I love coffee. Sometimes people try to switch my coffee to decaf when I’m not looking. I can always tell the difference. I also like Pringles, but only the reduced fat kind because they crunch better when you bite into them and they don’t leave grease on your fingers. I’m…

About Me

As part of our quest to support women’s issues, Katana Photography is excited to announce our first ever Celebrating Survival contest!
Having any kind of cancer is frightening and confusing. In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Katana Photography is welcoming all survivors from all forms of cancer to participate…

Weekly Photo

When I was looking to buy my wedding invitations (back in April), I found a lot of designers on Etsy. After narrowing it down to a couple different designs/companies, I contacted both for their pricing list. One was pretty significantly more expensive–almost $2 per invitation more. Which I think all…

Weekly Style

When talking to people about photography, I hear one phrase over and over again: Kids and dogs are the hardest subjects to photograph.
I, personally, don’t have this problem with my clients…kids and dogs are among my favorite things to photograph. Maybe it’s because I like to have any excuse…

Weekly Puppies

Last week, Sean and I had our morning coffee on the balcony and watched as the Enterprise shuttle was pulled down the Hudson on a tug boat. It’s on its way to the Intrepid and I can’t wait to see it up close at the museum!

Weekly Coffee

One of those days…

My alarm didn’t go off, a mouse ran across the living room, Luna threw up twice and I ran out of hair gel. It must be Monday.

A Puppy In Need

A Puppy In Need
My dear friend David is asking…no, scratch that…pleading for people’s help. He needs a new home for his 8-year old beautiful dog, Jasmine. This poor dog has a tragic past and so deserves a wonderful, loving home.

Two years ago, David was moving to the city where Jasmine would not have been happy. Being used to farms and space, it would have been a tough transition for her. Reluctantly, he handed her over to his best friend to care for while he was away. Tragically, David’s best friend was killed in a car accident at the hands of a drunk driver last year. Since this tragic occurrence, Jasmine has been in and out of the animal hospital and foster homes. She contracted ring worm (which has now been cured) and though she still has patches of fur missing, her face is still as beautiful and sweet as the day I met her.

However, Jasmine, like most dogs, is not perfect. As a result of an abusive foster home, she no longer gets along with other dogs and very young children. Older kids are fine, so long as they are gentle and don’t tug her tail and ears and pick at her scars from ringworm. (Yes, the hellion three-year old did this and the parents did nothing to stop her)

But let me also tell you the wonderful things about this dog. I remember Jasmine from college. She is adorable and gentle. Some kind of yellow lab mix (on the smaller side…maybe 45-50lbs). She loves people and is such a calm, sweet dog. She’s very low maintenance, especially in the right lifestyle. If I could take her, I would do so in a heartbeat.

So, please, I beg…I plead…does anyone want to give this dog the home, love and life she deserves? Please ask around…ask friends and family. I don’t want to see Jasmine live the remainder of her life in a shelter.

Busy as a Beaver

What is that expression about anyway? “Busy as a beaver.” Are beavers busy?? Do they have deadlines and doctor’s appointments and lunch dates and an unhealthy obsession to watch every week’s Grey’s Anatomy?

Anyway, things here in KatanaLand have been super busy. I just returned from my best friend’s wedding out in Portland and let me tell you…it was a great time. Expensive as hell to get there but so much fun! I love her family so much…they remind me of my own.

So, now I’m back and there will be no more traveling for quite some time. In fact, I managed to get myself a part time job as an editorial assistant for Kensington Books. This job (even though I am only into my second day there) is all that I had hoped it would be. I love publishing even more than I thought I would. Even though it’s only been a couple of days, there is no doubt in my mind that this is the correct career path. I sat in on a meeting with all the editors today and it’s amazing to me what their thought processes are. Nothing like what I had read or imagined. The reasons for turning down some books are so asinine I can hardly believe it. And at one point they were excited that one author didn’t have agent…umm, I thought that was HUGELY taboo. But apparently only for the BAD authors is this taboo.

The hardest part about getting back into a (somewhat consistent) work routine…is this whole getting up early thing. Seriously, who would have thought it would be so difficult to get dressed each morning. It’s quite a difference from my normal sweatpants and Old Navy shirt, but I suppose it’s time to start being an adult again. I’ve begun choosing my clothes the night before after a disastrous first day of wearing two different socks. I don’t think anyone actually noticed the sock debacle, but even so…it’s not something I’m willing to risk again. Tomorrow I will be wearing my satin geometric dress. I think it will help me to stand out at the office–and not only because it’s something my crazy Aunt Donna would wear to a wake.

Book Recommendation: The Dangerous Days of Daniel X

The Dangerous Days of Daniel X

Something I hate to admit to my adult friends is that I loved the Harry Potter books. Every last one of them. Yes, I am a 25 year old nerd…I have accepted it, so I suggest that you, dear readers, accept it too.

So, when I received James Patterson’s latest book,
The Dangerous Days of Daniel X to review, I was pretty excited…despite the fact that it’s meant to be a YA Fantasy book. Patterson, being a father himself, wrote the book to inspire young boys to read more. A noble effort on his part, I believe.

The Dangerous Days of Daniel X is about “a boy who has always used his hidden superpowers to survive, but he carries with him a deadly secret and the fate of the world rests on whether he succeeds at his mission”. Now, if you’re anything like me, this quote won’t do a whole lot for you. Essentially, it’s about a boy with serious superpowers who is on a quest to avenge the death of his parents…and save the world while he’s at it.

This book (available here on was a very quick read for me and the number one praise I have for Patterson are the short chapters. In a world of ADD kids, these short chapters make reading easy and enjoyable again. Especially for pre-teen boys, who we all know aren’t typically big readers. It’s definitely the kind of book your son (or daughter) will enjoy but won’t make you cringe while reading it with them.

At times, it was a little cheesy with some dialogue that was hard for me to swallow. Yes, I know I’m an adult and that’s why the use of the word “butt” instead of “ass” feels forced to me. However, I probably wouldn’t feel the same way about the language back when I was 10 years old…nor would I feel it was too tame if I had a 10-year old reading said tame language. Also, some of the supernatural lingo took a while for me to pick up and understand…but again, I blame the fact that I’m an old fart.

These two very small criticisms aside, I still feel strongly that this book was very clever and at times I found it so suspenseful that I didn’t even want to put it down at some chapter breaks! The plot is sharp and the ending was actually unexpected…something I find can be rare in YA books.

Brilliant Costume Ideas

The Boyfriend!: We could dress up as our dogs for Halloween.

Me: Like I’ll be Luna and you’ll be Red?

The Boyfriend!: Exactly. I’ll spend the whole night begging for food and licking my ass.

Me: And I’ll constantly follow you, jumping up and biting your neck.

The Boyfriend!: You’ll also have to start barking at random things. And chasing non-existent mice.

Me: And I’ll attack other people….who are dressed as dogs.


Things I’ll Miss About Ireland:
1) The way the Irish say words like “Pub” (Poob) and “Pint” (Point) and “Ireland” (Oirland) and “You” (Yeh). So very charming.
2) The beautiful scenery of rolling mountains and rocky coastlines. It was a photographer’s dream. (Photos will be posted soon).
3) Sheep!! Or more accurately Black faced horny rams (that’s their official name). They were everywhere! Chillin in the roads and just hanging out, chewing on some grass. I wanted to take one home…and I did…in the form of a scarf.
4) The town, Carlingford. Greatest little village EVER. Every single citizen of this town was friendly and welcoming. It’s also home to King John’s Castle (You know, King John…from Robin Hood). Apparently, he loved this town as much as we did. Possibly more since he had a castle built there for him to come and visit frequently. But ya know what? If I had tons of money to blow, I would totally build a castle in Carlingford. And I’d call it Commoner Colleen’s Castle. And in a few hundred years, tourists would be snapping pictures of my old castle, marveling at how beautiful it was.
5) The radio station that we could never figure out. We titled it “Random FM.” It played everything from Mozart to an Irish cover of “I Will Survive” to some other Irish song we had never heard before with lyrics like this:
Kick me and lick me and spit on me corpse
Punch me and hunch me over in a hearse…
Well, those aren’t the exact lyrics, but it’s pretty close and absolutely hysterical. The song was stuck in our heads all week.
6) Irish coffee. And NOT the kind with whiskey in it. For some reason, Ireland has the best brewed coffee I’ve ever had. And I’m not talking about espresso or cappuccino or anything. Just a regular cup o’ joe. Every morning it was the part of breakfast I looked forward to the most….and now it’s gone. Since I’ve been home, I’ve attempted to recreate the frothy tan foam that collected on the top of my coffee, but it’s proven impossible. Perhaps with a French Press?
7) The Flake candy bar. Made by Cadbury (Yes, the makers of the eggs)…why the fuck don’t they market these in the US? And why does the chocolate over there taste so much better than Hershey’s? Oh that’s right, because Hershey’s SUCKS.
8) Pear Cider. So delectable. It was my lifesaver since there’s not a whole lot else to do but travel from pub to pub, and I don’t like beer all that much.
9) Rainbows. Yes, the weather was shit for most of our trip, but a couple of times when the rain ceased and the clouds parted, the most glorious rainbows would appear. Unfortunately, there were no pots of gold that I could find. Damn those tricky leprechauns.
10) (Most) Irish men. (Most) are very attractive in burly ways.

Things I Will NOT Miss About Ireland:
1. Lasagne. Last time I checked, Ireland is not known for its Italian cuisine…so why do so many cafés, restaurants and pubs serve it? And no—the lasagne I had did not taste good.
2. The price of, well, EVERYTHING. The Euro to US Dollar ratio is not good people. Want to know what else is not good? The fact that dinner at a pub will easily run you 16-25 Euro. EURO! That essentially means you’re not getting a burger and fries for less than 20 US Dollars. Oh, the insanity.
3. Tiny, curvy roads where people drive like nutcases at 120kpm.
4. Speaking of kilometers….the metric system. I know it makes perfect sense…but I had serious troubles converting metric into something I understood. Damn your totally sensible and easy to learn units of measurement proving how stupid Americans are for creating a system that is WAY more complicated than it needs to be.
5. Potatoes. I actually love potatoes—but not for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. Seriously? You’re offering me sweet potato pie after I had the lamb stew casserole topped with mashed potatoes and a side of French fries? Has Ireland never heard of these wonderfully crunchy and delectable things called vegetables?
6. The morbid death of the apostrophe in Ireland. Did St. Patrick chase those out too along with the snakes? (McCarthys, Whelans, Wards, Flannerys…) It seems as though the apostrophe has disappeared from all facets of Irish life.
7. The town of Nenagh where we stopped for lunch briefly. It has all the attractions of a funeral parlor and most certainly less life than one. If there is a bleaker or grimier town in all of Ireland…please let its existence be known to me.
8. The “tour” of the Titanic shipyards in Belfast. Belfast: I love you dearly. You were by far one of my favorite places to visit…but, you’ve had almost a hundred years and the shipyards look like one big island of junk. Turn this site into something worth seeing, PLEASE!
9. The Northern Irish accent. I could not understand a LICK of what they were saying.
10. (Most) Irish women. Let me just thank my mother profusely for not marrying another Irish man (Hi, Mom! Love you!). My genes would have been fucked.