Sunday, December 25, 2011

Beyond BLESSED!!!!

What my Baby Girl Represents..PURE LIGHT and SUN!
Hello There Fellow Kindhearts....

When trying to decide what to write about for this blog my first thought was giving you insight and a backstage pass to my performance in the Opera "The Robot and the Bluebird".  That was before this morning's events.  I might cover it at a later date but instead I feel compelled to share what happened to my family this morning and how it reminded me what is TRULY IMPORTANT.

We all live under the same sky!
Today started off blissfully, with my kiddos actually letting the Hubster and me sleep until almost eight!  This being Christmas day, it was quite a feat.  But, at about six minutes til, baby girl could not wait anymore.  We got up, and I went straight to making coffee.  We have an order to things and orderly was the game plan of the day.  That, and an afternoon movie. We opened a good amount of things and thought it would be a good time to have breakfast.  Josh was going to make his outstanding chili for us to munch on at lunch and later in the day. Let me just tell you.....it is beyond good!   Anyhow, I digress! In order to slow things down, he suggests that they read one of the many books that they received while I got the food ready.  Baby girl being the sweetheart that she is readily agreed.  Then, there was nothing but this INCREDIBLE smack sound.  I will NEVER forget it!  I look over to my husband frantically asking my daughter if she was OK.  Upon picking her up he let out a scream and I knew it was bad.  I walk over to pull half a tooth off of her lipShe had broken off over half of one and a third off the other.  First instinct was to get a cold towel and to whisk her up and surround her with love. This was a fluke accident, and it was simply too unbearable to take in.

Josh called his father and then the dentist.  With the fact that she is eight and they are permanent, it was imperative to make sure that there was no nerve damage.  The dentist's office was BEYOND amazing!  We met up with two of the dentists at their location and they set to repairing her teeth.  I should tell you that I actually had my two front teeth chipped at the same age but my chip was NOWHERE near this bad.  It has been fixed and there are no visual signs of mine but I remember it like it was yesterday.  They instantly became our heroes because they did not think twice about leaving their families on a holiday to make sure that my girl was OK.

Please don't get me wrong.  I know that there is more to a person than their looks.  I am a firm believer in that!  However, as a parent you want to make sure that your child has the least amount of obstacles as possible.  This damage would have been an obstacle to say the least. I am truly a Mama Bear and I tend to mother those around me.  A village mentality makes me connected to all of my fellow human beings, and I cannot discount that fact.  When it's your own child, your heart HURTS!



With all of our differences...we as a people still fit together so well!
 I tell you this story as an example of how I would have traded places with my girl and not have had her experience that pain and trauma.  We were lucky.  She could had split her head open and suffered a concussion.  There are many other possibilities that I dare not imagine.  Ultimately, I feel blessed beyond belief that we have each other to love and care for.  I would give my life for my children and I know that there are other parents who would do the same.  It made this day and all of its trimmings and expectations melt away.  Leaving the simple thought that none of this would mean a thing to me without the ones I love.

Though it appears broken...there is still strength.
So, til next time...Hug, Kiss, Talk to, and Embrace those that you hold dear. Because ultimately, they mirror your love's potential!

Kat

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Morality(?) and Legality of selling Replica bags?!?!

Hello Out There,





Vtg. Coach- late 60's/early 70s
Burberry 70s/80s


I am so pleased that you have joined me for another blog/vlog.  I have really enjoyed the journey thus far, and I look forward to all the wonderful experiences that are in the future.  I have received tremendous support that does my heart good.   It has truly kept me going!

80s Gucci
W&D  Black Mesh Crossbody
That being said, this week I have been stewing over an issue that I have with resale shops selling bags that they know are fake.  Whether or not they identify them as faux, they are still selling something that they know is illegal to sell.  Maybe you are a fan of fake and/or replica bags because it puts the designer bag within your price range.  There are bags out there that copy their style but DO NOT go the extreme of putting a logo on the bag.  To each person there is a particular stance that is individual to them.  For me, if I cannot buy the real thing (which I usually buy second hand from either a thrift or consignment store), I would rather buy something that is unique and not designer.  Sometimes at a price that is a little high and at other times at a real steal.  I tend to not purchase bags that have logos all over it, but I will never say never to that in the future.


Bonnie Cashin for Coach




Pea Green!!!!
I have done a short vlog speaking about this subject.  If you would let me know some of what you are thinking that would be awesome!








So where do you think that responsibility rests?  Do you think that because it is a resale shop they should be able to knowingly sell something that is illegal or do you think the blame is with the consignor?  I have been thinking about it a lot the last few days, and I would love to know how you feel!


til next time,


Kat

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

ARE WE THERE YET??????

Cadillac Ranch, TX.
Hello Again,

Well, now that I have recovered from my interesting trek to the East Coast from New Mexico I can share my adventure.  There were negatives and positives and after stepping back I realize that my experience will add lots of wisdom (do you believe me) to this soul of mine.  

Not sure if you are familiar with the HILARIOUS run of movies that were about the crazy bad things that happened to one particular family during different vacations and holidays.  They were all labeled under National Lampoon and featured Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo among others. The Griswolds had their share of bad luck.  You can guess by now that I had some similar experiences during our way to and from the East Coast by my tweets during, but I thought that I would share more specifics.  In this quest, I aim to show you that things can always be worse then what you are going through.

Red Velvet Culprit!
 We always start our trips off early so that we can stop by a coffee shop and pick up much needed drinks and pastries.  This time we opted to wait until we picked up our rental car which happened to be about 40 minutes away from the house.  The car was prepaid by the in-laws and all set, or so we thought.  After dragging the kiddos down with a packed car (because when you are driving across country you need lots of things of course), we arrived to pick-up our reserved minivan.  Hubster walks out to tell us that out of the TEN rental car companies housed in that particular location ours was the ONLY one that required that when you live in New Mexico you had to show a round trip airline ticket.  There must have been something heavy that went down to make them institute that policy.  We were notified of this fact by a wonderful, soft spoken, and courteous (please realize that I am being sarcastic and unfortunately she was far from this) counter person.  So what to do now?  Car fully loaded and kids hungry!   Not to mention that this woman has not had her morning coffee and is not fully awake!  We try to reach in-law to reschedule another but to no avail!  His phone is turned off during the morning...this NEVER happensHuddle time begins.  Decide to get coffee and food before we ALL lose it and head back home to pick up our larger car.  Wait...I didn't mention that we drove down our thrashed car with the intention of leaving it behind for the week.  After this is done, we head out on our first leg which is about 14 hours, leaving 2 1/2 hours behind schedule.  Not so bad?


Boy did I feel welcome...
Majestic!
O & N bliss!
Music makes the world hum.
Get to our hotel around 2:30 or 3:00 after many stops (Cadillac Ranch being a highlight) and the front desk person DID NOT want to let us in.  The doors have to be opened by her and she was giving us the "DON'T ROB ME" stare and reluctantly allowed us in.  Speaking with Josh (the Hubster) about this we realize that maybe she had a negative experience in the past and was nervous.  That being said, what robber comes to the door with two children with one doing the pee-pee dance. Just sayin'.....





Yes Honey...we see it!
The second leg of four started off great (minus the three hours of sleep).  We went through Memphis and Nashville.  But before that we stopped by the Clinton Library and were blown away by the building itself.  It is a looker with lots of glass and metal.  Surrounded by beautiful trees and much older buildings it reigns with Goliath stature and personally left me in awe!    Next visiting the famous Beale Street taking in the architecture and GIBSON (a.k.a. Mama's Paradise!) store was beyond dreamy.  The weather was overcast but with living in New Mexico moisture is welcome.   Nashville was where we found beautiful churches,  slap somebody BBQ, and the most amazing RED VELVET ice cream.  This ice cream was so good that when you take the first bite your eyes enlarge and you moan in delight.  If you are ever in Nashville, I highly recommend that you stop in!
Water surrounds it...


View to the right.
Now, I said that it started off great.  But, we soon realized that we were destined to not arrive at our sleeping accommodations until three in the morning.  Why do I say this?  Well, upon arriving in the neighborhood of Josh's brother because of streets being added on and construction, we drove around for at least an hour looking for his place.  Needless to say, our niece and nephew that were hoping to see us were fast asleep as we crept into our beds as quiet as mice.


One of our lovely family walks.
In the middle was a wonderful visit with family.  There was lots of good food, long walks, and adult discussions.  Watching all of the cousins together was heartwarming and solidified our decision to move a little closer.  I can truly say that being with family was the highlight of the trip.  There are times when you really appreciate the fact that there are some people you sometimes don't see eye to eye with but when you bring the youngsters into the mix make the concentrated effort to have a harmonious existence.


Outside of Doumar's
Next day we visited Doumar's in Virginia and got to experience an establishment that still deals out the basics.  They serve a yummy burger and fries.  They tout the claim that the owner has the very first ice cream cone maker.  People travel far and wide to take in this deliciousness.  You can order inside or they have drive up spots.  I managed to go across that street and find a few items that were true treasures at amazing prices.  I am going to love haunting these places once we are there!

The view on our walk in Virginia Beach
This was followed by a romantic overnight stay at the beach with the Hubster.  Every year in Virginia Beach they light up the boardwalk with themed lights and stands.  It really was a site to take in!

Ok, now we are entering our dream sequence.  After many stops to eat and stretch I INSIST that I help Josh with the driving.  It just so happens that my son has got to go to the bathroom rather badly.  My hubby, stating again the fact that they are indeed boys and can easily urinate outside, pulls off onto an exit.  This is the perfect time for us to switch driving, right?  I hop out, walk around and start to climb into the car.  Without being fully in, I ask myself, "What is that smell?"  I look down to find a heaping load of #2 not only on my boot but on my bag strap.  Yes, the strap is long and for some unbenounced reason decided to skim the bottom of said boot!  I should mention that this #2 was not from a pet.  Go ahead, chuckle.....or gag...whatever your body longs to do.  Spent the next 30 to 40 minutes cleaning up while watching the Hubster dry heave at the very thought of what I just stepped in.  Yes, yes he did!  Got off at the very next stop, which happened to be a very nice rest area (WHAT!!!!) and officially got every last remnant off though the memory still lingers.


After this we spent the next 3 1/2 hours driving about twelve miles.  Not knowing what had happened was the worst of it so we thought.  Unfortunately someone lost their life and someone else lost a family member.  While in the standstill traffic it was a fest of complaining but once we found out what happened it made our driving experience pale.  


When taking in all the negatives that happened in the end we are so blessed to have each other to love, cherish, and sometimes drive a little crazy.  We have to be thankful to (insert whatever higher power you subscribe to here) that we get to have another day.  If we hadn't had the trouble we had earlier in the day we might have been on the road in the very spot where this tragedy happened.  But, for some reason, we are all still here with the capacity to follow our dreams, love who we love, and make life easier and more harmonious for those around us.  It is a challenge sometimes, but I know that it is one that both YOU and I are up to!


til next time,


Kat



Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Nina Simone...High Priestess of Soul!


Hello Lovers of Wonderful Music,

It has been a little while since I have spoken about musicians that I believe ABSOLUTELY changed the way we look at expressing ourselves.  One of the people that I feel blazed the way for future singers to open themselves up and say that their voice was valid and important was Nina Simone.  She had such a distinctive voice.   I would dare anyone to say otherwise!  When covering her at my Enrichment Program, I was asked by my students whether it was a man or a woman that was singing.   I would answer their question with another.  When you listened to what the person was saying, what perspective do you think it was coming from?  The answer would ultimately lead them to the conclusion that it was a WOMAN!!

I was originally introduced to this amazing singer over fifteen years ago, and I was immediately blown away.  She had a tone and expression that was commanding and honest at the same time, and was life altering for me as a singer.  Growing up Baptist there was always a right way and a wrong way to approach the way you sang.  Yes, there was a rawness that can only be expressed when singing a Gospel hymn, but I was shown this outlet for free form and take no prisoners boldness that I cannot put into words.

Born Eunice Kathleen Waymon in North Carolina, she experienced a very poor existence.  She had a music teacher that recognized her potential and established a special fund to pay for her education (Bless that teacher!).  She was to become a classically trained pianist (from Julliard no less!), activist, singer, arranger, and composerShe counted Langston Hughes and James Baldwin as admirers.  Because of the racial turmoil that was rampant in the United States, she moved to several places and eventually settled in the South of France. She penned the song "Young, Gifted, and Black" after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  And when she sang......you were moved!  There are only a few singers that can do that, and she was one! 


She will forever hold a special place in my heart.  I hope that you enjoy my short video tribute to her.  I would love to know what you think!


til next time,

Kat

Monday, November 14, 2011

BAGS.......







Mirrored box purse -50s
Hello There Luvs,

I am so excited to offer up my third installment for my blog vlog.   This time, I am featuring bags!  I cannot say enough about what a bag offers.  They are our keeper of secrets, they hold things that we consider sacred, and they contain the items that help to provide our masks to the world.  I cannot remember a day when I wasn't trying to find the PERFECT bag that said just how I felt.  Whether I wanted to have an edge or I wanted to convey that I was a TRUE LADY, without the perfect bag, ALL was lost. 
Gold Brocade Clutch-50s

Carpeted Bag- 60s

Have you ever felt that way? I know there are other women that cannot live without the bag that has the right amount of pockets,  that buttery leather feel, or that perfect shade.  It is universal!  For me, it has NEVER been about the label. Yes, I do have some higher end pieces, but when I am looking, it is all about how that bag makes me feel.  If it doesn't add that walking on clouds feeling, then I WILL NOT buy it.  There are many that will buy just for the name on it and I wish them the best. But, if you have to spend an arm and a leg for it, how can you let it become part of you without worrying about the slightest flaw that occurs.

Frenchy custom leather 70's-80s

There will never be the right words to convey the sentiment and joy that a great bag can bring.  I am a loyal lover of vintage bags because the work including the detailing cannot be measured by today's standards.  There is a reason why so many of these treasures are around today.  They were made EXCEPTIONALLY well!

I hope that you enjoy my latest video, and I hope that you come back again.  I would love to share more of my vintage finds with YOU!


 til next time,

Kat

P.S. Yes...that is Billie right behind me in the video!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Killer Heels!

Hello there Fellow Lovers of Kicka** FASHION!

I have made my second attempt at video blogging.  I have taken on the glorious subject of  HEELS.....

They can give you the confidence that many other things in your wardrobe fail to do.  I hope that you enjoy this second instillation.  This is a new adventure for me and I am glad to have you along!!!


til next time,

Kat

Sunday, November 6, 2011

RUFFLES!!!!

Hello Again,



I would like to talk to you about one of my favorite clothing features......Ruffles! I have always been a fan of them, and I think they add just the right amount of femininity to an outfit that has lots of edge. For this blog, I have chosen four very different items that have their fair share of ruffles. I talk about them more in detail in the attached video. They would make a pleasant addition to any girl's wardrobe!

First up was my cropped 40s jacket. It has wonderful puffy sleeves and also has a tie to go along with it. What girl couldn't use that? I have worn it with jeans, a pencil skirt, and a very fitted dress. It rocked on all occasions with an ease that only a vintage piece can do!

Next up is a white cotton button back shirt with 3/4 sleeves. It is incredibly lightweight, and the design of the lace is to die for! Yes, it is reminiscent of Prince but it is still very modern. Once again, this piece can be worn with a pencil skirt. It can also be worn with plaid pants or anything else that suits your mood. The possibilities are endless!

Now, with this third one, my jaw hit the floor when I saw it. The ruffle collar and sleeves are AMAZING! It is urban in look while being super girlie. Never mind the fact that it is soooo gold! Hold the presses....this is NOT a blend-into-the-crowd blouse. I guess that is why I love it so much.



Last but not least is a wonderful 80s strapless Christian Dior dress. It features wonderful sequins that are worked into the lace bodice and midsection. It also features, you guessed it, RUFFLES! This is an example if a piece that can light up a room. And who doesn't want to do that?



I hope that you will check out my accompanying video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oW74BuGyp0Y  It is my first and hopefully not the last. I would love some feedback as I am just starting to do them, and I could use some constructive comments. I really enjoyed recording it, and I hope you enjoy watching it.

til next time,


Kat

Monday, October 31, 2011

Music for the SOUL!!!!

I believe that I am not alone when I say that music is truly a window to the soul.  The way in which we express ourselves can often go hand in hand with the music that we listen to.  It can bring us up when we are feeling sad.  It can also bring back the memories of a specific time and place within the first few notes. 

Growing up, Gospel was the music that was a constant in my household and Mahalia Jackson was the Supreme Goddess.  I can remember having the feeling that there was something soul building and defining when listening to her.  I would not, or rather, could not let a musical pass me by on the television.  I was GLUED to it and I felt a fundamental urgency to be exposed to all music.  It happened quite often that my sisters (of which I have three) would complain to my mother that I was singing a tune from a musical.  Give me Doris Day or West Side Story and I was in Heaven.  Did it deter me from being me? NO!  But, it did delay the process of the performer that I am today.  I am NOT complete without music in my life!  And I feel that there are a lot of people out there that feel exactly the same way.

Pink Floyd
In my household, music is on all the time.  It is turned on first thing when we rise and turned off when the lights go off for the night.  My son is named after a famous musician and the gift that went out as a wedding present was a CD with some of our favorite tunes.  Anything from classical to blues and anything in between was included.  Right now, my baby girl loves the spa station on satellite radio even though my boy thinks it's a MAJOR snooze fest.  He leans toward Rock&Roll and anything that he can play air guitar and slide on the floor to.  Early on he asked the Hubster and me what a R&R star wears.  Individuals have their own slant to what they like, and my children are no exception.
Mahalia Jackson

So what floats your boat in regard to musicAre you a classic rock lover, or is Hip Hop more your speed?  Sometimes it is hard to tell just what a person has on their iPod or plays on vinyl at home.  I am sure that I would be surprised at what some of my co-workers get their groove on to.  Or would I?  I cannot count the amount of times I was told how surprising it was that I am a R&R girl at heart.  Why, I don't know!  I am a musician and all music speaks to me.  I can find something that I like in all genres and I am always open to new sounds and beats.

Public Enemy
If you believe, as I do, that there is growth in the soul then there should be potential in everything, including the music you listen to.  So next time a person is excited to share the music of a new group that they have been turned onto, take a listenYou never know....it could be the new sound that YOU get your groove on to!

Til next time,

Patsy Cline
Kat

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

HEELS..........

Hello there Kittens,

Can we talk heels?  Yes, they can on occasion have you cursing under your breath saying to yourself, Never Again!  But, when you find the ones that make you feel like the Kicka** Queen that you are, you have no choice but to share them with the world!

I, for one, have always believed that the proper heel can enable you to glide, not just walk.  They lengthen your leg, give you height, and add the appropriate amount of SASS that helps you conquer the world. When you feel good, quite frankly you are ready for anything.  Self confidence is not only knowing that you have the brains and strength to take on a challenge but when you look good doing so, it doesn't hurt.

There are many great designers of women's shoes.  You have Ferragamo (both Salvatore and Rosina), Weitzman, Jimmy Choo, and Gucci to name a few.  But, let's be honest, not many of us can afford to pay for these high end labels.  That is where thrifting comes in!  You can find not only vintage shoes at a great price, but you can also find comtemporary ones at well.  I have found Mui Mui, and Ferragamo along with some great vintage labels for incredibly inexpensive prices.  You just have to know where to go and be prepared to spend some time looking.  I was having a discussion with a friend of mine recently and she was having a tough time convincing someone that you can find treasures at a price that won't break the bank at thrift stores.  Speaking from experience, some of my most incredible finds have been discovered at a hole in the wall thrift store.  One thing that you can be  proud of by shopping second hand, is that you are leaving less of an imprint by recycling!

So don't forget, that you can wear your heels proudly with overalls, tight jeans, a killer dress, or that short mini.  There is nothing holding you back but you!  Find that heel that fits your budget along with expressing your own personal sense of style.  Anywhere from a kitten to stiletto and in between you are the QUEEN of your cloud and the WOMAN that makes her own scene!


til next time,


 Kat

Sunday, October 9, 2011

ALL THINGS CAFFEINATED.....

When thinking of caffeine, different things come to mind. Anything from chocolate and coffee, to the much debated soda (or pop as they would say in my hometown of Saint Joseph, Missouri). I thought that I would share with you my passion for these things. I would love it I you would share your stories with me. I will add some on to this blog page over the next week.




For as long as I can remember, I have been in LOVE with chocolate. There are many stories that I could share about overdoing it! One comes easily to mind when trying to give an accurate account of the craziness that was my obsession. When I was in high school, one of my best friends (Shelley D. whom I affectionately referred to as Boo-Boo) worked at her family's convenience store on Sundays. Every Monday she would bring candy bars. Not just a few, but eight to ten. By second period I would finish ALL of the candy! Normally I am a sharer, but I would have probably reduced someone's arm to a nub if they dared to touch one of my precious goodies. I have since learned that moderation regarding these jewels is much better. I have also come to appreciate the benefits of dark chocolate. From ganache covered cakes to dark chocolate covered almonds they are all TRUE JOY for me! Here is a link to the Science Daily website that will help feel better about your dark chocolate cravings!! http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080923104408.htm












Now....let's talk soda! I have ALWAYS been a walking billboard for Dr. Pepper. I will break into song in order to express the love I have for this wonderful concoction. When asking others about their favorite soda you will find that they have a strong opinion about what makes the best, THE BEST. Coke lovers seem to have no problem going to battle about their choice being heads and tails above the rest. If they hadn't removed it out years ago, I would swear that it still had the special ingredient (cocaine) in it! They are passionate to say the least! Regardless of what your favorite is, when deciding which one to drink, moderation always seems to make it more possible.  Not only for your health, but for your figure.


Last but not least COFFEE..... Right now, my method of choice is with half and half and a little sugar in the raw.  I try to buy locally on the occasion that I buy out.  When making at home I absolutely LOVE Trader Joes's Dark Roast.  It is labeled as "Rich and Flavorful" and I would agree.  It is also priced very reasonably. Over time the opinion and research has gone back and forth regarding whether or not it is good for you. The current research is saying that it can actually be beneficial as we age. Once again, moderation seems to be the key.  Here is a link to Dr.Weil's website that can give you more information about the positives and negatives. http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/id/QAA400146


Please feel free to share you love for all things caffeinated and I look forward to hearing from you.




til next time,


Kat