September 13, 2014

A short post for men.

Lately, the news is full of stories about men and the terrible things they've done: men who have beaten their wives, men who have ignored a woman's "no," men who have sacrificed their ethics in the name of greed, men who have beheaded other men...the list of their atrocities is, sadly, too long.

Last night, I had the unfortunate experience of standing in front of two college-age males in line for dinner. I'll spare you the details of their vulgar conversation - did I just age myself? - but safe to say that it all made me physically ill to imagine them interacting with any future daughters. Or sons, for that matter.

And then I started to think about men. I began to lump them into one, general category and mentally list off everything terrible about them...

Except, when I thought about the men in my life, I couldn't do that. Because, in truth, I've been surrounded by so many good, good men. Men who have not pushed me into and have even led me from compromising situations. Men who have challenged me with conversations and questions that have pushed me to be stronger, more confident, and more Christ-like. Men who have defied the stereotypes and let me talk and talk and talk and break down and cry in front of them. Men who didn't let competitiveness get in the way of nourishing my God-given talents and provided me with opportunities to excel in so many areas of my life. Men who have made me feel valued and worthy of love - love for which I didn't have to compromise.

Men who have, quite simply, protected me in a dangerous world.

So, in the midst of everything terrible, I think it's also important to thank the men who are doing it so well. Perhaps I am unique in my experience, but I hope I am not.

To so many of the men in my life: thank you for loving me so well. I think I speak for my my mom, my dad, my brothers, my family, my friends, and my future husband and children when I say that the way you've chosen to exert your manliness has made the world a better, richer, safer place for me, and others, to be a woman.

August 26, 2014

Oh meami, oh Miami.*

*or, "Where we're going, you won't need shoes."

Took a little trip with the girls.

August 13, 2014

Up, up, and away.

The question I am asked the most, outside of what mascara I use (Maybelline Volum’ Express for day and Givenchy Phenomen'Eyes for night), is how I manage to travel - domestically and internationally - so much. 

July 27, 2014

Charleston, darling.

I believe this trip was necessary for both Mindy and me, made up of a thousand little memories that won't be nearly as interesting to you as they were perfect to us.

July 18, 2014

To the sea.

July finally rolled around, which meant it was time to head to the coast to cool off just a bit.

July 7, 2014

Confessions of a Jack Mormon.

I've just returned from a trip to the coast - Savannah and Hilton Head and Charleston (oh my!)  - and I have so much to share! But I turn right around and fly to Miami on Thursday, so my friend Brian has graciously stepped in while I throw bathing suits and sunscreen from one bag into another.

B + K in Hawaii, 2012
This is Brian

June 26, 2014

Fried pickles + mimosas.

The girls needed a catch up, badly, so we piled into a booth at Folk Art to do it over brunch.

Those chicken and waffles, though.

June 13, 2014

An American's guide to the World Cup.

For one month, every four years, the world unites in the spirit of fútbol ("soccer" for the Americans). And no American cares more about it than my friend Jake.

June 10, 2014

Eating Atlanta.

A few posts ago, I said that I was getting a taste of Atlanta. I meant it.

Literally, a taste. Most of my excursions are centered around food.

June 6, 2014

Cheers for children.

If there's anything I love more than a good soirée, it's a good soirée for a worthwhile cause.

June 5, 2014

Breakfast at Tiffany's.

First thing first: Happy, happy 25 to my brother's gorgeous, funny, talented, mother-of-Stevie-the-cat girlfriend, Jess. She (like my brothers) is so, so much cooler than me.

All of the sass.

May 30, 2014

A love letter to the South.

All of the very best days start with a long, slow walk under tall, windy, spindly, angry oak trees...

May 28, 2014


Have you ever found something so amusing that you laughed until you cried, only to receive blank stares when you tried to recount it for someone else?

May 22, 2014


(or, "What I've Been Eating")

October will always be my favorite month - gosh, what isn't perfect about October? - but I've got a soft spot for May. The world seems to wake up again in April, but so hesitantly. No one really trusts April, do they? But by May, we've all agreed to let our guard down and welcome summer with open arms, humidity-wavy hair, and juicy toenails.

Raspberry toes

May 20, 2014


I was so happy to be home to celebrate Mother's Day with the ladies of the family: Mom, Nana, and my brother's girlfriend, Jess. Last year I had to Skype in from Dubai (boohoo, I know), and so it was sweet to be able to give her a hug this year.

May 15, 2014

The farm.

Weekends away make for the most hectic weeks, don't they? I just found a container of feta in my bag and a pair of running shorts in my dish drying rack. I have no idea how either got there...

Role model

April 25, 2014

London (The End).

I've been a bad little blogger, but life is just buzzing, buzzing along, good enough I haven't wanted to stop to reminisce.

But things are starting to get blurry, so it's probably time. The last few days in London were lovely, but a bit like a Sunday: an underlying uneasiness because you know you have to go back to real life very soon. 

I'll let the pictures do most of the talking.  

Trafalgar Square after a visit to the Monet room in The National Gallery

April 11, 2014

London (Again).

So many of you confirmed that this wan't a complete waste of your time that I've decided to give it another go. I hope it makes up for the fact that I didn't send you a post card (unless you're a new parent, in which case I apologize for the insulting one I sent your bébé).

You may remember my footballer friend, R, from the previous post. Did I mention that this is how I found him on Sunday?

The Urban Cowboy

April 9, 2014


London first. Always, London first.

My very first visit was seven years ago. I was barely 21, studying art and Italian in Florence, and spent a long Thanksgiving weekend in the Big Smoke. Most of my life up until then was in small-town Indiana, but I remember thinking, as I walked out of the tube station and caught my first glimpse of London - St. Paul's Cathedral under a full moon - that I would really love it here, and probably for a long time. So that’s when my [tumultuous] relationship with this city started. 

Mandi + Kyla, 2007

I couldn't get enough of rush hour rides on the tube, chicken burgers on Portobello Road, and the obscene amount of meat-flavored chips (crisps). I decided I would figure out how to come back, next time for longer, and hunted down an internship with a PR firm and a flat with seven others girls and tucked in for a summer of all things British. I learned to brew a proper cup of tea, memorized the tube map, and bought my first pair of skinny jeans.

Roommates & Co. on the tube, 2008

Following trips were strictly for fun - a few quick stops to see friends en route to other European cities and reunions with old roommates.

K + M, 2013

M + K, 2013

This, my most recent trip, was a lazy week to wander aimlessly, eat carbs without guilt, and not read work e-mails.

Coffee at Le Pain, 2014

I’m guilty of romanticizing things, but I suppose this has managed to keep London perfect in my mind. March's visit was my sixth in eight years, and each time has felt different because of the varied characters and settings: Kilburn to Kensington, Clapham to Chelsea; Old friends and new friends, boy I've kissed and cousins I haven't. 

So many memories packed up into six encounters.

Pepperoni pizza, of course

I left Atlanta on a Friday night with a suitcase full of sweaters and random American offerings for American friends finishing up uni in London – gummy vitamins, pizza Lunchables packed on ice, Reese’s eggs, Girl Scout cookies – and landed in Heathrow Saturday morning, only to find that my luggage had taken the flight after me. As did, it turns out, a rugby team. 

So far, the odds were not in my favo(u)r. 

An hour later, I collected my things and jumped on the Heathrow Express. The tides turned – I sat and chatted with a nice boy from Oz who had jumped on a last minute 25+ hour flight to surprise his brother in London. We arrived in Paddington Station 25 minutes later and said one of those awkward goodbyes where you would very much like to not have to.

But enough of my ramblings – research says you want fewer words and more pictures. (Full disclosure: I used only my phone for photos, so they're mostly bad. And filtered.)

The rest of the weekend was spent pub hopping, reminiscing, and laughing with girls from my summer in L.A.  I ate. Steak at L'Entrecote where you queue, eat until you're so full you could burst, and then repeat. 

Queue with L + M at L'Entrecote

I wandered. Hyde Park where the sun was shining and people were out in droves.

Trying my best to blend in with L + Starbucks at Hyde Park

Hyde Park

The Thames runs the length of London, and its bridges are home to fantastic views of the city.

View from Westminster Bridge

St. Paul's from Blackfriars Bridge

The City from South Bank

St. Paul's from Millennium Bridge

I praised. Church at Hillsong, where you can get out of the American pole barn-style churches I'm growing to despise. And I finished the day along the river, catching up with old friends. 

Right? Right.

R, the soon-to-be-famous English footballer

The LA crew 

More London (and Paris!) to come...