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Word A Day Blog Challenge: Acceptance

Word A Day Challenge

I have decided to challenge myself this month by joining Verified Mom‘s Word A Day Blog Challenge. As I’m learning more about blogging, I have found content is key. The problem with that is I am often struck with writer’s block. So I’m hoping that joining this challenge will help with my writing and hold me accountable to actually completing it. If you are looking to start writing or need some help with getting the writing juices flowing, join us this month. Today’s word is Acceptance.

Word A Day Challenge Prompts
Word A Day Challenge Prompts from @Verified Mom


When I think of acceptance, I think of a desire. Something most people want. People long for acceptance.


From a very early age we want to be liked and accepted by our peers. The middle school and high school years are the worst. You feel weird and you wonder if everyone else thinks you are weird. The thing is, everyone is awkward at those ages and wondering the same thing. If you are lucky you find a group that accepts your weirdness (because we are ALL weird) and if you are really lucky you find a group that celebrates that weirdness. Because it may not feel like it during the middle or high school years, but #weirderisbetter!!


As we grow up our desire for acceptance doesn’t go away. We want to be accepted by our partner, our work colleagues, our community, and our friends. But we are stronger in our convictions and know that we don’t have to agree with everyone or like all of the same things to be accepted. Our social circles would be very boring if we were only hanging out with people who thought and acted just like us.


True acceptance is being able to respect people for who they are without conditions. Accept people for their limitations. Accept that everyone is flawed. Accept that people may never change. If we accepted people more for who they truly are, the world would be a much better place.


And most importantly, we should all strive for self-acceptance. Knowing that you are good. That you are enough. That you have value to offer. Accept who you are. Be true to yourself and you will always find your people. The ones that celebrate the weirdly, wonderful you.






One Word of 2016: COMMIT

commit. succeed

I love the start of the year, with the flip of a calendar page we are filled with optimism of what’s to come. I’m not one to make a lot of resolutions… because I never follow through. Do you? Does anyone?


That’s why the One Word posts I have been seeing EVERYWHERE spoke to me. One word that keeps you on track. A focus. If you choose the right word, it can work for anything.


I kind of, sort of did this last year… you see I’m a little wishy-washy. I tend to over commit and under deliver. It drives me crazy.


My focus last year was fitness. I chose GET FIT. Last year was also the year I found Tone It Up. And it was the first time I stuck with a fitness for an entire year! Did I get the body I dreamed of? No. Did I have setbacks and feel like giving up? You bet. But I always found my way back and changed my mindset on fitness. It was no longer something I dreaded, I actually look forward to it. And overall I did get more fit and I am continuing my fitness journey.


So this year, I chose my word very carefully. I have taken on a lot more in the last year and have felt like I was always failing at something.


My One Word for 2016: Commit 


I commit to my family. They will always be my priority. 


I commit to my health. I have this one body, I will take care of it. I may not get that “perfect” body, but I will have a healthy heart and a healthy mind. I’m starting the year strong with another Tone It Up challenge and Yoga Camp. Follow me on Instagram to keep tabs on my progress.


I commit to my business. My Rodan + Fields business is good to me, when I focus on it. My focus has been a little all over the place because I took on a bit too much last year. Back to the basics of network marketing – TALK TO PEOPLE! I love sharing this business and these products, so I will be doing more of that in 2016!


I commit to this blog. This was my new endeavor for 2015 and it is so much more work than I thought it would be. The business behind it, the social media aspect, the writing… it’s a lot. I have so much respect for all of my fellow bloggers. I’ve learned so much, it has made my head spin. But I can’t wait to see where this adventure takes me! 


I commit to kindness. Simply because the world needs more kindness. And kindness is contagious. 


I commit to fun. Because this thing called life should be FUN! Sometimes we get so serious about things we forget we should be having fun while we are doing it, otherwise what’s the point?


And most importantly I commit to myself. I want to make myself proud by accomplishing the goals I set. I will have to be a little selfish. That will mean saying “no” a lot more. I can’t be everything to everyone or do everything myself… as much as I would like to. I will only say “yes” to the things I truly want/can to do, outside of my normal mom duties. Who wants to change more diapers? Maybe I will commit to potty training!! 

Do you have One Word for 2016? I’d love to hear why you chose yours! Leave it below in the comments.





Gratitude with a Twist

Gratitude with a Twist - Sometimes a change in perspective makes all the difference.

It’s that time of year again, Halloween has passed and the Holiday Season is upon us. I love the holidays, but Thanksgiving happens to be my favorite. I love the traditions, the food and the fact that it’s the one holiday not centered around gifts or sweets. (But bring on the carbs!) Since November 1st my social media feeds have been flooded with posts of gratitude, which is lovely to see. Of course people are grateful for all of the wonderful blessings they have in life and it’s fantastic that so many are making an effort… but after reading so many similar posts year after year, it starts to feel a little empty.

A while ago, I noticed my friend, Lisa, posting about challenging situations throughout the year. Something we are use to seeing on Facebook… but Lisa’s posts were different. She acknowledged the challenge and at the same time found a way to be grateful for it. These posts always jumped out at me, how was she so upbeat and thankful for each of these situations? I always liked her posts and commented on how positive she was… and when November rolled around and she posted again, I asked her what the deal was.

Thankfully, Lisa is a good friend and was more than willing to explain. A few years back she wanted to make a change and set a good example for her daughter, whom she noticed was having a hard time seeing the bright side of things. Lisa is a self proclaimed “anxiety ridden, impatient pessimist”, which you would never know by her killer smile and adorable dimples, so finding the positive in things doesn’t come easy.

“The whole concept is that instead of posting your typical “thankful” post, you pick the thing that made you crazy that day, that ruffled your feathers, that would typically have ruined your day – and you TRY to find the good in it. It could be as simple as someone cut me off in traffic, but I am grateful I have a reliable vehicle to drive and great music to listen to on my way to work. It’s important to start small – chores mean we have belongings to care for, rain means trees can grow and we can have air to breath, a dirty kid means they were able to explore and learn… and so on. You can’t force yourself to become a positive person overnight, it takes practice.”


To me, this is such an amazing, yet simple, concept and it just takes a little change in perspective. It may take more than 30 days to accomplish this, but that’s another reason why you should try it all year long. Gratitude should exist daily, not just in the month of November.

One thing Lisa said really struck me, “Finding hope and awareness that each moment has something good in it, is a journey. But just changing my perspective on one small thing a day, snowballed into me really changing how I viewed life.” Find the good.

One of my favorite sayings <3
One of my favorite sayings <3

So for my Gratitude Challenge, I’m challenging myself to change my perspective in the difficult and challenging situations. I will find the good in the undesired moments. I will take this journey, which I already know won’t be easy. And I would love if you would try it too… who knows what could happen?



p.s. Comment below or on my FB page with your change of perspective, I’ll be posting mine on my Kate & Smalls FB page! Can’t wait to see who’s up for the challenge!




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Diagnosis Inspired


It’s October, a month that use to mean a change of seasons. Bringing out the jeans, sweaters and boots; it’s my favorite time of year. As I’ve gotten older it signifies something different. Instead of the colors of changing leaves we are surrounded by a sea of PINK. For October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.


Everyone knows someone that has been touched by Breast Cancer. Mothers, sisters, daughters, aunts, grandmothers, breast cancer knows no age. My own mother had a scare 10 years ago, at age 44, which resulted in a lumpectomy. Thankfully they only found, and removed, pre-cancerous cells and she didn’t require chemo or radiation. She had to have mammograms every six months for a few years and is now back to once a year. She just received an all clear this month… after a bit of a scare. She is diligent about her checkups because she knows she is at an increased risk, which in turn makes me aware of my increased risk.

But what about women under the age of 40, without a family history of breast cancer? According to the American Cancer Society, it is estimated that 13,110 cases of breast cancer will be in women under age 40 each year. And there is no effective breast cancer screening for women under 40!!! Young women have to be diligent with their own self breast exams each month and pay attention to any noticeable changes.

Scrolling IG (my obsession) one evening, I came across a really cute hands-free wristlet… which I immediately liked and commented on. That started a conversation with @hkellydesigns, aka Heidi, she was an open book! Heidi is a breast cancer survivor and her story really struck me. Which is why I asked her to share her inspiring story here.

How were you diagnosed?

I actually saw a dent. I originally thought it was a bruise and when it did not go away I started to suspect something was wrong. It took me a couple of months to build up the courage to go to the doctor and when I did she sent me straight to get a mammogram and ultra sound that day. That day we found out it was a tumor and then about a week later we found out that it was positive for breast cancer from the biopsy. I was 38 years old and no history in the family!

You were diagnosed with cancer, and decided to start a business?

HKelly designs was born from me having breast cancer. When I was feeling good enough I would sew and people were always complimenting me on my bags. One day my husband said why don’t we make this a business and have a go at it and so here we are. I have been through 2 rounds of breast cancer, 4 chemo rounds and over a month of radiation and I’m still standing, still making purses and really just loving life!

How is your health now?

I am doing well now. I actually had it come back a second time on the scar and since we did not do chemo and radiation the first time, we did do it the second time.  The first time I only did a double mastectomy and meds.

Heidi of HKelly Designs
Heidi of HKelly Designs

I love your attitude and I’m so glad you are doing well! Now for the fun stuff… tell everyone about that adorable wristlet that caught my eye.

This wristlet is the perfect accessory for hands free fun! You never have to put it down, it’s basically a bracelet with room for your phone, lip gloss, keys and of course your cash, credit card and license. Take pics with your phone… it’s there on your wrist, dance the night away… it’s there on your wrist, party it up at a concert… it’s there on your wrist!!! For you travelers, your passport will fit right in there!

There are currently 3 styles in the Black Label, black, brown and gray. The really fun part about the bag is the surprise interior fabric, no two are the same! I have been considering adding a completely customizable one for those who want something crazy original, that will include a consultation via phone or email and an upcharge.

The wristlet in black, brown or gray
The wristlet in black, brown or gray

I’d love to offer your readers $10 off on the wristlet. Use coupon code KAS10, it’s good until Novmeber 21st.

We also have a Breast Cancer Awareness Shop on the site, a portion of the sale of every Gemma bag to a Breast Cancer Charity: Young Survival Coalition. This group works wonders for women who are diagnosed under the age of 40.

Where can people find you?

First, my website all my products are available there. I also have a blog on the site and I talk a lot about fun and funky things as well as life with cancer. I also spend quite a bit of time on Facebook.
 I am on TwitterPeriscope and YouTube too!
Lastly, since my blog is all about trying new things… What’s something that you would like to try?
I guess it would be travel everywhere. Lol. I love to travel and have been to many places but there are so many more. My biggest is Paris in the Spring time, I did go in winter once but would love to see it in the spring and get all the way up the Eiffel Tower. Also on the list is the Alaskan Cruise. I have never been on a cruise and my husband, father in law and I are headed to one this spring. Cannot wait! I would love to travel the world and see everything!
 I wanted to share Heidi’s story, and cute bags, because I love that she was inspired by her diagnosis. A cancer diagnosis doesn’t have to be the end of the world… it could be the beginning of something you were always to afraid to try. Heidi fought like crazy for her life and created a business for herself. So whatever it is that you want to do, but are scared to try… do it! Life is short, so don’t wait!!
This was the image that grabbed my attention on IG
This was the image that grabbed my attention on IG
The Perfect Wristlet in Gray $45
The Perfect Wristlet in Gray $45
Each of HKelly Designs bags has a unique lining. I just love this one!!
Each of HKelly Designs bags has a unique lining. I just love this one!!
On my way to Costco with 3 kids... thank goodness for free hands! The bag easily fit my phone, keys, cards and a lip gloss.
On my way to Costco with 3 kids… thank goodness for free hands! The bag easily fit my phone, keys, cards and a lip gloss.
p.s. I wanted to get pics of the wristlet at Costco with the kids… but I was at Costco WITH 3 kids!!! It wasn’t happening!! Let me know if you purchase a wristlet and what you think! I think its a lovely gift idea for the upcoming holidays 😉