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


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