Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Left Brain, Right Brain

My boss at my old job taught psychology courses at the school and incorporated a survey of our left or right brained characteristics into our employee evaluations.  It wasn't the first time I'd done a survey of this sort, but it allowed me a little self-discovery at that point, especially because I'd been through a lot of huge changes since the last time I'd done any sort of personality inventory.

I discovered that I'm mostly right-brained: creative, yearning, imaginative.  But my right-brained tendencies are heavily checked by the few left-brained characteristics I do have, which weigh rather heavily: analytical, love for the familiar, practical.  I'm also (if it's not too self-flattering to say) a master of words and language.  By this I mean that I may not always write with aesthetic mastery or even be interesting, but that I have a pretty good grasp of grammar, syntax, semantics, and vocabulary.  However, the way I feel about syntax and semantics (and not so much grammar or vocabulary) is more governed by my creative, yearning, and imaginative impulses; I love examining the way that words placed together in different ways can have so much impact on the way we are perceived and the way we feel and I could really go on for ages about that.

I think everyone exists somewhere on a spectrum between the left and right brain; it's not a dichotomy by any means.  It is interesting, though, that some characteristics will weigh more heavily than others and come in uneven doses, and that most people will find themselves leaning one way or the other.

Where do you see yourself in this spectrum?  Have you encountered it before?

You can see the other illustrations done for this ad campaign here, along with the text in an easier-to-read version.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Three Things

This might be a new series.  I'm not sure.  I'm not very good at keeping up with series, but I'm working on it.  I'd show three things I've found and liked, some affordable, others not--just things that make me happy and would be rather nice to own rather than just admire.

Anyway, these are three things I'd like to own.

#1.  This print.  I think it would actually be quite useful for me in addition to being pretty.  I'm getting a better grip on intertextuality in spite of my scattered and slightly messy undergraduate education, but a visual aid that's this pretty would be helpful and fun!

Source: via Katie on Pinterest

#2: Dottie Angel's book is so pretty.  It's so fun.  I think it would make me smile and grin and laugh.  I almost bought it the other day, but after spending over two hundred dollars on school books (why must I need new editions?), I couldn't do it.

#3: I really want a new yellow sweater.  I managed to stain the sleeve of my current one--an Ann Taylor cardigan that I bought for $2.50 at Goodwill--and shrink it in the wash, but I still wear it sometimes.  I'm picky about sweaters, though, as I'm allergic to wool and don't care for acrylics.  Silk and cotton blends are my favorite, and this one from Land's End would do perfectly.  I just need to get over to the Sears store and see if they have it and what size is right.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Terrain Dreams

I know you've read about it a million times by now, but the new Terrain site is crazy gorgeous.  The favorites file is so much fun.  You can look at all your favorite items together and arrange them however you'd like, or even sort them into different folders.  Right now, I'm imagining my home, filled with textures and colors in these gorgeous hues.

You can take a look at my favorites here and then start your own selection.  Have fun imagining!

Friday, August 26, 2011


My little sister isn't quite so little anymore.  She's nineteen and she's going to college.

In Milwaukee.


{Elm Grove, WI, 1999, the last year we didn't have to wear uniforms}

Who said you were allowed to grow up?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wednesday, Part Two

Today, my husband is taking the second test of his CPA exam.
After today, we're* halfway through.

Source: via Katie on Pinterest

I'm pretty darn sure it'll be fine.  We are going to have a ridiculous party when he finishes all four exams, because it is quite an accomplishment!  I would not want to trade places with him at all.  It's a good thing he's crazy smart.

*Cory is the one taking the tests, but I feel like we're in this together.  He studies and I try not to pester him when he studies and make sure he eats and things like that.  

A Technical Question

One of the things I miss about my old site was that I could reply directly to comments, rather than just listing a response somewhere below.  I feel like conversations almost get started in the comments section and then I don't know how to reply, especially when I want to thank people for kind words of encouragement.  I always click through to blogs if the commenter's name links, so sometimes I'll leave a message there or find an email address, but at that point, I feel a little weird and the conversation is rather stilted.

Has anyone worked out how to do this on blogger?  I switched because it was easier for me to work with, but sometimes I wish I'd stayed with

I've actually considered creating a self-hosted wordpress site, just for the sake of learning how to do it, but I haven't had the chance to do it yet and don't think I will get the time in the near future.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

"Let's not lose our love of reading...

...that's what got us in this mess in the first place."

Or so the professor of my first college English course (British Literature II, Romantics to Early Modernism, incredible class) said one day.

Source: via Katie on Pinterest

Those are words I carry around with me, too.  If I didn't love reading, I wouldn't have ended up where I am.  I'm not exactly sure what it is I'll do, or even what exactly I want to study, but I learned about a new interdisciplinary program that I can complete along with my MA and I might have a clue.

Regardless of what I decide, I'd better keep my love of reading.

I've decided to use the "scheduled at" feature so that I can write in the evening and post in the morning.  Voila!  Lack of motivation in the morning is solved.  Have a lovely day!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Self Instruction

When nervous, I get a little more accepting of platitudes.

Normally, I'm a bit snobby about clich├ęs, even though I use them all the time.  It's fairly illogical, I know, but I think the reason I'm snobby about seeing them is actually because I over-use them myself.

Anyway, as I said, when I'm nervous, I get a little more accepting of platitudes.  Why?  I think it's because they are easy to put on repeat in my mind and thus effectively temper nervous thoughts.  So in light of my silly nerves about starting classes this week, I've put a few doses of prettily illustrated platitudes, gathered here, on the back of the desk behind my laptop.

Source: via Katie on Pinterest

These two are my favorites.  I so wish that top print was still for sale!  I've shared them before, I'm sure, and I'm really sure that others have blogged them already, but they're catchy and I like to keep them in mind whenever I take on a new adventure.

I may or may not blog some more in the next few days.  I'll see how things go between classes, reading, and time with family before my little sister leaves for college.  

Friday, August 19, 2011

A Blue Phase

Somewhere around the blogosphere, I saw someone mention that she was in a blue phase.  At first, I thought she meant a melancholy time, but she was actually talking about a love for shades of blue.

Well, I guess I'm in a blue phase.  Actually, it's more of an aqua/turquoise phase.  It started with the color Cory chose for our wedding (from a rather broad selection I gave him; I'm horribly indecisive).  It then turned out to be the top color pick that year, according to Martha Stewart Weddings.  But it hasn't gone away yet.  I was searching Etsy today for a just-right hair accessory, which always happens when my hair gets long enough to be worn up and I have time to kill, and I discovered that many of my favorites are in variations of the exact same hue.

{dress by bayousalvage}

{necklace by verabel}

{clipboard by Box64 Studios}

Oddly, though, I don't own a lot of things in this color.  I tend to buy only neutrals, to the point that my closet is incredibly dull.  Perhaps I need more than just a cute hair clip, no?  

I had a whole meditation in mind to go with this, on the psychology of my wardrobe choices, but a) I don't really know a ton about psychology and b) this post has gotten long enough.  Maybe I'll write it on Monday.  Maybe not, since that's the day I start grad school.  Yikes!  Where did the summer go?  Oh, and if you know where that line about a blue phase came from, would you tell me?  Thanks!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Just Read :: Sisterhood Everlasting, by Ann Brashares

Books that close series must be terrifying to write.  I've come to that conclusion in the past, because I rarely read series anymore.  But Ann Brashares took it on and did it well, surprisingly and seriously well.  I'm sure there are plenty of nay-sayers, but I'm not one of them.  Perhaps the story is a little unrealistic, perhaps overly imagined, yet I think that is exactly what made the series so endearing to my teenage heart when I first picked up The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants in high school.  I've sympathized with the characters from the very beginning and felt a startling closeness to Lena, one of the four protagonists.  I lived vicariously through the characters more than I care to admit.  My real high school life consisted of a lot of nothing happening--something for which I'm actually glad--and the plots, contrived or not, of books filled in a lot of interestingness that my imagination craved.  Perhaps I could have filled my time with more literary pursuits (and I did, to an extent), but I remember connecting well to these novels.

In Sisterhood Everlasting (overstated title aside), I found again the reason I connected to the characters.  They feel real; since they are developed over the course of five novels, which I've read over six or so years, I feel I've gotten to know them.  The thoughts that Brashares gives to Lena aren't too far from my own on occasion.  The end is an uncontrived embodiment of bittersweet.  I won't make any apologies for reading this book and praising it, regardless of the chick lit category I'm sure it's being shoved into thoroughly.  If you haven't read the rest of the series, you probably won't fully understand what's going on and you won't enjoy the novel.  But if you have and you love the characters as much as I do, prepare to read with a very full heart and a few tears.    

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Sweet Feature

Today, I'm excited to tell you that Kirby at Colors of Honey is hosting a feature on my wedding last year.  Won't you head over and take a look?  

There's a funny story about this picture.  When we got my wedding band, my engagement ring was being resized and I didn't think to see how they'd fit together.  Turns out, I couldn't get them both on at the same time without a significant amount of effort.  You can kind of see that I'm trying to wriggle it onto my finger here.  After a moment, I stopped and waited until everyone's eyes were closed for a prayer and got the rings on the rest of the way.  

Photo by Kathy L. Phy, who I can't recommend enough to anyone in the Louisville area!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Some Words

Some words just get in your heart and in your head and surprise you.

"When the layers subside
and the fortune is empty

the pigment of our days
will echo pure

and I will be nowhere

if not with you."

I love when good words intersect with beautiful objects; the relationship between the written aesthetic and the physical aesthetic is something I feel keenly.  When I'm looking back at bookmarks and pins, I love finding something that didn't just move me at one moment, but got to my heart again when I came across it.  The words are by Kylie Johnson, a poet and potter, and the tray is for sale at anthropologie.  If I owned it, it would hang on the wall.

Sorry this post is so late in the day--you probably won't see it until tomorrow.  My husband took the day off of studying and we spent it having fun, mostly away from the computer.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Previously Uninspired

I put up a post this morning, but felt ridiculous about it and took it down about a half hour later.  Something was off, and it was mostly in my head.
An excedrin and a nap later, I'm a little better, but still a bit funky.  So I don't have a lot of words today, just this outfit for Friday's Fancies and hopefully a less out-of-it day tomorrow.  This outfit is based on pieces I own (pants, top, shoes) and trying to accessorize them in a way that looks cute, not messy.  This is something I'm working on but haven't mastered yet.

going back...
going back... by katiebees

I think I'm going to start posting in the evenings on a regular basis.  I'm more with it then, more inspired, more awake.

Other than that, you know how it goes.  More fashion-oriented posts can be found at Long Distance Loving and the sources for all the items above can be found by clicking the image.  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

What I Did Today

I went through my omi's* letters, which my oma** has had tucked safely away since moving into this house seven or eight years ago.  These are all sorted into protective sleeves in a binder so that I can scan them and document.  Some of the letters are in German; these were found next to envelopes with postmarks from Germany, Romania, and Hungary.  I don't know how old they are yet because I'm a little afraid to unfold them until Oma is able to translate them so I can record their contents in English.

 (these are not my letters, but I will photograph them soon.)

I realized, like many often do, how letters are a fading, if not already faded, mode of communication.

So I wrote a letter to my cousin.  I still need to find a stamp--I don't even keep them on hand anymore!--but it'll be sent shortly.  I am rather lucky, in that most of the people I would send letters to live near me and they are wholly unnecessary; I can literally just stop by their homes if I wish.

{ready but for the stamp}

Of course, I could easily send my cousin a message on facebook, but then that surprise (which is probably ruined by now, since she usually reads these posts) of finding something for you, with your name, that's travelled a good distance, would be lost.

I need to send more letters.  I need to find some stamps...and people's addresses...and the box with my stationery.

*"Omi" is my great-grandmother.
**"Oma" is my grandmother.  

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Light Surprise

Last week, I walked outside to the most incredible light.  I fumbled with my camera, not knowing what setting to use on the little point-and-shoot.  I ended up using landscape mode, even though I wasn't shooting a landscape, and this happened.

Blurry?  Yes, a bit.  Ethereal?  That, too.

Sometimes I wish I had a fancy camera and the knowledge to use it, but sometimes my little camera surprises me.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Happy Tuesday

Being away from the computer for almost two full days is apparently quite good for restoring a good dash of inspiration and motivation to one's life.  I really ought to plan one day each week where the laptop gets turned off and I pay some more attention to concrete things and nearby people.  I can't do this, of course, since I'll be using my laptop for schoolwork most days, but I'll set aside a little time, just enough, because I really live in a pretty place with some pretty great people.

Oh, and that wedding I went to?  It was seriously beautiful.  They were married at sunset and the rain cleared up just an hour before the ceremony started.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday's Fancies and a Quick Trip

On Sunday morning, my family, husband, and I are taking off for a quick trip to Wheaton, Illinois for a wedding.  Although I plan to wear a dress that won't get too wrinkled in transit (thank goodness for knits!), I loved this dress, spotted on this week's living in post on design*sponge.  I love that it captures the lightness of summer, and the pink and ivory is perfectly feminine and even a bit bridal in connotation.  The delicate bracelet and feather hairpiece contrast nicely with the bold sequined bag, while the shoes are structured enough to not be overwhelmed by the dress.  I'd wrap the scarf around my shoulders when the sun goes down or the air conditioning is a little much--I'm one of those people that shivers indoors in the summer, even when it's over a hundred degrees outside. 

{see the sources here}

I think I was feeling quite girly when I made this board.  It's often easy to tell my mood from what I'm wearing or thinking of wearing.

I'll be offline on Monday, but back on Tuesday. Have a lovely weekend!  If you read the title of today's post, you know it's a Friday's Fancies day here, so go take a look at all the end-of-summer prettiness and, if you'd like, like my post. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Yesterday, I saw this post on SFGirlByBay and thought about submitting something I collect, but then I realized I don't collect anything.  I mean, you could say I collect books and journals and paper goods, I suppose.  However, I tend to accumulate more than I collect them--they pile onto my desk and into boxes without any specific intent of building a collection.

Source: via Tammy on Pinterest

Yet I like the idea of having a collection, even if it takes up space and time.  Collecting requires time, thought, and effort, unlike picking things up here and there.  Of course, there is a certain organic nature to picking things up more randomly, but there's still a natural pattern to collecting--knowing what you're looking for and finding it.  It's a conscious act.

Source: via Tammy on Pinterest

Perhaps I need to start a collection.  Any ideas?

Doesn't that first collection make you laugh?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Sweet Summertime

It's gray and rainy this morning and I can feel that summer is drawing to a close, even though it will be hot for at least another six to eight weeks here.
At the start of summer, I had a list of things I wanted to do--read for fun, read some preparatory materials for grad school, learn some printmaking techniques, and figure out what I'm going to do with my degree when I finish.
I managed most of those things, except figuring out what to do with an English degree (I think I'll just wing it), so I'd like to try just a few more things, like making a delicious watermelon this pretty...

...and starting to journal again...

Source: via Jess on Pinterest

...and creating a (non-virtual) mood board to inspire me.

What would you like to do with the rest of your summer?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Good Words

I found some good words this weekend.  I was thinking about writing and didn't have any words of my own that I wanted to put to paper (this happens frequently), so I went looking for something to inspire and found a lot.  Take a look with me, won't you?
Source: via Katie on Pinterest

Go and be happy this week!  I've saved a few more good words here and here.