Monthly Archives: June 2011

Flourishing and Growing

Oh, how Order And Routine continue to re-assert themselves in my life.

The post-dinner jet lag is beginning to loosen its grip.

I finally have my Google Reader down to ~50 items (I was at 600-some when we touched down) and am starting to catch-up on all of the lovely comments you left me while I was away. They were a LOVELY surprise to come home to 🙂

I still can’t manage to jump back on-board with Twitter (why must everything be so immediate?).  It’s actually kind of ironic, considering the fact that I spent the first three days of our Honeymoon thinking in 140 characters or less.

I know.  I KNOW.

It was that bad.

While we were away, The Tarragon drowned itself in some sort of Torrential downpour, but The Basil Embraced The Tropical Conditions we’ve been experiencing.  It’s deadset Industrious as far as Growing and Flourishing are concerned.

Far Right: RIP Tarragon

We have been actioning Caprese Salads at every available opportunity.  Seizing The Day is key when faced with such abundance.

Meanwhile, The Oregano has really tried to put its best foot forward as far as Regeneration goes.

I did have a snap of that too, but it seems to have purged itself.  Not that there was really much to see.

Perhaps by the time Fall rolls around we’ll have some progress.

What plants have you has Mother Nature managed to kill off in your garden this year?

What’s your go-to dish when you have basil on-hand?

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Collecting myself.

Bon soir, kittens!

I thought I would have it in me to type up a brief something-something last night, but then a nosedive into a Chipotle Burrito Bowl happened.

We’ve all been there.

God bless Spicy Food and Vegetables That Still Have Skin On Them.

I actually believed that I had beaten jet lag today, until the clock struck 6:00 PM sharp and my body kindly informed me that on our planet it was really 1:00 AM.

Tricky.

So as much as I want to type more now, I’m 11/10 sure that whatever could possibly come from my fingertips at this very moment in time would be more like drunk texting and less like any sort of easy-to-follow plot.

My fallback plan?  The Not-So-Wordless Wednesday.

I’m only sharing a few snaps for the time being, but that’s because I want to save the rest for when I’m actually fully conscious and we get down to the good ol’ fashioned storytelling.

The cheese I never even SAW at our cocktail hour.

My beautiful bridesmaids and I.

The hora.

A focaccia pizza-type arrangement in Genoa. YOU KNOW I HAD TO DO IT.

Glory.

In The Spirit of Guidance (since I have absolutely no focus whatsoever at the moment) are there any bits of the wedding/honeymoon you’re absolutely dying to hear about?

Memory Lane-ing

Today’s post (and the last before I return!) comes to you from Laura at These Are a Few of my Favorite Things.  Among many other things, Laura blogs about life and the follies that occur in her kindergarten classroom.  If there’s one thing that I’ve learned since meeting her almost four years ago now (hello, time flies!), it’s that she can really tell  a story.  So run, don’t walk, people!

-Kat

I must confess that I’ve actually known Marcus longer than I’ve known Kat.  As such, I probably should start out by sharing some quality Marcus memories, to show you the quality guy Kat has married.

We go way back to elementary school.  That’s right, approximately 20 years ago (man, we are getting old) we were in the same third grade class together (unless I have completely fabricated these memories.  Sometimes it is hard to say what is truth and what I have dreamt up).  But roll with me on this, because I’m really hoping Marcus won’t take away the 20 years of memories that I have banking on this post.

Back in third grade, we used to play Around the World.  If you aren’t familiar with the game, 2 students compete to answer the math fact the fastest.  The winner advances to compete against the next child.  Marcus’ last name and my last name are fairly close in the alphabet, and so due to seating arrangements, I would frequently find myself competing against him (and losing to him 98.1% of the time).  The day he was absent and I was able to win more than 2 rounds before getting out was probably my happiest day of third grade.  (that is a lie – my happiest day of third grade was the day that our teacher bought hamsters for class pets from another girl in our class).  I’m just glad that Marcus grew up to be a rocket scientist so that I would know that my losses in Around the World aren’t so much a reflection on my intelligence, but rather a reflection on his geniusness.

Ideally here I would have an embarrassingly endearing photo from our third grade yearbook to show you.  However, I cannot be bothered by scanners, and childhood pictures live at my parents house, so instead I will show you this: a photo of us doing dishes.  Perhaps in late high school?  Perhaps in college?  It is hard to say.  It is the earliest photo I could find that was in the digital age of our friendship.  You can almost see Marcus behind Curly Hair Boy’s head.

While I’ve known Marcus mostly forever, we became friends in high school.  Then we stayed friends in college.  Then I got to become friends with Kat at some unknown point after they met!  It is all very exciting.

Look!  We are all friends!

So far from my rambling we know that Kat’s hubby is smart.  Now we will learn that he is nice!  (yes, I do realize I could use a thesaurus and come up with more exciting adjectives).

After we graduated from college and became real adults, Marcus had a nifty job that sent him on lots of exciting (read: not thrilling) business trips.  One such trip took him to New Mexico.  I told him that my dad used to travel there for work and would bring us back Jelly Belly Jelly Beans.  As a child, I was fairly certain that NM is the only place this specialty bean was sold.  (As an adult, this was just one of the ways I realize how confused I was during childhood.)  Back to the tale: when Marcus returned from his business trip, he brought me a souvenir!  You guessed it: Jelly Belly Jelly Beans!  Win!

At this point in my post, when I mentally prepared to write it 10 minutes ago, I thought I would launch into a hilarious story from one of my kindergarteners, because they really are quite ridiculous in the things they say.  However, I see that I have already written you a novel, so I will probably just stop here.  It’s been a pleasure!

[update: My mom happens to now work at my former elementary school.  She smuggled out an old yearbook for me.  Childhood Memories Confirmed.]

What stories do you have of Marcus or Kat?

What facts of life were you certain of as a small child that now you realize the absurdity of your logic?

No, Hip America, no.

Tomorrow, we’ll be live from Minneapolis! 

Until then, our last guest post is brought to you by Jillian.  I’ve known her since high school and when our families went on spring break together senior year, and her dad ended wearing my Dad’s swim trunks because the airline lost like half of their luggage, we were pretty much Bonded.

-Kat

As a regular reader of Tenaciously Yours, I’ve seen Kat blog frequently about both food and trends.  Well, I would like to say a little something about food trends.  I am usually fully on board with food trends, because they mean that I get to pay way too much for something that I used to make at home but now can eat in a boutique-y environment, and it suddenly tastes so much better.

Exhibit A:  Frozen Yogurt.

When I lived in Chicago, I couldn’t walk more than two blocks before I could enter another brightly lit beacon of yogurt-y goodness.  The flavors, the berries, the cereal (eating Cap’n Crunch Berries on top of other foods doesn’t have to be done in privacy anymore!), the endless combinations!  And all under the guise of “it’s good (or not that terribly awful) for you!”  For Midwesterners like me, it was a promise that once I left this shop, fro yo in hand, I would instantly be rollerblading in Santa Monica in a bikini top.  Never actually happened, but you know.

Exhibit B:  Cupcakes.

I get this too.  The flavors!  The frostings!  The clever names!  The lack of commitment to eating a whole cake!  I don’t, however, get the cupcake reality shows.  And I’m a person who gets the wedding cake shows, or just the plain old cake shows.  With a cupcake, you make it and you frost it.  There are no motors, no cracking fondant, where’s the drama?  But this will certainly not stop me from hoovering as many cupcakes as I can with names like “Razz-Ma-Tazz” and “Chocolate Monster Bite”.

But a few months ago, while in the “trendy” area of Seattle, I asked a friend where the nearest cupcake shop was.  To my surprise, he replied, “Cupcakes are so over.  It’s all about pie now.”  Exhibit C as pie?!  PIE?!  The fruity, delightful pastry my grandmother has already perfected?  No, Hip America, no.  It will take a lot to convince me that eating pie in a starkly decorated boutique will evoke the same comfort that I get from eating pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, or smelling a freshly baked pie crust coming out of the oven.

[Minnesotan Disclaimer:  This criticism in no way applies to Betty’s Pies.]

Pie eating is already an experience, and it’s kind of personal.  We all eat pies made by our grandmothers, our moms, other extraneous matriarchal figures.  Wouldn’t you feel strange eating some company’s pies?  Almost like a betrayal?  Seattle, being known as the center of hipster-ism, may never elaborate on pie as the next great food trend, but I warn you all.  There are food trends, and then there are American institutions.  Choose your patronage wisely.

This is my official stance until you walk by some pie boutique in Uptown months from now and see me inside with a big slice of cherry cream pie…

What food trends do you love?  Hate?

I’m pretty sure that I’ll be a cupcake-lover for life.  And as we all know, when I’m in a Fro Yo mecca, I’m sometimes given to eating it more than once a day.  But whoopie pies and red velvet-anything have completely eluded me.

What’s your favorite flavor of pie?

I know the first flavor I can remember eating (at Betty’s!) was Blueberry.  But I’m also very much A Fan of Raspberry, Cherry, French Silk and Lemon Meringue.  Why have boundaries, right?

Puppies Gone Wild

Madelyn from La Petite Pancake is a pledge sister of mine and one of the funniest humans I know.  I got to meet Josie, her lovely little pug over Christmas and after spending an hour playing on the floor with her, had Marcus fearing that I was going to announce my readiness to take the Pet Plunge.  Luckily for him, I didn’t, but luckily for me, I’ve been able to live vicariously through Mads.

-Kat

I purchased a pug puppy several months ago named Josie.  I dreamed of pugs for 6 years before my living situation finally deemed it acceptable for me to have a dog.  But I had no idea clubs existed for people as insane as me!  My boyfriend signed us up for a pug meet-up group in our area and each month the meet-ups bring more and more hilarity.

First, we took Josie to the beach.  She absolutely loved this until she got slammed by a wave.  Not a fan.

Doesn’t she look like the Doritos dog?

Here she plays with her half-sister, Willow.  Meaning they are sisters from the same mister.  And that mister is named “Brass-Knuckles”.

Josie is insane at the beach, like the way I get around buffets and pony kegs.  But that’s another story.

Anyway, there was another meet up scheduled last weekend at a place called “The Zoom Room”.  It’s a room filled with kooky teeter totters, hoops, etc.  The group rented it out for a few hours and the pugs went nuts!

Here’s Josie’s boyfriend, Bailey.

Ain’t he handsome???

Another crowd favorite, Lulu.

Tofu is on the left (he’s scrappy!) and Willow is on the right.

Pugs are only ever that attentive for food.  Om nom nom!

And finally, Josie for the photo-finish.

I think I am going to start training her to be a rescue dog.  I mean, she could easily grab kittens from burning buildings and save grown men from avalanches.  …right?

She has such a hard life. 😉

-Mads

Are you a dog person or a cat person?

Does your pet have any strange habits or “favorite things?”

Spot, our Family Fang is a Siamese cat and his favorite food is Maple Brown Sugar Instant Oatmeal.

Return to Paris

Today, we return to Paris.  I don’t want to say that I was looking forward to this part of the trip more than the seafaring part.  Because I should like to think that I was looking forward to both of them equally.

However, it was my expectation that by this point in the Honeymoon, we’d be relaxed and refreshed enough to be able to deal with things like reading maps, navigating public transportation, handling money and making plans.

Fingers and Toes that I’m right on this one 😉

What I absolutely haven’t mentioned until this point is that Effective: The Royal Wedding, I started engaging in what I would like to think of as Nutella de-sensitizing.

For reasons that are now more deadly-obvious than ever to me, I never have a jar of That Stuff in the house.  But after seeing a commercial for it on BBC America during Wedding Week, I was So Moved to go out and source some.

Truth in advertising.

It was all downhill from there.  I mean, yes, eating Nutella straight from the jar is wonderful in and of itself.  But have you ever made a piece of toast, slathered it with Nutella and the topped it with cherry jam?

LOOK AWAY!

Just like how I’ve been eating sorbet and gelato in tiny ramekins with little spoons (yes, seriously) was part of my mental preparation for Italy, I needed to ready myself for the Streets of Paris.

We were super-fashionable the last go-round 😉

One only gets the chance to pose like everyone's favorite HRE, Charlemagne, so often. We Take Advantage.

We even stopped to pose OUTSIDE of the Cluny. Would it really have been that much harder to go in?

Classic.

Our plans for this time in the city include museum trips, a walk down the Champs Elysees and a good look at the Eiffel Tower.  Oh, and an all-you-can-eat buffet-worth of crusty bread.  If you’re reading this right now from home, saying No To Carbs, smile and think of me.

The last time we were in Paris, we didn’t make it to the Cluny, despite being all of two blocks away from it.  Since that summer after freshman year, I’ve become 110% more fascinated in medieval art and have been looking forward to visiting since our trip to The Cloisters  over Labor Day weekend last year.

I feel like I shouldn’t even have to say it, but I will for good measure.  It will be lovely!

If you had to choose A Favorite Museum Of All Time, what would it be?

That’s a hard one.  I’m torn between the Minneapolis Institute of Art (they have a superb Asian collection) and The Cloisters.

Mountain Woman Picnic

It may not be a formal Friday Food Round-Up!, but one of my bridesmaids, Emily one-upped me and did a lovely job of documenting her trail-side picnic in Colorado.  She doesn’t blog, but I am SO glad she was willing to do a guest post, because now I want a mountain-picnic too.  If you’re looking for a weekend adventure, maybe this will serve as a much needed bit of inspiration 🙂

-Kat

Picnic season has FINALLY arrived. Too bad it only took a few weeks longer than expected.

Me?  I happen to be That Girl who asks her parents for a picnic basket for her birthday. Remember the days of asking for a new bike, swing set, board game, swimsuit, or Walkman? Yep, now a days, I’ve succumbed to asking for a picnic basket. And let me tell you, it’s amazing, but that’s entirely another story.

So, until I can use it here, I decided to take full advantage of picnic opportunities in Estes Park, Colorado this past weekend instead. While visiting a few of my college faves, we ended up having at least 4 picnics while hiking the trails in the Rockies. I also learned there are a few differences between my picnic ideas, and an actual mountain woman picnic.

  1. Sandwiches.  Don’t do it.  They just end up smashed, gooey and gross—remember bringing a pack lunch to camp in the summertime and ending up with a smashed, warm, peanut butter sandwich? Yeah, we don’t do that anymore. We went with bagels instead.
  2. Dry goods.  Load up on your granola, cereal, and Lara bars. No need to stop to eat it at a proper picnic, but it does work as a nice dessert or energy boost while taking minimal space in your pack.
  3. Nuts.  Always a winning choice.  Almonds and pumpkin seeds were on our menu, and were they awesome. Met our sweet and salty desires after a few miles into the hike.
  4. Fruit.  Although this can get a bit tricky, depending on the distance you travel and what you pack in addition to your food, it’s best to stick with hard fruits or dried fruits. We chose to go with the organic oranges and apples. We were in CO, did you expect anything less than organic?
  5. Water.  Just remember what your soccer coaches always told you, better have too much than too little. And a sweet Nalgene or CamelBak is a sweet way to sport that.

Worried about the possibility of running out of conversation topics during a mountain picnic because you’ve run out of things to comment on (the scenery can only take you so far)? Not a prob. Some that we came up with:

  • The potential of an avalanche hitting you on your hike back down to the trail head
  • American Girl doll story lines and trivia
  • Disney movie music trivia
  • Children’s novels that we would reread today (Little House on the Prairie and the Redwall series were ours)
  • Pretend you’re Bear Gryllis, how do keep yourself alive until help arrives tomorrow morning?

When is the last time that you went on a picnic?

Honestly, I know that Marcus and I have discussed picnicking before, but I really think that my last “formal” picnic might have been in high school.  Yipes.

Yes, Emily, that means we will be testing out the basket sooner than later 😉