Sometimes You Just Gotta Leave Town…

January 1, 2015

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In ways that I have never had to fight for stillness in my life, I have to fight for it in New York City.

New York is one of the most magical places I have ever experienced.  If you are dreamer and a doer, a mover and a shaker; it is the place for you to make your dreams a reality.  Because the pace of life is so fast, there are times where I feel like if I’m not careful I will blink and 10 years will have flown past me.

So much of the time I love this about the city.  The opportunity.  The type of people that the city lures.  The passionate world changing movers and shakers.  The creative energy is magnetic.

But.

There’s a but, and it’s an important one.

I believe stillness to be a powerful practice in life, and I’m the type of person that needs nature in my life to not only function but thrive.  Stillness in the city is never an accident; like anything we truly value in our lives it must be ardently fought for.

So this means that sometimes on a random Friday I ditch work with my friends and drive upstate, even if it means we’re in the car for longer than we’re outside.  We go anyways, because our souls need it.  We hop in a rental car, or a borrowed car, and we put on music and you we road trip snacks, and we get out of town for that hour or two or three of social media free/subway free/stree free nature.

I’m grateful that I have friends that value stillness, and nature, and road trip playlists, and Cheetohs, and rolling around in the grass, and running through fields on a freezing cold Friday afternoon.

They’re my lifelines.

XO,

Kat

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Photos by:  Tutti de Monte Photography + Kat Harris

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The Epic Kiss

December 19, 2014

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset It’s funny how a day can start off going one direction, and completely out of nowhere things change.  I love that about life…about God really.  It’s always an unexpected epic adventure.

As Alexander says; it was a terrible, no good, very bad day.

My day seemed to be going downhill by the hour.  It started with a guy canceling our coffee date for the third time this week.  I feel like this is worth repeating…a grown man that asked me out canceled on me three times in one week.  I felt hurt, rejected, and a little annoyed at myself for allowing it to happen so many times.

I run to a quick yoga class, don’t have time to shower, forget my make-up, and literally run (yoga mat in tow) to my back to back shoots in the city.

After a 10 hour day I just want to head home, grab a bottle of red wine, and watch a good ol’ rom com (#whyamistillsingle) when I remember my friend invited a few friends over for dinner.

Exhausted, with my camera gear and yoga mat, I head to Brooklyn for dinner at my friend’s place.  I figure it was no problem that I look quite disheveled as I was sure it would be only girls.

As my friend swung open the door, the aroma of homeade food filled all my senses, and as I dumped my belongings on the floor, plopped on the couch and was instantly handed a glass of red wine.  (This may be a good night after all).

No sooner did I sit down, when there was a knock on the door, and it was my friend’s darling friend from college.

He and I met at yoga the month before, and ran into each other at class each week.  Did I mention that he is very cute…Le’sigh.

Hi, he says.

Hey, I say.

Immediately I become very aware of my completely unkempt state.  My friend also seems to notice and whisks me to her room, puts me in a cute cream chiffon blouse, gives me mascara, blush, red lips, and a little perfume, and viola!  I am a new woman.

Walking back into the room he and I made eye contact.

He smiles.

I smile (It’s a very She’s All That moment except I don’t tumble down the stairs).

Throughout the night more people came over, we eat an amazing home cooked meal, and somehow our wine glasses are never empty.  Another thing happens as the evening progresses.  As I float around the room talking with different friends, somehow he and I kept finding ourselves in a corner talking; it doesn’t take me long to find out he’s not only really cute, he’s a really genuine and kind guy.

It’s getting late so naturally a few us decide to go dancing (because why not…it’s Friday night and it’s only midnight #yolo #midnightisthenew10pm people).

We say our goodbyes, and it is only then that I notice there are only three of us going out.  My roomate, him, and myself.

We’re on our way to the bar, and in less than two minutes his hand slips into mine, and it kinda feels like it is just as it should be.  Like all along we are supposed to be in this exact moment walking through Brooklyn at midnight on a crisp fall night hand in hand.

Remember though, my roomate is with us too and watches the whole thing happen.

He looks at his phone for directions, and she mouths at me with eyes as big as golf balls “SHOULD I LEAVE??”

I shake my head with eyes equally as big flailing, “NOOO!!!”.

Now might be an opportune time to tell you that it has been two (yes two) years since a man has held my hand, and yes it is also safe to assume that it has also been two years since I have been kissed. (I’m pretty conservative with my kisses.  Working on my P31 folks, but more on that later).

We get to the bar, which I’m convinced isn’t bigger than my 10×10 Brooklyn bedroom; it is wall to wall with people, and the DJ is playing what my roomate likes to refer to as “Island Jams”.  You would have thought we walked straight into a dive bar in Jamaica.

I didn’t hate it though, because I’m with a really cute guy that I’ve spent the better part of the last 6 hours connecting with, and he is holding my hand, and has led me into an Island Jam bar with tropical drinks*.

He and I stand next to the bar and chat.  Full disclosure:  at this point I have all but abandoned my poor roomate who officially deserves a ‘Wingman of the Year’ trophy.  (Although I’m not a complete monster, because I made sure she was having fun, and as I looked over to her she was literally surrounded by 3 different guys wanting to buy her a drink and teach her how to dance to steel drum beats).

I turn back to look at him, and he pulls me in close, and gives me a little kiss.  I pull back with my head spinning, and we smile and keep talking.

The rest of the night is a bit of a blur.  We danced to what can only be described as some sort of Jamaican national anthem complete with steel drums until the wee hours of the morning.

We step outside for some fresh air, and then the next thing I know we’re standing on a street corner in Williamsburg and he’s kissing me.  He kisses me like he means it, and it is completely magical.

At some point…some good bye kisses later…I float home.

That’s all for now.

Bisous,

Kat

*note:  I actually don’t like island drinks…I’m more of a wine and whiskey girl myself, but for the stories sake; it sounds good.

Real Sex in the City | Confessions of a 29 yr Old Virgin in NYC

December 4, 2014

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Real Sex in the City | Confessions of a 29 year old Single-Virgin living in NYC.

Yes…You did read that right.  You can go ahead and read it again…I know; it’s shocking.

My name is Katherine, and I am a 29 year old single virgin (by choice) chasing my dreams here in New York City.

When I was 17 years old I made a commitment to myself, to my future husband, to God that I would wait until marriage.  I believe sex to be one of the most holy acts we as humans can experience; it’s sacred, physical, spiritual, and everything in between.

Now I find myself at almost 30 years old, living in New York City, single, a Jesus follower, and a virgin.  It was one thing to make this declaration as a high school senior, and has been another thing altogether to walk it out.  Friends…it is not easy, and anyone who tells you so is a liar!

Here’s a little background to my story…

I’m from Texas, and assumed like most southern girls that I’d be married by the time I was 20.

A mere 10 years ago when I was a college sophomore in Dallas Texas, I remember saying to my best friend at the time (who has now been married for almost a decade, has a house and two kids) “I know I already know him (my husband). We’re probably already friends, and don’t even know it”.

Man…what a statement.  As a 19 year old I was convinced I was going to marry one of the guys in my group of friends from High School; it was very Friday Night Lights of me.

My plan was that I’d go through college, meet my husband, be swept off my feet, get married after we both graduated, travel, and eventually settle down somewhere in the south near our families to have kids.  The perfect little life in the perfect little box that I had created for it.

Now there’s nothing wrong with wanting those things; it’s just that my life has turned out completely different.

Without going into my entire history here are the cliff notes:

I graduated college oh-so-single  (No MRS degree here folks), and moved to California two weeks later to work for a non profit. I traveled all over the US doing advocacy living out of a van completely broke, and created some of the best memories of my life. From there I went to Africa, backpacked through Europe, worked at a other non profit, started my photography business, and eventually my fashion and lifestyle blog which all have led me all over Cali, the east coast, the Bahamas, Jamaica, Caribbean, and more, and ultimately all the way here to New York City to chase some pretty epic dreams.

If I had gotten things the way I planned, I would have a good life.  It’s just that God always has a more imaginative, creative, journey for our lives.  Never did I ever think I’d be a photographer and blogger in New York City, and never did I ever think I’d be almost 30 and single, yet here I am.

Back to dating.

I have never been much of a dater, and because of being hurt in the past I really had shied away from it for most of my life.

Until moving to NYC….In the last year I have dated more than I dated in the last 3 years combined.  At this point, I have tried almost every form of online dating, not out of desperation, but for the purse sense of trying it out and being open to possibility.

Over the last year I have had some of the worst dating experiences of my life, coupled with some of the most beautiful moments, and dates that have felt completely magical.  I’ve embarrassed myself, been stood up, almost stood someone up (but just didn’t have the guts to do it), and at the end of the day have had some hot tears alongside lots and lots of laughs.

So many of my friends back home think I live this sexy life here, and yes there are definitely fabulous moments; it’s New York City for crying out loud!  But life is hard, dating is hard, and this is a space where I’m going to divulge my fancy and more-or-less not so fancy dating life here in The Big Apple.

Precursor:  I am a works in progress.  I don’t have it all figured out.  I make strides, and I also make big fat messes of things.  By no means do I have it altogether.

I’m just a girl trying to be honest about real life…or my real life dating here in the city, and if you stick around I can assure you that I have some pretty stellar stories.

Here’s to believing that the journey is actually the destination, and to hoping that the best is yet to come…and oh ya also that one day I will meet an amazing man to partner through life with!  (I’m praying those big prayers y’all).

XO,
Kat

 

Connection + Creativity

December 2, 2014

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Grounded.  Quiet. Still.  Abounding with connection + creativity.

A few weeks ago, I took a last minute road trip to Conneticut with a car full of creatives that I had never met before in real life to visit PJ Glass House.  We were all connected through instagram + through creativity.

Sidenote:  Isn’t it weird how instagram connects people that normally wouldn’t be connected?

As a creative it is so essential to my soul + to my creativity to leave the hustle of the city and be in nature.  To some days like these seem frivolous, but to the artist getting away from the monotony + surrounding yourself with beauty + other creatives is as essential to our craft as is breathing.

We started as strangers, and ended companions.

Isn’t it interesting how experiencing beauty with other people allows for this?  We can connect with others we normally wouldn’t connect with, be around, or talk to because of the common interest of beauty.

How powerful is that?

How can you create moments of connection with other creatives in your life today or this week…even if it’s just for a few minutes?

One idea:  watch this video + talk about what it means to surrender.

Love y’all + stay tuned for a rad outfit from Em later this week!

XO,

Kat

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Photos by:  me Kat Harris

Life Without Revision…

December 1, 2014

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…from the beautiful song “Snow” / Sleeping at Last

Here’s to one more revision. Let’s not shy away from the change that stirs our souls to life, no matter how uncomfortable the transition. New things are coming and they are good.

xo,

Em

Great Investments | The Black Midi

November 30, 2014

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Classics are classic for a reason.

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I remember being in High School and having to read the Classics and always thought how dumb it was?  Now as an almost 30 year old woman, I see the value in reading East of Eden, Brothers Karamazov, Pride + Prejudice.  They’re pieces of literature that go beyond time.   They’re classic.  And Classic does not have to mean boring.

Moving to New York City has completely changed the way I dress, and the way I shop.  It’s such a fast paced city on the go, and you literally walk everywhere (I think I should have calves of steel by now!).  Simply put I cannot afford to not have classics in my wardrobe.  Buying those trendy, “throw away” pieces, will last for one wear in this city before getting destroyed.  As women we need to invest into quality pieces in our wardrobe, and have fun with it.

The last few seasons The Midi Skirt has definitely made a come back, but in my mind it never went away.  Classics will always find their way back to trend, but they never go out of style. This fall one of my investment purchases was this amazing Black Midi Skirt from Kate Spade.

One question I ask myself before making any wardrobe purchase is:

What are 3 completely different ways that I can wear this piece?  If I cannot think of 3 distinct outfits for a piece, I won’t buy it.  At this point in my life I need quality, versatility, and functionality.

XO,

Kat

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P.S.  Already this skirt has gotten a ton of use!  In fact as I was on my way to shoot skirt for this post I was wearing my vans + trench + beanie + thought what the heck…why not show my “real outfit” as well.  Just by adding lipstick + heels I completely changed the look.  VIOLA!  Versatility in action y’all!

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Photos by:  Tutti del Monte Photography

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OUTFIT | Oh Sweet Sunday (And More Sweatpants)

November 27, 2014

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That Smile. I’m the luckiest mom in the world.

Really though I don’t know how I managed to bring this smiling girl into this world. It blows my mind daily. Every time she giggles it makes up for all the hard work of transitioning into a working mom and forgetting to call people, email them back, or in other words, try to run a successful photography business AND style blog. It’s hard work, you guys. The juggle. But she brings new focus to my life in the best ways. I have to say NO to things that aren’t the right fit, and I have to squelch my people pleaser for the good of the family. In other words, boundaries. Good boundaries are the keystone to a happy life. You have to know when to say No and not be afraid of making someone unhappy. Because that’s just not my problem, but I’m always tempted to make it my problem.

Anyways. I’m sure that’s enough deep thoughts for a Tuesday morning. Am I right?

Besides I’m pretty sure you just showed up to see squishy baby smiles. And I do not blame you one bit.

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Can we just pause for one minute and appreciate the adorableness of BABY TOMS. I can’t.

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WAIT WHAT’S THAT. You need a closeup on that squishy baby face?

YOU GOT IT.

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And there you have it! Yes, you can wear a leather jacket when you have a baby! It’s good to throw caution to the wind every once in a while, I say.

on Charlie : dress / headwrap / toms

on me : leather jacket (similar) / sweatpants (also love these) / striped tank (on SALE!) / loafers / sunglasses / tote

xo,

Em