Life As Kate (39): Holiday Fun Edition

Life As Kate

Hi there everyone! It has been far too long since I’ve had a Life As Kate post and since our household is going full speed ahead into the holiday craziness…err, I mean fun, I figured now is as good a time as any! I’ve got loads of fun pictures to share with you all today so I hope you enjoy :)

Last weekend was busy, that’s for sure but we were able to fit in lots of holiday activities. On Saturday, my dad, stepmom, siblings, and I met my older sister, her husband, and my nephew Henrik at the country club for brunch with Santa!

Henrik and Santa

Santa was looking like he had a rough sleigh ride on the way to brunch (seriously though, what’s going on with his hair?). Even though he didn’t look his usual, jolly self, Henrik was so good for his first time meeting Santa!

Henrik and Zeke  Zack and Henrik

Uncle Zeke and Uncle Zack had so much fun playing with their new toys, and of course Henrik!

Family Picture

While at the country club, we were able to snap a rare family portrait. Unfortunately my little sister Kari and her husband Zach couldn’t be there. A flight to Michigan from Hawaii is a bit expensive for a family photo. On a more serious note, this year is going to be very hard as it will be our first year without Kari around to celebrate with us. But since she is so far away and so VERY pregnant, we will just keep her in our thoughts during this time of year.

Following brunch with Santa, my family (minus Jennifer, Dane, and Henrik) ventured to the Christmas tree farm right down the road from us. Windy Hill Christmas Tree Farm is an absolutely adorable little place to go to pick out a tree, see some reindeer, go on a hayride, visit Santa (this one much jollier and more put together!), freeze your ass off, and of course snag some treats at their shop (hot chocolate and cider included…oh and donuts and popcorn too!)


Isn’t this Santa much more adorable than Brunch Santa? I thought so too.

Christmas Trees  Reindeer

Michigan was hit with a snow storm that day which sucked in a way because it was really freaking cold, but it sure made for some pretty pictures of trees and reindeer!

Family Hayride Abby and Zeke

While at the Christmas tree farm, we made sure to go on the hayride and Abby took Zack and Zeke through the maze.

Andrew and Zack Zack and Kate

Andrew and I both took a second out of our Christmas tree hunting to pose with Zack. He was in a fun (i.e. not fun at all) mood that day so I’m really surprised both pictures turned out nice.

Zeke and Kate Family Picture 2

I also made sure to take a picture with Zeker before he ran off with my dad to get some hot cocoa. While he was away, the rest of us kids posed for a picture but as you can obviously see, the snow had other plans. I wasn’t lying when I said a snow storm was kicking Michigan’s butt.

Miracle on 34th Street

Later that night while our Christmas trees thawed out (yes, TREES as in plural because with our family, one Christmas tree just isn’t enough) I went to my younger cousin’s performance of Miracle on 34th Street. It was an adorable production and my cousin made an even more adorable singing elf. The director even gave her a special part in the play to bring out her guitar (which she JUST learned how to play) and play and sing to “Last Christmas.”

It’s safe to say that it was a busy day but the fun continued the next day when Jen, Dane, Henrik, and my Grandpa Torrey came over for our first of many Christmas parties this year.

Henrik and Kate IMAG1979 Jen, Henrik, and Grandpa

It was nice to eat breakfast and visit with everyone (especially with the totally adorable Henrik!) before I left for work that day!

IMG_20131215_173343 IMG_20131215_192644

When I got home from work, my sister Abby, and I (of course Lola attempted to help too!) decorated our downstairs tree. It took us way more time than it probably should have but I think it turned out rather adorable.

IMG_20131219_215554 IMG_20131219_141423

And what would be better than to follow-up a crazy weekend with more holiday fun during the week? Zeke managed to sneak into my secret stash of Swedish Fish candy canes (they are my new addiction people. They taste JUST like Swedish fish). Even though Zeke denies all accusations of eating the missing candy canes, I think the above picture is good enough evidence.

Since I had yesterday off, my cousin Stephanie and I baked Christmas cookies (and ate way more dough than we probably should have) so the family and I can frost and decorate them later this week. Christmas cookies our a huge deal in this household (seriously, we eat them like it’s our job) so I was definitely feeling the baking pressure. Thankfully all the cookies are baked and locked away until we can decorate them!


So what’s keeping me sane during all of this holiday fun? Good tea and a good book of course! Okay, okay….AND cheesy, late-night holiday movies usually found on Lifetime, Hallmark, and ABC Family. <<<I have been watching these types of movies EVERY night. I’ve seen more corny than I really need to but mixed in there have also been some pretty spectacular Christmas movies.

So that’s it for Crazy Christmas Madness, at least for the time being. If I know my family, which I think I sort of do, there will be more fun photos to share soon. Until then though, I hope you all are enjoying your holiday season!

21 Reasons I’m Thankful

Hi there everyone and Happy Thanksgiving! Today is extra special. Not only is it Thanksgiving today, football watching day, face stuffing day, Black Friday planning day, but it is also my birthday, and a big one at that. 21!!! So in celebration of a birthday and a day dedicated to the things I am incredibly thankful for, I figured I would come up with a list of sorts! Enjoy and again, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

1) My parents- My dad and stepmom are truly the two greatest, most giving people I know. They are also kind of crazy and wacky but I wouldn’t have them any other way. I am so thankful for how they are ALWAYS there for me whenever I need them and even when I don’t.

2) My siblings- They are a crazy bunch. Zeke and Zack drive me insane half the time and melt my heart the other half. Andrew is like my big brother except he is younger, Abby is like a really weird, random best friend and she makes me laugh always, Kari is many miles away but still my baby sister, and Jennifer has been such a role model for me. Without all of them, I would not be the same.

3) My two best friends- Stacey and Kati are the greatest. Work and school has made it super hard, the last year especially, for us to get together often but I know without a doubt those two are always going to be my support system.

4) My grandparents- I have five grandparents still here today that are so generous, thoughtful, and amazing and one grandma who has passed that was just the same. I am thankful for everyday I get to spend with them

5) My cat- Silly yes, but Lola is the best. She makes me laugh, cuddles with me occasionally, and attacks me often but I love her anyways.

6) My job- Living in a state where jobs are hard to come by, I am so thankful for mine…regardless of the headaches I get from it.

7) My coworkers- These ladies have become like a second family to me. I love that I can go into work and hang out with a group of incredible ladies.

8) Books- Without these, this blog would not be in existence and as dramatic as it sounds, I would not be the same. The stories I read have all made an impact on me in some way either great or small.

9) Authors- Books would not be written without them, right? Even more than that though, I am so thankful that I not only get to read the great stories written by these people but that I get to communicate, interact, sorta-stalk, and fan-girl over these people everyday.

10) Music- I have a shirt that says “Music is love.” and I stand by that statement today. Music makes my world go round and I would be an insane person without it.

11) Musicians/Bands- I have not had the chance to go to many concerts this last year but the ones I did go to blew my mind. I am so thankful for what bands and artists do. They leave their hearts out on the stage and because of that, I have so many incredible memories to look back on.

12) Spotify- I’ve gotten to the point where this list might get a little goofy but I am thankful for them all the same. This particular website? app? whatever it is? has become my best friend. I use it while I’m blogging, cleaning, getting ready for work, sleeping, and working. So much awesome, incredible music has been found through it.

13) Coffee- This year has been beyond crazy. Sleep has been sporadic so without the great help of coffee, I am afraid I might not have survived.

14) Las Vegas-In case I haven’t mentioned it yet (*note* this is a sarcastic statement. I literally mention this every chance I get), I am going to Vegas to celebrate my 21st birthday. I cannot wait to experience it with my parents and friends!

15) My hair dresser-My poor, poor hair dresser. She is the absolute best and has been so patient with me over the last year. I’ve gone from long hair to short hair. Blonde highlights to teal highlights. I’ve gone from brown hair to red. As you can see, I like to change my mind a lot and every time I go in she takes what I want to change and gives me a look I love…at least for the next 6 weeks until I get it done again.

16) Julep- I absolutely ADORE my julep package every month. I am not crafty when it comes to painting nails and I certainly do nothing special with my makeup but that package each month is like a little gift for myself, something I’ve realized is important to do every now and then.

17) My extended family- As I am typing this up, some of my extended family on my dad’s side is on their way over and later tonight I will be seeing my extended family on my mom’s side. These aunts, uncles, and cousins are so full of love and happiness.

18) This blog- There I said it. I bet you were wondering when it was going to show up on this list. This last year has been the hardest as far as blogging has been concerned. Things in my real life were spiraling out of control and sometimes things still are. This blog didn’t get a lot of the attention I thought it deserved from me but I am so glad I decided to keep it going no matter how pathetic it got sometimes. It has become my happy place and I am so thankful to have it.

19) Instagram- I have met friends through instagram, I have stalked pictures of cute cats and dogs, and I have been able to keep up with my sister while she has started her new life out in Hawaii. I am thankful that I am able to see how she is doing, especially now that she is pregnant.

20) Twitter- You guys, I am addicted and I think I am totally okay with that. Twitter has introduced me to so many awesome, hilarious, incredible people. I love getting on, saying the most off the wall stuff, and having a group of people totally get it. Us bookish nerds have to stick together and Twitter certainly helps that.

21) All of you- I am so incredibly thankful for all of you. For supporting me, for being there for me, for stopping by the blog, for just everything. You have made the past three and a half years the BEST!

Life As Kate (38)

Life As Kate

Hey there everyone! I hope your Monday is turning out to be as painless and non-sucktastic as possible! It has been quite a while since I’ve had a Life As Kate post to update you on all of the randomness that has occurred in my life. And excuse my language but holy hell, has it been a long few months.

This past summer my sister moved away, actually far away and I have missed her like crazy. My cousin moved in regardless of the warnings I gave her because let’s face it, there is a lot going on in my household if you are not used to it. She began working with me at a place that shall remain nameless because of well, my not so nice feelings toward it. I worked my freaking butt off All. Summer. Long. and my bank account has little to show for it. My brothers drove me absolutely BONKERS during the few moments I had that weren’t spent at work. My cousin and I used our mutual place of work and well our mutual place of sleep as an excuse to go out to Applebee’s literally every week. Okay, make that two times a week. Sometimes with two appetizers a piece. Jeez, okay, almost always with two appetizers a piece. So that sister I mentioned earlier that moved all the way to Hawaii? Well she called me one day  earlier this summer to tell me I am going to be an aunt. I freaked out, said “Oh my gosh. Holy crap” (except I maybe used the other, not so proper word for crap) approximately 20 times. Seriously, it’s exciting news, it really is. I do wish that I could be there for her, helping her set up the nursery, planning a baby shower but I guess that is just not the way life works sometimes. Regardless I cannot wait to find out what she is having so I can start spoiling that baby like crazy. After finding out about the baby, my days were spent going to work, coming home, hanging out with my cat like a straight-up thug, going to bed, and then waking up to start the process over again. Every now and then I would attempt to do some of my mountain of laundry, never quite exceeding, and working my way through a mass of emails, and never even coming close to finishing them. And then we had a graduation party for my brother. Holy crap, my family doesn’t skimp on the parties but let me tell you, we need to start skimping on the parties if I plan on surviving through three more graduation parties. On an unrelated note, we also got chickens. 10 to be exact. Or I guess, 9 chickens and 1 rooster who also happens to be the bane of my existence. You’re probably thinking what I was thinking: do we really need to add more craziness to our household? Well according to my dad, of course! Plus we get eggs so it’s like an extra side of awesome added on to the craziness. Getting back on track, I took a road trip with my mom. We drove three hours. In the same car. Just the two of us. Did you catch that? Just the two of us, alone in the car, for three hours. I just want that to be clear. Anyways, we drove to northern Michigan to meet-up with my grandparents, all of my aunts and uncles, and all of my cousins. All 17 of us stayed in a cabin together for a week. I went to the beach, avoided seaweed, took a day trip to Mackinaw Island, visited The Grand Hotel, took another day trip to Traverse City for a wine tasting trip even though I am underage and couldn’t in fact drink any wine, oh and of course we had smores. Lots and lots of smores. Even though the week was a bit insane to say the least, as was expected after spending a whole week with that many people in one place, but it was incredible to spend that much time with my family. Upon returning home, my days were spent with more work, cleaning, chilling with Lola and the little brothers AKA The Brat Pack. Oh and some more Applebees with my cousin. There was probably a book that was read or a blog post that was written thrown into the mix. At the end of July, I began a week of awesome concerts with my best friend. First was the concert I have been waiting for: The Gavin DeGraw concert. It should probably not go unmentioned that I have had MAJOR love for Gavin for as long as I can remember. It should also be mentioned that we missed Gavin’s performance. And it probably shouldn’t be mentioned but I am going to anyway, there were a few tears and a tantrum worthy of a two-year-old…from yours truly. We did get to see Train though and they were awesome, but no Gavin DeGraw. The following day Kati and I took off for the Faster Horses Festival, a three-day event in which we camped out on the infield of a racetrack with TONS of other country music fans, and then went to non-stop country concerts throughout the day. Even though I am not the biggest country fan, it is also what I grew up on and therefore sort of like visiting my childhood. Also, as it turns out there are lots of attractive male country singers who were there. I’m looking at you Luke Bryan and Thomas Rhett *winks* The three days were made of pure awesome, lots of craziness, so much good music, freaking hot weather, a few shirtless guys who I didn’t mind seeing shirtless, and also a few shirtless guys who really needed to put on a shirt. There was also some awesome food, lots of dancing, making friends with random strangers, and oh there was that one time a random guy put me on his shoulders so I could see the Jason Aldean concert better. I guess what I am trying to say, it was one of the best weekends of my life. Seriously. After that, my summer as I knew it was complete so I guess in a way it was a good thing that I partied as much as my usually-stays-at-home-with-the-cat-self could. Since the end of July my days have been spent, you guessed it, going to work! Oh and also doing the other things like trying not to strangle The Brat Pack in their sleep. Also my cousin moved back out a few weeks ago to go back to school. Speaking of school, I am taking a break this semester. 1) The classes I need weren’t offered and 2) I feel as though I am on the verge of a mental break-down so if I didn’t let something go for the time being, I just knew that semi-crazy-Kate would very soon be a certifiably-insane-Kate. With a break from school I plan to re-group, hopefully rest, and get this blog, who just so happens to be 3 years old now (woohoo!), back on track. Oh and we are having a wedding. In my backyard. This coming weekend. So we can add getting ready for that to my already super freaking long list of things that are taking up my time.

So there you have it, the very rough outline of what my past few months have entailed. Honestly, this summer has been one giant blur. I kept waiting for things to settle down, to return to normal but it seems as though an advanced case of craziness is the new normal and I just have to learn to adjust to it. I also wanted to take a moment to talk about me and the state of my blog. I know I have been seriously slacking. My book reviews are few and far between, the random book posts are basically non-existent, I have an “In My Mailbox/Stacking The Shelves” list I have been meaning to post for months that seems to be growing by the day, and don’t even get me started on my lack of presence around the blogosphere. I guess all I’ve got to say is that my heart is still in it. I want so much to come home from work every day and get a blog post ready for the next day and to comment on posts and reply to all of my emails and just get back to what I used to be. But the truth of the matter is, life gets in the way. And as my above blog post proves, it gets in the way quite a bit. All I am asking is to please stick with me here. I have a feeling that eventually things will settle down, eventually the level of pure wackiness in my life will level out, eventually I will just be able to catch up on all things blogging and book related, and it is my hope that I will be completing my invention of either cloning or the ability to add more hours to the day. Anyways, getting back on track, thanks for reading. I hope your week is made of pure brilliance, good music, and awesome reading material!

Life As Kate (37)

Life As Kate

It’s been quite some time since I’ve had a Life As Kate post here on the blog. The last few months have been nothing short of crazy for me and as much as I would love to vent to you guys about everything that has gone down, I have a little something different planned for today (making up this post has made me an emotional hot mess so please bear with me!).

My baby sister, Kari, has been my best friend since the day she was born. Sure we argued over who got to sit in the front seat or which one of us got to pick whatever movie we were going to watch. We had our fair share of fights especially when it came to borrowing clothes, taking turns, embarrassing each other, or other things that sisters bicker about. We argued all of the time but at the end of the day, we were always there for one another no questions asked. She always managed to make me laugh and feel better even when I didn’t think it was possible.

Kari & I  Kari & I

This last New Year’s Eve, this same baby sister got married. She kept it a secret and I did not find out about it until months later. Naturally, there was a lot of hurt and anger surrounding the event. But like every argument or fight we’ve had in the past, I learned to forgive and move on. Kari’s husband is in the Marines and is stationed in Hawaii. For those of you that don’t know (or perhaps for those of you like me who just flat-out suck at Geography) that is over 4,000 miles away.

Kari & I  Kari, Abby, & I

At about 1:30 p.m. today, Kari is going to step foot on a plane that will carry her all of those miles away. She gets to move to my dream destination to live with her husband for an undetermined amount of time. As happy as I am for her and this exciting, new journey she is embarking on, I can’t help but be incredibly sad that the one person I have spent more time with than anyone else is moving away from me. We have been there for each other through a whole slew of bad times and even more incredible times and I know there will be more ahead for us but still guys…all of the feelings are hitting at once.

Kari & I  Kari & I

It’s just hard to imagine that the little girl I used to chase around and tease, the same little girl whose hair I did and laundry I folded, has turned into such a grown-up over night. I know that this next chapter in her life is going to be so new and exciting, I mean when Hawaii is involved, how could it not be? I hope for nothing less than enchanting, magnificent, unbelievably blissful moments for the new couple and as hard as it’s going to be to be apart from my sister for such a long amount of time, I know deep down it is the absolute best thing for her.

Kari & I

Kari & I

  Kari & I

Today, when I say “see you later” to my sister and the tears will be making a hot mess out of my face, it will be with only the happiest and most sincere thoughts & well wishes that I send with her. Please join me in wishing Kari and her new husband Zach all of the happiness and joy this life has to offer them. She may be a big girl now but she will always be my little Kare-Bear <3

And because Phillip Phillips said it better than I could ever imagine….

Life As Kate (36)

Life As Kate

So what has been going on in the life of Kate lately? Well allow me to fill you in:

In (un-)short, I have been going to work, doing homework, going to school, doing more homework, avoiding my inbox like it’s the plague, watching my brothers, meeting my nephew, hanging out with the family, doing more homework, practicing my procrastinating skills while pretending to do homework, trying to convince at least one fellow student that I am a funny person worthy of friendship (I’d even settle for acquaintanceship), being a loner because apparently I suck at convincing people I should be their friend, celebrating one of my friend’s 21st birthday, catching up on sleep because I was up until FIVE FREAKING A.M. while celebrating my friend’s 21st birthday, watching multiple episodes of the Lizzie Bennet Diaries when I should be doing homework, watching Dirty Dancing multiple times in a row when I should be blogging, watching multiple episodes of the Vlog Brothers when I should be doing something productive (I know, I know. I fail when it comes to getting stuff done), watching a video of a super creative and talented girl who shares my same views on procrastination, having a dinner with my mom and her new cat Boober (Yes you read that right. His name is BOOBER!), spending a butt-load of time stalking people on Twitter, going out to dinner with my friends for half off appetizers at Applebee’s because we are college students and can’t afford it otherwise, helping my brother with his homework which just so happens to be the most difficult task on the face of the planet, playing with Lola because she’s super cute and I love her, going out in public for the first time IN MY PAJAMAS (no shame), getting an A+ on my poetry portfolio, congratulating myself because I apparently don’t suck hardcore when it comes to poetry, freaking out because now that the poetry session is over I have to write a 10 page short story, freaking out because it won’t stop snowing and I want spring to be here already, not doing laundry because I am too busy doing unproductive things, wearing really hideous things to work because I haven’t been doing my laundry, not doing my hair because I feel my time would be better spent playing with my cat in the morning instead of getting ready, having spring break at college and being all “YAY!” about it, crying because I end up working all throughout my spring break and being all “Wahh” about it, getting all sorts of excited because BEA is coming up, freaking out because I am not old enough to purchase hotel reservations, begging the people of twitter to take me on as a roommate, failing to convince anyone to be my roommate at BEA, telling people I am NOT a serial killer in hopes of gaining a roommate, yet again failing to snag myself a roommate, begging the people reading this blog post to take me on as a roommate for BEA (seriously people, I am quite the catch. I am a clean freak, I don’t snore, sometimes once I get rolling I can be quite entertaining, I am always game for some food, and as stated above, I am NOT a serial killer. In all honesty, I would pay half and it would be all sorts of fun, I promise. If you are at all interested, please email me at, getting all embarrassed because I do NOT like asking people for favors, filling out my taxes like a freaking BOSS, writing up lengthy and unimportant Life As Kate blog posts instead of sleeping, worrying because I have to be up in approximately 6 hours, and finally wrapping up this list of things I have been up to because I have to be up in SIX HOURS!

So as you can see, a lot has been going on. I have been going crazy with the amount of time work, school, and homework have all been taking up. With that being said, I am sorry for the lack of bookish posts here on the blog! Time has been limited so reading and blogging have had to take a very short-lived backseat. School will be over with in a couple more weeks so if you can just stick with me a bit longer, I promise I will soon get back to my obnoxiously gushy book reviews soon. Until then, I leave you with pictures of cuteness a.k.a Henrik (the baby nephew) and Lola (my feisty little feline)!


Henrik and I

He was so little!


Henrik slept through almost our entire visit but he was awake enough to give us this big yawn!


Henrik’s newborn pictures came in. How adorable!

Yasmine and I

Yasmine and I on her 21st birthday! You’d probably never guess but black’s my favorite color. Just saying.

Life As Lola

I have been LOVING every minute with Lola. I feel so bad because as stated not-so-subtly above, I have been incredibly busy lately. Since I have been spending more time away than at home, I have not had much playtime with her the past couple weeks. Lola seems to be handling it like a champ, though. Sure she attacks me for two hours straight when I actually do show up at home but that is all totally understandable! My hands have been sporting scratches since the beginning of January so I am used to it by now. Lola went with me to meet my mom’s new cat and that proved to be quite entertaining. Since Boober is a boy, he felt the need to show it was “his house” by hissing at Lola non-stop for the first half hour. At first it seemed like Lola was going to back down and let Boober be the boss but in true girl power form, she wacked the heck out of him! Every time he turned around he was getting swatted by Lola and I couldn’t be more proud of her. Aside from being tough and feisty, Lola has also been growing like crazy. I am trying not to be depressed about it but am failing miserably. So instead of focusing on that little downer, let’s look at her cuteness!


Lola watched Twilight for the first time and she was obviously a fan. Oh and she is smart too because she seemed to favor Edward ;)


She certainly likes posing for the camera!


She always looks so cute while she’s sleeping!

Lola and Boober

Lola just wants to be friends. Boober…not so much!

Life As Kate (35)

Life As Kate

I cannot believe I have let a whole month and a half slip by without writing up a Life As Kate post! It is safe to say that the past month has been more insane than ever, some things awesometastic, some things not so much. Since I have TONS to catch you up on, let’s get started!

So when I last updated you, the Zeke monster had just broken his wrist. Well a month and two different casts later, he is all heeled! Thank goodness because those things start to smell after a while. Also, at that time the whole family got the flu. We all got rid of that but then we all got nasty colds. Now that everyone is FINALLY starting to feel better, I expect someone to get sick any time now which will in turn get the rest of us sick…again! We shall see!

I had also just started classes during my latest Life As Kate post. Classes are now in full swing and ugh….I just want to be a kindergartener taking naps during school and sipping on juice boxes again! I am really enjoying being on a new campus and my professors are all great but it is TONS of work! Papers, reading assignments, poetry critiques (which just may be the death of me!), they are all adding up and sometimes it feels as if the only thing I am ever doing (aside from working) is doing homework!

Speaking of work, since I work at an outdoor mall in Michigan (brrr!), the traffic has been a lot slower than usual but hours have been crazy and I have yet to decide if this is a good thing or not. I try not to complain because I have to pay for books and gas (in that order) somehow but come on now, can’t I just get paid to lay in bed and cuddle with Lola while reading ALL DAY LONG!?!

And now that I have mentioned Lola…Goodness gracious, I don’t know how I survived so long without a kitten! She has been nothing short of awesome! She is so funny & cuddly and I just love her to pieces. If you are feeling brave enough you can follow me on Instagram (@KatelynTorrey) but a forewarning, I post A LOT of pictures of Lola. You just may be overwhelmed by the cuteness.

Cuteness reminds me, I am now an aunt to the most adorable little boy! My older sister gave birth to Henrik Paul on February 12th! I haven’t been able to meet him yet (oh the joys of living across the state from one another) but I have been stalking her Facebook for all of the pictures and let me tell you something, he is an absolute doll! I am hoping to be able to make the trek out to her house this week to meet the little guy and I cannot wait!

And now all this talk of one sister is reminding me of another. Well it turns out people, I now have myself a new brother-in-law. You may or may not know that most of the family went on vacation during Christmas break. However, Kari’s boyfriend (who is in the Marines) was home on leave during that time, so she decided to stay back with him. A few weeks ago we found out that during this time they decided to get married. This came as a huge shock and was full of lots of family drama (we try to be a really close family so it kind of hurt big time that she would hide this from us AND lie to us about it for over a month) but what’s done is done. I still love her, but she’s my baby sister and I am also a bit freaked out for what her future has in store. Regardless, I hope nothing but the best for those two.

Next up we have the Owl City, Neon Trees, Maroon 5 concert that Kati and I went to!!! This was our first big concert this year and it most certainly didn’t disappoint! I am not the biggest Owl City fan but they did a great job of getting the fans excited. Neon Trees was simply INCREDIBLE with their awesome songs and even more awesome dance moves! And oh my, Maroon 5 <3 I am fairly certain that I had a giant grin on my face throughout the whole thing. I tried to stop myself from drooling every time Adam spoke, or smiled, or sang, or moved, or breathed, but I am not promising that it worked out all that well ;)

And then last week I hosted the Love-A-Thon with my awesometastic and equally awkward blogger friend, Alexa, and it turned out to be the BEST! I am still trying to catch up on all of the sleep that I missed but it was so worth it. It was incredible to see so much blogger love being spread around the blogosphere. And did I mention that we were trending on Twitter? Well we were TRENDING ON TWITTER and it totally made my whole blogging year!

All of this talk about awesome events is leading me to my little cousin’s talent show! Lexi is in 5th grade and honestly, I wish I could have been as awesome as her when I was that age! She got up on stage, in front of a whole crowd of people and rocked out to Starlight by Taylor Swift. She looked all sorts of adorable with her dance moves and as it turns out, the girl can sing too!

Next we have Zack Attack’s art show! Out of each of the 3 elementary schools in our area, a select few art pieces from each grade were chosen to be featured in an art show. Zack’s piece was chosen and I couldn’t be more proud! The entire family went to go see it at the art exhibit and it was awesome to see such a huge smile on his face. He did such a great job.

Well, I think I have covered just about everything (well all the big things at least!) I promise to update these a lot more from now on because it is actually really hard to remember what happened yesterday let alone what happened over a month ago!



Isn’t Henrik just beyond adorable?

On The Road

Now with work and school both going non-stop, I feel as though most of my time is spent on the road. 


Kati and I before the Maroon 5/Neon Trees/Owl City concert!

Maroon 5

Can you see that gorgeousness? I could stare at my future husband for days <3


The proud artist with his artwork! Zack was so excited!

Life As Lola

Life As Lola

As I stated above, Lola has been incredible! It took her a bit to really get used to my house; there are lots of people and lots of craziness but she eventually became comfortable around everyone. Now that she used to how things go, she has really let her personality shine through! Her favorite things to do are sneak up on people (even if she is really sucky at it), hide on me (again, really sucky at this), chase pencils and ponytails around my bedroom (those darn things always manage to get away), and attack whichever of my body parts is closest to her (most times it is my foot, an arm, or my head). She loves her play/crazy time just as much as she loves her sleep. Her favorite thing to do is sleep on my chest while I do homework/blog/mess around on the computer at night. Even though I could totally survive without the Lola attacking me part, she has been such a great kitten!


I told you this girl loves her pencils! It makes doing homework quite difficult!

Me and Lola

She is such a cuddlebug!


She loves playing with string & ribbons!


Again she makes getting things done quite difficult but she is also super cute so I don’t mind too much!


She fell asleep while attacking my arm so don’t let all the adorableness fool you. She can also be quite fierce!

Life As Kate (34)

Life As Kate

People, where has the week gone!?!? I cannot believe it is already Saturday! So here’s the deal, this week was made of lots of awesome! Here’s what went down:

Saturday was full of nothing special. I had work and that went about as good as work could go which is to say it was mediocre at best. But after work I was treated to a dinner date with three of my favorite people: Kari, Zack, & Zeke. We went to Buffalo Wild Wings which has precisely two things on their entire menu that I can eat (For the record, BWW is NOT the restaurant for vegetarians.)

Sunday was a glorious, glorious day because I had it off from work. Hurrah! I used this time to clean and do laundry because seriously, I have been putting that off since before Christmas which is not good for my clean-freakishness.

Monday was my very first day of classes! I woke up late, my car doors were frozen shut, my windshield wipers refused to work, and I basically froze my butt off walking to class at a very brisk pace because as I’ve stated, I was running late, but it ended up being a really great day! I have three classes from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with just enough break time to make a pit stop at Einstein Bros Bagels or Starbucks (or both!) and make it to class on time.

Monday night was when all hell broke loose at home. My stepmom was locked up in her room with the flu, my dad was working out, Kari was MIA, I was attempting to help Zack with his homework, Zack was attempting to push every one of my buttons while I helped him with his homework, and Zeke was busy climbing in his closet (none of us knew this at the moment). In the midst of a screaming match between Zack and I, Zeke fell from the top shelf of his closet. This resulted in lots of panicking (from me) and screaming (also from me…and okay, Zeke too.). Zeke, my dad, and my flu-stricken stepmom, ended up in the ER room for a full 4 hours that night waiting to get Zeke’s wrist in a cast. I felt sorry for all of them because honestly, the ER room during flu season…not exactly the place I’d want to be hanging out in.

Tuesday morning I relaxed while Zeke stressed, something that has never and I repeat NEVER happened before. I’ve never seen a little kid so concerned on how they were going to pee & eat with only one hand. At least we know where his priorities lie. Tuesday night I went to my 4th class of the week; it went really well!

Wednesday was classes yet again! With bagels and coffee as a possibility, I was in some sort of uber good mood which is often times rare when school is involved! I ended the day by ordering books for school….eww, just eww.

Thursday was a rare day off for me! Lola and I laid in bed for a full two hours.  She slept while I read, and it was pure bliss <3 I then had to take Lola to a vet check up which wasn’t quite as blissful as the lounging around in my bed. For the rest of the night I was the true definition of a lazy butt. I watched TV, snacked endlessly, read, and even napped a bit. I need every day to include little moments like that.

I had work all day on Friday which again was an “eww, just eww” moment. We were so slow I considered taking a nap on the floor right in the middle of the store. Unfortunately, my boss wasn’t quite as fond of this idea as I was. Instead I organized like a champ and then went home to hang out with the siblings and the kitten.

Now that it’s Saturday, I have another day of work ahead of me but maybe I’ll luck out and my manager will change her mind on the whole “napping on the floor” thing. I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!



Zeke + Broken Wrist


Lola has had a great first week in my house! She was really mellow and timid the first few days but slowly she has allowed her sassy little personality to show through and I just love it! She is so funny and playful but she also has her uber sweet and cuddly moments! Her vet visit went good aside from the fact that I need to fatten her up some more. As for what new things she has learned this week: she loves to interrupt my typing/texting. She will either sit directly on my keyboard or phone causing me to send messages a bit premature with plenty of spelling mistakes, or she will swat at my hands until I show her some love. Lola has also gotten out of my room a bit to explore the rest of the house. I have a sneaking suspicion she likes it if the running, prancing, and jumping have anything to say for it.

Lola on chair

Lola & Book

Silly Lola

Life As Kate (33)

Life As Kate

Hello there lovely people! I hope you’re doing all sorts of wonderful today! How were your holidays? I can only hope they were filled with good food, fun times, and unforgettable memories. For me, the past couple of weeks have been a mad rush of insaneness. I have not stopped since the week before Christmas. With parties, work, vacation, Christmas shopping, actual Christmas, and not to mention packing for vacation…well I was just a bit overwhelmed! But I honestly can’t complain.

I was able to have an amazing Christmas with my family this year! We each decked out in our annual red pajamas on Christmas Eve, had a sleep over in the living room, woke up at the butt-crack of dawn (4:30 a.m. to be exact) on Christmas morning, and opened presents. After presents were out-of-the-way, us siblings each broke off and went to our other family’s parties, oh the joys of coming from mixed families! There was another rush of food, laughter, and presents. Finally, that evening I returned home only to pack up in the car and head down to Florida!

Our Florida vacation was more craziness but so much fun! We went to Busch Gardens, The Outback Bowl (even though Michigan lost), we ate more food than any family really should, went to the beach, swam in the pool, fished, visited our grandma and grandpa, and enjoyed each others company. I will say this though, if I am EVER stuck in the car with my siblings for that long again, I will not survive. I cannot tell you how many times I turned around to check on Zeke only to find him naked, unbuckled, sitting in a mysterious substance that he spilled, throwing a fit, or any combination of the four.

Once I returned home from Florida, I was thrown right back into work. The days have been busy and more than slightly exhausting but I am sort of happy to be back and working again. I also signed up for my classes at my new university! I am so excited to start this semester off at a new school! I have a feeling it is going to be so much fun!

Also, did I mention I got a little something for Christmas? Something of the feline variety? Oh, I didn’t tell you? Well, please allow me to remedy that. I GOT A KITTEN!#!$#!#$! Her name is Lola, she is roughly 9 weeks old, she is black with white  spots, and she is the current love of my life. I cannot get over her epic cuteness. If you follow me on Instagram (@KatelynTorrey) then you have been subjected to the MANY kitten pictures I have been putting on there. I have been asking for a kitten for over 2 years! I just assumed I would get one when I moved away from home so to say I was surprised is a giant understatement!I have been loving every moment so far. Lola is such a good kitten and she is hilarious too! I could watch her attack my jewelry stand for hours and not get bored. Well, that’s the little run-down of what’s gone on these past few weeks. I hope your weekend is wonderful!


Sleeping Lola

Typing Lola

Lola & Kate

Lola and necklaces

Lola spends her days napping, showing my necklaces who is boss, coming out victor of several duals between toys, boxes, and whatever else she feels like fighting against, and she loves to snuggle! Getting plenty of beauty sleep is probably one of her favorite things to do ESPECIALLY if it is right on my shoulder. She has recently found that she can demand my attention by climbing up the entire length of my body just so I can hold her. It’s painful but it is also the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen so I doubt I’ll be putting an end to it soon. Come back next week for more kitten pictures and what I’m sure will be more Lola stories!

Well Hello There 2013!!!

2013 new year sparkler

I cannot believe it is a new year already! I’m not going to lie, 2012 kicked my butt in more ways than one. School burned me out, work stressed me out, and my lack of blogging/reading time seriously bummed me out. But being the optimist that I am (ha.ha.), I have decided I am not going to let 2013 do the same thing! Work is already looking up, I am starting a brand new school, and I’ve had a lot of time to really think and plan out how I want to approach reading and blogging in the new year. Since I like to poke fun at myself, I thought I’d talk about some of my more ludicrous goals from last year and how I, in most cases at least, failed them miserably. I also want to lay out my expectations for 2013 because as I’ve hinted at, 2013 WILL ROCK HARDCORE!

Last year I set up my goals into separate categories: Books, Blogging, Home, School, Friends, Myself. I am going to set it up EXACTLY the same way this year but that’s a little bit later, first let’s see just how crazy I got with my goal making for 2012:


I actually succeeded at only one goal and that was to keep my bookshelf organized. Honestly, with my OCD tendencies, this one was a given. When it came to my reading challenges, reading over 100 books (I came close-ish with 85 books read), not accepting more review books than I can handle, and completing a read-a-thon, I failed hard-core. I can’t say why exactly (perhaps school, perhaps general busyness, or perhaps pure laziness) but I am determined to make it in 2013!


Again, I really only completed one goal on this list and that was to post more often. Technically I still had fewer posts in 2012 than in 2011 but considering I was without a computer for 2 of those months, I’d say I did pretty darn good. Pages were out of date 90% of the time, I didn’t really join in on any new features, Life As Kate posts were all over the place, writing up blog posts in advance lasted for about one week, vlogging became out of the question when my computer broke, and don’t even get me started on how craptastic of a blogger friend I was this past year when it came to commenting (seriously guys, I can’t even tell you how ashamed I am of my commenting skills).


When it came to home stuff this past year, I must say I am really proud of myself. I have learned to keep blogging/reading time separate from family time (for the most part!), I think I was a nicer person for my family to be around (This is my opinion at least. If you ask them it may be a different story…), and I kept my room & basement fairly clean(okay, you caught me there, but I really tried)!


School goals were 50/50 this past year. Like I said above, school kicked my butt. It seemed to drain all my energy, physically & mentally, but luckily I made it through! I didn’t study as much as I would have liked and I certainly didn’t stop falling asleep in class but I did show up for every single class and I turned in every single assignment. Considering my penmanship still looks like that of a 5-year-old boy, it’s safe to say that is definitely one goal that is carrying over to this next year!


This past year with my friends has been a whirlwind of crazy! With Stacey’s accident last winter, it is safe to say that Kati, Stacey, and I have definitely grown closer as friends. I still suck pretty bad at texting/keeping in contact with them but in general I think we had more fun, crazy, unforgettable moments this past year than we ever had in the past!


Looking back on these goals, I couldn’t help but think I was on drugs while making them up. Did I honestly put “exercise more” and “watch a full TV series” on the same list? In all honesty, I didn’t do so hot on my personal goals. I definitely want to stress less, eat less, and exercise more in the coming year.

As for goals this coming year, I want to keep them pretty basic and simple. I am trying my hardest to be optimistic in 2013 and that just wont happen if I over-do it with the goals. So without further ado, my goals for 2013 are:


-Read 80 books. I considered trying for 100 for the third year in a row but I want to feel accomplished. So if I just so happen to make it to 100 this year, I will look like an overachiever (good plan, I know.)

-Seriously, seriously, seriously limit the amount of review books that I accept. Near the end of 2012, I became quite good at saying no but I still need to get a lot better. There are so many books I want to read and a million and one awesome indie/self-published authors I want to help promote but there are just not enough hours in the day to do it for everyone. I want to try to set a limit each month for the amount of review requests I accept (maybe 4 per month/48 for the year) that way I can still leave time for the rest of my books.

-On that note: read more of my “old books”! There are well over 300 books on my shelf/on my nook that still need to be read and it hurts my heart that they are just sitting on my shelf, being oh so lonely.

-Open up my reading branches! I have fallen head over heels in love with the NA/Mature YA genre and that has led me to Adult novels and people, I don’t think I will eve be the same. I cannot believe I refused to read this stuff before. I think it’s safe to say I will be pushing my reading boundaries a little more in the coming year!

-Limit the amount of challenges I participate in. As of now I am signed up for 2 challenges: The 2013 Debut Author Challenge & The 2013 New Adult Challenge. I am so very excited for both of these so I feel that it’s best if I just focus all of my attention on these two!


-Be more organized in general! I have calendars printed out that will allow me to plan out what I want to do each month. I am hoping that with this and my constantly changing & updating “to-do” list, I can keep my blog running smoothly!

-Post more reviews, like for real.

-Continue with the fun features I am hosting/participating in and perhaps join a new one! I love fun memes and I think it is an AWESOME way to stumble across more blogs!

-Be a good friend and start sharing the comment love. If I lock myself out of Twitter & Goodreads for an hour a day (it is going to be tough, let me tell you!) I will have free time to start commenting!


-Clean more regularly not just when intense moments of stress hit.

-Look for my very first apartment! I turned 20 a few months ago and I’m moving to a new college, I just feel now is the right time to move out and be on my own. This will quite possibly be the hardest thing I have EVER done but if I don’t do it now I will likely be the 40-year-old crazy cat lady living at home with her parents.

-Spend more time with the family! I sometimes let friends, work, and heck even blogging get in the way and I really, really, really want to remedy that this year!


-Take classes geared towards what I actually want to get into! I have finally decided that I want to go into the publishing industry as a career choice. I love books and I am so incredibly interested in every facet of it from the marketing to the promoting to the behind-the-scenes thing. I have taken basic classes up to this point so I am pumped to take some “real” classes!

-Get good grades! I want to study more, be more alert in class, be on top of my homework, and hopefully excel at my new college. I only have a few years left and I really want to make them count!

-Get a scholarship because let’s face it, school costs all sorts of money!


-Make it a point to hang out more with Kati and Stacey. We each have school and our own jobs to deal with but I still want to put forth an extra effort to hang out with my two favorite ladies even more this year!

-Go on some type of trip with just my friends (no parents allowed!) We haven’t really done this before, so I think a road trip is in order!

-Make new friends! Now that I’ll be at a college with a significantly less creepy population and with more students my actual age and not the age of my parents, I will hopefully be able to find some people who don’t find me too socially awkward.


-Stop being such a lazy ass. Excuse the language but seriously people, I need to get my butt in gear. I did absolutely NO exercise in 2012 and that is pathetic to say the least.

-Eat better. I improved slightly this last year but I still need to be a little lass carb-a-holic and a little more fruit-and-veggie-a-holic.

-Be a happier person. I think this one is rather plain & simple. I just need to complain less, appreciate what I have, learn to deal with the stress, and smile as much as possible.

-Have fun!  This is a silly goal but it is one I feel I need to do. I need to worry a little less and let loose a little more! I want to make this year memorable so that means LOTS of fun is in order!

So that’s it for goals this year! Are there any good goals that you feel that I missed? Are there any goals that you want to add to your list now? Let me know what some of your new year resolutions were in the comment section; I’d love to see if I need to add anything to my list!

Life As Kate (32)

Life As Kate

Hello everyone! I hope you’ve all had a fantastic week! Here’s what went down in the life of Kate:

Last Saturday, the family went to the Christmas tree farm! We make a trip every year, the whole entire family. This year however, Andrew had to stay home with a busted up ankle. At first I felt so bad but then we got to the tree farm and Zack & Zeke proceeded to throw a slew of hissy fits and before long, I was envying Andrew. Zack and Zeke got upset by just about anything and everything. At first it was because earlier in the day we told Zeke that if he continued to be bad, Santa would put him on the naughty list. It just so happens that Santa was at the tree farm that particular day and Zeke was none too happy. After that it was a family argument over which type of tree we were getting and once that was settled we all had to agree on the actual tree. This proved to be much more difficult than one would think so we ended up leaving with two trees. By the time we got the trees selected, it was time for hot cocoa and donuts. Again, one would think this would be an easy task but after hearing an all-out brawl between my brothers about who would get what treat in the store, I’ve changed my mind on the easiness of this otherwise mundane task. After surviving the tree farm (just barely) I had to go into work. It was a pretty uneventful night as far as work goes but it got me out of the chaos otherwise known as my family.

Sunday started off pretty good. Everyone was lounging around, slowly putting up Christmas decorations and untangling Christmas lights. All was happy until it was time to take the family Christmas picture. It was at this time that Zeke threw one heck of a major meltdown. All of us kids climbed into my dad and stepmom’s bed, pretended to read a Christmas book, and ignored the fact that Zeke was screaming and crying the ENTIRE TIME. My stepmom managed to snag one good picture but Zeke’s meltdown during the picture-taking session led to her meltdown after the picture-taking session. After that whole ordeal was finished, I started baking for the potluck we were having at work that night while we reset the store. I am kind of weirded out to admit this but by this time I was happy to be going into work for the night! Half of our staff ended up being out sick so only 5 of us were left to clean and straighten the entire store, not to mention eat all of the food!

After next to no sleep, I had to get up for classes on Monday. My classes ended up being super easy because I didn’t have a single thing due in English and we were finished with the tough stuff in Geography until this coming week. Monday night the family went to Bronner’s, a Christmas store in the next town over that is HUGE and full of all things Christmas. It was fun to walk around, look at all of the decorations, and of course the Cold Stone ice cream we got afterwards wasn’t too bad

Since I had Tuesday off, I worked all day long to put a poster board together for my English class. After hours spent cutting everything out for my poster, I took a much-needed break to go out to eat with Kati and make a small trip to the mall. It wasn’t much but we ended up having a blast! However, I probably should have thought about all of the work I had left to do because I ended up staying up until 3 putting the finishing touches on my poster for my presentation the next day.

When Wednesday morning rolled around, I was reminded again why I hate group projects so much. Apparently one of the girls in my group found out over the weekend we would not be presenting until Monday…AS IN NEXT MONDAY! So I stayed up all of that extra time for absolutely no reason at all. It’s safe to say I was a complete grumpy butt the rest of the day.

Thursday I had a day off from work and school. Instead of finishing up my homework like I should have done, I decided to clean my room. I tend to clean when stressed, overwhelmed, upset, angry, or when I’m procrastinating. It relaxes me plus I was feeling a little mix of all of those feelings on Thursday. Even though no homework got done, my room finished off the day by looking absolutely spotless!

Friday was yet another day off and it ended up being pretty darn fantastic (for the most part). I chit-chatted with my stepmom throughout the morning, my cousin Sara stopped by for a visit with her foster dog (who was absolutely ADORABLE), I finished up a super cute book, I got through some old emails, I helped babysit my brothers, visited with my other cousin who stopped over on her way home from college, decorated a gingerbread house, ate delicious pizza, and watched cheesy holiday Hallmark movies until the wee hours of the morning. My day however great it may have been going, was tainted with the heartbreak I felt hearing the news of the Connecticut school shooting. I won’t say much about it because really, words fail to come to me at the moment but it’s safe to say I hugged my brothers a little bit tighter that night and I am still praying for those touched by these tragic events.

Now that it’s Saturday, I’ve got quite the day planned. I will be starting off my day with a Christmas party for my real mom’s side of the family. Not only just aunts, uncles, and cousins, but also great aunts, great uncles, and second & third cousins. There are SO many of us that are going to be there. This side of my family is incredibly loud and obnoxious (Regardless of how quiet and shy I may come off at first, I definitely carry these loud & obnoxious characteristics with me. I blame genetics), so I plan to take an aspirin before I even get there. Directly following the Christmas party I have work. Fun times, fun times. This next week is going to be crazy with finishing up school and trying to get that last-minute Christmas shopping done but I am incredibly excited! I hope you all have a fan-tabulous weekend!


Family Christmas

Family Christmas 2

Family Christmas 3

The first picture is the one good picture my stepmom managed to take of us kids. The second two, us kids had absolutely no idea about. We were all kind of shocked & highly amused to find those last two pics on our family Christmas card!