50 shades of bed rest….

February 12, 2014

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it appears that my body, my doctor, and i, all have clashing opinions when it comes to the definition of “bed rest.” 

MY understanding of bed rest was that i just wasn’t allowed to teach.

sometimes when i teach i can get a bit…unbounded?

we’re talking a full out backwoods-baptist, is that a vein or a serpent popping out of her forehead, let’s exorcise-the-devil-gearless-rider-out-of-us-experience.

so last week i had ambitioned up some light pilates, maybe a little stroll for my legs around a spin bike or two—-not exactly snake handling-but some preparation for teaching again; not WORK, and very LIGHT!!

that’s okay for bed rest, right?

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one unbroken fever, and a case of anemia later, i’m guessing bed rest actually means resting, IN bed..

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i now have a full-time, round-the-clock nurse who watches me like i’m a bowl-full of peanut butter cups….she administers her sweet, tuna fish-breath kisses, and makes sure we’re cheek-to-cheek at all times, except for when i’m sleeping and then she raids my closet for fancy sweaters.

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we try to keep fit with pilates wall exercises.

i’m coming up with new choreography for my classes…..the only caveat is we need hospital beds as props….wes pedersen…that won’t be a problem right?

this guy

he takes the afternoon shift.

 a little more vigilant than his sister, both eyes open at all times, a protective paw to guard against errant blankets and pillows, jones takes all of his jobs, just like he takes loving us, very seriously.

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remember these? a must for lounging…i’ve had them for 3 years now, and they’ve still held up, the white, satin ribbon too. i’ve been living in these grace and lace leg warmers for the last two weeks, truly; i even bathe in them.

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and finally, i got rid of my corpse-colored nail polish–which i tend to favor during these winter months…..BUT we decided i needed a nice, perky, girl-who-likes-tulips-and-snow-cones {i HATE tulips and snow-cones} pick-me-up.

my mary jo matsumoto 4-Free polish was the exact potion to remedy the downcast dreary on my toes.

i like it…

anyone want to a grab snow cone later?

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and nothing cheers a girl up like the spring-time fashion issues—think billowy skirts and little heels that go “clat, clat, clat, clat” when you walk. top it off with a big, fat, chunky vanity fair: chiwetel ejiofor on the cover…thank you very much graydon carter…

i’m looking to get out of my legwarmers by the end of the week..fingers, legs, eyes, wires-crossed….

wednesday happy to you 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.

fish sticks

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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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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wellness wednesday

February 5, 2014

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wednesday cheek to cheek’s to you m’loves.

i’m taking a little bit of a time out from work {more on that later,} but i wanted to drop by, and share one of my newest, most-beloved finds.

remember when i got all simba on your faces?

courtesy of this lovely piece of blonde honey?

well along with the conversion to the miracle of milk o’magnesia, misha also introduced me to the wonder of marula oil: my new holy grail for face moisture and overall, maybe she’s born with it, glow.

with a higher lever of anti-oxidants and omega 9 {fatty fish acid-the good kind that fights wrinkles} than any argan or grapeseed oil, along with the obvious sunscreen, marula oil is my new weapon in the anti-aging arsenal—the ever growing, honey i think we need an addition to the house arsenal.

NEVER greasy, it plumps, moisturizes, and hydrates my face, eyes, neck and lips…i’ve even put it in my hair…thinking of using it on my toast too.

picture_wildeven better than making your wrinkles disappear,—and trying to put my vanity aside for 30 seconds–i’ll try not to die,—-is helping the women in east africa {obviously NOT every east african woman–this isn’t a disney movie people,} but when you buy marula oil you help those who actually harvest the marula fruit from their homes. marula oil production is a fundamental, viable, fountain of revenue for these women to provide for their families. so you can feel good about feeling narcissistic…i know i do.

if you’re in orange county you can buy marula oil from misha at holiday salon or at marula.com

have a luminous day m’loves.

signed,

the humanitarian

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if you need me…

January 31, 2014

afterlight

my head will be interred within the pages of this book.

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

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detox: no green juice needed

January 30, 2014

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our skin is the most important organ when it comes to eliminating waste {ok…eew.}

so if you’re a current member of the ubiquitous kale cleansing club, dry brushing should be more important to you than that added shot of ginger.

easy and crazy economical, dry brushing is a daily detox i’ve been performing for years.

as the name implies, dry brushing is done on dry, lotion-free skin. i dry brush every morning before my first bath.

these invigorating strokes stimulate the lymphatic system, where all detoxification starts; the nervous, immune and digestive systems are then triggered to renew and replenish.

cosmetically, dry brushing does remarkable things for the texture and tone of the skin….i can definitely see a difference in the prettiness {or lack thereof} of my skin when i don’t dry brush; typically when i’m on vacation.

i also get a kick out of the psychological benefits….those bristles are NOT cashmere soft, but i sorta, kinda look forward to my early morning perk-me-up session with my dry brush {although it’s not as romantic as it reads.}

so how does one dry brush?

1. always start with a dry brush on dry skin {duh. hence the reason it’s called dry brushing.} i like the yerba prima brush because the bristles are strong.

2. starting with the feet {bottoms and top} you always want to brush upwards toward your heart.

3. quick, strong, rapid strokes are best. it shouldn’t be a languid, marcia brady movement.

4. from the feet, move up onto the front and back of your legs and backside {a dry brush loves to attack cellulite.}

5. for your stomach make sure you brush in a counter-clockwise direction; this helps stimulate the digestive system.

6. the tops and back of hands need love too; and then moving UP your arm toward your shoulder and heart. a dry elbow is mush in the hands of a dry brush.

7. for your back, brush DOWN from your shoulders and brush UP from your low back {again towards the heart.}

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there you have it!

any other dry brush addicts out there?

happy brushing m’loves.

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happy shopping

January 29, 2014

flashsale

 who says all the best sales occur after thanksgiving?

well not this year.

the sale of all sales, mary jo matsumoto’s flash sale, begins this friday january 31st.

talk about christmas in january!

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it’s no secret that my crush on mary jo matsumoto runs san andreas fault line-deep. she’s a friend, a confidante, and a person i aspire to be like daily, especially in the style department.

mary jo’s personal style is a perfect combo bite of parisian elegance and california cool; whenever we meet i have to spend at least half our time wiping my drool off her effortless ensembles.

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let’s give up a loud “amen!” for the fact mary jo followed her calling to be a designer; her handbags are second to none in my opinion.

i feel very lucky to own a few pieces from her exquisite collections.

and lucky for us, on friday she’s making it even easier to nab up some of her goodies.

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this is the biggest sale mary jo has ever offered!

her beautiful spring/summer 2014 line is coming in, and she needs to make room for these beauties; but in the meantime we get to load up on this season’s best offerings.

it’s rumored that one of my MOST favorite bags to carry, the snake-skin pink tote, which garnes no-less than two compliments an appearance, will be made available to buy for the very first time.

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and perfect for valentine’s day, her 4FREE valentine’s day trio will be on sale, along with the orchid 4FREE trio…..if you haven’t tried her 4FREE, non-toxic, longest lasting polish on the market, you’re missing out….

so set your alarms for friday morning, and get thyself over to maryjomatsumoto.com  for the online sale of the year.

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it’s all around…..

January 27, 2014

love

love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.”~zora neal hurston

m’loves:

a quick hello with wishes of hearts full to the brim, and spirits stratosphere high.

i’ve been busy and distracted lately; lazy with love.

it’s everywhere…it always has been, i just needed to look with better lenses.

today, may you, too, receive and share oodles of rich, tasty, good love.

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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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