heirloom ornaments



Last week my brother and I helped my mom decorate the family Christmas tree. She mentioned to him that when he and his girlfriend get married, he'll get some of the ornaments for his own tree. We have a family tradition of passing down ornaments when a kid gets married and starts their own family. All of the vintage ornaments on our tree were passed down from my grandmom to my mom when my parents tied the knot.

As you probably know, I'm perpetually single. Not just that I don't have a steady boyfriend at the moment, I mean I've never dated before. Ever. It used to bother me a lot but over the last year or so I've not only come to terms with it, I've grown pretty attached to the idea of staying single. At this point in my life, I do not plan on getting married or pairing up with anyone. I feel like it's just not in the cards for me and I'm totally okay with that. But it begs the question -- if marriage is the milestone that initiates the handing down of the ornaments, when do I get mine?! lol!

So I asked my mom if she'd let me have my share now. I'm already 31, I have my own Christmas tree, and I love these ornaments SO much. Ever since I was little they were always my favorite ones to put up, and I dreamed about getting to decorate my own tree with them someday. Well luckily, "someday" is now, because I have an incredibly awesome and understanding mom. Not only did she immediately, enthusiastically agree to letting me have a handful of ornaments, she balked at the eight I picked out and insisted that I go back for four more to make it an even dozen.

I'm super lucky to have a very understanding family that is totally okay with my spinsterhood. I've never once been asked when I'd settle down and find a boyfriend, and I've never had to hear any intrusive hints about my biological clock. I know that a lot of single girls aren't so lucky, and it makes me appreciate my family all the more for it. And if you're in a similar situation and you've been eyeing some family ornaments for your tree, try asking! I think a surprising amount of people my age are unattached and we're missing out on some family traditions like this just because we're not following the conventional road path of life, and nobody really knows how to adjust old traditions to new lifestyles. So we need to make up our own rules! :)

sugar plum



Three posts in one week! Is that a pig that just flew by my window?

I've just had the blogging bug lately. I've had to go back through my old posts to replace all of my photobucket pictures (more on that in a minute) and it got me reminiscing about the days when I used to blog twelve times A WEEK. It just made me want to blog more. Not 12 times a week but maybe at least once or twice lol! I feel like anytime I say that out loud it's the kiss of death and I don't write another blog post for five months but I'm just saying it. I want to blog more. We'll see what happens...

As for photobucket, just a little PSA for any other bloggers who might have been using them to host your photos -- this year they announced that they were deleting all free plans, and the $29/year plan (which is what I was using) is going up to $399/year. *record-scratch* The new pricing goes into effect at the end of the year so I've been trying to move all of my photos over to imgur instead. It's tricky because every single post of mine from 2015 back has at least one image from photobucket and I have to manually change the code on each one. It doesn't help that blogger apparently has a limit on how many posts you can edit each day, so I've been doing it in increments hoping that I'll manage to get all of my posts finished in time to cancel my photobucket account before the price hike.

It's so frustrating that so much of what we do online can be upended in a heartbeat. Even this whole blog -- if google decides one day to shut down the Blogspot part of its empire because it isn't profitable enough, we'll all be scrambling to figure out how to save our blogs. And don't get me started on net neutrality and the idea that the whole entire internet itself could be out of our reach if we don't have enough money to buy access to it. *screams*

Anyway. I guess my whole point was just to alert any paid photobucket users to hurry up and transfer your photos before the end of the month. Also I found this tutorial for downloading your photobucket albums if you're worried about losing your photos.


shirt - dolls kill (old) | skirt - urban outfitters (old) 
shoes - aldo (old) similar | wig - keke wigs

DIY tapestry curtains



I recently ordered a set of window curtains from Society6, and when they arrived I realized they were very dull, with a grey background, and they're room darkening (in their defense, it does say room darkening in the product description and I totally missed that when I ordered them.) I contacted Society6 to see if this was just a printing mistake. But they told me that unlike all of their other products, their curtains are printed on a grey base so a design like this -- vibrant with a white background -- just doesn't print as nicely as a darker, more muted design might.

I was very intent on having curtains with this design though, so I did a little measuring and figured out that Society6 tapestries (in size large) are almost exactly the same size as a set of window panels. All I had to do was cut it in half width-wise and buy a set of curtain clips to hang them.

My tapestry arrived in the mail yesterday, and I hung up one panel opposite one of Society6's window panels to show you the difference:



The panel on the left is the tapestry, and the panel on the right is the real window panel. See how vibrant and bright the tapestry panel is?! It's EXACTLY what I had in mind when I ordered the curtains to begin with. Something really fun and colorful to liven up this area in my workspace!

Also I think I like the way the panels look with curtain rings better. The panel hangs better from the rings, rather than bunching up awkwardly like the panel with the curtain rod pocket does. But mostly I'm just thrilled about the vibrancy. You can really see in these photos how greyed out and dull the regular curtain looks compared to the tapestry panel. I'm so thrilled that I thought to try this! And it's almost $40 cheaper to get one tapestry & cut it in half than it is to buy a set of two window panels!!

I just thought I'd post about it in case anyone else was thinking about trying Society6 curtains. I used these curtain rings but make sure they'd fit on your curtain rod before ordering. My curtain rod has a 1" diameter so they fit perfectly. (This is my curtain rod, by the way.)

And I used this tapestry design from my Society6 shop in a size large. I have over 20 different designs in my shop here. The tapestries also work great as bed coverings in the summer when you want to add some flair to your bed without the extra heat that comes with throw blankets or comforters! I have a queen bed and a medium tapestry is the perfect size for it :)

Also, in case you're wondering... yes, I do have one tree for me and a matching one for my cat. I've reached peak cat lady lol.



sprinkled with sweetness



Does anyone else make new years resolutions on their birthday? I always think of it as a fresh start, kind of like the first day of a new year, so sometimes I'll try to break a habit or start a new one or set a goal to accomplish before the next birthday. This year I started something that seems very tiny but it's been making a HUGE difference. I moved my cell phone charger from my nightstand to my office area. So my phone isn't even remotely close to me when I get in bed now. I'm not even exaggerating, I think I used to spend at least an hour on my phone every morning. And at night I'd usually think of something to look up or check, or I'd log a movie on letterboxd and spend the next 40 minutes reading reviews. I'm pretty sure that for years I've been spending a good 2 hours on my phone each day just scrolling through things and wasting time.

It's only been a little over two weeks but it already feels like a permanent habit change. I really hope I don't read this post years from now (in my bed, on my phone) and shake my head like "oh, sweet naive Kate. You can't break the phone habit." It just feels so good to be spending my time better. I still waste some time on my phone during the day, or I'll mindlessly scroll through twitter a few times on my desktop when I should be working, but my time-wasting has been dramatically reduced since I moved my phone. I'm pretty excited about it!


dress - modcloth | shirt - miss patina | shoes - bait footwear
tie - flapper girl | wig - keke wigs

earth and stars



For my birthday a couple weeks ago I had wanted to spend the day at the natural history museum in NYC, but a couple days beforehand I saw that NJ Transit was going to be doing track work that would add an extra 60 minutes onto the trip each way. I just didn't want to spend that much time on a train on my birthday, so at the last minute I decided to do a lazy day at home with a brief outing to see Casablanca at the movies (it was re-released for the 75th anniversary!) and a stop at my favorite pizza place for lunch. This was the outfit I had picked out when I thought I'd still be going to the Hayden planetarium. It would have been so perfect for my first visit there!

C'est la vie though, right? I ended up wearing joggers and a sweater instead since it was a pretty relaxed day. Hopefully I can still make the trip to the museum sometime next year (and you bet I'll be wearing this outfit when I do, lol!) I even had the dress tailored before my birthday since it was WAY too long on me. I used to try to hem things myself but everything always ended up being uneven or too long in the front/too short in the back, etc. It's only $16 to have things hemmed at the tailor I go to (it's the alteration shop at Quakerbridge Mall) which seems like a worthwhile expense to turn something unwearable into something I can use constantly :)




shoes - asos | wig - keke wigs

Black Friday sale!



Happy Christmas-season-officially-starts-today Day!! I'm the kind of person who starts celebrating right after Halloween but it's always nice when Thanksgiving is over and the world catches up to where I've been for the last month, haha!

For Black Friday, I'm having a little sale in my shop! If you use code MISTLETOE you can get 25% off any order of $15+ all weekend long. I also have free worldwide shipping on all $20+ orders, too! If you haven't checked out the shop in a while, definitely take a peek. I've added so many new things (including a brand new Flapper Doodle calendar! I FINALLY got one done this year!!) so there's a lot to choose from.

Also, if you aren't already following me on instagram or facebook, be sure to hop over there to see the special offer I'm running today for IG and FB followers! :)

You can click here to shop the sale!

Happy Thanksgiving!



Happy Thanksgiving! Today I'm thankful for my family, my cats, all cats, my friends, Alain Delon, potatoes, classic movies, Gwen Stefani's new Christmas album, The X-Files, McDonald's unsweetened iced tea, Seth Meyers, the color pink, Christmas lights, Jake and Amy's relationship on Brooklyn 99, puns, the Obamas, pizza, the ability to travel, Pod Save America, the scent of marshmallow fireside candles from Bath & Body Works, New York City, vintage cat shaped knick knacks, and breathing through my nose (I have a sinus infection so I'm going through that phase where nothing is more beautiful than the prospect of breathing through your nose again lol)

I hope everyone has a lovely Thanksgiving! And if you aren't following me on Instagram or Facebook yet, be sure to pop over tomorrow for an exclusive FB/IG Black Friday sale! :)



kiss me I voted



Happy Election Day! I feel kind of traumatized after last year's election, and I've felt uneasy all day as if I'm reliving the nightmare all over again... but it does feel really good to have performed a concrete action today, actively participating in the democracy and feeling some semblance of a normal functioning government in the midst of all this chaos.

If you haven't voted yet today, please go out and do it before the polls close! There are tons of local elections today (I just voted for town council, school board, and state assembly in NJ) and every single one of them matters. In addition, there are two governor's races today in my home state of New Jersey and in Virginia. These are SUPER important in a lot of ways. For one thing, if you cast your ballot for the democrats (Murphy in NJ and Northam in VA) it will send a very clear, decisive message that we are rejecting Trump and his agenda. If Republican senators and congressman see that the voters are going heavily Democratic in this election, they will be less likely to support Trump's outrageous policies like the Muslim ban, repealing access to affordable healthcare, increasing taxes on the middle class so that the rich can get a tax cut, or withdrawing from the Paris climate accord. If they think that their jobs are at stake, they won't be as quick to vote lockstep with Trump's heartless agenda.

But most importantly, who you elect as governor affects day-to-day life in your state. If you want a governor who will fight for the working class, for women's rights, for environmental safety, for better schools, for minorities' rights, for better access to health care, you want to elect a Democrat. It will also help to have these Democrats in office in 2020 when the next Congressional redistricting occurs. Every ten years, when the census is taken, Congress redraws the districts to reflect the changing population. But lately Republicans have been doing this thing called gerrymandering, where they unfairly draw the maps to favor Republicans. In 2014, Republicans won 52% of congressional votes but they ended up with 57% of the seats in the house. That's because of gerrymandering. If we want a fair electoral system, it begins with electing Democratic governors to oversee the redistricting and make sure that we nip this in the bud before it gets even worse.

If you're not sure where your polling place is, you can look it up right here. And if you're not sure how late the polls are open in your state, you can see a map of poll closing times right here. If you already voted, remind your friends and family to vote! If somebody you know needs a ride to the polls, offer to take them. If you have the rest of the afternoon free, drop by your local campaign headquarters and offer to volunteer. Post on social media and remind people to vote.

Every single little thing you do can make a difference --- but the most important thing is voting. So if you haven't yet, stop reading this and go vote! :)


sweater - old navy | wig - keke wigs

Decorating for Christmas


Remember ages ago when I said I was starting a youtube channel? I FINALLY posted a video! :)

I really have the Christmas bug this year, so I decided to just decorate super early. I know a lot of people get annoyed by "the Christmas creep" but personally I've always loved celebrating it as early as possible. But I totally get it if you're someone who's bothered by pre-Thanksgiving holiday festivities, so just bookmark this post and come back early next month if you'd prefer to hold off on Christmas stuff until December ;)

I'm really happy with how this turned out, but I have to say I majorly suck at continuity. I have not one, not two, but three inexplicable outfit changes in this video even though I decorated my whole place in one afternoon. First I put on a sweater, then I realized I was too hot. So I put on a lace dress. Then I decided to shoot footage of me on a ladder hanging up lights and realized the lace dress was way too short for that shot, so I switched to a long sleeve red dress. But all of those clips are interspersed in the video so it looks like I just kept changing clothes all afternoon lol!

Anyway... hopefully this will be the start of semi-consistent posting. I really enjoyed filming and editing this and I'm really looking forward to shooting more in the future! :)

Lazy bones



Happy Halloween! My plans for the day are just errands and computer work, so I decided to forgo the costume route this year and just wear one of my spooky dresses. I miss the preparation that goes into planning a costume, but it was a little bit of a relief to just not worry about it this year. I have been SO busy trying to get everything in my shop ready for the holidays that squeezing in making a costume probably would have been more stressful than fun, I think.

I still need to do a little post about my Paris trip! One of my favorite parts of the trip this year was the Paris catacombs, and although I didn't wear this while I was down there (which would have been epic and I'm a little bummed I didn't think of it beforehand!) I can't help but be reminded of the catacombs now when I wear this dress. I have mixed feelings about that experience. I loved the actual catacombs part and was very moved, but the corridors leading up to the catacombs unleashed in me a level of claustrophobia that I have never felt in my life. I was panicking so much that I was sweating, and it's really cold down there. I think it was worth it though. I'll write about it more when I do a full post about Paris! :)


dress - modcloth | shirt - asos | shoes - amazon

souvenirs from the city of lights



Just a little heads up that I'm having an instax photo sale while I'm away in Paris! If you use the code "PARIS15" any time before midnight EST on 10/13, you'll get 15% off any order of $10+ and you'll receive a signed instax photo from my Paris trip!!

If you want a photo of something specific -- a specific landmark, like Notre Dame or the Eiffel Tower, or a specific color, a movie theater, a pastry, whatever (within reason!) -- just let me know in the message box on the shopping cart page and I'll do my best to fulfill your request! :)

If you're interested, the promotion is active in my shop right here.

xo Kate

Arachnophobia



It's officially Halloween-themed-outfit time! I turned a glittery black spider decoration from the craft store into a brooch (you just glue a bar-pin brooch piece to the back of the spider and voila! spider brooch!) and I want to wear it every day now.

I think it's so funny how I (and I'm sure many other people) put fake spiders all over the place in October, but if I ever see a real one my heart jumps out of my body and I let out a blood-curdling scream. I mean, even the small ones do it to me (they're usually jumpers!) I'm so jealous of people who aren't scared of spiders. I have one friend who will pick them up with her hand and carry them outside. I wish I could do that! I've tried to train myself to think of them as perfectly harmless friendly little insects but then I see one and I'm stricken with paralyzing fear all over again.

At least the decorations (and brooches) don't bite, and they can't climb up your nose while you're sleeping (Is that even a thing? Even if it's not possible, I'd still be worried about it.)




brooch - DIY | wig - keke wigs

flower power



I'm leaving for Paris today!! I'm so excited for myself, but I'm even more excited for my mom. She hasn't been there since 1984. She's been gushing about it for as long as I can remember and you could always tell how much she wished she could go back. She has a really great memory so I'm looking forward to her pointing out all the spots she visited with my dad in 1984 and on their honeymoon in 1976 :) And I can't wait to show her my favorite spots from my own visit last year. Mainly I just want her to try the chocolate mousse I had at a cafe across from Notre Dame (I don't even know the name of it, we'll just have to go exploring to find it, lol!)

It's supposed to be much colder in Paris than it is in NJ right now. It's still like summer here! I've been wearing sweaters around the house since we're still cranking the A/C but outside it still feels like August. So this dress still feels seasonally appropriate for the kind of October I'm living through this year lol.

I have a little tip for anyone who, like me, isn't a bare midriff kinda gal but loves dresses with waist cut-outs. I wear shapewear that matches my skin tone underneath the dress, so it *looks* like a bare belly but I feel comfortable knowing my torso is still totally concealed with clothing lol. If I hadn't wanted to wear faux-knee high tights for this outfit, I would have probably gone with body tights (like the Capezio ones for ballerinas) which would serve the same purpose. I love this because I feel like lately a LOT of clothes have cutouts, and it helps to have some tricks up your sleeve if you love the style but don't have the guts to bear that much skin :)




dress - c/o tobi | shoes - bait footwear | tights - urban outfitters (old)

countdown



I've had a dry-erase countdown on my refrigerator since last November when I booked me and my mom's joint 30th/60th birthday trip to Paris and now that countdown says THREE DAYS LEFT. Ahh! I'm looking forward to this trip SO MUCH. This year has been the most stressful one of my life since high school (the entirety of high school would still rank as most stressful) and I can't think of any better respite than a week in my favorite city with one of my favorite people.

I think I'll get to see way more of the city this time because my mom is such a good planner. When I went last year I kind of wandered aimlessly a lot but this time we have so many fun things on the itinerary. We're going to The Louvre, Disneyland Paris, and my mom surprised me by booking a reservation for lunch IN THE EIFFEL TOWER!

As excited as I am, I actually haven't started packing yet. I'm the worst at packing early. I actually had a dream last night that we were leaving for the airport and I still hadn't finished packing and my whole family was yelling at me because we were going to miss the flight, lol. So I guess I should probably go pack now ;D




dress - modcloth (old) | sweater - c/o Tobi | shoes - bait footwear

time capsule



A few days ago I was reminiscing with my Grandmom about a basket of toys and activities she used to keep in her closet for whenever me or my brother visited her. It had some play food, card games, crayons, etc. and even though we go over my Grandmom's house multiple times each year I hadn't actually seen the basket since my little brother outgrew the toys inside.

I asked if she still had it, and she offered to give it to me and my brother if we wanted to come pick it up. So over the weekend we went over and sat on her floor, just like we did when we were little, and went through the basket. It was one of the most pure moments of fun I've experienced in my adult life. It's amazing how many memories just came rushing back to me, and how many things in the basket had slipped my mind until I saw them again. A green pitcher, a yellow canister filled with used crayons, a mini cardboard box of Reynold's aluminum foil, a 101 Dalmatians puzzle, a crazy eights card game with jungle animals on the cards, play food peas that snap into their pods.

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of nostalgia. I love reliving my childhood and I am a big proponent of letting your childhood and adult life coexist in harmony. So this was very special to me. It was like opening a little time capsule! I'm just so glad that she saved everything.



Unrelated to what I've written here but very much related to my photos -- the necklace was a DIY project that me and my mom did last year for my New Order outfit. It mimics the color coded squares from the cover of the Power, Corruption, and Lies album! We made it out of wooden tile beads, wire, and paint and it's one of my favorite projects of all time :)




dress - modcloth (old) | shirt - vintage | shoes - bait footwear
necklace - diy | wig - keke wigs

laughter is the best medicine



The last several days have been very crummy, but today I'm going to see Jen Kirkman live and I am SO looking forward to laughing until my sides ache. If you're not familiar with her stand-up, I highly suggest checking out her specials on Netflix. Her newest one, Just Keep Livin?', was taped in New York last year and I was in the audience! They always tape more than one show (so they can edit together the best versions of the jokes) so I keep showing up and disappearing in the video. It's probably less noticeable when there isn't an audience member with bright pink hair in the front center lol ;D

Speaking of hair, I think it's safe to say I'm a wig convert now. I've been wearing this one constantly and I just feel SO much better about myself. I'm planning on keeping this up until the pixie grows out (and even then I might still keep it up because who doesn't love an instant good hair day?!) A few days ago I went to run errands and I got a lot of compliments on my "hair" though and I felt so awkward about it. Do I just blurt out "IT'S A WIG!" to strangers? That feels weird, but smiling and acting like it's actually my hair feels weird too. I don't know what the proper etiquette is here lol.

I will say though that I've watched a lot of youtube videos about how to wear wigs and make them look more like your real hair, and the best tip I've learned so far is to take dark eyeshadow and brush it into the roots to make it look like the hair is actually growing out of your scalp. Ever since I did that to this wig I feel like it's blended into my hairline better and it really does look like actual hair! I've also started styling mine more rather than just wearing it down, which feels more me-ish since I didn't used to wear my real hair un-styled when it was long. This week I styled it into a "half up- half down" do and have just kept it that way when I put it on my wig stand at night so I don't have to style it again the next day :)




dress - charlotte russe | cardigan - h&m | collar - asos