Pizza, Art, Automattic & Fireworks in New York City

One of the perks of my husband Dave’s really amazing job is that he gets to travel to meetups to work with his coworkers. This was my 3rd time I’ve tagged along with him. I’ve gotten to go to Santa Cruz and Tokyo which were both amazing. I just got back from a week in New York City and since I’ve blogged about my other two meetups, I thought I’d make this a tradition. Dave does work for the Mobile team at Automattic so he goes on the meetups. The Mobile team is very spouse friendly so I get to hang out with the team and other spouses more than I would on other meetups.

This was my first vacation trip to New York City. All the other times I’ve gone, it’s been for work. When I was there I had only a day or two to explore the city. I intentionally didn’t plan any business meetings because I wanted to just enjoy myself.

First stop was the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I walked around the Met for FIVE hours last Monday. If you haven’t been, GO! I’ve taken quite a few art history classes while in school, which gave me a great appreciation of what I saw. I had only seen things in a text book so it was so wonderful to see it in person. The two highlights of the Met for me were the Egypt and Greek/Roman wings. I just couldn’t stop taking pictures of everything.

Here are some photos of the Egypt wing. Look at the design and colors. INCREDIBLE.

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In Art History I, I just fell in love with Greek sculpture. They just captured the form of the body in such a breathtaking way. This was the first time to see Greek sculpture in person. It was just simply amazing. I am so thankful I got to see it.

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I shopped so much on the second day of our trip because the next day was Dave’s birthday. I stopped by MarieBelle to pick up Dave a tin of Iced Chocolate. Ahhhhmazing! Also picked him up some Sugru at MoMA. That night I went out with a few Automatticians to a moving party for one of Dave’s coworkers.

The next day I visited the Frick Collection in the Upper East Side. I can’t stress how incredible this museum is. I was BLOWN AWAY. They don’t allow you to take any pictures in the museum so you’ll just have to look on their website. It was the home of the Frick family. Then they turned their home into a museum with their collection of art. I loved how intimate it felt. I told Dave I felt like I was viewing art like it was meant to be viewed – in a beautiful home.

Matt Mullenweg (WordPress creator and CEO of Automattic) invited the Mobile team and other Automatticians to his apartment in SoHo for pizza. That was just such a treat for me because I have been wanting to meet Matt. He’s a celebrity in tech/internet world but he is so nice and personable. He grew up in Houston, Texas. He lost his accent a bit, but didn’t lose his Southern charm.

After the meetup was over, Dave and I visited the Museum of Natural History. Then we went to Brooklyn to see the fireworks on the 4th of July. This was highlight of my trip. It was simply incredible to watch. We were on the East River at Pier 2. We could see the Statue of Liberty, Freedom Tower (World Trade Center), Empire State Building and the Brooklyn Bridge. The fireworks shimmered off the buildings and river creating this magic I’ve never experienced before. I am telling everyone that it’s worth the trip to go just for the fireworks.

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Here’s a few food recommendations for you!

Shake Shack  Ahmazing burgers!

Totto Ramen Tasted just like it did in Tokyo. GO.

Ladurée Incredible Macaroons. I bought a box for Dave’s “cake”

Dean & Deluca I know it’s a chain, but they have an amazing Tres Leches Donut I just loved.

Christmas Sanity

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Last year I didn’t put up a Christmas tree until I think Christmas Eve. And then I didn’t put decorations on it until AFTER Christmas. Decorating the tree is one of my favorite thing to do ever. I used to go as a child to my grandparents and spend the entire night decorating their tree. We always played John Denver and the Muppets Christmas album, which is the greatest Christmas album of all time. I put my business before my life last year. Thank goodness I married the most sane man ever who has helped balance me out. I do not have the balanced together life down pat, but I working hard to get there.

We took time last night to clean out the front rooms that were full of stuff that didn’t have a place yet. Moving in to a new place takes time, you know? We decorated the mantle and my aunt Helen’s piano and our first Christmas tree! It’s a fake tree this year because we aren’t sure how the cats are going to handle a tree! But it’s decorated and our house is starting to feel like a home.

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Life is more important than other stuff. When you run your own business, work never stops. There is always something more you could be doing. But I turned off work last night to decorate our house and it was worth it. I want to be more about quality work, not quantity. I want to be more thoughtful of the work I put out into the world. And I want to look back 50 years from now and know that I didn’t neglect our little family, but was present!

That doesn’t mean the next two weeks aren’t insane. I’ve got a house show in STARKVILLE this Wednesday. Porter Flea in Nashville is this weekend. And Indie Emporium in Tulsa is next weekend! But once that’s over, it’s Muppet Christmas Carol and eggnog time!

I hope you and your family have the happiest of Christmases!!!

California Living

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I got to tag along with Dave last week for the annual Automattic grand meetup in SANTA CRUZ, CA! (Everyone that works for Automattic is fully distributed (can live anywhere in the world) but they meet once a year for a week.) The two best things about the trip was getting to hang out with sea lions and Dave’s coworkers! I got to hang out with a bunch of the Automattic designers who live all over the world… Portugal, Denmark, England, Australia, etc. This company is stacked to the brim with world class talent. It was so fun to get to be around that. And I was filled with such pride of how talented my husband is. It was music to my hears to hear a few of his coworkers speak so highly of his work. I wish I loved code and designing for the internet, because then I would totally apply to work there. There is a new book just released by a writer who worked for Automattic. Dave got us copies and I can’t wait to read it!

Okay enough of that. Let’s get to the most important part. SEA LIONS!

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Underneath the Santa Cruz Wharf are so many sea lions! I kept saying thousands, but Dave kept telling me it was probably hundreds. But to make it a better story, I’m going to go with THOUSANDS. You can hear them talking from far away. They kept saying, “Kate! Come see us!” I took over a hundred photos of sea lions. We don’t exactly have wild sea lions in the South. It’s not everyday I get to out to California so I had to take advantage of it.

I mean… LOOK how many sea lions are in this picture!!! Amazing.

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And this one totally waved at me! He was just chilling out but then saw me! He turned over and started waving his fin! AH!

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This one is a model.

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We rented a car on Saturday to visit Carmel and Monterey! Is this my life?! We visited Point Lobos State Park. If you are ever near there, GO! It was amazing to see such beautiful beaches and Pacific Coast wildlife.

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You can borrow binoculars from the visitor’s station. Here’s Dave looking at the thousands of sea lions covering those rocks. Yes those rocks are covered in sea lions. I couldn’t believe it. Best thing ever? YES.

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We saw porpoises, seals, and sea otters. And we heard people had seen whales earlier that day so we stayed a long time looking. I finally saw some spouts and massive fins coming out from near the horizon! I saw humpback whales!

While Dave was at “work,” I spent most of my time working on my 2014 calendar! I realize it should have been done in August, but I’ve had a busy few months. I knew what it was going to be a few months ago, but I didn’t want to tell anyone online because I haven’t seen it done well yet. I’ve drawn everything except the patterns for the backs of the pages. I have a busy week ahead working to get this ready for the printer. I hope to have it ready by the first of next week to send to print. Here is a sneak peek. You’re seeing the raw, unedited version. You might notice a few typos in there! Thank goodness for my computer!

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New home in East Nashville

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We made it to East Nashville a week and a half ago to our new home! It was a lot of work to get here. I didn’t realize how much stuff I’ve accumulated for Little Things Studio. I’m talking 70+ boxes, not including office furniture. That’s like moving three teenage girls! All that to say, the massive U-Haul we rented was NOT big enough to fit everything! We have to go back to Jackson to get more stuff.

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I am so proud of Dave for driving that massive U-Haul. I was a nervous wreck, worried someone was going to pull out in front of him and not give him time to stop! And our trip which normally takes 6 hours took 8 1/2 hours because we got in a traffic jam in the middle of nowhere on the interstate in Mississippi! And you might be wondering what we did with our cats? Well they were heavily sedated in our car with me! Poor Eric’s eyes were cross-eyed and his tongue would hang out a lot. It was pitiful. YES we got everything from our vet who had been taking care of them for two years so they knew the correct doses for them! They were back to normal the next morning! But y’all. Weezie normally gets carsick within 30 minutes of the ride. She throws up, cries, poops, etc. It’s not good. The medicine worked perfectly for her. I was a proud mom.

We thankfully had family and friends help us pack the U-Haul. Then we had friends to help us unload! We hired the Piano Man in Jackson to load my 550 pound upright piano, which belonged to my Aunt Helen. Then Nashville Piano Rescue unloaded it into our house. When I get all the boxes and stuff moved, I’ll take pictures of the piano, along with the rest of the house.

While it is awesome to be here, moving is tough. Dave and I have both been fighting some kinda cold/allergy/sick thing. I slept all day yesterday and have not felt that great today. And I hate being sick when there is so much to do! There are still 40+ boxes of LTS stuff to unpack. We’re battling mold and old house smell in our kitchen that has kept us from unpacking our kitchen. I have to stay off Twitter because I see so many small business girls like me talking about Christmas, rolling out their 2014 calendars, and blowing up on the blogosphere. I haven’t even started to think about Christmas. I’m still looking for my printer cartridges! It took a week to find my hair dryer! HA!

I’m having to take it one day at a time and be thankful for the little things that are going right. One thing is going well is our cats are adjusting much better than we expected! They both LOVE all the windows in the house. And we can open up the windows for them, and they can stare out the screens. It’s a little slice of heaven for those two cats.

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Weezie and Eric both love the new bathroom, mainly the bathtub.

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They also really love the green blanket in the living room.

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I know this might not be a big year for Little Things Studio, but it’s probably the biggest year of my life to date. I know I’m going to be back to work full force with new prints, calendars, scarves, and more. It might not be as big as I would like, but it will be what I can handle.

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Our Wedding Post 1

We just got our first round of photos from our photographer! They are amazing. There are SO many awesome ones that I’m just going to break this up in several posts. First is pre-wedding and wedding photos. Theia Mingo knows how to use natural light. And it is so evident in these photos. I have been a fan of her work for years. I’m so honored and thrilled that she said YES to working for us!

I’m putting the much anticipated wedding program online. My friend Andrew Le said this was probably the best wedding program he’s ever seen!!!! For those of you know him, you’ll know he’s a man of few words and does not say things he doesn’t mean. I couldn’t stop smiling after he told me that. AND I’m finally showing a picture of my ring. I didn’t have a picture until now that did my ring justice. Y’all. It’s beautiful. I still look at it and am wowed. And my sweet husband picked it out without me even giving him a clue as to what I’d want.

You can view 200+ photos on Theia’s site. And she wrote the sweetest post about our wedding here. Hope you enjoy!

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