Monthly Archives: August 2011

25 by 25

Idealist-Kat in all of her glory, circa Summer 2009 created a 101 in 1001 list with her boyfriend at the time.

Obviously I didn’t blog about them nearly as much as I could have.  Partially because some of the things on the list were too personal for the internet (for example, money), and partially because some of them (like getting flu shots) were deadly-boring.

In the process of swapping e-mail accounts, I found a copy of the list, that I had saved for myself in the cloud.  It’s kind of ironic that it decided to show its face, considering the fact that since post-honeymoon, I’ve wanted to set goals at a manic pace.

There were some really good ideas in there.  And I would say for being all of 21 years old and fresh off of college graduation, most of them were pretty spot in-terms of what we wanted to accomplish together.

Some goals? Were really frivolous…like making a habit of addressing my mitts + paws or cultivating le jardin.

Other goals?  Were big picture – weight loss, conversion, Marcus’ MBA, marriage, travel.

But they all worked.  We cooked with new ingredients, brought Judaism into our home, realized how daunting the reality of redecorating and renovation can be.

As I perused through the goals that we haven’t completed yet, I kind of had to laugh.  Because some of them?  Were totally valid, but not necessarily a part of the person I want to be or the person that I have become in the past two years.

So, in the Spirit of Progress and all that, I decided that it’s time to say farewell to that little list of ours.

And since I just turned 24, I thought it might be nice to give Past-Kat another shot at predicting her own future.

Enter: 25 by 25

Here goes…

  1. Finish a marathon
  2. Take-up Pilates
  3. Go to the Bakken Museum
  4. Go to the Mill City Museum
  5. Learn how to properly arrange flowers
  6. Learn how to make pie crust from scratch
  7. Take a gun safety class
  8. Do five DIY re-decorating/home improvement projects
  9. Correspond
  10. Create and maintain a proper adult address book
  11. Give to the food shelf monthly
  12. Use our china at least one time each season
  13. Learn how to do a proper smokey eye
  14. Source the following cookbooks: Veganomicon, Time for Dinner, How to Roast a Lamb, From Mom with love…
  15. Take a Friday off.  And bake a challah.  From scratch.
  16. Bake Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies when I want them
  17. Complete the process of legally changing my name
  18. Visit one new restaurant in the Twin Cities every month
  19. Make at least one recipe out of each of the cookbooks we got as a wedding gift: pizza, Williams-Sonoma SALAD, Kosher by Design, Kosher by Design Lightens Up, The Wine Lovers Cookbook, Super juicer, The Fearless Baker, MIXT Salads, Bride & Groom First and Forever Cookbook
  20. Come up with some sort of skin care habit to replace my completely non-existent routine
  21. Visit Chicago
  22. Buy a piece of jewelry for myself
  23. Get my broken/under-used purses cleaned or repaired
  24. Donate old gowns/dresses to those who could actually use them
  25. Learn how to use my french press

What are some goals you want to accomplish in the next year?

A Lack of Enthusiasm

I had originally thought that I would kick-off the High Holidays Fashion Show tonight.  But it’s August.  And even though the sky was sulky today in the grayest of ways, I just can’t bring myself to show any sort of enthusiasm for fall.

Trees are already changing.  The geese have flocked-up and are actioning Flying Vs.

We live in Minnesota.  Winter is coming, and I’m deadly afraid it’s going to be arriving much earlier than any of us would like.  I would prefer to avoid doing anything that might be perceived as encouraging The Situation.

See Exhibit A for clarification of my feelings.

Exhibit A

I KNOW.  I think my stylist accidentally used the semi-permanent dye on my roots too!

But that’s just not a solvable problem in the here and now.

When we were done with dinner tonight by 7:00, I was baffled.

I know, the rest of you are probably thinking, Come on, Captain Obvious.  You get off work at 2:30.

Right.  I know.  But for the past week, I’ve been running long-overdue errands like a maniac.  Tonight is the first night where I’ve come home (okay, so I stopped at the post office to pick up a certified letter on the way), run and then been able to…just be.

I was so perplexed by the wide-open stretch of time that Marcus had to press pause on doing the dishes and welcome me to my new reality.

After narrowing down the evening’s festivities to Going to The Library or Watching Keeping The Faith In Bed, I decided to do the somewhat responsible thing and head over to the library.  The number of books hanging around the house since the wedding has been just pitiful, and I refuse to start reading my September Issues until I have all of them in my possession.

Since we live in Not Real World, we’re unable to be content with a library that is merely a home to books and multimedia equipment. It’s a tribute to advances in modern architecture.

Did I mention that it has a green roof?  Because there’s that too.

Even if I never set foot inside the place, I’d feel better just knowing that it’s there.

I left with more books than I could ever possibly hope to read in three weeks, but it was somewhat Soothing to arrange them all in the “book basket” I keep stashed underneath our coffee table.

Do you go to the library or are you a Kindle/Nook person?

Our library is literally a 90 second drive away, so unless we lived on top of it, I don’t think that it could possibly be more convenient.

Fall is basically upon us.  Are you the kind of person who is already waiting in line for a Pumpkin Spice Latte?  Or will you be wearing your flip-flops until your feet freeze?

Accepting Reality

Things on my 18 miler last Saturday were never going “well.”

Chief among the many problems being that my breakfast just wasn’t sitting.

Considering the fact that it took me until the end of July to make a breakfast breakthrough in the first place, I think we can all agree that I’m more than a little bit Out Of Time as far as going back to the drawing board is concerned.

Miles 1-12 were a re-enactment of The Mediocrity Bowl.  But at mile 16, I had to action a run-walk situation because it honest-to-goodness felt like I had ripped an abdominal muscle.

I wanted to salvage the wreck.  I really did.

For the first time ever, I stopped mid-run and attempted to stretch.  I tried adjusting my carriage.  I tried running faster.  I tried running slower.  I hydrated.  I snacked.  I got spiritual.

Nothing.  At the end of 18 miles, I had strong legs, and a non-permanent body malfunction.

The reality I refused to accept is that my body was not physically capable of moving forward…or anywhere at that point.

As I hobbled over to the area where I had called for Marcus to pick me up, I had a moment that gave me pause.

A scenario that I have been trying to avoid thinking about at all costs is the one in which I get to mile XX during the marathon and cannot physically move my body forward anymore.  Where the very idea of walking paints a rosy picture.

It’s not that I’ve been hoping for a bad run.  Really, I haven’t.  Every Saturday morning, I pray for strong legs and an injury free run.

Isn’t that what’s really at the heart of what we all do?

But for me, the mental preparation has been an uphill battle.  I am my own worst enemy, slave driver and cheerleader all rolled up into one.

In some ways, I want to avoid the Worst Possible Scenario At All Costs.  And yet, the other half of me is BOLTING towards the mouth of the beast.

Because I feel like if I experience it now, then at least I know the unknowable.

Or as we learn from Icarus, you can’t possibly know how warm it’s going to be unless you dare to fly too close to the sun.

As I tried to kill off the Ke$ha that was blaring from my iPod, I had a revelation.  I was walking and I wasn’t ashamed.  I didn’t feel less-than or like a failure.

Was I completely perplexed by my body?  Absolutely.

But the world didn’t come crashing down around me.

Which is a step in the right direction.

How do you work through a bad run?

How do you mentally prepare yourself for challenging situations?

The beginning of 24

Kittens, today I am 24.  I’ll have all sorts of really Sage Stuff to share later this week about what, exactly, being 24 means.  But in the here and now, I thought it would be more fun to share the odd snap with y’all of one of The Loveliest Days.

Creatures of habit that we are, Marcus and I kicked off our morning with a grocery store adventure that culminated in our weekly stop to Gregor Farm.

How gorgeous, right?

We ended up leaving with eight ears of sweet corn, a carton of cherry tomatoes, some new potatoes and a handful of banana peppers.  GOD I love that place.

Marcus got me this lovely clutch/purse arrangement.

Obviously between the sparkles and the chain-straps, I love it 11/10.

David and Sue came by bearing gifts.

Like the salt and pepper shakers that match The Best China Ever.

As a “non-serious” gift, Sue brought this bracelet along as well.

I don’t think she realized what an addition it will be to my Arm Party.

Can’t you just imagine the possibilities?

Because I think my head might explode.

And Mom and Dad proffered this moon rock.

Just kidding.  It’s actually  geode with an Amethyst inside.  My grandmother found it in the Carolinas back in the day and carried it from house-to-house as they followed my Air Force Pilot-Grandfather around the world.

Part of me wants to have it chopped open and polished.  My other (more sickeningly sentimental) half wants to leave it intact because the mystery of it all is half the fun.

Contrary to what I’ve been bombarding you with, grocery shopping and gifting were NOT the only things on the day’s agenda.  This afternoon, we went to see the races at Canterbury Park with Jillian and Mike.  If you had asked us a couple of weeks ago, we would have sworn up and down that we were going to grill.  But after some major soul-searching at the bar last weekend, we decided that it would be appropriate to go for something more adventuresome.

Before we could make the trip south, they forced these upon me.

I KNOW.

Fantastic, right?

Sweet Retreat is going to be on Cupcake Wars this week and I’ve been despairing, trying to figure out when the mania is going to die-down.  Yes, they’re my favorite cupcakes of All Time, but I’m not about to fight other people off for them.

It’s that whole Dignity Thing.

Thankfully, that is no longer my concern.

Cupcakes aside, the races were amazing.  Given my fixation with horses and the Kentucky Derby, I have no idea of how I made it to the age of 24 without setting foot near a racetrack.

I don’t want to say it was exactly like they show on TV, because that would be terribly ignorant.

BUT…

It was very much like what they show on TV.  I felt right at home.

We bet, we drank cash-only beers, we cheered even when we weren’t sure if we were even yelling for the right horse, and we mined our Beginner Programs for meaningless tidbits of information that would reveal the winner of the next race to us.  I knew we had finally hit our groove when Mike just started naming horses for the trainers.

I don’t know that I would try to go on any sort of regular basis, but I would definitely suggest it for an afternoon adventure again.  🙂

Have you ever watched live horse racing?

Do you have any birthday traditions?

Have you ever cracked open a geode?

I know I’m punting with this one, but I just feel like one of you has to have attempted it.

Making Do

image

Kittens, I actually had another tale to tell today, but even the best-laid plans get overturned.

When you find yourself sitting on the bed with a sewing kit and a dress you’re NOT going to wear, 15 minutes before you’re supposed to run out the door, it’s safe to assume that all is lost.

We’re currently en-route to Bri and Dan’s wedding on the other end of town. Since she and I basically spent the last year at work, planning our weddings side-by-side, I really can’t wait to see how her vision translated into reality.

If you’re lucky and I don’t pull another one of those Little Miss I’m Living In The Moment-moves, then I should have lots of snaps to share with y’all tomorrow.

In the meantime, please enjoy the sole fruit of the photo shoot I actioned at the gas station. I’m not positive, but I just feel like there has to be a good reason why this setting isn’t used more often by Fashion Bloggers Who Care.

Personally I think the juxtaposition of the gold accessories, the sterling arm party and the line of gas pumps gives the scene a delightful sort of je ne said quoi.

When is the last time you had a too-late-to-fix wardrobe malfunction?

Friday Food Round-Up!

How can you tell that our dishwasher broke before we started cooking on Monday night?

Answers:

  1. The Return of The Paper Plates
  2. The fact that nothing we cooked was utensil/plate-intensive

Really, I’m just Giving Thanks that all of this is happening now instead of later.  I know I can’t be the only one who thinks it’s far easier to slap something together and call it a meal when it’s warm outside.  Maybe it’s the fact that al fresco dining is more accessible, or maybe it’s the fact that everything just tastes so…fresh.

Regardless, I can’t complain.

Monday – Grilled Chicken Sausages with Oven Fries and Corn

As per the usual, it was time to break-out our emergency-stash of Roasted Garlic Chicken Sausages from Trader Joe’s.  I try not to make them TOO often, lest they lose their novelty.  That is the point of the emergency-stash, after all.

But in the summer months they basically beg to be grilled.  And when desperate times call for desperate measures, I have no other choice but to listen.

Tuesday – Oven-Roasted Turkey Legs with Corn and Avocado Salad, Green Beans

Kittens, this is me throwing it down.  You didn’t make the Corn and Avocado Salad this week.  And your life was a darker place because of that.  Not only did I eat it for dinner, but for lunch as well.  And then, lunch…again.

Um, I think I might have a problem.

Did I mention that this meal took care of the last of our Thanksgiving Turkey?  Because there was that too.  Our freezer is officially turkey-free.  For another two and a half months.

To cook the legs, we didn’t do anything really glamorous.  I let them sit for a bit in a bag with fresh oregano, a few sliced cloves of garlic, salt, pepper, paprika and evoo.  After removing them from the bag, I placed them on a roasting rack and popped them in the oven at 400-425 degrees for an hour.  Since the were on a rack, no turning was required and they still came out with (obviously) crispy skin.

In the words of Ina Garten, How Easy Is That?

As Marcus tore into his leg, he officially declared that we don’t need to go to the State Fair OR the Renaissance Festival (we never go to that) because I had supplied him with one of his favorite foods.

That wasn’t really my goal, but I’ll take it 😉

What are your “emergency” foods?

What is your favorite fair/festival food?  Have you ever tried to make it?

The Honeymoon: Paris

Kittens, I’m simultaneously shocked and thrilled that we’ve finally reached the last post in my Honeymoon-recap series.  For some reason, looking at these pictures made me feel the most emotional.  I’m not sure if it’s because this part of the trip was the most physically grueling, or if it’s because this means (as it did then) that we have reached the end.  Time stops for nothing.

Ah, Paris.

Armed with That One Guidebook From 1992, my functional food-related French (thank you Liberal Ed requirement!), and a wardrobe devoid of any sort of American logos, we returned to The City of Light.

What to say about Paris?  We didn’t stop moving.  Except for at 3 PM each day when heat exhaustion claimed us.

That’s what you get for walking seven miles in 96 degree weather.

Did I mention that we didn’t ride the metro once?  By the time we had made it through the first day, I had managed to rotate through the three pairs of flats I had packed AND my flip-flops.

My feet looked like a battlefield.

So, someday when you go there, don’t be like us.

But make sure to admire.  And as you feel the full weight of taking Perfect Vacation Photos To Decorate Your Home With pressing down on your shoulders, start snapping.  Don’t even think about stopping.

I wish I could say we saw everything, but we didn’t even come close.

We walked to Notre Dame, through le Jardins du Luxemborg, roamed the Louvre, admired the tuileries, circled the Obelisk, went down the Champs de Elysee, stood underneath L’Arc de Triomphe, wandered through the Champ de Mars to the base of the Eiffel Tower, marveled at Les Invalides and promenaded down the Seine and to the Cluny.

Marcus learned about Moules Marinieres to the point where he was begging for them.  I asked an appalled man at a crepe stand in the Latin Quarter to action me a crepe with Nutella AND Bonne Maman Strawberry Jam.

Marcus scooped me up as I tried to fling my exhausted-self across the cobblestones of the courtyard at the Cluny.

We both agreed that we had reached our capacity for viewing/admiring things that had been built by slaves.

It was perfect.

A fantastic side-effect of all of this blogging about The Honeymoon?  It forced me to be methodical about doing some photo selection and the editing to go along with it.  We registered for a pair of collage-style picture frames that I’ve been chomping at the bit to fill, so next week’s project will be to order the prints that need to go in those.

Prepare yourselves.

What are the most extreme conditions you’ve ever traveled in?

We didn’t realize how hot it was/had been until the second day we were in the city because we weren’t watching the news or reading the paper.  I practically kissed our waiter at dinner that night when he brought us a tiny, cocktail chiller full of ice.

When you’re on vacation, how many sights (or sites) do you try to see on a given day?

How do you trick yourself into working on long projects?