Wave after wave

waves

{image by Chris Goldberg}

Dear Friend,

I’m one of those people who finds something they like and then I just keep that one thing on repeat until I can’t take it anymore. Examples:

  • Grilled cheese. — After seeing the movie Chef in theaters twice, I got pretty heavily involved in grilled cheese. If you haven’t seen the movie, there is one scene where Jon Favreau’s character (the chef) makes this beautiful, decadent grilled cheese sandwich for his son. Obviously I went straight home, bought some of the real cheese from the market, and had grilled cheese sandwiches almost every night for far too long. Gave that one up more for the inevitable weight gain than for a change of heart about melted cheese. I’m fairly certain melted cheese will never lose its appeal.

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  • Sex and the City. — When I moved to San Francisco right after graduation, I lived by myself for the first time ever. On the one hand I had all the freedom in the world, on the other I was so lonely I started talking to myself. Then I started making money because of my first real job, which obviously led to spending money. One of my first purchases was the complete collection of the Sex and the City seasons, which comes in a subtle pink velvet binder. I was thrilled. I also bought the movie because I would need the complete story from beginning to end. (Please note that I don’t consider the second movie part of the story because I was so utterly let down). So I would come home from work, hear myself start talking out loud to no one, and then put in Sex and the City. This became a substantial routine. So much so that I really did feel like Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha were my friends and I can very confidently say that I watched all seasons + the movie in order, on loop probably six or seven times IN A ROW. Shocking. Regardless, I will never not enjoy Sex and the City but I don’t think I’ll be reaching for that pink velvet binder of my own volition for quite a while.

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  • Music. — I think most people can relate to this one. You hear a great song. You fall in love. It’s perfect and maybe the lyrics even capture something really relevant to your life at that moment so then the song becomes so much about you that it’s fairly obvious that the artist wrote it for you. At this point, I’ve usually heard whatever song a handful of times in different circumstances so I know at least the chorus. Then Google comes into the picture because this song needs to be put at the top of every playlist I make. I google the chorus lyrics that I know, I find the name of the song, I add it to my current playlist on Spotify and then hit the repeat button so that even though it’s in a playlist this one song is the only one that plays. All day at work, this one song plays on endless loop. This lasts roughly two weeks. Then I just can’t take it anymore. NO MORE OF THE ONE SONG! And yet every time I find a new song that I love, this is the process I jump into, which inevitably leads to the cringe feeling but hey, now I know ALL of the lyrics and those things are kept in my mind forever. FOREVER. You should know that I have zero memory. I tend to forget everything – everything, except song lyrics and I think it’s because of this process.

So with all of that being said, my new song is Waves by Mr. Probz (I’m embarrassed to write down this artist’s name, but it is what it is). These lyrics really have nothing to do with anything in my life right now. I don’t feel like I’m drowning. I’m not pulling against the stream. I’m very easy to love (ok maybe that’s a stretch), but really all nothing to relate to except…. waves. This song repeats the lyric “wave after wave” so so much but in a very calming way. It sounds like water and mimics waves endlessly crashing against the shore. Also, sooner rather than later, I will be off to Costa Rica where there will be waves and water everywhere so that’s ideal.

What’s on repeat in your life?

xx Katie

Dear Auckland (bunch 1)

{roughly two weeks ago this is what life looked like after a 13 hour flight}

Dear Auckland,

Thank you for the incredible vacation and the even lovelier memories. This was my first adult vacation and despite how unfortunate I look in that photo, I wish it had never ended.

Before the trip could begin there was of course some pre-work that had to get done. We decided to rent an apartment and a car, which gave us the comfort of a home and the freedom of constant transportation. With a full kitchen on our side, we had the flexibility of eating in or out or packing lunches or snacking whenever. Anyone taking a significant trip to a single country that can be navigated by car, I highly recommend this approach. We used airbnb and I’m sure there are a thousand other home rental options, but it was ideal. Particularly on a morning when your thirteen hour flight arrives at 6:00am and all you want to do is go home and take a nap, which is exactly what we did.

As far as the itinerary for the trip goes, there was none.

Normally I plan, as I’m sure you can relate to, but for this trip I took it slow. I didn’t plan per se, but I did make an extensive activity list (with the help of some friends). I figured that we could pick activities each night for the next day, which would allow us to get a bunch of things done without feeling pressured to stick to a schedule (a very planned approach to no planning).

Everything worked out swimmingly. Not planning was a great plan and the weather was on our side with some rain and some sun. As far as photos go, I’m not going to be able to break everything down into Day 1, Day 2, etc. because I have zero memory and I just remember things in bunches. So bunch 1 of photos includes roughly three photos from our stop at the art gallery in Auckland, way too many photos of shopping, and of course, meatballs.

How do you plan for a big vacation?

xx Katie

Auckland Art Gallery

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{my favorite parts were of course not pieces in the gallery but the light display and the silly sculpture “garden”}

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{shopping – without the buying because things cost crazy money in NZ}

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{beautifully lettered prints and stripes galore}

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{confusing candles – are they cute? should I be freaked out? are they feminine? are they punk?}

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{succulents are hip everywhere | and an obvious book by Pharrell}

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The following is the pinkest stationery store I have ever seen, and I would have insisted we never leave had it not reeked inside.

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All of the pink speaks for itself.

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MEATBALLS

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Dear September

{Auckland skyline}

Dear September,

So… I was in New Zealand (as pictured above) for your first week+ and I think that’s maybe my best excuse yet for why I’m late.

Needless to say that trip was my number one activity I was looking forward to this month. I’m overjoyed things went so smoothly, horribly sad that it went to fast, but so relieved to have those 12 hour flights behind me. It’s shocking that I’m already home and am sorting through hundreds of photos to share with you.  I absolutely cannot WAIT to talk your ear off about all of the beautiful places New Zealand had for us (me and my leading man… if there’s confusion about this terminology, see here).

On another note, my black tie affair is drawing close (a lovely friend’s wedding in two weeks) and I have no dress (maybe more shocking than being home already). It’s not so much that I don’t have any dresses, but I don’t have THE dress. And because I refuse to wear my prom dress (the only truly formal dress I own), this weekend will be filled with shopping – twist my arm…

Any fun fall kick-off plans in the works?

xx Katie

p.s. Seriously get ready for an overload of New Zealand nonsense.

Welcome Back Kate!

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Dear Friend,

Hello polka dot heaven.

Some background: for a few months the Kate Spade store in the Westfield mall on Market Street has been closed. There were signs letting everyone know that they were just getting a facelift and would be back soon, but soon never seems soon enough.

The invitation: There are few things I love more than being invited places. This happens so rarely. Not because I have no life, which is debatable, but mostly because invitations are unfortunately not a real thing anymore. Invitations are such unicorns these days that I take them to be quite the compliment. I will even be flattered by e-vites. Lo and behold, last week I received an email from Kate letting me know in the subject line – “you’re invited…” What a hook!

Fast forward to last night: I can honestly say that this was one of the first times that being on a company’s email list really, really paid off. Party dresses, shiny stilettos, fall purses, sparkling lemonade, macaroons, and my favorite SF bloggers – such a fabulous way to spend a Thursday night. PLUS I met two bloggers (Lauren of live happy inspired and Em of The Refined Woman), whose sites were very instrumental in the process of getting Lovely Letters started. Yes, I freaked them out with my reaction to their presence but they handled it like the graceful women they are.

And so, I’d just like to say, “Welcome back, Kate! You were sorely missed, but your comeback party was a treat.”

xx Katie

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with Annie and Kelly

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Thanks to Lauren’s incredible skillz, we have that great aerial shot.

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Kelly’s incredible ring collection and fresh manicure.

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Annie with the perfect clutch for her perfect outfit.

Long Flight Lounging

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Dear Auckland,

I am so ready to see you again!! Unfortunately, an awfully long flight must happen first. In mental preparation for the flight I am visualizing. Visualizing my comfortable clothes. Visualizing a well packed carry-on. Visualizing 13 straight hours of sleep. Here’s hoping!

My absolute “musts” for any long flight include:

  • A huge sweater that might as well be a blanket. Anytime blankets are disguised as clothes I buy them. What a great concept.
  • A similarly large t-shirt. Something about pressurized, re-circulated air and serious altitude makes me swell so I can’t handle anything fitted.
  • To completely contradict my last statement…. leggings. I am going to argue that the amount of stretch in these bad boys allows for the most extreme swelling and as such they are less “fitted” and are more “you’d-never-know-you-were-even-wearing-pants.”
  • TOMS, obviously.
  • Flashy headphones that not only look great but also have great sound quality.
  • Glasses because no one wants to deal with contacts for 13 hours in re-circulated air.
  • And a stylish yet practical carry-all organized/jam-packed with magazines, a travel wallet filled with all necessary documents, a water bottle, and whatever electronics make sense.

For as much as I’m setting myself up for optimal comfort and sleep potential, more likely than not I’ll be so excited to have my own tv complete with new releases that it won’t even occur to me to nod off. Sorry in advance for what ever mood I’m in when I get there. See you soon!

Do you have any long flight life savers that I should invest in? 

xx Katie