links + small things

3 Back-to-School Hacks

I did something fun yesterday that I’ve never done before! I was invited to attend a Topping Out ceremony for Fenton, a new mixed-use development in Cary, North Carolina. I had to look up what topping out meant, and it’s essentially putting in the last beam or part of a building to complete that phase of a project. I’ve had my eye on Fenton ever since I first heard about it, and I cannot wait to enjoy it when it’s finished next year!

Did you catch my post earlier this week all about the 10 white crew-neck t-shirts I tried on?! Read it here!

I also shared a few of my “back to school” hacks that are very easy on this post!

I’m continuing to train for the sprint triathlon I’m doing next month, but I’m behind schedule on my swim practice. Honestly, this week ended up being quite busy and I was hoping to swim laps at least once a week. Between a full schedule and lots of rain, it just didn’t happen. I did get my triathlon tank in the mail this week so I’m hoping to try it on and practice swimming with it this weekend. My plan for my outfit during the race is to wear a triathlon tank with my favorite Spanx bike shorts.

Has anyone tried this Sleep Plus Pillow Spray? I saw it on Things.I.Bought.And.Liked instagram and am tempted by it!

And here are a few things I mentioned on Instagram Stories recently that you may have missed: 

Green Floral Walmart dress -this is so pretty and such a great price point!

Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar in Raleigh – a yummy burger place

Virtue Refresh Purifying Leave-in Conditioner

Lancome Teint Idol Ultra Wear in color 310

Coquette Brasserie in Raleigh – fantastic brunch on Sunday morning, would love to go back for dinner!

Bobbi Brown cream eyeshadow in Taupe, Shell, Nude Beach

YSL Easy to wear pink lip color in shade 44 – a soft, very hydrating pink

Amazon watchband – milk tea color

Peloton handle K8_Smallthings – FYI if you have the peloton app or bike, this is my handle!

Canva for printed lists


This week’s discount codes (#partnerships): 

KATE10 gives you 10% off any items at Bagging Rights

Miranda Frye: “Smallthings10” will get you 10% off and free shipping!

Spanx: Use code “Katexspanx” for 10% off plus free shipping!

Beddy’s: Code “SmallThings” saves you 20%!


Questions from Monday’s Q&A box on Instagram!

My 18 year old just started Cosmetology school, any advice? Yes! Pay attention to the science to understand how it all works, but plan on learning most of your skills in a salon as an assistant.

Thoughts on Botox? “you do you” is my only thought!

What is a lash lift? You can read about it here!

What exactly are curvy jeans? I wrote about my favorite curvy jeans on this post, in case you missed it, but generally curvy jeans are cut in a shape that allows for a bit more room in the butt and thighs, with a tapered waist.

Purse question: How many are too many? It’s hard for me to answer that but I generally like to have a casual option and a more dressed-up option in any given season.

Looking for an eyeliner for the waterline that won’t budge. I haven’t found one yet! It’s kind of impossible because you’re applying it to a generally moist area of your eye!

Mini review on your Maya Brenner Necklace? It’s incredibly sturdy and I almost never take it off. Highly recommend! 


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Nea says · 08.20.21

Kate you are beautiful inside and out! You inspire me. Love your blog! I started following you after a highlighting epic hair fail and needing an updo hair style to hide it. Thank you Thank you!!! Keep doing what you are doing and being real! God Bless You Girl!!!

Danielle says · 08.20.21

So many great items sweetie!

Danielle |

Melanie Davis says · 08.20.21

I have used the Sleep Spray and I loved it so much I repurchased and give it as gifts!

Ashly says · 08.20.21

Maybe you’ve already covered this, but do you like the Bobbi Brown eyeshadow sticks even more than the Laura Mercier ones? I bought the LM ones at your suggestion and LOVE them. Just curious if there’s a big difference. Thank you!!

Kate says · 08.21.21

There isn’t really a big difference! I use both interchangeably!

Jill says · 08.21.21

Hi, Kate! Love your posts! Have you tried Persona’s eyeliner in your waterline? It stays better than anything else I’ve used and I’ve tried them ALL.

Kasandra says · 08.21.21

Smashbox Always on gel eyeliner has been my waterline favorite. I’ve used it for a few years (the black color) and have no issues with it transferring. I set my under eyes with a powder first which may be helpful.

M. says · 08.21.21

Sorry, I am curious by nature 🙂 so I am going to be direct – WOULD you ever consider doing Botox, or is it a no-go for you? No reasoning needed, just wondering what your personal thoughts are on it, as someone in the beauty industry. I know lots of people can feel very differently about it and that’s OK 🙂

Erin says · 08.21.21

Love the sleep pillow spray – I find the travel sizes so helpful for family trips. A spritz on the pillow makes my kids believe it’s a magic spray that’ll make them sleep and they don’t seem to fight it as much!

Gretchen Deaton says · 08.22.21

Hey! I’m also doing the sprint triathlon next month in Raleigh! It’s been hard trying to get workouts in with this heat and humidity!! I did the same one 8 years ago and now I’m trying to challenge myself again. Best of luck to you!

Lisa H says · 08.22.21

Triathlon race prep advice: Practice running in your tri tank/bike shorts when they are WET- everything moves different when it’s wet 😉 I have a tri tank I love to run in dry but I never race in it because it rubs when it’s wet 😔

Lana Weeks says · 08.23.21

I tightline my waterline with LA Girl ultimate intense stay auto liner in warm brown, and it doesn’t budge for me! May not work for everyone but it’s like $4 at target so worth a try.

Laura says · 08.24.21

Would you use the leave in conditioner in addition to conditioner in the shower?? or in replace of…..

Kate says · 08.24.21

in addition to!

Laura says · 08.24.21

Thank you!! Just got a pool so i think this will be helpful!!

Danyell says · 09.17.21

I love the Sleep Plus Pillow Spray! I received it in a Fab Fit Fun Box years ago and haven’t been without it since. It’s an amazing product that really does help me to sleep more deeply and to stay asleep throughout the night. It also smells pretty amazing and gives my whole bedroom a relaxing feel.