3 years of blogging.

last week marked 3 years here on creating a lovely life, and what do you know- the day was forgotten yet another year in a row (remember last year?). no worries, though, i ate enough cake when i remembered to make up for it. you see, i am a big believer in birthdays, holidays, and other special dates that only come once a year, yet still seem to let my "bloggerversary" come and go without a thought each year. however, i got thinking (and got creeping) on my past posts. from my very first outfit of the day  (brace yourself, people) to the one time i posted a photo of Lauren Conrad's hair and it got over 4k repins on pinterest, to just last week  when i posted words that were more honest and raw than any post before, the special date for me on this site lies within every post. i can see myself growing, not just with better edited photographs or more complex wording (thank you, thesaurus.com!), but additionally growing as a person. 

so, let's get festive with looking back on a few of my most cring-worthy content in the past years...

(psst. hey you. just click the post titles in the following list & it will lead you straight to the post itself. you're welcome.)

1. my favorite spring shoes  (circa march of 2012) // oh dear, those edits. i am embarrassed to tell you that i thought saturation was the stuff back in the day. go big or go home, right? (for more saturation-filled photos & terrible fonts check out at the ballpark again.

2.  and that is okay (circa october of 2012) // this is when i reminded my readers that they are going to  fail a lot. i think there was more wisdom to it than that, but when i looked back and read the words "you are going to fail" it makes me wonder if this post is why i only have 75 followers. 

3. in a paint-y mood (circa may of 2013) // this post makes me laugh because, well, nothing has changed. my desk still has paint stains adorning it's once white surface from the hours of art that happens there, and not to mention i still take photos of my desk everyday (hello current post photo). however, i hope my painting has somewhat improved... i think i was going for a rifle paper company feel, and obviously failed.

4. our mediocre microcosm (circa september of 2013) // i actually really like this post, but i think i was stretching the whole alliteration thing with the title a little too much. again i say, keep it together, cate. 

5. crazy pants crazy life (circa april of 2014) // ah, my most recent embarrassing moment here on the blog. i am constantly apologizing for my model moves (or lack there of), but for these photos i think it is perfectly acceptable to. OH, and with the grainy iPhone photos... do not even get me started.

this year i am thankful for growth. and thankful that i can laugh at my past posts that helped me get to where i am today. who knows, maybe in another three years, i will cring at content that i was so proud of just last week. everyday is a new day!

yours truly,

(p.s. remember when i went all gossip girl on you by ending by posts in "xoxo, cate". yeah, me too. )


thoughts on: perfection

the more and more i learn about myself, the more i realize what needs to stay and what needs to be gleaned out from my life. lately, i asked myself a few questions that all had something in common.

do you get genuinely upset when failing to do something? (yes)
do you feel a constant pressure to be the best at *fill in blank*? (uh, yes)
do you place all focus on the world's standards of success rather than true accomplishment? (...yes..)
do you feel discontent with your performance? (heck yeah)

all of these questions lead to the fact that, yes, in fact, i have turned into a perfectionist. and the perfectionist in me has been editing and rewriting this post for the past two months. jokes on me, i guess-- my life is just one big ironic happening.

though, i am learning one thing to be true...

perfection only steals your joy, your beauty, your creativity, & your personality. it morphs you into something that you were not created to be. it only provokes disappointment and setbacks. it places all focus on yourself and your ability. perfection, in short, is not a healthy state to be in since it increases your target to merely yourself while decreasing your awareness of all the beautiful happenings around you. it restrains you to a box of sole supremacy limiting you from what could be and what can be.

i find myself striving for perfection in mainly in my school work, my relationships, & my goals. i desire to have rewarding grades, consistent friendships and relationships, and to have my goals met. like, right now. though these desires can be pleasing, they only fulfill the soul temporally. we will always want more-- whether that be physical wants or internal/emotional wants. all of this leads to the dreaded place of discontentment. and ironically enough, a vital combat for perfection is contentment. contentment with where you are in life (yet continuing to grow and learn), contentment with who is in your life and who has left (seeing those who stays a blessing, and treating those who leave with grace), and overall contentment within oneself where you are comfortable saying "i am a person in progress".

and, i know one thing to be true...

one little thing that does not go according to plan is the end all, be all. and, we do not have to be in replete charge of "our plan". and thank you, Jesus, for that! seriously. i am so thankful that i have a perfect Saviour who loves such an imperfect human. excuse me while i overflow with joy and peace.

contentment and thankfulness-- that is how we fight perfection. to take the day one step at a time, and to keep growing, keep learning, and just keep on going. because, we are so loved and have such a beautiful life that offers abundance outside our need for perfection.

yours truly,


snow day style.

we got a little bit of snow these past few days in my neck of the woods. and by "neck of the woods" i mean the entire US, and by "little bit of snow" i mean our 2 hours road trip this past weekend turned into 5 hours. ah, snow, you're a dream and a nightmare all in one. you see, first i go all Lorelei Gilmore on the first snow of the year-- you know, the jumping up and down, the happy tears, and the waking everyone up in the house kind of person. well, i may not be that intense, but i like to think that i am. although, i am not going to deceive you into thinking i am the girl who immediately grabs her sled and braves the elements. oh  no, i am the girl who eagerly fixes three cups of tea so that she will not have to get out of bed and interrupt her Carrie Diaries marathon. we all express our excitement in different ways, and mine just happens to involve an excess amount of pillows and chai tea. or is that just called hibernation?

nonetheless, this snow day style is what i would wear if i did  brave the elements. i do not sacrifice a good outfit for the sake of warmth or comfort any day. though, let's be honest: i am pretty comfortable. and cute. hey, it's a win-win situation here, friends. 

wherever you are, i hope the snow finds you well. i give you permission to wake me up in a dead sleep if you see a single snowflake any day.

yours truly,

[outfit details:]
beanie: urban
sweater: urban
poncho: urban
jeans: american eagle
socks: j.crew
shoes: target 


a spur of color.

[ polaroids and peace signs. ]
[ coolest of chairs at the 21 c museum + hotel. ]
[ another from 21c museum + hotel. ]
[ at the contemporary art exhibit at crystal bridges museum of american art. ]
[ my new sneaks-- find them here. ]
[ from last autumn. my friend, alex, took this. ]
[ i was in a lovey-dovey it's almost valentines day mood when i took this. ]
[ a february full of florals. ]

 if i am being honest, it is quite hard for me not to put a black and white filter on every photo i take. however, as i looked through old and new photos today, i found that my current favorites are ones full of color & life.

"i have found i could say things with colour and shapes that i couldn't say any other way- things i had no words for." georgia o'keeffe. 

yours truly,


to the tried & true

[ left to right: j.crew // american eagle // local shop. ]
you know in elementary school when the teacher would have you go around the room and say your name and favorite color? i would be the girl who said my favorite color was gray. wait, actually i wasn't. but i really wish i was. that would have made me a super cool kindergardener if i say so myself. imaginary scenario aside, if i were asked that question today my answer would most definitely be gray. let's just take a moment to think about all the pros and cons to this color.

1. it goes with black AND brown. (the ole fashion dilemma)
2. it looks good on all skin types.
3. there are so many different shades of gray to choose from (fifty, they say?).

there are no cons. my bad. 

anyways, these three tops are my current favorites of the moment-- here's to gray & cream, my tried & true. 

[ dainty jewelry for the win. ]
this is one of those shirts that i have worn so many times over the past year it almost needs to be taken away from me. but, when can you go wrong with black and white stripes? (rhetorical question. because you can never go wrong with black and white stripes. ha, gotcha. )

[ bandeau: aerie. // kimono: pacsun. ]
 this top is one of my recent favorites for it's peplum-esque style, pretty detailing, and high neckline. you can give it edge by adding black skinnies & killer booties or keep it girly with a floral kimono & colorful bandeau (shown). this top gets an A+ in versatility, fo sho.

[ necklace: j.crew. ]
this sweatshirt is the perfect balance between not wanting to look like you tried too hard but also not wanting to look like you did not try at all. girls, you feel? 

[ details. ]
gah, these cream ruffles are to. die. for.  

neutrals, baby.

may your week be full of color & life with a hint of gray (in your wardrobe, of course).

yours truly,