Posted in January 2013

Dear Kate: What’s the rule on using lingerie from an ex for your new beau?

Dear-Kate-column-identityBy Katharine Luckinbill

Dear Kate,

I’m seeing a new guy, and I want to heat things up in the bedroom with some sexy undergarments. Problem is, I don’t really need any new outfits (I’m lacking on cash, but not on clothes)…but the intimate articles I own were all gifts from an ex. What’s the protocol on using old clothes with a new guy?


Panties in a Twist


Dear Panties in a Twist,

I understand your dilemma and I too would be hard pressed to throw/give away perfectly good lingerie, especially if I were on a tight budget.

But you have to see if from your new beau’s perspective…put yourself in his pants (pun intended)…would you want him re-gifting things that he had bought for an ex, to you? Probably not. It’s not that your clothes or lingerie necessarily have any sentimental connection to your ex – or at least I hope they don’t if you’re considering wearing them for the new fella – it’s just a general respect thing.

When I got into my first serious relationship after a yearlong dating spree, I decided to cut all my hair off. This was not a spectacular idea and probably a little rash in hindsight and my new boyfriend certainly didn’t care for my shorter ‘do – but I wanted a clean break from all of the guys that had played with or enjoyed my long hair in the past. I wanted my life with him to be new and fresh.

So the question that remains is how to furnish your new life with some new lingerie, and not go broke.

A few ideas:

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Kate Hudson makes her parents proud


By Kaitlin Marie

You’re never too grown up or too famous to make your parents proud, as Kate Hudson proved recently. Her appreciative parents — actress Goldie Hawn and actor Kurt Russel — were caught this weekend snapping a few photos in front an enormous poster of their daughter in an Ann Taylor display in downtown New York.

Kate, who skyrocketed to fame after her Oscar-nominated performance in 2001′s Almost Famous, has since starred in numerous films and been the postergirl for a myriad cosmetic lines and beauty products. It’s heartwarming to see such a typical display of pride an affection coming from a family that’s no stranger to fame and fortune.

Stars: they’re just like us! Right?

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Kate’s Dates: Catfish? No way. Throw that minnow back in.


By Kate Richlin-Zack

“Catfish” — it’s a term you’re probably familiar with given the recent Manti Te’O scandal and the growing popularity of the MTV reality series bearing the same name. But for those of you haven’t, come out from under your rock so I can explain. “Catfish” refers to someone who creates a false identity online in pursuit of romance. In Manti’s case, the length of the alleged hoax is a bit unclear because the details around how/when he first came in contact with this fake girlfriend are fuzzy. But some of the relationships featured on the MTV show have lasted anywhere from several months to several years.

YEARS?! I can understand being duped for a few weeks or even a few months but years? SERIOUSLY?!

Most of our current reality is virtual. Face-to-face interactions have been replaced with texts and tweets. I have friends that won’t answer their phone but if I text them, I’ll get a response within seconds. I’m probably just as bad as they are, but at least we’ve met in real life. How long are you willing to date someone without having confirmation that they are who they say they are and you’re not being taken for a ride?  How is this even possible?

As someone who’s fascinated with relationships and dating, I really had to dig deep to come up with an explanation and truthfully the only thing that explains why anyone would go to such great lengths to fool someone and why anyone would fall for it is the epidemic that’s sweeping our nation (and no it’s not norovius): low self esteem.

I’ve done lots of stupid shit in the name of love and I’ve made some bad choices when it comes to men. I’ve put up with drug addictions, pregnant wives, and all-around assholes, so I’m not one to point fingers. But I can promise you, the only reason I chose to date losers is because I had a crap opinion of myself. I ignored all the red flags. And when it comes to catfishing, there are lots of red flags:

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Fabri-Kate: Kisses and hugs for Valentine’s Day, plus a bit of trivia too!

By Kathleen Neafsey

Baby, it’s cold outside!  January is nearly over, and February is fast-approaching!  With that in mind, I wanted to make something new for Valentine’s Day. The idea for the craft came easily to me, but when writing this post, I got curious about the history of Valentine’s Day. Why do we exchange Valentines? And why do we use X’s and O’s as hugs and kisses? Overthink things much, Kath?

Although I went to Catholic school, and was taught by nuns, I don’t recall St. Valentine being one of the saints that we learned a lot about — of course, I went to grade school back when dinosaurs roamed the earth so it’s quite possible I’ve forgotten much of what I learned. Hence, the Google search — I won’t bore you with the minutiae of it all, but here is a sample of what I found – things that I never knew (or knew and forgot):

One story suggests that Valentine may have been killed for trying to help prisoners escape from harsh Roman prisons, where he had becomee a prisoner himself. says: according to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl–possibly his jailor’s daughter–who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine,” an expression that is still in use today.  Whichever legend you choose to believe, Valentine is seen as a heroic, romantic figure. According to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated one billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making it the 2nd most popular card-sending holiday after Christmas!

As for the X’s and O’s – nearly all of the explanations I read agree that the X symbol refers to a Christian cross and dates back to the days of a less literate society, where marking an “X” on a document served as a signature.  The “X” was then sealed with a kiss as a sign of good faith.  It seems that the most agreed upon explanation for the “O” represents arms encircling another as an embrace.  There you have it, trivia you didn’t bargain for in a craft post!

Let’s go!  On to the easy-peasy wreath I’ve created. Let’s start with the supplies you’ll need:

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Trivia: Who is this Kate Wolf?

Kate Wolf, Safe at Anchor

By Kate E. Stephenson

Ok, so I was caught up in the fervor and excitement of the Inauguration last week. I know that left you hanging from the week before. I promised to fill you in on the woman who lends her name to The Kate Wolf Music Festival. So for all of you who were left wondering, “Who is this Kate Wolf?” here is the answer:

Kate Wolf was an American folk singer and songwriter who had a great impact on the folk music scene, especially in California, until her untimely death in 1986 from leukemia. Born Kathryn Louise Allen on January 27, 1947, Kate toured with a group called Wildwood Flower before she went solo. Between 1977 and 1996, she released ten albums. The Kate Wolf Music Festival is a celebration of her life through celebration of the music of her heart. Her songs have been covered by many artists, including Emmylou Harris — whose version of “Love Still Remains” was nominated for a Grammy in 1999. She was the first musician inducted into the NAIRD Independent Music Hall of Fame. Continue reading

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Captainess Kirk: Nancy Drew nostalgia

Captainess KirkBy Kathleen S. Kirk

I fought the Midwestern wind chill this week in the dangerous Ohio wilderness. My mission: to pay a visit to my family at my childhood home. While there, my mother implored me to clean out the most nostalgic symbol of my teenhood: my old desk.

What I unearthed amongst old notebooks and dusty mechanical pencils was probably one of the most defining hobbies of my childhood.

Let’s move back a few years, to precisely Christmas, 2000. I was almost seven at the time and smitten with technology ever since my family had gotten an enormous white Gateway desktop a few years before. I loved that computer. So that year, I found under the tree the video game Secret Agent Barbie.

Secret Agent Barbie was supposed to be the newest, coolest game on the market. Everyone was talking about it. I was so excited to play it that my mother installed it that very day.

But I never got to play Secret Agent Barbie. My copy was (thankfully) broken.

A few days later, I went with my mother to the store to get a different copy of the game, but it was so new and so cool, they were completely sold out. My mother gave me a choice: I could either wait until the game came back in stock, or I could get another game.

I chose the latter and selected Nancy Drew: Message in a Haunted Mansion, and a childhood favorite was born. I worked my way through the series as I got older and played a grand total of fourteen games.

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Kate Upton doesn’t drive the Mercedes, she washes it

Earlier this year, a big fuss was made over the fact that Mercedes had hired Kate Upton for a 60 second Super Bowl commercial—despite the fact that she didn’t have a drivers license. Upton took to Twitter to correct the record, as she is in fact a legal driver. Apparently, she didn’t need to be. Today, we got a sneak peak of the ad. And Upton isn’t driving the car: she’s washing it. In slow motion. In kind of a dumpy outfit. Or is that just me? [Washington Post]

What do you think of this one?

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My CompliKAITed Life: Apartment Therapy a la Pinterest


By Kaitlin Marie

When you’re living the secretary lifestyle, you can’t decorate on a high-roller’s budget. I’ve always loved interior design, and I take pride in the way I represent my apartment–it’s my way of expressing myself. But when you’re low on funds, it’s tough to let your style shine through.

That’s when Pinterest comes in handy. If you’ve read the little bio underneath my other columns, you’d know I am OBSESSED with Pinterest. Unhealthily so. The home decor section is practically like porn for me. I literally drool over the massive kitchens, perfectly organized pantries, daintily decorated vanity tables. Unfortunately, the only way I’m going to get anything like that stuff is if I make it myself.

Still, a little inspiration goes a long way.  I was never a big do-it-yourselfer in the past. I wasn’t even that interested in crafts. But when you’re bound and determined to let your personal space shine, it’s amazing what you can create.

1. The “Hello” welcome mat

For starters, I fell in love with this “Hello” welcome mat. All I needed to to make something similar was yellow fabric, scissors, and a pencil. I freehand drew the lettering for my version below, and I took it in a different language direction, choosing “Hola” over “Hello.”


Sorry for the terrible picture quality. I busted my camera recently, so I’ve been reduced to photographs taken via my crappy cell phone. The next piece of decoration is the one I’ve definitely used the most, and it’s also the biggest DIY I’ve attempted to date.

2. The pallet table

You can’t really see the plexiglass top on the table on the right, which is obviously my less polished representation.


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Kate’s Book Club: A Review of Kate Douglas’ Dream Catchers Series

Dream Catchers, Dream Bound

By Kate E. Stephenson

In this third week of January 2013, I hereby call to order the 13th meeting of Kate’s Book Club. (Hurrah for the first new book of 2013!) Every week, we shall be reading a tome either (a) penned by an author named Kate or (b) that includes a character named Kate. If you missed our last meeting, you’ll want to get caught up.

There are moments in your life when you are changed irrevocably. I have just experienced an event that is crystallized in my mind forever. Thank you, Kate Douglas, for this breath-stealing moment.

I should preface this with I am a huge sci-fi, fantasy, romance book lover. I thought I had experienced much of the best of this particular genre. I was wrong! But then, romance isn’t exactly the right descriptor for the lush, sensual world that Kate Douglas evokes. Erotica is perhaps more appropriate, but even that term doesn’t fully encompass the literary space that Douglas inhabits. Maybe I should at least tell you what I read…

Book clubbers, we start the new year off with a bang (pun intended),  reviewing the first and second installments of Kate Douglas’ Dream Catchers series: Dream Catcher and Dream Bound.

Usually, I would start with a sneak peak excerpt of the book. Not this week. Instead, if you need to, you can find an excerpt on the Amazon page as you order the book. Because I cannot think of any reason that you wouldn’t want to own this one. (You might hide it in the bottom of your nightstand drawer, but you’ll want it!) You can find an excerpt of the third installment of the series Dream Unchained in my previous interview with Ms. Douglas, but my favorite passages of Dream Catcher and Dream Bound  are just a bit more than my editor wants me to share here. But I can tell you this much…

Dream Catchers is hot, Hot, HOT!

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Adventures in Greening: A cold-brewer’s life for me


By Catherine Moran

In 2006, I spent the summer working as a barista at Borders (you are missed greatly, bookstore). Before then, I had only consumed coffee as part of a dunked doughnut. I hated the taste of coffee alone, and didn’t particularly care for the smell of it, either. But that fateful summer changed my relationship with coffee.

Seattle’s Best Coffee had replaced the old Borders café, and training was needed. Every day for two weeks, we did coffee tastings. Each of the future baristas would be given one or two espresso-sized cups filled with coffee. We were not allowed to add milk or sugar. We were not allowed to guzzle it down, either. We were told to take a sip and swirl it around our mouths to capture the essence and flavor of each coffee, to better recommend a dark, rich roast, or a light, medium-bodied coffee to our customers. Having spent my life avoiding coffee, this was really jumping into the belly of the beast. Needless to say, those two weeks were gross. However, after two weeks of taste-tasting black coffee, any coffee product that had milk became delicious to my taste buds. And thus, this coffee lover was born.


I drink coffee for the taste: I could drink two cups before bed and still be able to conk out. I bought coffee in college, but after college, I realized I needed another plan: my wallet couldn’t take paying for coffee every day, all those coffee cups were not good for the environment.

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Trivia: Martin Luther King, Jr., Birthday Holiday Celebration

Martin Luther King Jr

By Kate E. Stephenson

Today, we recognize the birthday of freedom fighter Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as the inauguration of our second-term president Barack Obama.

Barack Obama Sworn In During Official Ceremony 2013Barack Obama Sworn In During Official Ceremony 2013

It is a momentous day. As with any such day, the touch of a Kate can be felt somewhere in time and history. And today’s trivia find demonstrates once again that Kates can always be found in the middle of the action.

The Martin Luther King , Jr., Papers Project — hosted by Standford — includes a letter sent to one Katie E. Whickam, president of the National Beauty Culturist League, Inc, by Dr. King himself some 55 years ago.

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Dear Kate: My friend is getting married and I’m not invited! Should I be upset?

Dear-Kate-column-identityBy Katharine Luckinbill

Dear Kate,

One of my pretty close friends is getting married. She’s been with the guy for a long time and so I know them both well. We ‘ve talked about her getting engaged many, many times, and after she finally did, we had a great conversation about how much fun her wedding would be. Well she just sent out the “save-the-date’s” and guess who didn’t get one? Should I be upset or should I just let it go? I feel like I thought we were good friends and she didn’t feel the same way. All of my other friends will be there. Am I the black sheep?

Sincerely Uninvited,



Dear Uninvited Cassie,

Well first thing’s first, to your question, “Should I let it go?” the answer from me will almost always be a resounding YES. Not because some things aren’t worth fighting for, but rather because the essence of “letting go” is to not hold on to anger and ill feelings because it only does harm to you and no one else.

However, your other question, “Should I be upset?” is kind of another ballgame. That one is really up to you.

Would I be upset? Probably.

Would I stay upset? Probably not.

Why is that?

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