and a half-- currently in the middle of one) books this year for fun. and what's really sad is that that is two and a half more than i have read in years past. slowly but surely, people, i will become a reader. you just wait.
  • write and paint more. yes and yes and yes to this goal. though i did not post as much on the ole blog as i would like to, i felt as if my quality was so much stronger. i am no longer writing just to write, but choosing to publish content that i actually enjoy reading and am proud of. quality over quantity, that's the motto. as for painting, this year i have discovered a love for watercolors. with inspiration from rifle paper company , chris ballasiotes , and various other graphic designers, i know i love to create art focused around typography, simple graphics, and a specific meaning. with a love for writing and creating art, it only excites me as i look into how i can use this in the "real world" later in life. with thinking about college, jobs, and all that jazz-- somehow incorporating my passions even in the smallest of ways is very important to me. the future is scary, but less scary with something you enjoy. 
  • find something active and enjoyable. to that i say one big, HA! the most active thing i did this year was go to the gym for a few days in a row because our water at our house was not working, so i showered at the gym; and i felt bad for just showering and not additionally working out, so i ran a few miles here and there. so there's that. and i walk from the bottom lot at school all the way to my first class. i'm crazy athletic, let's talk about it.
  • write down a joyful memory per day // aka be an optimist. i did this one for a while, but soon after forgot about it. however, i have found myself looking at the bright side of situations more this year. learning that the grass is not just greener on the other side, but greener where you water it. (pinterest inspiration, represent)
  • work on my room. on this goal, i get an A+. i have constantly decorated & redecorated little parts of my room this year. little things here and there, bring me a lot of happiness.  my favorite additions to my room include the artwork i got while in europe, my various random garland (pom poms, tassels, bunting banners, etc.), and my random knick knacks on my desk. 
my word for the year was share! (catch up for new readers: for the 2nd year in a row, i use a word as a goal for the year. in 2013 it was bold. i know you are on the edge of your seat to see what is next.) being an introvert myself, i know how hard it is to share about yourself with others. not just sharing via instagram, during a class presentation, or the fact that you like pie too (we all do! you don't have to add in that fact!), but genuinely sharing. sharing about yourself is scary for multiply reasons. first, you have to open yourself up and let people in. people that may leave your life, hurt you, or eventually lose their trust with you. on the contrary, sharing, i have learned is so, so wonderful. it can bring you the best of friends, new opportunities, and truths about life from another perspective. sharing is also great because it is (most of the time) reciprocative. when you are willing to allow yourself to share about your thoughts, knowledge, and life in general, others are more likely to do so. it's a ripple effect, kind of. ah, sharing. it's my favorite.

all in all, i am so very thankful for this year. with lots of change, comes an abundance of growth. and 
growth, in my book, is always something to be thankful for! i am so fortunate to have the life that i do, and am continually in awe at all the people who take part in it on a consistent basis. that means you, *insert your name here*, too!

i will be sharing my new goals for this coming year very soon. stay tuned, dear ones!

yours truly,


black, white & borrowed

[a photo from my instagram. shameless promotion: follow me @catemarg ]

well hello there! my dear friend sophie (check out her youtube channel here) lives far, far away from me and we visit each other back and forth whenever we can. when she stayed with me this past summer, she left this girl with a full heart, the funniest memories, and... her cutest top. when i was cleaning under my bed (i have a lot of time on my hands, obvi) the other day i came across this black lace number and had to give it a wear. sorry, soph, you may or may not be getting this back. 

also, i was going for an all-black vibe today. i changed about 7 times (you know you do it too), and somehow this combo came about. my friend described it as "casual business wear"... and after that comment i did a sigh and a shaking of the head. i was going more for a "funky but chic but also edgy" look. can't win everyday, can we?

[polka dot button up: f21 // black lace top: borrowed // black jeans: loft // shoes: thrifted ]

[it was a little bright. so of course my first reaction is to flash a peace sign. ]

borrowed clothes are just the best, right? 

yours truly,


how to style your odd purchases.

styling is hard. especially when it involves a crew neck cat sweater.

here are my top three tips and tricks for making weird purchases that you just had to have worth it.

one// decide what you love about it? is it the fit, the graphic (ahem, a cat), or the comfort of the garment? highlight that factor when putting together the ensemble. if you love the fit, in my opinion you have hit the jackpot. clothing that is flattering is all about the fit. i do not care if you are in a kate spade dress (one can dream) or one from goodwill-- if it does not work well with your body it is a no-go. if the graphic is what drew your eye (like my obsession with anything and everything cat-related), make that aspect the attention getter. nothing is better when you see a person's head cock sideways with that curious grin (or smirk) wondering why the heck you have *insert odd item here* on your shirt. as for comfort goes, i am all for wearing pajamas out of the house. you know the skinny sweatpants (chic word: joggers) that are all the rage right now? yep, right up my ally. however, if you are talking about your prized snowman pajama bottoms that grandma made for you, i suggest you leave those at home. sorry, grandma. 

two// what do you dislike about it? again, is it the fit, graphic, or comfort of it? as for fit, if it does not fit correctly, we will compensate! add layers (i.e. a freaking awesome moto jacket) to make the baggy-ness of a sweater less.... well, baggy. or belt it, cut it, tie it, the list goes on. life tip: most clothes are made for the "model" prototype. do not let that discourage you, but encourage you to work around unrealistic standards for what fits best for you! the quick fix for a graphic disaster is to hide it. what you do not see on the outside is not really there, right? right. (well-- clothes talking, yes. life talking, no.) add a scarf, necklace, or even add a thin layer. and, if it is not comfortable, you have two choices-- put your big girl panties on and deal with it or trash it (i mean, donate). 

oh no, is the word "panties" really on my blog? ew. sorry, boys. please send help.

three// do not listen to your mom and/or twitter followers when you mention that you bought a cat sweater. if something catches your eye, buy it! unless it is too much money or a has no purpose. those are the two rules for when not to buy things. 

other than those, buy the dang cat sweater, ya freak! 

yours truly,


a (not so cliche) heart of thankfulness.

hi friends! first off, let's talk. 

if i am being honest, as thanksgiving approached, i could not help but be reminded of how much has been taken away from me. how much of a debby downer am i? over the past 6 months, i have had close friendships taken out of my life without my control, time taken out of my hands because of my crazy-busy schedule & school work, family situations, and a multitude of other occurrences that make you want to cry and scream all at the same time. (too much information, you say? should i go back to making jokes and talking about cats? whoops, too late.) . then i thought about it-- those are really big things. while they still hurt and, man oh man, band aids don't fix bullet holes (pardon my taylor swift reference-- the album has only been on replay for the past 3 weeks) , all this has been repressing me from reflecting on all that has been given to me. i am continually being reminded of the fact that sometime it is truly the little things that matter the most. 

i think of the seven hour turned into eleven hour road trip my mom and i took a few weekends ago where we got lost and listened to way too many episodes of Gilmore Girls. i think of that random cupcake that was given to me by someone i barely knew. i think of that text from a friend containing cat photos and sarcastic remarks. i think of the fact that my mom brought home calligraphy nibs the other day because she remembered how i had complained last week that my old ones were not working well. i think of those hugs from friends way too early in the morning that i say i don't like but secretly really need (also, did you know you need 4 hugs a day to be healthy, 8 to maintain your health, and 12 to grow. who woulda thunk it.) . i think of the smart water sitting beside me on my desk that makes me feel oh so fancy. i think of the family dinner conversations this past week focused on anything and everything from college to baby tigers that all lead up to the grand finale of us having too much pie/cake/candy. i think of visiting my brother's church and seeing a bunch of college kids worshiping Jesus when that is the farthest thing from cool for them. i think of the cold days that have come (and are coming) that allow me to wear my super-cute new coat. i think of the last Sunday where i laid in bed and listened to Ben Howard for too many hours than i want to admit. i think of the miracle it is that i did my pre-calculus homework tonight and did not cry. i think of that really, really, really good chai tea latte from a few days ago. i think of the spontaneous decision to dye my hair again (you know, one shade darker. i'm so crazy).  i think of the crazy amount of endless moments that i will nostalgic for that just occurred in the past few weeks.

and if i am being honest, i think of how ungrateful i truly am. i think about all things i need to improve on. i think about my amazing amount of faults i encompass. i think about how easily i get jealous and that i am sarcastic too much. i think about how i let my bad day become someone else's bad day. and i think about how terrible that is. overall, i think about how much of a messed up person i am.

i write this because i dislike when writers only ever write the picture perfect, pretty details of life. because, life is not always pretty. and if it was, would anything really be pretty at all? random thought. i hope you know that i am just a normal person with struggles and failures and many a break-down nights. i am learning that it is okay to have problems in life-- i mean, that's life, for pete sake! when i think about my fair share, i tend to become overwhelmed. and that overwhelming spirit is where i have a choice. i have a choice to let my temporary, worldly issues have a claim on my life or be reminded that i am in the hands of a loving and gentle God. when i realize that i do not have to be in control of my life and have an ultimate plan, i can breathe again. i have learned to love my faults because it only points ever so clearly how unbelievable it is that a such a perfect God can love such an imperfect person unconditionally. i adore that my mistakes contrast with my Lord's awesomeness. it doubtlessly leaves me in awe thinking about the continual provision and gifts i have been blessed with. i am so unworthy, yet Christ gives and gives and gives.

all year i have been continually reminded of a verse (job 1:21) stating that the Lord gives and the Lord takes away. i am so thankful for what the Lord gives me that i do not deserve. the fact that i do not have to fret about having basic needs of food, water, and shelter is such a blessing. the truth that i have such an involved, kind family is one of the best gifts i could ever be given. and the moments where i get an A in an advanced class are just icing on the cake. however, a moment of maturity and growth comes when you learn to be authentically thankful for how the Lord takes away. i am beyond grateful for the unpleasant, cry-worthy experiences that i have been apart of because it shows that my full dependence should only come from Christ. thankfulness overflows when a perfectly-planned down to the second day is all messed up and does not go the way you want it to, because it demonstrates that the clock should not have my full attention, and to let loose a bit. i am overwhelmed by the truth that i struggle and fall often, since it calls attention the beautiful action of Christ bearing physical and emotional pain of my place on the cross. the ending of the verse in Job is "blessed be the name of the Lord". and to that i say, TRUE DAT. i mean, amen.

so, i am beyond thankful for my life and all the things that make it so. funny how a post can go from being so ungrateful to this, right? who said the blogging process can't be a prayer or therapeutic experience?

so, enjoy some photos from my thanksgiving day! there is so much to be thankful for. my heart overflows.

[our table-- complete with fall blooms, mixed china, and hungry stomachs.]
[grandmother's name// i took leaves and gold foiled them, then wrote (sloppily) the names of the fam for place cards. grandparents loved 'em-- bonas points for me, yet?]
[ahhh, family laughing and enjoying each other's company. or was this just mom telling everyone to get out of the kitchen so she could finish making dinner?]

[ graham being my model as i test out the camera for a... special... project. more on that soon. ]

to those of you who read my rambles, thank you. you are appreciated. lots of love sending your way. and just a reminder (to you and to me), that the big problems of life seem so much less significant in relation to the tiny, consistent moments that make you realize that life is good. more than good-- life is lovely.

yours truly,


simple saturday.

i like to think that i have an interesting style. i truly dislike being identical as every other girl, and there's no lie that that standard of mine carries on into my dress. don't get me wrong, i am still a lover of neutrals and probably wear gray and black 90% of the time, but just jeans and a t-shirt do not normally cut it for me. i love layers. i love accessorizing. i love personalizing an outfit. the struggle with this mindset though is the occasional want for simplicity. today i woke up and had two thoughts in mind (who am i kidding, i had about a thousand thoughts but these made the top of the list). one, i really wanted to wear the new top i bought yesterday. if you are a girl and do not feel the burning desire to wear what you bought immediately, you are lying. you just are. and two, i was tired of wearing my classic jeans and sweater combo. so, i put this little number together. i am forever a lover of the shorts and tights trend, if you are wondering. i even overheard the shop girls at a store comment on it-- these are the kind of confidence boosts i sometimes need on lazy saturdays when your hair is resembling a bird's nest. give someone that confidence boost today. 

[ comin' atchu live wid that model face. jk, it's my ten cars have come down my street in the past minute and i am trying to look like just a normal girl having a photo shoot with her brother face. ]
[ all time favorite shoes. // anthro. ]
[ crooked smile, squinty eyes. ]

happy weekend, friends! may you enjoy leftover turkey and pumpkin pie and take too many naps. that's my agenda, at least.

yours truly,


in the ideal world.

in the ideal world, i would write funny bits and pieces of my everyday life and make every situation seem really witty and interesting. (news flash: its not). i had imagined myself sitting down in a picture-perfect setting (you know, the candles, the music, the chai tea, the sound of your neighbor mowing their lawn. oh the ambiance.) writing the night away. then i realized two things. one, i really love sleeping. and two, what you love to do normally wins. however, i also really realized that i was not always not writing. i realized i constantly write in my head (then the smart one reading this will state that those are just thoughts, you idiot). even as i am in the midst of a situation, i think about how i will tell the story. sometimes life seems much more poetic when thought of in this manner.

in the ideal world, i would write full page essays about each all the happenings as of late. but, i do not have a lot of time right now because i am listening to a really good song and it's about to turn into a dance party up in here. and also, not even my mother would read essays about all the thoughts i have on a daily basis.

in the ideal world, these following statements would be headlines that all the essays and chapters of my future memoir will have the honor of beholding:


i have decided that my writing style as typography goes resembles a lot of e.e.cummings' poems. all lowercase, an excessive about of parentheses, you know-- deep crap like that.

 i watched the movie, begin again, yesterday and honestly did a small squeal of excitement throughout the entire movie, gushing on keira knightly's outfits and the whole concept of the movie, honestly.  OH, and the music! go to spotify right now and have it be the sound track you listen to as you read this.

 i realized that watching gilmore girls is even better the second time. and in chunks. seven-episode chunks, especially.

 i am reading amy poehler's new book, yes please, and am really enjoying myself. i also cannot remember the last time i read a book for fun. (4-5 years? kindergarten?)

 i have felt an overwhelming sense of thankfulness thinking about how lucky i am to have such a loving, kind family. not in a cheesy, life is perfect way, but in a wow life is so unpredictable yet beautiful way.

i have been wearing a lot of dresses lately. because, heck, everything is better in a dress. 

 i have realized that i really like to sing in the car. and also realized that my younger brother (graham) seems turns up the music as i start to sing. wow, what a coincidence!

 i rarely feel put together if my room is not clean. oh hey, my room is a mess. 

i am really bad at calligraphy and quite surprised at how hard it is. help a sista out, anyone?

i am surprisingly okay-kinda-freaking-awesome at public speaking. like, perfect score on my final formal speech good. i don't brag about a lot of things, but MAN, you got to give me snaps for this one. (notice i said snaps, not claps. i have this wonderful and insane dream of performing a poem at a poetry slam and once i am finished, the crowd puts down their double chai tea decaf latte no cream and gives me a standing ovation as they snap their little fingers away.)

i like a straight forward hello and goodbye. not any of that mysterious and vague texts with off-subject remarks. what's wrong with a simple "hello"? (maybe the creepy old man vibe you get when reading that word? okay, i see.)

art sometimes makes me cry. but chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven often make me cry too, so i don't know if that says a lot.

i realized my true laugh is both hideous and annoying and that just makes me laugh even more. 

and lastly, i think social media could be best and worst thing to happen to society. i don't know, just a thought.


in the ideal world, i would continue writing for hours, but what's that i smell? cookies in the oven? a dance party of one waiting to happen? got to go cry and laugh and consume too much chocolate and dance all at once. the heart wants what the heart wants, as they say. 

also, who is this "they" everyone refers to when trying to crack a joke? 

yours truly,


a year older.

a few weeks ago (well, october 2nd to be specific), i turned 17. i know what you are thinking, 17? are you sure? maybe she did a typo and meant to put a 2 instead of a 7. surprise, surprise, all-- i am only 3 years away from my next decade! woo to the hoo, am i right?

anyways, i am embarrassed to admit where i found this quote (coughtumblrcough), but it really does express my feelings on this age--

"seventeen seems like the perfect age. not naive like sixteen. not feeling the pressures of daunting adulthood like eighteen. just plain and simple, seventeen."

often times i tell people i just want to be 25. while, that still that could not be any more true, i am learning that this age only comes once. you are only a teenager once, no matter how painfully awkward or un-fun it can be at times. i am trying to get through these years with grace and poise, as well as choosing to not take myself so seriously (hey remember this post?). because, we have the rest of our lives to do that. why adulthood sounds so fun to me, i do not know. i will probably regret believing that all these years. sorry, 25 year old Cate, i was wrong. if i am being honest here (and i always am), this act of so called "enjoying being a teen" is hard for me. i believe that i am not your typical teenager. i do not do the same things, act the same way, or have the same goals as most of my peers or friends. i am learning that this is okay. more than okay, actually. being confident in your individuality is something to be thankful for! anyways, i am 17 (wishing i was 25) but could not be more content with where i am and where i am going. 

off from that tangent, on my seventeen birthday, my friend (anna bliss ) and i bought some flowers, ate some popsicles, and took a few too many photos. one of my favorite gifts i received was a starter calligraphy set from Antiquaria Designs

cheers to sunflowers, learning new things, and a year older!

yours truly,


oh, tuesdays.

long time, no see (talk? blog? virtually communicate?), party people. 

lately, along with being absolutely crazy busy, i have been avoiding posting on my blog because i never had the "right words" to say. then i got to thinking, what are the right words? what are the wrong words? after i did a sigh of relief and a shaking of the head whispering "silly cate, you are too hard on yourself", i decided that there really are no wrong words. except for words like moist and dank and slaw (that one is for you, mom) but that is beside the point. all this to say, today i wanted to post some photos that i took while on a trip downtown with school. those words are simple & authentic so they will work for now. enjoy, friends.

fun fact: tuesday is my least favorite day of the week. it's like another monday but a day later and not an accepted day to complain about. oh, tuesdays

yours truly,


art gallery weekends.

my dear friend, alex, and i went to a local art gallery last weekend. we had fun, so here are a few snaps from our trip.

[ gah, those colors are too good. ]

[ one of our favorite pieces. ]
[ what i love more than art itself, is the atmosphere of art galleries. simple, clean, yet home-like feeling with the walls covered.]
[ what can i say? i am just really drawn to art. *cheesey art joke; please laugh*]

[ art, guys, it's emotional. actually, i was just embarrassed because alex asked me who was in that painting and i said "bob dylan". i'm real cultured, y'all.]

[ hey, here's alex in a bush. ]

weekends spent staring at art with good company are the best weekends. 
am i right or am i right?

yours truly,


crying over planners (and other facts about me).

lately, i have realized that some of you may know me well. maybe a little too well if you can point out when i have lied about doing some sort of exercise or about how many cookies i ate. however, some of you do not know me that well. so, let me introduce you to the girl behind the stories you read and the photographs you see. i hope you find her more interesting than the stupid instagram posts she spends way too much time on or the way she awkwardly laughs when someone trips. 

and, if not, then picture me singing "forget you, and forget you too". (oh no. cee-lo green lyrics pop into my head without any thought. i'm done for, people.)

without further ado, here are ten facts about me (cate):

  1. when i get really excited about something (you know, important things like planners & washi tape), i start crying. literal tears, guys.
off topic: when the container store first opened up in my city, my mom did not allow me to go for 4 months because she knew i would have a freak-out sess in the middle of the store over how organized it was. well, she was right.

2. okay, this may come as a surprise to some of you, but... i hate coffee. i know, i know. i love coffee shops. i love the smell of coffee. i love posting photos of coffee. but, i hate coffee. (tea freaks, where you at?) 

3. i absolutely love having flowers. daisies, especially. (pro tip: if you want to make my day, all you have to do is bring me a single white daisy in a glass tied with twine... and a burger, but that's beside the point. no, i'm not high-maintenance, at all.) however, anything plant-related i own, i kill. not joking: i have killed 2 cactus' in the past 6 months. how that is even possible considering they don't even need watering, I DON'T KNOW.

4. i get lost quite frequently. i could be 3 minutes from my home, and think i am across town. thank god for iphone maps & kind friends to remind me which way to turn. (i blame my directionally-challenged-ness on my mom. she's just as bad, if not worse.)

5. i value expressing myself through clothing. i believe it says a lot about who you are and what you think of yourself. however, i go to an all-girls catholic school and wear a uniform everyday. i'm talking, plaid skirt and all (for my school friends, i know, i know- it's houndstooth). this little fact just makes me laugh at how ironic life can be sometimes. oh, life, you got me again! ;)

6. my family calls me eor because of this, but i love the rain. i am always my happiest on days when the sky is gray and pelting me with rain drops as i walk to my car (however, my hair is not equally as thankful). 

pro tip to future husband: ask me important questions in the rain and i will most likely say yes. (i.e. "honey, does steak sound good for dinner?" or maybe even "will you marry me?". you know, the little questions. )

7. if you see me in a large group (um... think a speech class), you may think i am seriously mute. however, give me one friend & one of my awkward, "classic cate" stories, i could talk for hours. this sounds like a tumblr post, but it is true. i ain't just sayin' it for dat re-blog. 

8. i don't really find the fascination in being obsessed with celebrities. they are just regular people with their own joys and problems, just simply over-exposed. but, don't get me wrong, if zooey deschanel walked into the room, i would not hesitate to give her a hug and ask to touch her iconic bangs. wait... would that freak her out? asking for a friend. 

9. i am curious. although, for a lack of better terms, what i really mean is i am nosey. ya know, i truly wish i wasn't, but sometimes i just can't help but listen to crazy sally sitting next to me as i get a haircut talk about how her grandmother got arrested that morning.

that really is a true story. ask me about it, pal.

10.  i am a Christ-follower. if you have read my blog over the years, the reasons for my outlook on life is all because of the love Jesus has shown me. the reason for my smiles, my (hopefully) encouraging words, and adoration for people & their stories all points back to Him. i could expand on this much more, but if you want to know more, please feel free to send me an email or (if you know me personally) i would love to grab coffee with you!

other things i love: autumn, the first day of a month, lists, clean sheets, sour gummy worms, morning voices, airports, long conversations, and cats (because, are you a real blogger if you don't love cats? no, the answer is no.).

give me a shout (wait, no. don't shout at me. i may cry. try a gentle "you rock, cate" text or a fit bump-explosion-thingy.) if you relate with me on any of these. or even if you don't, it's reassuring to know they're aren't any other cate's in the world. if there were, there would be an abundance of eccentric, squinty smiles and green tea spilled on laps. 

yours truly,


over all of it.

Hi hi! Okay, let me tell you the story behind this get-up before you start questioning my sanity. All summer I have envied bloggers, fashion-icons, and instagrammers who have pulled off the overall look. I wanted to be one of the people, truly. While on a trip, I popped into Sacs and came across these delightful things. I was too excited to even have a heart attack over the price tag (no worries, it was on sale. but the kind of anthropologie-sale that means it wasn't really on sale. you get me?). Once I tried them on and realized they fit perfectly, I was almost sold. Of course, I had to get the opinions of my fellow shoppers as well as the woman who checked me out. From everyone it was a yes. Including myself. 

Anyways, I know some people (*coughmomcough*) think I'm just trying to bring the 90s back, while others (*coughbrotherscough*) think i am trying to look like i just got off the farm. But honestly, I think they are adorable and different, and i am just over all the outward opinions (har-har). But real talk-- I think they rock, and that's all the matters. Confidence is key.

Two of my pals (Parks & Claire) went downtown this past weekend with the sole intent to take photos. Claire had a photography project to work on, while i just wanted to have an excuse to wear this outfit (might as well be honest with you guys). Enjoy some more photos from our outing...

[ photo of a photo. ]



[ rock on. ]

[album cover? joking, joking.]


[claire and i]
[ selfie time feat. the three of us ]

[peace out sista/brah ]

that's all for today! i'll be back and cooler than ever soon. wait... nevermind about the second half of that sentence.

have a wonderful week, friends!

yours truly,