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Friday, December 19, 2014

Gift Guide: Blogger

Can you believe that Christmas is less than a week away?! If you're trying to get some last-minute gifts for Christmas or Hanukkah and one of the people you're shopping for is a blogger, I know exactly what you can pick up! Some of these are items that you can pick up at a store, but others are ones where it might be best to get a gift certificate or print out a homemade one with the item pictured on it.

Previous Gift Guides:

Blogger Gift Guide Kate the (Almost) Great


1. Planners, pens, other fun organizational things

2. Business cards, business card holder, desk accessories 

3. Subscriptions/gift cards (fonts, stock photos, PayPal money to buy ads)

4. Software & such (Photoshop, hosting, domain, blog design)

5. DSLR camera or high quality point and shoot

6. Tech accessories (tripod, camera strap, lenses, computer case)

Bloggers - what else would you want this holiday season?

Live on. Give on.
(Full disclosure - I get paid if you click on that last link. That's the only one out of the three!)

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Intangible Christmas List

One of my favorite parts of the holidays is finding the perfect gift for someone and seeing their face when they open it. But for so many, the gifts they want can't be placed under a tree. Today I'm talking about the things that I would love to get this year but can't be bought in a store.

(Full disclosure, I get paid if you click that link. Only applies to that last one.
Thank you for supporting Kate the (Almost) Great!)

My Intangible Christmas List - Kate the (Almost) Great


1. Peace of mind and soul for those who have suffered losses this year, especially the families of those who were killed in some of the horrible terrorist actions across the world. My heart was very heavy to hear of all the children killed in Pakistan this week, especially since to me (a former teacher), each child reminds me of one of mine.

2. Justice for those and their families here in the United States who were injured or killed by police. I have tried multiple times to write a post about how I feel about Ferguson and Eric Garner, but all it comes down to is anger, fear, and disappointment, and I can never quite phrase it to express my feelings correctly.

3. A cure for arthritis, or at least a treatment that works well enough on me so that I can return to working and living independently.

4. An educational system that correctly assesses students' comprehension without running them into the ground, helps students become productive members of society, and doesn't push teachers to the brink.

5. Acceptance to grad school, and a way to pay for it without taking out loans.

What's on your intangible Christmas list?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Starbucks Giveaway

Popping in on a Wednesday because I'm giving away $15 to Starbucks! It's not much, but it's enough to make your December much better.



Starbucks Giveaway


What: $15 to Starbucks

When: 12/17/14 12:00 AM - 12/23/14 11:59 PM

Who: 

Rebecca - Life with rMe

Merrie - Petite Career Girl

Tabitha - a hundred tiny wishes

Want to join next month? Sponsor Kate the (Almost) Great for $5-17!


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Favorite Beauty Product Cheapies

Hi, folks, and happy Tuesday! A couple of things before Tabitha takes it away, both regarding yesterday's post. Go enter to win $100 to charity and read more about awesome people taking their illnesses to help their communities.







Hey there Kate the {Almost} Great readers! I'm Tabitha, and I blog over at a hundred tiny wishes! I am here today to share with you some of my favorite beauty cheapies.



Being a mom on a part time salary and a hubby's check that is used primarily to pay the bills with a bit left over, I have to be picky with what I buy- beauty wise. Now that my son is potty trained, my beauty budget has opened up, but I still have my certain products that will always be my go to.


Going left to right, my favorites are:

E.L.F. Mineral Face Primer

If I'm using foundation, then there is a 99.9% chance that I am using primer. It's a beautiful thing, but there are so many primers out on the market, so it's hard to choose the best one. Honestly, Smashbox Primers are as good as it gets, as they are simply amazing. BUT they are expensive, and being a mom with a kid that was in diapers and student with student loan sharks swarming, ain't nobody got time to deal with that. Enter E.L.F... I picked up a bottle at an affordable price and fell in love! It is basically the same... aka a dupe, but doesn't come with the high price tag. Oh, I've even heard this stuff comes in green and purple... 
Revlon Bold Lacquer Mascara in Black

Honestly, I didn't think I would like this when I picked it up. I am super picky with mascara, and I have always had a "thing" for higher end- my current favorite is Benefit's Badgal Lash. I don't know why, but I just do. I grabbed it, along with eyeliner, on a buy one, get one free coupon. Once I did try it, I realized it was a contender for my beloved Benefit, at a fraction of the cost. It's goes on rather smoothly, stays on all day, and is easy to get off at night.


I love me a face mask every now and then, but honestly, the most I will ever and have ever paid for a single use was eight bucks. And that was on a Dr. Jart+ hydrogel mask (I would only recommend it after a day at the beach). Other than that, I love the single use masks from Target or Walmart, and of course, the Biore single use one minute charcoal masks. The box contains four masks, and basically all you do is wash you face, and then rub it on for 60 seconds. It's that easy! And after using it, I could tell a difference in my skin texture and pores immediately. Oh, and the clean feeling... yep, definitely worth the price.



Rimmel Scandaleyes

I love love love Rimmel's eye liners (I use taupe & nude). I love that they are cheap, easy to find, and last. Not saying I won't use high end- I've gotten a bunch in my monthly Birchbox subscription, but I am not about to be paying more than $10 for an eye pencil.



Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette

The little sister of the famed 12 shade Naked, Naked 2, and Naked 3 pallets, the Basics gives you six beautiful basic eye shadows, and is definitely worth the money. Yes, its not really considered a cheapie, but when you use it daily, you really get your money's worth out of it. You can customize so many looks out of the six shades, and is literally half the price of the 12 shade ones. I have also picked up the new Naked 2 Basics pallet.



eos Lip Balm

To me, eos is the high society of lip balms. They are hydrative, taste amazing, contain natural conditioning oils, shea butter, and all those amazing ingredients that make for softer lips. Oh, and the sphere is different, and kinda cool. They are also cheap and since I go through a lot of lip balms- cheap is right up my alley.


To be honest, sometimes my morning schedule just doesn't leave time for actually washing my face... so I rely on facial cleansing wipes like the ones pictured above from Simple. They get the job done, and also double as makeup remover wipes. Simple Skincare's wipes are fragrance free, and free of dyes and harsh ingredients, so they don't irritate my sensitive skin. They are super convenient, and don't leave my face feeling greasy after I use them. 
And those are my favorites! Thank you so much for reading, and don't forget to come visit me over at a hundred tiny wishes, where I blog about life, motherhood, diy, family, style, and most of all... beauty! You can also follow me on Twitter :: Pinterest :: Bloglovin :: Instagram :: Facebook!

Monday, December 15, 2014

My Passion Project

Unless you are new around my neck of the Internet, you probably already know how I feel about raising awareness for arthritis and arthritis-related conditions. It isn't just about raising awareness; it's more about improving the lives of others living with it and hopefully finding a cure. Unfortunately, there's so much more to life with arthritis than just the disease itself. Many different types of arthritis can lead to other health issues. One in particular is Ehler's-Danlos Syndrome.

My Passion Project Kate the (Almost) Great


Samantha (Sami) Peterson is 17 years old and is from South Windsor, Connecticut. She was born with Ehler's-Danlos, and it caused her to develop severe scoliosis. It was so severe that she had to have spinal fusion surgery to correct the 60 degree curve. But after recovering from that, she didn't just continue to live life as a regular 15 year old. Instead, she created SHIFT Scoliosis, which provides screenings and support for all with spinal conditions.

How incredible is that? She went above and beyond living with the pain of it all and didn't just help give back to others - she created a charity to do it. To feel inadequate or inspired? That is the question. (The answer is inspired, by the way.)

Live On Give On


Stories like Sami's are why I am so passionate about arthritis research and awareness. It's why I've started my Spoonie Spotlight series - and the complexity of the conditions related to arthritis are why the series is titled something more generic than just specifically about arthritis. I'm hoping that in the new year (especially after my surgery) I will be able to do more to help others with arthritis. Working as a Cure Arthritis Ambassador with the Arthritis National Research Foundation is one way I'm able to help people now, and I have grand plans for the future.

But my current way of giving back is nothing quite like Sami's. She is a Bakken Invitation Honoree, which means she received a $20,000 grant to help SHIFT Scoliosis. She embodies Live on. Give on.

What inspires you to give back? Comment explaining and enter to win a $100 Visa gift card to get started giving back!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thank you to Medtronic for sponsoring today's post! This is a cause very close to my heart and I feel very blessed to be able to share it and be financially supported to do so.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Spoonie Spotlight: Roseanna

Welcome back to Spoonie Spotlight, my way to use my platform to share the stories of others living with arthritis or an arthritis-related condition. The point is to share the realities of living with arthritis and to make others' voices heard. (New posts every 2 weeks.) If you would like to participate, fill out the form!


Meet Roseanna!

What's your diagnosis?

CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome)

When were you diagnosed?

'November 2012

How long have you had symptoms?

Spring 2012

Have you been limited in any way from your illness? If so, how?

There are some things I'm completely not able to do, some which I can do with adaptation, some which I can do as one offs if I pace myself. But it affects everything I do, although I don't think this is entirely negative.

What's your story?

I had an overuse injury in my right foot from dance in the build up to a ballet exam in March 2012, when I was 15 years old. An x-ray diagnosed with a stress fracture, so I rested for about 6 weeks as instructed. After this I went back to dance, but the pain in my foot had spread to a broader area and had become far more intense. Over the next few months, my foot stiffened and changed colour and I was in constant severe pain. It took ultrasounds and MRIs and many other tests showing normal physiology before I was finally diagnosed.

After trailing all the drugs which made me more ill, I discovered a pain management program that taught me to live with pain and fatigue in a more positive and constructive way. At the moment I am probably in my worst physical state- unable to get out of bed about 1/3 of the time and can only carefully do a few hours of gentle activity the rest of the time, which being a student can be a little frustrating. But at the same time I am probably in the most intense stage of personal growth in starting my degree and making new friends and campaigning for equality for people with disabilities.

How has your illness changed your life?

It changed what I wanted to do with my life, as I wanted to dance. It has impacted my education and relationships and family and just about every other aspect of being a teenager and growing up!

What are your goals for the future? (Not related to your health)

Complete my psychology degree.
To become a clinical psychologist, pioneering the use of dance therapy in the UK for physical and mental health conditions.
Get married and have children!

What are your goals for the future? (Health related)

To work on some desensitization and be able to wear certain shoes, walk on different textures.
Ultimately to get better but if not then to keep having a good quality of life and keep doing all the things I can still do.

Do you consider yourself handicapped or disabled? Why or why not?

Yes- by the Equality Act (2010) I do have a disability. Identifiying as someone with a disability, particularly in a university setting, allows me to access support with my studies and also claim DSA (Disabled Student Allowance) which has really helped me.

I also believe in something called the social model of disability, so I probably identify myself as someone with a handicap rather than a disability but I'm still working this all out as I think accepting illness and/or disability is a process.

What would you like readers to take from your experience?

That even if there is no cure for your illness that you can still live a normal life although it might be different to what other people think is successful.

Sometimes, especially after negative experiences explaining illness to others we expect people to react in a bad way and maybe don't give them a chance to show how understanding and lovely they are.

Find Roseanna online:


Thank you so much for participating, Roseanna! If you would like to comment or to send her some words of encouragement, feel free to. However, if I feel that your comment is negative, I will remove it. There is enough of negativity in this world without adding to it!

If you would like to be featured in another Spoonie Spotlight, fill out this form

Friday, December 12, 2014

Gift Guide: Person Who Has Everything

We all know those people - the ones who seem to already have everything or are in the position where they can get anything they want. So what do you get them for the holidays?


Christmas gift ideas Kate the (Almost) Great

1. Gift certificate for an experience together

This can be homemade or a professional gift certificate, like to the movies, spa, sports game, etc.

(Pssss - go read my post from Tuesday about Datevitation and their certificate books!)

2. Something sentimental about you two

Pictures in a frame, a scrapbook, etc. - in general, something that reminds them of the two of you.

3. Novelty gift

Ever see something in a store and say, "I like it, but I have absolutely no purpose for it" Well, this is your chance to buy one of those as a gift for someone.

What do you give in these situations?

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