DIY Face Mask

One of the blogs I love to follow is

She has great paleo and healthy reciepes and amazing skin care regiments.  

I thought I would try out one of her skin care recipes and see how it worked with my skin.

Its pretty easy and it smells delicious.
Original recipe found here

2 tbs of cocoa powder 
(I found I needed a little bit more to get the paste like consistency)
1 tbs of honey
1 1/2 tbs of coconut oil

mix together until you get a paste like consistency

Let sit for 15-20 minutes and rinse with warm water.  Its suggested to follow with a toner and moisturizer.  

The benefits of this mask are to:
help smooth out wrinkles (cocoa)
clear out toxins in your skin, which can make you look older (cocoa)
natural moisturizer (honey)
antiseptic and antimicrobial agent, helping with acne (coconut oil) 


Scenes from the weekend

 1.  Blue skies and 80 degrees
2.  My weekend hair treatment: coconut oil.  It helps keep hair soft, my scalp from drying out, and also cleanses the hair follicles and pores.
3.  New terrarium: Succulents in moss and river rocks (my secret to keeping these alive? they're not real!)
4.  A cool tree in my backyard.  Still trying to figure out its name.
5.  Re-painted my toe-nails this pretty red, Seduce Me by China Glaze
6.  Finally framed my not so new print.  I love it!  Mermaid Dance Party by Arrolynn



Sometimes I'm lucky and will see an unusual critter on my jaunt around the boardwalk.  I saw this guy on Wednesday.  Its not one of the scary ones, like the Coral Snake, but whats known as a Corn Snake. 

He (I assume all snakes are boys of course) was not too scared of myself and a few coworkers and hung around for awhile soaking up the warm afternoon sun until he got annoyed with us being so close and slithered away into the cool green hammock. 


Tribal Archaeology

My office's world revolves around archaeology and even though my work is indoors with the artifacts, I am always a little envious of the field crew working out in the fresh air, digging those holes.

Ever wonder what a life of an archaeologist consists of?  
Well here is a great video that one of my co-workers made that shows the day in the life of an archaeologist working for the Seminole Tribe.


Video Credits: Eric Griffis


Little Moments

The best moment this week, hands down, was getting a call from my sister on Friday evening.  In the background was the tiny voice of my nephew.


My sister asked him
"Who does Auntie Kate live with?"


"Who does Uncle Bobby live with?"



Sometimes I fear that my niece and nephew will only know me as the weird aunt who lives in a strange place called Florida or that they will think I live in the computer screen.  But it is great to live in a world where distance can be overcome with a simple phone call and you can be transported 2000 miles in the blink of an eye.

August 2012.  Auntie Kate traumatizing San by taking him down the slide.

However, nothing will ever take the place of holding them in my arms and sliding down the playground slide on a summer afternoon. 



On of my favorite colors is red. Here are two new things that I love and one oldie but goodie.

 New shoes:  these are a bit on the orangie side of red, but I love them.  I have been wanting a pair of loafer moccasins for a long time and saw these the other day at Target and couldn't resist!

 One of my thrift store finds.  A red handkerchief with little white horses.

This bracelet was a gift from my husband and then boyfriend almost 8 years ago.  I remember we had gone to Einstein Bagels on 28th and Canyon in Boulder, CO.  There was a World Market next door and after eating our bagels and cream cheese we wandered over to browse the international array of merchandise.  I tried on this bracelet and admired it on my wrist for several minutes.  A few days later my husband told me he had a gift for me and pulled out the bracelet.  To make it even more special he was car-less and had walked the several miles from his house to World Market just to buy me my red beaded bracelet. 


Cabbage Rolls

I grew up a very picky eater.  I feel a twinge of guilt when I think about what I put my parents through most dinners.  My taste buds have expanded a bit over the years, but I still find myself leaning towards simple tasting dishes.  

One of these is cabbage rolls and I make this recipe at least once a month.  They fit in nicely with my new diet (more protein and vegetables) and I can make a big batch for my lunches during the week.  The recipe I use is my mom's, tweaking it just a bit :)  Not a fan of cabbage?  You can also easily substitute the cabbage with peppers.

1 big head of cabbage
1 pound of lean ground beef
1 cup of rice (cooked)
Olive oil
Tomato Juice
Salt to taste

First, cook the rice, but only until al-dente.

Add a couple of inches of water to a large pot.  Place head of cabbage into the pot, cover and boil.  When the cabbage turns bright green and the leaves can easily be peeled, remove from heat.  I let the cabbage cool for just a few minutes before I peel the leaves off with tongs.

Add rice to uncooked beef, mixing together with a little bit of olive oil (few tablespoons) and a pinch of salt

Taking one of the cabbage leaves, add about a palm sized serving of meat and rice mixture.  My mom's trick is to cut a triangle at the base to remove part of the stem for easier rolling.

Roll the cabbage leaf, tucking in the sides to make a little cabbage burrito.

Once you've filled the casserole pan, pour tomato juice over the rolls.  Some of the juice will evaporate so make sure to cover them well.

Cover with foil and cook for 1 hour at 375 degrees


i am beautiful

It's hard to say those three words.
 I'm sure you know the struggle.  We've been torn down by society to think of ourselves as less.  as imperfect.  as second rate.  

A nice video to put it all into perspective.


And then came the rain

The dark clouds began to tumble over the sawgrass and the angry rolls of thunder echoed off in the deep, vast  distance.  I glanced at the radar and saw the imminent green, yellow and red blobs morphing across the reservation and the roads that would soon take me home.  I found the approaching weather fitting as we all the read the news.  

Pulling out of the museum parking lot fat heavy raindrops began to splatter against the windshield.  Lightening flashed and slithered down from the angry clouds.  The windshield wipers worked overtime as our truck slowly meandered the curves in the road while sheets of rain slashed against us and I was more than thankful for the shelter of the vehicle.  A tiny fly was trapped in the truck with us, frantically flying from window to window.  I silently told the little fly to be grateful that he was stuck in the car instead of drowning outside in the fierce weather.

It took twice as long to make it to the main highway.  My hands gripped the steering wheel until they were white, guiding the truck against the 60 mile per hour gusts.  As we neared the end of the road, the rain began to let up and the clouds lightened.  Thunder still boomed above, but I knew the worst of the storm was behind us.  As I pulled onto the highway I glanced up into the sky.  A barely visible rainbow was forming, its muted colors hiding between the monochromatic clouds.  But it was there, pushing through the chaotic darkness.

Mint for Spring

Have you noticed that mint is one of this year's popular spring color?  I'm usually not a fan of pastels, but I have to admit I am a fan of mint.  

images from Pinterest

I am enjoying wearing this new color on my recently grown out nails!  Well...by my standards they have grown out
(side note: kicking the habit of biting your nails after 20 some years is not easy!)

Color: Re-fresh Mint by China Glaze

Also recently bought some mint tea. I've been trying to reduce my coffee intake in the afternoons and  only having a cup or two in the morning.  I found this to be a pleasant afternoon drink, plus its nice not to choke down the work coffee which is almost always a watery disappointment.

   Have a wonderful Monday!


Thrifty and Vintage

Yesterday I spent the afternoon with my friend thrift store shopping.  I was lucky this time around and found a few treasure to take home.  Here are some of my finds that I was extra excited about!

Queen Conch Shell

This was my perfect find. I had just been online yesterday morning searching for this shell.  I have seen it recently in a lot of decor look books and was really wanting one to complete my Ikea bookshelf turned entry table.  Most of the ones I saw online were going for $35-$50.  This one was purchased for a whole $2.50!

The two books underneath were also found yesterday.  The bottom book is from 1931!  

A few other books (each $2.50)

   Two piano books, one from 1896

I love thinking about who might have owned this and how it finally ended up in a little vintage store in Ft. Lauderdale 117 years later!



scenes from around work

lichen. poison ivy. air plant


"Will is a Skill"

Remember how I'm trying to make some big changes in my life?  This big change includes exercising.  

 I'm much more comfortable exercising in the comfort of my own home.  I don't like to feel pressure from others at the gym or feel like the only awkward, un-athletic girl around. 

Look familiar?

yup thats me :)

My sister introduced me to Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred.  I t s  I n t e n s e.
I'm only on day 2 and both days I almost cried on my living room rug.  I am dreaming of the results and knowing that each day brings me closer to a healthier me!


NPR Famous

The Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum was featured this weekend on NPR's All Things Considered.  

Meeting Florida's Seminoles Through Rediscovered Photos

The widow of Tigertail, a leader during the Second Seminole War, 1910
Julian Dimock Collection/American Museum of Natural History

A boy demonstrates how to use a tote strap to carry a load, 1910
Julian Dimock Collection/American Museum of Natural History

A Seminole man pulls a canoe through the rain, 1910
Julian Dimock Collection/American Museum of Natural History



My sweet little nephew is taking gymnastics lessons.  When I was home last weekend I got to go with my sister and San and be witness to the cuteness that is baby gymnastics!  Most of the time is spent chasing them around the mats, but San loved the balance beam and is starting to get the hang of the trampoline.  

I made this little video to showcase his talents
(don't mind my awesome videographer skills!)

Song: You & Me by Frances England

Glamour Shots

Remember Glamour Shots from the 80's and 90's?  My twin sister and I somehow convinced my mom, while walking through the mall while on a trip to Michigan to visit my grandparents, that we reeeealllly needed to have beautiful airbrushed portraits of our awkward 13 year old selves.  My mom gave in and we were pampered, curled, fluffed, teased, and feather boa'd.  I loved it!  That soft focus does wonders.  Every girl wants to feel like a movie star, even if it is just for a few hours!

My little niece is only 8 months old, but already a pro at smiling for the camera.  We had our own little glamour shoot with my very talented sister while I was home (minus the sequined vests) .  Love our matching red and black outfits


Auntie Kate

I was so fortunate to be back in Colorado this past Easter weekend.  It was so wonderful to be with my family once again and I treasured every moment.  

Especially this one

My precious niece and nephew


Living with PCOS

I was diagnosed with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) when I was 19.  

What a drag.  

There are some pain-in-the-buns symptoms and for the most part I figured out ways to keep them under control.  It wasn't until the past few years though that more symptoms appeared.  At first I went through the usual phase of ignoring it.  But I've realized that this is never a good thing when it comes to your health.  

The last few years have been not so kind to my body.  I won't come up with excuses for why I haven't kept up with my health because it generally comes down to one simple thing: laziness  Keeping healthy and maintaining your health is essential with PCOS.  Your symptoms can go through the roof if you don't manage things like diet and exercise and can end up causing some pretty serious damage, i.e. infertility, diabetes, obesity. 

One of the worst symptoms I am experiencing is hair loss.  It is pretty common with PCOS and if left untreated you may end up looking like Elmer Fudd aaand I'm pretty sure that would be kind of a blow to any girl's self confidence!  

A few weeks ago I had a huge pity party for myself after I found an unsettling amount of hair in the shower drain.  I knew my hair had been falling out for sometime, but for some reason it hit me hardest in that moment.  I spent the next few weeks researching and researching (I'm embarassed to say its something I really never did) about the syndrome.  Reading how others have managed without harsh chemicals and treatments.  Every day things I can do to help reduce and mitigate my symptoms.

I have made some big changes the past few weeks.  I know that results take hard work and time, but I am more than determined to make these changes.

I have been working hard on what I put into my mouth, decreasing the amount of carbohydrates (PCOS causes insulin resistance) and slowly beginning to incorporate exercise into my daily routine.  Exercising is usually the last thing I want to do and it can easily become my worst enemy.  But not anymore.

I've also been doing a lot of research on other simple changes I can make.  Certain foods I should eat more of (i.e. broccoli, spinach) and certain supplements I can take (like Biotin and Saw Palmetto) that have proven results to help block that pesky chemical called  DHT that is making my hair fall out.  No harm in trying.

My new daily regiment 

I'm feeling better now that I've started to take back control.  I'm sure it will be sometime before I gain my confidence back in the hair department, but even more importantly I am taking great strides in becoming healthy again.