Project 365 | Week 51

Happy Friday! I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas this past Wednesday. My Week 51 post has been a bit delayed because I'm recovering from PRK (ASA) eye surgery. I've still been taking pictures, but things have just been a little blurry since last Thursday. Hoping for beautiful, clear eyesight in 2014!

Here are my pictures for Week 51:

Christmas card
350/365: This year's Christmas card

Project 365 | Week 50

This project is quickly wrapping up. It's hard to believe I'm posting my pictures from Week 50 already, but I'm definitely at the point where I'm tired of taking a picture every day. Just a few more days and 2014 will be here!

These are my pictures for Week 50:

Red velvet cocoa
343/365: Red velvet hot cocoa

Project 365 | Week 49

Happy Monday! It actually feels like winter here in Austin (well, winter for Texas). This past week brought icy conditions, cold weather, and lots of hot chocolate. Both Sammy and I enjoyed staying inside and watching the twinkle lights on the Christmas tree. This weekend I also played bells in the Christmas concert at church and was happy to have Mom and Dad in Austin to hear me.

Here are my pictures for Week 49:

Christmas ornaments
336/365: A few of my ornaments

November 2013 Round-up

Lovely fall color

Since December seemed to sneak up on me this past weekend, I almost forgot to write my November round-up post. So before I get too wrapped up in the excitement of the holiday season, here are a few highlights from the past month:

  • Spending four out of the five weekends in November with my family.
  • Meeting Mom and Esther in Houston for the Nutcracker Market and church sale. We had a great time, even if everywhere we went was extremely crowded.
  • Enjoying my first Starbucks peppermint hot chocolate of the season.
  • Playing bells in church one Sunday. The organ and a trumpet player accompanied us, so it really sounded nice.
  • Receiving a good report from the dentist — no cavities!
  • Celebrating Thanksgiving with my parents. We ate dinner at Mimi's Cafe and attended the UT-Texas Tech game that night (the Horns won!). Over the weekend, we drove out to Fredericksburg and stayed in a cottage there for a few days.
  • Enjoying some cooler temperatures for a few days. It finally feels like fall!
  • Adding a third bookcase to my library. I now have a full wall of books!

Books I read: The Mask Carver's Son (Alyson Richman); I'm currently halfway finished with Edward Rutherfurd's Paris (the book is over 800 pages).

Movies I watched: Enough Said, The Book Thief, The Hunger Games (DVD)

TV: Dancing with the Stars, Castle, Grey's Anatomy, Parenthood, The Paradise, Call the Midwife (Season 2 DVD), Grand Prix Series (figure skating), college football & basketball

About My Monthly Round-Ups
At the end of each month, I take a look back and write a post about the month's highlights, as well as what I read and watched. To see all of my round-up posts, visit this page.

Project 365 | Week 48

Happy, happy December! Can the last month of the year really be here already? This past week I was excited to celebrate the Thanksgiving holidays with my parents. We ate Thanksgiving dinner at Mimi's Cafe, cheered the Horns on to victory against Texas Tech (while trying to stay warm), and spent several enjoyable days in Fredericksburg. It was a nice way to begin the Christmas season.

Here are my pictures for Week 48:

Morning & night
329/365: Morning and night

Project 365 | Week 47

Greeting from chilly Austin! It's been cold and wet all weekend. I've enjoyed spending a lot of time inside but did venture out a few times both Saturday and Sunday. I'm definitely looking forward to next week. There are only have two and a half days of work, and then my parents come down to Austin to celebrate the Thanksgiving holidays with me.

Here are my pictures for Week 47:

322/365: Made it through another successful dentist visit

This and That

Just a little bit of this and that on this lovely Thursday evening.

Yesterday I discovered an interesting website called Histagrams. On the site, historic events are depicted as Instagram posts. It's a fun place to scroll through if you have some free time. As an American Studies major, I loved the Histagram about Paul Revere's famous ride.

Have you seen the new K-Mart Christmas commercial yet? It's been a little controversial, but I'm just glad bell ringing is getting more attention.

The Hunger Games starring cats? Well, why not?

Have a wonderful Friday, everyone!

Project 365 | Week 46

Happy Monday! This past week, we experienced the first real cold snap of the season, and I celebrated with a peppermint hot chocolate from Starbucks. By the weekend, however, it was in the mid-80s, and I had the AC on in my apartment. Texas gotta love it.

Here are my pictures for Week 46:

Sunset at Target
315/365: Sunset at Target

Returning to Anne

Green Gables

As you may remember, one of my goals for this year was to reread the Anne books. (If you're not familiar with them, the books were written by L.M. Montgomery and begin with Anne of Green Gables.) This past summer I carved out some time to do just that — I returned to the world of Avonlea and Glen St. Mary, Anne and Diana, Matthew and Marilla. It was a trip down memory lane, perhaps when I needed it the most.

Growing up, I read these books over and over (and over) again. As I read them this summer, I was struck by how much my ideas on life and friendship and romance have been shaped by these stories. In fact, I still continue to enjoy "slice of life" books, movies, and TV shows more than almost any other. After all, isn't Stars Hollow simply a modern-day, slightly more quirky, Avonlea? (Rachel Lynde would get along quite handsomely with Taylor Doose, I think.)

The books I loved most as a pre-teen (Anne of Green Gables, Anne of the Island, Anne's House of Dreams) were still the ones I enjoyed now. Anne of Windy Poplars and Rainbow Valley were my least favorites once again, but they were still lovely in their own way. In fact, two of my favorite quotes (below) were from these last two books.

These books will always hold a special place in my heart, and I'm so glad I took the opportunity to experience them again this summer.

Some of my favorite quotes from the Anne books:

"Humour is the spiciest condiment in the feast of existence. Laugh at your mistakes but learn from them, joke over your troubles but gather strength from them, make a jest of your difficulties but overcome them." (Anne of the Island)

"You've made me happy ... you are always making people happy. Why, whenever you come into a room, Miss Shirley, the people in it feel happier." (Anne of Windy Poplars)

"It is never quite safe to think we have done with life. When we imagine we have finished our story fate has a trick of turning the page and showing us yet another chapter." (Rainbow Valley)

Project 365 | Week 45

I hope all of you have a nice Monday. It was difficult to return back to work this morning after my fun weekend with Mom and Esther. They invited me to join them on their annual Houston shopping trip, and I enjoyed experiencing the church sale and the Nutcracker Market for the first time (even if both were very crowded). It was a nice way to kick off the Christmas season.

Here are my pictures for Week 45:

Best friends
308/365: Best friends

Week in the Life 2013

Last week (Monday, October 28 – Sunday, November 3) I completed my second Week in the Life project. There was nothing really special about this week, but I liked that my family would be in town for the UT football game during this time. I tried to keep things as simple as possible; I used my iPhone camera for most pictures and documented my day in Day One, which I do almost every day anyway.

I'm still deciding exactly how I want to pull everything together. At this point, I'm leaning toward using Design F pages in my Project Life album (I took mostly vertical pictures with these pages in mind).

Here's a brief glimpse at my Week in the Life:


Monday | Cheerios for breakfast. Maxi dress day. Walking the stairs. Working hard. Spending time with Sammy. After-work trip to Walmart. Driving home. Sunset. Time for bed.


Tuesday | Good morning, Sammy! Morning iPad time. Brushing my teeth. Weekly one-on-one. Picking up chicken noodle soup at Jason's Deli. Working from home in the afternoon. Currently watching. Currently reading. Daily journal.


Wednesday | Morning blogs. Double vision. Chick-fil-A lunch. Working. Taking the stairs. Making a tuna sandwich. Ring those bells. Rainy night. Red Sox win!


Thursday | Boston Strong. Morning sky. Figuring out the office web cam. Lunch at Panera Bread. Office mascots. Setting sun. Trip to Michaels. Driving home. Getting crafty.


Friday | Skating + Cheerios = Good start to the morning. Morning light. Working. Trip to Sonic. Sammy tries to be helpful. Trip to Target. More skating. Sammy awaits our visitors (or watches a bug). On my coffee table.


Saturday | Breakfast with the family. Dad and his Sam cat. Half-Price Books. UT-Kansas football. Horns win, 35-13. Hook 'em! Checking out at IKEA. Enjoying Amy's Ice Cream.


Sunday | Getting ready for church. Packing up to go home. Mighty Fine Burgers. Target self-portrait. Christmas foxes. Apartment. Evening walk. Sunset. Folding laundry.

This is such a time-intensive project that while I'm always happy with the final product, sometimes the work involved isn't always worth it (for me). I may think about doing a day in the life in the future because that seems like a much better time frame.

You can read about my first Week in the Life project from May 2012 here.


Hook 'em!

It's been a while since I've written one of these posts, so I thought today was as good a day as any. Currently, I am...

Looking forward to my Houston shopping trip with Mom and Esther this weekend.

Relating a little bit too much to this parody video of Taylor Swift's "22."

Trying to adjust to the time change last weekend. I don't like having the sun set at 6 p.m.

Living with books stacked here, there, and everywhere. We bought a new bookcase on Saturday, and I don't have everything arranged yet.

Wondering what I've done to make the battery life on my iPhone so awful.

Wishing Thanksgiving received more respect but still feeling drawn to Christmas displays while shopping.

Reading The Mask Carver's Son by Alyson Richman.

Preparing to say goodbye to my office BFF, Michelle. :(

Dreaming of Paris and London and Oxford.

Project 365 | Week 44

As I mentioned yesterday, I worked on my second Week in the Life project last week. I had a lot of pictures to choose from each day, so it was a little challenging to pick just one. However, it was much nicer than the weeks when I take too few photos.

Here are my pictures for Week 44:

Morning breakfast
301/365: Eating my morning Cheerios

October 2013 Round-up


Happy Sunday and end of Daylight Savings Time! Since we're already three days into November, it's time for my October round-up. Here are a few highlights from the past month:

  • Enjoying a special "me day" on my birthday — exploring South Congress, visiting a vintage shop called Room Service, and treating myself to a nice, long pedicure.
  • Watching gymnastics and figure skating on Universal Sports, my new favorite TV station. I've dreamed about having the station for several years, and it's amazing to have it just in time for the Olympic season.
  • Visiting Brushy Creek Lake Park in Cedar Park for the first time.
  • Eating lunch outside for a few days at the beginning of the month.
  • Celebrating UT's victory over OU in the Red River Rivalry.
  • Spending a long weekend with my parents in Missouri and Arkansas. I enjoyed staying at Big Cedar Lodge and visiting the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.
  • Working on my second Week in the Life project during the last week of the month.

Books I read: Romancing Miss Brontë (Juliet Gael); The Fault in Our Stars (John Green)

Movies I watched: Funny Face & My Fair Lady (apparently I was on an Audrey Hepburn kick)

TV: Dancing with the Stars, Castle, Grey's Anatomy, Parenthood, The Paradise, Downton Abbey (Season 3 DVD), World Gymnastics Championships, Skate America & Skate Canada, college football, World Series (Go, Sox!)


About My Monthly Round-Ups
At the end of each month, I take a look back and write a post about the month's highlights, as well as what I read and watched. To see all of my round-up posts, visit this page.

Weekend Getaway | Missouri and Arkansas

Big Cedar 1

Two weekends ago, I met my parents in Missouri and Arkansas. I flew into Little Rock on Thursday, October 17, and after a little shopping and exploring on Friday morning, we drove up to Big Cedar Lodge outside of Branson, Missouri, in the afternoon. The drive was long, but I passed the time "fingering" a new scarf (a technique Mom taught me along the way).

100 Day Countdown

Olympic Training Center

Today marks 100 days until the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. As an Olympic junkie, the closer we get to the opening ceremonies, the more excited I will be. And with performances like this already, I think we're in for a good show in the figure skating competition...

Project 365 | Week 43

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope all of you have a good start to your week. This past week was rather ordinary for me as far as pictures go, but some weeks are just like that. I'm beginning to count down the days until this project is finished (I took picture 300 this week!), but I still enjoy seeing everything come together.

My pictures for Week 43:

A game of chess
294/365: A game of chess in Northwest Arkansas

Friday Finds

Yellow leaves

Happy Friday! This was a short work week for me since I flew home from Arkansas on Monday. It was quite a change to come back to the warmer temperatures of Austin after enjoying more fall-like weather in Missouri and Arkansas. Even though I should know better, I have to keep reminding myself that Texas doesn't follow the same fall schedule as New England and other parts of the country. Fall (and fall colors) will come — but probably not until November.

Here are a few things that caught my eye this week:

Anne Frank exhibit at the Museum of Tolerance

Super creative Halloween costumes

Which state are you? (I'm North Carolina!)

A history of Olympic boycotts (reminds me of the paper I wrote in grad school)

The guest of honor at a Japanese bar? Penguins!

Enjoy your weekend!

Project 365 | Week 42

Greetings from Austin! I'm back home after spending a long weekend with my parents in Missouri and Arkansas. We had a great time together, but it was nice to return home to Sammy this afternoon. Now it's back to real life tomorrow.

Here are my photos for Week 42:

Rainy Monday
287/365: Rainy Monday

Apartment Projects




Back in March, my mom spent a weekend with me here in Austin. We had a lot of fun exploring Marble Falls and South Congress, and we also worked on several projects around my apartment. I had planned to write about these much sooner, but other things always seemed to get in the way. After a few subtle hints from my mom, I decided to write a quick wrap-up posts about what we did.

Over the course of the weekend, we completed the following projects:
  • Painted my coffee and end tables using blue chalk paint
  • Painted the bottom part of my sofa table using teal chalk paint
  • Hung new drapes in my bedroom
  • Added a new duvet cover to my bed
  • Created a gallery wall in my bedroom



Project 365 | Week 41

Before I share my pictures, I just have to revel a little more in UT's victory over OU on Saturday. I really wasn't expecting the Longhorns to win, but I will gladly take it. Hook 'em, Horns!

The other highlight of the week was enjoying such nice weather before the much-needed rain during the weekend. It was wonderful to spend a little time eating lunch and reading outside during my lunch break.

Here are my pictures for Week 41:

View at lunch
280/365: View from my table at lunch

Friday Finds

I couldn't resist this little stuffed longhorn!

Happy Friday! I hope all of you have had a nice week. This weekend I had planned to make a quick trip out to Marble Falls on Saturday, but the rain may keep me in Austin. (I never complain about rain, though.) Instead, I plan to spend my time inside watching the UT-OU game and venture out for a movie if Sammy and I need some time apart.

Hope all of you enjoy your weekend! Here are a few things that caught my eye this week:

The truth about Bevo (and 9 more UT facts)

DIY: Textured Planters

The most famous book set in each state

Beautiful hot balloons

Book page pumpkins

Other pumpkin ideas

P.S. The last trip Mom and I took out to Marble Falls.

Project 365 | Week 40

Happy Sunday evening! This past week was an exciting one as I celebrated my birthday on Wednesday with a day off from work. I also enjoyed a relaxing weekend: on Saturday I watched gymnastics (on Universal Sports!) and my Downton Abbey Season 3 DVDs, and today I explored Brushy Creek Lake Park while I talked with Mom and Dad on the phone.

Here are my pictures for Week 40:

End-of-day shadow
273/365: Long day, long shadow

Friday Finds

Remember when I wrote a post each Friday about some of my favorite articles of the week? It's definitely been a long time, but I decided to get back in the habit this week. Here are some of the things that caught my eye over the last few days:

Americana by moonlight (some of the pictures reminded me of Bill Bryson)

Portraits of 2014 U.S. Winter Olympians

Hand-stamped clementine wall

The U.S. does it again: Biles & Ross finish 1-2 in the all-around

Amazing Austin time-lapse video

Have a wonderful weekend!

Today, I Give Thanks


A couple years ago, I celebrated my 30th birthday by giving thanks for 30 things. As I turn 32 today, I thought I would record 32 things I am thankful for this year (in no particular order).
  1. My family
  2. My friends
  3. Sammy
  4. Excellent public libraries (free books and DVDs!)
  5. Figure skating
  6. My health
  7. Laughing until I cry
  8. Conversations with my dad that cover everything from politics to sports to current events
  9. Pumpkins
  10. Singing every word to a Dixie Chicks song while I'm driving
  11. Sunday conversations with my family
  12. My collection of everyday photos with Project 365
  13. Evening walks
  14. Books
  15. Organizing (my apartment, my craft supplies, my work schedule)
  16. Wildflowers in the spring
  17. Vacation planning
  18. The Austin office, especially my fellow writers and Michelle 
  19. My trusty iPhone
  20. Keeping a few succulents alive this past summer
  21. Sharing inside jokes with my brother ("I just heard that song again...")
  22. Watching movies at Arbor Cinema or the new Alamo Drafthouse
  23. Esther's wonderful cakes
  24. Fall foliage
  25. Playing handbells with the Hallelujah Ringers
  26. Making people laugh
  27. Cupcakes, cookies, s'mores, and other treats
  28. Spending time at the farm
  29. Yummy Tex-Mex food, especially Chuy's and its creamy jalapeno sauce
  30. Pens and notebooks and office supplies of all kinds
  31. Spending quality time with my mom shopping, chatting, and enjoying being together
  32. Continuing to learn new things at work and at home

September 2013 Round-up

And another month comes to an end! Here are my highlights for September 2013:

  • Spending Labor Day Weekend with my family in Austin. On Sunday we went down to San Marcos to shop the outlets and then ate dinner at the Gristmill in Gruene to celebrate Mom's birthday.
  • Driving over to the Hill Country Galleria on Labor Day to shop and look around. I found some great deals at Homegoods and Michaels.
  • Seeing a rainbow after work one day.
  • Playing bells in church during a football weekend. I love it when the whole family can hear me play.
  • Traveling home to Henderson during the last weekend of this month. It was great spending time with the whole family and celebrating my birthday a little early.
  • Watching the Longhorns beat K-State for the first time since 2003. It was a good victory after two straight losses (even if we had to fight the crickets in the stands).
  • Meeting Louis, the new neighborhood cat. Sammy was not impressed, however.

Books I read: The Young Clementina (D.E. Stevenson); Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times (Jennifer Worth)

Movies I watched: Austenland, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (DVR), Thelma and Louise (DVD)

TV: Yay for the return of fall TV and some of my favorites — Dancing with the Stars, Castle, and Grey's Anatomy

The drive home to Austin

About My Monthly Round-Ups
At the end of each month, I take a look back and write a post about the month's highlights, as well as what I read and watched. To see all of my round-up posts, visit this page.

Project 365 | Week 39

Happy Monday! It's hard to believe today is the last day of September. This past weekend I spent some time with my family in Henderson. My birthday is this coming Wednesday, but we celebrated a little early on Saturday night. Mom made a delicious dinner, and everyone spoiled me with some great presents. The highlight, however, was definitely Esther's "Olympic cat" birthday cake. Thanks, everyone!

My pictures for Week 39:

Fox at Target
266/365: A fox at Target

Project 365 | Week 38

Happy Monday! It's always easier to start a new week after a Texas win. This past week was fairly ordinary, but I enjoyed having the family in Austin this weekend. I also took the 265th picture for this project on Sunday, which means I have exactly 100 pictures left. Here's to finishing off strong!

On my bedside table
259/365: On my bedside table

Weekend with P&E

Pennybacker Bridge

At the beginning of last month, Paul and Esther came down to Austin to spend the weekend with me. I love when they come down because it gives me the opportunity to be a tourist in my own city. These are just a few moments from their visit I want to remember:

Project 365 | Week 37

Good evening! This past week was another busy one, but I enjoyed having my family in town this weekend. The game didn't go quite as well as we had hoped, but I'm glad they were able to see me play handbells at church on Sunday.

Here are my pictures for Week 37 (lots of light and Sammy this week):

Evening light
252/365: Evening light

Project 365 | Week 36

Happy Monday! I'm still having a hard time believing it's September, especially when it's still so hot outside. Luckily, this past week was a short work week, and I was able to spend some time inside this weekend, trying to stay cool.

My pictures for Week 36...

Dipped cone
245/365: Dipped cone in a cup

August 2013 Round-up

Since September is already well underway, it's time for my August round-ups. These are some of the things I want to remember about this month:

  • I enjoyed meeting up with my mom in Dallas for the second year in a row. We had a lot of fun shopping, eating great food, and being together.
  • Paul and Esther came down to Austin at the beginning of the month. Even though it was very hot, we managed to pack a lot into our two days. We climbed to the top of the 360 overlook, took a UT Tower tour, watched the bats on the Congress Avenue Bridge, and ate at Hula Hut.
  • The return of college football! It was great to watch UT play football once again, even if the first half made me a little nervous.
  • While I've missed a few days here and there, I'm still enjoying my evening walks around the apartment complex.
  • One Sunday I broke out of my usual morning routine and had breakfast at Panera Bread before church. It was a nice way to begin the day.
  • I love watching my succulents grow, even though a few have passed into the land of peaceful plant slumber.
  • One Friday I was heading into work when the electricity went out in the entire building...while I was in the elevator. Fortunately the doors were open because we had just stopped on the 8th floor. Once I realized what was happening, I raced out of the elevator, ran down the hall and up the stairs to the 9th floor, and arrived at work completely out of breath. It was an interesting way to start off a Friday morning to say the least.

Books I read: Anne of Ingleside and Rainbow Valley (L.M. Montgomery); The Last Camellia (Sarah Jio); Orphan Train (Christina Baker Kline)

Movies I watched: The Way Way Back (so, so good); The Spectacular Now; Lee Daniels' The Butler

TV: Gilmore Girls (Season 7 DVD); Downton Abbey (Seasons 1 & 2 DVDs); The Magic of Ordinary Days (TV movie); U.S. Gymnastics Championships

P.S. Happy birthday, Mom!

About My Monthly Round-Ups
At the end of each month, I take a look back and write a post about the month's highlights, as well as what I read and watched. To see all of my round-up posts, visit this page.

Project 365 | Week 35

Happy September! After a full weekend of family, fun, and football (sorry for the alliteration), I've enjoyed spending the evening around home watching the second season of Downton Abbey. The temperature may still hover around 100, but I'm looking forward to the upcoming fall season and the new photo possibilities.

Here are my pictures for Week 35:

8-26 New shoes
238/365: New shoes

Project 365 | Week 34

Good evening! I hope all of you have had a good start to your week. Last week was fairly normal for me — lots of work with a dash of fun (movie at the new Alamo Drafthouse!) mixed in.

Here are my pictures for Week 34:

Office plant
231/365: Office plant

Girl Time | Weekend in Dallas

WD with Mom title

It's become an annual tradition — Mom and I spend a weekend together each summer shopping, exploring, eating great food, and enjoying being together. Two years ago, Mom came down to Austin in August, and last year we met up with each other in Dallas around the same time.

Project 365 | Week 33

Kendra B

I decided to do something a little different this week. I spent the last few days on a scavenger hunt, trying to find one letter of my name each day. Some days were definitely more difficult than others, but it was a really fun project. Here are a few more details about each letter:

  • Monday — K (Craft project in my apartment; 224/365)
  • Tuesday — E (Lettering on the side of the office building; 225/365)
  • Wednesday — N (2013 calendar; 226/365)
  • Thursday — D (Hannah D's; 227/365)
  • Friday — R (Walgreens; 228/365)
  • Saturday — A (Display at T.J. Maxx; 229/365)
  • Sunday — B (Sign at church; 230/365)

Friday Finds

Happy Friday! After a rather stressful week, I'm ready for the weekend. I don't have anything big planned, but that's probably a good thing. Just rest and fun for the next two days. :)

Here's what caught my eye this week:

Michelle Kwan: From Olympic Figure Skater to Diplomat (wow, there have been a lot of stories about Michelle recently!)

40 maps that will help you make sense of the world

Amazing iPhone photos

Meet the newest mammal species, the olinguito

When all else fails...

There is Michelle.

And a camel that's really excited about Hump Day.

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Project 365 | Week 32

Happy Monday! After such a wonderful weekend with Paul and Esther, it was hard to return to the office this morning. It was definitely a Monday, but at least I can check one day off this week.

Here are my pictures for Week 32:

Sammy time
217/365: Sammy lap time