New Years Eve. Or the party that dissolved into anarchy.

I wrote a very nice blog post this morning and promptly deleted it when I went to add photos. *sigh* Happy New Year to me.

Last night I spent a wonderful evening at a friends house (I’ll call her N here). N, A and myself enjoyed a lovely dinner. Loud laughter, good conversation, wonderful food and excellent drinks. It was a perfect way to end 2015. On a high note and with plans to make 2016 better then 2015!wp-1451651410080.jpg

I want to make a note here that N is a vegetarian and is proof that vegetarians can eat interesting food that do not involve hip hugging pasta. ha. She also loves mushrooms which makes her A number 1 in my book. #ballsofFiber #myfavorite

We started the evening off with a warm brie dish that N and A discovered in Washington state last spring. It is incredibly complicated to make. 1 piece of brie (I like it with the rind) in a baking dish, pour honey and slivered almonds on top. Pop into a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes and serve whatever lovely bread you have handy.wp-1451652181699.jpg

For the main course we had an onion tart, roasted cauliflower with kalamata olives and N’s famous salad. First the onion tart is from a book called Vegetable Literacy and the cauliflower was from  Epicurious (I hope) Now N’s salad. This is my favorite thing that she makes.

N’s Tarragon Salad

In a salad bowl mix greens of your choice, a roma tomato, scallions and thinly sliced radish. Pour in tarragon vinegar to taste, olive oil and Celtic sea salt.wp-1451742164372.jpg

Now dessert. That was a truly special thing. N made a Banbury cake from a SHAKESPEAREAN recipe! The book is called Shakespeare’s Kitchen. I highly recommend the book. The recipes in the book look amazing. Anyway, the cake was a spice cake with a currant puree on top. Amazing.wp-1451651410069.jpg

Now onto the alcohol. I did not drink for around 2 years. Desperately trying to lose weight, liver problems. It just wasn’t worth it to have rum and diet coke at the bar. And then there was a this exhibit at the Everhart Museum in town and it was all about cocktails. And I was fascinated. And I discovered that really good booze is totally worth the points. Also, I am not 21 anymore. I have to cap at two or three drinks or I have a headache the next day. #old We started the evening with a Stormy Morning moved onto a Dark and Stormy and capped the evening with one of my new favorite drinks Aviation. I am converted to the lovely thing that is Creme De Violette. #Sogood And the Stormy Morning #candy

I was home in bed on NYE by 11:45 and reading. Which was a great way to ring in the New Year. Probably not the fastest way to meet a man but blah men are work. And after the last date I went on — well I may just give up. But that’s a story for a different day. As of publishing I’ve finished day one of Whole30 which I suppose isn’t something to be that proud of BUT cooking New Year’s day dinner for your family and not eating ice cream or cookies is something to rejoice.wp-1451651410078.jpg

So here I am looking to 30 and hopefully being a healthy version of me! Happy New Year! Let’s do this!

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Welcome 2016. I’ve been waiting for you.

I’ve wanted to get back into this blog for months but I just couldn’t seem to get my head together for it. And honestly I don’t know which direction we will go in in the coming year. First off, I’m 3 months into year 29 meaning 30 is flashing ahead like a giant stop light and is making me incredibly uncomfortable with the direction my life has gone. But isn’t that the way of things?

Last year around this time I talked about getting back to basics with Weight Watchers and talked a little about the weight I had gained and made some excuses for myself. Well I’ve got the same excuses this year:

  • Mother dying 15 months ago
  • Meeting Mr. E, falling in love, having my heart broken in           downtown Scranton
  • Buying a car, major car accident in said car the next day
  • Open heart surgery (which is why I stopped writing)
  • Trying to get my feet under me at work
  • Having the little brother and three of my best friends move away

All of these things led to eating and drinking (I rediscovered alcohol in the last 3 months. Good booze is the way to go!) All and all since the day my Mom died I have gained around 35 pounds. The final 15 being gained post open heart surgery. I’ve now been playing with the same 10 since Mr. E and I broke up.  I’m also back to wearing XL clothes, my beautiful Lands End jacket doesn’t fit and my face is getting round again. So my New Years resolution is to complete a January Whole 30. Meaning I won’t be eating dairy (gasp), grains, legumes and anything over processed. I tried to do this just before my surgery in June but it just wasn’t the right time. I feel more prepared now and ready. So fingers crossed it helps.

The last few months have been full of changes for me. Good things; strengthening friendships since my surgery, the humbling experience of needing help, a loving a caring family, falling in love with the cutest little baby CB. And not great things everyone I love moving away (not really but it felt like it), break-up and feeling like I should never have trusted that person like I did, a loss of faith in the church. I’m hoping that 2016 is full of some good news and good things. I hope to continue to come into my own professionally this year, strengthen my friendships a little more be open to all the changes life throws at me.

Thanks for listening. Also, I’ve been meaning to write down all the thoughts and feelings and things that happened during my open heart surgery and recovery and I will. I don’t want to forget all those feelings and days. Also, here are some pictures from the last few months.

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Flowers blooming in December

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I cut my hair!!

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baby CB

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The Church Christmas Eve

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#TheFra thinking she is a VS Angel

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The Brother came home!

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#TheFra likes to drink her booze.

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I saw Third Eye Blind!

Easter Eggs.

The Friday before Easter Mr. E and the Brother wanted to dye Easter eggs. I was thrilled (it’s kind of a chore and I’m just as happy if the eggs stay white). So I set up the process from them and planned to watch them go at it. This of course didn’t happen and I dyed eggs and the three of stood around talking. It was a nice Friday night. Here are some pictures:

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Link for the week of 4.19.2015

Good Morning! I had a very busy week with work (conference on Monday and a large celebration on Thursday) so another week came and went. But I did find some articles for you!

Have you heard of the new movie “Woman in Gold”? I went to see it last week and I LOVED it. I cried, laughed and was uplifted. Here is an article going into some detail about the Nazi’s stealing art and the rightful owners STILL trying to regain the lost pieces. Here.

For a little bit of fun reading (after the sad movie) I found some EXCELLENT 19th century pick up lines. I think dating would have been A LOT more fun then. Here.

When I was in college I wrote my senior thesis on the fall of the Ottoman Turk Empire. Here is an interesting story about that same time period and the genocide of the Armenian slaughter. Here. 

I’m a sucker for interesting abandoned places. Here are 38 interesting ones! Enjoy, here. 

Some images from my Samsung:
I did not take a single photo this week. Not a one!

What are you listening to? Instead of listening I’ve been re-watching the Gilmore Girls every moment I get. As an adult I find myself MUCH more annoyed with Rory then I did as a teenager. Funny how that growing up thing works, isn’t it?

Links for the week of 4.11.2015

Another crazy week at work. I often feel like I blink and my work week is over and there is always a little more work then week. But I am muddling through. Friday this week I went to Ikea with some friends. I can’t wait to show you the pictures from the trip and some before and afters. But for today here are some links I rounded up on the internet.

Links:

As much as I LOVE the Disney versions of fairy tales I know that they are not portrayed the way they were originally intended. Here is a story “The 10 Most Dark and Disturbing Fairy Tales”. Here.

I run a small Farmers’ Market and I love it. However it is constantly amazing how few people know about the importance of fresh vegetables. And what is even more disturbing in the obesity rate in the US (realizing that I am one of the obese I am writing about). A small section of LA is making TINY inroads to deal with this problem by having a farm stand on a corner is S. LA where drug dealers used to stand. It certainly isn’t completely fixing the problem but it is a step. Here.

Some photos from the Samsung:

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Mr. E and I being adorable.

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Have you ever had a goose egg? They are huge!

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I had a sick Phoenix last week but she is recovering.

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No big deal. Just The Brother running a 1/2 marathon!

What are you listening to? For me this week it has been a top country playlist on Spotify. There is something about driving with the windows down and singing Toby Keith that makes me unspeakably happy.

Happy birthday to #TheFra

#TheFra and Dziadzi on there wedding day.

#TheFra and Dziadzi on there wedding day.

#theFra turned 79 Sunday and I wanted to take a brief moment and write about just how awesome she is.

#TheFra raised three boys  (who turned into awesome men) and then helped raise The Brother and I.

She is hilarious and loves to laugh and see people laugh.

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She is often stoic in the face of whatever is thrown her way.

She is in tune with technology. “Katie I don’t have doldrums because I have my Netflix. TV is a thing of the past.”

She throws a damn good party. If it’s a giant Easter egg hunt or just a few people for dinner she makes everyone feel welcome.

She cooks really good stuffed cabbage.

She puts up with my bullshit. Something I am grateful for.

Birthday wine!

Birthday wine!

She has taught me SO many life lessons. I know how to throw a party, I know to ALWAYS bring a gift, how to hand wash things, how important washing lettuce is, that you should always make your own veggie tray and never buy one and a million other little things that I’ll use for entire life.

Happy Birthday Grandmother. I expect at least another 25 more years. I love you and I’m posting another video of you. I wonder how many “clicks” you’ll get this time.

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Links for the week of 4.5.2015

Remember my darling S who came to visit at Christmas? She was here for a very brief overnight this weekend and I miss her already. It is amazing to me the good talks that we can have when I really need them. Thanks S.. for being my soulmate!
I had a fairly normal week after Easter. I did well with my eating Monday and Tuesday and then it all went DOWN hill. *sigh*

Some articles I found this week:

This was a fascinating article about the plight of Afgan women. I highly recommend. “Violence Against Afghan Women Reveals Crisis in Status of Men” Here.

I spent the early part of my career working in the museum field (*sigh* I miss it) and one of the struggles was pulling in a younger crowd. Here is an article from the NY Times about how some museums are bringing teens back into the fold. Here.

“5 Reasons People Can’t Handle Marriage anymore” I found this article really interesting and when I posted it on Facebook I got some great responses. What do you think, married friends, is marriage doomed? Here.

Do you like tea? I never really did until I started drinking it in Ireland (many moons ago) and now that I’m an adult I am a snob. Milky and sweet please. It’s the only drink that I use real sugar in. Here is the story of sugar and tea from NPR. Enjoy it Here.

Photos from my Samsung:

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