Fat Kid Status

Fat Kid Status 16


I had a really tough time deciding what to write about today. I’ve been spending my evenings this week slaving over a video I’ll be sharing tomorrow, (cough!…cough!…Jamæsel interview!…cough!) and have been lacking additional creative inspiration as a result.

Just as I was about to throw in the blogging towel, I remembered this post from Emily over at Cupcakes & Cashmere. Her “Food Fantasies” entry chronicled a hypothetical day of eating whatever she liked. I’ve been wanting to do my own spin on this concept ever since…but for whatever reason, never got around to it. (Something tells me my inner-psyche resisted sharing my food porn on the internet for fear of judgement.)

“Fat Kid Status” not only provided me with a topic to write about…it’s also proved to be oddly therapeutic. I’m leaving for Australia in less than a month, which means my diet has been cleaned up in preparation for strutting around the Whitsundays in this ridiculous Lisa Frank-esque swimsuit I purchased during a serious lapse in judgement last week. So, while I can’t really eat any of these things for a while, nothing’s stopping me from making Photoshop collages of them while daydreaming about butter, right?





I couldn’t decide between a Monte Cristo Sandwich and the glorious French Toast at Bastille, so I decided to just enjoy half of both. Kidding –I’d totally devour entire portions of each dish. My sugar carb-fest would be washed down with a bottomless mug of Stumptown coffee. With just a splash of cream, please.



An apple fritter the size of my head from a Safeway grocery store. I don’t care what anyone says…Safeway makes the best apple fritters in the world. And no…I wouldn’t eat the apple in the back of that photo. It’s just for decoration. Although to get my serving of fruit in I’d try my best to nibble the orange slice garnish on that mimosa. See? I’m totally health-conscious.



Ceviche. The more citrusy the better. Chips, salsa, guacamole, and a big ol’ bottle of San Pellegrino. ‘Cause I’m fancy.



Maui Onion Mac nuts to feed my salt craving. Almond Roca candies for my sweet tooth. (Never tried Almond Roca? They’re created in my hometown of Tacoma and are kind of the best candy in the universe.) And some Seattle-brewed Dry lavender soda. Mmmm.



Fresh lobster. (When you’re creating an imaginary food day, “Market Price” is not an issue.) Brown butter parmesan gnocchi and brussel sprouts cooked in bacon grease. See? I eat vegetables. (Take that, food pyramid!)

And champagne. Because ingesting all of this delicious food without…you know…dying is something worth celebrating.



This was by far the most difficult decision. I’m essentially the real life version of Buddy the Elf…I could easily live of a diet of maple syrup and peanut butter cups for the rest of my life. But if I had to pick just one sweet treat, it would be a mammoth slice of key lime pie.

As for the Pepto Bismol…I think that’s pretty self-explanatory.


What would your “Fat Kid Status” look like? Anyone else have an apple fritter problem? (I was this close to including those pink and white frosted animal crackers on here…but even I have limits.)


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The comforts of home

The comforts of home 6


I had grandiose plans of surprising Scott with a trip to New Orleans for his birthday this past weekend. We have a free flight credit that’s about the expire, and with the weather in ‘Sota turning chilly, it seemed the perfect time to escape to warmer temps.

So why didn’t it happen?

Simple. We wanted to stay home. 

We started out the month with a trip to Chicago. I was visiting the city for a conference, and Scott met me at the tail end of things for a day of sightseeing. Saturday evening, we flew into Minneapolis. The following morning, I was on a flight to Seattle for a week of work. Once again, Scott — along with two friends — met me in Seattle at the end of my work week for a few days in the city. By the time we returned home–on a redeye flight, of course –both Scott and I were beyond exhausted. A relaxing birthday getaway suddenly seemed like more of a burden than a treat. When I told Scott I had almost booked tickets, he responded with “I’m so glad you didn’t. The last thing I want to do is sleep in a bed that’s not my own.”

Scott’s comment struck me. There really is something about sleeping in your own bed. Relaxing in your own home. Whiling away the hours in  your comfort zone. While in Chicago, we were fortunate to stay at a beautiful hotel, thanks to a deeply discounted rate courtesy of the conference I attended.  The mattress felt like a cloud, the thread count on the sheets was higher than I’ve ever experienced, and the lobby featured free, organic coffee from a local roaster. We were located in the heart of Chicago’s bustling downtown, just one block away from Millenium Park and the iconic Chicago Theater. The hotel offered free wine every evening, boasted a four star restaurant on it’s property…and even had free bicycles for guests. It was really nice.

Yet at the end of our stay, I just wanted to get back to Smalltown. I wanted my bed, my dogs, my couch, and my favorite coffee mug. Luxury is nice from time to time — but it isn’t home.

I had a similar experience in Seattle. Each time I return for work, my sister Hayley is kind enough to open up her apartment to me. She lives in a fantastic neighborhood with a city view to die for. She allows me take over her bed, commandeer her car, turn her bedroom into a luggage disaster zone, and eat all of her local, organic groceries. She plans fun activities every evening, and I always look forward to our time together.

But if I’m being honest, I also look forward to going home. Sure, Hayley lets me use her car…but it’s not my car. She gives me her brand new queen size bed, but it isn’t my mattress. She offers up her food, toiletries, and other household supplies…but she doesn’t have a coffee maker and her all-natural toothpaste tastes like dirt.

It’s not that I’m not grateful. Hayley is the most generous hostess I know. She’s allowed Scott, myself and two of our friends to take over her bedroom for multiple days on two separate occasions. While I’m incredibly thankful to have a sister who makes me feel so welcome and comfortable, I’m always ready to get back to my digs at the end of the week.

Am I being ridiculous? Snobby? Impossible to please? Probably. But if you’re honest with yourself, I’m sure you can think of a time when despite enjoying pristine accommodations, you still longed for your home.

I’m writing today’s post in conjunction with World Vision’s #Dreamshare Link Up. The topic for this week? “Dreams for Syria”.

To be candid, I’m not as informed on the crisis in Syria as much as I’d like to be. Yep–I’m one of those people who chooses Netflix over the nightly news, and am often times finds myself more aware of pop culture than major world events as a result. Am I proud of this? Nope. But it’s the truth.

As I set out to write this post, I felt intimated. I mean…I don’t know enough about Syria to actually write about it, right? I’m not an expert, a journalist…not even a frequent visitor of CNN.com. Bluntly put, I’m kind of ignorant.

But I’m also a human being. A human being who despite her self-centered, first-world, spoiled tendencies, has a heart for the individuals who have been devastated by the crisis in Syria. As I placed my fingers on the keyboard, ready to write, my thoughts went to the refugees, forced to leave their war-ridden homeland. Over 5 million people who are displaced, vulnerable, and without basic needs.

I think of my recent travels. How I longed for the comforts of home, in spite of the fact that I was residing in extremely plush surroundings. Perhaps more importantly, I knew that I would be home soon.

I can’t imagine how lonely, defenseless and lost the refugees of Syria must feel. They are surviving in camps, often times without shelter, food, clean water, and basic hygiene items. Even worse than their current living situation is the harrowing knowledge that they might never return to their homes. I can only assume I would feel desperate. Hopeless. Invisible.

My dream for Syria is simple. I dream that the refugees can find hope. Hope through shelter and basic needs. Hope through the compassion and kindness of strangers. Hope through faith.

And most importantly that they can find a home. A home filled with comfort, community, and a sense of belonging.

The good news? We can all help make this dream a reality. Won’t you join me?


Join the #Dreamshare linkup here.

Main photo courtesy of World Vision.


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Birthday Cake

Birthday Cake 2


The last time I made a proper cake? Six and a half years ago. July 29th, 2008, to be exact.

Scott and I were celebrating our first wedding anniversary. Because we had been married in Washington State but were living in New York, shipping the top-tier of our wedding cake across the country so we might enjoy it after 365 days of wedded bliss just didn’t seem worth it. I deemed it best to take matters into my own hands.

I attempted to recreate–from scratch–the pineapple cake with raspberry filling and whipped cream frosting we had enjoyed on our wedding day as a surprise for Scott. As we celebrated at dinner, I insisted skipping the desert menu. “I’ve got a surprise back at home…” I hinted.

Please tell me you didn’t pay to have the top-tier of our wedding cake shipped all the way out here?” he pleaded.

“Of course not!” I scoffed. “Trust me…this is going to be way better than that.”

When we returned to our apartment, Scott’s reaction to my labor of love was somewhat disappointing.

“Katrina,” he snickered, “Why in the world did you bake us a redneck fourth of July cake?”

“Huh?” I responded with shock and embarrassment.

“I mean….I love Amurica as much as the next guy…but is this, like, a joke?”

As I stepped back and reassessed my baking handiwork, I realized Scott was right. The three-tiered confection was severely lopsided, and the haphazardly applied whipped cream frosting was…well…sweating. Profusely.

While I had planned on decorating my creation with fuchsia ribbons and hydrangeas–just like our original wedding cake–the strawberries and blueberries we had in the fridge seemed a little more economical. As I looked at the rapidly melting glob of icing decorated with a smattering of red and blue fruits, I realized I had mistakenly baked a very sad-looking American flag.

The worse part? My flag tasted even sadder than it looked.

Fortunately, Scott was able to salvage the evening. He suggested we put on our very best redneck attire and pose for some humorous photos with the cake and a giant pair of knives. Much to our dismay, the photos were lost in a tragic memory card accident, but I assure you–they were magnificent.

After Scott deemed our photo shoot sufficient we tossed out the cake and drove down the street for some ice cream.

I’m sure you can see why I’ve been too afraid to try my hand at cake baking ever since.

Sure — I’ve made several batches of box mix cupcakes. Even I have a hard time screwing up Duncan Hines Funfetti. But as Scott’s 31st birthday approached, I knew the time had come for cake baking redemption. This was going to be my year.

Every year, Scott requests a German Chocolate cake. The man loves him some coconut pecan frosting. There’s only one problem: Other than Scott, no one actually likes German Chocolate cake. Every year, I bake him a giant batch of his favorite cupcakes, and every year, approximately four of them get eaten. This leaves us taking home 2 1/2 dozen cupcakes that are inhaled by yours truly within a matter of days hours. Do I like German Chocolate? Not particularly. But if there is cake lying around the house, I will demolish it. It’s like…a law of science or something.

Last week, our neighbor was kind enough to bring us some extra carrots from his garden. I had planned on juicing them until in the middle of shampooing my hair one evening, it hit me like a ton of cream cheese frosting.

I was going to create a made-from-scratch carrot cake for Scott’s birthday!

Scott approved the idea, and I immediately got to work. After hours spent researching possible recipes, I decided on this cake and this frosting. I mean….a carrot cake with pecans, raisins coconut and pineapple? Scott was going to love me forever!

Early Saturday morning, I set out to pick up my ingredients. An hour later I spread everything across our kitchen counter, preheated the oven, and took a deep breath. This was my chance to annul the Amurica cake of 2008. 

I sifted flour, shred carrots, and boiled raisins in orange juice like it was my job. When Scott passed through my workspace tossing out condescending tips like “You know you have to mix the wet and dry ingredients separately, right?” or “You didn’t forget to grease and flour the pan, did you?” I resisted the urge to bite his head off and simply smiled. It was his birthday, after all.

It took me seven long hours. (Part of that was a three-hour nap…but still.) After an entire afternoon of slaving away over a hot stove, I was left with this.

martha stewart carrot cake

Fine. That’s not  my cake. It’s Martha Stewart’s. But it was my inspiration. My version ended up looking a little more like this.


First, let me say that this is an extremely flattering photograph. In person the cake was lumpier, more lopsided (Scott absolutely insisted on three layers), and generally disheveled-looking. Thank goodness Instagram photos don’t just make your selfies look better — their magic airbrushing powers apply to cakes, too!

That being said, the cake was delicious. Delicious. Like…possibly the best thing I’ve ever baked. Most importantly, it was certainly enough to redeem me from the American Flag catastrophe. Scott’s reaction?

“Wow…this doesn’t taste messed up at all. I’m pleasantly surprised, Katrina.”

Underwhelming, but I suppose I’ll take it.

The only downside? I doubled the cream cheese frosting recipe, which turned out to be completely unnecessary. I’m now left with a giant Tupperware of icing in my fridge just begging to be spread over graham-crackers and eaten in secret. Having made the frosting myself, I know exactly what’s in it. This pretty much eliminates the possibility of any  ”Oh I’m sure it’s not that bad….”  ignorance that comes with eating store-bought icing out of the can with your fingers while watching an exercise infomercial.

Uh…not that I’ve ever done that or anything.


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My body is NOT a wonderland

My body is NOT a wonderland 3


I’ve always been one of those girls who bruises easily. Add to this my affinity for bumping into things on a regular basis, and you have the walking antithesis of Mr. Mayer’s ode to Jennifer Love Hewitt circa 2002. Black, blue, scraped and scabby? That pretty much describes my lower half. (It’s also the reason I keep airbrush leg makeup in my cosmetics arsenal.)

So, while I’ve always been sporting banged up extremities, I’ve never had anything to blame it on, other than my own general sense of clumsiness.

Until now, that is.

CrossFit, I’m officially calling you out for roughing up my anatomy in the following 4 ways:



And not just on my legs. There are bruises on my collar-bone and shoulders from doing power cleans with the bar. (Apparently that means you’re doing it right.)

Last week, there was also a distinct hematoma on the underside of my chin. It was attained while mistakenly whacking my face with the barbel on the upswing of a jerk press. (Apparently that means you’re not doing it right.)


2. Callouses



These are the result of gripping the bar with all my might, and just generally engaging in strength training badassery. This photo was snapped on a good day…often times these nubbins are larger, redder, and possibly oozing blood.

So much for my career as a hand model!

(And yes…I’ve had multiple people tell me I could be a hand model. Although perhaps that’s simply the polite way of saying “your face isn’t symmetrical and your legs are kind of stumpy.”)


3. Rope Burn


This raw piece of flesh on my ankle isn’t the only battle wound I acquired while climbing a ridiculously tall rope for the first time since third grade gym glass. My inner thighs–which were gripping that dang thing with all their might–have two dark, speckled bruises. To make matters worse, the discolorations are layered atop a collection of withered looking stretch marks left behind from late-night college pizza binges of yesteryear.

(Photo not included…for the sake of your retinas.)


4. Crack scab

Yes…it’s exactly what it sounds like. Although technically it’s more of an above-the-crack-below-the-lower-back-scab. I like to think of it as a fitness tramp-stamp…just less decorative and more scaly. It was earned by noble means — performing copious amounts of sit-ups on a hard floor without a single cushion.

Cushions are for wussies.

(Once again, photo not included for what I would hope are obvious reasons.)


There you have it. The four ways CrossFit has made me look like I’ve engaged in a barfight. But is it worth it? Absolutely. CrossFit has challenged me in ways no other workout has, and while my body may be covered in battle wounds, it’s also seeing results I never thought were actually possible. (Also…the majority of the “owies” are from my own lack of skill and experience. The more I improve my form, the less disheveled I will look!) More importantly, CrossFit is fun. Really fun. It’s a community of wonderful people who feel more like family than gym acquaintances.

And let’s face it…my body wasn’t exactly a bruise-free wonderland before I started CrossFit. At least now I can explain that my banged up legs are from box jumps as opposed to drinking a bottle of wine and attempting to perform the Spice Girls ‘Wannabe’ music video dance routine at the bowling alley.


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