Category: Sincerely, Karina

The Summer of SPF

I’m officially in my late 20’s and can’t deny it anymore– (just turned 27 on St. patty’s day) and I’d like to think I’m not only getting older (sigh) but also getting a lot wiser…in many different ways.

For one, I used to be a fan of a dark ass tan! I mean who in their teen years and early adult years doesn’t want a tan – fake or not- we want it.

I will never forget going to Ann Hope (department store) with my Babcia (grandmother) when I was mmmm maybe six years old and having people grab my cheeks and comment on how “porcelain” (aka the nice way of saying extremely white) my skin was. In middle school, there was that one mean boy who called me Casper (the not so nice way of saying extremely white)

So, at a young age, having my mothers very fair skin and suddenly thinking it was a bad thing, I did anything I could to make it tan- from heavy bronzers, to tanning beds, to baby oil / tin foil in the sun (eeek) I remember saying that I’d rather be burnt than this white!

 And the second scary thing was that I was not alone with those thoughts.I got my share of skin burns but it didn’t stop me from doing the same exact thing the following summer, and hearing and seeing plenty of girls and guys do it too.

the little boys expression is perfect! Don’t let this happen to you!

Luckily, I realized (before it was too late) that tans fade but the signs of aging and skin damage do not.  I still get carded at the bars when my friends may not and occasionally get carded to see a rated R movie – so I’m lucky I still have a baby face and my porcelain skin remains. However, this is not the case for everyone – I have seen firsthand what excessive unhealthy tanning has done to young girls – leaving an orange tint to the skin with a rubbery, texture – not to mention WRINKLES galore and they haven’t even reached their 27th birthdays yet!   

 Up until recently, I haven’t taken a good approach to the sun and to my skin care.

Last year – on our vacation to Jamaica, I used SPF 30 very very sparingly + no hat on the first day and then switched  over to a SPF 8 OIL. The result: a burn — and a bad one –and major peeling.

This year- on our wonderful vacation to St. Thomas, I used SPF 50 every single day every 1-3 hours + sun hat. The result: hands down- the best natural tan I have ever had in my life. NO peeling (I didn’t think that was possible!)

 I also have been using this Vitamin C serum from Amara Organics every day and night. I have a few sun spots on my right cheek from my years of being a little too crazy in the sun but I am already starting to see them lighten up and faint away.

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It also moisturizes my skin – something all of us in New England desperately need right now with this dry, cold weather… winter is continuing into Spring! why ohh why!!?

I am thankful I stopped going to artificial tanning salons 2 years ago, wasting my money and that I FINALLY understand and believe the dangers of the sun and know how to stay safe and healthy in it! Think: would you rather be a dried up prune or be a smooth creamy coffee ice-cream? I’ll take the ice-cream any day! 

Make this be the summer of SPF for you and your family too! Wait – do dogs need SPF? 

Sidenote: tanning salons may be necessary for someone with Vitamin D deficiency or to boost endorphins during the long winter we’re having.  Be smart and remember, it is never too early to protect, nourish and rejuvenate your skin!

 *Sponsored Post*

Freddy’s 2nd modeling contract!

I’m Engaged!!

Freddy with a sign “Will you Marry Me?” my heart melted!

What a wonderful Christmas I had! I’m so very excited to announce that I am engaged to the love of my life!!

A proposal on my favorite Holiday (Christmas Eve) was more than I could ever ask for.. oh and a Nikon D5300 camera.. a very nice prop to help with the surprise of a lifetime.

Nico and I (& Freddy) are more than thrilled to start on this new journey in our lives.



Many bests & Happy New Year! 2015 is starting to look like a wonderful wonderful year!



My puppy stopped peeing under the dining room table and 13 other little things I’m thankful for.

simple fall centerpiece
simple fall centerpiece

With Thanksgiving just around the corner and the madness I’m about to encounter with prepping food, baking pies cleaning up and the bouncing between 2 households (mine and the boys), I am trying to stop myself and not only be grateful for the insanely large amounts of food my family always prepares or that we have a warm house filled with love to eat it all in. I am thankful to spend it with the people I love dearly. I am thankful for having good friends who listen to me vent and always have my back. I am thankful to have a job, although I may not like it, I am glad for all that I have learned and continue to learn. I am thankful for my Prius, which doesn’t cost me a day’s work of pay to fill up and is very reliable. I am thankful for my boyfriend and my puppy, who I get to spend every morning and night with.

All that thankfulness should be more than enough—and it is—but I also wanted to think of the little things that we take for granted. Well— because they occur all the time, like every day or so – we may not appreciate them. I know we aren’t the Pilgrims and don’t really look at Thanksgiving as a time to be thankful – it’s become more about the 3 F’s (food, family, football), but It’s good to realize some of the  day-to-day things going on that we may have become accustomed to without even realizing  until, well you make a list of thankfulness!

Here is my quick list I jotted down – (in no particular order)

I am thankful….

–that the dog stopped peeing under the dining room table – as our house has a small slant to it, that is most noticeable when he pees under there and it slides down to the other end of the room…

–for my amazing boyfriend: who sees me with no makeup, hair a mess, in my sweats and still loves me. And for how hard he works along with getting his MBA at Boston College (late nights) yet still remembers to give me a kiss when he walks in the door.

–for my mom and dad – especially for my mom who has done a complete 180 with Freddy and is not only accepting being a pet-gramma but embracing it. My dad has always been on my side =)

–for my cousin, Jaclyn who always makes sure we stay connected – and keeps calling- even if our conversations are via voicemails.

–that my friends have a group chat going about only things we would laugh at (Bridesmaid quotes, they never get old)

–for chocolate and my spontaneous baking that always comes out delicious. (thank you grandma for that skill)

–for the dog park (so I can have a few minutes to myself after without Freddy attacking me to play)

–that I tried to volunteer at 5 different shelters and they didn’t need my help because they were overwhelmed with the amount of volunteers helping! (It’s always good to know people care about people or about animals)

–that football season is half way over (My boyfriend is a huge fan, I am only because I want to win Fantasy  – but I would rather spend our Sundays doing other things together)

–that my mother likes to shop as much as me and that we have the same size foot!

–for Sunday morning acoustic radio

–that my brother is into golf and wants to go with me!  Also that even though he’s 16, I’m thankful that he still gives me a kiss goodbye in public.

–that my sister keeps our g-chat going with random fun stuff to get us both through those longggg days.

Writing this down- made me realize how many more things I could add to it- and how we tend to focus on what’s missing in our life instead of what’s already there in front of us.

Try it out for yourself – maybe when you finally get the pie in the oven – or you can put the recipe book away- takes a few minutes, but means the world to realize how good you actually have it.

Happy Thanksgiving!

8 Fashion Opposites that ALWAYS attract

My friends have always critiqued me- or maybe they were complimenting me?- when it came to my choice of outfits.  I mean saying “What the hell are you wearing?!Only you could pull that off!” – is a compliment, right? I’d like to think so.

Whether it was wearing a party dress with ankle booties, wearing a white crew t-shirt tucked into my black leggings with a navy blazer or mixing patterns like floral with stripes, or my favorite- wearing cute socks with closed toe heels! (oh my, a horror to my friends), I ALWAYS strive to make Fashion fun- to make it ME- to make it different- and the best part is — I actually don’t care what people say- because as long as I feel confident and I feel good- I have a great time and I get things done! “Look good, Do good” mentality.

I know there are a lot of people out there who may not feel as confident or as comfortable stepping out of the norm. I guess what I mean is people who don’t live and breathe fashion. You know the people who find items that “go” together…. making sure the jacket matches the shirt or the top matches the pants.

All that going and matching and fitting might make for a perfectly good outfit, but it’ll never really get you to a great one. For greatness, you’ve got to go in the opposite direction. 

 I make it a point to find items based on differences, rather than similarities. You know this actually helps you get more use out of your clothes than if you were persistent on always matching.

I will share with you the common ways to not follow the “My shirt must match my pants” mentality and thus get that Great outfit!

1) Wear ankle boots with a party dress. You will look fierce, yet not too prim and proper.


2)Vintage tees with classic blazers


3) Jeans and Heels

4) Stripes and Florals – okay, do pick a color that is in both prints – like blue stripes — blue florals 🙂
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5) Brown and Black and Black and Navy – I remember when people would cringe (and still do) when I tell them to wear their brown shoes with black pants. Same for Navy/Black. Think LBD with a navy gold chain clutch.



6.) Leather Pants and Chunky Comfy Knit Sweater – something cozy and sexy about some leather and a gramma knitted warm sweater. 

7). Leather “work men” belt and polished dress or coat or high waist long skirts – In college, I would wear a belt with almost every outfit. I have my mothers Camel color leather braided belt that she wore in Poland when she was in her 20s =)white-summer-dress-with-brown-belt-pr8av7n5

8) Boxy top and a pencil skirt – love this look.


Explore, Be creative, Have fun!



When your “5 year plan” changes courses on addition of a puppy!

I’ve been having a stressful couple of days, or maybe its been weeks, or maybe the past year?

Have you ever felt like you were stuck in a funk, just going about your daily hectic routine, whether your happy or not.. but you’re just trying to get all your errands, work, commitments, responsibilities…. done so you can go to bed and wake up to do the same damn thing! Well, that’s been me for the past 2 or 3 months, until I had a mini breakdown out to lunch with my girlfriends the other day! People, its not good to keep it all in – you will explode.
Snapshot of a typical week: Monday-Friday get up to the pup trying to jump up on the bed (5:45 AM), try to snooze a little longer with Freddy licking your face, dog walk & clean up (6:15 AM)  (The paws get so muddy with the morning dew!) (6:45 AM),breakfast, put the coffee on, jump in the shower (7 AM), find an outfit QUICK (7:15 AM), dry my hair, brush my teeth, make the coffees, fill Freddy’s Kong, leave the house (7:30 AM), sit in traffic to work (chance to do my makeup), get to work 8:00 AM-8:15 AM depending on the horrors of traffic that day.
I wont even get into my days AT work right now – that’s a whole other post worthy.
Lunch time: drive home to take the pup for a walk. leave at 12:00, home 12:20, walk till 12:40, Fill the Kong, back to work for 1 PM. Did I forget to eat?
Drive home: 5 PM. Sit in traffic, a lot of traffic. Get home around 6 PM, get the mail, dog walk, (Wednesdays: drive 30 mins in traffic for play time, Thursdays: drive to Cambridge for Puppy Kindergarten),clean the dishes, make dinner, 8 PM, eat dinner 8:45 PM, put laundry away, pack lunches, Relax, play with Freddy, get ready for bed,  read Dental school books,  Sleeep!!

Weekend: commitments on top of commitments. Nico and I have a shared calender on our Iphone to help us with this! Unfortunately with Nico’s busy work load and going through his MBA, we don’t get to spend much time together – so the calender is our genius idea of keeping track of any important commitments we have going on (i.e weddings, engagement parties, surprise parties, baby showers, family dinners, homework, housework and yes sometimes if we’re lucky blocked off time to spend just “us time” together!)

I’m not really liking this routine. It is starting to take a toll on me, physically, mentally and emotionally.
I know I shouldn’t look in the past, but a part of me keeps holding on and looking back to that moment Poznan University told me they had a seat for me in their DDS program for 2011 *30 students out of 2100 applicants* The range of emotions that came over me that hot summer day in NYC went from absolute shock to happiness to excitement to sadness. My friends, family and myself convinced me that getting in to a prestigious school in Europe meant that I had an amazing shot of getting into dental school here. Problem was, Poznan excepted me for the September admission (which was 4 weeks away!) and I was still waiting to hear back from the USA schools I applied for (which you get an answer  anywhere from December to the following year in late Spring)
So, after weighing out all the factors slash talking to established dentists I had met during my service trip to Honduras, I decided to wait and see if I would be excepted here. RISKYYY

Well, as you can gather, I got wait-listed 3/5 schools and denied 2/5 schools. Wait-listed is a whole other ballpark. You still have the chance, the hope that you will be chosen!! I did my math and the chance of anyone getting into dental school compares equivalently with medical school to a 3%-7% chance…

Anyways, time to move on?  As we approach the end of Fall 2014 , I can’t help but  realize that I would of been a EU Dentist right now!! But would I get accepted into the extremely competitive international program in the US? Would I want to practice solely in Europe?, would I be single? Would I be happy? The thing is, I’m what you call Polish Stubborn, in that because I spent so much of my time, dedication, research, philanthropy work, internships, dental assisting hours, stress, tears, money, relationships, social life, physical and mental states to get in and didn’t…I lost hope. I know that sounds HORRIBLE!! But life choices and life decisions are different for everyone out there. No 2 people are exactly the same. For me, I am extremely hard on myself & stubborn with myself –  I hate to say it, but I consider this a failure. At least I did at the time, maybe the subconscious of me still does. I know I’m only 26 ….or I’m already 26!!!… however you want to look at it, but I think there comes a time in your life, when you realize you need to make sure you are HAPPY! Of course, we need to make money. But I want to do that by waking up HAPPY every day or at least going through my day not like a robot but as a human being enjoying and taking in all that life has to offer.

Is dentistry my passion? yes (maybe). Do I love teeth and helping people with dental problems. YES! Will I always continue to take any chance I get to volunteer for a service trip to help with dental care? Of course! Will I move on and believe everything happens for a reason. YES, I have to. I don’t want to force my way getting into school. I honestly believe, if it was meant to be for me. I would of went to Europe or better yet, I would of been accepted here. 

I will always think of it and always light up when people ask me dental questions and I will still attend dental conferences, (as long as the dental office I work at part-part-part time still lets me go with them 😉 ) but I will not let it affect me anymore.

Time to move on from it. I sulked too long and it’s embarrassing but I write this post because it’s a normal feeling- especially in your mid 20s- I have given advice to many friends, family members, coworkers who may have asked the “what if” questions or might take a week or so to reflect on their life, of the meaning of their life, of what is it that makes them truly happy in today’s world.

I came to realize that you can have many passions, not just one.  Do you have more than one like, more than one goal? of course. The point is to keep moving ahead and doing your best =)You will accomplish your passions. Maybe not to the extent that you imagined – but you will touch upon all of them in your life; some way or the other. For me, maybe dental school wasn’t meant to be- maybe I was just supposed to travel the world and help 3rd world civilians with dental care – in that case… I accomplished my goal =)

Speaking in Spanish to teach the kids the importance of brushing!
Pulling out my first tooth.. I was freaked.

My best advice to people having a mini mid 20’s life crisis. IT’s OKAY! First: breathe, 2nd: things could be worse (turn on the news), 3rd :reflect on what makes you happy and go for it!! If your initial dream doesn’t work out the way you planned, re-focus your plans, concentrate on what you really really want! What makes you the happiest. Everyone does or should do some soul searching – whether your 22 or 62!

 I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it a million more times… You only have one life to live, Live it well! YOLO. I should take my own advice and… I finally am!

And to finish up with the mid week… we are officially over the hump today…Try one of these!!

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The Cronut (300 cals!)
The Cronut (300 cals!)

 This doughnut, not only comes in it’s own little box – but its warm and tastes just like the Krispy Kreme amazingnes that we used to have in MA.