Quick Takes: Katie Talks Life Essentials or something

25 February 2017

I posted a picture of a cup of this tea on my instagram, but I can't stop talking about it so here we go again.

When I reached out for tea recs a few weeks ago, multiple people recommended this and I was so skeptical. I've tried so many kinds of turmeric tea and really disliked them. Nor am I a big ginger fan: I like it in savory cooking but really dislike it in sweets. Ginger and I also have a difficult relationship because of how much it's supposed to ease morning sickness symptoms and it helps me none with my five months of all day sickness. But I do really like Ginger Rogers, and as a seven year old I pretty much scoffed at anyone else who tried to dance with Fred.
As compatible as Ginger and Turmeric.

I didn't love my first sip of the tea, but I knew we could warm up to each other. And twenty cups in I'm in love. It has this all around mouth feel that gets deeper the longer it brews and it doesn't get bitter.

I let Jacob taste it and he said blankly: "Vata tea." Like it was something everyone in the world grew up drinking. But, Mr. Rhodes, not everyone was raised by a hippy.

Let's see if I can think of anything else to say about this tea. Yes! I can! But I won't! So you're welcome.

And thank you to Jordan and Kate who first recommended this tea! I wouldn't be who I am today without it.


I've been baking sourdough recently. I got inspired by this new friend and she gave me some of her starter and sent me to this sourdough blog, and I was up and running, and I've had so much more baking success than I ever expected to have! I've seriously wanted this to be part of my routine since forever ago.
My crust is really tough and my shaping efforts are pretty laughable and I'm still learning how to gauge when the dough is fully proofed. But I'm loving it. This beginner loaf has been consistently good - I also made some OK pizza dough and a decent sandwich loaf.

Yesterday I took some fresh bread to my neighbor who just had a baby. I put it in a brown paper bag and walked it over hand in hand with Lucy June who was hankering for a peek at some newborn toes. The late afternoon light was stunning, and I thought: *this* is life.


I finished Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird this morning. I've been familiar with it for so long and read excerpts of it before, but I'd never read the whole thing. I can't recommend it enough if you like reading about writing. Which is one of my favorite things to read about so it's totally my cup of ginger turmeric tea.


How many books do you read at a time?

I read like five books at a time. I wonder if I would finish more books if I stuck to one, but I find myself craving different types of books at different times of day. Morning reading needs to be thoughtful. Naptime reading needs to be effortless. Evening reading needs to be gripping. In bed reading needs to be beautiful.

Currently, my bedtime book is Gilead. It's amazing. I read a couple pages and steep in the richness of it until I'm drowsy. I never want it to end.


Jacob and I went on a date last week (this restaurant for you Htown peeps) to use a Christmas gift card. It was amazing. Like entire pigs hanging in the meat locker kind of cool...so maybe that's not your thing...but I loved it.

Afterwards we went tipsy shopping at the Goodwill in the ritzy part of town. Tipsy thrifting on date night: highly recommend. I scored a couple Anthro dresses and barely used brand name shoes for the kids. I also giggled a ton because thrift stores can be so hilarious if you're two drinks in with somebody fun.


Ok. More secondhand clothes, because this is a fashion blog.
Last summer I used a two year old gift card and bought myself these shorts from Madewell. Full price! Because I am an adult. And I had a gift card.

Here they are on me!
Madewell models roll them up. I roll them down. Because enough white thigh is enough. It was everything I could do not to crop out my forehead wrinkles for this pic because #petty. But I didn't because #authenticity and they're a gift from my dad and I'm turning 32 next week so #embrace.

They have been such great shorts: they run laps around my Target shorts, which is good because I spent $75 on them. On shorts. Despite loving them, I wasn't sure I could throw down like that again.

Yesterday I remembered that I had a ThredUp credit from some clothes I sent in two years ago and voila! $90 Madewell denim shorts in my size for $26! Now I'm basking in the glow of buying (heavily discounted) quality.

Moral of the story: I have commendable shopping habits and you should try ThredUp. Just like everyone else already told you.


Jacob and I have a standing argument about how to feed a baby. His mess tolerance is very low and prefers to sit down, play the spoon game, and scrape the mouth and chin with every bite.

I'm the opposite. I'd much rather eat my food with my own hands and let baby do the same and then deal with the fallout.

My way:
 Jacob's way:


Visit Kelly for more takes and Happy Mardi Gras!

Quick Takes: Afternoon Off and Hidden Doors

03 February 2017

On Wednesday Jacob finished all his work by noon and told me to take the afternoon off. I said I just wanted to hole up in our bedroom with a hot cup of something and my laptop, but he said the offer was only on the table if I left the house.

He was right of course. Our bedroom - though progressing - is still a construction project. And our children - though not my immediate responsibility - will always bang on the door if I'm on the other side. I was under orders not to do anything productive. I wasn't allowed to work on anything. So I went to a bookstore and I browsed. I picked up books and meandered. I told multiple sales people that I didn't need any help. Because I didn't. And nobody needed help from me.

Usually I take "me time" to work on administrative stuff for Jacob's business or to go on a stroller-less run or to just get stuff done. I can't remember the last time I wandered in a bookstore. It was glorious. I thought I would feel like I'd wasted that time, but instead I felt like a new person. Or maybe I just felt like my old person?


I've been trying to embrace smaller chunks of time.

For the past month I've been running and doing yoga almost every day. I've always been a consistent jogger, but since baby number three came I was only managing one run a week, if that. So a couple months back, I just decided to go on twenty minute runs. It's worked like a charm. At this point in my life, it's so much easier to find 20 minutes 6 times a week than 40 minutes 3 times a week. I think this is pretty mental: it's a lot easier to commit to a 20 minute workout.

Recently I've been applying the idea to yoga. Whenever I saw a 20 minute window, I just click on over to this website, set my filters to 0-20 or 20-40 minute workouts, and off we go.


While wondering through the bookstore, I broke down and bought some books for the kids. I almost never buy kids' books because the library is so easy and so free. But that day I had some cash and I wanted to do something splurgey. I bought Jake this classic which he loves. I wanted to buy Lucy June Ladybug Girl because it's much more my style of girl book, but she's in a big time unicorn phase and so I gave in and bought one called Uni the Unicorn. The flower illustrations got me. Especially this page with all the dandelions.


I'm on the hunt for a hot beverage that is caffeine-free and doesn't need milk or sugar to make it palatable. I'm trying to teach myself to like herbal tea, but so far so bad. I'd love any tea recommendations or tips if you got'em!


This is exactly what Jacob and I look like when we watch TV:
Please admire all my well placed wall art... 
Remodeling progress. Here's where we are with the master bedroom. (steps out the window are handy but temporary ;) Floors go in on the 13th. 

Tile is done in the bathroom. It's the first time we've tiled all the way up a wall and I really like it.
Jacob is almost done building the vanity and I can't wait to show it to you!


Then finally there's this cuteness. We'll be taking out this wall soon to make this room three feet wider, so last week Jacob cut a hole in it last week to make spot for the kids:

 Jake scurries in there every morning to look at books before the other kids wake up.

Go see Kelly and Happy Weekend. We're off to hide from the Super Bowl festivities which are happening up the road!

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