I apologize for how quiet it's been around here lately and, perhaps, how...un-inspiring it's been on the design/decor front (but perhaps it's been inspiring in a different way? i don't know. if it has please let me know in the comments).

I have lots of emails in my inbox to respond to and if you've been waiting on a response I truly apologize. I'm not usually this slow to respond but, understandably I hope, my mind and thoughts and spare time have really been filled with other things. Things like India and getting semi-ready (departure date is in exactly 3 months...which I know will FLY by).

Are you all tiring of hearing about India yet? I hope not.

Because one of the things I've been working on is a new blog. (I know, I have like a million and one blogs that sit un-updated out there but those have mostly all been closed). The new blog I'm working on (and which is essentially ready) will be a travel blog...a travelogue. It's where I will blog leading up to India and while I'm in India - to share my thoughts, stories, adventures, the good, the bad, the ugly, and LOTS of pictures. I'll also be vlogging. Yup, I'll be doing videos...something I've never ever done on any blog and am excited to do. I'm pretty excited about the new blog and hope when I share it with you you all join me over there. (Yes, that means this blog will soon go on a pause).

I've also been making tons of lists of things I need to get done - and there is a lot to do.

Plus, I've made the decision to give up my apartment and move back home for 2 months before heading off to India. Financially, it just makes sense. I'm already paid up until August 31 so it doesn't make much sense to spend extra money there (rent, bills, groceries, etc.) for September and October when I could be putting that money towards India. It was a hard decision to make and I'll be posting a kind of "farewell to my apartment" soon.

Plus, a few short weeks ago I received VERY exciting news...so I'm planning a baby shower before I leave! I'm very excited about it and well share more of the good news later.

Plus, I'm teaching myself to shoot film.

Plus, I'm really trying to enjoy my family and friends and Howard...and to indulge in things I know I'll miss.

Plus, my birthday is coming up in about 3.5 weeks.

Plus, in 3.5 weeks I have to go to Ottawa for a few days for in-country pre-departure training.

Plus, I just confirmed a photography session I'll be shooting in 2 weeks.

Plus, plus, plus....there's a lot of pluses y'all lol.

But, despite all of the above, I'm determined to get back to each of you who has sent me an email. You took the time to write to me and it makes me mad and irritated at myself that I have yet to respond.

So, this long weekend, in addition to doing a bunch of family things, I'm going to buckle down and respond to as many of you as I can. Thank you for reading along and writing and just being patient with me. I hope now you can understand why (but perhaps you already knew) things have been kinda dry around here.

Oh! And if you're not already, why not follow me on twitter (username kayinto)? I tweet frequently and some of it isn't too boring...

Happy Long Weekend!


10 Things You May Not Know About Me

It's been a while since I did a post like this...a list or some sorts...and so I thought it would be fun to do one for today. Here are 10 random things that you may not know about me.....
  1. I have a streak of gray hair right in the front of my head. A la Stacy LondonI started getting gray hairs when I was in my early 20s. I used to tweeze 'em. Then I'd dye them. Then I discovered the ease of using mascara. Two quick swipes - bye bye gray. However, I haven't covered them for a few months now. Sometimes, they just don't bother me..and now that they've grown in thick enough for a full-fledged streak (instead of looking like scattered grays) I don't mind 'em. Matter of fact - I quite like it. It's unique. So I embrace them. Embrace the gray (for now)!
  2. I have four younger brothers between the age of 7 and (as of tomorrow!) 18. I also have an older sister who's almost 2 years older than me. I love my siblings soooooo much.
  3. I haven't had a date in about a year and a half....or a "real" boyfriend in about 5 years. I can't believe I just admitted that on the world wide web. I must sound like a real loser. (I often see people who've gotten divroced, dated, and remarried in LESS than 5 years.WTF.) 
  4. I LOVE the look of film and am teaching myself to shoot 35mm film. I just (as in earlier today) picked up a mint condition Canon AE-1. I've been looking for one (haphazardly) for a few weeks now (since the light meter in my current one is broken so I don't use it) and can't believe my luck in finding the exact one I wanted at my local thrift store...complete with original leather case and shoulder strap. I am beyond excited!
  5. I could live off of chicken, eggs, mashed potatoes, noodles, shrimp, and lobster for the rest of my life. If that's all I could eat I would be a very very happy girl.
  6. I have three tattoos. As of tomorrow, I'll have four. (Tomorrow's my brothers 18th birthday and to do something memorable we're going to get tattoos! His first, my fourth.)
  7. I've never been drunk. Like, never ever.
  8. My great great great grandfather was Cuban. Which, by my calculations, makes me 0.00005% Cuban.
  9. When I'm buying things I never take the first item (meaning the item in the front or on the top). EVER. Of ANYTHING. Magazines, books, clothes, bags, anything in the grocery store, beauty supplies, a bag of chips, a bottle of water.....basically, anything I have to pay for. ANYTHING. And if there is only one left I'll ask the sale associate to check the back. I'm sure this is some kind of irrational phobia but I don't know the name of it. If you do, please let me know.
  10. My real name is not Kay ;)

What's something I may not know about YOU?



(If you follow me on twitter you've already heard the news. See. I told you I tweet good stuff. Sometimes.)


Shake It Like a Polaroid Picture

You guys already know that I'm into photography - so this post is gonna go there for a minute :)

I'm far too lazy to lug around my dslr all the time so often I only have my iPhone with me to take quick snapshots. Now, the iPhone camera is not bad at all (I have the 3G) but sometimes, the pictures are kinda lacking and could definitely be better. I mean, even though they're snapshots (sometimes of random things like what I'm eating...you know how it is!) I still want them to look good - especially since I sometimes share these pics here on the blog.

So when one of my favourite photographers Bonnie Tsang shared that she uses the ShakeIt Photo app for her iPhone pics I knew I had to check it out.

I'll be the first to admit, I'm cheap with iPhone apps. 99% of the ones on my phone are free lol. But ShakeIt is TOTALLY worth the 99 cents it costs. I LOVE IT. It takes your photo from so-so and make it interesting. It has a slight cross-process meets polaroid feel and adds contrast that just makes your picture...cool :)

I'm totally a fan of before and afters before buying so here's a couple for you to see what it does:

Awesome, right?

One thing to keep in mind is that it makes the image into a square format - which I'm still getting used to and, to be honest, I'm quite enjoying training my eyes to "see" pictures in that format. What's great is you can also apply it to pics that you've already taken and have saved on your phone - in addition, of course, to the new pics you take. So this past weekend after I got the app I had fun applying it to pics I had on my phone and taking new pics. Oh, and a fun feature - when you take a pic (or apply it to a pic already on your phone) you can shake your phone back and forth and the pictures moves back and forth - and then appears - just like a polaroid! And it adds that cool ol' school polaroid border. So fun.

So - definitely two thumbs up! And you'll be seeing a lot more of my iPhone pictures now :)

There are TONS of camera/photography apps available and it can be overwhelming - so I wanted to share this one with you all because I really think it's great. I also got 2 or 3 more that I like (but I think I like this one the most)...I'll share the others in another post :)

Do you use any camera/photography apps for your iPhone? If so which ones?


More Change: I'm on a Roll (or, I Am Not My Hair)

Making the decision to accept the placement offer in India wasn't the only decision I made on Wednesday*.

I also decided, really in the matter of a few hours, to cut my hair short and perm it.

That might not sound like a big deal but believe me people, it is. Especially for someone like me who takes forEVER to make a decision. Who likes to think everything over (like I explained here) to make the decision to do it and then go through with it all within about 2 hours was MAJOR.

Basically, for the past TEN YEARS I've had natural hair. Long before it became "cool" to go natural**. (See footnotes at the end of this post.) Basically, there's a HUGE trend of going natural. It can be quite a heated topic/debate - natural vs relaxed. It's actually quite silly to me but, whatever. Anywho, because I flat iron my hair about 80% of the time. And my hair stylist is going back to Miami indefinitely on Saturday. And I've wanted to cut my hair into a short style forEVER*** And, in the words of India Arie, I am not my hair. And.........I just needed a change. So I decided to just go for it. (It's funny, when I quickly called my sister to tell her what I was thinking of doing she said something along the lines of..."You want a change, eh? And that's something you control - your hair. Is that why you're doing it?" I hadn't thought of it like that. Like my hair being something, at a time when it seems like so many other decisions are out of my control, that I can control. My sister is one smart cookie. Call her Mrs. Dr. Phil lol.)

Anyways, let me tell you - change & reinvention is good people :)

I really hate taking photos of myself so these will have to do lol. I still can't believe I'm posting them but - whatevs. I'm makeup free so be nice;) My hair is basically unstyled here and I still love it.

Readers...friends...let me say, for the record, I absolutely love it and am happy with my decision to not only cut it but to also return to the "creamy crack" (as hair perms/relaxers are sometimes referred to lol). I was somewhat nervous that the style wouldn't fit my face (cause of my round cheeks) but surprisingly I think it does. I left the top longer so I have options and can do different things. I'm already thinking I might go shorter in the back and on the sides...

For me, this cut and decision was....freeing. I feel spunkier. And lighter. And...just good.

So yeah, change is good people.

Embrace change :)

What decision or change have YOU made, big or small, lately?
& how do you feel about it?
(ladies if you're thinking of making a change to your appearance, especially your hair and are hesitant PLEASE just listen to this. Doesn't matter if you're black, white, yellow, brown...)

Footnotes :)
*I'm still waiting on final confirmation of my offer. I'll definitely let you all know the outcome. Thank you SO MUCH for ALL of your comments, words of congrats, and just...your enthusiasm on my previous post. Seriously, you don't know how much it touched me to read them all. You all are simply amazing.

**Quick lesson for those of you unfamiliar with African-American hair -  this paragraphs is for you :) Making the decision to perm my hair was MAJOR. Basically, when a black person says they perm (or relax) their hair that means they chemically straighten it. A black persons hair is not naturally straight. It has a natural curl (or kinks whatever you call them). Like an afro texture (depending on the hair type it can be really tight curls or losse curls). Here are some examples of natural hair onetwothree. In order to straighten natural hair you have some options. You can blow dry and flat iron it OR you can perm it. If you blow dry and flat iron - which is what I've been doing for years it's only straight temporarily. Any moisture on natural hair that has been flat ironed straight will revert back to it's natural curl pattern when it gets wet...or if you go the gym and sweat a lot, or if it's humid outside...So, I could flat iron my hair to wear it straight but if it got too humid or rained - it'd get poufy and go back to it's natural curl. On the other hand, if you decide to perm your hair you are chemically straightening it. So humidity, water, sweat...doesn't matter -it'll still be straight. So that's the difference. There's a huge movement of people going back to natural hair and there's pros and cons to both. That's a whole other post and if anyone is interested leave a comment and I'll do another post on the topic! Black hair can be quite complex for those who don't know about it. Lolol. End lesson :)

***Now I will say that last summer I got a similar cut...perhaps not quite as short in the back and sides...and I did like it then. But because my hair was natural when I got the cut - it was harder to maintain. Sure, when it was styled it looked good. But if I went outside and it was too hot it didn't last right for too long, it just poufed up and the shape...the style didn't look like I knew it could. I had to be really careful about getting it wet because I didn't want it to 'fro up. In the end, I knew this cut would work better for me if I permed my hair. I don't have that problem now. It lays flat where I want it to and still has body because my hair is SUPER thick. I can run my WET hands through my hair and not have to worry lol. Yes, that sounds like a small thing but it's something I'm still getting used to.



All she had been doing for almost three weeks was thinking of the possibilities. Reading new kinds of blogs. Doing research. Trying to answer all of the questions she had. Some that would be impossible to answer in advance.

She was like that, you see. A planner. Someone who had to know all of the answers and possibilities. Someone who had to think everything through...in great detail. Sometime, thinking THAT MUCH kept her from doing anything. From making any decisions. From having any real adventures (though she liked to think she was an adventurer).

She had grown tired of this....thinking thing. Of trying to plan for everything.

To be completely honest, she had also grown weary of job searching. Of looking for a proper full-time job in her field. It was discouraging not to get any positive responses. To be told she was over-qualified. Or under-qualified. Or to be told nothing at all. No ringing of the phone. Sometimes, she tried to will it to ring (isn't she silly?)

And it's funny you see, cause even though she was doing her best...diligently sending out resumes, doing her follow-ups, and trying to remain positive...the bills kept coming. Funny, how that happens eh? How life just continues as normal even when things aren't quite that normal?

So she acknowledged that she didn't have ALL of the answers but she had the ones that really mattered.

And that she desperately needed a change.

All day the following thought went through her mind: the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results (attributed to Einstein). She was also thinking: keep doing what you've been doing and you'll keep getting what you've been getting. It was on auto-repeat. Keep doing what you've been doing and you'll keep getting what you've been getting.  The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Keep doing what you've been doing....

She didn't think she was insane. And she knew she didn't like what she had been getting.


So she stopped trying to plan and find all the answers and decided to follow the little voice inside (maybe she WAS insane? a little voice ;) ?!?) and to go with the flow.

And so, it was with a racing heart and slightly shaky fingers that she filled out the questions on the form and, at 9:17 am on July 7, hit send and accepted the offer.

(though she received the offer she still had to be formally accepted after returning the answer form, so it could go either way....)



I've been a bad blogger the past few days. I've had a lot on my mind and find that when I am on the internet I'm doing research (reading forums, googling questions and answers, reading expat blogs, etc...) to get some insight, answers, and different perspectives. Plus, for the past few days I've had house guests -  my bestie and her hubby were visiting from Jersey and left yesterday morning. So when my head hasn't been in the clouds or thinking about the future I've been playing good hostess.

But today is Canada Day. A holiday. Meaning a long-weekend filled with BBQs, fireworks, and hanging out with the family. I still need to see Sex in The City 2 (I know! For a fan, it's pretty inexcusable that I have yet to see it) and I hope to finally go this weekend. I hope to really be present this weekend....to just stop stressing. If only for a few days.

In other news -  I'm closer to a decision about going overseas AND I've gotten several questions from you readers for "My Two Cents"! Thank you so much for sending along your questions and images. I've gotten some GREAT questions and thank you guys for being interested in hearing what I come up with. If you have yet to get a confirmation email from me sit tight - it's coming. And if you have received a confirmation you can look forward to seeing your question and answer in a blog post coming soon. I'm hoping to have at least one or two answered next week - so stay tuned!

And a few recent pics of Howard. Because seriously, he's just too cute. I bought him a pool a few weeks ago because the weather was hot. Yes, I bought him a pool. He just stands. Then hops out. But it's the cutest thing you've ever seen. (sorry for the quality...quick iPhone snaps)

Have a great weekend!
(and keep those questions coming!)