Hold On

It’s myself falling into another flashback.

For Tony: who found me

&

For Cecelia Grace: who helped me find me.

*Trigger warning

This morning, I drove down my block on my way to drop my son off at school. Singing Baby Shark, and making up silly verses—I hear Michael giggling in the backseat. 

Ouch. 

What was that? 

Ouch, again. 

My heart. Or, what feels like my heart. It’s myself disassociating from my present tense. It’s myself falling into another flashback. These days, it doesn’t happen as often- but when it does, it doesn’t feel good. I stop at a stop sign and turn my head. I can hear my head turning. Oh, yeah- I know what’s happening. Pull over. My heart and my body start moving in different directions while I hear Michael muffled, “Mommy you stopped the car!” 

Time slows down while I breathe out what feels like a thousand glass shards through my mouth. My lungs and throat are on fire. Then, just like that, it’s gone. What was once muffled is back to normal, and Baby Shark fades out and starts up again. I start driving and go on my way.

My eyes tear up, and my chest feels like it’s falling into itself. “Just breathe, baby. It’s almost done.” I talk myself out of crying and drive towards the main road. “You are not her. You aren’t her anymore. Be brave. ” You say out loud.

“Who’s her?”

Your son’s question breaks the fog. You’re a mom again. Stop it, just drop him off.  

It’s only for an instant, but ten years later, I still cannot place how I got to where I am. It’s like I woke up and I was married, in a house that I apparently bought, with a dog and pregnant. It’s like my body was on autopilot for so long that it forgot what happiness felt like, and how to turn back to manual. 

I do not remember anything, and if I say I do, I’m lying. For three years, I was completely on autopilot, trying to make sense of the mess I created around me. Occasionally, I’ll drive around my neighborhood by myself, listening to music from my junior year in college and try to place where I was exactly when I decided to take my own life.

I was walking to the corner of Broad and Olney outside LaSalle University. The weather was turning, and the leaves fell onto the blacktop just in time for me to walk over them. I made my way to south campus when I saw a group of girls in my grade. I didn’t know them, but I had seen them at parties before. One of them waved at me, and I crookedly smiled at her. I looked up to the sky and for the first time in my life, I felt like I didn’t need to be there. There was a peace in the chaos around me. I didn’t care about being their friend, I didn’t care about going to see my friends on the other side of campus– and I turned around and walked back to my apartment.

It’s been ten years. Ten years of recovery, turning off autopilot, and starting to find myself. I still don’t know who I am, and I’m not sure if I ever will.

I tried to take my life so matter-of-factly one afternoon alone in my LaSalle apartment, that it even scares me to think about it.  If I can remember correctly, I was on academic probation with my sorority and could not go to a party they were hosting. I didn’t actually care about the party, or anything else for that matter. I would have slept through the whole night if it weren’t for having to use the bathroom.

I woke up from my nap after skipping my class, looked at myself in the bathroom mirror after washing my hands and then …my memory fogs up. The next thing I saw was my friend pulling me upwards towards my couch. I tried to fight him off of me, but my legs dragged underneath me, while he pulled me out of my bathroom. I had blood on my shirt and my razor had fallen into the sink. My wrist and palms had blood all over, while I tried to cover up my newly cut wound with my other hand. He grabbed my phone and called my mom, then my therapist, then my roommates…I think. I wish I had the guts to ask them if he called them, I never knew how everyone knew, but everyone knew by the end of the night.

I wish, in some small capacity, I could tell my friends how sick I actually was. I wish, for a minute, I could apologize for putting them through what I put them through. Not just Tony, but my roommates, my sorority sisters, everyone I knew. I was so sick, and I didn’t know how to ask for help. So I didn’t, I didn’t want to be a bother. So, this is an apology for the friendships and trust that I broke. I am sorry I didn’t tell you how bad I was hurting. I’m sorry for the fights, the screaming, and most of all the distance I put between us. I had to take the distance in order to be closer to myself.  

If you’re reading this…be a bother. Always. You aren’t being dramatic, and you aren’t being “unstable.” You are being brave. Remember that.

Tony was my neighbor, and he had come in to check on me. My assumption was that I slept through his baseball practice and I skipped dinner, so he was concerned. I’m not really sure what would have happened to me if he wasn’t concerned. I’m not really sure if I’d be able to write you my musings of what I’ve learned about mental illness ten years later.

The rest of the months after the “incident” have been redacted from my mind. It’s like seeing an old diary that certain entries have been ripped out or scribbled over. It’s so frustrating to comb through your mind while trying to feel what you felt through those couple of months, and coming up with some nondescript answer.

Looking back, I feel like I was underwater for three years. I went through life on autopilot. I took my medicine, went through the motions of going to class and seeing friends—but I was never truly there. I was never fully, all there. I made some huge mistakes in that time that I can only remember in glimpses, and that’s absolutely terrifying. I’ve scoured the internet for pictures of nights I don’t remember having, and I can’t find much. Have you ever seen a video of yourself drunk? Singing, dancing, and doing stupid things…imagine seeing videos or pictures of yourself for three years without recalling any memories. Talk about terrifying.

These ten years of my life have been the hardest years that I could ever imagine. I never thought I’d be able to write this. But, I don’t know when the time will be right to share a reflection so harsh and scary. So, I’ll continue on.

It’s been 10 years that have been filled with learning’s, successes, and beauty. I was given a second chance, and I am so glad I pulled myself up by my bootstraps, dragged my body through recovery and finally reached out and grabbed what I could and didn’t let go. Sometimes, the only way out is through. Through barbed wire and numbing medication, through hurt and years of my brain shutting off memories to save its person from what’s been done.

Even if my mind and body was bruised and hurt, I had to go through the struggle to heal to get to the other side. I had to put in the work, and throw away the shame of asking for help. Once I was able to catch my breath, I was able turn back just to see the mess I left behind. The wreck I made of the very things that tried to wreck me.

I have been able to see the most beautiful days through the harsh realties that are sprinkled into each day. I have made the most of what I’ve been given, and made it into an adventure. I beg you to do the same. Even if your beauty is “I didn’t cry today” or “I put shoes on.” It’s a victory, and remember when you couldn’t stop crying, or when you couldn’t bear to put shoes on.

I would have never met the little person that calls me mommy. Who has solidified my decision to stay on this earth. My little man, the happiest guy I’ve ever met, would not be. My husband would still be in Germany, wondering what ever happened to that girl he dated for like two days in her freshman year. He’d probably still be working in a kitchen, with no plans of coming back to the United States. My parents and siblings would speak in hushed tones about me, if I came up. And, my nieces and nephews would only see me as a photo on the piano. Cecelia and Meredith’s fashion would be a lot less Lilly Pulitzer heavy, and they would have a lot less sparkly pencils. Phin and Colin wouldn’t have an older cousin to try to teach them basketball. The house I’ve made into a home would have sold to some contractor who would have redone my kitchen and fixed this stupid fireplace to make it gas. I would have never found out that I actually do have a runner’s body, and I do in fact ENJOY going to the gym and being competitive. Friends would post a picture of me on their Instagram feed on the anniversary of my suicide, and write to me and tell me all I have missed. And boy, I would have missed a lot.

My heart aches to think of the souls of the people who were so hurt, and so broken that they couldn’t bring themselves to wake up one more day, see one more sunrise, and share one more meal with someone they loved.

What would life be like without me? What would the world be like with one less Katie? One less caramel macchiato loving bitch, that’s for sure.

Please hold on. Please. It’s worth it. 800-273-8255

The 7 People You Meet in HomeGoods

There are few people that can walk up and down the aisles at home goods and not get tempted into purchasing kitchen towels that say “Drink up, witches.”

Ah, home goods, the mothership. There are few people that can walk up and down the aisles at HomeGoods and not get tempted into purchasing kitchen towels that say “Drink up, witches.”

In fact, I have a theory. There are seven different types of people that you will meet in a HomeGoods aisle that are bound to have their carts overflowing with another skeleton or truck and tree pillow.

1. The Influencer

Ohh, girl you know who she is. Maybe I even tried to be her for a hot minute. (Transplanted New Yorker?) Come on guys, you’ve seen her before. There she is… with her Instagram open… ready for an epic story. Not only is she sporting a wide-brimmed hat (it is fall, you know) but she’s wearing a buffalo check flannel button-down with skinny jeans and a boot moment. She starts off her Instagram story with a boomerang of the HomeGoods sign with a caption of “uh oh, haul coming soon!” Steer clear, I think I’ve seen her start fights over the last twinkle light set.

2. The mom who just needs a break

If she has kids with her, she’s not getting a break— but has the day off and needs to get out of her house. She spends the majority of her time going up and down the aisles yelling at her children to get off the glass shelves because they definitely will not hold them. She’s the one that you hear screaming, “BRAXTON, GET OVER HERE” in frames while you’re over in the kitchen section. By the time you end up behind her in line, her children have tears coming down their face while she’s calling her husband talking about how bad they are. She’s bribed or threatened them… or both. All children involved have at least one toy from the kid’s section that will inevitably be put back before they check out.

3. The “collector”

Hands-down, easily the most annoying and obnoxious of all HG shoppers. She’s the one that you see knocking down the door at 10 of 10 on a Saturday. Regardless of her having her children there, they are so well-trained that you wouldn’t even know that she had kids with her. They know that once Mommy goes into home goods you do not misbehave or you will get all fortnight privileges taken away.  They’re the ones that are calling each and everyone of their bookclub friends to see if they want the latest Rae Dunn collection. Much to your demise, when you arrive at 11 AM, the entire shelf is empty. They then proceed to go on to Instagram, and use hashtags such as #wipedout #earlybirdgetstheworm. If you aren’t a HG shopper, you can easily translate this to the IG accounts that find deep discounted clearance at Target. Same person, same Lularoe leggings.

4. The mom who actually is getting a well deserved break

I don’t think this lady actually knows that she’s in a HomeGoods or that her children have stayed home with somebody else.  You can usually see her wandering around the same aisle three or four times before she realizes that she’s made a circle and have bumped into several shoppers. She usually takes this time to multitask, checking her emails or texting friends that she’ll forget about in an hour. She’s usually the quickest of the home good shoppers since she usually gets distracted and leaves. God bless her. And by her, I mean me. Because this is me.

5. The Mother/daughter duo saying “this is cute”

These two take forever, and usually aren’t paying attention. They go up and down every aisle so not to miss anything. Since they both have a cart each, they take up the entire aisle. Usually, they’ll shoot you a dirty look when you just want to pass them. Even an excuse me seems rude in their eyes. How dare you come to their aisle! Most likely there is a project started at home that they needed to come out to grab some additional items to finish. However, this gets thrown into the wind after they hit the pillow section. They comb through each section touching every piece of product on the shelves remarking, “this is cute”

“this is cute”

“this is cute…”

“Mom look, isn’t this cute?”

6. The couple

These two are too big for their britches. Usually it starts off with just one part of the couple walking up and down each aisle with the determination that they can find something cute for their apartment or house. By the time they get to the Tupperware section, the other half of the couple has either decided to leave them and go back to the car, or jump headfirst into a full house renovation. You’ll pass them contemplating all new dishes, “oh don’t we need this for the bar? How cute would that be?”, and planning what their ideal kitchen would look like. Phrases fly around like, “go with me here… I’m thinking an island!” Or “I was really loving what they did on love it or list it, we could probably make that”

7. The home goods returner

The rarest breed of all HomeGoods shoppers, is the one that goes back and returns. From what I’ve seen of this breed, they are usually not the most pleasant. They expect to be able to find all the items that they need for their project in one HomeGoods, and they can’t understand why there’s no website. Usually they will opt for an exchange, since no one can ever remember which bag they put your receipt…and the whole store has been reconfigured after they left two days ago, and now looks like a Christmas wonderland.

 

Sugar Free? How about, Fun Free?

…and my pants shouldn’t be this tight.

I’ve been asked by many how I’m going through this transition of eating whatever TF I want, to actually being fairly disciplined in watching what I am eating. (Fairly is the key word in this)

Well, friends, it’s no easy task. Anyone can just log onto Instagram, Facebook, Twitter..and find a diet that is way too difficult, too unobtainable– and then give up after posting 3 pictures of themselves at Whole Foods Gluten Free aisle. Let me tell ya: Gluten Free ain’t something to do unless you have an issue: then by all means, be gluten-free.

I’ve met with dietitians that measured me, weighed me, and given me diets: and I really am happy to say that it actually worked. To get a plan was expensive but worth it. To have someone rooting in your corner was expensive and nagging…but WORTH.IT. I’ve since moved to a different state, lost a couple of years– but now, I’m back on track. (BTW pah-leeze don’t get mad at me because you think I’m wrong) BUT I am able to say: Sugar free, for me, works da best.

For three-five whole days I thought about decapitating everyone around me. I thought about food constantly, and only wanted just about everything that you walked past or saw on my Instagram feed. I did the opposite of exposure therapy.  I brought my own lunch to work, didn’t leave the office to walk past the various places with treats, and did not eat out for the first week. I needed a full on detox, from temptation and food. I made sure to drink water, not deprive myself of meals, and not load up on a ton of fruit. (You’ll just want something sweet)

Going grocery shopping when you’re deprived of something that seemed like my whole body was made of was the worst day of my life. I looked up recipes before I went and jotted down what I needed. My dietitian said to read every single label– read everything before you put it in your body– and obey the serving size. LOL have you seen how much cereal you should be eating? Jokes. Did you know cereal isn’t allowed on my diet? Lol. Jokes again. I went through aisle after aisle in my grocery store picking up things I thought looked “heathly” and putting them back down after seeing 12 grams of sugar in one serving. By the time I got home, I was crying because I came home with chicken, peppers, cauliflower, and quinoa. My dad actually made fun of me because I was crying about food. Which, in hindsight, it’s terribly funny because I was crying about food. After a week of dieting and taking pictures of every single portion I ate, I met with my good ole friend, Maria. She combed through my camera roll and gave me props or feedback about each plate.

“What kind of sauce is that?”

“Yea, your grains should never be so much that they are falling off the plate.”

“Are you sure that’s all you ate?”

She never made me feel bad about my image.  Everything she said was for me to get healthier. It was never about those measurements. After three weeks, I told her I could actually wake up with my alarm. I saw a difference in how my legs and knees felt. Yes, I had lost some inches around my waist- but I initially went to her because I felt sick, and at 24, I didn’t think I should feel so tired I could hibernate through the winter.

Fast forward to this year. I woke up the week of January 17th and felt sick. My baby was whining in the next room to get picked up and start the day- and I just couldn’t do it. I got up, sluggishly walked into his room, could barely pick him up, and unhappily started my day…at 8:30am. I knew I needed to change myself. If not for me, but for MP3. My whole life I wanted to be a young mom, because I felt like I would be able to chase my kids around and be the best mom possible…at 27, I shouldn’t be this slow. My knees shouldn’t hurt his bad..and my pants shouldn’t be this tight. (So much drama)

I knew what I had to do. After MP3’s breakfast, I made myself an Eggo waffle with Nutella and had my last meal. I packed my lunch (LOL if you know me), dropped the baby off at his grandmom’s, and pranced off to work feelin’ like a million bucks. I later got a granola bar that had 10 grams of sugar in it and said, “OK, now this is my last meal.” And, I meant it. I’m older, wiser, and have much more willpower than I used to. It’s because I know what didn’t work the last time. The last time around, I just said “just a taste” to everything after 6 months, and then it became…”well okay.”

This time, I came armed with a nagging husband, mom, and boss who all throw curveballs my way and then praise me with how well I’m doing. I’m doin’ this for me, but also for my instagram feed. (Just kidding)

If you want a friend to watch food with, or diet with–LMK. I’m not a professional, but I’m a friend!

 

Love you, mean it.

K

 

 

Disclaimer: Like honestly, go to a dietition or something if you need a food plan and don’t take my word as bible… because mine was designed around me…and they know some shit and went to school for this. This is for motivating the crap out of you.

 

 

2k18 So Far

I never said I was delicate or smooth.

2017 is now known as my transition year. A “PD” year if you will. I was transitioning into finding out what kind of mother I really was aiming to be, finding myself, learning how to be an adult successfully (still not there though), and really eating and doing whatever I wanted.

I don’t need resolutions at the beginning of the year, and since it’s March, enough time has passed that I feel it’s acceptable to say that I’ve been on track for most of my goals that I set for myself on January 17th. (NOT new year, new me..because I love me)

Taking Care of My Mind

Yes, this means I’ve actually been taking care my mind, which is the first step in taking care of one’s self. Not letting my anxiety get the best of me and actively working my way through sleepless nights and agonizing days that just won’t end. Stating my problems to my loved ones and trying to get resources so that I can have a third unbiased party listen to my fears. My anxiety and depression haven’t gone away, and I honestly think it is something that stays with you. Anxiety and depression shape how you are in moments, how you approach situations in your life, but by no means does it define your character. And that, has been my biggest goal so far. To discover who I’ve grown up to be, and who I am supposed to be. I’ve lived the last 10 years in a depression fog riddled with anxiety and fear that has affected the way that I live my everyday life…and with my son and the life I live now, I’ve come out on the other side of this fog not knowing exactly who I have become– and I have goaled myself to take the first steps in finding out who I am and what morals I stand for.

Taking care of my outer body

Paying the extra bit to occasionally get my nails done, sleep in when I have the chance, take a walk every so often, go out of my way to get my hair blown out, and actively watch what I am eating. My diet is not exactly “strict.” But, it’s because I laid out the rules, and was firm with myself in the beginning. However, I am able to stick to it because I let myself fail and pull myself up each time and have willpower. Food relationships vary by each person, but for me food has always been a frienemy. For those that do not think that willpower is an actual superpower– watch me resist buying Reeses chocolate eggs for Easter. It’s an actual conversation I have with the woman at Rite Aid, while she stares at me eating Skinny Pop out of my purse. (I never said I was delicate or smooth) BUT, I am able to resist and press on by listening to my stomach say “I’m full! No more!” instead of saying, “What about second dinner?”

Becoming more social

I have no idea when I started having social anxiety, but it’s a newer friend that has caused me to lose friends, blow chances with potential ones, and feel locked in my own house on Friday and Saturday nights. I know it’s okay to be somewhat of a homebody, but for someone with social anxiety– it’s important for me to be forced out into situations– even for 15 minutes (and then you say you have a stomach ache) I think I fear the unknown of the arrival and getting into a place rather than being out somewhere…is there a name for that specific of of a problem? (I never said I wasn’t crazy)

I’m happy to report it is now March, and aside from a couple nights of drinking and having fun, I have been able to stick to my diet and lose some weight, shake the tiredness that goes along with being overweight, and find a great routine that my son fits right into, and I’m so happy to see how the rest of the year goes!

Love you, mean it.

K

Stuff I’ve Done Wrong: Mom Edition

No matter what I write or what anyone writes– your child might be different, and those things might not work for you. 

Hey, yea, so there’s a couple of things that I should tell you all about my parenting style: I don’t do things the way the moms of my time tell the internet forums to do stuff. Yup, I’m a bad millennial mom, and I’m not sorry about it.

I stopped listening to every single forum out there on the world wide paranoid web when I read a post while pregnant about the things I could NOT do while pregnant. To be honest, I’m sure there are some folks out there that would strongly encourage living in a small bubble to just make sure that everything is balanced when pregnant.

Now, I wasn’t the happiest of pregnant people. For one; everyone around me thought I had transformed into a psycho, for another; I was too lazy to follow any of the rules. Granted, I didn’t do anything horribly wrong, such as drinking, smoking, jumping off bridges, etc…but at 9 months pregnant, I BY ACCIDENT ate swordfish. My b. But, my son is a year and a half (16 months for those who prefer counting by months until their kid is 5) and he’s the most fine any kid could be. So, for those pregnant– if you slip up and drink a coffee…relax. If you slip up and drive your car on a bumpy road…relax. You’ll get through it.

Now, on to the last 16 months of my son’s life:

We didn’t co-sleep, I had him in the crib by the time he was 3 months old, I played Fetty Wap in the car while my son was 4 months old, I didn’t stick him in front of a TV at 5 months old, I didn’t put batteries in the swing or cradle for extra vibrations because it’s too overstimulating, I used Facebook once for parenting advice and then I found google and my doctor’s phone number, and lastly, I didn’t stress about every single developmental step, every single problem out there– because when you do, you get gray hair.

Moral of my story, you’re going to screw up– and you’re going to be afraid, but it’s not the end of the world if your kid doesn’t start walking right at 13 months. When you learn to not stress about every single thing, you start to actually find your groove and your parenting style. I figured out that reading mommy blogs that used fire and brimstone in order to breed fear in their readers just wasn’t for me. No matter what I write or what anyone writes– your child might be different, and those things might not work for you.

Things will come up, and you have to learn to be cool and collected while handling it, because children feed off your behavior. The first time you have to fill out paperwork for your child will be something else, and you’ll actually realize that you’re in charge of this baby, and you have to do right by him or her.

The best piece of advice, and the only piece I ever listened to was this:

“Don’t ever let your child dictate your life, they may alter it, change how things are done, but never work around their schedule. They have to learn to be in your world, and it’s your job to teach them.”

Love you, mean it

K

PS: Don’t be a bitter Betty about my rant. Thanks 🙂

Bags for the Chill Ma

Plus there is a top handle for when you feel sassy and want to go have some vodka clubs…

As a purse aficionado, I find it to be my duty to share with all the other moms out there what the best way is to carry around all the crap needed while being a HMIC. (In case that flew over your head it’s head mom in charge. Bitch is too drastic)

Anywho, we all know the feeling. You get up early, the babe is still napping, and you actually shower and brush your hair. There’s an extra spring in your step, and you decide, “oh I’m cute today.” For a fashion lover, what’s the best accessory? For me, it’s my bag.

Here’s a couple bags I want you guys to keep in your running when searching for a new bag all complied in my head while listening to the Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood theme song:

    1. Longchamp Small Le Pliage Shoulder Tote: This Betty is on the more expensive side for a budget friendly bitch, but it’s worth it. The only drawback, as everyone knows, nylon bags can fray on the corners. So, don’t…throw it around? But, I call this $125 bag my on the go baby purse bag. Yes, I use the large version for my actual “mommin is a habit” bag, but the small over the shoulder is perfect when you get to the point that you think you can wing it with one diaper, a package of wipes, and a pacifier. Let’s call this bag your “living on the edge” bag. But Kate, Longchamps don’t have any compartments! But, Betty..there’s this thing and I lurv it: It’s an insert, and it’s not the one for $60.
    2. Cocktail Crossbody Bag: Girl, did you not go check out Who What Wear after my last post? Seriously. Go, and get this bag too. It’s a gingham, crossbody with just enough room for your money and car keys. Cross body bags free up your hands and make sure that they aren’t bulky and in your way while you are carrying a squirmy toddler who doesn’t want anything to do with being carried. Easy, peasy..and plus there is a top handle for when you feel sassy and want to go have some vodka clubs.
    3. Zooawa Diaper Bag, Large Capacity Baby Nappy Tote Multi Pockets Travel Handbag: Amazon prime lovers, unite! Log on and grab this just under $35 diaper bag with a perfect amount of room. Guess what? When you put too much in your bags, you can never find what you need when you need it. Baby crying? No pacifier anywhere…need a diaper change? You’re only grabbing your backup onesie.  Should I keep momsplaining? I really don’t want to. Make sure you pack what you know you’ll use and leave your “just in case” items in your car in a larger tote (along with backup formula and water bottles) No need to look like a crazy in front of everyone at the mall. Actually, nevermind– who cares? You prob have a cute AF kid, carry 6 bags for all I care.

I’m over the “I can use my Louis Vuitton for a baby bag” people. I was one of them. You know how damn heavy that was?! Sure, use your $1100 purse to carry around diapers and be at risk for spills of baby food and formula. After my son’s bottle became uncapped in my Neverfull, I.nearly.died.

One last pro-tip: Use 10 minutes of your time to just clean out and reorganize your bag each night or every two nights. You’ll be surprised at what falls into your bag, and what you throw in there when your pressed for time. If anything, you’ll feel more in control of something in your life, even if your baby won’t stop spitting up on every new outfit you change into 10 minutes before work. #spitupisthebestaccessory

Love you, mean it.

K

Target Practice

Hey ya’ll,

It’s your favorite flake here– just trying to get through toddler life and also take showers– so writing kind of took a back seat. Sorry, so..sorry. But, life..right?

Anyway, I’ve been thinking I need to get writing again, and I’m going to take their toddler free week (thanks Mom and Dad!) to get on here and do my thing, but sleep..right?

There’s a ton of things I’ve been doing to better my life, which I’m super excited about. I stopped eating sugar (No, I’m not going to be annoying about it), I quit smoking (for good this time), and I finally got a handle on my work/life balance. What I haven’t done? Wrangled my anxiety and have a handle on my finances– because Lilly is cute, Longchamp has sales sometimes, and anxiety is the best friend that just won’t.stop.tagging.along.

But, we all have our issues. If I’m doing right by my body, I can be rich when I’m dead, right?

Today, I came on to tell you all about my frivolous purchase of the weekend from the blackhole many call Target. I haven’t been on the crazy train to Target in a while, but when I saw their new gingham trench, I decided I was going to stalk it until it suddenly popped into my cart and called me mom. Today, it did just that! I got to take the trench home with me along with some mules that make me feel like Steve Harvey. Talk about #sprang

The trench runs super big, so make sure to size down when grabbing this spring essential. The mules can make anyone feel like they have a pair of paddle feet. I had to grab a size 11, when I’m a size 10. Ok, I already have big feet, but still that’s a whole size up! I can’t wait to rock these two with a pair of black skinny pants, a white top and a pop of bright yellow, just to say…bzzz. They had some great items in their women’s section, especially their newest diversion from the exit : Who What Wear. It is everything you want for your Instagram-worthy pics for your ~blog~

Speaking of Target in general, they have a whole lot of things on clearance. The Target near my house is kind of sketchy, so I travel the extra 15 to go to the boujee one. There’s clearance sheets, lamps, water bottles, curtains, and floor mats. Just what ever domestic diva needs in her life. Just don’t get too out of hand in the first couple of aisles. It’s literally a warzone in there.

 

Love you, mean it.

 

K

 

 

 

5 Go-To Recipes Under $20

Just like Taylor, I’m back.

Needed a bit of space– blank space if you will.

So, what have I been doing? Well, I’ve been:

Trying to make sure my kid stops being so mobile, haven’t put on make up in like a month, starting lusting over the color mustard, and making my lunches at home.

Yea, that’s right. It only took me about 3 years working in the same damn mall to realize that the food is actually shit there, and maybe it’s the reason I can’t seem to lose any weight. Bitter? Yes. Truthful? Yes.

Let’s just start with the choices that the state of Pennsylvania gives you as a whole: Applebees, Longhorn, Chickies (it’s good I get it, but like..not every Friday), Grand Lux, etc. The list of chains is endless. I guess being from New York makes me spoiled– but I’ll say it again. There’s literally nothing worth writing home about in this part of PA. Sorry, boo…but when you can’t find good Italian food 10 miles in any direction from your house, you start to get a bit irritated.

So, my lovely cook husband has started to whip up some awesome “take to work friendly” lunches and dinners. My problem with making lunches at home is that my hands are so full from my purse and my coffee that I usually don’t have a free hand to carry Tupperware in and out of work. I like easy, and simple, and lazy. Here’s a list of my favs and links to their recipes:

  1. Deviled Egg Macaroni Salad
  2. Paprika Parmesan Chicken
  3. Avocado Caprese Chicken Quesadilla
  4. Coconut Chicken Strips
  5. Avocado Egg Salad

If you wanted me to give you the recipes, you really are just reaching for me to do more work. In case you were wondering, this isn’t a cooking blog. But, alas– all 5 of these have something in common: They are so easy you won’t even feel like you’re really cooking– and with a 10 month old, I don’t really have enough time to cook a 5 course meal. Mostly because I’m too busy watching him crawl into my dog’s crate and try to eat one of Marlow’s 10 thousand tennis balls. Motherhood looks good on me, right?

Pro tip: Want to use Avocado in your lunch? It’s actually a freaking process– being that avocados oxidize like, super quick. You could put lemon juice on them or just leave the pit in to try to prevent oxidation. BUT I usually just wait to cut my avocados until lunch time–which is extra, and the ladies at the food court think I’m crazy when I ask them to cut an entire avocado open…but I do what I have to, amirite?

Want another pro tip? Make sure to remember to bring your containers out of your car. I know people probably adult much better than me, and that seems like a no-brainer, but just take the piece of advice and file it under your “Alright, I’m def more sane than Kate” tab. You may need it someday when your car smells.

 

Anyway, check back later this week (if I remember) to check out some new posts!

 

Love you, mean it.

K

 

How To: Beach with Baby

So, what’s a new mom to do?

It’s June, which  means it’s unbearable in your house, and outside. Let’s just call this the month of “let’s just go somewhere with air conditioning.” It’s also the beginning of many northerners heading to the beach or the pool to cool off. So, what’s a new mom to do? I mean, we already pack up half of our lives every time we go to the grocery store, so what the heck do you bring with you on a day outing?

I’ve gotten my bags down to a science. Sometimes, for day outings– you gotta wing it. A few essentials, but if you pack too much, you’ll end up carrying things back and forth to your car. You’ll be grumpy and tired, and have to deal with a sun-kissed toddler(s). It’s not easy, but it’s doable. Let’s break it down:

Write a checklist the day before

…and go over it with someone, if you’re really crazy. Just read it a couple times to your self, and think about your situations that you’re going to be in. Here’s what’s on my list:

  1. 4-5 diapers
  2. wipes
  3. a change of clothes
  4. a towel/blanket
  5. sunscreen for face and body
  6. pacifier or favorite toys
  7. umbrella or mini tent for some shady snoozes
  8. a mini cooler or lunchbox (I snagged mine from my husband)
    1. 2 bottles filled with water
    2. Packets of formula
    3. If your baby is starting on solids– feel free, but I would save that for when you get home.

Here’s the thing about this stuff. You aren’t going to an island with no stores– and if you are, you’re lucky because I can’t stand people. If you forget something, get it asap from a store while you’re there.

Pack Up The Night Before

Make sure that you aren’t just throwing things in a pack. Let’s get some Monica action here: Yell check after everything goes in..not. Anyway, make sure that you have a ziplock bag for your sunscreen, and some plastic bags for your diapers! While your at it, pack up your stuff as well.

Eat before leaving

Make sure to feed the babes before going, maybe while someone else packs up the car. It is simpler than the baby waking up mid-way through the drive and SCREAM the whole rest of the way.  On that note, put on your sunscreen before putting on bathing suits, swim shirts ride up, and no one likes a crispy baby!

Keep It Short/Don’t push going in the water

You know my kid loves a good pool, but if the baby hasn’t napped, hasn’t eaten, and is hot– guess what you’re not having? A good time. The best piece of advice I’ve ever gotten was to have your baby fit into your schedule, but that doesn’t mean forget that you have a baby who does need to eat and sleep. Read the signs, and if he/she starts to cry– stop trying to get that perfect photo, and start your routine!

Take Pictures

But, as I said before– don’t push your kid. I can’t STAND seeing parents on the beach saying, “Just one more, I know you’re tired!” Like, seriously? Your kid is cooked. Just stick a fork in him, because he…is done. Wait until after their nap or after they eat to take some candids. Guess what? The beach is always going to be there– and just because you didn’t get a catalog worthy pic doesn’t mean you’re a failure as a mother.

Bathe Them

Here’s something I didn’t realize– bathing your babes after sunscreen. For those more experienced moms– sorry that I made you cringe. I really didn’t know! My mom told me once it started getting nice out. If we apply sunscreen, homeboy gets a bath when we get home. If he’s snoring hardcore, wipe him down and bathe him first thing in the morning. You don’t want to go two days without cleaning off that sweat from his/her body.

I know I’m being bossy, and my favorite thing to say to mommas is don’t listen to anyone’s advice and just do what you feel is right– but somethings, you need a couple stories/pieces of advice to help you decide what is right for you.

 

 

 

Love you, mean it.

 

K

 

 

Best Planners out There?

I must say, I’m still not a planner person.

So, we talked about stationary…a basic girl’s most used drug. However, we didn’t talk about their secret weapon: planners. Ugh, not this again…I know, I know. Planner talk means back to school– but with popular brands getting their planner options for the new year out NOW– it’s time for all of you guys to take charge and shop smart for a great planner. I’ve gone through a couple– and I must say, I’m still not a planner person.

Guys, I really try– but I can never seem to keep track of it, or keep up with it as the months go on. Let’s face it, I buy planners because they’re pretty. If you love planners, good for you– because I sure as hell can’t seem to get it together.

Even though I forget about my planners a month into buying them, I’m still on the look out for some bitchin’ ones for you all. That’s right– I’ve been doing my homework, and I must say, we have some pretty steep competition this year.

Here it is, the best of the best planners for everyone out there:

Lilly Pulitzer, kate spade, Emily Ley, Erin Condren

Let’s just talk about these guys for a hot sec, because you know I sprinted to Lilly the day the new planners were released. These are the staples of every instagram worthy post. The artistic details, and beautiful colors, and the cute sayings all make everyone forget about the most important thing: The price. These planners can run you from about $20 for smaller versions to upwards of $65-$70 for a personalized EC. I love to waste money on frivolous items, but that’s just ridiculous. If you need to have your monogram on everything, here’s a pro tip: Go on Etsy and buy your monogram on a sticker for like, $5, and stick it on your $35 Lilly planner. Sure, we all know the paper quality is good– but let’s all face the reality: You’re writing in your plans to get drunk with your one college roommate at 6 and calling your ex-boyfriend at 9. #notapologizing

Target

Sure, the paper quality isn’t like, resume paper..but it’s good enough for what it is. I walked into Target the other day to get cookies (don’t ask) and my eyes caught a huge display of adorable, gold leaf planners. Now, I like a spiral bound notebook..so I can get a bit picky, but these are fairly cheaper than the Lilly that I did end up buying. If you can do without a spiral bound– you have even cheaper picks. They can range between $7- $17 for the dupes of your favorites.

Walmart

Oh, no. No, no, no..I’m not becoming a Walmart person (not that I don’t like it- the prices are bomb, but the people sometimes aren’t) Interestingly enough, the ones that I saw at Target had a fraternal twin at Walmart. If you want a good price, you’re gonna get it here. That’s all I’ll say. I have a couple more jokes, but I’m leaving myself to be unbiased.

Blitsy

HAVE YOU SEEN THIS WEBSITE? I’m not too sure about this whole..sticker thing, but the planners are so so cute! Low to mid $20 for these newly found beauties. There are a couple that are in the high $50-$60 range as well, so you do get a variety. First off, they bombard you with coups, and have pretty nice clearance that includes Rifle Paper Co right now!

Passion Planner

Ok, so these all have similar designs on them, but different colors. I’ve never seen these before, but they are super cute and pretty competitive in price. Right now, they have a simple black, purple, blue, gold, pink, brown, and turquoise. The options are straight forward, too. Academic, undated (who does that), and dated.  What I love? The questions that are featured for goal planning. Also, check out their mission statement below:

This is why for every planner purchased, we give one away. We’re more than just a planner company—we’re a group of goal getters making a change in the world. We’re creating something more than a community, we’re creating a #Pashfam that encourages one another to graduate college, land their dream job, plan their wedding, battle depression, overcome anxiety, and achieve their dreams. And we want you to be a part of that.

So here’s to helping more people, together.

– www.passionplanner.com

Since I battled depression for most of my life so far, I felt that this is a super great way to help out, even if they are “just” a planner company.

 

 

Anywho, just know– if you like planners because they’re pretty, you aren’t alone. If you like them because you use them: more power to ya. Just remember, an empty planner doesn’t mean you have an empty life, it just means you can’t get your shit straight to write it all down. (Like me!)

Love you, mean it.

 

K

 

 

Lilly Pulitzer, Emily Ley, kate spade, Walmart. (Links attached)