This Spring

Last spring, I was eighteen, failing AP Stat, and so ready to graduate. 

Last spring, I hated the idea of staying in my hometown while all of my friend went to college.

Last spring, I spent spring break driving across Tennessee with my mom to make a decision that I knew was already final.

Last spring, everything changed.

A year is quite a long time, but looking back, it feels like nothing more than a blink. May turns to July, July to October, October to February, and all of sudden, we are right back here again. The sun is defrosting, the tips of the daffodils are chasing the light, and a warm breeze is detectable if you pause long enough to let you skin feel it. Spring, once again.

This spring, things are going to be so different, in the most positive sense of the word. Life will be more colorful, sunny days will be brighter, and each moment will taste sweeter than the one before. I am in a new stage of life with incredible possibilities blooming, and I am truly so grateful.

However, I must acknowledge the darker side of the matter – thunderstorms will rain harder, lightening will strike more frequently, and every step I take will bear a greater weight than the one before. Now, there’s no such thing as a baby step. Now, I’m all in, carrying brimming buckets as I go. I suppose this sounds melodramatic, but I think it’s important to recognize that weighting each stage of your life with the drama, passion, and exaggerated honesty that you feel is what adds a sense of urgency and magic to your life. Each day feels more important, and in my opinion, this is what creates success. My goal is to work hard each day, because it’s important to me to make the most of the time I have. That is what this spring is going to be: successful, magical, evolutionary.  

This spring, push yourself, do what you love, and live your life the way you have always wanted.

No more waiting, no more uncertainty – the time is this spring, and this spring is right now.

You can do it.

Much love, 

Kate

 

It’s my Blogiversary! + Swamp Queen, my latest read, and exciting news!

Hey friends!

Just like that, we’re almost done with January – anyone else feel like 2017 needs to slow down a little? I feel like we were just getting through the whirlwind of the holidays, and now it’s like Valentine’s Day threw up all over every store I’ve been to in the past week (not that I even mind, I’m actually a huge fan of V Day to be honest.)

Oh and guess what!? In the tornado that is my life, I realized that this week is my Blogiversary!!! A year ago, the very first AbundantlyKate post was published. I remember being so excited, yet nervous, to begin something as vulnerable and creative as a blog. It was odd at first, trying to figure out how to break into the blogosphere, but I sit here today so happy that I took the leap. Thank you to everyone who has continually read my posts, commented such sweet words, and encouraged me in my passion for writing, creating, and of course, coffee. May there be much more AbundantlyKate to come in the future!

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Today’s post is a bit of this and that – I have a few random things I’ve been loving that I’d like to share, as well as a special announcement! But first thing’s first:

I have to talk about the Tarte Limited-Edition Swamp Queen palette.

In.

Love.

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I was lucky enough to receive this baby for Christmas, and man, have I been obsessed. I’m a pretty simple gal when it comes to makeup – crazy colors are not my things. However, this palette gives me the creativity to create a look that is fun and unique without being overdone! I especially love the blush and highlight colors as well, because of course, this girl needs her glow. 

In other news, I have finally gotten back into reading. When I was a kid, I used to read all the time – Harry Potter, to be exact – but eventually, high school forced me to read so much for class that I simply had no desire to read anything for fun anymore. And also, Netflix. Netflix was definitely an influential factor, but can you blame me? I was hooked on Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars.

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But anyway, now that I am not forced against my will to read novels for school, and have been loving reading again! I just finished Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life Of BeesSet in South Carolina in the 1960s, amongst vast racial tension, Lily Owens flees her small southern town after a crazy incident with her nanny/stand-in-mother, Rosaleen, and it’s basically just a super sweet story about Lily discovering the secret of her mother’s death and what having real family actually means. Super cute, honest, and historically reflective of that time period – if that sounds good, I highly suggest you read it! Also, there’s a lil bit of romance sprinkled in there as well, which personally, is always an essential.

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Lastly, I wanted to let y’all know real quick about another exciting step in my music journey! In my last post, I revealed to the blogosphere that I am a singer/songwriter, and that right now I am in the process of recording my first EP, comprised of my original music! Yay!

So many of y’all have been so sweet and encouraging, so I wanted to go ahead and throw it out there that I have officially made my artist page on Facebook! Though this is yet another small step, it is one step further in the process towards my EP and building my career. I will link it here – please go like, share, poke around, and let me know! I will be sharing all of the information about the EP, future shows, etc. Also, be sure to follow me on Twitter and Instagram because that’s fun too 🙂 My website is in the works, and I will definitely let y’all know when it’s rolling!

Well, that’s all I have for today y’all. I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!!!

Much love, 

Kate 

A Different Side Of Me: a Story of Dreams, Fears, and a Leap of Faith

Here on AbundantlyKate, I share a lot about myself. My interests, my style, my favorite beauty products – my thoughts about life, love, and growing up. But thus far, I still have yet to share the most important part of myself. At first, I was afraid to be honest, frightened by what people would think, but I’m not anymore.

I have written in past posts about my decision to skip out on my first year of college to “pursue my dreams,” but I realize I never actually talked about what those dreams are. My friends and family of course, already know this about me, but I think it’s time to share it here on AbundantlyKate.

I am a singer/songwriter, and I am pursuing a professional career as an artist in the music industry. I play guitar, and compose all of my own music. I have been writing since I was ten years old, and it is an art that has captured my heart, my mind, and my soul.

When I was a young kid, I used to sing all the time. High School Musical was my jam. I dreamed about becoming a singer, and I used to draw doodles of myself performing on stage in front of massive crowds of people. I even sang a solo in my school’s spring concert in fifth grade. Shortly after, my parents bought me my first guitar, and that is when the thought occurred to me – what if I could write music?

And that was the beginning.

Through middle and high school, I wrote. My subject matter began with goofy little rhymes about life, into the angst I had over the horrors of middle school, and then moved towards more serious topics of love, opinion, heartbreak, and the magic of storytelling. I have always loved to tell stories, and that is what I do through my music. And even more surprising?

I’m actually kinda sorta good at it.

Keep in mind, I say all of this in complete humbleness. As I wrote and played my various songs for my parents over the years, they noticed that something was happening. They said, “Kate, you are good at this.” Not in a we’re-only-saying-this-because-we’re-your-parents type of way (because trust me, they’d tell me if I sucked) – in an honest, we’re-not-letting-you-give-up-on-this type of way. And it sunk in. It made me want to keep going.

But alas, in every story, there is a villain. My villain was fear. My whole life, I have struggled with anxiety, and about mid-way through my high school career, I got lost. I focused on my “friends”, fitting in, trying to feel popular, how I looked, yada yada yada…and my music got stuck on the very highest shelf in the very back of my soul – barely reachable, even with a step ladder. Fear looked at me and said, “your dream is impossible – pick something else.” My heart pulled back in fright, but continued to whisper, “it’s what I love.” So, I tiptoed around the edge of the ocean, staring longingly towards my dream, but unable to dip my toes into the water, for fear of what would happen to me if I failed. Thankfully though, this is not the end of the story.

At the beginning of my junior year, my class schedule was all sorts of jacked up. I wanted to take the music appreciation class my school offered, but because of all the other classes I needed to take to graduate, get into college, feel smart (LOL), I had to change around my whole schedule to get what I wanted. Thankfully, Mrs. Christensen, my school’s choral director and music appreciation teacher, approached me and suggested that I join choir, which magically worked perfectly into my new class schedule. I didn’t realize at the time how grand of a blessing this was.

Choir pulled my music off it’s shelf, dusted it clean, and plopped it right in front of me. All of sudden, I noticed all of the things I loved about music, and it created an opening in my heart, once again, for my passion to re-situate itself in my life. Mrs. Christensen believed in me, my classmates encouraged me, and my music would not leave me alone. Don’t get me wrong, I still ignored it for quite some time, but it was there. And in this moment, that was all it needed to do.

Fast forward to senior year, fall of 2015. I went through the motions just like everyone else – final SAT testing, applying (and freaking out about applying) to colleges, and not-so-patiently waiting to hear back. There was one school in particular I couldn’t get my mind off of – a private university with an incredible music program. Once again, there was my dream, ceaselessly poking and prodding, whispering “pay attention to me!” in my ear. But Kate had other plans. Kate chose the practical route. Kate got accepted to an in-state public university, where she would major in business and pursue a career as a business woman that would make lots of money and wear pantsuits. El. Oh. El.

By February, everything was set. I knew where I was going to school, I had almost found a roommate, and I even announced on Facebook which university I would attend.

The very next day, reality hit me in the face.

I saw all of my friends, so ecstatic to go to their dream schools, overflowing with joy and anticipation for college – and I felt nothing. Absolutely nothing. I had been fooling myself for months, believing that I wanted to go to this school, with these people, and do this thing…but then I realized how huge of a lie I had told myself.

I didn’t want to go to that school.

I didn’t want to do business.

I wasn’t excited about college.

What I thought I wanted, wasn’t actually what I wanted. At all.

I’m going to try and consolidate the rest of this as best as I can. With one giant leap of faith, I withdrew my deposit from said university, I stayed at home with my parents, and most importantly, I decided to give my dream a chance. Through many tears, my plans to go to community college turned into a six-month gap semester, and then into a full gap year, and now….now I sit here, in January of 2017, with my heart overflowing. This is just the beginning of my journey, hard work has been done, and there is still so much harder work to come, but I am so incredibly excited to announce that I will be releasing my first professionally produced EP of my own music in February of 2017. I am so excited to share this part of myself with all of you, and I cannot wait for y’all to hear what I have created, with the wonderful help of some of the most fabulous people I have ever met. This is such a small step into such a big world, but it is the most important step, because it is the first.

So, if you have made it this far, I sincerely thank you for taking the time to read my story. I believe that it is a beautiful, exciting story, and worth sharing. I will continue to share my stories, updates, and victories as my journey progresses, and I hope that y’all will come along for the ride. But most importantly, I want to leave all of you with one final thought:

Your dream will always be bigger than your fear.

Realize that, remember that, and hold on to that as you go into the future. It just might surprise you.

Much love,

Kate

OOTD: Fur, Felt, & Fringe

Hey y’all!

Firstly, I would just like to say that I hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving! I know I did. Cornbread stuffing, green bean casserole, sweet potato bread pudding, and of course, turkey with cranberry salad – it simply does not get better. I am currently in Alabama visiting family, and my heart is so full. The weather is amazing, the trees are beautiful, and God’s grace is evident everywhere that I look. Today, I went downtown with my parents and stumbled upon this cute little art gallery, which gave me the perfect opportunity to shoot a quick outfit of the day for y’all. Today, I am wearing some of my favorite pieces from my favorite place – Target! I’ve had this adorable faux fur vest for a couple of years now, and I think it pairs just perfectly with my fringe cross-body and my felt hat – all purchased at Target. I do want to apologize for the quality of some of these photos – I didn’t realize that the lighting is kind of funky on some of them until after we had shot. Oops. Nevertheless, I hope y’all enjoy this post – I will be sure to link all of the products and similar pieces below!

OOTD: Fur, Felt, & Fringe

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Vest (similar, similar) / Hat / Fringe Bag / Necklace (similar) / Top / Jeans / Boots (similar)

What are y’alls favorite fall fashion looks? Let me know in the comments below, and have a fabulous Saturday!

Much love, 

Kate 

Coffee Talk: Diaries Of A Working Girl

Hey y’all!

I wanted to take a few to catch up with y’all and reflect on what’s been happening in my life recently. As I mentioned in my last Coffee talk , I work as a waitress in an adorable lil upscale cafe where I live. Cozy fabric chairs, cappuccinos, a staggering wine selection, and Sarah Bareilles playing softly in the background – this is my life five days a week. As a nineteen year old with a lot of goals for the next year of my life, working has become quite the priority these days, and sometimes I feel like I can barely catch a breather. Juggling my job, my responsibilities, and my personal goals can get kind of tricky sometimes, and trying to eat healthy/work out consistently on top of all of that can make for a pretty busy week, every week (especially with extra Halloween candy in the house – y’all know how that goes).

Through the crazy hustle and bustle I face each week, I have learned to take advantage of two things: small spurts of free time, and rest. Just because free time is at a minimum does not mean it can not be used beneficially – embrace it! I have found that I can get much more done if I use my free time wisely, and that I am even more successful when I allow myself an adequate amount of rest and relaxation. For example, Sunday is the only day in the week that is completely free; I go to church, hang out with my mom, and have time to take a step back from the go-go-go lifestyle. This also allows me to take a second to assess my goals for the following week, and be more prepared when my alarm goes off on Monday morning. I will admit, I am kind of obsessed with Hart of Dixie right now, but that doesn’t mean I don’t force myself (painfully) to close my laptop on Sunday night and get some sleep. A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

In saying all of this, I hope to leave y’all with a little bit of encouragment: work hard, always hustle, and rest well. Finding the balance between fast-paced living and relaxation is the key to success, and anything is possible when you allow yourself time to prepare, physically and mentally. All of you are beautiful, fabulous, kick-the-door-open ladies, and you can do it.

Happy Friday everyone, I will talk to y’all again soon!

Much love, 

Kate

 

OOTD: Cut-Out Suede Top

Hey y’all!

First of all, happy Monday! I hope you’ve all had your coffee and are ready to have a fabulous week. It feels like forever since I’ve done an outfit of the day, so I’m glad I finally found the time to shoot one. I picked up a few new pieces recently and I really wanted to showcase some of them in this post. After heat that has stretched long into October, the fall whether has finally arrived here in Virginia, and so it is now appropriate to break out my autumn wardrobe. I am obsessed with this suede cut-out top, and don’t even get be started on the booties – pure fashion bliss. I will list all the outfit details below, and I hope y’all enjoy!

Cut-Out Suede Top

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fullsizerender_4fullsizerender_1Top – Local Boutique // Jeans – American Eagle // Bag – Target // Booties – Jeffrey Campbell

Be sure to comment below and let me know what you think! I wish you all an absolutely fantastic Monday, filled with cute fall outfits and lots of coffee. Until next time!

Much love, 

Kate 

September Favorites 2016

Hey y’all!

First of all, happy Hump Day everyone. I hope all of you are doing wonderfully, filled with happiness and lots of coffee! Finally, I have a monthly favorites post for y’all! I haven’t done one of these since the spring, but I told myself that I have to start them back up in September. My summer was kind of crazy, and I found that by the end of each month, I just didn’t have any content worthy enough of a favorites post. Well, now that is not the case. Being a savvy shopper, I have a few things that I have been enjoying throughout the month of September that I simply must share. I hope y’all enjoy!

September Favorites 2016

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  1. Day Designer Planner

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This baby is solid gold. I searched far and wide (well, deep into the pages of the internet, to be honest) for the perfect planner, and finally, I settled on this gem that I found in the trustworthy aisles of Target – and for cheap! I have always loved my Lilly Pulitzer/Kate Spade agendas, but I am very happy with this adorable, affordable alternative. 

 

2. Kendra Scott Elisa Pendant Necklace

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I have a newfound love for Kendra Scott! This necklace was a birthday gift, and it has quickly become my favorite piece of jewelry. The stone is rose gold drusy, and I think the matching rose gold chain sets it off perfectly. Sparkly and elegant – what more could you ask for?

3. Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo 

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I picked up this brow powder during Ulta’s 21 Days Of Beauty! What could be better than paying $11, instead of $23? I’ve been in need of a new brow powder, and I really wanted to try some of Anastasia Beverly Hills products for a while. This one is called “Auburn”, and it matches my coloring very well. I love that I can mix the two colors together to get the perfect shade and intensity for my brows.

4. Revlon Nail Enamel in “Totally Toffee”

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I’m a huge fan of dark polish, and this shade by Revlon has become my new go-to fall nail color! I love that this shade is right in between a maroon and a brown. It’s edgy while still being sophisticated, and it looks great on. I expect to be wearing this baby all season long. 

5. my adorable “Coffee Snob” mug

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Last but not least, my new mug. I am a sucker for drinkware with cute sayings/script. I spotted this in the check-out line at Homegoods, and just had to have it. As you can see, “coffee snob” is scripted on the front, and being a coffee lover, I couldn’t resist. Am I right when I say that drinking your coffee out of a cute mug makes every morning better?

I hope y’all enjoyed my September favorites! Please like, share, and comment below with your favorite products this month! I would love to hear from y’all. Enjoy what’s left of Wednesday, everyone!

Much love, 

Kate