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LIFE // Three Strikes, You're Out.

A squabble, our wedding venue cancelled, and two wasp stings. All in a short two hours - a day from HELL.

Now, if you’ve never been stung before, I will let you in on a little secret … They HURT like a son of a gun! And if those aren’t enough to send you over the edge on a bad day, then you are some sort of mutant ninja made out of steel and I am slightly jealous.

Those short two hours were enough emotional stimulation to put anyone over the deep-end; not just my soft, peachy ol’ self. 

After what I thought was possibly the shittiest of shitty days, I was certain that a migraine would form and I’d fall under my dark, ominous cloud. But I didn’t. Pardon? How can this be? This was something that left me crying a river, but yet I’m OK? No, no … something can’t be right here. This is a trigger, so where in the hell is my cloud? I waited… but nothing.

I realized so quickly in that moment, that those two hours, were completely out of my control; which for me, is a little scary. I like plans, I like order, and I like to be in control. It’s just who I am! But this time, I let go.
I realized very quickly that you can’t be everything to everyone, which is something that I so often try to be. I also realized that everything happens for a reason, which is a statement that I honestly and truly believe in. Our wedding venue got cancelled, only to show us that there was something even more perfect waiting; I got stung by a wasp not only once, but twice! Only to prove to myself that I can handle my last straw being pulled & still be OK. I’m much stronger than I give myself credit for! I mean … My spaghetti strings could probably lift some weights here and there… but you get my point!

"The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another." - Williams James

Here’s a little something I learnt: You are going to bark up the wrong tree, more than once. You are going to get disheartening news, and you are definitely going to experience physical pain at some point. But this is LIFE. Does this mean that these types of things will never bother me ever again? Probably not. 
But, the most important thing to remember is that YOU cannot be EVERYTHING to EVERYONE. It’s impossible! Trust me, I’ve tried. You just have to keep being you, and doing what you’re doing, because the list of people that admire you, is MUCH longer than the list of the ones who don’t. Know that things really DO happen for a reason; whether it is a lesson or a blessing, take it for what it is and move on & never let any type of pain, take away your strength.

I am writing to let whoever is reading this that is having a bad day, no matter how big or small the situation is, to know that everything will always be OK. It may not seem like it right now, but there is always light at the end of a tunnel, so keep your chin up – you never know who you are inspiring.

with love,

xo – K.

LIFE // A New Beginning ...

Before you get your undies in a bunch … no, I am not pregnant!  My sister had her first baby - a beautiful, healthy little girl.

Now, let me rewind a smidgen here. My sister & I are five years apart, the younger one being myself. We have grown up together, seen things together, and have been through a lot together. Just like any siblings, especially with quite the age gap, we had our fights; and by fights, I mean a one sided battle where she always came out on top. She’s spicy that one.

My sister has been there for me through thick & thin. She has been my back-bone when I never had one. She sees the good in me, and she never takes my sappy, soft, sensitive heart for granted. She also knows exactly how to make me tick – but I love her for it. I would say we are just like peanut butter & jelly. We go together so well, yet we are so very different. She’s my home-girl & I don’t think I could ask for a better P.I.C.

Back to the star of the story … my little niece.

I have never been a gal who is crazy for babies. I admire them from a far and run when they start to cry. They terrify me ever so slightly! But this one… this little, hairy, fragile nugget – she is a completely different story.
I remember when I found out my sister was pregnant, I thought, ‘Yay! How exciting! Oh god … this means I have to hold it, huh?’ I was very, very unsure of my abilities to be an aunt, and a good one at that!  Well, let me tell you. The second I met her … I felt this love that I have never experienced before.
Becoming an aunt, as silly as it sounds, has changed my mind-set in so many ways. It makes me want to be the absolute best version of myself that I can be. It makes me want to give her all the love and support she will ever need, no matter what.

To my niece: The amount of love I have for you is inexplicable. You carry a very special place in my heart already and I cannot wait to see you grow up. I promise to always be the “cool” aunt and give you candy when Mom & Dad won’t. I promise to take you on fun adventures, read you bed-time stories, and laugh at all the silly things you do. I promise to tell you that you are so beautiful every day so you never forget it. I also promise to show you all the good makeup tricks, because we know your mom won’t ;)
I can’t wait to be such a huge part of your life and watch you grow into the most amazing little girl I already know you will be.

To my sister: Thank you for making such a perfect little human. You both, without a doubt, are going to be the most amazing parents a kid could ask for. It’s pretty amazing to be a part of such a huge step in your life. You are such a strong person, and now, you are about to become that marshmallow I always knew was in there! Welcome to the light side … Bad Boys for Life.

 

BW; BS; BH!

K-xo

LIFE // The Truth Is ...

Photography: Kreative Eye Studios

Photography: Kreative Eye Studios

I can feel myself slipping. I’m slipping and I don’t know how to steady my feet on the ground.

What the fuck is it this time? There has to be a reason, there is always a reason for everything, for every emotion.

I sit here emotionless, on the outside at least, not knowing what to do. I feel drained – physically & emotionally. I’d like to lie in a dark room, in silence, and sleep. Sleep away this awful feeling.

There are days like today where I get so angry. I don’t understand this; I want it to go away. I know it will in time, but that isn’t enough. Days like today, I just want to give up.

It is like you are physically present, but you are emotionally absent. You are about as exciting as chewing on a cardboard box.  Some days I don’t know whether to blame my emotions on a poor attitude, or to blame them on a bout of depression. I refuse to be someone who blames every mishap and bad day on depression because dammit, sometimes I am just having a bad day and I’m am very much entitled to be grumpy if I want to! But oh so often, the line between a bad day & a bad mood disorder becomes very blurry. Besides, not dealing with your emotions and having a scapegoat is way easier than actually taking the time to understand what’s going on.

Now, so many are going to read this and say – ‘oh no, poor Katie, I didn’t know she was so depressed’ or ‘wow, she always seems so happy’

“Just as we tend to assume that the world is as we see it, we naively suppose that people are as we imagine them to be.” – Carl Jung

Just because people now know such an intimate part of my life, doesn’t mean that I am not the same person I was before you knew I lived with a mood disorder. Just because I live with this, doesn’t mean I AM such.

My bad days aren’t something I put on display like a dinosaur museum. I deal with them in privacy, and I do not step out and ask for people to see me as sad or to take pity. So yes, I always seem so happy because I AM HAPPY.  When I write about a bad day, it doesn’t mean it happened yesterday, it could have happened a month ago. I write about it to create awareness and most importantly to let others, who struggle with a mood disorder, know that they are not alone.
Just because someone struggles with a mood disorders, does not mean that they are incapable of being happy – it just means that they struggle from time to time; as does every single person on this earth.

So, the next time you see someone that you know who struggles with a mood disorder – don’t view them differently, don’t offer pity, don’t walk on eggshells around them … treat them as a normal human being, because we are just that. Normal.

BW; BS; BH!

K - xo

LIFE // Things I Ponder ...

Self-love. Two words that make me feel angry, confused, and yet a little intrigued all at the same time.
In the past week, I've reflected a lot on this topic & it really got me thinking...
Where does love for oneself come from anyway? Is this something that you are just born with? Do your parents teach it to you? Or do you learn it? How the hell does one have self-love?
 

So many questions, so little answers.

I thought long and hard about the questions above and I came up with this - self-love seems to have everything to do with how others view you, and nothing to do with how you view yourself. We live in a world where we think we know who people are based on the stereotypes we are given and where beauty can be found in a magazine. We, unfortunately, live in a society that is so narrow-minded.

I'm not saying that there isn't anyone in this world that doesn't love themselves & others with all they have - take Kanye for example ... Just kidding! Bad example, but you get my point. What I'm trying to say is that a lot of people in this world, myself included, base their worth on the opinions of others.

Have you ever stopped to think about how not one single person on this planet is the same? So how can we so easily tell the world what beauty is, inside & out, and what we should all strive to be? Isn't beauty in the eye of the beholder?

I find it quite quizzical that it's said that 'we all have imperfections!' as if to make someone feel better about themselves. But why are they imperfect? Who is the judge of what's perfect and what's not? I feel like this is a never ending black-hole of questions - but honestly, have you ever stopped to think about where you get your ideals of 'perfect' from? Are you able to see the beauty in things that most can't?

We live in a time where social media is what makes the world go round. We get relationship advice from Joe Schmo in an article titled '10 Ways To Save Your Marriage!' instead of learning how to communicate with our better-half. We let it tell us that we aren't living our lives to the fullest because we aren't on some cliff in some tropical place, staying in a resort that drains your bank account; but it makes the pictures on Instagram tell the world how awesome you are. We let different Instagram accounts and pages on Facebook tell us what an ideal body type is, or what our life-goals should be. This completely boggles me. These things are up to you and nobody else. It's that simple.

I challenge you to literally stop. Sit there with no phone, a nice cup o' joe, and just think. Think about all you have to be grateful for. Think of the small things that make you happy. Think about how you are one person upon billions and billions of others, and that you are amazing just the way you are. You are you. Learn to enjoy the silence, see your imperfections as perfect, and dammit, be OK with who you are; because you are amazing. Find the beauty within yourself, others, and your surroundings.

I'm starting to do my #100daystohappiness on my Instagram account to remind myself, and others, that there is something positive in each day. I challenge you to do the same! And please tag me because I'd love to have extra smiles in a day! :)

BW; BS; BH!

K. xo

DIY // Blanket Ladder

 

I don’t know about you, but I have a slight obsession with ‘TV blankets’. There is something so joyous about curling up on the couch with the most soft, warm, and comfortable blanket. In my opinion, it makes or breaks your couch-potato experience.  They can also add a nice touch to your home décor.
What is not cute?  When you have so many of them (sorry hunny!), that it looks like a bomb of fluffy, cozy blankets went off in your living room! I just don’t have enough room for them all & keeping them draped over the back of the couch (which never stays in place when you have two dogs & a cat who believes the couch is their castle), can sometimes look untidy!

I needed a solution that didn’t involve knocking out at wall and expanding a closet.

I’ve seen so many of those rustic, chic looking ladders that people so elegantly drape their beautiful blankets over. That. I want that. BUT – any time I’ve gone to get my dirty little paws on one of those beautiful ladders, my bank account screams “ohh no gurrrl! You put that card right back where it came from!” Sometimes the price is just a little too far out of my comfort zone! So, I started to think to myself ‘what is stopping me from just making myself a ladder?’ Well, the answer to that is this: nothing.

I did not research it, I did not come up with any calculations, I just had a picture in my mind of what I wanted, and marched on over to Home Depot.
Now, I am no whiz when it comes to building things. Measurements and types of wood are not in my box of things I’m knowledgeable about, but I didn’t let that stop me! If you are at all like me, you will be fully aware that power tools are not our friends. So here’s a fun fact: Home Depot will cut your materials for you! They even understand measurements of “about right here…”, “like this wide…”, and “maybe about this tall…”

Are you ready to find out just how easy building your own blanket ladder is? And for under $20?! Keep reading! …

What you will need:

  • 2x  5 ft.  1.5x2.5 (these will be the ‘sides’ of the ladder)
  •  4x  14in.  3/4x1.5 (these will be the ‘steps’ of the ladder - you can do more than four if you please!)
  • 16x  8x3in. construction screws
  • Sandpaper – grit depends on how much you really want to sand or how smooth you really want it!
  • Paint – this is where it’s fun! You can do whatever colour your heart desires! I used Reloved Vintage Paint in the colour Cotton, which I got at Bellissima in Prince George that I had kickin’ around – but any paint will do!
  • Paint brush – for the paint of course … duh.
Don't be afraid to play around with different sizes of wood as well! 

Don't be afraid to play around with different sizes of wood as well! 

Now, the fun part! Assembly.  When I say fun, I mean not fun at all.
What I did was place each ‘step’ 12 inches apart. Again, this is not something that has to be set in stone – I wanted there to be some space from the top & bottom of the ladder before the steps started so this is why I chose this measurement.

 

Don't mind the nice little burnt red strip of colour on the wall there ... we re-did our flooring and need to get new baseboards! 

Don't mind the nice little burnt red strip of colour on the wall there ... we re-did our flooring and need to get new baseboards! 

 

Once the 12-inches were marked, I had some very burley men take a small drill-bit (remember, power tools & I are like oil and water – we don’t mix), and pre-drill the holes for the screws. For this ladder, I used two screws per step, on either side.  

 

Now that you have your oh so sturdy ladder assembled – it’s time to do a little sanding! Now, as I was so kindly reminded afterwards, please wear a mask when you are sanding!
I did a very rough sanding job as I wanted my ladder to be very rough and almost weathered. I went in with my power sander (look at me using a power tool!) and did a very quick sanding job, just to make sure I wouldn’t be getting any slivers along the way. Once you’re done sanding, give it a good dusting.

It’s painting time!  I went with a simple white to keep my living room bright, but even a nice dark stain would be really beautiful too!
Again, I wanted my ladder to be a little rough, so when I was painting, I made sure to not get into every little crevice, I wanted some of the wood to come through. Once you've finished painting, let it sit over-night to dry before putting any blankets on it.

Voila!

Now you have a tidy, yet chic way to display those cozy blankets!

 

I hope you enjoyed this DIY! If you endeavor to make your own ladder, please share it with me! I’d love to see your creations!

BW; BS; BH!

K. x

LIFE // Houston, We Have A Problem.

Well, it happened. For the first time since I’ve started this journey. I thought I was doing so good and making some progress and then it happened - this huge dark cloud hovers over me and drowns me in its rain that is self-doubt.

The thing about depression is that you can fall under these clouds for no reason, what so ever. Or, you can have a trigger.  I, almost all of the time, have a trigger. My trigger is when my self-confidence drops. When this drops, everything follows suit.  I start to focus on all the negativity in my life instead of the positivity (which there is a lot of).  Now, you might be thinking – how hard can it be to just not think about the negative things? My answer to you is this – it’s really, ridiculously hard.  It’s almost like there is this box that has every little piece of positivity inside of it, and this box, well this box is welded, super-glued, locked, and chained, and is undoubtedly inaccessible. I wish I had some sort of medical explanation as to why this happens – but I’ve got nothing.  All I can do is try to explain it to you based on experience.

Depression is something that seems so simple, but is SO complex. I have been that person who could not understand how people couldn’t just pick themselves up and pull it together, life could always be worse.  But here’s the thing – people don’t choose to have depression or anxiety or any mental illness. That is something that I think everyone neglects to think of; we do not ask to have episodes of sadness and anger, we do not beg to be given a demon to live life with – but we still live life.
I truly believe that everyone deals with their situations so differently and some people want to take the steps to make it better, and some just want to deal with it day-by-day. That is their choice. I personally want to fix it and make it end.  I want it gone. Is this something that is even possible? Probably not, but I’m determined to try.

So how do you pull yourself out of the quick-sand? I don’t have the fool-proof answer to this. But here is a little something I learnt - Talk. As much as you do not want to talk about the way you’re feeling. As much as you think people won’t understand or they may think it’s ridiculous. Talk.
It is such a hard first step to take, but my god is it the best. If you don’t talk about it, you’ll never know the amount of people you have surrounding you that care; you’ll never really know how much love & support you have to get you out from under your dark cloud and into the sunshine.  

I am not much of a talker myself when I’m going through something difficult, so I have found that writing is my outlet. If I need to talk about something, but physically cannot form the words, I write it in a letter.  Hell, if you don’t write it to someone, write it to yourself. Getting your feelings out somehow, is going to be the best relief. I promise.

Lesson: never neglect your thoughts and feelings – they do matter. You matter.

Someone said to me, “the day is darkest before the dawn, Katie” – I’d heard this so many times before, but in that moment, it was clearer than it has ever been.

Never forget that there is always sunshine, you just have to find yours.

BW; BS; BH!

K. xo

*Picture credit: Kreative Eye Studios

DIY // Just Call Me Susie ...

Well, I definitely did not think my first DIY would be about food ... But, there needs to be something said for these recipes! 
I got these delicious creations from Erin Ireland. If you don't know who she is - you're about to…

I came upon her website when I saw Jillian Harris making her oh so Creamy, Homemade Almond Milk on Snapchat (which by the way, I’ve tried, and it is unreal and so simple!). I became addicted. It took me no time at all to get completely engulfed in all her amazing posts. She follows a plant-based diet & is prodigious at creating and executing vegan dishes.
Sooo... these recipes are vegan? Hell yeah they are, and they're absurdly amazing!
Reading Erin Ireland's blog inspired me to try and eat a more plant-based diet. Why you ask? First and foremost, the love I have for animals tops everything, so that is my main reason for making some changes to my lifestyle; but once I took a look at pretty well all the recipes on the site and read this post, it didn’t seem so scary, it was motivating! Not only does Erin supply amazing recipes, her site has such amazing and informative information; and to boot, she’s a B.C. chick (& her dog is super cute)!  Guys, you NEED to check her out!  

I have always been that person that said they could never go vegan – not due to the lack of love I have for animals - because lets be real, my house would be full of rescues if my fiancé allowed it! I’ve done the vegetarian thing & honestly enjoyed it; but how do you go on without milk and eggs and cheese, oh my!? Well my friends... you stumble upon Erin Ireland, that’s how. 
Okay... enough fan-girling. Here are the recipes I’ve tried over the last week – with success might I add…

Firstly, I introduce to you, the Potato Pizza!

        *Recipe credit from itstodiefor.ca – Potato Pizza with Homemade Lemony Pesto

        *Recipe credit from itstodiefor.ca – Potato Pizza with Homemade Lemony Pesto

Can we just take a minute for this pizza - Oh. My. God. Heaven, just pure heaven. This pizza is the perfect combination of tangy, zesty, and savory. If you don't use this recipe to make the pizza, then for the love of God, make it for the pesto! Ohhh the pesto. I have had my hand at trying many homemade pesto recipes and I will tell you - this pesto recipe is the end all be all of pestos. It's a must.

 

Next up from my cooking escapade – Raw Hemp Chocolate Truffles.

These are little nuggets of gold! They are just the right amount of sweet with a chewy, delicious center. Best part? You feel pretty guiltless when eating them!  Now, mine definitely did not look even a sixteenth as gorgeous as the recipe pictures – I guess I need to work a little more on presentation, huh? But let me say this – my fiancé is not a huge chocolate person and they were a huge hit in his books!

*Recipe credit from itstodiefor.ca – Raw Hemp Chocolate Truffles *Photo: itstodiefor.ca

*Recipe credit from itstodiefor.ca – Raw Hemp Chocolate Truffles
*Photo: itstodiefor.ca

Not only did these recipes taste incredibly delicious, they also made me have a new found love for cooking! There is something so satisfying about seeing a recipe that is not even close to being your cup o' tea, whipping up the ingredients, and making one helluva dish!
Need I say more?

Be Well, Be Safe, Be Happy!

K. xo

 

 

LIFE // Houston, We Have Lift-Off.

This is it; there is no more hiding behind an invisible cloak, only coming out when I want people to see. There is no more dreaming, there's doing.

It's been a couple of days now since my blog has been live - meaning anyone can see it, anyone can read the words I put together. It's slightly terrifying, but insanely exhilarating! It's funny how when something is in the works and you have all of these thoughts and ideas of what could be & then all of the sudden - BAM! It's actually real and I'm sitting here like - what in the hell do I do now?!

 The panic really starts to set in. This is my typical way of dealing with uncertainty - doubting myself. Is this something I can actually do? What makes me think anyone else can relate to my craziness? I have to stop. I have to remind myself that this is something I am doing for me and it IS something that I am capable of! Writing to myself and to you, if you're out there, is going to make the hard times just a little bit easier!

 I ask of you a few things... This is all new to me, so have faith, stick around - it will only get better. I promise. Engage with me - let me know your thoughts and opinions, I really value them! But, remember, be gentle ... I'm a peach!

So, without further ado! Welcome to Polished Chaos. A blog of life and all its adventures, my attempts at DIY (I promise there will be some humor in this one …), my love for makeup, and my attempt at planning my budget friendly wedding – let us all pray now, not only for my fiancé, but my sanity.

Thanks for checking out my page, it means the world to me. Stick around & I promise you won’t regret it! Keep your eyes peeled … I have some things coming your way!

Be Well, Be Safe, Be Happy!


K. xo

LIFE // Popping The Cherry.

No. Not the vagina kind... 

As I'm writing this, I am officially popping my blog cherry - it's fucking great. 

Never have I ever written a blog, nor do I know diddly-squat about how they should be. So hold on, you're in for one hell of a ride! 

I want to go more in depth on the topic that brought me to the creation of this blog - self-love. I have always been someone who struggles with self-love. I can't even say I'm too sure what it is? Where is the line between being confident and being vain? 

I'm going to give it to you straight.  I am neither confident nor vain. I struggle daily with being kind to myself. This is something that drives me crazy because I am someone who loves giving compliments and making people smile! However, I struggle with accepting compliments from anyone else and even worse, I can't accept them from myself! 

I live with the mildest case of depression. When I say mild, I mean that I can opt out of medication and be OK, but I still have my moments, I have my triggers. This is something I work on every day. I like to think that this has everything to do with my 'issue', but that would be too easy! As I learnt when I was 'diagnosed', depression can be hereditary and unfortunately, this is something that runs in my family. I like to think that there are things in my past that have lead to my lack of self-love. Now, when I say that, I don't mean that I am a therapist and these are facts, these are simply just my thoughts about it.

I grew up with divorced parents - they separated when I was a wee one, so I didn't really know the difference of them together or apart!  I grew up mainly with my bigger sister, my dad, step-mom, and step-siblings. My mom was always present in my life, not always physically, but she found her ways! I was fortunate to always play sports, I had clothes on my back, food on the table and all that jazz. I definitely was lucky!  But what was missing from my childhood was the presence of emotional support; that hug once a day to make your heart feel whole, the support to let you know that you are a really special kid. I won't get into the tiny details of this for so many reasons, but I definitely believe that it has affected my life in some ways. Again, I'm not going to go into every single way that this affected me, but focus on the biggest issue - appreciating myself.  

My sister recently sent me this video from TED Talks that just blew my mind! It's about how child-hood trauma can affect health throughout a lifetime (Check it out! http://youtu.be/95ovIJ3dsNk ). Now, it's a bit scientific which usually bores me to death; BUT, this is really interesting and really puts into perspective how important health is, physically and mentally! 

So how do you not let your past predict your future? More importantly, how do you not let your past predict how much love you have for yourself? That is one answer I don't have quite yet... But damnit, I will find it!!

Until next time - Be Well, Be Safe, & Be Happy  

K. xo