Photoshop for iPhone Sunday, Oct 18 2009 

There is a new Photoshop app for the iPhone, and while it’s very basic, it’s an easy and fun way to make your photos look their best!

I’m surprised that it’s free — even though there are only a few tools (crop/flip/resize, color/exposure/tint, and several effects), you can do so much.

Here are a few photos that I altered:

Mimosas at Toro

464

005
Boston Skyline

001

003

NYC Skyline

423

004

Fenway Gardens

391

007

As much fun as the “I Am T-Pain” app is (hello, vocoder!), I think this is my new favorite thing to do with my iPhone!

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Photo of the Week Sunday, Sep 27 2009 

I saw this photo and had to post it:

The Obamas with the President and First Lady of Cameroon.

I can hear it now: “I’M GONNA GET YOUR MAN, MICHELLE!”

Palazzo, here we come! Monday, Mar 2 2009 

Well, we did it again.  We booked yet another Vegas trip.  This one will be from June 11-15.

And this time we are staying at the PALAZZO!

The Palazzo is one of the newer major resorts on the Strip.  It’s the sister resort of the Venetian, and the two properties are connected.  The Palazzo is more upscale and less theme-park-y than the Venetian.  I love the champagne decor and the waterfall.

What’s nice is that the casino is ventilated well — half of the casino floor is nonsmoking, and the whole place smells like FLOWERS!

Lisa, Beth, Jen and I will be staying at the Palazzo, and Carissa, Callie and hopefully Katie and Danielle will be staying across the street at TI.  It’s incredible what good deals you can get in Vegas right now — one effect of the recession is rock-bottom hotel rates.

Here are some of the things that make the Palazzo amazing:

Classy, elegant suites.  All rooms have a sunken living room.  And — wait for it — THREE FLAT-SCREEN TVs.  ONE IN THE BEDROOM AREA, ONE IN THE LIVING ROOM AREA AND ONE IN THE BATHROOM!!!!!  I am SO excited for that!

Fabulous dining, including Sushisamba, CUT, Dos Caminos, Table 10, Restaurant Charlie by Charlie Trotter, and our standby, the Grand Lux.

Fabulous shopping, including Christian Louboutin, Barneys, Catherine Malandrino, Burberry, Fendi, Tory Burch, 7 for All Mankind and Michael Kors.  And that’s just scratching the surface.

Fabulous nightlife, including Lavo.  Jersey Boys is at the Palazzo, too.

Canyon Ranch: the most luxurious spa in Las Vegas.

While there are plenty of pools at the Palazzo, I’m particularly excited to spend time at Tao Beach at the Venetian.  I’ve only been there at night.

I am SO excited.

Best of all, the Palazzo is in the ideal location on the Strip.  It’s right between our three favorite clubs: Tao at the Venetian, Tryst at the Wynn, and XS at the Encore.

I love my friends…I LOVE VEGAS…and this, our third trip within a year, is going to be the BEST TRIP YET!

Hillary Clinton Chic Tuesday, Feb 3 2009 

The trend: teal ruffled jacket/cardigan.

Who wore it better?

hillary

Hillary, who’s ready to serve as the nation’s top diplomat?

Or Kate, who’s ready to pose inappropriately with wax figures?

You decide!

(Hillary Clinton image courtesy of Vanity Fair.)

Vegas: Debauchery is a Mild Word Sunday, Jan 25 2009 

Vegas was absolutely amazing.  This trip totally blew the last trip out of the water.

I could go on for days, but at least a few things need to stay in Vegas.

The highlights:

  • Four hours of sleep a night, supplemented by far too much Red Bull.

  • Meeting people you become best friends with for a few hours, then tastefully ignoring them when you run into them the next day.

  • Never paying cover.  EVER.  Never waiting in line.  EVER.

  • Comped dinner and subsequent partying at Tao.  Love my Tao guy!

  • Eating things you’d never eat at home, like fish with a head on it and sweetbreads.

  • Getting dressed up in designer dresses, black sparkly eyeshadow and fake eyelashes and not being overdressed.

  • Meeting characters at buffets.

  • Hanging out in the casino until 5:30 AM, not even gambling, your fake eyelashes now a moustache.

  • Molesting the statues at Madame Tussaud’s.  (Then, karma: getting molested on stage by the Chippendales in front of everyone.)

  • Also: here’s the one thing in Vegas to NEVER, EVER do.  DO NOT GO INTO THE HAUNTED HOUSE AT MADAME TUSSAUD’S.  PEOPLE JUMP OUT AT YOU AND IT’S SO SCARY.  Lisa was in the fetal position afterward.  Beth and I were in similar states.

  • Getting pulled into VIP booths at Tryst all night.

  • Drinking giant drinks just because you can.

  • FINALLY trying In-N-Out Burger!!!

  • The odd celebrity sighting; also, magnificent chi-chis.  Ice-T and Coco!!!!!!!

  • Getting to spend time with your best friends from high school: The Brood.

  • Never going to bed your last night there.

  • Making friends with bachelor parties.

  • The best part: here’s what we did on Saturday night.  After Chippendales and primping, we headed over to the Bank nightclub at the Bellagio.  We walk past a line of people who have been waiting for hours and walk right in, no cover or anything.  We hang out at the club for 20 minutes, decide it’s lame, then decide to head to Pure at Caesars Palace.  Again, we walk past a line of people who have been waiting for hours; again, we walk right in, no cover.  Later, our host feeds us shots at the bar.  The day before, we do the same thing with an all-you-can-drink party for ladies at Jet, then we head to Tryst.

And so much more that I can’t publicize.

We’re going back in June.  😀

Top 25 Photos of 2008 Saturday, Jan 3 2009 

Here are the 25 best, weirdest and funniest photos of 2008 — the ones that I think best represent the year.  God, this has been a cruisazy year.  Enjoy!

Arrival in Albuquerque, New Mexico!

I had a really difficult winter, mostly due to a rocky relationship, a bad breakup and being unable to shake a cold for two months.  My mom invited me to come to New Mexico with her and it was EXACTLY what I needed.  It was a time to heal.

I loved the color of this car.

Callie and I attempt to smile with our eyes, Tyra Banks-style, while at Ned Devine’s.

Lisa and I celebrate our Irish heritage in the form of Guinness, Jameson and Bailey’s on St. Paddy’s Day.

I quit my job of nearly two years!!  Here I am on my last day with my wonderful friends Jackie, Nadine, Esther and Michelle.

The weekend before I start my new job, I meet Josh.

This is the start of a crazy friendship and the first of our many, many adventures.

While out in Faneuil Hall, I befriend a bachelor party and end up jumping on their bus with them, partying till dawn.

In Las Vegas at Madame Tussaud’s, Lisa, Alexa and I give Hef a good time!

I then get stuck inside Frank Sinatra.

Ever sat in a guy in a wheelchair’s lap as he spins you around on the dance floor?  I now have.  This was also at Tryst.

This is probably my favorite picture of the year.  It’s definitely the funniest.  This is me and Lisa in Vegas at 7:00 AM after leaving Drai’s and walking back to TI while high-fiving random onlookers and yelling, “Vegas!” then going to play Blackjack for a few more hours.  This is around the time Lisa lay in the alley next to the IP.

Yeah…no explanation needed.

I spoon Beth (under the tarp) on the Esplanade in Boston on the Fourth of July.  It rained for part of the day.

Beth tries to help me discreetly change from shorts into pants on the Esplanade as Janelle looks on.  Yeah, we kind of failed at the “discreet” part.

If you’re napping, you might as well keep up the patriotism and the pimpin’.

This picture is so embarrassing.  I was convinced my hand was on his left outer thigh, NOT HIS RIGHT INNER THIGH.  I nearly died when I saw this — and Lisa, Beth and Janelle nearly died of laughter.  We met this guy at the Blackthorne in Southie and he went to our high school 15 years before us.

I reunite with my wonderful college roommate Kelly Anne at our friends Sean and Shannon‘s barbecue at their beautiful new house in Bridgeport.  (Sean and Shannon have since gotten engaged, which excites me to no end!)

The night before our shared birthday, I run into Hans at Mantra in Boston.  We’re smiling pretty big despite our disastrous weekend a week before.

Me and my lubly Sars on my birthday at 28 Degrees.

Me and my wonderful friends on my birthday.  These are some of the people most important to me: Kara, Carissa, Surina, Sars, Josh, Callie, Lisa and Beth.

I attend Barack Obama’s September rally in Manchester, New Hampshire — what an amazing experience!

I needed a popular, smart, topical and preferably political, yet not overdone (aka Sarah Palin), Halloween costume this year.  I fretted that I wouldn’t be able to find a good one — and then the PERFECT character swept into the news and into my life.  Ashley Todd.  One of my best costumes.

My first night in Buenos Aires and I’m getting licked!  Maxi unsuspectingly gets me when I was expecting a normal, smiling picture.  That’s a genuine expression of shock on my face.

Poor Louis…in Buenos Aires, food poisoning and parilla do not mix.

Carissa and I get borderline violent at Shabu Shabu Kaze in Chinatown.

Beth and I celebrate the arrival of 2009.

Barack Obama Shirtless Monday, Dec 22 2008 

barack_obama_shirtless

Barack Obama Shirtless

Barack Obama shirtless on vacation in Hawaii.

I just saw this incredible picture on the Huffington Post, courtesy of Bauer-Griffin Online.

The best part is the Huffington Post’s headline:

 

Barack Obama Shirtless

Barack Obama Shirtless

 

O, indeed…that’s what straight women and gay men are saying all over the world after seeing this shirtless Barack Obama picture!  Damn…Michelle Obama is one lucky woman!

Who knew that seeing Barack Obama shirtless would be the highlight of my Christmas week?

Look at that six-pack!!

He’s got two full weeks in Hawaii…let’s hope we can see more of Barack Obama shirtless through the new year — and the next four years!

Ashley Todd Halloween Costume Saturday, Oct 25 2008 

Remember that psycho Ashley Todd, a McCain volunteer who claimed she was attacked, robbed and mutilated by a black man who supported Obama?

She told the police that a black man robbed her at an ATM, then saw the McCain sticker on her car, held her down, told her she should support Barack, and carved a B into her face.

Turns out she made the whole thing up.  Read more here.  Also, the executive vice president of Fox News, John Moody, said that if this turned out to be a hoax, McCain’s campaign would be over.

Wonder when he’s going to endorse Obama.

Anyway, my point:

The timing is perfect — I finally have my political and relevant Halloween costume!

Thanks, psycho!

Yearbook Yourself! Tuesday, Oct 7 2008 

Whatever you’re doing right now, you need to head over to Yearbook Yourself.  This site lets you insert your head into various yearbook styles from 1950 through 2000.  I heard about it first from The Modern Gal, then my friend Erica made some FANTASTIC ones of me and my friend Lisa today.

This is SO ADDICTIVE.

Check it out:

1952 Kate

1966 Kate

1968 Kate — love this one!

1974 Kate

1976 Kate — Erica thinks I look like my mom here.

1984 Kate.  The year of my birth was so frightening.

1994 Kate — and yes, I love to do this to my hair whenever possible.

1996 Kate

1998 Kate

2000 Kate — I graduated high school in 2002 but never adopted this hairstyle.

Think I should adopt any of these styles permanently?  🙂

How to Lose Weight: Become a Vegetarian! Tuesday, Aug 5 2008 

I’ve been wanting to write this entry for a long time.  I never, EVER dreamed that I would become a vegetarian, but I did — and the rewards have been phenomenal.  I never dreamed that I would lose weight this easily!

My whole life, I’ve been very skinny, and I grew up in a family of skinny people (as in those who say “I hope there’s food left” whenever a fat family leaves a restaurant).

Essentially, in my family, being fat is the ultimate sin.  Gay?  Awesome.  Dumb as rocks?  Okay.  Republican?  Forgivable.  But fat?  NO.  ABSOLUTELY NOT.

I was always pin-thin growing up, and even remained skinny after I got curvy in late high school and early college.  I never gained the “freshman 15” — I maintained my weight while everyone else gained extra pounds.

However, I gained a lot of weight during my junior year in college.  I studied abroad in Florence during fall of junior year, and that’s when the pounds got packed on.  In addition to enjoying the pasta, pizza, wine and fabulous steaks of Florence, I was also binge drinking to the point of blacking out and/or vomiting at least once a week.  It wasn’t healthy; in fact, it was quite dangerous.  That semester, I gained a LOT of weight.

(That’s when my sister and even my parents started calling me Heavy K.  Sarah drew a cartoon of Heavy K at home, complete with a “forgotten pie” trapped between the rolls in her stomach.  I was the fat one in the family.)

The weight came off a bit being home from Italy for a bit, but senior year, I gained even more, mostly due to drinking and discovering how much I liked to cook.

At any rate, I was the heaviest I had ever been when I graduated from college.  I was always the skinniest girl while growing up, but I ended college at 5’4″ and a weight of 142 pounds.  I had started college at the same height and 111 pounds.

Here I am at the end of college:

Fat Kate and roomie Kelly Anne at the Fairfield Senior Ball at Foxwoods

Fat Kate at the Fairfield Senior Ball at Foxwoods

Fat Kate with BFF Kara at the Family Dance at Fairfield

Fat Kate with her girls at the Levee at Fairfield the night of graduation

Six months after graduation, I moved to Boston and started walking at least two miles a day to and from work.  That helped a bit — about 10 pounds came off — but I was still much heavier than I wanted to be.

This winter, my friend Lisa got me the book Skinny Bitch, which is a bestseller in the U.S.  Basically, it’s a bitchy, no-nonsense diet book for girls — and once you start reading it, it actually tricks you into becoming a vegan.  A vegan, for the record, is one who eats NO animal products, including meat, fish, eggs or dairy.

Skinny Bitch is definitely worth reading — it really surprised me with the information it presented.  However, here are a few of the most interesting facts in the book:

  • No species other than the human race drinks milk past infancy — and we are the only ones who drink milk of a different species.
  • Most of the meat sold in this country, along with most of the dairy, is filled with hormones designed to make animals grow fat — which, in turn, makes you fat.
  • The atrocities that animals face in slaughterhouses are infuriating and heartbreaking, even to someone like me, who is ambivalent at best about most animals.

For the record, this book is not perfect.  But it can point you in the right direction.

I never thought I’d become a vegetarian.  I adore bacon more than anyone else I know, I have a soft spot for buffalo tenders, and I grew to adore the bloodiest steaks imaginable in Florence.

I always made fun of vegetarians and called PETA the “People for the Eating of Tasty Animals.” I considered myself the last person to become a vegetarian.

But after reading about the hormones and toxins in meat, I decided to stop eating meat, just to try it out.  And it was so easy!  Once I stopped, I had no reason to start again!  I didn’t even miss bacon!

For the past six months, I’ve been living a meat-free lifestyle. I acquired new staples to my diet like meat-free Quorn chik’n patties and chik’n nuggets, Morningstar black bean burgers and tomato basil burgers, and soy milk and yogurt.  (I still eat dairy, but much less than before, and if there’s a soy option available, I take it.)  I’ve added more vegetables, more hummus and more snacks like nuts and sunflower seeds.

And the result?

Without adding exercise, I lost another ten pounds without any effort.  That’s 8.5% of my weight.

Do I miss meat?  Nope.  Not at all.  I am SHOCKED — I thought I would at least miss it a little bit, but no!  Once you cut it out, you don’t miss it.  And being vegetarian often forces you to make smarter choices, like eating salads more often.

I will admit that I have fallen off the wagon a few times.  I once decided to try a McDonald’s cheeseburger to see what would happen after a few meat-free months.  The result?  It felt like a heavy weight in my stomach and my entire face broke out within a few hours.

That’s another thing.  My skin has been so much clearer since giving up meat.

But — let’s face it — losing weight is the most important part.

So, let’s take a look at the results!

Skinny Kate in Reading a few weeks ago

Skinny Kate with Joshua at a house party in Jamaica Plain three months ago

Skinny Kate with Holly at Kingston Station in Boston two months ago

Skinny Kate with Lisa in Vegas a month and a half ago

I’m not quite where I want to be in terms of weight.  I have another ten pounds to go before I get to my pre-college weight, but I’m pretty sure that’s unattainable, given the changes a girl’s body goes through between ages 18 and 20.

I’ll never be a size 0, at least not without looking like a freak, and I’ve come to terms with that.  Still, I’d love to lose another five or so.

Becoming a vegetarian has been so much more successful than I ever imagined. I can’t believe it was so easy to lose so much weight.

And now that I’m skinnier, I can wear clothes like this:

That’s me on my 24th birthday this past weekend with my mom and my sister.

And you know what?

They haven’t called me Heavy K in months.

SEXY New Birthday Dress! Wednesday, Jul 30 2008 

My 24th birthday is this Saturday, and I wanted to pick up a new dress for the occasion.  Something short, black and sexy, yet classy.  Something good for the club and borderline semi-formal but not too dressy to wear out with more casually dressed friends.

Well, I found the perfect dress — at Bebe at the Burlington Mall, of all places!  It’s the second item I have EVER bought at that store (the first was an AWESOME leather pencil skirt that I got half off while in college, and I’m sadly too big for it now).

I took some pics with my iPhone (to which I am ADDICTED) since none of my roommates were home.  Check it out:

It’s rutched all over most of the dress, which gives it an effect of a corset — it sucks all the fat in, while showing off your curves!

Also, it’s nice for me to splurge on a good dress this summer, since I’ve lost a good amount of weight in the past six months — thanks to my vegetarian diet!  (And YES, I will be blogging about that in detail soon!)

It’s such a hot dress…I can’t wait to wear it out on Saturday.

VEGAS! Day Four/Night Four: Recovery, Exploration, CHIPPENDALES!! Sunday, Jul 27 2008 

When I last left off, Lisa and I had just finished one of the party-heaviest nights of our lives.  Combine that with a mere four hours of sleep for me (and less for Lisa, who actually went back for more blackjack!) and you have the recipe for a very low-key day.

We decided to just walk around the Strip and see some of the things that we hadn’t seen yet.

This is the escalator at the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace.  It’s not fun with a hangover.

The fountains at the shops.

The shops were cool — very high-end with lots at which to ogle — but we kept taking breaks because we felt so tired from the night before.

Lisa is the Brutus to my Caesar.

Posing in front of the world-famous IP!!!!  We finally made it inside!

And posing outside the M&M Factory.

MEN IN KILTS at Mandalay Bay!  We had to get a pic.

Afterward, Lisa and I met up with Alexa for dinner at the Burger Bar at Mandalay Bay.  I had a veggie burger with pepper jack, avocado and asparagus.  Despite being too sick to eat anything all day, I ate a ton of it — it was so good.  (Would not recommend the zucchini fries, though, unless you like huge battered slabs of zucchini.  The sweet potato fries Lisa got were good.)

CHIPPENDALES!

The show was SO much fun, and quite unexpected, as well.  I was surprised how dirty they got.  Let it be known that if you get called up to be on stage (and believe me, I tried like it was my JOB), you will have guys feeling you up like crazy, as well as making you feel them up.

They faked one girl out into thinking that she had to put a condom on a guy (and it got CLOSE!) then at the last moment, had her do it on a banana instead.

I swear on all that is sacred and holy that the blond one in the top left of the picture kept checking me out all night.  Seriously.

And because everyone keeps asking me, they show their bums quite a few times, but no full-frontal nudity unless you’re one of the girls they call up on stage.

But I HIGHLY recommend Chippendales.  Highly, highly, highly recommend it.  So much fun!

But here was the best part ever, and one of my favorite Vegas stories:

Lisa went up to the bartender to ask if she could get ten ones in exchange for her ten.  Well, the guy actually gets OFFENDED and indignantly tells her, “It’s not that kind of show.”  Lisa, embarrassed out of her mind, returns to her seat, feeling like she’s too inappropriate for Vegas.

I just laughed for a good five minutes.

SHERRI SHEPHERD (from The View) WAS THERE!  She was very nice to take a picture with us.  And you can’t tell from that picture, but she recently lost a ton of weight and her body looks AMAZING.  You should see her legs!

It’s so funny because they called her up on stage and Lisa and I remarked that this woman looked just like Sherri, and it turned out to really be her!  They were filming The View in Vegas all week.

I said what what?  In the…

After the show, Lisa and I headed up to VooDoo Lounge, on top of the Rio, for the best view in Vegas.  The Rio is set pretty far back from the Strip, so the view at night is amazing.

Believe it or not, after that, Lisa wanted to go to a club!  We almost went to Jet, but after the night before, I felt like if I went to yet another club, I would very likely die.  We walked around T.I. for awhile, then headed back to our room.

Seriously, I would not have been in good condition if I had gone to yet another club.

So it was a low-key final night in Vegas, albeit with many hott men (and if only you could see hte professional pictures we got taken of us with three other Chippendales guys!!  I’m too lazy to scan them).  What a trip!

VEGAS! Night Two: Tao Tuesday, Jul 8 2008 

Back to the Vegas recaps!

For our second night out, the three of us went to Tao at the Venetian, both the restaurant and the nightclub.

This was our major dress-up night.  I wore the Cavalli dress I bought on eBay.  Don’t we look fabulous?  🙂

Absolutely EVERYTHING we had at Tao was amazing.  I had the black miso Chilean seabass, while Alexa had lo mein and Lisa had pad thai — all phenomenal — and the tempura we shared (avocado, string beans and onions) was light and delicious.  Our vegetarian spring rolls were hearty and chock full of vegetables.  We finished with an apple spring roll.

And then our waiter (one of the most cheerful waiters I have ever had) brought us free sake that went perfectly with the dessert.  “This is compliments of your personal assistant, Katelyn,” he said.

Meaning ME!  I made the reservation with the account from my old job.  They thought I was one of my clients, despite the fact that the name on the reservation was the same as the name on the account!

The bathrooms are only marked with “Yin” and “Yang.”  We figured out that “Yin” is for women and “Yang” is for men (just think about what rhymes with “Yang” and you’ll get it), though there are male and female statues designating which one is which.

We then decided to switch the statues to freak everyone out.

Hilarious as that would have been, the statues were WAY too heavy for us to move!

The dance floor at Tao.  The girl in the pink and black shirt on the bottom left is wearing the outfit that I wore on Monday!

Alexa took this picture of me in the club bathroom.  It looks really cool.

Alexa also took this picture of Tao Beach, the outdoor part of the club.

Apparently guys find these models (along with the ones in the bathtub, naked and covered with rose petals) sexy.  We found them weird and a little bit hilarious.

Eh, what the hell?  Here they are, too.

Sparklers heralded the birthday of none other than…

RANDY JACKSON!  (Karina Smirnoff and Rosario Dawson were also there, but we didn’t realize that until we read People magazine a week later!)

What was that old guy doing there?!  How about his trophy girlfriend?

Alexa left after a bit, but the Boston Bar Stars — Lisa and I — were there late.  Meaning an hour after the time when clubs in Boston are closed.

Lisa and I then went into the casino and people-watched for awhile, running into one of the guys from TBS’s My Boys, but not knowing who he was at the time (only knowing that he was famous)!

Tao was a LOT of fun, and it was definitely more visually stunning than PURE.  Our VIP host was great.  The only thing is that it took a while to get going.  It wasn’t until about 1:30 or 2:00 or so before the music got good — party hip-hop! — and Lisa and I got into our club groove.  Since we weren’t drinking much, it took us longer to get into that zone.

The crowd was a little bit strange, and again, there were so many more guys than girls.  At one point, we were surrounded by entirely guys in two concentric circles, like a Greek or Jewish dance!

The worst thing, though, was the wait at the bar.  We waited about HALF AN HOUR for drinks, and then decided that those drinks would be our last.  I can’t stand it when the bartenders only pay attention to the girls around you, and they ask them what they want, and the girls say, “Um…wait, what do you want again?” to all ten of their friends.  Sheesh.

I would definitely go to Tao again.  It’s definitely a sceney place on Saturdays — but also abominably crowded.

Keep in mind that if you go there for dinner, you can get into a separate, faster line at the club.  Not that we knew anything about that — we had our VIP treatment all the way!

And the adventures continue…

THIS IS HOW I MAKE BREAD Sunday, Jun 29 2008 

I came across the greatest video on YouTube yesterday.

Even if you’re a loyal Atkins devotee (but is anyone still on the Atkins diet anymore?), this video will have you craving bread in the worst way.

Check it out:

David Cook: Guitar Hero Thursday, May 22 2008 

If watching this over and over (and over) again is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

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