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strawberries: a recipe!

June 10, 2014

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strawberry season is here.

the markets are ibiza dance-club crowded with this tummy-pleasing summer berry; one of my favorite foods since days of the spoon-fed pureé.

i invariably have to buy an extra basket for the car ride home; there’s no such thing as me and self-control when it comes to fresh, in-season, strawberries.

i feel a duty to provide so much more for my strawberries, than just the meager rinse and pop straight in to my mouth..{sometimes even forgoing the wash i’m so lazy and impatient.}

 pinterest, and its vortex of photo inspiration, feeds my moral obligation to commission something grander than just a chew and swallow for said, sweet berry.

for a moment i was inspired to go healthy with this pretty smoothie; i’m such a sucker for anything pink, and then for a split second, with the coercion of gorgeous photography, i talked myself into making this elegant tart.

such lofty aspirations were quickly abandoned upon reading the recipe. directions such as “roll the dough into a short, fat sausage circumference,” let me know to return back to my pay grade of opening up “capri suns” and checker-boarding pre-cut salami and mozzarella for super bowl parties.

but the white {ok–half-white}, tee-rash, hillbilly in me pounced on this strawberry pretzel salad like a hoarder ambushes the costco aisles.

it’s got everything good in life:

sugar =✓

butter = ✓

cool whip = ✓

strawberry flavored gelatin = ✓

“frozen” strawberries in “SYRUP” = ✓✓

and salty pretzles!!=✓

it’s like christmas in june!

instead of new, white jeans, i can just get diabetes.

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luckily, for my pancreas, just as i was about to run out to buy my “gelatin,” this article on using strawberry tops to flavor your water popped up.

a strawberry recipe where the only other ingredient i needed was water!?!?

move over christmas, it’s my fucking birthday!

it couldn’t be easier: chop off the tops of your strawberries..eat the berry, and put the rest in your water bottle.

fill it up with water, let it chill for an hour or so…and voila: delicious strawberry, flavored water.

better than any lemon, cucumber, mint stuff i’ve used before, and best of all it’s actually getting me to drink the water i’m so awful at consuming.

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a thumb’s up indeed.

even hunkiest was impressed with my “cooking”.

the strawberries stay fresh for a couple of days as long as you keep them refrigerated…

lemme know if you try it.

happy hydration m’loves!

 

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lusting lake life….

June 4, 2014

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talk of a summer holiday has been bubbling up more and more at our dinner table of gluten-free and grass-fed.

i’m drawn to lands shopping mall-repellent, where starbucks doesn’t punctuates every corner and alley, and whole foods actually means food from the ground, tree, farm or local, non-have-to-mortgage your house market.

for at least one week i’d like a boulevard of conifer pines in exchange for blow dry bars and gel manicures.

give me an unpopulated, open, blue lake, and i’ll give you a girl on her best behavior {profanity NOT included.}

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my first true lake experiences were my high school, spring break debaucheries on lake havasu; thongs and tops typically optional—and i’m not talking “shoes.”

a week of banana boat spf {2}, zima in the can, george strait and neil diamond cd’s galore, chili con carne out of the can, and a body of water so crowded and dirty i’m still in disbelief my friends and i never contracted ecoli or hepatitis………or “motherhood” for that matter.

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what we lacked in promiscuity we made up for in folly and play.

playing cards, reading anne rivers siddons, watching the pirate movie for the 500th time, re-enacting “the happy ending” scene, and making the inevitable {hopefully burned} home movies of 8 girls dancing around singing “standing outside the fire!“—still such a great song!

there’s something about a lake that feels a bit less pomp and circumstance than life say, at the sea.

the whites don’t have to be starched, the collar need not its pop, a bare foot is appropriate attire for a meal lit by candlelight.

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california may be foremost known for our sandy beaches and pacific blue, but good grief, our beautiful lakes can give the surfers a run for their money any day.

one of my favorite memories is my dad teaching me how to fish at bass lake.

just me and him and an empty bucket……i couldn’t bring myself to “bait” the line.

and the whole idea of hooking a fish made me cry, shoulder-shaking, nose-running, peace erupting tears; my dad easily succumbed to letting me knock it in a beach chair, holding my baitless pole in the water.

this was the weekend i discovered vegetarianism.

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then there was the summer i took my broken heart and drowned it all the way to the bottom of june lake.

i swam and swam and swam, dived and dived and dived…until the constant shards of glass, lodged in my throat from a shocking divorce, softened into more manageable, occasional lumps of coal in my stomach.

more helpful than time on the couch or a prescription drug, my time underwater hid the noise of my raging screams and camouflaged any tears.

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but per my originial memory the lake is more of a happy, social, spread-the-good, not the grief, place to commune.

there’s something about a boat ride at dawn, with the ones you love, that brings out the truth serum in me.

along with the mascara and designer shoes, rigid, protective walls and insulating egos are shed; left at the last turnpike before meeting the road for the lake cabin.

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and i can’t think of anything more romantic than a dockside for two, hunkiest in hand, a homemade meal under the stars, with the ducks and fireflies playing sweet harmony for a post-dinner slow dance.

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anyone else lusting a little lake life too?

what are your favorite’s?

do you go fancy nancy? or are you the camping type?

this is my official throwing it out to the universe…i’m thinking somewhere in the south this year.

last one in is a rotten egg….

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in the mood for june….

June 2, 2014

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 no gloomy june for this katie-girl.

my morning’s coffee is extra black, and for once, i have clean hair.

life is grand.

yesterday, june greeted us with open-wide, sunshine’y arms, and a periwinkle-blue sky to match.

 sunday’s weather was so glorious, so post-card picturesque, i had to stay in bed all day, shades drawn, lights off, eye mask on.

i alternated between napping, reading, and catching up on mad men episodes to buffer my anxiety over all the natural beauty taking place outside.

a healthy dose of grime and angst here and there is needed to keep my blood sugar even; don draper served serve that purpose precisely.

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tis the season for the beach read.

last week i blew through this novel in a day. it IS the epitome of a beach read: murder, sex, family drama, a summer escape to a lake, etc….not a lot of brain power required, but it drew me in like an easter brunch buffet with a belgian waffle bar.

i’m now balancing out my brain cells with this…..very enjoyable…not sure it’s pulitzer material though? anyone else read it?

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so i’ve officially made THIS song my summer jam.

no, it’s not a new release, but it just oozes hot, sultry nights; think convertible for two, driving down pacific coast highway as the sun sets….

i’m loving it for both my spin and pilates classes….

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my hopes for june aren’t grand or audacious.

i’d like to feel the sand beneath my feet.

i want to perfect this cocktail……i might even make it non-virgin!!

i’m going to learn lightroom even if it means locking myself in a DARKroom to do it…anyone out there with experience with this effer of an editing software?

and, as always, the dance parties will continue with flourish and panache.

what are your june endeavors?

monday happy to you m’loves.

 

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berry, berry good…

May 28, 2014

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they’re here! they’re here! the berries are here!

every summer, when our blackberries make their annual bloom, our old, beat-up, seen too many days in the sun, backyard-wall gets a vibrant coat of green, purple, and pink.

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no paltry, orange county-starved housewife looking berries for us; these juicy gems are plump + fat with the perfect tart to sweet ratio which makes not eating them straight off the vine a lesson in self-control and willpower.

as you’ve read before, i’m not one who’s been able to master the art of meditation.

this morning, the mindfulness i used to not apply sunscreen to my toothbrush {as has happened 4 times over the last 30 days,} was the equivalent of a mumbai ashram internment; my teeth and gums are fresh and clean, but unlike yesterday, they are subject to sunburn.

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 there’s something about berry picking though; getting my actual hands on the prickly bush, fingertips grabbing pretty stains of magenta, butterflies humming around the berry blossoms, and the gentle, warm weather we’ve been having of late beckoning me to stay outside longer than i typically do—it all charms me into my own meditative trance.

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speaking of unbreakable catatonia….this one did not bat one inky eyelash off her mamma.

the fear of missing a fallen berry is paramount in priscilla’s world.

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meanwhile jones just helped himself straight from the vine.

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i wish i could say i whipped up a fantastic berry fool {aptly named, yes?} or that i swept hunkiest off his feet with a homemade blackberry cobbler {the one dessert i can make.}

but alas these popcorn-size bites of blue-violet bliss barely made it to the sink for a wash, before i gobbled them down like a hungry, hasty giant.

one need not have their own blackberry vines to experience the joy of the berry season. get thyself down to your farmers market {such a blogging cliché i know–i just gagged on my own vomit.} farmers markets are teeming with berries right now and it will make you so angry and guilty to see how much less expensive and better tasting they are than the stuff in our commercial markets {yes i’m talking about YOU whole foods!!!}

so talk to me goose: what’s your favorite ways to eat blackberries?

a berry-good wednesday m’loves.

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jilted courtesy of URBAN DECAY

March 24, 2014

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when part and parceling for a baby girl, my parents bred for self-confidence, brains, and poise; instead they got sarcasm, table manners, and a rehab-level need to please.

it wasn’t their fault, i came out of the womb making amends, ironically rolling my eyes at nurses, and asking for extra blankets to cover my newborn-chubby thighs, ankles and cheeks.

not much has changed, except now my “that’s what she said” exchanges occur in pilates class, and i’ve swapped hospital blankets for lululemon.

but in my make-believe life, where i have the body image and grit of a disney princess come full circle, i’d be fearless in my fashion choices, and i wouldn’t apologize for it!

{yikes. sorry if that sounded brash.}

the first of these lion-hearted actions would be sliding into the hottest of hot pink, leather, tight pants law enforcement would publicly permit me to wear.

this time of year i cannot coat myself in ENOUGH of the color pink; i typically hit my overdose by mid-may, but from now until my birthday it’s game on with rose, fuchsia, blush and salmon.

and until whole foods starts selling their smoothies with an added shot of backbone and pluck, i’ll be wearing my new hot pink lip instead of said leather pants.

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enter URBAN DECAY’s 24/7 lip pencil in jilted.

jilted is the perfect pink to exhume my pale, dehydrated, coffee-addicted face from its cold, winter, “can i please just my teach spin class in this bathrobe?” grave.

it also comes in the lip junkie lip gloss and the “creamy badass” revolution lipstick.

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i like a more natural, less pigmented lip {except for spin class, then i’m full foundation-face, fake lashes, and rouge,} so i balm my lips first, and then color them with a pencil.

for me, this process lasts pretty long, and i don’t look like too much of a whore….

{i said “too much.”}

pink!

see?

just a little pink pick-me-up for my otherwise katie-the-smart-alecky-ghost face.

don’t let name jilted dissuade you, jilted is like all those 90′s romantic comedies we re-watch over and over again during those marathon weekends on the couch…it’s a cheerful, non-jarring, reliable addition to your mood.

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but let me count the ways i love URBAN DECAY…a 15 second session with just one product, my baked bronzer, takes the underground chalkiness from my cheeks and replaces it with {faux} sunshine; kind of like a kelly ripa commercial for electrolux, don’t give me the hour show, but a quick little snippet is manageable and surprisingly non-vomit inducing.

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and when i really want to make my case for a third dog, all it takes is one coat of UD’s super curling mascara, and a slick of 24/7 glide on eye pencil in smoke. there’s something about a smoky eye which brings out the easy button in my husband.

in spring, especially here in southern california, i think the most you want is 5 products on your face….too much product, texture and color gets distracting and takes away from the face, conversation, & person.

this time of year, the sunset is a magical, beautiful light; it is its own cosmetic.

and speaking of beautiful…..

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isn’t this a good picture of me?

i’m going to leave you with how i see myself….

have a pretty in pink monday m’loves.

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it started with an innocent text..

March 18, 2014

 

so last week the goddess {aka raquel perry, the fitness stalker, my girl crush,} sent me a text:

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i mean i was raised not to be rude.

and since when am i to turn down a homemade, crispy-riced, i need two napkins please, confection?

especially when they were hand-delivered, hot-pants clad, mid my nut-house, DMX-themed spin party, last saturday morning.

that’s real, i’ll-hold-your-hair-when-you-puke, friendship.

{luckily raquel has super short hair though.}

famished from my hip-hop-palooza on a bike, there was no ladylike postponement, waiting until i got home before i face dived into my gifted, baggie of sweet, crunchy goodness; with crispies in my lashes and pretzel crumbs in my belly button, i bare teethed texted raquel, demanding the recipe….

textthe thing is….i have been known to “demand” recipes in the past….

remember beautiful dena?

i was hell-bent on getting her chicken soup recipe too; stalked her new jersey ass, threatened to kidnap a twin or two of hers, and held up traffic on a bridge for a day until she gave it up.

she did.

but then i read how complicated it was {it really wasn’t but i’m an imbecile,} and the liklihood of me making chicken soup NOT from a can is faint.

but i promise to share her recipe soon with y’all.

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but these krispy things…{is krispy with a “k” or a “c”?,} really did read easy {you saw the text.}

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there are the rice puffs….

brown rice puffs, unsweetened.

3 cups.

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 spelt pretzels….

1 cup {chopped}

now i have NO idea why they have to be spelt; raquel specified spelt. i don’t know what spelt is; if you ask me “spelt” sounds like a species of fish. but if raquel tells me to eat used baby wipes, you bet i’m going to chow down on a cost-co sized box of those pre-moistened, not-so powder fresh anymore, towelettes…have you seen this woman?

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1/2 cup brown rice syrup….

this makes it sweet.

{yes, i may or may have not added more than she said….i did.}

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1/2 cup peanut butter…..

“save the rest of the jar for later date emotional eating binge”….i do—-{these are my notes, not raquel’s}

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1/2 tsp of vanilla….

2 cups for the floor and the counter.

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and this is why i hate to cook: directions like “a pinch of salt.”

what the f*^! does that mean?!!?!?

“a pinch” is a very partial amount….especially when it comes to salt….a pinch of salt to me, someone who thinks there’s too much salt in the salt-free food i buy, is one, micro, unseen speck of that tangy, white poison….yet if you were to ask me what a “a pinch” of sugar looks like, i’d need a forklift to show you.

give me metrics people!

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nevertheless they turned out delicious…albeit looking a bit yellow and dijon mustard-ish…

hunkiest liked them, so that’s all that mattered.

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 is it just me or does anyone else think of the maggot scene from poltergeist when you look at this plate?

i told raquel that was my only gripe; from far away i thought i’d made worm casserole.

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apparently i bought the wrong kind of cereal; her fancier, euro-erewhon are less larva-looking.

priscilla also gave her seal of approval. she loves when i cook; especially with peanut butter, she knows she’ll get the spoon.

but really, if you’re looking for a delicious, healthier alternative to rice crispy treats, and you’re not allergic to peanuts you should try this super-easy recipe.

happy cooking m’loves.

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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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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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back in the saddle

February 14, 2014

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i’m back!

albeit with a case of vertigo—which is friggin bonkers?!?!

who else has had this disco party in their head?

every time i stand up i am compelled to shriek: “i’m on a boat!!!”—-hunkiest says it wasn’t funny the first time…so you can bet i’ll be repeating it all summer long.

yesterday i received the “all clear” from my doctor, and i’m chomping on the mouth guard to get back to my full schedule.

glamorous, right? 37 years old and i wear a mouth guard—makes for a sexy kiss goodnight….

no wonder we’re just now procreating after eight years.

nevertheless…i’m back in the saddle, literally, today and all through the weekend, even subbing an 8:30am spin class on sunday morning at equinox in newport beach; so if you’re in town come see my giddy, off-balanced mug.

weekend happy to you m’loves..see you on the other side of sunday.

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no. i didn’t get a boob job for christmas…

February 7, 2014

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contrary to my new, 2014 curves, both up north and down south, i did not get breast implants for christmas.

i was pregnant though.

a week before christmas hunkiest and i saw two pink lines on the drugstore purchased test….6 tests if i’m to be honest….the skeptic in me needed to be sure….the overacheiver in me needed the affirmation….hunkiest was overjoyed and relieved…elated that our family was growing; alleviated he was now off the hook for that stella mccartney fold-over tote i had been expecting under the tree…instead we were expecting our christmas present in august.

last week in an ultra sound i was told there was no baby.

no specific reason was given to us; the doctor said my body made a decision for me my “mind might not have been able to make.”

i was prepared for this; told people, when i was unable to keep my exciting, happy news a secret, “now, it IS early, and i AM 37,” as if i was steadying them and me for this inevitable, stinking event.

i cannot lie and tell you that there isn’t a part of me– an unhinged, irrational part, the subdivision that shows up late at night questioning logic and serenading golden retrievers, who sometimes wonders if maybe i jinxed myself into this mess.

i won’t lie, this stings; packs a little more spank as time progresses.

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i ride on the swing-set of glum and good. mostly good, but i never know when a case of the sad will set in.

yesterday i bit into my banana only to discover its less than ripe constitution. i went from composed to crumpled up on the kitchen floor in a matter of seconds.

mr. banana it’s impolite to deceive a girl with raging hormones. there are some things in this world we need to count. bananas are one of them! 

produce aside these days sometimes i can taste sorrow even in an ice cream cone.

i know it will pass, and it’s not all of the time.

each day is a little sunnier; even when the raindrops fall outside.

girl scout cookies help.

as does knowing house of cards signed on for a third season; february 14th can’t come soon enough.

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my boyfriend jeans have officially broken up with me.

{i still sport a 13-week pregnant body; once i get my on head straight, god/the universe and i will be having a roundtable discussion on fairness.}

there’s a denim rinse in a santa claus cut i’ve been courting online, so keep your fingers crossed for us.

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it’s hard to be heavyhearted with these two faces administering round-the-clock-care to me.

it also doesn’t hurt that i have the greatest parents on earth.

my friends and my colleagues, although my co-workers ARE my friends and pseudo family; these people have been sick with compassion and support. it’s like they can’t help but ooze out all this love and gooey kindness from their pores, and it just drips and spurts everywhere, all over the people in their life, lately me, making the world a better place–really you guys need to get this checked out by a dermatologist. it’s almost gross.

you all know who you are, and i am nothing without you.

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and of course, my husband, you oily-bohunk you.

you really do make all those bradley cooper’s and ryan gosling’s look like scrawny, stay-in-the-dugout, third-string players. love is not a strong enough word for how i feel about you.

for us, yes, it is a private time, and i’ve been hesitant, and on the fence about sharing my story, but i believe when life delivers meals you didn’t order, bites that feel like shards of glass when you swallow, it always helps to know that someone else has had to wolf down a similar, barbed chunk, and yet lived, laughed and loved to tell about it.

love,

katie

 

 

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