Does my blog make me seem cooler than I actually am?

Does my blog make me seem cooler than I actually am? 6

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This past Friday was pretty much the best day ever. Here’s why:

  • I had the day off from work.
  • I got to drive to the most adorable little coffee shop in a neighboring town and start my morning with some girl talk.
  • I got my nails done, went on a much-needed walk, and polished it all off with a two-hour nap.
  • After nine months of trying, I finally figured out the kipping pull-up! (I suspect the two-hour nap helped.)


  • I was invited to become a CrossFit coach at my local box! (Coach Katrina? Kind of a scary thought, but I’m running with it!)
  • I celebrated a fabulous friend’s birthday over wine, wine and…more wine.

Truly, it was one of those days where I felt like I was prancing around on cloud nine the entire time. And this list didn’t even include the best part!

Are you ready for this?

I was recognized by a complete stranger because of this blog!

Alright, alright…maybe it’s not that big of a deal, but it’s the first time I’ve ever had that happen, and totally made me feel like an internet celebrity.

(An internet celebrity who’s risen to fame by sharing her obsession with pregnancy tests and fear of sitting in cab puke…again. Still, it’s more than the Kardashians are famous for…I’ll take it!)

It all went down during my bi-weekly manicure. I was chatting with Peter — the best nail tech in all of Smalltown — when a girl who had been getting a pedicure approached us. She was totally adorable, and had the most beautiful hair I’ve ever seen. (Yeah…I was checking her our while she got her toes painted…so?) As she came closer, I  couldn’t help but wonder why someone so fabulous wanted to talk to boring old me.

“Okay,” she started “I feel like a total creeper for saying this, but…”

At this point I assumed she was going to ask me where my shoes were from or what color nail polish I had used for my manicure. Instead, she surprised me with “…but I found your blog on The Stanfield Clan one day and totally love it!”

I blushed.

My jaw dropped to the floor.

I may have let out a squeal of delight…although honestly I don’t really remember.

Christy, if you are reading this, you totally made my day! (Also, sorry if I just spelled your name wrong.)

We chatted for a few minutes, and she as was sweet as can be. I even confessed that I had been creepily admiring her hair from a far. I was still basking in the glow of blog recognition when she walked out of the salon.

But then it hit me.

What if  in “real life”, I’m not as cool as I am on the internet?

In person, I don’t have the luxury of a software widget that checks my grammar. I can’t review every single word that comes out of me before hitting “publish”, nor do I have the ability to erase the giant zit on my chin with some Photoshop.

In a face to face conversation, I’m not all that witty or clever. I also probably have spinach in my teeth. (Which at least distracts from the giant zit on my chin.) For all you know, I have a terrible lisp!

(Alright, fine. I don’t have a terrible lisp. But I could.)

Often times, I feel like my “blog self” and “real self” are two totally different personas. I can’t tell you how many times someone I’ve known for months (or even years) stumbles across ‘Sota is Sexy. “I had no idea you were _____!”, They’ll say. (Fill in the blank with ‘so funny’, ‘so sarcastic’, ‘a writer’….the list goes on.) I assume this is  because I don’t speak to my acquaintances with the same snarky tone I use on this blog.

But we all do it, right? Whether you’re a blogger or are just on Facebook, the things you share online will never be able to show the entire story. We’re always going to use the most flattering profile picture, share the things that are cool, and keep the icky, embarrassing, shameful stuff to ourself. Even I, the queen of TMI, have certain things I won’t post for fear of public ridicule. And when I do write something embarrassing, I try to spin it in a cute, charming way. I have no problem being the ridiculous girl from the internet. But I want to be the ridiculous girl from the internet who people find loveable…not gross.

So–if we ever run into each other at Wal-Mart, and you discover that I’m way more boring/fat/ugly/weird/normal/awkward in the flesh…sorry, but I’m not sorry.


On a related note, it turns out I wasn’t the only one who got recognized this weekend.

I brought Scott along to the birthday party I mentioned above. One of the highlights of the night was meeting a fellow blogger from Smalltown who I’ve only interacted with online. When I introduced Scott to her, she responded with, “Oh, I know you. You’re Jamæsel!”


Naturally, this made me love her even more.

On the drive home, I asked Scott if he was embarrassed that people all over town (some of whom are probably also his patients) know him as Jamæsel.

“Are you kidding?” he smirked. “I relish it.”

Of course he does.


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The Fab Five: April 2014

The Fab Five: April 2014 8

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So…we got four inches of snow yesterday. Isn’t Holy Week supposed to be…I don’t know…warm? Or at least warm-ish?

Thank the risen Lord that sixty-degree temps should be rolling in just in time for Easter Sunday. Meanwhile, here’s my five April picks that have been helping me cope with life in Smalltown Winterfell.


1. Trader Joe’s Light Champagne Vinaigrette



In search of the most bomb-ass salad dressing that ever was? Look no further, blog friends. This stuff is delicious, cheap ($1.99 if purchased at Tradey’s), and light enough that it won’t sabotage your diet. I love it with organic spinach, and just a pinch of nutritional yeast flakes. Yum.


2. Loreal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream


I purchased a tube of this at my hometown Walgreens back in Washington last month. I’d mistakenly packed foundation that was  way, way waaaay too dark. (Think a less severe version of the NJ tanning mom.)  I grabbed this stuff on a whim, hoping it would carry me through the rest of the week, and somewhat blend in with my neck.

Let me just say that “magic” is a gross understatement. This tiny bottle contains a primer and super-sheer foundation that manages to hide shine and even out your skin tone, while making it look like you aren’t actually wearing makeup. Go treat yo’ self to some! Because you’re worth it.

(Sorry…couldn’t resist.)


3. Sahara Pendant Necklace



Is it humanly possible for me to be more obsessed with this necklace from Stella & Dot’s brand new summer line?

No. No it is not.

At only $49 bucks, it was well worth the investment. Particularly as I plan on sporting it errrday, all summer long.


4. Sugar Shack Country Candles



At the risk of sounding like a cheesy candle spokeswoman, these candles have completely changed the ambiance of my home

Our good friends from college brought us a small sampling as a housewarming gift, and I’ve been hooked ever since. These babies are potent! One tiny candle has the power to make your entire house smell like heaven.  Plus, each product is handmade in Edgar, Nebraska — so you can feel good about supporting a small, privately owned business with each purchase. I’ve yet to come across a scent I haven’t loved — Fresh Bamboo is particularly refreshing as we (hopefully) head into the warmer months.

Also? I just tried on of their bars of soap this week. Life = changed.

(At least the small portion of my life that is spent in the shower.)

(And now I’m sounding like a cheesy soap spokeswoman. Apologies.)


5. FitBit One

fitbitI’ve owned my FitBit for several years, but only recently started wearing it again this month. In spite of six intense workouts a week, I’m not super active during the majority of my day.

In other words, I sit at a desk, sipping on coffee and typing emails. Usually at least one dog is in my lap.

I was inspired by Jessica Simpson, who shed her post-baby weight with a combination of Weight Watchers and taking at least 10,000 steps daily. Taking a note from Jess’ weight loss handbook, I’ve vowed to take 12,000 steps (approximately 6 miles) a day.

So far, working towards this goal has been really fun! When the weather’s nice, I take the dogs on a daily walk around the 3-mile loop that surrounds our house. As for snowy days like yesterday, I blast Missy Elliot on my headphones while strutting full speed around the indoor track at the Y. Indoors or out, I’m starting to remember how much I enjoy walking. It’s such a great way to relax, de-stress, and have some time alone with your thoughts. (And the lyrical stylings of Missy Elliot.)

My tiny FitBit One tracker has made reaching my daily step goal fun and easy. It’s small enough to be worn effortlessly and can remain hidden if necessary. It tracks my calories burned, steps taken, miles walked, flights of stairs climbed and sleep patterns. It even syncs wirelessly with a personal dashboard that I can access on my laptop or iPhone.


Four years later, I’m happy to say my FitBit is one of the best $100 investments I’ve ever made. If you’re in the market for an activity tracker, I highly recommend it!


What are you guys loving this month? Anyone else completely enamored with their FitBit? Still…I think my favorite thing on the list is that salad dressing. I’m not joking when I say I could drink it straight out of the bottle.


Psst! Want more Fab Five goodness? It’s all right here.

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Mailbox tuna

Mailbox tuna 2

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The phrase “Minnesota Nice” gets thrown around an awful lot around these parts.

Wikipedia defines the term to mean “the stereotypical behavior of people born and raised in Minnesota to be courteous, reserved, and mild-mannered.”

Or as I like to describe it, “Having really cool neighbors who leave sushi in your mailbox.”

(Allow me to explain.)

Last night, I was in dire need of some Minnesota kindness. I’ve had an exhausting week at work, and was sore to the point of avoiding the toilet whenever possible due to a CrossFit workout. By the time five o’clock rolled around, all I wanted was a glass of wine, and some time on the couch.

Instead, I had to drag my throbbing body to the gym so I might renew my First Aid and CPR certification.

For the fifth freaking time.


“Annie, Annie…are you okay??? Cause I’d REALLY like to go home and pop open a bottle of Merlot….”

I was in the middle of giving chest compressions to a fake, plastic baby when my phone started vibrating. It was my next door neighbor calling. I let the call go to voicemail, continuing my five cycles of infant CPR. Even I’m not selfish enough to let a fake baby die on the table.

We had moved on to wrapping bloody wounds when I noticed my neighbor calling again. Being that she doesn’t call often, I started to grow concerned. Was she watching my house burn down? Had my dogs escaped and started terrorizing her cows again? Was someone trying to break into my house and steal my giant self-portrait?

“I’m sorry, this call is important — I kind of need to take it.” I explained to my partner before jetting out of the room. The fake hemorrhaging injury on her forearm would simply have to wait.

I answered the phone on the very last ring, preparing myself for the worst. At least we have excellent homeowner’s insurance, I assured myself.

“Do you like sushi?!” my neighbor immediately exclaimed.


Long story short, our friends next door had come across some sushi-grade ahi tuna from a pal in the restaurant business. The best part? They were kind enough to save a fillet for Scott and I to try. If we liked it, we could split an order for a giant case with them, and get it at wholesale price.

I’m not sure which was more exciting — the fact that our home hadn’t burned to the ground, or the opportunity to acquire badass tuna at less than $3.00 a fillet.

I explained I was stuck in CPR training, but promised to stop by as soon as I was home to pick up the fish. Rushing back to the classroom, I finished my final exam as quickly as possible. Mama wanted some tuna…NOW.

My test completed, I located Scott and scurried him out to the car. “DRIVE!” I instructed loudly, “The neighbors have Ahi for us!”

That was all Scott needed to hear–the man loves sushi even more than I do. He sped the entire way home, visions of how he would prepare our fresh sampling from the sea splashing through his imagination.

As we pulled on to our dirt road, Scott slowed down, pulling up alongside the mailbox.

“No time!!” I screeched impatiently, “TUNA!”

Relax, Katrina. I just want to see if we got any bills today.”

I would have rolled my eyes, had it not been for the glorious slab of fish, delicately covered in saran wrap that happened to be perched just inside the door of our mailbox.



Ummm…if that’s not “Minnesota Nice”, I don’t know what is.


SIDE NOTE: While we desperately wanted to eat the tuna raw, Scott argued  fish that’s been sitting in a mailbox for an undisclosed period of time should probably be at least slightly cooked. He seared it on the stove, coated it in sesame seeds, and whipped up a soy horseradish dipping sauce. In-freaking-credible.

(In other words, we’ll definitely be ordering an entire case. Thanks, neighbors!)

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If Game of Thrones were set in Central Minnesota, and featured people who don’t actually know how to swordfight.

If Game of Thrones were set in Central Minnesota, and featured people who don’t actually know how to swordfight. 0

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Penny would definitely play red-headed Sansa. Graceful? Check. Sweet as can be? Check. Dumber than a box of rocks? Check.


The Queen of the North!!

(And by “the North” I mean the giant pile of throw pillows on the North end of our bed.)


I feel as if this one needs no explanation.


Let’s face it — The Hound is the only character in the entire series with hair as greasy as mine.

Plus…I wouldn’t ever have to worry about putting concealer over my pimples. See? Being Sandor isn’t so bad.

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