Meeting Bloody Mary | New York Part 4

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Do you all remember Sana? I designed her brand identity and blog for Pip & Estella earlier this year. It was a priority to grab brunch together while I was in Brooklyn and brunch we did. We enthusiastically talked about our careers, our vision and (with a little more caution) babies. I also had my first Bloody Mary ever. I’m usually a mimosa kind of gal but I was craving the acid and salt – I figured a Bloody Mary could deliver. After my first sip I knew what I had been missing out on. A couple hours and two rounds of Bloody Marys later we wrapped up our conversation when our boys started to look as if they needed a nap – but I left our brunch feeling energized and wanting more of what Sana has to say.

I should also note here that the day before Anna (Door Sixteen) and I met up for lunch and coffee but as we got caught up in talking about design, home repair, puppies and the fantasy vegan bakery we’re going to open we forgot to snap a picture together. I love how the blog and Twitter have made the world smaller – or if not smaller at least more accessible. I love that I now have people I consider friends living all over the world.

So back to our day – Donny, Jeremy and I continued on to the Brooklyn Flea (I was determined to find some Whimsy & Spice cookies) but it was cold and starting to drizzle – vendors were packing up. We then headed straight to another pub for a second brunch and another Bloody Mary. The rain was coming down hard and we were unsure what to do with ourselves as the evening was closing in. So, we decided to grab bagels, a bottle of wine and a couple of 750 piece puzzles to keep us entertained for the evening. It might have been the best evening ever – but more on that later.

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The next morning, also our last day in Brooklyn, we woke up and guess what I was craving – another Bloody Mary! So we headed down to another pub and enjoyed our 3rd brunch within a 24 hour window. It was here that I asked Donny what he’s going to do. He asked me what I was going to do. We talked about possibilities of what’s next and we bonded over the insecurity that comes with making our art our career. And maybe it was the Bloody Marys talking but Donny and I left brunch that morning feeling confident and optimistic. Then, just as quickly as we said hello, Jeremy and I said goodbye.

P.S. You can read Sana’s account of our time together here.

A Case of the Hiccups | New York Part 3

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After a strange man in an Affliction T-shirt, with photos of a gun that he referred to as his baby, offered to beat up another strange, yet friendly, man on behalf of Jeremy, and 2 pints of Blockhead Lager later, I had a serious case of the hiccups.

These hiccups followed me out of the bar, through the Bronx and on to the subway platform. They were the kind of hiccups that shake your whole body. And when you’re a little bit tipsy they’re the kind of hiccups that make you feel like a cartoon character.

Everyone has their own method for curing hiccups. My go-to cure used to be taking 4 fingers and pressing them hard into the area right below the sternum. Right at the soft bit, under where your ribs meet in the middle of your chest. Take 4 deep breaths and your hiccups should be cured. But when that failed me I resorted to standing on my hands, with assistance from Jeremy, in order to get these hiccups out of my body.

And that turned into us performing our own circus tricks. We’re going to take this show on the road!



Thanks to Donny for capturing these moments for us. His degree in video broadcast, my history in gymnastics and Jeremy’s core strength made this video possible.

So, I want to know – what’s your go-to cure for the hiccups? I seem to get them all the time!

Hello, Donny | NY Part 2

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My brother is Donny Vomit. He’s a sideshow performer – which means he hammers nails into his head and swallows swords for a living. He lives in Brooklyn, NY and just got off tour with the Pretty Things Peepshow (a touring burlesque troupe).

After our flight and train ride into Brooklyn, Donny met us in the lobby of his place. We took an elevator up to the 13th floor (of course he lives on the 13th floor), we removed our shoes and dropped our bags and just seconds later Donny was showing us a new shiny piece of steel – a sword. There was a piece of blue painters tape about 3/4 of the way up and when I asked him what that was for he told me “That’s where I know to stop.” Then he proceeds to tilt his head back and drop the sword down his throat.

There’s no trick to it – just a lot of practice. In highschool Donny used to shove his fingers down his throat every day to try and numb his gag reflex. He wasn’t yet swallowing swords but had heard somewhere that it takes 7 years of tickling your throat every day to destroy the instinct to barf. Then in college he got more serious and contorted a wire hanger into a shape that resembled a sword – he started shoving that down his throat and from there moved on to swords.

Donny had a show in the Bronx scheduled the second night we were visiting to promote Coney Island Lager Beer. If you’ve ever been to a sports bar you might be familiar with promo girls. They’re usually wearing cut up t-shirts with a liquor logo on them, two bras, layered, to achieve awesome cleavage. They walk around handing out shots of whatever they’ve been hired to promote. Donny is kind of like a promo girl but instead of an awesome rack he’s got an awesome mustache. And instead of flirting to sell liquor, he hammers nails into his head and swallows swords.

So, Donny has his show and we were happy to tag along. We drank pints of Blockhead Lager and watched the faces of unsuspecting bar patrons as Donny did his thing. Afterwards, a Jersey Shore type of guy in an Affliction t-shirt insisted on telling Donny over and over again how crazy he is. After a few minutes of that he starts showing us photos of his baby on his iPhone – his “baby” was a gun. I decide to remove myself from the situation and grab another beer, meanwhile Jeremy and Donny are stuck talking to this guy. I chat with the Shmaltz Beer rep while the Jersey-Shore-Affliction-guy-with-photos-of-his-baby/gun-on-his-phone, we’ll call him “Noel” (because that was his name) tells Jeremy he should keep an eye on me. After a few more minutes of telling Donny how crazy he is, Noel feels as if Donny and Jeremy are his bros. Noel is becoming increasingly agitated that I’m holding a conversation with a man who isn’t my husband and tells Jeremy that he will kick the dude’s ass on Jeremy’s behalf. Jeremy was dumbfounded and politely told Noel that I am completely capable of holding a conversation with another guy. Now I know why those characters on MTV are always getting in so many fights.

Hello, Brooklyn | NY Part 1

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Jeremy and I went to New York last week. With just one direct flight and a train ride later we were at the place we’d call home for the next 5 days.

I think a combination of working for myself and trekking to Mt. Everest Base Camp have ruined my idea of vacation. I’m not sure how to leave work behind – it seems to follow me wherever I go. And I don’t know how to relax if I’m not pushing myself up a hill, one foot at a time, at high altitudes.

I found a little bit of escape as we walked through really amazing neighborhoods in Brooklyn. The kinds of neighborhoods where you get fined $350 for honking. The kinds of neighborhoods where women with no makeup and messy buns look like models. I got lost as I soaked in every single detail of every single person who walked by me, trying to piece together the story of how they got there. I tried to get lost in my own fantasy of what my life would be like in a perfect little Brooklyn neighborhood: I would live in a teeny-tiny, but fabulous, studio apartment with Jeremy and our two cats. I would have exactly 10 articles of clothing but lots of accessories – mostly scarves for all seasons. We’d have big windows and a stoop that we would eat bagels and coffee on. We would do all of our grocery shopping at the little bodega on the corner. We would have my brother and his beautiful girlfriend over for wine and asparagus wrapped in filo dough. We would be amazing.

I was having a hard time indulging in this daydream and I couldn’t pinpoint why. I’m usually REALLY good at visualizing my fantasy life. It wasn’t until we came home that I realized I’m already living the dream. I have a man who does my taxes and makes me coffee every morning. I have two matching cats and big windows. I have lots of amazing accessories. I have my go-to places and waiters who know exactly what I’m going to order before I even pretend to look at a menu. I’ve got art and wine and locally grown asparagus.

I still want to see the world and meet new people with interesting stories but in the meantime, I’m happy with making the most of where I am right here, right now.

Quinoa with Roasted Veggies

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Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) isn’t just a grain. It’s a conversation starter. A sometimes controversial one at that. Quinoa isn’t any stranger to this blog but lately I’ve been enjoying watching other people discover this super grain. They either love it or love to hate it. It usually goes something like this:

Girl A: Yeah, I’m not really eating gluten these days.
Kathleen: Oh, are you into quinoa?
Girl A: Is that how you pronounce it!?

OR

Kathleen: Yeah, I’m trying the whole vegan thing these days…
Girl B: Oh! Are you into quinoa!? I love, love, love quinoa!
Kathleen: Yeah, totally! Yum!

OR

Boy A: Yeah, I’m working on my six pack. No beets. No carbs. Nothing.
Kathleen: What about quinoa!?
Boy A: Quinoa makes me barf.

OR

Kathleen: Did you like In Defense of Food?
Tara: No. It made me feel like a white bread eating asshole. I’m just not going to start cooking ‘keeeeen-wah’ for my family.
Kathleen:

Who knew such a small grain could elicit such a big reaction. The other evening we had some veggies to eat up before leaving for vacation the next morning. I simply roasted some asparagus and slice portabella mushroom (lightly coated with olive oil and seasoned with salt) in the oven at 400F for 20 minutes or so. I cooked up some quinoa, threw in the roasted veggies and topped it off with a little bit of soy sauce (shoyu) and rice vinegar.

More J&K quinoa recipes:
• Green Protein Bowl
Quinoa Scramble
Quinoa with Asparagus and Fried Egg
Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Quinoa elsewhere:
• Going with the Grain by Jason Hudson
Quinoa is Indeed a Miracle by Lindsey at Wolf Shorty