Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Extraordinary Project By Suzanne Clores

On a whim, I was searching Kickstarter today and came across this project, and it really caught my attention. So, I just wanted to share it with you, in case you're interested.

In a nut shell, this project is a web-based story collection of our most unusual human experiences - from strange coincidences, to "knowing" what is about to happen before it does, to hearing messages from the deceased - all of it. Suzanne's goal is to collect 100,000 true stories and perhaps change the conversation around the ways in which we communicate with ourselves and each other.

I pledged $10, and the reward is: a dollar bill thank you, and a personal thank you phone call to chat about your thoughts on the extraordinary. Pretty cool. This project is open for 22 more days and I really hope it gets the funding it deserves. Thank you for your consideration and I hope you all had a wonderfully relaxing, fun filled Christmas!

Friday, December 20, 2013

2013 Annual Review: Lessons Learned

In this post: a few thoughts on the lessons I've learned this year.

On struggling.

I knew going into independent work was going to be a ginormous transition. I'm responsible for everything, and to be perfectly honest, it ended up being a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. I have a new found respect for business owners who are successful. I know I'm my own worst critic and that I hold myself up to much higher standards than anyone else would. This is a double edged sword. On one hand, I like setting the bar high and climbing to success. It feels really good. I like looking inside, seeing my failures, and learning valuable lessons from them. On the other hand, the struggle with perfectionism is paralyzing me from putting things out there, because it's not up to my standards. So, I've come to the conclusion that the pursuit of perfectionism is futile. Nothing will ever be perfect, but that shouldn't stop me from putting it out there. When my pesky perfectionist pops up, I know how to reassign her to her "perfect" task, so that I can get her out of my head and get some actual work done.

Lesson: It's time to get back to work in 2014 and put it out there, without fear!

On healing.

There's a lot of life that is outside of our personal control. I learned this lesson again this year when I was hit by a car. However, I used the time to heal both my body and soul in order to make me stronger and more whole as a person. I learned how to harness the flow in everyday activities, I put myself on a proper writing diet, and I'm starting weight bearing exercises at physical therapy. I have also come to the conclusion that this accident was a blessing in disguise, in order to make me more resilient in 2014. I will be like a phoenix rising from the ashes of this year.

Lesson: I want to embrace the messy middle and live life to the fullest every single day in 2014.

On money.

It's a necessity, but it's not everything. I'm trying to re-arrange my life so that I have enough to pay the bills, and some left over so that the cash can flow;  instead of looking at numbers and seeing them go up or down in my accounts. I also like having the freedom of setting my own schedule, so that I can continue to grow as a person, in order to grow my business. I have faith that my hard work will pay off, and I realize that getting to this point will require some sacrifices, monetarily or otherwise, but I am willing to make it happen.

Lesson: You can't have a business without money, but it's important not to get consumed by the numbers, as it stunts personal growth.

On giving back and paying it forward.

I feel it's important to do both and not necessarily with money. These past three months I have missed volunteering at Open Books literacy programs, helping people find the perfect book in the Open Books' Book Store, as well as, donating my time during the holidays to the local soup kitchens and animal shelters. I did give money to Red Cross this year, so that they could help the people who lost their homes in downstate Illinois because of the tornado, but I would of rather of donated my time and reached out to those who needed the help more.

Lesson: I can't wait to make a difference in other people's lives in 2014.

All in all, I've learned a lot of valuable lessons about myself, how I work, my business, and helping others in order to create a better future for all. What are some of the lessons you've learned this year?

Friday, December 13, 2013

2013: A Year In Review

I wanted to take a moment from the hustle and bustle of the holidays, to reflect on this past year. I'm going to split this review up into four different sections. The GREEN section will be what was in my control that went well this year. The RED section will be what was in my control that didn't go well this year. The GRAY section will be for the things that were totally out of my control, and then finally, the BLUE section will be looking forward to 2014 and setting new goals to focus on throughout this next year.

So let's get started...


  • I started this blog.
  • I finished my children's book.
  • I read Dan Poynter's book on self-publishing that gave me a bunch of great ideas on what to do and what not to do with my book. 
  • I researched how to set up a sole proprietership in Illinois.
  • I became a freelance nanny and personal assistant to some really awesome families.
  • I also picked up a part time job to make ends meet better.
  • I started my own personal writing diet, which has made me happier.
  • I officially stepped onto the artistic path in order to cultivate my creativity, and some very interesting people have started to pop up in my life, in really new and exciting ways.
  • I have grown authentically as a person.


  • I wasn't able to finish the whole process of getting my children's book out there, finalizing my business, and marketing my book in unique ways.
  • I didn't finish my demo reel for voice overs.
  • I wasn't able to pay off all my credit debt.
  • I felt confused, anxious, and sad throughout different times this year.
  • Things took a lot longer than I expected. At times it was hard for me to stay focused on the big picture and not get lost in the day to day.


  • The death of my boyfriend's Uncle, whom I've gotten to know and like, over the many years we've dated.
  • Getting hit by a car and all the drama and healing that has come with it.


  • Make my business official.
  • Put my book out there in unique ways.
  • Become the strongest person I can be both physically and mentally.
  • Explore more of my messy middle to see if there's a deeper level of vulnerability and giving I can express.
  • Start a new writing project, and not be afraid to ask for help from other like minded individuals in order to move it forward better.
  • Giving back to the community by volunteering my time.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Small Business Saturday

Whether it's the corner café with the delicious dark roast or the record store down the street that sells vintage vinyl, we all have our favorite small businesses.

Let's make this the biggest Small Business Saturday yet. Here's what you can do to take part:

GO OUT AND SHOP: Make sure to support the local businesses you love on Nov 30.

SHARE YOUR SUPPORT: Post about Small Business Saturday on social networks to get friends and family involved.

JOIN IN: Visit to get more ideas on what you can do for the big day.

Thank you in advance for your support. Together, we can make Small Business Saturday a huge day for all local businesses. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Give Thanks

I absolutely LOVE November. To me it's a month of personal reflections, thankfulness, gratitude, and remembering all those who have passed, but still live on in my heart. It's a time to remind myself that every day is a good day and to not take the little things for granted. 

I've found that the easiest way to realize how blessed I am is to try and forget, to put away and ignore, all the things I don't have and focus on the things I do. The top four things I ask for every day are the following:
  1. Abundance - this to me is having enough money to put food on the table, a roof over my head, clothes on my back, shoes on my feet, clean water from the tap, a job that I mostly enjoy so that I can do all these things and still have personal time to pursue my passions. It's about the work-life balance.
  2. Health - this is the one I have struggled with at the end of 2013, but since my last post, I've graduated to a boot and will begin intense physical therapy next Monday. So, I'm seriously glad that I do have the majority of my health and am continuing to heal, as it could of been a lot worse.
  3. Love - this isn't just about romantic love, although it is one of the many types. It's also about love for your family (even if you don't always get along with them all the time), friends, pets, poetry - anyone and anything you would look out for and can say, 'I truly love ______.'
  4. A Peaceful Place To Live - this goes hand in hand with abundance and making sure the roof you put over your head is one you can afford as well as, being peaceful, serene, and a space no matter how big or small that allows you to grow as a person. I feel a lot of my self discoveries this past year have taken place under the roof my boyfriend and I have worked hard to make nice, in order to put over each others and our own heads - today, tomorrow and into the unwritten future.
Reminding myself of how important these things are each and every day provides me with a great clear view of what I do have, and makes me really happy for the rich life I have created for myself. In these uncertain times it's best to take inventory of what we do have, and not worry so much about what we don't, because in a blink of an eye it all can be taken away. So, take the time to let others know you care through your words and actions this holiday season and don't worry about getting all the latest deals or gadgets. Make something. It will be remembered longer.

What do you have in your life that you are grateful for this month? Feel free to share it in the comments below.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Where'd You Go, Kate?

Let me tell you. It's one heck of a story. Get your favorite beverage. Sit down and relax.

DISCLAIMER: The names of the people and some of the places have been left out to protect the guilty, the innocent, and myself. However, this is and should be read as a manifesto of our current state of civilization and how it has failed.

Now that we have the formalities out of the way, let me start at the beginning:

  1. 9/30/13 - I was walking to my second shift of work for the day. I got to the intersection of Roosevelt Road and Oak Park Avenue. I had a solid green light, looked in all directions and saw no cars turning. So, I proceeded to walk into the intersection, via the crosswalk. I had walked about half way across, when I was struck by a car turning left. I clearly remember going up on the hood and then down on the ground. Tears were streaming from my eyes and screams were coming out of my mouth. The paramedics finally came, put me on a stretcher, and took me to the closest ER. One of the nice witnesses at the scene, took my phone and called my boss and my boyfriend to let them know what had happened. The only saving grace was that the person who hit me also stopped and was about as shaken up as I was.
  2. I was at the ER for about four hours. I had a lot of lacerations (my left ankle and left knee pit were the worst) and I was in severe pain. They rolled me in a bed to Radiology for x-rays to see if I had any broken bones on my left side. The radiologist didn't seem to care that I was in pain, but he did care that I was getting blood all over his equipment. Then I was rolled back to the emergency area, where the doctor looked at me for all of five minutes, and the nurses were the ones who took care of me. They put steri strips on my ankle, cleaned out my other wounds, gave me crutches (because I couldn't put any weight on my left foot), said I had no fractures, and sent me home with a bottle of pain medicine. 
  3. 10/9/13 - I'm back at the ER because my left ankle and knee pit wounds are oozing some really disgusting stuff. The RN nurse takes cultures and they come back as being staph infection. I get put on antibiotics (Augmentin - the strong stuff that comes in huge horse pill form). I have to take one pill every 12 hours, for 21 days. The RN nurse then tells my boyfriend that my wounds will have to be cleaned out at least once a day with soap, saline, then bandaged with neosporin and gauze. These cleanings were so painful, but necessary, and the antibiotics totally stripped my large and small intestine of all the good flora and fauna, so I'm on a yogurt and probiotic pill diet, until it gets better.
  4. 10/21/13 - I had to go to court for getting hit by the car. I raised my hand when the judge asked if anyone had anything against this person. Then I had to crutch my way to the front of the room. The judge asked me if the person who hit me had insurance and I told him that the person who hit me wasn't able to prove insurance at the scene. Then said person who hit me pled guilty to driving uninsured and failing to yield to a pedestrian. The judge gave his ruling - 90 days probation and a $350 fine. Really, that's it?! Look, I know it's unusual for anyone to plead guilty at traffic court, but I really wish the guilty party got more then what I took to be a slap on the hand, and a pretty gentle one at that.
  5. 10/22/13 - I am pre-approved by my health insurance company (thank goodness I have my own policy and a really good one at that) to get an MRI on my left ankle and foot, since there is still a lot of swelling in my leg and I cannot put any weight on my foot without yelping in pain and practically falling over. The results come back and I learn that I have a fractured outer ankle bone and two severely severed ligaments. Recommended to orthopedics.
  6. 10/25/13 - Go to Westchester, IL to meet with my orthopedist. Sets left leg in a splint and orders an ultrasound to check for blood clots, since my left leg is still way too swollen. Oh, and I need to mention here that I discuss my legal options with a personal injury lawyer that came highly recommended by a trusted friend. Lawyer confirms my suspicions that the person who hit me is a turnip and you can't take money from a turnip, you know? So, it's recommended that I check and see if my boyfriend's auto insurance policy will cover my personal liabilities.
  7. 10/28/13 - A medical representative from my boyfriend's auto insurance policy calls me and I answer her many questions about the accident and my injuries that were sustained.
  8. 10/29/13 - Go in for my scheduled ultrasound and guess what? The results show that I have a blood clot in my left knee pit. Sent to the lab for blood work and then put on Xarelto. Honestly, I'm just so grateful they found it because during this time, a very good friend of mine, was hospitalized in Michigan for a blood clot that dislodged from her leg and went into her lungs. We are on the same blood thinner regimen and just happy to be alive. Then in the afternoon I had an orthopedist appointment and am put in a purple cast for one week.
  9. 11/1/13 - Get a call from boyfriend's auto insurance company saying that my claim has been denied because I don't fit their definition of a relative, since we're not married. 
  10. 11/2/13 - Drop current auto insurance like a hot potato and bundle our home and auto insurance through a new provider, which comes with a lot of savings. However, and most importantly, my name is now officially on the auto insurance, so now I have personal liability coverage, no questions asked. Emailed lawyer to see if there are any more legal options.
  11. 11/4/13 - Lawyer responds back that there really aren't any more legal options to pursue. I say thank you for all of your help, great advice, and I will just work on getting back to being healthy and normal.
  12. 11/5/13 - Follow up at orthopedist and get a new bright green cast. This one is lighter because it doesn't hurt when the doctor presses on my ankle bone. This will be my last cast and then I get to graduate to a boot with physical therapy. However, I'm just happy that I 'm healing and can hopefully get back to normal sooner than later, even though I will be on the blood thinners for a long while.
So there you have it. This is my rendition of what I've been up to. From here on out, I'm hoping to bring you better, happier news, as well as, continue to update my blog once a week. That's a promise! 

Thanks fans, friends, and family. Your unending support during this difficult time has allowed me to spend time in deep personal reflection in order to gather my own thoughts on the subject, as well as, get on the road to recovery sooner then expected. Here's to happier, more normal times. I will never take the small details of life for granted ever again.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Listening to SARK and having my own personal AHA! moment.

Do you know who SARK is?

If you don't that's OK, because I didn't either until I took Andrea Scher's online class called MONDO BEYONDO. In that class, I listened to a conversation with SARK (Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy), and this one phrase changed my thinking dramatically: "Dreams never stop. Dreams never end. Creative dreams never go away."

Anyways, months have passed since then, when I received an email saying: "Join SARK here to awaken and achieve your personal power." How could I not resist?

So, for the past several days I've been listening to the three videos she has up and several things have really spoken to me that I will share with you because as SARK says we shouldn't keep them to ourselves.

In session one she shared this poem:

You are inspiring!
Our creative dreams love inspiration!
And I want to share how inspiring you are to me!

You are inspiring to me especially when you're stuck, hiding, or quitting.
We need all the parts of us in our creative dreaming;
Not just the fun, easy parts.

Willingness is the ability to move without proof.
Willingness is the cupcake maker for yet another FUNdraiser.
Our creative dreams thrive upon applied willingness.

What are you really willing to be or do for your creative dreams?

After that, she asked her listeners to fill in the following:

I will use my creative dream courage to:


I am inspiring because I:


I am willing to:


The nice thing about doing these exercises over and over again is that you are actively connecting to your inner wise self. The answers can and will change every time you do this exercise. There are no right or wrong answers. Just be your loving self.

Then the next challenge is to write a love note from your inner wise self; as it is endless, eternal, and always there for you - just the way you are. Again you can write this many times over and it will always be different.

However, it was session two that made me have my own personal AHA! moment. In this one SARK talks about INNER CRITICS! This is something I have been battling for years, so to hear her say it so openly confirmed a lot of thoughts that I've been having lately, and let me know that I am not alone.

So, there are five categories that these voices fit into and they are:

  • Pusher or Over Achiever
This aspect pushes you to do more of anything. More is always the key and you're always behind or not producing as much as what you expected or hoped.

  • Perfectionist
Everything is constantly being polished and assessed for being better or needing to be better. Nothing is ever good enough or quite good enough to share or show anyone! 

To be honest, this is a HUGE one for me. I'm slowly overcoming it by entering writing contests and maintaining this blog.

  • The Comparer
Everyone else's activities, writings, outputs, processes, or successes are better than yours. Every comparison you do, finds you lacking in some way, often in excruciating detail.

  • Procrastinator
If you complete anything: writing or any other creative project, it can and will be judged! So, it's better to not start or to start later. Later, rarely, if ever, arrives. Rehearsing and planning incessantly, thinking without even moving are the trade marks of this one.

Yes! this is me as well. I fear rejection or bad words regarding my creative projects,  but I know I can overcome this by showing up and doing a just a little bit each and every day until it snowballs into joy and awesomeness. I will never give up.

  • Hopeless
What's the point?
Why begin at all?
Who would ever buy it, read it, or do it?
I tried before and failed.
Nothing will ever work.
It's all hopeless.

I know everyone has this voice.

So what can I do to get my inner critics to become my allies?

The answer is easy: redirect them and give them new assignments. For this you will use your imagination and come up with the perfect job description for each one. For example my perfectionist is a great manager. She manages a group of bankers and makes sure their spreadsheets are accurate each and every day. Another example is that my hopelessness has becomes a nun.

I also physically chop the air and say no to my inner critics when they arrive. For example while I'm writing this blog, I keep hearing "Nobody cares about this." So, I take a deep breath, karate chop the air with my hand and say: "No, you're not going to get me today." I know it sounds weird, but it really works. The more I do this, the less these pesky voices have infiltrated.

Remember your inner wise self ALWAYS knows what you need.

The part about the inner critic has also helped me navigate through these voices and into more joyous moments in my life, as well as my writings, and creative projects. I hope these fun exercises can help you unleash your creative potential, if it's something you feel passionate about as well.

In conclusion, SARK has been an unforeseen beacon of light that has called out to my creative soul. I look forward to hearing more from her in the future for sure.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Series Of Very Strange Events

It was a gray and rainy day when I left the comforts of my home office and walked to Sign Express in Oak Park to pick up my new business cards, which look very professional by the way:

When I passed not one, nor two, but three funerals back to back from three different funeral homes - all moving down Roosevelt Road - one behind the other. All I could do was stand in the rain under my purple umbrella, bless myself as each one went by, and say out loud, "I'm sorry for your loss," as each car drove past.

I know this is spirit giving me a message, but I'm not sure what it is exactly. So, I looked up the word 'funeral' in a dream book I have just to see if it would provide any insight and it said that funerals can mean transformation, and I'm definitely going through a personal transformation this year, so I'd like to think this is what it means. I'd also like to think it means that life is too short, so why not do something you love everyday?

Anyways, after I finally made it across Roosevelt Road, I looked down and saw a penny. I picked it up and put it in my pocket. Now I KNOW this was a sign from all my loved ones who have passed before me saying, "We're with you," which to me is a very nice and comforting sign, I must admit, especially after the weird occurrences I experienced that afternoon.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

What We Missed At Lollapalooza

This past weekend was Lollapalooza in downtown Chicago. Both Dave and I toyed with the idea of getting tickets to see Friday's line up, as we're HUGE fans of Nine Inch Nails (which will be lovingly referred to as NIN from here on out). However, at the last minute we decided not to because the money we would of spent on tickets would benefit us more if we put it towards more house repairs - we're in the midst of getting our basement de-molded, finding the cracks, repairing, and remodeling; a huge undertaking that has taken up almost all of our summer and will probably go into the fall.

Luckily for us, we didn't have to stand in a mud pit (as it rained that day), we didn't have to be part of the large crowd, nor pay an astronomical amount of money to see it live. The whole set can now be seen from the comfort of your home here. I'm watching it on my iPad while I type it and it's just fantastic! The resolution is amazing and the sound quality is outstanding. For reasons like this I absolutely love technology.

Of course I'd LOVE to see NIN live with my own eyes in a smaller setting, but if this is the closest I can get to the real deal for the time being, I will take it since Trent Reznor and his band mates still have it after all these years! I'm proud to say NIN has been and always will be my favorite band.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Klutzy Kate - Strikes Again!

Every so often I have a moment of sheer klutziness. This can happen anytime, anywhere, without warning.

The worst moment of klutziness ever was when I was running sprints at Crossfit and I slid on the gravel - lost all control, had a huge patch of road rash, blood and gravel on my right leg. Luckily they had a first aid kit, so I was able to patch myself up, but I was done for that day and about a week after that.

The next time I remember I was in Door County. I was with Dave, it was our last day, so we decided to go swimming. The water was freezing and after wading out to about stomach height, I knew I couldn't go much further, so I stopped. As we were walking back to shore, my foot sank in a sandpit and I went all the way under. At least that time the water caught me, but boy was it COLD! Let's just say I was excited to get back to our towels after that.

Then this past Wednesday was my most recent klutz event. I was walking to the train when I noticed a very pretty gray and white cat sunbathing on my neighbors' porch. Being the animal lover that I am, I decided it would be a good idea to try and communicate with it. I let out some purrs when all of a sudden my shoe hit a bump in the sidewalk, and I went down like a sack of potatoes. I fell forward pretty hard and saw blackness for about a second or two. When I came to, my bag had flown down the sidewalk (lucky for me it was closed, so I didn't lose anything out of it), my left palm was scratched and bleeding, my right knee was bloody, and my left big toe was cut. However, I picked myself up and continued on. As soon as I arrived at Open Books I made a beeline for the bathroom to clean up, which worked out well, since I didn't scare any of the elementary school kids I was helping out.

Then the next morning when I woke up, my left shoulder really hurt and I had trouble moving it. So, I iced it for four hours and stretched it out good. Now, I'm feeling back to normal thank goodness, but I really need to be more careful and stop hurting myself so much!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Just Wanted To Share Some Awesome News From My Inbox.

goodreads header
On behalf of the Goodreads team, I want to say thank you. You’re in the top 1% of reviewers on Goodreads! Your many thoughtful book reviews help make us a vibrant place for book lovers.
And our community has been growing! We now number more than 20 million members on Goodreads.
Every day readers from all over the world are connecting over a love of books. And our 25 million reviews – including yours – are a big part of that conversation.
Thank you for your support of Goodreads, and keep reading! I’m looking forward to seeing what you think of your next book!
Share the news with your friends that you're in the top 1% of Goodreads reviewers!

I cannot lie, I got a bit excited when I saw this in my inbox this morning. Hope your week is going well and remember to dream big, as you never know when interesting news just might pop up, make all the work you've already put in seem all the more worth while, and encourage you to keep living your dream!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Pump Up The Gas Grill!

Summer is such a fun time to be outside cooking and I've done a lot of that lately, so I just wanted to share with you two of my most favorite recipes. Also, this blog gets a lot more interesting if you put on 2 Skinee J's BBQ song from YouTube on repeat, just saying and don't forget to enjoy!

Cherry Walnut Chicken Breasts With Red, Orange and Yellow Peppers

1 Package of chicken breasts

Make the dressing, which is the following:

2 Tablespoons of Roasted Walnut Oil*
1/8 Teaspoon salt
1/2 Teaspoon Dijon mustard
8 Tablespoons of Cherry Balsamic Vinegar*
Fresh Ground Pepper for taste

Stir all ingredients in a clean bowl or shake in a covered jar

*All Oils and Vinegars I used in this recipe come from and the store can be found in Fish Creek, WI.

Pour dressing over chicken breasts in a clean bowl and make sure dressing covers chicken thoroughly.

Cover bowl with aluminum foil and marinate in fridge for 4 hours or longer.

Cut red, orange and yellow peppers into thin strips.

Put marinated chicken and all the excess dressing in a foil packet for grilling or a in a pan for boiling. If boiling on stove add 1 cup of water for extra flavor.

Cook chicken for 10 minutes on each side or until cooked through all the way.

Place peppers and a teaspoon of coconut oil in a foil packet for grilling or in a pan for sauteing.

Cook for 5-10 minutes or until texture is slightly crispy.

Place cooked chicken and peppers on plate and enjoy eating this scrumptious meal.

Gluten Free Mediterranean Macaroni Salad

1 Package of Brown Rice Pasta

Boil 4 quarts of water, add a pinch of salt, and cook for 7-10 minutes until texture is right.

Make the dressing, which is the following:

2 Tablespoons of Penzeys Greek Seasoning which can be found online here:
2 Tablespoons water

Let this stand for 5 minutes and then add:

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup salad oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar

Stir all of this in a separate bowl or shake together in a covered jar.

Pour over pasta once it's finished cooking and stir together.

Dice 1 green and 1 red pepper

Add Kalamata olives, feta cheese and stir together in a big bowl.

Then cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate.

Make sure to eat this dish with in a week while it's fresh. Great for sharing with friends and family as well.

So, get cooking tonight and let me know if you like either of the recipes. I will be pumping up the gas grill to get the flavor jumping as well. Have a great week and beat the heat by drinking a lot of...water! Yeah!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

No Sleep In Berwyn

I can safely say that this year I am done with fireworks.

First, there was the Blackhawks win, which I thought was very cool, until everyone started shooting off fireworks. Then there were the weeks leading up to 4th of July where every single night someone or a group of someones would shoot rockets or light fire crackers in our ally way and scare the heck out of me. Again, I don't mind, I remember being a kid and doing that kind of stuff as well, but night after night, come on. I'm getting too old for this. I need my eight hours of sleep to function properly.

After that came the actual 4th of July holiday, which from 4pm to at least midnight and probably later (I lost track of time), there were fireworks going off constantly. I saw rockets, roman candles, and even a glitterator or two. We even went to Oak Park and saw the professional fireworks there, which I have to admit were pretty awesome. Then when we came home we did our sparklers and morning glories in our backyard with wine. I had a lot of fun with it as well, and if my grandfather on my mom's side was still alive, he'd be 100 years old this July 4th, so we celebrated in his honor.

Now, it's almost a week later, and still every now and then I hear a big boom in the ally way around 11 or midnight. I'm tired of fireworks, aren't you?

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

School's Out For Summer, But It's Still Important For Children To Read

Having children read over the summer is extermely important. Did you know that children who do not read during summer vacation can lose up to three months of reading progress? The reasearch is clear that this loss has cumulative, long-term effects. Fostering strong habits with reading is essential to closing achievement gaps, both in school and throughout life. Below are some tips to prevent summer reading loss:
  • Model being a reader. One of the best ways for children of any age to become readers themselves is to see their parents and other family members reading daily. Books, magazines, newspapers - it doesn't matter, just set a good reading example.
  • Reserve a specific time each day to read to your child and to have your child read independently. We make time each day and schedule events that are important to us. Reading must be one of them, as it's an investment in children's futures. If necessary, limit TV viewing, video gaming, and computer time in order to fit reading into your child's day, everyday.
  • Help children get books and keep them motivated to read. Parents, day care providers, and any adult supervising children this summer can make reading fun by taking field trips to your local library at least once a week. Librarians can help pick out age appropriate books for everyone in your crew, and I know that a lot of libraries throughout the Chicago-land area have great summer reading programs for children of all ages which include goal setting, rewards, and special events.
  • Other creative resources to keep children reading this summer include:,
If I left out anything that you think would be a valuable resource to add, please let me know. Otherwise, have a very safe and happy 4th of July with family and friends! Don't forget to exercise your body as well as your mind this summer.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Hello World, I'm Your Wild Girl!

My full name is Kathryn Ann Paone, but my friends call me Kate. You can already find me on the internet on both Goodreads and Yelp under the email alias of:  kpaone92.

I left my current job as a front desk administrator and trade show coordinator at a local software company at the end of 2012 in order to pursue my artistic passions.

These passions include, but aren't limited to:
  • Being serious about writing, illustrating, and self publishing my first children's book.
  • Working on my voice in order to try to break into voice over work for children's programming. I absolutely love the show "Yo Gabba Gabba!" and have also been inspired for years by "Sesame Street" and "The Muppets."

Some Fun Facts About Me, That You May or May Not Already Know:
  • I'm a bookaholic.
  • I love to make up funny voices for each character when I read out loud.
  • I can make any child smile - a fun skill I learned during my lifeguard/swim instructor years in high school and college.
  • My last name means "Peacock" in Italian.
  • I have a tattoo of a sea turtle on my right shoulder blade to remind myself to be patient, share my wisdom with others, and to relax and go with the flow because I can't control everything, nor would I want to.
  • My favorite colors are orange, green, and purple.
  • I have been volunteering my time to literacy at Open Books since 2012.
  • I have enjoyed my time as an occasional nanny and hope to build up some more clients in this area as well. (See my profile - if interested in contacting me.)

Thanks for reading!

P.S. There will be more blog posts to come, so I'd love for you to join me on my krazy awesome adventure into the unknown.