Christmas In July {Lake Things}

Who forgets their camera at home after an hour in of driving to the cottage?
Idiots people like myself.

Today, you'll have to be OK with iphone quality pictures for my weekend recap.
This weekend had the potential to not be so good, but it turned out to be wonderful. When we got to the lake on Friday, the weather was terrible... high winds, rain, and looking like a tornado could come through at any minute. Luckily, by noon on Saturday it cleared up and it was a good thing because my parents came up to the lake for the day! We were so worried the weather was going to be horrible for them, but it turned out to be a beautiful day.

We spent the first half of Saturday at Put in Bay for Christmas in July. What in the world is Christmas in July you ask? It's when the whole island decorates for Christmas, the bands play Christmas songs, people dress up in Santa hats (or as Santa), and you have an excuse to celebrate Christmas in the summertime. Pretty cool, huh? After Put in Bay, we headed back to the cottage to take my parents out for a boat ride. It was such a beautiful night and it was great to have both Billy's parents and my parents together for the day! :)

After this weekend, it's safe to say I'm pretty anxious ready for fall to be here. We have done so much this summer and have been blessed to have some beautiful weekends at the lake, but this girl is tired! Give me some 70 degree days. Ahh...yes. That's what I need.

Allow me to let the pictures do the talking (it is almost Monday, afterall). 

...can you find the Santa hat?

How awesome is this Ohio State inspired house?!

Ben, Billy's dad, and Jonathan

My parents on the boat

On Sunday, we decided to take the boat to Cedar Point 
and the boys went tubing!

Oh, and I can't forget to mention this.
This definitely happened on the way home..

My husband loves his BBQ and decided to randomly stop at a place
 {can you even call it that? It's pretty high class, as you can see.}
 off the side of the road on the way home. 
One pulled pork sandwich and a side of baked beans later...we were on our way. 
After a picture, of course.


How was your weekend?
Have you ever been to Put in Bay?

Rocky says happy manic Monday...

+Tomorrow I have an awesome giveaway so check back :)



Howdy from TX and OH.

Oh, haaaayyy!
from your favorite Ohioan (muah) and Texan (Steph). 

We met for our typical Mickey D's iced coffee this morning.
It was a fantastic little date!
(no, but really, I miss her more than words can say. wah)

Billy and I are heading, back to, the lake this weekend!
Another boat barge party is happening tomorrow..
which pretty much means we can't miss it.
Too much fun had by all.

Here are my Friday Letters:

Dear Olympics, you are finally here! I can't wait to watch. Most of all, I can't wait to watch all of the gymnastics, swimming, and soccer. Dear Kristen Stewart, I would love the opportunity to kick you right in the punch you in the face. A couple times. How dare you?! You were lucky to be with R Patz in the first place...LUCKY, I tell you! I hope he moves on. Dear Billy, you were hilarious last night singing "I Don't Wanna Be" (Gavin DeGraw) around the house with Rocky in your arms. You should probably look up the lyrics though, so you don't have to mumble half of the chorus. ;) Dear Some Nights - Fun song, I'm stage 5 obsessed with you. I have you on repeat anytime I'm in the car. Maybe I shall do a singing vlog later for ya'll? Dear SNJHK, I can't stop saying ya'll. I blame you. #nerd Dear San Fran, Napa, Lake Tahoe, and Carmel, you will probably get a weekly letter until we get there. I AM GOING TO LOVE YOU! Dear self, let's get your tan on this weekend. I'm feeling pretty pale. Dear Ohio State football, it's not too long before we meet again!!!! You are my favorite time of year, by far. Urban2012! Dear Jo Totes, I'm in love with my new camera bag (pics + review to come soon!) 


Have a freaky friday, people.


Life Lately, according to Instagram

Hello, hello party people.

I cannot believe it's Thursday already!
I'm not complaining. 
To all 52 of you who left me comments yesterday,
you rock.
To those of you who sent me lengthy emails (about 20 of you)
with all kinds of suggestions, where to eat, routes to take, etc.
you are amazing, too.
It seems as though we have picked an amazing place to go 
and when a lot of you say Lake Tahoe is one of the most beautiful places on Earth,
that just makes me want to cry out of pure excitement. I probably could, and may.
I was seriously so happy last night because I was forced to create a spreadsheet
 (which is a planner's happy place, right?)
 with all the cities we are visiting and the things you all suggested.
I'm so thankful for each and every suggestion 
and you may have just planned our entire trip for us. ha ha. Not joking.
*I highly suggest you go back to my post and read through the comments 
to either find some new Cali friends, or save the info
for yourself if you think you will be taking a similar trip in the future! 

Last night, the hubs and I actually booked a 2 hour boat cruise in San Fran.
It includes appetizers and a wine tasting...
I know that I'm going to fall in love with this city already!

Here's what else has been going on in my life...
via the lovely Instagram.
I know some of you don't have this app, so these pictures will be new to you.
But for those who do, sorry. You'll be seeing them all again.

1. A new scarf for Lake Tahoe: the colors and pattern seem perfect for it.
2. TRX: still loving getting my butt kicked by this workout!
3. Rocky says "I need mah shades, ma" 
4. Chambray + Mint bauble necklace {from Bauble Bar}

5. Waking up to his little face every morning makes me so happy.
6. Girls at the Goat! 
7. O.O.T.D: Mixing black and navy and patterns
 (and also trying to see which shoe looked best)
8. The BEST taco salad that I would pick over Chipotle any day. Yeah, I went there.
 I'm not sure if it's possible to go a week without making it. 
That good.

*Don't forget to enter my $150 Applebees GiftCard giveaway!
That is, you want to stuff your face and not have a bill at the end of it.
My kinda night! 



2nd Wedding Anniversary Trip {Traveling To...}

I just love these posts.  The ones where I get to post about our next vacation {too bad these aren't everyday, right?}. I love reading where others are traveling to, and it's about time I get to share our next trip.

Do you ever have those dreams where you wake up briefly and you try so incredibly hard to fall back asleep and pray that the dream you were having will start back up again where you left off? Maybe about Channing Tatum? Well, I've had dreams of taking this trip often and it's finally going to happen. 

I'm a planner. I get back from a vacation, and I start planning the next (meaning I brew it up in my head). Billy is a little bit more laid back about it. While he loves to travel, the man isn't the best vacation-booker-slash-planner. Does that make sense? Let me paint the picture for you. One time he planned an excursion for us on a trip in Florida (or somewhere) and he had us show up for it on the completely wrong day and wrong location. Silly hubs. He has planned many things throughout the years that have been wonderful though, so don't get me wrong. Anywho, that's why (or it could be my control freak nature) I do most of the planning for us.

What was I saying? Ah, yes.
Our trip.

We spent our first wedding anniversary in Boston last year (posts here-loved it). In a little over a month for our 2nd wedding anniversary I get to cross a little somethin, somethin off that good ole bucket list

That certain bucket list item would be...a California road trip!
Flights are booked and I'm ready to go right this second.

We will be flying into Reno and spending 2 days at
Lake Tahoe......

We are staying on Kings Beach (North Lake Tahoe) in a lakefront lodge
 and plan on hiking, exploring the towns, and taking in the incredible views. 
Have you SEEN google images of this place?! 

....from there, we are driving to Napa Valley....OMG! vineyards! 
I wonder if they'd let me sleep right there in the middle? 
Because that'd be really great.

and then staying in San Francisco for 3 days!

I have heard nothing but great things about the culture, the food, 
and everything there is to do in this city.

...yeah, I'm peeing my pants pretty much.

We are also planning on making the drive from San Fran
 to Monterey/Carmel/Big Sur as well.

I know that Billy will want to see Pebble Beach!
 Billy has never been to California and while I've been to Carmel when I was younger, I don't remember much (except the amazing views and that I loved it), so this trip was a must for both of us. 
Dare I say it, but I'm a little burnt out on the beach vacay's. 
I want to see amazing views and explore cities!

If this blog doesn't get updated around the time we are supposed to return, just assume that we had Rocky shipped out to Cali, and we've become permanant residents. Sorry I wouldn't be sorry.

*If you are an awesome Cali blogger or have done a similar trip like this and have any suggestions on places to eat, things to see/do, eat (you know me), etc. it would be SO appreciated!! Please leave me a comment or email me at: whalenkat@gmail.com. 

ps-if you're wondering: Steph and I decided to post pone our trip to Texas until their house that is being built is completed, so that we are able to see it and stay there. Plus, the rodeo is around that time, and who doesn't want to go to a rodeo? I know this Ohio girl does. It just works out better for all of us!

pps-thank you Stephanie (a different one) for EVERYTHING! We are so excited about this trip. 


Everyday Inspiration {via Blog World}

Emily's blog, Cupcakes and Cashmere, was one of the first blogs I ever followed. In fact, I loved her blog so much, it was the only one I really looked forward to reading everyday. (I didn't read many back at this point, so don't be offended.) I would save it for during my lunch break at work (anyone else do this?), so that I could read it while I ate and take my time. She has inspired me so much and made so much out of her blog, so it was a no-brainer for me to purchase her book that just recently came out.

I actually read it and finished it recently in one sitting. The book is awesome and extremely motivating. Emily shares some great tips about transitioning your closet between the seasons, which was one of my favorite parts.

Today, I'd like to share some other blogs that truly motivate me and keep me feeling inspired (all for different reasons!), in hopes they will inspire you, too!
*this is just a small fraction of blogs that I love and aside from the blogs I link to all the time that you already know about.

Enjoying The Small Things: If you do not know Kelle yet...what rock have you been living under? Head there now!
Gal Meets Glam: she is seriously too cute for words, am I right?
Centsational Girl
Running on Happiness
Living In Yellow
rockstar diaries
Life Is A Sunset: Chelsea also lost her mom to breast cancer and has continually inspired me with her positive outlook.
My Life in Food: see below
The Hungry Runner Girl
Don't Waste Your Cancer
House of Smiths

You should definitely go check these ladies out, if you haven't visited their blogs before.
Now, tell me, what blogs inspire you?
I love finding new blogs to follow, so please speak up and share with me. 

*In addition to the link love listed above, here is a link to my favorite green smoothie right now. Krista, from My Life in Food, has some of the most amazing recipes and she hit this one out of the park {link here

*I'm also on Meghan's blog today (another great girl) sharing a health/fitness post. Go check it out and report back about if you agree with me or not! :)

...and if you wanna know what item I'm crossing off my bucket list soon, come back tomorrow. Eek!

make it a great day


A Full House

Hi Monday, here you are showing your face again.
...when I'm not ready for you. 
How was everyone's weekend?

Like I mentioned on Friday, Billy's family came into town (they had a diaper party for a friend, and the girls had a bridal/bachelorette party) and per usual, it was so much fun but then again the massive bags under my eyes would tell you the same thing.

Friday we had everyone over to our house for pizza and drinks, and then we ended up heading downtown. I remember still being up right before the clock hit "5" and thought, alright, time to go to bed. Still have no idea what time the boys actually fell asleep!

Here's what happens when you try and get a decent group shot of the guys...
crotch grabs.

...and chest grabs. This picture I said "OK, ONE serious one!" and this is the best I could do.

On Saturday, it was Billy's cousin Shannon's (who introduced me to Billy!) bridal shower, and then later at night her bachelorette party. I didn't get any pictures from the bridal shower, except for my OOTD, because I forgot to bring my camera, but I did get a couple from the bachelorette party. Once the other girls post theirs, I will share some more. 

I asked you guys via Instagram, which shoes..
nude or black?

and most of you said nude! 
I loved all the feedback, but I had to end up wearing the black wedges simply for comfort reasons! My feet would have been killing me by the days end and remember, I was only on a couple hours of sleep. That's a bad combo. This was one of my favorite outfits this summer...I mixed black and navy, and different patterns. (What do you think about mixing patterns and navy/black?)

There were about 20 girls who went out for Shannon's bachelorette party (most of us all went to college together) and it was a blast. We danced and danced and danced and then got late night food. You know, what women do best on girls night outs. I even took home an awesome 3rd degree burn on my leg that evening that looks really girly and pleasant. Not.

{that's the bachelorette in the back...I'd say it was a success!}

Also, I have to say sorry, because I realized on Sunday that I was a bad blogger friend and hardly posted any pictures from the weekend. We were so busy the whole time, and I didn't have a chance to share much (meaning: eye candy). Next time I'll do better, promise.

Sunday night, Billy and I had a mini date night together and he took me out for sushi. Does anyone else get those sushi cravings that you need it right then and there? I don't get them weekly or anything, but when I do, I HAVE to go. 
Mmmmm...it was delish.

What was your favorite thing that you did this weekend?
Who watched the finale of the Bachelorette? (who didn't is the real question?)

I never and I mean, NEVER, thought it would be Jef as the last man standing. However, when I watched it last night I just melted at how cute he was with Emily, especially with little Ricky. The way he interacted with her was adorbs. I did wonder if Emily was thinking  "Arie is stupid hot" during the after the final rose. 
Thoughts? Who did you want to win?

I also just want to say thanks to those of you who leave comments weekly, and even daily. I truly appreciate them. 



A Shop You Need To Know & Letters!

{La Isla Bonita necklace via Nu Sans Bijoux, read below. Sidenote: We originally wanted to get married outside next to that building! Beautiful, right?}

HAPPY FRIDAY, friends!

I don't know about you, but this week was absolutely crazy busy and I am kissing the ground that it's finally Friday. I feel like I've barely had a life this week! I'm excited to get it back this weekend. I'm even more excited to share some exciting news with ya'll next week, but that can wait for now. ;) 

We have a FULL house this weekend. Billy's best friend, Mom, sister, brother, and ALL of his male cousins are coming in town for the weekend!! So, for all of you girls that enjoyed the "Magic Mike" instagram pic, expect to see many of those this weekend (but probably with clothes on, sorry in advance) via Instagram and/or Twitter. 

Do you see my new favorite chain link necklace I'm wearing in those pics? 
I'm here to share where it's from and about this awesome Etsy shop.

It's from the modern and vintage shop Nu Sans Bijoux (which means, "naked without jewelry") on Etsy! Christianne is from Boston, MA and opened her shop back in March and already has a huge fan base. Her jewelry is modern, afforable, and so trendy. 

It's no lie that I had the hardest time trying to figure out what necklace I wanted because I've been drooling over all of them, and her bracelets!

I mean, seriously, just look....
So cute.
HERE is the link to the necklace I'm wearing above.

She even has a necklace that's a 3-in-1 (pictured bottom right-called the Vogue).
You can wear it as a long necklace, convert it to a shorter necklace, or wear it as a bracelet.

Go getcha somethin' nice.

Now it's time for my Friday's letters!

Dear hair pictured above, you no longer look like that. Highlights are back in my hair because I wasn't liking how dark it was. I want to keep the highlights for the rest of summer and into fall. Thank you to my hair stylist who gave me a hand massage and a facial while I was waiting for my hair to be done. You are easily one of my favorite people! (if you live in Columbus and need a good hair girl-let me know!) Dear Strawberry Mango Salsa I made last night, I can't wait to devour you this weekend. Hope all our guests like it too (recipe found here!). Dear Steph, I know today is a hard day for you and Julie. I will be praying for you both and love you!! Dear Readers, I've been MIA this week with reading blogs! I promise to catch up soon. Dear nasty TICK that we found on Rocky, you made me mad. Real mad. Stay away from our doggy! Dear Billy's family, I'm SO EXCITED to spend the whole weekend with you. And I'm so happy to have such awesome in-laws. Dear rain, thank you for making our grass go from a poop brown to a light brown. Dear Labor Day weekend, EEEEEEK! Something on my bucket list will be checked off on you this year! BEYOND, beyond excited. Dear recent Colorado shooting victims and families, so sorry for what happened at the movie theatre. I wonder what is so possibly bad in that young mans life that he would do something to that extent. So, so sad. 

What are your weekend plans?
Don't forget to enter my $150 Applebees giveaway if you haven't yet!
have a happy kinda weekend, ok?!
yeah, I was never a cheerleader growing up.
More into the sport thing... ;)



What I'm Loving: Recent Buys + Birchbox

recent summer buys

Old Navy Striped Dress
Old Navy Sunset Shorts (boats on them! perfect for the cottage)
Forever21 Pleated High-Low Skirt (in navy)
Bauble Bar Spearmint Bauble Bib 
Warehouse Padlock Shopper

This dress, shorts, and skirt were the last of my summer purchases! 
There are so many cute things coming out for fall, so I have to hold back and say no, no, and more no to any summer clothes from this point on.
I sound like a true shopaholic...

I've mentioned my love for Bauble Bar before. 
Some of the best accessories right now! (along with Style Love Living, of course.)
I had been lusting after this Spearmint Bauble Bib statement necklace for SO long, and finally it came back in stock! Isn't it gorgeous?! I cannot wait to wear this necklace.
If you haven't signed up yet, sign up: here and get $10 off your first order. 
You can also earn points if you share with your friends that gives you discounts on your future orders! It's pretty awesome.

A couple months ago, I signed up for Birchbox (lots of "B" loves today) and have yet to share my thoughts on it with you! I'm sure many of you have heard of Birchbox, but if you don't, for $10.00 a month you get popular beauty samples and products (some full size) sent to your mailbox. 

It's perfect for me because I hate buying makeup that I have to end up returning because I don't like it. I love being able to sample them before buying them. If you end up loving a product, you can purchase it easily from their website.

Sign up here (if you're interested)

With that being said, this months Birchbox has been my favorite by far.
Here's what I got...

Blinc: mascara, Dirt: luxe salt scrub in lemon leaf (my FAVORITE product I've received thus far-smells absolutely amazing!), Harvey Prince: perfume, Larabar: uber bar (I actually like the regular Larabars better) and super cute neon headphones. 

Stila: In the Light eyeshadow palette
I love the mix of colors in this palette. I know I will use them often! 

Totally worth the $10 in my opinion. 
Also, you can cancel Birchbox at any time, without any fees.

Do you do Birchbox?!

Now that I've most likely spent all your money for the day, I'll be on my way.
Hey, it's Wednesday, and Wednesday's are happy days...
and happy days = shopping days! (or is this just me?)
Have fun :)

*PS-Go enter my giveaway for a chance to win $150 to Applebees!



My Parents New House, and Weekend Things.

How about a weekend recap a day late?
Well, tough, you're getting one anyways!

This weekend I was in the mindset to relax and catch up on normal life related things. On Friday, Billy and I went out to dinner, got fro yo, and then watched 21 Jumpstreet. Holy heck, that movie surprised us! We were laughing pretty hard. But by the time Saturday afternoon rolled around, we were bored out of our minds!

We have been so used to driving out of town on the weekends and having plans 24/7, that I think I forgot what it felt like to not do much. We even tossed up the idea to drive to the lake for the day, but nixed it once the sun came out (it had been cloudy) and we decided to go to the Goat with friends to play volleyball and sit around the pool. 
Later that night, Ashley met up with us and we went out in the short north. 

Me, Ashley, and Jessie
{striped dress: F21 and yup, that's the bubble necklace in red. It was calling my name!}

My parents are in the process of building their home and it's made a lot of progress lately, so we randomly decided to swing by it and take some pictures to share (you know, this is what bloggers do). I'm so excited for them...this house is going to be beautiful. :) 

I put labels on some areas so that you can kinda see what is going where!

{see that necklace? You will have a chance to win a similar one from the same shop soon. 
Stay tuned!}

These closets are one of my favorite things about the house (well, besides the wine bar).
They are massive! and they don't even have to share! 
I consider that a little piece of heaven. 
(so would Billy since he literally has 1/4 of our closet now...) 

Rumor on the street, aka my stepmom told me, is that they are planning on putting sliding barn doors down here. I think for the workout room. I'll be sure to share those when they are done!

and here is the view out back (to the right) from the family room....

and then this is the view from one side of the house. 
Those big mexican inspired buildings in the back are a part of their complex.
 It's a restaurant, work out room, bar, pool, etc.
Oh, and there is a mini beach over there. 
I picture laying out on that and hopping on over to the rents for lunch (got that Juju?).

Good looking man in the blue shirt?
NOT included in home.

How was your weekend?
Have you ever built a home?
The process is so fun to watch!

This weekend, we will be back to our busy weekends again. Billy's cousins, mom, and sister are all coming in town  and we have a bridal/bachelorette party for his cousin!

*If you haven't entered my $150 giveaway to Applebees, you are crazy.
Just kidding, but go enter that: here. Don't worry, yesterday was the first day. 
How nice would it be to treat your significant other, girlfriends, or maybe just yourself (that's a lot of food, but hey, who am I to judge?) for a night out? Alright, good. 

Last but not least...
I want to wish Erin a very Happy Birthday!!!! Thank you for always making me laugh 
and providing me with entertainment for the day. Get your booty to Ohio soon. You should go say happy birthday to her, too! :)