Entries from July 2013

A New Kind of Adventure

July 24, 2013

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A couple weeks ago Jeremy revealed to me that he had been planning on surprising me in January 2014 with an arctic trek through Norway, complete with sled dogs and northern lights. But then I got pregnant. Which is precisely why I wasn’t interested in baby-making for so long in the first place. That, and the “just you wait” attitude that seems to bind disheveled and bitter moms together – like a club of prisoners of war – competing for who’s been tortured the worst. Even now I find that I can’t get too terribly excited without someone (myself at times, included) warning me of the potential misery that lies ahead. These promises of long and painful labors that will result in C-sections, epidurals, and vaginal reconstruction, sore boobs, no sleep, a wrecked body, and no sex, are beginning to feel more like curses and hexes than disaster preparedness or cautionary tales. But that isn’t really what this post is about.

This post is about the fact that instead of trekking through arctic snow with Huskies, outfitted in waterproof down gear, I will be on an adventure that is becoming a mom. I get that it won’t be easy and that there is little room for fantasy. But I know myself well enough to know that I will take it one step at a time – that like climbing to the top of the tallest peak in Poland on busted knees – and like trekking to breath-taking heights in Nepal with a Kumbhu cold and no appetite – I will find beauty in the beasts along the way and I will delight in the view from the top.

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Jeremy and I are on our way home from a week long vacation on Lake Superior, in the upper peninsula of Michigan, at Liz’s family cabin. We laid on warm sand, dipped in cold lakes, drove a jet ski (which made me feel like Lara Croft), sipped on San Pelligrino’s, rode beach cruisers around a quaint car-free island, and shared stories around fires under full moons. It was a steady and constant balance of completely relaxing and honest fun. It got me daydreaming of the kinds of travels, in a literal sense, that we’ll be taking once the bean is here. I hope this baby is up for an adventure.

Links to blogs with adventuring families for inspiration is welcome.

Pictures above of me and Jeremy taken by Liz. You can read her blog here and follow her Instagram here. I Instagrammed lots of our Michigan trip here as well. 

Watching | Netflix Original Series

July 22, 2013

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As much as I’d like to think of myself as a super sexy post-apocalyptic adventuring entrepreneurial badass, the truth is there is little I like more than hunkering down on my couch, in my undies, with a bowl of food and a good show. I’m not even pretending that I don’t love TV by only watching it in secret on my laptop. Nope. I’ve got a flat screen TV that takes up a legitimate amount of real estate in my living room, a sound bar, and a subscription to HBO and Netflix. I also just recently discovered that I can buy movies for pretty cheap on Amazon Prime and am a sucker for a good romantic comedy. And what’s most revealing of my TV addiction is that I can fall into a nice funk when I don’t have a reliable Sunday evening show to watch.

More recently I kept seeing these Netflix Original Series pop up in my queue. I wasn’t sure how to feel about them – were they the poor man’s HBO? Were they going to be poorly produced, low budget shows with dialogue written by interns? Finally, I had heard enough about House of Cards that I hit play. And then we didn’t stop for a week straight. Then I saw a Tweet from a reliable source who said Orange is the New Black was pretty good too. So I started watching that – and of course I’m obsessed. They’re both awesome – and they make me think that Netflix is going to give cable a run for its money and completely change the landscape of TV as we know it.

HOUSE OF CARDS
House of Cards is Kevin Spacey at his finest. I also love looking at Robin Wright. I’m not a political junkie and I’m honestly not smart enough to keep up with Aaron Sorkin dramas but I really enjoyed House of Cards. If you like Homeland you’ll probably like House of Cards (and vice versa).

ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK
I was a big fan of the earlier seasons of Weeds but towards the end it became a bit of a train wreck. I was worried Orange is the New Black (by the same creator, Jenji Kohan) would be gimmicky or absurd, where Weeds left off. But not at all. It’s a great balance of drama and comedy and has had me and Jeremy laughing out loud on more than one occasion.

I won’t go into official reviews of these shows – you can find those from more eloquent sources. But I do highly recommend both.

What have you been watching lately? I’m always on the hunt for a good show (or movie). 

14 Weeks | It’s Like Puberty

July 18, 2013

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Now that I’m out of my first trimester pregnancy is feeling a lot less like a 24/7 hangover from an evening filled with tequila shots, pole dancing, and cheap pizza, and is a lot more like the awkwardness of going through puberty. You’ve got raging hormones and the things boys say (or don’t say) can send you into a fit of tears. At 14 weeks you might not look visibly pregnant yet, but like puberty your frame has transformed from tall, lean, and athletic to Marilyn-Monroe-curvy. And instead of drilling your friends for details about tampons and sex, you’re more interested in hearing the details of birth stories and gestational diabetes. And rather than having vivid make out dreams featuring your weird celebrity crush (Alan Cumming, if you must know), you have lucid dreams about breast feeding – and it’s shockingly blissful.

And speaking of boobies, holy hell, where did these come from!? It was an awkward and somewhat painful transition going from an A cup to a C cup overnight – and they don’t seem to be stopping there. Flashing Jeremy and exclaiming “LOOK AT THESE AWESOME BOOBIES!” has become my new favorite party trick that I like to bust out multiple times a day. On the flip side, sleeping on my side isn’t as comfortable as it once was, but more importantly WHAT IF I NEED TO SHOOT A BOW AND ARROW AND THESE BOOBIES ARE IN MY WAY!?

But seriously, you guys. I always imagined when I got pregnant that my body would pretty much stay the same. I imagined my growth would remain isolated to my belly only as the baby grew. So I don’t entirely understand why my whole body is expanding so drastically when this little baby is only the size of a 3 oz. navel orange. Just like everything else, I’m blaming the hormones.

Field Notes and Observations:
• Maternity clothes: I’ve grown out of half of my already small-ish wardrobe. I’m grateful for a mild case of body dysmorphia / slouchy sense of style because I can still fit into my clothes that are 3 sizes too big. I recruited my mom, sister, and Jeremy to go shopping with me for a few new dresses – one of them is legitimately a maternity label. Without much of a bump I feel like a fraud shopping maternity. I’m also raiding Jeremy’s wardrobe – the shorts pictured above are his. I also bought 4 new bras seeing as how none of my old ones fit anymore.
• Supplements: I take a Perfect Prenatal multivitamin by New Chapter and Wholemega fish oil by New Chapter. I also recently started drinking protein shakes (I spend a lot of money for the purest protein out there) – for the baby but also for my own muscles too.
• Sore Abs: the sides of my lower abs are constantly sore. I think ligaments are beginning to stretch.
• Slow Digestion: my digestion is super slow and sluggish. I’ve found that small, Paleo meals has helped me from feeling too bloated.
• Hurry, no wait: Sometimes I can’t wait to meet this little baby. Other times, 5.5 months away seems too soon to be adding a whole new person to our little family.
• Eating My Placenta: I’m about to click “buy” on having my placenta encapsulated after delivery. I probably wouldn’t be doing it if I didn’t have you guys to share the “I ate my placenta” story to – it’s blog fodder, really. So if you think it’s weird just know that it’s your own fault that I’m doing it in the first place.
• Hiring a Doula: the biggest decision I’ve made this week is to move forward with hiring a doula. My first recommendation is already booked for my due date. So if you know someone great in the OKC area I’m checking out my options. I’m looking for someone who is equal parts competent, calm, a little funny, tough loving, but also kind.

I’m still completely open to advice and insights around the topic of pregnancy. Especially relating to maternity clothes, mentally coping with a changing body, birthing methods and techniques, books I should read, and what you think about placenta-eating and doula-hiring.

Related posts:
• 9 weeks | We Made Magic
• 13 weeks | Like A Gorilla

Sort of related:
• Period Matters 

Coaching for Creatives | Money, Money, Money

July 17, 2013

MoneyCoaching

I’m going through 8 months of extensive life coach training with Martha Beck. My decision to become a life coach for creatives came from my own adventure in discovering the power of writing our own narrative and designing our own lives. But sometimes the stories we tell ourselves can hold us back or keep us feeling stuck. This column on & Kathleen will be exploring the lessons and concepts I am learning as I become a coach.

As of today, I’ve been hired by exactly 21 creatives as a part of my Martha Beck life coach training – and all but one of them had anxiety, fear, or other negative emotions around the topic of money. I can relate. I’m guessing you can too.

Here are a few specific soundbites that have come up during these coaching sessions:
• I’m not making enough money
• I’m afraid the money will run out
• Money is a necessary evil
• I’m uncomfortable talking about money with clients
• I don’t want to be a millionaire
• I can’t afford to do what I love
• I hate money

Yowsa. No wonder these creatives have a bad relationship with their finances. I mean, replace the word “money” with that of your husband, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, best friend, and you’d have a pretty lousy relationship, right?

So how do you get right with your money? It starts with attitude (as do most things in life). Here are a few things I’ve learned so far that help:

1. Run your numbers. 
Before I married Jeremy I practiced what I liked to call “intuitive banking”. This is where I would feel if I could spend money or not. I had no idea what my income or expenses were like. I was never in debt but I was living paycheck to paycheck and felt anything but abundant and easy around money. Jeremy taught me that knowledge is power when it comes to money. It seems like “duh” kind of advice now but getting clear on your budget, income, and expenses gives you a good foundation for getting right around money.

2. Imagine your worst case scenario. 
What’s the worst that could happen if you went completely broke? My worst-case scenario looks something like going back to a day job or moving back in with my parents. Which in the grand scheme of things isn’t so bad.

3. Okay, so you don’t want to be a millionaire. But what’s your number?
Lots of creatives say “I don’t want to be a millionaire – I just want to be comfortable”. Then when I make them tell me what salary comfortable looks like. Is it $35,000 a year? $70,000 a year? Pick a number and write it down. Put it in a drawer and celebrate when you hit it (and if you write it down, chances are you’ll probably hit it).

4. Money flows. 
I’ve learned that money grows when it flows. Here’s an example: one of my coaching clients had lots of paying jobs but told me she wasn’t making any money. I was super confused so when I asked for clarification I uncovered that she wasn’t actually paying herself. She was hoarding money in her business account. I promptly instructed her to start paying herself. I have a hunch that by moving money from her business account to her personal account she’ll start earning more.

One of our Braid clients shared in a mastermind group we’re facilitating that every time she invests in her business – whether it’s a faster computer or going to a design conference – she always sees a boost in her income. Sometimes you have to spend money to make money.

5.  Stop thinking about money. Instead meditate on what you really want.
I just learned this new way of dreaming about your ideal day from Martha Beck that I’m going to share with you now to help you figure out what you want:
Take yourself 5 years in the future. You are your most perfect self and there are no rules. Wake up and describe where you are. Who’s in bed with you? What sounds do you hear? What can you smell? Get up and go look in a mirror. What do you look like? What’s your hair like? What’s your body like? Now go eat something – what are you eating? Now go to your closet – describe your wardrobe. Pay special attention to your shoes – they might give us clues as to what you do with your days. Now describe the rest of your day using all your senses. What kinds of conversations are you having? Where are you going? What’s the mood like? What’s the weather like? What are you doing in the evening? Who are you with? What do you feel? 

This paints the picture of your ideal day. Now make 3 wildly exciting and improbable goals based on this future ideal day. Write them down. 

I seriously doubt you were worried or even thinking about money on your ideal day. You may have been imagining your dream job (that will make you money) or your dream surroundings (that you might spend money on) but that has very little to do with green dollar bills and a lot more to do with your core genius and desires. Act and make decisions from that place and the money will follow (as will those three wildly exciting and improbably goals – probably sooner than you think).

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Want to talk even more money? Check it out: 
• Manifesting Money – our secret weapon for attracting dream clients with cash over at Braid Creative
• The Art of Growth – Tara Gentile is a money genius. Seriously, read her stuff. She knows what she’s talking about.
• Money is Energy – In one of our exclusive Braid Letters for Creatives I describe how I got over my money issues by recognizing that money is energy.

Also! I want to mention that tomorrow, Thursday, July 18th, is the last day to register for our Braid ECourse Shape Up Your Content: Tame Your Ideas and Tell People How to Buy You. We’ve developed this online course for creative entrepreneurs – from freelance creative professionals to small independent creative businesses – who struggle with an overabundance of ideas, messages, and content (visual or verbal) on their site, their blog, their materials and even in their conversations – not to mention, analysis paralysis of what to do with them. We help you chunk down your ideas, recognize the ones with the most potential, and the ones that are just distractions in disguise. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you can go from content chaos to a concise (yet still creative) message. You can watch our video to see if this course is a good fit for you and register here. Use the code ANDKATHLEEN50 to take this $75 course for $50.

Kitchen Sink Frittata

July 16, 2013

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When I’ve got a bunch of random ingredients on hand and am feeling lazy or uninspired the frittata is my go-to. But it always surprises me with it’s tastiness and I think “damn, why don’t I make this more often?”

The recipe is easy and always follows this combo:
veggies + meat (if you roll that way) + olive oil + 4-6 eggs + spices
Pictured above is: onion, green beans, smoked salmon, eggs, fresh dill, salt, pepper

Heat a healthy drizzle of olive oil in a cast iron pan over medium-low. Pre-heat your oven to 425F. Cook your veggies. In a bowl scramble your eggs (I usually use 5-6 but my local eggs usually run small). When the veggies are cooked  pour your scrambled egg mixture on top and add spices. At this point you could also top with a little bit of cheese (I recommend crumbled goat cheese) if you’re into that. DO NOT STIR. As tempting as it may be, stirring will destroy your frittata. Once the eggs have pretty much set around the edges stick in the hot oven for 4 minutes.

Serves 2-4 people. Paleo and gluten-free.

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