Category Archives: Workshopping



This has really been quite the week.  This is me.  Right now.


Watching Sharknado because apparently that is A Thing.

  • I know that this is straight from the department of First World problems, but coming back to work after being gone for a week (or more!) is So Hard.  And this Monday marked the fourth time I’ve done that this year.  It’s exhausting.  I knew if I survived the meetings I had today, that the week would be a success so as I was driving home after my last date with PowerPoint, I put a point on the board for Team Kat.
  • Jetlag hasn’t been terrible this time around, which is nothing short of a miracle.  It may have to do with our 30 hour journey home, in which our bodies gave up on any semblance of time-telling.  That being said, I have been crashing HARD at 9:00 PM every single night.  I can’t imagine that tonight will be any different.
  • In spite of the heatwave that is paralyzing the country, my Petunias have performed quite admirably.  I think they may have cousins close to the equator because otherwise I can’t find a way to explain how they’re doing so well.  Look.


  • Otherwise, Le Jardin has largely been an act of willful ignorance.  I did move our hanging basket from the deck to our front steps because I don’t think the Impatiens were agreeing with their location, but before we left we were getting tons of rain (no need to water!) and then my mother looked after our plants while we were away.  Much less stressful than herbs (though I won’t be tossing my flowers into a summer salad any time soon).
  • My parents were in London the week before we headed out to Europe and they brought me back an eclectic potpourri of wonderful commemorative Royal Souvenirs (I know – so trashy, but they kill me).  It’s basically a Customs House around here these days.


  • In other Good News, my mitts and paws are finally in order after 20 days.  It only took me three days longer to accomplish than I had originally planned (read: I thought they would be done on Monday), BUT they are done now.  I still think that going polish-free for Europe was the right idea but, restoring order?  So Centering.
  • I’m headed up to the cabin tomorrow afternoon and I am So Excited.  Yes, seriously, I need a vacation from my vacation.  What better way to do that than with a weekend full of pizza from Zorbaz, beer, sunning and running?
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1. I made it onto the Twin Cities in Motion blog last Wednesday- check it out here.  I was so tickled that they would post MY answers to their questions!  I have made some of my absolute favorite running memories (and some PR times) out on their courses.

2. I am not ashamed to admit that ever since it got warm out, I have been driving daily with my sunroof open and the country music blaring.  Sometimes with air conditioning as well, sometimes not.  It is So Centering.

3. We’re headed to Iceland tomorrow night, right?  Based on the timing, we will not be able to hop on a Golden Circle tour until the afternoon, which is actually for the best because it will give us more of a chance to explore more of Reykjavik instead of spending the entire day on a tour bus.

But that also left me scrambling to assemble an itinerary for our daytime adventures.

I’m sure you can imagine my amusement when I was looking at a map from The National Museum of Iceland and saw this.

Sword Map

I have yet to determine what the sword actually means.  Only in Iceland, right?

4. We are watching The Bull Runners of Pamplona right now which is a documentary about the Encierro.  I think my mother was hoping that by viewing it, Marcus and I would see it as a cautionary tale.  On the contrary, it has been nothing but Inspirational.  Pamplona, we are coming.


As I was looking over the posts on The Blog for the past few months, I’ve noticed that almost all of them are thematic.  They have to do with travel recaps or running or Birchboxes or what we’ve had for dinner.

I think y’all know that those things are very obviously important to me (especially the travel-running-cooking), but I also think that if I’m focusing all of my energies on packaging up my life into “themes” then there is a lot that gets…lost in the shuffle.  I mean, yes, the person that you read about and the things that I am showing you?  Those are very very real.  This blog is an unedited version of the life I live.

So I guess, what I’m really saying is that once a week, I just want to create a space where I can chat.  With myself.  With you.

And because The Universe has a sense of irony, we’re workshopping travel today.  Because in case you have not noticed, this year it is unending.  Perpetual.  Constant.

Next weekend we are hopping on a plane for a 17 day-backpacking around the continent extravaganza.  We will be visiting Reykjavik, Berlin, Prague, Munich, Pamplona, Bilbao and Madrid.

The reason for all of this is that Marcus’ life dream is to join in the Encierro, or as well all know it, The Running of the Bulls.  We’ll be meeting up with a pair of friends in Pamplona for a few days in the middle of our trip to participate in the Festival of San Fermin and to run.  We can discuss the sensibilities of all of this later (answer: there are none).

In there here and now, I need your help with the following:

Uno: If you have been to any of these places before, what would you see/do and where would you eat?

Dos: If you have backpacked through Europe before, what would you pack?


Oh, what to do. Just file this under: My Most Meaningful Post Ever.

1. On Sunday, Marcus finally sacrificed my yellow Parker mixing bowl to the watery, tile-clad sink god.  I’ll be honest, I feel like we’re living on borrowed time with basically everything that is breakable in this place so I am impressed that the entire set of bowls stayed intact for ~2.5 years.

2. I watched Breaking Dawn: Part I on Friday night, right?  And we all know that I’ve been having crazy dreams lately, right?  So in this one, I was a Twilight-style vampire who only drank True Blood and I was really only mostly excited because being a vampire because of how well I could run.  Figure that one out.

3. I’m trying to force Marcus to start playing board games with me regularly.  Yes, we registered for a bunch of them and no, we don’t play them.  Ever.  Some of them are definitely still in the original wrapping.  We played Scrabble on Sunday night and tied.

4. Did anyone else feel like their face is about to fall off?  I don’t know where all of this dry air came from but in the past week, I have moisturized to the point of excess to no avail.  To wit: I even have dry skin on my upper lip.  These are trying times that we live in.



All: Mercury is in retrograde.  

So if you’re trying to figure out why every day is uphill, or like me you’re having vivid dreams featuring honeybee hives and mobsters, there’s your answer.  Y’all know that I casually dabble in astrology when the time is right and after last night’s dream along with a text from a sorority sister informing me that she dreamed I had twins, it was just time.  According to Meredith, it rolls out on the 26th, so let’s all just keep going until then.

Anyway, no, I haven’t dropped off the grid.  While we were cooking dinner, Marcus observed that it had been a few days since I posted and I told him that part of it was because I don’t really feel like I have anything to say right now, and other part largely has to do with the fact that over the last five days (Thursday – Monday) I was up to my ears in visiting with girlfriends.  Birthday-ing, Running, Friendsgiving-ing, Passing out during My Big Fat Greek Wedding-ing.  You know the drill.

It’s unseasonably warm here right now.  Even though I don’t even know if you can really say that anymore, since I’m pretty sure that it was just as warm here last year at this time.  But I’m not complaining.  Because if a large swath of Minnesota winter is dominated by temperatures hovering around or above freezing (this week’s theme is 50s and 60s), I am SO DOWN.  I will embrace brown winter for the rest of my life.

Since it’s so warm, the geese have returned.

No I cannot make any sense of this either.  But it makes me so 11/10 happy.  Yes, I have more snaps to share on the days where my bottomless well of content runs dry.  I’ll leave it to you to decide whether that’s better or worse than my cat lady blogging.

Meanwhile, tonight I finished the book, I am Forbidden, by Anouk Markovits.

On the couch in the living room.  Because after dinner, that’s what I really wanted to do.  And no, I haven’t been reading a lot lately either, so it was all sorts of soul-filling.

I think Sue, my Mother-in-Law recommended this one to me.  It was extremely painful and very beautiful.  It flew by.

What have y’all been up to for the past few days?


I just feel like tonight is the kind of night that lends itself well to workshopping.

So we begin.

1. I am CRAVING sweet potatoes and citrus fruit.  First it was blood oranges and now it’s grapefruits.  Despite my fear of biting into something overly-tart, I’ve found that they’re actually sweet enough without any sugar sprinkled on top.  Which either means that I need more Vitamin C and Fiber or the light is changing.  I’m choosing to believe that it has to do with the light.

2. Last weekend at Winterfest, Kari taught me this elaborate new way to wrap my pashmina.

It looks quite lovely without involving any fear of strangulation.  Don’t lie, we’ve all been there.  I’ve also witnessed it done with a two-color scarf and the effect was quite pleasing.  I like to think that it gives the effect that I’m trying.  I’ll be keeping this one in my rotation forever, probably.

Apparently this thing is all over The Pinterest (which we all know I do not do), so if you’ve seen it somewhere else on The Internets that actually shares how to tie the damn thing, please do the rest of the group a favor and share it in the comments.

3. I was digging through the baking section of Veganomicon and found a recipe for Chewy Chocolate-Raspberry Cookies that is calling my name.  Yes, we’re taking a foray into Vegan baking.  And why? Because I love the combination of chocolate and raspberry (it is my all-time favorite) and it doesn’t involve substitutions for things like milk, eggs, or butter.  They just aren’t part of The equation.

4. I got an award last week at our company party, and today one of my co-workers gave me an excessively nice (and extremely lengthy) compliment in front of our boss.  It’s nice to know that people recognize what I do.

5. Still reading The China Study.  Still not giving up meat.  Still holding firm on drastically reducing the amount of it in our diet.

6. Valentine’s Day.  It’s coming.  And for us, it’s a two-day celebration.  This weekend we’ll be dive bar dating.  The rules for this go-round being: The establishment must have a “chalkboard” AKA wall-mounted menu AND/OR we have to have a really good coupon or gift certificate to use there.

On actual Valentine’s Day, I’ll be cooking for Marcus (translation: we’ll be doing what we always do).  But since it’s a holiday, we’ll make something fun/special/bizarrely time-intensive.  Considering how many ideas I have for two days of low-key celebration, I guess it’s good that we’re not limiting ourselves to one, right?

7. The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills reunion continues.  That it is a three-part extravaganza is something I’ll be forever-thankful for.  If you’re a fan and want to laugh so hard that you cry (seriously – I was literally in silent cubicle hysterics), check out these recaps from the VULTURE.

Yes, they’re absolutely worth reading from the very beginning.  And then you’ll wonder where they’ve been all your life.  You’re welcome.

Have you started making Valentine’s Day plans yet?

What are you craving right now?

Workshopping v2.0

It’s almost midnight, and I’m just about ready to pour myself into bed after a day full of time spent with girlfriends in varying combinations.  For the record, it was absolutely amazing.  I left each activity feeling so refreshed and recharged – I haven’t had a Saturday like this in SUCH a long time!

Our Orders of Business…

  1. Pie week ended with a major bang.  Go check out Megan’s Nutella Pecan Pie and Allison’s Mushroom and Red Wine PieWARNING: Both of these ladies get fancy.
  2. Seriously.  If you haven’t clicked through those links yet, you really need to get on that.
  3. Jillian and I actioned THE EXACT SAME Paula Deen recipe this afternoon without any prior discussion.  Yes, we did the jumping + screaming thing when we realized what had just taken place.  It was not entirely unlike that feeling you got in elementary school when you and your best friend both showed up wearing the same t-shirt.  Except for the fact that this time there was cream cheese frosting involved.
  4. Cream Cheese Frosting > Matching T-Shirts
  5. While I was trying on a pair of boots at Payless, a fellow shopper attempted to steal my Revas.  Which is to say, after doing a quick lap around the store, I returned back to the area where I had left the shoebox (and my lovely flats), my shoes were gone.  When I very pointedly asked the shoppers hanging around the area (a woman with her husband and child) what had happened to them, they played dumb.  For like three minutes.  Until they produced my shoes from the seat of their child’s stroller.  WHAT THE WHAT?

I know.  I KNOW.

THIS.  This is the world that we live in.

What recharges you?


Since I’ve been riding on the wings of  The Spirit of Productivity, I combined the Tids and Bits and Potpourri sections into one (much larger) section called Workshopping.  Is it possible that it will reincarnate itself again?  Absolutely.

But something just didn’t feel right.

So, we workshop.  Because today was a day of revelations.

  • Movember = Men grow moustaches for a month.  I thought they had some other name for it, but I guess I’m just not down with what the kids are saying these days.  To summarize, if you see someone tweeting about it and you’re wondering if you should join-up, the correct answer is to run the other way.
  • The new gmail is a real treat.  Between the embedded “Reply All” button and the initial setting on large print “comfortable” mode, I think that we’re going to witness some major e-mail fails in the next week.
  • I really need to make a decision about what I’m going to do with my hair.  I know that I want to maintain the length (it just doesn’t grow) but I really don’t know what to do with the color.  It’s lightened up a TON since I got it colored in May, so I can actually envision it being…somewhat natural.  Is that what I actually want to do?  Who knows, really.
  • The amount of scary coughing that is going around in my office is alarming on a good day.  I’m giving major thanks for the fact that I do not work in a shared-cubicle.  There’s something about 3.5 walls and a walkway that says, “I have boundaries.”
  • It’s officially Hand Turkey-time.  For all that Halloween involves gourds and corn, orange and black, pumpkins and witches, Thanksgiving is The Budget Friendly Holiday to decorate for.  To do list: Cut out turkeys, source crayons.  Expect a full report sooner than later.
  • Kim Kardashian.  I had to say it, but I just don’t care.  Actually, I take that back.  I do care.  Because I sincerely hope that 10 years from now, today’s high school students aren’t able to tell one another where they were when they got the news.  Horror.

How do you feel about the new gmail design?

Are you a Hand Turkey crafter?


Kittens, I am SO about 10 seconds away from pouring myself into bed.  Please just bear with me.  If I can finish this post without falling asleep on the keyboard, it will be a win for all of us.

Pillows and comforters await…

1.  Because I know you all care, once again I’ve changed the wallpaper on my phone.  The other wallpaper was just too…July.

I decided that at least this pays homage to the tiny weaver who has taken up residence in our basement.

Yes, seriously.

Marcus found one of the webs last weekend when he discovered that they managed to build it to span our entire basement.  How this is even possible, I’m entirely unsure.  Regardless, he tore it out.

But when I was running on Monday, I spent 100% of the time watching the little guy go-to-town on the rebuild.

It was simultaneously revolting and fascinating.

2. On Wednesday, I snapped-up a ticket to the Minnesota Blogger Conference.  The first 100 tickets disappeared in less than 20 minutes, so I was really thankful that I was able to get in right at 9 AM when they released the first batch.

I have no idea of what to expect from this year’s conference.  I know that last year, I was SO overwhelmed.  I had just made some big decisions about The Blog, so in some ways I felt like I was really ahead of the curve and in other ways I was in way over my head.  Plus, not only was it my first time out in the wild real life with other bloggers, it was my first time at a conference.  Period.

Go figure, right?

3. My dresses came, and they’re 11/10.  I don’t want to say that they’re better-than-expected per se, because that makes it sound like I’m selling them short.  More appropriately,  I was blown out of the water.

And I absolutely don’t regret buying two.

When I went over to The House On The Hill to pick them up, I got the biggest kick out of the fact that Mom already knew what designs I had on them without me uttering a peep.

Just you wait and see.  It will be a Katacular spectacular.

4. Confession: Tonight I cut open my bag of Angie’s Kettle Corn feed-bag style to get at the bits at the bottom.  RIP Kat’s Dignity, 8-18-11.   I’m pretty sure it’s gone for good this time.

What’s the least dignified thing you’ve done this week?

Have you ever been to a conference for bloggers?


Everything is on my mind and yet little bits and pieces here-and-there do not a good blog post make.  It’s been months kittens.  So let’s get down with our bad selves and embrace the spirit of Potpourri!.

1. Prince William and Princess Catherine are finally on the hunt for some good servants. When I was reading about how it was stressful for Prince William, having to ride at the Trooping of the Colours, and then having to toss on a tuxedo to head over straight away to the Epsom Derby, I was all like I KNOW.

Life would be so much easier if there was someone to fetch your outfit and make sure it’s in proper shape instead of having to use the Eco-Friendly Grocery Bag Full Of Clothes In The Back Seat Of Your Car-method.

2. Speaking of which, even though we all know I’m an 11/10 fan of the Princess, this outfit?

Was SO disappointing.  I don’t want to say that it was a dud, because she didn’t look…bad.  It was kind of as if she was attempting to wear three different outfits (hat, jacket, skirt/dress) and NONE of them really “fit” together.  Like someone who doesn’t make a practice of looking in the mirror before they leave the house.

On the bright side, I have a somewhat similar white jacket-arrangement that I snagged at Banana Republic’s Albertville Outlet location during their Black Friday Sale last year.

3. I’m somewhat relieved to know that “Honoring Your Hunger” continues to be a mystery to the majority of the group.  Obviously if I end up learning anything sage from this endeavor (which is to say that cryptic things on scales of one to anything are OUT), I’ll share.  Until that magical moment, I’m just going to keep on waiting for hunger to strike and eating accordingly.  I think that sounds reasonable, no?

4. Since we’re kind of operating on a screwy-schedule this week, on Sunday I made the executive decision to commit to early morning running (~4:45 AM) M-W.  I realized that if the thought of coming home, having to run, trying to eat ANYTHING and then jetting off to meet with someone was stressful, then it would probably be far-more anxiety-inducing in practice.

Usually it’s hell on earth, but this week my body has been on-board.  And since the weather for the past few days has been hovering around ~100 degrees (yes, seriously), I would have ended up on the treadmill anyway.

5. Two Words: Pavement Failure.  Trisha blogged about her experience with it yesterday, and then today I got to witness it first-hand on my commute home.  Long story short, Minnesota roads are designed to expand and contract depending on what the temperature is.  How logical.  Obviously the range is huge because it could be -20 degrees in the winter or 80 degrees in the summer.

Apparently, the range isn’t quite 100 degrees, because whole sections of road on some of our busier highways/freeways have erupted from their proper place and epically crumbled, blocking off entire lanes of traffic.  It is Quite The Thrill when you accidentally drive over/into it or find yourself in a horrifying traffic jam.

What are your thoughts on the Princess’ outfit?

Have you experienced Pavement Failure?

How early would you be willing to roll out of bed to work out?