I’m on YouTube!

You guys.

I did a scary thing.

I put myself out there for the world to see! Blogging always allowed me to “hide” behind my words, so being on camera is a totally new experience! Yes, it’s scary but it’s also exciting and I’m loving it so far. I think I like it better than blogging! You can expect to see more consistent posting from me on YouTube than I ever did on the blog. *Pinky Promise*

City Southern

I’m still learning – I’m trying to figure things out and improve with each video I film and edit, but I would love for you to take a look and give me some feedback! I’d also love to know what types of videos you want to see!

…See you in my next video!

Catherine Calligraphy

My Life in Pictures

I have a lot of catching up to do. a LOT. In the meantime, some photos of life over the past few weeks.

Girls Weekend in Puerto Rico


{yes that white stuff is snow. clearly I was prepared for it.}


{this one’s from IG. do you follow City Southern on Instagram? you should.}


{ever tried a custard apple? you should}


It’s always nice to finish things off with bubbles.

That’s all for now. But I’m feeling inspired by all the updates that came out of Dallas this weekend from everyone who attended Reward Style The Conference #rSthecon. So jealous that I didn’t get to go! {okay, I wasn’t invited to go but that’s not the point. I’ll get there someday. *sigh*}

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Catherine Calligraphy



Travel Essentials: CarryOn

I’m counting down the days {less than 2!} until I’m on the sandy beaches of Puerto Rico!! I will spend the majority of that time stressing over what clothes to pack and running last minutes errands. But one thing I won’t need to worry about it what to put in my carryon bag because I’ve got that down to a science! That helps a lot because the hubs and I have a ton of travel planned in 2014 and I can rest a little easier knowing that my essentials are taken care of.

Travel Essentails Carryon - City Southern Blog

When I fly, I have a bit of a routine. I guess it started when I was flying back and forth between school and home.

  • Outfit: I wear comfortable clothes {nothing that ties in the back, nothing that is too tight or is uncomfortable when sitting down}. I wear long sleeves or layers if I’m going someplace warm.
  • Getting Through Security: I wear slip-on shoes to make this process a little easier. I do not wear a belt and I try not to wear a heavy coat. I keep the jewelry to a minimum and usually don’t put most of it on until after I get through security. Make sure you empty your pockets!
  • To Check, or Not to Check: If I check luggage with my clothes inside, I make sure to have an extra shirt and an extra pair of underwear in my carryon! You never know when your luggage will get lost so it’s better to be prepared. That being said, I never check my bag unless I have to.
  • Organized Baggage: I use a rolling suitcase and my carryon bag sits on top. {My Tumi is great because it’s soft-sided and can easily be squished in the overhead compartment if necessary.} I try to pack my purse in the suitcase and just put my wallet in the carryon. My phone {with electronic boarding pass!} and ID goes in an outside carryon pocket for easy access.

Now let’s get specific!

The bag you use is just as important as the items you put inside. The most important things I look for in a carryon bag are interior organizers and pockets, and a pocket in the back that allows the bag to slide over the handle of a rolling suitcase. The bag I am obsessed with for these exact reasons is the Lo and Sons OG bag. UHB.SESS.DUH.

LoOG I mean, do you see all the interior goodness going on? You can fit a ton of things inside – things neatly tucked away in compartments. I first learned about it when Julie did a review on her blog, Table for Two. Check it out here. She picked the slightly smaller version, the “OMG” bag.

OG Inside

Get it HERE

I try not to take a computer with me when I travel simply because it adds a lot of weight, but I do take my iPad with me. I mostly use this on the plane to read magazines rather than carry a million paper copies. The Kindle app is good for the same purpose. iPad definitely goes in a protective case inside the carryon bag.

Carryon Essentails at CitySouthernBlog - iPad

{Porter Magazine | iPad Sleeve}

I have a little cosmetic pouch that holds all my small but important things so they don’t get lost in the bottom of my bag. Most of the time, this bag goes in whatever purse I’m carrying and of course, it goes in my carryon when I travel. A sampling of items included: A snack, pain meds and Benadryl, travel size lint roller, a few dollars and coins, minty gum, nail file, hair accessories and a sleep mask. The sleep mask comes in handy for longer flights or International flights! I also have a jewelry pouch inside this particular cosmetic bag. I keep a few extra pairs of staple stud earrings in there and when I take off any jewelry it goes here to keep from losing or damaging it!

Don’t forget a stash of makeup basics! When you get off the plane you can make a quick stop in the ladies’ room without having to dig to the bottom of your suitcase. This is important when you are headed somewhere straight from the airport or you just need to freshen up your makeup a bit. {Makeup that you may or may not have smeared all over your face while snoozing away on the plane!}

Carryon Essentails at City Southern Blog

{Cosmetic Bag | Pill Box | Jewelry Pouch | Snack Bar | Sleep Mask | Hair Ties | Lip Balm | Eyeliner}

Another cosmetic bag is filled with phone chargers, headphones, and any other electronic accessories I need. I must admit, my big headphones take up a lot of space, but the “ear buds” that sit inside your ear hurt me and I just can’t wear them! I do love the look of these Beats by Dr. Dre ones. They match my favorite FRENDS headphones!

Carryon Essentails - Electronics at CitySouthernBlog

{Case | USB Charger | FRENDS Headphones | Ear Bud Headphones}

I am a LIST fanatic, and I prefer paper + pen. I also make sure I have a black Sharpie marker with me. Ya know, for all those autographs people ask me for? {just kidding!!} Seriously though, I’m amazed at how often I need to use it!

Carryon Essentails at City Southern Blog

{Notebooks | Sharpie}

I’m always cold when I’m indoors anyway, but on a plane I’m freezing! As I mentioned, I wear slip on shoes through security and that doesn’t include socks, so I keep a pair of cozy socks in my carryon bag. If my feet are cold, my whole body is cold so socks take care of that problem! An open front cardigan helps with the chill as well, and goes with just about any outfit. You could also use a pashmina!

Carryon Essentails at City Southern Blog

{Cardigan | Socks}

I should also mention that wherever possible, I have these items stored separately from things I use everyday so that I don’t have to spend a lot of time hunting down things to pack. And although this isn’t everything in my bag, it’s a pretty close representation and genuinely includes the items I use and love, similar items, or items that are on my wishlist. There are also things like sunglasses and an umbrella that are generally included even though they aren’t listed above. There isn’t really a one-size-fits-all formula for a carryon bag, but I hope that seeing my list gives you some inspiration!

Got anything to add? Comment below!

Catherine Calligraphy

The Difference Between Animal Prints

Fact: Leopard is a neutral.

Fact: Products are often mislabeled as leopard.

Fact: I get annoyed every time someone describes an animal print as leopard when it is not.

Let’s discuss…

{Cheetah Print} Learn the difference between animal prints on City Southern Blog! city southern.wordpress.com

The cheetah’s spots are separate, distinct, and round{ish}. You can see they are not perfect circles, but they are solid black shapes. {There is such a creature as the “King Cheetah” which also has stripes down its back but for this lesson, we’ll just stick to the spots.}

{Leopard Print} Learn the difference between animal prints on City Southern Blog! city southern.wordpress.com

The leopard’s spots are more of a rosette – a lighter color surrounded by an irregular ring of darker color.

{Jaguar Print} Learn the difference between animal prints on City Southern Blog! city southern.wordpress.com

And if you want to take this one step further, add small dark spots to the middle of that rosette and you have yourself a jaguar, not a leopard.

If you’re looking at the head of one of these big cats, you could easily  be confused because the spots closest to the face on a leopard and a jaguar can be more solid and resemble cheetah spots. If you’re having trouble telling the difference, it’s probably  best to look at the body of the animal. If, however, you are looking at shoe or a purse, there is probably no face to look at and it should be stupid-simple to figure out. Here’s a cheat-sheet for you!

{Animal Print Cheat Sheet} Learn the difference between animal prints on City Southern Blog! city southern.wordpress.com

Even though it annoys me, I completely understand when a company uses the term leopard print to describe what is basically a generic animal print. It makes it much easier to sell! I don’t often search for “jaguar print” and the magazines aren’t doing spreads on the hottest “jaguar” shoes this season. The two prints are very similar so be it confusion or marketing strategy, I’ll go ahead and let this one slide. But I do not understand when a leopard label is used to describe something that is actually cheetah print. They are quite different.

Think you know the difference now? Let’s test:

{Test your animal print IQ} Learn the difference between animal prints on City Southern Blog! city southern.wordpress.com

{did you really think I’d put the answers here?! scroll to the end!}

{Mislabeled Animal Prints!} Learn the difference between animal prints on City Southern Blog! city southern.wordpress.comabeled Animals

These flats are marketed as leopard but as you can see by the center dots of the rosettes they are technically jaguar print. I actually own these flats and I refer to them as my “leopard” flats. They are close enough and I don’t feel like explaining myself when I say jaguar. But this clutch. Oh, this gorgeous Clare Vivier clutch on my must-have list. It’s clearly cheetah and it’s labeled as leopard. Why, oh why?! {Okay, it’s amazing enough to forgive.}

Well hopefully you learned something! Thanks for allowing me to vent! Next week, I’ll share some tips on how to incorporate animal prints into your wardrobe!

{Test your animal print IQ} Learn the difference between animal prints on City Southern Blog! city southern.wordpress.com

Answer to test {left to right}: Cheetah | Jaguar | Leopard

Ciao for now!

Catherine Calligraphy

A Hot Cup of Tea for Me

I was on travel this week for a work meeting. This meeting happens every year, and EVERY year I end up sick right after the meeting. This year is no exception. So today I came home early and curled up with a nice hot cup of tea. I take mine with a little lemon and honey. Just what the doctor ordered! What makes you feel better when you’re not feeling so hot?

Twinings Tea

Twinings Earl Grey | Butcher’s Block

Catherine Calligraphy