Starting Fresh

It's a new year and I've got a new blog. With all the changes in my life, I thought it was time I retire this blog. It's been a fun 5 years, but all good things come to end. Please update your bookmarks, blog readers and RSS feed readers to.....

The new web address is www.AdventuresofAnneK.com

I've been a busy gal and I have lots to share. I hope you'll mosey over to the new blog.

Delays and Transitions

Photo by JasonJT via Flickr (Creative Commons)

In the midst of the chaos that is my life at present, I want to thank everyone that has been so supportive. Family and friends alike have called or messaged me with much needed encouragement. I have been moved to tears. {Good tears, I promise}

I apologize if my previous posts came off as harsh or abrupt. When I stated that we didn't wish to discuss the divorce, I made that statement in the hopes that Rob and I wouldn't be bombarded by gossip mongers and busybodies. It didn't work. Busybodies are still busybodies. Some people can't resist a bit of gossip. I did not mean to shrug off concerned parties. While this situation is upsetting, it is not as terrible as my posts might seem.

The last 2 weeks flew by. I got oodles of quality time with Dottie. {Lots of naps and snuggle time} I've shopped and eaten at a few of my favorite L.A. haunts. However, the going-away shindig never quite made it into my schedule. In fact, socializing in general got left off of my schedule. I had so much paperwork to attend to and a design job that took over my life. {Picture 230 wedding invitations and numerous shipping delays.}

Speaking of delays, I've run into quite a few. The first of which pertain to the divorce. There have been a few small snafus. Nothing major. It's just that whenever this much paperwork is involved things NEVER go according to schedule. The cross-country roadtrip has also been postponed. I ran into some hiccups with the travel arrangements. So, I'm flying back to Virginia for the holidays.

What this means is that I haven't 100% moved. I'm kind of trapped in transition and it feels really odd. I don't feel like I belong in L.A. and I don't quite feel moved into Virginia. I'm in a sort of limbo with no roots.

There are a few bright sides to all of this. I can still have my going away shindig and see a few more people before I go. My trip can be rescheduled for a more convenient time. I also I have time to compile a more comprehensive L.A. Hit List aka places I want to see. {Once I come up with the list, I'll be sure to share.} For now, just call me In-Between Anne ;)

BIG News - Part 3

Aside from moving and getting divorced, there is a third part to all of this....

Dottie is staying with Rob in Los Angeles.

A few weeks back when the details were being hammered out and arrangements were being made, it was decided that Dottie would stay with Rob. Again without going into too many details, this was a heavily discussed and debated topic. I can only say that when we finally came to this decision I was so upset that I could not speak to anyone for a week.

Even now as I write this, I am teary-eyed and emotional. Dottie is the first dog that I have raised from the time they were a puppy. We rescued Dottie when she was only 5 weeks old. Ironically, Dottie is the 1st Christmas gift Rob ever gave me.
Dottie the morning after she was rescued - 01/14/05

I cannot underscore how difficult this is for me. Because I have been working from home for the last year and a half, Dottie has become my constant companion and my muse. I photograph her, crochet scarves for her, sew jackets for her, etc., etc. She is the best napping buddy a gal could ask for. In the deepest of my depressions, Dottie has been there to make me smile and feel loved in a way that only a dog can.
Dottie and one of the many balls in our home 10/09

As hard as this is, my best friend Cicely reminds me that Dottie isn't in a bad situation. She's not ill or worse, dead. She is just staying with Rob. For as much as Rob and I could not agree on many topics, Dottie is the one thing we could always agree on. He loves and spoils her as much as I do, if not more. I have no doubt that she will still be loved and cared for.

By staying in L.A., Dottie is not far from her best friend Piper (the Shiba Inu) and her buddies Kevin and Lu. Lastly, she won't be far from the mountains and hills where she loves to play. My pup is an outdoors dog. She would hate not having mountains and hills to romp around in. The flatness of Virginia Beach would drive her crazy.
June 2008 - photo copyright ©2008 Shine Pet Photos

Of course, Rob agreed that whenever I'm in L.A. I am more than welcome to pick up our pup and spend time with her. Because of the bond that Dottie and I share, I know that she will always be my pup. Time and distance will never change that.

BIG News - Part 2

There is more to my move...

I'll be headed to Virginia alone.

With a heavy heart and without going into too much detail, Rob and I are ending our marriage. It is a decision that may not be a surprise to some and a complete shock to others. It is a decision that has been thoughtfully considered and agonized over. We did not enter into marriage lightly nor are we leaving it lightly. Although it has not been mentioned until recently, this is a decision that came about over the course of several months and extreme efforts. All other avenues have been exhausted. I know that as a blogger and a person on Twitter much of my life is available to the public. However, I respectfully ask that you refrain from offering any unsolicited advice or prying about the causes behind the collapse of our marriage. This is a decision that we have already been well-counseled and advised by professionals and individuals who know us well. We understand that people often mean well by offering their thoughts or advice. However, it is a painful situation that is not open for discussion. If either one of us wishes to talk about it, we will approach you.

Of course, I am not naive. An announcement like this will pique curiosity. Rather than have misinformation circulate like wildfire, I will say a few things. First, there is no infidelity or abuse to blame. More or less, Rob and I have irreconcilable differences. For the sake of privacy, I will not say any more than that. Lastly, our divorce is amicable... or as amicable as the situation will allow.

It goes without saying that I appreciate the support I have received and continue to receive from my family and friends (both online and in real life). I don't know what I would have done without them. I am moved by their generosity and loving support and amazed by the outpouring of love and understanding.

BIG News - Part 1

photo by Rachel Spauldilng

I know I have been very bad about blogging. Truth be told, I've had a lot going on in my personal life that I was not comfortable sharing with all of the internet. {Believe it or not} There are things I keep to myself and my inner circle. Now that I have hammered out a few details, I feel comfortable sharing part of what I've been cooking up. Everything will be revealed in parts so as not to overwhelm {and give me fodder for future blog posts}. Ok... Here goes....

Anne K. is leaving L.A.!

For those that are Facebook and Twitter friends, it should be no surprise that I am leaving Los Angeles. After 7 years in this city, I feel as though I've overstayed my welcome. I am definitely a city girl, but not necessarily an Angeleno. I could not decide what city I would prefer to relocate to. In the interim, I'll be moving back to my hometown of Virginia Beach. Over the next couple of months, I'll be "auditioning" {read:visiting} cities to decide on my next locale. I am open to suggestions. The move will give me an opportunity to further develop and focus my energy on The Paper Stylist and spend some much needed time with my family.

Here's where it gets a little crazy...
I'm leaving L.A. for good on December 14th.

I'll be having a going-away soiree so that I can say, "see you later" to some of the wonderful people I've met during this chapter of my life. Please email me at AnneKDesigner@gmail.com if you'd like to join me.

My two year blogiversary just passed. I'll be sad to change the name of this blog, but I don't think Anne K. in L.A. will be quite so appropriate when I'm living in an different city. I'm open to ideas for a new blog name. If I choose the blog name you suggest, I'll send you an awesome gift. It'll be good, I promise.

Crazy for Hello Kitty

Disclaimer: This is a post with photo overload. It may take a moment to load all of the photos. Most of the photos were taken with my point-and-shoot Casio Exilim. I left the Nikon SLR at home.

When I read about The Hello Kitty: Three Apples Exhibit on the Hello Kitty Junkie blog , I was ecstatic. And when I found out that it was in my neck of the woods, I was thrilled.

I know I am a gal in my 30s, but I will always have a special place in my heart for Hello Kitty. I was born in Japan and frequently visited the Philippines while growing up. As a result, I had quite a bit of Hello Kitty toys and trinkets. Hello Kitty stationery contributed to my love of paper.

My partner-in-crime Pamela joined me for the opening day of the exhibit. My BFF Cicely was there in spirit via Facebook. {She's a bigger fanatic than me}. The exhibit was divided up into sections.
photo by Pamela Masters
photo by Pamela Masters


The first part was a Hello Kitty retrospective. There were Hello Kitty merchandise from the last 35 years on display.


They designed a Hello Kitty apartment. I loved it, but I don't think I'd ever go that far.




As I was looking at the throwback items, I was giddy recollecting which pieces I once owned and which ones that I still have.







There was a gift shop that had a line out the door just to view the merchandise. We bypassed that, but I now regret it. There was also a cafe serving Hello Kitty high tea, which also had a very long wait. From other blogs, I've seen cute little Hello Kitty tea sandwiches and cakes.

My favorite part of the exhibit was the art show. Japan L.A. did a spectacular job curating the show. The variety and quality of the pieces on display was phenomenal.
Click here for an online gallery of the Hello Kitty Artwork

Our day was not complete without a photo op with the Birthday Girl.
photo by Pamela Masters
photo by Pamela Masters

photo by Pamela Masters

After traipsing around the Three Apples Exhibit, it seemed appropriate to head to Little Tokyo for a late lunch. It must have been my lucky day. I finally got to eat at Daikokuya. It sounds crazy, but I have been trying to eat at this place since I moved to L.A. in 2003. There is always a line. On this day, there wasn't.
photo by Pamela Masters
photo by Pamela Masters

Now that I've eaten there, I understand why there's always ungodly line. It's THAT good.

I love the gyozas...

...but the Ramen is the best. Their broth is perfect.

Can't you tell how much I'm enjoying my meal?
photo by Pamela Masters
photo by Pamela Masters

We swung by Fugetssu-do where we picked up a few treats.
photo by Pamela Masters
photo by Pamela Masters

Despite my wonky facial expression, I really love what I picked up.
photo by Pamela Masters
photo by Pamela Masters

It was double dessert day and Pamela introduced me to Yogurtland. I'm ruined. I love, love their yogurt. Forget Pinkberry. This is the real deal.
photo by Pamela Masters
photo by Pamela Masters

In keeping with the kawaii theme of the day, they had Tokidoki cups and spoons.

I was exhausted and I'm glad I didn't pass out from the cute overload.