heirloom ornaments

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

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

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

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

sugar plum

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

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

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

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

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

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

DIY tapestry curtains

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

sprinkled with sweetness

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

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

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

earth and stars

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

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

shoes - asos | wig - keke wigs

Black Friday sale!

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

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

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

You can click here to shop the sale!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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

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

kiss me I voted

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

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

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

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

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

sweater - old navy | wig - keke wigs