OOTD: Otters and the Color Purple

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(Top: H&M // Jeans: American Eagle // Sandals: Target)

(Earrings: Target // Bracelets: Alex & Ani)

Hey y’all, I lied in that last post when I said I was almost better, because here we are two weeks later and I’m finally trying to say it again. Let’s hope it’s true this time- I’ve been fighting Lyme Disease for four months now. It’s a really really terrible illness, full of painful body and joint aches, high fevers, exhaust, dizzy spells, nausea, oh, yeah and those sinus infections I had. So, I’m really praying that we’re done with that now.

I figured I must feel better, because I took time to put makeup on today, which hasn’t happened all summer. And my mom has stopped asking me what I need every five minutes, which means she thinks I’m well enough to get it myself.

But anyways, more outfit details below, because you can’t see much of it from the overall shot!

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Five Blogs You Need to be Following:

I’ve been playing with the idea of doing a blog roundup for a while, mainly because some of my favorite blogs are ones I’ve found listed on other’s roundups. The only reason I’ve hesitated is because there are just so many good blogs out there and narrowing down my bookmarks folder to a just a handful seemed like a real task. But after going through them and pulling out my long list of favorites, I started narrowing it down by what would be more relevant to readers of this blog. These are the top five from that process. Check them out and make sure you have plenty of time to read them when you do!

Wit & Delight:

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9.7.16: Life Updates

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Sorry for the radio silence guys! I know that this is where most bloggers would lead into some amazing news they have to share, but that’s simply not the case. I’ve been sick with Lyme Disease for the last two and a half months along with two sinus infections and a double ear infection- it got a little rough in the last two weeks so I wasn’t feeling up to blogging. They’ve got me on two different long running antibiotics, so hopefully this next week and a half will be the end of it.

I kind of need it to be if I’m being honest, you can only be sick for so long before it starts to really kill your mood.

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Authentic.

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I remember seeing authentic as a hashtag on someones post a while ago and thinking that it was a strange thing to hashtag. I take back my thoughts on that, because the word keeps gaining more and more meaning to me. Maybe it’s because this time in my life is one of growth. After all, that’s what most of your twenties are. So, as I’m growing and changing and strengthening parts of me I’m trying to get down to one thing: Who I really am.

The authentic Anna Katherine Oates.

It’s hard to say that we weren’t authentic at one point, because we’ve always been who we are, at least, we were in that moment. The thing is though, we get influenced so much growing into adulthood. I’ve talked about how I think most childhood traits are actually a big part of who you are and will be as a person. We change a lot as we leave childhood, but our personality really just develops off those traits like building blocks. But aside from key personality traits, we change a lot in those tricky years of middle school, high school, and even college.

Some of those changes are self-induced. But a lot of them are because of friends, pop culture, and simply trying to be relevant in a stage of life where we don’t seem to hold onto value easily. We change the way we dress, we change our groups of friends, we cut and dye our hair, we try some things that maybe we shouldn’t. We stray, partly because everyone is straying, but mostly because we want to be more.

We haven’t always been honest about who we are, and in those stages, we’re mostly lying to ourselves. It’s part of growing up. We shouldn’t dismiss our strange stages. They’ve helped us develop into who we are today- but that’s the question, who are you today?

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How to have a Minimalist Wardrobe without having to Commit to a Capsule Wardrobe:

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Remember this outfit of the day? It was a staple all last fall and I’m excited to wear it again. I’m trying to buy less this fall, and winter, and next spring. Why? Because I want a more minimal wardrobe.

I know capsule wardrobes are all the rage over the blogging world right now, but to be honest, I’m not that committed.  And when I see something I really really want, I don’t think I should have to throw out another shirt I also really want. I don’t think we can set limits on how many articles of clothing we should have, especially these extreme ones that say 10 items per season. They wouldn’t like my sweater drawer at all.

I understand the drive though, to live a simpler life, less materialistic drives, and have a more defined style. It makes sense, but there are ways you can do this without going to capsule wardrobe. Here are my tips to do just that: Continue reading

Feeling Alive on Lake Fontana:

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My amazing neighbor opens his house and boat to us almost every summer on the beautiful mountain lake Fontana. It’s another place that has captured my heart over the years. (Like I needed another reason to love North Carolina so dearly.)

Actually scratch that- I always need more reasons to love North Carolina. It’s my favorite place in the world, it’s the place that will always be my home… and it’s great because though I’m very settled in my little region of North Carolina- if I need something even slightly different, NC has it all. Mountains, lakes, pastures, islands, beaches, country sides, amazing cities. If there is a place for anything and everything, it is here, in my home state.

But more on that after a few more gorgeous lake views. Continue reading

OOTD: The Dress of my Dreams

IMG_4802( Dress: Anthropologie // Sandals: Target // Earrings: Gift)

Do you ever find a item of clothing that you love with everything in you… but then you look at the price and are reminded why you never go into that store to begin with. It happens about every time I walk into Anthropologie. I love, love, love the store, but I can’t really afford it. But I go in anyways, and this time I was in luck, because I was armed with small gift card and graced with a sweet sales lady who let me use my birthday month discount even though it was the month after my birthday month.

It was still more than I should spent, and as I swiped my card I had second thoughts. Yet I brought it home and when I put it on for the first time I realized that I had a great piece that I probably would always be in love with. I wore it to a business meeting and I’ll wear it to go get dinner with the girls. So maybe I didn’t make such a bad choice after all. After all everyone’s all about the slow fashion movement now and making bigger purchases that will last. Maybe it’s time for me to completely get on board with that.

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