santorini: chapter 1

The following is a revised copy of a journal that I kept on our honeymoon 10.1.2019-10.16.2019

october 3. 2019

oia santorini view airbnb

Now go easy on me…I haven’t really done this before. I guess I want to do this because I’m on the trip of a lifetime and don’t want to forget a single thing.

Right now I am sitting on our deck (that doesn’t sound right – patio?) watching the sun rise for the second time on our second morning here in Santorini. Conner is sleeping. It’s 68 degrees and I feel perfectly wrapped up in the humidity. It’s comforting, not suffocating.

Five days ago we got married! It was the best night of our lives but it also went by so quickly…that’s cliché. But for a good reason because it’s very very true. I can see how people get addicted to weddings (Ross).

Surrounded by our closest friends and family, we broke down and professed our vows to each other. We’ve been together a long time, so I’ve been planning this day out for years, but there were a few surprises that came my way:

  1. We did a first look and then forgot the whole purpose: to privately share our vows! It’s all good though, it got the nerves out.
  2. So I thought. False alarm. The recession began and I LOST it. We were standing just outside the venue and I was (unsuccessfully) trying not to cry, listening to my dad tell me to breathe. I was just overcome by joy and reality smacking me in the face as I walked down the aisle. The only person who gave me clarity was Conner standing at the end. He was everything I wanted. I had an emotional blackout and all I really remember was being pulled to my soon-to-be-husband and losing control over my face. 
  3. Seeing my dad’s expression as Conner was giving his vows. It was a millisecond glance because that was all I could handle but I hope I never forget it.
  4. My current boss, past neighbors, and old coworker totally hitting it off and already planning a dinner together. There should be a Hall of Fame for seating charts. And I should get inducted.
  5. The next day for clean up. Nick arrived at 8:30am to clean up his urinal vomit from the night before. Our amazing friends from Salve also showed up – Sam, Devin, and JP – I mean who does that? We have such amazing people in our lives.
  6. My new in-laws exchanging numbers with my aunt and uncle from Arizona to plan a trip. That was another holy sh-t moment for me. 

More on the wedding in a little bit. I think it just requires an entirely different entry. I’m in Greece with my husband, it’s getting lighter outside and I need to talk about this beautiful place.

First of all, the people are so sweet. And patient. Conner and I want to submerge ourselves into the culture as best we can so we’ve been going around to all the little shops and restaurants sharing our awful Greek. It’s been fun though. When we catch each other practicing and muttering phrases under our breath, I’m reminded of how lucky I am that I married this guy. 

The ones we’re best at:

Efcharistó (ef-ha-ree-sto) — Thank you

Geiá sou (hya-su) — Hello, singluar

Geia sas (hya-sas) — Hello, plural

Antío sou (a-di-o-su) — Goodbye, singular

Antío sas (a-di-o-sas) — Goodbye, plural

Naí (nay) — Yes

We are trying to speak Greek wherever we go and pick up a new word or phrase as often as we can. 

Yesterday, we were the first patrons of this delicious, cliffside breakfast cafe. We sat through the most beautiful golden hour I’ve ever witnessed, and shared our meal (just a little) with a friendly cat. He f–king loved my cuddles. But alas, they could not fill his belly so he eventually moved on. Golden hour, Santorini, freshly squeezed orange juice, a yogurt-fruit parfait, my new husband, and a cat who loved me?! That was a real moment.

After that we went back to our Airbnb to get ready for the day and then just ended up reading on our terrace (that’s the word!) for a few hours, then napped a few more. We woke up for dinner – wait, wait, wait – I forgot Conner’s broke our host’s table. It shattered into dust and landed on C’s foot. See him for the official story, but “allegedly” he just touched it and it fell. An hour or two later, Ion (our host) came to check on us and we had to fess up. This guy was not the least bit upset. His smile didn’t waver for a second and he immediately cleaned it all up and replaced the whole thing. Ion’s only warning was “Now, just be careful” and “Oh, also if you need a guitar just let me know”. Thank you, Ion. 

travel journal

We had dinner and watched the sunset at this gorgeous, rooftop restaurant, and Conner almost had rabbit stew. For those who don’t know, my 8th-grade Social Studies teacher, who is an apparent expert in the German language, once told me that my last name, Haas, means rabbit stew. (It doesn’t. Rabbit stew in German is Karnickeleintopf.) Naturally, it’s been an ongoing joke ever since. We thought it was fate but they happened to be fresh out of stew. Although I’m not entirely sure that’s true because we couldn’t hear anything our waiter was saying. Just went off smiles and nods. I actually have no clue what we ate.

I don’t usually like jewelry, but vacation-me likes jewelry and so I bought some. I also had the realization that some of these cats we were petting everywhere might have fleas…which made me stop and think for a (fleeting) moment. I pet another on the way back. We stopped at the Atlantis bookstore (where I bought this journal) for a short visit, but I hope to be back because that place houses some amazing stories…

And then here we are. Today’s plans are: ruins, winery, beach. We’ll see what happens. I’m excited. We leave for Italy on Sunday and have three more full days here. It is so breathtaking and I still don’t think it’s fully sunken in that I am here right now. This place only exists in dreams…

I’m trying not to think of Cali and Remi. I miss Cali, but I also really miss my sweet boy. He’s so sensitive. I can’t wait to cuddle him.

I am going to go crawl back into bed with my hubby. Just got a text from June with the Bernie campaign. Lol. I am so content. Not sure how to end this, I’ll get better with some time.


oh hey beautiful. thanks for reading my blog post! how was it? to get in contact find me on IG: katerosehayes or shoot me a message I’d love to be in touch!

santorini: chapter 3

The following is a revised copy of a journal that I kept on our honeymoon 10.1.2019-10.16.2019

october 5. 2019

This morning Conner was up at 4am watching the NFL games. Rams lost, despite Gurley and Kupp racking up points for me in fantasy. This time Connita watched the sunrise and I supported him completely from bed. 

We hit up the breakfast spot from our first morning in Santorini, except this time it was ridiculously windy so after a laughable approach of sitting outside, we ended up on the small bar facing the empty street. It was early so we didn’t see a single soul, just the mannequins in the boutique across the road (4 feet away). Also I think fruit and honey are one of my new favorite things now. Definitely Top 3 breakfasts for me.

We headed out to Kamari again – this time with the intention of actually enjoying the beach and sun… But the waves were huge and it wasn’t exactly hot, so we just enjoyed the beach. Conner said we could body surf really well if we wanted to though.

After poking around for a bit we found a place offering daybeds for free (!) and we jumped on them. Literally. First row, books out, perfect temp, light breeze, gorgeous view – exactly where I wanted to be.

oia santorini blooming flowers

I’m at the place in Eat Pray Love where we’re praying. We’re in India learning the history and significance of mediation and yoga practice. Elements I want to incorporate into my own life – except I’m not ready to live in an Ashram in India yet. I’m trying to take lessons from Liz and apply them to my own life. One of my biggest “ah-ha’s” was the struggle your ego faces when met with meditation. The ego always needs a presence in your life, though the point of mediation is to find meaning without it. That’s why your mind wanders when trying to meditate – because your ego feels threatened and is trying to stay relevant. It convinces you that it’s doing therapeutic work so the mind stays busy instead of resting. It’s a display of survival. To squash it, you need to open your heart to light and love which you can only do once the ego is gone. Sounds cheesy, but people won’t get it until they’ve had a taste of it. And then spend years trying to master.

I’ve learned that there’s a difference between “reflecting” and “meditating”, the latter involving the mind in its truly present state. I have so much more to learn but I feel good about where my spiritual (never felt like I belonged to that word) journey (this one, too) is headed. If you feel like I butchered that explanation, you’re probably right, so you should just pick up a copy and read it for yourself. It’s worth it, trust me.

Suddenly we were interrupted by this man who pointed out that Conner is reading the same book that changed his life: Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. After reading it (a book that shatters finance myths and breaks things down into achievable steps), this guy quit working Wall Street last April, started his business as a life coach and is now traveling the world, living his life to the fullest. The interaction was quick, brief, and he vanished before we could get any other information. It was one of those moments in life where it just felt like the universe was speaking directly to us. Just saying “Yup, don’t worry, you’re on the right path. Keep going.” Nudged us along. Felt like a sign. We needed that.

We decided to stop at a Supermarket on the way back that we’ve driven by a few times. (Side note – I feel like I am living out some movie, driving around the Greek countryside with a scarf wrapped around my hair, tassel earrings, large black sunnies in place, with my new husband. I mean come onnnn).

This one’s definitely a local’s market. I didn’t notice a single tourist, and the workers didn’t look thrilled to have to pull out their English for us.

kamari beach santorini grocery market store

This trip:

5 apples

1 pear

5-6 carrots

4 cucumbers

1 bag of chips

1 Toblerone

1 safe-for-Conner chocolate bar

1 large water

Total: 6 euros!!!

Are you f–king kidding me.

So worth all the annoyed looks shot our way. Although we humbly still tried our best Greek and had one friendly exchange with a local. I’d go back.

travel journal

We had some mixups on the way back to Oia, and not gonna lie, some road rage kicked in. But I could not stop staring at all the islands that surrounded Santorini. Mystical is the first word that comes to mind, like out of some children’s fantasy book. These huge mountains look as if they arose out of mist and continued up to kiss the clouds, to blend seamlessly into the sky. Imagine your favorite Bob Ross painting and then put this scene above it. They say that the Lost City of Atlantis existed here – and I believe it. It won’t truly make sense until you’ve seen this view in person. Truly one of the most beautiful things I have ever laid eyes on. Besides Conner’s blue eyes. They looked especially beautiful today.

So now I am back, sitting on our ~terrace~ and Conner is taking a much needed nap. I am actually really impressed with how well he drove us around to all these places (don’t tell him I said that). These streets are not easy to navigate.

I’m going to go eat an apple now. Until next time.

Oh. Wait I forgot about this con-artist cat.

When napping earlier (with the door open) all of a sudden we woke up to this loud “meow” that came from within the room. Oh. My. God. I got excited (naturally) but as this cat walked up to us, we could tell something was off. The cat looked older, its eyes were a little red, and it walked a little too confidently up to our bed. Like it’s done this before. Then flopped on its side, rolled onto its back, and tried to look all cute for us. He succeeded. But after a minute or two of us not knowing what the f–k to do, he finally broke character and waltzed out like he was too good for us anyways. Before leaving for good, he had a drink from our hot tub just to really stick it to us. It wasn’t until then that I realized we almost got swindled by a Greek cat. A whole other breed. He obviously knows the game. Not quite the con-artist I pictured running into in Europe.

It made me sad but also, these strays are so smart. On Day 2 we saw this dog navigating the busy streets of Oia by himself as if he owned the place (he probably did in dog world). They were his stomping grounds, he just blended in so perfectly and harmoniously amongst all the people. All the busyness. Just sums up the effortlessly cool essence of this island.


oh hey beautiful. thanks for reading my blog post! how was it? to get in contact find me on IG: katerosehayes or shoot me a message I’d love to be in touch!

avocado power smoothie

secret ingredient: dog hair

“Greens?! In a smoothie?!” Ummmm yea! Queue Conner’s new addiction and claiming it was his idea in three months. I’ll be back to report.

So this really is your POWER smoothie. You’ve got the antioxidants, the omegas, the fiber, the magnesium, the energy boost – it’s brain food times 10. And a lot of these ingredients are common things you’d find in your fridge anyways.

It’s obvious that greens are good for the body but most of us don’t get nearly enough of them. Besides being powerhouses of vitamins and minerals that help your body absorb protein (hellooo fellow vegetarians), they’ll also help you out with that skincare regimen you’re on and feed the healthy bacteria in your gut. I won’t usually turn down a salad, but I definitely wouldn’t protest getting my greens this way instead.

avocado blueberry smoothie
A few simple ingredients:
avocado blueberry smoothie

– banana

– avocado

– your choice of milk (we use soy)

– handful of leafy greens and purples

– frozen blueberries


– chia seeds (power-packed superfood)

– hemp hearts (another superfood)

To save your blender, put your liquids in last if it’s a NutriBullet, NinjaBullet, etc., and put them in first if you use a traditional one. Just helps the blades last longer.

Because you have a lot of ingredients taking up space and not necessarily flavor, make sure to save room for extra blueberries. Purple equals tasty.

I always like to add a frozen ingredient to the mix because it adds a bit of frothiness. If you’re not getting the consistency that you want, just keep adding some water as you go.

And that’s about it! Top off with some berries if you care to. Not going to bore you by talking about how this smoothie changed my life and made me a better person and geawjklrb – you came here for the recipe. I refer to this one as the catfish smoothie because you can hardly taste the greens in it. If you can, you’re definitely looking for them. Let me know if you try this out for yourself! I want to hear some of your other favorites.

We have become a smoothie household over here so I’ll have more ~blends~ coming your way soon. In the meantime, enjoy this one and reap the health benefits! Go ahead and brag about it.

avocado blueberry smoothie dog

Yes, Cali got a couple berries.

oh hey beautiful. thanks for reading my blog post! how was it? to get in contact find me on IG: katerosehayes or shoot me a message I’d love to be in touch!

why i started a blog

Just like everyone else, there are parts of my vulnerability that I keep a tight lid on. It’s a funny thing. Because I am so sensitive about my writing, but it’s the only place where I’ve really found my voice. In here. Been able to express myself in a way where I can’t trip up on words, can’t be fearful of immediate judgement. It’s the only place where I’m unfiltered. My stream of consciousness. It’s just plain me, the me that I know. It’s intimate. It’s exposed. It’s scary as f–k.

Being vulnerable is really a beautiful thing. In our world of social media and highlight reels (which just about sums up my online presence until now) it’s so hard to decipher what’s real and what’s not. It’s easy to believe that we all live perfect, photoshopped lives. I write about things that make me happy, not sad. Things that make me proud, never embarrassed. I’ll open up (in detail) about the positive aspects of my relationships, self-growth, and well-being. I just do it because it feels like the most natural way to express myself.

Some of it – yes, I do believe stays private. No question. But there are many things that so many of us experience that I believe should get talked about more – depression, anxiety, self-help, finding balance, motivation, the effects of hormones…and how we’re supposed to suppress them. As long as these things stay private and there remains a stigma over talking about them openly, we’ll feel ashamed of them even though they’re so common and normal. 

I’m starting a blog and I don’t know how many people will read it. I’m kind of just putting this out there. If nothing else, I aim to become a better person from it. Unapologetic.

I’ve held out on myself a long time. I’ve never wanted to admit that I like writing – you’re supposed to hate it in school, and maybe I did. Book reports aren’t my thing. But I like writing. It’s a form of therapy for me. Meditation, self-reflection, all those things. I want to write about the things that make me happy – my travels, my husband, design, new recipes…I also want to open up about things that make me sad. Because that’s the truth. It’s all a journey and portraying a life of “ups” just feels phony to me. If not to anyone else, to myself. 

So HI. It’s me, Kate. I’m trying something new and taking a risk on myself. I’ve never really known what I want to do in life, just had interests, so I’m pushing myself to finally figure it out. I have a good feeling about this.

Here I go! Wish me luck, xx

oh hey beautiful. thanks for reading my blog post! how was it? to get in contact find me on IG: katerosehayes or shoot me a message I’d love to be in touch!

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