Update: Crownin’ Glories

My mother and I sell Crownin’ Glories on Etsy. AKA, amazing fun headbands. What started out as a fun side project has turned into a side business. We love making each one and taking special care to customize them according to our customer’s wishes. Recently, we have made some amazing ones that I just have to share! From 1st birthday smash cakes to Frozen inspired crowns to Jimmy Buffett Margaritaville  to Patriotic Family themed ones, we make just about everything!

Words To Live By: Best Stories


I  have definitely used this justification for some decisions made in Berlin. While nothing I choose was permanent, I did make some not so great choices. And no, I am not just talking about the 5AM ner I might have partaken in on the way back from a club. But I learned from them and that’s the most important part. Plus now I have some great stories….

P.S. This is a way better example of my non-graphic designer skills, sigh.

How to Fake Graphic Designer Skills

Katy Explains It All

Photoshop is my enemy. I have triedddd to learn it, and I can do somethings, but frankly, it is too time consuming. While I am not a designer, I am a perfectionist. I like pretty things, and good design. I don’t really have the time to learn it all now (I do want to learn it eventually, but baby steps).  Here is how I fake being a graphic designer:

So let’s say I want to create a really awesome photo  or something, here are my steps for creating a pin-worthy design:

  • Pour a glass of wine, or whiskey. (Or a coke for you under 21 year olds) This will take a while, but not super long because you have my handy dandy notebook tips, so it’s best to be relaxed.

  • If I have my own photo, I need to edit it because most likely I didn’t do a totally awesome job taking it. For that, I use Snapseed. It’s google app for your phone and is so easy to use. I normally  increase the brightness, the contrast and the saturation (maybe a little bit of ambience if I want to pretend to be cool). Then I save it as a copy because I am paranoid about messing up (read: perfectionist). Check out my instagrams! Snapseed on point or fleek or whatever the cool kids are saying.
  • If I don’t have my own photo, I need to find one. Pronto. Google sucks at this (sorry Google) when it comes to copyright laws and such. I normally turn to Death To Stock Photo but often I first just search on flickr. It’s super easy to use and you can even filter by colors.  Wait, am I violating the creative commons law? How do I figure this out? Use this handy graphic.

  • So I have a photo, great. But now I need to do things to it, like creative things. I need to know what colors are in the photo, because “yellow” and “more yellow” don’t really work apparently. Enter html color. All you do is upload a photo and it tells you the color! Woot.
  • Wait, microsoft office does this weird RGB color thing and this is just one number. Okay, color hex tell me this in Microsoft speak! (PS. You know you can make your own color scheme in microsoft, right?)
  • I need to know all the colors though, ALL THE COLORS. Done.

  • I picked a favorite color but it’s like picking an ice cream flavor, I’d much rather have two different scoops. But what color goes with #alsdjfsd? I DON’T KNOW THESE THINGS. Opposites attract right? Pallento will tell me this. Wait, it gives me color swatches in things like plaids and other designs so I can see how it will actually look? Cool.
  •  I’m being indecisive and can’t pick a color, can’t some super cool computer pick it for me? It can? OMG DONE. Locking the first color. Pick away super computer. Pick away.

  • So I have colors, but what do I want to do with them? Something creative, like really creative. Like add words or squiggles, squiggles are in right?  Enter Canva, a non-designers best friend. It takes all of the guess work out. I can add lines, or text or icons! Or all three! (Plus it’s free and saves everything on the web, so you can’t lose it to bowels of your computer) And here is some knowledge on logo design but it can be applied anywhere, practically.
  • OH god, I have to pick a font. WHAT FONT? Do I italize? What does that even mean? Score, someone wrote a handy guide explain these terms. Skimming that now.  Wait, where do the abcs even come from? Answer. How do I pair fonts? I can’t even pair wines with food, I just order white with everything…. Speaking of wine, I need another glass.
  • What words do I pick? Tone matters, right? Here mailchimp will give me some examples. I think I use too many “!”… Ooops!
  • Downloading to my computer now. Wait, I need this in PDF form. Come on internet, solve all my problems. Oh, you can do that too.
  • Done. Finishes last drops of wine from bottle.

Summer Readin’ 2015

I read. I read a lot. Like normally 3 books per week during school days, and maybe a book a week when out of school. That must seem odd, right? Who reads more while in school? Well, that tends to be one book for school, and then two ‘beach reads’ as I like to label them. Nothing highbrow, no New York Times bestsellers. Just fun books to give my brain a rest. They just get downloaded on my iPad and filed away in a secret folder so I don’t accidently open them in class.

But now that school is out for summer, my reading habits change. I like reading books about real things, I like learning, and I hate dull things. I also love reading real books during summer. There is just something so nice about turning a nice crisp page. The rustle of the paper, the sound of cracking the spine for the first time, it just feels so adult! But don’t dog-ear that page. I often read when on the train or bus, or waiting for a friend. You would be surprised how many opportunities there are for reading if you manage to have a book thrown in your purse!

Anatomy of Crime

I found this book in a train station’s book store. I am a huge “Law and Order” fan, like it’s my ringtone. So a book about how crime solving works in real life? Um yes! It was fascinating and not too gory that you can’t snack on something while reading it!

The Tipping Point

This book had been on my reading list for a while, sadly. I finally picked it up in an English bookstore and didn’t put it down for the next three days. Even though it was published a number of years ago, it still holds strong. I loved all the case studies and I think I am going to pick up his latest book tomorrow!

Thinking Fast and Slow

Be forewarned, this one is a bit denser but totally worth it. It really got me thinking (get it? ha) about how I think. It took me longer to get through this one. On occasion, I had to re-read paragraphs but I really enjoyed it and learned more than I thought. (So many puns…)


Paris is undeniably one of my favorite cities, this book takes its history and moves it underground – metro stations that is. It tells the history of Paris through the various metro stops around the city and despite my love of Parisian history, even I didn’t know all of these things! I might have to travel back to Paris soon…


Okay, bear with me here. Debt sounds like it would be super boring and depressing, but it’s actually amazingly – interesting! Non-finance majors (like me!) can even understand it. Plus, you can find it online for free, which sold me on it.