How ‘Bout Them Cats?

I’m taking a little departure from my normal posts to share something close to my heart. Last week my grandfather passed away. At 85 years old (and being the youngest of his siblings), the number of close friends and family had dwindled so the funeral will be more of a very small memorial. My grandfather was too amazing a person to go without someone standing up to say something about what he meant to them and since he meant so much to me, I thought I’d share it here. Thanks for letting me take a break to share a little piece of my heart.

How ’bout them cats? A greeting as common for us as hello. Sometimes it was filled with an overwhelming excitement and pure joy; other times, happy relief. It could also be filled with an unmistakable disappointment, frustration or anger. Whatever the sentiment, our conversation always started the same with those four little words.

People always ask me how I became a Kentucky fan. Despite being born here, I grew up in Miami with a mom who liked sports as long as they could be enjoyed with a cocktail in hand (Absolute and Cranberry then, a generous pour of wine now) and the opportunity to socialize. My dad is a Louisville fan through and through and my step-dad is a mildly enthusiastic Miami fan (which he passed on to me a little later). But my grandpa was a Cats fan.

If you’ve spent more than 15 minutes in the Bluegrass state, you know that Kentucky fans come in all shapes, sizes and levels of enthusiasm. My grandpa wasn’t the decked out in blue, season ticket holding kind of fan mostly because he wasn’t the sweatshirt or team tee kind of guy and frankly we couldn’t afford tickets to games. But his enthusiasm was on par with the most rabid fans in the state.


Some people just become fans of a team. Born into it; decked out in their parents favorite team’s gear from birth. But I can distinctly remember the day I became a Cats fan.  It was 1993 and Jamal ‘Monster Mash’ Mashburn was marching the Wildcats through the NCAA Tournament. My grandpa came to stay with me while my mom and step-dad went on their honeymoon. I was nine and at the time, didn’t care all that much about basketball. That was until I watched the Cats take on the Fab Five of Michigan.

The funny part is, the Cats lost that game and my Papaw spent the majority of it yelling at the commentators (i’ll never forget how annoyed he got that they kept talking about how great Chris Webber’s hands were), but by the end of the game I was a life-long fan. More than anything though, I think I just wanted to be like my Papaw. It was the beginning of a special bond with my grandpa that stayed strong until the day he died.

When I spent summers with my grandparents, I’d wake up every morning to him handing me the paper for my required reading – the latest recruiting news, coaches notes or NBA draft news. Every time we spoke on the phone, we’d move past the pleasantries and go straight to what was happening with the team. And after every game, we’d call each other (sometimes getting a busy tone because our timing was identical) and greet each other with the standard, “How ’bout them cats?

We only went to a game together once. Our seats were beyond horrible, high up in the dark rafters of Rupp Arena but it was always a dream of mine to go to a game together. Papaw I think would have preferred watching it together from the comfort of his home but he begrudgingly went along.  His idea of a great game day involved tuning into Cawood Ledford’s play-by-play on the radio positioned perfectly next to his recliner and spending the next two hours providing his own commentary (the good, the bad and the ugly). I think sitting there watching alongside him will always be my idea of a great game day too.

When UK won the National Championship in 2012, the minute I cleared out of the Superdome I called him. I had to give him a hard time for abandoning the team after their ONE LOSS at Indiana. He didn’t think they could do it. Every game afterwards, I’d call him and convince him they could. As silly as it sounds, I’m really glad he got to watch them win one more championship before he passed away.

My relationship with my grandpa wasn’t just about basketball. He was like another father for me and the time we spent together filled countless photo albums but our shared love of the Kentucky Wildcats was something special for just us. A language that only we spoke.

Tonight is Midnight Madness (or Big Blue Madness as it’s now called around here) –  the un-official start of the basketball season. As excited as I am about the Cats #1 pre-season ranking and all the hype surrounding the run for #9, I can’t help but feel a little sad (or blue to make a bad pun even my Papaw would love). It’s also the start of the first season without the person at the other end of the line. I know that when the clocks tick down on the first game, I’ll look down at my phone and have no one to call.

Sports are weird. Think about it. A bunch of grown men tackling each other in an attempt to get a small leather ball across a field. Or running back and forth incessantly in an attempt to get a round ball into a net using only your feet. And when you try to describe the point of baseball to a small child, you begin to realize how ridiculous all sports sound when you really break them down.

The thing about sports we all love so much isn’t simply the action on the court or field, it’s the people we share that passion with, the feeling it gives you when they win. For some people that shared experience means jumping up and down hugging in celebration or high-fiving everyone in sight but for me it was just picking up the phone, calling my favorite person and saying “How ’bout them cats?”

Can We Talk?

Today’s post is long and a break from the ordinary (I warned you). It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while and wanted to do but wasn’t quite sure how to go about it. Still not sure if this is the right way but here goes nothing.

Yesterday, I realized that a whole week had come and gone since * lou what wear * had it’s third birthday. Yes, I know my blog is not a person and therefore does not deserve a birthday celebration (although I am always looking for an excuse to eat cake). But it is a little crazy that I’ve been jotting down words on a page and sending them out into the world for three years now.

I didn’t even realize that the three year mark had come and gone until I read this post from Hallie  and then this one from Meaghan (clearly I had some catching up to do on some of my favorites). See at some point in the last few months (or possibly longer), blogging has turned into a routine. Not necessarily a bad one (like the habit of eating handful after handful of peanut butter M&M’s nightly – I blame Drew for that one) but just a routine. And that routine has caused me to fall into a little bit of a funk.

You may have noticed that the posts have been kind of sporadic lately and that’s mostly because I can’t help that work gets in the way a lot of the time. And for some reason or another, those two kiddos of mine tend to take up a lot of time – something about needing a bottle/snacks/the iPad (don’t judge)/dinner/clean clothes. So needy. But really, I want to blog about the stuff I dig and not just create a post full of affiliate links or randomness to fill the page.

I’ve spent a lot of time offline talking with friends (both those that blog and those that don’t) about how blogging has turned into somewhat of a competitive sport of late. Lord knows I love a good competition (just ask anyone who’s played on a team with me) but I just don’t see blogging that way. See I’m not looking to win any awards and I’m certainly not looking to make it rich. Mostly I just want to try and enjoy the creative and fun outlet this site has provided me with. Lord knows I’m already coming in last place in the beautiful styled coffee table, perfect placed peonies and macaroon eating categories of Instagram (although my cute baby game is pretty on point). My follower count and number of c/o items can attest to that.

I’m never going to have the latest IT bag before everyone else, I wish I drank green juice every morning and a pair of $400 shoes look beautiful but I’d rather grab 4 pairs and save the rest of the money for my next inevitable plumbing disaster.

Like many other bloggers out there, I started this when I was in a job that I not only hated but loathed. To keep myself from creating some sort of viral “I Quit” video, I started this blog to give myself a creative outlet. Not quite sure when I exactly came up with the idea of doing * lou what wear * but I thought it would be fun to document the great looks I spotted while out and about. That initial idea has evolved (I don’t go out quite as much as I used to) and it seemed people liked the personal style posts when I began incorporating them as much as the style spotting.

But the personal style blogging arena is big, competitive and crowded. For a while I tried to keep up with the Jones’ but lately I’ve realized that I’m not even remotely good at that and it’s just not worth it. Life (and kids) are expensive; time is precious and as much as I can complain about the stresses of my 9 to 5 public relations job, I really love it. But I also love this blog. And I’m hoping some of you do too. I want to make it and the consistent flow of content better. And I want to write about (and post pretty pictures of) stuff you’re interested in.

Oh and it goes without saying that I love Louisville. Yeah it’s no NYC, LA or Miami especially when it comes to shopping. Here’s the thing though. The people are exceedingly nice (which was a big adjustment for this cold black-hearted gal), the food is delicious, the living is easy and the traffic is non-existent (well except around all that bridge nonsense). So yeah, no big city move in my future anytime soon.

All of this ranting really boils down to one thing: I don’t want to just keep posting outfit pictures for the sake of it.  I certainly don’t want to waste your time with life updates if you just want me to stick to the outfits. I dig doing inspiration round-ups but maybe you think they’re dumb. Annoyed with sponsored content, I get it. I gotta keep the lights on over here somehow but I want to partner with brands and companies you all relate to (although I am picky about who/what I work with on and only feature brands that I actually wear/use).

So I put together a quick survey (seriously, it will take you all of ahhh minute to complete) to get a better idea of what you like and what you frankly just don’t care about. Promise it will only take a sec – so just head over here.

I really appreciate you all reading whether you’re from near or far (sorry, I know you probably don’t care about Louisville’s latest ______) and whether your new here (hey girl hey) or been reading since day one (that’s you Kelly). Last but not least, I used to write Bachelor/ette recaps on my original blog Secondary Embarrassment. They were hella long and took almost an eternity to write (no shortage of secondary embarrassment on those shows) but I loved writing them. So if you’d like me bring a little of that commentary over here, let me know. I’m seriously considering it.



Outfit Post: Tan + Neon

A while back, I spent a entire month trying to recreate looks I loved from Pinterest with items in my closet already (here’s an example). #NoNewThings

Well today’s post is getting me back in the swing of things. I really want to make better use of the things I already own and love. And now that things are fitting a little better (not there yet), it’s easier to mix and match. When I saw this post from Julia {Gal Meets Glam} a few weeks back, I knew I could recreate it once the temperatures dropped a little (but make no mistake there was no way I was recreating her bad ass hair and make-up skills). Yesterday was a little cooler (at least in the morning, totally didn’t pay attention when they said it would warm up by mid-day), so I decided to give it a go. Also, I woke up late and didn’t want to think about putting together an outfit. I’m lazy like that.

So sorry for an outfit of old favorites but at least the accessories are new. These navy booties are going to be in heavy rotation this fall. And as much as I need structure when it comes to bags, I always forego the pockets and organization for a carry-all and this oversized one is pretty perfect. The good part is that it comes with a pouch to hold all the little things that can descend into the abyss of a big bag. So clutch (pun intended. sorry for being a nerd).

Yellow Lace Skirt: Forever 21, same skirt different color here; love this fuller yellow version (seen here and here); Sweater: J.Crew; Navy ‘Romy’ Booties: c/o Sole Society; Monogram Necklace: Old, similar here; Oversize ‘Capri’ Tote: c/o Sole Society

Thanks Hayley for the pics!

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