lucky bandit | RVA based lifestyle blog: life update
Showing posts with label life update. Show all posts
Showing posts with label life update. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

on blogging & being a "blogger"

and you're busy blogging doctor who quote utopia lucky bandit blog

I consider myself a blogger. I don't make a living doing this, and I have a full time job that sometimes prevents me from writing blog posts. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love blogging and everything that entails. I love having something to blog about. My life isn't the most interesting, but maybe someone out there wants to read about it. Haha!

My main reason for blogging is my mother - she lives six hours from me, and though we talk on the phone every day, there's things I forget about or are best told with written words and pictures. Even a post with a recipe gives her insight into how I spend my time.

Other reasons I blog? It passes time. I enjoy getting feedback on posts. I can document my life, things I love, photos, and more to look back on at a later time. It makes me stop and think about things I do on a regular basis. I put more thought into the things I buy, because if something isn't good enough to recommend to someone, why would I spend money on it? Although I will say that I don't buy things for the sole purpose of writing a blog post about them. A large portion of my life goes un-blogged.

I've had this little piece of blog heaven since 2008 (or at least my domain that long), and before that I dabbled in Xanga and Livejournal. No worries, they've long been deleted. I've been around in the blogging world for a while. Since I was so rooted in hobby blogging and other things, my blog never really grew. Here I am eight years later with less than 250 followers. Still. And some days that bothers me and some days I couldn't care less. I was reading blogs when the big dog blogs were just wee little online spaces. And what's happened? Now they've morphed away from blogs and more toward online magazines. Now, though, I really enjoy reading blogs about "real" people and how they spend their time.

Other times, blogging can be a burden. If too much time goes by without a post, I get antsy and try to hurriedly make something happen. It's hard to blog on your "own time" when others are churning out blog posts five times a week. It gets stressful, even without a huge following. I sometimes find it hard to distinguish between whether I'm writing for the enjoyment of blogging or whether I'm trying to just please people.

Well after that verbal flood, I have to say that overall, blogging has been good to me. Sure, there are negatives, but I thoroughly enjoy the world of blogs.

Any recommendations? ♥

Thursday, June 23, 2016

hatteras island trip 2016

A couple weeks ago my mom and stepdad headed down to Hatteras Island in the Outer Banks for a week and invited us to stay for a couple days.

beach trip lucky bandit hatteras katelyn carter

They have a fabulous RV so we stayed with them at a really nice campground. THERE WERE DOGS EVERYWHERE. I petted a Newfoundland, a giant Schnauzer, a Westie, a Walker Hound, and so many more!

We had a lot of fun! I hadn't done any kind of tanning since a friend's wedding in 2013, so I lathered up the first day on the beach...and still got burnt the hell up. Thank goodness I have decent skin and it either peeled or soaked in fairly quickly.

Though we weren't there long, it was a relaxing time. I didn't have to wear makeup or brush my hair or anything. I can say I successfully did not care what I looked like on this trip. We ended our beach venture with a sunset walk on the beach and gathered seashells. ♥ ♥

beach trip lucky bandit hatteras katelyn carter

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Sunday, June 12, 2016

birthday trip to tennessee

I turned 26 at the end of April. No, I don't want to talk about it. I've had about six mid-mid life crises. But I did have a great trip out to Tennessee to see my mom!

tn birthday trip lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

We packed up and went out Tuesday evening and had a great time. We jammed to Amazon Prime Music all the way out. It was a gorgeous day to travel.

We didn't get out til later that evening, but Mumma had made some delicious spaghetti (as always) and then, after six hours of travel, we went to bed. She even had the birthday flag out for me!

tn birthday trip lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

Wednesday we woke up, got ready, and headed to Knoxville! All of my photos from Knoxville and Market Square were on Snapchat and apparently I didn't save any of them. That's how much fun I was having! We had lunch at Yassin's Falafel House, which I loved, but they aren't huge falafel fans. There was a dog store in Market Square so of course I had to go in. And come out with mixable dog ice cream and a new hardcore chewer toy.

Thursday we took it easy and took naps on the couch or out on the hammock. The weather was gorgeous!

Friday we went out to The Island in Pigeon Forge. I'd never been, and it was a nice little shopping experience - definitely check it out. And there's a Margaritaville! I'm not a Buffett fan in the slightest, but we had great margaritas (definitely try the Last Mango in Paris) and they had veggie burgers!

tn birthday trip lucky bandit blog katelyn carter


tn birthday trip lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

We strolled around the shops and I checked out two candy stores since I like to see what other places do compared to the shop I work in, picked up some taffy, and stopped at the Ole Smoky Moonshine distillery and did a small wine tasting at Bootleggers. We picked up a bottle of blueberry and peach to bring home.

tn birthday trip lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

It was a pretty fantastic trip and I had a very happy birthday. ♥

Sunday, April 03, 2016

life lately

Things have been a little hectic around here. A lot has gone on in the last month, but since I went up to NOVA, it's been a lot of me just living life and getting things straight. But! There's been some exciting things going on, too, although some I'm not quite ready to release here on the blog. However, here are some interesting things that have happened lately in pictures.

life update katelyn carter lucky bandit blog

life update katelyn carter lucky bandit blog

I met a snake! Darcy is a Western Hognose. It's the first time I'd ever held a snake and I'm pretty much in love. Look at his little snout! He has the prettiest dark coloring on his belly and he's so sweet.

life update katelyn carter lucky bandit blog

life update katelyn carter lucky bandit blog

life update katelyn carter lucky bandit blog

I'm still obsessed with caffeine, much to the disdain of my kidneys. And since having falafel at Cava Grill, I can't get enough of the stuff. Apparently I talk about the stuff so much that the man I'm seeing snuck money in my purse specifically for me to buy it for lunch Friday. Over the moon!

And I got a new car! I haven't posted any photos on social media due to security reasons (that whole thing is a shit show, believe me) but it's so nice and all the gauges and winshield wipers work and I'm forever grateful for my mother and stepfather helping me with that. They are saints and scholars and I love them.

There's only a little more than a month left of this school semester and I cannot wait until summer. By the end of the spring semester I am so burnt out on school that I can't stand it. Luckily, I have a really great accounting instructor.

And really, that's about all I'll talk about for now. Some things need to progress a bit more before I'll discuss them. Ugh, vague blog crap, sorry.

What have you been up to lately? Leave me some links in the comments to check out!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

blogger friends & nova trips

Yesterday I made a trip up to NOVA and visited my friend, Jess! We had a whole girls' day out planned and it was just the thing I needed after the week I'd been having. First, we started off with lunch at Cava Grill, which was delicious. I had a rice bowl with falafel, traditional hummus, harissa hummus (which was super spicy, but good!), and the dill yogurt dressing (the dressing wasn't vegan, oops). I'm so glad Jess had this on the list for the day. When I got home I wanted more falafel. I'm going to be raving about this place until I go at least fifteen more times.

cava grill nova falafel lucky bandit blog

Next we headed off to Tysons Corner. I'd never been before and I was super excited. GUYS, we don't have these kinds of stores down where I'm from. The first place we stopped was Lush, as I'd never been there either (I know, ugh). I had no idea they had so many products! I could easily have come out of there with a ton of stuff, but I managed to limit myself to a few items.

my first lush trip lucky bandit blog

As we were heading to Lululemon, we spotted macarons! I got honey lavender and Jess got raspberry. They were so good!

olivia macarons tysons corner lucky bandit blog

Then there was Lolli & Pops! I love checking out candy stores wherever I go to see what others have to offer. This one didn't disappoint! We took a little tour and I only got one picture there - our feet. Haha! They had a massive selection of candies in bulk bins - we definitely tried some samples.

lolli & pops tile picture lucky bandit blog

Afterward we stopped off and did some thrifting! I found some pretty great stuff (and some of it will be up in the shop once I have it photographed). It was pretty awesome having a thrifting buddy - I had someone to laugh about hideous items with! Jess took me by the used bookstore, too, and I found a couple Stephen King's I haven't read, yet. And everyone knows how much I love secondhand bookstores...

Then after a Wegman's stop for vegan Ben & Jerry's, we hung out for a bit so I'd avoid traffic. I had a fab day and can't wait til we make a trip to Richmond! It was pretty awesome to have someone to talk to that knew about blog terms and websites. And we even managed to take a selfie...the only one all day, but hey, time flies!

lucky bandit blog

Have you had any interesting trips lately? Let me know in the comments!

Thursday, February 04, 2016

thoughts

quiet thoughts lucky bandit blog blanket

A lot's been going on and sometimes my brain can't keep up. I've gone through a split up several weeks ago, moved on, and I've started some great things since. Big shout out to my girl Jess for being such an awesome friend through all that!

I haven't had much motivation to write much of anything, and when I did I was snowed in away from my laptop. The area had a nice little blizzard come through last week and buried us in almost three feet of snow.

However, I've had some thoughts going on that didn't completely warrant an entire post for each, so I figured I'd get them out here.
  • I've been listening to the British Invasion station on Pandora almost non-stop lately. It's such a great mix of upbeat and sorrowful songs. I've really fallen in love (again) with The Hollies and The Zombies. I guess the 60s are my music era? Haha.
  • Being appreciated is a wonderful thing - and it's even better when you realize that's what you've been missing.
  • Netflix has removed Doctor Who, and I'm so upset. I kept Doctor Who on loop all the time. I'd listen to it as background noise when I was getting ready, blogging, and more. Ugh. BBC, are the rumors true? Are you creating a streaming site? Yes, please.
  • I've found that cooking dinner causes me a great amount of stress. Food in general causes me a great amount of stress, simply because I've grown so picky about what I eat. How does one stop being a picky eater? Help meeeee
I think I just need more yoga in my life. Warrior pose for daaaaays.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

life lately - holidays and movies

Happy holidays! I was super busy over Christmas, so I didn't have much time to blog. I hope everyone had a great holiday. I had a wonderful day! Lots of family, gift giving and receiving, and food.

We went to our first Christmas Day movie the evening of the 25th. We saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens! I'm going to be honest, I was just going to wait until the end of it's theatre showing to see it. I assumed it was going to be packed, but we lucked out with an 9:20pm showing and the theatre had plenty of room.

star wars movie poster lucky bandit blog

star wars movie tickets lucky bandit blog

And no spoilers here! It was a great movie. If you're even remotely a Star Wars fan, go see it.

I'm not one of those people who takes numerous dramatic pictures of what they got for Christmas, but look at this sweatshirt my dad got me!!!!

i'm here to pet all the dogs animalhearted sweatshirt lucky bandit blog

I love it! You can pick one up at Animal Hearted. (Sign up for their email list and get free shipping!)

The holiday isn't quite over yet for me, as on the 31st I'm heading out to Tennessee with my brother to have our Christmas with Mumma. So excited!

Any exciting end-of-season plans?


Monday, December 28, 2015

thoughts from a long time migraine sufferer - and 5 tips to ease the pain

pexels rainy umbrella lucky bandit blog

I've been a life long migraine sufferer. Today was no exception - I woke up with a splitting headache. I can remember being a first grader and having migraines, laying down with my face on the cold seat of the school bus. Migraines are hereditary - my family, mainly my father's side, have had them as well. Now that I'm older I find I have fewer headaches, but they're just as hellacious. I'm just better at combating them.

If you've never had a migraine, I am both envious and grateful for you. My headaches run the full gamut of textbook migraines - sensitivity to light, sound, and even inducing nausea and vomiting in some cases.

Through the years I've learned my "triggers", things that induce a migraine, and it's quite the list. When I was a child I had a huge list, mainly food related. Hot dogs, tuna, dark chocolate, Doritos, and anything with MSG topped that list. Though I don't eat most of those things now, anything with MSG, overly processed foods, and even Chipotle's sofritas can trigger a migraine. I think I'm most upset about the sofritas, haha.

If you're a migraine sufferer, it can be a slippery slope to finding out what brings on a migraine. Sometimes, there's nothing you can do to prevent one. I'd say 90% of my migraines are triggered by food - I slip up and eat something with MSG, or really want Chipotle, or just ate a little too much sugar. And there's hormones, too. There's not much that can be done about those!

Here are some tips I've learned over my twenty years of migraines to ease the pain. Do keep in mind that I'm not a doctor or a health professional, and these tips don't substitute for what your doctor tells you.

1. Consult your doctor.
Always talk to your doctor about migraines and health issues. They know about these things, and can offer help and look into the issue.

2. Keep a regular sleep schedule.
Getting too much or too little sleep can trigger a headache. Try to go to bed and wake up around the same time every day.

3. Avoid your trigger foods.
Not only will you not eat as many processed foods, you'll hopefully avoid migraines. If you're on a special diet, consult your doctor before making any changes. Limit alcohol as well - since quitting drinking in June, I've found I have fewer migraines.

4. Use over-the-counter medications sparingly.
Tylenol can have ill effects on your liver, and overusing it can cause damage. There's also rebound headaches. I'm quick to take medication as soon as I feel a headache coming because I know how bad they can be, but as I've gotten older I try to avoid using them when possible.

5. Try a few home remedies.
A little caffeine can provide temporary relief. That doesn't mean go guzzle energy drinks, but a cup of fresh tea or coffee can help. I've found cold compresses and dark, quiet spaces ease them as well. Naps can work wonders, too.

These have helped me with my own migraines, but every person's body is different. I can't stress enough how important it is to talk to your doctor! No one has to suffer with pain if it can be helped. And if you need an ear to just chat about the hellish life of chronic headaches, don't hesitate to email me!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

a day downtown

foot pic fringe booties wood floor lucky bandit blog

I guess technically I spend every day downtown as I work there, but today was my day off so I got to peruse some of the shops. I don't normally get to do that since the shop's hours normally coincide with almost every else's, so it was a nice little treat!

Initially, I was heading down to drop off some clothing at the Re Run Shoppe, and afterwards I decided to get a little Christmas shopping in. So I visited Ladyburg (which just recently moved across the street!) and Irish Eyes, along with a couple antique shops, and my favorite, Riverby Books.

riverby books fredericksburg lucky bandit blog

riverby books fredericksburg lucky bandit blog

There's three floors of used books. My favorite.

I picked up a couple books there that caught my eye; The Princessa: Machiavelli for Women by Harriet Rubin, and The Man Who Loved Books Too Much by Allison Hoover Bartlett.

This photo also includes My Dog Skip by Willie Morris that I picked up at Manarc (along with a lovely teapot for my grandmother for Christmas). I haven't seen the movie, either. Yeah, I'm way behind. And definitely go check out Manarc if you're a local - proceeds go to local veterans!

books i bought lucky bandit blog

I stopped by Whittingham to look at their window (again) because it's so well done. The mice are so cute. They're worshiping the cheese!

whittingham fredericksburg va lucky bandit blog

And how great is this unicorn mount?!?! It's just subtle enough for a gallery wall, I think.

whittingham fredericksburg va lucky bandit blog

I ended the day by picking up some Earth Balance mac and cheese at Kickshaw's since I can't seem to find it anywhere (and didn't know they carried it!), and then I headed back home before my math final (which I passed!). I'm glad I had some time to get out downtown, but now I'm ready for bed. How do you spend your day off?

Friday, October 09, 2015

i'm so crafty i make kidney stones

So Wednesday I was awoken at the ungodly hour of 7:45 am with a terrible pain in my side. I wish that was code for "the dog was kicking me" or something. I thought I had to pee, but little did I know, my body was deciding to pass it's creation into the real world: a kidney stone.

i'm so crafty i make kidney stones lucky bandit blog

I immediately text my registered nurse mother who's in Tennessee, who told me to go to the doctor. I thought GREAT, my first kidney infection, this is wonderful. At that point in time, I thought I'd just go to the urgent care, get an antibiotic and a painkiller, and go home and sleep it off. OH NO. By the time I got ready to go, I could barely walk. I hobbled to the car and knew I needed the ER.

We get there and for what felt like hours (and in reality probably only ten minutes), I awaited an IV for morphine. Which worked for about .5 seconds. I'm basically screaming and flailing around on the bed, so he goes to get the nurse (or maybe he was looking for a window to jump out of, I don't know) and they finally get me some pain management that works. After that dose, I'm high as a kite and sleepy. My mother said they gave me a moderate dose, but I hardly ever take medicine and it hit me hard. They send me for a CT scan, I'm extremely thirsty, my dad and his girlfriend get there, it comes back I've got a kidney stone that's already passed, I'm allowed ginger ale, I'm given orders for no caffeine (noooooooo), and I'm sent on my way with prescriptions.

Totally typical day off. *insert side eye emoji* But I lived, I'm totally fine now, and I now know what a kidney stone feels like. Huge thanks to my mom for the medical advice, Jayy for taking me to the ER and making me as comfortable as possible, my dad and his girlfriend for coming up to make sure I was okay, and to the people who created painkillers. Oh, and ps, I peed out the kidney stone in the bathroom at Ruby Tuesday. I really wanted a salad and mashed potatoes. The stone was about half the size of a fat grain of rice.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

currently - 4/9

currently katelyn carter blog feature

|| reading
Well, I'm in the middle of a couple books right now. I'm about to add The Dead Zone to that list, too.

|| drinking
Water - from mason jars. I've gotten on a kick about always having a lid on what I'm drinking because I spill things so easily - these things work wonders.

|| watching
Harry Potter and Doctor Who...I keep them on loop. Not even kidding.

|| eating
Not much lately - I've been trying to get my calorie count up with protein shakes. Stress and anxiety is killing me.

|| listening to
Guys, I bought a Taylor Swift cd. I know. I never thought I'd buy one, ever, but Style is my jam.

|| looking forward to
The weekend! I'm taking my NRA handgun class on Saturday for my concealed weapon permit.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

a day in the life

katelyn carter dogs the fault in our stars

Today was one of those perfect, relaxing days. I slept in, we had breakfast. I made some new items for the shop and while those were drying I started a new book, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I know, I know, I'm about ten years late on that one.

I didn't worry about the dog hair on the bed, the toy fluff ripped playfully from the toys that littered the floor, nor did I worry that I really needed to move the laundry from the washer to the dryer. I just sat in bed and read and didn't worry about a damn thing. The boys took naps around my feet and we listened to the wind beat on the house. It only took me five hours to finish the book, so now I've got Harry Potter in the DVD player and I'm writing up some blog posts for this week. While I've been so lazy today, I feel really productive.

Some days that's all you need.

Monday, February 09, 2015

guest post: mia @ the chronicles of chaos - how to unwind

Today I'm happily welcoming fellow Virginia blogger Mia from The Chronicles of Chaos to the blog! She has a fantastic guest post on unwinding for everyone. Take it away, Mia!

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Hi everyone! I'm Mia from The Chronicles of Chaos. I'm a self-proclaimed nerd extraordinaire and blog about books, writing, and life in general. Katelyn was kind enough to let me invade her blog today, so thank you, Katelyn! :)

I want to talk to you today about unwinding. Goodness, these days it seems like we're always moving at the speed of light, doesn't it? The hustle and bustle of every day with work, significant others, pets, blogs, trying to eat clean and work out - I'm exhausted just thinking about it all! With our busy lives, sometimes we lose sight of how important it is to slow down and take care of ourselves and recharge. Without further ado, here are 5 Ways to Unwind.



Read a book.
OK, so I already told you I was a book nerd, so this shouldn't come as a big surprise. Sitting down to read a book, even if it's during your lunch break or before you go to bed, can help you relax. So pick up that book that's been on your shelf for months and dig in. If you need any recommendations, I bet I could help you out!

Take a bath.
I don't know about you, but there's nothing more relaxing than a nice soak in a warm bubble bath. Or maybe you're more a bath oil or bath bomb person - whatever floats your boat. Maybe light some scented candles. Drink a glass of wine, even. And just sit and let your aches and pains and stresses melt away.

Listen to music.
One of my favorite ways to unwind is to listen to some mellow, laidback music and relax. I like to lie in bed and close my eyes and sing along. Something about comforting music just makes me feel right at home.

Enjoy nature. 
Go to the park and find a bench and just take in some fresh air. Look at the birds and squirrels. People watch. Or take a leisurely walk around your neighborhood. Even just sitting outside in your backyard can be relaxing.

Take a nap.
I realize this sounds overly simplistic, but really - sometimes the best way to unwind is to take a nap. A power nap, a long nap, whatever. Your body needs to recharge every once in a while. And when you wake up, you'll feel so much better!

Anyway, I hope you utilize one of these methods of relaxation and feel refreshed! If you have some tips to share, leave a comment below! And thanks again to Katelyn for letting me "borrow" her blog for a bit. :) Feel free to come visit me anytime! Ciao!

-Mia


The Chronicles of Chaos

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

a fresh start

    I recently started fresh with this blog, lucky bandit. I deleted every post and changed things up a bit as far as the design goes. I've had this blog for seven years, and it's changed numerous times. Names, layouts, designs. It had gotten so I was posting just to post, and quickly throwing together harebrained content that no one really cared about. Oh, look, I threw together a Google search of random things. Wow, cool. So I had strayed from what I had originally intended this blog to be; a journal of my life.

    Of course if a blog is public, you're writing for the general public. I have another reason that I have this blog - my mother. She and my stepfather moved to Tennessee, six hours away, last year. We talk on the phone all the time, of course, text frequently, and she follows me on every social media site I have an account on. Blogging, however, is different than following someone's tweets or Facebook statuses. I want her to be able to take a look into my life here in Virginia. Then she can see pictures of our dogs, what recipes I'm attempting to cook, and what projects I'm working on.

    What I'm trying to say is that I think I'm finally in a place where I can buckle down and become a "blogger". I can invest time into lucky bandit and produce content. I have some other ideas in the works, including a second blog, but this is becoming my main ongoing project for now. I've got ideas and projects and so much going on in my head. It's time I write it all down here instead of making endless notes in the hundreds of steno pads I have strewn through our home.

    So with that being said, welcome back! Sit, stay, have a cup of tea. There will be more photos, more posts, and just more in general coming soon. I hope you enjoy!
^