February 28, 2013

Ask Me Anything

Hey guys!

So, since I get a lot of curious questions in my inbox every month I figured I would build an FAQ page. I know... it feels ridiculous since I don't think I'm interesting enough to have one, but in all honesty I'm doing it for you guys ;)

And then I thought, hey while I'm at it, it would be fun to address my readers and invite you to ask me anything! As long as they are PG-ish questions I plan on responding via vlog and posting the answers as well.

So, don't leave me hangin'! Leave your questions in the comments below - it could be personal or business related, random or specific, anonymous or not - anything goes! If the subject is sensitive and you'd rather not post it here, feel free to send me an email.

As always, thanks for being a KV reader! xo

February 26, 2013

If You Really Knew Me

I've been meaning to do one of these posts for a while now... so, here goes!
If you really knew me...

You'd know I'm extremely messy! I feel like the Tazmanian Devil - everything I touch I leave a trail of disorder behind. I always say I'll clean up later, and then end up waiting until it's unbearable.

I'm a backseat driver. BAD. My anxiety sky rockets whenever I'm in the passenger seat, and I'll end up tensing up, hanging on to handles, and blurting out cautious directions like word vomit.

But I personally think I'm the best driver on the planet and feel no anxiety when I'm the one in control :)

If you really knew me...

You'd know I swear all the time, probably too much. I don't do it a lot on the blog because I worry about offending people, but put me in a room with my closest friends and family and I will be swearing up a storm.

I'm convinced the right side of my face is completely weird and different from my left. I hate taking pictures from that angle. That's right, I have a "good side" ;)

I'm pretty scatterbrained most of the time, especially when in conversations with Josh. Storytelling is when it gets painful. I'll forget what I was going to say and drift off mid-sentence. I have a lot of unfinished thoughts... early Alzheimer's? Probably.

If you really knew me...

You'd know I smile all the time. I don't get people who don't smile.

Strangely enough though, one of my biggest physical insecurities are my front teeth. My wisdom teeth jacked them all up, and so I have this snaggle tooth that pokes out. I think about fixing them with braces or veneers one day, but then wonder if it's one of those flaws that gives character.

I strongly dislike socks. If I must wear them, I sure as hell don't spend the time making sure they match. You can understand my annoyance when people ask me to take my shoes off at their house... awkward!

If you really knew me...

You'd know I'm careful about being polite, even to those who aren't the nicest to me. I make sure to say please, thank you, and hold doors. Good manners are important to me.

But I'm not neighborly at all. I mean, I don't mind a friendly wave here and there, I just avoid getting caught up in a lengthy conversation over the weather. If that happens, I will probably be counting down the seconds until I can go inside and shut my door.

I've always been a sore loser ever since I was little. I get really hostile when I'm not winning or don't win, and it's still true. Josh and I just got in a big fight recently over the Wii because he beat me three times in a row and I threw my remote. Don't even talk to me about Monopoly...

If you really knew me...

You'd know I value my alone time, a lot. I can spend hours in my bed, on my laptop, lost in research, movies, and creative pursuits. As long as I have some music playing in the background, I can stay entertained by myself for long periods of time. This is also a big reason why I'm terrified of having children.

I feel most guilty when my inbox gets overloaded and I don't respond to everyone's comments. It haunts my thoughts a lot of the time, and I feel like a terrible blogger because of it. I just hope my readers know how much I love and appreciate them!

I feel most happy when I'm either drinking coffee, cuddling with my dogs, listening to music, kissing my hubby, watching TV series, dancing around like a maniac, laughing with my family/friends, or all of the above simultaneously.

And if you reeeeally knew me...

You'd know I envy hat people, but I've never been a big fan of hats on myself. I feel like they flatten my signature poofed hairdo, so my head feels tiny... I know, it's weird.

But, this gray and cream Crocheted Bow Hat I'm wearing changed my mind. Julie from Coco and Cocoa customized the colors for me, and I feel instantly adorable when I put it on... I mean, how can you not feel adorable when wearing a bow? I just switch into casual mode and forget about my hair for a while... which not gonna lie, is kind of nice!

You can win one of these cute crocheted bow hats too, and even pick your own colors! Enter below via Rafflecopter (open to US/Canada residents only). Or, if you would rather skip taking chances just go buy one and use "COCOANDKV" for 15% off your order :) Good luck!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

What don't I know about the real you? Dish!

February 25, 2013

New Day

Image Source via Constant Contact

I don't know about you, but I had a super long, tiring, and stressful last week... just thinking about it makes me cringe! Even though this cold is still hanging on and trying to deplete my energy, I'm just so happy it's a new day to a new week...  another opportunity to learn from the past and try, try again.

This will be my mantra for the week - what will be yours?

February 21, 2013

The CT Travel Diaries - Part III

As you may have noticed, I've been struggling to post these last couple days... all I can say is sometimes life throws you curves, and hiding with a blanket sounds a lot better than facing the new reality in front of you.

But, today I thought I would continue telling you the final part of my CT travel diaries, because right now, with my eyes puffy and tired from the day's stress, it seems like the perfect time to write and reflect...

[Catch up on Parts I & II before continuing]

PART III - Saviors, Separation & Struggle

We woke up and realized we were completely snowed in... like, really snowed in... 36" of it, to be exact. Luckily we had power, unlike others, so there was one reason to be grateful!

Then we found out our G-Eazy concert was cancelled... such a bummer. I remember regretting the whole trip at that point, and wasn't sure I was even going to make it to see my mom... that maybe I was stuck here, maybe this was all a mistake, and maybe the weather was bad enough to delay my flight back.

But, then I stopped myself. This was happening, and whether I liked it or not, I couldn't change it. Spontaneous decisions bring out the unpredictable, and I had to embrace it. No matter how badly I wanted to pout and be upset, I was here with my sister, we were alive and well, and we had plenty of reasons to make the most of my time there.

So, after drinking up all the wine, eating up all the food, watching up all of Girls, and draining up my laptop battery, we were left with a case of cabin fever. And what are a bunch of girls to do snowed in without wine?

Well, we decided to axe the jammies, put on our pretty faces, and get dressed up to play in the snow, even if it was just to venture out to see how bad the roads were. And it was fun! I hadn't played in the snow in a really, really long time... it was refreshing to just breathe it in, fall on our butts, laugh it off, and feel the flush in our cheeks.

But after seeing the wall of snow separating us from the road, a harsh reality set in - no one was getting out of here tonight. It was one thing to shovel her car out from the rifts of snow, but it was another to wait for the plows to carve a way out of her complex.

So luckily, actually - extremely luckily - her roomate's friend was out driving a tow truck for the night, and my sister's bar was open, so after a little begging and pleading, we found ourselves on a bumpy ride towards civilians, booze, and a good time awaiting that we desperately needed.

I met her friends, drank beers, talked with strangers, laughed at everything, and danced on a table to this song on repeat 4x, until last call gave us the boot. Happy and satisfied, we headed home and slept like babies.

The next morning her apartment complex had a trail plowed through the parking lot, but her car was still completely covered. Without a shovel or an ice scraper around, we decided on some silly household supplies that might do the trick...

They didn't... so we borrowed a shovel from a random neighbor, made some decent progress, then had an impromptu snowball fight with her roommate. But being tired, hungover, and starving, we called my mom to see if she could bring more shovels to help get us out, and then started walking to a local breakfast place for brunch.

We finally met up with my mom there and I felt so relieved the snow hadn't kept us apart. It felt like the purpose of my trip was complete - I was with my Momma! She would drive us home to the house I grew up in. Over the next couple days I spent some much needed time with family, and reminded myself how much I miss them, and how all the trouble getting there was well worth it in the end.

As I hugged my sister goodbye that Tuesday morning, and later my mom at the airport, I couldn't help but let the tears flow. Distance can really put things into perspective - it makes the heart grow fonder and makes your time together that much more precious.

Those of you who live far away from your families know how heart-wrenching it can be. The holidays you don't get to spend together, the birthdays you miss, and the moments you wish you could be there for, but can't. Too many of those go by every year, and it's painful to step into their world and realize you aren't a part of it anymore - they have learned to live without you in a way.

Upon reviewing my trip...

I'm so glad I didn't turn back in Chicago - I believed I would get there despite the odds. 
I'm so glad I roughed it through NYC - I proved to myself that I'm stronger than I thought I was. 
I'm so glad I enjoyed myself - I was able to make the best of a bad situation.
I'm so glad I traveled alone - I realized I'm capable of being independent.

Looking back now, I think it was meant to happen this way so I could learn these things about myself that I wasn't sure of before. As I observe the new situation I'm in, I'm starting to think life has more plans for me than I thought.

It's time for me to trust - trust that whatever hard times I'm going through will lead toward a happier ending down the road. And one day I'll look back on this struggle and smile, because I knew it had to happen in order for me to learn.

February 19, 2013

New Year, New Designs!

I think the new year has a popular effect on businesses and bloggers when it comes to design. It's that time of year when we take a look at the old, see what needs fixing, and desire for some revamping, not just in our day to day lives but with our online presence as well.

I've been pleasantly surprised with the amount of design requests I've been getting lately and all of the opportunity that lies ahead, and have been meaning to share some recent design work that I have added to my portfolio over the past couple of months.

Take a look!

Most recently I've had the pleasure of working with Michelle over at Sincerely, Michelle B. She wanted all sorts of girly accents in her design - and she came to the right person! :) With a mixture of rosey pinks, hearts, florals, and glitter, we reached the perfect soft feminine look she desired.

Then we have Andy, the new blogger behind Tales of Good Man Friday with a vision for modern masculinity and urban vibes. Installing a custom city skyline border to the top of his sidebar proved to be the perfect graphic focal point which complimented the dark gray brick and electric blue accents. See, I can do guy stuff too! :)

My girl Annelise over at Aunie Sauce needed some fine tuning, so she hired me to create a typographic header and navigation bar that would reflect her original voice while keeping things modern and simplistic. Switching from a dated coral to a fun bubblegum pink, finding that perfect font combination of Futura and Zeyada, and adding a spanning top navigation bar kept things fresh and clean while adding structure and balance to her existing layout.

Then we have Madison - she was looking for a brand new look to start things off fresh at her new bloggy home, Planet Mads. A mix of custom illustrated space graphics proved to be the star of this design, and an overall hand drawn feel accented with clean white space made this project more than an all-time favorite design, but also a favorite original work of art.

I love doing blog designs, but there's something about print that pulls at my heart strings! Brin from Bold Butter Baby needed some business cards so she could attend Blissdom with some stylish swag in her pocket, so of course I jumped at the chance. I loved getting inspired by the fonts, colors, and patterns in her blog design, and was happy to transform her look to printable heights.

*  *  *  *  *

Do you need a designer to update your look in 2013? Take a look at my design services page and send me an email with your ideas - I'd love to help!

February 18, 2013

I Love Being a Girl

I love being a girl.

So much, that I've never gone to work a day in my life without doing my hair and makeup.

Like, ever. Is that weird? Well, regardless...

Knowing this about me, you can imagine my horror when after getting back from my trip last week I still didn't have my luggage! The luggage with all of my prized possessions that make me look normal? Yeah... still 2,000 miles away. American Airlines told me it would be waiting for me in Salt Lake, and it indeed was not. Then they said it would be delivered to me at 10:30 AM the next morning... I waited and waited, still nothing.

So... I did the unthinkable. I forced myself to go to work without my beloved foundation, concealer, eyeliner, mascara, mousse, hairspray, teased crown and tamed frizz. I completely roughed it, and it was not pretty - in fact, I would categorize it as one of the most embarrassing days of my life. I felt like such a fraud, like, "Oh, hiiii - SURPRISE! I'm not who you thought I was! ;)"

I got home from work peeved and frustrated with the day's shame written all over my face, and guess what? My baggage still had not been delivered! I called once again and was told it was waiting at the airport. Thank goodness I only live 15 minutes away or I wouldn't have run over there so fast.

The next morning, finally reunited with my things after a weeklong hiatus, I was determined to look pretty - after all, it was Valentine's Day, and I had a brand new red flared cotton skirt from Seven Blooms, an organic women's clothing line that I recently had the pleasure of collaborating with. It inspired the whole look - the belt, tights, striped shirt, black bow, pearl studs, and red lip.

Skirt >> c/o SEVEN BLOOMS (use code "KV2013" for 10% off!)
Top, Belt, Tights, Bow >> FOREVER21  Shoes >> PAYLESS  Pearl Earrings >> JARED JEWELERS
Lipstick >> COVERGIRL - 290 Burn BrĂ»lure

I was glowing with confidence as I walked through the building - ready to look people in the eye, smile, and redeem myself from the humiliation of the day before. I think it did the trick - I got so many compliments as I twirled around the office in my feminine attire. Maybe it was over-the-top for a day in the office, but sometimes a girl's just gotta be a girl, ya know? :)

Seven Blooms has so many fun and feminine pieces in their shop, and not only are they giving 10% off your order with code "KV2013" as well as offering a BOGO deal on these necklaces when you mention KV at checkout, but she's also offering one lucky KV reader... wait for it...

Did you catch that? THREE SURPRISE ITEMS! That's a huge value, especially since her unique pieces normally start around $35 and go up from there. It's quality AND quantity - who could ask for more? Enter via Rafflecopter below (open to US/Canada residents only) and quick, because it ends Wednesday at midnight! Good luck!

February 15, 2013

The CT Travel Diaries - Part II

This is going to be an account of my trip to Connecticut I had from Thursday, February 7th through Tuesday, February 12th. Typing this now, I realize how much it truly changed me, my perspective, and my life. I have a lot to say about it - I don't want to shorten it and I don't want to edit out significant details just to make this a readable post... so I'm going to do this in parts. I'll be breaking it up and sharing more over the next week - so please stay tuned, I promise these stories will inspire you like they inspired me!

[Get caught up with Part I before continuing!]


I walked into a towering Grand Central Station shaken up from the cold, and once I passed through the layers of entrances, I found myself in a giant ballroom with a celestial ceiling that looked as though it were miles away. The four-faced clock, the elegant structure and detail, the lovely shades of teal and gold... they don't call it grand for nothin'!

Luckily I got there in time before their Noon cut-off when delays would start to occur... the 11:07 departure was my saving grace! I had a bit of time to kill, so for the first time during my trip I pulled out my camera and snapped some photos. Overwhelmed with its beauty, I tweeted and sent updates to my Facebook friends.

The 2-hour train ride was the most calming travel experience thus far. I looked like death, so I put on my sunglasses to avoid looks of concern, and focused my attention toward the beautiful New England scenery swiftly passing by my stare.

I first saw city, lots of it. I took it all in... the graffiti, the streets, the architecture, the brick, the windows, the bridges, and then the snow slowly adorning a layer of white upon it. Then I saw country - beautiful trees, colonial homes, picket fences and pretty backyards, ponds, and fields. 

Nostalgia started taking over me in waves... this was my home. 

This is where I went apple picking. This is where we climbed trees. These were the woods we had adventures in. These were the fields I played softball. These were the streets we rode bikes in. This was me.

I finally felt comfort knowing with each minute that passed the miles were decreasing and I would soon see my family. Before I knew it I was pacing through New Haven's train station, searching for the exit, and looking for my sister's car in between the giant snowflakes falling fast across my vision.

I made it!!!

The worst was over. Despite the odds, despite the fear, and despite the doubt - I made it. No matter how my trip turned out at this point, it didn't matter because I was no longer alone - I would be experiencing a historic blizzard with one of my favorite people in the world... my little sister, Alecia. 

A little background info... my older sister moved to Utah when she graduated high school, and in 2005, so did I. That left my younger sister alone with my parents, who were on the verge of a divorce. I have felt for years that I abandoned my own blood by making that move, and even though things are OK now, I still feel guilt for our family being split down the middle. 

It felt like forever since I last visited, and I was so interested to see how my sister has been living these past couple of years. Only 22 years old, single, and going to school with her whole life in front of her, she had moved into her own apartment last year joining two roommates. Cute, simple, mismatched, and quirky, I was inspired to capture the beauty of its little details.

If I was going to be without luggage for a few days, it was a good thing I was staying with my sister! I might have had to wear leggings the whole time, but we are kindred souls when it comes to clothing, makeup, and hair. We changed into comfy clothes, sipped on coffee, snacked on goodies from the fridge, enjoyed conversations with her roommates, and got ready to endure a wicked blizzard, not knowing how bad it would actually get!
The next morning after being bundled up, watching GIRLS, and experiencing some cabin fever, her sweet roommate, Sara-Joy, pulled out her grandmother's vintage tea set and set up a lovely tea party for us, promptly followed by photos, giggles, and a shiesty game of Phase 10 ;)

And after filling up on caffeine, ginger snaps, and leftover chow mein, we finally looked out the window to see the damage...

Um.... what now? Find out next week ;)

February 14, 2013

A Valentine's Surprise!

I've been keeping secret for a while now, and today is the day I'm spilling the beans.

It's sweeter than those heart shaped candies, 
way better than long stem roses, 
and just as good as a pair of diamond earrings...

Confession time? 

I've teamed up with 30 fabulous ladies you all know and love from the blogosphere, and together we're giving away a $1,500 Visa Gift Card - yes, you read that right - fifteen hunskies for just ONE lucky reader! 

This is big! We all chipped in to show the love, and I can't wait to see who wins. What would you spend $1,500 on? Dream it up, then use that gusto to get your entry on :)

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 

Oh, and P.S.
Happy Valentine's Day 
to my wonderful hubby, family, friends, and readers!!!