First, let me say Happy Birthday to the Boy Who Lived.

There are many things I could thank Harry for giving me, but the U.S.A. women’s gymnastics team is about to win a gold medal and I’m already two glasses of Malbec in. Maybe next year I’ll give you the proper 32nd birthday you deserve. Except then I’ll be 26, almost 27, and increasingly depressed about being closer to 30 myself.

And on that note, I am realizing that the things I wanted to accomplish before 30 (clearly I didn’t accomplish anything before 25 when it would have actually been impressive) are nowhere near being accomplished. Thus the wine to remind me that I in fact was never destined to be a 16-year-old Olympian.

So I’m starting with the August Photo-A-Day Challenge. I’m sure most of you have seen these over the last few months. Here is the list:

Tomorrow is outside. That should be easy, I’m the only one who sits at the picnic tables at the office for lunch. Though it’s not doing much for my tan.

We’re not travelling much in August, which should help set me on a good track. I want to start doing yoga. To kick part of my sweet tooth. To write something every day, even if it’s scribbles on a pad during my lunch break. To build what I have seen in my mind (no, not Scar from the Lion King), the pound of horses racing on the beach, the white limestone alleyways, and actually get somewhere.

So here’s to the next 31 days of something.

Cheers.

Change of Address

Dear friends,

In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been much less active on this blog than I had hoped to be. Part of that is just being super busy (thank you 9-hours-at-the-office-everyday). Part of it is I have no idea where I want to go. Story of my life.

Taking that into consideration, I’ve dropped my domain name. If you’re one of the 3 people reading this, make sure you update it to thepeonypapers.wordpress.com.

Thanks for your continued support and I look forward to providing you with some type of content again in the future. Perhaps when we get a puppy…

Cheers,

Jen

The Secret Life of Dreams

The last few days have been interesting. We’re under 40 days left until elections, which means just over 40 days until I leave for China. Work is sporadically getting busier, and I am slowly exhausting myself. Luckily there’s NyQuil to help me sleep at night. But even though this week has been uneventful in my personal life, minus the season premiere of The Office, I have been busy in the wee hours of the morning (yes Olivia, you can quote me saying ‘wee’).

Monday I woke up a little warm. I had just been in Paris wearing the same stunning red ball gown Blair Waldorf donned in that evening’s episode of Gossip Girl:


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wondering who that brunette was wearing the same dress as me and talking to Chuck Bass, because wasn’t I supposed to be standing on the bridge in Paris convincing him to come back to New York?

Then Tuesday I woke up shaking just a little, wiping the blue face paint off and testing my breastbone for a dagger – I had been crusading around the British Isles as William Wallace. Cornered in a castle tower, I had been betrayed and was about to meet a less than valiant end being stabbed to death.


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I’ve never seen Braveheart. Not even five minutes. I’m not really a big fan of blood, even in the movies. We can worry about my obsession with vampire TV shows later.

Then on Wednesday, I had merely gone for a swim, probably in the ocean. Seemed harmless at the time. Except when I walked into my house (Georgian style mansion? Where did you come from?) I had a powdered wig and straw hat covered with sunflowers unwillingly thrust onto my head. Then I found out that Adam was in fact next in line to rule a European principality and didn’t I know I had to look presentable? You try doing that with a powdered wig, rain boots and a towel. Not a lot to work with.


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Something like this but with sunflowers instead of Tiffany blue ribbon. That I could have enjoyed.

So I’ve done a little digging into what all this might mean. I asked Leah (both her parents are psychologists) if she thought dreams could tell us about what was going on in our lives. She thinks sometimes it works. I’m going to guess it’s working now. I tried to pick a key point or two to explore. Thanks to the Smart Girl Dream Dictionary, here are a few ideas:

Monday: Actor / Actress: To see an actor or actress in your dream represents your pursuit of pleasure. Your admiration of a particular celebrity may lead to a desire to have some of their physical or personality traits. To dream that you are an actor denotes that your hard work and labor will be well worth it in the end.
Bridge:
Bridges often signify travel and transitions. Dreaming of a bridge over water suggests that you could be conflicted in your emotions. If the bridge was unstable or collapsing, it could mean problems in a friendship or love relationship.


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Tuesday: Knife: If you dream about a knife, you may be worried about a male person in your life. This dream might also mean you can solve your problems by being honest with others about your fears and anxieties.
Betrayal:
To dream that you have been betrayed represents your suspicions of another person, relationship, or situation. This dream usually occurs when you have feelings of insecurities and are facing major commitments.


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Wednesday: Swimming: Dreams about swimming are related to the need to trust your instincts and look to past situations for answers to problems. They can also signify the need for nurturing or mothering in one’s life.
Mansion:
Symbolizes your greatest potential and growth. If you dream about living in or visiting a mansion, you may feel that your current situation or relationship is in a rut. But have hope – your dream is a positive omen that you will someday leave your home for a better place and you will be lucky in life and finance.


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Unprepared: If you dream of being unprepared for something, it represents your fear of messing something up and failing. You may be worried and insecure that you don’t have what it takes to accomplish a particular task coming your way.

I picked the last one because while it was great figuring out that I would be a ‘princess,’ I felt completely inadequate. At the end of the dream, instead of sitting neatly in line with everyone else on big floor cushions, I plopped down with my legs stretched out right in the middle of the floor. This must be my acquiescence of my fear. Haven’t decided if it means I’m giving up yet. I do have a rekindled desire to write, and I’m hoping to motivate myself during the free time I have at work. At least to get something creative flowing again. Any ideas?

Cheers, Kate

Happy Labor Day

So here I am on the last holiday of summer at work. I will be the first to admit, just as I struggle to get up in the morning, I am struggling with this blog. I am not a creature of habits. Brushing my teeth 6 our of 7 nights a week is an accomplishment. I’m sorry Dr. P that after almost a year of trying, I still do not have flossing pinned down into my daily activities.

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I am struggling with a topic. Travel is exciting and I love it, but it’s hard when I know I won’t be going anywhere for 58 more days (Charleston, followed by Florida, followed by China). Hopefully packing my bags again will renew my love. I am also struggling with the idea that I want to do more than write about travel, I do after all need variety in my life. I like fashion, but I don’t love it. I can’t be bothered to cook let alone blog about it (I’m sorry Adam, but you knew what you were getting when you asked me to marry you).

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Don’t ever expect to see something like that coming out of my kitchen. And this is not a wedding blog. I love weddings and events, but I don’t want to live weddings forever. I am also completely sick of people asking me, “How is wedding planning going? Ohmigosh yay!” Really people, my fiance lives in China. How do you think it’s going?

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So in short, I’m lost. Dazed and confused, I wander through the abyss of the blogosphere. I have no focus, no audience, nothing to write about. And frankly, it makes me kind of dizzy.

I guess this is my warning that this project is slowly drowning. I will never be like Emily (cupcakes and cashmere), Della (The Wedding Row), or even my coveted Alexis (J.Crew Aficionada). These girls have found their niche, their audience, and something that they love. I’m back to the struggle that sent me across the world: what do I love? What am I passionate about? What can I devote myself to? Right now, the answer is dangerous love stories (I’ll admit it, I’m re-watching The Vampire Diaries season 1 before the new season premieres on Thursday), ruffles made of organza and tulle, and counting down the days until November 10 (66 perhaps?).

Maybe if I’m feeling better tomorrow, I’ll start writing again. Because everything can be put off until tomorrow.

Cheers,

Jenna Kate

Love is in the Air?

This summer has definitely been a big one for romance. In June, a classmate of mine Andrea got married in Greensboro, and yesterday Southern Weddings posted photos of her wedding shot by Abigail Seymour. I love the classic monogram:

and these adorable Elon cupcakes:

and who could resist these traditional North Carolina favors: Krispy Kreme doughnuts in adorable boxes reading “Glazed and delicious from the new Mr. & Mrs.” So precious!

Next to their cute favor boxes, I just had to leave this great photo of Andrea throwing her bouquet. Check out more photos in the Southern Weddings post and on Abigail Seymour’s blog. Congratulations! I can’t wait to borrow some of your fabulous ideas!

In July, Adam and I went to Jake & Kim’s wedding down in Durham. You saw a photo peek here, and here’s a snapshot of me and Adam all dressed to the nines:

and I snagged this adorable photo of the happy couple off Facebook (all my pictures were blurry thanks to the ambient low lighting and my point & shoot camera) thanks to Brian Mullins Photography:

There are some amazing shots up on Brian’s blog! I love how you can see the reflection of Kim and Jake in the piano. So classic! And to top it all off, the next day, Adam proposed in the Duke Gardens!

Then in the last two weeks, I had two sorority sisters get engaged as well. Congratulation Lisa and Alison! You can read Alison’s adorable engagement story here. And to top it off, The Wedding Chicks are giving away customized DIY wedding invitations with this classic bicycle built for two design:

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Just enter in your info, pick your colors, and each file will be emailed to your address. Get your invitations here.

So all this romance has to make a girl wonder, is there more in the summer air than just humidity?

Cheers,

Jenna Kate

Back From the Nap…

So I wanted to apologize for my hiatus the last few days. I’ve been in a blogging nap, both from lack of inspiration and from being busy in real life (sort of). Here is a mini life-update:

Friday, we took our usual office outing to Murphy’s Irish Pub, where I of course followed along with The Unicorn Song, doing all the hand motions. I even went to bed at a sensible hour.

Saturday, I attempted to bleach my hair with good old-fashioned lemon juice

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but alas the sun was not cooperating on the project. I also successfully organized my scrapbooking stuff, which I will begin to work on tonight. Then we had an office-sponsored Washington Nationals versus the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball game.

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The Nats lost 2-9. And later that night, I attempted diplomacy with my fiance’s friends. I also learned that ‘tear-away jorts’ are in fact my biggest fear.

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Sunday, I came into the office for a few hours to jumpstart some work for this week. My massive allergy attack that ensued prompted me to pop a Benadryl when I got home. I woke up several hours later with my best friend banging on my apartment door coming to borrow a dress for a wedding San Francisco this weekend.

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So now we are back at Monday. I have successfully tapped my beauty-product-obsessed sister for skin care advice, and will try to persuade her to write a few guest posts to share her knowledge with you. I have also scheduled a job interview for a position in Colorado starting in January, which means I don’t have to feel guilty going to Monument with Adam or about spending two months with him in China at the end of this year.

I have also decided to put John Frieda to the test. I’ve been unhappy with my hair color for a while now, and I’ve never dyed it (that’s right, 100% natural blonde here folks). So I’ll be testing out some of the JF products to see if they do in fact improve my blonde from a brassy corn field color back to a more champaign beach blonde shade. So keep posted for that project.

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Anything exciting happen yet on your Monday?

Cheers,

Jenna Kate