Espresso yourself

Espresso yourself 5

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Making tough decisions is part of any marriage. Where should we move? Which house should we buy? Do we want children? How should we handle our finances?

It’s a partnership. A union of two people, coming together to debate, discuss, and ultimately, to decide. There will be sometimes friction, disagreements, possibly even a bit of yelling.  And almost always, there will be compromise.

Scott and I have faced our share of tough choices over the past seven years. Moving to New York for graduate school, relocating to Minnesota for Scott’s job, and finally buying a house certainly rank amongst the most challenging decisions we’ve ever made. Yet even these pale in comparison to the painstakingly impossible decision we’ve been wrestling with over the past few weeks.

Which espresso machine are we going to buy?

It’s no secret that Scott and I have differing opinions when it comes to coffee makers. Remember my beloved Tassimo he made me give up for adoption as the cups it used weren’t recyclable? (Insert eye roll here.) After several Katrina-style hissy fits, he ultimately agreed to purchase me a Keurig single cup coffee brewer to replace it — so long as I only used the refillable K-cups you put your own coffee grounds in, and composted the contents after each use. This system lasted for about a year before I arrived at two important conclusions.

  1. Constantly filling, composting, washing and drying those reusable K-cups is a huge pain, and takes away the entire “convenience” aspect of a single cup coffee brewer.
  2. My coffee tasted terrible. I used the finest ground espresso blend I could get my  hands on, and the coffee still wasn’t strong enough.

Not one to settle for weak coffee, I’ve been secretly buying “real” K-cups from Wal-Mart for the past several weeks. Scott looked the other way for a month or so, before eventually confronting me about the wastefulness of my coffee pod habit. It quickly became apparent the time had come to buy an espresso machine.

(I suppose having a husband obsessed with saving the planet isn’t all bad.)

Unfortunately, the selection process has been less of a fun shopping spree, and more of a heated debate. With so many options to choose from, Scott and I are having one heck of a time agreeing on “the one”.

Scott has insisted we opt for a machine that can be plumbed into our reverse osmosis water line, so he doesn’t have to constantly refill a water tank. I quickly pointed out that he doesn’t even drink coffee…so he wouldn’t have to fill the tank in the first place. I don’t mind refilling the water reservoir once a week, so the plumbing thing was a non-issue. Also? 99 percent of espresso machines aren’t even equipped to be hooked up to plumbing. The select few machines that are prepared to be “plumbed in” start at about five thousand dollars, and require being mounted on the wall like a major appliance.


In spite of putting my foot down several times, there is currently a man downstairs installing a second reverse osmosis system in our kitchen as I type this. He will then be drilling a hole through our concrete countertops for this ridiculous espresso maker to hook up to the osmosis tank. Not only is the entire charade costing an arm and a leg, the noise from the installation is making it incredibly difficult to concentrating on typing this coffee-fueled saga.

Did I mention Scott doesn’t even drink coffee?

Fortunately, I’ve found several articles online detailing how to take a regular old espresso maker, and plumb it into a water system yourself. Not only will this save a great deal of cash, it means I don’t have to buy a mammoth espresso maker and mount it on the wall like a freaking oven. Yay, compromise!

Unfortunately, the plumbing debate has only been half of the struggle. You see, I — the person who will actually be using this espresso maker in the first place — have my heart set on an automatic machine that grinds the beans itself, and doesn’t require one of those shot cups with a handle that you fill with coffee, and then lock into place before brewing. (I have no idea what these things are called, but Scott refers to them as “the clickety clack.”)

Scott: Absolutely not. The automatic ones have way more working parts than the old-fashioned ones. It’s so much easier for them to break down. We’ll spend a fortune on repairs.

Me: Oh, we will not. Plus, I don’t want to have to fill, compost, wash and dry that thing for each cup of coffee I make. It will be no different from those stupid reusable K-cups you sentenced me to.

Scott: You’re being dramatic. It’s so easy to fill those things and do it yourself. We’re getting one with a clickety clack.

Me: You don’t even drink coffee! I’m the one that has to use this every day, and I don’t want to deal with a clickety clack!

Scott: You’ll learn to love the clicketly clack.



The jury’s still out on which machine we’ll be ordering. It’s an appliance we plan on having for life, not to mention an investment of a couple thousand dollars.  This home brewing system — as wannabe yuppie ridiculous as it it– is a big decision, and I want to make sure we both feel good about it. (Translation? Over my dead body will a “clickety clack” be involved.)

Marriage is hard. Especially when there’s coffee involved.

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The Pregnant Ankle: Part 2

The Pregnant Ankle: Part 2 1

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Not up to speed on my spastic descent down Camelback mountain? Catch up with Part 1.


I just sat there like an idiot, staring at my rapidly swelling ankle and trying not to cry. Partly because I didn’t want to appear weak, but mostly because there were other people around, and I’m what’s commonly known as an “ugly crier”.

“Are you okay?!” Scott called out while running back to check on me.

“I’m…..fine.” I managed in between my ‘I’m-in-a-lot-of-pain-now-so-I’m-going-to-do-Lamaze’ breathing charades.

“Are you going to be able to make it the rest of the way down?” he asked with legitimate concern.

I was worried about the same thing. We still had over a mile to go. A mile of downhill, uneven, rock-laden ground that demanded a stable ankle.

“I think so,” I winced, “Just give me a minute, okay?”

I continued my over dramatic breathing for an extra thirty seconds, eventually rising to my feet to finish this stupid hike, which ironically, was my idea to begin with.. The first several steps were excruciating, but after four or five minutes, my ankle felt totally fine! I mean, it didn’t look fine, but the hiking wasn’t even bothering it.

“Scott, my ankle feels totally great, now! It must be the swelling that’s keeping it stable or something. If I roll it in a circle it hurts, but walking down all these rocks isn’t even a problem!”

The second this overconfident declaration left my lips, it happened again. Same ankle, same collapse to the ground, same lamaze breathing to prevent an extremely public ugly-cry breakdown.

“Trats, are you sure you’re alright?” Scott asked quietly while examining my ankle.

“I dont’ know…” I spit out between breaths, “I think heard a pop that time. It really hurts.”

“I’m worried you might have broken it.” Scott confessed, while contorting my massive cankle into various unnatural angles, asking me which ones hurt. Scott spent three years working in orthopedics — if he was concerned, I was concerned.

“What do you feel?” I asked, my voice thick with panic. “Did I break it?”

“Possibly. The only way to tell is with an X-ray.”

I let out a frustrated sigh. I was about to return home to an insane work schedule, not to mention a to-do list that’s length rivaled Dante’s Inferno. I didn’t have time for an X-ray! And I surely wasn’t getting one while on vacation.

“Here,” Scott offered, “Let me carry you.”

“No.” I insisted. “I don’t want to be carried.

“C’mon,”he urged, “Let me give you a piggy back ride.”

“No way.”

“Katrina…if it’s broken, walking on it could make it a lot worse.”

“I think a piggy back ride would make it a lot worse.” I countered.

“Come here,” Scott cooed in a baby voice while lowering himself down into squat position, “Get up here.”

That was all the motivation I needed to rise up off my haunches and complete the death march. Let’s face it — the only thing worse than a public ugly cry is a public piggy back ride.

Thankfully, my ankle felt much better after a few minutes of walking. I was able to finish the hike, and spend the rest of the day on my feet without much trouble. By the time we returned to the hotel room eight hours later, it had doubled in size and was causing a ridiculous looking limp…but we were leaving for the airport at noon the next day, so it’s not like it ruined my vacation, or anything.

Come to think of it…it actually made my vacation…better?

Yes, I realize that sounds delusional…but take it from me — my hiking injury came with a lot of perks. Don’t believe me? Read through this list and then tell me you’re not considering spraining your ankle during your next weekend getaway.

How spraining my ankle on a hike made my vacation amazeballs

  • Because I blamed the sprain on my unsupportive New Balance shoes, Scott immediately took me to Nordstrom to buy a new pair of Nike Free 5.0s. No questions asked.
  • It was the perfect excuse to indulge in a post-hike couples massage.
  • It reaffirmed that Scott has a deep, piggy-back offering love for me.
  • My crazy-looking limp got me lots of attention.
  • My crazy-looking limp also got me to the front of every line at the airport. (And In-n-Out Burger.)
  • Upon returning home, my CrossFit coach forbid me from doing box jumps as a result of my injury. No box jumps for an entire week? Darn.

The best part? The swelling is mostly gone, and my ankle feels this close to being back at one-hundred percent. Praise the Lord, as I don’t think I could handle a super long recovery like the one I had with my last sprain.

Long story short, my ankle feels great and I got a new pair of shoes out of the deal. Turns out having a pregnant Kim Kardashian ankle isn’t so bad, after all.

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Baby, it’s cold outside.

Baby, it’s cold outside. 4

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I really wanted to use a swear word in the title of this post, yet decided to refrain as ‘Sota is Sexy is family blog, and all.

(Well…sort of. A ‘dysfunctional family blog’ perhaps?)

While the song ‘Baby, it’s cold outside’ conjures images of fluffy snowflakes, drinking hot cocoa by the fire, and various other snuggly and cute things, let me assure you that the weather here in ‘Sota is anything but ‘cute’.

First off, it’s not snowing. Why? Because it’s -25 degrees (-55 with the windchill.) For those of you lucky enough to live in more balmy climates, let me explain that -25 degrees is way too cold for snow to even fall. Apparently, it’s also too cold for children — the entire state of Minnesota has cancelled school today on account of the frigid temperatures.

Now if only they could cancel the need for me to take my dogs outside.

I suppose I shouldn’t be complaining. I did spend the last three days is sunny Arizona, soaking up every last second of the 75 degree weather while lounging at our hotel pool.

Oh, wait. I still have to take the dogs outside at least five times today in twenty-five below zero — of course I should be freaking complaining!!!!

Sorry. Lost my wits for a second, there. (The cold does that to me sometimes.) How about this? Instead of subjecting you to my “I’m cold and Jolie has to poop again” rants, I’ll simply offer up some of my solutions for surviving such godforsaken weather? Cool? Cool.

(No pun intended.)

Katrina’s tips for surviving winter in the upper midwest

  1. Don’t go outside. At all. (This is why I love working from home. My commute never involves snow boots.)
  2. When you do have to take the dogs outside, make them wear snow boots. Not only does it protect their paws, you’ll be distracted from how cold you are as watching dogs stumble through snow with boots on might just be the most entertaining thing in the world.

So…that’s kind of all I’ve got. Two tips totally constitutes a list…right? Right? Whatevs. It’s the cold’s fault.

On another note, I read a fabulous book in Arizona, entitled Where’d You Go, Bernadette?  The plot, characters and format (it’s written entirely in correspondence!) were all so incredibly fascinating. Bonus? It takes place in my fabulous hometown of Seattle. I read the entire thing in less than twenty-four hours and was beyond sad to come to the last page. I think the best part was the unpredictability of the story line — never in a million years would I have guessed the ending. (And I’m pretty skilled as guessing endings, if I do say so myself.)

Part of the novel involves Bernadette’s family taking a January cruise to Antarctica, during which they proceed to complain that it is eight degrees outside. Eight degrees? EIGHT DEGREES? I would kill for eight degrees right now!!!!

Welcome to Minnesota, a place where we’re actually jealous of Antarctica’s mild January weather.

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The monster under the bed

The monster under the bed 2

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Apologies for neglecting to post yesterday. I was holed up in bed battling a stupid head cold with every last fiber of my being.

But I’m back. And I’ve got the injuries to prove it.

(Yes, injuries.)

It all began when Jolie and Penny’s Bark Box arrived in the mail this week. What’s a Bark Box you ask? It’s official description is “a monthly goody box that comes in the mail with four or more carefully selected products and presents for your dog – anything from toys, bones and all-natural treats to hygiene products and innovative new gadgets!”

Or as I like to describe it, “The canine version of Stitch Fix that middle class women who don’t have children purchase out of boredom around the holidays.”

I mean…at least that’s how I got suckered into it.

Don’t get me wrong–Bark Box is great! They even donate a percentage of the proceeds to doggies-in-need. Plus, by going with the six-month, pre-paid subscription I ended up saving 34%!

But back to the box. It arrived this week, and the girls were thrilled!

Bark Box

Translation: I was thrilled. The dogs were too busy barking ferociously at the poor mail man.

The box contained a variety of treats, toys, and even a tasty raw-hide bone that Jolie selfishly demolished in the first six hours. But most notably, it included Monster.

monster dog chew toy

There was something about this neon gentleman that plucked ever so delicately at Jolie’s heartstrings. Was it the unique crunchy texture of his antlers? Perhaps his state-of-the-art “chomp tech” construction? Or maybe it was simply the flirtatious glimmer that subtly radiates from his cyclops eye. Whatever her reasons may be, it was love a first sight.

jolie and monster

Personally, I think he wooed her with his squeaking.

As soon as monster was removed from the box, Jolie unleashed a territorial growl before trotting upstairs with her one-eyed beau clutched firmly between her tiny teeth.

Here’s the thing about Jolie — playing with toys didn’t come naturally to her. We adopted her at age three, at which point it took an additional three years for us to teach her how to play with toys. Yes, we physically had to train her to chew on things. Even after she learned the ins and outs of dog toys, she never really showed interest in playing with things until recently. Needless to say, when Jolie actually does engage with a toy, I get a great deal of joy out of watching her. Each snarl and bite represents hours of blood, sweat and tears on my part.

Clearly, this meant I was following Jolie upstairs. I wasn’t about to pay for that stupid monster and not even get to watch her play with it!

The snuggle pooch has several hiding spots throughout the house, her favorite being the area underneath the queen sized bed in our guest room. Covered by mattress and surrounded by bedskirt, she feels safe and enclosed. The crawl space is also short enough so that sister Penny can’t follow her in. But most importantly, if she sits underneath the center of the bed, she’s so deep that neither Scott or I can reach her. If she’s got a bone, snack or toy in tow, it’s her number one hiding destination.

{FYI: That last paragraph sounds way better if you read it with a Steve Irwin nature documentary accent.}

This is how I found myself laying sideways on the purple shag carpet in our guest room, literally searching for a monster under the bed. As my eyes adjusted to the dim light, I saw neon green fuzz just inches away. I also heard Jolie’s tell-tale “mine” snarl. Penny sat beside me, whimpering with jealousy, as I reached in to snatch Jolie’s monster boyfriend. But my little troll was too quick. She unleashed a vicious sounding gurgle as she dragged her monster just out of reach. One at a safe distance, she perched her angry little body on top of his while possessively licking his antlers.

It was a lost cause. Slowly, I pried myself off the floor to standing position. And that’s when I heard it. Ripping. I also felt a strong tugging sensation against my left ear. Particularly where the diamond earring I tricked Scott in to buying me for our fifth wedding anniversary was securely fastened. I lifted my hand to my ear, fearing the worst. My fingertips felt damp and warm as they grazed the earlobe. Cautiously moving my hand back into sight, I saw it was covered in blood.

So, remember that stupid purple shag carpet our house came with that I absolutely hate? Turns out it hates me right back. Like, really hates me. So much so that it managed to entwine itself in one of my earrings, holding on for dear life when I attempted to stand up and leave my chihuahua to snuggle with her monster boyfriend under the bed in peace.

Yes, I realize that might be the most ridiculous sentence I’ve ever typed, but brace yourself, as it’s about to get even more ridiculous.

That godforsaken carpet managed to rip my precious earlobe open. From end to end.

If that’s not a sign we need to upgrade to hardwoods, I don’t know what is.

I’ve posted my fair share of questionable photos on this blog, but an image depicting my ear injury will not be one of them. Trust me…that’s one picture you really don’t want to see. I will, on the other hand, show you my uber stylish ear bandage, and what’s left of my diamond earring.

Exhibit A:

I mean...what's the point in showering when your ear looks like this??

I mean…what’s the point in showering when your ear looks like this??

Exhibit B:

What’s left of the earring. That post–which is solid 14K gold—used to be perfectly straight. TOLD you the carpet hates me.

Scott assured me the gaping wound will heal just fine in a week or so. He’s even promised to re-pierce my left ear himself, if need be. I’ve got to say, it takes a lot for that man to feel sorry for me, and I experienced a deep sense of satisfaction when he exclaimed, “Ouch! That looks really painful!”.

The funny thing? It actually wasn’t painful at all. I heard the ripping way more than I felt it…and even in the midst of the healing process, I kind of forget the wound is there until I see my oh-so-sexy bandage in the mirror.



In conclusion, I ripped my earlobe open on our purple shag carpet, and I’m blaming it on the monster who lives under my guest bed. (And just so happens to be dating my chihuahua.)

I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried, people.

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