Life Lately

Hello and welcome to this month’s installment of “Katie is a Horrible Blogger”.

Last we left off, I was fresh off a tough, yet fun, half marathon in San Francisco. After that race, I was sore for a good 3 days before I even attempted to exercise (with the exception of a couple of games of Ultimate Frisbee, which are nothing to sneeze at!). I’m not gonna lie, guys…I used the “but I just ran a half marathon!” excuse to avoid exercise for a while. We’re talkin’ maybe one short run and one gym trip per week for the 2 weeks that followed.

With the start of the new month (which SERIOUSLY came out of nowhere, amirite?) I’ve been trying to get myself back into the swing of things, with regular gym trips, apartment cleaning, and cooking lunches and dinner. I guess while I’m at it, I can probably fit blogging in there too, eh?

Enjoy this collection of photos from the month of October. If I realized one thing while putting together this post, it was that if I’m too busy to blog, it probably means I’m having a great time doing other fun stuff 😉

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Halloween Weekend in Photos (Part 2)

Happy November! You guys, October seriously flew by, amiright? I feel like just yesterday it was my birthday. Time flies…

After continuing our Halloween celebrating all the way to Friday this weekend, I am officially Halloween-ed out. However, this year’s celebration was definitely one to remember!

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Friday night was our HANNAween party. My roomie Hanna’s bday is the day after Halloween, so the name seemed appropriate. We both took a half day and spent the whole afternoon prepping- our place looked AWESOME! It all came from Hanna’s brain too. I guess with a birthday around Halloween you get pretty into it!

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In addition to the bloody bathroom, luminaries, and fog machine, we had Night of the Living Dead playing in the backyard on a projector screen (plus a fire pit and s’mores making station!). I was Piper Chapman (from Orange is the New Black) and Hanna made an adorable Lambchop!

I don’t have any pictures of Saturday, but it involved a 4 mile run, lots of clean up, and several MORE birthday parties in the evening. So many birthdays around this time of year!

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On Sunday morning, brunch was necessary. Jeff and I went to Limelight and were stoked to see that a bunch of our friends from the night before had the exact same idea. Brunch party! I got the Green Eggs and Ham, which was a scramble with spinach, eggs, ham, bell peppers, ALL OF THE CHEESE, and pesto. It was amazing! Oh, and my brother showed up too! (on the left)

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I capped off the weekend with a pre-dodgeball bike ride with Matt and Mikhail. We went along the American River bike trail all the way to Sac State.  This might be my favorite new bike route in Sacramento, it was seriously beautiful! It was a perfect partly sunny ~65 degree day and a good way to sweat off the craziness of the weekend.

I’m hoping to settle down this week and avoid getting sick (lack of sleep + changing weather = surefire conditions for me to get a cold!) because Carly and I are leaving for Chicago on Friday morning!!! Wahoo! So excited to spend time with Blends this weekend.

Have a great week!

Have you ever hosted a Halloween party?

Any suggestions for our trip to Chicago?

Halloween Weekend in Photos (Part 1)

Hope you all had a good Monday! As usual, it was pretty rough getting back into the routine today… This weekend was quite a fun one!

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I began Friday night with my favorite wine + cheese + crackers routine, and watched Netflix while I worked on last minute details for my costume (which totally ripped apart on Saturday night…apparently my vinyl sewing skills are off).

After making some progress, I grabbed a drink at Pour House, one of my favorite bars by my apartment…and was surprised to see that the back bar is now a Vape/E-Cig bar! Has anyone else seen places like this? We had fun trying to guess what all the flavors were supposed to taste like, but did not partake 🙂

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Saturday morning routine…check! I followed up a 5 mile run with a trip to the Farmer’s Market, where I picked up squash (!!! Last week I bought butternut and spaghetti, this week I branched out and bought a buttercup squash!), brussels sprouts, braising greens, fuji apples, and leeks. Lots of green stuff!

I also worked on my to-do list for the day. I actually did everything on my list….except for clean my room. Priorities!

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Now for the main event of the night/weekend…The dodgeball league hosts a Halloween Pub Crawl every year, and Danielle, Yvette & I chose a relevant pop culture costume- the girls from the Blurred Lines music video! A few too many people for comfort thought we were Miley Cyrus… Hmph! How do you think we did?

good girls

I think we nailed it 🙂

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There were lots of other fun costumes too! When I found out my friend Sara was going to be Rosie the Riveter, I knew I’d have to get a picture of her judging my choice of outfit 😉 We also had friends who were Mario characters, a Minion or two, and I was pleased/embarrassed/disgusted? to see that my friend Matt’s skirt was totally shorter than my booty shorts… 😉

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After a week of watching what I ate in anticipation of being half naked on Halloween, I was ecstatic to indulge in this carbalicious sandwich with my mom on Sunday after shopping our booties off. One of the better food trucks in town, Wicked ‘Wich, now has a brick and mortar “restaurant” in the food court at the mall…Their sandwiches were even better than I remembered! Mine was a chicken BLT of sorts and my mom got one of their more classic sammies with slaw and French fries inside of it. YUM!

Wicked 'Wich on Urbanspoon

I’m currently at home in a sweater, leggings and slippers (!!!) because it is FINALLY chilly outside! Gotta love California, where it’s 80 degrees until the end of October. I was pretty glad it stayed warm this weekend though, given my choice of outfit! Let’s hope it doesn’t dip too low in case we decide to reprise the outfits on Thursday night!

Have a great week!

Did you celebrate Halloween yet? What did you dress as?

Favorite costumes spotted so far?

Friday Faves

Hello and TGIF!

Hope you all have some fun plans for the weekend. For me, Halloween starts tomorrow…goes on through Thursday…until Friday, when we celebrate it one last night for my roomie’s birthday! Needless to say there’s a lot of fun in my future 🙂

I also happened upon some fun things this week. Gather round while I share the goods!

1. This gif. AKA me in a nutshell.

GETTING READY

To go out:

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For work:

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I never have makeup on before 10am at work. I actually may or may not have just not put on makeup at all today….#lazy

2. Group Halloween costumes

Some of my favorite costumes of the last 5 years have been the group/couples costumes I’ve done (Taylor Swift/Kanye… Betty Draper/Joan… Bike riding Mormons….) This weekend, I’m participating in a group costume that is sure to turn some heads:

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I’ve no doubt admitted my unabashed love for this song before. We’re toootally taking it to a whole new level.

3. The t-AB-ata workout from GPP Fitness

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This ab workout has been one of my most dreaded favorites for a long time now. The last time I did it, it left me sore for 2-3 days! So when I picked up my outfit for the aforementioned costume (which definitely shows off my midriff…and then some), I knew I’d have to whip my abs into shape! Since they posted it back in June, I’ve started incorporating V-ups into my normal workout routine…they kick my butt, but get my abs soo much stronger/more defined!

4. This article: How to Celebrate Halloween Without Being a Sexist 

Also relevant. I can see both sides of this issue and I like that the article goes into both sides and defends the so-called “sluts” of Halloween as well. For the first Halloween since college, I will be scantily clad tomorrow…I’m not looking for any unwanted attention or “asking for it”, my friends and I just happened to pick a current idea for a relevant pop culture Halloween costume and feel comfortable sportin’ it!

75% of the reason I exercise 4x per week is to feel good and feel good about myself, but I’d be lying if I said that other 25% didn’t involve wanting to look good! What’s the use of these gunz and abs if no one ever sees them? 😉

5. These 2 blog posts!

Alisha over at Alisha’s Appetite wrote an awesome post this week about not letting injury get you down – something I’m all too familiar with! And Becky at Olives n’ Wine has an awesome post up today as well, based on this simple quote: “If tomorrow, women woke up and decided they really liked their bodies, just think how many industries would go out of business. – Dr. Gail Dines”

Side note: I’m super excited to see these two girls (and Carly & Sara) in Chicago in just TWO WEEKS!! I’m so looking forward to a Blend girls weekend full of food, fun, football, and shenanigans 🙂

6. La Terra Fina dips

Several weeks ago, I was sent some new-to-me dips from La Terra Fina. Their dips have always been available at places like Costco, but they’re currently rolling out to other grocery stores. I am 100% all about dips and snacky meals (see here and here), so I was stoked to try them. According to La Terra Fina, their dips are “Made with all natural ingredients…gluten-free…contain no nuts or trans-fats and are fresh alternative to traditional dips.” ….so they’re practically healthy, right? 😉

Anyway, they sent me the Spinach Artichoke & Parmesan and (my personal favorite) the Artichoke & Jalapeno…you guys, my roomie and I TORE THROUGH every last tub of this stuff. It is so good. I have a recipe coming your way involving the dip, but rest assured it was also amazing scooped up with crackers/chips, veggies, a spoon…you name it.

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My favorite way to enjoy it was with some hot spaghetti squash and stir-fried veggies! It almost became like a pasta sauce.  MMMMMM. pasta. {I’m currently avoiding carbs after 6pm to avoid bloating/any stray belly fat tomorrow…Lord help me!!}

Hope you all have a fun and safe weekend!

What are you planning to dress up as for Halloween?

What’s your favorite kind of dip?

Alice Costume + Halloween Candy Bark + Jack Skellington

I have been busy these last few weeks, friends.

Apparently, my way of coping with the loss of my grandfather has been to keep my hands busy…Without even realizing it, I’ve been up to my ears in Halloween crafts. Making pumpkin puree and carving a pumpkin, roasting pumpkin seeds, making my Halloween costume…Not to mention all the candy I’ve been eating (and making)!

I was pretty proud of three of these projects (my Alice in Wonderland costume, some SUPER easy Halloween Candy Bark, and a Jack Skellington pumpkin) so I thought they would be perfect to share today…on Halloween!

First up: Alice in Wonderland costume!

I knew T-Man had a whacky purple coat that he had to buy from Goodwill (like, 6 months ago) that would be perfect for the Mad Hatter. I wanted to be Alice, but I didn’t want to wear any of the typical $50 pre-made costumes. I hate that moment when you realize there’s another girl wearing the same costume as you. So I decided it couldn’t be too hard to find a blue dress and white apron, and I set out on a costume hunt.

I found this dress at Marshall’s for a whopping $10. Score! I decided I would cut off the tank top-ish straps and keep it off the shoulder.

I soon realized that in order to keep the costume dainty and cute like I was hoping, I would have to make my own apron. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! I bought two white bandanas from Michael’s, some pins, needles, and thread, and got to work. I separated my attack into three parts: the top of the apron, the bottom, and the straps.

This being my first foray into sewing, I wasn’t really sure what to do. I cut out the shape I wanted with an extra inch or so along the border. Then, I folded over the edges and sewed them down. No fancy stitching! I ended up removing the stitching from the bust area eventually because you could see the folded parts and it looked really boxy and unnatural.

Next was the bottom. I again cut out the shape I wanted…but this time, I used a different strategy: I sewed 3 of the 4 edges down, then turned the skirt inside out. This way, you can’t see the stitching. Note: I never sewed the bottom edge. Totes forgot. 😛

I pinned them together at the length I wanted, then sewed just a single rectangle over the middle (ensuring it kept both pieces attached to one another), making sure to keep the ends open, and got to work on the straps.

I figured out that halter straps that tied around the neck wouldn’t work. So I had to find a way to make the straps reach all the way down my back to the tie around my waist. I had no idea how to do that, so I worked instead on making the tie that would go around my waist. 😛

I used the same strategy of sewing down 3 out of 4 sides, then turning them inside out. This was a little more difficult than with the skirt… But I sewed them together, and voila!

Next, I made more strap-sized pieces to attach to my already existing straps. But in order to attach them to the waist tie, I needed to create some sort of loop at the end.

And that’s how I got everything to fit together.

In search of the final accessories I needed for my costume, I went to THE costume shop in Sacramento: Evangeline’s Costume Mansion. Located in Old Sacramento, Evangelines the gift shop is open year round. The costume mansion upstairs, however, is only open to the public during the month of October. I love making yearly trips to the costume mansion. I rarely buy anything because it’s pretty expensive, but it’s always great for ideas and knick knacks! This year, I ended up getting a few accessories there.

Old Sacramento.

Here are a few crazy panoramas I took on my iPhone 5 when I was there. (click to enlarge!)

Each room in Evangeline’s has a different theme. This is the area with all the storybook characters.

The wall of wigs! (There’s also a wall of masks)

And some circus themed costumes.

There is a super hero room, a hippy area, a room with doctors/nurses next to black leather, whips and chains…Pretty much everything you can imagine! I got a necklace with a brass key on it, some sparkly fake eyelashes, and white gloves for T-Man.

The result:

Not too shabby eh?

Here’s another photo of the two of us together:

I found the lacy handkerchief and hat at Goodwill, and made the 10/6 piece on the back of a piece of the cardboard that came with my fishnets 😉

Halloween Candy Bark

This one is actually pretty easy, and it’s sure to impress any guests or party goers. On Friday afternoon, I found out I’d be attending my old internship office’s staff party that evening…So I scrambled to figure out what to bring, and literally made this in my office’s microwave. It’s that easy.

Ingredients needed:

Semisweet chocolate chips and/or orange candy melts
Leftover Halloween candy of your choice, chopped

(Seriously. That’s all.)

How to do it:

Melt the chocolate chips over a double boiler, or in 30 second intervals in the microwave, stirring between each one. Spread onto parchment paper (or, ahem, a plastic bag, or aluminum foil) and add chopped candy on top. Press in larger pieces to make sure they’ll stay put. Put in fridge to harden for about 10-15 minutes. Using the same method, melt the candy melts, then drizzle over the bark with a fork or spoon. Put it back in the fridge for at least another 10 minutes, or until completely solid. Then, break into pieces and enjoy!

My chocolate bark had Reese’s and Snickers on it!

To make orange bark (which tastes more like white chocolate), just use the candy melts! (FYI…M&Ms: not easy to chop into smaller pieces…lesson learned.)

Jack Skellington Jack-o-Lantern

Last year, I plopped myself down on T-Man’s floor, turned on Nightmare Before Christmas (a family fave), and intended to make both Oogey Boogey Man AND Jack Skellington pumpkins. As it turned out, that was actually a pretty tall order…I only finished Oogey Boogey. But didn’t he look good?

This year, I set out to finally carve the Bonedaddy. (Fun fact: Bonedaddy is also my dad’s nickname! He’s really skinny.)

When I carve pumpkins, I usually start by drawing a stencil. I pin the stencil to the pumpkin and use another pin to poke holes along my guide lines…then, I follow those holes when I actually carve into the pumpkin.

Like how I used a pile of political mailers instead of newspapers? Oh, Election season…

I knew the hardest part would be the mouth, so I began with that. I started by just carving a line for the mouth and all its stitches, and used a small knife to slowly make the line thicker. I didn’t want it to be too thick, but I wanted to make sure that if I put a candle inside, you could actually see the outline. This was a pretty time-consuming process.

The easiest part was the eyes, though it’s pretty difficult to make smooth curves with a carving knife. I wasn’t actually using a carving knife, but a paring knife I found at T-Man’s, haha.

The little nostrils were also pretty hard just because of their size. But I think it turned out pretty well:

I brought it over to my parents’ house during the Giants game (!!!) and left it there for Bonedaddy my dad to display proudly.

Tell me all about your costumes, goodies, and pumpkin carving!

And HAPPY HALLOWEEN!