I Laughed So Hard, Tears Ran Down My Leg

I dare you to watch this video and not smile.

Laughter really is the best medicine.  I mean who doesn’t love a legit LOL moment?  Humor such a good character trait and much more contagious than any cold or flu.  Think about it, if you ask someone what they are looking for in a partner they almost always have “a good sense of humor” at the top of the list.  Now think about the last time you had a good, laugh out loud, un-intentional ab work out laugh.  Doesn’t it just make you smile?

This weekend I’m heading back to my home state of Maryland (represent!) to celebrate my sisters; Kate’s engagement and Ashlee’s birthday, and I cannot wait for the laugh out loud moments to unfold.  It’s kind of like waiting to open presents on Christmas day you know there are good times just waiting to be unwrapped.

You know that commercial “gotta go, gotta go, gotta go right now…”, well it’s pretty much my family to a T.  When we have to go, we have to go.  Usually I end up doing a weird gallop dance in place trying to refrain from peeing my pants until I feel I can safely get to a bathroom (which I totally misjudge at least 50% of the time).  As a result of my poor judgement in time I’ve developed a reputation.  I usually get at least 1 package of depends or some other novelty gift that is making fun of my weak bladder, everyone’s always a comedian when it comes to gift giving.  But the best gift is the memories that come along with it.

Needless to say, pants peeing is not uncommon in my family, especially once the alcohol and laughter starts flowing. But who cares, I say embrace it.  I remember the first time I had ever heard of such a thing.  My mom was having a party and all her girlfriends were over.  They were all sitting around laughing and her one friend Janet peed her pants from laughing so hard, do you think she let that stop her from a good time?  Hell no!

Kath: (while laughing hysterically) “Oh Janet! Are you going to go home and change?”

Janet: (while laughing hysterically) “Hell No, I’m having too much fun!  Go get me a trash bag to sit on!”

Now THAT is what I’m talking about!   Over the years I’ve learned to become proactive instead of reactive; I’ve become an stealth squat popper (experience level: expert), I pack extra skivvies for trips and try to stay in my bathing suit as much as possible on my days off in Key West.  I’ve learned to stay away from wearing jeans when day drinking (dresses are much more convenient for emergencies) and how to turn my weird gallop into a dance move so it’s not so obvious when I’m biding time to make it to a bathroom.

If I could spend the rest of my life laughing I would; In fact, I think I shall!  Here’s to a weekend of family, friends, extra skivvies, un-intentional ab workouts and priceless memories.  Cheers!





Everyone I Know Is Getting Married or Pregnant. I’m Just Getting More Awesome.


Remember that one time on How I Met Your Mother when Barney Stinson uttered those infamous words “everyone I know is getting married or pregnant and I’m just getting more awesome.” Well, ladies and gentlemen, that is my life in a nutshell.  Seriously, I’d say upwards of 90% of my friends are either engaged, married, or pregnant (hopefully in that order) and then there’s me.  Single and posted up on a tropical island, living where everyone else vacations.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining.  I’ve got my hands full with Skyy and can’t imagine having another person to take care of besides myself.  So while my friends are going to pre-marital counseling at their church or learning how to breastfeed I’m planning my next boat day and this Friday’s happy hour.

Although living on an island isn’t for everyone.  I work for Last Key Realty, a luxury vacation rental company and exclusive buyer broker.  I’m a licensed real estate agent and coined the term working tourist because I get to see the beautiful houses of Key West and help people make an investment in their own happiness for a living.  I also put less than 4,000 miles a year on my car and can ride my bike to work.  Like our radio station 98.7 says, “if you’re closer to Cuba than Wal-Mart, you’re in Conch Country!”  Oh so true.  I mean, in my opinion Amazon Prime was the best thing to happen to Key West, followed closely by the salad bar at New Publix.

People tell me everyday how lucky I am to live in Key West and it wasn’t until a few months back I started correcting them.  I’m not lucky, I made a conscious decision to move to a place where I am happy.  Just like my friends made a conscious decision to get engaged/ married/ pregnant because that’s what makes them happy.  And I’ve got to say, it’s pretty exciting meeting all these new little people!  Maybe that’s my life’s calling, to be a really good aunt; Tia Kweed has a nice ring to it don’t you think?

One of the things that Bishop TD Jakes says is that you have to surround yourself with people who have your same rhythm in life.  It’s easy to pick out the people that are dancing to your same tune and the people who are so off beat it’s crazy.  Everyone has a different soundtrack to their life, some might be your favorite song, others may not, the trick is to appreciate all the music, not just some genres.  My sister Kate sent me a card a few months back with a quote that has come to be one of my faves.

“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.  Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” ~Henry David Thoreau

Sunday  I was watching a show about how to have hard conversations and realized that the hardest conversations are often the ones that I have with myself.   Constantly reminding myself that other people do not get a vote in my happiness and to follow my  instincts.


But then again, isn’t that what life is all about?  Learning to trust in ourselves and follow our instincts and heart.  Recognizing that nothing is arbitrary and at this very moment I am exactly where I need to be.  Realizing that nothing and no one in your life is arbitrary?  I sometimes find myself thinking about the future, I mean is it really realistic for me to live on this little 2 x 4 mile island for the rest of my life?  What are the odds of me meeting someone to spend the rest of my life with here, at mile marker 0 of all places?  Then I laugh to myself and say who cares, it’s working for now!

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Super Soul Sunday


Growing up my mom taught us that Sundays are for re-grouping; and in my house re-grouping is defined as getting your life together and preparing for the week ahead.  I can’t think of a better way to get my life together or prepare for the week ahead than to work on my soul.

I love a good weekend, although like everyone else, my idea of a “good weekend” has evolved over the years.  These days my Sundays are usually filled with deep cleaning my 200-square-foot apartment, spending time with my pup Skyy, and watching Super Soul Sunday* It wasn’t always that way however, in the words of my mama Kath, I’m a work in progress [cupid shuffling through life].

My life shifted on October 11th 2013, the day before my cousin Hillary’s wedding.  I was walking Skyy on our normal route through Old Town and feeling sorry for myself.  Still drowning in grief from losing my sister earlier that summer to cancer, I found myself thinking about all the things that had gone wrong over the last year.  I was so overwhelmed, exhausted, and sad.  I mean, 29 was supposed to be my year.  My theory was that if you ever ask a woman how old she is they always reply 29; so something good must be happening in that last year of your 20’s or women would pick a different year.  So there I was, 10 months into the year 2013, thinking about how the shitty column was going to to take the lead on my yearly outcome tally.  Then I had an “aha moment”.

Grinnell & Angel Streets, my favorite intersection in Key West and where I had my "aha moment".

Grinnell & Angel Streets, my favorite intersection in Key West and where I had my “aha moment”.

I realized that just because a few months of my 29th year sucked (I mean reeeeeeeeally sucked) didn’t mean the rest of my year, or life for that matter, had to. The other thing that the next day, October 12th, would not only be my cousins wedding day and future anniversary date but also the first day of the second half of my 29th year (if you haven’t figured it out yet, my birthday is April 12th).  A few things happened when Skyy and I got back from that walk:

  1. I promised myself that I would change my life the next day, October 12th starting at 12:00am.
  2. I cried.
  3. Skyy and I had Hamburger Helper for dinner in bed (this is not uncommon).

So on October 12th I made the conscious decision to be happy and got to work on myself.  I started reading, writing, and living. I started to realize that I am a part of something greater.  A little over two weeks later on October 31st I wrote in my journal just three sentences, “I’m grateful for Key West.  I’m getting it.  I’m feeling so many aha moments its crazy”.  And that’s the truth.  I realized that just because happiness wasn’t showing up in my life the same ways it had before it was still there, and I began to find happiness and strength in routine and nature.  I started to take everything in because the realness and the closeness of the death of my sister made me realize that nothing is forever or for sure and not to take a single moment for granted.  I finally got it.

How To Be Happy

By nature, human existence is trials and disappointment, the trick is to find joy on the other side.  Elizabeth Lesser, author and one of my favorite spiritual teachers, says that “God does not waste a hurt.  Usually when you come out on the other side of pain, grief, and hardship there is something wonderful waiting for you.”

Crazy things happen when you start to focus on yourself and even deeper, on your soul.  I started taking my dog on longer, more frequent walks, and appreciating the simple things in life like a good cup of coffee and a smile and hello from a stranger. Most importantly, I became genuinely happy and lighthearted.  Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t walk around for 29.5 years scowling and mad at the world; it just took me that long to start living in the moment instead of worrying about everything that was to come.  Words to the wise: “Worrying is like a rocking chair, you can do it all day and it won’t get you anywhere”.


*Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday is hands down my favorite show on television and become a tool I use to help re-center myself.  If you haven’t tuned in yet, #getwiththegets.  She’s introducing spiritual leaders and topics to the masses and taking the digital world by storm. Recently voted the #1 Inspirational Channel on cable television and if you don’t get her cable channel OWN you can now tune in live on her website, Oprah.com.








Call The Cops, I Murdered The Dance Floor

In my opinion “Regret’s Only” invitations translate to of course you are attending and if you aren’t you are stupid.  So here’s my “regrets only” invitation to learning how to stay young forever, have the best time of your life, and burn calories at the same time.  It’s called a dance party and if you haven’t been to one (alone in your kitchen counts) then you need to #getwiththegets.


My mom taught my sister and I how to jitterbug when we were kids and that was all she wrote.  In fact, whenever Pat Benetar’s, Bloodshot Eyes comes on I get an instant flashback to the summer of 1993, jitterbugging around my Aunt Trish’s backyard with my mom.  In my family dancing became essential to our well being and one of my favorite past times.

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One of the best living situations I’ve ever had was living in Bethesda with my best friend Tabetha.  Everyone was pretty worried about it, especially Tabetha’s dad.  You know what they say; living with people is a whole different ball game and no one wanted our new living situation to come between our friendship, I mean at that point we had 14 years invested.  Well, that or they were concerned we might not make it through the year since we both like to have a good time (to put it mildly).


The first weekend we ever stayed at our house in Bethesda we didn’t have any furniture or heat (it was February in Maryland, heat was necessary) but we had a tv, a couple of logs to throw on the fire and The Grammy’s were on.  A bottle of Captain Morgan later we were dancing around in our kitchen and made what has come to be known as the best dance party video of all time.  We had so many dance parties in that kitchen and living room it makes me smile just thinking about it.  The best part was walking downstairs the next morning only to find two brooms, aka our microphones, leaning against the wall in the living room.  Now that was a sign of a good time. Untitled

Like Blanche from the movie Grease, “when I hear music I just can’t make my feet behave.”  Last night the dance party bug struck again (and by again I mean for the 3rd time this week).  Sitting in my kitchen I FaceTimed my BFF, ol’ Tabby Cat, to catch up on the day’s news and see what she had cooking for the weekend.  I was pleasantly surprised when she answered the phone and was at a sports bar routing on The Wizards with our friend Cole.  As she’s panning the crowd and I’m talking to she and  Cole I hear AC/DC fire up in the background.  Bingo!  I immediately kicked off my flip flops and broke out the air guitar.  So as I’m dancing around my kitchen with my dog judging the hell out of me I started thinking not about how terrible my dance moves were (#whitegirlproblems) but how much fun I was having.

Dancing and fun go hand in hand.  I don’t know one person, unless they are dancing the Tango, that dances with a straight face.  BTW, have you ever tried “straight face dancing”?  Bet you can’t do it.

So tonight check out my playlist, Call The Cops, I Murdered The Dance Floor, on Spotify and break out your dancing shoes.  Smile, have fun, show off your best moves, and make your own dance party video.  And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance.







Do Ya Hear Me? I’m Living Alone!

Kevin McCallister was on the money when he threw that infamous temper tantrum back in 1990 (I know you just did the math, yes, it’s almost been 25 years).  Growing up I had heard people say that you should live alone one time in your life.  Naturally I shrugged that bit of advice right off.  I mean seriously, back in high school I couldn’t imagine even having the opportunity to live alone. At 16 I had my life planned out and on my timeline there was no room for living alone.

In my 11th grade psychology class we had to make a portfolio (Thanks Mrs. Spry, I still have mine!) and in that portfolio I had to write about where my life would be in 5 years, when I was 23.  According to my 11th grade portfolio I would be finished with my bachelors degree and either in law school or married and planning to have kids, oh and “hopefully not driving the tan van anymore.”  My 11th grade portfolio gives new meaning to the phrase if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.  Two outta four ain’t bad I guess, by the time I was 23 I had a bachelor’s degree and was driving my yellow VW Beetle.  Law school and married, not so much.

After be-bopping back and forth between Maryland and Key West for a few years I settled back in Key West and in April of 2013 I moved into the Girl Cave.  Living in the Girl Cave popped a few of my cherries: I had never lived alone before OR south of White Street; White Street being the unofficial division between old town and mid-town to Key West locals.  I’m not going to sugar coat it, rent is expensive in Key West, especially for a livable one bedroom apartment in Old Town.  To me, living in Old Town, is a quality of life investment.  So for $1250 a month I get this little slice of paradise:

The Girl Cave, May 2013Let’s talk about why in living in Old Town is awesome, I couldn’t possibly list all the reasons but here are a few:

  1. You can walk everywhere, including Don’s, Dion’s and Bare Assets if that’s your thing.
  2. Walking in Old Town is always exciting, I always find something new.  Look for the dinosaur tracks on Angel Street.
  3. Pocket parks galore!  Key West has this thing called a “pocket park” which is a small plot of land that the City of Key West converted into a neighborhood park.  The Grinnell Street Pocket Park, located on the corner of Angela and Grinnell Streets, is my favorite and daily stop on my walks with my pup Skyy.  Be sure to bring a few dog treats, it’s a popular hangout for dogs in the hood.
  4. The smell.  No joke, in the mornings the floral scent is so strong you can’t help but smile.
  5. Everyone knows your name.  And if they don’t they smile and say hello.
  6. The Southernmost Coffee Bar.  If you haven’t been there yet #getwiththegets.  Their cold brew coffee is the best thing since sliced bread and everyone is so friendly.  Did I mention the coffee ice cubes?  Yet another great way to start my day.  Click here for more of my favorite breakfast spots around the island.
  7. The delivery options.  Oh, the food delivery options.
  8. Great for pre-gaming or a common meeting place before heading out for the day or evening

Now let’s talk about why living alone is awesome:

  1. No one to judge you.  Go ahead, get stupid and make a fool of yourself, there’s no one to remind you of it the next day.
  2. Naked time.  Everyone wants it, few can have it.  When you have roommates, spouses, kids, etc. you never get to be naked alone.
  3. You can buy and cook whatever you want.
  4. You don’t have to be quiet and if you want to make mashed potatoes at 11:30pm that’s ok.
  5. No checking in.  You don’t have to tell anyone what you are doing or when you will be home.
  6. No checking out.  You know what I mean.  That awkward moment when you are leaving the house and mentally preparing yourself for if you are going to tell your roommate who is sitting on the couch where you are going.  On one hand you are saying to yourself who cares, I’m an adult, I don’t need to tell people what I’m doing.  Then on the other hand you’re all like, but I don’t want to be rude.  Total mind trip.
  7. You can clip your toenails, wear a pore cleansing face mask and poop at the same time and no one will ever know.
  8. You can turn on whatever lights you want at whatever time you want.
  9. Your house, your DVR, your iPod, your rules.

I mean up until a few years ago the only downside of living single in the 2000’s was there wasn’t anyone to call your phone when you misplaced it.  Unless you were at your parents or grandparents house you were screwed because let’s face it, they are the only people who still have landlines.  Then, in October 2011 the Apple introduced the Find My iPhone app and the living single community rejoiced.  If you’ve got a problem yo they’ll solve it, check out the hook while Apple resolves it.

Sounds pretty good right?  Well wait, it gets better. Here’s the real reason why living alone is awesome:  it gives you time.  Time to think and figure things out; important things like what makes you happy and what your goals are. It gives you time to figure out who you are and what you expect out of life.  If you only ask yourself one question today let it be this one; what do you want out of life?  It’s not enough to say you want to be happy.  Duh, everyone wants to be happy.  Be specific.

In the words of Dr. Phil “Have a plan, don’t just wake up every day and say ‘we’ll see what happens.'”  If you don’t have a plan to get from where you are to where you want to be you have a dream.  You have a dream because you don’t have a timeline.  A dream is just that, they don’t happen.  The difference between a dream and a goal is a timeline.”

I understand that not everyone’s path will allow for living alone but even if you don’t live alone, spend sometime alone and ask yourself the big questions.  What really does make you happy?  What are your goals? Figure out a plan of attack and make it happen. After all, if you don’t take the time to figure out what’s important to you how why should others?

So after 13.5 (exactly!) months of riding solo I’ve learned a ton about myself.  The most important thing I realized is that I do my best work when I am helping or serving others.  Being able to help someone else, even if it’s just with directions, makes my day better.  I also learned that I have good ideas and need to be a better advocate for myself.  I’m financially irresponsible but have memories you can’t put a price tag on.  I am independent, sometimes to my detriment.  I give pretty good advice and hate doing dishes.  I cry a lot but laugh even more and I am a good person.