Monday, September 22, 2014

The Comeback

I've been a little hesitant to start writing on my blog again. I loved it so much for so long. And then life took over and this was just one of those things that got discarded. But, given the circumstances of this past year, I realize life will always be a crazy chaotic mess. And if you really want to do something, you have to find the time for it. I still read a lot of other peoples blogs. And I love that little peek into their lives. I love feeling I know someone out there who is living and experiencing just like me, even if we never meet or interact. I think that's what ultimately brought me back. I know someone out there would benefit from my story, so I should get back to writing it.
The last time I posted was a farewell to my grandmother who had passed away. Since then, we've seen some major ups and downs. Life changing, perspective altering sadness and ultimately happiness and togetherness.

Celeste broke her arm. And busted out her two front (adult) teeth. This did not come at a small price for mommy.

I graduated college. It only took forever, but I finally did it!

We went to Hawaii. I've always kept it on the west coast of the continental US, so what an amazing adventure it was! Celeste, the little weirdo, wanted to swim in the swimming pool the whole time, even though the house we were in was right on the beach! Kids. They don't know what their missin'. My favorite part was when Chris and I took a hike to Manoa Falls. It was challenging, but fun and rewarding too. We were a muddy mess when we were done. Supposedly scenes from Jurassic Park were filmed nearby, and I thought it totally look like it!

We got engaged! Chris is seriously the most amazing, genuine and handsomest guy I know. Sometimes I still feel like "me? are you sure you pick me?"

I had my appendix removed.

Three weeks later we were married. It was the best. We did it in the Virginia City Cemetery on Halloween and costumes were mandatory. It was such a blast and totally fun, no pomp and circumstance for us.

We went to Portland to see Pearl Jam.

In February of this year I started my new job as real life graphic designer. Yay!

May 31st 2014 I took my husband into the emergency room after his employee found him at his business. He had apparently suffered a seizure. Later that night we were told he had a brain tumor.

World crumbles.

But you don't stop living. You can't. Life is all any of us has.

Six days later they cut open his head and removed that tumor. Tests showed it to be malignant and aggressive.

He ended radiation treatment last month and is currently on a break from chemo until the end of the month. Then, he will resume chemo for the next year. His first follow up scan since treatment is in 2 weeks.

One last thing before I end this event filled comeback post.

In the month between brain surgery and the beginning of radiation and chemo we decided to make a baby. And miraculously, we did. We had "planned" on waiting for a year or two before any of this happened. But we quickly realized life doesn't go according to our plans, it just goes, so why put off doing the things in life that make you happy? It's not about a budget or a career or when the time is "right". It's about being happy everyday you possibly can, because you never know how long this life will be or where it will take you. So surround yourself with the people you love and do the things you want to do. Screw the plan.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Farewell Grandmother


My dear, beloved grandmother Miriam has left this earth today. My heart is sad that I shall never again be held in her arms or greet her smiling face. She was so special to me, and I wish I had told her more. As I moved through the eery fog of today, I tried to remember bits and pieces of how she graced my life. I let go of all my petty, worrisome thoughts and filled my head with my lovely grandmother.
I know as the years pass these memories will become even more fleeting, especially since I cannot make anymore. So I want to write them down, to remember her beautiful life that was a part of my own.
Grandma always loved and cherished my creativity. She made sure I was constantly stocked with art supplies. She was a source of encouragement in every creative endeavor, sure to tell me how she had known I was so talented since a young age. Every child loves to be artistic, but she had seen I was so deliberate and concerned with my art. When I was older, she always told me she wanted a drawing or painting, but I was so busy with school, life and work. Finally this past year I was able to give her a painting. A whole lifetime of support, I hope she saw it in that one painting.
Grandma always left gifts from Santa. Wrapped in parcel paper with her distinct penmanship. Those parcels were simply magical to me, and am glad I recognized her handwriting for it all to make sense when I was older. I looked forward to Grandma visiting for Christmas each year. She would spend the whole day making her amazing meatballs and spaghetti sauce from scratch. She gave me that recipe, I really hope I can find it. On Christmas day my two favorites were her clam dip and cherry & boysenberry jello mold with sour cream sauce. I don't need a recipe for those, I make them every year, by heart.
As children, we so looked forward to our summers, when we would travel to stay with grandma. We would beg her to go swimming every single day. She and grandpa had a condo in San Pedro. I still remember the smell, the color of the furniture, how everything was blue because it was her favorite color. Her collection of creepy head mugs. We were a handful, my brother, sister and I, I'm sure, but even when grandma was stern with us it was never mean.
As an adult, grandma was just that much more enjoyable. She had an awesome sense of humor. She loved her Raiders and Tiger Woods. And if anyone challenged, she would staunchly defend. She was immensely giving, your happiness and comfort always her concern. When I'd visit her she would make me food and we would spend an afternoon talking of her trinkets or old photographs, I loved to hear all the stories behind them and I wish I could recall them now. I am lucky enough to possess a couple of those photos, which we had discovered copies of as we rummaged through boxes of gorgeous vintage photos from the early 1900's.
My dear grandma Miriam, I am so lucky to have known you, to have loved and been loved by you. Thank you for being such a positive influence in my life. Love you forever.

Miriam Ellen Robert
June 16, 1935 
December 30, 2013

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Typewalk Poster

Typography lovers gather. #typewalk

Have you heard of the AIGA? It's the Associated Institute of Graphic Arts. I joined the Reno/Tahoe chapter in 2011 and have tried my best to attend as many of the meetings as my schedule allows. We also have a student group which I recently became president of. A crazy move on my normally super shy selfs part! But hey, I need to step up and be a little more outgoing. I also think that it will force me into networking within the local design scene, which will be immensely beneficial as I am about to graduate and enter the field of my chosen profession.
This past June the Reno/Tahoe AIGA group held their second annual type walk. Unfortunately I missed out on the first one, but I had heard from fellow group members how fun it was, so I made sure to make time for this one. Designers love our typography, and the typewalk sends us into our little city in search of all the unique typography we see and often take for granted. The first year it was held in downtown Reno. This past one was in Reno's Midtown district.
We paired off and were given a map to confine our journeys to a certain area. And we were off! We walked around in search of fabulous examples of typography. You could try and get the entire alphabet if you wanted. I was in search of an awesome K, for Kristine of course. But I also thought unique letters like X and Q would be fun finds.
Everyone then submits their photos and from them one of each letter is chosen to create the annual Typewalk poster! Here are my submissions...












And here is the final poster. My F and G made the cut!

Click image if you wish to purchase.

Until next time. XO. K.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Major Things Considered

So this semester marks my last class, Portfolio, in which I need to create my brand and personal portfolio of 8-12 of my best works. Easy. I thought. I was planning on keeping with my typography self portrait as my "brand". You can see my business card with it here. But now I am up in the air about it. Perhaps it's because I am used to it, so it seems old and tired to me. I am also thinking it may be a little busy looking as well.
Nevertheless, the thought of branding myself is becoming overwhelming. I like so many styles and designs, it's hard to pin point myself to one. I would also like to expand on the number of non-school projects for my portfolio. I have a couple, but I'd like to design a couple more. All this thought into creatively portraying myself is complicated, and I feel the need to perfect it. Soon enough.
I always like sharing some photos, though totally unrelated to the post, enjoy!


It's raining!




Saturday, November 10, 2012


How about an update? Generally, it's safe to assume that my posts become minimal because I am oh so busy with school. And while that is most certainly the case at this moment, there are also various other life circumstances at play here as well. I'm not one for divulging the nitty gritty dramatic events of my life. So I will just say that Daved is no longer my boyfriend. And it was not sad, it was for the best.
Things have been going well for me. I've been struggling at school to learn my weakest areas, Flash and Web Design. It's a process, but I am slowly grasping the concepts of coding and design in these programs. My first projects are embarrassing epic failures, so I will decline to share these here. But I am oh so determined to make something cool on these second assignments. Hope to be sharing soon. I also realize I am totally lacking in any of my past design work, so I want to get that up in the future too.
And my black and white photography. I haven't shared any of it! I took best in show at the student art show this year and I never shared!? Too busy I guess. I have been working as a lab tech in the darkroom this semester, and it's been great fun. I enjoy it immensely. There is something so relaxing about the darkroom, and I just love the grainy black and white shots I make.
My digital camera has been collecting a little dust, but I do have some instagram shots from Halloween I wanted to post today. Enjoy.

Celeste was Clawdeen Wolf from Monster High this year. I think the dark colored hair makes her look like her mama.
The cat and the wolf
A shot of her and I together before trick or treating.
I dressed up like a kitty cat. Merely because I could not work in my "real" costume. I made the ears that morning out felt, glue and electrical tape. Last minute for sure.
And for my real costume, the new beau and I were the classiest westerners around.
and our pumpkins!
@sinfulskinchris and Celeste carved up some spooky pumpkins last night!

Anyways, sorry again about all the IG pictures. Until next time. XO. -K.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

28 Day Cleanse

Day 1 of my 28 day cleanse. Goodbye coffee, hello detox tea. ☕

At the beginning of the summer a friend invited me to an Arbonne party. Similar to Pampered Chef, or Tupperware, it is one of those independent consultant companies. The products they offer are all natural though. Right up my alley, so I was the perfect invite!


My friend had decided to embark on the 28 day cleanse and was also planning on a lifestyle switch to a Paleo diet. No way. Not me. I love food. There was no way I could make a drastic lifestyle change like that, but I decided to at least give the cleanse a try. I never let it inhibit me, it was more empowering. Granted, I had my cheats, but I did my best to abide one hundred percent.
So here I am, 28 days later, to let you know how things went...
A little preface... I feel like I was a pretty healthy eater before. I eat everything, but in moderation. I don't eat fast food, ever. I eat organic when I can. So I honestly thought there wasn't going to be much to "cleanse". But, I have a pot belly, a little souvenir from pregnancy eight years ago, and while I work out, it does nothing. So when I learned I could be carrying around harmful pollutants and undigestable irritants in my GI tract, I thought that might be my problem to losing my belly.
So what I couldn't have on the cleanse was wheat/gluten, dairy, yeast, sugar, alcohol, vinegar, caffeine, corn, potatoes (except sweet), peanuts and soy. This made cooking difficult, as I am very much a butter person. But the only oils I could use were coconut oil and olive oil. I already use olive oil regularly, so it was mostly about replacing butter and canola with coconut. I also had to give up my daily cup of coffee. This resulted in caffeine withdrawal headaches for about 3 days.
But the beauty is, after those three days I had fabulous amounts of energy. Prior to the cleanse I'd hit an afternoon slump where all I did was feel like napping and I'd come home from work and eat to get my energy back up. Now, I don't need an afternoon snack and I workout after work, with no worries on energy to fuel my workout. Another crazy thing? No more headaches! I was the person who had headaches almost every day. It is probably the greatest benefit of this cleanse for me, because my incessant headaches truly made my life miserable. And the results of the reason I decided to cleanse? I lost ten pounds, 4 inches off my belly around my belly button and 2 inches off the lower belly (measured at 2 inches below my belly button). I lost the most in the first week, and actually added a couple inches back on, probably because I figured out how to cook!

My little gardener

We've been doing p90x, so I will continue to tone up, and I will maintain the "cleanse" style of eating, gradually adding things I miss back into my diet and seeing how my body reacts to it. And if it's negative, I will know I cannot eat those things regularly, only as treats. So, how does it work? Well you can google "Arbonne 28 day cleanse" for a more in depth description, but here's what I did.
I replaced my morning coffee with detox tea.
For breakfast (previously I ate none) I made a meal replacement shake out of 1/2 cup organic almond milk, 2 scoops Arbonne vegan protein, 1/4 cup carb (I used organic frozen strawberries), 1 teaspoon flax seed oil, 1 scoop Arbonne fiber and sometimes I'd throw in a handful of spinach. I also have a juicer, so sometimes I would juice blue berries, carrots, apples and spinach and mix that in instead of frozen berries.
For lunch I would have a salad of organic spinach or mixed greens, layered with onions, carrots, celery, tomatoes and a hard boiled egg for protein, and drizzled with olive oil for fat. Your plate should be 1/2 veggies, 1/4 protein, 1/8 carb and 1/8 fat. I would snack on organic raspberries and strawberries inbetween meals as my "carb".
Dinner was difficult. I had to feed my family while still maintaining my cleanse. So I bought a Paleo cookbook since the cleanse is quite similar. (paleo cannot eat beans or rice, on the cleanse I can). Dinner was the only time I'd eat meat (unless I had leftovers for lunch) which is fine with me, organic meat is VERY expensive. I've also never been one to have to have meat at every meal. I would just stick to the plate division rule, and try to creatively season my veggies to make them more interesting and flavorful. I will share some recipes soon!
I had a cup of detox tea before bed as well.
For sweeteners you could use agave, stevia or xylitol (apparently natural). I had Agave already, so I used it in my tea. You are not supposed to eat after 7 p.m. This rule I violated constantly. My schedule doesn't allow it. Impossible most of the time.
Post workout I'd have a recovery shake consisting of 1/2 cup coconut milk, 1 scoop Arbonne protein, 1/4 cup carb (frozen berries, or if I used rice milk, none) and 1/2 a banana or 1/2 cup pineapple plus water.

 garden goodies for dinner tonight. #igrowstuff #garden #zucchini #radish

I am really looking forward to maintaining this organic healthy lifestyle. I want to be a good example for my daughter, and I don't want our family plagued with health problems often associated with processed and pesticide ridden foods. I also love the respect for the earth that organic farmers have. As a gardener myself, I have a true appreciation for the hard work that goes into producing these crops. It is not easy, and it is understandable the price difference. So in order to compensate for this, we will of course eat our own produce (this year we have green beans, tomatoes, zucchini, pumpkin and rhubarb), as well as eat seasonally. Continuing to limit meat consumption will ease the costs of organic, free range, grass fed meats.

Brie and green apple grilled cheese with sweet potato fries

So how about my cheats? The first cheat was in my second week. I had a mini pistachio gelato at Whole Foods while grocery shopping. I felt fine. Next, (beginning third week) I had a half a turkey sandwich at the lake with a friend. I was bloated in the belly the next day, but felt fine. At the end of the third week we went out to eat and I had a Brie and granny smith apple grilled cheese sandwhich with sweet potato fries. The restaurant uses responsible ingredients, so I have no qualms there, but I instantly felt tired and ended up napping that day. This was at the end of the third week, and I also gave two vials of blood that morning and we walked in the hundred degree heat for a couple hours, so many factors could be to blame here, I consider it a horrible combination of all! The next day I had s'mores in our backyard (3). I had a headache the following day.


So I'm learning what I can and cannot eat, what's affordable, what's best for me to keep me feeling good and energetic in my lifestyle. I'm taking it a day at a time and remembering to live too, this is not a diet, it's a healthier lifestyle.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Third Grade


Can you believe it? I can't. I have a third grader. Weird. She is really enjoying it though. I took her school on her first day, which I do every year. We curled her hair and dressed her in a cute skirt. Celeste just loves getting all dolled up! Just like her mama there. Last year her school switched to uniform polos, but you could still wear jeans. This year it is now khaki or navy uniform bottoms. Gross. I hate it, and she does too. You are going to have to spend a good portion of your life conforming to mainstream society, why start so young? Why strip them of any personality or individuality before they've really had an opportunity to develop it?
The districts reasoning? Gang activity and social isolation. Hmmm. I don't remember any elementary school gangs in my day. And I highly doubt our kids are noticing if your shirts and shoes are nike or old navy. And who's to say those name brands didn't come from hand me downs, flea markets, thrift stores or ross? C'mon people, they are kids. Remember all those silly little fashion phases you went through in school trying to find your niche? We just took that away from our kids.


Now that that's off my chest. Celeste's school had open house a couple days ago and we met her teacher and a new principal this year. Celeste has been lucky to always have really nice, caring compassionate teachers, and this year is no different. That's a really good thing, since our schools are some of  the worst in the nation. I can imagine it's got to be pretty hard to stay positive when that statistic looms over your shoulders.
Ahh, posivitvity. Something thats a little hard to come by these days. I happy here, with my little family and our little home, and thats all I really need. But it gets tough. We both work for the same company. We've been there for years. It's stability. It's a job. And here there are none really. There are complete blocks of empty retail spots all over town. This city is dying it seems like. So I cling to my job because it sustains what I love, my home and my family. But I don't believe in it. I am not passionate about it. And lately it's hard to even remain complacent about it.
They decided to turn to a computer based scheduling a couple weeks ago. And I see my fellow employees lives in ruins. We are all struggling to find childcare and rework our lives around what the computer says we need to work. It's sad. There is no compassion for these people who have given years of their lives to this company. If you can't work the shift given to you by the computer, you don't get to work. No flex.
I've been complacent to remain at a place that I don't believe in for all these years because I am working towards my degree. Life there just keeps getting sadder and sadder. It wears on a persons soul to see so much struggle and frustration on a daily basis. I just have to remind myself, in three short classes, in 32 combined weeks, at the end of nine months, I can get a real job. Something I love. Something I believe in. Something that has the same values I do. I just hope to God it's out there for me. After, I have a third grader to take care of!



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