Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Summer Speed

Summer is here! And along with sun filled skies and sun kissed tans it has brought upon me a pace I struggle to sustain.  Just about each week breaks me.  Don’t get me wrong, my days are filled with great things, but they are FILLED!!!  

My cup over flows FILLED....

Last evening, Emma and I took time out to go the park and listen to a great band play.  It was a beautiful summer evening and we enjoyed the music and catching up with old friends.  As I was chatting with friends we started talking about magnesium. My friend shared how much she and her man enjoyed my Keeping it real with Kate blog; and how their family benefits from the magnesium they now take.  She noted my Blog/Page had been quiet for a while.  It got me thinking that I hadn’t posted much lately.  With my cup filled to the brim, I literally haven’t had the energy to write. 

Protecting my energy level is paramount to keeping my immune function working properly.  Sleep and proper nutrition are typically the first things to fly out the window when time is limited. We are all guilty of this.  Personally, I’ve been pushing my limit and quite frankly, I’m amazed I haven’t crashed! 

Pushing beyond our limit seems to be the American way.  And while that can be a wonderful thing, knowing your limit and honoring your body should be equally important.  This summer in particular I have found it impossible to get to bed at a reasonable time.  My children have become nocturnal (God help me!) and with the sun not setting until 9:30, my circadian rhythm is ALL off.  Sleep is singularly one of the most important gifts we can give our body. Proper rest affects everything from hormone functions and weight loss to mental and emotional clarity, not to mention overall health!

Finding balance and knowing when to say “no” in order to preserve energy and sleep is something I’m really working on this summer.  How about you? 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Open Farm Day

I am thankful my husband encourages me to try new things.  For years he had been talking about how “fun” it would be to go to the local “Open Farm Day.  Admittedly, I’m not much of a farm girl.  Remember, I‘m bubble girl…allergic to everything in nature, so tromping around the countryside really isn’t my idea of fun!  And let’s just say farms have a tendency to smell, well... gross! None the less, I acquiesced, and with family in tow, we set out to pay a visit to local farms in the area and see what they had to offer.

1st Stop: Empire Buffalo!  Oh my GOSH! Have you ever seen a baby tatonka up close and personal? We channeled our inner Dancing with Wolves and had best time learning about buffalo.  Fun Fact #1:  Did you know bison meat is leaner than chicken?  No, me either.  Fun Fact #2:  Did you know Empire Buffalo are completely grass fed and bison meat contains high amounts of Omega 3 vitamins? No me either.  Fun Fact #3: Bison meat is OH. SO. GOOD!  Well, this really isn’t a fact, as my children would be quick to point out, but rather my humblest opinion!  How exciting for us, we enjoyed great Bluegrass music, munched on delicious bison BBQ, and left with new information and meat in hand.  SCORE for us!

We had the grandest plans to hit 4 or 5 farms; however, we spent so much time admiring baby tatonka that we only had time for one more farm.  I dare say we saved the best for last!

Last stop: Ingallside Meadows Farm! Aside from this farms incredible curb side appeal (I’m talking straight out of Country Magazine) witnessing beautiful Amish children running about, well, that nearly did me in.  As we walked onto the property, the perfectly manicured vegetable gardens, flower beds and the property itself left me speechless- a near impossible feat. The property is GORGEOUS!  As we milled about, Daniel the proprietor gave tractor draft horse pulled wagon rides to tour the land and animals.  We hoped aboard and Daniel wowed us with his incredible insight regarding his land and animals and how they are raised. He spoke my love language.  He used words like: grass fed, pasture raised, NO KERNEL of CORN ever touches my cows lips, NON GMO, grass, worms, apple trees and land.  When I asked how he kept the beetles off the veggie plants, he sheepishly smiled, and replied, “We pick them off by hand”.  SOLD! Sign me up!

It was instant love!!!  No.  Admiration is a better word.  I felt so blessed to witness such a gorgeous farm.   To observe land and animals in their natural glory was such a treasure!  We eagerly purchased a beautiful bouquet of handpicked flowers from sweet Lily Beth (Daniel's beautiful blue eyed daughter) and pork, beef and chicken from Daniel.  We left incredibly encouraged to have met a family who works so hard to care for and cultivate both land and animals.  Really, I felt as though we had been given a gift!  And I hadn’t even tasted the meat!

I started the day appeasing my husband in “Farm Day” and ended the day in awe of his genius in making us go.  Not only did I leave with a renewed hope in humanity, but I found a farmer and his family whom we've grown to love as dear friends and whose animals I rely on exclusively to feed my family!

Local friends, I encourage you to check out “Open Farm Day”! Check out the link for more info. 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Super Duper Yummy Yum Yums

My sweet friend Nicole is always making me tasty treats.  I'm not a baker and I don't pretend to be one.  I love delicious treats and Nicole loves to experiment and bake for me.  Its a win-win for all!

Recently I posted a short video about my love affair with these delicious delicacies... as promised the recipe:

1 cup almond butter
1 cup shredded unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup pecans
1 tsp honey
1 tbs vanilla

Mix 5 ingredients above in food processor.  The batter will be thick and crumbly.  Mix batter into little balls.  Set aside on parchment paper.

Mix 1/2 cup melted chocolate chips and 1 tsp coconut oil together.  Dip balls in chocolate and cover balls.  Place covered balls on parchment paper and sprinkle a titch of sea salt over the top.  Pop in the refrigerator to set.  Store in refrigerator or freezer.

Treats you can feel great about eating.  They are protein packed and covered in chocolate... what could go wrong? Try not to eat all of them in one day!

And yes, I will be sure to thank Nicole for you!


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Avocado goodness

A few years back I began my love affair with coconut oil. 

There are a gazillion wonderful uses for this fabulous oil and one of my favorites is cleansing/moisturizing my face and body.  During the spring/summer months I occasionally “wash” my face with coconut oil. 

In the winter months when my skin is really dry I use an essential oil infused tallow to wash my face.  I know it sounds gross, and I will be very real….even with the oils, it does smell a bit deep fryerish.  But, I love how it makes my face and skin feel.

So, it wasn’t completely out of the ordinary when I had left over avocado and decided to make a face mask out of it.  Impulsively, I smashed the green goodness and rubbed in onto my hands and arms.  After testing my skin to make sure I didn’t have an adverse reaction, I marched up to my bathroom, washed my face and plastered mashed avocado all over my face and neck.  After 15 minutes, I rinsed my face and it felt ohhhhhhhh soooooo good.  

Bonus: my face and neck have had a beautiful glow for the past two days.

I LOVE how real food can be used for so much more than fueling our body.  It only makes sense that it could be good externally too! 

Double Bonus:  killer avocado dressing (thank you Amanda for this delish recipe!) 

1 pitted avocado
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
1/2 cup evoo
1 tsp lime juice
salt & pepper to taste
blend all ingredients in magic bullet (or like mixer) 
the dressing is more like a whipped cream and it's SOOOOO good. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Katie 4.0

As a person who supports software for a living, I'm very familiar with operating system/software updates that are applied randomly throughout the year.  New releases often contain new product features and fixes to current software problems.  Upgrades, hot fixes, and bugs are all terms I became all too familiar with when I jumped into the technology world.

New Year's Eve is my birthday.  And this year is a big one. 



4.0 !!!

As a new decade in my life approaches, I love the thought that this new year, my fortieth year, I am upgrading my software!  I'm getting a reboot. 

Years 0-39 were dedicated to identifying the "bugs" in my body, and more recently applying "hot fixes" to some nagging, never ending, medical issues.  At times, years 0-39 were very long and arduous!  Thankfully, in my pursuit in becoming the best version of myself, I have discovered what makes my operating system most effective and efficient. 

Do not be fooled! It took years to unlock the mystery. Um, like 38 to be exact.  Of course my journey is not complete.  At least I hope not.  I'm just midway through, year 40, just a mere pit stop!  

I look forward to the positive upgrades that are in store for me this year.  I pray for extra grace for the bugs that are sure to occur and wisdom to be able to apply necessary hot fixes to my ever changing operating system.  I welcome the new release of Katie 4.0 and look forward to what it has to offer!

Happy New Year! 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Breath of Heaven

Driving into  work the other morning Breath of Heaven (Mary's song) came on my Pandora.  The lyrics to this particular song struck me deeply, especially at this time of year, they were a great reminder that I desperately needed:  Take a slow deep breath and be mindful of the greatest gift I will ever receive- Jesus.

Really listening to  Amy Grant's version of this beautiful song brought me to tears. This verse moved me,
"I am waiting in a silent prayer
I am frightened by the load I bear
In a world as cold as stone
Must I walk this path alone?
Be with me now, be with me now."

Is anyone else like me, so busy with daily life, that adding in the extra Christmas/Holiday excitement (what I really mean is added craziness!!) is just one more thing on my, "must get done before I crash into bed" list?  At this time of year some days the load just really seems too much to bear. Some days the path appears very lonely and long.

But, because of Jesus, I am NEVER alone.  And my load is NEVER to heavy for him.

Allow yourself a  minute reprieve, take a deep breath and listen to this beautiful song. I promise, you will be glad you did.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

In the name of TRADITION!

Traditions come in all shapes and sizes.  I admire those that hold tight to their favorites...food, decorations, parties. etc.  Traditions aren't one of my strengths.  They just aren't.  Good news for me,  my mom has certain  traditions she holds near and dear to her heart.  Specifically, bringing her girls and grand-kids to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular!

When she first broached the subject of going this Fall, I agreed my tribe would go if she made all arrangements. Truth be told, I didn't think she would do it.  True to her word, with a little help from my sister, she arranged all the details. Every last one!  Now we were obligated to go.

We decided we would rent a van, drive to Croton-Harmon and take the train into Grand Central Station.   Perfect.  Well, not so much.   Friday I came home to this in my driveway.
Not what I had in mind!

Emma and I were horrified.  Aaron and Wyatt delighted.  Needless to say, the creepy white beast went back to the lying car rental shop, and we came home in a smokey, white Ford Explorer.  Not exactly the 7 passenger van we were promised; but, with windows down, charcoal air freshers working their magic, we were NYC bound!

The ride was a blast.  With all kids and husband alike, plugged into their respective electronics, my sister, mom and I were able to catch up.  So far so good.  Walking from Grand Central to the hotel, I snapped a photo to capture the moment and that was the last I saw of my cell phone.
Upon hotel check-in I realized my phone was missing.  Assuming the worst, that it was stolen of course, I quickly took action and deactivated my cellular services.  I was without technology which felt like I was missing my right arm!  I refused to let this minor but costly annoyance steal my joy.

On we went. It was the perfect sunny, warm Fall day to enjoy the rocks at Central Park and the  unencumbered incredible view from One World Trade Center.  We raced from the Freedom Tower at a snails pace in a famous yellow cab to the hotel to quickly meet the rest of our group.  The main event was just moments away.  As we walked through the hotel doors headed to Radio City, well let's just say, one of us literally headed the glass door and split her eyebrow wide open!

Radio City in all her glory!
My poor, sweet, sweet mom, who went to great cost and great lengths to carry on such a loving tradition, stood a bit shocked, with her gloved hand applying pressure to her split eyebrow.  Quickly Karen and I took over as she insisted she would not miss the show!!  After assessing the situation I stayed back with mom and dressed her eye as the rest of the crew went on ahead.  A split eyebrow (that really should have had 2-4 stitches) was NOT going to keep my determined mother from carrying on with tradition! Much to my complete dismay I bandaged her up and we made it to the rest of our family before the show started.

Here's the kicker: 10 years ago to the week, my mom was carrying on with tradition with my oldest 2 nieces and my 2 sisters watching the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, while I was home birthing her 3rd grand daughter! Legend has it, no one really enjoyed the performance, as mom was very bitter she was in NYC watching a show, while I was home laboring!

Well...fast forward 10 years to the week, mom sitting at Radio City with 2/3 daughters, 3/5 grand-kids, completing the tradition.  Head injury and all!