31 1/2, A Turning Point

The past few days I’ve felt a change of season both literally and figuratively. Right now in the Chicago area all blossoms have full out bloomed, the air feels softer, and the sun feels bright, cheerful, and warm on my skin. I feel spring, literally all around us and it is glorious. In the figurative way I feel a sort of “spring” season in my own life, a sort of renewal.

It reminds me of when I turned 20, which was the “end” of my teen years, and honestly it didn’t feel like my teen years were over until my high school boyfriend and I ended our relationship (for good). At that point I felt like I was no longer a teen. When I turned 25, got married, got pregnant and bought a house I still didn’t feel like a “grown up.” I wasn’t that teen but with all of my hard work in all my school years I felt like I hadn’t lived that young adult life of concerts and nights out with friends. I realized how “serious” my life had been and I was missing a life I didn’t have. Once I gave birth to my daughter at the age of 27 that all sort of changed. I felt much more like the adult I was even though I still get shocked faces when people realized I have a child (apparently I must look young because a lot of strangers think I’m not even old enough to be married! In fact just last month when I was buying a record for David, the guy who worked at the record store I was buying it from asked me about my Van Morrison purchase and I mentioned it was a gift and so he asked, “Oh, so for your boyfriend?”).

Anyway! After having Zooey and especially after having Leo at the age of 29 I felt at peace about not having lived a more adventurous and wild young adulthood. Don’t get me wrong I definitely had my stupid young adult moments but they were usually more random or not lived too long. But after having my kids it became really obvious that I wanted to truly start designing the life that I wanted for them (like living in a safe neighborhood with good schools) and also designing a non-toxic life for me.

So the past two years I have made some slow yet progressive changes, such as moving to our current house (an area that doesn’t have shootings/drug dealings/ within a 1 mile radius and bodies being dumped within a few blocks of our house and the public schools appear to be gang free), attending church again, fine tuning my friendships to the ones who not only uplift my spirit but make me feel like being a better person, talking to professionals about anxieties/issues I have, refocusing on running and yoga, etc. Even though some of it may have been small changes, over time they have grown into a more mature outlook on life.

Now at the age of 31 (and a 1/2), not exactly a monumental time or age, I have started feeling a new season of my life coming on. At the moment I’m not sure exactly how to define it. During spring sometimes a new plant starts randomly growing in your yard and you’re excited and curious to see what it is but know that you’ll just need to wait until it fully blooms to find out, and that is how I feel. I feel that this stage in my life is like a random plant starting to come out of the ground and slowly blooming to show it’s full beauty.

Part of me feels a little sad about this season, and I think that may be because I feel like I’m saying goodbye to that 20-something Katie who was just waiting to figure out where life was taking her, and is being taken over by this 30-something Katie who is designing the life she wants rather than seeing where it takes her. Obviously not everything is within our control, but purposefully moving forward in the right direction is better than leaving it to chance.

So let’s see where spring takes me!

What season do you think you’re in?


217 Things to Do in 2017

Since 2016 has become somewhat famous for being a bad year, I think we need to rock 2017. So here are ideas of things you can do to make sure 2017 is the most positive year ever!


217 Things to Do in 2017:

  1. Grow fruit and veggies
  2. Start a blog
  3. Create a signature drink or dish
  4. Meditate
  5. Talk less and listen more
  6. Learn all the different ways to cook an egg
  7. Get CPR/First Aid certified
  8. Memorize your favorite poem by heart
  9. Practice a song for karaoke, perform it, and make it your signature go-to song
  10. Learn about body language and be more “welcoming”
  11. Organize your closets
  12. Find out how YOU decompress/relax
  13. Volunteer
  14. Find a new hobby
  15. Practice a new “secret” talent (EX: magic tricks, juggling, etc.)
  16. Learn a new language
  17. Learn sign language
  18. Up your photography skills by taking a class
  19. Compliment others
  20. Smile and say hello to strangers
  21. Practice good posture
  22. Cut ties who are bad influences in your life
  23. Lose grudges
  24. Say “yes” more, but also learn how to say “no”
  25. Get at least 8 hours of sleep
  26. Learn how to be respectful during a disagreement
  27. Be more optimistic and at least “give it a try”
  28. Laugh more
  29. Fact check blog posts, and news articles posted on social media
  30. Avoid road rage
  31. Try different types of teas and coffees
  32. Start a monthly game night
  33. Read at least one book a month
  34. Spend more quality time with your pets (or visit an animal shelter)
  35. Try out a new form of exercise
  36. Try making cultural food from scratch
  37. Go all out for a costume contest
  38. Take at least one week long social media break every season
  39. Go one week without watching TV at least once a season
  40. Watch iconic classic movies
  41. Try to watch the sunrise at least once a week
  42. Try veganism for at least a day
  43. Have a “no spend” month (on the extras)
  44. Wear super red/fun lipstick (or a tie)
  45. Have picnics more often
  46. Ride your bike
  47. Be more empathetic
  48. Create the last thing you pinned on pinterest
  49. Make a good mood playlist
  50. Plan a vacation, and take it
  51. Make a goal board of everything you want to accomplish 2017/2018
  52. Sign up for a 5k (or 10k, half marathon, marathon)
  53. Do something that scares you
  54. Throw a party
  55. Make desserts for friends and/or neighbors “just because”
  56. Clean the pantry
  57. Get an indoor air purifying plant
  58. Create a memory/gratitude jar
  59. Go to a concert
  60. Explore your town as if you were on vacation
  61. Visit a museum
  62. Get a massage
  63. Go to a play
  64. Go to a festival
  65. Give blood
  66. Take a yoga class
  67. Go to an amusement park or fair
  68. Go to church (even if you’re not particularly religious)
  69. Try out something that’s been on “Shark Tank”
  70. Regularly watch/listen to TED talks
  71. Go to a book signing of your favorite author
  72. Do or say at least one kind thing a day
  73. Go on a boat ride
  74. Attend or better yet participate in an open mic night
  75. Go makeup free at least once a week
  76. Make bread from scratch
  77. Volunteer to watch your friends/family’s kids so they can get dinner out
  78. Be a volunteer dog walker
  79. Create your signature outfit
  80. Perfect your signature
  81. Create a hashtag and use it
  82. Attend a library program
  83. Make thank you cards for friends and family and mail them
  84. Go to your annual check up and get your teeth cleaned twice a year
  85. Invest in a pair of good walking shoes
  86. Find an adventurous trail and hike it
  87. Go swimming at a beach (or pool)
  88. Go to a local history museum
  89. Get and decorate a rain barrel
  90. Start a compost bin
  91. Adopt a dog/cat or donate food/litter to a local shelter
  92. Learn to read nutrition labels
  93. Make your bed every morning
  94. Save $1 a day or 10% of every paycheck
  95. Create a 5 year, 10 year, and 20 year plan
  96. Eat breakfast daily
  97. Find a workout buddy
  98. Don’t get “hangry” be prepared
  99. Fail or be told no on purpose
  100. Act rather than make excuses
  101. Fix that project in your house you’ve always been meaning to
  102. Write reviews for your favorite places
  103. Learn how to change a flat tire (or repair something you don’t otherwise know)
  104. Find your signature scent
  105. Donate to charity
  106. Learn to properly set the table (or learn new etiquette)
  107. Learn how to fold a fitted sheet
  108. Learn new ways to tie a scarf or tie
  109. Forgive someone who has done you wrong
  110. Go camping
  111. Learn how to make a fire
  112. Food prep
  113. Master parallel parking
  114. Master the cat eye look
  115. Try something new you saw from YouTube
  116. Memorize your favorite joke
  117. Learn how to play chess
  118. Learn calligraphy
  119. Skip a stone
  120. Write a song, story, or poem
  121. Make and try DIY cleaners
  122. Learn public speaking (or improve it)
  123. Wear something you love even if you think you can’t pull it off
  124. Try a new hair style
  125. Leave a generous tip
  126. Watch your favorite movie in another language
  127. Back up your computer
  128. Create a photo album
  129. Build your home library (books and/or music)
  130. Make your home a spa for one day (or at least one hour!)
  131. Ride a horse
  132. Make a wish (Ex: Blow out your candles, shooting star, coin in fountain, etc.)
  133. Go to a local sporting event
  134. Find an awesome deal on something you’ve always wanted (Treat yo’ self)
  135. Talk to someone who you normally would never talk to
  136. Become a “regular” somewhere
  137. People walk
  138. Park “hop” and find your favorite one
  139. Apply to your dream job
  140. Learn the constellations and stargaze
  141. Write a bucket list
  142. Make a survival kit for your home and/or car
  143. Get a small tattoo that means a lot (or a meaningful piece of jewelry)
  144. Fly a kite
  145. Miniature Golf
  146. Jump in a pool fully clothed
  147. Go ice skating
  148. Don’t be afraid to embarrass yourself
  149. Work on a friendship
  150. Shop at a local farmer’s market
  151. Have a bonfire
  152. Host a BBQ
  153. Go bowling
  154. Canoe or kayak
  155. See a drive in movie
  156. Play with sidewalk chalk
  157. Leave uplifting random notes or messages for strangers to find
  158. Run as fast as you can for as long as you can just because
  159. Have a silly string fight
  160. Build a fort
  161. Take a road trip
  162. Marathon watch a movie or TV series with your best friend
  163. Try out a new board game/find your favorite
  164. Visit a town you’ve never been to, but always been curious about
  165. Go out with your best friend wearing matching outfits
  166. Watch the sunset at least once a week
  167. Create a signature food that’s typically “simple,” such as grilled cheese
  168. Take a photo every day
  169. Throw someone a surprise party
  170. Plant a tree
  171. Finish an entire coloring book
  172. Jump in a pile of leaves and/or snow
  173. Plant a sunflower and photograph its growth
  174. Get a professional makeover
  175. Try stand up paddleboarding
  176. Say yes to everything for one day
  177. Have a waterballoon fight
  178. Pull an all nighter
  179. Have a candle-lit bath
  180. Try for that 6 pack!
  181. Love your imperfections
  182. Go to a flea market
  183. Upcycle something
  184. Jump off a dock into a lake
  185. Succefully do a shoulder and/or head stand
  186. Try sphagetti tacos or something you’d never ever try to eat
  187. Make a signature croc pot recipe
  188. Start a new family tradition
  189. Build a snowman or sand castle
  190. Go on a carriage ride
  191. Find your talent, and a way to use it
  192. See a performance at an amphitheater
  193. Polish your shoes
  194. Wear sunblock daily
  195. Try not getting lost in IKEA
  196. Join a club or start one
  197. Go on a moonlit walk
  198. Have a glitter photoshoot
  199. Go to an art gallery and/or museum
  200. Sing as loud as you can
  201. Find a four leaf clover
  202. Own and use a poloroid camera
  203. Try on an outfit that you’d never wear
  204. Make a bouquet from wild flowers
  205. Learn how to sew and make a pair of PJ pants
  206. Chalk motivating messages on a bike path
  207. Pull a prank on a good friend and laugh together about it
  208. Start a tried and true pinterest board
  209. Tie dye something
  210. Go to a midnight movie premiere
  211. Go berry and/or apple picking
  212. Put lotion on your hands and feet every day
  213. Gift your coworkers just because
  214. Laugh for at least 5 minutes daily
  215. Tell someone you love them daily
  216. Say thank you as often as possible
  217. Live a life you’re proud of

Whew! If you made it to the bottom of my list, you’re going to have an awesome 2017!



New Years Resolution Ideas

Any day is a great day to start a resolution, but particularly New Years Day! vintage-new-years-14

25 New Years Resolution Ideas:

  1. Drink at least 8 cups of water a day
  2. Take the stairs
  3. Park in the furthest parking spot
  4. Eat protein at every meal
  5. Eat veggies and/or fruit at every meal
  6. Let go of grudges
  7. Get at least 10 minutes of sun every day (if the sun is out)
  8. Wake up and pray/send warm fuzzies to someone you love and care about
  9. Journal 5 things you are grateful for every day
  10. Learn how to and read nutrition labels
  11. Become product conscious
  12. Go for a daily walk (indoors and/or out)
  13. Daily or weekly RAOK (random act of kindness)
  14. Declutter your home
  15. Get 8 hours of sleep (more or less)
  16. Stop drinking alcohol
  17. Try something new each month (Ex: Salsa dancing, rock climbing, piano lessons, etc.)
  18. “Give up” something each month (Ex: sugar, tv, social media, etc.)
  19. Start your day by stretching
  20. Journal your food and water intake, amount of sleep and excersise for the day
  21. Stop eating out or limit it
  22. Bake from scratch at least once a week
  23. Start a garden (winter for planning, spring for prepping, summer and fall for gardening and eating)
  24. Brush twice and floss once daily
  25. Say hello to positivity!

Let’s rock 2017!



My 2017 New Years Resolution

Happy (ALMOST) 2017!!


Considering 2016 hasn’t been everyone’s favorite year, I thought it’d be the perfect time to look ahead and share MY resolutions with you.

There are plenty of quotes out there like “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you” or “If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough.” And so I decided that this year I would do something that intimidates me each month.

So here are my 12 Intimidating Months:

January: No sugar

February: Donate Blood

March: Indoor rock climbing

April: Run another half marathon

May: Grow a garden that actually survives (yet to accomplish this)

June: Intermittent Fasting

July: Get certified in something I’ve always wanted to

August: No Social Media

September: Try a new look

October: No extra spending

November: TBD

December: TBD


Of course I may switch my months as they happen, and the last two I left TBD (to be determined) because I am sure as the year goes on I will have new “intimidating” discoveries! I’ll keep you posted as to how I do!



(My) Eating Disorder History

It all started when I got the stomach flu. It was the summer before 7th grade and I got the stomach flu. When I got over it my family went on vacation, and I had zero appetite fearing getting sick again. When we got back from vacation and I weighed myself I saw that I had lost 6 pounds! I couldn’t believe it and also was so thrilled. My mom had been on my back about “your arms are fat,” “your back is fat,” “look at your stomach. your stomach is fat,” “I need to take you to a doctor.” I hated her pointing out how fat I was even though I wasn’t that big… I was 5’4″ and about 136 pounds, but for a 6th grader maybe that was too much?

She did take me to a doctor once in 5th grade to talk about what I ate. It was embarrassing. I had to answer questions like do I eat my cereal with chocolate milk or do I eat jars of peanut butter. The answers typically were no. What was especially frustrating is that I ate what I was given by my family. At that point I had no control over what I ate and what was shopped for.

Speed forward to getting the stomach flu and losing 6 pounds, I realized that by not eating I would drop weight easily. That’s what began the pattern of not eating. Honestly I’m not going to give any more details, because I know how it is and that triggers can happen, and ideas can grow, which I don’t want any of that to happen to anyone reading this.

What is important to know is that from 7th grade through high school and off and on during college I starved myself. It wasn’t until I got engaged that I started eating “normal” again, but I had no idea what normal was until I had Zooey. Learning proper nutrition for a toddler taught me proper nutrition for myself. I remember thinking she deserves good food and I don’t. When I realized I thought that I immediately stopped myself and said, “You do deserve this.” Once I started eating nutritionally well with regular (not obsessive) exercise I lost the baby weight and was at my healthiest. Right now I’m pretty healthy. Not exactly where I want to be after having my second a year and a half ago, but I am quite happy with where I am.

It’s unbelievable what secret struggles I had, and that I never reached out to anyone. Being healthy doesn’t involve starving yourself, and if you think it does please reach out to someone. It is scary, but for someone who went through it for years I encourage you to seek out healing.



Operation Christmas Child

Almost 6 months ago someone suggested I start attending a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group. After I learned about it, I was head over heals with it. So much so, I even started a MOPS group at my church. It might be small, but it’s mighty! 😉 Since I started it, I have come across things that I otherwise never would have known about, such as Samaritan’s Purses’ Operation Christmas Child! It truly is a wonderful way of giving especially during this time of year!

I recommend that you look into it if not for this year, but perhaps next year! I not only used this opportunity to give to another, but also to teach giving and kindness to my kids. Zooey and Leo not only drew a picture to include in the box, but also helped pack it!

Acts of kindness is a wonderful way to show joy and love to those in need.



Book Review: Elena Vanishing

31hjvc-gfml-_sy344_bo1204203200_Typically I like suggesting books that are mainly warm fuzzies and good vibes, but today I have a book I wanted to share because it is an important one to recognize. “Elena Vanishing” is a memoir about Elena but uniquely written by her mother Clare. Depending on how much of a reader you are that may or may not have confused you. Typically memoirs are written by the person about a time in their own life, but for Elena it was difficult for her to do so. She felt her story was worthy to tell, and her mother who was already a published author offered to help her tell it. So right away this is a very uniquely written book.

The second thing that is unique about “Elena Vanishing” is that it is different than other eating disorder books because it is more honest. There are plenty of young adult literature out there on eating disorders where they show what is wrong with the character, then there is therapy, and then boom the character is better. If you suffer, have suffered, or know someone who has or is suffering from an eating disorder you know that this isn’t the case. Also, I have noticed in most fictional and sometimes even non-fiction books they never truly show how “ugly” this illness can be. I apologize for using the word “ugly” but I cannot think of a better word to describe how it can take over your personality and life. Elena is very honest in her memoir and at times I can only imagine how embarrassed she is to admit to certain thoughts and behaviors.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants to further understand eating disorders whether it’s for you or someone you know. It isn’t therapy and won’t give you tips and tricks on how to do it, but it does show an honest and interesting representation.

If you’ve read or or read it let me know what you think!