dem jeans parte II | Featuring Fitcode

August 27, 2015


Photos c/o of Tutti del Monte

My friends ask me fashion advice, and I usually look at their outfits and shrug my shoulders with a ‘don’t ask me’ look on my face.  “But don’t you run like a fashion blog or something?” they say.

Ehhh….kinda.  I reply.  More like “lifestyle”.

I’m actually not a huge fan of shopping.  I’d rather be outside playing. I don’t like accessories.  I’m not a fan of bold patterns, and forget mixing patterns.  I love the idea of it all, but when push comes to shove, and someone shoves a bunch of jewelry and mixed pattern fabrics  in my face I want to cry.

To some people all of this is such a form of creative expression, and I love that.  I love that my friend Jessie mixes and matches.  You should see the amount of jewelry this girl owns; it’s impressive.  Whenever she shows up at a party I just think ‘wow…this girl has got that it factor’.  Part of me is jealous at the way she puts outfits together.  And I wish I was more like that; it seems so fun!  But alas…I am not. (But maybe she’ll play dress up with me + teach me her jedi jewelry ways?!)

This means that the clothes I have, I want them to last.  Because chances are I’ll wear my boyfriend jeans 4 times a week.  And that white button-up…probably even more.  I want pieces that can transition from summer to fall to winter to spring.  Some may call this boring, but for me…I love it.  It gives me the freedom to focus on other things creatively that bring me joy.

So here’s to dem jeans + to dat white tee (yup in my white tee…this outfit is what he meant right?) BoyfriendJeans.Kat3





**This post is sponsored by Fitcode. All opinions expressed are our own. Thank you for supporting posts that keep the Refined Woman’s doors open. 

Beauty Is…Mindful

August 20, 2015

WillimasburgLifestyle.KatHarris.CP8 Photos c/o Kat Harris

My very first season of runway I took the subway to the Upper West Side from JFK (no easy feat for a newbie) to stay with my friend Cara.  We didn’t know each other that well, but we had a lot of mutual friends, and she had a loft in her apartment with an extra bed.  She was graduating from Parsons and searching for jobs in the fashion industry, and I was trying to figure out how to shoot runway.  We became fast friends.  After my initial trip I was in the city every few months, and I’d sleep in her little loft and we’d grab late night dinners and talk and talk about our dreams, passions, God…(and of course boys).  What I learned quickly about Cara is her heart is full of gold.  She is intentional, and cares deeply about others.  And what I respect so much about her is her commitment to the things she believes in and loves.  She is fierce, and teaches me so much that a bunch of little decisions can make an big impact.

Cara I love your heart + can’t wait to share your story!


Kat WillimasburgLifestyle.KatHarris.CP9 I’ve always loved fashion. I’ve been making my own dresses since I was a child, and enjoyed expressing myself through clothing. It wasn’t until college that I starting thinking about how clothing could also be an expression of my heart and my values, and not just my style.


While studying fashion in New York City, I discovered that 75% of garment workers are women, and most of them live in developing countries. I started thinking about how every piece of clothing had a story, and I wanted to know what it was. But the more I researched, the less I wanted to know . Most of the brands in my closet had been cited for labor abuses, and I felt sick about wearing someone else’s suffering on my back. But the problems were distant and the solutions seemed elusive. When I looked for socially responsible brands, they were either not my style, or not in my budget. I tried to forget about the whole thing, but it was always in the back of my mind.


Years later, in 2012, I decided to do something about my conviction. I made a commitment that for one year I would not buy any products that exploited people. I would find brands that were doing good, that also fit my budget and my aesthetic.


It was hard at first – really hard. I didn’t buy much, and it was especially stressful when I was in a hurry to find something for a special event. The day before Valentines Day I tried to find something new to wear for a special date. I paced a few blocks of mainstream stores with no luck, and finally returned home in tears.

During that first year, I learned a lot and had to ask myself some hard questions. Could I be beautiful to my Valentines date, even if I didn’t have a new dress? Did my wardrobe define me? What was this impulse that made me feel like buying something new was so important?


I had to rework my relationship with my wardrobe, and learn that beauty was not just about style – it was about being mindful. And it ended up being the best thing, not just for my conscience, but for my wardrobe too. I used to stare into my closet and see a lot of trendy clothes I didn’t want to wear. Now I see quality clothing, pieces I love, which will last a long time. I also see the stories of people who have been given a decent paying job, who are able to support their families; people all over the world who can flourish because they’ve been treated with fairness and respect.


These people have hopes and dreams and deserve to be paid fair wages, and work in a safe environment. They deserve to live. To me, beauty is being mindful of their stories with every clothing purchase I make. I feel more beautiful when I know I’m wearing their success, their dignity, their hope for a better future.  


I decided to continue my commitment to socially conscious fashion, and have now just passed three years. The experience has taught me a lot, and I am learning every day.  I’ve dedicated myself to helping others shop in a conscious way, and direct people to the growing number of brands (link that are creating beautiful products in a responsible way, and who are making a difference around the world.


Mindfulness won’t look the same for everyone. There are hundreds of ways we can be more thoughtful in our purchases in relation to people and the environment, in everything from the fashion industry to the food industry to the electronics industry. The important thing is to not get overwhelmed or beat yourself up, but do what you can, right where you are. If we all make small changes, together we will make a big impact!




founder of Bien Faire, a lifestyle blog and shopping resource for a wardrobe that reflects your style and values.


real talk | baby sleep

August 14, 2015


Now listen, I really don’t have anything to tell you about baby sleep except what worked for us.

Which is to say, NOTHING.

You cannot make your baby sleep. No matter how thick your blackout shades are or how long you let them cry it out or how many dream feeds you do or anything. None of that works. Are you hearing me, new mom? You can’t make them sleep.

And then once they do somehow fall asleep, the next day is a whole new ballgame. They are teething, or overtired, or not tired enough, or they ate too much or too little or they are going through a growth spurt or a mental leap or they are busting out of their swaddle or they aren’t swaddled tight enough.

In the end, babies are tiny mental patients. They do whatever they want. And never when you want them to do it, and for no good reason at all. They are adorable, tiny, psycho maniacs.

I get furious when I read something or hear someone tell some unsuspecting new mom that they need to do XX and then their babies will sleep! Aunties around the world telling these new moms that their baby needs rice cereal and then they will have a full tummy and then they will sleep through the night.

My biggest issue with all of this boils down to one major thing : You are not in control. There are going to be a million things that affect your baby that you cannot do one damn thing about.

But you know what that means? It means FREEDOM. It means you can stop putting so much pressure on yourself to do the perfect thing. There is no perfect thing. Besides love. And knowledge.

I will say that I truly appreciated knowledge from the following sources, that helped me both understand baby sleep, and also to laugh it off when none of that made a dang difference. Charlotte and I had a rough go of sleep for the first few months. I was obsessive about trying to figure out how to get her to nap longer. She slept great at night, but she went through MONTHS where she would only nap for 20 minutes at a time. Ultimately, I think the issue was that I was unable to let her cry it out, and therefore learn to self soothe, because I was dealing with (unaware to myself) pretty crippling postpartum anxiety. My daughter came out of the womb with her eyes wide open. She has always been super alert and spirited, which makes winding down a challenge. She’s a year and half now and she STILL cries before going to bed. Granted, it’s a very short cry nowadays, but back in the day it was rough going. Here are the resources that helped me through this time, just by learning to understand what was going on in that tiny maniac’s brain and body.

The Happiest Baby on The Block  (I think every new parent would benefit from watching this before their baby is born, and watch his video too)

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child – Dr. Weissbluth (I liked that he advocates for plans that put the interest of the whole family first)

Just Babies Being Babies (This is Everything)

The Wonder Weeks (Alerts you to significant neurological leaps – fascinating!! This was always right on the money with sleep regressions)

Troublesome Tots (Bless this woman and her wisdom and for sharing it with the world)

Lastly, you will get through this. We will all sleep again.


For now, there’s ice cream.



This post is in collaboration with some other amazing moms! 

Be sure to check out their stories below and leave some love.

Apartment 34
Could I Have That
The Effortless Chic
Ave Styles
Parker Etc
A Daily Something



ps. Want even more Mom stuff?

Check out My Birth Story Here

Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3

FITNESS | Stress Relief Yoga

August 10, 2015


We’re trying something completely new…a Fitness series?  Are we crazy?  I don’t know..maybe.  But here’s the deal, we want to share with you all aspects of our lives, and for the past few years yoga has been a huge part of my life.  It has been such a blessing to my body.  It feels really vulnerable to step out and do this because A.  I’m no expert, B. I’m not certified (Tutti is tho:), and C.  I don’t know if you’ll like it.

But I love it, and I hope you’ll be open to journeying with me through this!  So…1…2…3…here we go

(See our Yoga Series on Darling HERE).

The steady rhythm of taxi cabs honking, chasing subways, weaving in and out of tourists, walking up and down that third floor walkup, running to and from meetings.  Stress seems inevitable.  Within the storm of the day trying to fight for even 30 minutes to work out can seem daunting.  Living in New York City there’s a constant pull that beckons us to run rampant every hour of the day.  Is it possible to stay grounded in it all?  We’ve discovered a way to not only stay grounded in the chaos, but to thrive in the midst of it all:  friendship and yoga.

Thankfully a year ago we met and instantly became best friends.  How we, Tutti and Kat, managed in life without each other is beyond us, but nonetheless we found each other.

Both lifelong athletes through different paths we both found yoga.  Yoga calls for a rejection of comparison, competition and charges us to be present, listen to and honor our body where it’s at today.  It can be hard to go on social media and see all these yogis who can bend and do crazy poses, feel overwhelmed, and throw in the towel before even showing up.  The reality is that most of these people have been practicing for years, decades even.  The cool thing about yoga is that there’s something in it for everyone.  No matter what poses we can or can’t do, we always come together and start from the same place – our breath.  How freeing is that?  And what an interesting concept to take off the mat and implement into your everyday life right?

The beautiful thing about yoga is that you can do it anywhere.  All you need is your mat, in our case a friend too, and your breath.

In yoga the entire practice is built from a place of conscious breathing. But, as poses get more difficult and as our lives feel hectic the choice to focus on sitting down and breathing can feel near impossible. This is why moving through poses tremendously aids in finding a quiet place within where it’s easier to reground, let go, and once again breath.

This is our 15 minute quick stress relief “flow” that designed to strip away the day’s stressesnand brings us to a more blissful place.  WarmUpA

First, find Child’s Pose. Sit back on your heels, rest forehead on the ground. Relax your entire body, and start connecting with your breath.

Next, find a neutral spine on all fours.  Begin moving with your breath.  Inhale into Cow pose, exhale to Cat pose.  Repeat 5 times. (This simple movement warms up your spine, wrists and hips.)

From here, curl your toes under and press into Downward Facing dog. Make sure you press into your index finger and thumb to avoid dumping weight onto the outside of your wrist.

Cycle through five breaths in Downward Facing Dog.  Slowly walk to your hands.  Bend knees as much as you need. Arrive into Rag Doll position. Hold onto opposite elbows, and if it feels good sway side to side.

Now onto through Sun Salutations A + B.



From Ragdoll, slowly roll all the way up, stacking one vertebrae over the next until you arrive and EXHALE in Mountain pose.

INHALE,  lift arms up, and gaze to your hands.

EXHALE, fold forward, release your neck.

INHALE, lift your torso halfway, gaze forward and widen your collarbone.

EXHALE, plant hands, step / hop back to Chaturanga Dandasana (if you can do a push up you can do this!)

Bend elbows to 90 degrees and shift forward to Upward Facing Dog as you INHALE.

EXHALE, downward facing dog.

Stay for five breaths.

Look forward, walk or jump to the top of your mat, INHALE, halfway lift.

EXHALE, fold forward.

INHALE, come to stand, raise your arms and look up.

EXHALE, Mountain Pose, arms by your side.




Make your way from Downward Facing Dog to Forward Fold.

INHALE, Chair Pose, sit hips back and raise arms alongside your ears.

EXHALE, drop hands to the mat and straighten legs.

INHALE, halfway lift.

EXHALE, plant hands and step/jump back Chaturanga Dandasana.

INHALE, Upward Facing Dog.

EXHALE, tuck toes, Downward Facing Dog.

INHALE, raise right leg.  Keep toes pointed toward the mat.

EXHALE, plant right foot in between hands, spin back heel down to 45 degrees (toes facing the top left corner of your mat).

INHALE, come to stand with arms alongside ears for Warrior I (you’re doing it!).

EXHALE, plant hands to frame foot. Step back to Plank, then lower halfway.

INHALE, Upward Facing Dog.

EXHALE, Downward Facing Dog


Once you’ve completed the left side, breathe in Downward Facing Dog.

Look forward, walk or jump to the top of your mat, INHALE, halfway lift.

EXHALE, fold forward.

INHALE, Chair pose.

EXHALE, Mountain Pose.


OPTIONS for Sun Salutation B:

First Cycle: Add a Lunge Twist after Warrior 1, left hand down, pick up back heel, and twist toward raised right arm.

Second Cycle: Humble Warrior after Warrior 1, interlace hands behind back, bring torso inside bent leg and stretch shoulders.  THEN release left hand down for Lunge Twist.

Third Cycle: Repeat above steps and add a Side Plank after Lunge Twist.

Finally, Child’s Pose Rest for 5 breaths.


Come to all fours and neutral spine, INHALE, right arm up.

EXHALE, thread it under left arm. Rest on right shoulder. Stay for 5 breaths.

INHALE, press up to untwist and gaze up.

EXHALE, neutral spine.

—– Repeat on Left Side —–

We’ll end with breath practice.  Find a comfortable seat, close your eyes, and breathe.

INHALE for counts of 4.

EXHALE for counts of 7.

Stay for three to five minutes, then slowly open your eyes, and smile.

Namaste y’all!


Tutti + Kat

Photos c/o Sara Kerens

dem jeans | featuring fitcode

August 6, 2015

citizens boyfriend jeans / shaggy coat / fitcode

Shopping for jeans online can be the most frustrating thing ever. So when Fitcode reached out to test their site – we were ALL IN – like flynn. It’s the best idea! Kat and I are both tall ladies so figuring out the inseam on jeans can be a nightmare to find in the detail section on shopping sites, and we are both also muscular in different places and so you can imagine how complicated it can be to buy jeans! But every woman I know has that special something… Which is great! Until the jeans arrive in the mail and it’s the most disappointing of mail days suddenly.

I got these jeans and I’m in love. 100% cotton jeans are my favorite, as I always have a problem with too much stretching and then falling off my waist.

They go with my all time favorite Stylesaint Bella Tank. If I’m feeling sassy (when am I not though?) they go with some heels and a fluffy coat. Boom. Girl Boss status.

citizens boyfriend jeans / shaggy coat / fitcode

the refined woman / fitcode







**This post is sponsored by Fitcode. All opinions expressed are our own. Thank you for supporting posts that keep the Refined Woman’s doors open. 

Boss Ladies | Jasmine Star

August 4, 2015

The things I could say about this woman could fill a book.

She is such a profound reason I am where I am today for a lot of reasons … her’s was the very first photography workshop I ever took. She personally connected me to some of my best and dearest friends today, all because I told her I didn’t know any photographers in the SF Bay Area. She is beyond generous in giving of herself, her time, and her knowledge to anyone she meets and that inspires me like crazy, in a world where everyone is protecting that stuff like gold, she just gives it away. And I think that’s what makes her such a force. I love reading her writing and so it’s even better that today, we not only get to highlight Jasmine, but we get to share a little of her writing with you too.

Seriously,  J – you are one boss lady. We love you like crazy!


1. How I got started doing what I’m doing now
I was in law school and really depressed because my mom had a relapse with brain cancer. I made the decision to withdraw and be with my family during this difficult time. An unexpected surprise was receiving a marriage proposal from my best friend and eight-year boyfriend, JD. Together we planned a wedding in Hawaii in three months and–against all odds–my mom joined my dad as they walked me down the aisle.
It was at my wedding when I decided I wanted to be a wedding photographer. Of course, this was a totally crazy idea, but I’m a firm believer in Crazy and Audacious Dreams, so I pushed forward and 10 years later, my husband and I run one of the nation’s most successful wedding photography studios.

2. The dumbest thing I ever did when I was starting out was –
I didn’t believe in myself. I mean, I made decisions to put me closer to my dream, but I doubted myself more than I believed in myself. I have no doubt this slowed my progress. If I had enough courage to forge ahead–regardless of the naysayers and unbelievers in my mind–I would have blossomed sooner.

3. If I was an emoji I would be the –
Well, I’m sarcastic and quick-witted, so my friends would say I’m the poop emoji, but I’d like to pretend I’m the salsa dancer (my dance moves would make Beyonce jealous…just sayin’.)

4. My last meal on earth would be –
A home-cooked meal from my husband…I love his kitchen skillz. Yes, with a z.

5. I can’t stand when other people –
Put others down.
Don’t stop others from chasing their dreams just because you won’t get off the couch to chase yours.

6. Are you more like your mom or dad?
I’m an eery split of both. Even down to my physical features, I’m a peculiar mix of their chromosomes at about 50% each.

7. Growing up I really wanted to be a –
I read quite a bit and I still harbor hope that one day I’ll start a library in my living room, complete with library cards and my innate ability to whisper SHHHHH in a convincing way.

8. My biggest guilty pleasure is –
Reality TV. Maybe I shouldn’t admit that.

9. One thing people don’t know about me –
My biggest fear is rejection.

10. Most likely to –
Say something I shouldn’t…

11. My spirit animal is a –

12. Coffee or Tea?
Tea. I might be Latina, but I’m sure there’s an old English grandma living in my soul.

13. Top of my bucket list is to –
Go on an international yoga retreat.

14. Night owl or early bird?
Early bird. If there’s a worm to get, I’m all about the early morning hustle to get it.

15. The item of clothing that makes me feel like a boss is –
a leather jacket…


Hey J, we’ll watch reality TV with you any day.

Don’t miss out on our other Boss Ladies –
Lauren Scruggs
Jenna Kutcher

Photo c/o Trevor Hoehne

Thirty Flirty and Thriving…

July 28, 2015


“It’s just that I’m freaking out that I’m getting older, and I feel like I’m supposed to have my life all figured out and I have no idea what I’m doing here,” I was turning 26, and having a quarter life crisis because I was now in my ‘mid-to-late 20s’.  I cried to my then 9 year old sister.

“But you’re not the age yet” Grace said.

“What age?”

“You know…the age…”

“What do you mean…the height of my life is over”…yes…I am dramatic.

“Kaffy, you’re not 30, flirty and thriving!”

Oh the wisdom of my baby sister.  She was right, and something about what she said stuck with me.  That and maybe Jennifer Garner and the movie too.

But ever since then I’ve been so excited to be 30.  And even though I’ve been telling people I’m in my 30s for almost a year now.  I just turned it a few weeks ago.

katherines-birthday-105 And so far it’s incredible.

When I turned 20 I was so insecure with me.  Like all of me.

Constantly I flung myself from one extreme of feeling like I was never enough to feeling like I was way too much of a personality.

I was so insecure with my body.

I truly believed I was single because I wasn’t skinny enough.

I was playing tennis and so burnt out and wanted to transfer schools, but was so confused.

I had no idea who I was and what I wanted to do with my life, and felt so much pressure to have arrived, and felt like such a failure for seeming so far from said allusive arrival.

All at the ripe age of 20.

It was crippling.  I was overwhelmed.  Burnt out.  And completely insecure.

Man the things that can transpire in 10 years.

At 30, yes I realize I’m just two weeks in, but here’s how I feel.

I feel more fully me, and more fully alive than I ever have in my life.

I feel grounded.

I feel purposeful.

I am eternally grateful to the beautiful souls that I get to do life with.  My family and friends that have surrounded me with love and support.  I am humble, and blown away by the people that are in my life.

Of course I have days of insecurity, who doesn’t?  But I can honestly say I love my body, and am so grateful the gift of my health.

I love that I can be loud, and goofy, and start a dance party at the drop of a hat.  And I love that I love people, and love diving to the depths of the ocean and talking about life, God, struggles, and doubts.

I love what I do, but I know that it doesn’t define me.

I feel eager and excited for life, and what God has for me, for my community, for this world.

And I’ve finally let of the the pressure I’ve put on my life and others to have it all figured out.

It’s not really about what I’m doing; it’s about why I’m doing it.

There’s so much freedom in that.

My vision is to empower women to embrace their beauty, value, identity and worth.

Right now the vehicles for that are my photography, my blog, wriitng, and speaking.  The vehicles may change, the vision may morph, and that’s ok.

Because I know whose I am.

And I know who I am.

I know my voice matters.

That I am worthy.

That I am enough.

And guess what…

I believe this is the next chapter of the incredible adventure that I get to call my life.  It’s right here, right now, unfolding all around me.  On my way to the subway, or shooting a wedding, or snuggling in bed with one of my sisters, or doing acro yoga in McCarren part, or dreaming big dreams and figuring out how to make them realities…all these moments and seasons, big and almost unnoticeable collide together to take me to the next step.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I can’t wait for the next 30 years…I have a feeling they’re going to be pretty wonderful.



P.S. Here are some shots from my Birthday weekend.  My friends + family surprised me by flying and and taking me on an adventurous weekend.  I feel so overwhelmed with the love of the people in my life!

katherines-birthday-18 katherines-birthday-29 katherines-birthday-47 katherines-birthday-80 katherines-birthday-111 katherines-birthday-179 katherines-birthday-128 katherines-birthday-205 katherines-birthday-217



July 14, 2015


“Our mission is simple.  Connect women globally so they can collaborate, inspire and support each other in their work.  We know there are many resources out there for kids, what to buy for them, what to do with them, how to raise them and how not to. We’re not about that here. heymama is the place for a mama to focus on things that fuel her, and her passions.

Our content will be focused on the voice of the creative mother, brand builder, risk taker and go-getter.”

WAIT SAY WHAT… These ladies wanted to Feature ME? The mom with all these hopes, all these dreams, but with her hair all a mess and no snacks or extra pants packed in the diaper bag.

I’ll be the first to admit that on instagram it looks like life is pretty good over here in toddler town… but most days I just seem to be treading water. Running a photography business, trying to keep up with The Refined Woman, keeping my tiny human alive and fed and out of the tv cords, oh and starting a new styling business in my spare time. Really guys, it’s a hot mess. I’m working this thing out day by day and with much toil and tears and coffee and snuggles from my hubby and FRIENDS replaying on Netflix and beer. I am not sleeping enough, that’s for sure.


But then again, I can’t see myself living any other life right now. My babe inspires me to be more and do more somehow. Days that I have away to work at things that fill my creative passion gives me strength to be all there for her those other days. Not that I don’t have my moments. If you have kids you know exactly what I mean. Plus last month my nanny moved and every daycare in the Bay Area has a 12 month waiting list….. really though. What is this world.

So here I am, making things work as a mom. I’d like to start sharing more of my mom life here but I think I want to know, what do you want to know? I’m an open book. Give me some prompts and I will start writing. I’m here for you, whether you’re a mom or single or a photographer or a stylist or a blogger or just a woman who wants to know what to pair with her boyfriend jeans. Hit me.

In the meantime, check out my interview on Hey Mama. It was a real treat.




images c/o Delbarr Moradi

Ghosting…so that’s like a thing now?

July 6, 2015


Ghosting:  The act of suddenly ceasing all communication with someone the subject is dating, but no longer wishes to date. This is done in hopes that the ghostee will just “get the hint” and leave the subject alone, as opposed to the subject simply telling them he/she is no longer interested.

No, I’m not proud of the fact that I am introducing an article by using a definition from Urban Dictionary.  But it seems appropriate in this case because I did not know what this meant until I recently experienced it.

I think sometimes people can see my life on social media and think I live this glamorous, sexy, single New York City lifestyle.  And yes, I am so grateful for the life I get to live.  I love that I get to take pictures and travel and do what I love for a living.  But I always try to remind people that the image on instagram is the one perfectly curated and edited moment of the day.  Not that it’s fake; it’s just life is not as sexy as we make it out to be online.

Most of my 20s was not filled with endless dates and boyfriends or flings.  Going out with my girlfriends on a Friday night a few things would happen:

  1. I was uninterested in meeting a guy at a bar or restaurant or anywhere really if I was out with friends.  I wanted to be hanging with muh gurlz, not meeting new people.  And here are my thoughts on dancing with a guy at da club:  really how far can it go?  It’s like you inevitably get to this point where it’s like well should we make out now? And then you do, and then you’re like ok well that was fun, bye.  And if you’re all talk like me it just gets to that awkward uhhh I gotta go to the bathroom…bye.  What I really want to do is dance by myself to Beyonce in a group of friends and not be bothered by some guy dancing up on me.  I can’t be caged.  Let me do my twirls for crying out loud.  I understand this puts guys in a weird place.  Because they want to go to clubs to meet girls.   But I just want to work on my latest moves that I learned from the Who Runs the World music video.
  2. Guys tonight it’s stay out till you makeout.  And we’d all agree YAAAAAaaAA!  Tonight we’re going to make out with a stranger at a bar.  This sounds like a great plan.  But then we’d get to said bar, and all chicken out and dance with each other.  I can only speak for myself but when the opportunity would finally arise I would always feel uneasy about it and duck out.

A kiss means a lot to me, and I don’t just give them flippantly to any guy.  For me the physical is always a shadow of something going on deeper.  So a kiss reflects that I care about you, I want to know your heart, I like you,  I want to date you.  So stay out till you make out typically ended in me doing the dougie on the dance floor with a bunch of friends, having pizza at 2 a.m., and then walking home linked arms with my best friends.  Not a bad night if you ask me.

All that to say my 20s has not been this endless parade of men that some people might think it has been.  I went almost 6 years without dating anyone or even holding a guys hand in my early 20s.  And then after a bad dating experience didn’t date for almost two years.  Until moving to New York.

You’ve read about some of my journey in Real Sex in the City Series (although I think I should officially change it to Sexless in the City).  The highs and lows, and epic moments + winters heartbreaks.  

Since I haven’t dated a ton, and now have dated more in the last year than I have in my entire 20s combined I’m learning there are some weird things that happen in the realm of dating that I had no idea about.

Like ghosting.

What the heck is ghosting?

One of my friends recently went on a few dates with this guy.  And he seemed like a good guy.  He took her on some really nice dates.  Then all of a sudden:  nothing.  She completely stopped hearing from him.

My questions:  Did he flee the country?  Is he in the hospital?  Did someone cut off his hands?  Is that why he cannot pick up his phone?  Where did he go and why did he drop off the face of the earth?

No.  He ghosted her.  This wasn’t the first time this happened to her.  She shrugged it off, while I wanted to send out a search party.  And then I asked a few other of my single girlfriends in the city, and almost all of them have experienced the same thing at some point.  So this behavior has become somewhat normal and acceptable?

Say whattttt?

Not on my watch folks.  Not on my watch.

And then lo and behold it happened to me.  (Insert gasp).

I had seen this guy a few times, and thought he was a great guy.  We’d text throughout the week little things here and there.  Nothing huge.

The last time we saw each other it was great.  Good conversations.  Movement made towards each other.  Connectedness.  Feelings seemed mutual.  A sweet good bye.  Nothing that would lead me to believe this was the last time I’d speak or see him.

Then a day went by.  Two, three days. By five days I was hurt and confused am I being ghosted?  By a week I assumed ok I guess this over?  But why does it have to happen this way?  Day 9 I was straight pissed.  Who does this guy think he is?  I felt like an idiot.  Like I had been played a fool.  And more so I felt disrespected.  Take the romantics away, to have a great connection with a new friend and then all of a sudden never hear from them again?  That’s painful and really disappointing.  No one deserves to be blown off.

Some of my friends said to just let it go.  Other friends said it deserved a conversation.  I was just straight up confused.

After two weeks of radio silence and a plethora of fake conversations in my head that included Who gave youuuuuuuuuu the right???  I finally reached out.  Maybe that makes me desperate?  Or maybe that makes me human for wanting to have a real face to face conversation?

I felt like I wasn’t just taking a stand for myself, but on principle for all people who have been the ghostee. We met up and sat outside on the curb in my neighborhood, a warm Brooklyn summer night, and had a face to face real and raw and somewhat messy conversation.  But that’s life right?  It can be messy, especially when dealing with other people’s hearts and that’s ok.  I shared with him ‘hey when you did this, this is how it made me feel’.

Trust me, the last thing I wanted to do was have a conversation with a guy that obviously didn’t like me.  I didn’t want to let him know that his actions hurt my feelings.  I want to be an impenetrable superwoman.  But the reality is that it did hurt.  To remove my superwoman cape, and give myself the permission to even hurt was a huge personal breakthrough for me.  I learned it doesn’t make me weak or desperate; it makes me free.

And what I also learned is that it hurts way less to just have the conversation of hey you’re great, I’m great…but I am not interested in taking this further, than no conversation at all That is not a fun conversation to have, but in that you hold yourself high, you are treating the other person with respect and dignity, and you can walk away with your head held high.

So I’m dying to know…have you been ghosted?  What happened?  How did it make you feel?Have you ghosted someone else?   If so what were you reasons behind doing it?  Would you do it again?

I’m curious to know your thoughts!



Boss Ladies | Lauren Scruggs

July 2, 2015

Friends we are so delighted to bring you our second installment in our Boss Ladies Series! The inspiring and beautiful Lauren Scruggs.

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Em : I feel so lucky to be doing the Refined Woman with Kat. I trust her more than anyone and especially when it comes to women, Kat has this way of surrounding herself with the best, most wonderful and encouraging women I know. I feel pretty thankful to know Lauren through her and I’m just excited to share some fun things about her with ya’ll (the Texas is rubbing off on me!)

Kat : We’re both from Dallas and grew up at the same church, but our paths didn’t cross until years later when we were both chasing some dreams in the fashion world.  We had a phone date when I lived in LA, and instantly I knew this girl was a soul sister.  Since then we’ve laughed together, cried together, worked together, talked about boys, been fashion week cohorts, prayer buddies, and yes we’ve even danced to Beyonce (are you at all surprised by this?).

Here’s what I have to say about Lauren:  she’s the real deal.  She is so bright, genuine, and full of life, and I’m so honored that I get to call her a dear friend.

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15 Things You Might Not Know about Me

1. How I got started doing what I’m doing now – I have a very entrepreneurial spirit​,​ and I love​ ​​finding​ ways to encompass all of my passions. That is what led me to starting LOLO Magazine, The Lauren Scruggs Kennedy Foundation, and an in-the-works product that is landing soon!​ I am​ also​ such a believer in sharing you​r​ story​​ and life experience, so authoring books has been such an enjoyable and deepening enterprise.
2. The dumbest thing I ever did when I was starting out was -​ not saying no enough! I always kept in mind, though, that starting something new is such a trial/error experience, so even the fails helped me learn how to do my job better! ​
3. If I was an emoji I would be the – ​laughing guy. ​
4. My last meal on earth would be – ​the sushi rolls, Mediterranean salad, and fudge sundae ​from R&D Kitchen in Dallas.
5. I can’t stand when other people -​ are late.​
6. Are you more like your mom or dad?​ My dad, but my mom and I are besties!​
7. Growing up I really wanted to be a – ​vet because I love any animal, especially mini ones. ​
8. My biggest guilty pleasure is -​ shopping online.​
9. One thing people don’t know about me – ​I love rainbow sprinkles.​
10. Most likely to – ​get lost.​
11. My spirit animal is a – ​surfer.​
12. Coffee or Tea?​ ​Tea at night is my favorite, but an almond milk latte during the day is a must!
13. Top of my bucket list is to – ​visit the tulip farms in the Netherlands.​
14. Night owl or early bird?​ I am always in bed early but stay up late!
15. The item of clothing that makes me feel like a boss is – ​My go-to black blazer.​

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Thanks so much Lauren for taking the time to share some fun stuff with us!! We love you like whoa.


If you didn’t get a chance to catch the amazing Jenna Kutcher last time, you can find that post here!

Photos of Lauren c/o Koury Angelo