about me

Friday, June 24, 2011

friday faves: 6.24.11

first full week back in the u.s. of a.  back to the office and commuting and sleeping normal hours.  back to chatting on the phone  with my girls and wearing heels and straightening my hair.  oh, and back to my pretty things blog!  and back to the many pretty things out there in the blogosphere ~

~ perfect entry way space ~
black & white beauty.  i especially love how the books match the color scheme!
from the always-incredible tobi fairley, in the may issue of traditional home magazine

~ watercolor walls ~
head over heels in love.
 by the crazy-talented black crow studios {via effortless style}

~ craving WHBM ~
as all who know me are aware, white house | black market is pretty much my favoritest store.  and somehow it's been about 3 weeks (maybe even 4...woah) since i've shopped there!  chicka-whaaa?! so here are some of the many cute new items from WHBM that i would love right about now ::
black & white & accent love forever~

that's it for now -- off to iowa for my first weekend off of 2011!  whoo hoo!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

wedding wednesday: purple tulle

a bride after my own heart - pretty purple tulle under the traditional pretty white dress.  and a purple sash.  AND killer sparkly purple shoes.

heck yeah!

photography by she-n-he {via style me pretty}

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

i want: love from IL postcards

found this on caitlin wilson's design blog & instantly fell in love.  all of etsy artist lily gene's cards are incredible but i was (obviously) drawn to this postcard ::

obvious, indeed, considering i live in the IL but the vast majority of my friends are spread out around the country/world.  think long-distance romantic relationships are hard?  well i would argue that LDFs (that's "long-distance-friendships" for all you not into abbreviating/acronym-ing literally everything.  and also making up words.) can be harder.  our culture puts such a high premium on romantic relationships, and when you are in love you will contact your partner as often as possible, especially if they are far away.  but with all the busy-busy of daily life, we can tend to neglect our dear friends, again, especially if they are far away.

well i say, enough!  so, dear all my friends in indiana, iowa, wisconsin, minnesota, florida, california, utah, colorodo, ireland, korea, and beyond -- there is someone in illinois who loves you very, very much.  and she will be sending you cards in the snail mail very soon.  because there is something particularly special about receiving real cards, don't you think?  i sure do.  all my love, illinois kait

p.s.  sorry but they probably won't be the exact postcard shown.  although $3 really isn't bad for something so adorable and really perfect, we all know that my strict bujay limits me to target & the dollar store.  one day though...

p.p.s. joelley, hope you know that you were the "florida" friend to whom i was referring :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

etc.: yes i do listen to ben harper

guess i'm still in the father's day mood because i really can't help but reblog this incredible flow chart!  music has been a constant love throughout my life and i owe pretty much all of that to my father.  his love of pretty much every genre of music (but mostly classic rock) was passed on to me, and although i'll never understand ke$ha or justin beiber, i love that i was the middle schooler with music by nirvana, bob marley, and the clash all proudly displayed in my room.  maybe it wasn't "cool" at the time, but i thankfully missed out on some absolutely terrible pop music.  thank you daddy :)

but i digress...back to the flow chart!  now i couldn't get it to show up here large enough for anyone to read it without a microscope, so i encourage you to go over to the sonos blog HERE to check it out, find the result, then come back here & let me know if it was accurate!  a lot of work for a monday, i know - but seriously, you should do it :)

*discovered on habitually chic

oh, and in honor of my results, i'd like to share a two songs by BH ~

 the "kait" song :
 "but if the sun sets you free, sets you free/ you'll be free indeed, indeed"

and this one here is probably the most romantic song ever :
side note: i once had a boyfriend who would sing this to me.  even though our "forever" didn't last, i still can close my eyes, hear his voice, and break out in a great big smile.  [read the full lyrics]

side note #2: once out with some friends, my country-lovin' date [different man] let me pick a song on the jukebox, knowing it would likely be something he'd hate.  i chose "steal my kisses" by ben haper.  he laughed because as suspected, he does not like that song, but then he danced with me, right there in a sports bar certainly not known for dancing.  tres romantique.  well, for me -- little things like that are my idea of romance.

side note #3: now that i think of it, i have known some pretty sweet men :)

then again, as ben harper said,  
"it takes a hundred miles of love to heal a mile of pain"

Sunday, June 19, 2011

a personal post: me & my daddy

in honor of father's day i decided to write a post dedicated to him and to our interesting relationship.  so here is a sort of time line of me & my daddy ::

daddy & toad
yes, you read that right - toad.  my father didn't call me his princess or his angel or anything like that.  i was his toad.  why?  well now, that's the best part!  i was toad because i looked like a toad.  sweet.  above is a picture of my very young daddy and his baby toad.  
from the start i was a total daddy's girl...
we were best friends.

daddy & little kait
 as i grew up i maintained my daddy's girl status, apparently living on his shoulders?
or in his arms in general.

daddy & kait age 8 - 18
{no pictures to share}
it's not that there are no pictures of daddy & me during this time frame, it's just that i don't have any on my computer right now.  i would probably have to search for one of just the two of us as i don't think we took many pictures together during my prolonged angsty stage.  unfortunately, we didn't have the best of relationships at this time.  it would take a long time to explain why exactly but in short - he did nothing wrong, he loved me and always had my best interests at heart, but for whatever reason i couldn't see that.  i became much closer with my momma and didn't pay as much attention to my dad.  i was quite the sensitive pre-adolescent/adolescent and his tough personality offended me [but i repeat: he only loved me and only had my best interests at heart.  it's just taken me a few years to realize that].  i wish we didn't have this lapse in our relationship but i'm glad to say that moody phase is finally over!

daddy & big-girl kait - college & beyond
when i went away to college, my parents' alma mater actually, i constantly heard from my father's friends that i had become just like him.  at first i was really shocked but then the more i thought about it, the more i realized they were right.  everyone had always said i was like my mother's twin but i now knew i was far more like my dad's sarcastic, outgoing, confident, occasionally reckless self.  i realized i inherited so much more from him than a love of eclectic music - i also could hold my own with pretty much anyone, get along with pretty much anyone, and refuse to let any of those people bring me down.
the other night at dinner with my family, my mom asked me & my two younger siblings, "who is most like dad?"
the answer was unanimously, kait.

i couldn't be happier.

 p.s.  i was also decided to be most like my mom. 
it's common knowledge that i am the perfect mix of my parents.
just when i thought i couldn't get any happier . . . i am.

happy father's day 2011

Saturday, June 18, 2011

etc: pinterest

quickest post EVER!  so i'm at the office [yes, on a saturday night... i'm not so good at being young...] and taking a quick break and decided to finally join pinterest!  so now i need all of your screen names so i can follow you and find lots and lots of pretty things to get me through these long hours!  please share!

p.s. mine is kait ryan - i have nothing pinned and probably won't until down time tomorrow night, but i would super love if you followed me there too :)

the end

Friday, June 17, 2011

friday faves: 6.17.11

i'm back!  and as weird as it may sound, i really missed blogging/reading blogs.  definitely didn't expect that, but regardless, true story.

so here is my first friday faves post in two weeks but i'm going to make it short & sweet, just five faves from my work trip to mainland china . . .

1. giant stone sculptures
please excuse the tired eyes and no-makeup!  these pictures were taken outside of factories where i worked long days looking at samples, photographing them, and notating all details and intended changes.  still, as tired as i was, i loved these stone sculptures and insisted on taking pictures with them - regardless of how i looked!

2. sparkly sparkles everywhere
one thing i learned about china - there are sparkles everywhere!  it can be a pretty depressing landscape, filled with dust and dirt, but by adding glitter and sequins to everything, people make it even just slightly prettier.  this building is just one example.  [one of the business owners i was with wanted me to take a picture so she could possibly make her storefront look like this too.  how cool is that?!] *picture taken in guangzhou

3. interesting vehicles
no idea what this thing is exactly, but i'm sort of in love with it.  driving around china we saw the most interesting vehicles all over, this is just one that i was able to snap a pic of.  side note: driving in china is completely terrifying.  driving on the opposite side of the road, straddling the center traffic line, and going right towards oncoming traffic (including child bicyclists) without any intent of swerving is all completely acceptable.  t-e-r-r-i-f-y-i-n-g.

4. heineken in china
... in the tiny lil airport.  baller!  i kinda wished the can looked a little more "chinese" but really, i was just crazy happy to enjoy a cold beer after a long morning.  of course, then there was 3 hours of traveling and then back to work.  sigh.

5. ocean views
planes have to land on this tiny strip of land in the middle of the ocean
view of macau
pretty pretty ocean
loved all these little islands
due to the nature of my trip (work, work, work... & more work), i didn't get to see the beauty of mainland china.  the one time i really did get to see some was on our ferry ride from hong kong to zhongshan.  the ocean was just beautiful.  i wished so badly to be out there actually experiencing it rather than in a bumpy ferry, but i was still lucky to have seen it at all.

okay, now back to the office!  time to type up notes and prepare our line for the wholesale show in only one month.  and i thought work would slow down once the store closed.  silly, silly me!

{more pictures and stories from china still to come}
~all pictures taken by me, on my junky little nikon

Sunday, June 12, 2011

i want: perfectly preppy summer outfit

as seen on annalynne mccord ~

structured-feminine, my fave!  lovely floral, modest neckline, bright coral waist-cinching belt, nude pumps... want, want, want!

dress = alice + olivia puffy prom dress & shoes by none other than christian louboutin
images and info found on the vogue diaries

Friday, June 10, 2011

pretty picture: strong dancers

there are no words to describe how moved i feel after seeing this photograph.  wow.

taken by the incredibly talented marcus roy hoffman

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

pretty pictures: jennifer lawrence for flare

she is just so gorgeous.

shot by max abadian for flare, june 2011

one more look at my fave pic:

Sunday, June 5, 2011

etc: i'm off!

okay one last post, i promise!  and then it's off - to o'hare, to my 15.5 hour flight, to hong kong! 

i had to do a quick last post because i am just so proud of myself and needed to toot my own horn here on my lil bloggy.  why am i so proud, you ask?  because of my mad packing skills!  a week and a half, another country, both work and play... and i only have two tiny carry-ons and one medium checked bag!  i used to huge suitcases of junk wherever i went but apparently the years of getting made fun of from family members paid off and i have done a complete 180!  now i'm a savvy packer - prepared for different situations but not loaded down with a ton of baggage [hmmm... i bet that would make a really good analogy...!]. 

how i used to be!
i have: 1. my purse with all the essentials [wallet, iPad, little pillow, etc.]; 2. a little backpack with 3 days of clothes [in case my checked luggage gets lost - like i said, prepared for all sorts of different situations!]; 3. a medium sized suitcase to be checked.  now here's the awesome part! : inside the medium suitcase is another small, carry-able suitcase.  this way, i can buy whatever i want and still get it all home!  now, i don't expect to necessarily spend all my hard-earned money while in china but like i said - all different situations.  after i saw how little i packed i was at first worried that i forgot some essentials, but after many double, triple, quadruple checks, i realized that somehow i really did have it all - and in a super compact way!

so TOOT TOOT!  props to me - proof that it is possible to teach an old(ish) dog new tricks. 

here's to hoping this confidence high carries stays with me during this huge adventure!

xx, kait

Saturday, June 4, 2011

etc: leaving on a jet plane...

...don't know when i'll be back again.

well, that's a lie.  i'll be back on the 15th.  and i'm actually leaving tomorrow, not today, so i don't know if that lyric quite fits.

but anyways. 

i'm writing this post because i'm going to be MIA for the next week and a half and i want you all to know that i'm not forgetting about you!  i have really come to love this blog, and to love all you sweet readers and your great comments, and of course - your own great blogs.  so this is my fair warning that it'll be a bit before i'm back.  until then, i've done something i really really don't like to do: schedule posts.  only a few, and only because i'd love to come home to some comments from you all!  typically i don't do this but i'm making an exception for china.  forgive me?  and promise to keep reading?!

that's it for now -- time to do many loads of laundry, some last minute shopping, and then manic packing!  i won't look quite this vintage-lovely and effortlessly chic and put-together when traveling tomorrow, but this fabulous photograph is still worth viewing as some packing inspiration ~

oh yes, maybe one day!

completely beautiful image from we heart it, via the simply luxurious life

Friday, June 3, 2011

friday faves: 6.3.11

can you believe it's june already?!  i sure can't...  june.  june as in beginning-of-summer, june as in no-more-work-on-weekends, june as in china.  yup, the time has come - i'm off to fly across the world the day after tomorrow.  hong kong, here i come!  it will be quite the experience and i will be sure to fill you in.  until then i will just have to try and calm my nerves and prepare myself for whatever china feels like throwing my way!

and until then, i will share with you a few tidbits found and bookmarked this past week ~

~ books, books, books ~
i simply adore this little reading nook - a.d.o.r.e., adore.  love the plush cushion, the symmetry, and of course - the wall of books!  ohhh yes, adore.  my (future) child shall have his/her own little reading nook just like this one day.
from house beautiful, via shelter by julie richard ~ head on over to see more book-filled spaces

~ summery dresses from anthropologie ~
want.  and more.

~ a motorcycle ride ~
i like to try new things often but i am also a big fat worrywart so that can create some problems.  and i have always been scared of motorcycles.  let's just chalk it up to the time spent teaching first aid and watching scary videos.  but i'm proud to say that as of monday i can cross riding motorcycles off my bucket list.  and what's better...i loved it!  i guess i'm a bit like a dog - i loved the feeling of the wind against my face as we rode!  the best part was going through the country, just being surrounded by lush green everything.  oh, and it was a huge harley so that's even better!  can't wait to go again :)
[picture above is of the louis vuitton motorcycle.  oh yes, it exists]


~ shopbop giveaways ~
{if i won, i would get this watercolor dress by free people}
lucky lucky time for us - there's not one but two $100 shopbop giveaways going on right now!  one is at the zhush [ends this sunday], and another on miles of styles [ends june 9]

link love
~ some seriously beautiful lace dresses [lovely happenings]
~ joffrey ballet in action.  pure beauty. [a spot of whimsy]
~ julianne moore's fabulous nyc apartment [design addict mom]
~ mirrors, mirrors - everywhere mirrors! [miles of style]
~ porch swings & pillows [6th street design school]

one last pretty thought . . . 

wednesday night my friend (actually, he's my high school boyfriend believe it or not!) and i went to the little lake in my neighborhood and just sat and watched the stars over the water.  i've been under massive amounts of stress lately - "lately" as in the past 6 months, and this is one of my all-time favorite activities.  we just sat and talked and laughed.  but the best part of it all was the new bon iver album that we listened to all night.  if you haven't just sat and closed your eyes and listened to bon iver while the rest of the world is silent, then you're really missing out.
and if you haven't heard bon iver at all before, then it's time to fix that!
let's start with calgary, off of the newest album --

have a lovely week!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

wedding wednesday: balloon engagement

yes, i know that my segment is titled wedding wednesdays, but engagements precede weddings, as do engagement photo shoots, so it's all good.  actually it's all very, very good.  because it's simple and sweet and playful and whimsical and.... and filled with BALLOONS!  and we all know how much i love balloons!  so take a gander and enter the magical world of balloons & the beauty of love ~

and my fave ~

it's very sixteen candles... but with balloons.  so it's even more awesome.

beautiful photo shoot brought to you by brittany esther