List #21

Things I Love About Fall

In Los Angeles

  • Rain.  We don’t get much, so it’s precious when it does happen.
  • The way people bundle up when it’s only 50 degrees out.  As if they even KNOW what cold is…HA!
  • Drinking warm drinks.  I almost never want to drink warm drinks.  Something about it does not agree with my (Pitta) body, so I generally opt for my froo-froo drinks over ice and then I actually drink them!  It’s also difficult to drink a hot drink in very cold climates (like Chicago) because it’s too cold to even take your hand out of the glove to hold the cup!  Here in LA, it’s not too cold, and drinking warm drinks actually feels good.
  • Wearing puffy vests.  I had always wanted a puffy vest, but in Chicago, it seemed ridiculous to wear one!  If I needed to be warm, I needed ALL of me to be warm- even my arms.  But here in LA, it usually perfect vest weather, so I bought one and love it!  It’s white, so I look like a marshmallow, but I don’t care.
  • Thanksgiving at Annie’s.  Annie hosts Orphan Thanksgiving and has about 20 people over to celebrate.  We are all out of towners and come together to create family.  It’s nice.  We all bring a dish and play ladder ball, and then a few rounds of Mafia in which there is too much yelling, but it’s fun all the same.  We all take turns talking or skyping with our families back home and then go around the table to say what we are grateful for.  Here are two recipes I like a lot:  Green Bean Casserole, Cranberry Sauce
  • Knowing that Christmas is coming and I’ll get to see my real family soon!  Being back in my beloved home state, seeing snow and hugging my family is so fantastic.  The fall weather lets my body know that those hugs are coming soon…soon.

In Chicago

  • The Smell!  There is just something so amazing about the way the air smells in the fall in Chicago.  Sometimes it’s leaves burning and I almost hyperventilate trying to take it all in because I love it so much.  Sometimes it’s just crisp air.  Whatever it is, it makes me feel so good inside.
  • The feeling of ducking into a warm bar when you’ve been in the chilly air. Followed by a cider or a beer- can’t beat it!
  • Watching holiday decorations go up on Michigan Ave.  Nuff said.
  • Crunching on leaves. The trees on Paulina Ave would turn amazing colors.  One tree I loved looked like it was set on fire- the bottom would be orange and it the top was red.
  • Cooking with squash. There is an abundance of squash in the Midwest this time of year, and I used to be annoyed that it was all we could get, but being in LA, it’s hard to find good squash!  They are so tiny here…
  • The fall progressive dinner.  When I first moved to the city, I got a job at a study abroad organization called IES.  I made some amazing friends there and after a time, many of us ended up living within a mile of one another (except Joe who is a Northist).  I came up with the idea of doing a Progressive Dinner whereby we each picked a course and we’d move from apartment to apartment eating and drinking.  Ryan would carry a boom box (aka: bucket) and we usually ended up at Dan and Daniella’s for dessert by the fire pit.  We eventually had so many people on the route that every other stop was a “drink” stop.  The fall progressive was my favorite because it was fun to bundle up, tromp through streets with travel cups filled with Peppermint Paddies, and arrive at the next house where we would peel off our jackets, scarves and hats to enjoy another amazing, warm dish.  I treasure those times and feel so grateful to those buddies.
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November 12, 2011. 52 lists, 52 weeks, family, Food, LA, Recipes. 1 comment.

List #20

Things That Make Me Happy

  • Trying new recipes.  I am addicted to the PPK blog and will be making this and this for Monday.  May also try this (although not from PPK).
  • Cider weather.  Finally got cool weather here in SoCal and I LOVE it!
  • The new Chanel nail polish commercial I saw yesterday.  Makes me want to buy SO much nail polish!  And go dancing.
  • Skyping with friends and making them think their speakers don’t work by moving my mouth like I am talking when really I am not (tee hee)
  • Getting pictures of my friend’s cute kids.
  • 10pm tea time (a new ritual in my house).
  • Making bread.
  • Staying in bed longer than I should.
  • Making Buck laugh.
  • Seeing Family. My in laws were in town this week and it was so great to see them!  We went to see Iris, the new Cirque du Soleil show here in LA, and it was so beautiful!

Jan and Dan and Kate on Santa Monica Pier

November 5, 2011. 52 lists, 52 weeks. 1 comment.

List #19

Contrary to what I am portraying, I really like blogging!  But I’ve been insane lately.  Insanely busy trying to keep up with 3 jobs (2 of which I really like!), support people I love, and trying to remember to breathe in and out.  I am not complaining- at all.  I know I’ve got it good.  I just wanted you to know that it is not for lack of wanting to blog…just lack of energy/time/ideas/brains.

But having these weekly lists gives me a great sense of security because I know that once per week I will actually have something to blog about that doesn’t require more of me than I can give.

So, here we go:

List #19: “ME in a list…the good, the bad, the weird, the quirky”

  • I am a nail biter, and I wish I wasn’t, but I don’t do enough to kick the habit.
  • I love the combination of pineapple juice and gingerale.
  • I recently discovered that by putting socks on when I go to bed, I sleep SO much better!
  • I love reading cookbooks, but I don’t love watching cooking shows.
  • I can hold my breath underwater for a really long time.
  • I am a messy person.
  • I don’t collect anything, and I worry that it means something about me..
  • I really love getting my hair cut!
  • I really like building things.  Working with Habitat for Humanity in high school and in college taught me so much (mostly that hammering things is really fun and you should not wear sandals to a work site).
  • I believe compassion is a muscle and I work on building it as often as possible.
  • When I was little, I wanted to be an Olympic gold medalist for swimming.
  • I love the smell of coriander and wish there was a perfume with it’s scent.
  • I am grossed out by mold and by bathrooms.  When there is mold in a bathroom, forget it- I’m traumatized.
  • I love surprises!
  • In my life I have hit the following things with my car: a garbage can, 2 lamp posts, 1 column.  I have also been hit by other cars, and one time, I was riding my bike down the street and, distracted by the way my pool towel made my shadow look like I was wearing an Indian headdress, hit the back of my mom’s car, causing me to tumble up and over it a la Stacy in the movie Wayne’s World (“Hiiii Wayne…Hiiii Garth…” CRASH!)
  • I do not have a green thumb.
  • I am afraid of and inspired by the ocean.
  • I (finally) like living in California.
  • I need to go to bed…now.

October 14, 2011. 52 lists, 52 weeks. Leave a comment.

List #18

Ten Things I Love About Sundays

  • Farmer’s Markets.  The Hollywood Farmer’s Market is nearby and it’s a decent size.  I like to go toward the end of the day when they are giving things away for cheaper.
  • The idea of sleeping in.  I usually don’t get to/let myself, but just knowing that it might be an option is pretty nice.
  • Coffee.  Is it just me, or does it taste better on Sundays?
  • Having Buck home.  That hasn’t happened much lately because he is in rehearsal for Peace in Our Time (opens soon!)
  • Sunday Skype.  We don’t do it anymore, but Amy and I used to Skype on Sundays.  We should pick that back up…
  • Menu Planning.  Ideally this is done prior to Sunday, but I never remember.

Oh man, I have to tell you- coming up with 10 things is taking FOR-EVER.  And this might be the most boring list I have ever made!  Sundays are not much different from any other day of my week.  I usually have to have an open house to try to rent apartments that are vacant, and that requires showering and not relaxing.  There are very few things that are consistent about Sundays for me.

  • The idea that I can “start fresh” with a new week.  I like telling myself this on Sunday nights.
  • Listening to This American Life.
  • Marathons.  Most races are held on Sundays, but I always loved The Bank of America Chicago Marathon (although in MY day it was The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon, but whatever).  This Sunday over 30,000 people will be running 26.2 miles through the beautiful city of Chicago (I hear the leaves are turning and I can only imagine how nice the scent of fall is).  The majority of those runners will be first time marathoners and I am excited for them!  It’s an empowering race and I loved both of my Chicago experiences.

Jess Vig and I early in the race- 2006. It was 40 degrees and snowing!

Amy and I after I finished the race. It's so awesome to have supporters along the route!

  • Donut Day.  When I was little, Sunday was considered “Donut Day” in my house.  My dad would go fuel up the cars for the week and on his way home he would get a dozen donuts from Dunkin Donuts.  We all had our favorites:  Mom was Boston Creme; Amy was chocolate long john; Dad was jelly (actually, he didn’t discriminate); I went for the double chocolate and a big glass of milk for dunkin.  We don’t have donut day in our house, but Buck often petitions to get it back.  Find me a vegan donut shop, honey, and you’re on!

October 6, 2011. 52 lists, 52 weeks. 1 comment.

List #17

Ways to Stay Creative and Inspired

  • Take walks.  I prefer to walk with people, but sometimes a solitary walk with some good tunes can really rev the engines.
  • See a baby born.  I know I get to do this as part of my job (!), but if you ever get the opportunity to witness this miracle, DO IT.  Don’t be freaked out by notions of fluids and gore.  It’s insanely awesome and you shouldn’t miss out.
  • See some live music.  It is my goal to see Adele and Florence + the Machine (together?  Now that would be awesome!) in a SMALL venue where I can see their groove.  Seeing Tori Amos rock out is pretty inspiring.  As is Prince.  That man can MOVE ya’ll.
  • Sew or knit a new pattern.  
  • Bake some bread.  I’ve been on a major bread baking kick lately, and it makes me feel really good to do this simple task.
  • See the ocean.  This makes me feel inspired every time!

October 6, 2011. 52 lists, 52 weeks. 1 comment.

List #16

I am a bit behind, so this one is going to be a quickie on the fly!  Normally I like to look at the topic, give myself a few days to come up with a thoughtful list, and then write the blog.  Because I am a week behind, I am going to try something new and just look at the list now and blog it NOW!  Crazy- I know, but here we go…

My Life To Do List

(To Be Completed Within the Near Future)

(Kellie describes this as a To Do List that is for her overall life and not to be done TODAY, just sometime soon.  Love it!)

  • Set up my website.
  • Find a way to organize my work.  I just took over managing another small building and I am working with BINI in a bigger way, as well as running my own doula business, so my brain is hurting a little.  I know if I can just get some cute notebooks I will feel a LOT better!
  • Finish the 100 pushups program.  We are ALMOST there!  Week 5 has been restarted twice and is about get get another restart.  Oy!
  • Send out birthday cards to the 20 people I missed this summer.  Where the heck did the summer go?  And why were so many of you born in those months???
  • Make my balcony look nice. Here is what it looks like now:

No fancy formatting could make it look better...I can't really believe I am showing this to you- it's SO bad! My poor herbs...no direct sunlight.

  • Find a gift for my Grandmother’s 80th Birthday.  Any and all gift ideas welcome!  I really want to make her feel special and I can’t get home for the occasion, so a good gift needs to be sent.
  • Make veggie stock.  My favorite recipe is here.  Warning: once you make this, you will NEVER want to buy store bought stock again.  Proceed with caution.

Okay, that feels like a good list!  I bet I could get this all done in October….

September 25, 2011. 52 lists, 52 weeks. Leave a comment.

List #15

Things I am Obsessed With

Nail polish

I was a loyal OPI user, but now I am leaning more toward Essie.

Finding a knitting project

I really want to find a project that is challenging, but something I can actually see through to the end.  With cooler weather heading our way, my hands are anxious to get the needles going.  I really want to do a sweater- like this one, which I found on Katie’s blog.  I have attempted sweaters in the past.  The first one was with my Sweater Club (yes, you read that right) through Arcadia Knitting, which I just learned closed down!  (side bar: it wasn’t the best knitting store in the city, but I’ll never forget the day Buck and I were driving around looking for apartments, had just looked at a great one on Paulina, but I was not thrilled to be so far north.  We pulled onto Lawrence, heading East and I looked out the window and saw the knitting shop.  It was all the sign I needed that this was the right place for us, and we lived happily there for 6 years.)  Anyway, my first sweater failed because the sleeves did not work- too short and too tight in the armpit.  I still have it, but have never worn it in public because it’s baaaaaad. The second sweater, a cardigan, just didn’t grab me and I got too frustrated to finish it.

Figuring out how to make a web page

Uggh, this is overwhelming and I want to cry when I think about figuring this out.  I bought my domain name, but just have no idea what to do next!  Suggestions welcome!

Tea

Friends, I am a coffee lover through and through, but a few times a year I get grabbed by the tea bug and it hangs on!  I am trying to establish a ritual with my mornings and evening, and I’d like it to involve tea.  When I stayed at Tara’s during Caden’s birth, I fell in love with this one.  My all time favorite is this one.  And I am on the hunt for something like this.  Do I currently have any of these in stock at my house?  No, but hopefully that is remedied soon.

Hoodies

Despite the fact that I only own 3 (blue, purple and gray), I have been forbidden by Amber to buy any others.  Annie may also have forbidden me.  But, I’m sorry ladies, I just love ‘em and may have to add another this season…or maybe something like this will takeover…

Lululemon Universal Wrap

Toms

My super great mama in law (Mama Jan as I’ve taken to calling her) bought me my first pair for Christmas and I LOVE them.  I need to expand the collection because they are PERFECT for me!  Lightweight, easy to get on/off, cute, comfy and flat.

These are the ones I have

These are pretty awesome

Lotion

I love lotion.  If you have some in your bathroom and I’ve been in there, odds are good that I stole a little to try.  I’m always on the hunt for another good one.

Making my “List of Luxurious Things I Want”

It’s currently a list in my iPhone and only has “Burberry lip gloss #1” and “Chanel Perfume.”  These are things that are so out of the realm of “me” or “my budget” or “my lifestyle” but making the list is kind of fun, even though it is unlikely to go anywhere.

Reading Birth Books

Currently I am in the middle of The Birth Partner, The Thinking Women’s Guide to a Better Birth, and I’ll soon be starting Hypnobirthing.  Suggestions welcome!

September 14, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . 52 lists, 52 weeks, Birth, Food, Knitting. 2 comments.

List #14

Are you tired of hearing about how much I love my husband?  Well, TOO BAD because this week’s list is all about him for two reasons:

1.  I totally lurve him

and

2.  Our third wedding anniversary is today!

So here we go: 

Things I love about Buckler

He walks WITH me.  I stress the “with” because while he does literally WALK with me, my intention behind this line is that he walks WITH me (in life).  I am more of a control freak than he is, and on occasion I will grind to a halt (literally and figuratively) and yell, “Wait, wait, wait- WHAT???” and he’ll have to stop, reassure, and get me back on the track.  And he is SO good at this.

The early days of our journey

The man is a gentle soul.  He is so kind and loving to everyone- even the crapsters that think tipping $4.37 on $75 is acceptable (it’s not).

Even Richard Simmons loves him!

He is talented.  This isn’t WHY I love him, but it is truly awesome to be able to sit in the audience and watch him work.  And I truly love to watch him work.  His love for his art is so clear- it’s exhilarating to witness.  Performing with him is something I miss, but perhaps someday the right roles will come along (and if not, there is always The Goat…)

Buck in Assasins

He loves his family.  Before we were officially dating, I heard Buck tell his dad over the phone that he loved him, and I was floored.  The boys I hung with were “too cool” to say that to their parents, and I fell even more in love with him when I heard those words.

Buck with his brother, Rob, all the nieces, and Peggy!

He’ll try anything!  The boy is always up for an adventure and if it involves cake, he’ll do just about anything.  He is so much fun to be around!

Riding ATV's on our honeymoon

He let me dump tea on his head.   Have I told you this story?  Forgive me if I have…A little while back we were “at odds” and could not get over the great divide of whatever we were arguing about.  I had been drinking tea and it grew cold eventually.  We were sitting quietly and I was trying to think of a way to break past the tension and I imagined myself dumping my mug of tea on his head, and naturally started giggling.  God bless this boy- he let me do it.  And we laughed.  Like, for an hour.  The kind of laughing that is deep and feels so good because you need it so bad.  To this day, when we find ourselves “at odds,” Buck will ask- in a totally serious tone of voice- “Do you need to dump something on my head?”  And I fall deeper in love.

Poor head! (Buck was SUPER sick in this picture)

And the main thing that I love about this guy:  He is true blue.  When you are friends with Buck, you have a friend for life.  Making our wedding guest list was torture because Buck wanted to invite EVERYONE he ever met- and I do mean EVERYONE- because he loves people!  He loves friends!  When he says he is going to do something, he does it.  When you tell him a secret, it’s locked in a vault.  When you need to cry, Buck will listen, make you laugh, and then “hug out the wah’s.”  The man is true to his core and I feel incredibly lucky to have him as my mate.

Buck with Groomsmen

So, Buckler, thank you for being my best friend for 10 years.  Being married to you for the past 3 years has been a dream come true and there is no one I’d rather travel this road with.  You make me feel beautiful and loved in ways I never imagined.

Even when I look like this!

To the moon and back.

Thank you for loving me!

September 7, 2011. Tags: , , . 52 lists, 52 weeks, family, Friendship, Husband. 3 comments.

List #13

Things I Love About My Job

On a day like today, I am struggling to find anything I love about my Apartment Manager job.  If the list was “Everything I Hate About My Job” I would have a list too long for you to enjoy reading!

But here is something I have learned: when I start to feel frustrated and begin throwing walls up, that is the PERFECT time to start listing the positives because it busts up all those stubborn feelings.

And because I work so many jobs lately (actually, always), I am going to make a few lists.

Here goes:

Things I Love About my Job: Apartment Managing

  • The flexibility
  • Living in a large apartment with a view of palm trees
  • My new found knowledge about plumbing, painting, and repair work
  • All the hard working vendors I get to work with!
  • Meeting nice people
  • Helping people find a home they love

Things I Love About My Job: Babysitting

  • Holding babies
  • Hugs and kisses
  • When I am playing with Asha and she clarifies, “It’s just pretend Kate!  I am not really a unicorn.”
  • When Akira shows me how to do something new she’s learned at camp or school
  • When Charlie smiles
  • When Olivia puts her head on my shoulder
  • Singing silly songs
  • Teaching a little one something new
  • Learning something new from a little one

Things I Love About My Job: Doula

*Note about videos: you can stream The Business of Being Born on Netflix instant, as well as Orgasmic Birth.  Birth Day is a BEAUTIFUL birth featuring Naoli Viniver who taught me how to use a Rebozo.  Psalm and Zoya is a video showing the (unintentional) unassisted birth of twins, one of which was BREECH!  I don’t think it’s for sale anymore, but if you can see a copy- do it!

Okay, so, yes, that did help, and I do feel better!

Enjoy your holiday weekend!

September 4, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . 52 lists, 52 weeks, Apartment Managing, Doula Stuff. 2 comments.

List #12

Happy Monday!

Buck and I went movie hopping last night and saw Crazy, Stupid, Love and The Help.  That Emma Stone can ACT ya’ll!  Both movies were so great and totally worth seeing in the theater.  I read The Help a while back and fell in love with the book.  The movie stayed pretty true to it, which I appreciated, and the performances were outstanding.  Go have yourself a date night and see them!

Okay, on to the list:

Eight Wonderful, Stunning Things That You Do Not Know About Me

*disclaimer: some of you may know these, and not all of them are “wonderful” or “stunning.”

1.  I don’t believe in boredom.  My high school physics teacher was this wonderfully weird lady, and although I did terribly in her class, I took one thing she said away with me: “Boredom is the product of an inept imagination.”  And I agree with her.  One fun game I used to play in college (in my head) if I found myself uninterested in the topic being droned on about, I would make up stories or background about the person talking- try to imagine who they are on the weekend, what their favorite color is, what their house looks like, what makes them laugh or cry.  It was always interesting to me and then I felt like I “knew” them better and tended to pay more attention to what they were saying.

2.  I eat a lot of chocolate chips.  Well, I am sure I eat a lot more than you think I do.  Many of you who know me believe me to be a health nut.  While that is partially true- I do love clean, nutritious food- I also have an addition to Trader Joe’s Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips (which are vegan thankyouverymuch).

3.  I always have these five things with me:  Wallet, phone, water bottle, chapstick, lotion.

4.  I joined Facebook.  Here’s the truth: I joined Facebook because I am starting my Doula business and I realize that there are connections to be made and fostered using the site.  My intention was only to set up a business page, but it looks like you can only do that if you have a personal page, or at least that’s how I was “tricked” into it.  Lot’s of people think I am silly for being so freaked out by being on the site, but I can’t seem to shake it.  I enjoy about 10 minutes of seeing how people are doing, but then get totally freaked and have to shut it off.  Baby steps into social networking…(Feel free to “Like” my page if you haven’t already: Doula By Heart)

5. I don’t believe TV belongs in a bedroom.  That space is for two things: Sleep and…not sleep…and TV interrupts both.  I suppose it could enhance one of those things…

6.  I have jumped out of a plane.  (and crash landed AND didn’t break anything!)

7.  I don’t own a microwave!  Wow- it’s been over a year since we had one, and I actually really like living without it.

8.  I am taking prenatal vitaminsAnd that’s about all I am going to say about that!  =)

August 22, 2011. Tags: , , , . 52 lists, 52 weeks. 1 comment.

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