Monthly Archives: October 2015

Blog Updates

Well.  Happy Halloween and Happy Saturday to you all.

I find myself in the delightful position of having one Halloween party and one family dinner to attend this weekend, which means that I get to spend a great deal of time sitting on the couch relaxing, and attending to Things That Have Needed To Get Done on the old blog for awhile.

First off, I am informed that WordPress now allows you to do some font modifications without having to purchase the Typekit add-on.  Praise.  I didn’t mind the serif-ed font that my theme (Coraline) is automatically set-up to use, but I am quite interested in trying a few other fonts on for size.

I also spent a bit of time updating links, and whatnot as I realized some of these were broken and there is nothing more pointless than having a website full of broken links.  Not exactly the most rewarding work, but it had to get done.

I typed up the recipe for Garden Pie.  Because it’s not fair that I eat it so much and I do not share it with you!

Finally, I have been itching to change my header for a while from a photo to simple text.  After doing a bit of Google-ing this morning, it became apparent that actioning a free header has become MUCH easier than the old tutorial I used that involved many steps in Picasa.  For my purposes, this tutorial from Sweet Jelly Bean made the whole process about 20 minutes from start to finish. If you’re a low-maintenance blogger like me who is not going to throw $$$ or a great deal of effort at site design and whatnot, then I think you will probably appreciate this tool!  I am not sure if what I have currently will be the final product or not, but for now I think that it is a good stepping stone.

Bloggers: Are there any online design tutorials that you love?  Please share!

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Friday Food Round-Up!

Let’s just call this what it was: a weird week.  But I sure got a lot of cooking done.

Saturday – Baked Potatoes with Trader Joe’s Turkey Chili

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We had a date night on Saturday night that involved us going to see The Martian.  Since we had already been out for lunch that day, it just made sense to make something at home.  In hindsight, eating potatoes before going to see The Martian was actually super fitting.

Monday – Lemon and Garlic Chicken with Mushrooms, Parmesan Green Beans, Dijon Potatoes

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Instead of pounding out chicken breasts, I pulled the skin off of bone-in chicken thighs and we just went for it and this meal turned out fine.  As Marcus observed, we haven’t had mushrooms in a long time.  I did point out that we had them last week on our pizza, but I understand what he was trying to get at.

Tuesday – Garden Pie

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I didn’t actually end up eating any Garden Pie on Tuesday, but I did end up having it for lunch on Wednesday.  And dinner on Wednesday.  And lunch on Thursday.  And now I think you’re starting to get the idea.  I needed to create some leftovers for myself.

Also, I cannot figure out how I still have not typed-up/shared this recipe yet.  Someday, kittens.  Someday.  We all need something to work towards.

Miscellaneous – Corn and Chile Dip

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We went to a pumpkin carving party last Sunday and Marcus and I were in charge of bringing a dip.  I ripped this recipe out of bon appetit a few months ago and a party seemed like the right place to try it out!  Because I am extremely lazy, instead of roasting poblano peppers, I just used canned green chiles instead and that was a right decision.

Miscellaneous – Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

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When we were at the aforementioned pumpkin carving party, Marcus and I discovered that we had never carved pumpkins together before.  I also discovered Marcus saving all of the seeds so that we (I) could roast pumpkin seeds.  He has mentioned in the past that he really enjoys them as a snack, but because we have never carved any pumpkins before, we have never had the opportunity to roast seeds.  I did not grow up in a seed-roasting house, but these were surprisingly delightful.

Cozy Clothes

I feel like my utility in terms of blogging about the clothing I’m buying is somewhat limited because it has pretty much all been maternity stuff, but I did source a some things over the past few weeks that we can all wear  (and they’re actually things I would like to wear after Critter has joined the group).

Blanket Scarves

I bought a blanket scarf for our trip to Italy in March.  The blanket scarf was great because it actually worked like a blanket on our flights/train rides.  The blanket scarf was also great because it was warm and like wearing a blanket on your body over other clothes.  The blanket scarf was not great because it was so much fabric that in the long run, I didn’t find it to be the most manageable garment.  Also, I felt like I was inhaling/eating little bits of lint from it all the time and that was weird.

I was quite surprised to see that Target was selling…a riff on blanket scarves when I was cruising the store a few weeks ago.  They’re by Merona and they’re actually calling them blanket scarves, but they’re really just extra-wide plaid scarves featuring a pretty coarse weave.

Black and White Scarf Navy and Green Scarf

I bought the black and white one before our Chicago trip, and ended up being such a fan of it that I went back to Target last weekend and grabbed the navy and green one because I suspect that both of these will get more use over the fall/winter/early spring than the aforementioned blanket scarf.

Ponchos

Ponchos are something that I generally admire from afar.  They usually look a bit nicer to me than bulky winter coats, but I think that’s also because they are usually being worn in states/climates that are not Minnesota in the winter where we actually need full-body insulation.

Jillian wore her poncho from Old Navy to dinner last week and suddenly I realized that (1) it was really cute and (2) I pretty much am never going to be able to zip a jacket up this winter anyway nor will I be outdoors for any period of time longer than it takes for me to get to/from my car into a building.  So I ordered one for myself!

Black and White Poncho

I am hopeful that this will work for the rest of pregnancy and will be sort of a flattering garment as my body gets back into post-baby shape. I feel like the worst case scenario is that this becomes a slightly more elegant Snuggie, right?

Workshopping

I thought I would bring y’all some life updates on a Sunday morning because it’s 6:00 AM and I can.  And, if I were to write a full post about any of these things, I think y’all would be bored to tears.

  • Yesterday, for the first time in five weeks, we finally got to use our driveway/garage.  Pro to living in an association: we did not have to organize our own re-paving.  Con to living in an association: they hired the world’s most dysfunctional contractors and we didn’t have a driveway for five weeks which was…extremely obnoxious.
  • Last night, Marcus and I had our first in-town/at home date night in a very long time.  We made baked potatoes with chili and then headed out to see The Martian.   Some things that are notable about this:
    • The Martian is the first movie I’ve seen in a movie theater in about six years.  So this was basically the most unique date night idea we could have possibly cooked up.  I used to get migraines watching things on the big screen.  But, I really loved reading the book and I wanted to see the film version so we decided to give it a try after our OMNI Theater Space-success over the summer.  I just closed my eyes during the bits where the camera work was shaky, etc. and I made it through unscathed!  Proud moments all around.
    • When I looked at my calendar to see when, exactly, we last had a proper date night in Minneapolis (as in: did not see other people or party hop), it was June 12.  It’s not exactly like we’ve been lacking for time together between our Cabin trips over the summer, fall vacations, wedding attendance, or those nights we set aside each week to cook together.  But, it really did put into perspective just how fast we have been moving since May, really.  I know that when Critter comes, we will not regret any of this, but I also continue to believe that we might actually (despite sleep deprivation) be more rested when Critter comes because we’re actually at home and staying put for three whole months together.
  • We are finally moving with the final stages of the master bathroom remodel.  We have the vanity base set, and pending the arrival of some vanity top samples, we will be able to sort out which top to purchase.  Bruce will come and demo/re-tile/install during the first week of December.  I will be honest, I am really not looking forward to moving out of my house for another week, but I know that once this project is done our house will feel so nice and it will be even better not to have to think about it anymore!
  • I ordered a new planner for next year from inkWELL Press.  The Day Designer, as we all know, ended up being WAY too big for my life (our life?).  I’ll also take the time to note that the paper quality was terrible and the coil was not great.  This planner is thinner even than the ones that Erin Condren churns out and I’m thinking that for next year it will be just the right size for me (us?).  I’m 100% confident in this because I ordered a fall mini-planner so that I could unload the Day Designer early and already everything just feels better.

Friday Food Round-Up!

Originally, I had planned to cook two times this week and somehow that ended up being…four?  Probably a testament to a well-stocked pantry since we really did have about 75% of our dinner ingredients on hand before we even went grocery shopping.

Sunday – Channa Masala with Rice, Roasted Broccoli ,and Trader Joe’s Garlic Naan
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Originally, my Return Home From Chicago plan was to pull some curry out of the freezer and thaw that (not a bad plan by the way).  But we got properly home around 3:30 PM and magically it felt like we hadn’t been in the car for seven hours and like it was a normal Sunday night.  We haven’t had channa masala for dinner in AGES and since it was a vegetarian meal, I thought it might be a bit restorative after the previous day’s hot dog crawl.  I was not wrong!

Monday – Grilled Cheese with Avocado, Caramelized Onions, and BBQ Sauce, Bear Creek Broccoli Cheese Soup

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Y’all, we are continuing to rock the grilled cheese party train.  This week, I took inspiration from the “Cowboy” burgers of the world and threw some caramelized onions, avocado, and BBQ sauce on the sandwich.  Delicious, but messy.  I also want to give Marcus some major points because he did most of the assembly this week (with me overseeing) and he made the soup!  I have made no secret of the fact that Marcus is #1 Prep Chef of all time, but we are doing some cooking boot camp over the next few months so that when Critter arrives, we are collectively able to feed ourselves.

Tuesday – Greek Salad and Pizza

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As I was whipping some pizza crust dough together for dinner with Jillian, I was recalling the first time I watched Mads action this in her apartment.  Everyone should know how to make pizza crust because honestly in the amount of time it will take you to go to Trader Joe’s (or another grocery store) to buy a pre-made crust, you can have this crust that is mixed together and done with rising.  So it is easier and cheaper.  We haven’t had pizza in ages, so I am not sure what drove me to make this dinner, but it could be time to work it back into the rotation.

p.s. I ate two slices, obviously.

Wednesday – Man-Pleasing Chicken with Sweet Potato Oven Fries and Peas

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I do not know why this chicken has to be called man-pleasing.  It was super delicious, but I would not say that it is specifically geared toward men, or that I would even be able to use the sauce/marinade you cook the chicken in to coax a picky eater to try a bite.  Honestly, we made sweet potato oven fries this week because (1) I have never made Marcus eat them before and (2) our bag of plain old potatoes is pretty much empty and we need to re-stock at ALDI.  I don’t think they’ll become a regular part of the rotation, but they definitely hit the spot this week.

What I’ve Been Reading

Me to Marcus on our drive home from Chicago: I hope Critter likes to read.  Like, maybe not as much as I like to read, but I hope that they like it enough to be entertained on a regular basis.

I felt like all I was writing about as of late was books, and then I took a look at my post history and realized that I hadn’t given y’all a good old fashioned book report since the end of September.  We were really moving at quite a clip this summer though when I was spending the majority of weekends either on the porch at the cabin reading or in the car to and from the cabin.  Also reading.

Currently, I am at the point where anything that pops up in my library reserves list is pretty much a surprise, so it should be interesting to see what books Past Kat has selected as they appear over the next month or so.

The Monuments Men by Robert Edsel

The Monuments Men

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

Paper Towns by John Green

Paper Towns

Make Your Home Among Strangers by Jeanne Capó Crucet

Make Your Home Among Strangers

Week 26 Update

Bump at the Bean

Let’s talk about Critter and my pregnant self today because we haven’t had an update in a good three weeks and to be honest, we all want to know how it’s going.

  • Most importantly, Critter is officially viable outside of the womb and has been for the last two weeks!  I am now continuing to remind our small friend that I have a created a Most Excellent nest for them and there is no need to leave the party early.
  • With that in mind, I am so excited to meet Critter in 3.5 months!  I have zero anxiety about Critter’s arrival or the days to follow.  I am really hoping that this does not change as the due date gets closer.
  • Similarly, I have absolutely zero concerns about labor.  As far as I am concerned, it is like running a marathon with a slamming’ migraine.  My head is in the game and I am confident (probably to excess) that my body is going to do what it is supposed to do and it will be fine.  Again, hoping I don’t get a sudden case of anxiety about this like a month before Critter is due.
  • We finally picked a nursery color – it is called Windswept by Olympic.  If you want to see it, click here.  Next we actually need to finish clearing out the second bedroom so that we can paint it.
  • According to the pregnancy trackers, third trimester starts next week or in two weeks.  Which is sort of horrifying in the where has all of the time gone-sort of way.  It also means we really need to get serious about doing things like the nursery and finishing the master bathroom.  Time is of the essence!
  • I have heartburn and that is super special.  I now have a tiny container of TUMS in my purse, in addition to the bottle in our medicine cabinet and the other bottle in my desk.  You can never be too prepared.
  • I’m ready to give my hips away to a willing home.  I would say that over the past ~3 weeks I have been dealing with hip pain at least 50% of the time and there are some mornings where it is so bad (in my right hip specifically) that I can’t weight bear on my right leg for a period of time.  It’s ridiculous.  A fun new twist on this is the lower back pain I am experiencing on my right side as well.  I mean, if this is the worst thing that has happened in the last 26 weeks, then I still feel like I am ahead of the game but it’s still a massive nuisance.
  • I am slowly but surely coming to terms with the fact that I am 26 weeks pregnant and simply cannot do as much as I used to.  Obnoxious hip pain aside, 99.9% of the time I feel really really good.  To the point where I forget I am pregnant unless Critter is kicking, I see myself in the mirror, or I am saying no to a glass of wine.  So as we were traipsing all about Chicago last weekend, I am sure you can imagine that I didn’t realize that 3.5 miles of walking from Allium to the Shedd Aquarium was too much walking until it was much too late.  We will be remembering this for our trip to New York in a few weeks.