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Uncategorized Archives - Page 2 of 2 - Kiki Reflects

Kiki Reflects

one woman's struggle to answer her calling

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Do you ever get that gnawing feeling?

…You know, the one where you want to accomplish something, but it just hasn’t happened yet?  Well, I’ve had that gnawing feeling for about five years now.  I thought maybe it would abate, but it hasn’t.  It’s still there, eating at me.

Ever since my dad passed away from cancer in 2009, I’ve wanted to write a book about him.  Yet, life always got in the way.

Dad written in sand

Photo Credit

It finally dawned on me this year, that I would have to make it happen.  I made a New Year’s resolution to start writing my book by the end of March.  That means I don’t have much time!  I need to start this week!  My plan is to start writing this weekend.  By making my goal known, I’m hoping this will kickstart my writing.

What about you, dear reader?  Is there anything you’ve wanted to do for a while now, but have been procrastinating on?  If so, leave it in a comment below, along with when and how you plan to start on it.  By making it public, I’m hoping we can accomplish our goals this year.

5 Budget-friendly, Last-minute St. Patrick’s Day Celebration Ideas

I love celebrating St. Patrick’s day, but my husband and I are on a budget (we’re trying to pay off debt!)  So, I thought I would share are a few ideas to enjoy the day without breaking the bank.

1. Enjoy a free parade or free outdoor concert in your areaThese are not only free, but family-friendly ways to enjoy the day.

2. Go for a walk to look for clovers.  Maybe you can even find some of the lucky, four-leaf variety!  This may sound cheesy, but spending some time outdoors after a long winter can be especially soothing, peaceful, and romantic.  This is also good to do with little kids.

3. Watch Irish-themed movies or tv shows.  Snuggle up with your date and watch several Irish or St. Patrick’s Day themed shows.  You can also cook an Irish-themed dinner together, making this a romantic date.

4. Limit your drinking if you do go out.  If you go out with friends, limit how much you drink, so you don’t spend too much money. The more you drink, the more money you’ll spend – both on the drinks themselves, as well as on food.  Never drink and drive though – make arrangements for one person to be the designated driver before you start drinking!

5. Have a few friends over for a St. Patrick’s day themed dinner party.  Tell each friend to bring a dish to share so you don’t break the bank.

Have any more ideas?  If so, please leave them in a comment below!

Saying Goodbye to a Former Life


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Last week, I finished drafting my resignation letter from the US Navy.  Now, I’m merely waiting for my boss to come back from leave so I can submit it.  Once it is submitted, I will probably be out of the military in about 10 months.

I’m thrilled and overwhelmed at the thought of no longer being in the military.  For the first time in my life, someone else won’t be calling the shots.  I’ll have complete control over my time and my future.  It’s scary.

I have spent the past eleven years on active duty, and the four years before that in a college NROTC unit.  Back then, even though I wasn’t officially in the Navy yet, it still controlled many aspects of my life.  It gave me the structure of knowing that I didn’t have to look for a job after college graduation.  I didn’t need to; I was going into the Navy.

That means that the past 15 years of my life have been largely controlled by the military.  By default, the Navy dictated my appearance, job, home, and free time.  It even controlled how I presented myself.  I often chose not to share potentially unpopular views to fellow military members.  That meant that many I served with were kept at a distance, not able to see the real me.  Sometimes it was, well, lonely.

I got really good at making the best out of bad situations, which is a very useful skill to have.  However, I also stopped taking risks.  Going along, from duty station to duty station, was, for me, the “easy way out.”  I was just going with the current.

As I prepare to leave the military, I realize that now, I have to take responsibility for my life.  It is all my decision now, how I choose to live my life.  It’s daunting.  I feel like a salmon swimming upstream.  But I’m lucky.  I have the support of an incredible husband and partner; he is my soul mate and best friend.  We are navigating this journey together.  He has been a huge supporter of me becoming the person I set out in the world to be.

I am looking forward to discovering who I am (so to speak!) and dusting off my creative side which I have been hiding from the world for a long time.  Here’s to saying goodbye to a former life and to new beginnings!

Morning Glory

Photo Credit

Family – Wesley as Wesleyman

For me, family is very important.  Therefore, I created a small section of my blog with the sole purpose of sharing memories and stories of the people I love.

Who: My wonderful nephew, Wesley

Age: 4

Date: 15 Apr 2011

My nephew, Wesley, proclaims that he has superpowers.  So, his mom asks him if he’s batman or superman.  To which he replies, “No Mommy, I am Wesleyman!”

Hilarious!  I love that kid.


Part Two of the “Best Of” Vegan Cosmetic Series: Best Eye Makeup Remover, Overnight Moisturizer, and Eyeshadow Primer

In Part One of this series, I outlined my journey to find vegan toiletries that are free of harsh chemicals.  Here is what I’ve found so far.

Best Eye Makeup Remover

First to run out was my eye makeup remover.  After reading several articles and trying various DIY eye makeup removers, I found that the best for me was plain ol’ extra virgin olive oil.  You can read more about using olive oil here.

In the past, I always had a tough time finding eye makeup remover.  It had to be unscented and non-comedogenic (meaning it wouldn’t clog pores).  It turns out that I could have simply walked into my kitchen instead!

Olive oil mimics your skin’s natural oils, so it is absorbed and won’t clog your pores.


Best Nighttime Moisturizer

In fact, I started using extra virgin olive oil as my night cream, applying it to my whole face before going to bed.  In the morning, I then would wake up with soft, smooth skin and no break-outs.  Olive oil breaks down makeup too.  Some folks even use is as primer.

Best Eyeshadow Primer

After watching several of Sam Schuerman makeup videos (I love her and think we might have been good friends in a former life!), and seeing her use “eye shadow insurance,” I realized I needed a good eye makeup primer.

As usual, making things difficult for myself, I didn’t want just any eyeshadow primer.  Mine would have to be vegan, with none of the harsh chemicals mentioned here.

And I found one!!  It’s the Vegan Oily Lid Eyeshadow Primer in Buff from the All Natural Face.  I love this stuff.  It’s inexpensive (only $3.50!), works well, lasts all day, and does not have the harsh chemicals mentioned earlier.  All products from the All Natural Face are made to order, which means they’re fresh.  It also meant that I had to wait several weeks to receive it in the mail.  It was well worth the wait though!!

As you know, this series will be published sort of slowly, because I’m taking a more economical approach. I’m using up what I already have, before going out and buying new products.

Do you have any recommendations or great products you’ve tried?  Please leave your comments below!




A Few Things I’m Grateful For

Beautiful Autumn Leaves

Beautiful Autumn Leaves

I took this holiday challenge where we had to list what we were grateful for (Day 3 I believe), and bless someone’s life.  As I started to think, I got inspired:

Beautiful autumn leaves against a wispy sky,

The scent of oak as the wind whistles by,

Sharing with my mom a warm cup of chai,

Laughing so much a tear falls from my eye,

These are a few things I’m grateful for this nigh’.

Good friends I can email and call,

With a warm heart and reassuring words, tell me to stand tall,

Long talks with my aunt and grinning at her love of baseball,

Looking at my husband, and realizing we have it all,These are a few things I’m thankful for this fall.

A sister who makes me feel special and unique,

Jogging with my husband on the path by the creek,

Love of family is what makes life sweet,

These are a few things that are wonderful to me.

My grandfather stepping on my dress as we walked down the aisle,

The eyes of my husband and stepson when they smile,

Together at Cathy’s, sitting and cuddling by the fire,

These are a few things I find worthwhile.

Remembering why I’m so thankful for this life,

Honored and grateful to be a friend, daughter, granddaughter, niece, cousin, sister, stepmother, and wife.

Happy Thanksgiving!