.
I've decided to take an indefinite break from Scathingly Brilliant, twitter and instagram. If you're interested in keeping up with my art & projects, I'll still be blogging regularly on my portfolio blog here. Otherwise, thank you for a super fun almost-five years!

xo Kate


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wishlist wednesday



1. Auburn brightly coat from Modcloth // $109.99
4. Mustard velvet coat from Topshop // $150.00
5. On the avenue coat from Modcloth // $119.99

cats



dress - modcloth
cardigan - old navy
shoes - c/o blowfish
hair bow - honeybean

As thrilled as I am that cats are "in" right now, so I can fill up my wardrobe with cat-themed clothing (like this dress!), I can't help but hope that it's trickling down to real live cats, too. There are so many cats in shelters right now (more so than usual since so many families are giving up their animals because of the economy) and they desperately need loving homes. Me and my brother do a really simple fundraiser every year for our local animal hospital's charity, Animals in Distress... Barnes & Noble allows charitable organizations to gift-wrap for donations!* If you're interested in doing it too, it's so simple to set it up! Call your local B&N and ask if they have any gift-wrapping openings left, and if they do, you just sit in a bookstore and wrap presents for an afternoon, all the while helping our furry little friends!

Sorry this is such a gooey post! I just love cats SO much, and sometimes I look at Chloe & Hypatia and wonder what would have happened to them if our shelter hadn't saved them. I just hope so badly that this little bout of feline mania sweeping through the commercial world will result in more real live cats being rescued and becoming members of loving families :)

Oh, and since I'm already on the topic of cats, here's a new cat lady drawing I did yesterday!

ps. When trying to come up with a title for this post, the ONLY thing that I could think of was "Break me off a piece of that Fancy Feast," from The Office. I'm just titling it cats because I seriously cannot get that out of my brain long enough to come up with a good title, lol...

*You can gift-wrap for other charities, too! The local shelter is my choice, but as long as you have permission from the organization you can do this for any charity! :)

Style Idol - Elizabeth Taylor


//image links back to the source

vegetarian cassoulet fit for a queen


In Disney World we ate at Cinderella's Castle one night, and I had this amazing vegetarian cassoulet. Absolutely mouth-wateringly stupendously fantastic! So this weekend I decided to try to make it at home myself! After searching around a bit, I found this recipe from Smitten Kitchen, and used it as the basis for my own version. I'm a really lazy cook, so you might want to switch out all my canned/dried stuff for fresh instead but I can never tell the difference myself. I also hate the texture of onions but love the taste, so I use onion powder in the recipe. You'll probably want to switch that out for real onions if you don't have a similar pet peeve ;)

You'll need: 3 medium zucchini, cut into 1" pieces, 3 stalks of celery, cut into 1" pieces, 4 cloves (or more if you're like me and really love it!) of garlic, 4 cups of broth, a 15oz can of diced tomatoes, two 15oz cans of small white beans (or cannellini beans), 3 tbsp of tomato paste, dried parsley, dried basil, powdered onion and 1/3 c. olive oil.

Directions: In a large pan, add the oil, zucchini, celery and garlic and then sprinkle with some basil, onion powder & parsley to taste (I personally like a lot!). Let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the celery and zucchini are soft. Then add the broth, beans, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Bring to a little boil (I have no idea what the right term for that is?!) and let it cook for about 40 minutes, stirring often. I wanted mine to get a really thick consistency to mimic the meal I had at the castle, so I let mine cook about 10 minutes longer than the Smitten Kitchen recipe said, and I also left mine uncovered so more of the liquid would boil off faster.

While the bean & tomato mush is cooking, cut up a loaf of day old French bread into little cubes. Toss with olive oil, garlic and parsley and then cook in the oven at 350' for about 15 minutes. If the croutons finish before the rest of the meal, try VERY hard not to eat them all before everything else is done cooking. It's hard, but try. They're pretty darn good. Once the veggies and beans and such have cooked down so that there isn't much liquid left in the pot, scoop some out into a bowl and top it with a heaping helping of your fresh-baked croutons! It's so delicious, I swear!!

Now, I obviously have no idea what I'm doing when I cook (are you even supposed to let something boil without a lid on the pot? I have no clue) but it worked for me, and I ended up with a really scrumptious dinner that tasted a heck of a lot like the meal I ate at Disney World! :)

the melody lingers on




Winter Wonderland by The Eurythmics // image via boopsiedaisy

pumpkin spice



dress & sweater - h&m
shoes - MIA
tights - target
belt - old navy

I wore this for Thanksgiving last week. I wanted to be warm and cozy, but I also wanted a belt on to serve as a little reminder for when I'd eaten too much ;) And it worked.. as soon as I felt like the belt might have to come off, I stopped eating, haha!

My Thanksgiving was pretty lovely, but also really bittersweet. My Aunt Annie, who is turning 100 next month, came over for dinner and she was so much less exuberant and spunky than she used to be. When she visited in July she was a ball of energy, laughing and telling stories. I never expected her to have become so frail in only a few short months. It was just so heartbreaking. We tried to discuss details about her birthday party to cheer her up, tell her about relatives she hadn't seen in years that would be attending, all the food and presents, but she would just weakly smile and then stare off into the distance. I kept trying to enjoy her company, but in the back of my mind I kept thinking it's probably the last Thanksgiving we'll get to spend with her. I have been so lucky to have her in my life, I wish she could live to 200.

small business saturday!



Today only, I'm offering 25% off any order of $10 or more in my etsy shop with the code SMALLSAT. This applies to the calendars and Christmas cards, too, so if you liked them when I posted about them a couple months ago now would be a great time to snatch them up (or urgently inform whoever is buying your Christmas presents that they are 25% off today)... just saying ;)

A lot of etsy shops are having pretty tremendous sales this weekend, not just big box stores (and you know we could probably all use the sales a lot more than wal mart!) If you don't know where to even begin, there's of course my own shop (sorry, haha!) and then I also made a little handmade/vintage wishlist yesterday with tons of great gift ideas! And through the very merry indie christmas link-up in that post, you can find hundreds more, to boot!

ps. I recently downsized my inventory in my etsy shop, but if you see something in the sold orders that you want, let me know... if I still have it in stock (or the parts to make it) I can list it as a custom order for you :)

edit: it's about 11pm now and I'm getting ready for bed, and I'm not deactivating the code until I wake up (hint hint!) so if you want to sneak in a saturday sale while I'm sleeping sunday morning, you totally can! ;D

a very merry indie christmas!



Here's a little handmade/vintage wishlist I put together for A Very Merry Indie Christmas! At the bottom of the post you can link up to promote your own blog/shop as well as hop around to the other blogs participating to view all the awesome indie goodness just waiting to make it's way under your Christmas tree! :D









And then (cough... a little shameless self-promotion here .. cough) there's always my etsy shop and my society6 shop too ;)



This weekend CASEY (CaseyLeigh), DANIELLE (Changing Lanes), JANEL (Run with Scissors) and I are co-hosting a VERY MERRY INDIE CHRISTMAS!

This is an opportunity for you to LINK UP YOUR BLOG plus your own handmade/business products or other favorite holiday gifts. Our goal is to promote the community of online commerce, as well as meet and make new friends. And find a few gift ideas too!

HOW DOES IT WORK? You link up on any ONE hostess' site. Our links will be interlinked. Your post will be displayed on all our sites. That is a reader audience of more than 7,900. So, grab a button and get ready to hop .... then shop!!!!




TO PARTICIPATE FOLLOW THE FIRST FOUR HOSTESS LINKS. THEN VISIT, COMMENT AND FOLLOW OTHERS. THIS IS HOW NEW RELATIONSHIPS FORM. MERRY INDIE CHRISTMAS!



star stuff



Diana posted a link to this time-lapse video from space on twitter last week, and it's really one of the most amazing things I've ever seen! The music wasn't my favorite, so I muted it and listened to my own itunes playlist, but otherwise it's just absolutely incredible and awe-inspiring. I for one tend to skip over videos on blogs for some reason, so if you do that too.. seriously, don't this time. It's just SO cool, you don't want to miss out on it :)

thankful.



I am thankful for friends, for whom I have so much love that I practically need an extra heart just to hold it all. I'm thankful for my amazing little cats, for every night that Hypatia snuggles up on my pillow, for the vet staff that keeps them healthy and for the cat food industry that keeps Chloe plump and satisfied enough to not kill us in our sleep. I'm thankful for the food in my pantry and the roof over my head. I'm thankful for the best parents any girl could ever wish for, and an extended family that includes a feisty 100 year old aunt! I'm thankful for the fact that me and my brother, who fought like crazy as kids, have grown up to be great friends. I'm thankful for everyone who has ever read my blog and liked it enough to stick around. I love you all so much.

What are you thankful for this year?

wishlist wednesday



1. Change of lace dress from modcloth // $77.99
2. Pastel cross tie from ASOS // $10.78
3. Aqua statement floral ring from ASOS // $46.72
4. Faceted floral ring from forever 21 // $5.80
5. Pleather bow belt from forever 21 // $3.80
6. Orange oversize sunglasses from topshop // $45.00
7. Muddled mint dress from modcloth // $69.99

cozy



sweater - old navy
skirt - vintage

Yesterday was so rainy and dark that when I woke up around 11am I thought my clock must have been screwed up... there was no way it was daytime. But it was, and it stayed pretty much that dark all day long. I took advantage of the weather and bundled up in one of my favorite sweaters, a long flowy skirt and warm, cozy sweater tights!

After I got my work out of the way, me and my family put up our Christmas decorations! I know it's a little early, but we just couldn't wait! My mom had already put the stockings on the mantle while me and Kyle were in Disney as a fun "welcome home" surprise, so we've been itching to finish what she started ever since we got back. Christmas music, a cozy outfit, lots of hot cocoa and spending time with my family... it was a pretty swell day. :)

the awkward call for sponsors



I've seen a lot of bloggers posting sponsor calls this week and I thought maybe I should too. I know you're probably thinking to yourself, "Kate, if all the other bloggers jumped off a bridge, would you do that too?? huh??" and my answer is no! Of course not! Unless, of course, there was a drowning cat or a large supply of grapefruit juice that I could save.

In this case, though, I thought since I really don't do these often it wouldn't hurt. Also, I haven't changed my rates since I first started accepting sponsors in March and my statistics have changed dramatically since then, so December will be the last month with these rates; they'll increase a wee bit (not a lot, promise!) in January.

Also, all sponsors in December with shops will have the opportunity to participate in a little Scathingly Brilliant gift guide. You can submit 1-2 items for inclusion, and the post will go up in early December -- prime Christmas shopping time! (but you don't have to have a shop to sponsor!)

SO ANYWAY, if you're interested, I have details on the sizes, rates, statistics and traffic on my sponsorship page HERE. If you're not interested or found this post annoying, I'm super sorry. Chloe made me do it!

DIY: enamel pins




I really love enamel pins from the 60's, but I have a hard time finding them at my local thrift shops and the prices for vintage ones online, once you factor in shipping, tend to be too much for a little ol' pin. So I came up with this idea for refashioning some of the ugly ones me & my mom have been gifted (or probably re-gifted, lol) over the years.

All you need is a gaudy pin that has a pretty design hiding under the surface, and some *opaque* nail polish. (Any polishes that usually need 2-3 coats to cover your nails will not work here!) Then paint! It's really that simple! For the smaller areas I used a fine paintbrush, but for the rest I just used the brush that comes with the polish. Then seal it with a shiny topcoat, and you're done!

I wish I had had a cute little reindeer or poinsettia pin laying around the house, but this was the best I could come up with. At least now, though, when I see cheap shiny brooches I'll give them another look. If the basic design is really cute, they can be saved! :)

my last day of pink



coat - modcloth
faux fur collar - h&m
dress - modcloth
shoes - c/o blowfish

I wore this last Monday for a day-trip to Princeton with my family. It's an annual birthday tradition... we eat lunch at Panera (I am OBSESSED with their tomato soup right now) then me and Kyle go to Princeton Record Exchange and sit on the floor sifting through the $1 records for a couple hours. This year we added a trip to the library to check out the discount book sale, where I got a side-eye from the cashier thanks to my lovely selection of books about plagues, the philosophy of death, and the end of the universe. Real light, happy fare ;)

Then me and my mom ran in a consignment shop. I guess it's typical of me that amongst all the expensive name brand stuff the only thing that struck my fancy was a blazer from Old Navy, haha! It's black velvet with a big bow-tie at the waist. It wasn't even my size but somehow it fit, so I snagged it! :D

After that we went to Olive Garden for dinner. I tried the bruschetta for the first time and OH MY GOODNESS it's amazing! I think I might have eaten the whole appetizer without sharing. In addition to two helpings of salad, some breadsticks, pasta and dessert. Yup. A lot of people knock Olive Garden, but I love it. It's definitely better than a stale peanut butter sandwich at home, that's all I know ;)

the melody lingers on




There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow // image via WDWFigment

When we were in Disney World, me and Kyle tried to do any rides/attractions that we had missed on previous trips, and one of them was The Carousel of Progress. It sounded pretty cool (it's the oldest Disney ride in the whole park) and it had this amazing 60's style poster outside. Our skipper on the Jungle Cruise made a joke about how dated it was, but that just made me want to see it even more!

It's an animatronic play (that Walt Disney himself worked on and unveiled at the 1964-65 World's Fair) that shows how families adapted to progress in the 20th century. It takes place in a circular theater, and the seats move at the end of each decade. During our visit, the seats got stuck so we got to see the 1900's twice. They play this song like 4 times (5 if you count the unexpected extra performance), and me and Kyle just got SO hooked on it, it's ridiculous. We've memorized the lyrics, and keep randomly bursting into song around the house, giving our best imitations of the guy from the ride. I think we're driving our parents absolutely berserk, but it's so fun.

cat earmuffs giveaway! [closed]





I was at H&M last week and when I saw these earmuffs I practically fainted. They're so, so adorable! So I picked up a pair for me, and a pair for you! (The pair I'm wearing in the pictures is my pair, yours will be brand new!) If you don't win, hopefully (fingers crossed!) you'll be able to buy them online soon. I heard last year that H&M is supposed to be opening an online store in the US this winter!

To enter: simply leave a comment letting me know that you're entering, and some way to contact you (email, twitter, blog, whatever floats your boat!) You must be a follower to enter (and, please, none of this follow-and-leave as soon as the giveaway is over jazz.. that's super rude!) This giveaway is US-only.. sorry! :)

For additional entries: (
leave a separate comment for each entry)

1. Tweet this "Just entered to win some crazy cat lady earmuffs on @kategabrielle's blog! http://www.scathingly-brilliant.blogspot.com" (Only counts if you use that tweet.)
2. Follow me on
facebook
3. Follow me on
bloglovin
4. Follow me on
tumblr

Giveaway ends on December 5th at 12:01EST
Giveaway is closed!

Disney: part 2



Here is my trip video! The music is from a cd I bought in Disney World that's sort of a soundtrack from the parks... it includes music from the rides & the music they play throughout Disney World. It's so magical!

I'm having huge vacation withdrawal right now. ahh! It's hard to watch my video and look at the photos because I just want to be back there again so badly. The real world should be more like Disney World... we should all live in a place where sweet music is drifting through the air at all times, there are gorgeous fireworks every night, people sell balloons on every corner and whenever you are in the mood for a churro, someone nearby is pushing a cart filled with them.

ps. The video of the fireworks from inside the castle starts around 2:00. I know the video is sort of long so if you only wanted to watch that part, you can just fast forward. Also, me and Kyle wave at the camera A LOT. We kept taking little videos and sending them back to our parents, and this video is sort of splicing all those little videos together.

tidbits



Mandy from Miss Indie just opened up an online shop, Indie Darling! She has hairbows. Incredibly cute hairbows. Be still my heart! And she's offering 25% off with the code SB25!! I want one of each!!



Becca from Nattosoup did this amazing portrait of me! eep! Isn't it lovely!? It's making me miss my pink hair even more :) She does commissions, so you can have your own portrait done, too! Or it would make a really cute gift for the holidays! She has more information about her commission work here!



Kaelah just released an e-book jam-packed with advice for bloggers on marketing, public relations and more. My wallet is a little sore from my Disney trip right now but you can bet your buttons I'm planning on buying a copy as soon as my balance is back to normal. I already know that it'll be informative in a down to earth, fun way! I can't wait to read it :) You can snag a copy on her blog, here!

interview with moi



Kailey from Mermaidens did a little interview with me, if you want to check it out! I blab on way too much about the X-Files (I can't help it! haha!) but it was so much fun! :) Thanks Kailey!!