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Caitlin

Life

Trusting the Process (But wait…what’s the process?)

It’s been a while since I’ve opened up this little blog editor…

It’s not that I haven’t tried to write. I’ve tried a lot. I’ve tried writing songs, blog posts, even Facebook status updates…and the same thing tends to happen every time lately. It goes a little something like this:

Think, sort, write. Delete, write half, write another half, delete half, go back and forth, end. Delete it all or leave it all alone and don’t finish it…

I’ve felt like I just don’t know what to write about or how to write about it….but it’s not that I don’t HAVE anything to write about.

My soul, ever since I was little, has had to write to function and feel. I remember when 9/11 happened and I was in elementary school, I wrote a ton of heavy poems about it. I read them aloud to my parents one night, and they were shocked that I had felt so much depth and pain in something that seemed far too big for me to understand at such a young age.

I’ve always needed to get it on paper to begin to process. Sometimes it takes me a while before I can form the right words through the emotions to write them, but for me, closure is always found in writing…even if it takes years. I look back now on some of my old journal entries (which I have written in pretty much ever since I learned how to use a pencil), and I see prayers answered in the pages. Even prayers I hadn’t even prayed yet…I see things now through those pages that I could’ve never seen at the time. I love reading my writing about falling in love with a boy I met from Florida who became my husband. I love reading about my college years and all the emotions I experienced (every single one you could imagine), and my entries from high school dreaming about where I would end up…who I would marry, if and where I’d go to college, feeling like a misunderstood teen, the moment my brother got married, the moment heartbreak consumed me in a way I thought I’d never recover, the moment I was accepted into college, the moment I met people as my freshman roommates who are now my best friends in the world, the moment I became an aunt, a college graduate, a wife, had my first job, left Nashville, moved to Florida, moved back to Nashville; the moments I struggled, loved, lived.

I am filled with so much sometimes that I don’t know what to do with it. It’s the strangest feeling, having so much in you that you want to let out into the world…but not having any idea how to do it. It’s kind of like feeling stuck in a glass box.

I sit down to write songs and end up putting down the guitar after feeling absolutely unable to focus enough on one single moment, one single idea to form a song out of it. I’ve had ideas for posts but felt like, “Where do I even begin…how can I even possibly figure out where to start with this?” So I just do nothing.

I also get lost in the comparison game….and buy into the lie that I am insignificant and not good, relevant, connected or driven enough to create great art…

I guess, how to start is just to start. People have told me that before and I probably say something like, “But you don’t understand!”, but it’s just the truth. I usually view my one line songs and scratch blog post ideas as trash, but they aren’t…they are beginnings. They may morph, change, mature, or end up getting deleted…but that does not make them less of a start.

I once heard someone say something like, “Creativity is feeling that spark of inspiration…and then having the discipline and the hard work to go through with it.”

Art is art, and it takes time. It is vulnerable. It is unique to each individual. And it’s not an easy thing to search deep within your heart and soul to organize your emotions in such a way that you create something tangible out of it. It takes discipline just like anything; and while it comes easier to some people than others, its still a process full of hard, worth it work.

“In music, one doesn’t make the end of a composition the point of the composition.  If that were so the best conductors would be those who played fastest, and there would be composers who wrote only finales. People would go to concerts just to hear one crashing chord; because that’s the end!” -Alan Watts

And so, trust the process even when it’s scattered. Be honest and vulnerable in your art, whatever the medium, AND in the process it takes to trudge through it. Thats what I’ll be trying to do, too, and I’m cheering for you.

Love to you,

Caitlin

Life

Space for Dreaming

We all have passions, loves, gifts, talents and dreams. Whether or not we realize it, I really believe they are there, deep inside our hearts and souls waiting to be nurtured.

Among the top of the list of things I love for me are writing, singing, songwriting, and creating. I love to make music with my husband and alone, and create stories that are meant to be shared. I absolutely love crafting posts for this blog and sharing thoughts with whoever wants to read.

I also have a day job with long hours, like many people do, and find it harder than one would expect to make room in my life for the things that I love.

There was a time, a few years ago, when I completely stopped allowing space for dreaming and creativity in my life. I was knee deep in my eating disorder, and allowed it to take up all the extra energy I had inside of me. I was home for the summer from college, and my mom noticed that I stopped singing all around the house. I was so exhausted and drained from my issues that I had nothing left to give.

It took a long time and lots of therapy to find my way out of that place, but the premise is this: when you allow things to occupy the space in your heart reserved for dreams, you cheat yourself of a life filled with joy. Andrew and I have talked about this and have decided to “not be defined by our day jobs”, as we call it. We want to be good stewards of our blessings and be excellent in the jobs we spend our time at for 9 hours every day, but we also want to be good stewards of the dreams and gifts God has woven into our hearts. 

In my devotional today, it said instead of being intimidated by that “thing” you’ve always wanted to do, to start where you are. Wherever that is, a phone call, a day away to dream (love that), or an hour of writing, you can always just start where you are. This spoke volumes to me as I thought about all the little things I can be doing, like writing this little blog, to nurture that space in my heart full of dreams. Everyone has one! If you don’t know where yours is, I know a little soul searching will reveal it to you. Where does your mind wander when you have the time? What do you find yourself wanting to do more of in your free time?

As we all have dreams and passions and aspirations, we also all have fears trying to work against us. For a long time, I avoided showing anyone my songs or writing pieces because I felt I didn’t have a shot and there was no point. I’m learning that it doesn’t really matter what kind of a “shot” you have. If you love your work, and are diligent and teachable and genuine in it, that will show through. That speaks volumes. If it’s something that you love so much, “success” defined by others really becomes just a bonus. I am only 24 years old and I know my passions and aspirations will grow and change over the course of my life. I don’t really know what I will end up doing “professionally” as a day job throughout the remainder of my life, but I do know that I don’t have to be defined by whatever that is. I can always do these things that I love, even if I don’t make money at them, because they ignite my heart and mind and soul and carry me on.

I love this quote by Bob Goff in his book Love Does. He is an amazing author, speaker and philanthropist but he also used to be a lawyer:

“Some time ago I stopped thinking about being a lawyer as a career. Instead, I think of it as just a day job. Thinking about work as a day job has made a big difference in the way I approach what I do. It’s also helped me not to confuse who I am with what I do. I spend a great deal of time working for kids in Uganda and India and chasing bad guys who hurt them. I started a nonprofit a number of years ago and now Sweet Maria and I think about my day job as a great way to fund the things we’re doing. Now when I put on a suit and tie or jump on a plane to go take a deposition, we call it “fund-raising.” 

Dream on, lovelies. Leave a comment down below with what you’re dreaming up! I would love to hear about it!

Happy Sunday 🙂

-Caitlin

Health

Things I’m Loving-Spring Edition!

Hello lovelies!

Here in Nashville, the temperatures have finally started to rise! This past weekend was blissful, with bright blue skies and upper seventy degree temperatures. There’s something truly beautiful about the way the Spring can bring on inspiration. Coming out of the dark cocoon of winter, I think we all feel a little revitalized and motivated when the sunshine comes back. I’ve been wanting to clean out my closet, organize our home, spend less time on the computer and more time outside, and revamp and clean up my diet and fitness routine.  I wanted to make a post with some things I’ve been enjoying for adding some pep into things for Springtime! Feel free to play along and let me know what you’ve been loving lately.

Essential Oils: I have been loving putting essential oils not only in my diffuser, but into my water. My current favorite is to simply put 1-2 drops of lemon essential oil in a big glass of cool water. I do this in the morning, and sometimes in the afternoon too for a refreshing pick me up! I also enjoy Grapefruit or Wild Orange EO in my water too. I love the idea of cutting up fruit to flavor water, but when you don’t have time for that (I rarely even think to do it) or want to change it up, essential oils provide the same kind of idea.

Trying new recipes: Until lately, I have never been too into meal planning. For some reason, it stressed me out to search for recipes and plan out the week. In efforts to streamline our weekly routine and grocery shopping, I decided to put a bit more effort into it. It’s still a little loose, but I’ve actually found that I really enjoy it! I’ve been loving searching for new recipes throughout the week and writing them down on my meal planner. It’s also exciting to get out of the same old standard recipes and do something fresh and fun. Bonus: I’m not usually wandering around the grocery store half-planning meals in my head and buying a bunch of stuff we end up not using. I’m still working on this, so if you have any recipes you love please let me know so I can try them out! Here are a couple we’ve tried out lately and loved:

Honey Balsamic Chicken Tenders

Avocado Chocolate Pudding (MAKE THIS.)

Limiting time on social media: I want to do a whole post on this, but Andrew and I spent last week refraining from social media. It did wonders for us. You really don’t realize how much time you waste perusing on Facebook over and over. I definitely believe there’s a balance and a reason social media exists, but I do think our society is so addicted in general. It was hard to do at first but left room for things like reading, writing, meal planning, music practice, etc. It also made me feel less stressed out, for some reason. I think it’s because I felt like I had so much extra time to get things done. Also, I stopped looking at my phone before bed. I know this is a terrible habit anyway, but I didn’t really think it was affecting me too much. Wrong. Since I stopped looking at my phone in bed, I have gotten better sleep and fallen asleep faster. And, I’ve woken up feeling much more alert! Give it a try for a week or so and see how you feel.

Try out a new fitness endeavor: The spring is a great time to go revamp your fitness routine right before summer. I’m super excited about this four week program one of my favorite bloggers put up today (it’s free!): Buff Bride Workout Plan (this is for wedding season, but totally open for anyone else too who is up to doing it and wants a change of pace for the next four weeks). Another great program is Fit By First . I love this one. It’s 30 days and you get a new workout each day, along with nutrition advice and coaching videos. It’s super fun! Of course you don’t have to do either of these programs, but let me know if you try them out!

Read: I’ve been reading more lately. I think there’s something so refreshing about stepping away from the computer or phone and taking out a real book with paper and ink. I’ve loved spending time on my lunch breaks reading instead of playing on my phone. Also, I’ve been reading things that have been so nourishing to my mind and spirit, which is important. I just finished Kristin Cavallari’s book Balancing In Heels, and it’s honestly so great! It definitely gave me lots of inspiration on healthy living, and I even tried out a couple of her recipes (they’re awesome). I definitely recommend it!

New scents: I love candles so much! Andrew and I went this past week and got some new scents to freshen up our home for Spring. I love having the back porch open with a little breeze and a lovely smelling candle going. It makes me feel so cozy and happy! My favorite one right now is at Target: Island Moonlight Candle Tin. I also love those Burt’s Bees candle melt away things (descriptive?). We recently got a lantern with an Edison bulb that plugs into the wall where you put the melt away on top. I got the Almond scent so now my house smells like cookies or something all the time. It’s pretty great.

I hope you guys enjoyed this little random post with some things I’ve been loving lately! Feel free to comment and let me know what you’ve been excited about and loving for Spring too!

-Caitlin

Health

Intuitive Eating: What is It? National Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2016

To kick off National Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2016, I wanted to write a post on the concept of Intuitive Eating and how I have started to learn to navigate those waters. I hope you enjoy. Know that I am sending you love, light, and prayers wherever you are on your journey to freedom with food <3.

Years ago, when I had my eating disorder, I sat in therapy sessions and listened to professionals tell me that I was learning how to practice “intuitive eating”. Honestly, I thought these people were crazy. An eating disorder is often accompanied by denial, which I certainly had, but I also just didn’t understand what this term meant and how it was possible to attain it. Haven’t heard the term before? Here’s the official definition (Wikipedia):

Intuitive eating is a nutrition philosophy based on the premise that becoming more attuned to the body’s natural hunger signals is a more effective way to attain a healthy weight, rather than keeping track of the amounts of energy and fats in foods.

Three (ish?) years later, I’ve found myself having the “a-ha” moment.

I finally get it. I have finally learned what it’s like to find freedom in food, exercise, and healthy living. I know what it’s like to have food be used primarily as energy to fuel my body in an efficient way, while still leaving room to sprinkle in the fun things. It’s a beautiful thing, and I am so thankful for those therapy sessions many moons ago because they were planting seeds in me that have just now blossomed. I will have moments at random times where I think “Oh, so THAT’s what they meant. That’s how they wanted me to feel! That’s what they wanted me to learn.”  And now, I feel that it is my responsibility to share what I can on this subject.

With an eating disorder there are many pieces to the puzzle which I could probably write a few thousand posts on. This post specifically focuses on what Intuitive Eating has looked like for me and the freedom I have found from it. Even if you don’t have the definition of an eating disorder, our society is sick when it comes to this subject and often we are practicing disordered eating without even realizing it. Here is a list of what I define Intuitive Eating as and how it has been applied in my life and given me freedom with food:

-Intuitive eating is being able to eat when I am hungry, stop when I am full and feel satisfied. Instead of wanting to eat more and more, I am content when I have eaten enough to give me the energy that I need. I used to want to keep eating and eating despite feeling uncomfortably full. These days, I rarely eat to the point of discomfort. I don’t want to, so I don’t. It didn’t used to be that simple.

-Intuitive eating is feeling like I don’t need to cut out anything or ban it from my diet. While I try to eat healthy most of the time and include plenty of fresh produce, protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats into my diet, there isn’t one thing that I’ve banned from my diet (there are things I don’t eat, of course, but those are just things I don’t like. Nothing is illegal). When you practice intuitive eating, you acknowledge that all food is legal, and you are in control of what enters your body. “Banning” or labeling foods as “BAD” can be destructive and lead to feelings of guilt and shame, which should never be associated with food.

-Intuitive eating is having your own “hunger clock” in your body and listening to it. There are days I am hungry every two hours, and there are days when I eat a bigger breakfast than normal and only need a light lunch. There are days I want a giant salad for my meal and other days I crave chicken and sweet potato. Our bodies are SMART, you just have to listen to them! I used to make myself only eat at certain time increments, which led to me being overly hungry, cranky, tired, and under-fueled. Once you learn to be in tune with your body’s natural clock, everything runs more efficiently.

-Intuitive eating is not feeling guilty after enjoying a couple slices of pizza and some ice cream with friends on a Friday night. Our society is SO bent out of shape over these types of things and magazines read headlines like “WORK OFF THAT SLICE OF PIZZA AND WINGS!” after the Super Bowl. Gosh, this makes my blood boil. Exercise and food is meant to nourish and fuel our body so we can thrive, BUT food is also a part of celebrations, holidays, and fun things! While it shouldn’t be the focal point of any of these things, deprivation tactics or trying to “make up” for what you ate is so pointless, depleting, and shameful to your body. Food CAN be fun. Intuitive eating practices show that you can enjoy these foods in moderation, and then move on with your life. And, NO GUILT is associated with this practice! Practice positive self-talk for both yourself and your peers.

You have to start with listening. Ask yourself the questions…are you hungry? Are you full? Are you satisfied? Are you feeling dessert tonight, or are you wanting to pass? How do you feel after you eat a particularly balanced meal? Why are you feeling guilty? It takes time to develop this practice. As I’ve said, it’s taken me years to start to really get a handle on it. I’m not a registered dietician or doctor, so I can’t coach anyone on how to go through this, but I do know it’s important to start asking yourself the hard questions. I’m thankful to have entered into freedom with food and I hope it is something our society learns to do as well. It isn’t easy, and I’m not perfect at it. I definitely have moments and days of weakness. But overall, I have learned and know that I feel my best when I focus on nourishing my body, not depriving it.

I could say so much more on this subject but I wanted to at least scratch the surface. My point in writing this is about learning to be in tune to your body’s signals and give yourself compassion, grace, and kindness.

“Eating healthy and exercising is your way of loving yourself enough to take care of your body.”

Know that you are beautiful, loved, and cherished always and forever no matter where you are<3

~Caitlin

Life

Learning to dance with Fear

Hello lovelies!

It has been a hot minute since I’ve posted anything. I hate that! I apologize! We have been traveling so much lately. It really has been crazy, but such a blast! Anyway, that is part of the reason I’ve been so behind on blogging. I’m back now though, with a lovely little post on fear for you.

Just a little light reading, right?

So, speaking of travel, in the past two months or so (give or take), I think we have been on ten flights. If you know me, you know that I have an intense fear of flying (also filed under intense fears: elevator rides. I know. It’s weird.). Every time I prepare for a flight, I experience extreme anxiety. Sometimes I am fine on the plane once it takes off, and sometimes I am not. I have cried, my heart rate has soared, I have panicked and imagined every possible bad scenario, and I have prayed for my life. It really depends on the flight and the state of my mind (and if I have had a glass of wine or not! I wish I was joking…).

In the midst of all my panic and worry, though, I have found something interesting. I have experienced some of my worst anxiety and fear during flight, but you know what? Oddly enough, I have also experienced absolute stillness and calm during flight in a way I haven’t experienced it any other time. Sometimes, I find myself with teary eyes on a plane not from fear, but from thankfulness. There’s something that happens to you when you push through a fear of such magnitude. I believe it opens up a part of your heart.

When I was in college flying home to see my family, I would look down at all the lights below and know Dad was waiting for me at the airport. There’s still nothing like that feeling. It made me so emotional and still does. One time, I sat next to a Pilot and asked him a million questions about turbulence and flying an aircraft, and he comforted me and educated me. Another time I sat next to a man in the army. He told me about the life in Afghanistan and I told him I liked to sing. He listened to one of my songs and encouraged me to go after my dreams. Another time I was so nervous and visibly upset that a flight attendant slipped me a kids activity book with a comforting note even though he was supposed to be sitting down. I teared up at his thoughtfulness.

These are just little pockets of Grace, little pockets of hope in an unsuspected place. Funny how it works like that.

Some of the times I have been so filled up by people have been during the times that I’ve been so on the edge of anxiety and fear on the edge of taking me over. But then it doesn’t, light shines into the cracks of the darkness.

A couple of years ago, I went on a trip to Australia. If you weren’t aware, the flight from LA to Sydney is one of the longest you can take (clocking in somewhere around 15 hours). I told myself years ago that I would NEVER be able to get on a plane for that long. Somehow by the grace of God I was given the courage to do it, and I wrote in my journal at one point of the flight,

“I am currently somewhere above the ocean, thousands and thousands of miles from home, watching the sunrise through the window of the other side of the world. It’s peaceful and disorienting and I have no idea what time it or or what day it is, but I am grateful”.

And it captured beautifully how I felt. It was this feeling where I was so out of my comfort zone on this flight, somewhere over the middle of the ocean in an unknown part of the world thousands of miles from home, and finding contentment in my fear. Finding joy in my moment. There’s nothing like it. There’s nothing like that kind of sunrise, either, and you can’t see it with your feet on the ground.

Sometimes to see the beauty, you have to climb up the uncertain and the scary first.

In the words of Ben Rector:

“I learned to dance with the fear that I’d been running from.”

(Song titled “Fear” off his latest record).

It’s a beautiful thing, this thing called Grace.

Caitlin

Life

Weekend Recap: 10/4/15

Hello hello!

I hope you all enjoyed the first weekend of October! It was kind of interesting weather here in Nashville. The temperature dropped dramatically, and we were all suddenly in fleece and boots! It also rained nonstop, but the sunshine came out this afternoon and the temp was back up to 78! I think it’s going to be quite warm this week, too, but the couple days of Fall weather was both unexpected and lovely!

So this weekend, my in-laws were in town and it was a ton of fun! They’ve never visited us before (they have been to Nashville a couple times, though), so it was a lot of fun to show them around to our favorite spots. We did the Nashville Food Tour, Caitlin and Andrew style, and it was pretty fantastic. Here’s the list of eateries we had to hit up! There’s quite a lot of great food in this city, so we had to pack as much as we could in two days. Definitely didn’t even make a *huge* dent, but they got a good taste of the scene, I think!

Frothy Monkey. Coffee AND food on there is on point. We love going for dinner because it usually isn’t crowded at night! We ended up grabbing coffee and going elsewhere for food, because the wait was 45 minutes!

Sloco. Delicious and healthy sandwiches made with local ingredients.

SkyKing Pizza. Ok so, this place is a recent find and it’s not in Nashville actually. It’s in Kingston Springs, which is about 20-30 minutes outside of the city. It’s honestly the BEST pizza I’ve ever had anywhere in the U.S. Not to mention, the service is impeccable. It’s a small town, so they’ve got the Southern hospitality down pat. After you feast on all sorts of delicious pizza, you have to get the chocolate chip cookie skillet! Warm, gooey chocolate chip cookie baked just right in a skillet with two scoops of vanilla ice cream on top! YEAH. I know.

Blvd: This is a place I discovered in college, since it was right across the street. Really yummy, upscale modern food in a way. We went for Brunch today and it was lovely. I got a small quiche (it was so cute!), and it had Brie cheese and Asparagus baked into it, and was paired with a raspberry jam on the side. The others got biscuits and gravy with eggs. Definitely recommend this spot for any meal!

Local Taco: Great Mexican food. Everything is good, and the Queso is on point. There are three locations in Nashville; we love the new East Nashville one the best!

Jeni’s Ice Cream: Oh, Jeni’s. You just won’t understand until you go. It’s FANTASTIC.

Yeah so we went pretty hard with the Food Tour in two days but it was a lot of fun! In between all the eating, we did lots of other fun things. Here are some pictures!

IMG_3387 Standing on the Pedestrian Bridge, where we got engaged!

 

 

IMG_3397Hanging out in Marathon Village! Lots of cool shops and neat things.

 

 

IMG_3374On our way to Frothy Monkey in 12 South. Had to take a picture with the cute little pumpkins! FALL!!!

IMG_3377White’s Mercantile store in 12 South is really fun and unique!

So, that was our weekend! A perfect mix of great food, relaxation, exploration and family time. What did you all do this weekend? Let me know down below!

Hope everyone has an awesome Monday!

Caitlin

Life

Fall Favorites

Hey friends!

In honor of October being just upon us, I thought it was time for me to post about ALLTHEFALLTHINGS. Like many people, Fall is my absolute favorite season and I get so excited about it. I love the weather, the beautiful colors, anticipation of the holidays, and just all the coziness and loveliness of the season! I grew up in Virginia, where Fall is particularly spectacular. It’s great in Tennessee, too, although it has been unseasonably hot lately! I can’t wait for things to cool down and the leaves to change.

Anyway, I thought I’d post about some of the simple things I’ve been doing lately that make me feel little more cozy and in the fall spirit!

Decorating

Since moving out of my parents house 6 years ago, I’ve only lived in dorms or apartments, so I don’t have many decorations for any holiday. I wanted to get some festive things this year, despite not having much storage space. I went to Target (duh), but I’ve heard Michaels and Walmart also has some great stuff right now that is inexpensive.
I may make a run to Michaels to try to find some fake fall flowers!  Here’s a picture of what we did to our kitchen table.

 

IMG_3330

I bought this cute gold leaf runner (had to fold it so it fit my tiny table), and accented it with some cute baby pumpkins from Trader Joe’s, a burlap pumpkin from Target, and a couple orange and white doilies from the dollar section! I also found that jar in the dollar section and filled it up with Candy Corn! There are two kinds of people in this world-people who hate candy corn, and people who love it. I unforuntaely fall into the latter. AND that cute “gobble gobble” sign is ALSO from the Dollar section. That place is gold, I’m telling you. Other than the table, I got a new throw pillow for the couch that says “Thankful” in gold lettering, some fake acorn vase fillers, and another cute little sign from the dollar section that says “Happy Fall”! It was definitely a good amount of stuff without feeling like I went overboard for a small apartment (but honestly, I don’t think you can really go overboard with fall home accents. Do I sound excited?

Food

One of the greatest parts of Fall is, of course, the food. I’ve already started Pumpkin-ifying (yes, that’s a word) everything. Here are some examples: I made up this chili for Pumpkin Chili/Stew and it was a hit even with my bean-hating husband! I just blended up a can of Great Northern beans with a can of pumpkin, and put it in a pot with the following:

Cooked Ground Turkey

Sauteed onion and pepper

chili powder, garlic powder, sea salt, Bay leaf (all to taste)

That’s it! So easy to customize, filling, hearty and tasty! Pumpkin is delicious in chilly, and the flavor is pretty neutral when it’s blended with other things like beans or broth. My mom has been making chili with pumpkin for years and it’s always a favorite! Plus, it definitely boosts your nutritional benefits. Lots of fiber!

IMG_3221

I’ve also been loving this homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte from Eating Bird Food, and I make it on any morning I’m not crazy rushed. It’s easy and fast to make and a lot healthier than one from Starbucks with all the crazy ingredients (but those are delicious too and if you haven’t had one, you should probably get on that). She also has a killer recipe for Pumpkin Spice cookies! I also made these flourless pumpkin chocolate chip bars last night and they’re delicious! I’m definitely in the Pumpkin craze and can’t wait to experiment with other recipes!

Getting Outside

I went for a jog the other night around the river right by our apartment, and it was so gorgeous. As the temperatures lower and the colors change, there’s just nothing like it. I definitely want to be more intentional about getting outside and go visit Radnor Lake, have picnics in the park, etc.

So, that’s what I’m up to Fall-wise lately. I’ve been calling it “Fallifying” my life. Yes, I’m a bit of a fanatic, but it’s just so darn pretty and cozy! I can’t wait to go to a Pumpkin Patch and wear sweaters and boots on the daily. It’s the best time of year! Let me know what kind of Fall fun you’re up to or any ideas you have! Leave me a comment 🙂

Caitlin

Life

Weekend Things

Hello there, friends!

How was your long weekend (Or just your weekend, if you had to work today!!)?! Ours was a good mixture of relaxing and crazy, haha. I decided I would do some recap posts on the weekends so here we go!

Friday, we met two of our good friends for ice cream at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. Ah! The best treat. If you live here and you haven’t tried Jeni’s, I’m not sure we can be friends yet. Just kidding, the truth is, I would just be very sad for you. Moral of the story: get to Jeni’s ASAP because it’s the BEST. Saturday we went for coffee with some other friends in the morning at Crema, and then I had a lovely Girls Night with my Bible Study ladies! It was so FUN and so needed. Girl time is essential. We got our nails done,

So thankful to have such amazing women in my life! Girls nights are important and so refreshing! #margaritasandmanicures

So thankful to have such amazing women in my life! Girls nights are important and so refreshing! #margaritasandmanicures

and enjoyed some awesome Mexican food at Local Taco (another gem in this city). Sunday, we went to church and also stopped by an awesome Labor Day BBQ. Everyone brought their own meat that they wanted to be grilled (such a cool concept!), and then there was a huge selection of appetizers, veggies, and salads. I ate a lot of cheese dip and fully indulged in the massive skillet of dark chocolate brownies. It was so worth it.

Labor Day was spent relaxing, napping, and grocery shopping. We also got Acai Bowls this morning, which was something I was VERY excited about. When we lived in Florida we did this often, but I have never been able to find one in Nashville! So, so good. Have you guys ever had one?!

FullSizeRender

Yes, this coffee shop has a designated "Pillow Room". No shoes allowed.

Yes, this coffee shop has a designated “Pillow Room”. No shoes allowed.

 

Also, this coffee shop has the coolest vibe. I’ve been there a couple times but hadn’t really fully explored and looked around. It has a full on PILLOW ROOM where you can sit and be cozy, along with eclectic wall pieces, interesting seating options (including a hanging swing and garden style benches), and a bunch of jewelry and home goods for sale. They also have delicious and fresh food options; including lovely sandwiches, raw pressed juices, smoothies, and allergy options (Gluten-free, Dairy-Free, Paleo, etc.). Additionally, they have awesome spaces that you can reserve for parties or meetings. I actually had my Bachelorette party in one of those. We are big fans! For those local and interested, it’s called Atmalogy and it’s on West End.

That’s about it for now. Hope everyone has a great week!

 

Caitlin

Life

Day In The Life: Wednesday 9/2

Hello friends!

So, today I thought I would take a crack at a Day In The Life post. This will either result in being extremely boring or somewhat interesting, but I love to read them so I thought I’d try writing one! Am I the only one who finds extreme amusement in reading these kinds of things? It’s pretty lengthy; I went all out. This is what a typical work day is like for me!!

6:15 AM: Hear Andrew wake up. Pray that it’s not time for me to have to do the same. Look at my phone and realize I have 30 more glorious minutes!

6:45 AM: Alarm goes off. I hang out for a while in bed, telling myself I have plenty of time (Bad call. Just get up, guys. Just get up). Finally force myself up around 7:10 ish. Usually I’m pretty ok at getting up on time, but for whatever reason, this week I am super exhausted!

7:20 AM: Come into the kitchen for one thing: C O F F E E. Andrew makes it before he leaves and leaves it in the French Press for me, which is super nice. Thanks, husband! Side note-always drink a glass of water in the morning before you have your coffee. It helps hydrate you after a long night of sleep. Hydrate before you caffeinate! I fill up my big Bubba water bottle and guzzle it, then pour myself a cup of joe. Sad story: I poured my lovely, warm, delicious coffee into my mug and went to top it with my Coconut Milk Creamer. Wellp, I poured in the creamer and it was a big GLOB in my coffee. Definitely had gone bad. So I had to waste my entire cup! I know, it’s so sad. Fellow need-my-morning -coffee people will understand. I didn’t have time to make a new batch (reasons we should probably get a non fancy coffee maker). I had just a bit more that was left in the pot.

7:35 AM: Start this blog post. Mind you, normally I’m working out by now. Working out in the morning has become part of my routine *most* days, but it’s still a struggle to make the time. Hoping I can fit a short one in!

7:40-8:00: Yay, I did it! I am currently doing Beachbody’s Turbofire Program, and today I did Low HIIT 20. Basically a 20 minute heart-pounding sweat fest. Awesome being short on time and still getting it in.

8:00-8:25: Hop in the shower and get ready for work. My lunch is already packed, and breakfast is made on my way out the door so I can eat it in the car. Might not be the safest method of eating, but it works!

8:30-9:00 ish: Sing in my car. Write songs in my head. This is what my drives consist of.

9:00-12:00: Wrangle toddlers at work (I am a preschool teacher). My morning consisted of outside time, diaper changing, cleaning up toys, getting cuddles and dancing!

12:00-12:30: Break time! I’m spending my break eating lunch and on my laptop, typing this up and doing some other computer work.

12:30-6:00: Work work work. Long afternoon. We had naptime for two hours (the kids, not the teachers. If only…), art time, more playground time, more diapers, and snacks! It’s a long day but I love my kiddos so much!

6:00-6:30: Drive home and talk to my mom. I pretty much always call my mom on my drives home, whether she likes it or not. Ha.

6:30-7:15: Sit on the couch with Andrew eating chips and salsa and talking about the most random things. I love coming home to him and catching up on our days. It is the best feeling ever <3.

7:15-9:30 ish: I have some emails to send and phone calls to make, so I quickly check those off. We also heat up dinner, which is leftover pasta. We eat it in front of the TV watching New Girl. We normally eat at the table and not in front of the TV, but it got late and we just wanted to kick our feet up and relax together!

9:45: Get ready for bed, crawl in, and crash out. I’ve been trying to get to bed earlier and I am WORLDS better than I used to be!

Ready to do it all again tomorrow! What does a day in your life look like?

Caitlin

Life

Hi!

Hi! Welcome to my new blog :). This is so exciting for me! I’ve tinkered around with blogging before, but this is my first try at making it consistent and awesome. Just kidding, I’m not that awesome…but I am going to be blogging a lot more and seeking out ways to reach and connect with readers.

So, Lattes & Letters. I thought of the name because when I think of the essence of this blog, I think of sitting in a coffee shop drinking an almond milk latte, listening to music and writing what’s on my heart and in my mind. That has always been a place where I find my inspiration and feel creative. Not to say it doesn’t happen other places, and obviously I won’t be writing every post in a coffee shop, but I feel the title just describes an overall theme and vibe that I’ll be going for. Plus, it’s cute, right? :).

Speaking of being creative, this blog is a big part of my recent mission to find creativity again in my life. Unfortunately, I got to a place where I felt I was defined by my day job, and I wasn’t doing anything creative or inspiring for my soul. I used to write music, write in my journals all the time, scrapbook, paint, etc. And recently I’ve just been in this dry spot creatively…and it wasn’t good. SO, here I am! I’ve also been doing weekly video blogs on YouTube with my husband, which is a blast (link below). I’m going to be blogging about life and also my interests, which are vast but can include the likes of coffee drinking (my husband is actually the king of coffee making..in a later post I will show you why), and definitely the whole food/fitness/body image situation in our society, among other things. I’ll be writing about Nashville and things I love, and my endeavor to find adventures in our every day life. Who knows where this blog will end up, but it’s going to be fun, and I thank you for reading :). Be sure to check out my About page up top (Hello lovely), and let me know if there’s anything you’d like me to post about. I always love new ideas!

Woot woot! Let’s go! Have a beautiful day, guys!

Caitlin

 

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