Monday, March 29, 2010

Weekend Recap

Monday is here again....way too soon if you ask me.
Hope you all had a wonderful weekend.

I spent most of Saturday in the Birds Nest working on a couple book orders. I finished one and am gearing up to finish the other two next weekend. I had planned on going there yesterday too, but my allergies got the best of me and I now have a sinus infection or just a really bad cold so I was down for the count yesterday with Vick's and tissues shoved up my nose (which I would like to do right now, but not at my desk!). I may be going home early today, honestly I feel like crap.

Yesterday, I spent a lot of time reading the manual for my new camera and a DSLR Photography magazine which is filled with great tips. This is my first step up from a point and shoot camera and I am super excited, but have been taking most of my practice shots on automatic until I feel confident enough to move on from that. I had been looking at a new camera for a couple years and decided to take the leap since I have some travel coming up in June and would like to take it with me (more on that in another post). So, my test photos have mainly been of Tim and BayLee (poor guys!). Here are a few I took yesterday while laying on the floor waiting for BayLee to yawn (he had just woke up). Still need to work on the focus and what setting works best for the distance I am at, etc. I shot these on auto no flash but wish they were more clear. I think I need to change the shutter speed when shooting BayLee since he moves around so much. I don't know the technical terms, but watch out, I love taking photos so I will be an ace at this camera in a matter of months. Can I just say, it is strange to put a camera up to my face again after using the Canon Powershot Digital Elph for so long (which I will still use, its in my bag right now - as a matter of fact, I still use my 35mm camera I got in 8th grade!).
Almost time for another Photo A Day project as well...

Manic Monday

If I had the closet of my dreams, this is what I would be wearing today...Ethnic Elegance

Thursday, March 25, 2010

My First Car (Truck)

You never forget your first right?
Your first car or in my case, truck! Mine was a RED 1985 GMC Sierra 1500 (V8), bench seat, no power anything and a radio that worked only part of the time.
I have dreams that I go back to my parents house and open the garage and my truck is in the garage waiting for me (insert huge gasp here!). I spend the rest of the dream stressing out about what car to drive to work and around town between my truck and my current Jeep. Obviously, if you didn't know before this post, you now know I loved this truck. I have a framed photo of it at my house! Unfortunately, it did not move out to California with me, but I talk about it like an old friend of mine. I loved this truck so much that I cried when I sold it before leaving Michigan. I remember coming home from work the day I sold it and I looked at my mom and the second the words, "I sold it..." escaped my body, my lip quivered and I started sobbing huge crocodile tears. I think all the time about getting a new red truck, but living in the city doesn't really support that as parking would be even more difficult than it already is. Once in a while my "war pony" as she was refereed to, pays me a visit and I see her on the road. I saw this one the other day on the Bay Bridge, all shiny and restored, I am glad the owner has styled her out and keeping her in good shape. I got so excited when I saw it I wanted to give the driver a thumbs up but decided it was better not too.Ironic? I just went for a walk before finishing this post and on my walk I saw a nice white GMC Sierra brand spanking new and shiny. I don't see them as often as Ford, Chevy and Toyota so they stand out to me when they appear.

What was your first car?

PS - That is "Truck Girl" in the photo above (a name my Mom and Dad would occasionally call me after pulling into the driveway after work). The truck was so big, it would be just my head showing as I pulled in. I might have a different car now and my last name may have changed, but I am still "Truck Girl" - Grateful Dead listening, red truck loving, granola munching Truck Girl. Oh...and yes Mom, I still have this shirt sort of in one piece!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


All set to leave on time this morning and move my car before the street cleaners come and I get ticketed. I emerge from my safe warm house out into the street to face the world, turn around to lock the door behind me to find that someone has tagged our front door. Really? Is there not enough paper in the world to write on that they have to use my front door? In the past it has been my door and the garage door, this time just the door. As I assess the situation, I see the meter maid coming down the street and my car is the only one still parked like a sitting duck so I race to my car, jump in and park in the drive way while I try to clean the door. I grab my tagging arsenal (yes, I have one, I live it the big city); Mr Clean Magic Sponge and Method All Purpose Cleaner (pink grapefruit scent of course) and head back outside to the seen of the crime. First I spray with the spray cleaner and then I use the damp magic sponge and to my surprise it works like a charm. This wasn't spray paint, I could tell by looking and I have to say I have a vast knowledge of art supplies so I knew it would be easier to remove than spray paint but still took some mighty strong elbow grease. My fingernails and tips are worn down and pasty - not sure what the magic sponge is made of, not sure I want to know, but it works! I try to steer clear of chemicals in my home, but have some Lysol wipes as a last resort if I need them, but didn't need to break them out this time around.
I clean up, get in my car and drive down the street and consider myself lucky when I notice two of the neighbors houses have gotten it a lot worse and will need to repaint.
Where do these people come from that think it is alright to tag all over other people's property? Makes me want to stick giant post-it notes all over the neighborhood because apparently there is a paper shortage.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Manic Monday

If I had the closet of my dreams, this is what I would be wearing today...Spring Fling

Friday, March 19, 2010

Are you ready?

To get Carried away?

Vogue April 2010

I love these photos of Gisele Bundchen by Patrick Demarchelier for Vogue magazine.
These photos make me want to go on vacation, get some sun, ride a horse and swim all at the same time. Both the movement and the reflection in the water in both photos is just beautiful. Summer cannot get here soon enough.


Tomorrow is officially the first day of Spring!

We are all enjoying the extra hours of sunlight at our house. My kitchen faces west so I get the late afternoon sun creeping in between the buildings leaving us heavenly slices of light on our floors and furniture and I love every drop of it. Last night I prepared dinner without even turning the kitchen light on (so nice).

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Alice In Wonderland

Tim and I went to see Alice in Wonderland in 3D last night.
The costumes were fabulous! The movie comment. I love the original Disney version.
Back to the costumes...
The Mad Hatter - every little detail was taken into account, check out the spools of thread across his chest. There is a part in the movie where he rattles off almost every style of hat under the sun, which I loved since I adore hats! Alice's red and black dress was lovely, my favorite of the entire movie, if I knew how to make clothes I would be tempted to make myself one and wear it who knows where...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day

*{Fabulous Find}*

While looking through a southwestern decor magazine, I found the artist Camille Engel and I super love her work! Her oil paintings look like photos, the realism and detail is incredible. Check out her site when you have a moment and look at her work - on her site you can click the image to see it larger, get ready to be impressed. These are some birds I don't mind looking at close up. I just don't like the real thing.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


As a kid I always wanted a nickname. I played around with my name as well, I was Katie until 6th grade and then tried to go by my full name, Katherine, but it didn't stick at all. Now, as an adult I am finding that I have more nicknames than I know what to do with but I love them all!
Here they are with the origin next to them:
  • Kater (Dad)
  • Kaydra (Dad)
  • Kate (Mom - I can hear her saying "Hi Kate!" right now)
  • Scuttlebutt (my Dad called me this when I was kid)
  • M Kat (Angela)
  • Malteser (Angela)
  • Katia (Wendy)
  • Magpie (Wendy)
  • Kathy (Emily, calls me this because she knows I hate it, I call her Emma and she hates it!)
  • Sally (Jaime)

Do you have any nicknames?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Manic Monday

If I had the closet of my dreams, this is what I would be wearing today...
St Patricks 2010

Friday, March 12, 2010

Spring Forward

Don't forget to set your clocks forward one hour before you go to bed on Saturday night or you may be late for something on Sunday! Might I add, I am super excited to have more sunlight after the work day is over.
This cute clock can be found here.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Ladies of the Club

We had our monthly meeting at the Maltese Club this past Tuesday evening. I don't know if I had mentioned it prior to this, but I am now the secretary for the Women's Committee. So I take the notes (which there is not many of), read the past meetings notes at the current meeting and read correspondence (sometimes we get letters, etc.). So far it has been pretty good. You know, sometimes I lean towards the side of social anxiety, not sure why because once I am there, I am fine, but anyway...after thinking about the meeting all day and somewhat stressing out (for no reason whatsoever), I arrived and took my normal seat at the front.

We started with a dinner, it was chili night so there were 4 crock pots plugged in all filled with different chili recipes and huge baskets of bread. It was delicious, the ladies that cooked that day did a wonderful job. After dinner we all just sit around and talk until the meeting starts. This past week I sat next to a woman I had never sat by before although I had seen her at past meetings and had spoken to her (I couldn't remember her name though and still cant). She told me the most amazing story about when she first moved to the United States (in Maltese and English a 40/60 mix)....
She was 21 and had been married in Malta before moving the US with her husband and 2 small children, she was 8 months pregnant with her third child when they got off the boat in New York. Her husband had family in New York City so they decided they would live there. They had their own place and her husband had a job where he worked at night. She was scared most of the time when she first arrived because she did not speak English and NYC is another world completely compared to the small island of Malta. The Maltese people she knew were her husbands family and friends so she had some connections made, but not a lot. One night before her husband had gone to work she started getting labor pains and knew the baby was coming (having already had 2, she was not too concerned and did not tell her husband as she didn't want him to worry and needed him to work so they could have money). Later that evening after feeding and bathing her 2 young children she tucked them soundly into a bed they shared in the bedroom next to hers. She had then and decided she was too scared to go to the hospital in this new very large and scary city and she was going to have the baby alone and she started to pray to Mary to help her. She prepared her bed with newspapers, old blankets and towels and placed a large picture of Mary at the end of the bed and just looked deep into her eyes and kept praying for Mary to help her and the baby through what would be a long night ahead. After much pain (which she never cried out during as she did not want to scare the neighbors or wake the sleeping children in the room next door) she felt it was time for the baby to come out. With one big push, Mary appeared and pulled the baby from her and it was over. Her husband came home early in the morning to find his young wife sleeping with a newborn baby girl in their bed. He woke her and she told him the incredible story and he called his relatives who knew a Dr. to come and check on her. Amazingly, her and the baby were both fine..."the only thing was....The Dr. said I was crazy!" is how she ended the story with a laugh.
Incredible. During the entire story, this woman had her hand on my thigh and squeezed it when the story would get more intense. I feel blessed that this woman who doesn't even know me that well, shared this personal story with me. She told it like it was no big deal too - just blew me away.
I have heard many stories of strength and endurance from these women who moved to the US very young or who were in Malta during the bombings in WWII. I feel like these stories need to be shared with other women as I think we can all find them inspiring in some way.

PS - Robin, we all had a laugh at my large cross from Ash Wednesday photo - turns out I wasn't the only one who got marked so boldly.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

It's Official

We emailed our letter today to our placement agency letting them know we want off Mr Toads Wild Ride. Sad, but not, we are done being sad and mad about this and this is the last step in recovering from this entire thing. We can only go up from here as this is now over.

..."We do not plan on continuing down the Vietnam Adoption path so you can remove us from the list and please send us any information that we may be privy to from our file.
We are going to take a couple years off since this has taken a lot out of us emotionally and may possibly revisit adoption in the future."

..."We were excited at the prospect of the “new country” which was never announced which was a disappointment. It made it very hard for us to keep our paperwork updated with USCIS (171-h) as they would not grant us an extension with Vietnam listed. Not knowing what the “new country” was really got us stuck with nothing to put on our paperwork in order to keep it current as to which country we were adopting from. If I may be honest, I feel that the “new county” option should have never been put out there raising families hopes and then no communication further about it was very disheartening. Sort of chasing a dangling carrot if I may say so myself."

..."I know that none of this is your fault, there are many people that have to work together to make an adoption happen. You have always made time for my questions, phone calls, etc. and I appreciate that. You do very well at your job and this entire situation must be very hard. We are thinking positive about the future and wish you and your agency luck with future adoptions and who knows, you may hear from us in the future."

I guess I was sort of waiting until I absolutely had to send it, it was due yesterday and I sent it today if that says anything - I was holding on, but it felt good to release for sure, even better than holding on. We are both fine, looking forward to the future. Planning a couple trips and hope to travel more and just have fun!

Monday, March 08, 2010

Katie's Quick Dinner Rolls

Ever crave fresh baked bread? Yeasty, warm and fluffy, but don't have the time to bake some loaves to go with dinner? Try these rolls, they are terrific and are less of a time commitment than making bread - although I have to say, I super love baking bread and used to do it every weekend, I love waiting for it to rise and the smell of it baking, however since trying to limit my wheat intake the baking has slowed down at our house.

Katie's Quick Dinner Rolls
You will need a standard muffin tin for this recipe.
1 C. Warm Water (110-115 degrees)
1 pkg. Active Dry Yeast
2 Tbls Sugar
2 1/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 tsp Salt
1 Egg
2 Tbls Olive Oil

In a medium/large bowl (you will use the same bowl the entire time), dissolve yeast in water.
Stir Sugar, 1/2 of the Flour and Salt into the yeast mixture. Beat with a spoon until smooth. Add Egg and Olive Oil, mix together. Beat in the rest of the Flour until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, cover bowl with a dishtowel and put in a warm place. Let rise until doubled in size (about 30 minutes).

Grease 12 cup muffin tin. Stir down the raised dough and spoon into muffin cups until each is 1/2 full. Rise again in a warm place until dough rises to the top of the cups 20-30 minutes).

Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
Makes 12 rolls.
Try not to eat them all yourself! They taste like mini loafs of homemade bread.

Vegetable Soup

There is something so zen like to me about making any kind of soup. I really like cutting all the veggies and super love the smell of soup cooking on the stove.

My latest had the following in it:
  • Olive Oil (to saute in the beginning)
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 2 Leeks
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic
  • 2 Large Carrots
  • 4 Ribs of Celery
  • 3 Yellow Potatoes
  • 1 Crown of Broccoli
  • 1 Bunch of Asparagus
  • Veggie - better then broth stock
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Sauteed the first 4 veggies and then added stock, simmered for about an hour, turned on very low and let it go for another hour. An hour before dinner, I turned it back up to a simmer and then added the potatoes and then 30 minutes later I added the broccoli and asparagus and cooked until soft (about 20 more minutes).

Serve with bread, biscuits or your favorite rolls (recipe in next post)

Sunday in the Park

Robin and Kenny came over yesterday and we had a great day around the city.
The day began with me baking a Blueberry Buckle and brewing some coffee so we would have something yummy in our bellies before starting our day. After clearing our plates of all the sweet crumbs left behind from the buckle and finishing our last drops off coffee, we headed out.

Our first stop was The Birds Nest (aka my studio). I had some things to drop off and was going to wait until sometime during the week, but Robin wanted to check it out and that is all I needed to hear, so we drove over. We headed up while Tim and Kenny waited in the car.

Our second stop was Golden Gate Park for a little tramp through the park to see what we could see. We parked by Spreckles Lake and walked around it, looking at the birds, ducks and turtles.
It was super sunny and nice outside, a welcome change from the hovering clouds and on and off rain we have been experiencing. After one round around the lake (its pretty small) we headed over the check out the buffalo pen and they were all out grazing and enjoying the sunshine.

We kept walking to North Lake and I swear, in each tree around the lake there was a cute little squirrel. They all were posing for photos as well, like they knew we wanted to get them on film. We watched them jump from tree to tree as if they were primates. When we were finished walking around North Lake we went back to the car and decided we would go out to eat in the Inner Sunset somewhere on Irving Street. We ate at Darla's Restaurant and it was deeelish. After lunch we walked around some cute little shops, one of them sold vintage candy and Kenny bought some Zots (remember Zots?), they were soo good, a blast from the past for sure. Cherry, Orange, Grape - so good all of them, I tore up the roof of my mouth eating them! Then we went on a book hunt since Robin and I had spotted 2 used book stores while we were looking for parking. I showed Robin and Kenny what I looked for in a book (in order to turn it into a journal) and they were on the job, I walked out with 4 really cool old books, one of them is French and has some great illustrations (the book is about the United States). Since we took so long in the book store, they guys then wanted to go into a store of their choice....a comic book store, my worst nightmare, I waited outside - Robin joined me not too long after entering the store. We decided we all needed to wash our hands after flipping threw so many dusty old books, but we took a scenic route home and looked at all the huge houses in St. Francis Woods. We ended the evening at our house, just hanging out and laughing super hard at some of the photos in my iphone.

It was a great day! Thanks Robin and Kenny for coming up to the city and for spending the day with us, it was super fun. Shabba!

Manic Monday

If I had the closet of my dreams, this is what I would be wearing today...
Golden Girl

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

*{Fabulous Find}*

I super love white serve ware and just fell in love with all of these pieces from Rosanna.
I have one piece from a past collection and use it all the time, all of the items come in super cute boxes for storage for when you are not using them. Love it, love it, love it - sign me up for ALL OF THESE!


This morning on the phone Angela asked me how my Birds Nest is (aka my Studio). I was telling her that I just got some business cards made advertising my handcrafted journals and also just got a box full of vintage books from Ebay to work on. I am so pumped and need to start a full scale production line in my studio. I have made a few little books since I moved in (one for me and a couple for gifts), but not enough to open an online shop or anything, which is my ultimate plan.

Here is a sneak peak at my journal that I made for this year. I am sort of taking what I have learned from a number of book making/binding classes and mixing it all together into one book.
I am lucky that I work somewhere that always has random paper and one offs laying around from old signage, etc. that I can use for my own books. This book also has some pages from a Maltese dictionary (which I made into a travel journal back in October) added to it. When I make books to sell or for other people, I will use more lined, ledger, original book pages and blank paper. I love the elastic band around the book as well, I am a "stuffer" so when I don't have to time to write, I will stuff little things in my book and then go back and write about them when I have more time.
Just have to add one thing, I love making these books so much. For me, from the time I purchase the book to sewing it all together is just so much fun. I guess it is because I love hunting in antique and used book stores for great old (and CHEAP) books. I also love journaling too; writing in a journal to me is like talking to a best friend who doesn't talk back or give an opinion, which is nice sometimes and so therapeutic. Everyone should take time to write.

Here is what my card looks like...

Monday, March 01, 2010

Weekend Recap

This weekend went by way too fast, as always.

Friday night Tim and I hit the ice from 9-11 PM and each got pretty good workouts in. I have to say only in San Francisco would there be a group of people (men and women) who show up at the rink at about 9:45 PM dressed in costumes like figure skaters would wear, but they obviously were not figure skaters. Once they hit the ice, Tim and I realized that "Blades of Glory" was on that night so maybe that inspired their crazy costumes and attempt at pairs ice skating. Some of them could skate, one was in goalie skates (funny looking skates), silver spandex pants with a speedo over top and a beaded top with one sleeve removed. It was crazy and you should have seen their skate moves - one guy in front would lift his leg up and the guy behind would grab his skate blade and lift his leg up too. There were a lot of wipe outs, Hilarious! It was hard to concentrate on my own skating because of the circus that surrounded us but I still got some good cardio in. For the first time since we have been skating the last couple months, they stopped everyone at 10PM and asked that we go the other way around. It was so weird because I can't do crossovers the other way around, but figured it out pretty fast. It was a fun night out with Tim, getting exercise and laughing so hard.

Saturday, we just hung out at home for the most part. I took a nap from 3:30-6:00 PM which is totally unlike me, I don't nap well, I sleep at night and that is about it, but I must have needed it. If you must know, I went into my bedroom to watch my new BBC series (you may know from past posts, that I am moving through a lot of them and have loved each one I have made my way through). The one I am watching now is "Monarch of the Glen" and I super love the main charactor, Archie McDonald, he is so cute. The series takes place in the Scottish Highlands (a place where Tim would like to vacation) and the terrain is really breathtaking. I fell asleep while watching it, when I woke up I had a hankering for Mexican food so we went out for dinner and a walk around Target before going home. A pretty uneventful day, but so nice.

Sunday, I had planned on going to my studio to work on some books, but woke up super late and realized the USA - Canada Hockey game was on at Noon and not 2 PM like I had thought. So, I was strapped to the couch from 12-3 watching the game. It was incredible USA didn't win, but it was really close, and my stomach was in knots. When the game was over (ended in sudden death overtime), I wanted to skate. So, we went skating during the 4-5:30 session. There were so many kids on the ice after their skating lessons, it was a bit like dodging bullets. Still fun, but we had to be super careful, I think since kids don't drive, they don't think about what may be going on beside them or behind them so you have to be ready for sudden moves. Tim got knocked down by a lady who couldn't stop, which totally made me mad. We were both standing along the side of the ice and I was showing him something on my skate when all of the sudden this lady is coming towards us (probably hoping to stop herself on the boards) I look at her arms flopping around and she is saying "sorry, sorry, sorry...." and before I know it she has grabbed onto Tim's jacket and taken him down in her attempt to stop. No, she did not fall, but I shot some serious poison arrows at her with my eyes - she knew I was mad. We steered clear of her the rest of the session. Afterwards we went to Whole Foods Market to make salads at the salad bar and took them home to eat. I went to bed early because today was the first day of Yoga @ Work. Yes, you heard that right, my boss is having a Yoga instructor come to the office every Monday from 7:30 - 8:45 to teach Yoga to whoever wants to take class. I have not taken a Yoga class in forever so was a bit nervous, but did well. My shoulders will be sore tomorrow though for sure.

Hopefully, I am back to posting more often, not sure what came over me there, but think I am over it.

I hope I still have readers and hope you all had a nice weekend and have a lovely week ahead.

Manic Monday

If I had the closet of my dreams, this is what I would be wearing today...
The Bright Life


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