Flirting 101

How awkward is flirting?

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I mean flirting sucks.Half of the time I don’t even know if I’m doing it right and then the other half of the time I don’t even know if I am actually flirting or if there is an eyelash in my eye and the batting is because my eye is trying to forcibly get it out.

Can we all take a second and recognize (or for all you taken friends remember) how awkward it is? Let’s have a moment of silence for how much of our embarrassment from ages 12 – age of death is due to flirting.

Why didn’t we have a class on this in high school or college? It could have been a requirement for all people past the age of puberty or it at least should have been an elective. Life Sciences: Flirting 101. Then Flirting 201: Flirting for grown ups or those who don’t get engaged in college.

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It’s so tragic that I will even admit to you that I have both googled and searched on pinterest “how to flirt.” Some of the best advice I’ve gotten:

1. Make eye contact, then look away, then look back, smile, then look into his eyes

Are you kidding me? Why don’t I just walk up to a guy and say Hi you’re attractive. This whole look, look away, look again thing needs a choreographer and music to get right. No thanks.

 

2. Turn sideways in your chair, cross your legs, arch your back, and run your fingers through your hair.

I’m sorry are we in a Victoria’s Secret commercial? If I did that anywhere I might hurt myself or fall off the chair. And what if my hair is curly that day? I can’t run my fingers through it or it would stand up on end and I’d look like a lion!

 

3. Ask the dude next to you to tell you the story behind his tattoo.

Right because then I’ll retort wanna hear the story behind my Harry Potter tattoo? He’d jump back on his motorcycle so fast I’d have to call an officer to conduct a traffic stop for speeding.

 

4. Tell the hot guy at the gym that you’re impressed with his workout.

Sick. One if I’m at the gym I look like crap. The gym is not a place for makeup it’s a place to work and sweat. So that’s just when I want to approach someone when I’m sweating like pig and my face is all red.

 

5. Go to a sports bar, sit next to a cute guy, and ask him who you should root for.

No. If I am at a sports bar I will already know who I am rooting for and I’m probably wearing a jersey for the team that will be winning. If he wants to out cheer me then so be it.

 

Let’s face it yall. I suck at flirting. It’s awkward and I’m awkward. How do you get through it? Should I just drink until I think I’m flirting fine or should I make him drink until he doesn’t think my eyelash twitching is normal?

 

Today is the last day to win a fitbit! Enter here!

Adult Moment & a Giveaway

So here’s the deal. I had a major adult moment the other day. I was texting my little sister and the convo went something like this:

k&j convo

I was tossing and turning that night because I was thinking about how a horrible role model I was for my teenage sister. I basically just conveyed to her that looks were everything. That as an adult with more than half a brain (and no modestly apparently) I was conveying to her that I was more interested in men who only cared about looks than any other attribute. I immediately felt ashamed and then a little voice in my head said that my self esteem needed a boost. That I needed to be confident about myself before asking anyone else to like me for who I was.

So here’s the adult moment: I need to take care of myself for me. Not for anyone else. And I need to be a good role model for my sister. I need to show her by how I live that take care of myself and that I do what I need to do in order to have confidence in myself. I think I would have better body confidence if my body was stronger and healthier. Do I think I am ever going to look like someone who walks down the Victoria’s Secret runway? No, but my goal is to have their confidence. So instead of skinny I want strength, instead of flab I want fit.

I’ve made a command decision that working out cannot just be something that is easy for me to skip. It cannot be something that I treat as an ‘extra.’ It needs to be something as important as a trial.

I hope others feel (or will feel) that working out and having confidence in your body is as important as how I’m feeling. To further that sentiment I’ve got a fit-tastic (yeah I’m rolling my eyes too) giveaway for you!

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jacket // top // capris (similar) // tennis shoes // fitbit

Enter the FitBit Giveaway using the Rafflecoptor widget below!
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Giveaway ends Monday April 13th at 10pm! Good Luck!

 

Tell me: What is the one workout that always makes you come back for more?

This guy I know

This is my friend.

my friend wes

I snapped this as we were leaving a bar Saturday night on East 6th in Austin. We had just spent about 2+ hours talking at the bar and he had just spent the night having dinner and watching a comedy show with my mother and grandmother.

His name is Wes. If you don’t know him, or you don’t know him well, or you only remember him from high school, he sort of reminds me of Rainn Wilson in Backstrom with his snarky and insightful comments, his sky high IQ, his ability to be self-centered/aware (in an I-know-what-I-want way) but have your back in every conceivable circumstance and be really generous. For example: He had a book delivered to me after we spoke about it one weekend. I got it Tuesday. We had spoken about it Sunday. See?

I’m super in love with everything about Wesley. Like if we as a couple could work out I would make him date me, (make him I tell you) but we both know that us together would never work out. We are too diametrically opposed about everything. In all honesty, I don’t remember the last time we could figure out something important that we agree on. Politics, Religion, Money, Marriage, Kids, Sex, you name it we probably don’t agree on it.

But we get on like peanut butter and jelly. Or wine and cheese. (Let’s go with wine and cheese because it’s wine AND cheese. Obviously.) Wes and I can talk for hours about everything. I’d like to say we could talk about nothing but I don’t believe we’ve ever talked about nothing. Wes doesn’t do “nothing” and when I’m with Wes I don’t do “nothing”.

I like the Katherine that comes out when Wes is around. She’s insightful, worldy, outgoing, and will try more things than non-Wes Katherine. She actually thinks through things that she takes for granted each day, she thinks about why she thinks certain ways, she thinks about why she balks at one thing but not something similar. She actively thinks.

~

Wesley says to me “would you ever do ….?”

Me, looking shocked and appalled, “NO!”

Wes coming over all inquisitive and smiling at my automatic dismay “Why not?”

Me, starting to explain a multitude of reasons why I would never do what he asked…

Wes interrupts, “Katherine you would have fun and it would be really freeing for you. I bet you would like it.”

Me shocked that he would think I would actually enjoy that, then shutting up because I’m actually considering doing what he proposed…

Wes opens his mouth and five minutes later and I’m telling him to set it up and give me two days notice

~

Do you have friends like this? That change your outlook on life, that change the way you think in a really good way?

I love Wesley, not just because he’s devastatingly handsome (and it’s devastating that we can’t date) but because I think I’m a better person for being around him.

 

PS don’t forget to change you bookmark to the new website! duchessofplumewood.com

I’m not Alex Cabot*

Raise your hand if you’ve ever seen CSI. Law and Order? NCIS? Bones? Rizzoli & Isles? Cold Case? Probably 95% of you. Most of America right? That fact is something I have to think about during trial, believe it or not.

During voir dire (jury selection) the judge in the court I am assigned to, while legally admonishing the potential jury panel, says something to the effect of how he believes “there is even now a CSI: El Paso where they solve cow-tipping cases with lasers and mass-spectrometers.” It gets a laugh every time from the jurors but it speaks to a much larger phenomenon: the CSI Effect.

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Truth be told, before I started interning at the DA’s office I was slightly under this misconception so it definitely isn’t just people in non-legal fields that are subject to it. Basically what the CSI effect boils down to is that juries are now requiring more evidence (ie fingerprints, DNA, lab tests, and every substance run through the machine that the ‘squints’ seem to love so much) in every type of case. In reality that just doesn’t happen. In cases that have higher ranges of punishment, think Murder, Aggravated Assault, and Kidnapping, more scientific tests and evidence are run/gathered than in misdemeanors; think DWI, Criminal Trespass, and Possession of Marijuana.

This difference in quantity (definitely not quality, I believe I work with some of the best police officers and investigators in America) in the different cases isn’t because someone chose not to get the evidence. What it’s usually due to is the fact that other evidence must be gathered first, or a crime scene team cannot be sent out to every misdemeanor, lab tests cannot be returned the same day, or that the perpetrator of the crime is usually apparent. Think about it: if a police officer is talking to a suspect and the suspect is holding a bag of marijuana, does the bag really need to be dusted for fingerprints? Does the marijuana blunt in his hand need to be tested for DNA? Does the steering wheel of a vehicle need to be fingerprinted in a DWI case?

The law states that if the jury believes beyond a reasonable doubt that the elements of the crime have been satisfied then their verdict must be guilty. The judge in my court is awesome at asking if the potential jurors would require more evidence if they believed beyond a reasonable doubt. Example: “if you believe beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of driving while intoxicated and there is no blood alcohol content test given to you, would you require that to convict?”

What would your answer be?

Many people say that they would require a blood test or some other kind of test even if they already believe beyond a reasonable doubt. That my friends is the CSI effect right there.

 

Thoughts on the CSI Effect?

 

*even though that would be awesome

The Relevance of Gender

Does gender matter? Does it matter in difference situations? Does gender matter to different genders?
It seems that these days the politically correct thing to do is to treat everyone you meet as a unisex person, neither male or female. To treat a woman like a man could be seen as not seeing her as a woman, to treat her as only a woman could be seen as relegating her to the kitchen. Treating a man as a woman could insult a man, treating him as only a man could be seen as not recognizing his respect of women. So it seems ‘unisex’ becomes our default setting.
Gender is relevant. I am a woman. As a woman I bring quite a bit to the table. What I bring to a table is different than what a man brings. It’s not better, it’s a different point of view. 
I am proud that I am woman. I am proud of the way that being a woman makes me different than a man. 
~

“…not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”

Yall this week has been rough. I mean ROUGH. I haven’t even had any ruff (aka Winston) to cut the rough. Wow, worst play on words ever. I got in an accident yesterday on my way to Austin and then I had to turn around because I had to go to the police station and file a police report because the driver of the other car fled the scene without stopping or even checking to make sure I was okay. I’ve been drowning in paper and stuff that I haven’t dealt with since the beginning of finals in April and the subsequent start of studying for the bar. Then after the stress and weight of the bar was off my shoulders I had time to really look at my personal life and realized that it sucks. Just depressing. 

I thought that actually having time to think about my life was going to be awesome but it’s really just depressing. 

I talked a few months ago about Mistakes v Lessons and if there is really a difference and now I cannot seem to stop focusing on mistakes I’ve made or think I’ve made. Then there’s those awful times where I think someone else is making a mistake but you can’t do anything else but let them make it because they don’t believe you or don’t trust you. 


How do you forgive yourself for the mistakes you’ve made? How do you forgive other people for the mistakes they’ve made? Are there sometimes that you just can’t forgive someone?

Is forgiveness a conscious choice or is it an emotional state? Are there times when it starts off as a choice and morphs into the other? 


Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs
1 Corinthians 13:4 – 6 NIV


Perhaps forgiveness isn’t so much about absolving someone of the hurt they caused you but it’s recognizing how they hurt you and realizing that you care for them or love them more than the hurt they caused you. 

Perhaps there are sometimes when it’s all you can do to push the offending party away because all you can think about is the hurt or the broken trust but what you should be doing is letting them show you that they are sorry. Not just apologetic but deeply sorry. Perhaps it’s that you realize your life will be a happier place because they are still in it than a sad, confusing, lonely place when they aren’t.

Forgiving yourself is a different matter. Most people love themselves so how recognizing that you love yourself more than the shame or embarrassment you caused yourself isn’t the factor. Maybe it’s realizing that everybody falls. Everybody makes mistakes. Everybody. To err is human… Man is flawed. Quite possibly it’s recognizing that it’s the mistakes that make you who you are. It’s the fall that give you the determination to push on. 

So how do you forgive? I think each person has there own avenue to forgiveness, of themselves or others but the important think to remember is that many people have forgiven much worse of others. Jesus forgave the people who killed him and they didn’t even apologize! Does that seem a little more intense than your hurt?


Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times? “Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” 
Matthew 18: 21-22 NIV

So today before you head out for the weekend I urge you to forgive someone who has hurt you. Or forgive yourself for a mistake you made. Forgiveness will never make you unhappy and I’m betting 10 to 1 that it will make you happy. 

~

Confidence

photo via

Can you be self-confident without being egotistical? 

I was searching through my Soul Pancake book, which is amazing, and I found this question. My first reaction was No, those are basically descriptions of the same thing. Then, I paused for a moment and thought but wait, there are many people I know who are confident in themselves but I would never describe them as egotistical. But out of all the egotistical people I know, remember I’m a lawyer I know plenty, they are all self confident. 

So what is the difference? Is it the person who makes it different? Is it the portrayal that makes it different? Or is it something else? 

How does one become self confident without being egotistical? 

Thinking more and more on this I believe that self confidence and egotism are on the same line but egotism is one step farther down that line than self confidence. 

To me self confidence is believing in yourself. Not believing that every single thing you do is the best but believing that if something doesn’t go your way you can deal with it without completely disintegrating. Or that you have done your best and have prepared for your day as much as you could. Egotism on the other hand would be the absolute belief that every single thing you do is the only correct way to do it and you do not consider anyone else’s opinion or idea. 

Egotism’s mantra: It’s my way or the highway. 

Confidence’s mantra: Let’s do this. 

I’m not going to lie, there are many times when I’ve been squarely in the egotistical camp. Am I proud of that? No, but I cannot imagine there is anyone who hasn’t thought I’m correct you’re wrong before. Except Jesus, and he would be the only one who could really say that! 

So maybe you can ride that line between self-confidence and egotistical. As long as you don’t decide to set up shop in the egotistical camp I won’t call you egotistical. What do you think?


How are you confident about yourself?

~

Hobbies

I had Lasik on Friday (I CAN SEE WITHOUT CONTACTS AND ITS BLOWING MY MIND) and they were going over my medical chart that you have to fill out at pretty much every dr’s office when something kind of embarrassing happened. The nurse asked What are your hobbies? Now, my contacts were out and glasses were off so I couldn’t see, nor can one really see one’s own face, but I’m pretty sure my face looked like a deer in the headlights. 

I said ummmm reading… and then gave her a shrug and nervous creepy highly embarrassed awkward laugh. Then I felt the need to explain to this woman who I don’t know and will probably never see again that I’ve just finished law school and am currently studying for the bar exam and for the past three years I haven’t really had time for hobbies…

Which I then just felt like an idiot. (like that time I realized I wouldn’t have an alibi for most nights) I mean how do you not have time for hobbies?! I was proud of myself for not saying wine, napping, snuggling with winston, or getting pedicures. Pat on the back for that! 

But I am a tad ashamed that I couldn’t come up with more hobbies. Not because I want people to think I am super cool or incredibly outgoing (although of course I am duh) it’s because I’m disappointed in myself. 

So what other hobbies should I plan on starting? Let’s make a list because that’s the only way I get things done apparently… 

1. Rec Sports Leagues: softball or volleyball
2. Cooking: go to some cooking classes to expand my repertoire 
3. Painting: but let’s go beyond paint by numbers. I’d like to actually paint in a field or on a hillside or something
4. Gardening: but what can I grow in Texas? The heat would kill everything right?
5. Running… ummmmmmm
6. Knitting: does that make me sound old? 
7. Yoga? Maybe?

What are your hobbies?

Of course Betty White has some great advice for me…


Thanks Betty, I’ll remember that…


~

Insanity

I’ve been thinking for the past few hours on the word insanity and how the ever brilliant Albert Einstein defied it. I couldn’t sleep so I got up and powered on the laptop to write my thoughts down.

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” 

Is being ‘insane’ a bad thing? Insane as defined by A.E. not the medical community. Is it bad to try something over and over again? Is it bad to not give up on something? Or someone? 

Which takes me to one of my favorite people, Winston Churchill. 

“Never, never, never give up.” 

When does it become too much? When does ‘insanity’ start to hurt you? Does it depend on the thing one might stop trying or the person one might give up on? Does it depend on if it is a ‘thing’ or a ‘person’? Is it alright to give up on ‘things’ but not on ‘people’? Or does it depend on ‘what’ the ‘thing’ or ‘person’ is?

Do you push through pain because that’s when you know it really counts or do you stop when it causes you pain because that’s the cut off? 

Does being ‘insane’ mean you’re stupid or does it mean you love and really care about that thing or person you’re not giving up on? 

You never know do you? You never really know what the correct choice is. 

It’s life. You never really know anything for sure. You can only ask yourself what is truly important: love, faith, family, and friends and you don’t give up on those things. Those things are the only things that are going to mean anything to you in one year, in five years, or in 10 years. 

At the end of your life those are the things you’re going to regret not going ‘insane’ for. 

Go insane for friends.
Go insane for family. 
Go insane for faith. 

Go insane for love. 

~

Mistakes or Lessons?


Mistake: noun, an action or judgment that is misguided or wrong.

Lesson: noun, an amount of teaching given at one time; a period of learning or teaching. 

The word mistake has such a negative connotation, at least in my head, and the word lesson has perhaps not a positive connotation but at least it’s not a negative one. 

As my time of being a student is coming to a close (yes while studying for the bar I am still using my student discount hello) I’ve been reminiscing on the choices I’ve made and if I have any regrets. There have been some that I don’t think I would have made and there are some that I know I would need to make again. Yeah, they would still hurt me or embarrass me but I learned important lessons from them. 

So are they mistakes or are the lessons?

I’ve come to believe that lessons are the product of mistakes, not all mistakes however. Lessons come after a mistake has been made, when you focus on what happened and why. When you learn from a mistake it becomes a lesson. Which for me, while it’s still a mistake, it’s not so horrible. 

The mistakes that are made when I either can’t learn from it or I know I was being blind making the choices that lead to it, those are mistakes that aren’t lessons. Those are the negative mistakes. I hate these. These are the mistakes that I think about days, weeks, months later. 

When a mistake is made and I refuse to learn from it I’d say that’s two mistakes and no lessons and all around bad bad bad. 

So not all mistakes are lessons, but all lessons are mistakes. Yep, I just dropped some logic on you. That’s thanks to law school, which I don’t count as a mistake by the way. 

So answer the question: Mistake or Lesson? 


P.S. There are two giveaways going on right now! One for ad space here on The Duchess of Plumewood and the second on Beyond the Black Suit

~

skeletons in the closet

So maybe this is because I’ve been watching all the Real Housewives and all their crazy skeletons are falling over each other to get out of the closet but it got me thinking… have you ever thought of your skeletons? I mean I don’t have any skeletons like I cheated on someone, or killed someone, or didn’t graduate from college (DUH) but I do have some embarrassing moments in my life that still make me cringe and how I would hate it if someone were to bring it all out on tv in front of everyone… then I made the logical decision to tell everyone in the blogisphere… logical… yeah okay. How I did so well on the logic portion of the LSAT is a mystery I guess.

Anyway. Here you go. My skeleton. My big secret. This is seriously going to make me hide under a blanket for a week. 

The summer before I was going into high school I went to Kanakuk camp in Colorado for two weeks. I was going with three friends but we were all split into different cabins and I was shy and homesick. I mean painfully shy and super homesick. So I brought along the newest Harry Potter book (duh again), my cellphone, and my mom threw in some snacks. Okay so the snacks wouldn’t necessarily keep me from getting homesick but its always nice to bribe some other campers to be your friend when you’ve got skittles right? 

Well our counselors told us all the very first day that we needed to give them all the ‘contraband’ that we had. And what do you know everything I had was contraband. Well I didn’t want to give any of it up so I hid it. The next day while we were all at a bible study they had other counselors go through our stuff. I forgot something in our cabin so my counselor let me go back and get it and when I walk in there is ALL MY STUFF (and a little of someone else’s) in the middle of the floor. I was like sh*********t, except in freshman language, and so I panicked and I hid all my stuff again, and went back to join my cabin. 

We all come back after the event and there were two other girl counselors sitting there and we all had to sit around until I confessed that I had hid my stuff. I was beet red and mortified. None of the campers really cared but all the counselors acted like I had murdered someone. So I had to go have a talk with the director of the camp, and I was a total B to him. At the time I didn’t care but now looking back I’m like who were you and what did you do with katherine!? So I got punished. 

I had to pick weeds for a whole day while one of my cabin counselors watched me, I had to give up my HP book because ‘it was encouraging evil works’ and read a camp approved book. Let me reiterate: I had to PICK WEEDS in FRONT OF THE WHOLE CAMP. I wanted to die. Seriously die. As I’m writing this I’m seriously blushing. 
It wasn’t horrible after, I talked a lot with my counselor and we became close, I got to go mountain biking with the guys the next day where I had a blast and it has taught me many lessons. 
So now all of you know my skeleton. And some of you might laugh and say that is more like a fake skeleton but it was seriously one of the most embarrassing moments of my life!
Are there any skeletons you’d like to share?

PS I do still think Kanakuk was a great camp!

Check out this month’s sponsor:

Let Go & Hope

hope: the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best

Everyone has problems and worries that pile up. Those nagging thoughts that we push to the side, that we sweep under the rug, that we try to hide in a corner of our minds. But those concerns are like that one snag in your tights that keeps growing and growing until it’s so big you could step through the hole and you just want to cry. 

People tell you to let go. Every time I hear someone tell me to ‘let go’ I want to scream. Scream I tell you. (unless they’re singing Let it Go) Do they not understand how important these things are to me? Do they not get that unless some part of my mind worries on these problems then I will never find a solution? Why can they not get it through their minds that I have to constantly focus on the issues, the ones I tried to sweep under the rug, or a solution will never happen, that the knots won’t untie, that the problems will only get more convoluted unless I worry on them?

I know everyone at some time has felt like that. It doesn’t matter the size of the problems, they could be little, they could be big, there could be many, there could be just a few, but they are always right there in the back of your mind so you can worry on them. 

You’ve got to let them go. Cue the screams. 

I once heard a fantastic reasoning behind that scream worthy piece of advice. You let go because you have hope in the future. 

Yeah. I had to pick my jaw off the floor after that one. That really spoke to me. Letting go of your problems doesn’t mean you forget about them or ignore them but it does mean you do what you need to do but you don’t give your problems more time than they deserve. You must have hope that the problems will turn out for the best and you must hold fiercely to that hope. 

So instead of sweeping your problems under the rug and constantly tripping over the pile, gather your problems in a box and put them outside with a ‘free’ sign on them. Let. Them. Go. and revel in your Hope. 

all photos via the amazing evelyn
~

Optimisim


What does optimism mean to you? To me optimism is that you see the world glass half full. Honestly, I find that I do not necessary find myself aligning with the half full camp or the half empty camp all the time. I’m different levels with different people. 

I would love to be more of an optimist through out the whole day and through my whole life. I’ve tried to determine what qualities I’ve been practicing when I am an optimistic, it’s been quite difficult, I mean introspective investigation is not exactly my forte. 

Here are a few of the traits that help people prone to pessimism turn to optimism: 

1. Appreciate the good. Appreciate the bad. Chances are your bad is way better than other people’s good. 

2. Play Would you Rather. Not the normal game mind you but this is a special Katherine would you rather. In my game if something goes wrong think about what else could have gone wrong that would have been worse. For example if you’re on a trip and you forget the book you really wanted to read on the beach. Think about what you’re glad you didn’t forget instead. I’d rather have my swim suit/wedding ring/phone with me than my book, thank God I have it. See?

3. Sleep. When I get enough sleep my day is tens times better. You make better decisions when you’re well rested and most people are happier when they have more than 6 hours of sleep.  

4. Smile. It’s proven to raise your spirits. Plus it makes you look fantastic which makes you feel fantastic. 

5. Choose to be optimistic. Sometimes it’s as easy as making the choice. Choose the positive. Let go of the negative. 

I am really lucky woman because I start every morning optimistic. 

Right after my alarm clock goes off I am so optimistic that I can get two hours worth of morning work done in an hour that I hit snooze a couple times. Shut up alarm clock I’m going back to sleep! 

Glass half full or glass half empty?

~

Discipline

Discipline is doing what needs to be done, even though you don’t want to.”

The word discipline has been on my mind for the past couple of weeks and I have this quote written on five different sticky notes and stuck in five different places around my house. Seriously: bathroom for when I wake up, above my desk, on my fridge, taped to my laptop, and by my tennis shoes. Oh and it’s also what I see when my alarm goes off in the morning!
Discipline is important whether you’re a student, stay at home parent, or 9-5er. Discipline is what gets us up in the morning, makes us go to appointments, and makes us put that delicious looking warm gooey chocolate chip cookie down. 

Sometimes discipline gets a bad rap. People always say oh just give in, just once won’t kill you, or gone on who’ll know? But I’ve come to realize while that might work for some people, it sure as heck doesn’t work for me. 

One time turns into two times and before you know it I’m sleeping in until noon, skipping class, and eating oreos all day. 

For me I think cold-turkey works better and is really my only way. Maybe I could work in a cheat day once in a while since it would be a whole day of netflix, pizza, and naps. Rather than cheating once a day all the time. 

Having self discipline is hard. I sure as heck don’t have it. I want it, but for me it’s a constant struggle. 

Do you have self discipline?

~

Snap Like That

Do you ever just snap?

I mean when you get so mad that you just burst out yelling, or screaming, or sobbing, or shaking. You just snap. 


I’ve done it. Too many times to count, which is somewhat embarrassing, but at the same time it’s me, so I shouldn’t be embarrassed by it. Also I take comfort in the fact that I can’t be the only woman in the world who does this… if you don’t you must be a saint. Well, I’m not. Cheers to the sinners. 

I know its a horrible thing to do and that it ruins relationships. Romantic and familial ones. I suppose business and friendly relationships as well but thank God I find it less appropriate to let my business and friendly relationships know I’m crazy more than my romantic partners and family. 

Of course I’ve come up with a list of things I can do to prevent this “snap” but of course I have reasons to not do these things. It as if the list is a list of things both TO DO and NOT TO DO. Lord help me. 

Here’s the list, you tell me if they’re things I should do or not to do.

1. Speak up when you feel angry or resentful. But would this feel like nagging to the person? I don’t want to be a nag!
2. Take a step back and do something else. But is this more of retreating and walking out on your partner? Just leaving the person in the lurch in the middle of the conversation? 
3. Think of the unpleasant consequences of “snapping”. But wouldn’t that be depressing? And at the same time wouldn’t it feel like I’m not being heard? 
4. Vent to someone else. But why should someone else be on the receiving end of this tirade if they weren’t the person who caused it! 
5. Exercise regularly to get your frustrations out. But actually… no I should really do this one… damn 

What do you think? Good list? Or do you agree with the other part of me? Are you a ‘snapper’?

Make sure to enter the Blogaversary giveaway!
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Breaking up is hard to do…

As weird and horrible as it sounds I fully believe that bad breakups are good for you. Let me hit you with my definition of a ‘bad breakup’. A bad breakup is one in which you either gorge yourself or can’t eat, cry continuously for days, and have to change his name in your phone to DO NOT CALL, JERKFACE, or SHOULD BE KILLED. Yes, those kinds of breakups. The ones where you feel like someone has ripped out your heart, poked it with sharp sticks, and ran it over with a truck. 
Now before you sharpen your pitchforks because you want to Gaston-me for thinking that having your heart trampled is a good thing, hear me out. Or at least give me time to run away…

I’ve been here and let me tell you it really does suck and I am so incredibly happy that it happened. An ex and I had been together for 5 years when we both realized we were trying to keep something together that was a train wreck. We were sick of trying to pretend like that long distance thing was good for us. We were trying to keep something together that was already broken. We had become addicted to the ‘presence’ of each other, addicted to this assured love being in a relationship brought, but not addicted to each other. So we ended it. And in the next two minutes I’m pretty sure I went through a million different emotions: anger, sadness, denial, regret, embarrassment, heartbreak and so on. It didn’t matter that it was pretty mutual or that deep down I knew it was the ‘right thing to do’ it still sucked. Then for the next month it was pretty much the same thing. 

After that month of feeling like my heart was in a blender, ideas slowly started to dawn on me. These revelations that everyone gets at the end of a month long breakup bender are why I truly believe they are good for you. 

1. You realize why the breakup happened: fights, different beliefs, unresolved concerns, or different life plans. It wasn’t because you weren’t pretty enough or skinny enough. It wasn’t because you aren’t ‘lovable’.

2. You learn you can be independent: you learn that you’re strong and that a boy does not define who you are. You see why all those women in the 60’s were burning their bras! You learn that you can thrive in life without a man and you can *gasp* have fun without a partner!

3. You learn what you need in a relationship: you see if you need someone who can take your crankiness in the mornings or someone to just listen without trying to fix the problem? Do you need him to show that he will really ‘leave and cleave’ or perhaps that you will be his first priority? You learn that there are needs that you require that are nonnegotiable. 

4. You learn what you value in a partner: you learn if you need a calming presence or someone to get you out of your comfort zone. Does it mean more to you when your partner gives you flowers randomly or when he always takes out the trash? Do you want them to be honest and completely open or do you want someone to protect you from the ugly in life? Or maybe a bit of both? 

5. You understand that a relationship means teamwork: it cannot be just one person that tries to make the relationship grow. A healthy partnership requires two people to work. If at the end of the day you’d rather give up than work to be with that person then it’s not right. A relationship is a pas de deux, it takes two people moving in sync with each other, supporting each other, making the other look good, with total dedication to make the dance deserving of a standing ovation. 

After becoming a more self-aware person through this crappy time you are ready to find that person who is willing to work with you, learn with you, grow with you, respect you, and love you for the rest of your lives together. 

So let’s recap. Go through hell for a little bit to find happiness? Deal. That’s a good thing in my book. 

PS if you need some happy if you’ve just been through a breakup peruse this
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Breaking up can break your heart

Tom and I broke it off. And it sucks. My heart hurts. And that might sound silly since it is really for the best but I still care about him so I hate hurting him. I mean I’m not an evil person, I don’t take pleasure in making people feel pain, but I truly believe the entire situation would be exponentially worse if we tried to make it work and both ended up married with children and not completely happy. 


I don’t think I could have made him as happy as he should have been in a marriage so that is ultimately why I broke it off. 

Have you ever had a relationship like that? One where you felt that everything was good but it just wasn’t completely sound? 

You know how people liken some breakups to trying to fit a square peg in a round hole? Well this was like trying to fit a square peg in a square hole. Then realizing the peg was blue and you were putting it in the green square. It fit, it works, but it wasn’t perfect for either, and it wasn’t fair to either. And it sure as heck isn’t fair to the green peg and blue square out there looking for their partners!

Tell me you did what I did. Tell me I did the right thing. Tell me it’s going to be fine even though I feel like complete sh*t. 

Tell me someone is bringing wine, Love Actually, and chocolate to my apartment. 

Think I’m a nut job? See my views on marriage
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Sorrow & Loss

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4

Right after Thanksgiving I lost a family member, not a blood relation, but that just sounds like stupid semantics so I insist on calling him my cousin. I knew this boy since he was born, I spent holidays with him, I laughed with him, I teased him (and he teased me), and over the past two months I have grieved for him. 
The news stopped me dead in my tracks and I burst into tears, I could not imagine how his mother and father and sister reacted. At the beginning I felt that my grief wasn’t important as it paled in comparison to his mother and father’s. This was the second child they had been forced to bury and that is sorrow and pain that I cannot fathom. 

I was in the middle of studying for finals and I really did not and do not care that my exams were affected by this because in the grand scheme of life, I’d rather remember him than review for finals. His life was so much greater and vibrant.

How could I express my feelings of sorrow and compassion to his family? I had never lost a family member before except for a great-grandmother, and I had never been so close to death. There were so many things I wanted to tell them but I didn’t want to say the wrong thing. I knew that saying nothing would be horrible so I went with: I love you so much, I am so sorry, and I am here for as long as you need me

Was that enough? Probably not, but what else was there? 

Dealing with sorrow and loss isn’t easy and there is no correct way to do that. What is important is that you are there for the grieving parties. Telling them that you are there and actually being there for anything they need, large or small, is what you need to do. I imagine that the sorrow of the loss of a loved one is something that never ends and being a true friend is what makes that sorrow easier to bear. 

I scrambled to find out what I should be doing because I felt like I had to do something because I couldn’t just stand there and well do nothing. So I made some plans, and others made plans, and others who I didn’t know made plans. If I had to sum it all up on how to help a family through loss it would be this: 

Step 1: Check in while they check out. Bring food, babysit, help sort out affairs, just figure out what things you’d need to survive and realize that they probably are not thinking about those things and bring them.

Step 2: Write it down. You can say all you want but they probably aren’t listening all too well and after they can breathe again they’ll want to remember your kind thoughts. If you drop by a card or a letter that is them hearing your words when they actually can process them. 

Step 3: It’s a marathon not a sprint. They will be flooded with things right away but in a month things will have tapered and there is more time to think and dwell and that is when they will need those letters, those coffee dates, those walks through the park. After six months they’ll still need it. 

I will always wonder what my cousin could have done with his life, I still wonder what his brother could have been and he has been gone for 24 years. I wonder what jokes Chandler would have told over the holidays, if he would have won the dice games we play, and who he would have married.

I miss you Chandler. And that’s okay. 

~

5 Love Languages

Have yall ever read the book or heard of the 5 Love Languages? I was introduced to it my a wonderful friend over two years ago and it has completely changed my outlook on love. How many times have you thought to yourself Why doesn’t my husband/boyfriend show me that he loves me? or I don’t know if my mom knows how much I love her! 

Reading through this books makes you see that people express love and recognize love differently and that if you & your partner or you & whoever don’t have the same ‘love language’ that is where the disconnect happens! Take the quiz on the 5 Love Language website or check out the book! 

My love language is Receiving Gifts, and I get embarrassed when I tell people that because if people haven’t read the book then they automatically think oh what a gold digger how superficial is this girl! And I’m not! (okay I do like nice things, I mean who doesn’t) But what that means is that to me it’s not the material value of the gift, it’s the fact that when someone gives me a gift I recognize the amount of time it took for that person to either search for the perfect gift and send it or the fact that when they spotted whatever-it-is they were thinking of me! All of that is behind the gift! 

Things that I consider gifts (that other people might not): letters, a pretty leaf, bringing home dinner, gum, a picture!

The disconnect happens when the person who is trying to show me love doesn’t speak my love language or when I’m trying to show my loved one love but their primary love language isn’t the one I’m speaking! 
Understanding how you ‘speak’ love and how your family ‘speaks’ love makes the ‘conversations’ so much easier! 
that picture is both of us speaking each other’s love languages: his gift to me is dancing with me and since his love language is physical touch I made sure it was a slow dance
~

Scarlett Raviss

Meet my alter ego. Her name is Scarlett Raviss. How did I get that name? Oh well it was at my 21st birthday party in Vegas at a stripper 101 class. Okay okay we did NOT strip but it was a hilarious class that included my mom, my grandmother, my aunts, and other women who are basically my aunts. We all got a “certification card” at the end and we had to put down our new name, mine was Scarlett Raviss, I wasn’t about to put down Candy or Cookie, so I went historical with some Scarlett O’Hara inspiration and the last name means ‘ravishing’ in Middle French. (yeah that’s right, middle french, I was going to minor in French deal with it)

 

 I like to think Scarlett has always been around. She normally shows herself (not like that geez) during dance. She’s really confident, outspoken, ravishing, and incredibly enchanting. Sometimes I borrow a little from Scarlett when I (Katherine) am feeling shy or I need a confidence boost. 

 this was in a bathroom… I matched the walls

There are other famous alter egos Beyonce has Sasha Fierce, Sasha Baron Cohen has Ali G, Clark Kent has Superman, Sabrina has The Teenage Witch (maybe?), Lady Gaga has Joe Calderone, and David Bowie has Ziggy Stardust. So Scarlett Raviss isn’t that crazy right? 

 
I think this might be my favorite picture

Apparently I’ve always had Scarlett inside me…

Do you have an alter ego?

Check out this month’s sponsor:

I’ve got a fever

“Fever – in the morning, fever all through the night”
– Fever by Peggy Lee
I’ve got a fever and it isn’t one you can read on a thermometer, the fever I’ve got is baby fever. Oh and it’s real. Seriously
I feel like EVERYONE around me is either getting engaged or getting pregnant or having babies. Does anyone else feel like this? Now I don’t feel that inexplicable urge to walk down the aisle, aka wedding fever, but I’ve been overcome lately with that inexplicable urge to have a baby. A mini-me or a mini-whoever. 
Do I really want a baby? No. Do I think I’m old enough or mature enough for one? Nope. Am I ready to put everything I want to do on hold for a munchkin? Not yet. Do I think I would be a good mom? Well, heck yes! But my point is that my brain knows I don’t want a baby but my uterus heart is like ummmm excuse me let’s get on this popping out little humans thing
I mean I held that itty bitty in the above picture on the 4th of July courtesy of Tom’s cousin, I held another teeny weenie at a wedding we went to over the summer, and Tom’s sister is about to pop with twins! Who I will probably not put down over Thanksgiving! Plus there was the whole Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George thing… yeah. Babies, babies, BABIES!
What is up?! 
Maybe I just need to babysit a baby for a week or so to cool down this fever. Anyone have a small child they need help watching? Wow that sounded super creepy. I guess I will just have to solider through and feed the fever with holding the twins in November. 
Anyone else feeling the baby fever? 

Check out this month’s sponsor:

Guilty

photo via pinterest

Have you ever noticed that in any Law and Order (esque) show the worst thing the suspect can say is that at the time of the crime they were “at home all alone”? Yeah I have. Seriously, all the creepy pedophile guy has to do is say “I was at home watching Family Guy reruns” and in my head I go you’re going down you guilty sicko! I mean it might have something to do with how creepy he looks and that he watches family guy by himself… but then it’s also the fact that the dude is at home by himself.

Then I realize I’m watching Law and Order at night at home all by myself. 
*smacks forehead* 
How sad is it that it takes a guilty pedophile on Law and Order to make myself realize law school has completely taken over my life?! All I do is go to class, work, read for class, and on the occasions that I have a random hour where I cannot stand to blind my eyes with the UCC anymore I watch tv. BY MYSELF. 
I think I could count on one hand the number of times I’ve met up with friends the past month. Seriously my “going out” is going to target or the gym. 
I keep imagining myself on the witness stand with a prosecutor demolishing me because my alibi is a Friends rerun and the jury box looks at me and slowly they all put their hands to their forehead and make the ‘L’ for loser. 
SAVE ME FROM MYSELF! 
Does anyone else ever feel like a loser?

PS yes I know the picture is Marilyn Monroe but I’d like to imagine I look that good when I’m being lazy… let me hang onto that vision 

shame shame shame

photo via pinterest
 

I hate running. Seriously I hate it. I would love to be one of those people who can run for miles and love every step. I would love to love running but. I. DONT. Maybe I will. Maybe I won’t. But all I know right now is that I did not keep to my half marathon training schedule and I will not be running one in August. Excuse me while I cover my face in shame…

In all honesty I probably will put a half marathon back on my bucket list for next year because it was a constant reminder to get my butt out the door. Plus I think I know now that because I really detest running I am going to have to have a longer training process. Longer than two months! So now there will be at least two things that will not get crossed off mu bucket list: 1. the half marathon and 2. celebrating mardi gras in NOLA. While NOLA was a little out of my control (hello law student budget) the half marathon was completely in my control and I think that is what makes me feel so bad. I feel like I let myself down and I’m embarrased because there is nothign whatsoever to blame for not completing the half except for myself. And when you are the only thing that stands between yourself and your goals it really sucks.

So here’s to honesty, embarassment, owning the shame, and planning for next year.

Have you ever felt like this?

Thriving.

Do you ever have that feeling where you know you’re so far behind and it’s all you can do to keep your head above water and even with that you’re still behind? Oh and then to cap it all off it seems like everyone else has their ducks in a perfectly ordered ombre height line row?

Yeah, I’m having that kind of week, oh call BS on that, I’ve been feeling like that since I entered into law school. There is a picture that floated around my 1L class that pretty much explains law school life in very simplistic terms:

In law school you run on too little sleep, too little fun social interaction, too much stress, and too many assignments. Throughout it all you keep going. For some unimaginable reason, you keep going.

I always remind myself of something I read in high school when the stress starts to get to me.  A blurb from a book…

“‘Face it,’ Gary told her kindly. ‘You’ll never catch up. You just do as much as you can and take the punishments without saying anything. Sometimes I wonder if that isn’t what they’re trying to teach us-to take plenty and keep our mouths shut.'”

                                                                           – Tamora Pierce, Alanna: The First Adventure 

While it’s a stark view of life (and law school) it’s true. You do as much as you can, make it as much fun it can be, and try to be happy throughout it all. Life. It’s messy, it’s a struggle, it’s hard, but it is so dang beautiful.

So if I’m getting by then I’d consider myself to be thriving. Cheers to that! But you’ll have to cheers  for me since I’m in study crunch time.

So here’s to you, here’s to me, and here’s to thriving.

Let’s get real

On many of the blogs that I read daily I’ve noticed a trend over the past couple of months. Many women have written about or at least alluded to the fact that their lives aren’t perfect. Shocker. But seriously, I think it’s great for bloggers to get that out in the open. My life is far from perfect and for those of you that know me you’re probably going well yes Katherine we knew that but for those of you that think my life is perfect (that just sounds so high and mighty), or at least more perfect than yours, let me let you in on a not so little not so secret secret: it’s not.

Bloggers have a tendency to only put the good out in the world, which I fully appreciate. I mean who wants to go read someone who complains and b*tch*es for a whole page? No one does. We all want the pretty,  the nice, and the inspiring so this isn’t about complaints or criticisms this is about everyone seeing women for who they are: real women.

Real women can’t always shop at J Crew or Ralph Lauren every day (or every year for that matter), real women can’t always bake like the Barefoot Contessa all the time, real women can’t always craft like Martha, real women can’t always work out 24/7, real women aren’t always size 2s, and real women can’t keep it all together all the time. So yes the pictures that bloggers post might look perfect but let me tell you they are probably the 165th picture of the cake or flower or outfit or handmade diorama of the solar system that they took. It was also the fourth cake, eighth flower arrangement, 25th outfit pose, and 12th diorama they made. (Who would make 12 dioramas of the solar system I don’t know but just go with it)

As long as everyone knows that those perfect pictures that you see on blogs, or those fashion compilations, or gift guides have a perfectly imperfect person behind them it’s all good. I mean I’m obviously all for trying to get the perfect picture or I wouldn’t shove the camera at Tom and go “take some artistic shots” then try not to laugh as he proceeds to crack up. The things I go through… 

Anyway what I’m trying to say is that I don’t ever want anyone to feel unimportant, unsatisfied, or un-anything when they read my or anyone else’s blog! We are all imperfect women trying to bring a little bit of sunshine into the world.

My wish when you read my blog: I hope you’re never underwhelmed and I hope you’re never overwhelmed, I hope you’re whelmed (if that’s possible).

10 points if you got the movie hint from that…

So here’s to being perfectly imperfect… which is perfect. 
Got that? 
PS make sure to enter the Drybar giveaway