I've been asked more than once if I dress Jeremy. The answer is no, I don't. "But you at least pick out his shoes to buy, right?" Nope, I don't do that either. The truth is, Jeremy is a grown-ass man completely capable of dressing himself. And, in fact, I find that when I try to impose my own sense of style on him it falls flat or looks forced in comparison.
But I do love it when his ensemble coincidentally coordinates with one of our nephew's outfits.
I just caught news that it's supposed to blizzard tomorrow. My skin is sunkissed from a weekend full of bare shoulders and highs in the 70s - it was as if Spring paid us a surprise and temporary visit just to say "how do you like me now!?" Now I'm having to shift gears and make sure we're stocked up on food and other various blizzard supplies (like blankets, board games, wine and beer). I suppose Winter has its perks too.
It's a beautiful spring day (in the middle of winter) here in Oklahoma. I think I'm going to spend the rest of my afternoon working in the backyard, soaking up some sun and making lists for my weekend.
This weekend might include:
• Getting lost in the woods with my nephews
• Beers and sweet potato fries with friends
• Sleeping in
• Rock climbing
• Stretching and painting a canvas (or 2)
• Cooking up a new recipe
What do you all have planned for the weekend?
I've been asked a few times, in real life and on the blog, about matters regarding money, budgets, investing, etc. And while money can be a touchy subject I'm happy to share what works in my household. I also think it's so important for women, especially, to talk about money matters - it's been a subject deemed appropriate for men and taboo for women for far too long. And guess what, it's 2011 and we're still not being paid equally.
On the flip side, though, I do believe in the wise words of Notorious BIG Mo Money Mo Problems. I've mentioned before that I've stopped measuring my success in terms of dollars. I'm not interested in keeping up with the Jones' or running in some sort of rat race. Money matters but it's not the most important thing - not by a long shot. I live comfortably and within my means - which is what allows me the freedom to not worry about making ends meet.
So, all of that said - let's get into the nitty gritty.
How we budget our money.
We're not super strict with our budget. In fact, I kind of hate the word budget. It makes me itchy. We don't have designated envelopes for our expenses. There is an ebb & flow when it comes to money and what we spend it on. Some months I'll do a little more shopping and a little less eating out at restaurants. Other months we'll have to spend a good chunk of change on incidentals like getting new tires on our cars. It also complicates things that I'm freelance and don't have a steady or reliable income. Anyways, this is a general overview of what works for us:
A big chunk of our money goes to savings (almost half!). But we keep it all in a high-interest checking account yielding 3.5% interest. This is a great way to make your money work for you - and it affords you a nice meal each month. Once we save enough this money goes to buying investment property and/or vacation(s).
When you own a home, especially right now when interest rates are so low, it's like putting money in the bank. We put 20% down on our home to avoid paying PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) - that saves us about $100 a month in unnecessary fees.
* This budget does not include investment property mortgages - as that is usually covered by tenants.
Americans have been bombarded with advertising that makes us expect our food to come cheap. Eating organic and local isn't always cheap but it's important to me. I cook at least 4-5 nights a week and we eat on leftovers for lunch. I should also note that I cook a meal for 6-8 of my closest friends every week - connecting and laughing over food is worth every penny.
We like to eat at nice-ish places with our friends. It's how we socialize and entertain ourselves.
I was shocked (and a little embarrassed) to see so much of our budget going towards alcohol. What can I say - we drink nice beer and wine. And we always buy enough to share with friends too.
One of the things I love about Jeremy is that he's frugal (not cheap, there's a difference) but at the same time very generous.
Along with our budget I've picked up a few tips along the way that I would like to share:
• Get a high-interest checking account. And if you can, find a credit union to bank with.
• We like to put all of our expenses on a credit card that gives us reward points (for things like new kitchen appliances). We pay it off in full at the end of each month so that we don't have to pay any interest. Meanwhile, our money is sitting in the bank gathering interest in our high-yield checking account.
• Invest in a 401k. If you work at a company that matches invest up to the maximum amount they will match.
• Invest in real estate - especially if you live in an area where real estate is dirt cheap. Like Oklahoma. Being a landlord can be challenging at times but it's not as hard as you might think. Kelly at Tearing Up Houses is an incredible inspiration and resource when it comes to real estate matters (and she manages to be hilarious at the same time).
• Don't buy new cars. The truth is - I really want a new car right now. But when I consider the payments, insurance and the environmental impact it takes to produce and drive a new car it's just not worth it.
So I'd like to hear from you all. What sorts of things do you do to leverage your dollars? Any money tips?
I'm going to continue to expand on this new "matters" series. I'm an open book, so let me know if there are any other life/beauty/money/marriage/food/etc. topics or specifics you'd like me to dive into. Help me figure out what to talk about next!
A few nights ago I was craving breakfast for dinner but I was also craving Indian food - so I combined the two and came up with this meal. The parathas were the shining star of this meal. I've been attempting various Indian quick breads for a while now and this has been the most successful batch I've made. I was inspired by a recipe I found at Holy Cow! Vegan (one of my favorite food blogs) but found the recipe here super helpful.
I made the potatoes by cubing a boiling .5" - 1" chunks of potato until soft. Then I heated some oil in a pan and added the potatoes and spices to that - I found the spices were clumping so I added a bit of water to the pan to get them to disperse a little - the water boiled off and when the potatoes were browned a little I added a bag of spinach to the mix and turned off the heat.
And yes, I get the irony that I've linked two vegan blogs in a food post that also features eggs. As of right now I've cut way back on dairy and for whatever reason I'm not as disturbed by (local) eggs. I'm usually an all or nothing kind of gal but I've found being more moderate in my part-time vegan approach to work for me. But more on that later!
Have I ever told you guys I'm not really a cat person? I'm not. I never had any growing up - we always had dogs - the first being a sweet German Shepherd named Ralph. And the truth is, I've been a little dog crazy lately. I want a big dog that could rescue me off the top of a mountain but also spoon me next to a fire. However, I don't see this happening any time in the near future - so instead I'm trying to teach Mister Scooty Boots how to love me like a dog would. To let me kiss on him, give him a good scratch him behind the ears and get him to come to me on call. He's still warming up to the whole deal.
Boots - Report (I've had these for about 10 years now - I'm finding all of my favorite clothes to be from the turn of the century)
Leggings - Olive and Tweed (I think a big dog would go nicely with these)
Tee & Scarf - Urban Outfitters
Cardigan - Target
I have to admit - I went into Alt Summit almost expecting to regress to my uncomfortable middle school self. I had this fear that I would be the equivalent of the awkward kid eating alone in the cafeteria. But instead I got the summer camp experience I never had - chock full of making a dozen new best friends forever, lots of hugs, a little bit of gossip, wine and potato chips, unexpected periods, and weepy goodbyes. I left inspired (and slightly overwhelmed) - not necessarily by the actual sessions (though, those were great) but by all the incredibly talented people I met. Real deal folks who think big and aren't afraid to take on the world.
I came home from Nepal with three tiny little rocks from Mount Everest Base Camp tucked away in the safest corner of my backpack. Now they live in a little corner of our built-in bookshelf. Stacking three rocks is said to bring good luck and make wishes come true - at least that's what Buddhi told me. But really, these three little rocks remind me that an adventure that started out as a dream (and is now, once again, starting to feel like a dream) was in fact very real. And if they happen to bring me a little luck, I'll take it.
A lot of you might be familiar with Flaming Lips front man Wayne Coyne but are you aware of his badass wife? You might also know her as the girl in the video She Don't Use Jelly that hit MTV air waves in '93. Anyways, this girl crush is a little atypical because Michelle Martin-Coyne isn't a mega-celebrity and I often see her and her rockstar husband out and about - we live in the same little town and even share friends. But I think she's just so unabashedly cool - and talented to boot.
So, let's hear it. Who are you girl crushing on lately?
Images pulled from Wayne Coyne's Twitter - not always safe for work (unless you work from home like me) but always entertaining.
I scored these vintage Levi's at my friend Keri's vintage shop Mister Rabbit. I love that they give me total '70s butt - and all along I thought women of that era were just born with long, flat butts.
Jeans - Vintage Levi's
Shoes - Vintage Aerosoles
Tank - F21
Vest - BCBG MaxAzria
Earring - Shop Good
P.S. Mister Rabbit is shutting it's doors at the end of the month and has priced everything to sell at 50% off! So if you're a local go now!
When I was hired on as an art director at my previous advertising job I wouldn't put any personal effects on my desk until I had business cards printed up with my name on them. To me it was a sign that I wasn't temporary - that I would be around long enough to hand out at least 250 business cards.
I've been freelancing for 7 months now and am finally starting to feel like the situation isn't temporary. So I finally designed and printed up some business cards. I'm in this for the long haul - or at least long enough to hand out 500 business cards. That and writing my contact information on napkins was becoming embarrassing.
These are printed using two-color lithography on chip board (the stuff that usually backs notepads) and are 2" square. Now I'm itching to print some wedding invitations on this material. Any takers?
Special thanks to Julie at Heritage Press for never making fun of me when I ask her to do stuff like print on stock that usually ends up in the trash.
Tomorrow I will be heading to Salt Lake City, Utah to attend the Altitude Design Summit. When I try to explain to real life friends and family that I'm going to a blog conference they get confused. I mean - they get it that I have this blog but what is there about blogging that warrants an entire conference? I get questions like: Will we all be on our laptops blogging in a big room together? The truth is... I'm not entirely sure what to expect. I'm going to remain optimistic and open.
I'm looking forward to heading out to SLC tomorrow but first I have so much to do... like:
• Learn real names (for example, I don't want to be squealing "JEALOUS CURATOOOOORRRRR!!!" when I meet Danielle)
• Pack for cold weather but maintain style - this is tricky.
• Paint my nails - does anyone else have to block off hours of their day to do this? Or is it just me?
• Research beginner tips for skiing. I might attempt it for the first time ever on Saturday.
Holler at me if you're going to Alt tomorrow!
Photo found here. Logo from Alt. Compilation by me.
We rarely eat pasta around here - and it's not because we're allergic to gluten or because carbs make my face look puffy. I think pasta doesn't make much of an appearance in our kitchen because A) I prefer Indian, Mexican or Asian fare accompanied by rice and B) I simply don't have lots of good ideas for pasta dishes. However, that has all changed with this new dish. I've made this roasted broccoli and mushroom pasta with pesto twice this week - it's practically holding me hostage. I love it so much I just might marry it - or at least have a threesome with it.
Pesto Pasta with Roasted Broccoli and Mushrooms
1 package of pasta (I prefer whole wheat spirals)
1 bunch of broccoli
2 packages of mushrooms
1 large bag of spinach (mine had arugula mixed in too)
1 bunch of fresh basil
3/4 c walnuts
1/4 c olive oil
4-6 cloves of garlic
juice from half a lemon
Earth Balance or butter
Herbs de Provence
Heat your oven to 425F. Wash your broccoli and mushrooms. Remove the stems of your mushrooms and discard. Chop the caps into quarters. Cut the broccoli florets into bite size pieces. Toss together in a large bowl with just a bit of olive oil, salt, and Herbs de Provence. Pour into a casserole pan and top with a few cubes of butter or Earth Balance. Bake for 25 minutes or just until the edges of the broccoli florets are a little browned and mushrooms are cooked down.
Now is a good time to get your pasta water boiling. Add your pasta when the veggies have about 10 more minutes to go until done. Most whole wheat pasta only needs about 8 minutes to cook - drain and shock under cold water.
As your veggies are roasting assemble your pesto. First, toast your walnuts (I did this in a dry cast iron pan over medium heat for 5 minutes). After that throw your walnuts, 4-6 cloves of garlic (depending on personal preference and whether or not you have a date later), 1 bunch of basil and as much spinach as you can fit into your food processor. Blend together as you slowly pour 1/4 c of olive oil and the juice from 1/2 a lemon into the mix. As everything breaks down continue to add more spinach and blend. I wound up adding a whole bag of spinach to this pesto. You can add more oil as needed.
Add your pasta and pesto to the bowl you used to toss the veggies in. Mix together. Remove your roasted veggies from the oven and pour over the pesto pasta - liquid and all. Fold the veggies in and serve.
This meal feeds about 6 people. I like to serve it with garlic bread and a side of finely grated Parmesan (otherwise it's vegan).
Note: If you are in fact allergic to gluten or have an aversion to carbs this recipe might be delicious with a spaghetti squash.
I was recently asked to share my skin/make up/beauty routine because it's fun and fascinating to see how different women go about their regimen. Today I'm going to touch on my make up routine - a total snooze for you boys reading this blog - but maybe more fun for the ladies.
Growing up, my mom wore very little make up and with that example I didn't even think about make up until college. But even then, I would wear a smidge of mascara and call it a day. Since then, I've had a lot more fun experimenting with different make ups and techniques. I think a bare natural face is beautiful, blemishes and all, but I also think it's fun to transform yourself with a little make up. I'm not particularly brand loyal and I typically don't spend a whole lot of money or time on make up - so I want to share with you all my quick "daily" make up routine.
SKIN / PREP
1. I start with skin prep - you can read all about that here.
2. I love shimmery neutral palettes for my eyes. I brush a light cream color across my entire lid. Sometimes I'll then brush a slightly darker cream across my lower lid. 3. 3. Then I dab a bit of darker shadow (usually a shimmery grey) in the outer corners of my eyes for a little pop.
CHEEKS / BLUSH
4. Right now I'm using a cream blush. I dab and blend into the apples of my cheeks where I naturally flush.
5. I like to define my eyebrows by taking an angled brush, running it under the tap for a second and dipping it into a dark brown eye shadow. I lightly fill in my brows.
Note: I don't tweeze or wax my brows ever. I've tried and it's just too painful and the stray hairs here or there don't really bother me much.
MASCARA / LASHES
6. I always use a waterproof mascara in black on my lashes. Otherwise, it will rub off on my upper eyelid.
7. I like to highlight my upper lid, just below my brow bone and upper cheek bone with a little bit of cream or translucent shimmer powder.
8. I usually leave my lips completely bare but will apply chap stick throughout the day. Sometimes I'll wear gloss or lipstick but it's not a part of my daily routine.
• Liquid Liner - I use Liquid Last in black from MAC. It's one of the few products I'm loyal to. I wear this when I want a retro look or just a little more oomph in my eyes.
• In general, I like to play up either my eyes or lips - but usually I'll choose my eyes. Otherwise, people think I look tired.
• I use a combination of the brushes you see above and my fingers for all applications.
• My favorite make up artist is Kevyn Aucoin - he has great books and advice. I credit him for my love of make up.
So let's hear it - what are some of your favorite products and/or techniques for a daily face?
P.S. I'm going to continue to expand on this new "matters" series. I'm an open book, so let me know if there are any other life/beauty/money/marriage/food/etc. topics or specifics you'd like me to dive into. I'll be talking about money next!
I was really honored and excited when my friend Hallie asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding. Having been married twice myself the running joke was Kathleen, always a bride... So, I was genuinely looking forward to joining the ranks of bridesmaid and wearing matching taffeta dresses with huge poofy sleeves. I felt as if I was going through a rite of passage. And then when my main girl Liz was asked to be a bridesmaid too we knew Hallie was in for it.
So, with that, here are some things you should know about me should you ever ask me to be your bridesmaid:
1. I will say inappropriate and vulgar things at all the right times.
2. And I will make ugly faces. But I will make pretty faces too.
3. With me, comes my hair.
4. I will never smile with my teeth. It makes me look frightened.
5. My awesome rack might steal the show. I apologize in advance.
6. A camera flash will make me look like a ghost.
7. While I love the whole matching dress cliche it also freaks me out a little bit. I may try to wear really crazy shoes but you can probably talk me out of it.
Our sweet moment, upstaged only by Liz, in the background, sucking face with her boyfriend like it's her senior prom.
8. I will be the friend that tells you you can back out when you're getting cold feet. Everyone helps you plan your wedding but nobody helps you plan a divorce.
9. But I will also believe in true love and happily ever after with my whole heart as I'm standing next to you.
10. I won't get sloppy drunk at your reception.
11. But I will totally act like it if that's what you're into.
Congrats, Hallie and Chase!
Photography by Simon Hurst.
During my 7 month freelance recap I gave you all a glimpse of the font I designed for a client of mine and I wanted to share a little bit more about that experience.
First, a little background: I have a degree in Fine Arts with an emphasis in Visual Communications (read: graphic design). In school, we spent very little time on the computer and were instead armed with technical pens, ink, brushes and pads of tracing paper. 50% of my classes were dedicated to studying typography and I fell in love - hard.
Since then I've found ways to incorporate hand-lettering into my designs but lately I've been more curious and excited about designing fonts for myself. I don't have a lot of technical experience in the matter - so it's a lot like art school where I'm working with the basics - ink and paper.
So, when I was hired to design a blog header for a new client I knew I wanted a super modern, chunky and geometric typeface to work with. I went to my usual place to find a font I sworn I had seen before but was coming up dry. So I decided to knock one out myself - I started with two shapes (a rectangle and circle) and a tight grid in Adobe Illustrator. I don't have any fancy font software so I have to set each letter by "hand" - I feel like a modern-day Gutenberg over here! I'm sure it's full of technical flaws but it was fun - I was so excited to be working on a typeface that I almost skipped lunch without noticing. And I never forget to eat.
I'm looking forward to getting deeper into this sort of thing. I know it will get hard but I'm excited to venture into more complicated hand lettering, scripts and serif designs.
P.S. Typographer and illustrator Jessica Hische is a huge inspiration to me. Even if you're not a total typography nerd you must check out her Daily Drop Cap project here.
This meal is best enjoyed on the couch, surrounded with lots of blankets and pillows, and accompanied with a marathon of 30 Rock (Season 4 to be specific).
I've been a bit under the weather lately - so while I usually pride myself on soaking and cooking dried beans and making tortillas from scratch I went the pre-made route on most of this meal. It was surprisingly easy and didn't take much energy to create. I was playing around with lots of ideas combining these ingredients - I considered quesadillas or enchiladas but ultimately decided on a lasagna.
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Mexican Lasagna
4 medium/small sweet potatoes
2 cans of black beans
1 yellow onion
Corn tortillas (I used about 6)
4 oz. grated goat cheese (I used a hard sharp cheddar goat cheese but I think this dish would be interesting with a soft goat cheese as well)
Preheat your oven to 375F. Start by peeling and cubing your sweet potatoes in .5" chunks. Throw in a bowl and toss with olive oil, chili powder, allspice and salt. Spread evenly over a baking sheet and roast for 35-45 minutes (until tender when poked with a fork).
Drain and rinse your black beans - throw these in the bowl you used for your sweet potatoes and stir in 2 tsp. of ground cumin and salt. Dice an onion and sautee with olive oil just until they begin to caramelize and are translucent.
Once the sweet potatoes are done cooking reduce the oven heat to 350F. Layer the green chile sauce, tortillas, black beans, sweet potatoes, onions, and cheese in that order until you use up all of your ingredients. Top with the remaining green chile sauce and a little bit of cheese. Cover with tin foil and bake for 40 minutes (remove tin foil at 20 minutes in to let the top brown a little).
This will serve 3-4 people.
A quick note: I've been cutting way back on dairy lately and have been considering going vegan. The compromise I've come to for now is to only eat local, grass-fed dairy and when going out to eat choosing vegan options (or making substitutions) when they're available. I'll touch more on this topic later but wanted to go ahead and throw it out there for discussion.
J & K started this blog project to document the remodel of their 1929 historical home in the heart of Oklahoma City. It has now turned into a documentation of life, food, fashion, freelance, inspiration, design, adventures and details around the J & K house.
Kathleen works as an award-winning brand consultant and designer specializing in small business branding at Braid Creative & Consulting. Jeremy is a software engineer and is the left-brain to Kathleen’s right.
You can contact Kathleen at
jeremyandkathleen (at) gmail (dot) com.
All photos and graphics by Kathleen unless otherwise stated. Feel free to use them with permission or credit.
Anatomy of an Outfit
Sometimes I like to get dressed and take pictures of myself. For all of my outfit posts click here.
Freelance Matters: A series about how I tackle freelance issues such as estimating, billing, to-do lists and how to fire a client.
Trekking to Everest
In October 2010 Jeremy and I trekked through the Himalayas to Mt. Everest Base Camp. It completely changed my life. Read about the entire adventure, day-by-day, here.
Braid is a creative & consulting business I own with my sister. We do branding and business visioning for creative entrepreneurs. On the Braid blog I share branding adventures, how-to articles and advice on the creative process. If you need a little brand therapy of your own visit Braid or subscribe to the Braid blog RSS feed here.
What We Eat
We like to eat really good food - at least 3 times a day. Sometimes I blog about it - click here for recipes and yummy ideas.
J & K: Blog Archive
- ► 2012 (182)
- Weekend Style
- Money | Matters
- Breakfast for Dinner: Indian style
- Anatomy of an Outfit: Crazy Legs
- Alt - The Summer Camp Experience
- Everest Luck
- Girl Crush: Michelle Martin-Coyne
- Anatomy of an Outfit: '70s Butt
- And Kathleen Business Cards
- Roasted Veggies and Pesto Pasta
- Make Up | Matters
- Always a Bridesmaid...
- THE JoDI FONT
- Happy Day
- Sweet Potato and Black Bean Lasagna
- Anatomy of an Outfit: Bumblebee
- Anatomy of an Outfit: Casual Friday
- Wedding Invitation: Letterpress Airmail
- Skin | Matters
- 7 months freelance
- Hello, Twenty-Eleven.
- Cucumbers & Hummus Lunch
- Anatomy of an Outfit: The Kathleen Scarf
- So very not glamorous.
- ▼ January (26)
- ► 2010 (387)
- ► 2009 (406)
- Eva Black | Spaces
- Emma Dime
- Life as an Artistpreneur
- Jane Reaction
- Ink & Letters
- Meg Biram | The Edit
- Sarah Von Bargen's Small Biz Blog
- Design Crush
- The Equals Record
- Emmarie Designs
- Rory Gordon
- Yellow Brick Home
- The Creatives Project
- Silly Grrl
- Photographers Skeen
- The Clothes Make the Girl
- Bringing Design Home
- Pip & Estella
- A Practical Wedding
- Kind of a Sideshow
- Sandra Juto
- Old Sweet Song
- Rambling Renovators
- Brooklyn Bride
- Design Crush
- Experiment in Poverty
- The Jealous Curator
- Making it Lovely
- Dressing on the Side
- The Oklahoman
- Young House Love
- Oh So Beautiful Paper
- A Cup of Jo
- Brooklyn Limestone
- Glamour Weddings