Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012!

Hope your holidays are merry & bright and devoid of any family drama!

xx, Katrina

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

2012 Resolutions: Looking Back

It's that time of year again! Time to look back and assess ourselves against the resolutions we made last year.

As a reminder, here's what I resolved to do last year:


The results are actually better than anticipated!

I DO wash my face every night now (Helen will be so proud). I bought all white bedding and I just can't bear to get in there at night and risk getting makeup all over my precious cloud of a bed.

I did not lose the last 15lbs. Oh well.

Save more money definitely did not happen. A new car and a move nearly drained all of my savings, actually. However, I did start making more money, and because of that I have big savings plans for 2013.

"Buy less clothes" - hahaha.

Keep up with healthy habits - I'm calling this a win. I slipped up in some areas but made huge advances in other areas, such as the next resolution:

I RAN A 5K. Can you even believe it?! Stay tuned for another post on this.

Focus on the positive - I actually think I've made progress on this one, especially recently. It's definitely something I didn't focus on throughout the year as much as I wanted to, but it's something I'm working on for next year. I'm literally in the middle of watching The Secret right now as a first step for this.

Simplify - again, still working on it. This is something I constantly need to remind myself of. I do think I've gotten better though.

I've started thinking about my 2013 resolutions and I'll be posting about those in the new year.

How did you do on your resolutions this year?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Sparkle is a Color: I'm Back!

I'm back! 

Welcome to the new Sparkle is a Color! I've missed my little blog.

As you can see, she's gotten a bit of a facelift. I've been mucking about in Photoshop & Photoshop Elements and slowly but surely I'm getting the hang of some things! Of course, I've only been playing with the free trials, so once they run out I'm screwed. I still have a few more tweaks to make, but I was too excited to get back to blogging to wait for it to be finished.

Henceforth Sparkle is a Color is a lifestyle blog chronicling my life and all the things I love about it. I've missed writing about my little adventures and things going on in my life. I've missed taking the occasional outfit photo too, so expect some of those to be thrown in as well.

I'm gonna keep it pretty lax around here - blogging when I feel inspired and not forcing myself to write something when I'm just not feeling it.

You can also expect more words and journal type posts that won't be photo-centric.

My life is full of exciting changes and opportunities right now and I can't wait to start chronicling everything!

Thanks for joining in on my journey.

xx, Katrina

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Under Construction


So I know I've been a crap blogger lately. I really want to do SOMETHING with this space, but I haven't been quite sure what yet.

I think I finally have a plan though, and a direction I'd like to go in, so I'm pretty excited about changing things up around here.

Only problem is I totally don't have time for this any time soon, ha. I'm doing NaNoWriMo this year so November is booked solid. December is the holidays and it seems silly to start something in December when I can just wait for the New Year.

So that's what I'm doing. First week in January there will be a new, fancy and super fabulous Sparkle is a Color. I have a lot of major life changes coming up, so I hope this blog will be a place to document them. I also might get back to some outfit pictures since a co-worker suggested I become a fashion blogger, haha (little does she know of my lackluster past as one!).

Hope you all have a lovely holiday season and I'll see you all back here in January!

xx, Katrina

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

wax paper

Wax paper is not parchment paper.

When the recipe says to line a baking sheet with parchment paper and then place the chicken on top of it and bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees, don't use wax paper instead.

Even if your box of wax paper says "safe for the microwave!" A microwave and an oven are not the same.

If you use wax paper instead of parchment paper you will peek into the oven to see how your oven fried chicken is coming along and be hit in the face by a plume of toxic smoke.

This will cause you to run into the bedroom where your boyfriend is sleeping, screaming "HELP! THE KITCHEN IS ON FIRE! I HAVE SET THE KITCHEN AFLAME!". So said boyfriend, in a half-asleep stupor, leaps from bed and sprints to the kitchen in his underwear to see what you've done.

The kitchen is filled with the most foul smelling smoke ever. The smoke detectors don't go off, to your relief, because that's all you need right now. This is also concerning, since THE KITCHEN IS AFLAME and the smoke detectors don't seem to care.

He'll open the oven and bravely reach a dishtowel covered hand inside and pull out your tray of oven baked chicken and wax paper. The wax paper is smoking HEAVILY.  He will drop the tray unceremoniously on the stove, tell you "dinner is ruined, you can't put wax paper in the oven," and go back to bed.

"And open a window," he'll say over his shoulder as he closes the bedroom door behind him.

You will scoff, peel the chicken off the wax paper and transfer it to a baking sheet, sans any kind of extra paper goods.

And even your boyfriend will admit the chicken was actually delicious, once you salvaged it.

But you shouldn't put wax paper in the oven.

Monday, October 15, 2012

what i saw on my run today

There's a big old cemetery in my neighborhood that I always run past. The trees there are all the Good Trees. The ones that turn the best colors in the fall. This particular section has all the oldest graves. I like peeking through the fence and reading what's left of the inscriptions as I jog on past.

Someday I'll go inside and wander around, imagine what my town must have been like when these people were living here. I tend to find cemeteries peaceful rather than spooky. Living in New England there are lots and lots of old cemeteries to explore. If you're from the area or are ever visiting, and you are also a weirdo who finds cemeteries peaceful you should go out to Concord and check out Sleepy Hollow cemetery. Worth it.

Friday, October 5, 2012

how i budget

For some reason, lately I've been talking a lot to friends about budgeting and how I handle my money versus how they handle theirs. I find it fascinating to hear how other people divvy up their paychecks and how they prioritize versus what I do. I could talk about these things for hours. Probably because deeply at the root of my being is one simple fact:

I love money.

I love making it, I love spending it, and I love saving it.

I know that in order to have the life I dream of I need to be smart about my money. No one is going to hand me billions of dollars. No one is going to provide these things for me but myself. I've been making a conscious effort lately to really up my game as far as my financial planning goes. I am by NO MEANS an expert and it's been a lot of trial and error along the way to find what works for me (I've talked about this before). But I think I've finally found a plan that works for me and I figured I would share it in case it helps anyone else.

First off, I am obsessed with It's a financial website geared towards helping women be more financially savvy, but I think it is a great resource for anyone. I have an account set up there which links all my bank accounts and credit cards and gives me a nice (and pretty!) overview of my finances. It has made it ridiculously easy to keep an eye on where my money is going.

There are lots of other sites out there like this one - is another popular one. I used to use Mint, but, simply put, I didn't like it. Use what works for you, be it another website, an app on your phone, a spreadsheet, or crayons and scrap paper. Whatever! As long as it keeps you organized and accountable you're golden.

The best tip I have for budgeting your money is one I got from LearnVest. They recommend the 50/20/30 rule: 50% of your take home pay should go to necessities - rent, utilities, transportation, food. 20% goes to debt repayment and savings/retirement. 30% is leftover for your lifestyle - eating out, shopping, etc. It make it really easy to see where you're spending too much or too little and adjust accordingly. For instance, it turned out I wasn't spending 50% of my pay on necessities, so I was able to bump up my savings and lifestyle sections.

The 50/20/30 rule is so much easier than tracking every cent that goes in or out of your wallet. It allows you to focus your spending and saving without having to be a stickler. And if you're already using a money management website or system it should be really easy for you to see where your money is going.

The next financial challenge I plan on tacking is investing. I'm not kidding when I say I want a plushy life, so anything I can do to up my net worth is something I want to look into. Investing is something I know NOTHING about so this should be an interesting adventure. I'm thinking about starting to set aside some money purely to invest and seeing how it goes.

Any of you financial experts? Have any tips on investing or budgeting? I want to hear them! No, seriously, tell me because I wasn't kidding when I said I am obsessed with money.

Which now that I think about it is super weird since I hate math. Huh.

*This post is in no way affiliated with LearnVest. I'm just seriously obsessed. So dorky.

photos via and

Thursday, September 27, 2012

twenty minutes

I ran for twenty minutes without stopping today. Who am I?! That has been the one day of Couch to 5k that I've been stuck on. My legs kept giving out, my calves screaming in pain after barely ten minutes. 

I switched up my sneakers and now the calf pain is essentially gone and I can run much further than I could before. I decided to finally tackle the 20 minutes of running, no walking. It went so well! I felt like I could even keep going once the 20 minutes was up (I didn't, baby steps here people). I'm still extremely slow, but right now I'm focusing on endurance rather than speed or distance. 

Next week I'm going to work on improving my time for a mile. I'd like to try to add in more running days, even if it's just a mile. My town has a 5k coming up on November 4th, and I'm thinking about signing up. I'm NOWHERE near being ready for it, but maybe it will give me something to work towards?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day Weekend

Three day weekends are both the best and worst things ever. On the one hand - three days off! On the other hand - not enough. This Labor Day weekend was surprisingly jam-packed, now that I'm looking back on it.

Friday night Boyfriend and I went out for fondue. He'd never had it before and I don't pass up the opportunity to eat melted cheese and chocolate.

Saturday was a much needed day of cleaning and shopping. The shopping was a reward for all the cleaning I did, ha.

Then Sunday Boyfriend and I had big plans to go skydiving. The skydiving place we were going to is about an hour away so we got up early and stopped for breakfast on the way out there. And it was the best. Breakfast. Ever. Oh my lord.

I don't normally eat eggs - I don't even LIKE eggs, but for some reason I felt like ordering eggs. So I did. And they were delicious.

We ended up not skydiving due to heavy cloud
cover, so we had to re-schedule our jump. The good news about having to drive back out there is getting breakfast again. ;)

 We did manage to take a bunch of pictures while we were waiting to find out if we could jump:

... first time he sneezed in the middle.
Then he blinked.

Nailed it.

 Today was spent doing MORE shopping with mom (really just accompanying her on her errands) and then hanging out with Mia, who is being a geisha girl for Halloween:

All in all a successful weekend!

Friday, August 17, 2012

The time I waited in line for two hours for tofu

So a couple weekends ago Boyfriend and I went up to Portland, ME for the Mumford & Sons concert. I'd originally bought the tickets for a friend and I but she bailed and boyfriend graciously came instead, even though he doesn't like Mumford & Sons.

I was pretty excited for the show. It was outdoors on the Eastern Promenade and it was supposed to be a beautiful day. The show information said there would be a bunch of bands playing, food trucks would be present and Gritty's was providing the beer. Sign me up, right?!

So we left around noon on Saturday to make the hour and a half-ish trek to Portland.

And got stuck in three hours worth of traffic on 95.

At this point we're starving, having not eaten since breakfast. We make it to Portland, find parking and walk a million years uphill to the Prom. It's decorated adorably, we have our blanket and we're ready to settle in. We take note of the massive amounts of people and find a spot on the grass.

I bought a tshirt and then Boyfriend and I decided to brave the food line since we were ravenous.

We headed to the food trucks and got in line. For what, we didn't know. There was no rhyme or reason. All we knew was we were hungry, the line was long, and whatever was at the em is what we were eating.

We waited. And waited. We heard reports of some food starting to run out. We waited an hour. Found out we were in the line for wraps. Waited another half hour. A girl holding a slice of pizza comes over to talk to her friends in line behind us and she tells them she got the last slice of pizza and everyone in line behind her threw a fit. They'd all been in line for two hours.

We waited another half hour, hit the two hour mark and I said "I'm not having fun and I'm starving.
Let's just go get dinner and go home." So we did. There were 15,000 people there and like, six small food trucks.

This is why I don't like concerts. Especially disorganized ones.

We went to Sebago Brew, had a great dinner and went the hell home. Didn't even see the concert and I'm totally ok with that.

A few pictures I took before things turned sour:

Monday, August 6, 2012

That Time I Went Camping, or When There's a Thunderstorm You Die

I've never been camping. In my life. Ever.

I have no desire to sleep outside, in the dirt, under trees, with bugs and creatures. Camping also usually involves lakes, which I do not do.

I don't understand why we worked so hard, as humans, to evolve and build sophisticated and comfortable homes to live in just to turn around and sleep outside. Our ancestors would be appalled.

But last week all my friends were going camping. I knew they would be having fun and making memories without me. WHICH IS UNACCEPTABLE. No joy or happiness is allowed without me.

So I put on my big girl pants and I went camping.

And I had fun.

I only stayed for one night, because hello, I have always assumed I'd hate camping. I didn't want to be miserable and ruin everyone's trip. I'm so courteous.

But really, it wasn't bad, for the one night. The best part was my BFF Helen is the one who goes camping every year with her family and childhood friends. I have been graciously adopted into the group. Which means that Helen's supremely awesome mother made sure we were well fed. We just had to show up with a travel mug for camp coffee.

I was provided with a tent and air mattress, since due to the fact I have a ROOF and a BED I've never needed them.

Basically I was fairly pampered. I've heard the rest of the week was just as pampering, so next year I'm thinking I'll stay a few more nights.

But not the whole week, I'm not that delusional.

some of my chucklehead camping buddies
the tent had a doggie door!
before and after. you don't need this much stuff to stay in a hotel.
surveying the unpacking chaos

the neighbors had some interesting outfits
koala-ing is required

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Conversations with my Boyfriend: Humor

Me: "You said something funny earlier and I was going to blog it but I forgot what it was. What funny things did you say today?"

Boyfriend: "How should I know?"

Me: "I guess it wasn't as funny as I thought."

Boyfriend: "What? You just said it was was."

Me: "Well I don't remember it so it wasn't good enough to stick in my brain."

Boyfriend: "Well that's your problem. If I said it it must have been a gem."

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Fourth of July 2012

Crafting so hard.

Pinterest recipe for the win!


I love fresh strawberries.


Used my sunglasses as a "filter" and the Phonto app.



Someone built this across the street from the cottage we stay in. JEALOUS.

2getha 4eva.

Beach love.

Um hello delicious.

For fourth of July this year the bestie and I headed down the Cape like the good old days! We used to go down for the first week in July every year, but once we hit college and started working we stopped going. It was super awesome to be able to get back down there this year, even if it was only for a night.

I made some flag shorts and festive cupcakes (the 5th was also the BFF's birthday!) and we watched fireworks on the beach. It couldn't have been more perfect and we capped the whole time off with an ice cream sundae on the way home.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Madewell Fall 2012

I'm a big fan of Madewell, and I'm super excited for their fall collection this year. Above are some of my favorite looks.

Those sheep sweaters? They will be mine.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Conversations with my Boyfriend: Organization


Me: I have news for you! Big news!

Boyfriend: *gives me a quizzical/amused look*

Me: The Container Store is opening in October, and this *gestures wildly to pile of Boyfriend's belongings scattered about the living room* will no longer fly!

Boyfriend: *laughs, shakes his head, and walks away*

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Taco Tuesday

It was Taco Tuesday today at our house. They were delicious and an excellent way to start my first official day of vacation.

Boyfriend ate SIX. I'm both frightened and impressed.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Sorry I've been MIA here lately. Life has just been all over the place, but in the best ways possible.

Things have changed majorly at work, and it's awesome. I have a new position and our department has been restructured and things are really looking up. I'm so glad, since I was beginning to panic about having to find another job if this one didn't improve. It is, however, keeping me super busy! Not much time to tool around on the internet anymore.

I've also been out being social, spending more time in the kitchen, taking an online course, and trying to squeeze in workouts when I can. It's a rough life. I need to get myself into a routine, stat!

I'm thinking about where I want this blog to go, and if I even want to keep up with it anymore. So far I've decided to continue, but to keep it really casual as far as posting goes.

I'm also sorry I haven't been commenting as much on all your lovely blogs. I promise I'm not ignoring you! I'm still creepin', no worries. ;)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Last Weekend

Last weekend was a good one. I'm just on a roll with good weekends lately. Not complaining.

Boyfriend was finally back from his trip (did I mention he was away last week? He was away last week. I was SO LONELY) so I was looking forward to spending the whole weekend with him. Happily, the sun also decided to come out for his return after the crap weather we had last week.

Friday night we ordered pizza from out favorite place, had our current favorite beer (Magic Hat Elder Betty - if you can find it where you live, get it. It's delicious. Also, if you're ever in Burlington, VT go on their brew tour. It's a good one.) and went to bed early.

Unfortunately the boy works the overnight shift so he had to go into work that night, but our Saturday morning routine involves him bringing me Dunks when he comes home from work so I can't complain. Saturday afternoon was spent lounging until we stopped by my mom's to pick up some stuff and then he took me tool shopping.

Yeah, it's as awful as it sounds. I felt bad for every time I've dragged him shoe shopping.

Then we took the bike up to Gloucester for dinner at the Cape Ann Brewery and ate outside to enjoy the lovely weather. Sunday was spent lounging in mom's backyard with Glamour and my puppy love, Mia.

Lots of much needed lounging happened this weekend and I loved every minute! How was your weekend?


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