Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Some Pretty Snowy Shots

Per usual, my little school in upstate New York is getting dumped on. Probably not quite as badly as the "near apocalyptic" amount that New York city is supposed to get but we're still getting snow. Although I have to admit, coming from Maine I always feel as though people overreact way too much. Unless you experience the sudden eight feet which Buffalo experienced this past November you cannot complain.

While I was walking around I thought I'd get some photos of the snow because no matter how chilled to the bone we are I think it's still super beautiful outside. If only I had a pair of skies with me to trek across campus instead of slipping around in my boots.

I have a slight obsession with doors. I just love how beautiful they can be as an entrance into a space. So I couldn't help but take a snowy picture of this barn door.

If it's been super snowy by you I hope you were all tucked safely away in your homes until the storm finished. I know when I was out taking these photos I wanted to be under my blankets in my bed with a hot cup of tea.

oxo Caitlin

Monday, January 26, 2015

Weekend Happenings!

I've been trying to document my life through photos this semester. I noticed that I have probably thousands of photos from my semester abroad but I barely have any photos from my nearly four years at school. I've never been much of a selfie taker but I do like taking photos of things and places I've been so I'm going to try and document the everyday things that I do.  I thought I'd start out with this weekend and talk a little bit about what I was up to.

This was the first official weekend back from break so my friends spent the night sipping wine at a local bar called microclimate. There comes a time in life when you learn that alcohol can actually be enjoyed without guzzling it down by the barrel full.  I have reached that point. It's funny how much more enjoyable it is to spend time chatting with friends in a classy bar where you can actually hear everyone's voice without shouting.

The wine glasses were so pretty I couldn't help but get a couple of camera shots.  I also discovered my love for dry Riesling.  Sweet wines are kind of sickening to me but dry wines are smooth and perfect.

My first Saturday back was spent mostly in my bed relaxing in the calm before the storm of the semester hits home.  I made a trip to Walmart where I discovered the yarn section.  I'm knitting another hat.  I may be a little addicted to hat knitting. Pretty soon I'm going to run out of people to knit for. 

Sunday morning was a brunch with friends morning.  We went all out with waffles, strawberry banana smoothies and the cheesiest popovers you ever did see. 

If you have never had the pleasure of eating a popover you are truly missing out.  They are perfectly eggy puffs of stretchy dough.  Martha does a pretty good job of explaining how to make them so buy a pan and get cooking!  One hint though, make sure all your ingredients are room temperature.  It will limit the sticking.

 Anyway that was my weekend, minus a pretty good amount of homework that has to get done before the craziness of the week returns. I'm not going to promise a weekend post every week but I will try. I hope you had an equally lovely weekend filled with food and friends!

oxo Caitlin

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Getting organized

On top of the goals I posted here the other day I also want to get organized.  My mom and my sister are such neat freaks. I swear, together their motto should be, everything has it's place and if it doesn't you should throw it out because it doesn't belong.  I've always thought being organized could lead to a less stressful life.  Here I want to highlight a few things I'm doing to make my life more organized.

A Planner

I know this pretty basic but buying a planner is something I've neglected to do for a while now. This has lead me to double book myself in the past and forget appointments and assignments. It's important to realize that you cannot hold all of live's important details in your mind at once.

Right now planners are all over the place because of the new year and you can get them pretty cheap. I purchased a super small one from Walmart a few weeks ago. I find that writing things down by hand helps me remember better but if you like having reminders pop up on your devices those work well, too. One must have for me is enough room to fit everything into the notepad.  I can't just use those whole calendar ones I need more room on each day.

Organize my wires

My cords and wires are always getting tangled and I think it has been driving my mom pretty crazy because this year I found these Quirky bandits bungee cords in my stocking. All I can say is they are the best. They come in a bunch of sizes and can be used as carabiners, key rings, and just about anything else you can imagine.  Right now I'm using them to hold together unruly wires. I don't know about you, but I always have tangled wires but with these helpful little clips everything stays together.  I also think they would be great for traveling.

Getting rid of unused items

This year is going to be the year that I get rid of everything I don't want anymore. First I will clear out  of my college town for the final time.  I can give you some good advise if you are in college or are moving back home from college and you want to organize your closet.  Don't unpack anything until you have cleared out your closet.  Chances are you brought only the things you wear to school so now is the chance to go through everything you left at home.  Do you really need that dress from your sophomore year in high school?  How about those skinny jeans that are just a little too skinny now? Keep only the things you're sure you will wear.  Then unpack everything from school into your clean closet.

This summer I will also be taking on the daunting task of deciding what I do and do not want from my childhood bedroom.  To tell you the truth, I am a little scared of doing this.  Not only will it take a long time to empty that room of 18 years worth of stuff but it will also symbolize my move toward adulthood and the real world.  I know it's going to be difficult to relinquish some of my childhood memories.

I'd love to hear about your experience organizing your life. Do you have any organizational hacks?  Also what was it like cleaning out your childhood bedroom?

oxo Caitlin

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Knitting Obsessions

Recently I've become a crazy knitting lady when it comes to hats! I've been knitting for a few years but I haven't tried my hand at any hats. To be honest, I wanted to knit hats for a while but I was afraid of knitting in the round. I had convinced myself that knitting in the round was super difficult.  Luckily, I live with probably one of the worlds greatest knitters and she convinced me that it was actually pretty easy.  

I find that it's much easier to learn a new stitch by watching someone rather than reading the directions.  By watching you can see how the yarn is held and where the needles are supposed to go.  I found this super simple tutorial on YouTube that you can check out if you want to give hat knitting a go. The pattern is knit in super bulky yarn which is a great for beginners and knits up quickly.

Since starting I have knit four hats. The first one is seen above and was for myself. It was mostly a tester hat so it fits a little strange but I love the color. The other three have been gifts for the holidays. For the most part these are all knit with the same basic pattern as the one I posted above.  I have started experimenting with different stitches to add more texture to the hat. 

At this point it probably takes me about four hours to start and complete a hat like the one above which is a much smaller time commitment than something like a scarf. If you get good enough to watch TV while knitting that's only an afternoon of Netflix, and let's be honest, you were going to bing watch Friends this weekend anyway. 

I hope if you're like me and think knitting in the round is daunting have no fear! It's much easier than you would think and at the end you will have a wonderful winter hat to keep you warm.

Good Luck!

oxo Caitlin 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

New Years Goals

Up until this year I've never made serious New Year resolutions.  Like so many other people, my fleeting ideas about how I'd like to change myself in the new year have come and gone in under 12 hours.  If everything goes as planned this year, which it probably won't let's face it, this year will be a big change. No matter what though I will begin to slip slowly toward adulthood and I want to make it as wonderful as I can.

This year, rather than making resolutions I have been inspired by Ellie and Jared to make goals this year. (Side note if you like watching families Ellie, Jared, and the adorable baby are awesome!) In their video they discussed how goals should be fun, smart, measurable, and attainable.  Now I think goals are better than resolutions because they are more flexible so you don't have the tendency to break them as easily.

So here are some of my goals for 2015! I hope I am able to accomplish all of them at least in part.

1. Build a working cookbook.

Since the summer I have been having a lot of fun in the kitchen and I want to continue to build my skills.  I also want to build up a bunch of go to recipes when I've feeling uninspired or tired in the kitchen.  Also I've learned that cooking is a great skill for the future.  Home cooked meals are usually healthier and easier on your wallet!

I kind of started this last year but I really want to write these down so I can just grab the ingredients and go. At some point I'd also love to take photos of the different dishes so I can flip through and see what I want.  After all, the eyes are the window to the stomach.

2. Be more active

After I returned from being abroad a year ago I went to the gym with my mom three days a week.  While there I saw my body tone up and become stronger.  I miss my toned muscles and the way the gym made me feel.  This year I'm going to try to be more active.  I want to set a precedent for the rest of my life. I don't have any particular weight goals.  I really don't need to lose weight but I would like to get to the gym two days a week.

3. Advocate for myself

I think the number one thing I want to start doing is having a voice. I've noticed over the past few years that I tend to go with the flow even if I feel I could be doing something better.  For example, I don't always find better alternatives and I don't ask for more than what is given to me.  But life isn't handed to you.  You have to go out and find opportunities and work for them.  If you don't they will never come.  This year I hope to ask more questions, get more of what I want, and become more outspoken.  Of course I don't want to be pushy.  I just want to be a girl who knows what she wants.

4. Enjoy my last semester of college

I think this goes without saying but I seriously want to enjoy my final semester at college. I want to do things that I haven't done before because I put it off.  I want to do more service for the community.  I also want to enjoy spending time with my friends.  In a few short months we will all be headed in different directions and who knows when we will see each other again.

So those are my goals for this year.  I hope to keep reminding myself of them and continue to work towards them.  The reason to set goals is to better yourself and your life.  I'm a firm believer of habits and if you set the precedent of making the keeping up with goals you will do so for the rest of your life.

What are some of your goals for this year? They don't have to be huge or life changing and they don't have to just mean saying you'll go to the gym every day of the week. Even if you don't set goals I hope 2015 is your happiest year yet!

xox Caitlin