a day at the beach at home



This was what I wore for Mother's Day this year. My mom and grandmom love the beach, but neither of them really like going anywhere for Mother's Day, especially places where there would be holiday crowds (like the beach.) So I gave them a "day at the beach at home" instead!

I started things off by giving everyone sunglasses to wear on their head (since we'd be "at the beach" indoors) and started this youtube video for a background soundtrack of beachy noises like seagulls, waves, and wind.

For decorations I got inflatable beach balls from the dollar store (and blew them up manually since I couldn't find our air pump *still coughing two weeks later*) and used them as a centerpiece. I got sand castle buckets, filled them with ice, and used them for sodas and water bottles. My brother let me borrow his collection of conch shells and we placed them all around the kitchen. And I found really cute Jersey Shore themed plates (the location, not the show, lol) at the grocery store. I couldn't find them online but these are really similar.

I made homemade fudge and candy and dressed up the kitchen counter to look like a little boardwalk candy shop! I even pretended they had to order by the pound, lol ;) For dinner my dad and brother cooked on the grill, and for dessert I got churros and funnel cakes from a nearby take-out restaurant and just heated them up in the air fryer when it was time to eat.

My favorite part of the day though was when we played games! I made my own version of the frog boardwalk game with these frogs, and giant ping pong paddles I got at the craft store. I set up three giant bowls on our coffee table in the living room at varying distances, and marked how many points you'd get depending on how far away the bowl was. Then each person got four frogs and had to try to get them into the bowls. It was SO fun, and my mom and grandmom really got into it! After that we played ring toss with pool rings from the craft store and bottles of water placed at varying distances again. When it was all over, I added up the points and everyone got to pick prizes! I got some stuffed animals at the dollar store and strung them up on the bookcase in the living room, with different animals having different point values.

We all had SO much fun, and my Grandmom even said it was the best Mother's Day ever! It might have even been more fun than a *real* day at the beach, lol!


dress - joanie | sweater - forever 21

such fun



Usually every spring I experience a burst of creativity, and until this week I honestly felt like it was going to pass me by this year. I'd had "new pin designs" on my to-do list since *February* but I just wasn't feeling inspired or motivated. My sales have been slowly but steadily declining since about October so that can be really demoralizing and kind of quashes my urge to produce new work. Why make something if it won't sell, etc. But I mean, even if at some point I end up having to get a "real" job, I'd still want to make things. It's fun to make things! Even if nobody else wants to buy them. So when I suddenly got a little burst of creativity earlier this week, through sheer willpower I turned it into a GIANT burst of creativity. I knocked out a new pocket mirror series (over 25 designs hitting the shop next week), and 11 new pin designs. I added four new t-shirt designs to my store (literally zero have sold but IT IS GOOD TO MAKE THINGS JUST FOR THE FUN OF IT) and I have another one ready to list. And I totally cleaned out and reorganized my supply storage, to boot! Phew!

Sometimes when making things is your livelihood it can be tough to separate the "my income relies on this" from the "I genuinely enjoy doing this!" and it's nice to remind myself every now and then that worrying about the first thing shouldn't make the making any less fun :)







what I'd wear to Disneyland



I thought it would be fun to start a little series of outfits I'd wear to specific locations or for specific occasions. I actually intended to pack this outfit for my day in Disneyland last month, but then I found this pretty pink polkadot dress that I ended up taking with me instead. And then once I was actually there I ended up wearing a totally different dress anyway, lol! I love that pink dress but it was the last day of my trip and I was feeling a little bloated so I wanted something more comfy. The photo-ops may have suffered a bit since I was bedecked in black florals instead of pink polka dots, but I was much more comfortable and (tmi??) didn't feel like I had to suck in my stomach all day, lol!

Anyway though, this outfit felt SO Disney-ish to me! The skirt is made out of rainbow tulle and it's SO pretty when you twirl! I got it on the clearance rack at Hot Topic at the mall, and they don't seem to have this color online anymore, but I found some on ebay here. It's actually a My Little Pony dress, but the only themed detail is a little logo on the top corner of the bodice so it's easy to cover up with a cardigan.

Me and my mom are daydreaming about doing Disney World later this year or early next year, and I think this dress will absolutely be coming along if/when we go!




dress - hot topic | cardigan - amazon | shoes - bait footwear

kiss the girl



My parents adopted a new cat last month! The family who brought her into the shelter thought she was a boy, and had named her George. The shelter named her Georgia when they realized she was a girl. And my parents were going to name her Kleo. But she's such a shy scaredy cat that we're all just calling her George so she hears a familiar name. She's honestly the most shy, skittish cat I've ever met! The vet said it's totally normal for some cats to take longer (even a few months!) to adapt to their new home, so we shouldn't worry as long as she's eating, drinking, and using the litter box (which she is.) But she mostly just hangs out under my parents' bed.

She's a black domestic long hair/maine coon mix and she's SOO affectionate and sweet when she ventures out for cuddles. I'll definitely share some photos here once she's more comfortable. I haven't wanted to do kitty paparazzi with her the way I do with Arrietty (who is not only totally game for photos but is *kind of* a camera hog) just because our not-under-the-bed time is so precious, I don't want to put a camera between us when she does come out for cuddles.

Also, unrelated to the cat (if you don't count kitty kisses!) but this dress has the prettiest lip print. I posted a close-up of it on my instagram here. I've been so obsessed with lip prints this year for some reason. I got lip sunglasses, this dress, a lip print shirt, and I made these lip lapel pins. It's sure a lot of kissy stuff for a self-professed spinster, lol!



normal-ish



It feels so nice to be feeling nice enough for outfit posts again! I was diagnosed with the same infection that I had over the holidays, and the recovery process took a lot longer this time. But I caught it quicker since I recognized the symptoms, and I finally went to see a specialist. And she put me on a longer antibiotic regiment to hopefully make sure it doesn't come back a third time. But apparently your chance of recurrence jumps from about 20% to 60% once you've already contracted the infection two times. Yikes!

My treatment just ended three days ago, and it was good timing because my trip to California is tomorrow! I booked this trip back in August of last year, and I had NO idea at the time how much it would end up meaning to me during my two bouts of illness. The idea of sunny California, reuniting with my friends, and getting to visit the happiest place on earth, really got me through a lot of tough nights and gave me a light to look forward to at the end of the tunnel.

I'm still not feeling 100% yet, and in person I think my face has a very "on death's door" pallor to it, but I've made so much progress and I'm able to eat most of my favorite foods again (still holding off on beans and broccoli but I think I'll try them when I get back from my trip!) I've been going for walks with my dad every day, and my fitbit stats moved from "poor" to "fair" heart health -- which is the right direction at least! I'm feeling optimistic and happy...  and honestly THRILLED that I'm not just wearing pajamas every day anymore, lol!



The Holy Grail of Eyeliners



Hey! Long time no see! I'm planning on doing a little catch-up post to let you know what's been going on but first, I had to do this eyeliner post! You NEED to know about this eyeliner. Trust me.

A couple weeks ago I shared an experiment I was conducting on my IG stories. I was testing out a new eyeliner, and its staying power was INSANE. I slept with it on for four days in a row before it started to smudge/flake off. I'll admit it's not the best ocular hygiene ~but~ every single eyeliner I have ever tried has smudged or flaked before I even got in bed the day it was applied. The idea that one could last this long was insane.



I've been a liquid eyeliner junkie since I was in high school. One of my first blog posts here was an ode to eyeliner. My eye shadow/mascara routine might change through the years, but I've never wavered from my thick, winged eyeliner. It's been a struggle though because my eyes are watery, and my eyelids can be oily, so eyeliner always inevitably either disappears in my inner corner, transfers to my upper lid, or just slowly flakes off during the day. I've tried dozens of eyeliners over the years, but nothing was really good enough. These are just the ones that were still kicking around in my makeup drawer today:



Out of these, the only ones I liked were the Stila Stay All Day liner and the NYX Matte Liquid Liner. But the Stila one doesn't produce a very dark black, it has a felt-tip marker applicator which isn't precise enough for me, and it pretty much disappears off of my lid during the day. The NYX one is darker and I like the brush applicator, but it's too wet and usually runs in my inner corner and transfers to my eyelid during the day. And in balmy weather it always slides around and makes me look like I smeared black all over my eyelid. And those are the good ones, lol. They've sufficed, but I was constantly searching for something better.

Enter: MAC Liquidlast Liner

OH. MY. GOD.

First of all, the black is MATTE BLACK. Not a weak watery black, not a shiny vinyl looking black, MATTE BLACK. And it stays matte all day. The brush is a precise brush, not a felt marker. It's so easy to apply a perfect wing! But even if you don't like the brush, you can use your own brush to apply it since it's a bottle with a brush, not a marker with the ink sealed up inside. It does not budge. Even with super watery eyes, it stays put as soon as I apply it -- I can even tightline my upper lid with it and it doesn't bleed!

I've worn it in hot weather, I've worn it when I was crying my eyes out, I've worn it to sleep for three consecutive nights, and I am in total disbelief at its staying power. It goes without saying (like I'd actually be sponsored by MAC? lol) but this is totally not sponsored. I'm just SO obsessed with this eyeliner and I want to sing its praises from the rooftops. I want everyone who's had the same issues as me to be able to stop searching. Personally I bought three bottles of the stuff after I tried it, just preparing in case it ever gets discontinued.

Also, despite how well this stuff adheres itself to your eyelid, it *is* actually easy to remove with makeup remover. I use Cetaphil gentle makeup removing wipes, and it comes off pretty easily! So it's really the best of both worlds. You can fall asleep with it on when you're lazy and wake up ready to go, or you can responsibly wipe it away at night without much tugging on the lid. Win-win!

Also, kind of off subject, but every time I've ever done a makeup-related post on this blog I've struggled so much to get a photo of my eye that doesn't look weird. I have such respect for makeup instagrammers.

neverending story



I took photos of this outfit last week and right now I'm sitting in pajamas that I've been wearing for two days, no makeup, sick again. ARGHHHHH! *shakes fist at the universe* I was so happy to be feeling back to normal and like myself again, and I have been the biggest germaphobe, washing my hands like 100x a day, but I guess my immune system just wasn't running at full capacity yet after my whole ordeal over the holidays.

I was doing so good with outfit posts and videos, too!! But it's the one thing I just can't muster up the energy to do when I'm sick. I'm totally capable of getting work done but when I'm sick I am *not* getting dressed and putting makeup on, lol! I have to go to the doctor and I think sweatpants and maaaaaaybe a quick swipe of eyeliner is going to be the best I can do today. Hopefully I'll be taking outfit photos and posting new videos really soon! I mean, I even bought myself a ring light, I need to get better asap so I can start using it!


shoes - bait footwear | wig - keke wigs

five years with Arrietty!



This little gal has been a member of the family for five years today!

I was sitting here trying to put into words how much she means to me, trying to describe to you why she's such a special kitty, when I heard her meowing in the hallway, her meows getting closer and closer to my door. She walked in, still meowing, with a little rubber ball in her mouth, and then she dropped it at my feet. It's one of many Arrietty quirks that make living with her so much fun!

She's just such a little sweetheart. She loves snuggling with me and sleeps cuddled up next to me every night. I even have a bench instead of a chair at my desk because she was so distraught that she couldn't sit right next to me while I work! She waits for me outside the bathroom door and likes to hop on my lap to keep me company when I eat lunch. She's always by my side whenever I'm home, and so deliriously happy to see me when I get back from outings (even if I've only been out for a few hours!) She likes to lick my hands and my nose, so much so that my family calls me "Arrietty's lollipop" lol! She's just so affectionate and sweet and the most un-aloof cat I've ever known in my life.

She likes to sit on my arm when I'm at my computer so I'll stop working and pay attention to her instead. She loves laying on her back in the sunshine by the back door, watching squirrels and soaking up the sun. I love how often she lays on her back, because it shows how much she trusts us. And she does it ALL the time! If she's sitting at my feet and I bend my knee, she stands up and stretches on my knee like a little trained puppy. It's adorable!

I just feel so lucky to have her, and I'm so happy that I decided to adopt her during a particularly sad moment in my life. It was 100% one of the best decisions I've ever made. She makes every single day sunnier, funnier, happier, sweeter. She makes me smile even when I'm terribly blue or sick or stressed, and her little kitty hugs are the best part of every day!

You can read my post from when I first adopted her right here. And her first cameo in an outfit post is right here. :)

tees and thank you



Guess what! I designed this t-shirt! :D

I started adding some t-shirt designs to my shop late last month, and I'm so happy with the selection so far! They are women's t-shirts in sizes small through 2XL, and so far I have 15 different designs available. I've been designing the placement of the prints so that they'll work well tucked into skirts, as well as worn untucked over pants. I feel like whenever I buy t-shirts the designs are so long that the bottom disappears if I tuck it in, so I wanted to make sure that wouldn't be an issue with these.

The video below shows my first 11 designs, but I also added four more this week, including a fun St. Patrick's Day shirt for introverts. You can find all of the shirts in my shop here.






shirt - my shop | cardigan - vintage | belt - old
skirt - urban outfitters | shoes - bait footwear | wig - keke wigs

wishful spring-ing



It seemed very spring-y yesterday so I went with a very spring-y outfit to match! Although I guess all of my outfits look at least slightly spring-y anyway since I still wear colorful outfits in the winter? Anyway, it felt fresh, bright, and floral.

If you've been following me for a while you know that I've flirted with going back to school like twenty times already, and I was at it again this week. I had considered going to school for visual merchandising when I was a teenager (basically I just really wanted to design store windows and in-store displays) and I came back to that idea recently. I was looking at a program in NYC and you need your high school transcripts, SAT results, and a letter from a teacher or advisor to apply. And I left high school in 2003. I don't think I realized before how difficult it must be for older students to return to college until now. It would be a nightmare getting my high school records, let alone for students who are in their 50's or 60's! I feel like there should be some alternate application process for returning students.

I don't think I'm determined enough to embark on an "unearthing Kate's records from 15 years ago!" expedition, so I'll probably pass on the application. I just think I'd be really good at window design. It's a weird thing to have as a calling, but I think I have a knack for it. Maybe I just related a little too much to Rhoda from Mary Tyler Moore as a kid, lol!

It's so weird to be 31 and still like "hmm.. what should I be when I grow up?" but that is definitely my life. I hope some of you guys out there feel the same way and maybe can relate a bit. I know personally it seems like everybody I know, even people way younger than me, totally have it together already, while I'm still trying to figure everything out.




dress - c/o sheinside (super old) | blouse - vintage from soft future
shoes - bait footwear | wig - keke wigs

le tote et moi



A couple weeks ago I saw an ad on Facebook for this subscription service called Le Tote where you get 4 clothing items that you rent, wear them as much as you want, then send them back for 4 different items. It was marketed as a solution to the problem of buying a ton of clothes that you never wear and saving money each month on clothes. I thought I'd give it a whirl for a month, and when the first box arrived I decided to do a little unboxing video!



After I was done filming (eek!) I tried everything on. The yellow dress was way too big and the Yumi dress was too snug on the hips (sad face!!) The mint green one fit well and it looked pretty cute. I LOVE the blue sweater (I'm wearing it in the photo above) and when I sent back my tote I decided to keep it.

I already paid for a whole month of the service so I'm going to order stuff, see if I like it, possibly wear it, and send it back as many times as possible before the month is up, and then I'll cancel. The selection isn't very extensive so it's harder for me to find enough stuff to fill up multiple boxes. Most of the clothes are very neutral, business-casual, and traditional. In other words, not really my style. I think if there was a fun Modcloth/ASOS/Unique Vintage version of this box I would be ALL IN. But for someone who doesn't really find much to love in most regular retail shops, the pickings in Le Tote are slim. I picked out four more items for the tote that's in the mail on its way to me now, but honestly unless they add more between now and the next time I'd be ordering another tote, there wasn't really anything left on the site that I'd want to try out.

Aside from the selection though, I do think this is a good idea and I'm glad I gave it a try. The package came in the mail really fast, and they send your new tote once the return is scanned in at the post office... they don't even wait until they receive it. So the time between totes is minimal.

My only real complaints are the selection (which shouldn't be an issue if you like the style they offer!) and that you can't view their catalog until you sign up for a paid account. Honestly my curiosity got the best of me and I paid the monthly fee before I even saw what they had to offer. If I had seen it first I definitely wouldn't have signed up.

I guess the real moral of the story here is that I'm horribly susceptible to facebook advertisements.


sweater - cece | pink pants - asos | shoes - bait footwear | wig - keke wigs

purple hearts



I feel like I've *mostly* mastered the controls on my DSLR so I can take semi-good quality photos even when the lighting is really crummy. It's a dreary rainy mess here right now (it's supposed to keep raining yesterday through Sunday!) but I don't think you can tell in the photo! Yay! I can't quite say the same about my handiness with recording video lol. It might partially be because I edit video in imovie whereas the photos are edited in Photoshop, but the lighting in my videos leaves a lot to be desired. I don't know if anyone is actually even watching them but if anyone out there is, I promise I'm working on improving the quality! :)

I actually recorded a video yesterday where I *speak* and it's so awkward lol. (And the lighting is even worse than the one below since I was in an even darker area of my house!) I'll be posting it on Monday I think, but I'm just going to put it out there and never rewatch it. I was so insanely nervous. It's not actually my voice that I'm self conscious about, I just make such exaggerated faces while I'm talking and I never realize I'm doing it until I see myself on video lol! Now that I pointed it out it's probably going to stand out even more if you watch it so I should just stop talking ;p I think it's just one of those things where we mention our own flaws because we want to beat someone else to it, you know? Anyway, here's a video where I'm blissfully silent and hugging cute little Arrietty:




dress - modcloth (old) | cardigan - amazon | tights - amazon

sheer madness



Putting aside the fact that I 100% wore the wrong bra with this outfit (hello, uniboob!) this is one of my favorite outfits of all time. I am OBSESSED with this dress. Bell sleeves? CHECK. Sheer polka dots? CHECK. Dramatic gigantic bow tie in the back? (you can see it in the video below) CHECK. It came with a black cami dress to wear underneath, but I felt like it diminished the overall polka dot effect a bit, so I paired it with a light pink cami dress instead. And I added this giant black bow belt because sometimes one enormous bow on a dress just is not enough.

Yesterday morning my computer froze when I tried to open photoshop, and I couldn't even force quit, so I had to power it off directly from the power button. It turned out that I did that exactly while some important system file was saving in the background, and subsequently my computer would not turn back on again. It would "ding" and then -- nothing. I made an emergency trip to the Apple store, toting my mac around like a little sick pet, and after the technician ran some diagnostics he was able to restore whatever file had gone missing when I shut it down. I got a little tiny lecture about having way too many apps open (he asked if I *really* needed all of the things open in my dock and I REALLY DO) and suggested that I turn off the computer once a week just to make sure things run smoothly. I also invested in a 4TB hard drive that I'm going to use for Time Machine now. Nothing like almost losing everything on your computer to make you want to seriously back up everything on your computer, haha!

I have no idea why I felt the need to share all of that, lol, but anyway. Maybe if you're someone who hasn't backed things up in a while you'll take my close-call as a sign to hit save and make sure your important files are all on external hard drives :)

Now onto the video! --



shoes - vintage | wig - keke wigs

paw-sitively adorable



When I saw this adorable overall dress I was 99.9% sure that there was no way the skirt would fit over my hips but I bought it anyway and just figured there was a pretty good chance it would be a fun novelty piece I could keep in my closet as a "maybe someday" goal piece. But IT FITS. With some wiggle room, actually! And I'm carrying a few extra pounds right now (which always, without fail, pads my hips and my behind) so I'm seriously shocked that it fits.

And I have no idea what possessed me to decide to start doing this but I shot some video to go with this post. It's really short and I always look so goofy in video footage but I thought it might be fun to start doing some little videos to go with my outfit posts. So here it is!




overalls - forever 21 | shirt - forever 21 | tights - target
cat shoes - gift (similar) | wig - keke wigs

DIY heart shaped pin board



Like basically everyone else on instagram, I was really smitten with the heart-shaped pin board that Target had in their dollar spot last year. I was hoping I could snag a few more this year but when I couldn't find any at my local store I decided to DIY it and make my own! I actually like this even better since I got to pick my own fabric design, I used cork board that heals better (pins don't leave permanent holes in the cork, which tends to happen with thin cork boards that are backed with cardboard) and it's a little bigger so I can fill it up with more pins!



To make your own heart-shaped pin board you'll need:

- two 12" x 12" pieces of cork
- a wooden heart cut-out*
- fabric of your choice
- hot glue
- utility knife (I use this one)

*I got the 12" x 12" heart, but you could really do any shape using this tutorial, or use smaller heart shapes and hang them in a little cluster! Just make sure that your wooden shape is small enough to fit on your cork board.



Start by tracing your wooden heart onto two sheets of cork board. (Using two pieces means your pins will stick in the cork better!) Then use the utility knife to cut out the shapes. (Make sure you have something underneath the cork so that you don't cut your desk!) Use your hot glue gun to glue one sheet of cork onto the wooden heart shape. I just put some glue in the corners to make sure it doesn't shift around. Once they're attached, use the glue gun again to adhere the second piece of cork on top. So you should have two layers of cork, with a bottom base of wood.

Cut your fabric with about 2" of excess around the edge of the shape, and then cut small slits so that the fabric will easily conform to the shape of the wood. Use the hot glue gun to glue the fabric down, and then cut off any excess fabric. At this point you can choose how you want to hang the board. I decided to wire the back with picture frame wire and two tiny screws, but you could also attach ribbon (which would look more like the Target cork board) or a saw-tooth hanger.



And voila! A heart-shaped cork board! I love that this is so customizable -- you can use any fabric, customize the size, even customize the shape if you don't want a heart! Now the only thing left to do is fill it up with pins (might I suggest these? ;)