Challenge Accepted?

Once again (or maybe as always), there’s a lot of negativity floating around social media today.

I was aware of the “origins” of the black-and-white photo challenge on Instagram before I got my fourth nomination and decided to go ahead and participate, and I say as much in my caption by highlighting the appropriate cause. I put “origins” in quotations because — although a form of the challenge traces itself to an awareness campaign around femicide in Turkey — it has actually taken many forms since 2016 and no one knows for sure where this particular strain of viral, monochrome activity came from.

But setting all that aside for a moment, let’s pretend it really was just about solidarity with women who inspire you. Before women were made aware of additional context, that’s what it was. Is that so wrong? Seems as good a reason as any to post a selfie!

And yet, the communal backlash was almost immediate, as I suspected it might be. There has been no shortage of #womenshamingwomen for posting a photo that made them feel strong or beautiful, and then nominating other women they admire. Plus, nearly every woman in my network who participated promptly promoted the “right” cause as soon as they were made aware of it.

It seems that even now, in all our attempts to be inclusive and “woke,” it’s still not really okay for a woman to love herself. We learned something new and lifted each other up in the process, and to me, that’s a win.

Earth-Proud, by Emerson

One of my favorite quotes of all time is by my man, Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Earth laughs in flowers.” You can find it all over my social media profiles, and I even considered getting it tattooed somewhere on my body, I love it that much.

I’m sure no one is surprised, given my incessant floral photography and love for both Earth and laughter. I don’t even know how I found it, originally – probably on Pinterest, or something extra #basic like that. Although I knew it was an Emerson gem, I had only ever seen it standing alone — never within the context of a larger piece of writing. Until now!

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The Whimsy of Things

Hey y’all. It’s been a minute. No, it’s been a YEAR. Except, wait. It’s only been just-over-half-a-year. Feels like decades, you know what I’m saying? But now I’m just being dramatic.

I don’t need to re-cap the debacle that has been 2020, but I do want to pop in to say that it’s time for a personal re-brand. If you’ve followed me a while, you know I went from Pink Piglette, to Bad Kitty, to Keep Calm & Have a Cupcake, to the Gypsy Kitty Diaries. Each rendition of me was right for the time and place in which I found myself. But this year, given my ongoing and imperfect attempts at self-improvement, I’ve decided to move on from Gyspy Kitty and tell my story through a new lens (or filter, if we truly want to keep this 2020.)

So, real talk.

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Ciao, Bella!


I fell behind on documenting some very exciting travels in 2019, but that won’t stop me from reminiscing here and now on the Gypsy Kitty Diaries 🙂

For two weeks last summer – just about one year ago, to be exact – Chuck and I explored Italy with his darling family.

Now, all countries are too diverse and amazing to squeeze into one trip, but Italy was especially frustrating in terms of the limitations we had to impose on ourselves. Still, I like to think we did quite well. Chuck and I started out on our own in Como before driving to meet family in Tuscany and then wrapping up in Rome. Check out our highlights!

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