Writing and Dreams

I have got completely out of the habit of writing.  I just to keep a notebook with me just to journal, and now, well, I don't know why I don't.

I recently realized I didn't have a lot of outside inspiration.  That seems to be missing from my life right now, so I have been exploring options to help me get back into the creative groove.  I like the idea of a mood board, a physical board, that I can see everyday.  I also think writing will help me navigate through this.  Writing has always been such an intrinsic part of my life.  It is soothing to me and helps me work through a lot of things.  I also love going back and reading about past things.  I like to see where I was, what I was thinking, how I viewed things.  I think that inspires a lot of growth in a person.

I will back up a little, as I haven't really talked much about this on my blog.  My life has changed over the last three years.  Changes that made me really start to retreat inside myself.  My marriage of 13 years collapsed, I was diagnosed with cancer, which has created a chronic illness in, I lost a lot of "friends", and moved 3.5 hours away, back to my hometown.  I really began to feel what true loneliness felt like.  I was going through cancer treatment, and though I had one close friend that was available to me, it is hard to share the burden of your body killing itself.

I met, my now fiance, and he really helped to start opening my heart.  I was shown I could love again, and I could trust again.  However, even though I have a really great partner, I am lacking in the "me" department.  Big life changes spur us onto growth, usually through pain, but growth nonetheless.  Because I have become so introverted, letting people into my life is so completely painful.  I am so scared of what they will do to me.  I have become paralyzed when it comes to meeting new people.  I am also constantly asking myself, "what do these people want from me?"  I came to realize that there were a lot of people in my life that were only there because I could get them something.  I amassed a large network of people, over the course of the last 5-6 years, and when people see that, the using type of people, they come running.  I saw that I was being used as a pawn to get people things, and that is a sad feeling.  The more I thought about this, the deeper and further I caved into myself.  I know this is not healthy.  I know that.  I am fully aware that isolating myself is not a good, healthy decision, but it is one that once it begins, it is hard to stop.

The last few months I have really been evaluating myself.  And I know I am being very hard on myself, because that is just the way I am.  I am a goal orientated person, and I like to do the best I can in every situation.  In school, I strive to get the best grades.  In my personal life, I wanted it to be as close to perfection as possible.  I had a nice house, a nice car, and a life full of things.  All of it was my doing, but none of those thing actually matter.  I am happier now with fewer things, but my desire to reach goals are still there. I am just not sure what those goals are now.  I guess this is where creating ideas comes into play.  I am back to a blank canvas, and that is a little scary for me.

 The other part of my life that has become so raw is my lack of self confidence and insecurity.  I am so aware of other people now that it has become disabling to me.  When I was younger, I was painfully shy.  I didn't like to speak in front of people, and I certainly didn't like sharing my opinion with people.  My mother just to force me to come out of my shell.  I eventually used the "fake it til you make it" mantra, and have been living that the majority of my life.  What is so interesting to me, though, I never let other women make me feel less, and this is a new feeling that I have been struggling with.  I have met some incredible women in my life, but I have also met some incredibly terrible women too.  It seems as though the toll of being torn down by the terribles, as I call them, are beginning to catch up with me.  There are a select few women that make me feel so inferior that it actually makes me sick to my stomach.  When this feeling creeps in, I remind myself; "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." -Eleanor Roosevelt.  The problem with this is, I haven't give anyone consent to make me feel less than.  I feel like the terribles just came in and took it!  I have never been a super great judge of character, because I give everyone the benefit of a doubt.  I see the good that everyone can bring to the table, and that sometimes gets me in trouble.  However, these few select terribles I can see the underlying bad in them.  I see the spot in where their deceit lies.  Sometimes I can't place it, but I know it is there, and that becomes this bitter dance.  I think social media has exacerbated this situation.  Everyone is available and messaging can be secretive and things can blow way out of proportion dues to text tone, and all this undercover motivation.  All of that terribleness plays into my insecurity and my lack of confidence.  I know I am not alone in this struggle, but I wonder why it has to even be a struggle?

2016 has been a  year of self discovery, but not necessarily in a great way.  There has been no charismatic break through, no big party to celebrate this new found me.  I have only been baptized by fire, so to speak.  The only thing I have gained is pain through growth.  I am scathed, I am scarred, and I do not feel any stronger.  I have not died from anything, but I am not stronger.  I will always hold onto my positive nature, that is one thing that will not break, but weariness is around the corner.
I love my life, as it is what I chose.  I chose to change my life in a very big way, and I knew it would be hard, but I don't think I knew it was going to chop me down at the knees.  I am aware I am in a rebuilding phase, and that might be the hardest part of this portion of my life.  Hell, it might be the hardest part that I will ever experience in my entire life, but I choose this path and I will always support my own decisions, as they are and always have been calculated.

I have been granted a beautiful partnership and one that has helped me to move forward.  He has been here for the struggle and be unwavering the entire time.  Our relationship is far from perfect, but it is what I need, and I am in the season of "need".

I never want to give out problems, or talk about problems, without having a solution.  I conclude that I will journal and write more.  There is a lot to say about humanity because we can relate.  I hope that no on is experiencing what I am, but I bet there are others out there that are.  I am going to start a mood board to help with creativity.  I am determined to find inspiration.

Sourpuss Hostess Dress on Historic Route 66

Check out the Sourpuss Hostess Dress!  It is a perfect addition to their upcoming Holiday Line.  The top is black velvet and the skirt is a full bengaline, with pockets! (That is secretly a girl's dream come true, right?)

The fabric is very light weight, which I enjoy, because even as we move towards colder temperatures in the midwest, I hate having on a dress in which it feels like I have on 25 extra pounds of fabric.

I paired this dress with black patent heels and a wide black patent belt, as well as the Bettie Page Centerfold Purse from Sourpuss too!

In trying to find a place to shoot, Johnny and I were driving around a new home town, Springfield Missouri, and he mentioned snapping some pictures at some places that still exist on the historic Route 66.  

We stopped by a local tire and wheel shop, Bud's Tires and Wheels, which is owned by a family friend, and snapped some shots by a T Bucket that is outside the shop.

Sourpuss is having an end of summer sale right now too, so stop by there website and pick up something spooky or something to kiss the summer goodbye!

Stay Sweet,
Katty Delux

Sunday Night: Date Night

Johnny and I are terrible about actually going out and doing things.  We are such hermits sometimes, that it isn't even funny.

I just love being at home, comfortable, surrounded by things I love, and blankets.  Johnny, well he is the same.  We find that we would rather go buy a new movie, make dinner and cuddle on the couch, than go out and spend a fortune on a so-so dinner.  Sometimes, that is a good thing, but sometimes you just have to get dressed, and go out!

A local film maker, Jason Tucker, shot a short film and asked both Johnny and I to play parts in the movie.  We were thrilled.  Well, I was thrilled.  Johnny I think came around to the idea, and after his part was shot, he was excited.

Last night, the film premiered at a local theater, and it was a packed house!

I am so lucky to be with this man.  He gets that I don't like large crowds, but I do have a desire to wear a dress, and be out of our cocoon every once in a while.

Fit Frozen Dessert: Arctic Zero

ARCTIC ZERO® is the pioneer of Fit Frozen Desserts™ without all the fat and calories. Handcrafted from premium ingredients, ARCTIC ZERO is low glycemic, lactose free, gluten free and GMO free. It’s the perfect zero-guilt pleasure whenever your sweet tooth strikes.

I was super excited to get a fantastic package from Arctic Zero, full of delicious goodies and super wonderful packaging!

My Johnny and I have done one round of Whole30 and are planning to do a reset in the next month or two.  I wasn't really on board during the first round, as it is hard, but it made me feel so much better, and really paying attention to what is going in my body for fuel made me become really aware of products.  This product is not Whole30 compliant, as there is sugar in it, but is a great snack when you are between rounds.

We received a five pack of goodies: Banana Pudding, Snickerdoodle Dany, Cake Batter, Brownie Blast and Poppin' Pomegranate.  My favorite quickly became Snickerdoodle Dandy because it reminded me of the cookie butter Ben and Jerrys Ice Cream.

The first bite is a weird one, cause you are thinking ice cream, and this is different.  You aren't going to be left with a mouth covered in milk like you do with traditional ice cream.  The consistency is good, and as long as you follow the directions of letting it set out for 10 minutes before consuming, you are going to get a creamy, delicious bite.

I have to say, I am sold on this product.  I like that it is light, it didn't make me feel horrible after eating it, and it satisfied my sweet tooth.  I am excited to try more flavors!

Stay Sweet,
Katty Delux

The best swimwear for busty ladies, Lilly & Lime Swimwear.

Lilly & Lime swimwear is designed for women with bigger busts, D-cup and up. We offer three bikini top styles which support larger busts: Full Cup, Balconette and Underwire Halter, available in bra sizes ranging from 28D-38HH. The bikini brief styles: Full Brief, Basic Brief and Hipster Tie are available in sizes 8-18. Lilly & Lime is based in Australia but we offer free shipping worldwide. Please note all prices are shown in Australian dollars.

Firstly, I love companies that are owned and operated by people who get the "small" things in life.  My order can with a hand written note, and to me, that goes a long, long way!

Lilly & Lime is a great swimwear company that specializes in D cup and up swimsuits!  Now, I am in fact a busty lady, and I know that it is *almost* impossible to find swimsuits that can accommodate my measurement.  I was very eager to give this company a try because you order everything by bra size.  This will ensure a good fit.  The tops are sized european, so you will want to make sure you are measured correctly.

There is a good selection of fit, colors, patterns etc to choose from.  I, also, thought it was great that I could mix and match tops and bottoms. This means a lot of different color ways and styles to choose from.

I choose the underwire halter nectarine top, featured here, and the full floral brief, feature here.  I had to have my friend, Anna, push me outside my comfort zone, and not order an all black swimsuit.  I am glad I branched out!

My favorite thing about this suit is that it fits like a bra and is very, very comfortable.  The quality of this suit is super impressive!  I can't wait to add more to my swimwear collection.

The other thing is I need to find time to actually go swimming, before this summer slips away.  (I haven't been once, yet, this year.)

I hope you find something great to "support" your swimming habit!

Stay Sweet,

Ghost Bed Review!

Talk about being a lucky duck, Ghost Bed, send me a mattress for review!  Johnny O and I had been sort of chatting about mattresses, when low and behold, I got the opportunity to review a new mattress!  Now, here is where the tricky part was going to be.  I am a lover of "hug beds" (as I like to call them)  I love a soft mattress that will just swallow me up.  Johnny is a lover of firm beds.  I think he would be just as comfortable sleeping on the driveway, as he would a firm mattress.  I was really concerned that we were going to not be able to agree on this new mattress.  HOWEVER, this bed is really the best of both worlds!

Getting a mattress, in the mail, in a box, is kind of a new experience.  It is also kind of wonderful.  The big box arrived, and I honestly couldn't wait to get home to open it and try it out.

The first night was AMAZING!  I haven't slept that well in YEARS.  Johnny was a little behind the curve, as he originally thought the bed was "hot" and made him super hot, but he always was in the process of quitting nicotine, so we are chalking that up to a side effect.  I was in a blissful cloud of wonderment!

We post a video review below of what we thought after one week of sleeping on heaven.  

If you are looking for a new bed or a new mattress, please check out Ghost Bed.  I promise you will not be disappointed.

Stay Sweet
Katty Delux
SaveSave GhostBed Cooling Gel Memory Foam 11 Inch Mattress, King

Doll face Betty's Hair Wraps

Tammy, from Dollface Bettys sent me an adorable hair wrap.  The best part is, it is reversible!  

I styled it two ways, since there were two sides, and I have to admit, this lady has hair wraps down to a science.  It is a perfect width and length.  I have worked with a lot of "hair wraps" before, and a lot of times they are just two wide and end up laying in your hair, or on your head, in a very awkward way.

With all the different patterns and designs, I know you can find one that suits your personality, or wardrobe.

They are cotton and come pressed and ready to use immediately.  Please stop by her Facebook page, give it a "like" and get some hair wraps for yourself!

Stay Sweet,
Katty Delux

Voodoo Vixen Review with the Majorie Dress with Discount Code!

The Majorie Dress is a super cute western style dress, and from the moment I saw it, I knew I needed it!

It is light tan color with black embroidery detail and black buttons.  The fabric is very light weight and super stretchy.  The dress does run true to size, but you may be able to size down if you have a small to average bust.  I say this because my bust to waist ratio is not average, and if I were a smaller bust measurement, I would have sized down to a medium.

This dress comes in a swing style, and I think I would love to see it in pencil form as well.

One change I would make to this dress is the belt.  They belt that it comes with is cute and just a plain black fabric belt.  It is very flimsy and I like a belt with a little more structure.

One of my favorite parts of the dress is that it does come with pockets!  Who doesn't love a dress with pockets?

I paired this dress with simple black wedge slides, but would love to style it with black cowboy boots and a denim jacket, as the temperature starts to drop as we inch towards an autumn climate.

Voodoo Vixen is having a big summer sale right now, so it is a perfect time to stop by their website and pick up something pretty for the summer!

To get an exclusive discount use the code Katty20 at checkout to get 20% off your purchase!

Stay Sweet,
Katty Delux

2 year Thyroid Cancer Update

The Amanda Dress by Voodoo Vixen with Discount Code!

Voodoo Vixen sent me this stunning black wiggle dress, The Amanda, for review.  Not only did I get to wear a show stopping dress to a wedding, but I also got to wear it after I got engaged!

Needless to say, I am going to be pretty partial to this dress for pretty much ever.  Enough about me though, lets talk dress!

The dress is made of a stretch blend fabric, but has an adorable peacock feather detail that is in velvet.  The dress is very light weight, so it is perfect for spring evening wear.  You won't feel weighed down by the fabric, but it is sturdy enough to help perfect the much coveted hour glass shape.

My favorite part of the detailing is actual the "fishtail side".  It adds a nice little detail to the already get shape this dress gives you.  The gathering of the dress across the midsection is also something to like if this is an area you like to camouflage.

 As a special discount to COAST readers, use the code "Katty20" to get 20% off your order.  
I can't wait to start my wedding planning.  I think a Voodoo Vixen Dress may have to make it's way into my wedding reception wear!

In the Kitchen with Green Chef

If you are not familiar with subscription boxes, or meals delivered to your door, let me be the first to introduce you.  Green Chef is a wholesome meal planning delivery service.  They will deliver three complete meals, once a week, and it is practically the best thing ever.

I know I am a busy person, and by the time I get home at night, the last thing I want to do is think about what I am cooking for dinner.  Most of the time, Johnny and I end up ordering a pizza, or going to Jason's Deli, or something of that nature.

The best part about Green Chef, is that they have several meal plans to choose from.  Everything is certified organic, no hormones, etc.  Additionally you can choose from vegetarian, omnivore, carnivore, even paleo plans.  It really does fit all lifestyles.

We chose to go with a the omnivore plan, as Johnny is a meat eater, so it would satisfy both of our eating habits.

You will get three meals in your order and they each come color coded, packed and with a step by step cooking instruction page.  Not one of the meals I received took over 45 minutes from start to finish.

The first meal we prepared was Vegetable Tartine with roasted sweet potatoes and a walnut arugula salad..  This was quite possibly one of the best things I have eaten in awhile.  It was a little adventurous (pickled beet hummus) but so completely delicious.

Everything is perfectly portioned, so you get so full, but don't feel like you are going to go into food coma.  The instructions are super easy to follow, so even if you are not a chef extraordinaire you are going to be able to do this!

The second meal I have prepared so far was Spring Roasted Chicken with vegetables.  I obviously didn't eat it, as I am a vegetarian, but boy did it smell good.  Johnny was a pleased man after this meal.

Another great part of this company is they show all the suppliers their food is sourced from, and you can see your menu that is being planned.  If you want to opt out of a week or so, you just opt out, no pressure.  You can also change your menu items if there is something that isn't your favorite.

I can't wait to get my next shipment.  In fact, Green Chef has offer my readers a special discount code for 4 free meals with your first order!  Follow any of the links in this post to get your discount code!

If you do decide to try this company out, even if it is only once a month, I would love to know your experience.

Vinyl Me, Please Review

Vinyl Me, Please

My love of records, knows no bounds.  My boyfriend's love of records, knows no bounds.  We are a family that loves vinyl.

When I think of records, it brings about a lot of memories.  My mother and father had lots of them growing up, and we played them quite a bit.  Especially during the holidays.  No christmas tree was decorated without the our ears being piqued by the sounds of the record player.

Vinyl Me, Please is a company that is actually quite different in the realm of the "subscription box" days.  Plans start at $23 per month, and there are perks that go along with it, not just a new record

How it works:

The monthly box is delivered to your door with the chosen album of the month, a 12x12 art print and a custom cocktail pairing recipe.  

Vinyl Me, Please is a record of the month club that believes in the power of the album as an art form. For us, music isn’t just something we listen to, it’s a part of us. We believe that albums are meant to be connected with and enjoyed as a complete work of art. Vinyl, as a medium, creates an environment for this connection through deep, active listening…the music as the focus, rather than just background noise.
Each month we feature one album that is worthy of your time & attention, work with the artist & label on a custom pressing with exclusive features available only to Vinyl Me, Please. We package each record with a 12” x 12” album-inspired art print and custom cocktail pairing recipe and send it to your doorstep.

What I got:

Big Bill Broonzy.  This was right up my alley. Riiiiiiight up my alley.  Old folk that is jazzy and full of blues.  This was the February Album of the month and we partnered with Smithsonian Folkways Recordings to reissue the 1962 Big Bill Broonzy classic, ‘Big Bill Broonzy Sings Folk Songs’. This album shows Broonzy lending his unmatched blues vocals and propulsive guitar to classic folk songs. The album has been remastered exclusively for Vinyl Me, Please by the GRAMMY-award winning Pete Reiniger of Smithsonian Folkways.

The art included:
  • 12″ x 12″ original art print from New York-based artist McKenzie Nelson

Our house is alcohol free, so I will not be partaking in the cocktail recipes, but that doesn't need to stop you!  The recipe that accompanied this album is the Sidecar.  When I was a drinker, I did enjoy quite a few of these!

Lapsley is the next album I got for review.  Now, this is not something I would ever pick for myself to listen to.  It is kind of indie, kind of pop, kind of electronic.  I, however, do enjoy listening to new things.  Her voice is very melodic.  "There’s a dark, roiling hue to the pop sensibilities of Holly Låpsley Fletcher that hooked us in when we first heard her debut album Long Way Home. While her vocal & melodic prowess have the right ingredients for the next big pop star, the minimalist electronic underpinnings push her left of center in just the right way, keeping the listener from ever being able to completely pin her down. At 19, Låpsley has produced an album far beyond her years & one we’ll be quick to spin again and again."

The art included:
The cocktail recipe is for a Dark & Stormy.  I have never tried a Dark and Stormy, but I love(d) a good Moscow Mule (hello ginger beer!), so I bet this is a drink I would enjoy.

Nils Frahm was the final album for review, and one that I was not familiar with at all.  But, upon listening to this absolutely stunning arrangement of music, I am hooked.  "Part of our goal each month is to not just find great albums, but artists consistently pushing the boundaries of their respective genres.  Nils Frahm has always intrigued us as an artist for this very reason and of all his works,Spaces is a jaw-dropping tour through what makes him one of the most brilliant composers & performers of our generation." as described on the website.

The art included:
  • Original 12″ x 12″ art print courtesy of creative director, art and photography editor, designer, brand strategist, writer and illustratorMichael Salu
The cocktail recipe is an Ivory Sour, and one that looks a little labor intensive, but most good things are worth the wait, right?

Vinyl Me, Please is really a great upstart company, and one that if you enjoy music, you should at least look into.  The album for April is the Fugees, and hello, who wouldn't want this album in their collection?  I guess the only thing I have left to do is go purchase some frames to put my new art.

Stay Sweet,
Katty Delux

*these albums were sent as a courtesy from Vinyl Me Please for review.