12 Pretty Pictures of Cabo

This is long overdue since I went on this trip 6 months ago.. but was still wanted to share. I love Cabo. The water, the culture, the shopping, the food. I love it all. 

This trip was a little bit of adventure and a lot of relaxing since in treatment and my body can only handle so much. The girlfriends I was traveling with had never gone swimming with whale sharks, and even though I had before I said it was something everyone should experience so I was down to go again. I’ve written about swimming with these majestic beasts before and it is not a graceful doggie paddle around kind of swim, it’s a wild jump off a boat and swim for your life type of situation. I only lasted a few jumps and could not keep up at all so thankfully on one of the jumps, the guide took my hand and pulled me alongside the whale shark as my own personal motor. 

Another thing I like to do is take a water taxi over to Divorce Beach and Lover’s Beach. It was whale season, so we just sat on shore and watched whales jump around. The whales were so active. My parents lived on Maui for several years so I’ve been around whales a lot but I’d never seen so many whales jump and splash around at the same time. It was incredible. 

I’d say 85% of the reason I LOVE Cabo is for the food. I could eat fish tacos for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And pretty much did on this trip. The resort I stay at has an amazing taco bar but sometimes I venture off to other dining establishments. Some of my favorites are:

Mi Casa – The most colorful restaurant where you can watch them make tortillas.

Los Tres Gallos – Amazing cocktails, festive flags, live music, and delicious food. Reservations recommended. 

The Office – If you’re looking for a bachelorette dinner you need to come here. Also, a great place for people watching if you’re not on a bachelorette party. Def need a reservation. Just ignore the s word (snake) at the entrance. Ew. 

I’m drooling just writing this. And now I’m craving Mexican food. And a trip back to Cabo. 😉 

te amo cabo ❤

Cancerversary – 2 Years Fighting Leukemia

TWO YEARS FIGHTING CANCER in selfies. Another rollercoaster of a year, this time with more hair. It was slightly easier than the year prior, thank goodness. There seem to be more good days, some realllllly crappy days, but mostly just ok days.

I’ve gotten used to feeling super down during steroid weeks. I know when I’ll be out of commission and when I’ll typically start feeling better. My chemo is manageable and way less intense. I calculated it and I’ve had almost 80 chemo infusions since I started treatment two years ago, and almost 25 lumbar punctures. I tried to calculate the number of labs, pills, shots, and clinic/doctor’s visits but it was impossible.

I can’t believe it’s been two whole years since we thought I had COVID and it ended up being Leukemia and my whole life flipped upside down.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel though. I’ll be done with it all in September, if all goes as planned. It was kind of smooth sailing-ish up until recently. I’d been excited to update ya’ll on how great I’d been doing (relatively) but then… this past month I started feeling really lousy with extremely low energy, fevers and strange pains and we’re not really sure what’s wrong. I’ve been in and out of the ER and clinic trying to get to the bottom of it and haven’t been successful. I even got a blood transfusion for the first time in over a year because my hemoglobin took a dive randomly. I had a 2 year cancerversary tea party planned last weekend that I had to cancel and a work trip I didn’t make it on this week. I’m on a break from chemo to help my immune system fight off whatever’s going on. I seem to be on the mend, I hope.

I’ve taken full advantage of the good days. I try to adventure and spend time with friends and family as much as possible, to make up for lost time. I am so thankful for my support system and medical team. This has been an insane two years, but I am coming out on top. 

#cancerversary #leukemiawarrior #cancersucks #leukemia #cancerfighter 

I Bought Shampoo!

This may sound strange, but I got emotional buying shampoo for the first time in over two years. My hair is growing ya’ll. To quote the wise ladies of “Drama QueensOne Tree Hill podcast, “Hair matters”.

It’s been a while since I posted a health update… sorry I’ve been living it up.

I’m doing well. I still have all my maintenance treatments (daily and weekly pills, monthly infusions and lumbar punctures and 1 crappy week of steroids a month). I don’t feel great but I also don’t feel awful.

I received monoclonal antibodies, four shots in my booty to protect me from covid since I’m still immunocompromised. I feel so much better knowing that I have that extra layer of protection.

BIG NEWS! Drummm roll please…………………

We have an end date! Light at the end of the tunnel. Doc said last treatment will be in September. SIX MORE MONTHS BABYYYY. You bet your okole I’m already planning my end of treatment party.

Last time I was in the clinic for a doctors appointment the front desk ladies were all gushing on how great I looked and were like “you’ve got your groove back”. They almost didn’t recognize me. We’ve come a long way.

I’ve been traveling and hanging out with friends. I feel like I’m making up for lost time and try to fill all my free time with F.U.N. But sometimes my body disagrees and gives me a gentle reminder that I’m still in treatment and have to take it easy. There are a couple days each month that I feel like absolute s-h-i-t and can’t leave bed or my “emotional support heat pack”. The rest of the days I feel like 45% crap, but that’s good enough for me. Last month I strategically scheduled my treatments and steroids so that I would feel awful in the tiny window between my friend’s bachelorette party, a huge weeklong photoshoot that I produce at work and jury duty. A diva is a female version of a hustla.

emotional support heat pack

I went on an amazing trip to Cabo with girlfriends. I’ll write a blog post about that soon so stay tuned. I also went to Palm Springs for a wedding, Mammoth for a bachelorette party and Vegas for a Shania Twain concert. Ya girl is livingggg.

My oncologist asked me to participate in a study for young adults with ALL and of course I opted in. I feel like any way that I can help future leukemia patients I’ll do it. I actually want to do more. I’m looking into volunteering for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society but I’m also open to other charities if anyone has reccomendations lmk.

Speaking of Drama Queens, lol at the beginning of this post, I’m actually headed to Wilmington, NC next month. Back to my roots. BTW, I painted my nails blue this week cuz Tar Heel Born and Tar Heel Bred…. I’m going out to spend time with my fam but I also want to visit the iconic OTH locations because listening to the rewatch podcast has uprooted some very nostalgic feelings. I won’t share photos from the last time I visited because it was when I was in high school and big yikes (hair, fashion, acne). I actually got to be an extra on an episode in season two. They cut me out but I promise I was there. You can see my friend and my foster sister. Maybe that’ll be a whole post on its own. Stay tuned.

blue nails manicure Tar Heels

anywhoooo TTFN and #goheels

-K

Valentines Fits

Valentines Day is coming up and even though I don’t have a sweetheart to celebrate with, I do have a deep love for shopping. So if I were going to celebrate these are pieces I would consider buying. They’re not all items for just fancy pants dinner rezzies. There’s a little summin summin for different occasion… like Galentines or perhaps a PJ Pity Party (lol).

  1. We all know Show Me Your Mumu is my favorite brand so of course I included an adorable mini in the mix. I also love all things pink so this was a no brainer.
  2. Does anyone else feel nostalgic for Old Navy pjs like this? They’re so fun and affordable, plus you can match your littles.
  3. This Lovers and Friends top from Revolve reminds me of a dress I had in college, so maybe that’s why I’m drawn to it but I dig the pleats and you can’t see it in this photo but the back is super cute. It’s a perfect option for a Galentines Brunch IMO.
  4. Vici Smooch Pullover – self explainatory. Cute and caj.
  5. Vavavoooom. I wish I had an excuse to wear this schexxy red dress from Lulus.
  6. This oversize graphic tee/ blazer combo is chefs kiss. So funky and fun.
  7. These Olivia Morris At Home Lupin Slippers are not practical at all but so cute.
  8. I love all things James Michelle jewelry. This Ti Amo ring is so cute and simple yet makes quite a statement. I have a heart necklace of hers that says “tacos” inside it. Did I mention I’m single AF? I would have linked that but it’s no longer on the website.
  9. This bag. It’s insane. It’s also $1000 but a girl can dream. There’s an amazon dupe for way less but I’m not gonna link it because I don’t condone duping but you could easily find it if you really wanted to.
  10. What would a shopping wish list be without a FP item? I love that western aesthetic is in at the moment, because it’s honestly never out from my wardrobe, but this top is ALSO girly and boho.
  11. I have been searching high and low all over the internet for a bow tie tube top for probably a year now. This one from Anthropologie happens to be part of a dress and while it’s not exactly what I’ve been looking for, I still love it.
  12. Last but not least, I couldn’t leave out a spicy little lace number. This (perfectly named) Comin’ in Haht body suit from HAH is fire emoji fire emoji.

Happy Shopping Love Bugs! Let me know if you pick up any of these cuties from the list.

-K

FRIENDSgiving

I hosted a Friends themed Friendsgiving / Birthday Party this weekend. I am a die-hard fan. I put Friends on before bed almost every night. I’ve seen each episode numerous times and would kick your butt at Friends trivia any day. And yes, I enjoy throwing my own birthday parties because 1. I love to host events and 2. I have so many different groups of friends it’s fun to bring them together. Plus my godfather used to throw his own epic birthday parties and I like the idea of paying homage to him by doing the same.

Here are some of the details that went into this special day.

Invites & Outfit Inspo: I sent out invites and put together a quick mood board of costume ideas since I wanted people to dress up.

Food: I provided a sign up sheet of carefully selected dishes based off references from the show. Everyone brought their A game. The spread turned out even better than I could have imagined. “Joey doesn’t share food” but we sure do!

Check out the food card labels I created for a closer look at the menu:

Costumes: Everyone went above and beyond with their outfits. I was extremely touched by how the guests that aren’t Friends Fanatics (like me) put so much energy into their costumes. I dressed up like Rachel when she was trying to impress Joshua, one of her clients at Bloomingdales, and spontaneously throws a going away party for Emily, Ross’ new love interest, who’s returning to England. Rachel put on her old cheerleading costume from highschool and does a classic “American” cheer as a send off but also a cry for attention from her crush. I used to be a cheerleader and I loved this story line so it was an easy outfit to select for the party. We had so many other goodies too: Joey wearing all of Chandler’s clothes, Monica’s diner costume (with extra tatas), Ross in Vegas, Janice, Monica’s Turkey Head, Richard with the mustache, one of the Phoebes performed Smelly Cat, and a friend even wore blue eye contacts and the iconic Rachel hairstyle. I swoon.

Decor & Details: I put a loooooot of work into this FRIENDSgiving. I’ve spent many many many hours watching this show so I had so many tiny details I wanted to incorporate into this party I’d been dreaming up for years. I crafted place cards by hot gluing coffee beans into tiny coffee cups with classic name tags (as a play off of the episode where Ross throws a party in his new apartment and nobody shows up and he wears two name tags) and included as many funny nicknames and obscure characters from the show. I also handwrote Rachel’s 18 page love letter to Ross, used Central Perk coffee mugs as candle holders, arranged flowers with themed cards as accent pieces, colored a Science Boy comic, used Friends trivia coasters, drew on the iconic Magnadoodle and much more.

I ordered a few props like the Gladys art piece and the Geller Cup from the sweetest Etsy shop. She even wrote on my shipping reciept how I have the coolest last name. Fun Fact: In highschool my best freind’s last name was Green and mine’s Geller so alphabetically we were next to each other. For senior year I wrote Rachel on my hand and pointed towards the left and she wrote Monica on her hand and pointed to the right so in the yearbook it looked like we were pointing to each other. That also shows how long I’ve been a fan since I turn 33 tomorrow…

I curated a playlist with songs from the show to play during the party. Feel free to peruse on Spotify.

After our feast we played games, sat around the fire pit and talked story all evening.

Even though I had a chemo infusion the night before and I just started my monthly steroids I felt pretty good most of the day. But my parents were a HUGE help. My dad set up the bistro lights, tables and all the heavy things and mum helped cook my contributions. After everyone left they were like “you have the sweetest friends” and I couldn’t agree more. I am oh so loved.

This time last year I was stuck in the ER hoping to be released before my birthday and this year looks like this:

Thank you to everyone who participated. ILYSM. I can’t wait to host the next extravaganza.

HBD to me 🙂

Fake it til you make it?

Often times my response is “Great!” when people ask how I’m doing these days. That response is relative to how I felt last year but in comparison to my healthy life pre cancer it’s not so great. Does that make sense? I feel crappy 10/7 instead of 24/7 so to me that’s a win. Basically cancer gave me perspective. Or I’m a 7 (enneagram) and I just want to exude rainbows and butterflies.

I had a moment last week where I realized I might have some ptsd or something going on because I found some hair on my pillow. I am still on chemo. I just wasn’t expecting to lose hair again since it’s been growing like crazy. And then I had a visit with my oncologist and usually it’s just him and I in an appointment but this time there were 4 people in the room and he sat next to me and a moment of “oh crap I’m about to get bad news” flashed through my mind but really it was just that there was a fellow shadowing him and a nurse training with my case manager/nurse.

Maybe I need a therapist lol.

Then my doc was like “your liver numbers have been regular the past couple labs”, which is great cuz they sky rocketed for a couple months, and I thought he was going to say “so you can have tequila shots again” but instead he said “so we can increase the dosage on one of your chemo pills”. Major buzzkill.

A couple people in my life have recently been diagnosed with cancer and it breaks my heart. To know what they’re about to go through and how sick they’ll most likely feel. I just hope and pray they don’t feel as awful as I did and have a quick and successful treatment protocol ahead of them.

chemo infusion, but make it cute

Well, the good news is I’m now 11 months away from my end of treatment. Less than a year left!!! *Insert party dance gif*

K tootles I’m off to get a needle in my spine. 😝

Color of the Moment: Kumquat

Sometimes I get stuck on a color. I buy everything in that color and I start seeing it everywhere. Earlier this year it was Pink. Then I moved on to Kumquat. I think the obsession has subsided but I wanted to share some of the moments I had with it this summer. (see above photos)

I guess I should take this time to update ya’ll on what’s been going on lately. I don’t even remember the last time I wrote about my health. I’m doing pretty good for the most part. The steroids weeks are still brutal but there’s not much I can do so I just power through. I got my 3rd covid shot as soon as it was available. Otherwise I only feel ill on the days I get a chemo infusion and a lumbar puncture. I also am getting a migraine about a week after I finish my steroids which sucks big time. My hair is growing like crazy… I’m just leaning into the mullet while it grows out. I used to have super straight hair and it’s growing back curly. It’ll be interesting to see if that stays.

My favorite nurse practitioner who did all my lumbar punctures moved back to the east coast to be closer to family. Everybody was bummed. I got to be her last procedure. I wrote her a little card as a goodbye and shared it’s rare that someone looks forward to a lumbar puncture but she did that for me. We became buddies and she was such a bright light in a very dark year where I didn’t get much social interaction so her friendship meant a lot. I’ve had one LP since she left and it wasn’t horrible but it also wasn’t great. I have another one coming up and I’m certainly no longer looking forward to them.

I graduated from physical therapy after a year. It was bitter sweet. Happy that my body has recovered enough to not need as much assistance but sad because I became friends with my PT. Another person who boosted my social interaction when it was limited.

A couple weeks ago I had a really stressful day. I had just come back from Seattle where I attended a funeral and a wedding so I was physically and emotionally exhausted. It was the day after a 3-day weekend so work was nuts and the cancer center was backed up. I normally wouldn’t schedule such a busy day for myself but the circumstances of travel and holiday weekend were unavoidable. I was at the cancer center all day with labs, a visit with my oncologist, chemo infusion, lumbar puncture, and a shot in my booty. I also had to hop on a few calls for work because we were a week out from the major photoshoot and had to meet deadlines with my team on the product end of things. On top of it all my dad had a super scary accident was in the hospital for a week and was being released that day AND we were moving to a new house at the same time. I was in the rough part of my steroids so I felt like crap too. Everything was all happening at once and Mercury wasn’t even in retrograde. I obviously managed but it just made me take a step back, give myself some grace and remember that I’m still fighting this ugly cancer beast and it’s ok to not be ok all the time.

ANYWAYYYY

Since I’m over the orange hue, what color should I obsess over next? I guess it’s fall now so maybe I’ll lean into a darker palette but I also love bright colors so who knows. LMK your suggestions.

Malibu Rising

I go back and forth on giving Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid 4 stars or 5. It gave me all the feels but I’m pretty picky when giving a book a perfect score so I’d say it’s about a 4.25. It was, however, a perfect summer read. I especially enjoyed it because it was nostalgic for me with Malibu, the surf culture, and bit of LA celebrity life.

I loved escaping to the Bu when I lived in LA. But I didn’t love the traffic from the one road in and out. I texted my bestie while I read, “should we move to Malibu and get houses next to each other on the beach” as if I have that kind of money lolz. Malibu beach houses remind me of that scene when Lauren didn’t go to Paris. Millennials, you know what I mean.

I actually went to a house party on Point Dume once. It was nothing like the party in the book but it brought me back. It’s still an exclusive neighborhood with a key to access the stairs to the beach. My friend saw Bob Dylan at the Pavilions.

I read many reviews of this book and most of them said the first part of the book is better than the second and I agree. The flashbacks draw you in with June and Mick’s story. But I also love the relationship between the 4 Riva siblings in “present day”. It made me want a big family. It also made me wish I learned how to surf when I was a kid.

The story is equally beautiful and heartbreaking. As soon as I finished I immediately went to google and was relieved to see they’re making it into a show to be released on Hulu. I can’t wait.

I found this cute playlist on Spotify that I put on while reading the second half of this book.

Loving Taylor Jenkins Reid. Her books are so easy to read. Next up is The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.

What are you currently reading?

*None of the photos in the mood board collage are mine. I found all of them on Pinterest.

Friday the 13th Dinner Party

I hosted a dinner party last week on Friday the 13th. It was more Practical Magic and less Freddy vs Jason vibes. I always wish I had taken more photos after the fact but when we’re in the moment we are too busy enjoying ourselves to snap pics.

I recently found out my mother has a whole collection of vintage plates so I of course had to dig in the storage unit for them. I made deviled eggs, a gorgeous cheese board and alllll the Trader Joes appetizers. My friend brought homemade sour dough in a cauldron, which was so on theme. I lit candlesticks, arranged purple and dark red flowers, made black sangria and pretended it was a “midnight margarita”.

I bought a wax seal and dried flowers to create name tags, little potion jars of crystals, sage, a palm reader hand and a crystal ball. I also wrote down superstitions from around the world on the back of tarot cards for each guest to read aloud. Did you know in the Netherlands it’s considered bad luck to sing at the dinner table? It means you’re singing to the devil. I also had face jewels for everyone. We love a good face jewel. There were little moments that felt serendipitous throughout the night… maybe we channeled some witchy energy.

We listened to a playlist of songs inspired by Practical Magic, laughed under twinkle lights and the stars, and enjoyed the company of good girlfriends. Coco loved it too. She went from lap to lap.

I had strategically scheduled this party for when I knew I’d be feeling good (a week after my steroid pain) but of course I got a terrible headache that day out of nowhere. I powered through but it was so annoying, that the one day I had something fun planned where I needed enough energy, I somehow felt ill. F U cancer.

I’m already planning the next TWO parties. Stay tuned.

“Always throw spilt salt over your left shoulder, keep rosemary by your garden gate, plant lavender for luck, and fall in love whenever you can.”

Poke, Pareos and Poi; Maui Nō Ka ʻOi

… jk about poi tho.

I sometimes forget this was intended to be a travel/adventure blog since it turned into a bit of a cancer journal. Well, I finally have a trip to report on and have been putting it off, mostly because I’ve felt like crap lately. Let’s dive in…   

As soon as I got vaccinated and received doctor’s approval to travel, I hopped on a plane to Maui. I had the whole row to myself which felt a bit like winning the lottery. After hugging my sis and nephews, I immediately went to Tamura’s for a poke bowl and then hopped in the ocean. Priorities. 

I stayed at the Royal Lahaina since my parent’s house is being rented, which was sweet because it felt more like a relaxing vacation. I read a lot of books, laid in the sun, swam in the ocean, and adventured as much as my body allowed. I hopped over to Oahu for a few days to see one of my college roommates and eat Hula Pie.

Two of my girlfriends flew in for a couple days and I got to show them some of my favorite secret spots on the island. We watched an epic sunset from a catamaran, walked through a magical forest, spent the day in my favorite waterfall, ate more poke and watched lots of Friends

One of the main reasons we flew out to Maui was to celebrate my nephew’s 10th birthday. First his big brother surprised him, then I flew in a few days later and then my parents flew in a couple days after that. After the year we all just had, it was so lovely to just be together as a family. We ate pizza, swam, and spoiled the birthday boy with alllll the Legos. 

The island seems like it’s not ready for tourists quite yet, or at least it wasn’t when I was there. Restaurant reservations are all booked up, rental cars were going for as much as $900/day and people were renting U-Hauls, places ran out of food, and they’re not able to let guests in full capacity until more locals get vaccinated. So just do your research before you book a trip and don’t expect as much aloha as you may have experienced pre-pandemic. 

I actually felt like crap the first bit of my trip because I was on my monthly steroids but I truly believe the Hawaiian waters are healing. 

There were several situations where I was like I’m not sure I’ll be able to do something but I’m still going to try, and I surprised myself with what I was able to do.  I had to take a tiny plane to and from Oahu and wasn’t sure I’d be able to get up the sketchy ladder stairs by myself, but I just went for it and was totally fine. 

I was also worried about getting in and out of my favorite waterfall but that sure didn’t keep me from trying. I wouldn’t have been able to on my own so thank God for good friends. If that isn’t a metaphor for life, then idk what is. 

Hawaii is pure magic. 

This was a perfect first trip post pandemic/cancer diagnosis. I could adventure a little and relax a lot. I can’t wait until I’m able to travel like I used to but for now Hawaii will do.

Also, my freckles are back. 🙂

alooooha