Author Archives: Katie

About Katie

A Communication major, Education Studies minor, and psych advocate, who runs on frappuccinos. Also a fangirl, writer, photographer, Celiac, and gluten free baker.

Halloween 2015


The week before Halloween, Noelle, Katie R., and I went to Lemos Farms, in Half Moon Bay. Upon our arrival, this guy greeted us from his spot in a giant, old truck.Truck Dog


We went with the intention of cosplaying the sisters (Edith, Agnes, and Margo), so naturally, we brought a stuffed Minion and Unicorn.Minion and Unicorn


Here, Katie R. and Noelle, pose as Agnes and Margo.
Katie and NoelleAfter posing for pictures, we found the petting zoo and met these gorgeous, blue-eyed goats.Blue Eyed Goat Blue Eyed Goat 2 Here, “Margo” cuddles up to them.Noelle and the Goat 2 Aren’t they cute?Noelle and the GoatHappy Halloween!

Mother’s Day

For Mother’s Day, my mom asked to go to the Half Moon Bay Nursery and on a hike.

Since I worked on Sunday and and a friend came into town, we ended up postponing the activities until Monday, which ended up allowing us to avoid the crowds.


Mom picking flowers BW

Although my mom ended up buying a variety of different flowers and plants, my favorite flowers were probably the geraniums. The bright pink kept catching my eye all over the nursery.

HMB Nursery

I often found the greenhouses and the roofs of the greenhouses had as much character as the flowers.

Flower Sign 2


Sometimes, my favorite things were all of the different colors and shades a single type of flower could come in.

Pinks and Reds

Sometimes, it was the texture that caught my eye.

Green Plant

Sometimes, it was just the way that the sun struck things.


Other times, it was learning about the flowers and plants.


As usual, I found and tried to make friends with the resident animals.

This time, it was the resident expectant cat.

Cat on the counter

Kitty HMB

We ended the day with a short drive and hike in the Redwoods on Skyline Drive.

Mom in the Redwoods

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mother’s (official and non-official) out there!


Pumpkin Patch 2013

Time away from home during the fall always gives me new perspective.

Small Pumpkin

On one hand, there is nothing more gorgeous than an East Coast fall; but on the other hand, there is nothing like a cozy, coastal town that lives for the holidays.

Lady Bug

Half Moon Bay, California, has always always reminded me of the fictitious Halloweentown in the Disney Channel Original Movies by the same names.

Pumpkin Patch FrontNot only do the quirky people remind me of the characters from the movies; but a stop at any of the numerous pumpkin patches feel like you’re actually visiting the imaginary town, despite the lack of people in costumes (or monsters).

Little Monsters


Of course, the above sign could also refer to Lady Gaga’s fans and not the adorable costume-clad children or Halloweentown characters- but who’s to say, which is right.

The pumpkin patch owners, maybe.

Rocking Horse


A visit to Half Moon Bay, always feels like visiting a place frozen in time- or maybe just a few serene hours engraved on my soul.

At one of the pumpkin patches, to the side of the ponies, waiting to be ridden, this rocking horse sat smiling and waiting for use.

Pastorino'sWandering the pumpkin patch, I found large pumpkins awaiting to be weighed for contests; scarecrows; hay bales; and even fun wooden cutouts to stick my head through.





Too bad that I didn’t go at night, because I bet that the haunted houses would have been a lot of fun (even though I hate things like that).

Noelle Pumpkin Farm

Noelle Pumpkin Farm BW

In between all of the exploring, I managed to snap several photos of my friend Noelle around the farms.

Noelle and I October 2013

(And even get someone to take a photo of myself- ha!)

Spidey-HorseUntil next year.


See Also: Half Moon Bay (Poem)



Washington DC

I’ve been to Washington DC before. I went with my class back in 2009, the week of President Obama’s first Inauguration. This trip was a lot different, not only because I’m older and more knowledgable about political issues, but there were so many less people, so I could do a lot more.

Me posing in front of the Capital building in DC.

Me posing in front of the Capital building in DC.

I visited the Library of Congress with my family and even picked up some new reading for myself. I can’t resist literature on social media, modern media, technology, and revolution. I’m currently working my way through the four new books that I bought there. It feels great to have time to read lit of my own choosing and not a professors (even though I do enjoy most of what mine have recommended or had us read in the past).

I picked up several books from the Library of Congress bookstore and could have spent all day there- I can’t wait to read the book about social media and revolution, with primary examples from various uprising.

Mom is waving from across the street.

Mom is waving from across the street.

Around DC

This was a building around the block from the White House. I think it was a museum. I really liked the colors and the contrast.

Capital yard.

Capital yard.

One day, after visiting the Newseum with my Dad, I decided to meet up with my Mom, who decided to attend the March Against Monsanto. I ended up following the demonstrators around for the entire march. I ended up with some great action shots of the march.

Here I am by the White House during the March Against Monsanto.

Above, I pose with the White House and the pre-march preparations in the background. I didn’t plan on going to a march in DC, but ended up at one that centered around an issue I know and care a lot about.

My school played Food Inc in the theatre for community movie night. Not to mention that my mom is very passionate about GMO food awareness and I have food issues myself. I’m an expert food label reader and being able to participate in such an event took me one level deeper into passion for the cause.

Below, is my favorite shot from the day.

March Against Monsanto sign in front of the White House and American Flag.

March Against Monsanto protest sign in the foreground, with the White House and American flag in the background.


Flip through the gallery below for more pictures from the day and look out for more blogs documenting my summer adventures!

Me on the Newseum rooftop!

Me on the Newseum rooftop!


Communication Campaigns Trade Show

I thoroughly enjoyed the classes that I took my final term at Mercyhurst!

Two of my favorite classes were Communication Campaigns and Convergence Management. I know that I will use the skills and information from both classes in the near future as I enter the professional world.

For Communication Campaigns, we worked in groups to help create a Shop Local campaign for the Erie Regional Chamber of Commerce and Growth Partnership. My group worked received personal services, which included everything from barber studios to carpet cleaners to nursing services.

We called ourselves ‘Decant Media’. ‘Decant’ means ‘to pour’; so we went with the theme of ‘pouring ideas’ from one medium to another.

My position within the group was Social Media director and photographer.

I wrote and produced a film about shopping local, with the help of local barber Joe Lombardo. We could not be more helpful for all of his support.

Not only did we have to create a campaign, we had to create a booth for a trade show, where we were judged by our professors, peers, and community members and professionals.

Booth Banner

We created a variety of materials to hand out to trade show guests.

Personal Services Erie Borchure

My group had materials, a movie running, a site walk through, and a photography booth, and later, a masseuses.


Here’s a prop from the photographer’s booth.


Straw Hat Photo Booth Prop

For our booths, we had to have handouts. Not only did we receive a lot of gift cards and vouchers for personal services from local business owners, we received a lot of physical items, such as pens.


The group that had Athletics hung sports equipment, among other things. They raffled off merchandise for those who voted for their booth.
Cleat Sports

Here, my classmate, Charlie, who was in the Professional Services group, poses at his groups’ booth.Charlie

Great job to all my classmates and thanks to all of the attendees for showing up!Me at the Trade Show


Mercyhurst Sign

Here, I pose with one of my schools’ signs on the edge of campus.


I can’t believe that four years have come to pass. Sometimes, it feels like yesterday, that I was a high school senior preparing for college. Then, I realize how much I’ve grown and who I’ve become during my college experience, and know that it was definitely not yesterday.

After three major changes, I received my Bachelors Degree. I majored in Communication Studies and minored in Education Studies.

Now that I’m home from all of my adventures (that I’ll post about later), I’ve begun the job search. I’m nervous, because searching for a long-term, professional job is different from any sort of teaching or internships that I’ve had in the past. Not to mention, that I find my weaknesses, as I get further into the desired employee qualifications. My parents and older brother agree that they post higher standards than they actually expect in a candidate. That being said, it’s also allowed me to know what things I should independently study and look for books on.

With my parents at school after the commencement ceremony.

With my parents at school after the commencement ceremony.

I’ve enjoyed being home, because that has allowed me to connect with people where I wish to begin my professional career, and not 3,000 miles away. I’ve begun to network, but I’m still impatient, because my “ten year plan” begins at getting a job (as does getting my own apartment and a car).

My first two years at school, I developed a lot socially and emotionally- I became a truly independent woman. My last two years, I developed academically. I developed interests and independently studied topics I found interesting. I developed new skills, learned new computer programs, resume skills, and interview skills- and now I can’t wait to show them off. This final year has truly made me feel prepared to take on the professional world.

I still have many qualms, and sometimes I wish that I would have decided to take a fifth year of classes, but I couldn’t stand to be away from California any longer. I know that being back in the Silicon Valley will be more beneficial than more schooling.

So, I took my finals; bought a bunch of school merch; and prepared to move out, with the help of my family and friends.

During move out.

Here I am with my ex-roommate, turned best friend, Kahla, as she helps me move out.

I tried to live minimalistically my final terms at school this past year, because in previous years, there was so much stuff in my apartment to move, that it caused storage issues, and for me to miss my flight home.

College was everything they said it was going to be- and everything they didn’t say it was going to be- but I’m glad (and so ever thankful) that I got to go.

It’s been a good, Mercyhurst.

Me showing off my empty apartment during move out.

Me showing off my empty apartment during move out.

Take it easy and thank you.

Wedding Bells A Ringing

Spring term of my senior year was a combination of sleeping ’til noon; classes three days a week; senior celebrations; and working my butt off to get to graduation.

It started with best friends’, Kahla and Kyle’s, bridal showers.

Ham It Up: Kahla and Kyle

We were running around for weeks beforehand, but finally the day came, we settled on a church hall, and set up in record time. Here, Kahla takes a moment to smile before the shower.

Smiling at her bridal shower.

Smiling at her bridal shower.

But not before expressing her pre-shower jitters.

Kahla Nervousness

For food, Kahla decided on a cupcake bar, where each person got to choose a cupcake flavor, icing flavor, and toppings. Here, my cupcake, a gluten free vanilla deliciousness with tons of sprinkles, waits for me to eat it.

Kahla invited guests to come dressed as princesses, since it was fairy tale themed. We made a contest out of it and here, the winner, Celina, poses in her outfit with her cupcake and smile!Cupcake Princess

Celine was one of the only tween attendees, but their were a bunch of children present, as well, Here, the youngest guest watches the bride-to-be, as she holds her, in awe.

Baby Bridal Shower Guest

Look at those big, blue eyes!

Kahla and Kyle Smile

Congrats, Kahla and Kyle!

Spring Break

Spring break has arrived!

I can’t believe that it’s been nearly four years since I started university-  it was just yesterday that I was jetting across the country to start a new life, completely unaware of what it would hold for me.

That being said, I can’t wait to move back home and begin my career.

Spring break began with my usual trek back to San Francisco (and an entire row of five airplane seats to myself), and an In N Out Burger stop with my dog in the passenger seat upon arrival.

On Monday, my parents and I decided to venture to Monterey, California for the day. On our way in, we stopped at a beach harbor, where we spotted many otters and seals.

Seal Close Up

This one seal, beached separate from his clan, who were piled on each other, practically sinking the dock. You can tell by the tracking tag (and his behavior) that he’s spent time around humans.

We didn’t leave without my mom and I taking a picture together (with my dad behind the camera).

Mom and I In MontereyAfter our stop at the beach, we headed into Monterey itself. There, we stopped for lunch and some shopping on the pier, where we spotted this character:

Fisherman Statue MontereyAfter food, my mom and I decided to go whale watching. Unfortunately, the seas were rough, and we didn’t see any whales, but he did see more seals.

Seal on a Rock in Monterey

Before leaving the coast, I snapped a picture of a flower by the bay, at dusk.
Flower in Monterey

I look forward to returning to Monterey this summer to use the whale watching raincheck!

Break continued.

Later in the week, I decided to take my dog and camera to the beach in Half Moon Bay.

We met a lot of other dogs, including this pitbull and pomeranian. Dogs on the Beach

The day was bright, warm, and gorgeous, and made me want to never leave California- not even for a day. Like a lot of people, I have a dream of living on the beach without a care in the world.

The next day, I met with my neighbor, Kit, who has asked me to help her out with a project.

Emperor Doll

Part of that includes photographing antiques, one of which was a set of dolls from Japan made in the mid-ninteenth century. Above and below are photos of the Emperor Dolls.

Emperor Doll Two

I can’t wait to return to California for good, after I graduate from university in ten weeks!

Written From Another Airport,

2013 Takes Off

The year started off when the area had water pipe breaks. We had to evacuate campus, so I went to my aunt’s house.
It was too cold to go outside for most of the days on the long weekend, but I did manage to take a couple short walks and snap a few pictures.
Aunt Grace Mail BoxesThe following Friday, I stopped by the school’s Chili Cook Off to take some pictures.

The chefs were all more than happy to allow me to take pictures of them and their creations!

ChiliSome, even brought cornbread to enhance the dining experience.

Corn Bread
After stopping by the Chili Cook-Off, I walked around campus, and stopped by the Giant Duck.

School Duck

On Sunday, I prepared for the Super Bowl.

Me With Cupcakes
I’m from the San Francisco suburbs, so the Forty Niners are my team.

Cupcakes 3Of course the cupcakes the treats were gluten free and thanks to Betty Crocker cake mix, they turned out great and people even complemented the taste and texture instead of complaining, like they often do when they find out the food is GF.

Cupcakes 1

Although they were Niners colors and themed, they could have just as well been Gryffindor cupcakes.Cupcakes 2The Niners lost, but I guess that there’s still next year.

This week is Senior Week at Mercyhurst.

Last night, I went glow bowling with my friends.

Bowling Balls

Here, my friend Chelsee flashes a smile before bowling.Chelsee BowlingHere’s a shot of the bowling alley glowing in the dark.

Glow Bowling
Look for more photos from Mercyhurst Senior Week soon!

Happy New Year!

When I arrived back from my European adventure, my parents announced that they put my Grandmother’s house and family land on the market. Below are screws that were found in the old barn.

Once the new trimester and my new classes started, the Erie Sisters of Mercy had their semi-annual retreat at their lake house in North East, Pennsylvania. There is always prayer, meditation, time for conversation on religious life, and of course, lots of delicious food. Dinner is usually Italian, and made by the amazing Sisters of Mercy Associate, Angie.

at their retreat house in North East, Pennsylvania.

Here is a shot of holiday decorations at the lake house.

At Mercyhurst, the holiday decorations are always gorgeous. I really like the contrast of the Christmas Tree and holy figures in the the Mercyhurst Chapel

Here is a shot of the complete Old Main lobby.

Upon flying back home to California, my mom and I hosted a holiday cookie baking party for our friends. There were lots of delicious gluten free goodies (and even a few isolated gluten-y ones).

Below, is the finished product.

On Christmas Eve itself, my family and I went to our friend’s house for a Christmas Crab Fest. I don’t like crab, but I had delicious chicken and couscous salad with fruit bits in it.

Here is a bird decoration that was in our friend’s kitchen.

Outside our own house, we have these Poinsettias. I’m allergic, so they have to stay outside, but they are still pretty to look at!

Inside our home, my dad puts the angel on top of the tree.

Here, I am next to the tree.

I hope that you had a wonderful holiday and have a hopeful new year!