Wednesday, February 29, 2012

a brilliant way to brighten your day!

I've been having a pretty crummy week so far. Physically and emotionally I'm just completely wiped out, and I definitely needed a pick me up! I was talking to Amber about it, and she randomly asked me to name five things that would make me smile.

I picked Hypatia, grapefruit juice, How I Met Your Mother, dresses and pizza. Then Amber told me to do something involving all of them RIGHT NOW.

I went over to Hypatia and kissed her little forehead, then went to the kitchen and poured myself a cold glass of grapefruit juice. I changed out of my comfy rainy day clothes and put on one of my favorite new dresses! Then I called in an order for pizza and put HIMYM on netflix. INSTANT PICK ME UP!

It can be hard to think of things to do to cheer yourself up, so Amber's sneaky way of asking me really worked! I'm planning ahead for future gloomy days by writing down some of my favorite things on slips of paper and putting them in a jar. Whenever I'm feeling super blue, I'm going to pick out five things and do them right away, all at once! :)

I have to see some dinosaurs like, right now

dress worn as a top - c/o emerging thoughts
belt - from another dress
shoes - c/o blowfish
skirt - h&m

We ended up rescheduling our post office appointment yesterday because I woke up with an insanely bad fever and felt absolutely miserable :( Luckily after a day on the couch and lots of cat naps I'm doing much better, but gee whiz did I feel rotten! I was 99% positive I had the flu, so I'm really relieved whatever it was went away, and I'm just hoping it doesn't come back.

I'm especially glad it seems to have been a one-day sort of thing because I actually have plans this weekend (shocker!) I'm having a girls day with my mom & grandmom at IKEA on Saturday, then I'm taking my family to the natural history museum on Sunday. There's this scene in How I Met Your Mother where drunk Ted says "I have to see some penguins like, right now!" ... well lately I've been feeling that way about dinosaur bones, only sober.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Style Idol - Goldie Hawn

//image links back to the source

just teasing

dress - modcloth
bodysuit - boohoo
collar - romwe
tights - urban outfitters
shoes - c/o blowfish

See the hair?! I have sort of mastered the beehive! It took a lot of teasing and a lot of bobby pins, but I think I got it! :D I was trying to come up with a way to style my newly short hair in something other than a low ponytail, and this was actually pretty simple. It doesn't look fantastic in the back (lots of pink bobby pins everywhere!) but it works. I've been wearing it this way ever since I figured it out. The only thing I'm having a tiny problem with is that my natural part keeps making the beehive sort of split in half even after I've teased it, so I might need to resort to hairspray.

I actually wore this a couple days ago... today my dad and I have a meeting with a post office representative to discuss savings for small businesses, and I'm planning on wearing a dress I have with postage stamps on it!! I love wearing things that suit the occasion! My brother was making fun of me but personally I think it's totally cool ;D

Monday, February 27, 2012

Cat lipstick giveaway! [closed]

One of these days I'll run out of cat-themed items to give away, but fur now I have a paws-itively adorable kitty cat lipstick up for grabs! Personally I'd never use it, just display it on my vanity and admire the pretty sculpted cat while I smoosh on my hot pink drugstore lipstick. And even if you're not a cat lady *gasp* then I think the lovely peachy color is reason enough to enter! ;)

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 open to everyone on planet earth.

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

1. Tweet this "Just entered to win Paul & Joe cat lipstick on @kategabrielle's blog!" (Only counts if you use that exact tweet.)
2. Follow me on facebook
3. Follow me on
4. Pin it on pinterest.

Giveaway ends on March 5 at 12:01AM EST. Giveaway ended.

Winner: Comment #12

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Slumber Party Sunday

I haven't watched The Oscars in a long time, but I'm tuning in tonight because I'm a Billy Crystal fan :) I've been wishing they'd bring him back to host for ages, so I'm quite the happy camper! Truth is, I haven't actually seen any of the nominated films this year (I tend to watch older movies instead of new releases) so I'll have absolutely no clue what's going on, but I have faith he'll make me laugh enough that I won't even care. Anyway! I thought it would be fun to throw an Oscar themed slumber party today! Ready? Set? Action!

What Oscar party would be complete without popcorn?! The best part is the toppings. My mom opts for hot melted butter, but I prefer to sprinkle some hot cocoa powder on mine! Some other ideas -- grated cheese, melted chocolate, salt and sugar, cinnamon sugar, and I'm probably going to sound crazy for admitting this but I think garlic powder is insanely good! (image via)

One of my favorite movies is the 1934 Oscar winning comedy "It Happened One Night." It was the first film to win all of the big five awards (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Writing) and it deserved every one of them. It's about a spoiled heiress who runs away from her father and embarks on a bus trip so she can reunite with the man she loves. Her plans go awry when a newspaperman spots her, and decides that the rest of the journey will be spent together. That newspaperman is Clark Gable, so you can probably guess the rest ;) It's a super sweet film and one that I can watch over and over and over again!

Watch it: Google videos // YouTube // Amazon
Buy it: Amazon Rent it: Netflix

Truth: What is one must-see movie that you've never seen?
Dare: Dress up like you're walking the red carpet today!

Friday, February 24, 2012

posh frock friday

cardigan - old navy
belt - asos
shoes - c/o blowfish

Ok, forget what I said about dark colors and winter... this dress came in the mail and as soon as I tried it on I was like "SPRING, OH HOW I ADORE YOU! FOR YOU BRING PASTEL COLORS AND PRETTY FLOWERS AND I AM IN LOVE LA LA LA LA LA" ...I think the dress brainwashed me.

And I think Hubble is going to end up in every single outfit photo I take from now on. Not only is he a complete ham (he looks straight into the camera even when it's on a tripod positioned all the way across the room) but he really loves his humans. He's very attached already, so I suspect the allure of the camera combined with me being nearby will mean he'll be drawn into my outfit photos like a moth to a flame.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

star stuff

I've seen this on pinterest a couple times but it's one of those crazy link chains where one image links back to a tumblr, which links to another tumblr, which links to weheartit and nowhere can you find the original source. So if anyone knows who made this please let me know! I'd like to credit them & probably buy a print :)

Anyway, I think the quote is absolutely beautiful. I love nighttime -- I like the still quiet, the feeling of being awake when almost everyone else in your time zone is fast asleep and obviously being able to see the stars. Night is the only time that the naked eye can peek out into the universe, and I think that's lovely.

I will admit, despite the fact that I am a night owl, I do get scared of the dark sometimes. Although, strangely, I'm never scared of the dark when I'm outside, only when I'm inside. It's stupid because it's a lot more likely that a killer would be lurking in my backyard than under my bed, but I suppose fear isn't usually caused by rational thinking...

Update: The quote isn't actually by Galileo, but by poet Sarah Williams. You can read her poem and see my own artwork with the quote in this star stuff post :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

wishlist wednesday

I woke up this morning to an ASOS email announcing their Leap Year sale. Once I started looking through the selection, opening dozens of items in my tabs and drooling over all the pretty dresses that were marked down, I realized that I didn't really need to look anywhere else for my wishlist wednesday post. So all of the dresses here are from the sale page, all of them are 20% off. And all of the pictures link to the items.

One tiny pet peeve, though. I'm probably being a complete nerd, but shouldn't it be 29% off if it's a leap year sale? It just makes more sense.

Bright hair care Q&A with Kelsi Does Hair

I've been dying my hair pink for about 9 months now, but there are still so many things that puzzle me about the process, and questions I have that endless google searches never answer. So when Kelsi from Kelsi Does Hair contacted me about sponsoring my blog last month, I immediately asked if she'd be up for doing a little Q&A about dying and maintaining bright hair color! Not only did Kelsi have pink hair for 10 years, but she's also a professional hairstylist! So, unlike me, she really knows what she's talking about! I'm sure some of my questions are pretty goofy or stupid, but I was curious and as Linda Ellerbee always said... if you want to know, ask! ;)

Q: What is the absolute best thing you can do to care for bleached, brightly colored hair? What is the worst thing you can do?

A: The best things you can do are to invest in professional quality products and tools that are designed for lightened hair, detangle it gently and treat it with care. The worst things you can do are to brush through it when it's wet or be rough with it in general, especially when it's wet, bleach it over and over again or color over it and then bleach it again.

Q: Whenever I look up information about dying your hair fun colors, there are always TONS of warnings about over-bleaching and hair falling out or breaking off. But when I was looking into plain old blonde a few years back, I never saw any such warnings. Since the semi-permanent colored dye is harmless, why is there such a focus on breakage for people wanting pink or blue hair, but not blonde?

A: Hmm... I can't really say for sure. Lightening hair is the same whether you are going to leave it blonde or go over it with a semi-permanent color. I have a few thoughts about why the information you found might have differed, but I can't say for sure about any of them without reading the same information. My first thought is that when pre-lightening hair in order to do a bright color, instructions probably talk about bleaching your hair, whereas a lot of people use a box color instead of bleach in order to go blonde. Using color to lift can be less damaging, but often doesn't give very good results. Or it could be that when pre-lightening hair to do a bright color, many people recommend bleaching it to platinum/white first, but "blonde" can be a wide range, including darker blondes which don't require as much lifting and wont' be as damaging. In any case, you should be very careful when lightening your hair, no matter what end result you are going for. Breakage is always a concern, especially if you are doing it at home.

Q: You mentioned that most people recommend bleaching your hair to a platinum/white first before going with a bright color (I think it even says that on the bottle of the colors I've used) but I've always gotten a pretty bright pink without bleaching it white. Mine looks sort of bright yellow before I apply the color, and it still comes out very bright pink. Are there certain colors (like warmer hues) that can look just as vibrant without having to bleach the heck out of your hair? For instance, I'd imagine blue might have a greenish tint if it's dyed over yellow hair, so you'd need it to be almost white beforehand, but for bright orange a yellow base wouldn't interfere with the color?

A: When I do bright colors, I usually aim for a pale yellow blonde. If you are doing a pastel color, the hair will need to be very very pale in order to show up properly. If you're doing a darker, warm color like fuchsia, red or orange, you can leave a little more yellow in the hair, but you're right that any strong undertones will show through especially if you're using a cool color like blue. Also if you don't bleach it light enough, the hair won't be porous enough to hold on to the color well, but on the contrary, if your hair is overly processed, the color will come out quicker. That light yellow color is usually the sweet spot for semi-permanent haircolor.

Q: I used Manic Panic cotton candy pink for a while, but it always faded super duper fast. Since I switched to Special Effects cupcake pink it stays practically forever. In your experience is this the case with all of their dyes, or does it vary by color? Are there any colors that seem to last really long regardless of which brand you use?

A: In my experience, it varies most from brand to brand, and to a lesser degree from color to color. For longevity, Special Effects, Fudge and Raw are all good ones, regardless of the color. I'm not a big fan of Manic Panic or Punky Colors as I've experienced a lot of bleeding and rubbing off with those ones. Inkworks by Paul Mitchell has fair longevity for the warmer colors like pink, red and orange, but their cool colors like blue and purple fade off really quickly. This can be a good thing if you want to change your color frequently so that you don't have to damage your hair by trying to lift your previous color out.

Q: What would you recommend for super deep conditioning treatments? Are regular bottled conditioners the best for color treated hair, or are home remedies good as well, like mayonnaise or olive oil? My mom used to swear by Vo5 hot oil when she had waist-length long hair in the 70's. Is that advisable for bleached hair?

A: As far as home remedies vs. things that are created specifically to be used in your hair, REAL conditioning treatments win hands down. Oils like olive oil, mayonnaise etc. can coat the outside of your hair, which will make it temporarily feel smoother and shinier, just like anything that is coated in oil, but it does nothing for the internal structure of your hair. I don't advise ever putting these kinds of oils on blonde hair because it can cause yellowing. Conditioning treatments, especially professional quality ones, are better designed to penetrate your hair and improve the integrity of your hair, making it stronger, healthier, smoother and better conditioned from the inside and out. Some oils can help condition your hair on a deeper level, but they have to be the correct molecular weight to penetrate your hair, and you aren't going to find them at the grocery store. My favorite deep conditioner is the Awapuhi Wild Ginger Keratriplex Treatment, which is an in-salon two step treatment by Paul Mitchell. You can find a salon that offers it by visiting The second part of that treatment, called Awapuhi Wild Ginger Keratin Intensive Treatment, is available to purchase and take home; that is what I personally use at home. It's the only thing that makes my hair feel really, really soft and comb out easily. Other good ones are Paul Mitchell's Super Strong Treatment, and K-Pak by Joico.

Q: I know *technically* bleaching at home isn't advised, but if you're going to do it yourself, is there any way to do it in little increments? It seems like the only home lightening kits majorly lighten your hair within like 30 minutes! If you want to do it slowly over a couple weeks with gradual lightening, is there a way to do it at home?

A: The at-home lightening kits that I see always come with 40 volume developer, which is insane to me. I almost NEVER use 40 volume developer in the salon. The lower the volume of developer, the slower it will lift. Go to a beauty supply that is open to the public like Sally Beauty and get powder or cream bleach and 10 or 20 volume developer. 20 will still give you a lot of lift within 30 minutes and is what I use on most people, even to achieve platinum. 10 will give you less lift and might be easier to use if you work slower or if you don't want to bleach your hair as light. 20 is the highest volume that would use on someone's scalp, any higher than that and you are risking chemical burns.

Q: If you're totally done with your cool colored hair and want to dye it brown, how on earth do you do it? I went to a salon and the stylist accidentally turned my hair green! eek!

A: I highly recommend getting this done at a salon as opposed to at home, because it is SO easy to mess up, and I know exactly what your stylist did wrong. If your hair has been lightened and the color you want to do is several shades darker, you need to "fill" it before putting on your final color. Filling involves adding warm tones back in to the hair. Depending on how many shades darker you want to go with it, you'll need to add some orange, red-orange or red tones back in to your hair before putting the brown on. If you jump straight to brown, especially if you are doing a cool or ashy brown, your porous, lightened hair is going to grab on to those cool/ashy tones and cling to them for dear life, leaving it a murky greenish color. Your stylist SHOULD know what kind of color and what tone is missing from your hair and needs to be added back in before your final color, but unfortunately not all of them do.

Q: I've read that washing your hair in cold water is one of the best ways to keep your color, but in the middle of winter that is super hard! Are there any other, less torturous, methods for keeping your color bright?

A: Using cool water to wash your hair is a great way to make your color last longer. It doesn't have to be ice cold, but the coolest water that is comfortable, even if that means room temperature, as opposed to scalding hot, is better for both your hair and your skin/scalp. Some other ways to help your hair color last longer are using professional quality color protective shampoo and conditioner, shampooing your hair less often (Every other day at the most! I only shampoo mine once or twice a week), Using a good deep conditioning treatment, and cover your hair if you are going to be in the sun, or if you are going tanning. Use heat on your hair less often if you can too, or at least use a heat protective product if you are going to straighten or curl your hair.

Q: All hair dye instructions seem to advise that you don't dye freshly shampooed hair. Why is that? And I've always wondered if it's then ok to dye really dirty hair, or does it need to be a happy medium like 1 day after your last shampoo?

A: I usually prefer that people wash their hair one to two days before coming in to have it colored. You want to have a little bit of your natural oil on your scalp to help protect it from both irritation from the color and keep it from staining. I wouldn't recommend coloring your hair if it's REALLY dirty, because excess oil and especially heavy styling products like waxes can prevent the color from penetrating and successfully coloring your hair.

Q: Do things like deep conditioning masks or leave-in treatments actually work, or are you better off just slathering your hair with regular old conditioner and letting it sit for a while?

A: Leaving conditioner on for a while will help more than just quickly putting it in and rinsing it off, especially if you keep your hair warm and moist while it sits. However good quality deep conditioners definitely have their merits and can do more to provide your hair with crucial moisture or protein than a daily conditioner. The key is to get a professional quality deep conditioner, and make sure to use it as the directions recommend. Since they are more intense than regular conditioners, if you over-use them, they can actually harm your hair. For example, lightened hair usually needs protein, so if you use a protein-rich deep conditioner like Paul Mitchell Super Strong conditioner, it will make your hair feel much softer and more manageable, but if you use it every day, it can deposit too much protein and actually make your hair more brittle and prone to breakage.

Q: If you have permanent dye in your hair (like red or light brown.. I'm assuming black would definitely require a salon visit) do you have to use a color removal kit before bleaching, or can you just bleach over the old color?

A: Unless the color you used has metallic salts, which a few brands do, like Just For Men hair color, you can just bleach it. If your hair was its natural color before you went over it with permanent color and you want it back to your natural color, i would recommend using just a color remover instead of bleach because color remover only takes out artificial hair color and won't affect your natural color, whereas bleach is non-discriminatory and will lift your natural hair color as well as the the artificial color. If the permanent hair color you have on is fairly light like you described, and you want to shoot for a lighter color than your natural, you shouldn't have much trouble with just bleaching it instead of using a color remover.

Q: Lastly, this has nothing to do with coloring, but I'm curious! Does trimming your hair really make it grow faster & make it healthier, or is it just a myth?

A: It's a myth, mostly. It does improve the health of your hair because you are trimming off the ends, which are the most damaged, which will help prevent tangling and splitting. It does not make your hair grow faster though. It seems like your hair grows faster when you trim it because you are keeping the ends healthier and allowing it to grow out without breaking. If your ends are all scraggly, trimming them off will make your hair look and feel healthier which can actually make it look longer. But since the only part of your hair that is alive is the root, which is in your scalp and all of the hair that you can see is made up of dead keratin, nothing you do to that hair will affect the way that it actually grows out of your head.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Style Idol - Clara Bow

//image links back to the source

I love this photo of Clara Bow! The collared dress with a printed sweatshirt and kneesocks!! So cute! I'd have to skip the roller skates myself if I wanted to live to see another day, but otherwise I can definitely see copying this outfit!

no winter blues

dress - h&m
collar - handmade (gift from casey)
cat pin - vintage (gift from casey)
shoes - c/o blowfish
belt - forever 21

Spring may be right around the corner, but I'm still really enjoying winter! I love soup, hot drinks, comforters, my cozy bed and cats snuggling up to me to keep warm. For me, spring means insanely bad allergies, neighbors using noisy lawnmowers, stink bugs (does anyone else have them? ahh they're so annoying!) and less soup. Anything that causes less soup can't be all that great. The idea of more watermelon and strawberries makes me a little less hostile towards spring, but man I really love soup.

As spring draws closer I've been finding myself more and more drawn to deep, dark tones. I usually go for bright colors and pastels, subconsciously matching my outfits to my pink hair, but I suppose my clinging-on-for-dear-life attachment to winter must be affecting my current taste in clothing as well.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Cat necklace giveaway! [closed]

BrideBlu is offering one lucky cat lady this sweet little kitty cat necklace! The winner gets to choose the chain length, and whether they want gold or silver. They also get to choose a name for their new cat. Hubble is already taken.. ;)

To enter simply leave a comment with a link to your favorite item from BrideBlu, and some way to contact you (email, twitter, blog, whatever floats your boat!) Also, you must be a follower to enter! This is mandatory! (And, please, none of this follow-and-leave as soon as the giveaway is over jazz.. that's super rude!) Oh, and this giveaway is open to absolutely everyone who lives on planet Earth!

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

1. Tweet this "Just entered to win a @brideblu cat necklace giveaway on @kategabrielle's blog!" (Only counts if you use that exact tweet.)
2. Follow BrideBlu's blog
3. Follow BrideBlu on Facebook

This giveaway ends at 12AM EST on February 27th! ENDED

Winner: Comment #126

Saturday, February 18, 2012

snail mail

(image via)

I just wanted to post a little note here to say that I'm a tad bit (ok, really) behind on my emails and twitter replies this week, but I'm planning on plopping myself in front of the keyboard and getting completely caught up tomorrow. Sometimes life just takes you away from the computer for a while. So far February has really been one of the most hectic months ever and it's just been hard for me to keep up with everything. I normally try to reply to emails at least every other night, but this week especially was absolutely INSANE. Each time I attempted to get caught up I was just too overwhelmed and way too tired.

Anyway! If you're waiting on a reply from me, I should be getting back to you tomorrow (well, today, I guess, since I'm posting this after midnight) and I'm really sorry for the delay. Let's just pretend we're still living in the snail mail era and 4-6 days is a perfectly normal period to wait for a reply? ;)

Friday, February 17, 2012

posh frock friday + a happy hypatia update!

dress, cardigan & tights - h&m
shoes - from my grandmom
belt - forever 21

I've been quiet about the Hypatia situation for a while, but yesterday I got fantastic news and I had to share. This week she seemed like she was improving, but I didn't want to say anything until she'd been to our vet for a follow-up and I could be sure :)

As I mentioned before, she contracted feline herpes which was causing a killer upper respiratory infection that she just couldn't shake. She also has a chronic condition where her body attacks her gums, so she gets monthly shots to suppress her immune system. When her doctor saw her two weeks ago, he told me that I had to prepare for the worst, and soon. The regular shots would exacerbate the URI, but stopping them would cause her gums to get so bad that she couldn't eat. He wasn't optimistic, but he gave her some antibiotics, pain killers and lots of fluids. I started giving her Little Noses saline drops (our vet approved), leading her to the food when she couldn't smell, and just doing absolutely everything I could to make sure she was comfortable, breathing well and eating. We all crossed our fingers and hoped for the best. AND IT WORKED!

At her follow-up appointment yesterday, her doctor was absolutely jubilant! Hypatia's gained a lot of weight (which I already knew because I was weighing her daily and keeping track... I'm that kind of cat lady lol) and the URI seems to have subsided. Plus, her mouth was fine, too! He doesn't even want to see her again for another three weeks!!

She's an older cat, and she has been having minor health issues for four years so I know we don't have forever. But honestly, after our last appointment I didn't think I'd even have one day, let alone five weeks. The vet thinks she's out of danger for now, so (knock on wood!) I get to keep my darling Hypatia for a little while longer. I can honestly say that I have never been so happy in my entire life. I have been crying almost nonstop since I got the good news, I'm just SO happy! She really is my everything, and even if our time together is limited I'm just elated that, for now at least, I don't have to think about saying goodbye.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

star stuff

I could easily rename this series "Things I found on Neil deGrasse Tyson's twitter."

This time it's an amazing interactive animation that shows you the scale of various things in the universe -- from the super duper tiny (the theoretical strings in string theory) to the super duper enormous (the entire universe!) and everything in between. It's absolutely fascinating, and it was created by a 14 year old student and his twin brother! It seriously puts my science fair projects to shame lol... Anyway, you can take a peek here! It's definitely the most informative, fun 15 minutes I've spent online recently.

hair today gone tomorrow

shirt - modcloth
skirt - c/o francesca's*
cardigan - old navy
belt - forever 21
shoes - c/o blowfish

I wore this last week so you can't see it yet, but I chopped off my hair! It's about chin length now. I still have a couple old outfit pictures from last week and the week before that I haven't got around to posting yet, so I might not end up sharing a picture with my new do until next week... but I really like it! I get so impatient brushing it when it gets long, and I just felt like a change. Maybe it's an early case of spring fever :) Oh, and side note: how annoying is it when your shirt sleeves bunch up under your cardigan?! ergh! pet peeve alert!

*Take 30% off any one item at Francesca's with the code KATE!