A Milestone, an Announcement
and a Giveaway!

Monday, August 31, 2009

A Milestone:

This, ladies and gentle... er, uh, ladies, is my 1ooth post! I first started this blog thinking that only my closest friends and family would read it and somehow along the way, you took the time to come here, read my words, share your comments and become a friend. I can't tell you what that has meant to me. (Oh, and I'm pretty sure that my family and close friends don't actually read my blog. Yeah, that's right, I'm on to you. Yeah, I'm looking at you, sister.)

An Announcement:

I tried to change the url to my blog earlier today. For a long time, I've been thinking about this change and wanting to change the url from my name to something related to the blog itself. (Since I am now officially a therapist by trade, we don't want any future clients googling my name and finding the blog. Right? Right.) I've had a ba-zillion ideas, but yesterday my boyfriend came up with one I'm loving. I went in to change it, but at the last minute chickened out. I first wanted to share with all of you and let my friends and family (you know, the ones who don't actually read this) know of this upcoming change first. So, by the end of the week, I should have a fancy new url. I'll be sure to let you know of the change, but it shouldn't affect those of you that are already followers. Stay tuned...

A Giveaway:

For some reason, I've been a little apprehensive about doing a giveaway. Then I thought about how much I've loved taking part in all of my favorite blogs' giveaways (even though I never, ever win). Oh, what the hell... Here goes.

I've teamed up with my best friend, Carina, over at crowandcanary to offer this amazing boxed set of 12 of the most lovely cards. (4 Birthday cards, 4 Thank You cards, 1 I'm Sorry card, 1 Get Well card, 1 Thinking of You card & 1 I Miss You card)

As much as I love emailing, facebooking (is that a word?), blogging, twittering (is it tweeting?), etc., there's nothing like getting a card in the mail. I think it's a lost art and I think it's time we brought it back. What do you say? Are you in?

(This is the one and only Carina. She dreamt up her own business and actually had the guts to start it. Three years ago, Crow and Canary was born. She represents modern stationery and accessory designers. Basically, she gets to travel to all the major cities on the west coast and show off their wares to buyers and shop owners. How cool is that? One of the major job perks, is the surplus of paper goods that she ends up with. So, this brings us to our giveaway...)

Last, but not least, as a little extra giveaway love, I'm throwing in a $30 Forever 21 gift card. Seriously, who doesn't love that store? With $30, you can probably buy and accessorize an entire outfit. Who am I kidding? Probably two entire outfits. Gotta love Forever 21.

The Rules:

This giveaway is a thank you to my readers, so you must be a follower of just a small town girl to enter. If you're not a follower already, do it now. All the cool kids are doing it. :)

- Once you're a follower (thank you, by the way!), leave one comment below for one entry in the drawing.

- If you are also a follower of Carina's blog, you get another chance to win (hence, another entry).

- Blog about this little giveaway, with a link to just a small town girl, on your blog and get another entry. Be sure to leave an extra comment here with a link to your blog.

- Tweet about it, with a link to just a small town girl, and leave another comment here letting me know for another entry.

- So, you have up to four chances to win. Hooray! The giveaway is open until midnight (Pacific Standard Time) on Sunday September, 13th. The winner will be chosen by random.org and announced Monday September, 14th.

Hopefully you will have better luck than I do!

Again, thank you so, so much for reading.

California Love

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Earlier in the week, I drove down to Orange County, California to join my boyfriend and his family for a few days at the beach. As a gal who enjoys a little time to think on the open road, I was loving the solo road trip and sang my little heart out the whole way to Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Kings of Leon.

Since I hadn't seen Jenner in several days, I almost hopped out of the car and onto the beach to see him.

Jenner and his mom have been spending part of their summers in Newport Beach since he was little. This year, I was lucky enough to be invited along. The little beach house we stayed in was adorable and reminded me of the kind of place I used to daydream about someday living in.

I always imagined living in a beach cottage with lots of outdoor living space to hang out with friends and a little place in the back for company. This house was just that and came with the most lovely little turquoise kitchen. Sure, Jenner and I had to sleep in bunk beds, but it was worth it.

That first night, we headed to Laguna Beach for the most amazing dinner and to attend the Pageant of the Masters. I would love to explain exactly what that is, if you don't already know, but - honestly - I'm still wrapping my head around it. Let's just say Pageant of the Masters = art literally coming to life. It's pretty incredible and I suggest you check it out here.

The next day we drove to San Diego to go to the Del Mar Racetrack to place our bets on the horsies. I didn't win, not even once, but it was quite the experience. Two years ago, however, when Jenner went with his family, they were taping an episode of Entourage at the racetrack. How cool is that?

That night after rushing back from San Diego, I hopped in my car and drove to Long Beach to hang out with my very best friend in the world, Carina, and meet up with three of the most lovely blogging ladies. (This was such a fantastic evening that it deserves a post of its very own... So, stay tuned.) It made me so happy to be reunited with my bff and spend the night just catching up, laughing and sharing the easy space only known between the closest of friends.

The next day was all about the beach. It was bliss.

That last night, we went to an Angel's game. Now, I will readily admit that I'm not the biggest sports fan, but this was fun. There was beer, a hot dog and the best sweet potato fries.
What's not to love?

All in all, it was truly a trip to remember. Sometimes a small town girl just needs to feel the sand between her toes. You know?

My next post is, wait for it..., my 100th! I have a little surprise in store for you, dear readers, so please check back on Monday.

Good News Galore!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Hello, friends!

I am in an exceptionally giddy mood for several reasons:

- I am officially on vacation for the week!

- I have spent the last couple of days relaxing with the world's most neurotic yet lovable pup, Russy. He has been even more adorable than usual and I've let him know I'm on to him. Yes, Russy, the jig is up. In between smooch sessions, I had a little talk with him. It went a little something like this, "Hey, Russ, this whole crazy act you've got going, it's really a sham, isn't it? You've fooled everybody." Long, awkward silence. "Well, whatever works for you. Your secret's safe with me." I really hope he doesn't read this.

- My new counseling job is starting up very soon. I'm so excited to be doing something I feel this passionately about and will allow me to make a difference in the lives of children.

- My sister bought me a ticket to come home and visit my family in a few weeks! I can't even begin to tell you how excited, excited, excited I am to hang out on the bay, laugh with my mama and sisters and snuggle with my nephews.

- In just a little over a month, my Danny is coming to visit. I know, I know... Over a month is a ways off, but if you had a Danny you would understand. I keep thinking to myself, I just need to find one solid girlfriend and one gay boyfriend in Vegas and I'll be set. While this is still certainly true, no one could ever compare to my first love, my Danny. He's been the Will to my Grace since I borrowed his En Vogue CD in the eighth grade.

- By the time you read this, I will be taking a little drive to Newport Beach, California to join my boyfriend and his family for a few days of sun, sand and surf. I can't wait to jump in the waves, read on the beach, drink with my handsome feller and just kick back.

(Did I mention drink with the feller?
I kid, but these photos are too ridiculous to keep to myself.)

- My 100th post is rapidly approaching and I have a little surprise in store, so please stay tuned.

I'm hoping that your lives are filled with good news of your own. Sending much, much love to you and yours!

{photo via The Girl With Kaleidoscope Eyes}

Pretty Clothes for Pretty People.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Oh, ladies, there are so many pretty clothes I'm currently coveting.

If you've visited just a small town girl before, you know how much I absolutely heart ModCloth. (If you're new to JASTG, welcome!, you can check out my previous posts on this oh-so lovely topic here and here.)

ModCloth has several dresses I feel I must have. Immediately. However, since I just started a new job, I will be a good girl, wait and continue daydreaming about the day I bring a couple of these beauties home. (That day is rapidly approaching, fyi.)

I'm sorry, but this dress is
almost too cool for words:

Hello, lover.
Please come stay over:

The Raspberritini Dress

This little number is stunning:

I really shouldn't get this because
it looks like all the clothes I buy, but if it aint broke:

Please, please, please.
Pretty please:

These next two are so retro
and very, very Mad Men.

Okay, if I happen to get married at the beach in the next
month, I'd really like Carina to wear this:

I also recently found this great shopping site, Cutiemus. Like ModCloth, their clothes are vintage inspired or, as they put it, modern clothes for the vintage soul. This vintage soul is loving it.

Here are a few of my favorite finds.

I hope you enjoyed some of these pretty little numbers.

Here's a question for you. If a gal were only to buy one or two, do you have any suggestions and/or favorites? Maybe one day soon, fingers crossed, I'll blog about a new purchase (or three). Until then, I hope this finds you all happy!

The happiest of birthdays
for my dearest friend.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Today, August 22nd, is the birthday of my very best friend, Carina...

... but she isn't just my best friend. She's my sister.

The photograph above was taken the very first day Carina and I met. (Carina had the long flowing locks and I looked like Sam, the redheaded stepson on Diff'rent Strokes.) It was a kindergarten picnic and it was 1984. It was also the very first best day of my life.

After that, everything else made sense.

Where there was Kathleen, there was Carina and vice versa. It's the way it's always been and it's the way it will always be. Even though state lines have separated us for years now, I carry this girl with me. Always.

She knows my every secret and I am a locked vault filled with hers.

Carina has had to put up with a lot in our 25 year friendship, however. I am convinced that bffs, and maybe close relationships of all kinds, take turns being the more dominant friend. When we were little, that was me.

Let's see... I once convinced her she liked The Pointer Sisters more than Madonna. You see, I had to be the biggest Madonna fan. I just had to. Oh, and then there was the time we were going to start a band in elementary school and I told her, "I'll be the lead singer and you can be the dancer in the background that no one pays any attention to." Nice, Kathleen. Real nice... Then there was the terrible day Kristine Beck pushed her into the mud in the 1st grade. The poor thing sprained her arm. What did I do? I yelled out, horrified, "Carina, your hair is in the mud!"

Don't worry, dear readers, I am quite certain that Carina would now be the lead singer in our band and if she were to fall into the mud today, yes, I would still be worried about her hair, but I would also run to her aid and help her up.

Through it all, Carina is the most dynamic, interesting and fun person I've ever met. I can't believe how lucky I am to have met her all those years ago in that tiny little town. She was my saving grace and without her, I wonder who I would be.

So, on this day and every other, I love you, Carina. Thank you for being the very best friend I could ever have asked for and one of my few constants in this topsy turvy life. You're the Thelma to my Louise, the Michelle to my Romy... the Biggie Smalls to my Puff Daddy.

Some friendships do indeed last forever.
Happy, happy birthday.

Something's Bugging Me.
{Oh, and another thing...}

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

What's bugging me, you ask?

Bugs. Bugs are bugging me. The big, scary kind. It turns out, Las Vegas has a thing for cockroaches and cockroaches have a thing for me.

I don't really want to get into this too much because, well, I like you and so I'm going to spare you the details. What I will say is that my boyfriend went to Lake Tahoe for several days last week and left me to fend for myself. Initially, I was looking forward to a little alone time. Yeah, not so much.

I was never alone.

Oh, and these aren't little buggers. Oh, no. They're pretty much the size of a small dog. So, yeah, I'm basically Paris Hilton, but over at my house, Tinkerbell is a cockroach.

On a side note... Once when I was about ten years old, I was convinced there was an ant or two on me. {I. was. terrified.} So, I did what any neurotic, bug-freak would do. I waited for someone to walk past my house (it was a really small town so I had to wait a while) and then ran outside to a very old man I'd never met and screamed, while violently shaking, "IS THERE A BUG ON ME? I SAID, IS THERE A BUG ON ME?!?"

Needless to say, I don't do bugs. However, on the plus side, that unbeweavable Lizzy Marie responded to my frantic text messages by offering to put me up in a hotel. Isn't that just the most generous thing? Of course, I declined, but I sure didn't want to. She's a doll... and I'm very excited to be hanging out with her next week!

Moving on... The gorgeously stylish Rose Red featured me on her blog last week. If you haven't already, you have to check out her lovely blog here. I want to steal her hair and her style. To me, it's just perfection. She's also incredibly sweet. (You can check out moi on her blog here.)

I've lost my home.
{A Letter.}

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Dear Home,

I don't know how exactly to write you a letter because, well... Where should I send it? You see, I think that maybe I've lost you.

I think I've lost my home.

For so much of my life, I lived in the same small town, in the same big house. Then I moved to a bigger town and a smaller house before moving to an even bigger city and a string of even smaller apartments. Through all of it, though, I lived in one state surrounded by green.

There was always rain. There was always water. Even more than that, there was always family.

Now I find myself in the desert... with no green, with no rain, with no water and with no family nearby. Maybe that place in my past was never meant to be my home. I always longed for sunshine and I always longed for love. I have both of those here and I wouldn't trade them for anything, but I miss the comfort of the rain. I miss the solitude of my hometown. I miss the company of my mother and the cheeks of my nephews.

I miss home, wherever you are.

Love, me

{image via anthropologie}

Sometimes I still feel like that little girl.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I'm the overdressed girl to the right.

I think I was two.

I remember how muddy the water was on that summer day in the South. I remember how I didn't know anyone. The other little girls seemed so free running around in their underwear and their diapers. I would never be caught dead in my underwear in public. The other girls didn't seem to care how wet and dirty they got in that creek. I had a beautiful navy dress with white polka dots and matching bloomers on, thank you very much. There was no way I was going to get wet. Oh, and further more, I had on Snoopy sandals.

I remember feeling alone and feeling different.

Sometimes I still feel like that little girl in the Snoopy sandals.

First Friday Fun

Monday, August 10, 2009

I just wanted to share these photos from the weekend. First Friday (the first Friday of every month) is quite the event in downtown Las Vegas. Art, music, bar hopping and lots and lots o' people. If you ever get the chance to partake in Vegas First Friday festivities, I strongly suggest you do. It's a lot of fun.

Jenner's friend (and now my friend too, hooray!) Aaron Garcia is a fantastic Las Vegas photographer who takes the coolest shots and I was just lucky enough to be in a few on Friday night.

Right before this picture was taken, Jenner introduced Autumn to his friend something like this... "Hey, so and so, this is Kathleen's one friend in Vegas, Autumn." The photo above is capturing me in the middle of announcing (rather enthusiastically), "Hey, mister. I have two friends!"

The feller both Jenner and I are intensely listening to is my second friend, Ryan.

Thank. you. very. much.

I don't know the pretty gal with her head on my shoulder, but I think it's safe to asume she loves me.

Good times.

{Images via Aaron Garcia}