Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Night Woes

Last night, while surrounded by darkness I sat bolt upright in bed. I threw my balled fists up to the 10 foot ceiling and cried out in frustration.

I'm afraid we bought the wrong bed.

The first large purchase the ear doctor and I made together a little over 2 years ago was our expensive, designer king sized bed. It was luscious with the pillow top and pretty gold embroidery. In the store it seemed to promise years of restful slumber. I had visions of the two of us swathed in white silk pajamas sleeping on angelic clouds.

My dreams have not been met and I'm getting really ticked that we spent such a bundle of our beautiful and fleeting wedding gift money.

As I sat up in bed the radio commercial for the sleep number bed flitted through the transoms of my mind. Oh, how glorious would it be to simply pump more air into this bed to get a firmer, more supportive base? How dreamy to be able to fiddle around every night until the perfect combination was met?

But that ideal will not be ours for years to come. How, dear friends, do I remedy this situation. My uber expensive, big, soft bed-of-my-dreams is TOO soft. My spine has turned into a noodle. HELP!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Reality Check

Wednesday night the ear doctor and I met a dear friend in Denver for dinner. We went to one of my favorite restaurants (Nine75) because I felt like I need to indulge in my guiltiest food pleasure.

Mac & Cheese.

Honestly, if I didn't think my weight would balloon up to a million pounds I think I might eat Mac & Cheese everyday. I love it so much that I find it impossible to not use capital letters when writing it out. mac and cheese....not nearly dignified as this delicious delicacy requires.

When my casserole dish filled with baked, spicy Mac & Cheese arrived I took one bite and I was in heaven. But upon taking the second bite I thought to myself, "well, this is good, but it sure could use a little salt"

Looking around on our table I realized there was no salt. Thinking that, perhaps we were just seated at the single, forgotten, salt-free table I scanned the dining room to locate my seasoning of choice.

It was nowhere to be found.

Honestly, I think not providing salt and pepper table side is about the most cocky thing a restaurant can do. Do they really think that every single night, ever single chef on the line is seasoning things perfectly? I can guarantee that,unless you are a 5 star restaurant, they are not.

So freakin get yourself a slice of humble pie and put a shaker or two on the table!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

One or the other

Turns out I might be a psycho at night.

Almost every morning of my married life I have awoken to the ear doctor's shell-shocked expression and the re-telling of a mid-night horror story starring yours truly.

Sometimes I'm told about how I fell asleep on the couch at 9:45 and at 10:34 I woke up, gave him the death stare and in a seemingly irritated fit stomped my feet off to the bedroom.

Or I find out that in the middle of the night when the poor, poor ear doctor was shivering with cold he attempted to procure the tiniest scrap of covers and was met with my imposing white knuckled duvet death grip.

And then there's the time when, upon returning from a scary, middle of the night, low blood sugar-induced candy binge he is just getting comfortable again and thanking the gods above for not letting him die his usually kind and cheery wife begins to flop around like an irritated dying fish , thus immaturely communicating her displeasure with his slight coming-back-to-bed motion.

And please, let's not forget the times when he decides to stay up watching TV and I am in selfishly splayed across the dead center of the bed, denying him his requisite space in which to drift to slumberland.

And the crazy thing is that I never remember a single occurrence. Every time I'm told these things I'm wide eyed with shock and filled with disbelief. Because, really, all those sins committed by the same person? Really? It seems a bit far fetched, doesn't it?

So either I'm a raging circadian rhythm induced she-devil or the ear doctor has the most fantastic nocturnal imagination.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Not as great as the real thing....

The stone in my wedding ring is the same that my husband's grandmother wore for 50 plus years of a pretty picture perfect marriage. When he decided to ask me to marry him, his lovely grandmother who I love as much as my own grandparents offered the stone to him.

I can't tell you how touched I was to receive such a personal gift. I'm still a bit overwhelmed.

As a result, I make sure that I only wear the ring places I am sure there is absolutely no risk of loosing it/having it stolen. I don't wear it on vacation, I don't wear it hiking or camping, and I slip it off whenever I go into a sketchy neighborhood. Basically, I don't wear it unless I know I'll be sleeping in my own bed.

Which is why it would be nice to get a back-up ring. This little beauty would be a nice stand in....

Don't you think?

(seen on Bunnyshop)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Tell me what to do

Not that I'm actually going to take financial advice from strangers on the Internet, but I have a really good question for you today.

The ear doctor and I have been AGONIZING over this. Well, actually, the ear doctor is very cool, collected and normal about this while I am o-b-s-e-s-s-i-n-g.

Should we continue our fully 401k contribution or save up every penny to try to buy a house this year.

On the one hand, shares have never been cheaper to pick up. In my (probably faulty) reasoning, if we get these babies cheap now they should be worth a lot in the future, right? Also, I always hear that every dollar contributed before the age of 30 is worth like 10 dollars contributed after 30 (or something like that).

On the other, Pres Obama is dangling a $8,000 dollar carrot out in front of my outstretched grubby little fingertips. I mean, how can I not at least TRY to buy a house when he's offering to throw that kind of cash into the pot?!?!?

How on earth is a normal person supposed to make this kind of decision?!?!?

Deep thoughts

Sunday morning I made cream cheese-chocolate chip stuffed French Toast. It was so rich and delicious that I felt horrible serving it to my diabetic husband first thing in the morning. But, he loved it.

Every time I make something we always critique it and suggest ways it could have been better. I know a lot of people might think this is harsh, but I love doing it. Part of me is a perfectionist and the other part is food critic. This is how yesterday's evaluation went:

Me: Well, that was pretty good.

Ear doctor: Yeah, it was awesome. I loved it.

Me: The only thing I think I'd do different is sub out the old, crusty french bread for something more substantial...like some buttery slices of brioche.

Ear doctor: (rolls his eyes) Brioche has got to be the most pretentious of all the breads.

Me: Really? You think so? What about Ciabatta?

Ear doctor: No way! Ciabatta is rustic Italian country bread...

Me: (interrupting) and Brichoe isn't an old French country bread?

Ear doctor: Well, Ciabatta is like New Money and Brioche is Old Money. Ciabatta just recently got all this fame and prestige and doesn't know how to wear it as well. It's all about flaunting it. It's not pretentious. Brioche belongs to an exclusive country club.

So now you know

Thursday, March 19, 2009

An Ode to Santa Magita

Today my little sister turns 25. I can't believe she is already that old. To me she'll always be about 11. But it doesn't really make sense for an 11 year old to have a 2 year old daughter and be almost 8 months pregnant with her second.

So, in order to properly honor her, I would like to dedicate this wonderful montage to her:

Please note the volume of Christmas cards my parents receive each year. They are very popular.

My love affair with peeps begins.

She admires my kung fu skillz

No one can rock a horizontal stripe intersected by a diagonal piece of lace like the Magster!

Maggie had to wear a bow in her hair like this because people always thought she was a boy with this haircut. Also, please note her awesome acid wash jeans. (my personal awkward period begins)

Yes, we are posing with a paper skeleton around our shoulders. Nothing to see here.

I spent about 3 hours doing her hair like this.

I bought her this dress for her birthday one year. I usually always get her clothes for her birthday/Christmas.

She was a very demure bride

We don't handle heat or exercise very well.

She's a great mom.
Happy b-day baby!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Free luncher

I admit it.

Sometimes I go to a meeting because they've catered it. The topic? Not exactly central to my job description. The speaker? A bit boring and pretentious. The food?Free? I'm in!

And I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who is lured out of the semi-privacy of their personal cubical by the siren call of free Quiznos. How can I be sure of this? Well, after 5+ years of crack investigative observation I've begun to be able to spot the signs of the free-loader-luncher.

The most obvious sign is the inevitable post-carb-not-at-all-interested snooze that overtakes the offender about 20 minutes into the presentation. Sometimes I am just BLOWN away by another person's blatant mid-meeting naps. I look around and notice that someone has completely konked out and I am simultaneously shocked and impressed.

Shocked because, well, everyone can see you asleep buddy! Aren't you worried about your reputation? Don't you feel the tiniest bit of obligation to pay attention when you've just snarfed their free lunch offering?

However, it is a bit impressive that they are so sure of themselves that something like that doesn't even register on their embarrass-o-meter. I bet they wouldn't even blink if they found they'd had spinach in their teeth for an hour or their fly was down. What would it be like to be that laid back? I have no idea.

It really should go

If the US suddenly decided to change from a 5-day work week to a 4-day work week, which day would you throw out?

I'd pick Thursday

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

fire up the hog

This weekend the ear doctor and I were grocery shopping together. As I've mentioned before, I really don't like grocery shopping. It's better if the ear doctor comes with me. Especially since he's taken to playing this game where it puts random things in our cart when I'm not looking. I'll be innocently walking along and look down to see a package of chicken livers in my cart. Or an industrial size can of artichoke hearts. Or a wedge of overpriced cheese...oh wait, I'm the one who slips that in.

Anyway, this week I was pretty pumped because he hadn't been able to sneak one by me. That is, until I reached into my purse to get my wallet to pay. Turns out he slipped me a flyer for this beauty:

Well, he IS turning 30 this year, so the sky is the limit on presents, right? Oh, bonus, I can pay for it in 3 easy installments of $33!

I'm going to be the wife of the CENTURY!

Can my eyes smile too?

St. Patrick's Day and I have an interesting relationship. You see, my ancestry is actually from Scotland. My mother's maiden name was Laird, which is just about as Scottish as it gets. My grandparents have a Scottish coat of arms hanging on the wall.

I'm a Scot.

And, I'm not sure if most people realize it, but Scots and Irish are historically VERY different. Different geographic location, different religion, different language, different culture.

But when you have my coloring it's really hard to not to want to claim a little Irish-ness every March 17th....

What's a girl to do?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Bit by the gardening bug

I can't believe I've never told you about my awesome cousin-in-law Nancy! Because, really, she's very very cool. One of those people you sit down to meet and you just want to find out everything about her.

She and her husband had a summer long water fight that escalated to the point where he was in the front yard squirting her with the hose and she was standing at the second story window dumping buckets on him. FUN people.

One crucial thing about her that you need to know is that she collects garbage.

Not all garbage, just organic stuff because she is P-A-S-S-I-O-N-A-T-E about compost. Whenever I visit the ear doctor's grandma she has a small plastic bag by the sink for any organic trash. When it fills up she twists it shut and gives it to Nancy.

So when I saw this little beauty on this awesome blog I thought of her:

It's a little under the counter compost machine!!!

Now, I know this little guy is probably too little for Nancy since she has a big beautiful garden in her backyard, but for me and my container gardening it would be SOOOOOO awesome! If anyone has $300 laying around and wants to get me this I would be EVER so appreciative.

Ummm, that was a little anticlimactic

Alright, HGTV, I have a bone to pick with you.

First, I spent the entire weekend on the look-out for your spies. The people who were trying to make sure that I'd be home when you wanted to surprise me with my dream home in Sonoma? Yeah, those people.

When, at 5:30 on Sunday evening (30 minutes before it aired here in Colorado) I figured that I wasn't the lucky giveaway winner I excitedly sat down on the couch with my man to find out who the lucky winner would be. Remember how we've decided to give up any TV on Sunday? Well, we decided to make an exception for you.

When we looked over the TV programming schedule and saw that the big reveal was only slotted for a half hour I was a little wary. I couldn't fathom how you were going to deliver that kind of news with only 30 minutes, but I trusted you. I gave you my FAITH.

However, as the special started and the clues to the winner's hometown started dropping I got really worried. It was 6:20 and you still hadn't surprised the winner yet! When there was only 6 minutes left of the show you FINALLY got the Cheryl Smith's home and gave her the good news. After 3 minutes of her excitement it was over.

That's it.

3 minutes of glory?!?!? Are you kidding me?!?!?

There are so many questions I wanted to ask her. So many things I wanted to know about the woman who will be living in MY house. Sitting on MY porch. Soaking in MY tub.

Your totally lack of creativity was so disappointing that I had to abruptly turn off my TV, grab the book I'm in the middle of and make my way to my MUCH less glamorous tub for a soothing bath. I had to relax away my utter annoyance at your totally ball-drop.

Get it together for next year.

Sincerely, Katie

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Anyone else feeling horrible this week?

I've never felt so tired in my life. Our poor little dog has only had 2 walks this week (unacceptable). The ear doctor is sick at home, in our spare bedroom so as not to infect me. I'm just barely hanging on here.

Anyone want to come walk this adorable creature and make us some dinner?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Attempting to NOT be the most annoying person

Here's a question for all of you.

When you attend a dinner party do you help do the dishes after?

Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. I can't pin point the exact circumstance that tips me over the edge into feeling like it is OK to sit and keep my hands out of scalding water. Sometimes it just doesn't seem like the right thing to do, and other times it seems perfectly alright. Sometimes I can tell the hostess genuinely doesn't want my help.

It's really weird, because whenever anyone offers to help me clean up afterward I always love it. So using that logic, I should always be the first to jump up, grab a scrubbie and get to work. Because, I seriously don't mind dishes at all.

(Except for last night when I just couldn't bring myself to do anything besides sit my tired potato-sack-of-a-body down on the couch and watch Idol....BTW....I'm I the only person in America who finds this person so annoying they want to poke their eyeballs out every time they see him? )

So back to the question at hand, is it ALWAYS good manners to help someone clean up after a dinner party, or are the circumstances where its alright to let them sit?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Puffy Eyes

When I was little I had a recurring nightmare.

In my dream a line of puppies would climb up the ladder to an old, shiny steel slide, take a ride down and then break their leg. They'd go to the hospital, get a cast and immediately climb back up to the top of the slide for another grisly ride. They'd do it over and over and no matter what I did they wouldn't stop. Terrifying.

I don't usually have vivid dreams, so when I do they really stick with me. Which is why I am exhausted this morning.

Last night at 3:37 am I found myself awake in bed, sobbing out of control. As the tears streamed down my face I gasped for breath and tried to push away the frightening dream I'd just had.

I dreamt that my parents took me and the ear doctor to Disneyworld. We had a great trip, but they went back a day early. On the morning of our last day, our parent-free day, the concierge from one of the resorts we were walking by pulled me in and gave me a package. There were no identifying marks on the package, so I was a little excited.

When I opened the box everything went all wrong.

It was a letter from my mom saying that she was leaving my dad. They were separating and she gave a whole list of reasons why. It was horrible. The terror of my family breaking down the seam was so gut wrenching that my pillow was soaked before I even realized it was only a dream.

I'm so glad that I had someone I love so much laying next to me. Before I was married when this happened I found myself wandering around the house in the middle of the night trying to tell my brain to let it go, to find a happier path to dream down.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Daylight savings can eat my shorts.

The end.

Friday, March 06, 2009

That grass is greener

Sometimes I look out my office window and enviously watch the grounds maintenance people doing their job. And I know, as a person who has had so many opportunities for education and privilege, I'm not "supposed to" envy manual labor, but I do. Sometimes, on beautiful clear warm days like today, I get so jealous of people who get to work outside, their hands in the dirt, making things grow.

As I type away, sitting in my ergonomically designed chair, breathing recycled, reconditioned air I pine for a fresh breeze to come my way.

As I pack up my things at the end of the day I realize that my body isn't stiff from hard work, but creaky from inactivity.

And when I get home my brain has been wheeling so fast all day that I feel exhausted. Not the good, man I just worked so physically hard that I'm dropping with fatigue. The bad, I can't even use my brain enough to figure out why my DVR didn't get this week's episode of House.

Right after I wrote this post I watched this talk and it BLEW MY MIND.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Birthmom Buds Project

After having to reschedule multiple times, our little group of girls were FINALLY able to complete our birthmom buds service project! It was so AWESOME! For the activity we first sat around a big long table and talked about adoption and what it meant for someone to place their baby with another family. It felt like every word I was saying was really important and that I was actually teaching a really important idea to these beautiful little girls.

I don't know how you parents do it. There is so much to tell these little people about. So much they don't understand. What a HUGE responsibility you have on a daily basis!

After I stumbled through our little discussion we made thank you notes for the organizers of the Birthmom Buds program. Please note the tiny little purple-blanket-wrapped baby in the upper right-hand corner of the picture. It was REALLY adorable and I wish I'd got a better pic of it.

Then, we pulled out our needles and thread and sewed buttons on these bags that I'd already made. Lesson for everyone out there: if you are teaching 10 year olds to do anything with a tread and needle it is SO much easier to thread the needle and tie the knot in the end yourself. It's a bit beyond the capability of the average little girl.

Next up? fill all the bags with the donated goodies. The girls LOVED this part. I had them make a ton of piles of stuff all over the floor and they went from pile to pile adding things to their bags. Over and over I heard, "oh, this is fun like shopping" (girls after my own heart)

Jaidyn loved these packs of gum because they were REALLY thin. Whoever sent them, they were a HUGE hit! I even let her take a pack home with her because she was so over the moon.

Last, but not least, I introduced these girls to the beauty of the Polaroid camera. And, they LOVED it. As soon as the film spit out the front of the camera they ran over to me and said, "shake it, shake it" At which point I broke out into a little Outkast. But I'm pretty sure only my friend and adult group helper Lashelda go my reference.

Due to the unruly chaos during the actual activity I didn't have a chance to take a picture with all of the items displayed. Please disregard the ugly crappy carpet and the matching color wall backdrop.

Two of the items in the photo are of particular note because they were donated by awesome Etsy sellers. First, the awesome green floral picture frame on the far left hand side. 7 of these frames were sent to me by the kind Heather Egley. She's got some Crazy Adorable stuff in her shop, so check it out. Second, the black polka-dot notebook leaning against the bag just left of middle. These are the cutest hand-bound journals around and Leslie sells them and other creative papergoods in her etsy shop, BurgundyDistrict. Thanks both of you for your thoughtful and amazing donations!

Usually we have 7 little girls show up to our activity and only 4 came last night. At first it really bummed me out that 3 of them didn't get a chance to participate in this activity. Now I realize that I'm grateful that the 4 that came had a great time and genuinely learned to love serving others.

Thank you so much to all of you who took the time to participate in our activity. It made all the difference in the world, to me personally and to these girls. When I told them that strangers had sent me all this stuff to fill the bags they were shocked.

But, really, you aren't strangers. At least not to me.

Only friends would offer support like that. So, I guess what I'm saying is this: Thanks pal!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

4th folder, 4th picture

My awesome aunt tagged me, so here's the 4th picture in my 4th folder:

It is an ADORABLE picture of my niece Alexa when she was participating in a horse show. This is a few years old because she's now 14!!!!!!

I can't believe she's that old. Since they've moved to London I've missed so much of her growing up!

Mamma needs a new pair of shoes

Lately I've had a few friends tell me that I am crazy for not making any money off my blog. And up to this point I didn't think there was anyone out there who was actually willing to pay me something for my time.

To be perfectly honest, I still seriously doubt it.

But it's got me thinking. When does it make sense to start garnering an income from one's blog? And if you do start taking money is there an unseen force compelling you to write more, or to alter your style or content?

I kind of like the freedom of writing whatever and whenever I want. I like knowing that I could just drop off the blogosphere without any repercussions (ahem, COURTNEY).

But, lets call it like it is, I'm not the type of genuine artiste who requires freedom to explore the craft of the written word. I've got no hoity toity morals that prevent me from being paid for my talents.

Lots to think about..

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Holy Cow

Last night I made Individual Sticky Toffee Puddings for dessert and they BLEW MY MIND. Seriously, I'm still trying to scrape the gray matter off the underside of my microwave. These cakes are BARELY harder to make than box brownies.

I don't usually post recipes, but when I don't I get all kinds of complaints that I'm selfish and rude for not sharing the wealth. So, here you go.

My personal changes to the recipe/directions:
1) At the last minute I realized that I was out of vanilla (ARGH!), but to my surprise they were just fine without it. Lucky me.
2) Also, the recipe says to serve with ice cream or creme Anglaise but you don't need it.
3) I used a cap full of imitation rum flavor and it was perfect. We don't drink, so I hate having to run out and buy liquor just for a random baking experiment.

(photo credit: cook's illustrated)


Pudding Cakes
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (6 1/4 ounces, plus more for dusting the ramekins)
1 1/4 cups whole dates , pitted, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
3/4 cup warm water
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup packed brown sugar(5 1/4 ounces), light or dark
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick), melted

Toffee Sauce
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick)
1 cup packed brown sugar (7 ounces), light or dark
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon rum


1. For the pudding cakes: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour eight 4-ounce ramekins and line bottom of each with round of parchment paper cut to fit. Set prepared ramekins in large roasting pan lined with clean dish towel. Bring kettle or large saucepan of water to boil over high heat.
2. Combine half of dates with water and baking soda in glass measuring cup (dates should be submerged beneath water) and soak for 5 minutes. Drain dates, reserving liquid, and transfer to medium bowl. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in another medium bowl.
3. Process remaining dates and brown sugar in food processor until just blended, about five 1-second pulses. Add reserved soaking liquid, eggs, and vanilla and process until smooth, about 5 seconds. With food processor running, pour melted butter through feed tube in steady stream. Transfer this mixture to bowl with softened dates.
4. Gently stir dry mixture into wet mixture until just combined and date pieces are evenly dispersed. Distribute batter evenly among prepared ramekins. Fill roasting pan with enough boiling water to come halfway up sides of ramekins, making sure not to splash water into ramekins. Cover pan tightly with aluminum foil, crimping edges to seal. Bake pudding cakes until puffed and small holes appear on surface, about 40 minutes. Immediately remove ramekins from water bath and cool on wire rack for 10 minutes.
5. For the toffee sauce: Meanwhile, melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in brown sugar until smooth. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved and mixture looks puffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Slowly pour in cream and rum, whisk just to combine, reduce heat, and simmer until frothy, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, cover to keep warm, and set aside.
6. To serve, invert each ramekin onto plate or shallow bowl, remove ramekin, and peel off parchment paper lining. Divide toffee sauce evenly among cakes and serve immediately, accompanied by crème anglaise or vanilla ice cream.

Monday, March 02, 2009


This weekend the ear doctor and I helped out a friend the best way we know how. By lending a hand.

One of the ear doctor's dear friends had to go through something I hope I never have to experience again. The heartache of love lost. Instead of putting the finishing touches on her wedding plans she found herself Saturday morning packing her belongings and moving out of the house she thought would be hers forever. And she seemed to have it all under control.

I would have been a mess.

As we quickly moved box after box I thought about the heartaches I've experienced in my life...

...recollected the way a boy I really really liked used me as a friend and tossed me aside when it was inconvenient

...remembered the exact moment someone I loved rejected me, accused me of not being spiritual enough for him

...recalled the feeling of cool grass under my fingers that I enjoyed a second before realizing that the boy sitting next to me was dropping a bomb right into the lap of my sky blue capri pants

And the I remembered something my mom told me when I was 14. She said, most relationships don't work out. Most people date many times before they find someone to commit to. The ending of a relationship doesn't mean that either person isn't valuable or great. It usually doesn't mean that they or you did something wrong. It simply means that the combination of the two wasn't a good fit.

And judging from my personal experience she is dead on. All of the past guys in my life weren't a good fit for me. I'm so glad they realized it and had the courage to break up with me. They are all amazing people and I cherish what I learned from spending time from them.

And even more, I cherish that they let me go so I could find the ear doctor, love of my life, the yin to my yang, the peanut butter to my jelly.

I sincerely hope this is the situation our friend.