Desk Gallery Wall & Ask Katey

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Gallery Wall: Minted [c/o] Exact links & sizes below! | Office Details: See This Post

Photography by: Madison Katlin

A year or so ago, I started an Ask Katey series an an attempt to be able to answer my most frequently asked questions I get through e-mails! I asked y’all to send me your questions on Snapchat a few weeks ago and I’m not kidding when I say they were ALL about dating! Do I have some single ladies on the blog?! Hey girl, hey!! Please sign up if Luke is the next Bachelor! Please!

This was so much fun for me because I was able to get really honest and vulnerable because I think as women we can all empathize with one another in the dating department. We’ve all had those terrible breakups, cheating horror stories and moments we can share with one another as encouragement. Hire a lie detector test to confront your doubts on the faithfulness of your partner. As always, take whatever I say with a grain of salt. Maybe you disagree with some of my dating advice and that is wonderful! Dating is never one size fits all, this is just what I believed in and what allowed me to see that Paul was my future husband. Please just be respectful that we all have different opinions on it and I’m just sharing mine.

I read a quote once that said, “I’m made up of every human I’ve ever met or listened to.” And I loved it! I always try to take something I admire or like about each person I meet or speak with and incorporate that into my life, so maybe you won’t think all of this is great, but you might find a sentence or two you can relate to, which is my hope!

1.What are your tips for a gallery wall?

If you can’t tell, I have a thing for gallery walls! haha. I have them in every room of our house and it’s such a wonderful way to organically incorporate beautiful life moments or things you are drawn to in a beautifully artistic way. But I have also had so many gallery wall fails so I wanted to share a few tricks I have!

1. I get them professionally framed

Honestly, y’all, I have made one too many trips to Homegoods to find a frame I think is perfect only to return it and find I wasted another trip. At this point I just get them professionally framed but it doesn’t have to be that expensive! I used Minted for this gallery wall in my office and you can customize it all to your budget depending on size and material of frame! These come professionally matted and with tools to hang so you don’t have to mess with it! It will take you 10 minutes!

2. Mix your matting and mounting

I never want my home to feel as if I ran to one department store and got an entire set there. I like things a little more eclectic and the same goes for art! A great way to keep a gallery wall cohesive and curated all at the same time is to keep within a color palette and focus on matting. I wanted the art to be pink, white and black and the frames to be white, black and gold to tie in with the art. Then Minted has the option for you to do floating prints, matted prints or regular framed prints. I’ll show the exact ones below that way you can compare in the photos!

1. Black & White Abstract, this is a 16×20 with the black premium wood frame
2. Peony Print, this is an 11×11 in the white premium wood frame

1. Zebra Print, this is a 16×16 in the matte brass frame
2. Bee Print, this is an 8×8 in the matte brass frame

1. Animal Print, this is a 5×7 in the matte brass frame
2. Rosé Print, this is an 8×10 in the black premium wood frame

2.Do you have any tips or things you’d do/still do to make Paul feel special when you’re busy or did you guys have a date schedule?

Paul works a lot! He definitely does not have the type of job where he will always be home by 6 for dinner and my dad didn’t either so it’s really normal to me. So finding ways to stay connected and make him feel special can sometimes seem hard, because I have to be able to do them in short periods of time.

First things first, I really enjoy cooking for him. Before marriage I rarely cooked! What was the point of making a mess for myself? But now I love to cook and grocery shop because I love making him things he loves. However, he isn’t always home for dinner. So I’ll still cook and put it in different containers so he can take to work and I’ll make sweets for his office. He loves that and I know he feels special because when he is at work he is reminded of it.

It can seem cheesy to say, “Oh I made you cookies for work!” but who doesn’t honestly want to eat a cookie while working?! Who?!

We also always leave each other notes. Depending on who leaves for work first or who runs an errand, the other person will leave a note for that person to find. We each have a box of all the notes we have written one another through the years and it’s such a special habit that we have in our household.

We don’t have a date schedule right now just because it’s the two of us and we are able to go out any night of the week, but I know once the baby is here we plan on having a date schedule. My parents always did and I babysat for a family for years that no matter how many babies were brought in the picture they always had dinner just the two of them on Saturday night. My parents really emphasized that their love went in order from God, their spouse, then their children and my sister and I felt so loved by it because we knew how much they loved one another and I want our child to feel the same!

I’m so thankful that both of our families live here because that means we have grandparents, great grandparents, aunts, uncles and their godparents to watch our babe when we do have date night and I’m sure it will be structured just depending upon our little one’s schedule.

3.How did you and Paul meet?

Paul and I met through mutual friends. He went to Texas Tech but he actually went to grad school where I got my undergrad. So while I was a freshman in college he was in grad school and then started working in Dallas once he completed the program so we ended up being in the same area.

All of that to say, his friends at Texas Tech actually overlapped with my friends in college and when he was back here for his career they would hang out. So I had heard about who Paul was!

One Friday night I was going to dinner with girlfriends and my friend wanted to stop by her boyfriend’s house. I was in a time in college where I did not want to date and just wanted to be with my girlfriends so I was honestly being a brat and irritated we had to stop by his house. I didn’t even want to get out of the car and my friend kept saying, “Okay, Katey, come on! There’s lots of great guys inside.” I was not a happy camper. But truth be told the ONLY reason I was fine going inside the house was because the boyfriend’s mom actually had a show on HGTV and I wanted to see all her home decor in real life. #KateyProblems

We walked in and I actually stayed in the kitchen because I didn’t want to go out to the pool where all the guys were. Paul came inside and started to talk to me and then when my friends said for us to leave I was so sad! I was like, “Wait! We don’t need to go to dinner!” But we did and my friend Kara gave Paul my number so he asked me out the next day.

It was so nice that we had a lot of mutual friends because for about a month of us hanging out I was able to be with my girlfriends and it just felt really comfortable and natural. I actually told him we had to go on 19 dates before we could be boyfriend and girlfriend and he still has the list in his phone to this day! He would write them all out after each one.

4.What is one beauty product that is worth the splurge?

Wait! I don’t like this question! haha. So much pressure! I would say my Donna Karan Deodorant because that’s a silly price for deodorant but I wouldn’t say it’s a splurge either considering it is under $27. I would honestly say Neulash. I can’t use it right now while pregnant but you better believe when I am finished breast feeding that I’m buying 4 tubes! haha. I have a full post on it here!

5.What dating advice do you have?

I get this question in e-mails quite a bit, and sometimes I laugh because I think, “Oh boy, let me think back to all my cringe-worthy dates and moments I’ve had!” But I think the three things that really boiled down to me knowing Paul was the one were:

1. Let your expectations be known up front

I’m not saying that your first date will be perfect and you’ll tell both agree on every single thing. Dating is two imperfect people trying to enjoy their imperfect lives together. However, I wasn’t timid with Paul. Like I said earlier, I didn’t even think it was a time in my life I would really be dating because I was going to be graduating college early and focusing on my career, and I didn’t have anything to lose. So on our first date I brought up everything. If he couldn’t respect my religion, my morals, my political views, my stance on dating and how I viewed marriage then what was the purpose of going on continual dates?

Before our first date when he was opening my door I said, “Before I get in, I just need to let you know this is what I believe in, so if that bothers you maybe we shouldn’t go.” Which is crazy and I don’t even know how that came out of my mouth. But he tells everyone he knew then and there he’d marry me because I wouldn’t fluff through a few dates and cocktails and be timid on my faith.

I’m not encouraging you to say that on your next date. In fact, honestly, please don’t do that when he is opening the door! Something overcame me! haha. But I would encourage you that if you don’t want a serious boyfriend, if you do want a serious boyfriend, if you have a really strong faith or if you are really passionate about a certain viewpoint in life don’t be afraid to bring those up in conversation. If he is a good man, he will respect you and value your thoughts even if those don’t fall directly in line with his. You don’t have to find your clone, just find someone that respects everything you think because it means he always respect you.

You should never be scared or ashamed to say what you want out of a relationship and what you stand for! The right ones won’t run and the wrong ones will, so it just saves you the trouble! The reason I also say this is because so many times you can get in a relationship with someone and start to get attached and 3 months in you wake up and think, “We don’t agree on anything, he thinks what I think is silly and now I’m too involved to end it!” Trust me, I’ve been in a relationship where I couldn’t help but think, “EVERYTHING we want is different, how did it get this way?” And I know it’s because I was too timid to state what I wanted.

2. If you wouldn’t want your son to be 100% like him, leave him

I’ve also had my fair share of poor relationships and relationships that lasted a few months too long. This isn’t said to disrespect those relationships by any means, but honestly to say if I had been a kinder girlfriend I would have let them go earlier because that would have been the most loving thing to do at the time!

Sometimes it can be so easy to fall into a continual excuse trap. “Oh he isn’t answering my calls because he is with his friends and he had a long week.” “He’s being mean to me right now because he is tired and cranky and he just gets that way sometimes.” Or my personal favorite I think we’ve all thought at one point, “He is acting odd because he is about to graduate and is freaking out about the future!” I mean what?! Dating is doing life together and with life, comes stress, fear, uncertainty and nerves. It’s never an excuse to be mean or a jerk to one another. True respect doesn’t require excuses. It requires understanding, but never excuses.

I had a relationship like that once where I never really agreed with his actions but we were great friends so I always found excuses. I remember my mom looking at me one evening and said, “Look, you’re my daughter and I will always try to understand your decisions. But I’m telling you right now if you don’t want your son to be 100% like the guy you’re dating, leave him.”

And honestly, I thought that was such an aggressive comment to make! I was not thinking anything about marriage at the time, so thinking of a son? That shocked me. But the more I thought about it the more it made sense. Who you date is a reflection of what you accept and what you think is appropriate behavior, just like what you would raise your son to aspire to be.

I thought about having a son one day and if he were to be like my boyfriend at the time and I knew I wouldn’t really be okay with that. I wouldn’t make excuses for my son and wouldn’t find that behavior acceptable. It was the best advice my mother ever gave me!

I feel so blessed to be married to Paul and this isn’t to say that we have a perfect marriage and that we are perfect together. No one has a perfect marriage and my goodness, my mouth gets me in trouble so much! Why are southern girls SO sassy?! It’s a blessing and a curse. He is imperfect, but if our future son acted 100% like Paul on Paul’s worst day, I would be praising God day-in and day-out and couldn’t imagine a person I’d want him to be more like.  Now that we are having a little one, this statement is so applicable. I don’t even care what traits of mine they have, I’d love for them to be 100% like Paul and I think that’s a good sign that you know you’ve found someone you love and respect with everything you have.

3. Know that you deserve to be pursued

1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession.”

Whether you identify as a Christian or not, I hope that this point can tell you that you are worthy. You are worthy of respect, you are worthy of value and you are worthy of being pursued. You don’t not deserve to be ignored, to be toyed with or to have games played just because you are a female. That’s never okay.

I think so many times we as women either find excuses for men or relationships because we don’t think we really deserve any better, but I’m telling you that you do!

And the same goes for how you treat a man! They are just as much worthy of respect as you are and if you know a date isn’t going anywhere, don’t feel like you need to draw it out. Respect him and his time and let him know your feelings in the most polite manner.

This post was so scary to write and share, but I really hope that a sentence or even a few words were helpful to you! Do you have any advice you’d love to share to other girls?! Comment below! And as always, thank you so much for spending part of your day with me!


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  1. Kelcie wrote:

    Love this!!!! Do more of these! So insightful 🙂 the pretty pictures were an added bonus!

    Published 12 Aug 16Reply
  2. Jessica wrote:


    This was an awesome post! I have been dating my boyfriend for around 7 months now and we have had some of those more serious conversations already. I completely agree that those are so important and the only way to have a foundation for a relationship. At the moment we are doing long distance, and while it can be INCREDIBLY challenging, it forces us to be that much more vocal/honest about our feelings and opinions.

    I don’t shy away from those tougher conversations, because I am looking for someone to spend my life with, and I completely agree that if you aren’t honest up front, what is the point?

    Of course everyone’s relationships are very different, but I liked the point your mother made. I’m not sure I would have ever thought about things that way. I also think it’s important the way they were raised, because they will similarly want to raise their children that way. My boyfriend went to West Point and is serving in the army until next fall where he will then go off to graduate school. He is one of the hardest working people I have ever met (sounds like your Paul) and he makes me really proud!

    Love this post and so glad you shared your feelings/thoughts on dating and relationships! And I 100% believe that when the right guy comes along everything will make sense for why your past relationships didn’t work.

    Published 12 Aug 16Reply
  3. Sarah Beth wrote:

    I love this post. It’s so sweet. I’m not even that much of a romantic but reading about your everyday love with Paul and how you serve each other is just encouraging to this single 23 year-old grad student. Also I needed a reminder of my standards and that they’re okay and the right guy won’t fade away when I bring them up. Lately my friends have been talking to guys for a few weeks and then all of the sudden don’t ever hear from the guy again- even Christian guys who you’d think would know better than to treat their sisters in Christ like that! Then a guy that I went out with a few times who texted me first every day for a month just stopped contacting me. Ghosting is not okay and I needed a reminder that a good guy and the right guy won’t do that! I think it’s easy for us girls to think we did something wrong when it’s not even us with the problem.

    Published 12 Aug 16Reply
  4. Virginia wrote:

    This is a great advice post, Katey. You are wise beyond your years! Your decorating taste is also impeccable. I always love to see your decorating decisions- this framed art ensemble is amazing!

    Published 12 Aug 16Reply
  5. Morgan wrote:

    Your last comment about being pursued really hits home for me! I tell my friends all the time when they ask why I’m not dating or it didn’t work out with a guy and I tell them its because there’s a lack of pursuit. I want to be his priority, not an after-thought

    How 2 Wear It []

    Published 12 Aug 16Reply
  6. Ashley wrote:

    I love this post! What an encouragement you are to so many women! Thank you for being so transparent and vulnerable. Also I love love love Minted!! I keep going back and forth on frames for gallery wall in my apartment but I think your post just inspired me to finally make a decision!


    Published 12 Aug 16Reply
  7. Emilee Rummel wrote:

    I love the gallery wall and the dating advice! I have been dating my boyfriend now for 10 months and before that I had never had a boyfriend before and only gone on like two other dates. Plus, at 25, I’d never been kissed! My dating advice for people is date in the real world. Don’t base your relationship off of “goals” or fairy-tales, but enjoy your story for what it is. My boyfriend and I met online and are long distance and I would have never written either one of those things into my story, but the Lord knows what I need above what I want. 🙂

    Published 12 Aug 16Reply
  8. Maricia wrote:

    I loved everything about this post! I can totally relate to making excuses for guys and not thinking I was worth more. I recently got engaged and I truly didn’t realize what I was missing from my life. I love the saying about your son being exactly like your husband, I truly would be so happy to have a son like my fiancé.

    Published 12 Aug 16Reply
  9. Grace Poe wrote:

    I think this post was really great, I think there is a lot of truth to what you said. I agree marry some one you would want your son to be like. My only issue with that saying is this, what if my husband is all American regular guy likes his football, goes to the bar with buddies at times, does guy stuff. And my son happens to be gay and is very feminine, my son won’t be 100% like my husband. Now if my husband had great morals likes respect the fact my son is gay, or maybe doesn’t want to register as being a boy maybe he wants to register as a girl. I think what’s important is that you marry a guy who was great morals and will teach you kids (if you choose to have them) those great morals. Kids should be themselves, not just like anyone else. I understand what you were saying in your post, but just keep in mind that kids are their own person. I’m constantly compared to my mom because I look just like her. Well we’re nothing the same, my moms from the mid west she’s a nurse, she’s super religious and a little close minded. Me on the other hand I’m a very opened minded person, I have no interest in being a nurse, I would honestly like to work at Disney world in a management position, I don’t believe in religion I feel after life you make a chose where you spend your after life, I smoke pot and live with my dad who is 76 years old. My mother and I are like day and night, but that’s okay! I just wanted to give you an opinion from a point of view you might not have thought about it. I love your blog, I’m not here to bash it just giving you some feedback. Thanks always for writing this blog, I really like the ask Katey.

    Published 12 Aug 16Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Hi Grace!

      I really appreciate your comment and thank you so much for reading my post! I 100% agree with what you were saying and was trying to convey that as well, I just didn’t do as good of a job going into depth as you did. I definitely don’t mean that you want your son to literally be 100% like your husband in terms of things they like or even viewpoints! My mom meant it more like, “Are you proud of how your boyfriend treats you and others?” Because you would want to feel the same about your son. And she didn’t even mean it about reproducing. She just meant I was making a lot of excuses for a boyfriend and yet I would hope I wouldn’t have to make those for my son. When I thought about it in those terms it made a lot of sense! Paul isn’t really like his dad, nor is his brother [his brother is actually gay as well!] but they both are incredible men and so is his father! So I know his father taught them both how to be loving, compassionate, and kind which is all I could ever hope or want! That’s all my mom meant by that statement! Just looking at the heart, not necessarily literal characteristics! She just happened to put it in a “mom-iffied” haha statement that can sometimes seem all encompassing. Thank you so much for sharing your dialogue with me! 🙂 I hope you have a great day and thank you so much for reading!! It means a lot to me and I’m really glad you went in depth because it’s really comforting to see we share a lot of similar viewpoints!



      Published 12 Aug 16Reply
      • Grace Poe wrote:

        Thanks for the reply, it really meant so much you read my thoughts. I think it’s awesome how get back to so many of readers, in this day and age it can takes weeks to get a reply back from a blogger. Your blog makes me feel like I’m at a cute little bed and breakfast, rather then a resort ????. As always I look forward every morning to starting my day with your blog, keep slaying at life girl ????.

        Published 12 Aug 16Reply
  10. Carlie wrote:


    Wasn’t there a video somewhere of your engagement to Paul? I went to show a friend and I could have sworn there was one but I can’t find it! Haha maybe I’m crazy?!

    Thank you!!

    Published 12 Aug 16Reply
  11. Amanda Carignan wrote:

    You are honestly so inspiring. I love these posts because of how confident you are in your beliefs. Whether they are completely in line with mine 100% of the time is irrelevant because it offers another perspective to chew on. Cheers, girl!

    Published 12 Aug 16Reply
  12. Kaitlin wrote:

    I love this post so much! Thank you for your vulnerability. I so so needed to read all of this, especially the part about wanting your son to be just like him. Anyway, I loved this!

    Published 12 Aug 16Reply
  13. Madi Dossey wrote:

    Love this Katey! Thank you for
    Staying so true to your faith and being yourself, I look up to you!

    Published 12 Aug 16Reply
  14. I’m sending you this emoji through my iPhone ???????????????? my baby boy is 11 weeks old and putting God and my husband before him may be difficult at times but so worth it! I was constantly “oh I’ll definitely leave my baby for date night” when I was pregnant and when the time came I was a nervous wreck. Its so helpful to always have our husbands to remind us of our spiritual paths and help encourage us when we need it. A great mom is definitely someone who puts forth the effort to be a good wife and a daughter of Christ first! I’m so happy for this next chapter in yalls life and cannot wait to follow you through it!

    Published 12 Aug 16Reply
  15. Lindsey Stroud wrote:

    I feel like I discovered the best piece of dating advice, EVER with “If you wouldn’t want your son to be 100% like him, leave him.” Such great advice, and an awesome post! xo

    Published 12 Aug 16Reply
  16. Jessica Bradley wrote:

    I seriously feel like I need to print this out in pamphlet format and hand it out to all my girlfriends. THANK YOU for being so willing to be vulnerable and opening up with such great advice – it might sound corny but it was an answer to my prayers this week; the exact reminder I needed about what sort of journey I want to be on when it comes to dating. You are just absolutely fabulous – xoxo.

    Published 12 Aug 16Reply
  17. Amanda wrote:

    Great advice, Katey! I can honestly say I married a man I want our son to 100% like! 🙂

    xo Amanda

    Published 12 Aug 16Reply
  18. Marissa wrote:

    Katey, this is exactly what I needed to hear right now. I always look forward to your personal posts and your advice on Snapchat. You not only have great style and taste, you’re a great rolemodel!

    Published 12 Aug 16Reply
  19. Kelsey wrote:


    It takes a lot to open yourself up in the way that you did and be vulnerable and I really appreciate it. I love your honesty and openness with your readers! I loved this post! Dating in this day and age is complicated and confusing. I loved your thoughts and advice. Great post as always!

    Xo, Kelsey

    Published 12 Aug 16Reply
  20. First off, I love that you went inside the mom’s house just to see what it looked like inside!! I too love going inside people’s houses to see what they look like! I also love the advice you gave and what your mom said was great!

    I just have gone through the worse time in my life with someone who was fantastic in the beginning but then just treated me awful the last couple years (8 years total). It is truly devastating and brought out so many insecurities in me that I never had before and has made me doubt my worth.

    I’m still trying to learn that his issues are not my fault and I did everything that I could to make it work and that I am a good person and deserve to be treated right. It will definitely be a long process!

    I’m so glad you shared your opinions! xoxo

    Published 12 Aug 16Reply
  21. Kiah wrote:

    Hi Katey,
    Thank you for sharing this post! I’m a mother with a 15 year old daughter and I hope she’s as smart as you about dating. I have a very personal question that I hope doesn’t cross the line. Did you and Paul wait until marriage to….? I did Passport to Purity with my daughter and I pray that she waits. It would be so awesome to give her a role model! By the way, even if you didn’t, you’re still a great role model for young girls.

    Published 12 Aug 16Reply
  22. Amanda wrote:

    Katey, this was such a wonderful and honest post. You are going to be such a wonderful mother! I hope my future daughter can marry your future son :). Your advice is so inspiring and it’s sad to say we’ve all been in those “bad” relationships and needed a little push in the right direction. <3

    Published 12 Aug 16Reply
  23. Jordan wrote:

    Really loved this post! So happy that you have found your person and that he treats like you deserve. All girls are so deserving of everything you said! Thanks for posting this!

    Published 12 Aug 16Reply
  24. Lulu wrote:

    We are taking our daughter to college this weekend. I will make sure she reads your post on dating. It was awesome! Love you and love your blog! #olemiss

    Published 12 Aug 16Reply
  25. Gladys Jane wrote:

    Great advice. Love your office setup. You’re an inspiration Katey.

    Published 13 Aug 16Reply
  26. Loved reading how you and Paul met!! So cute that he still has your 19 dates!!! Xo


    Published 15 Aug 16Reply
  27. We have almost the exact dating backgrounds! Excellent post, Katey!

    After a really bad break up 2 years ago I turned more to my faith and found Andy Stanley and his New Rules for Love, Sex and Dating Series. It changed my life!!! I learned that you need to be the person you are looking for is looking for. From my past relationships I learned exactly what I wanted and did not want in a life partner, I knew all the bad that I had gone through with my ex was only preparing me for the best. I started living my life in that manner and my current boyfriend walked into my life shortly after. We’ve been together now for 2 years and he is 100% “the one”. When we first started dating I told him exactly what I am looking for in a relationship and what I will not tolerate- I thought for sure he would be scared off but it only made him want to be with me more. It’s so true that stating your expectations upfront is going to show you who the actual good guys are!

    This changed my dating life & I highly recommend it to anyone who seems stuck:

    xox Tess | Sequins are the New Black

    Published 15 Aug 16Reply
  28. We have such similar dating backgrounds, I love this post Katey!

    After a bad breakup I turned to my faith and started listening to Andy Stanley’s The New Rules for Love, Sex and Dating and it changed my life! My best advise on dating is to be the person you are looking for is looking for. It’s so true and the moment I started living my life this way, my current boyfriend walked into my life. I’m a total believer that you need to not be afraid to set expectations from the beginning- you will only save yourself time on the finding the good guys that will value and respect you for who you are and what you are looking for!

    xox Tess | Sequins are the New Black

    Published 15 Aug 16Reply