Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Twelve Years

I took this on September 12, 2001, down the street from my parents' house. These kids sold lemonade and gave the proceeds to the Red Cross. All day long, people stopped by to pay $5, $10, $20 for a cup of lemonade. 

We all have what we remember most about 9/11 - for me, it's two things. The morning that it happened, seeing the second plane hit live on TV. And the way it felt like everyone pulled together afterwards. Even here, 3,000 miles away, we felt a kinship, a togetherness, a we're-all-in-this-together. I remember feeling the most American that I've ever felt then. 

I hope you take a few moments to remember those who perished twelve years ago today. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Labor Day Find: $6 Express Flats!

I know I'm a couple days late on the Labor Day Sale Finds post, but I've been trying to prolong my weekend! Haha, but it didn't work. Also, I only have one item because I tried really hard to ignore all those emails and store banners that wanted my monies. But here are the beauties that I did find when I ventured into the mall with friends on Monday.

Express pointed toe flats in the most gorgeous, vibrant blue ("celestial blue") you've ever seen. And for... $6!! These are on sale for a respectable $24.43 online, so you can still snap them up if you love them, too. And of course you do. 

I've decided that I'm going to end up with a fabulous flat collection. An FFC. It's happening. I already have leopard flats, lemon yellow flats, black jelly flats... I should do a post on all my flats. I'm already planning it... :)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I MADE A FONT! Actually, Two Fonts!

I've always been a typography nerd. 

I used to save scraps of paper with pleasing fonts - menus, invitations, newspaper ads.

I've seen this movie:

I have this shirt: 

So, when I discovered iFontMaker (via A Beautiful Mess), I. Was. Hooked. It's sooo easy to use, sooo fun to play with, and sooo versatile. I'm obsessed.

Here are my two first fonts, created last night in less than 20 minutes. Feel free to use them, to download them, to share them; just give me a linkback if you do! :)


Arabellie available here.


First Try available here


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Cancer Always Wins: Why I'm A Cancer Cynic

I've always been an optimist.

I don't expect people to take advantage of others - to cheat, or lie, or steal. I know these things happen - but I don't assume that they will. When confronted with evil acts, I wonder what part of their past fueled those actions.

I'm the one who makes the best of what is dealt. Who rebounds quickly to changes. Who others look to to take charge.

I go to bed thinking of the exciting things on my plate the next day. And I wake up and think, "Today. Today will be a great day."

 But there's one thing that I've been cynical about for almost 20 years.


Before I was 9, cancer was the zodiac sign that came after mine. It was a constellation I saw in March. What it became was a death sentence.

My young, vibrant, athletic uncle was diagnosed with leukemia. Acute myeloid leukemia. At 35. He had two young sons, a wife, a career, and supposedly, his whole life ahead of him. He lasted for 354 more days. Which was, apparently, his whole life. I was 10 when he died, and 10 year olds know most of what is going on. And though my parents didn't speak in whispers around us, we were aware of his condition most of the time. When he was in remission, we all went to dinner, and we even went to Vegas once or twice. When he was in the hospital, which was most of that time, we visited him every day. Every day. In traffic. Rain or shine. I did my homework in the car, we ate fast food on the way, and we went every day. So, I felt the ups and downs. I knew when he needed a bone marrow transplant, and I knew when the nurses told my dad he didn't qualify as a donor. I knew when he had a stroke, and I knew when he didn't seem to recognize me. I watched a person wither away when I was 10.

Cancer was a bad word in my head after my uncle died. Death was now everywhere. I circled the day he died on every calendar I owned for years afterwards. And I knew that a battle against cancer couldn't be won.

Ten years later, my grandmother told us she had breast cancer. It turned out that she had been ignoring a hard lump in her breast for months and, like most women her age, never thought about getting a mammogram. She underwent chemo and radiation and went into remission. She was in remission for so long, that I was sure I'd found a new perspective on cancer. Three years later, she started getting forgetful, and we thought she was developing dementia. She would say, "I just don't feel like I'm normal. Something is wrong!"

It turns out, her cancer had come back with a vengeance. She and my grandfather celebrated their eighty-first birthdays together with a family dinner in August. Her cancer was officially diagnosed as active the next week. By Thanksgiving, she'd be gone.

Her cancer had metastasized to her brain and was affecting her memory. So, she began radiation. It was very hard on her and she went from an extremely active octogenarian to a feeble woman in a wheelchair. She had no short-term memory, and couldn't control her bodily functions any longer. On Halloween, my dad called me crying and said that the latest scans showed her spine was riddled with tumors - at least 20 of them. She was no longer able to make decisions for herself and we decided to try more radiation. Three weeks later, it was clear that wasn't working. We took her home for hospice care and she died the day before Thanksgiving.

Cancer had won again.

Four years ago,  I started seeing a therapist who changed my life. About a year into our relationship, she started forgetting things I had told her; asking who people were when I told a story. She was diagnosed with brain cancer shortly thereafter. I continued to see her for 4 months, even as she started wearing colorful head scarves, and I had to repeat my stories. Eventually, she couldn't make it into the office anymore and she invited me to a session at her home. After that memorably awkward appointment, I stopped going to therapy. She called, and I feigned busyness. She was still very important to me, but it was getting too hard to watch her decline and I knew what was going to happen. What always happens. Two months later, I received a call from her daughter with the news and an invitation to her funeral.

Cancer for the win.

Last December, after my sister's birthday dinner, my grandpa told us that he was diagnosed with lymphoma. Diffuse large B cell lymphoma. A particularly aggressive form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He did one round of chemo, then another. His latest batch of chemo caused him to become muddled. He couldn't remember things we had told him or who we were. He started to fall down a lot and lost strength in his legs. It also made his diabetes exceptionally difficult to control.

His most recent scan showed that all of his tumors were gone except for one. His doctor said that he could do another round of chemo or he could try radiation, a more targeted approach. He opted for the radiation and started it three weeks after his chemo ended. After one week of radiation, he started to notice new tumors - ones he could see and feel. He told the doctor and the doctor said sadly, "Then...I guess we made the wrong decision with the radiation." As of today, my almost-86-year-old grandfather faces another decision - to do another round of chemo (or maybe as many more as he can handle), or to give up.

He's lived a long life and has plenty of stories to tell. But cancer will still win.

Earlier this year, a friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer. At 28 years old. She has been through 2 rounds of chemo, has lost her hair, and about 20 pounds. She lost her boyfriend, her career, and her self-confidence. She had to have her eggs harvested because she will likely go into menopause from the chemo. After the chemo, she will go through radiation, and then a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. All before 30.

She may get through this. I say that rationally. But, what do I think will happen? What do I expect to happen?

Cancer always wins.

Some of you may read this and think it's awful. Others will think it's sad. You know what? It's both. Cancer is awful and it's sad. I still have nightmares about my uncle's illness. And when I was a caregiver to my grandma, I would go home every night and cry. When I think of my dad, who's about to lose every member of his family to that bad word, I want to cry now.

My cynicism about this issue doesn't mean I'm not hopeful for a cure. I hope that one day we find something that can beat cancer. I hope that I can stop marking the deathdays on my calendar like I do the birthdays. But until the cure is developed, I don't assume that anyone is going to make it. Because I've never seen it happen.

But I do encourage people to donate platelets and to sign up for the marrow registry. I did both for the first time on the 8th anniversary of my uncle's death - when I was 18. I still make a donation every year on that date. Learn more about and sign up for the National Marrow Donor Program here. I donate platelets at the hospital where my uncle was treated, but you can find more information here on the process and where to donate.

With our help, maybe there will be a day when cancer doesn't win.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Royal Caribbean 7 Day Cruise: Nassau, Bahamas

I just got back from a 7 day Royal Caribbean cruise, my chickadees! I planned on taking pictures of my outfits and my on board activities, but a. it was SO hot that I gave up on building cute outfits and b. I ended up not carrying a purse at all on board, so no camera. But I DID have an awesome time and I'm going to post a three day recap, with one port of call each day. First up: Nassau, Bahamas!

I didn't have an excursion in Nassau, so I just wandered, shopped, and tried to get the feel of this tiny island. We docked at about 7 am and I was on island by 8. But it was 88ยบ by 10 am, with what felt like 300% humidity, so I got back on the boat and headed to the pool. These are my favorite shots of my morning meanderings. 

{All the islands in the Bahamas - that misty effect is actually my lens all fogged up from the humidity!}

{The Christ Church Cathedral, built in 1670.}

{Piracy played a big part in the history of the islands.}


{It was pre 10 am and the plazas were deserted.}

{I almost bought this.}

And here are some shots of the ship, Allure Of The Seas, which just happens to be a spectacular place to spend a week. 

{Allure of the Seas has "neighborhoods" and these beauties can be found in Central Park.}

{Our spacious room with an interior balcony (shown below).}

{Overlooking the Boardwalk neighborhood looking towards the aft side of the ship. Those interior balconies are what we had.}

{This is one (of the many) pools - this is the sports pool, where there was always a volleyball game to be found.}

Later this week, I'll post the next port of call - St. Thomas, USVI!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Found Furniture!

I found this cabinet just chillin' on someone's curb yesterday. I immediately made a loop around and went back to inspect it. It's in great condition, with just a small scratch on top. And once I cleaned and polished it, it shines like a beauty! 

I've since added my wine rack and a runner, but I'll still playing with the upper configuration. 

As for the inside, I'm thinking I'll use one shelf to store my vintage linen collection in pretty baskets. On another shelf, I may store some beautiful glass cookware that I picked up at an estate sale a while ago. But I'm open to ideas and suggestions! Before I decided to put this in my kitchen, I imagined shoes or purses in it, but I really like it in my kitchen, so that's where it will stay for now!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

What I Wore: Sunday Movie With The Folks

Lately, I've been feeling the lady-like vibe. Skirts, fitted tops, mid-lengths, florals - this is where I'm happiest. Maybe it's just my way of rebelling against the tank top and shorts clad masses that are everywhere since it's been so hot. Not to say I don't enjoy tanks and shorts, but sometimes you want something a little more...feminine.

I wore this outfit to a morning movie with my parents on Sunday, and then I took it grocery shopping. It was the perfect warm weather (but not crazy hot) outfit. 

Top: JCP
Skirt: JCP

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Saturday Selections

Today, I am all over this sale at Ann Taylor LOFT - 60% off shorts, tees, and tanks with code "SHOP60"! All sale is also an extra 60% off!!

I've got these beauties in my cart, soon to be on the way to me. 

{camdyn cutout pumps $49.99, on sale for $20!}

{floral dream shell $29.88, on sale for $11.95!}

{floral print mid length skirt $29.88, on sale for $11.95!}

These lovelies are definitely on my want list, but I'm going to wait for them to go on sale.

{striped tie front tank $29.50}

{wavy chevron cardigan $59.50} 

Tell me if you find anything you can't live without!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Ten Things I Promise To My Future Husband


As an unmarried 20-something approaching 30, I have a lot of friends who are married, getting married, or have been together long enough to get married soon. And what do said friends talk about often? Their significant others! 

I've had my share of long-term relationships, but my longest was 3 years, so in some ways the bloom didn't even get a chance to leave the rose. But watching my friends navigate the rough seas that come with building a life with a whole other person (and sometimes making newer, smaller people along the way) has taught me A LOT. 

And like a teenager looks at their parents and says, "I'll NEVER do that to my kids!", I observe my friends and think of what I'd love to incorporate into my next relationship and what I hope I never do. Here's my list.

I promise:

1. That it's okay for me to go out with you and you without me - even when we have kids. 
If I'm really tired, or I don't feel like being social, it's okay for you to go out with your friends now and then. Sometimes, I'd love for you to stay in with me, but I'm sure a few hours alone will be a delicious luxury one day. And this should hold true, even when we have munchkins - if you don't want to leave the couch and the baby, but I really need a happy hour, why not? Marriage shouldn't be a tit-for-tat affair.

2. You can have secrets - (and so can I). 
I don't have to know what you think about everything. If it helps you to share it with me, then share it. But sometimes, the things we think are better left in our heads - especially if they're about my family, my weight, my hair. We were individuals before we were a couple and you're allowed some privacy. 

3. As long as you never look at them again, you can keep those boxes with stuff from old girlfriends in the garage/attic/basement. 
I have my own memory boxes; I'm sentimental. When I'm dating someone, I keep everything in a shoe box, so I can lovingly look at our memories now and then. And when I'm no longer dating them, I seal the boxes and put them in the closet. But I don't toss them. Because those things happened! Those relationships made me who I am, the amazing wife that I hope to be. Throwing them away would be like deleting the pictures from past events. Just because I'm never going to look at them again, doesn't mean I should get rid of them. They act as a record of a life lived. 

4. That I will not put myself in situations that make you uncomfortable. 
This is a lesson that I wish more couples would learn. I hear too many people say things like, "Your insecurity is not my problem." You know what, future husband, your insecurity isn't MY problem, but it would be OURS. I would hope you would try to work on that, maybe in therapy. And as your wife, it is my responsibility to not make you wonder. I'm the person who should make you feel safe, secure, and whole. If you could accidentally come across Facebook pictures of me getting a lap dance at a girls' night out, I'm doing something wrong. I never want to have to say, "It's not what you think."

5. To continue to do the things that made me a whole and interesting person before I met you - and that continue to make me happy. 
I have a pretty busy life right now and while I'd happily give some of that up for you, I'd never give up all of it. I like having wine and appetizers with my girls. I like babysitting for my munchkins. I like shopping alone. I like volunteering. I like finding things at garage sales and rehabbing them. I like couponing and seeing full shelves in my mini stockpile. I like eating alone in restaurants with a good book and unlimited Diet Coke. I like going to concerts you might find dorky (Asia, Hanson, NKOTB). I like buying yoga groupons. You could (maybe) join me for that one. But I really like shopping alone. And I really like babysitting. I'm happy to make space for you, future husband, but I'll never change who I am. 

6. To make you feel needed, even when I may feel like I could do it myself. 
I'm an independent woman. I've lived alone for almost three years; I open my own jars, take out my own trash, and kill my own spiders. On a bigger scale, I entertain myself, take care of myself, and support myself.    I plan multi country itineraries and then travel them, alone. For better or worse, I don't *need* a man right now, in the way that a lot of my contemporaries do. However, that's not something you should ever feel. It's important for people to feel needed in a relationship and I am happy to ask you to reach things on tall shelves, to open jars, and maybe even to set up the DVD player, because gosh, I just don't know how those things work. 

7. To not make you feel like you don't do things as well as I could do them myself. 
This is another big one in my book, like #4. If you do something as a surprise or a favor, how crappy is it of me to point out that it's not EXACTLY as I would have done it. If I come home after you've been watching the baby and the only thing I can see is how you didn't put on his diaper the same way I do, then I have a problem. These things build resentment and, worst of all, they chip away at the mutual respect that will be a building block of our relationship. Research has even shown that eye-rolling (a classic sign of contempt and disrespect) can be a "strong predictor for divorce". 

8. To never fight with you in front of our friends or family. 
A tiff here, a spat there: sure. But an important discussion (argument) about a big issue should not be held in front of other people. I'm not saying we pretend like we never disagree, I'm just saying it's not okay to put on a show. 

9. To not become cynical about love, our life together, and our future. 
I never want to use the word divorce. If you can say it, you can do it. "Maybe we should take a break?" "Let's take some space." "I can't handle this - us - right now." Not allowed. Relationships take work, continuous work, and there are no easy outs here. I'm not marrying you with the backup plan that we can always get divorced if I change my mind/something happens/things don't work out.

10. To always let you take out the trash. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

My Quest For A Formal Dress

Lately, I've been getting more and more into fashion. My Pinterest is covered with handbags, and shoes, and beautiful clothes that I WANT, WANT, WANT. But alas, I'm cheap (and not independently wealthy), so I have to look for other options to get the look that I want.

One of my new favorite sources for clothes online is eFoxcity. For example, My lovely friend Saba is having a blowout 30th birthday party this weekend and it's FORMAL. Which is great for her, because she's always going to fancy parties, but me? I have...sundresses. So, I had to find a dress, but I didn't want to break the bank. Enter eFoxcity and their evening gowns

This A-line, sweetheart neckline dress is just my style. It's floor-length satin in the most gorgeous hunter green. At at only $78, I can actually do that. 

I LOVE the style of this dress. It covers a multitude of flaws, but still looks chic and on trend. Also, that black bodice would be so slimming. At $133, it's still definitely doable. 

I also looked in the bridesmaid dresses section, because sometimes those are the cutest ones (seems weird, right?).

This dress is pure romance. The crossed bodice, the ruching, the pleats. I'm swooning over here! I even think that this baby pink color would make me look so tan. This beautiful number is only $108.

Holy moly, I can't even stand the drama of this dress. I LOVE it! The chapel train, the shoulder accents and the pinned bodice...this might be the one! And, it's only $97! 

More reasons to shop at eFoxcity
- They have extended sizes, from US 0-26W -
- All of these dresses are available in a ton of colors and you can even customize your own! -
- They offer FREE worldwide shipping (with no minimums!) -
- Sign up to stay in touch via email and you'll get a 10% off code! - 

This was a sponsored post and I was compensated. All opinions are mine, however!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


As you may know, Google Reader is going to be kaput very, very soon. As an alternative, why not use Bloglovin? I think they're a great resource for reading your favorite blogs. Follow my blog with Bloglovin!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Raffle For Brain Surgery ~ FINE WINE, DINING AND SHOES!!

Hello Loves ♥ I have an excellent opportunity for you to do some good AND get some goodies in return. You could win one (or more!) of THREE prizes!

The prizes:

RAFFLE #1: A case of wine (12 bottles). To keep you warm and toasty throughout the year (valued over $100).

RAFFLE #2: Two $50 Sole Society gift card! $100 in total value to spend on those feet of yours or to treat your girlfriend, mom, sister or best friend.

RAFFLE #3: $50 Chili's gift card which may also be used at Macaroni Grill, On the Border Mexican Grill, or Maggiano's Little Italy!

How it works: Each $5 donation gets you ONE entry into ONE prize package of your choice. You may enter as many times as you like. Simply send your $5 (minimum) payment to Katie's PayPal ( at and make sure you note what prize you're interested in winning on the message board below. Example: "$15 towards raffle #2 and $10 towards raffle #3."

The purpose of this raffle is to raise money for Erika Santillan's family. Her mother was diagnosed with a brain tumor 2 weeks ago and she needs brain surgery ASAP. At the end of this raffle, all donations will we going to this cause. Please consider giving a few dollars of your hard-earned money to a good cause. Think of your mom, your sister, your best friend.

Raffle Ends 5:00pm April 11, 2013. Names will we drawn at RANDOM and winners will be announced that evening.

Thank you for your consideration! If you think any of your friends might be interested please feel free to share this with them! Good Luck!!!

**You can also donate directly here, but then you won't be entered into the raffle.**

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Suck It Up, Buttercup

I recently ordered this fantastic wall sign from SpunkyFluff on etsy. You should check out her shop, it's addictive - you'll want everything!
I chose this one because it's multi-purpose:
it says
"get out of bed and get to the gym"
"get off the couch and clean this house"
"finish your cry and get it together"
...which pretty much addresses my life concerns.
so it's perfect!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Save a Life! Join the National Marrow Donation Program!

There is no cure for cancer, right? Well, for some patients with blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma, there is. A bone marrow transplant. Donated from a healthy person like YOU. Now, don't freak out - it's not that scary. There are even non-surgical donation possibilities. Even with surgery, you'd be back to normal within 3 weeks. That's nothing - you just saved a life!

If you're still thinking, I'm not sure... think of this: most of the registry is White. If you are Black, Pacific Islander, Asian, Hispanic, or mixed - you can make an even bigger difference. And if you're White, you can still save a life - matches are not based strictly on ethnicity.

It is not a stretch to say that cancer will affect all of us in our lifetimes. Every FOUR minutes, someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer. What if it's YOUR child that needs the transplant? Your mom? Your spouse? What if it's you?

Join today! Be the Match :)
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