Thursday, July 4, 2013

I've Moved!

Dear Readers,

I've moved. I have loved my time here at The First Apartment Living but my life has changed and I need a space better suited to my creativity. Please feel free to follow my latest adventures at The Katy Chronicles! I hope you will enjoy these new posts as much as my old ones, I promise only to expand on what you love about TFAL and hopefully introduce you some new things too!

See you on the flip side,


Monday, May 13, 2013

Containing Myself: A Love Affair

I have such a love for The Container Store. I first found one on accident in Denver, CO. My family had time to kill at a mall, and next door was this amazing store. It’s like Ikea but for what goes in the inside! We had to practically buy a new suitcase because of all the amazing things we found inside. Plus later in B School, I learned about what an awesome company they are! (read this book if you doubt me, actually just read it)  I could not have survived undergrad dorm life without The Container Store! Namely, this thing:

30prOverdoorShoeOrganizer_l (30 Pair Shoe Holder)

Nonetheless, I received in the mail this beauty:

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It completely tapped into my wanderlust. Though I have a totally awesome suitcase, I could totally use some things to fill it with! See yet again, The Container Store has cool stuff for the inside of things. Mainly, I want these!

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I need some travel plans ASAP! Where should I head to this summer? Last summer, I was gone nearly every other weekend or so it seemed!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Weekly Wonderings: May 8th, 2013

Somehow the weeks keep seeming to get shorter yet my to do list seems to be growing. Here is what has me stopping to smell the roses:


Finn got fixed and to stop him from licking, we put boxers on him. It seemed more humane than that big cone of shame.


Molly Girl awards for my GOTR team, they glittered!


I found these candies and had to try them. I still have no idea what they were but the shell was covered in chocolate. I will take it!


There is a Mac and Cheese cook-off this weekend, and I am itching to enter. I found this old magazine. That must be a sign, right? Know any good recipes you care to share?


My grandfather’s hydroponic grower (aka the coolest thing ever) gave off the first fruit of its labor (like my pun?).  There will be a steady stream of tomatoes now, I need to think of a few things to make with them!


I actually paced at my 5k! I am pretty sure there were only 4 people in my age group but I will take it!


What has you stopping to smell the roses lately?

Monday, April 22, 2013

Birthday Cards



I forget how this tradition started in high school but I remember vividly being in Target with friends and picking out ridiculous kid cards. The idea is that all the numbers have to add up to their age (i.e. 6th birthday card plus 10th birthday card means you are 16). As we have gotten older, the cards have gotten more ridiculous. It is so much fun getting 5 funny cards than one because everyone knows more it better (at least according to the little kids on the AT & T commercials).  This is my recent stash of cards. It’s always funny to be standing in Target for like 20 minutes trying to do simple addition as you add up the cards and trying to make the numbers work!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Weekly Wonderings: April 17th, 2013

How is it that time goes by so fast? In the past two weeks, I have run my first 10k (1:18, woot!), travelled up and down the east coast, and baked no less than 4 cakes. Needless to say I am quite busy! Tomorrow my day starts at 8 and won’t end until 10pm. To be fair, I will be spending the day doing things I love (mostly) but it will still be terribly busy. Sometimes, I just want to slow down. Sometimes, I just want to speed up. Most days, I just want to survive without doing something terribly wrong.


I am in LOVE with my mixer. Cake baking has never been so much fun! Now to decide what accessories I need. Meat grinder, pasta maker, or ice cream attachment? Frankly, I want them all.


I did it! I accepted my offer letters for grad school! Woohoo! Dual masters, cold weather and a ton of work, DC here I come!


Finn got a haircut. He is still adorable in my mind.


New shoes! Now just need a dress to wear them with and maybe a place to wear them too!


Post 10k/parade glory. And no, I did not have to flash to get those beads, but I might have grabbed a few meant for small children…


Brunch is where it is at. (Yes, I did just end a sentence with a preposition. Get over it.)

So what has been happening in your neck of the woods?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Twisty Love

I have this love/hate relationship with my hair that I am positive most girls do as well, I love having hair, I hate trying to dry it. Before I did this to my hair, it took HOURS to dry. When it takes hours to dry and you don’t have mad blow dryer skillz (i.e. lazy), you plan when to shower. Sometimes it isn’t convenient to shower because you need to be somewhere and your hair can’t be wet. Or it’s snowing and you don’t want icicle hair.

My hair still takes long to dry and my twisty hair turban doesn’t always stay on right. I needed some other way to keep my hair up and drying, while I patiently (or not so patiently) waited for it to dry. Also, washing my face is a pain, because I am constantly having loose hairs fall into my face.

Enter the Twisty.


I LOVE IT. It’s perfect when I need to keep my hair out of my face. It dries it, not as well as my twisty


The only cons are that it doesn’t dry your hair in the back and it gets quite wet but its perfect for washing my face. Often my hair turban falls off while trying to wash my face so this is a godsend.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Weekly Wonders: April 3rd, 2013

This week has been CRAZY, like working at the office until 9pm crazy. Then I spent 2 hours in Fedex Kinkos this morning, because our printer decided not to work. After printing 180 pages, believe me when I say I made very good friends with employees there. April is turning out to be a busy month and it’s only day three! Luckily, April only has 30 days.


I found these at Bed, Bath, and Beyond! My friend is obsessed with Mason Jars, can’t wait until she gets into the states so I can get her one. Too bad, it might be like another year!


I took Mimi out to sushi and she tried to use chopsticks. Fairly successfully considering it was her first time!


Finn having play dates with the German Shepherd was the highlight of my day, don’t judge.


Egg hunt. I won. Yes, I did play a 12 year old, but my brother was asking for it. 14 to 10, I went easy on him.


Finn decided he didn’t want to run today halfway through our run. He sat…. for 10 minutes.


So how’s your week going? Is April one of your busy times yet or am I alone?     

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Vacation Rules

Trying new things is like a rule in my family. Literally, its part of our vacation rules. Actually, there are a couple of vacation rules (not to mention airplane rules, restaurant rules, etc. but that’s what you get when your mom is a teacher!):

1) Never eat a chain restaurant (unless its McDonalds' to get mom that all important diet coke)

2) Try at least one new thing to eat a day

3) Do one educational thing per trip (again my mother is teacher,  so I can point out educational things to do ANYWHERE, even Disney).

So yesterday, I went out to lunch with my Dad. Nothing too surprising there but as I went to get us drinks, I spied this soda.


I had to try it. It didn’t matter that we weren’t on vacation. IT WAS CELERY SODA. I like celery, so I decided to give it a try. Turns out I don’t like celery in soda. Oh well. But at least I tried something new! What was the last new thing you tried?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Weekly Wonders: March 27th, 2013

I feel like this week has been about preparing for that next step. Whether it be little things like trying new makeup routines or purchasing some new business casual type clothing, I feel like I am inching my way along to August.

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Why yes, I do have a countdown on my bathroom mirror.

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I spent the other Friday night dog sitting. It was great. The dog was an angel and I got to put on all sorts of facial masks. I had my dirty pleasure TV shows on (think Bravo shows) and a diet coke, what more did I need? Nothing other than countless YouTube videos trying to figure out how to master eye shadow tricks!


I have these two eye shadow kits and am finally getting better at eye shadow. I can do one color but after that it gets a bit tricky! Luckily, these beautiful colors make it so easy. I even managed to pull off some pretty layering the other day! Thanks to watching tons of Youtube video while dog sitting, I was able to pull off something pretty and not drag queen style.


Finn got a haircut and played with another puppy down the street! They were adorable with each other. They romped around the yard for an hour. It was swoon worthy. Puppies are the best!


I am in love with our Easter headbands. I am not tooooo old to wear one, right?

That pretty much sums up my week! Not counting the winter like temperatures, we have been subjugated to in this late March.  What happened to spring????

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Kitchen Aid Mixer Debate

In my mind certain items are for grownups, like wedding china or stand mixers. I am 23 years old and thus in that strange limbo between adulthood and childhood. I love kitchenaid mixers, actually love might be an understatement. I have been coveting one for years. My grandmother has had the same one since like 1980 and it still works just fine. She uses it for everything from cookies to mashed potatoes. My mother on the other hand has this beautiful cream one but she keeps it in the pantry. I normally have to beg to take it out, pleading that I will clean up my mess unlike the last time.

In college, my kitchen was TINY and there was no counter space. Besides, I wasn’t a grownup and thus I couldn’t purchase one in my mind. KitchenAid Mixer = Grownup. Every holiday would come around and my mom would ask if I wanted one. I would say yes but not now. I am not a grownup yet. It just didn’t seem right. I wasn’t ready for one just yet.


Well, I finally made the plunge and bought one! It was my treat for getting into graduate school. Graduate school is almost like being a grownup, right? After much research, I decided to get the large Artisan mixer that has a tilt head because I like the tilt head and its smaller than the bowl lift. I am pretty sure my apartment next year will be tiny! I bought the ice blue color. It is just enough color without being overwhelming (or so I hope). I am currently counting down the days until it gets here! Eek!

Monday, March 25, 2013

A Clothes horse’s Closet

I have been totally obsessed with my recent admitted student status. I even started this pinterest board to chronicle everything cool I find. Turns out there are a lot of neat tricks out there and so many beautiful clothes…

It has kind of spurred on a cleaning binge and those never happen! I feel sure enough to purge things and I am great need of some purging so I can go buy some new clothes. I am not a hoarder per say but I do like things, a lot of things. Clothes are no exceptions, and I have been known to find a good bargain or two or three. I know there is no before picture but it was badddddddd. Partially because I did not want to organize things because that meant I was staying. Now that I have plans and a definite time limit until I leave, I feel better about organizing things. Weird? It makes sense in my head.

IMG_4353 I am really into organizing my clothes. I love orderly clothes. I can see my options and better decide what to wear. There are three parts to my organization:


1) Put like things next to like. Skirts, Dresses, Fancy Dresses, Short sleeve shirts, long sleeve shirts. Everything must have its place!

2) Like hangers. I prefer these slim velvet ones because I can fit more clothes in one area. My roommate in college was amazed by how much clothing I fit into my tiny closet! Whatever you do NO WIRE HANGERS.

3) Color code. Start with black, then gray, ROYGBIV then brown then white. Seriously color coding makes everything better.  


Have any more tips for closet organization? I am always in search of more tricks!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

My Gap Year

DSC05019This year, blogging hasn’t been as much fun. Not because I don’t enjoy the subject matter but because I felt like a charlatan. My blog is called “The First Apartment Living” and yet for the past year, I have been living at home. I graduated college last year, and took a gap year (when this happens, you tend to need some time).

At first, I was totally fine with my gap year. The summer flew by, I traveled here, there, everywhere. Then came fall, which mainly consisted of me putting off studying for the GRE. I started to freak out about life and trying to make sure I was opening up to all the opportunities around me without closing doors. It was a lot of doors to keep open. I started a small business, which was fun till Christmas came and went. Winter had hit. Winter was tough, I saw so many friends from high school and college, who seemed to have all transitioned seamlessly from college. I felt stuck. I didn’t really want to apply for jobs since I was fairly certain I would be going to grad school in the fall. Who would want to hire someone that was leaving in a few months? I was just hurrying up and waiting. I felt like I was lying to you, my readers. I wasn’t living The First Apartment Life. I wasn’t living on a budget with my own place. Charlatan.

Perhaps others of you have felt the same (maybe?) but as spring rolled around, I was feeling pretty bleak. Everyone kept asking me where I had applied to grad school. Where did I want to go? When would I find out? What were my chances? More and more questions from every person I knew. I hated it. I was constantly worried as I checked my email. It would be this little game I played with my phone. Download all the emails, and then read the subject line before I opened them.

Then it happened. I got an email from my dream school. I was freaking out before I even opened it, I waited anxiously for the first three lines to download on my phone because I didn’t want to open it before I knew. I had to prepared myself.  Dear Katherine…. Oh god, here it goes I thought. Congratulations! My heart stopped. Suddenly, all was right in the world. My first thought was OMG I actually got into a grad school! It took a good 48 hours for it to finally dawn on me that I got into my dream school. Then of course, I spent the next 48 hours freaking out whether it a was a good school (even though its ranked #1) because clearly, why would they let me in if it was good?

Now that it has been a few days, I have a much brighter outlook on life (well until August when I get overloaded with work).  I feel like a large burden has been lifted off my shoulder. I have been happily over preparing for school in the fall and already searching for apartments these past few days! I no longer feel like a charlatan and am excited to share all the exciting times as I prepare for this new step! Hopefully, this will spur a bunch of new creative ideas (especially since my budget will be tighter than ever!). 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Weekly Wonders: February 13th, 2013

I feel like this year has already flown by, where did all the time go? I am busier than I have ever been but I can’t tell you why, I am not doing anything terribly special right now.


I scored these awesome wedges at Dillard’s shoe sale this past weekend. They were just 20 dollars! Woot! You can never have too many nude wedges! (Not saying that I may already a pair or two or three…)


I also snagged this shirt. As I walked to the  counter to purchase it, I saw no less than 3 other girls trying it on! Mint is so in right now and the fit of the shirt is just perfect. You can dress it up or down, which I love!


These adorable Valentines were thought of by my brilliant mother. My little brother filled the bags with “gourmet” popcorn (i.e. boy scout popcorn) and simply stapled on tags for each kid and teacher!

I joined something new: Girls On The Run. So far it has been a challenge (hello, 9 year old attention spans!) and the most fun! You help train 3rd through 5th grade girls to run a 5k but it is about so much more than that! I just love being part of something so special! I’ve just finished the first week but I can already start to feel a bond with my girls. Hey, maybe I will even get in better shape too.


Finn won first place at a walkathon this past weekend! He was the first dog to cross the finish line (and the cutest! Not that I am biased or anything).  I think B was more proud than Finn, the ribbon is now taped to his door!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Fresh Pomegranate Mimosas


I love a good mimosa but sadly, I have really bad acid reflux and I try not to drink citrus juices (which totally sucks, seriously, EVERYTHING has acid). So for Thanksgiving, I wanted to have a fun grown up drink and we eat early around 1-2ish so I did not want anything too heavy. Enter the mimosa, and to make it more Fall-esque (is that even a word? it is now!) the pomegranate seemed the the perfect choice. All you need to do is juice pomegranates!

To Juice:


1) Wear an apron or cry about it later.

2) On a hard surface, roll the pom with the heel of you hand. It will make popping noises if done correctly. (Also, if squeezed too much it will leak. That may have happened a time or two!)

3) Use a large knife to slice the pomgranite over a bowl, and let the fluid drain.

4) Either using the knife or your hands (skillz needed) to tear the pomegranate in two. Carefully place seeds in a metal mesh strainer and use something ( I used this cool wooden masher thing my Mimi had, don’t know what it is called) to smash out all the juice.

5) Expect it to be an arduous process as each one yields between 1/3 to 1/2 juice.


Pomegranate Mimosas:

1) About 1/3 cup of juice to 6oz. of Champagne

*Add a garnish like blackberries for extra fanciness!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Valentine’s Swag Dollies

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So Valentine’s Day is right around the corner (and I have yet to finish making mine!). I came up with this simple swag. It took me about 5 minutes to make and another 2 minutes to hang (had to adjust spaces between hearts). It would make a great surprise on Valentine’s Day morning. I hung mine in my bathroom mirror for a little cheer in the morning as I am getting ready!  Check out my previous Valentine’s Day Decor!

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9 Dollies

Baker’s Twine