13 December 2013

One for you, Two for me...

Happy Friday Lovelies!

I have a question. I'm curious to see if anyone else experiences this same irony. Do you come across more things that you would buy for yourself while shopping for others than you would if you were actually shopping for yourself?

I have literally built a wish list simply by doing a little Christmas shopping! I find myself constantly saying "Ooh, I'd like to have that" or "No, I will not buy for myself. I will not buy for myself."

I'd love to share some of the great deals I've scored over the last few days, but you might be the recipient and I just couldn't chance you figuring out your gift. So, as an alternative, for my Five on Friday I'm going to share five of the things that I've added to my "someday I'd like to have, but will probably get over it by the time I actually would go for it" list.

ONE
 
I was perusing the Thirty-One catalog and fell in love with these two beauties. The one on the left is the Vary You Versatile Bag and the other is the Casual Cargo Purse. 
 
Vary You Versatile BagCasual Cargo Purse

TWO
 
I'm in need of a new pair of rubber boots. The pair I have now, I've had for I'd say five years. I think it's time for a new pair. I'm pretty open to anything in this department. I would like to be able to wear them in to work on rainy/snowy days.
 
THREE
 
Call me crazy, but I'd like a Keurig. Why is that crazy? Because I don't even drink coffee. As a matter of fact, neither of us do. We do have family that does though, so I think it would be nice to be able to offer it when they're visiting. Plus, the idea of having hot cocoa on the spot sounds wonderful to me.
 
FOUR
 
 I've been keeping an eye on the Amazon Lightning Deals and this gorgeous clutch came across - the Jessica Simpson Fearless Convertible Clutch. I really like the clutch in the color Lotus.
 
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00A0ZYRDG/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER
 
FIVE
 
I'd love a pair of brown boots - the casual but classy kind that are almost knee high. I tried to find a picture of what I have in mind, but I just can't replicate the ones I saw the other day. I really just want to be able to wear them with a pair of jeans and a nice sweater. I want to be stylish, but I don't want to call attention to myself - if that makes sense.
 
I could really keep going, but who wants a list with no images? I mean, I'd love to have a bluetooth hands free system installed in my car. I could totally use a new iPhone case. Our microwave is about to bite the dust. A new, wrap around strappy watch would be fun. And lately for some reason, I've thought more diamonds would be so nice... a girl can dream, right? :)
 
Would love to hear what's on your list! And I hope your weekend is a fabulous one!
 
Kate
 
December 13, 2013

08 December 2013

Snowy Sunday Social

Happy Sunday Lovelies!

It's a beautiful snowy one in our neck of the woods. Due to the weather, our church services were cancelled this morning, and I'm making the best of it by getting caught up on chores and laziness. :)

It's been a hectic week, but I'm determined to post more often than every six weeks! It's been a little while since I've joined up with Ashley and Neely for the Sunday Social, so I'm really excited to be chiming in this Sunday.

1. What is the wallpaper on your cell phone?
This lovely flower that comes standard on the iPhone. I know, it's nothing terribly exciting or unique, but I like the simplicity.

 
2. What do you keep beside your bed?
Sitting on my nightstand is a lamp, an alarm clock, a bottle of water, a sippy cup of water, My Pal Scout, and my glasses.
 
3. What is your least favorite chore?
Dishes. We do not have a dishwasher, but I have hopes that one day we will.
 
4. If you could eliminate one thing from your daily routine, what would it be?
Getting ready. The whole blow drying your hair, fixing it, and putting on make up... I like the results, but sometimes I'd love to just snap my fingers and instantly look ready for the day without the effort.
 
5. What do you do to vent anger?
To vent anger, I typically talk with a friend or withdrawal into my own shell for a little while until I can think intelligently again.
 
6. What is your favorite holiday of the year and why?
I really like Christmas. I love spending time with family, enjoying lots of amazing food, and just the merry spirit that comes along with the holiday. It's also becoming more of my favorite since our little boy is starting to take part in all of the cheer. And of course, the real reason for the season makes it a holiday to cherish.
 
Hoping each of you have a wonderful day!
 
Thanks for reading.
 
Kate
 
December 8, 2013


29 November 2013

Return of the Long Lost Kate

Hello Lovelies!

It's me, Kate. You know, that dorky girl who rambles on about everything and nothing all at the same time? Yep, that's me and I'm back! It's been several weeks since my last post. Life happened, and I'm totally okay with that. I think sometimes it's nice and even needful to take a bloggy sabbatical. I have truly missed this little niche in my life and am looking forward to getting caught up with each of you.

Thank you to all of you for your encouraging words during my time away! It's so nice to run into someone or get an email or tweet that simply says you miss me and my everyday ramblings of nonsense. It really makes a girl feel loved. :)

Since it is Friday, I'll kick off my return to the blogosphere with a Five on Friday recap of the past six weeks.

20 October 2013

Five on Friday - Better Late than Never

Happy Friday Friends! Oh wait, it's Sunday. I missed out on Five on Friday, but I'm still going to go ahead and throw five things from my week out there for you. I'm only a couple of days late. ;-)

ONE
 
Did you know that Monday was National Dessert Day?! I saw it on the news early that morning and made sure that I celebrated. Check out this scrumptious Brownie Lover's Brownie dessert from O'Charley's. I tried to eat it all, I did, but only managed about half.  
 
 
TWO
 
I started out the week with the migraine of the decade. I have always gotten headaches, ever since I was a little girl, but they have slowly become few and far between over the years. I think I'm getting them less, but I also think I have learned how to identify triggers and prevent them from becoming debilitating little punks.
 
More often than not, when I do end up with one, the headache comes on in late afternoon or evening and I can just sleep it off. That's preferable if I'm going to have to endure one. Sunday, however, I woke up with a full-fledged migraine. I napped as much as I could during the day, took meds around the clock, and literally didn't emerge from the dark, cold dungeon of my room until 7 pm. I'm pretty sure I dropped 5 pounds too since I wasn't sleeping it off, I wasn't able to eat or keep anything down.
 
The one good thing that comes from a migraine of this magnitude is that when I awake the next morning and I do not have a headache, I'm so much more appreciative and thankful to God for a head that doesn't hurt!

19 October 2013

I Have a Confession...

I am a blogging slacker.

Really, I go through phases. I have a phase in which I feel like I'm caught up in the blogosphere. In this phase, I'm reading all of my favorite blogs, commenting on lots of different posts, creating at least one or two posts of my own per week, responding to the comments I've received, maintaining and keeping up the friendships I've made, and making new ones.

But in my other phase, I am so far removed from the blogging world. I rarely log onto the computer and check my blog page, much less respond to any comments or keep up with what others are writing. I disappear from Twitter and Facebook, and even more than that, creating a blog post itself seems daunting. I have no topic, nothing to discuss, no experiences to share.

It may or may not be obvious that I am currently in that other phase. I have barely posted over the last couple of weeks. I managed a Five on Friday last week but that was all. And if I'm being completely honest, I forced myself to do that so that I was at least posting something. I attempted to catch up on all my favorite blogs last weekend but knew that I was missing so much by not checking in throughout the week.

11 October 2013

Pasta, New Shoes, and Blog Issues

Happy Friday Lovelies! I hope you've had a fantastic week... and that an even more fabulous weekend awaits you. There really is just something mighty sweet about Friday. :)

And in honor of all that is Friday, here's my week in a handful.

ONE
 
I was travelling on business this week and chose to eat at the Olive Garden. I love to eat there, but it's not on my hubby's list of favorites, so it was the perfect opportunity. My Seafood Alfredo was scrumptious.
 
 
TWO
 
On Wednesday, I was casually checking the blog page when I realized my design had went a little loopy. The background consisted of multiple photos that said something about photobucket and increasing bandwith. I thought for sure I had been hacked. I only had my phone with me and couldn't do any damage control without a computer. I did figure out that it was not a hack, thanks to the awesome ladies from the SITS Girls. It was something amiss with my blog designer's photobucket. I'd been thinking about a change lately anyway, so instead of trying to fix that, I just went new. What do you think of the new and improved Seriously Kate?

10 October 2013

Moments of Hermitude

What exactly is hermitude? According to me, hermitude is the act of or need to withdraw oneself from their surroundings and circumstances in order to sort of hide or regroup - like a hermit crab.

If you Google hermitude, you will find that there is actually a hip hop group out there that goes by that name. For today's purposes, let's go with the Kate definition. 

So, why would anyone want to enter hermitude? Beats me. But basically, I have these moments on occasion. I want nothing more than to be in my own home, surrounded by only my immediate family, doing absolutely nothing I do not want, with junk food close within reach. This includes an ice cold Coke. 

The primary attraction of withdrawing into this invisible shell is that there aren't any demands upon your time - you simply utilize the moment to purely exist. 

As women, we lead a ton of different roles in this life, and we are expected to play them simultaneously and interchange them effortlessly. It can be exhausting. No matter how organized I may be or how together I may seem, I occassionally need to pull away. I need just a few moments to be anti-social - to withdraw within my shell and take deep breaths and regroup. I need only a few minutes, at times maybe a few hours, to put down all of my roles and just be me. 

07 October 2013

a Liebster, a Feature, and 2 Sunshines

I am pretty humbled and incredibly grateful to share with you that my little space in the blogosphere has been nominated three different times for two separate awards over the past two weeks. I really don't know what to say, except thank you. Thank you to those who nominated Seriously Kate and thank you to every single one of you who take the time to read what's going on in my life and in my head - and then continue to keep reading and sharing your thoughts.

In addition to the nominations, this post was also selected by Raising Reagan last Friday as one of her Featured Posts - another truly encouraging benchmark to motivate me to keep on keeping on in the bloggy world. Thanks Lanaya!

Now, onto the goods...

04 October 2013

an Answered Prayer and a Sunshine Award

Hello Friends! Friday is upon us and the weekend is just around the corner. I've been a little out of the blogosphere the last couple of weeks but am intent on not falling away entirely. It's just been a little more hectic than usual and honestly, I've just chosen sleep over blogging time. :)

So, to briefly catch you up on this week's highlights, I'm going to join in with the fabulous ladies that host Five on Friday.

Grab button for FIVE ON FRIDAY AT THE GOOD LIFE BLOG

ONE
 
First and foremost, I want to thank each and everyone of you for your prayers this past week. Little Man's procedure went really well. They put in his second set of ear tubes and went ahead and removed his adenoids to hopefully prevent the need for a third set of tubes down the road.
 
It worked out that I had to handle this one solo. As I was sitting in the waiting room, I was getting dings on my phone with encouraging messages - it truly was a blessing. Thank you.
 
The doctors and nurses said he'd probably have a lazy weekend and need to eat soft foods for a couple of days. God answers prayer - because he was wild enough to shoot at after his afternoon nap and eating normally by the time we returned home. God is good. :)

TWO
 
Does anyone else watch NCIS? It is hands down my favorite show, maybe ever. I had a really hard time saying goodbye to Ziva this week. I'm glad though, that they finally confirmed the love between her and Tony. Even if we won't get the opportunity to see it play out, it was a nice way to say farewell. And I'll admit, I cried.
 
Show Me in \

27 September 2013

a Busted Lip and a Prayer Request

Hello Friday! It's been a fairly long week, and I'm so thankful you are here. And... with your arrival comes one of my favorite link ups, Five on Friday.


ONE
 
I started out the week with a busted lip! Little Man and I were cuddling on the couch and Daddy came sneaking over to tickle him. Little Man got squirmy excited and then bam! hit my chin with the back of his head. The impact pushed my teeth up into my lip. It was a little bloody, but mostly it was swollen and painful. Thankfully, the pain only lasted for a few minutes and I only sported a noticeable busted lip for a couple of days.
 
TWO
 
Check out the lunch I had one day this week! We had a shrimp boil and it was oh so good. I will confess though, that I only ate the shrimp, potatoes, and corn. :)
 
 

24 September 2013

Would You Be Friends With You?

Do you ever wonder if you weren't actually you, if you'd actually like you or not?

I occasionally enter these moods where I ponder on whether or not I'm okay with who I've become. I try to see myself from an outside angle and consider how others might see me. And honestly, I'm not always happy when I do this. Would I even want to be friends with me?

I realize I am sometimes entirely too hard on myself, but I also know that my standards need to be more like God's and less like the world's. I know I will never achieve the qualities that I strive for, but it's these periods in my life in which I become aware of the fact that I'm no longer working towards those characteristics that I find myself discouraged.


Where is my compassion? I'm becoming so wrapped up in the constant non-stop schedule that is life today that I don't even stop to consider the needs of others. When I do that, I'm saying my time is more precious than yours. How selfish. In order to serve Him, we must serve others.

21 September 2013

Friends and Fall Celebration

In celebration of all that is Fall and Friendly, I am hosting my very first giveaway!
 
Actually, I really wanted to have my first giveaway for a couple of reasons. One, because I'm overwhelmed with joy and thankfulness for every single one of you who take the time to read what I am sharing. I am really excited about all of the new friendships that have come from joining the bloggy world. And two, I seriously do love the change into the Fall season. I look forward to the crisper air, long sleeves, fleece, and hot chocolate.

So, for an official kick off to the Fall season, let's have some fun! Three winners will get their very own $10 Starbucks Gift Card. I've got all three sitting right here beside me and I'll mail them out to you shortly after the giveaway ends. :)
 
 
As for details, the giveaway will last through September. There are all sorts of ways to enter - be sure to check them out below. Once the winners are chosen, I'll get in touch with you and will send your gift card to you shortly after.

Now, moving on to that Friendly Fall Fun!
 
 
As always, thanks for reading.
 
Kate
 
September 22, 2013

20 September 2013

5 on Friday: a Fly, a Camel, and a Face

Happy Friday Lovelies! I hope you're week has treated you swell and you've got just the kind of weekend you need ahead of you. My week has flown by! I haven't posted all week, so I'm going to use this week's Five on Friday as the perfect opportunity to give a quick recap - that's the idea, right? :)


ONE
Take a look at the picture below - do you see what I see? A fly. On the inside. Of my glass. Needless to say, I asked for another drink. But, I couldn't help but wonder how long it had been there before I actually noticed. I was chatting and laughing and not paying any attention. For peace of mind, I've chosen to move on under the assumption that I noticed it prior to taking a drink! 
 
 
TWO
I was sitting at my desk on Wednesday just working away, minding my own business when someone came up to me and started saying "Mike, Mike, Mike. Guess what day it is??? What day is it, Mike?" I was essentially speechless and responded with a look of complete puzzlement. It was obvious that I was not up to speed, so the video below was shared with me. "Woot woot!" Have you seen this commercial? I laughed until there were tears in my eyes. I realize, though, that I may have found it incredibly funny solely because of its preface by my co-worker. What do you think? 
 
 

15 September 2013

Blogging Tidbits - The SK Edition

Happy Sunday Friends! I'm happy to report, it's time for some Sunday Social with Ashley and Neely.


1. What is the name of your blog?
My blog is Seriously Kate. When I first started blogging, the 'Seriously' seemed fitting since I was constantly saying the word in everyday conversation. But before actually committing to make it a part of my blog name, I researched the true definition. According to Merriam-Webster, seriously means "in a sincere manner" or "earnestly." I was sold after that, because that's exactly how I wanted to portray myself - as sincere and earnest.
 
2. What do you love most about blogging?
Besides the fact that I enjoy the art of writing itself and connecting with people, I love the thrill. I sound crazy right now, don't I? But, it's true - I love hitting the Publish button and waiting to see what transpires. Will people actually read it? Will folks enjoy what I've written or identify with it so much as to leave a comment? Will anyone whose never been to my blog before feel a connection and want to follow from now on? Are those who are already following me looking forward to reading what I've written or considering un-following me? Is there any chance that by sharing my experiences and my faith, I've actually encouraged someone else? And, will someone confirm that I am not the only individual in the world that feels this way in regards to whatever it is I'm writing about? It's the thrill, I tell you - the anticipation and expectation that my thoughts and opinions might actually be read, contemplated upon, and agreed with or disagreed with.
 
3. Why did you start blogging?
I really enjoy writing. My mind approaches it like a challenge - finding the perfect way to take the thoughts and feelings that I am experiencing and translating them into words that others can read and relate to. It's sort of therapeutic. My heart approaches it as the opportunity to share with others my ups, my downs, and my in betweens - a chance to encourage by sharing my very own personal experiences. I love that aha moment when you realize, "Hey - I'm really not the only one!"
  
4. What is something you'd want to tell someone just starting out in the blog world?
It is something I have to continually remind myself, and that is to find balance. As a work out of the home wife and mother, I have to remember that it's okay if I'm not posting every day, that sometimes sleep is actually more important, and that my family enjoys home cooked meals and clean clothes. :) I essentially try to remember that I need to balance the use of my "me" time between all the things I enjoy and not just the one - because blogging is addicting!!
 
5. Biggest blogging learning experience you've had?
I was a no-reply blogger for awhile. I had no idea, and then finally, a blogger who was much more advanced than I was showed me the light. As I've progressed more in my bloggy interactions, I see how that makes responding to comments so much easier. Basically, I totally get it now. :)
 
6. What are three blogs you love?
Oh, this is going to be hard. I've talked about why I started blogging and what I love most, but I have yet to mention how FUN it is to read others' blogs and connect with so many awesome women who I imagine if we met in real life outside of the blogosphere, we would be the best of friends. But I'll try...
 
 
Would love to hear your thoughts!
 
And as always, I am so thankful that you're reading. :)
 
Kate
 
September 15, 2013

Raising Imperfection Link Party #36

I am so excited to be co-hosting this week's Raising Imperfection party! And, I'm really glad you're here. :)  I encourage you to say hello to as many Lovelies as possible. Then, make sure you enter the Co-Host Giveaway - I'm blogging proof there is a winner!

It’s Sunday! ~ Welcome to Week #36 of Raising Imperfection!
It's your favorite post Sunday link party!
We can't wait to see what you've been up to! Please view our very short introduction video for some link party rules and announcements.
 
 
Be sure to come back for Feature Fridays! Leslie and I choose our favorite links from the link up and feature them!If you missed the last features, you can see them HERE.
Please grab our link party button!
 


Say HELLO to your Co-Hosts for this week:
Kate – Seriously Kate
Melissa – Home on Deranged

Please also visit your co-hostess for the month of September:
Angel - Sew Crafty Angel

14 September 2013

Guest Host for Super Sunday Sync #52

Happy Weekend Friends - I am pretty excited to be Guest Hosting this week's Super Sunday Sync!  After linking up each week, I always submit my entries for the Guest Host giveaway that's towards the end of the post. I never really think I have a chance of winning, but I enter anyway. And would you believe I actually won?! If I can win, you can win too! So, be sure to link up and complete the entry prompts so you have a chance. :)

Welcome to Super Sunday Sync #52! You all were amazing last week and helped us reach 115 link ups for our first anniversary celebration ~ the most we've had at the SSS in a LONG time!
We love you ~ help us reach 120 link ups this week?
Tweet, share, promote!

Our lovely Guest Hosts for this week. Please, stop by their blogs and give them some love!

and our Guest Host WINNER from last week is Kate from Seriously Kate

12 September 2013

Five on Friday - Facebook, Fried Potatoes, and Fall

Happy Friday Lovelies! Hope you've had a fabulous week. The weekend forecast for our area is showing sunshine and cooler temperatures, and I am so excited!


Today, I'm linking up with The Good Life for Five on Friday. I actually kept a little note going in my phone this week of things to share in this post. As a result, I think it's going to be maybe one or two more than five. I'll keep them short though - I promise!

1. I am excited to report that I finally caved and created a Facebook page for Seriously Kate. I can totally see a difference already. I was a little hesitant to start one because my goal is to maintain balance with my blogging - I was afraid of adding another form of social media to manage. I really had nothing to worry about. It's been a piece of cake!



2. On Sunday, my hubs wanted fried potatoes. Would you believe I have never ever in my life fixed fried potatoes? Both my mother and my mother-in-law are fantastic cooks, so I called them up to get a quick lesson. Heat up a little grease, throw in the diced/sliced potatoes, cover them for about 25 to 30 minutes on medium-high heat and voila! Don't these look amazing? I was so proud of myself - even if they were a little too crunchy once they cooled down.


3. I cannot, for the life of me, recall which blogger mentioned this really cool thing called theSkimm, but I signed up for it and love it. Monday thru Friday, I receive an email first thing in the morning giving me a recap on events from the day before - important events. What's neat, is the news is explained in everyday conversation and is pared down to the basics. You should totally check it out!


4. I thoroughly enjoy mowing our lawn. It usually takes close to two hours on a riding lawn mower. I use this time to listen to music or just enter a bubble to think and do nothing. I find it therapeutic. However, I'm done now. This summer has been so wet that not a single week has gone by where it didn't need cut. I'm no longer enjoying its therapeutic nature. Come on Fall!

 
5. I am so thankful for all of your prayers and encouraging words for Little Man. I am so happy to report that he is doing just fine. He doesn't mind me changing his bandage, and he even takes it off all by himself when it's time to change it. I think he's actually pretty proud of it now. If you missed his run in with the bulletin board and his mommy's emotional meltdown - you can read about it here.
 
6. I link up each weekend with two really cool blog hops, and each week you can enter to win a co-hosting spot for the next week. Would you believe that I won a co-hosting spot to both for the same weekend?! I'm pretty excited!  Be sure to check them out this weekend and follow your hosts and co-hosts! ;-)
 
 
Hope you have a fantastic weekend!
 
As always, thanks for reading.
 
Kate
 
September 12, 2013

10 September 2013

Emotions Today: Panic, Desperation, Love, & Gratitude

If I were keeping a record book of highly emotional days, today would definitely be added to the book. I thought about waiting to write this so that I'd be less emotional, but sometimes it's the emotional that makes it worth writing at all.

On any given day, my office is just a short drive from our little boy's school. I take comfort in knowing, that if needed, I can be at his side in only a few minutes.

Today, however, was a little different. After dropping him at school, I wasn't going to the office - I was travelling approximately three hours away with a group of folks. I had already arranged for his aunt to pick him up after school because I knew I would be home a little later than usual. He loves when she picks him up and was excited about going with her. I walked out of his school this morning without worry, my mind shifting its focus onto the next part of my day - work.

I had put my phone in my purse and placed my bag in the floor by my seat. I was driving, so I wasn't giving any attention to my phone. I had checked it during our only stop to find absolutely nothing needing my attention.

A short while later, we pulled into our destination. Everyone else had already piled out of the vehicle and was waiting on me. As I was gathering my things, I happened to check my phone - not out of real concern that something may be there but merely out of habit. What I saw was enough to raise some alarm - I had five missed calls, two voicemails, and a text message. I am not ever THAT important. I immediately checked the missed call list and noticed little man's school was on the list. They had left a voicemail which I hastily listened to.

08 September 2013

Ask Kate - Turning Betrayal into Blessing

Dear Kate: I know the Bible talks a great deal about forgiveness. I know that we have all suffered pain, and that grief is a stranger to no one. But how does one actually forgive a person who has intentionally hurt them? My natural response is to take the matter into my own hands and somehow "fix" it, but I know that is not right. So, how do I turn something that has been so hurtful over to God when there is still so much anger involved?

The simple answer is faith - trusting that God is always in control. And as a result, choosing to accept that He ultimately allowed you to endure this trial and experience this pain, and then taking the step of letting go.

This is, in my opinion, much easier said than done. Life experiences, good and bad, are unique to each individual and have different effects emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I try not to say "I know how you feel" or "I know exactly what you're going through" to others, because although I may have experienced something similar, how we experience these events and their effects on us can be very different.

As for a more in depth response, I'd like you to imagine two friends conversing casually over lunch - Kate, who is an opinionated blogger, and her friend Jo, who has just posed the toughest of questions.

06 September 2013

Five on Friday - Bluefin Shoes and Once Upon a Prince

I am so happy it's Friday! We do not have a lot planned for the weekend and that's exactly how I like it. :) I thought I would link up with 5 on Friday this week! This will be my first time jumping in.


1. I love to buy Little Man shoes at Rack Room because it is always buy one, get one 50% off. On a good day, this means I get a new pair of shoes too. Check out these super cute slip ons made by Bluefin! I was really surprised by how comfortable they were.


2. Speaking of those new shoes for Little Man - I learned a valuable lesson today regarding shoes with white soles. Do not send child to school in said new shoes when the playground mulch turns everything that it touches black. Duh.

    
 
3. On Sunday, I finished reading one of the best books I've read in a long time. It was called Once Upon a Prince written by Rachel Hauck. I'm really a sucker for Cinderella stories and this one is beautiful. I love how it intertwines the Christian faith. It is also different enough from what you'd expect that it keeps you engaged even though you know the ending will be a happy one.


4. Little Man cried and clung to me every morning this week when dropping him off at school. It's so hard to just turn around and walk away from him. It did get better as the week went on - I know it wasn't easy for him going back to school after vacation. What helps ease that is when I pick him up at the end of the day, he is all chatty and excited to tell me about all the fun things he did. Sometimes, he even says he's not ready to go home. I'm really thankful for his teachers and the great care they take of him.

5. I had lunch one day this week at a Mexican Restaurant. The interesting thing about this is that I actually branched out and tried something new. I always get the hard tacos a la carte and hit the chips and salsa pretty hard. This week, however, I tried the Chicken Quesadilla Deluxe. It was delicious! I'm pretty excited that I have another option to add to the list.

Happy Friday to you and I hope you have a fabulous weekend!

Thanks for reading.

Kate

September 6, 2013

02 September 2013

Five Things of Vacation

Our family spent the last several days winding down and rejuvenating in a comfy condo on the beach. It was absolutely wonderful to get away, take a break, relax, and enjoy the sunshine and ocean waves.

    
 

We usually take our family vacation to the beach during early or mid summer. This year, however, we decided to put it off until late summer. And it proved to be well worth the wait. Here are five reasons why I'm glad we did.

01 September 2013

Sunday Social - All About Summer

It's time for this week's Sunday Social with Ashley and Neely. This week, the questions are all about summer!


1. What was your favorite trip/vacation/activity this summer?
Our family vacated to the beach just this past week. The weather was great, the time together was wonderful, and of course I ate with no regrets. It was perfect.


2. What was your favorite outfit look/clothing item of the summer?
I came across these super cute boat shoes at a local department store. They are made by Rock & Candy. They are so incredibly comfortable, lightweight, and very versatile. I've worn them all summer with just about anything and everything.


3. What is one thing you wish you'd gotten to do this summer?
A staycation - our house needs some serious cleaning/organizing from floor to ceiling. As Little Man grows out of stuff, I just throw it into a spare closet and it just keeps accumulating. Funny thing is, I do the same thing with my own clothes! Only difference is, I don't purge my closet because I'm certain I'll lose that extra weight that got them banned there in the first place.

4. What was your favorite song of the summer?
I really can't choose just one song, but I can choose one artist. Over the summer, I discovered Zooey Deschanel's music - She & Him. I'm pretty sure I purchased all three of their CDs on iTunes. They were touring this summer, but we couldn't make any of the dates work. I've never been to a concert and really have no desire to go, but I was willing to make them my first!


5. What was your favorite movie/tv show of the summer?
I'm going to have to go with Despicable Me. We're always a little behind in the movie/tv department, so this summer was the first time we'd seen it. And I can say, we have watched it over and over again. Our Little Man loves it and we all walk around quoting lines out of it. "It's so fluffy!!"


Hope you're having a lovely, long holiday weekend!

As always, thanks for reading.

Kate

September 1, 2013

31 August 2013

Liebster Award Nomination

I am thrilled to report that Ashley at Everything's Hunky Dorey recently nominated Seriously Kate for the Liebster Award! This award is given by a blogger to fellow bloggers who have less than 200 followers. So, it's pretty exciting to think that just maybe my blog is taking its shape in my little corner of the blogosphere. Thanks to all of you for your support and encouragement - and many thanks to Ashley!
 
 

 The criteria, should you accept this award, is as follows:
  • Thank your nominator by linking back to their post.
  • Answer 11 questions posed by your nominator.
  • Make a list of 11 facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 5 or more up and coming bloggers with 200 followers or less.
  • Provide a list of 11 questions for your nominees to answer.
  • Publish your post and contact your nominees with the awesome news!

29 August 2013

Lies of the Lottery


A few days ago I was travelling on business and stopped into a gas station to refill the car and grab something to snack on. I picked out my favorites - a cold Coca Cola and some of those yummy Mini Sweet Tarts. I took my place in line to check out, which happened to be about three places back. I waited patiently, leisurely contemplating just how much longer it would be until I arrived home. Some time passed and I realized the line wasn't moving. A little unusual for a convenience store - the idea is to be quick and 'convenient.' So, I started to pay attention to what or who was holding up the line.

I want you to picture with me an older lady, maybe in her 50s. Her hair is graying and is pulled back in a messy ponytail. She looks as though she has worked hard, physically, in her life - might be a farmer's wife, maybe loves to garden. Basically, her appearance portrays that she has spent a credible amount of time outside and things have not always come easy for her. My superficial impression is that she works hard and struggles to stay caught up. Now, please bare in mind, that this is only an impression, and could be incredibly far from the truth.

28 August 2013

A Reading Recap

I absolutely love to read - so much that sometimes it consumes me. And during my last obsessive stint, I read a few books I'd highly recommend and some that I'd say you could probably overlook on your next trip to the library.

I am officially caught up with Stephanie Plum and her bounty hunter adventures. I've read books one through nineteen in the series and am waiting on book twenty to be released in November. This series, written by Janet Evanovich, is a perfect combination of suspense, mystery, romance, and comedy. I love the suspense and that it's not so edgy that I am not laughing at Lulu or forgetting about who Stephanie's going to lean more toward this time around in her love triangle. These books are fast reads and I highly recommend you at least try book one. If you must, you can even watch the movie first - One for the Money - which has Katherine Heigl as Stephanie.


So, there was all this talk of The Great Gatsby Movie and I realized I had never read the book nor seen the older movie - I had no idea what it was about or why it was such a big deal. We rarely go to the movies and if going, doubted we'd choose that for such a special occasion, so I picked up the book on my Kindle and got caught up with the rest of the world.

25 August 2013

A Little Bit Nerdy, A Little Bit Tomboy

It's time to link up with Ashley and Neely for Sunday Social. Hope you're having a lovely weekend so far!

Before we get to this week's questions and answers, I quickly just want to say that I would absolutely love it if you'd consider submitting a question for my "Ask Kate" Series - the questions can be as simple or as complex as you like. If you don't have one, maybe you know someone who does? It would be much appreciated!

Now... let's get Social!


1. What do you miss most about being a kid?
I miss school and participating in athletics. I loved taking the hard classes that most shied away from just to prove that I could do it. I have always had a competitive bone, so I loved playing sports and being part of a team.

2. Did you have a nickname growing up? What was it?
It was Rose - and only my Father called me by the name. I always hated it too, until finally one day he confessed as to why he called me that. He said he always thought I was as sweet and pretty as a rose. Boy, did I feel rotten after that.

3. What was your favorite thing to do at recess?
I loved to swing and hang upside down on the monkey bars. Oh, and play foursquare - that was elementary school. And then in grade school, it was tetherball. I always wanted to be the girl who could beat the guys.

4. What did you want to be when you grew up?
I'm pretty sure it fluctuated between a Teacher and a Doctor. And I'm neither today, I'm an Accountant.

5. Did you participate in any school activities?
I played lots of different sports - volleyball, basketball, softball, and track. And I loved to watch the Boys Football and Basketball games. I'm pretty sure I attended most dances, and in my younger days, got second or third place in a spelling bee.

6. What is the funniest thing you did as a kid that your parents still remind you about?
My Mom loves to tell the story of how, when I was five years old, I called McDonald's and asked them if they were hiring - I suppose I thought I needed a job.

Happy Sunday to You!

As always, thanks for reading.

Kate

August 25, 2013

22 August 2013

Being in Labor Makes Me Sick

It's been a little while since I've linked up with the Finish the Sentence Friday crew. So, I'm pretty excited to be getting back in the groove with this week's link up.


And this week's sentence to finish is "I wasn't myself when I..."

...was in labor with our son. It's important to note that my pregnancy was fairly stress free - little to nothing out of the ordinary. Maybe a little swelling in the hands and feet towards the end, but that was it. I really can't say the same for the labor part - it was just a tad bit livelier.

I was induced on a Sunday morning. The Pitocin worked beautifully (I know that is not always the case). And as my contractions became stronger and closer together, I began to shake. It was like I was shivering and I couldn't control it. I was fine besides that. Then the epidural came and helped tremendously with the pain from the contractions. Unfortunately, it made me nauseous. Or maybe it was just my body's way of reacting to what it was going through, but nonetheless, I felt like vomiting.

19 August 2013

The Puzzle Moment Where My Cup Runneth Over


For several years while I was growing up, our family lived next door to my grandmother - we called her Nanny. From the time I was little, we always had a very close relationship. Each day, when the school bus would drop my brother and I off, we'd run up to her house and she'd always have a snack waiting for us. After our snack, my brother (who is almost six years older) would head to our house to start his chores.

I, however, would stay and hang out with Nanny. She would let me watch television, play in her jewelry, admire her shoes, go through her books, and snoop and play like any elementary school girl would want to do. Who wouldn't love that?

But one of the things I remember and love the most were her puzzles. She loved to work puzzles, beautiful 500 to 1000 piece puzzles. She had an entire cabinet full of them. Some of my sweetest memories with her are the many times she'd let me choose a puzzle and we'd spend hours working side by side putting it together until it was completely finished.

18 August 2013

Public Speaking, Big Plans, and Bloggy Aspirations

 
Love linking up with Ashley and Neely for the Sunday Social. Here are this week's questions and my lovely answers. Happy Sunday!
 
1. What is something you've always wanted to do but are afraid of? 
I have always wanted to be able to stand in front of a group of people, no matter how large or small, and speak with confidence and eloquence. I would like for moments like that to not even phase me. Currently, giving a small presentation to even my closest colleagues causes my armpits to sweat and my stomach to flip hours before it even occurs. As a matter of fact, just thinking about a recent presentation I had to give has my stomach all nervous and my armpits wondering if I remembered to put deodorant on!
 
2. Where do you see yourself in five years?
I'd love to see myself having the relationship with Christ that I once had. I also hope His will for us is to have more children - maybe one or two more over the next five years. And with that in mind, I'd like to see us working on building or buying a new house to make room for that growing family.
 
3. What are you looking forward to before the end of 2013?
Vacation for us is not too far away. We usually go early/mid summer but have put it off until late summer this year. Our whole family is by far ready. I can hear the ocean waves now. I'm also really fond of Thanksgiving and Christmas. We usually get to spend a lot of time with family that we do not get to see very often.
 
4. What are your hopes for your blog?
I'd really like to see the Ask Kate Series take off. I launched it a couple of weeks ago - it's a series where readers submit their questions and I attempt to answer them. I'd also like to work to engage more readers through comments and I may even start a Facebook page. I really want Seriously Kate to be a blog that people enjoy reading, find encouragement from, and can relate to - in other words, meaningful.
 
5. Do you always see yourself living in your current town/city?
 Not necessarily. But I do think it would be much farther down the road before we would make a transition to a new area. However, no matter where we are, I do see us always living on a farm.
 
6. What is your morning routine?
My alarm rings off at 5:30. On a good morning, I'm out of bed and in the shower by 5:45. I shower and get ready for work - basic make up and hot rollers every day. I pack Little Man's bag, feed the dog, and load the car. I then wake him up, coax him into going potty and then get him dressed. It's a 45 to 55 minute commute (depending on traffic) from the time I leave the house to the time I arrive at work. And by the time I get there, I'm in dire need of my morning Coke.  
 
Thanks for reading.
 
Kate
 
August 18, 2013

15 August 2013

Ask Kate - Week 2: I Surrender, Now What

Dear Kate: After quite some time away from church, and never really having a close enough walk with the Lord, I am ready to surrender to Him. This is both exciting and a little scary for me! I have been saved by grace since I was a little girl, but have never had the relationship with God that He deserves. I have always had periods of backsliding. How would you suggest that I move forward, now that I am ready to fully serve Him and build a solid relationship?

First and foremost, I believe surrendering your life to Christ is both exciting and fearful. It is exciting because, although we may not know all of God's promises as newly surrendered Christians, we know that they are there. We are willingly and eagerly trusting Him to lead and guide every area of our lives with the confidence that He will always have our best interests in mind. I believe a truly surrendered heart will have the faith like that of a child.

But, along with the excitement of a fully surrendered heart will also be an element of fear. Turning everything over to God is a necessary step into surrendering your life to Christ, but it can understandably be unnerving. Knowing that your life will change but not knowing exactly how it will happen or how long it will take. Realizing that allowing Him to mold the clay means who you are today may take a completely different form tomorrow. Accepting that, like any relationship, your walk with Christ will take commitment, it will require diligence and time. An understanding that you will always be a work in progress.

The beauty of combining excitement and fear is that together, if handled wisely, they will develop into reverential awe. Meaning that although you may fear Him because of who He is - an all knowing, all mighty, perfect, omnipresent God - as your relationship with Him begins to grow, you will desire to serve Him, glorify Him, and ultimately worship Him. You will fall in love with Christ and you will respect who He is.

12 August 2013

I Had A "Case" of ULAK Envy

I was working out of town last week and spotted the absolute cutest phone case I had ever seen. I noticed it immediately and loved it instantly. It was colorful and completely practical. The lady carrying it looked so chic as she held her phone while doing whatever it was she was doing. It was phone case envy from the start.

For whatever reason, I complimented the case but never asked about it's maker or where it could be found. A couple of days later, I was back in my hometown and just couldn't shake that increasing desire to find out more about this beautiful case. So, I contacted the lady and she shared freely with me everything I wanted to know.

It's maker is Pandamimi ULAK and it can be found on Amazon. Bonus, it's less than $10. There are tons of options - lots of colors and styles. I had a bit of a hard time choosing on color but finally went with the one I had actually saw in person - the Rose Pink/Yellow/Pink combination.

10 August 2013

Potty Training and Bath Rugs

My Little is a just a few months from being 3 and is pretty much potty trained. The only time he wears a diaper is at night and even then, he stays dry 5 out of 7 nights a week. I am a pretty proud Mama but really can't take much of the credit. His teachers at school are fantastic, and it helps that he is all about being a "big boy."
 
But along with being potty trained came the shocking reality that he is a boy and therefore has no aim - absolutely none. I have a renewed patience for my husband since it's becoming clearer to me that this inability to not get pee all over everything that is within a foot of the toilet is just natural - to an extent even out of their control.

As you can imagine, the bath rug that surrounds our toilet could only be washed so many times. It eventually had no rubber backing and pretty much became worthless. With each passing day, I was becoming increasingly frustrated with the rug that wouldn't stay in it's place. (I'm a tad obsessive when it comes to things being where they should be.) I was constantly having to re-position it.

08 August 2013

Ask Kate - Week 1: Online Dating

Dear Kate: I am a woman in my early thirties. I have been divorced for several years and have no children. I would very much like to meet a man who I can share my time with. A romantic companion, a partner, and a friend. I have not had any luck at work, at the grocery store, or any other place for that matter! I would like to know - what are your thoughts about Online Dating?

I believe there are certain pros and cons that come with dating online. I'll start with the pros first.

Online dating services essentially turn your muddy water into clearer water. Meaning that there aren't necessarily new fish in the pond you're swimming in, just fish that you may have never otherwise met or noticed.

It is likely that the rigorous interview you have to go through just to join an online dating community will do a fairly good job of matching you with someone of similar interests. It will also attempt to weed out the ones with deal breaker characteristics or desires such as - children or no children, Christian or not a Christian, or smoker or non-smoker. So, it could be a time saver.

In this constantly rushed life, online dating is convenient and provides nearly instant gratification - a trait of our generation (although I would argue not a positive one). Just put the app right on your phone, and you know who is checking you out, who you want to check out, who you can strike up a conversation with instantly, and chat back and forth with continuously. Before online dating, sometimes the hardest part (or most exciting - depending on how you look at it) was the wait.

06 August 2013

Mama's Got a Brand New Bag

I am the kind of girl that carries the same winter bag for months and then finally towards the end of summer purchases a new summer bag - I'm always a little behind.

I saw this adorable handbag a few weeks ago, but it wasn't on sale and I couldn't bring myself to pull the trigger - I thought it was really too stylish for me. But, one recent trip to the store and one sale later, and Mama's got a brand new bag!

Although it is very practical and has "I'm a Mom" written all over it because of its size and crazy compartments, I still think it says stylish, elegant, and classy. My husband, however, says it screams "Grandma Mom" not "Styling Mom."

So, now I would like your opinion. What does this bag say to the world - or at least to those I see on a day to day basis?  You can be brutal - my sense of fashion is a work in progress.

Liz Claiborne Linden Hill Shopper Handbag


As always, thanks for reading.

Kate

August 6, 2013

04 August 2013

Pantyhose, Slinkies, and Pencil Sharpeners

Coming up with this list was no easy feat. I'm sure I put entirely too much thought into it though!


10 Impractical Things - Based on My Experience

1. Wipe warmers
2. Those little handheld pencil sharpeners
3. Printers with multiple ink cartridges that won't print unless all of them have ink
4. Slinkies
5. Pantyhose
6. Pencil skirts
7. Papa John's tiny little pizza sauces
8. No show footies
9. Mini cans of pop
10. Throw size blankets

Kate

August 4, 2013

Introducing "Ask Kate"

Seriously Kate was created in December 2012. And at that time, my visions for blogging included a variety of things - posting about my everyday experiences, the books I read, the shows I watch, the shoes I just bought, and the tall tall tales that come along with being a wife and mother.

I've really sort of done that, not as regularly as I had hoped, but I have shared some of those very things with you over the last several months. There is, however, one other vision I have not yet attempted to fulfill.


I have always wanted to do an "Ask Kate" section.

If you're asking yourself what qualifies me to answer anyone's personal, rhetorical, religious, or philosophical questions, there isn't a single thing that does. I just simply enjoy offering another perspective that may or may not have been considered. The thing is, we all have questions that we are either too embarrassed or too afraid to ask. And sometimes it's nice to ask someone who knows nothing other than the question itself.

03 August 2013

My Way Back Into Blogging - The Sunday Social

Hi - it's me again. It appears I am on a 'blog once every three month' cycle, but I am hoping to break that trend and ease back into posting more regularly.

Since my writing skills are seriously rusty and need rejuvenated, I thought I'd start with one of my favorite blog hops - The Sunday Social.


What are 3 items you can't live without on a daily basis (water, food, shelter, and clothes do not count).

I'm embarrassed to say, but am sure I'm not alone... MY PHONE. I am highly dependent on this tiny electronic device that holds so much of my day to day life. Pictures, music, books, conversations, appointments, phone numbers - I rarely go anywhere without it and actually sort of sleep with it.

CAFFEINE - I prefer it in Coke form, but when I took a brief hiatus from my Coke Love, I consumed my caffeine through the Crystal Light Energy drink mix that you put into water.

I have always thought how nice it would be to be one of those women who can go without washing their hair and still look fabulous. I am not one of them. So, I also must have a SHOWER in which I WASH MY HAIR on a daily basis.

What is your all time favorite book? Why?

PRETENSE by Lori Wick. I love to read and have many favorites, but this has always topped the list. I have read it several times and love how it encompasses so much of a woman's day to day battle throughout life from the time of childhood to adulthood. It is a Christian novel, so intertwined among the individual stories is the love of Christ. It's not all happy and butterflies - it's real world, real life, and very relatable.

What is something you'd like to accomplish before the end of 2013?

I'd love to re-establish my personal time with God. I used to read His Word almost every day and keep a prayer list. It's been awhile since I've kept up with either.

If you could go back and relive any year of your life, which year would it be?

I'm thinking maybe my Senior year of college. I would appreciate it more instead of counting the days until it was over.

What do you wish people knew about you without you having to tell them?

This may sound weird but where I went to college. I went to a very small private school that is rather pricey and well known in our area. My education was paid for thankfully by scholarships and student loans, but I am always somewhat embarrassed. When someone asks where I went to school and I tell them, they are like "oh - you must be really smart" and instantly form an opinion of me without knowing the rest of me. It always makes me a tad uncomfortable.

By the way, it feels so good to write again. Until next time...

Thanks for reading.

Kate

August 3, 2013

13 May 2013

And Three Months Later She Returns

It has been three months since my last post. You may or may not have noticed I took a small hiatus from the blogging stratosphere. My departure was primarily the result of time constraints and partially because I needed a break. I'm convinced that finding balance in the various areas of one's life is not only a challenge, but also an aspect of life that requires continuous maintenance and examining of one's priorities.

The philosophical viewpoint of achieving balance in a woman's life can be hashed out another day. Today, I'd love to share with you the thoughts crossing my mind and then get caught up on my favorite blogs. I am so incredibly behind!

During my sabbatical, I did quite a bit of reading. Since I enjoyed the Fifty Shades Trilogy, a friend of mine recommended Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It centers around an intern and her "beautiful" boss and the conflict between their intellectual dislike and undeniable physical attraction with one another. The physical encounters are pretty descriptive but it is vastly different from Fifty Shades. I am a sucker for happy endings too.

 
I also read Christina Lauren's Beautiful Stranger. And I must admit, I didn't love it like I did the first novel. I found it to be a little too far fetched in the relationship world.

I read a novel by Ellen Hopkins called Collateral where a college student meets and falls in love with a handsome Marine. The book is not solely a love story as it paints a very real picture of the trials and temptations service men and women and their loved ones at home face while they are enlisted and apart. The one thing to note about this novel is that it is written in poetic format. As I am not at all used to reading poetry, I had to reread the first few sections to make sure I was grasping the content. Once I trained my mind to read it like a book despite the appearance of the words, I was good to go.


Am currently continuing my adventure with Stephanie Plum! I am on Smokin' Seventeen and am ever so anxious to read about her Ranger and Morelli drama. Plus, Lula is plain hilarious. I will say that Sizzling Sixteen may have been one of my favorites. It was a nice change up from a few of the others in that I wasn't quite on the edge of my seat the whole time.

Okay - enough books. Let's talk music. I have recently become acquainted with She and Him. I stumbled on this duo through my toddler. Let's back up a minute, though. Have you ever watched the movie Elf? In the movie, Zooey Deschanel is singing a Christmas song in the shower while Will Ferrell is listening to her and then sings again at the end to spur on more Christmas Spirit. I remember thinking at the time she had a lovely voice. Then, while watching Winnie the Pooh for the umpteenth time, I realized that she was the one singing the theme song. So, in my iTunes search for the Pooh song for my son, I stumbled upon She and Him. I had no idea that she had three albums out. I love her music. I have a few favorites and below is one of them that I found on YouTube:

 
 
My TV time is minimal, but I do keep up with NCIS and Smash. This NCIS season has been awesome and I'm sad that tomorrow night is the season finale. I'm sure it will be a cliffhanger! I think it was end of last week when they announced Smash would be cancelled after this season. I'm really not all that surprised but am still disappointed.

Well, part of my new mantra is to not stay up too late blogging. If I'm going to find balance, I must blog in moderation. Or in other words, I cannot function without sleep the following day so I have instituted a bloggie curfew.

Thanks for reading.

Kate

May 13, 2013

12 February 2013

Puppies and Trucks, Oh My

I suppose it's been a little while since my last post. I spent a few days out of town on business and then I sort of took an "I'd rather sleep" spell. When I start blogging after the little one goes to bed, I sometimes stay up entirely way too late and then struggle to be my bright-eyed and bushy-tailed self in the mornings. Balance, I must find balance - that is a completely different blog post in itself.

So, as a way to ease back into the groove of things, I thought I'd share with you a puppy update. As of the end of last week, their eyes have opened.


They've gotten much bigger and are actually quite feisty. Over the weekend, we decided it would be best to go ahead and complete the "pen" since they are starting to move around more. We'd set up the hay bales a few weeks ago but they weren't fully connected.

So, our little one and I hopped into the truck on Saturday and set out for the barn. Remember, I'm not an awesome driver of the manual transmission. Towards the end of the drive leading to the barn, there is a large pile of gravel just sitting there that you must go around. I didn't realize how muddy it had become and as I was avoiding the pile of gravel by going to the side, which just so happens to be a bit of a hillside, I lost traction and essentially control of the truck.

I kept giving it the gas hoping it would push on through, but it didn't happen. We ended up sideways, on a hillside. I looked at our little one and asked him if he was scared. Can you believe he said yes? I decided the best and safest course of action would be to put the truck in neutral and ease off the hill - backwards. I stayed calm, surprisingly.

Once we were off of the hill, I began to breathe again. I put the truck in gear and headed through the field towards the barn. Who needs driveways anyway? The only problem with being in the field is that there is a hillside that separates the field from the barn. We parked the truck parallel to the hill and walked to the barn. I threw down a couple of more square bales from the hayloft and then rolled them down the hill. I was thankful the string didn't break, otherwise there would have been hay everywhere.

We loaded up the truck and headed back to the garage. I temporarily relocated the puppies while I was working on their abode, and they were not at all happy. Cutest little barks and growls I have ever heard. They were perfectly fine once I returned them to their "pen" and they could all return to snuggling with one another.

They'll be three weeks old on Wednesday. It's hard to believe just how fast they grow and that, hopefully, they'll be with their new owners in another three weeks! We've already got a few takers.

Thanks for reading.

Kate

February 12, 2013