Sunday, January 12, 2014

N is for New Years Failuations

The promises we make to ourselves once a year aren't resolutions, they should be called failuations because nobody ever keeps them! Life gets in the way, and let's face it, old habits die hard. The gym is always SO CROWDED in January, then the resolutioners make the transition to the dark side and I can suddenly find a parking spot with ease for my morning Pilates class. 

I cannot remember one single New Years Eve where I was like, that was a full 365 days of commitment, goal reached! I have usually forgotten what I resolved to do. So why even make them? People love new starts, clean slates. Even if we make it a week of trying something new, I'd say that's a good start to the year.

Which brings me to the worst failuation probably in history. The husband wanted to try this new eating plan....called the paleo diet. He just wanted to try it for a month, I thought "ok dear, good luck! I'll be over here cheering you on." If you're not familiar with paleo, it's fondly referred to as the caveman diet. Meat, veggies, fruits, beans. Sounds simple. Sorry, no dairy, no grain, no sugar, nothing processed. For some odd reason, after reading about it, my watch-from-afar, be-a-supportive-wife stance, had changed into motivation to try it. SAY WHAT!? This is the same manner in which I got sucked into half marathoning. Dang you aspirational husband. 

I didn't last one day. NOT ONE! Talk about failuation. Lets just say somebody didn't think ahead and grocery shop appropriately for their own idea. And I love cheese. It has been decided I can eat healthy and cheesy at the same time. In honor of my epic fail, here's a new natural salad dressing recipe that I'm borderline obsessed with, along with special Kelsey touches I added :)

Lemon tahini dressing via eating well.com 

I double everything but here's the original measurements if you just want to test it out.


  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice (roughly half a lemon's juice. Lemon has great cleansing properties!)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons tahini (I didn't know what it was either until I made hummus. But it's just ground sesame seeds)
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced (I add a lot more. Because, hello it's garlic)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (Himalayan pink salt because this)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (gives a little kick, and a metabolic boost!)
I put it on spinach with some sunflower seeds. And dip veggies in it. And maybe pizza crust.... I'm trying ok?!

Until next time...

Cheers,
KB

Friday, December 6, 2013

J is for Jamaica Mon

Today I realized the 31° weather has set in, so I pulled out our honeymoon photo book to daydream about a more tropical time in our lives. Then I realized I never shared any of our adventures with you! Last October we made our way to the Iberostar Grand Rose Hall of Montego Bay, Jamaica. It was one of the best trips I've ever been on. Five star food, personable staff who went above and beyond, private beaches, colorful drinks, and we even met some amazing friends with whom we still keep in touch with, from around the world. I will just let you bask in the light of your computer screen while start scheming a return trip with us! October 2014 anyone?

My excitement was overwhelming to the husband apparently
 
 The first view of our destination
 The staff greeted us with mimosas, introduced us to our personal butler for the week, and showed us up to our room, which included this view. Obsessed.
I obviously had trouble getting comfortable
 Our beach view. The building is one out of five restaurants at the Grand 
 Amazing.
 Andrew enjoying the swim up bar
 Japanese steakhouse on our first night
 Each night they did a different stage show, which were SO fun to watch
 Having a terrible time under a hut
 Room service? Yes please.
 Fake smile at the Italian restaurant because I got sunburnt while snorkeling :(
 Lobby
 Resort hopping to the Iberostar Suites next door
 Pirate party on the beach
 Arghhhhh cheers
 
 Who eats out of a coconut shell? I do and I loves it
 After an afternoon of beach volleyball
 He taught all our friends AND some of the staff how to saber champagne bottles. It's kinda our thing.
 If you can guess how many bottles we sabered I'll give you $1.
 Wondering how I can convince the staff to let me live here
 That's where the kayak love affair began!
 Surf & Turf restaurant. Andrew cried because his lobster was still in the shell and its eyeballs looked sad. Actually, that was me. Andrew bracing himself on the table because he literally can't believe I just did that.
 Friends!!
Until next time mon....
 
xoxo,
KB
 
 


G is for Glass

As the chill sets in up here in Washington, I reflect back on the fall season of 2013.  AB was absent for my favorite time of year, but I am willing to trade that for the holiday season, which is his favorite. Prayers for a quick and safe final leg of deployment #5 are appreciated :)

Because of the few days I have spent with my husband from July until now, I knew I would have to try extra hard to distract myself in order to avoid the "pissed off military wife" status. It started with my hair cut as you all saw in the last post...

Then I returned to the same newly discovered salon, and gifted myself with my first spa facial! It was ok....relaxing at the time, but there weren't any long term skin benefits that I noticed. Perhaps if I got them on a more regular basis, but sheesh, that's an expensive habit to get into.

My final distraction was glass blowing! A local studio offered some fairly inexpensive beginning classes, which I took with a close friend who visited us a few months ago. Since I liked it so much, I planned ahead and gave myself something to look forward to when AB was gone. It is such a fascinating process, that I have nowhere NEAR complete knowledge of, but I am definitely off to a good start. Here's how it went....

Our trays of frit, which is what gives glass color.
 
 Meg and I in the hot shop
 Warming up molten glass in a glory hole, a furnace that's somewhere over 2000º F.
Notice my ponytail is UP now. I was quite nervous about all the fire hot things around me
Meg adding color by rolling through the frit she picked out
 One way to shape soft glass, in a metal mold
 Sitting with the blocks, rolling my ball of soft glass so its smooth and round
Newbies use a hose to put an air bubble into the glass, if we knew what we were doing, we would blow an air bubble straight into the blowpipe. Yea that's what its called.
Meg shaping the edges of her bowl while the professional keeps the glass moving
video
What a professional looks like when working with glass :) A good representation of how the glass always has to be moving, which is very hard to remember at first!
 
A lot less pictures of my second class because I was by myself. This one was a lot more hands on, "ok, here ya go" type class, kind of scary! Those metal poles are HEAVY, standing too close to the furnace gives you heat rash, you have to remember to keep your hands back, yet still maintain control AND continue rolling the glass so it doesn't slump.
 
 Did you know glass is indefinitely recyclable? No matter how many times it is recycled, it never loses quality. All the more reason to HAVE A RECYCLING BIN. C'mon people its easy
 "Lift this molten glass out of the furnace, don't stop turning it! Over your head, don't stop turning! then roll it on a metal table (called a marver), keep turning!" Its like the worst version of the "rub your belly/pat your head" motor skills challenge.
LUCKILY, I was told I have "good hands" and had an instinctual feel for how the glass was, and should be moving. Which doesn't mean it was any easier.... my tongue was probably sticking out the whole time because I was concentrating so hard
When all the rolling, shaping, heating, reheating, blowing, shaping, etc etc is complete, the pieces go into an annealing kiln. Interesting concept....the kiln is around 900ºF, which is the same temperature as the finished piece. If the kiln is too hot, all your hard work would lose its shape, and if the kiln is too cool, the glass will crack. It takes almost 48 hours to gradually bring the temperature down. As it cools, the colors also change (my blue, green and white vase was brown and turquoise when I was done with it, eek)
 
Finished product.
 
A fall decoration that comes with so many memories!
 
 
Until next time....
 
xoxo,
KB



Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Summertime Favorites

According to the view outside my window, summer is officially gone. We were lucky to have beautiful weather for a whopping 4 months instead of 3 this year in the Pacific Northwest! Now its rain time, which doesn't exactly bother me. I don't mind sweaters and rain boots, not one bit.
 
 
 So before all the leaves turn, I'll pass on my favorite things from the past few months.
  • Apparently I am a minimalist runner. I have been wearing these shoes for a while now, but they have officially changed my views on running. After grad school and my first year without cheerleading, it was painfully obvious my body needed some cardio. But my shin splints were so bad I could only run paths where grass was available to soften the blow to my knees. Treadmills were out of the question. So I bought these Brooks shoes, and after slowly building mileage, I am running and training towards my first half marathon next year!
 
  • It's called Noosa Yoghurt. "Aussie style" yogurt that is now a staple in our refrigerator. I tried it on a whim and now I don't have to waste my money on Yoplait Light that tastes like fake sugar. Not a diet food, but definitely satisfies my post-meal dessert cravings.
 

 
  • Orange is the New Black. In a household without cable, Netflix saves my life. This series is only on Netflix and it is sooooo good! With AB gone its important I have things to look forward to, and one episode/day of an entertaining show. Too bad the second season doesn't start until 2014, nooooo!

  • Once I started consistently running, eating more vegetables than pieces of chocolate, and really paying attention to my life choices, AB got me a little device called a FitBit! It tracks my steps and sleep patterns, and with the help of the iPhone app, I can monitor water intake, calories and activity level. Even on days where I don't have time to enter each bottle of water consumed, its a conscious reminder to get movin!

 
  • Finally, at the end of the summer I decided to make a change and commit to something I have wanted to do but maybe didn't have the courage to do in the past. I cut off 11 inches of my hair and donated it to Locks of Love. I've always been the girl with the long, thick hair, so letting that go was more challenging than I thought. I did it as a surprise to the husband, for him to see when he came home after a couple months of training, and that made it an exciting and happy experience.
 
 Until next time....

Cheers,

KB

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Things you learn about people

friend  \'frend\ noun

1: one attached to another by affection or esteem
2: one that is not hostile
3: one that favors or promotes something (as a charity)
4: a favored companion
5 capitalized : a member of a Christian sect that stresses Inner Light, rejects sacraments and an ordained ministry, and opposes war —called also Quaker
 
The dictionary makes it sound so simple (with the exception of that Quaker thing). Friends like each other. Yet, this word has become far more complex to me in recent years than I could have ever predicted.
 
I have probably hinted before that moving to Seattle was a difficult transition for me, not because of the location, but because of the people. They are a different breed up here. I won't waste too much time explaining, however there is a stark contrast between the welcoming, wave-at-passersby Midwest, and the "Seattle Freeze" of the Northwest. (That's really a term, Google it!) Perhaps I had taken it for granted back home, but kindness from strangers, now, sadly, takes me by surprise. Don't get me wrong, this is a beautiful part of the country I am lucky to reside in, but there are trade-offs.
 
Throughout my life I have had many friends, twice as many acquaintances, with only a few being specially close to me. That is how I like it, but even then, sometimes ya get burned. Close high school friends fell out of the loop when I went to a college that wasn't KU or KSU *GASP! SHOCK! OH NO SHE DIDN'T* College and grad school friends seemed too inconvenienced to chat when I moved to work 1.5 hours away. And you can guess what moving to the opposite end of the country would do. But this blog is not about the people who dropped out of my life because of petty mileage. It is for the ones who love me enough to pick up the phone every once in a while.
 
Thank you. To those of you who opened your schedules and your home to me while I visited this weekend, thank you! The ones who send a text, or call just to say hello, thank you! My amazing husband surrounded himself with some equally amazing people throughout his life, most of whom have adopted me into their circle, thank you! Anybody who is as energetic and passionate about my goals, marriage and daily-going-ons as I am, thank you! And for the few of you here in Washington that I trust and adore, thank you for reminding me that kind people still exist in the PacNW.
 
I have made it a daily goal to try to encourage the hearts and minds of people I deem true friends, and it is refreshing and inspiring to have that reciprocated. RainyCat and I spend a lot of time bein' independent ladies, but it is nice to have others to lean on, even if they aren't right down the street.
 
So here's my message for those of you who do have many friends who are close in proximity to you: It is A GIFT to have good friends that live in the same town! Cherish your favored companions.
 
Some day we will settle down in the countryside of Stillwater, Oklahoma with all of our comrades as our next door neighbors, but until then, thank you to you guys who make me feel like I am right there with ya, in your hearts, when I can't be by your side.
 
Cheers,
 
KB 
 
 


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Wooooo!

PARDON ME while I dust off this computer! I know I am not the most consistent blogger, like, at all, but GIMINY CHRISTMAS, time just got away from us there.

Since we last spoke, a wedding reception has taken place, we navigated our first holiday season together, lots of new memories made, friendships lost, better friends acquired, Air Force awards won, dogs trained and many new Rainy tricks of course.

So let me take this opportunity to illustrate the past 7 months of our very happy lives for you!

 
 

And a fun time was had by all :) What a great few days we had with our close friends and family. I would elaborate, but I have a whole post dedicated to the reception and some tips for anybody and their future wedding endeavors...keep an eye out!

 
 
 
There is our fall season! Full of love and crisp air and SUPER CAT and letting the stores of Vitamin D from Jamaica drain from our body. No pictures from Thanksgiving....we had TV dinners....not joking.

 

And it the class of Thanksgiving wasn't enough, there you have, exhibit B, our Christmas tree. A branch from one of our neighbors real trees that I found in our parking garage! It did the job, held ornaments and even smelled nice. Painting pumpkins that we still had from fall was one of my favorite projects.


The groom's gift I got for Andrew was an inflatable kayak. It has proven to be an investment in FUN and now that the weather is warming up (weather pictured above was NOT warm), it is definitely getting some mileage. We see seals each time we take it out, and even the occasional Minke whale!There are lots of "marine trails" in Puget Sound for man-powered vessels, as well as special campsites for us non-motor folks.

 

Had a splendid time with my lil sister and her boyfrand when they came to visit! They had both explored downtown Seattle in previous visits so we concentrated on the Tacoma side of things. Showed her airplanes on base, took them kayaking, went on hikes, saw Elf on Broadway, rang in the New Year, cooked a lot of food, what more could you ask for?

 

Tulip festival in Mt. Vernon, WA.


Dock dogs competition at the spring fair in Puyallup, WA.

What a great few months it has been, I look forward to keeping you all up to date on a more regular basis! This blog has been through a lot of exciting times with me, I went from a girlfriend moving across the country for a guy, to a fiance, now a wife. Tomorrow we celebrate ONE YEAR of marriage. I cannot believe it. I kind of don't believe it....he was gone so much in the beginning I still feel like I am trying to catch up on the newlywed time. Good thing we have the rest of our lives! Until next time...

Cheers,

KB