About Me

~by Kate


I’m so happy that Anne has asked me to co-blog with her!  Anne is without a doubt the truest friend that I have ever had.  She’s just one of those people that I’m completely comfortable being myself around, and I know she loves me despite my many flaws.  What more could a girl ask for (aside from living close to each other again)?

For my first post here, I thought I would write a little about myself so that you can get to know me a little better.  So, here are 25 random facts about me.

  1.  My husband really is my best friend, and I don’t know what I would do without him.
  2. I have a 17 year old stepson, but most of the time I just refer to him as my son.  I’ve been in his life since he was 4 years old, and we are really close.
  3. I have Crohn’s disease.  For those of you who don’t know what Crohn’s disease is, it’s an autoimmune disease that is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that affects the lining of the digestive tract.  It can also manifest itself in other places outside of the digestive tract such as the skin, eyes, and joints just to name a few.
  4. I’m disabled because of my Crohn’s disease and all of the havoc that it has caused.  Primarily the vision loss, neuropathy, and then just the Crohn’s disease itself.  Coming to terms with the fact that I was disabled at the age of 27 was one of the hardest things that I have ever had to deal with.
  5. I have a dog named Bella who is really more like another child.  She’s a German shepherd and husky mix, and she’s beyond spoiled.
  6. I love to cook and bake.
  7. I love reading, and I’m still able to read as long as it’s really large print.
  8. I’m almost completely blind in my right eye, I have no peripheral vision, and I have issues seeing certain colors.  This is all because of Crohn’s.  Due to the vision loss, I haven’t been able to drive for the past 4 years.
  9. I’ve recently started a journey to better health.
  10. My family is really hard to explain to other people.  I honestly never realized how complex my family was until I was trying to explain it to someone.  My parents are divorced, and both have remarried.  I consider myself to have 4 parents.  Each of my stepparents has a son and a daughter from a previous marriage.  I have a sister and a brother from my parents marriage.  My brother was adopted, and that is a whole geneologic mess in and of itself.  My family may be complex, but they’re mine and I love them.
  11. I don’t trust people very easily.  I have a very small inner circle of people who I truly trust, and I can tell anything to.
  12. My alcoholic drink of choice is white wine – preferably moscato or reisling.
  13. I don’t drink pop anymore, and I primarily just drink water (except for the occasional glass of wine).
  14. I can be very sarcastic, and I have a twisted sense of humor.
  15. I probably enjoy reality t.v. just a little too much.  I’m talking Teen Mom, Dance Moms, The Voice, and lots of craziness that is on TLC.
  16. I can’t stand being hot.  I would much rather be cold.  Ironically, I love summer because I like to wear summer dresses and flip flops.
  17. I collect angels.   My favorite angel that I have is a beautiful stained glass angel with red hair that my mother-in-law made especially for me.
  18. I pretty much live in pajamas.  Seriously, if I’m not leaving the house there’s a 99% chance that I’m in pajamas.
  19. My favorite color is pink, and I have way too much pink stuff (by everyone else’s standards, but not by mine).
  20. My side of the closet is arranged in a very methodical fashion.  My clothes are grouped by item type (camisoles, tanks, short sleeve shirts, etc), and then arranged by color from lightest to darkest within each grouping.  My husband and son make fun of me because of this.
  21. I can waste hours browsing Pinterest.  Is there anyone who doesn’t lose track of time when browsing Pinterest?
  22. I hate cilantro.  I think that it tastes like soap.  I recently learned that the reason I think that it tastes like soap is genetic.  Really, there have been studies done that prove this.
  23. I never were nail polish on my fingernails, but my toenails have to be polished at all times.  I have no logical explanation for this.
  24. My husband and I have so many inside jokes that I think that if anyone overheard the majority of our conversations they would probably question our sanity.
  25. As I’m about to post this, my husband and dog are hogging the bed and snoring. 

31 Day Writing Challenge ~ Day 20: Difficult Time in My Life

Written by Annebella

The most difficult time in my life would be right after we had our first child.  I didn’t know it but was suffering from severe depression (post-partum?) and anxiety.  I had continual thoughts of suicide.  I was just not right in the head.  I felt like I deserved this torture, I couldn’t see past my day-to-day feelings.  I didn’t seek help nor did I talk about my problems to anyone because I seriously didn’t think I deserved any better.  Here I had this beautiful, sweet, new baby boy and I felt like such a major failure.  I wanted to sleep all the time, I had crying jags that lasted for hours, and the only relief I got was going to my older sister’s house during the day to divert my attention – and it worked.  I cleaned her house, babysat for her kids, hung out with her and drank copious amounts of coffee.  Then I’d go home to my lie.  I was a good mom but inside was just feeling like crawling out of my skin.  The problem was with me.

This same sister turned her back on me and didn’t want to see me get ahead in any way, shape, or form.  This compounded my confusion especially at this fragile time in my life.  Heartbreaking to have to write because I was close to her and she screwed with me every chance she got and I was in a highly emotional state.

She’ll never know the damage she had caused.  Yes, I have moved on but looking back at my life- that was the worst time because I needed help and guidance and all I got was jealousy and her “one upping” me.  I thought it was my fault somehow until I slowly (and I mean slowly) figured out her game and put an end to it.  We have not spoken since.  That was 20+ years ago.  Things will never mend.  I have forgiven her and hold no hate in my heart but she is a stubborn mule. I see her from time to time and she wont even look in my direction.  Today it doesn’t bother me one bit.  Life has moved on, but back in the day that was definitely my most difficult time.

Billy Joel ~ The Piano Man

*Written by Annebella

It’s no secret to my friends that I love me some Billy Joel.  I have ever since I was just a little kid.  I look back on his music with such fond memories.  Being raised in a large family one memory sticks out about his music the most.  It was the 4th of July and we were having a huge family party.  It was perfect weather, it was late at night and the fireworks were over.  We were playing volley ball and badminton in the side yard with the big strobe lights on.  My older brothers had their stereo speakers out their bedroom window and were playing Billy Joel.  It was a perfect summer night with the perfect music.

I drew this while listening to his Downeaster “Alexa”  song and others from his album The Essential Billy Joel.


I also made this t-shirt recently to wear to his concert:


To this day I enjoy all of his music, he truly is a talent and one of those “ahead of his time”.  I also drew this before going to his concert:


My dream would be to meet him in person and have him sing to me (get in line, right?).  I do have two favorite songs of his:  Two-Thousand Years Ago and my absolute favorite is River Of Dreams  for personal reasons.  I’m going to include them below:

In 1993, Billy Joel released his final studio album River of Dreams, an album that details Joel’s issues regarding trust, betrayal and the idea of everlasting love. Watch the official music video for ‘The River of Dreams’, which became a Top 10 hit in the US and his highest-charting track of the 1990s.


And for reasons I cannot explain other than it shoots straight to my heart is Two Thousand Years:  From the album, River of Dreams (1993), “Two Thousand Years” finds Billy Joel being reflective as the line “time is relentless” probably sums up his thoughts at the time (he was getting older and would soon be getting divorced from his wife, Christie Brinkley). The song caught my attention because of the interplay between piano and drums, the melody and the lyrics. I really like the piano work and the creative percussion.

Joel is at a time in his life where he starts to question the direction his life will take. At the same time, he does a serious exploration of a spiritual nature (throughout the album, actually). Here, the obvious is stated: humanity has acquired much knowledge over the years, but, in spite of this, man hasn’t changed at the core. However, even though we’re still fighting wars and oppressing people we don’t like, love trumps all other desires and emotions. The theme is certainly not new and the ideas are old. But, for someone who is getting older and having life-changing experiences (whatever that particular moment in time is), it’s about bringing new life to these ideas. This requires reflection on values that are easily overlooked in the course of our lives.

I ♥ Billy Joel.

Welcome Kate

*Written by Annebella

You may have noticed that I recently changed my blog name from “Annebella Says” to “Annebella & Kate”.  That is because I have decided to co-write this blog with my very best friend Kate.  Kate and I worked together on the night shift for 8+ years until she moved away *insert sad face*.  She is without a doubt my best friend.  She is my “2nd husband” as I like to say because she knows me so well.  When you work alone with one other person FULL TIME for that long you REALLY get to know them.  She knows me like the back of her hand and visa versa.

I once wrote a blog post titled “Logical Thinking vs. Emotional Thinking” because at the time, I was the emotional thinker whilst Kate was the logical one.  What an interesting post it turned out to be and what a shame it was lost over the years.  What I learned from Kate is how to put some of my emotional thinking on the back burner and think logically, and she learned the same from me as well- to try to think a little more emotionally.  We have taught each other so much over the years.  What an awesome, balanced team we were at work and in our personal lives.

Kate loves to cook and bake.  Oh, how I miss going to my house or her house after work and creating yummy dishes – especially chili.  Or, our famous homemade salsa.  If I had a craving for something, Kate would always come through for me.  Let’s say I needed some fresh baked lemon bars in my life- I knew I could count on her and visa versa.  Life has not been the same since she moved away, however, when we talk it’s as if no time has passed and I still love her so much and consider her to be one of the best friends I have ever had.

Kate is hilarious.  She is super smart (photographic memory) and would have to “dumb things down” for me at work at times.  “Email for Dummies” – since I am a visual learner, Kate would have to explain many an email to me.  Gosh, how I miss having that.  When I was having a fit at work, Kate would “edit” my emails to my boss since I was obviously being the emotional one and all- said wayyyyy too much.  She probably saved my job a few times.  LOL.  She was my official “PMS Email Filter”.  Making sure I didn’t get myself into hot water.

Kate has a heart of gold and is a talented crafter and cook!  She can throw together a mean party and is organized to a “T”.  We were the “ODD COUPLE” because in so many ways we were the complete opposite which was the cause for MANY hysterical outbursts of laughter.  She seems to be one of those people who knows a lot about everything – and she remembers statistics, dates, etc. while I cannot remember what I did yesterday.  She was and still is an education to me, one that I gladly accept.  She does remind me a lot of my husband from her quick wit to her great advice.  Maybe that’s why I love her so much?

So, be on the look out for her soon ~ I know you can look forward to many interesting posts including (but certainly not limited to) great recipes, health & wellness, and a bunch of snark.  She is my girl!!!   XOXOXOX Love you Kate!




31 Day Writing Challenge ~ Day 19: What I collect

I love owls and have a teensie collection but I guess what I really hoard collect would be handbags.  I’m a sucker for a nice Coach purse. I also have a few Dooney & Bourke’s ~ and a Michael Kors too.  I must have at least 15 Coach with matching wallets.  I wear them for about 3 weeks and then get bored with them and put them up in my stash.  I have been known to give them away to good friends and family.  I have a Chicago Prime Outlet Mall close by so I never pay full price- I actually get amazing deals.

I also have an excellent Strawberry Shortcake collection that I absolutely adore.  I must have at least 40 dolls and lots of accessories.  I cannot wait to get through the storage closet and get them out for my 4 year old granddaughter.


How many of you remember this little guy?  The Strawberry Shortcake Butterfly!  You seat your Strawberry Shortcakes in their seats and when you click the button on his tail his wings flap.  He was my favorite and yes, he’s in my collection.

I have been collecting for years.  I look at estate sales, garage sales, and ebay has a great variety too.

Sprang fevah

I have Sprang fevah.  Bad.  This Chicago weather is nutty.  One day it’s in the 60’s and sunny and the next freezing cold.  All I dream about is planting flowers.  Flowers galore.  I am even looking forward to watering and caring for them what is wrong with me?.  Every time I pass a Lowes, Home Depot, or Menards I just want to run in there and see what’s going on but I see they don’t have it quite set up just yet.  Damnit.

I look forward to the sun filled days where going outside feels like a treat.  I look forward to getting out more with my granddaughter.  I NEED flip-flops and t-shirts and shorts.

I need to dig in the dirt and make a mess.  I want to hear the birdies chirp and the lawnmowers mowing.

Can you imagine if your house looked like this:


Mine, of course will look nothing like this because I’m not a professional but I’m still excited.


31 Day Writing Challenge ~ Day 18: Meaning behind my blog name

Annebella & Kate” ~ recently changed from “Annebella Says” – I’ve decided to share my blog with my BFF Kate.  She is beautiful inside and out, one of the smartest people I know, and I’m soooo sooooo lucky to call her my best friend.  This blog is pretty easy to break down.  My name is Annebella and my posts come from my heart.  This blog is not the most intellectual blog (Kate will probably change that) you are going to run across ~ it’s just a simple girl writing what pops across her mind and it’s written in a down-to-earth way as if I were talking.  Nothing fancy, because there is nothing fancy about me.  I’m a jeans and t-shirt kinda gal, with a feisty attitude and a very demented sense of humor.