'Food'

where’d you go, katie?

March 10, 2014

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here in southern california when we have weekends as beautiful as we just had, it’s funny how, for two days, we seem to forget about taxes, jobs, and healthcare.

instead we bask, like jaundiced, carefree seal pups, vying for space under blue skies and cotton-balled clouds.

saturday morning, in a room packed, bike to bike, with people i worship, i danced my face off, to gangsta’s paradise and yes, a little miley, with my fellow newport beach gangsta’s.

every week we sweat and rock to the beat for sixty, “can i have a hallelujah?” minutes.

this is truly my favorite time of the week: this dark room, that music, and this crew.

on a high that no pill, injection, cheese plate, or shot of tequila could ever replicate, i walked/drove proudly {maybe even smugly} to my next class, a barre class, stopping several times to converse, visit, etc with people and the general public, rejoicing in sunny skies, emerald smoothies, and my other various, first world pretensions.

it’s in barre that i stretch, elongate, and awaken my inner martha graham—a beast which SHOULD be supressed.

a packed class, but i made sure i was front row, center….. for all to see.

{disclaimer–i’m in teacher training so i’m asked to be in the front row–most know that i prefer back corner, in the dark, hidden, invisible, non-existent.}

and see they all did…45 minutes into my grĀnd, vainglorious, “up an inch, down an inch” performance, as i lifted my leg back into arabesque, a quick glance at my form in the mirror confirmed that, yes,:

my pants had been on BACKWARDS all. morning. long.

to all you monkeybutts who didn’t tell me—-guess how many fingers i’m holding up right now?

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clearly i needed a change of scenery.

my fashion faux-pas called for a road trip.

hunkiest piled us all in the car saturday afternoon and we buzzed up north.

i wore a dress to be safe.

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i forget how limited food options become on the road when one doesn’t eat meat.

beef jerky is now its own aisle at most truck stops.

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was able to excavate some fruit though…

and i think it’s even considered “raw,” right?

i mean it’s not like i microwaved it or anything?

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typically i can’t read in the car….it makes me sick; like chocolate covered strawberries sick {WHY  do people RUIN TWO PERFECTLY GOOD FOODS!?!?!?!?}

but i cannot put this hilarious book down.

where’d you go bernadette” by maria semple.

it’s the story of a woman who absolutely LOSES her mind….and i could be …..i love this woman.

bernadette {the title character} stole my heart with the following four lines:

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 i’ve actually only been to a buca di beppo once.

it was for my best friend’s bachelorette party.

i was very young and very smug.

do you notice a theme here?

 i sent back my margarita because i didn’t like the taste {too alcoholic.}

the second one came back a little better, but 20 minutes into THAT drink i noticed my rigatoni morphed into large, sandy conches, hoisting miniature, blue mermaids, who brushed strands of their linguine hair as they recited def jam poetry to me.

no one else at the table could see this though.

the next thing i remember i was back at the hotel calling security on MYSELF.

fuck buca di beppo.

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who knows at what moment we start to lose it?

it’s my theory that we all have these little hiccups of mini-breakdowns throughout the day/week/month/year, but some sort of reflex {luck? god? self-preservation? a mirror?} pull us back, just right before, that tip-toe, into the never-never-straight-jacket-land….

i was explaining my theory of the daily break-down to hunkiest on our drive back last night….

and then i looked down at my feet…

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friday i’m in love…..

March 7, 2014

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friday buttercream frosting on your toes, fingers, and in my case, hair, to you m’loves!

how has mademoiselle march been treating you so far?

are you ready for warmer days?

the kind that calls for knees exposed, shoulders bared, and the ice-cube requisite cocktail?

me too.

well maybe not exposed knees….my knees haven’t seen the light of day since 6th grade.

here are a few sweetmeats i’ve fallen in love with this week:

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i don’t pop molly, i rock j.crew…..

spring the j.crew catalog finally arrived.

i’ve been neck-deep in pages of hot pink and polka-dot, my heels clicking like the tail of a tennis-ball chasing puppy.

selections have been made in case hunkiest asks…

i’m definitely going steady with this sweater, come may 5th….{birthday candles optional.}

and this entire look needs to happen for a date night.

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about a year ago my body, primarily my mannerly mane of hair, my non-perspiring constitution, and my somewhat predictable taste in food, turned on me and revolted—ukraine style.

i don’t talk/write about this hurtful coup d’etat because i don’t, nor does my doctor understand it….and it’s just too depressing to dwell on…

{the obviously theory is hormones, thyroid, etc..but all the tests have come back fine/inconclusive…}

but the point of this, rather long, {let’s admit–yawn-inducing} back story has to do with my new find.

for most of my life i have detested chocolate…loathed it; likened it to cruella deville and beets.

yet as of a year ago, chocolate has become a new, daily obsession; i crave it like a dalmatian craves its spots. i must have it, or i will skin said puppies, spots or no spots.

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enter tonic scene raw organic bars.

made from organic raw cacao mass, organic raw agave nectar, and organic raw cacao butter, just one piece of these bitter chocolate lovelies is the perfect antidote to my angry, 4pm hankering for dark goodness, and luckily no canines have to suffer.

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ok. officially on the lupita bandwagon.

love her.

loved her acceptance speech.

and loved even more her other speech on beauty that left the room speechless.

loved her dress.

i loved his speech about her.

she is divine.

lupitaapparently i’m not the only one with the lupita crush.

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iggy azalea’s “fancy” is this week’s jam….i’m loving the video based on the clueless movie…

have you taken the buzzfeed quiz, “which clueless character are you?“—{i got christian}–swoon.

and speaking of JAMS—if ANYONE can find me a radio edit of major lazer’s/pharrel’s “aerosal can”{warning: explicit!!}…i’ll be your best friend…

so that’s just a little of what i’m loving on this week…

oh..and of course…i’m loving on YOU for coming by to see ME, HERE at my blog party!!

come by again next week?

till then, see you on the other side of sunday m’loves…

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the liebster award

February 27, 2014

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remember me?

this has been the longest hiatus i’ve taken from writing…

getting back into the swing of work has been a bit harder than i had anticipated.

my body was not ready for the decathlon my anxiety-riddled brain craved, and BAM! my knee and hamstring gave out like two, third-string, hacks, posing in the major leagues.

i’m also cramming, winter semester, final-style, to teach at a new, local studio…i’m loving the stimulation and creativity, but it’s keeping me up late, at the barre.

and also, there’s just been an influx of overall farce and folly {all of it giggle-inducing} around the house, which has kept me far from these happy sounding laptop keys.

i am glad to be back.

i can’t believe it, but i actually have even been nominated for an award…

unfortunately not of the academy type; so signor armani you can cease the hemming of my floor-length tulle skirt you insisted i wear sunday night….but i’ll keep the pearls and save my frock for some later springtime fete, perhaps a picnic or sail? armani]

but back to my nomination…it’s called the liebster award…it’s a type of blogging award…except there aren’t any judges, there is no ceremony, definitely no red carpet, i don’t need even need a blow out {i still might get one though,} and no actual winner…

so, yes, i’ll ABSOLUTELY take it.

thank you silentblackstarrs for the nomination…i am tickled kelly green.

liebthe only requirements are that i answer the following questions…

here goes:

1) what got you to start blogging?

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definitely my deep narcissism and self-absorption.

it is my firm belief that everyone in the world wants to know what i eat for dinner and what i wore while eating said dinner. i owe them this information and the accompanying selfie.

 2) if you could choose to be in a movie, what would it be?

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“grease 2″ no hesitation.

 my “cool rider” blows up that bitch michelle pfeiffer’s rendition any day of the week….

my “girl for all seasons” is a close second. i am constantly perfecting this routine.

she’s my coach.

3) if you can say one thing to the person you are missing right now, what would you say?

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rob!!! we’re out of talenti!

4) if God appeared in front of you right now, and told you that you can change the path of your life (your career, the partner you chose, the place you are living, etc.), what would you change?

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first i would say to her, good luck hosting the oscars…and second i would ask her to not change anything other than to please not me live longer than the people i love {this includes my dogs!!!}—oh and to never cancel true detective.

5) who is the person you love hanging out with most?

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my husband.

6) describe that person please.

he doesn’t say much, but the stuff he does say makes my knees weak, and when he says those things, i faint a like pre-teen at a one direction concert…

7) what is your jam? (your theme song!)

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8) if you were given a chance to have one talent, what will it be?

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to not leave places messier than how i found them {both literally and figuratively.}

9) if you had to choose one food for the rest of your life to eat what would it be?

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coffee.

10) have you ever been nominated for a liebster award before?

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no.

but i’m still going to wear a pretty dress today.

thanks again to silentblackstarrrs for the nomination…and i hope to see you here tomorrow m’loves…

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shut the fridge: dena gross

February 11, 2014

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welcome to another edition of “shut the fridge” where we take an apologetic look into some of the most interesting people’s refridgerator’s.

i have been on-my-knees begging for this latest post.

today we welcome dena gross.

dena is a friend…more of an online friend, because she’s that cool girl, i have not had the confidence yet to ask out for coffee, dinner or to just let me breathe in her prettiness.

first espied at the gym, and then {like so many of my other victims,} stalked on facebook, dena has become another katie casualty and graciously succumbed to my badgering, allowing us a glimpse into her, now east-coast {yes, sadly she and her family moved away this summer–from me?!?!?!?} life.

dena has 3 A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E {we’re talking like j.crew model–ALL 3} children..twins and a plus one; all very close in age..and yet she still seems super chill, VERY connected to her awesome husband jared, and as grounded as they come…no wonder she left orange county…

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Growing up in the heart of commercial California farming, watching Big Ag crop-

dust my small town with liquid pesticides at regular intervals, I developed a certainamount of cynicism about the food supply and the average American diet. Raised by a mother who believed that processed food was nutritionally void and cooking at home was more economical than buying pre-packaged meals, my sibs and I ate lots of homemade bread, chicken & barley stews, fresh eggs, vegetables, and drank unpasteurized milk that a local farmer delivered to us weekly (by the pail). These foods were healthier and cost much less when prepared by Mom.

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Having three young kids of my own, I believe my role as a parent is to train my children’s appetites for real food.

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If I am a little uncompromising with them it’s because I know that as they grow more independent they’ll have plenty of exposure to artificial dyes, bleached flour, and processed junk masquerading as food. I want the things they eat while they’re young to be the highest quality I can provide. And now Ms. Katie has asked to peek into my fridge and know a little more about my approach to feeding young kids healthful food. In the early days I had three kids under the age of 2, so I went through a long period of pureed meals. I dedicated many Sundays to steaming and blending every combination of vegetable, fruit, and protein I could think of (sometimes nabbing ideas off the labels of baby food jars). My husband Jared would entertain the babies while I pureed “recipes” and portioned them out by the ½-cup amount in zip-lock bags, freezing them flat on a cookie sheet and stacking them in labeled rows in my freezer; a veritable “library” of options for the week to come; defrost as needed. Five years later I no longer have the luxury of a captive audience.

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My kids have LOTS of opinions about what they don’t like and no one seems to be a fan of leafy greens (which is not negotiable in my book), so one of the mainstays in our house is a green smoothie several times a week. While I serve vegetables at every dinner and for many snacks, I find that by supplementing their diet with green smoothies I can be sure my bases are always covered.

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Smoothie ingredients vary but usually include a majority of the following (all organic): almond/dairy milk, avocado, big handfuls of raw kale, Swiss chard, spinach, green leaf lettuce, frozen bananas/grapes/pears, raw almonds or cashews, chia seeds, hemp seeds, mesquite powder, coconut butter, vanilla, cinnamon, and frozen berries.

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If I make a batch before school pickups and store them in a cooler on the passenger seat, the kids hop in the car whining for a snack and I hand them a green smoothie.

Done.

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But back to my fridge: Top shelf: whole milk, almond milk, many containers of nuts and seeds and trail mix. Fresh greens and herbs keep oodles longer in a jar of water. Barley and spelt flours for these lovely muffins from GOOP, which are a staple in our lunch boxes.

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Harmless Harvest coconut water is costly but a lovely indulgence, presumably full of natural electrolytes – we drink it straight because it’s too delicious to mix with other things.

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Also in my fridge you’ll find random items like roasted beets, a batch of cooked farro or wheat berries for serving cold as a salad in lunches, homemade beans (pimento, garbanzo, red kidney or white navy beans) to mix with brown rice or serve cold with a vinaigrette.

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The chicken on the bottom shelf represents a lot: salted & roasted with fingerling potatoes for dinner, a quick gravy from the drippings; panko-crusted baked “nuggets.” If there are any leftovers the kids will take chicken salad sandwiches for lunch.

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I often buy organic parts (wings, drumsticks, feet, necks) for stock that I use in soups, stews, and as the liquid for cooked grains.

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Recently tried making my own almond milk (see photo) and although it was sublimely creamy, it was a bit of a hassle to do on a regular basis. Plus, the “nut bag” could not be taken seriously.

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My husband and I are not seafood fans so in order to get the kids a regular dose of healthy oils (outside of the panko-crusted fish sticks I make now and then), I supplement their diet a couple of times a week with Nordic Naturals fruit-flavored Cod Liver Oil.

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It’s a little gross but they’ve been eating it by the half-teaspoonful since infancy so they don’t think much of it. They also take a probiotic regularly.

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 Because dairy is my greatest weakness, elsewhere in my fridge you’ll find a very hearty cheese drawer stuffed with at least 6 varieties at any time.

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In my freezer are many of the usual suspects: frozen Ezekial sprouted grain English muffins (great toasted & slathered with almond butter and honey, but may explain my husband’s penchant for grabbing hot ham & egg sandwiches in the city before work), a backup supply of chicken stock and my collection of accumulated chicken parts for the next batch; leftover cannellini beans, Trader Joe’s Panang curry, and Niman Ranch uncured bacon. Berries or pineapple as fodder for future smoothies. And, of course, brie to be served warm with apricot jam because you can’t have too much cheese.

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a trader joe’s tragedy….

January 16, 2014

 

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it began so innocent.

it was day 23 of consecutive spin classes, and i’d hadn’t eaten breakfast or lunch yet, which pretty much translates: “t’was a dark and stormy night.

 what started as a pure-hearted visit to trader joe’s, for my organic pears and arugula {wink wink,} ended in a probable diagnosis of type ii diabetes.

my clean-handed intentions were immediately marred with sugar and crunch when, like the local drug-pusher, hawking promises of elation and frenzy, the crack-trafficking peeps at trader joe’s nested their own mind-altering products at emotional eater eye-level, provoking the same sticky sweet promise of a dope daze.

 caramel and dark chocolate popcorn crunch and the ruggedly adventuresome cowboy bark; in the words of rihanna “where have you been all my life?

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 caramel and dark chocolate popcorn crunch is exactly how it reads….and MORE. sure you have your standard caramel and kettle corn, BUT the little kind-hearted, katie-loveing trader joe’s elves added dark chocolate covered, candied pecans, almonds, walnuts & cashews {for protein, i assume.}

the cowboy bark, described aptly as ruggedly awesome, adds to that dark chocolate train with pretzels, toffee, joe joe cookies, peanuts, almonds and sea salt.

i don’t know about you, but sea salt is the new rainbow sprinkles at my house.

i couldn’t choose between the two…i’d hate to hurt either snack’s feelings….so both were brought home, blended into a tasty stew of sweet and salty.

arranging my stash in a clean, white bowl seemed, at the time, to make the experience less dirty.

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 but who was i kidding?

the nasty popcorn whore that i am, mowed down the whole bowl like it was a qualifying sochi race; a race performed in bed…yes, this was all consumed in my bed, i didn’t even have the dignity to sit upright.

this is me not able to face my handsome husband, he had just asked me if i had saved him any…..

i’m sure y’all have much more self-control than i clearly can’t exhibit….so if dark chocolate wonderful is your jam, then get thyself immediately to a your nearest trader joe’s…

mouths of happy to you m’loves.

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scenes from a saturday night…..

January 13, 2014

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the hunkiest and i are the new faces of hermit living.

of late, the weekend trek to trader joe’s is our cologne-spritzing, lip gloss-wearing, disco ball chasing of a saturday night.

sag screenings and finally jumping aboard the netflix breaking bad train keeps us pajama-clad and sofa ensconced on most nights.

but this saturday night we busted the buttons off of our ritual of comfort and, decked in denim, cruised out into polite society for date night.

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nothing like a pair of wingtips to damper the dishevelled look i taken so fondly to these days.

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1st stop john varvatos.

we’ve finally become everything i hate about orange county.

date night isn’t a visit to a museum, a seat at the hottest concert, nor is it front row at a play……

we go to the mall {insert image of me taking a nine-glock to the chin.}

but hunkiest needed a new suit, and john varvatos serves beer, wine, & espresso to the impatient, toe-tapping, eye-rolling wives.

bedecked in a slim-fit, italian virgin wool two-piece, my green-eyed sweetheart was probed and whacked with measuring tapes and shoe horns, while i spun out like an out-of-control dreidel, jacked up on all that espresso.

dinner

amped and ravenous we hit our favorite neighborhood haunt for eats and side-by-side booth sharing.

 the razor thin-crust pizza is naples certified, and my husband is able to drink peroni while watching play-off football; it’s the perfect spot.

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dean martin’s serenade and a belly full of marinara slathered carbohydrates inspired “molto amore!”

unfortunately the romance ended here.

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and was replaced by a whole ‘nother kind of sunday morning love.

how did your weekend treat you m’loves?

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got fermentation?

December 30, 2013

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so you all know i’m pretty much always on the hunt for the next, new, chart-topping showstopper in the world of detox.

apple cider vinegar, greens, and ginger are my main go-to’s for a healthy, happy tummy.

but for the last few months i’ve added a new instrument in the rock-n-roll band i call digestive sanity: raw sauerkraut.

yes, like apple cider vinegar, it is an acquired taste. but back when i used to eat hot dogs {ah the ignorance of youth,} i would take every chance to condiment the shit out of it said manufactured meat with fistfuls of sauerkraut.

this super-stinky star of a probiotic boosts all the good bacteria we need and want in our guts.

rich in enzymes, fermented foods actually increase the vitamin content of what we eat, and also helps us absorb nutrients.

now if sauerkraut isn’t your jam, you can still reap the benefits of fermented foods via kefir, komboucha, kimchi, salsa, pickles, even ketchup. just try to do it without the hotdog.

happy tummies m’loves.

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a weekend in winter….

December 17, 2013

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i think the perpetual sunshine here in southern california has marred our already balmy brains.

last week, we had a slight change in weather, known to the rest of the country as this thing called “winter,” and us angelenos responded with a chicken-little like panic, waving our mittened hands in the air, yelping out “it’s in the 60′s! it’s in the 60′s! it’s in the 60′s.”

i heard fema had to come in with disaster relief; mainly in the form of cashmere pashminas, ugg boots, and caramel salted lattés.

 meanwhile this weekend, in utah, where i was playing my most mannerly “bosses wife” part, it was a toasty 13 degrees.

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camel coats and long-johns were de rigueur.

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and i was faced with the hard, cold truth, that as much as i love my riding boots, they’re not snow boots;

nor are they really for riding either….

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pomegranate bellinis coaxed out the merry in my frost-bitten, bah-humbug soul.

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and we of course made a stop to atticus’ book shop in park city; my only must-see of the granite state.

old, new, and rare, atticus stocks books that get you to linger for hours.

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and they’re vast and creative espresso bar, think red velvet lattés + cookies and cream mochas, also lends to dawdling amongst shelves lined with limited edition david foster wallace and vintage cooking books.

{btw did you see jason segel will portral DFW in the upcoming film, the end of tour, a biopic chronicling DFW’s book tour for infinite jest.}

bath

i spent more time in the tub than i did exploring our funky hotel.

this was the only spot where i wasn’t freezing my woolen socks off; in fact i tried to get hunkiest’s christmas party moved to our bathroom so i could stay warm and still participate in the merriment, but he wasn’t having it.

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why so fancy you ask?

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some people dress up for parties, some dress up for the theater, i dress up for cheese plates.

this showpiece of stinky, artisanal happiness rocked my salt lake city world!

pago, a farm-to fresh, local+ sustainable sourced restaurant, located in a dreamy, early 20th century, brick building, delivered a rapturous, hands up in the air-inducing cheese plate. with one yummy combo bite of beehive’s salty promontory, a smidge of fresh blackberry jam, and topped with their homemade walnut/mustard sweet compote, i was ready to myself to the nearest mormon temple for utah conversion.

and as much as i complained about utah’s arctic weather, this 80 degree-plus hoo-haa we’ve got going on right now in southern california is a bit ridiculous…much like us californians…

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the monday morning trifecta

December 2, 2013

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monday morning skies of blue to you m’loves.

it’s already a full-plate, hustle of a morning.

a quick “hello” to you, wishing you a week of cyber monday savings, sea-salt and caramel double-dates, and bluegrass + juniper scented kitchens.

if you’re not in the holiday spirit i recommend this a capella rendition of “the little drummer boy;” it has me decking the halls and hunting for hung mistletoe {hope your lips aren’t chapped.}

my polished nails, color courtesy of mary jo matsumoto are also aiding and abetting my inner christmas sprite.

how are you handling the pre-christmas frenzy?

merry, merry m’loves.

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gobble this….

November 28, 2013

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amid all the gorging, the irksome family members, and the fact that tonight’s scandal has been shelved for a mutha-effin lady gaga and the muppets special, it’s no wonder that this day of “thanks” sends many into a pill-popping, binge-drinking, self-mutilating clichéd after-school special.

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if this sounds like you, take heed.

be still.

it’s just a day.

 i feel like, during this time of year, we often try to mash, cram, and demand ourselves into happy, evolved, composed people; when really all we want to do is bark like rabid, sweater-vest clad foxes.

i know i am not alone in this feeling, and because of that i find gratitude, thankfulness and peace amongst all the chaos.

happy thanksgiving to you m’loves.

gobble gobble.

love,

katie

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