Tag Archives: 2015

On Growing Up

Growing up

I wrote these words at some point last year. When I was thinking about what I wanted to share on the blog today, I stumbled upon this and decided I didn’t want to let time pass without sharing this thought. It explains SO MUCH of what I felt throughout my late twenties, and I really want that emotion documented here. I’d say that I’m still in this stage somewhat, though I definitely feel more comfortable in my skin and in my world today than what I did at 26, or when I wrote these words even. If you’re just embarking upon these years, be warned. This is pretty much what it feels like all the time and if I had any advice to give it would be to embrace it. You don’t have things figured out and you won’t just yet. Instead, just hang on. It might be a bumpy ride, but you’ll get where you’re going nonetheless. That’s when everything else will make sense. Here are my thoughts:

I’ve started 5,002 blog posts (exaggeration) about my personal growth and what I’ve learned lately, and honestly, I can never seem to flesh out the thoughts in my head. It’s sort of like standing in the middle of the world’s most exciting circus and not being able to decide which part to enjoy first. Do you run towards the elephant rides? Or the lion’s den? But there’s tightrope walkers and cotton candy! The music is loud and invigorating and people are laughing everywhere and it’s the most exciting day of your life! But you don’t know where to start.

That’s what it’s felt like inside my head lately. I literally feel like I’ve come so far in the last couple of years. I can’t put my finger on when this awakening began, but there was some point in the last two years where I woke up and became a new person. It’s felt amazing and scary and rewarding and inspiring. Really, I’ve felt all of the emotions. However, I still can’t put it into words.

I’ve read here and there that it’s in your thirties that you finally learn who you are. They say that you spend your teenage years just learning to survive and you’re twenties are filled with exploration. Then, it’s you’re thirties that you put all of this together and finally learn and understand what you’re really made of and who you want to be. I wouldn’t say this is scientific fact, but I think they might be on to something.

I turned 29 in January.  I’m not quite thirty, but I’m not surprised that I would have experienced this personal revelation a little early. I’ve always been a bit on the mature side, but that’s a conversation for another time. If I tried to put my finger on it, I’d say that I started really figuring myself out around 26 or 27.

I’ve wanted to talk about these various realizations many times. I’ve started post after post and conversation after conversation. I’ve talked with my husband about it thousands of times, and I even struggle to make sense in those conversations. It’s as if the words bubble up inside of me, begging to be released, but then they stay there stagnant. Maybe there are no words. Maybe the magnitude of what needs to be said is too large for me to process right now.

One day, I stumbled upon a post written by Karey Mackin on Clementine Daily. The tag line was, “Good grown-ups don’t care about being right; they prefer being informed,” and I knew right away that I must read this post. She talks about what it means to “grow up.” She talks about learning and growing and wearing what you want. She talks responsibility and finding balance between laundry and exciting adventures. The tag line itself spoke to me, because I noticed this shift in myself years ago. I want to know and understand. I don’t care so much about being right…I just want to be informed. Maybe there isn’t so much black and white. Actually, I think the world is probably comprised of mostly gray.

I read the entire post and it resonated with the feeling I’ve had lately. No, I’m not in my forties yet, but there’s so much to be learned and uncovered at any age. This time that I’m in right now is a big one. I’ve often wondered if it’s really possible to know that as you experience it, but apparently it is. Aside from those formable years where I learned to walk and talk and read, I think this is probably my biggest transitional stage yet. I’m growing and changing as a person almost daily. Sometimes it feels scary and difficult, but it’s mainly exciting. I’m thrilled to become someone better than who I was yesterday. I can’t wait to look back on these years and see what a difference they made. I still don’t yet have the words to describe what’s happened and is happening, but I know that it’s something big.

One day I’ll get it. One day, I’ll be able to explain and understand. For now, I’ll continue to sit with that yearning feeling, hoping to someday find the words.

Denali National Park – Alaska

Our trip to Denali. Read more at pamelapetrus.com Our trip to Denali. Read more at pamelapetrus.com Our trip to Denali. Read more at pamelapetrus.com Our trip to Denali. Read more at pamelapetrus.com Our trip to Denali. Read more at pamelapetrus.comI realized that months have passed and I still haven’t finished sharing details about our Alaska trip. Since we’re enjoying some time in the Rocky Mountains this week, I thought it would be a good time to talk more about the lovely Alaskan vacation.

Our trip to Denali. Read more at pamelapetrus.com Our trip to Denali. Read more at pamelapetrus.com Our trip to Denali. Read more at pamelapetrus.com Our trip to Denali. Read more at pamelapetrus.com Our trip to Denali. Read more at pamelapetrus.comOn our first full day there, we visited Denali National Park. I had very high expectations for the park because I was told that this is where you see the majority of the wildlife. If I’m being honest, I sort of expected it to be like a safari park of sorts…we ride around in a bus and feed wildlife from little cups. Obviously, I had the wrong idea. Apparently, the week we were there was the week all of the animals took a sabbatical. Or a vacation to Canada. We did see a few miscellaneous animals in the distance. Not. One. Bear. Though. Unfortunately, it was also a very foggy day and there was some residual smoke from recent forest fires, so we missed a lot of the mountain views too, including the majestic Mount McKinley (which I think was renamed to Denali shortly after we left). If you noticed the etching on the window in the photo above, you can tell where Mount McKinley was supposed to be. All we could see was fog. Turns out that it had only been seen 3-4 times so far this summer. I wish I would have known those odds before I rode a bus for 8 hours!

Our trip to Denali. Read more at pamelapetrus.com Our trip to Denali. Read more at pamelapetrus.com Our trip to Denali. Read more at pamelapetrus.comOur trip to Denali. Read more at pamelapetrus.com Our trip to Denali. Read more at pamelapetrus.com Our trip to Denali. Read more at pamelapetrus.com Our trip to Denali. Read more at pamelapetrus.com Our trip to Denali. Read more at pamelapetrus.com Denali-5Even though we didn’t see as much of the mountains or wildlife as we’d hoped, we did get a ton of good photos and enjoyed the cool features of the visitor center. My favorites there were the American flag flying high against the mountain view, that awesome handmade quilt, and the book in which someone sketches the view of Denali every single day. So awesome! My favorite part of the park was Polychrome Pass. I loved the variety of colors and textures there. As with all of of the Alaskan scenery, I feel like it was impossible to catch its true beauty in a photo.

Our trip to Denali. Read more at pamelapetrus.com Our trip to Denali. Read more at pamelapetrus.com Our trip to Denali. Read more at pamelapetrus.com Our trip to Denali. Read more at pamelapetrus.com Our trip to Denali. Read more at pamelapetrus.com Our trip to Denali. Read more at pamelapetrus.com Our trip to Denali. Read more at pamelapetrus.com Our trip to Denali. Read more at pamelapetrus.com Our trip to Denali. Read more at pamelapetrus.com Our trip to Denali. Read more at pamelapetrus.com Our trip to Denali. Read more at pamelapetrus.comThe trip to the park and back and the long bus ride there proved to be very exhausting. We drove 4 hours there, rode 8 hours on the bus, and then drove 4 more hours back to our campsite. Not kidding. We were exhausted by the time we turned in for the night. We were already quite tired from making the journey to Alaska the day before. Nonetheless, the visit to the park was a great way to kick off our trip! And I’m happy to report that I didn’t get motion sickness on the bus – hooray!

Merry Christmas

Christmas Card. pamelapetrus.comChristmas Card. pamelapetrus.comThis year has been a busy one! Lots of amazing things happened in 2015, and I’m super excited to look back on those. Matthew and I have sent out a “year in review” card every year except our first, and I think it’s slowly becoming what we’re known for. This year, I ordered my card from the talented/sweet/professional Becky at Pineapple Princess Design Co on Etsy. I’ve ordered from several designers on Etsy and this was by far the best experiences…even including a mix up with the printer where my cards ended up in New Jersey.

Looking back over this year’s list, I think there’s a blog post for almost each event! In case you’d like more info, here are the links:

  1. Alaska! Oh, Alaska. It was such an awesome trip and I promise to get around to sharing the rest of the photos soon!
  2. Nursing School! Matthew started nursing school just a couple of months after we were married, so it was a huge accomplishment (and relief) for him to finish this year. I am still very proud of him for going after and dominating this goal.
  3. I sold over 50 houses! This 50 includes houses nationwide. I didn’t blog much about my real estate business this year and it was a busy one! In 2016, don’t forget that I can help with ANY real estate transaction ANYWHERE in the world. Email me: pamela at pamelapetrus dot com.
  4. Renovating our home! This one will probably be on our 2032 Christmas card too! If you haven’t been keeping up with the progress, you can see bits and pieces here.
  5. A new car! There’s a chance that this car is going to go down in history as my most prized possession. I am so happy that I pushed past the guilt/worry and bought it anyway. I love, love driving around the country in this beauty.
  6. Matthew does chemo treatments! Matthew began his nursing career at the hospital and being offered this job at the clinic was a game changer for our family. The regular work hours and no nights/holidays/weekends gave us much more time to spend together. After nursing school and still working full time, it felt like we were finally able to enjoy each other’s company. It was a very welcomed change.
  7. Top 10% of Keller Williams! This email popped into my inbox on a day when I was feeling particularly beat down. I’d been working nonstop and just couldn’t seem to get caught up. Seeing that I had moved into the top 10% of realtors under 40 in the ENTIRE COUNTRY was just the motivation I needed to keep going. Side note: Thank you to everyone who has played a part in this! I’d be jobless without you guys!
  8. Matthew as the Easter Bunny! This really happened. You should have seen how adorable/funny it was.
  9. Tennis! Another one of the life-changing moments came when I took up tennis this year. Not only does it serve as amazing exercise, I’m spending time with a new friend AND finally reserving time to do something for myself. The transition in my mind was difficult, yet I’m finally learning how important this time is for me. Wimbledon, here I come! Just kidding, of course.
  10. Thanksgiving! We’ve had family over for various holidays before. I have not, however, ever agreed to prepare and an entire Thanksgiving meal by myself before. Somehow, Matthew and I pulled it off!

It’s amazing to look back on these ten events, knowing that there were hundreds more that took place this year too. Sometimes if feels like the years pass by so quickly, yet each year when I make this list, I’m amazed that all of these things went down in just one year. It’s a lovely reminder that we have so much time with which to do amazing things. The trick is though, we have to MAKE them happen. If we don’t make a conscious effort to go after big dreams, life will simply slip by. Speaking of dreams, my 2016 goals will be up on the blog next week, so be sure to pop back in for that.

I hope you all have a lovely Christmas holiday and get to do all of the things you enjoy. Much love, The Petruses.

P.S. Our card in 2013 & 2014.

2015 Christmas Decor

Christmas decor at pamelapetrus.comI learned a few things about Christmas this year.

  1. If my decorations aren’t up by mid-November, there’s a chance that they might not go up at all, and I’ll be super stressed. The longer I can enjoy my holiday décor, the better. Sitting in a room filled with cozy lights could be my favorite part of the year.
  2. I should invite people over early in the season. The sooner I have people over, the sooner I’ll get all of those lingering Christmas tubs put away! The weekend after all of the extra items were put away felt simply magical. I want to reach that point earlier in the season.
  3. Photos of Christmas décor are much better when taken in the early evening/afternoon hours. The photos of my big tree in the living room are much better than the one of Matthew and I by the tree, which was taken a few hours later. Speaking of, I’m not sure what those random specks of light/dust/glitter are on us. Something tells me that my lens was dirty. Next year, I’ll make a point to take all photos while there’s still a bit of daylight left…and to clean my lens before our little photo session.

Christmas decor at pamelapetrus.comChristmas decor at pamelapetrus.comChristmas decor at pamelapetrus.comIf you remember the post about my inspiration for the year, you’ll quickly notice that my actual décor looks nothing like my plans. Literally. Nothing like it. This fact is what brings me to realization #1. As time passed by quickly, I ran out of time to plan for new décor. Instead, I used items that I already had to get things decorated ASAP. There just simply wasn’t time to search out new items. Next year, I hope to start a little earlier so that I have more time to plan.

Christmas decor at pamelapetrus.comChristmas decor at pamelapetrus.comHopefully these few photos give you an idea of what our home looks like this holiday season. Imagine Christmas music, lots of twinkling lights, and hot chocolate galore. That about sums it up. We’re only a few days away from the bulk of the holiday festivities, so I hope you’re well rested, full of the holiday spirit, and eager to mark off another holiday season with those you love. Remember, don’t get too caught up in the hustle and bustle. Be sure to make time to truly enjoy this magical season.

P.S. If you’d like to look back, here’s last year’s Christmas decor.

Quick & Easy DIY Holiday Gift

for your mistle toes at pamelapetrus.comI saw this idea on Pinterest back in the early days and I’ve filed it away in memory, hoping that I’d have a chance to use it someday. Yesterday (and today) I attended the ALC Retreat with a few of my peers and since it was so close to Christmas, I decided to bring along a little prize for everyone. (The Associate Leadership Council is similar to a board of directors at our local Keller Williams office in which you can be invited to join if you’re in the top 20% of the company. Yay me!) Of course, I didn’t have the idea until the last minute, so I needed something I could throw together quickly. As I was wrapping up the gifts, I decided to share it here with you guys because this little idea could come in handy if you need a quick and relatively inexpensive gift for upcoming holiday festivities.for your mistle toes at pamelapetrus.comfor your mistle toes at pamelapetrus.comAt first, I woke up and started designing my own tag and then I reminded myself, “Don’t recreate the wheel, Pamela.” With a quick google search, I stumbled upon this adorable printable for free! I printed two sheets of the tags on cardstock, and I was in business. I love the turquoise and red and that the designer left a spot for a hole punch at the top…good design gets me every time. Next, I simply purchased a few bottles of red nail polish and attached the tags with string!for your mistle toes at pamelapetrus.comfor your mistle toes at pamelapetrus.comVoila! You have a quick, adorable gift that doesn’t take much time or money. This idea would make a great stocking stuffer, teacher’s gift, or a happy for someone that you don’t know very well. Adding the customized and cheeky tag takes a simple gift up a notch and proves that you put some thought in to it.

Have you seen any other fun and simple gift ideas floating around lately? I’d love to have some other ideas to store away for later!

P.S. My apologies for the poorly lit photos. The lighting in my office is awful!

The happiest (and busiest) time of the year.

Resting at Christmas at pamelapetrus.comI sat on my couch on Saturday afternoon, literally too exhausted to get up and do any of the things that I’d previously intended to do that day. I suppose it was a bit ambitious to consider that I’d do anything productive after the whirlwind of a week we’d experienced. Matthew and I both worked long, hard days each day last week and then had some sort of event to attend in the evening hours, each putting us getting home well after our usual bed time. Literally, we had an event every single night last week. Each day as we talked about being simply exhausted, we’d continue on to the next event with a smile. Each day, as we rushed off to the next engagement, we discussed how we wanted to attend each and every event, yet we were so tired from the hustle and bustle of the week. This week, I’m hoping for a bit more time to rest and be at home.

As I sat there almost motionless on Saturday, I thought about just how much I need down time…how much I’ve come to love my simple routine. Once upon a time I was superwoman…a mover and a shaker that did absolutely everything for everyone, taking very little time for myself. I’d go and go until I eventually crashed and burned. I’d recuperate and then do it all again until I came crashing back down again. I even used this approach with my real estate business. In the first year, I often worked from 7:00 am until 9:00 or 10:00 at night with very little help. Then I crashed. Actually, I crashed so hard that I almost locked up the doors and quit selling real estate altogether. True story.

Instead, I finally realized that I had to change my approach. I needed quite time. I needed days with no makeup. I needed time to sit and regroup quietly in the comfort of my own home. I needed days where I didn’t change from my pajamas until well past the normal hours. Actually, when I began drinking coffee, is when I first started giving myself little breaks and taking things more slowly. Now, after almost a year of carving out time to rest and relax, I feel like a new person. I also feel completely out of whack if I don’t get that time. I am emotional and short-fused. Sometimes I feel physically ill and my headaches come more often. I’m not a master of resting just yet, and my body is the first to show signs when I’ve skipped down time more than I should.

On Saturday, as I finally had a day to rest, I pulled up my blog reader to find 111 unread blog posts on Bloglovin’. I don’t follow tons of blogs, so 111 unread posts is nonsensical. My usual routine is to catch up on the week’s posts on Saturday or Sunday morning. Most of the time, I wake up before Matthew and sip my coffee while catching up on my favorite writers from the week before. Clearly, I haven’t been able to do that for quite some time. Actually, I as scrolled back, I realized that that last posts I’d seen were from Thanksgiving. This means, my usual routine has been upset for several weeks, which helps explain why I feel so off kilter.

In the past as I’ve struggled to carve out time for resting, I’ve posting things like this and this in the past. Both of these were written after somewhat of a “crash.” It’s been a daily struggle for some time to actually relax. When things get tough and I feel burdened with responsibility, my personal time is the first to go. I quickly forfeit my time to rejuvenate as soon as I feel obligated to complete some other task.

As the busyness of the holiday season comes in full force, I know that it’s even more important than usual to be sure I’m resting. I need to be sure I save some time for myself to do nothing. To sit. To read or relax. Why does it feel so hard to do?? How can I be sure that I don’t continually hit the burn out stage before resting? I don’t have that answer just yet. However, I know that I must continue to be diligent in saving some time for myself. I must fight for rest, even if the person I’m fighting is myself and my own insecurities. As we embark on another busy holiday season, I hope that you, too, make time to rest. I hope you sit quietly and sip slowly. We all deserve that right, after all.


Playdoh. at pamelapetrus.comOne evening I was sitting and scrolling through my blog reader as I often do when I have a few spare moments. As usual, I read through several posts, each speaking to and encouraging me in some way. Usually though, muddled among the truly inspirational, thought-provoking pieces, is a post about *insert random DIY project or facial cleanser that I’ll never make or use*. Today, however, post after post was directly related to my current state of mind. Each post that I read echoed the feeling I’d had lately. As I finished each one, I nodded in approval and felt like the writer was writing just for me. They understood. They could relate.

Let’s talk about where these posts led me. I sat there reading these posts about big dreams and life changing moments, and I couldn’t help but be overcome by the sense of uncertainty that I’ve felt. Matthew and I have talked time and time again about how this feeling must be coming from this definitive time in our lives. We’re at a weird age where things change and settle down all at the same time. It’s exciting and fun yet also strictly weird. However, I can’t help but wonder if it’s more than that. One of the posts talks about a lump of playdoh that’s being molded in your mind and that fantastic moment that comes when you get it just right. I wonder, what am I making my playdoh into?

You see, I have big, new exciting plans on the horizon. Sometimes I think that one of these are my “next big thing” and then sometimes I wonder if it’s entirely something else. Sometimes I wonder if it’ll ever feel quite right and then sometimes I think I have it all figured out. Honestly, I’m not sure what the state of my playdoh is, though I do know that we all need to spend time molding our masterpieces.

I’m very, very close to “revealing” what’s next for me. Soon, I’ll announce something new and you’ll get a glimpse into the projects molding in my mind. Are these ideas the “final projects” that I make with my dough? I’m not yet sure. Do I need to allow myself more time to think and dream in peace in order to mold them into a more suitable reality? Absolutely. For now, I’ll continue to think. I’ll continue to dream and consider multiple possibilities. I’ll mold the playdoh in my mind until finally I’ve created that beautiful work of art that feels “just right.”

Thinking a bit about something? Dreaming about something? Reserve some time to think in quiet. Reserve some time to consider all the possibilities. This is when our wildest dreams become a reality and we uncover beautiful projects that we love.

P.S. Another one of the inspirational posts I read. 

Kansas City

Trip to Kansas City. Read more at pamelapetrus.com Trip to Kansas City. Read more at pamelapetrus.comOver Thanksgiving weekend, Matthew and I did a bit of traveling. First we headed out to Texas to spend Thanksgiving with his mom and family. Then, on Friday morning, we made the drive up to Kansas City. Many of our friends here don’t realize that Matthew actually graduated from high school at Blue Valley North in Kansas. This was his 10 year reunion so since Matthew hasn’t been back and I’ve never been, we decided to make the trip up together to explore.

Trip to Kansas City. Read more at pamelapetrus.comTrip to Kansas City. Read more at pamelapetrus.com To be honest, I really knew very little about Kansas or Kansas City before the trip. Matthew always has fond things to say of the city, yet I just imagined it as all farmland and plains. And tornadoes, of course. Before heading north, I didn’t even know that half of the city was in Kansas and the other half in Missouri. Silly me! There’s even a road, Stateline Road, where one side of the street is Kansas and the other Missouri. How fun…and confusing at the same time. I must say, despite my initial thoughts, Kansas City seems like a lovely town. We were only there for a short time so we didn’t get to explore near as much as we’d like. Guess we’ll have to go back!

Trip to Kansas City. Read more at pamelapetrus.com Sculptures at the art museum. Read more at pamelapetrus.comOne of my favorite experiences from the trip was a visit to the Nelson-Atkins museum. Matthew and I both love a good art museum, especially one with a good contemporary art section. I was blown away by just the size of this place! We spent a few hours there, exploring each section, without even quite finishing it before heading out for some lunch. One of my favorite parts of the museum was the 4 Seasons (check via pic) exhibit out front. I loved the mixed media used to create the sculptures and found the project fascinating. If you’re in the area, I’d highly recommend a visit. (You might even want to get there before the Thomas Hart Benton exhibit wraps up.)

Food from Joe's. Read more about our time in Kansas City at pamelapetrus.com.Trip to Kansas City. Read more at pamelapetrus.com Trip to Kansas City. Read more at pamelapetrus.com After the museum we headed over to the famous Joe’s Kansas City (formerly Oklahoma Joe’s). We waited in line for well over an hour, a line that wrapped around the entire inside of the restaurant and even extended outside in the freezing, drizzly weather. Nonetheless, we waited. My theory is, if so many people are willing to stand and wait, the food must be good! Besides, we could smell the goodness as soon as we pulled into the parking lot. I can say with 100% certainty that it did not disappoint and was well worth the wait. Honestly, this was probably the best bbq that I’ve ever had. Ever. I enjoyed the famous Z Man and Matthew had the special, which was the burnt ends. Those, by the way, are only offered a few days a week and take a full 24 hours to prepare.

Trip to Kansas City. Read more at pamelapetrus.com Trip to Kansas City. Read more at pamelapetrus.comWhile waiting in line at Joe’s we met some new friends from Texas! Because the line was so lengthy, we had plenty of time to chat and make introductions. We ended up joining them at their table because seating was limited and it was a lot of fun making some new friends! I never meet a stranger, you know. Matthew and I also felt a bit like his Pappaw and Grandmother that we traveled to Alaska with. They’re always coming back from their travels with stories of meeting someone new and usually they stay in touch with them from then on out. Before long, I imagine that we’ll have acquaintances scattered about the country!

Trip to Kansas City. Read more at pamelapetrus.comAnother highlight from our trip was a visit to the Country Club Plaza. Basically, the Plaza is a large, outdoor mall that spans for blocks and blocks. It reminded me of an old downtown area, yet the stores are mostly new and modern. It was cold and rainy (again) so Matthew and I darted back and forth from store to store, trying to stay warm and dry. We were quite exhausted from our time at the museum earlier, so I really appreciated the husband being willing to stay on his feet a bit longer to shop with me. Since it’s the holiday time, the Plaza was all lit up with Christmas lights and the ambiance was just lovely. Had we not been quite so tired, I think we could have spent hours there. Maybe next time.

Other than Joe’s, which was easily our favorite restaurant, we also really liked McCoy’s downtown. The atmosphere there was relaxing and easy going and Matthew and I slipped right in for some late night bites. They’re pretty famous for their mac n cheese so we tried that, and my favorite was the skillet dip. (I’m pretty much a fan of anything you dip a tortilla chip into.) The drinks there were tasty, and I’d love to go back for another peach tea cocktail. If you’re roaming around downtown, I’d suggest popping in for a bit.

Trip to Kansas City. Read more at pamelapetrus.com Another favorite experience of the trip was our many rides with Uber. Seriously, Uber. I love you. I’d used the service a few times back in Mobile and this was our first time to really take advantage of it. Even though we had a car with us, it was soooo much more convenient to request a car and have it pick us up and drop us off right at the door. No hassle of parking. No walking across gigantic parking lots in the freezing cold and no reading maps. Instead, we’d request a car from the app on my phone. Someone would show up within mere minutes and take us to the next destination. You can track the location of the car from the app which was sort of fun. All drivers are background checked, and it’s much quicker/cleaner/less expensive than a cab. My favorite part is that you get a text with your drivers rating and you get the opportunity to rate them after the ride too. I’ll admit…I’m a new Uber fan. All the way.

Trip to Kansas City. Read more at pamelapetrus.comEven though this was a quick (and very rainy) trip, Matthew and I still enjoyed ourselves. At first I thought we might freeze to death because there was ice still left everywhere from a bit of freezing rain the day before. Somehow we stayed relatively dry and warm though. I think we’re definitely going to plan a trip back soon, because there’s still so much of Kansas City to be seen. Do you have any fun suggestions on what to do on the next trip? We’d love to hear your suggestions!

PP Wears November + November Goal Recap

PP Wears November. Read more at pamelapetrus.com.Last month I set out with somewhat of an unusual goal. My intention was to photograph (and share on Instagram) at least 15 of my outfits for the month. I did this for two primary reasons. First, I hoped it would make me focus more intently on wearing things that I actually like, rather than rushing out the door in something mediocre. Secondly, I wanted to practice taking photos and get more comfortable being in front of the camera. I am definitely not a selfie kind of girl. Or a “hey, take my picture kind of girl.” As November comes to an end and I complete this little challenge, I thought it would be fun to look back on how I did.

I ended up photographing 17 outfits, and some were definitely better than others. (That goes for both the outfits and the photos.) Sometimes, I’d find myself throwing an outfit and photo together, just because I knew I needed to meet a quota. I suppose that’s ok, because I might would have worn a sweatshirt and shared a photo of my coffee instead. Here’s what else I learned:

    1. The details are often what make my outfits more special, and the details are difficult to capture in a photo. Often, it’s the way my earrings coordinate with a bracelet or how you can subtlety see a fun belt that makes my outfits pop. However, capturing the whole outfit in one square photo is very hard. The lesson here is that if I ever want to really show my whole outfit, I’ll have to take detail shots too.
    2.  I’m not concerned with trying to be perfect online. I thought that forcing myself to share my daily outfits online would make me obsess over having awesome, drool-worthy outfits every single day. Not so much. There were some outfits/photos that I truly loved like this one and this one, and others that were just decent. I suppose I’m a bigger fan of being “real” than I am of painting a glamorous picture online, so I wasn’t too upset when I had to share just a basic outfit or a decent picture. Let’s face it. Some days I look amazing and some days you’re lucky that I’m not wearing sweats. That’s real life.
    3. I miss being trendy. In my previous life, it was my job to dress trendy and fashionably. Even before owning a boutique, I was known to be a bit fashion-forward, often identifying and wearing new trends long before they were popular. I had an eye for fashion and wasn’t afraid to be a tad daring with my attire. An admirer even told me once, “You just wear things that other girls don’t wear.” Call me flattered. Lately though, I’ve been wearing the basics. Comfort has been the name of my game and my wardrobe is quickly reflecting that. Don’t get me wrong, I think we should all dress comfortably. However, a slouchy and unimaginative wardrobe is not what I want and that’s how I’ve felt lately.

Just like I anticipated, I hated this goal in the beginning. I cringed with every photo and dreaded the process. Eventually though, it became easier. I didn’t dread it quite so much and had to take way less photos before feeling comfortable enough to share one…which was part of the reasoning behind this goal anyway. Will I continue to share my outfits online? I’m not sure. At least I feel more comfortable doing so now than I did before. Plus, I have some great references to look back on when I’m thinking about my capsule wardrobe!

How about the rest of my November goals? Well, there’s just not much to report. I did make some progress in the nooks and crannies of my home and did a bit of this and that. However, I wouldn’t really say that I knocked out a major project. Although, I did purchase chairs for our new table and sold the old ones, so that decluttered our living area. We also installed three new light fixtures, and that should count for something too. As for Christmas decor, I ended up putting if off since I was hosting my family for Thanksgiving. We’ve been traveling the last several days, so I guess it’ll be on my list for this week! What are my goals for December, you ask? Christmas. All of the Christmas things and activities. That’s what I intend to do this month. Anything else will just be icing on the cake…or should I say icing on the Gingerbread House! Happy December, friends. Make it a good one!

If you’d like to see the rest of the outfit photos, check #ppwearsnovember on Instagram.

My First Thanksgiving Dinner!

Thanksgiving 2015. Read more at pamelapetrus.com Thanksgiving 2015. Read more at pamelapetrus.comThis year I signed up for a rather large task. I agreed to prepare the entire Thanksgiving meal (sans desserts) and have my entire family over. Coming from someone who hardly cooks on the regular, this was a rather shocking (and a bit daunting) arrangement. In the sake of honesty, I partially agreed to do this because I wanted to prove to myself that I could…and because Matthew agreed to help. I’m not ashamed to admit that he’s a better cook than me.

Regardless of the reasoning, I set out to prepare a full Thanksgiving meal for my family. I planned, shopped, and cooked like it was my job. I organized serving dishes and did my best to think of every single thing. I baked cornbread for dressing completely from scratch. I attempted some new recipes and didn’t have any major breakdowns. I burned my elbow on the oven and only yelled at/threatened my husband once or twice. All in all, it was a successful event.

Thanksgiving 2015. Read more at pamelapetrus.comThanksgiving 2015. Read more at pamelapetrus.comThankfully, I had help from my mother (the usual host) and from Matthew’s grandmother (a fantastic and knowledgeable cook). With their help and Matthew’s, I somehow pulled off an edible meal that was mostly prepared on time and still somewhat warm. This might go down as one of my big accomplishments of the year!

So, what’d I learn from this event? (You know, I’m always looking to “learn” something.)

  1. I learned that sometimes I’m capable of much more than I give myself credit for.
  2.  I learned that I’m pretty darn good at breaking down and organizing a large project.
  3. I learned that cooking isn’t quite as difficult and stressful as I make it.
  4. I learned that someday, with a little bit of practice, I might be a pretty good host (of something other than spaghetti or a crockpot meal).
  5. I learned that I really enjoy sharing the fruits of my work with others.

If I can learn so many things from preparing just one meal, I’m sure you stand to learn a few things from trying something new too. I encourage you to take on a large task and go for it! Try something new. Embark on a great adventure. No matter the outcome, you’ll likely learn something about yourself and the world around you. That’s always worth it.

Thanksgiving 2015. Read more at pamelapetrus.comThanksgiving 2015. Read more at pamelapetrus.comThanksgiving 2015. Read more at pamelapetrus.com I hope you and yours have a fantastic Thanksgiving. Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, make the best of it!