Kate Spade’s New Kitchen Collection is Surprisingly Affordable

The new Kate Spade kitchen collection just launched, and I promptly wish-listed half of the items. Seriously, though, here are a few pieces I’d love to own. They’re colorful, festive, and functional. The prices are surprisingly affordable too.

Kate Spade Kitchen Collection 2c

1. Appetizer plates (set of 4), $40

2. Chopping boards (set of 2) | striped set, $25

3. Ampersand trivet, $15

4. Kitchen towel, $10

5. 3 piece ice cream set, $40

6. Utensil crock with 3 utensils, $40

7. Tea kettle, $50

My Life Got Better When I Started Living it My Way

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older. #passiondefinedremyrefined #CollectiveBias

Would you believe me if I told you that I toured the Midwest as the lead singer of a popular reggae band? Fact! The opportunity to perform reggae music while living in St. Louis made me feel so connected to my island roots. Caribbean culture shaped who I am after all! I’ve performed at the Wild Hare in Chicago and opened for international recording artists like Luciano and Steel Pulse. While music had always been a passion, it had never been one I thought I could or should explore while building my academic career. But, why can’t we have it all? I’m really excited, then, that Rémy Martin feels the same way and wants to help you pursue your passions, whatever they may be.


I’m so grateful for three important role models who guided me while I navigated my varied interests. They encouraged me not to be defined by what I do and to instead do all the things that inspire me. I had no idea at the time how important that lesson was. I now know; however, that that encouragement has served as a catalyst for me to continue exploring new interests. I started a blog. I started teaching dance fitness courses. I’ve embraced opportunities to do public speaking. And, all of these things paint the picture of who I am.

Live Life Your Way 2c6

Need help pursuing your passion? Enter the Rémy Martin Sweepstakes:

To enter the sweepstakes, the Entrant must log on to his/her Twitter account and (i) follow @RemyRefined (if he/she does not already), and (ii) Tweet an image of Entrant showing their life passion and including the hashtags #RemyRefined and either #ChicagoSweepstakes, #DetroitSweepstakes, or #StLouisSweepstakes, depending on Entrant’s state of residence.

  •      Grand Prize (1): The grand prize winner will receive a mentor for one (1) year to help winner live out his/her passion and a check for $5,000 (“Grand Prize”).
  •      First Prize (15 [five (5) per location]): Each first prize winner will receive two (2) tickets to a Jhené Aiko concert on either August 12, 2016 for Michigan winners, August 16, 2016 for Illinois winners, or August 17, 2016 for Missouri winners, a meet and greet with Jhené Aiko, and a Rémy Martin gift bag (“First Prize”).
  •      Second Prize (30 [ten (10) per location]): Each second prize winner will receive two (2) tickets to a Jhené Aiko concert on either August 12, 2016 for Michigan winners, August 16, 2016 for Illinois winners, or August 17, 2016 for Missouri winners (“Second Prize’).

No Purch. Nec. Ends 8/31/16. 21+, IL, MI, MO only, Rules: RemyRefined.com

Rémy Martin Tropical Cocktail 1c

One of my mottos is to live colorfully. You’ve seen my colorful clothing and outfits. You’ve seen my colorful home. I eat and drink in color as well. Here’s one of my favorite cocktails to serve during the summertime. It’s tropical, it’s bright, and it’s super tasty. I like to call it “Paradise Blend.” The drink uses Rémy Martin VSOP (or Rémy Martin 1738 on special occasions), my favorite Fine Champagne cognac. This cognac has fruity notes that blend perfectly with tropical juices.

Rémy Martin Tropical Cocktail 2c

Paradise Blend Recipe:

1 oz Rémy Martin VSOP

2 oz Tropical juice (I used a blend of pineapple, apple, carrot, and passion fruit)

Ice for shaking

Strawberry slices for garnish

Lemon slices for garnish

Directions: Shake ice, Rémy Martin VSOP, and juice together. Strain into a glass. Add garnishes et voila!

Rémy Martin Tropical Cocktail 3c

What would you most love to do if you could be supported in that endeavor? Give yourself a chance, and enter the Rémy Martin sweepstakes today.

Rémy Martin Tropical Cocktail 4c

A Fresh Start: First Look at the 2017 Kate Spade Planner

For as long as I can remember, I’ve believed in taking notes, making to-do lists, and writing things down to make them happen. So, I’ve always had notebooks, agendas, and notepads around. In the past couple years, though, I found myself leaning more heavily on technology, like my iPhone and laptop, to keep my daily schedule organized. I appreciated the pop-up reminders for major scheduled events and eventually let these gadgets replace my paper organization tools. That was until I was reminded of how helpful the process of physically writing things down was and how important it was for me to be able to view my day, week, month, or even year at a glance. This year, then, I decided to return to my favorite Kate Spade planner to keep tabs on my life.

2017 Kate Spade large floral 17 month agenda 4c

2017 Kate Spade Large Agenda | Pouch | Pens | Stapler | Tape Dispenser | Washi Tape

2017 Kate Spade large floral 17 month agenda 2c

I had this realization of the importance of my old school planner system fairly late in the year, so I purchased a cheaper planner while I waited for the release of the 2017 Kate Spade planner. These planners are 17-month agendas, which run from August 2016 to December 2017. By the way, how beautiful is this new patio floral design? The planners are also available in the classic gold dots, bold black and white stripes, and a couple other designs. I’m using a size large agenda; there are also medium and jumbo sizes.

2017 Kate Spade Set the stage 17-month large agenda patio floral 11c

What I look for in a planner is that it has the features I value in helping me stay organized. Below are my favorite ones, including interior pockets, which are perfect for storing post-it notes or any loose pages that I’d like to keep handy.

2017 Kate Spade large floral 17 month agenda 5

Need to take a quick look at 2017? I can do so easily because there are complete 2017 and 2018 calendars at the front of the planner.

2017 Kate Spade large floral 17 month agenda 16c

Want to know when Easter or International Women’s Day will fall in 2017? Before googling it, I can just flip to my list of major holidays in the planner. I’m also fond of the celebrations pages that I can use to note important days throughout the year, like my wedding anniversary and friend’s birthdays. There are even a few blank notes pages that follow those sections.

2017 Kate Spade large floral 17 month agenda 13c

I anticipate spending most of my time in these next few sections―the monthly and weekly spreads―of the planner. By the way, in the Kate Spade planner, each monthly section begins with a quotation.

2017 Kate Spade large floral 17 month agenda 9c

I use the month at a glance pages to highlight the most important goals, events, or deadlines occurring in that month. Getting an overview really helps me set up the tasks I need to complete in order to get the work done.

Image result for down arrow Kate Spade arrow paper clip | I also use these expletive paper clips

2017 Kate Spade large floral 17 month agenda 10c

I spend most of my time on the weekly spreads, writing down tasks that anchor some major goal and checking them off when completed.

2017 Kate Spade large floral 17 month agenda 17c

These are the only pens I use. Like ever. Right now, I’m keeping them in a super chic pouch (on sale) from the Reed Krakoff collection for Kohl’s.

REED Atlantique Medium Pouch in fuchsia orange 1c

Bringing Happy Hour Home

This post is sponsored by Anheuser Busch.

My husband and I host a few big parties at our house every year. I almost always exceed our budget because of my elaborate food and drink menus. This summer, though, we’re keeping it simple and having just as much fun. Delectable bites. Refreshing signature drinks. Good company. That’s all any good party ever needs, right?

I heard that Bud Light Lime Ritas, now available in various flavors, can transform any gathering into a fiesta. So, when I was invited to try a few flavors, I decided to test them out at a small get together at my house. I rounded up cases of Straw-Ber-Rita, Lime-A-Rita, and Mang-O-Rita, chilled them on ice in my favorite beverage tub, and just like that, my party had a signature drink.

Bug Light Lime-A-Rita is my personal favorite. It’s like a tasty margarita. No mixing and blending required. By the way, Bud Light Lime Ritas are affordable too. I purchased 12 packs, and they were about $11.99 each. Good deal, right?

If you’re a fan of sweet and fruity flavors, the mango and strawberry flavors have your name all of over them. During the summertime, I crave flavors like these. The Straw-Ber-Rita and Mang-O-Ritas are sweet with a little kick. 

My favorite vegan light bites paired well with the Bud Light Lime Ritas, especially the smashed avocado tomato basil bruschetta. In love with avocado too? Do yourself a favor and grab the recipe here

The Bud Light Lime Ritas are so delicious that wherever they go a party spontaneously happens.

Living Well in 2015

And, so it begins. A new year. A time for fresh starts. A perfect time to focus and to strategize with the goal of living our lives well in 2015. I was invited by Nissan via Mode Media to explore the concept of having it all. As part of this campaign, I watched Latham Thomas, a wellness expert at mamaglow.com, share how she gets glowing at home. From bringing the outdoors indoors with fresh flowers to setting up spaces for pampering and rejuvenation, Latham’s home is her sanctuary in fast-paced New York City.

I was so inspired by Latham’s home tour that I thought about my own home and how crucial the setup of my home is to my journey to living well. Born and raised in the Caribbean country, St. Kitts, island culture shaped who I am. My taste in food. My love of vibrant colors. My obsession with roots music. Culture defines who I am and feeds my imagination. Now that I live in St. Louis, over 2200 miles away from St. Kitts (not that I’m counting or anything), I sometimes worry about my distance from important cultural traditions. It’s really important for me, then, that my decor breathes Kittitian culture into my home. The artwork. The artifacts. When I step into my home, I want to be transported to the place that most inspires me.

Making my home feel like a daily getaway to St. Kitts helps me to live well. What does living well and having it all mean to you?

With its stylish looks and premium interior, the Nissan Altima is just as much an individual as you are. Not fitting into one mold is what makes the Nissan Altima not only unique, but very exciting!

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Nissan via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Nissan.